If You Want The Rainbow, You Gotta Run In The Rain

I’m in serious need of sunshine! This rainy weather is making me want to lay around and do nothing. I am pretty sure I have looked at the weather channel more this week then I have in my entire life. I keep refreshing hoping it will change and they will show a break from this drizzly dreary weather! I don’t think there is any hope for that this weekend though. As of now, it looks like it’s going to be a rainy one. This weather can easily make you want to give excuses but sometimes you just have to push past it and go. When I left work today, it was raining but I was determined that no matter what I would run. Once I got to the park though it had stopped and I got my run in before it started again. I have been working really hard, trying to get that rainbow, so I didn’t want to waste this week because of the weather. Now that I have been running more consistently, I have noticed how some runs can leave you feeling like all you are doing is struggling and some leave you feeling great. I always want to get frustrated on my struggle runs but I have learned that regardless every run makes you stronger.

Since my last post, I have ran two awesome 5K’s. The 5K we ran a few weekends ago was called the Super Sweetie 5K in Cumming. The course description said it was flat and fast, however I didn’t believe it would be. I had my doubts because I have learned race descriptions are sometimes not accurate. I was wrong though, this one was flat and fast. It was ran along a greenway and finished with an elevation drop. I loved this course, I wish I lived closer so I could run it more often. I came so close to the 29 minutes in this race. I actually saw it on the clock as I was coming towards the finish line. If only a 5K didn’t have to have the .1, I would have gotten the 29. I finished in 30:25 and placed 2nd in my age group. I was making killer time at mile 1 and 2 but I couldn’t hold on to that speed for mile 3. In the past two months, I have trained myself to run 3 miles without stopping. However, I still struggle with my speed on the last mile. I hope to try again in a few weeks on a flat course to see what time I can get. I feel like I am so close, that I can’t let things get in my way now. I won’t stop until I get it.

This past weekend we ran the Kupcakes & Kandy 5K in Suwanee. I knew before I ran that morning that my body was tired and I probably wasn’t going to run very well. The race also had more inclines then I remembered. I ran a 32:50 and I still don’t know where I finished in my age group. I assume I was forth or fifth but the guy who times these races never shows age groups. There were tons of cupcakes and candy after the race for all runners. I like themed races like these because it’s something we don’t have with the races near home. It’s nice to run something different every now and then.

We will be back closer to home in a few weeks though, so hopefully we will see some friends we haven’t seen in awhile. Hope everyone finds something fun to do this weekend even if it’s not perfect weather conditions!

Cupcake Road Race Recap

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You wanna know what people love more then cupcakes? They love DOGS! If you let the world know that a race is benefiting animals, over 600 people will show up! I include myself in there, because typically I will run a race that benefits dogs over anything else. Saturday’s Cupcake Road Race in Cumming benefited the Atlanta Humane Society. There are actually several runs out there that benefit AHS and AHS themselves have a lot of great fundraisers for their animals such as Puppy Yoga! We have been to their Puppy Yoga and it’s so much fun!

As you can tell from the name alone there were a lot of perks to this race. You got a shirt, finishers medal and cupcake for running the race. Jimmy Johns also gave mini sandwich’s out to all runners.

I knew going in to the race, the course was hilly. It’s ran along Ronald Reagan Blvd in Cumming. I didn’t expect to be able to run it the way I did. The course had two long hills in it and typically I will finish in 33 or 34 minutes on a hilly course but I finished in 31:14. I really want to know what I can do on a flat course if I did this on a hilly one. I was 7 out of 44 in my age group which is awesome for how many people there was.

I have a few more fun races coming up in the next few weeks! Lots of time will be spent on the road. While most are probably ready for Spring, I am hoping it stays cool for a little while longer. I need some more time to train in what I call the perfect running weather.

Polar Bear Run

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We didn’t have many races to choose from this past weekend. There were a few races around home, but none that I was interested in running. Typically we pick the race that sounds the best. The Polar Bear run sounded the best for two reasons. One the shirts are the cutest I have seen for a running shirt in a long time and two the website said it offers a flat and fast course. Seeing those two things made this race the pick for our Saturday race.

