Update

Hello Everyone!  Hope everyone is having a great week!  Just one more day until the weekend.  TGIF!!  I can’t believe this will be my first blog of the year and it’s already the first week in April.  The month of April in the south have started with rain and thunderstorms.  This week’s weather was mixed with rain…sunny…and storms.
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I did get a 3 mile hike in at our local Rail Trail on Tuesday but it was a slow walk with a little running.  My legs were just not wanting to move very fast on this day but it felt good to get out in the sunshine.  And unfortunately this was the only day this week I was able to get out and get some miles in.
 If you have been following my blog you would see in the last post that I was not going to be running any more races until I got my speed up and then I realized that was a very foolish theory.  I recently read some tips for beginner runners and one tip was not to define yourself by your race time or pace.  The most important thing is that you get out there and run and enjoy it.  Don’t get all hung up on labeling yourself as a ‘fast’ or ‘slow’ runner.  If your concerned about what other people think about you, just know that non-runners not only don’t care what your pace or PR is, most of them have no idea what’s a fast pace or not.  Fellow runners think you’re AWESOME because you’re a runner too.
I ran my first race of the year in February and my results were  46:11  @  14:52 pace  per mile.
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My second race of the year was last weekend at the Darlington Raceway Track or AKA “The Track Too Tough to Tame”.  Well I tamed it last weekend, I beat my previous race time.   My race results were  44:55    @   14:29 pace per mile.   This race even included two tough hills to climb. I will say I was a little proud of myself, it may have only been a few minutes in difference but I could see and feel the difference when I trained during the week.  
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 I have been dedicated to drinking Shakeology everyday.   I have found it easier for me to drink it as an afternoon snack/pick me up at work.  I like trying new recipes with Shakeology.  My new favorite is “Pineapple Go Go” .  
 
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I wonder why it has taken me so long to complete this blog tonight.  Girl cat is craving my attention sitting in my lap. 
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Next Week’s Goals: Run a little more, continue with Shakeology, and not miss Kettlebell Class on Tuesday’s.  
 
Upcoming Races:
ETC Running to Disney 5K – April 22, 2017
Girls Run the World 5K (Visual Race with my gym) – April 26, 2017
Myrtle Beach Diva 5K – May 7, 2017
 

 

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2016 End of the Year Race Recap

Welcome to my 2016 End of the Year Race Recap!!

Can you believe this year has come and  almost gone?  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and could spend it with love ones and friends.

I ran seven races total this year and all of them had a great cause.  Running these races for special charities helps me find the motivation to complete the race and the inspiration to continue signing up for more races.

Shamrock Commit to Prevent Child Abuse, 5K (March 5th)

The goal of this race was to raise 10,000 dollars for the prevention of child abuse.            Total Time: 41:20

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Pacing for Pieces 5K (March 12th)

This is my second time running this race.  It’s for a great cause, a race to raise money for Autism Research and Support.   Total Time: 41:47

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Diva Myrtle Beach Half Marathon (May 1st)

This was my second half marathon.  It was a very hot day in Myrtle Beach on this day.  This was a fun race and I will be running in the 5K next year.  This race is to sponsor Breast Cancer.  The Breast Cancer Charities of America (iGoPink) exists for one reason—to eliminate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. iGoPink’s central focus is to educate, empower and encourage all women to become pro-active in preventing breast cancer and, if diagnosed, in surviving breast cancer.  Join iGoPink as they press forward in the fight against breast cancer!  YOU can help make a difference in the lives of women and patients who are battling breast cancer.   This is a race that is done in many different states.  Check out the web site and sign up for one of the events TODAY!! http://www.runli
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  Total Time: 3:49

National Trails Day 5K (June)

This was a repeat race for me.  I enjoy participating in this race because this is the running trail that I use for my race training.  It was another hot day so I was struggling towards the end of the race.  This race is for the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day which is a celebration of America’s magnificent Trail System, occurring annually on the first Saturday in June.   http://nationaltrailsday.americanhiking.org/general-information-national-trails-day/   Total Time: 46

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Morning News Forget Me Not 5k Color Run (August 20th)

This was an inaugural race and my first color run.  The race was to help raise money to help fund Alzheimer research.  Total Time: 45:04

Disney Wine & Dine 10K – Inaugural (November)  presented by MISFIT

This runDisney event was a race through Epcot, Disney Boardwalk and backlot.  This was my third runDisney race and my first 10K through Disney.  There is plenty to see along the course, Disney entertainment, characters to take photos with and spectacular scenery.

