Space Coast Half Marathon {Race Recap}

For the second Thanksgiving weekend in a row, I ran the Space Coast Half Marathon in Cocoa. As I mentioned after the race last year, registration for the race opens in February and this year the race was full in less than 5 minutes. I was so thankful to get into the race for the second year in a row. Leading up to the race, I was really looking forward to it. It has been one of my favorite races, especially after I unexpectedly broke 2:15 last year. Since I set a new unintentional PR in October at Lighthouse Loop, I really wanted to go out and run a sub-2:10 race.

We loaded up the family on Saturday to head over to the expo and check in to the hotel. I thought it would be a fun night away for us all and Greg and the kids could meet me after the race on Sunday. We picked up our packets and stopped into the Florida Brewing Company for a pre-race beer before we carb loaded at an Italian restaurant.

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We had a nice little set up in our hotel room and I slept on the pull out couch so I wouldn’t wake everyone when my alarm went off at 4:30am. The temps were supposed to be in the 60’s and I debated wearing my new long sleeve shirt (just because I love it), but I am so thankful that I decided against it. I definitely did not need it.

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Heather and I left the boys and the kids at the hotel and drove over to the start of the race around 5am. We met up with the other MRTT mamas and chatted before it was time to head to the start line. Michelle offered to pace us on our way to a 2:10 finish time. She casually mentioned at the start line that we were going to bust it from the very beginning and not worry about conserving energy. She said that mile 10 sucks regardless, so there is no sense in saving energy. I’m glad I didn’t know that was the plan all along, but I rolled with it.

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The race started and we were off. I knew our first mile would be slower just because of the congestion on the race course at the beginning. I thought for sure it would be over 10 minutes, but when I saw 9:49 at the one mile marker, I was determined to keep every mile under 10 minutes. We stopped for a quick walk around mile three where Heather dropped back a little bit. Michelle and I continued and stopped for another quick walk around mile 5 to fuel. I took an applesauce pouch which is what I have been training with for the past few months. I made the mistake at Lighthouse Loop of taking a GU instead, so I made sure to switch back to applesauce for this race.

After our fuel break, we started to see some familiar faces of runners who were coming back on the other side of the course. This out and back course is one of my favorites as it makes for great people watching. It’s also great seeing the smiling faces of friends too for some extra encouragement. We kept on trucking and turned around just after the 7 mile marker. Around mile 8, we made a decision that we would turn on Michelle’s music at mile 10 so that was something to look forward to.

Mile 10. I hate mile 10. It’s such a tease because you’ve reached double digits and you know that you’ve come so far, but you still have 3 more miles to go! Miles 10 through 13 were not great for me. I did my fair share of moaning and groaning and poor Michelle had to listen to me do it. She was happy as a clam and was feeling great being the DJ for those three miles. I was not feeling great, but I also was determined to not stop even though I wanted to so badly. By this time, we had already talked about going for a finish time of 2:05. At some point between miles 11 and 13, I told Michelle to go ahead of me. She said no, so on we went.

The last mile felt like it took forever. I kept telling myself that I can run for just 10 more minutes, then just 5 more minutes, then just 1 more minute. Anything to keep my legs moving. We saw Michelle’s family as we turned to run around the park to the finish line. I knew we were almost done, I could see the finish line on the other side of the park and I could hear the announcer calling the names of the finishers.

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Photo credit: Craig Bailey / Florida Today

We finally crossed the finish line with a time of 2:04.48, just under our 2:05 goal and absolutely crushing my 2:13.19 PR just a few weeks before. I could not believe it. I immediately stopped to catch my breath and compose myself before getting my medal and beach towel. A volunteer came over to make sure I was okay, so I think I was looking rough at that point.

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Finally, it was time to celebrate! I met up with Greg and the kids and we saw Heather cross the finish line. This race has a great after party, so I was definitely looking forward to relaxing and chatting with the other mamas. I laid out my beach towel and ate some breakfast and didn’t want to move.

