Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guest Post! Beating the Running Funk!

Today's guest post is one of my favorite bloggers, Melissa, from Hungry Healthy Happy. Melissa is ALWAYS posting the most delicious meals on her blog and has an enthusiasm for life that I adore. She's starting a new job soon that I am SO jealous of (hello, dream job!) and she has some GREAT tips about breaking out of that running funk that we all go through from time to time...

Hi Happy Healthy Runner readers! I’m Melissa, and I blog over at Hungry Healthy Happy about eating, running, and being generally neurotic about pretty much every aspect of my life. Given the similarity in the name of our blogs, you can guess that Rachael and I have quite a bit in common, and I’m so flattered that she asked me to guest post!

A few weeks ago, Rachael wrote about being in a running funk of sorts. I, too, have recently battled the same thing, so I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts on breaking that funk and getting your running mojo back!

Try Something New
Last fall after I ran my first half marathon, I was in a serious running funk. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get excited for my runs. Since running is one of my favorite hobbies, this really bummed me out. I didn’t want to give up running altogether, but I needed to find my passion for it again. Instead of quitting, I scoured blogland for new ideas and found a zillion great treadmill workouts to try. The first time I discovered HIIT, I was smitten and finally excited to run again. Even though it was tough, it was also challenging and fun. Just the kick I needed to get back into running.

Some other ideas:
·       Any interval workout on the treadmill.
o      It makes the time fly by and always makes me push myself. What’s not to love about that?!
·       Running with someone (or alone).
o      I am typically a loner when I run, opting to rock out to my iPod rather than chat my way through the miles. Flip-flopping my routine makes it more fun and adds some variety.
·       Run your usual route—backwards.
o      Sometimes it’s enough of a change that you don’t feel so bored.
·       A New Playlist
o      I have a very hard time running without music, but sometimes I get tired of the same old tunes. Mixing it up with a new playlist reenergizes me. I actually look forward to running when I have a fun new playlist

Sign up for a Race
Having something to train for really motivates me and gets me going. For my last half marathon in the beginning of June, I used Runner’s World’s Smart Coach tool to come up with a training plan for me. I didn’t follow it exactly, but it really helped me stay accountable during my training. I also liked not having to decide what to do for each run. I just looked at the plan and did it. This is a great plan for anyone else who’s indecisive like me! 

Give It Some Time
If trying new things doesn’t work for me when I’m trying to break a running funk, I generally tend to just keep up with my regular runs. After a week or two, I usually snap back to my usual happy running self.

Rest?!?! Are you kidding me??? Most of us runners don’t even know what this means. We are not “rest-ers.” But if you’re not enjoying your runs, your body may be trying to tell you something. Like slowtheheckdownyoucrazyperson!!! Take a day, two days, a week . . . I know. The horror! But it might be just what you need to get your groove back.
Try some cross training instead. I used to like strength training, too. Now, I only strength train for muffins. But I don’t hate the elliptical. So find something else you like to do and give the running a little breathing room. It’ll be there when you get back.

Get New Stuff
When all else fails? Buy yourself a new outfit or shoes. It might not help, but it can’t hurt! 
What’s your best tip for getting your running mojo back?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guest Post! Relax and Unwind... Enjoy Summer!

Today's guest post comes from Tara who blogs at Dashing in Pearls. Tara is one of those bloggers that I immediately wanted to be best friends with because we are both HUGE Astros fans (and true fans are far and few between these days...). Her guest post is like her blog - fun and upbeat! But you should just read on instead of me droning on...

Hi y'all! I'm Tara and I blog over at Dashing in Pearls. I was really excited when Rachael asked me to guest blog for her! A little about me... I'm originally from Houston, left for a little while to go to college, and am now back! I'm a 4th grade teacher so I'm currently on summer vacation! I live with my best friend from college who magically got a job at the school I grew up at last year. I have an amazing boyfriend who is really loud and shares my love for the Astros, even when they're doing terrible. I completed my first half marathon about 2 months ago and am waiting to find out if I got into the Houston Half Marathon in January before I start training for something again! (a side note: Tara got in!! Go congratulate her!)

Today I'm going to share with you my list of things you need to do during the summer even if you aren't a teacher and have months to get these things done. I'm a firm believer that summer should be a time for EVERYONE to relax and unwind, even if it's just a little bit.

