Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Other F-Word

Fruit. Forest. Forget. Forget to forage for fruit in the forest? No. That’s not it. The other F-word is……wait for it….. FUN.

FUN

A few times this weekend, I was a part of different conversations with different people about running, racing, triathlon-ing. As you know, I’m training for my first triathlon at the end of October. I’m kind of using this triathlon as cross-training for my marathon in January, where I completely plan to kick boo-tay. The difference between the triathlon and the marathon for ME, is that I plan to just race the triathlon for fun. WHAT?! I’m not going to go for certain times and all that? No, I’m not. My husband doesn’t believe that I will actually only care that I finish in the allotted time, and sometimes I don’t either, but I’m determined to leave this race as a fun experience that I will enjoy. I mean, I do care about time, I don’t want to dilly dally around and chat up the people at the water stops and all that, but I want to just do this thing.   If you can “just” complete a half iron.  I want to have a blast along the way. I need to. Because that shit is hard.

When I first started running as a kid and then doing races about 18 or so years ago, it was for fun and exercise. As therapy, too. And so I could drink more beer. Yes, I ran as fast as I could, but that was it. I put some miles in and I did what I needed to do to finish the race. By no means did I have a training plan, do speed work, run fartleks (although I’m sure I did plenty of farting while I ran, especially after drinking the beer that ironically, I was burning off), or really, anything besides the basics in preparation. My preparation plan was this (it’s highly complicated so you may want to read it twice): Get some miles in and then run a race.  Boom. And it served me really well. I had a lot of fun. I finished several marathons this way, and it was an enjoyable, FUN experience.

It may look like I was trying not to poo myself, but really, I was having a blast that race. I have no idea what my time was either.

It may look like I was trying not to poo myself, but really, I was having a blast that race. I have no idea what my time was either.

Then I wanted to qualify for Boston.  I started using training plans, got a coach, did speed work at 4:30 am at a vacant track in the middle of winter IN IOWA, ran 200 times around a 1/10th mile indoor track when it was way too dangerous to run outside. For several years I did this, and along the way, I fell in love with training for marathons. I love speed work. I enjoy tempo runs. I like the challenge of having a time to meet. I truly LOVE to train, to run, and all the parts of an all-encompassing training plan. Really, truly, I love it. L.O.V.E. I get runners highs right before racing, I get it in my off-season time, and when I mix post-exercise endorphins and caffeine, wow, a runner’s high is amazing.

THIS girl is having a blast! It's what the whole thing is about.

This girl is having fun! THAT’S what the whole thing is about.

So is running still fun for me? Yes. It is. I didn’t feel like my last training cycle was a job, and that’s probably because I take time off between big events. I had fun along the way, as I trained. I need down time and freedom after my big races, and I take it.  But sometimes racing can be daunting. Especially when you’re surrounded by a million competitive athletes and are always hearing about how fast everyone is and improving and doing more and doing better. And a lot of the time, I’m one of them. But when it seems that whatever you’re doing is never fast enough, is never ENOUGH enough, then you know you might be living in a bubble. Have you or your friends ever said, “It’s only a half marathon/ only a half iron/only a 10k,/only an iron distance but not a sanctioned Ironman”? Yes? Then you know you might be living in a bubble. Pop it. Where did the fun go? Pop that damn non-fun bubble. I can’t even really race anymore without a concern for time. Yes, I do love it, but that competitive drive can take the fun out of it. And I can live with that, only because I really, truly love to run, train, and race.  I do admit though, racing isn’t always fun anymore.  Most of the time it is, but sometimes, I can’t help but care about the time on the clock when I cross the finish line. More than once, I let a time determine whether or not I had fun. And that’s not good.

What I won’t do is let that mentality get into my triathlons. I refuse. I won’t make these events about time. Yes, I’d like to kick some half iron boo-tay, but really, isn’t everyone who crosses the finish line kicking boo-tay? YES!!!! And athletes who have fun along the way are even better. Because why do something if it isn’t fun?

Do what you want for fun, not because you HAVE to or because someone else expects you to, or because “every one else is doing it”. Do it because you truly WANT to do whatever it is. Do it because it’s fun. If you want to climb up a rope onto a platform and then do a hundred one-armed push ups while a monkey sits on your head and whacks you with a book when you’re done, then do it, if you want to. Smile while he clonks you in the head. But when the fun starts slipping away, maybe it’s time to re-set your barometer. Maybe it’s time to really think about your motivations.  But mostly, ask yourself if you’re having fun. I have the most fun when I’m gritting my teeth trying to run an 800 in 3:15. Whether or not I make it, I have fun along the way. Call me crazy, but I have fun running 18 miles.

FUN: THE NEW WHITE MEAT. 

(Vegetarians → FUN: THE NEW EGGPLANT)

Give it a whirl, you may just like having fun!

On a side note, I mentioned my husband above, so I wanted to pass along his newly minted blog. The point of it is to just talk about life, Clemson, Red Sox, running, living with a Libra runner, kids, and oh, BEER.  Go check it out HERE.  Enjoy!

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, boston red sox, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Let’s Get This Thing Started! YEAH!

**Disclaimer: I’ve had full caffeine today. ** This is sort of what I feel like:

challenge25

“Ohhh, yeahhhh, kickstart my heart….”  It’s a great song, isn’t it. It’s even on my marathon playlist. THE marathon playlist. I have declared today to be my first day of real triathlon training. The darned thing is in about 13 weeks, so it’s about time, ya think? Yes, I’ve been swimming, biking, and running, but not much of anything lately besides running. So today was the end of my running challenge shenanigans and it’s time to kickstart this training season!

It’s been weird taking so many days off at a time. Refreshing, yes, but strange. I honestly love to work out. It makes me feel better, and it’s really a part of my life. My legs were pretty sore from The Scream 1/2 marathon I did on Saturday, so I didn’t feel too guilty taking extra time off.  My kids are staying with their grandparents this week too, so my husband and I have been acting like college kids, going out every night, having fun, and sleeping in.  Well, the sleeping in is just me since he has to go to work. Sorry, honey! Not really 🙂 We caught the Dave Matthews Band concert in Raleigh on Wednesday, and was that ever a good time. This was our 23rd show, but I think we enjoyed this one more since we haven’t been able to go in FOUR years! Oh, the humanity.

I think I lost 75 pounds from sweating so much before it even started. Even Dave said it was hot.

I think I lost 75 pounds from sweating so much before it even started. Even Dave said it was hot.

