Tag: race

Best Damn Race Orlando 2014 (And another PR!!)

This past Saturday morning, our alarm went off very early…. At 3am to be exact. hubby and I were headed to Orlando for the Best Damn Race. I was running the half marathon and hubby was running the 10K. I was very excited to take part in this event in a new city.

Since first running the inaugural race in Safety Harbor in 2013, I have been a huge fan of this event. I was even more thrilled when last year, I was selected as a Best Damn Race Ambassador. Seeing it grow and going to another city was a lot of fun. One of the reasons I love this event is because it is put on by a runner, for runners. The race director, Nick, puts his heart and soul into it and it shows.

So, despite the early hour our alarm went off, I was excited to hit the road and run 13.1 miles on a new route. It was still dark when we arrived in downtown Orlando at Lake Eola Park and we picked up our race packets and had time to walk around and visit with others before the race started.


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                         The Best Damn Race Director, Nick                       Katy of www.katywidrick.com



The race started and ended at Lake Eola Park. What a pretty setting it was and on a gorgeous day! It was a crisp 52 degrees when we arrived – perfect weather for running. The sun started to come up just before the 10K started. I saw hubby off and then waited for the half marathon to start 30 minutes later.



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Before I knew it, it was time for the half to start, my 8th half marathon. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to listen to music or not, I haven’t in awhile. I decided I definitely didn’t need to, I wanted to enjoy the new-to-me route and the scenery. It’s also fun to listen to other runners.

Since I just ran the Gasparilla 15K and 8K the weekend before and my legs were still tired, I didn’t really have a time goal in mind. I knew I finished in 2:18:59 at Best Damn Race Safety Harbor on February 1st, and it would be great to beat that, but I knew it would be tough. Ultimately, I wanted to finish under 2:30 as a worst case.

The first couple of miles were along cobblestone streets. This can be tricky to run on and I have to pay attention to my footing to make sure I don’t’ twist my foot or step wrong. I ran the first 4 miles without a walk break, feeling great. I grabbed some Gatorade at mile 4 and then took off running again. We rounded the corner and under an overpass and then saw we would run around Lake Underhill. This was a really pretty view and it was neat to see runners as they made their way around it. I should have taken a picture, but at the time I didn’t think about it.

During the run around the lake, I also made my way up to the 2:15 pace group. I couldn’t believe it. I stayed with them for about a mile and then they got ahead of me. I would end up keeping them in my sight the rest of the race but never caught back up to them.

After rounding the lake, we made our way through a residential neighborhood and passed right along side those ahead of us, back tracking. It was here that I saw Meghann (Meals and Miles), Michelle (Crazy Running Legs), and Haley (Running With Diapers). It’s fun to see other runners that you know, wave and say hi, and get a little encouragement.

By this time, I had taken several walk breaks and my legs were killing me. Every bit of the 14.2 miles I ran the weekend before had caught up to me and I was so sore. I knew I had to listen to my body and walk if I needed to. There is no shame in that. Besides, I wanted to be able to finish strong.

Around mile 9, I looked at my watch and did some math to see how far off I would be from my Safety Harbor time. I knew the 2:15 pace group was ahead of me and I had no idea how far behind me the 2:30 pace group was. I was just thankful that they remained behind me the whole time. It was here that I realized, unless I was completely screwing up the math, that I could possibly beat my previous time, even if just by seconds. This helped to light a fire under me and I tried to walk less and run more.

Just after the 10 mile mark, we merged with the 5K runners. I joked with a couple of women running beside me how fresh they all looked compared to us. They were also moving much quicker. This, of course, was a little pick me up and got me moving a little quicker.

The final long stretch along South Street was fun because it was downhill and we could see the skyscrapers. There were spectators along here, and the closer we got to the last two turns, it was louder and louder. Finally, I rounded the last corner and saw the street lined with spectators. The finish line was in view and no matter how many times I’ve run a race, that just never gets old. It is so exciting to see after you’ve been running your heart out for a couple hours.

I also knew by this time that I had definitely beat my last time. I was a little worried by how much though because the mileage on my watch was off. I just hoped that my time was close to the chip time at the end.

