Star Wars Half Marathon picture pages

A week back from Anaheim, I am again itching for SoCal’s summerlike weather, delicious food treats and fabulous friends.

I ran the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland last week and – to my surprise – ran like I was being chased by imperial fighters. Swift feet and a fast course took me to a new PR at 1:55. The weather was perfect and I was thrilled. Here’s my race recap on my work blog.

The weekend was about so much more than running, as I went to Anaheim to spend a few days with friends. We laughed, we ate (everything) and had an incredible time.

So here’s a virtual photo album of my trip:

SW3The course was strong with this one. My medal at the finish line of the half marathon. I wore it at the park Sunday night and someone actually offered to buy it from me. I declined, but curiosity has me wondering how much the fan would’ve offered.

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We went to the Wookiee Welcome Party in Tomorrowland Thursday night. The event featured amazing desserts (like these-I ate them all and then some), drinks and a meet-and-greet with many Star Wars characters.

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CHARACTERS!

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We also rode a few popular rides – sans any lines. Plus this was my first time on Disneyland’s Space Mountain. I went on a few rides for the first time on this trip – the Paradise Pier coaster, DCA Tower of Terror and Mickey’s Fun Wheel all included. I still haven’t recovered from that last one.

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Heather and I spent much of Friday in and around the parks thanks to extra magic hours.

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4 1/4 friends! We met up with Laurie, Anya and their handsome little guy Finley!

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Of course we got Minnie ears. Pluto dug them.

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I spent a few hours working at the PRO Compression booth at the expo. Loved chatting with so many runners!

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Saturday brought the Star Wars 10K and I watched the winner cross the finish line! Way to go Jacob!

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Imperial motivators

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Spent some time with these lovelies – Dani and Linzie

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I stopped for a few pics mid-run and this one with Boba Fett was one of my faves! I’ve got my awesome Sparkle Athletic skirt and tank on, with an Oiselle base layer and PRO socks.

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A stunning sunrise stopped me mid-stride on the streets of Anaheim.

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After our run, we went out to celebrate at Club 33.

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This pic of Cam says it all! We had a blast together all weekend long!

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The gang’s all here – from left Cam, Heather, me, Jillian and Mike. Happy racing everyone!

Cam and Heather both ran the half – and Cam PRed! Click here for her recap.

Did you attend the Star Wars half weekend? What was your favorite part of the course? What did you like best about the weekend? What would you change? Tell me in the comments!

On the Boardwalk, Out in the Sun

A half marathon with a dash of pageantry, Starbucks, and shenanigans. This is the Atlantic City April Fools Half Marathon, in pictures.

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Miss Demeanor, Miss Chief, Miss Print, Miss Behavin', Miss Fit, Miss Creant, Miss Placed

Hands on hips, smiles on lips. Miss Demeanor, Miss Chief, Miss Print, Miss Behavin’, Miss Fit, Miss Creant, Miss Placed (not pictured – Miss Ing)

Anne and Bec

Anne and Bec

Vic and Brooke show off their pageant waves.

Vic and Brooke show off their pageant waves.

"Oh, we have to run? We thought we were here just to look pretty."

“Oh, we have to run? We thought we were here just to look pretty.”

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And they're off!

And they’re off!

Selfies were texted.

Selfies were texted.

Who loves running? THIS GIRL.

Who loves running? THIS GIRL.

Blue skies! #blessed

Blue skies! #blessed

Meanwhile... in Starbucks and Shenanigans news, Bec and Jess were chatting.

Meanwhile… in Starbucks and Shenanigans news, Bec and Jess (Miss Ing) were chatting.

Mer bringing it back to the old school.

Mer bringing it back to the old school.

Cam putting the "fool" in April Fools.

Cam putting the “fool” in April Fools.

Anne finishing strong! (And then she ate 47 oranges.)

Anne finishing strong!

In true Atlantic City fashion, Cam's crowning was VERY dramatic.

In true Atlantic City fashion, Cam’s crowning was VERY dramatic.

Cam and Jess have an "in person" Chick Chat.

Cam and Jess have an “in person” Chick Chat.

There would be more words with this post, however... wine.

There would be more words with this post, however… wine.

What did YOU do this weekend? Did you win a crown? What would your pageant name be?

Guest Post: Mermaid Run in San Francisco

Last fall, I participated in my fourth Mermaid Run in San Francisco, which is hands-down my favorite event of the year for many reasons.

First off, the 2010 Mermaid Run was my first-ever 10k. The race takes place in my favorite American city, the course is stunning and the weather is perfect for running. The event has a small(ish) participant field and is one of the most organized runs I’ve participated in, the energy is amazing and swag is awesome!

