Recipe Time: Maple BBQ Sauce

When I was first introduced to this recipe in the Core De Force meal plan, I knew it would be one of the first things I made. It was so easy and surprisingly delicious for being a "healthy" recipe. We now make it regularly to have it with chicken, on pizzas or topped on burgers.

Screw store bought! This is just as tasty and cuts out all the junk!

I tried my hand at making a recipe video like you see on Facebook. As you can tell, I'm definitely an amateur. My camera stand kept losing grip of the cabinet! But, you gotta start somewhere!

Here's a card you can download (click to enlarge) so you can save this to your go-to recipe arsenal.

Do you like BBQ Sauce?

What is your favorite way to enjoy BBQ Sauce?

Spartan Up! New Announcements & A Giveaway!

As we close out 2016 and reflect on the year behind us, I know that many are already already looking ahead in 2017!

What are your goals?
What bucket list items are you looking to cross off?
Are you already scribbling down races on your calendar?

Well, before you fill up every weekend, think about squeezing in a Spartan race. It's definitely going to be a big deal this coming year.

Many of us runners LOVE our race bling! I know that I get amped when I see medal reveals for my upcoming races! And although the Spartan medals have always been cool, they decided to make an upgrade to their bling!

If you're a Spartan lover, you've gotta be one of the first to show this off to your friends! Even if you've never competed in a Spartan race, having this medal is a badge of badassery that you want to have on display!

So, if you gotta have this race medal, you're in luck because season passes are available now! You now have 3 choices to choose from.

The Trifecta Pass

What you get:

3 race codes, valid for calendar year (2017)
1 Spectator Pass (to be used with Race Code)
Free Bag Check
Valid for all heats (including Elite & Comp.)
Valid for Continental US
Race codes aimed at Sprint/Super/Beast, but can be used for ANY 3 events

The Open Season Pass

What you get:

Unlimited Racing during the Calendar Year (2017)
Free Spectator Pass
Free Bag Check
Guaranteed Entry to all events (not guaranteed heat)
Multi-Lap Discount
Valid on all Continental US & Hawaii Events
Valid for OPEN Heats ONLY
Upcharge for Elite (+$30) and Competitive (+$15)

The Elite Season Pass

What you get:

Unlimited Racing during the Calendar Year (2017)
Free Spectator Pass
Free Bag Check
Guaranteed Entry to all events (not guaranteed heat)
Multi-Lap Discount
Valid on all Continental US & Hawaii Events
Valid for ALL heats (Elite, Comp. & Open)

So if you have big goals for 2017 or know a Spartan lover, then these passes would be a perfect holiday gift for you, your friends or family!

But that's not all! Spartan has given me a free race registration to give to one of my readers!

Entering the drawing is easy!
  • Like Freckled Fitness on Facebook below.


  • Share this post (must be done publicly).

I will be choosing the winner on Christmas Eve.

***Race registration code will work for any US Spartan Race in an open heat****

Race Recap: The 2016 HCC Turkey Trot 5K

Before going deep into this recap, I need to make an announcement!

This announcement is long overdue. In fact, I've been talking about this announcement for over 6 months on here. I was hoping to have shared it sooner, but there were a few things stopping us from doing so. Anyway, it is now safe to say that come February, Peter and I will be residents of San Diego, California!

There are many reasons why we decided to make this commitment, but the biggest reason is for my husband. He will be attending school in the spring to pursue one of his dreams! I, on the other hand, will be happy to leave the cold weather and sticky summer humidity behind me! :)

So with that said, today's 5K was extremely special to me. It would be my last race as a resident in the area. It also seemed appropriate that it would be my last here because it was my first 5K EVER back in 2009.

Memory lane for sure!

However, this year's race would be unlike the others because the course changed. I will say that I was a little disappointed in seeing the new route, but that would not keep me from participating.

