the proof


It occurred to me the other night that I didn’t post my splits, from the Florida Beach Halfathon – I know some people are totally uninterested in what I ran each mile in. It’s really not that interesting, but I always enjoy looking at other people’s splits.

I’m a little hesitant to post them for this race though: I kind of feel like, if I post them, then my race recap makes me look like a big whiner..which I am, I don’t deny that, because I am a whiner, but that doesn’t mean that my race wasn’t as hard as I said it was.

I never said that I had a slow race; I said that I had a hard race, and that I didn’t feel great.


There they are, in all their glory. The splits aren’t bad, but they weren’t what I was aiming for at all.

Oh well. As I said before, I don’t care.

picture time

if this face doesn’t say, “I’m over it” then I don’t know what does.

and please take note of my KT tape falling off.again.

Thanks to Tony for these gems:

I chased that lady in the pink sports bra for 13 miles. When we were in the parking lot headed for the finish line I finally caught her. I said, “I’ve been chasing you for 13 miles, don’t slow down now”  She said that her 50 yr old hip was bothering her. 50 y/o and rockin’ the sports bra & spandex shorts..she’s my hero!


after I finished I got my medals and headed back out to find jenny. we were laughing about how ridiculous our day had been – we kept saying, “this is it, it’s over. we are done. thank goodness.”


My race pictures always crack me up. I am so serious when I run – most of the time. There is the occasional picture of me cracking a smile, or fist pumping, or waving my hands in the air, but most of the time I have a dirty scowl on my face.

Women’s Half 2011

Florida Beach Half 2011
Holiday Half 2011


That’s all I can find right now – I don’t feel like digging for race pictures anymore.


Do you “pose” for pictures when you see the race photographer, or do you pretend they don’t exist and keep on w/ your cranky face?

Obviously I do both. It really depends on what kind of mood I’m in.


Florida Beach Halfathon recap (#7)

or we could have titled this: proof that things happen in 3’s


This morning I ran half-marathon number 7 since October 31st. AKA: The 6th consecutive half-marathon in 6 months for my half-fanatic membership.

It started out like any other race morning..and then… it changed. Jenny & I left her house around 4:50 for a 5:30 arrival. Upon leaving Jenny’s neighborhood, Jenny thought she should play chicken w/ a rock. Let’s just say the rock won, and we left Jenny’s car sitting on the side of the road with a very flat tire. — We were both driving so Jenny hopped into my car, wished her car good luck, and we sped off to Ft. Desoto.

We arrived super early and were able to grab our timing chips really quickly, head to the porto-potties, and then relax in the car for a while before heading out for a warm up. On our way back to the car, jenny tripped over an extension cord. This is really not all that exciting except that it was the 2nd almost bad thing to happen. you know what they say, “things happen in 3’s.”

We went out for a short warm up around 6:45; The parking lot is really dark which is fine, except when we went to cross the parking lot, I totally spaced out and forgot that there would be parking curbs. I promptly ate concrete. I got a nice wound on both hands, right hand is worse, of course. A cut on my right ankle & right elbow.. all before the race started. that was # 3.  – I should have known then that today was not going to be my day. Should have packed it up and headed home, or at least gone to the beach.

but no. we proceeded on.

At 7am the gun went off and the beginning of my last half-marathon of the season started. The first few miles of a half are always the scariest. I never want to go out to fast, but going out to slow can hurt my time just as much. I’m pretty sure that I went out to fast today. 8:04. oops.

I needed to maintain an 8:06 to PR today so it really wasn’t such a stretch to have an 8:04 mile, but I really didn’t need it to be the first mile.

Thankfully we start when the sun is still down, so we have about 3 miles that aren’t in the sun. (It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if we started at 6:00 or 6:30.)  I knew pretty quickly that this wasn’t going to be my race. I just wasn’t feeling it. I was struggling to get my breathing under control, and I just felt off.

At mile 5 I started cramping and it was pretty much game over at that point.

I’m lying. There was no thumbs up this far into the game. This is somewhere around mile 9ish.

There is no point in doing a mile by mile recap. Believe me when I say it was not fun. I felt horrible. The cramp stretched across the top of my abdomen and would come & go. When it hit me it would take my breath away. I stopped to walk and/or lift my hands over my head more times than I want to talk about. I tried to hang on, but by mile 10 I was over it.

I just wanted to be done. I was hurting, but I felt at peace about the fact that I would not be PR’ing. I had a really great race season. So what if this race didn’t go like I wanted it to?

I also think I’m feeling a little bit of burn out. I love running, but I’m ready to have a clear calendar. I realize we still have the Flying Pirate Half, but that’s a month away, and we are running for fun.

