YMCA Christmas 2.5 miler

Merrrrrry Christmas Eve everyone!

I am so happy that I got to hit up Boise’s YMCA Christmas race yet again this year. I’m going on three years in a row!

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Though I will admit that the race was a bit different this year being preggo and all –it was my first my time walking the whole 2.5 miler course. In 2010 I ran the 2.5 miler and last year I completed the 10k option.

It was super duper awesome though because I was accompanied by Becky my Sister-in-law-to-be and her dog Diesel.

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Yeah, Diesel was pretty much the star of the whole day. That great dane sure knows how to make an entrance!

As usual my absolute favorite part of this race is simply just people watching. There are so many hilarious and awesome Christmas outfits, I was pretty much LOL-ing during the whole race watching everyone prancing by.

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We started the race with a mass of people, I think I overheard them say something like 3000 people had registered.

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It was supposed to be really cold, but as soon as we got going we were shedding layers. It seemed that the weather gods had the perfect mix of weather for our race.

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Our 2.5 mile walk was over before we even knew it. It’s crazy how quick time flies with you have an awesome friend chit chatting next to you.

I’m so happy to have gotten to do this race for three years in a row. Becky and I were seriously scheming for a group themed Christmas outfit next year. And hey who knows, even little baby Alabama might be able to join in the fun!

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I feel so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends this year. But I would also like to send my love and prayers to all those who are not able to be with their families this holiday. And I wish everyone a wonderful and Merry Christmas!!

Turkey Trot 5k

Alternative title to this post would be “Baby’s First 5k”!

On Saturday I signed up J. Alabama & I for our first ever Texas race. The Fort Bliss MWR was hosting a Turkey Trot and it was too good to pass up (all active military entries into race were free).

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The plan was for J. Alabama to run the race, and I was going to walk it with a friend. Plans changed at the last minute and my walking partner couldn’t make it, so J. Alabama offered to tag along with me instead.

I was happy to have J. Alabama by my side as my partner in crime and personal photographer for the morning.

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The morning started off chilly (at least for us Texans) but as soon as the race started we warmed up quickly.

It was a perfect little race, roughly about 200 people. I so wished I was able to race it for time, as it would have been an easy peasy one. The course was a flat and easy 3.10 mile loop around the army base.

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As soon as the clock struck 8:00, we were off! I’m not sure what came over me, if it was old habit, or the rush of the crowd but as the race started I was shuffling right along with the crowd.

After a bit, I looked over at J. Alabama and was freaking out because I was running (sort of). It was a funny combination of a waddle, shuffle, trot but it was definitely faster than a power walk.

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I told myself that I was going to take it easy and stop if anything hurt. It just felt so good to be out in the fresh air moving.

I mean, I know it sounds weird for me to be shuffling around only days after I posted that I wasn’t running any more, but I promise that I was listening to my body.

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Baby and I were enjoying being a part of the Turkey Trot, and definitely took a lot of walk breaks.

It’s funny for me to look at the photos and see the baby bump, as I wasn’t sure it was that noticeable (until I saw the after photos). I felt like I may have looked a little ridiculous shuffle/waddling along the course, but I didn’t even care.

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J. Alabama shuffled right along next me the entire way, just making sure that I felt good the entire time. It was actually really fun being able to trot along side him at  a speed where we could talk, joke around etc. Typically if we ever ran together it was at such a pace that there was no laughing going on!

We finished out the race strong, with an amazing time of 45:54!

My only goal for the day was to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. I had no idea I would feel good enough to shuffle along most of the race.

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I’d have to say that baby and I (and J. Alabama) had a great time!  Though, I don’t forsee many other races for this pregnancy as I was feeling the aftermath a little later that day from the 5k. I was literally doing the pregnancy waddle all day afterwards, but note, that the day following no pelvic pain!

Are you participating (or have you already) in a Turkey Trot this year?  This was only my second ever Turkey Trot, my last experience was the Gobble Wobble in Denver a few years back where I walked it with a friend.

North Face Endurance Challenge Giveaway

As you all know, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and run with Dean Karnazes, “The Ultramarathon Man” a few weeks ago.  Boy am I excited to tell you, that YOU may also have a chance to meet him and other amazing athletes too!

I’m super excited to announce today that I was asked by North Face to blog about the upcoming North Face Endurance Challenge October 13-14, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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This race weekend is sure to be an unforgettable experience, complete with an opportunity to meet and get a photo with Dean Karnazes on Saturday after the race.

