Category Archives: Races

Texas 10 Series, Katy race recap!

Happy November y’all!
October ended and November began with rain! And lots of it!  At least we didn’t have a hurricane this weekend like we did last weekend!
Anyways, I actually took advantage of daylight savings time and I went to bed early.  Well really early so I could get up at 4:15am on Sunday!
I first woke up at 2 and was all ready to wake up! I mean, it was 5 solid hours of sleep! More than I usually get.  I was able to fall back asleep for almost 2 hours.  Now we are talking! 7 hours of sleep! Yahoo!!!  I got all ready and waited for my ride!

I was doing the race with 2 awesome ladies I met through MRTT.  Kala was so sweet and offered to pick me up and drive!  She arrived a little after 5 and we headed to pick up Charissa.  It was a little bit of a hike down to to the race and we also needed to hit up a Starbucks on the way.  We did a little detour to get some coffee and made it to the race site at 6:15.  It was perfect timing! Right after we parked tons of cars came pouring in!  Kala quickly went and picked up our race packets!

When it was close to race time we headed for one last bathroom break and then the start line.  The sky was NOT looking good!  This pic doesn’t really do justice!  It was sprinkling at the time but it looked like the sky was about to open up and POUR!

We had all signed up to run the 10 mile race but I had already made a decision that I was going for the 5 mile race due my hip issues.
Everyone lined up for the start and they played the National Anthem.
Then it was go time.  Since I am a slower runner I stayed at the back of the pack.  I said bye to Charissa and Kala and we were off.
The first mile was alright.  I was trying to get my music to work correctly.  I had put my phone in my SPI belt under my shirt to help protect it from the rain. So trying to get to my phone while running and dodging people was oh so fun.  I finally got it on and tried to find my rhythm.  I could feel my hip slightly start to tighten up and I reminded myself I am here to just have fun and finish.
Mile 2 I felt like I started to find my groove a little bit.  I was running in the midst of several running groups. We were all doing run/walk intervals and would pass each other back and forth.  It was sprinkling lightly but nothing too bad.  My music was going and my intervals were pretty consistent.  I tried using my HRM for pacing but it wasn’t reading my HR correct.  It was fluttering between 70-84 BPM.  I know I have a good, strong heart, but when I am running my HR is in the 150s! So that was a bust (Note to self: Get HRM fixed ASAP)!!
When I got to the start of mile 3 I really felt my hip tighten a lot!  Ugh, I really was hoping to keep my interval pacing up for the whole race.  I slowed down a little and walked a little more.  As evidence of my pace for that mile, it was slower than I had been going.
When I saw the mile 3 sign I new I was going to make it with my intervals.  I kept putting one foot in front of the other and turned the music up just a bit.  I knew I was off for my time goal but that is ok!
As I was running a group of ladies passed me (once again) and one was encouraging the others to keep going.  A different lady slowed down and told her group that she was going to take it easy.  No one was going to care about her race time when she was gone from this earth and that she wanted to enjoy the run.  It reminded me to refocus my mind and just be grateful that I can do this!
When I broke my foot in college and had to have surgery to repair it, spend 10 weeks in a wheel chair and even longer in a cast I didn’t know this would be possible again.  And when my dr told me that I wouldn’t run again, I was pretty crushed.  So here I am, many thousands of miles later and I am running.  No matter how fast or slow I am, I am still defying the odds!
Mile 5 felt pretty good!  I knew the end was in sight and even if I had to walk, I was less than 20 min from the finish line!  I kept on trucking.  I chatted with a girl a few times when we were in the same place on our intervals.  Part of me wanted to run with her, but I was also really anxious to be finished.  The wind was picking up and I could feel the rain starting to fall harder.  I kept trucking along and I realized the finish line was just around the corner.
One thing I do well is finish races strong! And that is what I did! I was in a bit of pain, and was tired but I dug down deep and crushed the finish!!!  I am not a fast runner by ANY means, but an 8:11 min/mi pace to the finish was pretty good for me!
Overall it was a so-so race.  The course wasn’t too bad, but not very wide. I had to dodge walkers a lot when I was running.  I don’t know if others know it is common to pull off to the side when you are walking during the race.
Anyways, I found my girls who also had a rough 3rd mile! Man, something about that mile!
We headed to the car and not long after we were driving home did the rain POUR down!  We were thankful we were finished!
We did it!
Thank you Kala and Charissa for a fun day!  Hope the weather and my hip are both better next time!

