Humid Runs, Divas Half Marathon Ambassador and Some Sweet Deals.

Morning run…8 miles at a 9:30 something pace fighting through humidity! Good thing I have my friends to keep me going…this time last year I was really on the struggle bus with these humid summer runs so I’m glad to see a bit of improvement in my training. Hopefully it will pay off come October.

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We also went up this famous ‘KFC hill’…yes, they call it KFC because there’s a famous chicken place right at the top…haha go figure. And I’m proud to say I’m now 3rd overall female in my run group to get to the top! I’ve gotta work on that time. I’m getting there.

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But yeah…according to Runner’s World all of this summer training isn’t in vain. I’m so looking forward to the crisp cooler fall weather on the east coast, that’s for sure.

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So today I thought I’d give you all some sweet discounts and deals! First off, I’m proud to announce that I’m now an ambassador for the Divas Half Marathon! This series does races all over the U.S (and in Canada!) – including pretty epic destinations like San Francisco Bay, St Augustine Beach in Florida, DC’s Wine Country and even San Juan Puerto Rico! I ran the race in Galveston and had a total blast!! I mean tiaras, feather boas and champagne is basically a runner girl’s paradise.

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(Photo credit Katty Peraza)

You can check out more about my experience with this race here.

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So for those of you looking for an upcoming half (or 5k) I’ve got a discount code where you can save 10% off. Just enter the code CRDIVATX17 at checkout.

Here are some other deals and steals around the web!

-Running shorts starting at $9.95 – LeftLaneSports.com

-Save up to 60% off New Balance running shoes & apparel at Joe’s New Balance Outlet, free shipping on orders over $99

-If you’re local to Dallas/Ft. Worth, save $5 off the Color Me Green 5k & 10k on Saturday, October 1st in Frisco. Enter the code ColorMeGreen

-FREE SUSHI at PF Chang’s! Today only at participating Dallas restaurants. I believe they are also doing this in Oklahoma. Just mention the deal to get a free spicy tuna or California roll. No purchase necessary.

Do you have any deals & steals to share with the group today?

60 Miles, Cobra 5k and Hottest Half Marathon Recap.

Summer running, brunching and friends…what a marvelous weekend! Let’s recap a bit, shall we? Hope your weekend was fantastic too.

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I decided to do some back to back long-ish running this weekend (including 2 races!) so I started things off with 10 miles early Saturday. I got a good glimpse of the sunrise before heading out to race number 1…a 5k out in Lewisville.

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So my run club was scheduled to do the Cobra Brewing 5k which started right around 9:30 a.m. I got there early, grabbed my race swag and lined up to the start. Nothing like running on some tired legs! My legs were a bit worn out from a strong week of higher mileage so I had no intention of a PR. But my friend Valerie told me she wanted to run under 25 minutes for a personal best so I decided to pace her a bit. I actually have never paced anyone for a 5k so it was kind of tough! Went out way to fast in the beginning but reigned it in and finished solid with a 24:35 time. Not bad for running 10 miles a couple of hours beforehand. 13.1 done for the day.

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I got a sweet mug, some cerveza (totally not a beer gal but one of the concoctions I tried was decent!) and an age group win. Actually…Valerie, myself and Ben all took home 2nd in our perspective groups. Win win. Go team Irving Running Club.

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After the run I took it pretty easy…had dinner with a girlfriend while we watched The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Hilarious stuff.

Sunday was The Hottest Half marathon day! I actually made a vow to myself after last year that I would NEVER run this race ever again. Well apparently I broke that vow after being peer pressured to run it for fun. HA. This race is always so brutally hot and such a beat down. It’s also usually where I run my worst half marathon times of the calendar year. So as you can imagine I was not super excited to run it but just in time we had a a nice cool down in temps that weekend. So it was around the 70s that morning climbing up to the 80s towards the finish. Not terrible but not amazing running weather either.

