Tag Archives: Running

Running and Fun Stuff

Oh, hi there.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written but I’ve been busy, so any downtime I have is blissfully spent doing nothing at all. Doing nothing is my third favorite thing to do (behind eating and sleeping) so here is all the not nothing that has been going on. Let’s start with the important stuff first:

I ran once!


Last weekend my running bud, Brad, texted me that he was fat and in desperate need of a run. I’m not training for anything (yet) but I agreed to meet up with him at 5:30am on a Saturday morning out of the goodness of my heart. Neither of us had run more than two miles in four months, so really it was a test of will. We set out to do 8 miles and turned around like big babies at 3.25 miles for a total of 6.5. It took us the same amount of time it usually takes us to do 8 miles, so we are definitely out of practice, but it was so good to catch up with Brad that I might agree to run again at some point before October when I need to start training again.

I went to Savannah for a girl’s weekend.


Every year, a bunch of girlfriends and I get together for a girl’s night out. It usually involves getting a hotel in downtown Orlando and going out on the town for the night, but this year someone had the bright idea to make a weekend out of it and go to Savannah. Savannah is hella hot. I know this is coming from an Orlando girl, but damn. No breeze. I was actually telling Cheyanne to hurry up and take the pic above because I was melting to death.

Surprisingly, twelve of us decided to go which is amazing since it required all of us to make a commitment and pay four months ahead of time. It’s a four hour drive from Orlando, so we carpooled in three cars. We rented a house downtown (the house was on top of a Pokestop!) and had the BEST time bar hopping, eating great food (the pimento cheese, omg), shopping, and sight seeing.






My favorite thing we did was a bar hopping 15-person bike ride through downtown Savannah. This is the bike.

Capture(1) (1)

All we had to do was pedal and drink. The steering and braking was done for us. We stopped at five bars in two hours and we wished the tour was four hours it was so freakin’ fun. Oh, and Savannah is open carry like Las Vegas or New Orleans so…yeah. We always had drinks in our hands.




Seriously, if you find yourself in Savannah, I highly recommend Savannah Pedals. It was non-stop laughing, singing, and drinking for two hours with some pretty fun tour guides. There was a great video that I wanted to post here of the ride but I can’t get it to save so I can upload it, so you’ll have to imagine all of us singing Apple Bottom Jeans and dancing in our seats while Michelle pulled on one of the poles like a stripper.

On our way out of town, Lisa and I stopped at the Bonaventure Historical Cemetery. Bonaventure is famous for having the Midnight of Good and Evil grave stone. Unfortunately, I learned while I was there that they moved the grave stone to a local museum because of the foot traffic on the grave and because tourists were vandalizing it. Ugh. People are a-holes. But the cemetery is still amazing.







The cemetery is so big, it’s easier to drive to see it all. It’s also still used today. We saw gravestones from the 1800’s and from 2014. We got there early and I’m glad we did because it was getting pretty crowded by the time we left at 10:00am.

I saw Gwen Stefani in concert. On a Tuesday.


I was not loving Wednesday at work but man, that was a great concert. She even did five No Doubt songs so it was like two concerts in one. I’m really good at losing my phone, so it makes sense that I left it in the bathroom at the concert. I realized it about 5 minutes later and went back to look for it and it was gone. Someone actually turned it in to lost and found so thank goodness for honest people. To the girl that found my phone and didn’t keep it – thank you.

Hubs and I finished season 1 of Stranger Things.

stranger things

If you haven’t heard of Stranger Things, it’s a new Netflix show that literally everyone has been recommending to me. It’s best described as “Stephen King meets The Goonies.” Anyway, I liked it but it did not live up to the hype for me. Everyone is talking about how terrifying it is and after I saw it, I wondered if we were watching the same show. It was not terrifying. Or maybe I am slow to terrify? Either way, I thought the acting was great (minus Winona’s over-acting), the music was great, and it was good enough to watch a second season. But I would not go so far to say that it was the “best show since Game of Thrones” like one of my friends did. Those are fightin’ words.

We also finished season 3 of Bojack Horseman.


