Half-Marathon Recap!

Hi friends! I’m excited to share with you a big item I checked off my bucket list – we ran our first half marathon! Our weekend kicked off Friday afternoon when Derek picked me up from work and we made the drive to Orlando, where our half marathon was taking place the next morning. Since the race began at 7 a.m., we agreed it was a good idea to stay in a nearby hotel the night before so we wouldn’t have to worry about making the drive early Saturday morning. The Embassy Suites in downtown Orlando was 2 blocks from the race start – talk about convenient!

After checking in at our hotel and enjoying a complimentary happy hour…

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…we ventured over to 310 Lakeside to take in some serious carbs. We shared a zucchini flat bread and each got the Chicken Piccata pasta. It was the perfect ore-race meal.

After dinner, we took a walk around Lake Eola, and enjoyed the Christmas celebration that was taking place , before calling it a night.
Our alarm went off around 5:30 Saturday morning. I get a little anxious when it comes to things like races, flights etc. and feel the need to get up a little earlier than necessary. We both had some cereal, coffee and a Gu energy gel and left our room for the race around 6:35.

As soon as I lined up at the starting line, I immediately got the jitters. I’ve wanted to run a half marathon since the day I began running, and we’d trained so long for this race that I couldn’t believe it was finally time to actually get the job done.

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[Full of jitters when Derek snapped this pic]

Our goal for the race was to finish in “around” 2 hours, and my gut feeling was that we would come in a couple minutes over the 2 hour mark. As this was our first half-marathon, our training really was focused on just getting the miles in, and we were never too concerned with tracking our time or splits during our training runs. Because of this, I knew I couldn’t put too much pressure on myself to maintain a 9-minute mile to come in under 2 hours.

We ran each mile somewhere between 8:40 and 9:20ish, and fueled with Gu at mile 7 and mile 11. Derek also grabbed a beer that was passed out by spectators around mile 9, and he insists it’s what got him through the race (I’d most likely throw up if I drank a beer during a run). Around mile 10 we realized that we were on pace to complete the half-marathon in under 2 hours, and that all we needed to do was maintain a 10 minute per mile pace for the next 3 miles.


I was mildly annoyed when we came across several hills during the last few miles, but was surprised when I found that the hills made my sore knees and ankles feel a little better.

We rounded the corner and saw the finish line in the distance, with about 2 minutes until the 2 hour mark. I definitely can’t say that I sprinted to the end, but a light jog took us through the finish line at 1:59:22! I was so excited to be done with the race, and stuff my face with muffins, bananas, and H20 as Derek chugged chocolate milk after chocolate milk.

half marathon

Soreness set in immediately, and we made sure to stretch as soon as we got some food and water in our bodies. The soreness lasted through Monday night, and we took our first post-race run first thing Tuesday morning. It felt good to shake things out, and I’m already looking forward to running another half in the spring!


Photo Share 10/21

So you guys. I’m pretty sure that I liked this weekend (Derek’s birthday) more than my own birthday. He/I received the best birthday gift imaginable. What was this gift, I hear you asking? The best football weekend of our lives. Okay maybe just my life, since it’s probably safe to say that his was winning the national championship with Auburn. But I don’t know it seems like it could be a close second. We’ll have to further consult with him.

 Seeing this image on Sunday night gave me serious anxiety in the best way imaginable.

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I haven’t yet talked any football on the blog, mostly because I didn’t want to scare anyone off or lose any friends with my intensity. But the truth of the matter is, it’s time for me to come clean. I’m a pretty aggressive FSU fan, and have been since the day I was born. When Derek played for Auburn, I obviously became a passionate Tiger as well, and I’ve watched Peyton Manning play football since I was 12, which naturally makes me a Denver Broncos fan. My allegiances are everywhere, and it takes up a good portion of my weekends.

And as college football goes, this weekend took the cake. And it was a Wright’s cake.

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See, this is why I didn’t want to start talking about football, because it’s so hard for me to stop. But other great things happened this weekend besides football. Like the following:


Delicious birthday dinner for Derek and his mom at Palma Ceia on Friday evening. I swear I’ve never been disappointed here.

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Although we were stuffed to the brim, how could we say no to birthday dessert? We shared the chocolate lava cake a la mode, as well as a pumpkin brulee cheesecake. Heaven in my mouth.photo 5

Saturday morning started by checking a long run off of our training list. We ran 7 miles at 8:15 in the morning, and I was surprised that it didn’t get too unbearably hot during the hour we were out.  We started with a slow jog for our warm up, and ended our cool down the same way, and spent a total of 1:05 running. We were both surprised that 7 miles didn’t feel any harder or worse than 5 or 6, and it makes me so excited to take on 8 and 9 in the next couple of weeks.

After our run, we headed to Derek’s favorite coffee spot, Buddy Brew. Buddy Brew has delicious artisan coffee, and Derek will go every chance he gets!

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After coffee comes breakfast. Obviously. I whipped up some eggs scrambled with monterey jack cheese, tomatoes, peppers, and onions, and we enjoyed it along side Derek’s left over NY Strip steak. Talk about a breakfast of champions.
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Aside from watching football all day on Saturday, we worked on a little re-furb project:

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And enjoyed watching the Noles win at The Lodge with the rest of Tampa! I wish my birthday was in the fall so the Noles could give me good birthday gifts every year.

Derek’s birthday morning began with his favorite smoothie, a new lawn mower, and brunch with his family at Palma Ceia. photo 1

And after some time hanging with friends, watching football, and a quick work out, we enjoyed arguably the best meal of the weekend at his parents’ home. photo 4If you haven’t tried a steak from The Fresh Market, you don’t know what you’re missing. Sunday night was my first experience, and I will never be the same again. All in all, I hope Derek had as great of a birthday weekend as I had celebrating his birthday!

Happy Monday, everyone!

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Photo Share 6/15

Here are some fun photos from my week!

Dad and Louie staring contest983510_4924864595196_1523855100_n

Walking out the door on a run with too many baubles!961878_4916615028962_201520999_n

Sending Derek a selfie this week while he was out of town – like the scenery?973175_4908883515679_1615579548_n

Starbucks Studying975540_4910272190395_2127173601_n

Caught ya!975308_4875458640078_1926663177_n

I hope you guys are having a better weekend than I am. Hate to complain, but I’m having an allergic reaction to something (24 hrs + now), and can’t seem to kick some bad hives. Anyone have remedies to share?