Superheroes v. Villains 5k (10-19-13)

Superheroes v. Villains 5k

(10-19-13…was like three months ago…I know!  I know!  Bad blogger, bad blogger!  But, better late than never, right?!)

So while trolling the internet for races (don’t tell my boss, but that’s basically all I do interspersed with some Facebook and Amazon) I happened upon this race.  The race was for a good cause – it was to honor the memory of Mat DuVall, owner of Required* Fitness and to raise money to benefit a scholarship in his honor.  Also, the premise of the race was that you either dressed up as a superhero or villain!  For a good cause and an excuse to dress up like a superhero or villain?  I am SO in.

This is true.

This is true.

I circulated the race around to all the usual suspects, begging someone to come along.  I couldn’t go to a superhero themed family friendly race alone – lest I look like some sort of odd ball creeper.  Luckily Swim Bike Mom, the Expert and Kids all signed on!   Yay! I could tag along as the third, large child that they never wanted.

This would not be the first time I tried to tagalong as the third Swim Bike Kid.  Here I'm trying to blend in with real life Swim Bike Kid Stella on Tybee Island.

This would not be the first time I tried to tagalong as the third Swim Bike Kid. Here I’m trying to blend in with real life Swim Bike Kid Stella on Tybee Island.

Swim Bike Mom is a great Mom to even her fake, fully grown children as evidenced by the fact that she fed me a nutritious cereal breakfast before the race.

Swim Bike Mom is a great Mom to even her fake, fully grown children as evidenced by the fact that she fed me a nutritious cereal breakfast before the race.

After signing up, I further inspected the website.  It appeared that the prize for overall male and overall female finishers was an all expenses paid trip to Universal Studios with all the fixings.  Then I saw that the first superhero and first villain got courtside tickets to the Hawks game of their choice.  When Pooky heard this he freaked out.  Being a super NBA fan (and even bigger LeBron James fan), he was hell bent on me winning these tickets.  So somehow, out of all the races I was doing and had done this year, this local community 5k had become my “A” race.  Me, the girl who likes to run long and slow and leisurely through the mountains, preferably where candy and potato chips are provided at the aid stations.  But there would be none of that at a road 5k.  Especially a road 5k I was expected to run fast.  Sigh.

Road runners are just a different breed.  A fast breed ;)

Road runners are just a different breed. A fast breed 😉

Figuring that far less people would sign up as “villains” than superheroes, I emailed the race director and asked to switch to villain.  Figured that would help my chances of winning my man the tickets.

Fast forward to last night.  Friday. Before the race.  About 6pm. And I have no costume.  Shoot.  I had plenty of good ideas but none seemed to lend themselves to running (think Bane, Dark Vader, Storm Trooper, Magneto)…masks would suffocate me and long capes would trip me.  Hmmmmm…

I really really really wanted to be Bane...but I really really really also like to freely breathe and eat pizza

I really really really wanted to be Bane…but I really really really also like to freely breathe and eat pizza

I eventually decided that I was tired and didn’t want to deal with it, and that I would skip it.  Then after Courtney finished my long awaited and MUCH needed massage, I thought, well let me just go look for a costume (mostly because Pooky wasn’t due home until a couple hours later and I was in fear that I would eat everything in sight in the house while I waited for him).

I went to Party City.  I was horrified at the selection.  When asking the woman for a Darth Vader costume, she gave me something that had a short skirt, hooker boots, and this cutesy hat thing. Um, I don’t know if you’ve seen Star Wars lady, but Darth Vader don’t wear no skirt.  Sigh.

Completely absurd.

Completely absurd.

Screenshot 2014-01-19 16.25.48

This is what was offered me. What the **** is on her head?!

I went on to Atlantic Station, Target, and Walmart..  Nothing, nothing nothing.  I was exhausted and about to say screw it again.  Then I thought about it, and I really wanted to do the race, and it was rare that I had a chance to see the Swim Bike Family, so I went back to Atlantic Station.  They had a little boys’ Darth Vader costume which was just a shirt with a cape and a mask.  I smooshed myself into the shirt…now Darth Vader is wearing three quarter length sleeves 😉  It would do.  They even had a lightsaver and it was only nine bucks so I got it too.  In my mind I could totally carry it while running.  Pooky offered to fashion a “holster” for it, but I didn’t have much faith in that idea and passed.

Race morning came and I donned my get up.  Got to the race and met the Swim Bike Family who looked as cute as could be.  About 10 minutes prior to the start it started raining.  I decided at this point it was probably a bad idea to run in a mask holding a lightsaver in the rain.  So I stashed them under a table and went for my usual multi-bathroom trip routine.

I had an awkward family photo of me with the whole SBM family which was hilarious but now I can't find it.  So this ridiculous pic of me and SBM will have to do.

I had an awkward family photo of me with the whole SBM family which was hilarious but now I can’t find it. So this ridiculous pic of me and SBM will have to do.

Got to the start and there was a guy at the front holding a sign that said “8 minute miles and faster.”  So I thought, well I’m going for faster so let me give it a try.  A guy dressed like Johnny Depp in those pirate movies was next to me and apparently planned to run in his boots.  Good luck with that.  He asked me if I was fast.  And I said, fast for me.  He told me that the front line was only for “fast people.” I told him, don’t worry, I’ll be fast enough.



