Never Have I Ever Missed A Rook Run

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Since the beginning, like way back to the fall of 2014, I have participated in the Rook Run.  This run holds a special place in my heart for many, many reasons.

 

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First, Rook Coffee partners with the Valerie Fund to raise money to support children with cancer and blood disorders. Ugh, that right there is a huge reason to get out and raise awareness. Over the past three years, The Rook Run has grown in numbers from 1,000 participants to over 3,000 and raising nearly half a million dollars for the children of The Valerie Fund. HOW STINKING AMAZING IS THAT?!?!?! Secondly,  The Rook Run was one of my first 5k’s to take part in, in which I didn’t consider myself a runner.  It was just something a bunch of us decided to join in on to help a friend start and team and raise money. Like a finish time of 28 minutes ((which sounds crazy, I know, but thinking of what I have done since then, it makes more sense)), and a lot of I think I am going to throw up, who does this for fun, I am going to die ridiculous thoughts. Anyways, enough rambling on year one.  Another reason I hold this race so near and dear to my heart is that it holds my pre-baby 5k RACE PR. From the girl above to the crazy lady who thought training for a marathon would be cool, I started to become “good” at this running thing.

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I had spent the summer of 2015 busting my butt training for my first marathon.  With that consistency and insane hours spent running, I started to build up some serious speed.  And I loved the first Rook Run so much, I decided it was worth the 1 1/2 hour trip back.  Such a fun time.  And at that moment, I would say it was the BEST Rook Run ever.  I pushed myself to the point of dry heaving after the finish, unable to smile through the finish line.  I wanted it so bad.  It didn’t give me the PR or pace I was able to do on training runs, but it still felt amazing to shave 4 minutes off my time. That’s like a minute per mile and then some, so awesome.  I finished in 24 minutes, brining me into the top ten of my age group.  I was disappointed after this race too, because I didn’t get the 23 minute time I knew I could do, and I worked so hard for the 24 minutes it was disheartening.  BUT then it was brought to my attention how much I earned that in comparison to the year before and I was so proud of myself.  I never wanted to be a runner, or ever even liked running.  In soccer, I would whine and complain about our runs at practice.  It wasn’t my thing.  But that year of marathon training changed me, inside and out, and The Rook Run was a huge part of that.

Enter the third annual Rook Run, and just another reason why this race has my heart.  It was my FIRST stroller race with my little best friend, at just three months postpartum.  It was my slowest Rook Run to date at a whopping 31 minutes.  BUT, I made the mistake every stroller runner makes at their first race, and started in the back of 3,000 people.  It took me the entire first mile just to make it out of the crowd.  None of that mattered though.  I could not wipe the smile off my face.  This run was EVERYTHING! It made me more than just a runner, it made me a mother runner.  A MOTHER FREAKING RUNNER, y’all.  And I’ll never be the same.  This race was the start to many, many stroller races with my boy.  We make a pretty great team, too.  We’ve won some age groups, including first place, and if there was a stroller division, we would have taken them all.  We’ve experienced mommy’s first DNF because he just wasn’t feeling it, and we’ve conquered many, many miles together.  In fact, most of my miles accrued this year have been with him in tow. It is my favorite thing to do and something I look forward to continuing.

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And last but not least, the FINAL reason as to why The Rook Run is my favorite.  This year, I wasn’t sure how this race was going to go.  My postpartum comeback has been nothing short of a hard, harder, and hardest rollercoaster ride I’ve ever experienced.  I struggled in the beginning, totally expected.  I started to get back to myself, only to be sidelined by mole procedures that left me with some nasty stitches that lead to a staph infection.  Then on my comeback round two, with marathon training, I hit the biggest road block of my life.  I was diagnosed with Graves Disease and the affect on my physical stamina was detrimental.  Like everything seemed impossible and it broke me down, so far down that I didn’t think I’d get myself out of it.  But I am a pretty stubborn lady and I fought hard to find answers for myself and did a lot of research after months of no getting better, and here I am today.  Feeling almost 100% back to myself and yet again, making my comeback.  Okay, so that was a lot, and really didn’t explain why or how this is the final reason I LOVE THE ROOK RUN.  But here it is….

