Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's time for vacation and Disneyland!!!

I will be heading to California via Oregon for a vacation culminating in the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland.  I won't be posting to my blog until after race weekend, so be sure to check my Facebook page for pictures and other updates.  Good luck to everyone running at Disneyland and in other races this weekend and Labor Day Weekend.  Stay hydrated and enjoy the run!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Medal Monday featuring Stephanie

Happy Medal Monday!  Today I am shining the spotlight on Stephanie.  She blogs at Steph Plus 4.  
Stephanie and her boyfriend at the finish

Medals from the past three Cleveland Marathons
Pictured above is Stephanie's favorite medal from the 2014 Cleveland Marathon.  It is her favorite medal because it represents a new PR, beating her previous time by 14 minutes when her goal was to beat it by only 10 minutes. She ran the race with her boyfriend (pictured above) and it was his first marathon and they trained and ran the entire race together.  Stephanie was also an official blogger for the marathon, so she had the opportunity to chronicle the entire journey from Day 1 of training to the finish line.  Stephanie is from Cleveland, so she was proud to support this race.

You can follow Stephanie on Twitter and Instagram: @stephplusfour

Do you have a favorite medal?  Email me the details at

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Inaugural Diva Dash 5K - St. Louis

On a warm and misty Saturday morning, hundreds of divas and little princesses descended upon Forest Park to run the Diva Dash 5k and Lil' Princess kids run.  The race, managed by the Kansas City Running Company, takes place in other Midwestern cities like Tulsa, Des Moines, Omaha, Wichita, Nixa, Manhattan, and Kansas City.  I heard about this race through other bloggers before I realized that the KC Running Company also manages the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon, which I ran in Kansas City earlier this year.

I had picked up my packet on Friday night at Big River Running Company, but race day packet pick-up was also available.  Parking was adjacent to the start/finish line and the porta-potties, which was very convenient, especially since this was a very family-friendly race.  In addition to packet pick-up there was also free face painting, several vendors, and a photo area with props for pre and post-race photos.  Throughout the morning, girl-power themed music played in the background.

Waiting to start

The race t-shirts were pink with silver sparkle accents and we received personalized bibs, which I always love.  I am superstitious, so I NEVER wear my race shirt on race day.  I knew a lot of women would be wearing their shirts, so I wore pink to blend in.  As you can see in the picture above, 80% or more of the women wore pink.  It was an amazing sight!

Personalized bib, t-shirt that literally sparkles, and the medal

The course took us through various sections of Forest Park, which is a beautiful park that is worth a visit if you have never been.  I had intended to take photos along the way but since it was misting, I decided to keep my phone dry.  Although the roads within Forest Park were still open to traffic, the runners had their own reserved lane which was never too congested.  

At the finish, runners received a medal, snacks, water, and they could get a print out of their results.  The vendor booths were even busier post-race and the Lil' Princesses started lining up for the start of their race at 9:00 a.m.  Again, many participants dressed up and wore pink.  The Lil' Princess race was broken into age ranges to make it more fair and allow older princesses to run longer distances.  At the finish line they received a tiara AND a medal.

Lil' Princesses waiting for their race

One of the Lil' Princess age groups

Princesses crossing the finish line

This race had a unique theme that the participants seemed to thoroughly enjoy.  There were also many groups of women, which shows that it is a great race to enter with your friends, co-workers, or family members.  At the finish line, the crowd was constantly cheering on women as they finished, even if they didn't know the runner.  It was a very inspiring and positive environment, and I was happy to be a part of it!  I ended up sending my cousin pictures of the race to encourage her and her daughter to participate with me next year.  I think I have her convinced because she was already asking for the 2015 date.  After all, what woman doesn't want to get a medal and a cute t-shirt just for being a Diva for a few hours?

On a side note, it looks like the St. Louis area will be seeing more of the KC Running Company and it looks like I will be too.  At packet pick-up, we received a flier for the Mustache Dash 5k.  I thought this race was only occurring in Kansas City, but apparently it is coming to St. Louis this fall too.  When I pulled the flier out of the envelope, my boyfriend immediately grabbed it from my hands.  When he saw the date he looked it up to make sure that it was on a Saturday (he works Sundays), and then immediately expressed interest.  Thanks KC Running Company for a memorable race, and I am looking forward to the next one!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Are you a "Zen Runner" too?

