Category Archives: Personal Record

Mississippi River Marathon

This race started in Lake Village, Arkansas and ended in Greenville, Mississippi. The first several miles were absolutely beautiful running along Lake Chicot.

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Drew and I spent some time talking to an older gentleman who was in the 100+ Marathon club. He was finishing up his 4th cycle through the 50 states with this race. I wish we could have coaxed him into telling us some good stories, but he wasn’t a very longwinded man.

After we turned onto Hwy 82 at about the 6 mile mark the wind got very heavy, but we were entertained by a crop-duster flying up high and then diving down towards the ground. It was impressive and kind of scary to watch.

Miles 8-12 the wind was absolutely kicking my ass, it was coming at us head-on and significantly slowing me down. Finally Drew thought to have me tuck in behind him and draft, which I did for the next several miles. I was running so close to him that I had to stare at his feet to make sure I didn’t trip him. He takes long slower strides and I take short faster strides. It definitely gave me something to focus on for a while.

At about mile 12 we approached the bridge …

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The incline of the bridge certainly seemed a lot longer than the descent on the other side, but it was majestic none the less, as was the Mississippi River below it. We got a little laugh as we almost tripped over a dead fish on the bridge. I’m still not sure how that could have gotten there, it was definitely one of the more interesting road kill specimens I’ve come across while running.

At mile 16 I spotted Tim and Lincoln just as we were passing them. I wasn’t actually expecting to see them until the finish line (and I was still busy staring at Drew’s feet) so it was a great surprise. Lincoln made a sign that said, “Run Fast Mommy”.

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Miles 18-20 were kind of miserable. My glutes and quads felt like bricks.

At Mile 20 I thought, “Ok, now lets run 2 miles … 3 times”. That’s about all I could focus on was 2 miles at a time. I actually started feeling significantly better at 22 miles when Drew started feeling worse. Still the last few miles were nothing but mind over matter for the both of us, and yet somehow we managed to run a 8:29 pace on our 26th mile.

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And then just like that it was over.

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My official time was 3:52:28, a new PR by almost 5 minutes!

I was overall really impressed with the race organization. There were buses available to transport all the participants from the finish line in Mississippi to the starting line in Arkansas, where they had bonfires waiting on us to keep us warm before the race. There were water stops at almost every single mile marker as well as portalets. Although the course was open to traffic there was ample police officers to cover all of the intersections. The finish line festivities didn’t seem to be anything special, but honestly I didn’t feel like spending much time there anyway.

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So glad to have my 3rd marathon in the books! I think it will be a while before I do a 4th. I think I’ve decided that the Half Marathon is my happy place. In regards to marathoning, I’ll quote Sweet Brown:

“Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

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Louisiana Half Marathon 2013

Yesterday Tim and I ran in the 2nd annual Louisiana Half Marathon. This was one of my absolute favorite races last year, which is quite a compliment for an inaugural race. I knew this year was bound to be even better!

It did not disappoint.

Last year we made this a family trip to visit some of Tim’s relatives in Baton Rouge. We brought Lincoln and Tim’s mom along. This year we did things differently and left the family at home and had a weekend to ourselves.

It’s about a 6 hour drive from Montgomery to Baton Rouge, but I found ways to entertain myself.

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We stopped in Mandeville, Louisiana to eat lunch at our favorite breakfast place, the original Broken Egg Cafe. I’ve been to several Another Broken Egg locations, but none of them are as good as the original.

I had the Chicken Cobb Salad.

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In the words of my friend Barb, call this “Paleo-light” because of the inclusion of the bleu cheese, but my god I just couldn’t bring myself to utter the words “no bleu cheese”. I just couldn’t.

After lunch we got back on the road and headed straight to the Expo at the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel.

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If I could improve upon one thing about this race it would be the expo. It has tons of vendors, but they are packed into a small space which makes things very crowded. Unfortunately …  I had to pee, and even more unfortunately the bathrooms were on the exact opposite side of the expo and no one was moving!

We checked into our hotel room and decided to go out and walk around downtown before our dinner reservations, but somehow we found ourselves in the hotel bar instead. Gah! I know, I know.

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We did eventually make it to our dinner reservation at Sullivan’s Steakhouse. I don’t typically like chain restaurants, but because this one had such amazing reviews I decided it was worth a try.

I’m not kidding when I say that this may have very well been the best meal of my entire life, or atleast in the top 3.

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14 oz NY strip (aged for 27 days, apparently this matters), brussel sprouts and mushrooms. Sounds simple, but it was magical .. I swear.

Fast forward >>> Race morning.

Because of all the special perks Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniacs received at this race I thought I might wear my HF tank top. My bib number was also my Half Fanatic member number.

