I’m going to be a 4-time Iron Girl!

February 4, 2013 at 6:25 am

I’m still kind of on a post-race high after the Best Damn Race 10K on Saturday. It felt so good to be back out there running a race with my friends in my IRunMommies uniform.

So while still elated about my last race, I’m excited to announce that I just registered for the Iron Girl Clearwater 5K in April!

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I’m really excited about this race, because it will be the fourth Iron Girl event that I have attended. In fact, the Iron Girl 5K was the first road running event that I ever did!

In 2008 I walked the Iron Girl 5K with a friend.

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I seem to remember that we got medals, but I can’t find it. Aflac was the sponsor that year and we did get those little Aflac ducks. When you squeeze him he says, “Aflac, Aflac, AFLAC!!!” He has his own little medal, so maybe we didn’t get one that year.

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I remember feeling very proud to cross that finish line…my first!

The 2011 Iron Girl 5K was the first event that I participated in wearing the IRunMommies uniform and I was so proud of myself for running the whole distance.

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Then last year, in 2012, I was newly battling my hip issues, and I walked the Iron Girl Half Marathon.

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I think that was the hardest race I’ve ever finished. Walking a half marathon is no joke!

Here are some details about this year’s Clearwater Iron Girl:

Date: Sunday, April 14, 2013

Location: Coachman Park

Entry fees:
1/2 Marathon Race
Women’s Individual
$95.00 until April 10
$105.00 race week and expo
(you must be 14 years old to participate in the 1/2 marathon)
5K Race
Women’s Individual
$35.00 until April 10
$45.00 race week and expo
5K Race Team
Mother Daughter 2-person teams
$70.00 until April 10
$90.00 race week and expo

Through February 28th you can get 10% off registration by using the code TBBLOGGERS13. Come on, you know you want one of these:

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Click here to register!

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I love the message of the Iron Girl Event Series.

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Several of the Tampa Bay Bloggers have teamed up to help spread the word about this year’s Iron Girl Clearwater. Iron Girl believes that it is important to empower, encourage and support women of all athletic abilities. The women of the Tampa Bay Bloggers share that belief. You can share in this vision by following the women of the Tampa Bay Bloggers as they embark on their Iron Girl journey.

Asha of The Dansha Diaries – 5K
Beth of Discom-BOB-ulated Running – 5K
Callie of The Wannabe Athlete
Caroline of My Fascinating Life – 5K <—hey, that’s me! Smile
Chrissy of Loving Life – half marathon
Denise of Run DMT – half marathon
Heather of 321 Fit Life – half marathon
Holly of Ask the Fit Coach
Jen of Putting on My Girl Panties and Just Doin’ It – half marathon
Jenny of Metamorfit – 5K mother/daughter team
Jessica of Cuban Running Crisis – half marathon
Jessica of Life with My Loves – 5K
Jina of Behold the Turtle – half marathon
Katie of A Full Plate – 5K
Kat of Sneakers and Fingerpaints
Kelly of Shape Daily
Lauren from Modern Day Wife – 5K
Liza of Addicted to Savings
Margarita of Cardio Cupcake
Marisa of Fit Kids Playground
Meghan of Little Girl in the Big World – half marathon
Mindy of Mindy’s Fitness Journey – half marathon
Nicole of Healthy Girl Adventures
Rachel of A Mom with Minions and Opinions
Rachel of Runner’s Tales
Raffi of Running Betty
Rebecca of Fit Runnin Momma – half marathon
Rebecca of Rebecca Roams – half marathon
Steph of Kitchen KM – 5K
Tori of In Love and Peanut Butter – half marathon
Xiomora  of Parkesdale – half marathon

(Thanks to Denise of RunDMT for doing all the legwork on those links! Whew.)

Check out the Iron Girl website for more information about Iron Girl.
Click here for more information about the Clearwater event.
Like Iron Girl on Facebook.
Follow @TheIronGirl on Twitter and follow our Iron Girl tweets using the hashtag #IronGirlTBB .

[Disclosure: Iron Girl comp’d my entry into the 2013 Clearwater Iron Girl event, but all opinions are my own.]

Best Damn Race 2013 Recap

February 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Foreshadowing…this is how this race began:

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and this is how it ended:

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This morning I headed to Safety Harbor, about a 30 minute drive from our house, for the Best Damn Race.

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This was the inaugural year for this race and it included a 5K, 10K, and half marathon.

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I did the 10K. I arrived in plenty of time to find a good parking space on the street near the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa which is where the start was located.

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I walked down to the expo where they were still setting up the finish line.

