Thursday, March 31, 2016

10 Tips for Running a Spring Race in Bad Weather

I don't know about where you live. But spring in my state means very unpredictable weather. It can be sunny and 70 one minute and snowing sleet 10 minutes later and back to sunshine after that. Besides cold winds and spring snow. Thunderstorms and rain showers are also a huge possibility over the next few months.

One thing is sure, if you plan to run spring races, chances of you seeing a spring rain storm or snow storm are on the higher end of probability. Which is why, I want to share 10 tips for running a spring race in bad weather.




1. For running in the rain, wear a hat or even a visor to keep the wind and rain from hitting you directly in the face. (I've even seen some runners at the start of a race wearing a shower cap to keep their heads dry for a bit longer. They may look funny, but sometimes funny can actually be quite smart!)


2. A good garbage bag.
Anyone who remembers when I used to run marathons regularly, you know that a garbage bag is pretty much a staple to bring to any race as are my running shoes.
Not only can it be used as a rain jacket. But it can also help you keep warm before a race, and if you are in crazy stormy winds, it can act as a windbreaker.
However the trick is, besides poking a hole for your head and arms. (I don't recommend doing this ahead of time, you don't want holes any bigger than nice and snug as you poke your arms through.) But the trick is to make sure you don't wear it too long to the point where you start sweating in it.
(Tip, sometimes I will bring two bags. One for before the race, and one just in case I need it during.


3. Nice pair of tights. If you've ever ran in cold wind, rain or snow you know a great pair of tights can be the difference between being comfortable or miserable in a race.
You want a pair that will not soak up any rain, a pair that dry quickly and hug your body snug even if they are soaked.
But be careful, if the temps are going to be warm and stormy you don't want to overdress. Usually if you see temps forecast for below 40 degree's. Or even below 50 and cloudy, tights might be a good option.


4. Pack something warm and dry in your gear bag. So when you finish the race, you can immediately toss off the wet shirt or tank and throw on something dry and warm.


5. Use lots of lube on your feet.
While this is a given for just about any race or longer distance any time of year. If the weather looks to be bad, you are going to want to cake it on even more than normal. I always use Vaseline, but I know many runners also use Body glide.
This does a couple of things, reduces friction and any chances of blisters. But can also act as a block against wetness that comes to your feet in bad weather.
On that note, if its going to be a really stormy cold day, it may not hurt to put some on your legs and arms (the parts that are going to be exposed) as well to act as a repellent.
But be careful, don't put it on your head or neck and don't completely coat your arms and legs, after all your body needs to breath and sweat properly!


6. Dress in layers, and make them disposable layers.  This is especially helpful if it's going to be freezing early on, with a chance of warming up later in the race.
Don't bring your nice stuff you want to keep with you as the layers, pick up something at a second hand store, or somewhere that you don't pay too much and won't be bothered when you shed it and never see it again.
I also always recommend a cheap pair of gloves! Even after shedding a jacket or long sleeves, sometimes a nice pair or warm gloves can make a huge comfort difference in a race.


7. If it's windy, lean into it. Tip your head down, and don't let your face take the brunt of it. Also, if you lean correctly you can actually create a better running form that will help you from slowing down too much in the winds.
But on that same note, go ahead and use someone in front of you as a blocker. They may not like it, and if they don't they will either slow down or speed up. But there is no harm in using the person in front of you while you can to block the elements. Just be kind and don't run too close and remember someone may want to use you too.




8. Train for it. If you only train your mind to run in good weather, your setting yourself up for problems. If you skip each training run on bad weather days then you aren't using your training period to your full advantage.
Training means more than just conditioning your body. It's also for teaching you how to do a number of things, and that includes running in bad weather.
So next time you see a stormy day, don't be a wimp. Embrace it for your long run and teach your body to work well in different weather.


9. Remember during the race that this is all going to make you a stronger runner. Also sometimes what may start out as miserable may end up being quite enjoyable if you give it a chance.
It's only temporary, it will also be over before you know it and you will have some awesome stories to tell your friends after!


10.  Use mind control. If you think you are miserable, you will be.  If you think you are going to be cold or are cold, then you will make yourself feel colder. If you plan to complain the entire time, you will!
But if you think it will be fun, it will be. If you tell yourself you can do it and it won't be so bad, it wont be! And that's the truth!!!

So tell me, what is your biggest tip for running Spring Races in Bad Weather?

Monday, March 28, 2016

First Weight Loss Goal Achieved and a lot Accomplished

This has been a busy week and also a snowy week. So I thought for this week, I'll share some snow pics from my travels, from a week ago in a different area than I showed you all last week.

