Tag: race

Race Recap ~ Iron Girl Half Marathon

I have to start this post by saying that running a half marathon after *not* running for three weeks is not the smartest thing to do. I do not recommend it. But, I was registered for it and despite my lack of running prior, I was very excited about it.

Iron Girl is in Clearwater, very close to my home, and the course follows just about the same route I run on Sundays. It starts in Coachman Park, up over the Memorial Bridge and causeway to the beach, over the Sand Key Bridge, into Sand Key Park, then south on Gulf Blvd. for a bit before turning around and heading back again. Of course, this means that we have to run back over those same bridges to get to the finish line. It’s a bit of a challenge.


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We lined up at the back of the start line and waited. I saw my friend Jessica fromTampa Mom Runs and we chatted for a minute. She was running with her adorable mom – how awesome is that?




Corinna and I started the race together before I took off over the first bridge. I knew that my run to walk ratio on this one would be very different, so I just went with it. I ran when I could and walked when I had to. I heard a women behind me at one point talking about how she met her time goal earlier this year and since then she’s been having fun. I realized that is exactly how I need to look at this race, my 10th half marathon. I had already PR’d twice this year with times I had never imagined, so I was going to have fun with this one and not worry about my time. Best decision ever.

I took a photo of Clearwater Beach as I ran by. It was a gorgeous day out, although a little warm. This is one of many reasons this is such a great course…


clearwater beach iron girl 2014


I made it over the Sand Key Bridge, also running it all the way over. Once I got into Sand Key Park, I knew I was going to have to make a pit stop at the bathroom. Rarely does this happen to me but my tummy was not happy and I was thankful there was a real bathroom in the park. When I came out of the bathroom, I just happened to see Corinna run by – perfect timing! I had been watching for her since I left her on Memorial Bridge but never spotted her. We would stick together the rest of the race and finish together.

From this point on, we did run / walk intervals. Corinna’s knee was bothering her and my foot was not happy with me. But we talked up a storm and that’s always fun too. When we finally headed back over the Memorial Bridge and made our way to the finish line, I think we were both ready to be done. I had fun but my foot was ready for me to stop.

I also wanted to mention that the Best Damn Race cheering squad was on the Memorial Bridge. Hubby joined them! It was nice to be cheered on in both directions on the bridge by the Best Damn cheering squad. Thanks to Jackie for letting me use this great photo she took…





As we approached the finish line, I saw Jessica again, as well as my friend Jackie who attends the same WW meeting that I do. She had run the 5K, so congrats to you Jackie! I was thankful for her because she took photos of us afterwards and it was fun to see her outside of our meeting. She’s been running and wants to build up to a half marathon. I know she can do it.


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I ended up finishing a minute slower than last year and I am a-ok with that. There was a lot of walking, it was hot, and I was not prepared for this one. But, I had fun. I love this event and the course and can’t wait to do it again next year! The medal this year is so pretty and colorful. I love adding medals to my collection. And this one has my favorite bridge on it. Can’t beat that!


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Rarely do I like the professional race photos. I’ve only bought a few when I first started racing. I tend to look like I am in pain or not happy when I’m running and that is far from the case. But this time, there are two that I absolutely love. The one of me waving at the finish line (to either Jessica or Jackie) is probably my most favorite finish line photo ever. This photo represent exactly how much I love to run. It just makes me happy!

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It’s hard to believe I’ve completed 10 half marathons now. It seems so long ago that I did my very first one, but it was just in March of 2012. I’ve changed so much in these two years of racing. I decided to do a side-by-side photo of my first half and tenth half, and that change is evident. Besides the obvious difference in my weight, running all these half marathons (and other races) has brought about a self-confidence that I didn’t have before. Completing a half marathon is a big deal. Completing ten of them is an even bigger deal. I am so proud of myself.


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So what is next? I am done with races for the spring and summer now. But I will continue to run and in July, I’ll start training for the Space Coast Marathon. The idea of running a full marathon is still very surreal to me, but I know the girl on the right in that photo can do it. Ten half marathons has proven this to me.


**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to Iron Girl Clearwater – all opinions shared are my own.


How many half marathons have you run?

Friends, lights, and more at Electrodash 5K!

It’s not often that there is a nighttime run. I’ve only done 2 the past couple of years, but they are a lot of fun. Add in glow sticks, fun lights, and running friends, and it makes for a fun night! I was excited to run the Electrodash 5K with hubby this past Friday night at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

After fighting traffic from Clearwater to Tampa at rush hour, we finally made our way to the fairgrounds well before the start. We parked and made our way to the line to pick up our packets since we did not do so the night before. There was a delay getting in, but the weather was nice and cool, and it was fun chit chatting with others in line.

When we finally entered, we made our way to packet pick-up for our race bibs, shirts, and fun glow sticks including glasses. After we checked in, we walked around and I kept my eyes open for several friends (go Tampa Bay Bloggers!) who I knew were running this event. Caitlyn actually spotted me first. Since it’s now become habit to take pictures of us whenever we see each other at a race, we took another selfie. It’s what we do….




