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Tough Chik Tuesday – Meet Elizabeth, Heather and Laura

24 Mar
Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Name: Elizabeth H

Location: Nashville, TN

Sport of Choice: Running

What is you favorite distance/race? My favorite distance is the half marathon. My favorite race is the Disney Princess Half Marathon

What is your “must have” item during races or long rides Music!

What are your goals for 2015? Complete the Beach to Battleship Half Iron Man in October 🙂

What does being a Tough Chik mean to you?  Being a Tough Chik means never giving up. I am slower than a turtle running through peanut butter but I always keep going 🙂 When everyone tells me I can’t, I just go out to prove them wrong and that makes me tough!

What is you biggest struggle?  Staying motivated and sticking to a healthy eating program. I’m a work in progress 🙂

What is one bit of wisdom you would like to pass on to others? Never give up. No matter how hard it is, never give up on yourself or your dreams!

Random fact or biggest pet peeve? My husband and I did our first dance in Bride and Groom Mickey ears with our names on them 🙂

 

 

Name: Heather

Location: Ashburn, VA

Sport of Choice: Running & Triathlon

What is your favorite distance/race? St Charles Festival 10 miler and the Shamrock Half Marathon.

What is your “must have” item during races or long rides? During a race, I have to have my Island Boost and Salt Stick tablets. I’ll crash and burn without them.

What are your goals 2015? Reduce my 5k time!

What does being a Tough Chik mean to you? Setting goals and challenges and taking steps to accomplish them. No matter how big or small. Having an awesome support group to get me through training, races, and general life.

Social Media Links: http://trifrogblog.blogspot.com/

What is your biggest struggle? Staying on track – whether it’s nutrition or training schedule.

What is one bit of wisdom you would like to pass on to others? Don’t compare yourself to everyone else. Find a group that you can be yourself & be at your pace.

 

 

Name: Laura M.

Location: Bixby, OK

Sport of Choice: Running

What is your favorite distance/race? Half Marathon

What is your “must have” item during races or long rides? Music/ Itunes

What are your goals 2015? Set a new PR for a half marathon. Moon up in Half Fanatics by running 8 half marathons within 365 days. Run at least 2 races out of my home state.

What does being a Tough Chik mean to you? I am beyond excited to be a Tough Chik. I am thrilled to be apart of such an amazing, strong, and committed group of women. The going does often get tough and I am thrilled to have this supportive group to laugh, cry, vent, and grow with!

What is your biggest struggle?  I sometimes struggle with times when training or races take me away from my two daughters. I do feel guilty when I miss a soccer game or other kid related activity. I know my husband totally has it handled but I still feel guilty. I try to remind myself that there are A LOT of activities that I am always at. With two girls, I really want them to see how strong girls and women are. I hope on some level that they can see that through my commitment to running. Mom guilt. Blech!

What is one bit of wisdom you would like to pass on to others? Running will not be fun all of the time but those bad runs really make you appreciate the good ones! Like anything, you will have good days and bad days but just keep going!

Random fact or biggest pet peeve? Biggest pet peeve: People who don’t hold doors open for others!

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Meet Debbie, Nessa and Jer…2015 Team Tough Chik

17 Mar
Debbie B

Debbie B

Name: Debbie B.

Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia

Sport of Choice: Cycling

What is you favorite distance/race? Love metric centuries (62ish miles). They are the perfect distance, not too long and not too short.

What is your “must have” item during races or long rides? Blueberry, coconut, chocolate rice cakes also know as Little Debbie’s crack cakes.

What are your goals for 2015? Seattle to Portland (200 miler), Week long MS Global ride in Sept (average 60+ miles per day), one half marathon and at least 2 metric century rides.

What does being a Tough Chik mean to you?  Being a Tough Chik means a soft place to fall when you are struggling; however it is also the place to go and get a swift kick in the a$@ when you need it. Love this group of ladies!

What is you biggest struggle?  Getting started. I work from home so making myself get up and go can be challenging.

What is one bit of wisdom you would like to pass on to others? Ride your own ride, don’t worry about how fast or slow you are, just get out there, pedal and enjoy the scenery.

