Run DMT

I'm a mom on the run!

Run DMT - I'm a mom on the run!

Rap River Run 5K {2014 Recap}

With being sick with allergies and hubby’s traveling schedule, it has been really difficult to get a good run in lately. Given that, I honestly wasn’t feeling it for Rap River Run. Since I was forced to needed to complete a June race to qualify for Digital Running Time of the Seasons Series challenge medal,  this was just a qualifier run in my mind. I didn’t go into the race to PR, just to finish.

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I honestly was more concerned with my looks for this run. If I wasn’t going to kill myself to beat a previous time, at least I would be a stunner looking all cute in my matchy-matchy hot pink Suncast Striders gear.

I met the Suncoast Striders for their obligatory group photo. I’ve missed running with everyone and I really was so giddy to be back with the gang and I paired it with a big hot pink smile.

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The 5K start began at 7:45 to give the 5-milers and Rap River Run “Double Sweat” Challenge Runners a chance to return to the start line for the 5K that followed. Most of the Striders took on the Double Sweat Challenge and as much as I love a challenge, I passed on this one. I was good with only running a 5K just this once. Of course, when I saw the challenge medals, I had a small pang of regret, but I got over it quickly.

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Of course, I snapped a few start line selfies with my friend and fellow Jeff Galloway group run chat star, Andrea.

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I tried to pace with my friends, Aaron and Leah, who maintained around an 8:30-9:00mm pace, but by the first water stop, I needed to stop. I was feeling really dehydrated and a side stitch started causing me grief.

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Andrea stayed close to me and we kept each other moving. By the 2 mile mark, Leah and Aaron slipped away and I knew a PR slipped away too.

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The course followed the same route as previous years. We followed Grand Blvd south along the river.  Thank goodness for large shady oak trees and the boys of Roman Plumbing with super soaker water guns.

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Less than a quarter mile from the finish line, I spotted Jessica with her funny spirit booster spectator signs. A giggle and a smile was just want I need to sprint the finish line.

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I crossed the finish just under 30 minutes; not my best time but at least I stayed under 30.

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I waited around to enjoy some post-race goodies, catch up with a few more runner friends and find out my official finish time. You can imagine my surprise when I saw this. Ok, so it’s blurry but you get the gist. I suppose I was shaking with shock to take a decent photo. I ran a full close to a minute slower than last year and placed first!

RapRiverRun2014 results Rap River Run 5K {2014 Recap}

In case you can’t read it, here it is again from the Rap River Run website.

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WTF?! (Where’s the finish?!)

No way. FIRST PLACE?!

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

Cropped award Rap River Run 5K {2014 Recap}

Although I knew I could run better and faster, today I just gave what I could. I hoped to place in the top ten but NEVER expected to place first.  I truly believe it’s because most of the faster females in my age group ran the 5 miler or skipped out on the race entirely. But who cares the why’s or how’s?! Today was my day to shine and like my hot pink stunner Striders look, I wore it well.

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Clock Time 29:53
Chip 29:25
Ave Pace 9:29
DIVISION: 1/31
Overall 34/662

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 Rap River Run 5K {2014 Recap}

You can never take to many victory selfies and photos.

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I don’t know what’s more ironic: placing while not earning a PR or receiving an award from the Chick-Fil-a cow, since I gave up Chick-fil-a years ago. Victory tastes so much than chikin.

 Rap River Run 5K {2014 Recap}

RANdom Tuesday Thoughts about Gremlins, THE Galloway Method, Having a Moment and Track Tuesday

Ever play 52 card pick-up? How throwing in some exercises that it? Holy burpees, Batman! I about died in last Wednesday’s Body Back session.

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Regina pre-determined exercise for each face card. The number value determined the duration of exercise. I think I did 1000 squats and a bazillion burpees. My legs were toast and I loved it!

