My Dad’s first 1/2 Marathon! {Frederick Half Recap 2015} #runbaltimore #runchat

This past Sunday, I had the honor and privilege to run my 4th Half Marathon with My Dad.  My Dad started running last year on Fathers Day when I asked him to run a 5K with me. We finished that 5k in a little under 40 minutes.  Now, my Dad is running sub 29 minute 5k’s like it’s his job.  🙂 You give this man a challenge, he stares it in the face and kicks it in the balls. He’s run countless 5ks, a 10 miler, but said he’d never run a half.  Until I mentioned the King Crab Challenge.  He seemed excited.  “I’m in”. Of course, I’m giddy like a freaking school girl!! My Dad’s going to run with me!!!! OMG!!!!  Training starts, he keeps me posted with texts and pictures, he ROCKS his 10 mile race, and send me a message about a 12 mile training run and he also BEASTS!!! Then, I get a message that breaks my heart.  My Dad hurt himself… “we’re going to have to run/walk the Frederick Half”.  Of course, I don’t care… all I want to do is be with my Dad, but I know he’s disappointed. I told him straight up. “This race isn’t about pace… it’s about you and me crossing the finish line, together.”  I drove up to Frederick from Baltimore and coincidently met my Dad at the Expo! He was coming in from another part of Maryland. (A good sign I think)  🙂 packetpick

We drove to his house in Hagerstown (40 minutes away – a lot cheaper than a hotel!) and settled in. Had some pre race grub at TGIFridays with my Mom, and went to bed pretty early.  I of course laid out Flat Stacey before bed… I knew we’d have an EARLY morning and I didn’t want to forget anything…

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We got up a little after 4am, left a bit before 5 and got to the Frederick Fair Grounds.  Because of out early departure, we got ROCK STAR parking!! (so glad we left early!!!) We were ON the grounds instead of last year when it felt like I had to walk half a mile just to find the car post race!! WINNING!!

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Also an early riser, Marsden (@RunningLonely on Twitter) was also there!! Finally got to meet him in person (and the infamous pig!) w00t!! My Dad was more than willing to take the “pictures or it never happened” shot for us. 🙂 He ended up kicking some serious tail on the course, setting a PR! WTG 🙂

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It was a bit chilly, to be expected at 6 (something) in the morning, so my Dad and I jumped into the bag check area, where we could hide from the wind.  We stretched a bit, and chatted.  I think I was more nervous than he was at this point… I was nervous pacing, tried to play it off as being cold, not sure if that worked, but he’s my Dad, he didn’t prod. 😉  We took our obligatory pre race selfie and headed to the start line before the National Anthem.

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They chose a recording this year for the Anthem… maybe because of the mishap with the words last year?? Maybe not. Either way, it was beautiful.  Also, during the National Anthem, a BEAUTIFUL hot air balloon flew over us.  I definitely didn’t expect that! Everyone start looking up, so I (obviously) did also, and I’m glad I did! Check this beauty out…

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We noticed that we were next to two Army guys, full battle gear from head to toe.  Cover to boots… I was really impressed. More impressive, throughout the race, they were keeping a 12:30-13:00 pace.   My Dad and I passed them at one point, to which I yelled out “thank you for what you do, you guys are AWESOME!” and they waved at me. Pretty sure words weren’t happening for them.  So.Much.Sweat.  Seriously though, utmost respect.  To run a 1/2 marathon in little clothing is difficult… to do it in what THEY had on??  That’s BAD ASS!!

