Tag Archives: race recap

Murphy’s A-maize-ing 5K | Murphy, TX

Another last minute race! This race made 5 races in 5 weekends in September! I took (and completed!) a 6 week running class and our coach suggested this race as a goal race. Another running class friend and I took her up on the suggestion and registered for this race kinda last minute.  

The goal race was a 5K that was taking place in conjunction with Murphy Maize Days – a fall festival with music, vendors, food, etc.  It started off in a local high school football STADIUM.  Side note: It still amazes me how football is king in Texas.  The race started on a track, passed the school, into a preserve and into a neighborhood and back.  There was a DJ and plenty of stadium seating for the spectators.  I liked that the husband and son had some seating and music to listen to while I was running.  Afterwards, we took our son to the festival so this race had a little something for everyone. 

The goal for this race was to come in thirty minutes or less.  Emphasis on the “or less” part. I wanted to finally (finally, finally) sub 30 a 5K.  I wasn’t sure if this was the right race to do it or if the weather was still a little bit too warm and humid for that – but all worked out, and I squeaked in a sub 30 run and came in fifth in my age group.  

High lights: Finally doing that sub 30 run! 

Low lights: way too many kids “running” this race.  I love seeing kids out there and I always marvel how fast they are, but they made this race a bit more challenging for me because a lot of kids were doing the sprint really fast then just stop thing.  I almost took out a kid because one stopped right in front of me.  I think it took a lot more energy for me to go around them.  I started way back at the starting line so that was my fault.  I don’t belong in the front of the starting line, but waaaaay back (unless I’m with the stroller) is probably not the best spot either.  Race and learn.  

Race Swag: cotton t-shirt with a giant running corn cob (jealous?). Some samples and coupons from race sponsors.  

Post Race Eats: Frozen yogurt (I LOVE ICE CREAM AFTER RUNS! HAHA), chicken sandwiches (I think), granola bars,bananas and water.  Breakfast with my running class friend, the husband and son at Corner Bakery.  

Miracle Mile: a little kid taking a tumble and a bunch of people stopping to make sure he was ok (he was!). 

Next up: I’m going to start a 10K training program. It will be a combo plan from Hal HIgdon Novice program and the 10K training finish it program from Train Like a Mother book

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Electric Zombie Run 5K | Denton, TX

A night run? Zombies?! Glow sticks?!? Yes, please! The minute I read about this race, like two months ago, I knew I HAD to put this race on the calendar.  Since the race was at night and involved zombies. I figured it would be a good idea to bench my son from this race and secure a babysitter.  Friends of ours came through beautifully and made running the race sans son easy peasy.  The babysitters had everything under control before we even left for the race! We paid them in pizza, cupcakes and cake pops! I’d take that gig in an instant if someone promised me junk food for payment!

When we got there, we heard some announcements about how the course would have no lighting and would be on x-country style terrain.  I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting THAT! The race director advised us not to make this a PR race or focus on our time as there would be no awards. Just go off and have fun with the zombies – and that is just what we did!  The race had such a cool atmosphere and everyone seemed so excited and pumped to go out and play with the Zombies. There was a really fun DJ and some people came in costumes and everyone was sporting a crap load of glow sticks! It was AWESOME! If you came in under 35 minutes you received a glow in the dark finisher medal that said I SURVIVED THE ELECTRIC ZOMBIE. If you came in after 35 minutes, you received a medal that said something like, YOU’RE TOO SLOW. YOU ARE A ZOMBIE.  You know I couldn’t bring home a you’re too slow medal for the medal rack so we had some good motivation to bust our asses a little bit.

As promised, the course was dark! Zombies stood on the side of the trails and did a really great job of jumping out at us from behind bushes, trees, and rocks.  Some runners had head lamps (why can’t I be that smart?!) but other than that and the moon, you couldn’t see too much.  Which is kind of a bummer because the zombies (whom I am pretty sure were volunteers) worked hard on their zombie looks, but it was a little too hard to see all the greatness. I only really got a good appreciation of their get ups after checking out some pictures on Instagram (thank you hastags!).  The zombies also set up the occasional strobe lights on the course which just made everything more creepier, haha.  Despite all that, I was only caught off guard once by a zombie when I was coming into the finish line.  They were hiding under a bridge and banging on it and I admit it, I totally yelped.  Out loud.

