The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap

October 25, 2016

Running on vacation is always a treat. However, running a race on vacation is even better!  A few weeks ago, my uncle mentioned he was running The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon the weekend we would be visiting in Louisville, KY. All that stood between me and signing up was a few long runs. I took a peek at my calendar, realized it would be no issue at all to get the distance in, and signed up!

Packet pickup was Friday afternoon downtown, but since we were staying about 35 minutes outside of the city, my uncle grabbed mine so we didn’t have to trek into town! Such a nice treat! Fast forward a few hours, and my alarm was going off for my pre-race ritual. Breakfast, coffee, pump, and use the restroom. I didn’t have to wake up until 6:15 since it was a nice late start of 8:30 – that was amazing! Most races in Florida don’t start past 6:30 or 7 because of the heat, so an 8:30 start gave me plenty of time to relax and take my time before heading out the door.

I met up with my uncle and headed down to the race start with him. Parking was a breeze and there was no issue with traffic or anything.  We headed right over to the start line, said our goodbyes, and I grabbed a place in the corral right around the 1:50 pace group. I had zero expectations for the race since I’ve really just been running the bare minimum and getting back into the routine after having Davis. 1:50 to 2 hours seemed attainable enough, so I went with it. The weather was extremely nice, so I knew heat and humidity wasn’t going to be an issue.

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon weather

Before the gun went off, they played My Old Kentucky Home, the national anthem, and of course, horse race trumpet call. Only in Kentucky! I found the race to be the perfect size. There were a couple of thousand people who toed the start line, so it was big enough to have great support, but small enough to not deal with big race headaches.

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon start line

Once the race started, we all headed on our way. I had no clue where I was going since I was in an unfamiliar city, so that was pretty nice. Feeling somewhat lost during a race always makes a race fly by, and this race was no exception. The first few miles came and went, with rolling hills here and there. I’m sure the locals didn’t even notice it, but I sure did. I’ve run over some bridges in the past few months, but nothing at all to prepare me for a hilly course. Even though it was super chilly out, I grabbed a cup of water at each water station to be sure to stay hydrated. A few sips every few miles was just what I needed to keep feeling strong.




It wasn’t long until we made it into the park, which was the most beautiful part of the course. The fall leaves were so pretty and made for an amazing run. I was just looking around and taking everything in pretty much the whole time. It was just gorgeous! Apparently the leaves are changing a little later this year than normal since its been so warm up there, but I’ll take any color. We just don’t have a true fall in Tampa, so even a little yellow in the leaves makes me happy.

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon Cherokee Park

I made a very conscious effort to use the downhills to my advantage. The uphills in the park were really tough for me and I noticed my pace dropping a bit into the 9’s as I was trucking up, so really letting my legs carry my downhill kept my pace right in the low 8 mile range that I had settled into for the race. Before long, I was coming up on mile 10, which was where Marcus told me he and the rest of the family would be just a few minutes before. They were a bit turned around earlier on, so I only saw them one time on the course. That one time was the absolute best though! There is nothing like getting a hug from one of your biggest fans mid race!


As soon as I left them, I was honestly just ready to be done. I could tell my legs were starting to feel the faster than usual pace and I was ready to see a finish line. I just kept my focus on each mile, instead of the 3 I had left so that I didn’t get too ahead of myself.  Each mile got tougher and tougher, and I really had to work to keep my pace in that low 8 minute range. Once we turned a corner into downtown, we all headed for the finish line. I tried my best to sprint it in, but I just had nothing left. I definitely left it all out on the course! I clocked a 1:46 finish, which really did surprise me. I haven’t ran a single 8 minute mile postpartum, so doing that for 13.1 miles was pretty amazing.

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon Medal

The medal was, without a doubt, amazing! It was hand dipped into white wax, which just gave it that much more of a unique flair.

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon Medal

I met up with my family at the finish and unfortunately, both kids were kind of done with the whole race experience, which meant I wasn’t able to check out the Urban Bourbon Bash on the Belvedere. This was the post race party with food, lots of samples of bourbon, and live music. It’s probably not a bad thing I had to skip it, as I don’t think my body would have done exceptionally well taking in liquor at 10:30am. I heard it was a lot of fun though!

I’m so glad I was able to fit the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon into our little fall getaway. It was a great race and I would love to figure out a way to run it again!


Cutting Runs Short

October 17, 2016

I tend to stick to training schedules extremely well. If I have certain mileage I need to get done, I set out and get it done, regardless of the circumstances – unless I am super sick or something like that. You have to put in the work to reap the rewards.

