Saturday, December 21, 2013

Viva Las Vegas…


The week before Thanksgiving, we packed the suitcases and hit the road with several other couples. Our destination = LAS VEGAS!

The main reason for the trip was originally to run the Las Vegas Marathon. Halfway through the planning stages we decided to make the trip more about Vegas so we all transferred to the Half Marathon. Best. Decision. Ever.

On Thursday after I got off work, we drove to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and boarded a plane to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to Las Vegas. We arrived in Vegas at around 11:00 at night (which is 2am) our time. I was exhausted to stay the least after working a full day and the almost another 6-8 hours of traveling. When we finally got to our hotel room, in the Sky Suites at the Aria, we all crashed hard!





Friday morning we got up at 6ish because our internal clocks were all messed up! We hit Starbucks and the a breakfast buffet and set out to see some sights!



First up…the expo! This was probably one of the better expos I have been to. It may have been because we went on the first day before it opened and got in line. There was room to walk and all of the vendors were spread out. You could actually shop! I am not usually a big shopper at expos but I bought myself a Brooks jacket with the Rock N Roll Las Vegas logo on it. The price tag was ridiculous but I may never do the race again so I had to have something to remember my experience!



We spent several hours walking around before meeting back up and riding the tram back to the hotel.

That night we hit up the Burger Bar for dinner and I had a delicious burger topped with a poached egg. It was an interesting combo and very yummy. The best though was their sweet potato fries!

Saturday we spent wandering around Caesar's Palace and all of the shops! We hit the hotel gym first thing and I got in a 3 mile run on the treadmill at an easy pace and then hit up the lounge at the Sky Suites for coffee. Our next stop of the morning was the brunch restaurant Wicked Spoon. It was wicked good! I am going to put it out there and say this is probably the most delicious buffet that I have ever eaten. (P.S – We were upgraded to the Sky Suites at check-in which provided us with a lounge each day full of bottled water, San Pelligrigio, coffee, and lots of treats like chocolate covered strawberries. It was amazing and we saved so much money just on water!-ahhhhmazing)









We walked and shopped all day and unfortunately I only made it halfway on the walk to dinner. I was not feeling well so we turned around and went back to the Aria. We did get some scrumptious pizza and enjoyed our hotel view of Vegas all lit up before I passed out asleep.

Up next = Sunday = race day! This deserves a post in itself so stay tuned!


Saturday, November 9, 2013

2013 Pecan Festival Half Marathon


This past Saturday, November 2, I ran the Pecan Festival “Run Like a Nut” half marathon. I love this race because it is a hometown race and because it is one of the first races I ever did when started my racing career back in 2009.



I really hadn’t had much time to wrap my mind around this race. I decided last minute that I would register, knowing I needed some motivation to get a long run in before the annual pig pickin family reunion that always falls on this same day.

I knew if I hadn’t signed up, I wouldn’t get in 13 miles. So, I bit the bullet and registered. I am so glad I did because there are always so many runner friends there and several of the husband’s cousins had signed up as well.


Getting our run on so that we can head to the annual pick pickin and get our eat on!!

So, the gun went off and off I went… I ran a 7:23 first mile. I knew i had no business doing that and it came back and hurt me bad. I wanted to try to keep a 7:50ish pace for the whole thing but that dream was gone by mile 5. I was already up in the 8:00’s.

By Mile 6, I was getting really frustrated with a particular runner around me who wanted to pace himself off me and carry on a conversation with me. He would talk to himself and then try to talk to me every few minutes. I was just not feeling it that day. He would run ahead and then look back and wait for me. It really threw my mental game off. This has never happened to me before and I was so ready to leave him and get to the finish but I knew I didn't have it in me to sprint ahead and keep that pace. So, I just stayed frustrated with him by my side for the remainder of the race.

I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:43:36. The course was way short, which it always has been. I have no clue why they wont fix that but they don’t. It was 12.72 by my watch and it was 12.72 by my watch when I ran it in 2011.

Not the time I was hoping for at all but still a good solid race. A huge bonus is always seeing my family at the finish line. They don’t always come to watch when I travel to races but they are at every single one that I do at home!



Another half marathon in the books! Stay tuned for a big race recap coming up!! I am having to get on a plane for this one!! Eeeeek!!!

happy running (and swimming and biking),


2013 Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Race Recap


On Sunday, October 20, 2013 I ran in the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon in Myrtle Beach, SC. This was my 3rd year running this race.

The husband and I headed to the beach Friday afternoon after work to meet up with friends. We dined at Bonefish Grill and headed back to the beach house to rest and relax. It was a long week so this was much needed!

We did not have any plans for Saturday either so that was nice. I slept in which I don’t do much anymore and I finally rolled myself out of the bed around 8:00. I went for a short easy 3 mile run and then had Chick-fil-a at the house for breakfast!

We hit the expo at the Grand Dunes hotel. This expo has never really been exciting. Its small and usually crowded. So we got in, got our stuff, and got out! We hit up Wild Wings Cafe for food and USC football!

After a little afternoon R & R, we hit up Carraba’s for dinner. I am usually not a fan, but this time around it was a pretty good meal! By the time dinner was over, I was so tired.


Once we got back, I hit the hay after setting my race day alarm for 5am..eeek! Sundays are usually my sleep in until 7:00 days so this was a little difficult!

I pulled myself out of bed at 5:10 and ate a cliff bar and a banana with some almond butter. I got on the couch for a few until it was time to get dressed and go!


We left the house a few min after 6am and got to the race start at around 6:25 only to be greeted by rain showers! We stole borrowed a trash bag from an unused trashcan and wrapped up in it. I should know by now to always have trash bags with me on race day! Lesson learned.


