Tag Archives: half marathon

Happy National Running Day!!

Hey there! It’s been a while… But I thought today was the perfect time to pop back in to talk about one of my favorite things: running!

If you haven’t already heard, it’s National Running Day!! And for this avid runner, it’s kinda fun to think of it as a ‘real’ holiday event though it’s not! So in celebration, I got up to do a nice 7-miler before work today.

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It was hot and I was grumpy the whole time. The temps only got down to 74 degrees over night, so I was completely exhausted and drenched in sweat when I arrived home. But I was thankful to have it done!

So my celebration of this holiday left me stinky, sweaty, and miserable… Why do I like running again?? I guess it’s hard to explain unless you’re a runner. But the runners high you get when you cross the finish line is unbelievable. Here’s a quick recap of my 6 big spring races this year.

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First up was the Frostbite half marathon in STL. My first half marathon! Rocked it and finished in 1:56. 🙂

Number 2 was the Little Rock Marathon. Crazy whirlwind of a weekend. But I finished despite all odds in 4:13.

Number 3 is the Go! STL marathon. A much better full marathon experience with a fun weekend at Nick’s parents house. Finished in 4:03. Woot!

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Number 4 was the Go Girl Springfield half marathon. Easy course around my own city with a 1:54 finish.

Number 5 was the Divas Half Marathon in Branson. Woah, those were some crazy hills!! Thought I might die but we made it. 1:59, slowest half marathon time but it was the toughest course by far.

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And last was the Go Girl Columbia half marathon. I haven’t done a recap on this race yet because, well, I have mixed emotions about it. I finished in 1:57. Not my best, not my worst. The course was tough and partially on gravel trails which I was not prepared for! I had a lot of negative thoughts about this race for a couple different reasons so I’ve been hesitant to do a big vent-fest on the blog about it. I think I need one more week to cool down, and then we can chat. :). Haha! Just know that everything really did go OK. Long story short, I think I’ve become a bit of a race diva after my short racing season this spring!

Along with all these big races, I also ran a 10k and a 15k – both local races. Just for fun!! For a girl that could barely do the 1-mile run in PE class in high school, I’m pretty darn proud of myself. Now I just have to figure out what to do with all the ginormous race medals laying around my bedroom. 🙂

Now what am I gonna do with my time this summer while I’m not training?! Well I’ll just keep running when I can. And I’ll focus on Jazzercise a bit more – we just got new routines!! Speaking of, one of my fav students hit 100 classes last night for 2014 so far!

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Aren’t we attractive after 2 hours of class?! Haha Lora’s an awesome student and I’m thankful to have her in my classes each evening.

And I’m also just going to relax and enjoy my summer with Nick and Mac. I’ve been a busy racing lady, so I’m ready for a little down time at home with my fav guys.

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Love love love! Side note – Mac went swimming over Memorial Day and didn’t like it much…. Haha!

Allrighty guys. I hope you’re enjoying your day. Get out there and celebrate the day with a run! Let my finisher picture from Colmbia Go Girl inspire you. 🙂

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Divas Half Marathon

Happy Thursday! I’ve had a few days to recover post race, and I’m feeling pretty good!!

Our weekend in Branson was so much fun! We arrived after work on Friday night and checked into our condo at Holiday Hills. Luckily my parents own a timeshare so the lodging was free to us for the weekend!

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This became Mac’s territory for the weekend. Past experiences have taught us that it’s better off if he just stays behind during momma’s races! He was a very well behaved little man for being in a new place. 🙂 Once we got him situated, we headed out to a late dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack on the Branson Landing.

We had pretty view by the water! And Nick was excited to get some food in his belly.

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I won’t show you what I ate because I ordered the largest platter of fried food that I could find. Oops! It was quite a yummy splurge. I ate about half my food and took the rest home in a doggie bag. Mac may or may not have gotten a few bites of leftover fries and hush puppies!

Divas Race Expo

Saturday we woke up early to head to the race expo before a day of shopping! My favorite. 🙂

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The expo was held at the Branson Convention Center right next to the Branson Landing. It was pretty quiet and only a few other runners were wandering around the different booths. I got my bling and bought a couple shirts that say ‘Run like a Diva’. I always feel the need to buy things at race expos! I can’t help myself!

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I was definitely loving all my pink bling! After we left the expo, we headed out for shopping at the Tanger outlets mall and the Landing. My favorite spot at the outlets? The Coach store, or course!

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This was my biggest splurge of the day! The clearance section was an additional 40% off though. I HAD to buy it!

Dinner that evening was spent at Garfield’s, a fun little restaurant on the Branson Landing. The menu had some pasta on it but nothing that wasn’t in a creamy, milk-laden sauce. So our sweet waitress had the chef prepare me some penne with marinara and chicken for the perfect pre-race carb load meal!

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I was jealous of Nick’s meal. He got a giant burger and baked potato. Carbs, yes. But too much fat to help me out on race morning.

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Cheesy grin!! After our yummy meal, we headed back to the condo no needed to get race ready and in bed ASAP!

Divas Half Marathon, Branson

Race morning was beautiful! The forecast was looking hot – ummmm 93 degrees – but to start the race, it was only 63 degrees and sunny. Perfect! We arrived early to get good parking and so I could use the porta potties 18 times before line up. 🙂 Just kidding! I used it 3 time in about 45 minutes. And I STILL had to pee a couple miles in. I have a nervous bladder!

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Notice Nick is holding water and my Power bar gel. He is the absolute best to go to all these races with me! Without him I would be very alone. And I would have to use gear check! Yuck!

