Thursday, May 19, 2016

If/Then The Musical at The Straz Review

On Tuesday night, Nanci, my bestie invited me to attend the showing of If/Then The Musical at the Straz center in Tampa. Nanci was given the opportunity through her working with The Tampa Bay Bloggers and the Straz center, I was extremely happy to go along and be her plus one. Even though I was given the opportunity through Nanci, my opinions are all my own.





If/Then is a Musical centered around the life of Elizabeth, who moves to New York City to start a new, after her most recent divorce. She moves to NYC knowing her old friend Lucas, who was played by Anthony Rapp. Which we might know him most famously from his role in RENT, which I had the pleasure of seeing him perform in on Broadway when I was in High School. Upon Elizabeth's arrival to NYC, she meets a new friend name Kate. Kate is this vibrant, loud spoken, outgoing, crazy fun neighbor, whom the moment she stepped out on stage I instantly knew I was going to love her role in the play.



From the first scene to the intermission to the end, I was constantly engulfed with how much I loved this play. The tale of Elizabeth's life is told through two different story lines. One where she is Beth. Beth's life is all about business and her career and maybe  not making the best choices. Beth's life shows what her life would be like if she never met a solider named Josh. How her life changed in one instant when she took a phone call. Beth's life was about moving up the corporate ladder, finding her way, not really enjoying life, making mistakes. All because she took one step per say in a different direction.

Then as the audience we watch as it splits to Liz, still the same character, but what if she went a different direction and she decided to not answer the phone. She went another way and met Josh, the solider. Liz's life was vastly different, it was raw and honest and happy. Liz got everything she wanted out of life on the Liz side, even heartache, but wouldn't change it for the world, because it gave her so much more. A family, kids and a love that would last a lifetime.



The two split story lines was something I had not experienced before in a play and I thought was done extremely well. At first it was a bit tricky to grasp on, but once the cast of character began to identify it became clear and clearer.

The beauty of this musical was not only were the main characters, Kate and Josh portrayed of what it and then, but their friends Lucas and Kate too. And how their lives were forever impacted and changed because of one decision. It show cased their own love lives and how one person you associate with brings so much. I know I have people in my life like that too. If I didn't go to college where I did, my best friend never would have moved in PA and eventually find the love her life, her husband and her soul mate. It's funny how one little thing can impact so many other lives, without even really meaning too.

It is funny because I had thought about this same parallel in my own life recently. I choose to live in Florida 7 years ago, on a whim. James lived down here, I had visited and just knew this is why I needed to be. If James and I had never met in college, if I had never applied to Keystone College, one of the only 3 colleges I applied too, we would have never had met and my life here in Florida with him, would never had started.

I wouldn't have been working at Things Remembered or meeting friends like Nanci. I am so grateful that my If/Then story is more like Liz's in the fact, I followed my heart and took a chance, despite being scared and not knowing what would happen.

The music in If/Then is amazing. The songs What The Fuck, Here I Go, and Always Starting Over were my favorites. Always Starting Over had me in instant tears. I cried several times during the second act. Bring tissues, especially when Liz signs Always Starting Over, I can not say that enough, it is raw and with just her and the stage and some twinkle lights, it instantly moves you.

The ending was absolutely perfect and I felt like I couldn't clap loud enough for the performance I had just scene. I love leaving a musical and you are still floating on air from what you just witnessed and the message is so deep, it has you thinking about your own life and If/Then's.

Would you change anything if you could? What if there was one moment in your life, if you went another way, which would be better?

I believe in Fate and Signs and this musical brought that all together.

Do yourself a big favor and see this musical. It is running at the Straz through May 22nd.

This is something you do not want to miss out on seeing!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I Often Wonder

Good Wednesday Afternoon!!

Life around my parts has been a bit cooko bananas lately. Work was jam packed last week with Mother's Day and working close to 60 hours, I was a bit exhausted. So posting took a bit of a back seat..

