Happy July! Third Quarter Goals

The days are long, but the years are short. I can’t believe we’re mid-year already & heading into the 3rd quarter. Separating my goals into quarters seems to allow me to conquer them easily & therefore I’m not so overwhelmed with what I have on my plate. So, July-September, what are your goals? It’s summer, everyone is busy enjoying the weather & maybe heading on vacation, but going into the last portion of the year, I’d like to come out of summer knowing that I hit some goals of mine.

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Kayaking at Raccoon Creek State Park

1. I’d really like to put some savings away. Sometimes saving money feels impossible, when really if I stopped spending money on little things, I may be able to. I’m giving myself a small goal for the next quarter: $350. Jessie, the budget queen & I chatted on Tuesday after our 5k about seriously reeling in my spending habits. Yes, I’ve already hired her as my personal budget assistant. No joke, she loves that stuff so if you need advice, hit her up.

2. By the time September rolls around, I’ll be in my fall semester. I’ll have completed 2 classes by summer’s end, & I really would like to finish the summer semesters strong. So far, so good. This is my last week of my first class & while my quiz grades haven’t been stellar, I’ve been making up for it by doing extra credit.

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Had drinks with my friend + her 12 wk old puppy, Kona!

3. Regular work-outs. Ever since my running came to a screeching halt, I have barely been working out at all. I’m still trying to find the balance of online classes, a social life, working, & working out. I recently discovered how thrilling riding my bike is, so hopefully I get to ride my bike & run a few miles each week. This summer heat just makes me not want to run.

4th of July 5k!

4. Meal planning & healthy eating. So, to go along with my non-exercising self, I also have been eating like crap & my body is paying for it. I have been feeling super sluggish. I’m ready to get back to feeding my body the nutrients it needs – fruits, veggies, protein, healthy fats. I love the way my body feels when it’s fueled properly & I miss that! So, I want to focus on getting that back this quarter.

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This quarter is essentially the last bit of summer & heading into the last part of the year & I want to make sure I’m on track to end 2017 on a high note.

What goals do you have?

Do you have a budget?

How do you ensure you stay on top of eating healthy & exercising all while living a busy life?

– C ❤

 

Happy Hour Chat

Hayyyy! I chose to title this “Happy Hour Chat” since it seems that any time I want to catch up with someone, we head out to Happy Hour & chat for hours about what we’ve been up to. So, I want to tell ya’ll what I’ve been up to! Sorry I don’t have drinks to offer. But if you’re Pittsburgh local – lets meet up over drinks! Preferably margs.

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1. I’ve been locked in & addicted to the podcast “True Crime Garage“. My BF gave me a weird look when I told him I bought $8 worth of old episodes to listen to. There are a lot of free episodes on their Stitcher profile, but their old episodes are $1.99. WORTH IT.  Nic + The Captain cover a lot of big true crime cases (Casey Anthony, West Memphis Three, Tupac, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Sandy Hook) & it’s really interesting to hear all of the investigation they do & hear their opinions on the case. They do a lot of other cases that are less well known that are pretty creepy. I’m a true crime junkie – so I love this stuff – and if you do too, check it out! And let me know what you think!

2. I started my first online class at Cal U & because this class is only 5 weeks long, it’s a lot of work. My last 2 quizzes didn’t really yield a great grade, so clearly I need to do something differently. I talked to my Mom (who got her bachelors & masters completely online at Univ of Phoenix), & I told her about how my class was structured, and she seemed concerned that my teacher wasn’t really “teaching”. I told my mom how we only hear from my teacher on Mondays when she assigns us our work for the week. There are no “lectures” or reading supplements. I have an activity, a non-mandatory discussion board, and then I have to take a quiz. The first week – I had to read 6 chapters – and had to take a 20 question quiz on ALL 6 chapters. No reading supplement or study guide or any indication what I should really zone in on & study. I asked my teacher & her response was short – “quiz is on all reading material”. Oki doke.