Little man and I, despite some seriously nasty weather on the way down to the shore and an unsure mommy on whether or not we should race, achieved our 5k Stroller PR.  FINALLY!! I didn’t think we’d do it, because the race is such a confined space with 3,000 people, and stroller running in crowds is insane, but we did it.  I was the first female stroller runner and second stroller runner to cross the line finish line, and I AM so stinking happy.  The crazy rain and storms that went on all morning long brought about an intense level of humidity that was messing with me ((mostly all in my head, but it was there and creepin and I wanted to punch it in the face)).  But I fought through, literally sprinting through breaks in people, to get myself to the top, and when I finished, Clayton was asleep.  I couldn’t help but laugh, because I was talking to him and cheering saying, “we did it, buddy, we beat our 5k time!” And he was out. EEEEKKKKK, I am still beaming with pride and joy of the things we have accomplished together in the last year.  All starting here, at The Rook Run together, and bringing it all back full circle to snag that pretty PR. I can’t imagine running, and racing without him.  We are a team, a darn cute one, too (I am talking about him here).  And I cannot thank him enough for making the runner I am today.  He is my pride and joy, and sharing this love with him makes my heart go round.

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THANK YOU to The Rook Run for four years of amazingness and truly memorable moments of my life.  Thank you to the staff and volunteers for a darn good race.  Thank you to my friends for making the trek with me every year to run for 20 minutes.  Thank you to those who actually read this all the way to the end.  Next up for little man and I is a Christmas 5 miler.  I am already scheming costume ideas.  ❤

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Seasons of Change

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I knew going back to work was going to be tough, in many ways, but I did not expect it to be so overwhelming. Change is inevitable. Change is necessary. But working through change can be exhausting. This last week, I experienced many changes, and many emotions, and literally had no time to just sit and breathe. Take it all in. Reflect.

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I’ve experienced the back to work, from stay at home mom thing before, but it still didn’t prepare me for this second round of back to work shenanigans; especially after a long summer together. Clayton is older, wiser, and busier. He is at such a fun stage. Like crack you up till you pee your pants, constant on the go, can’t sit down for a second, curious, outdoor EVERYTHING stage. He is the best. He makes my world go round, and I his. The first couple of days were hard, but different. He enjoyed himself, and didn’t miss me too much. Although, the welcome home hugs were just as strong. But by mid-week, he began to make the connections. He knew if I was dressed, make-up on, ready to go that I was leaving. He started to stop sleeping through the night, after so much work to get him to that point (totally understandable), but it wasn’t just waking up and crying. It was mommy pick me up and I am going to cling to your neck and hug you kind of waking up. It was the mommy don’t put me down kind of mornings. It was the when you get home, I am going to cry kind of changes. This time around was much harder than the last. He is smarter, and makes connections to everything. He knows how to read my body language and when I am trying to play him over (to sneak out and leave). And the transitions are not over for him. This last week, he was at home with my mom, who was kind enough to fly up from Florida to watch him for us, as his nanny’s daycare isn’t open yet. But next week, he transitions back to his home away from home, and yet again learn to adapt to a different environment (a familiar one, but one he has not been to in a while). I’m hoping this transition will be a little easier because he will have his little friends to play with.

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With the change came a week, yes I said an ENTIRE week, of no running/biking, real intense exercise. Instead, it was filled with rainy evenings splashing around, evenings going for walks and doing things Clayton wanted to do. It was filled with grace and patience, family dinners and porch hangs. Travels to PA to see my family, and my brother and his wife visiting, before his big deployment to Afghanistan. We celebrated my birthday a little early together.

We watched Clayton run around the billions of acres my dad has, picking apples and pears, and running until he crashed. We (meaning they, mostly), were open-minded enough to make and eat a vegan meal, including my very yummy, and beautifully made vegan and gluten free birthday cake. The time we had together wasn’t nearly long enough, but it was exactly what I needed to celebrate the BIG 3-0!

