Sea Turtle Half Marathon #78 Gulf Shores

“A goal sets your life on a path, gives it direction, and energizes you.” -Andrew Wheating (Olympic runner)

finishersSo we did this!  Yes, Andrew and I went to Gulf Shores and ran the Sea Turtle Half Marathon!  This was my 78th half marathon and we had a great time!  After all, doesn’t everyone go on their honeymoon to the beach and run a half?


I am super proud of Andrew for winning the half marathon.  He ran a 1:15 and I know he felt great and I am looking forward to his continued success.  I am happy with my time as well!  I ran 1:49!  I wish I had pushed it and ran under 1:49, but it was definitely windy on the way back!  I was glad I wore my Oiselle portman shorts along with my new verra bra.  I also wore the Buffalo XC jersey for good luck! Here is my race data:

I finished in 1:49:23

Andrew and I took some fun pictures before, during and after the race…I wasn’t very happy with the during pictures but you know Andrew!

I forgot to mention that I was in fifth place, but I let a girl pass me at about mile I was sixth female and second in my age group.  I was excited to win a sea turtle coffee mug…though I am sad to report I did not see any sea turtles on our honeymoon!  We ate at the hangout and went back to our hotel to shower.  We stayed at the Beachside Resort.  There was an outdoor pool, but it wasn’t warm enough for us!


After the race, we went to Rico’s for some gelato.  I liked the mango gelato.  We watched the pelicans and relaxed after our hard run.  The day seemed to fly by.  It was already midway through Saturday and I was happy to soak up the sun!

I don’t really remember what else we did besides go to the store and stock up on powerade.  Oh yeah, I remember going to the information center.  We found out there was a car show and seafood festival going on at the Wharf! We decided to go check it out!

I know that we went to the Oyster House and had some really good food.  Andrew got the all you can eat shrimp and I had fried green tomatoes.

I tried these Louisiana meat pies called “nachitoches.”  They reminded me of empanadas. Here is the recipe:

We had a great “first day” in Gulf Shores!


We checked out the Gulf Shores State Park on Sunday.  We came by there on Saturday and picked up a map.  You can rent bikes there and there are plenty of trails!


We decided to rent bikes and go on the trails.  We ended up biking about 16 miles.  We saw a lot of alligators, cranes, and even a tortoise!  It was fun to see the alligators but I was glad they were on the other side of the fence.  I did not want to get eaten!

I thought it was funny to run into the sign about not aggravating the alligators and to not feed them…that wasn’t the funny part.  It was the sign below that said “swim at your own risk.”  I don’t think that swimming with alligators is a great idea, but maybe we are technically trying to feed them if we swim with them?  I don’t know just a thought!

We did end up seeing a baby alligator, a small alligator, a mama alligator, and another little alligator.  The mama gator is known as “Lefty.”  She is kind of a regular at the park.  She is called “Lefty” because she got into a fight at some point and lost part of her right back leg.  She is a celebrity.

I found this on a website:

Please don’t throw rocks at the alligators!!!  Sounds like such a mean thing to do!  She is a mama!!!!!

We continued on our bike ride and I saw a big tortoise.  She was right off the trail hanging out.  She was pretty friendly.  I didn’t pet her, but we took some pictures and left her alone.


We continued on our bike ride and I confessed to Andrew along the way that I had never had a DQ blizzard.  So we stopped and had some for lunch.  I had the chocolate cake blizzard.  It was really good.  I have been missing out!  andrew blizzard.JPG

We rode back to the park and decided to be beach bums.  We wanted to relax before going out to dinner.  We ran 6 miles in the morning and biked 16!  We earned it!

While at the beach, we did see a crane.  They are so funny looking.  I wanted to collect some shells, but they were not very big :(….oh well!


Okay! Dinner!….We decided it was time for Mexican!  We looked through a bunch of the brochures and decided to go to: The Cactus Cantina.  Here is the information if you want to go:


Andrew got a giant margarita and I got a yuengling.  I wasn’t feeling warm enough for a frozen drink!  We had the queso fundito (which I think they called cheese dip).  It is so good.  It is a cheese sauce with chorizo meat.  I think I had a burrito but I don’t really remember.  The service was good and I would eat there again.  I wasn’t feeling 100% so I didn’t eat all of my meal and the waiter joked around about me being on a liquid diet.  I didn’t like that.  It was really hot that day and I was feeling a little dehydrated.  I tend to eat less when I am hot.  I am not on a liquid diet!!!!


