Race Recap: Turtle Trot 5K

This past Saturday I got to run one of my favorite races that I’ve probably already told you about here. The Turtle Trot 5K is a perfect race for me because I’m slow AF and turtles are fave. This was my 5th year running this beautiful course and, honestly, it wasn’t my best. I claimed my results on Athlinks and was able to compare my past races, which is a pretty cool thing that Athlinks can do! This race was just a couple of minutes under my slowest, but that’ all on me, y’all.

I haven’t been running or working out lately and I definitely felt it on Saturday. The last time I “ran” was probably sometime early last week and that’s just real bad. The end of the school year is already kicking my butt! I started out strong, staying close to my two friends that also signed up for the race. (Was missing my favorite running buddy, though!) We met up for a few minutes before at the start line because I’d stopped to go to the bathroom before the race started. The three of us went with matching shirts for the race and, yes, it was absolutely appropriate!

My first mile felt good, but too fast. It was humid and hot already, with an 8AM start time. I prefer my races to start earlier, especially if I’m racing in Florida. Which I always am. I finished the first mile in under twelve minutes and was feeling okay until I got to an incline. I run mostly on flat roads so, yes, little hills are hard! It’s also difficult when it’s been over a month since you’d ran, but I digress.

One thing I love about this course is that it really is so, so pretty! I love Florida and, while I’m not always a fan of nature, I do know how beautiful it can be.

It is also hot and full of bugs. Welcome to Florida.

I slowed down significantly on the other two miles. I tried to do intervals, but I was having major stomach cramps. That, on top of the heat, and the lukewarm water from the water stations was not a good mix for me! I decided to take it easy and just enjoy the view. Everyone around me or who passed me was drenched and breathing heavily. As the morning went on the humidity had really only managed to get worse.

As few times I saw some park goers on trail hikes wondering what in the world was going on and that’s always fun. It reminded me of park goers walking through the crowd of runners during the Star Wars half trying to get into Animal Kingdom. That was pretty hilarious. Anywho, like I said, this is one of my favorite races and I’m glad I took it easy and got some great pictures of Lovers Key. The trail is mostly shaded and hidden from the sun, but I’m still sporting a nice burn on my face right now.

 

4

 

Welp.

After I crossed the finish line I met up with my coworkers and we took some pictures in front of the water and grabbed our snacks. The finish line is probably a half a mile from the parking lot, so we still had some walking to do. I was definitely missing my run buddy for this one and I know she would have pushed me for a better time. Plus, we were planning on twinning, and that’s always fun!

They said “do something weird” but I’m already super weird, so there’s that.

Turtle Running Team!

The only thing I dislike about this race is there are no medals. Man, I love bling. BUT – the proceeds of the race go to the park and I can’t complain about that. If you’re in the Southwest Florida area, you should definitely check this race out next year.

What’s a race you always do? 

Race Recap: Girls on the Run 5K – Spring Season

This weekend my second season of Girls on the Run finished off with a fun-filled 5K!

We started our season in February with twelve girls from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade and at least half of them were returning from our fall season! If you don’t know, Girls on the Run is a program for girls between the ages of 8-12 that teaches them about positive body image, friendship, and community service. It’s an amazing program that we were able to bring to our school at the beginning of the year and I’m so glad I get to be a part of it.

We finished up our season with a community impact project, that involved our girls cleaning up during lunch duty for some of our younger grades. They chose to bring our project to school and to help out our custodians during the busy lunch waves. The girls loved taking part in the cleanup of school and even created a video after to thank our custodians. Girls on the Run girls are so amazing!

During our last practice we decorated our 5K shirts. A parent graciously volunteered to put all of girls’ names on their shirts as well as our school logo in beautiful sparkly pink. The girls were thrilled with their upgraded shirts and you could just tell they were excited for our race.