I ran across the finish line with all my heart, excited by another PR. There is nothing like that feeling. I hurt, I ached, and I was starving, but I did it. Half marathon #8 was complete and most exciting of all, I would get to ring the PR bell again! I beat my last time by 2 1/2 minutes!


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I was also very excited to learn that hubby did awesome on his first every 10k! I was super proud of him and so glad that he took part in this awesome race with me. We were also able to take some great photos on Lake Eola. It could not have been a prettier day…




I am very happy with my time and pace on this one. The first six miles were obviously my best and I knew that. To run in the 9’s is huge for me. It felt comfortable and was not a huge struggle to do it.




I can’t say enough about this event. I will absolutely run it again in 2015. I look forward to seeing it grow and will enjoy running the great courses and enjoying the great perks it offers runners. Thank you Best Damn Race for two wonderful races this year!

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

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!




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.




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!!!).






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.



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!




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.






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….





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?

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!

2014 Goals

Happy New Year! Here we are again, starting a new year. It’s a fresh start, a clean slate. And with the new year, there are new goals. Some of my goals from last year will carry over and others are new.


2014 goals


Last year, it was my goal to have more date nights with hubby and while we did have some great ones, we didn’t have enough. 2013 was a challenging year time-wise with much going on with work for both of us. I made some work changes that I hope will help us to have a little more time to have more date nights.


I would love to start writing a book – this is another goal that carries over from last year. I have two books I want to work on, both near and dear to my heart. I really hope that 2014 is the year I can get a great start on them.


I am so close to my goal at Weight Watchers. Today is the one-year anniversary of when I went back and it has definitely been a success. I also blogged every Saturday about each weigh-in. I started 2013 at 178 pounds and ended it at 149 pounds. Just a few more pounds to go to get to my ultimate goal of 140 and make lifetime again.


I killed my mileage goal last year, which I set at 450 miles. I finished 2013 with 628 miles. It was such a great year of running. I ran every day in May, and then my mileage really bumped up during my half marathon training. It’s no secret what a visual person I am so the graph on DailyMile is fun to look at…





Right along with my mileage goal, I would love to complete a Sub-30 5K. I ran my best 5K to date at the Santa’s Twilight 5K in December, finishing it in 30:56. I will work on this!!


Last year I ran 4 half marathons, bringing me up to 6. This year, I want to run 4 more so that I have 10 total. I am such a Half Fanatic. To this day, I still can’t believe that signing up for that first half marathon would light such a fire in me. I really thought it would a one-time thing just to say I did it. Instead it created a monster. It is still just as exciting and exhilarating to cross the finish line…


And finally! The biggest goal I have set for the year is to train for and complete my first full marathon. Oh boy…. Even typing those words scares the heck out of me. I still remember when I swore I would never do a full marathon, I had no desire. It was sometime over the summer that that changed and I really started thinking about it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to do it. I thought I would hold off until early 2015 to do one, but it’s much too present in my mind to wait. I am currently looking into training plans, preferably an 18 – 20 week plan so that I can build my mileage slowly. It’s not the marathon itself that I am so much afraid of, it’s the training. Long runs of 18 and 20 miles? Scares the heck out of me. But after training for the Women’s Half this past fall and seeing how much the training prepared me for it and helped my time, I know that it’s possible. I also know that I have a lot of support going into it. Hubby will train with me by bike as he did my half marathon training (which I LOVED!!), and of course my mom knows I can do it. It also helps me to know that so many of my running friends are excited for me. My friend Beth seemed to know I was going to do a full before I did and told me to ask her any questions on training. She just completed her 7th marathon  and I really look up to her. I also know a few people running this same race. So… I will run the Space Coast Marathon on November 30, 2014 in Cocoa Beach near Kennedy Space Center. I am beyond excited to add this medal to my collection…. And to finally add a 26.2 sticker to my car.


space coast marathon 2014 medal

(Source: Space Coast Marathon)


I am excited about my goals for the year. I know that when I set goals and work towards them, all things are possible. Take them one step at a time and never give up. I accomplished so much in 2013, I am ready to tackle 2014 and see what it holds for me!




Have you set goals for 2014? What are you most excited about?

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.

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    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!

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    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.

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  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?