2015 In Review

Happy New Years Eve! This year seems to have flown by. There’s been a lot of things that have happened. Some really awesome and amazing experiences and then some not so great ones. I think that happens in everyone’s life and just how you deal with it and make the best of every situation.

January 2015 started out amazing. My swimmers were determined to have a great rest of the winter season and we certainly did. By the time conferences happened, they made it known they wanted to make it to states and still love every second. Which they did. January 16th also brought one of the most exciting “OMGsh” moments of the year, I decided to sign up for the NYC Marathon lottery knowing that my chances were slim to none about getting in. More on that later. I didn’t run too much in January. In fact I only ran 6 times for a total of 23.14 miles! I had made my goal of 1000 miles in 2015 and yeah not off to a great start.

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On the pool deck coaching my swimmers!

February came around and it was just as fun as January. I was still coaching and we got some snow. My swimmers did amazing at regions and states and we saw some of our seniors graduate. February brought back memories of my very first ever half marathon from 2012, the Disney Princess half. I will never forget running down Main Street in Magic Kingdom and it will always hold a special place in my heart. February didn’t bring lots of running either and I had 2 half marathons to prepare for in March. I did complete a 5k, a 10k and a virtual half marathon. My monthly total for February was 26.54 miles, still a long way from my 1000 mile goal.

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March blew in with a vengeance. I had a very ambitious goal of 2 half marathons 8 days apart. Who ever thought this was a fantastic idea, me, was crazy. I ran the DC Rock ‘n Roll half with 2 great friends and had a great time even though it RAINED the entire time! It was fine when I was running but after I was sooooo cold. Then just 8 days later, I ran the VA Beach Shamrock Half which was so much fun. It was flat and a great course and great people along the route. My plantar fasciitis was really killing me but I survived and completed my 8th half marathon. The other HUGE thing that happened in March was the lottery results of the NYC Marathon, and yes I GOT IN! My first try and I was accepted! I was in total shock but in awe of the year I was going to have. I was super excited. My total mileage for March was 35.69. Better but still a long way off.

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Me and my new friends…the racing Presidents!

April brought in spring and my marathon training started. I decided to opt for a long training plan because I had not been running the entire first 3 months like I would have liked. So I figured I would start slow and steady and get to the end. I also ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler which turned into 9.5 miles due to some unforeseen circumstances on the race course and we all had to be diverted. That was a fun race, and we had a FANTASTIC day for it. I would run that race again in the future, it would just be hard to beat the full blooms of the cherry blossom trees and the great weather. April brought 39.88 miles for me.

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Obligatory Selfie with the Cherry Blossom Trees

May, couldn’t believe it was May already. May brought on 10 training runs, with 3 of those being races. So it was defiantly not my month. I got to run the color run for the 5th time, think I enjoy that race? I also got to run Carter’s Walk 5k to support Dandy-Walker Syndrome and then the DC Wine Country Half at the end of may. Did someone say wine? It was a great race. It was my slowest ever half marathon since I had not trained for it, but I did finish and had a blast with my 2 friends who were training for their first marathon and ran it was well! I had 40.37 miles. Getting there but still not quite where I should be.

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Enjoying all the colors in May!

June was a an ok month. My training started to slide for the NYC Marathon and I was still in the low mileage month. I traveled to Jekyll Island for a work trip and had an absolute blast, although we did get diverted to Pittsburgh on the way home which then ended up in a car for 4 hours and getting back to DC around 4:30am. I did go into work that day around 11am and I was in my comfy clothes for sure. June also brought me admitting to myself that I was not as healthy as I assumed I was. You can read about that post here. I got to see 34.45 miles during June which brought my 2015 total to 200.07 miles! Do you think I’m going to hit my 1000 miles for 2015 goal?

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A very brutal 3.88 Miles on Jekyll Island

July was a quick month which had the anticipation for our family vacation to Cape Cod. We always love going to the Cape and enjoy the early mornings and how serene it can be. July also had impromptu trips to Swarthmore, PA to visit my grandmother and needing to do a 7 mile training run while up there. Also I got to really hang out with my cousin who is 10 years older than me and that really was the first time we had to talk and get to know each other and that was fun. At the end of July I had a very low 28.92 miles. Yikes, but I do love running on the Cape!