1. Get a pedicure. Nothing says "summer" like bright toenails. I've started bringing my favorite color with me so that if I need to do touch ups, I have the color already! My favorite color right now is Essie's Super Bossa Nova. It's bright pink with a little sparkle!

2. Find at least 1 day to sit by the pool (or beach if you're lucky enough), enjoy some summer time drinks, and grill out. Make those things your only "to do's" for the day. No regular house cleaning, running errands, or bill paying. 

3. Find a good book to read. It can be something light (like the Shopaholic Series), something a little heavier (John Grisham) or even something about your favorite activity (Kara Goucher's Running for Women). Because I'm a teacher and have the luxury of time right now, I'm currently reading 3 books: Kara Goucher's, the Paleo Diet, and I'm rereading the 7th Harry Potter before it comes out.

4. Buy a new summer dress. Whether it's for a date night, girls night, or weddings, every girl needs at least one new dress for the summer! Most of my dresses are from Gap or Loft but I love almost every dress from Anthropologie. This one is my favorite but I haven't bought it...

5. Go on a vacation! Or a staycation! Just do something vacation-like, even if it's just a weekend you don't go anywhere but block out any social "musts". It can be with friends, family, or by yourself but take some time to rest and relax. It's nice that I'm a teacher and don't really have to schedule anything but I'm still looking forward to the few getaways that I have planned! 

More than anything, do something you ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Marathon Excitement & Weekly Workout #6

First things first... I'M RUNNING THE HOUSTON MARATHON! Thank you to everyone who offered up  kind words while I stressed about getting in or not, but it's official now - I'm going!

Unfortunately, my right leg has been giving me some grief over the past few days (OK, weeks) so in an effort to make sure I'm in tip-top shape for Marathon #1 in November and #2 in January, I'm going to the sports doctor tomorrow morning and have been taking it easy so far this week. Depending on what he tells me, that may or may not affect my workouts this week :(

But here's what it should be looking like:

Planned miles for the week: 20

Monday: Rest/Cross-training day
Tuesday: 2 miles @ 9:57 min/pace
Wednesday: Rest/Cross-training day
Thursday: 4 miles speed work, 2x1600 in 7:56 with 800 jogs in between
Friday: Rest/Cross-training day
Saturday: Rest/Cross-training day
Sunday: 14 miles @ 9:57 min/pace

In GOOD news though (and to give you a little something to look forward to this week), there will be a giveaway here on Friday! In the meantime, I have some fun guest posts lined up for the rest of this week!

:) Hope every one's week is treating them well so far!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Guest Post! "I Suck At Sports..."

Today's post comes from the super speedy and adorable Margot who blogs at The Faster Bunny. Margot is not only fast, but funny... I love reading her blog! She just ran Boston this year AND is running the Nuun Hood to Coast Relay! Plus, I can really identify with this topic, as I am not a team sports person at all and running is the only thing I've really been able to do and do half-way well... I especially relate to her anecdote at the end ;) Enjoy!

I Suck At Sports :  My Tribute to Long Distance Running

You know some some people who are long distance runners but played every other sport in high school too? Give them a ball, a bat, a racket, or a freaking stick and they will MacGyver the bajeezus out of any sport?  

Yeah that's not me.  

Here's my story:  

I remember my last day of school in 7th grade like it was uhhh...16 years ago: A tiny girl named Katrina who was in my gym class signed my yearbook. 

"Margot...we might suck at sports but that's ok.  - Katrina"

Wait What? Suck at sports?? Honestly, I was a little bummed. This wasn't how I envisioned my middle school legacy. I could see my end of the year school award right then. Crowds cheering as I received "Most likely to not succeed at sports".

I thought back to our volleyball unit earlier in the year. How I literally never got the ball over the net, even in a serve, through the ENTIRE UNIT.  How my coolness level probably plummeted to a new low during that sport from the underworld.

And honestly, most of the other "ball sports" were similarly challenging for me.  Soccer wasn't as bad.  What I lacked in skill, I gained in aggression!  

However, like the stubborn girl I am, I figured, eh....surely I'll get on some team in high school.  So I tried out for JV field hockey.  

And I made varsity!!!

Hah.  Just kidding.  I didn't make the team.