On Thursday, I woke up late and missed my run with the Striders. After Wednesday’s Body Back session, I don’t think my broken legs could keep up with them anyway. So, I ran 6 miles in my neighborhood.  My Garmin is totally gone so you’re just going to have to trust me on the distance and time. And trust me. It was pitiful.

6 Miles
1:10
Ave Pace 11:40

For Friday’s Body Back session, we took it outdoors to tackle our gremlins. I loved the change of scenery and I loved that Regina added sprints in between each set. The work-out was just as tough as facing and battling our gremlins. The gremlins are comfortable. They’re easy. Pushing yourself is tough.

Saturday, I ran the Rap River Run 5K. I’ve got some exciting news about that race, which will be shared in a recap post later this week.  Here’s a sneak peek while you wait.

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Sunday, I rested. The family and I headed down to my sister’s place in Indian rocks for a Father’s Day cook-out. It was a blast. We stayed until sunset and then kids went for a quick night swim before the storm rolled in.

Monday was another spin day. I think I sweated out all the Moscato from Father’s Day.  Later that evening, I visited FitNiche in Hyde Park for a run followed by a question and answer session with Jeff Galloway.

Between the one night only showing of “The Rise of the Cybermen” and Jeff Gallway in Tampa, two once-in-a-lifetime events were happening on the same day and I wasn’t sure if I should spend with evening with The Doctor or The Runner. In the end, the runnerd side of me overruled the sci-fi geek in me and I went for a run with Jeff.

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For this Galloway RunChat, we followed an easy 3 mile 15:15 walk-run (15 second run -15 seconds walk with about an 11:30 pace) through the streets of Hyde Park Village to Bayshore Blvd. I have to admit, it was hard for me to keep that slow and steady pace. I wanted to run faster and longer before walking. But then, it was pretty humid out and I’m not used to running at night. The slow and steady helped me slow down.

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As we ran along, Jeff offered advice and chatted with each of us. Of course, I couldn’t resist the selfie star struck moment.

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Jeff Galloway and Run DMT

According to Jeff, his Galloway method helps to keep your brain in check and prevents fatigue. Honestly, I find a 4:1 or a 10:1 to be the best way to train in the heat.  I welcome those breaks, especially to take in some water and rehydrate.

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At the end of the run, I forced encouraged everyone to join me in a group selfie with Jeff.

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And then another.

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After the run, a runner approached me and said, “Are you Run DMT?”

“Yes, that’s me!”

“I’m a HUGE fan of your blog! I adore you!”

“Oh my goodness!  I adore you now! Thank you for saying “hello” to me! Can we hug?”

And of course, Angelina and I took another selfie to celebrate the moment.  You can see the real time Instagram moment here.

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And then, I posed for another photo in the store with Jeff again.  It was a great night!

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Today was Track Tuesday. After spinning and running the day before, I wasn’t ready to face anything more than 6 x 400s yet. Besides, it’s just too hot to go longer and do more repeats.  As you can see, I’m still battling stupid gremlins!

Chrissy missed last week and only felt like 4 repeats. I was good with that.  We ran a mile warm-up, 4 x 400s and then 1 mile cool down.  Since I haven’t repaired my Garmin yet, I borrowed the stats from Chrissy’s watch.

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Later that morning, I returned to Body Pump Express with Leyna at the Y.  It was so good to be back at Body Pump after missing two weeks. Leyna thought so too. “Hey Denise! So good to see you again!  We’ve missed you!”

That made me day!

I’ve had so many great running and fitness great moments this week. I feel like I’m on an eternal runner’s high.

Music Monday: On Top of the World

When the Suncoast Striders organized a bridge run, I was so there. I hadn’t run the Clearwater bridges since Iron Girl Half Marathon and I was due for good torturing challenge. Running the Clearwater Memorial Bridge and the Sand Key Causeway is tough and never an easy task in the hotter months.

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For me the Clearwater bridges represent my constant battle with my running. I get ahead and then something causes me to fall back (sickness, injury, hubby’s traveling schedule, ect.) which forces me to move a bit slower than I want.

