Wednesday, April 17, 2013

i am runner strong.

monday was a bad day. a bad day for the people of boston. a bad day for runners. a bad day for americans. and a bad day for the running community all over the world. it was supposed to be a good day, a great day actually. it was patriots day, the running of the 117th boston marathon, and opening day for the red sox. but it wasnt, it was a bad day. 
i was off that day. i had been sick all weekend and still couldnt muster the energy to go to work. on the couch after eating the 1st decent breakfast id had in 3 days, i got the notification from nbc on my iphone that 2 explosions had happened at the finish line of the boston marathon. i couldnt believe it. it couldnt possibly be real. for the rest of the day i watched the cnn coverage of the attack, took a phone call from my very cute concerned aunt, constantly updated my twitter feed to check on friends, and sat there in utter disbelief like everyone else. i couldnt believe it. why would someone take such a sacred and joyous day to turn it into a horribly, bad day.
this will always be what i think of when someone brings up
the boston marathon finish line. one bad day doesnt get
to change that.
all day yesterday i read so many people's beautiful, heartfelt posts and just didnt know that i could compete. not that this is in any way a competition! i just didnt know that what i would write could stand up to what they had already said. and so my blog sat, rather quiet for the day, when it should have something very runnery, very inspiring to say.

then i got an email about what i would be doing saturday morning. as part of my new years running resolution i decided i really wanted to volunteer at a few events this year. race volunteers are truly amazing and i thought it was about time i got my butt in gear. so a few weeks ago i signed up for the rage triathlon, the race i did last year, to do just that! fast forward to today and an email bounced in my inbox about what i would be doing. after i got over the shock that iI need to be there at 530a i read on to find out i would be at the swim area to begin working crowd control. after that was over i would head over to the finish line to help for the rest of the day. i was totally stoked! they warned to bring extra sunscreen and comfortable shoes since it would be a long day.

just before the race started last year.
my day continued on and i was totally excited that i would be so involved in the race. and then it hit me, i would be part of the finish line crew, just like so many of the brave volunteers that ran right to where the people that needed the most help where and where the blasts when off. not that this race is anything nearly as big as boston, but it made ya think for about a half a second. and then the true runner/american/spunky girl in me came flying out. no way was i letting some coward make me afraid to run a race, or spectate a race, or volunteer at a race! i LOVE this sport. running turned my whole life upside down and helped me find who i really am. that's the beauty of running, it can be whatever you need it to be.
plus, EVERYONE deserves this feeling.
so this saturday i will arrive at boulder beach at 530am with a very big coffee in hand to be a part of a race. and i will continue to toe the start line of half marathons big or small. and on october 27th i will line up with 30,000 of my closest friends to run the marine corps marathon because it's part of who i am. and no one gets to take that away because i am runner strong.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

the f-word, runner style.

in the process of all things new on this little blog of mine, i should probably tell you one of the new big things i finally committed too. its something that has terrified me to my very core for a long time as a runner and something i swore up/down/left/right/center i would never ever do. its a scary, scary word that starts with an f. ladies and gentlemen this last week i signed up for a full marathon. thats right, 26.2 miles of pure full craziness!
now i didnt go into this lightly. i had been thinking about it for many months, consulted a few experts that gave great personal encouragement, did research-a lot actually, and even a little bit of a test run with the back to back 1/2 marathons last year in october-sneaky i know. and while signing up was a big decision for me, where i would go was no question. i knew instantly when i wanted to sign up i would be traveling to washington dc to run the marine corps marathon!

first it is known as the peoples marathon and does not have a half attached to it. i knew for my own psychy i would not want to be tempted in going down the half course on race day! it would also allow me to check off another place i have raced in and the marines hold a very special place in my heart:) i never knew how true it was when someone said when one member joins the corp, the whole family does, until i was in that family. plus i figured that of anybody that could coordinate a race, the marines would do a kickass job. 
so 2 weeks ago i sat down at the computer on my desk at work and watched the clock countdown to 9a pst, then waited a good 2 minutes before logging onto the website to sign up. last year the race sold out in 2 hours and 46 minutes so i knew i needed to hop on fairly quickly when it opened. and then the site crashed from overload. then kicked me off halfway through registration. and finally after 2 hours and 27 minutes of refreshing the race was sold out. now what was i going to do?

