Best Damn Race Review – Leftover 5K

Yet again this year we decided to do the Best Damn Leftover 5K. We did this race last year and I enjoy comparing year over year data. Also, this race is about 15 minutes from the house so no-brainer!

Have I mentioned how much I love these sunglasses?

So, these guy typically do a really good job. I worked with them for Iron Girl for 2 years and I know they have skills…had skills? It felt like they kinda phoned in the details for the race this year. I don’t remember it being so far apart last year but this year anyone running 30 minutes or less started at 7:15 and 30+ minutes started at 7:55.

This is obnoxious because Not only did we have to get there early but Jon finishes in 20 minutes, then has to wait around another 60 minutes for me to start the race and run the race. I get the point to waives but this is a bit much!

Full disclosure, I wanted to hit 35 minutes. I decided to throw caution to the wind and line up at the back of the first group. I figured what’s the big difference between starting at the back of the fast folks or the front of the slow folks? Apparently, about 2 minutes before the start they announced that they were closing the finish line at 31 minutes and anyone after that would be a DNF. Thankfully, Jon ran back to tell me cause we didn’t hear the announcement in the back.

Annoyed I jumped out of line and listened to the announcer keep saying that “the finish line will close at 31 minutes, you must finish”. Imagine my surprise when they didn’t close the finish line until 38 minutes! They also got mad at the 30+ minute runners who were attempting to line up at 7:50 for our 7:55 run! Then they moved us all to one side so people could cross! I’ve never been so blatantly discriminated against at the start of a race.

Annoyed and hot (8am race starts in FL SUCK) I started my race. I stuck with my 1:30/1 intervals and tried to stay as steady as possible. I didn’t want to push too hard due to the heat and humidity. I also ramped up my Orange Theory that week and adding the race probably hurt more than it should. The did change up the course a bit this year and I like the changes. A lot less turns.

PR bell

Well I didn’t reach the PR I wanted I still finished in 39:23 which was 3 minutes faster than this race last year! I’ll totally take a course PR and taking a minute off each mile! I like this race. I really hope that they make some needed improvements to next year. I didn’t see a race survey come out so I assume that they won’t. I know that since they keep this race cheap they aren’t really concerned about opinions but who knows, maybe they will be.

Post race photos 2016 (L) and 2017 (R)

70.3 Chattanooga – the spectators perspective

So, about a year ago my husband was convinced to do another 70.3 this time in Chattanooga. While at this point I have no desire to do a 70.3 I loved the idea of seeing a new place! They could race and I could enjoy my surroundings!

I made Lauren and Jon pose for lots of photos!

Jon and I drove up from Tampa on Friday AM. We stayed at a host hotel that was about a mile from the transition/expo area of the event. The Holiday Inn Express Downtown Chattanooga was very nice!

Thanks to the close proximity to Downtown we were pretty much able to walk everywhere! We ate at some of the most delicious places! It started on Friday when we arrived by walking to find the local bakery!

Cupcake Kitchen pic

Jon and Lauren went for HUGE cupcakes. I however went for a small cannoli and some cake balls! I have a love for cake balls!!

So yummy!!

I’m pretty sure that I pretty much ate my way thought Chattanooga! On Saturday, I sherpa’ed their open water swim practice and then onto packet pickup!

Tennessee River endless pool!


When you are waiting around at athlete info meeting


Expo fun!

After wandering around and watching Lauren spend lots of her hard earned money at the expo and merch tent we started exploring! It began with lunch at The Maple Street Biscuit Company it was scrumptious! Make sure you stop there if you happen upon one of their locations.

Biscuit yummies

Then it was on down the street to check out the Moon Pie General Store! It was super cool and I bought lots of gifts and Moon Pies. Apparently, Moon Pies are made in Chattanooga!

Moon Pies

We also made sure to stop by the actual Chattanooga Choo-Choo! It was such a cool old hotel and train!

Choo-Choo


Train Selfies

OHH there was also a race! I mean, I didn’t do the race but I was an excellent sherpa!

Early morning shenanigans

If I were ever to do a 70.3 I’d totally want the downstream awesomeness that they had! Kristin was my cheer buddy and we had an awesome time!

Obligatory cheer selfie

Why, yes, that is a shark on her head! Made it easy for all our folks to spot her! We dropped them off, dropped the gear off at the car, and waited for the swim to finish. Once they were all out on the bike we went to find coffee and breakfast! We also tracked down the Starbucks Tennessee mug!

Mugs acquired this trip

We then grabbed lunch at Puckett’s BBQ which was SO GOOD! Look, I’m married to a vegetarian, it is nice to go to a quality BBQ! It was during this lunch that I slacked on my sherpa duties. The IM tracker was down and my kids decided to go SUPER fast and get back in 30 minutes earlier than I expected! We finished up quickly and made it out to see them at mile 6.9/12.5.

Lauren going by!

yes, we had cheer beer!

So, the hubs LOVED this race. He says he would never want to do the full 140.6 there but the 70.3 he really enjoyed. The city of Chattanooga was absolutely lovely! It was quaint enough to be able to walk around and enjoy everything it had to offer. However, it wasn’t small enough to feel isolated! If you are into racing 70.3’s I would say this is one you definitely want to do! Great for spectators and racers alike! Check everything out, eat all the food, and enjoy everything this Southern town has to offer!

Goals for the year – 2017

Since active seasons in Florida are October – April, I decided I should set my goals accordingly. I reached my 2016 goal in February simply because that was when my races were. So, my top 3 fitness goals are:

  1. Complete the 6 month plan in The New Rules of Lifting for Women

Yea, My plan was to start this yesterday¬†but my dental appointment nixed that one . So, I’ll be starting this¬†today.

2. Run a 2:45 half marathon

St. Pete run fest in November is my current goal race!

This is one that I have been chasing for over 5 years. My half marathon PR is from 2011 and it was a 2:48. I came so close in February but a headwind killed that. I’ll be spending the summer training and getting stronger to hopefully hit this goal by the end of the year/beginning of 2018. This is going to take actual planning and stuff! My goal race is the St. Pete Run Fest in November! Super excited about this inaugural race (and goal race). You should join me!!

3. Stick to eating less sugar

Blueberry picking

Ok, we’ve been trying to go sugar free but it is crazy impossible! The hubby and I have decided to go low-sugar, low-carb, less crazy! This means more natural goodies and less processed. It has been an interesting but enlightening experience the past three weeks! Hopefully, I will be able to say we are still sticking to this in 6 months (or more).

Here’s to sticking to focusing and striving towards these 3 goals. Thanking for joining me virtually!