After I arrived home from the race it was time for an ice bath and a nap!

Woodlands Marathon Relay recap

Just realized this did not post!  Oops! So here is a little recap from my last race 😉

Since my last race of 2014 I have felt like a bit of a running failure.  I know I am not alone when it comes to having hiccups with fitness and running.  In November and December I finally felt like I was getting my running groove back.  Then my back had a few issues which caused my hips to go whacky and boom, running was slow and painful again. And having to drop out of my last half at mile 7 was really frustrating.

I didn’t run for a few weeks.  I tried to elliptical but even that was painful at first.  After a few weeks I finally was able to elliptical and then a few slow runs.  My plans to get faster again were out the window.  The pain was slowly getting better, so I was/am thankful for that.

Before all the horrid hip issues I decided to be part of a local race, but was not sure which distance I wanted to run.  After the hip flare up I decided the half was a no-go.  I ended up deciding to do the marathon relay.  I gathered a few friends and we made the most of it!

Race day came and I really was not sure what to think.  My hip was feeling so so, but mentally I was really not feeling it.  The weather was cold (for TX) and rainy and not exactly my ideal running weather.
I am glad I was part of a team or I am sure I would have spent the morning in bed.

Flat Esther

Flat Esther

Our team gathered at the start line to cheer off our first teammate!  IMG_8098 IMG_8102
Jamie was off and Brandon, Stacie and I headed to the first exchange point!
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Jamie ran a first great leg and then it was time for Stacie to run! And run she did!
While Stacie ran, Brandon and I took Jamie back to her car, got some gas and coffee.  Then headed to the next exchange point.  I was starting to get nervous about running.  According to the race information my leg was 6.65 miles.  So I made myself suck it up and realized I was going to finish my leg no matter what!

We met up with Stacie at mile 13.1 and I was off.  As soon as I started running it began to rain.  I chugged along for a few miles and felt ok.  It was a bit strange to see mile markers for 15, 16, 17 as I have never run that far in my life.  From the front you could see my bib as a marathon relay member, but from the back no one could tell.  I had a lot of people come up behind me and tell me it was awesome what I was doing and how inspiring I was to them!  All I could say was thanks.  They had run 15 miles and I was on mile 2, so of course I had fresh legs, but they didn’t realize that.

The reason I picked leg 3 was that it ran by the park the Hubs and I were married at!  Sadly though I did not see it while running.  The rain and the cold had me distracted.
At one point when I was starting to feel tired I saw someone waving and cheering while looking at me.  I was positive they were cheering for someone else, but no one was around me.  It was one of my friends I met through the gym!  It was SO sweet of her to come out and cheer me on, especially in the yucky weather! (THANK YOU ANNE!!!)  After we said hello and a quick hug I was off again. And then I started crying!  The emotions of running again and having such wonderful friends to run with me AND cheer me on just hit!  I was around mile 18 on the course (mile 5 for me) and people in their cars rolled down windows and clapped and cheered.  So many emotions!

As I approached where the next exchange point was supposed to be I started to get excited and happy!  I was so close.  My hip was a little tight but overall feeling pretty good.  I turned a corner and it was supposed to be the exchange and no one was there!!  I thought maybe my GPS was off, but then I saw the official race mile markers and realized that no, I was indeed at the right mileage…and no exchange!  I had sped up quite a bit but then slowed down when I realized I did not know where the exchange was or how much further I would have to run!
I texted my team but they were not sure how far they were from me.  Blah, that was for sure really frustrating.  I had to walk a little since the sprinting had irritated my hip.
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About a mile later I ended up finally seeing the exchange!  YAY! It was a fabulous sight to see!
So even though I was not thrilled be have run 7.45 miles vs 6.65 miles, I think it was good for me to see my body can still handle more than 7 miles, and my mental game also received a boost.

