Thursday, February 27, 2014

Five Year Veggieversary!

On Tuesday, I celebrated my FIVE YEAR VEGGIEVERSARY! I was going to share this post on Tuesday, but I decided to not disrupt the flow of Princess posts, so I decided I would wait until all the Princess posts were up before I celebrated with you! Also, four posts in one week? Who am I?

Last year, I answered some Frequently Asked Questions. This year, I would like to address some common misconceptions about vegetarianism (from my not-so-expert opinion) and share a new recipe with you!

Common Misconceptions About Vegetarianism (in no particular order)

1. Vegetarians only eat salads (or dirt if you hang out with boys who think that's what you eat).
---One of the stipulations that my mom made me agree to when I became a vegetarian was that I learned how to cook. She did not want me living off of boxed meals, salads, or going out to eat a lot, so I learned to cook. And if you ask me, I'm a good cook ;)

2. "Going out to eat isn't that hard, you can just order a salad!" 
---This one is very related to the one above, but dining out is not that simple (in my opinion). Number one, sometimes salads do not taste fresh (or even good) at a restaurant. Number 2, salads get boring, so I don't want to be limited to that only option. Number 3, I don't want to have to be limited to one option on a menu because chefs may be unfamiliar with vegetarian cooking.

3. Vegetarians are frail, sickly, and generally unhealthy.
---The first comment that I get when people find out that I am vegetarian is often "But you look so healthy!" or "I knew so-and-so and all they ate were chips and salsa and they got really sick." Vegetarianism, while not a lifestyle for everyone, can be incredibly healthy for the body and fulfilling if done correctly. I make sure to monitor my bodily functions, track my protein and nutrients, and have had no healthy issues concerning my diet (so far, and to the best of my knowledge). In fact, cleaning up my diet and eating more whole foods than processed foods this year (so basically just doubled the amount of veggies I was eating) has really helped with my training and recovery (in my opinion).

4. All vegetarians eat fish.
---There are many different types of vegetarians, but true vegetarians (as defined by Oxford, not me, as "a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, esp. for moral, religious, or health reasons") do not eat fish. Pescatarians eat fish (I used to be pescatarian until this year), there are lacto-ovo vegetarians (who eat eggs and dairy), and many other types. That being said, I don't believe that any vegetarian is a "lesser" version, we just don't all eat fish.

I don't necessarily believe meat is murder, just thought this was funny

5. Vegetarians don't eat meat because they are all animal lovers, so why do they eat the animals' food?
---I'm going to be honest here: My reasons for being vegetarian are more in line with health and environmental wellness rather than animal welfare. Yes, I do love animals and do care about their care and treatment, but that plays a smaller role in my lifestyle than my role as an environmentalist or my love for health and fitness. Also, I don't believe that vegetarians are "eating the animals' food." Often times, animals that are raised in factory farms are not fed their natural food source as it is. I think that this misconception is just general ignorance on the behalf of the speaker. That being said, I don't feel it is my job to educate others (unless I am asked) or unless they insult me. No need to get preachy!

And with that, I now present you a new recipe!

Butternut Squash Couscous


1 box whole wheat couscous
1 can chickpeas
1/2 red pepper - diced
1/4 cup red onions, diced
1/2 package julienned sundried tomatoes
1 tbsp garlic
salt and pepper - to taste
1 tbsp coconut oil

Follow all directions for Runner Girl Eat's Butternut Squash Dip (I roasted the BNS with a tbsp of coconut oil for 40 minutes. let it cool, pureed it, and refrigerated. I did NOT add more cheese and reheat it to make the dip in it's entirety. I also used coconut milk as the milk). Cook couscous according to package. While couscous is cooking, sauté red pepper, onion, garlic, and sundried tomatoes in coconut oil. When couscous is ready, mix in 1/2 of the BNS dip (I saved the other half for another night), chickpeas, veggies, and salt and pepper. Once all of the seasonings are to your liking, enjoy! I served with a side salad.

What is your favorite vegetable? Do you have any questions about vegetarianism?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: RACE RECAP!

Now for part 3 of my weekend recap -- the part that many of you (or not) actually care about -- THE RACE RECAP! The short version? I had a blast and a great race, got a 50 second PR, and enjoyed every minute of it. Read on for the long version!

