5 Things Friday XX

 

1.) I launched my eBook this week! I can’t believe I actually did it. It was always something I wanted to do “one day” but seemed too big and scary. So crazy to me that people are buying something I wrote. You can purchase your copy here.

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2.) On Wednesday night when I got to Bible Study, my tire pressure light was on, and sure enough I had a huge nail in my tire. I was able to put air in it at the gas station so I could get home, and thankfully a friend was able to come by yesterday morning and put air in it again so I could get EK to school and take my car in. Spending almost 2 hours at the tire place wasn’t want I had in mind for my day, but it happens. The weird thing is, this is the second time in 2 months I have had this happen!

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3.) Did you get tea at McAlister’s yesterday for free tea day? I missed my workout at the gym because I was at the tire place, so I did some pushups after getting my lunch at McAlisters. Double win!

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4.) My friend Melissa is hosting a Ballet body bootcamp. It’s a 6 week online bootcamp that combines ballet with traditional fitness. It’s a great way to do something different and mix up your workout routine, learn something you’ve probably never learned before, and increase your flexibility while building lean muscle. Ballet works very different muscles than most workouts, so by combining the two you’re going to hit every muscle in your body. The program also includes a suggested grocery list and free meal planning guide, and I will add clients to my online support and accountability group. Check it out, it sounds cool!

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5.) I completed my first run of the RnR virtual run series yesterday, it was the guitar solo. So much fun!

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Have a great weekend everyone, see ya on Monday!

QOTD: Have you done a virtual run? Ever had a nail in your tire? Have you checked out my eBook?

Things You May Have Missed

Happy Monday guys! I hope everyone had a great weekend. It wasn’t as warm and beautiful outside as it was last weekend, but everything is turning green and the pollen is out! Our whole family has been suffering from seasonal allergies, so that’s when I know it’s officially spring. Today I just wanted to chat about a few things that don’t really warrant a whole blog post, but were worth mentioning, and have nothing to do with “stuff”/items. Here we go!

1.) Rock ‘N’ Blogger: I was asked to be on the Rock ‘N’ Roll blogger team again this year, which I love! So far I have run RnR New Orleans, and would love to make it to Nashville next month. Just trying to find a place to stay, anyone up for a road trip?!?

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2.) I heart boot camp…but time for a break: The way my gym does their boot camp classes are in 2-3 month cycles. This one started in January and it ends this week. We will take a two week break and then get going again. I think it’s good to take these short breaks so I don’t get tired of it, but now I need to figure out what to do besides run for the next two weeks!

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3.) Busy froyo season: Spring and Summer are obviously the busiest times of year at the frozen yogurt shop Bobby and I own. We are so thankful for the warm weather, because winter is tough in the frozen treats business! This means working more shifts and helping out more, but I don’t mind. This also means my blogging may get a little inconsistent depending on hours at work, so hang in there with me!

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4.) It’s Getting’ Hot in Here: As I mentioned above, spring has definitely sprung in central Mississippi. We had an 87 degree day last week! This means the wind-down of half marathon season and into 10k/5k season. I am running a 10k next weekend and hope to run at least two 5k’s before it gets TOO hot outside.

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5.) Half birthday: Emma Kate will me ONE AND A HALF on the 24th. How crazy is that? It seems like we just had her first birthday party. We go for her checkout Wednesday, so be looking for her 18 month recap on the blog later this week. I haven’t done a recap since 15 months so there is a lot to say!

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Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans Recap 2016

At the end of February, I ran the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans half marathon once again. This race would be a little different for me as I was running it by myself for the first time, and I was coming off of a challenge weekend (10k and half marathon) in Walt Disney World. I was still excited to run my hometown race, and the weather was looking perfect!

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What was it I said about the weather? It was COLD that morning. I much prefer to run in the cold though, and I knew it would be warming up quickly as soon as the sun came up. I left my hotel room and made my way to the VIP hotel. I went in and grabbed a little coffee and a bagel, and met a girl from new York who is running a half marathon in all 50 states! It  was really cool to hear her story.

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The best thing about the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans VIP package that you can purchase is being able to use real bathrooms before the start, and being able to hang out in the warmth of a building and then just walk right out to your corral.

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I sat in the hall in my jacket and stretched for several minutes then used the restroom one last time (thanks, coffee, I guess I had too much liquid!) and then handed over my bag for private gear check before walking a block down to my corral only five minutes before the 7:30 start. I was in corral 7, so I knew I wouldn’t miss anything, but wanted to get out before the start so I could cross the street to get where I needed to go.

