Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon Race Recap

Wow, it’s been a month since I updated you guys on anything, basically right before I hopped on a plane to Detroit to run the Rock CF Rivers half marathon.  This is my second time running this race, the first time being in 2014. I absolutely LOVE this race. It’s not only for a cause near and dear to me, but overall, it’s just really well run and a total family affair, which I love.  So, here is my Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon Race Recap.

On Saturday, a team of 13 of us boarded a plane from Boston to Detroit, landed, grabbed a few rental cars, dropped our stuff at the hotel and headed to pick up our bibs before the expo closed.  It was super quick to check in, get our bib numbers, our race shirts (below in blue) and we met up with Emily, who created the event and runs the foundation Rock CF (in gray). She is this tiny, ridiculously amazing force of nature who sheds light and humor to everyone around her.  We talked with her for a while and then took a team picture with her and her nieces and nephew–aren’t they adorable?

team vertex

After buying Ashton and myself new Rock CF shirts, we went out for a quick, but yummy team dinner and got back to the hotel early so we could rest.  Here is my flat runner the night before.

rock cf outfit

I went to bed early and ended up getting up really early on race day and had plenty of time to have breakfast, get dressed and meet the Vertex team to head over to the race around 6:30 am.  I was a bit nervous because of the flight the day before and that fact that I spent most of that day not drinking any water, so I spent much of the morning hydrating.

We arrived at the race start and thankfully, was able to keep warm in the high school gym since it was FREEZING outside. We were able to mingle and get a team picture with Emily right before the race started and before everyone broke off.  This was the first year that there was not only a 5k and half marathon, but a half marathon relay, which was a really cool option for a few of our team members.


I had resigned myself before even getting on the plane to the fact that I was likely not going to PR this race.  While I completed my training plan exactly as prescribed, I was just not feeling as strong as I had hoped I would.  Going into training my goal was to run in the 1:40’s, but I just knew I wasn’t able to do that for this race.  I was mostly okay with that and reminded myself that not every race can be a PR and that this is much more about supporting the cause than getting a PR.

My friend Lindsay and I decided we would run together and stay with the 1:55 pace group.  This felt really doable for me, with not such a hard effort on my part.  This was Lindsay’s first half, so I was excited to run and experience it with her.  This was also the first year of offering pacers, which I personally love!  Before the race started, we ran to the bathrooms and then we started to line up with the rest of the half marathoners.  It was COLD out, like 20 degrees cold and SO windy. I am glad I brought my gloves and hat because I could barely feel my fingers!

The gun went off and we crossed the starting line.  We were right next to our pacer for the first mile and a half and then I felt it….I had to pee.  Not like, oh, I can hold it until the race is over, a….holy shit, I need to find the quickest port a potty.  I definitely over-hydrated, something I have never done before while running. I have never once had to stop during any kind of run or race before to pee.

Thankfully there was a port a potty at mile 2, so I told my friend Lindsay to keep going and I would catch up with her.  I thought this would be a minute process.  There was one person in the stall and one in front of me waiting.  I was stopped for almost 6 minute…yes, you read that right SIX FREAKING MINUTES…DURING A RACE?!?  My anxiety level escalated at each second ticking by.  I was so frustrated but knew there was no way I could run and make it to the next port a potty, so I was stuck waiting.  When it was my turn, I peed in record time and was off and running.

To say I was annoyed is an understatement but I raced as fast as I could ahead, trying to catch up to the 1:55 pace group and my friend Lindsay again.  I knocked off a few miles in the low to mid 7’s and knew I needed to slow down.  At this point, I knew I wasn’t going to catch up to my friend, 6 minutes was just too long of a time to catch up.  I was also kicking myself for such a rookie mistake of trying to speed up really fast, because I definitely felt it in the latter half of the race. I end up having to walk through all of the water stops and walked for about 20 seconds five or six additional times because my calves were cramping so badly.  There were many times during the last part of the race where I wondered if  I was even going to make it in under two hours and I was devastated.  I know that 2 hours is a respectable time and that I wasn’t going to PR this race, but for some reason, the thought of running a 2+ hour half made me want to cry. Thankfully, I finished with a time that was respectable (to me.)

post race

final rock cf time

I don’t know if the almost 6 minutes I waited at the porta potty or the 2+minutes that I spent taking walking breaks would have equated to an end time 8 minutes faster, getting me that PR in the 1:40’s, but I definitely know that I would’ve done better than what I did if it wasn’t for the bathroom stop but I suppose, it doesn’t really matter because that isn’t what actually happened.  After the race, we waited for everyone to finish and took some team pics at the finish line with our medals.