Saturday morning was an early morning wake up call because packet pickup was at 6:30 and we had an hour and 40 minute drive. The Polar Bear race is a huge run with over 1000 people. I had it in my mind it was going to be flat and fast and I would have an awesome clock time because I have been training for months for a flat course. When we got there, we drove the course and noticed incline after incline then a hill then some more inclines. In my mind, flat and fast means the course is pancake flat. Now I get that is pretty hard to find in Georgia but I have ran some pancake flat courses around here. After seeing the course, all of my hopes disappeared and I had to prepare myself to be ok with whatever time I got. I think most race directors don’t really understand a lot of the concepts behind putting together a race because they themselves are not runners. In their minds, the course is not all hilly so they label it flat and fast.

As I was running along the course, the course monitors were yelling just make it up this hill. I thought to myself see, y’all admit it’s a hill. I ended up running a 31:31 which is two minutes faster from my other hilly course times and I was 19 out of 46 in my age group. I knew I wouldn’t place at this one but I was running for a Peachtree qualifying time. I have a better qualifying time from a race in December that I can use if I don’t find another certified course before registration opens.

The days are finally getting longer where I don’t have to rush to get to the park before night falls. I usually leave work on two wheels so I can make it in time to get my run in. I looked at the weather for next week and it’s supposed to be warm. I need a few more months of cool weather so I can get my goal before spring gets here. It’s just a matter of pretty much seconds at this point if only I could find a flat course.

Once I reach my goal, I plan to keep going to see how much time I can actually knock off. I don’t have any plans for anything longer then a 10K until this Summer. With that said, I will probably only run two half marathons in 2019. It really takes a lot out of me to do them and it takes me a while to recover so I don’t want to jeopardize my training at the moment.

If anyone is running near the big ATL anytime soon, message me to let me know!

A Year In Review – 2018

This year, 2018 has been a big year for me. I went on lots of great adventures, became a Yoga instructor, finished my college degree, gained a lot of wonderful friends, and started working on becoming a stronger runner. 2019 is shaping up to be my best year yet. I have so many fun races on the books and I know there will be a whole new set of adventures I will embark on. I am working hard to reach my sub 30 goal in 2019 and now that I have plenty of free time, I think I will be accomplishing that goal pretty soon. For this year’s, year in review post, I decided I will feature a race or two from each month out of the year. It has been a fun ride and I am looking forward to the New Year! Thank you to every single one of my friends for all the support and friendship this year. I can’t wait for more great adventures with you all in 2019!

January – Frosty Owl 5K 

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This was the first race I have ever planned and it doesn’t feel like this was almost a year ago. There was a lot of hard work and dedication that went into this race. It really does take a lot of time to plan a one hour run. There’s so much that has to be considered and of course, you have to have lots of sponsorship money to even think about holding a race. That’s the most stressful part is getting sponsorship money. With the help of a great friend though, the race came together and was very successful. We had over 200 people who registered which is a big deal for a first race. I cannot even begin to tell you how much the support from all of my friends who came to run the race meant to me. It meant so much to have so many of you there. I also can’t forget to give another very special thank you to all of my coworkers who came together to volunteer at the race. If it wasn’t for them and my assistant race director, the race wouldn’t have been possible. Unfortunately, there will not be another Frosty Owl in 2019, due to staff changes at the college. Overall, it was a good experience and it’s something I can say I did.

February- Disney Princess Half & 5K

IMG_8607This was my first time at Disney World and I loved it! I ran the Disney Princess half marathon and 5K which were amazing except for the 3:30 AM bus departure time. That’s very early to have to be anywhere but the reason it’s that way is because all of the races are ran before the parks open to the public. Y’all want to know what else? Dreams really do come true! I got to meet Mickey and Minnie which was the highlight of the trip for me. Anyone thinking of running one of the Disney races, I will say it’s a once in a lifetime experience! Go do it! If you are limited for time, make sure to at least visit Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom while you are there! You will need at least a week to do everything Disney has to offer so don’t get overwhelmed trying to pack everything in to just a few days. It’s unreal the depth of magic there is at the parks and the level of entertainment and uniqueness each park brings. I could write forever about Disney so I will end by saying it was definitely the best trip of 2018.