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It was cold and dark out there at 5:45 a.m.

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I immediately spotted some of my Tampa Bay Blogger friends hanging out by the registration table.

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I chatted with them for a few minutes then checked my bag, reluctantly giving up my coat, and headed to the starting line to look for my friend Jenny. She ended up finding me in my bring pink and green IRunMommies uniform.

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I wore a throw-away toboggan on my head (it said Coca-Cola on it and was Yelp swag) and a pair of Chad’s tube socks on my arms. They sacrificed their toe seam for my arm warmth.

Everybody filled in at the starting line, getting impatient because the 10K started about ten minutes late.

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After the National Anthem we were off. Jenny and I started together, but soon my constant photography made us drift apart. We came back together several times during the course, however. How could I not stop and take some photos of this amazing sunrise?

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One mile down.

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My homemade, super attractive arm-warmers worked great.

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I lost the toboggan somewhere before Mile 2.

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By this time the sun was truly rising.

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Crystal clear skies and chilly temperatures make for perfect running weather.

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Almost the whole course was right along Bayshore Boulevard.

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In the above photo you can see two ladies with blue shirts and one lady in black with a red jacket tied around her waist. Those were my running “buddies” for the entire race. Super nice random stranger ladies.

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Jenny had been ahead of me, but after she had to make a pit stop, we ran together for a while.

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At this point we entered a park.

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Jenny, pulling ahead of me again!

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Running through the park was nice.

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Back on Bayshore Boulevard:

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Red jacket was ahead of me again.

I never saw a mile five marker for the 10K, but it would have been close to the Mile 12 marker for the half marathon…heading into the last mile.

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Oh what a beautiful morning.

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The finish line!

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My friends were cheering me on as I crossed and the announcer stumbled across my name.

My official 10K race results:

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I’m very happy with that!

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Go Tampa Bay Bloggers and in this case Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers!

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After we took the above photos I headed back out onto the course (in the same direction that we started the 10K) to add on two more miles for a total of 8 miles this morning. My goal was to do the 8 miles with a better than 15 minute/mile average. I definitely succeeded in that and ended up doing better than 14 minutes/mile over all.

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My official race results average pace is a little shower due to the fact that my Garmin auto-pauses whenever I come to a complete stop (like to take a photo).

The biggest victory is that I had no hip pain at all! Seriously, this seems like some sort of miracle to me. By those last two miles I could definitely feel tightness in my hip, but then again I was feeling tightness everywhere by that point. I was aware of my hip, if you know what I mean, but I never felt any pain at all. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow, but all hail the Whole30!

Here’s a close-up of my boobs:

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The medal is a bottle opener!

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As I was picking up my bag from gear check I ran into my friend and fellow blogger Nanci.

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In the food tent I ran into yet another blogger friend, Jina.

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I swear not all my friends are bloggers, but I do have quite a large network of blogger friends and I love it. They are all so fun and friendly and nice.

The after party spread was pretty nice.

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I still want to stick with three meals a day and nothing in between, so I didn’t take any of the food even though I could have had fruit. I took a handful of the little Mojo Clif Bars to make up for the fact that I wasn’t eating anything. I think that’s fair.

The race expo area at the Safety Harbor Marina:

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Originally I thought that I would hang out until the end of the half marathon, but it was so chilly that I decided that it would be a better idea to get out of the cold before my hip stiffened up too much and to go home and ice it. On my walk back to the car I ran into my blogger friend Debbie at the starting line.

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Bloggers sure do like races, or maybe lots of people who like races also blog. Either way it’s great to always see so many friends at events. I got to slap hands on the course with my friend Tori of In Love and Peanut Butter, and missed my friend Meghan of Little Girl in the Big World because she had to head out right after she finished, but the camaraderie amongst all of us is fabulous.

It was an amazing morning and I had a blast. I think that Best Damn Race did a great job on their inaugural event. The only criticism I have is regarding the shirts. I was really happy when I registered for the event and they had women’s XXL as an option when choosing t-shirt size. Women’s cut t-shirts size XL never fit me. They are too short for my long torso and often the shoulders are too narrow for my manly broad shoulders. When I went to pick up my packet they told me that they did not have the XXLs that day at Sports Authority, but that I could exchange the shirt I took (men’s L) for a women’s XXL on race day. But this morning at the expo they had NO women’s shirts at all. Womp womp. Oh well. Stuck with a men’s shirt again.

It’s not a big deal and otherwise I thought the race went perfectly. Thanks for a great morning Best Damn Race!