Monday, February 20, 2017

Big Game 4 Miler Race Recap - February Race 2017

Oh my gosh did we find a fun February Race!!! All you NC peeps will want to check this one out!!

For February we ran the OS1st Big Game 4 Miler on Super Bowl Sunday, in honor of Super Bowl Sunday. 



The race started and finished at the Carolina Panthers Stadium in Charlotte, NC. 




My daughter Tess, and friends Elizabeth and Kathleen joined me for this one. It was super cold Sunday morning so we bundled up and left super early to get down to Charlotte. Charlotte is only an hour or so away but we needed to get there early to grab our bibs. The email that came out did make it sound like there might be a long line but there wasn't. 


We got a super cute long sleeved black soft Tshirt and a pint glass too!! So cool!!

After getting our goodies we headed back to the car to keep warm until start time. We were parked only a short warm up walk away. We managed to time the return just right with the exact amount of time we needed for a potty break and then we ran right into the start of the race!



I ran this one with Tess and I was so super proud of her she ran the entire thing with no stopping!!! She also has this super steady pace so I am certain that is how she did it. She stayed true to her pace and we finished strong together!! I love running races with her!!! 



The course was great and it was fun seeing all the football attire out there! Of course we choose the Carolina Panthers for our team and we wished they had made it to the Super Bowl! Maybe next year! 





Tess and I ran to finish hand in hand <3 What a fun way to kick off Super Bowl Sunday!




The race medal was awesome! It is now hanging out with it's fellow medals on my wall! 





I highly recommend this race, I would definitely do it again! 




No on to serious training to get ready for March! March will be my first half for the year!

What races have you ran? Any favorites you can recommend? 

Happy Running! 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hot Chocolate 15K Atlanta 2017 Race Recap

My January Race Recap

For my January race I ran the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15K again this year. It was such a fun race last year and this year my running group decided to run it as well. My daughter Tess and Sister-In-Law Dawn also went and ran the 5K!




Atlanta is about a 4 hour drive so we did book hotel rooms and went down the day before. This is a must to get you packet and race bib!

I was a little underwhelmed by the expo this year. Last year there were more vendors and more photo props. I know that sounds silly but us runners love photo ops!! 


I bought a couple shirts and some Nuun and that was it.

The Hot Chocolate Race gives out a jacket instead of the typical race t-shirt and this year the jacket was great, it even has a hood! I was so excited this year that I got registered early. Last year those who registered early had the Atlanta Skyline embroidered on their jackets. I just knew mine would be embroidered this year but it was not. Womp Womp...

This year the course was changed a bit and the starting line and finish line were too. We stayed at the Double Tree Hotel which was the perfect location. The starting line was outside the front door. 



After the Expo we headed to the hotel to get checked in before dinner. It took about an hour to get to our hotel which was only a couple blocks away. There was a march occurring and the streets were blocked for miles. That isn't something you see everyday and one day will be remembered as a day in the history books so yep we were a part of that (sort of lol).

Once we pulled up to the hotel I was a bit confused, I didn't realize my only parking option was valet but whatever. Thirty Five Bucks and I don't have to worry about my car... Ok! Checked in and then pretty quickly headed out. We also didn't realize there was a big game in Atlanta that same weekend so reservations were hard to come by. No matter we met up with some other hometown friends and went to Max Lager's and had no trouble getting a table! It's so fun to spend time with friends the night before a race!

The hotel experience is one we will not soon forget. That night as we settled in to bed for the evening a group of men, who had a key to our room, attempted to come in. We freaked the freak out I am telling you!!! Apparently the hotel had re-assigned our room. Thank goodness we had flipped the little metal door stop so they were unable to come all the way in. I called the front desk, they apologized it was a "computer glitch" and assured me it wouldn't happen again. We were in our jammies for goodness sake! A bit later, as we were all sound asleep THE SAME THING HAPPENED AGAIN!!! This time another group of men with an activated key to our room. WHAT THE WHAT!!??!! I personally nearly had a heart attack! I was freaked out the first time but being woken up that way the second time I was terrified. I of course called back to the desk, received a second apology and a comped hotel room. But still!!! Sheesh! Needless to say non of us probably slept well after that. 

The next morning we were up and at it and at the start line! I love that race, the course is great, a few hills but mostly flat and it is so fun running in the city. I do miss not running by the Ferris Wheel like we did last year but other than that I loved it!







Along the route there were plenty of aid stations and loads of chocolate along the way. Toward the end a group was handing out tissue!!! How awesome is that!! 



The medals this year were wonderful and I thought they did a better job with the after party than last year! Much more space!





I highly recommended the Hot Chocolate 15K Atlanta. I am not 100% sure if I will do it again next year, there are so many other fun races to try out and not nearly enough time! I will be back though for sure one day!

January race CHECK!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Isabella Santos Foundation 5K and 10K for Kids Cancer Race Recap

 
In reflecting on 2016 I realized I have not yet completed my race recap for the 10K for Kids Cancer I completed on September 24, 2016.