March- Frank Baccus 5K 

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This Easter race is one of my favorite races to run during the year. We always see so many people from our running family at this race, so it’s hard not to mark it as a favorite for that reason a lone. This race offers a pretty flat course so it’s great for those of you looking to set a good clock time! They have neat clay pottery crosses as the awards so I look forward to this race every year!

April- Cooper River Bridge Run

I know I say I have a lot of favorite races during a years time but this one stands out the most. I truly loved everything about this race. From the super awesome expo to the finish line festival, you can’t find a more organized race then this one. For those of you who may not know, the Cooper River is the third largest 10K in the world. They have a huge fun expo that gives out tons of neat samples. My friend came with me who is not a runner but even she enjoyed the expo. My favorite thing about the race was getting to run over the Cooper River Bridge. It’s such a neat experience and yes the hill going up is no fun but the view is awesome. Of course, I had to be one of the 1,000’s of people who stopped for a selfie at the top! I will certainly be doing this race again in the future. It may even become a tradition!

May- Covington Firehouse 5K 

I really like running in Covington! There are so many fun races held in Covington throughout the year. My goal is to one year place at this race. They have really cute pottery awards that are in the shape of a firehouse dog or fire hydrant. Oh how I would love to get one of those cute awards. Maybe next year if I keep training the way I am now I will have the chance at getting one!

June- Raleigh Half Marathon

The Raleigh Half marked my 10th half marathon! Talk about a hilly one, this one certainly made those Athens hills look like little mole hills! Even with all the hills and heat , I did enjoy this race. My friend invited me to this one so it will be one I will always remember. While I was running, I was struggling bad and was about to loose all motivation when this lady asked would I like a running partner. I gladly said yes and we stayed together for the entire race! It was awesome to have someone there so we could motivate one another! I wouldn’t have finished when I did if it wasn’t for her. I also didn’t realize how up and coming Raleigh is. Such a fun area with great restaurants and shops!

July- Peachtree Road Race

The Peachtree Road Race will always be a favorite race of mine. How many people can say they have ran a race with 60,000 other people! For those of you who may not know, the Peachtree is the largest 10K in the world. I have ran this race the last two years and enjoyed every minute of it. There is only one race where you can find people handing out pizza and beer and that’s the Peachtree. Now, I don’t grab any of the pizza or beer that is handed my way because I would honestly puke because of the heat. I’m not sure how people can stomach it but they do! Everyone talks about cardiac hill, but I have yet to see this hill. I think I am so entertained by everything going on, I don’t pay it any attention. I guess that’s a good thing! I can’t wait for next year’s Peachtree, it is going to be the 50th year! You know they will do something special for the 50th!

August- Brain Fitness 5K 

The Brian Fitness 5K is a local run put on by a good friend of ours. It’s a great race and he always serves breakfast to all runners at the end. Who doesn’t love a good breakfast after a run? The picture here says it all. Us girls love our cupcakes!

 

 

 

 

 

September – Fuzz Run & Mercedes Benz 5K 

September is the month for awesome races so I couldn’t pick just one. The Fuzz Run was really neat this year because of the amount of support that was shown for an fallen officer. Police officers from all over the state of Georgia came to show their support and we were greeted at the finish line with a row of police cars with their lights on. It was really cool to see so many people come run this race. I think there was close to 5,000 people who were there this year.

Mercedes- Benz 5K: My favorite thing about this race is getting to finish on the 50 yard line of the Falcons stadium. Such a neat experience that takes you on to the field of the football stadium. Every year they have really neat finisher medals. The whole family ran this year!

October- Tanger Fit 5K

This is another local race that I enjoy running. I had to miss it last year because of my teacher training classes so I was happy to get to run it this year. It goes to a super great cause! Once again, the whole family ran this one! They have really neat finisher medals that are given to all runners.