5K Split: 46:45    Total Time: 2:11

Florence Turkey Trot 5K (November 24, 2016)

A race I have always wanted to do was the Turkey Trot.  Why not burn off some calories the morning of Thanksgiving.   Total Time: 46:07

Hope you enjoyed my race recap for this year.  Two of my top goals in 2017 will be to increase my speed and get healthy (lose weight).   I am not going to sign up for another race until I can get my speed up.  I am not going to be doing a runDisney race in 2017.  Instead I will be training to do a runDisney challenge for 2018.  February 24th & 25th of 2018 I am planning on running in the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  This will be this runDisney race event 10th year anniversary.    These races will start/finish in Epcot.  This will be a 19.3-mile adventure held over two days.  On Saturday, February 24th, I will run in the Disney Enchanted 10K, followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday, February 25th.   When you complete both races, you will be awarded the Glass Slipper Challenge medal in addition to the Half Marathon and 10K finisher medals.  I realize that this will get a big challenge but one that I am willing to work towards.

Please continue to follow my blog to track my progress and feel free to comment with any feedback or suggestions.

Happy running!!!

Carnival Valor Review – November 2016

Right after our trip to Disney we boarded the Carnival Valor.  We were just on this ship last October/November.  Many new bars and restaurants were added during a May 2016 refurbishment.   Some of my favorites are the Guy’s Burger Joint, Bluelguana Cantina, Bluelguana Tequila bar, Redfrog Rum Bar and Alchemy bar.

There is so much to do on this ship and fun for all ages.  You can hang out by the pools and relax during the day and then watch an outdoor movie at night.   The Ivanhoe Theater is where you can see Broadway-style entertainment, we enjoyed their show titled “Far from Over” it was a tribute to 80’s music.   This cruise had an awesome cruise direct name, Classy Cassie.  Also, part of the entertainment team was these two break-dancers.We always enjoy the two comedians on select nights in the Punchliner Comedy Club stage.  We were extra excited to see one of our favorite past cruise comedian, Lester Bibbs.

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I love the decor of this ship, it pays tribute to American history in a fun and creative way.

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We had two ports of call on this cruise – Freeport and Nassau Bahamas.  This was the first-time Freeport had opened back up since Hurricane Matthew.   I did not see any damage but a few places like Senior Frogs had not reopened yet.  We like to try the local food when visiting other places.  Our favorite in Freeport is the Conch Fritters.

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We have been to Nassau, Bahamas at least 5 or more times and we always find it to be a relaxing port of call.  Some of our favorite places are Margaritaville over on Paradise Island and Junkanoo beach which is about a mile from the Ship dock.  Of course, you can enjoy plenty of shopping and other tourist attractions such as Senior Frogs.

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My husband surprise me with an extra treat this cruise.  We enjoyed the Chef’s table – This was an experience of a lifetime.  I felt like royalty with this multi course dinner hosted by the Master Executive Chef.  This experience starts with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the kitchen followed by a tour of the galley operation.  After the tour, we enjoy a full – service dinner of amazing appetizers, entrees and desserts not found on any other menu on the ship.  As they place each plate in front of us the Chef explains to us exactly what is on our plates and how it was prepared.   This is a MUST DO!

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I will admit I did not partake in any fitness activity on this cruise except the hour-long Deck Party that included non-stop line dance songs.  This was so much fun and physical that my fitness watch came on and told to keep it up. *lol*

The ship does have a fitness center that is located at the ship’s nose, filling the space with light and gorgeous views through a wall of windows and skylights.  The gym equipment is standard, treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and weights.  There is even a separate room that the cruise dancers are found practicing routines on some days.  This room is also used for classes such as group cycling, Pilates and yoga for an additional fee.  To access the fitness center, you must walk through the spa and locker rooms. This is also where you’ll find a roomy sauna with a view, which is free of charge and does not require a spa treatment purchase.  The outdoor sports complex is located on the other side of the ship, on Deck 11. It includes a basketball and volleyball court and is surrounded by a wide jogging track (nine laps equals a mile).  I love that Carnival Cruise ships give you some healthy options to while your on vacation.  Keeping up with those fitness goals!!

