“Nakama” and The Word Inspiration… (Thank you @MizunoRunning)

My running life in the last year has been crazy.

I have not been able to race as much this year, just because there has been some challenges with everything going on with my dad. I have not had the money to race at points which has sucked, training at times has been complicated, but I have never stop running. (Other then right now because I have a really ugly pucked up big toe from Seattle.)

Running has given me so much.

When my day gets chaotic, it is the time for me just to focus on me.

When things get frantic around me and the negative energy seems to be infectious, its there for me.

When I am feeling like I can’t handle what is going on around me, and I don’t feel strong, running has been there to

With my award from Mizuno. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

With my award from Mizuno. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

remind me that I can do whatever I put my mind to.

Running also reminds me that I can not ever give up on this journey no matter what road it takes me.

That is one thing I wish I could share with people, that no matter where you road takes you, you can still keep running. If I can keep running through everything I have been through with dad this year. Anyone can.

Mizuno Running agreed with me. And gave me the honor of talking about how running has changed my life. I became this months Mizuno Nakama.

You can read their blog: Nakama

I can not thank Mizuno enough for allowing me this honor. And allowing me to share my story.

It is down right crazy where my running has taken me. As I have said before, I never intended for it to go past it’s first 5K. Now it’s 5 marathons, 15 half, some bigger goals for 2015. I still juggle the idea that I am an inspiration. I just know that if I can change the world around me, anyone can as long as they are willing to put the hard work in. I still have struggles trying to keep myself positive. There are still days that the right choice comes hard.

There are some days people tell me I should give up. There are some who think that eventually I would fail, and I have not.

I made a promise to myself (and to someone else) early in this journey when I started to realize I could trust in myself and what I could do, that I would never give up. I would go wherever this crazy road would take me and never look back.

And I won’t.

Gigabody Giveaway: A Must Have for the Cross Training Tool Box

Note: I received two months free with Gigabody through my partnership with Sweat Pink. No other compensation received. These opinions are my own.

If you have followed me for any length of of time. You know one thing.

My life is nuts.

So when the chance to check out Gigabody came my direction, I was interested. Gigabody gives you access to an on-demand workout library that has many options no matter what you are looking for. Founded in 2010 by Valerie Lanard after she was trying to find new and exciting workout DVD’s for her own journey and finding that she needed to have more options then just hunting and pecking through DVD’s. Gigabody was built to to combine the benefits of the best workout DVDs on the market with the ever-increasing benefits & convenience of the web.

Gigabody features training plans that incorporate their videos for various goals that one can be working on. It also makes recommendations of other trainers and videos to select based on your interests and whatever you have worked out to before. It also gives you options depending on how much time you have to workout. For me, when my workout time sometimes gets crunched and I only have 15-20 spare minuets.

There are so many options to workout with; no matter what you are looking for. There are dance videos, kickboxing, IMG_5471cardio, yoga, sculpting. You really never have to worry about getting board. I am still going through an making lists of the ones that I want to try.

My personal favorite is the Ballet/Barre series by Jennifer Galradi. Barre and Ballet is something I have wanted to try for awhile but I just have not had the time to go out and try a class. Right out of the gate, I love how Jennifer explains the workouts and the movements in such an easy way to understand. She also shows adaptations for people who are not ready or flat out flexible enough. I have been trying this one once to twice a week either in its full hour work out, or in pieces.

Gigabody is 8.99 a month (less then the cost of one new DVD a month) which makes it a great value. It ran really well from both my laptop and my cranky Ipad, which allowed me to take some of the hand weight workouts to the gym and to Seattle with me. As someone who is always looking for good cross training and right now handling off running conditioning. I love having this as a tool. I will be continuing with them.

Gigabody has given a free month to one of my readers. Please check out the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

@SeattleMarathon Half Marathon Recap: Baby it’s Cold Outside

This could very easily be summed up in one word.

COLD.

Actually freaking cold would be more like it.

I ran the full in Seattle in 2012, so I went into this kind of knowing what to expect. This year I had the honor of representing the Charity Athlete Team for the Seattle Humane Society in honor of George which made this event just that much more meaningful.

