Best Damn Race 10k: Jacksonville

First race of the new year: check!

Best Damn Race puts on some really fun races. You can read about my 5k experience in Orlando here. There are different locations of the race in FL throughout the year, and this year they introduced Jacksonville to the race. I am a frequent visitor of Jax, as my father in law lives there, as well as my best friend from college. So when I read that BDR was putting on a race there, I told my friend we were signing up!

Even though we both loved working out in college, neither of us were too into running at that time, so this was going to be our first race together. The race began at 7am and it was 39 degrees out. Not 93. 39. This is very, very cold for these Florida natives 🙂

 

It’s so tough to un-bundle and get out of your warm car to stand in the freezing cold at the start line! It was still very dark out, but the buzzing of runners surrounding us got us hyped up for the 6.2 miles that lay ahead.

 

Matching Brooks Ravennas!

There is a Maxwell House coffee plant along the beginning of this route and MAN did that coffee smell good. The scent in the air made me feel warm and cozy even though I was so cold and my legs so stiff. Cold weather=stiff running limbs. Just me?

Gotta love free race photos, thanks BDR!

We stuck together for the first ~1.5 miles. We parted ways after the first bridge. From there, the course went all through downtown Jax and offered some really great views. Having pretty scenery to look at, particularly in a new-to-me location, helps keep me distracted from the pain of pushing through a race.

Photo courtesy of Lauren 🙂

And then came another (different) bridge. Completely took it out of me! I was exhausted from there on out, which I believe was just before mile 5 if I remember correctly… my brain gets foggy during a race, sometimes 🙂 I had to push myself pretty hard to keep a decent pace to the end.

I shaved 7 whole seconds off my 10k Turkey Trot time, just making out a personal best. WOOP!

I was hoping to finish a whole minute faster than my previous PR, but I am still really happy with how I did. I seem to run well in the cold, so as much as it stinks in the beginning, I’m so thankful for it by the end! PS my friend did A-MAZING; it was her first 10k and she kind of killed it. We have more races scheduled to run together coming up and I simply cannot wait.

 

Tell me….

At what temps do you run best?

If there was a strong smell of coffee in the air during a race would you: a. smile because coffee is heaven. b. stop running and go get you some. or c. need to poop

all I’m saying is I’m glad I completed c before the race start.

I Mustache You Some Questions

So apparently I’m on a fun survey kick! My friend Kristen tagged me to answer a bunch of questions, so here’s my go at it:

 

Four Names That People Call Me, Other Than My Real Name

  1. Babe > Ryan’s way of getting my attention, to which I respond Yeah what it do boo? (complete joke)
  2. Molls Balls > people thought this was a funny nickname when I was in high school and played volleyball. I never knew if I should laugh and go with it, or be weirded out.
  3. Molly Rose-O > this was the title of a song my mom made up the day I was born 🙂
  4. Hey Therapist > staff and/or patients at my work that will never learn my name. Never.

Four Jobs I Have Had

  1. First job > I sold shoes and pretended I thought “J’s” were cool when I worked at Finish Line.
  2. Worked at a gym > free membership and like 10% off smoothies, wins!
  3. Nanny > I’ve babysat a lot in my day, but my job as a nanny right after college to a little girl with Down Syndrome holds the happiest place in my heart.
  4. Physical Therapist Assistant > what I do now, another very rewarding job.

Four Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once

  1. Mean Girls
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. Salt
  4. Black Swan > it concerns my husband that I’ve watched this one more than once.

Four Books I’d Recommend

  1. You Are Special // Max Lucado
  2. Redeeming Love // Francine Rivers
  3. Change Of Heart // Jodi Piccoult
  4. Wild // Cheryl Strayed

Four Places I Have Lived

  1. Florida
  2. Florida
  3. A little higher north in Florida
  4. Back to where I came from, Florida

Four Places I Have Been

  1. Dominican Republic > first time out of the country, and on a mission’s trip with my church
  2. New York City > I can’t handle this town more than 3 days, however I absolutely love it when I’m there.
  3. The Grand Canyon
  4. The Biltmore Estate

398049_10101386627129963_767897759_nHaving camera fun in Central Park

Four Places I’d Rather Be Right Now

  1. Sitting on the deck of a cabin in the mountains
  2. Taking a train ride through the Swiss Alps
  3. Jogging with a friend
  4. In my bed, coffee bedside, watching crap on TV

Four Things I Don’t Eat

  1. strawberry milk
  2. kalamata olives
  3. watermelon > texture issues
  4. an abundance of carbohydrates > this is a new thing in my life, I don’t love it

Four Of My Favorite Foods

  1. pizza!!!!
  2. Sushi
  3. My mom’s salads
  4. Bang bang shrimp

Four TV Shows That I Watch

  1. Breaking Bad > We just finished the series. Ermergerd
  2. So You Think You Can Dance > Fave show to watch every summer
  3. Amazing Race > I want to be on this so bad one day. Anyone want to partner up and be “the bloggers” ??
  4. Game of Thrones > we just started this one

Four Things That I Am Looking Forward To This (Coming) Year

  1. A new year
  2. Races with friends
  3. Considering attending some blogger’s retreat (suggestions?!)
  4. Another year of annoying and begging my husband for a dog

Four Things I’m Always Saying

  1. Get it girl > to any female friend that’s doing anything I approve of
  2. Love It > I text it more than I say it, but texting is the same as talking these days
  3. Am I supposed to cook again tonight? > me to my husband. Every night.
  4. Seriously?

