Tower of Terror 10 Miler 2013 Race Recap

On October 5th, I was able to run my very first runDisney Tower of Terror ten miler. It was a night race, and it didn’t start until 10:00. Yikes. Remember, I am like an old person, I go to bed quite early. The LSU game came on at 7:00, so we spent an hour at ESPN watching the game before going back to our room at the Boardwalk, changing clothes and walking over to Hollywood Studios for the race. (We decided to stay at Boardwalk for this very reason).

cruella

Hidden Mickey!

photo 4 (3)

photo 3 (5)

I loved my Cruella costume, and I got a ton of compliments and shout outs on the race course! The arm sleeves got very warm, but oh well.

As soon as we arrived, I ran into some friends, then hunted down Team runDisney for a group photo. There were a lot more of us there than I realized! it was great chatting with everyone.

teamRD

I also got to meet Lesley, who made my tutu for me. She was super sweet, and has started making tutu’s as a side business.

photo 2 (5)

Soon they were calling for everyone to get into their corrals. We headed into C and someone offered to take a photo of us after they saw us struggling with a sad looking selfie.

photo 1 (5)

We had walked a good ways to get to the start line, but I ran into Kristen and we chatted until the race started so it didn’t seem long at all.

photo 1 (3)

I love starting line fireworks. So pretty and adrenaline pumping!

Carissa and Rudy counting us down in adorable costumes.

photo 2 (4)

Our corral made it up to the start, we got a shout out from Carissa, and we were on our way through the twilight zone!

photo 4

It took me awhile to get into the groove. I had been eating restaurant food for days, and walked around the parks for three days already, so I was feeling sluggish. I finally felt better by time we got to Animal Kingdom and saw some cool looking stilt walkers.

photo 3 (1)

Watch out for the giant spider!

photo 2 (1)

I had to stop and get this picture for my boss. The queen is her favorite. Off with their heads!

photo 2 (2)

We headed back in the direction we had already come, and it was then that I realized just how many people were running. Look at all the people on the left side! (I’m on the right next to the guy in the green shirt). SO cool to be in the same place at the same time with so many people with the same passions as me, Disney and running.

photo 1 (2)

photo 3

We headed towards the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, and I was curious how this “trail” portion was going to go. For the most part it was ok, although my ankles did not like the huge rocks so we went really slow. There was one portion that had zero lights and I got really nervous not knowing where I was stepping, but other than that it was well lit. We ran around the track and saw these guys. They told us they liked that our bibs because they had the number 13 in them haha.

photo 3 (4)

 

There was one guy wandering around the track dragging his shovel, cracked me up. I love it.

I had to go to the bathroom since the race started and didn’t run into the woods like Bobby before the race started, so we took a quick stop here. It was so nice to pee in “real” bathrooms along the race course.

Soon we were going into Champion Stadium. It was nothing like running through the stadium at Disneyland, sadly not very many spectators were there. However, I had to remind myself it was late at night and most sane people were probably in bed already.

photo 1 (1)

photo 2

This next photo was my favorite of the whole race. After posing with these guys, I went to walk off and one of them grabbed my shoulder and wouldn’t let me go! I started screaming that I had to finish the race so he’d better let go. They were SO in character and did a great job!

photo 3 (2)

Next we ran under the Hollywood Studios sign, if you look closely you can see a villain yelling at us from atop the sign.

photo

Into Hollywood Studios we went, and I knew we were close! I stopped with this guy for my dad. He loves him some Mike.

photo 5

Bobby’s photo did not come out below. One bad thing about night races.

photo 4 (2)

We passed the Sorcerer’s hat, went around a couple more corners, and then we were at the finish line. We crossed in 1:52, but the race seemed to go by so much faster than that.

We got our medals and had to walk FOREVER to get to the gear check area at Indiana Jones.

photo 4 (1)

We walked back towards the hat and I found this lovely lady.

photo 3 (3)

We were really tired and ended up not staying long at the Villain’s bash. Most people were just sitting around, and I didn’t really want to ride or eat or drink anything right after running a sweaty race.

photo 1 (4)

We left about 1:45 and made the long trek back to the Boardwalk and crashed. After showers of course.

