Race Recap: Hot Trot 5K

Hello, hello!

On Saturday, we ran in the 36th annual Doc’s Hot Trot for ARC 5K at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores. Let’s dive into the details!

As I mentioned in a previous post, Hot Trot is one of my favorite races of the year! The TL;DR version of that post is that I’ve run Hot Trot five times before this year, it was my first race recap to ever write in 2015, I missed breaking 19 minutes by two seconds last year and my goal this year was to finish in 18 minutes and 50-59 seconds. Obviously I would’ve been totally happy with anything faster than 18:50 as well, but I wasn’t expecting that (based on a realistic assessment of my current fitness level).

The weather forecast was iffy all week and it looked like there was a fairly good possibility that we would be running in the rain. We drove through some pretty heavy rain on our way to the race, but thankfully all of the showers cleared out by the time the race got underway. We arrived around 6:30 a.m. for a 7:30 a.m. race start, picked up our bibs, hit the bathrooms (nice indoor bathrooms … always a plus :)) and headed out to do a few warm up miles.


Photo cred: Classy Sassy!

I ended up doing two miles to warm up and added on about a half mile of strides. We got a quick “team” picture and then it was go time! My coach suggested targeting somewhere around 6:10 per mile pace for the race. My goal of breaking 19 minutes was purely my own wishful thinking, although I definitely felt like I had done some workouts that at least pointed close to this goal. I needed to average 6:06 per mile in order to break 19 minutes. Of course, that also assumes that I would run the tangents completely accurately, which pretty much never happens. With that being said, I figured that I would start out somewhere in the 6:05 range and see what happened from there.

There had been a bit of cloud cover earlier in the morning, but as we lined up on the start line and almost as if on cue, the clouds cleared up and the sun made its appearance. I guess it would really be a shame if Hot Trot didn’t live up to its name. Ha. I lined up on the start line directly behind My Daniel. I knew that he would be running a bit faster than I was planning to and I decided that I would just chase him for as long as I could. I ended up running the first mile with Bowie and Daniel Holley. My mile one split was 6:07. I knew I was right within my range and I also knew that I needed to pick it up at least a little bit to stay on track for my goal time.

There is a turnaround shortly after the mile marker. I absolutely love races that have out and back stretches with a turnaround. You get to watch and cheer for all of the runners both in front of and behind you. I always get a bit of a boost when we turn around and start seeing the other runners! I tried to focus on maintaining my rhythm and slowly easing my pace down just a touch.

After the turnaround you make a righthand turn and run a little side loop that is probably about three-quarters of a mile long. The only downside of this loop is that there is absolutely no shade, so you really can start to feel like you are baking a little bit out there. Did I mention that the temperature at the start of the race was 82 degrees? Nice and toasty! My mile two split was 5:58. Whew! I actually felt pretty good and I was hopeful that I could finish the race strong and not fade too much.


After you finish running the loop, you made another righthand turn and head for home. I focused on not letting the runner in front of me, who happened to be My Daniel, make up any distance on me. I told myself this was just like a track workout where he runs in front of me and all I have to do is hold on and feed off of his pacing. It actually worked out quite well for me. I knew that he would out kick me in a sprint or die trying, so I just settled in behind him and hung on! My mile three split was 6:03.


At that point my time was 18:08 and I hadn’t quite gotten to the three mile marker on the course, so I knew that I was really going to have to book it in order to get under 19. When it comes to aiming for a very specific time in a 5K, the last tenth of a mile can really make or break you. I usually don’t think about it too much, but this time I was keenly aware of what I needed to do. I found an extra gear and kicked it in at 5:30 pace!

My official time was 18:57! Definitely cut it a little bit close! At the same time though, I know that I literally got everything out of myself that I could’ve that day and that is such a wonderful feeling! I’m also pleased that I was able to accurately gauge my fitness level going into the race. I’ve been doing some pretty intense speed workouts and they have given me the confidence that I needed to be comfortable with running in the low six minute range.

Several of us headed out for a long (ish) cool down. My schedule called for a five mile cool down, but I settled with just over four. After that it was time to relax and wait on the awards. There was a bit of confusion with the results, but I think they got it straightened out (at least for the most part) before they did the awards. We had heard that they were bringing back the ceramic coffee mug awards this year and I had been looking forward to adding a new coffee mug to my Hot Trot collection for quite some time.

