My First Ever AJC Peachtree Road Race

I am not even going to lie to you, this has a lot of pictures. You’ve been warned. To start this post off, I want to mention that I am trying to remember everything correctly so bear with me.

Thursday my mom and I went to Atlanta for the expo. Apparently, traffic around the perimeter was HORRIBLE.  I think we sat in traffic on every major interstate. But I have really bad car anxiety, so traffic in ATL isn’t that unbearable for me, but I get MAJ-OR frustration and a little road rage just sitting there not moving. I know, it doesn’t make sense. After I swear, 2-3 hours of traffic we finally made it downtown and the expo was … eh and overwhelming to me.

I have never been to a large race expo, my races have been local and tiny. This was a whole different beast. But I was super excited to get my race bib. I took not one, but two pictures with my special bib.

photo 1

photo 2

I was in corral K. Wanted H, I, or J. Goals for next year! I was wondering why I was put in a slower estimated 10K time, but whatever. Its ok with me, because I’ll tell you in a min. After walking around for maybe 5 minutes, I was already annoyed. The people just standing around making it incredibly difficult to get around were pissing me off. My poor mom was like, “You ok? You want to go?” And I replied, “F yes.” I get weird in super large crowds, I feel very insecure so it was a lot for me. The vendors were ok, but nothing that I was over-excited about.

The night before the race… I don’t remember. Honestly.

This is where the rest of my experience and story gets wonky.

I woke up at 4:30 Friday morning, ate my oatmeal and got dressed.

photo 3

I got my crew together and we were off. Now, I have heard many different stories how many hours to get there before the race. I was so scared for being late and missing my start time. So we left at 5:30. We were parked by 5:45. And I was screwed. My time didn’t start until 8:14. FML.

We hung out for a bit in Buckhead and then the sun starting to come up, so we all parted ways and I knew I’d see my husband and mom at Colony Square, a little past mile 5. So I was now alone for 2 hours and 14 minutes and ready to lose my mind. I was so tired, so hungry, and so mad at myself that I didn’t think of this scenario. The one benefit of this was I was the first person to use a porta-potty and not have it stink to high heaven after 1,000 other runners used it. The toilet paper was still in its paper wrapping (is that TMI? I found it just to be neat) and I took a photo for you.

photo 4

I walked to where the other corrals were and was glad to see a lot of people. But none of this made the time go by faster. The rest from here to when my corral started walking is a no-go, so I’ll jump to the exciting stuff.

My corral was lining up, and I was getting so excited. But I was dead. I hadn’t eaten in 3.5 hours, my tank was empty.

photo 5

Once we started to walk closer to the start my nerves calmed down. For some reason I was never nervous about this race, I think it is because it is a really big deal to partake in so I was more amped about the whole experience.

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

And I was off! I had my phone on with great music and breezed through miles 1 and 2. I never once looked at my Garmin until I was around 2.5 and saw I had ran those miles at 9:30 pace because I was running for 24:xx minutes. I told myself to slow down, I had no calories to take in and none left in my system. I had a beer right before mile 3 and the infamous Cardiac Hill. The shish is no joke. I faced it with as much effort as my body would allow. And it didn’t allow much. I had to walk. My head wasn’t clear and I knew I was in deep shit.

photo 4

Mile 3-4, I walked a lot. Mile 5 I knew I had my cheerleaders. Mile 5 came and that damn tent wasn’t there. I WAS LIVID. I needed support, I needed it right then. I shuffled until I saw it. It was like a beacon of hope. I saw Zach and my mom. And I about toppled over when I stopped, I mustered out, “get me a banana! NOW!” My mom went to get one, then I needed a water. Then I needed to cry. But I didn’t. I told them I was so close to being physically out that I didn’t know what to do. But I hung out with them for like 5 minutes and finally left. I felt like a new woman! My energy was so high, I literally picked up my speed and didn’t stop. I knew the walking and full blown stop would kill my time.