What better day to start “real” training than today.  Monday was supposed to be the open water swim, but because there was a bacteria advisory (seriously, I wasn’t going to go anyway because I just didn’t want to, but no one really needs to know that) in the waterway from all the rain. I am new to this sort of open water hazard. I mean, I am aware of sharks and jellyfish, boats, floating pieces of Styrofoam shaped like snake heads, but bacteria and another new one, sea lice baby jellyfish? Seriously? How much more dangerous can I get here?

I went to sleep to the sound of thunder and rain, woke up in the night to thunder and rain, so I was really hoping it would clear off and everyone that I had planned to swim with would still come. Timing worked out and when it was time to go swim, it was nice and clear.

It was a little lighter when I started to swim, but it was pretty dark for what I was used to.

It was a little lighter when I started to swim, but it was pretty dark for what I was used to.

I found a huge group of people at the start, none of whom I knew, and they all looked like they could keep up with the penguins, so I knew I couldn’t swim with them. I waited a little longer and my peeps showed up, thankfully. There were four in our group with one paddle boarder and one boat. Two of the swimmers took off and one had problems with her goggles so was behind. I was right in the middle. I was by myself. It was the waterway, and I was by myself. And it was still a little dark.  The creeps took over and I could really see how people who aren’t used to open water would freak out. I figured there’s nothing I could do about it, but just keep swimming, so I did just that. I felt pretty good, except when I tried to breathe on my left side. Seriously, I just can’t get it done without choking on the bacteria-laden water. So I kept with the right side, and I honestly felt good the entire .93 miles of the swim. I didn’t even try to be Michael Phelps when I went under the bridge either. I did imagine trolls positioning themselves in between the supports in the bridge, staring and laughing at me in their cutoff jeans and ratty red shirts (image compliments of The Gremlins).  But they didn’t jump down and try to drown me, so maybe we’ll be friends. There’s always a point in there when I feel like it’s NEVER EVER NEVER NEVER EVER going to end, but I knew I was making progress, even though it was slow.

Because I’m a slow swimmer and I’ve heard it’s all about “form”, I decided to bite the bullet and get a swim lesson from my coach. She’s a top level swimmer who’s actually going to the world’s competition next week, so she has soooo much to teach me. I’m extremely nervous because I am embarrassed about how dumb I will look. I know I need some help, but really, I feel like a big nard flopping around in front of anyone, let alone an amazing swimmer who also happens to be my friend. It’s time to get over that fear and just do it. So that’s Monday morning. Wish me luck!

When we got done swimming, I changed into my running shorts and put my shoes on, and I planned to run 6 miles with one of the friends who was swimming from farther away. Two other girls were running too, so we all four ended up running about 4 miles together. What fun and great conversation it was! Then two of us split off and I finished with 6 miles. Yeah, my first real brick workout was complete!!!

I was told about some “nectar of the gods” coffee (tastes like buttah) so we went to grab a cup before coming home. Mmmmm, it IS delicious and I love FULL caffeine. I think I can conquer the world after just one cup!

As for my schedule tomorrow, I’m taking my newly updated and geared up bike for a 40 mile ride. I’m taking it easy and bringing my toolamabob thing so I can stop and adjust it along the way as needed. I’m pretty excited about getting my bike stuff all figured out, since for a while there, I didn’t know what bike to train on and which one would fit me best. I finally decided and got it all taken care of. Here we go!

I'm trying to figure out what her name should be......

I’m trying to figure out what her name should be……

Sunday, I’m running with some people, but I don’t know how far I I’m actually going to do, then I’ll be back in open water again on Monday. I’ll have to throw in some strength, plank, and arm workouts, just to keep balanced.

I’m lucky that I know so many people who have completed sprint, half iron, and full iron distance triathlons.  There’s so much information to be had from all of them, so I look forward to learning the ins and outs of a new kind of race for me. My goal is still the Houston Marathon in January, but this triathlon, thing, yeah, I think I’m going to like it!

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hurts. So. Much.

Saturday morning, I ran the half marathon called The Scream. It’s mostly downhill – I think 2100 ft descent elevation, and boy, were my legs a screamin’ Sunday! They hurt a lot on Monday too. Thankfully, my friend Renee, learned you can go down the stairs backwards to minimize the pain. It’s literally more painful (not as tired of course, but it hurts a lot!!!) than after running Boston.  And that’s bad. Here’s the recap.

On Friday, my family and I took off towards the “mountains” of North Carolina. We were more in the foothills than the mountains, but anything over 50 ft elevation is pretty high compared to where we are here in Wilmington. I could barely breathe in that air up there. No, just kidding, my ears popped a few times, but other than that, I couldn’t tell. I was super excited since we were staying in a cabin with some VERY cool people, and my plans were that I was to become one with nature after the race. We were going to explore. We were going to walk in the woods, let the dog run around and sniff all she wanted to, and we would not shave.  We were to be rebels.

So as we rolled in on Friday, it started raining. We went to bed with the rain tapping on the metal roof. We woke in the night to the rain tapping on the metal roof. We woke up to (bet you can’t tell what’s coming here…..) the rain tapping on the metal roof. Hmmm, yet another race in the rain. We were staying in a cabin with my friend Renee and her family, and three other very cool girls were staying in a cabin on the same property. It was really nice that one of them, Paige, didn’t even swear around the kids. Bonus, I didn’t either. We drove to the location where we were to catch shuttles to the start and then where the after party would be. Rain, rain, and more rain. Yuck. Once we got on the shuttle (a big yellow school bus), we wound up the hills for about 30-40 minutes to the start. We quickly got our bibs and timing chips and headed to the can for one more pit stop.  I’m glad we had gotten to the shuttle early, as we barely had time to get our stuff and go to the bathroom before people were headed to the actual start line around the corner from where we were dropped off.  And it’s not like there were hundreds of runners either – the race was capped at 350 runners and I know there were some who stayed home due to the rain. But we didn’t.

Before the race start.

Before the start, and before Sharon’s dinosaur hands came through her plastic bag/poncho.

 

Looking right at the race start.

Looking right from the race start.

