Saturday, December 31, 2016

Farewell 2016

Wow, another year is about to end but boy it was so much fun. Ended the year with running 606.5 miles. Man, that seems so low. Especially as I scroll through IG and see other runners with their 2,000+ miles for the year. I had so many goals coming into 2016 but I think I was mentally done before the year ever got started. I tried reaching them and finally realized I needed to focus on just enjoying the run. I feel at times I haven't found my grove since our move. But some days I do. I ran 10 races, 3 of which were half marathons and 11 virtual runs. Sometimes the races were great and sometimes Irene came out. 😉

I like to call 2016 my learning year. It's been such an experience. I learned its best to not set goals when running a race. Instead to just run it by feel and I might just end up with the PR I've been chasing. That not all training runs are going to be simply the best. Just getting out there is a big accomplishment in itself. I realized not every friend really is a 'bestie'. Some you have to just let go. But at the same time learned who really values friendship. And those are simply the 'best' to have. 2016 did bring a new home, an awesome job where I can wear running gear (every runners dream) 😉 and meeting new running buddies. I also learned I say sorry when it's not really needed. Something a co-worker once said and I later realized she was right. So I've been working hard the past few weeks to nip that in the bud. 

I'm not really sure what 2017 will bring, but I know its going to be simply the best. I hope to continue my love for running. To run a race every month, maybe reach 1000 miles for the year and to simply keep pushing to be a stronger runner. Something I have been putting off. 'Maybe' run another marathon (still on the fence about that one). 😉

Tomorrow begins a new slate, so fill it with tons of memories. Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Santa's Gift of a PR


That was probably the one word going through my mind as I rounded the corner to hit the finish line. Finally a PR!! I'd only been chasing it for a year and got it. Saturday Miranda, Sam and I ran the Mt. Juliet Holiday Half. It started right before the Christmas parade and that meant a later start time of 10:45am and somewhat warmer temps.  Which was awesome since at 7a it was much, much colder. Like 18! Brr!

I've always ran better in colder temps. My legs feel like they can just go and go. This was the first half I've ran in December and it was awesome. Even with running on such a narrow shoulder. With traffic coming right along side you. Fun Times. 😏  But overall, the race and the bling were great.

The morning of the race, it was nice to relax and eat my breakfast without the feeling of wanting to gag on it. The peanut butter does it every time. I had a Pro-Bar along with half a bagel with some PB and drank some water. I made my pre-workout to have on the way. On the way to meet Miranda my legs started get that tingling feeling of wanting to run. And I knew it was gonna be a great race.

The excited grins haha 😊😊

One great thing about the race, you were able to stay warm inside the school until the start of the race. The race started a little late but then we were off running down the road with the crowds cheering us on. Little kids were standing out giving everyone high fives. The course was a little hilly but the bigger hills were at the beginning of the course. The volunteers were great and plenty was offered at the water stops.

This cracks me up

Sam & I weren't ready... 

Hills for Lunch

Patiently waiting....

Around Mile 9, I chatted with another runner which is unusual for me because I usually have my music going and just zoned in on the run. We were chatting about pace and two runners who would run on the other side of the road. Just zig zagging back and forth across the lanes. I'm curious what their mileage was at the end. 😉 Towards the end of the race, I think around mile 11.5 was a cop and he was blasting the song "Eye of the Tiger." The song would end and he would shout over his mic "you're doing great." And would start the song up again. Ha! I should have gotten a photo with him.

I felt great during the race and got excited when I realized was going to finally get a PR. But then around Mile 11, I felt all jittery again like I have in past half races. I think this is where my HR reached over 200. After that, I was sure I wasn't going to reach that PR. But I did! I got a 1:12 PR and boy does it feel great! Miranda and Sam came out from the warmth to cheer me on. I was a little giddy when I saw them. Ha!

Jazz hands in full effect. 😜

whoo hoo!!


How cute is this shirt and medal?

Until the next race....Happy Running!!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dashing for Turkeys

What do you do on the one day you stuff your face the most? Yep, run a race. ;) This was the first time running the Boro Dash on Thanksgiving Day and I must say it was quite fun. Although it really didn't feel like a November day as it should have been. It felt warmer than usual but we are in Tennessee so I guess it was right on point.

Miranda surprised me with a hat for the race. A turkey hat. Haha!! The hat stayed on until Mile 2ish, until I couldn't take the heat it was producing anymore. But I did put it back on once we were getting closer to the finish. 
Look at us! Hahahaha
About to start the race! 