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We started about 15 minutes late in typical Mellew fashion (the directors of the race). The course is fairly flat with one steep incline towards mile 11 or so. But I loved the views of the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge and we get a nice shot of the skyline on the Trinity Trail.

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There’s also a nice little rocky/trail part that is unpaved which I didn’t love since it slowed my pace down a bit. I had to make up for lost time after we left that portion but for the most part my splits stayed within the 8/9 minute range. I was proud of myself for staying more consistent this time. And way faster than last year’s 2:18 finish. Praise baby Jesus.

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Decent finish especially considering the fact that I ran so many miles this week! My body still felt really good and I attribute that to lots of cross training, massage therapy and TLC lately.

Post race yumminess…brunch at Ascension Coffee.

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And lattes and mimosas for everyone! Heck yes.

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13.1 number 29 is done! I guess I had better run one more half marathon before the end of this year so I can hit 30. Because, why not?

Oh and cheers to a 60 mile running week. I’m all fired up and ready to rock these next few weeks leading up to 26.2 number 21.

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How was your weekend? Have you done a hot & or humid summer race this year?

Training Runs on Tap, Too Warm For Sleeves Half Marathon and Wknd Recap.

Well hello there! Hope your Monday is going along great so far. It’s definitely a good day to get your java fix…I’m sitting here sipping on my coffee as I type.

Let’s do a quick recap of the weekend! Once again, I had back to back long training runs on tap, gearing up for the Cowtown 50k at the end of this month! I can’t believe it’s already February.

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Saturday morning…my first 21 mile run since the New Year’s Double at the beginning of the year. It felt good to be back up in some higher mileage. This run was fairly relaxed but it was just nice to get that time on my feet.

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The rest of the day was chill…I met up with my homegirl Natalie for our monthly brunch at Frankie’s.

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Sunday! The Too Cold to Hold Half Marathon. Which was actually kind of funny because it was AMAZING outside all weekend. Like springtime weather kind of amazing. Not cold at all. Gotta love Texas. My friend said the name of the race should have been ‘Too Warm for Sleeves’…hahaha she was certainly correct.

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We lined up to the start ready to go! Temps were pretty nice at the start, right around 60 degrees or so. Pretty pleasant overall with a nice wind. My goal for this race was to do my best and run on some tired legs! I was surprised at how much I still had in the tank. I wanted to complete this race in under 2 hours and I met my goal. 26th half marathon done! 4th place finish out of 39 gals.

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I have to say one of the best things about this race was the swag they gave us…beanie, dri fit top and a buff for those mornings when it does get chilly again.

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Probably my favorite way to celebrate a race…on the patio, with a hottie & some wine…by the fireside watching the sunset. Yes yes and yes.

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And finally I was even able to squeeze in some meal prep for the week…lemon pepper tilapia, ZOODLES, jerk sweet potatoes and boiled eggs for an added protein boost. Yum yum.

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How was your weekend? Did you do any food preppin’ for the week?

Foggy Miles and Races Coming Up.

8 miles done this morning in the straight up fog…the roads were nice and quiet though. We have some warmer temps coming in the next day or so…(highs in the 60s today!) so I am looking forward to the sunshine.

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So I have a few races up my sleeve for 2016! I’m looking forward to lots of fun opportunities to rock it out on the roads…here’s what’s on tap in the next few months.

Jan 31st- Too Cold to Hold Half Marathon / Dallas, TX…this race I have not yet run before but it’s a part of a fun series that I’ve done with the Run Project. They have a great race in the summertme…the Too Hot to Handle 15k. I loved that one! So the half should be a good one and I’m hoping for some fast running.

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Feb 6th- Dash for the Beads 5k / Oak Cliff, TX This one is located in one of my favorite neighborhoods, the Bishop Arts District. Plus there will be plenty of Mardi Gras themed fun! Yes…that is one of my most favorite holidays. I ran this one last year and it’s a very hilly challenging course. I’m hoping to beat my time from 2015.
Those of you that are local you can purchase the Groupon here..$18 for a 5k is quite the steal!

