Tag Archives: race

18 Hours in Chattanooga {Weekend Recap}

Hello! Hope your week is going swimmingly! I wanted to pop in and tell you about my weekend. It was an absolute whirlwind.

After grabbing a quick dinner on Friday after work, Derek and I headed to Raleigh to celebrate my best friend Jenna’s birthday.

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Happy birthday Jenna!

We had ice cream cake and a couple of drinks before heading downtown to begin our Trolley Pub Raleigh adventure.

If you don’t already know, Trolley Pub is essentially a roving bar. You bring your own wine and beer and drink while you ride around the city. Trolley Pub is powered by pedaling, so instead of sitting on traditional bar stools you’re on a bike seat (with a lap seatbelt connected to the trolley).

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The whole crew on the Trolley Pub.

We had blast! I highly recommend it if you’re in the Raleigh area. According to the website, Trolley Pub is also located in Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania, and St. Thomas.

Derek and I didn’t get back from Raleigh until 2am. The next morning we woke up around 10am, got ready, packed, and headed out the door to meet my family in Chattanooga, Tennessee for Jared’s big race. My brother Jared and I signed up for the 7 Bridges and 4 Bridges Marathon and Half-Marathon, respectively. However, due to injuries I wasn’t able to run the half. Instead I decided to walk the 2 Bridges 5K with Derek, my mom, and my dad while Jared raced.

We arrived in Chattanooga around 7pm after a 7.5 hour drive. We immediately dropped our stuff off at the Downtown Chattanooga Residence Inn (which was a great place to stay, by the way) and walked across the street to meet my family at Big River Grille for dinner. The food and beer were delicious, and it was so great to see my family! By the time we finished eating/catching up and walked back to the hotel it was time to hit the sack.

Jared’s race started at 7am, so we were all up around 5:30am to get ready. We walked over to the start since it was less than 1 mile away. I was impressed with Jared’s calm demeanor; I would probably be freaking out. Before we knew it, he was off. My parents, Derek, and I waited around at the start for another half hour before our 5K started at 7:30am.

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We took some sweet pre-dawn photos on the winner’s podium.

We were treated to a beautiful sunrise while we waited.

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Our 5K only went across 2 bridges, but the course was gorgeous!

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I stopped to get a photo of this sculpture while we were walking. Chattanooga has cool and interesting art all over the city.

We finished the 5K a little after 8am.

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With about 3 hours to kill before we expected Jared to finish, we walked back to the hotel to eat breakfast, change clothes, and hang out for a bit.

On the walk back to the finish we noticed gold shoe prints on the sidewalk ever few hundred feet. It turns out that they were showing different dance steps. I took a picture of the waltz.

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Isn’t that cool? Downtown Chattanooga is awesome! I wish we had more time to explore. We all decided we should go back sometime to check it out.

My parents, Derek, and I waited at the finish, anxiously looking out for Jared. We were all so pumped when we saw him come around the corner looking strong!

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The classic victory stance of a marathon-finisher. Go Jared!

I think finishing a marathon is a huge accomplishment in itself, but he finished in his goal time of 4 hours exactly. How awesome is that?!? I’m so glad that Derek and I could be there with my parents to see Jared complete his first marathon.

After we found Jared, it was time to refuel. We headed to Mellow Mushroom for pizza and beer. NOM.

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Around 1pm, after just 18 hours in Chattanooga, Derek and I hopped in the car to start the 7.5 hour journey back to Durham.

It was a crazy, hectic weekend, but we had fun. I’m proud of my brother for finishing his first marathon. It was inspiring to see him finish the race after all of his training. Congratulations Jared!

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Health Equity {Social Justice Issue}

I am FINALLY posting another piece in my social justice series. I love social justice posts, but they take longer to write than most of my posts. If you haven’t read Food Deserts and Swamps yet, read this one first. This post provides a broad overview of the relationship between social justice and health. It helps explain my perspective on health and well-being, and sets the stage for future social justice posts.


Health Equity

What is health equity? 

Healthy People 2020 defines health equity as “attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities.”

Health Equity

What is the difference between health equity and equality? 

Health equality focuses on fairness and involves equal distribution of health-related resources to all people regardless of pre-existing differences. Health equity focuses on people attaining the same optimal level of health, which often means that some people get more assistance or resources than others. Particular attention is paid to groups that have experienced major obstacles to health associated with being socially or economically disadvantaged. The image below is helpful for understanding the difference between the two.

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Source: theequityline.org

Unlike health equality, a health equity approach acknowledges that some individuals have a better chance of attaining optimal health than others. Therefore, the goal of health equity is to level the playing field so that everyone has the same opportunity to be healthy. An essential component of leveling the playing field and ultimately eradicating health disparities is addressing social determinants of health.

What are social determinants of health? 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), social determinants of health are “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels.”

In simpler terms, social determinants of health include a person’s

  • socioeconomic status,
  • neighborhood,
  • employment conditions,
  • education,
  • access to healthcare,
  • race,
  • ethnicity,
  • sexual orientation,
  • gender,
  • and personal behaviors.

The video below illustrates social determinants of health by using “Chad” and “Jeff” as examples.

For another example, as I pointed out in my last social justice post on food desserts and swamps, people who live in low income neighborhoods or communities are less likely to have access to affordable and nutritious food. And as we all know, a healthy diet is absolutely essential for overall health.

Why does health equity matter?

Health is a basic human right, and it affects every part of our lives. While some factors of health are beyond human influence, we have the power to address the social injustices that lead to health disparities. By building on individuals’ strengths and mitigating the effects of social and economic disadvantages, we can work towards equal opportunity for optimal health and well-being.

Resources and Additional Information

Healthy People 2020

WHO – Social Determinants of Health

4 Bridges Training {Week 6}

Wow, I can’t believe I’m almost half way through my training plan. T-7 weeks until the race! Once again I’ve been keeping up with the runs, but my strength training has been lackluster. Meh. I’ll try again this week. I won’t be including my meal plan because I’m only in town for half of the week. I’m heading to Kentucky on Thursday for a long weekend with my family. I can’t wait! My dad is an awesome cook, and I know I’ll be spoiled with his delicious food. 🙂

If you’re interested in the previous weeks, you can find them here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5.


4 Bridges Half-Marathon Training – Week 6

Monday: Strength + stretch

Tuesday: 4 miles

Wednesday: 2 miles

Thursday: Rest (Flight to Kentucky)

Friday: 4 miles + strength

Saturday: Cross-train for 40 minutes (Likely taking Scooter for a long walk!)

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Scooter is my parents’ husky-boxer mix. He’s quite the character.

Sunday: 7 miles

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