Weekly Om, Because Being Thankful is Important

Whew! That was some kind of hiatus huh? Between my dad passing, and my final push for grad school, I just didn’t have the energy needed to blog as well. Sounds like a lame excuse, but it is the truth. <Sigh> Oh well, I am back now! And just in time for Weekly Om Wednesday!

There is so much to be thankful for and it is really important to be grateful for all of the awesomeness that happens every day in our lives. (yknow, you gotta appreciate the little things because all of the little things make up the bigger things).

So a while back, I decided that every Wednesday, I would give thanks for 5 things I was grateful for; but then, I got out of practice. Anyway, we are getting back in practice :-)

1) I am grateful to all of the people who came out for my pop’s funeral or who reached out whether it be on the book of face, twitter, text, here on the blog, etc. I know my family and I are all grateful for the response we have gotten from the community. We are truly blessed to have all of you in our lives. Everyone has been so helpful and understanding and gracious. Really. just because it happened a month and a half ago, doesn’t mean things are back to normal. This is a monumental blow to my family and me as a human. It will take me a long time to move forward into my new normal. I have reached out to a few people and talked about what I am feeling and have asked for help on making decisions. 

2) Number 1, brings me to number 2. I am grateful for all of the advice people have given me whether asked for or not. I am so very grateful. My pop was the advice giver, at least for me. Every major (and sometimes minor) decision I ran past him to make sure I had covered all angles, thought of everything and made the best decision with the best information I had at the time. A few of my friends have stepped up and really helped me out in this way. Also, my mom tried real hard, but as I told her, laughingly, she just isn’t dad. hehe. which feeds into number 3.

3) My family. We have all been there for each other. Supporting each other and providing support. Listening, laughing, crying (#noshame). 

4) Those that have talked to me about their problems and what is going on with them. It has provided me with distraction; something else to think about as I move through and navigate these familiar but completely foreign waters.

this is the opposite but was too funny not to post

5) Those who have listened even when they have something monumental going on. While this isnt my first time with grief of a close loved one, it is my first time with the loss of a close blood relative and this whole grief thing… man it comes in waves. When I dealt with it before, with Donovan, I put it off for three years. And well… by then, it was remembering the happy times and not being so shocked and sad still. Acceptance had already happened. With my pop, I have just been trying to get through the stages leading up to acceptance :-)

thank you friends!!!

and i am hoping soon to make it to a place that looks like this: 

Florida Keys

because I need a break from things and life and why the hell not go down to the keys (or miami), listen to some Jimmy Buffett and sip some adult beverages?

 

Death is Never Fun

My whole life, I was blessed with the privilege of knowing this wonderful man:

My dad on his costa rica trip in early 2014

My dad on his costa rica trip in early 2014

Words can’t accurately describe what my father meant to me. We had our ups and downs and disagreements like all parent-child relationships and in these last few years, pop and I had come to an understanding and developed a friendship that could not be broken. I am truly blessed to have known this man as he grew and changed (even as he aged) and even more blessed to have been able to call him Dad.

 On Thursday, July 3, I received a phone call that will forever change my world. My mother called and said that my brother and I needed to come down to Virginia Beach where my folks were vacationing for the week. There had been an accident with Dad and we were needed as soon as we could get there. My father was not sick, he had no long-term illness that suddenly acted up… point being, this was completely unexpected. 

I won’t rehash exactly what happened because frankly, some things need to be private. Needless to say, my father passed away on July 5th at 6:05pm. Now, I gotta tell you, I have seen a fair amount of death in my life, but nothing has cut me as deep as this. My pop and I were pretty close when I was younger and we had had our differences in the mid 2000s but since 2009, had been rebuilding what we lost and had actually become pretty close again. I discussed all large life decisions (why get a life coach, when you have someone like my pop who will tell you the good and bad honestly about the decisions you are trying to make). He was an awesome guy, generous, caring, loving, just an all around awesome dude (can’t say it enough). 

Anyway family filtered in over the course of the week following the 5th and the funeral was held on Friday, the 11th. Things were real before the funeral, but became really real on the 11th at the burial service. The services were lovely, the feelings of reality setting in was terrible. All I really wanted was to feel normal and Friday was anything but normal.