Hope you enjoyed our cruise adventure!!  A cruise has always been a relaxing vacation for me and we have been on over 10 cruises.  If you should need any advice on booking or deciding to go on a cruise, please send me a message.

Next blog – Focusing on fitness goals.

Leave me a comment:

Have you ever been on a cruise?

Which cruise line?

What were your ports of call?

Inaugural Wine and Dine 10K Recap

A little over four weeks ago, I was running through Epcot in the runDisney Inaugural Wine and Dine 10K. This was my first 10K in Disney and my 2nd ever 10K.

My husband came along with me to Disney this time. We arrived on Thursday afternoon so that I could go ahead a pick up my packet from the Expo and do a little shopping. I bought a runDisney tank top, light up laces for my shoes and a new running pouch from roosport. I love the running pouches from roosport, they latch to your pants with a magnet so you don’t have to worry about the waist belt rising while you’re running.


After the expo, we got in an Uber and went to Disney Springs for our dinner reservations at Wolfgang Puck. This dinner was to celebrate our 10th Anniversary. Our dinner was great and the waitress even brought us a free Anniversary desert.

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On Friday, we headed to Animal Kingdom.

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I enjoyed this park as I always do but my husband not too much. He is not one that likes to stand in long lines just for a 10 – 20 min. ride. His back started to hurt him bad so we only got in about 4 ride and then headed back to our room at Pop Century. That night we ate in the Pop Century food court. I always like the variety that the food court offers but the food never looks like the pictures on the signs and of course you’re at Disney so the price is a little high. After eating we headed back to the room, I wanted to get to bed early because I had to get up at 4:00 AM the next morning for the 10K.  Before heading to bed, I laid my race costume out to make sure I had everything in the morning. I wanted to be able to wear my pink run shoes so I went with Rapunzel for my race costume. I made the design on the shirt and made the run skirt. I even had my sidekick Pascal.

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4:30 AM – Saturday, November 5th – Race Day
I met up with my sister and niece who was staying right beside us at Pop Century. We jumped on the bus that took us to the Epcot parking lot. While waiting for the call to go to our corral we took some pictures with Mickey and Minnie.

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There is not a lot to tell you about prior to the race starting just a whole lot of waiting and people watching. We were in corral D, so we did have to wait a little while before our group could start the race.  Once the race started for us we went along Epcot Center Drive and made our way towards the Epcot toll booths. I always love taking photos in front of the entrance of the parks.  The first couple of mile of the race was nothing but highway and overpasses. I really hate Florida hills, they are no good on my calf muscles. Some of the first character along the course were the Penguins from Mary Poppins and Fineas and Ferb. I learned from my first runDisney race not to stop for character pictures unless you’re a strong runner. The lines are always long and it could take a good 15 minutes off your time. The next part of the course was entering the Cast Members entrance, some of the cast members even had to stand and wait until a group of us went by. That is one thing I love about doing these runDisney races, you get to see back-lots at the parks. I even saw some of the boats from the old Norway ride. Right before we entered into World Showcase you could already smell the food cooking for the Wine and Dine. We entered Epcot World Showcase between Norway and China Pavilions. Running World Showcase at night is a sight to behold. The Pavillions are all lit up and the Illuminations torches burning brightly.  We turned left and made our way over the bridge towards the Outpost. There were some characters in World Showcase: Pinocchio, Geppetto, and Travel Genie. We exited Epcot from the International Gateway entrance and made our way towards the Epcot Area Resorts and turned left over the bridge heading towards the Boardwalk. This part of the race was really exciting for me because I had never been to the Boardwalk. I did not realize it was so close to Epcot. After the Boardwalk, we ran past the Yacht and Beach Club and made our way past a Sebastian Puppet before entering the backstage area of Epcot behind the UK Pavilion.

We re-entered into World Showcase next to the UK Pavilion. We ran through Canada and into Future World, where we could start to see the awesome view of Spaceship Earth in the early morning light.

We passed Spaceship Earth on the left, and then ran around the entrance fountain, and again passed Spaceship Earth so we could exit into a backstage area that led to the finish line. Now it was 2 more mile before getting to the finish line.


Fast forward to after the nice hot showing for my sore legs and knees and a little down time before going to Epcot for the Wine and Dine. I was disappointed at the Wine and Dine. This was my first year ever going to this event and there was so many people waiting in line that we didn’t even bother. I did get my Dole Whip with rum and we ate dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in the World Showcase, Rose and Crown.  The Scotch Egg  and the Fish and Chips were awesome!