But I wanted to touch base and share I have started a run streak. I have committed to running at least 2-3 miles every day for the whole month of May! I have done a run streak before back in 2013 when I ran one from thanksgiving till New Years and despite it being hard, I really loved it! So I'm taking on one this month, to kick ass with more motivation and to keep my head in the game!! 11 days down and I'm still holding strong. I have been tired and slow but he'll one foot in front of the other is all it is about!

And it got me thinking how different my life has turned out.... I know how does a run streak evoke that kind of thought but I think a bunch when I'm running and that popped in my head.

And today as I was sitting outside a cafe enjoying a huge salad before going grocery shopping how much my life has changed. There were times where I wouldn't even get up before noon.
 Or even order a salad at that.

It's amazing how one decision of moving here 7 years ago, made a world of a difference.

While yes it has been tough at times. And the beginning of me living in Florida was not about running and healthy. I'm so grateful where my life is now.

My whole world revolves around me just being better. I posted the other day what is your why?

My why is I don't want to be stastic to my life. Too many people blame their lives or what they were born into as an excuse. Sure I did not have a great childhood. My parents were drug addicts and alcoholics and I experienced things children shouldn't be exposed too BUT I never use that has an escapee goat for who I am.

Just because that's how I was raised does not mean I am that person. It is just a part of me. I have fought too hard for too long to ever let that define me.
Just because most of my family snuggled with weight does not mean I can not overcome it. I will never sit back and say well it's the dice I rolled. My why is because I know I'm better and stronger than that!! 

So I ask what is your why?? What motivates you to be better? Why will you never give up or back down!!? Where you handed a crappy deck too and know you can be better?!im here to tell you, you can!!!

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other!!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April Goals and Recap

Good Saturday Morning!!!

Okay so it is the last day of the month, holy crap, where did it go. Seriously it was just April Fools Day a bit ago, just insane.

Let's recap a bit of April, shall we.

Running & Working Out

April I have to say was a bit of a fun month for me. I did a lot of different things this month and was really committed to working out and eating right and making a better effort than maybe I have before. Really tracking my work outs and getting right back on track. And I do have to say it worked wonders.

I was getting up early before work to run. I was running after work when I didn't do it in the morning. I was making my way to the gym to do some weights and cardio. My laundry pile, defintely grew this month.

I ran the Iron Girl Half Marathon this month and while it wasn't a PR race and I was no expecting it to be at all, I had a really great time running that race. It was fun and I had a runner's high through out the whole thing. I ran with Nanci this month too, meeting her and her hubby and Corina out in Clearwater and I also took a Women's Running Class with Nanci, at St. Pete Running Company. That was a really fun morning. The class gave us tips and tricks on how to run better and I have used the tips in my daily running and seeing a difference for sure, especially in my breathing and quick steps.

I completed Tampa Bay Mom Runs, virtual Boston Marathon race, it was to run 26.2 miles from April 1-18, the day she ran the marathon. I completed that with the  help of Iron Girl, well in advance and even exceeded the run. And got a goodie bag and medal for it...



I ended up running 43 miles this month. Not as much as I was hoping, I had some rest days thrown in there a bit, due to work and such. But I am proud of those 43 miles. Still more than half the year down to reach my 1000 miles.

I did get to the gym a bit more this month, but seriously for me, the running is where it is at. I just love the cardio aspect. I need to find some balance with it for sure, and I am constantly working on that, but I did just find a great arm and leg cardio work out with dumbells I found on Pinterest. Holy heck was it amazing, I am sore this morning and it was quick and simple, and I did it while watching Grey's, I will be using that this coming month.

Healthy Living

I had some cheat days this month for sure. I enjoyed some date nights with James and enjoyed random times of just eating out. BUT I made healthy balanced choices each and everytime. I think one time I had some pizza for no reason, other than I wanted it dammit. I did have a couple of nights out with drinks. Not my typical wine or light beer. Like beer cocktails and pretzel bread with cheese, umm yes that happended because my damn period haha. But I did not regret anything. I am done beating myself up over having fun and taking one extra bite. You know what I did the next day, I drank my water and made better choices and moved on.