I totally understand that online school is more so teaching yourself, but if it’s exactly like this – what am I paying the teacher for? Has anyone gotten their degree online & can offer any advice/assistance on this topic? I’m going to e-mail my advisor & see what he/she has to say about the structure of this class.

3. I have Monday & Tuesday off of work this week (I was supposed to be in Tampa right now visiting my brother, but he unexpectedly had to work) so I’m going to use the time off to get a hair cut, do ALL of my laundry, & clean my apt. DEEP clean. I’m going to throw things out that I don’t need & donate clothes that I don’t wear. I’m so over having so many THINGS. Less is more, I’m starting to realize.

4. I do so much mindless scrolling on my phone. After talking to my therapist, I decided to delete the Facebook app. I post on Facebook solely through my Instagram & that’s it. It’s been so nice not to scroll through all of the negativity that is on it these days. Instagram is WAY less dramatic, plus I get to see everyone’s positivity & smiling faces =)

5. Speaking of my therapist, I got a lot of great feedback on my Instagram story last week. If you didn’t get a chance to view it, I essentially talked about how I’ve never been afraid to be open with how I go to therapy & the fact that I have an anxiety disorder. I wanted to speak out – & I got a lot of positive feedback. So, thank you for watching & responding! ❤ my followers! Also, if you don’t follow me on IG, please do so! My handle is: eatrunlove_ciara  .

What are you guys up to? Tell me what you’d tell me if we went out for drinks! And speaking of, let’s hang! 😉

C

DC Weekend Recap

Last month the BF & I planned a mini DC getaway over Memorial Day weekend. My step-mom had the hook up with the Marriott @ Metro Center right in downtown & it was amaaazing.

Saturday we drove to my parents house in Maryland which is about a 4 hour drive. We parked at their house since they were away & we took the metro into the city. The metro was about a half hour ride, but we both said how super clean it was! And it was cheap to get in, about $3.60.

Once we checked into the hotel, we sat our things down & immediately wanted to do some exploring around the area. Our dinner reservation was at 8pm, so we had a few hours to kill. The White House was super close & the BF loves everything Presidential so that was our first stop. It wasn’t too crowded, which was nice – & we loved seeing it so up close!

Once we were done there, we did some more walking around & checking out the area before heading back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

Prior to dinner, we got drink at a bar called RFD. They have a HUGE beer list & we enjoyed some new-to-us beers. The place was pretty empty, but we still enjoyed ourselves. We had dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill & it was absolutely fantastic. It’s the oldest restaurant in DC & came highly recommended. Seating was a little crowded, but we made due. I ordered a watermelon margarita & I forget what the BF ordered to drink but both were super strong & well worth the $10 each we paid for them. The food was delicious – I ordered the buffalo chicken sandwich & the BF ordered the brick chicken. We left there super stuffed & satisfied.

 

Before we headed back to the hotel, we walked back to the White House because we wanted to see it at night.

Sunday we woke up & was out the door early since we had a packed day! On our agenda: the National Museum of American History, Washington Monument & the Holocaust Museum. I was able to snag timed entry tickets into the Holocaust Museum for 1:30pm (I had to wake up at 6:30am to get them!) so we had some time to kill.

It had down poured on us while walking to get to the museum & it sucked. We carried an umbrella every other time we were out except this time & it was the only time it rained on us! So, I’ve been wanting to see the Holocaust Museum for years. It was everything I thought it would be – powerful, tragic, & thought-provoking. I could have done without the huge crowds of people & barely being able to read anything (we felt so rushed!) – but other than that, the exhibit was worth the wait.

Once we got done there, we were wiped out from the day. We headed back to the hotel for showers & relaxing. We had pre-dinner drinks at an irish pub in Chinatown (since it was near our dinner reservation). Once we were done there, we walked along Chinatown to Carmine’s Italian restaurant. On our way there, there were a few guys on the sidewalk playing trumpets to well-known songs like “24K Magic” which was amazing! We are so glad we stopped to watch for a while, it was so fun.