I woke up at 3 am and I did not waste any time (like I sometimes do) laying in my bed. I have a fear of getting left behind, especially since Disney is so intimidating with their race language, so I wanted to make sure that I was on the bus by 3:30-3:45. I got up, got dressed, and ate half of a plain bagel with a tiny bit of peanut butter. My bagel was actually quite disgusting because I had purchased AND toasted it the day before at breakfast, carried it around all day, and then popped it into the refrigerator overnight (not sure why I thought that it would taste good). I gathered my Garmin and everything else I might need and headed out the door at 3:20.


I got to the race area around 3:30/3:40 and went to the bathroom. The bathroom was already out of toilet paper at this point (reminiscent of Melbourne Music Half), but because I only went pee, I didn't mind too much. I texted Lauren to see where she was at, but she was in the race retreat at this point, so I was hanging around watching some of the pre-race entertainment by myself. I ended up looking around right at the exact moment when Karen and April were behind me, so I leeched onto them and followed them around like a puppy. I eventually got a text that said a friend had come to cheer me on and was in the Epcot waiting area, so Lauren and I went on an adventure to find him. We ended up just missing him in the beginning, but we did find this guy:



Lauren and I then made our way to the corrals, split up when they told us to, and I headed to the long lines for the port-a-potty because I had to pee, again. The lines were really long so I ended up not getting into my corral until about 5:20 (race started at 5:35), but that meant less time to panic in the corral! I was in corral F and we were set off around 5:50.


The first few miles were good -- I think the new corral system really helped (in my opinion) cut down on the amount of people that I had to dodge, but I still had to dodge a lot of people. I was hoping for anything less than a 10:30 average, so I was happy when my Garmin told me that my average for the first few miles were about 10:07. I also might be one of the few people to say this, but I was COLD before the race started and the humidity only bothered me for the first 4-5 miles. I didn't think it was oppressive and I didn't think that it really hindered my performance. Also, because the course was the same as last year and had many of the same characters, I did not stop for many photos. I did stop to see the footmen with the glass slipper, because I didn't get one last year, and also stopped for the castle (but didn't hand them my phone...like an idiot). It was so great to see my friend in Magic Kingdom before I went into the castle. He said he saw me again leaving the castle and watched me cross the finish line, but I missed that.


I actually had to take two bathroom breaks on the course (BOO!) at mile 7 and mile 10 (mile 10 was the only one that added time on since it was one port-a-potty and the woman in front of me took FOREVER), but I'm not really too mad about that. I still had a great time and was actually able to make up a lot of lost time because I ran 3-5 miles in the 9:30-9:50 pace area. At mile 10, my legs felt like they were going to fall off, so that was how I knew that I had to push harder and keep going. I'm glad it was just my legs giving up this time, and not my lungs (like at the Mel Half). At mile 12.5, I started feeling nauseous, so that's how I knew I was working at my threshold and just needed to hold out until that 13.1

I crossed the finish line in 2:13:50, a 50 second PR from the beginning of the month! I am happy with that time since last year I ran Princess in 2:32:xx and also because I stopped for photos, dodged people, and took 2 bathroom breaks. I know I said I wasn't racing anymore this year because of my trip to Europe, but I am tempted to race again in the fall or winter if the funds are there so I can slowly inch closer to that 2 hour mark...


I got my medal, made my way through the food/medical tents (I needed ice for my hamstrings) and met up with my friend, who was sweet enough to bring me a flower and then drive me home after the race! I ended up doing Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom afterwards, but I only stayed in the park for about 4 hours or so, as my legs are SO sore (the most sore they have been in a while), and I was also tired of crowds. I did get myself a nice, big cupcake from MK to bring home with me :)


Overall, I loved this race and would race it again next year! It's Disney, so fun, and the spectators and volunteers are phenomenal. However, I do have a few complaints about this year.

Things I didn't like:

--The expo layout
--My family didn't get ANY of the tracking text messages until AFTER I crossed the finish line and they were all delivered at once. They didn't even realize I had started racing until I called them to tell them I was finished.
--I asked EVERY single medical tent for a marathon blanket because I was freezing afterwards (my body temperature always drops immediately after a long run, even in the middle of the summer) and no one would give me one. They wanted me to pay for a massage to get one...I didn't need one that badly.

Other than that, I loved everything !

Who else raced Princess? Did you set a PR? Who were your favorite characters on the course?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: The In-Between

I obviously had to kill some time in between expo day and the race itself, so I filled that time with visits to the park as well as time with Karen and April since I missed them at #runnerslove the day before! I should probably fill you in on why I am solo in all (almost) of these pictures. My cheer squad has a family emergency and couldn't make it last minute, so I had the opportunity to explore the parks alone. It was actually super fun and since I have no problem talking to strangers, I never felt "alone."

