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team sparkle

xterra renegade off-road tri

by @according2kelly on June 13, 2011

a year ago i raced my first triathon – ever.  even with a year of experience under my belt, this off-road triathlon was just as hard, & just as scary as the first.

swimming is still a major weakness for me (despite spending hours in the pool), & once again i experienced a bit of a panic attack in the lake. but i took dori’s philosophy on life to heart & told myself to “just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.” & while i may have literally been one of the last people out of the lake (people were back stroking pass me), i did survive. next up, i had to tackle the mountain bike… which is honestly, quite possibly, just as nerve racking as the swim. (sometimes i wonder i do i torture myself?) luckily, the trail run was just around the corner – & that’s something i know i can do.

my team sparkle skirt must be magical… amazingly, i managed to take home 3rd place! (holy cow! i still can’t believe it.) i’m not going to lie, there were only 6 women racing in my age group… but, 3rd place is still 3rd place.

1/2 mile lake swim: 19 minutes & 47 seconds

15 mile mountain bike ride: 1 hour, 45 minutes & 45 seconds

3 mile trail run: run 41 minutes & 2 seconds

total time: 2 hours 50 minutes & 11.7 seconds

luckily, i didn’t have to race alone… we had an entire group of team-sparkle-skirt-wearing ladies. & i wasn’t the only one on the podium that day… both brenna & tamara (wearing yellow) took home 3rd places as well. all i can say? a little sparkle looks good on the podium.



surf city half marathon

by @according2kelly on May 6, 2011

last year carrie, elise & ran the surf city FULL marathon. this year however we opted to run just the half marathon – best decision we ever made.

surf city marathon course

surf city half marathon coursesurf city marathon tweets, team sparkle, kt tape, nuunsurf city half marathon essentials:
1. turquoise team sparkle skirt (my motivation)
2. kt tape (my magic pill – all my knee pain literally disappears when i wear this stuff)
3. lime flavored nuun (i love a little fizz in my drink)
4. garmin (i’d be lost without it)
5. team sparkle race legs (run hard, run pretty)
6. team sparkle tattoo (i like to wear my heart on my sleeve)
7. jolly ranchers (my energy source)
8. newton running shoes (run better)

surf city marathon bib

(opps! i didn’t expect a race with 15,000+ runners to sell out, but it did. so i had to put my faith in a complete stranger & buy my bib on craigslist.)

surf city marathon finish

pr at surg city half marathontotal time: 1 hour, 58 minutes & 27 seconds. a new PR by 3 seconds.

team sparkle finishes surf city half marathon

team sparkle runs surf city

surf city half marathon by the numbers:

* 3179 out of an overall of 13,301 half marathoners
* 1229 out of 8386 women
* 232 out of 1342 women in my age group
* total time 1:58:27, with a pace of 9:03 minutes per mile
* 3 mile split time 26:35, with a pace of 8:52 minutes per mile
* 8.2 mile split time 1:12:39, with a pace of 8:52 per mile


my {muddy buddy} & me

by @according2kelly on April 15, 2011

muddy buddy team sparkle

5.7 mile “tag-team” race

team sparke muddy buddy

steep climbs, knee-deep water crossing, quick sprints,
narrow tunnel passings, picturesque views, fun downhill descents,
army-style obstacles, followed by a quick bath in the mud pit….

team sparkle muddy buddy

total time: 55 minutes & 19 seconds

team sparkle muddy buddy

elise & i took home second place in our age division.

not bad for two girls wearing sparkly skirts.


chapman 5k

by @according2kelly on April 1, 2011

i’ve done triathlons. i’ve ran half marathons. i’ve even completed an entire marathon. but i’ve never managed to tackle the 5K… until now. thanks to the chapman 5K, i can officially check the 5K off my list too.

