Latest reviews by Deanne Avery

"Resolution Run 5K ~ December 30, 2017 ~ Race Recap"
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My latest love are races that keep registration open basically until the start of the race.

I was so uncertain through December about what I wanted to do in the way of a race. I had set this goal to run 12 races in 2017.

I am the race director for the Night of Light in Morganton and so I no longer run that race. It is my very favorite race but I need to stay put as much as possible that night to make sure things go smoothly.

I had registered to run the Kiawah Half Marathon with my friends on December 9th but as we got into December I really began stressing about what I really needed to do.

The weeks leading up to the Night of Light are non stop, very busy. In addition I was very busy at work with several early mornings and late evenings. I just had no time to begin thinking about Christmas just yet. I knew once the 5K was over I would have a little reprieve except that I had the half marathon the next weekend which was going to take up another weekend of the month.

The weekend after that, the weekend of the 16th, I also had plans. We spent Saturday with the girls and their boyfriends and went to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. We do something "Christmasy" (totally made up word) each year it's one of our favorite traditions. It gives us a minute to enjoy time together and all the sparkle of Christmas.

The 17th we would celebrate my moms birthday and then the next weekend was Christmas.

It just was not settling well with me to be gone the weekend of the 9th with so much going on, having been so busy in the weeks prior and having so much to do at home. In addition both my girls had stuff going on that I needed to be available for, Tess was going to be home from College and on top of that my stomach had been so upset for several days and I had not been running and I felt completely under trained. I was logging my long runs but skipping my daily short base miles.

We also did have our Christmas Tree but I wanted to really decorate and I still needed to shop for Christmas and my time was running out.

I was so sad to miss time with my friends but they had a great time and deferring helped relive a little stress for me this holiday season!

I also hated to miss this race because of my 2017 goals! While I had already run 12 races I initially thought my goal was a race a month and now I had deferred my December race. I looked back at my goals and realized I had actually just said 12 races so technically I was off the hook.

However... This also did not settle well with me either and I kept contemplating a race for December.

I had been seeing posts from some other local runner girls about the Resolution Run 5K in Marion on the evening of December 31st. Most Resolution Runs I see are for New Years Day and that would not help my situation at all.

I went back and fourth and back and fourth on this for days. Trying to find someone to do it with me. My marathon training partner said she would do it so I signed up on December 30th at 6:00 pm lol!!!

I then went on to peer pressure my sister in law to run it too! That conversation looked something like this:

Saturday Night 12/30/17
Me: Have you given any more thought to the Resolution 5K
Her: I don't know just yet what my plans are! Are you for sure doing it?
Me (6:00pm): Yes getting ready to register now
Her: Sorry, I wish I could say for sure, I will text you tomorrow. What are you doing after?
Me: Ok Sounds good!! Coming home after! I will text you tomorrow!

Sunday Evening 4:00 pm (We are leaving for the race at 6:00 pm... watch and learn my friends, watch and learn...) 12/31/17
Her: I keep going back and fourth about the race. I think I will pass but just in case what time are you leaving?
Me: You should come!!!! We are meeting at 6:30!! My friend Carly is coming too! I have some paper hats, and noisemakers for us!! Should be back home by 10pm!! You need to come it will be fun!!!
Me (20 min later): You think you will come? If so I'm gonna make you something, a surprise!!!
Her: OMG girl!!! I love surprises but it's been so cold!!
Me: It's not timed and you get a medal... Price is also reduced!!
Her: T-Shirt still included?
Me: Yep!!
Her: Still Thinking...
Me: Just come on!! You then will have all the energy you need to stay up till midnight lol!!
Her: Ok
Me (at 5:15pm): See you at 6:30!!
Her: Don't forget my surprise!!
Me: Be sure to bundle up!!

I decided on what to wear and then headed out to meet these other crazy girls!

It was snowing ❄️... It was 23 degrees... It was windy.... We were possibly under dressed (but well decorated)... Carly and I ran 15 miles the day before... We felt a tad crazy... But what a fun way to wrap up 2017 🎉
Ready to run the Resolution 5K 2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣7️⃣➡️2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣8️⃣🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏼‍♀️

We had so much fun!! I had never ran in Marion before so this was a first for me! We got there, got our bibs and shirts and went back to the car to keep warm until the race.

The route was quite a bit hillier than I expected but it was a great course. The race was well supported by the local police, they were at every major intersection directing traffic and because it was an open course they drove the route in loops making sure the runners were safe! I was so impressed! I finished the race in 31:03. Considering I was on tired leg from the longest run I had ever done the day before (15 miles) I was so happy with that time!