I had a really good run, felt great the whole time and came in under the 35 minute mark with plenty of time to spare.  We watched the other runners come in and yelled for them to pick it up so that they would be survivors!

All in all, it was a nicely organized fun run.   A perfect run to get you in that Halloween spirit and usher in fall.  Now, if only Texas would get the memo and turn down the heat. From what I understand, this was the inagural race and is part of a zombie series.  So, if you live in the Texas area or will be in the Texas area, you might want to go and check it out.  No need to be a hardcore runner to enjoy this one! http://www.electriczombierun.com/

High lights: Being a survivor, yo! Take that, zombies!

Low lights: not knowing course terrain before the race. I kinda wished that the website had more info on that so I would have been better prepared (mentally). No biggie, though. I probably was taking this race more seriously than I should have been.  I definitely had to change gears on race night.

Post Race Eats: water and Nutri-grain bars. Leftover deep dish pizza when I got home. Nom!

Race Swag: Cotton t-shirts, glow in the dark glow sticks and finisher medals.

Coming soon! Race recap of my first 10K!!

ginastevezombie ginazombiereportingforduty ginazombieahead


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September Soaring Virtual 5K | Wherever I Damn Well Pleased, TX

I was sent a link to virtual race organization and I was instantly intrigued. You pick the race distance, when you want to run your race (in the prescribed race week) and where you want to run your race.   After paying the race fee, you get your bib via email and you’re good to go! No dealing with packet pick up! I decided to go for it and signed up to experience what doing a virtual race would be like/feel like.


September Virtual 5K bib by Jostrunning.com

I had a training run scheduled for the same day my virtual race week started so I decided to run my virtual 5K on the first day. I woke up, got dressed and started the race right outside my driveway! Can’t beat that! No fuss, no muss. I liked that i could pick the day and time to run my race.  I also liked that I didn’t have to disturb my sleeping son and cajole him into a jogging stroller.  He was still sleeping after I returned from my race – score!

I ran my virtual 5K like i would any other race and earned my fastest 5K time, yet! It did feel a little anticlimactic when there was no one waiting for me at the “finish”.  Although, bonus points: My husband had some cold water waiting for me when I walked back into the house! All I had to do post race was shower and send my race time to the Virtual 5K company.  In a few weeks they will send me a finisher’s medal! This month’s virtual race theme was airplanes and I cannot wait to get my airplane medal in the mail!

Would I do it again? Sure, why not!  I wouldn’t do all my races, this way, but I would certainly add some to my race calendar. It’s so easy to do and I never have to worry about emailing race organizers to see if jogging strollers are permitted.  I can map out my own course and make it as flat or as hilly as I want.  I think it would be fun to organize your own race and get a few local runners involved.  Think about the fun post-race party you could throw! Virtual races are definitely a great way to inject some fun into a training or long run! The virtual race didn’t have the same feeling or atmosphere as an in the flesh real race, but just knowing I would have to submit my time kept it competitive enough for me.

I’m sure virtually running is not for everyone, but for this girl – it worked! I liked the fact that I didn’t just dismiss it and tried something new!

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Labor Day 5K and 15K | White Rock Lake, Dallas TX

AKA my new favorite race! 

It doesn’t rain much here in Dallas during the summer, but of course the rain decided to make an appearance on race day morning! The hubby, my son and I woke up before the sun to trek down to Dallas for a Labor Day race.   I’m glad my son still doesn’t really know the meaning of too damn early, yet. Waking up before the sun didn’t phase him at all. It stormed all the way down to White Rock Lake and I was nervous we would have to run in the rain. I don’t care about running in the rain myself, but didn’t want my son to have to deal with sitting in a stroller and getting whipped in the face with rain.  Luckily, we had a clearing just as the race started and it lasted until well after we finished.  The humidity came out in full force, though.  

I felt like I had a really good race and felt good the entire time.  I decided to enter the Athena (weight) division for this particular race mainly because they offered it and because I never done/seen anything like that. It was a tough decision for me basically because I didn’t want to put myself in a harder division than the age group division.  I don’t normally ever place in my age group so I figured what the heck, I’ll give the Athena division a shot.  It’s basically all a crap shoot.  Case in point, I placed third in the Athena division but would have scored second in my age group.  That stung for a second, but I got over it.  Never the less, my goal is to someday not be eligible for the weight class division at all just so I don’t have to make a decision about entering into the age group division vs. weight class division. I don’t really see the weight division too much, anyways. 