Stacie and I headed back to the finish line and waited for Brandon!  He had a great run and we were able to run the last .10 miles and cross the finish line together!  They announced my name as we crossed since my bib was the only visible one 🙂
After we finished we walked a little bit and had some lunch.

Before we started the race my goal was to just finish.  I was hoping we could keep it under 5 hours for the marathon.  Since I was the slowest runner (and the longest leg) I was not sure if we were going to make it!  But…
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Yay 🙂

Got some good steps in for the day, and was thankful for Epsom salts and essential oils to ease my sore muscles.

A BIG thank you again to Jamie, Brandon and Stacie for rocking the marathon relay with me!
Can’t wait till next year when we tackle the half 😉

Have you ever participated in a marathon relay?  Or any relay event?

PS, Don’t forget to check out the current giveaway!!!



Race Review # 31 and a Louva Gear review

Oh my, it certainly is the most busy time of year!  Last week I had intended to get so many posts finished and up, and then life happened.  10+ hour work days, sickness, several meetings/parties, keeping up with my half marathon training, normal household items.  Adding all that together did not give me much time to do much else other than sleep.
I did to do an update from my latest race!

On Dec 7th I ran my second 10 miler of the year!  Well I guess run would be more like a jog/hobble.
The day started well. I met my running buddy Lauran and we drove up to the race together.  It was a gloomy morning but not to bad with the temperature!  We got to the race with some time to spare, so we just chilled in the car.  The temps were starting to drop a bit and we did not want to hang out in the colder air till necessary.
It was finally about time for the race.  We hustled for one last potty break and then hit the starting line.
I was sporting my new Louva Gear (more below) and  I was so glad I was wearing them with the weather not making up its mind!
The race itself was a 5 mile loop that we ran twice.  The first 5 miles were alright.  My first 2 miles of anything are pretty much my warm-up and where I get in my groove.  By mile 3 I was feeling pretty good and was in a good 4:1 run/walk interval.  The course was pretty much all hills.  Rolling hills, but still hills.  It was not flat like it said in the description.  That was a little frustrating.   I was in the same group of people for a while and then started to leave them a bit behind after mile 3.  There was one guy in front of me who I wanted to get to but pretty much just kept chasing him the entire race.
Around mile 5 I noticed that my biceps were a little sore. They were chafing. BOO!  It was super damp and humid out so my shirt was more wet than usual from sweat and the mist I was running in on and off.  I knew there was a med station at mile 7 ( ya know, since I saw it at mile 2), and I was hoping they would have some Vaseline.  When I got to mile 7 my legs were really hurting from the hills.  I stopped at the med tent and they were not there!  They have gone into their cars because they had gotten too cold.  They rolled down the window a crack to see what I need.  I asked for some Vaseline and they told me they did not have any. ???? I was shocked.  And annoyed.  Now my arms were going to be even worse!  This was the FIRST time I have done a long race and have not seen Vaseline (or something like it) for runners!! Major bummer.
By mile 8 I was hobbling.  The hills were NOT my friend.  I texted Lauran thinking she would be finished! She was, but not the way I expected.  She hurt her ankle at mile 3 and ended running at mile 5 when she passed the looping point.  I felt SO bad 😦  She has worked her tush off this fall running and getting ready for her first marathon (In Jan)!
We ended up texting for a few min and I told her where I was and that I was in pain.  She ended up coming out onto the course to find me and she ran in with me from the mile 9 sign.  The last ‘mile’ was super short cause the signs were not in the right place!  We ran towards the finish line and she left me to go finish!  I was 15 min off my goal for this race, but I am just thankful I finished!  My Louva sleeves kept my arms warm for the race!  I don’t know what I would have done without them!!
Even though it wasn’t pretty, I am thankful to have race 31 in the books!!
So a few weeks ago I connected with Louva Gear on twitter! They were kind enough to send me a free pair of sleeves!  They came at just the right time for this race.
I am always a little nervous about sleeves since my upper arms are pretty bulky.  Several other sleeve brands I have tired did not make the cut.  The one pair I have other than these I can only wear on my forearms.
Anyways, these sleeves are super comfy, and I LOVE the thumb hole!  They kept my hands warm yet I was sill able to do things with my fingers!  IMG_4665
One neat thing about the Louva sleeves is that you can WRITE on them!  I am going to get some things written on them for my half this weekend!  I can’t wait 🙂  How cool is that!
If you are in the market for some new sleeves that are great quality, yet inexpensive (only $12 a pair), then head over to and get some!!

