Double Race Weekend

February 11, 2013

After having to pull out of my race last weekend, I was really looking forward to this weekend, since I had not one, but 2 races lined up!

Saturday morning, I picked up Meghann and we headed about 45 minutes north to participate in the Dirty Girl Mud Run! A few months ago, there was an opportunity for the members of the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers to participate in the run, so of course I jumped at it! I had so much fun at the last mud run that I ran, and I knew I needed to sign up for another one!

Dirty Girl

The location of the race was super calm and serene as we arrived, and the fog was just lifting. We were in the first wave at 8am, so it was nice and quite when we arrived. (P.S. – most of the following photos are from Meghann’s awesome waterproof camera!)

Dirty Girl

After a quick warmup, we were off! The obstacles were a lot of fun, but I must say, I wish there were a few more muddy obstacles. It was pretty easy to get through each obstacle and only get a little bit dirty – not the point of a mud run. Instead, Meghann and I made it a point to take full advantage of the muddy obstacles – we would splash around in them, and be sure that we were extra covered in the mud!

Dirty Girls

The course was a very easy one to run. Nothing was too difficult or too technical. All of the obstacles could be done by anyone attempting them. And of course, if you didn’t want to do them, it was easy to walk around it. These mud runs are really for anyone and everyone. My friend Azra, who is not a runner, had a blast doing the race. She ran when she could, and she walked when she felt like it too. And she had a blast and did so well! I can’t stress enough that you don’t need to be a hardcore runner to complete these runs!

Dirty Girl 11

Dirty Girl 12

Dirty Girl 13

Dirty Girl Mud Run 15

Dirty Girl Mud Run_9

Dirty Girl 18

Dirty Girl 17

Dirty Girl 15

Dirty Girl 16

One aspect I loved about Dirty Girl was the ability to donate our shoes after the run. I had used my shoes for both of my last mud runs, and I was ready to give them away. It was super easy! We just hung them up on a rack, and that was it!

Dirty Girl Mud Run 14

Mud Run

Dirty Girl Mud Run

Thanks to Dirty Girl for a fun mud run!

Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary race entry in return for a blog review. All opinions are my own.

As for the second race of the weekend, I headed over to St. Pete for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon! This was my second time doing the race, and it was great again this year! (The course was the same as last year as well, so check out that recap for a more in depth look.)

Marcus was nice enough to drop me nice and close to the start, so I didn’t need to get there super early to find parking. I saw my friend Heather, did a quick 1.5 mile warm up, and headed into my corral. I was in the second wave, and had no problem sliding right in.

RNR St. Pete

The biggest difference from last year’s race to this year’s race was that is wasn’t freezing cold this time around. I started with a tank, but ending up shedding it a few miles in. The weather was just cool enough so that it was comfortable and it was an extremely enjoyable run.

RNR St Pete

I ended up tacking 1.5 more miles on the end of my run as well, so that I ended up with a nice 16 mile training run that I had on schedule. I ended up running a bit quicker than I had set out to run, but oh well. I was feeling pretty good and decided to hold just under an 8 minute pace.

RNR St pete

I love running half marathons as a part of training! It is nice to be able to run with a few thousand other people – it completely takes your mind off of actually running the 16 miles that I needed to today. I’m sure my 17 miles next week will feel a bit different from the 16 from yesterday!

RNR St. Pete

If you are looking for a very flat and fast half marathon course, Rock N Roll St. Pete is hard to beat! The weather is so ideal and it is a very nice course. The course support was great and the post race concert is always a blast!

Nike Run App

A big congrats to my friend Ryan for a killer time! (photo from his facebook)

Ryan Talbot

He started running a little over a year ago, and is getting faster pretty much every race that he runs! Fantastic Job!!!

How was your weekend? Ever done 2 non-related races on the same weekend?

My Top 10 Destination Race Bucket List

February 8, 2013

How many of you have a shortlist of races that you would love to do, but there is just a little time off and money standing in your way? Of course, I have a list like that too! Here is a list of my top 10 races (in no particular order) that I would love to run in upcoming years.

Marathon de Paris

Paris is a city I would absolutely love to visit. Ever since my friend Dee mentioned how amazing the race is, it has been on my list without much of a thought. I would love to run around the City of Lights and take in all that is has to offer. It would turn in to one amazing vacation too!

