Thursday, February 27, 2014

Music City Highway Challenge

What could possibly be better than running two events while raising money for the kids at St. Jude?

How about a little extra bling to go along with it??

I'm excited to introduce you to the Music City Highway Challenge!!

Photo courtesy of the Competitor Group

From country music at the Grand Ole Opry to the blues on Beale Street, this medal celebrates the genres of music that have hailed from both Nashville and Memphis while joining forces for a common cause.

The Music City Highway Challenge could not get any easier; here are the deets:

1.  Register at a St. Jude Hero for BOTH the 2014 St. Jude Country Music Marathon & 1/2 presented by Nissan AND the 2014 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.  Registration for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend will open early in May.  If you would like to register as a hero for the Country Music Marathon & 1/2 click here.  You can choose from classic, bronze, silver, or gold levels.

2.  Raise a minimum of $100 for each event.

3.  Collect your extra bling in Memphis in December!

Remember that no family ever has to pay for services at St. Jude - and thanks to Heroes like us the hospital can continue to do that!

Music City Challenge here I come - who is in with me??




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cinderella Royal Family 5K Recap

Welcome to the first of what I'm sure will be MANY recaps from this past weekend's runDisney Princess Half Marathon festivities!

The Smith family arrived in Orlando on Thursday afternoon and got settled in at our resort, the Boardwalk Villas.  We spent a lot of time between the Boardwalk and the other Epcot area resorts during this trip so I will talk about all the non-running activities in a different post!  

First order of business on Thursday was the DisBroads meet-up at the Wave and it was a BLAST!!!  It was so good to see so many people there that we have talked to online.  My dear friend DisBroad Suzanne picked up my 5K packet for me at the expo that day so after the meet-up I met the fam at the Contempo Cafe for a quick bite to eat before heading back to the Boardwalk for the night.

#FlatKristen for the 5K

My alarm went off at 2:30am Friday  morning and I dressed and grabbed my gear for the Cinderella Royal Family 5K.  The event guide had stated that buses would start running for the 5K at 3:30am but at 3:40am there were no buses at the Boardwalk - come to find out, they were not running until 4:15am.  That part was a little frustrating but what do you do?  When the bus finally arrived the small crowd of us that had assembled already boarded and were taken around the corner to Epcot to the 5K starting line.  I was planning to hit the expo immediately after the 5K was over so I had a small bag to drop at gear check and then I met DisBroads Suzanne and Patty and our friend Wendy for our 3.1 mile run through Epcot!

Pre-race entertainment by the starting line - as always, the DJ did not disappoint!

Feeling good before the race!


This was my first runDisney 5K and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it - I didn't feel anxious or nervous like I do before big races, the atmosphere was very relaxed and I really liked that.

Good morning Spaceship Earth!

The course started us outside Epcot and we entered by the Mexico pavilion and we were then greeted by multiple character stops, including Mulan and Mushu, Dopey, and the Beast.  There were a few others but I will say that the lines for characters during the 5K were EXTREMELY long so we did not stop for all of them.  

Mushu and Mulan

Dopey

The Beast (him, not me - LOL)

The 5K race was not timed - which was a good thing because between standing in long character lines and multiple potty stops it took us over an hour to finish - LOL!  It was still a great time though, even though my foot did not appreciate all the starting and stopping.  The course took us around the World Showcase and back up to the front of Epcot by Spaceship Earth before we exited to the finish line in the parking lot.  

Race #1:  completed!!!

Even though I had to wake up super early 3 days in a row, I have to say that I am really glad I signed up for this event and I would definitely do another one!

Up next:  my Enchanted 10K recap!

  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Royal Weekend Awaits

In 24 hours I will be sitting at Memphis International waiting to board our plane to Disney for Princess Half Weekend.

I know I've been mentioning this trip a lot y'all - can you tell I'm just a smidge excited???

I've only been waiting for 8 months since the day I signed up.

Even though I am totes excited for this racecation, my recent peroneal tendonitis flare up has caused me a little worry about whether I'll be able to run well this weekend.  I haven't run at all since #RnRNOLA, almost three weeks ago.  I'm worried that my stamina will be less and that I'll have trouble keeping pace.  Although I'm sure my fears are unfounded...it's just the self doubt that always creeps in.


Pretty sure I do at least!

And heck, this weekend is just as much about having fun as it is about earning the bling!  Although the bling IS pretty sweet y'all...




That's right - all 3 of these babies are coming home with me on Monday!  Plus the 5K medal too - I will be a very well decorated Princess!

