Don’t Stop Believing

I am long overdue for a post. I know I said once I graduate, I will have more time to write but recently life has gotten in the way of that. Not going to lie, there has been plenty of days in the past few weeks where all I want to do is sit and watch TV and do nothing else. I have to give the brain a rest from time to time.

I just want to say, I think 2019 is off to a great start when it comes to my training. I have been running consistently every week to prepare for upcoming races. I have changed the way I train and so far the hard work is showing. It may not show in big ways when it comes to races, but I can see the improvements. The reason I named this post, Don’t Stop Believing, is because that is the song that pops into my head when I run. I sing it over and over again while I run to force myself to keep going. I’m not going to say much about how I am training or my training times but I think by the end of March, I should have met my goal on a 5K. The big thing right now is trying not to get hurt or sick. I am doing everything I can to prevent either of those things from happening.

Speaking of races, we have been on a rocky start for January. Don’t get me wrong, all of the races we have run so far have been great races but they are not what I want for good clock times. We ran a race on January 1st in Cumming and the description for the course said flat and fast. It was the hilliest flat course I have ever ran. The weekend after that I knew the course was going to be hilly so I signed up for the 8K to get in a few extra miles since I wouldn’t have a good time on the 5K. Two weekends ago I finally got to run on the Atlanta Beltline again. The Beltline is one of the best things to be designed in Atlanta. Once you get on the Beltline, the entire pathway is flat. They are not completely done with the Beltline but what’s there so far is awesome! Along the Beltline are restaurants, the Ponce City Market, breweries and high end apartments. It’s a great up and coming area. This past weekend we ran the Chilly Willy half marathon and 10K in Sugar Hill. I once again chose the longer distance because I knew the course was hard. I placed third in my age group which is unusual for races near Atlanta.

I have some pretty cool races coming up in the next few weeks. I am no longer going to post where I am racing at from now on so if you want to know please just message me.

These days I may just pop up wherever so I hope to see you all out on the road soon!

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.

Running Into Winter

Once again, I am behind on my blog post so I have a few races to catch up on. However, I now have a lot more free time since I finally completed my degree coursework and will receive my degree in December. It truly has not sunk it yet that I am done with school but I’m so glad. I can now catch up on sleep, reading and writing my blog. Who else is excited that cooler weather is officially here? I run so much better in the cold. Plus it’s also perfect fuzzy socks, blankets, and movie watching weather!

I had another big change this November besides completing school, I switched my Yoga location. I now have an awesome location complete with a spacious room and everything I could ever need to teach my class. I am so happy with the new space and I am planning to grow my practice as we move in to the new year. If you have any friends that are wanting to try yoga but don’t want to spend the crazy drop in rates of Athens, have them come see me at Thrive for only $12 drop in. December, there will only be three classes because of the holiday’s so 3 classes are only $30.

So, I have ran several awesome races since I have been back from Myrtle Beach. Every year there are a few that have become yearly races that we don’t miss. One of my favorite courses is down in Bostwick at the Cotton Gin 5K. This is always the last race of October. The Cotton Gin course is flat and out in the country with just the cows and horses. I was disappointed this year because I was hoping for a better clock time since I have been putting in training hours but we have since determined I was training wrong for what I am trying to do. Anyways, I am not so focused on the clock time anymore but rather my endurance. I was only about 40 seconds off from last year and still managed to place in my age group. The Cotton Gin has really unique cotton bales as the awards. They range from a baby bale to an extra large bale that you have to find room for in the house depending on how you placed. The overall winners and master winners go home with huge bales the size of a large package.

We started our November races in Hartwell at the Faith, Hope, Cure 5K. This was one of the best races we have ran in a long time. Two of our sweet running friends were putting on the race for a friend of theirs who has cancer. You could certainly tell there was lots of time and effort put into planning this race. Anyone that runs a lot knows just what it takes to put on a race. There is so much that goes into planning and so many sleepless nights leading up to race day. My friends went above and beyond and had awesome shirts and goody bags for all runners and really neat medals and trophies. I managed an awesome clock time of 32:48 and 1st place in my age group.  Awesome course, wonderful friends and a great cause!

