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Race to Remember: A Memorial Day Tradition

Note: I am invited to race with the team at Race to Remember in trade for some social media love. This will not change the fact that I do love this race.

BBQ’s

Beach Vacations

Picnics

Memorial Day brings a lot of family based traditions but at the root of Memorial Day is our chance to honor the sacrifice of our nations Military.

Race to Remember offers a chance for runners to come together to run to honor our nations heroes this Memorial Day by running and walking either on-site or virtually in a half-marathon, 10K, 5K or kids race.

Photo by WazMixPix
The funds from this race go to Race to Remember, which was founded with the ultimate goal to raise funds to provide scholarships to local military families. They also go to PureKraze which is a local non-profit with the mission to provide homes to veteran families who are facing homelessness.

I have participated in this race for a couple years now, and I love the small community feel of this race. It really does end up being a group of friends that have come together to make a difference for a common cause. The race is well organized and supported by a group of dedicated volunteers.

The race follows the Vancouver Waterfront out to Beaches Restaurant. The 5K turns around right on at the foot of Columbia Way and comes back to the start line at the Vancouver Remembrance Wall. The 10K continues down Columbia Way before turning back. And the half marathon is a scenic loop of Vancouver. I have always been a fan of the Vancouver Waterfront Courses, they are basically flat, very scenic and enjoyable.

And remember. If you can not make it to the race, you can join them virtually.

I have met and heard many stories while doing my volunteer work with Honor Flight and The USO of our nations heroes and their sacrifices so this is something that hits close to home. Also I have seen first hand the efforts of Race to Remember to honor our nations heroes. It is something I am proud to be involved with and I am proud to represent the team and race on Memorial Day.

Race Details: Race to Remember: Memorial Day Half Marathon

Join Race to Remember at the Hazel Dell Armed Forces Day Parade.

Disclaimer: I am invited to race for free in trade for a little assistance in promoting the races. Any opinions listed in here are that of my own as always.

We Race to Remember.

We Race to Honor.

We race to give back to those who have given so much to us.

I have been honored to be a part of the crew at Race to Remember for a couple years now. This organization led and founded by a friend; Claudia Cardenas works to honor local area Veterans through multiple outreach projects.

In her own words.

“Race to Remember” is the name of our nonprofit, formed in Vancouver Washington 2009 after our founder Claudia Cardenas lost her fiancé Jason Vinyard a 20yr Army Veteran serving at Ft. Vancouver at the time of his passing. “Race to Remember” mission is to support and honor our past and present military heroes. We host several events throughout the year including three races. During every event we host or participate in we remember and honor those who fought for our freedom. Outside of racing we organize military care packages; and engage with the community by coordinating such projects as “Soldier in the Classroom”, “Thank You Cards” and “Books for Soldiers”. Our immediate goal is to form partnerships with local business and other veteran organizations to help us best serve veterans in our communities. Our long term goal is to establish a college scholarship for the Fallen Heroes children and spouses.

The season for Race to Remember starts on May 19th, 2018 as Race to Remember will be hosting a race to kick off the Hazel Dell Armed Forces Day Parade. “The Hazel Dell Parade” always takes place on the 3rd Saturday of May which is Armed Forces Day. The Hazel Dell Parade started in 1964 and is presented by the Hazel Dell Salmon Creek Business Association. In 2017 the lineup featured more than 120 local business & organizations, including 28 middle and high school bands

This 2.2 mile race will kick the parade off, starting from NE 88th in Vancouver near Target, this race will follow the route of the parade. Runners and walkers are invited to participate.

Proceeds from this race will not only go to Race to Remember, but also Lift for the 22 which provides free gym memberships to our veterans to allow them an athletic outlet to heal and connect back into their community.

Race Details: Armed Forces Day Parade

Starbucks Giveaway

I really love giving away things…… Especially when it comes to one of my favorite of things… COFFEE!!

As the case as of late, I am teaming with some amazing Instagramers for this, so follow the directions and enter!!! COFFEE!!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $100 Starbucks Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 5/4 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
WANT TO GROW YOUR BLOG WITH GIVEAWAYS? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN JOIN OUR AWESOME GROUP OF BLOGGERS!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Everything Evolves

Pull up an Appletini (Yes, if you are a wrestling fan you know what the reference is from)…..

