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July 2015
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The San Francisco Marathon: Learning that pacing works and learning to listen to my body

Note: I had the pleasure and honor of being a San Francisco Marathon Ambassador for 2015; thus my event entry was comped. This a true reflection of my experiences.

This was supposed to be my 6th marathon. It was going to be my chance to fight back against the event that literally pushed me to my edge last year.

But alais, it turned into my 20th half marathon.

I had every intention this year to be able to better my performance from last year on the 26.2. But between the weather and my dad having another trip to the hospital my training took a huge hit. I really wanted to push through but I got to the point that every bone in my body was screaming no. I knew if I would of pushed it the consequences would of well sucked. It broke my heart to do it but it was by far the smartest thing I could of done.

I downgraded to the 2nd half which originally was not the one I wanted to do. I wanted to do the Golden Gate Bridge. But it was full. The 2nd is not as scenic (or so I thought, I was completely out of it when I ran the full last year) and if you ask runners it is not as good as the first.

But they are wrong.

My morning started off at the Lululemon “Get Quiet; Get Loud” lounge at the Sens restaurant that gave us a sky view

Entry to Get Quiet Loud Lounge.

Entry to Get Quiet Loud Lounge.

of the finish line. They offered us a small breakfast and a chance to sit down and watch the start of the race activities before grabbing the bus to the second half start line with my friends and fellow ambassadors Heather and Trica.

The bus system is awesome. You walk a few blocks from the start line to a bus that will literally drop you off right next to the start line for the 2nd half at Golden Gate Park. Golden Gate Park has everything that you need to get ready for the race right there; portta potties, bag check that will be waiting for you at the start line.

I did not have expectations going into this race after I let go of my big goal of being able to do the full. I just wanted to run strong and be able to really enjoy the run.

The 2nd half gives you a treat that no other race gets. You get the chance to run past the buffalo paddocks and WP_20150726_020around one of the lakes before joining the main event. Golden Gate Park is a great place to start the run but its also very challenging because of the fact a good chunk of the up hills are here. All that being said, its the best way to see some of the most amazing parts of SF. I caught up to the 2:45 pacer and decided based on Rock N Roll and Vancouver that this could possibly be a good plan.

The pacers had been amazing. I really wish I could reach out to our 2:45 pacers and say thank you because with their help I managed to rectify my huge mistake last year when I went out of the gate way too fast and it turned into a miserable experience. They had also been really willing to talk me through the pacing style.

Once you get out of the park you head into famous Ashbury Heights which is a fun area to run. There had been a ton of people on the roads cheering on runners. Ashbury Heights has some amazing downhill stretches where you can stretch your legs and you really get a feel for the more “hippie” side of SF. Once you head out of the Heights you get to see part of the Tenderloin and SOMA. It reminds me a lot of running down in Eugene, its like running through the best of SF that the tourists do not know about.

The pacer I was working with actually had pulled ahead of his partner. But I was with him and we had banked a small chunk of time so I really got the chance to enjoying the 2nd half which I didn’t last year. And I realized, it is underrated. It is a fun amazing event with its own more relaxed feel.

Right before we hit the water, the pacer told me that I was looking strong enough that I might want to consider jumping ahead which I did. I was feeling stronger then I had on the last two.

As we came back around by the water and AT&T stadium it became a bit chaotic as the Giants had a day game. But by the time we got through they mostly had the Giants fans on one side of the walk way and us on the other. I love being able to run by the game day stuff as it gives you such a great energy.

SF Marathon offers free photos. This is me finishing.

SF Marathon offers free photos. This is me finishing.

The finish line was amazing. Its one of the most well organized finish lines that I have seen. You got in, you got water and your medal, get your finishers photo taken for free and enjoy the huge finish line party that had food carts, a chance to get your last souvenirs and get goodies.

I came back to the VIP lounge and they had a small lunch laid out for us and we got the chance to take photos with the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge on the background.

The 2nd half was an amazing experience. I actually bested my half marathon times for the year and got a really good idea of what I need to work on going into my next events. I am so thankful to the pacers for helping me find my stride. As much as I hated it, dropping to the second half was the best decision I could of made. I had to learn to listen to my body and what it wants.

It has been an amazing experience to be an ambassador for the past two years. I have learned so much from being an ambassador and really found a confidence in sharing my story. I am thankful to the entire staff of the SF Marathon for their support and love. They will always have a fan in me. I am also thankful to my fellow ambassadors from the past two years worth of teams. They inspire me and teach me a lot, and without them I could not be where I want to be.

Join @TheSeattleMarathon for the running party of the summer: Seattle Marathon 10K

Note: I am a 2015 Seattle Marathon Ambassador.