And we were off like that!  Right at the start there was one girl who went out ahead of me.  She was wearing no costume – only a sports bra and shorts (despite the fact that I was freezing my vader legs off in the 60 degree / rain temps) and she clearly came here not to pretend to be a superhero or villain but to kick butt and win (incidentally, that’s what she did!)

She probably read this book before the race ;)  Just kidding!  I could use to be a bit more serious myself...then maybe I would've won myself a sweet vacation like her...

She probably read this book before the race 😉 Just kidding! I could use to be a bit more serious myself…then maybe I would’ve won myself a sweet vacation like her…

I was ok with her passing me and staying ahead because she wasn’t dressed up.  She was going pretty fast and my legs were still heavy with the hills of Mystery Mountain from last week’s marathon, so I let her go.  She could have the trip – however, my man wanted those courtside seats so I just needed to be the fastest villain.  No problem, right?

Who could say no to this face?  It's tickets he wants, it's tickets he gets!

Who could say no to this face? It’s tickets he wants, it’s tickets he gets!

However, right out of the gate, there is another lady Darth Vader right next to me!?!? What??!?!  Grumble, grumble, grumble.  She stayed with me for a bit, but she was out of site within a mile or so.  Shewwwww…. Thank goodness.  I didn’t want to have to fight to the finish for this.  Also I would’ve been really p.o.’d that I went to such lengths to dress like a villain to improve my chances when the only girl near me was also dressed as a villain!

I am the villain of the story ;)

I am the villain of the story 😉

Only because I love you, I offer you these hideous race photos to enjoy.

Only because I love you, I offer you these hideous race photos to enjoy.  See the other Darth?

WHAT am I doing??? WHAT?

WHAT am I doing??? WHAT?

So I have to admit something – I really wanted to run this sub-20 minutes.  I know, I know, a ridiculous pipe dream for a lazy long distance runner who’s been doing a marathon or more each month since February and who spends the rest of the time eating tortilla chips and granola and watching Fringe on Netflix.  But after the fast half at Atlanta 13.1 Marathon, I really thought I could do it.

Well, first mile was slightly under 6:30.   Next mile had a hill in it and I started to get tired.  And hungry. And thirsty.  I think my body is too used to getting to eat and drink lots on runs, but sorry body, this is no long distance trail race. Sigh.  I think I clocked the second mile pretty close to 6:30 too, but I’m not sure.

Me, after the first 6:30 mile.

Me, after the first 6:30 mile.

I looked behind me and didn’t see any girls in sight – neither superhero nor villain nor civilian.  This gave me relief because my lungs were burning and I was really ready to slack off.  So I did.

I guess I was happy that I could now slack off?  More time for skipping?  These pictures of mine...weirder every time...

I guess I was happy that I could now slack off? More time for skipping? These pictures of mine…weirder every time…

I came around the 3 mile mark and thought I could sneak in under 21.  I didn’t but pulled out a respectable 21:02 for the race, 2nd overall female, 9th overall.  Not bad for a sloth of a trail runner out on the mean streets for a 5k.

Screenshot 2014-01-19 17.29.29

Actually its neck and neck with gluttony.

I must have it!

I must have it!

I was pretty sure that I had got the courtside seats at this point, but didn’t want to jinx it until it was official.  I was winded, so I sat down on the curb and drank my water while I waited to take a picture of the Swim Bike Couple finishing together on their anniversary!  (this is so awesomely cute I can’t stand it)…however, despite my best efforts I didn’t get a picture of this : (  Hopefully the race guy did.

OK somebody got a picture.  Look how cute!  Happy Anniversary!

OK somebody got a picture. Look how cute! Happy Anniversary!

Afterwards, we went and retrieved the Swim Bike Kids from the daycare (they seriously had child drop off for this race – how cool is that?) Then we set the Swim Bike Kids forth for their kids run.  So cute to watch them in action.  Stella totally takes after Aunt Liz – she was smiling and pumping her arms and upon finishing said, “The race was too short.”  Love it. Love it. Love it.

Ready to zooooom!

Ready to zooooom!

I was loitering around when I noticed the awards were happening so I ran over just in time.  Got my courtside seats!  I would not let my man down!  However, they say which game you get the seats for is subject to first come, first serve, out of the four winners.  So I instantly emailed the woman from my phone from the awards table in hopes of scoring Pooky the courtside Heat tickets in January.  His birthday is right around that time so it would be totally awesome.

I did it!

I did it!

I was going to say goodbye to the Swim Bike Family when they called my name again!  Apparently I also got the age group award?!  Random!  And it was $20 cash in an envelope and a car wash.  Awesome.  I never have cash in my wallet and my car is always filthy so this made my day.  It also included a gift certificate for the Rib Shack.  Anybody want it?  😉

…you know, these 5k things aren’t so bad afterall 😉

And although this post was 3 months late, it’s totally relevant because tomorrow we use the tickets I won!

Til we meet again (or until I’m not too lazy to write a report) … Happy Trails!

mepodium2 mepodiumdarth

Too Much of a Good Thing…

Mystery Mountain Marathon 10-13-13

So for as many trails as I run, of course I’m a member of the Georgia Ultra and Trail Running Society – or “GUTS” as its known.  However, in the years that I’ve been a member, I rarely make it to their races.  They Mystery Mountain Marathon is a staple, and this year I decided to add it to the race roster.

