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!  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Color Me Rad 5K

Yesterday, I ran the Color Me Rad 5K.  If you have never done a Color Me Rad 5K, here's the video for the race.  (  Saturday was package pick-up at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.  I went there after my NFL Redskins 5K.  You received a tshirt, bib, plastic sunglasses and bracelet (which you could choose your color-pink of course for me) and a temporary tatoo (RAD). I also got to meet the race director, Ryan who is a really nice man and talked to him for about ten minutes about the race and other races.    

Sunday morning came too early as we had to leave by 7 am since the race was forty minutes away and I had an 8:15 am corral start time.  We arrived by 7:45 am and walked around and saw Ryan who told me to have fun.  The start line is completely white and the finish line is multiple colored.  

Everyone is to wear white if possible for the race.  Prior to the race starting, there was music and beach balls and also a small taste of what was to come with the colors.  Color packs were thrown out in the corral and you had to throw color on everyone if you received a pack.  I got a small splattering of pink prior to the race.  Here I am at the start line and even Batman and Superman showed up for the race!

And, I'm off!  The dust is from the color packs.
There were four color pack stations and two color hose stations.  The first color was green, followed by pink, yellow and purple.  The color hose stations were the coolest; you got sprayed with different colors.  You could opt out of a color/station or you could get a little or a lot of color depending of where you ran in the station.  I learned my lesson at the first station not to have your mouth open.  I was talking to a fellow runner and got some of the color pack (which is only cornstarch but YUK!) in my mouth.  I kept my mouth closed at the other stations. :)  There was one water stop in the course.  The coolest part of the 5K for me was that it was a trail run.  I had never done a long trail run before so it really tested my running abilities and I loved it!  I see trail runs in my future! The race organizers had it very well laid out and had cones/flags for caution areas.

As I came up to the finish line, my husband was waiting to take my picture.  You were also given a color pack for the fun party at the end of the race.  This race isn't a timed race so you really could enjoy the color stations and people along the way!  Remember, how I started out white at the beginning; well no more white!

Do you think I have enough color on me? 

Here's Ryan and me after I finished!

Afterwards, there was water and granola bars.  There was also music, more beach balls and a finishers color bomb where everyone got colored once again!  I really enjoyed this fun race and would recommend it to everyone. I did have to take two showers to get the color off and was glad that I bought towers for the card for the ride home.   I really enjoyed meeting Ryan and hope to see him again at another Color Me Rad!  If Color Me Rad 5K comes to your town, do it!  Have fun and enjoy the 5K!!  
I'm making my dreams come true!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

NFL Run Washington Redskins 5K

Today, I ran the inaugural NFL Run Washington Redskins 5K!  I saw an advertisement for this race series back in June and loving the Redskins decided that it would be a fun race.

I have to thank my wonderful husband for getting up with me at 5:30 am to leave for the race which is about 45 minutes away.  I also have to thank Ashley Swift for meeting me this morning.  It was so much fun to meet Ashley and Matt!
The course ran through the parking lots of FedEx Field and it was a beautiful morning.  Sunny, great temperature (around 65) and just overall a great day for a 5K!  
Here are some pictures of the stadium and start line:  
Don't you just love my socks:  Superman Redskins with a cape.  They were so much fun running!  It makes me want cape socks for all my races.  The race started promptly at 7:30 am after a brief warm-up, singing "Hail to the Redskins" (I love that fight song!) and singing the National Anthem.  And, I'm off and you can see my socks.

The course was well laid out and there were two water stops; one at mile one and the other at mile two.  There were several players at mile three cheering us on and spectators throughout the race.  This was clearly well thought out and designed.  However, the best part was when you crossed the finish line, they announced YOUR NAME!  I've never finished a race where they announced my name crossing the finish line.  That was just so cool and I felt so proud of myself!  

Two thumbs up for this race before I get my medal!

After the race, there was a stretching area with yoga mats and bands along with bananas, gatorade and water.  I also received a WOW (Women of Washington Redskins) shirt with a woman running in front of the Washington DC skyline.  There was a band playing and a tent where you could get a Bud Light as a race participant.  I went into the stadium for some pictures.  

I really loved this race. It was well organized, well run and I had a ton of fun!  I especially like the shirt and medal we received.  I can't wait til next year to run this again.
Hail to the Redskins!

#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...