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Well, one thing I wasn’t expecting was utter chaos! There were still SO many people trying to get into their corrals, and since Rock ‘N’ Roll doesn’t enforce what corral you get into, all of the first corrals were so jam packed that people couldn’t even get into them. I finally found the sign for corral seven and jumped through the opening. As we were singing the national anthem, I looked around and realized I had accidentally jumped into the back of 6 instead of the front of 7. Dang it! I made my way to the very back of 6 as to not impede any runners, because there was no way I could get out onto the street and back a corral at this point, as you can see from the below photo.

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We made our way up to the start, and it was time to go! I was SO not mentally prepared for this race and had a moment of “oh, wait, I have to run 13.1 miles now!” right as our corral took off. Well, nothing I could do now but put in my headphones and run for a couple of hours!

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My first mile felt really good and I ran the pace I wanted to run the whole race in. It was a little crowded, but I have run in much worse so it didn’t really bother me too much. The course is very familiar to me, and I was most concerned with the road conditions so I kept my head down a lot.

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We were running on St. Charles where the beautiful old mansion are, and right after we hit mile two, I got a pain in my right hip. uh oh. This is what I was afraid of. When I ran the Glass Slipper Challenge the weekend before, I did fine in the 10k, but about midway through the half my hip started to hurt. It got worse and worse as the race went on, but I was able to finish. The whole week prior to this race, I didn’t work out at all, and just foam rolled and stretched in the hope of it getting better and not bothering me. No such luck apparently. I had taken Tylenol prior to the race start and it was already hurting me at mile two…this was going to be a long race.

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I had a quick moment of panic where I wanted to just sit on the curb and cry. I thought to myself…you have three choices here. One, you can quit now. Two, you can keep going at a run walk as to not be in pain and finish sometime tomorrow (haha) or three, you can SUCK IT UP, fight through the pain and finish as strong as possible and be proud of your effort. About that time, I saw a med tent. I grabbed some more Tylenol, and decided to just got for it. I picked a number, 10:00 pace, and decided to just try and hold that pace for as long as I could. About that time, the song “Fight Song” came on, and I started tearing up. I CAN do this, I WANT to do this. YES I was frustrated because I have been working really hard and despite running one day a week and running two races the last weekend, I was on track and had the ability to PR in that race, and now I knew it wasn’t going to happen, BUT, I knew I still had a lot of fight left in me, and I wanted to run to the best of the ability that I had for that day. So I pushed, and I pushed, and I struggled. I would run on the dirt street car tracks in the median, then jump down to the road, trying to figure out which felt better on my hip. I stopped occasionally to try to stretch out my hip. I took some GU. I counted down the miles. I gave myself a lot of pep talks. I started at the road, one foot in front of the other. I finally made it into the French quarter.

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I REALLY wanted to stop at Café du Monde, but I kept going Smile

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We made the turn onto Esplanade, and I knew I only had 3-4 miles left. This is where I was unable to hold onto my pace any longer. This is also when the pain started growing and moving from my hip to my glute, and would occasionally seize up the entire muscle group, which was super fun. I had to stop and walk more often and stop and stretch on stop signs. I was DETERMINED to finish as hard and strong as I possible could. It was starting to get hot outside, and I just kept staring at the ground in front of me (I nearly rolled an ankle a few times, yall, the roads in NOLA are BAD.) and kept glancing at my watch to see how far away I was.

When I made it to the museum of art, I knew I was close, but boy did that last half mile seem like the longest of my life. Normally this is where I would kick it in, but I had no kick in me. It was more of a hobble/limp to the finish, but I went as hard as I could. I didn’t even raise my hands when I crossed the finish, I was just so ready to stop running to stop the pain. I crossed in 2:14:59. Not exactly what I was expecting, but I also surprised myself considering all the things I had going against me.

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My watch said I ran 13.36 miles with average pace of 10:06 if I remember correctly. It’s not what I wanted but at least it’s encouraging that if I can do my PT/get stronger and run more than once a week I will PR. Here are my splits:

  • mile 1- 9:31
  • mile 2- 9:55 —> stopped at med tent
  • mile 3- 9:39
  • mile 4- 9:54
  • mile 5- 10:00
  • mile 6- 9:48
  • mile 7- 9:45
  • mile 8- 10:06
  • mile 9- 10:30 —> took a GU
  • mile 10- 10:06
  • mile 11- 10:54 —> took another GU
  • mile 12- 10:18 —> almost died
  • mile 13- 9:12

I made it out of the chute and ran into Mindy and Jenny. Was great to chat with them for a bit!RnR friends

I then walked over to the VIP tent and immediately put my name down for a massage, then got some food. The weather was wonderful, and it was nice to just sit and listen to the music and enjoy the day.