If you are not watching that show, you NEED to. Do not be put off that is it a cartoon. It is funny as hell and touches on some really serious topics like mental health issues. I’m surprised a show like that can be so funny and so intense at the same time. It’s already been renewed for season 4 so, woo hoo!

And of course, some gratuitous bunny shots. (Pants has an instagram now if you are into things that are adorable.)



Alright, so that’s it for now. This weekend will be a blissful weekend of nothing and then I get a visit from my favorite Texan next weekend! That’s sure to be a shit show. She’s already asked me if we’ll be running while she’s here. <—- LOL, no, no we will not.


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Last Race of the Season

I finally ran my last race of the season – the Storm the Campus 10 miler at UCF (that’s where I’m going to school by the way).


Now I’m free at last!

For some reason the race wasn’t terrible like I thought it would be and I actually loved running through campus because I get all nostalgic about my time as an undergrad. Then I actually came in 5th in my age group which is as good as it’s going to get for me and “placing.” There were 23 in my age group, not 5 like most of you are probably wondering. I finished in 1:34:52, much faster than I expected and only three minutes slower than when I ran the race two years ago.


Of course, my running love was there as well so that makes every race better.


And we ran into several friends.



The one thing I was looking forward to most about this race is the medal. The race started three years ago and each year the medal has been a letter in “UCF.” So I proudly “earned that F.”


I did not run the race last year to get the C medal, however, and I’m OK with that. I got the important letters.


Now I can take a little long-distance running break. School is out in three weeks and then I’ll really have to figure out what to do with myself. So far, I have several concerts planned, tickets to MegaCon, a visit from DC Melissa (yay!), a girl’s weekend in Savannah, and a trip to San Diego to visit my mama. It’s shaping up to be a pretty good summer. 🙂



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Shark Bite Half Marathon

Sunday I ran the Shark Bite Half Marathon. Before I get to the race, I should mention that I kept with my pre-race tradition of drinking like a fish on Friday night (no pictures) and then eating a delicious burger for lunch on Saturday.


Mac and Cheese Burger from Hamburger Mary’s. Add bacon. Always add bacon.

Race morning started off a little choppy. We were having some nasty thunderstorms in Central Florida including tornado warnings. We got a notice the night prior from the race director that the race would start, even if it had to be postponed. And postponed it was. Every time I woke up, I had a new text from Michelle that basically told me to go back to bed.



Also, don’t send me funny pictures unless you want them to be your picture in my phone.

I finally woke up for real at 6:30 and met Michelle at her house by 7:30. Then we picked up her running friends and headed to New Smyrna Beach (about 45 minutes from Orlando). Parking was easy, but then again I wasn’t driving, so it was really easy for me. Once we arrived, we met up with a few co-workers who were also running the race and got our picture on.



The race finally started at 9:30. Thankfully temperatures were on the cooler side and the sky was overcast for most of the race, because it would have been miserable running until almost noon if it wasn’t.

The race was surprisingly great considering we got hit with pelting rain during the first mile and gusty wind for the entire race. I have never been so unaware of a race course in my life. Ninety percent of the time, I was running with my head down to keep my hat from flying off. So, like this:

Or moseying. I might be moseying there.

There were a few bridges we ran over that were like mini-tornados and I thought my bib was going to be ripped off my shirt. For miles 9 and 10, we ran into a crazy headwind that really slowed me down. But other than that, I ran a really consistent race and besides some tired legs, felt good the whole time.


My finish time was 2:11:26. Not a PR, but still 15 minutes faster than my last half so I’ll take it.

Overall, I thought the race was really well organized. The course was great (even with two bridges) and they had a giant medal that was so heavy that we all had to take it off because it was hurting our old lady/man necks.



I had a great time and definitely plan to run it again next year. And I don’t say that about a lot of races. Apparently the endorphins of this race have caused me to book a flight to Austin to run the 3M Half Marathon on Sunday with Melissa. So as long as my flight doesn’t keep getting delayed (ugh), I’ll be doing that.



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Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon

Let’s just get this out there: This race sucked for me and it kinda turned me off to running. It was half my fault and half mother nature’s fault, but still. It sucked.