The race started early, as most races in Florida should, because it’s starting to get warmer here. We got to the venue around 7AM with our girls, their families, and their running buddies. Each girl is assigned a running buddy. The buddy is an adult they can choose to run with. It can be a family member, older sibling, teacher, or coach. Each of us three coaches had a buddy to run with and we were also lucky enough to recruit some of our fellow teachers for the race too.

Girls on the Run does an amazing job of basically throwing a party for the girls. There was a hair station, manicure station, as well as crafts, tattoos, and a place to bling out your bib. The girls had a great time pre-race and didn’t seem to have any nerves at all!

 

Blinging our bibs!

 

Everyone and their buddies!

We took our group pictures and got ready to get to the starting line. Our group ended up being closest to the start line (not something I ever do), but the girls were still having a great time. Some of our new girls starting to share their nerves, but our veterans were quick to reassure them that everything was going to be fine!

Once we started the girls and the buddies split up. Each of the girls learned to run at their own pace so they were prepared to not run with each other like they’d been during practices.

The morning was definitely warm and there wasn’t much cover on the first part of the course. My running buddy and I started out strong, but started to slow down after about the first mile. We try to tell the girls to pace themselves, but it doesn’t always work! The heat also didn’t help, but we were able to see all of our teammates on the course and cheer for them as we passed by.

My buddy standing strong at mile one!

We caught up with some teammates after mile two and ran the rest of the way with them. It was slow going, but our girls were having fun with each other and we were having fun cheering for them and embarrassing them like good buddies and coaches do. When the finish line came into view, we could hear everyone cheering and our girls recognized their families, too. At one point my buddy said “I wish my mom would stop yelling!”

Crossing the finish line with the girls was a lot of fun. All of their friends were waiting for the at the finish line and they were thrilled to finally finished. After the finish we took our group pictures, sweaty hugs, and parted ways. It’s so amazing to see how the program brings girls and their families together, as well as giving the girls new friends. They hugged and laughed and took pictures and just had fun. We coaches loved celebrating the girls and their accomplishments. GOTR is such a fun program and I’m so glad I get to be part of it.

Race Recap: Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon

Here at Scoot we try to keep to a posting schedule of M/W/F but sometimes people (me) are tired (always) and forget (a lot) and don’t do what they are supposed to do (oops). I’m going to blame it on the 2:45AM runDisney wake-up call and leave it at that.

A few months ago I decided to sign up for the Star Wars race because it’s the only runDisney course I haven’t done yet. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan (shhh…) but I did watch all of the movies last summer just in time for The Last Jedi and all that. I started planning my outfit early on in the game because when it comes to runDisney the outfit is important! I decided on BB8 because he’s cute and sassy, then I paired it with my favorite Skirt Sports skirt, the Jette in Temper Tantrum.

 

My family and I went up Friday after school since it would still give me Saturday to pick up my packet and do some park hopping. Being an Annual Passholder definitely comes in handy during race time! We stayed at All-Star Movies because, while I don’t have a problem driving, I’d rather not be responsible for my own transportation at 3:30 in the morning.

On Saturday I talked my family into getting up early for Extra Magic Hours in Animal Kingdom. I’ve only ridden Pandora’s Flight of Passage once and I was hoping we’d get to do it, but no dice. We did get to ride a few things (including a solo Everest trip because no one else would ride it with me), and then we headed to the expo. After picking up my bib I made my sister take a ton of pictures of me in front of some signs that were basically the same because I need choices of what I want to post. She’s always a good sport, though. After I dropped my stuff off at the hotel we headed to Magic Kingdom for some FastPass+ usage and, obviously, snacks.

I filled up on pasta at the hotel and turned in early that night. Sleep doesn’t come easily the night before a race, not because I have race anxiety, but more because I’m afraid I’m going to miss my alarm and be out a bunch of money. All of the race transportation signs suggested being at the bus by 3:30. I’d even asked the cashier at the dining area if they would be open early for runners and she told me they opened at 6:30, which is not early for runners. Thankfully we had a coffee maker in our room, otherwise the morning would have been difficult. Friday I’d had breakfast delivered to school and ordered an extra bagel and peanut butter because those are race day foods and not normally something I have at home. So I got on the bus with my coffee and bagel at 3:30AM for a run with a few thousand friends.