I LOVE my new bling, it glows in the dark and the elevator moves up an down. Good job runDisney.

photo 2 (3)

Overall thoughts:

-LOVED the distance. Long enough to be a challenge but short enough to not feel like death.

-I thought the on course entertainment and amount of characters was very good. Loved seeing ones that aren’t normally out and about, and the lines were not very long.

-The course going through WWOS…meh. I wish it went through Animal Kingdom instead, would be more entertaining, and safer than the trail to WWOS.

-Post race party, not sure what I was expecting but maybe I was just too tired to enjoy it. The lines for characters were super long and we only saw two of them, food and alcohol had to be bought, and I was just flat out tired.

-The bling is awesome, love this medal, and the race shirt design was cool. Was bummed the “I did it” shirt you can buy at the official merchandise table was long sleeved. it’s the first time EVER I haven’t bought the shirt. I just get no use out of LS, and wish they would give us an option of both.

-I think having more and smaller corrals helped. I never felt crowded at all, and am so glad runDisney listened to the runners to make the course more safe and enjoyable!

-Didn’t like I had to walk so far to get my gar check bag. I just wanted to sit down! Must be somewhere else they can put it? Minor detail.

-Would I do this race again? YES! I had a really great time just having fun with it and felt it was well organized. Two thumbs up, which means a lot coming from someone who does not like to stay up late for anything!

tower of terror results

Be sure to visit rundisney.com for more information about their races!

QOTD: Have you ever run a night race?

Beach update + Another Duathlon

Good morning! So sad a week ago I was in Georgia having a blast. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. Speaking of Saturday, next Saturday we leave for the BEACH! Yes, every summer we go to Destin because Bobby has an annual bar conference and has to take continuing legal education classes to keep his law license. We have stayed somewhere different every year and I am stoked about where we are staying this year, but more on that later. It’s super nice and an early birthday gift for me and late one for Bobby. I can’t wait!

DSC_0602

Last year at the beach

Today, I am heading out with Bobby again for another duathlon. It’s in the same place as the last one he did, it’s a summer series and this is number 3 in the series (me missed number one, oops.) We were blessed with amazingly cool weather for the one in May, but I don’t think we will be so lucky today. I will let you know how it goes. We have a friend from college who was an usher in our wedding who stayed here last night and is going to race with Bobby. Should be a fun day!

duathlon2

Nothing exciting planned for Sunday, just hanging out with Bobby and probably doing a little cleaning. I have been on a roll lately throwing things away and cleaning out closets. Nothing is safe!

QOTD: What are you doing this weekend?

Triathlon: Bobby’s View

Bobby took over my blog for the day, I hope you enjoy his point of view!

Each year our neighborhood hosts a triathlon. Two years ago we spectated, and last year we volunteered. I’ve been saying for more than the past two years that I wanted to do a triathlon, but I somehow still managed to surprise Heather when I told her that I was actually going to do it.

543739_319951261466363_1790395505_n

Granted the shock was probably due to…well this is how the conversation went:

Me: “I’m going to do the Tradition triathlon this year.”

Heather: “What?! It’s less than two months away and you haven’t trained, don’t have a wetsuit, or even a bike!”

I was tired of putting it off and this was the perfect opportunity. Besides, I have been lifting weights and running for years and this was only a sprint tri, how hard could it be? Okay, so I’m not completely oblivious. I know that anytime you participate in an athletic event that your body is not used to, it’s tough.

For those who don’t know, a sprint tri is short. Mine was one lap around the lake = 600 yards, a 17ish mile bike ride, and a 5k (3.1 mile) run. I knew that I could handle the run and I bike at the gym often, so it was really just adding in a swim. I began training as much as I could. I ordered a wetsuit and had Jen’s husband, Jeff, help me pick out a bike. By the time I had everything, the triathlon was a month out.

