What I learned from: The Year of the Racecation

This year I may have gone a little nuts on the race front when I set out to make 2013 the Year of the RUN-cation …. I also decided to confuse myself and start calling it a Racecation instead for good measure 😉

Here’s a snapshot of the fun that was had this year (recaps under Races Tab above):

January 12, 2013 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon (Sandy Hook Memorial Half Marathon)

February 2, 2013 – Warrior Dash 5k Obstacle Race
February 24, 2013 – Disney World Princess Half Marathon
March 23, 2013 – Zooma Austin Half Marathon
April 11, 2013 – The Corporate 5k
April 14, 2013 – Athleta Irongirl 5k
April 28, 2013 – Diva’s Half Marathon
May 11, 2013 – Miles for Moffit 5 miler
August 31, 2013 – Disneyland Dumbo Dare: Disneyland 10k & Half Marathon
October 27, 2013 – Marine Corp Marathon
November 17, 2013 – Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Miles run: approximately 1500
Miles traveled for racecations: Over 14,088 miles
Races: 7 Half Marathons & 1 Full Marathon
ALL of these races just wouldn’t have been worth running if I didn’t take a little something away from each one right?

 1) Arranging goals for each race is important – You can’t go into a race with ONE goal. What about the weather, or if you’re not feeling well – be forgiving of yourself and plan ahead! I usually create an A, B, or C goal. OR I know I’ll be racing certain races for fun – why stress when you don’t have to?

2) Packing is fun but strategic – in THIS post I talked about how to pack and plan for a racecation. Being prepared to do a race far from home is uber importante! You never know what the weather will be like OR if you’ll have stores close by in case you need to run out and grab something. I tend to OVERPACK for racecations!

3) New scenery is exhilarating! Most days I don’t mind running the same route or same area, but when you head out of town for a race you experience that area and city the best way you can – on foot! With that, unless you’ve run the course before, you get the chance to step outside of your head and take in new sights and sounds for the first time! I remember in Zooma Austin how quiet and pretty the area was we were running in right in Bastrop, TX. Even though it was quiet and calm, the animals, flowers, sights were ALL new to me – so, I was able to focus on those things instead of getting in my head too much. The same happened at the Marine Corps Marathon. I definitely hit a wall once my shin shut down, but being in a city I’ve loved so much and seeing monuments and spectators abound was rejuvenating at the end!

4) Costumes make racing FUN and lighthearted! I haven’t always worn a race costume on each racecation, but almost have! I’ve talked HERE & HERE about Disney costumes I’ve put together to race and run in. Why? Remember when I said you want different goals for different races? Fun (or C) races are elevated with a costume! When you’re tired, spectators will call out your costume! “Go Piglet” pushed me through the 2013 Disney World Half Marathon! Thing to remember: make sure you still encompass elements of a race outfit you’re used to (i.e shorts and shoes aren’t new etc.) and try out your outfit BEFORE race day to make sure nothing is in the way or will fly off!

5) New cities = new growth and experience as an individual aka “We All Grow in Our UNCOMFORT Zones the most” – I’ve seen cities like Austin and Orlando and Washington DC before. Never had I run through them in a race until this year. I took in the sights and sounds of the city AFTER the race to explore more, but the races themselves helped me GROW as an individual. I’ve gotten very nervous in races where I knew no one – I got to the starting line solo and didn’t know a person around me. Once I got into a running stride and threw on a smile, I was able to enjoy that ‘uncomfortable feeling.’ I tell people I know that “We all Grow in our UNCOMFORT zones the most.” New experiences can be nerve wracking at first, but in the end you’ve grown as a person by being strong through those feelings of doubt. The sense of accomplishment is worth the uncomfortable feeling at the beginning!

I am looking forward to some new experiences in the upcoming year! I’ll be sharing those with you guys here this week as well! Not as much racecationing, but still traveling and growing with PURPOSE!

What have racecations taught you? Have you never done one and want to?


There are 2 challenges coming up for January!

Challenge 1 – via Challengeloop

What 1 thing can you focus on daily (changing it up or using a new 1 thing each day) to work towards health and fitness for the year? Join in for FREE HERE!
Challenge 2 – as a Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer

I’ve got some spots left for my 21 Day Challenge Group I’m also hosting! We start Prep Week January 5 and kick off Week 1 January 12 (after Dopey weekend!) Here you’ll have a virtual support group, including me, to ensure you get results in just 3 weeks as well as have accountability and guidance! Message me at >>>> katrinaellep@gmail.com for more info! Signup Ends January 10!

HI! I'M KAT - I am a pug-mom, wife, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, & Fitness Coach focusing on living the fit life while tackling work, coaching others - doing it all! My blog is to hold me accountable for all the goals I plan on accomplishing and also a way for me to try to inspire others through my own experiences - if I can do it ANYONE can! Fitness is a huge part of my life as well as travel and seeing all that life has to be lived! PAY IT FORWARD!