Hope your week is going well!


Race Recaps #27, 28 & 29

Over the last 2 weeks I have participated in 3 races!  A 5k, a 10k and an 8k!

Time has been very precious lately, so here are quick recaps!

Veteran’s Day 5k
A little local race in my town.  It was an out and back course on a gorgeous morning!  I was feeling pretty good and went from doing a 3:1 interval to 7:1!  There were a few ladies who seemed about my pace in front of me and they were great motivation on the course!  Finished strong and felt good about the race and supporting our local vets!  So thankful for their service and all they have done fighting for our country!
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Veteran’s Day IRUN4 Virtual 10k
The next morning I met my Holiday Calorie Crush Challenge partner for a run! She was doing 12 miles and I was going to run my virtual IRUN4 Veteran’s day virtual race!  I signed up for a 10k, and this was a perfect distance for me at this point in my training.  I met up with Lauran and we had a great time chatting and running!  She is a rock star and finished her 12 miles after we parted ways!
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Starry Night 8.5k
A few weeks ago when I was finalizing my race schedule for the fall, I saw a race that made my heart say YES!  It was a race that benefited the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation!  I knew I had to do it, and so I signed on up!
The race itself was a 3 loop course with an 8.5k distance.  The reason it was 8.5k was that equals 28,000 steps, and there are currently 28,000 kids fighting right now.  That number is way to high!  It was an honor to run for such a great organization, and I am already looking forward to next year.
The race was at a unique time and at first I was not sure why.  Once I was there things made more sense!
3:30 was race time.  Once we all finished the race we had a post race meal.

Then there was a little concert by Houston area native, Josh Worthington.  I guess he’s kinda a big deal and was the runner up on the Voice last season!
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After that they did an award ceremony then we light up the night!
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So I only have 4 more races in 2014 to finish out my goal!!!

Thanksgiving day 5 miler
Dec 1- 5k
Dec 7- 10 miler
Dec 21- Half marathon
And for good measure I signed up for the Run for Jess virtual Elf Race!

Do you have any 2014 goals you are finishing up in the next few weeks? Any races for Thanksgiving or in December?  Fill me in 🙂

-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Ten for Texas race recap Race 23 of 33 for 2014

Well, if you saw my race schedule, you know that the last few weeks have been busy for me with training and racing!  The last few weekends the races have been pretty good, and I have been plodding along.  Last week when I realized my FIRST ever 10 mile race was coming up I did a little FREAK OUT!  I don’t know what the deal is, but I have had this fear of racing 10 miles (which seems a little nutty since I have done half marathons).  I attempted a 10 miler back in April with the Cherry Blossom race, but lack or training took me back to the 5k. I had not run more than 5 miles since April, so this seemed a little nerve racking.
Last week I did a few short runs, and then on Wed I pulled out a 7 miler.  It was super slow pace because the middle 4 miles I ended up meeting a friend and we walked a bit.  I knew deep down it was in me, but would it come out on race day?? I was a little nervous.

