Friday, May 27, 2016

High Five for Friday May 27, 2016

Happy Friday!! I am ready for a nice relaxing weekend! How about you? Here are my highlights of the week!

1. My bride to be bff found her dress 💕 I can not wait for this wedding!! 

2. My hubby made me this beautiful race bib and medal display 🎀

3. I got in some really great runs this week!! My pace has been a bit slower lately but on Tuesday we rocked a 9:30 pace for a 5K morning run!! 

4. My Service League served 81 meals in our little community Tuesday night! 

5. I am super excited to have a long weekend and am looking forward to enjoying the time with family!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Table Rock, NC

One of my favorites hikes in Western North Carolina is the hike up Table Rock. Table Rock is located along the rim of the Linville Gorge, the grand canyon of North Carolina. Table Rock has a very distinguished appearance and is visible throughout Burke County. 

From NC Highway 181 driving toward Linville you will turn left on Gingercake Road. Travel about 5 1/2 Miles following signs to Table Rock. The hike is 1 mile up and of course 1 mile back from the parking lot. 

The hike up is a pretty moderate climb but the views are so worth it! Most of the way you are on rock trails and the climb is pretty steady. 

There are plenty of rewarding views along the way!

Great views of Lake James. Lake James also possesses a great view of Table Rock!

Absolutely breathtaking!

I think seeing this geodetic marker is pretty cool! You can find this at the summit!

Once at the top there are plenty of spots to hang out and enjoy the view! There are also plenty of places to camp and climb! If you are in the western part of the state Table Rock Hike is a must!

Friday, May 20, 2016

High Five for Friday 5/21/16

1. Tess was inducted into the National Honor Society! I am so supper proud of her!!

2. I enjoyed a great 6 mile run with a sweet friend on Sunday and I met and ran with new runner friend onTuesday morning! How fun to meet new people through the joy of the run!!

3. We have hydrangea blooms coming soon! These will be our first 💙

4. Every morning this week... ❤️

5. Chinese take out = the perfect Friday nigh in with the family!


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

HOP Race Recap

As I sit here working now with the HOP Race Committee to begin the planning and preparations for next years HOP Race I realized that I have never done a HOP Race Recap.

I am now a part of the Morganton Service League and the HOP Race is a local 5K and 10K event in Morganton, NC that is held in October of every year. The HOP Race is hosted by and benefits the projects of the Morganton Service League (MSL). HOP = Help Our Projects. In past years, the proceeds have contributed to the major renovations and additions of local parks in the community.

The HOP was my very first 5K ran in October 2013. 

I had just ran my very first mile ever in April of that year and by October I ran my first 5K. I finished in 30:02! My daughter ran it too and placed in her age group!

It was a great race! This was before I joined the Service League. 

Here is a the most recent project that the proceeds of this event went to:

This race is such a fun event! It is now held the second Saturday in October each year. There are typically about 200 runners in the 5K event. The race has packet pick up the day before the race and race morning. 

The race committee does this amazing thing to the race course. They chalk it! As you run along you will see thank you's to the sponsors and encouragement to each and every runner!

It's so neat to see your name as you are running along. 

Registration is super easy and race morning is very well organized. 

The race starts just below Martha's Park in Morganton, NC and carries runners down to the local greenway then back. It is a fairly easy course, the last half mile is a steady climb up but nothing too bad at all!

The race is family friendly, there is a fun run just before the 5K and the race route is well supplied with volunteers and water stations. 

After the race there is the awards ceremony and local potters make the overall awards for the runners. 

The HOP Race was the perfect first race for me! Being out there for the first time in the midst of all the excitement was addictive and here I am today... Still on the run!

(My little mini me running it in):

This is a great event and is for a great cause! If you are in Western, NC in October you should check this race out!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Simply Salty - Electro-Bites Review

I am so excited to have found these new salty goodies! I am a fueler, I absolutely hit a wall if I don't. I also get serious leg cramps if I do not fuel properly. I have, over the last year, worked to refine my daily nutrition and have paid special attention to in particular to my electrolytes. I acknowledge that for some time I was deficient in my electrolytes. 

In my most recent training for my third half marathon I incorporated Fuel100 Electro-Bites into my routine. I absolutely love them!! Electro-Bites are the perfect nutrition for athletes

They pack a generous 190mg Sodium, 55mg Potassium and 46mg Magnesium into each pack and made a huge difference for me since I have found them!

Side note, I love sweet stuff. I do not have an issue consuming sweet stuff on a run but I crave something salty!! Too much sweet can begin to upset my stomach. I also love a crunch! Chewy things are difficult for me to consume on a run. These Electro-Bites are perfect!! Salty and I can crunch them!! (They do have some sweet options too btw). Now I will share that they actually are not that crunch, they dissolve pretty quick and would completely dissolve if I didn't quickly crunch them. They are kind of like a very airy, light shortbread cookie consistency. I love them! They are light enough that they settle well in my stomach on a long run to and don’t give me that sloshy feeling other fuels sometimes do.

My fueling regimen is that I typically I do not fuel at all for a three-four mile run. If I am going to be running for more than 50 minutes however I carry fuel. For a longer run (more than 50 minutes) I will add a little pre-run nutrition and have a cup of coffee and banana before heading out and then at 50 min I have begun popping a few Electro-Bites. 

