CONFESSION SESSION

Okay, confession time! Secretly, I’d love to be an advice columnist (especially for teens), you know like Steve Carell in Dan in Real Life. Um, LOOOVE that movie BTW!! Life advice is just so darn beautiful, don’t ya think?! How could you not take it (i.e. advice) in and (at least) reflect on it a bit? I guess the one thing I’ve always believed in…is to take the advice of others or to at least listen to what people had to say. We’re all beautifully different so why not open your ears, open your heart, and  open your eyes to what could be?

I’m the first person to admit that I’m not perfect (shocking, I know!), but come on, perfection is so overrated… I’ve learned the best stuff (yeah, stuff) from my oopsies. I mean, haven’t you? Being both a swim coach and a writer (visiting schools and interacting with kids), I’m often asked by parents/teachers to sound off advice (i.e. advice that exceeds swimming and writing). Alright, so here we go.

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Teeny-boppers, this one’s for you!! 

#1- Believe in yourself. Believe that you’re capable of greatness all on your own.

#2- You don’t need anyone else to make you happy. Happiness blossoms from within. The aftermath of contentment is self-confidence. Self-confidence breeds friendships.

#3- Alcohol is not the answer. You can be fun and fabulous without the added edge.

#4- When dating, don’t squeeze yourself into an unrealistic mold that looks nothing like you. Stay true to you!

#5- Target your dreams and never lose sight of your goals until you hit the bulls-eye. Never count the fallen arrows, instead, use them as a road map to your final destination.

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#6- Link your head to your mouth and your mouth to your heart: Speak with wisdom and courage.

#7- Indulge in kindness (it’s free!)!!

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#8- Technology is the way of the world, but never forget your roots- to get outside and lavish in the sunshine.

#9- Belittle is to Be little- never stoop to that level! It’s just not nice.

#10- There’s no ugly-pretty, only pretty ugly, and I equate ugliness to unkindness. Put your best foot forward and your best face forward because HELLO, you’re beautiful!

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GOT ANY ADVICE FOR TEENS? I’D LOVE TO HEAR IT!! XOXO

-Kristin

HOW THE COOL KIDS WORKOUT

Alright guys, I’ve been asked to share my weighty secrets (Ohhh baby!), that is, my secrets in the weight room! Yep, I’m up for the challenge and SO up up up that I’m typing (wait for it…) up my (lengthy) workout from today. Ready Set PUMP IT UP!

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Me being silly!! Hehe!!

I love lifting weights because…

#1, it helps out my swimming a whole bunch,

#2, it gives me a sense of control,

#3, I love feeling/looking strong,

#4, it’s fun getting creative, and

#5, let’s face it, spandex rocks!

I’ve been lifting weights since the age of 12, but inhabited the gym long before that. Yup, little, baby Kristin squirmed around the Nursery Gym like a…well, baby with her thumb in her mouth and her finger, well, NOT up her nose. My mom worked out like a hard core beast while I sat in the baby center twirling my precious curly Q around and around, wishing I could be like the cool kids (i.e. those kids 12 & older). Those “cool kids” sure knew how to walk around the gym in style. Never saw them do much, but at least they were in the vast openness breathing in more than gross, poopy pants. Yuck!

Speaking of cool kids… (LOVE THIS SONG!)

“I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to fit in.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids,
‘Cause all the cool kids, they seem to get it.
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids.” – Echosmith

Before I post my workout, I wanna note that I have freakish strength, like total super strength. It’s genetic (thanks mom!)! I’ll have to break out my baby photos and show y’all the six-pack I rocked as a little chick. I had these cute, little muscular arms, too! (I’ve definitely always had fast twitch muscle fibers.) Growing up, my grandpa used to punch me in the stomach and pretend that he broke his hand. Ohhhh, how I miss those days (and him very much)!!

Anyways, the workout I’m posting today is fairly moderate for me. I’m pushing semi-light weight. I’ve backed off my heaviness some, especially overhead, because I don’t want to blow out my shoulders. I’m swimming lots now, so can’t overdo it.