Paris Marathon

Boulder Bolder 10k

This 10k has over 50,000 runners and 90+ starting waves. You are seeded by predicted finish time, so there is minimal bottle necking, and everyone around you should be able to run at your same pace. And honestly, Memorial Day in Colorado – yes please!


Lululemon Sea Wheeze Half Marathon

I visited Vancouver during my honeymoon, and absolutely fell in love with the city. The weather is beautiful and the scenery is gorgeous too! Oh, and did you see the race is hosted by Lululemon!? Running, yoga, a great city, a great company to host it – doesn’t seem like it can get much better!


Peachtree Road Race

PeachTree is the largest 10k in the world, supporting over 60,000 runners! This race is held every year on the 4th of July in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve always had in the back of my mind that I would love to complete this race. It is a lottery system, so not everyone gets in, but chances you are selected are still good. Something unique about this race – they hold a competition each year to design the t-shirt! You can enter and have the chance to win $1000, plus your design featured on over 60,000 shirts! This year, we are headed to California for the 4th of July, but perhaps 2014 will be the year of the Peach Tree for me? We shall see!

PeachTree Road Race

London Marathon

I have always wanted to travel overseas to do a marathon. I think it would be a lot of fun, and such a different experience. I mean, come on – the course would be marked in kilometers! What an adjustment! London is also one of 2 marathons I have left to finish up the World Majors goal that I have to complete!


London Marathon

Berlin Marathon

Berlin is another one of the marathon majors that I have left to do. I’ve never been to Germany, and think this would be the perfect reason to go and visit a new country. Plus, I can only imagine how awesome it would be to eat and drink after running 26.2 miles through the city. Such a dream!



Nike Women’s Marathon

(or half marathon)

This race seems like such a fun girl’s retreat weekend. I would love to do the marathon, but let’s be honest… going from Florida (no) hills to San Francisco would be a bit of a drastic change. Not to mention, the marathon takes so much more out of me than a half marathon does, and I would love to be able to explore in San Francisco – rather than running around the entire thing. And my sister is wayyy more likely to agree to a half marathon!! So, either race would be good for me. NikeWomens

The Bourbon Chase

This is a race that a lot of you have probably not heard of. The Bourbon Chase is a relay very similar to Ragnar – 200 miles, 12 runners (or 6 for the Ultra). The biggest difference is that this race is a tour of Bourbon Country in Kentucky. It starts at the Jim Beam distillery, and finishes up in Lexington, with many distillery stops along the way. Seriously, how fun does that sound?! It fills up very quick every year, so when I finally do decide to do it, I will let you all know! I will be needing some teammates!

Bourbon Chase


Big Sur International Marathon

Imagine Pacific Coast scenery on a point to point course, named best destination race, year after year by Runner’s World. That is where Big Sur comes in. Their tagline isn’t “Running on the Edge of the Western World” for nothing after all. Anytime I see a recap, I always gush over how amazing it looks. Even though it has some pretty crazy hills, I am still keeping this on my must-do race list. After all, not every marathon has to be an A-race. Some can be just for fun!

This is what you see at the half marathon point (from their site, so tiny photo)…

Big Sur


Marine Corps Marathon

This marathon occurs the last weekend of October each year, and seems to be a blast. It’s not an easy course, but I have heard it is one of the must do races! I would love to run a marathon in DC, and think that Marine Corps would fit perfectly.

marine Corp marathon


What races top your list for great destination runs? Do you want to do any of the races that I mentioned above? Have you completed any of them already?

My 2013 Kentucky Derby Marathon Training Plan

February 6, 2013

As promised, I have my 2013 Kentucky Derby Marathon plan for you today! Until last night, I had only written down my long runs and when they needed to be done. I hadn’t looked at the day to day runs, and just knew that I needed to get in some higher-distance mid-week runs, rather than simple maintenance mileage. I am soo glad that I finally got cracking on this plan – race day is only 12 weeks away! Gulp!