I rather focus on the new PR I set! I wasn’t aiming for a new PR for this race but I am psyched that it happened! I just wanted to do a hell of a lot better than last years Labor Day race in New York.  And I did! By a lot! (Sorry just had to brag for a tiny bit!) I’ve been doing a lot more (for me) running in the heat and it’s paying off.  It’s nice to see. 

Highlights: It’s a tie between placing in the weight class division and setting a new PR!

Low-lights:  Humidity. Blah.  

Post Race Eats: Bananas.  Gatorade, water, beer, and expired soda.  I stuck with a banana and some Gatorade.  We ate a crappy breakfast at Paradise Cafe. My good post race meal came when I had some brisket for dinner compliments of my friend, Courtney and her fiance! SO. GOOD.

Race Swag: A pretty cool technical t-shirt.  Finisher medals for the 15Kers. The website just said Finisher’s Medals and did not distinguish whom would get the medals. That was annoying. Especially since the medals said Labor Day 5K and 15K on them.  Would it have been so difficult to extend that to the 5K finishers as well? I kid! A little bit. 

All in all, a good way to start Labor Day!  

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Recap Rewind – 1.31M = Runner’s High

So this last recap will make me all caught up in the race recap world! My latest race was more of a sprint than anything else.  It was billed as the

Moo Cow Mini Marathon | Fair Park, Dallas, Texas – July 20, 2013

Now I know I wrote marathon but it wasn’t really quite a marathon unless you’re a cow. Huh? Say Whaaa you say? When I say marathon, I mean a half marathon. When I say a half marathon, I mean 1.31 miles.  I’ll let the race website explain, The Moo Cow Mini  will be “2.62 miles in the Moo Cow Mini Marathon and 1.31 miles in the Moo Cow Mini Half Marathon. To a cow 2.62 miles is a marathon!” So there ya have it! If I chatted with a Cow down the road, he would be very proud of my halfie. Gimmicky? Yes.  A hell of a lot of fun, YES, again! (Side note: I urge you to take a peek at the FAQs on the website. Hilar. Love a race that doesn’t take themselves too seriously). I signed up for the half marathon and I’m so glad that I did because it was a blazing hot race morning.  It was me, the husband, and our son back in the jogging stroller.  Since we signed up for the shorter race we decided to just go all out and haul our butts from the get go. And we did! We hit our fastest pace ever and came in 16th and 17th place overall. The husband took 1st in his Age Group and I took 2nd in mine.  I was on a running high for days and it definitely put back a little running spark in my step. We had a blast and that’s what matters – not so much the distance. Who cares if it was a gimmicky race? It was a great opportunity to try something different and a great reminder not to take racing so serious.

Highlights: Taking home some hardware! A finisher medal and an Age Group medal. The husband and I both taking home awards was icing on the cake! So glad that I didn’t shy away from this race because of the short distance.

Low-lights: None. This one ranks as one of my all time faves. I hope to do it next year!

Post-Race Eats: Bananas, Nutri-grain bars, and lots and lots of water.  Free cans of Monster Energy Drink Samples.

Race Swag: Finisher Medal and a tech t-shirt.

Next race: a Zombie race in September unless I find a Labor Day race that sparks my interest.   Signing up for races is definitely helping us to explore more and more of the Dallas metroplex area (and beyond!).

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Recap Rewind – Part II: The Texas Series

Howdy, y’all. The Cherry Tree Relay marked my last official race in NY. Before I even moved, I signed The Husband and myself up for a 10K in Dallas. I was feeling pretty good from all my running and felt I could take on the new distance. Well, that turned in a colossal pipe dream. Hindsight is 20/20 because looking back at that decision, it was pretty stupid of me.

I started scouting out the Dallas area racing scene way before le move. I found the Disco 5K and 10K that looked sooo much fun – plus they promised a “huge disco medal” for all the finishers. I must have been blinded by the disco bling because I signed up for the 10K with little thought of logistics. After we moved to Texas and was able to focus on the impending race, I realized the following issues:

The race started at 7:45 AM and was approximately 45 mins away from my house. Gulp.

I didn’t have a babysitter for my son and the website said “no strollers” on the course. Uh oh.

It was May already and I hadn’t run AT ALL since February. Crap de la crap.