November- Faith, Hope, Cure 5K 

A great friend of ours put together this race and it was wonderful. The race went to a great cause and it was so nice to see how much work went in to making this an awesome run for all involved. You couldn’t have asked for a better course down a country road, which was a flat out and back. I had a great clock time and placed first in my age group. I will certainly run this race again next year if they have it again.

December- Santa Stroll 8K, Grinch Run, & Whoville Hustle 

Since I have not posted any December recaps, I figured I would feature the last three races I ran in December. 

December has been a great month for races and training runs. I had a PR at the Santa Stroll 8K on December 15th. I ran a 53:10 and placed 2nd in my age group. I really enjoy the Santa Stroll 8K because it is a great out and back course and it’s a run that most of the running family comes to. It’s kind of like a end of the year party! I think each year, I am going to try to beat my time from the year before. One year it took me over an hour to finish this race, so you can see how far I have come. 

Who doesn’t love the Grinch? The Grinch run was one fun race and perfect to get you in the spirit of the Christmas season. This race was ran in Gainesville and I had a rocking awesome time up until the 3rd mile. At mile 2, I saw 19 minutes on my watch. I never see 19 minutes at mile 2 so that in it’s self was awesome. The last mile was like winding through a maze. At one point I looked up and saw people at the top and was wondering if I was ever going to get there. I finished in 33:46 which is pretty awesome for a hilly course. 

 

 

 

The last race for 2018 was the annual Christmas Eve run in Dacula. This year’s theme was the Grinch and the run was called the Whoville Hustle. This run has become a tradition that we do every Christmas Eve. This is another very hilly course but I ran it in 33:40, which happens to be my best time ever for this course. We actually figured out that the course was long so if it had been exactly 3.1 I would have ran a 33:07 with the pace I was going. That means I am almost at 32 minutes on a hilly course! I can’t wait to see what I can do a flat course! Looks like we will find out in 2019! 

I am really looking forward to all of the great races in 2019. I am also looking forward to seeing if 2019 will be the year I finally reach my goal! I have really enjoyed racing with all of you this past year and can’t wait for many more races to come! See you guys on the road! 

 

 

Counting The Miles

I will be so glad when the sun stays up past 6:00 PM. Getting off at 4:45, I have to race the clock to get to the park to run before night falls. I basically count the miles as I rush along to reach the goal I set for myself for each evening I run. I have been training nonstop lately and so far I have seen hard work really does pay off.  I have found a combination of several different exercises that work and I plan to stick with them as I move along into the new year!

We finished out the November month running the Buddy Christian Memorial 5K on Black Friday. I have ran this race the past several years and it’s always been a great race for a good cause. It was a brutally cold morning this year which made for great running weather. I guess at some point, that kind of cold can be too much but it felt great once we got going. The worst part of running a race in the winter though is having to stand in the cold at the start line before the run starts. That’s when you really question your sanity. I always look forward to this race because it is pretty much flat and fast. I ran it in 32:43 and placed first in my age group. They have great medals and trophies for everyone who places.  I think next year though, I am going to run on Thanksgiving instead so I can enjoy the Black Friday madness.

We began our December races with a very rainy Walton County half marathon and 5K this past Saturday. The forecast was looking nasty for the start of the race and it was. The positive thing was, at least it was not freezing cold. That would have been a terrible combination, freezing cold and rain. We all know that even if it was freezing cold with rain, I would have still ran. Beast mode is all weather, all conditions. This race has the cutest Santa shirts and awesome pottery awards. The course is an out and back with a few inclines. I ran this race in 31:28 even though they didn’t clock me until 31:31. Unless you run for someone who uses accurate chip timing you can’t go by the results. My watch is always spot on and I will always go by what it says regardless of what they clock me as. It adds on seconds to clock people because it’s not instant when you have to click a button. Anyways, I have never been that concerned about it until now. I am working very hard to get my clock time down so every second counts in my opinion.

I have 15 days off for Christmas this year! That means I will have plenty of time to get some training miles in. I am counting down the days until the longest break I have had since high school. I can’t wait.