ASICS LA Marathon Video

Hey guys, I made it back home! Do you remember back when I ran the LA marathon with ASICS that I mentioned I would be recording the race as I ran? Well, I got the finished product back the other day and wanted to share it with you. It’s crazy to see over three hours of footage condensed down into less than three minutes, but I love it!

ASICS LA marathon video:

QOTD: Have you ever recorded yourself while you run? 

runDisney Marathon Weekend Registration 2016

Today is a big day for runDisney fans, registration for marathon weekend 2016 opens at noon EST today on runDisney.com! I sadly won’t be registering (unless I find out I have some rich great uncle I didn’t know I had), but I wish lots of pixie dust to those of you that are registering!

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Be sure you understand the above instructions!

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If you are on the fence about registering, allow me to shove you over. Marathon weekend is the first runDisney race weekend I ever participated in before runDisney even existed. I went back in 2011, 2013, and 2014 adding more distance each time (I went from the half, to the full, to goofy to dopey!) It is a blast, and I do hope to participate again in the future. Lots and lots of special memories!

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Anyway, if you have any questions about marathon weekend of any of the races I would be happy to help you. For now, please enjoy some of my old posts on the races and race weekend by visiting my runDisney page. I will link to a couple of them here for you, too. GOOD LUCK!

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Why are runDisney races so popular? An interview with Faron Kelley

Tips for running a runDisney race

5 reasons to run a runDisney race

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QOTD: Are you registering for marathon weekend? Which races?

PS- After you register, head over to the Disney Store for your “in training” shirt!

ASICS LA Marathon Weekend: Race Recap

Here it is finally, my race recap from the ASICS LA marathon. I can’t believe it was over a week ago, and I still honestly can’t believe I ran a marathon after having a baby five months prior. I was definitely undertrained with a 16 miler as my longest run (not advisable by the way), but I still am so happy I did it and so proud of myself!

Crystal and I woke up at 3:15. We got about four hours of sleep so I like to say we took a long nap.

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We jumped up, got dressed and packed to head down to the shuttle.

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But not before a quick picture of course!

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I met up with the other TeamASICSLAM members in the lobby, and the girls took a picture before we got on the bus.

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Megan from Self Magazine, Kelly from According to Kelly, Leta from Pop Sugar Fitness, and Jessie from Women’s Running Magazine.

We arrived at Dodger stadium and made our way to the VIP area where we had food, a private gear check, and real bathrooms (the best part!) I had already eaten in the room so I just grabbed a bottle of water.

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We had a great view of the field which was really neat.

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We hung out, stretched, and I checked my bag before we headed out to the start line which was just outside. The corrals were a bit confusing, so Crystal and I just tried to squeeze in wherever we could find space. It was jam packed!

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The sun began to rise, and after a few minutes the elite women were off, followed by the elite men and the seeded corrals.

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Then it was just a giant free for all, everyone else going at once. It was VERY crowded in the beginning because of this, but it ended up evening out as the race went on, but we  had to walk the first couple of tenths because we just couldn’t move.

The first few miles were pretty uneventful. I asked Crystal where we were about a million times and we just kept on going. We decided to do a 2:1 run/walk interval that way we wouldn’t end up pushing too hard the first half with nothing left to give in the second. I did a few of my training runs this way and it really worked well for me. I push hard on the run portions knowing I get a walk break. Crystal had an interval timer on her garmin so she would let us know when it was time to run or walk.

Also, I was video recording my experience for ASICS, so I was carrying my phone in one hand and the camera in the other so I could record easily. The walk breaks made it much easier for me to talk into the camera and record my surroundings.

We made it to Chinatown!

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The sun was coming up but it wasn’t in our eyes yet so I had no need for sunglasses. It was already getting very warm but luckily wasn’t humid.

Crystal is used to running on hills and I am not, so I would lag behind on the small hills then catch up with her at the walk breaks.

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I knew there was a big hill somewhere around mile five, and boy were they not joking! This thing was a beast to climb. I know it doesn’t look that steep, but it went on forever.

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This is a good shot to show you all the people running:

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I tired to take pictures when I could, but it was hard switching back and forth between my camera and the video camera.

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There were a bunch of rolling hills that really slowed me down, but none as big as the one at mile 5.