Friday

Friday evening, I spent time in Magic Kingdom. I met Tigger and Pooh (whose line is always so long), went on Ariel's Grotto (and some other rides), and played around until I met up with a friend in Orlando.


Our night in Orlando consisted of some yummy guacamole, a few drinks, and lots of dancing before I called it an early night (for me) and left her with one of her friends. I'm so glad I left early because I went back to the hotel and strapped on my compression socks and went to sleep.


Saturday

I woke up at 430, saw the tweets about everyone who was running the Enchanted 10k, wished Lauren luck, and then forced myself to sleep until 745 (sleeping in for me!). I got up, got ready, got some breakfast, and then hit the parks. I started at Hollywood Studios, the park where I hardly ever go, and met Daisy Duck, Chip and Dale, rode some rides, and got myself a new pair of ears!




Then, I went to Pop Century to see Karen and her family and sit by the pool for a while. It was raining off and on, but I had tons of fun chatting with Karen and April. We did a good job of embarrassing Karen's teenage daughter ;)

Photo courtesy of Karen and her daughter

I then headed to Epcot where I tried to meet Elsa and Anna (2.5 hour wait, I didn't wait), ate an early dinner, and headed back to my hotel. I was in bed and asleep by 8 pm and it was glorious.


Stay tuned for the race recap coming tomorrow!


Who is your favorite Disney character? Which is your least favorite (or least visited) of the Disney parks?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: The Expo & #runnerslove

I am back from the Princess Half Marathon Weekend! It's hard to believe that after all of that preparation, it's over and done with. Instead of doing a ridiculously long post, like I did last year, I decided I'd split this recap up into a few parts. This is part one :)

Friday morning started off fairly hectic and I'd hoped it wasn't a sign for the weekend. On Friday morning, I went to the bank to find out that my debit card had been closed out. I had to go home, get the new debit  card they had sent to me last month (because why would I have activated it before?), get that new card activated, and head to school to drop something off. I ended up having a slightly later start than I had anticipated, but I got to the expo around 1.



The Expo

Overall, I have to say that I was not very impressed with the expo. The layout of the first room was nice, but I'm not sure why they had to have the dinky "Official Merchandise" stand in the room where they had packet pickup...and why Glass Slipper Challengers could get their shirts/goodies in this building, but Princess Half runners had to pick up their shirt/goodies in the next building. It seems to me like it would make more sense to put the Princess Half shirt pickup in that room and only have one runDisney merchandise location in the larger expo. However, everything in the packet pick up was well-spaced and organized very well.



When I went to the larger expo, I could see that it was chaos before I even went downstairs. I went in, got my t-shirt, bag, etc. and then walked through the expo. I stopped for a bag of apples and a photo with the Chiquita lady -- this was a cute photo op. I also wandered through the official merchandise area, but everything was so generic (I didn't like that most of the Princess Half merchandise had no date on it), and the "I Did It!" shirt looked just like the shirt I got last year. So, I didn't purchase any official merchandise. It was hard to wander through the rest of the expo because everything was so jammed together and there were so many people, but it was nice to look at everything. The only thing I ended up leaving the expo with, though, was the free rice I won at the Success booth.




 chaos


When I left the expo, I ended up buying a cupcake from the Yum Yum cupcake truck -- that was probably the best part of my visit to the expo!


#runnerslove

Because I got held up in the morning and spent too long at the expo, I got to #runnerslove an hour late. I arrived as soon as the skies opened up, so everyone had left. I met up with Lauren and her boyfriend and we chatted for a while before I headed to Magic Kingdom. Even though it was short, I heard good things about the meet-up and I was bummed that I missed it!

What did you think of the expo this year (if you went)? Are you a fan of expos? Have you ever been to a meet up?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Taper Crazies

This should really be called Taper Munchies. Even though last week was the start of taper week for many people, I still ran 20 miles for the week and don't feel bad about it. This week, though, the taper madness has finally hit me. By the time you've read this post, I've most likely only run 7 miles for the whole week. I'm also most likely done with my running for the week until Sunday. This is how I'm feeling:


I'm trying to hold myself back on runs (after all, it is taper week), but my runs have been "speedy" for me, so I'm going to live in my compression socks until I leave on Friday, and then probably sleep in them Friday and Saturday. My foam roller and I will be BFFs.

