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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!

Vancouver USA Half Marathon Recap: The NW Hidden Gem proves its title again

Note: The Race Director gave me the opportunity to do this event comp. I offered up the blog space as a thank you. The thoughts here are my own and no other compensation was offered

The Vancouver USA Marathon is known as the hidden gem of the NW and earns that title every year by always getting better. I ran this event in their first two years, the second one being my personal worst time ever on the half marathon distance. (So I had a little bit of a mission here)

At the expo, photos of one of the first start lines of Vancouver USA.
At the expo, photos of one of the first start lines of Vancouver USA.
The packet pick up for this event is amazing. If you read any of my blogs you know one of my favorite things about packet pick up is a streamlined process where I can do a little shopping and then get in and out. This was perfect. You picked up your number, you picked up your loaded goodie bag and pretty t-shirt. You had the option to go to Summer Brew Fest, but with the weekend being as insane as it was. I did not want to drink until it was over.

The morning of the event was smooth. Thanks to C-Tran (Vancouver transit) there was a shuttle at Delta Park to pick people up going into downtown Vancouver right near the race start. Without having all the extra stops I actually had time to get some water, spend some time with my amazing running friends, get to bag check ect without being rushed.

The start of this race is amazing, its three starts and with Bart Yasso on the mic, it makes for an amazing energy.

Most of my running friends had been running towards the back but with some of my future goals being what they are, I wanted to use this as a good training run, test run. I also wanted to shake off the 3 hour plus thing from two years ago. So I went with the 4 run/2 walk break down that I did at the last two halfs.

This race is pretty amazing scenic wise. You go through the main part of downtown Vancouver, you head over into the

My favorite part of the course
My favorite part of the course

Fort Vancouver neighborhood before heading down to the amazing water front. This is one of my favorite races when it comes to being a scenic option. There is only one industrial stretch (read any of my blogs you know its a pet peeve of mine) This race is challenging when it comes to elevation but those moments come in bunches, you have a set of hills just past mile 7 and then again right around 10 that will push you, but the rest are rolling hills that are doable.

The volunteers had been amazing and they really wanted to add to the spirit of the event. All of the water stops had been awesome. One water station ran out of water, which coming right before one of the biggest hills

About mile 5 I think, I ran into one of my Team RWB teammates Allison, who was running her first half and was having a hard time finding her stride. My plan was to run with her for awhile and then possibly drop back because I was feeling a little tight, but she kept fighting. We took walk breaks together and just watched out for each other. It was such an honor to be there by her side for her first.

I got what I needed out of this race. Getting that insane monkey off my back was just what the doctor ordered. The post race was amazing, you picked up your medal and could get some food before enjoying the Summer Brew Fest, which gave me a chance to try a couple beers I never have before.

Vancouver USA is an amazing event. It truly earns its wings as the Hidden Gem of the NW and it is my favorite by far of the Portland Vancouver area races.

I want to thank Brian Davis, the event director at Energy for inviting me back to my home race and supporting my running when things have gotten tight.

A Thank You Letter to @PWFCrystalCoast

Note: Remember I said, I was going to go off on non running things from time to time. This is one of those times, feel free to pass if you only stop for running.

You know when you have one of those crazy dreams that you don’t want to ever tell any about, but its always back there in the back of your head.

I have had one of those for as long as I can remember.

I was born and raised as a professional wrestling fan as long as I can remember. My granddad was one of those always in front of the TV Saturday night for Saturday Nights Main Event. My mom was a wrestling fan since before I can remember, she always had it on in the house. I fell in love early, and hard.

I have always had the up and down love for it. Sometimes I really love it, sometimes I love to hate it.

I always dreamed one day of being involved somehow in Professional Wrestling. But if you have read my blog for any length of time or known me, you know life has made it an art form of throwing me curve balls. And even now, even in my peak health I never saw it ever happening.

And that was until I was involved with the PWF.

I had helped Steve on a couple favors in the past. And I just started this insnae social media education I had set out for (manly to help me grow this beast) and I realized I could help him get their social media presence started, so I offered to help.

I never realized how making that offer to help would turn into me literally having a dream come true.

In the time since I offered to help, I have become basically the social media director for the PWF, and have grownunnamed their page to over 1,000 plus fans. I have also gotten to help direct social media involvement in story lines and been come up with promotional plans. I am always challenged to make it creative

But in the middle of all of this I have gotten to know an amazing roster of talent who is dedicated to making wrestling approachable and entertaining for the Eastern North Carolina area. They are dedicated dreamers, parents, friends who do it all and then some. Their work ethic is totally inspiring and it always challenges me to keep pushing myself to see what I can do to help them.

I honestly never expected that crazy dream to come around this way, but I love it.

Remember how I have said my life is not anywhere close to where I expect it to be but I love it anyhow, this is one of those reasons.

To my PWF Family: Remember this. I may never be able to get to see you guys live and in person, but you guys have a cheerleader in me, I will always be in your corner, working with you guys makes me better. And I am so thankful this dream has come together. Steve, Thank you for having faith in me to do this and take the bulll by the horns with it to grow it.

Join us #RUNSEATTLECHAT on June 25th

As a Seattle Marathon Ambassador, I will be there! You should join us because its going to be an awesome chat with great runners and hopefuly we can learn a lot from each other.