team sparkle

chapman: 5K 24 min | 22.7 seconds

said to be the flattest, fastest, funnest & most fabulous race ever. although, truth be told – i think team sparkle brought the fabulousness! we did have runners in nearly every age bracket, including several “junior” team sparkle members & one very pregnant runner (just 3 weeks shy of delivery!). not to mention team sparkle had TWO podium finishes…. who says real athletes (& fast runners) can’t sparkle & run pretty too? honestly though, when everyone is cheering you on – it’s hard not to run fast.


team sparklechapman 5K by the numbers:

* 6th place in my age division
* 43rd place overall female
* 194th place overall (men & women)
* 24 min & 22.7 seconds total 5K (3.11 miles) time
* 7: 52 pace

“runners just do it – they run for the finish line…

even if someone else has reached it first.”

– author unknown




long beach half marathon

by @according2kelly on March 10, 2011

the long beach half marathon is definitely flat, fast & fun to run. & probably one of my favorite races i’ve ever done. & of course, i had to wear my signature turquoise team sparkle skirt – it just wouldn’t be the same without it.

according2kelly runs Long Beach half marathon13.1 miles – 1h:58m:30s

surrounded by marathonershalf marathoners, running through Long Beach, along the coastline & beach (very reminiscent of the surf city marathon), not to mention that there over sixty team sparkle skirts running the long beach marathon1/2… how can you go wrong?

but honestly, the real reason it’s probably one of my favorite races (other than my actual marathon)?  because my “training,” lasted only two weeks, the furthest i ran before the race was just 6 miles – and yet i still set a personal record (PR)… running 13.1 miles in 1 hour, 58 minutes & 30 seconds. 

long beach half marathon by the numbers:

* 1681st place overall out of 9836 (about 17% of people finished ahead of me, 8152 people finished behind me)
* 521st place out of 5929 women (about 9% of women finished ahead of me. 5405 women finished behind)
* 101st place out of 981 women ages 30-34 (about 10% of women finished ahead of me. 882 women finished behind)
* my 10K split time was 54:16, with a 8:44 pace
* my average mile time was 9 min & 2 sec
* my average K time was 5 min & 37 sec

ready to re-live the entire long beach half marathon & team sparkle experience with me? remember… it’s all about the blood, sweat, & SPARKLE.


oc triathlon

by @according2kelly on February 7, 2011

waking up is hard to do. especially when your alarm is going off at 3:45am & you know that in just a few short hours you will soon be suiting up & swimming {nearly} a mile, riding 24.8 miles & running 6.2 miles. oy vey! once again, what have i gotten myself into? luckily, i have my handy dandy team sparkle skirt on hand to keep me motivated. call me silly, but when you’re racing pretty – everything else just seems to fall into place.

team sparkle at orange county triathalon1.5 K lake swim: 39 minutes & 1 second

40K bike ride: 1 hour 35 minutes & 21 seconds

10 K run: 1 hour, 6 minutes & 43 seconds

teams sparkle at oc triathalontotal time: 3 hours, 27 minutes & 25 seconds

not exactly my best race ever. in fact, i was nearly 10 minutes slower than my last triathlon… placing me 18 out of 23 in my age group &  531 out of over 600 overall. sure, there may have been some “lady” cramps involved, but all-in-all i had a fabulous time at the oc triathlon. once again i LOVED racing in my signature turquoise sparkle skirt (just thinking about it now makes me smile). while i may not have podiumed, my friend elise did – she’s amazing! when i grow up, i want to be her. but to be honest, i don’t race for results… i race to survive. eleanor roosevelt once said “do one thing everyday that scares you.” & trust me, racing triathlons still scares me to death.


malibu nautica triathlon

by @according2kelly on November 1, 2010

i’ve raced a triathlon (an 0ff-road triathlon that is) just once before. so, seeing as the malibu nautica international distance triathlon was my first “road” race, i guess you could say i felt… like a virgin – touched for the very first time. and although i was definitely more prepared this time around, once again it was exciting, exhilarating, breathtaking & absolutely terrifying all at once.