When I sat down to write my “Why I Run” piece a couple weeks ago. I did not expect it to be so cathartic or therapeutic. I really just wanted to share the what got me started on this crazy journey.

And I see it in the evolution of my blogging. When I first started to share the racing journey (before I crashed the you know what out of this two years ago) I really was just talking about the battle with my weight and honestly all the luggage that I was carrying, and then it was how running changed me and I wanted to get faster, thinner and fitter, then we talked a lot of products and then it kind of circled back towards the things I have learned while being on this journey.

Just like running. I started this just to lose weight. Then I became (and okay still am a bit) a bling whore, and

One of my favorite trails in Seattle… And an old car.
then the ambassadorships and using those as a chance to share my story. Now I am at a point that it has circled back to the point where I do it to try and help people like I was helped while exploring new places and challenges a long the way.

Its all about the evolution. Even though I hate change in general and have been trying to get in myself back in that comfort zone box lately (before you say anything, I will be the first one to admit I had a crisis of confidence again. Sometimes things just suck.) , seeing the words spill out on paper (or on computer, whatever suits your fancy) helped me realize that, you know what. Things are always changing. I am always being challenged. Even when I do not realize it.

Speaking of challenges. Someone I respect. (I shant say who) challenged me to get my trail shoes back on and see the world from the trails. It does not even need to be in a racing form, just a chance to see my running world through a different lense. Last week I spent a good two hours on the trails here in Portland and it was amazing. Its a workout without a workout.

I don’t know how to explain it. I am evolving professionally right now to. I defiantly feel like I am finding my voice as a social media manager. But I am also finding that I know where I can be better and trying to find ways to improve.

But real talk… Sometimes it still sucks.

Sometimes you get told no way too much.

Sometimes you just make stupid decisions.

Sometimes you get told you suck.

Sometimes you get told to get your ass back in line doing what people expect you to.

But the evolution continues.

Giveaway Time: More shopping fun at Target

Ohh.. Lets have some more Giveaway Fun!!
Time for another shot at 100.00 at Target.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $100 Target Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 4/13 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
WANT TO GROW YOUR BLOG WITH GIVEAWAYS? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN JOIN OUR AWESOME GROUP OF BLOGGERS!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why do I run?

Skirt Sports challenged their ambassador to share their “why” when it comes to running. Why is it we do what we do? Why do we run? It has been making me think a lot lately, because there are so many reasons why I run and those reasons have changed a lot in the past several years.

It is best summed up.

I run because the women who I was before I started running deserved to be much happier and for that matter better then she was allowing herself to be. She deserved to be healthy, she deserved to be happy, she deserved to feel strong and she deserved so much better then she allowed.

This whole thing really started as my attempt to lose weight. Honestly, I was going to lose the weight, that was the only goal. Then I decided that it might be a good side goal to run a 5K. My trainer agreed that it would be great motivation.

I hated it.

I felt slow, fat, out of shape and I felt like I did not belong. That was the worst I would say 45 minuets of my life.

And I said I would never do that again.

I needed help to realize how inside my head I was. All I saw was the weak and ugly parts of me at that point. I also was the queen of self sabotage when it came to making sure that’s all I would ever see and I tried to make people see that to. I was lucky enough to have a trainer in my life who saw things for what they had been for and put up with a whole ton of self sabotage from me to help me break through. I have said this before, I owe Zac George a lot because he saw things in me before I saw them and dove in head first to help me find them.

He convinced me to try it a second time and it was the race that changed my life.

I ended up doing the original Skirt Sports Skirt Chaser Race. (I warned you! I am an Original Skirt Sports girl) The race had a totally different atmosphere. It was more like a party then a race and I had a blast. My trainer and I had talked several times before that race and one of the things he had said to me was when those feelings of anxiety hit or when those “not enough” feelings hit I needed to just focus on one thing.

That one thing.

One step at a time.