Note: I always mix up my workouts and never do the same workout twice, plus don’t do a lot of leg stuff because of my knees. Swimming and yoga take care of that (that being my leg muscles)!

Warm-up: (Repeat set 3 times)

*20 Jumping Jacks

*20 Arm Circles (with 5 pound dumbbells)

*12 Shrugs (with 45 pound dumbbells)

*15 Squats

*20 Push-Ups

*10 Throwdowns (with 10 pound medicine ball)

*15 Bench Dips

*10 Bar Twists (with 45 pound bar)

*10 Step Ups (10 on each side)

Main Set: (Repeat 6 times)

*10 Handstand Push-Ups

*15 Bicep Curls (with 20 pound dumbbells)

*10 Single Arm Rows (10 on each side & using 40 pound dumbbells)

*12 Overhead Tricep Extensions (using both arms & using a 55 pound dumbbell)

*15 Cable Crossovers (with 30 pound plates)

*Handstand Hold for a minute

*15 Hammer Curls (25 pound dumbbells)

*10 Bent over Barbell Rows (100 pounds total)

*15 Reverse Tricep Pull-Downs (using cable machine & an 80 pound plate)

*10 reps of Chest Press on Hammer Machine (180 pounds)

Abs: (Repeat 6 times)

*10 Hanging Leg Lifts

*15 Hanging Abs (with arms in straps)

*20 Side Bends (with 15 pound dumbbells)

*20 Trunk Twists (with 25 pound plate)

There ya have it…my weight workout from today!! As you can see, I broke it into three different parts (warm-up, main set, abs) and I always do it like that! Also worth noting, I write my own workouts and always lift solo. I don’t like being weighted down (Get it? Hehe!) by anyone because I move at such a rapid pace. I’m like a freakin’ tornado spinning around the gym. It’s fun, though! No, I’m not a personal trainer, but I’m very well known in my gym and get lots of questions about my workouts. At first I was kinda overwhelmed by all of the attention, but now, I take it as a huge compliment!

THANKS GUYS! HOPE I ANSWERED SOME QUESTIONS!! HAPPY THURSDAY!!! ROCK IT OUT!! XOXO

-Kristin

WATCH ME SWIM!!!

Yep, you read it right, you’re going to FINALLY see me swim!! Saaay whaaat??? Eeek!! I’m so excited to read your comments! Like seriously excited! Oh yeah, Happy Tuesday by the way!! Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! Mine was sensational!!

WATCH ME SWIM HERE!!! By the way, found this video in my phone storage! Had NO clue! Each year, at a meet in Virginia (at George Mason University to be exact), they hold this totally awe-inspiring sprint contest at the end! This gal is a sprinter so yeah, I’m lovin’ it! I usually hit the end of the pool between 12-13 seconds! Of course I race the 25 yard fly!! The lady 2 lanes to my left is a National record holder (for her age group)!! I was so happy to be head-to-head with her!! The ultimate compliment! BTW, I’m the swimmer with the white cap and black suit!

DID YA LIKEY ??!!!! 

Alright, more swimmin’ stuff up in here:

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

If you like The Walrus and The Carpenter by Lewis Carrol, then you’ll love my version. Check it out:

“The time has come,” the swimmer said,

“To talk of swimmer things:

Of caps–and pools–and goggle rings–

Of too tight suits–and sets–

And why the water is freezing cold–

And whether swimmers have tails. 

10 things you probably could care less knowing about me (+swimming), but will:

#1- Sometimes during warm-down, I pretend I’m a mermaid swimming through the depths of the ocean. It’s relaxing knowing that my workout is finito. I have quite the vivid imagination.

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#2- I often times talk aloud to myself while swimming (like physically swimming through the water). It sounds a little bit like fish talk because my face is in the water.