Screenshot 2013-12-07 20.07.32

This year was a crazy year for racing.  Starting in February I’ve done a marathon or greater nearly every month.  February I did the Thrill in the Hills Marathon coming off an exhausting back to back trip to India and Portland.  March I did the Publix Marathon and had a PR.  April and May I don’t really recall.  I know I did Scenic City in May…June I did the Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race (3 days, 3 mountains, 60 miles), July I did the Troop Trot 39k (ok, not really a marathon, but I won!), August was the TransRockies (6 days, 120 miles, 20,000 feet of elevation gain), September I did the 6 Hours of Dauset Trails doing 6 loops in 5:06 (just shy of 30 miles…and beat all but one boy!), and October I had Atlanta 13.1 and Mystery Mountain.  Who knows how many small races I also had peppered in along the way plus all my training.

I know! But I can't cover it up!

I know! But I can’t cover it up!

I came off of the TransRockies feeling good but searching for the next big thing.  Then I did Dauset Trails where I had a totally unexpected win and great day.  That lead to over confidence which lead to last week’s PR at the Atlanta 13.1 Marathon.  My body was pretty mad following the 13.1.  You see, it can run long and slow all day long, but short and fast does not agree.  My back was hurting, and my legs were crampy and I was feeling a hot mess.  Following a glorious 14 days of detoxing, constant yoga, healthy eating, weight loss, and sanity in early September (If you’re in Atlanta try out the seasonal detoxes at Kashi, they are awesome!), I had about 14 days of no yoga, bad eating, weight gain, and insanity…and about a month of not taking any of my many supplements …then running the 13.1.  So I scheduled a massage for Thursday evening to set all right in the world.  However, we were in trial and I missed my appointment for the closing.  Then, my beloved Courtney of Sequoia Massage went on vacation for the weekend (how dare he?!)!  Eeeeek!  I thought about going to someone else, but I decided to just suck it up.

Courtney is so amazing.  He can fix what ails you. I promise.  He keeps the Goat go-go-going.

Courtney is so amazing. He can fix what ails you. I promise. He keeps the Goat go-go-going.

Saturday I went to a yoga class and that provided some relief.  Afterwards I went to the office to do some work then home to pack up my stuff.  Pooky was out of town again and so I was flying solo.

I packed my provisions and headed up to Chatsworth, Ga to the lovely Super 8.  On my way there I passed through so many small towns and counties that I had never heard of….each town had a Dollar General and several Baptist Churches.  The upside was that they had a great country music channel, so I rocked out and especially enjoyed cruising the crazy windy road up the mountain to packet pickup.

Here at last!

Here at last!

I made it up to packet pickup and they had all sorts of swag, and moonpies, and fun GUTS stuff for purchase.  I couldn’t help myself and decided to partake in a lovely GUTS tie dye.  Awesomeness.

I tried to rotate this photo a million times but oh well! I give up!

You don’t want to know how long it took me to rotate this photo.



On the way back down the mountain I stopped and took some pictures of the beautiful view, but the pictures didn’t come out so beautiful.

2013-10-12 18.40.53 2013-10-12 18.40.57

My pictures suck but the view was awesome!

My pictures suck but the view was awesome!

I checked into the Super 8 which actually wasn’t bad.  I walked to the gas station across the street to get water and was super excited to check out the ice cream shop next door.  Too bad the town closes up at 7:30 p.m.  Oh well, next time Chatsworth.

I went back to my room, laid out my clothes and my swag and photographed them for you all because I know you care.  Also I wanted everything ready to go for the morning.  I then heated up the food I brought for myself and settled in for some TV.  Interestingly, the Super 8 did have about 3 different Fox News Channels, but I was unable to find MSNBC.  I settled for USA’s re-runs of Modern Family.

It may look gross, but it was delicious!  Pumpkin kibbee, mujadara and hummus! Vegan gluten free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for dessert ;)

It may look gross, but it was delicious! Pumpkin kibbee, mujadara and hummus! Vegan gluten free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for dessert 😉

I tossed and turned through the night and didn’t get much sleep at all.  Don’t know what the major malfunction was.   My alarm went off and I was already up.  Went through the usual routine and was once again thankful for remembering babywipes.  Super 8 toilet paper is just not forgiving.

So I go to get dressed and put on my sports bra. The only one I brought.  And its one of those Moving Comfort ones with the two hook and eyes on the back.  And I can’t get one hook hooked.  Arrrggh.  And I try.  And I try. And I try.  And I finally take it off to investigate.  Here the hook is broken!!!! Nooooooo!!!! I am in the middle of Chatsworth 30 minutes from go time with no sports bra and a loosey goosey tank top to wear?  Oh dear.

Ready freddy!

Ready freddy!

So I go on to gnaw on this hook and twist it and fuss with it until I get it where it can hang on at least a little.  I get the thing closed and can finally move on with the rest of my life.

I go out to pack up my car and go check out and pour hot water on my to-go oatmeal cup.  On my way past cars to the front desk area, there are all these people gathered around an SUV.  I hear some murmuring and then I hear lots of “meowwwing”.  What the heck?  Then I go inside the office and am fixing my oatmeal.  And these two kids go to the desk and try to explain to the clerk that there is a cat stuck in the engine of an SUV and that they need to figure out who owns the SUV so they can tell them and try to get the cat out.  What a fiasco.  I wonder what became of the cat?

