mud run

2013: The year of running and races


As I sit here and look back over the year and all that I accomplished, I am trying to think of one word to describe how I feel. I think “proud” is perfect. proud - feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself Yes, that pretty much sums it up….   My last race for the year was before Christmas and as I finish up the year with the hopes of reaching 625 miles logged for the year (I’m at 616 as I post this), I thought it would be a great time to look back at my races for the year. 2013 was definitely the year of running, and my how I changed even from the beginning of the year.   01/12/13 – Glow Run 5K, St. Petersburg, FL  -   44:16 This was a fun run, hubby ran it with me. It was at night in downtown St. Petersburg. I was just at the start of my weight loss journey for the year and I knew I needed to lose weight as I ran this one. But it was fun. Also, I look like Scuba Steve in our picture!   glow run 5k     02/02/13 – Best Damn Race 5K, Safety Harbor, FL  -  39:21 I thoroughly enjoyed running a 5K on my birthday, and what would also be the first of three races in the month of February. It was really cold, but high on my list of favorites for the year. I was thrilled to finish under 40 minutes. Hubby also ran this one with me!   bdr 2013     02/10/13 – Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL -  3:02:53 I had high hopes for this one, after running this event as my first half marathon in 2012. I wanted so much to finish under 3:00 but I had foot pain that slowed down my last 3 miles. I did enjoy it, though, it was neat to come full circle from my first one and to see an improvement on my time. This was also the first race that my friend Corinna and I ran together, and hubby ran the 5K.

rnr 2013 me mike    rnr2013 me corinna

    02/24/13 – Gasparilla Distance Classic 8K, Tampa, FL  -  1:05:58 Another one that I hoped to beat my previous year’s time on, but I did not. I remember the first half was windy but when we turned around, it was HOT. Hubby also ran this one with me, as well as my friend Corinna and her son John Evan. I love Gasparilla!

gasparilla 2013 me mike    gasparilla 2013 me corinna

    03/17/13 – Sarasota Half Marathon, Sarasota, FL  -  2:48:12    PR!!!!! I registered for this one on a whim simply because of the dolphin medal. I actually registered for it at the Gasparilla Expo, so less than a month before the race. I was already training on the bridges for Iron Girl so I just wanted to give it my best shot and have fun with it. I never ever expected to PR at this race, coming in 12 minutes under the 3:00 mark.   sarasota me medal 2013l     04/14/13 – Iron Girl Half Marathon, Clearwater, FL  -  2:48:32 I was very excited to run this one, practically in my backyard, and on the bridges I trained hard on. I did not let the bridges get the best of me and I gave it my best, finishing just 20 seconds slower than my PR in Sarasota. My friend Corinna also ran this one with me.   iron girl 2013 me corinna     11/24/13 – Women’s Running Series Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL  -  2:23:28    PR!!!!! After not racing over the hot summer, I trained for 15 weeks for this race. I needed serious redemption over it after finishing it in 3:37:11 in 2012 thanks to my sciatica. I knew I could finish it under 3:00 thanks to Sarasota and Iron Girl, but as I trained for it and worked hard on my long runs, I set an optimistic goal of finishing in 02:30. I was thrilled and ecstatic to finish in 2:23:28, a new PR. This was my best run yet. I ran most of it, a nice even pace, and felt great. I didn’t listen to any music, I just focused on running. This half marathon is the one that really made me start thinking seriously about a full marathon.   IMG_3003     11/30/13 – Pretty Muddy Mud Run 5K, Tampa, FL  -  approx. 45:00 (untimed) Another fun run with my friend Corinna. It was a smaller event than last year, but we still had fun running the course together. It was untimed, but we did every obstacle. I was able to climb over the big cargo net much easier than last year. It’s amazing what weight loss can do!   IMG_3306     12/14/13 – Santa’s Twilight 5K, Honeymoon Island, Dunedin, FL   -   30:56      PR!!!!! This was another night time run on a beautiful evening. Hubby and my friend Corinna also ran this one and it was so much fun. I ran my best time on this one, setting a 5K PR. I definitely see a sub-30:00 5K in my future.

