Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve run

What a better way to start off Christmas Eve than with a frosty 7 mile run. I managed to get myself out at 7:30 this morning and took off down the road. I hate running around where I live but sometimes I just don't want to drive to go run. My neighborhood is a bit shady (and not because of the trees). I wanted to get some decent miles in so I started taking side roads I hadn't run down before.

It was pretty uneventful except for almost being eaten by a big ol' German Shepherd. Luckily, there was a fence between us and I saw him before he started barking b/c I might have peed my pants.

The air was nice and chilly and everything smelled great. I love the smell of leaves after they've fallen off the trees. I am going home for the holidays and hope to get some good runs in while I'm there. My mom lives in a valley in the backwoods of Western NC so there are some good hills to train on.

I hope everyone has a safe and Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bad run

I haven't had a bad run in a long time. Yesterday was 6 miles that I never thought would end. My stomach was hatin' on me and I just felt like crap. Those runs definitely make me appreciate the good ones that much more. I am so fortunate to be healthy and to be able to run. I don't know what I'd do without it.

Uwharrie 40 miler is coming up in barely over a month and I'm not going to be as prepared as I'd hoped. I'm still running it though and will give it all I have. I'm excited!

I hope everyone has a safe and Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Year recap (AUG-DEC)

Run for the Red 10K
This was a local race that I just wasn't ready for. The two big adventure races of July really had me worn out. The hills and smell of manuer really kicked my butt. I don't even remember my time but it was terrible. I did debut my sweet bright green leopard print spandex!

You know you LOVE the shorts....

Warrior Dash Carolinas - Hendersonville, NC
I was PUMPED for this race because my little brother (2 yrs younger) signed up to do the race too! It was his first event ever and I was stoked to run with him. He is not in shape and smokes but he gave it his best. I was so proud of him and he had a good time!

Me and my bro

Odyssey Trail Half Marathon - Virginia
This was one of the toughest yet most awesome half marathons I have ever done. The first THREE miles were up hill and I think it was a 1500' elevation gain! Even the leaders had to walk some. The woods were beautiful and I was able to talk to some great people. After the 3 miles uphill it was about 6 miles down. I was flying down that mountain! Even though it took me 2:25, I got 4th female overall and 1st in my AG!

Erin, Myself, and my AR partner Allen

River Bound Trail 13.1 - Charlotte, NC
Again, my brother signed up for this race but for the 5K! I didn't even mention it to him or ask. He saw it on my Facebook and asked if he could still register. It was a rainy muggy day. This race BLEW! I have never ran so many switchbacks and lolly loops in all of my life. I don't even know what a lolly loop is but it was BAD! Every inch of the woods looked the same and I didn't know if I'd ever get out. I got 2nd in my AG.

2nd place podium!

North Face Endurance Challenge 50K - Pine Mountain, Georgia
The two trail halfs the month before really had me ready to go for my first official ultra! I had signed up for this race late/spring early/summer and it was finally here. I had no idea how I'd do, like in most races, but I knew I wanted it. Badly. It was the hardest terrain I'd ever run on. Really rocky and rooty, lots to climb over (including boulders) and many other shenanigans that my words won't do justice for. I felt great until about 8 miles to go. I was out of steam but knew I couldn't stop. A guy from Australia, who was running the 50miler, started running beside me and pushed me along. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have finished as fast as I did. I would run a little, sob a little, run a little and sob more. The last few miles were finished purely on heart. I found out I was the 4th female with a couple miles to go. There was mix of 50K, 50M, and marathoners so I didn't know who was who. I didn't care. I started picking off ponytails left and right all the while hoping I didn't kill over on the trail. I finished in 6:34, 4th female and 3rd in my AG. I couldn't have been more proud of myself. I got to run the race with my BFF Erin, got to meet Dean Karnazes, Nikki Kimball, and Hal Koerner. Best Race EVER!

Old Reliable 10K - Raleigh, NC
This was a last minute signup and I just wasn't prepared. I'd taken it easy since the 50K and just wanted to do this for my Nov race. I freakin' PR'd by about 45 secs and got 1st in my AG!