I finally got around to getting my taxes done, its my own fault for taking this long. It's just the least appealing thing to me to put everything together for my business to give to my accountant. But it's also a great feeling to have it done.

I don't discuss politics on my blog, but I will say this. I attended my first ever Caucus, it was crowded but interesting. Although I was slightly annoyed that the person in charge of our district was trying to push everyone in the room to not vote for someone. I thought they were supposed to remain neutral as they proceeded with the rules for them. So I was annoyed at him for breaking the rules.



I have also decided I am kind of getting sick of friends on Facebook who are constantly posting different political hate things, how they hate this politician or an idea, how the world would end if this happens and stuff along those lines. I especially dislike the ones who are telling everyone they'd disown them as friends if they found out they were voting a certain way.

For that reason alone, I have been seriously tempted to post I am going to vote in those certain ways they disagree with, just to see how many friends delete me after I do, LOL LOL  I will try to hold back, but if others keep it up, I may not be able to resist:) ha ha



It's been a stormy snowy week here. I love spring snow storms, it can snow 3-6 inches one hour and be sunny the next. Makes for different kinds of fun for running each day.



Things are continuing to go excellent on slowly building my mileage back up. My work injury in my one foot that I acquired over 3 years ago, has been for the most part doing quite well. I have a little bursitis and swelling in my ankle that will likely never leave but as long as I stay active on it, it keeps the swelling down so like it has mostly been, running is good for it! But the two tendon issues have been responding exactly as I hoped. I dwell on this injury less and less each week now. YAY

Apparently quitting that part time job has been a miracle for it.
Yes, I am well aware I should have quit it 3 years ago when it caused it, I would beat myself up about that, but there is no point you can't change the past!

My back has been acting so so, I have good days where the pain is very light, and bad days where it's more intense. Due to what I have it's never going to get better than this, so I do my best to manage it. On the plus side, it continues to bother me very little while running. Which is a great thing!



It's also been a productive week. I finally got around to making a series of updates I needed to do on my event company website.
I've also gone in and adjusted my companies entire pricing scale (oh that took forever).  I hate to increase prices, but it's needed and I don't think it will hurt business any so it's all good!  My staff who work for me are going to like it, because it's going to mean a little more pay for them too. Which I have decided not to tell them about, and just surprise them after the next event:)



Weight loss update, as promised a picture with every 10 pounds I lose.
Yes I hit the 10 pound goal mark on Tuesday, YAY!  

Granted, the reason the picture above isn't very flattering. I took the shot in the black top, literally 5 minutes after I woke up Tuesday, zero make up, no hair brushing LOL. So I could get it done before my morning run.

While I haven't really noticed any major differences in my body (of course I haven't actually taken the measurements yet) I can see in the picture my face is starting to slim a little.

As of Sunday morning, I've actually officially lost 12 pounds now. So I am well on my way to my next goal which is to hit 20 pounds.  So I have decided to keep on doing what I am doing. Since I am getting used to it now (finally) and it's working. Plus, it still makes me feel like I have plenty of energy most of the time, so I think that is a good sign.

What am I doing?
I eat about 1,000 - 1,200 calories a day.
100 Calorie protein breakfast shake.
200 Calorie protein calcium lunch shake.
Whatever I want for dinner as long as I keep it between 700-900 calories.
With my dinners I eat a lot of fruits and veggies.
I drink a lot of water during the day.  But nothing after 6pm. (Just to keep from having to get up in the night to use the bathroom, LOL)

**I have 1 cheat meal a week, where I go out to eat, drink a Pepsi and have as many calories as I want. (This is my favorite part of each week, I am not going to lie LOL)

Also, I attempt to get 60-80 minutes of working out in daily, 6 days a week, but sometimes it's not all at the same time, I may do double workout days just depends on the time I have each day.


So that is it, a few bits of my week and the progress I have made so far on this weight loss goal. (The goal if you don't know is to lose 40 pounds by June 1st.) I am a little off track, but I still believe it's possible if I keep at it.

I am linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin today for their Weekly Wrap!


 
  Tell me about your week. What is something you've accomplished this week.
Anyone working on any weight loss goals?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Marathons Worth Traveling For; Freedom's Run Marathon

I love life, adventure and being active. I love to see the beautiful places this world has for us. Which is why Tuesday's are Travel Tuesdays on my blog. Each week I showcase a different fun adventure to take, incredible place to see or do. You can view all my previous travel posts HERE.