The rain let up just in time for the start. And we were off! The weather for here on out was perfect for a race.

I had technical difficulties at the beginning of the race and my watch died at Mile 4. I had no idea how far or fast I was going until the checkpoints.

I felt pretty good throughout the race. I secret goal was to be under 1:45 but I told my husband and friends I would be happy with a 1:45 and I was right on.

My official time was 1:45:12. I was happy, not overjoyed because I know I can run better, but happy nonetheless.

After the race and finding the husband I hit up a coffee shop. One of my all-time favorite things after a race is a good cup of coffee. I ordered and tried to hand over my card to pay but my total wasn’t enough to use a card. I had absolutely no cash. The woman behind me offered to pay for my coffee and I told her no. She proceeded to hand the cashier a $5.00 while she turned to me and said “Girl, you just ran a half-marathon, you deserve it!”

That was a cool moment and one I was thankful for because that cup of coffee was so delicious and helped keep me warm while we waited on the rest of our crew to finish.


The surfboard medal/bottle opener is pretty sweet. I don’t usually get too thrilled about race medals(bring on the t-shirt!!!) but this one and two others from this race are hanging on my fridge!




Just call us the “Zenzah support crew”. We were all sporting compression. I love the sleeves, they seem to help me, especially after the race is over.


Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon #3 is in the books for me. I love racing Myrtle Beach and I love spending weekends by the ocean running and being with friends!

Cheers to next year,


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Camp Coker 2013 Sprint Triathlon Race Recap



My first triathlon….done. and. done! I had so much anticipation and nervous feelings about doing a triathlon. With the encouragement of a friend, I bit the bullet and signed up and I am so glad I did. This was a perfect race for a triathlon “newbie”.


This day did not start off like I wanted it to. I set my alarm clock for 5:05am and planned to snooze until 5:15am. I am usually so anal about checking to make sure my alarm is switched on and set to the right time. Well, it didn’t get switched on. I woke up to my husband shaking me telling me I overslept by an hour. It was 6:05. I needed to leave my house at 6:20 for the hour long ride to the race location. Not. good.

I scrambled around, got dressed, made oatmeal and coffee and hopped in the car. Luckily I had packed my things the night before and my bike was already in the FJ. I left the house around 6:25 and arrived at the race in plenty of time!

I met up with several friends and we headed straight for the transition area. I got my bearings and figured out where to put my bike and set up my transition. Since the race was a super sprint (so I thought), I didnt pack a whole lot of extra stuff to take up room in the transition area.

After set-up, we headed to pick up our race numbers. A friend glanced down to look at her bib and make sure she was registered for the right race. I figured it was a good idea, so I checked…


Our run club organizer had signed me up for the sprint and not the super sprint. I didn’t want to go through the hassle of changing it. Deep down inside I knew I could do it. So, I DID!



Once I got over the shock, it was about time to enter the water. A 400m swim. I can do this. I have only been swimming close to a month but I can do this. Before I knew it we were off. I stayed in the very back of the back. The lake swim was so much better for me than being in the pool. I hit the first buoy and side stroked around it to catch my breath and kept going. It was amazing how quickly the buoys came and went. Before I knew it, I was jerking my goggles and swim cap off and pulling the earplugs out of my ears and running my way to T1.

400m swim: 8:15


I chunked my swim stuff in my bucket and put on my glasses and then my helmet. Then, I sat down to wash my feet of, dry them with a towel, and put on my socks and bike shoes. I powered up the Garmin 405 and I was out of T1. Because of such a small race, the transition times weren’t calculated. I believe it took me somewhere in the 3:00 range, which is not bad for my first ever transition!


I felt good as I went out on the bike. I wanted to keep a 17mph or higher but that did not happen. Enter:hills. They were everywhere and I had no clue. I struggled up some of the hills on the later part of the course. I may not be gearing right for hills, so I definitely need to work on that. Overall, the course was great and I felt good on my bike.

16 mile bike : a estimate of 59:00 averaging 16.9mph


As I came close to T2 I slowed down and got off the bike. I tried running with the bike but quickly knew I just needed to walk. I wasn’t that far away. In T2, I threw my helmet and glasses into my bucket and then changed my shoes. I have got to get lock laces because I fumbled around a good bit trying to tie my dang shoes. I grabbed a sip of water and decided to forego the Garmin. I did not feel like trying to change the mode from bike to run! Hello husband….Christmas present…hint hint….Garmin 910…hint hint. I think my T2 time should have been somewhere around 2:00.


The run which should be my strongest just wasn’t. The run was a trail run which I also did not know about. I have a deep hatred for trail running! The first mile I was huffing and puffing and I had no idea what my pace was. I knew it felt slow. At the mile turnaround there was water. I stopped to drink and then started right back. After the out and back down the sandy dirt path,  we ran the last mile through the actual woods. I was just ready to be done at this point. I couldn’t seem to get my legs to turnover as fast as I wanted them to. I feel I could have pushed harder but I wanted to make sure I made it to the finish line also.

5k run: 28:15 (9:14 pace)

Although I ended with a slow run, I crossed the finish line and felt immediate excitement and joy that I had just completed something I said I would never do because I could never swim!

Note to self: Haven’t you learned already to never say never!!!

Overall time: 1:41:48 – 2nd place overall female out of 4 females, 10th overall out of 16 participants.


I had a great time and enjoyed being out there with so many friends and familiar faces! What a great race to do as a first triathlon.

So I know the ropes with runners, but I am not in the know yet with triathletes. Can I call myself one now?!? Sure, why the heck not! I AM a triathlete!!!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

My 29th Birthday in Photos

My 29th birthday was a great day. Although it poured rain and stormed most of the day, I still made the best of it.

CHEERS to my last year in my 20’s!!!

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