Sunday, October 25, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Week 12 Marathon Training

October 19-25, 2015

I am joining the Weekly Wrap hosted by  Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin. The Weekly Wrap is a blog link up where bloggers share their active lifestyle and other exciting things weekly. To find out more, click on the image below. Feel free to join in on the fun.
I am currently training for my second marathon at St. Jude Memphis this December. I just completed Week 12 of Hal Higdon's Novice 2 Marathon Training Plan. I will recap my training and other highlights from my week here in the Weekly Wrap.
Monday, October 19th
Monday was a day of rest on my training plan. I enjoyed my extra hour of sleep this morning. My legs were still extremely tired and sore from my half marathon on Sunday. I was so excited about my new PR. It was tempting to go to school and tell everyone, but I know most people don't know or even care what an accomplishment running a sub 2:00 half marathon was for me. I thought I'd save the details for my race recap. I had a good day back with the students. I enjoyed the week off, but I was glad to get back into a routine.
Tuesday, October 20th
I ran 5 miles at an easy pace this morning. It was in the 40's and chilly outside. I broke out my capris and long sleeves. It gave me an excuse to wear my new Varsity Sports shirt that I got this past weekend.
Wednesday, October 21st
I had an 8 mile mid week semi long run on the schedule for this morning, but I didn't wake up in time for it. Instead, I ran another 5 miles at an easy pace.
Thursday, October 22nd
I ran my mid week semi long run of 8 miles at marathon goal pace. I can't believe how fast this training is going. I only have one more mid week long run left on my plan! I'm so glad because it's a struggle getting the miles in before school, and I have no energy left after school.
Friday, October 23rd

Friday was another scheduled rest day for running. I went with my Kindergarteners on a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. It was a lot of fun! I was exhausted afterwards. I came straight home and took a nap before Michael got home.

Saturday, October 24th
I did my 18 mile long run this morning. I think every runner has at least one run during their training cycle that makes them question, "Why did I sign up for this?" Last year, it was my 20 miler. Hopefully, I got that run out of the way early today. It was a struggle, and I'm so glad it's behind me. I think my legs probably haven't fully recovered from going all out in my half marathon on Sunday. Plus, I didn't fuel every 5 miles like I've practiced. I only ate my Honey Stingers on Mile 6 and 12, twice versus three times. My legs were shot by mile 15.
I soaked in my Epsom salts and relaxed afterwards. It was tough to stay awake during the Bama game. That was a boring game and it had me worried towards the end. Bama pulled out the win although it wasn't pretty at times. Roll Tide!
Sunday, October 25th
I got my hour cross training in today, which doesn't happen that often. I need to get better about riding my bike because I can feel the difference when I do. I rode for 45 minutes, which was only 8 miles. I lack confidence, so I ride slow. Then, I took Allie for a walk around the block. I still made time for my Sunday afternoon nap before cleaning house and doing the laundry.
That's a wrap! I hope everyone had a great week!




Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Gulf Coast Half Marathon Mandeville, LA

October 18, 2015

Saturday in Mandeville

My mom and I hit the road around 6:00 on Saturday morning to head to Mandeville, LA. We arrived at Varsity Sports for packet pick up just after 11:00. Packet pick up had just started, so it wasn't that crowded. We enjoyed looking around the shop. We each got a couple of shirts, some Honey Stingers, and a new pair of shoes. Then, we went out back to get our bibs and t-shirts. The expo was small featuring tents from other races in Louisiana.

This was my first trip to Mandeville, LA. It was gorgeous there! I loved all the beautiful homes overlooking Lake Pontchartrain and the tree lined streets with Spanish moss.


We walked several blocks taking in the sights when we came upon a church fall festival. There were several tents with arts and crafts, food, games, and more. We saw a booth fundraising for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We made a donation and bracelets for the patients of St. Jude. What a neat fundraising idea! The boy in the picture wears a bracelet for each chemo treatment he's received. That's a lot of treatments!


After checking out the festival, we grabbed lunch at The Beachhouse. I had a chicken Panini and salad and mom had a taco salad. The atmosphere was nice and we ate outside. Then we headed to our hotel in Covington less than 10 miles from Mandeville and Fontainebleau Park where the race would start in the morning. We checked in just in time to watch the Bama -v- Texas A&M game. When the game was over, we grabbed supper at Don's Seafood near the hotel. We each had pasta dishes to carb load. After supper, we went back to the room, laid out our things for race morning, and got ready for bed. We were in bed by 9:00.

