Sunday, June 18, 2017

Chicago Marathon Training Week 2


Week #2....How Did I do??

I'll be honest. I didn't do as great this week as I did last week....
At least with my running and mileage.
I came up 2 miles short.
However, my workouts were great! Overall, I feel strong so I'm not worried about a few missed miles....

My Week 2 Training plan called for:
45 minutes (running or cross training)
45 minutes (running or cross training)
4 miles
7 miles

The Training that I did this week....
Sunday---
One hour YCross
3 mile run.

Monday---
45 min YCross
45 min YCross
45 min Spin Class

Tuesday---
One hour Bootcamp

Wednesday---
45 min YCross
45 min YCross

Thursday---
Rest

Friday---
45 min Circuit Bootcamp
3.5 mile run

Saturday---
3.1 mile 5K (Fultondale Stampede 5k)



I had a really good week this week! I was super busy with work...picked up a new client to personal train, officially got registered for Atlanta Mania in July and enjoyed all of my workouts! I ended the week with the Fultondale Stampede 5K in Fultondale, Al. I felt like I was running on rested legs and even won 3rd place in my age group! I totally won that award even though I really didn't deserve it. There were only four people in my age group and I was super slow...a 30 minute 5k probably shouldn't be worthy of winning awards. Either way, I had a great run in the heat and humidity and I was just glad to finish without any major issues.

Next weekend, I'm planning on running a long run with my running group and just logging the miles. I'm ready to sweat!!

One hour of Bootcamp in my Backyard!

Ready to run the Fultondale Stampede 5K!

Yay! I won 3rd place in my age Group! LOL.

Horse Plaque.

Cool Chicks. :))

Some of my running group after the race!
I'm looking forward to next week! I've got a light workout schedule ahead as well as light mileage...I plan on making up some of the mileage from last week....

Happy Running and Happy Training!

In Between Workouts.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Acountability...check! #ChicagoMarathon #DopeyChallenge #WeekOne


So...Week #1? How did I do?

My first week of Chicago Marathon Training called for:

45 minutes cross training/run
45 minutes cross training/run
3 mile run
Tallulah Half Marathon 13.1 mile run

The training that I did....

30 Min Spin Class
45 min YCross Class
1 hour Bootcamp class
3 mile run
45 minute YCross class
4 mile run
45 minute YCross class
1 hour Bootcamp class
13.1 mile run

I got in all of the mileage and then some...

I started the week off doing what I do...I teach several fitness classes each week. I only listed the ones above that I actually did with my class. The others throughout the week, I played drill sergeant and just took a step back and watched and coached and yelled. LOL.

On Wednesday, I celebrated Global Running Day with one of my best gal pals...we ran a super easy 3 miles, chatting the whole way.

On Thursday, I stopped in to Vida Flo Birmingham and received a pre-Half Marathon IV Hydration Therapy Treatment. My one liter bag contained lots of B Vitamins, Glutathione and I'm really glad that I did...I had a great race on Saturday aside from one little injury the night before.

Injury update: Someone dropped a folding table onto my big toe Friday night and my toe is badly bruised to say the least. I won't even entertain the fact that is could be broken. Nope. Not happening. I ran on it and it hurrrrrrrt like a mother. But I finished my race. I'm going with the diagnosis of badly bruised and we are just going to leave it at that. I taught a class today and wanted to chop my toe off it hurt so bad but other than that, I'm good. ugh.

Tuesday and Thursday evenings, I have started my Backyard Bootcamp up again. It has felt really good to get outside and sweat it out! These are two of my favorite hours of my whole week....Love my girlfriend time!

Last but not least I ran the Tallulah Half Marathon in Jasper, Al. on Saturday. It was a hot and hilly race and I ran it nice and slow...I felt great afterwards. I had a full night with friends planned so I was glad to run the race and then move on to the rest of my weekend! I quietly celebrated the fact that it was my 50th Half Marathon. I'm pretty proud of that accomplishment and I didn't want to make a big deal about it to anyone....Lately, I don't want to share too much on social media for personal reasons but I will say that I treated myself to a "good job, girlie" prize for myself. :))))

Overall, I had a really good first training week and I'm also glad that I made the decision to hold myself accountable to track my runs/workouts.

Happy Running, Happy Training and Happy #WeekTwo!



3 Miles for Global Running Day.

Vida-Flo IV Hydration Therapy Treatment

Backyard Bootcamp

My Purple Toe

Tallulah Half Marathon

Monday, June 5, 2017

Monday. Please Go Away.


What started out as being a really good day, went south real quick. 

In a nutshell, I'm just tired today. Anything and everything that could go wrong...went wrong. 
I had a reality slap today at work and I just couldn't get it out of my mind all day. I stopped by my local gym on my way home to get a few miles in. Honestly, I wanted to just go home and take a bubble bath. But. I ran. 

Glad I did. 

The bubble bath is not happening. I'm too tired to eat. Too tired to take a bath. I'm just tired. 