After the race we grabbed a water, a banana and a cookie and then high tailed it back to the warmth of the car!!

I totally would do this race again! It just might become an annual tradition.

Next year though we take the hubbies and grab a drink at my friends bar Refinery 13 Taproom after! I mean were all dressed up already and need more places to go lol!

Once we got back to town my running buddy and I had another little run to do.... Grocery store run bahahaha!!

Then we were all back home with our families to ring in the new year!!

Oh and the surprise!! As I was waiting for my SIL to decide on the race I quick crocheted reflective headbands for the both of them and wrapped them around mini bottles of champagne!! They loved them!!

Pictures and more details on the blog:

Cheers to the New Year!! Many Happy Miles!

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"South of the Mountain Trail Run - November 04, 2017 - Race Recap"
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This was my third year participating in the South of the Mountain Trail Run and each year I have gotten better and better on my pace. Trail running is very different than road running and so each year I have been very happy with my time. This year I was especially happy and sooooo close to placing in my age group! There is always next year!

In 2015 I finished in 36:53:56
In 2016 I finished in 34:58:9
In 2017 I finished in 33:51:6

I love this race. It is small town race, there were 126 finishers this year. It is a well organized event and for me it is the perfect time of year!!

I love the drive out to this race, these are the old country roads that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. My family is from this area so I love driving out here as it reminds me of when I was a little girl.

This year my sister in law joined me to run the race and I believe she loved it too!

I also love running into runner friends that I only get to see every now and then! My fellow Crazy Compression Ambassador and I always meet up at this race!

The course is absolutely beautiful, this race has become a tradition for me and I plan to continue to run it year after year! It is the perfect fall race for me! If you are ever in the area you should certainly check this race out!!

Come run it with me next year!

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"Pacing The Goose Chase Bluegrass Half Marathon"
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I have never ran as a pacer before although I am pretty consistent on my pace for nearly all the half marathons I do. I have one speed and my body just naturally settles in for the run within the first mile or so.

My friend Kim S asked me to pace with her at The Goose Chase Bluegrass Half Marathon. She actually paced me in the half that I got my PR! I of course decided to join her but I was a bit nervous. Suddenly there was a bit of performance anxiety that I felt. I MUST maintain the pace because there will be others counting on me.

I have been training for an October 40k so I am feeling pretty good with my fitness level but we would be out of town the week before the race (on the go, go, go) and flying back home late the night before the race.

As you know leg cramping is one of my main #runnerprobs so I was especially worried with all the travel and very little sleep. Saturday we drove to the Milwaukee Airport at 2pm, waited on our plane until 4:00pm, flew a short flight to Chicago and boarded another plane to Greensboro at 6pm (7pm NC time) and arrived in NC at 9pm. We then had a two hour car ride home. I walked in my door at 11:30pm and was in bed by 12am.

I set my alarm for 3:30am and was up and at it with 3.5 hours sleep. I was meeting my friend Kim A at 4:30am to make the two hour drive to Johnson City, TN. We stopped in a neighboring town to pick up another runner friend Morgan and headed to the race!

I did deliberately count my ounces of water consumed on Saturday so I could at least be sure I was properly hydrated. I also had laid everything out before I left for my trip so that I wouldn't have to do any of the race prep when I got in from my flight.

We met up and made the windy two hour drive to Johnson City, TN for the race. We would meet my friend Kim S there!

We got there with a little time to spare and quickly got changed into our pacer shirts!

Snapped a few selfies and headed to the start line.

The pacers all met up for a quick group photo and then we were off!

The course was pretty flat for Tennessee with a few small hills. It felt like home. The course was also spread out well throughout the town and very very well marked! There was plenty of support and aid stations along the way with water and Gatorade. Most of the aid stations also had music!!

We were supposed to run a 12:00/mile pace for a 2:37 finish. We stayed pretty consistent throughout the race, pulling back a couple of times and finished at 2:35!

Pretty darn near spot on!

The course was beautiful and took us all over town. We ran through the East Tennessee State University Campus, through Veterans Park, by the Hospital, and through the quaint downtown.

It really was a great day! The weather was perfect and I had great friends to run with! I am so glad I did this with friends!!! Running with friends is always awesome!!

We had so much fun and I am already looking forward to the next one!!

We grabbed some lunch after in Johnson City and then made the two hour trek home. I then showered and crawled in to my bed where I stayed the rest of the day!!

It's always an adventure and I love it! On to the next!!!