The start line was in the Magic Kingdom parking lot and the party was already hopping by the time my bus arrived. I love the energy of a runDisney race and this one was no different. I sat and ate my breakfast and watched everyone go by in their outfits and costumes, loving all of it! I am not one who can run in more than a tank and skirt, but I think it’s so cool when people go all out for themed races. Eventually we made our way to our start corrals and, of course, the bathrooms.

My corral was pretty full by the time I got there, so I stretched and started my book I picked for the race. I wanted something I loved to keep me occupied, so a friend hooked me up with The Raven Boys (yes, this is the fourth time I’ve read/listened to it now) on Audible since it wasn’t available at the library and I had my trusty AfterShokz Trekz Airs with me. I’ve never run such a long distance alone and was feeling pretty nervous about it, so I needed to have some friends with me. My friends are the characters in the book, okay? I’m a weirdo, don’t act like you didn’t know that already.

Soon enough, our corral was off and by a half a mile in I was sweating. It was unreasonably warm for an early morning jog, but we all persisted! The course for this race was different than what I’d ran before with Disney, so I was excited to see new things! Since the race is a “Rival Run” there were a few different spots with laser lights and pyrotechnics portraying both the Light and Dark side. I ran with the Light side, which I think I picked, but I just can’t remember.

I didn’t really have a goal for this race other than to finish and not get sick or hurt myself, so when the opportunity came for some fun PhotoPass ops, I definitely took it. One thing I love about being a passholder is the free pictures, and with your race bib you don’t have to worry about having someone take a picture with your sweaty phone! I stopped a few times at the character spots and tried to hit all of the photographers on the course as well.

Once we entered the parks it seemed like everything just kind of sped up. The first park we ran through was Animal Kingdom, and it was amazing! We got to run through Pandora before it was fully light out and everything was beautiful. I love that Disney cast members are out on the course celebrating you, even though I’m sure they have to be there. It’s nice to have spectators when you’re sweating your face off at 7AM.

After Animal Kingdom we headed into the back of Hollywood Studios with a pass by Tower of Terror and up Sunset Boulevard to Hollywood Boulevard, then out of the park. There were already guest in Hollywood Studios, so that was fun! I think a lot of people book vacations not realizing that races are happening and then just happen to see a few thousand people running through the parks. It’s always a good time.

As we headed out of Hollywood Studios and to the boardwalk the course got narrow, so there wasn’t a lot of running going on, but we were all still keeping a decent pace. Not a fast pace, though. Just…decent. Of course, the boardwalk means that race is coming to and end because it takes us straight into the United Kingdom in EPCOT and you know what that means? FINISH LINE!

I tweeted Mer a sweaty selfie with BB8 at Mile 11.

Once we got into EPCOT it felt like life was a breeze! There were a lot of guests already making their way around the park, which is fine by me. I like to think of them as our fans! I also love the PhotoPass pics in EPCOT, especially in front of Spaceship Earth. One of my favorite things to do is to tell my fellow runners to “run and smile” when I see those green tents.

As we rounded the final corner into the finish line there was definitely a crowd waiting and making noise. I was still feeling pretty great because I hadn’t taken it easy, but I also hadn’t pushed myself too hard. The weather was definitely warm, but runDisney does well with keeping us hydrated. I also took some Tylenol at mile ten, so life was pretty great! I also got a decent finish line photo which has NEVER happened for me at a runDisney race and I was really excited to see how it came out.

After I crossed the finish I grabbed my medal, snack box, and “I Did It” picture, then hopped on a bus back to my hotel. I talked to a few people out of the course about Skirt Sports and even gave my discount code (SSA101Ash)  to someone and managed to make a couple of friends on the bus ride there and back. This is a big deal for me as I am a socially awkward turtle and do not like talking to strangers.

Snaaaaaaaacks!