Early Saturday morning I was up after only a few hours of sleep.
It started out as a bit of a muggy morning, but the sunrise was beautiful! 🙂
I found a place to park and headed to the bathroom before I went to the start line.
I managed to find my friend Shauna in the large crowd!
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And we were off!
The first 3 miles were humid but I managed to keep a decent walk/run pace.  Right around mile 4 the air cooled down and a light misty rain started!  It felt really amazing!
Around mile 5 I started to feel a uncomfortable feeling on 4th toe on my right foot.  I was really hoping it was not a blister starting to form, but sadly it was.  I stopped a few times to try and rearrange my sock to help it.  After a few times I realized that nothing was going to fix it, and I needed to suck it up and just run.  About mile 5.75 the course did a turn around and I headed back basically the same way I just came!
Mile 6 and 7 went ok but I started to get a bit dehydrated.  The sun started to come out again and it started to get a bit hot.  I chatted with a few other women along the way and we kept encouraging each other! There were also really amazing supporters along the course!!
When I hit mile 8 I figured I realized that it would be close, but I *MIGHT* be able to beat the goal I set for myself.  At mile 9 I knew it would be SOOO close!  I was really starting to feel tight in my legs, my fingers were swollen, and my shirt was soaked in sweat/rain.
As I closed into the finish line I got a little more excited.  My friend Shauna and her family were there cheering me on.  I saw the finish line and I went for it and finished strong!!!
And I made it 16 seconds under my goal!!! Add on that this was my first 10 mile race meant an automatic PR! 🙂 YAY!
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I finally got another medal.  (My last few races I did not get any).
The post race food was pretty good.  I had my first doughnut in AGES and it was darn good!

It felt really good to have this race under my belt.
It also felt good to have a weekend off of racing!  I spent the last few days at the NEDA conference, and I will be posting about that soon! So much great information that I am still trying to process!

I hope everyone is well!

-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Du the Bear Duathlon, race #22 of 2014

This past weekend was a busy race weekend!  Saturday I participated in a 5k! After the race I worked for a few hours and then headed down to pick up my race packet for Sunday!  It was CRAZY!!!! It was only supposed to take about 45 min one way to get the packet…and due to random GPS issues, a few accidents and just plain traffic, I spent 4 hours in the car!!! Blah, not the way I wanted to spend the little free time I had on Saturday.
I made it to pick-up about 30 min before they closed.  I am thankful I made it!
When the lady there handed me my shirt, she took one look at my and told me she didn’t think it would be long enough.  Sure enough, I held up the shirt and it was like a crop top!  She was kind enough to give me one of the shirts designed for the men!  Sheesh, I have this problem so often with ladies tech tees!!  (When I got home I actually measured my torso, and found out that it is 27″ long!!! Normal length for my height is 19-20″! Ha, I do have an extra long torso!)

After I finally made it home I got all my race gear ready, had some dinner and went to bed.

4:45am came too fast, but I was up and ready to go.  I headed down to the race, and thankfully there was no traffic this time.  I followed the directions to the parking location that were given on the information paperwork, but the road they said to take was already blocked off!!! I am glad I knew a little of where I was going so I was able to drive around and get to the correct parking place!  It was still dark when I got out of my car.  The nerves began to really set in.  Am I ready for this?  I feel very amateur compared to those around me.  Am I going to be the only slower runner? Boo, I hate this feeling!
I headed over to check in.  I got my timing chip and then I was body-marked!  That was a kind of surreal moment.  Like this was really official!  The last duathlon I did was not as official.  This race was USTA certified, so they had rules and they stuck with them!  I am really glad they did.  It made the race more fair for everyone!
I racked my bike then wondered around a little.  One of the massage tents was up and my upper back was so sore that I went over for a pre-race massage.  The dr who worked on me said I was so tight and had tons of knots.  I guess it is time for a long massage soon! I have not had a real one since my last half in March!  I felt so much better after just a few minutes of a massage.
It was still an hour till race time so I kept walking around and trying to psych myself up.  I saw so many jerseys from iron-man and other big competitions!!! Yikes!
It was finally close to race time. I took some Energybits then I headed over to the start line with the rest of the competitors.  I had a time in my head that I really wanted to beat.  For this race distance and my limited training, I really wanted to get under 100 minutes.  I really wanted to make it in 90 min, but I knew that would be really pushing it.  I said a little prayer at the start line and we were off.
The first 2 mile run was rough.  I could not seem to get into any groove or catch my breath.  I am SO glad it was 2 miles.  I don’t think I could have gone any further.  Time – 27:21.6
I finally warmed up so I changed out of my jacket into my tank with my race number.  I put on my helmet and gloves then got my bike to the bike start line.  I was right behind 2 other ladies, and it took a few min to get myself in the groove.
The bike course was 2 – 5 mile loops.  As I started on the first loop it was a bit congested with those starting on their second lap!  Bikes were speeding past and I was stuck.  Eventually the path opened up a bit and I was able to dig into my groove.  My goal was to get 10 miles in under 40 min!  I ended up riding in 38:50.9!!
I passed a pair of friends on the bike course, and they were cheering me on.  It was so sweet.
As I headed into the second run I was feeling a bit worn down.  Most of the course had cleared out, so it made for a less stressful transition.  I got into a bit of a walk/jog groove and kept trekking along.  I had to keep reminding myself it was 2 miles, and I could do this! 🙂
The pair of friends that I passed on the bike caught up to me on the run and asked if they cold join me and finish together.  It was perfect timing as I was starting to lose my steam.
We chatted along the way while running and walking then finished the race all together.  It was a great way to end the race!  Second run time – 28:10.5.  My total time- 1:37:48.7!!! I made my time goal!  Even though there were a few rough spots, I am happy with my time, and more importantly, that I finished!

