Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rock 'N' Roll Dallas Half Marathon

Well, I did it!  I finished my 3rd official half marathon!  This had to be one of the funnest races ever!

All of us girls had gotten a room together at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas.  That is actually the way to do it!  We were walking distance from the starting line.  There was no rush or panic to find parking on race day!

We set out Saturday and headed to the expo at the convention center.  Parking was a little crazy there and pricey.  We were hoping we followed all the rules and didn't come out with our tires locked!  It was a pretty great expo full of great vendors and free samples!  The Rock N Roll official race gear was super cute.  I could've bought one of everything!  There were several places for some awesome photos to be taken as well! 

My favorite part was getting to view all of the medals for the Rock N Roll tour!  It really makes me want the tour pass next year!  I want to run them all!

After the expo, we checked into our hotel and headed out for some carb loading at a nearby TGI Friday's!  Then enjoyed a rainy walk back to our hotel!  Thanks for the bad advice weather app! It's not going to rain they won't need your jacket they say.  Wrong!

At the hotel we enjoyed numerous elevator rides with great scenery, a lot of laughter, cappuccino, and some sweets to boot!
Flat Christi is ready for the race!
Race morning we walked to the start.  It was a little chilly so we were able to wait inside the train station and keep warm, and make one more bathroom stop before we ran! 

Corral 9 was where it all began!  For three of my friends, this was their first half!  I had done several of my long runs with them so I knew they were ready.  I was ready to pace them for a 2:30 finish.  This was a pace a little faster than their long runs had been, but I knew they all had it in them.

I had planned to average about an 11:27 pace for them.  We actually kept a quicker pace of around 11:00 for about the first 5 to 6 miles.  At around mile 5 we took our first GU for fuel.  After the first fuel, a couple of tummy's began to rumble so they decided a bathroom break was necessary.  Then around mile 9 to 10, another rumble.  If you've ever experienced an upset stomach during a race, you know that once it hits it doesn't really go away.  Thankfully, there were plenty of restrooms along the course in case of an emergency!

As I was waiting for them at mile 9, I check my phone and my girl Jilly had finished with a personal best of 1:57!! She's been my training partner and friend since my first marathon, and this was her day to PR!  All of our speedwork had paid off big time!!  It goes to show that when you train fast, you run fast!  We will continue to train and I plan to hopefully get a PR this year as well!

Now back to the race....I thankfully had no issues and just took an extra water break while we waited.  After mile nine we were able to continue on with no problems.  At times I felt like a slave driver but I wanted them to be super proud of their time, and I knew they would be disappointed if we missed our time goal.

I don't run for time in every race because I love to make running fun.  I love to stop and take selfies and just soak in the experience.  Since this was their first one, I wanted to get them the best time they could so we didn't make any stops for pictures along the course!  Other than the bathroom stops, these girls pushed hard!  Tummy aches and all!  I was so proud to be running beside them, and getting to witness their excitement at the finish was priceless!

I thought the course was great!  I loved the bridges most of all!  There were some steep hills that were tough around mile 10 and 12 but we pushed and never stopped!  They never walked a step unless we were getting a drink.  We just had not mastered the whole drink and run thing yet.  I tend to spill and choke instead!  There were great bands along the course as well.  I would've liked to have seen more though.  There were a few dead spots where we needed some music!

We ended up finishing in 2:40.  By my watch, had we not stopped at the restrooms we would have finished at 2:31.  It was still a great race!  We laughed, we cried, and we had a blast for 13.1 unforgettable miles! 
My favorite spot on the course!

The bling!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hot Chocolate 15K Recap

The Dallas Hot Chocolate 15k was my first official race at that distance.  What got me excited about this one was the shiny, chocolate bar medal!

We knew this race was going to be fairly crowded so we left out that morning around 6am to be there and ready for an 8:30 start.  We got there way ahead of time.  The temperature that morning was in the 40s, but with the wind chill it felt like the 30s so we were able to keep warm indoors before heading to the start line.

The 5k was first, and due to the heavy traffic they were nice enough to delay the start for those having trouble getting to the race.  Our race was around 15 minutes behind the original start time.  We kept warm by being our normal goofy selves in the corral.   

