My nerves are starting to kick into overdrive now that my second marathon is only 17 days away!


On top of usual pre-race jitters this is also the first race I’ve done out-of-town. There are quite a few new variables I need to plan for that I haven’t had to think about before! They fall into two main categories that I’m hoping to share some of my ideas/plans with you and get your advice on today; money & race prep.


Ahh such an evil little thing. While my Dad is going with me I’ll be taking care of the hotel/gas costs. I haven’t really traveled since Chicago last December but I have a jam-packed travel agenda for the next 8 months and I need to be extremely careful with budgeting for it all.  Nashville is about 7 hours from Pensacola (900 miles round trip) so I’m figuring $130 for gas. I have a hotel booked for three nights, Thursday-Saturday, but I’m thinking about dropping it down to two nights and leaving after the race Saturday.

We will arrive in Nashville around 2 p.m. on Thursday to spend the rest of that day and Friday sightseeing. Saturday is race day, and I’m sure I’ll be virtually useless after the race so to help save $150 would I be insane to hop in a car for 7 hours post-marathon? Dad would be doing most of the driving, and I anticipate leaving the race around noon and getting on the road around 2 p.m. The thought of being able to sleep in my own bed the night of the marathon is fantastic, but I don’t want to hate my life the rest of that day in the car either.

Race Prep

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As I ran yesterday I started thinking about all the things I do in the days leading up to a big race, the morning of the race, and immediately after. Dad and I are already planning to bring most of our food for the trip to save $$ and make sure we can eat healthy on the road. I’m going to have to think of what I can bring that’s heavy on the carbs, and part of my usual diet. I’m sure we will go out to eat at least once while we are there so if you have any favorite spots in Nashville let me know. I’m going to pick up a bag of ice while we are out Friday to have in the tub at the hotel for me post-race, and I’m definitely bringing my trigger point kit and foam roller!

I’m glad I’m going with Dad since he’s a 4x (maybe 5x?) marathoner himself so I’m sure he will notice that I’m forgetting to pack something. I found a few lists online that go over the basics of what to pack but I feel like there are logistical considerations I’m not thinking about that some of you seasoned out-of-town racers may be able to help me out with!

Has anyone run a race out-of-town before? What are your tips/advice?
Should I make it a 2 night stay or 3?

Sometimes, awesome things happen in my life.

Like the day I got hooked up with the lovely folks at Vacation Races.

vr VR VR1


I’ll be heading up to Tennessee in September with Dad to run their Great Smokey Mountain run (and more on that adventure soon!) but today I wanted to introduce you to their Virtual Race series and give away an entry.

vrI’ve never done a virtual race before but I love the whole idea behind it. Plus, Vacation Races gives out awards for fun categories like:

Most Festive Picture
Most Scenic Course
Youngest Runner
Oldest Runner
Furthest From Home
Most Trash Collected on Run (by weight)
Highest Elevation Run
Lowest Elevation Run
Warmest Run
Coldest Run

I’m definitely going to gun for winning most scenic course. I mean, I practically live on the beach! Vacation Races just announced that they are selling season passes for the virtual races for those who wish to sign up for all 6. For $120 you could get entry into all races and 6 medals! I’m a total bling fanatic so I think that’s a great deal. Plus, you know, the whole running/being healthy thing is a nice side effect.

On April 22nd they will kick off their virtual race series with an Earth Day Race.

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For $35 you could sign up for either the 5k or 10k run and get a t-shirt and medal. To guarantee you receive the shirt before race day you will need to register by this Friday, April 11th. The shirt is a 60/40 blend, soft, comfortable fit t-shirt.

Earth DayThe medals are so pretty!  I’m so happy to not have another beer bottle opener medal to hang on my dresser.
EDWant to win a free entry? Just leave a comment telling me how you help take care of our planet. Do you like to recycle? Compost? Carpool? All entries must be received by midnight Central time on Thursday and I will announce the winner Friday morning. Be sure to check back then since you need to register for the race that day to make sure you get your shirt in time!

