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!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

A Run Through Music City

Growing up, I wanted to be a country music singer. I had the boots, a hat, and a microphone and thought I was all set to make it happen. Fast forward twenty years and I still love country music but now I only try to sing in the car where no one can hear me! As you can imagine, Nashville was like a dream to someone like myself. Especially when there was country music playing in every honky tonk we passed and a boot store on every corner. Can you believe they had bands playing at 7:00 am along Broadway? I have never seen anything like it.

 

Expo 

We picked up our packets for the Rock N Roll Nashville 5K on Thursday when we arrived in Nashville. Rock N Roll always has pretty cool expo’s so I have to check out all the cool running gear while I am there. It’s not like I need another pair of running shoes but it doesn’t hurt to look, right?! I really liked the race shirts we picked up at the expo. They are bright yellow, so they stand out.

Race Day

Our race was moved to 6:15 AM Saturday morning, since it was supposed to be humid. They were not kidding about the humidity, I was sweating standing at the start line a little before 6 that morning. I have always heard Nashville is famous for some hills. They were not kidding about that either. We started the race going up a hill and then it was up and down the rest of the way. We started right in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame and right behind the Bridgestone Arena. From there, we ran past the marathoners and half marathoners that were lined up to run down Broadway. They were all cheering us on. The really cool thing about this race was every mile there was a band that was playing. I made it almost to the mile and a half point before stopping. I was extremely lightheaded and a little dizzy from the heat throughout the race. I apparently did not hydrate well and having very little sleep did not help either. I did the run/walk method the rest of the way to the finish. The finish was beside the Nissan Stadium where the Tennessee Titans play. There was a bridge that connected downtown Nashville to the Nissan Stadium that we ran down to the finish. I was so happy to see the stadium. I could have made it farther but I would have been struggling. I am so glad that I did not sign up for the half marathon. I don’t think I could have made it the entire 13.1 in the heat. I finished the 5K in 38:30 and have never been so glad to see a finish line. The Rock N Roll series always gives really cool medals at the finish, so I was excited to get that medal.

We had an awesome trip and will certainly do this race again next year. This was my first time ever visiting Nashville and it was a blast. I got to check off a few items on my bucket list. One visiting Nashville, two running through the streets of Nashville, and three standing on the Grand Ole Opry stage. I am already planning when I can go back again!

Rock N Roll Savannah

This past weekend I ran the Rock N Roll Savannah 5K. It was a very pretty flat course throughout the moss trees of Savannah. I must say I was feeling pretty exhausted during the race so I didn’t focus on getting a PR. My focus was to complete my first Rock N Roll series race and use it as a training run for my future races. I got a look at what it would be like to run a half marathon by watching the start of the half and full marathon. Just by being at the starting line, got me to thinking how awesome it would be to say I am a half marathoner. The goal is to come back next year and run the half in Savannah. I had an awesome surprise by learning one of my buddies was running the marathon. I was able to cheer him on at the starting line. Congrats to all the finishers.

 

The Rock N Roll series had an awesome expo that I attended on Thursday. I love expos! All the running gear you need in one place, so it’s a runners paradise. The highlight was winning a free pair of Brooks running shoes. Crazy right? I thought they were joking at first. I just sent my winning card in to get a pair of cushion support shoes to use for my long distance training runs. I also bought a pair for training and 5K’s. I think I am all set to take on next years running adventures. I also became a member of the Atlanta Track Club. Looking forward to checking out a few of their events. Next up: 5K this Saturday in Mansfield.