Monday, June 18, 2018

Facing My Fears 2018 May Edition

If you have been following along, you may have noticed some changes to the list! My May Fear was supposed to be a Karate type class. I found a really great, too good to be true Groupon for a location not too far from my house. I called the location and spoke to the owner and got the nights and times of the adult classes.
And then I put it off.
And off.
And waited until the last possible day in May for me to go. I went in and spoke to the owner and he showed me where to wait while the teens finished. I waited almost 20 minutes, while the teen class ran late.
He then told me that there were no other adults, there were rarely other adults, and if I came back the following Wednesday, his one adult (black belt) would be back from a cruise. And then he showed me the door.
I knew that Groupon was too good to be true.
So now I'm stuck.

During this same last week of May, I was packing for my trip to Colorado.

The closer it got, the more stressed out I got. I've only met a few Ambasadors, and never met the Founder, Nicole, or the Ambassador Program Director, Noelle.
Plus, there are some seriously intimidating Ambassadors at this Retreat. These ladies run ultras and Iron Mans. Ambassador Emily Harvey just finished an Iron Man... with one leg! Don't even get me started on Mirna Valerio. These ladies are incredible.

Technically, the Retreat started on June 1, but since the Karate Debacle was not my fault, I've decided to let it slide.
The original plan was for the hubs, my adorable safety net, to drive me there and then meet a friend for dinner while he waited. When he found out that Boulder was 40 minutes away, he got the friend to pick him up and I was on my own.

So I went to the store.... and I shopped....

And I got an amazing swag bag...

And then I stood around like the derpy person I am. There was a photo booth, but you had to find someone dressed like you to use it. Omg. I walked up to a total stranger, who was dressed like me, and I got her to come take a pic with me.

I saw a few familiar faces, but they all came with friends, so I stood around a little longer wishing that the dinner would start. I felt ridiculous, although I shouldn't have. I managed to join up with a few others who were alone and we walked over to get dinner together. Smarter women had saved their seats at tables so I ended up standing at a high top in the back. No biggie. A few ladies joined me so at least I wasn't alone! Plus, we were in the shade.

The evening was fun, and we got a sneak peek of some future prints and styles, and then some fun awards. And then it was over. I survived day one!

Day 2 was in Westminster. It was breakfast, some amazing speakers, yoga, Shark Tank, and then lunch.

Day 2 was literally everything in life that terrifies me. I took very few pics! We started with breakfast, which was bagels, Noosa yogurt, coffee and OJ, tea from the Tea Spot....
Hmmmm... I'm sure there was more but I don't remember!
We all sat and I was alone again! Soon some very nice ladies came and sat near me, but they were all together so I still felt sort of silly! I really need to get over this.
Our first speaker talked about how tough her life was as a teen and young adult, and how she ended up making some really bad choices, but turned her life around. No details, what happens at Skirt Sports stays at Skirt Sports.
Mirna did an amazing talk about Body Image and we had to do some activities with the person next to us.

Becky and I hit it off, which made this part easier!
Time for yoga. Except they wanted Ambassador Captains to skip yoga and talk about the program. I got to sit around with Nicole, Noelle, and the other captains and talk about the Ambassador program. It was a lot of fun and an ambassador told me she was excited to finally meet me and had been looking for me since the night before! (What?!?) That felt amazing, I'm not gonna lie.
Next we moved back inside for Shark Tank.
Each group was randomly chosen before hand and we all got about 30 minutes to come up with a product that we think Skirt Sports should make. Name, colors, price point etc. Then we had to present it to Nicole, Noelle, and some other employees of Skirt Sports.
Some ideas were genius, some hysterical. It was so much fun!

Our final speaker was an amazing former triathlete who hosts retreats now. She was super sweet and motivating and she gave us all a guardian angel to bring on race day.

Afterwards, we all got lunch bags to go. There was an ambassador hike but I didn't want the hubs to be alone all day without a car, so I skipped it.