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I am digging my mismatched compression socks.

Feb 21st- HEB Alamo Half Marathon / San Antonio, TX- I received an opportunity through the Marathon Maniacs to be an official pacer for this race so I’m really looking forward to that! Being a pacer is such a rewarding experience…I’ve paced 2:00 and 1:55 groups in the past. Can’t wait to meet some more crazies like myself and help some runners reach their goals.

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Feb 28th- Cowtown 50k / Ft. Worth, TX- This will be my 2nd 50k, dipping my feet back into the ultra pond and I definitely am ready for the challenge! I love this race because they offer so many distances throughout the race weekend and the course is absolutely beautiful.

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March 20th- Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon / Dallas, TX- This is definitely one of my favorite half marathons…bands all along the way and running in my hometown! Plus I love shopping at their health and fitness expo. I am praying for some good weather.

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What races do you have on tap? Is anyone running a spring/summer marathon?
The Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon in June!

Monster Dash Half Marathon and Wknd Recap.

Well hello there! Hope you had an excellent weekend filled with some Halloween-ish fun. I taught my spin class this morning and then rocked out with some strength work. Today is definitely a good day for Mr. Coffee.

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This past weekend I ran the Monster Dash half marathon out in Ft. Worth! It was a fun occasion and everyone went all out with their get up and costumes. Some of these folks I tell ya, I truly have no idea how they ran in those outfits.

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Temps were in the 60s and it was pretty humid out…but we had a bit of breeze on our side and some drizzles of rain. A storm came through the night before so part of the Trinity Trail was also a little flooded. But we went out and got it done anyway.

For this race I was determined to fall under 2 hours. After running this hot half and this one not long ago…with both races being well over the 2 hour mark you could say I was out for revenge. I just wanted to run strong and have a good race despite the weather. The course was 2 loops total so it was fun running past so many folks in the back half. The pacers were awesome too and so energetic. Pace wise I held steady the whole way through and only slowed down a bit to jump over (through) dirt and HUGE puddles. The course had a few rolling hills too but was mostly flat.

I squeaked in at 1:53…very much happy with that time. Still got it, I guess.

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4th place in my age group out of 64 girls…not half bad!

25th half marathon done.

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I really truly enjoy the half distance…it gives me a chance to work on my speed a bit and it’s just enough to allow for a quick recovery time after. It was a nice tune up race for Vegas 26.2 in 2 weeks. Bring on the Strip at Night.

And of course the best thing post race…a blonde cerveza. Again I am not a beer person AT ALL but after a tough race sometimes a little sip does the body good.

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One of the best things about this race no doubt was the finisher’s jacket. And yes…any runner’s swag with pockets and zippers is always my favorite.

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Post run eats…Greek food for the win. Best thing to dip in hummus hands down to me is sliced cucumbers.

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Sunday I went out for another run while thinking about my friends who rocked the NYC Marathon! I said a little prayer for them while the miles went by.

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And I followed that up with my first Starbucks holiday red cup of the season. Soy latte with some extra foam.

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How was your weekend? Did you participate in any Halloween fun?

The Color Half Marathon and Wknd Recap.

Hey y’all! Yes I said ya’ll…in true Texan fashion. Hope you are having a great Monday!

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This past weekend I ran The Color Half Marathon out in Cedar Hill, TX! It was a tough day of hill / mountain climbing in the heat but…we made it!

Let’s recap the race as well as the weekend a little bit.

Saturday morning I ventured out for a nice and easy 7 miler in my hood. It was a gorgeous sunrise and some quiet / reflection time. I just love starting my weekend that way.

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Followed by a trip to visit my friends over at Vitality Bowls…they made me an acai concoction with strawberries, bananas, organic granola and coconut milk.