The scale did not move this month, so I guess that is a good thing. I see my stomach is not bloated in the mirror anymore and I feel light lighter when I am running. I am contuning to count calories, and I did drop down from 1500-1600 calories, to 1310. Hoping that change will spike it. And I am trying to not eat over those 1310, unless it is a special day of some sort. I dropped the calories down the other day after my doctors appointment.

Insert, self pitty right here....

I went to get some blood work done and the doctor said everything was perfect. He said I was a young and healthy girl. Good kidneys, liver, electrolytes and my thyroid was fine, everything was perfect. Phew. So I mentioned, I don't get why sometimes my energy level is so low though. I take a multivitamin and sleep well ( I think) I work out and run. And what he said I took why too hard...

He said well your overweight.

That word just hit me like a ton of bricks. I work so hard and have been for the last 5 years, to hear those words. I understand that I will always be considered overweight thanks to my height, but he looked at me and judged me, based on the scale. I am new to my doctor, so he doesn't know what I go through every day. He doesn't know that I have lost 70 pounds from my highest weight. He doesn't know I weigh and measure my foods or I pack my lunch, or scan calories, or look up food choices before I go to dinner. Or that I choose protein packed items rather than convience.

And in that moment, I couldn't say anything. I just sat there and looked at him. He said now that the weather is nice, get out there and exercise often. Again, I was at a loss for words. He didn't know I have ran a Full Marathon and did a Half marathon, just two weeks prior. He didn't know that I run 3-4 times a week. I just couldn't say a word, because that work Overweight, was just a trigger.

I thanked him and walked out and burst into tears. I called James crying because I felt like no matter what I do or did, I would never be considered out of that word. I took pity on myself for the day and it lingered over me. Then after a few hours, I slapped myself, went grocery shopping and said, what does he know and I am continuing working freaking hard and doing what works for me.

Because I will get out of that word. I will be considered fit. I will continue being the bad ass I am!!

Reading

For the month of April I have read...

Brave Enough



Wildflower

Possible Side Effects

Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss

All different style books and all really good. Drew Barrymore's book was really good, each chapter was different, like a bunch of short stories in one. Actually come to think of it all of them were. The Brave Enough book was way different. It was a bunch of quotes in one book, so that book I read so quickly, like with in 45 minutes, but a good book,  non the less.

Happiness

April brought a lot of happiness for me in friendship and love. I got to do a lot more things with Nanci, from running, to hanging out at the market in Clearwater and we did the Cobb blogging event, and getting coffee together before work one Saturday. I am so grateful for her friendship and all that it brings to my life.

James and I had a lot of fun this month too, we have gone out to breakfast, which is my favorite. Had our mornings together drinking coffee and lots of catching up on our favorite shows, we are in a great place right now in our lives and each day it gets better and better.

So April was a great month and I know May  is going to be even better!!!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Currently...

Wow it has been two weeks since I have sat down and blogged in. It has been a little bit all over the place the last two weeks, work is starting to pick back up again with Mother's Day, trying to do more with James after work and trying to balance working out in the morning and evening. Oh and still trying to enjoy my days off when I can, like today.

Okay, so I figured the best way to jump into what I have been up too, is with a currently post, which I always find fun anyway...


Current Book: 
This is exciting because I am kind of reading two books at the moment, The Happiness Project & The Luckiest Girl Alive AND I started an online book club, through Facebook, called The Novel Bunch. My love of reading has been in full force this year.

Current Music:
With my new car, I had Sirus XM, which was great but it did get old after awhile. So I have been loving on some country lately and John Mayer, yes I go back to old school type of music here and there.

Current Drink:
Anything I can pour into my new Yeti cup. That thing is amazing!!! It keeps the ice and cold forever. I carry it around, just so I can pour items into it. I also had the Best Damn Cherry Cola, it's sweet but it is really good.





Current Food:
Nothing really. I have been back to making some really good choices again and learning to have the balance and still enjoy foods I love. I have been hitting my calorie markers and macro counts each day.

