Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BadassBabes Road Trip!

Trouble…that explains a lot! 

Well the day has finally arrived, later this evening the Badass Babes head out for Nashville, TN!! We will drive as far as we can tonight…yeah we have no reservations for this evening. If you've been reading this blog for awhile then you may think this sounds familiar! You may remember that Shannon and Allison talked me into this spontaneous experience last year, too. We wound up in Hover, Al at a decent Hampton Inn. We will see what tonight holds…it will be a hotel with doors on the inside I can promise!! 

Our team of 6 has endured a hectic few weeks including a car accident, falling during a training run, not so good test results and overall stressful craziness. However, not of all our news is bad news! We have also experienced extreme happiness over our friend Ashleigh-Anne getting her liver! That's right our girl has a new liver and is in Nashville where we can visit with her.  We also have been able to celebrate Mrs. Watson being cancer free. Those two moments alone have kept us going through all the extra hassles of life. 

I'm a little nervous about running the race this weekend & suggest that you do not look for a recap that includes a time or pace PR. That's just not in the future for this particular race. You can be on the lookout for a weekend recap of our adventures. We will be touring the Opry and doing a little shopping at Opry Mills. We will be eating at places such as Puckett's, Loveless Cafe, The Stockyard, The Palm…and wherever else we decide to enjoy a yummy meal. We will take in the Johnny Cash Museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame. We will be exploring Broadway and Union Station, Shannon will learn to love country music this weekend! We will be visiting Ashleigh-Anne and her Mama. Most of we will be enjoying time with each other and letting our hair down a little bit! 

Our goal is to rest our minds, not so much our bodies, ha. We will come back rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of fall with a vengeance! 

So girls grab your boots it's time for the weekend!! 

xoxo - 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

18 days to go to 13.1 ….

Yeah, so today as Allison and I had a little quiet training time, we realized there's only 18 days until the Women's Running Series Half Marathon in Nashville….insert the heart pounding & heavy breathing & major giggles from the two of us! 

I see several of my Badass Babes teammates putting in crazy miles in preparation for the race. I, on the other hand, have had little time and even less motivation for the long training runs. To date the longest run I have completed is 8 miles. Yes, I should be a panicked disaster; however, I am not. I will not let the stress of the "race" turn me into a crazed maniac the next 18 days. Let's be honest, it's not like I am sitting on the couch saying "hey girls, let's go run 13 miles in 2 weeks with zero training!". I am putting in my cross training time. I am concentrating on being a strong coach in my classes. I am doing pretty good with my diet, minus the tailgate this past weekend. Oh and I am running when I can! I just refuse to let the stress of training take away my focus for participating in this race! 

In 2013 I fell in love with city of Nashville, it's beautiful! Allison, Shannon and I have stated before this was our favorite of all the run-cations we took last year. What is my focus of this race weekend?…for me it is not about 13.1 miles, it's about celebrating life and friendship with some amazing ladies. 

This particular race is special! I did set a half marathon PR at this race last year. We celebrated my friend Ashleigh Anne and her journey to new a liver continues so we will celebrate her again!! Our prayers have been that AAKH and her new liver would be at the finish line: however, there's a reason God hasn't answered that prayer yet. I secretly pray she gets that liver in the next 18 days so that we can love on her a little more while in TN. (guess it's not a secret anymore, ha!)

My focus even got a little jolt in August as one of my best friend's called me to tell her mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Crystal is a runner herself and hoped to make the Nashville trip this year, due to her Mom's diagnosis and her starting back to school she won't make the 7 hr trek with us. She may not be with us in a physical sense she will be with us in our hearts! Mrs. Watson's surgery is this coming Thursday - Sept 11th. By the power of prayer we all trust God has a great plan for her and her family! The Badass Babes will be there every step of the way! 

I am excited to see what Nash-Vegas holds for the Badass Babes this year. I will run/walk the WRS Half Marathon to honor my friend Ashleigh-Anne and Mrs. Watson. No, I am not thinking a sub 2:18 course PR is in my future; however, I do think a different kind of PR will occur for that I will send praise. 

Here's my favorite picture from last year…can't wait to snap it again with few more babes! 

So to my girl Allison…looks like we will be giggling our way through 13.1 miles. Hey, maybe this year we will see Tim, Kenny or Jake on Music Row! 