Random fact or biggest pet peeve? Random fact: I have two fur babies, Riley and Jethro.

 

 

Nessa T

Nessa T

Name: Nessa T

Location: IL

Sport of Choice: Running

What is your favorite distance/race? 5 or 10k although I do love the Lincoln Memorial half in Springfield. My favorite race is the BIX 7. The most fun you’ll ever have on a tough course.

What is your “must have” item during races or long rides? The Roo Sport…holds your items and you don’t know its there.

What are your goals 2015? Be the best I can be and encourage others along the way.

What is your biggest struggle? Running in the heat.

What is one bit of wisdom you would like to pass on to others? Don’t compare yourself to others.

Random fact or biggest pet peeve? Love music on a run unless I’m running in a group.

 

 

Name: Jer

Location: Garden grove

Sport of Choice: Triathlons

What is your favorite distance/race? Race on the base, sprint Triathlon (favorites-swim and bike)

What is your “must have” item during races or long rides? Water bottles and fun

What are your goals 2015? Learn how to schedule “training” into my life schedule. Learn to put myself out there more and have fun!

What does being a Tough Chik mean to you? That other strong women are in my same shoes and we can support each other.

What is your biggest struggle? Running and training time with current life. Making time for me!!

What is one bit of wisdom you would like to pass on to others? Just keep swimming (Nemo reference). Feel like stopping-just go to the next short goal and the next.

Random fact or biggest pet peeve? Terrible things don’t happen – it is an adventure, a learning experience. Peeve: people that are not considerate of others.

 

2015 Team Tough Chik – Meet Katie, Michelle and Rasan

24 Feb

Name: Katie

Location: Chicago

Sport of Choice: Triathlon

What is you favorite distance/race? I am not sure yet what my ‘favorite’ is as I have only just begun.

What is your “must have” item during races or long rides? Good bike shorts!!

What are your goals for 2015? I am training for sprint tri’s in 2015 with my A race an Olympic distance. I also have goals to long complete some long distance cycling events.

What does being a Tough Chik mean to you?  I am so inspired by other women’s successes and so happy to be in this group to learn and grow with them.

Social Media Links: http://craftykhandytris.blogspot.com/ and CraftyKhandy on Twitter

What is you biggest struggle?  I have early and severe Osteoarthritis Arthritis in my knees. Running on pavement is difficult for long distances. I am learning how to train to minimize pain and prevent further injury.

What is one bit of wisdom you would like to pass on to others?  Life and Health are precious gifts; if you don’t use them to their fullest now… they will be lost.

 

Name: Michelle D.

Location: Beaverton, OR

Sport of Choice: Running

What is your favorite distance/race? Half

What is your “must have” item during races or long rides? Phone and music

What are your goals 2015? Run an entire half without walking

What does being a Tough Chik mean to you? The relationships and friendships are unreal and so genuine. A true family of constant support no matter what.

Social Media Links: Www.michdenise.com

What is your biggest struggle? Self love

What is one bit of wisdom you would like to pass on to others? Don’t ever give up.

Random fact or biggest pet peeve? I am mom to a 20 year old and 5 year old!
Biggest pet peeve are people online who push push push and are not genuine.

 

Rasan

Rasan

 

Name: Rasan

Location: California

Sport of Choice: Running and Triathlons

What is your favorite distance/race? Running-10k
Triathlons-sprint

What is your “must have” item during races or long rides? At least one of my Tough Chik buddies, Jody or Holly!

What are your goals 2015? Not sure of all of them, but here are a few. i would like to complete a couple 40+ mile bike rides, 3-4 Sprint triathlons, another RAGNAR, Mudderella, and hopefully an Olympic distance triathlon relay with Jody and Holly!

What does being a Tough Chik mean to you? Being a Tough Chik means an overall mentality that I can face a challenge, physical or mental, and overcome it.

What is your biggest struggle? I struggle with my eating habits.

What is one bit of wisdom you would like to pass on to others? To never underestimate your inner strength and there is so much gained with having friends to train with!

