Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: The Year in Review

2013 has turned out to be a pretty awesome year!  I figured there was probably no better way to end 2013 than to recap the year here at The Smith Summary.  Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

January
I got my first tattoo and ran my first marathon!  Wow, plenty of firsts that month...  We also lost my Aunt Lesha that month.

February
I ran the Valentine's Day 10K and announced that I was running the Inaugual Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland over Labor Day weekend.  Morgan also had her 15 month check-up (gosh, she looks so young in this post!!)

March
Owen's grandmother died and we took back off to South Carolina for her funeral.  The following weekend I set my current half marathon PR at the Germantown Half Marathon!  Morgan also got her first haircut (AWW!)  I finished the month with a PR in a local 5K.

April
Spring finally showed and Samantha's spring soccer season got off to a great start!  Tragedy struck the Boston Marathon and I lost a long-time friend to domestic violence.  The month was not completely filled with sadness, however, as I ran the Earth Day 5K at Shelby Farms and Owen took me on a surprise date night to the casinos!  I also began my training for the Dumbo Double Dare, which included running the Oak Hall Run for St. Jude.

May
The Smith Summary got a makeover and we celebrated Mother's Day.  I became a Kindrunner ambassador and continued with my Dumbo Double Dare training.  Samantha also concluded the dance year with her recital.  I ran the Zoom Through the Zoo 4 miler and registered for the St. Jude Marathon as a St. Jude Hero!

June
Morgan had tubes put in her ears and we went on vacation to Lake Hamilton for a week! (read all about that here, here, and here)  Dumbo Double Dare training hit week 8 and I set my current 10K PR at the Ultimate 10K.

July
Owen and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary with a weekend trip to Nashville!  I also, GULP, registered Samantha for kindergarten.

August
This was an incredibly busy month!  I became an Energybits ambassador and Samantha graduated from pre-K.  If that wasn't enough to burst my mommy heart, she lost her first tooth and started kindergarten the next week!  And then, it was off to Disneyland FINALLY for the Dumbo Double Dare!  Oh, and I had a birthday in there also ;)  Read about my Dumbo Double Dare trip here, here, here, and here - it was an awesome trip!

September
When I got back from my weekend in Disneyland, I had this accident - I slipped and fell on my keyboard and suddenly found myself registered for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  I really hate it when that happens!  My little runner began practicing for her Princess Weekend Kids Race by participating in the Boosterthon Fun Run at her school.   I also committed the ultimate runner no-no when I was attempting to PR at the Women's Running Half Marathon in Nashville.

October
After my disappointing finish at the Women's Half I made the decision to change my St. Jude registration to the half marathon and work on speed training (and you were all SO supportive, thank you so much for that!).  We also remembered our two angel babies on National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  I took advantage of our new DVC membership and booked us at the Boardwalk Villas for Princess Half weekend!  The DisBroads were born - a group I am very proud to be a part of!

November
Another big month, starting off with two birthday celebrations!!  Morgan turned 2 and Samantha turned 6. I also met up with my DisBroads for a fun weekend as we ran the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Disney World.  You can reach all about that weekend here, here, here, and here.  I also ran my first 6K, the Heroes In Recovery 6K, and WON my age group!  We celebrated Thanksgiving and began gearing up for the holidays.

December
Things were crazy busy at the Smith house so the blog was quiet, but I did fill you in on the big things, like my new job and the St. Jude Marathon Weekend being cancelled due to weather.  I also shared that I'm headed to the Rock 'n' Roll Half in New Orleans instead and that I'm also an ambassador for the Country Music Marathon and 1/2 presented by Nissan in Nashville (don't forget my code KSMITHRUNS to save $10 on registration)!  To celebrate the season we made our annual trip to see Starry Nights and I shared with you Fred's shenanigans for this year.

Wow - what a year!  I am so excited to see what 2014 has in store for us and most of all, I can't wait to share it all with you!  I hope you all have a safe and blessed New Year's!!!





Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fred's Excellent Adventure

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf at your house?

We have Fred the Elf at the Smith house.  Fred has been our elf for several years now and it's always fun to see what antics he has planned each Christmas season.  I captured some of his adventures for you this year and wanted to share.

Fred likes PopTarts apparently

And playing with Legos

For the record, Fred cleans up after himself like a good little elf

He also went fishing in our dining room

For Tootsie Rolls of all things - looks like he ate a few in the process

Uh oh - Fred got into the toilet paper!

AND proceeded to roll the dining room...

I mean, the whole thing.

Fred, you are a messy elf this year!

Fred left a note for the girls this year, reminding them to be good.

And he drank my coffee!!!  You rascal!!!

Fred likes treats; he helped himself to Sam's gingerbread house.

And one final note from him this morning - see ya next year Fred!!!



And from us at The Smith Summary -















Friday, December 20, 2013

Little Bit Country, Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll

The other day I mentioned that I was joining forces with a pretty awesome race to bring you a sweet registration discount as well as the inside scoop on exclusive promotions and news pertaining to the race series.  Well, the wait is over!  I am so VERY excited to announce that I am a Rock 'n' Blog Ambassador for the St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon presented by Nissan!!!