This year I am doing a series to showcase Marathons in America worth traveling for. Today is the 3rd race in the series. If you'd like to check out the previous marathons worth traveling for, you can visit this page HERE.

While there are many different distances, for this series I am focusing specifically on the Marathon, 26.2. Because for myself that is the only distance I travel around to run and it's easier to write on what you know!


This week I'd like to take you on a marathon adventure that is not only scenic and stunning, but also historically amazing.


Freedom's Run Marathon in West Virginia

I really enjoyed this marathon, I can't say enough good things about it. It was the perfect combination of tough and enjoyable. Definitely a marathon for a runner who trains well and enjoys a great diverse and beautiful course.
This is one race that I hope to make it back to again one day, let me tell you a few reasons why I consider it a race worth traveling for:




It's a point to point course.  You'll start and end in West Virginia cross over into for part of it Maryland. It's also very well organized. I actually felt this race was put on by organizers who know exactly what runners want.




You'll feel like this marathon is their main event.  While they also do have a half marathon, 10K and 5K for those who prefer shorter distances. If you know me and my blog, you know I love races that host marathons and make the runners feel like the 26.2 is their main event.




Each of their races run different courses, even if they may overlap a little, I actually didn't see any of the runners in the other distances myself so it did not overcrowd the trails at all. (Although I am sure they make each distance feel equally important.)


Small town race and hospitality feel. They only allow up to 1,000 runners to run the full marathon. So you get to enjoy less crowds and a more peaceful times while you are out on the trails and country roads. One of the best parts, your either running in National Parks, trails or country roads so for most the race you are away from traffic and crowds.




This race is full on American History, you can learn something new just about everywhere you go. You can visit more American history in the 26.2 miles of this marathon than most people do in a lifetime.



I highly recommend you learn a little about the area so when you go you can enjoy the different parts of history you pass through as well as take some time and visit and tour the National Parks either before or after the race.  It's well worth the time to do so!




It's run in the fall, the temps are perfect and cooler, the area is just stunning. You'll have breathtaking views of the Shenandoah River. As well as amazing views of the Potomac from the country roads and trails you'll be running along.




The entire race is run on National Park land - In fact 4 National Parks and 3 Civil War Towns to be exact. A few of which are; Harpers Ferry, C&O Canal, Antietam, Historic Sharpsburg and Shepardstown.




On a side note, if your lucky (I was) as I was running through Antietam near Bloody Lane allowing my mind to wander and think about the history. If you listen carefully you might even hear the gunshots. Yes, the Visitors Center up above does a few gunshot shows and you may get a chance to hear the shots ring out as you are passing along this historic section.




Definitely a race for hill lovers. In fact most all the major hills are in the second half of the race. You'll love it, because not only are you running through Antietam hills of history, but the scenery is just beautiful. However, if you allow your mind to recollect the historic battles that took place in this part of the country, you'll be able to direct your mind away from the hills remembering that many died.




You can take a ghost tour before or after the race. The ghosts of civil war pasts they say haunt the area. It's a fun way to add a little spook into your trip and try something new. Who knows you might actually see a ghost...




It was the only race I have found yet where you actually get to run down a spiral staircase as you run across next to the B&O railroad and cross the bridge that goes over where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers merge together.




Last, it's about half a trail run and half road race. However, the trails (except when raining) nicely hard packed and very easy to run on.

Interested or want to learn more? You can learn more from their website HERE.



Note: For my Marathons Worth Traveling For Series. All pictures are my own. None were taken during the actual race itself, they are usually taken in and around the area before or after race day. Also, I was not asked to promote any of these races.  The races chosen for this series this year are ones I enjoyed more over other marathons, and found the area's they are held in amazing places to visit.



Monday, March 21, 2016

It's Been a Week of Traveling to Stunning Places and Thinking and Making Major Decisions,

This past week has been busy filled with contemplation, walking/running, decisions, meetings, traveling for both business (and pleasure because I don't travel otherwise:)

This post may look like a little bit of a photo dump. But since I have been traveling, I of course brought my camera along (I wouldn't do it any other way.) So I'll share a few of the gorgeous sights I visited this week.

WEIGHT LOSS UPDATE

First, let me give you a little update. I am down 9 pounds now. I was really hoping to hit the first 10 milestone, but not that its a good excuse but traveling got in the way of a few things.



WALKING/RUNNING UPDATES

I have officially gotten my first month or walking/running done since I have begun what I hope will (finally) be my comeback.