Sigh, it was our last full day in Alabama! What were we going to do?  The weather called for 75 degree weather and humidity.  We got up and went for a run on our usual loop.  I did 6.2 miles and so did Andrew.  We wanted to go on a dolphin watch but it was off season and most places were either closed or booked.  I was feeling discouraged so I thought we should go for a run then decide what to do.  I suggested renting a scooter or going on the go carts.  Andrew and I looked at the brochures and he made a quick call before we left.  He didn’t leave a message.  So off we went at about 7 in the morning for our run.


When we got back to the hotel, Andrew had a voicemail from the place he tried calling.  The price was $18 each for a dolphin tour for about 2 hours.  I was excited that they called back.  I thought it was interesting they called Andrew when he did not leave a message.  So we ended up on the “Blue Dolphin Cruises.”  This is located in Orange Beach.

I cannot say enough good things about this tour!!!!  We got to sit outside and look at all of the beach front houses.  We saw a ton of dolphins and took some amazing pictures.   I could have put a lot of pictures on here, but I have already shared a lot!  We took some really neat videos too!  I loved when the dolphins were swimming beside the boat…they were soooooo adorable!  I would love to have a pet dolphin!


After our dolphin tour, we went for another run at The Gulf Shores State Park.  I ran for about 4.6 miles with a cotton shirt on because I was a fried lobster.  Our sun screen had expired and we bought new sun screen.  On a side note, I hate the stick sun screen.  It is like putting lip gloss on…and when you are already sunburnt, it is no Bueno!


Dinner!  It was our last dinner in Alabama so we wanted barbeque!!!  I let Andrew pick the restaurant and he picked a good place! We went to the “Hog Wild BBQ” place in Gulf Shores.

It was really good and I could have had about four rib sandwiches.  The beer was really good too!  I tried the Naked Pig IPA and Andrew had Truck Stop.  These are both good Alabama beers.  After dinner, we went back to the hotel and watched Love it or List It?  I forgot to mention we did eat breakfast at a Waffle House and we went to a place called “BuzzCatz Coffee And Sweets.”  They have a lot of goodies but I was just in it for the coffee!!!!!


So our last day…I got up early and we went to the beach to look for shells. I got him the hat he is wearing at the surf shop.  We do something fun when we travel.  We go to the gift store and give ourselves a budget of $10 and we have to buy each other a souvenir.  He got me some sea turtle wind chimes and an alligator ornament.  I was jealous I didn’t see the ornaments because I would have bought some for my family!  I think this is a cute gift idea.

After coming back to the hotel and packing, we went to Gulf Shores State Park.   I ran 7 miles while Andrew ran 7.5…crazy…when we got back to the car it started to downpour. I was glad we got in our sweaty run before the long day of being at the airport.  We stopped at Starbucks for some fuel and breakfast sandwiches.  Our flight to Chicago was on time.  The rest of our trip was pretty uneventful.  I did feel bad for the security guard.  Note:  If you win a trophy, do not put the trophy in the dirty laundry.  We had to wait for the security guard to go through his bag, which was filled with all of our running clothes from the trip!


This was a great vacation but we both decided it was too short.  We would love to go back and the race was awesome.  It was inexpensive and we got a medal and a long sleeve t-shirt. The bibs were super cute and we both took home prizes.  There was gu on the course, along with water and Gatorade.  The race director had a good sense of humor and the course was definitely a “b–p” on the way back…but you could plan your timing right and it didn’t matter.  I loved the post race food at the Hangout.  I had a chicken Caesar wrap, but they also had veggie and roast beef wraps.  There was plenty to drink and some alcoholic beverages for hydration.  We liked the gu chomps and there was run gum.  I also saw a variety of snacks, which included peanut butter pretzels and candy!  What more could a girl want?






Run, Fox, Run

“Stay steadfast in your hopes and dreams, but flexible in how you reach them.”- Collier Lawrence.