So I head on out to my car, crank up the good country station I found and have a grand old time driving up the windy mountain road.  Trail races are really the only time I get to do some fun driving so I always take advantage.  I got to the race, parked, immediately went to the bathroom and meandered towards the start.  I spotted Alex and we had some chit chat.  In fact, so much chit chat that I forgot to make my usual second  and third bathroom trips.  And so much chit chat that we didn’t realize the race was starting until this insanely loud gun (or something) was fired, scaring the crap at us and letting us take off.

It was so beautiful!

It was so beautiful!

Alex was certain that I would finish well ahead of him.  I told him I had a tough week, was tired and sore and had no idea how this would play out.  I said I was hoping to finish under 6:30 but really I wanted to finish under 6 hours.  Ever the optimist.  Well, at least when it comes to racing 😉

So we started along the trail, talking with some others Alex knew and I felt pretty good.  Of course I had to pee within the first few minutes, but I just ignored it.  I had one quick fall but bounced right back up.  Not bad for me.

However, about three miles in or so, when I stopped to mess with a packet of Island Boost (decided to try something new, I’m on the fence, more later) I lost Alex and the pack by a little.  I restarted again and wasn’t too far behind.  However I started feeling wretched and got further and further behind.  For the first time in a long time, I just wasn’t enjoying this race.  Eeeeek.  It’s the end of the world as I know it.

Damn Island Boost.  Tasty but hard for me to work with for some reason..

Damn Island Boost. Tasty but hard for me to work with for some reason..

About mile 6 or 7 I finally lose Alex and the gang completely, and I’m pissed that I’m moving so slow.  Ugh. What is going on here?  The race is legendary for being tough and the tough stuff hasn’t even happened yet.  Sheesh.  I don’t know what it is… perhaps it’s all the crazy racing mentioned in the second paragraph of this post.  Maybe I’ve just had too much of a good thing.  Maybe I just overloaded my body and mind on trail racing.  Could it be?  At this point I’m freaking out and think that I may make this my very first DNF (“did not finish.”).  There was both a 12 mile and marathon, so I tell myself I will drop at the 12 mile split and I put my head down and meander on.

If only...

If only…

At some point around this time I finally give in and pee.  Using the skills so artfully taught to me by my dear partner Heather during the TransRockies, I pull off the trail behind some large log and squat down for sweet relief.  Except that I squat right into a jagger bush.  Uh, for you that don’t speak Pittsburgh-ese, I essentially sat in a bunch of thorns.  Awesome!  I even drew blood on one finger and one calf.  At least my unmentionables stayed unscathed.    However, a group of dudes comes by right as I am standing to pull my pants up.  Super awkward.  But that’s my life.

Screenshot 2013-12-07 21.19.35

When I get to mile 11 which is where the 12 milers go on to the finish and the marathoners go up a humongous set of hills known as the “Power Lines,” I get my second wind.  I don’t hate the race anymore and am starting to feel the groove.  I decide that I am enjoying this, eat a bunch of junk at the aid station, and march on right up the power lines.  The power lines are steep but not horrible.  Of course I believe this comes from a place of powering up far worse things for six days in the Rockies and haven’t yet forgotten it.  Part way up there is a Barbie head which scares the sh*t out of me!  But I loved it.  I get to the top and there are the “Beer Fairies” sitting there.  I decline the beers but thank them and they note that I look way too happy for having just climbed the power lines.  I tell them it’s a beautiful day, I’m on the trail, and I’m still moving forward on both feet, so how bad can it be?  They agree and I realize I have officially turned my frown upside and am back in the game.

Made it to the top!

Made it to the top!

I feel great and am all smiles at the top.  However the yin to the yang of the uphill is this super long, super terrible steep crumbly rocky dirty downhill.  This thing was so wretched and horrible and I’m so clumbsy on the downhill that I took it nice and easy to avoid falling.  Then I get passed by like 20 people going downhill and its like the TransRockies all over again!  Grrrrr!!!!  I hate downhill.  There, I said it.

down down down!

down down down!

I get to the aid station at mile 13.3 and don’t feel all that bad.  I catch up to some people I recognize, and a guy tells me that we’re only a little over three hours in so there’s still hope for a 6-6:30.  This lifts my spirits.  And on I go!  Although at this point I realize that my hands feel swelled up just like my partner’s were at the TransRockies.  So although this is annoying, it amuses me and reminds me of Heather waving her hands madly above her head throughout the race and I do the same and get a good laugh in to myself.

After a while this old man comes up and tells me that around mile 19 there is a 1.3 mile climb that goes up 1300 feet.  As I typically never look at the elevation map before a race, or even the course really, this came as a surprise to me.  But I think that this should be no problem after all the power climbing up crazy climbs at the TransRockies.  I get to an aid station right around mile 19 and I feast and feast.  At this point I have decided that I am going so slow that I might as well enjoy myself and I’m stuffing my face at every aid station more like I’m running a 100 miler than a marathon.  I tucked pretzels and chips and bananas and gummy bears into my vest pockets like I was a squirrel hiding nuts for the winter (do squirrels hide nuts for the winter?)…It was just like me and Heather’s picnic breaks during the TransRockies.  Just without the days of mileage…and I was alone so that wasn’t quite as fun either.