Swimming… is a bit different over long distances than doing laps in there pool where I pause between each one and catch my breath. I found this out by participating in a training day with the local running club. Rather than describe that painful experience, let’s just say I ended up watching YouTube videos on proper swim technique and doing how-to-breath exercises in the pool. I joined the club again for a bike/run brick workout (brick workouts are doing two of the events in one training session for those who, like me until recently, didn’t know that) and felt confident I could at least complete the tri.

DSC_0585

Heather did a write up on the day of the event that you can read here: https://heatherslookingglass.com/bobbys-first-triathlon/

I’ll simply add a few comments. I finished and was okay with my time. Something I didn’t do well was transitions. Apparently this is NOT the time when you sit down, rest, take a few drinks, dry off five times, and enjoy the scenery. I refuse to admit to the actual time it took me in my transitions, especially after seeing the posted times of everyone else, but let’s just say there is PLENTY of room for improvement.

The swim was the hardest part for me. The wetsuit made it easier, but I still need to work on breathing. I had a hard time keeping oxygenated and had to flip over and back stroke a few times. Even with that, my time was good because I can swim relatively fast for a 200+ pounder between the breaks. The bike was the easiest part, and the course was pleasant. The run was doable, though it was a crazy experience getting to run on legs that felt one part Jello and one part cement, at least for the first mile. Oh the sound of feet flopping around.

DSC_0616

It was an overall good time and I plan to do more in the future. I like the distance of the sprint tri because it doesn’t make me feel like death, but is still challenging. I simply don’t have the time, or the desire for that matter, to put in the training it would take to do something like an Ironman, so I’ll stick with the short ones. If you are like I was and want to do one, just sign up and go for it.

I’ll leave you with this video I took during my training:

QOTD: What do you wish you knew about running or a tri before your first race that you learned the hard way?

2013 Disney Half Marathon

 

My alarm buzzed at 2:45 am on Saturday morning. I forced myself to jump out of bed, because I have learned that the longer I lay there wondering why I am doing this again, the harder it is to get up. I forced myself to eat a banana and a clif bar even though I wasn’t hungry with it being the middle of the night. I thought about how in my central time zone brain it was really 1:45 am, and not the time to get up to run. However, I was excited to run with my husband and friends, something we have had planned for four years. We were running the runDisney half marathon, as the first part of Goofy’s Challenge.

Disney Half Marathon

DSC_0792

We finished getting ready, and headed out the door to meet Jen and Jeff at the busses. Thankfully, there was ZERO line and we hopped right on. Apparently there was a huge line at the Beach Club, so no idea why ours was so short!

photo (51)

Jen and I were both VERY excited about the race and FINALLY getting to run together after these years, and the boys were well, trying to fall back asleep on the bus. We made it to our destination, and after some texting, met up with Karen. If you will remember, Bobby, Karen and I ran the Disney full together in 2011!

550503_723792717111_773326477_n

I took a couple photos of the family reunion area, and then it was time to check bags and walk to our corral.

725155-1002-0001s

725168-1004-0028s

photo (50)

We thought we had allowed ourselves plenty of time to walk to our corrals, but I had forgotten about the “cattle herding” that takes place along the long, narrow road leading to the corrals. There was quite a bit of shuffling and mooing (from me and bobby of course) going on.

photo (49)

We remembered there were bathrooms by the corrals so we decided to wait and go then and I am glad we did. The line was MUCH shorter. However, while we were waiting in line we could hear the national anthem. Oops. We hurried up and ran up to the front, and I was able to get a couple of fun photos before jumping into our corral.

photo (48)

I spy Drew Carey! So wee meet again!

photo (46)

We jumped in right as the Corral B fireworks were going off, and we were literally, off and running. Our goal was to take it nice and slow, so that we wouldn’t be sore for the full the  next day. We wanted to run walk, and just have fun.

photo (47)

The crowd was pretty thick to start, so we ran two and two as to not clog up the road. The miles flew by for me, because Jen and I chatted the whole time! We took it easy, but even still I was soaking wet due to the very high humidity. Soon enough, we were reaching the Magic Kingdom!