Race Day

Mom and I ran the other two races in the Gulf Coast Half Marathon Series earlier this year. We looked forward to running the last of the series in Mandeville for months. My goal this year was to run a sub-2:00 half marathon. With only two half's left on my calendar, I was beginning to put that goal out of my mind. I had some rough half's this spring. I ran one with a sinus infection, the other while recovering from walking pneumonia, and on my last one it rained and I chaffed and got blisters. My main goal for this race was to do my best and feel good. I wanted to run under a 2:10. Deep down I hoped for a new PR, my current PR (2:06:55) was over a year and a half ago. I was doubtful that I would reach my goal of a sub 2:00.

The race started at 7:00. Mom and I left the hotel around 5:45 to drive the 7 miles to Fontainebleau Park. We arrived at the park just past 6:00, but it took us 15 minutes to park. There's only one way in and out of the park, so parking quickly got congested. We were glad we left early. We had 30 minutes to spare before the start of the race. We used the porta potties, then made our way to the start line. This race is capped at 2,500 participants, so there's no corral start or official pacers. However, there are pace signs at the start and runners position themselves closest to their pace. I positioned myself behind the 10:00 pace sign. I didn't want to get caught up in the excitement closer to the front and go out too fast. They made a few race announcements, played the National Anthem, and then we were off.

It was congested at the start and I did a lot of weaving through the crowd. By half a mile in, the crowd spread out and I got into a rhythm. The first two miles were through the park heading back towards Mandeville. Miles 3-4 went through a residential area with beautiful homes. There were several people cheering us on from the front porches. Mile 5 was my favorite part of the race and the most scenic. We ran a mile stretch with views of Lake Pontchartrain on one side and beautiful homes on the other. I was maintaining a consistent pace up to this point, clocking each mile under 9:10. I knew if I maintained this consistency I could PR, maybe even get my sub 2:00. It was still early in the race, so I tried to put those ideas out of my mind and focus on one mile at a time.

Mile 1- 9:01
Mile 2- 9:00
Mile 3- 9:06
Mile 4- 9:02
Mile 5- 9:01
There were water stops at every mile and a half. I stopped at each one alternating water and Gatorade. I ate my Honey Stinger waffle just before Mile 6. We ran back through a residential area and I could see other runners already making their way back on the other side of the road. We went through a neighborhood, circled around, and then went back out at Mile 7. When I turned around I tried to look for my mom on the other side of the road, but I didn't see her. The course continued through the residential area and my mind was occupied looking at all the houses, some were nicely decorated for fall and Halloween. Just past Mile 8, we ran by Varsity Sports where we got our packets on Saturday. My legs were starting to feel heavy and my cadence was slowing down. I was starting to clock miles at and above a 9:10 pace.
Mile 6- 9:09
Mile 7- 9:08
Mile 8- 9:12
Mile 9- 9:11
At 9.5 miles we made our way onto the paved trails that led us back to Fontainebleau Park. I no longer had the beautiful homes and lake views to occupy my mind. There were only trees, trees everywhere. My pace was really beginning to suffer, but no matter how hard I tried I wasn't going any faster. My average pace was creeping over 9:10 and I knew my chances of a sub 2:00 were slipping away. I kept telling myself to put the sub 2:00 out of my mind. Regardless I was going to get a new PR.
Mile 10-9:14
Mile 11-9:30
Mile 12-9:25
I hit the 12 Mile Marker just over 1:50. That left less then 10 minutes to run just over a mile and get my sub 2:00! I stopped at the last water stop at 12.5 miles. Then, I ran as fast as my tired legs would let me. As I approached the finish line it read 2:00:13. "I didn't make it," I thought. I knew my chip time would be less than the clock read, but by how much I wondered.
I was convinced that I missed my sub 2:00 by seconds and disappointment flooded my mind. I wasn't ready to see my results. I went straight to the car and changed into my flip flops. When I got back to the finish area, I had finally gotten the courage to request my results. They printed the ticket and I slowly turned it over. It read 1:59:57! I could hardly contain myself, happy tears filled my eyes. I finally did it! I finally ran a sub 2:00! 

As I was making my way to the food tent, I saw Mindy from Road Runner Girl in the crowd. I knew she was running this race and I hoped to meet her. She was very nice! She and her friend Jenny ran a huge PR!

I grabbed some fruit and another bottled water. Then, I headed back towards the finish line to look out for my mom. Mom suffered some setbacks before this race with bronchitis and a hamstring injury. She had taken time off over the last few weeks. I worried about her during this race. I hoped she was feeling ok and having a good run. It wasn't long before I saw her rounding the corner with a smile on her face. She ran better than she expected and finished strong.
We headed to the post race area for some pictures. There was plenty of food: red beans and rice, sandwiches, fruit, and beer. The Bar Hoppers band performed and we enjoyed listening to them. We stuck around for the post race fun for about an hour before heading back to the hotel to shower and hit the road.