Quickly after this, we all piled into cars and ran back to the hotel to shower and get to the airport for our flights back home. It was a whirlwind trip that lasted less than 24 hours!

All in all, the Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon is a GREAT race for an even better cause.  I had a really fun time with some of my co-workers and I am happy that I had the opportunity to run it again and look forward to doing it in the future!


Question of the day

Have you traveled by plane to a race before? If so, what race?

Did you watch the Boston Marathon on Monday? Thoughts?



I can tell you how to get, how to get to Sesame Place!

**Hey friends!  I am back from Spain, sorry for the radio silence!!  I am a big jet lagged, but we will now resume our normally scheduled programming!  I will warn you, this is kind of long with a lot of pics!**


So, a few weeks back my friend Danielle texted me asking if we would be interested in going to PA with her and her family to visit Sesame Place.  I immediately Googled it, since I had never heard of Sesame Place, spoke to Robyn about it to make sure our weekend was clear and told her we were in!  We went last weekend and I have to say, we ALL had a blast!  We headed to Langhorn, PA on Friday night at 5:45 p.m. after we all got home from work and changed. I was totally expecting horrendous traffic, but with a quick stop for dinner, we made it there in 4 hours on the dot, there was NO traffic and we flew in.  We checked into our hotel and passed out.

The next morning Robyn and I decided we were going to head into Philly for breakfast to try a place that we read about in one of our recent Bon Appetite magazines, High Street on Market.  Since we didn’t have to be back to the hotel until 9:45 a.m. to grab the shuttle to the park, we left the hotel at 7:30 a.m. for the 30 minute trek into the city.  We got in with no traffic or issues, found parking and started the very short walk to the restaurant.  We made it about 50 yards when Ashton decided to walk straight into a square phone pole.  He caught the pole right at the corner of course and he fell backwards and started screaming. I immediately picked him up and he was crying so hard on my shoulder.  After a few seconds, he pulled his head back and all I could see was blood.  It was EVERYWHERE!  I tried to stay calm so I didn’t get him more upset but we quickly ran back to the car.  Thankfully I had wipes, antibiotic ointment and band aids in the car.  Robyn and I cleaned him up and tried to stop the bleeding but the gash in his forehead was pretty bad.  After a few minutes of pressure we were able to slow it down, get the ointment on it and put on a band aid.  Ashton had stopped crying and wasn’t acting abnormal so we decided to grab breakfast (that’s blood all over his gray shirt!)  I’ll spare you the pics of my shirt!

head cut

Breakfast was AMAZING…Robyn even agreed and said he would definitely come back (I can count on 1 hand the number of times he has said that in the 9.5 years we’ve been together!) We headed back to the hotel, got both myself and Ashton changed, met up with our friends and their two boys and grabbed the shuttle from the hotel to the park (saving us $17 a car!) The shuttle ride was just over a mile and before we knew it, we were there!!

photo 1 (1)

We entered the park and the kids were in awe!  The park’s energy was really great and I knew it was going to be a great day, plus, the weather couldn’t have been better, it was in the high 60’s, low 70’s with a slight overcast for most of the day…the perfect Fall day to spend outdoors!

sesame place sign

The park was decorated in a Halloween theme, so of course, since that is my favorite holiday, I was ear to ear grinning.  We quickly made our way through the entrance and came across Oscar the Grouch taking pics.  There was only a few people in line, so we jumped in and was quickly told by an employee that Oscar was done taking pictures.  Um, what?  He’s been out less than 10 minutes (since the park just opened at 10 am.)  I started to get annoyed but thankfully after we walked out of line and started looking at another area, she came back to me and said that we could get our picture taken with him.

photo 3 (1)

I LOVE this picture, it may be my favorite from the whole weekend!  We finished with a high five to Oscar and we saw the Count across the street, got in line, but Ashton wanted nothing to do with him. He can’t be my kid, I mean, I love vampires 😉


They also have a really cute replica of the Sesame St neighborhood, which Ashton couldn’t really appreciate since he doesn’t watch much tv, but it was pretty cool for me to see!

sesame st replica town

We made a stop at the firehouse you see above because the boys wanted to play on the firetruck.