How did I do? Not quit as well this week as in previous weeks. But it was still okay.
17 Total Weekly Miles
Breakdown: Walking ( 12 Miles ) Running ( 5 Miles ).
However, I did also get a few hiking miles in, but I didn't keep track:)


I started out the week running in snowy mornings in 34 degree's and beautiful sunny skies, which let's just say are really the perfect running conditions. (Ignore the muddy shoes, I did a trail run the day before that the ground wasn't as frozen as I had hoped and they got a little muddy.)



Then I headed out of town, and later in the week I was in Southern Utah enjoying walks and runs in sunny skies and 80+ degrees.


I ran along two different southern Utah river trails, one along the river side. Another up above on the cliffs with valley and river overviews.
I actually used to live here, but when I did none of these trails existed. Well not in the paved or rocks and brush cleared up way:)
It's nice they added all these beautiful trail around the city to make it easier to be active.


One morning, I did run through the city, and let me tell ya those palm tree's were really making me feel like spring is really in the air!


I also headed into the older historic district, those buildings and the jail were built back in the late 1800's. I didn't even know they were there, and what's funny is I lived in this city for a couple of years and can't believe this was my first time making it into these little hidden surprises.

Normally, I don't bring a camera on a run, and if I do it'd be a rare instance if I stopped mid run to take a photo. But let's face it right now I am doing far more walking so yeah the photo's were technically taken on my walking portions not the actual running parts.



TRAVEL and ADVENTURE

Naturally because I needed to take a road trip. Of course the oil companies in  Utah raised the gas prices, they are up 30-50 cents higher than they were a few weeks ago.
There is one thing you can count on if you live in Utah. Getting price gouged in gas prices, and the federal government constantly trying to take every inch of land here for their own.  (Okay, rant over, LOL)

Despite the higher gas prices, I still enjoyed my travels.  While technically I headed to Southern Utah for business purposes. I of course made sure to get out and have fun too.
I got out and did a little hiking around Snow Canyon State Park.


Also, got a little more hiking in along the red cliffs in St. George and down the road a little in the Red Canyons.



As you can see in the above pictures. Some of the roads I traveled on took me into the deserts. Others higher up in elevations where snow is still plenty. Others were just beatifully scenic along canyon walls that raise up a 1000 feet road side.


CONTEMPLATION

I mentioned this week was for business and thinking.  That thinking is about some major career changes I am about to make.

Years ago, I when I lived in this area. Whenever I needed a little time to myself to think about things. I would drive up to the top of some beautiful red cliffs and sit out on the red rocks and admire the beauty below and think things out while I watched the sunset over the plateau's in the distance.



Since I was in the area, I drove up to my old favorite spot. I was surprised to find it has changed quite a bit. No longer are the dirt roads, progress I guess has paved them.
My favorite thinking spot is no longer just a red cliff desert. They turned it into a park of sorts.
So instead of sitting on desert red rocks, I was sitting in a swing.
The view is still petty great though! Different, a little more people around now but still very pretty! (It's the picture above.)



ANSWERS

Did I get my answers? Yes I did, and yes thinking in one of my past favorite spots did help.
I have made a decision about what to do with my future, my current career and what new career options I want to take.

The decision hasn't been an easy one, but I feel in my heart it is the right one for me.
I will be happy to announce it to you all, but I need to take a little time to finalize things and get going on it first.

I hope to share some of the details with you in the coming months. Once I can share what it is, it will make sense why I needed to wait a little to announce the news.


If your wondering why that rock above made my picture roll. Well truth is, I thought it was beautiful and frankly if there was any possible way to of lifted it and tossed it into my car to take it with me, it would be sitting in my garden at home! Unfortunately, it weighs to much, ha ha.

_______________________

So those are a few bits of my past week. It's been a lot of work, but also a little fun. Which is really the perfect mix in life right! I am happy with the progress I've made the past month as I have been getting active again, and I am even more excited to bump it up a few notches over the next few weeks.
I am also happy and excited about the decisions I have made for my future. In all, it's been a great week!

GIVEAWAY REMINDER

I have a giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card that runs through this week. CLICK HERE and come enter for a chance to win if you haven't already!


I am linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin today for their Weekly Wrap!



So tell me something fun and fabulous you did last week.
Or tell me about one of your favorite places to go and do your deep thinking.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

What made me want to run my first marathon and the story of my journey to it.

I shared this story years ago when I first started blogging. I thought since running has been on my mind (and legs) a lot lately, and I have that incredible itch to sign up for a fall marathon. I would like to share with you all how I got started into running marathon's and my first time experience. 