Shannon, Erin, Stephanie & Ashely, we will see you at the Country Music Hall of Fame! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Valley's and The Peak's

In life there are always the valley's and always the peak's, sometimes those valley's seem to last forever!

When I look around me I wonder why somethings are going so well while at the same time other areas of life just plain suck - sorry for that! I wonder if this is all happening because of an action on my part (or maybe lack of an action). Have I become complacent?

There are times when I look around me and it's amazing to see how awesome life is cruising along. Not only for me but family and friends! Everyone seems happy and content….isn't that how life should be? Many of my friends are taking on new adventures, accomplishing bucket list items and seeing such bright futures!

Certainly, I can't be the only one with types of thoughts… maybe I am! Lately, I have questioned my parenting - 6th grade brings about some new and exciting experiences! I have found myself wondering if I am where I need to be physically to be a successful member of the Badass Fitness staff. I have thought deeply about many other things as well! I think God allows us to wonder about such things so that we can see areas in our life that could use a little adjusting. I think he wants us to find ways to challenge ourselves. Let's face it, I work better under pressure, ha! I think this is how we grow as Christians, Families and Friends.

I often remind myself to let it go, put a smile on my face and trust that through the valley's and the peak's God has a great plan. According to this verse he does have a mighty plan: "
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11.

Do you find yourself with the same questions? Remember, God has a plan..oh and we're in this together!! 

Pretty sure I need this tattooed on my forehead - LOL! 

Smile and Let it Go! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Another month flew by!

The month of July flew right by me! I really need the clock to slow down just a bit! Our trip to Atlanta for the Peachtree Road Race was one that we will not soon forget! We came away with so many hilarious memories and stories to tell…oh and all the new hashtags! The group of 11 definitely made the most of 4 days in Atlanta. 

Can we talk about the weather? The weather was PERFECT the entire weekend. We were quite spoiled by those temps in the month of July. 

We also left the Peachtree Road Race with several PR's! In 2013 I finished in 1:07:21, this year I finished under an hour at 57:31! Just goes to show how much the cross training and better nutrition has aided my running ability! Needless to say we are still laughing at the events of this trip and we're already planning our return in July 2015. 

The 11! 

We mastered the #selfie in Atlanta! hehe! 

Love this crew so much and our photographer, too! 

The rest of the month has been days of sitting poolside and being thankful to be together! This summer has not provided much vacation time for Scott and I; however, we have taken advantage of the beautiful beaches that are only a day trip away from us. We may not have taken a "big trip" but we sure have enjoyed the slower pace of summertime weekends!! 


RJ and I at Henderson Beach State Park

Badass Babes

Now, it's August! We will celebrate Scott's 40th birthday this weekend. And, we're only 10 days away from meeting Riley's 6th homeroom teacher. That means we're 12 days away from him official starting middle school. EEK! I am off to shed a few more tears! While Riley has been wrapping up the end of his summer, I completed another TRX certification, making the Badass Fitness studio one of the few in town that offer the TRX Team format. I can't wait to see what this new level of training will mean for our clients as we begin to implement that training into our classes. 

TRX Team certification 

The Badass Fitness TRXteam Instructors

The BAF team also kicked off another round of Tabata Bootcamp, making this Shannon's 7th round of bootcamp! This program is life changing and I love seeing new faces each round. These bootcampers are going to have an amazing 8 weeks. 

During our weekend downtime at the pool or by the ocean I had a little time to reflect on my goals. I have to say that I am on track to accomplishing most, if not all, of them by the end of the year. None of this would be possible without trusting and having faith in God. While somethings didn't go as I had planned (or wanted), I know in my heart there's a reason. I'm excited to see what else God has planned for our little family of three and the team at Badass Fitness! 

Bring on the fall…Middle School, Football, Half Marathon(s), anything else in between, we'll be ready!! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

An Epic All-American Adventure

As I am preparing for a little getaway with my hubby, the Badass Babes and our BadDudes I can't help but think about the EPIC All-American Adventure that awaits all of us! 

First, this little tradition of going to Atlanta for July 4th started when Scott and I were dating in 2010. It was our first road trip, clearly we had a blast because I didn't try to kill him in Atlanta traffic!  We enjoyed lots of All-American activities, none more so than the Braves game! 
July 2010 - Turner Field

Second, the running of the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th in Atlanta started in 2011 as a bit of a joke between Scott, myself and the Carter's. The four of us learned a lot about running and preparation for big races during our first time participating in the largest 10K in the world! On our drive home Allison and I committed to embarking on a mission to never be that ill-prepared again! 