We made it to the 10k marker and we were tracking ourselves, so we saw our estimated time was 5:23. I was impressed. I knew that would change in the later miles, but since my PR was 5:56, I was thinking I could make it. Crystal’s PR was a couple minutes faster than mine, so we were a good match to run together. We made it around a corner and I could see the hollywood sign off in the distance. It kept hiding behind buildings but finally I got a shot of it!

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ooookkkk….

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Crystal kept telling me certain things were famous landmarks so I took pictures of them but didn’t know what most of them were haha.

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The sun was out but there was a sheer layer of clouds covering it so it didn’t seem so hot…yet

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We passed more landmarks (I was told this one was where the Disney movie premieres were held so of course I needed a picture)

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We were feeling good, and having someone to chat with made the miles go a lot faster.

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I was getting a slight twinge in my IT band so I decided to be proactive and take some tylenol at a med tent. My hip felt surprisingly fine, so off we went. We hit the first of two CLIF stations and I grabbed some fuel. I had taken two so far and so I held off on taking another and saved it for later.

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I couldn’t believe it, we made it halfway! On one hand it was great knowing we had conquered half the race, but it was also very daunting knowing we still had ANOTHER 13.1 miles to run!

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Off we went, through Hollywood and into Beverly Hills.

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We were still feeling good, and I was still taking a cup of gatorade and a cup of water at every stop, which was every mile. It was about this time I started taking fuel from spectators. Yall, the spectators were AMAZING. They had SO much food! I grabbed some pretzels and the salt tasted so good to me. That’s when I knew I needed to eat more solid food so I grabbed half a banana from someone else.

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It was a beautiful place to run with very few hills so I was happy. Smile

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Next we turned onto Rodeo drive. I ooed and aahheed over all the stores I would never be able to afford to even walk into. Then I saw one of my favorite race signs:

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So fun! I love Pretty Woman.

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aahhhhh

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oohhhh

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aahhh

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Ok I’ll stop now.

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We made a turn, and the 5:30 pace team passed us. I was ok with that, and we were still on track for a big PR! However, I realized our pace was naturally slowing a bit, so I took a popsicle and an orange slice from someone, as well as some coconut water. I was getting tired of the syrupy taste of my fuel so real food was amazing.

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We were on mile 19, and all of the sudden the clouds parted and the sun was out in FULL FORCE. I was actually feeling pretty good and ready to pick the pace back up for a bit.

Let’s backtrack for a minute. At the beginning of the race, Crystal and I agreed if one of us wanted to leave the other, no hard feelings. As I was saying this, I was saying it for HER benefit because I was so undertrained I assumed she would be the one leaving me in the dust! Poor girl, about this time I realized she had slowed a good bit and she said she had a bad headache. I was feeling good but also ready to get out of the sun, so after a few minutes of deliberating, I asked her if it would be ok if I went on ahead. I was getting hotter by the minute and the bottoms of my feet were hurting and I was ready to be done at that point. She told me to go, but I asked her at least a dozen times if she was sure. I told her I still thought she could PR, and that if she got sick or needed me she MUST call me an di would come back and get her. She promised, so off I went.

I didn’t have the interval timer set on my Garmin, so I just decided to play it by ear. I ran for about four or five minutes, passed mile 20, and realized, oh my goodness, the sun was zapping all my energy and there was NO SHADE. I made it to the VA hospital area, and realized all of the sudden I couldn’t run anymore. I looked around me and realized 90% of the people were walking. it was like a death march. I was lightheaded and seriously concerned about my ability to finish the race. I still had 6 miles to go, and I sent out a text to my husband that simply said “pray”. It was all I could manage to type. I have never felt this bad and depleted during a race before and it scared me. I knew my chance of a PR was gone, and I assumed I would be walking six miles which made me want to cry.

I made it where we were running under an overpass, and son many people were just stopping there in the shade, and sitting down to rest. I have never seen anything like this at a race. To give you an idea of how dehydrated I was, I went to the bathroom at Dodger stadium before the race. I drank a cup of water and Gatorade at every stop (every mile) plus water, popsicles, ice, and oranges from spectators all on the course. I didn’t have to pee until TWO HOURS after the race, even with all the fluids I was dumping into my body. It was nuts, yall. I may or may not have had a little breakdown somewhere around this time, and there may or may not have been some tears shed.