In my father’s death, I have learned a lot. He was the smartest guy I know and I was lucky enough to call him pop and spend time with him leading up to his sudden and early passing. But the things I am learning do not cancel out the sadness. And the condolences and sorry-s I keep getting do not bring my dad back either — I realize people don’t know what else to say, and while I am appreciative and happy that pop was loved by the people that knew him, it can get a little overwhelming at times. I have a lot of feelings going through me. I want to say that most of them are happy memories that I remember and then realize I wont be having anymore of those, which then turns it to a sad kind of happiness. It is hard to put it all into words. 

JOEL-GOODMAN--5

 

I was talking to Kat this morning and I was telling her that I had a myriad of emotions; they go something like this: angry, sad, angry, denial, angry, sad-happiness from memories…. And when I say angry, I am not even angry at any one person. I am just angry. Angry my pop had to go so soon. Angry that I miss him. Angry that I am not being strong for my mom. Angry that I am not being strong for the others in my life. Just angry. And you know what? It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be sad, and it’s even ok to not be strong. I have decided; LET IT BE SO!

As hard as it is to accept, I have learned and will continue to learn every day from my father’s death and from things that he has told me and imparted to me.  And maybe some day, when you’re older, I will tell you all of the things I have learned from this amazing person. I am sure I am not done writing on this, but for now, I am done (with this post at least), so allow me to leave you with a few final thoughts which were most apparent when I was sitting in that hospital room with my family:

    • Never stop loving. 
    • Always hug people (even if you aren’t a hugger, try). 
    • Tell your loved ones how you feel. STOP taking them for granted and tell them you appreciate them (even if it is awkward… which it prolly will be). 
    • ALWAYS appreciate the little things, it will make you happier in the long run; big things don’t happen every day but little things do.
    • ALWAYS challenge yourself.
    • Sing even when people are listening (and you know you will be off key) — Stop caring as much about what people think about you; it’s ok to be you.

And if you were lucky enough to know my pop, then you know that you should always listen to a little Jimmy Buffet to lighten the mood. :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

SMILE MORE, even at the randoms! 

Happy Birthday America

Me at the Vietnam run, July 3, 2014

Me at the Vietnam run, July 3, 2014

Today, be sure to stop and think about all that this country has been through. We celebrate the fourth of July because it was the day we adopted the Declaration of Independence and declared our independence from Great Britain.

My runs in the morning, start at 5:30am and generally end around 6:30am — they are generally peaceful, always sweaty and often introspective. Yesterday morning was no exception.

Remember the fallen, reread the declaration of independence and grab a beer n’ hotdog and head outside to watch the fireworks! 

Happy fourth y’all! 

Fitbloggin 2014

Two years ago, in 2012, I discovered that there was a blogging conference called fitbloggin. I discovered it as it was going on and totally missed out. In 2013, fitbloggin was held in Portland and I just couldn’t swing the airfare. When fitbloggin 2014 was announced to be held in Savannah, I booked my conference pass as soon as I could and reserved a room! 

The week leading up to fitbloggin, I was pretty excited. Definitely ready to head out to Savannah, especially as the pics started in the facebook group prior to Thursday, but for some reason, I could not motivate myself to pack. So I did what EVERYONE does… and waited until last minute :-) (No lie, most of this recap is going to be in pictures, because EVERYONE LOVES PICTURES!)

By the time I finally did get packed up, my roommate was already en route and my pug knew something was up… 

Aldy by my Luggage

There was a terrible disaster when I got to the airport… apparently, even though I booked my flight in February, they oversold the flight (as they are legally allowed to do) and when you are the last to check in, you get screwed… which I was and thought I would get screwed. I spoke with the gate peeps and with a manager and after calling for volunteers, was finally able to get seated on a flight. And when I got to Savannah I set an alarm to check in at 9am Saturday morning for my return flight. 

Kat picked me up from the airport and we rolled back to the hotel and I got checked in!

View of Savannah from our room

Our view from the room

While I was getting situated, Kat was hard at work: 

work hard, play hard

work hard, play hard

After stopping and dumping stuff in the hotel, we went down to the reception and then headed out for FOOD! I landed around 5:30 and got to the hotel at 6. I was BEGGING Kat for food throughout the reception — hehehe. 

Sushi Date with Kat

Kat on our sushi date!

Linzie crashed our dinner date, via facetime and we had a nice chat and showed him ALL OF THE SUSHI!

After that we strolled around Savannah and headed back to the hotel to rest up. 

Kat and I went down to the hotel gym to get in a workout in our inknburn and we saw Erica at the gym

Kat and Me in INB

Kat and me in INKnBURN

We met up with Shannyn at breakfast the next morning and decided to shower up, hit a session and then explore savannah!