JUNE #RUNSEATTLECHAT: Eating on the Race Course

Our next topical twitter chat will be on Thursday, June 25th at 6pm. We’ll be discussing “What to eat on the indexcourse”. How do you fuel your body for going the distance? Be sure to mark your calendars for this month’s #RunSeattleChat.

Need a refresher course? Here are 4 steps to becoming a Twitter chat pro:

Sign in to Twitter.com (if you don’t have a twitter account, you can sign up for free)
Go to twitter.com/seattlemarathon and click “Follow”
On June 25th at 6pm, type #RunSeattleChat in the search bar and follow along with the real-time conversation
Be sure to include #RunSeattleChat in your tweets so they are seen in the discussion

We’ll see you June 25th!

#RealWomenMove Being a Skirt Sports Ambassador and the word “Inspiration”

I have never hid the fact that Skirt Sports played a huge part in me finally making the choice to journey into the running waters deeper then I had been. I had gone to the Skirt Chaser 5K in Vancouver and made it my 2nd 5K. I really wanted to do it for the skirt. But I also said that if I didn’t feel any better about running I was going to be done with running.

In the last mile of the race, I ended up running next to Nicole DeBoom, the founder of Skirt Sports and talking to her was amazing. She encouraged me to keep going and seeing where this took me and then she noticed a couple running ahead of us and challenged me to run ahead and see if I could get passed them.

I did.

That entire day ended up being so amazing, I decided to not give up the running things and I decided to see where it would take me.

And it has been a crazy journey.

But Skirt Sports has been a staple in my journey every step of the way; not only have they been amazingly supportive

Meeting the CEO of Skirt Sports way back when.
Meeting the CEO of Skirt Sports way back when.
of me. But dang, for as much as I live in gym clothes I like to be cute and comfortable when I can be.

I have had the honor of serving as one of their 26.1 Fearless Women. And earlier this spring I was named a Skirt Sports Ambassador.

We got a letter with our Ambassador tanks from Nicole talking about the company, and it reminded me why again why I love Skirt Sports. The whole goal of Skirt Sports is to inspire women to be proud of who they are and to move their lives forward through active healthy living.

Our shirts say; Real Women, Real Bodies, Real Inspiration.

WP_20150613_004I still find it hard to call myself an inspiration. I did what I needed to do to get my life back together. Is it perfect? No. There is still a ton of work to be done, I think there always will be. I just know I need to keep working and I am always shooting for something new and bigger. I think one of the biggest lessons I learned is it is more then just the change of habits, its realizing how strong you are and its always a journey to figure that part out.

But in the mean time, I am so proud of being part of the Skirt Sports Family.

How @RenegadeRoastCo helped me realize being uncomfortable is a good thing. (Thank you again @facdaniels)

I found out about Renegade Roasting through one of my more favorite Professional Wrestlers, Christopher Daniels. I without doubt love their coffee a lot. (I can and will soon write an entire blog on how much I love their coffee) Another thing I love is their weekly emails, because they truly make you think. I have been staring at this weeks email for awhile. It has been making me think where I am in my life right now.

The bottom line, is my life is pretty complicated right now. But there are so many good things going on. But I feel like I am constantly uncomfortable, and it gets old. I love my self-employment situation even though I do not make as much as I really want to be making. I love working with my clients, because they have exciting things going on. The uncertainty at times is insane and makes me want to go back to a traditional office job. But that being said, a traditional office job would make me miserable.

I actually interviewed for something last week, that I did not realize going into it would be an office job, and I walked out of the interview knowing I would be good at it. How happy would I be?

And I would not have the time to peruse the things that make my life happy.

Running is always challenging me and keeping me uncomfortable. It always challenges me and forces me to figure out how uncomfortable I can make myself. Running marathons still scares me. I am still looking at the idea of an ultra (even though it may not pan out in 2015, for more logistical issues then anything). It is the same mindset I need to take to my life.

Renegade gave me a chance to realize that as much as I am uncomfortable, that is going to get me where I need to go.

Now their email..

The world around you is making you weak. You can see it everywhere. We’ve gone soft.

People get flustered by long stoplights, lose their temper over no wifi, and treat a walk through cold, windy weather like its armageddon.

Sure, modern comforts and technological breakthroughs have done amazing things. But when taken too far, they leech out of us any remaining shreds of toughness, creating a fear of discomfort and a flinch at the hard work necessary to reach your full potential.

How do we combat this push towards pampering?By living the strenuous life.

Theodore Roosevelt coined this concept and explained

“A mere life of ease is not in the end a very satisfactory life, and, above all, it is a life which ultimately unfits those who follow it for serious work in the world.”

No one will argue that any commendable success requires commitment, discipline, patience, and fortitude. It requires that you challenge your mind and body to transcend the limits that you had once set for yourself.

But momentum is a very powerful force. And when you come to depend on the ease with which you can live, the expectation of comfort creates a momentum that bleeds over into your own mindset, diluting your ability to handle adversity.

It’s human nature to always trend towards the path of least resistance and avoid the uncomfortable. But that path, as Teddy explains, is neither satisfactory nor fit for people like you.

So, embrace the strenuous life. Go out of your way to maintain the grit that is so tough to develop.
Take cold showers. Use the stairs, even if its 20 flights. Run sprints. Have the difficult conversations. Sweat more. Think harder. Embrace the fear of the unknown and uncomfortable.

Constantly challenging yourself and let this momentum of toughness- the momentum the strenuous life creates- carry you away from conventional weakness.