Here's what I've been doing during taper madness:

1. Shopping

I honestly should be saving money for Europe because I am super poor... but I went looking for a cross-body purse for my trip. No luck, but I found these beauties for $25:


2. Eating

I was hungry ALL day yesterday, so I literally ate and ate and ate. I made a joke that "the less time I spend running, the more time I spend eating!" I took my Aunt and Uncle (who are visiting from Chicago) to a new-to-me crepe place....phenomenal. I didn't take photos though because I didn't want to be obnoxious to my family. I also came home and ate some delicious ice cream, even though I wasn't hungry.



3. Couch Potato-ing

I've been watching PLL, Switched at Birth, and SCANDAL like it's my job. If you follow me on Twitter, I'm sure you've seen tweets like these:




4. Sleeping

I've been able to wake up at 6:30 or 6:45 the last few days because I've been running 3 miles or less each day, so that's been nice. Tomorrow, I'll most likely sleep until 7:15 or 7:30 and then Friday I'll sleep in until it's time for this place:


5. Stalking everyone

I've been reading a lot of your blogs from afar because I've been super busy during the day, but just know that I am DYING TO MEET A LOT OF YOU THIS WEEKEND! Who wants to be my best friend this weekend? I'm hoping that the answer is everyone.

6. Being generally crazy

Sometimes, I tweet things like this:


And if you don't know the reference, it's here:


And also, I dream about things like this:


Or this:

It seems like we should just get me back to running long distances/more frequently again....

How are you handling tapering? What is your favorite non-running (or non-fitness) activity?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Week 10 #PrincessHalf Training

Uh, so the race is on Sunday. How did that happen already? I am so excited to leave on Friday and meet up with my fellow Princesses and bloggers at #runnerslove! Let's recap this past week of training!

Sunday

Rest

Monday

AM: 10 miles
PM: 40 minutes elliptical, 1 hour strength

Tuesday

Rest (I hadn't been sleeping well)
4 hours of on/off walking with my students on a field trip

Wednesday

3 miles

Thursday

4 miles

Friday

1.4 miles (I just didn't feel like running, so I stopped halfway into my run)

Saturday

2 miles on the TM (This run was weird because I actually didn't mind being on the TM. Had it not been the end of the training week and a "taper" week, I would have kept going. WHO AM I?!)

Total Miles: 20 miles

I'm actually starting to feel bronchitis-like again. I guess that's what happens when you don't actually give your body rest, run a half marathon, and continue to train for another half marathon. I actually took meds and a 4-hour nap on Saturday and went to bed early that night, too. Trying to stave off any infections until after the race, then my body will get the rest it needs (and deserves!).

How was your week of running? Who is excited that Princess is almost here?! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Falling in Love with Yourself

Please note that this post is not meant to be preachy or is not meant to make it sound like I do not have days where I doubt myself and my abilities. This is not a post that is supposed to make me sound self-centered. This is just something I have been thinking about and after encountering/having conversations with some friends/students who are insecure and harbor such negative feelings towards themselves, I just attempted to write it out. Celebrate you.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Early morning runs are where I do the majority of my deep thinking. There is something inherently peaceful and beautiful about being out on the pavement before the sun rises, when no one (except a few elderly people and their little dogs) is out, and the cars (and pervs driving them) are not out for you to dodge. My morning runs are a time for self-reflection, a time for self-healing, and a time for self-preservation.


Lately, I've been thinking a lot about who I am as a woman. It is no secret to anyone reading this blog, or to anyone who knows me in person, that I think I am fabulous. Did I always think I was this fabulous? Wellll.....yes and no. I have always been confident in my abilities, but I was not always confident in the way I looked or the way I felt about myself. Basically, I didn't think I was the absolute total package until I had my heart broken. Having my heart broken, coupled with running, led me to falling in love with myself.


In the blogging world, I would not say that I am part of a rare breed of women (and men) who are in love with themselves; the majority of the blogs that I read appear to be written by people who know their worth and are in love with who they are. However, in the much larger sub-set of non-bloggers, I would say that I (and my fellow bloggers) are part of a rare breed. Many of the people I encounter in my daily life are not happy with themselves, whether it be their appearances, parts of their personality, or something else. And honestly, no matter how hard I try, it's VERY difficult for me to understand WHY it's so hard to be in love with yourself, even though it's so hypocritical of me because I have BEEN there before.