To give a brief overview.  My dad was a really good marathon runner, a cross country coach, and even ran for his job in the military on the National Guard Marathon Team.  I grew up watching him head out for a run everyday, cheering for him in races.  Occasionally getting invited to ride my bike along.  


He never pushed running on me, in fact I tried out lots of other sports.  But when I got into Jr. High I joined the cross country team.  I realized I loved it, and surprisingly I wasn't half bad at it and maybe because I loved collecting all my first place ribbons and so it stuck.  


High school, I ran both cross country and track.  I wasn't the best, even though I did get to go to state every year in cross country. Distance was in my blood:)  My fastest 5k time was 18:02. Which let me just say I wish I could still run that today!


In college, I just ran for fun and stay in shape.  But to be honest, it was only a few miles here and there and eventually it led to none for a while.

  


THE IDEA


Then one beautiful April spring morning I decided out of the blue to go out for a morning run. Deciding I would run up the street and back (1 mile).  I remember it like it was yesterday, I made it up to the top of the slight hill, not quite a half a mile out, and turned around to come back.  I had no energy left after that half mile, so I walked back home.  


During that walk I remember the idea coming to me.  Your going to run a marathon this year.  I was about 3 blocks from my house when the idea came.  The idea gave me a burst of energy and I started jogging, and made it about 200 feet before having to stop and walk again.  


Eventually I made it home, my dad was out mowing the lawn at the time.  When he turned the mower off to go dump the grass, I said.  "Hey Dad, I'd like to run a marathon in October what do I need to do to train?"


My dad, being a runner for pretty much his entire adult life and then some. Looked at me for a few seconds and I think only answered because he was my father, not because he thought I was really serious.  

He said, "Well first you need to start running...  6 days a week...  Work yourself up to 6 miles and then we can talk more about it."



AND THEN THE JOURNEY BEGAN...


Now, I don't know if he really thought I would actually do anything after that conversation. But I did, I started running six days a week.  After a month he started to realize I might really be serious.

I knew I was serious, so a few weeks after that short talk, I entered the lottery to try and get into the St. George Marathon, and found out a week later I was accepted.  

It took me about 2-3 weeks to work up to 6 miles. When I did, I asked, "whats next?"  He replied, "well now you need to be comfortable running those 6 miles, and do it without stopping to walk."

It took a couple of more weeks (to be exact that part I don't remember.)  But by the time summer came I was ready for the next step, and he knew I was serious.



THE DECISION:
WHAT KIND OF RUNNER DID I WANT TO BE...



Around summer time, I remember having a specific conversation with Dad, he explained now was the time to decide what type of marathon runner I wanted to become.  

He said, "Now, there is a big difference between running a marathon and just finishing a marathon.  If you want to do this and I am going to train you, you need to do this correct and your going to run it.  You need to put the time in, and most importantly the miles in.  Eventually, you'll need to put the long runs in."  

He went on to tell me he would help me every step of the way ONLY if I did my part.



BREAKING THE DISTANCE BARRIERS


He put me out on a plan to break the first barrier in training for your first marathon. That 10 miler. Which for anyone who has done it, you know that first 10 miler when you've never run that far before, is hard but such a great feeling!


The next barrier, was to run my first 13 miler and let me tell ya it took everything out of me, I was so proud and tired when I finished that training run.  I remember my dad saying as I finished that run and wanted to lay down and rest for days.  "Great job, now all you have to do is double that and you've got yourself a marathon."


At the time, I remember thinking it a daunting task.  But oh how I wanted it!!!

Once I hit that 13 mile point, my dad also said.  "Okay, NOW you are ready to start REALLY training for the marathon, so lets get you going." 
Here I thought I had been already, but I was soon to realize working up to that first 13 miles was nothing of what was to come.



AND THE REAL TRAINING BEGINS...



He put me on a weekly running schedule.  Mon-Fri runs of 6-10 miles and on Saturdays we build up the long runs, rest days Sundays.

My first longer run was one I won't forget either.  I was up camping and around 8,500 feet in elevation.  It was my day for my longest run yet, a 16 miler.  Of course I was naive, and my dad of course didn't tell me that elevation was going to kick my butt a little (well a lot).  


(On a side note: He would always do this, never letting me get my mind worried beforehand. Leaving details out, so I would feel I could always give it my all, and then explaining why I had problems after...  A valuable lesson he was teaching me for later on, to help with the mental part of the marathon. He was being a great coach, tough but great so I could do great. I guess that is why so many others through my lifetime have wanted him to coach them.)





