Monday, October 21, 2013

Vacation and Running

Last week, we visited a friend in Kure Beach, North Carolina. Kure Beach is located on a island sandwiched between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean about 30 minutes from Wilmington, North Carolina.

Kure Beach is on the bottom half of the island and is about 3.5 miles long.  Kure Beach is mostly residential ending with Fort Fisher and the ferry to Southport.  One of the nicest features about Kure is that no building is allowed to be over 3 stories high and there are only local businesses in Kure.  Carolina Beach is the other half of the island and there are some high rise hotels along with fast food however it is still very lovely.

Kure is also known for its fishing pier and there is a new oceanfront park which was finished last year.  It is the only beach on the East Coast that doesn't charge for daily parking.  Here are some pictures where I ran short runs.  
Kure Beac Pier

Kure Beach Pier

Waterfront Park for Kure Beach

Waterfront Park for Kure Beach

Kure Beach "Boardwalk"

On one of my longer runs (16 miles), I went from one end of the island to the other and ended at Fort Fisher.  Fort Fisher is a Civil War fort at the end of the island.  Look at the way the trees have grown due to the winds from the ocean!
Trees at Fort Fisher

Another day, I ran to Fort Fisher and took the ferry to Southport.  I love the ferry because it is about 25-30 minute boat ride and you can take your car. North Carolina ferry system is the second largest in the country.  I had forgotten however that it is 2 miles into Southport once you arrive and had already ran 5 miles so I had 2 more to do and then ran around Southport before catching the ferry back to Kure Beach.  Southport is known for his lovely southern houses along with movies/tv shows.  Several shows/films shot in Southport are Under the Dome, Safe Haven, Revenge, The Secret Life of Bees.  I love Southport especially the houses.  I loved running here a couple of days.  
Southport Ferry

Cars on Ferry

Kure Beach Ferry -returning to Kure

Christmas House in Southport

Southport Park

Some of the homes in Southport

A home in Southport

Another home in Southport

I also went into Wilmington one evening to a fun run at Try Sports  I loved the staff and people and we even went out afterwards to a local restaurant!  I never thought that I would bring my love of running into a vacation but it was so much fun!  How have you incorporated running into a vacation?  This was my first "running" vacation but it won't be my last! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Another Mother Runner Party

Last Wednesday (October 2, 2013), I had the opportunity to attend Another Mother Runner party in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  Another Mother Runner ( is two mother runners:  Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea.  These two women have an active website which includes a store, books, forums, facebook and twitter pages along with weekly podcasts.  Their two books are "Run Like a Mother" and "Train Like a Mother".

I attended with my friend, Julie and we arrived early so I had the opportunity to take some pictures of the food and merchandise available for sale.
Chips and nuts

Wine and water along with socks and inserts

Brownie squares

Don't these cookies look amazing!

T-shirts, books and sweaty bands

There were also raffle prizes to be given away by their sponsors which included  Nunn, Saucony, SofSole, Skinfare, Smithoptics and Knuckle Lights.  
Nunn and water bottles

SofSole inserts

Saucony (Raffle:  Gift certificates)


Knuckle Lights

I couldn't believe all the raffle merchandise; isn't it amazing?  I asked what I could do to help since everyone was busy and we had arrived early.  I was asked to set up the registration/check-in table.  

The line started and it seemed like it never ended.  I saw my friend, Elisa who had I met this summer at the Biggest Loser 5K race in Washington, DC. It was so wonderful to see her again and I wished that I had the opportunity to visit more with her.  

After I finished checking in everyone (there were over 200 mother runners), I went upstairs and grabbed some food and water.  Dimitry and Sarah started the evening by introducing themselves and how they started this journey.
Sarah with Dimity off to the side
 Then they read some fun stories from both of their books.  I loved Dimity's story of the "Giving Path" which is a take-off of the "Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein.  If you have read their books, they are both full of useful information and fun stories about mothers who are runners.  I would strongly suggest that you pick up one or both of their books!  The ladies did raffles between sharing stories and wrapped it up by thanking everyone for coming.  They were both extremely gracious in signing everyone books and taking pictures!
Dimitry and me

Sarah and me

We were also given swag bags full of merchandise.  Here are some of the vendor merchandise which was included in the bag:  Hyland's homeopathic remedies, Nuttzo bars, Gu, Nunn, LaraBar, Shampoo and Conditioner,  SkinFare and socks (3 pairs).
 I had a wonderful evening with friends, the opportunity to meet two beautiful, inspiration women runners who are mothers along with food, wine and swag!  What more could a women runner ask for except to be running a race and having a pr!

Remember, If you can dream it, you can do it!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Shape Diva Dash 5K

I was selected earlier this year to be a Shape Diva Dash ambassador.  What is Shape Diva Dash?  It is a 5K women's obstacle adventure run.  I was anxious about this 5K.  I had never done an obstacle adventure run and even though it sounded like fun, I was afraid of the obstacles and not being able to accomplish them.  However, all the information which I received stated that if you didn't have to do an obstacle and could walk/run around it, but what fun would that be if you didn't even try!