We arrived at HCC about 30 minutes to start and it was raining! It was cold too. The temperature I read was close to 40. Ugh! Thankfully, I did have one of my Rock n Roll marathon jackets with me. I didn't intend on wearing it, but it worked out to my advantage.

I had decided prior to the start that I would run with Peter for this race. The competition was fierce and I didn't run myself to the ground, especially since I intended on doing a workout later in the day. So Peter and I would just stick together, get a decent time, and go home satisfied!

When the race began, I stayed near my husband, matching the pace he intended to run. I didn't have my watch on me so I didn't have to check for pace. That was all on Peter. It was nice not having a constant reminder of how far I had yet to go and how fast/slow I was going.

The race started as it had in previous years. It would take a large loop around the college campus and circle back to the start. But after that first loop, that's where the course changed. Instead of going for a second loop, you were directed onto a newly constructed road called Yale Road. The reason I was disappointed in this change was because there was nothing to see. Just road and open land. It was also an out and back. You'd go out on the road a little ways and turnaround. Sure, I may do out and backs on the canal all day long, but in a race, I'm not a fan of this. On the up side though, you get to see the lead runners killing it. So as they passed, we were able to encourage them. At least, Peter and I were.

About 2 miles in, or right around the turnaround spot, Peter and I separated. He was falling behind and told me to keep going. I was feeling good, so I did. I had no way to gauge my pace, so I was racing by feel.

Coming back to the campus was nice because there was a nice downhill that took you to the end. I was able to gain a lot of momentum from that hill and it helped me speed up as I entered the school. That's when I finally saw my time for the first time. The finish line timer read 22:50.

I was in disbelief. There was no way I finished in under 23 minutes and felt this okay. I wasn't sore. I wasn't breathing too heavy. In fact, I was running back to see Peter's finish.

A video posted by Lindsey (Run Freckles Run) (@runfrecklesrun) on

He wasn't far behind either. He finished in under 25 minutes, but when he showed me his watch, we made a discovery. The race was short. According to his GPS, we ran 2.9 miles and that seemed to be what everyone got.

Though I won't complain too much about this, I found it a bit silly that it could be under. I mean, it was an out and back. They could have simply changed the turnaround spot to be a little further out, am I right?

But we weren't too upset about this!

It was honestly a great way to end our race season this year and in the tristate area. But it surely doesn't mean we won't come back and do some of these races again! I still intend on coming back and taking on the JFK once again! Maybe even as soon as next year???

Anyway, I want to wish you all a fantastic Thanksgiving! Hope you all had the opportunity to spend it with those you love eating some of your favorite dishes. :)

Race Recap: The 2016 Niagara Falls International Marathon

Last year when I attended the annual CFAR Christmas party, they announced the destination for their runcation. In 2016, that destination was Niagara Falls for a marathon that begins in Buffalo, New York and ends at the brink of the falls in Ontario. Yes, you heard me right! The race begins in the United States and ends in Canada. *MIND BLOWN*

When I brought this up with my husband, it didn't take much consideration. A race like this is not something you just pass up. I mean, how many country-to-country marathons do they have?? I actually googled this and only found the Niagara Falls Marathon. So this race makes it to the bucket list without question.  I also convinced my sister and brother-in-law to join us! None of us, with exception of Peter, have ever traveled outside of the United States, so it was time to expand our borders.


I started my training during the first week of August, which gave me about 3 months to get ready. I cut down my typical marathon training schedule from 4-5 days of running a week to 2-3. This made me a little nervous since I thought this would hurt my times, but then again, I never started this training with the intention of really killing this race. Also, I had other fitness goals. I was following the Body Beast program to gain muscle and I wanted to keep that a primary focus 6 days a week.

I also followed the 21 Day Fix Extreme food plan to stay on top of my nutrition.

I wanted to make sure I was keeping a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, proteins, etc. I kept out all snacks and processed foods. I also dramatically cut my alcohol consumption. I wanted to stay committed to my health so I could be stronger than ever!

