The Road Ahead

It’s time to gear up for another round of marathon training – The Chicago Marathon. ¬†What have I gotten myself into I keep thinking? In fact, I’m 99% sure this is my last full for a while and I’ve decided to hire a running coach to help me ¬†through to the very finish line.

I started working with Kristen (@concrete_runner) when I enrolled in her three week Elite Running Academy bootcamp. ¬†It was three weeks of short strength training and running workouts to help become a faster and stronger runner. ¬†I went from a baseline workout of 8:04.15 to 6:49.10 in just THREE WEEKS!! I’ve always just run to run and never really had a strength training program but I think that this DEFINITELY helped me kick myself into gear! With that being said, I knew that hiring Kristen was the right decision! ¬†She’s starting a new round this week and I highly recommend it! ¬†Sign up today and save $10!

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#concreterunnercrouch

I’ve also been using my new Lumo Run device when I run, which helps give me statistics on different running metrics such as cadence, bounce, drop, braking and rotation. ¬†I clip the device to the back of the waistband of my pants and I head out for a run or to my treadmill. ¬†It will detect running without or without a phone and can be synced with a phone after the run. ¬†If used with a phone, it will provide pace and coaching along the way, and if used without, it will provide all of the metrics when it’s synced after the run. ¬†The best part is that any of the metrics that need work, it will suggest exercises to improve running form on these metrics.

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It’s been really interesting to see the difference in my cadence on the treadmill versus the pavement outside. ¬†My cadence is much higher when I’m running outside than when I’m running inside on the treadmill.

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I definitely have some work to do to improve my indoor running, but with the help of the exercises from Lumo Run and my new running coach, I will be able to improve my form and strength and be READY for Chicago in October!! If you’re interested in ordering a Lumo Run you can save $10 with the code KW10 on your order!

I am excited about the road that lies ahead of me and my journey to Chicago.

The Marine Corps Marathon

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Well, I think enough time has passed since the Marine Corps Marathon that I should probably write about it. ¬†It really wasn’t my best run, but my training really hit a snafu when I hurt my ankle in July and was basically out of commission for most of the remainder of my training schedule. ¬†My longest run ended up being the Rock ‘n Roll half marathon in St. Louis. ¬†And while it wasn’t the greatest run that I’ve ever had, I certainly had the best time ever. ¬†From wineries and breweries to WeRunSocial meetups to a Halloween parade, it really was an awesome experience. ¬†After all, I did fly halfway across the country to meet Kristin who I had only know through Instagram (@runnerchick29) and her blog and texts (who am I kidding, we text pretty much everyday up until that point, so I would say we knew each other pretty well)!

I flew out Thursday night and Kristin picked me up at the airport and then we had some pizza and went back to her place to hang out and decided Friday would be a day of wineries around Leesburg. ¬†Friday started with cinnamon rolls and Starbucks, and then we headed to the wineries. ¬†Because why else do you run all the miles…yes to drink all the wine! And the beer!

Friday shenanigans came to a close and we went off to the hotel and prepare for the weekend of fun ahead of us!  Saturday morning came and we got up and went to the expo bright and early as soon as it opened, which was good because we missed the major crowd that we ran into when we hit it a second time later in the day.  We had some breakfast in the hotel and then wandered around National Harbor.

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The Capital Wheel. The Peeps store. A random mermaid. The Awakening statue.

We spent most of our day in the hotel room that day resting our legs and watching Chrisley Knows Best on TV…thank goodness for ¬†TV marathons to help prepare for the real marathons! Later that afternoon, we headed back to The Awakening statue for the #WeRunSocial meetup. ¬†I was super excited to meet some new friends and see some other friends!!

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Fun with #WeRunSocial friends!

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Selfies are a MUST!

Before we did our appropriate carbloading with pizza and bread that night, we had to take our flat runner pics, which of course we had a blast taking and everyone enjoyed our pics of the behind the scenes we posted to the Instagram account we had taken over for the weekend, @InspiringWomenRunners

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This is how a flat runner happens!

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Flat Runner Kristins

Flat runners in place, carbloading was done, it was finally time for some sleep.  The morning would come all too quickly and 26.2 miles were calling our names.