Yesterday, I got up at 6 am and drove 45 minutes away to park because parking was limited at Crumland Farms which is where the race took place.  I saw a couple of girls from Team Challenge and their mom and it was so wonderful to see them!  I caught a shuttle bus to the Farm which took about 20 minutes.  Here's what greeted us at the drop off site:  
On the bus drive, all the women were talking and the costumes were fantastic.  There were princesses, farm animals, soldiers, wonder women, etc.  I immediately picked up my bib and started taking pictures.  There was an area of vendors including items to buy and food.

As you can see from the pictures, it looked very overcast and I was hoping that it didn't start to rain before my corral time.  The start and finish line were very close together, separated by a barn.    

There was also an area of tables and chairs along with mats for stretching before and after the race along with a photo opportunity.  

I was able to get some pictures of the obstacles prior to the race and that made me even more anxious to start and finish.  What did I get myself into with this race?  
Mountain of tires

Balance see-saws

Climbing and jumping bales of hay

Wall of Balls

I met a really nice girl while waiting in line and she didn't have any friends there so we decided to run together.  Thanks, Brooke!   My start time was 9:45 am and there was a brief stretching prior to the race.  The race was done on a farm and it was all gravel and dirt roads.  We ran for approximately one mile through a covered bridge (really nice and cool!) before the obstacles began.  The first obstacles was going over a mud pit (not bad) and there were a total of twelve obstacles in all.  The most challenging for me was the mountain of tires because they keep moving as you climbed.  The second most challenging was the bars since I'm so short.  Brooke and I kept going and really helped each other along and I was so grateful to have met her.  We thought we had finished all the obstacles and had forgotten about the balance.  Coming up on these, I was really afraid but I listened to the spotters and just keep going.  We could see the finish line and got so excited however there was one more obstacle that we didn't see!  It was a huge mountain with a slide on it for the children who visit the farm.  We had to run up the side of the mountain and then down the other side and turn and there was the finish line!  

I was so happy that I  had accomplished this obstacle race!  It wasn't hard core like some of the obstacle races however it was challenging and fun!  Here's Brooke and I after the race.  

I proceeded to the shirt and swag line and here's what I received in the lines.  

 All in all, I loved this race and will do it again next year and hope to be another race ambassador for Shape Diva Dash!  I never thought I would love this type of race but it was challenging but fun and I made a new friend along the way!  Here's to next year's Shape Diva Dash!  

If you can dream it, you can do it!  

Friday, September 13, 2013

First Year Runiversary!

Today is my one year runiversary!  I can't believe that Gracious Warrior Princess has been up and "running" for a year now!  I started off slow but now have a very active Facebook, Twitter and Blog.

WOW; what wonderful things have happened in a year.  When I started running fifteen months ago, I never thought I would accomplish what I've been able to accomplish in this timeframe.  I've done so much and this is just a little of my accomplishments.  First, I ran my first 5K two weeks into running.  The Divas are such a big part of my life and I miss these ladies dearly.  I don't get to see them much these days however they will always be dear friends.

After the Divas, I completed four 5K until the end of Summer 2012 with the help and training of my local running group, Howard County Striders.  Then in the Fall of 2012, I became a member (and still am) of CCFA Team Challenge.  Talk about challenging!  I trained for my first half marathon in Las Vegas and raised over $6000!  I never thought I had such strength in fund raising and it was stressful and fulfilling at the same time.  I loved all my team members and Vegas was a wild trip especially with my roomie and wonderful, beautiful and lovely friend, Kim. 
I completed the Princess Half Marathon in February 2013 and the Nike Women's Half Marathon in April 2013.  
Nike Women's Half Marathon DC
I completed the Baltimore Women's Classic 5K this summer along with the Biggest Loser 5K, the Redskins NFL 5K and Color Me Rad 5K.  
Baltimore Women's Classic 5K

Biggest Loser 5/10K in Washington, DC

NFL Run Series Redskins 5K

I've also had the opportunity to meet several famous people such as Run Disney (Matt), Meb and Ali Vincent.  
Run Disney 


Ali Vincent in Washington, DC

I've been chosen to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador, a Shape Diva Dash Ambassador and now I'm a race Ambassador for the 10K Across the Bay 2014  

I have completed a 40 running streak this summer and I never imagined that I would run for 40 days in a row without taking a break/rest day!  This is one of my most amazing accomplishments for me.  

In this last year, I have been able to meet and make many new friends and bloggers.  I am so grateful for their insights and support and am extremely blessed to have them be a part of my life along this fantastic journey!  I'm looking forward to year two for Gracious Warrior Princess and the journey begins now!  You never know what you can accomplish so do it and be successful!  

If you can dream it, you can do it!  

#RIOTS Week Six and Seven

It's weeks six and seven for the #RIOTS.  I got a week behind as I had a lot of personal things going on these last two weeks. I ha...