Participant shirt, Finisher Necklace and my bibMy participant shirt, finisher necklace and race bib

2013 was an exciting year for the Mermaid Run San Francisco, as race organizers added a new distance, a 10-mile race dubbed The Sirena 10.

But even better than the new race length was its course, which would include an out-and-back trek on the Golden Gate Bridge. I could not pass up an opportunity to run across the bridge, so Sirena 10 it was!

Registration opened up right around my birthday so my son gave me one of the best gifts ever, registration for this run… thank you Rob!

before the race

before the race

The 2013 race was held on Sunday morning so I arrived in San Francisco early Saturday afternoon and headed straight to the Sports Basement Presidio to retrieve my race packet which consisted of my bib, participant shirt and a Mermaid Run headband.  Packet pick-up for this race is always well organized and efficient, so I was in and out in 15 minutes leaving me with plenty of time to enjoy the city before grabbing some Korean hot pot for dinner and turning in early to ensure I would be well rested for my run in the morning.

Sirena 10 Runners lined up at the start

Sirena 10 Runners lined up at the start

My hotel was a little more than a mile from the start at the Marina so getting there in plenty  of time for the 7:30 am start was a breeze for me – a 15 minute walk on Divisadero Street and I was there. It was chilly and windy waiting for the race to start but runners and spectators were having a great time chatting, snapping photos and enjoying the stunning vistas the Marina has to offer.

The three event distances (10m, 10k & 5k) had staggered start times to account for the difference in the course for each distance, right at 7:30 the Sirena 10 runners set off.

We headed out Yacht Road and on to Mason Street towards Crissy Field, right away I noticed  that there wasn’t any crowding on the course and was extremely thankful for those staggered start times. Before I knew it, I passed the first mile marker and we veered left on Crissy Field Avenue toward the Presidio.

I’ll admit it. This is the part of the course I had been dreading. While the next two miles would get me to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, it also meant one thing, running uphill.

I wasn’t excited.

Once I made my way up to Fort Point Historic Site and caught my first glimpse of the iconic bridge, those rotten hills were forgotten.

first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge from Bay Trail

first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge from Bay Trail

Many runners stopped mid-stride to capture the amazing view of the bridge before continuing on to mile 3 and our run across the Golden Gate Bridge.

I’m not going to lie, this is what I had been waiting months to do.  

I walked across the bridge years ago. Last summer my son Rob, boyfriend Tony and I rented bikes and rode across the bridge, from San Francisco to Sausalito.

And of course I’ve driven across the great Golden Gate countless times.

But I wanted to run across it. And I was about to…. well, after I took in the absolutely AMAZING view, snapped a handful of pictures which included a shameless selfie or two.

The view right before mile 4 was breathtaking.

The view right before mile 4 was breathtaking.

I found my happy pace around mile 4 and headed for my happy place as I started to make my across the bridge.

I was in awe of not only the view but of all the amazing women who were already making their way back across the bridge toward the finish.  I happily clapped and cheered on the lead runner and several of  the others behind her as I made my way to the end of the bridge, Vista Point and mile 5, the halfway point and turn around.

The view from Vista Point.

The view from Vista Point.

Running back to San Francisco we were running toward traffic. Quite a drivers waved and honked as they passed by. And I got rather excited when the Bacon Bacon truck passed me, which, in turn, made me start planning my post-race bacon-centered meal.

The run back felt effortless. I was truly swept up in the moment and loved taking it all in. Before I knew it I reached the end of the bridge and mile 7.

One fabulous perk of having to run hills at the start of the race is that those same hills become your best friend on the return route. DOWNHILL!

I ran back down Bay Trail and Long Avenue before we merged with those running the 10k on Marine Drive, we made our final turn at the Warming House at Fort Point and ran those last two miles to the finish.

I am a Mermaid Athlete.

I am a Mermaid Athlete.

2013 was by far was my favorite Mermaid Run!  The course was stunning, and I kept thinking to myself while I was running is how lucky I am to get the opportunity to run in such an amazing city with such magnificent views and have perfect running weather in early November.

With the hills, I was concerned I would fall off pace and slow way down, but much to my surprise that didn’t really happen. I was only 5 minutes off my normal 10 mile time. And I paused more than once to snap some photos!

I definitely rode my runner’s high well into the day.  The Mermaid Run San Francisco remains my favorite event of 2013 and you can bet I’ll be back next year! I hope the Sirena 10 will be as well.