I have mentioned before that I will be running the Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon in New Orleans in February so I am extremely excited to partner with the series to promote their Nashville event!  2014 is the 15th anniversary of the CMM so it's going to be one heck of an event!  I am even more so excited about this event because of my experience as a St. Jude Hero.  St. Jude is the recognized charity for the CMM so the Heroes will be out in full force!!!

And now the best part - as a Rock 'n' Blog Ambassador for the CMM I have a special discount code that you can use to receive $10 off either the 1/2 or full marathon registration!!!  That code is:
KSMITHRUNS

Did you catch that?  Write it down because that's a sweet deal!  If you register with this code before 2014 you can get either race for under $100, so don't wait!  And why not share the love with your friends??  This code is only redeemable for the St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon so invite your friends to come run Nashville with you and they can get $10 off also!

And not only do I have a great discount code for you but I will also be hosting a giveaway soon with some awesome #RunCMM swag, so make sure you stick around for that!

The 2014 race will be held Saturday, April 26th in the beautiful capital of my home state; will I see you there???!!!  Click here to register!

Disclaimer:  As a Rock 'n' Blog Ambassador I will receive free race registration in exchange for my promotion of the event.  As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Hi folks!  Sorry the blog has been kinda quiet the past week or so.  We've had a lot going on at the Smith house - not just your typical holiday craziness either.  Some good, some not so good.  But I'll spare you the bad stuff and share the good news with you.

I have a new job!



I know I don't talk very often about my job here on the blog, but I really do enjoy it.  I have worked for the same company for 7 years, 6 years in my current role.  I work with hospice patients so my work is sad but very rewarding, but for awhile I have been feeling rather stale and needing something new to do.  The opportunity for this promotion  finally presented itself the week of Thanksgiving and I prayed long and hard and decided to take the plunge and apply.

And I got it.

I'm excited about the opportunity to try my hand at something new!  I will miss my team very much, but they won't be far and I'm sure I will still see most of them every day.

And now it's time to crack those ol' pharmacy law books back open because this girl has to get licensed in 9 more states!!  Yup, you read that right.  9.  MPJE exam, I'm looking at you!!

So forgive me if my posts are a little sparse while I'm studying for all these tests and making this big change.  I promise I'll still be here and when I do post, it'll be good stuff.  And just to give you a little teaser about something new coming, I am partnering with a pretty big race to bring you a discounted registration code and a sweet swag giveaway - that's coming soon so make sure you stick around!!!

QOTD:  Anyone else get start a new job or get a promotion lately??

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Keeping Yourself Accountable with Virtual Races

I was provided free entry into the Jost Running Virtual Race Series for December in exchange for my blog review of the race process and medals.   All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a running rut - lacking motivation to get your training runs in?  Maybe it's because of the holidays coming or the cold weather, or a combination of the two, but even with the upcoming races on my calendar and my PR goals, I am finding that I am lacking the motivation to get my training runs done.  I was so happy to find out about the virtual races offered by Jost Running to bring some spark back to my training!

I will admit I have always been a skeptic of virtual races.  I have always worried that it just wouldn't feel the same as a real race, but I think Jost Running goes out of their way to make sure your experience is just like a real race!  Because it IS a real race - you just run it on YOUR time, at your pace; how YOU want to do it.  Want to do a half marathon broken up into several days??  That's fine with them! That's the convenience of a virtual race.  Jost Running wants you to get out there and get moving so they are going to make sure that the end result is worth your efforts!!  You even get a bib and - after you report your finish time - a finisher medal!

Enter the bling :)

5K/10K  medal
Is this not gorgeous???!!!  

Half/full marathon medal

The pictures do not do these medals justice.  

You know something else great that Jost Running does?  They offer FREE registration to our active military overseas.  You know how much I love it when people do right by our military and I think this is awesome!  If you want to run a race with your husband but he's serving our country right now, you can both still sign up and run the same event, and he would get his for no charge!  Jost Running likes to give back to the community - not only do they do that but they also like to sponsor a charity each month with their races.  It's a win/win for everyone.

I'll be bringing your more from Jost Running in the near future (and a free race giveaway so be on the look out for that!!) but if you can't wait to get in on the fun, you can use the code "Countdown" to receive 10% off your registration!

QOTD:  Have you ever done a virtual race?  Did you enjoy it?


Monday, December 9, 2013

Now What

Friday I promised you a full recap of Saturday's St. Jude Half Marathon.

Well, it's kinda hard to recap what didn't happen.

I hope I didn't jinx us by referring to Mother Nature's wrath on Friday, but just as I had been praying against all week long, she reared her ugly head and the race organizers cancelled the race early Friday night.



