This Runner's Trials

Warrior Dash North Carolina race recap

Posted by runnerstrials

Do you know what I love about running? That you can always find new ways to challenge yourself! Seriously, the sky is the limit.

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Mud… not leggings!

I’ve been running for awhile now – 12 years! In that time, I’ve done close to 100. But this past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to do a new-to-me type of race: The Warrior Dash!


A huge thank you to Caitlin who brought a disposable waterproof, 90’s-style camera to the race to capture these moments!

I have never done an obstacle race before. I did runDisney’s Expedition Everest last month, but if I’m being honest, those obstacles were definitely toned-down Disney obstacles, if you know what I mean.

I’ve always shieded away from the idea of doing obstacle or mud runs because I’m essentially a humungous wimp. I’m petrified of getting hurt, I’m afraid of heights, and I’m also a germophobe so being covered in mud kind of freaks me out (dirty standing water = giardia in my book).


But a couple of weeks ago, Rockin’ Refuel asked if I was interested in doing the Warrior Dash. I read the email and, and thought to myself, “you know what… this would probably be a lot of fun if I could convince some of my friends to do it with me!”

Luckily, my friends are pretty much up for anything. Even one of my non-runner friends happily signed up – and she kicked major booty in the race. We exchanged so many texts freaking out about the race in the two weeks leading up to the event – we were so excited! None of us had done a Warrior Dash before.


Sara, Catlin, Brandi, and I – clearly this is the “before” photo.

We vowed to stick together for the whole race and just have fun. We planned to take a lot of walk breaks and at least try every obstacle. One thing that made me sign on for the Warrior Dash is that you don’t have to do every obstacle – you can walk around any of them without being penalized (unless you’re in the competitive wave).

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Waves go off every 15 minutes all day long. This is to help with crowd control. Our wave was at 2:30 pm and we never felt crowded on the course or had to wait for an obstacle.

There weren’t any obstacles in the first mile. When we came up to the first one, I was so excited! We had to crawl under barbed wire. It was more difficult than it looked, but also a lot of fun.

The next obstacle we came up to was the Diesel Dome.


Again, I was excited, so I climbed up to the top… and completely froze. I was not expecting to have a reaction like that at all. I don’t do well with heights and looking down made me a little panicked. So, I climbed back down the way I came.

I had this same reaction a few more times. I was bummed that I didn’t do every obstacle, but I could not mentally overcome the height thing no matter what I told myself. I knew that the obstacles were safe, but I also knew my own limits, so I had to skip some.


I was able to do the two obstacles that I was looking forward to most before the race – the Mud Mounds and the Warrior Roast. I made it my goal to make it over at least one really high obstacle and I did, so I was happy about that.


However, even with skipping a few obstacles I had an absolute blast. This was seriously such a fun way to spend the day with friends. I loved that you don’t really have to be a runner to do this event, and I also loved how encouraging all of the warriors were to one another. Of course, my teammates helped each other, but even strangers were lending one another a hand which was so nice to see.


The post-race atmosphere was really amazing, too. There was Rockin’ Refuel at the finish line, a bar, a stage with a DJ, dance area, a sitting area with bales of hay, changing room, and – yes – a large group shower. It was fun way to spend the day!


So would I ever do it again? At the end of the race when I was itching from being covered in mud, I would have told you no way. But 5 minutes later I was already thinking of how I could overcome my fears and do all the obstacles the next time I do the Warrior Dash! This is basically the same way I felt after my first marathon. So, yes, I’ll definitely take on the Warrior Dash again. It was a lot of fun!


The medal doubles as a bottle opener!

Thank you to Rockin’ Refuel and Warrior Dash for giving my friends and I the opportunity to do this race. We’ll be laughing about this one for a long time!

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Disclosure: Rockin’ Refuel generously paid for my race entry fee for the Warrior Dash, but all opinions are my own.


Another marathon

Posted by runnerstrials

Hi guys! So, there hasn’t been much happening on the running front lately.


I started a new job about a month ago (YAY!), so even though I was determined to get back into more serious training after April’s 10k, that didn’t happen. I’m still running 4 days per week and averaging about 20mi/ week, but I haven’t done too much else. I ran the Expedition Everest Challenge with Heather earlier this month (check out her fun recap), but I wouldn’t exactly call it serious running!

