101 in 1001 · Health & Fitness

53. run 13 miles

For a few years I’ve wanted to run a half marathon, but the idea of it was really intimidating.  This summer, I decided to go for it and started training!

I planned on signing up for the Rock and Roll Savannah after hearing good reviews and that it had a flat course.

I signed up for a training plan on RunKeeper and 3 weeks in, my body was yelling at me to quit (there wasn’t much rest built into the plan).  I took a few days off, and reevaluated. Over the years, I had read about Hal Higdon’s plans on different occasions, and finally decided this was the plan for me because of the cross training options. 

Fortunately the training, although a little time consuming, was doable and much kinder on my body. 

Until the month before the race. October happened to be one of the craziest months of my life, and I don’t think I trained at all. Not good when you’re planning on running 13 miles straight. 

After much encouragement, I decided to still try, but to readjust my goals for the race. Originally I wanted to finish under 2:15 and run the entire race. My adjusted goal was 2:30 and to complete, even if walking was required.

We arrived to the start line that morning about 30 minutes prior to start time. What I didn’t know was that we’d be started in shifts and really wouldn’t start until about 30-40 minutes later. This turned out to be good news because I may have had to use the bathroom twice while we were in our corrals. #BlameItOnTheNerves


So a little while later, we were off! Some of our friends from church were also doing the race but I couldn’t find them prior to the start. About two minutes in I was able to catch up with one of them and we stayed with each other for most of the race.

As you’ll see in the picture below, it was extremely foggy and humid – even at our early start. By mile one I was already really sweaty, and even had a stomach cramp – which I didn’t have the entire time training. 

 Unfortunately things continued to get warmer. I honestly didn’t think much of the temperature but more of the humidity.

Mile after mile, I felt pretty good and happy with the pace I was running until mile 10. At one of the water tables they had an ice bag sitting out, and I remember scooping up some, not caring about how unsanitary that probably was, just to get something cold in me. 

Along the way, I saw people sitting down but this being my first half, I didn’t think much of it. Later I learned that because of the warm temperatures they had a lot of people falling out on the course and needing medical attention. Eventually they started turning around the full marathoners on the course because of the temperatures.

Around mile 11, I noticed that my heart rate was up more than normal and I felt a little lightheaded. Obviously it wasn’t worth the risk of passing out. It was a little bit sad to stop running and walk but I felt confident in my decision – until I started running again and I realized my legs were pretty much dead at that point πŸ˜‰ 

As I got closer to the finish line, I was so happy that I had almost finished a half and overcome something that I feared to try for so long. I think more than anything, it was a mental accomplishment, knowing that I can push myself to do things with hard work. 

Crossing the finish line was a wonderful feeeling – and not just because they had ice cold water and Gatorade available – but that was pretty exciting. πŸ™‚ 

Overall, I was happy with my time 2:33:45.7, even though it was over my goal time.    

 Hopefully I’ll do another soon and beat that time! 

ps – my watch. Such a jokester. This was AFTER I finished. #Nope πŸ™‚  

101 in 1001 · Atwell Adventures · With Our Family

21. host a nephew/niece slumber party

One of the things on my 101 in 1001 list that I was eager to do since writing it, was host a nephew/niece slumber party.

Living in a different city than our families only allows us to spend limited time with them, so we wanted to steal them from their parents for a weekend so we could have fun!

After figuring out a date that worked for them, we mailed some invitations. The funny thing I didn’t really think about – only 3 of the 10 we invited can really read. Oh well, details πŸ˜‰


The invitation didn’t really give a whole lot away, it just invited them on an Atwell Adventure (again, some didn’t understand that Atwell is our last name, ha…)

A few weeks before I sent them postcards asking some of their favorite things (pizza toppings, snacks, candy, etc) and what they thought we were going to be doing when they came to visit.  It was so fun for me to receive their cards back in the mail – and it really helped making grocery shopping easier before too!

When it finally came time to pick them up, Gary and I headed to Macon in to separate cars so that we could haul eight little ones back to our 1200 square foot town home.



Throughout the weekend, we had a jar of activities and each one got to pick one, starting from oldest to youngest.  What they didn’t know was that I had the activities planned out, and I changed the papers each time we drew a new one. (#shhhhhhh)


We started out the adventure with burgers and hot dogs for dinner, a few Minute to Win-It challenges thrown in for fun, and ended the night with watching Heavyweights!



The next morning, Gary headed off to work for a few hours and I tried to hold down the fort with breakfast, movies, baths, and lunch.  It was a relief joy to welcome him back home at lunchtime!

With Gary home we started some of our next activities: tie-dye shirts, a visit to AirStrike trampoline park {the groups favorite part of the weekend}, Dippin Dots before dinner, and pizza night! Proper nutrition doesn’t count when you’re with your aunt and uncle, right?







More games and movies before everyone drifted off to dreamland.

The next morning we got up and everyone dressed and fed before our final two adventures: putt-putt and Chick-fil-A!  I will say that putt-putt didn’t go over as well as I thought it would… but how could we not, living in the golf capitol of the world? #Augusta




Before heading back to meet their parents halfway, we got all the kids together and posed for a quick picture.  I need to print this and display it – so many personalities and memories wrapped up in one photo!


Big thanks to my husband for letting me run with this idea and to their parents for letting me keep their children for 48 hours πŸ™‚


101 in 1001

16. take a photo on each anniversary – year two!

Yesterday we celebrated two years of marriage!

And I’m here to share that our tradition of taking a photo on our anniversary still stands – two for two! ha… great record, no?

Last year, we travelled to Portland so that’s where we took our first anniversary picture. This year we were in town so before dinner and dessert we stopped at the Augusta Riverwalk to take a few selfies. πŸ™‚

The weather cooperated well, the sun didn’t make us squint too much, but close to the end of our takes,Β I was definitely starting to “glow”. How did we get married in July without melting?

year 2 | Atwell Adventures
year two
one year | Atwell Adventures
year one
day one
day one

So very thankful for the gift of marriage and who I get to spend it with!