Quadburners It Takes Two Relay

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Race number two of the annual Quadburners Series, It Takes Two Relay, was held Saturday in Bay St. Louis, MS. The Quadburners Series is an annual race series comprised of five races held at the Washington Street Pavilion on the beach in Bay St. Louis. Finishers receive a medal at the end of each race which interlock at the end of the series to make one giant medal.

Team 2 Legit 2 Quit, myself and my racing partner Misti, were back for our second year. We competed last year and finished 5th overall female team. This year we switched things up with our strategy and decided Misti would go first.

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We started our usual complaining of text messages back and forth the morning of the race. It had been exceptionally hot and humid and we were expecting a scorcher.

The relay was an evening race and I arrived to the beachfront with my special guests, the parents, around 4:30pm. It was my final race as an official Gulf Coast resident and my parents wanted to cheer me on. I knew it was going to be windy because I could see the white caps in the Gulf before we got out of the car.

To say it was windy was an understatement. While I was waiting in line to pick up my race number, the wind was blowing so hard the sand felt like razorblades when it hit my legs. I tried to put a positive spin on it and say it was free microdermabrasion, but it really hurt.

The relay began at 5:30pm and Misti began her 4 mile leg for Team 2 Legit 2 Quit. I stood in the transition area literally getting sandblasted the entire time.

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Misti finished her 4 miles around the 41 minute mark and she slapped her bracelet on me, yes 80s style slap bracelets were used instead of batons, and I was off.

I felt great for the first two miles finishing in 7:26 and 7:30. I focused on passing the teams that I knew were ahead of us.

We made the turnaround at mile 2 and it was a whole different race. The headwind was 29mph of painful blinding sand. My pace dropped to 8:20 per mile instantly and my contacts were as sandy as the beach.

The third mile was quite painful but I managed to pass another runner from a team ahead of us. I finished mile 3 in 8:21. The last mile had a few sand dunes which protected us from some of the wind. It was still rough but slightly more bearable. I passed one final runner and finished the 4 miles in 31:22.

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Team 2 Legit 2 Quit earned 2nd place overall! Misti and I collected our finisher medals and headed to the after party.

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Savory Roots and Lazy Magnolia Brewery provided post race refreshments, while Scratch and Surf Music kept us entertained.

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The awards ceremony came pretty quickly, partially due to the fact we were all getting beat up by the sand storm. The theme of the race was 1970s and Misti and I were awarded ceramic Volkswagen buses as our trophies for our second place team win.

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We headed to Triple Tails, a restaurant on the bay, for our post race celebration.

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The It Takes Two Relay was my last in the south with the exception of the races I’ll do when I come back to visit. As of May 16th I’ll be an official resident of Las Vegas, NV. I will miss my my running friends and my running club, the 15th Street Flyers, dearly. If any of you guys are ever in Vegas hit me up!

Wild West 5K

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A lot has changed in the past few months and I finally got to run my first race since January. A last minute vacation brought me to Sin City and I found a race to do on a whim.

Running in the USA is always a great source for races across the country and I found the Wild West 5K while I was looking for races in the Las Vegas area.

Last Saturday morning I braved the drive to the Red Rock Canyon by myself. I did not know what to expect since I had never been to the area. The drive to the race was absolutely gorgeous with stunning views of the canyon.

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The race location was at at western themed ranch in the middle of nowhere. I made my way to race registration and made it just in time for day of registration cut off.

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I knew the race would be a true cross country race but was not expecting the hills. I wish I had trail shoes but my regular running shoes had to do it.

The first half mile was downhill and I concentrated on setting a good pace. At the half mile mark we turned onto a dirt and rock path and began the climb uphill. It was tough because this Louisiana girl is used to flat land under sea level.

I toughed it out through the first mile in 7:50. Mile 2 took us up a monster hill, well for me it was, and I slipped from 4th place to 5th. My pace definitely slowed down even going back downhill.

At the mile and a half mark we started the same loop again. I took advantage of the downhill slope and moved back to fourth and finished mile 2 in 8:14. Then back uphill we went…….groan.

The last mile was really rough but I promised myself I would not stop…even on the monster hill.

