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Trips, Races, and fun around the States and World

Running a half-marathon in all 50 states

The first half marathon that I ever ran out of state was during Ironman Eagleman 70.3 on June 14, 2015 in Maryland.  That was my worse half marathon experience ever!  Next came the Cayman Islands Half Marathon on December 6, 2015 which was out of the country, so that doesn’t really count now does it.  Next was the Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa, Florida, on Febuary 20, 2016.  This was my first real taste of traveling and running road races, and this is what sparked the idea of possibly running a half-marathon in each of the 50 states.

Back in 2016, I wasn’t really serious about accomplishing this task.  I just wanted to run some states and see how I liked it.  I added GA, NJ, and IL to the list that year, and in 2017 added LA, DE, & CT.  In 2018 I made a bit more progress than the previous years, adding TX, NC, DC (not a state but I’m counting it!) CA, MA, and PA.  2019 has been a bit of a dud with only SC checked off the list.  I did a whole lot more local racing in New York this year.

So as of this post I am sitting comfortably at 15 states + DC with 35 states to go.  Seems like a whole lot, but I am in no rush and will see and explore the United States at my leasure.

Next up for me is the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon this weekend.  This race is super cool because we get to cross the bridge and run 2.5 miles or so in Ontario, Canada, and then back over into Michigan.  This will be my first time stepping foot on Canadian soil so I’m pretty excited about that.  I’m just hoping it is not too cold at the start.  Sundays low temp is 47 degrees, with a high of 66.

Wish me luck!

 

Race Recap: The Race | October 5, 2019 | Atlanta, GA

A couple weeks ago, I participated in The Race for the 2nd consecutive year. 2018 was the inaugural running of The Race, and I was legacy backer #100! The race is run through African American neighborhoods in Atlanta, and features a 5k and half marathon. I ran the half of course, and also volunteered at the expo handing out race bibs.

In the cute Hello Racer volunteer tee. I chopped the sleeves off of it.

Not the best quality, but here’s a snippet of me giving @fitwithcj his bib.

I got to see a ton of my run buddy’s.

I also had the opportunity to speak on India and Tommy’s The Run Duo Podcast, make sure you check out their show, it is dope.

A snippet of my interview

You can find the full podcast HERE, my interview is around the 1hr mark.

Now, on to the race! The race started super early at 7am, so my morning started at 4:30. There were 1700+ people registered, and while there was parking at the venue, it wasn’t enough to accommodate that many people, so I had to make sure I was in the parking lot by 6am to get a spot. The race started promptly which I was so happy about because I hate when races start late.

I treated this race as another training run since I am still in training mode for the NYC Marathon, so my plan was to take it pretty easy. Here are my splits:

My half marathon splits

I kept my mile splits pretty uniform the entire time. I am going to guess that when I peaked in the high 11s there was probably a hill involved. I hate hills, but while running in Atlanta it is inevitable. Check out the elevation chart, there was certainly a lot of up and down going on.

The Race elevation chart

The last 3 miles were really tortuous. It was a steady climb to the finish. The last mile especially was a doozy. Check out the hill behind me.

Crazy hill on the last mile.

Once I got up this hill, I booked it to the finish and picked up my medal.

Headed to the finish-line….free race pic!
Getting my medal

Some post race pics

If you plan to register for The Race, make sure you add VIP to your registration, it is totally worth it. From the free food, massages, real bathrooms and not port-o-potties, you’ll get your monies worth and so much more.

Post race massages

Post race there was a day party at The Beverly. Super cute venue, I had a good time. The theme was t-shirts and denim shorts.

And finally Whiskey and eats on Saturday at ASW Distillery.

All in all it was a super fun and successful weekend, and I’ll definitely be back next year! I believe registration opens Black Friday, so don’t miss out!

Race Recap: NYRR Bronx 10 mile | September 29, 2019

Bronx 10 mile Finish-line

This past Sunday I got to run one of my favorite races.  I think its my favorite mainly because its in the Bronx, and I’m from the Bronx!  I think this is my 3rd or 4th Bronx 10 mile.  I try to do it every year, but it always falls on my anniversary weekend.  Luckily this year I didn’t have a trip planned, so the Bronx 10 mile it was!