#3- I absolutely hate showering before entering the pool! As if jumping into freezing cold water wasn’t punishment enough, they make you shower, shiver, and then shuffle past blowing fans to get in. Luckily, I’m pretty well known at most local pools, so I’m given a free pass to walk (or jump) right in. While out of town, I’ve been asked to shower before entering their pool and this is the face I give them (I mean, pure shock):

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#4- I have a tight left shoulder, like seriously tight. Yoga really helps it out, but at times, while swimming, I get really mad at myself for not consistently doing my shoulder opening exercises. Eagle pose is crazy beautiful to my lefty!

#5- I can be quite cheeky when I swim, and I don’t mean the playful type either. My cheeks hang on for the ride. Blame the suit cuts, not me! Oops!

#6- I dislike being in a lane that’s directly in front of a lifeguard stand, especially when swimming backstroke. I’m paranoid that they’re looking up my nose.

#7- I love lap swimming while there’s a swim meet going on. What can I say, I like an audience. I even pretend that everyone’s there just to watch me. Yep, I’m a total ham when I’m in my element.

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#8- I love the smell of swimming: Chlorine, latex, baby powder, polyester, spandex, etc. I feel like I’m home…

#9- Even in snow, I wear flip flops to and from the pool! Whoa, right?

#10- A fear of mine while swimming is getting hair in my mouth and/or wrapped around my fingers/toes. Eeek, it grosses me out. Also, swimming while untangling a hair…not easy!

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BE HONEST, AM I WEIRD?? ENJOY WATCHING ME SWIM?? HAPPY TUESDAY!! MAKE IT A GREAT ONE!! XOXO

-Kristin

INSPECTOR GADGET UP IN HERE

Hey y’all!! Happy…Saturday? Oops, totally didn’t mean to leave you guys hangin’ yesterday…just got a little busy. Soooo…What’s new? What’s old? How ya doing? I’m fine. Just a girl rockin’ the world I guess. Can’t complain. I’m excited that I ran today! It’s been a few days (hence, recovery mode), so I was ready to knock it out of the park. In runner talk that means, I ran like the wind!

Anyways, fun fact here: I’m convinced that my husband read this article and that he now impersonates Lorde when he sleeps.

(Note: I’m obsessed with this song and with this 17 year old pop sensation cutie, SO I’m NOT making fun, k?)

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Well, now that we’ve cleared that little issue up, here we go! Similar to how Regina George (from Mean Girls) knows that the word fetch will never ever happen is the same way I know that my theory is happening each night when I sleep. Scratch that, is happening each night when I don’t sleep. It’s no secret that my brain gets easily distracted at night. Seriously, it’s like the energizer bunny that’s had too many espresso shots….it never (scratch that, rarely) sleeps.

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(Insert Dracula voice) WHAT DOES KRISTIN THIIINK ABOOOUT ALL NIIIGHT? (Wouldn’t you like to know!)

Scared much? Okay, probably not, so moving on! I swear, its like Marc (a.k.a. my hubby) falls asleep (right to sleep may I add…um, jerk!) and ventures into the wonderful world of dream pop. It’s totally stellar. I mean honestly, repeat knock out performances night after night. I’m expecting a bill at anytime!

Front row seats x every night = Cha ching (for Marc at least)!

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At first I questioned what he was doing. I thought he was reenacting a scene from Addams Family Values. I was pretty sure it was the scene where Gomez Addams catches a knife in his teeth. I was thoroughly impressed! I think I might have even clapped (good thing we didn’t have those clapper lights…would’ve made for a looong night). But then I decided that that wasn’t it because although Marc was baring his teeth (like Gomez Addams) he was also doing this weird thing with his hands. I admit, I was a girl obsessed, playing charades like my life depended on it, eager to figure out the answer. 

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Alright, I clued into the claw fingers, twitchy vibe thing he had going on, so naturally thought about the scene in Hocus Pocus where Winnie conjures up that eternal youth spell. You know the one where she plans to suck the life out of every child. No biggie, right? I mean, how hard could that spell actually be? Aaand not that I really should mention this, but I have noticed a few wrinkles on his forehead aaand if I’m being honest, with him being (almost) 41, who wouldn’t want a more youthful sheen, huh? Buuut then I thought, you knooow, Marc is too nice for all that aaand he does look pretty young for his age, sooo probably not.