Random fact or biggest pet peeve? I LOVE seeing family and friends achieve their fitness goals!

 

 

2014 Team Tough Chik – Meet Ronda, Christine and Jody!

22 Apr
Ronda

Ronda

Name: Ronda W.

Location: White Hall, MD

Sport of Choice: Running, cycling, soccer, volleyball, hiking

Hobbies: Reading, sewing, crochet, gardening, playing 🙂

2014 Race Plans: Disney Princess Half Marathon in February, women’s sprint duathalon Columbia MD in August. I’m planning for a fall marathon too, just haven’t picked a race yet. Will run another half or two. I’ll also run some 5ks and 10ks. 🙂

What makes you a Tough Chik? Well….I wasn’t sure I qualified as a tough Chik at first. I started running regularly January 2012 for me and my sanity. I survived my divorce and was finding me. I ran a 5k in February. I ran my first half marathon October 2012. I’ve run 3 half marathons and a marathon since then. Completed a Tough Mudder. I’ve PR’d in my 5k, 10k, half and marathon this year. My journey has been fantastic and I can’t wait to see where this year goes!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My Garmin forerunner 10 aka “G”

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Just one??
Doing today what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.
Your legs aren’t giving out. Your head is. Keep going.
Run when you can, walk if you need to, crawl if you must, just never give up.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Fun Fact: I have great Halloween costumes. This year I was Wonder Woman. 🙂
I named my bike Squirt.

 

Name: Christine C.

Location: Orange County CA

Sport of Choice: Road Biking, 5K races, Triathlon sprints, hiking

Hobbies: Tending my garden, road biking with my buddies and having fun with my cats.

2014 Race Plans: Race on the Base, as well as some other local Tri-sprint events. I’ll probably ride the OCW Century in September

What makes you a Tough Chik? I may not be at the top of the leader board, but I’ll grit my teeth and push on! As I become more athletic, I am becoming more OK with my competitive nature! I like being strong and active!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? can’t think of one

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? pain is temporary, pride is forever
Destroy your illusions

 

Jody

Jody

Name: Jody D.

Location: Marysville, CA

Sport of Choice: 1) Running
2) Cycling
3) Tri

Can’t pick only one……

Hobbies: Training, reading, being outdoors

2014 Race Plans: Several small races + my first 10 miler and my first 1/2 marathon!

What make you a Tough Chik: Pushing myself beyond what I think are my limits and always trying to up the ante!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Garmin

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Make your moves count ’cause you ain’t dead yet!

Fun Fact:I love the ocean.

2014 Team Tough Chik – Meet Andrea, Maria and Katharine

1 Apr

Name: Andrea T.

Location: Jacksonville, FL

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: motorcycle riding

2014 Race Plans:

The Gate River Run
Wolfson’s Children Hospital ultra marathon
The Donna Full Marathon

What makes you a Tough Chik? being a strong runner yet not having a “runner’s body”

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? gps

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? suck it up buttercup

 

MARIA LATHAM

Maria

Name: Maria L.

Location: South Lyon, MI

Sport of Choice: Running, skiing, bike riding.

Hobbies: Gardening, reading, sight-seeing.

2014 Race Plans: Marathon Maniac in May!!! with Flying Pig and Rite Aid Cleveland
Hollywood Half
Chicago Women Rock Half
Martian Marathon
Whatever comes up and sounds good.!

What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m a Tough Chik because once I set a goal I do whatever I have to reach it. I don’t give up easily!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? NIKE GPS

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? You only get ONE life so LIVE it!

 

Katie

Katie

Name: Katharine R.

