Friday, January 27, 2017

Chicago Marathon Fundraising Update

Fundraising is hard, y'all.
When I was training for NYC and trying to fundraise, while learning about living in a whole new state, there was a lot of begging involved, I'm not gonna lie.
When I decided to put my name in the lottery for Chicago, just days after finishing NYC, I reached out to my MDA peeps for some luck wishes. My liason told me I didn't need luck, I could get free registration if I ran with Team Momentum again. This was a no brainer for me. I already know that I would run with then if I got in, but this way there was no lottery stress, my bib was a sure thing, I just needed to raise a little more.
I immediately got to work on setting goals, and looking for fundraiser ideas. This is not joke, with roughly 10 months to fundraise, I wanted to find a fundraiser per month to bring in some money.
I shouted out to my friends on Facebook and within days, I had my whole plan mapped out.

$1400 is my minimum to retain my bib, and $2000 is my personal goal, which I hope to blow out of the water this year. I beat my goal last year by over $700, so aim to raise that wish goal before October. As you can see by my check marks, I am ahead so far, but that can change quickly!

I am a visual person, so I also made a goal chart.

I am $8 away from coloring in some more!

My first fundraiser was a paint party. I got really lucky, the store owner was super generous, and she donated a large percentage of the party funds to MDA! The evening raised $156 and we all had so much fun!

This fundraiser was December 14, and this plus some other donations brought me to my December Wish Goal and my January Mini Goal. Score! I was ahead of the game!

Everyone started talking about these cute Messy Bun Caps and I jumped right on board. I am crazy about crochet and I posted on Facebook expecting to sell maybe 5. So far, though, I have raised just over $400 and I'm still selling them! If you want one. it's a $10 donation and I ship free to the US. Here is the link...

They look like this, although this is not my pic, and I can make them in any color you want, as long as Red Heart makes it.

I can also make yoga mat bags...

With the Super Bowl coming next week, I also made up a Super Bowl Pool chart. I am selling squares for $10 each, with half going to MDA and half going to the winners. If you want a square you can PayPal me at

I also secured some great home demo consultants to host parties for me. I have done Jamberry, which raised about $20 and right now I have Pampered Chef going on. The link, in case you need some quality kitchen products, is

Next month is Tupperware, and I have a ceramics store in mind for a fun local fundraiser.

Have you ever done a fundraiser? Do you have any suggestions for me, to use for future fundraisers?

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

NuGo Nutrition Protein Bars

I received a box of these bars in multiple flavors as a BibRave Pro, for the purposes of this review

I love me some protein bars, y'all. They are a quick and easy breakfast on the way to a race or a long run, nutrition during a hike, snack during that witching hour late in the day. I definitely have a few favorite companies, and when I was given this chance to try out NuGo Dark bars, I wasn't sure if they would join the ranks with my other favorites.

I tried the chocolate coconut first, because, well, coconut. I'm super picky about chocolate things and these are coated in chocolate. OMG my friends, this bar was a delight. oh, and it's gluten free, vegan, and non GMO.
For real.

Next up was the chocolate pretzel with sea salt. This is definitely my second favorite. It has just the right amount of sea salt, and the Chocolate is on point. NuGo uses real dark chocolate, which can help lower your blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Total win-win.

The mint chocolate chip is a good time, I'm not gonna a lie. It was a tasty treat for our walk back from a gym workout. NuGo uses Flavonol Antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals in your body to prevent cell damage.

I really made use of the NuGo bars while I was on vacation. We brought them to Disney Marathon weekend to eat before the races, and on our cruise in case we needed a healthy snack. They didn't get melty or soft, they stayed fresh and tasty the whole time! I somehow missed taking a pic of the Chocolate Chip bar on our cruise. My daughter and I each brought one on our snorkeling trip and it really hit the spot after an hour of snorkeling!

The Dark NuGo bars also come in Peanut Butter, Mocha, and Spicy, and NuGo sells sample packs so that you can try them out before buying a whole box!