That hilly 16 mile mountain run in the higher elevation, did kick my butt. I can't even describe how much it did.  But I finished, no stopping, no walking other than to grab a few drinks of water he would hand me as he drove behind me.  I was so proud of myself, so tired but so proud!


I let him pick all my courses for all my long runs.  He either drove along side (or my mom did) or rode his bike to carry my water.  I did one more 16 miler, before starting what he said would be the runs that were the ones that were really going to help me get to the finish line.  

The 18-20 milers.

We did three 18 milers, and then one 20 miler and one more 18.  Granted each of these were likely slightly longer that he would tell me they were even if only by .5 or a mile..  He liked to do that to me, and trick me so I would push myself and realize after that it didn't hurt any more to do the extra than I thought it was to do what I did.


Each long run, I rarely stopped to walk mostly because he was right there and it pushed me not too. Until one particular hard day, he rode ahead and I was beat I remember stopping to walk for a minute or so before carrying on toward the end of the 18, oddly I remember feeling sneaky and a tiny bit guilty for that.




PUSHING ME TO TRAIN MY BEST


Once I was trained well and into a few of my later longer runs. He would slide in some speed work. If I was at mile 16, he would say run the next mile as hard as you can.  It would hurt at first to pick up the pace so much, but after a few minutes of it, it would feel better.  Then he'd say, you're done with that mile you can slow if needed or keep it up.  Oddly enough my body would like holding the faster pace through the last miles of a long run.  (Again, a lesson he was teaching me to help me use my mind to help my body find additional energy in the longer miles.)




MY FIRST TAPER PERIOD



Three weeks before the race I did my last 18 miler, and then my taper began. He had me run my normal weekly mileage the next two weeks. Then the week before the race, I was told to go for an easy 13-16 miles, but if at any point my legs felt any type of tiredness to stop and end it. My legs never got to that tired point, so I ended up going the 16, but just at a bit slower pace. 

(He told me many runners over taper and then end up having bad races, he didn't want that to happen to me especially on my first time. He wanted me to peak race day, not bonk:)


The week of the race, he had me really taper it down.  6 miles Monday, and dwindling down. The day before the race as we were leaving to travel down to the race he had me get up early that morning and go for a short mile run before the drive down to the race.




MENTAL PREPARATION



I did everything he suggested, I felt prepared but still in my mind I kept thinking what happens after I get past mile 20...  Am I really okay to go into uncharted territory and hit miles 21-26.2? For anyone who's trained for their first marathon, you can't help but have those thoughts. Regardless of what a coach or others tell you.
  
Dad assured me I was ready, and told me he has given me all the tips he can so that I can finish the race, but how great I do and the rest is going to be up to me.  
But being my dad he said a finish would be great enough.  
It was up to me now to take those tips, and my training and see what I could do with it. When I kept having too many questions the day before he finally just said, "some things about running a marathon can't really be taught, you just have to experience them to know."


LINING UP FOR MY FIRST MARATHON

So there I was, 6 months from walking back after not even being able to run a mile I was lined up alone at the start of my first 26.2 race.  Excitement, nerves I had so many emotions going through me it was crazy.  But I remember it all still to this day vividly!


I won't bore you an entire re-cap of my first marathon.  But lets just say, I remember loving every minute of it.  I am not an emotional person, but I almost wanted to cry as I crossed the finish line. I didn't, but I probably would have if I had allowed myself.  I was just so excited I had actually finished. I remember being so exhausted and sore, but immediately when I saw my parents I was already talking about running my next marathon.  I had a great race, I was well prepared and trained for a great race. In fact still to this day my first marathon is my PR.



THE SUCCESS

That was how it all began and now 39 marathons later.  A lot has happened since then.  I went from training and running one marathon a year for 10 years, to eventually running 13-14 a year. Then got a work injury which has kept me on the sidelines for 3 years but I believe might finally be towards the end allowing me to get back into them.


The reason I tell my story is, in one part it's always fun to reminisce and remember how it all began. But also to help anyone who is thinking or toying with the idea of running one. Maybe you have always wanted to do it, maybe you set a goal or resolution this year and have gotten a little off track. The fact is if you want it bad enough, you can do it!


I didn't follow any training books or "new" methods.  My dad was "old school" meaning you put the miles in, you don't skip on training.  You train hard and put all the work in advance so come race day, you'll actually have fun and so there is a far better chance that everything will go as planned or as you'd like it too.


