Tag Archives: running

New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon Recap

I completed my second half-marathon! This time was a bit slower than my first one, but I felt better about this one overall. I was in good spirits the whole time, despite a rocky start that morning. So much of running is mental.

We traveled down to New Orleans for this race and rented a house for the weekend. I had two days in a row where I had to wake up before 5 a.m. (including race day), so I was mostly exhausted and worried about how that would affect my run. Since our rental house was about 4 miles from the start line, we scheduled to have a cab pick us up at 5:45 that morning. When it didn’t show up, we panicked and called every cab company around, they were all booked. Luckily, a good Samaritan saved the day and packed all six of us in his small car and drove us to the start line. We had just a few minutes to spare. There wasn’t any time for group photos, so I had someone take a picture of me while I was waiting to cross the start line.

Here we go!

There were more than 10,000 people running the half-marathon, so I actually had about a half an hour to spare. My corral was toward the back, meaning I’m slow and I was one of the last groups to cross the start line. You can see in this picture all of the people ahead of me in my corral. The starting line was about 1/4 mile ahead of this.

New Orleans Rock and Roll Half Marathon

After waiting for the other corrals to cross, I could finally see the starting line and was ready to go!

Rock n Roll Start Line

It was a beautiful run down the historic streets of New Orleans. I loved seeing the Southern trees and houses with wrap-around porches. I miss the Southern aesthetic so much sometimes. The race itself was really wet. It was very humid (I don’t miss that about the South) and, at times, rainy. The roads were a little slick at some points too.

I was excited for the bands that the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon series is famous for, but they were a bit of a let down. There weren’t a lot of them and there weren’t even people standing around watching them, which is what I hoped for. I guess it’s hard to find a race where people cheer you on the entire way, but there were parts of the race where we didn’t have any spectators. At those points, you really have to rely on your internal motivation to get you through the run.

Finishing was, of course, the best part. My friends were waiting for me and Ryan was there.

Finishers! I’m so glad that Ryan and I did the race together.

Post-Race Selfie

After we finished, we cheered on the marathoners while I enjoyed my post-race free beer.

Free Beer

I run for free beer, of course.

life updates on a winter day

Who else is sick of these winter days? I promised myself I’d feature fewer photos of my cats, but I haven’t left the house in days (this is almost an exaggeration), which means the only thing I’ve had the opportunity to photographed is my cats.

Riley Cat

Despite the cold weather, I’ve been doing aqua aerobics and aqua boot camp at my gym. It seemed like a good, low-impact workout until my hair froze walking home from the gym one day. Who knew?

In cooking related news, I tried to use my new food dehydrator do dehydrate daikon radishes. It was an awful idea. They turned out horribly. I do not recommend.

I’m on week three of my Spanish class. I’ve been using  Duolingo, a free iPhone app, to help me with my studies and it’s amazing. You can also use it to learn French, Italian, Portuguese, German, and English, so check it out.

I just ordered this book from amazon. I’ve given it as a gift twice, but never bought it for myself. It’s only $5 used!

This weekend I’ll be in New Orleans for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. I am pretty darn excited to complete it. I’ve come a long way since last winter, where I stopped running for about six months. I’m a little under-trained due to the weather, but I’m also feeling pretty Zen about the race. My longest run so far has been 11.6 miles. Then we were hit with snow, followed by sub 30 degree weather, followed by more snow and sub 30 degree weather. So, I’ve taken the last two weeks off, which might make the race more challenging for me. Regardless, I can’t wait for some Southern sun and warmer weather. Wish me luck!

life moves fast

The past few months have been quite a struggle. I’ve been dealing with pesky medical issues and snags in my relationships, stress at my job and less than average performance with my personal goals. All the while, I’ve been trying to make a tough life decision.

I’ve been riding horses for nine months now. I’m finally getting up to a canter – a movement that scares me. It’s a different pace with a faster rhythm and makes me feel like I am no longer the one in control. The horse’s body bolts forward thrusting you back. Its breathing changes, the hooves pound loudly and quickly and your whole body sways, struggling to stay on. And when this happens, I desperately want to pull on the reins. I want so badly to pull back.

My trainer yells, “Let her go! Just let her go!” And I just let the horse go. And for a few seconds,  our bodies are moving in sync and beautifully fast and it’s simply exhilarating. I forget about the fear. I’m just cantering.

Like the natural rhythm of the canter, my life is trying to move forward, and I’ve been pulling on the reins for too long.

And it seems everything is falling into place and things feel right again. My life is moving forward. With monumental happiness, I’m ready to share my exciting news.

I’m moving to New York City! Ryan and I bought our one-way tickets. We depart January 15.

Letting this settle in feels completely right. My cheeks hurt, I was smiling so much today as I shared my news with my coworkers.

And my life is moving forward in other ways. I just bought my first DSLR camera, which takes fantastic photos (for the blog!), I’m learning photoshop, and my coding skills are slowly improving.

I have my first horse show this Saturday! I can’t wait. I’m only competing in a walk/trot, but still. It’s so much fun.