Dinner was amazing. Carmine’s is a family style italian restaurant. Entrees are pricey, but only because it feeds like 4 people! Our drinks were delicious & we ordered chicken parm. It was heavenly!! Our table was right against the window looking out to the sidewalk so we loved our view.

We spent the rest of the evening walking around town, enjoying the evening, & wishing it wasn’t our last night in DC.

Monday‘s check-out time wasn’t until 12Noon so we got up around 9:30am to make a quick trip to the Lincoln Memorial. Round trip it was 3 miles! It was a hot day, but beautiful – there was a lot going on in the city for Memorial Day & we got to see the presidential motorcade! It was really exciting.

 

The BF & I had such an amazing trip – we can’t wait to go back & we also can’t wait to book more adventures together. I sure am a lucky girl ❤

Fitness Challenge + Getting Back to a Healthy Diet

Hey guys! I felt like writing about what’s going on right now so here I am! 🙂

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Monday started a 3 week fitness challenge with my favorite gym, FASTER. From their website:

“At FASTER we specialize in customized small group personal training, metabolic conditioning classes, as well as nutrition consulting. If you are looking to lose body fat, increase strength, elevate your energy and fitness levels in an empowering environment with knowledgeable motivating trainers then FASTER is for you.”

I can’t say enough good things about this place. And no, they didn’t give me anything to write this. It’s the truth. If you’re local to Pittsburgh, check them out.. I promise you’ll be hooked like the rest of us.

Anyways – they do challenges frequently. Most of the time the timing doesn’t work out for me to join, but this go around it just made sense. School is over & I get a 4 week break. Plus, I’ve gained weight in the last 5 or 6 months & I really need to get back to a healthy routine.  With their challenge, you get unlimited access to their fitness classes & you get 6 personal training sessions. They weighed me on Saturday at their meeting (164, YIKES. I was wearing my shoes though. And I had eaten breakfast.. so that knocks off a pound or two, right? In November I was 155. #shame)

My schedule for the next 3 weeks looks something like this:

Monday, Wednesday – EFX

Tuesday, Thursday – Personal training

I don’t have any weekends open from now through the 2nd week of June, so I have to pack it all in like that. This is the first week, so I’m going to see how I feel at the end of 4 days in a row & adjust accordingly. If I need to drop something, I’ll drop the 2nd EFX class.  Monday was EFX & I’m feeling a little sore today.. but I’m really looking forward to personal training after work. I swear the hardest part of the next 3 weeks will be completely changing my eating habits. FASTER gives you nutrition tips & some recipes when you buy the challenge – you can’t out exercise a bad diet. Eating 4 meals a day with a couple of snacks if necessary is what will keep your body in top shape to burn fat during your workouts. It’s only day 2 & I’m craving junk food like nobody’s business. In the beginning of my weight loss journey, I broke the junk food habit eventually & over a couple of years I was able to lost 50 lbs. I know I can do it, but boy when you fall off the healthy eating wagon for 5+ months, it’s really hard to get back on. The cravings are REAL.

On Sunday, I made egg + turkey cups for breakfasts this week. So easy to make & super delicious. I snack on greek yogurt, fruit, string cheese & unsalted trail mix (almonds, cashews, dried cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds are among some of the trail mix options I have.) I’ve also been eating tuna, avocado & I just remembered I still didn’t take the chicken out of the freezer. Damn. As a post recovery meal/snack yesterday, I got a PB&J protein shake from FASTER’s Build Bar.    I need to train my brain (and my stomach) to remember what it’s like to be FULL & SATISFIED. I swear I’m always hungry. And I’ve been trying to stay as hydrated as possible.

Check back as the next few weeks go on, I’d like to update here & there with how things are going! Even though I’m hungry & craving junk food, I have huge faith in myself that over the next 3 weeks I can get myself feeling back to normal! I am motivated & committed! I’ve joined up with the best gym around & I know they can help me get started on where I want to be.