When they called the first place overall male and female finishers, Kenny and I were given a cool wooden plaque and a stainless steel mug. We got our picture taken and I think we were both trying to hide our disappointment about not getting a ceramic mug. As we walked away the race director stopped us and said he had one more thing for us … YAS! Just about everyone that I know loves the coffee mug awards at this race. They give them to the top three in each age group as well. Several of our group can testify that they are perfect for dipping Oreos in milk. I, on the other hand, prefer to use it for what I assume to be its intended use … all the coffee!


All the awards! 

After everyone collected our awards, we even had a discussion about exactly how much coffee these guys will hold, which led to a discussion about the mathematical formula for the volume of a cylinder is (πr2h). Riveting stuff for sure!



Our team pretty much racked up … we were first, second and fourth overall in the male and female divisions, plus several age group winners! Left to right we have Erin (20:21), Daniel Holley (19:35), My Daniel (18:51), Cody (18:03), Kenny (17:54), me (18:57), Tobias (21:12), Marlen (26:21) and Jessica (22:29). Woo hoo! Way to go team!

After the race we headed to the beach for a little bit. The water was really pretty (and cold!) and we had fun playing in the water and also just relaxing some.


Hot Trot certainly lived up to its name and to the standards that have been set in years past! I’m already looking forward to next year’s race!

Training Log – 06.17.18

Hi! Hey! Hello!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 06.11.18 – 06.17.18:

Monday – Easy: 6 miles (9:07 pace) 

I started the week off with an easy treadmill run after work Monday evening. Still struggling to get out of bed in the mornings, but in some ways I think knowing that I can just run in the evenings if I don’t run in the mornings gives me an easy out. If I know I won’t have the chance to run later in they day, it’s a lot easier to actually get up and get it done. In the meantime, I’m thankful for a schedule that allows for some flexibility.

Speaking of flexibility though, it must be noted that up until this week I had only been somewhat “loosely” following my training plan. I was getting the workouts in, but I was basically just rearranging the easy runs however I wanted, which was usually based on what anyone else was doing. My coach pointed out that there was in fact “a method to the madness” and that sticking to the actual plan was going to be a key component of reaching my goals. Noted!

Tuesday – Quality: 9 miles (7:50 pace)

Tuesday morning Daniel and I hit the track for some “light” speedwork to keep the legs fresh for the upcoming race we had on the schedule for Saturday. I did a two mile warm up, 13 X 1 minute hard with 1 minute jogging recoveries and a 3 mile cool down. The goal pace for the hard minutes was 5:45 and I ended up averaging 5:51. During timed intervals, I don’t specifically look at my pace while I am running and I really just try to focus on getting in the appropriate effort. Daniel ran some 200s while I was doing my minutes and he averaged around 5:20 pace for those. We were both happy with how the workout went!

I was supposed to have an easy double Tuesday evening, but the weather didn’t cooperate. I couldn’t bring myself to get back on the treadmill that evening either, so on day two of #committotheplan and #trusttheprocess, I had to text my coach and ask how I should redistribute the missed miles over the course of the week. I have never really  thought of texting my coach for something like this in the past. I think it has something to do with not wanting someone to think that I was “needy” and not wanting to bother someone. I need to get passed that nonsense …

Wednesday – Easy: 8.5 miles (8:37 pace) 

Wednesday evening Daniel and I ran a variation of our regular loop that gave us a bit more mileage, so that I could get my scheduled eight and a half in.

Thursday – Easy: 7 miles (8:47 pace)

We actually drug ourselves out of bed and ran before work Thursday morning. Daniel did a loop with me and I added on a couple of miles at the end to get my seven for the day.

Friday – Easy: 4.75 miles (9:10 pace)

Friday morning I did a solo easy loop and listened to the Ali on the Run Show episode with Wesley Little. Wesley is a couple’s therapist and it was fascinating to hear about how she became and therapist and how therapy can help so many different people in so many different ways. I’m all about some therapy though, so it makes sense that I enjoyed this episode!

Saturday – RACE: 10 miles (7:59 pace)

Saturday morning we ran the 36th annual Doc’s Hot Trot for ARC 5K at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores. I did a two and a half mile warm up, raced the 5K (recap coming soon!) and did a four mile cool down.

Sunday – Easy: 11 miles (8:42 pace)

Sunday morning I got in an easy “long” run with some of the best running friends! Sunday is usually a good group run day, but it was even better this week because our friend Robyn was in town! We haven’t seen her in over a year and it was so good to catch up over some easy miles.