The race got started about seven minutes late, but with all that rain, it wasn’t terrible. I think I would have felt rushed had it not started a little late, and we were where we needed to be in plenty of time. I’m not really sure what would have happened had we not been so early. I guess we would have been late.  Anyway, when the gun went off (or it was just a guy saying, “GO” but I honestly don’t remember), I had in my head that I wanted to do about an 8:30-9:00 minute mile pace. Then something snapped. Yeah, that competitive thing came about. This race was just supposed to be for fun. Ok, so how many of you are nodding your head in understanding right here? Yeah, right. NOT be competitive in running? Fat chance. I didn’t even stop to take a picture of the course because that would have slowed my time by, like, maybe TEN seconds!  I started that way and really, running down a hill is pretty awesome. I knew I was going to be sore and all that and I didn’t care, but it was so fun!!! The first few miles were UP hill, and when we went from the road to the hard-packed gravel trail, it started going down. Don’t you just love that? You can go faster with the same effort!!! It was awesome. It was a SCREAM. Then I started to get passed. I don’t understand, as I was letting the gravity pull me, and I didn’t fight it. But I kept getting passed. It sort of irritated me, you know, because this race was supposed to be FUN. I actually thought I might be last, but I didn’t turn around and check.  So on the up hills, I did what I normally did, which is to keep pace. I didn’t slow down. And that’s where I got my sweet revenge in my FUN race, I passed tons of people on the little bit of up hills we had.

The miles pretty much flew by. When I was out of breath from running up hill, we went back down, and my breathing relaxed. It was fun. The terrain wasn’t bad, even with the very wet conditions.  I didn’t have music and I didn’t run with Renee as I planned to, so I kept myself busy by planning my path around the corners to cut all tangents, not falling, and enjoying myself. I did get pushed once at a water station because I slowed down. Then this RUDE guy just pushed me out of the way. I called him an asshole but evidently, he didn’t hear me or didn’t care. I ended up passing him so he can suck it.

My paces were staying pretty close to 8 minute miles, and I was thrilled. My Garmin was off quite a bit from their mile markers, which I expected, but whatever, it was fine. Then I got to mile 12, the longest mile on the face of the earth. This is what I think happened: The course is certified and they know the beginning and the end. They marked the middle miles using THEIR Garmins, and at the end, they were short, so they just made the last mile twice as long. Seriously, it was a mile and a half long. No joke. I was losing my patience, my shoes were sloppy wet, and I was tired and wanted to be done. That friggin mile just wouldn’t stop. Around the corner? Nothing. Around another corner? Nothing. No one. I almost stopped, but then realized that would be just stupid, so I kept going. Then there it was. Mile 13. Then .25 miles later came the finish line. I seriously don’t get why it was so messed up at the end, but I think the actual total mileage was right on. It just wasn’t nice to make the last mile so long.

I finished in 1:46 and was pretty happy, although I was close to a PR2 if the course would have been marked accurately. Well, in my mind I was headed to a sub 1:44, which wouldn’t make it a PR, just a 2nd place to a PR. (My actual PR is 1:40.)  When I crossed the finish line, I got some water, and stood in the rain. A few of us from the Without Limits group had a picture taken, and I thought it was really cool the faster cats waited for the rest of their friends to finish before they headed to the bus to get back to shelter. Unfortunately, I don’t know most of them yet.  I ended up getting really cold and wished I would have worn different things at the beginning and saved my water proof jacked for my bag at the end. Oh well.

At the finish- Renee, Me, Shelley, Sharon, and Paige

At the finish- Renee, Me, Shelley, Sharon, and Paige. All of them are really cool chicks.

Once everyone finished, we headed to the bus and they trucked us back to the place where my family would be. They had some REALLY good BBQ and other eats there, and once the awards were done (only 5th in my AG), we headed back to the cabin for a HOT SHOWER. It was still raining.

scream1

My hair was a rat’s nest. Big mistake in not packing my de-tangler. Ouch.

Left side was brushed out, the rest, was not.

Left side was brushed out, the rest, was not. Complete rat’s nest.

The rest of the afternoon was spent eating, drinking, resting, relaxing, and then finally, the skies parted and I took my one son and dog outside to explore. It was awesome.

The next day, we went exploring in the river on the property where we stayed, and it was more than awesome. I grew up doing that sort of thing, being one with nature and all, and my dog, kids, and husband were having a great time. We are going back to that place, that’s for sure.  Unfortunately, we had to leave pretty early to get back home in a decent time.

As for the race, I really enjoyed it!!!  I was a little sore while running, and I was concerned when my knee starting bugging me in the same place it started hurting the last few days of my 10×10 Challenge. But then that went away, and I felt good. It was something new, something different, and it was nice to get out and be somewhere hilly for a change.  There’s a full marathon on that same course, and it’s very tempting to try and BQ on that one. I’m not sure if I could run that fast down hill for a full, mostly because I have ZERO hills to train on, but it’s definitely worth considering. I’m hoping I won’t have to worry about that though.  We are planning to go back to The Scream next year!!

The river

The river

As for what I’m doing this week IF IT EVER STOPS RAINING, is to swim, bike, and run. I’ve GOT to get back to tri training since it’s coming down to only three months until the half iron. I was going to blame the rain and my hurtin’ legs on not swimming today, but honestly, I just didn’t want to!  As for me now, I’ll just keep stretching these legs and complaining as I descend down the stairs. Ouch, ouch, ouch, but it was totally worth it!

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

10 Things I Learned From Running 10 Miles A Day For 10 Days

After I finished the Boston Marathon, I was looking for something to do. I knew another marathon would not be a smart idea, and I ended up finding the 10×10 challenge on Facebook. Hmmm, I can run ten miles a day for ten days, right? Sure! The timing was never right since we had some weekend plans, and I didn’t want to HAVE to run on the holidays, on vacation, blah blah. Fast forward to July and I had one week where I could get the challenge in. I decided to combine the challenge with my cousin’s fundraiser for Huntington’s Disease, and asked my friends and family to donate to the Huntington’s Disease Society if I completed the challenge. I got some pledges and donations  and on July 6th, I started running. I had a lot of time to think, to talk, and to learn a little about myself and running; 16 hours and 22 minutes over 10 days, to be exact. But I finished the challenge and raised about $500 for Huntington’s along the way. Thank you so much to those of you who pledged and donated! It means so much to me to have your support and you made my cousin cry with happiness! By the way, the initial numbers are in, and with her big event last weekend, she has raised upwards of $32,000 for Huntington’s Disease research AND she just announced she is also going to have a big fundraiser in the Phoenix area where she lives!!! Boom.

Since I like to make lists, here’s the newest list of the ten things I learned from running ten miles a day for ten days, in no particular order.

Oh yeah! Oh yeah!

Oh Ptheven.

To learn how I met Ptheven and the pthory behind it, or even if you just want to laugh, please read this post HERE when I was having one of those days when everything made me laugh.

I DID IT, oh yeah oh yeah!

My Pthelfie. I DID IT, oh yeah oh yeah!