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  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 12:51 pm

    I plan on making my big trip this year a race-cation. I don’t know where yet, but it’ll be a great way to get in a vacation and a cool race!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 1:08 pm

    You definitely did a lot of traveling for races this year. Is it in your plans to do it again next year? It seems like you had a lot of fun. I’ve never really traveled too far for a race besides Disney Marathon and Jacksonville Bank Marathon. I ran a Turkey Trot in Chattanooga, but that was just because I was home for Thanksgiving so don’t know if that counts. You had a great 2013!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 1:19 pm

    You are a rockstar! I still cannot believe we were at so many of the same races and only saw each other at the DL 10k. Happy 2014 girl – I know it will bring you good things! -Christine

    • Reply
      December 31, 2013, 5:55 pm

      It’s been a crazy year, but we ARE meeting next weekend!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 1:26 pm

    Awesome Kat! You had such a busy running year. We’ve never done a racecation but John really wants to do the Chicago half in the coming year. So looks like a racecation is in our future. Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2013, 5:56 pm

      You totally should – Happy new year to you too Jen!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 1:28 pm

    I love the concept of racecations! That’s what I’ll be doing in April when I go to South Beach. 😉 Anyway, you had a killer running year. 1,500 miles, holy cow!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 1:48 pm

    I’ve never done a racecation, but I’d love to one day! Maybe I’ll get to sometime in 2014. Maybe something close by, like SoCal or AZ. Still a racecation, but not nearly as crazy. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 1:59 pm

    A racecation is a great way to spend time with people who have the same passions as you. I’ve had so many GREAT times with AMAZING people at a race cation! Can’t wait to do more 😉

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 2:01 pm

    My husband and I love runcations! You had an awesome running year!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 2:08 pm

    I am hoping to someday too become a member of the racecation group! I have yet to travel, but I hope to soon. 🙂 Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2013, 5:57 pm

      You have got to girlie! Happy new year Brittany!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 2:09 pm

    Wonderful running year!!! This was my year of the racecation too (Runcation?) as well. Love your tips, so much fun!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 2:20 pm

    New scenery is my favorite part. So excited to head to NoLa soon, maybe more for the scenery than the race.

    • Reply
      December 31, 2013, 5:58 pm

      I am so jealous but WILL live through your recap 😉

    • Reply
      January 1, 2014, 11:14 pm

      I just wish I didn’t have to be back at work so soon so I could stay and enjoy it longer. Just Saturday and Sunday is not enough time to do all the touristy stuff I want.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 2:42 pm

    I love racecations! Combining running with a vacation is ideal!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 3:09 pm

    I so enjoyed your year of racecations! So much fun!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 3:11 pm

    Whoa 1500 miles?!?! You’re amazing Kat! I love having you as a friend and as an inspiration. Happy New Year my little brown bean! lol

    • Reply
      December 31, 2013, 5:58 pm

      aw thanks friend who got me into running in the first place! 😉 xo

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 3:19 pm

    COSTUMES MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND!!!! I would be more excited about sporting a tutu then actually running the race, LOL!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 3:23 pm

    That’s so awesome! I did one racecation and it was a total bomb. Sick kids, broken down car, horrible weather and a very cranky family. At least it made for some crazy stories to tell for years to come!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2013, 5:59 pm

      Stories are totally worth it – and you need a DOOVER!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 4:24 pm

    I’ve only done one Racecation and it was super fun, but OMG, did I sure overpack.

    Congratulations on a fantastic 2013!!!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2013, 5:59 pm

      Thanks Carrie – Happy new year girlie!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 4:35 pm

    Love this post! And love that I got to meet up with you on one of these racecations! You had a rockin’ year lady — amazing. Congrats on an awesome 2013 and here’s to 2014! <3

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 4:58 pm

    Loved the pics! Way to kill two birds with one stone, staying healthy & traveling the US! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 5:05 pm

    I love a good racecation! Actually, I love them so much that my husband has requested a vacation that does not involve any running in 2014. I better make that happen if I want to keep up my running habits 😉

    Until we meet again on the road!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2013, 6:03 pm

      Haha, 2014 looks to be that way for us too – kind of 😉

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 6:04 pm

    Girl, you get AROUND!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 10:12 pm

    Wow – lots of traveling miles for your racecations!! You had a great year of racing and looks like some pretty fun travels!
    Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      December 31, 2013, 10:54 pm

      definitely! Thanks Kim same to you!!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2013, 11:11 pm

    You are amazing! I’ve enjoyed following your races this year – very inspiring.

  • Reply
    January 1, 2014, 12:59 am

    Maybe I will finally meet you this year! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 1, 2014, 5:44 pm

    Costumes definitely add some flair and excitement! What an awesome year!

  • Reply
    January 1, 2014, 6:32 pm

    Yay! I did some kind of racecations where I spent time in the city visiting friends. Seattle and Chicago come to mind. But it was only a few days and not a lot of rest. You really had an awesome year in running! I’m a wee bit jealous. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 5, 2014, 4:53 pm

    WOW! You’ve been BUSY! this looks like fun! I didn’t race (or travel) nearly as much in 2013 as I did in 2014 so I think it is time to get back to it! thanks for the inspiration! are you going to the IdeaFit conference in August?

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