Month In Review: April 2018

What a crazy month it has been. I can’t believe we are already in May, with summer quickly approaching us. Now that the warmer weather is here, the training gets that much harder. I can’t tell you how many times in the past week I have wanted to just sit, but I forced myself to get out and run anyway. I know I haven’t written much during the month of April, but I haven’t given up on it. I have been super busy with work, school, teaching and staying on the road. I am so excited, I finished my spring semester so I have a month off. I hope to get some blog post in during that time. I only have two more semesters before graduating with my bachelor’s degree in Technology Leadership. The month of April is also a very busy time for us at work because of state testing going on. With all of the students testing on laptops, we are pulled in so many different directions. Testing is now over so hopefully things will slow down for us. Among everything else, my Yoga class on Monday nights is going great. I have 10 students signed up for the May session. I love teaching and watching my students make progress week after week. I have a wonderful class and I’m so thankful for their support. I start teaching on Sunday afternoons in the summer in Braselton starting May 20 and will go through every Sunday  throughout the summer unless noted. I have two outdoor classes to choose from. There will be a beginner yoga class and a power yoga class. Power yoga goes at a faster pace and is perfect for those who are looking for a great workout at a great price. If you have friends near the Braselton area, I would be very grateful if you could help spread the word.

Let’s talk races! April was once again filled with some awesome races. Here is a list of all the races I have done over the last month. After getting back from Charleston, I ran the Johns Creek’s Finest 5K on April 14th. It was a great run with awesome awards. Can’t believe I was able to place third in such a large race.

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April 21st we ran Paint the Pavement Purple in Suwanee.

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April 28th we ran Pounding for Paws in Arcade. This is one of my favorite races because it helps raise money for food and shelter for dogs.

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May 5th Dad and I ran the Make A Wish 8K at Stone Mountain. It was 5 miles around the mountain. I have found, Stone Mountain is a great place to run. The path goes all the way around the mountain, it is nice and shaded and has the right amount of hills for training.

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This coming weekend we will be running the Marigold 10K in Winterville. May and June are both busy months of being on the road. We have some pretty fun races coming up so look for more blog post soon!

 

 

 

 

Cooper River Bridge Run Recap

This past weekend I ran the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K in Charleston. The Cooper River is the third largest 10K in the US and it did not disappoint. Everything about this run reminded me of the Peachtree Road Race, just a smaller version. The streets were filled with spectators and there were live bands on every corner. I have had this race on my bucket list for awhile and now it’s on my list of races I don’t plan to miss in 2019. It was an awesome experience and the whole thing was very well organized.

Expo: 

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We drove up on Friday morning to Charleston to attend the expo. The expo was so easy to get in and out of. We went during lunch and was able to get right in with no lines. I’m glad we went when we did, I heard the later it got in the afternoon, the busier it got. I love going to expos and this one was one of the better ones I have gone to. We were able to pick up some pretty cool swag. We received a very nice bag, race t-shirt, and towel with the design of the shirt which had a cute pelican on them. There were also lots of free samples that we were able to taste test. Overall, it was a very nice expo and I heard that it gets better every year. One thing about this run is they take security very seriously. We came out and the Charleston swat team was there in the parking lot. I really wanted to take a picture with them but my friend freaked out and said no that’s embarrassing. She clearly knows nothing about a runners selfie life. Granted, she is not a runner. I tried to explain to her that it’s very common as a runner to take pictures with anything and everything. She still didn’t understand.

I had to bribe this friend of mine with concert tickets to see her favorite singer who happened to be in Myrtle Beach the night before the run. I didn’t want to go alone to the race, so it was the only way I could get her to come with me. I know this is going to sound crazy but we drove to Charleston, got my packet, drove another two and a half hours to Myrtle Beach for the concert, hoped back in the car and drove back to Charleston. We got in around 2 am and I only had maybe thirty minutes of sleep before the 4 am wake up call.

Race Day: 

IMG_92344 AM comes way too fast especially when you decide sleep is not important. The Bridge Run buses everyone to the start line. Buses started running at 5 AM and they warn you that lines can get long so get there early. We were there before the buses and was able to get a great parking spot. I have never seen so many school buses before in one place. There had to be over 100 buses that pulled up all at once. Crazy thing is, there were three other pick up spots throughout Charleston. We stayed in North Charleston so we were picked up at the convention center. I had a friend who just moved to South Carolina come meet me at the hotel the night before and we drove together to the buses. We were there so early, we made it on one of the first few buses to depart and even got interviewed by ABC news.