photo (45)

I got a burst of energy as we got closer and closer to my favorite part of the race. A huge thank you to the hundreds of awesome volunteers throughout the race. They were working so hard, and were so encouraging, often yelling out my name, or telling me I was doing a good job. runDisney does a hands down amazing job with it’s race volunteers. There was plenty of water and Powerade, and plenty of aid stations along the course. I was sure to express my thanks whenever I got the chance.

photo (44)

photo (43)

We made a couple more turns, and I could see my beloved icicle lights shining in the distance, and the faint roar of fans cheering on the runners out on Main Street. We turned the corner, and as usual I got chills. The street was packed with screaming fans, all looking for “their” runner. I smiled and waved, and then looked ahead to the beautifully decorated Cinderella Castle. I am so glad they had the icicle lights lit up for us! I tried my best to slow down and soak in the moment, and just LIVE. It was awesome. At one point, Bobby yelled for me to turn around. I wasn’t sure if he was taking photo or video so I just waved, and it’s now one of my favorite race photos!
71516_682821793108_1454119992_n

After we turned off Main Street, we decided to stop in my favorite race “photo spot”

photo (41)

photo (42)

We continued on our journey, running through Tomorrowland, and around the corner into Fantasyland. The lines for character photos were SO LONG, and while we did want to take it easy, I also didn’t want to be on my feet for over three hours with the marathon the next day, so we bypassed and said we would stop if there was a very short line. (Plus I knew we would get a bunch of photos the next day during the full).

We turned towards the castle, and ran right through it, and back towards the crowds of people.

725276-1131-0031s

725278-1025-0025s

Do you see my phone in my hand? I live Tweeted and Instagram-ed the whole race!

725279-1041-0027s

We made a right turn, and then I spotted a character line with only a couple of people in it, so we decided to stop for a fun photo.

725921-1005-0034s

We soldiered on, through the rest of the Magic Kingdom, taking in the scenery and enjoying the race. We made it out onto the road and to my least favorite part of the race. The reason being the road is SO narrow and drops off into the grass (which was wet) so you just kind of get “stuck” behind people. We finally made it out past the Grand Floridian onto the open road, and were able to have some breathing room. We hit the Clif Shots tables and grabbed some GU. I had packets in my skirt pockets and had already taken two at this point and I took a total of three during the race and one before the race.

At this point, mile nine, Jeff decided to go on without us, so he took off to finish the race at his pace. Meanwhile, we kept having fun.

photo (40)

photo (39)

photo (38)

The sun started coming up, and I couldn’t believe we only had a 5k left until we received our shiny new Donald medals. We made the loop up to the overpass, and saw a familiar runDisney site.

photo (37)

We were ordered to “hustle up the hill” so off we went, heading towards EPCOT. We only had a couple miles left, for which i was thankful. While I was barely winded, my feet were starting to hurt from being on them since early that morning. We mad a turn, and were up on another bridge, with EPCOT in our sights.

photo (36)

We made it to Spaceship Earth, and the crowds got thicker and thicker. I loved reading everyone’s creative signs, I just wish I could remember what they all said now!

photo (35)

People were cheering us on with “almost there” chants which can sometimes annoy me when we AREN’T almost there, but I knew we were close, and it was exciting!

725301-1096-0018s

We headed towards World Showcase, then made the turn back into Future World, we were in the home stretch now! We picked up the pace because we were so excited!

photo (34)

Probably tweeting that I am almost done…

725294-1080-0049s

We were all smiling and excited that part one of our Journey to Goofy was almost complete.

725306-1008-0048s

725306-1008-0049s

Not only were we doing it, but I was running with two very special people on either side of me.

725306-1008-0050s

725896-1130-0019s

We could hear the gospel choir singing as we rounded a corner, and sure enough, there they were. The TRUE sign that you are almost home. They sang us all the way around the next corner, and soon enough I could SEE the finish.

photo (33)

725293-1112-0012s

725293-1112-0013s

I could hear the screaming, we were there!