photo 2 (1)


ash ry and cason on truck

After playing on the firetruck, the boys were ready to hit the rides. The best part of the park is that ALL of the rides are geared toward young kids.  Ashton was able to go on every ride and we were able to go on with him (there were a few rides where the height limit was 6’1, so Robyn was too tall and had to to sit out!)  We went on every single ride, some of them multiple times!

robyn ash and i on teacups

photo 5


photo 2

photo 1 (2)

Since our friend Nate doesn’t love spinning rides, I rode with the other boys on a few rides!

me and rylen

And the ride that was the crowd favorite….

me and ash

The ROLLER COASTER!!  I was really worried that Ashton was going to freak out on this ride, it was pretty fast with some really good drops, but he LOVED it!  I know I shouldn’t worry about him, he always surprises me with this like this because he has no fear, but still.  Every single time the ride stopped, all the boys asked to go on it again.  We went on it 3 times in a row then convinced them that we had a lot of other rides to get to.  At the end of the day, before we left the park, we rode it one more time.

photo 1

Around 12:30 pm we decided we needed to grab some lunch so we headed to the park cafeteria.  I will say, like most parks, it was pricey, especially for what you get, but let’s be honest, when kids are involved, the parks know they have you exactly where they want you because you have to feed your kids.  We brought snacks with us and they do allow you to bring in drinks, coolers, etc, but coolers were just not feasible for us since we were travelling such a long way to get to the park.  Also, the lines for food were LONG!  And…this happened!

photo 4 (1)

Ashton and Rylen both slept through lunch but we brought their food with us and they snacked when they woke up.  We headed towards the Haunted House, which we had a lot of fun exploring. They also gave out trick or treat bags and were handing out goodies throughout the park.


On the way to the haunted house they had all these great carved “pumpkins” all over the park and you could even buy a small pumpkin and paint it!

with pumpkins


Inside the haunted house, we explored all the fun areas!

photo 3 (2)


Ashton wasn’t afraid of the non-moving Count!

photo 2 (2)


And we tried to get a picture of him standing next to the number 2 (for his age)!!

next to #2

We also quickly watched the parade, but the boys really weren’t into standing around to watch the characters go by, plus, the streets were lined on both sides with a few people deep so we figured it was a good time to get back to the rides where the lines wouldn’t be so long!

sesame st place parade


We rode rides for another few hours and then around 5:00 p.m. decided to call it a day (the park closes at 6 p.m.) We wanted to head back to the hotel, wash up and get ready for dinner.

Overall, we had a blast, and I’d highly recommend this place to anyone with a toddler.  I do however want to point out some negatives of the park in general that may help to know before you go to set your expectations.  The one thing that was severely lacking was that there were not a lot of characters walking around for photo options.  We only saw Oscar right when we walked into the park and then The Count. There were designated meeting areas for some of the other characters at specific times but the lines were really long and Sesame Place employees took the pictures that you could buy for around $20 a piece, which is just nuts to me.

The cost of admission is HIGH. It was $56 a person for anyone 2 years or older.  That seems really high to me, especially since the water park part of the park was closed at this point in the season.  I had called the park in advance to ask if they were going to run a special on the ticket prices and they told me no, that I should buy them in advance so I went to my local AAA store to do so.  When we got to the park, they were not only running a special online for cheaper tickets (around $40) BUT there was also a Groupon running for $32 a ticket.  I spoke to the manager but since we bought our tickets at AAA, they could not refund us our money.  Our friends bought their tickets online so they did refund them their purchase so they could go right on Groupon and buy that deal (saving over $20 a person), which was good, but I was kind of annoyed that I specifically called to ask about tickets and they gave me misinformation.  However, I wasn’t overly upset about the cost since we were on vacation, but for $56 dollars, I was expecting it to have more of a Disney World feel/experience.  Sesame Street is actually pretty small especially with the water park activities not functioning.  Thankfully, toddlers don’t seem to notice those things and had a blast, which in the end was the most important thing to me.

If you are going to take your kids here, I would HIGHLY recommend doing so later in the season. Maybe don’t wait as long as we did if you want to enjoy the water park aspect (I think they closed it down a week or so before we arrived) but because it was later in the season and most kids were back in school, the crowds, while there, weren’t out of control.  the longest we had to wait in line was about 15 minutes, which is WAY better than at some other parks we have been to.  Also, the weather was beautiful.  Some families may not mind the sun and heat, but if you are outside in the wide open for 7+ hours, the last thing I want to be doing is standing/walking in full sun and high temps, I just don’t do well in those situations, and having a miserable, hot, tired kid on your hands doesn’t  lend itself to a fun experience.