So let’s talk about the day before the race. Around noon, I had my normal pre-race lunch of a cheeseburger and fries. Then I topped that off with a pumpkin pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen (omg, please eat one of those now. So good.). It was a meal that happiness was made of and it was all delicious and filling.

So. very. filling.

By 9:00pm that night, I still wasn’t hungry so I didn’t eat dinner. That wasn’t my best move. Usually I have a light/healthy dinner the night before a race but this time, I didn’t eat anything for probably 10 hours.

To add to that mistake, in an effort to not poop my pants during the race, I drank magnesium citrate the day before. I drank it before the Chicago Marathon too and it worked out fine, but I think the combination of the magnesium citrate and no dinner left me with no energy. I felt fine leading up to the race, but about a mile in, I knew the next 12 miles would be a shit show. (But not literally, thankfully.)

Now let’s place blame on things other than me. The weather was a hot and humid 70 degrees at the start. It was terrible racing weather but it could have been worse. I was really thankful that it was overcast the entire time.


The course had a ton of steady inclines and very little decline. Mile 12 was a giant, horrible bridge.


All of these things together made for a really miserable race. I walked a lot and even stopped for a few pictures, which I never do. (As opposed to taking pictures on the run and hoping they aren’t blurry at the end.)


The race namesake at Ponce Inlet. That was mile 6.

I finished in 2:27:32, my third worst time behind my first half and one I ran with Michelle when she was seven months pregnant.

The after party was great. They had four different kinds of beer and a buffet style breakfast with omelets, sausage, grits, fruit, etc. We got a choice of a sleeveless or sleeved shirts in our race packets and the medal was cute. I was really impressed since I don’t think I paid more than $55 to register, so I have to give props to Final Mile for knowing how to organize a race.

Overall, I just didn’t care for the course. Most of it was along the ocean that I couldn’t see because it was blocked by buildings. The parts I could see were beautiful and it wasn’t the worst course I’ve run, but not one that I’m dying to run again.

I had big plans to do chores and clean the rest of the day, but I managed only two things: a mimosa’ed lunch with hubs and then six straight episodes of Bates Motel, which I am now addicted to.


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Back to Running

So I mentioned that I was running again. I have a half marathon in three weeks and I’ve been training for about six weeks for it. I reunited with my running husband, Brad, and we’ve been running between 8-12 miles every Friday or Saturday depending on our schedules. I have to admit, it’s nice running on Friday before work. Sitting down for 8 hours is exactly what I want to do after running 12 miles, so it’s been working out nicely.

My runs have been slow but good. Well, mostly good. For five out of six of them, I’ve had poop during the run and there hasn’t always been a port-o-potty around if you know what I mean.

There was an “incident” at a government building behind a propane tank and then another behind some bushes with full floodlights on them. After the floodlight poop, Brad told me I need to up my game and poop in the street next. And then after that, I need to up my game even more and poop on the hood of a cop car. So our next run should be pretty interesting given my recent history and the fact that I’d hate to disappoint him.

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you probably know that I am a lover of the Camelbak. For shorter runs, I hold a water bottle (which I hate) mainly because there’s a lot less work to get out the door in the morning. But for everything else, I would use my regular Sports Authority-bought Camelbak.


(From Gasparilla a million years ago)

Over a year ago, Camelbak asked me if I wanted to try out their marathon vest and like, duh, of course I did.


(From the Chicago Marathon last year)

It’s not as pretty as my other Camelbak, but it has pockets in front to shove all my crap in, so I love it. I exclusively use the vest now. I usually have to throw it in the washing machine every other run and I keep the bladder in the freezer so it doesn’t get all nasty, but it’s so worth it.

Anyway, I’m telling you all this because I have not spoken to anyone from Camelbak in well over a year and have barely posted about running, so I was surprised when this arrived on my doorstep.


That’s the CamelBak Eddy.

First Clif Bar and now Camelbak. Whatever I’m doing to receive all these surprise goodies, I need to know what it is so I can keep doing it.