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No matter what curves life throws at me, all I can do is move forward and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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And it’s a wonderful feeling to have the support of others to cheer you along the way.

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When I push myself and finally reach the top of the bridge, I experience such elation. After struggling through steep climbs, a sense of accomplishment overwhelms me.

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Once I reach the top, I feel like I’m on top of world and nothing can stop me.

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Well, nothing can stop me except for my obsessive need to take photos and selfies.

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Read more about my bridge run and other training runs tomorrow in my RANdom thoughts and Track Tuesday post.

What motivates you to keep moving forward and onward? What music is moving you this week?

Music Monday: Don’t Stop Me Now!

rundmt musicmonday1 Music Monday: Dont Stop Me Now!Have you heard the news? I’m running the Chicago Marathon for charity!

With running NYC in November, I originally decided against registering for the Chicago Marathon lottery when all my friends applied. What were the chances they would all make the lottery? After all, I waited three years to finally the NYC marathon.

As fate would have it, they ALL made the lottery. Every one of my running friends who applied made the 2014 Chicago Marathon selection. When I heard that news, I felt a little pang in my heart because all my marathon friends would be running a fantastic race together and I was missing out.

Oh well. That’s life.

Then, my SIL Kirsten shared a post of Facebook on behalf of the Danny Did Foundation. She encouraged her Facebook runner blogger friends to apply to run for charity to raise money for an organization that had benefited her family.  I saw it as a sign. Danny Did Foundation had helped Meghan and now I could give back to this charity in her name.

FB DannyDid Music Monday: Dont Stop Me Now!

So, I sent an email. Surely they wouldn’t pick me. I don’t have that kind of luck.

Well, I am happy to report I am indeed running to raise money for the Danny Did Foundation! I need to raise $1500 before October 12, the day of the marathon, which is very exciting, scary, nerve-wracking. With a fundraising component added to my usual training, I am definitely taking my marathon training to a whole new level.

This is exactly the inspiration I needed and I am thrilled to do it all for Meghan and the Danny Did Foundation, so that other children living with epilepsy can receive assistance from this incredible organization.

RunDMT Runsfor Meghan Music Monday: Dont Stop Me Now!

After Chicago, I will have three weeks until the New York City Marathon and then Space Coast Marathon four weeks after that. Raising money for a marathon and running three marathons in seven weeks! Don’t Stop Me Now!

I’m a shooting star leaping through the skies
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I’m a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I’m gonna go go go
There’s no stopping me

I’m burning through the sky yeah!
Two hundred degrees
That’s why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
I’m trav’ling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic man out of you

Don’t stop me now
I’m having such a good time
I’m having a ball
Don’t stop me now
If you wanna have a good time
Just give me a call

Don’t stop me now (’cause I’m having a good time)
Don’t stop me now (yes I’m having a good time)
I don’t want to stop at all… yeah!

This Music Monday selection was inspired by Meghan. Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen is one of Kirsten and Meghan’s favorite songs and since I am running the Chicago Marathon for Meghan, it just seemed like the perfect time to share it.

If you would like to contribute to my fundraising page, please click here.  Thank you for your support!

RANdom Thoughts About Run DMT Being MIA, Digital Running Spring Dawn Challenge and a Color Me Rad Giveaway

Hi. Remember me? I’m Denise is Run DMT, the author behind this mom on the run blog. In some running circles, I used to be known as one bad mother runner but lately I’m one really bad runner. Two weeks prior to Iron Girl, I came down with a nasty chest congestion that I hits me every spring. Not being able to breathe forced me to rest and my Iron Girl race was less than stellar, shall we say.

I began to feel a bit better but as fate would have it, last Monday I tripped on a step in my bedroom and thought my foot would make a great pillow to land on. I thought I broke my foot as I sat there crying in disbelief. The pain was unreal.