An amazing person on the side of the road had these tubes of salt, and I immediately took one. I have never taken straight salt during a race before, but I figured my body could really use it. She showed me how to flip the top, lick my thumb, and get the salt on it, and I was so delirious I was holding it backwards and couldn’t get the tube open! I finally figured it out and downed half the tube. It was disgusting but I was willing to do anything at that point. I kept walking, running when I could, but it didn’t last long. There were wonderful spectators that had misting bottles, hoses, and bags of ice. Normally I would think it was gross to stick my hand in a bucket of ice then put it in my mouth, but at that point I. did. not. care. I also ate another orange and another popsicle. Starting at mile 20, I started dumping a cup of water on my head at every mile to cool off. I trudged along miles 20-22, and then finally, finally made it to a street with some shade.

Someone had opened up a fire hydrant which felt amazing. All of the sudden, I felt a little better. I had some energy, and felt like I could run again, so I did, and I just kept going. I looked at my pace and it was actually decent, I was shocked. I pretty much just kept my head down, and put one foot in front of the other. People were cheering for us all along this portion which was very encouraging. Soon I made made it to mile 23, then 24. I didn’t have much more to go! I kept saying to myself “you are stronger than you think” and “finish strong”. I also kept praying that God would give me strength to finish.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I took no photos during this portion. However, I did celebrate when I made it to mile 25! At mile 25 I also looked at my total time on my Garmin for the first time. I was at 5:30! I could still PR! This put a little pep in my step but I didn’t want to overdo it.

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I knew soon I would be making a left hand turn onto Ocean Avenue, and while there would be no shade there, it would mean I was almost done! I made the turn and I could SEE the finish line way off in the distance. Some people started picking up the pace but I knew better. I have run races in the past where you “see’ the finish, kick it in, then realize you kicked too early and have nothing left for the last couple of tenths. I kept my slow and steady run, and kept my head down so I wouldn’t see the finish.

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Finally, I was close enough to get excited and give everything I had. I wanted nothing more than to finish strong. I saw Rudy up to the right announcing the race. I gave him a quick wave and crossed that glorious finish line. I did it! not only did I do it, I PR’ed by over 13 minutes! 5:43:04 was my official time. Considering the heat and my lack of training I was pretty pleased with this.

I collected my medal and made my way to the VIP Bungalow, happy to not have to walk down the long finishers shoot. I’m not sure if I could at that point! I grabbed some champagne and lasagna, and sat down for the first time. it felt amazing.

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I was completely covered in salt, but so happy to be out of the sun! Soon after I sat down, I got a text alert that Crystal had finished! She ended up with a 2 minute PR herself, I was so happy for us both! After I got some food I headed upstairs to meet Crystal and take a shower. That’s when I realized I made it through the whole race with ZERO hip pain! The only pain I had was the bottoms of my feet, and some chafing (oowww!!!)

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Yes, those are people who just finished the race in the background, walking through the shoot. It was well over 1.5 hours after I crossed and they were still pouring in. I felt so bad for everyone still out in this heat!

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But, that’s a story for another day and another post.

I had a wonderful ASICS LA marathon experience and am so fortunate to be asked to participate by ASICS. The race went so smoothly, I never noticed any major problems. There were plenty of volunteers, water stops, race personnel, and the like. The only thing I would change would be to have the start more spread out with time between waves of people, but other than that it was a blast! I hope to do this race in the future. Thanks so much ASICS!

QOTD: have you ever run a race you weren’t sure you could finish? Have you ever run a really hot race?

Disclosure: I was provided with flight, hotel, race entry, food, and gear for this race weekend by ASICS. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

**In case you missed my poll from yesterday, I would love for you to answer ONE quick question for me!

 

ASICS LA Marathon Weekend: Relaxing Afternoon

Saturday after the shake out run and brunch, we had boxed lunches in the hospitality suite, and some amazing folks from ALTUS were there to stretch us out and work out any kinks we had before race day. I was really excited about this because I was worried about how my hip and knee were going to hold up. I explained everything and he did some active release therapy on me and some stretching as well and while it was pretty painful at times, it ended up helping SO much, they are miracle workers! While I was eating my lunch, I noticed ASICS turned a quote I had given them into a cool photo and posted it on Twitter. Love it!