Instead of tagging 4 people, YOU tell me these 4 things!: where you’re sitting right this second, what you ate last, the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word “ridiculous”, and a stocking stuffer you plan to stuff in your significant other’s stocking🙂 🙂 🙂

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and were able to spend some time with those you love! I am thankful for you readers!

Halloween Halfathon Recap

This past weekend I ran the Halloween Halfathon in Fort de Soto, FL, making this my second half marathon and first time EVER having a time goal.

The Day Before

Saturday my goal was to do nothing. Goal achieved. I laid around all day, took a nap, held some Downward Dogs (those are my fave) and made sure to stay off my feet for the majority of the day. It’s probably the laziest I’ve been in years and I love-hated it.

For my pre-race dinner, I chose Jimmy Johns! I got the Turkey Tom on their whole wheat bread, with a huge pickle on the side. Carbs, sodium, greatness.

I made sure to drink a lot of water throughout the day, too.

I read through all my weekly training recaps for this race that I’ve posted on here, to remind myself that I did work really hard, kept up with my plan, and regardless of the following day’s results, I should be proud of myself.

Finished off my killer playlist…

 

Laid out my race outfit, so that morning-of could move along quicker (& also for a typical runner blog pic) …

 

I got about 7 hours of sleep that night, not too bad for me, and I wasn’t up all night stressing about the race (like I sometimes am!)- so this was good!

Race Morning

5:05am alarm. Brutal. Went straight to the kitch where I had a few sips of coffee and a blueberry mini-bagel with peanut butter. I’m not a fan of eating before running, but since I was about 2 hours out from running AND it was a long-distance race, I knew it was the smarter thing to do.

5:20 Hubs wakes up and gets ready in 10 minutes, so we are both out the door by 5:30!

We parked at Fort De Soto park about 20 minutes before the start… I am usually at races long before this, however getting there close to game-time, I wasn’t as stressed just standing around like usual. So it was kind of a good thing to get out of the car, walk up to the start line, and get ready to run in a short bit.

 

THE RACE

The early start (7:05) allowed for coolness and darkness. Both of which I love. I did a few training runs in the dark (no headphones!) and it definitely keeps you more alert. But things are quieter and calmer it seems … okay, maybe not true for a race, though 🙂

 

The race course started with a 5k loop, followed by a 10 mile out-n-back route.

I had my usual pep talk with myself about not starting out too fast and I am proud to say: I did not start out too fast.YAY! Then again, I didn’t wear my Garmin so I’m not sure of my pace, however people were passing me hardcore right and left, so I knew I was playing slowsky. Right on, Molly.

Got to see Ryan after 3.1 since the quick loop ended at the start/finish.

Just chasing ambulances.

I thought, okay not bad at all…. But now I’ve got 10 miles ahead! I’m bad about that. Running can definitely be a mental game, and I knew I needed to think of it one mile at a time, instead of x amount left to do.

Around mile 4.5, I thought one of the runners nearby looked a bit familiar… I caught up, and sure enough it was one of my Clinical Instructors from when I was in school. We hadn’t seen each other in a few years, so we did about a 20 second catch-up before both admitting we don’t talk when we run … we’re not those kind of runners, especially in a race. I casually asked what pace she was trying to maintain (I noticed earlier she kept looking at her watch) and she wanted to run a sub 1:59. SWEET. I let her go ahead of me a bit and I tried to keep her in sight for the whole race.

Running through a state park, you never know what you might run into… like multiple troops of Boy Scouts. It was still pretty early morning but there were plenty of kids out all cheering and wanting high-5s.

Mile 6.5ish I ate my Gu. But Molly, you never mentioned training with Gu. You are correct, friend. I did what no runner should do at a race. Try something for the first time. I had tried Gu before a short run during my training but hadn’t tried eating while running. I got it all over myself. End of story.

I hit up nearly every aid station and alternated between water and Gatorade. Supposedly there was Vaseline at each station, and I was interested to see how they were dispersing it, but I never saw any!

At the turnaround, with 5 miles left to truck, I could feel myself getting a little tired. For the first time during the race, I wanted to take a quick lil walking break. But I didn’t!

I could still see my friend and I worked on getting a little closer to her and the people around her.