The race starts at MTSU and uses 4 miles of the Middle Half course. So many people attended the race. There were little kiddos running right along with us. I believe over 2,000 did the race. I guess everyone wanted to make room in their bellies. ;) Even with the warm temps, we did awesome. Which I'm surprised at. We did a few walk breaks and ended up finishing in 41:34!! Finally a race with a decent average pace.  

You gotta have the socks for a Turkey Trot. 

Nearing the End

Can you spot the turkeys? ;)

Definitely a race that everyone should do, runner or not. Up next is the Mt. Juliet Half Marathon. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Run Jonah Run

I never got the chance to meet Jonah. But I'm positive he was a bubbly, happy, full of life kiddo. I do know he loved the color red and loved Junior Mint candy. He was 10 years old when he passed away on June 21, 2015 from Pulmonary Hypertension. I met his mom Sheri one day while I was working at Fleet Feet. She came in to see about donations for a race. That day was when I learned how her son passed away. I remember trying to choke back tears as she spoke about Jonah. I finally had to come around the counter and give her a hug.

This was the second annual race to help in researching Pulmonary Hypertension and how to end it. At the moment, there is no medication available for children with PH. 

I haven't ran a 5k in a year, but this will be one race that will be done every year. The course was a beautiful, starting at the Blackman High School and winding through a nearby neighborhood. It was a cool day (yay for cooler temps finally arriving), I once again didn't set a goal finish time. Still doing that no pressure thing. ;) The volunteers were amazing and there was even  a little group around mile 2 I think standing with "Run Jonah Run" signs. I got a little teary eyed when the lady holding her little baby (while holding a sign) yelled "Run for Jonah" as I passed by. 

If you are local, you need to have this race on your calendar for next year. Help the Guider's Phight the Fight and end Pulmonary Hypertension. To read more about Jonah and PH, check out Jonah's website 

Some of the BBC group.
That's Brad in the upper left corner. He missed the photo
so I added him. ;) Haha

Finished in 33:30
Avg Pace 10:48

This was at the school Jonah attended as we
passed by it during the race.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Rollin' Nolen 10 Miler

Holy Smokes. The inaugural Rollin' Nolen lived up to its name. Hill after hill. After hill. However, it was probably my favorite race to date. The Volunteers were amazing, all the runners were just in an awesome mood on this chilly morning. Finally a morning without humidity and 90 degree temps. It was a brisk 40 degrees. Whoo Hoo!!! And most importantly, running this race with my buddies Miranda and Teresa. We use to run together all the time until Miranda and I moved away. :( But we decided to run this race together and we had tons of fun. Even with all the hills. ;)

Back together again!!!
Before we started eating hills for breakfast. ;)

I am finally beginning to realize that just going out and having fun while running is totally helping me in not being so stressed about getting a PR. And I came pretty darn close to getting it. My PR in a 10 mile race is 1:56. I finished today's race in 1:58:07. But I totally redeemed myself from the Moon Pie 10 miler back in June with a finish time of 2:16. Whoo Hoo!!! Why couldn't this race have been my half from 2 weeks ago? As Miranda said, "you did so well because there wasn't any pressure." Now, I can't wait for the next race. And I can't wait to run the Rollin' Nolen again with these two girls!!! I'm now half (see what I did there ;) tempted to find another half before the year is out. Huge thanks to Alejandro at work for the fueling tips, I was able to fuel much better with this race than I did at the Middle Half.  The only thing I hated about this race....the chafing. But I guess you're not running unless you're Chafing the Dream. Hahaha!!

Happy & No Pressure Running!!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

One Year Later....One Less House

 Time moves fast when your older. I remember when I was a kid and it felt like forever before Christmas would come again. It seems like it was just yesterday our world turned to flames but a year has came much quicker than it did when I was younger.

I never cried when we lost our home. I even surprised myself with how strong I was in telling the firefighters to just go ahead and toss the nightstands out. He kept saying "are you sure?" While they were still fighting the flames. I was already making a toss pile of items we wouldn't be able to keep. A few people that stopped by said to me "this will all hit you later and you'll lose it." But I didn't.