I passed by the MarathonFoto people and “fake finish” and was like, “where the f is the finish?!” People were like you’re almost there! Liars. My Garmin was a liar too. I finally got to the finish and freaked out.

photo 5

How in the hell was I supposed to find my husband and mom?! I called them, told them the game plan was got my t-shirt, and proceeded to walk against the crowd towards my family. Finally, I found them. And I requested we go back to their tent to watch. I wanted to see the race too. Not like I just ran it.

photo 1

Their view was perfect. I could of watched from start to finish.

photo 2

photo 3

My overall experience was a great one. I did admit the course isn’t that great. It is nice. But what makes this whole race is the spectators! I had such a great time because of them! The entire course was lined with people, there wasn’t a spot where people were not cheering you on. They handed out beer, mimosas, pizza, chocolate covered strawberries, literally everything you could imagine. I told mom this is a great race if you’re an adult. When I walked back, a lady had vodka gummies. I am so bummed I missed out! The people in costumes were amazing too! I passed by a few drag queens, a band of all men in thongs gave me a beer, I saw Wonder Woman too. The most amazing part was the Shepard Center. My cousin was treated there last year, and when you pass by, all the patients who can come out are cheering YOU on, I did cry a little there. It made my heart almost explode.

I did learn from my major mistake by getting up too early and not eating closer to my start time. I ran it in 1:11. My heart did sink just a little, but with a lot of walking and stopping for a solid 5 minutes, it could of been worse. My Garmin registered at 1:09. So I guess corral K was my spot this year. But this first time was awesome! I loved it, I really did. But I never saw Meb! I was so looking forward to maybe seeing him, but I didn’t. I beat him.

photo 5The whole 4th of July was great, I finished the world’s largest 10K and completed the Runner’s World Summer Challenge all in one day.

photo 4

 

There. The post is done. You made it!

Did you run in the PRR this year?

Have you ever ran in the world’s largest 10K?

What is your favorite during-race food/drink?

6848AAAFA113CD2784D905A45AC3381D

My First Trail Race and I Placed

One Saturday this month I took on my first trail race. To say I was unprepared is probably the truest statement I can make. However, I had a freaking blast! I mean I am in love with zooming through the woods and hurtling down a trail with 275 other crazies and trying not to bust my ass and eat some gravel.

Friday night I was a nervous wreck, I barely ate dinner and didn’t sleep all that great. I kept thinking about what to expect. And surprisingly what I thought I was against was child’s play compared to what I went through. I’m so glad it was way different and way more fun than I ever could imagine.

Saturday I got up, ate about 2 spoonfuls of oatmeal and called it a morning. I literally could not eat or drink. Normally I can get about half my oatmeal down or more, and at least a full bottle of water. Nope that didn’t happen. I tend to get more nervous about new race distances and new terrain, I’m sure that is normal right? This was a new beast for me, I never ran on dirt and gravel trails. In Savannah, the park I always went to was half sidewalk and maybe .5 mile of compacted gravel.

As I was driving to the start, my nerves slowly started to disappear. The race started at 8:30 and it was smoking hot and humid. I had a goal in mind, times to chase, and dreams to achieve. (<– that would be a great book title or poster thing, right? ;) ) I started kinda close to the front. A definite first for me. The gun was off and I was running like the wind down and up a hill, and next thing I knew I was literally barreling down a path at high speeds and loving every second!

Mile 1 down in 9:30, feeling awesome and mile 2 9:15, and then BAM! Left leg went right into a trail pot-hole and my knee and entire leg twisted. The pain was intense. But I was so dizzy from adrenaline and heat that I didn’t pay attention until I literally was in crippling pain. I ran/walked to the end and saw my time.

2. 85 miles in 33:08. Devastation took over. I wanted to run it in 27 minutes. I failed on my goal. But I wasn’t that surprised by it. I was shocked that I still managed to place 3rd in my age group. I got a medal and everything, one I throughly earned (even though each medal is a medal earned, this time I was really racing for it) and that lifted my spirits.

During the race I knew I was in trouble. I never once thought about elevation changes. It never occurred to me that the trail path would be heavily rooted and holes scattered everywhere. So when these challenges came at me head on, I panicked. That panic brought on so many different obstacles that I didn’t even pay attention to where I was stepping (or lack there of) when my leg twisted. But none of that mattered when I saw I got 3rd. Instead, I was like, “Hell yeah! I’m so getting 1st next year!”