Well, the alarm went off and it was time. Time to get dressed. Time to head out the door. Time to head to the shuttle bus. Time to head to the staging area. Time to head to the corrals and finally, time to RUN 26.2 miles.

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Before…

I was incredibly nervous. I mean I had only run a half marathon leading up to this. ¬†Would I be able to make it all 26.2 miles? We started off with 3 min run and 2 min walking intervals and held a pretty good pace for the first ten to eleven miles or so and then…yes there’s an and then. ¬†It started to get really hot, really fast. ¬†My feet started to hurt, Kristin’s feet started to hurt and we were both feeling the heat. ¬†We kept up running when we could and we walked when we needed to, but at this point we were doing less running and more walking. ¬†It was getting harder to run and I could feel everything in my lower body, except my ankle! ¬†That was the ONLY thing on my body that did not hurt at all! Thanks Vanda (my awesome PT)!! By mile 15, we couldn’t run anymore. ¬†Kristin contemplated stopping at the next medical tent, but I told her that she couldn’t, she had to finish the race. ¬†Secretly, I wanted to sit down on the closest curb and quit and never run again in my life. ¬†Then I started to think…I can’t quit… I bought this really awesome jacket at the expo and if I quit this race, I can’t wear it! Failure was not an option and so we continued on and at this point, it was all heart and body. We walked on and on and on and on…for 11 miles…through all of the pain. ¬†The crowds were awesome though along the course, cheering almost all the way. ¬†Somewhere around The Pentagon, I heard “Hey, I know you girls!” and I turned around and it’s “thumps up” Ken, someone I know from a Facebook runDisney group! From then on, we leap frogged with Ken and his friend until the end of the race. ¬†Finally, I saw mile 26 and yes there were tears, tears because I was almost there and tears from the awesome texts I was getting along the way from my friends and family tracking me. We headed up the last hill and yes, we ran, yes we ran, through the finish line and all I could hear was a Marine yelling “THIS MEDAL RIGHT HERE IS FOR YOU!!” We both collected our very hard earned medals and hobbled off for some finish line photos.

When the official photographer captures you taking a selfie during the race, you pretty much have to buy the photos…

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Because I have awesome friends and family!

We did it. We FINISHED a marathon!! 26.2 miles! Now the rest was just was recovery and fun from here on out! We headed back to catch a shuttle and drive back to Kristin’s and then her mom made us a delicious dinner. ¬†Monday was Halloween so we hit up some more wineries and then the Halloween parade in her hometown. ¬†Sadly, Tuesday I had to fly back home. ¬†I had an absolute awesome time in Virginia and DC and even though my run was not great, I wouldn’t trade those 26.2 miles with Kristin for anything!

Until next time, friends.

The Road to Recovery

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The road to recovery sure is a long one. ¬†It’s been awhile since I’ve been here to write about my running and that’s because, well, I just haven’t been running. I haven’t been able to put into words how I’ve felt about not being able to run or really wanted to talk about not being able to run.

Training for a marathon is no easy task and anyone that says it’s a piece of cake, I will question their sanity. ¬†Last year, I ran the Dopey Challenge at Disney World; a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon, 48.6 miles, in 4 days. ¬†Training was crazy and all-consuming, but I had the best time and managed to remained uninjured. ¬†And after all of that training, I decided to take on the challenge of training for the Marine Corps Marathon this year on October 30. ¬†Little did I know that I would be benched from running for two months in the middle of training.