HEARTBROKEN

#sadtrombone really doesn't come close.  This WAS my big PR race.  I had been working so hard and now I wasn't even going to get to show what I was capable of.  Let me put out there that I completely understand why they cancelled - there were trees down along the race route, and even more importantly, about 30% of the volunteers and 15% of the medical staff had backed out due to the weather.  The finish line at AutoZone Park was also a sheet of ice.  So while the rest of the roads were really not that bad, when you throw in everything else, canceling was the best decision.  I know this couldn't be easy - this race is St. Jude's major money-maker every year; and for that alone I can guarantee you I will be back next year.  In the meantime, the race organizers have graciously offered to apply our registration fees towards another race, in addition to giving us priority registration for next year's race.

So....



It looks like I am gonna attempt my big PR race in the Big Easy in February!!  Yes, Rock n' Roll New Orleans, I'm looking at you!!  This race is one that St. Jude has offered us and I hear it's a great one!  I have also heard it is pretty flat, which is another big plus!!  I will be training for NOLA and the Glass Slipper Challenge at the same time, so I plan to revive my Hal Higdon's plan and try to marry it somehow with Galloway's Glass Slipper program.  Which means I am gonna be logging some serious miles between now and February!!  

I haven't been to NOLA in YEARS; this is gonna be awesome!!!

QOTD:  Anyone else planning to run the RNRNOLA??  

Friday, December 6, 2013

Running for their Lives

Well, this is it.

As long as Ice Death 2013 doesn't shut the race down, this time tomorrow I will be running the St. Jude Half Marathon.  



I made the decision to switch from the full marathon to the half back in October (remember this post?) and I have to say that I am extremely pleased with how well my training has gone since then.  Hal Higdon, thank you for your intermediate time improvement training schedule!!!  I'm hoping that all this hard work results in a massive PR for me tomorrow.

I am running in honor of Annabelle, who will be celebrating a year since her surgery to remove her brain tumor next week.  Annabelle, your spirit and perseverance amazes and inspires me!  I know tomorrow is going to be bone chilling cold but I know that running 13.1 miles in below freezing temperatures is nothing compared to what you and the other kids at St. Jude go through on a daily basis.  I'm so glad to be running this race for you tomorrow!

My splits will be posting on Twitter - they will end after the 15K mark though since my bib is still chipped for the full marathon but thanks to QR technology I will know my official finish time after I cross the finish line and I will be sure to report it, so be sure you follow me and I hope you'll cheer for me and the other runners tomorrow morning!

I'll be back next week with a full report!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Starry Nights and Mistletoe Village

This past weekend we took the girls to Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park.



What is Starry Nights you ask?

It's a drive-thru display of over 1.5 million Christmas lights!  It has been around for years and is the largest holiday light show in the MidSouth area.  I remember going to Starry Nights when I was a kid and I've been looking forward to sharing that tradition with Samantha and Morgan.  Now that Morgan is old enough to enjoy it, I knew we needed to go back this year.  They have made some great improvements to the festivities over the years, including the addition of Mistletoe Village where you can park the car, get out and do some holiday shopping, visit the petting zoo, and even ride a camel - all while sipping a delicious cup of hot chocolate and muching on some yummy cookies.

Morgan has developed a new-found love for Christmas lights.  It made my mommy heart explode to hear her in the back seat saying "Look, momma, look!" and "It's Chrimas" (her version of Christmas).  I.die.  Samantha, of course, always loves Starry Nights.  But this year we decided to treat them to a stop at Mistletoe Village and it didn't disappoint!




Samantha and I even rode the camel!  His name was Sargeant.  I was afraid I was going to fall off and break my leg but thankfully Sargeant was kind enough to return us unharmed!  The cocoa was delicious and the cookies were home baked, not store bought.  We got two cups of cocoa and two bags of cookies for only $8 - very reasonably priced!

One of my other favorite things about Starry Nights is the Starry Nights 4K run!  This year it is taking place on December 28th at 5pm.  I did this run last year and it is so much fun!  If you are interested in joining me for this year's event click here to sign up!

If you are local and interested in seeing Starry Nights and Mistletoe Village they will be showing nightly until December 28th beginning at 6pm until 9pm (Friday and Saturday they are open until 10pm).  Every Monday is run/walk/ride night - no cars allowed!  For more information and pricing click here.

QOTD:  Do you enjoy driving around looking at Christmas lights during the holidays??




Monday, December 2, 2013

It's Race Week!

And Mother Nature is wreaking havoc on my hopes of a PR this weekend!!!
Do you see this???!!!


She has gone cray.

PUHLEASE oh PUHLEASE MN have mercy on us runners who are running in the name of the kids at St. Jude!  We don't want to end up in the hospital with pneumonia!!!

End of rant/whine.

Time to put on my big girl panties, suck it up, and go buy some more cold gear.  I have a newer pair of Under Armour cold gear tights and some ear warmers, I'm thinking about investing in another cold gear shirt to match my St. Jude Heroes singlet, some gloves, perhaps a jacket???  What do you guys think??  I'm not used to running in weather this cold, I need some suggestions, and quick!!!!!