Aaannnd, I’m BACK!

13 03 2012

Hey friends! Long time no see! Sorry I (Steph)  took a little hiatus from the blog; work became overwhelmingly busy. I guess I was a little ambitious back in January thinking I could handle a move, a new job, training for a marathon, adopting two kittens, and keeping up with the blog…whoopsie. But, I’m on spring break now and I have a little bit of time, so I thought I’d catch up with you all!

In February, my life was pretty much consumed with work. However, one of the cool work-related things I was able to do was attend a conference for Physical Education and Health teachers. No, I’m not teaching either of those subjects, but my job allows me to work really closely with those educators. Attending a conference where they expect you to get up and dance and play games was completely different than my previous conference-going experience.  But it was really fun! Kinda made me want to be a PE teacher!

One of the coolest parts of the conference was the Keynote session with Jeff Glasbrenner. Jeff is a world champion wheelchair basketball player who is also an Ironman. And by Ironman, I don’t mean he’s done just one Ironman. Check out his resume, he did 9 in 2010 alone! Jeff lost both legs in a tragic farming accident as a young boy, and he told his story at this conference. It was really inspiring to hear him speak about overcoming challenges, and his positive attitude is contagious.

The conference was in Orlando, so I was able to spend some time with Bill 🙂 Unfortunately, we didn’t have too much time together before he needed to head out for a contract, and I had to get back to work. But, while I was in Orlando, my marathon training plan called for a 12 miler. I didn’t really know where to go to run in Orlando, so I sent out a tweet to ask for suggestions. As it turned out, Kelly, Michelle, and Paula were all headed out for a long run together, so I tagged along. Score! Running with people is so much better than running alone!

Speaking of marathon training, its…going….I have been doing my best to keep up with my miles, but it was really hard to do so last month. I think the sporadic training left me tapered for my first race of the season. At the beginning of March, I ran the Gasparilla half marathon right here in Tampa. How could I not, when the starting line was a mile from my house, the course is along the beautiful Bayshore Drive, and the course is as flat as a pancake!? It’s a pretty popular race actually; all of the ladies in the above picture ran it too, and so did Mary, Courtney, and Meghann.

The half marathon is actually part of a whole racing weekend, which includes 4 races with staggered start times, so that you can actually compete in all 4! The mileage for all of the races ends up being approximately 20 miles or so, and when you’re done, you can say that you “ran for the booty” because you walk away with 5 medals! Check out Mary’s recap; she did all four races. What a rockstar!

I stuck to one race, and got one pretty sweet medal:

This was my first half marathon since I did the Country Music 1/2 marathon in April of 2007, before I really got into running and triathlons. On race day, I was a bit worried because minutes before I stepped out my door to run to the starting line, the skies opened up and rained BUCKETS of water. Fortunately, it was a typical Florida storm, and didn’t last terribly long. I was able to run to the start in just a little bit of misting rain. Thankfully, the rain cooled the air down, but the storm brought some serious gusts of wind. They didn’t bother me much throughout the race though.  When it was all said and done, I  actually surprised myself with my performance! I ended up with a PR (by about 20 minutes or so), crossing the line in 1:53.29! Even more surprising was the fact that I negative split the race! Wowza!

I get another chance to run a half marathon this weekend- I’m headed back to DC for the DC Rock N Roll USA half marathon! Who else is going to be there? I’m really excited to get back to DC and see all my friends and the city I love:-) Hit me up if you’re in town!

Still riding the high from the half marathon, I decided to start investigating some triathlons. I recalled a rumor I had heard last fall that Rev3 was starting a new race in Florida. As it turned out, registration had officially opened and there were only a few hours left to register before the price increased. You all know I can’t resist discounted registration so I clicked a few buttons, filled out a form, and $210 later:

Half Ironman, here I come!

So, there you have it! That’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to over the past month and a half! Now I’m going to go hang out with these guys while I wait for the pool to open:-) Enjoy your day friends!

Question of the day: How have you been keeping busy this month?