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1 race, 2 race, 3 race, more races, oh my…..

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I’m a little way behind on my past race recap. The only one I’ve done is the “Disney Wine & Dine” but I think it’s time to add all my races I’ve ran with a little info on each one. The ones with the *< are my favorites. I guess I could’ve just said, “star” but oh well. So, while I jam to my older racing/running playlists, lets begin….

I started racing in 2012. But really got into running in, I think, late 2010. ๐Ÿ™‚

1. The 4th of July 4 Miler in my town–40 mins

I love this race because it was my first ever one. It was hot and the course had a challenging hill at the end. But this is one that I plan to stick with. It’s early in the morning too. Which is perfect in the summertime compared to most 4th of July races.

2. Crazy 8’s(5 miles)–44 mins Location: Kingsport, TN

This is the official race that got me hooked into racing. It was at 10:00 pm but it was LIVELY. There are also Kenyans that race on this course. Awesome medals and a whole lot of runners at that. The music is blasting before the race and also some music throughout the course. You’ve got to watch your step though on parts of the course.

3. Unity Race 5k(3 miles)–28 mins 3rd place in age group; Location: Johnson City, TN

This is a fun course. It’s got a mile hill at the start though but overall, I’ve got fond memories on this course. Plus, the lady that leaders out is super nice and the medals are great. ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Haunted Half Marathon– 1hr 59mins; Location: Kingsport, TN

This was my first ever half and my goal was to get under 2 hours and I did. It’s a SUPER flat course with only one very small rolling hill. So it’s a perfect half for a PR or for your first half. ๐Ÿ™‚

5. Chase the Turkey 5k– 23:43; Location: Kingsport, TN

This is a fun course, because it’s mainly on a golf course. Slightly rolling. I also got a PR and I was trying to stay with an older friend of mine that was staying in the 7’s as her pace.Yeah, that definitely helped me. ๐Ÿ™‚

6. Veteran’s Day Classic Half Marathon– 2hrs 3mins; Location: Kingsport, TN

What can I say about this course? HILLS! HILLS! HILLS! I’ve got a serious addiction for hills. I dropped my ipod once and had to turn around and get it. It’s a nice course, no traffic. BUT, if you don’t like hills, or a challenge don’t run it. The medal was a dog tag though, which I thought was very cool. I got a little pendant to since I came in 1st place. ๐Ÿ™‚

7. XTERRA Trail Race Half Marathon— 2hrs 25mins; Location: Bays Mountain in Kingsport, TN

*laughs* This race was a living HELL but honestly, I loved it. When I first arrived, one of my running friends was like, “Kayla, you’re running the half?! Are you sure?!” I smiled and said, “Oh yes.” Some switchbacks, gorgeous bridges to cross, crazy hills, narrow trails, fell 5xs, lost dad’s watch(that I was using before I got my own, yes, it was found, thankfully!) and got scraped up pretty badly but you know what? I don’t care. I’d run it again! I LOVED IT! ๐Ÿ™‚

I even got a big ole beer mug! ๐Ÿ˜›

8. Casa Road Race 8k(5miles)— 42:37; Location: Rogersville, TN

This race I don’t think I’ll EVER forget! Why? It was my first race in 6-7 monthsย since my stress fracture and I freakin killed it with a PR. It had hills but the weather was gorgeous and I was feeling amazing physically/mentally. I even placed and got a cool cup. ๐Ÿ™‚ The race goes to a great cause!

9. Phipps Bend 5k– 25 mins; Location: Surgoinsville, TN

This race was super flat and hardly no shade and hot but, eh, okay. It’s one of those blah races that feel more like a typical speed work session than a real race. I came in 3rd place though. ๐Ÿ™‚

10. Bluegrass Half Marathon— 1hr 54mins; Location: Johnson City, TN

I LOVED this race. It’s in one of my favorite locations and had some hills. But, I also ran the course with a couple of friends a couple of weeks before the actual race. It does have some hills and some of it is located on the ETSU campus and just beautiful in some parts. One part has a hill that you can’t even notice it’s one mentally but you can tell physically. A LONG down hill near the end. I ran a PR on this half by 5 mins. Got a cute small medal to that could be more like a keychain but you know, it’s got a great meaning behind it. This was my first real half in months since injury and I killed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

11. Bays Mountain 15 miler– 2hrs 56mins; Location: Kingsport, TN

I LOVED this trail race as well. I got to make friends with an awesome ultra marathoner while I was racing this. I also placed in it as well but took my time on this course because of running another half the next weekend….

12. 4 Bridges Half Marathon– 1:53:35; Location: Chattanooga, TN

I LOVED this half and honestly, I’d probably run it again. Mom and I stayed in Chattanooga Choo Choo which was really cool.

The course was fabulous and really, the only hills were going up to the bridge. Plus, the weekend after another half, I got a PR on this half, which I was impressed after running two half marathons in the same week. Chattanooga is just beautiful and I can’t recommend this race enough! ๐Ÿ™‚

13. Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon– 2:09; Location: Orlando, FL

I already have a recap for this. But, lesson learned, a race that long at 10 pm, plan out the meals ahead of time and DON’T take your watch on this race! This should be a fun run. I got some pics with characters, but, the usual me, I was just focused more on time. That was a big no no. I didn’t even get to enjoy the after party because I was feeling so sick and we couldn’t find where it was. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But, I would love to run another one. I just wish it wasn’t so dang expensive. But, eh, that’s Disney.