The expo for the Seattle Marathon has always been one of my favorite expos. It takes place at the Westin in downtown. You start by picking up your bib number in one room and then you go into the main expo hall. The expo itself is actually kind of small compared to some others. But the one thing I have enjoyed about this expo is the fact that it is smaller, it features some great local race companies and really focuses on all the things you need before, during and after the run. You also pick up your shirt which this year is a great blue long sleeve, and a jam packed goodie bag full of samples and coupons.

When I woke up Sunday morning I knew this was not going to be really fun. It was windy and cold. I was still recovering from a cold so my training was already questionable and the weather was not on my side.

Before I continue, I need to thank someone and I do not know her name. I mis-placed my money to get on the Monorail. It just slid into a part of my backpack that I could not see where it ended up. I know she was one of the staff members for the Seattle Marathon, as she had a notebook with her that had all the information in it. I was in line right behind me. She gave me the 2.50 which saved me the mile walk. She is an amazing lady.

The start line is at the Seattle Center right near the Experience Music Project and this is one of the most well ran start lines I have ever ran. They separate the walkers from the runner by giving them their own start time and the pacer signs are so clear that you know where you need to be. The runners also seem to be really on top of staying off to the side if they are talking walk breaks.

This course has always been one of my favorites. The first couple miles take you straight through the middle of downtown Seattle to the I-90 Bridge.

The I-90 Tunnel. Also probably one of the warmest parts of the course.

The I-90 Tunnel. Also probably one of the warmest parts of the course.

Yes. You get to run in an actual freeway. (For those who want to tell me to run in a freeway, Seattle makes your wish come true.

The full marathon runs the length of the bridge. The half gets to run in the tunnel which turns into an festival of echos. Everyone starts cheering and that is all you hear. There is also a well placed hydration stop in the tunnel.

Once you exit the tunnel, the half marathoners go on to the access road and head towards Lake Washington. This by far is one of my favorite parts of this course. Its through a quiet residential area and marina that overlooks the lake. I almost had an issue here because I was so zenned and zoned out I did not see a crack in the road and almost went rear over tea kettle.

The Lake Washington Sunrise

The Lake Washington Sunrise

The Lake Washington Sunrise[/caption]Because we had been running so early some of the views had been spectacular of the Lake. Several people (myself included) ended up taking their cameras out for some photos. This is the one thing I will always say about the Seattle course, is its one of the most scenic courses in the NW.

That being said, the second half of the course, I forgot how much of a challenge it really is. Once you make mile 7 you go up what is considered one of the toughest hills in the NW running scene, and then it is a constant up and down as you go through the Arboretum. But to the ice we had a quick off road section as the ice had made the first part of the uphill climb impossible. I was worn out, the cold weather was getting to me, my nose didn’t stop running.

The final part of the course is flat until you hit a nice set of downhills and flats in the last mile. This is the only really industrial area in the entire course. Then you come ac cross the finish line at the 50 yard line of the Memorial Stadium field which still had snow. You collected your medal for the military volunteers which is a special thing. (Especially because this qualified me for my Strength in Numbers medal from Jost Running, which goes to benefit military members needing mental health services.)

The recovery area is well organized and inside the core part of the arena’s expo center. They have booths of food, soups, drinks. The sponsors have booths, the charities including my loves at the Seattle Humane Society have booths. There is a place for people to change, check their times and grab any souvenirs.

For the fact this race is so challenging. It is still one of my favorite races. It is well organized, very runner friendly and its so welcoming to everyone no matter the speed or ability. Despite the cold, I still pulled off a decent 2:38 (which being I haven’t trained well, I have been sick ect).

#GivingTuesday The Seattle Humane Society Makes Run Fundraising Possible

Unless you have been a new reader of my blog (or for that matter living under a rock), you know that I have spent the last year as a charity athlete for the Seattle Humane Society in honor of my crazy little angel, George.

George watching me work one summer day. He loved sitting with me when i would take the laptop outside to work.

George watching me work one summer day. He loved sitting with me when i would take the laptop outside to work.

After George’s passing, I was trying to figure out the best way to take my grief and do something with it to make a difference. George went through some rough times before he became our little doggie, and if it was not for the help of some rescue angels, he would of never made it. I really do feel like this is something that he would of wanted from me. There is not a day that I do not miss him.