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Sadly, I was hitting a dead end, but then he did this full body twitch thing (almost like he was preparing to sneeze, but not really). I lifted my hands in the air like I just didn’t care because golly, I had it!! Marc was subconsciously trying to scare me by channeling that 12-year-old girl Regan from The Exorcist. He knows I’m terrified of her. His hissing teeth, claw hands, and body shake made it chillingly clear to me. I quickly covered my face for fear of a pea soup explosion, but it never came. Come to think of it, we had veggie tacos that night. So close but no cigar baby!

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Well, clearly I’m no Inspector Gadget, but I finally saw the mothership of all clues! Marc did this light stomp thing with his foot, almost as if he were trying not to kill a bug with his Frankenstein boots on (not that he was sleeping in them…or that he even owns a pair…I don’t think…). Regardless, I knew at once he was impersonating Lorde. Let’s gather the clues, shall we?

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In his sleep, Marc was

Clue #1: Baring his teeth

Clue #2: Working his claws

Clue #3: Twitching all over

Clue #4: Doing weird foot stuff 

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TA-DA!! Lorde!! Look at this and you’ll get it!! Hehe!! Hope ya enjoyed!! Love you Marc!! Thanks for letting me stare at you while you sleep because that’s not creepy at all, right? It’s amazing what you can find out about a person when you watch them sleep!! Because THAT is not creepy at all, right?! Tehehe! Have a fab weekend!! xoxo

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM WATCHING PEOPLE SLEEP (because no, you’re not creepy at all!)???

-Kristin

LIFE IS FOR LOVING

Hey Hey Hey!!! How are yaaa, huh?! Well, apparently I’m feeling much better, either that or I’m throwing back the Vodka Cranberries, right? Ha, totally kidding! Well, over the past few days, if you live in or around my area (i.e. Hampton Roads), you’ve probably seen me huffing and puffing around town like the Big Bad Wolf!! No fear, I have no intention of blowing your house down! I’m amping my workouts back up and honestly, feeling waaay too cool for school! Yep, TOTALLY got a Fonzie vibe going on right now, but AYYY, get off my back, I don’t need yo eye rollin’! Hehe! No, honestly, real question: How many corny jokes can Kristin tell in a single post (i.e. this post)? Hmm…apparently lots! Hehe!

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Well, let’s see, I’m back in the pool, back in the gym, and BTW, pumping iron like it’s my job! Um, yeah, like it’s my job! Ouch, I’m sore! Feels great to increase intensity! I did have a serious talk with myself, though aaand it went a little bit like this:

Self, NEVER will you ever ever EVER abandon your swim workouts AGAIN!! Your happiness hinges on it!! Without swimming, you’re simply NOT you!

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I don’t know, it might sound a little cray cray, BUT in a weird way, I’m glad about Sunday, you know, that I didn’t hit my half marathon goal time. If I’m being completely honest with you (which I always am), I really did learn tons from that experience. I’ll share more this week, BUT now:

Monday: 70 minute weight workout (shoulders, chest, abs) + 30 minute treadmill walk (speed: 4.0-4.1) + 2,200 meter swim

Tuesday: 70 minute weight workout (biceps, triceps, abs) + 30 minute treadmill walk (speed: 4.0-4.1) + 3,250 meter swim

Wednesday: 30 minute easy recovery run (3.68 miles) + Bryan Kest yoga

I got another run + lots more swimming and lifting to round out the week before I pump up my running (oh and swimming) volume next week. I got this!

Now, moving on to my fave foods this week:

1} Chocolate Peanut Butter Powder (you can add to smoothies) + Diced & Fire Roasted Tomatoes (you can add to tacos, pastas, rice, etc.)

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2} Power of seven Organic Juice Blend (you can mix with sparkling water or not…it’s so delicious!)