I set out for my 10 mile training run the last Sunday in July. ¬†I headed out on the trail and got a little over 2 miles in when I felt some pain in my ankle, not normal aches and pains type of pain but unusual pain. ¬†Let me enlighten you on the species of runners. ¬†We are a stubborn breed. ¬†We do not back down and we do not like to admit defeat, so I thought I’ll continue to see how I feel.
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Right? There’s not actually an injury? It’s just a normal pain and it will go away, right? Well, partially true. It did go away until about the last mile of my run and then it really started to hurt and I had to walk more than normal. ¬†I finished my run and as I walked into the house, I could hardly walk. ¬†I grabbed some ice and put my foot up on the couch. ¬†I would be couch-bound for the rest of the day. ¬†That was the last day of my run/walk streak. ¬†The hardest part of the injury was to admit that my run/walk streak was over. ¬†I had run or walked a mile for 61 days. ¬†My longest streak of doing ANYTHING fitness related. That week, I stayed on the couch, wrapped my ankle, iced my ankle, kept my ankle elevated; everything you’re supposed to do for an injury. ¬†Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer and I had Hood to Coast coming up before the marathon so I called the doctor. ¬†I got an appointment the next day and she didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know. ¬†I probably strained something and she gave me an anti inflammatory and sent me to physical therapy. No running. So hard for a runner to hear. No running. ¬†Off to physical therapy. ¬†I found a physical therapist who was also a runner and specialized in ankle and foot injuries. ¬†We worked on balance and strengthening and hip and glute exercises. ¬†Lots and lots of strengthening of everything lower body. ¬†She said for my ankles and feet to be strong, I needed to strengthen my hips and glutes. ¬†Over the next few weeks, we worked on all of this and I started to feel a lot better. ¬†The goal was to be ready for the Hood to Coast Relay in Portland, Oregon.

Well, race weekend finally came and I was off to Portland to run 200 miles (16ish for me) in 32ish hours with an awesome group of ladies! ¬†More on the overall race experience later…but I ran my 3 legs of the race which were awesome and fun and one of the best experiences of my life, but there wasn’t one step that I took that didn’t hurt and by the last leg I just wanted to be done running. ¬†My ankle was not ready for running yet. ¬†So back to resting…

After I got back to St. Louis, I made an appointment with the doctor again. ¬†This time she put me on two weeks of THE BOOT and sent me for x-rays. ¬†The x-rays came back negative and she said that I probably just irritated the bone with all the running and said I just needed more rest. ¬†More rest? I rest all of August? How could I possibly need more rest? I just want to run… I see pictures of everyone else running and that’s all I want to do. ¬†Running keeps me sane, running is my happy place, I just want to RUN.

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#TRUTH This couldn’t be more of the truth. ¬†Two weeks couldn’t have passed more slowly. ¬†Finally the day had come and I headed back to the doctor. ¬†Yay!! No more boot! Back to physical therapy! ¬†It’s been about two weeks since I’ve been out of the boot and in physical therapy and I just started running again. ¬†The physical therapist started me on a return to running program of 3 min running/3 min walking x2 for two days and this week has been 5 min running/5 min walking x2 for 3 days. ¬†With fingers crossed, ¬†I will progress a little further next week.

My outcome for Marine Corps Marathon will not be what I was expecting, but it will be a blast no matter what because I will have one of the most awesome people I know running by my side helping me to get to the end!  This has only been a minor setback for me and I will make my way back to bigger and better things!

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Jackie and Kristin ROCK Chicago!

My friend Jackie and I decided to take on the Rock ‘N Roll Challenge of running both in Chicago and St. Louis this year. ¬†First on the list, the Rock ‘N Roll Chicago half marathon. ¬†We had the most fun ever exploring Chicago, hitting up the expo, hang with the cool kids at the #WeRunSocial meetup at The Bean and running through the streets of Chicago!

We left on Friday afternoon to head up to Chicago with my dad and my cousin’s boyfriend. ¬†The drive from St. Louis to Chicago is about 4.5 hours. ¬†We chatted in the car about various things the whole way up and got to Chicago a little before 9 pm. ¬†My aunt and uncle live downtown overlooking Millennium Park so we stayed with them! ¬†So close to the start line – no worrying about getting up super early to drive to the race and find parking in the busy city of Chicago. ¬†We spent the rest of the night looking around the building and checking out the rooftop garden and snacking and chatting.

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The expo opened at 9am and we decided that we wanted to get there right around opening since it tends to get so busy. ¬†We hopped on a bus (love a city that has public transportation and is so easy to get around) and headed to McCormick Place to pick up our stuff for the race and shop around. ¬†Of all of the Rock ‘N Roll expos that I have been to, Chicago is by far the best! ¬†There are so many vendors with fun samples and so much variety of different running products! ¬†We all picked up our bibs and headed to the check out all of the awesome stuff. ¬†We picked up quite a bit of free samples and even bought a few things.