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After lunch I decided to go down to the pool and relax in the shade. The only problem was I couldn’t find an empty chair! I ended up chatting with a guy who was also running the marathon and when the two ladies next to him got up to leave he came and got me and helped me carry my stuff over so I could have the extra chairs. Super nice of him!

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We ended up chatting about running and the race while I waited for my buddy Linzie to arrive to hang out with me. See, I promise I stayed in the shade and chugged water the whole time!

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I hadn’t seen Linzie in awhile so it was great to do some catching up while I was in town.

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Time flew by and soon he had to go. I needed to go get ready for dinner anyway so we said our goodbyes and I got ready for dinner in Venice with the rest of the #TeamASICSLAM crew. We ended up walking part of the way to the restaurant because the traffic was so bad so we jumped out of the bus to make our reservations!

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Dinner was delicious (pasta, chicken, etc.) but I was so exhausted and ready to get back and get to bed. My friend Crystal who was running the race was on her way to the hotel to spend the night with me and I couldn’t wait to see her either! We ended up staying up too late chatting, and 3:15 came all too quickly. Time to get up, it was LA marathon day!

QOTD: What do you eat the night before a race?

ASICS LA Marathon Weekend: Shake Out Run and Brunch with the Elites

So as if the ASICS LA Marathon VIP party wasn’t enough epic-ness, the next morning we got to have even more fun. Good morning Santa Monica!

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I have gotten a lot of nice comments on Instagram about the below photo. This makes me laugh because what it does NOT show is that I was exhausted after four hours of sleep, severely dehydrated, had a serious headache, and well, the sun was blinding me. But hey, it’s for the sake of Instagram, right?

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I chugged coffee and met my crew in the lobby where we headed over to where we would be having brunch for some instructions and schedule chat.

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Coach Kastor explained that we would be running down towards the finish line to where our final turn onto Ocean Avenue was, then running back and having brunch. It was about 2.5 miles total.

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Yup, that’s Deena Kastor in front of me in the pink. I totally kept up with her the whole time. Kidding.

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I did however end up running with Alysia Montano, She’s freaking awesome yall, and not to mention HILARIOUS. I could just listen to her talk and tell jokes all day. She has a 7 month old so we mostly chatted babies which was fun!

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We made it to where our turn was and stopped to listen to coach Kastor for a minute who was telling us how far we would have to the finish at this point, etc. It was crazy I would be making that final turn the next day at the end of my marathon!

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We made our way back to the hotel and I snapped a shot of the pier before we headed in for brunch.

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Our brunch location is part of the hotel, but it’s right on Ocean Avenue and kind of open, it’s hard to explain. it had a cool bohemian vibe and since the weather was so nice it made it even better! They had a beautiful spread of food waiting for us, and we were told to eat….so I was first in line. Don’t judge, my body thought it was two hours later than it really was.

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I made my way outside to a set of sofas and began to chow down. I felt kind of like I was in high school and didn’t know what table I belonged at, so I sat alone and just hoped someone would come sit by me. WELL, in a few minutes I would feel like a super cool kid because some awesome ladies one by one came over and sat by me. I felt like I was dreaming. First Deena Kastor and Alysia joined me. We all started chatting about random things, just moms talking about our kids. Then Queen Harrison joined us. Then about midway through the meal, Sara Hall walks in and sits down RIGHT NEXT TO ME. NBD. I suddenly couldn’t even eat. I was afraid to say something stupid. I really DID feel like I was in an awkward high school situation, it was hilarious and surreal at the same time.

Soon, coach Kastor stood up to give some final words of advice on our race the next day. We were going to be experiencing record high heat, so he had a lot to say about hydrating and taking it easy. Sadly I don’t remember all of it, I was too busy geeking out and secretly taking and posting pictures of my “new friends.”

Alysia and Queen (and Andrew Kastor)

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Sara and Deena and you can see Shadrack Biwott (he has run a 2:12 marathon and a 1:01:24 half!)