So many programs seemed to have an overwhelming fundraising requirement which honestly scares me away but I stumbled upon the program from the Seattle Humane Society. George has several four footed friends who call their Seattle their home. The program allows athletes to raise funds for an entire year and multiple races (unless you are raising for Rock N’ Roll Seattle or the Seattle Marathon 10K), which makes the fundraising feel so much more doable. You initial registration fee is 30.00 which gets you everything you need to start. You get a tech shirt, cheer squad shirts for your supporters, posters that you can put up in your office and a staff that bends over backwards to help you and support you in your journey. You also get discounts for various training programs both in the Seattle area and virtual.

My Seattle Humane Society Shirt and my Seattle Half Marathon shirt. This is the capstone event for the charity athletes.

My Seattle Humane Society Shirt and my Seattle Half Marathon shirt. This is the capstone event for the charity athletes.

Another impressive fact is up front they tell you that 80 cents of every dollar that the charity athletes raise goes directly into the animal care. To me, that was one of the most important things. I know there are always costs involved, and I understand some money has to go to it, especially when you are donation driven. But this was amazing to see, and almost un-comparable to anything I had seen. The bottom line is; I have been able to make a major difference for animals.

I am very proud of what I have accomplished this year. I know for a fact, through running and the help of the amazing people that have stood up to help. I am thankful that the Seattle Humane Society has such an amazing program that is so runner friendly and a staff that will do anything to help their team. I will be coming back to their program because it is a great way to do amazing things with my running, it is inspiring to keep me out there and moving and it is the most runner friendly program I have seen.

I am also very proud that George has been able to make a difference. A difference I could not make without my team. Please check out the program Seattle Humane Society Charity Athlete . And if you can spare a dollar Charity Athlete 2014: Bonnie Wilson

My Team:
Daniel Williams
Deborah Crowder
Gillian Charles
Hedi Fazai
Kimberly Vrooman
Kirsten Stuart
Linda Odonahoe
Jeff Akin
Ms. Rachel Ward
Ms. Samantha Collins
SARAH SCOTT
SaraNBlank
Nate Quarry and the Team at Zombie Cage Fighter
Tricia Poblete
Victoria Trabosh

November Dragon Fit Challenge Results on the Interactive Fitness Bikes @PDXGym

I freely admit. I was a little determined on this challenge. But it paid off.

For the first time; not only did I manage to crack the top 100 riders (personal brag) but our gym was 50th overall.

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Remember the December challenge has started.

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Lorna Jane: The Active Living Room comes to Portland

“Our vision extends beyond the product. We don’t just sell activewear, we sell an active way of life. Our garments encourage women to achieve their best through Active Living and ultimately reach their full potential.” – Lorna Jane Clarkson Founder of Lorna Jane Active Living Line.

WP_20141124_136So much of the vision of Lorna Jane relates back to my own personal journey not only with weight loss, but finding out who I was through my active lifestyle. I have always honestly had a huge crush for some of the clothing I have seen. The brand was started in Australia in 1989 and has sprung into more then 150 stores nationwide. I was quite excited to hear that they had been opening a location at Bridgeport Village here in Portland.

This location is what they call an “Active Living Room,” though the construction is not complete. When it is, they will be holding fitness classes and nutrition workshops. Active Living Rooms also include healthy cafes where you can get your quick fix of healthy food as you are out shopping. It will be a one stop shop for everything you need for your active life style.

When I arrived to check out the new store. We had been met by the amazing Gloria; one of the Lorna Jane associates. We talked about some of the active things that I was involved with. She steered me in the direction of several of her favorite pieces of the Lorna Jane line that she thought would be perfect for me. We also talked about bras, and she pointed out several bras for me to try on to find a style and size that I might like. She convinced me to try on a couple pieces that I might not of tried on normally myself. Even after loosing all my weight sometimes I am not brave enough to try on pieces that will be more form fitting or show a few more curves. She went into this with the goal of getting me the outfit of my dreams. She wanted me to find something that made me not only look good but feel good.

One of the things that I like is the versatility of the pieces and it was evident in the outfits that we picked out that pieces can be combined with a lot of different pieces in the Lorna Jane line. The pieces are also built to support all body types and figures while still making people look and feel their best.

I can’t explain it. But there was one outfit in particular that the second I tried it on, I just knew. I knew this was the one. It felt like it fit like it was meant for me.

