Thursday, October 10, 2013

Race Review Allstate 13.1 Atlanta


Those 3 words pretty much describe the half from this past Sunday. I was lucky enough to receive a free race entry from Running For Bling page for this race!

Lets talk packet pick up it was a cluster for lack of better words. I was excited because on a Friday I like to leave the office around lunch and head home. The pickup was a 1/2 mile away from my office easy right? Lies I arrived Friday at 1:30pm and the parking lot was NUTS first off I hate how people inside of Atlanta loose all manors that they ever had when driving in a parking lot they are always in a hurry to do everything. (I know saying the person from Atlanta). I picked up my shirt, number, and a blue bag and bolted out of there as fast as I could. 

It was nice for once to be able to pick up a Women's shirt in my size. I would say they did seem to run a little smaller and fitted tighter than my normal Nike and UA shirts but I do like the V neck. Head over hills in ATL on the back is VERY fitting for this race shirt.

 This was only my second half EVER and a challenging one at that. The race started in Brookhaven (a neighborhood in Atlanta) right outside downtown. The race started at 7am! 7 in the morning like AM. Needless to say it was pretty dark when the race started and was dark for about the first 3 miles. 

The start of the race had several pace group signs to thin the crowd so I lined up in my 2:30 group and waited for the start. Believe it or not I do believe a lot of people did stick to the right group and did not feel like I had to pass a lot of people. My memories of this race consisting of hills, hills, more hills, and some occasional music.

The above picture does not even do the elevation change justice. I felt like I was far more prepared for this half than my first half this year however all the hills made me feel tired so quickly! I ran for the first 8miles at about 11:30min pace which is a good pace for me on my long runs however after hitting some MAJOR hills when you start to doubt yourself I needed to walk up the hills. I finished strong with the high hopes of setting a new PR but missing it by about 1 minute DARN! However once I started to think about it my first half feels like an Easter egg hunt in compassion to this hilly and challenging course.

Really nice race finisher metal and sorta heavy. The 13.1 in the middle of the metal spins so that was entertaining, I was so happy to finish but with blisters that I could feel getting bigger and bigger I bolted out of the race so fast to just get home. BLISTERS....yea that is going to be another story on another day but my feet hurt! Body felt great not too tired but the tootsies hurt bad. 

Overall if you want a HARD race that will test you this might be your race. There was a couple thousand people however it felt like a BIG race on a small scale. The post race party looked awesome even though I ran out of there quick. Wonderful crowd support, music at every major corner, lots of residential neighborhood running. The water stops had water and powerade with many stops. Restrooms at every stop was nice too even though I did stop only once. (shocker)

Race this weekend so I hope my blisters feel better soon. 15k could be rough if I am not feeling 100%.

If anybody has any blister tips I would love to hear them :).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

First 15k Race Recap

Two weeks on vacation and coming back to a race first thing I was a little worried not going to lie.(vacation update and photos coming soon) First 15k was part of the Locomotive Race Series and this was part three. I set my goal this time to run the entire race and keep things conservative at the beginning. How in the world will I ever learn to pace myself? I think I surprised myself by finishing at 1:41. It was a beautiful day with temps that never got warmer than 65ish you know what that means...

Saw this photo and laughed out loud hard. Anyways back to the race! Was very excited for lots of water stops, great weather, and I actually felt the best I had for a race all year. No hip pain no aches no bathroom problems no dehydration no issues. The recent purchase of the foam roller and working out those hips is the BIG reason for little pain. WOOT! 

My friend Amber who ran the race with me sported this sweet tee as well... 
If you do not know the back story on this I would say you should check out The Oatmeal Running

I always enjoy a race tech tee and a sweet medal!

I did enjoy this race and looking forward to the last race of the series /(half marathon in Feb.) Hope everybody has a wonderful week training for those big races coming up.

Happy Running

Monday, August 19, 2013

Vinings Downhill 5K AND a new PR!

I had been really looking forward to this race because I was pretty confident I was going to be able to get a PR! Sometimes when you go awhile with a few bad races or so so you start to lose the motivation. Saturday morning in Atlanta it was 63 degrees. Yes 63 in the middle of August in “Hot-Lanta”! I felt great in the morning and knew this had to be a good race day and I needed a good race! Took a photo with the Chick Fil A cow… The boyfriend was too good for a picture but I myself love pictures with large animals call me 5 but it was a great way to start.

