Monday, April 15, 2013

Run for your lives?!?!?

I write this post with a very heavy heart. I literally cannot stop crying about what happened today at the Boston Marathon. Being a part of the running community, this event hit very close to home. All I can think about is that could've been me, that could've been my friends or family watching me at the finish line. An event so famous that's full of men and women who have truly worked their behinds off just to apart of this great race.
Some small minded person (people) felt the need to ruin the lives of innocent runners, their families, and friends who were just trying to accomplish one of their running goals. What hurts the most is knowing that there is someone so sick to even think of doing something like this. No matter how much we try to change the laws and control things that people can get a hold of, nothing can change the mindset or the soul of some people. We just have to come to the conclusion that we have some very sick people in this world who just wish evil on everyone.With that being said, we must all stay prayed up and trust in the Lord. Unfortunately, I know this event will deter some runners from running other races. I can't lie, I am shook a bit and thinking about my upcoming race this month and in May. I can't allow others to have me live in fear and stop me from doing what is near and dear to my heart. I will continue to pray and trust in the Lord, I will continue to pray for EVERYONE whether they are running in a race in the very near future or just walking out their door to start their day.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Look Like Beauty Run Like a Beast!

In full beast mode, the adrenaline has kicked in
This past Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in my first obstacle run. I figured it was time to mix things up a bit. Those of you who are long distance runners know how mundane running can be, especially when the route is bland. So being the couponista that I am I was scrolling through the daily LivingSocial deals and came across the Beach Beast run.
The name was very appeasing, I like to run and I love the beach. I went on their site to see what it was all about and I was sold. I put it up on Facebook and to my surprise the first person who took interest in running it with me was my sister. Ms." I Don't Run, I Spin". So we signed up and that was that. As time got closer I could feel the excitement build not in me but my sister, I really think she had more fun than I did with the run, which I'm happy about because maybe she was bit by the running bug. Then reality hit me I know she only liked it because it was challenging. That it surely was. At first I was not impressed with the obstacles and being a runner when I looked at some of the obstacles ahead of us all I could think was "I'm not doing that I may hurt my knees!" (Yes, a vain and concerned runner). However, my sister kept saying with each obstacle try it once and if you can't conquer it go around, but at least try it. I am happy she was with me because I never felt so accomplished after finishing a race before. I DID IT! I was able to climb and run over walls, things I probably never thought I would or even could do. Overall, this was a great experience and I am happy that I was able to do my first run with my sister. I hope to at least one obstacle run a year from now on.

Crawling to the finish line, telling Joi to smile there are cameras :-)
....and she smiled!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Running Backwards...

 After reading this Chinese Proverb, I had to step outside myself for a moment. At the Disney Princess  last month, I came in contact with so many different kinds of "runners" from elite to beginners. I fall somewhere in the middle. I was so frustrated during the race because for some reason I felt everyone should know the rules of the race, if you going to slow down or walk simply move over so others can continue their pace. I let that bother me until it came to me maybe they just don't know any better.  Some of these women were taking that single step on Sunday getting their feet wet and starting a new journey in their lives. Who am I to be mad at them, when I was in their shoes last year this time.

With all of that I have started to "run backwards" and I'm getting all of my friends who are just starting this running journey. While running backwards, I am picking up friends who are terrified of starting the journey, friends who just need support, and friends who have started but somehow just fell off. Once I run as far back as I need to, then TOGETHER we will start to move forward and go after that new healthy lifestyle. This post isn't long but,  just I needed to humble myself before I got too big for my running britches.

Are you willing to "run backwards" to help others in this race?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon...Bibidy Bobidy "BOOOOO"!!!!!!

I don't care how old you are there is something about going to Disney World that brings out the little kid in all of us. Well, I was no exception, it happens every time I see this sign. This weekend was so full of high hopes all of which were officially shot down at 2:30 am this morning.

This was my very first Disney race and the most expensive race to date that I have paid to participate in. I should have known that there wouldn't be much more to the race since Disney nickle and dimed you to participate in anything for race weekend. For $155 dollars I expected so much more. So let's start from the beginning.....