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That afternoon I got to see my long lost friend Aditi who actually lives in VA/DC area now but was in town for SMUs homecoming festivities! They really go all out on the tailgating. We had a good time catching up…I’ve known her (center) and the other girl Julie for over 13 years and counting.

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Sunday morning I made the 30 mile trek out to Cedar Hill State Park for the race. Luckily it was an 8 am start so that gave me plenty of time to find the location and get my parking situated. What I loved about this race is that they were super prepared and even had a shuttle to take us to the start/finish line. The race was fairly small too and also had a 5k portion. Lots of folks brought their families and kiddos and since it was in a park decked out in their lawn chairs to do some spectating.

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Going into this race I knew it may be hilly since it said so on the website but truly did not look at the elevation or anything. The race takes you through the park and around Joe Pool Lake which was quite beautiful to look at.

We continued going up and down a bunch of rolling hills and then some serious climbs that really took the wind out of a lot of people. Basically there was no spot in the race that was flat which was tiring but the sadistic side of me actually enjoyed it. (!) I just kept telling myself ‘what goes up must come down’…swallowed my pride and kept pushing. Having the color stations was fun too, although most of us chose not to run through them (okay…I will admit, I ran through ONE just for fun) so we could focus more on running. It was cool though and the volunteers were incredible. They kept us perfectly hydrated and even put ice in our water and electrolyte drinks.

My Garmin died halfway through the race as well so I tried to ignore all of that and just run by feel. Which honestly…I need to do more often. Its amazing how much better you run when you do that…and just kind of get out of your head. Your mind is so good at telling you to stop or to slow down…I am working on ignoring it when I need to push harder in a race.

Anyway, towards the end a couple of us on the course were talking and hoping that it would at least start to go downhill so we could all finish faster. Yeah…no dice. There was a nice big juicy hill right at the end which was a little discouraging but I just kept telling myself that this was great prep for the also hilly Tyler Rose Marathon which I’ll be running in 2 weeks.

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2:01 finish…which for me, in the heat (high of 90) coupled with nonstop hills was a good run…and faster than my last half a few short weeks ago. Plus…small race so you know, the age group win was not so bad either.

2nd place in my age group on a tough, challenging, state park course. Oh yeah, I will take it!

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I have a couple more half marys to tackle in the next few months as well as 2 full marathons – Tyler Rose in October then RnR Vegas in November. Gotta keep these legs nice and strong!

Oh & post run hammock/girl talk time…much needed.

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How was your weekend? Did anyone tackle a tough race or a hilly long run?

Hottest Half Marathon Recap.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. I got my day started teaching a cycle and strength session with my early morning crew. Doing some upper body work to this track definitely makes the time go by faster!

This weekend I ran the Hottest Half Marathon down in Dallas…of course I had to wear something motivating to keep me going.

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As you all know, I try to run this race every year, and I ran it last year. I am still trying to figure out in my head why the heck I keep running this race though, honestly. I think maybe I like to be tortured? The weather that day was seriously no joke. This was the HOTTEST Half I’ve ever run over the years, for sure. The humidity for that day was up there, too.

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Like for real, though. Hot as balls kinda hot.

Anywayyyy….we lined up to the start, ready to go at 7:30, and of course…in typical Mellew production fashion we did not start on time. Yep…that does not make matters any better seeing as we were already pushing 90 degrees so early in the a.m. FUN.

To kill time me and my race buddy Mark took a pic. Because that’s what you do when time is ticking.

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So about 10-15 minutes go by and we are still waiting for the gun. Finally…just before 8 am…we get the ready set GO! From the announcer. Oh yeah, and no gun. Just a shout. And we are off to the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge. This is my favorite part of the race, for sure.

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My pace stayed steady for the first few miles and I was feeling good although the humidity was crazy thick. I took it easy in the beginning thinking I’d be able to finish strong in the end but thinking back I wish I would have ignored that thought and started out faster. I saw a few friends and high fived them along the way, then took in some salted caramel gu. The view from the trail was gorgeous and the sun was definitely beaming down on us.