This event is a difficult one to write about. A typical recap consists of the description of the race route, was it easy, difficult, was there support, etc. It helps runners decide if it’s a race they may want to consider in the future. I don’t know about you but I search for recaps before I run ANY race! I learned the hard way and found myself in some surprising situations on runs. I now find a recap to prepare for the race.

This race was unlike any other I have ever ran. I have wanted to do this race for a couple of years now but just haven’t. You see I have a little buddy Sam who was diagnosed four years ago December 29th, 2012 with Neuroblastoma. Sam is now heading into 2nd Grade! 


Sams mom Denielle has been my friend for many many years. My little girls where the flower girls in her wedding in 2003.


Having a child diagnosed with Cancer is something I cannot even imagine. My heart broke for their family and I watched helplessly as they endured the most terrifying journey of their lives. It has been a long hard fight and Sam is doing great today!

Isabella Santos was a little girl who also had been diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at the age of 2 and fought for five courageous years. In June, 2012, she ended her battle. The Isabella Santos Foundation was created to continue to fight today, in her honor and memory and for other kids still fighting.

I can’t even type this re-cap without sobbing. Losing a child is my worst nightmare.

Tess and I registered for this race, I would run the 10K, my very first 10K, and she would run the 5K. I loved having Tess there at this race with me. I love that she runs!



Looking around at this HUGE crowd that filled the streets I found myself wondering how many of these people have lost a little child, how many of these kids that I see might be fighting right this very minute. I was so overwhelmed with emotion.

There were so many people, purple flooded the area!






The race day packet pick up went smooth and quick. Music was playing for our entertainment and I heard them announce “This was Isabella’s favorite song”.  I found myself again choking back tears (and now again as I type this too).

As we lined up to the starting line this man and woman jumped up in the back of a pick-up truck and the man handed the microphone. These were Isabella’s Parents. I quickly turn away to collect myself. Standing just steps away are these people who once had this amazing full of life little girls and now don’t have her anymore. My heart breaks. You can tell they are overcome with emotion. Missing their daughter and honored that so many people are in this place in her honor.  




The race started, the course was a loop for the 5K and a double loop for the 10K. There were a few rolling hills but nothing too bad. Plenty of water along the course however there was no water when I finished my race. No biggie, knowing that there were that many people there that they ran out of water filled my heart with joy. Next time I will remember this and take some water with me just in case.



At the finish there were medals, oh and the race shirts were great too. There was a huge like festival after the race, tons of activities for kids, tons of vendors and a silent auction.

Molly was there from WBTV having kids write get well notes to other kids currently in the hospital. This was another reminder that while this was a fun event there are children sick and families suffering.





As far as a race goes it was great. It was a beautiful day, we were gathered with friends and we ran.


As an experience, however, it was emotional. The most emotional event I have ever participated in. It was reminder that while I go about my day to day every day others are in a very very different place. It reminded me to wake up each day and first pray for others, like these children and families,  and then be thankful for the healing, our health, and all the blessings we are given.

The Isabella Santos Foundation shared that the race was a huge success. The foundation provides financial support to Neuroblastoma Research to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), Neuroblastoma Research to NMTRC, Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, Make-A-Wish- of Central & Western Carolinas, various pediatric cancer charities and providing financial support to local families battling cancer.

I will absolutely run this race again! I encourage you to as well! It is powerful, it is meaningful and it is for a great cause!


“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” ― Wendy Mass

Monday, January 9, 2017

Couch to 5K to Half Marathon – A training update


As you know I spent the months September through December leading a Couch to 5K Program

I love leading this program but while I am running with this group I tend to scale back on my long runs. I like to run long on Saturdays and through this program I run group runs on Saturdays as we work up to the 5K. Now that this 12 week program is over I have begun ramping back up! 

This works out nicely for me as it is perfect timing to begin training for my next half marathon in the spring, the Asheville Half.

I ran 8 miles on January 1st. I will run 9 miles again on the 14th and I will run the Atlanta HotChocolate 15K on the 22nd!!!

It’s so fun to add in some fun races in amongst your training! The Hot Chocolate 15K will be my first event for 2017! I hope it’s a tad bit warmer than it was last year! I am looking forward to a fun girls getaway weekend. I have my entire running group going this time and Tess will run the 5K!


I have enjoyed some great runs around town, on the greenway, at the lake and even on the treadmill! Getting in those miles every way I can!







Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A reflection on 2016

2016 came and went in a flash! It amazes me how as I get older the years seem to get shorter and shorter. This past year was a great year but I am looking forward to 2017!

I have seen many people setting their 2017 goals and others who say they prefer not to. I love setting goals, even if I don’t reach them. I feel that by setting goals I set myself up for success and start the New Year off in a positive way.

For 2016 I set a lofty goal of running 1,000 miles, running two half marathons and incorporating cross training into my routine. I DID run two half marathons and I did add in some cross training for a little bit and then slacked off. I didn’t reach my mileage goal but I got further than ever before so for me the goal setting was a huge success. If I hadn’t set the goal I may have never even tried and I did meet one of my goals 100%. Without a goal I would not have had a direction to head. I am excited about my goals and I am proud of how far I have come this past year as a result of goals!

