monthly miles {april}

We are creeping back into the heat here in Florida and it’s only going to get worse!

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Total miles: 52.48

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Fun places I ran: Disney World! Other than that, just the normal routes in our area.

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Races I ran: Run Disney Dark Side Half Marathon — I am working on a full race recap to come with a lot of pictures!

Favorite running thing this month: REST. As much as I hate to say it, I took a FULL WEEK off this month from running and working out. Following spring break, I was having what I thought to be groin pain. I stopped my first long run of the month after two miles because I didn’t want to push it. I ended up at the chiropractor and he said it was my hip flexor and psoas muscle, as opposed to my groin. Aside from resting, I have been focusing on stretching. I ran my race last weekend and it hurt pretty badly on Monday, but has healed up nicely this week. I definitely will be listening to my body over the next few months. I want to go into marathon training completely healthy!

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Longest run: 13.44 miles

Non-running workouts: I got on the elliptical a few days this month. I say it every month, but now that I don’t have any races on the calendar, I will be doing a lot of strength training in the coming months.

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Next month: I am dedicating the month of May to fundraising for Team RMHC and the Chicago Marathon. If you’d like to donate to a great cause, visit my Team RMCH page!

monthly miles {march}

Another month has come and gone!

Total miles: 67.67 (I couldn’t do that again if I tried)

Fun places I ran: Other than our normal neighborhood routes, I ran in downtown Orlando, Jacksonville, and overlooking the port of Nassau, Bahamas from the Disney Dream!

Races I ran: Best Damn Race half marathon and Gate River Run 15k

Favorite running thing this month: Free race photos! One major perk of the Best Damn Race is that they have free race photos for you to download. I’ve never purchased a race photo because they are usually about $25 per photo. Hopefully more races opt for this perk in the future!

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Longest run: 13.16 miles (BDR half marathon)

Non-running workouts: I was on point this month with my Monday morning non-running workouts at the Y. I did the elliptical every single week this month, which was one of my monthly goals. We didn’t make it to the Y as much this month on the weekends because of my race schedule and spring break, so that’ll be on the list for next month. And also, strength training. I failed miserably at that goal this month.

Next month: I will be running my first Run Disney race!

Gate River Run 15k {race recap}

On March 11th, I ran the 40th Gate River Run 15k in Jacksonville, Florida. Greg and I picked up the kids on Friday afternoon and we headed north. It was our first time in Jacksonville, so I was excited for the kids to stay the night in a hotel and go exploring the next day. We walked over to Jacksonville Landing on Friday night for dinner with the hopes of watching the IU game, but no such luck. We had a good view of the first bridge I would run the next morning.

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Heather had a good view of the second bridge, the green monster, from her hotel room. Yikes.

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The race didn’t start until 8:30am, so I was looking forward to getting up a little bit later on Saturday morning, but no such luck again. Crosby was up several times in the night and we all were up at 5am when he woke up throwing up. Not the best way to start the morning. I considered just going home right then and there, but Greg told me I needed to run. I headed out to meet Heather and Nathan to walk to the race around 6:30am. Considering what I had left Greg with in the hotel room, I was incredibly anxious and jittery leading up to the race.

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We met up with Juliana at Everbank Field (where the Jacksonville Jaguars play) and waited until it was time to get into our waves. I made a rookie mistake when I signed up for the race and entered the non-seeded division putting me in wave 2. Heather planned on starting with me, but they wouldn’t let her into wave 2 since she was seeded in wave 1. I was bummed, but she ended up waiting to start in wave 2 with me.

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There was a lot of down time since we got to the race super early. I was bouncing around like crazy, still very anxious and nervous. I didn’t know the city or the race route and I kept texting Greg to see how Crosby was.

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Wave 1 started around 8:30am including the elite runners. The Gate River Run is the largest 15k in the nation so there were tons of professional runners running the race, which was really cool to witness. Wave 2 moved up and we were ready to start.

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Our first mile was really fast (8:27) but I knew we would slow down a bit moving into the first bridge right after the first mile. I slowly ran up the bridge being careful on the grates of the bridge. We continued on our way and had a solid first 5k before we slowed it down again. The weather was really great when we started but it quickly warmed up.

The middle of the race was really great as we ran through the neighborhoods in Jacksonville. The houses were gorgeous and the spectators were awesome. Each neighborhood had their own little block party. The spectators were having more fun than the runners. They were tossing donut holes to the runners and were offering Jell-o shots, beer, mimosas, and food as we passed. Before heading to the second bridge, several spectators were spraying the runners with a hose.