The website also has a handy Where to Buy button. I put in my zip code and found out that my favorite Publix grocery store carries them. Score! It even lists the flavors. so I know that I can find all of my favorites the next time I go.

Have you ever tried NuGo bars? If not, you should run out and get some soon!
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Coaching a Saturday Long Run

Today was my first official day as a running coach! I set my alarm and laid everything out last night so I wouldn't forget anything. I printed up turn by turn directions for my group and put them in my running bag and set aside clothes for afterwards in case the rain started. Perfect plan, what can go wrong?
I woke up when the alarm went off got dressed but ditched the long sleeves because it was already in the 50s. I put my back up clothes in my running bag and filled my water bottles. I even left on time!

I had time to pee and sign in and I was really early. When the others coaches showed up with their printed our directions I realized mine were in the car so I ran back.
No directions.
I took them out to put my backup clothes underneath and never put them back in.
Oh, and I left my Garmin on the counter.
Score points for the new kid!
My group is transitioning from walking to running and they have just begun, so we cut the route down to 3 miles and had a great time out in the neighborhood near the store. After a few left, one runner asked to run some extra miles and we hit almost 6.5 total!

It was dreary and damp but the rain held off until after I got home, which was a nice bonus. I look forward to the weekly track workouts, although my group doesn't always attend.

Have you ever forgotten anything important on your first day of work?

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, January 20, 2017

Flat Mama Friday

Tomorrow morning I had planned to run a trail race at the Whitewater Center in the Charlotte area. I was pretty excited about it, actually. That all changed while I was in Disney.
While I was in the Magic Kingdom, I made a call that resulted in my first ever coaching job! It's really hard to find a quiet place to make a call in MK y'all but it was worth the search!
Tomorrow morning will be my first group run as a paid running coach. I will be coaching a great group of people who have been walking half marathons but want to move up to a run/walk. I will be working for Run For Your Life, a running store with locations in the Charlotte area. I trained with them last fall for NYC and this year I join them as a coach.
I'm feeling super blessed and also fairly terrified. I don't know why, because I have mentored adults before and have coached 5 seasons of Girls on the Run, but this is huge to me.
Anyway, what do you think of my outfit?

I'm wearing last season's shirt since we haven't received one for this season yet, with my NYC finisher shirt underneath for luck. I'm also wearing my favorite running hat and Capris for added awesomeness.
I can't go wrong now, can I?
Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog on how it went!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thursday Training Update.... Post Almost Marathon Edition

Happy Thursday!
I am still recovering from the almost marathon, but I did get some workouts in!

Thursday we were in Cozumel. We took a 2 mile walk and we also went snorkeling for about 45 minutes.

Friday we were at sea. Morgan and I took a 40 minute yoga class that we dubbed extreme yoga because the ship was pitching a little and balance was harder. I also took a line dancing class that lasted about 30 minutes.

Saturday we drove home. It took about 10 hours. There was no exercise.

Sunday was mostly a laundry and unpacking day, although we did manage 2 different walks that both ended up being 1.7 miles each!!

Monday was another walk, 1.3 miles that time.
Tuesday was a rest day....

Wednesday I was back to running, taking it easy, tired legs.....

What was your favorite workout last week? I definitely enjoyed snorkeling even though the choppy water was a little scary!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Training for the Maine Coast Half Marathon

As a BibRave Pro I received a free entry into this race

After the lazy way that 2017 started, I really need to get back on the ball. Well, I guess it didn't start too lazy, since I ran the Disney 5k and attempted the Marathon with an injured foot. The cruise was mostly lazy, though! We are home, the house is back to normal, and most of the laundry is finally done!
My training for the Maine Coast Half Marathon starts in 2 weeks and I am so ready to get going. I am still a little tired from vacation, but I am ready to go!

I will be training with my friends, the PG Speed Demons, a running club that meets in the Charlotte area. I trained with them in the Fall for NYC and they have asked me to coach this year! I will be coaching the 13:30+ group and will run my own long runs after the group is done with theirs.