At the hotel I grabbed coffee and some doughnut holes because I was starving, then took a quick shower. My sister and I headed back to Hollywood Studios so I could take some Star Wars themed pictures with my medal, but what really happened was that I bought an alcoholic beverage to drink while standing in line for Star Tours only there was no line so I had to chug it.

When your Disney beer costs $9 you drink all of it.

After Star Tours we stood in line for me to get a picture with the adorable BB8, who was happy to hear I ran for the Light side.

We took a quick trip to EPCOT after that, but it was boiling hot and I had been up since 2:45AM and still had a long drive home to the cats.

My first “Solo” half marathon was fun and not as nerve-wracking as I expected it to be. A lot of that probably has to do with it being a Disney race, however, and not something small or random. I always feel at home at Disney, as cheesy as that sounds! This was a great course and I’m glad I got to try it out. I might even return one day.

Until next time…may the course be with you.

Road Tested: AfterShokz Trekz Air

Disclaimer: I received an AfterShokz Trekz Airs to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I cannot tell you how excited I was to receive a pair of AfterShokz Trekz Airs to try out! I love BibRave and the chance to get to try out new (to me) products. The search for the perfect headphones has been on for years it feels like. Once I discovered Bluetooth and wireless headphones the game changed, but there is always something that just isn’t right about them.

This case is awesome! I’ve been carrying them around for days!

When I first slipped on the Trekz Airs I noticed how light and comfy they fit. I was worried they would be too big and had considered purchasing the mini, but these are perfect! They are smooth, lightweight, and form-fitting, but not too tight.

While I don’t quite understand the science of it all, I was definitely a little skeptical about not having a headphone that actually goes in the ear. I am, however, a fan. A huge fan! I played around with these for a few days just wearing them around the house while listening to books and doing housework. A couple of times, on my Target or grocery runs, I grabbed my Trekz Airs and wore them around the store! I’m a bit of a socially anxious person and having something occupy my mind but still allow me to hear my surroundings was a huge help.

I’ve been running, working out, and listening to my favorite series with these babies. I’m impressed!

I did manage to take these babies to more than just the grocery store, though! A couple of runs and workouts later and I’m totally a believer. These headphones are no-slip and sturdy, but the most important thing is that they allow you situational awareness. I feel safe running around my neighborhood, but a recent jaunt around the park really brought a lot of things to my attention. I could hear everything! From cyclists to fellow runners to every little lizard scuttling around on the ground. Oh, and squirrels!

I could hear…Every. Single. Critter.

AfterShokz has done a great job with this product and I’m thankful I got to try it out. The search for the perfect headphones is over! Check out AfterShokz and use the code “BRBUNDLE” for $50 off!

Race Recap: Miami’s 305 Half Marathon, Part Two

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 305 Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Earlier this year I was looking into races to prep for my season. I say “season” like I separate running into different parts of the year, but I really just like to have a race every month. It’s fun to earn bling each month, don’t you think?

So. I didn’t have anything for March and had my eye on a BibRave race for awhile. I texted Mer to get some ideas on how to sign up, as I’d only done other campaigns with BR, not races and that kind of got the ball rolling for this. Mer said in her post that she didn’t think I was invited her well, jokes on her because it’s fun to talk people into running races with you. Really, though. I was worried about running a half on my own and was super relieved when Mer said she was thinking about joining.

After I signed up (using the super user friendly Athlinks), I started with some light training. As you know, my goal is to love running again so I’d been going out and having some fun on my own without having a goal or something to work for. I did pretty well with training for this race because I ran a 15k the weekend before and just considered it my last training run.

When race weekend came, everything still felt too laid back, if that makes sense. I wasn’t worried about running or PRing or anything. I got up on Saturday morning and went through some of my weekend routine before heading over to the east coast. It’s about a two and a half hour drive for me so I sort of took my time. I was excited to spend some time with Mer because it had been a couple of years since we’d seen each other. I was also excited because we’d be in a condo and not sleeping in a van together.