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Just after mile 7.5, we headed up towards the green monster. My legs were hurting, but the bridge was so steep that it almost felt better to jog up rather than walk. We found Juliana again while we were towards the top of the bridge, so the three of us made our way down towards the finish. The bridge was just as steep coming down and there was a lot of turns since we were coming down the ramp. We had to wind around the stadium to get to the finish. About .2 miles away from the finish, Heather tripped and fell. It was so scary. The road was packed so as I bent down to help her, Juliana immediately started blocking people from running into us. Another nice gentleman stopped to make sure she was also ok. She was able to get up and finish, thankfully, but she was bleeding from her knees and hands. After all of that, I finished with a 1:39:47 which was a PR! It wasn’t the finish I was hoping for, but I’ll take it.

The end of the race was insane. There were people everywhere and the area around the finish line was so small and tight. We met up with Nathan and Heather headed to the medical tent to get cleaned up. We all skipped the after party, which looked just as insane, and I headed back to the hotel to check on everyone.

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Overall, the race is a really good race, but I wish I was able to enjoy it more. I was worried about Crosby the entire time and then worried about Heather after the race was over. We had hoped to explore St. Augustine on the way home, but Crosby got sick the entire morning, so home we went. Both kids napped the whole way home. By that night, I was so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. It was a long 24 hours. I’m not sure I’ll be back to Jacksonville for the Gate River Run anytime soon, but maybe eventually?

Best Damn Race Half Marathon {Race Recap}

On Saturday I ran the Best Damn Race half marathon downtown. This was my third time running a Best Damn Race, but my first time running the half marathon. My last two BDR races were the 10k in 2015 and 2016. Both of those races resulted in a 10k PR so I was pretty fond of the BDR race. However, I wanted to do something different this year.

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The race started at 7:25am, which is later than normal, but it was nice to have the sun up at the start of the race. It was chilly and I even considered wearing my long sleeve shirt, but I am so happy I didn’t. The weather was great, but I was definitely hot during the race.

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The race started and we were off. Leading up to the race, I hadn’t thought much about my race goals, other than to finish. I wasn’t too concerned about my projected finish time. When Michelle started having issues with her music, I decided to stop with her so she could get it figured out. Even with the quick stop, we still had a 9:59 first mile. I immediately thought about keeping each mile under 10 minutes, but tried to push those thoughts out of my head.

We were moving fast for the first half of the race. Each mile was well under 10 minutes, two of which were even under 9 minutes – 8:56 and 8:59! I was feeling it. I knew I started off way too fast and I told myself I wouldn’t be able to keep that pace for the whole race. My mind started to get in the way. At the mile 7 water stop, I got some water and went to the potty. It was a good excuse to let Michelle go ahead of me so I could slow down a bit.

I did slow down and I started taking more walk breaks than I care to admit. I walked through the water stops and took an extra walk break here and there between miles 8 and 13.1. After crushing the first seven miles, the next six were between 10 and 11 minutes each mile. It also didn’t help that the last half of the race had a lot more cobblestone than the first half. My feet and legs were taking a beating so when my mind was telling me that I couldn’t do it, or to slow down or walk, I listened.

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I knew Greg and the kids were heading downtown so that is what I focused my energy on after mile 12. I thought about trying to come in under 2 hours and 10 minutes, but once I saw them, I stopped to say hello and give kisses before heading to the finish. The kids cheered “go Mommy go!” as I ran off, which completely melted my heart. I crossed the finish line and my watch clocked me at 2 hours and 11 minutes exactly. My chip time was 2:10.55.

Based on time alone, this was my second best half marathon. But taking into account all other factors of the race, I am disappointed in myself. I have (over)analyzed everything about this race and have come to the conclusion that I started out too fast but that I could have continued at that pace. I am fully capable of doing it, but the mental struggle was real. I usually can push past it and just focus on finishing the race, but this time was different. I am still super stoked with my time, but can’t help to think about what it would have been if I didn’t stop to walk a few of those times.

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The Best Damn Race is a really well organized race and a fun one at that. One thing I didn’t like about the race was the course route. There were way too many brick roads and I have officially sworn off ever running downtown again. One thing I loved about the race was the after party. It was so fun to have a drink and chat with so many people! The kids played at the park then we walked around Lake Eola before heading to lunch. It was such a fun morning.

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It was so good to see so many familiar faces at the race. I sure do love this little running community here in Orlando.

monthly miles {february}

February has already come and gone! Here is a quick recap of my monthly miles.

Total miles: 46.06 — It was definitely a light month thanks to a round of antibiotics due to bronchitis.

Fun places I ran: All of my runs this month were at our usual spots, either starting at the YMCA or at Starbucks. I also ran on the treadmill at the Y more this month which is fun when there is someone to run with!