In the end though, I would absolutely come back.  Ashton had a blast, the rides were all really fun and we all had a great time as a family…which can be witnessed in the last picture taken!

sleeping in bed




Question of the day

Have you been to Sesame Street Place before?  Are there other parks out there like this for toddlers?

Rock CF Half Marathon Race Recap

Okay boys and girls…here is part 2 of 2 in my Rock CF Half Marathon recap story.  Sit back and get comfy, it’s a bit long.

So, the morning started out bright and early for me with a 4:30 a.m. wake up call, mainly because we were leaving the hotel at 6:15 a.m. and I had to get in a 5-6 mile run BEFORE we left for the race so I would hit my mileage for the day.  So, I got up, did 5.5 miles and then went back to my room to clean up and change into my race gear.  We left at 6:15 a.m. as planned since all the parking lots close at 7:00 a.m.  The 5k runners had a different starting point than the 3 of us running the half so we dropped the 5k runners off at the airport hangar where their race started (so cool and different) and then Chelley, Dee and I drove to the Grosse Ile High School for our start.  We got pretty lost since it was so dark out, but thankfully I was able to pull up directions via the GPS on my phone and we ended up finding the high school.  We parked at the high school instead of the Middle School (where our race starts) because the 5k racers would be ending at the HS and it was easier for them to get to the car that way and grab their warm clothes.  Plus, the high school let us all stay inside and keep warm before the race, which was a huge plus because it was FRIGID outside and so dark when we arrived.  They also offered a gear check, but we left all our warm stuff in the car and it was easy for us to get to post race so we didn’t use the gear check.


After hanging out for about an hour in the high school, we made our way outside and started walking to the middle school. It was about a 5 minute walk and was very well labeled with signs everywhere.


At the start line, they had music blasting from huge speakers. We tried to get close to the start line, but the crowds were pretty thick.


We were so happy it was light out now and hoping it would warm up a bit.  We got in one last team picture before the final preparations were being made.


At about 8:10 a.m.we did the national anthem and then the race director, Emily, did a short speech, mentioned that there were runners and walkers from over 21 states in attendance, the highest in the history of this race, so that was incredibly motivating!!  At around 8:15 a.m. or so,  I started my Garmin and music and we were off.  My biggest goal was to just enjoy the scenery and use this as a training run for Boston, not a race.  My plan told me to start at long run, slow pace and then progressively lift the effort.

My first 6 miles were all in the low-mid 9’s. My calves were a bit tight but I just tried to work through it and the tightness lifted around mile 4. I was super proud of myself for keeping myself contained and not letting the excitement of a race get to me.  The course was seriously incredible.  I loved that we got to run around the island and for most of the race, we had a view of the water and absolutely breathtaking waterfront homes.  The course was very flat and flat and is billed as a PR course.  It was still very cold and windy, but I felt comfortable once I got running, as my body has acclimated to running in the freezing cold weather.  The first few miles had some pretty big potholes and some ice that we had to navigate around but after the first 2 or so miles, there were no more issues like that.

Throughout the race, each mile was clearly marked and there were lots of hydration stations throughout the course and the volunteers, which looked to be mostly students, were fantastic.  They called out which areas were water and Gatorade, they were cheering us on and giving big smiles all around.  They made sure the roads were free and clear of used cups  and around the 4 or 5 mile mark they were giving out lots of gels.  I didn’t use their gels because I had my own on me.  I took a gel at mile 5 and that was it.  I was alternating water and Gatorade at the water stations and  I did something I have never done before in a race, I stopped at every water station.  Since Boston has changed their rules this year, I cannot use the Hydrapak that I have been training with all Winter long, so I needed to test out a new hydration strategy during this race.  I held a small bottle of water in my hand during the race and stopped at every water station for a drink.  I think it worked out well for me.