I got to the other coast in the early afternoon, so Mer and I hung out and then went for dinner and ice cream. Carb-loading is a real thing, okay?

Since we had a drive in the morning, bedtime was an early one. My anxiety usually kicks in the night before a race, so I didn’t get a lot of sleep. When the alarms started going on at 3:30 I tried to deny it. We got dressed quickly and made our way. We still had to pick up our bibs and that turned out to be no problem. There was even a little coffee cart for me to visit because I don’t function well without, to be honest. Soon enough, we had found our place.

I was feeling great when we started. As a native Floridian, this is the type of weather I’m used to. It was nice and cool…and then the sun came up. It definitely got warm, but thankfully the course had a nice breeze and plenty of places with shade. I mean, there were also BRIDGES, but I digress. The race was well organized and a lot of fun, too. I’m used to Florida, but sometimes it’s just really pretty to me. I love the ocean, palm trees, and all kinds of random things you might find along the way. The course was great because it showed some beautiful sights and the little quirks of Miami, too!

Aid stations were at every mile along with porta-potties and everyone stayed well hydrated. There were a few DJs out with music, which was great since Mer and I didn’t run with headphones. The best part, to me, was that even though we are kind of the “back of the pack” runners, there were still police officers at every intersection and they kept the roads closed for runners. I know it probably takes a lot to do that, especially in a city as big as Miami, but it was much appreciated.

It was pretty warm by the time we reached the finish and it felt like we were never going to get there! They even announced our names (though pronounced mine wrong) and said that we were part of BibRave, which was cool. The after party was hopping when we finally made it there. I got some free shaved ice and had a tasty croissant, which hit the spot pretty well.

And then I carb-loaded again.

Free race photos were an absolute plus and I was so stoked that they turned out so well! I feel like I always struggle with pictures that I have no control and these turned out cute! (Very Instagrammable!)

This was a great race and I’m glad I got to share it with Mer. When’s our next one?

 

Race Recap: Gasparilla 15K

ARRRRGGGGGHH YA READY TO READ ABOUT A FUN RACE?!

Yes? Well! Look no further than right here, okay?

This weekend my friend Michelle and I ran the Gasparilla 15K in Tampa, which is part of a weekend of races, actually! The Publix and Michelob (helloooo food and beer) sponsored race weekend consists of a 5K, 8K, 15K, and half marathon. Michelle and I ran the 15K in 2017 and thought we’d come back this year, too. Last year we ran the runDisney Princess Half Marathon, but my wallet can’t runDisney every year, you know what I mean?

Since we’re only a couple of hours south of Tampa, we left Friday after work. Michelle and I are both teachers and, even though I only worked three days last week, I was pretty tired. Traffic, of course, is horrendous. Seriously, people. Don’t come to Florida, we’re full. Our two hour drive took us about three hours because we wanted to get to the expo for packet pickup and avoid it in the morning.

The expo was still going pretty strong when we got there, so we picked up some fuel and I finally got myself a pair of Oofos that I’d been wanting since Chicago. After we picked up our packets we searched out some food and finally made it to our hotel. A trip with the two of us is always an adventure, because we’re both a little directionally challenged, so there were a few u-turns involved. Traffic in Tampa is scary.

Race morning started out smoothly. I’d decided on a Skirt Sports outfit of shorts and a tank top and it ended up being perfect for the weather. There wasn’t too much traffic and we made it to a parking lot with plenty of time to spare. It’s always my fear that I’m going to be late for a race or oversleep, but it hasn’t happened yet! I mean, fingers crossed.

The streets were already packed when we got to the start line and things were a little confusing. The last time we ran this race we were confused then as well. A lot of runners weren’t sure where to go and ended up in different corrals from what we could see. We ended up in the right one, however. You know, the not fast one?

We started off the race at a fast pace than normal by complete accident. We were actually right in with an 11:00 pace group and, yeah, no. I mean, it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t easy. The day was supposed to be hot and humid so I knew I wanted to take it easy.