Our friend Xiomara found us, too. I was happy to see her, it had been quite awhile. We would also end up running together so we had time to catch up. Always fun to chit chat while running! Is it just me or do we look like Scuba Steve with these glassed on? Too fun!

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The event was to start in waves, but it seems like everyone started at one. It was dark, all the cool lights were on, and we were off!




We made our way through several zones of lights and music. As with most races, it’s a little congested at first but then it spreads out. They handed out water around the mile mark.




I was very proud of hubby as he ran most of it! He is not in love with running the way that I am, but he wants to do it, and he did just that. He was ahead of me most of this one!

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Before we knew it, we found ourselves back at the start line. They handed out water and granola bars. Everyone was heading back towards the stage for music and dancing at they finished…

One thing I really loved about this event was seeing all the kids that were there. They were having so much fun with the glow sticks and running at night.

Two things I wish… I know it was night time, so it was dark, and there were glow lights and effects along the way, but I felt like I was going to fall because I literally could not see the ground in front of me. I ran carefully the entire time to make sure that I didn’t trip on anything or step in a hole (like hubby did!). The only other thing is, I wish they would have given out a medal because I love medals!




All in all a fun night. My time was around 34 minutes, which is great for a fun event like this. And it was fun participating with hubby and seeing my running friends.

Electrodash is in many cities across the US this year. Be sure to visit their website and see if they’re near you!


Have you participated in Electrodash, in Tampa or elsewhere? What was your favorite part?


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to the Electrodash 5K in exchange for my honest review. The opinions shared are my own.

Race Recap ~ Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay 2014

Sometimes, it seems like just yesterday I ran my very first half marathon. And all of a sudden, I am getting up at 3:20am on a Sunday to drive 60 miles to run my 9th half marathon. How did that happen? I’m always pretty competitive with myself and have some sort of goal in mind, usually with the hope of a PR. But after celebrating PRs at my last two half marathons in just the last 6 weeks alone, and then not running for the last two weeks, I knew this one was going to be for fun. I love the course and the views for this one. I also had the memory of this one being the first race last year where I finally broke 3 hours for a half marathon. After picking up my shirt and bib on Thursday, I was very excited to run this one again. I love the shirt and the colors!!


sarasota shirt


I arrived early enough to find a free parking spot not far from the start / finish line, which is located at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, right on the water. You can see the John Ringling Causeway in the distance. I am partial to races along the water, so I just love this.


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I had plenty of time to walk around and take care of business before the start. Thankfully there were plenty of port-o-potties. I also ran in to my friend Caitlyn before. We joked that we were both tired and not really ready for 13.1 miles, but we were going to do it. Just before it started, I also ran into Meghan and Nadine, who were running the relay. The race started just after 7 and we were off. Once again, I decided to not listen to music and enjoy the surroundings. The course heads south on Tamiami Trail and then over the John Ringling Causeway. This might be my favorite part of the course. I love running bridges, however hard it may be, and I looked forward to running around St. Armand’s Circle. After St. Armand’s Circle, as I was approaching the causeway, I caught up to Caitlyn. It was shortly after that I took my first walk break. I always try to run at least 4 miles before I walk because I feel like once I take a walk break, I want to take more. I was very happy to catch up to Caitlyn and we ended up running for about 4 miles together. It was fun to chit chat with her and the time passed quickly. Around mile 8, I ran ahead. The course took us past the Ringling Museum of Art and through a beautiful neighborhood along the water. I took several more walk breaks during this time. The sun was high and bright in the sky and it had warmed up quickly. I also had Gatorade at each hydration station, in addition to the water I had with me. Between Mile 11 and 12, I had this amazing view and I stopped to take a picture of it. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful area and I really don’t think I will ever get tired of such views.


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Finally – FINALLY – I made it back out to Tamiami Trail. A very nice woman, who’s name I forgot (!!), was along side me as I was taking a quick walk break. She said we should run it in together. We did just that, talking for a little bit, and then when I turned around to thank her after we crossed the finish, she was gone. Runners are so friendly, I always enjoy that. I was ready – and happy – to be done. My time was far from my last half marathon 2 weeks ago, but it was still better than this same event last year. Regardless, I was very happy with how I did and my time. We can’t PR every time, and I enjoyed running with Caitlyn for several miles on this one.



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sarasota medal       sarasota time



After calling hubby to let him know how I did, I caught up with my fellow Best Damn Race Ambassadors so we could all go to breakfast.



Sarasota Half BDR Ambassadors 2

Beth, Meghan, Katie, Me, Haley, and Nadine

Sarasota Half BDR Ambassadors

Katie, Me, Nick, Haley, Meghan, and Nadine



We also took a Tampa Bay Bloggers photo since so many of us ran the race. Clearly, we love photos. I think we’re a fabulous bunch.