The Hoodie: Run Time Pullover Hoodie
Have you ever had a hoodie that you try on once and you swear you may never take it off? WP_20141124_088

WP_20141124_086
The Run Time Hoodie has quickly become that hoodie for me.
This hoodie is the first time I have seen a hoodie that flatters me while still giving you the comfortable feel that you come to expect from your favorite hoodie. Its made out of the LJ cotton loop back fleece and the hood is quilted. Its the perfect pre or post workout hoodie or the perfect hoodie to wear out on the town with friends.

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The Tights Isometric F/L Tight
This is one of the pieces that I first did not think would look good on me. Gloria convinced me to try them on just to see how they felt. The Isometric F/L Tight is a high rise pant that molds right to my legs. They are made from the LJ Excel and Mesh Fabrics. These fabrics keep them fade resistant, shrink resistant, quick drying and breathable. The high waist was the question for me, I have had a lot of high waist tights that just don’t stay up on the waist no matter how much I try. These felt like they molded right to my waist.

The Animania Bra Animania Bra
Though you can’t see it in the photo of the final outfit. The winner by far is the Animania Bra. The cross straps make it not only pretty but comfortable. They have removable padding that gives the girls shape and extra support. The bagged out sweetheart neckline is a different look for me, but it was something that really felt like I was wearing something better then a bra. They call this the perfect outfit for the high impact workouts (hello, new running bra). For me this felt like the perfect mix of form and function.

For those of you in Portland, I highly recommend checking out the store. Not only so many cute things, but I can not say enough about the help I got from the staff was amazing on helping me the outfit of my dreams. They are located at Bridgeport Village near the movie theater.

Disclaimer: This blog was sponsored by Lorna Jane through my ambassadorship with Sweat Pink. I was provided the outfit for my time, but the opinions in the blog are my own.

@PDXGym December Expresso Bike Challenge

I really hope you like climbing..

This is a huge amount of hill work coming in December.

Please feel free to ask questions.

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The Other Side of Me…. A Thank You Letter to @TheWCWC and Wrestling in General

Okay… I will get back to health and running stuff later. If that’s all you read with me you may move on.

For those of you who follow me in my social media adventures, you pretty much know that there is only one thing I love as much as I love running. This just so happens to be professional wrestling.

I have been around Pro Wrestling for as long as I can possibly remember. My late grandfather used to sit in front of his favorite chair every Saturday night for Saturday Nights main event. My mom was raised on it, and turned my father into somewhat of a fan. And I was just kind of raised on it from the early Portland Wrestling days.

Someone posted something on Facebook that came across my timeline that hit home with me. It was in a letter to his fellow wrestlers.

“That for just that small moment, as that person, be it child or adult, cheered or booed, you helped remove them from the horrible realities that surround us all every day. That for just that short moment, you helped take the pain away.”

I would not say its a horrible reality that surrounds me. But, if you have been following my journey for any length of time. You know I have been dealing with a lot outside my running life when it comes to my fathers illness, all the logistical issues that come up with it, supporting my mom through this and trying to figure out my own future. At times it gets to be a lot of stress. Running is always helpful but there are some days that running just does not snap me out of funks.

One of my faviortes Remey Marcel myself and Nick Price

One of my faviortes Remey Marcel myself and Nick Price

A good dose of Professional Wrestling always seems to do the trick and leave me smiling for days.

We ware lucky enough here in Portland to have The West Coast Wrestling Connection. I honestly found them because of the fact that they brought in one of my “must not miss ever” (See name of blog website if you have never figured this one out). But I have found what feels like a second home. And its a guaranteed break away from sometimes feels like uncontrollable chaos The talent there is amazing. And they really care about putting on the best show they can for their fans.

The WCWC has also jumped on to be one of my biggest cheerleaders in my fundraiser for George. They have promoted it social media. And really stepped up to back me up.

It is to the point that I look forward (when running is not interfering) to when they are on my calendar.

Thank you to all involved with WCWC for not only reminding me why I love wrestling. But giving me that break away from chaos that comes with the life of being a dreamer, a hard worker, a care giver, and a women with a flat out

My fashion hero, and one of my favorite guys to watch, Ashton Vuitton

My fashion hero, and one of my favorite guys to watch, Ashton Vuitton

nutty life. Thank you to the ones that support my crazy dreaming as a runner, business lady and soon to be… well you just have to wait and see.

