Thursday, April 6, 2017

Meet the Runner that I am today. :)

My very first finish line photo (Jingle Bell Run 5K, December 1, 2007)....now I've learned to smile while I run. ;)

**I spent this morning answering a few questions for a 'big time" shoe company to be featured on their blog!! I am absolutely humbled and honored by these kinds of opportunities....Looking back on my first 5k, I absolutely looked like I was dying as I crossed the finish line! I was wearing a LONG SLEEVED COTTON TSHIRT AND COTTON PANTS. omg. Do you hear me?!! I would never wear that now!!

I've learned so much since I first started running. Some things remain totally the same though. I've kept every race bib....with the original safety pins. One of my quirks. I am very sentimental and like to keep my running mementos.  I want to be able to look back at my running and races. I also thought that I was "big-time" because my first bib had "Runner's World" on it. I thought I was totally a legit runner at that point. I also remember getting to the race that morning and not knowing how to attach my bib. I smile now everytime I think of that. Not even knowing how to put on my bib is probably one of the reasons why I still get choked up and sappy about being able to work with Runner's World Magazine in the past.... I cannot explain how truly thankful that I am to the running community for being so good to me. I've come a long way and I'm thankful that almost ten years later and I'm still learning about all of the things that have molded me into being the type of runner that I am.

I love looking back and reflecting on my first running experiences. And I will call them experiences and not races. I've never been that fast and I tend to approach each race as an experience. I prefer it that way....Over the years, I have expanded my running horizons to include fitness, travel, vacation, friendships, change of diet and nutrition, blogging, social media, workout clothes and shoes and it's what I do now for a living.

So here's just a tiny little bit about me and my running that I answered today... :)

About my racing/running....I have been running races since 2007. I decided to run my first 5k when I turned 35 years old. My youngest child was entering Kindergarten and I was a stay-at-home Mom who needed a hobby and also needed to get back into shape. I've always been active but never thought that I could actually run a 5k. So I started training. My first race was on my 35th birthday and I did OKAY. I finished and I was proud of myself but I wasn't proud that I had to stop and walk and ran slower than what I wanted to. I made it my goal to be able to run a full 5k without stopping. Four months later, I achieved that goal. I quickly signed up for my first Half Marathon. 

Since my first half marathon, I have completed 48 Half Marathons, 12 Full Marathons and waaaaayyyy too many 5 and 10ks to count!

At one time, I was obsessed with my finish times, my pace, my PR's. Now, I don't worry about those things so much anymore. I have decided that I really enjoy the sport of running. I enjoy soaking up the views along the course during races. I enjoy the social aspect of running. My race times can still be fast sometimes now but I enter every race less stressed and am super proud of myself at the end of every race no matter the distance. 

I have ran in 8 states (mostly the southeast), I like to support my local races as much as possible. 

My favorite distance to run is 13.1 Miles (Half Marathon). I feel like I can push myself just enough, I am able to always stay "half-trained" by getting a long run in on the weekends and I like to earn medals!

My pre-race rituals are very simple. I drink one cup of coffee, eat a banana (maybe a granola bar or protein bar if I'm running longer than a 10k), arrive to the race early and I make sure that I've grabbed my lip gloss! Gotta look cute for the race photos! I feel like if I go into a race relaxed, then I will have a great run! 

Another thing that I've learned over the years about myself and running is that I just don't compare myself to other runners. Sure, there will always be faster runners than me. Sure, there will always other runners who show up earlier than me and add in extra miles. However, there is only one "me". I know that I will run back to back races and I may not always be running on rested legs...I'm a busy Mom and I rarely sit down.  I do the best that I can do and that's ALWAYS enough for me. 

At the start line, I do take time to stretch but not too much. I like to stretch and foam roll my muscles after I've ran. I often put my headphones in, find my music and take a minute for myself and just be thankful that I'm about to go do what I love to do the most....just run! 