❤ C

Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend Recap

This past weekend was highly anticipated by so many Pittsburgh-ers, as well as thousands of other people coming from the 20 countries that were represented at the race.

Pittsburgh was never going to be “my race”. Raleigh was. And I had a great race at Raleigh. I knew no matter what, I’d finish this race, & that was going to be enough for me. I figured I’d finish around my usual 12 minute mile, about a 2:37, or last year’s 2:38.

I hit up the expo a total of 3 times. I took the BF over on our lunch break on Friday & I may have overwhelmed him a bit, but it was great letting him in on a little bit of my life. After work on Friday, I met up with my friend Jen for a real walk around & we both spent too much money.

Saturday morning was the 5k. A “We Run Social” meet-up was schedule for 7:30am & it was FREEZING & raining. It was so nice to catch up with a few of the girls I hadn’t seen since the last meet-up at Just a Short Run! I lined up with a few friends & we planned to take it easy. I lost a few of them when we went over a little bridge thing near CCAC campus – but Jen & I were able to stick together. We took it easy & we were SO glad it was only a 5k! It was just way too cold & we hoped that the weather wouldn’t be anything like that!

After the 5k, I went home & got a hot shower & took a nap until my BFF Rachael’s bus got in at 3:30pm. It was so good to see her. We hit up the expo so she could pick up her stuff & walked around. She’s never ran a race this big so I was excited to show off my city’s big event.

After the expo, we head over to park at the First Ave garage & took the T over to our hotel for the evening, the Wyndham. We had a great view of the Point!

We grabbed some dinner, stuffed ourselves full & came back to the hotel to watch the Pens game. Unfortunately, not a win.. & since then, they’ve forced a Game 7, which I can never watch because it makes me physically ill with nerves.

Sunday morning, the alarm went off around 5:40am. We all got an update from the race to layer up. Local weatherman was calling for 25 MPH wind gusts & real feel temp of 33. YIKES. For me: short, compression socks, ALS singlet, arm warmers, my mentor jacket & a hat. I ate my breakfast, a bagel + PB, around 6:30am, which ended up being too early… I found a few of the girls in the lobby & we waited until the last possible minute to head outside.

The race was supposed to start at 7am. There are 4 corrals, & I was in D, the last one. I knew that I probably wouldn’t cross the start line until 7:25 or so. This year, I didn’t cross the start line until 7:45!

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The first half of the race went well. Spectators were great as always. The sun came out strong & I took my jacket off within the first mile. I swear I’m an oven when I run. Once we hit the West End & turned onto Carson St (miles 7-11 on the Birmingham bridge) the sun was getting a little relentless. I’m so sensitive to the sun & it was draining me.  Carson St is such a long stretch of nothing. At least until you get into Southside, so it was a struggle. I was falling apart pretty quickly. I hit the wall somewhere during this time & I literally thought I might not finish. Thank God for Rachael, if not for her continuing to run, I would have stopped & walked the remaining 3 miles. Truly – she is the only thing that kept me going & had me finish this race.

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The last 2 miles were terrible. It felt like a death march. Coming down the finishing chute, I couldn’t even smile. I was just glad it was over. The medals were so beautiful this year – I loved that they put the incline on it. The BF was at the finish area waiting for me & I was so happy to see him. I had spent 2 hours + 44 minutes slogging through the city + all I wanted to do was give him a big hug!

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Since I ran the 5k on Saturday & the half marathon on Sunday, I got a 3rd medal for completing the Steel Challenge! Such a great medal this year. Although this race didn’t turn out to be anything I’m happy about – I’ve finally moved on after a day or two of moping. Now that my long distance training is officially over (for now, but not forever), I can finally look forward to EFX, biking, & staying in 10k shape. Time to get strong!

currently + goals | may

I’m sorry, what? It’s May already? I almost completely forgot about this currently post.  I’m a bad blogger!