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Running on the Cape with my Sister!

August was the heat of the summer and also saw some somber times. My grandmother died on her 97th birthday! I was so glad to have gone up the month before to see her. My cousin that is living in Hong Kong came back over for the funeral and my cousin and his wife from Iowa drove out for the funeral. It was great to have everyone there and to really spend time with them. I think we were up until midnight or later talking and drinking and having fun. Something we have never done. There were not a lot of miles for August. OOPS. Even with the NYC Marathon looming, oh well. I had a total of 23.78 miles. Yeah, not hitting my 1000 mile goal. I’ll save that for another year.

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My amazing Uncle, Sister and I getting ready to go for a morning run!

September was amazing. I got a new boss at work (thank the Lord) and it saved me a lot of stress. September was also dreadful since the lump in my breast that I found last year and got tested (everything turned out ok) grew. New worry. So there were a lot of unknowns. I also was still training for my marathon and well that just was not going well. At this point I didn’t know what to expect for my marathon and it brought on a lot of anxiety. I got to run the Color Run again! Time number 6! What really helped in September was a friend of mine who would text me on Friday and ask if I wanted to go on a long run with her. It’s always better when you run with friends. Even though I didn’t want to a few times, I knew I needed to and I am forever grateful to her for having me along for the run! I had a total of 43.57 miles in September.

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October brought on the 30 day countdown to the NYC Marathon and my sister’s Marine Corps Marathon and a goal that she has been working towards for the majority of the year. I ran the Marine Corps 10k as my last long run before my marathon the week after hers and I discovered a little gem in covering my watch and just going by the feel of it when it vibrates to tell me when I needed to run or walk. Huge for the following week when I went to NYC. We had a blast and I’m a proud sister to have her achieve her goal of being able to apply for the Boston Marathon! She’s amazing and tells everyone that I got her into run, which I did. So next September she gets to apply! My fingers are crossed for her! This was my taper month, YAY! Who doesn’t love taper? October was also filled with doctor appointments to figure out why my lump grew and what to do about it. Ultimately, the doctor decided that removal and surgery was the best option and luckily I could postpone that until after the marathon. I had 51.46 miles for the month! Best month to the year!

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Getting ready to run one of my last long runs on the C&O Canal

 

November was my marathon month! The NYC Marathon!!!! I was super stoked and scared all at the same time. We had a great day for it, great weather and I couldn’t ask for a better experience. The people that lined the race course to the messages of encouragement I got on Facebook and text messages were amazing. You can read my race recap here. Soon after that was my surgery to remove my lump in my breast. It went better than expected and I was home at my mom’s house by 10 the morning of surgery. I stayed off my legs and running until December 6th when I had a 5k scheduled. It was good so I could let myself heal and not pull the stitches out. I had a total of 26.78 miles for the month of November. Just the marathon.

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My medal! It’s beautiful!

The year went by so quickly and December was here before I knew it. I had a 5k scheduled for December 6th. I did great for just having surgery a few weeks before. I finished and had a good time. Coaching started again and therefore we had our meets as well. I didn’t run in December besides the 5k since the 3 jobs and my swim meets were getting in the way and I would need sleep at some point. December is also my birthday month! YAY! Happy Birthday to me! So I only had 3.16 miles in December and 177.68 for the second half of 2015!

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2015 has been a fun year especially when I look back on it and think of all my friends that I have made in different states and friends here in Virginia. I can’t ask for better running friends and better friends period. Ones that text me and ask to go running or to figure out what races we all are doing. It has been an amazing year full of 377.75 miles! Way less miles than what I wanted and shooting for but miles are still miles. Lets see if I can beat 377.75 miles in 2016. Seems doable. HAHA.

2016 will bring on lots of new adventures and my first international race! I can’t wait! I hope you all have had a spectacular 2015! Cheers to 2016!