After the expo, we headed to grab some lunch in Chinatown.  Jackie had never been to Chinatown in Chicago so it was definitely a new experience for her.  The walk about a mile from McCormick Place to the restaurant.  We all enjoyed some delicious Chinese food and then headed back to the condo.

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I really wanted to go to the #WeRunSocial meetup at 4pm at The Bean to meet all kinds of fun people who I follow on Instagram and Twitter. ¬†Jackie and I headed down to The Bean around 3:45pm to take some selfies and meet up with the group. ¬†Wearing our shirts, we easily found the group. ¬†This might have been, by far, my favorite part of the weekend! ¬†We met so many awesome new friends and took some pretty epic pictures! ¬†Lots and lots of selfies were taken!! The meetup was being hosted by Steff (@sas_rubel), David (@fitfam6) and Auggie (@justrunchicago). ¬†Jackie and I had such an awesome time talking to everyone we met! I met some people that I follow along with lots of new friends. ¬†I can’t say enough good things about #WeRunSocial and how it brings all the like-minded people together in one place! ¬†I have met so many INCREDIBLE people through social media, who have become super awesome friends in real life.

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From top left to bottom right: Kim (@kookyrunner), Steff (@sas_rubel), Greg (@nycsweat) and Lacy (@laylanoel)

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My FAVORITE picture! Jackie, Me, Steff and Dave (@dave_mari) Dave takes the best pictures!

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Selfie fun with Jackie and Steff!

The #WeRunSocial meetup was a blast!! So much fun! So many selfies and lots of good times!

After the meetup, we walked around for a little while so that I could get my mile in for the day and met up with one of Jackie’s friends and her little girl for a little bit. ¬†We headed back to the condo to see what the dinner situation was after our fun in Millennium Park. We all decided together that we would eat at the condo instead of going out to dinner, so we headed to the grocery store to pick up some things…spaghetti, meat, bread…you know all the typical pre-run food! CARBS! Lots and lots of carbs! ¬†My uncle cooked us a delicious carbloading appropriate dinner and then we all got ready for bed since the race started at 6:30am!

Jackie and I both set out our clothes the night before…we were going to be matchy-matchy for the run! ¬†Sparkle Athletic skirts and visors and shirts, Fellow Flowers to clip on our visor and of course we had to #KeepItTight with our ProCompression socks!

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The alarms all went off bright and early Sunday morning and we all got ready and headed to the start line. ¬†Jackie, my dad, my cousin Haley and her boyfriend Frank and I were all running the half marathon! ¬†Since we were staying so close to the start line, we didn’t have to leave the condo until pretty close to the race start time. ¬†There were 36 corrals, so there would be a lot of waiting around before we started running. ¬†We got to the corrals and jumped in with everyone else to wait to start the race! ¬†As we made our way to the start line, we took a few selfies, because there of course had to be start line selfies!

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Pre-race selfie fun!

We started the race just before 7am, and were off for a fun-filled, music-filled 13.1 miles of awesomeness! ¬†Thank goodness it was cloudy and wasn’t too hot because that would have made for a long 13.1 miles and I already wasn’t feeling the best overall. ¬†We weren’t shooting for any PRs this race, just looking to have an awesome time running together! ¬†It took a couple of miles to settle in but then we were in a groove and took in all the sights around us. ¬†Around mile 9, there was an out and back turnaround and we ran into Dave (@dave_mari) and he jumped on the other side to take some pics with us while he ran and then jumped back on his side to continue on his way. ¬†I was definitely not feeling so great during the race and we had to stop several times at bathrooms (first time I’ve ever had stomach issues while running). ¬†Not all races are sunshine and butterflies and little did we know it was about to take a turn for the worse. ¬†We headed to McCormick place and the long dark tunnel the course takes and it started sprinkling. ¬†After we exited the tunnel we heard a random runner off to the side saying the race was postponed because of the storm coming through. ¬†It definitely had started raining harder by the time we reached the end of the tunnel. ¬†We decided to keep going as everyone else was still running as well. ¬†And then…we ran into Dave again! ¬†He took a few AWESOME pictures of us and are way better than any race photos I’ve ever come across!