I'm ready for Monday to just go away. Tuesday is another day.

Happy Running...just not today.
#MarathonTraining






Friday, June 2, 2017

My Chicago Marathon/Dopey Challenge Training Plan

50th Half Marathon Medal is in sight!
Starting my Marathon Training off the BEST way!!
     I'm in love with the fact that I'm about to start my official Chicago Marathon/Dopey Challenge Training plan again.  I have been a little bit of a lost puppy since I crossed the finish line last January at Disney. I've been floating through my weekend and weekly runs with no real goal in sight. And haven't really cared either. I've had wayyyyyyyy too much fun running over the past few weekends with one of my best gal pals.....we have really narrowed down our goals, our diets and workout plans.

     My hip has been killlllllllling me so I'm definitely not complaining that I've eased up on my running a bit. Physical Therapy, a visit to the chiropractor and a massage are in my very near future. I have been scared to death to go to therapy because I just don't want to hear bad news but I'm facing my fears this week and am going. I also scheduled a spa appointment...good grief. I've got a new me in the works!

     My goal for Chicago Marathon is to finish STRONG with my girlfriends....I have ZERO plans for a finish time. We are headed to Chicago for a super fun weekend and I want ZERO running pressure. The last time I ran it, I had the clock in my brain and I vowed that I would never run that race again with finish time pressures. I want to soak in the city. I want to run a fun race.  I really {heart} Chicago and want to run strong enough but I also want to have fun with it. I have made so many fun memories in this city and I want to make so many more!

     So here we go......I'm kicking off my training plan with a Half Marathon. Tallulah Half Marathon in Sweet Home Alabama. #BOOM.

     And not just any half marathon. This will be #50 for me.  I had no idea which Half Marathon would be my 50th...but this is kinda cool. It's like a big deal that's not really a big deal. The bigger deal is in sight. Chicago Marathon AND my 5th Dopey Challenge (48.6 miles) are just ridiculously a sweet package deal. I'm excited to say the least.....so excited that I went shopping today and bought a new running skirt to train in. #PurpleSkirtForTheWin ;)

     Listed below I have mapped out my training plan as best that I can for both races...this is a 31 week commitment. I'm READY. I like having a plan but as I've said before in the years past, I definitely don't beat myself up if I miss a training run or so. I work in the gym all day/every day so some days I just cannot fit in a run. However, I've listed 45 minutes (which I'll either use for either cross training or running) to cover my butt. I teach Bootcamp, YCross, Spin, Weights class at least 12-15 hours per week so I'm trying to count at least a few of those classes towards my mileage.

     Does that even make sense???

     I hope my training plan makes sense.  I really do love running and training. I love my job. I love mixing my running/training/job all together. I could not be more thankful for the way that my hobbies and job and have come together....This training season will be my most fun yet. I've taken on a few new classes and am looking forward to my workouts/runs/trainings for the next 31 weeks.

     I am going to hold myself accountable through my training this year and update my blog weekly with my workouts/runs etc...I've never done that before consistently but this has really been tugging on my heart and I've decided to pay a little more attention to the details of my training and not just push through to the finish line.

     Thank you in advance for following along and I hope to see you all on the road, in Chicago, in Orlando or in the gym!

06/05--Week 1
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
06/10--Tallulah Half 13.1 Miles

06/12--Week 2
45 minutes
45 minutes
4 miles
7 miles 

06/19--Week 3
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
5 miles 

06/26---Week 4
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
9 miles

                                               
07/03--Week 5
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
10 miles

07/10--Week 6
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
7 miles

07/17--Week 7
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
12 miles

07/24--Week 8
45 minutes
45 minutes
4 miles
5.5 miles
07/29--Retro Run 5K 3.1 Miles

07/31--Week 9
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
13 miles

08/07---Week 10
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
10 miles

08/14--Week 11
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
15 miles

08/21--Week 12
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
16 miles

08/28--Week 13
45 minutes
45 minutes
6 miles
12 miles

09/04---Week 14
45 minutes
45 minutes
4 miles
18 miles
09/03 Tupelo Half Marathon (13.1)
09/04 Scottsboro Half Marathon (13.1)

09/11--Week 15
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 miles
14 miles

09/18--Week 16
45 minutes
45 minutes
8 miles
20 miles
09/23--St. Jude Walk/Run 5k 3.1 miles

09/25--Week 17
45 minutes
45 minutes
8 miles
12 miles

10/02---Week 18
45 minutes
45 minutes
5.5 miles
8 miles

10/09---Week 19
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
Chicago Marathon 26.2 miles

10/16--Week 20
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 miles
15 miles

10/23--Week 21
45 minutes
45 minutes
8 miles
5 miles

10/30--Week 22
45 minutes
45 minutes
9 Miles

11/06--Week 23
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 Miles
10 Miles

11/13--Week 24
45 minutes
45 minutes
6 miles
11/18--Soldier Half 13.1 Miles
11/19--Magic City Half 13.1 Miles

11/20--Week 25
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 Miles
14 miles

11/27--Week 26
45 minutes
45 minutes
10 miles
20 miles

12/04--Week 27
45 minutes
45 minutes
6 miles
12 miles

11/11--Week 28
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 miles
14 miles

12/18--Week 29
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
10 miles

12/25--Week 30
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
6 miles

01/01--Week 31
45 minutes
01/4-01/8--Dopey Challenge 48.6 miles!

