2016.075-082: Spring Fever Chase Race Recap

Happy Spring!

While it doesn’t exactly feel like spring here on the Gulf Coast, as of yesterday spring has officially arrived and I don’t know about you, but that makes me really happy! We are also officially 29 days from the end of tax season! WOO to the HOO.

I am always reminded of and rely on Colossians 3:23 this time of year … “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men.”


Sometimes I get discouraged and start thinking that my work doesn’t really “matter,” or that I’m not really helping others with my work. I think this verse is a wonderful reminder that no matter what it is that you are doing, God can use you if you are willing.

I have another race recap to share with you today, and this is a good one because it is my favorite race of the year, the Spring Fever Chase 10K. If you are getting a little bit tired of my race recaps, don’t worry I don’t have any other races scheduled in the immediate future. This will be the last one for at least a little while (no promises as to the specific duration of this racing hiatus though). The plan is to just make it through tax season and then … who knows?!

Spring Fever Chase 10K. Let’s discuss. The 10K course winds through beautiful downtown Fairhope (with some rolling hills) and finishes along the bay. The race always takes place on the Saturday of the Arts and Crafts Festival, which is a really cool, three-day event. Over 200 vendors from all over the country bring their best work and set up booths all along the streets downtown. After the race, you can just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere. It’s awesome! If you don’t believe me, you should just come experience it for yourself.

I started running this race in college and pretty much haven’t stopped since. I missed last year because of the flu, but that is my only year to miss since 2006. Daniel has run the race every year since we met (2010) and he loves it too! He won the race last year, and so he was anxious to defend his title this year. Earlier in the week, the weather was looking a little bit iffy, but luckily the rain that was supposed to come in decided to stay out in the Gulf and the day turned out beautiful. Humid? Yes. Rainy? No.

We got to the race around 7:15 and ran a couple of miles to warm up, got to the start just before 8 and chatted with some friends. Very low key. No nerves, just excitement. I went into the race with no real concrete goals. Since the weather was warm and muggy and the course is quite challenging, coach wanted me to “run this 10K a bit more by feel and not worry too much about paces. Avoid the early sprint out and instead get into a good strong rhythm from the start and let the paces vary along with the roll of the course. Focus on your cadence and form on the hills.” I thought this was wonderful advice and I intended to do just that. I ran the 1st mile in 6:22 and the 2nd in 6:19.


Unfortunately, there was some confusion on the course during mile 3. About 99% of the runners didn’t run the area circled in yellow above. The police officer that was supposed to be directing the runners to turn left onto Myrtle misunderstood his directions and instead directed the runners to stay straight on Gayfer. This meant that a half of a mile and two of the biggest hills were cut from the course.

The problem was that the first 7 or 8 runners (who had gotten somewhat separated from the pack early on), ran the actual route. Daniel was leading the race and all of the runners around him were familiar with the course as well, so we all turned left onto Myrtle, even though the police car was blocking the street. Several of us even tried to tell him that he was blocking the course, but he wasn’t really listening. At some point after that, he actually turned the sign that was pointing for the runners to turn left and made it just point straight for everyone to stay on Gayfer.

I was still feeling good and was completely oblivious to what had happened until I ran up the hill on Ingleside to see about thirty runners turning onto Ingleside ahead of me. At this point, I was just really confused. I turned around to look behind me and y’all … not a single runner. No one after me had turned on Myrtle! I’m not gonna lie, for a minute or two (or three or four), I was mad. I went from 1st female (and 6th or 7th overall) to about 5th or 6th female (and about 40th overall), because the others hadn’t run the course correctly. I ran mile 3 in 6:35. I expected to slow down a little on mile 3 because it is the hilliest mile of the race.

With all of the confusion, I even missed seeing the fabulous sign that Jill’s husband made. He is in accounting too, so he added a little nerd humor in there for me. It was definitely “accrual” world out there Saturday! Luckily she had a picture of it, so I still got to see it (just after the fact) ❤


It was really hard for me to hold it together mentally at this point. Miles 4 and 5 were 6:28 and 6:38. I just couldn’t find my “drive.” Even though I was steadily catching people and I came to terms with the fact that no one purposefully cut the course, they were just led the wrong way (I’m 99% certain that I would’ve done the same thing if everyone around me was too) … I was just kind of done with the race. I didn’t really care if I caught back up to the 1st place girl or not. None of the spectators along the course knew what had happened, so they were all yelling, “3rd place female!” or “2nd place female!” as I passed. I know they meant well and I am thankful that there were people out supporting the runners. It was still a tough pill to swallow.