looking back, i still can’t believe i actually swam 1.5K (.90 miles) in the freezing pacific ocean, THEN rode my bike 40K (24.85 miles) along the pacific coast highway & still had enough energy to run a 10K (6.2 miles). i’m tired right now, just thinking about it. seriously, what was i thinking?

i definitely wasn’t the fastest, but honestly, all i wanted to do was survive, which i did. & thanks to my special edition black sparkle skirt – at least i looked pretty… not to mention i got way more cheers, compliments & enough guys picking up on me, to boost my self-esteem through the roof.

team_sparkle_at_malibu_triathlon1.5K ocean swim: approximately 39 minutes

40K bike ride: approximately 1 hour 37 minutes

10K run: approximately 55 minutes

* i lost my timing chip, so times are based off of my garmin.

total time: 3:17:15

& while i definitely proved that slow & steady finishes the race, i was far from finishing first (or even second or third). in my age division i placed 34th out of 58, i placed 202 out of 311 women, & overall i placed 865 out of 1085. however, my hubby jeff performed amazingly at his first road triathlon. he finished the entire race in just 2:24:05, placing 12th out of 120 in his age division, 70th out of 774 men, & overall he placed 83rd out o 1085. & our friends elise & skyler, they came in 7th & 17th in their respective age divisions. they’ve definitely set the bar pretty high for me.


coming out of retirement

by @according2kelly on September 27, 2010

nearly four months. that’s how long my running shoes have been gathering dust in my closet. following eat. blog. run. i could hardly walk (literally), let alone run. three different doctors, one active release technician,  one physical therapist, & one reiki master/healer/guide/intuitive later, i realized i had to accept the cold hard truth – sometimes, time is the best (& only) medicine.

Team Sparkle at Disneyland Half Marathon

so, for nearly four excruciatingly long months, my shoes sat there – temping & taunting me. as the days turned into weeks, which then turned into months, i began to wonder if there would ever be an end to my self-imposed jail sentence. with just two weeks to go before the disneyland 1/2 marathon (a race i had signed up for in march), i threw caution to the wind, laced up my sneakers & started to train.

seven training runs later (the furthest being a total of six miles), race day found me at the starting line sporting my special edition, chartreuse-colored team sparkle skirt, tinkerbell wings & little bit of pixie dust. as i ran “through sleeping beauty’s castle, high-fived my favorite disney characters, & rounded home base at angel stadium,” my team sparkle skirt was definitely the talk of the race – resulting in lots of compliments, cheers & definitely a little bit of skirt envy. but, i have to admit, my skirt’s not the only thing my fellow racers were jealous of. i don’t know how many times i heard “no fair. she’s got wings. she’s going to ‘fly’ by all of us.”

disneyland 1/2 marathon by the numbers…

* 5K split 29:31
* 10K split 58:37
* 15K split 1:27:26
* total chip time 2:01:40. (although, a new personal record, in my mind there will forever be an asterisk associated with this race. while my “chip” time was 2:01:40, the total course mileage was 13.35 miles. so while the records books will forever clock me at 1 minute 40 seconds over 2 hours, deep down i know i ran 13.1 miles in just under 2 hours).

* overall place: 1,991 of 12,361
* gender place: 700 of 7,854
* division place 143 of 1,310

not bad with just two weeks of training under by belt. i guess the tinkerbell wings & pixie dust helped more than i anticipated.

team sparkle at disneyland half marathonoh yeah, i guess i wasn’t the only one who decided that a team sparkle running skirt was the perfect accessory for a disney running race… luckily the girls of team sparkle were there, cheering us on & preserving all the fabulous-ness on video.


eat. blog. run.

by @according2kelly on September 14, 2010

when i said i would run another relay in a heartbeat, i was serious. literally one week after running the southern california ragnar relay, i packed my bags & headed north to join eleven other amazing ladies bloggers to run the relay.