2014 race info

Are you interested in running the 2014 Mermaid Run? Registration is underway for the Nov. 9 event.

Early registration fees end May 31 and range from $40 to $70 (depends on which distance you pick!)

Can’t make it to the San Francisco run? There’s also a Mermaid Run in East Bay on May 10. That weekend series includes a 5k, 10k, half-marathon and 18-miler. Registration is between $45 and $75 through May 8.

Oh and in case you were wondering, I did have that bacon after the race. Like the run, it was perfect.

Heather is a mom, runner, crossfitter and contract administrator. She blogs at Heather in the Middle and can be found on Twitter at @hsb0372.

Do you have a favorite annual road race? Have your ever run across an incredibly large bridge? (That’s a hill in itself!) 

Princess Half Marathon weekend: Picture Pages

While the scoot chicks love to chat, we also love to share our favorite pics with our friends.

So instead of a traditional race recap, I will instead share my favorite photos from last weekend. If you wish to read my Princess Half Marathon weekend recap on my work blog, CLICK HERE.

20140227-125750.jpgWe arrived at Animal Kingdom Lodge on Thursday and each “Princess” was presented with a rose. Well played, Disney. I loved this special treatment!

cgrillWe celebrated our first night with a dinner at the California Grill atop the Contemporary. Here we watched fireworks over the Magic Kingdom and enjoyed an incredible meal! We were also a obsessed with the wine coolers.

rapunzelsLOTS of Rapunzels! From left, me, Brooke, Sara and Heather. And yes, we did plan to all dress as the same character for the Enchanted 10K. Heather made the two matching tops, and they were so comfortable to run in! Thank you Heather! All four of us participated in the inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge, which is a 10K on Saturday and a half-marathon one day later.

20140227-130814.jpgPost-10K with friends Tara and Kelly.

20140227-125811.jpgOn Saturday, I worked at the expo with the Sparkle Athletic ladies. Here I am with  Kelly as we take a 3-second break from all the sales at their popular booth!

mermaidsHeather made our fantastic costumes. We’re Ariel’s sisters Aquata and Attina!

20140227-125835.jpgSoon enough, it was time to run the half-marathon. We snapped a few shots before the race at the starting line before the fireworks started us off on our 13.1-mile journey.

sparkle2With Elise (in pink), Kelly (in blue) and Carrie (in green) aka Sleeping Beauty’s fairies at the start. And yes, they wore those hats the entire race.

20140227-131904.jpgThose sparkle fairies sure are fast! I hung with them for the first mile, then decided to run a much slower race. This was my parting shot of them. Great job ladies!

20140227-131920.jpgThis foggy moment near mile 3 was one of my favorite images from the course.

20140227-131843.jpgSelfie by Cinderella’s Castle. I’m still laughing at this one. The crowd behind me was so motivating and encouraging. Hundreds cheered and whooped as I jumped into the air and ran off. It was among of my favorite moments from the race.

tianaHanging with Princess Tiana mid-race

20140227-131757.jpgWatching Mickey cheer several Princesses at the finish was pretty cool.

20140227-131725.jpgSelfie with my girl Kristin!

20140227-131808.jpgHad an incredible time eating my way around EPCOT with the wonderful Jillian! Starbucks and cronuts, then German Pretzels and Pilsner? Yes please!

germanySpeaking of beer in Germany….

fantasmicWe ended my final night watching Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios. All I can say is WOW!

20140227-125901.jpgAnd of course, here’s the parting shot of all my girly medals, including my pink Coast to Coast medal, which is awarded upon completion of the Tinker Bell and Princess half marathons.

I hope you all had an equally magical weekend!

Tell me about your race adventures! What was your favorite moment from the course(s)? Which was your favorite Princess race?

Guest post: Running the Inaugural Tinker Bell 10k for Team Lemon

teamlemon

This past Saturday I participated in my third Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend at the Disneyland Resort in California.  2014 was the first year run Disney offered a 10k option the day before the half marathon.  Initially I had only registered for the half but after participating in the 10k associated with the Disneyland Half Marathon this past Labor Day weekend I knew I had to add the Tinker Bell 10k too, only problem it was already sold out.  One of my girlfriends told me that there were spots available through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s Team Lemon, I was familiar with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation having participated in and donated to their Million Mile Run last September so I requested the registration information.