I really wasn’t sure what to do about the race and I was totally sweating it out. I really had little confidence that I could run a 10K and hello! No babysitter! The husband said he would sit it out, but I felt really bad that he would miss out on a finisher’s medal and that we would have to eat his race entry fee. Plus, I didn’t want to run my first 10K solo. Wah, wah, wah. So, I got my shite together and emailed the race organizer asking if we could switch from the 10K to the 5K. They replied that it would be no problem. Phew. But, what about the no babysitter issue? I do have some close friends nearby but asking someone to get up early on a Saturday morning to watch a squirmy two year old didn’t sit well with me. I couldn’t bring myself to ask. So, the husband and I decided that we would both suit up for the 5K and ask at the race if we could use the jogging stroller. If not, the husband would sit it out.

When we got to the race we asked the volunteers at the registration desk if we could run with the jogging stroller and they gave us a big smile and said sure! WAHOOOO! I felt the stress melt off immediately. Now with the background out of the way, on to the recap of my first Texas race.

Disco 5K and 10K | Fair Park, Dallas, Texas – May 19, 2013

Highlights: Receiving the finisher medal at the finish line. A volunteer also gave one to my son which I thought was uber cool. I was happy to have survived the race since that was my first run in a long time. Another runner dressed up in a huge disco ball and had music playing from somewhere inside the disco ball. I laughed so hard when I saw that awesomeness. The one thing that stands out for me about this race is not running related at all. After finishing, I was more proud that the husband and I ventured out and did the race and made it work. I was happy that we didn’t have to rely on anyone else and it felt kinda good. Go us! The husband did great pushing my son in the jogger. No easy feat, people, my son is a solid 36ish lbs.

Low lights: The course was meh. There was a long stretch of nothingness and it made the course a little boring. It was 75 degrees with about 75% humidity at the start of the race. No bueno for me but something I have to get used to in TX.

Post Race Eats: To die for pancakes! My stomach felt a little off so I only had a bite of these amazingly good pancakes and wished my tummy wasn’t arguing with me. The husband chowed down on them and couldn’t believe how good they were. He still talks about it to this day. I opted for an orange and shared a banana with my son. Muscle Milk was there giving out samples. We had some brunch at Corner Bakery when we got towards home.

Race Swag: FINISHER MEDAL! Hooray! Tie dye t-shirt.

As far as tackling a 10K? I think I’ll give it a whirl in the fall and will probably do it solo.

Fireworks 5K | McKinney, TX – July 4th, 2013

Highlights: Interesting course running through a master planned community, under a tunnel (ECHO! ECHO!), and a nice stretch of shade. A Dad with his family watching the race from his front lawn shouting out encouragement and course information to the runners. His kids were banging on a cow bell. Fun for the runners but probably not so fun for his next door neighbors at 8 something in the morning haha! I loved it! My son telling us to “GO, GO, GO!” and “FASTER!”. He’s a tough coach and available for all your race pacing needs.

Low lights: The finish line was in complete sun. It felt hard to push it at the end when the sun was bbbbblazing straight into your eyes. What? There are these things called sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun?! I’ll have to check into these contraptions. What’s that you say? Visors? Hmmm…

Post Race Eats: There was none. NONE. NOOOOOOONE. No food = cranky Gina. They ran out of water, too. I’m not saying all races should have a gourmet spread post race (who am I kidding, YES THEY SHOULD!) but when the website mentioned free Starbucks and snow cones, you kinda get a little a lot stabby when there are no signs of Starbucks and snow cones. Dammit, maybe all the fasties took all the good stuff. Time to up my game. The husband made some breakfast for us at home and we bought our own damn Starbucks.

Race Swag: A tech t-shirt. A local chiropractor gave out towels at the finish line which came in handy to wipe the massive amount of sweat off of…everywhere.

One more race recap and you’ll be all caught up. Happy dance!


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Recap Rewind – Part I: The Winter Series

Before I move forward with le blog, let’s rewind and review the last couple (5) of races:


Cool 5K | Lake County, IL – November 24, 2012

Highlights: Running this brrrific race with Bobbi and Kim! PRing, but not realizing that fact until a month later (derp), and the super duper uber highlight moment: Kim surprising me and Bobbi with our very own personalized race medals! My first race medal, holla! I wore that medal proudly whilst gorging out on a post race brunch at Wildberry. Aww yeah. It’s worth mentioning that Kim put the medal in these cute paint can type containers with…DOVE CHOCOLATES…inside. I savored every damn chocolate, too. No one but me was allowed to touch em. I allowed myself one or two pieces after I completed a run until they were all gone.