IMG_3693    IMG_3694

  What a year! I had hoped to do 10 or 11 races, but it just didn’t work out. So, what’s up for 2014? Stay tuned to find out!   How many races did you do in 2013? Which was your favorite?

Pretty Muddy 2013


Few things will make me miss my Saturday morning weigh-in at Weight Watchers…. A chance to run through mud with a good friend is one of them. So, yesterday morning, my friend Corinna and I (and her son John Evan) hit the road at 6:15am and drove out to Colt Creek State Park in Lakeland.

The drive out was really pretty. It was a foggy morning but when we could see the sunrise, it was a beautiful orange. I never get tired of a sunrise…

IMG_3267    IMG_3270


This year, the event seemed much smaller than the last year when it was out at Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City, both location and participants. I didn’t notice as many Pretty Muddy signs going into the park or along the course later on. I also didn’t notice a photographer for the event… Check-in was easy, it just took a minute to get our bibs. Their were several vendor booths and YouFit was doing group exercise warm-ups before each wave started. I did not see any food vendors, perhaps they came later it the day. They also had corn hole games set up which seemed to be a hit with the families.


IMG_3277    IMG_3290

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The start line, the first obstacle (bubble tunnel), the finish line, and final mud pit were all visible from here. Since we arrived before it all started, everything wan nice and clean!


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IMG_3275     IMG_3278


Before we started, we had time to take a few pictures…. This would be the last time we would be clean before getting muddy!

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And then it was time to go! I didn’t have my phone with me on the course so I don’t have photos of the obstacles. The first one was the bubble tunnel and then around the bend was the big slide. I was super muddy after the slide, I landed butt first in the mud pit at the bottom. From there on out, it was a mix of running, climbing, crawling, cold water, and mud. The last big obstacle was the big cargo net. This was my one big fear last year, and while I did it, it was hard. This year, I had no fear of it and except for the top where I couldn’t quite figure out where to put my foot to turn around, I pretty much went up and over it like it was nothing.



(Source: Pretty Muddy)

Finally, we crawled through the last mud pit just before the finish line. More mud, more dirt, and more cold water. It was actually quite refreshing!

final mud pit photo    IMG_3302



It was a fun way to spend the morning. Pretty Muddy last year was the first event that my friend Corinna and I ran together so it was fun to do it again. Since then, we have run other races together and have more coming up.




One huge personal difference this year was how much easier the course and obstacles were for me, after losing almost 30 pounds. I remember running it last year, I was winded as we ran, and any obstacle that required climbing was really a challenge. When I got home yesterday, I pulled up the photos from last year and it was yet another reminder of how far I have come….




Thanks Pretty Muddy for a fun time!


NOTE: I received a free entry into Pretty Muddy in exchange for blogging about it and sharing my experience. All opinions are my own.

A Pretty Muddy DEAL!


Remember back in November when I told you that the Pretty Muddy Was Pretty Awesome? It was my very first mud run. Even now when I think about it, I remember how fun it was and how I can’t wait to do it again. It’s already on my list of events for this year and is one of my #10in2013 that I want to complete.

Well, now is your chance to register for this FUN event and join me!! You say you’ve never done a mud run before? Don’t worry, this is a great one to start with. The Pretty Muddy team really is pretty awesome at setting up fun obstacles that make you feel super empowered when you do it. I was really afraid of climbing the social network wall and swore I wouldn’t do it. When we got to it, I decided I was there, I was going to do it. And I did. I DID IT! If there are any obstacles that you do not feel comfortable with or can’t do, have no fear, you can go around. And it’s all good… The important thing is to have fun. Oh and to get crazy muddy. And have fun with your girl friends. It’s definitely a girl power kind of day. I can’t even put into words how fun it was. Here are a few pictures from that day….