I just received my September Runner's World magazine, and as I was reading the "Ask Miles" section, I learned something new about myself.  If you have the September edition, please turn to page 18.  Read the 2nd entry in the "Ask Miles" section.  If you don't have a copy, here is a summary of the question and answer.  A runner comments on how other runners are always asking what his race times are, and he just enjoys the journey during a race rather than being concerned about his completion time.  He is wondering how he can explain his approach to competitive runners.

When I read this, something clicked.  I immediately knew that I was a Zen Runner too, I just never knew how to describe it or what to call it.  I have a certain time range that I want to stay in and as long as I finish within that range, I am happy.  I don't want to become one of those runners that is disappointed at the finish line because they didn't make their goal time.  I understand what it is like to train for a specific finish time and then feeling a sense of disappointment when I finished AFTER that goal time.  I also know the feeling of finishing faster than I anticipated.  But I still NEVER want to be disappointed at the finish line because for me, it is about the journey.  It is about being part of something, being surrounded by other runners all heading in the same direction and all being active.  I love the sound of their feet hitting the pavement around me, and I am often tempted to close my eyes and just let my legs carry me to the finish line.  I also love documenting the experience by taking pictures because I want to remember each race for its unique course and swag.   No matter what the finish time, it is an accomplishment just to finish, and even just to start.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Medal Monday featuring Esther

Happy Medal Monday!  Today I am shining the spotlight on Esther.  Esther's favorite medal is from her first half marathon in 2009.  For her, this medal meant that she finally had freedom from an eating disorder that held her hostage for 20 years.

Check out Esther's blog:
Follow her on Facebook:

Do you have a favorite medal that you would like to share?  Email me at with your name, picture of the medal or you with the medal, blog/social media information, and why you have a favorite medal.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Blacklight Run Race Recap

Last night the boyfriend and I ran the Blacklight Run in the St. Louis metro area.  This race has locations throughout the country, so be sure to check upcoming dates and locations.

I picked up our packet on Thursday at a Sports Authority in Brentwood, and I was in and out with the packets in five minutes!
Bib, temporary tattoo (on the shirt), and the t-shirt
The Blacklight Run - St. Louis was held at the Gateway Grizzlies minor league baseball stadium in Sauget, Illinois.  Our race information email stated that the pre-party would begin at 6:45 p.m. and that we should arrive early, because they expected a large crowd. The first corral would not be released until 8:20 p.m., so I was hoping that the pre-party would be fun while we waited for the sun to set, and it did not disappoint!  The DJ played great music that could be heard on speakers throughout the grounds and his crew was constantly throwing prizes into the crowd, and I mean constantly!  Everything from glow sticks and neon powder to flashing items like rings, mohawk headbands, and gloves.  We had a blast, and we had a great view of the Arch and downtown in the background.

Pre-party with the Arch and downtown in the background

The DJ was amazing!
Shortly before 8:00 p.m., the DJ announced that we should all head to the start line, which was on the opposite side of the ballpark grounds.  Music continued to play in the background as lined up.  The start line was on the side of the grounds closest to the interstate and a business park.  Apparently we were an interesting sight for traffic because multiple cars stopped on the shoulder to observe the commotion.  Eventually the local police came over and encouraged them to continue on their journey.

Waves were released with several minutes in between, which allowed the course to be both runable and walkable.  We ran through the parking lot of the business park, a road that was adjacent to interstate, turned around in a neighborhood, ran through the ballpark, and finished back by the DJ.  The course had several neon color stations, a water station, and multiple areas with blacklight towers that were blasting fun music.  As it got darker, the road was a bit difficult to see at times but we never had any issues or safety concerns.

When you finish, you get a neon color packet for the color throws that were scheduled for every 10 or 15 minutes.  We wanted to experience the first one before we headed home.  I took the two photos below as the first color throw progressed.

We both really liked this race.  The DJ was great, there was ample staff and volunteer support, music throughout the grounds (I was never out of earshot of music, which was great), the expo was quick and easily accessible, and entering and departing the grounds was a breeze.  The race was also appropriate for runners and walkers of any age.  Check out their website to see when they are coming to a city near you!