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September’s Million Mile Run

It took me a couple of days to commit to running as part of Team Lemon, although I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation I seriously questioned my ability to raise the minimum amount required for the race entry.  You see, I am not good at asking people for anything, let alone to part with their money even for a worthy cause.  I knew this was going to be my struggle; compared to raising money the 6.2-mile run was the easy part!  I did know I wanted to do this so I sent my registration in, as soon as my registration was accepted the Team Lemon Coordinator, Jennifer Kelly, contacted me and gave me all the information I needed regarding my registration as well as what I needed to set up my fundraising page.  I went about asking for donations a few various ways, I Facebooked, tweeted, emailed and asked friends and family.  I started my fundraising efforts three months before the run and happily two days before the run I received the donation that put me at my fundraising goal.

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The 10k was scheduled for Saturday morning so Tony and I headed down to Anaheim Thursday evening, allowing us to visit the expo on Friday.  On Saturday morning we got up nice and early (a requirement for runDisney races) got dressed, fueled up and left the hotel at 5:00 am.  Our hotel was only a couple of blocks away from the start line so we had no problems walking over and being in our corral in plenty of time.

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The temperature was in the low 50’s when the race kicked off at 6:00 am, there were four corrals for the race taking off just about 5 minutes apart so we had the chance to watch the start four times.  Before I knew it we were off.

The course was crowded as we started out down Disneyland Drive but as soon as we entered into Disneyland itself it seemed to thin out.  I normally run intervals – 3 minutes running followed by a 1.5-minute walk. But I felt strong and wanted to take advantage of the course being open, so we ran straight through until we came up on the Rivers of America, where we couldn’t resist stopping for a picture. We made a few more picture stops in Disneyland before the course led us into California Adventure.

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It seemed as we flew through DCA, after one last photo stop with Sully, Mike and the crew from Monster’s University we were at mile 4 and out on the very crowded streets of Anaheim.

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This was the part of the run that I thought we’d be able to really open up and get some good running in.  We bobbed and weaved through the next 2 miles, once we got close to the corner of Katella and Disneyland Drive we were greeted by the cheering of all of the awesome spectators.  We ran into the finish and collected our medals.

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I went out and ran but it wasn’t about me this time. I felt honored to be able to run as part of Team Lemon and to raise funds and awareness for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.  I would love to run for Team Lemon again in the future and I will continue to support and donate to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Have you ever run for Team Lemon or raised money for another organization/charity? We’d love to hear about it in the comments! And make sure to check out Vic’s pictures from her own trip, with special guest star, Heather.

Heather is a mom, runner, crossfitter and contract administrator. She blogs at Heather in the Middle and can be found on Twitter at @hsb0372.

Adventures in Anaheim: Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend

I flew across the country, then I flew 13.1 miles through Anaheim!

A whirlwind weekend of food, fun and running brought me to the Happiest Place on Earth for the second time in a year. I planned to visit with friends, cheer my dear Heather as she tackled runDisney’s inaugural Tinker Bell 10K and run the Tinker Bell Half Marathon.

My time in LA zipped by in a flash. Rather than share my traditional race recap just now, here’s a few of my favorite photos from the weekend. And be sure to tune in Friday, when Heather shares her adventures running the Tink 10K for Team Lemon!

heathervicHeather and I wandered through the expo!

20140120-131602.jpgThen we drank our lunch at the Disneyland Hotel

20140120-131733.jpgI worked at the Sparkle Athletic booth on Friday with Kelly (Tink!)

20140120-125454.jpg We watched the sun set at the pier at Huntington Beach Friday night. Then we inhaled a delicious dinner.

20140120-125412.jpgHere I pose with Tara at the start of the Tinker Bell 10K. Congrats to Tara for finishing third in her age group, while still stopping for a photo!

20140120-131708.jpgPal Mindy prepares three of her students to run their first-ever 10K. They ROCKED it! Great job girls!

julieJulie (aka Donald) tackles some runner’s yoga!

20140120-125522.jpgCheering Tinker Bell

20140120-134516.jpgFreezing Minnie Mouse

20140120-125303.jpgTinker Bells cheer for 10K runners.

20140120-131537.jpgHeather and Tony race to the finish. I chased her down to get this pic.

Before I knew it, it was Sunday morning and time to race 13.1 miles. I ran with Kelly and we laughed our way through the course, stopping to pose with all of the characters and finishing in under two hours. I’ll share more about my own race experience later this week.

Editor’s note: Click here for Vic’s race review!

Have you run the Tinker Bell half marathon or 10K? Have you run a race at Disneyland? Did you see me cheering for you? Tell us about your Anaheim race experiences in the comments!

A few of our favorite things…

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.

Just as Rodgers and Hammerstein shared a few of Maria’s favorite things in The Sound of Music (personally, I don’t get all that jazzed about brown paper packages tied up with strings but, hey, whatever floats your boat…), we asked our Team Scoot a Doot members if they’d like to share their favorite running things with you. While there’s no singing and dancing, they are still quite amazing!