pretty muddy 6 A

pretty muddy 17    pretty muddy 26

pretty muddy 32    pretty muddy 45

pretty muddy 48    pretty muddy 49

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I *KNOW* this makes you want to sign up for an event near you this year. And now is the perfect time to register. Through January ONLY, Pretty Muddy is offering $20 off. Visit the website and enter coupon code GIRLTIME. And remember, this discount is only good through the end of the January. Don’t miss out on a $20 savings!


prettymuddy 2013 webpage


Plenty of ways to find our more about Pretty Muddy…




I hope you’ll register and join me for a pretty fantastic day! I will be doing the one on November 30 in Tampa. Check their website for a city near you!

Please be sure to let me know if you are registered, I’d love to hear all about it!

Just Watch Me





Looking back at 2012, it was my first year of “official” races. I was hooked after my first one. As of the end of the year, I did a total of six races. Had I not been injured or sick, I would have completed ten. My goal for 2013 is to complete TEN races, three of them being half-marathons.

When I registered for the Rock N’ Roll Half last January, just weeks before the event, I thought I was nuts. That event alone proved to me how strong I really am. And when I did the Women’s Half in November, I was afraid I would not enjoy it as much as the first one. I could not have been more wrong. That one was harder – both mentally and physically – but again I was reminded that I can do anything I set my mind to. The minute I crossed the finish line, I was already thinking about the next one.

Hubby thinks I am obsessed with races and he’s probably right. If you’ve never done one, it’s hard to explain the feelings and excitement that go along with it. I don’t do it for the t-shirt or the medals, even though I LOVE the medals and proudly display them. I do it for ME. To prove to myself that I can do it. To push myself a little harder and a little farther than I normally do. To be a part of something big. It’s a rush, no doubt about it.

These are the races I am already signed up for this year:

  • 01/12/13 – Glow Run 5K, St. Petersburg, FL
  • 02/02/13 – Best Damn Race 5K, Safety Harbor, FL
  • 02/10/13 – Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL
  • 02/24/13 – Gasparilla Distance Classic 8K, Tampa, FL
  • 04/14/13 – Iron Girl Half Marathon, Clearwater, FL

Of all of these, I am most excited about the Rock N’ Roll Half. It will forever hold a place in my heart as the first half-marathon I ever did and was a true indicator of what races meant for me.

I am also afraid of one- the Iron Girl Half Marathon. It goes over the bridge to Clearwater Beach and that will seriously mess with my time. But I am up for the challenge.

These are the races for the fall that I want to do but I am not yet signed up for them:

  • 11/24/13 – Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL
  • 11/30/13 – Pretty Muddy Mud Run 5K, Tampa, FL
  • 11/28/13 – Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot, Clearwater, FL
  • TBD – The Color Run, St. Petersburg, FL

That’s 9 races. I need one more!! Which one should I do? I would like it to be a timed 5K event. 

I am so excited for 2013 and for facing challenges that come my way. JUST WATCH ME!


How many races do you plan to do in 2013? What should my 10th race be?

Favorite posts of 2012




happy new year 2013



As 2012 comes to an end tonight and we welcome 2013, I am thinking about this year and all the things I accomplished. 2012 has definitely been the year of stepping outside of my comfort zone. I’ve done so many things that I normally would not do. I hope that I continue to face my fears head-on in 2013.

To finish out the year, I thought I’d do a list of my favorite posts of the year. This was really tough to narrow down and I’m probably forgetting something, but these posts meant the most to me. From completing not one but TWO half-marathons, meeting the wonderful women of Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers, my first blog conference, becoming Yelp Elite, starting Jingle Bikes For Kids, wonderful family time, along with several struggles I faced - it’s been a memorable year.  I hope you enjoy this look back with me…



I love my blog and I really look forward to continuing to blog in 2013 and to see how it grows. I would like to thank each and every one of you for following and showing interest in my babbling. It helps to keep me sane.

Wishing you all a SAFE and Happy New Year!!

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