there were many apologies by the marathon of all the people that had countless problems and frustrations, trust me there were tons of us. but that still left me without a bib. so back to my research i went in what to do next. i considered the bib transfer option in which over the summer someone that signed up no longer wants their bib can give it to someone waiting desperately for one. but that meant i would have to find an actual person and with all the people that got shut out, i wasnt sure that was the safest option. see i didnt have a back up plan if i didnt get in. the marine corp marathon is my only choice for my 1st full marathon. that meant i was heading down the road of a charity option.
i hesitated quite i bit, ill be honest. i didnt want to pick one just because it was my only option. i wanted to pick one that i was passionate about. but then i started to really look into the amazing organizations and was phenomenally impressed with what they do! i narrowed it down to two places after chatting with my brother. can you tell i dont make big, big decisions quickly haha.

after waiting a few days for response and confirmation i am incredibly proud to tell you that this year i will be fundraising and running the 38th marine corps marathon with.......
you may have heard of them before, if not please check out their website! they are doing truly amazing things with the incredibly brave men and women that have served our country:) i am sooo proud to be able to help raise money for such a fantastic organization!

alright now its time to start the fundraising, today my friends! my firm goal is $500 by october 1st. but i would love, love, love to blow that goal out of the water before then and continue to raise money all the way through race day! you will see these links a lot and i will talk about it tons for the next few months:) it so super easy to donate. you simply enter the donation amount, click on the next button and enter the credit card information. no amount is too big or too small, everything adds up! thank you so, so, so much in advance:)

Friday, April 5, 2013

the hot chocolate san diego 15k race recap.

a few months back i heard about the hot chocolate race through the running grapevine and was soooo wishing there was one in vegas. that didn't stop me for long, especially since there was one so close in san diego! there is a 15k or a 5k you can participate in, a really sweet tech race sweatshirt, and when you cross the finish line they give you a bowl of chocolate. sold! i quickly recruited my mom into the 5k. which also didn't take long when i mentioned there was lots of chocolate at the finish line. ps we have major sweet tooths in my family:) thank goodness my mom is so up for anything!

last saturday morning we hopped in the car for the fairly easy 5 hour drive down south. we made it in plenty of time to play around the gaslamp district where the race took out of sunday morning. our hotel was amazingly close to everything and the room service we ordered for dinner that night was super delicious. the 5am alarm sunday morning however was crazy early.
we like to carb up with cupcakes too:)
donned in our outfits we made the half mile walk to the start line to gather in our corrals. after all the crazy things i had heard about traffic in other cities i was sooo glad we decided on a close hotel. we made it plenty of time for my mom to get into her corral since the 5k took off 1st. she was so super excited to be in a higher corral than me:)

after the 5kers were off the 15kers started lining up. we noticed that we were one of the only people dressed up that morning and the people around me in my corral looked awful serious. i was a little nervous to be honest since i hadnt run quite that distance in some time. but i was out there for fun and very much hoping to come in under 1:30:00.

soon we were off and up the 1st hill. apparently i was under very big impression that san diego was flat, ha! for the next 9.3 miles it was up and down, up and down. the problem with the downhill was just as mean as the uphill so i wasn't speeding down those either. the ground was also super uneven so you really had to watch where you were going. i saw a few people fall and it definitely made me keep my eyes on the ground the rest of the way.
usually i tick off the miles excitedly as i pass them and think to myself i only have x number left. for some reason the only way i could think through this race was breaking it down into three 5ks. not sure how that switch happened, but it got me through! sometimes you just cant fight things.

the course was a tough one, but had snaked through tons of neighborhoods so there were lots of spectators along the way. the water stations were stocked full of volunteers and encouragement as well. i took it slow the first 2ish miles to get my footing and figure out the hills a bit. once in a groove i was determined just to keep running up all the hills! the weather was gorgeous, although i really could have used some sunscreen lol.