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All of the elite athletes went around and shared one piece of advice for everyone running which I thought was really fun. I recorded some of what Ryan Hall said, but not all because I was running out of camera space (foreshadowing….) He is so chill and laid back when he talks, he cracks me up.

After the talk was over, I had one mission, and that was to meet Ryan Hall. I have always looked up to him for his work ethic, attitude, and for being an outspoken Christian who stands behind his faith. I had rehearsed what I wanted to say to him, but of course my mind went blank when I introduced myself. I told him I really admired him for his faith and beliefs AND THEN I STARTED CRYING. How embarrassing. I’m just so thankful to have good Christian athletes to look up to, that it just came out. Ug. I die. Anyway, I pulled myself together and told him I had a baby five months ago and this was my first race back. He told me I looked great for recently giving birth, so now he is my new favorite person. So I didn’t want to take up his time and asked if we could take a selfie, I went to take the picture, AND MY MEMORY WAS FULL!!!! You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Of ALL times! I panicked and started flipping out (on the inside) and random started deleting apps. I think I deleted Twitter and WordPress, I just didn’t care, I NEEDED space! I FINALLY got it to work and got my picture. Whew. Crisis averted. But OMG what luck.

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It was a great run and brunch, and I can’t believe I got to hang out with so many amazing people. My greatest takeaway is that these are folks just like you and me (except they are really freaking fast!) Other than the tips they all gave at the end, we didn’t even really talk about running at all! I had such a fun time, a huge thank you to ASICS and their athletes for coming out to run and hang out with us the day before such a big race!

QOTD: Do you do a shake out run before a big race?

ASICS LA Marathon Prep

It’s here! It’s here! The week I leave for California to run the LA marathon with #TeamAsics. This race really snuck up on me! When I agreed to run back in December, I thought I had “plenty of time” to get ready. Famous last words, right? I have dealt with a couple of set backs, but I am confident I can complete the distance.

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Here is a little bit of info about the race and what I will be doing:

-This year is a very special year for the LA marathon, it is the 30th anniversary! There are special events going on over the weekend, and one will be on Friday night when the mile markers for the race are lit up during a one of a kind event.

-From March 12-15, people can visit the 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica to see the ASICS “big race cup” art installation. Anyone who takes a “running photo” in front of the big race cup  and shares the image on Twitter or Instagram using #RunItForwardLA, ASICS will make a $20 donation up to $26,200 to Back on my feet, a non profit creating independence and self-sufficiency within homeless populations by encouraging running to build self esteem and strength.

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-There is a special LA marathon running shoe created just for the event, as well as running apparel that will be available for purchase at the expo.

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-I will be arriving on Friday and heading to the expo Friday afternoon around 2:00ish, so if you see me there be sure to say hello! The NutriBullet Health and Fitness Expo will be open Friday from 10-7, and Saturday from 9-5 at the LA convention center.

-Saturday I will be participating in a fun event, so be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter to see what I’m up to!

Sunday at 7:00 am is when the race starts! I will not only be live tweeting/Instagramming, but I will be taking video for ASICS! I can’t wait to share it with you!

-There are several elite runners running this race including Ryan and Sara Hall, Lauren Jimison, Daniel Tapia, and Becky Wade…and, this race is OFFICIALLY SOLD OUT! Amazing!

-There is an official app for this race (free) and on it you can find runner tracking and other fun information.

I cannot wait for this amazing experience, and hope you will follow along with me starting on Friday! I’m packing up my bags, my snacks (must bring Quest Nutrition Protein Bars

and here we go!

QOTD: Have you ever run a destination race? What is your favorite thing about LA?

*This post contains affiliate links

 

Body After Baby: Three Months

Time for my three month body after baby update. Again, feel free to skip if this isn’t your thing. Keeping track helps me stay motivated through tough months (like this one). Has anyone ever tried losing weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas? It’s crazy hard!

I’d safety say I lost between one and two pounds this month. I’m still not a member of the gym, so my only means of workouts have been running. I ran between two and three days a week in December, and will be finally able to join the gym in January since Emma Kate will go to daycare for five hours a day two days a week, woo hoo!IMG_1930 (2)

I am still about 10 pounds or so from my happy weight, and now that all the holiday temptations and excuses are over, I feel like I will better be able to focus on my health.