Kat, Erica, Shannyn and I did a mead tasting at the Savannah Bee Shop

Kat, Erica, Shannyn and I did a mead tasting at the Savannah Bee Shop

and then we met up with Brandon 

 How We Fitblog :-)

and we all had a beer and a shot. We walked around Savannah with our beers (open container laws of GA – three words, beer. to. go.). 

As we were walking around Savannah, both Shannyn and I discussed how things move at a much slower pace in the south.

Shannyn doing the Savannah Slow walk

Shannyn doing the Savannah Slow walk

That night, we went to ignite and hung out. Got food with quite a few awesome people! I was able to meet Ruthie and Diana and get to know them! I even got a preview of Diana’s HTML/CSS presentation at dinner!
 
We went back to the hotel after dinner so that we could be able to function on our 6am run before Kat and Katy’s Piyo/Insanity class! Just a quick plug — if you havent had a chance to do Insanity or Piyo, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?! I sweated as much during the class as I did during my 89% humidity 6am Savannah run! It is an excellent High Intensity Interval Training program and I definitely recommend it! This was my first time ever trying it and it whooped my ass! 
 
That afternoon, we met Brandon and Erin for Savannah Slow Ride Tour and apparently it was a pub crawl! I, of course, being my awesome self and poor color choice picker, picked green shorts to wear. In Savannah heat and humidity, while pedaling a big bike contraption… made for interesting and splotchy shorts at all of the stops.
 
Savannah Slow Ride
 
 
Keep in mind, I don’t glisten… I sweat. Like drip with it when running. Yea, hope you got a good mental image there. 
 
SLOW RIDE
 
 
We all had a great time on the tour and pub crawl while biking. After this, we went back to the hotel and conference for Erica’s panel and then went on a ghost tour!
 
After all of this and the amazing people I was finally able to meet in person, I have to say, I feel like fitbloggin was a success. It wasnt like my normal busy conferences (*ahem* drupalcon — recap coming over on the other blog… i am so behind! I blame grad school!) I got to spend time with Kat and meet a ton of amazing blends (blogger/friends)! 
 
 

 

 

Ragnar Trails WV Recap

If you have been following my blog for a while, then you know that I love Ragnar Races and have been kind of sidelined by what happened at Cherry Blossom 10 miler, when I busted my achilles like a idiot… Since then, I have sat out on two races (Nike, because of achilles; and Wine Country Half, because of the flu). So when Ragnar Trails rolled around, I was STOKED to finally participate in an amazing race with a great team!

Onelittlebecca's Ragnar Team

My team, all dressed in INKnBURN

We decided to head up to the campsite on Thursday night, so that we could ensure we got a spot for tents and camp, in general. I had a pretty crazy day on Thursday — early appt at 9, downtown and then I had to take one of my summer school class tests (1 of 3) early (because of Ragnar). While I was taking this test, one of my teammates emailed and said she had a family emergency, so she couldn’t make it. Everyone was emailing and texting me and here I am, taking a timed test. Anywho, we didn’t have time to find a replacement, but our team is awesome and several of them offered to pick up legs, no problem! It was a great example of how everyone pulled together!

After my test, Gail came over and we headed to costco to get supplies.

SUPPLIES!

SUPPLIES!

My Gear, all packed up and ready to go!

My packed up gear

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We stocked up and got a variety of food things, then went back to my house to pack up the car and get Leah. After we got Leah, we got on 495, hitting the traditional and massive amount of traffic in dc. So Gail used “Ways” to navigate us around… and of course I gave her hell for using anything other than google maps… mostly because I could and it entertained me. After we bypassed the traffic, we stopped off in Frederick to pick up Jenn and get some food. We then detoured at Giant because I forgot a toothbrush… SIGH. 

We got up to Big Bear Lake in WV (just over the WV line) around 10:45pm. The last shuttle was rolling out at 11pm and we hadn’t even found our team yet and the dude who was checkin us in, was leaning a little too far into the car… and wouldn’t really stop chatting. When we managed to get away from him and onto camp, we found our other teammates (who had arrived about an hour before us), and parked right “inside” of the parking cones, next to the unloading zone. 