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I am so thankful that Michelle was running with me to push me during those last three miles until the very end. There were so many times that I could have stopped to walk but didn’t. This was the most mentally challenging race for me and I definitely could not have done it without her.

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I was also so happy to run into Katie again this year and catch up with her! I was looking for her during and after the race and finally saw her as we were getting our beers.

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I successfully ran the whole race with each mile under 10 minutes, even on the miles that we stopped for a quick walk. The adrenaline wasn’t pumping like it was towards the end of the race last year. It was a struggle, mentally and physically, and I immediately regretted carrying my water bottle the whole race. However, I am so happy that I pushed to the finish. Seeing 2:04 on the clock as I crossed the finish line was worth it… as well as the days of soreness that followed.

Now, I hope I can get into the race next year to earn my 3 year Milky Way medal!

my weekend in photos

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my mom and i kicked off the (long) weekend at epcot on friday. we rode rides and went through all of the countries. the weather was absolutely perfect and we had such a fun day!

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wine and cheese in germany. gewurztraminer, my favorite!

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on to the next country…

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moracco!

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london calling!

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we celebrated fenn’s 5th birthday on friday night and we were so happy to see ms. jackie too!

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we spent saturday at disney springs and had lunch at the rainforest cafe.

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oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree.

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waiting for the kids to ride the train.

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enjoying all the holiday goodness.

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the boys played at the lego store while the girls shopped.

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mr. cheeseball with his nice footrest

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the gingerbread house at the grand floridian.

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the gorgeous tree!

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we rode the monorail around and ended up at the contemporary to see their christmas decorations too. the kids loved the monorail and we got a great view of cinderella’s castle all lit up.

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we got to see meemaw and grandpa one more time today before they headed home. we loved seeing them this weekend!

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our advent calendar activity on sunday was to decorate a gingerbread house and that we did! the kids loved it.

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crosby, show me your muscles!

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we had such a fun and busy weekend, but loved spending so much time at disney with meemaw and grandpa.

how was your weekend?

advent calendar activities {2016}

Welcome to another season of Pinterest Christmas!

Pinterest Christmas

My first project for the year was to come up with activities to fill the buckets of our diy advent calendar. I am so excited for all of our fun activities this month. When I sit down to make the list of activities, I always have my calendar out so I know what fun things we already have planned so I can fill those buckets first. Next, I fill in the remaining weekend days since those days are good for more time-intensive activities. I fill in the remaining days with activities that worked well in the past, or with new ideas from Pinterest. This year, my friend Lindsey shared her list with me, so I borrowed some of her ideas to mix in some new ones.

{1} Find Sprinkles the Elf [on the Shelf]
{2} Mail Christmas cards
{3} Go to Disney Springs to see the Christmas decorations
{4} Build a gingerbread house
{5} Make reindeer chow
{6} Have snowflake pancakes for dinner
{7} Get a blizzard at DQ
{8} Wear Christmas pajamas and read Christmas books
{9} Listen to Christmas music
{10} Build a “sand” man at the beach
{11} Donate toys and clothes to others
{12} Kenley shops for Crosby’s gift
{13} Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows
{14} Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas cartoon
{15} Make a Lego Christmas ornament
{16} Family movie night: The Polar Express
{17} Crosby shops for Kenley’s gift
{18} Go to Sea World to see the Christmas lights
{19} String popcorn for the Christmas tree
{20} Drive around and look at Christmas lights
{21} Celebrate Christmas with friends
{22} Roast marshmallows over the fire and makes s’mores
{23} Make Christmas cookies for Santa
{24} Go to the Christmas Eve service at church

Some activities are small compared to others, but I don’t want to over commit ourselves or feel like we are rushing from one thing to the next. The point is to enjoy the Christmas season together as a family and that is what we intend to do! You can see our previous activities here and here.

Keep an eye out for other fun projects coming soon as part of Pinterest Christmas and don’t forget to check out Misha’s projects at Emerald City Diaries.

You can also see past Pinterest Christmas projects here.