Overall it was a great experience!  I need to work on my transition times and speed overall.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to run and bike like this.

Have you ever done a dualthlon or triathlon?  What did you find was the most challenging?

-Chocolate Runner Girl-

MADD Dash 5k

A little over 9 weeks ago, my sweet workout buddy Dy asked me to help train her for a 5k!! I of course jumped at the chance!! It was still pretty hot here in Houston, so we did our first few workouts inside on the treadmill!
Dy was a trooper and pushed through even when she wanted to give up.  Over the next few weeks we did more and more time on the treadmill.  Then one evening after a body pump class I told her we were going to run outside!! Her face was priceless and she was really nervous.  We did a little 20 min walk/jog with our other friend Anne and they rocked it!!
Over the next few weeks we did a combo of running, body pump and piyo classes!

This past week we did a 5k practice run which I doubled as my Run for Bling virtual 5k!!
We also did body pump, piyo and some running drills!  Dy rocked it along with our other gym buddies Anne and Steph!
We are silly 🙂

Saturday morning was GORGEOUS!  Actually a little chilly than what we have been used to!
We met at the race location, got our packets and bibs and were ready to rock and roll!
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They had a nice opening ceremony where they announced the teams and individuals who raised the most money.  We all said the Pledge of Allegiance and it was go time!

The course was an out and back loop through a local neighborhood.  It was a nice path filled with trees and spots of sunshine and shade.  We started off running for a few min and then got into our 3:1 pace groove.  We picked up a few other ladies along the way who were also doing the same pace. It was nice to have a little group to run with since I normally do all my races alone.  Made the time go by much faster!!! Overall it was a great little course.  Only issue we had was traffic when we had to cross a main street.  The police were out there, but we had to wait a bit both times we crossed it.  Also they did not have a real water station.  The course map showed there would be 2 different water stations.  Around mile 2.25 they had a few volunteers handing out large bottles of water.  It was nice that they were cold, but they were hard to run with.  We saw many bottles thrown down along the course soon after that.  Kinda a bummer, and I really hope someone was able to go back and pick them up.  Hate to see so much litter and wasted water.
Mile 1- 14:16
Mile 2- 14:57
Mile 3- 14:26
As we got closer to the finish line Dy and I ran together and decided to finish at the same time.
All the hard work paid off and we had a strong finish!
I am SOOO very proud of Dy AND Anne who rocked the race! Dy has officially declared herself and runner and now wants to do a 5k each month!  She has even agreed to let me train her for a 10k and a HALF!!! I am so excited and happy 🙂
The run/walk sponsored the MADD organization!  The teams raised over $50,000 which I think is pretty incredible!
Way to go again ladies!! So proud of you and honored to coach you through this 5k process!