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For my last half marathon in March they seriously carried me through to a PR!! I started to feel a cramp coming on in my leg about mid-way through and so I quickly popped in a few bites and then had the rest probably about 20 min later. The packets are actually a generous portion and I am able to split it between two fueling times. That was the perfect combo for me!! I also of course grabbed water along the way at the stops but with my salty bites I was perfectly fueled for my race!! I still am over the moon that I got my first PR!!! I was so super excited!! I actually know that I could have even done better but I held back a bit to make sure I didn't overdo it. 

I fully intent to follow this same plan for the next and hopefully PR again!! Woot woot!!

If you are looking for the perfect nutrition option for your runs pick up a pack or two of these and give them a try! You will be so glad you did!

My favorite flavor is the Simply Salty. Yum Yum!! 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Carolina Brewfest Half Marathon Race Recap

Woot Woot!!! I just met one of my 2016 goals!!!

Run two half marathons this year

On Saturday April 30th I ran the Carolina Brewfest Half Marathon in High Point, North Carolina. It was a beautiful course and I ran a personal best!!!

I found this race in my Runner’s World Magazine several months back. I had no idea about it all! I signed up for it just before my last half. 

This race was about two hours from my house so we decided this time just to get up early Saturday and drive down. The race didn’t start until 8:30 am and they had packet pick up before the race that morning. I had a pretty rough week leading up to the race. The Saturday before my planned 12 mile run turned into a complicated 5 mile run and I only ran two more miles on Monday that week. I spent the rest of the week, tired and emotional and started my monthly cycle on Friday… Needless to say I did not have high hopes for this event considering my condition… By Friday however I started feeling a bit better and while through the week I found myself not looking forward to the race I was beginning to get excited! I told myself that I would run this race for the joy of running and take it easy if I needed to! I got my stuff together and was ready to run!

My friend Bridget ended up going down the night before and so she actually picked up my race packet for me! We arrived into High Point around 7:15 am and had really no trouble finding parking or the race start. There were plenty of portable toilets there so I had no trouble finding a bathroom either! This was a relatively small race, compared to the others I have participated in, there were 433 people who completed the half marathon and 150 that ran the 5K. Smaller races tend to yield less than exciting goody bags and this was no exception. There was a reusable grocery style bag with the Carolina Brewfest Logo (you know the kind you can buy at the grocery store for your wine or groceries and use again and again), I will use it to toss stuff in I am sure at some point, a sunscreen stick and the T-Shirt. The T-Shirt is also not the most amazing shirt ever. What color is that? Regardless I will wear it I am sure, it is super soft! The point of all this is to say, do not run this race for the swag… It’s a bit underwhelming. The race however makes up for that!

The directors did a great job getting everyone on to the course to line up for the start and they had pacers which I love!! The pacers carried a flag with their pace group time on it and so they were easy to find. Bridget and I lined up with the 2:15 group right after a quick photo op!

The race start was a tiny bit congested but quickly spread out and we were off running the beautiful streets of High Point. We stuck with the pace group for the first 5 miles or so and then fell a little behind as we stopped for water and fuel. The race was an open course meaning there were vehicles along the way. There were police at the large intersections controlling traffic but there were many times throughout neighborhoods where we’d find ourselves racing cars too! 

This race is quite possibly my favorite course so far! High Point is beautiful and the route was a large loop, no out and backs which can drive a runner mad. We ran on the main roadways, through gorgeous neighborhoods, onto their greenway, on the campus of the gorgeous High Point University and back through town. This is a hilly course and the last two miles were pretty tough but the best part about the up hills are the downhills and there were a few of those too! There was not a ton of crowd support along the course which is fine with me. Crowds tend to distract me. It was like any other nice long run with 400 friends. The weather had not been as I expected, it was overcast and there was a constant mist the entire race. At first I was worried as I had never completed a long run in the rain but by about mile four the mist was a welcomed companion and kept me cool! 

We finished in record time for the both of us at 2:27:33!!! I was super excited! I really didn’t have a goal time but throughout the event I kept watching our pace and time and thought “oh my, I think I might PR”. My first half in April 2015 I finished at 2:29:59 and my second half March 11, 2016 was 2:44:34 (yikes) (Bridget and I both ran this one and that was her first half so she seriously PR’d at this race). I am pretty happy about this! The one thing that kind of stinks is I know we were on track around mile 10 to finish closer to 2:15 and I know we could have if we had pushed ourselves just a tad bit harder… Next time!

The finish was great, all the supporters were there to cheer us on and we got these super cute medals. They apparently gave the runners a cooling towel, we missed that, we also missed the post-race food and water station, it was there somewhere but we just didn’t see it. We found ourselves in the line for the beer lol!! Post-race priorities right lol! There were several local breweries there and we each got two free beers, that was pretty fun! My favorite vendor 73 Threads was also there and since I was kind of cold after I bought a super cute hoodie! In addition to my hubby my college girl Madie came to cheer me on, she lives only about 20 minutes away so that was pretty awesome!

Afterward we headed to a local Pizza place and replenished those lost calories!

It really was a great event and I will put this one on my list of “will run again races”! If you are in the High Point area next April I suggest you put this one on your list too!

#willrunforbeer #beerrun
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