Current Show:
Too many. A lot of my shows are taking their summer breaks really soon. But I just finished the second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which was hysterical on Netflix. And we are watching The Path on Hulu, also really good. We tend to watch a lot of our shows on Hulu and Netflix. I am so happy Chelsea Handlers coming back to a talk show atmosphere on Netflix, May 11th, so looking forward to that.

Current Links:
There was a post shared on Tuesday, about a young girl who witnessed at an airport, TSA, throwing away the passagners gift because it had water in it. It was a snowglobe from Things Remembered. She took the SG out of the trash, hoping to give it back to the couple at a later time. When she posted the picture on FB, I knew right away that it was one of ours, and we could possibly help. Sure enough, the SM of the ST. Pete location found the receipt and was able to help the girl locate the family.

Here is the link :0) Kind of awesome that we got to help out and promote positive in the news.

Current Need:
To pick up my car from being fixed. It needed new brake pads, one day without my beauty and I am lost.

Current Indulgence:
I am so going to get a pedicure today, my poor feet look like hell after the half marathon and all the other running I have been doing.

Current Excitement:
Happy I am off today and really have no plans except for some few errands here and there.

So what are you CURRENTLY up too???

Friday, April 15, 2016

Let's Go To The Movies....And EAT at Cobb Theaters Tyrone

As part of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was given access and a gift card to tour the new Cobb Theatre at the Tyrone Square Mall for social share and blog post, all opinions and reviews are my own.

I have lived in the St. Petersburg Area for almost 7 years now and worked at the Tyrone Square Mall for 6.5. In those 6.5 years, I anxiously waited for the mall to get a movie theatre and the time has finally come and this is not just any run of the mill movie theatre, this one is luxury and spacious and a whole experience on its own.

Nanci, over at This Crazy Life of Mine, also a Tampa Bay Blogger and more importantly one of my besties, and I have partnered with our blog post about the Cobb Experience. She was in attendance also and there is so much to tell you, we decided to break it up into TWO part posts, linking to the two of our blogs together. I am going to give you the details on the food experience at Cobb, believe me it is more than just soda, candy and popcorn and Nanci is going to give you the experience of the theatre. So make sure to head over to her blog post after and check it out.

Okay so Cobb Theatres food experience is definitely something different. It is fun, innovative, luxurious and seriously and all in all one stop shop. You can have dinner, drinks and a movie all under the same roof. And I am not talking about like hot dogs rolling under a belt, or microwave cheese sauce poured over stale chips. I am talking Buffalo Chicken Dip to start or Dynamite Shrimp to start....

 Tender, Crispy, Hand-Battered Fried Shrimp tossed in a Spicy Sauce for 9.95

Don't worry if you are a Nacho lover, like us ladies were, then here are some Nachos, under the category of Shareables, believe me you wont want to share...

As  named, Monster Nachos, Fried Corn Tortillas, Homemade Beef Chili, Queso, Cheddar and Jack Cheeses, House Pickled Jalapenos, Sour Cream and Tomatoes for 12.95. Also can be Vegetarian and these are Gulten Free.

These are just two of the Shareables they offer that you can find at the Movie Theatre. At the new location, when you walk in your have your fair share of food to choose from. This is just a taste, don't worry, I will show you more. 

The theatres concept isn't like your typical concession stand area. Yes, it holds Popcorn and Candy and Soda, but it is a self-serve, walk through concession area first off...



Almost to the feel of cafeteria style set up. You walk up and move down the aisle, choosing for various food options.


Yes that picture is Funnel Cake...


It is DELICIOUS!! No more waiting for the fair, you can eat it while watching your favorite flick. 

You can order Burgers, Paninis, Cubans, Salads, Tacos!!





This is no joke you can get all of this at the MOVIES. Thanks to the Executive Chief Issac, whom emphasizes on the high-quality, freshly prepared ingredients. The Kitchen, yes I said kitchen at Cobb Theatres is 100% a scratch kitchen, meaning everything is prepared in house and fresh daily, right there on sight at the Cobbster Kitchen To Go.