Good miles with great friends 😍🤗 #runningfamily #runningfriends

A post shared by Sam Gardner (@mobilebayrunner) on

Oh. I did another thing Sunday afternoon as well and went biking with Daniel! I mean, what?! We’re talking about riding a bike in the road. I borrowed our friend Kristan’s hybrid bike (that has elements of both a road bike and a mountain bike) and took it for a spin. I’ve still never ridden a true road bike, but this was definitely a good stepping stone. I was slow as Christmas, but we rode for an hour and had a good time!

I rode a bike that didn’t have a kickstand 😂😱 #suchabiggirl #sobrave #onthatgrind

A post shared by Sam Gardner (@mobilebayrunner) on

Totals – 56.3 miles run and 12.5 miles biked! 

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

Hot Trot Sentiments

It’s almost time for one of my favorite races of the year (and yes … I realize that I have lots of favorites). I’m pretty sure that the LuLu’s Hot Trot is my favorite 5K of the year though. The race is this weekend and I’m getting pretty pumped about it. I just registered today, so I thought it might be fitting to share a few memories of Hot Trots of years past.

I always like to compare race times from year to year to see how my fitness has progressed over the years. Hot Trot is a pretty good one to use, because while the conditions aren’t always (or ever) optimal, the conditions are always the same (i.e., hot and humid). Similar conditions make for better comparison at least.

A quick summary:
2012 – 19:56. The year of my inaugural Hot Trot. Finished (barely) under 20 minutes.
2013 – 19:35. The year I won an hourglass. Super unique prize!
2015 – 20:50. The year of the 3.25 mile 5K. Major bummer.
2016 – 19:05. The year Daniel had to work.
2017 – 19:01. The year that I missed breaking 19:00 by 2 seconds.

Hot Trot also holds a special place in my heart because it was the first race that I ever blogged about! It’s crazy to me to think that this will be my fourth year of blogging. How in the world did that happen?!

Here are some of my favorite pictures and memories over the years!

The race takes place at Lucy Buffett’s restaurant in Gulf Shores, LuLu’s (Lucy Buffett as in sister to Jimmy). The location makes for a wonderful pre-race and post-race environment. The post-race party is always so much fun. Everyone just hangs out at the restaurant before it opens. It is a relaxed, fun beach atmosphere and is very family friendly.

The course is also very flat and would be very fast were it not for the minor detail that it is mid-June in Alabama. I wish they had a race here in November or December. That would be fantastic! The course is best described as out and back with a side loop added on the way back. You hit mile one just before the turnaround and you hit mile two somewhere along the loop. Then you just have to finish the loop and book it back home.

I would absolutely love to be able to break 19:00 this year. I think that is a fairly reasonable goal. It might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s at least within the realm of possibility. Of course, you never know what might happen on race day, but in the meantime, I’m just going to envision running 6:00 to 6:05 pace and hope for the best.

I hope to see some of you guys there!

Training Log – 06.10.18

Happy Monday Tuesday!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 06.04.18 – 06.10.18:

Monday – Off

I know “they” say #nevermissamonday, but this runner missed a Monday and lived to tell the tale. In all actuality, I planned to run after work but didn’t end up getting home until close to 7 p.m. and I had a workout scheduled for the next day, so I decided that it made more sense to just take the day off and be ready to roll in the morning.

Tuesday – Quality: 8.75 miles (7:45 pace)

Tuesday’s workout was a two mile warm up, 10 X 400 and a three mile cool down. Daniel ran this one with me and that helped me out so much! It’s really amazing how much of a difference it makes to have someone to pace off of and work with during a workout (especially at the track). My splits were 86, 84, 83, 84, 85, 83, 83, 83, 83, 81 and Daniel’s were all about 2 to 3 seconds quicker. We knocked this one out before work Tuesday morning and were both really pleased with how it went!

Wednesday AM – Easy: 10 miles (8:20 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:00 pace)

I met Rebecca at dark o’clock (i.e., we were done with our run before 5:30 a.m.) on Wednesday to celebrate Global Running Day. Jessica was supposed to meet us as well, but she was sick (boo!).

Thursday – Easy: 5 miles (8:55 pace)

My legs were definitely a bit tired Thursday. I did an easy loop before work.