I'm feeling about as ready as I'll ever be - except for the whole I need to finish packing thing...I'm sure this day will be the slowest work day on record!

It'll be quiet around here until I get back Monday I'm sure so make sure you are following me on social media for all the pics and updates!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We Go Together - February Jost Running Medals

I was provided free entry to the February Jost Running Virtual Race Series in exchange for my blog review.  All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

I was so incredibly excited to find my February Jost Running medals in the mail last week!!!

5K and 10K medal - pic courtesy of Jost Running

Half marathon and full marathon medal - pic courtesy of Jost Running

I've already mentioned that I haven't really been running much since I got back from NOLA - actually, I haven't run at ALL since we got back.  In my own defense - it's doctors orders!!  I know these beautiful medals will be just the motivation I need to get back at it once the boot comes off on Thursday!  

One of the things I love about Jost Running is that I can earn these medals while doing other races too!  I was concerned since I had been sidelined for a few weeks that I wouldn't be able to make up the miles to earn my medals for the month but when I combine #RnRNOLA and the #GlassSlipperChallenge I more than qualify!  And I'll still have a few days when we get back from Orlando, since I anticipate jumping right back into my training schedule.

My bib is ready when I am!!!

Don't you LOVE the "We Go Together" theme of the February medals???  Salt and pepper, eggs and bacon, ketchup and mustard....the folks at Jost are genius!

Speaking of, their website has a new look!  Have you checked it out??  The new improved website allows you to print your bib immediately after registration and post your times as soon as you complete your run.  You can also set up an account on the new site - one stop shopping for your purchased race vouchers, training records, races, and the leaderboard to see how you're doing!  I love the new site - head over and create your account today if you haven't already!

I have truly enjoyed working with Jost Running and am extremely excited that I get to participate in one more month of racing events!!!  So be on the look out for those March medals soon - I know they will be just as awesome as the others!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dressing the Part

It's Princess Half Week!!!

SQUEEEEE!!!!!

I am SO ready to head to our happy place - Disney World - this Thursday to participate in a fun, racecation weekend.  But before I go, I thought you'd appreciate a preview of the outfits I'll be sporting on my runs this weekend!!!

First up is Friday's Cinderella Royal Family 5K.  I signed up for this one kinda last minute so I didn't have a lot of time to put much thought into it.  Luckily I had all the pieces already and am excited to portray my favorite Disney princess!

Tank from Raw Threads, skirt from Rock City Skirts, headband from Sparkly Soul

If you see me on Friday morning I might just be being chased by Gaston...

Second race is Saturday's Enchanted 10K.  I'm joining up with the DisBroads to present the Poppins Posse - and I will be portraying our favorite chimney sweep!

Skirt from Sparkle Skirts, tech tee from Old Navy, socks from Pro Compression, paired with other finishing touches provided by my friend Kate, who is also my new official costumer :)

Sunday morning I am yet again teaming up with the DisBroads during the half marathon to bring you Princesses and Villains.  

Shorts from Sparkle Skirts, tech tee from Nike, headband from Sparkly Soul, combined with embellishments and the skirt handmade by my costumer!

Not sure who this costume portrays?  How about a hint??


They say mother knows best!

You can find me on Sunday chasing our BRF Bonnie, who will hopefully be singing "Flower gleam and glow, let your power shine" in her Rapunzel outfit.  I'd better remember to pack my hairbrush...

But wait, we're not done just yet!!

There is another costume to reveal.  But this one isn't mine - this one belongs to my Princess!!

See, when I asked for Kate's help making my outfits she did such a good job I asked her to make one for Samantha to wear during her Kids Race.  And not only did she outfit Samantha, but she knew little sister couldn't be left out!



Introducing Queen Elsa!!

Morgan was too fast for me to grab a pic of her in her outfit but I'm sure you can probably make a guess :)

There you have it!  Anyone else care to share your costume??


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Quiet Around These Parts

So - things have been quiet around the blog for the past few days.


I hope you guys haven't been worried about me.  I'm doing well, actually, but have been dealing with a family emergency the past few days.  All is well at the Smith house, rest assured!  And we are making sure the rest of our family is well also!

I was also reunited with my old "friend", Mr. Boot.


See, I haven't been completely honest with you guys.  On the way home from New Orleans I noticed pain developing around my left ankle and well, it hasn't gone away.  Given that I have big plans for next weekend (I MIGHT have mentioned I'm running another race next weekend...), I decided to have my foot looked at and I am yet again battling peroneal tendonitis.  Thank you for your uneven roads NOLA!  Seriously though, even though I had a great race it just did a number on my foot and now it needs to rest a bit longer so it's ready to run 22.4 miles next weekend.