Sarasota Hald TBB Bloggers

Beth, Meghan, Me, Caitlyn, Haley, Chrissy, Denise, Brad

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Me and Caitlyn



I am very happy with how I ran and finished this race. It’s a great event, I love the shirt and medal, and the camaraderie is priceless. And here are my official results…


sarasota half 2014 results


What is your favorite thing about running races and the running community?



**Disclaimer: As part of the Tampa Bay Bloggers network, I received a complimentary entry to the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay in exchange for my honest review. The opinions shared are my own

This weekend…. Sarasota Half Marathon!

It’s been a whirlwind of races the past month. Between Best Damn Race Safety Harbor, then Gasparilla Distance Classic, and then Best Damn Race Orlando, I’ve been a busy little runner. The past week and a half though, since Best Damn Race Orlando, I have not been running at all. My back has been telling me to take it easy, and I have been. But I am itching to run. And even more so, I am so excited to run the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay this Sunday!

Last year I ran the Sarasota Half Marathon on a whim, after seeing the amazing dolphin medal. Besides loving medals, I love dolphins and when I saw the medal that was up for grabs, I knew I had to make it mine. I knew the race had a BIG bridge but I didn’t care. I was training for Iron Girl and figured if anything, it would be a great training run.

What it turned out to be, was the first half marathon I finished under 3 hours. I was a sweating, crying mess when I cross the finish line in 2:48:12, so darn proud of myself. It will always be a favorite running memory of mine.


sarasota half 2013



I knew I had to do it again this year. It’s a beautiful course and there is another great medal with a bridge and dolphins. How could I pass this up?




I also know many runners who will be running this. That’s another thing that makes these events so fun…. Seeing your running / blogging friends who enjoy the events as much as you do!

This will be half marathon #9 for me. I’ve PR’d the last three that I’ve run. I am going to run this one for fun and enjoy the course and see what happens….


Will I see you out there? Let me know if you’re running!

WW Weigh-In #59

What a crazy few weeks it has been… After my last WW Weigh-In post on 02/15, I missed the next two weekly weigh-ins and meetings due to races. Looking back, I could have – should have – attended a different meeting during those weeks to weigh-in and try to stay on board. Unfortunately, in my tunnel vision mind, I don’t think like that and I just knew that I was going to be busy during my regular meeting time.

Yesterday, I finally made it back. I was very excited to go and see everyone. I cannot explain how much I love that meeting and the people there. It’s such a great feeling to be a part of something like that. It also doesn’t hurt to be cheered on and made to feel very special about my running… During the meeting, Beverly mentioned that I was finally back and asked me to step to the front and tell everyone what I had been up to the last two weeks. And, much to my surprise, she gave me a cool little Thumbs Up! award. This is just one of the many reasons I love my meeting…


ww thumbs up award


Of course, I knew going into the meeting that I was going to be up on the scale. Besides missing two meetings and running three races, we had a busy couple of weeks where we ate out 4 times just for dinner. Outback Steakhouse, Molly Goodheads, Mellow Mushroom, and The Thirsty Marlin. Everyone of those dinners was a great time with great company and in my world, part of the good time is enjoying food and beverages that I love. I believe that will never change. I work hard and MOST of the time, I am mindful of what I eat and the points. However, it is a rare occasion to eat out 4 times in such a short time.

I briefly thought about not weighing in until next week, but I reminded myself that I have yet to back down from the scale since January 1, 2013. So, I went in knowing that whatever it was, I could deal with it and move on from there. The scale told me that I had gained 5.4 lbs…. Happy? No. Frustrated? No. Holding myself accountable Yes.


WW Weekly weigh-in Week 59



I didn’t really want to see the 150’s again, but I know it’s not permanent. What I have decided, though, is that after doing the Simply Filling / Simple Start since the beginning of December, I think it’s time to get back to tracking my daily points. I still eat many power foods, but I think I need the added accountability of tracking every single point that I eat, as well as getting back to weighing and measuring portions.




Despite this weight gain, I went shopping afterwards and bought 3 new bikinis for our upcoming Vegas trip. Hubby is going for work and we are very thankful we could make it work so that I could go with him. I look forward to pool and sun time while he’s at his meetings during the day and I knew that I needed a new bathing suit. The last time I bought one was back on 2006 and it’s too big on me now and I wanted something new. When I couldn’t decide on just one, I bought all three. I’ve worked hard to be able to wear them and I deserve them!


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My activity was way down this last week. After running 3 races over the course of 8 days, I was exhausted and my legs were tired. My back was also bothering me and I knew it would be best – and very smart – to take the week off from working out hard. That will change tomorrow when I get back to it again. And, I have half marathon #9 coming up next Sunday, the Sarasota Half Marathon.

I am breaking from my regular WW post and skipping what I did right and what I will focus on this week. I know what I need to do and I know how to do it. And, I will.


How do you handle weigh-ins after missing a couple? What changes do you make to get back on track?