While I may have my own opinions on training, I am not a coach so I won't suggest any specific training plans.  But if you are ever thinking about running a marathon, I will say this. If you decide to do it, it can be one of the greatest moments in your life or one of the most painful. So if you are going to make it a goal, train well, don't skimp on your training and go for a race that will feel awesome. So you can soak it in and enjoy every moment of it and when you cross the finish line you'll love it so much you'll already be looking forward to training for your next one.




THE END

Well, that is my story.  Hopefully if anyone was kind to read through this long post, I hope I didn't bore you to death:)  Apparently I not only have the "gift of gab", but I can write about just as long too:)



For those that are running your first marathons this spring or later this year. I wish you the best and hope you have an incredible experience your first time, just like I did!

Monday, March 14, 2016

March into Spring Giveaway Hop; Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card


Welcome!  If you're stopping by my blog today, you are on the first stop to entering several fun giveaways.

I really enjoy hosting these giveaway hops, there are always so many amazing bloggers participating with us, so as you have time over the next 2 weeks, visit them and enter their giveaways, for lots and lots of chances to win. 


My giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY



What is a giveaway hop?  
At the end of this post, you'll find a list of other blogger names.  After you enter my giveaway, click on the next name on the list and visit their giveaway.
Each blog you visit, has the participant list posted at the bottom.  We make it easy to visit and quickly enter lots and lots of great giveaways, and give you a chance to come across some amazing blogs you might not have otherwise.




Like the new blog you stopped by to visit during the hop? Make sure to add them to your blog watch list so you can check out their future posts.


Okay, so now down to what you stopped by for today.  Spring is in the air, at least where I live. The snow is melting, the temperatures are starting to warm a little more each week. It's already got me in a great mood looking forward to camping season and all the fun I can have on the trails in the coming months.

I am sure you all have things you love to do in the spring too, so I figured what better way than give you a gift card so you can decide what you want to use it for yourself.  Maybe you have some new sporting equipment or camping gear that needs replaced, or maybe you just want a fabulous new read to relax under a tree during spring break.  Whatever it is, a gift card seemed like the most logical choice for me to giveaway in this spring hop.

Since you can get almost anything on Amazon, I am giving away to 1 lucky winner a $25 gift card to Amazon.com.



How can you enter?

It's very simple.  Just below this you'll see a Rafflecopter form.  Pick your favorite option to enter.
You can enter once, or there are a couple of other ways to earn additional entries.  It's that simple!

Giveaway runs between March 14th through midnight on March 25th.  You must be 18 or older to enter, and have a valid email address.  Winner will be posted on this blog post by March 28th, and will be notified via the email provided.  Winner has 48 hours to respond, if no response winner forfeits winnings and another winner may be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now, hop on over to the next blog on the hop, and then the next...  If you see INT next to their name, their hop is open internationally. All others are US only.

Enter as many awesome giveaways as you have time for between now and March 25th.  Feel free to share the all the giveaway's with your friends too!



Running, Playing and Some Life Changing Planning

If you don't know, I have been able to finally start getting back into running/working out. I am really taking it easy to reduce any risks, just enjoying slowly getting back into it.

I'm also working on I guess what most would call a "life event", so I have been a little behind on the blogging, responding and visiting lately. I'll explain more of that and begin sharing a few details about everything now:

WALKING/RUNNING

Last Week numbers, keeping in mind they are lower because I am only a few weeks in, I look forward to the coming months as those numbers go up and reflect more running!
24 Miles total for the week.
(Normally I wouldn't count walking, but since I am getting back into it, for now I am). So the breakdown ratio of last weeks mileage is: Walking: 17 Miles  Running: 7 Miles. 
(The picture below is from one mornings walk/run just as the mornings storm was passing out. Its hard to see, but it was gorgeous watching those storm clouds roll up over the snowy mountains.)




On a side note: My work ankle tendon(s) injury had been responding the extra activity nicely, although I am still babying it a little. If things keep going well, I'll force myself to quit doing that in a few weeks.
As for my back, walking puts it into what I like to call excruciating pain even after 5 minutes of it. Running doesn't aggravate it nearly as much. My theory is because running form has that slight lean forward. Also I think it bumps things in the back around a little doing what I assume is not letting the arthritis portion to build up as much???  Who knows, your guess is as good as mine on that. All I can say is I look forward to when I am only running and not having to walk!

WEIGHT LOSS

I'm down 8 pounds now. I'm just going to be completely honest, losing this weight I can already tell is going to likely be one of the hardest things I have ever done.