See more photos at

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"Carolina Donut Festival's Bob to Bob's Half Marathon ~ Race Recap"
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Race Management

What a super fun way to spend a Saturday!!

I signed up for this race January 31st. I like to have things on the calendar ahead of doing the next big race. This keeps me training for that next event and keeps me moving forward. I learned this valuable lesson after my first half marathon. After all the buildup and excitement of the race once it was over I was left feeling like "now what" and sunk into a slump of no running. Keeping the calendar full keeps me excited and looking forward to the next thing.

After spending the weekend before last, however, in crazy weather at my first Ultra and being stopped short at 20 miles in I began to have some meh creep in and I wasn't feeling overly excited about the upcoming race. I actually thought briefly about not running it. I felt like maybe I needed a break.

I quickly brushed those thoughts aside. My nephew was running this same race as his very first half marathon. Actually this would be his very first running event ever! I had to be there! He found running much the same way I did and I am so proud of him!

I also had lots of friends running it too and I love running races with friends!!

I am so glad I didn't back out. This race has proven now to be one of my all-time favorites!!

The hubby and I ventured to Marion on Friday night to pick up my packet. Nothing fancy. The packet was a bib and my shirt. This shirt however is super soft, super comfy and super cute! We then grabbed dinner at a local hot spot and headed back home. I love a packet pickup turned date night lol!

I had not had time to really plan what I would wear like I normal do so I laid out all the things I would consider in the morning and went to bed.

I decided that morning on a tank and capris. I always wear Crazy Compression OTC socks but for some reason I decided not to for this race. It was ok but I really prefer my OTC socks. It helps me soooooo much with muscle cramps and at about mile 11 I had them in a big way! I did wear my Crazy Compression runners which are awesome running socks but I never run long without my long socks and I won't ever do that again. Lessons learned.

The morning was actually much colder than I anticipated so I grabbed a jacket last minute and headed out the door. My friend Kathleen (my Detroit running partner) came to my house to carpool and we picked up Carly (my Asheville Marathon training partner) on the way. We made it to Marion with seconds to spare to catch the first shuttle. This race is a point to point, Bob's Donuts in Old Fort to Bob's Donuts in Marion.

We caught the shuttle just in the nick of time and headed to Old Fort! We got there and had time to spare before the race start at 7:30am. If you know me I HAVE to get to the race start early, It gives me anxiety to get to the start line just before the race start. This race is small enough though that I would have probably been ok to wait until the second shuttle at 6:45am.

The weather was cold and there was nowhere inside to wait. Kathleen, Carly and I walked laps in the parking lot to stay warm. I ended up with an extra mile or so on my watch because of the warm up walk lol! The sun finally started to come up and we could then stand still in the rays and feel some warmth.

I got to meet up with other friends there too!!

I planned to meet up with Jen who I have ran some fun training runs with!

I got to see Robin and Stephanie (fellow Crazy Compression Ambassadors)!!

I saw Ruth a fellow runner from Morganton who has unknowingly paced me in a race a time or two ;)

I of course saw my nephew Jimmy!

I also go to see Kim who I ran Fonta Flora with.

The race was chip timed but there was not a starting mat. There were 103 runners and we all just started together at the countdown given by a race official.

The course was awesome! I want to run there every weekend! There were only 5 turns on the route so there were lots of long rolling roads. They had great aid stations that were all well manned. There were police vehicles back and forth throughout the event making sure everyone was safe as the course was open. I felt the traffic was minimal and I never felt unsafe at all.

There were several rail road crossings along the course and we were reminded to be alert when in those areas in particular. For the most part I stayed behind these runners most of the way. They kept a steady pace which helped me fall in to a steady pace behind them.

I didn't have a big goal going into this race. I hadn't really found a good elevation chart and I tend to be better prepared when I am able to anticipate the elevation change. I had heard there were some hills but I expected it to be somewhat of a downhill course simple because of the geographical location of Old Fort compared to Marion. My ideal was to do about a 2:30 half marathon, my half’s in the past have been 2:27, 2:29, 2:30, 2:45 and 2:52 with those last two having some adverse issues (blisters and severe leg cramps) I figure 2:30 would be where I'd fall.

I was not doing a great job tracking my pace as I ran and instead just running on feel. I did stick as best I could to the 3:1 run/walk method. I ran the first 5K nonstop then started my intervals. Over all the elevation gain is 645 ft. All of that in miles 11-12!!! What a doozie of a hill! I walked the entire thing!!