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Planning: Pittsburgh Half Marathon weekend! T-minus 2 days, since the expo starts Friday! I’m excited, but not excited at the same time. After my first time last year, I realized how much of an amazing weekend it really is, & the entire weekend is a bunch of fun.

Listening to: A lot of “Focus” playlists on Spotify. At work & while studying for finals. I like “Study vibes” “Ambient Chill” and “Peaceful Guitar” in case anyone wanted to check it out.

Drinking: Coffee & water. As always. I should change this part of the survey, because it never changes.

Watching: I found a link on FB of the 12 scariest documentaries to watch on Netflix. First, I watched “The Imposter” which was just downright weird. And I started watching “Interview with a Serial Killer”. I’m a weird true crime fan.

Eating: Trying to eat healthy. So, I’m eating mostly salads.

Looking forward to: I have a PACKED May! Racing, Jessie’s wedding, weekend in my hometown with my Mom, & DC for Memorial Day with the BF. I can’t wait 🙂

Loving: sunny days. My parents gave me their bike a couple of weeks ago & I can’t wait to take it out for it’s first spin.

April goals:

Consistent work-outs: MEH. I tried, but school + appointments + such just completely sucked the life out of me. And my time.
Consistent runs: Wish I could say YES. I ran a total of 24 miles the month of April – but 13 of those were from Raleigh. Zero runs in the last 2 weeks of April 😦
Finish spring semester strong Trying!! Once this posts, I’ll have taken my Anatomy final, so I hope I did well

May goals:

Enjoy my busy weekends! Be present in them!

Now that school is over, EFX classes 2-3x a week.

Put $200 in savings

Here we go May! Let’s see what it brings. What are you most looking forward to this month?

Linking up with Gretchen & Kristen

Weekend Highlights + Ramblings

Happppyyy Monday friends =)  How was everyone’s weekend? Too fast as usual, right? Yeah, mine too.

I had a rough week at work & was so happy when Friday rolled around. Friday evening after work I spent a much needed relaxing evening in w/ the BF (oh yeah, I guess I should note: my love life does exist. & I’m very happy + excited about it!). We cooked dinner, watched a movie + I promptly fell asleep half way through the movie. I know, I know, I’m an old lady & can barely stay awake past 10pm.

Saturday morning I woke up around 7am – I was making the trip to cheer on Jessie at the Boston Trail Half Marathon which was about 40 minutes from the BF’s house. The morning was chilly, but perfect race weather for the runners. The race started around 9am, so while Jessie was out running, I got to spend time with her fiancé, Mr. Sass. We drove to the turn-around point to see Jessie + we saw a waterfall on the way!

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Once Jessie finished, I had to get on the road to my Dad’s near DC. My step-mom was having a big family reunion & she wanted me to be a part of it. The 3.5 hour drive was long – it rained a lot of the time & just felt boring in general, but I ended up getting there around 3pm. I immediately took a nap because I knew I was in for a long night!

My step-mom’s Uncle had an 85th birthday & we all gathered at Ardeo in DC for dinner around 6pm. Cocktail hour was from 6-7pm so I opted for Sauvignon blanc which was really good. There was so many people there & everyone welcomed me with open arms when meeting me for the first time. My step-mom’s family is a group of characters & there is never a dull moment when hanging out with them. Dinner was served after cocktail hour & I chose caeser salad, grilled chicken, and trio of sorbets for dessert. The sorbet was sub-par, unfortunately, but the rest was good. Very large portions, I couldn’t even eat everything! The night was spent laughing, drinking, + listening to the family tell fond stories of their Dad/Uncle. It was a very loving + wonderful evening. At one point, one of the daughters gave the man of the hour a huge headdress, as he was the head of the tribe, + then passed out feather headbands to the rest of us. Such a cute idea!  It was so nice visiting with my Dad, who I don’t see nearly enough.

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I headed back yesterday afternoon around 2-ish, so it was a quick trip! Although much needed to see my family. My parents gave me a bike of theirs that they weren’t using so I was very excited to bring it home! I haven’t ridden a bike since I was kid, but really wanted to do more biking this summer. Once I get a helmet, I’ll be all set to hit the trails!