National Running Day 2015

Today is National Running Day! I never thought I would still be running after these years and the trials and tribulations. Here’s a few questions about why I run and a little more about what I take with me.

1. Why do you run?

I run to keep myself healthy. But I also run to push myself and keep pursuing dreams that I never thought I’d have.

2. How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day?

I plan on running, since I’m currently training for my 2nd Marathon. The NYC Marathon. Woohoo!

3. How many miles have you run so far this year?

A measly 179 miles

4. What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?

I will be running the NYC Marathon on 1 November

5. Before I leave for a run you must have:

My phone, roadID, Garmin Forerunner 220, Sparkle Athletic Visor, Headphones, and Camelbak depending on mileage.

6. Do you have one favorite app to track your runs?

I use the Nike+ app and the Garmin Connect

7. Who is your favorite running partner?

I have a group of ladies I run with on the weekends who are awesome! My coworker who runs with me during the week and then my good friend M who also keeps me healthy!

8. What races have you ran so far this year?

2-5ks, 1-10k, a 10 miler, 4 Half Marathons, and a 4 miler coming up

9. If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be?

Listen to your body and take a break if you need it. It’s ok.

10. Describe your relationship with running in one word:

Love/Hate

VA Wine Country Half – Half Marathon #9

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be still on this crazy half journey. When I started running in 2011 I thought I was crazy and totally didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I’m so grateful to be on this journey as much as I curse it sometimes…ok…most of the time.

Yesterday was half #9. It was a great morning for a run. I was nervous since the most miles I had up until that point was 3 on a training run. And in fact, I almost canceled. It was one of those things that I just knew it wasn’t going to be any record breaking personal bests or close to it. I just wanted to finish. I met up with T and D as it was their second half of their journey. It was great to share this experience with them. I’m so happy to share my experiences and what I’ve learned as they train for their first marathon this fall. The first part of the race was great! I had to stop and readjust my shoes to make the laces a bit tighter. Then they were almost too tight but they were ok. It was humid, but we had an overcast so it wasn’t humid and sunny which would have been worse. Around mile 5.5 we hit the gravel road. I thought I was going to be ok ok the gravel but oh no, I wasn’t. I ended up walking a lot of the gravel. And hills…holy hills. Around mile 9 we hit pavement again and that was awesome! It was so nice to be back on the pavement. My left hip took a hit with the unevenness of the gravel and so I’m stretching and dealing that today. I’ll be mended in no time 😉

I finished in just under 3 hours, I started my watch late oops. I’m honestly afraid to look at the results to see what my time really is. I’m disappointed in myself for not training better, but glad that I finished. It happens and we move on to the next race.

The medal was great! The bib was even better! One of the most unique bibs that I am now in possession of. It was very fitting that the run started and finished on the premises of a winery. I know cool right!

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The after party was awesome, and so glad to have some other wineries around to taste. I came home from the run and after party and showered, well got food too, and slept. I took a good 2.5 hour nap. I was even in bed early at 9. It was a long/short day if you know what I mean. It was a great day, it really was. I was happy to see the smiling faces at the finish line.

I hope you all have had a great weekend thus far and it continues to be great today!

Cheers!

This Just happened….

Sorry I’ve been slacking on the posts. It’s been a crazy week. Getting back from my second half in 8 days 🙂 So I started looking into a few things. I’d been seeing these “Half Fanatics” on Instagram and a number after it. So I did a little research and there are definitely some crazy folks out there. http://www.halffanatics.com is the website. And the lowest to qualify and be considered a Half Fanatic is 2 half marathons in 16 days. 😳 I started thinking (this can be dangerous) that I totally just did that. So I’ve been sitting on this knowledge. I would visit the page every so often, more like every day, wondering if I was crazy enough to join this group. Well last night I bit the bullet and signed up. I’m at the Neptune level and I’m now a Half Fanatic.

I never imagined that when I started running this is where my journey would take me. I never thought that I would run in and finish 2 half marathons in just over a week. Let alone  run a marathon and complete a triathlon and training for my second marathon. I proud of myself for being on this continued journey. It’s always a great journey even though I curse myself when I’m training and continually ask why I sign up for these events and lotteries and races. It’s the end result and that bling and satisfaction that you just completed the run.