We arrived at the start line pretty early so we stood around people watching to see if we could find anyone else from Georgia. We did find a few friends, which was awesome. They wanted everyone in their corrals by 7 am. We hung around a little longer before having to be separated in different corrals because the race didn’t start until 8 am. Only bad thing about these larger races is you have to wait so long once you get there. At least it wasn’t freezing cold or raining because there was no jacket wearing. There was a nice little breeze which is to be expected when you are so close to the water. As I mentioned above, Charleston was spot on with their security measures for the race. I looked up and there on top of the apartment buildings was the swat guys. They were also lined up along the corrals on the ground. They even had four helicopters that kept circling over with army guys to keep us safe. In a way, you feel extremely safe and then in another sense you become a little paranoid because you know why there are having to be so cautious. Regardless, they all did a great job and it was nice to see them along the entire course.

IMG_9240Ok, now on to the actual race. I was in corral G, so I got started about 8:20. I was proud to know, I wasn’t in the last corral. It was an awesome course, except for the hill going up the bridge. I was so entertained the entire time, I barely noticed the hill. I was able to make it a little over a mile before it came to a halt. If you are not in the first few corrals, you will get blocked when going up the bridge. Everyone is stopping to take pictures and selfies along the bridge. It’s understandable because you get a dang good background. That was my favorite part getting to run over the bridge. Once over the bridge its downhill and then flat roads through downtown Charleston. Plan to run the entire last mile because so many people have lined the streets to cheer you on you can’t help but try to bust it one last time through those downtown streets. Let’s just say, I finished. I didn’t have a terrible time, 1:24 considering no food and sleep. Next time, I plan to stay a few days and not go to any late night concerts.

One great thing about this 10K is they give finishers medals. If you can run really fast, you also get a really cool bridge award that looks exactly like the Cooper River Bridge. You also can win several thousands of dollars. Anyways, I got the medal and then a doughnut haha. They had two big Krispy Kreme trucks there handing out doughnuts at the end. There was also muffins, containers of watermelon, and bbq sandwiches. I missed the sandwiches because they were sold out by the time I got there. Oh well I grabbed my doughnut and tracked down my friend for pictures. Check out our finishers pic!

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I will definitely be back next year. It was an awesome race that I am still talking about.

The next few weekends we are running 5K’s near Atlanta. If you are near the Braselton area this weekend, come see me at the Wildflower Market. I will be there from 3-4 on Sunday teaching yoga.

See you out on the road!

 

 

 

 

 

Back To The Basics

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The last few month’s have been spent traveling around to different half marathons. With these longer runs, comes a longer recovery time. It’s the kind of time that adds up and eventually the days have went by so fast that you are staring right at Spring. How can it be April already? It feels like yesterday, we were celebrating the New Year. Needless to say between half marathons, sickness, and crazy weather, training hasn’t been my friend. I have come to accept that whatever happens will happen. One day, I may get under 30 and if I do, that will be awesome but I’m not going to beast myself up in the process. The days I can run, I will run and the days I can’t run, well I won’t worry about it. I just have to accept that I can only push myself so far. I always have to be on the go but sometimes I need to remind myself it’s ok to take a break. With all that said, I have a nice little break from half marathons. I don’t have another half scheduled until June in North Carolina. Therefore, I am back to the basics of training for 5K runs. The last two weekends have been 5Ks. We ran the Gwinnett Life Run and the Sunset Strut 5K on March 24th. I have been on the go since then and working on classes and side jobs that I haven’t had a chance to write about these races. Side note: I have been going back and forth trying to get my classes worked out so I can graduate with my degree this December. I finally got it all worked out and set to graduate on time. Back to runs, this past weekend we ran the Frank Baccus 5K in Monroe. The Frank Baccus is one of those runs that stick with you and you go back year after year.