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Annnnnd off we went!! Slow and steady, as planned.  I looked at my Garmin and we were keeping a 12:30 pace, which was actually A LOT faster then I thought we would be able to do considering my Fathers injury.  We kept chugging. Talking to each other, making comments about how beautiful Frederick is.  We passed the School Board office. (My father is an administrator for the Washington County School district – so stuff like that is important, lol).  We passed landmarks I remembered from the race last year and I told my Dad how great he was doing.  We hit the 5K mark at under 36 minutes! (Injury or not, thats not too shabby!)  We passed the elementary school, and the beautiful dog park.  What stuck out for me this year that didn’t happen last year, we passed a church on our left, and the two Ministers were outside blessing the runners!!! It was so amazing! They were making the sign of the cross and telling us we were doing great!  Perfect for a Sunday morning!! I smiled at my Dad and told him to “Make sure Mom knows we were blessed today”, he chuckled. 🙂 Around mile 7, my Dad told me he felt a weird pain in his knee.  Not a new pain, but a pain that was new for today.  I immediately slowed down and ran in place as we tried to figure out what was going on.  His ITBS was acting out something fierce.  We thought we’d solved the first injury problem, only for another one to be thrown at us half way through a race!! OK… no problem, we’ve got this.  I talked to him, we made a plan.  “We’re going to finish.”  Speed didn’t matter, time, didn’t matter, we were going to finish, and we were going to cross the line together.  Around this point, I say this sign…

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…coincidence? I think not.  My dad? He is the definition of “Awesome sauce”.  🙂 We kept going, run/walk. (however, I was amped up and couldn’t walk, so I ran in place, or ran backwards constantly talking to my Dad keeping his spirits high), there was NO way I was going to let his first BIG race experience be a crappy one. NO WAY!  He told me to go on ahead of him, I looked him square in the eyes and said “nope. not the point today.  today is about us.” I saw a HUGE flag coming up. I remembered from last year that if was an older firetruck parked in someone’s driveway! I told my Dad and I don’t think he believed me… 😉

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I was right… 🙂  Nothing inspires you more than Old Glory (apparently!) So my Dad picked up the pace a little!! He got a good quarter of a mile in before the pain was just too much and we had to slow down again.  However, he was happy with the pace he kept for the 1/4 of a mile. Seeing him happy made me happy. 🙂  We kept running, talking, people watching, spending time together.  we paced a BUNCH of hilarious Runtelligence race signs, some of which were so funny I had to stop I was laughing so hard.  I snapped a picture of this one because my Father and I are both oenophiles. 🙂  He told me to go on ahead of him, I looked him square in the eyes and said “nope. not the point today.  today is about us.”

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I could tell the pain was getting close to unbearable for my Dad so, I started to tell him how much we had LEFT to go instead of how far we’d gone.  We were really close actually, and I think it helped. He told me I could leave him again, yea… no. Not happening.  I made a comment; “the end is near!” which afterwards made the people around me laugh. He says “That could be taken the wrong way…” 😉 “THE FINISH LINE!!! Geeze, the finish line is near!!” Eh, comedy is always good right?? 🙂  Then I saw it… The hill at mile 12.5 that kicked my ass in 2014. I also saw a sign (like an ACTUAL paper sign) that said “Eat this hill for breakfast”  I told my Dad, “Dad, I’m taking this hill, I’ll wait for you at the top ok?”  He nodded and I took off.  I think I would have made my friends at NP Baltimore pretty proud… I ATE that hill for breakfast.  I turned around and my Dad was right there… I was trucking up that hill!!  Apparently, he also wanted hills for breakfast, 😉

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We saw the race track… I told him, “Dad, this is it.  You get on this track and you’re done ok?? The finish line is ON THIS TRACK!!” He started to run again. I got pumped so I ran too.  We saw the finish line, I pointed… “Look Dad!! The finish line!! Look!!”  We heard the announcer say our names “Anastasia Miles, Stephen Miles… thats a whole lot of Miles!!”  Yea, I laughed.  And Bam!! Just like that, my Dad is a half marathoner!!  At that moment my heart swelled with pride!!  His smile when he got his medal was like a kid getting a toy on christmas morning!  He earned that thing!!!

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While looking through the race pictures, I cried… hard.  I had no idea ho much physical pain my Dad was in until I saw those picture.  For him to push through that, to finish and to be smiling as much as he was through the entire ordeal makes him that much more of a hero to me.  He inspires me to do great things.  I can’t wait for him to get well so we can run together again!! 🙂

Thank you Frederick RUnning Festival for putting on an AMAZING event, and for helping make my Dsd’s first half an unforgettable experience. 🙂

My 4th 1/2 this weekend…. #runbaltimore #oiselleteam

So, this weekend is my 4th half marathon, the Frederick Running Festival.  If you’ve been following my blog for a bit, you know this is my second time running this race. The first time was my first half – ever, last year. You can read my recap here if you’re interested. 🙂  Am I prepared?  No.  Will I finish? Of course.  Will this race be as special as last year? Yes.  Why? This year, instead of running my FIRST half marathon, I’m pacing my father for HIS first half!!  Also, this year, instead of staying at a hotel, I’ll  be staying with my Dad the night before.  He lives closer to Frederick then I do.  (I live in Baltimore.)