So here’s to the crazies! Come join me 🙂

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VA Beach Shamrock Half 2015 Round Up

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At the Expo

Half number 8 completed 8 days after half number 7 🙂 Such an accomplishment! The VA Beach Half was great! I would definitely run this race again. I would make a long weekend out of the event as well. The expo was fun, and definitely not crowded. We arrived Thursday night and we were able to get settled in and make it to the expo on Friday mid afternoon. One of the members of the group was going through the expo and race experience for the first time. So he was like a kid in the candy shop. It was easy to get our bibs and then head to the shirts. No lines at this point. J&A Racing had several items for sale which was great and reasonably priced. I got a new tank top to run in this spring and summer. Then we were able to mosey around the expo and visit a few other booths and get some freebie items.

Saturday came around and it was so nice out. It was still a bit chilly but there wasn’t a rain drop in site. Saturday we walked around Norfolk and got to visit some great sites after some lunch. It was a heavy walking day but not as much as Sunday was going to be. We got to visit some of the ships and see the dry docks. I would love to go back and visit and enjoy all that Norfolk has to offer. Obviously with the race the next day, it was an early night and I got about 6 hours of sleep so that wasn’t bad.

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The Course

Sunday was an early day waking up at 4:30am. YIKES! Who decides to wake up that early on a Sunday?! Well this group did. We had breakfast, got ready for the race, in our race day attire. I had a plot twist for my outfit since it was cooler than I thought it would be. I wore a gray tank top with my gray pullover and of course my sparkle skirt, visor and rainbow socks. My feet were acting up from the day before so I taped them up and brought Advil with me. Before we knew it we were headed to the race start line. I was in corral 4 so that wasn’t bad. I was able to start strong. I stuck with my 4 minute run/1 minute walk ratio. I find it so much easier to concentrate on those 4 minutes versus how many miles I have left. I think this will help with my marathon training and running the NYC Marathon. You don’t realize how fast that 1 minute walk goes by.

Major respect to this guy!

Major respect to this guy!

I finished in 2 hours 28 minutes. It was nice to finish. Definitely not my fastest time but for not really training, I’ll certainly take it. My sister and her boyfriend had a friend running his first marathon down there so we went and cleaned up and then headed back to the finish line and finish line party. It was nice. My feet still hurt so I didn’t venture into the sand too much. I stayed on terra firma so I could get off my feet and sit. The after party was awesome and hope that when I run this race again, I’ll be able to be out on the sand and not dealing with the pain of my feet. It was chilly out and I didn’t bring a sweatshirt but they gave us towels at the finish line so I was able to stay warmer than if I hadn’t had that. Before long we were sitting in a restaurant and having some food before we left to go back to where we were staying to venture home.

When I do this race again, I would get up early Friday morning and venture down to VA

The bling!

The bling!

Beach and stay until Monday so I could have a leisurely weekend and didn’t have to rush back to go back to work. I would even consider going down Friday night. The only downside would be the possible crowds at the expo on Saturday. But overall I would definitely run this race. The on course support was amazing. The water and gatorade was every 1.5 miles and the gu was offered at mile 5 or so. That came quick since it’s usually offered at mile 9 during a half marathon course. It was great and the last few tenths of a mile on the boardwalk was great. It was good spectator watching and cheering us on as we finished. It was great.

Neptune where the finish line was located!

Neptune where the finish line was located!

I hope you all had a great weekend and great start to your week!

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Sand Sculpture

Happy Spring!

Today is the first day of spring and my mom is dealing with SNOW! Oh my! I just happen to be in southern VA for the VA Beach Shamrock half. It’s my second half in 8 days! WOW! I’m off to the convention center today to do packet pick up and then walk around and see what’s going on. Hopefully the rain goes away quickly today. It’s suppose to be perfect race weather. So that will be good and will be less rainy than the DC Rock and Roll. The outfit will be the same as last weekend but with rainbow socks. Another fun time for sure.