This weekend of races includes a 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon, 50k or 50 miler option on an amazing course. If you like trails and hills, then this is great challenge for you. Click HERE for more details about the race.

Check out this video to see for yourself what The North Face Endurance is all about!

When I was asked to blog about this race, I was also given the chance to run in the race. As much as I would love to take on this challenge, my recent move to Texas is making training for an epic race like this a little bit harder. That and the fact that we should be closing on our home and moving around the time of the race.  So I decided that I would like to go ahead and pass this opportunity onto someone else. Lucky YOU!

This event is going to be an amazing experience, and from what I saw when I met Dean, North Face knows how to throw a great event!

So if you have any desire to push yourself to a new limit, or just want to give yourself a challenge, I would like to encourage you to enter my giveaway to The North Face Endurance Challenge in Atlanta, GA.

The Giveaway rules:

  1. Go to the Endurance Challenge website (HERE) and read about the race and let me know what race distance you would be interested in running (1 entry)
  2. “Like” Beyond Destination 26.2, Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know (1 entry)
  3. “Follow” Destination262 on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know (1 entry)
  4. Tweet about this contest “I registered to win an entry into the NorthFace Challenge in Atlanta, GA at http://wp.me/F74A  #TheNorthFace #EnduranceChallenge” and leave a comment here letting me know (1 entry)

So there you go runner friends, you have several chances to win! The winner will receive a promotion code good for one individual entry into one of the races at the North Face Endurance Challenge in Atlanta, GA on October 13-14, 2012.

Contest ends Tuesday, August 28th at noon (MST).

Happy Running and good luck!!

Beer Mile 2012

‘Will run for beer’ just doesn’t even cut it. It was more like ‘will run after chugging beer’. Ugghhhh…why?

When I was invited to attend the 6th Annual Beer Mile on Saturday by my fellow co-workers I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

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Back home we do a Booze Cruise every year [beer + bicycles.. probably not the safest of ideas] but here in GA they do their own version of a Booze Cruise [beer + running = Beer Mile].

I will admit I was curious as to how this would work and how I would be able to handle it. But I took on the Beer Mile challenge like a champ!Beermilecollage

The rules are simply this…you must chug a beer (at least 5% alcohol) then run a quarter mile. You continue this process as quickly as possible until you have completed the beer mile [4 beers and 4 quarter mile laps].

A penalty lap is added at the end if at any point you throw up.

Once the rules were announced the chugging began.

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After each beer was downed you were supposed to tilt it over your head to signify that you were finished.

And then you run like crazy!

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I wasn’t so worried about the running part because a quarter of a mile sounded super easy. But when you throw in a pretty steep hill and a tummy full of carbonation and alcohol you are dealing with a whole different beast.

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I downed the first beer and completed the first lap no problem. It was the start of that second beer that was giving me some trouble. I got it down, but honestly was feeling a little rough at this point.

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Once I started back down the hill I felt better [believe it or not]. Though the thought of trying to down a third beer was not sitting well.

I reached the top of the hill and grabbed beer number three.

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At this point I was having some serious doubts. My stomach hurt and just the taste of this beer was making me want to vomit. I looked over to see this sight — totally didn’t help.

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People were losing it right and left and I was pretty sure I was next. I would take a sip and then pace around for a minute trying to convince myself that I had it in me to do this.

Thoughts of a DNF [did not finish] were tempting.

I looked over at my fellow co-worker who was struggling just as much as I at this point and we finished off our third beer with much agony in our faces.

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(this photo was taken pre-race…we did not look this happy by beer 3…trust me!)

She promised to run the rest of the race with me, but decided that a fourth beer just wasn’t going to work. I was ready to quit drinking at this point too until it happened.

I puked, but honestly felt this rush come over me. I had a second wind and was ready to finish this race strong.

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We sprinted up the hill knowing I had one final beer to drink and two stupid laps to run due to my having to add on a penalty lap.

I drank that last beer as quickly as I could. It went down a lot easier then the previous two.

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I was just ready to be done at this point.

Thank goodness for my co-worker. She ran with me the final two laps until I could cross that finish line as an official Beer Mile finisher. Even though she didn’t finish her 4th beer, she was still a trooper!

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Me an official beer mile finisher! You can see the girl in the background bringing up the cones, as I was the last person to finish the race.

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You may call that being a loser, but in this race even the loser wins!

Shortly after the race they did an awards presentation. Another fellow co-worker won fastest beer mile in the woman’s category and received the prize of the golden shoe.