prior to the relay, most of us were complete & total strangers to one another – at least in real life. however, virtually, is another story, all together. lead by our fearless leader, our captain my captain, marie of make and takes, a rock-star running roster was assembled that included: sherry & samantha of garza girls, heather of rookie moms, christine of boston mamas, linsey of sv moms group & me too you, meg of fox and bunny  and woodpecker stew, karianna of karianna spectrum, brenna of barefoot brenna, emmie of life behind the curve, carrie of this mama makes stuff. together we formed, most likely the absolutely very first: all woman, all blogger, sparkle skirt wearing, gmc acadia driving, 200 mile running relay team.

oh the stories i could tell you. the secrets i could spill. but what happened in the gmc acadia, stays in the gmc acadia. that being said, if you ever need someone “at your back,” these ladies are definitely the first you should call… when my previous relay’s injury, made it impossible for me to run more than 2.5 miles (stiff legged hobble & all, i still managed to run at a 10 minute pace), these ladies picked up the slack, 14.2 miles of slackitude that is.

12 running bloggers (wearing a rainbow of team sparkle skirts) + 200 miles (running from napa valley to the pacific ocean) + 36 hours (yes! we ran day & night) + 20ish u-turns + 47 bathroom stops + 2  gmc acadias + 1 night camping under the golden gate bridge + 1 to-die-for country inn & suites breakfast + literally 100s of compliment on our sparkle skirts = one incredible experience known as eat. blog. run.

p.s. want to re-live our ENTIRE eat. blog. run. experience? check our whrrl story HERE. watch us gear up, carb up, load up & run.

More check-ins at The Relay
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southern california ragnar relay

by @according2kelly on August 27, 2010

seriously, who in their right mind would pass up running with 11 of their closest friends (or in my case, complete strangers), on a 200 mile adventure, running all day & literally all night? “beach bunnies. movie premiers… starting in beautiful ventura, the party in your van will only get better as you leap frog your way down the beautiful pacific coast. you’ll see stars as you run through hollywood and feel the ocean-spray as you fly past the “south-swells” of huntington beach. the race (and your stamina) will wrap up where the spectacular bluffs meet the crashing waves of dana point.”

with a total of 36 legs of the race, that meant everyone would run 3 different times. personally, i was responsible for legs 10, 22 & 34 (a total mileage of about 17-ish miles) of the southern california ragnar relay

leg 10 was a 5.5 mile run through the hills of agoura. i felt fast, passing lots of runners along the way, finishing in 45 minutes & 50 seconds (running about 8:20/ mile). after getting as much sleep as one possibly can, sharing a suburban with nearly 6 other sweaty, smelly runners, underneath the starry skies & bright lights of the santa monica pier, it was time to hit the pavement once again.

leg 22 was supposed to be a quick 3 mile jaunt, or foot tour rather, through the heart of torrance, at about 4 in the morning. my hip (which i had injured the week before), was becoming more & more painfully obvious, however i still managed to pass 3 other runners as i finished the 3 miles in 26 minutes & 15 seconds (running about 8:42/mile). after an early morning nap, on the sand in huntington beach, it was time to load up & move out.

leg 34, my final responsibility was an 8.8 mile run…  uphill, running into the wind, up & through laguna canyon (i know, i know, it sounds like one of those “i walked uphill, both ways” stories, but trust me – this is all true). this run nearly killed me, literally. by now, my hip wasn’t just hurting, it was throbbing, & i was walking and running with a very noticeable limp. runners i had passed in previous legs were zooming past me. with less than a mile to my “finish,” i started to realize that it was very unlikely that i would even be able to finish, unless it was on a stretcher. luckily, my team came to my rescue. one runner took my baton, while the others practically carried me to car.

200 miles, in just 2 days? you can only imagine what we experienced… little to no sleep, lots of bengay and white chocolate macadamia clif bars, cramped & tired muscles, breathtaking views, costumes galore, lots of questions about my team sparkle skirt & kt tape, not to mention stories & experiences that will last a life time. definitely something i’d do again, in a heartbeat.