We only rode 4 rides and most of those were because of the fast passes. Going to the Wine and Dine during a race weekend is not the best time.  After our weekend at Disney we boarded a Carnival Cruise ship to the Bahamas.  That adventure will have to be for another blog.

Hope you enjoyed my review of the Inaugural Wine and Dine 10K.   Please leave a comment!

Happy Runniversary!!!

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It’s been a little while since my last blog but I thought I would start up again since I need to start training for some upcoming races.   This past Wednesday, August 10th was my 3rd runniversary.  Three years ago I found my love for running.

This is coming from a girl who use to hate running in gym class.  I would pass out almost after just one lap around the track in high school.  Running is the most exhilarating feeling but at the same time the most dreadful feeling.  There are good days when you can go miles and miles and bad days when your body is telling you that you just cannot go another mile.  I have found out that what you think is your worst race can turn into your best PR yet.   Every second counts when you are racing, one little mistake can slow you down.

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This is a sport that will push you to your limits of what you can do mentally and physically. I understand that the biggest competition is myself.  Running is not an easy sport by any means but it’s supposed to be a challenge that is what makes it great!  Why do I love to run?  I run for those who cannot run and one day I may not be able to run but today I can!!!

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Back on the Wagon: The hardest part for me about running is just starting some days.  To me, it is finding the motivation in myself to run after a long day at work and the many excuses I have in my life.  I even work right across from the running trail.

 

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I have a great support system; I just need to start using it.  My husband, my sister and niece and my gym family are all great supporters.  This week I am getting back on the wagon and getting my miles in.  I have a 10K to complete in November.

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Disney Wine & Dine Training:  I am a little behind in my race training for the 10K in November.  If I am following the Jeff Galloway training from the runDisney website, then I would be in week six at this point.  I would not say I had stopped running, I have been running at least one day out of the week, usually on Mondays but then that was it.  I just need to add more days in the week and stick to my training.  This week I will be doing week six of the Jeff Galloway training and returning back to gym classes.   I will be signing up for a 5K on Saturday.

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21 Day Fix Program:  I have also been trying to stick with the 21-day fix program through Beach Body.  This has been a real challenge for me with the portion control and trying to stay on it when your husband and family are eating whatever they want.    The workout routines are very challenging and seem to be something that would show results in a quick amount of time, just only if I would stick to that routine.  This is a new week and I am going to just take it one day at a time on this program.  Hopefully I will see some results even if I am not exactly staying on the full routine.

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Rio Olympics:  I did get some motivation for my running today after watching the women’s marathon.  Way to go US Olympic runner –  Shalane Flanagan who did the Women’s marathon in 2:25:26 hours.  Now that is a great example of determination and reaching your goals.  I know Shalane was not happy about being in six place in the marathon but she is a hero in my eyes.

So tune in next week to see if I have reached my running goals.

Happy Running!!!

Race Recovery

Let’s talk about race recovery.

I don’t know about you but after a long race I feel so exhausted yet exhilarated after I cross that finish line.  Even though I want to just crash and relax I know this is the last think you should do.  Just keep moving!!  You have pushed those leg muscles so hard you need to slowly cool them down and do a light jog or slow walk to prevent cramping.

Hydration!! Hydration!! Hydration!!  I can recall one time I forgot to drink water after a race and ended up with the worse cramps in my legs.  I promised myself I would never forget to hydrate after a race.  You also want to replenish those electrolytes, so maybe grabbing a sport drink, juice or even coconut water would be great.

Stretch those muscles!  This is something I really need to work on myself.  I am the worse for not stretching before or after a run and I eventually pay for it or end up having a terrible race time.  The more thoroughly you stretch after a race, the easier it will be to get out of bed the next day.   Don’t forget to ice down injuries if needed.

Feeling hungry?  Of course you are, you just burned off more than 1,500 calories running that half marathon.  It’s time to refuel.  Most all races have one of my favorite fruits bananas, but also may have bagels and sports bars.  Be sure to grab some of these treats and refuel that body.

Once you have retuned back home/hotel and after you have taken a refreshing shower/bath its finally time to relax.   You then may want to use your foam roller to reduce muscle soreness.  Spend some time on the parts that hurt the most, like your calves, quads or hamstrings.  The deep-tissue massage of a foam roller speeds healing by drawing blood flow to damaged muscles.  Always remember to hydrate afterwards.