We always get in the holiday spirit by racing Lanier Under The Lights. Just so happened this year, I ran it both nights. One night with family/friends and the second night with friends. We love this race, because we get to dress up in Christmas outfits and listen to Christmas music while running the race. This year my sister and I decided to dress up as our favorite Christmas movie character. My sister was the Grinch and I was Elf. We registered for the best dress costume but did not win. That just means next year, we will have to go all out. There are so many runners each year that it always sells out. They only let a little less then 2,000 people in to run the streets with the lights.  This year they gave finisher medals to all runners which was a big hit. There is no chance of ever placing because of all the people so I like when the bigger races have finisher medals. The first night we walked and took pictures with the lights which is always fun because it’s the only time you have the chance to do that before they open the park to cars.

The second night, I actually ran the race to see what time I could get. It’s a hilly course so I ended up with a not so good time but I still enjoyed getting to run it. All of the lights are really cool and the atmosphere is so fun because of all of the people dressed up so it makes for a good time! After the run, we went to Ihop to get Grinch pancakes! Those were well deserved pancakes.

The last race we just ran was in Buford at the Ryan Daniel 5K. We have never run in downtown Buford, so it was a nice change of scenery. It was a great course except for the few hills that were placed throughout the last two miles. I always try to act like the hills don’t bother me but who am I kidding, they slow me down every time. However, I finished in 32:31 and placed 2nd in my age group. I knocked off a few seconds since the first race in November so I think my new training plan is working.

We have one more race scheduled for November and then it’s off to all of the Holiday themed races in December!

From Commerce To Athens To Myrtle Beach

For the past six weeks, I have been running consistently for four days a week including the Saturday runs. What I realized through all of this training, is that I have been doing it all wrong. So I have decided to start completely over and change my entire training strategy. I am no longer setting goal races or goal times. I have come down with a little cold, so I am going to start my new training plan next week. I don’t have any big races planned for a while so I will have plenty of time to train for my normal races. I am a little behind on my blog post so I am going to group all of my runs from the past few weeks together in this post.

Tanger Fit For A Cure
October 13, 2018

 

43828503_10205670704803540_1941667771498627072_oI missed this race last year because I was in teacher training so I was glad to be able to participate this year. I first ran this race back in 2016 and loved it! It goes to a great cause and they are always super organized. They also give finisher medals and always have really neat shirts. I was disappointed in their shirts for this year though, because they were no longer Under Armour as they were the year I ran it. I also forget about the hills that you have to face in the beginning and end of the race. Therefore, I took off way to fast and sprinted up the first hill as fast as I could which set the tone for the rest of the race. By the time I was making my way back to the finish line, I had no energy left in me. I finished in 34:19 and was 11 out of 43 in my age group. I consider that a great placement since it is such a big event. The whole family ran the race this year so everyone got to go home with medals.

Run Your Tail Off 5K 
10/14/2018

43952884_10205676196900839_6334491018255138816_oI don’t typically run a 5K twice in one weekend but I always make an exception when a race supports a great cause. In this case it went towards dogs, which I have a big heart for so I decided this one was a must. I didn’t expect to do that great because it is ran along a greenway that I use to train on and I have never been able to get a good clock time there. I probably won’t run anymore races there for awhile. I would rather do some that I have never done before to mix things up. I ended up finishing in 35:43 and was 6 out of 11 in my age group.

 

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon 5K 
October 20, 2018 

44339268_10205695563224985_5445796460043960320_nI almost registered for the mini marathon (half marathon) for this race. However, I saw the medal for the 5K and loved it more so I signed up for the 5K instead. I made the right decision to just do the 5K because I would have been miserable doing the half and then having to drive home. The 5K was on Saturday and the half on Sunday. The 5K was in a great new up and coming area inland of Myrtle Beach. It was a flat and fast course which I was excited about. The week leading up to the race, the weather was saying it would be in the 50’s, however it ended up being hot and humid. They called that one wrong. I was sweating before I even got to the start line. It was an extremely flat course so I was disappointed there was no cool weather to go along with it. I always do better in the cold. I finished in 35:50 and was 14 out of 31 in my age group.

 

I’m not sure what races I will be doing in November but I am sure I will find some good ones to run. Hope to see you all soon!