Tag Archives: vacation

Race Recap: Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC

29th April 2013

It didn’t take long to make the decision to sign up for Nike’s inaugural women’s half marathon in DC. Weekend in DC, check. Flat course, check. Tiffany & Co. necklace handed to me by a firefighter at the finish line, are you kidding me? CHECK. The waiting for the weekend to arrive however, seemed to take ages. But here I am blogging about the weekend, post finish line with a bea-u-ti-ful silver necklace around my neck.

So let’s start with the good stuff. Here’s the sweet man who handed me a blue beauty of a box.


Now let’s take a few steps back, pre starting line (all puns 100% intended and accounted for).

What does one do when they hear about such a race? Sign up for it with three of your best girlfriends of course. I was joined this weekend my three of my closest college friends, the kind who live in different cities, yet still manage to find the time for trips like this (seriously, one lucky girl right here). Three of the four of us were half marathon veterans (one now training for a tri and another setting her sights on a fall marathon) and my sweet roommate who conquered her first half marathon with awesome success.

We got to the city early Friday morning, dropped off our bags and proceeded to play tourist for the remainder of the day. There are some cities where you want to try to blend in (ahem, NYC) and there are others where you feel free to flaunt your star spangled, I’m new here flag, and boy did we make our nation’s capital proud.

A few highlights for you viewing pleasure (because no one wants to read about this kind of fun).

1. A stop at the Lincoln Memorial


2. Could you ask for anything more beautiful than this weather? I also had no clue DC had so much green space, I was in love.duckpond

3. Another stop to visit the Vietnam Memorial, absolutely breathtaking and even more special as Michelle found her Grandfather’s name.


4. The White House (well the back of it). As we were admiring Bo’s backyard, we were quickly ushered off of the sidewalk. We naturally stuck around on the other side of the street waiting for something super exciting to happen (like for Michelle to make an appearance). Sadly, it turned out to be not as cool, likely a diplomat (which yes, is still pretty cool). I am glad I opted not to take thirty minutes of video footage during this time as some of my fellow tourists did. I did however take plenty of photos.

Motorcade + snipers on the roof. Check.

Motorcade + snipers on the roof. Check.


My "something big is happening" face.

My “something big is happening” face.

So now that we have covered off on the tourist end of this post, back to the race part (I know this is getting long, bear with me, there are more photos to come, I promise).

On Saturday morning we headed up to Georgetown to take in more strolling and to head to race packet pickup. The line was LONG. It moved rather quickly, so that was certainly a plus. It was also along the river where there were various sporting events taking place, so that helped pass the time. After running much larger races, (cue Atlanta’s 60K Peachtree Road Race) I was a bit surprised they didn’t have this part down to a science, but we were in no rush.

Excited faces for this thing becoming real.

Excited faces for this thing becoming real.

As fate had it, we walked into the expo just as Kate’s Tweet was appearing on the live Tweet wall…thanks for the positivity running powers.


There was also a pretty neat “Why do you run” signing wall among other interactive elements and plenty of fun stops like free makeup and hair prep (not sure you need that race day, but the pre-race pampering was pretty cool).


Finally, we LOVED the giant “We Run DC” sign just outside the Expotique. It was a bit of a race to sneak in for a photo, but of course we tackled that.


This pretty much brings us up to race day, or close enough as we spent the remainder of the day with pizza and an early bed time.

Race morning, we made our way to the starting line and I said my goodbyes to my sweet friends in our awesome #RunforBoston shirts, compliments of my talented  frieds (DIY FTW), as I was planning to run in a separate start wave.


After arriving in my corral, I was blown away by the view and the red carpet. The speeches and appearances by some of running’s leading ladies were just icing on the cake. I made a new friend at the starting line (as I was planning to run alone) and ended up sharing stories for the first five miles (seriously, runners could not be a better group of people).


The no humidity, no hills thing was rather fun, living in Atlanta I can’t say I’ve EVER run in such conditions. To top it off, with various marching bands from different backgrounds along the course, the entertainment was endless and fantastic.

By mile six, I was feeling great and decided to take it easy and enjoy the day. I told myself going into the day that I wasn’t here to set a PR and try to kill myself, and I’m happy to stay I stuck to that.

I ended up finding a new buddy in the 1:50 pace group leader who was FILLED with motivation, including mile marker group chants and encouragement for all. I stuck with the group pretty much the entire back half of the race, which was great. It did cause for things to get a little bottlenecked, which reminded me of little sheep following a Shepard.

It was a little like this madness.

When we hit mile 11, I saw the capitol. Knowing we started and ended there, my brain thought “sweet, finish line”. Oh no. Not the finish line. As I saw ladies running past me in the opposite direction, I was ready to call it quits. Done, this was it, I was protesting.

This pretty much sums up miles 11-13.

But alas, that didn’t happen. I kept running, AROUND the capitol and back in the other direction  At mile 13, I thanked my running motivator, to which his response was “only 400 meters to go, sprint it!” Gotta love that kind of dedication. So I did. Coming in just under 1:50, not a PR, but pretty darn close and feeling great. I could have held a conversation the entire time! Probably because of these antics I’ve been sporting lately, file it under crazy.

And waiting for me at the finish line, these beauties. Success.


Seriously, could you ask for anything prettier? I’m in love.


Oh and I’m also in love with these three.


So there you go. DC, conquered. Cheers to a great weekend, great memories and an amazing weekend. Thanks Nike, we shall see you in San Fan (fingers crossed).