We said our goodbyes and Nick headed away from the pack of divas so he didn’t get trapped on the course. I tried to relax and enjoy the pumping music that had going for us! Then we sang the national anthem and something hilarious happened. The starting line lost power. Our big archway went from this…

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To this…

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Deflated! Haha! We all starting laughing hysterically and the officials had the power back on momentarily. A quick countdown and we were off!!

The first 2 miles wound through the Branson Landing and were nice and flat. Then the hill started. And when I say hill, I mean we climbed about 900-1000 feet over 5 miles. If you have ever been in Branson, you know it’s not flat!

After the 7 mile mark, we had hit the highest point on the course and started the descent. And down we went….. All the way back down to mile 12.5 where we hit the final hill from hell and I my run slowed to the run of a 150 year old turtle. But I did keep running. 🙂 I knew after the hilly miles that today wouldn’t be a PR. There was NO way. But I was ok with it. The hills and heat made me forget about my time and focus on running.

After we made it up the final hill and made it back to the Branson Landing for our big finish, the gal next to me looked at me and said ‘We can still make it under 2 hours if we push! now go!!’ I have no clue who that woman was, but I appreciate her more than she knows. We started racing through the finishing chute and all the way through the finish. Whew! I was flyin’ and dyin’!

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I’m in green and the one in dark pink was the one I was ‘racing’. I won! But just by a hair!!

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Woah I was sweaty!! Yuck!! I finished in 50th place overall and 4th in my age division with a time of 1:59:34. Not too shabby for heat and hills!

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I was so happy to get my blinged out medal and tiara! It was the perfect ending to my day of diva running. 🙂 oh also, the handsome half-dressed firefighters that have out the medals were icing on the cake!

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Haha it was so fun! Here are some shots of the race finish at the Branson Landing. (Provided by Run like a Diva!)

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Overall, it was an awesome race experience. Will I do it again? I’m just not sure yet. The hills were really bad. I’m not sure I want to put myself through that again. If they bring the Divas to Springfield, I will definitely sign up!!

Well that’s the end of another long (and possibly annoying) race recap. I’ve been a busy racing lady this spring! One more Go Girl half marathon in Columbia, Mo over Memorial Day weekend and then I’m done for the spring. For now, anyways. 🙂

Have a great day!!

Calorie Counting

And so it begins…. After months of marathon training and basically eating whatever I want, the calorie counting has started again.

I want to say ‘Ughhh’ so bad, but I know I need to be positive and optimistic about it. In reality, it doesn’t take that much work with my Sparkpeople app. And I love waking up in the morning feeling awesome because I know I didn’t overdo it the day before. Having power over food and using it for the good of our own bodies is one of the most rewarding feelings.

About 2 years ago, in January of 2012, I started taking Jazzercise classes. I had tracked calories on and off through college. But I got more on track with during this time and lost a few pounds. After a month or 2 as a student, I decided that teaching Jazzercise was definitely something I wanted to do. I was around 155 lbs at this point. On my petite and curvy 5 foot tall frame, I was a fairly chunky little thing.

During my jazzercise training, I loosely tracked my calories (I had more splurge days than non-splurge days) and the weight continued to fall off. I was taking numerous classes a week, along with doing my instructor training. Any calories I took in didn’t have time to stick because I was always on the go! On the weekend of my instructor certification, I was down to 142 lbs. I still felt ‘heavy’ but knew that I was a million times healthier than I was even a few months ago.

Once I started teaching 5 classes a week, the weight still kept coming off but more slowly since I wasn’t having to do hours and hours of practice for my certification. Around January of 2013, I was at 135 lbs – 25 lbs down from my heaviest weight. Woot! It’s funny, but it wasn’t until this point that people began to notice the difference. Others could finally ‘tell’ that I had lost weight. And then they would ask how. Jazzercise was always my answer. 🙂

Through the summer of 2013 is when I got to my smallest: 119 lbs. That weigh-in was on a morning after a day of little eating due to multiple Jazzercise classes and work. So I kinda took it as a grain of salt. In reality, I think I was around a solid 120-122 during most of the summer when none of my clothes fit me anymore. It took very strict calorie counting to get down below 128 lbs…. Which makes sense about where I am right now with my weight.

Once the holidays hit late 2013 and I was training for my first half marathon, my calorie counting got pushed aside. Big time. When you run 30+ miles a week plus teach Jazzercise, it’s hard to control your appetite! Now that my last full marathon of the spring is down, it’s time to get back on track. Why you might ask? My pants from last summer are tight!! And buying new pants isn’t really fun! The 8-10 lbs I’ve put on has settled right around my hips. Nothing some veggies and calorie counting can’t handle. 🙂

I use the Sparkpeople app to log my daily calories and fitness minutes. I have it linked with my FitBit. And those 2 things work together to make me into one lean, mean weight losing machine!… At least let’s hope!

I have 2 more races I’m currently signed up for: the Go Girl Half Marathon in Springfield on April 19 & the Divas Half Marathon in Branson on May 4. I’m hoping since they are only half marathons instead of fulls, I shouldn’t have to carb load as much and derail my diet plans. Although 13.1 miles is a long enough race to carve out some room for a nice big post-race meal! I’m excited to feel completely recovered to get back to my normal training schedule to finish off these last 2 races of my spring season.

I, once again, slept in past my alarm this morning. So today’s workout will happen tonight at Jazzercise instead! Nick keeps telling me to take it easy and listen to my body. Well apparently my body wants to sleep more than go to the gym this week, so that’s what I’ve been doing! Next week, there’s no excuses though!!

I hope you all have a great weekend. I’m so excited to enjoy the beautiful weather!