So, I went on a little tangent, but the point was that I needed this time of grace and rest to get me through the changes happening at one time. I may not have put on my running shoes once this last week, but I spent it with my favorite people, doing the things that they love.

Anyways, back to changes, because I am not quite finished. Sorry. I know. This is a long one. Going back to school, and leaving my boy and our fun together, wasn’t the only change happening this week. There have been some big changes at my job, my position, my world pretty much. For those of you that have known me for awhile, like the past 6 years of my life, know that I was the Life Skills Program teacher, for Special Education. I created it, I molded it, I transformed it. For four years, that was my baby. My world. My everything. My first and only job as a new teacher. I ate, slept, and breathed that program, the students in it, and their futures. Then I got pregnant, went on maternity leave, and came back to changes. Changes out of my control. Changes without explanation. Changes I didn’t want. Changes that took me out of that program and into a different aspect of special education. This year, I am an English collaborative. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is still a great job to have. I am still changing lives. It’s just different. I am a little out of my element. The change is new. I have a lot to learn. My needs are different. My job is different. And the change into this new me has been overwhelming. It’s not just me and my ideas anymore. It is me and the four other teachers I work with, in four different classes. I went from knowing my same eight students for five years, to learning the names hundreds of students and their needs. I am learning new curriculum. I am learning the teaching styles of others. But I am embracing it. I am working through it. I am learning my new normal. It’s necessary. It’s life.

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It’s for this booger right here. And the new hundreds of students who need me. It’s for our community. It’s for the future. I may not understand why it happened, but I understand the importance of working through change, and making it the best it can be.

So this week, running/riding, and getting strength workouts in just wasn’t what I needed. This week I needed family. I needed rest. I needed stress free evenings, going to bed early. I gave myself the grace it needed to adapt to so many new changes. And now, heading into the new week, I have a sense of my new normal. I have a better understanding of when and how I am going to focus on some ME TIME. I still have a lot to adapt to, a lot to learn, and a lot to practice before I get my new schedule under wraps. But I am ready to tackle it all, and become that super hero mom, teacher, wife, daughter, athlete that everyone needs me to be.

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If you’ve made it this far, thanks for being such a supportive and caring part of my life. Cheers to the long weekend. ❤

You’re a Runner When….

You lace up your sneaks && you go.

That is all there is to it.  


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This has been a topic of many of my conversations lately && it is something that has become quite transparent across social media.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love the running community, and the the people I have become friendly with.  Most of you out there are genuine and real, and respect everyone for their own unique running abilities.  BUT I’ve been noticing a trend of runners posts that solely focus on how great it is, or that they are, because they are “fast”, or that they bounced back from an injury//illness at the exact same place they were at before they had to stop running, or because they can run a million marathons in a year//back to back//every weekend ((kuddos to those of you who bust your butt to get to where you are)). This is not meant to bash anyone in any way.  But there is so much  more to running then being the best, unless  of course it’s  doing your best day in and day out. And there is definitely more to running than being able to “brag” about how great you are.

I’ve always considered myself a runner since I started this awesome hobby almost three years ago, but for a very long time in my running journey  I didn’t consider myself a “good runner” and it is because of those very same posts I continue to see day in and day out, as mentioned above.  It is because many runners on social media make other runners feel less of themselves because they boast about their abilities daily.  Or they only engage with other runners who are just as fast as them, or run marathon after marathon.  But does that really make them a “good runner”?  What is a good runner?  Is a good runner fast?  Is a good runner young?  Is a good runner experienced with years of running?  Is a good runner someone who has thousands of followers? Is there really such a thing as a “good runner” anyways?

Aren’t we all good runners, because we simply love to run?  When I first started documenting my running journey on IG, I was embarrassed to post because of the overwhelming amount of people on there who were “better”than me. But as I continued to run, and continued to share my story, I became more confident in my abilities.  I still wasn’t fast, and I could barely make it past a 5k distance, but I was feeling better and better with each run and I was making connections with people who only inspired me to continue doing my best.  That is what it is all about folks. WE ARE ALL RUNNERS, because we love to run and we love to share that love with others.