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3} Rainbow’s end Trail Mix (you can eat when craving chocolate) + Goddess dressing (you can put on salads, pastas, raw vegetables, etc.) + Organic Sunflower seeds (you can eat raw or mix into salads, stews, oatmeal, etc.) +Trader Joe’s Towelettes (you can use on the go & at home)

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4} Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Dip (you can eat every single minute for the rest of your life…OR try it on chips, raw veggies, and sandwiches)

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5} Organic Frosted Toaster Pastries (Hello pumpkin) + Pumpkin Cornbread Croutons (you can eat on salads and in soups) + Chopped spinach (which I use in every single meal) + TruMoo chocolate milk (sooo good)

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HAVE YOU TRIED THESE? ARE YOU HAVING A GOOD WEEK? 

xoxo,

Kristin

and THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW

Hey y’all!! Alright, first things first…HAPPY MONDAY!! I seriously hope EVERYONE had a lovely, just SO inspiring you couldn’t stand it kind of weekend!! Let me say this before I get into further talk that you guys are beyond belief the coolest, sweetest, kindest, most amazing people in the entire world. I truly mean it and am faaar from kidding…just ask my husband. After my disappointing half marathon race yesterday, I read to my husband the comments you wrote (these comments) and I literally started crying SO hard that I could no longer speak or read. There are no words that I can write here that truly express how lucky I feel to have y’all in my life…just no words…hey look, I’m crying again. You know, the part I love most about blogging is not being scared to put my hopes/dreams/goals/wants/races (and swim meets) I’ll be competing in out in the open for all eyes to see because I know that no matter how bad I might mess up at a race that y’all will be here to pick me up! Aaaand you have!! Thank you!! Thanks for all the good luck wishes, too!!

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Sooo yesterday wasn’t my day!! At the very beginning of the race, I lined up next to the 1:35 pacer and felt this whole surge of emotions coming over me. These couple months of hard half training…would it pay off? Um, yes it would, well at least I thought it would; although, I have to tell you, prior to this race, I’d felt a little break in my mentality. The last couple of weeks of training felt different for some reason. Possibly the fact that I hadn’t been swimming (which brought me to tears), didn’t hit some of my last runs (like the 15 miler), and honestly felt like I needed a running break (which I no longer want…I’m more determined than ever).

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As the National anthem soared in the air and through my bones, I closed my eyes and felt a single tear roll down my face…there is a certain calm before the storm face I get that leads spectators to stare at me and wanna give me a hug before the race I think…I mean, I reflect back on everything in my life that has led me to this very moment…ever…single…moment:

I thought about my cousin Angela that recently lost her life to cancer (years and years of battling)…I was running for Angela and for everyone that didn’t have the luxury to roll out of bed and do something that they truly loved. I was running for my grandfather and my uncle that lost their lives to cancer a few years back and for my Uncle Scott that was born with a hole in his heart and was told that he would never see his 18th birthday…well, he lived to see his 31st birthday before passing away. I’ve never broke down in a full on cry before a race, but I’ve definitely come close. As my husband grabbed my hand before the start and I could give him nothing more than a single nod for fear that I’d break down completely, we were off.

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{Yes, I’m extremely sentimental, maybe even to a fault, I don’t know. I truly believe everything happens for a reason and what doesn’t break us, makes us stronger. I admit, I felt a little broken after this run, actually A LOT broken, but I managed to piece myself back together yesterday and move on. How lucky we all are to just get up and move, right? To feel the wind in our hair and the sun on our face. Trust me guys, the sun will come out tomorrow…it did for me.}

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I also had a beautiful conversation with my run/swim coach:

He inspired me to push on and to keep my chin up because I’m only in the very beginning stages of my running career. It’s true, I guess, I have only been running 35-40 miles a week for barely a month now…my first half marathon in March, I was only running 30 max per week then, so I’m still in the beginning stages of base building. It will get easier and my legs will get used to the extra mileage. I can’t expect to snap my fingers and BAM,  have years of experience all in one day (I wish, but no it doesn’t work like that). Just like swimming is such a comfort for me, eventually, with many more miles, running will become like that, too. I’m also such a new racer. I have very little experience in this area and have lots to learn. Speed is definitely my specialty, but it can also be a curse during longer races. My coach said I could have definitely run a 1:35 (7:15 pace) yesterday, but I didn’t because I went out too fast at a 7:05ish pace (with an uphill) and then stuck under 7:15 pace for a few miles after that. I could tell my body was in shock the last 5k of the race. Around mile 11, I literally came to a dead stop for quite a few seconds, stared at everyone passing me in disbelief (not a good idea by the way…totally kills time), and then walked slowly for a bit, started running again, and then stopped again and stared (yes, in total awe), walked some more, before picking it up some the last part of the race into the finish.

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Although, honestly, I don’t remember much about my 1:37:49 finish, it’s still such a blur, I do know that I want a redo. Last night I signed up for the Richmond Half Marathon November 15th. You see when my body shuts down and infiltrates my mind with all this negative “you can’t” talk, I don’t accept it. I might accept it for a few hours, but then I shut it down, and feel more focused than ever. Despite all the bad things that have taken place in my life, I always find a way to overcome them. I know I’m sunshiny but I definitely have lots of insecurities and frustrations…it’s just how you turn those negatives into positives, I guess.

Soooo the happy part? I did PR by a second, having run my first half in 1:37:50 and Crawlin’ Crab in 1:37:49. Way to go body, right? I seriously put in a last killer surge of power to get it, too which I’m so thankful for.

I learned so much about myself at Crawlin’ Crab and still, for the life of me, can’t believe I got a 1 second PR (after all the stopping, walking, and agony)…it truly shows how capable I am. I’m also picking up more 5ks/10ks in the future (which equals more race experience) because I do know without a shadow of a doubt that 5ks are my specialty. I have so much speed I haven’t even tapped into yet. Running (3 minute) 1/2 mile repeats aren’t so bad anymore…

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My advice? Never Give Up!! Just don’t because you can’t expect to PR at every single race (even when you’ve put in the training), well maybe unless you’re expecting to break the half marathon world record or something, but even then, the very best runners have horrible races, too.

WOW, what an emotional ride! I know I don’t share the sad aspects of my life all that much, but just know, I’ve seen some unpleasantness throughout my 29 years, and I’ll ALWAYS be here for y’all…I WILL!! Happy Monday guys and thanks for everything!! Your determination and motivation OH SO inspires me!! XOXO!

-Kristin

SAD…

Hey y’all!! Happy Sunday to ya!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful, just fabulous weekend, I really do!! Thanks for all of your race support!! You guys are seriously THE BEST and although this (i.e. Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon) wasn’t my race, so-to-speak, I’m incredibly thankful for y’all in my life! Yep, I use y’all and you guys interchangeably!

This is the letter I wrote to my coach about my half marathon:

Hey! I stayed with the 7:15 pace group for the first 6.5 miles and started to fade back some but kept them in sight with 45 seconds – 1:00 gap. Around mile 10, I started to fade really bad. I stopped a couple of times to walk to get my legs back under me. I felt that if I did not stop and walk some, I would not have made it through the race. I was able to pick up the pace on the nice downhill and hung on for the last mile. I finished up 1:37:49 which was a second faster than Shamrock, but I am very disappointed. I was in limbo as to what pace to run. I thought I could keep the 7:15 group within 30 seconds, but I started to break. My legs felt tired all week and they never felt under me during the race. I feel that I want to redeem myself and do another 1/2. What do you think about Richmond?

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t upset and haven’t been crying since I crossed the finish line because I am and I have. I was on pace to run a 1:35:30, but then walked for about 1.5 minutes; therefore, blew up my pace. My legs gave out today, but despite this and despite my (only) 1 second PR, I’m still looking forward to redeeming myself November 15th at the Richmond Half Marathon! Yep, I just signed up! I guess a PR is still a PR, so I’m thankful for that!! Thanks for your sweet support!! XOXO!!

-Kristin