We have yet to make our travel plans, although we will be nailing that down soon. It is the week after our anniversary, which is a nice coincidence. and we really love Maine! Can you blame us?

Want to join me? There is a half marathon and a full marathon, and you can register at and use this code for 10% off!

Have you ever been to Maine?

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Staying Active and Eating Well on a Cruise

I am on the road home after a dream vacation: 6 days in Disney followed by 5 days on a Royal Caribbean cruise. I set a goal to eat well and exercise 30 minutes every day. In Disney it wasn't so hard, I ate fairly well, and stayed within my calorie goals most days with ease. All of that walking, with a 5k and semi marathon thrown in, and I think it all evened out.

The hubs joined Morgan and I for the cruise portion. I planned to eat really well all day and have a dessert at dinner.

The hubs had other ideas. He pretty much ate all the food and drank all the drinks. While I didn't join him in all that gluttony, I definitely kept up.
Now, if you want to eat well on a cruise, it is definitely possible. They had plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, grilled chicken, bread, cookies, cakes. Wait. What just happened?
Sigh. Such is life when you have self control issues when it comes to food!
I started each day convinced that I would eat well, but they had donuts and croissants and bacon and hash browns....
Lunch was easier, I always started with a salad and chose better meal options. Dinner menus had healthy options and of course, non healthy options, so I made sure to balance the two.
Could I have made better choices? Oh yeah. It could have been way worse, though, so it wasn't a total loss.

My second goal was 30 minutes of intentional exercise every day. There was a track that circled the pool and gym, and 6 laps was a mile. We walked that a few times and also took a yoga class, played mini golf and also table tennis. On our excursions we walked and went snorkeling.
There may also have been tequila, but I only tasted one kind....

They had tons of other classes at the gym, but we mostly stuck with family entertainment since Morgan isn't around much these days. I got my 30 minutes every day, usually more.

Have you ever stayed active and ate well on a cruise? We booked for next January and I plan to focus more on the fun and less on the food!

posted from Bloggeroid

When You DNF the Disney Marathon

No sense burying the lead, right?
All week I have been talking about stepping on a screw, and ripping a chunk out of my heel (almost 2 weeks later and it still hasn't healed completely, but it's getting there.) I have been talking about how I was optimistic about running the marathon and finishing well. I was pretty much lying to everyone, including myself.
Let's be real here, y'all. I have a hole in my heel the size of a dime and it freakin hurt.
On Tuesday, as I was driving to Disney  (it's on the right heel), it stung and it actually bled through the bandage again.
On Wednesday I walked on my right toes. All.Day.Long.