Here’s to a Friday with less rain and great weather! Happy Spring!🌸🌹🌷🌻

Cheers!☔️

2015 Rock n’ Roll Half Round Up

I FINISHED! And I finished faster than what I did last year! Double Yay! But let me start from the beginning 🙂

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My bib!

I woke up at 3:40am is…so not my intention. My alarm was set for 4:11am and I wanted those extra minutes to sleep. But to no avail. I got out of bed around 4:20am so I could get myself ready and make some coffee. Eat something and psych myself up for this run. I kept looking at the weather to see if we might get a reprieve from the impending rain. I got my things together to go pick up my running buddy. My mom even sent me a text at 4:55am to wish me good luck! She rocks!

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My Outfit!

We got to the metro and loaded up. It wasn’t long before we were headed into Washington, DC for this half marathon. We got into DC and it was still raining. BOO! It wasn’t too cold, but still chilly. I heard from K and he wished me good luck! It  was so awesome to have his support even during his busy weekend! It wasn’t long before the race began and I felt good. I was running 4 minutes and walking a minute and I was able to keep this up for a good wile. Through mile 6. Then the hill came! Mile 6 has this huge hill and I’m not going to lie…I walked up the hill and then had to walk some more to get my muscles back. I did a round later and was back running. It wasn’t bad. The rain kept me cool and around mile 8 I saw the racing Presidents from the Nationals. So cool to see them all out supporting us and taking pictures with us. I couldn’t help but stop and take a picture.  I stopped to walk and sent the picture to K and my mom. K responded and asked me if I was really running. Just wait until I do Disney Wine and Dine in 2016 with M 😉 I won’t be running too much and taking all the pictures I can!

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Me and the Racing Presidents!

At this point my legs were starting to fight me. I hadn’t trained properly and got a run in here and there, dealt with plantar fasciitis and some sickness. This is where I knew I was only doing 13.1 miles and kept going. I felt bad because my BRF was ahead of me and I didn’t want to keep her waiting long. So I kept it up as much as I could. Around mile 12 my phone starts ringing. I had my headphones in and accepted the call. It was my BRF and she just finished. I had maybe 10-11 minutes left of the race and would be finished soon. She was awesome! Before I knew it they were telling us the marathoners were to continue on the right and the half marathoners were to move to the left to finish. It was fantastic. I was almost done!

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The bling!

I came around the bend and was on my way to finishing. YAY! The finish line is in sight. It was all I could do to keep my feet moving. I crossed the finish like and smiled. I did it! 2 hours and 35 minutes later! I did it in the rain and cold and wet feet. There was a back up to getting out medals and there were some great military people there handing everything out. So glad to see them and be able to thank them for their service. I got my picture taken and headed off to find my BRF and another friend who had just finished her first half marathon.  Go R!!! You rocked it. My other friend M was running her first marathon and finished in 5 hours and 17 minutes! She was a rock star! It was just a year or 2 ago that she was saying that she hated running! That’s 2 people I’ve converted! Who’s next 🙂

Little did we know we were standing feet apart when I called them to tell them where I was. So funny how in a crowd you can be feet apart and not know it. We made our way back to the metro for the ride back to VA and warmth and the car. It was SOOOO COLD! We shivered the entire way home and it was all we could do to make it into the car and turn the heat on full blast warm!

It was great and we certainly enjoyed the race. The cold an shivering not so much. The race was marked very well and the spectators were amazing to be out there in the cold and rain with us. I’ll definitely run this again but I would have to make the conscious decision to make sure I trained better. It was a great day in all and can’t wait to go to VA Beach next weekend for another half marathon! Woohoo! Be prepared for Sister pics! It’s been awhile since we’ve run in the same event.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Cheers!

TGIF!

We made it to Friday! Thank goodness! I have 13.1 miles ahead of me timage1omorrow and it’s going to be in the rain. At least it will be around 50℉ so it shouldn’t be freezing! It’ll be one of those runs. I’ve come close to running in the rain a few times, but this will definitely be a first. My very first race, we were threatened by rain. But it never rained. This time, rain is coming. I guess it will be fun to run in the rain for 13 miles. It will definitely be a race where we can just sit back and have fun. I probably won’t start until close to 8. So I hope to be done by 11 at the latest. Then make the trek back to the metro for the hour ride home. I’ll have to meet up with my BRF since she’ll probably finish way ahead of me. Or at least that’s what I’m thinking. She shouldn’t have any problem finishing in just over 2 hours.