That was last Monday. The same day as the Boston Marathon and the very same day that every runner on the planet decided to run virtually with Boston, but first I had ice my ankle and pop two ibuprofen first to see if I could even put pressure on it.

I elevated my foot with some frozen peas on my ankle. My foot hurt so bad that the cold burned my ankle. As I anxiously waited for the pain to subside and the swelling to go down, I wondered how I would manage while hubby is out of town if my foot is broken. Could I even walk? How would I drive? Who can I call at 6:00 a.m. to take me to the E.R.?

With no exaggeration, I laid on my couch for 45 minutes as my Little Lion Man patted my back while I sobbed.  When I tried to stand, I could still feel some tenderness, but I could hobble and put pressure on it.  I could at least survive the usual morning routine.

And then, like a dumbass, I dressed in blue and yellow from head to toe…

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…and then headed to a spin class at the YMCA in an attempt to run 2.62 miles on the treadmill to prove how Boston Strong I was.

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Oh yeah, I was sooooo Boston Strong that my foot started to swell again the pain intensified. Sadly, I was forced to take a week off.

Today was the first day I ran since last Monday and I only ran 3 miles to see if my ankle could even handle that. It was a slow, pathetic run, but at least my foot didn’t swell….too much. And later that morning, I went to Body Pump because I’m swell like that.

In all seriousness, there is still some tenderness but it’s nothing too painful, just annoying.  Even more annoying is that fact that I get to a point in my running where I feel strong and confident in my ability and then something stupid like my allergies or a dumb, non-running related injury sets me back. It’s so frustrating.

As I try to return to my former mother runner self, I find myself focusing on future races. With the completion of Iron Girl, I finished two thirds for the first installment of the Digital Running Time of the Seasons Spring Dawn medal.

 

Time of the Seasons Spring Dawn Challenge RANdom Thoughts About Run DMT Being MIA, Digital Running Spring Dawn Challenge and a Color Me Rad Giveaway

To earn the pieces for this medal, I needed to run at least one race a month. I haven’t decided on a May race, but I need to find one in order to earn the Spring Dawn Challenge segment. There’s still plenty of time to register and join me in the Digital Running Time of the Season Challenge.

Unfortunately, virtual races or fun runs like the Color Me Rad do not count, but it’s all good because these types of no pressure fun runs are perfect races to share with my kids.

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My girls and I had such a fun time last year, we going for the color bomb again this year and we’ll probably wear white again to experience the full effect of color bombs and color clouds. It’s fun to wear a rainbow like a medal.

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The course will wind through Florida State Fairgrounds again and hopefully they’ll have more of those cool color sprays again. Those were perfect of a hot May day!

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If you want to join my girls and me at the Color Me Rad on May 24, simply leave a comment telling me why you want to run this totally rad fun run with us.  One lucky winner will be selected on Monday May 7th. For addtional entries, follow the Rafflecopter prompts.

Or register here and save 25% with code RUNDMT25.

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For an additional chance to win, join the Tampa Bay Blogger Color Me Rad Twitter party this Thursday at 8pm. Two entries will be given away! Follow @TBbloggers @ColorMeRad5K @denisermt and hashtag #TBBRad.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Music Monday: Gold and Runners Redefining Boston Strong

rundmt musicmonday1 Music Monday: Gold and Runners Redefining Boston StrongLast Monday, my heart and thoughts were in Boston. I wanted so desperately to be there to cheer for my friends as they demonstrated “Boston Strong” to world, but I couldn’t make it happen.

Instead, I ran 2.62 miles on the treadmill and I cheered from Florida to show my support.  Later that morning as the 118th Boston Marathon played on my TV, I also stayed glued to Facebook to read updates on my friends as they made history.

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From runners to spectators to the friends and family that stood by runners, NBC News reported over one million people visited Boston for last Monday’s marathon and I knew a handful of them.