Start Line Peachtree Road Race 2011

Third, we have convinced a few people to join us throughout the years! The first of those was Brandi, the following year it was Shannon & Ieva. Now, this year we have grown to a team of 14! Yep, 13 BadassBabes and 1 BadDude are taking on the PRR this Friday morning. 

Brandi, Me and Allison - PRR 2012

PRR 2013 - Rainy Hot - FUN! 

Watch out Atlanta… the Badass Babes and Dudes will be there tomorrow! I have no idea what the weekend will hold for us, well sort of but you never "really" know until it's over! I do know this, I can't think of a better way to spend July 4th weekend than celebrating my freedom to run, be happy and to do all this with a pretty amazing hubby and awesome friends. I praise God that I live in a country where men and women fight daily for my continued freedom to worship freely, to share new experiences with family (and our friends), to run when and wherever I want. I always shed a tear or two at the beginning of the Peachtree Road Race as they play the anthem and have a local pastor bless the course for us, this year will be no different. I'm a very blessed! 

Scott and I wish that RJ could go with us on this little vacation, we know he has some awesome plans with his Dad's family. There are few friends that I wish could make this trip with us; however, they will be beachside running their own Firecracker 5K on Friday morning…Crystal and Christina I can't wait for a race report! 

I hope each have a great July 4th celebration surrounded by family and friends. Above all else don't forget to thank God and a Veteran for your freedom to celebrate! 

Be on the lookout for a post - weekend update next week! It's sure to be full of a fun stories! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Life and Breaking the Scale, again!

Hi, I am back!! I find it funny the last post I wrote was after a spring trip to visit GiGi and Grandfather. Scott and I just returned from their house late yesterday, too. We attended my 20th high school reunion, check back later for the post with stories from the weekend! 

Life has been crazy for us lately so I will give you a quick highlight of the past two months!

Riley - Successfully graduated 5th grade and is gearing up Middle School. His baseball team won the North West Little League championship and he made the Allstar team as well! We are at the ball field a few nights a week but he loves it! Riley is also enjoying several camps throughout these summer months. 

Scott - Well, he is wonderful as always! He is getting back to a somewhat normal routine of running and hitting the gym after the baseball season craziness. He is my rock during the good, the bad and the ugly! 

Me - I have been learning how to transition from a Badass Fitness Student to becoming a Badass Fines Instructor. I am teaching a few classes a week since in the past few months I have completed more certifications. I have added BOSU, Kamagon and TRX to the list - whew, I should've posted about each of those experiences! My "day job" is going pretty well, too. I have been a busy working mom and loving life!!  All in all life is good - just wild! 

Clearly, we are enjoying a few poolside weekends, too! 

As we were heading home yesterday from South Florida I had a chance to reflect over the past weeks and of course my brain led me to the past few weeks at Badass Fitness. The studio is expanding and things are very exciting! It's awesome to stand beside our dear friend, Shannon, as she watches her dream come true. We have to remind her to breathe sometimes! 

As the studio expands so does our client list. We recently kicked off another round of Tabata Bootcamp with several new friends taking part in the fun. If you have read this blog before then you know part of the program is an assessment every two weeks. We track weight, measurements and strength gains. The first assessments are always nerve-racking, even for the most strong willed people! This past week it was time for the second of these assessments. The other Coaches and I watched as people struggled with the numbers they saw on the scale. We grew frustrated for them, this frustration is what inspired to me write this blog today…by the way I wrote about this same topic a year ago, too! 

I have been a student of Shannon's for almost two years. I hated the scale when I met her and I hate it today. Do I look different than when I started working out with Shannon? YES! Do I feel different after all these workouts and trainings? YES! Do my clothes fit better? YES! Is the number of the scale lower? NO! That's right, the number on the scale today is no different. It has fluctuated from time to time but as of today it's the exact same. 