Now I am defiantly not one to ask when you should start back your long runs.  It’s been two weeks since the Diva Half Marathon and I have only been walking a few miles at a time.  I do want to start running a little this week.

Happy running and recovery!!

DIVA Half Marathon Recap

Happy Tuesday!!!

Myrtle Beach – DIVA Half Marathon Recap:

I am officially a DIVA runner!!  I crossed the finish line and received my Diva medal in the Diva Half Marathon this past weekend.

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Fuzzy pink boas, tiaras, tutus, shirtless firemen with abs of steel, bubbly champagne and thousands of race DIVA’s.  These are just some of the words I can use to describe my experience this weekend.

 

It all started with the Health & Fitness Boutique on Saturday. This is where the packet pick-up was and 40+ exhibitors showcasing the latest in women’s trends, designs, and apparel.  These race expos are always free and open to the public.  After getting my bib, shirt, tutu and race bag I explored the many vendors.  There was a lot of good vendors at the expo.  Some of my favorite finds were an Official DIVA tank top that I wore during the race made by Greenlayer, a beltless running pocket to hold my phone made by Roosport.  Both worked great during my run on Sunday.  I had been wanting to order some headbands from Hippie Runner.com and I lucked up and saw them at the expo.  There headbands were 5 for $20.  Goodnessknows gave some free snack bars that were a tasty treat.

 

RACE DAY: Sunday, May 1, 2016

I work up around 5:45 AM and got ready.  As my husband drove me to the race I ate a banana and a hard boil egg. My husband dropped me off at the starting line around 6:50 AM.  I was able to see the 5K race start and wave and cheer on some of my gym friends as they started the race.  Then it was time for the half marathon runners to line up for at 7:15 AM start.  As I stood there waiting to start I was able to meet one of my Facebook group members.

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This was the 2nd biggest race I have done and once the race began it took 2-3 minutes to even cross the start line.  Once I did it was still rather congested but I hung in there and dodged and weaved my way through the slower pace runners.

The weather was not that bad, but we were praying for a breeze towards the end of the race.  I started with the run/walk intervals for the first 4-6 miles.  The first 4 miles were a good pace at 14 minute and I completed them in an hour.  It wasn’t until the 5th mile I started feeling it and started to notice I was walking more than I was running. On mile 6 my toe started to hurt, I was not sure if it was a toe nail or what.  I was determined I was not going to stop, I just kept going and running when I could.  After a while I could not feel the pain as much.  Then around mile 8 the back of my knees started to hurt and then I just started a steady walking pace.  I was still determined I was going to finish but I could not stop walking nor start running.  There were a few small hills/inclines on the course and I had not really trained for those.  A lot of ladies around me were walking so I felt if I could stay with them I thought I could make it and not be swept if that was possible for this race.  One thing I really did like about this race was all of the water/Gatorade stops they had.  I took advantage of every stop and sometime took one of each.  There were a lot of spectators and volunteers along the course cheering the runners on.  As those final miles counted down, the spectators began their shouts of “ONLY A FEW MORE MILES” and “ALMOST THERE!”  I was so happy to finally see mile 12, I knew I was almost there.  On the last mile my husband had given me a call because he thought I would have already made it to the finish line by now.  I told him I was on the last mile and was making it as fast as my legs could go.  My poor legs were spent and I could not go any faster.  Somewhere on the last mile near the finish line volunteers handed racers pink fuzzy boas and a little tiara.  As I started to approach the finish line I started a slow jog and a few of my gym friends were off to the side cheering me on.  That gave me that little extra strength I needed to make it to that finish line.   My husband was right there waiting for me at the end of the race.  He gave me a big hug and in his encouraging loving way said now you know what you need to work on. 

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I don’t know that I can say this was the toughest race I have done; Disney might have been just a little bit tougher.  I think the main factor in this race was I did not have a running partner.  A friend at the beach signed up with me to participate in the race but at the last minute she said she was not prepared and did not race.  I think I will be focusing more on my speed and just sign up to do more 5K races.  Right now the only race I have signed up for is the Wine and Dine 10K in November.  I won’t say I’m not going to do another Half Marathon but it won’t probably be for a while.

Well there you go, hope you enjoyed my recap on the race.  My next blog will be about race recovery.  If your thinking about doing a Diva Half/5K don’t forget to join my Facebook group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/runlikeadivarunners/