I crossed the finish line in 1:48:55. I’m fine with my time. It’s not a PR, but I don’t care.


I’m glad to have no races on my calendar for at least a month. (I’m going to try really hard to avoid signing up for any races between now & April)


We hung around for a few hours afterwards listening to the awards ceremonies for the 5k & the halfathon. We were most interested in the awards for the athletes that were eligible for the series championship awards. Unfortunately there were some discrepancies so we weren’t able to find the results out today. Crossing my fingers for early this week. There is a teeny tiny chance that I could place in the top 3 in my AG. a small small small chance. We’ll see.

We received an extra medal today for completing all 4 races in the Halfathon series! SOOOOO PRETTY!! I’m seriously in LOVE with both medals from the half today. They are awesome!

OMG. The ribbon. I LOVE the ribbon! It’s amazing! The detail behind the starfish is Ft.Desoto.

see? so neat!

Then there is the amazing medal for completing the series:


AND THEN on Saturday at packet pickup we found out that we would be receiving a special shirt for completing the series!! Oh man, so exciting!



a farkvel?


Well y’all, summer has arrived – not technically, but that skank is peaking her head and making her presence known.

I’m trying to prepare myself for the heat. Trying to remind myself that my pace is going to slow down during the summer. It’s inevitable, there is nothing I can do about it.

It stinks – I’ve worked sort of hard this “winter” to drop my pace down, and now that stinky summer skank is going to come in and ruin all my hard work.


Despite the heat I was feeling good when I headed out for my 5 miles. — Monday’s run was successful – as in, I got 5 miles done, but that’s about it successful. My calves were pissed from wearing wedges for hours on Sunday night @ my cousins wedding.

I wanted Tuesday’s run to have some meaning – to feel hard, but good at the same time. Is this possible?

I decided I would do a 1 mile warm up, and then a farklet workout from there. As the one mile warm up was ending I was thinking that a farklet didn’t sound like much fun – I needed something more structured. I hit the lap button (which I didn’t need to do.. my first splits look wonky bc I’m an idiot) and took off. I decided I’d just run until I wanted to stop – which is a farklet..

I ran 2:25, which is .35mile .. then I recovered at a slower pace for another 2:25 – this is where the interval was born – or the farkvel.

I stayed with those 2:25 intervals – It seemed like a good workout. Long enough that I was ready for it to be over, but short enough that I didn’t actually fall on the ground and die at the end of each hard farkvel.


I have no idea if those paces are “good” or not. Anyone? Yes? No? faster?

By the 11th, or 9th (if you don’t count the mile warm up) interval I was over it and decided to call it a day. I did a easy(er) pace for the rest of my run back to the house.

My quads were burning, & I felt successful. 

Wednesday is a rest day, then thursday & friday I’ll do some easy 3 milers.

Did you see Venus & Jupiter Tuesday night?

My Dad & I were driving home from dinner and I said, “do you see those two bright lights over there? What is that?”

My Dad told me they were stars, but they were SOO bright I couldn’t believe they were stars.

He then proceeded to make fun of me and say, “What do you think they are? A plane towing another plane?

Well… you just never know.

image from National Geographic website

Then just a little while ago on facebook someone posted about seeing Venus & Jupiter, and after a google search I discovered that I did, in fact, see Venus & Mars!

How cool!

According to this article on National Geographic, it will be able to be seen best on Thursday, which is crazy, because they were shining so bright tonight!

If you’re a real space geek, here is another article on the conjunction of Venus & Jupiter.

If I remember on Thursday, I want to try & take some pictures! Everyone should take pictures from where they are at and then we can post them and check out the different views!!
{geek alert!}

If you want to e-mail me your pictures I’ll post them. LIBKJENA @ yahoo {dot} com

What’s next: the weekly rundown

I love Saturday morning long runs! Waking up early on Saturday makes the weekend seem like it is longer.

After Jenny & I ran on Saturday, we came back to my house, showered, then headed back to town to get some veggies from the Farmer’s market. Jenny has proclaimed that she is breaking up with the Publix produce department and will be dating the local produce guy –

After we grabbed some veggies, we made a quick stop in Target and then headed back to my house to make up a pizza.
We also rented The Help from Redbox – Have you seen that movie? Oh man. I laughed. I cried. I was shocked at some of the things that were said in the movie. I would definitely put The Help on my list of favorite movies.

Sunday I finally found a dress for my cousins wedding. The wedding was 5pm on Sunday.. I’m awesome at procrastination. We headed to Orlando around 1:30 on Sunday, and just arrived home around midnight .. why am I blogging at midnight. I have no idea.