This past weekend, that definitely changed. I had 12 miles on my schedule for Saturday morning. We were out the evening before and I had a couple glasses of wine and some nachos for happy hour. Strike one. Then, I didn’t have full dinner after that since I really wasn’t hungry. Strike 2. Davis has been going through a bit of a sleep regression and has been waking up a few times a night for the past 4 days or so. Strike 3. Waking up at 4:45 on Saturday morning was nothing short of a huge effort. I actually got out the door for my run, but 2 miles in, I knew the run wasn’t going to be one for the record books .

My shoulders started cramping up, which for me, is my first sign of dehydration. It happens like clock work if I don’t get in enough water leading up to a run. My pace was really lacking – I was struggling to hit 9:20’s. That is definitely not a normal occurrence. Marcus texted me at 5:30 with a few simple words “Grant is up”. Yikes! That is way too early for him to be up and at ’em! Once I made it to 3 miles and I was still riding the struggle bus, I decided it would be best for me to just turn around at the 3.5 mile mark and just hoof it back to the car. If I stretched it out to complete the full 12 miles, I was concerned I was going to injure myself, as my stride was drastically shorter than the norm and that much more pounding was not going to do my body any good.

I finished my 7 miles, packed up, and headed home. I grabbed a nice venti latte from Starbucks, and threw in the running towel for the day. In the past, I would have been upset about this – not reaching my long run mileage goal just wasn’t an option. (I also wouldn’t have drank 2 glasses of wine the night before a long run. But hey, life looks a little different right now.) Maybe I would have tried to get in the mileage in the afternoon so I could call it a 12 mile day. This time around, its no big deal. I have my half marathon coming up this weekend and I know I will cross the finish line. It won’t be fast or furious, but I’ll get there. I’ll get there without injury since I listened to what my body was telling me. For once, I actually listened to my body.

What can I say, I’m learning. I guess these little people are having a positive effect on my judgment.

Davis 4.5 months Grant 2.5 yers

Getting into Gardening

October 10, 2016

We really lucked out over the weekend. We didn’t have anything to do, but we did so much! We’ve been toying with the idea of starting a garden ever since we moved into our house almost 2 years ago. Needless to say, life got in the way and it just wasn’t a priority – until now! Marcus is the mastermind behind the important stuff – what to grow where, when, etc. and Grant, Davis and I are really just here for support. It takes a village, right?

Grant Gardening

We started with our little seed pods for the plants to germinate, and Grant took his task very seriously. He loved playing in the dirt and talking about the veggies we are going to be growing.

Grant and daddy gardening

He perfected digging the little hole and then placing the seeds inside. He is going to have to give me a lesson or two!

Grant gardening_1

Marcus is going with the square foot gardening approach – pretty much just divide the beds into square foot sections to help plan a very intentional garden. We opted to start out with brussel sprouts, green beans, lettuce, and broccoli. I’m so excited to see how everything turns out over the next handful of months. Yielding food we are going to eat will be so much fun!

Grant Gardening lettuce

Grant and Daddy gardening_1

With planting the plants, we had to get some planter boxes going as well. Our soil is super sandy and less than ideal to actually produce anything, so we opted to bring in some high quality soil to not even worry about the awful soil around the yard. Grant loved helping with that too!

grant drill planter beds_1

grant drill planter beds_2

Yes, grant is sporting the undie only look – we are potty training in full force right now! Ya gotta do what ya gotta do! 😉 He’s all about doing whatever daddy is doing these days, especially if it has anything to do with a machine or being outside. Put both of those things together, and he is first in line!

Grant and daddy mowing

It was a super productive and amazing weekend! Lots of family time, snuggles, and smiles! It doesn’t get much better!

Daivs 4 months kicking

Oh and I don’t think I’d be a very good Floridian if I left this out. We finally have a little bit of relief from the oppressive heat! Given my 5am run Saturday morning started in 79 degree temps, we are thrilled around here to drop into the 60’s! Do a happy dance with me! 😉

Florida fall



The Many Thoughts on Long Run Day

October 5, 2016

When you run for hours at a time, many thoughts roll through your head. Here are a few of mine from last weekend’s run.

4:45 – Alarm goes off. The only time I used to wake up before 5am was for a flight somewhere fun. Snooze it is.

4:55 – Weather check. Please be raining, please be raining.

4:56 – No rain in sight – Guess I’m up!

5-5:10 Pump so I’m not running with super full. Better drink some coffee to get a little pep in my step.

5:10 – Get dressed and grab my Garmin, arm band and water bottle. The headphones stay at home these days for safety!

5:13 – Out the door! Dang, this is early to start running on a Saturday!