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I found the Maniacs and Fanatics at the gear check just in time to jump into the group picture.

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I decided a couple of days in advance that I was definitely going to race this one to the best of my ability. The weather forecast and the mostly flat course were just too perfect not to see what I could do.

Whenever I need extra motivation I draw things on  my hands and arms to look at during long runs or races to keep me inspired. This day I kept it very simple …

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I felt like it would be damn near impossible, but I figured if it was ever going to happen it was going to be on this course with sunny beautiful 40 degree weather.

I knew from last year that my Garmin read about 13.22 miles at the finish line so that meant I’d have to maintain a 7:34 overall pace.

The first mile was really really crowded so I was surprised to see a 7:36 split when my Garmin chirped. The crowd thinned out quickly after that intial mile though and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way.

7:36, 7:36, 7:31, 7:36

The first several miles I really didn’t feel so great. My back was hurting, my toes were numb, my shorts kept slipping down and I just felt generally heavy. My pace stayed consistent though, so I pressed on.

7:32, 7:33, 7:30, 7:33

I got lost in thought for these middle miles. I thought about everything from stuff I had looked at on Pinterest to Jenn Shelton running marathons in funny swimsuits. Just in case you were wondering …

Jenn Shelton - Pear Yep. Badass bitch.

Anyway …

7:30, 7:29, 7:42

At mile 10.5 I checked my overall pace for the first time remembering that I had to be at or below 7:34 … it said 7:33. At first I was ecstatic, and then I realized that was a little too close for comfort.

I ran the last 2 miles as fast as my legs would carry me.

7:31, 7:27.

When I came around the final turn I saw the clock and knew that I would make it, barely.

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After I crossed the finish line and figured out my sense of direction I booked it back to the hotel room as quickly as I could to change shoes and grab my phone so that I could take pictures of Tim as he finished.

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He also PR-ed!

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The after race party at Louisiana is like no other!

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King cake, wine and mimosa (plus beer), local gourmet food, live jazz bands.

This race goes on the permanent “to do” list!

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Filed under Half Marathon, Personal Record, Races

CF Total, “Helen” and Days 6&7

I’m totally tired tonight, so this will most likely be short and sweet. Tonight’s benchmark workout at CrossFit wore me out!

We did “Helen” which is 3 rounds for time of: 400m run, 21 Kettlebell swings and 12 Pull-Ups. This was actually the first benchmark WOD I ever did. My results tonight aren’t really comparable with my previous results though because of my increase in weight in the kettlebell and decrease in bands for assistance with the pull-ups.

I completed the WOD in 12:22. I used the Rx weight Kettlebell (35#) and used red & blue bands (not sure of the resistance). Whatever. Sounds simple, but was killer.

This will be one of the WODs that we will repeat at the end of our challenge in 6 weeks. Right now I’m not looking forward to it 🙂

Yesterday we did our CrossFit Total, which is the sum of a 1 rep max on backsquat, strict press (no assistance from the legs) and deadlift.

My total was 410 … Backsquat 135#, Press 70# and Deadlift 205#. All new PRs!

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Yeah!

Eats lately:

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Tomorrow I attempt to tackle running. Today I played it safe and did an elliptical workout in light of my recent hip pain. No hip pain at all today though, so I’m feeling optimistic.

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Filed under CrossFit, Food, Personal Record, Whole30, WOD

Chickamauga Battlefield Half Marathon

I’ll start this blog the way I seem to start just about every race blog I write.

I ran my 15th Half Marathon on Saturday.

I didn’t go into this race with very high hopes. I went in with no expectations at all actually. I gained 6 pounds while I was at Disney World and I’ve been on a carb-restrictive diet for a week. I had no idea how those 2 things would affect my performance so I decided to just have a good time, enjoy spending time with my friends and be happy with whatever the outcome was. I also knew though that I wanted to try my best, whatever my best was at that time.

Chickamauga still haunts me a little bit since what is to date my very worst run ever happened there also. The one where I got lost in a rainstorm, chased by a pitbull and somehow ended up on the interstate. I ended up running 12+ miles on a hotel treadmill that day.

Saturday morning was coooooold. It was less than 40 degrees before the start of the race. We walked around and took some pictures to pass the time before the race started.

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Finally at 7:30 the cannon fired (actual real life cannon … super awesome!) and we got going. What a freakin’ gorgeous morning!

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My feet were so numb to start that it felt really weird to run on them, and my shorts were slipping down a lot … I kept having to hike them back up. Minor annoyances though. I was totally in awe of the beautiful scenery and focused on how freaking fantastic I felt.