Location: Texas

Sport of Choice: Running, Triathlon

Hobbies: Girl Scouts
Weight lifting

2014 Race Plans: Galveston Marathon
Seabrook half
Austin Triathlon
Sugarland Triathlon
Fort Worth Marathon
Firecracker 4 Miler
BCS Marathon

What make you a Tough Chik: I may not be the fastest or smartest, but I am the most dedicated and I succeed by my sheer determination.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Iphone 5

2014 Team Tough Chik! Meet Lynette, Cheryl and Dereka!

25 Mar
Lynette

Lynette

Name: Lynette

Location: Shady Point, OK

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: sewing, crocheting, wrangling four kids

2014 Race Plans: Planning on a marathon in April and hopefully an ultra (50k) in September or October.

What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m wife to a soldier and mom to 4 kids. We’ve managed through 2 deployments (pushing a jogging stroller with 100lbs of kids is pretty tough!) and moves across the country all without losing my sanity =)

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My Garmin

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

CHERYL GREGORY

Name: Cheryl G.

Location: Salisbury, NC

Sport of Choice: I’ve always been athletic. I ran high school track and played field hockey. Then ran on a scholarship at Syracuse. Then life and “stuff” got in the way – I gained some weight and finally just decided it was time to make a change! So…I started walking and then running. While I ran track way back when – I always just ran short sprints and hurdles…never distance…so this was new. I’ve only been running since June 2013 – but LOVE it and plan to push myself more in 2014!

Hobbies: I’m a crafter. I do glass etching (have a little business – Enlightened Engravings) and love holiday crafts. I’m also a reading nut!

2014 Race Plans: I am running my first official 10K in February 2014 at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. EEEKKKK! In 2014 I plan to run many more 5K’s because I just think it’s a fun distance. I love to push myself and try to PR at each one! I want to run a 25min 5K (small steps!) and place in my age group – as that always seems to elude me!

 

What makes you a Tough Chik? I am a Melanoma Survivor (wear your sunscreen!!) and working to get myself back into shape. I want to be fit and lean again and will not stop until I get there!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My iPhone

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Strive for progress, not perfection.
-Unknown

 

Name: Dereka E.

Location: Buffalo, NY

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: fitness, Disney vacation planning

2014 Race Plans: Walt Disney World Marathon, Tinker Bell Half Marathon, Buffalo Marathon, Upstate NY Tough Mudder

What make you a Tough Chik: I don’t quit.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? iPhone

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Courage means being scared to death but saddling up anyway-John Wayne

Fun Fact: My mom was pregnant with me when Elvis died, she was pregnant with my half sister when Kurt Cobain died and I was pregnant with my daughter when Michael Jackson died. I won’t have another child for my fear of losing Madonna 🙂

Pool Problems…AGAIN!

17 Mar

Nothing like some inconsiderate boobs in the gym pool to bring me back to blogging.  Yes, I have been slacking…BIG TIME and I honestly have no excuse.  I wish I could say that I have dedicated my free time to helping out at a soup kitchen or walking dogs at a shelter, but no, I am not spending my free time helping man (or dog) kind.  And it isn’t even that I don’t have anything to say.  I have written several posts in my head on long runs or ride, trust me…they were AMAZING and very insightful.  If only I can get an assistant to follow me on my runs and rides to dictate posts to!  Wouldn’t that be awesome?

I digress…

As you have read (or can see by my links below), I have little patience poor pool etiquette.

https://toughchik.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/db-at-the-pool/

https://toughchik.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/punks-amuck-it-must-be-summer-in-the-suburbs/

https://toughchik.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/do-we-gotta-problem/

THIS

THIS

NOT THAT

NOT THAT

I am not talking about lane etiquette or actions that only an experience swimmer would know, I am talking about good ole consideration of others and awareness of those around you.  Last week we got to the pool and there were 2 teenagers play fighting each other in a lane.  This is the pool at my gym, that is completely roped off for lanes.  So they are taking a lane to put each other head locks.  So I have to share a lane (which is not a huge deal, but still) so you can play WWF water-style?  WTF?

Then last night I was swimming in a lane alone and there was an empty lane next to me.  A guy jumped into that lane and kind of started to swim.  Then his wife/girl-friend joined him in the lane to play and round of grab-a$$.  Of course, another swimmer shows up and shares a lane with me.  Again, not a big deal, but I have to share a lane so you can piggy-back each other and flirt.  Really?

Is it just me, or does this happen everywhere?  Do people at your gym treat the pool like a hotel pool? Shouldn’t a gym pool be considered a place to work out and not socialize?