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By about mile 7 or so after taking in some electrolytes I started to feel a little nauseous. I do not know where it came from and I feel like I had hydrated well but in hindsight perhaps not enough. I felt dizzy for a second like I may faint so I took a few shuffle breaks. It was then in my mind that I basically went into survival mode. I just wanted to finish the damn thing! My buddy Mark came up behind me and gave me some words of encouragement and told me to ‘listen to my body’. So that’s definitely what I did. They had cut down a bunch of trees too in the area which didn’t help matters and there was no shade. Plus there was construction so part of the trail was some dirt & rocks combo which was a little tough to navigate! But I did the best that I could, swallowed my pride and just got through it.

After going up a huge hill we went back over the bridge and back off into downtown. Finito! Not my best but not a terrible time for having to walk most of it and shuffle through a majority of this run. Oh yeah, the course was just a tad long too. Oh well.

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The race was held at a brewery so I had a little sip of their new Razzy beer. It was okay…just something nice and cold to sip on. Nothing wrong with a little fancy cerveza.

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No official time yet as I believe Mellew had some problems with the timing chips but I don’t really care. It’s done and over with and now I am probably out for revenge. I see another half marathon happening very soon…I’m juggling some options for September before I run the Tyler Marathon in October.

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Next week, it’s back to long easy runs. I have another 20 to knock out next Saturday. Definitely before 8 am when it gets crazy hot!

Another medal is on the rack and it’s far from my best time…but it’s done.

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13.1 number 23 is in the books. Let’s see if we can hit 25 before the year is up.

How was your weekend? Any other Texas runners out there? Have you ever run a half marathon in the 90 degree HEAT?

Wounded Warrior Half Marathon and Wknd Recap.

Well hey there! How was your weekend? I am just sitting here sipping on some iced coffee after teaching cycle and strength this morning. This week is going to call for some seriously strong java.

Let’s recap a little bit of the weekend, shall we? I ran the Wounded Warrior Half Marathon out in Las Colinas…right in my backyard. The conditions were quite tough with the heat and 90 percent humidity! But I made it, yo.

Backtracking to Friday night…I went to a vino and cheese tasting with friends. There was a nice little spread and reds and whites to try. The garnacha blend was my favorite.

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The next day I wanted to get out and get some fresh air before the day got too warm so I was up for 7 easy breezy miles along the lake. Just to get my legs revved up for Sunday’s race. Honestly I hadn’t done much tapering for this one and didn’t really care to since I knew the temps would be so warm, humid and not quite PR worthy. Just running for fun and hanging out with friends.

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Sunday morning was the race! We started bright and early at 7 am and temps were already close to 80 degrees with humidity that made it feel even warmer. I did a little warm up to get to the start line and I was already super sweaty before the gun went off! I ran into my buddy Mark who was the 1:50 pacer. He races pretty much every weekend too. Such a rockstar.

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This race supports the Wounded Warrior Project so there were lots of Marines and members of the military in attendance which I thought was cool. They did a little tribute and then we were off.

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The half course was originally set to hit the Campion Trail Park but since we have had so much rain that whole area was still flooded. So we had to do 2 full loops of the somewhat hilly 10k course plus another out and back. The good thing about this though was that we hit the hydration stations a total of 14 times!! Definitely much needed with the heat and running with the sun pounding our faces. I tried to maintain a solid pace all throughout but slowed down towards the end as it got warmer.

It was at this point I was more than sure I would come in well over the 2 hour mark. Typically too as it gets warmer my pace tends to slow a bit so I wasn’t too worried about that part. I just tried to keep pushing and looked at my watch and reasoned with myself that probably anything just under 2:10 I would be happy with. Besides…I was just running for fun and had not tapered at all for this one!