Screenshot 2013-12-07 20.00.26

Crazy Barbie head!!!

Crazy Barbie head!!!

I leave the aid station and I have to pee – again.  I look and look for cover but there is none to be find so I just cop a squat in the middle of the trail.  To hell with it.  Luckily no one caught me on this and luckily there were no thorns to be found.

It was pretty and I was alone ;)

It was pretty and I was alone 😉

About Mile 22 or so I got another wind and really started to enjoy the thing.  Somewhere around Mile 23 I caught up with Alex and that made me feel vindicated like I hadn’t actually ran all that slow thank goodness.  Alex waived me by so I trucked it on in as by Mile 23 I was finally feeling really good and ready to run.  It only took me six damn hours.

Anyways, it took me 6:14 to run the damn thing!  Terrible!  But between the peeing, the thorns, the lack of a massage, the tiredness, the hills, it wasn’t bad.  Not bad at all.  Plus as with all my runs, if I’m not feeling it at the beginning I was feeling it by the end….this one just took a little longer.

Got the medal!

Got the medal!

But I think I realized that I may have been on to too much of a good thing.  So I enjoyed a nice week of no workouts save for a yoga class and a couple walks so that I could rest up for my big 5k “A” race next week…but more on that next time!

Screenshot 2013-12-07 19.54.03

Happy Trails guys 😉

Did I say there was homemade root beer?  Awesomeness!

Did I say there was homemade root beer? Awesomeness!

Respect the Half Marathon – Atlanta 13.1 Marathon

Respect the Half Marathon – Atlanta 13.1 Marathon

Race day came and I decided I would take Marta.  There was one train early enough to get me there on time, and it was a mile to the start from the station.  It seemed so much easier than the prospect of driving…but we all know I hate driving.

So I packed a drop bag (um, why have I not done this before?  It was awesome) and off I went.  With oatmeal in a cup.  Of course the Marta was only running on one track and so it was late.  Sigh.  But I saw some fellow runners on it, which made me feel less spazzy.  Still we got there with very little time to spare – especially when you’re me and require many multiple bathroom stops pre-race and there are crazy long lines at these busy road races.  I hopped off the Marta and sprinted the mile to the race.  I couldn’t figure out all of these people leisurely walking to the start.  I guess they didn’t have to go to the bathroom.

I got there and dropped off my bag.  As expected the bathroom lines were outta control.  I was able to make it through once.  This seemed woefully inadequate, but would have to do.  At least it was only 13 miles.  Although coping a squat on the side of the road was probably not a realistic option.  Another plus of trail running 😉

If only...

If only…

I ran to the start corral with less than a minute to spare and frantically looked for the pace groups.  My PR in a road half is about 1:42.  I thought I’d start out chasing the 1:40 and see what happened.

I sort of found him and set off chasing him.  Within the first quarter mile of the race, some dude in front of me drops his Five Hour Energy.  I see this and I think someone is going to break an ankle on that thing rolling down the pavement so I dive down, get it, bounce back up and sprint to the guy and give it to him.  As I keep on running past (chasing the 1:40 pace guy) the Five Hour Energy guy’s friend makes fun of him for a girl picking up his energy drink, returning it and then chicking him.  As he should.  Come on man, this is a half marathon, not an eight hour work day.  What’s with the Five Hour Energy.  But I digress.

I cannot have caffeine for this reason...

I cannot have caffeine for this reason…

Wonder if it worked out for him?

Wonder if it worked out for him?

 So I’m following the 1:40 pace person and I’m not too far off.  There are some chicks inbetween me and the pacer guy so I just try to stay with them.  I’m feeling good.  It’s dark at the start so that was kind of freaky.  I just kept expecting to trip and fall since I’m always miss graceful.  But alas, I made it until the sun was out and I could see.

The race runs through the Brookhaven neighborhood in Atlanta.  The start of the race is about 7-8 miles from my house right down Peachtree.  So for long runs, I often run down there, past there and back to my house.  So parts were not unfamiliar.  After some time we turned back into neighborhoods which was some new scenery.  I was just enjoying mindlessly running chasing the pacer

Some time around mile 4 or so, we looped back out on Peachtree to go past where we started.  I was feeling really good and enjoying the race despite ever increasing heat and humidity.  OK mostly humidity.  Damn humidity.  Ugh.  Then out of nowhere the 1:40 pacer guy veers off course!  And I’m like, wait, don’t go, please! I need you!  I don’t know what his deal was, but I’m guessing he needed to take a dump or something?  Who knows.

I wanted to tell the pacer this so that he didn't mess up my race…but then I guess I didn't want to be down wind from that for another hour...

I wanted to tell the pacer this so that he didn’t mess up my race…but then I guess I didn’t want to be down wind from that for another hour…

So then just like that I’m totally on my own.  And let me tell you – I suck at pacing.  My strategy is usually as fast as I can for as long as I can.  No pacing there.  It’s all out or die.  Or if it’s a long race or a hard trail, then slow and steady.  But out here on the road…I got no strategy.  So I pick up on the ladies in front of me and just follow them for a while.  But I’m feeling good so I pass them and I keep on keeping on.  Eventually I get to this guy who is running with this tall guy.  The tall guy keeps running ahead then stopping and coming back or running in place waiting for the other guy and shouting motivational phrases the whole time.  I guess he was the other dude’s coach or something?  I don’t know, but I now join the coach and his runner as well.