Many of the people I know who are in love with themselves have come to that feeling after dealing with a hardship or a destruction of some sort. Having my heart broken is what turned me into a 23 year old with the soul of an 80 year old. I used running as a way to slowly rebuild myself. A way to sort my thoughts out. A way to reflect on what I want and deserve, and a way to fall in love with myself. I love my personality in its entirety (even the stubbornness and the diva-ness), I love my body for what it does for me, and I love my outlook on life. Was it easy to get here? No. Was it worth it? Yes. I think I am beautiful, inside and outside. I am confident in my body; I will wear bright colors and patterns and am not afraid to experiment with new styles. At times, I am my own biggest fan, even when no one else seems to be on my team. I don't let others get me down and each morning, I choose happiness. I am in love with myself and my life, and I deserve this.


In all of this rambling, I hope that some sense has made its way through. I just want to tell anyone who comes across my little blog that you are worth it and that falling in love with yourself is one of the greatest journeys you will ever embark on. Maybe you need someone to hold your hand in the beginning, I certainly did, but eventually, I took off running on this journey of self-discovery. I am so in love with who I am that I refuse to settle for anything less than I deserve and I also refuse to stop learning, about myself, about others, and about this world. And I'm hoping that one day, the love that I have for myself will eventually be matched (or even better, exceeded) by the man I marry.


Would you say that you are in love with yourself? How did you get to that level of self-awareness?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Week 9 #PrincessHalf Training Recap

Yesterday marked two weeks until the Princess Half! It's hard to believe that it's almost here! 

Here's last week's training recap:

Sunday



Monday

40 minutes elliptical, 1 hour strength

Tuesday

3 mile run

Wednesday

Perfect 4 miles run, all negative splits! 10:20, 10:18, 9:35, 8:50

Thursday

Impromptu rest day

Friday

AM: 3 miles run

PM: 30 minutes elliptical, 1 hour strength (with sprints in the beginning)

Saturday

AM: 1 mile run

PM: Dancing

Total Miles: 24.1 

How was your week of running?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thinking Out Loud #2

I have lots of little things that I want to tell you guys about, but not enough for each to warrant an entire blogpost in itself. So, thank goodness for Amanda and her Thinking out Loud series!



1. The healing process (both physically and emotionally) is coming along great :) The coughing has slowed down a bit, and I haven't felt sad lately (with the exception of all the soldier commercials during the Super Bowl). I'm happy to say that my fabulousness is back in full force.

2. I had the most PERFECT run yesterday morning. I started out slow because it was humid, but I ran 4 miles, all with negative splits, with my last mile at 8:50. Note to self: Always fuel the night before with half a vegetarian burrito bowl from Chipotle and a side of chips and guac.


3. My spellcheck autocorrected "guac" six times when writing the above bullet point and once while I was writing this bullet point.

4. I've been thinking a lot about fitness and inspiring others. In the last couple of weeks, I've had some friends ask me for help getting started with fitness and healthy living OR I've had friends tell me that I am an inspiration to them when they don't feel motivated. Sometimes, I think we are so caught up in our own routines that we don't realize who we are inspiring simply by doing what we love.


5. There are 101 days until I leave for Europe. It seems so far away, but it's actually not. I am SO excited though.

6. I have officially been in full-speed this week (especially because I worked all 3 jobs yesterday) and I am ready for a night out tonight and a day off tomorrow.

7. This song is one of my new favorites because it totally relates to my never-ending quest for love and peace in the world (total hippie). It was also written about the Newtown shootings.


8. I'm going to end with 8 because I can't think of another two bullet points to spew at you guys, but I want to let you know how much I appreciate you. I love all of your comments, cheers, insight, advice, and virtual love that you send my way each time I post. I am so happy to have found such a great community of individuals. I don't think I thank you enough

What are your thoughts this Thursday?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 8 #PrincessHalf Training Recap

How the heck has it already been 8 weeks since I've been training for the Princess Half? Only a few more weeks to go! I'd say that I'm beyond ready for it :) Last week's training was SO much better than two weeks ago.

Sunday

Rest

Monday

Morning: 3-mile run
Evening: 40 minutes elliptical, 1 hour strength
---The cough is still lingering from my bronchitis, so at the end of the class I was having trouble breathing, but I'm glad I stayed

Tuesday

12 mile run

Wednesday

3 mile run

Thursday

4 mile run on the TM with a "circuit"
---I ran 2 miles (started at 6.0, 6.5, 6.0, 7.0), did two sets of 10 pushups, 20 oblique twists, ran 2 more miles (6.5, 7.0, 5.5, 6.0), did two more sets of 10 pushups and 20 oblique twists

Friday

1 hour strength class
---Complete with no coughing!!!!