So here I am writing this to remind those runners  who are questioning themselves and their abilities that if you love running, you are a runner. If you step out the door, you are a runner. If it’s your first run, or your millionth run, you my friend, are a runner. If you run for pleasure or you run for competition, you are just as equally a runner. Don’t ever let the mass array of media posts swooning over how fast people are, and how many marathons they run, ever deter you from thinking you are not worthy of being a runner. Whether you run half a mile or run ultras, whether you run without stopping or you run taking walk breaks, whether you are fast or not as fast, whether you are coming off of an injury, or maybe you just had a baby ( =] ),  MILES ARE MILES. You are putting one foot in front of the other and pounding the pavement.  That’s the nice thing about running. It’s yours && yours alone. I said this the other day, and I am going to say it again.  Running is a special kind of love.  It is a one of a kind, totally unique, make your heart happy kind of love.  It will never leave you, fail you, or desert you, until you decide you no longer want it.   ❤

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Alexa’s Thunder Run- Trail Half Marathon

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So I came back for some more torture, only this time around it was 13 miles of mountain climbing, instead of 8.  But you can’t beat a good time that benefits an amazing cause.  Unlike last time, I went into this one slowly && by feel.  The only time I looked at my watch was to see the elevation climbs as they took place. And it worked out in my favor.  I was able to run the entire race, minus the vertical mountains, because let’s be real.  Even when I thought I was running up them, I was basically hiking them.  I don’t think anyone can run up them and maintain the same pace.  NOT POSSIBLE!  I mean just take a look at the elevation plot…

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That last one is no joke.  And coming down it was no joke either.  That is where I busted out in song, singing my new jam to Alicia Keys’ song, “My quads are on fire!” There were points coming down that mountain that I thought my legs were just going to buckle underneath me.  They were beyond jello legs, but it was a battle of one foot in front of the other, and when I hit the bottom, I knew it was almost over && had myself running in the low 8 minute pace. After all that.  I was pretty impressed with myself.

Anyhow, maybe I should take it back to the beginning. I got ahead of myself. So sorry!  🙂  Let’s see, I had oatmeal and coffee for breaky. Then on my way there I had myself an Evolv energy drink ((all natural, no caffeine)) && met up with my people.  We joined in prayer and toed the line.  ((it’s an imaginary line)) and I’ll talk about that later.  As usual, the start is very slow, because hundreds of people are cramming into a single track trail.  But this time, I was okay with it.  It helped me pace myself.  I wasn’t worried about speed or placing.  I just didn’t want to burn out like last time.  This course followed the 8 miler in the beginning, so I knew what to expect for most of the run.  That also helped me pace myself.

Because I didn’t need to stop and walk ((except the vertical climbs)), I did not take any pictures during the run. I am borrowing these from a friend who also ran the race. BUT it was gorgeous.  This is why I run trails.  It’s not for speed.  It’s not for wins.  It’s for the views. The isolation. The challenge. The stillness during our chaotic breathe, as we place one foot in front of the other, just so, to get the perfect position to make the puzzle come together. The adrenaline rush. The satisfaction when it’s over.  There is nothing quite like it.  NOT EVEN A MARATHON!  ❤ And to cross that finish line with a smile on your face.  That is EVERYTHING!

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I know I’ve raved about this organization and these races before, so it pains me to have to say what I am going to say next, but it wouldn’t be a true recap if I didn’t express my real feelings.  The course itself and the run are by far one of the best races I have ever done.  The negative happened when the race was over.  They have what they claim to be chipped timing, but one, you never cross a start line to get your actual start time, and two there wasn’t a line to cross at the finish either.  So an accurate timing is not justifiable even though there is a computer involved.  Second, they hoot and holler about having kiosks at the finish to check your standings.  So naturally I did, and it to my surprise it said I had taken third in my age group.  SAY WHAT?!?!  Obviously, I got super excited….