Never give up 

Last week I scheduled myself to run 28 miles. That didn’t happen, but I still had a pretty solid week of running.

March 5th – March 11th

Monday: 5
Tuesday: 5
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 4.5
Saturday: 11
Sunday  – rest
Total: 25.5  

I didn’t do any cross-training, and I had more rest days then I planned, but over all, it was a good week. I still got 25.5 in for the week which brings me to a monthly total of 43 miles

work it out

March 12 – March 18th

Monday: 5
Tuesday: 5
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 3
Friday: 3
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Florida Beach Halfathon

If all goes well: Total 29 miles


I’m crossing my fingers that the weather forecast changes drastically in the next 7 days.


90% humidity at the start? sure. why not.
PR here I come ( I hope !)

done & done.

This Saturday started like just about every Saturday has started since August. Get up early, eat breakfast, drink coffee. Get dressed: spandex shorts, wickin’ tank, adrenalies, headband, garmin, gels.

drive to the dedicated running spot. run. long.

The exception this morning was that Jenny came up to long run with me. Earlier this week we decided that 11 miles would be the distance with the first 3 being a warm up, the next 5 would be at Jenny’s half-marathon goal pace of 8:20, and the last 3 would be slower than HMGP.

We met up at 6:45, and hit the trail running by 7:07 – We stayed true to our plan and the first three miles were a nice warm up. As soon as the garmin struck 4 we increased our pace and cruised along at 8:20. I felt great – no knee pain, no hip pain, no belly pain (which was a relief after friday’s debacle of a run.. maybe I’ll tell you about that another day. it was horrible).

in case you forgot what we look like. heh

Jenny & I have only done one other long run together and that was after the Take Stock in Kids 5k/10k – It was fun to run w/ a friend. I am definitely the type of runner that loves long runs with people. If I had someone to do short runs with, I’d probably love that as well. Even if we don’t talk – just having someone running along side you is a confidence booster.

We took our first gel at mile 4.X and cruised along to the 5.5 turn around. We got some water at the turn around and headed back towards the parking lot.

There was a half-marathon, 10k, 5k & 1 mile walk being held at Starkey today – but it didn’t start until 8 so it didn’t really interfere with our run …. to much. The last 2 miles we had to bob & weave around some of the walkers.  It was fun to see all of the half-marathon runners – Jenny probably wanted to kill me but I said a lot of, “good morning! nice job out here today!” & “looking good.”  — I’m so annoying. Smile   (I tried to get jenny to sign up for the half but she wasn’t having it. Honestly I’m glad we didn’t sign up. I was thankful not to be racing today. I needed a good long run, and that is what I got today.

At mile 8, we took another gel and Jenny decided she’s a total bad ass and wanted to finish the run with an 8:20 pace. So. we did. 

Thankfully the weather was cool & overcast. The run probably wouldn’t have been so successful if it had been hot with a blazing sun. Our days are numbered with this cooler weather.. so sad.


Those splits are pretty consistent.

I’m impressed.

We negative split the hell out of that run.

This coming weekend we will do our 6th half together (my 7th half of the season). The half this weekend will allow us to qualify for the half-fanatics status that we’ve been working on since October. We will be able to join as the Uranus status with 6 half marathons in 6 consecutive months.
Then I will be buying one of everything off the half-fanatic website. No. but seriously – I want the half-fanatic women’s singlet, and the jacket. Please, Oh Please, let Chris come off $80 for the jacket!

Woo HOO!

The half this weekend also marks the end of our “competitive” season. Competitive meaning running for time.. not running to win.
We are doing the Flying Pirate Half in Outer Banks, but we are not running for time – we just plan on running & have a good time doing it. 



39 more days until our trip to D.C…. in case you were wondering.

Fact: It’s Tuesday


I’m feeling good about this week – Maybe it’s because I don’t have a race coming up this weekend? I love racing, but 2 weekends in a row was a little tough. It would probably be easier if the races were actually local to me instead of an hour+ away. Traveling for races is a little exhausting.

Never give up

Last week I had more crappy runs than I had good runs. I hate it when that happens. I’m chalking it up to tired legs from the 5k + 6 on Sunday.