I hope to never lose sight of why I started running. It's not about being fast or running a zillion races. I encourage others to find something that makes them happy and for me it's running. I had no idea when I started out on my running journey years ago that I would really accomplish goals or restore a confidence level in myself that I was desperately looking for. Running brings out the best side of me and for that, I'm ridiculously thankful! I am proud to call myself a "Runner". :)
My very first 5k time....I thought it was cool since it fell on my 35th Birthday.
I had no idea then if it was a good time or not....

My first 5k bib. I love this for so many reasons.
So much so that I've attached it to pretty glittery scrapbook paper. ;)
A trip down my running memory lane was just what I needed today! Sometimes its' good to go back and remember the reasons why I started running and why I will always love to run.

Happy Running and Now I need to plan a 10th Running Anniversary Experience!!! <3

A 2017 current race photo...I've learned to smile, not worry and enjoy my races.
#HappyRunner
2017 Disney's Princess Half Marathon

Saturday, February 18, 2017

I Caved to the #TcsNycMarathon Right Side of The Road Pressure

I did it. With four minutes to spare. I did it. 

I applied for the 2017 Tcs New York City Marathon lottery.

I ran it last year and it was the best experience of my life. I said it would be years before I ran it again. I said it was too expensive. I said I couldn't take the time off work. 

I couldn't ruin my first time experience by running it again too quickly. 

Bottom Line. It was the BEST race experience of my life and there was NO WAY that I could not at least try to run it again. I even told random strangers about it tonight. It's been on my brain all day....when things are in my brain like that, there's a reason why and I just gotta go with it. Heck, one of the strangers applied while i was talking to him and telling him about my race experience. I was like......whattttt?!! No way I could not enter the lottery.

If I don't get picked, that's ok. But at least I tried. And if I do, Merry Early Christmas to me!!! Today was a great day for me to re-live my #tcsnycmarathon experience all over again. 

When I describe this race, I tell people that I could run it a zillion times and never  even come close to having the same race experience. And I believe that. However, last year, I ran the race all the way to the left side of the road and i just gotta see what the right side of the road would be like. ;) 

I know that sounds totally crazy but if you're a runner, you probably understand this logic a tiny bit. ...

Good Luck to all of those who entered the lottery. I'm in it just like you and I hope to see you all in NYC. :) 


Monday, January 23, 2017

Social Media....Thank you. #RunnersWorld #TCSNYCMarathon

January/February Issued of Runner's World Magazine.
     January 21st, 2017. It happened. I looked at it about 15 times. It really happened.
That's my mug. That's me. Woah.


     Rewind to about an hour before I found this picture in the magazine.....this was my Facebook status. My day that started out as being pretty fabulous turned to crap, real quick like. I didn't see it coming. Crappy weather. Crappy day at work. Just overall crappy day.

     I got home from work and decided that I would NOT look at Facebook or too much social media for that matter for the rest of the day. I have a love/hate relationship with it anyways and today I'm in NO MOOD for the nonsense. Sorry if it sounds harsh but it's the truth. I value friendships and relationships and find myself reading waaaaaaaayyyy too much into things that I see online. Therefore, out of sight, out of mind. Today was just a day that I wanted to be left alone.  Works for me. Sorry Social Media. I'm out.

     Fast forward a few minutes later into my bubble bath. I read every article of this month's Runner's World Magazine. Once a month, I make time to sit down and read this magazine. I make no apologies, Runner's World Magazine and all of the people that are associated with the magazine are just the best. I've had the pleasure of meeting with several of the editors and becoming friends with Mr. Runner's World, Bart Yasso, himself and they are all really class act. I've been a subscriber for more than 10 years and have DREAMED of seeing my self in the magazine. Heck, I've even applied to be on the cover. I thought I might spot myself when I ran the Runner's World Half Marathon two years ago. Nope. Didn't happen. And then I thought I might spot myself in the magazine when the magazine posted an article on my local running group in Birmingham, Al. a few months ago. I'm pretty active in the Birmingham running community. Again. Nope. Didn't happen. Oh well.