HUMP DAY INSPIRATION

6 Mar

WORK-FOR

 

2014 Team Tough Chik! Meet Betsy, Nikkol and Debbie!

11 Feb
Betsy

Betsy

Name: Betsy S.

Location: NJ

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Running, Reading, Golf, Scrapbooking

2014 Race Plans: I have quite a few 1/2 marathons lined up already, and I’m seriously considering my first FULL marathon…NYC!.

What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m a single mom of 2 little boys.  I don’t want them to feel like they are missing out on anything.  They are my first priority, and most of my time is spent on the soccer (or baseball or basketball field).  It’s hard to squeeze in me time for running…but I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? ipod

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.”

Name: Nikkol M.

Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: running, biking, swimming, rowing and hiking

2014 Race Plans: Arizona Rock n Roll Marathon
Xterra Trail Series
As many Triathlons as I have time for
Tour de Scottsdale
El Tour de Tuscon
Soma half iron distance triathon

What makes you a Tough Chik? I didn’t start running until I was about 29 and have since completed 5 full marathons, countless half-marathons, several bike races, two half iron distance triathlons and several olympic and sprint distance triathlons.  I was diagnosed with Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when I was 11 years old.  I’ve had 7 knee surgeries for it and spend many years on medication.  I was told I would most likely be in a wheel chair by the time I was 30.  Consequently, that was the year I ran my first full marathon.  I am very thankful to have defied the odds and that I am still running and enjoying all life has to offer for as long as I am able.  I am now a personal trainer and I specialize in the elderly population because I know that together we can really improve their quality of life and someday, I’m going to be one of them.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Armband for my phone

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? I run because I can.

Fun Fact: I was running the San Diego marathon and when I got to the place where they were handing out popsicles, they were all out because the half-marathon had already been through that area.  I actually started to cry.  Every race after that, one of my girl friends meets me at the finish line with a Popsicle.

Debbie

Debbie

Name: Debbie H.

Location: Chicago, IL

Sport of Choice: RUNNING

Hobbies: food, healthy foods, cooking, exercise, spending time with my family, playing board games with my children

2014 Race Plans: In 2013, I ran 15 races, which was the most I’ve ever done in a year.
I’m hoping to surpass that number with a new PR in 1 or more races.

What make you a Tough Chik: I don’t quit!  I try to encourage others.  I’m encouraged by others.  I lead by example!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? A good sport bra & Nuun

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Run through head trash!

Fun Fact: My children love animals & we have a ball python, 2 Russian Tortoises, golden doodle, guinea pig and that’s it for NOW!

Surf City Half Marathon Race Report

4 Feb

I am going to be very honest, there were 2 reasons that I signed up for this race.  1) I thought the medal was cute.  (I should be “above” racing for a cute medal…but I am not)

medaland 2) Jen Small was going to be there!  Jen was one of the first bloggers to embrace Tough Chik.  When she emailed me and asked to partner with Tough Chik, I was skeptical.  But one thing you will learn (or know) about Jen is that she is honest, enthusiastic and loving.  She believed in my brand and work hard to get out my message.  I pretty much owe my early social media connections solely to Jen.  She really changed my business.  We live on the 2 furthest points from each other, me in So Cal and Jen in Maine.  So I was NOT going to miss my chance to hug this amazing woman be picked up my this amazing woman.

484873_686472201374982_15677058_nSo what is Jen like in real life?  Exactly as you would expect.  Warm, friendly, fun, energetic and she gives great hugs, which is a big bonus in my book.

Back to the race…well…not yet…

Saturday before the race we had a Tough Chik meet-up/beach party.  A few of the Team Tough Chik members who were running and some locals braved the parking dropped by.

Jenifer, Dee-El, Theresa, Laura, Dawn, Robin and me (Shannon)

Jenifer, Dee-El, Theresa, Laura, Dawn, Robin and me (Shannon)

Keen Raffle Winners!

Keen Raffle Winners!

It was great to meet some of the new Toughies and catch up the members who are now my friends.