Low lights: Having to eavesdrop instead of partaking in Bobbi and Kim’s convos like a stalker because I STILL CANT TALK AND BREATH AND RUN AND THINK AT THE SAME TIME! Sorry, ladies!

Post Race Eats: I recap this stuff because I care. Cookies! Followed by the aforementioned brunch at Wildberry.

Race Swag: A winter hat! My husband wore it all winter.

NYCRUNS HOT CHOCOLATE 5K | Roosevelt Island, NY – December 16, 2012

Highlights: Freaking everything. Kim was in town and paced me to another PR! Seriously, I probably owe this girl my first born – first a medal and then a PR! Which now that I think about it, I only PR with Kim…hmmm. Anyways, Kim paced me, yelled at me, and practically dragged me over the finish line. I kicked and screamed but she just yelled louder. Damn, she’s a good pacer. I ran this fun run with my Husband, my Brother-in-law, and Kim. My fave spectators kept watch of my son and it was just a fun Christmasy run. Roosevelt Island was decked out with Christmas decorations. Hot chocolate and bagels were waiting for us at the finish.

Low light: Taking a walk break. Siiiigh. It was a small one, but I could have and should have pushed myself. My fault.

Post Race Eats: Hot chocolate and bagels, yo! My Road ID does not say RUN FOR BAGELS for nothing. Plus a post race brunch with Kim, The Husband, and Fave spectators. What is it about post race brunches?! Always so nom nom nom!


NYRR GRIDIRON CLASSIC 4M | Central Park, NY – February 3, 2013

Highlights: New distance = automatic PR! I ran this in lieu of the NYRR Dash to the Finish 5k. I was all signed up to run the Dash with the Brother in law and husband but Hurricane Sandy arrived and the rest is history that everyone is aware of and I don’t need to recap that. The race was on Superbowl Sunday and runners were encouraged to wear football related gear so we did! Also, we got to “vote” who we thought would win the Superbowl by running under the appropriate team banners around Mile 3-ish I thought that was cool.

Low lights: I arrived way early and had to wait in the cold in a corral. This race was fun but didn’t help to entirely erase the disappointment of not running the Dash. I was grateful that the NYRR allowed us to choose another race, but as my move date was fast approaching, it stung not being able to participate in that race again.

Post Race Eats – Bagels! This is New York, afterall. Post race brunch (LOVE THOSE) with the Husband a few hours later.

Race Swag: a long-sleeved heavy weight shirt.

Valentine’s Day 5K – Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY – February 11, 2013

Highlights: I ran this race on a whim to use as a little training for the following week’s relay held on the same course. Prospect Park. Home to Mt. PITA. I totally ran that whole course and all the way up that freakin hill. It was a shining moment for me and I was prrrroud!

Low lights: Nothing, I ran up that stupid hill. Booyah.

Post Race Eats – Can you guess? Bagels! And since we were in the neighborhood, donuts from Dun-Well Donuts.

Race Swag: A red carnation flower, a water bottle and a long sleeved heavy weight t-shirt.

2013 Cherry Tree 10 Miler and 3 Person Relay – Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY – February 17, 2013

Highlights: Partaking in the relay for the second time! This time it was my Brother in law, Husband, and I running “against” Kim, her husband, and her brother in law. Collectively, we were the RELAYTEDS! I’ll just let you think about that for a moment. My favorite part was running with Kim’s husband whom I never had the opportunity to run with ever. And yes, I made it up the hill, again. Slowly.

Low lights: A last minute babysitting snafu left us without a babysitter. We had to switch around legs and sprint back to home base to hang out with my son. It all worked out in the end, but the stress of trying to figure out a new game plan together with a couple of other things floating around my head – I didn’t enjoy this race as much as I would have liked.

Race Swag: Running gloves, which came in super handy during the race! Totally beats last year’s “hats”.

Post Race Eats: I saved room for DUN WELL DONUTS! Look at that, we were in the neighborhood, again! And leftover pizza! Le Yum!

Thanks for reading this far! I commend your endurance! Part II: The Texas Edition will follow soonish.

Let me end this marathon recapping session by wishing Kim a very happy birthday today and also, big huge congratulations to my friend, Courtney on her recent engagement! Banner week!

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