Storm The Campus 10-Miler {Race Recap}

On Sunday morning I had my last race of the season. I feel like I JUST started racing again and poof — it’s over. I’m jealous of the rest of the country who is now beginning their race season. I felt like it was fitting that my race season started AND ended at UCF.

Best running friend forever  @eatwatchrun

In any case, I didn’t even know that this race existed until a few weeks ago when Paula demanded that I sign up for it. I checked the dates (I was very excited to see that it was on a Sunday so my family could cheer me on!) and immediately forked over $40. A 10-miler is something I had never raced before and we all know I am ALL about the instant PRs.

The race started at 7:30, but we decided to try to leave by 6:30 so we had time to pick up our bibs and find parking. Paula picked me up – so I got to sleep in (aka sleeping until 5:45 on race day). We arrived all of 10 minutes later and got all confused about where the parking garage was located. We ended up asking the race packet people — and killed two birds with one stone by picking UP our bibs and shirts. It’s the little things. We finally found the garage and as we parked the car we found our new racing BFF, Tyler. Paula and I had convinced him to sign up, so we actually KNEW he has going to be there this time but didn’t expect to find him right away.




No idea why I’m posing like this, but obviously it was so I could post it in the middle of this amazing blog post.

We all thought that there would be a bigger race crowd. Instead there were less than 250.


After fighting the crowds at the Winter Park Road Race, I am definitely not complaining about running in a small race. I actually thought it was pretty awesome!

We started a few minutes past 7:30 and I just went with it. I actually RAN last week (10 miles on Sunday, 5 miles on Tuesday, and 4 miles on Thursday), so my legs were feeling happy, but not over trained. The weather had changed overnight – it was horrible, humid, and rainy on Saturday – and crisp, cool (low 50s), and windy on Sunday. It was perfect racing weather (maybe minus the wind) so those first two miles were FAST (for me).

And then at Mile 3 I had a moment of clarity and thought “What the hell am I doing??” and slowed it down a little. Actually, I saw Kat (who is fast, passed her, and then thought – OMG, I am really going to fast). I also realized that I hadn’t eaten breakfast (DERP) and took a Clif Shot because I figured I would need it (I was right).

Somewhere between Mile 3-4, I saw a familiar shadow behind me. Yep, it was Tyler. He said he felt really sluggish (yet, he still managed to catch up to me – that boy), but was going to try to stick with me. I told him I was trying to stay under a 9:00 min/mile pace – but I didn’t want to kill myself before the end. So we just ran and talked and tried to avoid looking at our watches.

This was the first race where I actually tried to push myself AND talk at the same time (not including when I was pregnant) — and you know what? I kinda liked it. I truly didn’t think I could keep the pace and constantly ramble about myself, but I’ve been surprising myself a lot lately.

Because I was talking rambling, most of the race just flew by. Every time my watch beeped, Tyler and I would look to see the pace and he would say “We’re still doing good!” We saw Paula 3 times and each time I was SO happy to see that she was only a few minutes behind us. We also screamed GO PAULA – WOO! every time we saw her. She is pretty much the closest thing I know to a celebrity.

Around Mile 7, I hit my usual wall. The wind that hit us at one of the turnarounds DID NOT help. I took a gel though and sucked it up. I’m pretty sure that at that point Tyler COULD have gone on without me – but he didn’t, instead he pushed me along and I appreciated EVERY second of it. I got another little wind with about a mile to go and we started pushing the pace. I passed Kat again, who like me was NOT appreciating the wind.

The end of the race was really fun – we ran around BrightHouse Stadium and down one of the side streets. I started my finish line sprint a little TOO soon (I actually shouted to Tyler “I think I’m going to die.”), but it was worth it.


My official time is a little confusing (they gave me the wrong chip – which I had to put on my shoe). At first it was listed as 1:27:58, but since Tyler came in at 1:25:59 we knew that was WRONG. Later, it was listed online as 1:26:00. My Garmin said 1:26:03, so we’ll go with 1:26:00. By the way, Tyler BEAT ME by 1 second. That little minx.

As for my time? My A goal was 1:30 — so I guess you can say I smoked it and I’m pretty freaking happy! Plus I came in 5th in my age group. I don’t think I’ve ever been below 10 before, even in a small race. Woo!



Of course, the best part of the race is seeing my family cheering me on. Even if L told Dan that I was wearing a pink shirt and black shorts (she woke up as I was getting ready), so he had NO idea it was me coming in for the finish.


Nope, not even close.

I also caught Paula speeding into the finish just a few minutes later with a massive PR.