Friday – Easy: 8 miles (8:16 pace)

Admittedly, Friday’s run was a bit of a mess. We went fishing all day Friday and I couldn’t decide whether it would be good to try to get my other workout for the week out of the way on Friday or whether I should just wait and do it on Saturday. I wanted to do it Friday because I figured I would be worn out Saturday after being out in the sun all day long. The problem was that I needed to be done with my workout by 5:30 a.m. Friday morning in order to make the fishing trip. I knew that the early wake up was possible (I mean, I did it Wednesday), but I also knew that it was going to be tough.

Sure enough, when push came to shove, I hit snooze a few times and didn’t get started as early as I needed to. I had a three mile warm up, so I planned to do that on the treadmill and then head over to the track for the workout. Daniel was going to come up to the track around 5 to check on me. For whatever strange reason, the treadmill cut off on me about a mile and half into the run, so I was kind of forced to go ahead and go to the track. I don’t like running by myself in the dark, so I really didn’t want to have to go over there any earlier than absolutely necessary. It wasn’t ideal, but I knew it would be fine. By the time I finished my warm up miles, it was already 4:45 and I knew that there was no way that I was going to have time to do the workout and the cool down, so I decided to just do an easy run around the track instead.

Saturday – Quality: 9 miles (8:12 pace)

Saturday morning I did a three mile warm up, a workout of 1 X 1600 followed by 4 X 800 with two minute standing recoveries between and a three mile cool down. The workout was actually supposed to have two more 800s and another 1600 at the end, but I didn’t make it that far. I waited until a bit later than usual to run and I felt like I was cooking in the heat on the track. I ran 5:53 for the mile and 5:50 average for the 800s. I messed up the actual splits on my watch because of the standing recoveries. I should’ve just set up the workout on my Garmin and done it that way, but I decided I could figure it out on my own and that didn’t exactly work out for me.

Sunday – Easy: 8 miles (8:12 pace)

I finished up the week with an easy group run at Warehouse. My legs were definitely feeling the effects of Saturday’s speed work!

Total – 55.3 miles

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

Training Log – 06.03.18

Happy Monday!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 05.28.18 – 06.03.18:

Monday – Easy: 10.25 miles (8:18 pace)

I got in a longer than usual Monday morning run on Memorial Day. I ran a few miles with Rebecca and then we joined the Daniels for a few more miles.

Tuesday – Easy: 5 miles (8:38 pace)

For some reason, I am having a really hard time getting out of the bed in the mornings. I am usually a morning runner, but the last few weeks it has been a different story. I think I’ve only gotten up two out of the five weekday mornings the last few weeks. It’s crazy! Tuesday evening I did a loop with Reed and D Holley while my Daniel did a group run with the ProCycle group.

Wednesday – OFF

Wednesday was an unscheduled rest day. I had a workout that needed to be done, but it was storming Wednesday morning and by the evening I wasn’t into it and decided to take a day off instead.

Thursday AM – Quality: 8.5 miles (7:25 pace) + PM – Easy: 7.5 miles (8:06 pace)

Thursday morning I actually got up and got my workout in. I did a two mile warm up, a 15 X 1:00 hard with 1:00 easy recovery and a two mile cool down. My fastest minute was 5:27 pace (the last repeat (#lastonefastone)) and my slowest was 5:57 pace. The 15 minutes hard averaged out to a 5:41 pace and I am thrilled with that. I pushed myself hard, but didn’t feel completely depleted at the end of the workout. Don’t get me wrong, I still seized the opportunity to lay down and collect myself after the workout before getting ready for work. This has become a new post-workout tradition …

Friday – Easy: 5 miles (8:16 pace)

Daniel and I did an easy loop Friday afternoon after work.

Saturday AM – RACE: 6.2 miles (7:44 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:19 pace)

Saturday morning I did a three mile warm up (at 9:08 pace) and a race (recap is here). I didn’t do a cool down after the race, but Daniel wanted to run later that afternoon when he got home from work. I decided to do a loop with him as somewhat of a delayed cool down.

Sunday – Easy: 12 miles (8:22 pace)

I ran with Jessica, Kenny and Bowie Sunday morning. Jessica had some marathon pace miles to do and we tried to hang with her for most of that. We did 7 miles at her goal marathon pace, which is definitely a victory in this weather!

Total – 59.4 miles

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

Race Recap: Grandman Tri Relay

Hey friends! I’ve got a fun race recap to share today!

