Summerlin Firecracker 5K

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Greetings fellow runners and fitness family! It has been a while since I have checked in. I moved to Henderson, Nevada, right outside of Las Vegas, two months ago. I have always wanted to move out west, so when the opportunity came I jumped on it.

Since I moved to the desert at the start of the summer it was a big adjustment for me. Most days the temperature is above 100 degrees by 10:00am. In the afternoon I have seen it as hot as 119 degrees.

Surprisingly I have adjusted to the heat well. Most days I’m the lone person outside in the afternoons minus the golfers on our neighborhood golf course. I guess the Louisiana humid summers prepared me.

Now the hills, that is a whole different situation. I live on the edge of the Las Vegas valley and our neighborhood is very hilly. Most of my runs include about a 100 foot elevation change. It is tough, but my legs are adjusting.

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The last race I competed in was the Quadburners It Takes Two Relay with my running partner in crime, Misti, back in April. It was my final race in the South. I was happy to go out on a high note and Misti and I took second place.

As far as races in Las Vegas in the summer go….they are nearly nonexistent. The only race I could find were trail runs of insane distances. The trail running community is huge here and they will run a marathon up a mountain in triple digit heat without batting an eye. Maybe I’ll work my way up to that one day, but not today.

I was able to find a fun July 4th themed 5K in Summerlin, Nevada which is on the opposite end of the valley from where we live. The race was held at Trails Park the evening before July 4th. Summerlin goes all out for the holiday so it was exciting to see the patriotic floats lined up for the next day’s parade.

My significant other graciously volunteered to run with me. It was his first road race ever.

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Even at 6pm it was still 105 degrees. The humidity was also higher than usual. I began to warm up around 6:30 and realized I did not charge my new wireless headset….bummer.

The race got underway at 7:00pm. The whole race was on an oversized sidewalk so I tried to get a good position at the start to avoid a runner traffic jam.

My goal was to stay with the lead pack of three females. I’m usually my fastest during the first mile but for some reason I was not at my usual pace and the first and second place females pulled away farther and farther.

I realized halfway during the first mile we were continuously running uphill and it appeared we would continue running uphill for a while. My legs were screaming. This lifelong below sea level New Orleans runner was not having these hills.

I hit mile 1 at 8:03, a disappointing pace for my usual 5K. The silver lining is the elevation tapered off and we started going downhill, woo hoo! My legs were just about done but I let momentum take over and was finally at a sub eight minute pace.

I completed mile 2 in 7:40. The elevation tapered off again and we ran on a mostly flat course for the final mile. The first and second place females were long gone at this point so I just focused on trying to keep a good pace.

I was excited to see my significant other at the last turnaround and that was motivation for me to push it through for the last half mile. I completed the 5K in 24:25. It is on the slower side for me but the heat and hills definitely played a factor in that.

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I met up with my significant other at the finish line and we waited around for the awards to start. One thing that I sure do miss about races back home is post race beer. Only in the south….sigh.

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I finished third female overall and first in the 30-39 age group. I got a cool medal with the race logo on it.

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Overall it was a fun experience and I was so proud of my significant other for finishing his first race. We celebrated with margaritas afterwards.

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Up next for me is the Legends of Cross Country 5K in Las Vegas on August 5. Sounds like more hills. Until next time!

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!

admin January 30, 2017 Leave A Comment Permalink

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

admin January 29, 2017 Leave A Comment Permalink

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!

admin January 10, 2017 Leave A Comment Permalink

January Races

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New Years Day Race
2m
Sunday January 1, 2017 8:00am
New Orleans, LA
 
Mississippi Blues Marathon
26.2m, 13.1m
Saturday January 7, 2017 7:00am
Jackson, MS
 