Philadelphia Half Marathon - Philadelphia, PA
I got to meet a lot of incredible people from Runner's World and could not have had a better time. And running with my sisters from another mister was so rewarding.. My BFF Erin and I ran with her sister Kristin who was shooting for a sub-2 half. She did awesome and pushed herself to accomplish her goal! I'm so proud of her and know that she is only going to get better and FASTER!!! LOOK OUT! 

Kristin, Erin and I

Us with the Runner's Editor, Mark Remy

Inaugural Green Beret Jingle Jog 10K
Another local race that would also get me my race for December. I'd forgotten my Garmin in my car so I was running naked and blind. It turned out to be pretty awesome. I played leap frog with the lead female the whole way and dubbed her Pink Santa Hat Girl as in my last RR. This girl was fast and tried to get rid of me. I just wouldn't leave her alone and breathed my hot air down her pretty little neck the whole time. Ok, it wasn't that intense but you get the idea...HAHA! It was a fight to the finish and she pushed through a little more gas than I did beating me by 6 seconds. But guess what.....ANOTHER PR! 43:53. PR last run of the season and a second place overall female award....what could be better?!?!

I'm in the red shirt

This year was a turning point for me. I had a 6 month stint of constantly going to the gym, which is pretty dang good! I've been burned out for a little while but think I'm ready to hit it again. I have accomplished many things and been many places this year. This year I realized that I had so much potential within myself and that not one drop of gas/energy should be left when I finish a race. No cheating myself. I have left my blood, sweat, tears, soul, my EVERYTHING out in the woods from here to Georgia, up to Virginia and even to PHILLY! I'll end with this....Let 2012 be your year to find out what your body can do. Push yourself. Kick your own ass. Do something you never thought you'd do. Be the best runner you can be. LIVE.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Year recap (JAN-JULY)

With the year winding down, I've been looking at what I've done this year. Where did 2011 go?? 
What have I done this year? The only real goal I set for myself this year was to do at least one race every month and......I DID IT!

Little River 10 mile trail run
I had been sick for a couple weeks and it had just snowed. I wasn't feeling this race and decided to just 'run' it. HUGE mistake as I got shoved in the back of a conga line and poked around the whole 10 miles. Never again. That's when I said to myself "Race hard or stay at home."
My favorite winter running pic

Anderson Creek 10K
It was a chilly rainy day and I didn't know what was going to happen. My 'rival' was running this race and I gunned for her the whole time. I paced myself just right, snuck up on her and passed her the last half mile to win the overall female award! WOO!

Georgia Chainbuster 9 hour moutain bike relay
This race was in preparation for the 30 hour adventure race I'd compete in the next month. I am terrible at biking single track and was WAY out of my league. I had kids passing me! NOT OK.

Northern Georgia 30 hour Adventure Race
This was going to be the mother of all races. The longest AR I'd completed before this was 12 hours. After 30 hours of biking, hiking, running, getting lost, navigating around in the dark, eating tons of beef jerkey and trail mix, getting my legs shredded by was done. We walked up to the race director to turn in our checkpoint sheet and all we got for doing the race was a handshake and a "Thanks for coming!" My teammate and I took 2nd place in that race in our division.
I might look happy but I'm thinking..."Get me out of this boat! I never want to see a canoe again!"
This was the second morning...I was a zombie at this point.
This was our finish, after 30 hours, and that's the guy saying "Thanks for coming out." WTH? I downed about 4 pieces of pizza right after..

Shamrock Dolphin Challenge: VA Beach, VA
I'd done the 8K once before but would be doing that plus the half this time. I was STOKED because I'd be meeting several girls from Runner's World and they were great gals. I ran a great 8K and even got a huge PR in the half! Girl time, Yuengling, running, huge PR....what could be better??

Country Music Marathon: Nashville, TN
This was to be my first official marathon! Not only that, but I got to go with my BFF (Erin), her sis and her mom! We had a blast and I almost got a sub 4 on the first try! I ended up with a 4:00:23! I still curse those 23 seconds : )
Myself, my BFF Erin and her sister Kristin outside our sweet lodging!