At mile 7 or so, I looked down at my watch and I hit my first sub 9 min mile and I told myself I needed to slow it down.  I was running purely on feel and at a comfortable pace.  I didn’t feel like I was exerting myself and felt relaxed and comfortable.  This happened to be around the relay team split off point, so I was looking around, seeing how that was working out.  It seemed that it was very organized as they were calling out race numbers and had all the second runners in a corral out-of-the-way of the course.  There were a good amount of spectators in this area, which was nice.  Throughout the course, there were pockets of spectators cheering us on, but overall, the crowd support was pretty small, but when they were there, they were so enthusiastic and motivating.  I hit mile 8 and I was in the very low 8’s for a pace and started to panic a bit.  I HAD to pull back, but why was I feeling so good?  I slowed down a bit and tried to focus.  Again, I didn’t feel like I was flying or going too fast, clearly I was delirious.  I knew it was okay to pick up my pace a bit, as my plan said to progressively increase the effort, but at that point, I didn’t want to increase too much and crash and burn.  We hit mile 10 and got to run through the Grosse Isle Naval Air Station Airport (where the 5k runners started) and it was REALLY cool. I had never run through an airport before, so it was exciting to do something new and very unique.

The last 3 miles went by in a blur and then I noticed we were making a turn into the high school and then the final turn onto a track.  A track? I was very surprised that we were ending on a track and I LOVED it.  It was so awesome to come into the home stretch and see the fences that kept the spectators off the track and see the huge finish sign.  I still had my headphones is so I was in my zone, but apparently they were calling out names and hometowns, which is how my team knew I was coming in for the finish, and then I saw them on the left screaming for me.

I didn’t push it hard at the finish but I felt that I finished strong and I felt incredible.  This was by far the best I had ever felt during and then after a half marathon.  I literally felt like I could have kept going.  It was a huge confidence boost that I so badly needed, knowing this was my last really long run before Boston in 3 weeks.  I walked over to get my medal from one of the volunteers who gave me a high five!


Then I grabbed a bottle of water and snapped a quick picture of my unofficial time.

final time

They had this great PR Cymbal set up to ring if you had PR’d in the race, so you heard it going off quite a bit. I wasn’t sure what my official time was or if I had PR’d so I just smiled and watched others ring it for a minute or two and then I went over to the rest of my team to cheer on the rest of the runners.  Thankfully one of my team members went to the car and grabbed me my fleece as  once I started to cool down, I was FREEZING again.  The one thing I really wish they had when you finished the race was space blankets.  It was a cold and windy day and that small addition would have helped to trap some of the heat for a bit, but other than that, I really could not think of anything that was missing from this race.

After everyone had finished running, we quickly made out way inside the High School.  At this point, I was so cold I could barely feel my fingers which is why it looks like it hurts to smile in this picture.

photo 5

They had a great spread of food that included bagels from Panera, hundreds of homemade cookies in every combination you could think of, chips, and a lot more.  I grabbed another water and a peanut butter cookie and called it a day. I am not hungry after running, so I just nibbled on the cookie as I was waiting for the others to get their stuff.  We quickly gathered up our stuff as we had to race to the hotel to shower before check out at noon and then it was off to the airport for our flight at 1:45 p.m.

It was a whirlwind trip, but overall, this is an incredibly organized race.  Everything from the email communications prior to the race to the volunteers, the course, the food…everything was stellar.  It was by far the most organized and best race I have been to yet.  That fact that it was for an incredible cause just added to an already amazing race.  This race not only drew a record number of racers, but they raised over $77,000 to support the Rock CF Foundation’s mission!! I am SO incredibly proud and honored that I was able to be a part of this amazing event!!

Once I landed back in Boston, they had posted that the official results were up.   I ended up with a PR.  It was only by a few seconds, but considering I was not even thinking about running a PR race and hadn’t felt like I was racing this event at all, I am really happy with it.

Finished in 1:55:48(official chip time), Age Group(F30-34) 15/77

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous to tell my PT this on Friday during our session, but it is what it is.  I really did  try to run a slow, easy race and I did a great job until I hit the half way mark, and even then, I didn’t feel like I was really pushing myself out of my comfort zone, so we will see how it goes….eek!


Question of the day

What is the best race you have ever run?



Rock CF Half Marathon travel and expo

Hey guys, I have so much to tell you about my trip this past weekend to Michigan…but bottom line, it was a BLAST and I am SO SO happy I went.  So, with so much to tell you, I decided to break up the race into 2 post, one with the trip and expo and the second just about the race recap. So, let’s get started!