Why am I not prepared… hmm… I could make excuses all day and they’d be pretty good ones… but it all comes down to me not getting my ass out and running.  My longest training run for this 1/2 was a 10k… a race.  Also (ha, check this list out…)

  • I’m in the process of buying a home
  • I’m having a small procedure two days prior to the race
  • I’ve been battling an ongoing sinus infection for 3 weeks
  • I recently moved EVERYTHING of mine out of my ex husbands place
  • My son is testing for early admission to Kindergarten (he’s 4)

So, yes, all excuses that shouldn’t have anything to do with me slacking off on training… but they did.  *smack on the wrist*. My Dad is a beast.  Again, for people that frequent this blog… he kicks my tail OFTEN at races.  I usually can’t keep up.  But!!! The beast pushed a bit too far and pulled his groin… so this turtle (me) is going to help pace him to a SAFE finish for his first half.   Both my father and I are competitive.  (I blame him for my constant need to compete… its a good thing, don’t worry!)  But we also both understand the need for safety and are smart enough to know when to stop pushing.

I’m beyond excited to run/walk this race with my father by my side.  He’s only started running in June of last year (a 5k), and for him to be completing a half with me this weekend fills my heart with joy.   Will we see you there?  What are YOU running this weekend?  🙂

Zooma Annapolis 1/2 Marathon Race Recap #thisishowizooma (5/31/2014)

First off, let me apologize… This race was amazing and it shouldn’t have taken me almost a month to recap it!! Geeze!!! Slacker!!! Ok, Having never run a Zooma Race, I really had no idea what i was in for.  I kept checking the website and getting more pumped as the race day got closer and closer.  I’m from the MD/VA area anyway, so I’ve been to Annapolis MULTIPLE times and (if you’re never been – GO!!) it’s beyond gorgeous.  The historical value alone was enough to draw my ex-husband and myself down there a few times.  Anywho, beautiful seaside town with a LOT to offer.  So, naturally I jumped at the chance to run in said town.  I figured, I’ll get to run past the water (I did), I’ll get to run past the state buildings (I did), and I’ll get to MAYBE run through historic Annapolis which holds a dear place in my heart because of it’s quaint little stores and beautiful cobblestone (not fun to run on… but anyway) roads (I did!!). OK!!! For the race…

As per the usual, I laid out flat Stacey the night before with all the essentials… My BioSkin calf sleeves (which I will no longer run a long race without), my ENERGYbits that kept me fueled the entire time… My Nuun tablets to hydrate me before and (more importantly) after the race… and my race attire, including an epic shirt I won from a fellow blogger Smitha from here. See… 🙂

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First positive – EPIC SWAG!!!! I’ve gotten pretty cool stuff from races before don’t get my wrong, but I opened up my bag (yea, an actually reusable bag with a closure… not just Velcro) to find a HAT, amazing Feetures Socks in bright pink (which made me smile), my amazing shirt, and a bunch of coupons.  Happy lady… Check it out… 

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I live in Baltimore County and this race started at 0700. So we left the house a little before 6 and made it there in INCREDIBLE TIME, lol.  Helps my driver has a lead foot. (*ahem*) I had plenty of time to pee before hand, take prerace “selfies” with my gorgeous son (you can’t deny he’s gorgeous… I mean look…)

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and look around the amazingly beautiful Naval/Marine Corp stadium.  Another must, if you’ve never been.  I’d been there before for a food and wine festival the previous year, but the energy from the race made everything feel different.  Just awe-inspiring.  Of course (because I’m a goofy person, I had to take a picture of the Navy “N” with my feet… because I take pictures of everything!!!)