White Lake 10K
This was a little race out in BFE. It was hot already and I started off WAY too fast. I was gunning for girls way out of my league and I blew up towards the end. Still managed to get 1st in my AG.
The trophys were messed was of a running guy and had TRACK in big letters going up the side : )

Army Birthday 10 miler: Ft. Bragg, NC
This was MY race. I was shooting for a PR that had to be below 1:19 (from this same race back in 2007). I hadn't been training for speed though and didn't know how it'd go. I ran my heart out with nothing left and managed to PR with a 1:18:38!! YESSSS! (Oh and I barely beat my local running 'rival'!)

Virginia SPROUTE 12 Hour Adventure Race
This turned out to be the most eventful AR of the season. The parts that really stuck out were the last 2 hours. On my bike, that I have to clip into with my shoes, I was crossing a small creek. I was getting along fine until I hit a rock that I couldn't see. I slowly fall over and wasn't able unclip in time falling onto some rocks. One of those rocks punctured the top of my right kneecap. I immediately felt the pain and couldn't move. After several minutes and washing all the blood off my knee (in the creek....) we took off. The adrenaline was pushing me along as we were suddenly in the middle of a crazy thunderstorm. Trees were blowing sideways, you couldn't see more than 5 ft in front of you b/c of the rain and it was lightning everywhere. We were one of the few teams that actually finished the race. We took first place in our division for that one. Days later I was hobbling around on crutches with a busted and infected knee. After lots of meds and doc visits, I was walking again. Now I can't even tell it happened except for a lil scar. Scars are sexy, right? Or does that just apply to guys? : )

Tidewater Traverse 18 hour Adventure Race: Virginia
The next month, I was ARing again! This one went really well and we were one of the top teams until we got lost right at the end. We also missed our cutoff time by about 2 minutes costing us first place! Ouch...
My partner Allen and I

July was the only month I didn't actual do a running race but I ran during the AR so IT COUNTS!
Part 2 coming up with August thru December!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Race Report: Run as fast as you can for as long as you can.

The N & O Old Reliable 10K Run: Raleigh, NC

Run as fast as you can for as long as you can. That was my motto about 5 minutes after I started the race. 

Since the 50K on October 15th, I've ran about 5 times; junk miles mostly. I wasn't planning on anything special for this 10K and actually signed up for it at the last minute.

I manuevered myself towards the front of the start. I was also starting with the marathon, marathon relay, and half-marathoners at the same time. It was a cluster but it still worked out.

As during most of my races, most of the run was a blur. I get in the zone when I race and get tunnel vision. Unless someone is streaking buck naked or falls and eats it, I'm probably not going to notice. However, as I was running up the first hill, I passed an older gentleman that looked like he was wearing a singlet over a sweater. No, that was just his back hair. He was nice though and told me good job and I said the same back to him. Also at one point, there was a priest standing outside a church blessing all of us : )

Mile 1- 7:06

Way faster than I needed to run but I was weaving in and out of folks trying to get ahead and out of the gaggle.

Mile 2- 6:48

Whoa nelly! I looked down at my watch at one point and noticed it said 6:15. WTH are you doing! You can't keep that up, you'll die! Slooooow your roll sister.

Mile 3- 7:04

Still faster than I needed to be going. However, I hit the 3 mile mark at 5K PR is 22:39. You do the math : ) That's a 5K PR BABY except it doesn't count. At least I know I can possibly run a sub 21 5K in the near future!

Mile 4- 7:04

I was being very consistent but I started to hit a little wall at this point. The fast pace was finally catching up to me and I was wondering if I'd be able to keep it up a couple more miles.

Mile 5- 7:19

A little slower but I still couldn't believe I was doing so well! I never expected to do so well during this race after barely running the last few weeks. I just keep surprising myself.....and that doesn't get old.

Mile 6- 7:08

At this point I knew I was going to do well. I hadn't looked at the total time during the last couple miles so I didn't know just how well I was doing. I'm terrible at math and never keep track of pace so the finish was a total surprise. The last .3 or so was almost all up hill and I was struggling. I didn't run at a total sprint at the end like I normally do because I had no steam left. Just how I like it.

Finish time- 44:20 (chip time) 44:53 (gun time)
PREVIOUS 10K PR- 45:05 from 2007
Put that in your pipe, 26 yr old Chris, and SMOKE it! 

5/244 female overall
1/45 in my age group 30-34
24/487 overall
Hell to the yeah!