I am now hooked on it. I loved every single second of it. Completely under the trail running spell and I am looking into trail shoes, etc.

photo 2

photo 4

Look at that mud showing my hard work, I was thrilled with this!

I am so proud of my little bronze medal, I couldn’t be more happy with any other outcome.

photo 3

 

6848AAAFA113CD2784D905A45AC3381D

Hot Week in Running

It has been super hot here in the peach state. I mean like, get up at 5 AM or you’ll die by 7AM kind of weather.

It is HOTTTT.

photo 2

photo 3

Yep, that is a tan line. I was only out for 45 minutes! I’m really pale to start with, and I did have sunscreen on. So I was shocked when I was like, “hold the phone, is that a … OMG! I tanned. You’ve got to be joking.” I love a nice golden glow, but not with some gnarly weird tan lines from a racerback top. However, I do love my badges of honor from a runner’s tan.

And do you see my glistening shoulders? I was gross.

photo 1

See? 45 minutes outside and that happened. And I did start really late, I kinda got lazy and wanted more ZZZ’s and probably paid for it in the end. Oh well, I will learn eventually.

If you’re running in some hot temperatures be super careful. RunJunkees has this great chart to help with preparing for summer running.

1978582_630059070435243_8647297816913306277_o

I know I get super frustrated with myself when I see I’m running much slower, but I also know that warmer temps mean slower times. And that is ok, it will keep you safe from heat exhaustion. I know in fall/winter my times are killer, but in summer they’ll be A LOT slower. I mean, a lot.

Always bring water with you too! Even running for just 30 minutes, bring something or run by a route that has water fountains available.

What tips do you have for summer running?

6848AAAFA113CD2784D905A45AC3381D

BuzzFeed’s 21 Secrets Runners Won’t Tell You

BuzzFeed published a list of 21 things runners won’t tell you. I thought I’d share this list with some of my own experiences. Enjoy this funny read!

1. Your running rotates around your pooping schedule.

2. Which means you know how to make yourself poop. (Why everyone says, “find the foods that work for you..”)

3. Shoes really DO matter.

photo 3

4. You lose half your weekend to long runs.

photo 5

5. Running is boring as hell.

photo 1

6. You always feel great post-run, but the “runner’s high” remains pretty elusive.

photo 5

7. And even if you’ve run long distances (10+ miles), you’ll still sometimes struggle through a 3-miler.

photo 3

8. Losing one or more of your toenails is a very real possibility.

photo

9. Wearing a thong is a must.

10. … your running clothes smell like DEATH.

photo

11. Two words: SNOT ROCKETS.

12. You are incredibly specific about your running conditions, and the smallest annoyance can completely ruin a run.

photo 3

13. It’s easier than you think to get dehydrated. And then you feel like death.

photo

14. These are actually pretty awesome.

photo 2

15. These too.

photo-2

16. Yes, your knees will hurt sometimes.

SAM_2336

17. You spend way too much money on shit like this.

ltbluenew-tall-0713b__94149.1373487070.1280.1280

18. Sometimes you’ll get bloody socks when you run.

photo

19. You’re obsessed with your Garmin – and might even like it more than your smartphone.

photo

20. Nipple chafing is REAL. (never had this happen)

21. But in the end, you love it so much that all the weird and gross stuff is totally worth it.

photo 1

 

Lots and Lots of Pictures, You’re Welcome.

Worst blogger award goes to me. I already know I am slacking big time and now I can’t even remember which run was on what day and the distance I ran is up in the air. That is very, very sad.

So get ready for a long picture post. I swear I’ll get back on the weekly training reports. Until then, this is what you get. You’re welcome.

photo 1

photo 5

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 1

photo 2

photo 4

photo 5

photo 3

 

1. 7 easy paced miles. Trying to get quicker.