My flight was scheduled to leave Boston at 12:30p.m. but being the type A person that I am, I left my house at 10 am to ensure sure I would be at the airport an hour before my flight.  Now usually I’d be given a hard time about wanting to leave so early, especially since getting into the city on a weekend is usually smooth sailing, however, once I was right outside the city, they had the highway down to one lane and it was backed up for MILES. It took me about 30 mins to get past a stretch that would take me only a minute or two.  Thankfully, I had given myself enough time and had a nice buffer (see, it pays to be neurotic!)  When I finally figured out how to park in the overnight lot at the airport, I quickly headed through security since I checked in online the night before and made the trek to my gate. Three of the girls traveling to the race from work called out my name when I was walking by the restaurant they were parked at and I went in to join them.  We had about 45 minutes before we were going to board so they were enjoying some beer and I had just hit up my beloved Starbucks before meeting them.  Around 12:15 p.m. I said that I thought it was odd we hadn’t boarded yet.  We looked around since we were about 50 feet from our gate and it was EMPTY.  Like, no one but the gate attendants, so we quickly walked over there and they said to all of us “Haven’t you heard us calling over the loud-speaker for you?”  Um…no.  We were literally right there and heard nothing.  So, we were the very last passengers to board the plane.  EEK!

The flight was smooth sailing, took about 2 hours (I don’t know why but I always thought Michigan was so much further)  and I read a book the entire way there.  Once we landed we quickly made our way to Enterprise to pick up our car…well, van since there was going to be 8 of us this weekend!  Here are 5 of us in front of our beautiful ride…it was “a fully teched out” (Enterprise reps words) Town and Country Mini Van.


I have to hand it to T&C, I’m not a mini-van fan, but this thing was super spacious and had those doors that open and close themselves, pretty cool if you ask me! 🙂  I drive a teeny, tiny hatchback (which I love) but 3 of my cars could have fit into this bad boy!!  We headed the 20 minutes to our hotel, checked in, grabbed another co-worker who had arrived earlier and headed to the expo.

We had to travel about 15 minutes from our hotel to the expo at the Grosse Ise High School.   Once we got out of the car, we were greeted with signage with our company’s name and then a short little statement about one of our drugs.  It was pretty cool to see that as the first thing as you are walking up to the school, so of course, we had to take a group shot.  Notice our hair?  Yeah, the wind was pretty intense the entire time we were in Michigan!


Once we walked into the high school, we went to look on the sheets tacked up to see our numbers.  AND…of course, I am the last one listed! 🙂  I went from the front of the alphabet to the very end when I got married so I am pretty much guaranteed to be the last on any alphabetical list now!!  At least I am easier to find, right? 🙂

half marathon bib pick up

We entered into the gym and it was very quiet.  They had a lot of different opportunities for people to pick up bibs at a local running store and then throughout the day on Friday and Saturday.  We got there about an hour before they closed, so we had the place essentially all to ourselves, which was kind of nice.  All the people we spoke to were super nice and I know a lot of my running friends would have been happy to see that Bondi Band table set up below.  They were essentially the only vendor there selling stuff, with the exception of the race organization.

expo pick up

After we picked up our bibs and shirts (which by the way are the best race shirts I have EVER gotten) we went into the hallway to look at the other shirts available for purchase. I wanted one of everything, but I settled on a super cute, amazingly soft grey t-shirt for Ashton, his very first race shirt! Seriously, aren’t these the best shirts ever? For those of you who may not know, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) affects the lungs, among other things, so I love that the shoes represent lungs.  I absolutely love them and the quality and feel are amazing!


As we were all trying to decide what to buy, we met up with Emily, who is not only the founder and leader of the Rock CF Foundation (and designer of the shirts above), but she is a CF patient herself who is incredibly active in the community working hard to support research initiatives and heighten public awareness in the fight against CF through events like this race.  She is truly one of the most inspirational and charismatic people I have ever met and is a ray of sunshine on a dark, cold, windy day in Detroit!!  I was so happy to finally get to meet her (she is third from the left) and get a team picture together.