The race was very well organized and beside the crazy amount of people rushing to start in the very front it was a good race and I enjoyed myself. We went to downtown Vinings after the race for some good snacks and after race swag. Picked up my shirt and listened to the insane finish times. How does somebody finish a 5k in 15:29???
 I had a PR of 28:18 and was pretty excited crossing the finish. I wish I would have started closer to the start so I would not of had to pass so many people! Goal for this race was to get a better start wave for the Peachtree next year and I believe that was accomplished.

Busy looking at the race schedule for the end of the year I need a ½ marathon stat! Any recommendations from fellow friends in the Southeast? 

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Trip To The North Georgia Wineries

Living in Atlanta makes it so easy to do so many fun day trips and this was a perfect Saturday adventure! First some of the friends went to celebrate another friend’s birthday.
Stop #1:

They had two tasting options #1 was $10 and included samples of 6 I believe and #2 was $20 and included a few more samples but mostly champagne. I really could care less about champagne so I chose option #1.

Let me start by saying I have a very particular wine taste. I enjoy a dry white wine in the summer time from time to time and hate Chardonnay (do not like the oak/butter taste). I would say I am more of a reds fan love the Malbec and Cabernet. Oh and I really do not care for Merlot. Wow glad I got that all out there I feel better. Wine is fantastic because there is such a wide range of taste and price points. I myself am always on a mission to find the best $20/bottle I can find for an everyday drinker.
Wolf Mountain had beautiful views as I am sure you can see and it did not rain! Loved the inside area with a wood feel and they even had a café. It was a Saturday so of course it was crowded but overall a good first stop. I thought the prices were great however I did not care for really any of the wines other than a couple of the reds. If you like champagne however this is your place!

Stop #2:
I believe this winery has the best tasting wines in north Georgia from my limited experience. My boyfriend is a member here so the tasting is always free so I do not really remember the cost. I would say I enjoy the majority of the wines here even some of the whites. They will not blow your socks off but a delicious reasonably prices bottle of vino.

Disclaimer: I have been to many MANY wineries and the majority being California (Napa/Sanoma) region. I have recently created a love for the Malbec mostly made in South America. Bucket List trip is on the list to Argentina no worries there. Georgia wines I do not think you can even compare the two because they have a very different taste but being pretty close I would say good bang for your buck. 
Before rain...It poured for like 10 min but then there was a rainbow!

Two Humbling Races

Middle of July I feel like I finally took part in what it really means to be a runner. I was really excited about the first race Summer Steamer 10k because it was a 2nd part to a 4 part race series. (5k,10k,15k,Half). I think I had really big plans on doing well in this race since I ran the Peachtree with a PR a short week before this race. Lets be honest I didn't rest enough, my hip wasn't 100%, and I was tired for this race.

Race morning I had my usual mix together and felt ready until my tummy was not 100%. I was anxious and had eaten a lot of vegetables this week because I really wanted to lose some weight and feel lighter. I do not think I got enough carbs and did not get the fuel I needed.  

About mile 2/3 I started to feel like I was feeling very uneasy. I realized I needed a bathroom STAT guess what there was none. The humbling moment happened where me and nature had a special moment and probably delayed my race by about 5 minutes. This was my first outdoor bathroom experience as a runner and feel like it will not be the last. After that special stop around mile 4 (yes I should have stopped much sooner) I felt pretty good I paced myself the last couple miles and slowed down because I knew there would be no PR. So I focused on the real goal trying to catch a GOOD race photo…mission impossible. As you can tell by the lack of photos it did not happen with rain, humidity, and ugly faces.

Race #2:

 This past weekend I ran in my first Atlanta Track Club Event the Jog Days of Summer 5k. I made the boyfriend join ATC because this was something I had been meaning to do for about a year. This was one of their free events and was around a park that was close to the house so I really wanted to go. WOW unexpected hills but hey welcome to Atlanta! I purchased some new shoes on Friday and was feeling spunky so I had a slow run of 3 miles to see if I could wear them on Saturday and decided it was a good idea. 

What I did not expect was how flippin’ HOT it was on Friday!!! Needed to say I was really dehydrated and didn't really notice until my run on Saturday morning. I feel like I did pretty good considering the course, hill, another upset tummy, and HUMIDITY!