1) Endurolytes are the magical pill that I’ve been waiting to discover, I just don’t know what took so long. It never crossed my mind to take them for marathons, summer training, or anything shorter than a half iron. Big mistake. Once I started taking them during this challenge, my recovery time dramatically decreased, and I felt so much better than I normally do when running in swampy conditions. Lesson learned, and they will be part of my regiment from now on. Run out of electrolytes during a marathon again? Not this girl.

2) Ten miles is the perfect distance.  It’s enough to force you to work hard, and to plan, but it doesn’t deplete your energy the way longer runs do. I had relatively no intensity in any of my ten milers either, but I didn’t feel like I HAD to walk.  I certainly wanted to in the last few days, but I didn’t. The day after the challenge was done, my legs feel pretty good. Do I want to go out and run? Hells no, but I could if I needed to. If I did, someone may want to put one of those white coats on me because that’s just KRA-ZY.

3) The 10×10 Challenge ain’t no joke! It becomes more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Ten miles is a great distance, but it becomes about something other than the actual running.  Getting up early day after day, planning the fueling, the hydrating, getting through those long workouts day after day after day. At least 2 hours a day is spent on this – preparing, running, then recovery.  It gets tiring. It was super hot and humid for me here, and if I wasn’t so freaking stubborn, I would not have completed this.  Seven days would have been too easy of a challenge, but eleven days, well, that would have sucked big time.

4) I’m stronger, both physically and mentally, than I gave myself credit for.  My legs are tough.  Running 100 miles in ten days isn’t anything to sneeze at. I’ve NEVER run 70 miles in one week, only 64 when in peak marathon training several years ago. It’s a ton of miles, and I really had to push myself, physically but mostly mentally. I continually second guess whether I can actually do things, to which my awesome husband tells me that I can pretty much do anything, and maybe, just maybe, I need to listen to him. Because it’s true.

5) Sunrises make me happy.  I normally see many sunrises as I train turning the summer, but seeing them day after day during this challenge was a reminder of how beautiful life is.  It made me feel even happier to be alive and have the ability to even think about doing this challenge.

Gorgeous view from the north tip of Wrightsville Beach at sunrise.

Gorgeous view from the north tip of Wrightsville Beach at sunrise.

6) Running buddies ROCK.  I have amazing friends. Out of the ten days of running, I had company for four of them. It really made a difference in getting through those days when I didn’t want to spend 100 minutes by myself doing the same thing I had been doing for several days before. It kept my mind off the actual act of running, and it was good to catch up with each one of them during our workouts.

7) I’m extremely fussy about accurate running times/distances.  When I started the MapMyRun workouts for those ten days, I had to put my phone in it’s little Roo pouch and then start running. I had to stop for water, to stretch, traffic, and walk with my buddies. I never paused my workout, even when I was stopped for several minutes. It bugged the shit out of me. The times recorded showed the time I spent standing, so they weren’t exactly accurate for per mile splits. Why do I care? I have no idea. When my workouts were done, it sometimes took me a while to get the thing to stop the workout because my phone was covered in sweat and my hands were dripping. Boy, that pissed me off. “I finished that damn workout TEN SECONDS AGO!!!”. I don’t get why it matters to me, but it does. It doesn’t to anyone else, but me. Hello, my name is Kelli, and I’m an accurate time addict.

8) Vaseline can fix wonky toes. That’s pretty much all you need to know – I’ll be using this more as I ramp up my miles again this fall.

9) Running challenges are good for you! Sometimes you need to do get out there and do something different. I wrote a little about this earlier in the challenge, but I got a sense of post-race euphoria somewhere half way through. It waned a little near the end when I JUST WANTED IT TO BE OVER and I was tired of sweating out half my body weight, but really, it sort of came back again today. I feel like I can do pretty much anything today.  It gave me a boost of confidence to NOT be afraid to try things and that if I set my mind to something, I can do it. So challenges are good. Very good, and I’m thankful that I took this one on.

10) I can and I will.

challenge19

Somewhere along this journey, I realized that I really did, truly want to complete an iron distance.  (I had LOTS of time to think as I ran!) I already figured out that going to an actual Ironman event would be too expensive for my family, so I am going to do the one here in town, the Beach 2 Battleship. I’m doing the half this October, but I’m going to plan to do the full in another year or two or three. It all depends on how my marathons go. I continuously questioned whether I had what it took to do the training involved, and probably mid-way through this challenge, I realized that if I set my mind to it, I can do anything I want to do. Sure, it takes physical ability and all that, but being mentally strong and having the ability to push yourself to not give up is almost more important than the physical part of it. As a marathoner, I know how to push, how to persevere, how to get up every day and train. And I know that I can do more. This challenge taught me to not be afraid, to have no fear in going for my goals. I know that I have what it takes to work towards and achieve my goals.

I can and I will.

scream

Now this weekend I’m off to the mountains for a new challenge, running a half marathon called The Scream, you know, because it’s a screamin’ good time down 2100 ft of elevation. I’m looking forward to getting out of town, spending time with my family in the woods, being unplugged (there’s NO cell service in our cabin – SCORE!), and seeing some of my friends.

Once I get back, it’s totally tri training time. This girl’s gotta get serious!

 

 

 

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, huntinton's disease, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, training for half iron distance, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

10×10 Challenge: Mission Accomplished

On Monday morning, I drug myself out of bed at 4:43. I don’t know why I set my alarm for that time. I stared at the wall a minute, then got my stuff ready, Groundhog Day style. I can get ready in fifteen minutes, including putting a band aid on my toe and eating. Pretty impressive, ey? I decided to trek back to UNCW and run a different route than I’ve done before. I wasn’t feelin’ it, people, I just wasn’t feeling it compared to most of the other days. Was it the beer I had on Sunday? Was it the cumulative effect of sweating buckets every day that caught up with me? I don’t know, but I struggled to keep going. Sure, my pace was pretty good, but I didn’t let myself stop like I had last week, and all I wanted to do was walk. I couldn’t walk this day because I needed to get back home so my husband could go to work earlier for training. Timing.

Once I got to my parking lot, I questioned my route. It was still dark and I was by myself. I decided to let my instincts be my guide so I headed out the way I planned. I have a pretty active imagination so I was thinking of all sorts of things chasing me while I ran.

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I didn’t think he would actually appear and slime me, so I thought of this little guy.