We set up our tent and canopy, had a few beers and discussed who was going to pick up the extra legs for our team, before turning in for the night… We woke up the next morning (some of us throughout the night) and got up to get stuff together and get some coffee and breakfast before starting our Ragnar Trails adventure at 12:30pm! We ran to the general store, got coffee and ice and reported to check in before reporting for the safety briefing and then heading to the start line!

at the safety meeting

Us, at the safety meeting

I was our first runner so I toed the line for us. I thought that as we got going everyone I started with passed me, until I came along two women, both goin at a 11:00/mi trail pace — hung on there with them for the first two miles before having to slow down for the last 1.7 miles.  So I just resigned to motor along at my party pace and enjoy the scenery while trying not to eat it. I finished up with no issues (other than being unable to get my phone out to take pics along the way) and passed off my bib to Gail and she was off! I managed the 3.7 miles in 42 minutes (not bad for trail race) and then joined my team to hang with them and enjoy the fun. 

Gail passed off to Leah and seemed like she enjoyed her first loop. I hung out and waited until Leah was done with her leg. I met her at the end (she was running the red loop, the hardest loop first) and she said “don’t judge me if I cry, that was so hard”. She threw down a solid time for the 6.7 mile loop and we opted to walk back to the camp and wait until Jenn was almost done. 

It started drizzling big fat drops as we were walking back to camp and then started to actually rain; this is when we started to jog back to camp. By the time we got back to camp, it was POURING. And the wind started to pickup… a lot.

COMMENCE RAGSOON! (otherwise known as the monsoon at Ragnar)

It destroyed our canopy (almost) and caused a mini flood in our tent! Then as I am going around with Tony trying to hold the now, un-staked canopy from blowing away, Jenn walks up with Leanne and is like oh HERE you are! SHe was upset we hadnt made it up there to cheer for her, but then saw us trying to prevent camp from flying away and forgave us.

We ended up needing to skip two runners because of weather (per ragnar… they gave a rain delay). Tony was up and then me, so when he headed out on the yellow loop, I got changed into dry clothes and prepped for the hardest loop. I was going to be starting it right as the sun was going down and since it was the hardest and it was going to be dark, I asked if anyone on my team wanted to kick it with me as I ran the red loop. Leanne, the most amazing person ever, offered to run my loop with me, since her first one was canceled. (yes, I might have a slight fear of the dark, dark woods) Anyway, we were hanging out in the transition tent, waiting for Tony. He rolled through and gave me the bib and Leanne and I were off on the red loop! 

Ragnar Trails WV, Red loop

Leanne took this pic of me running as we were headed out on the red loop!

The heavy rain made for large mud puddles and very squishy conditions. We were lucky to see an end to the 7 mile loop in just under 2 hours (One of our other teammates did it in 1:30 with dry conditions, so I feel like we did a pretty good job). Needless to say, the mile long incline at the end of the loop when you start climbing and then it levels off, goes down ever so slightly and climbs again, was definitely super fun… hehe but in all honesty, having Leanne with me was the best thing ever! She was very fun! We just chatted and hung out the whole time! IT WAS AWESOME! 

muddy feet

my muddy shoes, post Ragnar Red Loop

As the night continued and the runners went on, people took naps and huddled together by the fire, standing and watching the documentary on Western States 100miler in 2011. It was pretty sweet. After watching that, some of us went to bed and others stayed up. 

waiting for Jenn at the finish chute at 3am

waiting for Jenn at the finish chute at 3am

I gotta say, it was WAY easier to get sleep while camping then while in a van. But, with that being said, both Ragnars were awesome. I loved doing Ragnar trails and would def sign up for another one! For the rest of the recap, I am going to just post some of the photos! 

The best view of all of the trails, on the yellow loop.

The best view of all of the trails, on the yellow loop.

disco ball in the woods

Disco ball in the woods

This disco ball in the woods, was hooked up to a generator to pump power to it at night and was still up in the morning when I happened to run the yellow loop (my final loop).

post runner 1 completion

After all of my loops

After all of my loops, since I was runner 1, I hung out in my running clothes in case I needed to cover another leg, since we had someone bounce last minute for a family thing. 

my fave recovery beverage

my fave recovery beverage

The Mighty Morphin Running Rangers at the end of Ragnar Trails WV

The Mighty Morphin Running Rangers at the end of Ragnar Trails WV

finisher's medal

finisher’s medal

Overall, awesome experience! Definitely would do it again… in a heartbeat. 

What was your latest race? Was it a good experience? Do you like running trails?

Fairness and What You Can Do with It

That moment when you realize that life isn’t fair no matter who you are or what class you are in, across species and generations…life isn’t fair.