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Even though I’m not taking running too seriously right now, I am loving my runs. I used to say that fall was my favorite time of year to run, but I think it’s been replaced by late spring/ early summer. I have no idea what’s happened to me over the past couple of years (probably the record-setting cold that we’ve had the past two winters?), but I absolutely love running in the early morning heat and humidity. Also, it helps that it’s light by 6 a.m. and I can see where I’m going. I also love how many other runners are out so early this time of year. I may be a sopping wet mess by the time I get home and my son may say “mommy, you’re all ‘weaty’ – go shower!”, but I love starting my day off with a good sweat.

I did something crazy in a moment of weakness, though – I signed up for the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon!

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My husband is running with me again, too, and was actually the one who suggested doing it about an hour before registration opened. I’m so excited. I didn’t want to train for another marathon while my daughter was still nursing, but I have a feeling that she’s losing interest (so sad), and will wean within the next few months.

I plan to pour my heart and soul into training, and aim for a BQ. I know my marathon PR is pretty far off from a Boston qualifying time – I’ll need to run a sub 3:40 to do the 2017 race (if the qualifying standards don’t change – also, yay for being old!) and my current PR is 3:47:50. I could argue that I’m capable of running faster than that at Disney because my current PR happened 13 days after another marathon and the course was incredibly hilly, but the truth is that I have no idea what I’m capable of doing. So, I may as well try.

I’ve been debating running the Thunder Road Marathon again this year, too, as a training run or warm-up for Disney, but I’m not sure if that would be a good thing to do or not. It just feels really risky placing all of my eggs in one marathon basket when I know so many things could potentially go wrong on race day.


Cough, NYCM, cough.

I know one thing for sure – I need to get stronger. I’ve done a few PiYO workouts and while I’m not totally sold on it, I’m going to stick with it for awhile. My goal is 2-3 PiYO sessions per week. A couple of my friends have been raving about a local bootcamp class that I may eventually try, too. I’d also love to get back into swimming or yoga. Obviously I can’t do all of this, but I’ll need to do something else consistently to complement running once I start marathon training.

I’m running the 4-mile race that we do every July 4th (<--- which I highly recommend if you’re local to Charlotte. It’s stroller-friendly and there’s a kids’ 1k for only $5!), and after that I’ll get serious about marathon training. I haven’t thought too much about training plans yet, but I’m considering hiring a coach this time around. I figure I better call in an expert if I hope to take 8+ minutes off of my marathon PR. Does anyone have any coach recommendations?

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Healthy, Happy Kiddos & L’il Critters™ Gummy Vitamins

Posted by runnerstrials

As a mom, there is nothing more important to me than keeping my children safe and healthy.

I encourage my kiddos to wash their hands often, get adequate sleep, run around outside, and eat well. I feel like these habits not only prevent sicknesses, but also set them up for good health in the long run.

However, one habit in particular has always been a challenge for my son: the nutrition component. He’s never been a great eater, and feeding him has been a source of stress. Not because of anything he did or didn’t do, but due to how I reacted to his pickiness.IMG_4959

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve cooked something that I knew he’d like only to have him not even taste it. The wasted time spent cooking upset me – I always thought of everything else I could be doing with that time! And, of course, the wasted food irked me, too – I used to cater recipes to his allergies and taste buds and oftentimes some of the food would go uneaten.

But over the past year or so, I’ve been trying to simplify things. I don’t worry too much about what does – or doesn’t – make its way into his mouth. I serve him simple but nutritious meals and snacks. If he eats, great! If he doesn’t, then no big deal – the next day may go better.

Since his nutrition isn’t perfectly well-rounded, his pediatrician has suggested that he take supplements to help fill the gaps. We’ve tried several brands, but either my son doesn’t like the taste or I don’t like the ingredients (why are synthetic dyes allowed in vitamins and supplements?).

Wyatt just started taking L’il Critters™ Fiber Gummy Bears and we are both so happy!


He loves the fruity flavors and gummy texture. He gets two after his breakfast and he chews them up. They’re super convenient – no water needed!


I love that he gets 3g of fiber (in one serving) with his breakfast no matter what he touches on his plate. I also love that L’il Critters™ Fiber are sugar free and have no synthetic (FD&C) dyes – their bright colors are derived from vegetables, fruits, and plants – nor high fructose corn syrup. They’re also gluten free.

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These supplements have helped me stress less about my son’s nutrition, and have simplified our morning routine. The makers of L’il Critters™ and vitafusion™ offer a complete line of vitamins, minerals, and supplements to help meet the health needs of people at different stages of life. From kiddos to pregnant women and older adults.


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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I received free product and payment for this sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.

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