Wait Kristen, did you say 22.4 miles??  I thought you were running the Glass Slipper Challenge, which is the 10K followed by the half marathon.



Well....yeah, I kinda caved to peer pressure and signed up for the Royal Family 5K on Friday morning last week.  These DisBroads can talk me into just about anything - LOL.  So yes, I need my foot in tip top shape for next weekend, so I will comply and not run and wear said boot until we fly out ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!!!  

Can you tell I'm excited??

So thanks for checking back with  me this week - I've been taking care of the fam and gearing up for a BIG, fun trip next week!  Who else will be there??



Friday, February 7, 2014

#RunCMM Course Revealed!

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

The wait is over - our friends over at the Rock 'n' Roll series announced the course map for the St. Jude Country Music Marathon and 1/2 presented by Nissan!  I am so excited to be returning to my state capital to run this course in just 12 weeks!!


My friend Kristan and I were checking it out yesterday and it looks like the first half of the course is the same as the final part of last year's Women's Running Half so we should be running on familiar ground!

She and I are taking a different approach to our training for this race.  I am not gunning for a major PR like I was for New Orleans, but rather I'd like to run a personal best for a Nashville race.  I'm not sure if I've told you but Nashville is a pretty hilly city!  I have run a major race in Nashville twice now with my best time being 2:30, so that's the time I'm aiming to beat in April.   We are incorporating some hill work in our training schedule this time in hopes that will help us improve our time.  I guess we'll see how that goes!!

My fellow #RunCMMers - what do you think of the course???  It's not too late to register if you want to join in on the fun - just don't forget to use my code KSMITHRUNS for $10 off!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Third Time is the Charm

This weekend in New Orleans was AMAZING!!!

I have to start out by giving mad props to the folks at the Rock 'n' Roll series - this was my first Rock 'n' Roll event and I have to say that I WILL be back!!!  

So, how about a recap??

Mr. Smith Summary and I woke up early Saturday morning for the 6 hour drive to NOLA; we got in town around 2pm and headed over to the expo, which was at the convention center.  It was not near our hotel so we drove.  The folks at the Rock 'n' Roll series had warned us the day before that a cruise ship would be docked on Saturday and that it might be extra crowded in the area and sure enough, we saw it!  But honestly the crowds were not that bad.  I did not wait in a line to pick up my bib and was immediately off to explore the expo.

I was very pleased with the variety of vendors!  I did also manage to pick up a shirt from the official Rock 'n' Roll merchandise booth.  They were a tad picked over but considering the expo had opened the day prior, I honestly wasn't too surprised.  I was a tad disappointed that there were more men's options than women's and I actually ended up with a men's shirt because I liked the design better!  Again, no wait to check out and then I was off to the official Rock 'n' Roll tour booth to get my picture taken!



I also stopped at the Gu booth to cast my vote in the #GUMOCRACY!  The Rock 'n' Roll series is picking its official Gu flavor and us lucky runners get to help by voting for our favorites!  The flavor choices are:
Salted Watermelon - #GUMOCRACYGREEN
Caramel Macchiato - #GUMOCRACYGOLD
Apple Cinnamon - #GUMOCRACYRED


I tried the Apple Cinnamon and it was REALLY yummy!  

Before we headed to the hotel I had to pit stop at the St. Jude Heroes booth to pick up my wristband for the VIP tent (more to come on that!) and also the Sparkly Soul booth to pick up a new headband...or two :)

Our home away from home for the weekend was the Hotel Mazarin on Bienville in the French Quarter - and I have to say, it was absolutely WONDERFUL!!!  The rooms were SO nice, the staff were very helpful and friendly and the location was great.  I would definitely stay there again!

The hotel courtyard - our room is the window with the light on

We met my buddy Kristan and her hubs and walked to Decatur Street for dinner at Maximo's Italian Grill.  I learned my lesson in Nashville and stuck with pasta and meatballs for dinner.  It was really tasty and I didn't feel like I had overeaten.  After the walk back to the hotel I was ready to crash for the night!  I laid out Flat Kristen and hit the hay.



Sunday morning my alarm went off at 5am and I began getting ready and I knew when I woke up that it was going to be a good day.  The weather was a little less than desirable but I had planned ahead and brought a hat.  At 6am I met my buddy and her hubs in the lobby and we walked to the starting area!