In summary to feel better about 2 rough races I spent some time on Google trying to read other peoples embarrassing stories of being a runner. It did make me feel better in the moment but I need a good race soon!
Please tell me there are more embarrassing stories out there! Reach out to me on the social media I would love to hear them! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Peachtreee Road Race 2013

The world’s largest 10k with registered participants at 60,000! Living in Atlanta it was overwhelming to see some of the busiest streets shut down and to have so many runners in one place. Needless to say it was a horrible week for the weather. Rain Rain and more rain. This is what my weather app said the night before.


After spending some time on Google on what to wear for a race I decided on the classic trash bag look. With the humidity and possible rain I knew my rain jacket would just leave me hot and mad at my decision. (Been there done that)


This lovely addition to my favorite outfit was tossed as soon as I lined up in my start wave. Perfect timing the rain stopped just as I started to feel really judged in my crazy trash bag. I tossed it in the trash put my phone in my zip lock bag…RACE TIME!
My favorite part of the start line was the American Flag yes this was what I was excited about celebrating the 4th with fellow runners. I even got a little emotional when they asked people who have severed our country to raise their hands. A man standing in my wave was patted on the black and applauded for his tour overseas. Call me a softy but truly awesome and a wonderful way to start the race.
The race was surprising REALLY smooth with the water stops, getting each start wave out on the course, and the finish. The rain even held off until I was able to finish! I would say it was a successful race I earned a new PR at 1:02:27 who would have tough with THIS COURSE that I could beat my last time! Finishing 16,558th what an odd feeling to race with almost 60,000 people.

The biggest trick on the course is once you take a left on 10th street heading towards the finish there is a big photo bridge with photographers that LOOKS just like the finish. Jokes on everybody else there is still like .3miles to go before the end. I hate it for the people that start to walk when they thought they finished.   

Race Shirt

Post race with rain coming I grabbed some food, a water, and saw some friends. I was in such a rush to get back on Marta (public transportation in Atlanta) and back to house to shower and dry off ASAP!
Why was this the best thing I had? (I may of had 2)

My favorite shirt post race...
The boyfriend and I were off to Marta and to make it home before LOTS of people started to finish. I was very thankful to be in one of the beginning start waves to avoid the mass amounts of people afterwards. Needless to say the police presence was there and strong! The security was tight getting in afterwards following everything in Boston. Still don’t know if I felt safer with all the security or if I was just focused on getting a rainbow Popsicle but it was a successful event.  
Lots of Mud and wet clothes!

I do not know if I would add this event to the list next year it’s a lot of work to wake up at 5am get to your start wave before they leave 7:30-9:00 depending on what you qualify for. If I have some friends that do the race again next year and have some new runners want to do the race for the first time I would be inclined to participate again. I am excited for a faster start wave next year. Something to be said about your peers that are around your same pace pushing you!
Excellent race and lots of fun with friends! Congrats to all that finished for 2013. First Peachtree Road Race is in the books.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What To Wear Running?

Something as a new runner I have found very difficult is what to wear! How do I make sure I am warm not cold but can still run comfortably? The long distances are the hardest.

First struggle I came across was running socks I found my feet to blister, hurt, and thought there was no real answer. Lets just say there was countless hours on Google trying to find an answer. I played soccer for many years and still play in an armature adult league sometimes. I never had an issue with soccer socks or my shoes. So why was it in my new running shoes and old shoes could I not run longer than 30min. without getting a painful blister on my tootsies?

This amount of socks is crazy right?
Trust me I have tried many MANY socks and most of them get demoted to light workout at the gym socks. I found a pair that I finally like call Wright Socks . Now like most people everybody has their favorites but I am so happy I found these. I have been to the local REI several times to find them and they are always out of my size. (too lazy to order online). I wish I could count how many times I have been into a running store, sports store, or online shopping and somebody always says these are the best socks ever! I always get so excited to get home and go for a run just to be let down. Sure some pairs have the comfy fluffy soft cushion and cute colors but they end up being disappointing.
The latest adventure as the weather has gotten hotter here in Atlanta is finding shorts that you can run in for a long time without feeling miserable!
I had a practice Peachtree Run on Saturday morning with Big Peach Running and tested out my new running skirt I bought at Under Armour but still was not ideal. Guess I will always have to run with capris and be hot.... :(
UA Girls Run Faster
What is the best thing to run in the heat with? Favorite workout outfit?