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Photo credit to David Griner

Over the past year, I witnessed the astounding athletes in my running circle train their way back to Boston with a few others training to qualify just to prove they could be Boston Strong.

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Photo credit to Patrick McCormick

Not only did these runners exemplify the spirit of a runner, they reflected it great with pride and strength and these remarkable runners did it with the support of friends and family around them and the world cheering for them every step of the way.

Andrea returned to Boston with her two running partners, Melanie and Beka. Even with the infamous Boston bottlenecking, crowds and difficult course, these marathon maniacs redefined Boston Strong by finishing close to their qualifying times.

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Photo credit to Melanie Hynes

With minor runner-related injuries, Marcia and David returned to Boylston Street to claim a finish stolen from them last year.  Though their injuries forced them to finish longer than their normal speedy BQ times, they proved to themselves and the world that nothing will stop the will of runner.

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Photo credit to Patrick McCormick

But the true testament to American pride and the will of a runner came from Meb Keflezighi, the first American male to win the Boston Marathon since 1983 in a finish time of 2:18:57.

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As Meb’s images splashed across social networks and television, and he instantly became a hero and a legend. His victory embodied the soul of this year’s marathon.

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 Last Monday the world cheered for Meb and all these amazing athletes which once again inspired a new breed of runners to take on Boston.

Someday, I’ll be there. I have my own struggles and hurdles to face before I can Boston Qualify. But I hope to one day toe that yellow line and be Boston Strong to earn and my own blue and yellow unicorn.

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Photo credit to Marcia McCormick

Until then, I will continue to train as hard as I can, cheer for others and celebrate in my own blue and yellow Boston Strong way with a bit of gold Presecco while I chase down that dream.

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A mouth made of metal, metal, metal
Pocket full of yellow, yellow
Pocket full of gold
And I hope you find
I hope you find your dream, yeah

Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

Disclaimer: I was provided with a race entry in exchange for my honest review of my Iron Girl Clearwater experience.  The opinions shared are my own.

Prior to Iron Girl, I came down with a nasty chest congestion related to my allergy-induced asthma.  With difficulty breathing, tightness in my chest and a wet non-productive cough, a forced rest was my only option. Sadly, the congestion forced me to take two weeks off from running.

By Sunday, I still couldn’t breathe and I still continued to cough. During that drive down to Clearwater, I doubted myself and questioned my actions.  “Why am I here? Why am I doing this?” The questions played over and over in my head as I puffed my inhaler. I had trained so hard for this moment; I couldn’t throw in the towel.

In an attempt to motivate myself, I bought myself a new outfit the day before the race. The pink would at least help me look like an Iron Girl when I passed out on the course.

Finding it difficult to move that morning, I arrived in Clearwater about 15 minutes before the start of the race.  Then, like a ironic repeat of Sarasota, I needed a bathroom immediately, but the lines were so long. I spotted one woman forming her own line in front of the porta potty and I waited behind her for the next available one. I may cough the whole way, but at least I would start on time which was a relief in so many ways.

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At the start corral, I found my friend, Leah. It lifted my spirits to see a familiar face in the crowd.

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After the national anthem, we were underway and I spotted Mike with a funny sign, of course.

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We ran through downtown Clearwater and circled around to the Memorial Causeway.  With only a mile into it, I was already experiencing a cough fit.  I simply kept my pace slow and steady. I tried not to push myself.

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By mile two as we headed into Clearwater Beach, I followed the advice of a random road sign and decided to take advantage of all the water stations along the course. With my hacking smoker’s cough, I walked each of the water stations as I rehydrated.

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We ran through the roundabout past Pier 60. It was a gorgeous morning to be on the beach. Just past mile three, we faced the second bridge leading into Sand Key with mile 4 at the top and I coughed the entire climb.

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Once we reached Sand Key Park, I stopped for another water walking break. The volunteers shouted, “You’re looking great!” But I knew this was not my greatest performance.  At least I was ahead of the 2:30 pace group. The next mile and half led us through Sand Key Park, another training route for me.