Also, I mentioned yesterday on Instagram that I was invited by ASICS to run the LA marathon in March. Surprise! I will post more about it later, but for now, just know that I am terrified about running a full marathon less than 6 months postpartum! I know I can do it, but it’s going to be tough work getting my mileage back up by March. Luckily I have a great coach. More on that later, too!

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Side shot, not sucking in. Still have some belly fat to firm up, but I knew that would be the hardest part!

I went ahead and allowed myself to indulge and have fun with food around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but now I am buckling down. I am doing the Advocare herbal cleanse, taking my Omegaplex and catalyst as well as spark and every other day I drink a meal replacement shake for lunch. (You can purchase from my advocare store from the link above). I’m still trying to decide which spark flavor is my favorite, but I’m currently loving fruit punch!

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My hair is still coming out in huge clumps, and now I understand what moms meant when they said they thought they may go bald! Luckily I had very thick hair to begin with. Other than that, I am feeling pretty good. I think my body is more “back to normal” this month as far as how I feel. When I run I can tell there is still extra weight on my body, but that is to be expected. Now that I am going back to lifting weights again, I am excited to see myself get stronger.

With the LA marathon thrown into the mix now, I will have to do some very long runs which will be tough to schedule because of the baby, but at least it’s just for a couple of months and will hopefully be a good motivator for awhile. My longest run to date is 10 miles which I ran the day after Christmas. I have Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans half marathon coming up in less than a month, and I am excited and nervous for my comeback!

QOTD: How did you handle eating during the holidays? Strict? indulge a lot? In moderation?

Rock ‘n Roll NOLA Announcement and Giveaway

Hello friends! Can you believe that we are less than three months away from the Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans marathon and half marathon weekend? I am just getting back into running after having my baby, but can’t wait to rock through 13.1 miles in my hometown.

I have a fun announcement for you today and a giveaway opportunity. First of all, one of the bands for the after party was announced, the KONGOS! (<—-Check out the link to learn more about them.) They will be part one of the Finish Line Festival lineup. Yall, trust me when I say New Orleans knows how to throw a party, and finish line festivities at races are no exception!

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Don’t forget that live music will be performed throughout the race course. Think of them as mini concerts, and as much as you will want to stop and listen, don’t forget to keep running. Smile

***Also guys, don’t forget to use code LOOKINGGLASS at registration checkout for $10 off the half or full marathon, or LOOKINGGLASS10k for $5 off the 10k distance).

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Ok, so who wants to win a Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans t-shirt? These shirts are gender specific and super soft! All you have to do is register for one of the New Orleans races using my code (LOOKINGGLASS or LOOKINGGLASS10K), and email me at heatherslookingglass@gmail.com telling me that you did so, so that we can look you up to confirm. The first 5 people who do this starting today (past registrations don’t count) will get a FREE t-shirt. You know you have been on the fence about registering, and who doesn’t love free stuff? The men’s shirt is royal blue and the women’s is navy blue, they both have the same design on them. Check out Bobby modeling the men’s version:

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QOTD: If you could have any band perform at the end of a race for you, who would it be?

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Changes

Hey guys! Guess what? I will be helping spread the word about Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans marathon and 1/2 marathon that will be coming to Louisiana again January 25, 2015. I am so stoked about this race for a lot of reasons. It is my favorite local race, I have run it three times and have lots of good memories, AND, it will most likely be my FIRST HALF MARATHON AFTER BABY! Such a scary thought that I will have a child when I run this race. I am hoping that by signing up for something it will be a good motivator right out of the gate to get my rear in gear post delivery and back into running shape. I can’t wait to document my progress starting in October!

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One of the great things about this race series is that they not only ask for feedback from participants, but they actually make changes and improvements based on the responses. Us runners love when races listen to us! Check out some things that will be different next year for the New Orleans race:

· Enhanced finish line festival – local food and unlimited beer

· More on course entertainment

· More porta potties!

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All good things! Want to run this race? Enter code LOOKINGGLASS at check out for $10 the half or full marathon. Be sure to share the excitement on Twitter with the hashtag #RnRNOLA. Registration is OPEN so don’t wait for prices to go up!