The Frank Baccus has an awesome flat course with a few slight inclines that is ran out in the country. There is nothing but the road and some cows which is why I enjoy it so much. It’s also a race that so many of my friends come to so its great to see everyone in one place. I must say, I didn’t run good this year. I was expecting to be able to run like I did the previous weekend but that didn’t happen. I didn’t know I was so tired until the race started and I was out of breath before the first mile. Regardless of clock time, it was a great morning with wonderful people and I still placed 2nd in my age group. They have really cute pottery awards that are shaped as a cross. I think this was my third year in a row placing in my age group. There is no better way to kick off Spring then with this annual 5K.

This weekend, I will be traveling to Charleston, SC to the Cooper River Bridge Run. This will be my first time running this 10K and I am super excited. I am meeting up with a friend of mine and we are going to run the race together. I had to talk a friend in to coming with me and in order to do so, I had to bribe her with concert tickets for her birthday. So, we are going to Myrtle Beach Friday night for the concert and traveling back to Charleston that night so I can get right back up and get on the bus for the run. I know I will be dragging but it’s all for the fun. Some would call us crazy and maybe we are, but that’s ok! We are driving back home Saturday afternoon so I can attend Wanderlust with some friends on Sunday. Wanderlust is a 5K + Yoga on the lawn in Piedmont Park. Ok, now you can call me crazy. I should sleep well Sunday night, that is for sure.

Look for a post next week on my Charleston experience and Wanderlust. Hope everyone is enjoying this awesome weather. See you out on the road!

ATL Publix Half Marathon

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I think it’s safe to say, I am hooked on running half marathons. This past weekend marked number 9 for me since last January. I have a little break between now and summer on the half’s. I don’t have another one scheduled until the first weekend in June. The half marathons are the only races I am keeping up with how many I have ran. It’s not a bragging right but an accomplishment that I can be proud of. I saw two different ladies during the Publix half who had shirts saying this was their 100th half marathon. I think that’s a really big event to celebrate. That’s 1,310 miles worth of half marathons alone.

IMG_9031The Publix Half Marathon was put on by the Atlanta Track Club. It’s one of the larger events that the track club puts on besides the huge Peachtree Road Race. I think they had close to 10,000 people participate throughout the full marathon, half, and 5K. I feel like I must have forgotten to enter a qualifying time, because I was placed in the last corral. I wasn’t too happy about being in the back, but I squeezed my way up towards the front of the corral so I got right out with no issues. We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather than what we received Sunday morning. I really enjoyed the slight breeze along the course as we tackled those Atlanta hills. I won’t deny the fact, that there were quite a few hills. You can’t run between Athens and Atlanta and not find hills especially during a half. This half went a lot better on my legs then the Swannee half about a month ago. I was able to make it to mile 10 before cramping up and having to stiff leg it the rest of the way. I enjoyed this half despite all of the hills. I like running in Atlanta because we don’t go often so it’s a nice change of scenery. I know this defeats the purpose, but I like getting new ideas for different restaurants as we make our way along downtown ATL. I often find places I haven’t heard of and make a mental note to try. I guess you can say that I am a foodie and I run to eat. If you think about it though, food and running go hand and hand. You have to have that fuel to be able to run all those miles. Anyways, back to running, I finished the half in 2:57 which my goal was under 3 hours. I’m just now getting back to running after all of the bumps in the road over the last few months. It’s funny I was so close to reaching all of my goals and then Bam something happens and you loose all of the training you worked so hard for and you basically have to start all over again. Hopefully this summer, I can get back to training daily without anymore bumps along the way.

It was great to see so many familiar faces in Atlanta. I hope to see a lot more familiar faces this coming weekend. We have two different races in Gwinnett and Athens on Saturday. See you guys out on the road!

Disney Princess Half Marathon & 5K

“A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes!”

It’s been a few days since Disney and things are starting to settle down so I thought this would be the perfect time to write about my runDisney experience. First off, the whole runDisney experience was amazing and it’s something every Princess runner needs to experience. Best half marathon and 5K run I have ever done. There are a lot of Princes out there but most of them are not going to enjoy a Disney Princess run for the most part. I suggest all you Prince charming runners check out the Star Wars half and 5K in April. This was my first trip to Disney World and the one thing I learned, is Disney does it up big. Everything is magical and everything is spot on. Did I mention everywhere you look is clean? No trash anywhere. Being a technology guru by day, I was overwhelmed with the amount of technology that goes in to all of the productions that are put on there. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how they do it. I think it’s super cool the way Disney takes things to a whole new level. Anyways, enough about all of that, back to the runs.