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After mile 6, we were back on Gulf Blvd when the 2:30 pace group passed me. For a brief moment, I hung my head in disappointment, but I quickly shook it off. This was not my best moment, but I was finishing something that others wouldn’t have even dared to do given the same conditions.

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A little past mile seven, we turned to return back to Coachman Park. With only less than half way to go, I coughed and continued on my way at an even slower pace. At mile 8, we were offered Girl Scout cookies and I couldn’t stomach them. I just wanted to finish.

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The St. Pete Road Runners and Team Psych greeted us at Mile 9 with high fives, big smiles, lots of cheers and cold wet towels. Now that was a treat that hit the spot!

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Feeling refreshing and rejuvenated, I was ready for the Sand Key Bridge that lay ahead.

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On the other side, we were led through the backstreets of Clearwater along Bayway Boulevard and Hamden Drive.  Upon our arrival, anxious and lovely little girls offered us water, but I politely declined. As a wise mom of three children, I chose to pass on the finger water and waited for the next water station.

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At the end of Hamden Drive, we turned the corner with only two miles left to go, which included the final causeway. Even with only short distance left, my body needed longer walking breaks.

IMAG1283 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

IMAG1284 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

IMAG1285 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

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IMAG1289 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

IMAG1291 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

Just after mile 12, we reached the Clearwater Memorial Causeway and I tried my best to run up the steep incline.  I trained on these bridges and yet, I couldn’t find the steam to make it to the top. I felt like I was going backward.

IMAG1292 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

IMAG1297 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

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Finally I reached the top and I posed for a Causeway Kodak moment with the Sandy Key Bridge behind me and a palm tree as my hat.

IMAG1300 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

A few steps later, I bumped into the Best Damn Race crew.  “We were wondering what happened to you!” Haley said as she hugged me.

IMAG1304 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

One last loop stood in front of me and the finish line but not before one more photo with a spectator and a sign. Some may call me crazy and mental, but if anything, I am certainly tenacious. Just call me Tenacious D.

IMAG1303 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

IMAG1306 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

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IMAG1311 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

At the bottom of the circular ramp, there was only a quarter mile left to go. Normally, I save a sprint for the finish line, but not this race. With staying steady at a 12:00 mm for the duration of the race, I couldn’t put forth anything faster than a 9:30, my normal race pace. I tried but I just couldn’t push it harder than that.

IMAG1312 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

IMAG1313 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

IMAG1314 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

13.1 miles

Time 2:35:29
Ave Pace 11:53
Div Pace 133/202
Overall 778/1230

That tiny, little push at the end put me over the edge and I couldn’t catch my breath. I needed help.  Once the medal was placed around my neck, I walked over the medical tent for assistance.  For the first time in my running career, I needed a breathing treatment.  The paramedic advised me to carry my emergency inhaler with me next time, which was some great advice.

IMAG1317 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

IMAG1315 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

Despite needing help at the end, I am glad I didn’t defer. I trained so hard for this race and its tough course. Although I didn’t earn the time I hoped for and even did worse than last year, I’m glad I didn’t give up. There’s always next year.

IMAG1320 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

Because I am an Iron Girl.

IMAG1321 Iron Girl Half Marathon 2014 {Recap}

Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

Sometimes the word “inaugural” scares runners from registering for a race, but not me.  When a friend shared the Active link for the Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon, it intrigued me. I love the town of Celebration and the idea of running through its small town streets really appealed to me.

My instincts were right about this sold out race. When I inquired the race director about an opening, he immediately emailed me back and hunted down a bib for me, which is costumer service that you come to love when supporting local hometown operations. From the packet pick-up at the expo to the finish line, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the inaugural Celebration half marathon.

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

The expo had all the usual brands and vendors you expect to see.  I even discovered some new-to-me brands, such as Hot Chic Sport running skirts.  Of course, that’s where Marcia discovered me.