Looking back on previous years, this years time was really the pits!  Granted I am certainly not as fast as I use to be, so my times have really taken a dive, but I hadn’t realized that it had gotten this bad! Another granted, I really wasn’t attempting to run this race fast, but was instead treating it like another marathon training run.  I did a 3:1 run walk miles 2-9.  Run walking has really helped me to stay healthy, and get through my double digit runs without feeling like death warmed over.  So while I was 16 minutes slower than the last time, I’m happy with this time because I did what I needed to do, and finished in under 2 hrs.

This years splits 

Oh, another goodie about this race is we run by my Alma mater Dewitt Clinton High School.  Every-time I have the opportunity to see my old High School in person, it brings a smile to my face because I had so many good memories there.  Fun fact: Stan Lee, the creator of X-Men, Ralph Lauren, and even Tracy Morgan all graduated from Clinton High School, and so did I! lol.

Of course I had to get a selfie in front of the school!

 

All in all, still one of my favs, and I hope I can do it again next year.  This weekend I am off to Atlanta to run The Race, it should be a jam packed weekend.  I’ll be documenting the entire weekend on video, and will have my full race report next week.

 

More Pics:

 

I am fundraising for the London Marathon….click here https://justgiving.com/fundraising/str8kim to support Team Sense and to help me reach my goal!

Greece Travel Vlog Part 3: Crete to Santorini

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We took a bus from Chania to Heraklio, to the ferry port. This was a 2hr bus ride and was €15pp. There is a port in Rethimno which is an hour ride from Chania, but the ferry runs every other day, and the day we were leaving it was not running, so 2hrs to Heraklio we went. The bus was just like a greyhound bus, but with comfy seats….I slept the entire ride.

Ferry Heraklio-Santorini €156 for 2 people

We took the Minonan Lines Santorini Palace and I splurged for the VIP tickets which were well worth it. The seats were large and comfortable, there weren’t a lot of people, and there was table service. Well worth the splurge.

VIP Seating

Transportation in Santorini

I booked ground transportation through Viator. It’s a great website for booking tours and transport. There was a man waiting with a sign with my name on it at the port. I booked shared transportation so I knew we’d be waiting for others, but I didn’t think we’d be waiting an hour! The company was Sunbird Travel Agency and the cost was €34 for 2 people. The car was a Mercedes van, it was very nice and comfortable, but the hour wait I could have done without.  My husband and myself, and another couple had to wait for a group of 3 girls who came in on a different ferry. That wait was entirely too long. Private transfers were like 150 euro so this was a bargain. I also booked them for our return back to the port.

Santorini Transportation

Hotel – View Hotel by Secret $466

This hotel was definitely a splurge, and well worth it. It just opened in May so everything was new, and it was a 10 minute walk to Oia. To stay in Oia was a minimum of like $700 per night. The prices were insane! So finding this little gem so close to Oia was a big score.  Breakfast was included, and they had a great spread.  They have lunch and dinner service, and their food was delicious, but everything on the menu is pretty pricey. The staff was so friendly. I would definitely stay here again.

Santorini is just so beautiful with all of the white buildings, and churches with blue domes. The sunsets were out of this world. I had never seen a purple and pink sky before. It truly took my breath away.

When I’m on vaca I always do a catamaran cruise. It’s a great way to see places you would never see on foot. I booked this through Viator as well, it was €171 for 2 people. The company was Sunset Oia. I have to say this was the best catamaran that I have been on. I have never been on a catamaran with flushing toilets! Usually you have to pump until everything goes down. They cooked the food on-board which I’ve also never seen on a catamaran. There was a huge grill at the back of the boat. The crew could have been more lively, but maybe that’s a Greek thing. We still had a great time.

We ate at Skiza our last night. The food was amazing, and we had a rooftop Caldera view. Our entire meal with drinks and dessert was only €54. I thought that was such a steal for such a great meal.

Days 7-8 – Santorini to Athens

We took the ferry from Santorini to Athens. It was a 5hr ride. 😩. I wanted to fly which was a little over an hour? But reading the reviews of the 2 airlines that flew to Athens had me terrified. There were a ton of cancellations and I didn’t want to risk missing our flight to Madrid, so ferry it was. We took the SeaJet ferry and it was €140 for the both of us.  This time I was cheap and didn’t go for the VIP, but boy did I wish I did.  While the seats were comfortable, albeit a little tight, there were a ton of people in the regular seating.  VIP is definitely worth the splurge when traveling the Greek Isles….Trust me!