You might say I have been rather busy!!!!!  You would be correct.  On December 29, 2016, I married Andrew :)!!!!  I am so lucky!  I have been pretty busy planning.  I do not know where the time has gone.  I remember when he proposed over Columbus Day weekend.  I wore the shoes he proposed to me in at the wedding.  Ever since, I have been on cloud nine.  I feel bad because he is so level headed and amazing.  Me, I am a train wreck some days.  I have always had a less that amazing self-esteem and  I don’t have many friends…but the ones I do have, are pretty awesome!



I have been slacking on race reports.  The last half I paced was Wolf Hollow on November 20, 2016.  It was in Nashua, New Hampshire.  The medal was a cute wolf and the race was good.  It was not the easiest race to pace and the girls who ran with me drifted at the end.  This was Half Marathon number 77.  I finished in 1:59…and some change.

I have since decided to stop pacing.  I think it is stressful and I want to take a break.  I am not sure if I will pace again.  I would hate to quit forever because I enjoy it, but I need the vacation from it.

I have done some 5ks.  I did the St. Nick Shuffle at OCC in December!  I loved it and we got a Santa suit, hat, and light up medal.  I was fourth in my age group and happy with my time!  It was for my bachelorette party!  I went to paint n sip night at Owera later that day!

st nick.JPG My medal…It lights up but don’t be jealous!

Here are my splits, along with my finish time and the course:

So what have I been up to since the New Year?

I ran with the Oiselle girls in January.  We won the Winter Warrrior team relay!  We beat the girls and the boys!!!  We beat the co-ed teams too!!!!  I was so proud!


I ran a 5k in February.  It was Cupid’s Chase.  I have a hard time running this race because I won it the first year I ran it and then I came in 2nd the following year.  I tried for another win and came in 5th place, just out of a medal position.   This year, I was in third place, but I had a sinus infection and the flu.  I wanted to die.  I am happy with my time, but I am sad because I was feeling pretty strong until I wanted to cough up a lung.  I ended up in 6th place.  I let the girl pass me who won my age group.  I was happy that my friend, Jen, won her age group too!!!!!  I just wish I didn’t have such bad luck.  Here is the medal, with my splits and course:



Moose Pond Half Marathon #76

“It’s hills …get over them!”

I guess I should have looked at the elevation map!!!
However, I wasn’t worried.  Hills are great because they help you get faster and I was the 2:15 pacer for beast pacing 🙂

I did not check the elevation until after the race but The Moose Pond Half Marathon took place at Shawnee Peak so I guess that should have been my first clue!
This is in Maine in case you were not sure, though I saw 0 moose!  I have seen them but not in a year or so!  I saw a small moose on 95 going towards Bangor!  Luckily it did not meet my car!

Here is the elevation map:

Needless to say, the second half was a little less work!
I liked the shirt!  The race was 50$ for late registry and you got a free 13.1 sticker!  You also receive a cool turtle medal !

I loved the medal!  This is my first turtle medal and my first wooden medal!

I was happy to run with my cousin for a little while and then she took off like a rocket!  




She said she was not ready but she did awesome!

Her boyfriend didn’t run but I was thankful he drove and he brought us hot chocolate and sandwiches!

Andrew was talked into coming too!  He won the half in 1:17:59!

He makes it look so easy!

He got some nice awards! They gave him a season pass to Shawnee Peak and a handmade box!

I have been pretty sick but I was able to pull off a 2:14:22!  I am glad I helped people finish in their goal times!  

I would pace this race again!  It was nice to visit my cousin and do a race!  We went to brunch after and spent the night!  I really like running in Maine!  It’s beautiful there.
What is next?  I’m pacing the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon next weekend but I hope I feel better by then!  I should be alright but it’s been about two weeks of non stop feeling like garbage!  I had strep and then who knows what!  I am starting a new teaching job November 21, so I think people figure I’m vacationing…. Not the case!  
As for running…. This is my last half of the year coming up…. I’ll be doing The Sea Turtle Half in Alabama for a small honeymoon!  That is I’m February!  

Then I’m doing the Lakeffect Half in February with Rachel! 