I feel better and have more energy than when I first joined Badass Fitness. I took the leap from student to instructor and I am loving it! I love seeing the smile on the face of a friend when she conquers the almighty Tabata Tricep Hover, I love the celebrating with my BRB as she wins first in her age group, I love hearing the excitement from another friend as she does a pull-up for the first time - I am not even sure I can do one successfully! The scale can't celebrate those accomplishments with these girls but I can! The scale won't celebrate with my friend as she puts on a skirt that is two sizes smaller or another friend who is already back in IndoRow class only 2 weeks after his knee surgery. 

Friends, the scale does not own you - if you don't let it. It is only a number! I had the most fun today as we broke a scale, that's right we kicked it in the face! If you have a chance today or this week watch this video and kick the scale! I shared the video with this post earlier today: "I weigh the same as I did one year ago; I can fit into my senior prom dress; I have run multiple half marathons; I've checked several fitness certifications off my bucket list. My reasons to kick the scale in the face could go on for days!! What do I want you take away from this video? Don't let the number on the scale own you, it knows nothing!"

And I will leave you with this quote…. 

My goal for July is get back to blogging, more regularly! At some point I will share the reason as to why I really took a break from the blog, other than life has been too crazy. :-) 


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Home Run kinda weekend!!

This past Friday Scott, RJ and me took off on a quick trip to visit my brother and parents in S. Florida. It was a whirlwind trip but totally worth it! 

Our little Boston Terrier, Zoe, usually doesn't travel with is but her favorite sitter had surgery last week. We couldn't dare ask Aunt Crystal to take on Zoe for 3 days after the week she had. We quickly concluded Zoe isn't a traving dog!! We arrived at my parents to a yummy Lobster Clam Bake dinner! One thing is for sure New England Fish Market puts together the best cans as they're called. After dinner Riley went for a swim in Grandfathers pool while we visited with my parents. 

Night Swim Fun

The alarm went off on Saturday morning at 4:30am just like it does every day, ha! We had to get RJ up and to go fishing with Uncle Phillip for the day. The two of them had been looking forward to this fishing trip for long time. 

RJ and Phillip

After they left, GiGi took me and Scott to Jensen Beach High School for the Home Run 8K. This was race was my first race in "old stomping grounds". When I was in high school I ran track but was a sprinter. I was never interested in long distance running of any kind. It was exciting to take part in a local race and support the family of a former Florida State Baseball player. The 8K was the 1st race that ME's Team has organized with the help of the folks at Fleet Feet Stuart. ME's Team is run by Scott Proctor a former pitcher at FSU who began the foundation after his daughter suffered a heart defect at birth. Scott and his team of volunteers did a great job from race day registration to really great swag to a well laid out finish area, I was surprised to find out it was their first race as directors. The course was flat and fast. I had a great run & received a lovely reminder that I've not run in the humidity in quite awhile. Clearly, my body needs an adjustment period, ha! I kept my pace around a 9 minute mile and only missed 3rd in my age group by 20 seconds! 20 seconds, urgh!!! (There's always next year right??) The attendance for the run was smaller than they had hoped; however, I have no doubt that it will be bigger each year they host it. I loved seeing my Mom and Husband at the finish line. They were both camera ready, it was pretty cute to see! I could've smiled at the finish line but all I could think about was breathing and getting a cold bottle of water! My official time was 44:49. 

Finish Line via GiGi... I was just focused on breathing! 
This would've been great had I smiled at her, HA! 

Finish Line Photo via the hubs

Scott Proctor and I post race

After the race was complete we ran a few quick errands before we headed back to Moms to enjoy the pool. The remainder of the day we laid around on the deck by the pool. It was quiet and calm, two things that we don't get very often. Unfortunately, I applied too much sunscreen and you can hardly tell my fair skin spent 4 & 1/2 hours in the sun. I'm severely jealous of my husband who has a nice tan started, it's just not fair! Later in the day the two fishermen arrived empty handed! They didn't much care, they had a blast. Uncle Phillip told us about their day. They had a blast hanging out on the water for the day! They're already trying to plan another adventure this summer! 

RJ driving the boat for Uncle Phillip 

Today, we made our way back home but not without an outlet stop! Riley and I racked up at the Under Armour Store. We found tons of sale items to add to our collections while Zoe and Scott explored the outside vendors. It was a fun day with my two fellas! I took advantage of the long ride home to work on my class plans for this upcoming week as well. Just one less thing I need to worry about in all the craziness, whew! 

Lots of fun planned for the week! 

