Greetings West Coast Fitness People!
I just got the challenge information for September for the Expresso Bikes. This one is a doozy.
As always please reach out if you have questions
It is true.
There is a run that supports every cause.
And you do not even have to be in Portland to join.
Last year while I was still writing for Run Oregon I was introduced to the Cause+Event 5K/10K. They are an event that takes place in Beaverton Oregon. What sets them apart from other races, is they donate a portion of your entry fee to a charity of your choosing. Last year I was involved with Team Congo PDX which raises money for Women for Women International.
When I ran it last year, one of the best parts of the race was being able to see all the different causes out on the course. No matter what you might want to support they offer a chance for you to give back.
If you are in the local area, I can not recommend this race enough. It is a amazing course, very beautiful area and so well organized. (And I already talked about giving back, that is huge)
One of the best things about this race is they offer anyone the ability to run and you do not have to be in our local area to run it. They offer the chance to run virtually. Because of all the chaos, I was not certain I would be able to run this year and I took advantage of the chance to run it on my schedule.
Dear Ice Bucket Haters:
The proof is in the numbers. The ALS Association announced that donations have exceeded 30 million dollars. In the same time frame last year they got maybe one million. The math is simple, it is making a difference.
I heard it explained best by Michelle over at One Sweet Run and I hope she does not mind, I am borrowing her words.
“We live in a world where creating awareness is the pathway to change.
Ask someone to donate money and their first words will be what for and why. ”
More people are talking about ALS then they ever did before. There are more people donating when they ever did before. I knew about ALS, and I know people impacted by ALS. I never donated before but after seeing someones video and laughing so hard I felt compelled to do it. (Thank you Ashton Vuttion for giving me so many laughs that I donated)
And for me, its been a break away from the constant bad social media juju. Its easy to log into social media and get caught up in the negative that is in the air. The news seems to be nothing but negative as of late. This has unified people, it has gotten people to smile, it has gotten people to talk about a cause and put some positivity in the air.
It was a matter of time before I got hit, and it was professional. I am the social media director/ambassador for the Premier Wrestling Federation and the staff of the PWF was challenged by our fearless leader. And, welp social media challenge is for the social media ambassador.
You get the picture don’t you.
You can donate http://www.alsa.org/donate/
I not only professionally challenge the PWF Tag Team Division, but also my friends at The San Fransisco Marathon.
Bonnie takes the Ice Bucket Challenge for the staff at the PWF, Thanks Steve.
This race almost did not happen.
When I registered for most of the 5 dollar 5K series races. I was wait listed on a couple and I was not sure which ones I was wait listed on. But I assumed when I got an email from the city with all the logistical details, I assume I was in on this one so I was quite excited. Laurlehurst Park is an amazing beautiful little park right in the crux of SE Portland.
When I got there, I found out not only was I not registered, they did not even have the names of the wait listed. I also found out they did not take debit cards. So after the massive miscommunication I high tailed it over to the local gas station to use their ATM.
This race starts with the kids race which is always fun. The kids race started at our start line and all of the adults managed to line up and cheer the kids to the finish.
Our race consisted of three laps around the park. What I did not realize and what the map does not show is the fact that there are some challenging hills on this course. You start with a couple gentle climbs with some nicer downhills then you are hit with two major climbs towards the end of the lap, including one that is a climb in gravel. The climb in gravel was the toughest part because it reminded me some of the hills that I hit when I was in SF. But the good news is I am getting stronger with hills.
The obvious thing to say is I am not as strong as I want to be post SF. I still have some time to recover, but my first lap was in the 10’s which was perfect for me, and the last two still stayed in the 11:15 range which is still okay. The bottom line is, I still have room to go to get better on hills and get strong enough. I said before when I was talking about SF, I know I can be stronger then I have been I just need to keep working.
I really truly enjoy the 5 dollar 5k Series. They are mostly well organized, fun, family friendly and for that matter budget friendly. It does not have all of the perks of a bigger race, but I really love the fact that its a smaller race that takes you to parks you have not visited.
I HATE RECOVERY!!
San Francisco, for as much as it was a once in a life time experience, took a lot out of me. I knew coming out of SF I was going to need some time to let my body heal because this was the first time I really didn’t give my body and chance to rebound between OKC and getting ready for SF.