You can either take the food into the movie with you and enjoy while watching your movie, or have a nice sit down with your food before you head on in. The Cobbster Kitchen and dining concession area also holds Pizza...


And this my friends is NY Style pizza. And I am from NY and had a taste and man it was like I was back home again. It was bubbly, fresh, hot and the tomato sauce was perfect, the crust was thin and holy yum. This was like a pizza I would get back home and couldn't believe I could enjoy it while at the movies.

Don't worry there is popcorn too....



If you so choose to take your meal into the movie with you, your probably wondering, geez, how am I going to eat it in my lap, I mean you are going to want to have some room to unwind. And I hate when I get food at the movies and have to put it on the floor and fear I am going to step or knock it over. 

Have no fear, when checking out with your food and going through the concession area or at the Cobbster Kitchen To GO, you can use one of this handy trays,


Found right underneath the concession area and they sit right in your cup holder. I don't want to to indulge in more details, as Nanci is going to blow your mind with these chairs. But the tray sits right in and swivels right towards you and you can have a table waiting at all times.

Okay so we have our meals right, so now we need some drinks. You have a long range of coke products to choose from, coffee or hand crafted coffee drinks to take in with you, or if you are in the mood for something else, lets say a mixed drink, craft or draft beer, bottled or even a glass of red of white wine, there is a bar on sight...


You can take the drink into the movie with you, limit one per person, per trip. And really kick back and relax, or enjoy the drink in the bar area before the movie, or even after. Heck you can come into the bar and get food and drinks and not even see a movie. Seriously how awesome is that!!!

They have a long list of creative drinks to settle any one's taste or mood.

Such as sangria and The Hangover Margarita...


Both VERY GOOD!!!! 

The sangria was perfect and the margarita, even with a salt rimmed glass was the perfect combination, you can tell it was not from a mix.


Now you have your starters, meal, drinks and if you are anything like me, you know you need something sweet to just make it full circle. There are even desserts, besides the traditional candy area.

You have FROZEN YOGURT!!!


With candy toppings....

The funnel cake, which I know you are going back up to look at again. And it tasted just like one at the fair.

There is White Chocolate Bread Pudding...


And the table pleaser and what caught my attention IMMEDIATELY on the menu,

Sweet Potato Hushpuppies with Marshmallow Dipping Sauce...


These are worth every calorie!! And they are warm, gooey and soft pockets of heaven. I will get these again for sure, you know for James lol.

Now I know you are probably thinking, all these meal ideas and snacks, it has to be super expensive.

Well you are wrong, the prices are great. They are typical meal prices you would get at any restaurant, even better I believe. The best part is, you can have it all under the same roof. No more going out to dinner before, rushing through dinner and then racing to get to the movie. You can have it before in the same place or just take it on in with you. 

For James and I this is pure heaven, our date night just got a lot easy and the luxury of all under one roof, makes us wanting to have a date more often.

The food experience at the Cobb Theatres, is redifining what it means to eat at the movies anymore. I highly recommend taking your date night, friends, or even yourself and make sure to save room for food, you won't want to pass up the many, many opitions. So check out whats on Fandango and head to the movies.

You can check out the new Cobb Theatre at the Tyrone Square Mall, officially opening today April 15th.

Make sure you check out Nanci's blog about the whole MOVIE Experience, you wont believe what she has in store for you!!!















Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Iron Girl 2016 Recap

Good Morning!!!

I have been up super early this morning wanting to get some stuff done on my day off and of course my computer decided to take its sweet time, so I am finally now sitting down with my second cup of coffee in hand to get this going.

Well and I might have been on Etsy ordering some new stuff for my planner haha. It is an obsession!! Thankful for the shops that offer discounts also.

Okay, so on Sunday I ran the Iron Girl Half Marathon. My 3rd IG Half and my 5th race with them, I ran the 5k twice. AND my 9th overall Half Marathon.

