Rock N Roll Half Marathon Race Recap.

I am back from a whirlwind of a weekend! Coffee in hand ready to take on the work day. So…yesterday I ran the Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon with my Luke’s Locker teammates! You want details, yes? Well then let me back it on up.
Saturday was the Health and Fitness expo at the Dallas Convention Center! Eric joined me to pick up my packet and racing swag. We got there super early to try and avoid the crowds but it was still pretty packed in there. I got my race number, t-shirt and goodies. We went around to the different booths and I managed to get some cool photos. Eric really enjoyed the booth where they passed out barbecued pork. I tried some too, it was pretty darn tasty!
 
After running around at the expo we left and got some rest. I went and had my traditional carb loading dinner with my friends Zack and Ann at Brio’s Tuscan Grille in Allen. Great place! I had the steak salad and some of their toasty bread on the side. I don’t know what it is with me and steak lately, especially on top of a salad it’s really good.
Race morning I met up with some buddies and we did a carpool to Fair Park. The race finished and started at a different location which was a little hectic and meant you had to arrive super early to catch the shuttles to the start line. We arrived around 5:45 AM and got to the race around 6 AM. The race didn’t start til 8 so that left us plenty of time to use the bathroom, check our bags in the gear check…oh and of course…have a photoshoot.

(from left) Sarah, Heidi, me & Jeanette

Ann, Robyn & me

Ann & me

We started lining up in our corrals around 7:45. I got in corral 2 with my buds Lori, Ann, and Shirley. We took off and I turned my music on to rock out. I decided that I was going to just run this race solo and see what I was capable of. I knew the temps were going to soar to close to the 80s that morning so my plan was just to do my best until it got warm and then see what happens.
Miles 1 through 4 were fairly hilly, going through the downtown Dallas area and into the Uptown/Highland Park area which is my favorite part of Dallas to run in. By mile 5, the temperatures started climbing. I could feel the sun on my back and it was HOT. I decided not to bring my water bottle and decided to stop at water stops for quick sips of water. Now that I look back at this I wish I would have toted a bottle along since the water stops were few and far between. By mile 7, I slowed my pace a bit with the heat. My legs were TIRED and I saw the relay people’s exchange point. In my mind I was thinking…’it would be so easy just to stop here, right? Like who really cares if you do?’ but the fighter in me said, ‘no…you know better than that, just keep moving…as long as you KEEP MOVING you are going to finish this.’ So I kept moving. After the steep climb at 7 the roads flattened out and we hit a neighborhood with lots of shade. I picked up the pace and got back on track. It felt good to get a little second wind. There were stations spraying down people with water and I took FULL advantage of this. I took probably half of 2 Gus the entire race and sucked down water at just about every water stop.
As we hit miles 11 and 12, we circled back around to the Fair Park area. The course goes through where the State Fair is held, right around the Cotton Bowl. It felt good to be nearing the finish. I started getting tired here and just wanted to ease on in to the finish line since I knew I wasn’t going to PR. As I turned the corner I saw my friend Ann inching up to me. I smiled at her and held her hand for strength. Seeing my friend and running partner in crime there was just what I needed to keep trucking. So I picked up my pace a bit and busted it out to finish strong. I clocked in at 1:52:22.
After the race, I hung out with all of my friends and saw a bunch of people I knew! Some of my friends were running their very first half marathon that day! Even though it was a tough race and quite balmy for a spring day in March, everyone had smiles on their faces. A successful day in my book.
This morning as I was getting ready and checking my email, I read the RW Daily Kick in the Butt and it kind of reminded me of this weekend…
How was your weekend – did anyone else have a race? Tell me about it!
What is your favorite kind of salad? 

Footlose and Fancy Free.

Happy Monday! It has been a while since we’ve talked, now hasn’t it? I guess I had better get you all caught up on my weekend. But first let’s start with this morning. I ventured out for a rather dark but nice & breezy run.

There's the sun...peeking out just a bit...

Since we lost an hour over the weekend it felt super early when I woke up for my run. I turned on my Pandora radio and set out for a little jaunt. It was dark but peaceful and quiet…great time to clear my head and collect my thoughts. 7 miles for breakfast in just under 57:30, 8:12 pace. Not so bad for a Monday morning. Perfect tempo run (for me).
It may also help that I just got some new shoes courtesy of Luke’s Locker. The Nike Free Run 2s. They are pretty awesome. I love how flexible they are, and I feel all footlose and fancy free when I run in them.
This weekend I coached my running group over at Luke’s Locker. It was our last long run before the Rock N Roll Dallas half marathon in 2 weeks. 13 miles plus some hill repeats. Of course we had to take a group photo at the end. I am so proud of them, like proud mama kind of proud. They have all made some great strides in their training and are ready to knock it out of the park. It should be lots of fun – I will be running it as well. I am hoping for a sweet PR for myself and for all of my lovely participants.
Since it rained a majority of the weekend (thankfully the rain held off for our Saturday morning long run) I didn’t do much. Went to Danceaton class, learned some new choreography, came home. It felt nice to veg out and just kind of do nothing. Oh…and since Friday was payday – you know payday in my little world equals saving money signing up for yet another race. So, this happened…
And then this…
I ran both races last year – The Central Market Thrill of the Grill 5K, then PR’d at the Heels and Hills 10K..so I decided this year I would go for the gusto and run the Heels & Hills half instead. I love the Thrill of the Grill race because there is breakfast afterwards…plus it benefits the Plano Independent School District, where my mom works as a 1st grade teacher. She ran/walked the 5K last year…her first 5K ever. So proud of her! So we will be doing the race again too.