IMG 20140125 162946 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

My family tagged along for this race and we stayed at the gorgeous Bohemian Hotel in the heart of Celebration. (A review of the hotel will follow the race recap.)

IMG 20140125 164902 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

Since it was Marcia’s 40th birthday, we celebrated her 40th birthday at the Columbia Restaurant. Carb loading with Cuban food and sangria in Celebration seemed so fitting.

IMG 20140125 172806 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

IMAG0710 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

With a race start time of 7:00 a.m., I loved being able to roll out of bed and walk to a start line. In the early morning hours, the town center was hustling and bustling with happy runners and a lively DJ entertained everyone at the start line.  There were approximately 2300 runners and we were all packed in between the start line and Celebration Park.  I parked myself between the 9:15 and 9:55 pace group.

IMAG0715 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

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Despite not being able to find any of my friends (Marica, Christina Marie, Becky, Jolene and Run Jodi), I felt really good.  I felt confident, not riddled with anxiety like I experienced Space Coast Half Marathon a few weeks ago. I felt ready to do this race. Trust the training.

The crowd started slowly moving forward and we were off. No national anthem. No fireworks, just the pack pushing you along to start the race.  As the course led us through the streets of Celebration Village, I held an easy 10:00 mile. The turns would help me slow down, too.

One we reached the long stretch down Celebration Avenue to Celebration Place and onto Celebration Boulevard, I picked it up a bit holding onto a 9:15-9:30 pace.  This was my favorite part of the course, flat wide spaces that really helped me find my groove.  We were warned that the runners would share the road with traffic, but I never felt threatened by the cars and the police were very attentive.

The numerous spectators, cheering squads, supporter, funny signs and even a rock band lifted my spirits and helped me run my best race for that three mile stretch. Even the runners around me helped keep my spirits high.  I couldn’t believe how many running groups were out there in full force supporting one another. It was wonderful to see that team camaraderie. (I learned after the race that running groups received a discount. That would explain all the happy runners and runner love. Saving money makes me more cheery too.)

IMAG0739 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

I managed to hold off stopping for water walking breaks until mile 7 when I had my first Salted Caramel Gu energy gel and some water to wash down. As I regained my momentum after a quick snack break, the fun and happy pace ended at mile 7 as we detoured down the boardwalk for the next mile or so. The turns were tough and the change of terrain to wooden planks forced me to slow my pace down to almost a 10:30. I quickly realized if I ran more in the middle, I would have less turns, but then no one could pass me, which would frustrate people.  I know not being able to pass other runners frustrated me.

IMAG0740 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

Though the course had been USAT certified, the turns would record longer on my Garmin. (Watch a video of the course here.) Once past all the boardwalks and sidewalk turns, I could focus on my pace. (The poor marathoners had to run that twice. Ouch.  Thank goodness for spectators!)

As we came around mile 10, I stopped for a quick walking water break (only my second break thus far) and then pushed it again. I felt really good!  I thought I *might* even PR.

IMAG0743 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

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IMAG0757 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

I was still feeling good at mile 11, like I had some sprints still in me, until we ran a narrow path around the lake.  I could tell the runners around me were losing steam, including my new friend, Minne Marlie, whom I joked and sang with only an hour ago.

IMAG0762 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

I still had some umph in me and I felt good. I only had about a half mile left to go although Granny Garmin read 13.12. As I hit the lap button to record the time (2:11), Granny Garmin died but I was still feeling alive and ready to finish strong.  I sprinted that last half mile to the finish line.  I pulled out an even faster sprint when I turned to the corner and saw the finish line.

IMAG0767 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

Still not a PR for me, but it’s definitely a PB-PB (Personal Best Post Baby). Did I mention that my “baby” is almost three now? *sigh*

Age group Division 49/192
Chip Time 2:12:13.7
Clock Time 2:13:42.6
Ave Pace 10:06

The after party was hopping thanks to the DJ  AND a rock band at the finish line. The lively post-race atmosphere took my mind off not hitting a PR. Each runner received a card which offered special treats, such as beer, pizza, baked treats and Starbucks coffee.

