Frosty Owl 5K

It’s been two weeks since the Frosty Owl 5K and I am still in disbelief at how many came to support the 1st Annual 5K for Athens Technical College’s Alumni Association. Many of you were curious as to how I was involved with this. I realize now, I never really told the story behind the Frosty Owl. July of last year, I took office as President of the Alumni Association for Athens Tech. I was very active in leadership roles as a student while getting my degrees from the college and my first full-time job was at the college as well. I was called one evening last year and was asked to come back and sit on the board for the college. I didn’t want to turn down the opportunity so I accepted. As a technical college,  it’s very hard to get people involved in different roles because of the demographics that surrounds technical education. With low participation from alumni, I came up with this fundraiser hoping to increase our alumni membership. Therefore, the Frosty Owl idea was born and I took the role of race director.

27072312_10156047093779812_4263191964363746155_nPreparation: Months and months of planning paid off in the end. Not too many people realized, that I planned this 5K pretty much by myself. Like I said, it’s hard to get people active in these kind of roles. For months I went around to different businesses and friends asking for sponsorship money. In the beginning, I didn’t think I could pull off such an awesome event but slowly sponsorships starting pouring in. We had some amazing sponsors that helped make our event a success. See the list of sponsors below. Thank you to these amazing sponsors for supporting education! After securing sponsorship, it came time to promote. I pulled out all the stops for promotion. Apparently, I have an eye for marketing and it’s something I truly enjoy. Designing the t-shirt was one of my favorite things about this 5K. One evening, I sat down to design this shirt and within a couple of hours the little owl was born. At first, I was nervous about the design wondering if it was good enough to be published on shirts. I took a chance and put it out on social media. Little did I know, the majority of the people coming to the event was coming to get one of the shirts. It’s a cool feeling to know people will be wearing your design. I also had the opportunity to pick out the awards and design the medals. I decided it would be a cute and unique thing to do bobble head owls for the overall winners and medals for the age groups.

26992156_10204626289053799_1815374390473638807_nRace Day: January 20th came around very fast. I tried very hard to make this a fun event for all of my sweet friends who came to support me with this fundraiser. Therefore, I pulled out all the stops and made sure everything was as organized as it could be. My favorite part was seeing all of my friends there and watching them get excited over our owl mascot and overall just having a good time. It was fun to watch my friends enjoy the race in a different perspective. Hands down best feeling seeing them get excited over something you worked so hard for. I was very proud of this event. As with all things, there were a few things I wish I could have done differently but overall it was a huge success and something the college was shocked by. I wish I had taken the time to thank the volunteers ahead of time and our sponsors. I also wish our college administration had taken the time to help me with this. It would have been better coming from our administration but it seemed to go overlooked which was a bummer for me. Needless to say I have a few things to say about my amazing volunteers. Keep reading!

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Volunteers: Many of you don’t know this but all of my volunteers were coworkers of mine. I don’t know how or why I got so lucky with having amazing coworkers. Coworkers who I get to call my friends! It came down to a few weeks out with no volunteers what so ever. So I decided to ask the guys at work if they could help me. Needless to say they are all so sweet, that every single one of them on my team came to volunteer. Keep in mind, none of them have anything to do with the college or the alumni association. I can’t thank these guys enough for spending their Saturday off to help me. They all did an amazing job and I was am so proud to be able to work with an amazing group. These guys were supposed to only be course monitors but they ended up handing out race packets, setting up tables, and helping vendors setup tents. They went beyond what I asked of them which was such a blessing to me. I had so many of you comment about how great the volunteers were. Well these guys are the CCSD Tech Team and always go above and beyond on any tasks sent their way. Such a special group of guys that I can never ever thank enough!

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Assistant Race Director: The guy in the middle of the picture above was an important part of the Frosty Owl 5K! This guy spent hours among hours helping me put together this 5K. Again he has nothing to do with the college or the alumni association. Just a great friend of mine who has a big heart. I’m pretty sure there are not many guys in the world that will sit and listen to someone go on and on about 5K shirts, awards, sponsorships, spreadsheets, race numbers, etc. I’m also pretty sure there are not many guys who will help someone put together race packets and drive around trying to get stuff done for a 5K event. Also pretty darn sure there are not many who will wake up at 5 AM to get to someone’s house to load up boxes and get to a park before day light. Who else knows someone who will unload 4 different cars, setup tables and tents, and take a course map out of my hand and make sure course monitors get to the right location on time? While I was running around answering questions and making sure registration went smoothly, he was out driving monitors around and explaining the course so the monitors could point runners in the right direction. I am pretty sure I didn’t ask him to do it alone but he did anyway because he knew I was slammed. He did an amazing job and I am so proud that I get to be his friend! I could not have done this without him! Y’all the Frosty Owl wouldn’t have been half of what it was without this one! I can’t thank him enough! Y’all give him a hug the next time you see him! (The sweet person on the right is his momma! She walked her first 5K and placed second in her age group at 73 years old).