725298-1087-0044s

photo (31)

As we approached the finish line, I felt nothing but joy for how blessed I was. I had made it through day one, with no injuries, and was about to get another medal around my neck, a symbol of hard work and love for the sport.

725893-1024-0014s

We lifted our hands in triumph, as a dream four years in the making, friends running Disney together, became a reality.

725329-1290-0022s

725329-1290-0025s

725329-1290-0026s

We  crossed in 2:41, then got our medals, grabbed our water, Powerade, and snacks, then headed to bag check to get our bags and take some photos, which is where Jeff found us. Perfect timing!

photo (200

No I don’t have a tumor on the side of my leg, I still had a gel in my pocket!

photo (28)

photo (27)

We said goodbye to Jen and Jeff and told them we would see them bright and early in the morning for part two. We then headed over to get some food, and I texted Jenn and she came and met us and we got a photo together to match our Disneyland one.

photo (26)

Bobby and I decided to go watch some of the other runners come in before getting on a bus back to our resort.

photo (25)

It was fun to cheer on the other runners, seeing their expressions right before crossing the finish line. Truly priceless. It was then time to get a shower and prepare for the next day.We were 1/3 of the way done. 26.2 miles to go on our quest for Goofy bling. How will it all end?

QOTD: Favorite part of the race? If you didn’t run, what is the character you would most like to see on course?

ZOOMA Here I Come

 

Awhile back, I heard that the ZOOMA race series was going to be unveiling a new race location. I pretty much stalked their website, hoping that it would be somewhere in the south. I was surprised when my wish came true, and the newest race was announced for Amelia Island, Florida, and would be hosted at the Ritz Carlton!

new_RCAMELI_00205_102613

Here is some info about the race:

You’ll be welcomed to the ZOOMA weekend with a Fitness Expo at the host hotel. Take in the oceanfront sunset as you drink a cocktail (or mocktail if you prefer) at a sponsored happy hour before your post-race meal on Friday evening. On Saturday morning, awaken early to run a flat and scenic half marathon or 5K. After the finish line, celebrate your accomplishment with friends at a fun After-Party Expo on the oceanfront lawn at The Ritz-Carlton.  Enjoy your adrenaline- and wine-fueled buzz with live music, massage, shopping, recovery yoga, and lots of empowering girls’ weekend energy.

Race cap: 2,500

Average Race Day Temperature:
High 63°F
Low 44°F

I really wanted to run this race, so kept checking back for updates and information. Then, recently, I found out I was to be named a ZOOMA race ambassador for the Florida 2013 race! What does this mean? I will be running the race, and spreading the good news to you all encouraging you to sign up and join me at the beach. I really hope to see some of you there, and if you have any questions at all about the event, please feel free to contact me.

logo_florida

Never heard of ZOOMA? Let me fill you in!

“Imagine a powerful sea of women on the move–encouraging fellow runners, creating unforgettable moments, and celebrating personal running triumphs.  Picture a post-race party and expo all wrapped up in one memorable “after-party expo” where these strong goal-oriented women come together for well-deserved celebration.  This is the Muscle Milk Light ZOOMA Women’s Race Series.”

I love it! I can’t wait to share more with you about this and be a part of it all. It is going to be a great time, with wonderful sponsors and gorgeous scenery. Please consider signing up, and be sure to follow them on Twitter for updates!

QOTD: Have you ever run a race geared towards women? Or a race at the beach? Spill!

———————————–

I cannot let today pass without acknowledging the date on the calendar. I still remember exactly where I was when I found out about the attacks. We must never become complacent and forget about what happened that day, and never forget the families who still suffer every day missing their loved ones. I will be saying a special prayer for those families today and hope you will, too.

The One Where We Got Rear Ended

 

Bobby and I had quite the interesting weekend. I am way to tired to blog about the race today, but I will try to have my recap up by tomorrow. But first, we need to back up to Saturday where the “fun” began.

We decided to leave for Pensacola around 12:00 on Saturday. We had a few errands to run along the way, and then had to go to packet pickup and check in at our hotel. Bobby’s driving makes me so nervous, so I volunteered myself to make the two hour drive.