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Then it was race time.  Now keep in mind, this is a Women’s race series… So I didn’t know what to expect when the National Anthem came up… I’m always skeptical because I’m a singer. (no, not a “I sing in the shower or occasionally sing Karaoke” singer… like, I’ve been classically trained, Singer.)  This woman blew.me.away!! A lot of the other races I’ve been to, people will talk during the National Anthem… (which PISSES ME OFF!!!) but as soon as she opened her mouth everyone shut up and starred… it sounded like Carrie Underwood was singing. I’m getting goosebumps on my legs now thinking about it.  Her range was SPOT on, she nailed every high note and DIDN’T MESS UP THE WORDS!!! (see my Frederick half recap, lol). It was effortless.  The way the song should be executed.  Seriously, she was phenomenal.  Best singer I’ve heard at a race so far and I’ve run over 20 races. (I’ve only been running a little over year, gimme a break).  She pumped me up!!!  I had tears in my eyes (probably a combination of her amazing voice, the song, and the fact that I’m a former soldier/army wife standing in Navy/Marine corp stadium) when she finished. I was ready… 

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Go time!!! I don’t know what took over my legs but I rocketed through the starting line… It was amazing!!! The first 6 miles I was keeping a 10:30 pace! (I’m not a fast runner, this is good for me) I kept saying to myself… “Ummm, legs? Where did you come from?!!” But I wasn’t about to argue, I just kept trucking!!! I snapped a few pictures because, like I spoke about early, Annapolis is too beautiful not too!!! 

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ImageImageThen I met my newest enemy… The Naval Academy bridge… Oh.My.God…….. The 10K runners got to turn around at this point… (lucky ducks) but nooooooooo I (along with many other women) had to face this BEAST of a bridge… I can’t describe to you (unless you’ve been there the magnitude of this thing… I saw it and my heart sank. I hate hills… So my 10:30 pace?? Yea, shot that right in the ass. This bridge killed me. Killed my legs, my pace, and my soul.  I actually threw up!! (Yea, I know… that’s never happened to me before on a race…) I’m not ashamed to admit I walked (briskly) going up (after chucking…) because I felt a very unusual and sharp pain on the bottom of my foot. (later I’d find out it was a MASSIVE blister from the bridge…)

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So, my pace from here on out sucked… I made incredible time (for me) up to the 10K point… but I was screwed… I’d met my match.  Stacey – 0, Navy Bridge – 1.  I kept going… kept on trekking… slowly… because that pain in my foot was getting progressively worse… to the point that at mile nine I was limping… (not a good thing on a half marathon.) I had a few people ask me if I was ok and I just kinda nodded and kept SLOWLY jogging.  Completely disheartened… I saw people turning around!! “Oh sh*t I have to run that bridge AGAIN!!!!” OK… at this point I told myself what I frequently tell myself when I want to give up “embrace the suck Stace… embrace the suck”.  And I started to run again… as fast as my wounded feet would carry me. I thought about my beautiful baby boy waiting for me at the finish line.  I thought, “I have to get off these feet!!!”  And I ran.  I RAN up the hill going back… (not smart… puked again.. stupid hill), but going down I got this cool picture… 

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I was almost there!!! I could hear music… And then I saw him, I saw my baby boy!!! He was holding a sign and he was yelling “Go mommy go!!!” I sprinted as fast as I could! I hear a woman standing next to my ex husband say “NICE!! Strong to the finish!!” 🙂 That was nice 🙂  And then it was over… THANK THE LORD!!!! I DID IT!!! Half #2 under my belt!!! w00t!!! I grabbed water my GORGEOUS finisher medal 

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And then I went to find my “supporters”.   Time for wine and high fives!!! The wine was provided by Barefoot Winery which was just YUMMY and so much more refreshing then a beer. (and I’m a beer drinker, lol)

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Then time with my biggest fan and his amazing sign!!! Cutest fan ever!!! I love this kid!!! ImageImageImage

 

This race was incredible… I WILL be back and I WILL be prepared for the bridge next time.  I will NOT puke and I will NOT get a terrible blister that took me over a week to recover from.  Thank you Zooma for an amazing experience!!! 🙂 #thisishowizooma

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Happy #NationalRunningDay!!