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And I won last woman finisher [finishing time of 25:02] and was happy to be carrying off the brick of glass chards.

Oh my! I’ve never once won anything in a running race, how hilarious that I win something for last place?

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Oh yes, and let’s not forget the finisher’s medals! Check out that beer can on a shoe string. Too funny!!

I’m happy to say that I placed my beer can award on the mantel to show off my accomplishments of at least winning something at this race.

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I bet my husband is so proud of me.

Sure looks that way as he was carrying out my brick to the car upon our departure of the race.

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This race was by far one of the hardest races I have ever ran. I’m not really even sure if I would embark on such a crazy adventure again.

It was fun to say I did it, but the beer mile is no joke.

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Our work group photo: one loser, one winner and one DNF. Way to represent!!

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Just curious! Would you ever even consider doing a race that involved running and beer chugging?

A Busy April

Donkey agrees, it was quite the busy month.

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Total Running Mileage: 23.25 miles

My mileage is still pretty measly, but with the purchase of two new pairs of running shoes and some new running motivation (running friends & groups) I have a good feeling for May.

Fitness Classes:

My work schedule does not really work well with the fitness classes offered at the gym. There may be a few nights I can squeeze in Zumba but other than I’m going to have to get creative in my workouts. Hence why I foresee a lot more running in my future, (it’s a great solo fitness activity).

Class-of-the-month: Sexy Yoga & Dance

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Race of the Month: The Dirty Girl Mud Run – Atlanta, GA

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Announcement of the month: What’s next for the Alabama’s?

Hello Texas! [We still have a few months here in GA].

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Army Moment of the month: Graduation!

J. graduated from his Army Officer Basic Leadership Course – which was a 5 month course that brought us to GA in the first place.

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Since we already here in Fort Benning, he has decided to add on a few more smaller schools such as Ranger, ARC (Armor Reconnaissance Course), and maybe even Airborne.  Which is why we will be in GA a little bit longer than we originally thought.

My not-so-favorite Army Moment: Saying goodbye. 😦

We Army Wives have grown really close over the last few months, so it was really hard to say goodbye when our first Army Wife had to move on to their next duty station.

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It’s inevitable that we will all have to leave at some point, but saying goodbye was really sad. Kait was my first real friend here.

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 Special Visitors:

Not only did we get to spend a lovely week with my parents this month, we also had a quick visit with J’s sister. Yay for family!

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And let’s not forget the epic 2.5 day road trip to Daytona Beach to visit my Grandma!

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April Aftermath:

April was a busy busy month and I think things might be slowing down just a wee bit this month. I don’t have anything huge and exciting planned for this month, except for that whole turning 29 thing. Eeek. LOL.

Stay tuned, as you just never know what crazy shenanigans are happening over here! 🙂

The Dirty Girl Mud Run [Atlanta]

On Saturday I embarked on an adventure of endurance, strength and filth.

Before:

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After:

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The Dirty Girl Mud Run kicked off in Atlanta, Georgia and I was so excited to be there representing FitFluential out on the course.

And in true Fitfluential [and Linzi] style, I ran this race with a girl of whom I’d met only once, and randomly at that [we met on a college campus while I was working an expo for my running store job and within a few minutes of meeting she had signed up to run this race with me]. True story.

Yay for fitness friends!

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As you might know, I am a mud running veteran. I’ve got two Dirty Dashes under my belt, but I honestly still did not know quite what to expect at The Dirty Girl race.

All I knew is that this was going to be a women only race, and it was sure to be a good time had by all.

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A huge shout out to my friend (and photographer) Emily! I would have been so lost without her to keep me company on the 2 hour drive from Columbus to Atlanta.

We arrived at the expo to pick up my packet roughly two hours before my wave start. Thank goodness we did, as the packet pickup lines were loooooooooong!

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And not to mention is was in the upper 80’s! It was so hot that I was actually daydreaming about diving into the mudpit.

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After I picked up my packet I was on the hunt for my running partner. We found each other in the crowd and quickly got pumped up about the adventure we would soon be going on.

Oh yeah, and a few pre-race photos were taken. We had to get some clean ones in there before all the dirty ones to follow. LOL.

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There was a super fun vibe going on at the start line. The music was blasting, and everyone was cheering and dancing. I was pumped!

Soon enough we were lined up to start the race, and then we were off!

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We actually ran about a half mile through the park before we hit our first obstacle which ended up being a tower of hay bails that we had to climb over.

After that we continued running on in the heat to find our second obstacle involved an army style crawl through mud under a netting. Yay we were finally getting dirty!

