Space Coast Marathon Recap

About two weeks prior to the Space Coast Marathon, I developed heel spurs or plantar fasciitis, which I believe resulted from running in old shoes.  Everything I read online recommended not running for at least week.  That meant no taper runs and definitely no running at all until I bought new shoes.  Unfortunately, new shoes were not in the budget but thankfully with some Black Friday deals, Suncoast Running made new running more affordable.

Now, I just needed to break in my new shoes two days before my race.  Therefore, I wore my new shoes all day and hoped it would do the trick.

Also two weeks prior to the race, my Garmin died but a new Garmin was definitely NOT in the budget.  At the race expo and packet pick-up, I registered for a pace team to keep me on target for a 5:00 finish time with an average pace of 11:27.

On race day, I arrived at the start an hour before the race with my Suncoast Strider friends.  An early arrival offered enough time to eat breakfast and use the potty an adequate number of times to start the race with an empty bladder.

The start line sat in the middle of Cocoa Village, a quaint little shopping center with a small town feel or so it looked in the dark.  I found my pace team among the crowd in a corral way in the back and we waited patiently for the race to begin.  We were ready for lift off!

The race route led us through the town and south on along the Indian River.  About mile 2, it began to rain and with the rain came some strong wind from the east.  With the rain, there would be no sunrise over the Indian River, but it also meant no sun and that’s a plus.

Then, the road inclined and kept climbing and I cursed myself for not doing any hill training.  Around mile 4, I needed to pee but I was afraid to leave my pace group to wait in line, so I kept running uphill which felt like forever.

At mile 8, I discovered a Star Trek water station with first aid and a vacant port-o-potty.  I reapplied some Vaseline in my underarms and my unmentionables to prevent chaffing and popped into the loo.  At that point, I lost my pace group but “Mr. Spock” gave me plenty encouragement even though it seemed highly illogical.

I guess Spock was right, because the next few miles went well even though I lost my pace group.  At one point, my pace leader surprised me from behind and told me I was right on target to finish in 5 hours.  I mentioned how worried I was when I didn’t see the group any more, but she told me they were running about a minute faster.

Mile 11, I met Dark Helmet and the Space Balls crew.  “May the Schwartz be with you.”

At the half marathon mark, the race route led us through the village back at the starting point, where I spotted the Suncoast Striders cheerleaders.

Physically, I still felt pretty good, but I think this is where I experienced a mental breakdown because visually it felt like I reached the end. With lots of spectators and tons people cheering, the motivation to finish was high.  I stayed strong and even stopped for another photo opp with the I Dream of Jeanie team.

But then, the race turned a dark corner mentally and physically (and visually from the overcast).  I saw all the half marathon finishers run past and realized I was only half way finished.  And then, my heels started hurting.

Although this half of the course was more flat, the damage was already done.  At mile 15, the pain became so intense.  I tweeted, Facebooked and texted to take my mind off the pain.  I needed ibuprofen, but the first aid was still 2 miles away as reported to me by @BigBadEd.

I tried to find inspiration from a blind runner tethered to a running partner or a mom pushing a triple stroller, but the only relief came from walking.  So, I walked the next two miles until I found the first aid.

Once at mile 17 and the first aid tent, I sobbed out the words, “I need ibuprofen.”    I resolved to walk the remained of the race.

Around mile 19, I literally found my Cheeseburger in Paradise at the Parrothead water station as some of the pain began to subside, but it might have been in part to the Jimmy Buffet music that played or the ibuprofen finally kicking in.  I elected to take advantage of one more photo opp before running again, but really it only made me want a shot of tequila and call it a day.

Once I reached mile 20, I decided to try running again.  The finish was only an hour away, if I ran my normal pace.  But this was most certainly NOT my normal pace.  I was hobbling along at what I imagine was a 16:00 mile pace.  Every inch of me hurt from my toes to my left bicep.  Why would my bicep hurt?

Every time I passed a water station, I stopped to dump water on my head to cool myself off and to mask the tears.  But it didn’t stop the ugly cry which was prompted by anyone who said, “You’re doing great!”

It took me an hour and a half to finish those last 6.2 miles, because I ran them…slowly…very, very slowly.  I had to do it. Even if I meant I would be passed by elderly speedwalkers.  I had to finish running.