March- Celebrate Life

Syracuse Half

Newburyport Half Marathon #75

I feel too old to be young and too young to be old.”  
Sorry it’s been a while but I have been busy! Between running, working, getting a new job, and getting married, my life is busy. I’ve been pretty sick too but I realize it’s been a while and I haven’t kept up with my blog.  
So here is half number 75! I decided to start pacing with Beast Pacing again. I set too much pressure on myself and I wanted to love running again. Of course I’m sick now so it’s agitating that I cannot run much but oh well! C’est la vie!  
The race was on October 23 and it was wonderful. My running buddy and I went to Newburyport, Massachusetts to get our bibs and shirts.  I thought it was organized though I was surprised some random girl cut in front of us! We stayed at a marriott and it was really nice.  I always end up in the handicapped room and can’t ever figure out the shower!!! There were two shower knobs!!!! Strange!
We ate dinner at Gissepis! There was a 20 minute wait but the food was great and abundant to say the least !!! I think Jen and I could have split one meal!

The race started on the later side… I think 10, but it was cold and windy so that was alright! Jen was my savior because she found a construction site bathroom and we didn’t have to wait in long bathroom lines!
I met up with the Beast Pacing team and received my sign! I was the 2:00 pacer and I was nervous. My stomach felt off the night before but I was ready to run a 9:08 pace!  The race started off and it went by chip time so I started my watch at the start!
The race was really fast and there was some incline at mile 2. I loved the Fall colors and the colonial houses! I could see myself living there though the roads were somewhat narrow compared to what I am used to.  I liked the reservoir and I could never imagine driving near there during winter. There wasn’t a guard rail so I would probably stay away for fear of driving off the road and into the water!
I loved one house in particular but then I saw a sign where 9 children had been massacred by native Americans there…. So I wouldn’t choose to live there unfortunately.  It would be sad and creepy to me… Though it was a beautiful house.  I think the kids were buried a little farther down the road.  Poor kids! The course got really windy when we went down one road around mile 10 and had to turn around. I thought I would lose my sign.  I was fortunate enough to run with a bunch of people and I am glad they had an enjoyable experience! I helped two girls break two hours and I know a few more.  The one girl did the BAA half and was sad that she didn’t break two hours. I told her today was her day!  She did it and I’m sure she was under 1:58!!!! 
Jen and I drove the course the night before but we couldn’t drive the trail portion. It wasn’t long but I liked going over a small bridge towards the finish. Jen said she knew when I was coming because there was a big crowd.  A bunch of people were running from me because they wanted to finish under 2 hours.  I was like “no one wants to be my friend.” Hahaha…. 
I finished in 1:59:44… I was confident the entire time and felt comfortable! I like driving the course so I know what to expect as a pacer.  My splits were really even and I’m glad I helped people pr!  I wore my lux arm Warmers and my Portman shorts from oiselle!!! Super comfy and not warm…. But comfy. I definitely need to pack better.  I found one mitten in my car and had to rotate it during the race lol! 
Jen pr-d and I’m so happy for her! I told her she could do it! She finished in 1:51!  Hopefully I can talk her into more races!  I had fun and I’m glad Jen came!!! I used to run by myself all the time but it is better to have company!
The medal was great.  It was an anchor and wheel with a “green strider” on it.  They put together the race!  The shirts fit good and I am happy it’s not a nightgown!  Jen and I agreed we would both do this race again!!! It’s beautiful, fast, and fun!  There was pizza and beer after.  We even saw ice cream but we were freezing.  We showered and went to “Anchor” for lunch!  We had buffalo chicken pizza and some Sam Adams!  We stopped at Starbucks before hitting the road!
To find out more about the race, visit:

To find out about pacing: 

The medal 

 Beast Pacing crew 🙂

Me and Jen

   The summer of 69! 
I smile more when I pace!


Race Happenings- It has been a while!


Well, it is June 9th…yet I feel like it has been forever.


This is a picture from Tuesday!!!!  We did the Chase Corporate Challenge!  Andrew came in fifth this year and I am so proud!!!  He has won three times and I think he is an amazing runner!  He is coming back from injury…I think fifth place is pretty awesome out of more than 7,000 runners!!!!!

chasechallenge one


I was pretty disappointed in my time!  Last year I finished in under 26 minutes.  I thought I had it in me to repeat a similar time, but my legs were just too tired.  I think it is a good time to take a break from racing.  I have had a couple of successful half marathons lately…so I am happy with this decision.