I didn't want to overdo running and doing Body Beast, so I stayed to my plan, even if that meant I may get slower in my pace. But to my surprise, I noticed that my times were actually getting faster and I was pushing limits that I never imagined possible Was this the strength training?

My long runs were beating normal race pace times and then it hit me. Am I at a point where I could break a 4 hour marathon? Once the thought dawned on stuck. I was going to train to run this race in 4 hours.

All Aboard

The runcation began early Friday morning. Our group of 40+ runners, family members, and friends met to take the bus into New York.

Our first stop was at Watkins Glen State Park to have a Wegman's picnic. It was VERY cold so my lunch was devoured on the bus, but we did have plenty of time to hike through this beautiful area!

Because I was extremely cold and water was everywhere, my Raynaud's did act up. After an hour, I had to return to the bus to regain feeling in my hands. Kind of a bummer, but I wanted to be in my best condition for the race.

After finishing at Watkin's Glen, we then set off for Niagara Falls in New York. I was excited to see this for the very first time and it did not disappoint!

Unfortunately we did not have much time to take in the sights since we did have a schedule to follow. We quickly picked up food and then headed back to the hotel we were staying for the night.

Oh Canada & The Expo

The following morning we were off to Canada for the expo!

We walked into customs like we owned the place and quickly realized this was not like talking to a cashier at your local grocery store. We strolled in with a smile like "Hello there! We're here to see your country and run a race!" They were like "I don't care. Where were you on the night of November 11th 1992?" Well, they weren't REALLY like that, but they didn't believe 40+ people were sharing a house. We had to prove it by showing them the website of the place we rented.

Luckily, we made it through and were off to the Scotiabank Convention Center where we got our bibs and some free samples, like a full pack of back pain pills in French packaging!

Following the expo, we headed out to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side and I must say, Canada has the better view.

Again, we had little time to do much being with a large group and having a set schedule, so after picking up a few gifts (I just had to get some Canadian maple syrup), we went to our new home for the night to eat a large pasta dinner with the crew.

It was a great time! We shared running stories and discussed our race day strategies. It was nice to hear how others prepare for a race. The recommendations helped me prep for my day. Especially since the weather was supposed to be heinous.

After dinner, Ashley, Eric, Peter and I went back to our room and goofed around for a few hours. It's been a while since I've laughed like that. It was nice that there were no TVs and bad internet connections. It forced us to be more interactive with each other rather than let distractions get in the way.

Race Day

I woke up at 5:30am the following morning to get ready. I had oatmeal, eggs, and a banana. I also packed up some of my Beachbody Performance Energize to have right before the race.

Though the race didn't start till 10, we had to catch a shuttle bus near the finish line by 7:30-8.

I had no idea why we had to go so early, but it quickly became apparent. One, the bus driver got lost on our way back to the US. Two, customs is a lot slower when it comes to going back into the United States than it was coming into Canada. We sat on our bus for 30 minutes while other buses came and went. It was frustrating to us all! Finally, they told us to come in to check our passports and were on our way again. We managed to get to the start around 9:30. Just enough time to stand in line to go to the port-a-potties.

We headed to the start after and I met up with a few of the CFAR members who anticipated a 4 hour finish time. They were going to be my guides. Most of them have been running much longer than myself and some have either hit a 4 hour marathon before or were just strong runners overall looking for the new PR. So I put all my faith into them to get me to the finish line.

When the gun went off, I stayed close to this group. The pace felt slow, but I'm sure it's because I usually let my adrenaline get the best of me at the start. Their ability to keep it steady was good for me. It helped me conserve valuable energy that I would need at the end.

For me, the first 5 miles flew by. I was able to remain conversational with two of the members of our group, Stephen and Linden. I looked at these men as wise runners who knew all of the ins & outs, tips & tricks, and runner hacks that I, the young grasshopper, needed to learn. So I was quite literally following in their footsteps.