For the most part I ran the race solo. Just me and the road and the rolling hills and the pastures. I loved it!! It was peaceful and beautiful. I did my own thing and just kept moving along.

At the top of the big hill two runners caught up with me. Kim, I knew, she is a fellow Asheville Marathon Ambassador. I also knew that she was pacing this race for the 2:30 group. With only a mile and a half or so to go and with my goal of finishing in 2:30 I held on and ran in with the two of them. I thought maybe they were ahead of pace but I didn't ask and just kept on following behind. As the finish line grew near I kicked up my pace and sprinted to the downhill finish with a time of 2:24:18!!! A new PR!!! I was so excited and a bit surprised!! I feel like I still had energy in my tank but for the first time ever I didn't pull back too much at the finish and instead finished strong!

While the PR was AMAZING my favorite part of the race was having the opportunity to congratulate my niece on her first 5K and together cheer in my nephew and watch him also sprint to the finish!! I can't fully express how proud I am.

Running is hard. Running 1 mile is far. Running 13.1 is incredible. As John Bingham says "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

Be careful with those running shoes... You just never know where they may take you!

See more pictures at

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"Reflections on my first marathon - Asheville Marathon Race Recap - March 18, 2018"
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I did it!!!

Wow!! What a journey!!

I am still kind of in disbelief but I am a marathoner!!

I logged lots and lots and lots and lots of miles training for this marathon.

I did not begin my running journey to become a marathoner. That was never on my radar. I also never really planned to stick with running after my wedding (2014) either but here I am almost 4 years later still logging the miles.

As it turns out just three years after falling madly in love with my now husband I also fell madly in love with running! I have run 5k's, 10k's, 15k's, Half Marathons, a 25k and now I have added the Marathon to my list!!

In 2016 I ran the Asheville Half Marathon as my second half marathon. I ran the half marathon again in 2017.

As I approached turning 40 I decided that I would do the marathon distance in 2018 before I turned 40.

Asheville Marathon Weekend was highly anticipated and did not disappoint.

I had an AMAZING night at the Pre-Event Dinner where I sat with and enjoyed dinner and conversation with the guest speaker Mirna Valerio!! Mirna is seriously an amazing public speaker and her story is so inspiring!! She is so humble that I am not sure she fully realizes how inspiring she really is. She is one tough (hysterically funny) bad ass runner chick spreading her passion everywhere she goes!!

Saturday I had dinner with other runner girls at Vinnie's Italian Restaurant.

We stayed the night in Asheville the night before the Marathon which I highly highly recommend. It just makes everything so less stressful for me!

I have learned in my training that I need to wake up 2 hours before my long runs and this included the marathon. I got up super early, got dressed and had a small breakfast.

I had coffee, half a banana and half of a plain bagel!

I was so uncertain about what to wear. Throughout all of our training I wore the Skirt Sports Go the Distance Tights. On every single long run! I originally had planned to wear them. I also ordered a shirt from etsy that was Irish Green (fitting for St. Patrick's Day weekend) that said "26.2 is my Lucky Number" and I knew I would wear my custom green Knockarounds and of course my Crazy Compression Socks!! Race day was looking to be warm though and so I was not sure what to do. I packed my Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra Skirt and decided the night before the race that is what I would wear! I also threw in a tank top to wear under my long sleeve shirt just in case I heated up too much!

That morning as we headed out of our hotel room I decided immediately that I needed to go and change. I went back in, took off my skirt and put on my tights. I just was not sure how the skirt would do for me for 26.2 miles. I DID know for certain that the tights would do great because they had already on all of my other runs. I have run in skirts or shorts before for half marathons but this was different. This was a FULL. I am so glad I did change I had no issues at all with my clothing choice. I did end up taking off the long sleeve shirt at about my 22 and ran in the tank the rest of the way!

I also decided that I would carry my Nathan Hydration vest for the marathon. I debated this briefly but opted to go with and I am glad I did!! When training for the half I also carried my water in a hydration pack but never carried for the race. I actually wasn't initially worried so much about hydration; I knew there were great water stops along the course. I was most concerned about my fueling plan for the marathon. I had been following a very specific plan for my nutrition and I wanted to make sure I didn't steer off plan. I found however that I needed a lot more water than I think I would have taken at the aid stations. It was much warmer than it had been in my training runs and so I sipped on water about every 10 minutes. This pack has been great and I will continue to carry on my long runs! Life saver!!