Instead, I started running.  2 miles a day in my spare time.  Mostly just because I wanted to be skinny since I was a vain and insecure 15 year old.  About a month later, we ran the mile in the fall of my freshman year.  I ran it in 7:11 with almost no effort.  Not that this is anything that special, but I was surprised at myself.  My mom told me if I was going to run on my own time, I might as well join the cross country team. I told her "Are you crazy??  Those girls run like four miles a day!  No way!".

And then, I took her advice. I joined the track team.  I figured...we'll probably just race the mile every day... and that could be cool, right? 

On the first Friday of practice, it was raining.  I saw my coach after school and asked if practice was cancelled. I still remember the look of confusion and disdain on his face when he answered "No. Why would it be cancelled?  We run in the rain."

I think that's the moment I became a real runner.  

One that runs in rainstorms and snow.  Who has become addicted to the feeling of intense discomfort at the end of a race and nervous butterflies before. 

I ran every season after that in high school.  I was nothing spectacular, but I loved it and got a couple letters.  And no one wrote that I sucked at sports in my yearbook!

Since then running has come in and out of my life in various waves of seriousness.  I've never stopped completely, but developed a talent for running while hungover in my early twenties.

And yeah.  I love it.  Every run isn't great, but the overall result is awesome.  

Three marathons, a billion halves, and one running-ish blog later, here I am.  I could go on and on about what running has done for me, but let's just say it's a ton :).  

I'll leave you with this anecdote:

Last Fall, I went frisbee golfing.  My boyfriend remarked that I would probably be good since I was "athletic". I held back the laughter at this remark and promptly got my butt kicked by everyone playing.  

But that's ok because if we played a game on my field, I know I'd smoke these fools in a race.  

And I probably wouldn't even have to trip them.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Guesssss what!!!

1. It's Friday! That, in itself, is wonderful.

2. TRUE BLOOD starts this Sunday. And if you are a non-HBO watching, non-vampire-show-loving person, I am so sorry. Because that means you're missing out on THIS:






Happy Friday! And you're welcome.

Oh, and sorry guys, there's pretty girls involved too.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

3 Things Thursdayyy

1. I'm going for 12 miles this weekend. Everyone can go on ahead and be jealous of what is sure to be a fabulous run with my new shoes and (hopefully) running PIC *ahem, Britt, are you convinced you need to go yet?!)* And Paula, I hope that these shoes work better for me than they did for you... I am the world's best clearance shopper and I died a little when I bought these at (almost) full price, so they better work. Otherwise I will just be getting new legs.

2. My new shoes came in the mail yesterday! Remember them? They are here!!! Well, technically they're sitting in a brown box in my car, but they're in my possession. Now let's just hope they fit when I try them on. :) I should also be getting another package today with a new dress and a new shirt. Ordering things online sucks when you order them because you have to wait, but it's like Christmas when you get them because they're already paid for (and I've already forgotten that I paid for them...)

3. DirecTV says they offer "thousands of videos" at the tip of your fingers to watch immediately (when you're willing to pay $5,000 to rent it through the TV). This is the biggest sham of all times. Sean and I spent fooooreeeeveeeeer (Sandlot, anyone?) trying to "rent" a movie because I didn't want to watch the billionth recorded episode of Criminal Minds sitting in our DVR, but none of the movies were "out yet". Guess what we ended up doing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I am suffering from extreme lack of motivation lately. In all aspects of my life.

Here's a really superb indication of this: I started this post at 8 this morning and only got as far as that first sentence. I think the problem is that I don't know what I want to write about, what I want to do with my life, what I want period.


That being said, since I am fresh out of ideas for everything, my life included, anyone want to do a guest post?  I would love you forever. Topic of your choice. You can leave a comment or shoot me an email at happyhealthyrunner @ gmail DOT com.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekly Workout #5

Planned miles for the week: 19

Monday: Rest/Cross-training day
Tuesday: 2 miles @ 9:59 min/pace
Wednesday: Rest/Cross-training day
Thursday: 5 mile tempo run, 3 miles @ 8:26 min/pace
Friday: Rest/Cross-training day
Saturday: Rest/Cross-training day
Sunday: 12 miles @ 9:59 min/pace

I was really grateful to have a 2 mile run this morning. Weird right? I have two reasons:

1. My right leg was a little off after the 10 miles Sunday, so I took it easy yesterday and figured a short, easy run would be good for today

2. I bought new running shoes yesterday! It was about that time anyway, so I headed over to Fleet Feet on my lunch break to get fitted for new shoes.