I ran 717 miles in 2016!! This is a big, huge, giant jump from my previous years! I am again so thankful for my goal because without it I may not have even reached this far!

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.” ― Norman Vincent Peale

Each year I run I make it further and further! I love it!

2016 – 717 miles
2015 – 437 miles
2014 – 261 miles
2013 – 254 miles

This past year I also ran 9 races!

10K for Kids Cancer
South of the Mountain Trial Run

We didn’t get in any camping this past year, my girls are at the age where they are just not interested and having Tess still at home we have decided to wait until next year to get back out there!

We have gotten in a few great hikes and spent some time on the river!










2016 was a great year to run but I think 2017 will be even better!


One of my favorite podcasts, The Running Lifestyle Show, always closes with this quote:

“Honor where you have been and look forward to where you are going”

I love that! I am thankful for 2016 and cheers for the New Year!



Monday, January 2, 2017

One Word for the New Year

As I began to think about my first post of the New Year I originally thought I would do a recap of the past year. On second thought I decided that for 2017 I wanted to spend more time looking forward than looking back and so I choose to save the recap for another day and look forward today instead.

I am facing some big changes this year and rather than dread the change, I will become an empty nester as my little Tess will head off to college the summer of 2017, I will look forward to it and prepare for it making it the best experience possible.

Over Christmas as I was baking Christmas Cookies for the first time without my girls and I acknowledged that things were changing and I immediately started to feel sad about it. I then thought of my Nana Mayer, she spent the majority of her years baking those same cookies with no one to bake with her and she found so much joy in it rather than sadness. Change is well change and instead of resisting I have decided to embrace it.

I have thought a lot about my New Year’s resolutions and Goals for 2017. I have been reading a lot about having one word for the year, a word to shape this New Year. When I first began thinking of my word I thought of the word joy. I want to live a joyful year this year but as I found myself deeper in thought the word light became a prominent word that pushed past joy.

Light will be my one word this year.

Here is what Dictonary.com says about Light.

Light has so many meanings but my thoughts led to these ideas of how I want Light to be my one word for 2017:

I want to be Light in my own life, I want to have a light air about me, light and happy. I want to find the light in all that I do, have a light mood all year, I want to take things a little more lightly and I want to be light and always cheerful with others as well.

I want to somehow be a light for someone else. Through interactions with others I hope that someone will find their own light. I want to share my light with others.

I want to be light on my feet, light as a runner, injury free, maybe shed the few holiday pounds. I have set my running goals for the year accordingly.

I want to enjoy the light. I love being outside and the more I get out the more light I get. I want to enjoy all the sunlight there is this year!


The goals I have set for 2017 are:

Live my one word - Light

Run 1,000 miles

Complete 12 Races, I already have 9 on the calendar!

Read 12, printed copy, Books, I have a few I know I want to read but I would love suggestions if you have some great recommendations!

I have already started my first book for 2017 but my second I think will be Jon Gordons “One Word” Book to help me on my journey with my first “One Word”. There is also this great One Word Promise.

I love setting new goals for a new year. It feels so deep and meaningful to me. I have filled out my calendar already this year with the word Light and my goals on each page so that I do not have an opportunity to dismiss my intention and purpose for the year.  I look forward to seeing what this New Year brings and how my One Word shapes my year!

Join me and find your One Word for 2017! This is going to be a great year!


Many blessings to you and yours in the New Year! May you have health, happiness and prosperity in 2017!




#IamEmpowered



Monday, December 5, 2016

The dark days of running

My running routine has been a little slack these last two months! I have been a busy busy bee and the days are quite short...



We have been working on college applications for Tess; all early applications were due in October. That is like a full time second job. She would be on one computer and me on another working to input the same information over and over again. 

We had lots of family fun at Thanksgiving. 




We have also been busy gearing up for Christmas. 



Tess’s school football team had a great season and went to the playoffs so we had a few more games than expected and no break between football and basketball season. Basketball season is in full swing now already. That is two to three games a week!


My Run for God Group has been going so well and we just ran our 5K on Saturday night!



Did I mention I was also Race Director for that race, the Night of Light 5K, that was held this past Saturday! It was a great event!! So much festive holiday fun!!! We had a great time!!




It has been a whirlwind!

Aside from running with my group training for the 5K I have not been getting out and running as I would like. 

I think these dark days are getting to me! I am not seeing much sun these days since daylight savings time ended! I am at work as the sun comes up and I leave work as the sun is going down. I am feeling a bit tired and lazy and it basically looks like bedtime by the time I am home each evening. On top of that it’s getting colder. I am not surprised that so many people suffer from SAD, Seasonal Affect Disorder, this change is taking me some getting use to this year. We have also had some serious wildfires just down the road from us and our air quality has been seriously impacted. 

In October I got in 74 miles and in November 29 miles. This gives me 698 miles for the year so far with one month to go.


 I look forward to what December holds! I am going to push my self out the door this month and finish the year strong!




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