My last half was number 72!  I did the Buffalo Half Marathon on May 29th!  It was super fast, but also super hot!  I recommend this as a pr race but only if you do well with the heat.  My time was 1:49:50.  I was pleasantly surprised because I wasn’t planning on trying to go super fast…well this isn’t super fast but for me these days I will take it!

Andrew and Lilly came with me and we went to Niagara Falls :)!!!!


We had a blast at the falls but it was such a hot time!!!!!  I also got to spend some time with my friend, Jen Brady!  She set up a cowbell corner and we took a selfie!


My finish was less than glamorous, but I was glad to be done and enjoy the day by Jen’s pool!!!!!

buff3buff5buff6  Here is one of my new favorite photos!!!!!


I also ran in the Green Bay Half Marathon for number 71!  My finish time was 1:49:48!!!!!  Super happy with my time!  This was in Wisconsin…and I have never been there.  This course was super fast but I did fall on my face !!!!!  I am graceful!  Andrew ran too and we had a great time!!!!  We even went in a hot air balloon!

wisconsin1 wisconsin3 wisconsin2 wisconsin5 wisconsin7

In May, I also ran the Mountain Goat in about 1:24.  I was happy with this time because it was rainy and I was not in the best shape!!!!goat2

goat1This is a ten mile race in Syracuse.  It is challenging, but worth the run!!!!!!  Andrew did not run, but he ran all over the course!!!!

I did a couple or races in April…I did the Springtime 10k with my friend Robyn…we had a blast and she was fun to run with!!!!

springtime2 sprintime1


I also ran the Maine Race the Runways Half…I went to see my parents.  This was not a good race for me but I love the event.    I was third in the one mile event with a time of 6:59 and I bombed out on the half…I was a 2:04….Andrew won the mile and the half marathon!!!!!  He won three trophies and set a record for the Airport Challenge…. SOOOOO stinkin proud of him!

airport 2 airport1

Before this race, I also ran the Earth Day Half Marathon for number 69…I ran with Krista and it became more of a walk run jog.

earthWe finished in 2:05….


I ran the Syracuse Half Marathon in 1:57…It was super cold and I ran in a blizzard.  It hailed and was incredibly crappy out!!!  That was my 68th half…I am up to 72 now and happy with training.  I joined the y runners again to train for  a marathon….syracurs

Just Speed Up!


Some would say good things come to those who are patient…lately it seems like there is no time to be patient. Work has been busy with new students and state test prep! We are having a multicultural night and I want it to look nice!!! It went well last year and I hope the ENL team gets some good kudos! I am trying to keep my mileage up and slowly increase it!

How is it going? Well I am exhausted! I finally took a day off from running and it helped a lot! As much as I live and breathe running, I need my down time too! When I have Lilly, I need to wake up at 5 in the morning! I don’t mind and I would do it all the time, but sleep feels good!

My running has been decent and I cannot complain. I am hitting the wall with my long runs. I had a really good 14 mile run and then it seemed to exhaust me. I ran 12 miles on a Saturday and it felt good… But I was stupid and ran the 14 on a Monday! I regret it now, but …it felt amazing! There is just something about the feeling of being able to run forever…free of care and just utter bliss!!!!

I also had a great run before work:

With summer coming, I got some new duds for work and running!!!
    Cancer is nothing to joke about so I ordered the new oiselle roga visor! I need the sun to hide but it does feel amazing to run in the sun!

Then there is the midnight bridge tank! I don’t know if I will wear this more for running or going to dinner!!! I also ordered the lux Henley tank! Can’t wait …

This bridge tank is pretty awesome too!!!

I mean wow!!!!


So what is next???

syracuse half- April 3 maybe???? Pacing my sister???? Half 68? Or 69???

Cny Springtime 10k- April 16th
Earth Day  68th half???- April 17
Race the Runways – April 23

Mountain goat- May 1
Green Bay Half 71 I think -may 21
buffalo- May 29
boilermaker July 11
And how are Andrew and Lilly? Awesome!