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BUT HOLD UP…Don’t get too excited for me.  That title of a win was taken from me due to a computer error. BUT going back to what I said earlier, there weren’t any chip timer lines to cross at the start or the finish, so none of it makes sense.  BUT whatever.  I got over it.  Here is the other negative of the day.  The awards ceremony was non existent.  As people finished and saw that they placed, they just asked for their medals so they could leave.  Now, I get things happen and people do have to go.  But it started a trend, to where every single person who won, got their medals and left.  BEFORE EVERYONE EVEN FINISHED RUNNING.  In my opinion, that’s just tasteless.  WE are all runners, and each of us works just as hard as the next to cross that finish line.  Everyone deserves a crowd of people cheering them on at the finish line.  And then having people cheer for them if they placed.  Now we don’t know who placed, or what they even look like, or if they truly even won those medals.  Racing isn’t about the bling, but when it comes to it, everyone who crosses the finish line deserves one.  This race did not have finishers medals.  That is kind of unheard of for a half marathon, and a trail run at that. And the course was short of 13.1.  This happened for the 8 miler too. BUT then I keep reminding myself that all the proceeds go to a good cause, so I should just shut up.

After all the people had gone, we continued to cheer for those still running and let them see we were having a good time, and that their fight to the finish line was well deserved.  Despite some getting lost, and others taking some pretty nice falls, the trails will always have a special place in my heart.  ❤ I am glad I got to experience today with some pretty amazing people too.

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I’ve already got my eyes on some trail halfs in the future.  And I look forward to getting better and better with each one.  🙂 God is good.  Life is good.  And I’m just gonna keep on smiling with every accomplishment I tackle post baby!  ❤

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H A L L O W E E N (fun) Run

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I was super excited for this race.  Like counting down the days excited.  It was going to be my hubby’s first 5k and our first fam[ily] race.  ❤ We were supposed to be a theme; my boys being wild animals, and I being their zoo keeper.  It was cute. But unfortunately, Clayton didn’t take to his 4 month shots well.  And this mama had to run solo. I was even contemplating not running as well, and just cuddling the fever right out of my poor boy.  BUT daddy said he would love him, and I should go run, because I had to miss out on my weekly yoga session to stay home with my little man on Friday.


So, the night before, I changed up my outfit to something more comfortable and a little less costume.  I was crossing my fingers that his fever would break by the morning, and then we could all still go, which is why little man’s outfit was still pictured.  PLUS, it is just the cutest freaking thing I ever did see. Mostly because he is still so tiny and you can’t really see his legs, so he’s just all warm and fuzzy up in the body of the elephant.

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Race morning came, and my little was still running a fever.  People said fresh air would be good for him, but it was really cold and I didn’t want to mess with all the variables of the situation.  AND I am glad I didn’t bring him.  The roads were like pot hole//cracks// crater central and massive vertical climbs.  We would’ve ended up walking the run.  Anyways, it was nice because they opened the school gym for registration and all the fun little extras, so you could stay warm too.  While waiting around, I came across a guy dressed like Forrest Gump, and thought it was the bomb.com.  So I had my obligatory race picture with him.

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He was fast too.  I tried to keep up with him, because a finish photo with him would’ve been EPIC, but I couldn’t hang. So back to the race shenanigans.  We lined up, and they sprayed fire extinguisher goods at you, which was so cold.  I couldn’t believe how cold it was.  BUT it made for a cool affect.

Remember I mentioned vertical climbs a little earlier.  Like no joke, they were mountains.  Right off the bat, you were required to climb the biggest hill of the event.  I remember my watch dinging about a quarter mile in that I had reached my stair climb for the day.  And then I just laughed out loud.  BUT I was proud of myself.  I ran every single hill without stopping.  At the top of the hill, I thought I was loosing my car key, so I stopped quickly to check, and that was when I lost the second place win, but that’s okay.  I wouldn’t have wanted to trace my steps looking for my key if I lost it.  🙂

 