Mile 1-2: All I hear is my feet on the road. It’s so so quiet out here! I see a car that ran off the road turned the wrong way in some grass. Looks like he partied a little too hard last night. Cops that are helping him wave and I’m on my way.

Mile 3: I reach to good part of my run – Bayshore! I’m greeted by a couple of dolphins starting their day too – love when that happens!

Bayshore long run

Mile 4: I’m only 4 miles into this thing?! Maybe I’ll cut today’s run a little short. This is taking forever and I could really use some more coffee right about now.

Mile 5: Water fountain! Hooray! I top of my water bottle and keep on trucking.

Mile 6: When do I turn around? If I takes my 2.5 miles to get home from this exact spot, how much further do I need to run out? Math is not my forte at this hour.

Mile 7: Looks like another group is meeting for their long run along my route. It’s nice to see a couple of familiar faces.

Mile 7.5: I find more water to fill up my bottle again. It’s a hot and humid one today!Long run complete

Mile 8: The cheeseburger and French fries I ate last night was so not a good idea. Thank goodness for the bathroom around the corner….

Mile 8.25: Another runner let me hop in line in front of her at the restroom –  woohoo! But, I used the rest of the TP that was left, so I quickly high tailed it out of there. I’m sure that was bad running karma, so I apologize a million times over!

Mile 9: Oh hey glimpse of sun! Nice to see you!

Mile 9.5: I only have 1.5 miles left! I’ve got this – I’ve done this a million times!

Mile 10: I’ve still got another mile?!

Mile 11: Done and done! I walk in the last block and stroll up to a completely dark house. Looks like all the boys are still snoozing at 7am. Sounds like a huge win – the husband got to “sleep in”, I got in my longest post baby run yet, and I didn’t miss any time with the family.

11 mile long run

Another successful run is in the books! I’m pretty happy I didn’t wake up to a rainy day after all!

Davis: 4 Months

October 3, 2016

Sweet little Davis – you are 4 months old! I can’t believe how truly amazing you are. Your adorable smile instantly lights up a room and your coos and shrieks are contagious.

Davis 4 Months_1

You are really starting to come into your own these days. You love talking to us and seem like you have so much to say. Your changing table seems to be the place where you need to spill all your thoughts and you just babble away. It’s nothing short of adorable.

Breast milk is still your only food source and I’m keeping it that way as long as possible! You drastically increased your intake as soon as I went back to work and like to eat 7-9 ounces per meal. I’m having a tough time keeping up with that, so I am counting my blessings that I have such a huge freezer supply of milk at home. I guess those rolls had to come from somewhere!

Davis 4 Months_4

We went to your 4 month checkup and the doctor said you are perfect! You weighed in at 13 pounds 5 oz and are now 25 inches long. You are definitely on the smaller side, about 2 lbs lighter than your brother was at the same milestone. The doctor wasn’t concerned at all though! You are excelling in your strength, hitting all milestones, and are growing well!

You are very comfortably filling out your 3 month clothes and are still rocking your size 1 diapers. Once you finish this pack, I plan to move you to the size 2’s though – diaper blowouts have been a little too common these days.

Davis 4 Months_2

Davis, you are an absolute gem in the morning hours and have so much fun kicking your legs and enjoying time on your playmat. Tummy time isn’t your favorite, but we can usually get 10 minutes or so at a time, especially right when you wake up. Naps are a bit sporadic and we really can’t nail down a schedule with you. You tend to go to sleep every 2 hours or so. Sometimes you are down for an hour, and other times you are snoozing for 3 hours. We just never quite know which one it will be. You are sleeping unbelievably well at night though, so thank you for that! You’ve been headed to bed at 6:30pm these days and sleeping all the way until 7:30am. Then you wake up with a huge gummy grin on your face. It’s the best!

Davis 4 Months_3

You still love to splash around in the bathtub  and have so much fun at your swim lessons each week with daddy. You’ve been going since you were 7 weeks old and never have a bad day there! Davis, you light up when Grant comes to play with you and it’s the absolute best. He loves seeing your big smile and you love seeing his too!

Davis 4 Months_5

You haven’t been a big fan of the car the past few weeks unfortunately. It’s ok if we go somewhere first thing, but anything in the afternoon = melt down central. This definitely correlates to your less than enthusiastic affinity for naps. You also hate being tired, but fight sleep like you’ve got something to prove. Luckily that really only applies to naps since you are ready to hit the hay once night time rolls around.

Davis 4 Months_6

This next month is full of a lot of firsts – your first plane ride and your first big holiday (Halloween)! We can’t wait to experience them with you! Love you, little Davis!