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Athena The Owl: Athens Tech has this cute little owl mascot named Athena. I knew in the beginning stages of planning, Athena had to make an appearance at the 5K. Like I guessed, Athena was the life of the party. Little did you know, the person rocking the owl costume was another one of my awesome coworkers walking around for your entertainment. You are probably wondering how in the world did I talk him in to being an owl. It was easy, I promised him Mexican food. This guy has the best personality and one of the happiest/nicest people you will meet who you guessed it loves Mexican food. I think he had just as much fun as y’all did taking pictures.

Running Family: THANK YOU to every single person in my running family who came to support me and this 5K! I have the sweetest friends in the world. It meant more then you will ever know to see all of your sweet faces cross the finish line. Love you all! Overall we had 236 people register and 200 of those people crossed the finish line. A few did not know to turn their cards in. Results can be found here.

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Sponsors: All of our sponsors were an important part of the Frosty Owl 5K and I cannot thank each of these businesses enough for their support of our Alumni Association. It is people like them that make the community such a great place. Thank you so much! I am working on sending out thank you letters to all the sponsors but I wanted to say a few things here about a few of our sponsors.

  • Peach State Federal Credit Union: I had the opportunity to work with Develon from Peach State who was our gold sponsor. Peach State does amazing things supporting education not only in the Athens community but throughout the state of Georgia. Athens Technical College is proud to have a partnership with such a great organization. In need of a loan or looking to switch banks, go see my friend Develon at Peach State in Athens. Tell him I sent you!
  • Misty’s Pawperties: Two of the best people you will ever meet. These people are great friends of mine who flip and rent houses. They have a love for Huskies and have the biggest hearts that care for these sweet loving dogs. Thank you for everything you do for me! Your support means more then I can ever tell you!
  • Yoga And You: If you are ever near Madison County and in the market to try Yoga, this is the place for you. The owner, Cheryl’s classes are filled with laughter, relaxation, and love! She is a great Yoga instructor and really cares about her student’s. Now that I am a Yoga instructor, I still get to learn from one of the best. I feel like I have learned more from watching her teach then I did in my six month’s of training. Thank you for supporting me and the 5K! Also thank you for being the best volunteer and taking the best pictures of the 5K!
  • TEAM DLK: These guys are true examples of great people! They have a love for running, obstacle races, and trail races. It’s amazing to see what they do every weekend. No matter if they are running a 5K or jumping over obstacles on a Spartan Beast course, they absolutely kill it! I am so thankful I get to be friends with this awesome group of guys! Thank you for supporting me and the 5K! You will never know how much it meant to have TEAM DLK representing at the 5K.

And a HUGE Thank you to our other sponsors:

  • PPI
  • Stare Granite & Bronze
  • CoxMedia Group
  • VEND Food Services
  • Zaxby’s
  • TKS
  • Jackson Pharmacy
  • Get Fit & Pretty Mama
  • Heyward Allen
  • Ingles
  • Barberitos
  • Dr. Al Shakleford
  • Terry Wingfield
  • Athens Orthopedic Clinic
  • First Madison Bank & Trust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Sixth Half Marathon

Since it is a snow day here in Georgia, I felt like it was the perfect time to write about the IMG_8122Museum of Aviation Half Marathon. This past Saturday marked my sixth half marathon and exactly a year from my first half. It doesn’t seem like a year ago when I first ran the Aviation half. There were a lot of changes with the half this year since all of the events that have happened in the past few months. Security was a lot tighter then it was last year. Before you could pick up your packet, the guards had to check your bags, wand you and check your drivers license. Each time you went out to the car, you had to be searched all over again. In order to pick up your packet, you had to hand over your drivers license, which they kept until you finished the race. Originally, the half was supposed to begin at 8:15 am but because of security reasons with trying to get the base gate unlocked they pushed the start back to 8:40. No one without a bib was allowed at the start. They had guards checking to make sure you had a bib on. Since the wind was so brutal Saturday, we decided to stand in the building until they called for us to start. That was a mistake, because they started the race without all of us standing in the building at 8:35. We all had to run down to the start while everyone else had already started. Thank goodness for chip time! They had guards standing at the base gate with machine guns. That was very different from last year. I guess with all the shootings in the past few months, they were prepared just in case. IMG_8111