This is the first year I consider myself an legit (yes I just used that word… *shame*) runner… so today is like a holiday for me!!  I should have taken off work… darn it!!! Anyway, “National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. It is a coast-to-coast celebration of a sport and activity that’s simple, inexpensive and fun. It’s the perfect way for longtime runners to reaffirm their love of running and for beginners to kick off a lifetime of life-changing commitment.”  This is the 6th annual National Running Day!!! Geeze am I behind the times… eh well, better late then never!!!  I’m super excited to run today, more so then the past few days (of my newly started runstreak… today is day 5!) because today is special.  Today is a day for us, for the runners.  So today I want you to think (if you’re a runner) why you run.  For me there are many reasons, but one sticks out more than anything else…

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I run for people that; for illness, disability, or whatever other reason, cannot run.  As you know (if you’ve read my blog before) I was deeply saddened by the bombing of the 117th Boston Marathon in 2013.  In fact, two days later is when I laced up my running shoes for the first time since college.  I realized, many of those people will never be able to run again… and for them I will run.  I will run until my legs can no longer carry me.  

Other reasons I run are much less “deep” but are still very important… 

  1. I run for my son.  I want him to see me… I want him to know that it’s possible to do whatever you want as long as your heart is in it.  I love his face when he sees me cross the finish line at races.  He’s a HUGE motivator for me. 🙂
  2. I run for my health.  Running is cheaper then therapy and medication.  Lets face it… it lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, the chances of heart conditions (those that aren’t genetic), and it makes me not want to punch random people in the face. 😉
  3. I run to stay sexy!! (I’m only half kidding…) Runners are HOT!! Come on now… we are. Runner legs and runner butt… you can’t tell me I’m wrong… you just can’t!! (yea, I’m giggling too)
  4. I run to be free… (hence my “name” on every social media website) I never feel more free then when I run.  For that brief moment in time, it’s just me and the road… NOTHING else.  I’m free. 

Why do you run?? Have a WONDERFUL National Running Day!! I hope to log at least 3 miles in today (still sore from my half this past weekend) How many miles do you want to get it??? And as always, stay happy and healthy!! ❤

Five Things Friday!!!

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First off, HAPPY FRIDAY!!! I’m looking out my office window and it looks to be gorgeous outside, gets me super excited for the first thing on my Five Things Friday list…

1. Super Long Run Today!!! I’m (per my Nike + app’s instruction) going on a 14 mile run today.  This will be my longest run… EVER.  This past weekend I completed my second 13.1 mile run (first official half w00t!), but never anything more.  So… yea.  Gotta admit, I’m a bit nervous.  I don’t know why… It’s only a mile more.  I’m just psyching myself out… I mean, whats 14 miles? Right? (laughs uncomfortably)  Eh well, we’ll see what happens.  I’ve got my trusty Bits (never run long distance without them!) and I’ll make sure to have water… as I’m running on a trail… which oddly enough has port-a-potty stops (which is AWESOME), but no where to get water. *weird face*.  Wish me luck!!!

2. Warrior Dash Tomorrow!!! I’m running (well, mudding) my second annual Warrior Dash at 9:15 tomorrow morning! (pray for me… I’m only half kidding)  They’ve added a few more obstacles that don’t look as much challenging as they do… *makes same weird face as earlier* interesting… Lets just say, I KNOW I’m leaving with bruises and scrapes.  Last year I came home and look like I’d gotten into a fight, lol.  My kind of race. 😉 Seriously though, should be fun.  This year will be a bit different.  I signed myself up, so I had a chance to become a St. Jude’s warrior.  I was able (with the help of a few AMAZING people) to raise over $300, which is going to help some very sick kids with cancer.  Selfishly, that also entitles ME to a hot shower after the mud run.  Yes, my main goal was to help the kids… believe it or not.  I work in a hospital, have spent many a night in the pediatric ER with terminally ill patients (and their parents), and I have a beautiful 3 yr old son that I would give my life for without thought.   So yea, the shower is nice, but the money raised for the kids with cancer… that’s more important.  So if you donated and you’re reading this… thank you. ❤