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Our third obstacle was a love a much desired pit of mud. We watched as several of the women were prancing through it and coming out fairly clean.

So we decided that we wanted to get as muddy as possible, and just dive right on in.

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Okay… ready…1,2,3….Dive head first!!

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Oh yeah! We had mud everywhere after this!

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Ewww…..muddy!

Next up was the tire run.

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All was going well until Sheena proclaimed “This will be fine as long as I don’t eat it…”

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Well right back up she went! The tire run was actually harder than I imagined it would be and I’m surprised that I didn’t fall.

We ended up skipping one obstacle after the tire run. The line was backed up by like 40 people and I could feel my skin burning from the sun.

So we just zig-zagged through the park until we made our way to the next obstacle.

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The net climb was one of the hardest obstacles in my opinion. It was like 30 feet high and a bit scary once you hit the top and had to climb down.

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There were a few more obstacles after the net climb, but it wasn’t in range of our photographers. We had to scaled down the side of a hill and then scale back up it.

Then we had one final run to the final pit of mud.

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And head first again! It was too fun to just dive right in.

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We sped to the finish line and were jumping with excitement when we had finished!

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We were hot, sweaty, muddy and happy! Go Dirty Girls!

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It was so tempting not just give her the world’s biggest muddiest hug…lol but I played nice and we faked this hug for the camera.

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We then headed to the shower area. Girls only!

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I appreciated how the race catered to women, as it was a women’s only race.

And I was completely in awe of the gigantic shoe donation pile.

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It was an awesome feeling to throw our shoes into the mix after the race and know they will be going to good home.

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Then it was time to celebrate our accomplishments with a nice frosty Busch beer. Mmmm…nothing ever tasted so good!

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My experience of the race was a positive one. It was so fun to run with just women, and I think they made the obstacles challenging enough but with easier options for those who maybe weren’t feeling it.

There was definitely an abundance of water stops [thank goodness] as I think we would have passed out due to the heat. And the volunteers were amazing!!

The running portion of the race was actually more than I expected. But I’m glad, I still wanted to count this race as a workout. And I think it was judging by how sore I was on Sunday morning!

And the t-shirt and necklace we received were a fun girly touch.

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It was such a fun race and I was so glad to have been given the opportunity to do it. I wish I had connected with some of the other FitFluential people out there, but it was kind of a mad house at the race start I didn’t end up finding any of them.

I can honestly say my Dirty Girl Mud Run experience was a great one! And even after two showers I was still finding dirt on me! 🙂

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

SMA Eat ‘N Run 5k

I haven’t talked too much about my new job at the running store yet, which will be coming sometime soon…but one of the newest “perks” of my job is running in races for f-r-e-e.

Our company sponsors a lot of local races, and from time to time in return gets a few comped race entry’s.

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This past Saturday [not even two weeks a veteran at the new job] and I was already representing my peeps out on the race course. Woop woop!

We ran in the SMA Eat ‘N Run 5k, a fundraiser for children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Camera Effects(26)

The race started a little after 8:00 am and I was pleasantly surprised with the weather. There was a slight breeze in the air, and overcast above –my favorite type of running weather.

The humidity didn’t hit until about half way through the race. It always sneaks up on me!

The first mile of the race started on an extreme downhill which got me excited for my speedy start. But I quickly realized what goes down in a race, usually comes back up.

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By the end of the first mile, I was huffing and puffing back up that hill and cursing myself for starting too quickly at the start.

The course circled through Columbus State University Campus and through some cute neighborhoods around the local high school.

Around mile two I was having some serious pains in my Achilles. I haven’t quite mastered the whole being on my feet for 40 hrs a week and running yet. (As you remember I was unemployed for 5 months, and the three years before that I had a desk job).

There were a few walk breaks, and then a final sprint toward the finish line.

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I finished in 33:03, which is one of my slower 5k times but I’m still okay with. It was a cute local race for a great cause!

The after party was totally my style. I mean it’s called Eat ‘N Run for a reason right?

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I was all over that Chick fil a breakfast sandwich as some post race fuel. And then I did just as the race said – ate ‘n ran.

It was off to the running store post race for a full day of work. Though I must admit it was such a fun way to start my workday by racing for a great cause.

Happy Running Friends!!

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Shamrock Shaker Winners Announced:  Jess from Run with Jess won our spirit prize, and the random number generator picked Natalie from The Funner Runner as our other Shamrock winner.

Thanks again for everyone who participated!!