Saturday

Rest/dancing my butt off at the formal I went to :)


Total Mileage: 22 miles

Miles run so far this year: 93 (I was so close to 100 miles in January, but that bronchitis threw me off!)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Melbourne Music Half Marathon Recap

Well, the bronchitis didn't hold me back TOO much.... I set an 18 minute PR for my half marathon time yesterday at the Melbourne Music Half Marathon :) Before we get to that, though, I want to recap everything leading up to the finish line.

Expo

So, I'm going to be honest and say that I forgot that I had to go to packet pickup on Friday and ended up going about 30 minutes before I was supposed to be at my strength class. I wasn't planning on really purchasing anything unless it jumped out at me (Thanks, Eurotrip ;) ), so I was hoping to be in and out. The expo was very small, but I don't think I was happy with the way it was laid out. It was a good thing that people were there to direct you, because the way the expo was laid out was very confusing. When you walked in the door, the first thing you saw were the vendors, but they didn't want you to go in there until you got your packet. I followed the lady's directions and headed to pick up my packet, but the queue was weird for this. If you were running the half marathon, you had to wait in line, but if you were running any other race, they just let you walk up. That caused some chaos because it was hard to see when someone was available to help you pick up your packet if you were running the half. After I got my bib, chip, and hat, I was directed to the t-shirt section. The t-shirts were located with the vendors, but there were only maybe 10 or so vendors and nothing really jumped out at me. I was in and out of the entire expo in 15 minutes. 

Race Day

I woke up at 5 am (before my alarm) and laid in bed for a while before I finally got up, got dressed, and ate a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter. I tried to go to the bathroom, but that just didn't happen for me before I left. I left home around 6:15 am and got to the race area around 6:30. There was an officer who was directing people to a paid parking garage or directing people to find free parking. I opted for free parking, but I should have written down the cross streets because I forgot where I parked after the race...oops! I got to the starting line around 6:45 and tried to potty. The port-a-potty I went in had NO toilet paper... and the race hadn't even started yet. Then, while I was in the bathroom, I realized that I forgot my fuel in the car. I was hoping that wasn't a sign for the race.


I lined up between the 2:10 and 2:20 pacers and waited for the starting gun. It was really hard to hear what the announcers were saying, but they did fire a gun to signal the start, so that was fun :) There were no corrals in this race, so it was really congested for the first tenth of a mile. Everything was labeled really well and blocked off for the safety of the runners. The fun thing about this race was that  every mile or so, there was a band playing. I saw rock bands, salsa bands, gospel groups, DJs, and a man with a grand piano!


I felt great from miles 1-4, with most of those miles under ten minutes (oops). We ran through some neighborhoods and there were lots of families out handing out water or gatorade to runners as they passed by. We reached the first hill around mile 5 or so, and boy, that hill was tougher than I expected. I usually run the Melbourne Causeway, which is VERY tall, but I think this shorter hill was steeper because it was TOUGH. I was thankful for the downhill. Between miles 7-9, I was having some tummy troubles and had to stop for the bathroom twice. Between these miles volunteers were handing out oranges, pickle juice, halved bananas, and gummy bears! I don't eat gelatin, but I thought the gummy bears were fun!

Recycled photo w/ the last bridge in the background

I began to slow down around miles 9-11 because my stomach was still uneasy and because we came onto another large hill, the Melbourne Causeway. I am so thankful that I always train for my long runs by running the Causeway with fresh-ish legs and when I'm ending my run because it helped my quads power me through the tough part. Jay-z "Brush Your Shoulders Off" really helped me as well ;) Miles 12-13 were difficult for me... I was having trouble breathing (thanks, remnant bronchitis), and I was just plain tired. However, as soon as I rounded the corner and saw the finish line, I dug deep and started picking people off. I finished in 2:14:48, which is an 18 minute PR from my Princess Half time a year ago :)



Overall, I really liked this race and would run it again. Thankfully, it was foggy, so the sun didn't really start breaking through until around 8 am or so. The hills were tough, but the bands were really fun and the race itself was very well marked and laid out. There were lots of spectators and enough port-a-potties. I am so proud of all of the progress that I have made in the last year. I'm so excited for Princess now!

Who else raced this weekend? What is your biggest PR?