Things were going fine, and we got off the interstate on the other side of Mobile to run a couple of errands. I was yielding waiting to merge onto a highway, when all of the sudden, WHAM, we were hit from behind.  You have GOT to be kidding me! In a different state, trying to make it to packet pickup before they closed, MY POOR CAR! Not going to lie, when I got out and saw the damage, my first instinct was to FLIP OUT. My car is not even two years old, and I know even if you get it fixed it is never quite the same. (I was rear ended in high school and my poor car was never the same.) But Bobby was nice and calm and that helped me to not bite the poor girl’s head off.

2012-04-14142341

2012-04-14142353

2012-04-14143646

So now we have the lovely task of being one car down while we get it fixed. Oh the joys.

It was a college girl who hit me. She said she was up all night studying. Um…ok…you really shouldn’t be telling me that. If your insurance company found out you admitted to that they wouldn’t be happy. We called the cops, and he took FOREVER to get there, so I called Katie to tell her we may not make it to packet pickup.  Bobby being the calm person that he is handled everything. We got it all taken care of and were on our way again. We made it to packet pickup on time and I got to see this pretty face!

2012-04-14154742

We got our shirts and packets, then headed to our hotel to check in. We found a brick oven pizza place for dinner that was pretty good. After a stressful day, it was nice to just relax and unwind.

2012-04-14170018

2012-04-14170026

We got some frozen yogurt, and then made it back to the hotel for some vegging out before bed. We managed to actually go to sleep early, we had to be up at 5:00 for our half marathon!

QOTD: Have you ever been the recipient of a rear-ending?

Race Week Workouts

 

Happy hump day! This week is flying by, and I am so confused as to what day it is since we were off on Monday. Pleasantly surprised it’s already Wednesday!

Yesterday we picked some blackberries…and took the day off from working out. You see, we have a half marathon on Sunday, and I am not quite sure exactly what the “rule” is on workouts the week of a race. I can only tell you what I have done in the past, but have no idea if I am right or wrong. Typically, this is what I do the week of a race that is on a Sunday.

Sunday: off (long run was the day before)

Monday: Run, speed or intervals 3-5 miles weights

Tuesday: weights, cross train

Wednesday: run, 3 miles easy, weights, yoga

Thursday: cross train

Friday: off

Saturday: off

Sunday: Race

57c05936

This is a loose estimation of my workouts of course, but I generally don’t do much. My running after Monday is slow or non existent, and I drop off the weights after Wednesday and take two full days off to rest before the big day. With it being race week, I got to thinking about what the correct way to do things would be.

This Running Times article suggests you should maintain the same pace you always run for workouts, just dial down the volume.

Active suggests a wide mix of things, but tells you to actually rest on rest days.

This website suggests not doing too much for risk of doing more harm than good.

competitor recommends tapering and keeping your workouts as “race specific” as possible.

This Runner’s World article calls for high intensity workouts just not as many or as long.

I couldn’t really find much on yoga or weight lifting the week of a race, so I just taper as I would my running for the most part.

74258_547174795841_68000952_31677253_774911_n

So, who is right? Is rest better or race pace high intensity, but shorter workouts better? To taper or not to taper? Does length of race matter? (5k vs. marathon?) What about running up until the day before the race? It’s one of those crazy “everyone has an opinion” issues, and I think part of it comes down to what personally works for you. This will be my 12th half marathon, so I have gained some experience in what personally works for me…but I wonder if I could perform better if I did something a bit different. Interesting food for thought.

GCH2

QOTD: What do you do as far as workouts the week of a big race?

Race Day

Sorry for the lack of social media updates the past few days. Things go back to normal tomorrow,  but today its race Day!  Lord help me, my legs ache so badly from the expo!

image

Here we go with half number 11!

