A Once In A Lifetime Run

This past Saturday, we had the opportunity to run the once in a lifetime Road To Gold: A 2020 Test Event. This run was the last 8 miles of the 2020 Olympic Team Trials Marathon. It was an amazing opportunity for Olympic hopefuls to preview the trials course they will be running on next year. The 2020 Olympic Team Trials held in Atlanta will send 6 Americans to Tokyo for the Olympic Games.

This course featured the best hills Atlanta has to offer. We started near Centennial Olympic Park where the 1996 Olympic games were held and then made our way through midtown then past the Olympic rings back to Mercedes Benz stadium. In my personal opinion though, I couldn’t imagine running this course for 26 miles. However, if you are fast enough to qualify for the Olympics, I assume hills are not a worry.

This was the first time I ran since getting sick last week so I was a little rusty. I purposely took it slow in the beginning because I knew I needed to hold out for 8 miles. I was making great time until after mile 6. I was 1:09 at mile 6 and then after that it was like my body decided to give up. Before I got sick, I had made a goal of 1:30. I was 7 minutes off from that goal so I finished in 1:37:01. That’s still one of my best times for a long run. I was 99 out of 113 in my age group. There was tons of fast people at this race.

I have learned my lesson though that I can’t run a long run and then wake up the next morning and run a 5K. I decided months ago I would sign up for the Run Your Bundts Off 5K which was Sunday after the 8 miler. It sounded like a good idea at the time I registered but at the day of race, it was a terrible idea. I was sore and physically tired so I didn’t have a good race. However, I still got a really neat shirt, a mini bundt cake and a medal.

This weekend we are running closer to home so hopefully we will get to see some friends we haven’t seen in awhile!

Race 13.1 Raleigh

I’m going to start out by saying that if you have never been to Raleigh, GO TO Raleigh. It’s an awesome place with a thriving community full of amazing restaurants, swanky bars and unique art galleries. We left for Raleigh early Friday morning so I could pick up my packet before the race. We arrived in Raleigh right around lunchtime and found this cool Greek restaurant right beside the hotel for a quick bite to eat. We stayed at the Holiday Inn downtown which was walking distance to everything downtown has to offer. After lunch we did some exploring and then drove to get my packet at the running store. There was no expo for this race so it was a quick in and out. The area around the running store is so pretty and reminded me of the Five Points area in Athens. Super cute houses and a great walking/biking area. The GPS took me through this area so I was able to see some of the course before race day. The first thing I noticed was the hills, which I have to say, makes Athens seem flat. The race started at 7:15 Saturday morning. I was so worried Friday night about the race because I knew it was going to be hilly and the last hilly half I did, did not go so well. I was worried about nothing, even though it was one of the more strenuous half’s I have done, my legs felt great the entire time. The course was ran a long a shaded neighborhood and green way, so I was thankful that I was in the shade the majority of the time. Around mile 2, I had this really sweet lady come up to me and ask would I like a running buddy. I was running alone by this point, because I couldn’t keep up with my friend Barbara. I was so thankful to have someone to run with to keep me motivated. I don’t do good in heat and will basically shut down if it gets over 70 degrees. We stayed together the rest of the race and talked and kept each other motivated by encouraging each other as we did our run/walk strategy. I now have a North Carolina friend and are keeping in touch through Facebook. Having someone to talk to made the time pass by more quickly. Before I knew it, we were at mile 12, about to climb the very last hill. The last hill was half a mile long and was straight up. We were exhausted by this point, so we had to push ourselves up it. We finished in 3:18, (not my best time but I had a blast getting to make a new friend). The finishers medal was really cute and had a squirrel on it which is what Raleigh is known for. I was told they actually drop an acorn at New Year’s. Overall, I am really glad Barbara invited me to the race and I was able to run my 10th half marathon with her.

After the race, I was starving so I went back to the hotel to get cleaned up and we headed out to this really great barbecue place called The Pit. If you are ever in Raleigh, stop by and try their BBQ and friend chicken! I don’t normally eat fried chicken but it sounded too good to pass up and it was! We stayed until Sunday afternoon and got to explore all of downtown Raleigh and Chapel Hill. I had a lot of fun the entire trip and will defiantly go back sometime in the near future. Thanks to my awesome friend, Cheryl for coming with me and exploring the city with me. Here we are with our Frose’s!

 

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.

13.1 Miles Of Fighting For The Finish Line

IMG_8464For a person who is always on the go, there is nothing worse then having to take two weeks off because of the flu. I started off thinking I just had a cold and nothing more. I masked it with some meds and took one or two days off from training. Fine, I thought, I can handle two days off. A few days later, I thought I was over it and had just lucked out from all the crazy germs going around. I felt better so I went back to training and picked right back up where I left off. Not even two days later, I woke up feeling terrible and just knew all training was coming to a halt. Apparently the cold was like pre-flu, telling me it was coming. I went to the doctor, tested positive and then spent the next several days in bed wishing I on the road somewhere. Anyways, enough about the flu, the point of sharing germ stories with you is that two weeks off really does effect your performance on runs. I missed the Hot Chocolate 15K in Atlanta, which was a bummer. I guess if I had to miss a race, it would be this one since it was freezing cold and rainy. I may have asked the doctor if she thought I could run it being it was a few days a way. She said absolutely not that I would pass out. So here’s to Hot Chocolate 2019.

Day’s went by and I started feeling better but I still had low energy and just felt run down. My 7th half marathon (Suwanee Half Marathon) was creeping up and because I sometimes don’t use best judgement, I ran it anyway. It was a rainy morning and because the roads were flooded, they changed the course on us from last year. Talk about a Spartan half marathon if there ever was such a thing. This half marathon was built for the elite runners. The course is typically ran along the lower end of the greenway, but due to heavy rain they ran it up on the higher part of the greenway. It was an out and back course which included every hill Suwanee has to offer. I’m not talking about your average hill, I am talking about straight up shut you down in your track hills. (I am not being overdramatic here, I promise). This course last year was my best half marathon time to date but the course this year was my worst half marathon time to date. I was feeling pretty good the first few miles. I was slow but I was keeping a steady pace. At mile 6, it was like my body gave up and I was hurting everywhere. Let’s just say, I have never hurt so bad in a race before, not even my first half or the Spartan race. Apparently, my body just wasn’t prepared enough. By the time I got to mile 9, I didn’t think I was going to finish. This was the first time I ever thought I wasn’t going to finish a race. Those hills must have put my legs in shock, I was barely moving going up them. For the first time, I walked miles 9-13. I was feeling pretty terrible and I felt like my legs were locked in to place. I finished in a little over 3 hours which is not normal for me. Dad had to come back after me because when I didn’t come in at the time I normally do, they figured something was wrong. I didn’t take my phone on this run because it was pouring down rain so I had no way of telling them. Note to self, always take phone on long runs.

I hope my next half marathon this weekend will go better. I am running the Princess Half Marathon at Disney. Hopefully my legs will hold out for the entire 13 miles this time. I am sure I will be making a few stops along the way to take selfies at the castle. I hope to meet a few characters a long the way too. I am also running the 5K there this Friday. We all know, I already have my outfits planned out and packed. I am going to be Cinderella for the 5K and Belle from Beauty & the Beast for the Half. I will post lots of pics. I apologize in advance for the amount of stuff that will be on your feeds over the next few days. This is my first time going to Disney so I am really excited. I will write all about it once I get back, but for now, I am off to be a Princess.