Weekends like this are grand slams for this Momma. We were able to spend quality time with my family while also relaxing. While I wish I had gotten a little more sun I enjoyed sitting beside the still waters of the pool. It allowed me time to relax the body, the mind and the soul. I'm home feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the next few weeks!! 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Goodbye March, Hello April

It was great to me! 

WOW! Where did the month of March go? It seems like yesterday I was preparing for all the craziness and now it's over! 

March brought a special birthday as Riley turned 11! It's so hard to believe he is about to be done with elementary school, eek. I am very proud of the young man he is becoming and I have no doubt he is ready for middle school - even if his Mom isn't. March was the end of basketball season as well as the opening day of little league baseball! From one sport to the next this little guy keeps me busy. 

The birthday boy

March also brought the completion of two goals for 2014. I received my Tabata certification and began teaching at the Badass Fitness studio. This was a great experience and I love being on the instructor end of the spectrum! Sharing my passion for fitness is just an awesome experience all around. 

Shannon and I at Tabata Training 

I also had a little running success during the month of March. I defeated the "Green Monster" by completing the Gate River Run. I also pushed myself to a new 5K and 10K PR.  It was an awesome month! 

Gate Rive Run = Success 

These were all great races and I am blessed to have celebrated both of those accomplishments with friends and family after the races. Spring running around N. Florida is just so exciting as there is a race every single weekend. I wish I could run them all but that's not always possible!

Now it's April and it has arrived with a bang! I am "fresh" off a whirlwind trip to Atlanta for the completion of BOSU certification. It might have been the quickest trip ever but it was awesome! I learned so much in the 8 hour class and I can't wait to share this knowledge with our friends at Badass Fitness. It's amazing what you can do on a BOSU to work your entire body. 

BOSU Certified 

April will provide me a lot of time to enjoy the outdoors as we spent two nights a week at the ball field! I can't wait to watch my boy play ball with his buddies! I also plan to get back to my running. Even though I experienced a few great races last month I did miss my goal of running 100 miles in March. I just am not motivated to run right now so I will focus on that motivation for a few weeks. 

April most importantly will provide me the opportunity for much needed family time. We will go this weekend for one last birthday celebration for Riley. He gets to go fishing with Uncle Phillip then have a fancy dinner out with GiGi and Grandfather. At the end of the month we will celebrate Easter, the time of celebration focused around our Risen Savior. Have a mentioned I love this time of year?! 

Reason for the Season 

It is 4 months into 2014, how are your goals coming along?! Have you set a goal or two that you are not reaching? If you said yes then I encourage you to get focused toward reaching it! Let's all keep each other accountable! 

#truth #believe 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Run for Mercy 5K … how you can be apart of the story, too!

Whew, where has the week gone?! Heck, where has the month of March gone?! I have been on the go lately and time seems to be slipping further away. For some reason mother nature can't figure out that March is supposed to be warm in Florida! So far it's been a cooler month than I feel is normal and I am over it! HA! 

March has been full of fun with the family as we celebrated Riley's 11th birthday. It's been full of success in the fitness world. Certification is complete, classes are filling up and it's full speed ahead around the halls of Badass Fitness! The family has enjoyed some unexpected time together recently and my heart is full of happiness! 

Not only is Shannon adding more classes to the schedule at Badass Fitness (more to come on that) but she and I are co-directing an upcoming 5K for Mercy Ministries. We had the pleasure of participating in the Run for Mercy 5K last year. It was a great event and we looked for ways to become more involved. 

What is Mercy Ministries? Mercy is a free of charge program that serves young women facing life-controlling issues (i.e., eating disorders, self-harm, drug addiction, pregnancy, depression). Mercy has helped thousands of young women restore their life all while sharing the unconditional love of Christ with them. You can read more about Mercy and their mission to help these women on their website :

You may be wondering why I sought a way to become involved with this particular event. Yes, I could continue to just run this local 5K every year; however, after I met Nancy Alcorn last year I knew I needed to do more for her organization. Nancy is amazing lady, the ultimate encourager! What she may not know is while I listened to her speak about the homes they have built and the lives they touched she touched mine as well. I will not go into great detail but while listening to her share stories, I felt like in one instance she was talking about an older version of me. A much younger version that didn't much care what people thought of me. A much younger version that did some things I would never think of doing now and deeply regret. I knew that day I needed to help her because I was blessed to have avoided the deep horror that many of these women experience. I had a family that supported me and friends that stood by me all those years ago. I had friends who drug me back to church and many of the women Nancy was speaking of didn't have that! 

