Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Remembering "Why I RUN" ??

Many of you may be wondering why there was no post race recap of the Run for the Treasure Half Marathon. Well to be honest that run is one I'd like to forget! I struggled through the last 7 miles of the run and have since been struggling to find motivation to continue running. I will not rehash the entire race because that is not the purpose of this post. I will just say that I have come to realize I will most likely never be considered a "fast" runner. I do not have the strongest legs but I have legs that can go 13.1 miles and that should be is enough for me! 

While I have been re-evaluating my goals and passion for our sport I was reminded that I am healthy and that is good enough!! I was reminded that there are many friends in my life who would love to be able to run with us but can't for various reasons, regardless of their pace. One friend who came to mind is, Sharon Gant. She has been a long time member of our church and the Tallahassee community. She has been apart of the "village" that has helped me raise Riley since I joined Fellowship Baptist Church in 2004. Sharon was an active member of the children's ministry when I joined FBC and for the longest time Riley would only stay in the nursery at church if "SharShar" was there to help! Sharon is lovingly called "SharShar" by all the kiddos in her life as she owns an at home daycare facility. She has helped raise many little ones, along with raising two of her own children! Ryan and Kaylyn are lucky to have such an awesome Mom! 

This past year Sharon was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Breast Cancer.  Sharon has shown her strength through her faith throughout all these months. She has been undergoing treatments and recently during her last chemo treatment she was told her tumors are pretty much gone. She also had a sore on her skin from the cancer that is almost healed which surprised her doctor! The doctor told her he had never seen a sore of that type heal the way it did! Sharon is now facing monthly check ups and a scan in November to keep an eye on the cancer. Sharon's journey has been just a little more proof that we serve an almighty God! 

Sharon posted this statement and video on her Facebook: "Knowing full well my cancer battle is not won and it will never be over, But with God's grace I feel I have won the first battle! And I am "Feelin Good!" 

Everyone is so happy that Sharon is feeling good and we have been so touched by her faithfulness during this journey that a few of us decided to honor SharShar in a special way. The team normally known as the "Badass Babes" has decided for one race to change our team name to the "Sole Sisters" and participate in the upcoming 26.2 with Donna Finish Breast Cancer Marathon. Let me be clear, we are participating in the Half Marathon version of the 26.2 with Donna! We love you Sharon but I am not ready for 26.2 miles!  The team will have four members myself, Allison C., Crystal K. and Shannon CThe idea to run in honor of Sharon came from a conversation I had with Crystal. She has participated in this race for several years; however, this year she plans to run all 13.1 miles. Knowing that her daughter spent about 8 months with Sharon when she was a tiny little thing with no hair, I mentioned the idea of dedicating the run in honor of Sharon and Crystal agreed we should do it! She is very appreciative of Sharon being apart of her "village" as well! The team name was inspired by one of our members Allison, who blogs over at Soul 2 Sole. Her family holds a special spot in their hearts for Sharon as she kept their daughter from the time she was 5 weeks old until she was almost 2 years old. Allison's blog is also based around sharing her faith through her fitness journey so I decided to borrow a portion of her blog title for the team name. 

Not only are we going to run this race, we are going to raise money for the cause!! Sole Sisters has a fundraising page set up to help us reach our goal of $4,000 before the race on February 23, 2014! To donate to the team please visit : you are planning to register for 26.2 with Donna please feel free to join our team. You may email me at for the details on how to join our team! The great thing about 26.2 with Donna is that 100% of the proceeds go toward finding a cure!  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Love chocolate? Me too!

During our trip to the Peachtree Road Race expo back in July we discovered a race series called the Hot Chocolate 15/5K. At their booth we were able to check out the nice swag that comes with registration, if you have followed my blog then you know we are suckers for the swag! HA! 

This series is held all over the United States from Atlanta to Minneapolis to San Francisco. (Hey girls, maybe we should hit California instead, haha!) Each race offers a 15K (9.3 miles) or a 5K (3.1 miles) with each participant receiving a goodie bag! The post race party is a family friendly atmosphere complete with music, games and a super cool finishers mug filled with what else... HOT CHOCOLATE! There is also chocolate fondu and other yummy treats, I can't wait for this party! 

RAM Racing Series has chosen Ronald McDonald House Charities as the official charity partner with Hot Chocolate 15/5K series. This program is unlike any other! They provide a home for families and children facing medical crisis, usually near the hospital where they are receiving treatment. The funds raised will go toward promotion of the charity, raising awareness and supporting the overall mission of the organization. 