I would love to see you at the race, it’s a really fun one. Super fast and flat course, with great local flare. Looking for a new PR? This is it!

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Want some insight on what the race is like? You can read my race recaps below:

Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras 2010

Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras 2011 Part 1 and Part 2

Rock ‘n’ Roll new Orleans 2012

QOTD: Are you running this race next year? Any other Rock ‘n’ roll races?

Dopey Challenge 2014: Marathon Race Recap

The fourth and final installment is finally here!

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The marathon was the only thing standing in the way of me getting three beautiful new  runDisney medals. I knew this would be the hardest day of all, and I was nervous. I felt undertrained, tired, injured, and just wanted to be done!

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We hopped on a bus for the fourth and final time, and made the long walk to our corrals after meeting up with a  few team runDisney friends before the race. We sat again again, conserving energy, and waited for our turn.

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We inched closer to the start, and I just couldn’t believe I was about to run 26.2 miles after already racing for three days.

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The fireworks went off, and it was finally our turn! Luckily, the congestion wasn’t near as bad as the day before at the half. There were still a few bottlenecks going over bridges and around turns, but it cleared up a lot better than before. We made it to the Magic Kingdom sign…wasn’t I already here once?

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I was feeling pretty good. We were walking through water stations and for about one minute every five or six minutes as well.

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Those first few miles were kind of “just keep swimming” for me, I knew we had a long way to go, and it was still dark so I was focusing on my feet and how I was feeling and not what was around me. The big crowd at the TTC was a nice boost, and I was going to stop ad use a “real” bathroom there, but the line was out the door, nevermind! We kept going and finally made it into the Magic Kingdom. I was bummed it was already daylight, I love running down Main street in the dark. I did get to see a couple familiar faces cheering us on though, thanks for coming out Kelly and Meghann!

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I decided to stop at the Tomorrowland bathrooms, huge line again, drat! I finally found an empty one where Tomorrowland meets Fantasyland, so we also stopped for a picture with this guy.

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I wanted to get a good castle picture of the both of us, so we stopped off on the side next to the castle to take a selfie.

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A super sweet girl saw what we were doing and asked if she could take the picture for us. Sure!

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Bobby took one of me, and mid photo a reader called out to me, which resulted in this photo:

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We made our way through the rest of the Magic Kingdom, and I took some Tylenol at the same med stop as the day before. Soon we were back out on the tiny road going to the Grand Floridian that is always crowded, and I saw more friends cheering for me at the wedding pavilion.

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We also had to get a photo with this duck.

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I was glad when we got to the speedway, having new ground to cover proved to be more entertaining.

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(looking like I’m running but actually at a standstill trying to turn onto the speedway!)

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Saw this lovely lady about this time, always good to see her on the course! Also, I have no idea what I am looking at here.

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An odd thing happened about this time, my feet started THROBBING. Not from my injury, but just the bottoms of both feet were killing me with every step. Luckily I remembered there was a med tent up ahead, so I stopped for more Tylenol. I was very thankful that the rest of my body felt fine, but wow my feet made me want to cry, and I wasn’t even halfway yet, or even close to it.

We trudged on to one of the two more boring stretches. (one is from the speedway to Animal Kingdom, the other is Animal Kingdom to the Sports Complex.) Several readers recognized me, and it was so much fun to chat with everyone! It lifted my spirits and kept my mind off the race, too!

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We were finally nearing Animal Kingdom, and I knew on the other side of it was the halfway mark, woo hoo! We love animals and were excited to see so many going into the park.

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The pig was wearing a bib! Adorbs.

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As I was in line, I saw a familiar face….but I thought nah, just coincidence. Then someone ran up and asked to take a photo with her. It WAS her! Yup I was right behind Tara from the Biggest Loser! She let me take a photo with her and we ended up running about the same pace back and forth for the rest of the race, and she finished just before me.

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We went on into the park, and Bobby said he had to go to the bathroom, so I nodded and kept running and stayed to the right, which is what we were doing any time one of us had to stop so the other could catch up and not get lost.

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Well…I kept going and going…ran into Dave Mari….kept going…and still nothing so I stopped after Everest and waited about two minutes…then he calls me…he was WAITING outside the bathroom! So we were both just standing still for several minutes ug! I told him I was going to keep going and he could catch me.