PLAY TIME

While I have been busy lately, I have got out and spent some fun time with a few of my nieces and nephews. After mom told the kids no more sugar, I took two of them on a walk so she could go shopping.  Since I made them walk a mile and a half, I ignored their moms notions and of course we went and filled up on Slurpee's on the way!  (It was a beautiful warm 65 degrees, so why not!)



Oh, my sister was so embarrassed that I let her daughter dress herself and go out walking around her neighborhood trails with those 80's socks and tennis shoes with the dress, LOL  I told my niece go wear whatever you want, and she came down and since this is how she looked, I told her she just looked awesome. Ignoring her mom, and we left LOL



After our walk we joined up with a few more of my nieces and nephews as well as two of my sisters and hit up one of their hot tubs for a little fun and pizza.  (I mean the whole eat an hour before you swim thing isn't really true, right, at least it's a rule we ignore LOL.)  It was nice though, I think we sat in the hot tub for 2 hours, we were all a little dehydrated getting out, oops:) I told the kids I didn't want my hair to get wet, so of course I left drenched!



The books above are actually what I have read over the past few weeks. Still loving the Bloodlines series, I hope to start the 6th in the series this week. I like the Glass Sword, but I wanted to like it SOOO much more than I did. The first book Red Queen just had my hopes set to high, because it was so fabulous.

LIFE CHANGING PLANS

I mentioned a while back I am in the process of trying to figure out what I want to do as far as career changes go. Since I am forced to.
First let me say, obviously if you read my blog you likely already know I am an "After the Fact" blogger for safety reasons.  So I hate to be vague in this, but for right now I have to be, sorry!

I was at a complete dead end, no clue point until Tuesday last week. Then my mom mentioned an idea to me. One I would have never thought of or even started to consider. Well within 4 hours as I looked into it more I began to realize this may just be the answer I have been praying for.

So this week begins a little lets just call it hands on research. (Sorry here is the vague part.) Depending on a few things that should happen later this week, and a detailed conversation I need to have with someone, a little more thought, and then another conversation with a few other individuals. I may have the answer and solution to what I have been searching for and may be able to announce it soon! I will say, although this direction and idea is new, I am probably more excited about it, and more scared about it than any other idea so far. Nothing else has made my stomach drop, terrified me a little and excited me and kept me up at nights in thought as this idea has. Which means, it may very well be the right thing to do, LOL

With that said I have to apologize ahead of time, as I may be away from blogging 2-3 days later this week. I love blogging and I even more so enjoy seeing what all my favorite bloggers are up to. But what I am working on right now is very important and will impact the entire future of my life so I need to dedicate some time to it this week, and I will be back to visiting you all soon after!  So if you don't see me for a few days, this is why.

CURRENT GIVEAWAY

I have a giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card that started today. CLICK HERE and come enter for a chance to win!


I am linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin today for their Weekly Wrap!



So tell me something fun you did this past week?
Or tell me about a life changing decision you made.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Thinking of Planning a Giveaway in March? Let Me Explain Why YOU Should Join Us.

If you're thinking of hosting a giveaway in March, you should definitely consider joining us. The sign up has been open for a few weeks, but you have until Midnight tomorrow to decide if you want to join us.



Need a 5 reasons why joining a giveaway hop is a great idea?

1. Increase your blogs visibility.

2. Increase the entries you receive in your giveaway.

3. It's a great way to help grow your blog and social media channels.

4. A great way to meet other bloggers, your fellow giveaway participants.

5. It's fun!

How do they work?

We are all linked together, and at the bottom of everyones giveaway post will be a list that links to each and every blogger participating.
An entrant visits the blog they are familiar with, then begins the HOPPING journey to all the other blogs to visit and enter their giveaways. We all have our own followers, and when you add the potential of bringing each of our followers to each of the blogs in the hop, you can see how participating in a hop will bring your giveaway so much more visibility than if you hosted it on your own.

What giveaway items work best?

You know your followers, you may already know what their interests are because they follow you and are interested in you. So generally if you pick an item that you would love to own yourself, then most likely others will too.
However, if you can't think of anything giftcards are always a highly sought after item!

Need more information?

If you haven't participated in one of my hops, or want more details. Visit my GIVEAWAY PAGE HERE and learn more about them.

* This hop begins March 14th and runs through the 25th.
* No theme, you can select an item of your choice. However, it must have at least a $10 value.



Want to join?

If you've read all the RULES HERE or have participated before (the rules haven't changed) and already understand them. You can sign up below.  Remember you only have until tomorrow to join us!

NOTE: If you join today, you'll receive your instruction email by the end of the day so you can work on your post in advance and have no worries about rushing to get to it later.