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I got a text from Megan and we met up for a quick hello. Great to see a fellow ASICS ambassador!

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Around 12:00 I knew it was time to head back to the hotel to checkout and drive back to my parents. I didn’t want to leave because I was just enjoying being still after such a stressful morning, but I also knew it was a trek back to the hotel. (Rock ‘N’ Roll has bus transportation back downtown for participants).

My struggles with this race were not the fault of Rock ‘N’ Roll, it truly is a great race and my favorite Rock ‘N’ Roll so far. My one qualm is the terrible roads which I am sure contributed to the early onset of hip pain I experienced. The after party, the bling, the bands, everything else was wonderful and I hope to always get to run this race.

Also, if you have the chance to purchase the VIP package for Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans I would recommend it! The pre race breakfast, bathrooms, private gear check are worth it to me, but then you also get the post race food, alcohol, massages, gear pick up, charging station, and VIP bus (no waiting in line) back downtown. Let me know if you have any questions about this event, I would be happy to answer!

PS: If you want to save $15 on Rock ‘N’ Roll half and full marathons, use my code at checkout! Some exclusions apply such as San Antonio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and a couple of others.

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QOTD: Have you ever had to fight through pain to finish a race?

Disclosure: I received free entry and VIP package as a Rock ‘N’ Blog member, however I was not asked to write this post, and all opinions are my own.

Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans Expo 2016

Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans is one of my favorite races, and not just because I grew up in the area. The weather is usually nice, the course is flat, and the after party is so much fun. I have run this race about five times, and have some great memories from it. The New Orleans expo is always a lot of fun!

This year was a little different because I was heading over by myself, but I still hung out with friends and had a great time! I drove down from my house with Emma Kate on Friday and stayed the night with my parents (they live about 40 minutes from downtown) and then left the baby with them Saturday and headed into New Orleans. I first went to the hotel, ALOFT New Orleans, to check in. The room was ready, so I unloaded my stuff and waited on my roommates to arrive.

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The rooms at ALOFT are huge, and the beds are really comfortable. They have a pool and fitness center, and they are located right in between Canal street and Poydras Street, we just walked everywhere we needed to go!

Once Joe and Brooklyn arrived, we walked to the Convention Center. I was pleasantly surprised when we were not in Hall J per usual (a LONG walk) but in hall B or C if I remember correctly.

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My sister flew in from Houston for the race, and happened to be at the expo at the same time as me, so we were able to meet up for a few minutes.

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The expo was pretty crowded, so I just wandered around and went to a few booths where I knew the workers to say hello. Then I texted Jen and found her amongst the chaos. We had planned to meet up for dinner later, so I said goodbye and headed to the VIP booth to pick up my packet, and do a little more looking around.

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I love how Rock ‘N’ Roll has all of their heavy medals out!

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We were having a Rock ‘N’ Blogger meet up at the expo entrance at 3:30, so I made my way over to the front and met up with some old and new friends.

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We chatted for a bit, and then saw that there was a film crew out front. I’m not sure who approached who, but before I knew it I was signing a release form to be on camera.

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I still have no idea what the footage will be/was used for, but it was a lot of fun! They asked me questions about running in New Orleans, why I love this race, etc. I really can’t remember what I said, ha!

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A couple of other people were on camera, and then we all realized how hungry we were and decided to walk a couple of blocks over and get pizza, and apparently a Larisa photo bomb.

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We sat outside and ate, but sadly were at three different tables. We got really frustrated when we were told if there were more than 5 people eating together we had to put the food all on one bill. Huh? it really made no sense. How about just 3 separate checks even? No one wanted to put 9 people’s food on their credit card. New Orleans thrives on tourism, and this kind of thing is a major turn off, and if I wasn’t so hungry I would have just walked away. We decided to just sit near each other at 3 different tables and get some food in our bellies.

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Love that girl. She was running the full the next day!

The pizza was decent but the beer I had (NOLA Blonde) was really good. The weather was perfect for sitting outside, and we had a lot of fun.

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Since we are all boring old people, we decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel and go to bed.

As we were walking back to our hotel, we heard some music and saw a wedding party coming down the street doing the second line dance! We may have stopped to do a little jig and do some yelling and cheering.