Mile 5 brought us to the Peace Bridge. This was also the gateway into Canada. In case you were wondering, they do not check your passports as you run into Canada. In fact, there didn't seem to be much security-wise as we ran over the border. It was surprising, but I'm sure that there was some way they were tracking it all. The bridge was also where the only decent hill is in the entire marathon. Other than that, the course is pretty much flat.

Around mile 8 or 13 km (the race was tracked in kilometers), I began to feel blisters forming on the side of my left foot. It was the result of wearing new Brooks.

I had only run in them once prior to the marathon. My other shoes that I was going to wear were destroyed and caused me much pain following the Hershey Half. I had no choice but to buy a new pair. It didn't matter though. I could not let something as petty as a few blisters ruin my marathon. I was feeling good everywhere else. Until the the rain came.

It started out light and was definitely something any runner could deal with, but as we ran along the Niagara River, the wind began to whip into us from the front or our right side. It was exhausting, but I still tried to remain optimistic.

During the run, I kept refueling every 5 miles. I stored pieces of Cliff Bars on me and ate them as I ran. Around mile 15, it became very difficult to eat and breathe. I felt like I was using more energy to eat and it would take me several minutes to get down a few pieces. I could sense my energy was depleting, but I knew I had to run smart and force down some calories.

Stephen began to separate from Linden and me as it was his intention to speed up during the second half. Linden and I did as well, but we did so at a slower rate. We didn't want to overdo it, but we were still looking for that 4 hour goal. We kept Stephen in our sights and the 4 hour pace group. It was our goal to slowly gain on them over the next couple of hours.

At mile 20, I tried to eat again and it was nearly impossible. My hands were numb from my Raynaud's. I could barely operate my zipper on my HipsSister. I only ate 2 Cliff Bar pieces and thought screw it. It was too draining to even try to mess with it. In fact, I didn't bother putting my baggie back into my pack. I held on to it for the rest of the race.

We passed the 4 hour pace group which brought my spirits up because if I could keep at this pace, I was going to get a sub 4!!! But 3 miles later, the negativity set in. I kept it to myself, but things were really beginning to hurt and I just desperately wanted to walk. However, we were already caught up with Stephen and giving up now would have been something I would have regretted. But Linden's pace increased once he saw Stephen and the two of them disappeared in front of me. I didn't try to replicate their pace. I knew what my body was capable of and it was keeping to the distance I was doing right then and there.

I had no hard feelings towards them at all, but now, I was on my own. I would have to dig deep to maintain my effort for the remaining 5k of the race in my own head. And that 5k seemed like 50.

I watched many runners just start walking. I kept considering the same for myself, but I knew if I started walking, restarting wouldn't have happened. So I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

At mile 24, I felt the mile 8 blister painfully pop. As much as it hurt and the others were getting extremely sore, all I could think was that there were only 2 miles left to go. I would have less than 20 minutes to suffer through this.

Finally, mile 25 came and there was a slight uphill followed by an incredible downhill. One that would take you right to the finish. I couldn't have been more grateful. At this point, gravity could take the wheel and let me semi-rest. Once I reached the bottom, I saw the mist of the falls and I about crumbled. I was there. I was so close, but it seemed painfully far at the same time.

I looked for my sister and brother-in-law who said they'd try to catch my finish, but when I crossed the finish line and heard the announcer say "sub 4," I was filled with emotion and could barely comprehend what was going on around me. I nearly broke down.

I went from this...

 To this in about 1 second.

That's when I heard my sister call my she was snapping photos my emo self.

The volunteers wrapped me in my foil jacket with my medal and I was immediately flooded with pain. I don't think I have ever felt a heartbeat in my hamstrings, but in that moment (and the hours that followed) they were thumping. I felt like they were going to give out and I would crumble to the ground. But I just kept putting one foot in front of the other until I located my sister.

We temporarily celebrated my finish, which shows unofficially at 3:58:53.