Overall, I think we were all pretty happy on how the race was run! The course showed up short on my Garmin, BUT it’s short everywhere. I don’t think it registers turnarounds very well — and there were quite a few of them.


Obviously, we celebrated by taking pictures. Next year I expect more people I know at this race… and more people in general.



And then we ate at IHOP.



This was L’s — I had a veggie omelette, pancakes, and hash browns, in case you thought I was going with a lame after-race meal.


Tyler joined my crazy, crazy family and they, of course, loved him.


I think we are going to adopt him.

And just like that, my 2013-2014 race season is OVER.

Up next?? THE CHICAGO MARATHON!!! And lots, and lots of running. Lots of it.

Base Building

Well, it’s official. I’m registered for the Chicago Marathon!!


I guess I need to start working on my fundraising, huh? I’m hoping to do a BIG giveaway. I’m working on it — so stay tuned. In the meantime, if feel compelled to donate my fundraising cause, check out my page.


I haven’t made any progress on picking a training plan since, I last posted about training — so I’m doing great there too, with the exception of having 4-5 running coaches that I need to get in touch with. Lol. I have moved from the “pre-planning planing phase” into the “planning phase” aka — I’m working on building my base.

“Since you’re already running half marathons, don’t you already have a base?” <–asked by my imaginary friends

Wellll, not exactly.

I’ve found that after running continuously for a few years, that for the last 6 months I’ve been able to get away with running 10-15 miles a week (sometimes less) – and still successfully race. I don’t necessary think this is the BEST strategy, although I do think pairing it with crossing-training/strength training HAS helped me avoid injury and get back into postpartum shape. However, there’s no way I can just jump into marathon training this summer keeping up this schedule. Especially because I DON’T plan on doing a 20-week marathon training schedule. Because I was so burned out last time, I’m aiming for 14 weeks.

So my plan? From now until the first weekend in July (when training officially will kick off!), I want to slowly build my mileage until I’m running between 20-25 miles per week. I’m now averaging about 10-15 miles and I’m not going to lie, I’m STRUGGLING to get in those miles (stupid time change).

I kicked off my pre-training training by running 10 miles today.

Let the base building begin! #chimarathon

It was probably the easiest run I’ve done in months. There was no pressure to race. There was little wind and while it was a little humid, I went early enough that it didn’t matter. This is shocking, but I barely even looked at my Garmin! I really needed a run like that to clear my thoughts, reset my brain, and just love the long run. It’s a great way to start off because in about 5 months from now I’m going to need a reminder on why I LOVE the long run.

Now that I’ve kicked it off, the biggest challenge will be sticking with it. Hitting at least 20 miles a week means at least 3 days of running… which I have not been doing, because… excuses. So my first hurdle is getting out there and logging those miles.

Basically, I need to do this…


The next hurdle will be actually enjoying those miles AND keeping up with my strength training. I’d like to squeeze in two strength workouts a week, but is that too much?

The third challenge will actually be training for this marathon. Running a 10-miler by myself on Sunday morning? No big deal. Full-blown training while working, taking care of three kids, and trying (key word) to maintain a clean house AND my sanity? Yeah, that’s a different story.


I’ll report back…

Do you build a base or just jump right in? Be honest, do you think I’m insane? I can do this, right? Let the running rambling begin!!

ZKS Winter Park Road Race 10K – 2014 – {Race Recap}

I’ve haven’t talked about it much, I had a race this weekend. The ZKS WPRR 10K (so many acronyms, so little time)…


Of course, I spent the entire week before the race doing this…

I decided to take the entire week off from working out/running and just drink wine instead. The time change is killing me and I'm feeling overwhelmed. So, instead of trying to do it all, I'm taking a much needed break. #keepingitreal

Yes, sitting on my butt, with a glass of wine in hand.

I have been insanely busy these last few weeks. I mean, how is it MARCH? Between managing the kids, social activities, visiting family, and allergies (OMGTHEYAREHORRIBLE) I’ve felt very overwhelmed. The time change was the icing on the cake. It has been BRUTAL. I am exhausted during the day, but wide awake at night. So instead of trying to “stay on schedule” and fit my workouts in – I caved and focused on relaxing. Or not doing anything.

I started questioning this strategy on Thursday though, when I actually felt better and wanted to work out again. But, I stuck with it until Saturday. I don’t normally taper for 10Ks (or even halfs!) but I figured this might help me PR.

So then, I stayed up WAAAAAY too late on Friday night watching Veronica Mars


(it was worth  it)

THEN I had to deal with multiple kid wake ups throughout the night. A #motherrunner never sleeps. I probably got about 3 hours of sleep and REALLLLY did not want to get up on Saturday. My alarm didn’t even go off though – E woke up at 4:55 and that was that. Sigh.