Yknow when you’re a kid and your sibling gets a toy and you want a toy but you didn’t finish all of your homework/chores/etc? Right, and then you shout at your parent, “but that’s not fair!” And they respond, “life isn’t fair!” Your parents don’t ever tell you, but life is never going to be fair. So here I am. Telling you. Life is not fair. It won’t ever be fair. I know… Your mind is blown. Sometimes it might be more fair and sometimes it will be significantly less fair (all about perception, which we will discuss in a bit). That is life. It fluctuates. It ebbs and flows.

As you grow and make your way through the treacherous trip of life, you will encounter this scale of fairness often. You will see that in grade school, when one kid told a more gullible kid that there were child-eating, parent-hiding monsters under your bed, You will see that in high school when someone cheats their entire way through, never getting caught and gets into your dream school that life is not fair. In college, you will observe this also in other ways and then once you get into the real world, this magical place where you get paid every day and you think things are gonna be different… Well, lemme tell ya, life is def no fairer.

sorry for the swear words. please excuse.

HOWEVER! I mentioned above how it is all about perception. This, THIS concept, is very important to remember. So change your perception and start looking at “unfair situations” like this: — you are just going to need to work a little harder because someone knows YOU CAN work a little harder and achieve all of the things still — everything happens for a reason and someone out there knows YOU CAN handle it. Really, in my mind, what it all boils down to is that someone up there in the sky knows you can handle shit and get it done and you will be better and stronger for it and THAT is why YOU are put in these “unfair situations” — because YOU CAN handle it. #likeaboss With that being said, what we need to do is have a little fun with life! Accept life’s challenges and just remember, if you are given a challenge, it is there to teach you something and make you stronger!

Paul Rudd, havin a good time :-)

  I will leave you with this amazing video of a father-daughter team, lip syncing….

Lessons Learned: Why I Chose the Coach I Chose

I want to share with you some things that I was reminded of recently. I picked my coach, Abby, for several reasons. They were all factors in what made me finally decide to go with her and absolutely none of the decision was made by cost or look or anything else.  

I was coming off of extensive foot surgery and rebuilding of cartilage and I needed a coach to get me safely to the starting line of my first marathon. I spoke (via email) with several people, 3 in the DC area and Abby, and all were excellent and very qualified. They had all run several marathons and knew their stuff. All of them were faster than me. All of them knew more than me (as hard as that is for me to admit) and all of them were willing to help. I follow all of their blogs and their running stories and had been keeping up with their goings-ons via their blogs.

Why I picked Abby:

  1. She is studying to be a Physical Therapist and is presently working through a PhD program. She knew/knows her stuff as far as anatomy is concerned. More on this and how I have abused her knowledge below…
  2. She is no nonsense — and wasn’t in to taking my whining about x, y, or z and even via email was having none of my nonsense.
  3. All of my interactions with her, via social media and her blog, have been amazing and I genuinely liked her as a human being 

 

Why I am glad I picked Abby: 

In the past 8 months that Abby and I have been in a coach-runner relationship, I have done several stupid things. Most of them have affected or impacted my training in one way or another. I have made some smart decisions to, like not running a 10 mile trail race three weeks before my first marathon for fear of rolling an ankle… but let’s focus on the DUMB decisions. For example, a month after being cleared to run (and a month after Abby began coaching me), I went ahead and captained and ran my ragnar team that I had been planning since February. It was an amazing experience, but I promised that I would get clearance from my PT (that was local… a requirement of working with Abby: if I was going to be running, I had to be in PT for the foot). I got a hesitant clearance from my PT and I was in constant contact with Abby throughout the race. Everything turned out ok. I completed, unscathed, but it could be seen as my first dumb decision… I am a stubborn idiot, afterall.

As time has passed, and I completed my first marathon, I asked Abby to coach me to a sub-2 half. During this training cycle, with my goal race being Nike (in less than two weeks), I have made what I would call one MONUMENTAL stupid decision and a few other little ones along the way. At one point, in February, I took a coaching course for running. I thought I knew some stuff, although not as much as my coach, but still… someone got cocky and stopped communicating as much with her coach as she should have and that someone is me… my emails and my communication on our running plan/chart were less frequent… not good. 