Somehow I was not nearly as nervous as I typically am before a race. Usually I am fraught with emotion, nerves, adrenaline rushes, and bouts of fear. This time I felt fairly calm. I think this is the result of having so many incredible training runs all of which were beautiful and calm. I also think this is the best trained for an event I have ever been. I even missed one training run but I felt ready. I also did not set any lofty time goals which alleviated any self-inflicted pressure too. My goal was to finish and that's what I did!

We drove onto the estate and headed down to the start line! We hung out there for just a short time and then the crowd started to form and move toward the start line.

I thought briefly that I would start out with the 5:15 pace group. I asked the pacer what her plan was and she responded that she would be running a 3:1 interval. I have trained with a 5:1 and I decided I would stick to that plan. I ran fairly close to them for about 4 miles but then fell back and settled into my own comfortable pace. I may try out the 3:1 method for my next event and see what I think.

The weather was perfect, clear skies all day!

The first 11 miles were gorgeous as always.

At around mile 11 the marathoners split off from the half marathoners. There was a brief moment around mile 5 that I thought to myself "If this is too hard I can always drop down to the half". I actually do not know if that is an option or not, I didn't even consider that during any of my training. I was immediately disappointed in myself for thinking that and right away responded to that naysayer in my head with "no that is not an option".

As I approached this turning point I had the sudden realization that I was doing this!! I saw a girl I knew working the turn and shouted to her "decisions decisions" pointing back and forth between the two ways and she quickly shouted back to me "You've got this, marathoner’s turn left!” I cried... I'm crying again as I recall that moment. I hadn't anticipated the magnitude of the turning point. The point of no return.

It was in this moment that I gained great strength. I took a deep breath and committed to the finish.

This portion of the course is a portion of the property I had never seen. It felt as though I was sneaking into a secret forest, land less traveled, and it was spectacular.

Just a bit before mile 13 as I ran up a hill I saw two pigs to my left and I said hello. They perked up and called to me to come take a selfie! LOL! Seriously in that moment they seemed to be rooting for me (pun intended lol).

Mile 13... Half way there.

Miles 13 - 20 were pretty great. I felt good. I felt strong. The scenery was AMAZING! We ran through the Biltmore Countryside and Vineyards.

I ran the Dam Hill at around mile 16 or so.

At mile 20 I cried again. That was the furthest I had gone before. I acknowledged in that moment that each step I took from there to the finish would be new for me. I knew that I was pushing myself beyond what I knew into the unknown.

Just past mile 20 there was this incredible wall!! I cried more! I totally broke through and then kept on going.

The hardest part of the race for me was at about mile 21. We come to a crossroad just below the finish to run out away from the finish and then back. This was the longest 5 miles of the race! In part this could be because I had never run that far before and in part it was because I was so so close yet running the opposite way!

The day had warmed up quite a bit and I stopped for a minute to peel off my long sleeved shirt. It was 61 but I swear it felt like 81!

I was so happy to see some familiar faces out along that stretch cheering the runners on and encouraging me.

At around mile 24 I met up with a friend from Fleet Feet and chatted with them a bit and then pushed on ahead!

Mile 25-26 was the hardest. It was a long stretch that I could see and even though I was so close I felt so far away. I have realized this "thing" about myself that I plan to somehow work on (once I figure out how). I am finding that in almost all of my distance races I pull back during the last mile. I ran that mile 3 minutes slower than my average pace on every other mile. I walked A LOT of that mile. In hind sight I feel like I easily could have pushed myself just a bit harder and I typically feel the same way about each of my races. I slow way down in the last mile and I know I still have it in me to run on. Maybe it's actually that I don't want it to be over at all.

With less than a mile to go I caught up to another runner girl and talked to her a bit. She shared with me that this was her second marathon and I shared that it was my first! We talked and laughed and I cried some more lol!! As soon as we could see the finish we decided that together we would sprint in! I am not sure if I pushed her or if she pushed me but I sure am glad we found each other!! We congratulated each other and went on to find our people.

I got my medal and a blanket and headed to grab a beer. I saw a friend and went to sit with her to cheer in another friend!

I rang the PR Bell, had a Jell-O shot with friends and we grabbed more beer.

We went back to sit and cheer in the remaining finishers! It was a great day!!

After the race we grabbed pizza at a local hot spot Mod in Asheville and headed home.

The Asheville Marathon is incredible and will be one that I will run forever and ever!

Asheville Marathon truly was an amazing experience. I love everything about this event and now after having run the marathon I love it even more! I highly highly highly recommend the Asheville Marathon!! Join me in 2019 as I run the marathon there again!!

The marathon is magical. The marathon is powerful. I fully intend to do that again!!

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