Jackson Day Race
9K
Sunday January 8, 2017 8:00am
New Orleans, LA
 
First Light Marathon
26.2m, 13.1m
Sunday January 8, 2017 7:00am
Mobile, AL
 
Louisiana Marathon 5K
5K
Saturday January 14, 2017 8:00am
Baton Rouge, LA
 
Chill in the Hills
10K
Saturday January 14, 2017 8:00am
Vicksburg, MS
 
Frosty Kroc Run
10K, 5K
Saturday January 14, 2017 8:00am
Biloxi, MS
 
Louisiana Marathon
26.2m, 13.1m
Sunday January 15, 2017 7:00am
Baton Rouge, LA
 
YMCA Winter Classic
10K
Saturday January 21, 2017 8:00am
Ocean Springs, MS
 
Larry Fuselier Run
25K, 5K
Sunday January 22, 2017 8:00am
Jefferson, LA
 
Run on the Bayou
10K, 5K
Saturday January 28, 2017 8:00am
Westwego, LA
 
King Cake Run
5K
Saturday January 28, 2017 8:00am
Covington, LA
 
Casino Bridge Run
10K, 5K
Saturday January 28, 2017 8:00am
Biloxi, MS
 
Quadburners Frosted Fanny Run
4m run, Duathlon
Saturday January 28, 2017 8:00am
Bay St. Louis, MS

admin December 31, 2016 Leave A Comment Permalink

2016 Recap, 2017 Goals

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Another year and another pair of running shoes have come and gone. 2016 had some running highs and some running lows, but overall it was a good year.

My high point and low point of the year happened to be only 3 weeks apart. Coming off of a brutally hot summer, my training was not where it should have been coming into the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in mid October. On top of being unprepared I got sick the week of the race. I felt like death after running a 5K the day before and knew the 13.1 miles would be tough. Well, it was. I seriously entertained the thought of quitting the race during the first few miles. Everything hurt and I was mentally broken down. I refused to quit and took the race mile by mile. I did finish but was not thrilled with my time. I promised myself I would train harder and prepare more for my next half marathon. I did, and finished the Stennis Space Center Half Marathon a few weeks later taking almost four minutes off my GCHM time.

My high point of the year was the Battleship 12K in Mobile, AL in November. Since the Gulf Coast Half Marathon I was getting in my long runs and some speed work. The morning of the race I did not let my poor performance three weeks before get into my head. I started out strong and finished strong. I set a 12K record that day and even set a 10K record during the race. I was beyond thrilled. The icing on the cake was winning my age group.

Here are my 2016 stats:

Best 2 miler: 15:25 (not a race)

Best 5K: 22:57 Shamrock Run

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Best 4 mile: 30:12 Halloween Hustle

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Best 10K: 47:50 Battleship 12K (PR)

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Best 12K: 57:54 Battleship 12K (PR)

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Best Half Marathon: 1:55:35 Stennis Space Center Half Marathon

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Best Beer Mile: 10:40 (PR)

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Races:

5Ks: 8

4 milers: 5

10Ks: 3

12Ks: 1

Half Marathons: 2

Beer Mile: 1

20 races total and 3 personal records, I consider that a good year.

Looking forward to 2017 I would like to run at least 3 half marathons and set a PR. My current PR is 1:49:30. This is my hardest race so I am committing to putting the work in to make it happen. Since I run so many 4 milers with the Quadburners Series, my second goal is to break my current PR, 30:05, and break the 30 minute mark. My last goal is either a 10K PR (47:50) or a 5K PR (22:12).

Next up for me is the Mississippi Blues Marathon in Jackson, MS on January 6. It will be my first race of 2017 and my last race in the 30-34 age group. Until next time!

admin December 26, 2016 Leave A Comment Permalink

St. Paul’s Cross-country Christmas Run

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The St. Paul’s School cross-country team hosted their annual run on their campus in Covington Saturday. The run was a fundraiser for the cross-country team. The Christmas themed race featured a 1 mile and 5K. Costumes were encouraged and the top two men and women in the 5K took home cash prizes.

I had the luxury of getting off of work early Friday night and actually getting a few hours of sleep. I felt prepared for the race but knew I would not be my fastest. I have been focused on longer distance races lately, like half marathons, and I have not put in the speed work necessary for a fast 5K.

The weather was not very race friendly Saturday morning. Overcast skies with an occasional drizzle met runners at the start of the race.

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The race start was very fast and it took me at least a half of a mile to find a comfortable pace. The first place female was long gone so I focused on keeping up with the girls high school cross-country team that was a few feet ahead of me. I finished the first mile in 7:15.

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The challenge of trying to keep up with runners 20 years younger than me started to wear on me in mile 2…….and the rain came as well. I finished mile 2 in 7:29.