7:53, 7:42, 7:29, 7:34

Somewhere around mile 4 I overheard something that stuck out in my mind for a while. Someone cheering on the sidelines yelled to her runner friend, “Your pace is right where it needs to be. Now just fall asleep”.

For some reason I fixated on that thought. The thought of “falling asleep” or mentally checking out while running. It has happened to me on a few occasions where I felt like I literally “lost” miles, but not often and not really ever in a race. But guess what? While fixating on the thought of it … it happened.

7:43, 7:43, 7:40, 7:39

At mile 9ish, I woke up. I saw the 1:40 Pace Leader not too far ahead of me and did a mental “WTF!  You serious? 1:40 pacer? For real?”

Then the math started. “Mile 10 … I have 3.1 left to run, if I can hold atleast a 8 minute pace I’ll be done in about 25 minutes or less … what is 25 minutes from now?” … “1:40! Nooooo”…

“Ok, 2 miles left to go, if I can hold 8’s I have 16 minutes left … what will that make my time? 1:41?” Holy crap.

This is what I usually do in my mind for most races. Almost the whole race. I concentrated on where I could push a little harder on the flats and downhills and where I needed back off a bit.

7:42, 7:36, 7:48

I knew at this point unless something catastrophic happened there was no way that I wasn’t going to PR. My current PR was 1:42:20.

Once I realized that, I went balls to the wall trying to see exactly how far under that I could manage.

7:36, 6:42.

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My official chip time ended up being 1:40:57!

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Once James and Kaitlin finished their Full Marathon we headed out for some much need food.

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What a great day! I definitely felt like Chickamauga owed me something after my disastrous run there last Fall. I guess we are even now.

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Filed under Half Marathon, Personal Record, pictures, Races

Franklin Classic 10K

I love that it feels like its Monday, but its really Tuesday. Long weekends rock!

This holiday weekend was a busy one. We were out of town spending some time in Franklin, TN outside of Nashville.  While we were there we ate at a couple amazing restaurants: Saffire for dinner the first night, and Puckett’s for breakfast the next morning.

We visited the Adventure Science Center. I got to go to a Hot Yoga class at Epic Yoga that my friend, Kate taught. We even fed the homeless while we were there, more on that later maybe.

Saturday night we all went out to the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. The Bluebird is a bar/restaurant/listening room where singer/songwriters come to perform their songs for the audience. There were 10 songwriters who performed 3 songs each and a featured writer. We ended up staying at the Bluebird from 8pm until close to midnight.

This writer was my personal fave, although several of them were excellent:

My friend Drew and I registered to run in the Franklin Classic 10K while we were in town on Labor Day morning. After a couple of days of heavy food and too many drinks, plus a late night at the Bluebird Cafe the night before, I wasn’t thinking too highly of how the race would go.

I was very surprised at the size of the race when we arrived. It looked like a set-up you would see at a half marathon instead of what I have typically seen at 10K or 5K races. There were almost 3000 people in the 10K and 5K races! Definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.

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Drew has been running in this area for a while now and he gave me the low-down that the first 4 miles of the course were really hilly and then the last 2 miles would be more flat with a steady decline at the very end of the race.

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We started the race off together and he pulled away from me within the first mile. The second mile and third mile were definitely very hilly, as soon as I came off one hill it seemed there was immediately another one waiting. I felt pretty decent though and was able to handle them with ease. I could still see Drew up ahead. Around the 4 mile mark the course finally flattened out some and I started pushing myself harder to try to get as close to Drew as possible. I yelled out to him that he better go because I was coming. Within the last half mile I caught him and passed him, but I knew he wouldn’t be able to stand that … he quickly caught back up to me and we actually ended up crossing the finish line at the exact same second.

Chip time of 46:38! A new PR for me by almost 2 minutes.

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My splits were: 7:18, 7:25, 7:53, 7:40, 7:17 and 7:06.

The absolute best part of the race though was seeing my little man run in his very first race. We signed him up for the Kid’s 1K race and he ran it like a champ without stopping at all. Proud mommy!

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Montgomery Half Marathon

Today is the day I’ve been looking forward to and preparing for months. Today I officially earned:

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(I’ve actually had it on my window for a couple of weeks for advertisement purposes). I felt like I earned it after my 13.13 mile training run last month.

Today’s race was my 3rd Half Marathon and a new PR!

I completed the course in 1:42:12, a 7:54 pace!

According to my Garmin the course was short, 12.91 miles instead of 13.1. With my pace I would have still PR’d with a full length course.

My training partner and friend Marsha and I started the morning off with a few pre-race photo ops.

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The race got underway just after 7:00 this morning.