3. Mother’s Day!!! My third, my sisters first!! I recently (last week in April) became an aunt, to a beautiful, healthy, amazing little boy named Lucas.  He’s the second cutest little baby boy I’ve ever seen!! (Duh! My son’s cuter *wink*) I was with my sister through her entire labor process holding her hand, wiping her tears, and holding her legs while she pushed. I got 45 minutes of sleep total that night (per my trusty fitbit, lol). WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!! (I had an emergency c-section… in Germany… so her delivery was VERY different from mine).  When she was about ready to give up, I was right there coaching her.  And when that beautiful baby boy came out I yelled “YOU HAVE A BABY!!! YOU’RE A MOM!!!”  My brother-in-law cried, she cried, I cried, I’m pretty sure one of the nursed teared up… it was something.  So yea… This Mother’s Day is about my sister. 🙂 

4. Half Marathon #2!!! Yea, you read right… number 2 already.  I’m gearing up for the Zooma Annapolis Half on 5/31, hoping to shave 10-15 minutes off my time from last weekend at the Frederick Running Festival!! (another reason I’m running 14 miles today!)  This race is at the Navy/Marine Corp stadium in BEAUTIFUL Annapolis, so if I don’t PR, at least I’ll have some epic scenery!! Why am I running another half so soon you ask?  My crazy tush has a goal in mind.  I want to be a Half Fanatic.  And darn it… I’m gonna do it! 🙂 

5. It’s feels like SUMMER!!! Why am I excited about this?? This means beach weather, pool weather, play outside until 8-9pm with my munchkin weather!! I love when it gets warmer also because my spirits are higher! I think this goes for most of us.  The colder months tend to drag me down.  Being stuck inside because of the snow (and good grief did we get enough snow this winter!!) or the frigid temperatures… that’s just no good!! I want to be outside!! The tree’s are beautiful, the birds are singing, it’s almost like mother nature is begging me to come and play!! Well, I’m here!! Let’s dance! 

I hope you have a WONDERFUL weekend and enjoy the rest of your Friday!!! As always, stay healthy!!! ❤

Race Recap – Frederick NutJob #runfrederick #poweredbybits #sweatpink #imfitpissible #girlsgonesporty

Holy crap… what a weekend!!! First off FIRST HALF MARATHON!!!  YAY!!!!!!!!  Ok, simmer down Stace… No really, I’m excited.  A year ago if someone told me to run 13.1 miles I’d have probably smacked them in the mouth… now, I’d jump at the chance to run another one.  That being said, lets talk about the race(s).  I did something called the Nut Job Challenge which included a 5K Saturday night and the half marathon Sunday morning.  After completing these two races (pretty much back to back), it’s true, I’m nuts. 🙂  Packet pick up was a breeze, probably the fastest I’ve ever been too… 5 minutes in and out. Before the 5k started, the FRF (frederick running festival) had a kids fun run, which may have been the CUTEST thing I’ve ever seen.  I have a 3 yr old… so to see little ones running is absolutely wonderful to me.  I saw a little one get trampled, which wasn’t so nice… but that little man got RIGHT back up and kept running!!!  I also saw an amazing little boy who seemed to be blind.  He had a walking stick with him in one hand and his mother in the other.  He was also sporting an epic superman cape, which he was rocking!!  This little dude was the true spirit of the entire weekend.  He inspired me!  After looking at the FRF website later I found out his name was Max, so Max, thanks dude!!!  You’re an inspiration, even at 4 or 5.  Keep it up!!!  

The Twilight 5k… the skies started to look ominous… which for me is AWESOME!!!  I started to smile as I love a good rain run.  right as I crossed the starting line it started to rain!! 🙂  My smile only got bigger, lol.  I know I know, I’m a little crazy, but it was awesome!!  The rain to me is like a personal hydrater.  It keeps me cool, and more importantly, you can’t tell if I’m sweaty or rainy!  😉  So anywho, I go out and run, not too hard because I have a freaking half in the morning… but my nike plus tells me I’m running at a pace quicker then I normally do… “Ok… *weirdface* just keep going I guess” (thats when I remembered I took my trusty ENERGYbits before hand.  “HA!! Now it makes sense!!”  So I keep plowing on.  Then I see this guy…

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Lol, perfect right?? I mean come one it’s Star Wars Weekend!!!  He yells stuff like “Remember what happened to Han Solo” and I’m no more good, I’m pretty much hysterically laughing at this point.  But you can see behind him, is the turn around point.  Soooo I was half way done, YAY! Ok, so keep going. It had stopped raining, much to my disappointment, and was getting sunny… which meant the temperature was also going back up. *urgh* Eh well… I was almost done. 