I finished the 5K in 24:25 in 5th place.

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Medal were presented to all of the finishers.

I cooled down then checked out the old west village where the awards ceremony was taking place.

I was not expecting anything but I was happy to get a medal for placing 2nd in the 30-39 age group.

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I saved the big news for last……..I’m moving to Las Vegas next month! I can’t wait to join a local running club and start doing more trail races.

Next up for me is the Gulf Coast Classic 10K Saturday in Pass Christian, MS. Until next time!

Quadburners Frosted Fanny Race

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The third annual Frosted Fanny 4 mile run and Duathlon was held Saturday at the Washington St. Pier in Bay St. Louis. The race is the first race in the year long Quadburners Series. The race has gained popularity due to medals given at the end of each race that connect to make one giant medal at the end of the series.

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Usually the Quadburners races fall on my weekends off, but Frosted Fanny fell on a work weekend this year. I was lucky to get off of work at midnight and get a few ZZZZZs in before the race.

Race morning was breezy and cold with temperatures in the lower 40s. My race partner, Misti, beat me to the race site and texted me in a panic to tell me parking was crowded and we lost out on our usual spots. I was not surprised because I expected a lot more people this year due to the gaining popularity of the series and the addition of prize money for the series winners.

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After finding new parking spots we made our way to packet pickup. I love packet pickup for the Quadburners Series because there is so much swag! We got a long sleeve t-shirt, cold weather headband, and the bonus Headsweats visor for registering early.

The race started promptly at 9:00am for us 4 milers and the duathletes followed shortly after. The out and back 4 mile course took us on a cement path along the beach. The weather was cold but I felt great at the start.

I finished the first mile in 7:28. I did not want to push to hard since I had taken the last week off from all forms of exercise. I was in second place, but not too far behind the first female.

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Miles 2 and 3 were slightly slower, 7:46 and 7:48, but I was comfortable with my pace. I remained in 2nd and the 1st place female took off and was not to be seen again.

I started to wear out in the last mile and finished in 7:53, for a 4 mile time of 31:05. I wanted to finish under 31 minutes but I was happy with my time and effort.

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I got my medal and cheered on Misti who got a PR in the 4 mile distance. We had to immediately find our jackets because it felt like the temperature dropped with overcast skies moving in.

First stop at the after party was the delicious french toast and bacon provided by Savory Roots. Our next stop was the Lazy Magnolia beer truck, new for 2017!

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Also new for 2017 was a race logo step and repeat. So fancy!

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Finally after shivering long enough it was time for awards. I got a coffee mug and hot chocolate for finishing 2nd overall. I could have used the hot chocolate warmed up in the mug…but I can’t have it all.

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The next race in the series is the Quadburners It Takes Two Relay on April 29. Two person relay teams run 4 miles each. Team 2 Legit 2 Quit will be back!

Next up for me is the Mardi Gras 5K on February 18, 2017 in Metairie, LA. Until next time!

February Races

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Cajun Road Runners Al Comeaux 10 miler
10m
Saturday February 4, 2017 8:00am
Lafayette, LA
 
Red Dirt Ultra
100m, 100K, 50K
Saturday February 4, 2017 7:00am
Natchitoches, LA
 
Sweethearts for Sweetpea
5K
Saturday February 4, 2017 8:00am
Hattiesburg, MS
 
Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon
26.2m, 13.1m
Sunday February 5, 2017 7:00am
New Orleans, LA
 
Valentine’s Day Bridge Run
8K, 1/2m
Saturday February 11, 2017 8:00am
Ocean Springs, MS
 
Mardi Gras Mambo
15K, 10K
Saturday February 11, 2017 8:00am
Baton Rouge, LA
 
Mad Dash to Mardi Gras
5K
Saturday February 11, 2017 8:00am
Hattiesburg, MS
 
MS River Marathon
26.2m, 13.1m, 5K
Saturday February 11, 2017 7:00am
Greenville, MS
 