IMG_8130This was one brutal half because of the wind. 13 miles of nothing but open runways and wind hitting you right in the face. I figured with the sun up, it would warm everything up but it was the opposite. I was so focused in on getting a PR, I tried not to let the wind slow me down. I was making great time up to mile 10. I got excited because I thought I had it. I used my gel on mile 6 which gave me awesome energy for miles 7-9. Once mile 10 hit though, my legs locked up. I was barely moving at that point. I have since learned, I need gel at mile 10 as well. I finished in 2:40:46 which is twelve minutes faster then last year. I guess because I haven’t run a half since October, this half felt like my first half. I was so sore afterwards and I was hungry for days.

Things are about to get back busy again. Only 3 more days until the Frosty Owl 5K and I will have that project wrapped up. Planning a 5K is a lot of work. It’s not hard at all, it’s just very time consuming. I think it’s going to be a very successful race and I am very proud of all of the work I have done with it. Over 200 people pre-registered which is awesome for around Athens. We have a few vendors coming to hand out giveaways to all runners. We also have a DJ lined up and our Owl mascot Athena will be there entertaining all runners. I really hope everyone is surprised by the race. It’s going to be a huge event and I CANT wait to see everyone Saturday. Thank you to everyone who has supported me with this.

My Yoga classes start Monday. I officially get to try my hand at teaching. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. My classes are going to be geared towards exercise and stretching the body. The first few classes will be taught at a slower pace with each week poses getting built upon. Classes are open to anyone and all abilities. Come see me at Blissful Yoga.

Colleges classes also started this week and it looks like I will be buried in that for the next few months. Awesome thing is, I graduate this December!

DISNEY PRINCESS HALF MARATHON IS ALMOST HERE! We just booked a fast pass to meet Cinderella at Fairytale Hall. My inner child is about to come out of me. I am so excited! I apologize in advance for the picture overload that will be happening next month. It’s going to be a magical event!

See you all Saturday at the Frosty Owl.

The Cold Never Bothered Us Anyway

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It has been a cold start to 2018 for the world of running. I guess most people are at home enjoying their hot chocolate by the fire, while a select few of us are lacing up our running shoes and putting on our jackets to brave the cold. I guess that’s why I always get weird looks when I tell people I ran this weekend. “Don’t you know it’s 17 degrees outside?!” I always hear the word crazy, I  just like to think that we the runners have super powers! That sounds better!

IMG_80202018 may be nothing but cold but it’s off to a great start. Two races already down for the year. We ran New Years @ Noon in Athens on New Years day. It’s become a tradition to run this race. I don’t think we have missed it since we have started running. New Years @ Noon is known for the Dam hill. The hill that seems to capture your breathing and makes you question yourself. I’m somewhat being dramatic but I can never make it up it without walking. This year, we ran the hill first when in years past, it was always right before the finish. I finished my first race for the year in 33:52 and placed third in my age group. I use to never place in this race, but over the years I have gotten faster and able to snag a pottery award.

IMG_8053For the second year in a row, we ran the Twilight Stroll by the Granite Bowl in Elberton. I have yet to see this Granite Bowl. We run right past it, but it’s never lit and it’s dark out so I never get to see it. It was another cold night this year with everyone in gloves and hats. At least it was not raining mixed with snow like it was last year. Last year the rain was hitting you right in the face along with being freezing cold. Much better conditions this year. I had an awesome run at this race! It’s a hilly course, not a PR kind of race. However, I could tell all this training I am doing is paying off. I ran a 32:50, knocking almost two minutes off of my time from last year. I placed first in my age group! I will say I was very disappointed once I saw the awards. Last year the awards were a piece of granite with a nice gold plate on top. This year it was a .99 cent medal. Only reason we had come to run the race was for the granite. I know so many other people were disappointed as well. I guess I will have to mark this one off of my list for next year.

Training is going very well. I am back to my normal schedule. Wednesday’s have become my tough training days with the other days being just normal runs. Next weekend I will be running my 6th half marathon and we are one month away from the Disney Princess Half. Starting to get really excited. My outfits have arrived for Disney! Since I am running the half and 5K, I have two different outfits. Can you guess which Princesses I will be? Stay tuned to find out!

Go Dawgs!!