I definitely glossed over a lot of details, since I knew this would be so long. The important thing is that I stepped way out of my comfort zone for this. There were so many times that I wanted to melt into the background, but I forced myself to fake it until I made it.
If you've met me, you might find all of this hard to believe. I can be super shy until I'm comfortable, and then I'm just loony tunes. I can be myself and have fun.
If it's a new situation, I have been known to make myself sick with worry about it. Headaches and stomach aches are frequent occurrences. I have missed out on many occasions because I was too nervous and too scared to just suck it up and go.
Hopefully a year of Facing My Fears will help with that!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Trifecta Part 3: Moonlight Bootlegger 5k

First, I want to wish all of the Dads out there a Happy Father's Day! Especially this guy, who ran the race last night in Vans and cargo shorts and beat me by 8 minutes!

This was my second year doing the Bootlegger, a fun 5k on the trails of the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, SC. Instead of bling, you get Mason Jars and there is Moonshine at the finish. Seriously.
The course is lit by battery powered tea lights and instead of mile markers there are speakers playing Bluegrass Music.

My friend Susana came by around 7:40 and we all drove to the race together. Bib pick up was fairly quick and we got our wrist bands and race shirts. Last year was comfy cotton but this year was tech. Booooooo.

I found a lot of my friends, but not all, and picture taking ensued.
After explaining the route, the race began just before 9. I planned on doing my usual intervals, and had looked up my results from last year. My initial goal was to beat last year's time, and hopefully run 15 minute miles. I didn't realize how tired my legs were until I hit the first hill.

I managed to finish the first mile around 15 minutes but the second mile was a train wreck.

Just after I took that pic I tripped on a tree root. My feet got jarred and they hurt for the next mile. Ugh.

Mile 2 took around 17 minutes. Ugh. This was not going well. Time to start doing math in my head! I was figuring out how badly Mile 3 could go and still PR, I'm not gonna lie. Mile 3 was much easier than mile 2 though, and I totally banged it out in 16 minutes. Wow, the first 2/3 of the trifecta really killed me!

I ended up finishing in just over 50 minutes, 5 minutes faster than last year, and my fastest 5k trail race ever!

The moonshine wasn't as strong this year, but the coconut one was really good. I had a headache so I mostly drank water. They also had lots of salty and sweet snacky foods but I wasn't interested. I'm pretty sure I was dehydrated.
Several of my friends ended up with age group wins! I was surrounded by excellence! Congrats to Joe and Cherrie for AG wins and Lissa and Sandra for 2nd place AG wins!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Trifecta Parts 1 and 2

If you saw my Flat Mama blog, you know that I've dubbed today the Trifecta. Three separate workouts in one day, all of which could kick your butt on their own!

I woke up this morning with a very sad tummy, so the goal of the day was to survive each workout without vomiting. The struggle was real, y'all.

The day started with a 5 mile run. My group was doing 4, but MCM calls for 5 so a few of us did the bonus mile at the end. Luckily, one of my new runners struggled with the hills so we ended up taking it nice and slow. Winning!

Next up was the Bootcamp workout. I tried eating a little oatmeal and that seemed to help a bit, but I still felt....pale. Know what I mean?

The workout was 40 minutes long and fairly brutal. Have you heard of Burn Boot Camp? It's a killer workout and I only modified a little. My thighs are screaming right now. There may have been bear crawl relays at the end. I'm trying to block it out.

We got revenge, though. For a donation, you could Whip Your Trainer.

I'm still waiting to hear if I won anything at the silent auction!

Part 3 is a trail 5k tonight and I will blog about that tomorrow!

Have you ever done a Boot Camp workout?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Flat Mama Friday Trifecta Edition

Y'all, I don't know what I was thinking, but I have a full schedule tomorrow! It starts with my usual training run with the PG Speed Demons at 6 am....

I have my Gatorade Endurance gel to keep my going during my run and my Brilliant Reflective strips to keep me safe while we run in the dark!

After I finish, I am going to do a Superwoman quick change in Starbucks while my oatmeal is being made, and drive over to Burn Boot Camp for an MDA Fundraiser.

I have my Gatorade Endurance Watermelon Electrolytes for the workout. I'm seriously hoping I don't die.

Because I'm not done yet. It is a trifecta after all. Saturday night is the Moonlight Bootlegger 5k. It's a trail race in the Anne Springs Close Greenway. I'm super excited because the hubs is running with me! Should he a fun time since a lot of my friends will also be there!

Luckily we have plans to go to the movies on Sunday, so I won't have to do much moving!

I'll let you know how all of the events go! Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Staying Injury Free with KT Tape

I received products from KT Tape as part of being a BibRave Pro. (Ambassador) Check out to read and write race reviews!