Here is coach behind me.  Yes I know I look insane.

Here is coach behind me. Yes I know I look insane.

Here is coach's athlete in front of me.  And, yes, I know I look even crazier in this one.

Here is coach’s athlete in front of me. And, yes, I know I look even crazier in this one.

We went through this cute little section of the PATH trail in Dunwoody and at this point I realize the 1:40 is definitely happening for me, and I’m so excited!!  It was a fairly hilly course and there was a big hill towards the end, although just where escapes me now as I write this in retrospect.

Let me tell you – the volunteers and aid station workers and spectators were awesome.  Lots of fun signs, bands, djs, music, and just fun happy people.  Really loved the vibe.  And in my usual form I just took the time to really really enjoy the day and settle in.  I smiled ear to ear the whole race and was just grateful for another awesome day in the sun moving forward on my own two feet.   It was a great experience.

I got to the home stretch and realized I was about to break 1:40 significantly!  I finished in 1:36 which is crazy fast for me.  I was pretty pumped and really happy with myself for sticking it out the whole race.  A six minute PR. Not bad, not bad at all.

Following the race I took some pictures and perused the vendors.  There were some giveaways at Big Peach so I went there and got a raffle ticket.  You had to be present to win so I loitered around while waiting for Chuck and Kim.  I realized Big Peach had a super nice new bathroom that no one was a using so I hurried and got my drop bag and snuck in there to change.  It was glorious!  Clean and wonderful and even had a shower.  I was tempted, but I didn’t.  I did change and go to the bathroom.  I really wanted to loiter around the nice bathroom some more, but I knew people were waiting so I hurried out.

2013-10-06 10.23.07

Now, I know I run a lot.  But what I don’t do is run hard and fast a lot.  And let me tell you, going into this race I thought, it’s just a half marathon.  No big deal. What’s 13 miles after what you’ve done this summer.  But what did I learn?  Respect the half marathon.   When you run only 13.1 and when you run them at almost as hard as you can, your body gets mad.  And mine was no exception.

I exited the bathroom and the Big Peach and some obstacle race had a booth set up outside.  They tried to convince me to do some sort of challenge which involved pushups, kettle bells, and box jumps.  Suddenly, my stomach did something crazy and I was like, dude, I love push ups but I gotta go.  I ran over to the porta potties because there was no line (thank god). I dug around in my drop bag like a crazy woman and found some baby wipes in there.  Oh my goodness, let me tell you these baby wipes were like mana from heaven at this point and I had never been so happy to see something.  Sigh.  Yeah, my body was not happy about moving so fast for so long in such humidity.

Don't leave home without it…and I don't mean your American Express card...

Don’t leave home without it…and I don’t mean your American Express card…

I got that all taken care of and squared away and went back to Big Peach to wait for the raffle and Kim and Chuck.  The obstacle race people got me and I stupidly agreed to do their challenge.  Push-ups no problem.  However, kettlebells and box jumps post-half marathon sucked.  Ugh.

…Seemed like a good idea at the time...

…Seemed like a good idea at the time…

Chuck came over shortly thereafter and he had a PR too!  Yay!  Go Chuck.  Kim and Chuck are a super cute runner couple so Chuck had taken sufficient supplies for both he and Kim to ensure she’d have what she wanted when done (so sweet!).  After some cajoling I convinced Chuck to put their fuel in my bag and we went to the finish to cheer Kim in.  While we waited, Chuck called Kim on her iPhone and encouraged her along.  This was beyond sweet.  Every runner wife’s dream.  Sigh.

Kim came in also having a PR!  Which was awesome.  We got some pictures in and they dropped me off at their car.

Three PRs!  Yay!

Three PRs! Yay!

I was delighted to find the Pittsburgh mug in their back seat (Chuck is a fellow Pittsburgher!)

Go Steelers!

Go Steelers!

All and all for the day it was a pretty good one!

Screenshot 2013-10-19 13.58.53

Another awesome day to stop and smile in the sun and appreciate the fact that I’m still moving forward on my own two feet.  A good day indeed.

Until next time…Happy Trails ;)

Until next time…Happy Trails 😉

Volunteer Time! Run 10 Feed 10

Volunteer Time!  Run 10 Feed 10

So typically I hate big road races.  I usually run one each year – either Publix Marathon or the Thanksgiving Half or the Peachtree – but it’s a rare occasion.

 So Pooky has been out of town at a conference…but the book just came out, so there were a ton to prepare for shipping – and a ton of work at the office… so I’ve been holding down the fort at the office, the house, and with the book.  Sigh.  I haven’t been to yoga all week!  This guy is killing me!  Does anyone become a monster when they can’t get their workouts in??!!

The Code is here!

The Code is here!

So Wednesday night at like 10 or 11pm I’m sitting in our guest room/office wrapping books to be shipped out and doing the occasional Facebooking with the Running Teacher trying to figure out what help she needed or Saturday’s Run 10 Feed 10 charity fun run.  When she says, “Hey do you want a free entry into the Atlanta 13.1 Marathon this weekend?”  Um, do I?  Free. Race. Entry.  My favorite three words!   So despite the fact that I would never pay the $95 to run this thing, I sure would run it for free.  I had the impending Mystery Mountain Marathon coming up the next weekend, but though, eh, it’s just a half marathon. No big deal.

