Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon Recap

Well I’m alive so that’s good news!! I’m so happy to announce that I survived the Run the Bluegrass Half at Keeneland 😀 That alone is Marvelous in and of itself! And though I realize I’m not as ridiculously good looking as this guy, I think this snapshot turned out pretty epic.

Run the Bluegrass Recap

Actually this was probably by far the most miserable race of my life so therefore my proudest race! There may or may not have been tears shed when I saw the finish line…….just saying.  It alternated between raining, spitting, and straight up pouring the entire 13.1 miles. Needless to say by the end I was soaked to the bone and didn’t warm up until after a 45min hot shower, 2 hot meals, cuddling with my sister and watching movies for a few hours, and hittin the hay by 9pm. A pretty productive day I’d say 😉

Let me back up to the beginning though. Thankfully I took the course tour the day before so snapped some pics for y’all. It really is a beautiful course, but you wouldn’t have known it running Saturday 😦 Alas, I didn’t even see some of the beautiful barns from squinting against the rain. And of course no baby horses for me to coo at.

Keeneland Run the Bluegrass half marathon

Like I said pretty right? Moving on…..It was also the biggest race I had ever run in with actual corrals and waves of runners. I know that’s kinda sad for a someone who has been racing for years but hey, smaller races are not only cheaper but allow me to occasionally win my age-group. I was of course in one of the later waves (unlike Ms. KelsieLou who woulda been at the front had she been here) but there were still at least 2000 ppl behind me (4500-ish total running!!!) I’m thinking this one is perfect for Mar to come visit me for next year, thoughts? (don’t worry girl I’m still lookin)

Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon

Still dry and happy at this point…aka the starting line

It was basically shoulder to shoulder the entire course which was nice. I even made a few friends along the way! Of course they were all from out of state so I guess that won’t really translate to my whole “no runner friends” dilemma. Oh well, maybe this summer up in Boston I’ll be brave enough to join a run club (just don’t hold your breathe).

Now I did finish in my goal time and considering the brutal hills this course claims I was kinda surprised. It that bad? I mean I’m pretty much my own biggest fan (I’m awesome and I know it, whatever) and even I didn’t think I could finish in 2:30. But I did and there was nothing sweeter then gettin this bad boy placed around my neck 😀

Half Marathon Finishers Medal

I look brunette, that’s how you know I was soaked haha

But let me break it down for you. I finished in 1885th place with 666 runners behind me plus the 397 people that didn’t even run. (yes I’m counting them as behind me). Placing 91st in my age category. If I was a year older though, bumping me to the next age division, I would have placed 29th…and yes I counted. Bring it on 25, I’m ready for ya lol.

Anyway, afterwards was spent shivering for approximately the next 8hrs. That cold set down deep in my bones and didn’t wanna let it’s icy grip go. Not one to let this hinder me, I rewarded my empty tummy with a giant burger, fries, and later a DQ blizzard (probably not the best choice when you’re freezing, but I like to live my life on the edge 🙂 )

The following morning I also indulged in a Sunday brunch with my family. As you can see below I was still famished. Table manners weren’t exactly high on my to-do list……Can we just agree that the best part of running is the eating afterwards part. No? Just me? Ok….

Giant Omelette Recovery Meal

I just realized this post has the most pictures of me then ever before. I normally have pictures of other stuff so sorry for bombarding you with my face, jeez lol.

Anyone else race this weekend? Or ever had a rainy miserable race?

Also don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter and give my little Facebook page a like if you haven’t already:) Thanks in advance!!

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Run the Bluegrass Race Expo

As you’re reading this I’ll be running in the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon through the beautiful horse country of Lexington, KY! Also can we have a moment of silence for my TN Volunteers, who fought valiantly but lost to Michigan last night 😦

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Now can we celebrate the fact that Kentucky won last night ?!?!?! Whoo Wildcats!

Ok, down to business. I hit up the race expo Friday afternoon to pick up my race packet as well as take a bus tour of the course.

Run the Blugerass Half Marathon

First of all, I started with a pre-pre race meal of Tom&Chee. Aka grilled cheese from the Heavens Mmmmm…..I am that girl that will go to a normal restaurant and order the grilled cheese. It’s the simple things in life right.

Tom & Chee Grilled Cheese

Second of all, if you ever have the opportunity to take a tour of the course you’re gonna run, DO IT!! Seriously do it! Everyone has been telling me about the tortorous hills that makes up most of this race and I’ve been slightly freaking out on the inside. BUT after the bus tour I realized that those ppl that have been telling me horror stories probably haven’t grown up running in TN and KY most of their life and aren’t used to the terrain. Or I’m just a dummy. Either way, I feel so much better about the course.

Also after the tour they gave out bourbon balls. Who can be nervous after getting free chocolate? Not this girl 😀

Kentucky Bourbon Balls

Honestly I’m not much of an expo girl. I never buy anything and I’d rather just skip the whole thing. That being said the volunteers and race vendors were wonderful and it was never super crowded either. There’s about 4500 runners in this race so I was really worried it’d be shoulder to shoulder but that wasn’t the case at all. I mainly just walked through to get my race stuff so I don’t have much else of an opinion on the expo.