Happy December!

my thanksgiving weekend in photos

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greg had to work on wednesday night, so we visited him after i picked the kids up from their camp day at school.

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we enjoyed the very last little bit of cool weather.

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i swore i wouldn’t get on the ferris wheel again, but they dragged me up for another go around. it actually wasn’t as bad as the first time and you can’t beat the view of the christmas lights.

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thanksgiving morning started with a four mile run with about 18 other mamas and our friend richard. it was a great way to start the day and the weekend.

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we hosted grammy for thanksgiving. it was a great meal with a delicious apple pie. we ate too much and watched a lot of football.

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crosby didn’t have any thanksgiving dinner and woke up friday morning feeling yucky. it turns out that he had strep throat and unfortunately our doctor didn’t offer any black friday specials. bummer. we ended up at the target pharmacy and i was pleasantly surprised that target wasn’t crazy at 9am on black friday. he started feeling much better by friday evening.

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after some errands on saturday morning, we headed over to port canaveral for the race expo. we hit up the florida brewing company and the kids got to play games while we tried some beers.

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we stayed the night in port canaveral on saturday night for my race this morning. the kids had fun staying at the hotel and getting out of the house.

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i ran the space coast half marathon this morning and had an amazing race, but i have been feeling it the rest of the day. i will post a recap and more pictures this week.

we had a great thanksgiving day and especially loved hearing all of the things that the kids are thankful for. we loved having grammy visit and we had a great time over on the coast. it’s back to reality tomorrow.

how was your long weekend?

my weekend in photos

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daddy had to work on friday night, so we met up with him for pizza and had a great time at opening night of light up ucf.

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it looks amazing! the holiday season is here!

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my main squeeze.

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saturday morning run with the ladies.

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we headed out to long & scott’s farm on saturday for a fun day of fall activities.

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silly boys!

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greg had so much fun navigating in the corn maze.

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playing on the playground!

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finally, a picture of the mamas!

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enjoying the corn out in the country.

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plaid on plaid on plaid for church on sunday.

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took the cars out for a spin to the park this afternoon.

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we had such a fun and busy weekend. the weather was absolutely amazing. we started decking the halls today too. we’re looking forward to a short, holiday week!

how was your weekend?

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday! There is so much to love right now, the holidays are right around the corner and we’ve been having some amazing fall weather this week.

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I have shared my love for ALDI a few times, but here is yet another reason to give ALDI a try:

ALDI to go Full Organic, Bans Pesticides and Rivals Whole Foods as the Healthiest Grocery Store

I promise, you won’t be disappointed. I am so excited about the changes coming to the store and I will definitely be expanding my grocery list when shopping there.

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Metallica’s new ablum was released this week, as well as their rendition of Enter Sandman with classroom instruments on Jimmy Fallon. I love these!

t h r e e

The Joe Biden memes are everything this week. If you need a good laugh, please go check them out. There are so many articles going viral right now about the memes and here is one about the man behind the memes.

f o u r

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Heather invited me to be her guest at Wine Women & Shoes last night benefiting the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation. It was such a fun night towards such a great cause.

f i v e

In case you missed it, I shared this week that I will be running the Chicago Marathon next October with Team RMHC. It feels way too real now that I have actually announced it to the world. I’m so nervous already.

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Friday I'm in Love Linky Party

Don’t forget to check out what Misha and Aileen are loving this week! What about you?

 

Run Chicago with #TeamRMHC

On October 8th, 2017, I will be running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I am so excited to run Chicago with the Ronald McDonald House Charities team. As a member of Team RMHC, we will be training, fundraising and ultimately running 26.2 miles to help keep families close.

Image result for chicago marathon

If you feel so inclined, you can make a donation through my Team RMHC personal page. There is no gift too small, $25 can provide dinner for a family, $80 can give a family a room for a night.  A donation, of any amount, will not only help me achieve my goal, but will help children stay close to their families when they need it most!

You can learn more about Team RMHC here and Ronald McDonald House Charities here.

I am so excited and incredibly nervous to start my journey to 26.2!