I got them wrapped….

I got them wrapped….

…..but it took a lot of chocolate….

…..but it took a lot of chocolate….

So a long week of work and wrapping books and house chores came and went and finally it was time for a running packed weekend!  Thank goodness.  The cranky no-exercise/ no-husband/ too-much-work monster was  about to get out of control…



First on Saturday was the Running Teacher’s Run 10 Feed 10 Run at the Big Peach.  It was a 7 mile run around the Kennesaw Mountain area on a super fun trails/cross country type course.  We had a good little turn out for the first year and had major swag and major food!  What more could you ask for?

More Liz action shots….

More Liz action shots….

This is me taking action shots of the crowd pre-run...

This is me taking action shots of the crowd pre-run…

Isabel, The Running Teacher and Phil!

Isabel, The Running Teacher and Phil!

So with as much as I run, I rarely volunteer aside from doing registration before Xterra runs.  But being that Isabel needed a few extra hands, I thought, hey, why not.  So I was appointed to man the first road crossing.  I waited my post and as the runners came through, I snapped pictures and helped them across the road.  When a girl came along and told me that was the end, I waited about 20 minutes more and decided I would go out and run the rest of the course and “sweep” it, sticking with those at the back.  I also contemplated picking up the orange flags for Isabel so that she wouldn’t have to bother with it afterwards, but I recalled some saying they wanted to run it more than once, so I decided to leave them.

Here was my post!

Here was my post!

Here come the runners!  Safely being guided across the street by yours truly...

Here come the runners! Safely being guided across the street by yours truly…

And into the woods!

And into the woods!

It was kind of a “shame on me” moment when I realized how little I volunteer at races!  Without volunteers there’d be no races, and I really need to get out there more.  We all do! So go find a race, and volunteer!  And never ever forget to thank the volunteers when it’s you out there running!  But it was super fun, and admittedly, I’m already planning the next time I’ll volunteer 😉

After a while I caught up with the group and ran along with them.  Some really fun and nice ladies.  There was an aid station which was super stocked and we enjoyed gummy bears and bananas and such and were on our way.  It was a lot more hot and humid than expected so I was pumped for the aid station.  When we got about half way out, we turned around to come back.  Um…uh, oh.  I had no idea this was an out and back course.  Color me the worst volunteer ever as now that road crossing would not be manned!  Oops!  Good thing I did not “help out” by removing the flags too 😉  Oh Liz.

It was a beautiful morning!

It was a beautiful morning!

Yay, the aid station!

Yay, the aid station!

Double fisting!

Double fisting!

Loved these…they were all over...

Loved these…they were all over…

Such a scenic course!

Such a scenic course!

We eventually got back to the store and there was a crazy food spread set out.  Isabel baked all sorts of treats, plus gels, bananas, coffee, water, and bagels and juice I brought. It was nuts.  And she gave away all sorts of awesome prizes (like Brooks shoes and Road IDs and such!)

Me and Isabel…I look a little crazy-eyed for some reason…but check out my shirt …hehehehe ;)

Me and Isabel…I look a little crazy-eyed for some reason…but check out my shirt …hehehehe 😉

Post-run massages!

Post-run massages!

The spread was out of control….

The spread was out of control….

More goodies!

More goodies!

All and all it was a fun morning run!  Plus we raised a bunch of funds for a great cause!  I hope you’ll all join us next year!

SO much cooler than a race  t-shirt….this cute tote bag!

SO much cooler than a race t-shirt….this cute tote bag!

The girls were heading out for another loop and for once I said no, and went to pick up my packet for Sunday’s Atlanta 13.1 Marathon (which by the way, what is with the name?  Isn’t kind of a misnomer to call it a 13.1 marathon when a marathon is 26.2 miles?  But I digress…)

I have a post-run tradition of covering my seats with a Pirates or Steelers towel to keep my sweat from infesting my seats…This is the first October I didn't get any crap for my Pirates towel.  Go Bucs!

I have a post-run tradition of covering my seats with a Pirates or Steelers towel to keep my sweat from infesting my seats…This is the first October I didn’t get any crap for my Pirates towel. Go Bucs!

13.1 Swag!

13.1 Swag!

Anyways I got home that night and Swim Bike Mom texted me that she was bailing on the half…and Pooky had just gotten home from being gone most the week.  And I was tired and the race started SO early.  I thought, I think I’ll just pass.

But then I remembered that my friends Kim & Chuck were going to be there and we always always miss each other at races.  It’s happened over and over!  Well not this time, I decided I was going and I would see them.  And trail runner friend Alex would also be there.  And it was a free race, which Isabel was nice enough to give me, so what the heck!

Speaking of which, Isabel is nominated for an awesome Action Hero award for her work with Run 10 Feed 10 so you should totally go on and “endorse” her!!!!

 Race Report on Atlanta 13.1 Marathon coming next!

Until then, Happy Trails 😉


Hey all!  Happy Kale Day!

I know I have been MIA for like two months since the TransRockies!  Eeek!  Sorry about that.  We’ve just been crazy busy and as can be expected, I was a hot mess (when am I not?!) following the TransRockies and needed sometime to kind of “reset.”