2. Again, 7 easy paced miles but a little longer run.

3. Kroger had my favorite gels on closeout so I bought the whole sleeve. You cannot go wrong with $.71 per gel.

4. Mizuno has this cool app that is free. You get to run for 7 days and see how much you can run. For each mile, $1 is donated to Back on My Feet. Pretty cool! And I ran 26 miles :) so people ran like 150 miles and I wish I could do that.

5. National Running Day realness. At least I’m honest. ;)

6 & 7. Hilly 2 miler that made me sticky sweaty and gross. Look at that elevation… that is just in my neighborhood!

8 & 9. Threshold Friday! Weather Channel app lied to me. Said it was foggy, nope definitely was not. I was drowning in sweat.

10. My dream that I am working towards. Working very hard might I add.

6848AAAFA113CD2784D905A45AC3381D

Running Lately 2

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

photo 1

photo 2

 

1. Running shorts?! Say whattt….not a running skirt? Who am I?! I am loving the Nike Rival 2 shorts.

2.  Development of that awful runners tan. Garmin and RoadID causing some nice tan lines.

3. That is disgusting. Sweaty Garmin, icky.

4. The run where I forgot how hard running 7 miles is. I did survive. It was a miracle.

5. It fair to say that I am a nasty, sweaty hot mess when running. 5 hot as shit miles.

6. My newest and most favorite way to rehydrate. Lemonade coconut water!

7. Another sweaty selfie. Fun run though! Speed work and 3 miles under 10:00 min pace.

6848AAAFA113CD2784D905A45AC3381D

Sweat Pink Product Review and How I Love Vega Protein

To begin with, all things stated are my own opinion and I was not paid for this review. I submitted an application to have a chance to review with this brand and as stated, not endorsed.

photo 4

Being a Sweat Pink Ambassador has some pretty awesome perks. There are numerous chances at being selected to do product reviews. Within the last couple of months there has been great products to pick from. When I saw Vega, I literally emailed like lightning and submitted my application. The next day I received my “congratulations, you’ve been selected…” and patiently waited for my product to come in. We did get to select which product we wanted to try, and I’m very picky about recovery powders so I was hesitant to try it. But I was so intrigued! I saw it so many times at Whole Foods, so I was like give me that one.

photo 1

When my package came, I was thrilled to see the vanilla flavor in the box. I prefer vanilla flavors since they mix well with other flavors. I received a full-size box with 12 packets of individually measured protein powder. Not too shabby I think. I then was debating when to try it. I know, I just got free product and now I couldn’t decide when to test it out. I knew I wanted a pretty intense workout and give it a try. So that is what I did. I literally waited a full week for my most intense speed workout to test it.

I made a smoothie with some tropical fruit, strawberries, unsweetened almond milk, and Vega Vanilla Recovery Protein. Verdict? Freaking delicious! The flavor was so satisfying and rich, but refreshing at the same time. The texture was slightly grainy, but manageable to drink. Texture is always a thing with me. Like I said, I’m picky.

photo 2

My next try was with some almond milk and just the powder. Again, amazing! I drank it within a minute and felt so great afterwards. My energy was up all afternoon and I wasn’t crashing or eating everything in sight. I was pleasantly full.

My next hard workout came from running, and the weather was super hot. I literally felt dizzy getting home, so I walked into the kitchen threw my ingredients together and made the best smoothie. Pineapple and mango with vanilla is the best combo ever! I was refreshed. I was coming back to my senses, and most importantly, I was getting replenished and rehydrated with protein.

photo 3

I am mostly shocked that I really do enjoy this protein powder. However, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Vega is a plant-based product line that is gluten-free, animal protein free, and all plant-based protein that is more easily digestible that animal based protein. Plus it is free of any nasty, fake ingredients. I highly recommend this to anyone. If you are on a vegan diet, you’ll appreciate this brand. If you’re into more natural recovery, this is for you as well. The whole Vega line is full of snack bars, drink mixes, and everything delicious under the lights of your grocery store.

Thank you to Sweat Pink for allowing me to try this great product and thanks to Vega for letting us get involved and introduced to your brand. #fuelyourbetter with an amazing brand and even better product!

6848AAAFA113CD2784D905A45AC3381D