 

A Few Of My Favorite Things From 2017

2017 has been a very busy year for me but full of so many wonderful things! I had no idea I would meet so many great people this past year. People who have since become like family. In the beginning of 2017, I struggled to be the very best I could be and wanted nothing more then to be fast. I wanted an awesome clock time every time I raced. When I didn’t get the clock time I wanted, I would try harder. Along the way I realized that’s not so important as I once made myself think it was. I still have the goal of under 30 for 2018 and I will keep working until I get it, but I have also realized how great it is to be able to run with the people I love most! Best thing about 2017 has been all of the friendships I have made and I will take those over any PR or first place win any day! Here’s a list of all of my favorite things that happened in 2017.

My Favorite Pictures of 2017:

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January 2017: I ran my first half marathon in Warner Robins. 2018 is going to be another year filled with half marathons. I am currently registered for 4 already including the one at Warner Robins on the air force base.

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February 2017: Had my first big PR at the Spartan 5K in Watkinsville. To this day, I remember the time 30:13. I was so close, I even saw 29 on the clock as I was coming down the hill. I will be back in 2018 to try the course once again for the 29. For those of you that don’t know the Spartan 5K has the best course to try to set a PR.

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March 2017: Completed my first Spartan race. I was dead set on never doing a Spartan. I gave every excuse in the book as to why I didn’t want to do it. I even mentioned the fact I didn’t want to die. However, I’m glad I was talked in to it. It was a great experience and who knows what I will do in 2018. Maybe a Spartan Super…

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April: We ran the Chick-Fil-A half marathon in Athens. This was my third half marathon and one of my favorites. Anyone who knows me, knows I love Chick-Fil-A. I could eat there every day of the week. Here we are, hanging out with our favorite cows:

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July 2017: Ran my first Peachtree Road Race. It was the best experience and I can’t wait to do it again. I was in awe the entire race. I didn’t even notice the famous hill everyone talks about. This was hands down, the best race of 2017!

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September 2017: Finished a 5K on the 50 Yard Line of the new Mercedes Benz stadium home to the Atlanta Falcons. Such a cool experience crossing the finish line on the field. I ran this race with my sister and we crossed the finish line together.

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October 2017: Ran my 5th half marathon, the AthHalf. It was a love hate kind of relationship for this race. I love my hometown, so getting to run through downtown Athens was awesome. Therefore it made up for having to run every hill Athens has to offer.

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December 2017: Ran the coolest races with the best folks in the world! Take a look at how much fun we had in December. Thank you to everyone who made this year the best year yet. It’s been a very fun year and I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings. I have had a blast getting to know so many wonderful people. My favorite part of 2017 was spending time with the running family! You all mean so much! Thanks for all the support and encouragement you all have shown and given me! Goodbye 2017, hello 2018!

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ELF TROT 5K WINDER, GA

 

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Santa Stroll 8K Bishop, GA

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Christmas Eve 5K – Dacula

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Santa Fun Run 5K- Johns Creek

Santa Stroll 8K

Have you ever been so excited that you feel a sense of freedom?! That was me Friday night finishing up the last night of Yoga training. I have never been so relieved in my life. I now have my nights and weekends back so I can start planning my races for 2018! I will write a separate post about my 6 month journey next week. It was a long 6 months and I guess it became so routine that I keep thinking I have to go back. When I realize I am now a certified Yoga teacher and don’t have to go back, I get excited all over again.

IMG_7815The end of the year tradition for us is to run the Santa Stroll 8K in Bishop. This run is in memory of Will Chamberlin who used to be a great neighbor to us. We try our best to never miss this run. Therefore I am thankful Yoga ended the night before so I could run the race. They changed our schedule at work for two weeks so I have been working late. By the time I would get off, I would be too exhausted to run. I guess a two week break paid off, I had a huge PR knocking 3 minutes off of my 8K time. I finished the run in 53:57 and was second place in my age group. The Santa Stroll has awesome Santa bobble head awards! This was my second year of placing at the race and getting a bobble head.

IMG_7818I’m very thankful that I get to do this every weekend! My favorite part about racing every weekend is getting to run with all of my friends. I have met so many great people in 2017. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me this year. Your support means the world to me. Also wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who has supported the yoga journey and 5K! Through the help of a very special friend, the Frosty Owl 5K has come together very well. I think you all are going to enjoy the 5K. I have super cute long sleeves coming and just wait until you see the awards. The awards will remain a surprise until race day though!

One more race remaining in 2017 on Christmas Eve! Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas! See you all in 2018!