The Races Before THE Race

If you follow me on any form of social media, there’s about a 97.5% chance you’re well aware of my upcoming half marathon. I am so excited about it for so many reasons. Not only have I used my training time to grow in my faith, but I have also been raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and as of Wednesday at 12:35 PM Eastern time I met my goal of $1,000. (I have since exceeded the goal was is even more exciting!)

Aside from those two amazing reasons for running, I am also growing a tad bit nervous. People ask how many miles a half marathon is and I quickly answer, “13.1,” with a smile on my face, but it’s normally received with a wide eyed grasp of “THIRTEEN?” It makes me proud, but also makes me remember that it’s not two or three or even nine miles, it is in fact, THIRTEEN! I am faithful that the run will go smoothly, I will enjoy myself, and crossing the finish line will be incredible, but in the very back of my head I remember that running doesn’t come naturally to me. Training for this has been HARD. It is has taken a lot of time and commitment of all sorts to get me where I am today. I mean I even gave up donuts until race day!!!! Who am I???!?

Anyway, with THE race being two days away I thought it would be fun to recap the other races I’ve participated in in the past. Enjoy!!!

Bark in the Park – 5k/3.1 miles – October 2012


I wish I could remember signing up for this race, but I honestly can’t. I’m sure it had something to do with knowing that it was through the local humane society and the money would go to helping stray animals (#crazydoglady). The fact that it was a 5k also helped as I could pretty comfortably run about 2 miles already. Lastly, my obsession with my “fur”st born, Onyx, is real so the idea of running it with him had me completely sold. I took him to the vet to make sure it was a safe distance for him. He was six years old at the time, so not old, but not young either. Once he was cleared we trained for a few weeks, running a few days a week at a popular local park. This also helped him get acclimated to being around lots of dogs at once and not stopping to say hello/sniff butts. Race day came and so did the 90% chance of rain. It was a dreary, chilly morning, but the rain held off and so we ran. Onyx hauled butt, thinking he had to beat all the other dogs who were running. Needless to say, I beat my PR since I was drug along the entire course, start to finish. It really was a great time though and for a cause so near and dear to my heart.

Shamrock 8k – 4.97 miles – March 2013

My mom had been doing this race since 2009 and I’m so glad she finally convinced my hubby and I to take part. My maternal grandfather was Irish was always go a little crazy for St. Patrick’s Day activities and events! This race takes place on the Virginia Beach oceanfront with lots of green, lots of beer (after the race), and lots of fun! It was also really fun to run it with my hubby. We’d always enjoyed the after party in previous years, but this year being part of the race was really cool! This was also the farthest I’d run to date so once again, crossing the finish line felt like quite the accomplishment!

Shamrock 8k – 4.97 – March 2014

Looking back I can’t believe I didn’t do any organized races for a year after all the fun I had at my first Shamrock 8k! Regardless, this one was just as fun, if not more so. Again, my hubby and I ran it together, this time beating our previous finish time, and once again had a blast afterwards! There’s always the best bands and it’s a huge local event so we alwaysssss run into multiple people we know and didn’t realize were going. So fun!

Wicked 10k – 6.21 miles – October 2014

This race was one I’d been wanting to do for some time, since I’d always heard it so fun and because I’m a sucker for Halloween costumes. My friend, Kristina, and I signed up for this race and scoured Pinterest for both creative costumes and costumes that wouldn’t be impossible to run in. (They have a costume contest, but I knew I wasn’t going to go that crazy). We decided to be ninja turtles, but to make it girlie and “cute” we decided to wear green tutus with our costumes. We were so ahead of the game, buying all the supplies we needed for our costumes days before race day, but then procrastinated actually putting them together. This made things interesting as our turtle shells were still wet during the run. This race started off great, but having not properly trained and only regularly running about 1-3 miles, the last mile and a half were pretty hard. I refused to walk though and we crossed the finish line hand in hand, cheering and hollering!

Color Me Rad – 5k/3.1 miles – April 2016

This was my first run after being pregnant/giving birth to my daughter in August of 2015 and I thought it was going to kick my butt! Even though this was one of the shortest organized runs I’ve done I hadn’t run since I was 16 weeks pregnant. I started a running routine about three weeks before the race and it was ROUGH! It was taking me more than twelve minutes to run just a mile. I couldn’t believe a race that most people don’t even take the time to train for was going to be such a challenge for me. Fortunately after a week and a half of running my time had gotten much better and I didn’t feel like dying just from putting my sneakers on. Unfortunately, however, this race wasn’t very well planned and not only was the course pretty dangerous (huge tire ruts, hanging branches), but the paths were so tight that in some spots you could only run single file. This wouldn’t have been that bad had everyone actually run the course, as my friend, Kassie, and I had planned on doing, but tons of people were walking and pushing strollers and it just really held things up. (No offense to anyone that wants to walk the course, it just wasn’t conducive to have both runners and walkers on such a narrow course). Regardless, we made the best of it, and had a great time with a double date with our hubbys afterwards. (This particular race didn’t really have much of an after party).

Rock & Roll Half Marathon – 13.1 miles – THIS SUNDAY!!!!!!!!

Tune in next week for a recap of the race – my first half marathon! Woo hoo!!!!!

3 thoughts on “The Races Before THE Race

    • Chelsea McKinney says:

      That would be awesome! Didn’t you say you have friends in Va Beach?? And you should totally sign up. It made me actually prepare for the race. And if I didn’t die, you won’t! Just make sure you really take the time to train! You got this!!!


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