Which meant that on Thursday, I had some serious muscle pain in that leg. I also walked the 5k. It took over an hour but my foot no longer hurt so badly that I couldn't walk on it.
Friday I still had muscle pain but it wasn't bleeding anymore, which I was super happy about.
Saturday I felt great but at the end of the day it was sore.
Sunday I woke up and it was freezing. No more cute outfit, no more fun Bing Bong Mickey ears. I wore multiple layers, leggings, and a Kermit hat that I just had to have our first day in MK. It's fleece lined and I live in SC. I had no use for such a hat, but I'm obsessed with Kermit, sooooo....  It must have been fate.
We had ponchos, and mylar blankets but it was windy and, although it was about 40 degrees, the real feel was in the 20s. Ugh.
Colleen and I huddled with strangers to keep warm. It was not pretty. Add this to the fact that I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish, and I was a hot....cold....mess.
They started releasing corrals and it didn't take us long to realize that they were doing it every 2 minutes instead of every 5 minutes. Yikes, my paltry 5 to 8 minute lead is now more like 3 to 4.
Soon we were on our way and I started setting small goals in my head. Goal 1, and my only real goal, to be honest, was to make it to the castle. That's about 6 miles. We were doing a 3:1 run walk and our average pace was around 15 minutes per mile. Every mile we added a little cushion to those balloon ladies.
The balloon ladies sweep you if you can't maintain a 16 minute pace, but if you have a head start, you can actually run a little slower and still stay ahead.
Soon the entrance to MK was in sight and I was still feeling really good. Hooray! We ran into Robert briefly and took some selfies before he went back to his Mom. They were doing back to back races and she wasn't feeling great. She'd been sick prior to the race and wasn't at her best.
Not long after, the castle was in sight! Holy heck, I made it. We ran through the castle, and over to the photographers for our jump in front of the castle.
Big mistake.
On our second attempt, I felt the cut on my heel crack a little and it started to sting. I knew that this was the beginning of the end.
We moved on and I set my next goal: Animal Kingdom. My reach goal was the Grave Diggers at mile 15.
I was still maintaining 15ish minute miles until around mile 9 or 10 and that is when I slowed down significantly. I sent Colleen ahead and saw her once more at the mile 11 turnaround. I never saw Robert again, although he passed me.
This was also around the time I first saw the balloon ladies. They were about a half mile behind me, and they shouldn't have been. I should still have had quite a lead and I was frustrated. I knew that I had slowed down, but seeing them so soon was overwhelming.
I still had AK in my sights, and I was determined to make it halfway before they passed me.
I started talking with some of the people around me. Many were half marathoners that were making up their miles from the canceled race on Saturday. They were going to stop at the halfway mark. Another was a man who was doing his best to walk with plantar fasciaitis. He trained for the marathon but knew he was stopping halfway. I told him that he was a badass, which surprised him. He felt horrible and it cheered him up to hear my thoughts and he stopped me a short time later to thank me.
Soon we were crossing the 13 mile mat and I stopped for a selfie with the Tree of Life. I was now hoping for the Grave Diggers. Two more miles.
I started chatting again with my fellow trudgers, and was saying that I wasn't stopping until the balloon ladies made me. And then this happened....

I swear, my words were still hanging over my head in a little thought balloon when she popped up. She was super sweet and said she was just a visual aid. I wasn't sure what that meant, but by Mile 14 they were both ahead of me. Sigh. I had no idea how far they would let me go, but I had a feeling there would be no Grave Diggers in my future.
I was swept at mile 14.8 and it was so maddening to be that close. After making sure that I absolutely had to stop, I got on the Parade Bus and was brought to the finisher area. We were not allowed to cross the finish line, nor were we given finisher photo ops. There has been a lot of nasty talk about this, so I wanted to clarify. Yes, we were given medals, mylar blankets, food, and drinks. No, we were not allowed to cross the finish line. As it should be.
I made sure that I walked 26.2 miles total throughout the day to earn the right to wear mine. I'm not gonna lie though, I felt pretty badass for finishing almost 15 miles. With a hole in my foot. Many wouldn't have even started. If Disney didn't have a time limit, I would have finished on my own. I could walk, I just couldn't run. I'm totally ok with this, although the Grave Diggers thing really burns my butt. I really wanted that photo!
A little tidbit though: according to my watch I maintained an average pace of 16:04 so I'm not sure how I got passed so soon. I should have made it past mile 15 before even seeing the balloon ladies, but let's be real here. I was never going to make it to 26.2 and it was pretty stupid to even try.

I have already registered for the 2018 marathon.... Goofy style... and I will be sure to avoid all screws until after the race. Such a stupid injury at such an important time!

Have you ever started a race, knowing that you wouldn't finish?

.... I am posting this without pics for now. I have had a hard time posting this, so I'm trying something new! I will add pics soon!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Spectating the WDW Half Marathon

In case you haven't heard, they canceled the half marathon because of thunder storms at race time. Many runners went out and ran at the various hotels to make up the miles. We went to the Boardwalk and stood under the awnings and cheered on the runners!

ESPN set up a water stop!

We had such a good time, even in the rain. Were you signed up for the half? Have you done your miles yet?

posted from Bloggeroid