The lady who helped me (who was also named Rachel) was so nice and we talked marathons and training for a while before I realized if I didn't hurry I wouldn't have time to eat (I am not a happy camper without food).

Oh, wait... did you want to see them again? It doesn't matter what your answer is, here they are:

And in case you had any doubt that I am obsessed with Words With Friends in any form, when we got to my parents house on Sunday we spent hours doing this:


I won.

Do you play Scrabble? You know, I didn't really care too much about it growing up, but now I LOVE it. I guess I am a real adult now.

Does your family play games? We love to! Another favorite: Scattergories. If you don't play it, you should.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekly Workout Recap, Week 4

Isn't it weird how vastly different runs can be? This week was an exceptionally good week for me as far as my runs went, as opposed to my mostly crap runs last week.

What I was supposed to be doing:

Monday: Rest/Cross-training day
Tuesday: 5 miles @ 9:59 min/pace
Wednesday: Rest/Cross-training day
Thursday: 5 miles @ 9:59 min/pace
Friday: Rest/Cross-training day
Saturday: Rest/Cross-training day
Sunday: 5 miles @ 9:59 min/pace

What really happened:

Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: 5 miles; 1st mile @ 10:00 min/pace, next 4 miles @ 9:50 min/pace
Wednesday: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Training DVD (40 min)
Thursday: 5 miles @ 9:50 min/pace; 10 min long & limber Pilate's
Friday: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Training DVD (40 min)
Saturday: 45 min on elliptical
Sunday: 10 miles @ 9:27 min/pace

Overall planned miles: 15

Overall actual miles: 20

I had planned on doing Jackie Warner's DVD on Monday, but when I woke up my whole body was tired. I imagine it has to do with running 7 miles Saturday and then 2 + yoga on Sunday. At any rate, I can tell when I need a break, and I definitely needed it, so I took the day off.

I did both Tuesday and Thursday's 5 mile runs on the treadmill because for whatever reason I just couldn't get motivated to go face the heat and humidity. Call me crazy. They both went pretty well, I felt good through both of them and I had AC, can't complain about that!

The Jackie Warner DVD made me SORE. I was a little nervous about running after doing it, because my legs were pretty sore, but it didn't really affect my runs. I love being sore after doing weights and I think I need to strength train more. I know Hungry Healthy Happy hates weight training, but I don't mind it so much :)

We went out on Friday night to Wild River to see some friends from college and see Aaron Watson play (he was awesome).

We had a TON of fun, but got home really late and I was worn out on Saturday.

We had a pretty jam packed Saturday as it was because Sean's nephew's (my nephew's?) second birthday was Saturday morning and then Sean's parents came over and hung out at our house for a while after. Somehow I made it to the gym around 3ish and cranked out 45 minutes on the elliptical. It wasn't easy or pretty, but I got it done with the help of Men in Black. I know a lot of people love the elliptical, but I am just not one of those people.

I met Britt at 7 this morning to do the 10 miles that I skipped last week courtesy of the Funfest race. Normally I am a solo runner, so it was really nice to switch it up and have a running buddy. We chatted the whole time and the first 9 miles flew by. The last mile was brutal for me because my shin was starting to bother me, but we got it done. We went to a park that I never run at, and it made for a really pretty run, definitely going to have to go back there!

I came home and did 20 minutes of Pilate's because I am the world's worst stretcher and yoga/Pilate's is about the only way I get it in, and now I am dead.

And by dead I mean I'm eating a massive salad, doing laundry, and putting off vacuuming and mopping. Boring.

Do you normally do all your house chores on a certain day? I try to do one thing a day so that it doesn't all stack up on the weekend. But I am running behind this week. Oops.

Anyone do anything exciting this weekend?! Any races? I love spending time with both of my family's, and I got to see Sean's familia yesterday and get to see mine today. And I was super excited about doing a long run with a friend, THANK YOU BRITT!

Friday, June 17, 2011


You may remember that I'm going to Vegas next month.

I've never been before. What the heck do I bring? I am a notorious over-packer. I could dedicate an entire suitcase to shoes easily if someone *ahem Sean* would let me. I realize that we're not leaving for another month, but being the girl that I am, I want to start shopping now (and yes, it's completely reasonable that I possibly need all new clothes. Sean, if you're reading this, skip this post).

This is where all you non-virgin Vegas folks come in. 