Boo

Boo

I couldn’t help but feel creeped out in the park by myself in the dark. (Sounds like the beginnings of a song, hey?)  I did a gut check at that point, and my gut said to keep going.  So I kept going.  It was going to get light out by the time I would loop back at the end of my 10 miles and the rest was in a residential area, so I knew it would be fine.  The route was pretty good and I’m glad I chose something new, especially since I didn’t have a running buddy. You know that euphoric feeling I discussed having after my run the day before? Yeah, it was gone. Poof. Disappeared. And was replaced by just a little bit of anger.  Why does it have to be so effing humid? Why is the road boring? Why is that frog there so I have to move so I don’t squish it? Oh, cute froggy. Slight case of bi-polar there, yeah. My legs were starting to really feel the fatigue.  And I was bored. Like really bored so my music kept me company. But I got it done. All I wanted to do was walk, but I pushed through, and kept on running.

Day 9 - Almost there!

Day 9 Complete. One. More. Day.

I’m not sure when I started thinking this, whether it was Day 9 or Day 10, but “This challenge ain’t no joke” continuously went through my mind. It’s difficult enough to be, well, difficult, but it’s not impossible. But it’s difficult. When I got home, I took a shower, ate a snack, and went straight to the couch so I could take a power nap. I woke up about 30 minutes later. It. Was. Awesome. Later on and after I ate breakfast, I started feeling really crappy. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense, so I decided to take another Endurolyte pill.  Within 15 minutes, I felt perfectly fine. Interesting.  I spent the rest of the day doing all sorts of stuff with my kids. It really was the perfect day with them. But we didn’t go outside since it was 8 million degrees and 400% humidity. Or that’s how I felt. We had a blast inside though, and later in the evening, we all went out so they could play in the pool.  It ended up being a good day, but I had to mentally prepare for one more ten mile run.

My alarm came early for Day 10. I was really wearing out, but was so thankful it was my last day of the challenge. I honestly didn’t know if I could have made it another day. Ok, I’m sure I could have, but I was pretty much over it! Another day of a hundred percent humidity and a 5:30 start at 82 degrees. YUCK! I decided to run from my house so I could get 15 extra minutes of sleep. I felt pretty decent for the first part. Then the sweat started and just. wouldn’t. stop. Oh my goodness, I don’t know what the difference was, but the air was, well, it just wasn’t there. I got in my own head and started getting pissed. Seems stupid to be getting pissed about a challenge that I signed myself up for and was almost done with, right? Well, I was pissed anyway. I ran around my neighborhood, saw the beautiful sunrise, and went down a road that I haven’t been on in almost a year. The miles ticked by, and so did the boring songs that I have been listening to for the past nine days. I was just over it! Five miles to go, four, three, then two. Once the MapMyRun lady yapped that I had run 8 miles, I figured I would be really happy. So I was for a bit. A minute or two later, knowing that I had just two miles left in my ten day challenge, I had so much sweat in my shoes, it started sloshing between my toes. It make that sound when I stepped “ssshhhhhttttt ssshhhhhhtttt”. Every. Fucking. Step. First it was my left foot. My right foot quickly followed. Are you fucking kidding me? I have to listen to this, over my iPod, for two more fucking miles???? Yeah, I certainly did.

I ran by a guy I normally see out in the morning. He sort of chuckled at me and I said, “I know, you can hear me coming from a mile away!”. My smile was fake. I finished right at my house, and I asked my husband to come out and take a picture of me post-challenge. During that time, I just couldn’t get my hand and phone dry enough to turn my MapMyRun workout off. Ohhhhh, that was the trigger. I delicately asked yelled at my husband to turn the fucking thing off since time is ticking away and I ran hard for a good pace and I didn’t want it to show that I was slower than I already was….. yeah. (Sorry AGAIN, honey.) I went a little nutty. I threw my water thing down, tried to cry, but I couldn’t find the tears. I paced a little, was happy, sad, angry, and well, sweaty. I was so freaking sweaty and hot.  Hubs got a picture of me in the moment. YES, I DID IT!!!!!!

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I went inside and was greeted by some nice, low-humidity, cool air. It was glorious. I completely soaked a towel while cooling off, and I drank my obligatory PowerAde in record time. I was done. I completed the challenge!!! I could SLEEP IN tomorrow!!!!! I don’t have to spend ten minutes trying to de-tangle my hair tomorrow! Yes. I did it.

Day 10

Day 10

 10×10 Running Challenge: Mission Complete

 I’m taking the next three days off, and Saturday, I’m running The Scream 1/2 Marathon in the Carolina mountains. I think I’m trained. 🙂

Categories: 10x10 challenge, half iron distance, huntinton's disease, marathon, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Groundhog Day. Again.

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If you haven’t read my blog this week, I’m doing the 10×10 running challenge by running 10 miles a day for 10 days. I started last Sunday. I am also taking donations for http://www.bar2barbara.com fundraiser that my cousin started five years ago to help find a cure for Huntington’s Disease, the disease that took her mother’s life. Her big Bar-2-Barbara event was this weekend, and right now, she has raised over $30,000.  Not all of my donations have been made yet (nor are hers), but I was able to raise nearly $500 to help her cause. Every dollar helps find a cure for this ridiculously terrible disease.

This is how I’ve felt every morning for a week. The only thing missing is Sonny & Cher singing “I Got You Babe” when I wake up. I get up early, run 10 miles, hydrate, eat, hydrate, stretch, hydrate, eat and then go about my daily stuff with my kids while eating, stretching, and hydrating. It’s all good, but I’m kind of tired of it. I don’t have any choices. I HAVE to get up early or running would be like running on the surface of the sun PLUS humidity. It’s gross out there, kids. Really, really gross.  I’m sure you can relate.

Besides being dog tired right around 2:00 and 8:00 pm, I’m feeling really good. On Saturday, I was supposed to run with a group, but we all texted each other at zero:dark:thirty and decided we wanted to sleep in. I got up around 7:30, or something like that, and it was glorious. I felt a lot better and knew I would pay for that by having to run in even warmer conditions. It was worth it though. I decided on starting at a park and finding a trail that has a lot of shade, which I’m very glad I did.  I think it was about 9 when I got going, and the temp was 83 and humidity levels were at 120%. I guess that’s what you get when you live by the ocean. Anyway, I visualized a good strong run. Something came over me and I knew it was going to be good. I started out feeling good, but stayed a little slower, then brought my per mile times down and finished my 7th 10 mile run in 7 days the fastest of all of them at 1:31:19.  It even took me a while to be able to stop my workout since my iPhone doesn’t register when it’s wet, and it was wet, my hand was wet, so I had to convince it to let me slide that little thing over to complete my workout. Seconds were wasted. Sheesh.

Day 7 complete!

Day 7 complete!