So fast forward a year later and here I am co-directing this event that is exactly one month away - April 26th! Shannon, myself and a few other ladies have been busy planning a race route, getting permits and trying to secure sponsors for this amazing event. 

Here is where you come into the story! We can all play a part in helping these women and changing their stories. You can be a blessing in these ladies lives forever! 

If you have a business and can help with sponsoring the 5K, please contact me. All the money goes directly to Mercy Ministries to help build a home right here in Florida, in our own backyard actually! 

If you are a runner, please register for the 5K by clicking on this link : We look forward to seeing you all out in Southwood next month!! 

Please join us in prayer as we head into the final stages of the event. Help us keep our focus on the reason for the event and get bogged down with the potential stress of planning. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My thoughts on this 1st day of SPRING!

This is quote is appropriate for today…

Today is March 20th. 
More importantly is marks the 1st day of Spring!! 

I live in Florida so we are blessed with beautiful weather but nothing is more gorgeous than North Florida during springtime. Crystal clear blue skies and everything in sight is blooming! It truly is my favorite time of year. 

Spring is great because it gives us a chance to celebrate a Risen Savior. Easter is arriving a little late this year but I am still focused on the reason for the season and I am happy to shout my Redeemer Lives! 

Spring shows us a new season of growth through all those beautiful plants and trees blooming around us. It provides us a chance to get outside and enjoy all of God's beautiful creations from beach days to floating in the pool. Wait, I mentioned I live in Florida why am I so excited about this weather? It does get cold here and I am done with the cold! Give me my bathing suit, warm temps and cold water then I will be a happy girl! 

Spring this year brings a new beginning for me as I taught my first Tabata Bootcamp class today. It has been a time of growth for me. I am excited to share my experience plus help our friends reach new goals over the next 8weeks! 

Spring also means it's time to celebrate Riley's birthday. He will turn 11 next Tuesday! Oh boy 11 I know will bring new challenges. I have no doubt we have many highs and a few lows as we close out his elementary school chapter and begin his middle school chapter. I can't wait to celebrate him next week! 

Spring brings on the racing season in our area. There's a local race every weekend through the month of May. You can have you pick of 5 K's and 10K's over the next few weeks. I won't participate in all of those but I'm excited to run several of them!  I'm extremely excited to be putting the finishing touches on our Run for Mercy 5K on April 26th. (N. Florida friends, click here to sign up if you haven't already :…)

So on this beautiful first of spring I say bring on the Spring Round of Tabata Bootcamp, the sun, the sand, the bathing suits, the Lilly patterns, the white clothes below the waist and most of all the celebration of Easter and our Savior!! 

Happy Spring My Friends! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We did it!!

Last Friday evening the Badass Babes took off on another racing road trip!  After a super crazy week for all of us, it was all we could do to get on highway the Friday evening! We arrived in Jacksonville a little later than planned but that didn't stop us from kicking off the trip with a yummy meal at River City Brewing Company. Who cares that the service wasn't all that great, we still managed to make people stare at us with all our loud laughter!!

Friday evening ended with a little surprise trick pulled on me. I am usually the one surprising people but this time I was the one being spoiled! Stephanie, Tammie and Ashley gave me a new medal holder for all my race bling and a workout journal for recoding all my Tabata workouts for my upcoming classes. Yep, I cried..see below! These little gifts mean the world to me, thanks girls! 

I love this! 

Trying to hide my tears! 

Since the race didn't start til 8:30am and we were staying across the river from the start line we didn't have to get up extremely early. We woke up refreshed and ready to run the Gate River Run 15K. I don't know if was the excitement of only running 9 miles or knowing that at the end of the day I would get to relax after accomplishing a bucket list item but I was very calm that morning. This is not my usual pre-race behavior but I was ready to run! 
We made our way to Everbank Field, snapped a few photos then it was time to get in our corrals. 

The Badass Babes at the Start Line!! 

The Grey Corral Babes
 (or the cargo cars as Crystal called us, ha!)