I have to say, it’s times like these that I’m thankful I have a race buddy – because I KNEW I had to get my booty in gear to go pick her up. She really didn’t want to run this race either – so I couldn’t skip out on her. Plus…. I really wanted that damn PR.

I picked her up around 6:20 and we headed over to Winter Park. We made it in plenty of time to grab our bibs and drop out stuff at the car. My bladder decided it was going to be a jackass though and with about 15 minutes until the start I got in the LOOOONG line to use the porta potty. I amazingly made it to the start with a few  minutes to spare, but I’m couldn’t find Paula.

My A goal for this race was sub-53. I don’t know WHY, but I figured if I could run 53:xx during a half marathon I would be able to hit 52:xx during a 10K. Spoiler: I did not hit this goal. However, my B goal was to PR – and truthfully dealing with a crappy night’s sleep, allergies (my nose was a mess the ENTIRE run), and 95% humidity – I am very happy about hitting this goal!

The gun went off at 7:30. The first mile I went out I felt like I was continuously dodging people. I love Track Shack races, I really do, but I do not love how crowded the starts are. Or maybe it’s just the people lining up in their wrong pace groups? I was really spoiled at BDR a few weeks ago. I actually watched a dude totally cut off another dude and then practically come to a halt within the first half mile. He didn’t even apologize – but gave the person he cut off a dirty look! So rude.

In any case, unlike most races – the first mile was way slower than I expected. I saw it pop up on my Garmin and thought “GET MOVING woman.” Which explains the much faster 2nd mile! I don’t really remember much from these miles, by the way, except I was constantly staring at the ground trying not to trick on the brick. Oh, the brick. I always forget how much brick there is on this course. And hills. You can kind of tell there’s some elevation… it’s still Florida, but this is probably the hilliest race I run.


Random, but I also remember checking out all of the cute shorts that other women were wearing. Man, there are a lot of cute running shorts out there right now.

I kept it fairly steady until about Mile 4 when I thoughts – how did I run this fast 2 weeks ago? Hmmm… maybe if I hadn’t sat on my ass the entire week I could have been a little speedier? I reallllly slowed it down at Mile 5 because there was this guy who was running next to me and it was starting to drive me crazy. He would get in my space during turns (and there were a lot of turns) and then it felt like he was drafting me. Me no likey. So I let him run ahead of me – just enough to keep in eyesight.

Around Mile 5.75, I was ready to dig deep and just FINISH. So I pushed myself. It felt horrible, but there was this girl next to me who kept speeding up every time I sped up. And, duh, we were racing (I lost). Then I saw the dude. I knew I was going to pass him and finish before him – but I turned around as I passed him and shouted “Come on – let’s go!” He either thought I was a major bitch or just crazy because he did not. You better believe I beat him.

And FINALLY, I was done.


Garmin OFF. Lol.

My official results say my net time and my course time are the same – but my Garmin begs to differ.




  • Course time/net time: 53:47
  • Garmin time: 53:17

I definitely didn’t start immediately when the gun when off – but I’m going with their time if that means I’ll be able to PR again the next time I run a 10K. Although, hopefully it will be sub-53:00!


After the race, I grabbed my medal and some water — and immediately ran into Tyler – my new race buddy. This time, I remembered to take a picture!


I did not see him during the race this time (he finished sub 50:00 — so speedy!!), but it was great catching up with him afterwards. Sidenote: he ran Sarasota the day AFTER and PR’d there as well. What a rockstar!)

We then found Paula and a whole slew of other people we knew, including my coworker BK who ran his first 10k!

Meant to post this earlier... Sweaty, but cute. #bestestrunningfriend


Man, I know a lot of runners! I love it.

So in short: There was a lot of brick and hills, I PR’d, I can still run faster and I will, and runners are the best :)

Best Damn Race- Orlando {Recap}

Also known as… the race where I PR’d and also flashed some dude my crotch. <–you read that right.

Saturday was the Best Damn Race – Orlando. There was a half, a 10K, a 5K, and a 10k/5K challenge. I ran the half.


The name had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it delivered. But, I’m ruining the story and getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the very beginning…

I feel like I signed up for this race forever ago. I wanted to be one the people who only had to pay like $5 to race. I don’t know who these lucky bitches are…but I logged on RIGHT AWAY (I was on maternity leave — it was THAT long ago) and was still more than 100 people out. Woomp woomp.

