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@PDXGym – January Interactive Expresso Challenge

I will just say it right now. This has me happy. Its a challenge but it is a doable challenge.

Promo - Facebook ShareAfter December’s challenge (which I did not do because I was not ready for big hills after a hard running November)

This challenge is Titan 5,000 Second Generation.

This is simple. You have from Jan 1- Jan 31.

Burn 5,000 calories.

5,000 calories gets you the challenge logo on your profile. And the ability to buy the shirt.

@PDXGym- Expresso Bike/Interactive Fitness bike leaderboards seasonal reset

I forgot this was coming until I went riding today.

Saturday was the end of the fall season for both the national leaderboard and the local leaderboard. We are now officially in the Winter Season.

This means everything but your personal records are wiped clean. You have until spring (March, but I need to find logoout the date) to take on the leaderboard again.

And remember, we are still in the middle of a challenge. (I am choosing not to ride in this one because I don’t want to ride too hard for a bit, Dragon Fit is helping me here)

As for me..I have been having too much fun in Dragon Fit to play with anything else. But my national boards (Age and Gender base) are nice.

Basic Your Rank Your Best Date
Expresso Speedway 47 of 483 3:10 12/10/2014
Rolling Thunder 49 of 349 3:36 10/3/2014
Redwood Dash 7 of 488 4:35 10/14/2014
Campus Loop 52 of 410 7:09 10/3/2014
Mini Mayhem 30 of 471 6:52 10/7/2014
Evening Bliss 19 of 441 7:57 10/14/2014
Rabbit Run — — —
Lost Trail — — —
Alpine Splash — — —
Coastal Run 66 of 375 12:26 10/14/2014
Bent Spoke 52 of 342 15:23 12/2/2014
Fruitdale — — —
Moderate Your Rank Your Best Date
City Express — — —
Dragon Fire — — —
Billy Goat Falls — — —
Broken Spoke — — —
Moody Ambush — — —
Ironhorse Rush 55 of 188 24:34 10/2/2014
Quicksilver — — —
Farmers Bluff — — —
Stump Puller 38 of 147 27:00 10/12/2014
Sunday Afternoon — — —
Apple Grinder 48 of 143 28:08 10/5/2014
Challenging Your Rank Your Best Date
Ravens Roost — — —
Stormy Hollow — — —
Odyssey 37 of 84 32:36 10/20/2014
Wicked Workout 34 of 80 34:47 10/21/2014
Oh Mama 34 of 146 33:17 10/23/2014

#Nuunlove 2015- Nuun Ambassador

My stomach is a picky little beast epically with hydration. I have never quite understood why it has been but there are only a couple hydration solutions that don’t leave me with a grouchy stomach.

And on top of that, I am a self-confessed water hater.

I get it, I know water is good for me. I do drink it, but I don’t drink enough of it and I know it.

Last year, someone turned me on to Nuun and it took me forever to be convinced. I liked being able to do something unnamedwith my water to give it some flavor without really taking away from the benefits of water. I like something that gives me the same benefits of some of the sports drinks I was using without all the junk that comes in them.

I did not think Nuun would do the trick.

Boy was I wrong.

I started using it to help me stay healthy while I was at the gym. I found that it was keeping me more hydrated then just water.

And then I started hearing about how it would help me outside of the gym. It is no secret that if you have followed my blog for any length of time, the past year has been a stress ball.

I found Nuun Energy, which to me has been then coffee. It gives me a little boost of energy without all the extra crap in soda, or some coffee’s. When my body finally decided it had enough and I ended up with the never ending cold I found out about Nuun daily, which reminds me a lot of one of my old favorites (Vitamin Water). But again, without all the crap.

Nuun has been a life saver. So when the opportunity to spread the Nuun love came up, I jumped all over it.

And I am proud to announce that I am a 2015 NuunBassador. You will hear me mention Nuun a lot in the future, but just know this. I won’t talk about products I don’t love and Nuun has been a game changer.

“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