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It’s not a very good picture because of the sun, but do you see that guy running in the dinosaur costume?  Mad props to him.  I don’t know how he did it.  Let alone, how he breathed in it, but it was hilarious and he kicked booty too. In between the first massive hill and the end, was more up hill/down hill, through neighborhoods and back.  The end was such a tease, because you knew you were back to the school, but they made you run around the school and up another little hill to get to the rear of the building, which is where I experienced a first.   I made it to the top of the hill and immediately started to dry heave.  I couldn’t even walk.  It forced me to stop dead in my tracks and just ride it out.  It was miserable.  I just stared at the finish line, right there, maybe 15 feet away.  At that point, I was wishing I would just throw up, so I could move on.  Finally, I had stopped, and made my way across the line.  The only other time I experienced this, was after PRing at a 5k along the beach, but I was told it was because of the salty air and pushing myself really hard.  BUT it happened after I crossed the line.  This, this happened before and it killed me.  I was so stinking proud of myself too.  I was on a roll and doing so well, given the course.  Somehow with (in my eyes) a not so nice pace, I still managed to take third in my age group.

Despite the day, not going anywhere near how I had envisioned it, I really enjoyed this race. The event was very well organized.  They treat their runners nicely, with awesome swag and goodies.  Their medals are above and beyond, and the atmosphere was super inviting.

I love the shirts, and you also got a travel coffee mug and lots of other good stuff that I didn’t need.  But yeah, definitely doing this race again next year, and hopefully as a family of three.  ❤ 🙂 Thank you to the hosts, the volunteers, the people.  You all put on an awesome event.

 

 

Hot Chili Challenge- 8 Mile Trail Run

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Way back when, when I decided to look for races, and get myself signed up, as a means of pushing myself  postpartum, I chose the Hot Chili Challenge. 8 miles seems like nothing, and seemed like nothing when I signed up.  Silly me hadn’t even ran a trail race, let alone a trail run in over a year.  Last September to be exact. BUT I can hang for 8 miles.  I did just run a half marathon for Pete sake. 🙂



I was a pile of mixed emotions going into it.  I usually know at least one other person running a race, but this time I was solo, && I didn’t have anyone to tell me to shut up and just run. The last time I had run a race on this course, I got bit by something right off the bat, and had trouble using my leg for the entire race.  So I was nervous about that.  I was nervous about falling, because I was running in normal sneaks. I was nervous about placing ((I put so much pressure on myself, because pre-baby, I placed all the time)), which made me nervous about the hills. BUT I was excited to be in my element. I was excited to challenge myself.  I was excited to take in the fall foliage.  I was excited to run.  Especially since I could worry less about my little man, and have some time to myself.

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If you know me, you know that I have a big mouth && a big personality to go with it, so making new friends is a piece of cake.  PLUS, I needed someone to take my pre-race picture, or it didn’t really happen.  Am I right?! So, I started up conversations with a lot of people, but found they were all running the 5k && 10k.  It looked like it was just me, myself, and I for this race.  BUT I actually prefer that on the trails. There is a lot more to pay attention to, and holding a conversation just isn’t in the cards.  It was time to hit the rocks && run the race God placed before me.

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I let the adrenaline rush get the best of me, and started wayyyyyy to fast, but it felt good, so I kept going.  I was running the hills (I shocked myself haha),  I was keeping pace and then, wait for it….. and then it hit me.  A wall like I’ve never felt before, not even during my marathon.  It felt like I had been running for 17 miles, but it was only 2.5.  I am accounting it to going way too hard, way too fast.  So I slowed it down, I think I even walked a little and kept plugging away. But it sure wasn’t without some negative thoughts.  I even said out loud, “I think I got a little too ambitious about my postpartum goals.” and someone was behind me.  She practically freaked out when she heard me say it, which startled me.  I came to find that she (a mom of four), just ran 100 miles.  Say what??!  I just kept telling her she was amazing, but she would only return that I was amazing, and she couldn’t believe I was out there already.  As much as thought she was just being nice, and couldn’t take the compliment, it was nice to hear, and distracted me from my own negative space.  We ran together for about a mile && then she left me. 🙂

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I felt like I got my mojo back around mile 5, but it was still a struggle to catch my breath.  When I reached a little over 6 miles, I got the worst stomach cramps and couldn’t hang on the hills anymore.  They owned me. But that’s okay.  The hill at mile 6/7 is gi-freakin-normous.  By mile 7, I felt like I could run a million more.  The highs and lows I felt during this run were some of the most extreme I ever experienced. So strange.  But, the views were absolutely breathtaking.