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Jump for Joy! We’re almost finished!

By the time we reached this point it was raining and beginning to rain really hard. ¬†There was even some lightning and thunder to go along with it. ¬†Despite all this we were so close to the finish line and I just wanted to be done running so we kept going. ¬†Probably not the smartest idea, but we were just about 2 miles out from the finish line. ¬†We ran up Columbus drive towards the finish line where we passed a few museums, Soldier Field and had a decent view of Lake Michigan. ¬†Then the finish line appeared in front of us and we ran with everything we had left in us to get there. ¬†We made it!! We just ran 13.1 miles…partially in a thunderstorm. ¬†While this part was not new for me, it was a first for Jackie. ¬†After we crossed the finish line, we got our medals and grabbed some water and¬†Gatorade¬†and snacks and headed to the beer garden to meet up with the rest of the group.

After the race, we hung out in the beer garden to listen to the band Echosmith.  Thank goodness for my aunt and uncle!! They were at the finish line and saw my cousin and her boyfriend finish and as it started raining they decided to head back to the condo for some dry clothes and towels for everyone.  I was definitely freezing after cooling down from the run and am incredibly thankful for everything they brought!!  As we were sitting there I looked over and spotted Lacy from the meetup and she was also with someone else I follow on IG, Tom (@tomruns_262), so I jumped up and went over to talk to them!

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Post-race pictures!

The concert ended and we headed back to the condo to shower and then grab some delicious post-race protein.  We went to the Shake Shack for burgers, fries and shakes.  What an awesome and delicious place to eat!  The weekend was then coming to a close and we went back to the condo to pack our things and take them all to the car.

This was one of the best races simply because of all the fun people who I got to meet and family ¬†I got to spend time with all weekend! ¬†Can’t wait for the next Rock ‘N Roll race here in St. Louis to complete our challenge!

The Macklind Mile

Well, another race in the bag for 2016. ¬†I decided that with my friend Erin, I would sign up for The Macklind Mile – the fastest mile in St. Louis. ¬†I met Erin through a Facebook group we both belong to called Team runDisney. We met up at a couple of running events since we’re both from St. Louis – I love the running community and all the people that you meet via social media!

I had never run a race that was only one mile before, so this was an awesome chance to see how fast I could really go!  I picked up my packet from Big River Running the Wednesday before the race and planned out my outfit.  I decided on my Unicorn Mode tank top with my Sparkle Athletic cheetah print skirt.  I set it all out the night before and I was ready to run this mile!

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Erin and I decide to leave around 7 that morning to make sure that we had enough time to park (it was in the city and mostly street parking) and walk to the start line to pick up her race packet. ¬†We parked near the finish line, so we got to walk the course before the race began as we headed up to the start line. ¬†The course appeared to be MOSTLY downhill…there were a few places where it went uphill for a tiny bit. ¬†We got to the start line and picked up her packet with no problems and then hung around until it was time for us to start. ¬†The race started in waves at ¬†8 am and we were in the third wave. ¬†It started with the Recreational runners and walkers and then the next wave was competitive men and then our wave was competitive women and there was one after us with dogs!

The recreational wave went off and then the men’s wave…it was time for us to make our way to the start line to test just how fast we could run one mile. ¬†The gun went off and we were headed downhill. ¬†Erin said she was going to try to stay with me for as long as she could and then would see me at the finish line. ¬†I tried not to start off too fast, so that I would have enough energy to finish strong. ¬†We headed down Macklind towards the finish line. ¬†Down the hill we went and people went flying by me. ¬†I kept a steady pace for most of the race heading downhill and then uphill slightly and then more downhill. ¬†I came to the intersection of Macklind and Chippewa and I knew that I was just about finished with the race. ¬†The finish line was getting closer and closer and I was holding on strong. ¬†Finally, the actual finish line came into view and the big clock timer said I was under 8 minutes. ¬†Under 8 minutes!? Are we even serious right now!? Did I just run an ENTIRE MILE in UNDER 8 minutes?! ¬†I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch. ¬†Yes, I had just run a mile in under 8 minutes. The text came through my phone from Big River Running and I couldn’t believe it…7:56 (I checked online later that day and my time was adjusted to 7:53)!! All those nights at speed work on the track had made a HUGE difference in my pace! ¬†I waited at the finish line for Erin and then we headed to the Smoothie King tent for a refreshing summer smoothie. ¬†What an awesome way to end a race (I mean besides beer)! ¬†There was also beer so we headed for that as well and then of course for some pictures.