I was pretty pumped and ready to go for this run. I wasn't nervous or anxious at all, which before races I tend to be. I spent the day before getting my packet pick up with Nanci and Corinna. We checked out the Pierce Street Market and had a nice afternoon, the weather was perfect, which was promising for the next morning.

I spent the rest of the day, just relaxing. I went to the pool for an hour and then got in my sweats and made it a couch  night. James ordered me pasta from CD Romas, which was always my go to place for my Carb night dinner. It was DELICIOUS. I always have spaghetti and meatballs and a breadstick with a small side salad, and I had two fried mozzerella sticks. It is my cheat meal and I have no regrets, knowing I will be burning that bad boy off soon!

My tummy was full and I was exhausted. I got up super early Saturday morning, hoping it would help me sleep later on. The day before a race, I always have a hard time getting sleep. Not this time, I went to bed at 9, hello fun and exciting Saturday  night.

My alarm went off at 4:30 and I was ready to go. I made my cup of coffee, which is new for me to do before a race, but it has surprisingly helped a ton. I had a banana bread English Muffin with peanut butter and a banana on top.

I taped my knee and left calve in KT Tape and sprayed StopPain on it. Which that combination with some Pain Reliever did the trick, I swear. I headed over to Clearwater and  was running a bit  behind, trying to find a place to park. I brought some Spark with me and drank it as I walked to the starting line. I, of course had to pee right away and well other things were moving through, if you get my drift. Which I was super happy about, yes pooping makes me happy the morning of the race, especially since my stomach was being a little off.

I made it to the starting line and entered in the back. I wasn't looking for a pace group or anything. I was going into this race with just the mindset of having a blast. And honestly I did!!!



How could you not have a good race, when you have views like this!!!



I had a nice pace throughout the whole 13.1 miles. I did walk the bridges a bit more, just because I wanted to conserve my energy to finish strong. I had no shame whats so ever. Those bridges suck and ladies around me felt the same way BUT despite we were all getting over those things and making it to the other side. The weather was unreal and beyond perfect. My body felt great the whole time.

There were some aches and pains just me getting used to it again, but I didn't feel discouraged or beaten like I did two months prior at Best Damn Race. I had a bit of a runners high at mile 9 and I knew I would make it strong to the end. I used Cliff Blocks through out the whole race and they made a difference. I usually took them every 3 miles and at water stations, where I drank water at every one and Gatorade.

I took pictures throughout the race and just had a fun time. I was really enjoying myself and not treating it like a race but just a long run and that mindset made a world of a difference.



And I was an Iron Girl Again!! The medal was awesome year, so detailed and the charm on the bottom you can wear as a necklace. I finished under 3 hours, like I secreatly hoped and did 6 minutes better than Best Damn Race!! While it was not a PR in any means for me, I started and completed and felt so great again.



Bonefish, Carrabbas and Outback were all there at the finish line for food. While it looked amazing, I could only do one bite of each. Not my kind of food post race, at 9 in the morning. I wanted a bagel sandwich from DD and a Big Iced Coffee and that is what I went and got.



I had to take a picture of my polka dot pants when I got home lol. They were so comfy and 100% me type of pants!!

2016 Iron Girl was a great success. I loved being an ambassador this year and be apart of such a great message and race event. I can't wait to run this race again next year.

While I know I have some work to do, to continue to get back to where I was, I am not striving for progress not perfection. I have ran 2 half marathons, 1 15k, a 5k beach race, 2 virtual 5k's and a 4 mile race on a golf course. I would say 2016 is turning out to be very successful so far!!!

Here is to continuing to making it great!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Race That Started It All....

Good Thursday Morning!

It is a good day to reflect back on some accomplishments this morning. I was inspired by Tampa Mom Runs post on her first half marathon, which happened to be Iron Girl, so I thought I should write why the Iron Girl Race means so much to me and how I will most likely run it every year.

In 2012, I ran my first ever race, the Iron Girl Clearwater 5k. My boss, Jen, mentioned she was going to be running it with her daughter and how fun it would be if we got a bunch of ladies from work to do the same thing. My work bestie, Jen, (another Jen) said she would sign up and we should do it. So anxiously I did.