Yesterday morning I did the Grandman Triathlon Relay in Fairhope as part of a two-woman team. There are typically three relay team members (swim + bike + run), but my teammate, Kristan, is an amazing triathlete and she can actually do all three on her own. She is healing up from a hamstring tear and she just needed someone to do the run for her (we basically did the same exact thing for the same reason last year). I was happy to be part of her team again this year!


The race started at 7 a.m. at the Fairhope Pier. I woke up around 5, got myself ready, made some coffee and headed down to the race. I got there around 6:30. Once I found a parking spot and walked down the hill (the same monster of a hill that I would have to run up during the race), I was greeted by volunteers with sharpies who were eager to write our team number all over me. Seriously. Both arms, both legs and a calf.

Once I got to the pier I found Kristan and the rest of her teammates pretty easily. The new orange jerseys are VERY easy to spot! I walked out on the pier to watch the swim get underway. The start is staggered (so not everyone goes into the water at once). The athletes jump in one at a time and start making their way to the shore.

unnamed (11)

I made my way back over to the transition area to watch as the swimmers came out of the water and got on their bikes. Once Kristan came through and headed out for the bike portion of the race, I knew I had about 45 minutes or so until I would start the run. I used that time to get a few warm up miles in. Since no one was actually on the run course yet (lots of geese, but no runners), I did a few miles along the course. I likely confused several of the spectators and volunteers who were working to get the water stations set up. I repeatedly told people that I was just warming up.

unnamed (10)

I got 3 miles in and made my way into to the transition area to wait. The transition area was a pretty hectic with all of the bikers zooming in, racking their bikes, changing shoes, etc. and heading out to run. I mainly just tried to stay out of everyone’s way and I cheered for as many people as I could as they came through.

I saw Kristan zooming down the hill (her orange bike, Betty, and her orange jersey made her hard to miss) and I was excited to get out there and RUN! She had to take the timing chip off and give it to me before I could take off. She told me that she had the ride of her life, which was really exciting and made me want to run even faster. She crushed the bike portion, averaging over 21 miles per hour! Smoking!

I secured the timing chip around my ankle and took off. You climb from 1 ft (we are talking literally at sea level here) to 80 ft in the first tenth of a mile into the run. I don’t know if that sounds hard or not, but trust me when I tell you that it is … very challenging!


I knew that the hill was going to be the biggest obstacle of the race and I told myself to be patient and not try to run up that thing too quickly. I wanted to take it easy up the hill and then start to push. Theoretically this sounds wonderful, but it is incredibly difficult not to get caught up in the heat of the moment during a race (and especially in a relay when you know your teammate just busted her hiney and is counting on you to do the same :)).

Once I got up the hill the course flattened out a little bit, but there were still some gentle rollers to deal with. Here is the elevation chart …

003 Crop

I came through the first mile in 6:22. I didn’t really have any specific pace goals in mind, so this seemed decent enough. I was steadily catching people and picking people off throughout the run, which is usually pretty fun (especially in a pure road race setting). I actually feel bad passing people when I am on a relay team, knowing that they had to both swim and bike before they ran. I, on the other hand, was fresh as a daisy and just had to run. I tried to encourage everyone that I passed and I hoped that they all saw the big “T” on my left calf (indicating that I was part of a team). I cannot even imagine having to run that course after swimming and biking.

The first two miles of the course are an out and back, so as much as I like to complain about the hill, it isn’t really all that bad because you do at least get to come back down. You definitely get a decent amount of momentum going down that thing and I kind of had to reign it in (for fear of getting completely out of control and busting my face). I’m pretty sure that if you did fall, you would continue to roll down just as quickly as you could run down. I didn’t, however, plan to test that theory. I came through the second mile in 6:19.

The last mile is a loop around the duck pond at the pier. I knew that I just had to keep pushing for one more mile. It can be really tough to hold the pace during the last mile of a race, but somehow I did manage to keep it pretty consistent this time. My last mile split was 6:20. After the third mile split you have to do a little “off roading,” through some sand and grass before making your way onto the sidewalk and around to the finish line.

My mom was down near the finish watching and got a good picture with the pier in the background.


My 5K time was 19:48 (according to Strava), but the course was 3.2 miles, so my official time was 20:15. Triathlon courses aren’t always exact distances, as in this isn’t a certified 5K course, so I’m simply including my 5K time for my own refernce. An extra tenth of a mile can definitely add 30 seconds or more to your 5K time. I was a little bit faster last year, but I think it was hotter and more humid this year. Either way, I am happy with the time.