The Expo...OMG Disney could take some pointers from races like ING and even some small town races that are only 5 and 10Ks. First you had to walk a country mile to get to the Expo shuttle because it was held at one of their hotel resorts and wouldn't allow anyone to park there or be dropped off. I was so disappointed when I got inside. All of the vendors seemed to blend in together,  the space was big enough for them to be spread out, but was bunched all together and everyone was there for a profit. There were no free samples or giveaways at all, except for Chiquita banana. Thank God for them or I wouldn't of had breakfast this morning (you had to buy the Disney Race Retreat package for $99 in order to get water, bananas, and bagels before the race).  They had vendors like Lady Foot Locker and One More Mile and of course the places selling tutus for $80 and higher. A lot of people were caught up in the hype (I'll talk about THOSE people later) and really bought this stuff, the only good thing about the expo was I didn't have to wait in line for my bib pick-up. So my BGR sister Doris and I were walking away with our heads down and then we saw Princess Tiana, our eyes lit up and we got in line to take a pic only for them to take her away and switch her with Princess Ariel without saying anything. So, disappointed once again we moved on to take a pic with some Prince Charmings, once again they pulled them without saying anything while people were still waiting in line. The guys were apologizing and blaming it on management because they wanted to stay to take pics. Reason why I am all by my lonesome at the castle, no prince charming in real life or at Disney smh, lol.

So I do my best to keep my spirits high because I have a race to run! I get all my things together the night before and mentally prep myself for this 2:30am wake up call I have to get in order to park at Epcot for the race. This really was a shame to me, yes there were 24, 000 people participating, but really getting to the park at 3/3:30 for a race that doesn't start until 5:45am was RI-DIC-U-LOUS! We had no trouble with parking, but had to sit - no stand around (seats were only in the $99 Retreat area) and do nothing until they started releasing us to our corrals. Thank goodness for the DJ who livened things up and played my kind of music, so I was doing the Wobble at 4am, making the best of things saying the race will make up for all of this I'm upset about. 

Finally starting at 6:30am after waiting 45 minutes
Time came for us to head over to our corrals, which I swear was about a mile from where they had us park. I got in Corral F, how they placed me there I have no clue, but I went with it, I said at least I know I won't go out to fast and burn out, but for a race that had a gun start at 5:45 I was not crossing the start line until 6:30... so all my pre-race energy was about gone I was frustrated and just wanted to run and get my freakin medal at this point. I cross the start line and no princess running was safe I was on a mission.
We are off and I swear 5 min in the race these chicks just stopped running and started walking, like really ya'll are really going to just stop in the middle of the course like that and not move to the side?!? Right then and there I had to tell myself, suck it up you have just started what these chicks think of as a "fun race" and that more than half of these ladies could care less about a time or going fast. I was starting to wear myself out ducking and dodging trying to find an area where I could just run without getting held up. Let me tell you when one lady in the group decided to walk they all did so it was like a chain going straight across of women just walking so I spent most of the race yelling "excuse me" because dang it I was coming through and breaking that chain, I had a race to finish. I got cut off so many times as well with the runners wanting to stop and take pictures at EVERY mile marker and with the characters they had placed along the course. Another thing Disney did wrong was have more than one narrow part of the course, it was like a freaking traffic jam when we got to the two lane narrow corners. I know those areas took up at least 3 minutes of my time. I had to slow down, there was nowhere to go.

We finally make it inside of a park at about mile 4.5, don't get caught up in Disney's hype of running through their parks, because you are in Disney parks for maybe 2-3 miles at the most, then back to their back roads and the back parts of the parks. The Magic Kingdom is where I almost was taken out of the race. These women acted like they had never seen Disney in their lives, you can kind of see some of the ladies in this pic walking, and I was running when I took all of my course pics, no stopping. They came to complete stops especially when we reached Cinderella's Castle
 If you look below as I'm running and taking pics this lady is stopped in the middle of the course taking a pic with a group of friends.... but when we started going into the castle it was a collision and chain reaction. This lady saw Disney put up a picture opp at the castle so she cut off this lady who went down and they stopped dead in her tracks causing the person behind her to stop and so on....I got hit from the back and caught my balance because I was about to go down and I felt my ankle, all I could do was say a quick prayer.
After the 10K split we were out of the Magic Kingdom, injury free thank God! The race continued with the same problems I encountered from the start, I was so frustrated I got to the point I just wanted to walk the rest of the way I felt this race wasn't worth the energy I was putting into it. Just give me my medal so I can go shower and get in my comfy hotel bed. Then my sister sent me a text, I rarely check my phone during a race but I figured if she's texting me and knows I'm running it must be something. So I get my phone and open it to see this....
I had people watching and cheering me on I couldn't let my biggest fan down, my sister swears I win every race, it's funny and encouraging at the same time. So once I see this I said, I can PR I'm not doing as bad as I "I popped some jelly belly sports beans and now I'm sweatin woo" (sorry couldn't resist) and I go in beast mode... well through it all, I did not PR but I didn't increase my time I came in at the same time I did at my first half marathon in November 2012. 2:36

So overall on a scale from 1-10 Disney gets a 3.5 because of the nice shirt and awesome medal, and that's about it for what they did right. The so called swag box they gave at the end sucked, after you crossed the finish line Disney was pretty much done with you, so me and Doris went straight to the car..... ADIOS Disney, if I wasn't going for my Coast to Coast medal they would not see me at one of their races again..