Here is my bliss: love the canals

 Where do you love to run???? What are your next race plans? 
Happy Easter

Fast Legs-Free Heart

photo 4(2)

I have been thinking a lot this week.  I started this blog forever ago and I need to get back to it!  Often when I run, I get lost in deep thought.  “What do I think about when I run?”  Sometimes, I have no idea.  Sometimes, it makes me angry.  Sometimes, I get depressed.  Yes, I said it.  I don’t know why either.  I think we all get depressed at times and it just makes us human.  I think for me, running alone in the dark makes me get depressed.  It can be very lonely out there.  I wouldn’t necessarily change it.  I feel relaxed and sometimes I push myself harder.


When I go running, I become discouraged at times.  I know a lot of runners do.  It is a mental battle and you have to find a way out of it, or you will not finish your run.  For me, I think about those who can’t.  My friend, Melissa, she made me aware of a group called “Outrun.”  It is a group of people fighting for people with CF.  They have races and post every day all of the miles they run.  I think this is a wonderful group and I am excited about it.  If you have something positive to think about, you will never fail.  I think about all of the people who cannot run and how much they want to.  I hope there is never a day I cannot run.  I would be sad.


This week, I am slowly heeling from my bad fall on Saturday.  I won’t lie, it was scary.  I woke myself up twice this week from the sensation of falling.  It was awful.  I never want to fall again.  I started Monday off with a nice 7.4 mile run.  Tuesday, I went out to do my long run and at about mile four, it started to blizzard.  It was awful.  I had a headlamp on and a lot of reflective gear.  I am pretty sure my eye lashes were icy and my face was frozen.  I get sensitive so I was upset when a truck honked at me.  I didn’t know it was going to be that bad out and I was wearing the proper reflective items.   Also, I was running way over on the grass.  There was nothing more I could do.  I would never take a ride from a stranger, but instead of honking, he could have checked to make sure I was alright.  I have been asked by many people during bad storms if I needed a ride.  There are a lot of good citizens out there.  However, my mother always tells me to never under any circumstances, take a ride from a stranger.  Her friend was killed in college when she was hitch-hiking.  Her name was Reggie and I think her killer was recently found but I am not 100% sure.



We had a snow day on Wednesday.  It was really nice because I got to go to the gym and run.  I was already up to 15 miles on Wednesday morning, but this brought me up to 22.5….I am beginning to like 7.5 miles….I think this is my magical number.  It feels just right and I feel like I get a good workout.  I do not feel tired.  I hope I can keep this up though today will be hard.  It’s Friday and I am excited to be at 30 miles for the week already.  I time it just right so I can run before I pick up Lilly.  Lilly is happy she gets to play so I do not feel bad about running.  I got done running my 7.5 miles of progression yesterday and she was running in the gym…that is a double win!!!!!


I still haven’t done my long run for the week so I am hoping to tomorrow if the weather isn’t horrible.  My nephew’s birthday was yesterday so I am going to Oswego today with Andrew and Lilly for Dinner.  I need to run before and I have to make time.  It seems pretty nice outside so maybe during planning I can get a few miles in.  Sometimes I think people look at me like I am crazy to run so much…but it relaxes me and I get really stressed.  I think it keeps me sane sometimes and I feel amazing.


Today’s thought:  Sometimes you just have to have faith that things will work out.  It may not go as planned, but it makes you stronger.  Running has truly been a blessing.  I have a wonderful daughter and I have not had an easy past.  Running has given me faith that if you push yourself and set goals, anything is possible.  You just have to believe that there is a plan, even if you cannot see it!


What is next?  I do not have any races coming up soon…it feels nice because I can just run and be happy.  I think the month of April and the  month of May will be pretty busy.  I am looking forward to Spring, but I think mother nature has given us a pretty good winter so far.  I cannot complain because I can still feel my finger tips!


As for life, I am excited to bring Lilly to a paint class Sunday!!!!   She loves to paint so I cannot wait! Life is good with Andrew and he has proven to me that there are nice guys in this world!!!!!!!!  Thank God!!!!  Happy weekend!!!!!