I love the race shirts for this series because they are super soft and have cute designs. However, this one screams LSU. As a Bama fan, I don't know how much I will wear it especially during football season. I did wear the shirt home as part of my tradition.

I am so glad that Mom and I had a girl's weekend together. We loved Mandeville! Now that we've experienced all three half's in the series, this one is our new favorite. Mom is already talking about returning for next year's race.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Week 11 Marathon Training

October 12-18, 2015

I am joining the Weekly Wrap hosted by  Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin. The Weekly Wrap is a blog link up where bloggers share their active lifestyle and other exciting things weekly. To find out more, click on the image below. Feel free to join in on the fun.

I am currently training for my second marathon at St. Jude Memphis this December. I just completed Week 11 of Hal Higdon's Novice 2 Marathon Training Plan. I will recap my training and other highlights from my week here in the Weekly Wrap.

Monday, October 12th

The students were out the whole week for Fall Break, but the teachers had two days of inservice training. On Monday morning, we did team building activities at a local ropes course. We all had a great time and lots of laughs. I can't believe how sore I was after the course.

On Monday afternoon, some of the teachers did CPR training while others attended professional development meetings. I took the course as a refresher/recertification. It's one thing I hope I'll never need, but I feel better knowing it.

Tuesday, October 13th

I had a 5 mile training run on my schedule, but when my alarm went off that morning it was storming out. I don't own a treadmill, nor do I care to own one. I'm actually scared to death of them. Funny, right? I could see myself flying off one and face planting.The storm didn't last long, but by the time it cleared it was too late to get my run done. I thought I might try to make it up later that afternoon, but it didn't happen.

We had all day professional development on utilizing technology in the classroom. I stayed late afterwards to get my planning done for the upcoming week. I didn't want to have to go to school over the break.

When I got home and checked my personal e-mails, I learned that I was accepted as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. It's been over two months since I applied and I didn't think I would be accepted. I'm so excited to be a part of the Sweat Pink Community. I can't wait to connect with other Sweat Pink Ambassadors.

Wednesday, October 14th
I met my friend Minerva for an 8 mile run through downtown. She is training for her first full marathon at St. Jude Memphis. Most of the time I prefer to run alone because it's my time to myself to reflect. I do enjoy a good run with friends every now and then. I got to admit my semi-long run went by much faster running with Minerva.


Thursday, October 15th
Minerva and I met again for a 5 mile run through downtown. It was great getting to run with her while we both had time off from school.
Friday, October 16th
I made up my 5 mile run from Tuesday. I ran at an easy pace because I didn't want to push myself too hard before running the Gulf Coast Half Mandeville on Sunday.
Saturday, October 17th
My dad planned to go to Mandeville, LA for the race, but he decided on Friday to let Mom and I have a girl's weekend. Mom and I hit the road around 6:00 to head to Mandeville. We arrived at packet pick-up just after 11:00.
This was my first trip to Mandeville and it was absolutely gorgeous there with beautiful homes overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. We walked several blocks taking in the sights. We walked upon a Fall Festival at a local church, so we decided to check it out.
There was a tent set up fundraising for St.Jude. Mom and I made a donation and bracelets for the patients of St.Jude. I thought this was a really neat fundraising idea. The boy in the picture wears a bracelet to represent every cancer treatment he's received. That's a lot of treatments!

After walking around the festival, we grabbed a bite to eat for lunch. Then, we checked into our hotel just in time to watch the Bama -v- Texas A&M game. When the game was over, we grabbed supper at a seafood place near the hotel. We both carb loaded with pasta. We went to bed by 9:00 to get a good night's rest before race morning.

Sunday, October 18th
Race day was perfect! The weather was just right for running. The course was flat, fast, and scenic! Mom and I both felt great and had a good race.  Stay tuned later this week for a full recap! 
*Spoiler*- I ran a new PR!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I'm a Sweat Pink Ambassador!

I'm excited to announce that I have been accepted as a Sweat Pink Ambassador!
I applied over two months ago, and I got my acceptance e-mail on Tuesday. I didn't know much about the Sweat Pink Ambassador program before I started blogging. I noticed other bloggers had the Sweat Pink badge on their pages, and I wanted to know more. After reading the Sweat Pink mission statement, I knew I wanted to be a part of this program.