Mardi Gras 5K
5K
Saturday February 18, 2017 9:00am
Metairie, LA
 
Arbor Day 5K
5K
Saturday February 18, 2017 8:00am
Biloxi, MS
 
Cupid Shuffle
2m
Saturday February 18, 2017 8:00am
Thibodaux, LA
 
Krewe de Mardi Gras 5K
5K
Saturday February 18, 2017 8:00am
Lafayette, LA
 
Bay To Waveland
10m, 5K, 1m
Saturday February 25, 2017 8:00am
Bay St. Louis, MS
 
Children’s Center Classic
10K, 5K
Saturday February 25, 2017 8:00am
Hattiesburg, MS
 
Mardi Gras Madness
5K
Sunday February 26, 2017 8:00am
Lake Charles, LA
 
Lafayette Lundi Gras Bar-a-thon
8m, 6m, 3m
Monday February 27, 2017 6:00pm
Lafayette, LA

MS Blues Marathon & The Icepocalypse

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As many of you know winter finally hit the south this past weekend and the city of Jackson turned into one giant icicle. The 10th annual Mississippi Blues Marathon was eventually canceled, but here is my story of how I would eventually run my 14th half marathon.

Last week I started feeling ill on Tuesday and was in the doctor’s office by Wednesday. I had a pretty bad upper respiratory infection and was the lucky recipient of several shots. I tried to talk the doctor out of the shots but she told me if I wanted any chance to run by Saturday I would have to suck it up. Did I mention I hate shots?

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After being a couch potato for three days I was finally feeling better Friday afternoon. The husband and I made the drive north to Jackson that evening. I knew a strong cold front was coming through with the chance for some snow flurries. By the time we were 30 minutes from Jackson the entire highway was a sheet of ice. We were in my husband’s 4×4 truck so we were OK, but we passed numerous cars in the ditches.

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We finally made it to the Expo at the Jackson Convention Center at about 7:00pm. I was super excited to get my number and the amazing race jacket. I took a few pictures outside with the ice (this is a big deal for us southerners) and made our way to dinner.

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The Iron Horse was a few blocks from the race start and one of the stops on the post race Blues Crawl, also eventually canceled. While we were having dinner I got the news……the race was CANCELLED. I was upset and thought the race powers to be were overreacting.

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I checked in to our hotel and had a pout session in our room for a few minutes. My husband forced me to leave the room since we did not have to get up early anymore. We found a hodge podge of runners drinking beer and hanging out in the hotel lobby. We decided to join them and trade running stories. While we were hanging out I was consistently checking the race Facebook page for updates and to see what the other runners were saying. I’ll leave it at this, hell hath no fury like a runner whose race was cancelled.”

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The next morning I woke up to read the race officials were back at the Convention Center giving out packets and medals. I decided I would attempt to run the half marathon distance on my own then collect my medal after. I took two steps outside and almost slid across the hotel parking lot. Every cement surface was completely iced over. No running for me. By the way it was cold…..22 degrees with a 9 degree wind chill. Brrrrrrrrrrr.

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I decided to walk to the Convention Center. It took me an hour and half to walk, slide, and shuffle my way there. I finally understood why they cancelled this race and agreed 100% with the decision.

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I got my medal but kept it in the wrapper, promising myself I would do the distance to earn it.

We spent the rest of our weekend in Jackson checking out local restaurants and meeting up with some friends who lived in the area.

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Once I was back home in much warmer Louisiana I decided to run my own half marathon. I set out Monday afternoon from my front door to Highway 22, which was a the entrance to my neighborhood. Most of my trek was along the highway which should be called an autobahn with how fast the vehicles go.

I thought it would be hard to motivate myself with the lack of scenery, other runners, and aid stations. I actually felt good, thirsty, but good.

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I kept a steady pace and finished the 13.1 miles in 1 hour, 56 minutes, and 27 seconds, good for first place………just kidding. I was happy with my time considering the factors.

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I went inside my house, opened my medal, and had my own mini celebration. I wish I could have partaken in my traditional post run beer, but I had a 12 hour shift to get to.

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The half marathon distance is getting somewhat easier for me and I’m learning to be more consistent with my pace. Hopefully now that I have tackled not hitting the wall I can step up my speed.

That was my last half marathon until the Fall, and my last race in the 30-34 age group. My next race is the kick off race to the Quadburners Series 2017, The Frosted Fanny 4 miler, on January 28. Until next time!