Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else

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Peachtree Road Race

This year was my third time running the Peachtree Road Race, the largest 10K in the world. Yes, the world. It takes place on July 4th every year in Atlanta. Although running is something I do regularly, training in the summer is difficult, especially this year. Between traveling, moving to a new condo, moving offices, and more traveling, running just hasn’t been at the top of the priority list. But to register for the Peachtree you have to enter the lottery in February/March. In the spring I’m thinking “running! yeah! all the races!” and also that I would surely know someone to run with. Well, I got a number, but couldn’t find anyone to run with in my start wave (I somehow didn’t have any great race times to submit from 2014 and they will NOT let you move up). The weather was not looking good on race day, but let’s be real, I wanted the shirt. And for this race you get your shirt at the end of the race.

Long story short, I got up and made it to the start line. Waited around for my wave to start (not a ton of fun by yourself). And as soon as my group got to the start line, the rain started. And it rained. And rained. And rained. The good news was that it made me run the entire race – having not really trained other than a few 3-4 mile runs – in my best time for this race!

This is a really fun race, rain or no rain, friends or no friends. I highly recommend it – even if you’re not a runner, don’t you want to say you completed the largest 10K in the world?! Plenty of people walk it. Or if you do want to run, just hit me up and I’ll likely be running!

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New State, New Race

Two big items crossed off my 30 before 30 list this past weekend! I traveled up to Ohio (#13 – a new state) to visit friends and run the Capital City Half Marathon (#2 – a new half marathon)!

I was very pleasantly surprised by Columbus, OH – it was homey and cozy and fun! I don’t know exactly what I expected, but it was a great city. All of the food we had was great and we visited the conservatory (which was free for me thanks to my local garden membership). The tulips were in full bloom and beautiful. We drove around campus and some different little neighborhoods, and between that and the race I pretty much saw all of Columbus!

As much as I was impressed with the city, I was blown away by the Capital City Half Marathon. It was the best race I have ever done. Not only was it my personal best – crushing my old best time by 9 minutes – but it was SO well organized. There was great music and audio at the start line, the course was beautiful (and mostly flat – thanks Columbus), and most importantly, the finish line was ideal. If you’ve never won a race, the finish line/area is super important, especially for a longer race like a half or full marathon. You don’t want to run for hours then come to a stop in a pack of people. This race was the best finish I’ve ever seen – medics on hand as soon as you crossed the finish (that I luckily did not need), medals being handed out on both sides, water available right away, fences to keep the spectators out of the way, food shortly after the water, and they kept people moving to not block up everything (which is usually the major issue). If you are trying to find a race, I highly recommend this one.


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Sweetwater 420 Fest 5K

Cross off #3 on my 30 before 30 list – and it was a record-breaker! Six months left to finish the list!

I’ve expressed before how much I like 5Ks – and it still holds true. Those are the races where I can really challenge myself and see improvement. And I set my personal best with the 420 Fest 5K! It was good and bad timing – I’ve been training for a half marathon so obviously could say I’d trained well, but it did cause me to not get in a great long run last weekend. Oh well! It was made greater because it was a friend’s birthday and her first 5K, and another friend who met us there was having her bachelorette party!

I did learn a major lesson with this race though – ALWAYS use the porta-potty before the race. Whether you feel like you need to go or not. I don’t know why I didn’t – I think I thought we had less time than we really did and I really didn’t have to go – until I actually started running. Lesson learned. Will never happen again. Longest 25 minutes of my life ha.

Anyway – personal record set: chip time of 25:12, 8:09 pace, 8th in my age group out of 241 women! And lots of fun – would definitely consider doing this race again (even with the giant hill to the finish line….not cool Zulu racing).





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Cooper River Bridge Run

Almost done with #3 on my 30 before 30 list! The Cooper River Bridge Run is a popular and fairly unique race in Charleston, SC. I have wanted to do it for a few years now and finally pulled the trigger. So two friends and I road tripped to Charleston, where, incredibly, 4 of our college friends live, to run last weekend!

This run is unique, in my opinion, because a good part of the 6.2 mile run is on the Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River. It’s a major road and bridge, so I imagine it is no small feat to close it off for 4+ hours. It was a little colder than I had imagined when I signed up – races are hard in the winter/early spring months simply because you have to get there and wait so long before you are actually running. So my hands were good and numb to start the race! I’ve done a few 10Ks before, but I don’t normally train well and therefore, surprise, surprise, don’t run well. This one, however, is smack in the middle of my half marathon training. I finished with a 8:35 pace – by far my best 10K time yet, but actually not quite as fast as I had hoped. My training runs have surprisingly been even faster – but one downside to races is the crowds and dodging people which really does affect your time. Don’t get me wrong – I’m pumped about the time – but also know I’m capable of better 🙂

Let the half training continue!