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I got an email almost instantly upon finishing the 5K with my results… which was pretty awesome!!! And I didn’t do too bad!! Now keep in mind expert runner out there, I don’t pretend like I’m fast… cause I’m not. My new motto… “Not fast, but not last”.   I will ALWAYS finish the races I do, I’ll try to PR every time, but I’m no sprinter.  So, now that I can get off my little soap box… 🙂 It was a beautiful little 5K!! The scenery was gorgeous!  And I got a super cute 5K shirt!! 

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So… what happened next is pretty neat.  Austin and I were given VIP passes which entitled us to DELICIOUS food, unlimited beer (not like either of us drank anything… didn’t want to be dehydrated for the next day) and unlimited water and soda.  When I say Delicious, I’m not exaggerating… The food was supplied by Outback Steakhouse… So I’m talking, grilled chicken, steak, ceasar salad, and if you’ve ever been to an Outback… the brown bread???  YEA!!!  THAT STUFF!!!!  I only got a tiny piece of chicken and a little bit of salad, but still…. YUM!!!!

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Walking back to the car we were so elated from the food and the race we almost didn’t notice what was under our feet………

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Lol… Yep I’m totally rocking my #sweatpink laces!!! It’s true what they say, you do run faster with pink laces!!! 😉  So, we forgot that they host farm type stuff at the fairgrounds (which makes perfect sense… duh) and I thought it was adorable that the birds feet were bigger than mine!! lol. Yea, back to race stuff… Sooooo next morning….. MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!! You know if I was excited about seeing Boba Fett that I’d be rocking a Star Wars shirt on Sunday right??? RIGHT!!! 

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Yoda was with my the whole half! 🙂  So, we get up at 5:15ish, get to the fairgrounds… after a ridiculous run around trying to find parking… around 6am (our hotel was 1 mile away…. yea) and then we walk what seemed like half a mile to get to the back of the grand stand where all the other runners were chillin’.  (good warm up I guess)  I see people stretching, peeing (that was interesting), resting, hugging, all sorts of fun and quirky things before the race started.  6:53am… 7 minutes before race start… We all pile into our pace groups… The same guy who sang the National Anthem the night before sings again, except this time… he forgets the words… Eh… stuff happens… I guess. (ooops!) And then… like they knew exactly what I needed to get pumped up, Metallica… “Enter Sandman” over the loud system.  The biggest grin creeps across my face!! I start hopping up and down… I am ready!!!! And Bam!!! GO!

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The Frederick Community was amazing!!  There was a little girl around mile 4 with her Dad that was giving out free “high fives”!! 🙂 And around mile 10 the family’s were coming out of there homes with water in big cups and banana’s cut in half to give to the runners.  It was amazing!!! I’ve never seen anything like that before!!! The entire race there were people on their porches or front steps, still in their Pj’s with coffee, yelling and cheering!! It was truly awesome!! Made me feel special (yea I know I was one of like… I don’t know 5,500 or something but whatever!)  At mile 13, going up the stupid freaking hill… (if you ran it, you know what I’m talking about), there was a woman holding a sign that said “Hey Stranger, you are Awesome!” with a heart as the “O” in awesome!!  She was so cute! 🙂 Right as we came up to the end, we were on the track… you know, like where they would race horses or dogs… and there was a family or another racer who had finished already.  His beautiful little girl was sitting on the rail with her hand out giving “high fives”!!  I’m telling you!! Those “high fives” were magical!! lol.  And then there is was… the most beautiful thing I’d seen all say… the finish… I gunned it… “I’m almost done!!!”  I crossed the finish line and tears filled up my eyes… I did it… I just ran a freaking half marathon!!! 