14. Santa Hustle Smokies Half Marathon– 2hrs 4mins; Location: Gatlinburg, TN

Ever since my last bad half marathon, it was like, all my races started going down hill. But, it was very cold during this race and it was just out and back. It was okay, but not one of my favorites. It did half a couple of big hills but not bad.

15. Covenant Health 5k( 3 miles); Location: Knoxville, TN

I ran this 5k the day after the Color Me Rad 5k. I was running on a stress fracture which was stupid on my part. But, I’d love to run the half marathon. I hear it’s hilly but pretty and well, you know I’m all about them hills. Plus, downtown Knoxville is just beautiful! ๐Ÿ™‚

16. Color Me Rad 5k( 3 miles)

My mom and I and a few others ran this one. I highly recommend it! Yes, it’s a bit on the pricier side for a 5k but worth it. Good race to make memories! A LOT of energy and A LOT of color! It’s just pure fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

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The races I had planned out but had to give my registration away because of energy…

The Flying Pig half Marathon in Cincinnati,OH. I got an AWESOME swag bag though with a HUGE lunch box that I use a lot! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Biltmore 15K in Asheville, NC. I did go and watch my mom run the 5k and my two friends and aunt and uncle run the 15k. I heard it was TOUGH. I hope to run it though sometime. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, there you go, plain and straight to the point. Now, we’re up to date. ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. I ran some of these races a 2nd time and plan to run a few of them again. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Eye opening for the truth. How I really feel…

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Have you ever just wondered? Have you ever noticed how certain subjects just keep coming back and back and back? Well, I’ve learned, that when those subjects keep repeating, you know it’s getting serious.

Year before last(late 2012) I started half marathon training.

Now lets go back a little bit more, but not much…

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I’d go to a track that I used to walk on with my parents and sometimes othersย when I was younger. It was just usually me, myself, and my music. Sometimes, deer would be near by. I’d just run, think, and enjoy myself. I’d work my way up to a mile, with a struggle of course, but did it. The miles grew longer and soon I was running outside of the track, again, by myself. I have always been the loner type. Not in a bad way, just who I’ve always been and have appreciated it. I’ve not always, until now. Because I’m okay with running by myself at times.

I ran my first ever race, on July 4, 2012, that was a 4 mile race,ย in my little hometown.

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I thought it was okay, I did it in 40 mins, which isn’t bad. (gotta love the K-swiss).

I then stepped it up to an 8k(Crazy 8’s) race(5 miles) and the energy all around me officially got me hooked into racing.

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I then decided to try a half marathon through Fleet Feet in August 2012. I got a little to hooked. I was becoming obsessed and it was causing me to get injured. I also did Insanity dvds during the training and the days I was scheduled to run. But I couldn’t stop. I was starting to get an injury here and there on my right leg. It would heal, another new one would come. Then, in Feb. 2013, I was training(or so I thought, for a full) and I decided to go meet a friend in her town and run 16 miles, granted, my right ankle was already causing me to limp. I limped that whole 16 miles and wasn’t going to finish till it was completed. You could say that I was done for and that I was following morning. I was in pain when I turned over in bed, walked on it felt like a broken bone. An X-Ray didn’t help nor did an MRI until later. Sure enough, it was a stress fracture on my fibula. I was out for 6 months almost and cross trained like crazy. I did weights in the morning, pool run during lunch, and biked in the evenings. It was killing me inside though and the doctors, parents, and friends/coworkers had to repeat to me over and over to take care of that ankle. I refused to use crutches after the first few days. I was stubborn as hell heck!

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After I was healed, I came back stronger than ever and PRed 2-3 races in ONE month! By the grace of God, support, and cross training like crazy.

Now, even though after that, I’m still having pains here and there and it really does hurt me physically/emotionally/mentally. Running is who I am, running is my escape, running is my love.

I don’t even want to see all my medical bills put together with all my injuries. I LOVE cross training too.

I was born from a family that is stubborn and I am VERY stubborn. I love to push myself to the point of breaking, yes, I know it’s stupid, but, it’sย just who I am. It’s what was put into me before I was born. Physical challenges is my specialty. I’m not the quickest runner, but I’ll go and go and go until my heart would give way probably. I love the rush, the endurance, the challenge, the excitement, etc. But, I’m breaking inside. My legs don’t feel like they used to when I was running out of enjoyment.

My medals that I see, each have a story of their own. My next BIG one is my first full marathon, God willing. But, after that, I’m probably going to retire from the training plans, set my goal races to the side, and take a step back. Half marathons will still probably be in my future and who knows, I’d LOVE to run an ultra someday, God willing and if my body will accept it.

Running is meant for everyone, under certain circumstances. We’re all different. Different pace. Different race to love. People love 5ks, some love 8ks, some love 10ks, some love half marathons, full marathons, ultras, etc. But me, I just want to go back to where I was before.

I will run races again perhaps, but after my first full marathon race, I’ll be on a different journey, a journey to find the freedom and love I once had in running. The feeling of new legs every time I step foot into my new running shoes, the “no planned mileage” run, no injuries, just the way it was before.

Then who knows, a race may call my name again….

Until then, for now, it can wait. I’m in my 20s anyway, no rush, races are all around.

To my running friends reading this though, RUN ON! ๐Ÿ™‚

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“Running is about finding yourself. When the clock takes over, you have found nothing. When you have found nothing, a runner is then lost, until the clock stops.”–Me

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