On August 22nd, at Green Lake Park the Seattle Humane Socitey will host the party of the summer; the Seattle Marathon hosts the Seattle Marathon 10K and kids run takes over historic Gas Works Park.

The Course
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The course gives you great scenic views of Seattle and allows you to enjoy some of the best of Seattle historical buildings, and of course the waterfront as you are making the turn at the Ship Canal Bridge.

This is a dog friendly event (as long as they are on leash.

One of the biggest draws about doing a race in Seattle in the middle of the summer; the weather. The average high is 75 degrees and Gas Works can be quite breezy.

They also offer a completely free kids fun run for any kid who wants to get involved.

I have not had the chance to run this race; so this year will be my first year to do it; (as a Seattle Marathon Ambassador to boot) and I am excited. This is also a Seattle Humane Society Charity Athlete headline event. Make sure you look for their table there and check out what they are doing (as it is amazing.)

Until race day, the 10K only costs 45.00 and gives you your choice of color of short sleeve tech shirt. (Really your own color choice is awesome. I know zero races that do this). For readers of this blog, there is a discount code available. Use the contact me button at the top of the page and I will send it to you ASAP.

Seattle 10K

The San Francisco Marathon Recap Part One: Expo (@TheSFMarathon)

Disclaimer: There is going to be part race recap/lessons learned blog. Bear with me. Also I had the honor of being an ambassador for the SF Marathon this year, and my race entry was comped.

This is the second year in a row that I have had the pleasure and honor of being an ambassador to the San Francisco Marathon. It has truly been a life changing and learning experience for me to be able to learn how to share my story with other runners, learning how to promote a race and truly being a leader in my running community.

This year my entire goal was to not let the marathon kick my butt as much as it did last year. But between Portland’s brutal weather forecasts (I hate this heat) and watching my dad go back in the hospital again. It just all kind of fell apart. I did not get the runs in that I wanted, I was also feeling super tight.

I fought the decision up to Saturday but when I came to work my shifts at the expo on Saturday I realized it was not going to be healthy for me to run the full. Literally it would be a situation where it would be bad news. The decision sucked; to the point of tears at the time. But it was the best decision ever. One thing is if you deiced that you need to make the jump, it is an easy process.

The expo featured of course race merchandise from both Reva and this year special things from Luleluemon. There had been races from around the North California area, places to pick up shoes, you could refill your Nuun, stock up on Perfect Bars, check out FitBit and get anything you might of forgotten. (In my case socks)

The expo for me this year was a great experience. Friday I worked with the race management company at the challenge IMG_7335table handing out loyal runner awards, 52 Club and helping answer questions regarding the “Half It All” (both halfs in successive years), “SF Berkley” (running Berkley and SF), “California Dreaming” (Surf City and SF) challenges. I have always said, I love being able to be the one to answer questions and get runners pumped up for whatever is coming their way. People in general had been excited because they had been coming into finish.

The nice thing about where I was, I was able to watch the flow of runners; and one of the things I noticed is how smooth everything flowed. People had been able to pick up bibs, pick up shirts and explore without much chaos. (Saturday was a different story, there had been so many people; get there Friday).

Saturday I spent the morning with the Information Booth crew answering questions. This was one of the busiest places in the expo and the most high energy. The nice thing here was our job was to get you to where you need answers.

The thing about the SF Marathon Expo is it really feels like a big time professional experience. Everyone who is there is there on the mission to help runners enjoy their experience. Its a rare feel that I get from events, and it is one of the many reasons I love being involved with SF.

New Discount for The Color Run

This banner is good until mid-August. Clicking here will save you 5.00 for any open Color Run

(Note: This is an affiliate Link)

Cosmo 7K- Girls Night Out Runners Style

Note: I am writing this race preview just because I love the race. And I love what Energy Events does for runners here in Portland/Vancouver.

I do not know any other way to describe the Cosmo7K other then stating the obvious. It is the ultimate girls night out for the ladies who run/walk.

Taking place on August 8th 2015 at the Fort Vancouver Barracks it features a lucky 7K distance on one of the purely prettiest courses out that Portland/Vancouver has to offer. You go through downtown Vancouver past Esther Short Park before heading for the Vancouver waterfront which is always stunning before turning back around and heading back for the waterfront. You come through Fort Vancouver (WARNING: Big infamous Ft. Vancouver hill) before heading back through historic Ft. Vancouver and finishing back at the barracks.

This is truly a ladies only event. After the race ladies are rewarded with a Cosmo7K Cosmo glass and get to try not one but two Three Olive Vodka. There is food, music, shopping and basically everything a girl could want.