Water stations were closing up shop.  The race began to appear like a ghost town since most spectators left hours ago but their signs of encouragement still stood.

And I just kept moving forward.  A few people stayed behind to cheer the last of us in.  Their faces are literally a blur as I couldn’t see their faces behind my tears.

I finished the last .2 miles around the park strong and with a smile.  When I crossed the finish line, a Space Coast Volunteer hung a medal around my neck and out came the ugliest cry ever. When I found Allan, I fell into his arms.  I just wanted to go home.

With huge smiles, it was evident my family was proud of me and with those smiles no one who have guessed they waited an extra two hours for me.

Chip Time 6:28:14

Clock Time 6:31:56

Overall 846/886

This race may have tested me, but I will get back on the marathon horse again.  I have my sights set on another one next fall, but first I need to cool my heels with the help of a frozen water bottle.  Once these heels and legs (and oddly left bicep) heal, there will be lots of hill training and speed work in the days to come.

“Gentlemen, we can rebuild her. We have the technology. We can make her better than she was before.  Better…stronger…faster.”  – The Six Million Dollar Man Run DMT

PhotographySweet Shot Day

Next Year

Yesterday, I ran in the Space Coast Marathon.

To say I ran it is an overstatement.  I more like hobbled to the finish line.  It was my worst race ever.

Whether I ran it, walked it or limped over the finish line, I still earned a medal regardless of my time which will forever be listed on with all my other race results and my husband and my kids were there to for cheer me.  Having them there meant the world to me.

Now, I’m healing my body to start training all over again for my races coming up in the new year.  And I’ll run another marathon, maybe Palm Beach, Jacksonville or New York.  It doesn’t matter as long as I can redeem my performance next year.

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Random Thoughts About 40 Points and 40 Miles

Last month, I visited my doctor for a third time this year for another round of blood tests to check my cholesterol again. yay.  Only I had forgotten about the appointment and I ate so poorly week prior to my appointment.

The week before my doctor’s appointment, it was as though my body craved fattening greasy fried food.  I ate a McDonald’s country chicken sandwich meal with fries.  Then, a few days later, I had a hamburger and fries at Prime Bar’s $5 burger night.  I believe some Hooters wings were thrown into the mix and then there was a big bad-for-you breakfast on Father’s Day.  And not to mention, I ate my way across Sanibel and Captiva the week before my doctor visit.

So after a really bad week of fatty foods, I was completely blown away when my doctor said my cholesterol dropped 40 points and I lost 2 pounds.  I wondered had eaten better if my cholesterol level would have been even lower.  No matter.  I’m off the hook for now and I won’t have to go back to my doctor until January for my annual physical.  WOOHOO!

My weight is still holding strong at 135 pounds.  I would still like to drop another 10 pounds, but I’m not going to stress about it.  It will come off.  It’s nothing some Spanx can’t fix.

Although I didn’t reach my desired weight goal of 40 pounds before my 40th birthday (which is next Wednesday hint…hint), I completed my goal of 40 miles before my 40th birthday.  I finished 3 half marathons (Gasparilla, Pasco Challenge and Iron Girl), a  5 mile race (Miles for Moffit) and three 5Ks (Crazy Sombrero, Oldsmar Tap House Run and Rap River Run) for a grand total of 53.6 miles.

Now, I’m training for my third marathon: Space Coast Marathon and a handful of races in between, but it has been hard to get motivated to do the big miles in the heat of summer.  I know it will get easier when the weather cools down and I’ll be faster too.  Race season will be here before you know it!

Speaking of my training, I’ve been so lazy since the Fourth of July and I’m finding it difficult to get back into a running routine.  I don’t know if it’s the summer heat, dehydration or a vitamin deficiency or too much fatty foods, but I’ve exhausted lately.   Between our vacation, Fourth of July and entertaining guests due to all the July birthdays this month in our family, it’s as though my motivation fizzed with the fireworks.  But I’ve got to get serious about running again because there’s only 18 weeks until the Space Coast Marathon.

For my marathon training, I’m putting my faith in good ol’ Hal Higdon again, however, I’m following a hybrid plan combining Hal’s Novice 2, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 plans.  I ran 8 miles yesterday and now this weekend I’m planning to go for 10 miles.  We’ll see.  Wish me luck.

As for my runs, like I said, they’ve been few and far between, but I’m back on track now.

