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! 


  1. I love your writeup and am glad it was such a positive for you. I love love love that view from the top of the Hart when you can see down into the finish area!! You've also made me WANT to join one of the BABabes outings -- maybe GRR next year!!!