I settled into a steady pace on the last mile and probably should have pushed myself a little harder. I did manage to pass a few females. I finished mile 3 in 7:38, and completed the 5K in 23:05.

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I was 6th overall and first in the 30-34 age group. I was hoping for a sub 23 minute 5K, but was only off by a few seconds. After my next half marathon in January, I’m focusing on speed work for the 5K and 4 mile. I’m hoping 2017 will be the year I break my 13 year old 5K record, 22:12, and my 4 year old 4 mile record, 30:06.

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The post race festivities included a cookie buffet, jambalaya, and hot coffee. The awards were presented by St. Paul’s cross-country runner, Eric Coston, who was the state champion this year. Hand carved ornaments and trophies were presented to the winners. The top male and female took home $100.00, and the second place male and female took home $50.00.

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After the awards ceremony I met up with the fellow 15th Street Flyers who were represented very well for awards.

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I was happily surprised to see my little cousin, Elle, at the race. She has been running cross-country at her elementary school for the past few years. She completed the 1 mile and 5K! She also won 2nd in her age group. So proud!

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Well this was my final race of 2016. Next up for me is half marathon #14, The Blues Half, in Jackson, MS on January 7. Until next time!

admin December 4, 2016 Leave A Comment Permalink

December Races

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St. Paul’s Christmas Run
5K
Saturday December 3, 2016 8:00am
Covington, LA
 
Baton Rouge Beach Marathon
26.2, 13.1
Saturday December 3, 2016 7:00am
Baton Rouge, LA
 
Cajun Coyote Trail Run
100m, 100K, 20m
Saturday & Sunday December 3 & 4, 2016 6:00am
Ville Platte, LA
 
Candy Cane Classic
5K
Saturday December 3, 2016 8:00am
Houma, LA
 
Freedom Run
5K
Saturday December 3, 2016 8:00am
New Orleans, LA
 
Girls On The Run Fall 5K
5K
Saturday December 3, 2016 8:00am
New Orleans, LA
 
Reindeer Run
5K
Saturday December 3, 2016 8:00am
Ponchatoula, LA
 
Remember Pearl Harbor 5K
5K, 1m
Saturday December 3, 2016 8:00am
Morgan City, LA
 
Santa’s Hot Chocolate Dash
5K, 1m
Saturday December 3, 2016 8:00am
Lake Charles, LA
 
Heritage Run For Hunger
5K
Saturday December 3, 2016 8:00am
Hattiesburg, MS
 
Jingle Bell Run
5K, 1m
Saturday December 3, 2016 8:00am
Long Beach, MS
 
Recovery Run
5K, 1m
Sunday December 4, 2016 8:00am
Baton Rouge, LA
 
Rivertown Run
10m, 5K
Saturday December 10, 2016 8:00am
Kenner, LA
 
Cajun Country Run
13.1, 10K trail, 5K trail
Saturday December 10, 2016 8:00am
Lafayette, LA
 
Downtown Reindeer Run
1m
Saturday December 10, 2016 8:00am
New Orleans, LA
 
Fallen Heroes 5K
5K
Saturday December 10, 2016 8:00am
Mandeville, LA
 
Ross Mullooly Project 5K
5K
Saturday December 10, 2016 8:00am
Houma, LA
 
Celebration In The Oaks Run
2m
Saturday December 10, 2016 4:00pm
New Orleans, LA
 
Santa Fun Run
1.25m
Saturday December 10, 2016 5:00pm
Baton Rouge, LA
 
Bonfire Festival 5K
5K
Sunday December 11, 2016 8:00am
Lutcher, LA
 
Ole Man River Half Marathon
13.1m, 5K
Saturday December 17, 2016 8:00am
New Orleans, LA
 
Gingerbread Jog
5K, 1m
Saturday December 17, 2016 8:00am
Baton Rouge, LA
 
Jingle Bell Run
5K
Saturday December 17, 2016 8:00am
New Orleans, LA
 
Dr. Darrell Burnham Memorial Run
5K
Saturday December 17, 2016 8:00am
Hattiesburg, MS
 
Pass To Bay
10K, 1m
Saturday December 17, 2016 8:00am
Pass Christian, MS
 
Last Chance To Run
5K, 1m
Saturday December 31, 2016 8:00am
Woolmarket, MS

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