They escorted me over to the massage tent where I got the best leg massage EVER. Unfortunately it did not solve my problem. On top of that, I was freezing from the wind and rain. I desperately needed to change out of my wet clothes, so I remained on the bus warming myself up in my clean comfy clothes. Unfortunately, that meant I missed Peter's marathon finish.

Peter finished around 5:48, which to him was quite the accomplishment! Peter had a rough training season and was never able to do a long run over 17 miles and that was nearly 2 months prior to the race. Still, he managed to dig deep and finish! 2nd marathon accomplished for him!!! 5th marathon for me!

In just 2 months, Peter and I will be traveling for our next string of destination races. We are returning to Disney World to take on the Dopey Challenge in January! So our training is not quite over yet! But right now, we are taking a well-deserved break!!!

How many days do you run a week during marathon training?

Do you add strength/resistance workouts to your training?

What race is a bucket-list must?

Race Recap: 2016 Hershey Half Marathon

One Medal to Rule Them All

Another race in the books! The Hershey Half Marathon was my first official half in over a year! I kinda pulled myself away from the race scene this year because I simply wanted to keep it chill after the JFK 50. So after only 3 races under my belt this year, I decided to throw in a second round at Hershey. Especially since it lined up perfectly in my marathon training. However, there was little convincing when someone posted the “bling” on their Facebook several weeks ago.

When I saw that bronze Reese Cup, I basically told Peter that we had to do the race. My first run in the Hershey Half didn’t have a medal near as fab!

So, it was decided that we were going to run for the medal. I mean, who doesn’t want a Reese Cup as a medal hanging on their wall!? I mean…unless you hate Reese Cups (which you should totally leave my page now if you do 😉 ).

What’s great about the Hershey Half is not just the medal, BUT they include a lot of awesome swag! One of the biggest things they throw in is free admission for 2 to Hershey Park in the Dark. It’s no different than going to the park any other time of the year as most of the good rides are still open. Not to mention, you get the advantage of shorter lines, awesome decorations, people in costumes, and Halloween music. Did I mention that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays?

Packet Pickup & a Night at the Park!

Anyway, we journeyed down to Hershey on Saturday afternoon and I must admit, I had some anxiety. I have been doing a "cut” which means that I am reducing my fats, sugars, and carbs as the last phase of my Body Beast program. So that means absolutely NO CHOCOLATE! This may seem sinful since I was going to the chocolate capital of the world, but I was going to do my best to keep my food clean. I even packed my lunch to ensure that I was getting exactly what I needed.

The first thing we did when we arrived in Hershey was go straight to packet pick-up. That’s were we got our shirts, coupons, bibs, and park tickets. We also got awesome reusable Hershey Park bags. I'm all about free grocery bags! We've got tons!

Afterwards, we dropped our stuff off at the hotel, then quickly went back to the park.

Like I mentioned, when you go to Hershey in the off season, lines are way shorter. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I ever went to Hershey during their open season, but I do know that wait times exceed an hour on most of the coasters. This year, we were on and off rides like that! We mainly stick with the biggest coasters too. And I will be the first to tell you that I do fear them. Don't get me wrong! I do love them! But they also give me so much anxiety! ESPECIALLY FAHRENHEIT and The Storm Runner.

Here’s Fahrenheit.

Storm Runner is one of those rides that go zero to 60 in like negative 10 seconds.

I feel like my soul is literally sucked out of me when that coaster shoots off into the sky! Oh, who am I kidding! I have no soul! Ginger! Still, I have to close my eyes during the initial take off otherwise I can’t comprehend what the hell is going on.

We also got to try one of their newer coasters, Sky Rush which I also couldn’t handle.

Anyway, after a great evening at the park, we headed back to the hotel to eat dinner and rest up for the race.

Can I mention how much I loved that my husband got a room with 2 queen beds!? I sure love Peter, but I do love the times where we can sprawl out! We really need to upgrade to a king sized bed.

Race Day

After sleeping EXTREMELY well (not sure if it was because I slept alone...haha), we got up, ate breakfast and headed out.