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Smoothie King and my 1.0 sticker!

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1.0 in 7:53!

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Me and Erin post race!

Even though it was just a mile of running, this was definitely a fun race and I would come back next year for sure! ¬†I’m still in disbelief that I ran a mile in under 8 minutes!

GO! St. Louis All-American 5k

The GO! St. Louis All-American 5k was this past weekend and it’s another one of my favorite races of the year. ¬†It’s a mostly downhill race with a good chance of a PR for anyone. ¬†I say mostly downhill because there are few little uphills in it but the overall elevation drops from start to finish. ¬†It starts in Kirkwood at the YMCA and ends in downtown Webster Groves. ¬†Every year it’s on Father’s Day, so it’s a great way to spend time with my dad!

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Me and Dad before the race!

My dad and I worked packet pick-up the day before the race all day, which is always fun! We spent the day handing out numbers and shirts to all the race participants.  The GO! St. Louis staff members are also awesome to hang out with during packet-pick up!

I knew I was going to wear my Sparkle Athletic blue and white star skirt Рperfect for the All-American 5k! The decision came down to what else I would wear with it.  I finally decided on my St. Louis Cardinals tank top and the rest fell together.  My red and white polka dot SPIbelt was PERFECT for this outfit!

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The morning of the race, my dad picked me up and we headed to park near the finish line and take a shuttle to the start line. ¬†GO! St. Louis always provides shuttles to and from the start line since the race is not a loop. ¬†We have always found it easiest to park at the finish line and then our car is there when we are ready to leave. ¬†The first couple of years, we had bus drivers who got lost going to the start line…yes, that really actually happened! ¬†This year we got there with no problems! ¬†We headed over to the registration tent and found some of the GO! St. Louis staff and talked to them for a few minutes then took a few pictures in front of the start line before I headed for one last bathroom stop and then to find some of my dad’s friends at the start line.

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Before the race! Lookin’ all PATRIOTIC!

It was finally about time to start, my dad moved back with his friends who he was going to run with for a little bit and I stayed towards the middle of the crowd. ¬†I had the intentions of leaving everything I had on this course and attempting to set a new PR. ¬†I didn’t want to have high expectations in case I didn’t but it was hard since this is the same race that I set a PR at last year. ¬†The horn sounded off and we were all off and on our way to Webster. ¬†The beginning of the race, I had to weave in an out of people until the crowd thinned out enough to stay on a straight path. I felt pretty good the first mile. ¬†I happened to glance at my watch after the first mile and it said 10:08…say what!? If I kept up this pace, I could probably hit my goal of under 33 minutes (my current 5k PR being 33:31). ¬†The next mile there were a few small hills involved and I had to push myself a little bit. ¬†I knew if I stopped to walk, I would have a hard time starting to run again so I kept running. ¬†I got through the second mile and I decided to ignore the beep of my watch this time. ¬†I felt like I was cruising. ¬†I was in the last 1.1 miles and it started to get really warm and I could feel myself getting tired, but I pushed on and kept running. ¬†The biggest downhill was in this mile and I happened to see a volunteer that I knew from several other GO! events so I yelled hello as I passed. ¬†This last stretch, I could feel that I wanted to fall apart but I couldn’t let myself. ¬†I pushed myself until the last hill came and I couldn’t run anymore so I stopped for a few seconds to walk and catch my breath. ¬†A few seconds was all I needed and regained my composure and moved forward. ¬†It took everything in me to run that last .2 miles of the race. ¬†I saw the finish line and pushed myself forward. I could hear my name from the sidelines (I never hear my name at the finish line!) Frank, the marketing manager of GO! St. Louis, was cheering for me as I crossed the finish line! Thank you Frank!! ¬†I crossed the line and stopped my watch…32:57! I had done it AGAIN! A new PR in just 2 weeks time! Holy COW! These speed work classes are really something!