Me after meeting Nicole Deboom.
It turned into a game of making the step in front of me better then the last. In the last mile of that race I ended up running right next to Nicole Deboom, the founder of Skirt Sports and we talked and she was very encouraging. She told me she was proud of me being out there and challenged me to take the last .10 of mile at a sprint.

I was ecstatic.

Slowly but steadily I built up the millage, I did a 10K a few months later then felt so accomplished I was going to do a half marathon. I only wanted to do one and done.

31 half marathons later at this point?

But it took a lot of work. I had a lot of baggage that I did not realize I was carrying around and I was unhappy. And the bigger problem I did not think I deserved to be happy. But running taught me to address things using that one step at a time approach and I even think now it is still a work in progress.

Running also taught me to take time for myself. Through my dads illness, my battle to finish school, the trials of being freelancer, still trying to address my baggage, and everything else running was the one thing that kept me on track. It kept me focused and motivated. I always seemed to be chasing the next medal. But that motivation spilled into my personal and professional life as well.

I had the honor of several ambassadorships and opportunities to volunteer for races and share my story. Those had been fun for a time but so much work and it took away from my motivation after awhile. It has gotten better.

Things change:

In the last year or so my reasons have evolved.

I think the best way to say it is to share a story from last year when I was pacing at the Pacific NW Half Marathon. I was pacing the 3:00 half group (the party sweep snails as I like to say.) I passed a group of ladies at mile four and one of them peeled off to join me. She did not think she could stay 3:00 the whole time but wanted to try. Here is the rest of the story.

When we got to the last mile I realized I did have a couple mins I could burn off and still be close to

Me pacing at Pacific NW Half
I told Kari to walk a little more and save her energy for the last push at the end. She was a little worried about the 5K’ers coming in so fast around us, but I told her just focus on what we are working on and she will be fine. She was almost in tears at this point. She was hurting but wanted her daughter to see her finish strong. I think we made the right call in the long run because just at the last quarter mile she felt like she was ready so I told her to go and I was screaming for dear life. She finished in 2:59. We both cried a the finish line.

Being able to inspire someone like that helped me remember why I run. Its not for the medals, its to continue to light the flame, sort to speak. Its to be able to say “Hey if, I can do it you can.”

And it is about reminding myself about how far I have come.

Race Recap: Hot Chocolate 15K (I still hate Aurora Avenue)

I love and love hate being a pacer all in one breath. It is a challenge to get your timing down and sometimes it can be more stress then it is worth.

But then you get to meet and inspire people to push past you and beat their goals.

That… That is worth it.

My third year being a pacer for the Hot Chocolate 15K was defiantly the case of the ups and downs.

I had a late train so I made it to the expo with about 10 mins left on Friday night. I did not have much time to look around. I picked up my bib and then my legacy prizes as this was my third year (pin, medal, hat, special thing for my bib.) and I picked up my shirt. The shirts this year are a quarter zip and they are super small so be aware if you are ordering that they run super small. I actually love the purple of the shirt in general. I did not get a chance to explore the expo as it was already time to go.

Race morning for pacers starts at 6:55 with picking up our signs, shirts and getting final instructions before

Our Pacing Team
taking the corals. I also got to reunite with some of the Skirt Sports sisterhood which always leaves me feeling stronger and better off.

There was only one slight major change from last years course and that was the finish which I will run through later.

The art of pacing this course is knowing when to bank and when to stay steady. The first couple miles down back behind Pikes Place Market is an up and back on its way to Aurora Avenue.

I mentioned Aurora Avenue in the last two years recap; once you get past the Mercer Island Bridge it becomes tough. It is a pretty straight up climb to the top of the hill and that climb is almost a mile up. Last year I hit the hill later then I should so it ended up costing me a of mad dash running.

I hate that stinking hill. There is no good approach to that hill other then knowing that no matter what you do it is going basically kick your butt.

But this year I went into the hill with a 1 min. bank which is what I had set the goal for. This way I could pull back on the hill and save energy for the last few miles.

I had people with me through out the race. Most people set the goal to be in front of me which is ultimately awesome.

The course itself is scenic at points (especially Mercer Island Bridge) and getting to run the back end of Pikes Place is a trip. Hot Chocolate is also a very well supported event that has water stations properly spread out and staffed.