Here comes the sun (fingers crossed)

24th March 2013

This guy and I are not on good terms. Source.

This guy and I are not on good terms. Source.

I’m certainly not the first to point it out, but I’m certainly just as bitter. Mr. Groundhog quite simply sucked at his sole responsibility this year. An utter and complete liar that little guy has been. What a jerk.

As I write this post, it is pouring rain and 40-something degrees. It is also the last week in March. I’m quickly starting to believe I no longer live in the sunny south, but somewhere much less pleasant. While mother nature doesn’t seem to be planning to get with the picture anytime soon, a girl can dream about warmer, and sunnier trips to come.

Within the last two weeks, I survived my first getaway weekend of 2013 (survived is appropriate as this was Savannah for St. Pat’s for a bachelorette party) and have booked flights for two upcoming trips in the next 30-days.

In January, I shared my unfinished resolutions, one of which I’m hoping this favorite little season will help me to continue to knock out of the park: to take more risks.

So what do booking flights and taking vacations have to to with this?

Taking time away to do fun things definitely doesn’t scream “check-that off the list” when it comes to resolutions, but when it means stepping out of the routine, it means a much more fun version of that goal. Here’s what I can say I’ve checked off the list so far and what’s exciting to come during my favorite (sunnier) season of the year.

On Taking Risks

One of my college roommates is finishing up her final Optometry school rotation before she becomes a real-live doctor in Tucson, Arizona. Rotations mean short times in neat cities, and add in our other college roommate’s teacher schedule and we were left with a single weekend in which to make a trip. I’m a big fan of not having plans and going with the flow, but not when it comes to things like spending money.

My friends and family can attest for my need to “beat” the retailers when it comes to the sale, the coupon or the discount. Booking a flight across the country three weeks before takeoff = not cheap. But what the heck, we did it anyway. How often is your best friend going to live in places that look like this, have a car and a free place to stay? In a rare occurrence, my stomach didn’t even drop when I clicked the purchase button.

How do you say no when your BFF is Instagraming this on a daily basis?

How do you say no when your BFF is Instagraming this on a daily basis?

In an act of balance, the airline world must have rewarded my efforts, as I snagged a flight deal for a $40 discount within a 24-hour timeframe for the next trip to DC later in the month to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. High five bank account. This race will mark my fourth half marathon and my frist destination race to do so. Oh, and there’s that little promise of a blue Tiffany’s box at the finish line. If that isn’t motivation to make a weekend getaway out of a physical activity, I’m not sure what is.

In addition to these two weekend trips, P and I are looking to go big this year for the big 25. We both officially enter our mid-twenties this year and are hoping to take some time off to take a vacation to somewhere we have never been. We do a lot of exploring locally and to family favorite spots, but want to switch it up this year. Ireland? Jamaica? Costa Rica? Who knows. We’re not there yet. Our only requirement: it must contain at least one activity the requires the use of the Go-Pro.

So there you have it, baby steps, but three months in and the resolutions are still alive. Spring is certainly going to be a whirlwind with trips in addition to races, weddings and gradations. I’m looking forward to meeting the rather fun challenges head on, if Spring ever decides to show up. Come on Mr. Groundhog, we’re ready for you.

Irish Blessings and Reminders

17th March 2013

Saint Patrick’s Day (or St. Paddy’s day as it’s known in my house) has always held a special place in my little Irish heart. With a namesake of ‘Dennihy’ and ‘Kelly’, escaping the world of claddaghs, clovers and celebration was never in the cards for me.

This weekend, I had the opportunity to experience the South’s best incarnation of the Irish tradition with a bachelorette weekend in Savannah, Ga. While the river may no longer be dyed green, the city did go all out for the 189th celebration. Dancing, drinks and debauchery ensued (to a very responsible degree mind you ;)) and we left the weekend with a renewed love for a fantastic southern city and plenty of stories to share.


The bride-to-be and myself

The bride-to-be and myself

Beyond the green beer and the shamrocks, I’m also reminded of a few great lessons my Irish heritage has lent me over the years.

Never take life too seriously.

Every Saint Patrick’s Day morning growing up we would wake up to find the leprechauns had wreaked havoc around the house by putting pictures on the walls upside down, placing furniture on top of each other and hiding toys within obscure locations. Did it make a giant mess in the house? Yes. Did my siblings and I love it? Of course. When I shared this story with friends this weekend, I learned it wasn’t as common of a tradition as we had assumed years ago, but I love that it’s something the leprechauns my parents always made a priority.

Keep an eye on the road ahead.

I was reminded of this one quite directly this weekend. Note to self, 5-inch wedges are not a great idea for late night cobble stone streets and there should be a medal for making it out of that city without breaking an ankle. On a more serious note, my friends and my family have always supported me to focus on the future. Whether that be placing one foot in front of the other quite literally, or setting goals for the future. Have a plan and then have the flexibility to throw it out the window from time to time.

Find faith through friends and family.

And of maybe a drink to two to share with both. Weekends like this remind me how many awesome people I’m surrounded by day in and day out. It’s every single one of those people that make St. Paddy’s Day, and the other 364 days of the year worth a laugh and a smile.

I’ll leave you with a little Irish blessing that graced the halls of my house growing up, and is one of my personal favorites. I hope everyone (Irish or not) celebrated in their own special way today. Cheers.