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Race Recap ~ Best Damn Race 2014 (PR!!!!!!)

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I can’t think of a more exciting way to spend the day before my birthday, the last day of being 41, than to run my 7th half marathon and PR! Last year, Best Damn Race was actually on my birthday and that medal will likely always be a favorite of mine because it has my birthday on it.

I did not train for this one like I did the Women’s Half back in November, but I was running 2-3 days a week and my pace has definitely been improving on those runs. Because of my lack of consistent training, I was hoping to finish in 02:30, which would not have been a PR but seemed like a safe time.

Our friend Mike drove in from Orlando to run this race, it would be his first. We arrived in Safety Harbor dark and early to find good parking and so he could pick up his packet. The rain had finally stopped sometime over night, which was great because it had rained here for three days. I even went to bed stressed about the fact that it was still raining. It was cool (50’s), muggy, and a little foggy, but NO rain when we got to Safety Harbor.

I finally met Jessica, who blogs over at Tampa Mom Runs. We met on Instagram when she bought one of running decals. It’s always fun to meet my “virtual” friends in real life!

 

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This year, Best Damn Race put up a PR bell for anyone to ring if they had a PR.  I walked past it before the start, thinking it would be nice to ring it but really didn’t see that as a possibility. The finish line was all set up, I was excited to cross that in a few hours!

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My friend Corinna arrived around 6 and we all met up near the start line. The amount of people there was insane. It was exciting to see so many people there to have fun in this event.

 

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The 10K would start first, the half marathon second, and the 5K last. There was a delay in the 10K starting and I saw my friend Kat who was waiting to start the 10K. Kat is a huge inspiration to me. She blogs over at Katrina Elle I love to participate in her challenges, and she was ready to start running and hopefully earn a new PR (which she did!!!).

 

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A few of the Best Damn Race Ambassadors met up for a picture before the start as well. It’s been fun getting to know them, they are all great ladies!

 

Best Damn Ambassadors

 

Haley and I had been hoping for cooler weather for this race. Warmer temps were momentarily expected for this day, so we were happy when it stayed a touch cooler, although we were not so thrilled about the potential for rain. Haley blog over at Running With Diapers.

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I also ran into my friend Carey as we were waiting for the half marathon to start. Back in November, Carey completed his first Half Ironman, something I just cannot imagine. I originally met Carey and his wife back when I trained with Jenna for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day in 2011, and now we have running and races in common! Carey is so full of energy – it was nice to see him!

 

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And finally, it was time to RUN!!! I was so ready to go. I’m not one to get nervous about a race, I just really excited and I am so ready to run by the time it finally starts. I haven’t been listening to music on my runs, so I chose not to listen to any for the race either. I have decided that the music that I used to need as a distraction is no longer necessary. I love getting lost in the run and I feel like without music, I am more tuned in to how I’m feeling, how I’m running, and my pace.

The course us from the Safety Harbor Spa north, into Philippe Park and then south to Bayshore Blvd. through a neighborhood near the trail, and then back on to Bayshore Blvd where the last turn-around was to head back to the finish line.

BDR Safety Harbor 2014 course map

 

The first 6 miles actually went by pretty quickly. I felt good and decided that those little hills that kept popping up were a nice little challenge. I ran just about 4 miles before taking a quick walk break to drink some water and have a GU Gel. Once we hit Mile 7, I was wondering why I never knew that Safety Harbor had so many little hills! I heard two women talking about it next to me so we joked about it for a few minutes. This is also where I ran with my friend Val for a few minutes. Val competed the Dopey Challenge a few weeks ago. She is a rock star also!

Just about Mile 9, I started taking a few more walk breaks, This is also where I realized that it was actually possible that I could PR. I did a bunch of math in my head and figured out what I needed to do to beat my last half marathon time of 02:23:28. I am so darn competitive with myself… The minute I knew it was possible, I knew it had to happen. Had to. I was going to ring that PR bell!

As I approached Mile 12, I saw my friend Corinna and she was not happy. Her knee was hurting and she was walking. She ran the Clearwater Halfathon a couple weeks ago and it started bothering her then.

Finally, I rounded the last corner and I could hear the crowds and the announcer at the finish line. Approaching a finish line never ever gets old. I was a little sore but still felt good. Carey saw me and told me to finish strong. And that I did!

I also had a surprise when I crossed the finish line… My mom was there! I heard her calling my name and she was, of course, video taping me. She loves to do that. This video amuses me because I am clearly excited that I beat my time….

 

Best Damn Race 2014 finish!