I have recently been chosen as a Hot Chocolate Blogger for the race in Atlanta! The BadassBabes will definitely be making the trip and we are hoping a few others will join us in January for this great race! 

Registration is open, please visit this link to register for the Atlanta race! When you register enter code : LIVINGLOVINGMUG  for an extra sweet treat in your goodie bag! 

You can learn more about Hot Chocolate 15/5K in a city near you by following them on
Twitter: @hotchocolate15k and Facebook:
Be on the look out for more details on the Hot Chocolate 15/5K in Atlanta coming from the blog! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Take a Breath for Jess 5K

A few weeks ago a group of our friends from Seminole Baptist Church decided to host a 5K for Jessica Morrison. She is a sweet young lady in their church that is awaiting a lung transplant due to growing complications from Cystic Fibrosis. The C.O.R.E. Bible Study Class, which Jess is apart of, decided they wanted to do something to help raise funds to assist with her medical costs. These young people along with Wayne and Trina Baker bonded together to plan "Take a Breath for Jess 5Kin less than two months! 

I told the planning group from the beginning I would be there on race day to volunteer and not run this race. I knew I would be the midst of half marathon training so I felt my time would be better served as a volunteer for this run. Riley and I ate a quick lunch after church then headed out to the race to be worker bees for Ms. Trina and her class! Upon arrival to the park where the run was hosted Trina asked if Paula of Big Green Pen, Riley and I would join her in walking the course to make sure it would be 3.1 miles. 

Off we went, all of us thankful we had worn good shoes for this unexpected walk, haha! All was going well as we marked the course and enjoyed a little time just chatting along the way. We were just passed the 1 mile mark when Riley yelled "Mom, move it's a snake"... thank heavens I listened to him. Trina, Paula and I went scampering off (well maybe that should say screaming, haha) as that snake almost slithered across my shoe. We laughed for at least the next half mile! I made Riley swear he wouldn't tell his Aunt Crystal about this snake since she is deathly afraid of them and was planning to run the race! We continued our way through the course, up the mighty hills and back to the start line area. All in all the race would end up being 3.3 miles or so. 

Once the course was set the four of us spent the rest of the afternoon helping get the registration area, start line and finish line areas set up. Paula was the turn patrol at one of the confusing spots on the course, Riley helped place sponsor signs along the course then maned the water station with a group of his friends. Trina was the ultimate race director, keeping it all under control and I did whatever she asked throughout the remaining hours leading up to the race. Myself and a few others convinced her to run the race while I stayed back around the finish are incase anything went wrong, nothing did by the way. The day was perfect, the weather was perfect just a little humid even for October in Florida. 

The finish line turned into big celebration of everyone talking about conquering those hills and celebrating that the C.O.R.E. class had accomplished their goal! This group showed our community that with a little hard work and a lot of big faith anything can be done! I'm proud to be friends with several from this class. I am proud to watch them grow in their faith and see what God has in store for each of them! 

Here's a few pictures from the day: 

Jess cutting the ribbon to start the race! 


My best bud! 

Love these girls! 

Trina - the coolest race director! 

My family :-) 

Being a volunteer for this race also gives me a sense of pride in our Tallahassee community, especially our running community! Seeing so many familiar faces come out to support this event was such a blessing to me. I loved cheering on each of them at mile 1 then again at the finish line. Being a part of all this was a special time for me and having my family there volunteering with me made it even that more special! Thank you C.OR.E. for planning such an event and congrats on the huge success! Y'all Rock! 

Now, it's tapper week for the girls and I as we look forward to the Run for the Treasure Half Marathon this weekend. Y'all know there will be a few good blogs myself, Shannon and Allison after a BadassBabes trip to Panama City Beach, hehe! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

WRS - Nashville Recap...

Wow, what a weekend! The BadassBabes road trip went by way too fast! First, I will recap the race then in a post later this week I will recap Nashville Vegas!! There are simply too many stories to include in one post. Y'all would be here reading all day long, hahaha. 

We departed Tallahassee late in the afternoon Thursday without a plan for the night. Meaning we didn't have hotel reservations for that night, we were just going to drive until Allison was too tired to continue driving.  Yep, that's about as far out of the box as you can get for this type A chick! We made it to Hoover, Al and found a lovely Hampton Inn to stay in for the night. 