after the 5k mark i picked up speed a bit and was feeling pretty good. then the really big hills came into play and man were they killers! i noticed that we never saw the 5kers and thought that was kind of odd, it really felt like 2 totally different courses. then we got to the hill just after the 10k mark. it was literally straight up. luckily there were spectators at the top cheering us on and letting us know there was a downhill soon. we crossed the 7 mile mark in the process and thank goodness there was only 2 miles left afterwards, i was just about spent.

soon we crossed the 8 mile mark and it was one crazy downhill left then all flat through the back roads to the finish line! i picked up speed, ready to get to the chocolate. as we turned the last corner i saw the finish line and heard the amazing voice of my favorite race announcer. i have no idea what his name is, but he does long beach, did surf city, the turkey trot we did in november. i just love him. and he commented on my tinkerbell wings:)

i was scanning the crowd looking for my mom as i furiously drank water. finally i found her with a bit of a sad look on her face. she took off her jacket and showed me the huge scrape on her shoulder plus the crazy swelling on her left hand. turns out a mile 2 she lost her footing and fell right over! luckily the race had these really cool people called race guards that are doctors/nurses that run the race with us offering help to anyone in need. my mom said she was so so nice and was able to get to her so much faster than a volunteer then calling for help! they were able to dig out the rocks in her hand and the race guard finished the race with her just in case. she is ok, just a little sore.

we headed over to the very best part...the chocolate! the race people were so super efficent and we walked right up and grabbed our cups. my mom said she was glad she waited for me since there was a super crazy line after all the 5kers had finished. of course we dug right in and the pretzels were my favorite part. well that and the fun pictures we took:) it also had huge marshmallows, a banana, rice krispie treat, and vanilla waffers.
afterward we headed back to the hotel slowly eating our chocolate the whole way, best post-race snack ever! which was well deserved because that course kicked my butt. between the hills and the distance man i was beat up. respect the distance for sure!

we showered up, took a quick nap-thank you for a 12pm check out time-then headed up the coast a bit to carlsbad for super delicious lunch at a beachside cafe. which of course meant this...
my mom and i had a blast with this race! i am so so grateful that she is willing to join me in these crazy things:) at least this time i included chocolate!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

the march 2013 running recap.

total run mileage: 65.67 miles
highest weekly run mileage: 29.68 miles
# runs: 11
# rest days: 17
# xtraining workouts: 3
favorite run: the hot chocolate 15k in san diego. the course was pretty rough, i had no idea there were so many hills in san diego! but got to do it with my mom and we had a blast:)
most hardcore run: the 10 miler i did last friday. i skipped the morning run and decided i would do it in the afternoon because i got off work at a decent time. forgot to factor in that it would be 85* at 330p with no clouds, oops. but i got through it and felt very accomplished!
current reads: nothing serious, crud.
current shame-inducing guilty pleasure: travel sites! i have some seriously cool things happening the rest of this year and i have been looking things up like a crazy person. tours, places to eat, those cant miss touristy attractions. oh i so have the travel bug!
current obsession: getting ready for spring! well, the few very short weeks we get here in vegas haha. my flipflops and super cute dresses are all set to come out of the closet!
current drink: water and more water.
current song: such the hopeless romantic:)
current wish-list:
·         a magical shopping spree that i could update all the accessories in my closet
·         another magical shopping spree so i could reinvigorate my closet with things that fit and with the so cute new things on the spring shelves.
·         hey, its a “wishlist”:)
current need: to get back to regular blogging. i think i was trying to “reinvent” the wheel a little bit in what i want this little blog to be. instead im just going to go with the flow and see where it takes me.
current triumph: a successful return to the indoor soccer field! i know that sounds silly, but i havent played in years, literally. crazy how it all comes back so quickly and naturally. and im having a blast!
current bane of my existence: taxes. they are just mean. enough said.
current goal: to remember this…
current indulgence: easter candy…well these specifically…
current excitement: two pretty fun plans finally fell into place in the last week. funny how those things happen on their own, when they are supposed too. and they both involve traveling to fun new places! more details on both soon:) i told ya, my travel bug is getting out of control!
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