 

Summer runnin'

Summer runnin’

I felt energized by that run. I felt almost invincible. I don’t know what it was, but I felt a sense of empowerment when I knew that 1) I was going to complete the challenge and 2) I felt like I could do about anything.  I don’t know what it is, but this challenge has evoked the “post race euphoria” in me. It’s a very dangerous thing. I’ve vowed I would NOT sign up for anything while I feel like this.

We went to the store and I replenished my supply of fruit/veggie drinks. This is the one that I really do like.

challenge18I didn’t mean to pick on Boathouse Farms about their veggie drink the other day, but this one just tastes so much better! Most of the ingredients are the same, but the way they mix them is completely different. I’ll be staying with Naked on this one.

This morning’s run started at 6 and was with a friend who I ran a lot with in training for Boston. She is the one who walked with me at the end and felt equally crappy the last 10k of that race. It was good to run with her and catch up a bit. The air was still and it was a lot cooler than it was yesterday, but the humidity was about 130%!  Funny how 73 degrees can feel like a cool glass of water. Then you take the glass and dump in on your head, and that’s sort of what it feels like.

Anyway, we ran at a nice, conservative pace and it felt good. We stopped to stretch, to walk, to cross a busy road. We went back to the start point at an hour in since she was done with her workout and I headed out on part of the trail I ran on yesterday.  I got those “euphoric” feelings again, and I hauled my last three miles in at about 8 minutes per mile. I was pumped! I was lucky enough to be able to talk with some other lovely ladies from my running group while we stretched and cooled off a bit. They talked a while about nutrition, which is on my short list of things to work on for my upcoming half iron and marathon. Will be interesting since I’m still weird about weighing myself and counting carbs/protein/fat grams.

Day 8 is complete!

Day 8 is complete!

View from the start at UNCW

View from the start at UNCW

I’m actually surprised my legs are feeling as good as what they are. It’s interesting that ten miles is long enough to make you work really hard, but it’s not long enough to deplete your energy stores like long runs do. I have one sore toe right now but it’s not as sore as earlier last week and is a different toe, so that’s good. Chafing is minimal too, thank goodness!

I’ve thought a lot recently about where I want to go and do after my half iron this fall. I think I’ve finally narrowed it down, too. Of course, I’ve got the Houston Marathon to run in January and Wrightsville Beach Marathon in March, one of which I’m expecting to BQ in, and after that? Hmmmm, I just may have an idea.

How did everyone do this weekend? Did you race?

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, huntinton's disease, iron distance, marathon, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Challenge zzzzzzzz Days 5 and 6 zzzzzzzz

Boy, am I tired. Not necessarily my legs but my whole entire body.  Getting up before or at 5 am is wearing on this lady here. The good news is that my kids are home and don’t mind if I take a short power nap, which I’ve done once and plan to do here in about an hour. Twenty minutes of sleep can recharge my batteries for the rest of the day.  It’s crazy.

The last time I wrote, I was having issues with my triangle toes.  That night, I popped a small blister on each one, slathered it with Vaseline, and went to bed. The next morning, it already felt better, so I slathered it again and put a band aid around it before the run.  I can officially say that I’m a Vaseline fan and my toes feel great! That ten miles went well, and I felt like I had a lot of energy.  I don’t always get why some runs are better than others when everything else seems to be static, but it was good. Maybe it was the company? I don’t know, but I’ve had running friends the past two days, and just having someone to talk to seems to make a world of difference in how my brain perceives about an hour and forty-five minutes of running. I have friends lined up again for day seven, and I’m working on day eight.

My paces are somewhere in the 9’s for the most part. Some are faster and some are slower. I never turn my app off, even if I’m stopped for a few minutes to drink some water or take pictures, so the average time shows slower than what it really is. Not that it really matters. But it sort of does, but it doesn’t. If you know what I mean.

On Day 5, we headed out from UNCW and ended up on the bridge to Wrightsville Beach before we had to turn around and go back.

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Day 5!!! Half way there.

Day 5!!! Half way there.

Yesterday, I was a bottomless pit and never really felt full. I drank. I ate. I drank more. I ate more. I’m “finicky” when it comes to fruits and veggies, which is a huge pain in the ass and not really by choice (it would be SO much easier to eat if I liked more things). In order to get a lot of my fruits and veggies like a good, healthy athlete should, I drink a lot of them. The store didn’t have my usual veggie mix, so I tried something different. I found out I can actually block my smell sense so I could get this stuff down. Then of course, after you swallow, you have to breathe and get the punch from this stuff. Yeah, I won’t be getting this particular one again.

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This morning, I was lucky to run with my friend who I did many long runs with in preparation for Boston. The time flew by and she made sure we were well hydrated. She even surprised me with a donation for my cause!! (www.bar2barbara.com) It was mostly a new route for me, and I really enjoyed seeing something different! My legs still feel really good!  It’s hard to believe after 60 miles in 6 days, they aren’t feeling like lead. My friend reminded me to ice, which I had literally FORGOTTEN (?!?!) to do until yesterday afternoon. We finished our run in good time and again, I was so thankful to be able to catch up with her and have someone to chat with!  Running buddies ROCK.

Day SIX!!! Over half way to the big goal!

Day SIX!!! Over half way to the big goal!

I normally take a picture of a view along the way, and totally forgot this morning.  When I get home, I am usually met with a neighborhood stray cat who comes over for food and attention. He is adorable and we call him Big Puff. So this is today’s view picture. By the way, he is neutered so he can’t create any Little Puffs.

Big Puff

Big Puff

I’ve been eating an English muffin or toast with two eggs, cheese, and spinach for breakfast every morning, and today was no different except for the spinach. I finished what I had yesterday.

After that, I knew I needed to get these legs cooled down, so I sat and read the paper with my legs under an ice pack or frozen towels. I’m thinking I need to get a few more ice packs.

Tended by Nurse Goldie

Tended by Nurse Goldie

I’m 6/10 in my 10×10 challenge. I feel good. I know I’m doing this for a good cause, but I also know I’m doing it to prove it to myself that I CAN do it. It’s a win/win. It’s not what I thought it would be when I started either. It’s so much more complex than that. I’m already glad I started, and I know I’ll be glad when Tuesday morning rolls around and I can say that I finished this challenge. I’m also ready to get back to triathlon training 🙂

So, some of you know that I’m helping my cousin raise money to find a cure for Huntington’s Disease. Please watch this video and you can see her, her passion, and her nutty friends in person getting interviewed and carrying out dares ON AIR! She also describes what Huntington’s really is…. a terrible combination of Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis all wrapped into one. So that’s why I’m helping her raise money. But seriously, this is funny, especially her friend who just starts brushing her teeth and uses some “special” tooth paste!! Haha!