Anyway, I took the water bottle to work and realized that was a terrible idea. You have to bite on the nozzle to get water and it makes slurping noises. There are already enough annoying people at work. I don’t need to be one of them. But man, I love it for a treadmill run. I can take a sip while running and not spill it all over my shirt. So if you’re a treadmill runner or don’t mind holding things on runs, this is a great water bottle that helps you not drool all over yourself. I saw them on sale at Target but they seem to be a little cheaper on Amazon.

So, thanks to Camelbak for the nice surprise.

Oh, and Camelbak did not ask me to post that.

I do what I want

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’m going to Boulder, CO tomorrow for a couple days so that should be fun. I’ve never been there before so I hope there are a lot of boulders and the name doesn’t disappoint.





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A running update and a 10k

I haven’t been running much and by not much, I mean all the running I have been doing is about three miles tops on a nice air conditioned treadmill. So imagine my delight when Michelle signed me up for Suck it up Buttercup, a hilly 10k in the middle of summer, for my birthday. There aren’t many hills in Florida, but this race managed to find the ones we do have. So that’s what we did Sunday morning.

This was my first race in eight months. It was weird to be out there again. I’ve kinda lost that running magic and I was hoping this race might get some of it back.

We got there pretty early because we needed to pick up our race packets and because Michelle wanted to be in a group picture with some girls she’s been running cheating on me with. We parked with no problem and picked up our packets easily. Then we decided to hit the port-o-potty.

Disclaimer: Poop story ahead.

There was a big spot light on the port-o-potties, so I figured I didn’t need my cell phone flashlight when I went in. Only, the guy that was in there before me had put the lid down. I don’t know about you, but that is concerning to me. Who puts a port-o-potty lid down? And why? Are you hiding something? So I got out my cell for the flashlight because I was not in the mood for surprises. When I turned it on, the first thing I saw was a roach scurrying at my feet. I. hate. roaches. But, it hid in some crevice so I figured as long as it stayed there, I was cool. I did my potty thing including a delightful pre-race poop (I never get those). But, you know when your done going to the bathroom and you stand up and you think, “hmm, am I realllly done?” I had that thought, and as I decided to go for round two, my flashlight caught another roach walking on the toilet paper roll that I just used.

I was out of there.

I don’t even want to know if that roach was already on or in the TP roll when I used it. That effectively gave me the heebie-jeebies for the rest of the race. And incidentally, I didn’t have to go to the bathroom anymore, so there was that.

Anyway, the race itself was decent. It started 15 minutes late because the race director wasn’t there on time. By the time she arrived, she made an announcement that anyone could have made. So I’m not sure what the point was in the delay. The start was super annoying because there were a lot of walkers including women with strollers, small children, and dogs but it cleared up after about a half mile. The whole race was through hilly, residential neighborhoods that were less than scenic, but the after party was pretty cool (with Dunkin Donuts iced coffee and donut holes!) and the race seemed pretty well put together despite the late start. Plus, you get a cute little medal.

I finished in 1:04:48, seven minutes off my PR. My only goal was to run the whole thing without stopping, and I did that. I haven’t been running outside at all and it was humid and hilly as all get out, so the fact that I finished makes me happy. Free race pictures also make me happy.

Not the most flattering but it is what it is.

I am in need of some new running shoes. Big shocker. After my hip injury, I ditched all three pairs of my Mizuno Wave Rider 17s. Now I’m wearing an old pair of Brooks Cloddhopper 10’s. They are so freakin’ heavy but I have no hip pain when I wear them, so I’ve been sucking it up (buttercup). I’m looking for a neutral shoe, no more than 8.6 oz, with an 11-13mm drop. That is apparently the rare unicorn of running shoes.

My next race is the Lighthouse Loop half in October and I need to start training for that next month, so hopefully the running shoe fairy will visit me by then.





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A little running update

I’m back to running! It’s only a few times a week and a few miles at a time. Since I’m not training for anything, I don’t usually see the point in running over three miles. That is, until Thursday. I was listening to a new running playlist and three songs into it, I decided it would be fun to see if I could run the whole playlist without stopping and without skipping any songs.