I decided to forgo a cool down. I don’t think people really cool down after triathlons … at least, it doesn’t seem like they do. At a running event, you typically see lots of people cooling down after the race, but at a triathlon, not so much. Perhaps the run is the cool down? We just hung out, chatted with friends and waited on the results for a little while. I thought we might’ve won the women’s relay division, but then again, you never really know (especially since no one starts at the same time) …

We got to stand at the top of the podium again this year! Woo!


Grandman is such a wonderful event. The location, the organization, the volunteers, really just everything is great. Participating in any event as part of a relay is always so much fun! As much as I enjoy individual sports like running and tennis, I can’t deny that there is just something about being part of a team that makes a sport feel more meaningful. I am so glad that Kristan asked me to do this event with her again this year. I’m pretty sure that it’s becoming a tradition at this point …

Congrats to all of the athletes that competed yesterday! I am amazed by all of you!

May Recap

Y’all. Is it really JUNE?

Month Recap: May 2018

The Running


I started working with a new coach towards the end of April. You can read about that and more here! May brought some challenging workouts as I settled into a groove of working with Sarah. I struggled with the longer workouts that were prescribed. One was a two mile warm up followed by four miles at 6:45, three miles at 6:35, two miles at 6:25 and one mile at 6:15 with a three mile cool down (with a half mile recovery in between each of the sets). I didn’t quite make it all the way through this workout, but I at least came close.

Another one was a three mile warm up followed by three miles at 6:50, three by one mile at 6:26 (with a half mile recovery in between), three miles at 6:50 and a three mile cool down. This workout was scheduled for a Saturday morning, but I procrastinated it until Sunday (in the name of giving myself an extra day to prepare). I was struggling to run during the warm up miles and made the executive decision to just bag the workout all together. I had run a 5K the weekend before and done a really hard 15 X 90 second interval workout the week of this workout, so I think my legs just weren’t recovered enough.

With the idea of a late fall marathon in mind, my workouts this summer will be focused on building both speed and strength. I am in better shape speed wise than strength wise currently (in Sarah’s opinion at least (I don’t know how good my speed really is)). Those longer runs are definitely challenging, but I know that I need to do some work on that front in order to build the strength that I need for a good marathon.

Workouts: I got in six pretty solid workouts this month. I think the goal is basically two quality sessions per week, but I did two races as well, so that pretty much gets me to an average of two quality runs per week.

2 mi. WU, 15 X 2:00 hard (6:11 avg.) w/ 1:00 easy jogging recovery, 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 4 mi. (6:54 avg.), 3 mi. (6:41 avg.), 2 mi. (6:59 avg.), 2 mi. CD 

2 mi. WU, 3 X 800 (2:57 avg.), 6 X 400 (1:24 avg.), 3 X 800 (3:02 avg.), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 15 X 1:30 hard (5:56 pace) w/ 1:00 easy jogging recovery, 2 mi. CD

3 mi. WU, 3 X 800 (3:00 avg.), 3 X 600 (2:15 avg.), 3 X 400 (1:24 avg.), 2 mi. CD 

2 mi. WU, 15 X 1:00 hard (5:41 avg.) w/ 1:00 easy jogging recovery, 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: My favorite workout was the 3 X 800, 3 X 600, 3 X 400 ladder workout. The workout was easy to manage mentally. I told myself just to get through the 3 X 800 and I’d be almost done. While that wasn’t really the case, by the time I got through the 3 X 600 portion, I was definitely almost done. I felt really strong on the 3 X 400 portion and it’s always great to finish up a workout feeling strong!

Races: I ran the Do it in the Bush 5K on May 12 and the Paradise Island 5K on May 27. DIITB was a trail run and Paradise Island was on the paved trails at the Gulf State Park.

Favorite race: While I really enjoyed running through the woods at DIITB, Paradise Island was my favorite race. DIITB is a no frills race (I do enjoy that from time to time), but Paradise Island definitely took the cake this month. I loved the medals and the awards, which influenced my opinion for sure.