If you want your first half marathon to be fun and with no pressure, then a RunDisney event is for you, you have ample opportunities to stop on the course, it's very walker friendly and you can have a great time with friends. However, if you have reached the point where you have become competitive and want to improve with each race I would not suggest a Disney race for you. Let's just hope the Disneyland half marathon isn't as disappointing. I should have known something when the runners were more concerned about what costume to wear than actually running......lesson learned.

le sigh

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Preserve Your Sexy South Florida!

To register for this great event go to

Many of you know that last year this time I began my running journey. However, I did not start it alone, I started it with a group of wonderful women - Black Girls Run! My first time out I was super nervous and didn't know what to expect, but these ladies took me by the hand and reassured me that everything would be just fine, I was told to enjoy and most importantly remember that there is  NO WOMAN LEFT BEHIND! 
Now a year later I am about to run my second half marathon tomorrow, thanks to the support and guidance from this wonderful group of ladies!

Now it is time to pay it forward, and let you in on the fun! Ladies, the "Black Girls Run! Preserve the Sexy Tour" is coming to South Florida on February 9, 2013!!!!
Black Girls Run! Founders Ashely Hicks and Toni Carey will host a great lineup of speakers and presentations that will help get you out on the pavement.  The tour will also include the exclusive "Walk Before You Run" program.
Come out and see how to get started on the path to become a great walker, wogger (walking and jogging), or runner.
We know there are many things that hinder us from working out and staying shape like we should, but this tour will help you overcome all the obstacles and begin your journey to a healthier you!

Some of the topics that will be discussed are:
    •    Proper running gear; buying the right running shoes
    •    Maintaining your hair while working out
    •    Fueling your body with the right food

To register for this great event go to

Event Details:
Preserve the Sexy Tour
February 9, 2013
9:30am- 2:00 pm
The Fountain of New Life
4601 NW 167th Street
Miami Gardens, FL 33055


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A "Run" Down of 2012

Hard to believe it has been a year since I started my new running lifestyle. I can honestly say that it has been a great journey and I am excited about continuing it in 2013.

So here is a run down of 2012

  • I was able to complete a race every month like I planned, I actually was able to complete 15 races.
  • I achieved my mileage goal, and ran over 300 miles.
  • I conquered my fear and successfully ran a half marathon and faster than I expected.
  • I connected with a great group of women through Black Girls Run!
  • Participated in the Inaugural Black Girls Run Conference and 10K Run in September.
  • Ran the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. 
  • Inspired others to get serious about their health.
  • Lost 21 pounds and went down 6 clothing sizes
  • Went from a 15 minute mile to a 10 minute mile average
  • Became an early morning runner ( race days mainly)
  • Completed numerous mile challenges 
  • Made new friends, runners are so freakin friendly... must be those endorphins. 
  • Most importantly, I was able run 12 miles straight on Christmas Eve, big difference from me struggling to run a mile straight.

I must say that I am very proud of my running accomplishments for 2012. Thanks everyone for your kind words or motivation, support, and simply being some of my #1 fans.
I am sure that my list of accomplishments will be even longer. For a more in depth review of 2012 please feel free to visit my blog and read previous posts. Have a great 2013!!!!.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm Only Half Crazy!

Yep, that's me, holding up my first half marathon medal! This was an experience I wouldn't give up for anything. When I first made this goal at the beginning of 2012 I honestly was terrified after I posted it, because I was like "did I really just say I am going to run a half marathon and I've only done one 5K?". Well, after being bitten by the running bug and completing more races I became more confident about accomplishing my goal. I didn't jump right into it, I followed a lot of running blogs, listened to seasoned runners for advice, and subscribed to Runner's World magazine to be in the know about different training programs and proper ways to recover when taking on a long run.

