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A tale of two 5Ks… Faster than I ever thought I could be.

Work in Progress

April 22nd was Endurance Day at Orangetheory. I was supposed to take off that day, but I decided at the last minute to sign up – I always love a good endurance run. Well, I beat my time AND distance from the day before, beating my 2 mile time by just over a minute (23:09), and averaging about an 11:20-ish min/mi pace for the entire run, which, at that point in time, was officially my FASTEST. Ever. About halfway in, I started calculating my time and I knew. I knew I was going to do it.

I started running for the first time in my (unathletic, sedentary) life when I was 30, on 5/27/13… Almost a year to the day before I took my first OTF class, coincidentally. I can’t believe the progress I’ve made since then, and especially, over the past year.

It’s crazy to compare my times from 2013 to 2016:

Comparison 2013 to 2016

Sometimes things are just meant to happen… a certain place, a certain time… the way you least expect it, you know? I never run two days in a row and I should have taken that particular day off. But I surprised myself. I don’t always feel like a runner… but that day, I did.


A couple days later, I surprised myself again. I ended up running two 30-second all outs at 9.5mph, officially the highest speed I’ve ever run at before! Gears started turning in my head…

What if...

That week, I decided that it was time to sign up for my first 5k of the year. I had run the Fiesta 5K the previous year, and my results were… not great, let’s say that. Haha. I was not in the best running shape, we had just moved to Georgia, and I was not used to the hillier terrain up here. Thankfully, they moved the 5K to the Big Creek Greenway at Fowler Park for 2016 compared to the extremely hilly course it was on last year. The Greenway is much flatter! It seemed to be fate that I was signing up for that race, since my Orangetheory Fitness studio was registering to sponsor it as they did last year, and they asked me to run it to advertise them, just as I did last year. Yay for a free race entry!

Considering the times I’d been running at OTF, I set a goal for finishing this 5K somewhere in the 35-36 minute range, which would shave a couple minutes off my last 5K time from December.

Again, I totally surprised myself…

Fiesta 5k

My GPS did not register 3.1 miles on the trail but the time IS correct. My official chip time was 34:06! That means I shaved FIVE MINUTES and 20 seconds off of my last 5K in December! The feeling I had after finishing this race was simply unbelievable! I knew that if I tried a little harder, I could maybe… just maybe, get a few seconds faster…

You can.

Two weeks later, I decided to do another race, the Saddle Buddies 5K! It ended up being a great weekend to run, the temperature that morning was a cool 65 degrees. I was actually quite cold waiting for the race to start, but I knew I would warm up quickly. It was a beautiful course going through rural North Forsyth County, bright and sunny and cool and perfect.

I felt great going into it and kept going strong the whole way. I was amazed to find that I beat my PR from 2 weeks ago, with a time of 33:36, and I placed 3rd in my age group!

Saddle Buddies 5k

Saddle Buddies 5k

Just looking back at my race times from the past few years, it’s incredible to think that I ran my first 5k in 48 minutes in September 2013 in FL, and that on May 16th I ran the same distance (and not even in flat Florida!!) in just over 33 minutes.

I feel like I’ve learned a lot about running in the past few months. There was a time I thought I would never get under 40 minutes. I did that in December. I never imagined getting under 35 minutes. I did that in April. And then in May… I was even faster. I don’t know if I will ever get under 30 minutes, and it’s okay if I don’t… but I’m light years better than I ever thought I would be, and that’s enough for me.


Cycling at Lanier Islands Park

I needed a fairly close place to ride one day in April, and based on the recommendations of a friend, I decided to go check out Lake Lanier Islands Park in Buford, GA. I had never been there before, but my friend said it had some good hills and wasn’t too large of a place, so I could make as many loops around as I wanted with the time I had and get some decent elevation. Looking at the map, I knew it would have some pretty nice views, but it was even prettier than I thought, and despite the dreaded  hills (I got nearly 1000 feet of elevation in in just over 10 miles), it was a really relaxing place to go.

What’s nice is that you can park just outside the park, get on your bike, and ride on in without paying any vehicular fees. It IS road cycling, but the roads are very low-to-no-traffic. I passed more cyclists than cars in the hour or so that I was out there.

I am definitely in better cycling shape now than I was back in April, so I look forward to going back again once school is back in session for the kids (it won’t be as crowded with people heading to the water park) and giving it another go-round.

Lake Lanier Islands

Cycling at Lake Lanier Islands Park

Cycling at Lake Lanier Islands Park

Cycling at Lake Lanier Islands Park

Cycling at Lake Lanier Islands Park

Cycling at Lake Lanier Islands Park

Cycling at Lake Lanier Islands Park

Cycling at Lake Lanier Islands Park

Cycling at Lake Lanier Islands Park


Spring Green Lizard Spotting

HI GUYS! Yeah, it’s kind of been a while!  My last post was back in April, and it’s August now. I didn’t mean to take a blogging hiatus, but it happened… summer was BU-SY! We had a lot of fun this summer – the kids had camp, we traveled to Florida to see friends and family, and we spent a lot of time building legos, hanging out, and staying out of the heat. Georgia summers are no joke. It is HOT. And of course, I spent plenty of time at the gym, on my bike, and ran a couple 5K races.

I have a lot to catch up on, but I thought I would start with a fun post, because you guys know I can’t resist these cute little guys. Living in Florida, lizards were always my favorite, but we don’t see them too often here in North Georgia. This little one was spotted back in April. The kids and I were playing in the driveway, and he showed up in the garage! Such a treat.

Since then, I saw one blue tailed skink, “skinking” up the side of the house, just last month, but I haven’t seen any other of these adorable little creatures. I’m sure they will all go into hiding once fall and winter come, so hopefully the boys and I will have the chance to see another lizard before summer is over.

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