The shirts are beautiful and I got a glimpse of the medals which are true to advertising. Literally the most beautiful medal I will own afterwards. (though shout-out to the Bourbon Chase for having really cool medals too. Must be a KY thing?)

So hopefully I’ll have good news to report come Monday morning with my race recap. As long as I didn’t collapse in a ditch from exhaustion or get so soaked full of water I burst, I’ll count it as a success 🙂 #backofthepack for the win!

Anyone else racing this weekend?

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The Trail that Can’t be Concord

Got my first trail race under my belt! I ran in The Trail that Can’t be Concord 6.8 mile trail race in Knoxville, TN this weekend and boy was it a doozy.  (And by doozy  mean extremely fun and rewarding and I can’t wait to do another one!).

sick shirt right?

sick shirt right?

The morning had beautiful, perfect running weather, slightly overcast but still warm enough to wear short sleeves.  I also ran in gloves to keep my little fingers warm, plus my banging running scarf which I made myself, courtesy of Caroline from I Heart Running via Sami from Go Go Mountain Girl (both amazing women, you should go say hi)

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Reppin my Bourbon Chase team 🙂

Remember this was a prediction race so no phones, watches, or timing devices of any kind. I gave my predicted time of 68min thinking I’d off by a few seconds either way……Yea, I finished in 84min…..I also ended up running closer to 9miles b/c I took 2 wrong turns haha.  For the most part the race officials did a great job of marking the trail splits but obviously not well enough for me b/c I did one loop twice (not supposed to) and had to backtrack after a split b/c I saw 7 runners turn the other way and get ahead of me…..

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See all those squiggly lines? Can you understand why I took a wrong turn now? lol

All that aside, I had so much fun and it felt way more of an intimate and friendly race.  The trail was very narrow so any passing that needed to take place forced the front person to fully stop and let the faster person go ahead.  Of course this led to many conversations while you looked for a safe place to “pull-over” lol.  I ran alongside one lady mostly the whole way and as we hit a giant 1/2mile hill at the end we commiserated together.  I just love runners 🙂

So I made it out of the woods alive and my Mother and I stopped off for a celebratory hot chocolate afterwards at Dunk’s of course.  I know I have an obsession but I just can’t help it, it makes me feel like a real New Englander still.

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Then I spent the rest of the day bundled on the couch with my sister watching One Tree Hill re-runs.  Oh and a Qudoba chicken salad for dinner…great day 🙂

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Have you ever run in a trail race?  What was your experience, I wanna know!

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

-Neale Donald Walsch

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Pizza Friday

Happy Fitness Friday everyone! It’s so nice to be home for a few days this weekend….Hello Knoxville! 😀

As soon as I rolled in the door my sister accosted me and we were off to a high school production of Thoroughly Modern Mille…Umm Hil-A-Rious!! I love musical theater and am so glad my sister knows me so well lol.

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Random thought, If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life it’d be pizza.  I love any kind of pizza (except the really greasy kinds) though my favorite is Hawaiian.  I’m also partial to veggie, but will throw down with a pepperoni or sausage as well.  So my Mother makes a bomb homemade pizza but I’ve never tried my hand at it myself.

I did just that tonight and it turned out, well…… Yumm-O! 😀

Jealous right about now? ;)

Jealous right about now? 😉

What a great dinner to have the night before my race if I do say so myself lol. I’m kinda nervous for the 7mile trail loop I’ll be running. It’s the exact same length as the leg of Ragnar I didn’t finish.  Granted there were extenuating circumstances for that which aren’t in play this weekend (back-to-back 20mile relays anyone?) so it should be fine.

Remember it’s a prediction race so I think I’m going to officially give a time of 68min. Though I read on a friends blog that you should also set 2 other goals.  One that you’re ok with and then one that isn’t time related. So un-time related would be of course to finish the entire 6.8 and my second time goal is to at least finish under 70.

It rained today but stayed pretty steady in the 60s, here’s hoping the weather I’ll say goodnight and come back Monday with a full recap for y’all of course.

Anyone else have a race this weekend?

“Well done is better than well said”

-Benjamin Franklin

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Ragnar TN 2013 Recap

It’s finally here and it only took me a week to put it into writing lol (it’s kinda long so just look at the pictures if you’re rushed for time lol)

Ragnar, one of the most fun races you could ever hope to participate in.  And not that I’m biased or anything but Ragnar TN is probably the most beautiful as well. 🙂

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I only ran 2 legs of this race due to a school/work scheduling conflict.  I had to give a presentation at work on the Wellness Wheel that I couldn’t move, but right after that I jumped in the car and headed off to meet my team!  I met them right after they had all run once and passed the bracelet to the other team….Just in time for all the fun stuff, food and friends!  The most common phrase you will hear all weekend is, “If you didn’t have to run, this would be the Best weekend” and different variations of it haha.