Has anyone else done a running challenge before? A streak? What was it and how did it go?

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, half iron distance, huntinton's disease, marathon, running, running challenge, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Eagle Has Landed. Literally.

If you haven’t seen my blog in a few posts, here’s the dealio: I’m currently running ten miles a day for ten days. I wanted to do the challenge anyway, but asked for donations for my cousin’s fundraiser for Huntington’s Disease to get me to do it NOW.  I’ve been able to raise almost $500 to help the cause, and I’m writing about my challenge as I go. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the fundraising.

Yesterday, I had some good company with Paul from Running Wild, who was in town for work, during my third ten mile run in three days. It was nice to have a distraction from the running and a nice conversation. I find it really cool to be able to meet other bloggers who happen to be runners, as I did in Boston.

Day 3

Day 3

Gorgeous view from the north tip of Wrightsville Beach at sunrise.

Gorgeous view from the north tip of Wrightsville Beach at sunrise.

My legs are feeling really good, but I’m having a few issues with my toes.  My baby toes sort of go under the one next to it, so they’re bruising. It happens on and off (my toes are shaped like triangles), and unfortunately, it’s ON right now.  Will it stop me from completing my ten miles a day for ten days? Hell no.

Today’s run wasn’t bad at all, except for the toe thing. Two of them hurt a little with every step and one (the one who hasn’t got its full nail back) hurts a little here and there. The humidity is killer. I’ve actually started running without my shirt (yes, I’m wearing a bra, I’m not into showcasing) so I won’t have it sticking to me for 6 miles. It’s gross. I’m drinking during my runs which is unusual, and I’m drinking TONS after I run.  But I feel good. And I know I’ll finish this challenge. I “only” have six more days to go. Today, I even saw what I believe to be a baby eagle.  This spring, I heard some baby calls and my son looked them up on the internet, and it sounded just like baby eagles. The nest is eagle-y too, so I just have to put two and two together and assume they’re eagles. So. Cool.

Day 4 Complete

Day 4 Complete. Not bad considering I stopped to get and put band aids on my toes without stopping time!

Eagle's nest

Eagle’s nest with baby perched and looking out (I swear he looked right at me)

 

Way back about a hundred zillion years ago, when I would run and race for fun, I ran a race that served as a fundraiser for the local cancer center. Each year, they made a wish list of a big purchase they wanted/needed for their patients, such as TV’s in the rooms so the people getting chemo could have something to distract them and give them something to do. It was a fun race too, and little did I know, my mother would end up getting treatment at that same cancer center. I’m glad I helped just for the sake of helping. ANYWAY, the weather was pretty bad on the way over to the race start, if you call torrential downpours “pretty bad”. I wanted to turn around and go home. Then something hit me. I almost laughed as I thought to myself, “You big dumbass, running in the rain is a lot easier than getting chemo!”  So I got out there and ran my race.

Sarah, my cousin who I’ve been talking about and who is determined to raise as much money as she can to find a cure for Huntington’s Disease, lost her mom from Huntington’s. It hits very close to home for her. Like bullseye close, which is why she’s so determined to make a difference. Sarah let us know that a friend of hers, Kayla, lost her battle with the disease.  She was only 26 years old. Sarah challenged everyone to run/walk/bike 5.2 miles (the length of the run/walk/bike in her fundraiser Bar-2-Barbara) in honor of Kayla.  So today, as I thought about having to get up and run in eight million percent humidity, I thought about Kayla, and dedicated my run to her.

We go through a lot in our daily lives, don’t we? We have good days and bad days. Some people have more difficulty, such as Kayla, and some people are healthy their entire 100 year lives.  There’s not always a rhyme or reason to all that is life. What I do know is that, as a runner and especially as a marathon runner, you learn how to push through discomfort, push through pain, fatigue. We thirst, we sweat, we chafe, we bleed, we fall down. But we keep going. We fight through, we push ourselves, will ourselves forward.  I have to believe that being a runner has and will help me through issues that have and will arise in my life. Just like I don’t give up in training or a race, I won’t give up with life challenges. And I will NOT give up on my 10 miles a day for 10 days challenge.

Categories: marathon, running, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Hurricane, Running Challenge, and One Tiny Tooth

I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. Ours started with Hurricane Arthur who blew into town on Thursday.  It was a very good storm to us, and the only thing we had to clean up were tons of leaves and junk from the trees.  Hurricanes can be exciting until you think about the serious damage they can cause (which comes with a huge deductible on our insurance – ouch!).  We were lucky this time. I do have to say though, that it’s a strange feeling knowing you’re so close to the eye of a hurricane. Thankfully again, we got up on Friday morning to sunshine and it stayed that way for the rest of the weekend!

Hurricane Arthur

Hurricane Arthur

We had some fun as a family, I had some girls over for a pool party (complete with mimosas), and we celebrated. If anyone thinks patriotism is dead, just go to the beach on the 4th of July. You would be incorrect.  My husband loves battlefields and on last week’s bike ride, my friend and I rode right by Moore’s Creek Battlefield. When I looked it up, I found it was a battlefield from the Revolutionary War, not the Civil War.  How cool is that?!  So we packed up the family and dog and headed up to see it and walk the trail on Saturday. What a neat place with just tons of history.  I hope everyone else had a lot of fun this long weekend!

merica

It doesn’t take much for me to find an excuse to run. After Boston, I found a challenge on Facebook that intrigued me, but it didn’t ever seem like the right time to do it.  It’s called the 10×10 Challenge, and “all” you do is run, walk, or a combination of, 10 miles a day for 10 days, provide proof to the guys that started the challenge that you completed the challenge, and that’s it, you’re done.  My time to get this challenge under my belt was running out since true triathlon and marathon training will start at the end of the month. It also takes a bit of coordination with the hubster since the kids are home and we have had quite a bit going on, PLUS I am running a half marathon in the mountains in a few weeks. I challenged you readers, my friends, and my family to donate towards my cousin’s fundraiser and I would do the running challenge. Everyone responded so well, and I’m almost up to raising $500 for her cause to find a cure for Huntington’s Disease, including the $50 that I will also donate. By the way, my cousin cried when I told her about this.  To those of you who donated, it seems very inadequate by saying thank you, but those are the only fitting words.  It means a lot to me.

It's still just a "Thank You", but at least it has flowers.

It’s still just a “Thank You”, but at least it has flowers.