I was in corral 9 and at 7am the race started; they truly did not wait long in between corrals so before I knew it, it was my turn!  I'll go ahead and warn you now - I didn't really take any pics along the course because A - my phone has no memory  left because I need to put some pictures in Dropbox, and B - I was gunning for that PR and didn't want to take any extra time.  I liked the course overall; there were a few places that the roads were rough and I did quite a bit of weaving in between people who need a lesson in running etiquette but other than that I had no major issues at all during the race.  The water stations were stocked, there was pretty good crowd support, and I enjoyed the on course entertainment.  

It was extremely foggy in NOLA that day and it was drizzling rain from time to time with 100% humidity so I looked like a drowned rat by mile 1.  I ran the entire first mile to get out of the crowd and then stuck with my 3:1 run/walk ratio for the entire race.  I did make an extra stop at a water station for some Gatorade towards the end since I had not brought enough fuel with me (GRR!).  My A goal was to finish in 2:15 and at 2:14 I was less than a mile from the finish and I knew I wasn't going to hit goal 1 so I took my final 1 minute walk break and then HAULED to the finish line (seriously, my final 0.25 I was running at an 8:30 pace!!) and crossed at 2:19:45.

I beat my previous PR by 9 minutes y'all, and I couldn't have been happier!!!



The chute moved very quickly with water bottles, Gatorade, chocolate milk (YAY!!!), and other snacks.  I also grabbed a mylar blanket because after we stopped I began to get chilly and I knew I was going to be standing around for a bit.  I made a pit stop at the St. Jude tent before heading to the family reunion area to meet the hubs and my buddies.  

I REALLY liked how the Rock 'n' Roll series has the family reunion area organized - there are alphabetized signs so you can tell your cheer squad to meet you at a predetermined letter to make it easier to find you.  As luck would have it, we met at the "S" sign which was right next to the St. Jude tent so I did not have to walk far to reunite with Mr. Smith Summary while we waited on Kristan and her hubs to finish.  Once we were all reunited we walked to the shuttle area to catch a bus back to the starting line.  In the finish area there was live music playing along with vendors and, of course, a beer booth set up to get your libations flowing!  It was definitely a great post race celebration.

Partying on the bus!
Once back at the hotel I noshed on the complimentary breakfast before having a shower and a quick nap before we grabbed some lunch on Bourbon Street and then we ladies enjoyed a nice post race massage and mani/pedi while the men got their football fix.  We rejoined the men for a late dinner and then I had one more pit stop to make to make my NOLA trip complete:



Yup, you guessed it.  #coffeeaddict

Monday morning we were back on the road.  It was a quick trip but I still had a wonderful time and I would love to do it again next year!!!  Thanks Rock 'n Roll for an awesome racecation weekend!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Signing Up To Be a Princess

Welcome to the first stop on the Princess Half Marathon Virtual Blog Hop!

Virtual Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory


If you are new here, my name is Kristen and this is The Smith Summary!!!

I am a runDisney fan and excited to be participating in my first Princess Half Marathon Weekend this month!   Since this is my first time to the ball I wanted to share with you my tips on registration and providing proof of time.

Registration for this year's Princess Half Weekend began on June 12, 2013; being a DVC member I had the privilege of registering on June 6th.  runDisney will typically announce registration dates well in advance and on race day, the registration link will appear on the event's page on the runDisney site, taking you to Active.com to register.


Sounds pretty easy right?  This race didn't fill up as quickly as the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland did but I wouldn't wait too long to register if you want to add this one to your race list!

New to runDisney beginning with the 2014 Marathon Weekend events was updated guidelines with regards to submitting proof of time.  Previously you were allowed to bring proof of time with you to the expo to submit for better corral placement but those days are gone.  If you believe you will finish the half marathon with a time of 3:15 or better runDisney requires you to submit proof of time.  For a half marathon, the race distance you submit must be a 10K or longer and cannot have taken place prior to February 2012.  Proof of time must include the name of the race, distance, and location of the event, along with the date and your finish time.  For the 2013 Princess Half Weekend, proof of time was required by December 1, 2013.  If you had an updated proof of time (from the one you used to register) you can email that disneysports@trackshack.com by that date.  I would imagine the dates will be similar for the 2015 race so now is the time to pick an event if you want a better proof of time for next year!

Registration for the 2015 Princess Half weekend will open to the public on July 15th, so look for early registration for select groups to open about a week prior.  Do you have the Princess Half Marathon on your race list??!!  Hope to see you there in a few weeks!