But that’s okay because I DID convince a few people to run this race with me. Most notably, my good friend Tracy, who had previously stuck with 5Ks and  triathlons — and my my friend Keith who just got back into this running game after running sprints in college. And of course, Paula was in from the start.


I also know that my local bitches (love you guys), and a few Tampa ladies were all in — so even if it wasn’t the BEST damn race, it was going to be a pretty GOOD damn race.

I’ve learned over the years that in order for it to be a good race, I needed to ensure that I am stressing Paula out as little as possible. This involved leaving the house at 5:45….for a 7:15 race. At the time, I was like “DUDE”, but now that the race is over and there was a {spoiler alert} happy ending for all involved, I fully endorse a ridiculously early wake up.

I pulled myself out of bed at 4:45. It was not easy because for some reason I couldn’t go to sleep until midnight (and there was a 3am wakeup). Once I was up, I was fine. I got dressed, threw on a little makeup (mostly because it includes SPF and I don’t look dead to the world), brewed a cup of coffee, and then snuck in a quick nursing session with E. It was either that or pump – and I’d much rather nurse — and he barely woke up. After BFing, I drank my coffee, collected my thoughts, put all of my crap on me, and hit the road.


Crap. FYI – look for a review on the handheld soon. Short recap is that I LOVED IT.

I amazed myself (and probably Paula), but actually leaving the house ON TIME. I got my friend Tracy at 6, and was at Paula’s by 6:20. We then headed downtown, parked without issue, and headed over to Lake Eola for the race start. We also hit up Panera on the way for a quick pre-race pee (it’s SO MUCH BETTER using a real bathroom) – and then headed to the start.



Can you see my pores?

At the race start we met up with a million blogger friends and a few work friends as well. We nervously chatted for about 20 minutes and then lined up with a few minutes to spare.


Picture stolen from Meghann

Paula and I commented that we had never been that close to the start of a race before (even at the Baldwin Half we were further away!)– and we were in line with the 2:00 hr pace group! It was really the perfect number of people to race with. Not too crowded, but still enough people to feel a little competitive.


No idea that I’m about to flash a stranger in an hour or so.

So, the race…

I went into this running it for fun. At least 10 people asked me what my goal was, and I seriously didn’t have one. So my standard response was “To have fun.” I wasn’t feeling a PR. Really, I wasn’t. I got a pretty sweet PR in January and didn’t really expect anything better. I hadn’t done more than 6 miles outside since then (and the max I did was 8 on the treadmill), although I have been feeling really strong during my weekly early morning runs. And just… happy. Therefore the goal was to just have a happy run.

As I took off, I spotted Victoria, Meghann, Beka, and Carissa ahead of me. I knew that Victoria and Beka were gunning for a sub 1:55 and that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up, but I figured it would be fun to stick with them for a few miles. It was fun chatting with them – although I was actually pretty amazed that was possible because we were averaging an 8:30 pace. After about 3 miles, I Victoria, Beka, and Meghann pulled ahead – while Carissa and I ran at the same pace for a few more miles. We were both thinking “Why the hell are we running so fast??” There was no answer to that though – it just felt GOOD.

The Best Damn Race course was similar to OUC in some parts (same area, similar cobblestones that I wanted to punch), but not others. Probably the BEST part of the course was running around Lake Underhill at mile 5ish. It was just such a pretty day and the weather could NOT have been better. I swear there were birds sitting on my shoulders chirping — that’s how surreal this run was.

Around Mile 6.5 we started on the out-and-back part of the course. It was through an older, but pretty, residential area. It probably would have been boring and a little tedious (there were a lot of turn arounds – in fact there were something like 40 turns/corners in this race!!) if I didn’t know so many people running – but instead I got to see at least 5 people I knew and mentally high-five them. Mental high-fiving was fun. It was a pretty awesome pick me up – especially because everyone looked so damn happy.

There was one little blip in my run. At Mile 8 I had the urge to pee SO BADLY I couldn’t stand it. The only time I’ve ever had to pee during a race before was when I was pregnant, so this was SO bizarre. I decided that it was either pee myself or go to the porta potty – and when I saw the porta potta at Mile 8.25 I jumped in it (I was thankful there was no line!). Unfortunately, I did not do a great job of locking the door (I SWEAR I LOCKED IT) and while I was mid squat peeing, I dude opened it. Yes, I just wrote that. A DUDE OPEN THE DOOR and got an amazing crotch shot of me, MID PEE. (Are you visualizing this yet?)  I screamed.


He yelped. I pulled the door shut. I didn’t look him in the face and I’m hoping he was ONLY looking at my face. Then I pulled myself together and got back on course. He wasn’t there when I jumped out (thankfully) and I just kept on running. What else can you do?