Mile 10 I am able to catch up with her, and stay with her for a bit before running ahead around mile 11.

I finally start to pass a few people (up to this point I only got passed 🙂 ) However, I can tell I am losing form. I can just feel my upper body slouching a bit and my legs aren’t lifting up as much. Hang in there, Molly.

I notice whenever I look down at the ground I feel a tad nauseous (oh hey Gu) so I keep telling my self to keep my head up.

We pass through the troops again, I consider joining.

Definitely losing form, definitely want to lay down in the grass. All I want is to stop and catch my breath and recover, but I just know that crazy sub-2 is doable and I am so close!

A guy that was running with my friend comes beside me and says good pace good pace, we’re almost there, before passing me by to the finish.

 

I see Ryan cheering and waving me on, I know I must be cutting it close for this dang sub-2.

 

 

I round a corner, Ryan runs to the finish line stop, I can barely make out the time clock but I know it starts with 1:58:xx so I know for sure I will hit my goal.

 

Is that not the ugliest face of exhaustion you’ve ever seen.

I am smiling, fighting back some tears, I can hear Ryan cheering, I can hear them call out my name as I cross the line, I grab my medal and find a nice patch of grass to basically pass out on.

 

 

I did it. Unofficial chip time: 1:58:25.

Post-Race

I know reading that recap makes you want to sign up for one asap, right?!! 😉 While it was so exhausting, especially those last 3 or 4 miles, it was so worth it. I gave my ALL throughout the race, and I know I couldn’t have finished one second faster if I tried. I am incredibly happy that what I thought was awfully slow training, ended up getting me to my goal. After I published my last post, something switched in my noggin’ and I thought you know if you stay positive and really push yourself, you may just get your goal.

Ryan was very happy for me, but probably happier I met my goal so he doesn’t have more of these 5am wake-up calls. 😉 As always, he did an excellent job taking photos and being a cheerleader (<– he’s going to kill me for writing that)

I am feeling really grateful for what my body allowed me to do, and that I worked hard toward achieving a physical goal. It didn’t come easy to me, I don’t believe I am a natural runner. So it feels good knowing I did something I didn’t think I could do.

A fine mixture of coke, chocolate milk, and beer. Tasty combo, if I do say so. Also, not sure why this picture is blue.

Weener weener chicken deener. Okay fine, just a winner in my book. And my mom’s. Thanks mom.

Next Days

Thankfully no knee pain! I am always worried about this, as my left knee has gone through 2 surgeries, and I really don’t want to irritate it (sometimes long distance running aggravates it). But nope! Just incredible soreness, which I sorta weirdly LOVE. Huge appetite going on, as if I am still logging miles. I have exercised exactly once since Sunday. I plan on running 4 or 5 miles at some point this weekend then after that…. We shall see! I want to run when I want and just for fun. For a little while at least… I’m sure the competitive bug will bite me soon enough. There are other aspects of my physical well-being that I want to focus on next, so I will see where that takes me!

Other Stuff I Want to Blab About

If you’re still reading, congrats, I owe you a coffee.

No Garmin… I am very happy I decided on this. During my training, I would glance at G, see a 9:30 pace or slower, get frustrated, and end up taking a walking break. Seriously. Childish, but yeah. When running gets frustrating, I have to re-evaluate some things.

Almost no race…Did you know I almost wussed out of this race?! I will be in Ohio this weekend and found a half mare 15 mins from where I am staying and I really considered running that one instead. My rationale: my last half I ran in 40 degree weather and it felt awesome. Here=HOT and slow. So I figured I would just run better in the one in Ohio. But I decided to stick out the one I already signed up for, and I am really glad I did.

Wearing new pants…along with giving Gu a go, I wore running tights that I had never worn before! 0 for 2! They were really comfy, however, and provided 2 pockets on either leg.. one for my iPod, the other for my Gu.

Following a plan…Having structure was key for me this go-around. Especially since I had a time goal I wanted to meet, it kept me focused on following a guide to get there. Not just winging it, which is my norm. There are plenty of plans out there for all different distances, so if you’re interested, just google away. I used Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Novice 1.

Mindset…the mental game is a big part of running. Not only do you need to keep from psyching yourself out when it comes to numbers (pace per mile, how many miles to go, etc) but also I found you need to have the right mindset. The right attitude. I wish I could say I only think happy thoughts while running, but that’s not always true. I allow myself to become negative sometimes and I see how this directly affects my running. I think being aware of that helps, and re-focusing your mind towards something positive can really turn a run around. I struggled a lot with this during my training, but am happy to report that only positive thoughts were thunk during the race 😉 Except towards the end when I wanted to pass out and lay wherever for the rest of my life.

Tell me…

Why in the world is your “official time” the gun time … you would think that your individual chip time would be considered more accurate, therefore “official”. Am I right or am I right?

Do you have pep talks with yourself? Please say yes and make me feel half normal.