July 2

3.1 miles

Time 31:24

Ave Pace 10:08

Max Pace 7:54


July 11

4 miles

Time 42:45

Ave Pace 10:42

Max 8:17


July 14

4 miles

Time 42:00

Ave Pace 10:31

Max Pace 8:25


July 18

8 miles

Time 1:28:08

Ave Pace 11:01

Max Pace 8:20

*Proudly submitted to Stacy Uncorked, because when I blog about my training, it’s usually pretty random.*


Happy Birthday to Our Tiny Cool

Tomorrow is Emmalynn’s 6th birthday.  It seems overnight my little baby became a little lady.  Every day is an adventure with our little Emmalynn and there’s never a dull moment around here because of her.

If a picture is worth 1000 words, then a video would surely tell the tale of our Emmalynn, our Tiny Cool.

*Tiny Cool by Princess Katie and Racer Steve*

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Random Thoughts About Being Back in a Flash

I’m slowly but surely returning to the world of group running because I have really missed running with a group, especially the Suncoast Striders.  I’ve missed the laughs, the camaraderie, the support and the accountability.  I need a crowd to pace me and push me along.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve become a regular at the Suncoast Running Wednesday morning group run as well.  Last week, I was feeling a bit under the weather and my 6 mile run wasn’t the greatest but at least I got out there and did it.

6.2 miles

Time 1:11:04

Ave Pace 11:28

Max Pace 8:40

The Striders didn’t meet on Saturday due to the Rap River Run.  Instead they met for a make-up run on Sunday and Coach Jackie demanded my presence at that event.  Even though I was tired from two races, I showed up to the park for an easy 3 mile run just to please Coach Jackie.

3.25 miles

Time 34:37

Ave Pace10:40

Max Pace 9:03

Most everyone was shocked and surprised to see me and it felt good to be in the company of some fabulously fast athletes.  Plus I had forgotten how much fun the post-run social hour was!  Great company and yummy treats to replenish all the calories everyone worked so hard to burn off moments ago.

Strider Barbara served slices of Karen’s cinnamon cake.  As a precaution, I asked if there were nuts in the cake and was told it was nut free.  As I began to eat the cake, Melanie alerted me that she tasted pecans in her slice.  Good God!  I spat my piece out immediately and washed my mouth out.  Since I had forgotten my EpiPen, I began to panic.  Another Strider offered me prescription strength Allegra, just in case.  Although I seemed to dodge anaphylactic shock for the time being, I was worried about my drive home.

Moments later, I felt a bit wheezy but thankfully all seemed calm on the allergy front.  I continued to chat with my fellow Striders as David, our fearless leader, snapped photos of my miraculous return to the group and Jackie admired my blue Fila sports top.

“Is there a built-in bra in that top? Jackie asked me.

“Yes, there is”, I replied and I pulled down my top just enough for my nipple to pop out.  Although my girlfriends and I are known to let it all hang out, I had forgotten I was in the company with men.  Whoops.  Looks like I’m back in a flash with the Striders.

I don’t know if David caught my peek-a-boob moment wardrobe malfunction on film or not.  I just hope that photo doesn’t make it into the Striders scrapbook.  But like fellow Strider Alex said, it’s not a big deal.  No really.  It isn’t.

That’s what he said.

*Proudly submitted to Stacy Uncorked, because when I blog about my training, it’s usually pretty random.*


The Blackest Lily, Our Lucy

Since they sobbed themselves to sleep after reuniting Daisy with her owner, Allan wanted to heal the girls’ broken hearts with a dog.  He searched rescue sites and sent inquiry emails for a replacement Pomeranian.  Only to have his request was denied because none of the dogs would do well in a home with children.


We mentioned to the girls that we were on the hunt for another Pomeranian but it would take a while since we weren’t having any luck.  Every day, Allana anxiously asked for a Pomeranian update and offered suggestions for where to find one.  Did you call the pound?  Did you check the newspaper?


Finally, I had the idea to check craigslist for a dog and lo and behold, I found one.  A black Pomeranian about 3 years old named CiCi who was great with kids.  I contacted the owner and within 24 hours we welcomed CiCi into our home.  (The craigslist experience is a story in itself, but this is CiCi’s story.  I’ll save the craigslist story for another day.)