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What an awesome feeling! ¬†I couldn’t believe I had once again PR’d in so little time. ¬†I’ve been running/walking everyday this month because I’m participating in an online challenge called #streakingwiththeCOOLKIDS, so I’m sure that has definitely helped me!

After the race, I grabbed some water and snacks from the finish line….they had Andy’s frozen custard!! I waited around for my dad to cross the finish line and then we met up with his friends after they crossed the finish line. ¬†I also ran into my friend Erin, who I met through a Facebook page called Team #runDisney. ¬†Erin also set a PR! Way to go Erin!!

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Me and Erin

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Me and my dad

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Mona, me and Frank

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Just Me!

This race is such a fun event every year!  And GO! St. Louis does such an awesome job with all of it as they do with all of their events!  I am so happy to be part of the GO! St. Louis team and get to do all these fun things with these awesome people!  Until next time! Dream big friends, dream big!

Speed Work: The Mile

This week’s speed work session was a one mile time trial at the track. ¬†I had no idea what to expect going into it as we had only done shorter distances during speed work before this. ¬†The temperatures this week were ridiculous with the heat index well above 100 most everyday, so I really had very little expectations going into this time trial. ¬†Since speed work began, I’ve been able to consistently hold an 11ish minute mile, which is pretty decent considering all of my running before this were 12, 13, sometimes 14 min miles. ¬†I even hit sub 11 minutes some of my running day! ¬†Well I was about to surprise myself with this week’s session.

I decided that life is better in a Sparkle Athletic skirt and headed out the door in my pink skirt and #WeRunSocial tank.

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Life is better in SPARKLE!

I got to the track and waited around for a few minutes for instructions for the night. ¬†There were going to be three waves of runners. ¬†The first were the super fast runners who wanted to finish in under 7 minutes, the second were runners who wanted to finish in under 9 minutes and the third, which I decided to join were runners who wanted to finish in under 12 minutes. ¬†Well, I knew that I was not ready to run under 9 minutes and I had been with Group 5 during all of my sessions so I went with group three. ¬†The first group took off and were crazy fast! Some of them finished well below the 7 minutes. ¬†Then it was group 2’s turn and I watched as they ran around the track for all 4 laps. ¬†Finally it was time for group 3 to step up to the start line. ¬†We all lined up and were told that we could stay within the first two lanes because why run more than we have to, right? I mean this was a mile time trial, so no sense in adding on additional mileage. ¬†And then we were off…

The first lap around the track, I finished wicked fast (for me) in about 2 minutes and I thought to myself I should probably slow down just a little bit since it’s so hot out, but I kept up with the runners around me. ¬†The second lap I slowed my pace just a little bit so that I could catch my breath. ¬†It was so HOT outside!! And the humidity was INSANE! ¬†The final lap came around and I was still keeping up with the same people around me and I was feeling pretty decent. ¬†I went into the last turn and my watched beeped. ¬†I definitely hit the mile before the timer, but that was probably because of my weaving in and out of people on the lanes of the track. ¬†I didn’t look at my watch because I didn’t want to see what my time was right then. ¬†I came in towards the big giant time clock and my time as I crossed the finish line was 9:14! Say what!? ¬†Did I just run a mile in under 10 minutes?? Was this real life? I had no idea my body was even capable of such a thing. ¬†I walked around the crowd of people and over to my water bottle at the side of the track. ¬†I looked down to save my workout on my watch and hit the button. ¬†It said 1 new record…and then my time for the mile flashed onto the watch 8:46. ¬†I mean, HOLY COW! I did not even know that was possible!! ¬†The total distance recorded was 1.05 miles in 9:14. ¬†INCREDIBLE!

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FASTEST MILE!

I walked away from that speed work session feeling extremely accomplished, and I am still in disbelief that I ran that fast in the obnoxious heat! ¬†I can’t wait for more speed work!