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No, it wasn’t a Boston Qualifier (lol by any means), no it wasn’t the Sub 2:30 that I wanted, but I finished!!! The race course looked like a dinosaur, which made my son smile when I got home later that evening. 😉 And I PR’d 10 minutes off my 13.1 training run three weeks prior.  So I was happy!!! What made me even happier??? THE BLING!!!!!!!! 

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I mean, how gorgeous are those?!!! 🙂 (I’m a little proud) The Nut Job medal is for running both the 5K and the half. 🙂  After some snacks and some intense water… it was time for ice.  I knew I had to work the next day and that my legs were going to HATE me… so I went over the the medical tent and asked for ice… what happened next was not what I expected, but ended up giving me NO PAIN the next day!!! 

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Never would I have thought, saran wrap and bags of ice would lead to pain free legs the next day. I only had the ice on there for 20 minutes, and I’m not complaining!!! 🙂 Unfortunately because of the cluster F of parking in the morning… it took us almost 15 minutes and a LOT of walking to finally find my car… not the happiest of people when we finally did.  But we found it.  lol. Soooo here’s the recap

  • Good:  
  • Amazing Bling
  • Amazing Community
  • Scenic Course
  • Awesome Medical team
  • VIP meal
  • Sweet shirts
  • Easy packet pick up
  • Kids fun run to motivate

 

  • Bad
  • PARKING (not lack off, just lack of organization)
  • Hill @ mile 12.5
  • Dusty finish on the track (rocks in my shoes)

Would/Will I run this again?? HECK YES!!!! SIGN ME UP NOW!!!!!! Thank you Frederick Running Festival for an amazing running experience and for making my first half marathon an awesome one!!! 🙂

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My recent experience with @EnergyBits #PoweredbyBits #review #greenisgood

When I initially heard about ENERGYBits I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical.  A “tiny algae tab so nutritionally dense, they eliminate fatigue and hunger instantly”… really? Is this the new super food??  Then I read on… “No Sugar, no caffeine, no chemicals, gluten, or soy…” Wait? WHAT?! How is something supposed to eliminate my hunger is it doesn’t have ANY sugar and keep me energized if there is no caffeine?! (coffee-oholic over here…)  Boy was I surprised… 

So, I had to try it out. I don’t by any means consider myself a super athlete… however, I have a half marathon (my first) coming up VERY soon.  So I thought, “what better time to try out these magically bits then on a training run… the furthest run I’ve taken to date?!”  

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I got all my gear ready, including the ridiculously cute tin of ENERGYbits and hoped in the car to head to the NCR Trail.  (there is no where within walking/running distance to my house long enough for a long run.) Upon arrival I opened the tin and I was a little taken back by the smell of what I lovingly referred to later as “fish-food”.  It put a huge smile on my face though because I’d remember reading that the tablets were algae based, so DUH! What should they smell like? Bacon?! (giggle) Anyway, I took the tablets with the recommended amount of water (8oz) and surprisingly enough, they are REALLY easy to swallow!!! (YAY!!!)

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Then I set off on what I had allotted to be a 10 mile training run.  The first two miles (like most runners – or so I’ve heard) sucked. This however, all changed around mile 3-4, I felt this boost of energy!! All the sudden I felt unstoppable! Not like “Captain American” unstoppable or anything ridiculous… but regardless, it was amazing! It was at this point that I told myself “Well!! I’ll be darned, these things really do work!!”  Also, I re-thought out my plan for the run.  Instead of limiting myself to 10 miles, I told myself “lets see how far the bits will take me”.  

10 miles later (keep in mind… this was after I’d completed 5K already) I realized I was back at the car having just run my first (albeit unofficial) half marathon!!!!! 

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It wasn’t pretty time wise, but it was a half!!! Yes, I walked a bit, but that was my silly calves fault (I need to invest in a foam roller… but that’s something totally different!), I had SO MUCH ENERGY!!! My body (legs) said I was done, but (energy wise) I felt like I could go for so much more! I had a HUGE smile on my face and felt amazing!! I am 100%sold on these little “fish-food” smelling algae tablets! They live up too, if not exceed all expectation and I can’t wait to try them again on half-marathon day!! 

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Thank you so much to ENERGYbits for letting me review the product… I’m 100% coming back for more!!! 🙂

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