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When we got back to our hotel, we noticed the Oscar Mayer Weenie mobile was sitting outside of out hotel. Umm…ok? Still have no idea why, but of COURSE we had to document the occasion.

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It was off to bed, it was going to be an early morning. I had a great day in New Orleans seeing friends, hanging out, and getting ready for the race.

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

2015 in Review

Whew! 2015 was quite a big year for our little family. It definitely looked different than most of 2014 since we have little Emma Kate now, but there was still plenty of adventure and fun!

In January I ran my first post baby half marathon, my favorite hometown race: Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans. It wasn’t pretty, but it gave me confidence that I could run long distances again, even right at four months post baby!

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February brought a Walt Disney World vacation, and running the Princess half marathon with my partner in crime, Jen. We had a blast with our costumes, and it was great to be back in my favorite place after a year absence.

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March was also a milestone month. I hopped a plane to California to run the LA marathon with ASICS. It was an AMAZING once in a lifetime experience that was filled with fun, sweat, tears, and jaw dropping introductions. I felt so so blessed walking around all weekend. The race was very hot and so, so hard, but I felt extremely accomplished after and learned I can do hard things.

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April brought Emma Kate’s first Easter, and our annual Easter race: The Crescent City Classic 10k. It was a rainy gloomy, cold day, but I love running in New Orleans and seeing blogger friends, so it made it worthwhile!

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May brought me back to Walt Disney World for the final Expedition Everest Challenge. I am so glad I got to participate in this race once before it went away!

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May was also special because it was my first Mother’s Day, and we dedicated baby Emma Kate at church.

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June was pretty low key, except for when Bobby threw me a surprise 30th birthday party.

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July brought Bobby’s annual conference in Destin Florida, and my parents tagged along to keep me company while Bobby was at his sessions.

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In August, Bobby and I made a purchase, a BIG purchase. We bought the local Orange Leaf frozen yogurt shop! This involved a lot of stress and a trip to Oklahoma for training, but things are going smoothly now.

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In September, Emma Kate turned ONE! We had a fun Minnie Mouse themed party at our house.

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In October, my mom decided she wanted to go to Walt Disney World for her 60th birthday, so that’s exactly what we did! I surprised her by booking club level at the Polynesian for a few days, and also with a cake and a fireworks cruise. We had a blast!

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I also had the privilege of speaking at the Refresh Summit in Nashville at the end of October. I was sick the whole time but am still so glad I got to go share with the lovely women who attended. I was also asked to be an ASICS ambassador in October, such a great opportunity!

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November brought cooler weather, tubes in EK’s ears, and Thanksgiving. My parents and sister came into town, and we also got to see some of Bobby’s family. Poor Emma Kate was sick that weekend, and ended up getting a mild case of hand foot and mouth.

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December of course brought the busyness of Christmas, and it went by in the blink of an eye. We went to my parents house for a few days, and it was great to just have a low key holiday.

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There are a lot of other things that happened in 2015, but this post is getting really long, so I will stop with what I have. There were a lot of uncertainties in 2015, and I can happily say a lot of them have resolved, but we still have some things up in the air I really can’t share right now. It’s so much fun to look back on the year and see the accumulation of all of the things that went on. It makes me smile. I hope you do as well when you look back on your 2015!

As always, thanks for hanging around and sticking with me here at THLG. I appreciate you all. Cheers to 2016!

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QOTD: What was your favorite thing you did in 2015?

Rock ‘N Blog Training Swag

A couple of weeks ago, I got a a great surprise in the mail: a box of training swag from the Rock’ N Roll marathon series. (#TrainingRockBox) I am a part of the Rock ‘N Blog team again this year, and it just keeps getting better and better! I am a huge fan of the series, and have run in several locations. I wanted to be able to run more of their races this year, but having a 10 month old makes that kind of tricky. Smile

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So what’s in the box? A ton of great stuff!

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Among the items were:

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I have already used some of the items, and can’t wait to try everything else out. I have loved being a member of Team #RockNBlog this year, and hope you will consider running one of the Rock ‘n Roll races this year or next. They have great on course entertainment, post race parties, and of course the bling is already really cool. I hope to see you on the course soon!

A huge thank you to all of the brands that had an item put into the box. I am very appreciative!

QOTD: What is your favorite Rock ‘n Roll Race? Mine is New Orleans, of course. Smile

Disclosure: I received this box from Competitor group as a member of team rock ‘n blog, however I received no compensation and was not asked to write a blog post about my box. It’s just got some great stuff in it!

Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans VIP Experience

Bobby and I were able to take advantage of the VIP experience at Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans a couple of weekends ago. I have never done VIP for a Rock ‘n Roll race, and was excited to compare it to others I have done with different races.

The morning VIP breakfast and lounge was at the Hilton New Orleans. When we picked up our bracelets we were told it was “right next to the start line” but we ended up passing it up because they were doing construction so we saw no signs for the VIP or anything outside the hotel which would have been helpful, also it wasn’t exactly right next to the start, we saw a bunch of people a couple blocks down but turns out that was the 10k start so it was kind of confusing It was freezing so we were really happy to get to go inside once we finally found it!

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The race started at 7:30 and the VIP lounge opened at 6. We had the option of driving to the finish and parking our car and taking the VIP shuttle back downtown, but the shuttle left the finish at 5:45, which means we would have had to leave the hotel around 5:15 to make sure we didn’t miss the one shuttle, so waking up at 4:15 didn’t sound fun, I wanted that extra hour! So we decided to walk to the start, and take the VIP shuttle back downtown after the race instead. (We were able to get a late hotel checkout at Hotel Monteleone, so we had until 1:00).

We were directed upstairs where our wristbands were checked for the second time, and they had food for us. (Yogurt, bananas, bagels, coffee, water).

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Then they had a room with tables for us and plenty of room to stretch as well.

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It was really nice to just relax and sit in the warmth and drink some coffee before heading outside. At 7:00, I decided to go to the bathroom because I knew the line would get long, and I was right, it was already out the door and some of the stalls were running out of toiler paper. I was very thankful to not be using a port-o-potty though! After that, we shed our outerwear (reluctantly) and got our gear bags ready. We turned them in to the VIP gear check, and hung out in the lobby area as long as possible. Well, until 7:20. We then walked out to the start and it wasn’t so bad standing outside for only a few minutes.

Fast forward to after the race.

We crossed the finish line, got our medals and snacks, and headed to the VIP tents.

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We picked up our gear bags at our own private gear pick up, went ahead and got on the list for free 10 minute massages, and went to change. My hip was hurting so badly I didn’t even bother having Bobby take a picture of me with my medal. I realized it and then took a selfie inside the women’s changing tent.

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They had separate men’s/women’s changing tents as well as own our bathrooms. I was so glad I brought a full change of clothes, I felt way more comfortable and warm having on a comfy outfit. By time I came out and went to the bathroom, they were calling my name for my massage woo hoo! I was really excited about it since I was hurting, and was sadly disappointed. Fail.

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They had 3-4 tables with two people doing each 10 minute massage, and I just am glad I wasn’t paying for the massage or I would have asked for a refund. The massage was so light they were barely touching me. The stretching felt good, but that’s about it. Sad smile

Oh well, moving on, it was time to EAT! I have been thinking about food and mimosa’s all morning and it was time! The food and drinks were under the big white tent, along with a charging station with lots of different phone cords. I thought this was a nice touch!

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The temps were in the low 60’s with a light wind. I was comfortable in my long sleeves, but just in case, they had heaters stationed near some of the tables, another nice touch!

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To the left is the massage tent, to the right the gear check tent….Complete with Bobby hovering waiting for his massage (in the red shirt).

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We had a great view, too. The stage was just off to the left of this picture with the live music.

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The drinks were yummy, the food was alright, but the day was absolutely gorgeous. It was so nice to sit and relax and unwind while listening to the music.

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After I finished my first plate (and second drink), Megan came hobbling up. Poor thing didn’t have a great race either and was injured as well.

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We chatted for a bit and then said our goodbyes. I got to talk to a few more of my runner friends, and then lunch was brought out. Lunch? I thought the food I had already eaten was it. Nice! They put out pulled pork, dessert, and a few other things, so…another plate for me!

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The VIP shuttle was running every thirty minutes, and since we had to checkout at 1:00 we decided to take the 12:00 shuttle. I would have loved to stay longer (VIP was open until 2:30) but we had to go shower and check out. We we led out as a group by a competitor group employee to the VIP bus and so there was no waiting in line for the other buses which was really nice!

We headed back into the French Quarter, and the driver stopped along Poydras St. to let people off where they wanted, so we literally only had to walk one block down to our hotel, whereas the regular busses were only dropping off at one point. I was expecting a much further walk so it was nice!

We showered and we re out at 12:58, perfect timing! We had a really great day and a fun race made even better and easier by the VIP experience. Sure there are a couple things I would have changed, but overall we had a really good time and were thankful for the ease of the day due to being a VIP. Also, all the extra food and drinks didn’t hurt!

