Friday Five: Favorite Race Memories

Happy Friday! I missed last week’s link-up, but I’m making sure to get this one in. This week’s exciting topic is Favorite Race Memories. Since 2012, I’ve been all about the races, doing as many as I can. While I’ve not done nearly as many as others, I have done alot and have many great memories!

Make sure you check out the fabulous ladies who put on the Friday Five – Mar at Mar on the Run, Courtney over at Eat Pray Run DC, and Cynthia at You Signed Up For What? and join in as well!

I’m not sure how I’ll narrow it down to just 5 memories, but here goes….


friday five fave race memories



1. Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon St Pete – February 2012

This one will always be my favorite simply because it was my very first half marathon and the one that pretty much started it all. I went into it as a one and done, but the minute I crossed the finish line, I knew I had to do another (and that turned into to completing 10 so far!).






2. Best Damn Race Safety Harbor 5K – February 2013

This was the inaugural Best Damn Race event and it is high on my list of favorites because it was on my birthday! What a perfect way to start your birthday than with a race, not to mention have a shirt and medal with your name on it.


IMG_5544    IMG_5588



3. Sarasota Half Marathon – March 2013 

This was my 4th half marathon and the one where I broke 3 hours. I signed up for this one on a whim, because of the cool dolphin medal, and decided to just  have fun with it. It turned into determination to finish under 3 hours and I did, finishing in 02:48.






4.  Santa’s Twilight 5K – December 2013

This was a fun nighttime run on Honeymoon Island and we dressed up in red shirts and cute Santa hats. The finish line for this race is probably my favorite ever. All finish lines should be lit up in Christmas lights. Also, it’s my fastest 5K race, coming in at 30:56.






5. Best Damn Race Orlando Half Marathon – March 2014

I have to throw this one in because it’s my half marathon PR. It was half marathon #9, my second to last one and I finished in 02:16. I loved the race course in downtown Orlando. I also earned a double medal for having done the half marathon in both Safety Harbor and Orlando. There can never be too much bling!


IMG_5967     IMG_5983



I would also have to add in Gasparilla Distance Classic 2014, I completed the lime mini challenge, running the 15K on Saturday and the 8K on Sunday. 2 races, 2 days, 3 medals!





Share one of your favorite race memories with me!

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?

#11in2013 update and I’m a Half Fanatic!

Here we are, mid-April and my spring race season is officially over. It’s now 90 degrees outside and summer is here. Perfect time to give an update on my #11in2013 update.


blog update 11in2013


At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about the races / runs  I planned to do this year. Nine of them, to be exact, with the a tenth to be determined. #10in2013 because my goal for the year.

It seemed like a challenge, since three of them were in the same month but I was up for it. The day before Gasparilla, I decided to add in one more, the Sarasota Half Marathon, because I couldn’t resist the fabulous medal. When I registered for that one, I changed my goal for the year to #11in2013. And as of this past Sunday, I have 6 of the 11 completed. These four and a half months have been a whirlwind and also brought me a new half marathon PR!

  • 01/12/13 – Glow Run 5K, St. Petersburg, FL – 44:16
  • 02/02/13 – Best Damn Race 5K, Safety Harbor, FL –  39:21
  • 02/10/13 – Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL –  3:02:53
  • 02/24/13 – Gasparilla Distance Classic 8K, Tampa, FL  –  1:05:58
  • 03/17/13 – Sarasota Half Marathon, Sarasota, FL  – 2:48:12     (PR!!!!!)
  • 04/14/13 – Iron Girl Half Marathon, Clearwater, FL  –  2:48:32

Another thing it brought me… Half Fanatic status! When I registered for Sarasota, I realized that three half marathons in 90 days was in my reach and as long as I completed it and Iron Girl, I would qualify. Three half marathons in 64 days, to be exact. I love the challenge of the half marathon distance and I think it may be my favorite race distance. Yes, I am half crazy.


I was so excited to receive the email with my Half Fanatic number…. You have to love an email that starts like this…

Nanci, at last you have found refuge, a place where you can call home, where the Fanatical can feel Normal again, and once again be treated like a normal human being.

Love it! I am Half Fanatic #3972 (Neptune), which is the lowest level, but still a Half Fanatic nonetheless. I earned that status. And, if I keep it up, maybe one day I’ll work my way up to the next level! Interested in learning more about Half Fanatics? Visit their website!

I am actually sad that all these races are done with and I am anxious for the fall to get here so they will start up again. Here’s what I have planned!

  • 10/05/13 – 15th Annual Komen Florida Suncoast Race for the Cure 5K
  • 11/24/13 – Women’s Running Series Half Marathon, St. Petersburg, FL
  • 11/28/13 – Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot, Clearwater, FL
  • 11/30/13 – Pretty Muddy Mud Run 5K, Tampa, FL
  • 12/??/13 – Color Run, St. Petersburg, FL


Do you like to plan your races ahead of time or do you just wing it? How many do you plan to do this year?

I run because…



i run because


With the Iron Girl this weekend here in Clearwater, I find myself in the midst of yet another race week and as with every other one I’ve done, I’m so excited. In all honestly, I didn’t think this type of excitement would go on forever. I figured the first few races would and then the excitement would die down a little. That is so not the case for me.