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Races I ran: No races this month!

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Favorite running thing this month: The first thing is my LED running light. This was free in my swag bag from the Celebration half marathon and I really love it! There is no brand name on it so I am assuming it’s a generic light used for promotional purposes, but it gets the job done. I wear it around my ankle for our early morning runs. The other thing is podcasts! I listened to more podcasts this month thanks to my treadmill runs. I am still loving I’ll Have Another with Lindsey Hein and a new favorite is Ali on the Run.

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Longest run: 8 miles on two separate Saturdays. I opted to stop after 8 miles instead of doing 10 miles one of those days and my body thanked me later.

Non-running workouts: PIYO! I finally got back to piyo this past Saturday and I am so happy. I have missed it tremendously! I also got in several workouts on the elliptical at the Y, which was nice. Update on last month’s goals: I failed miserably at keeping up with BBG. I just couldn’t really get into it. I started out really strong with the plank a day challenge for February but quickly got sidelined thanks to the days of coughing. I started it back up afterwards, but didn’t ever get back to doing planks daily.

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Next month: I am looking forward to a lot of fun miles in March in different places. I have two races and we are going away for spring break so I’ll have a lot to report back on at the end of the month.

Happy running!

Celebration Half Marathon {race recap}

The second race in my double race weekend last month was the Celebration half marathon in Celebration, Florida. This was my third time running this race so I knew what to expect going into Sunday’s race. I was really looking forward to the post-race festivities. What I did not expect was the cold and rainy forecast.

Thankfully, Heather picked us up a lightweight rain jacket to wear during the race, but I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of running 13.1 miles in a rain jacket. Once we got to Celebration, we sat in the car for as long as possible before heading to the start line. As we got out of the car, I knew the rain jacket was the only option.

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The race was underway and we were off. Heather and I were focused during most of the race and didn’t talk much. The first six miles were really great and we averaged around 9:45 minutes per mile. Between miles 7 and 9, we hit the wooden boardwalks on the course. I knew these miles would be slower especially since the boardwalks were wet. My only concern at that point was to not fall.

The rest of the miles were around 10:30 minutes per mile with exception of mile 12 which was our slowest mile. Throughout the race, we ran through a nice little drizzle, but towards the end of the race, it was really raining. I was definitely ready to be done by that point and so did Heather. I kept encouraging Heather to keep running and to not walk. For the last half of a mile, we could see the finish line from the other side of the lake, but we were still so far away.

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Our official time was 2:14.30 which was a PR for Heather! As soon as we finished, I put on my fleece pants and changed into a dry shirt.

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We headed over to the after party for some good food and drinks! It did not disappoint, but it was short lived because the rain continued to fall and we were all freezing. I think that I shivered for a good two hours after the race.

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Aside from the rain, it was a great race and a great double race weekend!

Lady Track Shack 5k {race recap}

My double race weekend started with one of my favorite races, the Lady Track Shack 5k. This year was even more special because Kenley came with me to run the race. I told her a couple months ago that we were going to run an all girl race so naturally she has been talking about it ever since. She even would tell Greg and Crosby that they couldn’t go because it was only for girls.

The night before the race, she got up at least twice asking if it was time to get up yet. She was so excited! We left before the sun came up and headed down to Loch Haven Park to meet up with some friends before the start of the race. Kenley was excited to see Livie, Michelle’s daughter, was there.

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This was my first time ever running a race with a stroller and it will likely be my last. We had to start at the very back of the race, the very back. The whole first half of the race was spent bobbing in and out of the walkers trying to actually run the race, all while trying my hardest not to run into anyone with the stroller. Kenley asked the whole first mile if she could get out and run with the girls. Just after the first mile, when it opened up just a bit, she hopped out and was on her way.

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She was good about getting back in the stroller when she needed a break. I had to tell her a few times to slow down and to make sure she stayed next to Livie so she could pace herself.

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As we passed Track Shack, the DJ said into the microphone that she must be the youngest runner on the course. She hopped in and out a few more times and cheered Livie on from the stroller while she was resting. The last quarter of a mile, I pushed her to run the rest of the race. We kept telling the girls that the donuts were waiting for us at the finish line, which they were, Krispy Kreme!

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We finished in 39:23 based on our chip. You can see that we crossed the start line a good three minutes after the clock started since we were in the very back.

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We had such a good time and saw so many other mamas after the race. Kenley had a blast playing with Livie, who ended up placing third in her age group! Kenley is already talking about running the whole race next year.

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You can also see my past race recaps for the Lady Track Shack 5K from 2015 and 2016.