I have gotten back on the road which is great. Done two nice runs that put me in line for my next race (The Seattle Marathon 10K August 23rd) But I went to the gym yesterday fort he first time and nothing felt right. I just felt like a flat out slug. No spark, no nothing. I had no energy on the bike which sucks because I love the bike.
I know I need to be patient, but its hard. There is so much frantic negative energy around me (if you have followed me you know there is a lot going on with my dads health issues, and just in general), my running and health time are the time I need to stay focused on building the positive energy. Its overwhelming. I am less patient, more snappy, a tad bit grumpier without my time. This recovery time has defiantly reminded me how much negative, frantic, stressed energy that is around me and how important it is for me to take that time out to take care of myself.
It is so funny in all this I had a “friend” tell me I should think about leaving endurance sports. She said she does not get why or how I do this to myself.
Last night I read something in a book that summed it up
We want to be able to endure. When life throws us some difficult miles, we want to know that we can suck it up and prevail.
SF was all about enduring for me. I was fighting against odds. I had not been able to do much long run training because of the chaos that was ensuing, but I still got great short training in. I did not realize the course was going to be tough, but magical, beautiful. The community was electric and I met so many people who made the experience even better.
I may not be the fastest. But I prevail. As another person who I consider a inspiration told me last weekend, “Just keep running into the walls until they fall”
That is my plan 😉
Through my partnership with Sweatpink I got the chance to learn about The Everymove App.
The Everymove App debuted in 2010 with the mission to inspire people to get moving by offering incentives for logging your activities. One thing that hit me the first time I looked at this app, is it even allows you to turn your activity into donations (Since I started I have donated to Make a Wish and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center). There are possibilities for discounts through popular health online retailers including one of my favorite, Energy Bites. Each time you win an reward you can choose your next goal and work towards it
You can record your steps, you can hook in with most of the major existing fitness technology, you can also record how much time you spend on house work, cleaning and for that matter almost anything that involves movement. It also ties in to all of your social media outlets to collect information about you going to the gym ect. You can also tie it in to your employer and your health plan to earn bigger rewards.
I loaded it on my ipad and my biggest issue is there are someday I forget to log into it so it takes some practice and discipline to remember. For me, just so I can give back, this becomes worth it.
Being that I have an abnormally large head. For me trying to find cute headbands to keep my hair back in the gym and running is honestly just a chore. I can’t buy anything regular. They dont fit, they slip and just cause problems.
But with Sweaty Bands, it has not been.
I have several sweaty bands (including my precious SF Marathon Sweaty bands). They fit well, they keep my hair in place and I have never had slipped which always seems to happen to me with other ones. And they are cute. To me they are worth every penny and I am really proud of my little collection.
I have had a few offers to go Affiliate status for other brands. I won’t sign on the dotted line for something I do not use and love.
I am really proud to announce that I have been accepted as a Sweatyband Affiliate.
Please check out their page, and feel free to drop me any questions.
Hi West Coast Gym Peeps-
I won’t be riding in the challenge as I am still recovering from SF Marathon. I might join in on Coastal and the Dragons.
But here is the August Expresso bike challenge.
Can I just say it?
The San Francisco Marathon race day experience is one that I will never ever forget.
Our morning started at the Green Tortoise hostel. One of my roomies at the hostel was running the first half and being she was setting her alarm, I asked her to blow me out of bed if I was not up by 4:15. There was nothing really to worry about as for some reason even after going to bed at like 8, my brain woke me up at 3:45. I tried to get out of my room and sort myself out on the stairs but lord knows I always forget something so after a couple quite but mad dashes back to the room, Emma and I went down stairs together and met three amazing ladies (Anita, Kelly and Kristy), and our new friend Pascal. We had decided to walk to the start line together as we had been only a little more then a mile away. Our hostel was so cool that while we had been getting ourselves together in the lobby they started playing Rocky’s Theme to cheer us on. We made an agreement to meet back in the lobby the celebrate at the Hard Rock later. I have to say, getting five new amazing international friends out of this trip was a huge plus.
As an ambassador I had the privileged and honor of being afforded the VIP treatment. And let me just say this was a spoil. We had our own pre-race food, bag check and bathrooms. It made pre-race so much easier then it normally is for me. I got to the tent was able to drop my bag and just take in the pre-race. But from what I understand from my friends, it was easy to find everything they needed to be ready for the pre-race.