Well I did this fabulous 10 day yoga detox at Kashi Yoga Ashram in Atlanta, and I was all balanced and zen and healthy for like two weeks.  It was awesome.  And as can be expected – you guessed it – I’m a hot mess again!

Anyways, I’m working on posts regarding the rest of the TransRockies…and a super awesome six hour race that I accidentally won!!!!  So I’m hoping to post soon.

In the meantime, the blade on my VitaMix got recalled and I had to send it back for repairs.  I’ve been VitaMix-less for like 10 days.  It’s awful.  However, Pooky couldn’t go without his smoothies so I pulled out the old Ninja and she’s been serving us fairly well.  Just takes a little more elbow grease and you have to be a little more selective of your ingredients since it doesn’t quite pulverize everything in sight like the VitaMix.

So this a.m. I made a random smoothie that came out so awesome I had to share!

Did you know that pina coladas are one of the drinks (behind Blizzards I think) that have the highest amount of calories?  It’s true!  Google it.  Everything on Google is true, and we all know this.  Well, regardless if that’s true or not, it’s pretty obvious that a pina colada is not good for you.  But it tastes so good, right?  And a pina colada at 7AM really isn’t good for you…But it’s been a stressful week, and I need a pina colada at 7AM!!!

Well here I am to the rescue with the Green-a-Colada.  Tastes great and will fully detoxify all of the crap stored up in your body.  A great wake up or mid-day or late night treat!



  • 1 cup organic non-gmo not from concentrate coconut water (I like Harvest Bay) (also you may need more depending on how thick you like your smoothie)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange or pineapple juice (or more coconut water, or unsweetened almond milk or water – whatever you like. today I didn’t mind the extra sugar so I used 1/4 cup fresh squeezed OJ…when I’m counting the calories I probably would’ve went for almond milk or water)
  • 1 medium golden beet peeled (unless you have a VitaMix…I was without today so I peeled) and chopped small (again, unless you have a VitaMix or Blendtec you can leave in bigger chunks) – it probably came to about 3/4 cup
  • 1/4-1/2 cup frozen organic mango
  • 1/2-3/4 cup frozen organic pineapple (ok, ok all I had today was Dole so it wasn’t organic.  So sue me.  Also I don’t know how much I used.  I’m thinking it was close to the 3/4 cup because I wanted a bigger smoothie)
  • 1/2 small frozen organic banana – I break mine into chunks before I freeze them and I used two chunks which is like 1/2 a banana or probably 1/4 cup if you’re measuring
  • Handful of organic spinach or baby kale (I use Organic Girl – you could also  sub whatever green you have on hand.  Spinach will be milder though and yield less of a greens taste if that bothers you.  Also it blends better if you have a crappy blender)
  • 2 teaspoons of Greens Powder (I use SunFood Sun is Shining.  It’s expensive, but there are 45 servings in a bag and it’s amazing stuff.  I’ll post the side of the bag below.  It’s super good for you…but warning, if you’ve been eating a lot of toxic crap, it will, uh, “detox” it out, if you know what I mean…but in a good way 😉
  • 1-2 teaspoons of raw, organic coconut butter (I use Artisana brand (they make amazing raw nut butters too). It’s amazing and makes the smoothie.  If you don’t have it, you could probably use unsweetened coconut – maybe a tablespoon or two depending on how much you like – I just eye balled the coconut butter – using a bigger sized spoon and not filling it up all the way)
  • Small spoon of Stevia in the Raw (or stevia or sweetener to taste – may want to wait until the end and see how much, if any, you need.  I just used a small bit)
Let's start with the coconut water!

Let’s start with the coconut water!

And the beets!  The yummy yummy golden beets!

And the beets! The yummy yummy golden beets!

Frozen fruits!

Frozen fruits!

Don't forget the greens!

Don’t forget the greens!

You could eat this straight from the jar.  But don't!

You could eat this straight from the jar. But don’t!


Add ingredients as listed.  And then blend away!  Taste at end to see if you need sweetener.

Green goodness!

Green goodness!

This is a delicious smoothie, and will fill you up.  It’s got lots of protein, antioxidants, fiber, minerals, vitamins, probiotics, and enzymes and is super good for you!  Just don’t skip the greens powder if you can!  It will taste fine without it but you’ll be missing so much nutrition!  If you don’t have greens powder, then up your spinach and/or kale to give you an extra boost.

The magic ingredient!

The magic ingredient!

Here's what makes it so good for you!

Here’s what makes it so good for you!

AND if you’re wondering where I get all this crazy stuff I’m always mentioning like Sun is Shining Greens Powder, Artisana Coconut Butter, Stevia in the Raw, Red Sea Salt, Cocoa Nibs (great smoothie recipe with these coming soon!) etc etc… one place – Amazon!  It’s awesome!  I am a Prime Member which means I get free two day shipping and $3.99 one day shipping on almost everything (you also get stuff like free tv shows and movies to stream – but I’m more about shipping weird products to myself quickly)… if you’re interested they are doing a free 30 day trial – you can sign up here.

OK now enjoy your Green-a-Colada and imagine you’re at the beach! I have the space heater blasting in my office, so it feels just like the tropics 😉

Happy Thursday Kale Day!  Go drink something green!

Happy Thursday Kale Day! Go drink something green!

Promise to get some new posts up soon and some info on coaching.  Until then, happy trails  😉