The Iron Girl Half Marathon will be my 6th event for the year and my third half marathon. Who am I? When did I become this person who loves to get out there and run and sign up for races? Years ago, if you had asked me to run, I would have laughed. I swore the only way I would have run was if I was being chased. I used to be a walker, I would walk my heart out 5 days a week. I enjoyed it and it was what I needed at that time. In 2006 I temporarily became a runner. I was losing weight and it was easier to run. I eased my way into it and realized I could do it. But it wasn’t the same then as it is now. I didn’t crave it, I never signed up for races, and I didn’t feel the need to talk about it all the time.

In 2011 I jumped back into it, completely out of shape. It became my therapy and for the little bit of time I was able to do it, I enjoyed it. I slowly worked my way back into it. At the end of 2011, I decided it would run a race. I had no idea that it would lead to this.

I signed up for a small local 5K with my friend Terrie and we did it together. I huffed and puffed my way through it. This was weeks leading up to the Rock N Roll Half Marathon, which Terrie was also doing and we were spending most Saturday mornings walking together to get ready. Neither one of us was prepared to really run it, we just wanted to finish it.

I will never forget my first half marathon. I was all kinds of nervous the morning of, wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into. But I got totally wrapped up in the excitement of it and gave it my all. Somewhere along the way, I knew I wanted to run more of it than I thought. I finished 19 minutes faster than I guesstimated I would, cried I don’t know how many times during the race and as I crossed the finish line, and I don’t think I have ever been so proud of myself as I was at that moment. I was in pain, I hurt so bad, and I was already wondering when I could do it again.

My next race was just three weeks later, the Gasparilla 5+3K, also with Terrie. I loved that we were doing these together and cheering each other on. I was just as proud of her as I was myself. It was another great event and I knew that I wanted to do another and do better.

In the fall, I did my first mud run ever and my second half marathon, after dealing with sciatica. It had been my goal since the minute I crossed the finish line of my first half, to beat that time at my second. That didn’t happen but I was just so proud that I finished after being injured. I was also happy to know that the thrill of doing a half was still there.

2013 started with the Glow Run 5K and the Best Damn Race 5K (on my birthday!). Then I came full circle, running the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon again. This year, I was determined to set a PR, and I did. More excitement, more living in the moment and being so proud of myself. I did the Gasparilla 8K again this year, and then I was randomly signing up for the Sarasota Half Marathon because of the amazing dolphin medal. Oh yeah, and this one had a bridge. Days before, I told hubby that it was just my goal to finish, that the bridge was really going to mess with my time and I’d be lucky to get in under the 4 hour time limit. I never in a million years expected to PR at that race. Never. Another proud moment, more crying, this time with less pain afterwards.

And now here I am, just days away from my 5th half marathon in just over a year. Still just as excited as every other one. And this one I’ve actually put some training in for, running the bridges a couple times a week, determined not to let those bridges get the best of me on race day. Hubby has been a trooper, keeping me company and pushing me a little more and more each time.

I run for stress relief. I run to get in shape. I run to feel better.  I run because I love food. I run because it’s cheaper than therapy. I run because I can. I run because it makes me feel strong. I run because i t makes me proud.




Slowly but surely I have convinced myself that I am a runner. I. Am. A. Runner. No, I don’t run a 10 minute mile and no, I don’t run the whole time. But I’m getting more consistent with my pace and I’m running more than I walk. I am tackling the bridges to prove that I can. I’m getting stronger and better. And I couldn’t be more proud of myself.




After Sunday, I’ll officially be an Iron Girl. I’ll also be a Half Fanatic for having completed 3 half marathons within 90 days. It’s a wonderful thing to be proud of yourself, and most of all, it’s a huge motivator to keep going…


Why do you run? What motivates you? Tag #irunbecause and share!

Goalgetter2013 – How did I do in February?

Another month is coming to an end, which means it’s time to follow up on my February Gogalgetter2013 post. As a reminder, here is my post from the beginning of the month.

My goal for February was to complete the 3 races I was registered for!


goalgetter2013 february goals


It seemed like an easy task, I was already registered for them. But in my world, and I’m sure many of you out there can relate to this, nothing is guaranteed. There can be injuries, illness, and more. I am happy to report that I completed all 3 of them AND I have a new half marathon PR!

I had a blast at all 3 races. When I first planned 3 races for one month, the shortest moth of the year, I thought I was a little nuts. But it was a great time and a reminder that I really do love taking part in these events. Hubby also did all three, the Best Damn Race 5K, the Rock N’ Roll Mini Marathon 5K, and the Gasparilla 8K.







My race recaps for these fun races:

Check back with me tomorrow for my March #goalgetter2013 plan!


So, would you like to take part in the #goalgetter2013 challenge? It’s pretty simple….

Goals are most successful when broken up into smaller goals! Post a picture on Instagram on the last day of each month to show how you are working toward achieving your goals! Use the hashtag #goalgetter2013.

If you’d like to take part in this challenge and have another way to keep yourself accountable this year, you should definitely join in! Visit the #goalgetter2013 Facebook page today!

For more inspiration, visit these blogs… These are the gals who put this challenge together:


How did you do on your February goals? Share with me one goal you accomplished!