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The best thing about these races are that 100% of the proceeds goes to providing free mammograms to women.  The Friend2Friend mission is dedicated to assisting women and their families whose lives are impacted by a cancer diagnosis. The SCWF strives to provide early detection services, support and resources to the women of Sussex and surrounding counties.  They have awesome volunteer staff along the courses and the runners themselves create an inviting atmosphere you can’t pass up.  At the end of the race, you get some awesome grub, the main dish obviously being chili (beef, chicken and vegan options available)).  They mean business haha! ❤

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When I crossed the finish line, I checked my stats, and thought I might’ve placed.  BUT I took a 5th place finish for my age group.  No complaints.  I just wanted to finish.  And based on how I felt in the beginning, I didn’t think I was going to.  BUT then again, you’re kind of in the middle of the woods, and have no choice but to finish.  🙂 I am still super nervous about completing a trail half marathon in a couple of weeks, but this mama is only going in one direction, and that’s forward.

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Lucky for me, I get to come home and cuddle this cutie after every race!  ❤

 

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Friday Five with Aftershokz && Sweatpink

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FEEL FREE TO PLAY ALONG.  

I will post the five prompts for you, along with my answers to each!  ❤

1. Tunes that inspire! What are your 3 favorite pump up songs or podcasts to listen to while you get your sweat on? And tell us why you LOVE (or want to WIN!) a pair of AfterShokz new PINK headphones and stay #AwareWithPink while you sweat!

  • So I haven’t listened to music while running in over a year.  And when I was given a pair of aftershokz headphones to review, I was nervous to run with it again.  It’s still not my thing, but I do love to listen to music when riding my trainer or working out at home.  AND if your spouse is anything like mine, we don’t agree on music tastes, and it’s never fun to listen to cranked up music when you’re trying to watch your favorite show on the tv. So the headphones are great!  We can listen to our music, without annoying the other, and I can still hear my little one if he cries. I got a little  of topic.  Let’s see…my three favorite songs…that is a toughy.  Looking at me, you probably think I like poppy songs, but on the contrary, I like heavy rock//punk rock//metal.  So songs by Skillet, Five Finger Death Punch, and Disturbed really get me going, and performing at tip top speed. 🙂
  • Since I already own a pair of Aftershokz, I will not apply for this one.  I’ll save that for someone else.  ❤


2. Give back!? Tell us how you will empower yourself and others throughout #BCA month — running, volunteering, fundraising, supporting someone in your life.

  • I’ve always been a giver.  A giver of love, hope, inspiration, time. I put others before myself, ALWAYS! ❤ Breast Cancer hits home for me.  My nana has had a mastectomy, and some friends have had lumpectomies. As a way to give back, this month I am running two races that support free mammograms for women.  All the proceeds made at the races are given directly to a local office && used to help women of all ages receive mammograms, at no cost to them.  For more information about the movement, click the link: https://friend2friendscwf.com/about/


 

3. Be a self care advocate: How do you advocate for self care in your life? Or how are you an advocate for self care in someone else’s life? Yoga, meditation, education, spreading awareness…?

  • OOOOOOOhhh this is a good one.  So many ways to respond. I’m an advocate in a lot of different ways; self care, teaching, special needs, yoga, running, healthy eating, self-image, you name it and I try to help it.  As a special education teacher, I fight for my students.  I fight for them to be allowed in general ed classes.  I fight for them to attend different events in the community.  I fight to change people’s perceptions of them.  I fight for them to love each other.  I fight for them to understand themselves and how they fit into our world. I fight for their happiness && acceptance.  As a lover of yoga && running, I advocate self love, self worth, self acceptance, no matter a person’s ability.  ❤

4. Inspiring threads! What are your favorite products/apparel that empower you to get sweaty + strong! We’re loving all of our new #prAnaFallStyle threads (get 15% off with PFS16TCRL at checkout, our new Sweat Pink tanks (ahem) and all the pink things that are helping spread awareness for #bca…grinning#wearpinkwednesday #AwareWithPink