I came to mile 8 within 10 seconds where I should be. But I did not realize that mile 7 ended up short because they made up between 8-9 and 9 was .3 long and it knocked me off pace.

The finish line moved from the mid point of Seattle Center to right next to MOPOP (Museum of Pop Culture or Experience Music Project). You filtered through to get your medal and you could get some water before heading back to get your bag from bag check and then head to get your Hot Chocolate mug which has goodies you can dip in chocolate.

You also had the chance to get some post race photos, shop in the race shop, get goodies from sponsors ect.

I enjoy this race. But I enjoy pacing even more. A lot of people came to me thanking me for being out there and being willing to run. Right there, that is worth it. Being able to give back to a sport that I love so much and really feel like I am making an impact.

I will be back. And I think I can do even better next year.

Giveaway: $100 Target Gift Card

You guys loved the Target giveaway so much I decided to do it again…

Here is the skinny:
Or code here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $100 Target Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 3/19 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click Here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

Giveaway Time: $100 Starbucks Gift Card

I like giving away stuff.

Might be the funnest part of social media influencing life.

And I love coffee more then life itself.

This time, I am teaming up with a handful of Instagramers to giveaway a $100 Starbucks Gift Card.

Here are the details:

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $100 Starbucks Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 3/12 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click Hereto find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Done with Fitness Blogging.

I hate fitness blogging.

Hate it.

I used to love it. I used to feel connected it to it at a deep level. I used to feel like I had a story that inspired people. I also felt connected to the community. I also loved my brand ambassadorships and felt pride the companies trusted me to carry their brand banner.

Then things started to change.

Bloggers have become more cut throat to get sponsored posts, ambassadorships and other agreements. Well known fitness bloggers have said to me “Well if you would just work out more, be a little faster, eat healthier, ect, maybe companies would do more with you.”

Sorry, not going to sell my balance, my sense of self or anything else for a piece of the pie.

Companies are now flocking to influencers that obviously have disordered thinking on their eating or working out. I wont mention the company but a company worked with an influencer who is on a restricted diet where there is no way on gods green earth she would ever use their product.

Where did it go all of course? I thought fitness blogging was supposed to be more about using out influence to inspire someone to get off the couch, to inspire someone to find the happiness in their life.

I don’t think anyone is to fault. I think as bloggers those shiny little tokens of sponsored posts ect are nice. The money is nice. But I tried chasing those little tokens and all it got me was burned out. And I really wish companies would watch who they deal with. Paying someone to do an ad about beer that does not drink beer is just wrong on so many levels.

Anyhow. As for me, I have dropped all my ambassadorships but one. I came home to Skirt Sports. This one is not about the money. If you have read any of my blogs you know they have been part of my story since the beginning and I stand with their #RealWomenMove philosophy. You don’t have to be the strongest, fastest, most social media connected. They believe in the balance in a women’s life. The women I serve with juggle real working lives, with staying active, families, friends and everything. They are true inspirations, motivators, and motivators.

I am still running but I am running more for me this year. I am also going to do an OCR. I figure I spent two freaking years working in the field its time to actually do one. (I will be at Rugged Manaic in June at PIR partially for my work) I am running SF again this year but not as an ambassador. I am going to support the Hogwarts Running Club with all my heart. I will be running just to enjoy it. I am eyeing an Ultra for the fall, but I have pacing responsibilities so I have not found one I love.

I am also not race volunteering other then for a couple of races I do love. Race volunteering started more about how much work companies could jam out of me and it never felt like enough. I have been focusing on volunteering for things that fill my bucket. I am a proud volunteer at the USO here in Portland. Serving our troops and our families has been an amazing experience.

You will still get blogs from me, and I might still do reviews but I am not going to touch something I won’t use in my day to day life. I want to be back to my social media being the chalk board of my journey and all the things I have learned along the way. I have a few blogs that have been on the back burner about other goals I am working on so they may happen soon. I am aiming for 2018 miles on my feet in 2018, rediscovered my love for spinning.

Lets see where the journey takes me in 2018.