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Whole30 Cheat

Hi, my name is Katy and I blatantly cheated on my Whole30 and I am ok with it. There was never going to be a full 30 days that I didn’t have some excuse to not do it. So I just went with January, knowing that I had already signed up for my favorite race of the year: the Hot Chocolate 5K. I’ve done it every year it has been in Atlanta and the whole point of racing (aside from the sweet sweatshirt) is the amazing treat at the end of the race – hot chocolate and chocolate fondue with all the dip-ins.

My Whole30 is not a full lifestyle change – I’ve known that from the start. It is to reset my habits and get used to leaving some things out a majority of the time. Perfect example: sweets. The goal is to only have sweets for the occasional treat – which is exactly what this was. And it actually worked really well – I had some chocolate, was completely satisfied and had no desire to keep eating it (as I normally would have)! I’d call it a success!

If you haven’t checked out the sweetest race, I highly recommend it.


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Record Breaking New Year

I think I started off 2015 pretty well. Not only did some friends and I run a 5K on January 1st, but I started the year completing an event for my 30 before 30 list! The First Day 5K was at Red Brick Brewery (so obviously the brewery was the after race fun) and started at 1pm, so we didn’t even have to set an alarm on new years day!

It was a smaller race – and that made it fun! The route was pretty hilly (as can be expected in Atlanta) but I ran pretty well. So well, in fact, that I placed first in my age group, 10th place overall for the women, and improved my personal 5K record to 25:57 (8:22 pace)!!

It was a great and fun way to start the year. Happy 2015!!



Nashville Urban Dare

I’ve done a few running races in the past year, but nothing has compared to the Urban Dare. And yesterday, Urban Dare (basically a city-wide scavenger hunt) was in Nashville. Meghan and I teamed up, as well as Christen and Will, really having only a vague idea of what we were getting into. We gathered at Dan McGuiness on Demonbreun, along with about 200 other teams, registered, and waited for instructions to be given.

Pre-race happy competitors

Ready to dominate

Each team is given 11 clues….we decipher the clues to figure out where to go (thank you smartphones!!), then decide the order in which to go to them. Teams can travel on foot or by bus only. I’ll give you clues in the order we completed them, along with the picture. Some of the clues also require completing a dare.

Clue #7: Steve McQueen starred as Captain Virgil Hilts in this movie. Get your picture in front of the establishment with this name. Answer: The Great Escape (record store)

Clue #4: Get your picture with Owl’s Lookout. Answer: statue in front of Peabody Library

Clue #10: Find the Urban Dare official by the building with the quote “The brain is wider than the sky” for your bubble dare. Answer location: Buttirck building on the Vandy campus. The dare was to find a piece of Bubblicious covered in cool whip (with your mouth) then chew and blow a bubble. I had the honor of doing this one!

Clue #2: Nashville’s newest frozen yogurt store officially opened for business on Friday. Get your picture in front of it. Answer: Pinkberry

2 minute bonus: Get your picture with a neon sign that says “free smells”.

Clue #6: “I gave my best to make a better world” is the inscription on a local memorial. Go there for your scrabble stick dare. Using the numbers on the scrabble sticks, add up the value of the letters in the word on your passport. Answer location: World War I memorial in Centennial Park. Our word was CONFIDENTIAL and the total was 152. [We lost a little time on this one; and no picture!]

Clue #8: He is most famous for painting the Sistine Chapel. Get your picture in front of his restaurant. Answer: Michaelangelo’s pizza!

Clue #11: According to Joe Hill’s song The Preacher and the Slave, you will get this when you die. Get your picture with the establishment that goes by this name. Answer: Pie in the Sky

Clue #3: Get your picture with the sculpture Three Red Lines. Answer location: The Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Clue #1: PHOTO HUNT – Take a picture of someone not in the race doing a cartwheel. AND a picture of 4 people not in the race posed as if they were shooting a bow and arrow.

Clue #9: Get your picture with this downtown mural [picture was on our sheet]. You’ll find it near all the live music joints. Answer: on the side of Legends (honky-tonk)

Clue #5: Go to Roy Orbison’s star on the Music City Walk of Fame for your wheelbarrow dare. Dare was to complete a loop doing the wheelbarrow with teammate.

Finishing time: 1 hour, 37 minutes.

Finishing place: 10th!!!!!! (don’t forget…around 200 teams total)

This really was one of the most fun things I have done in a really long time. And it was even better getting to do it with my roomie!!