Nothing like finding out you put an eight minute song on your playlist after you made the decision to run it. Also, I found that not all of those songs are great for running and I was not ready to have We R Who We R back in my life yet. So the run wasn’t easy but races aren’t always easy either, so we’ll call that training. For nothing. #trainingfornothing

The run was just over six miles which is twice the distance I’m used to and I didn’t have *any* hip pain afterwards. Usually I have at least a little stiffness. So I’m hoping my hip pain will be completely gone (and not just hover at 90%) in the next month or two and I’ll be back to using them as they are intended.

Veronica Mars

While we’re on the running subject, I registered for Best Damn Race Orlando again. My running bud has a $5 off code (Code: CRAZYRUN) if you want to run it too. I had to skip it this year because of my old lady hip, so hopefully next year I’ll actually run it. It’s not until March so my body has plenty of time to discover new injuries. I also want to run a half in October (maybe Lake Nona?), so that gives me a couple months until I have to start for-real running. I should probably start shopping for those non-hip-hating shoes now. Sigh.


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BDR is now TBD

Well, my hip pain is back and I think I found the culprit.


Those shoes have since been spit on, humiliated in public, and tossed in the fire.

I was wearing those when my hip pain first started. It was only a two mile run and because I didn’t know if I stepped wrong or it was the shoes, I stopped wearing them. Once my hip was better, I ran in my other shoes – the same model, just a different color. Everything was fine and I didn’t have any issues. A little over a week ago, I decided to run a short distance in the coral shoes to see how they felt. I ran three, extremely slow miles and felt good. I thought the pain was caused by my stepping wrong, which wasn’t out of the question because the tread looked fine and they have the lowest mileage of all my shoes.


I decided to wear the coral shoes for my 10-miler last Saturday instead of putting extra miles on my black race shoes. The first six miles were fine. The last four were not. I basically had to be dragged back to my car.


Since then, I’ve been back where I started. Last time, it took three weeks until I was able to run. I was two weeks from race day when the pain started again which means I’m not sure if I’m running Best Damn Race on Saturday. While it’s getting better (I only limp and notice pain sometimes instead of all the time), I’m not sure it’s getting better fast enough. I’m stretching, doing hip exercises, and taking ibuprofen but it just seems doubtful the race will happen.

Now I need new shoes that don’t hate my hip. I hate testing out new shoes because they never work out. But because I’m a glutton for punishment, I bought a new pair of Adidas Adios Boost to try.


I’ll buy black laces for those. White is so meh. I wore them to Crossfit on Friday and they’re pretty comfortable. I’m not sure if they’re good for long distance running though. I’ll test them out when I’m feeling better and if they don’t work, I’ll exchange them for something else. (Story of my life.)

There’s a race at the end of March I’m considering running especially if I can’t run BDR. Although, I’m really disheartened because my speed training was going SO WELL. I don’t really want to be out for three weeks, do a little bit of training, and then half-ass a race. Or run a race that has the potential to be really hot because…FLORIDA. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. In the meantime, feel free to diagnose my hip problem or tell me to stop whining.


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Stuff I Did to PR

All this marathon talk isn’t over. I have another one at the end of the month that I was way more jazzed about when I registered for it than I am now. So get ready for some more bitching, particularly about my shoulder because that issue hasn’t gone away. *cries*

With any big race or PR, I like to reflect on what I did differently during training so I have something to look back on. First, let me say that I know everyone trains differently. I read Michelle’s post on what she did to PR and thought, “no way that would work for me” but it worked for her and she got a massive PR. So I realize this is mostly for my benefit. Selfish post comin’ at cha.

Here’s what I did for an almost six minute PR:

I ran three days a week.

I ran three days a week for my last marathon too (one easy, one speed, one long) and it’s about all I can take. I barely have time to do my laundry much less increase my running so I kept it at three days. I also cut my Crossfit from three days to two days a week. One thing I will never do is completely cut strength training. I am a firm believer that is helps prevent injury.

I cut my training time.

Last time around, I trained for five months and was burned out six weeks before the marathon. This time, I trained for three months and started with a 10 mile base. I enjoyed my long runs so much more. I also ran two 20+ milers instead of three. I was worried it wasn’t enough at first, but it definitely was.