     So seriously...fast forward into my bubble bath. I get all the way to the end of the magazine. OMG. I see myself!!!!!!! And not only do I see myself, but I see myself on a page with the Runner's World Crew and on a page about the TCS New York City Marathon.......well. that's it. Life made. <3

     Haha. Don't take me that seriously. My life was certainly not made just from one picture in a magazine. I'm not that petty or vain. However, it's a cool magazine and I thought it was just a cool thing. And I thought it was cool that it was a picture about TCS New York City Marathon.

 
Jan/Feb issue minus my address.😁

This was the version of the pic that I had on my phone! Lol.

     The first night that I landed in NYC to run the TCS New York City Marathon, Runner's World was hosting a 50th Anniversary Shakeout run through Central Park. Confession: This was my first time to run through Central Park. Remember that I'm from Alabama....I've never ran a race in NYC before. I was just a little bit excited to run through Central Park....and with the Runner's World Crew?! Heck yeah.

     So I got to the TCS New York City Marathon Village a few minutes early to take some pics, see where I needed to go etc. It was a GORGEOUS night in New York City. The sunset was beyond amazing. It was one of those nights that I just wanted to run and enjoy running. No watch. No directions. No distractions. Just a beautiful run through Central Park.  I didn't know a soul that was running besides myself and the folks from Runner's World Magazine. They gathered us all up and I stood in the back. I wanted to run by myself. I wanted to take it all in. I wanted to take the whole weekend in....that was my ONLY plan for TCS New York City Marathon. Take it all in.
Post run photo with Bart Yasso.
     I couldn't have asked for a better first night in NYC. Somewhere along the way, I ended up running four miles with Bart Yasso, his girlfriend and another girl (I'm sorry but I didn't catch her name.)  We talked about all things running. I could listen to him for days....so many experiences. So many marathons. One thing that stood out to me was that he told me the story of the guy who was the very first subscriber to the magazine. I love stuff like that. Running a zillion races is great but I love hearing the "real" stories. That's where the running nerd in me comes out.  The run was supposed to be a three mile run but we kept talking and kept running. My gosh it was HOT!! Super fun way to kick off my weekend!!

     So that's the "RunDown" on the group photo in the magazine. I couldn't have been prouder. I have so many thoughts about TCS New York City Marathon.....It was really one of the best experiences of my life. I'm working on putting all of them down in a blog post but I keep typing and I keep deleting. One day I'll finish the post.

     As for now, I think I'm gonna rip that back page out of the magazine and frame it up on my wall with all of the other running things that no one else cherishes in my house except me. I started not to share it with anyone. It would just be a picture that represented my weekend. Just take it all in. For me.  However, I dont' have it in me to do that. I am proud. I do want to share my experiences and more importantly, I want to make sure that the right people know that I'm thankful.  That picture was definitely a highlight for me and gave me a new found motivation to keep using social media for what I like to use it for. Running. Races. Life Experiences. I will only compare myself to ME, I will quit looking at all of the other nonsense on Social Media ....and I will promise that I will take more Bubble Baths. Seriously, Life is just better with Bubble Baths.

     Now that I've gotten home and come down off of my TCS New York City Marathon High...the reality is that I've missed it terribly and I'm super excited to run the United Airlines Half Marathon in March. Again, I'm running by myself and I just want to take it all in. I hope to meet lots of new friends and see some old ones on the course too!!

     I cannot thank Runner's World Magazine and New York Road Runners for lighting a must needed fire under me!! I love you guys more than you will ever know!

Happy Running and see you REAL SOON in the Big Apple!!!

    
Runner's World 50th Anniversary Shakeout run through Central Park.
I'm all smiles because I'm all happy.



Monday, January 16, 2017

Red Shoe Run....I'm Lovin' It! #RSR17


Trading in my running shoes for my RED SHOES.
     When I decided to run the Red Shoe Run in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama last year, I had no idea that I would be forming a life long partnership with Ronald McDonald House of Alabama and the Red Shoe Run!! I knew that the race helped a good cause but boy oh boy was I in for a sweet surprise!

