Monday, January 16, 2017

Shark Bite Half Marathon ~ January 15th, 2017

Shark Bite Half Marathon ~ January 15th, 2017
New Smyrna Beach, FL

I wrote a review on Half Fanatics for the SharkBite 1/2 Marathon and thought I would share it here as well since 1/3 of you guys are runners!

I always try to support local races when I can over big corporate races as a rule and this race started and finished right at the local beautiful New Smyrna Beach. (Without having to run on the beach, Score!) I heard some negative comments in their inaugural year last year but they also had horrible weather and you can't fault the race for what mother nature causes. I signed up this year based on the many great things the race advertised for race day, here are some of the positives and negatives I found personally from running this year(2017) and some things I heard from faster runners that finished way ahead of me, haha (I am a slow poke and love it!)

* Starts & Finishes at the Beautiful New Smyrna Beach (One of the Worlds 20 Best Surf Towns & The Shark-Bite Capitol of the World)
* 1/2 Marathon & 5K options
* 6 water stops(every 2 miles) for the 1/2 Marathon
* Best Race DJ's in the State (
* Large Finishers Bling for BOTH 1/2 & 5k (*see below for corresponding negative)
* Super soft Race shirt
* Craft Beer at the finish line (New Smyrna Brewing, DELISH!!!!!) (
* Fun & Creative Race bibs
* Free Race Photos which is always an awesome perk! (Almost There)

Things to be worked on for future years:
* The race was an open course to traffic and they had us run WITH traffic. Many drove behind us honking and yelling for us to get off the road and then driving by not leaving more than 1-2 feet of room in the first 5 miles.
* I witnessed 2 Citizen Patrol cars drive on course(mile 4 before the bridge) and one drove past me way too fast and the other almost side swiped a runner in front of me. I did NOT feel safe on the 1st half of the course!!!!
* Waterstops some only had water, some had water and gatorade and some had water and shotblocks. It was surprisingly hot for January and I was dehydrated(by my own doing) and needed electrolytes by halfway and was feeling lightheaded by mile 7, I stuck it out and was relieved when I got to the mile 8 waterstop excited for Gatorade which I was told they did not halfway you DON'T have gatorade? Come on RD! I was offered a shot block which I can not have due to if I eat while running I will see it in less than a mile......also mile 10 waterstop didn't have gatorade.
* No medics onsite, I was looking for a medic on the course anywhere since I felt like I could fall at any moment, but there were none to be found.
* BLING! They heavily advertised this medal, '"The BEST FINISHER MEDAL" around!', oh what a great medal, the BEST medal, the BIG & HEAVY medal, you won't believe your eyes! I seriously couldn't wait and then the week before the race we get an email the medals won't be at the race because they are stuck in customs....?( I get it, stuff happens, but if you are relying on the success of this 'epic medal' get it to raceday) So lets order from overseas and not support the USA, even though many other RD's in the area get medals made in the US for a good price, they also ordered them so close to the race that none of the finishers got this amazing medal that they pitched so hard you felt like you needed it to breathe! How about ordering them so you get them a month before the race, that way you have them in 'plenty' of time. Don't get me wrong they are cool looking medals(we saw a photo of what it will look like), nothing to stop breathing over like they were leading you to believe, but cooler than some I have received at races. They will now probably mail them to us for probably $4 each to all 1,500 runners eating into any profit the race made, hopefully not cutting into any charity's cut if there was even a charity associated with the race. (This RD does A LOT of 'for profit' races compared to most local RD's that support local charities and schools in 95% of the races they put on.)
* They advertised Top 10% hats for BOTH the top 10% of Men & Women finishing the 1/2 Marathon. They told male runners finishing 40th overall and later that they were not giving out male hats anymore only female hats even though the Top 10% of males had not all finished yet.
* They advertised "Great After Party with Vendors", there really was no after 'party'...not more than 40 people milling around after they finished(some went home, some went to the beach but no after party per se, there were vendors: 2 chiropractors, a Popsicle stand, a clothing stand and a mechanical shark, that's it. There were hardly any post race refreshments, 1/3 of a banana, small vanilla cookies or half a pretzel stick were your options...very lacking in the post race nutrition.
* Clif Bar had bars available to take but they all had nuts in them so if you had a nut allergy you were out of luck and when you asked about it the teenager manning the tent just rolled his eyes.
* Parking is crazy, they do notify you about it, but it is a Small surf town and when you have 1,500 runners coming in you find even getting there an hour before the race you have to park far away to get a spot. Great for a nice warm up walk, bad if you have to make it back to put your packet and shirt back in the car before you start.

