Ohh.. Lets have some more Giveaway Fun!!
Time for another shot at 100.00 at Target.
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.
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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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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!
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:
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!
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.
I don’t think I am the only one honestly. I have the worst case of Treadmill ADD anywhere which is defiantly not the easiest thing when Oregon winters basically suck for road running.
Last year I stumbled upon Bit Gym. They had contacted my friends at Cardio Coach about using Seans workouts as part of their program and to be able to stay connected to someone who made such an impact in my life. I was totally interested.
And within the first few weeks I was a convert.
BitGym takes videos of popular running, biking, hiking ect routes around the world and uses the camera on your phone to take you on a cardio based tour. So for example my favorite one is Washington and it takes me through some of the most popular running and hiking trails. The pace of the tour changes as your pace changes, so if you are taking a walk break the video slows with you. If you are running sprints, the video speeds up with you. It also includes fast facts about the area and a lot of things you may not of known.
I normally use my playlist with it but it does allow you to immerse yourself in the natural sounds of the area.
If you are needing a more structured workout they have guided workouts with coaches that will guide you through a work out and encourage you to push harder. Of course my personal favorite is any of the Cardio Coach workouts. Working with Sean changed my life in so many ways. (You can go back in my blog and find things about Sean)
What I really love about it myself is it does indeed take my mind off the fact I am on a treadmill. I get into it, I ignore the people around me and enjoy it.
You can workout on the bike, treadmill, elliptical or rowing machine (though I have yet to figure out how it works on a rowing machine). The camera is great at following your pace no matter what machine you are using and gives you a great log and summery that you can share on social.
It does cost 7.99 a month but to me its been a small investment to pay to keep me treadmill motivated.
A few years ago I wrote a love letter to the Seattle Marathon. Those words at the time had been true. This year…. Well I will let the letter explain it.
Dear Seattle Marathon:
This weekend did me in.
You actually got me to question my love for running.
This year you announced a new course change and the words keep hearing are brutal, awful and relentless. From the second you make the turn off fifth avenue it feels like either you are dealing with a constant uphill climb or a violent sharp up hill. There had been a few downhills but there was no way to find your pace or your stride. The old course would give you chances to recover and get into a stride.
The time on the trails in Sam Smith had been heart breaking. So many runners on a wet path, it was congested and dangerous. I was going at a pretty good clip but got a couple shoves from behind because the path was so crowded. It was heartbreaking and frustrating all at the same time
I never thought I would say this. I miss #whathill. You could pace yourself and be ready for that beast.
I am glad you had such a dedicated crew of volunteers and medical crew. They made that race. They had been encouraging when it seemed like it was time to throw the race away.
I am really proud of how hard I fought through it and finished strong even though mentally I was just shot. But I left the race not excited. I left it flat and not loving running so much.
Your bling left me feeling uninspired and the white shirt is just not something that I would wear on a normal basis. The expo seemed smaller this year as well.
I love you Seattle but this is the first time I have come out of a race wanting to rethink my love of running. I still kept within my goal time frame but it was because of the first three and the last two miles and I was on the super slower end of my window.
I don’t know if I am coming back to you next year. We will see. It will take a lot of rethinking of training and running to convince me to come back in 2018.
– Its not you.. Its me.
Post Script: I really do love the Seattle Marathon and will always consider it a major part of my journey. this year was rough. I know this race is capable of being an amazing crown jewel of the city of Seattle. I was just very disappointment this year and am rethinking my next year plan.
I have been pretty clear before, its my least favorite distance on the planet.
So I have to admit, the idea of a 11K was not totally exciting to me. But I do love Race to Remember and I love what they do to support our local veterans so when the opportunity came up to join them I was not going to turn it down.
Race to Remembers mission: (From their website)
The purpose of our “Race to Remember” is to make sure that our communities Never Forget the sacrifice(s) that our brave men and women of the military make to protect our Freedom. We currently organize three races, Race to Remember for Veterans Day, Race to Remember for Memorial Day and United We Stand for 9/11. In addition to racing we organize and participate in other events that honor and support our Veterans like Military care package drives, Honor Flight flag escorts, Honor the Fallen Events, Veteran moving assistance, as well as providing opportunities for our local youth to better understand the true meaning behind the Veteran and Memorial Day Holidays. Our ultimate goal is to build partnerships with other organizations in our communities and throughout the nation to help us honor and support our past and present Veterans. As a long term goal we are also working towards establishing a scholarship for the children and spouses of fallen veterans.
Part of this is their two major races along with a few smaller community runs through out the year including the Veterans Day Run.
The event was the kick off to the annual Veterans Day Parade at Fort Vancouver. It featured an early half-marathon and a 11K and 5K that started closer to the kickoff.
All three courses took you through the best parts of Vancouver, Washington going down through the historical Fort and down on the Columbia River (other then the climb exiting the Fort which zero people really enjoy especially in the rain as it gets slick and the combination of slick and climb. Yeah not really). Its scenic and shows off some of the best parts of the Pacific NW.
Now something to be aware of. This race is super small, super well supported and improves every year. (Its actually quickly becoming one of my highlights of the year.) But that being said, there had been some little glitches but its stuff every race faces (Note to self: Bring safety pins for bib next year). But one thing I love about Claudia as a race director is she wants to know how to get better and does every year.
I went out too fast at the start and I knew it later, but I was feeling strong. My first three miles had been well above my averages but it was raining and I was cold and I wanted to get going.
And I paid for it right at about mile 3.5 I was just dead and slowed down. The turn around could not come soon enough. Despite the rain they had a great group running the water stations and just enough to make the distance berable without having to bring my own.
I picked it back up in the last mile and a half and pull an 11:45 mile off for that race which is great for me and faster then the 10K from a few weeks ago.
The post race was small but had everything you needed to replenish and get your energy back (including beer).
Race to Remember is defiantly a smaller race that has the potential to continue to grow and get better every year. I am excited to see where the next few years take them and I will be supporting their next steps.
Note: I receive a free entry to the race in trade for some extra social media love. These opnions are that of my own (I would be running it anyhow).