     I was asked to help promote the race amongst my running friends and spread the word...I was super excited to be a part of it. Then I was asked to speak on one of our local morning television shows to help promote the race there as well! Talk about a little bit giddy! I was sooooooo giddy! I wanted to do a good job and I wanted to help bring in as many runners to the race as I could.  I wore red and white striped socks and prayed that I wouldn't stumble with my words. 
    
Time for the news!

Talk of Alabama.
     While the promotional part of the race is great for me, what I really enjoyed the most was learning exactly what I was running for. I went to the Ronald McDonald House. I wanted to see the facility and learn as much about the house as I could.
Ronald McDonald House of Alabama.

From the Ronald McDonald House of Alabama Website:

What We Do
Families from throughout Alabama, across the United States and from around the world come to Children’s of Alabama and UAB Hospital seeking life-saving treatment for their critically ill children. Often times, they come to Birmingham exhausted, scared and financially drained as they struggle to pay for overwhelming medical bills. 
Our Ronald McDonald House cares for 41 guest families every night, providing them with a home away from home while their children receive medical treatment. In addition to providing a comfortable bedroom, we surround our families with love and support from our volunteers, staff and other guest families who share the same hopes and fears. We also provide home-cooked meals, activities, indoor and outdoor play areas, laundry facilities, computers, WiFi, and much more so that our guest families can concentrate on what is most important — family.
In addition, we provide a comfortable, relaxing place to rest and regroup while only steps away from a sick child’s bedside at our Ronald McDonald Family Room at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa. We also have a Happy Wheels Cart that delivers the comfort and care provided by the Ronald McDonald House to children and families while they’re at Children’s of Alabama.

Birmingham’s Only Affordable Temporary Housing Facility for Sick Children and Their Families
Twenty-four (24) hours a day, 365 days each year, the doors of the House open to welcome families of sick or injured children.
On any night when you open the door of the House, you will find 41 families and approximately 100 individual guests resting in cozy family bedrooms. We provide a stocked kitchen for guests to prepare their own meals, laundry, recreational and internet facilities, and welcoming dinners prepared by House volunteers.
Birmingham’s Ronald McDonald House asks for a $5 to $10 per night donation for services that cost more than $95 per night to provide. No family is ever turned away for their inability to make the minimal donation. Last year, the House provided over 700 guest stays; an estimated 38,000 stays since the House opened in 1979.

     The above two paragraphs explain what the Ronald McDonald House does and how they operate. However, the next picture really summed it all up for me. As I walked in, the hallways were lined up with bicycles that had been donated for kids. There were little pop-top collection boxes everywhere. I knew then that people from all over the community pitched in to make this Ronald McDonald House work AND I knew that they money that we were raising and collecting actually went towards everything that I thought that it was.

     Just the fact that families can stay here while their kids are in the hospital and take some of the financial burdens off, that's huge.
Bicycles in the hallway at Ronald McDonald House of Alabama.
Pop-top collection boxes.

So many pop-tops collected for Ronald McDonald House.
     I had so much fun touring the house and getting to know some of the people who worked there and chat with some of the families who were staying there. There are so many stories and I took home the heart of the Ronald McDonald House with me. <3
Picked up my team's race packets!
     Now it's time to actually run the race!! We had a starting temperature of 28 degrees! BRRRRRR!! It snowed on us while we were running! We hardly ever get snow in Alabama so this was a big deal to us.

Lakeshore Trail.
     The race took place in Homewood, Al. There is a one mile fun run, a 5k and 10 Mile option. I chose to run the 10 mile option. Even though we were just freezing while we ran, when we finished the race, the post-race party was indoors with lots of HOT McDonald's Coffee!! Major Score!!

     My friends and I had so much fun posing for pictures with Ronald McDonald, drinking hot coffee and watching the post race awards.