At about mile 2, a band was handing out beads which I happily took, and also ditched a few miles later because running with beads is annoying.

There were water stops as well as sprinklers at every mile, which was a huge plus. The weather was unseasonably warm for February, as it usually is in Florida. It’s just how we do things. We stayed strong though, with a decent pace even when we stopped to take pictures of the sunrise or pirates hanging out on people’s balconies.

The race is a straight shot down Bayshore Avenue with a turn around, so you get the same view both ways. It’s still a great view of the water. You also get the same porta-potties both ways and that’s kind of gross. Toward the end they started handing out Gatorade as well as water to keep runners hydrated. I stuck with water as my stomach always seems to revolt on me when I’m running and drinking things.

The last time we ran, there were some spectators handing out donuts. That didn’t happen this time and it was a little disappointing as I am always hungry. 🙂

I definitely started to slow down around mile 7, but Michelle kept pushing me. It had gotten really hot and we’d both tried to roll up our shirts for any kind of air flow. Seeing that final sign was like winning the lottery, even if we still had a little ways to go.

At the finish they gave everyone a cold towel, bottle of water, and medal, of course. Then we were ushered through the recovery stations which was basically just snacks. Don’t worry, I picked up a lot of them.

Shout out to Skirt Sports for the pockets!

We also realized we PRd the course by a couple of minutes, so we got our picture taken with a Jack Sparrow look-a-like and each of us rang the bell before heading to the after party for free beer and to sit around with some other smelly people.

After a little recovery we went on the adventure of remember where the car was parked in the daylight and made it back to our hotel to shower and change. Originally we were thinking of things to do in Tampa since we were already there, but since temps were practically boiling we just ate brunch and hung out for a few at the mall, like the cool kids do.

Gasparilla is a fun and beautiful course that I definitely recommend. It’s an affordable race and they put on a great party. I hope you check it out one year!

Kindness Counts

Yesterday was National Random Acts of Kindness day and, while it’s nice to have a day devoted to kindness, it’s truly something we should celebrate every day!

I love the thought of a random act of kindness and have been on the giving and receiving end of many of them. My favorite thing about doing them is seeing how happy it makes the other person. Whether it’s a small gift, buying a cup of coffee, or just a simple compliment. I like to do them anonymously, because recognition makes me uncomfortable (helloooo social anxiety), but there are sometimes when you just have to tell the other person!

While it’s nice to perform those random acts for people, either strangers or friends, it’s also so important to be kind to yourself. Last week our Girls on the Run lesson was about overcoming negative self-talk and knowing how to turn those conversations with yourself around. The girls did a great job with listing their own negative phrases, but also with knowing what to say instead of the negativity. It’s really cool to see them work through the process and help each other out to say nice things.

Yesterday I was on a long training run with my running buddy (and GOTR co-coach this season) and we were talking about this very thing. We were at the end of eight miles and it had been a really great run. Our run interval pace was fast and we were doing minimal walking. Both of us have different half marathons coming up, but are training together. Honestly, I would not be getting this runs in if I didn’t have the support.

We were discussing the lesson and how well the girls did and I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of it all because I had just been complaining about something about my body. I’m sure it was how my thighs make it hard to wear pants and jeans or how my legs were feeling very heavy as wear neared our finish. Either way, I was there, a 35-year-old girl, telling myself that negative self-talk.

It’s hard to be kind to ourselves, isn’t it?

There are a lot of different ways to be kind to us, I think. I try my best to eat healthy and workout because when I look good I feel good. I’m sure many people think that’s a superficial thing to say, but it’s just a mentality that I have that’s hard to get away from. It’s not about being the skinniest or most tone. I want to look good for me (this package of Peanut Butter M&Ms sitting next to me are not helping, BTW), and that’s important to me. I struggle with that a lot, and sometimes I have to take a step back and think “Okay. Today wasn’t great. You’ll do better tomorrow”.