I have another 10K this Friday : ) I am a glutton for punishment I guess. I plan to smoke the bags off of this one as well. I did well last year but want to do even better this time. It's a trail race too! We'll see!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shamrock Whale Challenge and raising money for the LIVESTRONG foundation

     Back in 2008, I was deployed to Afghanistan. It gets REALLY boring over there if you had a job like I had. You have to be creative in what you do on your off time; find new things to do. This was my third deployment there and this time I brought my Fugi Cross bike with me. The base I was on had about an 8 mile paved loop around it and that's where we'd run/bike. I was online one day looking at races in the US and came across the LIVESTRONG events. They had run/bike events in a few major cities that year, one being in Austin, TX. I then got the idea that I could email the race director and ask them if I could participate in the Austin event, from Afghanistan. It can happen, right?
     Once I emailed them, they were all for it and wanted to do everything they could to help me out. I was going to raise money for them too so they sent me all sorts of things to help with that. I still have enough LIVESTRONG yellow bracelets to last me a lifetime and I still wear one everyday : ) I ended up raising $1700 for them and rode 50 miles on my bike. That was the most I'd ridden then and it was hard to ride over there once the traffic picked up. The whole experience was awesome and just can't be put in to words.

I conducted a 'ruck march' as one of the ways to help raise money. Me and about 10 other guys rucked around the 8 miles and I carried all of the donations in that ammo can : ) We started before the sun came up and it was amazing to watch it rise over those mountains.

     So now I want to run the Shamrock Whale Challenge in Virginia Beach, Virginia St. Patty's Day weekend 2012. This is the 8k on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday. I ran the dolphin challenge last year which is the 8k and half marathon. LIVESTRONG is offering to pay the entry fee for those who will raise some money for them before race time. It is only $250 so I know I can raise that and hopefully lots more by then. I'm so excited to be doing this and hope that I can represent them proudly once again. This is about much more than an entry fee. It's hopefully a small little bit that can eventually help save millions of lives.

If you would like to donate, my donation page is:

Please let me know if you have any trouble viewing or accessing the site.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shoe porn

Come to find out, the Uwharrie Moutain Run (which consists of 8, 20, and 40 mile distances) sold out in a couple of hours yesterday! THAT'S why it took me so long to register/get the page to load up. I'm even more excited for this race now. I'll be doing the Frosty 50K, in Jan, in preps for it. Those will be a couple of c-c-cold races!

This cold is kicking my a$$. Being sick is no fun. I am taking zinc and echinacea with my vitamin/other supps at night (as normal), cold meds, and I'm sucking down green tea like it's nobody's business.

I got some new shoes a couple days ago! I now have a third pair of Brooks Ghost 3's in the only other color I didn't have them in yet. Love the Ghost's! I used the new ones during my run yesterday. My feet/shins didn't like it at first but were adjusted by the time I finished. They have lots of cushion for my high arched feet.

I also got the Keen A86 TR. I swear they were blue in the picture when I ordered them but they are VERY purple. They even look less purple in the pic I took below but they are bright! I could care less though. I just hope they rock the trails. They are very light and I'm guessing Keen's version of minimalist. I'll have to ease in to them.

I got both pairs of shoes off of Sierra Trading Post ( for $120 including shipping! They have a 20% code on their website right now and the shoes were $60ish to begin with. You can find great deals on there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First post!

This is the first post of my new blog. I've been a blogger on Runner's World's "The Loop" for quite some time. The Loop is pretty cool because you can read a lot of other runners blogs and are easily accessible. But who doesn't want their own blog? The plan is to post on here from now on and I'll probably just copy it onto The Loop.

I'll blog about running and everyday things. I hope it is of some interest to someone. My favorite blogs to write are race reports summing up a race that I've recently completed. If my running tales can inspire someone else to try things they never thought they could do, I'll be happy.

I think I have caught a cold because I've woken up the past couple mornings unable to breath. Last night, I signed up for the City of Oaks 10K which is this Sunday. I hope this thing passes by then, otherwise I'll be hacking up stuff as I'm running. This morning, I signed up for the Uwharrie Mountain Run 40 miler in February. Registration opened this morning at 8am and it took a while to get the website to load up and for me to finally get registered. I'm guessing lots of others were trying to register before it fills up.