Kristin and Ronald. :)
     "Taking place in beautiful downtown Homewood, Red Shoe Run provides a great opportunity for team building and fundraising among groups, companies and organizations of all kinds. All money raised stays at the Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham to keep families close at a time when it’s needed most. Special awards are handed out to the top individual fundraiser, the top fundraising team, the most spirited team and the largest team. Team perks include a complimentary team sign, VIP seating and a Team Roll Call during our awards ceremony inside Rosewood Hall.
This year’s event will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2017 beginning at 7:00 am. To register and begin fundraising, visit www.redshoerun-bham.org."
Running with my friends....always fun!

Love my finisher's medal!

Yes. I'm a McNuggett.

Mid-Run Selfie.

Red Shoe Run Bling....I'm Lovin' It!


     Overall, I would say the Red Shoe Run was a huge success for the kids and I cannot wait to run it again this Saturday! Join my team (#TeamBamagirlruns) and use code BGR17 to save yourself some bucks!

      For more information about the Red Shoe Run and Ronald McDonald House of Alabama, please visit rmcha.org

Happy Running and I hope to see you and your red shoes this Saturday!! If you are not local to Birmingham Al., and still want to make a donation, please do so! The Virtual run option is greatly appreciated. :)
Red Shoe Love!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Embrace the Pink! #Mammothon

Pink!!!
     This month, I will be teaming up with B-Metro Magazine, Brookwood Hospital and Belk to help raise awareness for Breast Cancer and the importance of Mammograms. I will be attending "Mammothon" on October 25th and will be live posting through all kinds of fun events as they are happening!



     Here are some of the fun events that we have planned....


- Belk will be fitting women for bras at the Mammothon from 6AM - 10PM. For every woman who participates in a complimentary bra fitting, Belk will donate $2.00 to Susan G. Komen. No purchase necessary.

- A cooking class presented by Girl Friday, Complimentary Breast Cancer Awareness Manicure, Exercise Demonstration, Massages, and Jewelry Expo!

- No referral is needed for a mammogram screen. Baseline mammograms are recommended at the age of 35 and annual mammogram screens annually at the age of 40.

- 3-D Mammograms will be offered! This technology helps doctors find breast cancer earlier. All patients may upgrade to a 3-D mammogram for an additionall $50.

- PARKING WILL BE FREE FOR ALL GUESTS!
- Woman can call 205-802-6900 to book a mammogram appointments

-Location:
Brookwood Diagnotics Center
2006 Brookwood Medical Center Drive
Womens Medical Plaza
1st Floor Room 112
Birmingham, Al. 35209

Be sure to follow Brookwood Medical Center on Facebook (Brookwood Medical Center), Twitter (@BrookwoodMed) and Instagram (@brookwoodmedicalcenter) for the latest updates on Mammothon!

Hope to see you all at Mammothon!
Happy Running and Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

BIG NEWS!! Bamagirlruns takes over @nycmarathon Instagram account!


     BIG NEWS on my blog today!! I'm taking over the @NYCMarathon Instagram account all day Wednesday October 19th!!. I'm so excited that I can barely stand it!


     I will be working alllllll day long so this will be the perfect day to show a day in the life of Bamagirlruns. Tomorrow, I will be teaching 6 different types of fitness classes and I took the evening off work to get a run in. Wednesdays are my longest days in the gym and I absolutely love them!

     I'm keeping this post short and sweet because I want to bottle up all of my excitement and let it all out tomorrow. I hope you all follow along as I go to work tomorrow. I love my job and the TCS Marathon training and I can't wait to share it with you all!!

Be sure to follow both Bamagirlruns and Nycmarathon on Instagram for my latest updates.

Happy Running and See you on the Insta REAL SOON!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I'm a 2016 TCS New York City Marathon Social Media Ambassador!!