Liebster Award

My friend Emily from Sweet Summer Smiles nominated me forever ago for the Liebster Award. She blogs about every-day life with an emphasis her journey with nutrition. She is also my real-life friend too, so that makes her even more special in my book 😉

The Liebster award is an award you give to fellow bloggers who have less than 200 followers, as a way to get their names out a bit and share some fun facts about each other. I love this survey-fun random facts-sorta stuff, so let’s get to it!

 

The rules:

  • 1) Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • 2) Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • 3) Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • 4) List 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers (as best as you can tell based on the info provided!). They should be bloggers that you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  • 5) Post 11 questions for the bloggers that you nominated to answer.
  • 6) Let all of the bloggers know that they’ve been nominated.  You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

11 random facts about me

  1. I’m dunking oreos in milk and demolishing them as I type this.
  2. I like going to bed with my hair wet from the shower.
  3. I am currently working on a “gallery wall” for one of the walls in our condo. (Can you put canvas photos next to photos in frames? Am I a lost cause?)
  4. I do not belong to a gym.
  5. We’re in season 4 of Breaking Bad and there has never, nor will ever be, a better show than this one.
  6. I wore braces in 2nd grade, wore headgear at night, and got Invisalign a few years back. My teeth are effing perfect now. 😉
  7. I have no desire to visit Paris.
  8. My family has a golden retriever and she is the absolute best
  9. I’m still on the hunt for a face cleanser that will fix my face. It’s been about a 10 year hunt….
  10. I believe accountability is so important. Don’t write it off and think you can do everything on your own.
  11. I feel most attractive in workout clothes, hair on top of my head, laughing with those I love. 🙂

My answers to Emily’s 11 Questions:

  1. How would you describe your personality? optimistic
  2. Why did you start blogging? I got tired of writing long captions to go along with my pictures on facebook! I’m one that likes to know the story behind a picture, and I figured the best way to convey my stories was through a blog.
  3. What is your favorite snack? trail mix. Must include chocolate chips though, can’t be too healthy.
  4. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be and why? It’s fall now, and I would love to be somewhere where the leaves are colorful and I am greeted with a crispness in the air when I walk outside. Hills preferable.
  5. What is your favorite activity outside of health and fitness? Reading. Blogs, books fictional and non, thought-provoking writing, just all words really.
  6. What is the food you eat most often? Pizza.
  7. What makes you happy? Happy people
  8. What quality do you find most attractive in others? A sense of humor
  9. What is your guilty pleasure? Keeping Up With the Kardashians. That would’ve been my answer like 5 years ago too, how sad?
  10. What is your favorite book and TV show? Currently: Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian & Breaking Bad. They go hand-in-hand if you really think about it 😉
  11. What is your favorite lyric from a song? Currently: “Yeah in this wasteland where I’m livin’ //There is a crack in the door filled with light //And it’s all that I need to shine” — Needtobreathe

I nominate for the Liebster Award: (questions below)

  • Kristen @ Glitter and Dust
  • Nicole @ The Girl Who Ran Everywhere
  • Katie @ Pregnancy Skin Care
  • Kathryn @ Chicks Dig Running
  • Alexa @ Active Tasty Life
  • Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
  • Natalie @ Well Punctuated Wife
  • Sarah @ Sweet Miles
  • Kelsey @ Fueling Strong
  • Lauren @ Write and Shine
  • Karen @ Runner Girl Eats

I’m sorry if you have more than 200 followers and you are offended for me not knowing that. Regardless, I’d love to read your answers to my 11 questions! Thanks for writing your blog and entertaining me… I kind of really love having friends via the blog world. Virtual high-5. 😉

11 questions for those I nominated:

I did a little this-or-that for you to answer! You must only pick ONE and let me know WHY you chose.

  1. online shopping or in-store shopping
  2. black or white
  3. summer or winter
  4. elephant or moose
  5. Traffic or standing in line
  6. piano or guitar
  7. share it or keep it a secret
  8. dance or watch others dance
  9. filter or no filter
  10. beer or wine
  11. Jonathon Taylor Thomas or Jesse from Free Willy

Get creative!

HOT Run 10k Recap

Like I mentioned in my training log this past week, I signed up last-minute for a 10k race that was held on a Thursday night. The Hot 101.5 radio station was in charge of putting on the race. I don’t think it went as smooth as it could have, but I still had a good time and got a run in 🙂

My dad met me there about an hour before the race start. I registered {this was my first time registering AT a race… I’m usually a planner with these things and sign up online WAY before the race} pinned my bib and got ready to run!

 

I am not an evening runner because I like running on an empty stomach, so I was hoping the light meals I ate that day wouldn’t give me any tummy troubles.