The course to me seemed really difficult.  You wouldn't think there would be that many hills when running in Dallas, TX but I think this one found every hill imaginable!  I remember specifically a really steep incline around mile 5. At times, the downhill was also so steep it was hard on the legs as well.

As we topped the hill at mile 5 we noticed some spectators had a whiskey station set up and they were pouring shots!  We passed by briefly, then ended up giving into the fun and downing one.  To say it burned is an understatement.  I think that shot burned my stomach for the next 2 miles!  This girl does not drink whiskey, and I kept thinking, what in the world did I just do?  It does make for a funny story though!

The course also had some great spectators toward the end followed by a warm cup of hot chocolate and lots of sweets!

I'm not real big on sweets, so all the chocolate was a bit too much for my tummy to handle. Now if they had been handing out cadbury eggs, we may have to talk.  (#sorrynotsorry, Easter candy on the brain)  On the way home we opted for some fuzzy tacos instead!

All in all I was pretty satisfied with the results considering the cold, the wind, and the hilly course.  The medal is definitely sweet, but most importantly we had a great time! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

On the road to NYC

 Yesterday morning to my surprise I found out I was accepted into the TCS New York City Marathon!  This was my first year to apply so I wasn't sure exactly how the draw was even done.  I had noticed a charge from my bank account was sent to me by email.  I get email alerts when charges are made above a certain amount.  I logged into my bank account and low and behold the charge was from New York City Road Runners.  

I had been texting my friend Kristin that morning waiting to hear that she had gotten in.  I was actually not expecting to get drawn at all!  I told her about the charge and she informed me that it meant that I was in!  To say I was shocked was an understatement.  I just kept thinking that there must be some mistake!  I hadn't gotten an email and my status on the website still said "In Drawing."  I then got word of tweet by the marathon that if you had a credit card charge that it meant you were in!  I honestly still couldn't believe what I was reading.

I began to feel excited, but also disappointed because several people that I knew had still not heard anything.  Going into this solo was freaking me out, and still is!!  

I received my official email around 5:00 last night so it's now starting to sink in that this is really happening!  Many many thanks to Kristin!  Had it not been for her telling me to apply this would not be happening.  Me running the New York City Marathon.... who would've thought?  

I also want to say thank you to Brittney from Main Street Memories!  She gave me the low down last night and I was able to get my hotel booked this morning!! I'm so thankful to have her!  She ran the marathon last year and has calmed my nerves and helped me get started with all my trip planning.  If you are wanting to book a trip to Disney I can't stress enough how amazing she is!! 

Does this sound like an Academy Award speech or what? I apologize!  I just can't do this without giving credit where credit is due!  I've had so many encouragers along the way, and so many unexpected friendships helping me reach some amazing dreams!  I can't leave out the most important One...Jesus Christ.  He gives me the courage to live the best life I can, to get out of bed every morning to face my fears, and to rise up with boldness to take leaps of faith!!  So here we go folks!! I'm on the road to NYC!  Let the training resume!

Love you all!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, March 1, 2015

#DisneySide at Home Celebration!

I was so excited when I found out that I had been chosen to host an at home Disney side party!  When the box arrived at the door, the kids could not wait to tear into it!!  

Luci of course was thrilled to see it contained Disney Princess Palace Pets!  She was so excited, as was I, so we had to go ahead and open them to play with!

Some of the other goodies it contained were a pin the smile on Mickey, Mini DIY treat boxes, Mini mouse treat boxes, Disney princess nail polish, 2 packages of pencils, Minnie cupcake stand,  Mickey cake pan, Mickey party plates, Mickey party cups,party decorations, crayons, trivia games,a tie dye cake mix, coupons, Minnie mouse baggies, Invitations,stickers, table cloths, HP printer paper cards, a few laundry samples a container of All detergent tabs.

We decided to use all the party supplies for Jolea's 11th birthday party.  Nobody in our household is too old for Disney!

I'm not the creative type so I opted out of making a Mickey cake and instead did a Mickey Mouse rice krispy treat!  I think it turned out amazing!  It tasted amazing too!  We used the tie dye cake mix to make cupcakes.  the kids helped hang the decorations and put together some party treats for the guests! 

The party turned out amazing!  Thank you Disney and thank you BSM media for the amazing celebration kit!! 

I received free products in order to host a DisneySide At Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.


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