What do I take? Do I need to be really dressy? The only thing right now that I'm positive that I'm bringing is my running gear and these bad boys:

I realize that now is probably way too early to start packing but I am slightly OCD about these things and I love to be super overly prepared. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I am a neurotic list maker/checker/etc. It helps me from getting way too stressed.

So you tell me what to bring. Clearly I need a new swimsuit, but what else do I need?

What are your favorite things to do in Vegas? Even though we're going for a wedding, we're going a few days early as a late anniversary trip. 

Is there anything specific we should go do? 

You tell me! I want to know it all!!

Oh, and anyone doing anything fun this weekend?! Britt and I are going on a 10 mile run this Sunday. Is it sad that I look forward to my long runs on the weekends? We also have a lot of other fun stuff going on, so it should pan out to being a great weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Lately I've been hearing the word "epic" to describe things, events, etc (OK, mainly from my little brother). While I assume that, like, epic is the new "like", I think the term "epic" is WAY overused. Just because you had a good day does not make it "epic". Just because we went to Yogurt Cup, does not mean it was "epic" (well, that one is debatable...)

2. I just bought these on sale from $30 from White House Black Market. My Vegas trip thanks you for putting these on clearance.

3. There is a slight twinge in my right leg that showed up this morning. I've been trying to ignore it today by propping it up on my trashcan and putting an ice pack on it. Britt and I have 10 miles to cover this weekend, so that needs to stop immediately. Unfortunately, my entire leg has gone numb. That tingly feeling is driving me insane right now.

Has anyone else heard the extreme overuse of the word "epic"? (And Luke, if you're reading this, I promise I make fun of Sean way more than you).

Do you get to wear slippers at work? I don't really leave my office in them (yes I do), but I wear them sitting at my desk all the time. I also usually have a pair of flats and a pair of heels readily available.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

To help you pass the time...

Since I'm too busy making things happen today to do an actual blog post (and I'm an idiot and forgot to put my memory card back in my camera yesterday and I haven't yet figured out how to get my pictures off the internal memory of my camera) this little bloggy-blog survey that I stole from The Sweet Life will have to do:

A. Age: 25, it just happened and saying that I'm in my mid-20's versus my early-20's is not something I've accepted yet

B. Bed size: Queen. I would like a King but for whatever reason that hasn't been made a top priority yet. Something about having just bought new bedroom furniture (lame).

C. Chore you hate: Since I have been delegated the official chore person in our house, I am pretty used to doing them all. But for whatever reason I can't stand putting up laundry, which is really counter-productive to doing the laundry because I just leave it on the couch and then our cats (who shed a RIDICULOUS amount) cover them in hair and I have to wash them again (but don't, who am I kidding? that would take WAY too much work)

D. Dogs: I love them. LOVE them. And if I didn't think our precious little kitties would rip a puppy's face off, I would so get one. 

E. Essential start to your day: I'm a little neurotic about how my mornings go... I have to work out first, followed by a cup of coffee. Otherwise my day is thrown all out of whack and I am a mess.

F. Favorite color: Blue, I think. And green. And yellow. 

G. Gold or silver: This is a tough one. I think white gold. Which conveniently looks just like silver but sounds way better.

H. Height: 5'4"... However in an effort to win the argument about who was taller - my mom or me - I put 5'5" on my license one year. Take that.

I. Instruments you play: Zero. I played flute in middle school and high school and dabbled in guitar for a while, but right now the only music I play is on my iPod or radio. 

J. Job title: Trademark Paralegal

K. Kids: No, thank you. We are not ready.

L. Live: H-Town. (The "H" stands for HOT, HUMID, and HOUSTON)

M. Mom’s name: Linda Sue. Though she'd kill me if she found out I included the "Sue" part.  

N. Nicknames: My closest friends call me Rache not Rachael and my bestest friend has gone through a few nicknames, including but not limited to Arby (for my pre-married initials RB)

O. Overnight hospital stays: Only for that boy that I am married to that loves to get in trouble and end up in the hospital. The first night I met my in-laws was when I had to call them to tell them that he got the bejeesus beat out of him and could they please drive to San Marcos because he was not doing so well. Oh and Hi, I'm dating your son.

P. Pet peeve: Ehh I have a few. But I REALLY can't stand when people drive slowly in the fast lane and won't get over into the slower lanes no matter how many people are passing them. And I can't stand when people don't wave in thanks for letting them over and such. I am a courteous driver, you should be too.