 

So. Exciting. I knew my fabulous new Garmin Forerunner 220 would be close because the mile markers were almost dead on with my watch. What I didn’t realize is how close it actually was….

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The usual post-race happenings took place from here on out… Pictures with my fabulous medal and ringing the PR bell! Funny story…. I went to ring the bell and the rope came off. The line of people gasped! I quickly fixed it, rang the bell, and moved on. It was awesome to see how many people were ringing that bell!

 

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I stood in line for 20 minutes for an ice cold beer (totally worth it!), and looked for people I knew. Our friend Mike had finished just 3 minutes before me! Congrats!

 

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I chatted with Beth for a few minutes back at the finish line and saw Caitlyn, too. Corinna found me there as well and her and I did our finish line photos together.

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Here are my splits for this race. I was 20 seconds faster on my average pace than my last half marathon. It’s amazing how much that time adds up when you’re running.

 

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Another great race added to my list. It truly never gets old. This race I spent several miles thinking about my huge decision to run a full marathon this winter. And while it does scare the heck out of me, I also see it as a challenge that I am ready to take on. I’ve already come so far. My first 3 half marathons were all over 3 hours and look where I’m at now. I love the half marathon distance. It’s not easy, it’s a challenge, and is as much mental as it is physical.

Crossing the finish line and earning this awesome medal with a new PR was a nice birthday gift….

 

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I’m going to run the half marathon at the Best Damn Race in Orlando on March 1st. Who wants to join me? You still have time to register here and save $5 using my discount code NANCIC.

 

 

What is your favorite part of a race? Let me know if you’ll be joining me at the Best Damn Race in Orlando!

Who wants to be an Iron Girl?

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Guess who’s going to be an Iron Girl again this year? This girl! Last year was my first Iron Girl event, I did the half marathon and really enjoyed it. My friend Corinna ran it with me. I am a big fan of the Iron Girl event here in Clearwater – it’s pretty much in my backyard, and the course is the same route I love to run on Sundays, with those bridges that I love.

 

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When I was making my list of must-do races for 2014, I knew I had to include Iron Girl, without a doubt. I’ve already registered for the half marathon and I have a discount code to share with you! But first….

 

2014 Iron Girl Clearwater Banner

 

Iron Girl is all about empowerment and being fit, healthy, and to celebrate the joy of living well. I love that! And this event will absolutely make you feel strong and empowered.

Iron Girl will be in Clearwater on Sunday April 13, 2014 with a 5K Run / Walk (and the option to do a 5K Mother/Daughter team) and Half Marathon. The race starts at Coachman Park and over the Memorial Causeway, for both the 5K and half marathon distance. It’s a beautiful route, one that always makes me feel very luck to live in a such a beautiful area.

 

2014 Clearwater Course Map

 

Your registration for Iron Girl includes a post-race Breakfast Café, event specific performance shirts sized for women, professional timing, personalized race bibs, new custom finisher medals specific to the event, Iron Girl jewelry age group awards, post-race giveaways and much more.

 

IG 2013 medal

 

Who wants to be an Iron Girl with me? Whether it’s your first time or third time, it’s always fun to be an Iron Girl. If you use my discount code CRAZYLIFE, you can save 10% off any registration category! Visit Iron Girl for more information and to register.

 

Let me know if you will be joining me at Iron Girl in Clearwater or if you’ll be participating in another city!

{Giveaway} ElectroDash 5K in Tampa

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I love a good race where I can be super competitive with myself. BUT! It’s also fun to do an event that is more about the fun and not the time. ElectroDash5K is just that! Just check out these pictures…

 

 

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Photos and video courtesy of electrodash5k.com

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This is a night run with neon lights, electronic music, dazzling light displays, and a whole lot of FUN! It’s like a 5K dance party! A great time, right?!

This is how it works…. Show up to run wearing whatever looks best in the black light. You’ll be greeted at the start line with enough neon lights, glow sticks, and Electronic Dance Music to make your heart beat faster, your fists pump harder, and all your jokes just a little bit funnier. From there, every corner of the run is another party. You’ll run, walk, or dance 3.1 miles through stations of insane light shows, photobooths, neon madness, and electro lasers right up until the finish: the biggest party of all. So bring your camera and put your party hat on; it’s time to rage.

 

 

 

Here are all the important details….

When:   Friday March 21, 2014 at 8:00pm

Where:  Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa, FL

What you get:  

  • An official ElectroDash T-shirt
  • One pair of neon glow glasses
  • An ElectroDash glow-in-the-dark tattoo
  • An LED bracelet
  • And the best time of your life

Registration:  $45 until 01/31/14

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For those who are ready to register (hurry up!), I have a discount code for you! You can use the code CRAZYLIFE15 and save 15% on registration. Don’t forget, the registration fee of $45 is good until 01/31/14, so you want to register NOW to save 15% off that lowest price!

