Irish Eyes Are Smiling

March 24, 2009 at 7:25 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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2:15:42. I did it. I really didn’t think I could…I didn’t think I would even finish because of the severe lack of training I’ve had this year so far…but not only did I run the entire half marathon, but I took 10 minutes off my previous time. 2:25:31…ok 9 minutes and 49 seconds…but still. With less training and being almost 2 years older…it’s pretty awesome. My age grade went up 3% as well. Whooo!!!
So. About the race.
Saturday the boyfriend and I picked up my friend, Lesley, who was running with me and headed for Virginia Beach. Lesley and I were both beyond nervous. We both have had our training programs shot to heck because of grad school so it’s been a real struggle. I knitted…and un-knotted yarn during the ride to keep myself entertained and to keep from totally freaking out.

We got to the hotel and checked in, then went out to the grocery store and wal-mart to pick up some last minute supplies.
We went to bed pretty early because we had to be up at 5 for the race.


5am…and I was SO nervous. I took some stomach medication as a preventative…because I do have that intestinal issue…and that ended up being a good idea. I wasn’t QUITE as nervous as I was for my first half, but I was a little jittery. Breakfast was a banana and a powerbar. Mmmm good. 🙂


The amazing boyfriend got out of bed at 5:30 and drove us the 1.5ish miles from the hotel to the race finish…he parked the car there and WALKED BACK to the hotel so we could have a ride home without too much pain. How amazing is he?!!?
Oh, forgot to mention, at the race expo on Saturday he bought me YET ANOTHER running gift. He got me an expandable running belt…packed that puppy full of shot blocks, gu’s, and my camera, of course!
Anyway. Lesley and I walked the 10 or so blocks from the finish to the start…found our corral…and tried to calm our nerves. We also did the port-a-potty deal. 🙂 Good times. NOT!
We didn’t have to wait very long, we timed our arrival pretty well I guess which was good because it was 34 degrees. 34. NOT FUN. Thankfully the race started right on time and it only took us about 5 minutes to make it from our corral to the start line.
And then we were off!!!! I have pictures from during the race…but they are on a disposable camera. I carried one with me for my first half and for this one. The first time the pictures turned out pretty well. We’ll see how it goes this time.
Lesley and I held a pretty darn good pace for the first 2 miles. Right around 10 minutes which is great for us. The sun started to come up around mile 2 so that was nice. It was pretty cold so I was happy to see some sign of warmth.
Around mile 3 there was a tent with people handing out beer instead of water. A lot of people took it but I decided that it probably wasn’t a great plan. 🙂 It was really funny though.
The crowd support wasn’t exactly the same as it was for the last one…but that’s ok. It was still a nice run. The Rock n Roll is bigger so that’s why. There were still a decent amount of bands, radio stations, and just regular people out with radios or music so that we could be amused for a short distance. There were also little signs along the course to read that kept me entertained for awhile. Some had trivia like what’s the highest point in VA Beach (68 ft, Mt. Trashmore) and some just had jokes like “What color does a smurf turn if you choke it?”
So anyway…around mile 4 I had a gu…I was still feeling pretty decent. Lesley and I were still hitting around a 10 minute pace. Around mile 7 I started to feel it a little but kept going. I had some shot blocks around mile 8 I think…and Lesley was starting to drop back a little I tried to stay with her but around 8.5 I finally went on my own.
I kept running. At about mile 10 I wanted to quit…but convinced myself that I could do a 5K…I mean that’s all I had left. I could do it…
Mile 11, I ran for Kim and her mom, Shirley who has breast cancer. I chanted their names for the entire mile.
Mile 12 was for Tracy…because he has done SO much for me…it just amazes me.
Right around 12.5 I found myself running alongside some girls who were probably in about as much pain as I was…but they were literally cheering THEMSELVES across the finish. They would let out a whoop every few feet or some words of encouragement. I joined in and one of them yelled she was going to PR. I checked my watch and I yelled the same!! We kept yelling “WHOOO!!!” or “LET’S PR!!!” or “ALMOST DONE!!!” around the final turn and the final stretch down the boardwalk to the Neptune Statue.
However let me just say that we were told the finish was at the Neptune statue…it was actually just past that and I was SOOO irritated to find I had to KEEP RUNNING after the statue. I hauled ass. Pardon the expression but I did. The last 20 yards or so…I HAULED.
And then it was over.
And then Tracy was there. He apparently got a picture of me crossing the finish!!!!
Behind a palm tree. 🙂


Oh well.  I FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!

Then it was time for the 5 hour ride home. Which turned in to 8 hours because of traffic…awesome. Just awesome. So I knitted. And Tracy Drove. And I took pictures…

But hey. I FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



In The Still Of The Night

November 1, 2008 at 11:22 pm | Posted in 5k, running, Training | 3 Comments
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In the shadow of night
I see the full moon rise
Telling me what’s in store,
My heart starts aching
My body started shaking
And I can’t take no more, no, no

Hehe. The Into The Darkness 4 Miler was tonight!!!!! WOOT!!!!!!!!!