Take my advice: Never wait until 6:30am to go to the race...even if your hotel is 5 minutes away. You WILL NOT make it on time. There's only 1 entrance to Hershey and thousands of runners were trying to get in. We didn't get to park until after 7:20 (race starts at 7:30) and had to make a long walk/jog to the start.

It was the first time in nearly 5 years of running that I did not make a race on time. Runners were still funneling through the start line by the time we made it, but we were at the back of the pack which put us at a disadvantage.

I was looking to PR at 1:45, but I was starting with a 9+ minute pace since the slower runners and walkers owned the road. I had to creatively weave myself through and it was like this for about the first 2 miles. It wasn't until mile 3 that I finally caught up with an 8 minute pace. If I wanted to get 1:45 though, I knew some of my miles would have to be in the 7 minute range. That scared the crap out of me! But miracles can happen! In fact, I began to run around a 7:50 pace. But some did climb to 8 from time to time simply because there were some killer hills (I did not train for hills like this), but overall, after mile 3, 7:50 became the average pace.

When I reached mile 6, I wasn't sure if I could quite keep up with my goal. I was going to give it my all, but my feet and legs were aching! I was not used to road running since I primarily trained on the canal these past several weeks.  My shoes were also worn out. I've had them since before my marathon in March!

Thankfully, there was a lot to look at in the park and a lot of positive course support to distract me. I was taking high fives when I could and tapping handmade signs that advised I could push for a power up. Oh and I think it's worth mentioning that one girl was listening to Sexy Back on her phone. That got me pumped. Haha.

Once I hit mile 12, many runners around me were beginning to walk. As much as I wanted to join them, I tried to be that voice of encouragement and let them know they had just a little further to go. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't. I know that in the past, it has helped me so I try to return the favor when I can.

As I rounded the stadium and darted towards the finish line, I watched my time tick to 1:45. My watch showed that I already ran 13.1, but there were still a few tenths of a mile in the race itself that I had to cover I knew it was unrealistic for me to cross the finish line within a minute.

I may have missed my goal PR, BUT I knew I could still get one. And I was worth running for.

I crossed the finish line in 1:46:23. The Chocolate Town Challenge Facebook Page even caught it live. I'm about 20 seconds in!

I didn't relax for long. I still had Peter to wait for. So I rounded the stadium and waited for him to make his entrance into the stadium.

Despite some of the pain and injury he had this race season, he finished his 3rd half in 2:13.

We were both very pleased that we now had the medals we set out for!

I think I was more entertained with my superman heat blanket.

So now that the race is over, we turn our sights on the Niagara Falls Marathon which is now less than 2 weeks away. Training has gone well and I'm kicking myself for saying this, but I am aiming for a sub-4. It's my 5th marathon and I'm looking to turn it up a notch. Especially since I anticipate my next marathon (The Walt Disney World Marathon) to be pretty low key. But whatever ends up happening, I just pray to finish pain free! It's been a good year for that! *knocks on wood*

Race Recap: The 2016 Nick Adenhart 5K

THIS WEEK! This is the week I will be able to tell you everything! The reason I don't update as much and the reason why I am so excited for the future! It's a valid excuse as to why the blog has hit the back burner! So if you've been sticking with me...THANK YOU! I know that I may have lost a following due to my absence, but it is all for good reason!!!

Anyway, I am still going to stay on top of my race recaps because they are a huge part of this blog.

Just over a week ago, I decided to randomly sign up for the Nick Adenhart 5k. Originally, I wasn't going to do it. In fact, I wasn't going to do more than a couple of races this year, but nostalgia hit me with this one. I have always done really well in it and I know that this could be the last time I could (more on that this week, I promise!). So I put down my $20 because hey! It was only $20! Also, it is so close to where I live and I have run this route dozens of times. I know this course like the back of my hand. Hell, a road on the course is named after my family!

Britner Ave!