Monday: 4mi, 36:13, 9:04 (blistering hot day)
Tuesday: 5mi, 44:24, 8:52 (blistering hot day)
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 5mi tempo, 42:08, 8:25 (temps starting to drop)
Friday: rest/expo in tampa
Saturday: Gasparilla 15k 1:15:34, 8:04
Gasparilla 5k, 50:03
Sunday: rest – long dog walk

grand total: 26.6 miles

work it out

Moving on to this week:

Monday: 5mi
Tuesday: 5mi
Wednesday: xtrain (yoga?)
Thursday: 4mi (interval?)
Friday: 3mi
Saturday: 11mi w/ Jennykins
Sunday: rest

grand total: 28 miles


Since today is Tuesday, I’ve already done Monday’s run. It wasn’t all rainbows & butterflies like I was hoping it would be. The temperature was cooler last night, but that didn’t make the run suck any less. The first mile was fine, did a slow(er) warm up, 9:07. The 2nd mile was great! I though, “Ooo, maybe I’ll turn this into a tempo run, that would be fun.” 8:01 … and that was pretty much it for the fun factor. The wheels fell of shortly after and I was struggling to keep it under 8:30. 8:28, 8:30, 8:52. womp womp

Oh well. Today I’ll just run whatever feels comfortable and turn Thursday’s run into an interval workout. (yikes!)

I’ll leave you with these gems from Marathonfoto

those are awesome. {sarcasm}

Race Recap: Gasparilla 5k 2012


Several months ago I asked my sister, Shelly, if she wanted to sign up for a 5k? She said she wanted to, but wasn’t sure about it.

I knew Gasparilla was coming up- the good thing about Gasparilla is that it’s a huge race, and that there are runners of every kind. Fast, slow, walkers, there is somewhere for everyone out on Bayshore.

We registered for the race, and the countdown began. Shelly did Iron girl last April, and her time was 54 minutes – her goal for Gasparilla was to break 54 minutes.

After I finished the 15k I ran back to my hotel, changed into some fresh clothes/socks and ran back to the starting area for the 5k.

me, shelly, emily & cara

it was packed. packed is an understatement. It was chaos. There were people everywhere.

This year the race organizers “implemented” a wave system.. Well, I think they tried. It may have worked if you were towards the start of the race, but we were towards the back and it was pretty much a free for all back there.

The elite runners started at 9:30, and our “wave” started about 20 minutes later. This was so crazy to me. I’ve never been in a 5k this huge.

Shelly’s plan was to try and run as much as she could, but she managed to come down with a sinus infection on Friday afternoon, which pretty much derailed any plan of running more than walking.

It worked out, we ran when we could, and kept up a fast paced walk when we couldn’t run. I felt confident that we could break her time goal of sub 54min.

The first water stop came at 1.5 miles, and would you believe that they were out of cups. I am so disappointed in the Run Tampa Bay organization. This is a 35 year old race. We’d known for at least 10 days that the weather was going to be reaching the mid 80’s. There is really no excuse for running out of cups. There just isn’t.

Thankfully, I had brought a water bottle along because I knew it was hot. I gave my water bottle to Shelly and one of the volunteers at the water stop filled it up for her.

There were 3 water stops in the 5k, and only the very last one had cups.

Horribly disappointed in Run Tampa Bay.

don’t judge my non-matching outfit.


It’s hard to be encouraging and not be annoying. I think there is a fine line, and I don’t know where it is. I didn’t want to sound to cheesy, but I really wanted Shelly to know how proud I was of her.

I am legit trying not to cry in this picture. Words cannot express how proud I was of Shelly.

We crossed the finish line in 50:03 !!  4 minutes faster than her last 5k!! AWESOME! I was thrilled!!




When I got home from Tampa I left a comment on the Run Tampa Bay’s facebook about the lack of cups during the 5k.

I got some crappy generic response

Jena, sorry for the inconvenience! We hope you enjoyed the race anyway! We’ve passed on your feedback for future planning.

I wasn’t impressed with the response. No ownership of the problem, just a  we’ll think about more cups next year.

Maybe I’m expecting to much. I’ve seen smaller races run out of cups. But a big race like this?’s over, and I wouldn’t do the 5k again next year.


I’m off to obsess over my trip to DC with Jenny!

Race Recap: Gasparilla 15k 2012

Oh me, Oh my. This race day was a doozy.

The expo was….an expo. Big room, filled with a lot of people buying things from vendors. Do I really need to go into more detail or show pictures?

I didn’t think so.


Moving on: We stayed at The Westin-Harbour Island in downtown Tampa. If you have the opportunity to stay there – don’t. It definitely wasn’t worth the $180 we paid for it, and that’s a discounted rate for the race weekend. It’s normally like $399/night. insane. our a/c was messed up, and it was SUPER hot despite the thermostat being set on 68.

needless to say, I didn’t sleep to much Friday night and 4:45 Saturday morning came way to early. I had dry toast bc I forgot the butter at home and coffee. – We headed out of the hotel around 5:50 to meet up with the Striders at the convention center for picture time. LOVE picture time!