IMAG4187 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

My favorite was the mimosa.

IMAG4189 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

My kids preferred the balloon animals and the lady that created them.

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

Sadly somehow between finding my family and finding food, I lost my phone.  Thankfully, a very kind and smart person handed it to the DJ. I was so grateful for that which warranted a selfie with the DJ!

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We stayed for the awards because I knew Marcia would win one and she did. First day in her new age group (40-44), she placed first.

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

IMAG4197 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

As for our other friends, they all gained PRs, including Jolene who earned another BQ just weeks after her last qualifying race.  Becky earned a new PR by shaving 20 minutes off her marathon time.  I love being in the presence of amazing atheletes. It motivates me to strive for improvement and reach a BQ goal.

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

Even with all the twists and turns, I really loved the scenic course and the overall vibe of the race. I later learned that this was the race director’s first race he ever organized.  His stellar inaugural Celebration race went so smoothly; hopefully, it won’t be his last because I will definitely be back next year!

 Inaugural Celebration Half Marathon Recap

Music Monday: {run} Happy

 Music Monday: {run} Happy“It might seem crazy what I’m about to say…”

I’ve had some great runs this past week starting with a tempo 6 miler last Thursday and then the Celebration Half Marathon yesterday.

I ain’t gonna lie. On Thursday, I did not want to get up an run in 38 degrees which is very cold for Florida standards. If it wasn’t for Mica texting me and making me accountable for that 6 miler, I would have totally flaked, postponed or even opted for a rest day. Despite my resistance to run in cold temps, it turned out to be a GREAT tempo run for me! I even held an 8:30 pace for a half mile. I was totally feeling a runner’s high!

On Thursday, when I turned the ignition, I heard “Happy” by Pharrell play on the radio. With a gorgeous hot pink and orange sunrise for a postcard backdrop, it was a perfect song for the drive home after my run happy 6 miler I just experienced and a perfect symbol to a wonderful weekend to follow.

Over the weekend, my family and I spent one night in Celebration for the Celebration Half Marathon which coincided with my friend, Marcia’s birthday.  She wanted to run the race for her 40th birthday.  Who could argue with that?!  

And on her birthday, the very first day in her new age group, she placed first in the 40-45 age group. Marcia is amazing!

IMAG4197 Music Monday: {run} Happy

For her birthday dinner, we dined at the Columbia Restaurant.  Of course, I carb loaded in my favorite way with some sangria and Cuban bread.

IMG 20140125 172806 Music Monday: {run} Happy

All of these run happy highlights deserve their own posts, which will follow over the next couple of days.  In the meantime, check out 24 hours of happy.

Also check out Xmas Dolly for more Music Monday fun.

Music Monday: Counting Stars

Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep
Dreaming about the PR that could be
But baby, I’ve been, I’ve been training hard,
Said, no more counting miles
We’ll be counting stars, yeah we’ll be counting stars

I’m into week three of my Asics-Kastor 6-Weeks to Train Marathon Plan.  I’ve been really good about sticking to the plan and waking up in the wee early morning pitch black dark hours to fit in my miles.  Yeah, I’ve been counting a lot of stars during those miles.   I’m not going to lie.  It’s tough but like OneRepublic says, “everything that kills me makes feel alive.”

This week means even more miles on my feet as I draw closer to the A1A Marathon.  I‘m participating in the inaugural Celebration Half Marathon on Sunday and according to my running plan, I need to run five miles more to hit 18 miles that day.  Looks like I’ll need to run 5 more miles after I cross the finish line.

All the sweat that drowns me makes me wanna fly.

MLK move forward Music Monday: Counting Stars

 Music Monday: Counting Stars

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