 We have a winner! Jess, please email me ASAP for your code.WinnerFor everyone else be sure to register by April 11th to get your shirt in time for the race!

This weekend was one of the best I’ve had this year and I really only did 3 things: run, eat, and watch movies.

First, I had to go into the office for a bit Friday afternoon to get some pills ready. One of the classes I teach is a Research Methods course and part of the semester is spent conducting an actual study. Every year we usually do something looking at the effects of caffeine. We use some sort of 200 mg caffeine pill (like No Doz) and I have to make up the placebo pills. This year is the first time I used Gluten Free flour. So trendy. I always have fun making the pills up though.

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After work I headed to Fresh Market to look for something to have for dinner. While walking around I spotted these in the refrigerator section. As I said on my Twitter back in my day all cookie dough was edible! I think they wanted 7.99 a pop for these and they were basically cookie dough minus the egg. 2014-04-04 15.42.42

I was feeling something munchy so I ended up getting a bag of popchips and some of their amazing chocolate crunch mix. I’ve been feeling like watching a mafia movie lately so I popped in Casino. I *still* can’t watch the end scene with Joe Pesci. I’m such a wuss.2014-04-04 16.34.59At least I had great company!
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Saturday morning was my longest training run for Marathon #2 – 21 miles. Since my training for this round has been dramatically less than my first one I’ve been growing more concerned that I’m not really ready. I treated this long run as though it was the actual marathon (although I don’t plan on eating a bag of chips for dinner before the race!) I was up early, had my outfit and fuel ready to go, and planned a course similar to the hilly Nashville one I will be running in 3 weeks.

Overall I’m very happy with the run. I finished it and that was my only real goal! My average time ended up being 11:15. My pace for Marathon 1 was 10:50. Given the hills on this course I think I’m going to aim for an 11 minute pace. I’ll likely start off at 10:30, and end up closer to 11:30-12 by the end, so I think 11 minutes is a good estimate. As you can see in my Garmin race details from this weekends run I did pretty good until the last few miles! All those deep drops you see on the top chart are when I had to stop and walk. #NoShame

Long RunI got home  and immediately went into recovery mode. My routine is to stretch for a few minutes, hop on the foam roller, and then go into an ice bath (shoving calories in my face somewhere in between all that.) Most runs over 16 miles I try to do an ice bath for about 10 minutes after. They suck, but I genuinely feel like they help shorten recovery time.

Even when you do this in them:2014-04-05 10.59.57Trust me – if you get out to use the restroom you are not getting back in there!

I had some oatmeal and greek yogurt, showered, and headed out in a hailstorm (check out the video on my instagram!) to get something for dinner.

2014-04-05 14.49.46Wandering around the grocery store after running 21 miles means you make some interesting food choices. I went with sushi, chocolate & PB and grabbed some seasoning and coke to have with popcorn. I was craving a soda like mad on my run so I had to have one.
2014-04-05 15.44.13I was in the mood for something funny that night so I randomly picked out Blazing Saddles. It was wildly inappropriate but I absolutely loved it. I went on to Robin Hood: Men in Tights after. Sunday morning I woke up feeling pretty stiff so I did some stretching and went for a 2 mile walk before going back into movie mode. Keeping with the theme of awesome 80′s comedies I watched Clue, and am currently working my way through a Fish Called Wanda.

I left the house for a quick trip to get food for the week. I’m making Vegetarian Korma and Sweet Potato, Apple, Carrot, and Red Lentil soup. I grabbed some GF bread and swiss cheese to make grilled cheese to go with the soup. I think I may add a bit of honey and cardamom to the swiss before I toast it.
2014-04-06 11.40.34I realized last year when I started racking up the miles that my hunger peaks the day after a LR. Unsurprisingly my lunch yesterday was that entire bag of tortilla chips. I savored every delicious bite (and by savor I mean shoved huge fistfuls of them into my mouth and left crumbs all over my couch.)

How was your weekend?
What is your favorite 80′s comedy? I feel like I’m actually running out of ones to watch!