The race got started a little late, but we were able to watch the sun set, as this race was right near the beach! {not on the beach, thank goodness… we know how I feel about those 🙂 }

 

I wore my Garmin, and my goal was to stay within my half marathon goal-pace. Once the gun went off, I did my thing and started off too fast. I might as well stop including that in my race recaps, because it’s a given by now. Grr!

 

Soon enough, I slowed down and tried to maintain a pace below 9:30min/mile. If I want to reach my sub-2 goal for this upcoming half, I need a faster pace than 9:30, however my training has been a little rough. My goal was to maintain a pace, not fluctuate too much, and run my best.

The course was 4 big loops; the 5k-ers only completed 2 of the loops, while our poor souls watched them finish and kept running. It was pretty dark where we ran, so that made me nervous at times- didn’t want to lose my footing and get hurt.

A big plus was being able to see my dad at each loop! My photographers are the best. Their cheering skills aren’t too bad either 😉

I was not impressed with my time {4 mins slower than my 10k PR, whoops} but I at least maintained a doable pace, and felt like I had energy remaining at the end. A cool medal and cold beer, and we called it a night!

 

My Playlist (because the playlist is the most important part):

  • Flaws > Bastille
  • Move To The Ocean > Brick + Mortar
  • Glory and Glore > Lorde
  • Timber (feat Ke$ha) > Pitbull
  • The Fear > Lily Allen
  • You’re Not Alone > Marie Miller
  • A Light That Never Comes > Linkin Park
  • Titanium > Madilyn Bailey
  • DLZ > TV on the Radio
  • Wanna Get Hype > District 78
  • Swing Life Away > Rise Against
  • How It’s Done > District 78
  • Hurricane > Needtobreathe
  • Black Widow > Iggy Azalea

Ketchikan, Alaska

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May 14, 2014

Sunrise 4:37am, Sunset 9:01pm

High 53, Low 43

“chance of rain”

*Fun fact*: Ketchikan is an Indian name meaning “thundering wings of an eagle”. From the vantage point of Deer Mountain, the town sprawls out in the perfect shape of an eagle in flight. Nifty, huh!

Another fun/*dreary* fact: It rains an average total of 13 FEET of rain per year in Ketchikan. To compare, in Tampa there is a total average of 47 inches (four-ish ft) per year. Holy water drops, Ketch!

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We had an excursion planned for the day, but we didn’t have to meet till noon. In fact, we didn’t even port till 10am so it was a nice, easy morning, no feeling of having to rush off the boat!

To kill time before our chosen excursion, we found a gift shop. (Which wasn’t hard there were like 10 gift shops in a town of 12 shops). We bought a couple of knick-knacks and then found a bar that was recommended to us by the couple we hung out with in Juneau! It was home of the “happy bears” and you can probably tell why.

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This was a very small bar, nothing special, but drinking a beer around 11am while on vacation should have no complaints attached to it 🙂 We hung out here a bit watching the rain … this was one dreary day! I don’t mind the cold and I don’t mind rain (when I’m in bed sleeping hehe) but together this was not a fun combo.

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Soon enough, we were ready to head out for our adventure that day. We chose to do a jeep ride and canoe combo. We took a bus to the place we would get our jeeps and this was not fun… our bus driver got lost. Womp. Which would’ve been fine, except I felt like once we got to the jeep place we were rushed and didn’t get to drive the jeeps to all the places we could have. But, oh well! I’m in Alaska and not working so whatever 🙂

Something else that wasn’t my fave was that it was 4 to a jeep. I was hoping it would be just me and Ryan, however the couple we were with went to college in our hometown, so at least we had a conversation topic.

I was the first driver in our jeep, and thank GOODNESS because it was the smoothest area of our route. While I do pride myself in being an excellent driver on any terrain (Ryan is rolling his eyes as he reads this) I was glad to have the “easy” portion since 2 lives of which I didn’t know were in my hands, ha!

We drove the jeep to a beautiful lake where we would all get into a canoe. The darn weather prevented us from probably an even better view, but it was still a pretty sight. We geared up and all piled into one of two canoes.

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We canoed across the lake to an area where they made a spread of snacks for us. It included hot chocolate (2 cups, please and thank you), yummy clam chowder, goldfish, bread, and salmon! Can you tell I love to eat! Ha.

After enjoying our snacks and trying our best to stay warm, we headed off for a mini-hike with our group guide. I don’t remember a darn thing he said because I was shivering, wet, and cold, but at least we were moving!

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We soon hopped back into our canoes to head back for more jeeping. The guides decided we should have a race, and duh our boat won 😉

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The REAL exciting part came when we started our jeep riding again and one jeep didn’t quite stay on tracks.

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Everyone was fine. But it was pretty funny. In the guides’ defense, we were instructed to go OVER the potholes and not avoid them, which seems wrong, but ya gotta listen to the pros!

20140514_160023 (1)At one of the stops …. beautiful view! (Couldn’t find the pic of the view, but there’s us looking our best)

Overall, it was a fun adventure! Some things could’ve gone better, but we did enjoy trying something new. Once back, we hit up those happy bears for another drink before hopping back onto our ship.