Friday morning we made our way into Nashville, arriving just as the Women's Running Series Expo would open for the day. We knew the expo would be small but we'd see several of our favorite vendors. Our first taste of Women's Running Series was awesome. It took 10 minutes to get our bibs, shirts and swag bags.. that's remarkable! Way to go WRS! Once we were all checked in we were off to shop. We saw our friends from Lift Your Sole, Fellow Flowers and Bondi Band.  Once we were done visiting the expo we took off to explore Nashville. We had a great afternoon and evening, so much fun that we were in bed by 8:30pm. Woohoo - party animals! HA! (keep in mind, this was in central time so our bodies felt like it was 9:30pm)

Checked in and ready to run! 

Saturday morning we were up and getting ready for the race by 5:30am, well rested from the night before. As we were preparing ourselves for this run I was reminded that this particular race was not about me, my time, or how I felt. This race was about my honoring my friend Ashleigh-Anne Hughes. We wanted to run this for her because she can't (or won't) run. We knew at the end of this race she would be there with her beautiful smile and we were pumped! We were only a short walk from the start / finish area of the race. Once we made our way through downtown we met up with some new friends from other MRTT Chapters and snapped these lovely photos: 

After a few hugs and well wishes we made our way to our corrals. Being the speedsters they are, Allison and Shannon headed for corral one and I took off for corral four. I had a goal of finishing this race at or under 2:30 so I met up with the pace setter for this group. The race started promptly at 7:00am. We ran through some beautiful areas of Nashville including Music Row, Vanderbilt University and Belmont University. If I hadn't been so focused on getting my personal record at this race I would've snapped a few photos down Music Row, but I had a race to run! I really enjoyed seeing all the beautiful homes along the route and it was fun to have the homeowners out cheering us on, too! 

As I mentioned I started out running with the 2:30 pace group; however, I was moving a little faster than their pace so I went on with own my pace. I wound up catching the 2:15 pace group and ran about 6 or 7 miles with them. My girls even stated they were excited to see me with that group on the out and back portion of the race, yes we gave each other cheers! I took a walk break at the 10 mile marker and slipped behind the 2:15 group a bit. During that break I received a perfectly timed call from my usual pace buddy Erin, she and I chatted for a quick few minutes then I was off to find the finish line! Yes I say find because I was beginning to think that race would never end, haha. I didn't beat myself up too badly over the whole break though because I needed a quick refuel before heading to the finish. As I rounded the last turn I realized I was well under my goal of 2:30 and my heart started pounding! I crossed the finish line at the 2:20 chip time, 2:18:30 official finish time! The best part was looking up to see the BadassBabes jumping and down with excitement then looking over to my left to see Ashleigh-Anne and Matthew also sharing in the excitement. There were tears and laughter all around because all three of us had beaten our goals. The past 4 months of training and eating mostly right had paid off! Thanks to the Hughes' for these awesome finish line photos: 

We left finish line area to meet up with the Hughes'. It was so great to see them and to give Ashleigh-Anne a little surprise. We had each worn her initials on our bibs during the race. These little patches can be attached to anything she wants as a little reminder of this fabulous day! Her own little souvenir from the race, she was super excited as you can tell from this picture:

After a little time visiting we were off to get eat cookies provided by Publix and celebrate a great race! We had just conquered so much that we deserved a little party time!  


Check out these awesome medals!

We all agreed, we will run more races with the competitor race group, especially Women's Running Series races. They did everything right! Every expectation that we had going into the expo, the race and the after party where exceeded!! Not only were they well organized they were extremely polite, even when we had a little question they answered us precisely. And let's not forget the medal, the spur on the back of the boots is actually a charm. This was a nice touch to an awesome event. Bravo WRS - Nashville!! 

Love the Charm! 

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring more of downtown Nashville, as I said before there will be another post of our non-race related adventures later this week! 

Up next on the training calendar is another road trip with the girls to Panama City Beach for the Girls Inc Run for the Treasure Half Marathon on October 12th. This run is taking place in the midst of the PCB Pirate Festival so we have race outfits to match the theme! 

I would be remiss if I didn't a word of thanks for all the support leading up to WRS Nashville! I couldn't have met my goal without the help of some special people, most of my husband and son! Scott didn't blink an eye when I announced my training schedule would switch to mornings to avoid running in the hot afternoons of summer in N. Florida. He knew this would mean I would need his help with getting Riley to school, etc... I know the schedule wasn't easy but Scott and Riley made it work. Riley didn't like it at first when I wasn't home to get him read y for the day. However, he might have learned to enjoy the mornings a little bit during after all!  Thanks Scott for all your support and teaching Riley how to show that support as well!