This is the first race out of my 30+ that Peter couldn't make it! He has supported me more than anyone, but he had plans to go to Annapolis that day so I was on my own for this one. Fortunately, I had a TON of friends participating! So I did not feel alone at all! But with that being said, not a lot of pictures were taken!

I came into the race with a few goals in mind. I wanted to get a PR, I wanted that PR to be within 20-22 minutes, and I wanted to earn a age group award. Though I had the belief that I could accomplish all of this, I was a bit skeptical of my high expectations. I was coming off of 22 Minute Hard Corps' Hell Week, which was BRUTAL.

I was sore, grumpy, and tired all week. I also only ran a total of 2 miles that entire week so I wasn't sure if my body was capable of getting the time that I wanted. Still, I prepped that morning the best I could. I did a warm up lap (which I never do before a race) and I drank my Beachbody Performance Energize about 30 minutes before the start.

At the starting line, I was a bit ansy since I set the bar high for myself, but I was trying to hold the adrenaline for the last bit of the race.

I am guilty of starting out too fast for about any race. I wanted to keep in mind the previous 5ks I have done and how awful I would feel during that last mile due to a fast start. I wanted to maintain rather than drain myself. So when the gun went off, I started out as if I were alone. As if it were any typical Saturday morning run.

It was a little intimidating seeing a whole mess of people pass me left and right, but I knew that they were starting too fast. They were letting the excitement pulse through them like I would have and it took everything for me to just let them go.

Within about a half mile, I was already catching up with these people. They were now settling into the rhythm as I was hitting mine. I kept counting how many girls I could see in front of me because I knew where I wanted to place. Ideally, I wanted to be first in my age group, but I would have been satisfied to be in the top 3. Just under mile 2, I passed the last girl I could see. I wasn't sure where that put me, but as long as I could stay ahead, I was happy.

Once I hit mile two, that's when things began to get rough. The sun came out, the temps began to rise and the sweat began to pour. My legs felt a bit uneasy, especially as we made it through Williamsport Park. There's a section of trail that goes behind the park and towards the baseball field, which is a very steady uphill. Right before you connect with a road, this little trail takes a steep incline. Seriously, it is the shortest distance of a hill ever, but with how steep this baby was, it wore me out. Then, once you hit the road, you are greeted with your last uphill. Again, it was nothing too terrible, but I was feeling the burn. I could feel my exhaustion coming through from the Hell Week I just finished and the lack of mileage I put in.

That's when I glanced at my watch. I just hit mile 3. I was in the 21 minute zone. I needed to kill it to hit my goal. So I sprinted the last .1 to the finish line.

Ehhh...does that count for being within the 20-22 minute goal? I WAS in the 22 minute range! Oh who cares! I'll take it! It was nearly a minute PR and I hadn't run a 5K in nearly a year! Not too shabby for signing up just a few days prior!

I placed 2nd in my age group and 5th woman overall! I was proud of myself. I felt strong!

Several of the CFARians were there, as well. Most of which who also placed in their age groups.

So all in all, it was a great day for a race and I am happy that I decided to just do it! The Nick Adenhart 5K will always hold a special place in my heart. It represents so much about the small town in which I grew up in and if ever given the opportunity in the future, I would definitely run it again to support a past schoolmate.

Race Recap: American Odyssey Relay Race 2017 - Part 2


I was somewhat revved up for my second leg because I was very familiar with area. I actually ran the same route before while marathon training in the past. I liked having this advantage against other runners who were strangers to the area.

Once Bob came into view, I was pumped and ready to get some kills (the number of people you pass in a relay). He handed over the slap bracelet and I shot off into the streets of Boonsboro, resuming my 7 minute range pace.

I was pretty floored that I was able to pull this off. Last year, I can't recall ever seeing times like these. In fact, I can't recall seeing paces like this in any run/race I have been involved in recently. I was passing other participants left and right. In total, I had 8 kills and 0 deaths! I finished with a time of 26:21 and distance of 3.40.