The monumental mistake came when I was determined to fix my leg issues (knee pain, hip tightness, etc) with new shoes and getting properly fitted when I ended up w the beginnings of Plantar Fasciitis. I emailed Abby, she gave me stretches. I did them, but I also decided, like an idiot (you should be seeing a theme here), that now would be a great time to go see a new foot doc… NOTHING was wrong with the last foot doc (guy who did surgery) and in three weeks, this new foot doc and my own stupidity have derailed everything I have been working towards. I saw him, he said the shoes I had been running in since surgery were too severe for me… I was supposed to be in neutral shoes. So I went to the running store… tried NUMEROUS pairs of shoes on short runs. Finally picked a pair I liked. Ran two short runs in them and then decided to run the Cherry Blossom ten miler in them 10 days ago…. all the while, never informing my coach who I am 99.7% sure would have talked me out of being such an idiot. I ended up PRing, sure… but I also ended up with lasting achilles pain for a number of reasons that I can only guess at… not used to neutral shoes, no achilles dip in the back of the new shoe like there was in the old, etc…. So I emailed Abby. I started doing the stretches she told me to do, and have been praying I will be able to just run Nike…. not even gonna try and PR at this point. 

I also went and saw the podiatrist… he suggested heel lifts and other stretches…. i wore those heel lifts for 20 minutes WALKING before taking them out and tossing them due to knee pain (which lasted for an hour… heel lifts are always a bad idea in my opinion… for me anyway)…. I also had set up an appt with the PT that fixed my back and my foot. I am seeing her Friday. I am no longer seeing the idiot who recommended the heel lifts or the new shoes, although, I do think if I phased in neutral trainers in the long run, my knees would thank me… my achilles is unsure of a switch at this time. 

Long story short, I picked my coach for a reason. She knows her shit. I am an idiot and I need to not be an idiot anymore and continue to listen to her, especially if I want to keep running marathons, injury free. She hasn’t steered me wrong and I was reminded of all of these things and more this past week and a half. hehe. <sigh> I will report back later.

Happy wednesday… and remember to be grateful today (and every day)! Obviously, I am grateful for my coach.

Stay tuned for big changes!

 

 

Super Powers you Can’t Use and GIVEAWAY TIME!

After the Cherry Blossom race last weekend, I knew something had happened at mile 8 that was no good, but I thought it was just an ache or pain that I could get rid of quickly…. UGH! I was super wrong. I strained my achilles tendon and have been resting it since the race, last Sunday. I tried running and easy 3 miles yesterday; ran with Sheena before going out to support friends at the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler…

Cheering people on at the GW Parkway Classic

Cheering people on at the GW Parkway Classic (yes, the sheriff is giving me bunny ears)

and it went well… a little tight but no pain. Today I did an easy 4, whatever felt like a comfortable pace… here is the problem…. Today, during my comfty pace, what felt good to my body was a 9:50 pace (SHOCKER!!!! BUT AWESOME). What felt good to my achilles was 10:30-11 min pace. It is like having super powers, but not being able to use them because you don’t know how to control them. GAHHHHHHH! I have gone back to my old shoes for running, walking around in the neutral shoes to get used to them. Slowly switching to the neutrals…. 

I will tell you that cheering everyone on made me so happy yesterday!

After the race, with Leah :-)

After the race, with Leah :-) Seeing my buddy so happy and hearing about how when she saw me, Sheena and her husband, she got enough energy to kick it to the end!

Cheering can do wonders for people. Making signs and going out to support amazing friends and strangers can really boost the spirits of the runners AND you! Anyway, so with that being said, I will say, as I slowly work on getting my achilles tendon ready for Nike (cause seriously if I miss it again for the second year in a row, it must mean I am just not meant to run this race… but lord, I refuse to accept that) in two weeks. I am praying, resting, stretching, foam rolling, and elevating. Heat too!!! Anyway so as I deal with this stuff and get my body ready (or not, because I will be listening to my body) for Nike in two weeks, I thought I would host a giveaway!

I NEVER do giveaways; but in the effort to boost my charity awesomeness, I wanted to make this a bit of a game. Was hoping y’all could help me out! I want to give away two gift cards! So that means 2 people are going to win THINGS!!! woooo!!!! DON’T YOU WANT TO WIN ALL OF THE THINGS?!

I have two gift cards for $50 bucks each to INKnBURN to giveaway!