EXPO:

IMG_8607We arrived at Disney World on Thursday to attend the expo. The expo is a huge event broken down in to 3 different buildings. There is so much to look at everywhere you turn. Here is some advice if anyone is looking to run there, go and pick up your bib number first. Make sure you print and sign your waiver. Then go and pick up your shirt in the next building before attending the actual expo. There are lines at every station so make time to get the important things checked off the list first. RunDisney has a huge expo and there are lots of people which makes it hard to look. I thought the expo was great but everything was pretty pricey and I felt like I was being rushed so I didn’t get to look all that much. RunDisney has another whole building dedicated to rundisney apparel and merchandise. I was so overwhelmed at the amount of stuff and yet this was the first expo where I didn’t buy anything. If you can go right when the expo opens and go alone if you have to. Trust me, more time to look and see things that way.

5K:

0C89A09C-2083-4E0E-B4F8-82BC732ED4D6 (1)3 AM comes very fast when you don’t get in the bed until after midnight. When we arrived Thursday, the hotel had given us the wrong room. No big deal, Disney is awesome and will fix any mistake like that right away. We changed rooms at midnight, hoped in to bed and was awaken at 3 AM to get ready for the 5K on Friday. You have to be at the buses at 3:30 AM to load up to head to the start. Another advice, pay more to stay inside the park so you can get transported everywhere by a Disney bus. So worth every penny. Disney buses will pick you up at any Disney resort, take you to the start, and pick you up at the finish. They also take you back and forth to every park throughout the day and night. We arrived at the start outside of Epcot around 4:00 AM and found our corral. I was supposed to be in B but I moved back to walk with one of my friends. The race started at 5:30 but we didn’t get started until after 6. The first mile of the race was roads outside of Epcot and not a whole lot to see. They had Rapunzel playing on a big screen about a half mile in which was cool. After mile 1, we came inside Epcot and ran around the entire loop of the park. The 5K was so much better than the half marathon because they had more music playing and characters throughout the race. The lines were so long, we didn’t stop to meet any of the characters along the 5K route. We were highly entertained by all of our favorite Disney songs along the way. There were also great photo opportunities without having to wait in line. Epcot is such a pretty park and all of the cultures seem so real that we ran past. I had a blast getting to dress up for these runs. I was Cinderella for the 5K and Belle from Beauty and the Beast for the half. I wasn’t running any of these races for a clock time, so I took the time to just enjoy the scenery. Talk about the best finisher medals in the land! RunDisney has the best medals you have ever seen. Rapunzel was on the 5K finisher medal. Tangled is one of my favorite movies and Beauty and The Beast is my all time favorite. The half marathon finishers medal was an apple from Snow White.

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Half Marathon:

IMG_8822Again, 3 AM comes way too fast especially when you are having fun. Sunday morning we ran the half marathon and the same schedule applied. Up at 3, bus at 3:30, start at 4, race begins at 5:30 yet it took us an hour to get to the start line since we were in corral H because I forgot to submit a time. Never again do I want to be in the last corral for any Disney race. It was like being on an interstate that is backed up because of a wreck. We were in “traffic” the entire 13.1 miles of the race. I will say, I was disappointed with how much time we spent on the actual interstate and not inside a park. We were inside Magic Kingdom for maybe a little over a mile before getting back on a highway. The highlight of the race was getting to run through the castle and of course I had to stop to get a pic. Plus it wasn’t like we could run a whole lot anyways because of all the people. There were 25,000 people running the half. Therefore, we walked the majority of the time which was fine because we were tired anyway from our time spent at the parks. The half marathon didn’t have as many characters along the way but we did stop for one character picture. I think RunDisney puts more effort in to their small distance races versus the longer distances. I did enjoy the start of the half more then the 5K because of the fireworks that went off with every corral start. I thought that was really cool.

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I don’t think this will be my last RunDisney experience. I plan to do this again at some point. I know this wont be my last trip to Disney World either, because we have already booked our next trip for Thanksgiving. I am taking my sister to Disney this time without having to get up early for runs. We can enjoy the parks more that way.