The race started a tiny bit due to a terrible accident on the interstate. We heard the sound of a cannon and knew it was time to go. Us and 17,000 other runners weaved our way through downtown Jacksonville and over the Main Street Bridge. That bridge has grates on it so we had to watch our footing and by that I mean I held my pace buddy's, Becky, hand and didn't look down. Seriously, you could see the water below us - NO THANK YOU! From there we ran through the San Marco area out by the water through various other beautiful neighborhoods. At mile 7.5 we ran up the ramp to the Hart Bridge aka The Green Monster. This is where things could've gone bad. After a walk break, I repeated Hebrews 12:1 in my head while Karah and Becky yelled some encouraging words at me and off we went! Up the bridge we ran (we walked a little, too) then I looked over to my left and wow what a view! We made our way down the bridge to the finish line! We each commented at the top of the Green Monster on how blessed we were with a beautiful day to run. I wish we had gotten a picture of the view but we were just focused on getting to the finish. 


Becky, Karah and I crossed the finish line at 1:36 - give or take a second. Running those 9 miles without these two women would have been rough. We had so much fun! The time on the clock was not a PR for me but it was an accomplishment in other ways. I conquered my fear of running over a bridge of that size. I took on a new appreciation for my ability to be able to run. I had one of the most enjoyable races to date! When I say this was fun, I mean it! The supporters in Jacksonville know how to be the best cheerleaders, course encouragers. I decided I would be back to run this race before I ever received my medal in the finish line area! Congrats to the organizers of the GRR for an awesome race! 

Becky and I EARNED that medal! 

Check out this awesome medal! 

At the post race party I was able to celebrate all my friends and their PR's. I was able to celebrate Shannon's pain free top 10% finish. I teared up a little listening to my girl Crystal talk about how awesome her race was and celebrate her PR. It was a beautiful day not just because the sun was shining brightly but because everyone was smiling and happy! That means more to me than the time on any race clock, that's a special kind of PR! 

So proud of Crystal! 

Celebrating our conquering that bridge! 
Take that Green Monster, see ya in 2015 for another shot at you. 

The remainder of Saturday was spent enjoying the glorious day. We grabbed a quick bite then spent the afternoon shopping. That could be a blog post all in itself. We had so much fun. Later that night we had an official celebration at Fionn MacCool's while enjoying a great Irish meal in honor of St. Patty's Day. Again, we shared our laughter with everyone around us! They loved us! 

St. John's, Starbucks, Sunshine - Happy Babes 

Badass Babes 

We all hated to see Sunday arrive with the exception that it meant really sleeping in and getting to eat at our favorite diner in Jacksonville. Yes, that's right this crazy group of girls enjoyed lots of carbs at the Metro Diner! Their Cinnamon Pecan French Toast is worth calorie on the plate. Just thinking about makes me ready to return, haha. 

I love this photo! 

While the rest of the crew headed home to Tallahassee or Gainesville, Crystal and I spent the day in St. Augustine. We did a little birthday shopping for RJ then went to St. George Street to enjoy a little dinner.  The two of us always get into a little trouble together but it was so great to hang out for the day in one of our favorite spots! We even checked out a few of the hotels in hopes of  planning a joint family vacation this summer. 

Blue Bell Ice Cream - YUMMY! 

Beautiful day by the bay

I did it, now I want to do it again! I didn't push myself as hard I could have for this race because I wasn't sure I could get over that bridge. Funny, how it was the smaller of the two bridges that bothered me the most. I had been an emotional wreck on the bridge at the Donna and I was fearful that I would give up this time. I am blessed with an amazing group of encouragers who didn't let me quit or really even let me think about being on that bridge! I knew at the end I would be able to call my hubby and hear his excitement that I had done it. I knew I would be able to text my best running buddy and tell her I did it! What I didn't expect was a text from my son as I crossed the finish line asking how my race had gone. I was so excited to let him know the day had gone great and I was done! As I said before I was able to celebrate the ability to run and add a check next to a race on my bucket list. We have all agreed that the GRR needs to become an annual getaway! We never know what to expect at races that are new to us, this one is high on the list of the best. All the information we received leading up to the race was helpful. Race day was organized and thoughtfully planned. We will be back for GRR 2015 and beyond! 

This was the last racing road trip that we have planned until July. It feels good to know we have some time train and get ready for our favorite local races. Plus who knows, we may find another one to run before July. I mean July is a few months off! LOL!