Everyone has heard of KT Tape in the running world. I've been using it for years on those stubborn achey muscles that try and get in the way of training.
Did you know that KT Tape has started making products to prevent and protect blisters?

I know what you're thinking. What does blister prevention have to do with injury prevention. Blisters aren't really an injury.... right?

Let me tell you a little story about a fairly experienced runner who made a rookie mistake at the Chicago Marathon.

Ok, it was me. I'm the bonehead who knew that her shoes would start rubbing her toe after mile 8 or so, rubbing it raw. I had new shoes but I was worried about wearing them for a marathon on their first time out of the box. So I wore the shoes with the defect anyway. By mile 17 I was limping. By mile 20 I was in so much pain in both legs that I was crying. I cried off and on for 6.2 miles. I finished that race, though.
Fast forward a week. I'm a running coach...

One of the runners from another pace group asked me to pace her for a 13 mile run. I was only planning on doing 8. I never say no, though, so off I went. All seemed well, but because of that blister, I was overcompensating and my gait was off.
By that December I had a foot injury, a strained tendon actually, that started because of a blister.

My issues lately have been with my heel. The skin has been cracking in this crazy southern weather and it gets really sore on runs. I don't want a whole new overcompensation injury, so I have been taping it up with the blister prevention tape. It is super flexible and durable, so it wraps nicely around my foot and stays where I put it, even in this crazy humidity. It stays on for a couple days and they come in a nice plastic case that fits nicely in my running bag.

Last night was corn hole night. Random, huh? But not really. I tend to run around bare foot at these events (you can take the girl away from the Jersey Shore...) and afterwards my foot was on fire. I knew the tape wouldn't be enough so I went with the blister treatment patch this time.

These are 100% waterproof once you put them on (did I mention the humidity) and last up to 7 days! 7! The padding was just what I needed to get me through my run and I'll have it for the next few days at least while that cracked heel... heals.

I will be keeping both plastic containers in my running bag, this way I have them on hand if i need them... for me or for one of my runners... and thanks to those handy plastic cases, I won't have to dig around for loose bandages!

Thanks to the peeps at KT Tape, you can get 30% off at their site! Use the code BIBRAVE30 on the already amazing prices so that you can load your running bag with these amazing products!

Have you ever had a blister snowball into an injury?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Coaching Run Walkers with Brilliant Reflective

I received Brilliant Reflective Strips for the purposes of this review as part of being a BibRave Pro (ambassador). Check out to read and write race reviews.

Last week, while I was in Colorado, our Summer/Fall running season began. I hate missing the first week, but if I'm honest, I've missed every one since I started coaching!

I was back for Thursday's run, but I hadn't prepped my new shirt yet. I made sure to get it done yesterday, so that I was properly prepared.

First, I picked where I would place the iron on strips. You can use the stick on ones as well, but the iron ons will last way longer.

I always place a towel or protective paper in between the iron and the iron on. Iron for about a minute, and then peel the protective plastic away.

Then you iron it again (with paper in between again) for another minute, and you're done!

I always check to be sure that it's firmly ironed on after I'm done. You can go back any time and iron it again.

I quickly realized that when we start longer runs and I break out my Amphipod, you will no longer be able to see my Brilliant Reflective strips!

As the coach, it is so important to be able to be seen by cars when we run before the sun comes up. Most of my runners are new to running, and they don't have all of the necessary gear. It's up to me to make sure we can be seen.

For this, I broke out the stick on strips. I wasn't sure the iron ons were a good choice since the material is mesh.


Now we will all be seen whether I am wearing my Amphipod or not.

I take my coaching duties very seriously, and my runners' safety is my top priority. We run in the dark twice a week, on open roads that don't always have a sidewalk. It's so important to be seen by approaching cars. We follow all the rules of the road at all times, but we have had cars run through stop signs, and last month one of the runners in another pace group was struck by a car!
Luckily she was okay, but we don't want to worry about that ever again!

I've put some of the stick on strips on my kicks as well.

When I was injured, I rode my bike to coach, so of course the stick on strips went right into the bike!

Thank you, Brilliant Reflective, for making it so easy to be seen and be safe!
Head over to the store and use the code BIBRAVE18 for a great BOGO deal!