This race morning started like every race morning, with an alarm so early my cats look at me like I am nuts and don’t even get up to beg for treats.  When you confuse the cats and they are to sleepy to beg for food, now THAT is early.  Stupid early.  I was concerned about parking, as this is a HUGE race, so I was able to catch a ride with one of my team members brother-in-law, who lives down the street.  It is kind of weird to get picked up a 5:30 AM by a complete stranger, but we had a lot in common and chatted non-stop to the race.

Paul (my ride) and Me

Paul (my ride) and Me

Sunrise as we are walking to starting line

Sunrise as we are walking to starting line

Some of the Toughies met before the race started for a group pic and Julie woke up and rode down to cheer us on!  Now she is real trooper!

I promise we like each other!  We were so cold! Julie, Theresa, Dee-El, Judy and me

I promise we like each other! We were so cold!
Julie, Theresa, Dee-El, Judy and me

After a quick photo op, we went our separate ways and I headed to my corral.  I was shaking uncontrollably I was so cold.  It was probably 50, I mean not cold, but I admit that I am a total weather weenie.  I was suppose to take off at 7:57 but I *might* have been in the wrong corral, because we didn’t take off until quite a bit later and there was the 2:30 pacer right in front of me.  But I hate feeling like everyone is passing me, so I was okay starting with a slower group.

Crowds of folks at start line

Crowds of folks at start line

We finally got moving and I remember a friend telling me to start of painfully slow.  So that is what I did, and it wasn’t that hard.  There were so many people, and I was so cold that it was hard to get faster than a 10 min mile that first mile.  I had studied the course map and knew were the one hill was at around mile 3, so I told myself to keep it nice and slow until past that first hill.  About 2 miles in, I had to go to the bathroom.  OF COURSE!  Now you have to go!  Sometimes you and your body are NOT on the same page.  The lines for the port-a-potties at that first stop were very long, so I kept on going.  My plan was to go either on the way up the hill or at the top, knowing that I can haul butt down hill and maybe get some of my time back.  I had also decided that I was going to stop my Garmin and not count potty time. LOL

Right before mile 5 there were some port-a-potties and I begrudgingly waited in line to go.  A couple minutes later, I was as good as new and ready to move on.  I was feeling really good.  Pacing myself, drinking water and moving.  Except everything was moving.  I wore a flip belt with my phone and money and a race belt.  Both of which wanted to twist, turn and rise up on me.  It was driving me nuts.  I didn’t want to snag my new team shirt by pinning my number, but this was crazy annoying.  I think around mile 9 or 10 both final stayed on my hips.

Around mile 10 I started to get stomach cramps. Not buckled-over-cramps, but my stomach-is-unsettled cramps.  This is also the point where I realized that I would be cutting it very close to the 2 hour mark.  I really, really wanted a sub-2 hour race, but knew that it wasn’t a sure thing.  This is the point where I am doing the math in my head and to what pace I need to run these last miles.  I started to feel down, realizing that I was going to miss it.  I was close to tears, when I see Sara.  Sara is amazing and one of the coolest gals I know.  She is on Team Tough Chik and also lives in the OC.  She knew I wanted a sub-2 hr run and I was actually using her training plan.  She came up to me and asked me how I was feeling and what time I had.  At that point I was an hour and a half in and had over 3 miles to go, plus a gradual climb.  She told me that I would be cutting close, but I could do it.  She blew me a kiss and was off.

After that I just pushed as hard as I could, at this point it was right around mile 11.  I think I started pushing to early and around 12.5 I hit a wall.  I looked at my watch and knew there was no way I was going to cover the next .6 miles in 5 minutes.  I just didn’t have it in me.

SO CLOSE!

SO CLOSE!

I finished my first real Half Marathon at 2:03.  Even though I was a little bummed I didn’t get my sub-2, I knew that I gave it my all.  I left everything out there and I did the best that I could do.

Me and Sara

Me and Sara

Overall this was a great race.  Beautiful, well organized and pretty dang flat, which is huge for us!  I have a sub-2 hour half in me, so I guess I will have to try again next year!