Me in the Ferry seat

Once we arrived in Athens we headed back to the airport.  We had about 2hrs before our flight so we headed to the Goldair Handling CIP Lounge.  This lounge had a pretty good food and alcohol spread, and comfortable seating.  The lounge could use some updating because there were no outlets at the seats.  They were all at a pretty nice table that looks like it was later added to the lounge.  We boarded our flight and headed to Madrid.

Madrid Hotel: Vitium Urban Suites

I booked this room through Agoda for $70.78.  The room was quite small, but it was clean and had everything we needed for our 12 hour stay.  The best thing of all is it was located right on Gran Via.  The location was absolutely perfect, and right in the center of Madrid.  We had dinner that evening at a cute little restaurant, and my main mission for the next morning was to head to the Adidas store and score some swag; which I did, but I won’t reveal it now because it is my NYC marathon outfit!  I also hit up Primark of course for some souvenirs, then we hightailed it to the airport.  We didn’t get to visit the lounge in Madrid because we didn’t have much time after shopping.

I hope you enjoyed my Greece Vlogs, hopefully you had a chance to watch the videos as well.  I’ll be documenting all of my trips going forward, so hopefully I’ll get better at this video thang.  Thx for reading and watching!

Greece Travel Vlog Part 2: Athens to Chania, Crete

We took Olympia Airlines out of Athens Airpport for the short 30 minute flight. It was $159 for 2 people. This airline was super spacious, they gave us the entire exit row so 6 seats for 2 people. They served beverages, Greek cookies which I did not expect, and the staff was super nice.

My husbands co-worker is Greek, and his family is from Chania (pronounced Hania). He was vacationing in Crete last year and I saw the pictures and video and said we have to go there in 2019, so he is the reason we were there….thanks Nick! We got to experience Chania from a locals perspective which was amazing. We went to beaches that we would have never found on our own. Drove down mountains that had no edges, one wrong turn and you were toast. Ate amazing Greek food, it was really the highlight of our trip.

We visited Seitan Limania Beach, which is a newly discovered beach in Crete. The drive down to the parking area was terrifying. When I stepped outside of the car my legs were shaking, I could barely walk. The hike down to the beach was even more terrifying. I took 19 steps, looked down, and said there was no way in hell I was doing this. The beach was really beautiful and I am so angry I didn’t get to see it I’m close, but my life is worth more than an IG post. 🤣🤣🤣  Since our trek to Seitan Beach was unsuccessful, we headed over to Kri Kri beach instead.

Atop Seitan Beach

Kri Kri Beach

Hotel- Elia Palazzo Hotel-cost $198

This hotel was so beautiful, and in the heart of the Rimondi. It was a 10 room hotel, so we were lucky to nab a last minute room. The room was spacious, new, and had the cutest balcony. Breakfast was also included, but we didn’t partake since we were out so very early in the morning. The staff was very nice, I would highly recommend. You want your hotel to be located in the Rimondi, you’re in the center of Crete, with easy access to all the nightlife. This area is still lively at 2am.

The outside of the hotel with the morning bread delivery…so cute!

View from our balcony

Hanging out at night in the Rimondi.

We visited Balos Beach and Lagoon. We took a bus ride which was about an hour, to the ferry, another hour. This was €38pp. It was well worth the cost of not having to drive down another scary mountainside. This Lagoon was absolutely beautiful. I would highly recommended visiting Balos if you are in Crete. The ferry then went over to Nisos Gramvousa which was another beach. Not as pretty as Balos, but still beautiful, and there was a fort at the top. I was pooped so I just layed out on the beach and slept for an hour. Crete was so beautiful and I don’t see a lot of people talking about it. Definitely add it to your Greek island tour.

Laying on the beach in Balos.

View of the blue lagoon.

I just want to leave you with some pics of some of the Gyro’s and Greek Salads we had.  Gyros were super inexpensive.  No more than 2.50 euro for one, most times less than that.  Greek Salads were 4-5 Euros.  We must have eaten 3 of these a day.  I loved the fact that they stuff french fries inside of them!


Yummy!

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