Christmas Lights

And I’m so ready for this holiday season. This week Ryan and I put up our Christmas lights.

Ryan with lights

And Watson wanted so badly to help.

Watson and Ryan

And this weekend, we ran in the Jingle Bell Run, which is my all-time favorite.

Jingle Bell

Everyone runs with a jingle bell on their shoe. I wore a light-up santa hat and a light up necklace.

Pre-Jingle Bell Run

And Adrienne joined us, to celebrate her one year running anniversary! I’m so proud of her.


I’ve got a lot of great crafts planned for this Holiday season. I can’t wait to start sharing them.

I’ll also be documenting how I plan to move to New York. Right now, I’m just concentrating on what (craft supplies) I’m taking with me. We’re getting rid of most everything, and basically only taking what can fit in our suit cases on the plane. It’s hard to part with stuff, but I’m excited for a fresh start.   I also got confirmation today that I’ll have a place to live when I get to NY. I’ll be staying with one of my best friends. And I found out I will be able to keep my job! Temporarily. They’re letting me work remotely for a few months. Now, all I have to do is find a stable.

my first half-marathon

On Saturday, Ryan, my friend Holly, and I woke up at 5 a.m. to drive to Georgia to run my first half-marathon. That’s 13.1 miles.  I’ve been training for the past three months. I was sleepy, carbed-up, over-caffeinated, and nervous as hell. Here we are before the race.


The race was in Boston, GA – a small, country town with just a few main streets. The race was also small with around 200 people. Many of the runners drove up from Tallahassee and were part of the Track Club I’m a member of. It was a beautiful out and back course. The first three miles were pastoral. It was nice to run next to pastures of cows and fields of cotton. A farmer’s tractor even crossed the race route in front of me. The next three or so miles were filled with more cotton fields and forest with lots of water features. The shirt, which is quite cute, has a cow on it.

Boston Mini Shirt

One year ago I ran my first 5k. After running this half, I’d still say that getting through those 3.1 miles was the toughest run I’ve ever done. I ran straight through and finished in around 45 minutes. I remember getting my race photos and crying because I looked awful. All of that hard work for a photo I couldn’t show anyone. Now, I’m used to bad race photos. It’s part of being a runner.

Bad Race Photo

Here I am a few feet from the finish line. This is by far the best race photo I’ve ever taken, and it’s still pretty awful. I overworked myself leading up to the race, which is a rookie mistake. I got nervous about the race and exercised every day this week, sometimes twice a day. It showed on race day. My second mistake was booking it for the first six miles. I finished my first six miles in 1 hour 15 minutes, which is more than 10 minutes faster than my 10k time in March. By mile seven, I was exhausted. I trekked through the next few miles, stopping a little too much to walk, which honestly, really disappoints me. I know I can run 13 miles straight through. But some days, even race days, you have a bad run. I picked up speed during the last mile and a half. I was ready to have it over.

Smiling for the camera

I finished in 2 hours and 41 minutes. Which is a little slower than I was hoping for. Here’s Holly rocking it. She finished twenty minutes before me.

Here we are after the race. Tired, sweaty, and ready for more coffee.



CSA haul {10/6}

This was last week’s haul. We get a share every other week. It’s certainly getting colder (though, not quite fall in Florida). All of the greens are back – radishes again, mustard greens, and some weird bok choy/kale hybrid (can you help identify it?). The eggplants are getting smaller and smaller. I fear we’ve seen the last of them this year. We got the best cherry tomatoes I’ve ever had. They were gone too quickly. I didn’t even have time to put them on a salad. They were just snacks.

We bought more apples from the apple guy. Yes, we have an apple guy. We look foward to seeing him each fall. The apples weren’t part of the CSA. It’s gotten a bit cooler in the past week. Today the high is 80. So I think we’ll start to see squash and pumpkins in our share.

I’m still stumped with what to do with these mustard greens. I like their taste, but after a few bites, I’m just a little sick of them. I have the same problem with actual mustard. We roasted the radishes, which is the best way to eat them.

I’m off to run 11 miles (what?!) before it gets too warm. I’m running a half-marathon in two weeks.

CSA haul {3/24}


This week our CSA included:

green onions, oranges, beets, lots of strawberries, rainbow chard, and lettuce. We picked up some cherry tomatoes at the farmer’s market, as well.

I’ve never really cooked with beets. So, I look forward to the challenge. I plan on making a beet cake to ease into it, because when in doubt, add chocolate.

I’m just a few days away from running my 10k. It’s on Saturday. I’m nervous, but ready to get it over with. My body is sick of being perpetually sore and t’s getting too hot to run in the evenings after work. With that being said, I’ve been having a great time competing with myself and comparing my distances and times with each progressing week. And I’m still entirely amazed that I can run 6.2 miles. Also, I have the most supportive friends.

I stopped in the store and picked up a pack of Abita Strawberry (limited release). This is the first time I’ve seen it in stores, but I had it when we went to the Abita Brewery. I know it’s not champagne, but can I drink it with a few of the strawberries from the CSA? I bet it will be amazing.

abita strawberry harvest lager