I ran it the first year and I loved the laid back feel of the race. It was super humid so I took it as more of a training run and was able to run with one of my best running friends Donna. It was well organized and so well supported and the thing is with Energy Events, is they keep getting better every year, they figure out where things could be more pro runner friendly and make it happen. (Hense why I keep bringing them up here.)

My running girl friends are the best friends a girl could have, and one of my favorite memories is just being able

My run girls

My run girls

to kick back and relax with them post race.

7K may be a strange distance; but its perfect for a summer night run with the girls. Please check out Energy Events for more details about this amazing race.

#Givethem20 Challenge: 20 reps for Vets to support American Corporate Partners

When one of my fellow bloggers reached out to me about the #Givethem20 Challenge; I was a little reluctant to do it at first because.

I look like a dweeb on video.

But then I looked at what this was about. This is not about fundraising. This is about raising awareness to the daunting task that the American Corporate Partners is doing.

From their website

At American Corporate Partners (ACP), our mission is focused on assisting our returning military build their next careers. Since ACP’s founding in 2008, thousands of Veterans have connected with professionals for advice through our formal Veteran Mentoring Program. Their success stories inspired us to explore ways to introduce even more veterans to the business community.

With one million service members returning home and millions more who have previously served, we designed an online platform for all veterans to easily connect with professionals nationwide. Whether Veterans are deployed overseas or have already returned home, they can begin developing their next careers by receiving guidance through ACP AdvisorNet.

#Givethem20 is to not only recognize the Service Members. But it is to recognize the volunteers that work with ACP to help find and advise the service members in finding their next step.

I decided to swallow up my anti-burpee pride. I have had the pleasure of meeting several vets through Team RWB, my grandfather and my uncle are vets. I have met several service families through my coupon work. Also several of my PWF family are vets. (Those Burpees are for you guys) Its a cause that is really close to me.

On video; I challenge Team PWF and one of my favorite people on the planet Ashton Vuitton. But honestly, I challenge anyone who reads this blog to take a few mins out of your day and #Givethem20 to support ACP, and challenge two of your friends to do the same.

Make sure you check out the #Givethem20 Project at http://www.givethem20.org

And warning. I do the worst burpees ever.

The Color Run Presents a Night Event?

Note: This is an affliate post. I already love the Color Run, and the opnions are my own.

The Color Run is annoucing a night event. And if the expereinces I have had during their day event is any indication. I am EXCITED

A little info about our night events!

– Welcome to the night life… It’s Glow Time!The Happiest 5k is staying up late with our first ever night run hittin’ the U.S.! With amazing new participant gear and the brightest race attractions you’ve ever seen, thousands of runners will light up the night sky!
– Glowing Dance Party!There is an enchanting energy when the sun goes down, so come join us for this star-lit party! Sweet photo opps, cool glowing color shows and bumpin’ music to dance your heart out to! We can’t wait to see you there!
– COURSE- Glow with the flow!Our glowtastic color zones, illuminating bubble stations and surprise course attractions will magically lead you to our epic finish line and wild festival party! TCR Night is bringing this glow party to the next level!
– GEAR- Shake, Rattle and Glow!We are bringing our Night Color Runners a mind blowing Race Kit that includes a glowing special edition tee, black light headlamp, and a one of a kind glow color packet to help you get your glow on!

2015 TCR Night Tour Dates

Atlanta, GA 09.19.15
Central Jersey, NJ 09.05.15
Louisville, KY 10.03.15
Philadelphia, PA 10.10.15
Baltimore, MD 09.05.15
Chicago, IL 09.05.15
Milwaukee, WI 09.12.15
Phoenix, AZ 10.10.15
Boston, MA 10.02.15
Los Angeles, CA 08.29.15
Nashville, TN 08.15.15
Springfield, MA 10.09.15
Loudon, NH 09.12.15
Oklahoma City, OK 08.08.15
St. Louis, MO 08.15.15

2015 Tour Dates for the following cities Coming Soon!

Austin, TX
Grand Rapids, MI
New York, NY
Sacramento, CA
Baton Rouge, LA
Houston, TX
Oahu, HI
San Diego, CA
Charlotte, NC
Indianapolis, IN
Omaha, NE
San Francisco, CA
Cincinnati, OH
Kansas City, MO
Orange County, CA
San Jose, CA
Cleveland, OH
Lansing, MI
Pomona, CA
Seattle, WA
Columbus, OH
Las Vegas, NV
Portland, OR
South Padre Island, TX
Dallas, TX
Little Rock, AR
Providence, RI
Springfield, MO
Denver, CO
Lubbock, TX
Reading, PA
Twin Cities, MN
Detroit, MI
Miami, FL

And if you are interested in their regular event. The Shine Tour; you can check them out here.