Once I hit mile 12 I was just around the 1:51 mark. I was surprised to see I had picked up the pace just a little bit! It was at this point I was feeling pretty good about coming in right around 2 hours. My last mile clocked in around an 8:26 pace and I actually finished UNDER 2! I tell ya, it felt awesome to finish sub 2 in those crazy conditions. Well deserved medal. 13.1 number 22 is done. Finished 14th out of 131 gals in my age group.

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Stay tuned! There are a few more hot races to come. And then of course an awesome summer marathon training season leading up to Rock n Roll Las Vegas. Then…my first shot at The Texas Double in December to end 2015 on a high note.

Don’t believe me, just watch!

How was your weekend? Did you run a HOT summer race?!

Divas Half Marathon Recap.

6 miles of runrise this morning…with a little short lived rain shower mixed in. Gotta love Texas in the springtime.

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This past weekend I ran the Divas Half Marathon down on Galveston island! What a fun 13.1 it was. My friend Malaika and I took a 4 hour road trip down to south Texas for the event.

We got there and checked in to our hotel then were off to the expo to get our race swag. Loved the DIVAS health and fitness boutique.

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This race was primarily catered to women so everything was all decked out in my favorite color! Bright hot pink. They even gave us pretty pink tutus. Of course we had to strike a pose.

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We spent the rest of Saturday relaxing, walking around on the beach and doing a little shopping. I had a delicious dinner of fresh shrimp and veggies while watching the sunset.

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Race morning we were up around 6 am and since we stayed super close to the start line we made our way over. We took a few pics and lined up to wait for the gun to go off.

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At 7 am we were off! Temps were really nice at the start…a breezy 70 something degrees but also very humid since storms had come in the night before. We went through a few neighborhoods then eventually made our way to the beach with the sun beating down. It was quite a lovely view though.

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Since I had run a full marathon a couple of weeks ago I knew I wanted to just go out there and have a good time, and finish somewhere just under 2 hours. Once that sun came out I knew it would be a bit of a battle and the humidity made it feel even warmer! So…I just fought my way to the finish and even passed a few gals in the end which always feels good. 1:58…not too bad for running on some tired legs! I was just glad to be under that 2 hour mark which was the goal all along.

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Hey, having some hot firefighters at the finish line to give you your medal…not half bad, either.

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After the race we chilled out some more and enjoyed some more time on the island and I managed to get a little tan. Very much needed.

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Overall it was an excellent trip and I added another medal to the medal rack! I seriously don’t know how this thing has not fallen off of the wall yet.

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And I just wanted to add a huge CONGRATS to those that crushed the Boston marathon this past Monday! It was so awesome to see everyone’s social media posts and cheer a few of my friends on.

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How was your weekend? Do you have any fun races coming up?

Spring and Summer Races on Tap.

I was up and at ‘em this morning for a few miles in the hood. Love this pretty green view.

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Post run concoction…frozen cherries, strawberries and almond milk. Plus a little squeeze of lime because…why not? Makes me feel like I’m on a staycation.

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Speaking of running…I do have a few races that I plan on doing over the next few months. I do also want to put a fall marathon (or 2) on the calendar but for now I have some local races that I’d like to knock out. There are so many fun ones around Texas that I’d like to take advantage of!

Here’s what’s coming up in the near future…

Divas Half Marathon in Galveston / April 19th- This weekend! Running right along the beach should be a good time. Fun road trip planned down there with my girl Malaika.

Vineyard 5k in Grapevine / May 2nd- I ran this one last year and won first place in my age group! Figured it would be great to return this year and maybe compete for another wine glass trophy.

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Memorial Day Marathon in Dallas / May 31st- Should be a fun run though Bachman Lake and lots of my fellow Marathon Maniacs will be there! Can’t wait.

Wounded Warrior Half Marathon in Las Colinas / June 14th- Running through my hood is always fun! It’s usually a warm one this time of year but it will be a great tune up going into summer marathon training.

And maybe a few more to come…you know I always have something up my sleeve.

What races do you have coming up this spring/summer?