I am the social media guru/ambassador for the Premier Wrestling Federation and it is a dream come true for me. Everyone has such an amazing passion for the business. It is a dream come true to work with such a great group of people and be able to help them out with things. Thank you to the PWF team for dreaming big.

And thank you to the few others, who know who they are (including my adopted running coach) for following my crazy journey and supporting the chaos. And thank you for putting your talent out in the world.

Being a “Fireball” – Zumba Half-Time Show @ Portland Trailblazers

I miss Zumba.

Because of what has been going on in my family, I have not been to Zumba or done Zumba in 15 months. My workout time is limited and so dedicated to my running time. Zumba is just not a huge priority. But when I saw a chance to dance with the amazing Portland Zumba community. I jumped quickly. I needed that positive, crazy juice.

Our day of performing started early. We had a rehearsal at 1:30 so we knew where we needed to be on the court. We could go through the dance a few times, work on getting on and off the court. It was nice to see some of the amazing people I have met through my crazy fitness journey.

Satha, who is one of the most amazing positive people that I have ever come across has helped organize this event for the past few years was joined by a new face to me, Zumba George. I had heard about some of the amazing things that he has done but this is the first time I have ever gotten to dance with him. His energy is amazing and pretty infectious.

Like the first time I ever did this a couple years ago. I got stuck in the back row. This time by choice as I asked to be put there. I have big clunky feet at times that need more space.

Zumba Group Photo The routine was to Pitbulls Fireball. The bad news for me is I did not have much time to work on it. There is just a ton of stuff on my plate. But I picked up on it pretty fast. And was lucky to have some great people around me who knew it really well.

After a couple time running through it (which at this point made me really okay with doing this) we worked on getting in and off the floor which is a science in itself.

Performance time was a bundle of excited energy. Lets be blunt, there is only one team in the NBA that I ever pay attention to (#thunderup). So I spent more time just enjoying the people and the sights. Blazer games have their own amazing energy. And the people are really dang cool. The group met up on the concourse before heading down to the courtside level. Everyone was excited. We spent a lot of time talking to each other, taking photos, taking our big group photo.

The performance itself went so fast. I was so into it that I was just off in my own world. I was way over the top. Which I was having fun with. It was good to me, to just go off and be a show girl.

I miss the Zumba community. Some of them have been some of the most amazing and supportive people even as I have gone through all my chaos.

One thing I learned, I need to go back to dancing quickly.

#NABloPoMo: November 4th Prompt: Graduation Day

Today Prompt:

Nov 4: What is your favorite holiday memory? (And yes, you can pick any holiday, including your birthday.)

I don’t really know if you consider this a holiday or not. But it is a day by all indications I never thought would happen.

I have told the story before. I was doing okay in college. Nothing really impressive. And then my dad got sick. He was spending time in nursing homes, hospitals ect. (Sound familiar? I am going through that right now as well.)

I ended up having to drop out of getting my bachelor degree. In reality, I actually failed out.

Yep, my GPA was insane. (I think it was a 1.25?)

I really did not even want to think about coming back. I figured the bridge was burned.

unnamedIn the middle of everything going on with my weight loss journey, rebooting my life, finding running ect. My job situation had fallen apart. With the help of a couple amazing people in my life they convinced me to not take it as something of a derailment, but take it as a sign that it was time to go back across that bridge.

It was tough. I had to petition to the college to let me come back with aid. I had a term to prove myself. That term was nerve racking. But I rocked a 3.36 right out of the gate and I was flying.

I had a few challenges. It seems anatomy will never be my best subject EVER. I also hate math with a passion.

It took a lot of work, a lot of struggle and a lot of flat out hard work.

I do not regret it.

We do not even talk about my final capstone project; which was my first ever research paper.

In December of 2012 I graduated. And because I graduated when I did, I had to wait until June to make the walk in my cap and gown. Because of what is going on with dad I almost did not make graduation until my dear sister from another mister and friend Kathy drove up from Dallas, picked me up and we took a road trip across the state for me to be able to walk across the football field.

That was a major accomplishment for me. Our college president Dr. Davies had known me and about my journey and he even gave me a hug as I made it across the stage.

I will never forget being able to celebrate this day.