One race I wanted to do before completing my 1/2 was a 10K (6.2 miles). I figured if I could get to the half way point I could be ok in a half marathon. Well, as we know, in life things don't always go as planned. Let's just say in this case ALMOST didn't go as planned. At the beginning of August this year I became very ill and was sidelined for a little over a month from running, I couldn't do any kind of exercising. Due to the illness I became very weak and lost 15 pounds, so yes, I was no good! After doctors visits and completing the medications prescribed I thought I would be "off and running" in no time. Well, if it's not one thing it's another, and as I was completing my antibiotics I began to breakout in hives because a form of penicillin was in them and, yes I am allergic to penicillin. So yep, I was sidelined for another week and a half. I became more and more discouraged because my 10K was just weeks away, and I had not trained for it at all, it was out of town, and with my illness it was strongly advised that I don't fly. What was a girl to do??? Well, being stubborn and determined the first moment I felt better I hoped in the car ( I couldn't drive either while sick) and headed to the gym. I was able to get in 3 miles on the treadmill without passing out. My mother being a mother was concerned about me jumping back into running so quickly, but in my head all I could think about was this 10K I needed to complete. I was able to train and run a bit longer more and more each day. Now, that I was building my stamina/endurance back up I had to figure out how the heck I was going to get to Atlanta, GA to compete in my race. This was the Black Girls Run! Inaugural  race and conference I HAD TO BE THERE!!! So I reached out to my BGR sisters and decided to take a chance and fly up, and my BGR sister Sonya was driving back so I was able to ride with her, I figured flying one way shouldn't be too bad. Then I was able to room with my BGR sister Doris at the last minute. Things were working out according to plan.
I completed my race strong ( see my Sole Sisters post) and I knew there was no stopping my now.
I registered for more races to stay active and upped my mileage every two weeks. I am so thankful for those Ft. Lauderdale beach runs with BGR because I swear everyone there was training for a half so long runs were the norm and I needed them for that extra push.

Almost showtime! The week of the race, I changed my diet and upped my water intake I had to finish this thing strong, the swag wagon was NOT going to be picking me up. I was going to finish this race on my own. All of the ladies running in the race with me who had never done a half before were so nervous about it, at first I was but then it was like the fear went away and I was just ready to do it. I ran Monday and Tuesday of that week, and then let my body rest in preparation. I ordered a new pair of compression pants that have gotten rave reviews in the running community, now this is a big no no for runners, you should never try anything new the day of a race, but of course I wore these pants because I wanted to do my best and have a great recovery. I think the most challenging moment about this race was getting these pants on, lol. Ladies, if you wear Spanx you know the struggle of getting them on so multiple that times 10. I've never had a set a pants that came with directions on how to put them on. However, it was imperative to follow the directions so that your legs received the proper support while running.

Race Day! I got up at 4 am and was full of energy, ready to get moving, I had my Race Day playlist going and was ready to hit the pavement. I got to S. Beach and saw all the runners geared up. I didn't know what I should eat with it being such a long run so I had some water and a banana. I put an energy bar in my pants pocket in case I needed fuel on the course. I lined up in my corral and said my prayers while stretching, got my Nike+ app ready, I changed my playlist to Gospel cause I knew it was me and God running this race. And I was off.....
I felt good, I was in a zone, I started off at just the right pace and I was able to catch my grove before mile 1. I was happy to see the pacers in the race holding up signs stating if you run with them you'll finish a certain amount of time. This was motivation, I told myself "you can finish before that" so I sped up just a little. I didn't stop at all the water stations just those that had Gatorade, for some reason water makes me cramp up when I run. Just like Forrest Gump. I was running, and running, and running! Before I knew it I had ran 11.5 miles straight without stopping. Around this time I was still feeling good, however the sun was rearing it's ugly head and I had the final bridge to tackle. I took out my energy bar to fuel my body and started a 5:1 interval. The intervals didn't last long because I just wanted to finish so I kept pushing myself more and more. I did suffer an "injury" around mile 12. My right shoe kept brushing up against my left ankle as I was running and of course it cause a blister and skin came off, so I had an open cut with sweat running into it, talk about feeling the burn. I kept pushing through that. I started to see people walking with their finisher's medals so I knew I was close.
Now let me let you know something that I can't stand about race spectators, it's when you are close to the finish line and they yell, "you can do it, the finish line is right around the corner!" Umm no the hell it's not! I swear the closer you get to the finish line the farther away it gets. So people about a mile and a half away need not say things like that, it just frustrates me cause I really do expect to see the finish line around the corner, not around the next three corners.
I hear the cheers my heart is beating fast, my sister texted me saying she is at the finish line waiting on me and that I can do it! You know what else pushed me? There are cameras at the finish line! Do you really think I would be caught on film walking!? So I save up some energy and walk for about a minute and I gave myself a pep talk and said alright Apryl, it's time to bring it in. With all I had left in me I ran to that finish line with a smile on my face like I had only run for 3 miles. When I go to the line and saw my time and my sister there cheering me on, and it hit me... I DID IT! I finished in 2hrs and 36 minutes, I beat my own time I had set which was 2 hrs and 45 min.

I really want to say THANK YOU to all of you who were there cheering me on via Nike+, at the finish line, and while I was training. This had to be my proudest moment of 2012. I had a goal and I was able to accomplish it with setbacks and all.  I am looking forward to doing many more 1/2 marathons in 2013.... I know you didn't think I was going to say I look forward to doing a full marathon.... I'M ONLY HALF CRAZY!