20140514_171732 (1)Sorry it just makes me laugh and I’m 5.

Headed to dinner!

20140514_202249Formal dinner night #2

That evening after dinner was the Cirque du Soleil-style show on Solstice. I LOVE anything dance/acrobatics/their-spines-aren’t-real kind of stuff, so I was pretty pumped about the show. It didn’t disappoint! We only made it to a couple shows on board (this one plus a comedian..we love comedians) and I’m glad we didn’t miss it. I loved how there is always something to see… to your right, left, above you and in front! Great entertainment if you ask me.

Towel art cracked me up each night.

Last Day: At Sea

Our last day at sea we embraced vacation and lazied it up ALL DAY. This meant sleeping in, eating lots, working out (okay not lazy), ice cream, napping, chilling on our balcony, wonderful.

20140515_192855Last night on our cruise ship. We were fighting tears.

Tell me…

Have you ever seen a Cirque du Soleil show? Which one??

Who reading can do a cartwheel?!

One more post from our vacation coming your way!

Icy Straight Point & Our 3 Year Anniversary

*Fun fact*: We got married on Friday the 13th! May sound like a sketchy move, but hey we celebrate our “anniversary” a few times a year 🙂 After an exhausting day in Skagway, we were more than happy that we had ZERO plans for the next day. This day also just so happened to be our anniversary. We spoiled ourselves a bit and purchased the “Deluxe Romance Package” on the cruise ship to enjoy on our special day. It included: breakfast in bed including mimosas, a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and rose petal turndown service. Could there BE a more perfect way to spend a lazy day?!20140513_124257After breakfast in bed, we headed off the ship and onto a tender boat to get to the town of Icy Point Straight.20140513_100720Guys, I don’t think there could be a smaller town! They had the essentials (like beer and a killer view) but not too much else. We still had some fun exploring on our own though, and appreciated the “relaxing” aspect of vacation on this day.20140513_10084020140513_101949

20140513_103712Love my bear.

We happened upon a neat nature trail that led us to a beach …20140513_14485720140513_10403620140513_10411520140513_104627IMG_1664

20140513_145527Skipping rocks. He’s tried to teach me on multiple occasions how to skip a rock along, and my record is one solid plop into the water.

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Afterwards, we split a pitcher of Alaska Summer Ale (our fave from the taste testing back in Juneau) while sitting by a fire.

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Once back on board, we took a nice long nap while movies played on our TV. Then, we got dolled up for the evening. This wasn’t a “formal night”, but it was for us 🙂20140513_190537

20140513_201516Acoustic Image Trio …personally, my favorite band on the ship.

20140513_200239Bailey’s over ice for me, please 🙂

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After dinner, we received a “Happy Anniversary” song from our waiters and split the brownie dessert they brought out for us. This was in addition to the dessert we already ordered and ate. And the 3 entrees we each downed. Cruise ships!

At a table catty-corner to ours was a group of 2 couples that had travelled together. Shortly after our anniversary song, they shuffled over to their table and sang the same thing to one of the couples .. they were also celebrating May 13!

We were so blessed to be able to spend our anniversary aboard an amazing cruise ship to an even more amazing place. Love you Ryan 🙂

20140513_214313Deluxe, son, deluxe!

Pick one…

Breakfast in bed  or “just because” flowers ??

(Food > petals for this girl any day)

Icy Straight Point & Our 3 Year Anniversary

20140513_102249May 13, 2014

Sunrise: 4:41am Sunset: 9:17pm

High: 62 Low: 47

*Fun fact*: We got married on Friday the 13th! May sound like a sketchy move, but hey we celebrate our “anniversary” a few times a year 🙂 After an exhausting day in Skagway, we were more than happy that we had ZERO plans for the next day. This day also just so happened to be our anniversary. We spoiled ourselves a bit and purchased the “Deluxe Romance Package” on the cruise ship to enjoy on our special day. It included: breakfast in bed including mimosas, a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and rose petal turndown service. Could there BE a more perfect way to spend a lazy day?!20140513_124257After breakfast in bed, we headed off the ship and onto a tender boat to get to the town of Icy Point Straight.20140513_100720Guys, I don’t think there could be a smaller town! They had the essentials (like beer and a killer view) but not too much else. We still had some fun exploring on our own though, and appreciated the “relaxing” aspect of vacation on this day.20140513_10084020140513_101949

20140513_103712Love my bear.

We happened upon a neat nature trail that led us to a beach …20140513_14485720140513_10403620140513_10411520140513_104627IMG_1664

20140513_145527Skipping rocks. He’s tried to teach me on multiple occasions how to skip a rock along, and my record is one solid plop into the water.

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Afterwards, we split a pitcher of Alaska Summer Ale (our fave from the taste testing back in Juneau) while sitting by a fire.

