That Time I Was a Runner..

Back in July of 2015, which was somehow a year ago, my sister and I decided to train for the Pensacola Half Marathon. It was the first time in over 4 years that neither of us were pregnant or nursing babies and so we decided to celebrate with the joy of exercise (aka: a bit of freedom and brain break time). I totally understand now why women ages 29-39 are the biggest age group of runners. Running/training = FREEDOM!!!! Oh, and healthiness, I’m sure that has something to do with it also.

We signed up for a boot camp class to kickstart our muscle growth because that is a sure fire way to get your body ready for anything that requires long endurance. And a half marathon definitely would require that of us. After a few weeks of grueling but amazing workouts we went running for the first time and were both floored that we made it 3 miles. This coming from two gals that probably couldn’t do more than 1 mile a few weeks before. We actually got a picture when it happened – check out all that sweat… running in July you guys, it’s no joke!


We continued working out at the same place and ran 3-4 days a week. On Saturdays we did our long runs at a nearby trail or in our neighborhood and surrounding roads. We gave ourselves almost 5 months to train for 13.1 miles. It was pretty much a perfect timeline for us.

We would text our mom and dad photos after our runs. I’m telling you, those endorphin’s were awesome for our tired mommy selves.

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Our last long run before the race! Only 1.5 miles short of what we’d be doing on race day.



Race Day: We had a crazy thunderstorm roll in and one thing we read was about wrapping your feet in plastic bags to keep the rain from soaking your socks. We looked silly but it seriously helped a ton. I think I got a good 5 miles in before my first one broke. Miriah wasn’t as fortunate, but anything is better than having soaked feet before you even start running.

At one point around mile 5 (which is why I still had energy to jump) we saw a friend and she snapped a few photos of us while waiting to see her husband.


The finishing stretch!




Our race time!

my post-race attire


We kept running after the race, though not as consistently. Then one day at the end of December I told Miriah I wanted to run the Pensacola Beach Half Marathon and that she was going to run it with me. So I did the sisterly thing and signed us both up and locked her into it so she would HAVE to train with me ;)  #SiblingLove

It was in the middle of January and I thought it was a great race. The weather was super damp and cool, with flat terrain the entire time. Miriah may give a tad different account, but I’d say it was a great start to our 2016 running. I even made us special shirts for it. Nothing quite like some fun clothing motivation.

Plus, we invited mom and dad to come and were SO psyched when we saw them at the finishing stretch. It was awesome. I hope to one day do a race and Stephen comes and has the girls there. It’s such a huge motivator.


This is when I saw dad. We were in the last 1/4 mile of the run and it was such an exciting moment to see him there cheering for us!




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I don’t know what she’s doing, but this one is too funny not to share :)




My friend Nicole and I ran 1 race before this and then 1 more after, the Jackon Blues Half (the first week of January) and then the Gulf Coast Half. Both were a lot of fun, though the Jackson Blues race about killed me because of the crazy hills all over the city.

A before and after :)

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I ate the biggest breakfast of my life after that race! We made it back to the hotel with 20 minutes til the continental breakfast was over.

Then the Gulf Coast race –



Miriah came with Addison to this one. It was a blast seeing them there at the home stretch. Addison made me a sign and everything ♡

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Between all those races Miriah and I ran one more, the Pensacola Double Bridge. It was a fun race and we had amazing tail wind the entire time! We found Nicole out there while waiting for the race to start.




And just for fun – this is what happens when mom agrees to watch the girls so we can go running on a weekday, without us waking up at 5:20AM to do it before the kids get up…


They always find us …   ;)IMG_0305


Here’s hoping some more running occurs in the rest of 2016 and at the very least 2017 is a year of running again! Just looking at these photos has me wanting to get out there!

Hittin' the pavement

It’s unnatural for people to run around the city streets unless they are thieves or victims. It makes people nervous to see someone running. I know that when I see someone running on my street, my instincts tell me to let the dog go after him.” – Mike Royko

Something in me has developed a serious aversion to intentional exercise. My figureing is that no task should be torturous. If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.

As much as Cassie loves being outdoors and being active, my belief has always been that exercise (i.e. running) just for the sake of health is tedious and boring.

My perception of this has not changed.

However, I have started a program called couch to 5k. It’s a beginning runner’s program designed to train someone who spends no time running or exercising to be able to run a 5k in nine weeks.

If this were just a walking/jogging program that would make me a slave to a stopwatch, I wouldn’t spend ten seconds on it. But this is a little different for a couple reasons.

First, I’m listening to a podcast while running. Actually, it’s a little more than that. It’s a podcast designed specifically for this program by Robert Ullrey. It’s already measured out the times that I’m supposed to walk and the times I’m supposed to spend running so that I’m getting an audio cue of when I need to start and stop. As a bonus, Robert is very motivational in encouraging the listener to push through the tougher parts of the routine.

Right now I feel like an mp3 player with this podcast would be more than sufficient to help anyone through this program. The podcast makes it entertaining to do this. But the other tool I’m using makes it fun to look back at what I’ve done: my iPhone. Now, on it’s own, the iPhone can only track where you are through the use of its Maps application. But I’ve downloaded another app (and a free one!) called RunKeeper.

RunKeeper does a couple things for me. First, it keeps track of lots of statistics. Time, distance, time spent on each mile/km, speed, and elevation, RunKeeper tracks them all for me. And beyond that, it maps all of this information out for me on the RunKeeper website.

This is super rad

First, there’s the map that tracks my route. Then, below that, there is a sweet graph that tracks my speed (in blue) and elevation (in green). Below that is an area that displays notes that I want to make about this session, an area to share the URL of this data, and a table of how long each mile took (The last mile in all of these tables is extrapolated from the average speed in that mile so far. As the couch to 5k program takes you through a five minute cooldown walk at the end that last mile’s time is going to seem high unless I stop the program right after I finish the last round of running).

Finally, looking at all of this data after I finish has a very satisfying psycological effect. No, I couldn’t run a marathon (let alone a 5k) right now if I tried. But I’m progressing, and that’s something!

For the curious, I’ve shared out my run from this morning. You can view all of the gritty details here (a note: my speed and elevation and mile times are not accurate as I did not set up the GPS piece properly this morning. The route taken, distance and overall time are all correct).