Countdowns: 8 days ’til Anatomy 2 is OVER! 13 days ’til Pittsburgh Half! 16 days ’til Public Speaking is OVER! 33 days ’til Memorial Day weekend! (BF + I planned a DC trip :)) 39 days ’til Ragnar PA!

Got some exciting times coming up! How was your weekend? I hear Pittsburgh is supposed to have a crazy heat wave this week/weekend – I hope it doesn’t rain so we can enjoy it!

What’s Next?

Hi all =)

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I wanted to update everyone with “what’s next?” for me. I’m about to finish up my last semester at community college & I’ll finally be starting my Bachelors program in June for Sports Management. It’s 100% online & I’ll be considered full time. They split the semesters into 8 wk increments, so I’ll be taking 2 classes every 8 weeks – so as you can imagine, I’m going to be pretty busy.

As far as official training goes, the Pittsburgh Half Marathon is in 3 weeks & Ragnar Relay PA is in a little less than 7 weeks. At this point, I’m no longer following a specific plan, but I’m just trying to stay consistent with running + keep up with some decent long runs. My legs for Ragnar will total 17 miles – 6.2, 6.5, 4.? – so I want to make sure I simulate some work outs in the weeks before then.

I’ll be honest – I’m not sure how much blogging I’m going to be doing. But, I absolutely will when I feel I want to recap an amazing weekend – or a race – I’ll for sure be recapping Pittsburgh + Ragnar.

Please keep up with me over on Instagram + don’t forget me on here =)

Happy Easter, all & I hope you have a blessed week!

currently | april

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Happy April, my friends 🙂 It’s finally spring which means we’re that much closer to SUMMER. The next couple of months are going to be pretty crazy – I can’t promise I’ll always be here to update you guys but I will do my BEST. Don’t fret – my own personal journal over on my Instagram will always be updated if you need your Ciara fix 🙂

Planning: Nothing at the moment! Although I would really love to plan a trip down to see my brother in Tampa.

Listening to: As I’m writing this: “Independent Woman Pt 1” – Destiny’s Child. Such a classic

Drinking: Coffee, water, & nuun.

Watching: I just finished 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. It was raw, real, & sometimes really difficult to watch. I remember being bullied a lot in middle/high school & some parts of the show really hit home for me. Bullying is a major issue still & I fear for my future children…. Regardless, everyone should watch this show including kids who are currently in high school. It’s a pretty big eye-opener & it’s very powerful.

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Eating: all the junk food lately, it seems. Getting back on the healthy horse for April.

Looking forward to: Pittsburgh marathon weekend! My best friend from back home is coming in to run with me & I can’t wait! She is in for a REAL treat.

Loving: life! I have a lot of happy things going on. 🙂

March goals recap:

  • Put at least $200 in savings NOPE
  • Stay consistent with running mileage (I’d like to get in 55 miles!) NOPE

March ended up being a harder month than I anticipated. A lot of trips & things that needed paid for + some pretty low mileage when it came to running. I plan to make April better.

April goals:

  • Consistent work-outs
  • Consistent runs
  • Finish spring semester strong

 

What have you been currently up to?

RnR Raleigh Half Marathon Recap! 

What an amazing little getaway this past weekend was! On Saturday morning, my friend Kristin + I flew to Raleigh, NC to run the Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh half marathon!

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We arrived Saturday afternoon & took an Uber to our AirBnB in the beautiful neighborhood of ‘Historic Oakwood’. This neighborhood was so adorable. Gorgeous homes with sidewalks, families every where & beautiful gardens. I was in love! Our hosts, Steve & Tricia were fantastic. We had a private entrance to our own room complete with everything you could ever need while you’re away from home.
Once we checked into our room, we walked about a mile to the Convention Center for the expo. Downtown Raleigh surprised me in the best way. It was clean, quiet,  & the people were so friendly. I also didn’t see a homeless person the entire weekend. A real difference from Pittsburgh. The expo was great – we both picked up the same navy blue tank which they only had XL in, but we figured we’d take the chance. We lucked out!