This is the Blue Ridge Parkway on the way to the course.


The race started at 7pm. Mountain Junkies ( always does an amazing job. They are almost ALWAYS on time and the shirts and shwag are top notch. The race director and his wife are amazing. They are really motivational and they take good care of their runners!!! For example…this is a trail run…on mountain biking and jeep trails….in the woods….lots of tough terrain…and what did they do? They spent a whole heck of a lot of time going over that 4 miles of trail, blowing all the LEAVES OFF THE TRAILS SO WE WOULDN’T GET LOST!!!!!!!!

Not to mention the reflective arrows, the glow sticks, and the glowing dot thingies they put out everywhere so no one would get off course.

Seriously. Cleaned the TRAILS FOR US!!! Now that’s service.

So anyway…it was a pretty rough trail. I did better than I expected considering I did NOT expect some of those hills. I ended up leading 4 guys for awhile. It was pretty fun to just run through the woods, enjoying the pace, not really trying to kill myself…but MAN I started fast. I wish I’d had a watch to see my splits. But anyway, chilled with those guys for awhile. I was in front so it was my job to shout if there was an obstacle up ahead…and quite frequently I wouldn’t SEE the obstacle…but my right foot would FIND it…and I’d slip a little. I think I tweaked a little something in my right calf/ankle…I’m currently RICEing it as I write this.

Finally towards the end I did have to slow up some…especially on that last major hill that this particular course is KNOW for…Every race at this place ends with this hill….and I loathe this hill. Abhor even.

So anyway, finished in around 45:00. Decent…especially considering that I was NOT expecting the terrain to be as rough as it was. I’ve raced at this location before but never this race. WHEW.

Here’s me right after the race.


And here are some of the people gathered at the finish.


Went inside, had some goodies. They had quite the spread. Pasta, pumpkin bread, rice krispy treats, apples, candy. Good times. Not to mention all the free energy drinks you could carry. Ha ha. Gotta love Mountain Junkies!!!

So then they did their door prizes and then it was time for awards. I was pretty sure I was out of the running…until I heard the top overall females. I was less than 10min behind the 3rd place female!!! Wow…so I got a little excited…hoping for 3rd but betting I was just out of it in 4th.

So Josh got to the 20-24 year old females…..and WHO got first?!?!?!?!

THIS GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean REALLY!!!! Awesomness. Just AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So not only did I have an amazing time running through the woods in the dark…but I GOT FIRST IN MY AGE GROUP!!!! And have I mentioned the rockin awards that Mountain Junkies prides themselves on? This time it was wooden plaques that Josh and Gina made!!! She said she spent weeks painting. Ha ha.

Seriously, amazing time.

Gina, me (with my award!!!) and Josh!


Trail running at night….AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

❤ IT!!!

This Is Screaming Photo Op

October 17, 2008 at 10:24 pm | Posted in 5k, running, Training | 2 Comments
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I mean really…A mud run?


So. September 20th. Marine Corps Mud Run.

Marines. EVERYWHERE….not too bad. 🙂

Mom, dad, grandma, and Beth all came.

Here’s me at the start line before the madness began.


Here’s my dad…attempting to steal the state police’s riot vehicle…


Really…isn’t that just great?

So anyway, the race began…mom was on the opposite side of the street from her so she missed me…but still. Good times.

The first part…about half a mile was dry. Just gravel…down to the river. THEN we got to run for a little bit through the Roanoke River…good times right there, let me tell you. It wasn’t so much running as it was walking/swimming. Water was about waist high and those rocks are SLICK!!!

After that….there was a short dry spot, then it was through some pretty awesome mud and then UP a massive hill.

Or maybe it was hill first…not sure.

ANYWAY…BIG hill. Wherever it was, it was a massive, massive hill.

Ok it wasn’t so much a hill, as it was a mountain. Actual tree covered mountain, all the way to the top…Then there was a nice field…and then there was a BIG, BIG down….

After that…a small creek…


The mud pit.


Still Going



I Got It!



Sorry for the random sizes there…but yeah.

It was a pretty amazing race…I can’t wait for next year!!!!!

Starting Something

June 17, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Cross Training, marathon, running, Training | 5 Comments
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Well it’s been a busy week so far.

Sunday was a rest day. I just didn’t feel up to par after running Saturday.

Monday I did some serious lifting with my new workout DVD. I have the DVD from Bravo’s tv show Workout so that was fun. It is a really great DVD and all you need is hand weights. I couldn’t make it all the way through so that’s something to work towards.

Yesterday I also made a list of goal races. A few that made the list are the Disney Marathon, the OBX marathon, and the Charlotte Thunder Road marathon. I’m thinking about doing OBX as soon as next year. I love that area and that race is a must-do for me.

Also over the weekend I worked on my training plan. I’m starting to get a decent base built up so it’s about time to start training for something. I’m thinking the Richmond Half and then the Shamrock Full in Virginia Beach.