The only problem is now I am spoiled and want to do it for every Rock ‘n Roll race!

QOTD: Have you ever paid extra to do something like the VIP experience?

*Don’t forget you can use code LOOKINGGLASS15 and save $15 on any RnR US half or full marathon except for Vegas, and also save on Canada races!

Disclosure: I was provided with VIP entrance by Rock ‘n Roll, however all opinions are my own.

Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans Half Race Recap 2015

This was my 4th time to run Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans, and we were so blessed with amazing weather! I know the year before it was muggy and humid, so I was preparing for the worst and was pleasantly surprised! Low of mid 40’s at the start (very windy!) But sunny and high of 65 for the day. Perfect! We ran in the 50’s the whole race, but let me backtrack.

We set our alarms for 5:15 in hopes to be out the door at 6:15. We had to walk over a half mile to get to the Hilton which is where the VIP breakfast was being held (more on that later).

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My tutu was made my Lesley, I love the beads!

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It was dark, and cold, and very windy! Luckily we were checking gear bags so I was able to wear a jacket as we walked.

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We ate breakfast, checked our bags, and waited until the last possible minute to head out into the cold. The race was starting at 7:30, so at 7:15 we began our short walk to the corrals.

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There was no one checking bibs at the corral entrances so people from almost every corral were jumping into ours and we could barely squeeze in. Def. something I hope they change in the future.

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We only had to wait about 3 minutes before the National anthem was sung and the first corral was off!

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We slowly moved up until it was our turn.

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We started out slow, and I quickly warmed up like I knew I would. I had no idea what to expect from this race. I had only done one 10 miler and one 12 miler since having the baby, so I was just aiming to have fun and get a general idea of where my fitness level was.

We left the French quarter and headed into the garden district with the big beautiful houses.

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The miles were ticking by and I was trying to keep a steady pace. I wasn’t pushing too hard because I didn’t want to blow up at the end.

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Somewhere around mile 4.5ish, the leaders passed going the other way, and other runners slowly began to trickle past going in the opposite direction.

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We soon found the turnaround…and my hip started to ache. This was not good because 1.) It was so early in the race and 2.) I had already taken tylenol, so it was apparently hurting badly if the tylenol wasn’t even helping anymore. I have had IT band and hip bursitis issues on and off for years. I took really good care of my knee the week leading up to the race. I ran a fast for me 5 miler the Monday before and had zero pain anywhere, so why was my hip hurting before mile 5? Then it hit me. The stupid terrible roads! They were bad yall. People all around us were tripping and catching themselves. They were so uneven, so many potholes, it was difficult to run, and I think that may have had something to do with the hip issue. I trudged on, looking for people I knew going the other way. There was a section where we passed runners right next to us.

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We passed a couple of bands, and my hip pain got worse and was changing up my gait.

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We made it back to the French quarter, and there was a fuel stop. I had already taken one around mile 5, but I took another and also took some more tylenol. I must say, despite the hip pain, I was still having fun. The miles were ticking by fairly quickly and the weather was just perfect.

We passed the relay point for those running in teams, and just kept on trucking along.

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As we headed back into the heart of the city, we passed the lulu cheer crew, which made me think about some of the other really funny signs we saw…none of which I can remember now. Whoops!

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Good morning New Orleans!

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By this time we were around mile 9-10ish, and I remembered a stretch I used to do to help with my hip pain a couple of years ago. Bobby stopped to go to the bathroom and said he would catch up to me, so I pulled off to the side to stretch. I crossed my ankle over the top of my other knee and squatted into a sitting position and could feel the immediate pull and stretch on my hip. It hurt but felt good at the same time, and gave me a couple of tenths of way less painful running.

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This would begin the pattern for the rest of the race, and is when my pace slowed because of all the stopping to stretch. However, doing this every so often helped me to finish so I’m not complaining!

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We passed the French market, and made a turn only tree lined Esplanade.

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For those wondering, the Mississippi River is on the right, behind that big wall.

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The final two miles of the race I really began to struggle. I was reaching my threshold and was pushing myself a bit more and it was getting harder to keep pace as I hobbled along.

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Fake it till you make it right?

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I kept reminding myself I JUST had a baby four months yesterday, and at least I was out here trying, and that there would be better races.

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Just keep swimming…almost there!

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My breathing was getting more labored, but I was ok because I knew how close we were.

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I could see the art museum in the distance and knew he finish line was just behind it. But not before some King cake and jello shots, right?