Chillin' with mi madre over one of our many brunch get togethers. It's our thing.

Sunday was real chill…I made myself some steak & veggies for dinner. NY Strip, seared and then popped it in the oven. Then I felt like making cookies. Not sure what got into me. So I made white chocolate peanut butter cookies from scratch. Eric doesn’t eat peanut butter (lame) so I brought them to work today to share. Want the recipe? Here you go:
I substituted the peanut butter for all natural white chocolate peanut butter, then used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter instead of real butter.
Everything else stayed the same. The white chocolate pb was a nice touch and made them real chewy.
How was your weekend? What is your favorite type of cookie? Any races coming up?

Trail Running 101.

Happy Tuesday! I hope you are still enjoying your holiday and letting Christmas linger a bit. I know I sure am. I have finally come out of my chocolate coma from consuming a few too many of these babies…

so yummy…yet so dangerous.

I will be working this week but thankfully I have the day off on Friday as well as the following Monday so it’s all good. It is basically a ghost town here in the office which is also fine by me.
I am back and running, literally! Yesterday (after sleeping in & watching a few episodes of the Kardashians – don’t judge me) I ventured out to the Northshore Trail in Grapevine for an afternoon trail run with my friends Pepsi, Ann, and a few other running buddies. We thought we were going to be rained out with the gloomy weather but the drizzles slowed down and we were on our way! On Christmas Day after my 16 mile Christmas Eve run, I ran 1 slow recovery mile on the treadmill at my mama’s house. It was very uneventful. So Monday was much needed. I wore my red Inov-8 F-Lite 195 shoes which turned out to be the perfect minimalist trail running shoe. Thanks to my friends over at the Natural Running Store I believe I have found my off road match!
The trail is beautiful and sits right outside of Lake Grapevine. I didn’t have my GPS watch on that afternoon (yes, still without a Garmin charger, and the store has been closed for the holiday…oh Garmin, my Type A self misses you so!) But we did about 6 or 7 miles. It was nice to get off of the pounding of the pavement and just be immersed in nature.
After the trail run we all went over to the Lazy Dogz Grill over in Flower Mound for some treats and eats. It was a good time.
In the mean time, I am contemplating on getting more into trail races this year after running the Deck the Trails race. It is so different from road races but it is a change that I certainly enjoy.
For your entertainment, I’ve put together a few do’s and don’ts for trail running – just from what I’ve learned thus far. Here goes.
DO wear some shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Because you WILL get them dirty whether you like it or not. I recommend investing in some trail shoes or some shoes with some good gripping at the bottom. My Inov-8s are minimalist shoes but they were just perfect and helped me with my footing because they are not at all bulky.

yes…dirty shoes are a good thing!

DON’T lose sight of the ground in front of you. It is very easy to get distracted especially when you are chatting with a friend out on the trail but just make sure you are careful and look down at all times.
DO bring buddies to run with while out on the trail. Primarily for safety and so you have someone with you in case you get lost. Plus it’s just more fun talking while galavanting through the rocky terrain. I also recommend bringing your phone with you – so you can take pics of course!

good times with good trail buddies

DON’T try to be all type A speed racer…trails just for easy paced, chillax type of running. It is much easier on your joints too provided you do not go all out and try to kill yourself. Trust me, I know this from experience. Easy pace, conversational.
DO enjoy the elements. After all, that’s what trail runs are all about! Keep your ears open for everything around you. I recommend running sans music. Listen out for bikers that come up behind you and be courteous out there.
So, in the spirit of trail running, I have signed up for the Grasslands Trail Run – Half Marathon in March!
It’s March 24th, and then the Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon will be the next day on Sunday. I am looking forward to doing back to back half marathons! Cuz…I’m CRAZY and I know it!!
Cue the LMFAO…
This weekend is the New Year’s Double – again, back to back half marathons, one on NYE and another NY Day! I’ll be doing it with a few other crazy runners so of course it’ll be a good time.
I think the bibs are pretty cool…
Doing anything fun for New Year’s Eve? 
I’ll be making some cameos to a couple of parties, but at midnight I turn into dust.