I was talking to my good friend M and she has been a huge help getting me back on the right track with injuries and such. And I was discussing a plan of attack for the race. I will probably be doing a run/walk half marathon. Which means I”ll be running 4 minutes and walking a minute. This should equate to about 9-10 minute miles. So we’ll see how it goes. My fingers are crossed. It shouldn’t be too bad. I’ll definitely be looking forward to those walk breaks. But it will also be a warm up to the following weekend’s 1/2 to see how the run/walk works out for me.

Have a great Friday!

Cheers! ☔️

Rock and Roll DC Half

Today is packet pick up! That’s a good thing but this weekend, it’s suppose to rain on Saturday. Bummer! But running in the rain can be fun right. So I’m hoping that it’s a warm rain. I have the best outfit and I can’t wait to wear it. And yes sparkle is included.  I shared my outfits here. It’s going to be a great day and I can’t wait to wear that medal around my neck. This will be half number 2 for the year with 3 right behind it.

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Photo courtesy of Rock n’ Roll DC

Last year I was sick for this race as I’ve mentioned before. I’ve been doing everything to keep from getting sick this year for the race. I was running with my friend for his first half and around mile 9 I just had to stop and walk. I was doing ok, but I started to feel nausea and so I walked the rest of the race. It was not the best race I’ve ever had nor was it the best post experience. I did ok though. Finished in 2 hours and 40 minutes. It was great to run that race and I only hope that this year will be a better experience. But I also have to remember that the experience is what I make it. 🙂

I hope you all are enjoying this fantastic weather! It’s been such a blessing since it’s been so cold. Maybe spring really is on it’s way.

Cheers! 🌻🌷🌸🌹🌼

Snowy Thursday! So let me share my race outfits for March!

I’m lucky today and get to spend my day at home with the snow that is falling outside. My office closing with inclement weather is a rare occasion. So I get to spend my day in the warmth of my own home. Yay me!

image1So with that being said, and with getting into the TCS NYC Marathon still sinking in, I thought I would share my DC Rock and Roll half marathon and my VA Beach Shamrock half marathon outfits! Of course there’s sparkle involved and I can’t wait to run.

Ok, so I haven’t quite decided which race legs I’m going to wear. It’s quite possible I wear one for one race and other set for the other half. The visor, arm warmers, skirt and race legs all came from Sparkle Athletic. Go Team Sparkle! The tank top I got off Etsy from RainDancerClothing. Both shipped very quickly and were here in my hands in plenty of time. It’s going to be so much fun to be wearing these outfits.

I can’t wait to run next weekend in the DC Rock and Roll half marathon with my BRF. I was sick and still ran this race last year. I’m getting sick now (oh no) and i’m trying to beat it before next weekend rolls around. It wasn’t my best half marathon time by any means last year and so this year I just hope to finish faster than I did last year. It’s a great race and a great course. You get to see things in DC that you don’t always see. The race this year will be like interval training and so it will be a different type of race for me and more like a training run. I’m not looking forward to the hill at mile 6 getting off Rock Creek Parkway.  That’s one killer hill!

The following week I’ll be down in VA Beach running the Shamrock Half. Who ever thought that running another 13.1 miles after just finishing one 8 days before was a good idea never told me. That would be my smart planning! HAHA It will be a challenge and one that I’m ready to take on! I’m super excited to be traveling to VA Beach area. I’ve never been down to that city and I’m looking forward to seeing a different part of Virginia. Any suggestions for places to eat? My sister, her boyfriend and one of his friends along with myself are all going down to run. I’m sure I’ll post pictures on Instagram while I’m there and share some here when I get back from the trip. I’m looking forward to another half under my belt.

Here’s to staying warm today! Cheers!