I was scared out of my mind. I had just started running and lets be honest, I was barely running, maybe to the stop sign and back, but something in me, just kind of clicked. I was determined and willing to do this. I did not train at all, I didn't use any gadgets or apps to track my mileage. I didn't have runners sneakers, I had plain old shoes. I didn't have special shirts or even pants. I just went out there and was running up and down the street. I had my ipod, which was practically broken and an arm bad and a spark.

I was so nervous running up and down the street, where cars going by could see me. I was breathing heavy, I was just getting into shape, but I was moving and I thought, well who the hell cares. I am not doing this for anyone else but me. I think the longest I ran at that point was maybe 2 miles. I justified I could bike 3 miles, then it was the same thing. I went to the store days before and got a new shirt to wear on the day of the race, I got a tank top because it was going to be hot. I was always so self conscious of my arms, and I just didn't seem to care.

I went to packet pick up in Tampa, at Fit2Run and was so excited to get a shirt and my bib, which had my name on it...


I knew nothing about running races. I wasn't sure if I eat before, or how it all worked. I was sooo nervous the morning of. I got dressed and headed to my Bosses house and we met and all rode in together. Jen's husband kept us laughing and having a great time. I wasn't sure how I was going to do, I just knew lets get this going. Getting to the starting line was insane. There were so many runners, all females, ready to take on the morning. We parked and then they said on the way back we can shuttle back as there might be rain at the end. All my work ladies and I stood together, ready to start the race.


Then it began....

We started up a small hill and I was like great, I had no clue there was hills in Florida and I was not prepared. Jen and I laughed because at this point we had no clue what we got ourselves into. My ran together and then the bridge....

At the end of the bridge,  there was a water station and we walked and got water. I was like holy heck this is something, literally lost for words. Jen and I continued to run and walk when we wanted. We were out of breath, tired and all over the place, we would run fast and then walk. I don't remember much of the run, until the final turning point to seeing the finish line.

I noticed peoples signs and heard cheering. I was instantly emotional. I couldn't believe I was going to finish a 5k race and I wasn't dying. I don't even recall the song on my Ipod, but Jen and I said this is it, we are doing this and we are running it in.

And we finished...


Here it is.. my first EVER medal. My first 5k race completed and where it all began....

As I was making my way through the crowds, trying to find the other Jen, whom was our ride, over to the side, was James waiting for me. He surprised me at the finish. I hugged him and instantly starting crying, telling him, I did it. I finished. I was so shocked her came because he had to work that morning and I never mentioned I wanted him to be there...it meant the absolute world to me.




I had experienced my first runners high right then and there. I couldn't believe how great I felt. I was instantly hooked. That moment and that finish line was what started it all for me. We took the shuttle to our cars and there was a lady sitting with us and she had done the half. I was in awe that she ran 13.1 miles, 10 more than what I had just completed. I couldn't believe it, I was like wow, I could never do that lol. 

Little did I know, I would run my first half marathon the following February with St. Pete Rock and Roll and a year after my first 5k race, come back to Iron Girl and run the half haha.

I have ran the Iron Girl 5k twice, my first in 2012 and then my 2nd last year. I have ran the Half also twice, 2013 and 2014. I will take it on for a 3rd time this Sunday, which will also mark as my 9th half marathon.

Amazing in 4 short years, with the start of this race, how much I have changed and grown as a runner and all it took was 3.1 miles. 

I love the Iron Girl race series. I love running the race in any form of mileages. I love the atmosphere and the energy. It is my best way to spend a Sunday, surrounded by so many amazing ladies doing the same thing.

If you haven't ran a race before or nervous about running, just sign up. The rest will be history and you will be amazed at what you can do. I never thought I would be a runner, I figured one 5k would be enough, but it takes one to hook you and 2 years after that, I finished a full.

Believe in yourself and you can do anything. 

If you are running this weekend, make sure to stop and say hi, we can take a selfie!!! I will be cheering you on and wishing you luck, while i take on another 13.1!!