Megan’s blog. Twitter. Instagram.

Lisa’s blog. Twitter. Instagram.

Heather’s blog. Twitter. Instagram.

Jan’s blog. Twitter. Instagram.

Just a few of our many awesome team members! Thanks for the vids, ladies. You rock!

From the get-go we’ve said that we are looking to collect miles and funds. Some of our team focused on one or the other but a couple of our members did both and we’re super grateful for it!

We’re currently at 37 team members.

1,317.90 miles.

1,090 dollars raised for Childhood Cancer Research.

It’s absolutely incredible what we’ve done so far this month and we could not have done it without each and every single person on our team. You’ve all put your hearts into this and we know that within the final six days of September, those numbers will be going up even more!

As a thank you to our team’s top fundraiser, we’ve put together a little prize package giveaway of a few of OUR favorite things. We’ve given hints via Instagram of some of the prizes but here’s a better peek to check out the goods.

mmrgiveaway

Many thanks to Sweaty Bands and Lace Locker for their contributions! There might be a couple more surprises added to this too… wait and see what we’ve got in the works.

Let’s go the distance within these next six days!

Do good, feel good!

Guest Post: Heather dishes on the Inaugural Disneyland 10K

I spent most of my childhood living within a 30 minute drive of Disneyland, I have been to the park more times than I can count. In 2011, when I was ready to take my running to the next level, it made perfect sense to make the Disneyland Half Marathon my first.

I absolutely love the challenge of the half marathon but I’ll be honest, the last two miles can really be a struggle for me; the 10k is where it’s at.

When runDisney announced the addition of a 10k to Disneyland Half Marathon weekend I knew I had to run it. Early registration was offered in January at the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Expo. That’s when Tony and I registered.

DLlineFinish Line for 5k and 10k

We got to Disneyland about 2:30 on Friday afternoon and headed straight to the expo to pick up our bibs and shirts. Throughout the afternoon the Twitterverse was abuzz over crowding and long lines at the expo, but when we arrived we walked right up to the bib pick up booth, got in another line for our pre-purchased park tickets then headed upstairs to the expo floor where we received our shirts. We walked the whole expo and from start to finish were out in less than an hour.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early and made it to the holding area for 10k participants right about 5:15am. While we were waiting for the 5k to kick off, I had the chance to catch up with some of my friends who were also running.

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Anya and Heather (aka, Figment and Aurora)

It was a very hot and humid 80 degrees as we lined up towards the back of corral D. The race started a bit behind its 6:15 scheduled time. Corral D and E seemed to meld together and we got the go ahead to starting line at 6:29.

heather7At the start

The course was extremely crowded as we ran down South Disneyland Drive, past Katella and circled around the Convention Center. After we passed the first marker and made our way back towards the parks on Harbor it opened up for a bit.

heather1DCA!

Mile 2 brought us into Disney’s California Adventure park and, although it was a bit crowded, I was able to maintain my normal pace. As we came around to the boardwalk area, all bets on me running for time were off. It was such a pretty day (despite the heat) so I decided many pictures were in order.

heather4Fancy to see you here!

tonyheatherTony and Heather

Even stopping to snap photo after photo, the miles seemed to fly by. Before I knew it. we were heading into Disneyland and approaching mile 4.

Running along the backlot of Disneyland provided plenty of photo opportunities of parade floats. Once we entered Fantasyland, we found Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter waiting by the mile 5 marker.

heather6It’s a mad TEA PARTY!

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and the Red Queen were also nearby.

heather5Heather strikes a pose with the Red Queen

Through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle we went, out of the park into Downtown Disney, which was filled with cheering spectators and fellow runners. We ran down the home stretch on to the finish line beside the Disneyland Hotel.

I was so happy I decided to register for this race. I think it offers runners who don’t feel quite ready to tackle a half marathon a great mid-way distance event. And like I said I absolutely love the 10k!

It was a bit crowded and slow moving in points of the course, but everyone seemed to be having such a great time and we are all there because we love Disney.

As for me, I will be registering for the 10k distances as long as runDisney offers them. And yes, I was bummed I just didn’t sign up for the Dumbo Double Dare. But those 10Ks – they will be my low key, get silly and take pictures along the course run as opposed to shooting for my personal record half marathons.

heather2Tony and Heather at the finish

Heather is a mom, runner, crossfitter and contract administrator. She blogs at Heather in the Middle and can be found on Twitter at @hsb0372.