Q. Quote from a movie: I love movies. Lately when Sean or I point out something obvious one of us will say "I KNOW THAT FAGGLE"... Superbad, anyone?

R. Right or left handed: Right

S. Siblings: I have 3

T. Time you wake up: During the week, usually 5. On the weekends, Louie will be pouncing on my face around 6. Never Sean's. Only mine.

U. Underwear: Well this is an awkward question. 

V. Vegetables you dislike: The only 2 things that I can think of currently that I dislike are olives and coconut. Blech.

W. What makes you run late: Running longer than I should, waking up late and working out anyway, trying to do too much before I leave for work, traffic... Despite how that list sounds though, I'm rarely late. I can't stand to be late.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: You are reading about the girl that (knock on wood) has never broken, fractured, or strained anything. I am the clumsiest careful person you'll ever meet. Bruises and falling down/running into things are regular, nothing else is. 

Y. Yummy food you make: Right now, roasted anykindofvegetable, specifically broccoli and zucchini. YUM.

Z. Zoo – favorite animal: I LOVE to watch the elephants dance. And I also like giraffes, sea lions, 
koalas, monkeys... Um... I love the zoo!

YOUR TURN! You answer one!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Weekly Workout #4

So far I've been feeling like this all week:

But that's ok. Cause at least he's cute, so maybe no matter how worn out I am, I am looking that cute too? There's always wishful thinking... Good thing my week looks like this:

Planned miles for the week: 15

Monday: Rest/Cross-training day
Tuesday: 5 miles @ 9:59 min/pace
Wednesday: Rest/Cross-training day
Thursday: 5 miles @ 9:59 min/pace
Friday: Rest/Cross-training day
Saturday: Rest/Cross-training day
Sunday: 5 miles @ 9:59 min/pace

Easy... right? :) We'll see.

Sean and I spent Saturday after the race doing this:

And this:

And this:

And being cute like this:

(That all translates to going to Galveston, playing washers on the beach, and drinking cold beer.) (And yes, I realize that drinking beer on the beach is counter-productive to the 7 miles I ran before that, but it was nothing compared to the pizza I inhaled when we got home...)

Do anything fun this weekend?

Do you like going to the beach? I love being out by the water - river, ocean, you name it. And while Galveston isn't the prettiest beach, I still like going and playing in the sand.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Funfest Run By The Bay 2011 Race Recap

I'll be honest, I was really nervous about this race. And not just because of my week of bad runs, but because on Friday night while Sean and I were heatedly playing Words With Friends, I was also googling race reviews for Funfest in years past. And they were not good.

Mostly they talked about how unorganized everything was, how the miles were not clearly marked, and how the split from the 5k/10k was not clear. At least I wasn't already nervous. Sean was nice enough to text me Friday at work the following:

Me: I've had sucky runs all week

Sean: Saving the good run for when it counts, good strategy babe!

This is what was getting me through Friday night. The knowledge that for every bad run, there is a good one waiting somewhere. Have I mentioned that I really like him??

Needless to say, at 10pm Friday night I was neurotically laying out all my running clothes (and yes, even my socks matched my shorts, thanks Jenn!!) and setting out my Clif Shotblocks just in case I needed them (I am not a fan of gels), my iPod, my Garmin, and any other miscellaneous items I thought I may need.

At 4:15am I was sliding out of bed and into my running clothes, and at 4:45am I was running an easy "warm up" mile on the treadmill. By 5:00am I was shaking Sean awake (who seriously gets an award for best husband ever for letting me wake him up earlier than he gets up for work on a Saturday and then subsequently forcing him to drive me an hour an a half to the race. he ROCKS) and loading him up with coffee while I simultaneously made PB + banana toast and got everything ready for us to go to Galveston after the race. By 5:30ish we were on the road.

We got to Funfest about 6:45am and I picked up all of my race stuff and then Sean and I hung around watching all the other runners get everything together. At this point I was feeling pretty good - it was a beautiful day and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful run. We watched the kiddos dominate a 1k and then it was time to line up. Sean fulfilled his husbandly (word?) duties and took the necessary pre-race photos.

Then we found this gem:

I don't even know.

And then we were off.