Now let me be blunt. My training had not been the way it should not of been. Anyone who has been following my life outside of my blog knows that I have been dealing with a lot and my running has been what I can handle when I can handle. So between that and the fact this race has a 6 hour limit, my nerves played a huge number on me. I had considered downgrading before the race, but I also knew for a fact, that this trip could be once in a life time. I do not know where my life is going to lead in the next couple years. My dear friend and fellow ambassador Charles had talked me through the nerves, which helped me put perspective on the race itself.
The next thing I know it was time to take off.
The first few miles of the race take you down the water through Fishermans Warf before you hit the first hill at Fort Mason. I had been familiar with this as it was the path to the expo, and knew I just needed to slow it down and take it at my own pace. Once you are through there you head through Crissy Field. The weather was a NW Native’s dream come true. It was cold, a little drizzly and grey.
And then you hit the Golden Gate Bridge. This is the only race that gets to hits the actual road way. To say running the bridge was surreal was an understatement. It was hard to not just get lost in the moment. I was lucky because my fellow ambassador and friend Lisa grabbed me and got a great pic of me on the bridge itself. For those who are looking for this to be a fast part of the course, it wont be, its crowded and slightly cumbersome as everyone seems to be taking photos. But how can you blame them? It is so amazing.
After we come off the bridge, we go back to hill climbing. to take the Baker Beach area. You come out to this amazing overlook to Baker Beach. For as tough as this part of the course is it is also very beautiful and scenic.
After getting through Baker Beach and heading into the Presidio you start a series of tough hill climbs. Lets just say it. This race has soooo many hills. But you are truly seeing all the amazing parts of SF. I think at this point of the race is where I realized that this race was going to be mentally tougher then I ever imagined.
Once you come through the Presido you hit Golden Gate Park. I am going to be very blunt here. You spend a good bunch of miles in Golden Gate Park. This is also where the first half marathon finishes. (I have not decided if it is cool to watch the first half finish or depressing.) They are amazing miles around Stow Lake, the buffalo paddocks, and close to the flower conservatory. I actually had to laugh at Stow Lake because a duck came out of the water and stopped started at me and just started to quack his fool head off. I actually had to stop and take his photo because he was amusing me so much.
The bad thing is the miles here get long and you find yourself asking; “Am I ever going to make it out?” Several people I was running with at the time all said the same thing. We felt like we had been stuck there forever.
After the park, you hit the Ashbury Heights neighborhood, and I have to admit, I enjoy the eclectic nature of this area. So many people sitting outside enjoying their breakfasts, and trying to give us all insane looks like we have no clue what we had doing. But there was so much elevation change here, as in up and down hills, I really did feel like I was hitting the wall. But it goes back to the one thing you hear me mention, is how its about focusing on the next step in front of you. So I broke it down that way, worked on the next step.
We headed for the Tenderloin and it reminded me a lot of the industrial district in Portland. There was also sporadic water stations here. This is not an issue for me, as I am always carrying what I need (though it started leaking after two years) .
Once we made the final turn back to the water I realized that no matter what was going to happen, I was going to be a finisher (the race has a 6 hour time limit which adds to the challenge). All I needed to do was to stay the course and stay with the slower pace I had set. I saw Nicole, who was on the tail end of running 52.4 miles and she looked amazing. She inspired me to aim for bigger goals next year, because maybe an Ultra is something I can.
I was running with a lady who had been running through Portland before which helped push me and we ran into a gal who was having cramps. We supplied her with as much gu and electrolytes before we made the turn towards the Bay Bridge.
I made the finish and I was done. Physically and emotionally. I needed food, and my medal. I made my way to the tent with my boxed water to get a hug from my fellow ambassador the lovley Heather who stayed to take care of the last of the finishers in the ambassadors tent.
There is a reason this race is considered one of the toughest in the country. It pushes you and pushes you hard. But getting to see an amazing city with so much scenery, is so worth it. It is well organized, the running community is very supportive and you get to run the Golden Gate Bridge. Is it perfect? No, but there is no race that is. But the staff of the marathon is dedicated to making it better.
My final thoughts?
You have to figure out how strong you really are.
Being an ambassador for this race has truly been a life changing experience.
I have an amazing group of running friends that will be with me for the rest of my life.
I learned that if I wanted to accomplish something I just needed to go after it.
I learned that my story inspires others.
I can not thank the SF Marathon staff, especially Lark and Nich for taking such good care of their ambassadors and helping me through a life changing experience that I will never forget.
I will be back. My mission is to be a stronger runner so the hills don’t hurt so much. I know this is something I can accomplish