RnR NOLA expo day 1

Good morning! Yesterday was quite the doozey. The expo was open until 7 last night. Then we ended up having to move our entire booth after the expo was over for the night. Lets just say its been a long day.
I got to meet several Blog readers and expo workers I have seen at other races. I love all the people I get to meet through working expos!

image

Hello NOLA!

image

Oh and by the way…I didn’t think everything was going to fit in my 4Runner!

image

image

Onward to day two we go, and then on to the race! Good luck to everyone running tomorrow, and if you are coming to the expo swing by the running skirts booth! Skirts are on sale!

QOTD: what destination race is at the top of your wish list?

Rouge Orleans Race Recap Part 2

 

I left off recap part one with the start of the race.  We were so excited after the cannons blasted and the runners took off. Little did we know many hours later the excitement would wear off, big time. We had to detour to get to the first exchange point, but we made it. We cheered Kristyn in, and Erin took off. I was next.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

We made it to the next exchange, and that’s when I saw the cows.

DSC_8830

On the levee…where I was about to run…

DSC_0081

I really dislike cows. I have been chased by a bull before, so the thought of being in a pasture with these guys made me a little nervous. Never fear! I brought my million volt tazer with me, and hence, one of our favorite quotes from the race became “I’mma taze me some cows!”

I crawled through the fence to the exchange point.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

and waited on Erin to come running up and tag me for my run.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

DSC_8856

aaannddd I’m off!

DSC_8861

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Thankfully, there were a couple of other runners right in front of me who managed to scare the cows off the levee, so the closest I came to one was this guy who stared at me as I ran by.

2012-02-11 09.54.48

and these guys chillin in the pasture. MMMoooooooooo

2012-02-11 09.48.13

DSC_8870

One thing I definitely was not prepared for was running in the gravel. As soon as I took off I was SO thankful for the trail shoes Brooks sent our team! I don’t ever trail run because my ankles are shot to heck, so I was not used to how hard your legs have to work to run the same pace you run on the road.  Not to mention there are several holes and big rocks that made my ankles wobble/almost roll/scared the crap out of me several times.

2012-02-11 09.44.31

I was feeling good my first leg. I was excited, having fun, and the weather was gorgeous….even though it was a bit chilly.

2012-02-11 09.59.26

This leg was about 4.25 miles, and at the end I had to drop down off the levee due to construction.

2012-02-11 10.17.27

Trucks kept coming by kicking dirt up in my face, so I did a lot of coughing at the end of this leg. I made it back UP the levee which took a lot out of me, and to the exchange point where I tagged Lindsey.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

DSC_8874

I ran just over a ten minute mile pace, which I was really happy with considering the gravel of the levee.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Leg one of five, done!

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Onward we drove, meeting each girl at the top of the levee for round one and round two.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Kristyn and I sporting our 110% Play Harder tattoos. I had several people ask me if it was real. Heh.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

We of course snacked a lot. Watermelon Twizzlers are the bomb.com

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

and did some goofing off waiting for the next runner to appear.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

handoff!

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

The wind on the levee was very very bad. Luckily, I had my running skirts sub zero hoodie. I love this picture, I think it sums up a lot of the race!

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Handoff to the last leg of round 1!

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Round 2 was a lot of the same. Drive to the exchange point, run up the levee when our runner was coming, cheer and take pictures of the hand offs, have a dance party, get back in the van and start all over for the next leg.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Erin tagged me again, and I was off for 3.58 miles on leg 2.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Leg two was really boring for me because there were NO RUNNERS around me at all, so I was literally all alone. The sun was shining, the river was to my right, River road to my left.

2012-02-11 15.15.48

I finished up with about 10:30 miles, and was so glad to hand off and be done with the boredom! My last daylight leg for the day was complete.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012. Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

The sun was going down for Jenn’s second leg (she was our anchor runner) so following the rules, we outfitted her with a reflective vest, head lamp, and butt light and sent her on her way. Way sexy.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012. Photos of the Girls on the Geaux running the Mississippi River levee during the Rouge-Orleans ultramarathon relay on Feb. 11-12, 2012.

We drove to the exchange point, got Kristyn ready to start round 3, and that is when things began to go downhill….fast.

QOTD: Do you run in the dark? If so do you take proper safety precautions?