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I stopped and stretched again, right before a final push to the finish.

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My hip was throbbing, but I was about to get to stop, wahoo!I could see mile 13 up ahead, almost there!

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Finish line. Finish line, Finnish line.

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aaannnnd DONE!

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2:27. I wanted 2:20, but I’ll take it considering the hip issues. It definitely slowed me down, but I am still proud of myself. It gives me a base to work off of and gave me the confidence I needed to keep going with future races. After having to take over 5 months off completely from running during pregnancy and starting from scratch run walking one mile after delivery, I will definitely take it. I now know I really need to focus on stretching, rolling, and strengthening my hip and butt muscles. The good news: my knee held up great!

A huge thanks to my wonderful husband who is way faster than me for running along side of me, taking pictures, and encouraging me. What a trooper! We headed to the VIP tent to enjoy the gorgeous afternoon (more on that later, too!)

Another half in the books. It wasn’t the prettiest, but I am still so proud.

Do you want to run ANY* Rock ‘n Roll race in the US and get $15 off? Enter code LOOKINGGLASS15 at checkout for the discount! Offer INCLUDES Canada!

QOTD: Have you ever been proud of a race that wasn’t your fastest?

*Does not include RnR Vegas

 

Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans Tweet up and Charity Event

This past weekend, not only did I get to run my first post baby half marathon, but I got to meet up with fellow runners and bloggers, and do some good for the city of New Orleans. For those that don’t know, I was born right outside of the city in Metairie, and I grew up about 30 miles away. I still consider it home, as all of my family is still there, so I was excited to give back and help Feed the Children last Saturday.

But first, let’s backtrack. I slept over nine glorious hours Friday night, sans-baby, and woke up to a gorgeous chilly day in the French Quarter. Bobby and I decided to leave early and walk around for a few minutes before the tweet up. We were just a couple of blocks from all the action!

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Our first stop was Jackson Square.

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Some of the paintings were so beautiful.

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We still had some time so we passed up Café du Monde and walked down to the French Market.

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After a quick walk through, it was time to head back down to meet up with some bloggers and some of the Rock ‘n Roll team!

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We saw a couple of friends who didn’t see any of the Rock ‘n Roll crew anywhere. So I went inside and spotted Dan who was trying his best to hold down tables for us (it was VERY crowded!). Soon after others began to trickle in, as well as the food!

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I knew to wear white, powdered sugar gets everywhere!

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Bloggers and beignets, so much fun!

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PR guy Dan forgot his phone charger. I of course came to the rescue with my pink charger!

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Had so much fun meeting more of the Rock ‘n blog crew and some of the Competitor group employees.

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After photos, we split up in multiple vehicles to head to the Feed the Children charity event.

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Feed the Children was the benefitting charity for this race, which I was happy to hear. We have been supporters of the charity for years, and it was really great to see them in action in the community. On this day, 400 families were going to be given food, toiletry items, haircuts, lunch, and fro yo! We arrived at the Apex youth center and a line had already formed outside.

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We arrived just in time to throw on some volunteer t-shirts and catch the end of the volunteer meeting.

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Families would go through the inside of the center and then out onto the basketball court where we had boxes of food and such. Whole Foods was there giving away fruit, and we manned the milk station.

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There was a DJ, a lot of amazing volunteers, and…..

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THOMAS MORSTEAD! He is the punter for the New Orleans Saints….and if you know ANYTHING about me, you know I love Saints football. Heck, I stalked Malcolm Jenkins in the New Orleans airport last year so I could get a picture. Thomas does a TON for the city of New Orleans. He is always in the news helping different charities, and it was so great to meet him. He actually took the time to talk to me which was super nice. He and his wife were running the 10k the next day, and he told me he wasn’t in running shape so he hoped a lot of people stopped him along the way so he could get a break! The coolest thing was not once did he “act famous”. He graciously took photos when asked, but I constantly saw him working, carrying boxes, and helping people…and it was awesome.

After my total geek out moment, it was back to work. I moved over to the boxes provided by AVON, helping hand them out to the grateful families.

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It was such an amazing experience getting to give back during a race weekend, and see where the charity money goes. Yes I could have been out on the beautiful day that is was exploring the city or enjoying my first baby free weekend with Bobby, but this was way, way more important, and I am so glad that Rock ‘n Roll made it possible for us to take part. We need to never forget while we are enjoying our racecations and running our miles, that there are families out there thankful just for a quart of milk and a free haircut. It really makes you realize how truly blessed we really are, and how great Rock ‘n Roll is for having a charity for their races!