A little background: I have two rescue puppies and a third pug pup <— we knew the guy who had the litter. Anyway, I am a huge supporter of local shelters and when I saw that the Humane Society, here in DC, had some bibs for Marine Corps Marathon, I signed up! This will be a rematch for me since I was scheduled to run MCM last year and had to have foot surgery instead… awesome substitute…Anyway, help me rematch MCM and support local shelters and rescue cats and dogs while you’re at it! Together, we can save ALL the puppies and kitties! And if that thought doesn’t convince you, take a look at your pet or think back to that family pet you had as a kid and donate… and if that still doesn’t convince you, read on! 

Now, keep in mind, above I said this is going to be a bit of a game and it is for charity! So, with that being said, here is how you can enter:  to enter, go to my donations page and donate any increment of $10 (that can be $10, $20, $30, etc) — the more increments of $10, the more chances you will get to win! Once you have gone to my page and donated, come back here and comment telling me you have donated. I will be checking and keeping track! After you donate, you can get an extra chance to win by tweeting about this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So to recap, there are 2  prizes! You donate to win!

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

Spolier alert! I got a 3 min PR and met Christine at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler!

Spolier alert! I got a 3 min PR and met Christine at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler!

I feel like I have been doing nothing but race recaps lately. But don’t worry that is going to change in the next week or so and I will keep this brief! Not as in-depth as the last few recaps. This is what I will say… remember that ten miler I did last month, with gail? Well, I beat that time by 3 minutes and I did not pick it up the entire final mile like I did in Reston. I averaged 10:23 a mile and finished in 1:44:48 <— this is a big accomplishment for me. 

I decided to do it in “new” shoes and ended up jacking up my achilles a little bit (hoping this isnt anything long term… finally seeing some improvement in my score). I had run in them 2 times before a handful of miles, the previous week. I have been testing out neutral cushion+ shoes, when I am used to wearing stability/motion control and it caused my achilles to get irritated. I imagine the rain today is not helping in the matter (as rain always make my joints ache and aggravates any other injuries). 

Anyway, basically I am slowly working towards that 9 min pace for that sub 2 half, although I imagine it will be a while. heh. 

The miles were pretty even for me, ranging from 10:10-10:30. I had one that was 10:51, where I took my top layer off. And one that was 10:59 where I stopped for a water stop since I was running out in my hand held. But overall, I felt REALLY good about this race and super strong! I felt like I could have totally carried on another 3 miles. Just hoping I can pull a similar performance off for Nike at the end of this month. The course was flat and pretty! I will totally be running this next year, if they will have me!

Other highlights of the day… despite achilles issues now, I love the Asics shoe I ran in. Also, I FINALLY got to meet Christine of We Run Disney – she is awesome and I really enjoyed meeting her. I hope to catch her at future races! She seems like a lot of fun and we have been friends on social media outlets for a while! She provides awesome support!!! :-D

Ok! Not much of a recap. I am keeping it short. Check back over the next few days… you might see something that strikes your fancy.

Come back and all of that. And if you are bored and want to help a sister out, go over here and make a donation to help the puppies and the kitties! We are 50% there! 

If you want more insanity, feel free to find me on twitterfacebookinstagram, or pinterest 

RnR Race Recap

Flat Becca, ready to rock!

Flat Becca, ready to rock!

So Friday night, I laid out my flat becca and got prepped and ready to pass out at o-dark-early o’clock. My husband knew I was getting up at the buttcrack of dawn to head downtown to the start line. He offered to get up and come down with me at 5am but I told him to sleep in and meet me at the finish. Why should he have to get up early and then wait around for 2 hours and some change… right? So the next morning, on March 15, bright and early, I got up and at 4am and got dressed to head downtown to run Rock n Roll USA. I was in corral 23 and had planned on shooting for under 2:20, but mostly was just running to see where I was at on the scale of improvement… like… I want a sub 2, but after Saturday, I am unsure I will see that this season, but neither here nor there… Back to the recap.

I met up with some Team runDisney people in the corrals. I ended up waiting a solid 45 mins or so to even start running, which sucked… it was mostly because there were SO MANY corrals! I chatted nervously with random people (yknow, mostly single serving friends that you may or may not ever see again) and kept my garmin alert and ready. By the time they got to releasing our corral, I was nervous with excitement and had finalized and then re-finalized my game plan for the 13.1 mile race. I was hoping to pull off the kind of run I had been having for the long runs in weeks previous… 10:40 ave pace over 7-10 miles. I figured, I could pull that off than try and maintain or rev it up at the end. Little did I know how much the BEAST of a hill at mile 7 was going to eat me… alive… but more on that in a bit. Anywho, game plan… run my race, run my pace, hit it. HARD and then prove to myself that I have at least a 2:15 in me for this season, if not better. 