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Once back on board, we took a nice long nap while movies played on our TV. Then, we got dolled up for the evening. This wasn’t a “formal night”, but it was for us 🙂20140513_190537

20140513_201516Acoustic Image Trio …personally, my favorite band on the ship.

20140513_200239Bailey’s over ice for me, please 🙂

20140513_203134Blurry

20140513_203335Windy

After dinner, we received a “Happy Anniversary” song from our waiters and split the brownie dessert they brought out for us. This was in addition to the dessert we already ordered and ate. And the 3 entrees we each downed. Cruise ships!

At a table catty-corner to ours was a group of 2 couples that had travelled together. Shortly after our anniversary song, they shuffled over to their table and sang the same thing to one of the couples .. they were also celebrating May 13!

We were so blessed to be able to spend our anniversary aboard an amazing cruise ship to an even more amazing place. Love you Ryan 🙂

20140513_214313Deluxe, son, deluxe!

Pick one…

Breakfast in bed  or “just because” flowers ??

(Food > petals for this girl any day)

Skagway, Alaska

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May 12, 2014

Sunrise 4:35am, Sunset 9:24pm

High 68, Low 44

Skagway was my personal favorite of our stops in Alaska and I’ve been most excited to write this post, so let’s get to it!! 🙂

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We arose eeearly this morning to step off the boat right at 7am (dock time) to meet for our first excursion at 7:15! We made our way down the path to where all the excursion guides were waiting with signs of what they had to offer. We already booked our excursion through our cruiseline, so we were set.

We find a group of 4 mountain-men-lookin’ guys, and one of them mutters they look like adventurous people, I bet they’re with us! Dang right mister!

Our chosen adventure that day: snow shoeing. From Celebrity’s website: “Begin your shore excursion with a train ride aboard Skagway’s White Pass and Yukon Route Railway, followed by a wilderness snow shoe trek through the Alaskan wilderness. You’ll gear up at Glacier Station and begin your 3-5 mile guided snowshoe adventure over Skagway’s snow-covered glacial landscapes..”

Packer Expeditions was the company in charge of the excursion and as you will soon find out, they are amazing!! This is the specific adventure we chose for the day, and Ryan and I highly recommend!

There ended up being ten of us excursion-ers, all couples, ready to tackle the day’s journey. One guide briefly told us the day’s order of events, including the 1/4 mile walk to the train: a pass or fail test to see if we could handle what was to come. He said if you’re out of breath during this 1% incline, then this may not be the excursion for you. Ha!

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The train ride itself was part of the paid excursion. It offered amazing views on our way!

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IMG_1599Standing out on the platform during the train ride

While on the train, the guides had laid out quite a spread of food for the day … this was a huge concern of mine given that this excursion was labeled things like “strenuous” and “8-hour.” Molly’s first thoughts on anything lasting more than 1.5 hours is where/when I will be getting food 🙂

We made sandwiches to put in our packs for the “lunch break” we’d have somewhere along the trail. Inside those packs were also a bunch of other snacks including 2 water bottles and CANDY BARS. Yep, we had picked the right excursion. We got off on our stop and put on snow pants and boots. The snow shoes would come on later, we were told.

IMG_1614This man can sport a fanny pack better than anyone I know

IMG_1615Our gear! Just kidding, the guides were the ones that had to carry those beasts. Although with all the extra candy bars I snagged, my fanny pack did get a bit heavy

Before we set off, one guide asked Ryan to pick a song, to which he chose “Don’t Stop Believin’”. Our guide told us should we encounter a bear, our group would huddle up close together and all start singing Don’t Stop Believin’ as loud as we could to scare it off. (Spoiler alert: that song was never sung!)

And we were off! The 4 guides dispersed themselves among us so there’d be no man left behind. And since our group was small, if we had any questions, there was always a guide super close by to answer! They made everything fun and funny and well worth the “strenuous” day 🙂

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Everyone in our group was fairly fit, which I’m sure our guides were more than thankful for, so we all stayed pretty close during the hike. We would stop at any points along the way where a guide wanted to point something out to teach us about. Ryan and I really appreciate a good guided tour … being in a new place, learning interesting facts about a new place, and doing something adventurous in a new place … right up our alley!

Fun fact: when you sweat, you can wipe the oil off your nose to lubricate your lips! I was told this fun kinda-gross fact by a guide while scrambling for my chapstick during the hike.

20140512_093553We were one of the first tour groups to be taken out on the trail (our excursion is seasonal..we went in May). The guides had headed out a few days prior to pave the way for us!

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20140512_124500Our snow shoes! We wore “creepers” on our shoes up to this point. The creepers allowed for a better grip on the trail. Once we hit snow, we threw on our snowshoes to trek on out!

IMG_1620Filling up his water bottle with fresh water! It was delicious and coooold.