That’s where my kindness to myself comes in. I do a lot of different things, too. If work is overwhelming I take a break. If running isn’t working out, I do something different to keep my body moving or I research. Last summer when I was training (and struggling) for Chicago I read some articles and reached out to friends to help me.

A lot of the times I find that when I can’t be kind to myself, others are there to do it for me. I’m grateful for those kind words and those kind people. I try to be one of them, even if it doesn’t always work out.

Hopefully when you do those random acts of kindness you include yourself. I know I’m going to try.

Has anyone ever impacted you with a kind act? 

Press Pause

It’s Friday! I know for some people who don’t only work during the weekday or who have kids who are busy, that doesn’t really mean anything. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to relax over the weekend and take some time for yourself. A few weeks ago (I think?) I posted some “self-care” ideas, so I’m going to try not to write the same thing here. Of course, it’s Thursday night and I’m kind of tired, so…

Okay, but really. How often is it that we get to press pause on our everyday, busy lives? Never, right? The school year is always busy and with Girls on the Run and my other school duties, it gets hard. Granted, I don’t have kids, so it’s a little easier for me to take some time during the weekend for myself. There are so many things that can happen during the week to bring us down or set us off, so it’s important to decompress every now and then.

A lot of people have their own ways to celebrate me time. If you know anything about me, you know that I’m an avid reader and any time I’m alone I’m usually reading. Or binge watching TV shows. That’s it. That’s my me time.

Kidding. A little. One thing that I wanted to focus on this year was journaling as a way to jot down ideas and feelings. It is (every year) a goal of mine to read my Bible and journal with it. It’s a goal every year because it’s one I struggle with. This is definitely a way to get in time by myself, but it’s not something I love to do. I know that sounds terrible, but I’m a work in progress.

Sometimes taking that time to yourself might make you feel selfish, and I think that’s okay. Maybe it shows that you care about things more, I don’t know? I know I feel guilty about binge watching television all day if I have papers to grade. BUT – it’s important to separate yourself from your work or whatever stresses you out.

Sometimes fitness helps, when I’m not doing it to train. Before I decided to sign up for marathons I would just come home from work and run. I used to love seeing how fast and far I could go within those first couple of years of running. Often times, though, it’s the fitness or training I need a break from. That’s where the lazing comes into play.

During the summer I like to spend my days at the beach. Oh, who am I kidding, I live in Florida and go to the beach year round. The beach is peaceful for me and I know a lot of people find their peace in nature. Something about the great vastness that helps us escape.

There are so many ways to unwind or decompress and these are a few of mine.

What are some of yours?

PS – Oh, and sleep. I friggin’ love me some sleep.

Back at it Again

Disclaimer: I received free entry to 305 Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Look, I’ve been watching fellow athletes killing it on social media this week with their runs in the frozen tundra or wherever they are from and I commend them. Me? I don’t like to run if it’s under 60 degrees because that’s just not Florida weather, y’all. I ran yesterday and my fingers just about froze. Good thing I don’t really need them for running!

I’m slowly trying to get back into the training process (mostly because I’m running a half marathon with Mer and I don’t want it to be bad!) but also because it goes with some of my new year’s goals. It’s been a process, but I’m getting into some workouts and making sure I’m running a few times a week. This weekend my run buddy and I were supposed to do six miles, but there was a 100% percent chance of rain on Sunday so I stayed on the couch and reread some of the The Raven Cycle series. (My buddy did a treadmill run. She’s more awesome than I.)

I don’t have a gym membership, mostly because I waste the money, not because the gym is a waste of money. When I did have a membership I never went, so we have a little setup in our garage that works out well. Also, I don’t feel self-conscious when no one is watching me struggle to do push-ups.

This will be my first time running the 305 Half Marathon and I’m really excited about it! It was also super easy to sign up through Athlinks! The course looks amazing and, being the Floridian I am, I love the beach. The race starts on Ocean Drive and ends on South Beach and is full of Miami flair, so I can imagine it’s going to be like one big, sweaty party.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve done a half marathon and I’m over my Chicago burnout, so I’m ready to do this! Mer said we’re hoping for PRs so, hey, let’s get a PR. (Or maybe just have a lot of fun!)