 But I finally did after the house was finally torn down. For the longest, it felt as if we still had 2 homes. One just didn't have a roof. Or water. Or a mortgage payment. ;) I wanted to be there when it was torn down but I had to work. Ray sent me a photo and I got a little teary eyed seeing nothing be concrete slab for the garage. But quickly pulled it together. I've learned so much about myself since the fire. I really am a strong person.

Standing in what use to be my kitchen

Found this baseball card. 

So now we just have an empty field with a drive to nowhere and a mailbox at the end of it. We are undecided on what will happen with the property. At the moment, we are very happy where we are. Being close to everything is awesome. I love my new job at Fleet Feet and all the new people we've made friends with. Ray loves being closer to work. I still drive to McMinnville every now and then. And honestly, it feels like it takes forever to get there. I like the closeness of everything here. But at times, I do miss the country life. The quietness. But I love where we are. This is home.

The Middle Half & Intro to Irene

Yesterday I did something that I should have been doing for all my races. Not setting a goal for a finish time. Goals are great to set and I'm certainly not saying not to make them. But I had the best time at my 11th half marathon. Even with feeling like puking towards the end. I still haven't got a new PR, but I still had a blast out on the course. All 2 hours and 56 minutes of it. My hubby was right, I would enjoy running more. I'm going to try my best to do the same at the next race.

It felt amazing not having that pressure on me to try and beat my goal. Sure I wasn't pleased with my time but I wasn't upset and Irene (more on her later) didn't make an appearance. ;) I have realized that I am not fueling properly during those long runs, which is probably the main reason my past races haven't been the best. So nutrition is at the top of my list to get under control.

Since I didn't have a goal time, I asked to join in with Ricky, who I call Ricky Bobby. ;) It was his first half and the past few group runs with the Monday Misfits, I've worked to try and keep up with him. If I got a PR, great. But if not, that was ok too. No pressure. ;) Sadly, I lost him around Mile 2 after I got trapped behind a row of 4 girls. After I got around them, I tried to catch back up but only ended up getting side cramps so I pulled back. And I'm proud to say, Irene still didn't show up. ;) I told him not to wait at all during the race, to just keep going. It was his first half and he did awesome, finishing in 2:23:44!!!!! Welcome to the Club!!

Racing Tip: Please don't run side by side. It makes it hard to get around you. Especially when there are four running together.

It took a few shots.

I have to give another "welcome to the half marathon club" to Hollie. She ran her first half marathon in 3:03:36! I knew she would do awesome at this race after I saw her do the Moon Pie 10 Miler. I may have pressured her into doing the Middle Half. ;) But as I told her, I wouldn't have done it if I didn't already know she could do it. 

She says this is the "first and last time" for a half. ;)
But I think she'll do it again. 

Here are a few shots from the day...feel free to laugh. I did.

The BBC group

Hoping to cry instead of puke 

This would have been hilarious had Ray captured me doubled over
dry heaving. Hahaha

Love this guy!!

Whooo Hoo!

Now about this Irene chick..... 

My buddy Miranda decided to name my running personality. Sometimes, ok pretty much all the time. I get upset while running. The smallest thing can set her off. Like getting nearly hit by a car. Or getting nudged while running. The list could go on... ;) Miranda named her Irene. And now everyone in our running group finds it funny. I kept Irene in check during the race. For one, I was running with Ricky and I didn't want to taint his first half marathon. However, he did say if Irene showed up he would just take off and leave me. Which I would have been fine with. ;) Here's to keeping Irene in check. 

Happy Running Everyone!! 

Monday, July 4, 2016

4 on the 4th

What better way to celebrate our nation's birthday than by doing a 4 mile run to support A Soldier's Child Foundation. And what better day to dress up in all your Patrotic colors. ;)

99 Problems..... Nope ;) 

Some pre race photos...

Cupcakes are always a plus after a race. ;)

This was our first time running this race and it was a pretty good one. Just four flat miles but it was perfect for today. The weather was nice, slight breeze and overcast. But boy once you started it wasn't as cool as you as it once was while standing. I immediately started to heat up in the shirt and ironically in the socks as well. I had to keep telling myself, its just 4 miles. Whew. Soon it was over. Yay! We finished in about 48 minutes.

I am still not wear I know I should be. But it is a work in progress. I do feel the past few weeks that I have been improving much more. I had lost that desire to run but it is making it's way back and I couldn't be happier about it. Half training has just started so it's time to buckle down and work hard at chasing down that PR in October. So here's to training harder and running faster!

So on that note...