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I made it out the other side of the park and hallelujah I reached mile 13!

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Bobby finally caught me after this, and we headed out towards the Sports Complex. Bobby wanted to stretch his legs so several times he would run ahead of me, then stop on the side to stretch until I caught up with him, and this worked well for us for several miles. I didn’t want him to cramp up because he was shortening his gait to run with me. We made it to the sports complex, still doing our stop and go/not run with each other the whole time thing. I also took a bathroom break here (there was a line but I had to go!)

We rounded Champion Stadium, and headed out again back onto the road.

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Coming out of the complex Bobby said he was going to run ahead again and told me to stay on the LEFT, which I did. I was approaching mile 20 and the DJ was playing “Roar” and I started singing, and I have no idea why but I started crying during the chorus. I started thinking about this whole journey that I was so not prepared for, and how it definitely takes a fighter to do this, and no matter my time in the end I was going to be a champion. Running 48.6 miles in four days is awesome, and I couldn’t believe I was a 10k away from my goal. I had been SO nervous about this race, about how my body would hold up, and here I was, mile 20, and feeling pretty good. it just all hit me at once, and I was SO proud of myself. No matter what life throws at me, no one can take this accomplishment away from me. The little high school track sprinter who hated running was competing in a crazy race challenge, what a dream come true for me.

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The moment passed, I kept running for a good ten minutes, still no Bobby. I crossed over to the other side of the road about to exit towards Hollywood Studios, and my phone rings “did you cross over the road yet””?” Uh…yeah…about 7 minutes ago…. Bobby had somehow missed me and was way behind me. I told him I would run walk but I couldn’t just stop, he would have to catch up. Apparently I was REALLY far ahead because it took him until we almost turned into the Park to catch me!

We grabbed some chocolate and I knew the worst of the race was behind us. The parks were entertaining, and I knew I was going to make it from here.

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If you have read my first marathon recap you know exactly what these two pictures are for. Smile

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I surprisingly wasn’t that emotional going around this turn, I think I used up all my sappy emotion back at mile 20. I was just focused on finishing at this point. Bobby was happy and feeling great which I was SO thankful for since the last two marathons we ran here, Hollywood Studios is when his hamstrings would start to cramp.

It was a tight squeeze going along the path to the boardwalk, but we made it to the bridge going over the water. Fun story: during the 10k when we ran over that same bridge I told Bobby I could not WAIT until crossing this same point on Sunday. We would be so close to DONE and I would be so, so happy. Well, Bobby remembered this, and stopped and took my picture.

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I saw some more friends cheering outside the Beach Club, it’s always great to see familiar faces! We made our way to EPCOT. We saw the line for a photo with Dopey and decided to pass, I just wanted to be done and off my feet.

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We made it around World Showcase, and it was so great to see so many spectators calling out our names, it was just the push I needed that final mile and helped so, so much.

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Holy moley we were almost there!

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I couldn’t believe it was almost over. I was trying to soak it all in, this was it, the moment I couldn’t wait to arrive. The triumphant finish. We earned it. Turning that final corner is always such a rush for me, seeing the people, hearing the shouts, and that beautiful finish line straight ahead.

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I grabbed Bobby’s hand, and we finished the race, together. We started this challenge that way, and it was the best way imaginable to finish.

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We finished in 6:06, just eight minutes slower than last year when we were only running two of the four races. I was very pleased considering all of our stops, and even more pleased at how “ok” I felt. Sure I wanted to sit down and eat a cheeseburger (that would come!) But I wasn’t dying either. A win! My goal for Dopey was to finish in an upright position, and that I did. God totally got me through that race, I have NO IDEA how my foot and knee hurt during the shorter races but not this one. Yes my feet ached very badly, but my recurring injuries stayed away. Amazing.

I knew a friend of mine was handing out marathon medals, so I was super excited when I was able to get mine from her. How special!

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We headed over to get out Goofy and Dopey medals. FINALLY MINE!

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We didn’t stick around. I wanted a shower ASAP and needed some food. Right onto a bus we went.

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Then this happened:

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It was glorious, and I was ready for a nap. I think I deserved it.

QOTD: Do your feet hurt when you run long distances? Who is ready to tackle Dopey?