I suppose now is good time to tell you that I had mapped out certain goals:

1. To finish (I know this sounds dumb, but I was seriously contemplating if I would be able to given the crap runs I had going for me. Ok that's not true, I knew I'd finish, but it seemed like a good goal to have).

2. To finish under an hour. When I did my self-imposed 10k a couple weeks ago, I finished right under an hour.

3. To finish under 53 minutes. I figured that was a good goal to be reaching for, and had pretty much figured out I'd be ok if I ran 8 1/2 min/miles... I just wasn't sure if I could sustain 8 1/2 min/miles the entire time. I wanted to run hard, but sustainable.

When the gun went off there was a little delay in me crossing the start line, so I made sure to start my Garmin right when I stepped foot over it.

That picture has nothing to do with the race, we had just figured out how to work the panoramic settings and I thought it turned out cool and wanted to somehow include it...

Mile 1 went by quickly, I was running about an 8:38 pace and felt good. I figured I'd keep it around there and I should be golden. I picked out a couple people to catch up to and was off without a hitch. We looped around the street and went off onto a small trail. It.was.gorgeous.out. Seriously, one of the prettiest races I've ran to date. I wish I had taken my camera with me, but I left it with Sean because he is notorious for getting finish-line photos. Good husband.

We ran up a wooden bridge (random) to a street that gave you a full view of the bay. This is where it split for the 5k and 10k. And it was very clearly marked. I headed off with the rest of the 10k folks, still feeling good, still maintaining a good pace (little under 8:30).

Around mile 3.5 I started wondering where the turnaround was. There were no runners coming back at that point. But the view of the bay kept me calm and collected, and it was really neat watching the sun come up over the water. Eventually people started coming back and there were water stations every 1/2 mile or so. For the first time ever I grabbed water during the race, because let's be honest, I live in Houston and it's the summer. It's hot. I hit the turnaround and picked a person in front of me to pace me up to them. At this point I checked my Garmin and saw that I was running about an 8:17 pace. Pretty happy and feeling pretty good.

I do want to say though, that one thing that bugged me was that by the time we hit a water station that the 5kers had already ran past, they were out of cups. This seemed like poor planning in my opinion, but I also didn't need water so it didn't really affect me.

I picked water up at random intervals and took small sips before tossing the cups. I also managed to choke on one of the gulps of water I took and got water up my nose. Clearly I have not mastered drinking out of a cup and running. I should point out that while I felt great, I also was very aware of what mile I was on and how much longer I had to run. I just kept telling myself that even though I was running hard, I could maintain it. Right before mile 5 I ate one shot block, but before eating the rest told myself I didn't need them (I didn't) and that I'd be fine without them. So I put them up. Found a guy in a red shirt and ran to him. Passed him on the downhill wooden bridge. Then he passed me. Then I passed him again. There was no way I was going to let him finish ahead of me.

I saw the finish line coming up and my BIGGEST complaint is that there was a couple doing the 5k and they were walking and we hit a turn at the same time and I had to make a huge arch around them because they didn't move. Some of us are here to race, not just to participate. Just sayin'.

I picked up the pace and was running around a 7 min/mile for the last 1/2 mile or so. Crossed the finish line and immediately looked down/stopped my Garmin.


I am pretty sure I yelled "yes!" pretty loudly. I was so stoked. And out of breath. I had to walk around a bit chugging water before I regained my composure and found Sean. I didn't even say anything, I just showed him my Garmin. I was so proud of myself at that point. I told Sean we could leave, I didn't care about seeing the results because I figured it was a big race (definitely not huge or even the biggest I've been to, but there were quite a few people there) and I wasn't really concerned with my ranking, I was just so happy to have exceeded all of my goals. Sean convinced me we needed to stay because "the last time you wanted to leave early you placed first". Touche.

So we hung around waiting for results. When they finally went up and I finally located my name I lost my breath all over again.

1st in my age group. 5th woman to finish overall. And the girl who placed 2nd in my age group was 7 minutes behind me.

I was beaming. (And yes, I realize that no one pointed out to me that my medal fell behind my number.) Sean noticed though, which is how we ended up with this awkward picture of me:

Overall: I thought it was a great race. It seems like they listened to past complaints and fixed things that had been wrong. Would I run it again? Definitely. It was beautiful. They did seem a little unorganized, but nothing that was unbearable.


Anyone run any races this weekend??

Ever gone into a race thinking it would be horrible and it turned out great? I'm notorious for this.