Happy Running and hope to see you either in the Windy City or in Sunny Florida!




My New York City Marathon & Dopey Challenge Training Plan



     I can't believe that I'm actually typing out my New York City Marathon and Dopey Challenge Training Plan!! eeeeekkk!! This is really happening. And I'm still just in shock that I'm registered for New York City Marathon!!!! And Dopey Challenge, this will be my fourth time. I can't get enough of the 48.6 miles....clearly i've lost my Dopey mind! Lol.

     I posted a very similar post in 2014 when I was training for Dopey Challenge and Chicago Marathon at the same time. I've tweaked that schedule to fit my current running schedule. I have a few races scheduled and plan on adding more.

     I also gave myself a few extra weeks to train. Because Kids. Family obligations. Holidays. Life in general. And I'll be real honest..somedays I just don't feel like training. I know that's probably not the best thing to include in a training schedule post but it's the truth. Training for a marathon is exhausting. I can't be effective if I'm exhausted. If I'm exhausted, I need to take a break. So I included time to take a break. I refuse to beat myself up if I miss a run here or there.

      I"m excited to finally be able to say "I'm officially in training for New York City Marathon"!! Seriously, it's just the coolest thing EVER to me. I'm ready to train.
   
     I have each week listed and have minutes and miles on the calendar. Depending on my day, time limits and mood, I will either run 3 or 4 miles or 45 minutes.  My job keeps me in the gym all day and there are days when I work out for 6-7 hours. While that sounds like running should be easy, somedays it's just hard to get a run in.

     So here is my training schedule. I'm starting out with a Half Marathon. BAM!! Normally, I would not do that but this is the inaugural year for this race and it's getting HOT here in Bama...we don't have a whole lot of summer race options so I'm going to use this race as a way to log 13.1 hot miles and earn some bling in the process. ;)

     I don't have the days listed in which I will need to run. As long as I get the miles in, it does not make a difference to me what days I run. I'm not that structured. Some days I wish I were. Most days, I'm glad I'm not that structured.

     Another thing that I did in my schedule was after week 23, I started doubling up the mileage to prepare for back to back running days... i.e. half marathon on Saturday and full marathon the next day. Make sense??

     So this is my schedule for now. I'm sure I will add things and change things as they come up. No stress! If you are reading this and are training for New York City Marathon AND Dopey Challenge, hopefully, you might be able to use this training schedule also!

06/06--Week 1
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
06/11--Tallulah Half 13.1 Miles

06/13--Week 2
45 minutes
45 minutes
4 miles
7 miles 

06/20--Week 3
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
5 miles 

06/27---Week 4
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
9 miles

                                               
07/04--Week 5
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
10 miles

07/11--Week 6
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
7 miles

07/18--Week 7
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
12 miles

07/25--Week 8
45 minutes
45 minutes
4 miles
5.5 miles
07/30--Retro Run 5K 3.1 Miles

08/01--Week 9
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
13 miles

08/11---Week 10
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
10 miles

08/15--Week 11
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
15 miles

08/22--Week 12
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
16 miles

08/29--Week 13
45 minutes
45 minutes
6 miles
12 miles

09/05---Week 14
45 minutes
45 minutes
4 miles
18 miles

09/12--Week 15
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 miles
14 miles

09/19--Week 16
45 minutes
45 minutes
8 miles
20 miles
09/24--St. Jude Walk/Run 5k 3.1 miles

09/26--Week 17
45 minutes
45 minutes
8 miles
12 miles

10/03---Week 18
45 minutes
45 minutes
5.5 miles
8 miles

10/10---Week 19
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
9 miles

10/17--Week 20
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 miles
15 miles

10/24--Week 21
45 minutes
45 minutes
8 miles
5 miles

10/31--Week 22
45 minutes
45 minutes
11/06--NYC Marathon!! 26.2 Miles

11/07--Week 23
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 Miles

11/14--Week 24
45 minutes
45 minutes
6 miles
11/20--Magic City Half 13.1 Miles

11/21--Week 25
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 Miles
14 miles

11/28--Week 26
45 minutes
45 minutes
10 miles
20 miles

12/05--Week 27
45 minutes
45 minutes
6 miles
12 miles

11/12--Week 28
45 minutes
45 minutes
7 miles
14 miles

12/19--Week 29
45 minutes
45 minutes
5 miles
10 miles

12/26--Week 30
45 minutes
45 minutes
3 miles
6 miles

01/2--Week 31
45 minutes
01/4-01/8--Dopey Challenge 48.6 miles!

Happy Running and hope to see you either in the Big Apple or in Sunny Florida!



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!