Paces: My paces ranged from 6:05 (first mile of Paradise Island) to 10:55 (on the trails at Chewacla in Auburn). I felt like I was flying on the trails at Chewacla, but my average pace for a seven mile run was 10:28. I was taking smaller, quicker strides than normal, trying [unsuccessfully I might add] not to bust my butt on the trails. Taking more steps than usual gave me a false feeling of running faster. I’m sure that there is a technique to trail running that I don’t have mastered. If I pursue trailing running, I’ll have to look into that some more.

Miles: 287!

Longest run: 15.4 miles.

Shortest run: 5 miles.

Rest days: I took two days off completely.

Strength training: Lots of planking and one Jasyoga video (facepalm). What would be a good goal? One Jasyoga video per week? Surely I can make that happen.

The Other Stuff

Current activity: We moved everything out of our storage unit this month! We likely should’ve done this about a year ago when we moved into the house, but better late than never I suppose.

Current blog: I have really been enjoying following Anna the Apple and SF Road Warrior.

Current confession: Sometimes I don’t wash my hair before work. For whatever reason, I can’t stand dry shampoo, but I sprinkle some baby powder in my hair and I’m good to go!

Current drink: Bolthouse Farms protein shakes. These things are delicious and are a super convenient way to get some good protein in post-workout. I likely should be making my own protein shakes with our new blender, but sometimes (almost every time) convenience wins in my book.

Current excitement: It’s FRIDAY! Need I say more?


Current fail: My relatively new phone got dropped (not naming any names) and the back is all cracked up. Thankfully the screen is fine though! Oh. And I got a new case for it to hide the cracks. I love it! Talk about making lemonade out of lemons …

Current game: Fetch! Okay, so technically I don’t play fetch, but Brookser surely does. I consider myself more of a facilitator in the game of fetch.

Current habit: Keeping my fingernails ridiculously short. I’m trying to not get my nails done very often and so if my fingernails can’t be pretty, I like them to be pretty much nonexistent. I used to have to keep my fingernails short when I took piano lessons in high school (my teacher would make us trim our fingernails if you could hear them “click” on the keys) and I hated it (both the fingernail trimming thing and the entire piano lesson thing).

Current indulgence: Taking a few minutes to lay down after my workouts. I look forward to this time during the entire workout. Ha!

Current joke: What kind of shoes do frogs wear? Open toad.

Current knowledge: The only thing constant is change.

Current list: I’m trying to narrow down my fall marathon options. I’m looking at the beginning of December and there are several good options, both locally (Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, AL and Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon in Biloxi, MS) and across the country (California International Marathon). If I wait until December, I can get a solid block of speed training this summer and then not start marathon specific training until the fall, after we get back from Ragnar Colorado. There are also some earlier races are on my radar, but aren’t really as viable. Those are Indianapolis, St. George and Philadelphia.

Current mood: Happy (with a side of sleepy).

Current need: Screen wipes. I am a little OCD about keeping my phone and other electronic devices clean (that’s an understatement). I’ve been out of screen wipes for several days now and it’s making me crazy.

Current obsession: Hydration! Gotta stay diligent and on top of the hydration situation now that it is getting toasty outside.

Current procrastination: I renewed my car tag in April, but have yet to put the new sticker on my car because I am waiting until my car is clean. I should likely just wipe the sticker part off and get it over with, but maybe I’ll actually go to the car wash sooner rather than later. That’s what I keep telling myself at least.

Current quote: See below.


Current rave: I love the Brooks Levitates. I have been a loyal Brooks Launch girl for years now, but the Levitates are definitely in the running for favorite shoe right now.

Current show: Fairly Legal. It just suddenly dawned on me that all of my favorite shows are legal shows. I thought about being a lawyer back in the day. I definitely don’t regret the decision not to do that, but I still think that watching legal shows is super interesting. If I was a lawyer, I’d want to do all of the research and not have to argue in court.

Current uncertainty: I am doing the Grandman Triathlon as part of a relay team (like I did last year). Apparently the bacteria levels in the bay have been much higher than normal and higher than what is advisable for swimming, so we aren’t sure yet if the swim will go on or if it will be a duathlon instead. If it is a duathlon, it will be a run, bike, run and I will be running twice (a one mile and a 5K) instead of just the 5K. Hopefully we will find out today, because I need to think about my strategy for that! I’d have about an hour in between the one mile and the 5K.

Current vegetable: I am loving cauliflower these days.

Current want: To go skiing!

Current yearning: To find passion in mutiple facets of my life simultaneously.

Current zone: Pretty comfortable.

Tell me: What is currently going on in your life?