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Thanks to Larisa for some of the photos!

QOTD: Have you ever helped out at a charity event?

2014 Christmas Gift Guide for Runners

It’s almost Christmas! I can’t believe how fast this holiday season is flying by. If you are like me, you haven’t finished all of your shopping left. Maybe you have a runner to buy for and aren’t sure what to give them. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite products in hopes that it helps you in your gift search!

2014 Christmas Gift Guide for Runners:

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1.) KT Tape

I have been using KT Tape for a few years, and it has really helped me to be able to run while dealing with minor aches and pains. I struggle with knee problems a good bit, and when I wear KT Tape, I can pretty much run pain free* so I am super thankful for this product! It’s a great stocking stuffer.

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2.) Workout apparel from Fabletics

This is my second time getting apparel from Fabletics, and I am REALLY happy with this outfit! Here I am wearing the Heather Grey Long sleeve and the Salar capri. The capri’s are thick and sturdy with a really fun print at the bottom, I love the fabric. I am really impressed with the top, too. I usually struggle with long sleeve tops being to short in arm length, but this one fit perfect and is a soft snuggly material with a really flattering neckline. I ran in this outfit yesterday and everything stayed in place with no rubbing, chafing, riding up or falling down. I would also feel comfortable wearing this out to the store as well.

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I am aware this is a very dorky pose, but I wanted to show the arm sleeve length!

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3.) Clothes from Janji

Janji is a great company that does a lot of good for the world! When you purchase clothing from their site, money goes to different people in other parts of the world who are not as fortunate as us to have clean drinking water. For example, the blue long sleeve shirt in the second picture, if you purchase it, a person in Peru will get four months of clean drinking water. How awesome it that? Both shirts are made of a very soft thin material that is very comfortable. I have been sleeping in the long sleeve top on cold nights! Janji makes clothing for men and women, and they are great for workouts and include a wicking fabric. The blue top is 65% polyester, 35% cotton. be sure to go to their site to read about their story.

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4.) BIC bands

In case you haven’t noticed, I have a lot of hair. I cannot stand for the wind to blow my hair in my face/eyes, especially when I am running. These headbands have become a near daily essential for me, and there are some adorable colors and prints! BIC bands also gives to a different charity every month from the sale of their bands.

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5.) Gone for a RUN medal hanger display

Every runner should be proud of their race achievements, and have somewhere to display all of their shiny, well deserved bling. I have several different medal hangers, but I must say I love the color options and prints available at Gone for a RUN. There are a ton of options to customize and personalize your hanger display, go check it out!

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6.) Garmin 15

I was sent this GPS watch to test out back in July, and I prefer it to my Garmin 10 for a few reasons. I really like the step counter option, and the battery life is much longer. It’s small enough to wear every day but simple enough that you don’t have to be a tech geek to figure out.

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7.) Runner’s World Subscription

I have had a subscription to Runner’s World magazine for years, and it all started with a gift subscription for Christmas! This makes a great stocking stuffer, just make sure the runner you are buying for doesn’t already subscribe. :0)

8.) Running Skirts.com compression socks

If you know me at all you know I am a huge fan of Running Skirts and even used to work for them. One of my favorite items of theirs is the selection of compression socks. I wear them during and after races, and I can really feel a difference in my legs when I do so. I don’t get nearly as sore, and if I am sore, it goes away much more quickly in these comfy and cute socks. (Use code SKIRTSASS at checkout for 15% off your order!)

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9.) iTunes Giftcard

Most runners love to listen to music when we run, and the same songs can get really boring over and over again on long training runs. An iTunes giftcard would be a great stocking stuffer!

10.) Race entry

This is THE ultimate gift. Most runners love to race, so gifting an entry fee to a race is a great gift! Between all the clothing and gear, expensive race entry fees can add up, making runners have to plan out their race calendar very carefully. My two favorite race series? runDisney and Rock ‘n’ Roll. I will be running the runDisney Princess half in February, but first I will be making my comeback with the Run Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans half marathon in January. I cannot wait to get back out there! If you want to buy for a runner and they aren’t ready to run a half, that’s ok, you can gift them entry into a 5k or 10k! (If you use code LOOKINGGLASS at checkout you will get $10 off the entry into the half or full marathon, and LOOKINGGLASS10K gets you $5 off entry into the 10k for Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans.)

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QOTD: Which of these gift ideas would YOU most like to receive? Anything else on your list I didn’t mention?