We wrapped up after our talk with Emily (and her mom) and headed back to the hotel.  Overall, the packet pick up was super easy and laid back and all the volunteers were super nice and helpful.  However, the one thing I wish they had was more vendors ( I only saw one, Bondi Bands.)  With over 2,000 runners, I was hoping to have a bit more of an expo for the race, mainly because I love to shop at expos, but all in all, it was a seamless pick up and we all walked away with some great goodies!
We drove around Grosse Ile to check out the half marathon course and take in the scene, it was absolutely beautiful along the water and the houses, OMG, gorgeous!  When we finally made it back to the hotel, we had about 30 mins to unwind before we were meeting up in the lobby to head to dinner.  I raced up to my room and video chatted with Robyn and Ashton before heading to dinner. I love that we have the technology to do things like this, it made me feel like I wasn’t so far from home to see him smiling and telling me about his day.  I left my room feeling so happy (and hungry!)
So, we were off again…this time for food.  We had 6:30 p.m. reservations at a local spot that was recommended to us called Gregorio’s Italian Restaurant.  Dee so nicely posed for a quick picture for me as she was literally racing to get in the door because it was so cold and windy!
I won’t go into much detail about the overall experience as it began with them not having our reservation for 8 people and being fairly rude to us, but at the end of the day, our party was accommodated and the food was decent.  It really doesn’t take much to please me when it comes to food, I ordered my standard salad and pasta and had a small glass of wine to finish it all off!  We were talking about what time we had to head out in the morning and realized that they close the parking lots for the race at 7 am, and those who were running the 5k had a different starting/drop off point than those of us running the 1/2 marathon so we decided we would have to leave the hotel by 6:15 a.m., which means we would miss the hotel breakfast that didn’t start until 7 a.m. so we made a late night stop at the grocery store to pick up some food.  We didn’t get back to the hotel until 9:00 p.m. and I was wiped, plus, I knew I would have to get up extra, extra early to get my first run of the day done (I had to get 19 miles in on Sunday) and then get changed before we went to the race, so I laid out all my race clothes and actually went to bed wearing my clothes for the first run of the day so all I would have to do when I got that 4:30 a.m. wake up call was put on my shoes, wash my face and brush my teeth.


Question of the day

What do you most look forward to when going to a race expo?

Race packing and a new playlist

Howdy friends, what a week we just had.  Pheew! So, I’m not going to do my normal Friday post with the Things I’m Loving because, well, because I am a REBEL!! 🙂  No, really, it’s because I wanted to share with you my packing list for my half marathon this weekend and my newly created playlist for this race.  As many of you know I am heading to lovely Detroit, Michigan on Saturday afternoon to run the Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon in Grosse Ile as part of a corporate sponsorship through my company.  While I will NOT be racing this event (I have to keep reminding myself of this) because I have my marathon in just a few weeks, I am SUPER excited to run this race as a representative of my organization and more importantly for an incredible cause.  Even with all the anxiety this has come with me participating (and thank you SO much for all your wonderful comments), I know this is a very worthy event and I know it will be a great time.

So, this is my very first race I have had to take a plane to.  I usually race within 2-3 hours driving distance from home, so I don’t have to worry about packing for an overnight trip. I can sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, lay my clothes out at the very last minute (and make multiple changes) and not really worry about much in advance.  So, flying to an event is much different because if I forget something, I’m pretty much out of luck! So, the weather forecast says snow showers on Saturday, but Sunday is *supposed* to look like this:

45 | 32 °F
I’m not getting my hopes up, the race is at 8:30 a.m., so I know it won’t be 45 degrees out, and it may not even be 32 out when we start so it’s a good thing I have been running cold temps all winter because I had a pretty good idea of what I needed to pack.  So, I pulled all my clothes out, checked it a few times and I’m hoping I am not missing anything important!  So here is what I have:

Hat, gloves, jacket, 2 pairs of compression socks (during and after), 2 pairs of insulated tights (so I can choose that morning), running shoes, running fuel, two dri fit tops for layering, sports bra, sneakers, warm clothes for when I’m done running and waiting around, Garmin and charger, Jaybird Bluebuds and charger, foam roller and trigger point ball, Flip Belt, Energy Bits, tablet (for the plane), clothes and shoes to travel in…okay, it that it?? Let me know if you think I’m missing something critical!!

And now…onto my playlist. I am hugely motivated by music, but I also have to keep in mind that I CANNOT race this event. I promised my PT that if I participated in this, that it would strictly be a training run.  I know the excitement of a race and fans can throw off even the best laid plays, but I think (and hope) that the fact that I have to run 6 miles BEFORE the race even starts (I have to log 19 miles as my long run on Sunday) will keep me in check pace wise since I will be running on tired legs.  So, here is my new playlist and I know it is ALL over the place in terms of style of music, I like a lot of different styles when I run…it always makes me laugh because 99% of the time, I only listen to Country outside of running.  I hope it’s as great as a playlist as I think the songs are as stand alone songs.CF Rocks half marathon playlistWell, that’s all I have for you today. I am home with a sick kiddo and he is now napping, so I am going to throw all my stuff in a bag and hope I’m not missing anything.  I will talk to you all on Monday.  Whatever you do this weekend, be safe and have fun!