I ran the last mile in 6:28 and the last 0.20 in 1:30 (ish), for a finish time of 40:20. I debated on how I was going to write this recap and I almost didn’t even get into the whole course being short debacle, because I definitely don’t want to deter anyone from participating in this race. It is a great race! I think that it was a wonderful learning experience and hopefully you can take something from it as well. How often do things really go exactly how you expect them to? Life is going to be full of obstacles. All obstacles can be overcome! We just have to maintain motivation, stay positive, dig deep, keep our faith, and never give up, even when nothing seems to be going our way. Easier said than done. No doubt.

It may seem like some people might have an easier route or path in life, but the character, wisdom and knowledge that we gain from overcoming adversity is what make us who we are. If you never face adversity, you never learn how to fully rely on God. Cling to Him and He will shape you into the person that you were meant to be! There you have it, folks. Deep thoughts to start off your Monday morning.


With all that being said, the race directors handled the situation beautifully. They were so apologetic, even though it wasn’t really their fault. Ultimately, it is the runner’s responsibility to know the course and run it correctly. Daniel still managed to win the race outright, regardless of the fact that he ran farther than a lot of others! So crazy! I ended up as 2nd female, but was given the win because I was the only girl that ran the correct course.

This was the second time that we have managed to pull off the double win. We both truly love this race and it is even more special to be able to stand up there on the podium together.

My mom also ran the race this year! She was planning to just walk the course, but her competitive side got the best of her and she ran most of the race. I was planning to go back and walk in with her, but I didn’t get very far back along the course until I found her running! She only had less than half a mile to go at that point, and she had two “ladies in pink” in her sight. She caught them both and won her age group! Go Mom!

We walked around and hung out at the Art and Crafts Festival for a while after the race.


Daniel and I both won a pair of shoes from Running Wild, so we definitely had to go redeem our prizes immediately! I got my second pair of Hokas. My feet love them.

After we rested for a little bit Saturday afternoon, we headed to dinner with our friends from Auburn, who were in town for the Arts and Crafts Festival. It ended up being such a wonderful day!

I know I have rambled on a little bit too long at this point, but I want to show you the coolest thing that Daniel got us for Valentine’s Day. I know that was a little while ago, but they were on backorder, so we just got them Friday. I’m pretty sure that I’ve told you about our love for the show Shark Tank. The latest Shark Tank company that we tried out is called Budsies. You submit an image (which I’m pretty sure is supposed to be your child’s art work) and they make it huggable. We decided to submit a photo of each of us and the result is absolutely awesome!


That’s all I have for you today. I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Talk to you soon!

2016.067-074: McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K

Well hello, hello and happy Monday! I hope the time change is treating you well!


I’m kind of torn about this whole time change thing. On one hand, it is definitely nice to have an extra hour in the evening, but on the other hand, I really miss the daylight in the morning and losing an hour of sleep?! Really. That’s just cruel.

Last week was a very busy week and weekend! As per usual, I’ve got a race recap and some other randomness to share with you today.

Race Recap:

We ran the McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day Prediction 5K in Pensacola Saturday. This was my first time running this race, but Daniel had done it one time before this year (5 years ago). There were over eleven thousand participants in the 5K, which is huge! That’s got to be the biggest 5K that I’ve ever run in. It takes over 10 minutes for all of the runners to even cross the start line.

An added twist is that it is a prediction run, which means that each person guesses their finish time and person who finishes closest to the time predicted on their registration form wins. You aren’t allowed to wear a watch and there aren’t any mile markers (or clocks) along the course.

There is also a team division, which makes it fun! I was on the Running Wild female team and Daniel and some of his friends ran on the Lower Alabama Runners team. The top five runners for each team count towards the results and the team with the lowest total time wins (very similar to cross country scoring, but using your time instead of your place).

We carpooled over to Pensacola Saturday morning with some of Daniel’s teammates. The Running Wild crew was meeting at the store before the race to all warm up together as a group. We found a place to park downtown (which is not an easy feat with a race size of 11K) and a few of the guys “escorted” me over to Running Wild, so that I wouldn’t have to run in Pensacola by myself. So chivalrous.


It was fun to get to spend some time with the Pensacola girls. I don’t know many of them very well, since I run for the Fairhope team. Our uniform was supposed to be our regular cheetah singlet with a green tutu. I didn’t have a green tutu, so I went with tall green socks, green shorts and a green hat. Close enough, right?