Her coat was mangy and matted with horrible dander flakes.  Her nipples were the size of lug nuts and her belly sagged, so it appeared she had been bred repeatedly.  (I felt her pain.)  On the way home, she vomited three times in my car.  Once in our home, she appeared nervous and didn’t understand commands.  I worried that we had made a mistake.


Within a couple days, once she adjusted to her new home and settled in, she acted like an entirely different dog.  She began to understand basic commands, like sit and stay.  After a diet of better quality dog food other than the kibbles and crap her other owner fed her, her coat improved.  It felt silky and gorgeous auburn highlights shimmered in her black coat.


Now she needed to shed that horrible name, CiCi, along with her mangy coat and her former life.


But what name?  Emmalynn and I liked Lily or Poppy.  We have two Roses (Allana and my middle name), we had a Daisy, so we should pick another flower name, like Lily.  After all, she is The Blackest Lily.




Allan liked the name Roxy and honestly, I really liked that name too.  You gotta love anything linked to a clothing line or a musical.



Allana liked Lucy, after her cousin in Scotland.  Plus, it was an easy transition from CiCi to Lucy.  That made perfect sense.


So Allana suggested we vote as a family to pick the dog’s new name and Roxy won but Allana pitched a fit so Lucy it is!


So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to our newest family member, Cici Lily Roxy Lucy.



(Great story about the song, Lucy by Julian Lennon.  Song starts at 3:33)


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When I heard this week’s theme for The Gallery, I knew just what photo to share. This photo was taken back in 1996 when I taught third grade at Rodney B. Cox Elementary in Dade City, Florida.

Only my second year teaching and I had so much to learn and that school and those kids taught it to me.  Between old red brick walls, they taught me quite a lesson about myself and the world they we live in.

Academically and professionally, it was my toughest teaching year by far.  But it also the most spiritual, rewarding and uplifting experience in all my years of teaching.

I grew professionally and became a great teacher, thanks to Cox Elementary and those kids.  I believe I became a better person too.

I loved those kids and the person they taught me to be.

The Gallery: Every Wednesday

Random Thoughts about Surgery, Starbucks and Spring Break

I drafted this post while sitting in the waiting room if the surgery center.  After weeks of suffering, Hubby finally went to the doctor and learned his gall bladder no longer functioned.  After an ultrasound to confirm his diagnosis, the doctor informed Allan that he needed immediate surgery to remove it.  Now he’s gall bladder free and feeling happy on painkillers and I’m feeling like a Starbucks for some liquid energy.  Would it be wrong to leave my husband for a latte?


Speaking of caffeine, I think I’ve been drinking too many caffeinated drinks during the day because my sleeping pattern has been a disaster lately.  For the past week, I have been waking up around 3:00 a.m. and I’m unable to go back to sleep.  By 7:00 p.m., I’m exhausted and ready for bed.  I am probably the only person grateful for the recent DSL time change so at least I am ready for bed at 8:00 p.m. now instead of 7:00 p.m.


The girls have off for Spring Break this week and Allan is off from work to recover from his surgery.  We don’t have anything planned for the week other than building bigger and better leprechaun traps.


I didn’t weigh myself this past weekend so I don’t know if I lost any weight.  With the half marathon on Saturday morning and a beer binge goodbye party that night, I didn’t want to cry the scale to yell at me.  Honestly, I am not so concerned with the numbers on a scale any more, but more concerned with toning and building muscle because these bingo arms have got to go!  It would be nice if they didn’t wave hello before I actually greeted someone.   But besides ridding myself of bingo arms, being able to wear a bikini again is my ultimate goal.


I am so glad I decided NOT to run the Florida Beach Halfathon because my legs were so sore during the Pasco Challenge half marathon.  (I’ll blog more about that race in other post.)  Yeah, three half marathons in three months is plenty and I’ll tell anyone who disagrees to “Shut the Front Door!


My legs were hurting pretty badly on Sunday, but thankfully they feel fine today.  I think I’m ready for an easy 3 miles tomorrow morning.


Proudly submitted at The Un Mom’s Random Tuesday Thoughts, because when I blog about my runs, it’s usually pretty random.




Random Thoughts about Races and 40 Miles

One night while we were hanging out with our friends John and Erika, I mentioned that I would be running 3 half marathons before my 40th birthday.   John was quick to point out that the three do not quite equal 40 miles (39.3 to be exact).  I thought it was close enough, but I also took John’s words as a challenge to squeeze in another half marathon.