Question of the day

Have you ever traveled for a race? Any good words of advice?

A special delivery and irrational fears

Howdy friends!!  This week has been a bit of a blur.  Between a super busy week, training, family life and getting ready for my trip this weekend, I feel like I’ve been a bit all over the place. I got home from work last night and I had this very special delivery waiting for me.

boston packet

My Boston welcome packet and number for bib pickup!!  I was SO excited to open it up, as one of my friends had posted earlier in the day that she received hers, so I was hoping I’d get mine as well.  I don’t think I have ripped into a package so quickly!!  It’s getting more and more real as the days tick by, I know after this weekend’s 19 miler, I start my slow taper and I know the race will be here before I know it.

So, as my mind was racing with all this running,  so I started thinking through the items I needed to pack for my upcoming trip this Saturday.   Then, all of a sudden, dread consumed me. Dread?  Me?  I was taken back as I was standing in my closet and a wave of panic consumed me.  Normally, when it comes to running, I am super excited and bouncing around getting my clothes together for runs, but I started to think of all these irrational thoughts and almost lost it.  Why?  I have never been away from my son for more than the amount of hours I work in a day. He just turned two and while a lot of people let their parents and extended family take their kids while the parents go away for a night or two, or just because their family wants one on one time with their kids, we haven’t.  We have been asked many times  but I have always said no without a second thought.  It’s not because I don’t think he will be okay, because I know he will, my husband and I  just don’t want to be away from him…it’s simple as that.

Before having Ashton, I traveled a lot for my job (and for fun).  I LOVE to travel, I don’t really care where, I just love to explore and be in new places.  I have been fortunate enough to bounce all over Europe and a lot of the US and Canada because of work.  Ashton even traveled with me to Spain and CA while still safe in my belly.  Once I was too far along in my pregnancy to travel, I spoke with my boss about my need to be home, especially during the first year of Ashton’s life since I was nursing him.  That was not a problem at all.  I haven’t been on a work trip since I was about 7.5 months pregnant and Ashton just turned 2 in February, so it’s been a while.  There were a few instances last year when there was talk of me having to go somewhere and I managed to get out of it, but I know moving forward that can’t happen. My job is to get out there and see people.  I already have 3 trips on the books in the upcoming months for work, with one long trip to Madrid.   So, I knew the trips were coming, but I think I kind of mentally blocked them out.  I thought when I agreed to go to this race that it was a perfect “experiment” since I will only be gone for about 36 hours.  However, it’s proving to be way worse for me than I initially thought.

Again, I think Ashton will be fine with Robyn. I mean, if we are being honest here, Ashton would choose Robyn over me 95% of the time, except when he is sick and puking…you know, all the fun times I want to be the one he wants 🙂  But I don’t want to miss anything with them.  Every single day Ashton is doing something more than he was the day before, whether it is putting new words together or exploring new things, I love this stage in his life, I just don’t want to miss something new with him.   I also have ridiculous fears of the what ifs, like what if  something bad happened to me? I mean, I know the stats, I’m more likely to get hit by lightning, but still.  The thought of not being around to see my son grow up is terrifying.  I literally feel sick to my stomach over this.  Intellectually, I know these are irrational fears, I know people do this all the time, I’m not the first or the last mother who has to travel for their career, but it doesn’t mean these feelings are any less real to me.  I stopped pulling my clothes out last night after this little incident and decided I would try again later tonight after I had time to process all these emotions.

I really hope tonight goes better than last night.  I mean, I know this trip is going to be really fun, I’m getting to do something I love (running) and two of my most favorite people I work with are also coming with me, so I hope that this trip helps rip the proverbial band-aid off since it’s only one night.  I’m hoping this is good practice for the  long trip to Chicago I have at the end of May, but PLEASE…for those of you parents who have to travel for work (or otherwise) please tell me it will be okay.  And if all else fails, I will be chanting this over and over again!




Question of the day

What are you afraid of? It doesn’t matter what it is…and tell me how you overcome it!