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Once we left the expo, we headed out for an early lunch. The food we ate during our weekend was mediocre at best – it seems that all of the notorious delicious restaurants were closed on the weekend, especially Sunday. Our airbnb hosts told us Raleigh is in the Bible belt, so most places are closed on Sundays.  After an early lunch, we got an Uber to a local grocery store so we could pick up breakfast before the race. This was the only time we Uber’d – we were able to walk everywhere else! We picked up a few snacks & decided on a bagel & peanut butter for our breakfast. We were able to relax the rest of the evening since we had an early call time in the AM! The first picture below is looking out from the patio our airbnb had – Kristin & I sat out there & had a beer & enjoyed the beautiful weather.

 

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Race morning came early! We woke up around 5:40 to leave by 6:10. The race officially started at 7am – but anyone who races knows to get there early to accommodate for long bathroom lines – which we didn’t even use.

Kristin + I were both in Corral 10 & it took us about 10 minutes to cross the start line. It was so fun waiting to start! The music was loud, the announcers were so professional & they got everyone excited & ready to race!

Kristin took off like a bat out of hell & I kept a steady pace. The weather was perfect! Low 50s & the sun hadn’t quite come out from behind the clouds yet. Yes, the race was hilly – but truly nothing that my Pittsburgh-living self couldn’t handle. The bands at every mile were great & the spectators.. WOW. They were everywhere! I absolutely loved it. I didn’t start interacting much til towards the middle because I really just wanted to focus on getting in the right mindset to keep a good pace.

I had a plan to run the first 10 miles, then run/walk the last 5k. Well, I felt pretty good around mile 9 so I decided to scrap my run/walk idea. I was doing so well keeping a sub 12min pace average that I didn’t want to risk blowing a good finishing time. After mile 10 though, the hills were more frequent & there wasn’t much shade on the course. I was starting to get warm & was running out of the water I was carrying. At each water stop, I was slowing down to throw water on myself. The paces of my last 3 miles were pretty slow, but as I made the last turn & saw the finish line, my heart just about exploded with joy.

Guys, nothing beats running down the finishing chute.. especially when it’s a long one & it’s lined with people cheering for you (think Pittsburgh’s finish). It was incredible. I couldn’t stop smiling – & I was booking it. My last .2 was sub 10 minute miles. I was ecstatic. The pictures below show it —
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Kristin finished a little bit before me & after getting all the finish line goodies – we sat in the lawn & listened to music for a while. The finishing party was AWESOME! I even saw Tricia! It was so random that I saw her walking by – but I’m definitely glad I awkwardly called her by her blog name & said HEY! It was great to meet a blog buddy. After that, we headed to the beer area & grabbed our free beer. YUM!  Overall – I absolutely LOVED this race. The Rock ‘n Roll series is so great! This was my first race with them & I was super impressed – I will for sure be back. Everything was so organized & smooth + I had a great time. PS: Check out the elevation chart below! WHOA.

 

 

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We finished the day eating + drinking + we went back to the room to relax. Naps were needed + we were pretty sore, so we basically just laid around the rest of the day.

Monday morning we got up & checked out of our room & headed directly to Krispy Kreme for breakfast! The coffee was pretty disgusting, but the donuts were good! I’m a HUGE donut fan, & these didn’t disappoint!

I had such an amazing weekend in Raleigh. I was so impressed by the city, the people, the race, & the adorable puppies I seemed to see at every corner I turned. I will absolutely be back.

I spent 13 weeks getting ready for this race + I am super proud of how I performed. 2:37 on a super hilly course?! I did way better than I even imagined.

My next half is Pittsburgh – in 1 month exactly! I can’t wait to celebrate that weekend & everyone’s accomplishments 🙂