I had already planned to run the Pasco Challenge Half Marathon on March 12, Iron Girl Half Marathon on April 10, but now thanks to John’s prodding, I may also add the Florida Beach Halfathon on March 20.  I haven’t decided about the Florida Beach Halfathon because 1) It’s $70, 2) It’s in Fort Desoto which is quite a drive from here and I don’t know anyone else running the race to carpool with and 3) I don’t want to injure myself by running several half marathons in such a short amount of time.  The Pasco Challenge and the Florida Beach Halfathon are a week apart.


Later this year, I would like to run another marathon, like the Space Coast Marathon, but I also applied for the New York City Marathon lottery.  If I get selected to run the NYC Marathon, then I won’t do the Space Coast Marathon.  My confirmation email stated that the race organizers would be making their selections mid-March.  Not much longer now! To amuse myself while I wait, I’ve been singing lines from A Chorus Line.


God, I hope I get it.
I hope I get it.
How many people does NYC need? 
How many people does NYC need?
God, I hope I get it.
I hope I get it.
How many boys, how many girls? 
How many boys, how many…?


You get the idea.


When I train for races, I take it all very serious.  I cut back on all the drinking and junk food, because I worry about dehydration and shitting myself loose bowels during a race.  With having a baby, it takes a toll on your body and things just aren’t the same in the lower end department if your know what I mean, so my fear of loose bowels is quite possible.


But more importantly, with being pregnant and having a baby, it had been a while since I was serious about training and I guess my girlfriends forgot how disciplined I become when I’m training.  A few times when we were all hanging out, I hadn’t been binge drinking with the rest of them and they all thought I was pregnant!  BITE YOUR TONGUE! Not that I wouldn’t love another child, but that would really put a damper on all my plans to celebrate turning 40 this summer.  I’d like to do so without a hiccup, unless it’s an alcohol induced hiccup.


Speaking of hiccups, my friends and I celebrated our Gasparilla race achievements by throwing back a few beers at our local watering hole. I completed the Gasparilla Half Marathon at my goal of 2 hours, 30 minutes and burned 1, 349 calories in the process.  I definitely earned my beer!  (You can read more about the race and look at pretty pictures here.)



And on the topic of calories, I lost another pound last week which is a total of 21 pounds since January 1!  After burning over 1300 calories on Sunday, I can’t wait to see what I lost this week.  I hope I didn’t undo it all with the beer I put away.


Proudly submitted at The Un Mom’s Random Tuesday Thoughts, because when I blog about my runs, it’s usually pretty random.


An Eggs-traordinary Breakfast

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but sometimes it can be the most boring meal too. On more than one occasion, Kashi just doesn’t cut it for me. Lumpy, plain oatmeal tends to be boring and lifeless in my bowl.  So when I’m craving a breakfast with a bit more flare, I hunt for leftovers in my fridge.


Since my hubby and I are trying to incorporate more vegetarian dishes into our family dinner menu, one evening I served my family roasted veggies (slices of yellow squash and zucchini, whole baby bella mushrooms and red onions marinated in the juice of one lemon, ¼ cup olive oil, two cloves of garlic, salt pepper, ¼ tsp red pepper flakes and 1 tsp thyme) on a bed of couscous.


If you watched my recent vlog, you may already be familiar with my love of couscous because a serving size is ONE CUP.  That’s a whole lot of little pasta balls to leave me feeling full.  Throw some roasted veggies on top to make it a meal and I’m in vegetarian heaven.


Another night this week, I made my famous black beans.


Now you might be wondering what these two dishes have in common?  Well, they’re two great tastes that taste great together.  You see, yesterday morning, I had a bit of the breakfast blues where none of the usual low fat breakfasts would do.  As I stared into my fridge for some inspiration, I spotted the eggs.  But an egg by itself is so blah and I was craving something a bit more eggs-traordinary.


That’s when the black beans beckoned me.  Then, the lovely leftover veggies spoke to me.  They suggested I scramble an egg and toss in the beans and veggies.  Next the stack of tortillas in the pantry rolled in because they wanted to go to the party in my tummy.   So yummy.  So yummy.


Seriously, this was so delicious that I ate a second one for lunch.



Now link up and see what If I Could Escape and Gone Bananas are serving for this week’s Friday Food Fight.


*Also submitted to*