  • My must haves for running are procompression socks, Oiselle running shorts, mizuno running shoes, my garmin && momentum jewelry, and my pink running for those who can’t hat. Basically with all of these, I am one unstoppable, matchy matchy, trendy mama.  ❤ 🙂
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5. Friends who inspire! Feature a friend / loved one that empowers / inspires you to make a difference in your own life or other’s lives. Make sure you connect with that special, inspirational person! Take a selfie with each other, whether you’re getting sweaty together or going on a coffee date!

  • Gahhhh this one is so hard to pick just one person.  I have so many people who inspire me on a daily basis.  Some I have never even met in real life.  Let’s see….should I use their IG names, that way you all can follow them if you are not already? YES! That sounds like a great plan….
    • @staceyannec –This beautiful mama has the biggest smile all the time, and she never lets her setbacks stop her from coming back.
    • @Melissalynwilliams — What can’t you say about this beautiful lady?  She accomplished one of the biggest transformations I have ever seen and she is super speedy.  She gives me so much hope for my future running career.
    • @breathebrooke — She’s flexible, super bendy, super beautiful, super sweet and has such an amazing heart.  I aspire to be half the woman and mom that she is.
    • @carleemcdot — Never not running and giving back to the world.  She is the true definition of changing the world and inspiring the lives of everyone she comes across.
    • @cgreenrun — She makes mommying (four beautiful babes, might I add) and training look easy and awesome.  She is strong, inside and out, and she is super supportive.
    • There are so many more lovely ladies, who inspire me more than they will ever know, and for all of you, I am so, so, sooooooo thankful.  You all are the only reason I keep that square box of life. ❤
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And there you have it folks.  PINK EVERRYYYYYTHANG && a whole lotta love and support. Who inspires you?  What inspires you?  How do you advocate?  Play along, and let’s see how we all play a part in changing the world.  🙂


Don’t forget:

If you don’t have a pair of Aftershokz Pink Trekz Titanium headphones, don’t delay. For every unit sold through October 31st, 2016 on aftershokz.com, AfterShokz will donate 25% of proceeds to Bright Pink – a non profit that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer awareness and education.

#AwareWithPink #SweatPink #BCA @MyAfterShokz @FitApproach

 

❤ X0X0

Share the Spark

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As an ambassador for Momentum Jewelry, I get to be a part of an amazing, inspiring movement 24/7!  The ladies at Momentum have created a product and a message that allows us to inspire & motivate others, in their personal and athletic lives – to do more, be more, to support & celebrate more.  It’s my favorite message to send around the world.  YOU ARE ENOUGH!  YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS!  Life is about lifting others up, no matter their abilities, views, beliefs, and personalities.  We all deserve the chance to be the best version of ourselves.  INSPIRE && BE INSPIRED! 

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So it gives me great pleasure to be a part of the new #sharetheSPARK movement. The ladies have designed 2 special #sharetheSPARK Motivate Wraps™: “NEVER GIVE UP” and “you got this!”.



Two great sayings that are like giving someone a virtual pat on the back, like saying “Nice work – keep at it!” or a “Hey, I’m in your corner and I’m rooting for you!”  I have been given four of these new and amazingly wraps, with the new wrap color, to give away to those I feel need a little encouragement, or who spread the message of inspiring and motivating others. 🙂



The campaign is running for 60 days  and Momentum is giving these new wraps a SPECIAL PRICE! They’ve lowered the price to an amazing $10/wrap so that you can more easily pass them on to friends, family, co-workers, neighbors – anyone who you feel could benefit from a little extra SPARK! 



These wraps are trendy.  They tell a story.  They are super comfy && versatile.  Wear them working out, or on the job.  Wear two at a time, or add them to our shoes. Get creative!  ❤

I can’t imagine a day without these lovely little gems.  They’ve carried me through so many different events, emotions, races, and days!

HOW WILL YOU SHARE THE SPARK?! ❤

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