Personally I have no interest in running this race again based on the above mentioned negatives but I wanted to be honest in both the good and the bad so you can make your own decision for the Shark Bite Half Marathon in New Smyrna Beach, FL! Every runner should feel safe on the course and should be set up to succeed, not just left on their own once the race fee($50-$80) is paid and that is how myself and a few others felt after this race. I now see it wasn't just the weather last year that caused issues.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

** 2014 Year in Race-view **

This year was a busy one for my racing career, I completed 14-5K's, 2-10K's, 1-15K, 1-4 miler, 1-10 miler(placed 3rd in my age group), 1-4K, 9 Half Marathons & my 1st Triathlon(placed 2nd in the Athena division 39yrs and under)!!!  I managed to do all of this injury free and after last years foot issues I am so appreciative of that!

I have a goal for 2015 to run one half marathon each month to total 12 for the year and 30 overall in 3 years of running half marathons.  I can't believe I set out to run my 1st half marathon last February and today I finished my 18th! Crazy!

Here are some pics of my half marathons this year:

Daytona Beach Half Marathon

Swamphouse Half Marathon

 Palm Bluff Trail ~ Margaritas & Manure Half Marathon

 ECHO Half Marathon

Hershey Half Marathon

Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon

 Space Coast Half Marathon

 Diva Half Marathon ~ St. Augustine

 Best Damn Race Half Marathon ~ Cape Coral

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

** My 1st Triathalon **

This is how it all started...

You know you are a true runner when you sign up for a race and you get that excited adrenaline pumping through you, a little chill that excites you THEN after you get that confirmation email you say to yourself  "WHAT THE ___ DID I JUST GET MYSELF INTO?".

I of course don't make things easy on myself, I signed up for the Tomoka Triathalon that is 3 1/2 weeks away!  I have NEVER done a Tri before, nor have I ridden my bike at all in the past year and a half.  I know it will be a challenge, but I thrive on challenges like this!  Off to the training...I am not worried about the 3.1 mile run(although it is at the end), but I do need to work on my 1/4 mile swim and my 16 mile bike ride.  Holy Moly, Let's do this!!!!! 

Training Day #1 (04~20~14)
I borrowed my moms 3 wheeler for a 1 mile ride around the neighborhood :)
Bike: 1 mile

                                                         Training Day #2 (04~21~14)
I rode 6 miles today, but I stopped at mile 2(moms house) and mile 4(Melissa's house) so technically
                               I rode 3 - 2 mile rides, haha!  Nice ride and a beautiful day out!
Bike: 6 miles

                                                         Training Day #3 (04~22~14)
Team RWB Tuesday run was a great mix up from biking.  I ran 4 miles and it felt good.  I was worried that my legs wouldn't hold up after riding my bike the past few days, not that I rode hundreds of miles, but I am starting out and not too sure how my body will react to the swim, bike, & run training.  When I was done my legs felt a little like cement but only for a few minutes.  Onto the next!
Run: 3.7 miles

Work Day ~ No Training
Today I worked late and didn't have time for training so I got home and was looking up tips for my first triathalon and came across this guy and after I read it I told myself I shouldn't be on the computer, haha!  I went straight to bed since sleep is a necessary part of training.

                                                         Training Day #4 (04~27~14)
Well, I tried to fit in a personal tri today.  I rode my bike down to the beach and back for over 10 miles, then while at the beach I swam out and down the beach a little...since my watch didn't track while in the water I jogged down the beach to see how far I swam, haha.  The ocean waves were making it extremely difficult to breath and swim, next time I need to further out past the break. I was exhausted, but I did it!  
Bike: 10.6 miles
Swim: .30 miles

                                                         Training Day #5 (04~28~14)
Mom and I went out for a bike ride on Monday and she did great!  We rode to my house, around the city center then over to Mc Donalds and back to her house, she pedaled 7 miles and I finished with 8 for the day!  Later in the evening I went to Team RWB/YMCA open swim in the ocean for some swim tips and training.  I was nervous but thanks to my swim buddy I did fine.  We swam out about 50 meters, floated on our backs for a few while getting some instruction, then swam back in.  I was exhausted and could barely catch my breath, but I went out and did it all a second time with the group.  What a great workout and training session!
Bike: 8.1 miles
Swim: .50 miles

                                                          Training Day #6 (04~29~14)
What a great run on Tuesday with Team RWB!  We finished our run about 10 minutes before the monsoon rains hit...they would have washed us away for sure!  The humidity in the air was c r a z y!  It was probably only 80 degrees outside but because of the rain about to let loose it felt more like 90 degrees!
Run: 3.8 miles

                                                         Training Day #7 (05~03~14)
I worked all morning and then headed to the 5K Run/Walk for Recovery.  Luckily the race was after the day rain and before the evening rain.  It was a little chilly but that felt good while running, so nice to breathe with thinner air.  I ended up almost PRing, I finished in 33:22, my second fastest time at this distance.  This was a nice warm up for tomorrows Wet, Trail 1/2 marathon.
Run: 3.1 miles (5K Run/Walk for Recovery)