I tried to hang on to the energy my runner’s high gave me, but I began to tire quickly. It was now after midnight and I was spending many of the remaining transitions in the van catching some shut eye. It was hard though as there was always something going on. Between driving from one destination to the next and teammates prepping their runs, there wasn’t much time for remaining quiet and keeping still. I turned into grumpy ginger and tried to keep that part of me to myself. I think I did okay. ;-)

Anyway, we ended up finishing our 2nd round of legs at about 2 am. That's when we went to a nearby hotel and crashed for about 2-3 hours. While we had a few hours to sleep, Van 1's runners got so much less just before us. We had shorter distances in our second leg while they rested in the hotel. They had some long sessions on the canal for their 3rd and final leg and since that was our time to rest, we were fortunate to get so much time.

We all rolled out of bed around 6 and were on the road shortly after.

We had about an hour-long ride until we would arrive at the final van transition in Poolesville, MD.

I was confident that I would be able to stay up with an 8 minute pace, as I already decided a 7 minute pace was pushing it at this point. When you've already run 2 legs at a pace which you're not normally programmed to do, you're tired and sore. You're legs have not recovered since the run you had just hours before.

My stomach was also acting up at this point, which really irritated me. I went out of my way to pack food that my body was used to, but for some reason, my stomach was like “Nope, not today!" So although I gave myself a few hours between the time I ate and the time I was projected to run, my stomach burned the whole time. I could have blamed it on nerves, but honestly, I was way too tired to be nervous. At this point, I just wanted to get my run done and start the recovery process. So believe it or not, I was thankful when I saw Bob come into view. Still, my stomach was objecting.

No sooner than I was tagged to go, my legs were fighting back. For once, I think my mind was working in my favor rather than my body. My legs were nagging about how tired they were, but I begged them to work with me for this final stretch. I KNEW I could do awesome, but I had to have a constant argument between my legs, my stomach, and my brain. I pushed them the best I could.

About a mile in, my van rolled up next to me to cheer me on. All I could say was "This sucks!" What I thought was going to be an easy 4 miler, ended up being hilly. Based on the elevation map, I thought it was going to generally be downhill, but it was pretty consistent with hills until the last mile. That was when I began catching up with another runner.

I had high hopes at this point that I could get a kill, but as we rounded the last turn, he caught site of me and sprinted down the hill. Though I had a pace within the 7 minute range, I could not muster enough strength to catch up and pull ahead, so I let him fly. That didn't mean that I wouldn't still push it to the end though. I sprinted with newfound energy and passed off to my teammate, Kirsten.

And like that, I was done my part in the Odyssey.

Most of the remaining legs took place on the C&O Canal and for those of you who have read up on me for a while now, you know that I LOVE running the C&O where I live. So needless to say, I loved seeing areas which I have not run myself and took lots of pictures.

The final leg took us off the canal and into the heart of DC.

All of our team met up for the first time since the final transition between vans a few hours later, while our final runner, Chris made his way towards the finish line. We waited on the street for him so, as a team, we could cross the finish line together.

Chris came a lot quicker than I thought. I guess with the hustle of getting to the finish line and seeing the other teammates waiting for us made time fly. So as soon as he reached us, the entire team crossed the finish line with him and quickly took a finish line photo prior to other teams rolling through.

The results!

Our team finished in 26:32:26! That was 2nd out of 34 in the mixed division. We placed 7th out of 94 teams overall! So, to say the least, I think we KICKED ASS! Oh and I think I should add that we won Best Team Name. If I haven't already mentioned it, it was Green Leggs and Hamstrings. :)

Anyway, I felt that this year far exceeded last year. I had a lot more fun and felt that my performance improved a lot!!! Our team just really seemed to mesh and we all seemed to go beyond performance expectations! It was pretty killer! There's one thing about running a race alone, but working as a team to accomplish 200 miles is beyond anything you feel alone. Celebrating with others and also sharing struggles over the course of 26 hours is unlike anything else.  :)
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