The first 3.5 miles were great! We ran down constitution and then looped around and back down Penn ave to head over towards Lincoln memorial and the memorial bridge. It was a glorious and beautiful morning for a race! I couldn’t have asked for better weather! A cramp hit me at mile 3, but I got rid of it quickly and then all of a sudden BAM it was back at mile 4. I cursed under my breath and called it a bastard (among many other things). At this point, we were headed out of downtown area and down rock creek parkway towards where I was to see my friend Cass and her puppy Kima around mile 6.5 (in the middle of this beast of a hill). 

I shot blocked at mile 4 and enjoyed my trip down Rock Creek Pkway. As I was running, I started letting myself jam out to my music, checking my garmin, I knew I was mostly on target, mentally, I felt good. I had gotten past my cramp (it was not going to beat me) and the only “tough” part now was going to be mile 6-8 which was the hillier section of the race. I thought to myself, I eat 13.1 for breakfast… little did I know that I was about to be straight dominated! GOOD LORD!

elevation

here seemed like a good place to put the elevation chart…

you see that sharp incline on the chart above, right around mile 6? yea, so that happened… and it IS as bad as it looks!

ASIDE: about three days before the race, Cass and I were chatting on gchat and I was expressing concern for this section of the race. I had (finally) looked at the elevation chart and was getting nervous. She told me it was steep but short and it would be ok. She even mapped out miles 6-8 on mapymyrun so i could see a larger/wider elevation chart. I allowed this to fool me. My panic attack alleviated until…. approx 8:30 am, saturday morning. hehe. ok back to recap.

Cass and I had been texting and so I knew to expect her approx 2/3 of the way up this “hill” (more like mini freakin mountain, ok, prolly not… but it felt like that at the time). As we turned to exit off rock creek, I saw THE hill and I was like oh this will be ok… and then it turned and went up MORE steeply. And I was like “hmmm”. A lot of people must have had similar thoughts. They all stopped to walk… but I don’t walk on hills. I BEST the hills! I am a BEAST on hills…. and yet… and yet… this f-er defeated me. People were dropping like flies all around me and I was like aight, I will pass you on the inside then… but there was gravel on the road on the inside pass and I couldnt get good traction. I ended up walking up half of the hill because I just couldn’t get traction and was losing energy fighting with the gravel and dirt on the paved road…. I saw Cass and walked breathlessly over to her. I got in her face and said hey! She had made a sign!!! and a sandwich board for her dog! In hindsight, I wish I had gotten a pic of her and her pup together, but I was so tired. I said hello and good bye, then turned around to shout at her that I hated her neighborhood and I went on my way through Northwest DC.

Miles 7-10, people were out on their stoops and on the streets, partying it up and handing out beers! No lie, this was awesome! Someone was even handing out margarita shots and jello shots. By mile 10, I was in a lot of pain in my ankles and my knees. Since my surgery, I have been doing a lot of foot strengthening exercises and it seems, according to my podiatrist, I have strengthened my foot into the neutral category and I no longer over pronate like I did…. so stability shoes are no longer my jam… this is weird to me as it is all I have known for sometime. Anywho, no surprise that running in stability shoes was giving me some knee pain. I was having a great texting conversation with two of my running buddies (made buddies by Ragnar DC last year — if you haven’t done a Ragnar, do it. It really does create lasting friendships!) and with my husband! All three of these people in two separate convos, were encouraging me! Hehe, I took a brief walkbreak at mile 10.82 as we entered H st NE district. I passed Cirque de Rouge (my tattoo studio of choice in the DC are) and then continued down the way to RFK stadium! The last mile and a half were AWESOME! Seeing all of the people was great!

RNR2014 DC map

the map of the race

 

My splits

My splits

 

Summary from my Garmin

Summary from my Garmin

 Sigh, it took me far too long to get this posted. I started writing this post about a week and a half ago. I had every intention of posting this sooner, just got sidetracked by life; first a work trip and then homework for grad school. I dont know how people do it. Two jobs and one grad school class every semester is tough and then toss in training and a variety of other things. UGH! hehehe aight, y’all come back now, ya here!

And if you are bored and want to help a sister out, go over here and make a donation to help the puppies and the kitties! We are 47% there! 

If you want more insanity, feel free to find me on twitterfacebookinstagram, or pinterest 

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