I lost about 2 minutes (and ALL of my dignity) in the porta potty, so I had a little catching up to do. I have to say I don’t normally run a sub 9:00 pace at mile 9 and 10 — but for some reason not only did I have no issue hitting that pace, but it felt good.

Around Mile 11, I got a text from Dan that B had gotten a double during his baseball game. I was so proud!! And forever reason it made me simulanteously tear up and speed up. Lol. Around this time I also noticed this dude running close to me. He kept creeping up (but not in an evading way) and then backing off, before he finally sprinted past me at Mile 12. He seemed super fit, so I was kind of impressed with myself for keeping up with him!

I have to say, I really enjoyed the last mile of the race. We ran straight down South Street (which is a slightly downhill stretch that I welcomed with open arms after running up hills on the cobblestone for the last mile) and then turned onto Rosalind and then turned onto Central for the finish. Right before the turn onto Central, I saw a co-worker (who is typically faster than me) and set my sights on catching him. About 400 meters from the finish I caught him and then managed to pass him (turns out he was hurting, so I tried not to rub it in).

And then I crossed the line and saw my time on my Garmin — 1:54:14. NO FREAKING WAY. My official time ended up being 1:54:12. The race was SLIGHTLY short, but eh, who cares. If this had been any other race where I jacked up my Garmin, I would have never known. Also, I would have PR’d even if it was long — so I’m rolling with it!


I was kind of in a daze when I get my medal! I saw Beth (who was volunteering) and introduced myself (and also smacked her with my medal – sorry!). I was on a such a high, I probably looked and sounded like a delirious fangirl. (She was VERY sweet)

I then found Victoria, Beka, Meghann, and Amanda and heard all about their AMAZING races too! It was like PR after PR rolling in…. Paula, Katy, Tracy — who ran her first in 2:05 (amazing!!), and Keith who ran his at least 10 minutes faster than he anticipated. ALL PRs BABY!! We celebrated with beer — of chips and beer and lots of photos.  




Then the guy from Mile 11 (turns out his name is Tyler) came up to me and introduced himself. He thanked me for pushing him to keep going. I thanked him as well – you’ve got to love a little friendly competition. This is reason 309438 that I love the running community!

After the drinks and food it was time to ring the PR Bell.

1:54:14 (unofficial) #bestdamnpr @bestdamnrace

It was a sweet, sweet moment!

It was especially sweet because this was  my last half marathon until October (I have a 10K and a 10-miler coming up this month and I’m hoping for MOAR PRs!!). What a DAMN GOOD WAY to end the 2013-2014 half marathon season!

So the verdict? This was THE BEST DAMN RACE.

Pre-Planning Planning

I’m not always Type A, but when I decide to commit to something, I go all in.


Maybe “all in” isn’t the term I’m looking for… more like obsessed? It’s like I can’t stop my brain from trying to plan for the future. What’s funny is that I’m really not all that obsessive about small details. So I don’t stress about things like what day an event is, how I’m going to there, or what time I need to be there (this drives my husband insane), but I do like to have a general perspective on what’s going on during the week, month, year, etc. I’m a big picture person and I like to set goals and accomplish them. Sometimes.

And by perspective I mean – spend hours and hours doing research. Obsessive, research. And I love every minute of it.


Truthfully, I love doing research, especially comparative research. It’s partially why I love my career – and also why I love Google so much. I will Google the crap out of anything. Sidenote: Need something Googled? Let me know.

The best part? My love for research carries over into running.


In fact, even though training for Chicago doesn’t start until June/July  – I am totally geeking out over here researching training plans.


Kinda like Jimmy Fallon and this lamb goat. Well, not really — I just really wanted to share this gif. Edited: Kara informed that it’s actually a GOAT. Derp.

I don’t know what my time goal is going to be (OK, I’m lying – my goal is sub 4:15 – but I would be happy with a sub-4:30 because… PR), and I don’t know what kind of speed work I want to incorporate. I SO know that I want to try a 4-day running schedule (like time I did 3 days) – with at least one day of cross training, if not two.

So these are some of the training schedule I’m currently looking into:

I’m actually NOT opposed to hiring a coach – because isn’t it GREAT to have someone hold you accountable???

I am also mentally trying to easy my way into “training season.” I think my biggest challenge is going to be waking up EARLY on a Sunday without a running group. I also want to do at least one longer run during the week (7-9 miles), so I’m going to try to figure out which morning works best.

So, as you can see, I am pre-planning planning.

What makes you nerd out??? Any marathon plans or maybe a coach you can recommend??