                                                        Training Day #8 (05~04~14)
Wow, where to start?  I ran in the Margaritas & Manure ~ Palm Bluff Trail 1/2 Marathon.  With all of the rain we had this past week our normal trail turned into a mudrun with LOTS of water.  No one was PRing on this course.  I not only had to run 13.1(really 13.76)miles, but I had to make sure I didn't bite it while running through water that ranged from ankle deep to waist deep at one point, then we did the loop twice!  My first loop was fine, normal aches and exhaustion, but I felt good.  The second loop felt like I was being punished; I wasn't hydrated enough, the sun felt like it was melting my soul, my feet were pruning faster than I could jog & everything just hurt.  I hit THE WALL at mile 11 and was DONE, I had nothing left in me, but seeing a few familiar faces at the aid station gave me a little pep in my step.....well maybe not a pep but something better than the nothing I had the past mile.  It was miserable!  It was also one of the best experiences I have had as a runner.  I had so much fun, through everything!  
Run: 13.76 (Palm Bluff 1/2 Marathon)

Palm Bluff 1/2 marathon ~ Margaritas & Manure was a trying race, I barely finished the race & those conditions were physically and mentally challenging. Running through mud takes its toll on you!

                                          Training Day #9 (05~05~14) ~ Cinco De Mayo
I was excited to see more than 2 friendly faces at tonights RWB/YMCA swim; Mica, Steven, Lissette & Sara were all with the group!  We weren't just going out and back like last week, we were swimming parallel to the beach.  Steven was my swim buddy and we stuck together the entire first wave and swam out .10 mile and then swam the .30 mile back to the life guard station, then back in.  After yesterday's race my muscles were still store so I only did one loop and jogged on the beach while the rest of the group swam a second loop.  While I was in the water I kept thinking if something, whether it be a fish or a shark or a piece of seaweed, were to touch my leg I would probably freak out and not be able to swim back to land as bad as my muscles were hurting.  Oh well, I got it done and onto tomorrows training run.
Swim: .30 miles

                                                         Training Day #10 (05~06~14)
Tuesdays RWB group run felt good, the whole group ran 3 miles and I was the only one that opted to run the full 4 miles.  Yeah Me!!!  It felt awesome to have 2 of the guys to run me in for the last 1/10 of a mile :)  My muscles are getting back to normal from Sunday slowly.  I don't stretch for a warm up or a cool down, I really should and I can feel the tightness but I just never do.  I have to get better at stretching!!!  I should be fine for this weekend.  Wish me luck!!
Run: 4 miles

Work Day ~ No Training

                                                              Work Day ~ No Training
I am getting SO nervous!  I have a great source for all of my questions, THANKS Cameron & Sara!!!  I do not know what I would do without either of you!!!!!  I keep telling myself to just take each section of the tri by itself, think of the swim only while swimming, the biking while biking and running only while on the run.  That damn Granada bridge will be the death of me, we have to go over it twice on the bike and twice on the run...Grrrrrr  Really people... who thought this was an amazing idea?????

                                                          Training Day #11 (05~10~14)
The temperature was uber hot (92) so running sucked.  It was ironic for a run that we are raising money to "Fight for Air", we couldn't breathe due to the heat and humidity, HAHA!  I somehow managed a 36:26 which is my average for a 5K.  I didn't want to push too hard and wear myself out for the triathalon on Sunday but I also kept going even when I wanted to stop.  It was a nice warm up for my muscles!
Run: 3.1 miles (Fight for Air Run/Walk) 

                           RACE DAY (05~11~14) Mother's Day!!!
 Shit's getting real!!!!

Wow, what a day!!!  The morning was very humid and that added to my worry...who am I kidding I wasn't worried I was scared to death!!!  Luckily the humidity went away as the sun came up.  I set up my transition area, said hi to a few people then before I knew it I heard them announce that it was time for the 1st wave to go.  I was in the 2nd wave so I headed over to cheer on the guys in the first wave.  

I blinked and I heard the MC counting down my wave from 10-9-8-7-holy crap no time to be nervous, let's do this!!!  I dove in the water with the other pink caps and off we went for our .25 mile swim in the Intercoastal Halifax River.  I was on the inside (not listening to Ed's advice to avoid the barnacles on the pier) but managed to steer clear of the sharp little f*%kers anyway.  As most of the field of pink caps passed me I turned on the 'Suzan Charm' and started to crack jokes in the water as we swam past the 2nd lifeguard.  The 2 other ladies near me were laughing and one even said if I can make jokes I am not swimming hard enough(since I kept gasping how I could barely breathe in one breath and in the next stating how it was hard to focus with the hot lifeguards so close to us).  I think the only reason I made it through the swim was by pure determination and distraction!  I was not the last pink cap out of the water, SCORE!!!!!  