I started the 10×10 Challenge yesterday by running at the beach. One group was starting at 6 and one at 8, and I wanted to run at 7, so I did the 10 miles solo. It was kind of boring! I’ve been really enjoying running with other people, and I certainly missed it yesterday.  It didn’t feel fabulous, but over the entire weekend, I was in totally “holiday eating/drinking” mode, so I’m not very surprised. The morning was beautiful and a cool 69 degrees.

View along part of the run.

View along part of the run.

 

Proof of Day 1

Proof of Day 1

I got myself up early this morning and ran my ten miles. It wasn’t as cool as yesterday, but besides being super humid as always, it wasn’t swampy. I was slightly achy, which surprised me again, but I got it done. I know my paces pretty well, and my Garmin was registering slower than what I was actually doing. I HATE that. Because I want to be SURE I have proof of my run, I’m also using MapMyRun, and it showed a more accurate time and distance. By the finish, my Garmin was .25 miles behind.

Proof of Day 2

Proof of Day 2

 

 

View on today's run.

View on today’s run.

Tomorrow, I’m going back to the beach and running that route with fellow blogger Paul from Running Wild, since he’s in town for work. Then on Thursday, I’m planning to run up by UNCW and will probably do more of a run/walk thing.  I need to be careful and go slow and steady as I progress. 100 miles in 10 days is the highest mileage I’ve ever done, and I do not want to get injured.  Wish me luck in this challenge and if you want to make a donation, please visit my cousin’s website at http://www.bar2barbara.com.

So on to the tooth story. Yesterday, after riding our bikes around Greenfield Lake that is actually FULL of alligators, we went to our little hangout to have a few beers and well, hang out. The kids get Shirley Temples and I’m totally into Alagash White. We ended up going outside to play cornhole (I don’t know why, but I HATE that name). All of a sudden, my little son said something was poking him in his foot, so he took his shoe off and found….. a teeny, tiny, itty, bitty, little shark tooth. Granted, he was at camp all last week at the aquarium, but the chances of him finding this tooth are minimal, let alone while playing cornhole several days later. I find it fascinating.

There it is, right next to a penny.

There it is, right next to a penny.

I had a very hard time taking a picture of the tooth (it would probably help if I actually knew how to use my camera properly), so this is the best I can do.  Pretty neat, isn’t it!?

Well, hope everyone is staying cool and safe with all these thunderstorms I’ve been hearing about!

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Running For A Reason

Over the course of many years, I have raised money while doing something that I love. I raised $2500 with Team in Training back in 2001 and ran the Disney Marathon. My grandmother had and survived leukemia, so I knew it was something I needed to do in her memory since she WAS the one who got me into running (she passed away the year earlier from heart issues.) I raised $2500 in Sioux City, Iowa, for a local cat rescue that I was deeply involved with, and ran the marathon there in town. The effort in that was titled “Running For a Paws”. I tried very hard to raise money for a horse rescue when I lived in Texas, and honestly, I don’t know if one dime was collected due to my efforts, but I certainly tried.  That effort was titled “Hoofin’ It For Horses” and ended with me running the Houston Marathon.

I love doing what I do (run) and helping others along the way. I will make this very easy, simple, and to the point. Er, I’ll try anyway. My mom heard me talk about a running challenge that I was thinking of doing, but could never decide for sure, so obviously, didn’t start. Then I told all my friends and family that I wanted to help my cousin raise money for Huntington’s Disease (more info on that below).  I said “Would anyone dare me to do something for a donation to the Huntington’s Disease Society?”.  You see, my cousin started a huge fundraiser in Fontanelle/Greenfield, Iowa, called Bar-2-Barbara, that involves, walking, running, and riding bikes. Greenfield is a small town in southwest Iowa 45 minutes from where I grew up and is also where I visited frequently to see my grandma, cousins, and aunts/uncles. It is also the home of the now famous “Freedom Rock“.

The Freedom Rock

The Freedom Rock

 

Bar-2-Barbara started with a dare to do something for money, so after the run/walk/bike ride, she has a “dare show” where she and others complete their dares they took for donations.

cropped-b2b-logo-21

They pretty much do ANYTHING for donations. Some have shaved their heads. Some have eaten ants. Some have had mustaches written on their faces with a SHARPIE.  Well, I don’t live anywhere near Iowa but believe in her cause, her passion, and I want to help. This is the 5th anniversary of her fundraiser, so she’s trying to raise $35,000. And she can do it, too.  So to help me with my goal to help my cousin, my mom challenged me to complete my running dare for $50.  I was also challenged to wear a Gamecock shirt during the Palmetto Bowl this fall. To anyone familiar with Clemson and USC, they have a huge rivalry (I even hear it’s state law for them to play a game every year), and my husband is a HUGE HUGE HUGE Clemson fan AND alum. He’s not really thrilled I took that challenge either.  But I did because it’s just a shirt.  The dare did not require me to actually cheer for USC.  And I’m trying to make a difference.

 

See what people do for money?

See what people do for money?

Anyway, I thought about it a while, and I thought that my challenge is a pretty big one and I think I might need a little more than $50 to get me to say yes. I pondered and weighed my options and thought for a few days. I decided to put it out there to my fellow runners, athletes, and friends. Would anyone else help me help my cousin? I hate asking for donations. Yes, I’ll do it, but I always feel weird about it. So I’m going out on a weird limb for something I believe in. You see, my cousin’s mother was diagnosed and passed away from Huntington’s Disease. Sarah, THE cousin, had a genetic test done and found out she does NOT carry the gene that causes Huntington’s.  She decided to take advantage of that diagnosis and make her mission to help find a cure for this horrible disease. She’s raised THOUSANDS of dollars for her cause. It’s amazing the event that she’s created in a very small town in Iowa.

Sarah with her two kids and mother.

Sarah with her two kids and mother.

So, my friends, I’m asking for you to donate to help me help her. If you decide to make this tax deductible donation, please go HERE (www.bar2barbara.com) and you’ll be directed in how to go about doing it.  THEN, please email me at kellikerk@gmail.com, or comment here and let me know that you did.

Oh, you want to know about the challenge??? Not so fast. I’ll let you know if I get enough donations to go through with it. Deal? Deal.

BTW, during the time I was writing this, I got one additional donation.  Please, come on, help out a runner here!!!! I’m soooooo close!!!!!

Please check out the Bar-2-Barbara page at http://www.bar2barbara.com. Everything you need to know about Bar-2-Barbarba is on the page. Sarah has created an amazing event that I’m hoping to be able to attend next year. Yes, it’s that awesome!!!! I’ve made two videos (below) for her that are featured on YouTube that detail how it all got started as well. Check ’em out!

 

 

 

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