After picture time we made the short trek over the Platt
Street bridge, hit up the porto-potties then headed out for a quick warm up.

aww yes, stretching out the IT band post warm up run

side note: I met a blog reader today! VERY exciting! Jenny & I were about to head out on our warm up, and Katy caught us and said, “I READ YOUR BLOG!” This caught me way off guard, and totally made my day. Hi Katy & Emilie, nice to meet you both today!

I’m not sure how far our warm up was, not far, but I was already sweating by time we hit the starting line…which was a cluster. We ended up jumping over a fence to get near the start line.. It was so crowded the closest we could get (without jumping the fence) was behind the 11:00 pace group. nope. not gonna work.

The gun went off at 7:05ish and we were off. Our plan was to try and run 8 minute miles, but I was a little leery of this plan since it was so hot. I’m not sure what it was at the start, but I’m guessing mid 70’s with 100% humidity.

Jenny & I stuck together for the first 3 miles, and then she made a smartass remark about me saying I couldn’t do an 8:00 today and said she was going to drop back.

mile 1: 8:17
mile 2: 8:18
mile 3: 7:57

That sub 8 pace scared me – I was really scared that if I tried to maintain that pace I’d die a slow death in the last miles. I guess I sort of just accepted my fate and kept pushing the pace.

Thankfully Run Tampa Bay puts quite a few water stops in the 15k. The first stop was at 1.4, and the next one was at 2. Since it was so hot I took water at every single stop. I started dumping water on my back/front/head at mile 4. Keeping cool, or trying to keep cool, became the name of the game.

At miles 4ish we entered a neighborhood which serves as the turnaround point. From about miles 6 – 9 there is absolutely no shade. none. The sun & the heat are just sucking the life out of you with every step. Another great thing that this race offers is sprinklers on the back stretch, and boy are they welcoming. I wanted to just stop and stand in those sprinklers.

mile 4: 8:00
mile 5: 7:57 (gelled)
mile 6: 7:57

I don’t remember if was mile 6 to 7, or 7 to 8, but I thought I might just keel over right there. I swear whatever mile it was must have been long. I thought I was never ever ever going to make it to the next water stop. All I could think about was waterwaterwaterwaterwater.

Miles 8 & 9 whooped my ass.
I all but gave up.
I wanted to walk.
I wanted to be done.
I was so over it.
My shoes were soaking wet from dumping so much water over my head. My toes were burning from sloshing around in my shoes (they were that wet). My KT tape was flapping in the wind. #kttapefail – I ended up ripping it off somewhere in mile 8.

mile 7: 7:58
mile 8: 8:05
mile 9: 8:07
.3: 7:45

Chip time: 1:15:34
OA: 523/4920
Female: 131/2550
AG: 26/355

Once I crossed the finish line I found a few other Striders and some water. One thing that I really dislike about this event is that the water is way to far away from the finish line. It seems like such a petty issue, but I don’t want to walk another 1/4 mile to find a bottle of water, then another 1/4 mile to get my medals. This is a 15k, not a 10mi race. I want my medal & water when I cross the finish line. #ventover

heeey paparazzi Mom

I wasn’t feeling to hot(lie: I was very hot) – I wasn’t feeling to well after I crossed the finish line; Despite drinking a lot water on the course I still had some goose bumps, and was a little dizzy. I sat on the curb for a while before attempting to make the trek up the platt street bridge for my well deserved medal.

me & the infamous David
that’s a crazy eye I’ve got going on there!


There is a pretty good spread of post-race treats once you make it over the platt street bridge and into the tunnel under the convention center, but I was in a hurry to get back to the hotel room so I could change clothes and get back to the start line to do the 5k with my sisters, Cara, Shelly & Emily.


Overall I am stoked for my PR; last year my time was 1:19:05, so that’s a pretty good PR. I wanted a 1:14, but I knew going into the race that I would probably have to adjust my expectations because of the heat. Looking back, if I had run the 1st & 2nd mile just a tad bit faster I probably could have met my goal of 1:14:XX, BUT, I am not upset with my time in the least. I can’t express how disgusting it was today.


That awesome tank top sunburn is just from the 5k.



In other non-running related news: Lots of thoughts & prayer to the families that have been affected by the tornadoes in the mid-west.

My Aunt & Cousin both lost their homes on Friday to a tornado. Fortunately they were not home because my cousins daughter was in the hospital having a baby.