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.

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.

 

 

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