Photo cred: Cherie Epstein

The race started at 9 a.m. (which is a little bit later than most races, but was kind of nice since we had to drive about an hour to get there anyway). We left the store at 8:30 and ran the mile and a half back to the start together. I managed to find Daniel in the mob of folks in time for a quick kiss and then we were off!


Photo cred: Cherie Epstein

Several people told me before the race to be sure to start at the very front of the race. If you don’t, you waste a lot of time stuck behind and/or weaving around other people. I got a couple of rows back and started just behind Daniel. Everyone takes off sooo fast! Way. too. fast!

It’s a very weird feeling to be racing without a watch and having no idea where you are along the course. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to take a look at the course map before the race, but it most definitely did not. I’ll blame that one on tax season. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I have no clue what my splits were, but I do know that I finished in 19:23. Since I don’t have proof otherwise, let’s just pretend that I ran 6:14 pace for each mile. Perfectly even. Highly unlikely.

I predicted 19:15, so I was 8 seconds off of my predicted time. Not too bad, but definitely nowhere close enough to win the prediction contest. I think I was somewhere around 150th in the prediction department. I was 5th girl in the speed department (which let’s face it, is what I care more about) and my team got 1st place in the female division!


Daniel ran 18:05 (5:49 pace)! He was smokin! His team did really well and they ended up in second place. He predicted 18:12 for his time, so he was 7 seconds under his predicted time. That was good enough for 130th in the prediction division. He was in the top 20 or so overall for speed, so that was good!


We got in a 4 mile cool down after the race and stayed around at the post-race party for a little while. This race is more known for its after party than the actual race itself. I wasn’t really expecting it to be all that much fun, but I was pleasantly surprised. We had a great time!

Other randomness from the week:

Daniel and I showed up at group run Tuesday night wearing the same outfit. It wasn’t planned. He wouldn’t even let me get a picture. I think he was embarassed. It’s happenend before, and probably will happen again. We run a lot of the same races, so we have a lot of the same shirts. Married runner problems.

We hung out at Gumbo Shack with some friends after our group run. I feel like this place has been featured on diners, drive-ins and dives, but my google search turned up some inconclusive evidence and I lost heart in the search efforts. Bottom line, if it hasn’t been, it should be. It’s a hole in the wall kind of place, perfect for hanging out post-run!

I had a tempo workout Wednesday to do (actually it was supposed to be done Tuesday, but I procrastinated and put it off). We had a really rainy week and the temperatures have definitely started to heat up. I struggled through the workout and ended it up cutting it short. It was supposed to be a 4 mile warm up, a 4 mile tempo and a 4 mile cool down. I ended up doing a 4 mile warm up, only a 3 mile tempo (6:38, 6:40, 6:50) and a 5 mile cool down. You win some, you lose some.

Thursday evening we had a baby shower for one of the girls in our small group. I was in charge of drinks. Who knew that there were so many questions about planning drinks for a baby shower?! I’m pretty sure that next time I will be in charge of plates or something. I was in a little over my head. I’m just kidding, kind of. I found a really easy punch recipe and it actually turned out quite well, if I do say so myself.


Check us out!


We went to a birthday party for one of Daniel’s buddies, Ali, Sunday evening. He turned 40 and his wife, Melanie, organized a fun little surprise party for him. Ali is originally from England. All the guys like to give him a hard time about being British. He got this *almost* life sized (photo shopped) poster that shows him saluting the American flag, instead of the British flag.


Whew. Okay … I think that pretty much catches us up. There was more running and working that took place, but all that is pretty much status quo.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!



2016.061-066: SEEDS Classic Rock 5K Recap

Hello friends! Happy Sunday, Happy March (a little late) and Happy Spring (a little early)! I know that it is technically not spring yet, but it definitely feels like spring has sprung here on the Gulf Coast. Spring fever has officially set in!


Since February has come to a close, it’s time to recap another month of training and I also have a race recap for you.


I “ran the numbers” on February training. Let’s see what all went down!

Total running: 263.5 miles. This was a good bit less than January, which I was expecting. Typically February through April are my lower mileage months. Work ramps up and the running goes down some, which works out well and gives my body a little bit of a break (not too much of a break, but a break nonetheless).

Workouts: 2. 6 X 1 mile, and 3 X 2 mile.

Races: 3. A 5K, a 15K and a half marathon.

Favorite race: Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans! It was tough to pick a favorite, so in some form of compromise (between me and myself), I settled with one as my favorite race and one as my favorite run. The struggle is real.

Longest run: 18 miles!

Shortest run: 3 miles.