Here it is…

2013 Kentucky Derby Marathon Plan.jpg

Now, a big difference in this training plan compared to other ones that I have completed in the past is that there is minimal speed work. This is something that I haven’t mentioned much yet, but I am not going into this race with crazy hopes for a huge PR. I am honestly still very happy with my time from Chicago back in October, and I don’t have this huge urge to do an insane amount of speedwork to get my time down. I know – it sounds weird. But I am very happy just being fit and ready for this race, which for me, includes all of my long runs and some speed – just not a lot.

I love running marathons and think it is a blast to cross that finish line each time. However, this does not mean that I am out to race each and every one that I start. I want to do well in this race, but I am not going to harp too much about a crazy amount of workouts. For me, it is necessary to get in some speed work just to be prepared for the race, especially since this is a time of year that the race can be a bit warmer than training temperatures (like last year). I want to be prepared this time around.

I plan to hit every single tempo run without fail each Wednesday, and then hopefully get in my pace runs on Monday. I have a run group that I host at Lululemon in Tampa on Mondays, so I will just have to see if the other runners are up for a little pace running ;)

So of course, since I made this plan last night, I was hyped and ready to run this morning! I laced up my sneaks and headed out for my first tempo run on my training. It felt good to change up the pace a bit – I’ve been running long and slow miles for a while now. I am currently Garmin-less, so I had to come up with another solution – the Nike Running App. I’ve liked it so far and enjoy being able to easily access prior paces, right from my phone. Here is how my tempo went this morning:

Tempo Run Splits


As you can see – my pace was a bit all over the place. The pace isn’t readily available on the app when I am running (I don’t think) – it just gives an average of the run. I ended up going off of feel, which seemed to work out pretty well. After not being able to see the pace right on my wrist, I think I really need to invest in another GPS watch!

Anyone have a recommendation other than a Garmin for speedwork? I am open to trying other watched for sure! Have you ever gone into training not necessarily wanting a PR, but a good strong finish?

A Road Race First

February 4, 2013

I set out for a  low-key weekend, and that is exactly what I got – unfortunately, not in the best of ways. Friday morning when I woke up, I felt a bit sluggish and throughout the day, it continually got worse. By around 6pm, I had a full fledged fever.

So not only did this mean I was going to be forced to lay low all weekend long, but it also meant I would be earning something totally new in the world of road racing…


Yep, I have been racing for over 10 years, and this is the very first time that I have ever had to pull out of a race. I waited until the last minute Friday night to make the decision. I knew that to get better, running a half marathon was not going to help. I really, really wanted to do the Best Damn Race, but I had to be smart with this. I put myself in some of my coaching client’s shoes and knew that if they came to be for advice in this situation, I would immediately tell them not to run. That their health was far more important than running 13.1 miles. Which is completely true.

A small word advice – if you ever pull out of a race, stay off of Facebook the morning after. It looked like everyone had an amazing time! I had at least 15 different friends running the race, and most runners ended up with PR’s or a really awesome showing! I was totally jealous at all of the success everyone had!

I did get out for a nice 5 mile run on Sunday to try and get a good sweat going, but other than that, I slept a lot and just layed low. I guess my body was trying to tell me something. Which, unfortunately, pushed my marathon training back about a week (it was already behind a week anyhow – woops!). but oh well, it all happens for a reason. And I was able to get some extra snuggles from this little lady…


My favorite commercial for the Super Bowl was taken of course by those adorable Clydesdales. I did think the Dodge one was pretty great, but those Clydesdales steal my heart every time!

 Have you ever made the decision to pull out of a race last minute? What was your favorite Superbowl commercial?

Taking It To The Streets

February 1, 2013

Happy Friday Everyone! And better yet, Happy February 1st!!!

It has been quite the busy week for me, so I am going to keep it short and sweet today. I have a pretty low key weekend planned – I have a half marathon tomorrow, the Best Damn Race, here in town and it is the inaugural event! Usually, I am hesitant for first time races, but this is different. One of my friend’s boyfriend is the race director, so we are all excited to be out supporting him with this awesome race! Other than that, not much is on my plate – wooo hoo!!

I thought instead of sharing photos with you all today, I would share an awesome infographic that I found about marathon running. There is just something about infographics that are so much fun, and this one is no different. Speaking of marathon training, I think I owe you all a post on my training plan for my upcoming marathon! Be on the lookout for that next week!

Have anything fun planned this weekend? Who else is headed to the Best Damn Race? Let me know which distance you are running so I can look for you!