Now into transition and time to get ready for the bike ride.  Oh the bike ride....  Swim cap off, bike jersey on, socks & shoes on, music playing, ONWARD!  I bike out of transition and saw a lovely face behind the camera 'HI LILLY'!  I yell as I surprise the hell out of her! :)  I am probably the last person she thought she would see ride by her in a triathlon that day!  My excited feeling went away when I remembered we had to conquer the Granada bridge first thing.....grumble grumble!  I kept telling myself slow and steady, I just want to live through this and finish the race....take your time and just keep going!  I ride my bike up US1(with traffic) all the way to the I-95 overpass, then cutting through a neighborhood before meeting up with Beach Street for my return.  Just about this time my kneecaps were screaming at me in every language other than English...Oy Vey!  I got off the bike and walked for 30 seconds, then back on the bike and my knees felt a little better.  I had to do that twice before I saw the beautiful yet miserable Granada bridge in the distance.  Just the sight of it meant in the next 3 miles I would be finished with the 15.5 mile bike ride, but that also meant I still had to ride my bike back over it to get back to transition for my run.  I knew I was in the back if not last, but was surprised when I came pedaling up to the Beach Street & Granada intersection and I had to stop for a good 5+ minutes waiting for the light to change since the traffic officer had left because the race course flusher told them everyone was already through.  Funny thing....NO ONE passed me from the race company or any volunteers on bikes or in a vehicle the entire bike portion, so how could they have known if anyone was still on the course or not????  I am just glad I was not injured on the side of the road since they would have had no clue I was even out there.  Race Organization #FAIL  After I got back over the bridge and into the transition area I was so happy to see Lisa, Shawn & Summer!  Lisa had rocked it out and finished strong and they were packing up all her stuff to head home, Summer offered me some much needed water, since I had killed mine about 5 miles ago, haha!  THANKS SUMMER!!  

I was so frazzled coming into transition from the bike to the run; not that I was last but that they were already losing track of their participants... so I had no clue how much of the 3.1 mile run course was left up, that I forgot to take the flag with me on my run.  Running as a member of Team RWB means so much to me it just killed me that I forgot my flag back in transition.  I headed out on the run to finish this race off.  I am a runner so I thought that the 5K at the end would be the smoothest part of the race.  I kept telling myself in the swim, "just wait until I get to the run", on the bike for ALL 15.5 miles; "just wait until I get to the run"....well I am at the run and my legs are laughing at me in their own way.  They should call the sports within a triathlon the "Don't Drown", "Kneecap Crusher" & "Cinderblock Thighs"  instead of Swim, Bike & Run.  Running felt like I was standing still and that my thighs were carrying extra cinderblocks on them for the added bonus of "What the hell, you are already last!"  HAHA  The best part of this final run I looked so forward to was I had to go back over that damn Granada bridge, run 2 miles along the river then back over the bridge to the finish.  As I was running around the base of the Granada bridge about to head over it for the last(4th) time in the race, I saw an amazing sight....Tracee!!!  I thought she was there to take a photo of me or cheer me on on her way back to her car or something, but I wasn't even close.  She was there to run/jog the last mile with me over the stupid bridge and cheer me on as I went to keep me going!  Just seeing her there with me put an extra pep in my step; now by pep I mean a slightly faster jog since I was barely conscious!  I love cheering on my fellow Eagles and teammates at races, it is one of the many things that warms my heart about our group, but to have her help me along to the finish meant more to me than she will ever know!  THANK YOU TRACEE!!!!!  Just as we crested the bridge from hell I got the biggest power surge seeing Peggy & Team RWB at the base of the bridge waiting there cheering me on waving that beautiful American Flag!  There she was, beautiful Old Glory!!!  Peggy passed the flag off to me and I ran the final stretch with the flag through to the finshline.  THANK YOU PEGGY for being there and giving me my missing piece!!!  As I am running into the finish I am the last person finishing and most people are gone, vendors are packing up for the day, yet our amazing Team RWB Eagles are standing at the finishline cheering louder than I have ever heard them cheer just to get me across the finishline.  I felt like I won the race as loud as they were cheering!  I did win, to have a team like this behind me and to support me... all of whom volunteered all morning at the race and others who themselves completed the triathlon earlier and I am sure just wanted a shower and a beer, THANK YOU!  Without their support I couldn't have done it and I wouldn't be able to call myself a TRIATHLETE!!!

Swim: .25 miles
Bike: 15.5 miles
Run: 3.1 miles
Sprint Triathalon ~ Completed!!

 I won 2nd place in the Athena division 39 & Under......(as there were only 2 of us!)  PODIUM!!!!!!!
My 5K time was the 2nd fastest out of all 10 ladies in the Athena division : GO ME!

 If it were not for these Awesome Eagles cheering me on to the finish, I don't know if could have done it!!  THANK YOU!!!!!



Happy Mother's Day!!!