I also have a chance for TWO people to to win ONE FREE entry to the Tampa event! You have several ways to win your entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I’ll be there… Will you?

p.s. Stay tuned for another post soon on another fun Tampa even coming up – Color Me Rad 5K! I’ll have a discount code and giveaway for that one as well!

Negative splits and bacon!

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With half marathon #7 quickly approaching, I am trying to get in a long-ish run each weekend between now and then. Not following a strict training plan going into this one, I’m just trying to keep my legs feeling fresh and strong. So far, so good. This past Sunday, I headed out to Memorial Causeway in Clearwater to run my most favorite running route. Hubby was tagging along with his bike to keep me company. Have I mentioned how much I love that he will ride his bike along with me while I run? He’s great company, my cheerleader. and we chit chat the whole time. Which, by the way, when did I become the person that can carry on a conversation while running? Back in the day, I couldn’t form words through all my huffing and puffing and here I am having actual conversations!

 

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When I run my neighborhood and do 3 – 5 miles, I don’t always take walk breaks. I’ve gotten to the point where if I think I need a walk break, I can talk myself out of it for a bit. If it stays a nagging thought, I’ll take a quick one, and then off I go again. There is nothing wrong with walk breaks, I know this. But it is always my goal to run far more than walking every single time I go out there. I am constantly challenging myself. This MilePost running quote of the day from Sunday morning was fitting….

 

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When I did my long runs for my last half marathon, I took walk breaks as needed. Those long runs are not about speed – they are all about endurance.

On Sunday, my run started off in the face of a crazy headwind that literally had tears running down my face. After I got over the bridge and a slight turn, the wind died down immensely and I wasn’t crying anymore. When I reached the normal point that I would take a quick walk break, I just kept running. I didn’t realize at that moment that I had just challenged myself to run the whole route without a walk break. It wasn’t until mile 3 that I pointed out to hubby that I had not taken a walk break and it was my goal not to. For the whole 6.25 miles. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

 

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It actually felt great. I never once felt like I had to take a walk break. I was running a nice pace, one that is comfortable to me. When I finished mile 5, I realized I had a couple negative splits and I wasn’t surprised because the run just felt great. Overachiever that I am, I aimed for one more negative split.

 

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Negative splits are an awesome thing. In case you don’t know what a negative splits are, it simply means running the second half of an interval or an entire run or race at a faster speed.

What makes this even more awesome? My first mile included the Memorial Bridge, right at the start of my run. Mile 6, my best pace for a full mile, had me running back over Memorial Bridge. After running 5 miles leading up to this. With a crazy head wind the first mile. and tears running down my face. And a couple of negative splits even before this.

 

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Needless to say, I was pretty darn proud of myself. In discussing this with hubby, he told me he wasn’t surprised I did it, that I do anything I set my mind to (I’m telling you, he’s the best cheerleader ever!) and that he thinks I sell myself short sometimes. I love his confidence in me.

After some stretching, we headed to the store to stock up for the week. I had a bunch of food prep to do and I was seriously starving for breakfast. Reason number 2761 that hubby is the greatest ever and just gets me, he suggested BLT’s for breakfast. Bacon? YES!!! And while I am all about eating healthy – most of the time – I am not even going the route of turkey bacon. No sir, this girl requires REAL bacon. I ran 6.53 miles, I deserve bacon, REAL bacon. And boy oh boy, was it good.

 

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I can’t wait until Feb. 1, to run the Best Damn Race Half Marathon in Safety Harbor. Did I mention that it’s the day before my birthday? And I will earn this awesome medal….

 

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How many of you local folks will I see out there? Be sure to let me know! And, if you haven’t registered yet, there is still time. You can save $5 with my discount code NANCIC. Click here to register!

 

Tell me one running goal you are working towards!

Currently | November Edition

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I have really come to love these Currently posts… It’s fun to see where I’m at each month. I hope you’ll join in the fun and do one too!

 

Current book:

This is actually a comical question at the moment. I am still reading The Shining, which was last month’s answer. And by still reading, I mean I haven’t had time to pick it up and read much of it. That being said, I am just dying to get the sequel to it, Doctor Sleep. So much so, that I even read the first 25 pages of it while standing in Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago. I just can’t bring myself to spend money on a hardcover book right now.