IMG_1621And oh-so thirst quenching 🙂

IMG_1622A tang snowball!! We were given strict instructions: Dig your hand down and scoop up some fresh snow. Hold it out in front of you. Think back to your childhood. And then he came around and sprinkled Tang mix onto our snowball. It was soooo good! (Does anyone remember Tang?!) Pretty fun, plus now we can say yeah we’ve eaten a Tang snowball while snowshoeing in Alaska, you?

20140512_111946May not look like it, but this was a brutal uphill.

Halfway through our hike, it was time for lunch! We each found a rock to sit on and chowed down on our pre-made sandwiches. One of the guides brought a thermos full of hot chocolate, so yum! It was nice to take a break from focusing on the path we were on, to look around at the scenery around us. Unreal. It is crazy to think that not many people have stood in our exact spot and took in that exact beauty surrounding us. I want to see it all 🙂

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During lunch, we spotted a mountain goat and also listened to some poetry read by the guides. Too fun!

IMG_1636This was taken full-zoom, ha! But hey, a mountain goat!

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After lunch (and a porta-potty break taken by all … yes thank goodness they had actually installed a porta-potty way out there) we took some pictures with the Alaska state flag before starting our hike back.

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Our hike back was a little bit challenging, given that there was a lot of downhill. Unless you are a snowshoe pro, you will fall. I think everyone in our group had somewhat of a wipeout, and it was pretty funny! There was also a part where we each had to squat down and sit on our snowshoes (while wearing them) and slide down a small hill. No lie. Ryan even got video but I can’t figure out how to get video on this thing….

IMG_1618Deciding on the safest route back. Take your time fellas.

20140512_122206Check out that awkward waddle walk I’ve got going! Snowshoes are difficulty to walk in, k?

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Once our hike was through, we ended back at the train “station” (aka a platform in the middle of nowhere). We finished off the day’s trip back on the train for more great views!

20140512_153438You guys KNOW I wouldn’t let my last candy bar go to waste. I’m not me when I’m hungry. I’m also in love with this picture. (Ryan….rude)

Views from the train….

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This was such a fun, but exhausting day! We found and hit up the Skagway Brew Co that was recommended to us by our guides before getting back on the ship, where we crashed.

20140512_175227The town of Skagway! (Is small)

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I don’t think we took any “dinner pic #6″ pics but we did manage to hit up the outdoor hot tub to soothe our muscles that night! What a day!

Tell me…

Have you ever tried snowshoeing?!

Ever seen a bear? Where?!

That Half Itch

Hey Molly, remember that time you achieved a life goal and trained for a half marathon even though you never thought you could do such a thing and before you knew it you were running it and before you knew it you had done it and when you crossed the finish line your eyes filled with tears because you were so incredibly happy and thankful but then you couldn’t move your bod properly for a solid 48 hours, cursing all encounters with stairs, and you swore to yourself and others that yeah I’ll just stick to smaller distances and never run a half ever again?

Hi, I’m Molly Rose and I tell lies and I’m running another half.

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Here’s why:

I had no hardcore goals going in to my first half marathon. All I knew was that I wanted to FINISH. That in itself would be a huge accomplishment for me. My guesstimated finish time was around 2:10ish, allowing for 10 min miles which I figured I could maintain for a distance like that. However, I think all us humans have dream goals… ones that we are not sure we can accomplish and if we don’t that’s okay, but man if we DO achieve that, wouldn’t that be something…

My dream goal was to run sub-2 hours. Here’s the thing, I didn’t train for sub-2 so I didn’t expect to run sub-2. It’s just one of those things in the back of your mind that floats there like hey wouldn’t that be cool if.

But seriously this was my time: 2:00:3220140121_165654

Knowing that I was this close to getting my dream goal has been killing me softly since January 19, 2013. So yeah … I’ve got the itch to chase my goal-time and I’ve picked this coming October to go for it!

What I’m doing different:

I will be using an actual training guide. Sounds like a crazy idea to me, but the whole wing-it thing I tend to do with my plans doesn’t always end with success 😉 I am trying not to get toooo excited about a PR and sub-2 and whatnot, but right now I need something to shoot for, something to put my mind to, something to train for. And I love running so here I am! I realize even with a training program I may not reach my goal. And that is okay. For me it’s about discipline and giving all you got… actually working for a goal, not just hoping it happens by chance.

I have decided to use Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon training program. I’m pretty excited about it, and I get started in August, eeee!

halhigdontraininghalfI’m curious to see if I will actually follow this thing through to the end (in addition to my wing-it problem, I also have a finishing-a-project problem). But I hope I do and I will keep you updated! I plan to post my training at the end of weeks 4, 8, and 12, so let’s see how I do!

Tell me…

Did you use a training guide when you train for a race? Do you make up your own or follow someone else’s?

Share a current dream goal of yours… doesn’t have to be fitness related!