The races are 18 weeks apart so that would give me time to have a super-long marathon training…and allow a little wiggle room incase my stomach issues arise.

The plan supposedly will take effect the second weekend in July. This gives me almost a month to keep working on my base mileage. The half training plan I’m going to use is a 18 week plan as well so it’s going to be slow and steady. It’s the plan I used for my first race so there’s no reason it won’t work now. I got through that race injury free so I’m not going to fix what ain’t broken, so to speak. 🙂

It’s actually REALLY mild out today so I’m going to get my run in this afternoon after work. Tomorrow is run club so that works out well. However it looks like I’ll be working out with my personal trainer Thursday morning for the first time so…I’m probably going to be dead by Friday. Don’t expect an update. I’ll need to recover.

Haha, I hope it’s not that bad. 🙂

Well, I’m going to wrap things up here and work and head home to grab my running gear. I’ll probably do the 2 mile loop around the park and hopefully post the pictures of the park for you all!

Don’t Blink

June 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Posted in 5k, running | 4 Comments
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Or ya might miss me!!

Like my parents did!!!

Apparently 32:01 was too fast for mom and dad to get me on camera. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Today was the Christiansburg 5K. I almost didn’t run because I got sick with my lovely stomach condition last night but I had REALLY been looking forward to this race. This is race number 5 on my way to the goal of 8 5K’s in ’08.

Mom and dad came to support me and play race photographer. Also some people I used to work with ran. One woman did the 1 mile with her sons and another did the 5K with me.

I’d pre-registered so I went and got my packet (Just a shirt and a pen, not much swag, it was the first running of this race) and was debating whether or not I’d run. I looked at the course map…


…and was REALLY not sure. I’m very familiar with all the streets, considering the course goes around my current workplace…and MAN that is some hilly stuff.

Then I saw one of the girls from my old work…

Colleene and Me

…and talked to her and the other person from work…and decided I’d give it a whirl and see how far I could make it. I also saw some friends from Run Club so that was fun.

So the race began…


…I am actually in that picture but I don’t think anyone else can spot me. I’ve got my head turned…talking…imagine that.

So I ran. I stuck with the girl from work for the most part. It was pretty darn hilly and I ended up going out in front of her towards the middle of the race. There was one water stop AND a sprinkler…and that felt pretty great in the heat. I did walk some, mostly on the hills, because I’m just not trying to push my body and end up sick on the couch for a week or two.

The race went past yet another former co-worker’s home so she and her husband were outside to cheer us on. That was really awesome. She’s the best.

I got to the finish and the girl that had ran the 1 miler with her kids was cheering for me so that was awesome. It’s always great motivation to get through those last few yards if you hear someone yelling your name.

So I finished in 32:01 according to my watch and surprisingly that was exactly my clock time too!!! How often does THAT happen?!?!



It’s not a great time, or a PR by any means but I’m just happy I had a finishing time considering how sick I was last night.


So I look around…and I don’t see my parents…and I didn’t remember seeing them taking my picture as I sprinted across the finish…Where ARE those people???

Way To Pay Attention

THERE they are!!! Where were they, you might ask, while I was finishing my race? Oh, they were SHOPPING.


Mom apparently thought it would take me a touch longer to finish…but that’s ok, I love them just the same. They were there at least to cheer and that’s what matters. Plus I think mom has WAY better pictures than I have on my camera so possibly more pictures to come!! Anyway, then I decided we needed a fake finishing photo…because I am a DORK. And this is a HORRIBLE picture…but since I’m picking on mom and dad, I’ll post it and publicly embarass myself.

Fake Finish

Yeah. Good times.

Anyway, so that was the race. Pretty good day. Next time I’ll get mom and dad some tracking chips or something so they don’t wander off.

Me and Mom

The End!

Not-So-New People

June 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm | Posted in 5k, running, Training | 2 Comments
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I was supposed to meet my trainer for the first time this morning.

Turns out I already knew her from the local running store!!! That was amusing. She’s really awesome and does ultra marathons so I bow to her. I’m so excited to start my training. We’ll start sometime next week as soon as my doctor signs my release forms. Gotta love that paperwork.

I also went to see my nutritionist today. She is going to help me balance my diet and get me eating “mindfully” rather than counting calories all day long. She’s also going to help me increase my food intake so that’s good.

Overall it’s been a pretty exciting day considering it’s a rest day. I thought about doing my new workout DVD this morning but decided I didn’t want to be sore for tomorrow’s 5K. I love the show Workout on Bravo and I bought their exercise DVD and it looks pretty hardcore. I figured I should hold off until after my race.

I’m excited for the race tomorrow. This will be my first since April. Stupid stomach thing got me off track. I’m really looking forward to it because my family is coming and some people I used to work with are going to be running. You can expect lots of pictures with the race report tomorrow!!!

Well, it’s about time to head home so I’m going to finish up here.

Happy Friday the 13th!!

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