 

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Current music:

I really really want to answer this with Christmas music, which I am already listening to, but I’ll spare you that this month. So, my answer is the new Daughtry song, Waiting for Superman. The new CD comes out tomorrow and you can bet I’ll be buying it right away. I am a huge Daughtry fan – we’ve been to 5 concerts over the last several years.  Always a great show and great music. I am excited about the new CD.

 

Daughtry–Waiting for Superman

 

 

Current guilty pleasure:

Two words… See’s Candy. It’s a holiday thing, thank goodness. They have a kiosk at the mall and it’s there now. Hubby and I went yesterday and I am not ashamed to admit that we bought a few of our favorites. I am not afraid to splurge on little guilty pleasure’s that are only available to me a couple months out of the year. My favorites are the Bordeaux Bar (OMG!!!), the toffee, and the lollipops. So good!

 

 

 

Current drink:

I expect my answer will always be a variation of water, coffee, and beer. This month it’s coffee, specifically made in my handy dandy Keurig most weekday mornings. I am really enjoying Macadamia Nut Cookie flavor coffee with CoffeeMate Pumpkin Spice creamer. It’s perfect. Yum.

 

 

Current food:

This month I’ve been eating a lot of fruits and veggies. Avocado is always a favorite of mine and this month I’ve had quite a few. So so good!

 

 

Current show:

Christmas movies. All of them! I am currently hooked on the cheesy Hallmark channel ones. Soon I will have to start our yearly ritual of watching Elf over and over again.

 

Elf the movie: Santa Announcement

 

 

Current wish list:

I am sure no one is surprised when I say race entries. This answer has been the same since I started doing my Currently posts. I want to run races. All of them.

 

 

Current triumphs:

I am in the midst of the last week of half marathon training for the Women’s Half in St Pete THIS Sunday!!! I have done amazing with my training, only missing one run over the entire 14 weeks. When I started the training, I was nervous about the long runs. The 12-miler was the hardest (also the longest) but it’s all preparation for the real deal. Yesterday I did my last long run of 8 miles and it was great, with a fantastic time. I am anxious to see how my training does for me when it comes to the actual race.

 

 

Current links:

Discom-bob-ulated Runningmy friend Beth writes this blog about her marathon and triathlon training. She’s funny and super awesome, and answers my running questions when I have them. She recently made my day by confirming that I am a real runner when we were discussing being stubborn and running when maybe I should have stopped.

Pinterest – I love pinning motivational, funny, cute, and totally useless stuff that I may never need. But it is just another form of social media that I love.

Runners World -  specifically, their motivational quotes. Nothing makes me want to run out the door quicker than reading a great motivational quote, like this one….

 

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Current needs:

Free time. I am hopeful that the last weeks of 2013 will allow me to take some much needed free time. Hubby always takes time off during the holiday and I am going to do my darndest to do the same.

 

 

Current indulgence:

We tried a new flavor of Publix ice cream recently and oh my goodness, is it yummy. It’s Lemon Sugar Cookie, with pieces of lemon sugar cookies and vanilla icing. Mmmmm……

 

lemon sugar cookie ice cream

 

 

Current outfit:

I still want to live in running clothes or yoga pants. They’re just so comfortable. This month, though, I am on the lookout for a new dress to wear to the Christmas party on Dec. 10 for hubby’s work. I missed last year’s because I had the stupid flu, so I am excited to go this year. And with all my hard work this year, it’s time to splurge on a new dress. I know hubby will be happy about that. Here are a couple I had my eye on and tried on over the weekend.

 

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The one on the left I did not like on me at all. Not flattering. The one on the right was very nice and I love the neck line on it,  but it was very heavy. I did end up buying one and I cannot wait to try it. It’s a little black dress and when I put in on – in a size 10!! – it felt perfect. now I just need shoes to go with it. Here’s a picture of it….

 

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Current excitement:

I was recently chosen as an ambassador for the Best Damn Race. So excited about that! After I complete the Women’s Half this weekend, I’ll keep training for the Best Damn Race which is Feb. 1st in Safety Harbor and March 1st in Orlando. I’m going to run the half marathon in BOTH cities because I’m crazy like that AND I’ll get 3 medals for those 2 races. I love half marathons, I love medals, and I love the Best Damn Race! Everyone should come out and run it with me! Save $5 on registration for any race in Safety Harbor or on the half marathon in Orlando. Use discount code NANCIC.

 

 

Current mood:

Trying not to be stressed out all the time… I am in the process of making some changes that I trust will help with that, although the process of change also stresses me out. But, I have to believe it will all work out in the end!

 

So tell me…. What is something you are currently loving!

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