"We believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes. We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick."
I have a happier, healthier lifestyle since I discovered my love for running. I have my mom to thank for introducing me to running. Since she asked me to run my first 5K with her for her birthday in spring 2012, I've been hooked. Running makes me feel strong and confident. It challenges me and inspires me to chase dreams that I never thought possible. When I started, I couldn't run a mile without stopping. My first running goal was to run a 5K without stopping to walk. Since then, I've challenged myself to new distances: the 8K, 10K, 15K, half marathon, and full marathon.
I'm excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Sweat Pink community. I look forward to meeting like minded people who are equally as passionate about running and leading a healthy, active lifestyle. Being a part of this community will motivate me to continue to pursue my goals in running and in life in general. I hope that in turn, I will inspire others to chase their dreams, whether they be in running or other aspects of life.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Week 10 Marathon Training

October 5th-11th, 2015

I am joining the Weekly Wrap hosted by  Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin. The Weekly Wrap is a blog link up where bloggers share their active lifestyle and other exciting things weekly. To find out more, click on the image below. Feel free to join in on the fun.

I am currently training for my second marathon at St. Jude Memphis this December. I just completed Week 10 of Hal Higdon's Novice 2 Marathon Training Plan. I will recap my training here in the Weekly Wrap.

Monday, October 5th
Monday's are usually a rest day for running, but I needed to squeeze in an extra run to accommodate the Shrimp Festival 10K on Saturday. I don't like to mix up my training plan, but I love running this 10K every year. I rearranged my training schedule the same way last year and it didn't seem to affect me any.
It was homecoming week at school. I love to participate in the dress up days. Monday was dress like a pirate.
Tuesday, October 6th
On Tuesday morning, I ran 4 miles at an easy pace.
Tuesday was Wacky Sock day at school. Michael let me borrow his Superman socks with the capes. I got a lot of compliments on them.

Wednesday, October 7th
I ran my mid-week semi long run of 8 miles at my marathon goal pace. It was cooler when I first walked out the door and I debated whether I should have worn my capris. I quickly worked up a sweat. 
Wednesday was dress as your favorite superhero at school. I wanted to do a costume, but I didn't have time to put everything together. I just went with a simple Flash t-shirt. Michael asked me, "Why the Flash?" Really?!?! I'm a runner! Why not the Flash? Wouldn't you love to have super speed?
Thursday, October 8th

I ran another 4 miles at an easy pace on Thursday morning. I wore my Shrimp Festival race shirt from a previous year because I was getting excited for the weekend race.
Thursday was dress like an Indian at school.  Our mascot is the mighty Indians and we all dressed as Indians for the homecoming parade. My Indian costume cost $8.00! It came with the dress, sash, headband, and shoe covers. Michael ordered it for me on his Amazon Prime account with free two day shipping. It was a hit!
We left for the beach as soon as Michael got off on Thursday afternoon. We got in around 8:30 and we picked up Lillian's Pizza on the way to the condo. I love their stuffed pizza!
Friday, October 9th
We slept in Friday morning. We had meat and three at Kitty's Kafe. They have a great rating on trip advisor, so we decided to try it out this trip. It was very good! We spent the afternoon checking out the different vendors at the Shrimp Festival. The National Shrimp Festival is held each year in October on the white, sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, AL. The festival offers live music, seafood, arts and crafts exhibits, sand sculpture contests, a golf tournament, and a 5K/10K run. Everyone should attend the festival at least once in their lifetime. There's plenty to see and do, and it's great fun for all. 

We ate dinner with my in-laws at the Wolf Bay Lodge. The Smoked Tuna dip appetizer was delicious! Michael ordered the Shrimp and Grits and I ordered the Shrimp Alfredo. My Alfredo was good, but I would probably order the Shrimp and Grits next time. It was really tasty!
Saturday, October 10th
I got up at 6:00 to eat breakfast and got dressed for the Shrimp Festival 10K. Luckily the condo is just a short five minute drive to the race start, so I didn't feel rushed. I had a great race! I ran a course PR, two minutes faster than last year's time, and I placed 2nd in my age division. I've been running most of my training runs at an easy pace, so it's nice to know I can still run a sub 9:00 pace. You can read my full race recap here.
When we got back to the condo, I showered and took a long afternoon nap. We went out to get BBQ from Hog Wild just before the Bama game. I love their BBQ Pork sandwich with the slaw and their seasoned fries.
Sunday, October 11th
We got home early afternoon. I took my dog, Allie for a walk. Then, I got unpacked and got the laundry caught up. I took another afternoon nap. Next week is Fall Break at school. The teachers have to go in on Monday and Tuesday for inservice days, but I'm looking forward to having the rest of the week off.
I'm flip flopping weeks in my training plan for the last time this upcoming week, because I'm running the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Mandeville, LA. I've ran the other two races in the Gulf Coast series and I'm excited to finally run this one.