I walked every mile during long runs.

It’s nasty hot in Orlando. If I don’t walk, I’m not getting through a long run. So I walked between .10-.25 of every mile. The time on your feet is what’s important so I tried to kept that in mind when I saw how much those walks killed my pace. Some people have a hard time with the stop and go but I find that it gives me more energy.

I skipped runs and that was ok.

I missed a bunch of weekday runs and one or two long runs. Almost all of those were because of social plans. I used to stress out about skipping runs but this time around, I enjoyed the occasional break.

I kept up with speed training.

If I missed a weekday run, I made sure it was my easy run. I always tried to get speed work in. The first time around, I followed my running group’s speed work schedule. It was a lot of “2 x 4 x 400” or “2 x 1200 x 800 x 600 x 400” type runs which I think did absolutely nothing for me. This year, my speed runs were the same every time. I ran one slower warm-up mile and then 2-4 speed miles at the fastest pace I could without needing to stop, usually between 8:45 – 9:10 depending on how I was feeling. Consistent speed works much better for me.

That’s about it. Nothing really crazy in there. Of course, I also had that giant knot in my calf (must start stretching) that I got rid of with sports massages. I’m hoping my shoulder can make it through this next race because another 26 miles of that pain is not something I want to go through again. This next marathon should be interesting.

What’s your favorite PR strategy? How do I go about detaching my shoulder for this next race? Isn’t that selfish panda the cutest thing ever?

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Inaugural Lake Nona Half Marathon

I ran a half marathon today.

I registered for this race maybe six months ago and was going to use it as my first training run after Chicago. Seemed like a pretty good idea at the time, only I don’t really use races as training runs – I run them faster – and who knows how I was going to feel after Chicago. So in retrospect, not my best laid plan.

A lot of friends were running this race too and I love running with friends, so it wasn’t all bad.

Next to Michelle is one of our friends/co-workers, Keith, and to the right of him is Tyler. Tyler picked Michelle up at Best Damn Race and they’ve been running soul mates ever since.

The race took place in Lake Nona, which is about a half hour South of Orlando. Lake Nona is a cute little town and I’m sure there’s got to be a lake in it somewhere, but I didn’t see it. The race took place on a pretty, long, out and back road. It wasn’t scenic but it gets pretty points for having well maintained shrubbery in the median.

The race started at 6:00am. I don’t think I’ve ever run a race that started that early but I liked it because the first six or seven miles were in the dark. Plus, the weather was a perfect 61 degrees. This is the time of year when I don’t want to kick Florida in the junk. I will not miss you summer.

The race went a lot like Chicago: my legs felt great; I didn’t feel the need to walk; my shoulder started to hurt at mile 2; and the top of my left foot hurt. That foot thing I didn’t mention in the Chicago recap because I noticed it after the race, but it’s still hanging around. Maybe my shoes were laced too tight? I also had to poop from mile 6 on. (Didn’t think you’d get away from poop talk, did you?) I thought about stopping at a port-o-potty but then just decided to power through it. I got my first negative split ever because of it!

Poop makes you run faster. My colon just keeps on giving.

Those aren’t the prettiest of negative splits, but it’s the closest I’ll ever come to them. My Garmin crapped out in the first mile and I didn’t notice it until almost a mile in, so that’s why the mileage is off. My goal was to finish the race in under 2:15 (my Chicago half time) and I came in with 2:08:36, so I’m really happy with that.

After the race, we all hung out for a few hours and chatted and waited for Keith’s wife to finish.

Tyler got third in his age group with a PR, Keith PRed, and Katy hasn’t run more than 4 miles since August and still ran a sub-2:00. Let’s hate her together.

Overall, I had a great time. The race was well done and my only complaint is that there was no toilet paper in the port-o-potties after the race. I know, because I checked them all. Some nice lady gave me two of her Kleenex. I shall forever be grateful to the Kleenex lady.

I really enjoyed the race. It’s a great course for a PR, so I might be back to run this one again next year.



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