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I haven’t really talked about it on the blog, but I’ve been having some pretty severe foot pain lately. Maybe plantar fasciitis. It basically feels like someone is driving a nail through my foot. The pain started about a month ago, I thought it was my shoes wearing out so I bought new shoes. The pain continued. It gets better with rest, but flares up as soon as I run again.

I came very close to not running this race today due to my foot pain. I decided that I have trained too much and worked too hard to not go through with the race. The possibility of a DNF was very real in my mind.

Suprisingly, I felt really great the first several miles!

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The whole first mile is a slow steady incline.

About mile 6 I realized I was on target for a PR finish if I could maintain my pace.

Between mile 7 and 8 I realized my sock was rubbing a blister on my foot. I probably should have stopped and adjusted it, but I kept going with a possible PR in mind.

Just after mile 9 I hit my wall. There is a huge hill between mile 9 & 10 that totally kicked my butt mentally and physically. My quads felt like lead, my blisters were absolutely killing me and I wanted to just stop right then and there. I kept telling myself .. just 4 more miles, just a 5K to go, only 2 more miles … etc.

The last 4 miles of the race were the most excruciating miles I’ve ever run in my life. I felt like I had an angel and a devil on my shoulders … one saying … “this is not fun, why do you do this?” … the other saying “be strong, you can finish it!”. I really had to dig deep inside to find out what I was made of at that point because my entire body was screaming at me to give up.

I’ve never been so happy in my entire life as I was when I reached that finish line.

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My splits:

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Some post race relaxation was definitely in order.

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The race results were posted very quickly and I was surprised to find that I won 3rd place in my age division and finished as the 20th female overall.

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My prize:

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The real prize:

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It was definitely a day of blood, sweat and tears. I’m glad its over. Congrats to all the other runners that competed today!

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Centerpoint Challenge 10K

This morning’s Centerpoint Challenge was my second 10K race. Unfortunately, I had to run the race without hubby. It felt awkward being there without him, but I was looking forward to the run. I didn’t really have a goal in mind for this race. I just wanted to do my best and have fun.

I did manage to snag 1st place in the 25-29 age group in the process though.

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The weather was absolutely perfect this morning. At the start of the race it was sunny and about 50 degrees. Beautiful morning for a run!

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The race got going at 8:00, and as soon as the gun went off I started my iPod and my Garmin. Somehow my iPod got off the playlist I had queued up and it starting playing some really slow music. I ended up having to take my iPod off my arm and find my playlist again, all while still trying to run.

Once I got the music situation all straightened out everything was great. The course had a couple of really big hills in the first 3 miles, and one of them we had to do twice because the course looped back. The last half of the course was much flatter though.

I saw the girl that I ran with the whole race at the Oasis 5K last week, that ended up beating me and asked her jokingly if she was ready to run with me again today. I spotted her ahead of me at about the 2nd mile but I was a good 100 yards behind her. At some point I ended up passing her on the hills. But there was one more girl ahead and she was booking it!

About mile 3.5 I came up on the second girl and I ran alongside her for a while before I ended up getting ahead of her also.

Then at mile 4 everything started going downhill. I ran through a water station and picked up some Gatorade. Shortly after I got an intense fullness in my stomach all of a sudden, and my diaphragm started feeling like it was spasming. I’ve had side stitches and stomach cramps before while running, but I’ve never felt anything like this. I kept thinking to myself, “I’m about to have to stop and walk. I’m not going to make it!”.

I really didn’t want to stop since – A. I’ve never walked during a race before and B. I was in the lead for the women at the time. I ended up having to drop my pace waaay down, I was sure the 2 girls were going to blow past me when I slowed but they never did.

Thankfully the pain started to ease off at about mile 5. I was able to pick my pace back up a little bit and then out of nowhere THREE women zoomed past me at the exact same time! The two women I mentioned earlier and one other. Uh oh!

I was able to get passed the last woman, but I never caught up with the other two. We came around the last corner of the race and I realized the time clock was alot closer than I thought it should have been. Apparently the race was a little short, this is what I got from my Garmin (which I actually remembered to stop right at the finish line!) ….

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According to my calculations my friend Eric’s calculations if the course had been 6.2 miles like it should have been my time would have been 47:30 based on my pace. Which would have been a PR, beating my previous 10K time of 48:20. So does it count?! Hmmm.

My splits were: 7:26, 7:39, 7:33, 7:41, 8:00, 7:48. Can you tell I was hurting the last few miles?

After the race I headed home to find some grub and ended up with a Sweet Potato Burrito that was almost bigger than my plate!

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Lincoln and I took a scrumptious nap together and now I’m thinking about more food. Have a great night!

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Filed under Food, Personal Record, pictures, Races