After hitting up Subway for an early dinner (we were projected to start running again at around 7:30-8pm) we took our break at the next exchange point where some pulled out sleeping bags to try and get some shut-eye, while most stayed up and just talked….dang I love team races for this very aspect of it, being able to connect in a very different way.

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My first run came at 10pm so head lamp required for all 6.1 miles of it.  It was pretty dark and there was only one runner around me (much faster) but I took off and tried to keep up for the first 2 miles with him, but let’s be honest I can’t do 6 miles at 8min miles haha.  I did beat my goal of finishing under an hour though so thank you strange and fast man 🙂

Our guys team was super duper fast (an average of 7min miles….yea) so our breaks between running were pretty short needless to say.  This second break we did get about 2 hrs of sleep or so which is waaay more then we did last year.  We have things down to a science now I guess haha.

Anyway our final leg started somewhere around 3am or so, and I ran right as the sun was coming up at 7am.  So beautiful, seriously

I was lucky enough to get this on the fly!

I was lucky enough to get this on the fly!

This last leg was 6.8 miles and labeled hard….and it was….There were a few big hills and it was FREEZING!!! The whole weekend was cold but it was 20degrees no joke! Anyway around mile 4ish I was going down a pretty steep hill and I guess got too much momentum and my bad knee buckled under me.  For those who have kept up, I’ve had 2 knee surgeries and still have issues with it so once it buckled I felt extreme pains with every step and knew I couldn’t run another 3 miles on it.

They really did save me :)

They really did save me 🙂

Thankfully my team is so wonderful that they had been stopping every few miles or so to cheer every runner on so mile 5 I saw our gloriously decorated van waiting for me.  I switched out and a friend finished my last 2 miles for me (which not gonna lie was super frustrating to know that one mis-step prevented me from finishing).  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from running though is that your health(knees) are WAY more important then any run so I am glad I stopped before I made things worse….Let this be a lesson to you all! 😀

The finish line is in downtown Nashville and you literally run across the Music Hall of Fame Path to finish.

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My team ended up finishing 2.5hrs ahead of our projected time so we pretty much smashed it lol.  There was live music (it’s the country music capital duh) and lots of food vendors.  I finally got to try some Nuun! We collected our medals, took our celebratory pictures, and signed the official finishers wall!

Forever a finisher!

Forever a finisher!

Seriously I can’t get over how fun this race is.  We’re already thinking up good names and costumes for next year! Mystery Machine anyone? haha

Celebration!!

A Super-friends Celebration!!

Have you ever run a Ragnar or similar race?  Better yet, who has a great team costume theme for 12 runners? Have a Marvelous Monday!!

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions”

-Dalai Lama

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Happy November + Challenge

Happy November Y’all!!! Can you believe it?  I feel like I’m still stuck in September!!

Anyway a new month brings on new goals and challenges.

GOAL !: I came across an amazing Challenge, very similar to 30miles in 30days.  Monica at Run Eat Repeat has a challenge that is totally do-able for everyone!  Basically you pledge a certain amount of miles for the month of November and check in weekly for a chance to win some great prizes! I pledged 60 miles, 70 hasn’t been happening so I have moved the bar a bit lower (this is not defeat! lol)

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GOAL 2: I promise I have the Ragnar race recap coming soon.  For some reason grad school thinks it can dominate my life jeez 😉 I have signed up for my next race however.  The Trail That Can’t Be Concord in Knoxville.  How cool is this…it’s a prediction race!!  That means before the race starts you predict how long it will take you (6.8miles) and at the end whoever comes closest to their predicted time is the winner!!!  Oh and no one can wear a timing device of any kind….yea awesome, I just might stand a chance haha.

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GOAL 3: A Turkey trot?  I haven’t done one since middle school and I wasn’t much of a fan back then 😦 I’m sure home is bound to have one in town.

GOAL 4: Be more consistent with my workouts. No explanation needed, just be better self!

GOAL 5: Finally change my laces!!  I definitely handed these bad boys out to my Ragnar team and I’m the last one to switch em out! Fail!!  A logical person would have changed them after taking this picture but nope, not me so it’s going on the to-do list lol.

Brooks + pink laces = PR's!! :D

Brooks + pink laces = PR’s!! 😀

Don’t forget to jump over to the Fitness Friday link-up to check out some other awesome Runners!

What are your goals for November?

“Happiness consists in activity…it is a running stream, and not a stagnant pool.”

-John M. Good

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Race Recap….Sort of

I’m alive and survived back to back 200mile relays I swear!!

I got back into town just in time to go to work so not much writing is being down as you can see.  These next three weeks are going to be a big crunch at school and work so I apologize in advance if my posts get a bit sparse.  I will have up my Ragnar recap in the next couple of days as well as my Foodie PenPal post so lots of fun stuff for y’all to read!

I’ll leave you with a sneak peek from my weekend, brace yourselves….

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Coolest race squad ever?….just maybe 😀

“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.”

-Orison Swett Marden

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