Favorite run: Double Bridge Run! This was also my part of my longest run of the month (which might be part of why it is my favorite), because Lizzie, Jessica and I did a 3 mile warm up before the race and 6 mile cool down after the race. The course was beautiful and the company was even better!

Rest Days: 4. I took one day each week off completely. This wasn’t necessarily planned, but it seems like each week there was at least one day where my body just needed rest more than it needed to run. I’m trying to be smart and listen to those cues when I get them.

Cross Training: I played tennis twice (doubles once and singles once) and walked 16 miles. I want to get in more strength training this month in the future. I am planning to go back to yoga and I would like to get in some other form of non-cardio strength training as well. Tax season is not the time for me to be adding something new to my schedule though, so that will likely have to wait a ‘lil bit.

Other random data from the month: 160.85 hours worked and 226.82 hours slept (averaging 8 hrs. and 6 min. per night). I think that I worked ~ 80 hours less this February than last year (yes, you read that right). I have stuck pretty closely to my 40 hours per week schedule, which is huge! I have actually achieved what feels like a state of balance and as a result, I am so much more content. It is nearly impossible to have any sort of life balance when you are working between 60 – 75 hours per week. I did that during tax season for 7 years (side note: how is this my 8th tax season?! … feeling kind of old here guys) until I came to the realization that it simply wasn’t worth it.


Moving on …


Saturday morning I ran the SEEDS Classic Rock 5K. This is a very small, local race that takes place less than a mile from the house. It’s hard to turn down a race so close to home that runs right along some of our regular running routes and supports the local schools.

Since I just raced the half in New Orleans last weekend, this was just a “for fun” race. I didn’t really have any goals going into the race, other than to get in a strong VO2 max (maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use) workout. My schedule called for a 4 mile warm up before the race and a 4 mile cool down after the race.

Since Saturday morning is usually a Running Wild group run day, I decided to head to the store at 6 a.m. to run my “warm up” with Lizzie, Jessica and Jill. We ran towards the race, I stopped and they turned around and went back to the store. Could I have run my warm up by myself before the race and slept a little bit later? Of course. Would it have been half as fun? Absolutely NOT. I love my running buddies!

We have an ongoing joke about FOMO and I am here to tell you that this is a real thing. In case you don’t know about FOMO (which I didn’t until somewhat recently), it is the “Fear of Missing Out” and is the anxiety that comes from feeling like an exciting or interesting event may be happening somewhere without you! Everyone else is running a race? Sign me up! Group run? I’m there. All my friends are jumping off a bridge? My parents told me not to do that … but, is there a finisher’s medal?! You get the idea.

I had a little bit of time to spare, so I was able to run home (literally), put on my singlet, grab Brooks and walk back up town. Brooks likes to come watch us run every now and then. Unfortunately, Daniel had to work this weekend, but thankfully, my mom and dad were in town, so they were able to watch Brooks while I ran. He gave me some high-fives and it was time to go!


The race is put on by the city’s education foundation and there are several local school running clubs that bring a lot of kids to run the race. It is really awesome to see so many kids participtaing in races! I love it.

The gun went off and I was in about 30th place through the first half mile. I secretly tell each kid, “pace yourself, young grasshopper” as I pass by. I get it though. It’s really hard not to take off too fast. I came through mile 1 in 6:18 and was in about 4th or 5th place overall. During the next mile I caught all of those guys and passed them, which meant I was actually leading the race, chasing the cop car. That doesn’t happen every day!

The last two miles of the race are essentially out (downhill) and back (uphill). I enjoy running races that have out and back portions, because you get to see all of the other runners. I love seeing everyone else, cheering for them and being cheered for. It keeps things interesting. I ran 6:04 for the second mile, 6:18 for the last mile and finished in 19:20.


After the race, I ran a couple miles to cool down, took Brooks home and then walked back to watch the 1 mile fun run. I am guessing that there was more participation in the 1 mile than the 5K, but I can’t find the results for the 1 mile to know for sure. The awards started at about 9:30. In keeping with the classic rock theme, the winners got an awesome Beatles shirt. This was a very unique award, which I appreciated!


We also got a calendar that doubles as a coloring book ( 🙂 ), a water bottle, a koozie and a $15 iTunes gift card. Pretty sweet!

Team Running Wild was very well represented! Linda finished 3rd overall and won the masters division (with a 7:14 pace!).


I headed to work for a couple of hours Saturday afternoon and even snuck in a short nap when I got home! Work hard, play hard, rest hard = Balance.

Have a great week!