SHINE

Product Review: Van Day Ultra Ipad Mini Cover #vandaycover

Note: Van Day offered me a chance to review their cover at a discounted price through Tomoson. No other compensation was offered.

I don’t often take on a non-running related review; but when this hit my mailbox I was interested. Between my consulting work, my always reading and always trying to learn stuff; my Ipad Mini is more like my right hand. And I go through covers like a mad women.

So when VanDay reached out I defiantly wanted to see what it was about.

I love the hard plastic backside of the case. It fits well, and I have actually had my Mini fall off the table and

The inside of the cover

The inside of the cover

the case stayed in place which has been a problem before on some of these cases. It does not block the camera or move around to make photo taking hard. The durablity is a huge issue for me and I think this is a case that is going to work and stay with me for awhile.

The soft side of the case has a screen cleaning style inside which being my Mini goes with me everywhere and is a magnet for dust and smudges, is a must have tool. The only downside with the soft cover is it does not help the Mini stand up as much as I want to when I am watching movies. That is a small downside in the big picture.

I love the selection of front covers that they offer on the website. I chose the one with the elephants and it makes me smile every time I grab my Ipad and its honestly a design that I have never seen out there.

I f you have read any of my blogs before; cost is always an issue for me and that right there is another thing I love about this. The covers average 9.99- 14.99 and thanks to Amazon mine was delivered quickly.

Summer Solstice Urban Adventure Run Recap: Volunteers make the event

For as much as I have grown in this journey the one thing I do not and will never like is the unknown.

When a friend asked me to join her at the Summer Solstice Urban Adventure Run. I was excited, and then I looked it up online, and the apprehension set in. But it goes to help the Clark County Food Bank so I was game to see it.

This is different then any race we have have here. You have 2 hours to hit as many checkpoints as you can and then comeback to Esther Short Park for the raffle. At each station you had been met with a physical or mental challenge

10984501_10205509150061124_3074076637234489451_nand a riddle to get to your next stop. The stops had been all through out Downtown Vancouver.

My Team RWB Teammate Malinda was the one who invited me to join her on this. We both went into this knowing we had planned on walking between stations and just tackling as much as we could. She was not a runner, and I was trying to get myself mentally ready for Vancouver USA the next day.

The event starts when you pick up your map. If I could wish this race to improve one thing it would be right here. One person on your team would go into this circle and the race director would throw the maps up in the air and you had to scramble to get one.

We got our map and found our first location quickly.

I could talk about all of the stops. But I want to talk about my favorite one.

About midway through our journey we got faced with a rather dusty dirty mini obstacle course. You had tires run,

Me vs Wall.

Me vs Wall.

then you climbed over walls that led to balance beams that you could not touch the ground or you would be penalized with extra work. It looked like a little beast, and I agreed to take it on, even though I am not the strongest with it. The volunteers had been amazing. They really encouraged me to go after it. I can not say enough good things about these guys. They really wanted to see people succeed. Flat out, these guys made it so much better.

Some of the other stops consisted of physical challenges including a mini circuit training session, rowing for 1,000 meters, tire flips, throwing grapes in your teammates mouths, eating a cricket (Thank you Malinda for doing that one or me.)

After two hours you went back to Esther Short Park for awards which you got a great medal and a chance to win some great prizes (I got a new tank from Doppleganger Clothing that I LOVE).

This is a great small event, that really encourages you to push yourself but listen to your body. For as much apprehension as I had, I loved this event and it is defiantly going on my radar for next year. On top o

#1millonminutes MadLib @Sweatpink

I am part of the #1millionminutes Project with Sweat Pink. They presented us with a madlib today.

I am so excited to join #1MillionMinutes with #sweatpink! This summer my goal is to do __1000___ (number) minutes of __fun________ (activity), while wearing my favorite _________ (color) __skirt____(noun).

I predict that we’ll ___shatter___ (Verb) the goal of #1MillionMinutes – we’ll actually hit ___1.5_____ (number) of minutes this summer! I predict that __running______ (activity) will be the top-logged movement.

I’ll get extra minutes in by __walking______ (verb) to__everywhere________ (place)!

My favorite way to get extra minutes in is by __run_______ (verb) with __me________(person). _myself_______(person) is my BEST activity partner because he/she is so ___me!____(adjective). Our favorite way to relax post-workout is to _strech_______.

I tag _____anyone who reads my blog____, ___________, and _______ ( people) to help us reach #1MillionMInutes… or more!