I'm a 2016 TCS New York City
Social Media Ambassador!!!
I have the BIGGEST Announcement EVER!!! I have been selected by the New York Road Runners (NYRR) to be a 2016 TCS New York City Marathon Social Media Ambassador!!

My mouth nearly hit the floor when I opened up the email and saw this invitation. Really?? Me?? Surely, I was reading this email wrong. Surely.

Nope.

It was for me!! I had no words. I was so humbled. I think I must have read it 10 times. At least.

I was in shock.

Immediately, my mind started racing. What in the world did this even mean?? Omg. I'm so nervous. Me?? Represent the TCS New York City Marathon??? I was dyyyyyyyying to hear all of the details. For now, I had to sit tight and let it all process. They would send details later. I was about ready to jump out of my skin with anticipation!!!

For a couple of weeks, I didn't tell a soul. I wanted to make sure that it was really going to happen!

Then..... I got the details. Oh. My. Gosh.

I am one of 10 or less Ambassadors. This is HUGE.

This is the first year that the TCS New York City Marathon will have a Social Media Ambassador Program. I am beyond grateful for this experience.

The marathon would like to feature me. They would like to follow my training. They want to know my story. They want to know why I run. They want to know why I'm running the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon.

Are you kidding me?? They want to know about a girl from Alabama?!?

Mind BLOWN. I'm one of 55,000+ people running this marathon. I can't even wrap my brain around this!!!

I'm going to document the rest of my training. I will get to meet the pro-athletes in the race. I will get to take over the TCS New York City Marathon Snapchat account for a day in October!! That will be total fun....a day in the life of BamagirlRUNS!! But most importantly, I cannot wait to share all of this with YOU!!!!

I tried for six years to get into this race. I'm not going to lie..there were years that I was MAD when I received the "we're sorry but...." email. However, now I know exactly why I didn't get in all of those years in the past.

THIS. IS. MY. YEAR.

So as I'm typing all of this out and I'm ready to share my news with the world....I've just gotten home from the gym. I've been there off and on today since 10am. It's now 9:51pm. I'm physically spent.  I click on to Timehop and BAM. There they are. There are all of the pictures from exactly one year ago that I broke my ankle. UGH.
This photo was taken minutes before
I fell on the trails and broke my ankle.
I was so happy here.
UGH.

As much as I hate looking at those pictures, I absolutely LOVE them.
No Caption needed.

If you know me at all, you KNOW that I have spent the last year of my life trying to become a strong person both mentally and physically. As much as I hated every minute of having a broken ankle and not being able to run or work, I needed that to happen to me. The recovery process was a learning experience that helped me realize the real reason why I run.

I am passionate about what I do.

I run. I workout. I help others reach their fitness goals. I motivate. I encourage. And I take time to listen.

I did not do all of those things before I broke my ankle. I have always been a social and friendly runner but I really did not know what it meant to be a real "runner". Breaking my ankle taught me so many things about life, friendships, and how to be a team player.

I changed the way I ran. I changed the way that I workout. I changed everything about my job.

Before, I worked because I needed to make money. Now, I teach group fitness classes and I personal train because I care about my clients. I care about my classes. Period the end, I care. I make more money now because I'm not being greedy with it. I'm teaching classes around the clock and I love every single minute of it.

I never dreamed one year ago that I would be making this announcement exactly one year later. I have been placed in my life exactly where I'm supposed to be.

I will be posting so many updates as I continue on with my training. This is going to be the experience of a lifetime for me and I CANNOT WAIT to share it with the world!!!

Thank you NYRR and TCS New York City Marathon for providing me with this awesome opportunity. I'm already in love with this race and I haven't made it to the start line yet!!! Big Apple, I'm coming for ya.....#BamagirlrunsNYC!!!!!!

#TCSNYCMarathon

Click here to read my full story on how I broke my ankle. Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following along my journey to TCS New York City Marathon and I hope to see you all soon in the Big Apple!!

For more information on NYRR and TCS New York City Marathon, please visit www.nyrr.com and www.tcsnycmarathon.org.