You can use the code BIBRAVE305 and take $10 off the half or $5 off the 5K!

Where do you like to workout? 

Race Recap – Run to Home Base 5K

Last Saturday I ran my first race of the year, as I posted in my races for the new year. It was a 5K benefiting the Run to Home Base organization that helps veterans and their families. From what I’ve read about this program, it’s based out of Boston, which is why there is a Florida race – at the Red Sox Spring Training center! JetBlue Park is a fairly new facility (I don’t know, I’m not big on sportsballs) and is kind of surrounded by a school and some office buildings. Not the best scenery to run in, but it was still nice.

My alarm went off on Saturday morning and I was immediately exhausted. I never sleep the night before any race, so this one was no different. I had coffee and oatmeal for breakfast, but took some water for my drive since I was pretty sure hydrating at happy hour the night before wasn’t going to be good enough. I was very right about that.

I got the field early for packet pick-up since I wasn’t able to do so the night before and I live about thirty minutes from the park. It was a cold morning, meaning it was less than 60 degrees. I’d chosen my Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris and a Captain America tank (because heroes), but I also left the house with two jackets on over my tank because, hello, I’m a born and raised Floridian and I’m cold.

After I picked up my packet I warmed up in the car and listened to one of the books of The Raven Cycle that I had been listening to (hey, read these books). Opening ceremonies were held before the race with different speakers inside the stadium.

 

 

It was truly a beautiful morning, perfect for a little race! The start was late. Well, later than scheduled but I got off to a pretty strong start. I’d ran a couple of races since Chicago but nothing too intense. I felt like starting the year with a race and having a few more planned for the year would help with me wanting to train and run more. I had a solid 11:00 mile for the first mile, which is pretty much my best mileage, haha. I’ve got little legs and they just don’t go very fast sometimes, but I was really happy with that time! Once I hit the mile mark I started to feel a little dehydrated and stopped for water. I took some walk breaks after the first mile, so my time definitely suffered.

Sometimes it is so apparent how your diet plays into your performance. I ate terribly the night before, even though I knew I had a race, and I definitely suffered after my first glorious mile. On my walk breaks I texted with Michelle because she was out on a little training run, too. It had started to warm up and I was absolutely regretting eating ice cream the night before!

This summer when I was training for Chicago and struggling I started listening to books instead of music, so that helped me stay focused on the task at hand. The race was small, but there was never really a lag in the crowd where I wasn’t alone.  The course was nice and shady and by the time we’d looped around to come back to the stadium I didn’t even realize we were almost finished!

Coming into the stadium was fun. As much as I’m not a huge sports fan, I still like to see cool stuff. We came in behind second base and ran up the length to third to the finish line. There were cameras there so I put on my best “I’m not dying, I’m having a great time!” smile and prepared to cross the finish.

 

I love free race photos!

My overall time wasn’t my best 5K, but I was still pretty proud of myself for getting out there on a Saturday after a long week of wrangling children. After we crossed the finish line we had a chance to take a picture running over home plate. It happened quickly and mine turned out pretty cheesy! I’m not even close to home plate in it and I just look silly.

Since I ran alone I asked a random girl to take my picture after and a stranger made a comment about it being a “Facebook/Instagram post” which it, of course, was. That comment kind of put a damper on my whole experience because it felt so negative about sharing your accomplishments. Sure, people don’t have to know every little thing you do, but I had a lot of people text and ask me how my race went. There are so many people that have been part of my “learning to be an athlete” journey and I love to share my wins. I posted it, of course, but then took to Twitter to complain, as one does. We should be proud of every little accomplishment, from marathons to 5Ks to getting out of bed in the morning. Heck, I know I’m always trying to do better with that last one.

Yeah, I posted on Instagram, so what?

Have you done any races to far this year? I’d love to hear about them!