Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Follow-up to Christine's Post

I think Christine makes a great point about the added benefits of running, or just taking a small step beyond your comfort zone. I know it is easier said than done, but once done, the feeling is amazing. Running has done this for both Christine and me.

Something else I feel strongly about is empowering young women and teaching them the rewards of challenging yourself. I happen to think that getting involved in running is a great way to teach young women about self confidence and setting personal goals. I'm not the only one who feels strongly about this, there is an organization, Girls On the Run, that feels this way as well.
In an effort to become more involved in my community, I checked to see if Girls on the Run had a local chapter. Indeed they do, and the same day I looked into this, happened to be the deadline for volunteer applications. I'm all signed up and attending the first coaches training session tomorrow.
I'm so excited to share my passion for something that has been such a positive experience in my life. Towards the end of training for "The Half", I was getting in a bit of a rut with running. So, I hope that as much as I inspire a new generation of running, I get some much needed inspiration from new runners.
To echo the sentiments of Christine's post, take a chance, do something you normally wouldn't do and push yourself and others to be GREAT!

Girls on the Run


My One Year Anniversary!

One year ago today I took a step in the right direction!  After receiving a phone call that I was one of several thousand sales reps being laid-off at Pfizer, I got on the Hal Higdon 30/30 program and started running.  Despite losing a job that I absolutely loved, I kept a positive attitude and found a silver lining (8 hours of free time every day = no more excuses for not working out). Whooo!  I'm so proud of that!  Also, ironically, six hours ago I got a phone call that I'll be interviewing for a pharmaceutical sales job in Atlanta (or HOTLANTA, as I  like to call it) in early February!  Whooo! I'm so proud of that also! 

Les and I have always joked around that we love job interviews ("first dates" as we like to call them) because we love talking about ourselves.  I mean, it may be true, (yeah, we did start a blog about ummm, well, ourselves... hehe) but more importantly, and I think she would agree with me, interviews are all about showcasing your self-confidence, personal drive, and most importantly, stunning good looks.  OK, I'll stop, you're nauseated.  So am I ;)

In reality though, isn't that what its all about?  Showcasing your confidence?  Doing something you're scared to do?  I'll be brutally honest here, I am scared to death of failing!  I also HATE asking for help!  So I'm petrified to fail, but too independent to ask for assistance.  What a great combo!  The point of this little rant is this -- for any of you out there who have self-confidence issues, seriously, RUN.  I can't even explain what running has done for my confidence, self-esteem, and just my life in general. 

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the yoga/running/workout clothing company lululemon (, but they're motto is "Do something everyday that scares you."  It sounds silly, but taken literally, I think we can all put those words to work in our own lives!  365 days ago today, I did something that really scared me!  In the same 24 hour timeframe, I lost my job and then randomly threw caution to the wind and said to myself, "Ok Christine, you have NO job, but one thing you now have is a TON of free time, get your fatasssss up and start movin'! You just might totally succckkkk at this running thing, but darn it, you  have to at least TRY it." And the rest is history!

So for anyone who is reading this saying to themselves "there is just no way I could run ___ miles..."  Take it back!  Take it back right now!  YOU CAN!  Trust me sista, if I can do it, you can!  I've seen several of my friends take up running over the last year and I am SO PROUD of all of you.  I love hearing about your progress, accomplishments, and even failures.  I am so proud of each and every one of you for getting out there and doing something that "scared you."  Because you know what... the best way to gain a ton of self-confidence is do something that you are deathly afraid to do!  Whether it be skydiving, trying a new food, traveling to somewhere you've never been, breaking off a toxic relationship, etc etc etc... we all have our issues... but the moral of the story is that you will only benefit from challenging yourself at a new level personally and emotionally.

And, I can promise you this much, it won't be easy, but you definitely won't regret it :)

xo, c

"IF IT WERE EASY, I'D DO IT!" -- sign on the sidelines of the Arizona Half Marathon ... Les and I were DYING (not laughing, but actually physically DYING) when we saw this sign because the woman holding it was cheering on each and every runner and reaffirming to everyone... its not easy!)

"BEER.  FOUR MILES AHEAD." -- another sign at the Arizona Half Marathon right before the GU station (another section of the run where I thought I just might die while thinking to myself, "oh there he is, there's Jesus, that's what he looks like... great to finally meet ya big guy!") held by a woman and she is cracking up everytime she sees a group of runners look at her sign and laugh.  I'm determinded to make some really funny signs and hold them at the local 5k races around Mil-town. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It’s been a while since my last post. As you read in Christine’s most recent posts, we did it! We set out to complete a half marathon; on January 17th 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona we accomplished our goal. What a way to start out the New Year.

I’d just like to take some time to recap the race to supplement Christine’s post. Like Christine said, the weather was perfect. The morning temperature was cool. It was apparent who the racers from out of state were, especially those of us from cooler climates. Christine and I were both clad in just shorts and tee shirts. Dressing only in what we planned to run in allowed us to avoid checking a gear bag at the starting line.

Shortly after arriving at the starting area, and waiting in line to use the portable restrooms, we made our way to our assigned corral. I could not believe the number of people, but the adrenaline was contagious. About 45 min. after the elites took off from the starting line; we made our way past Sen. John McCain.

The first three miles were a bit weird: how fast should we go? Should we pass the slower runners? AM I OUT OF MY F-ING MIND?

After settling into a nice rhythm, Christine and I were running side-by-side. I remember looking over at Christine and giving her the thumbs-up, an overwhelming feeling of pride rushes over me. That feeling mixed with the adrenaline almost brings me to tears; I cannot believe we are finally achieving our goal.

Things went well for the next 8 miles. At about mile 11, for me the fatigue really starts to set in, mentally and physically. All of the aches and pains are starting to bother me, from my hips, blisters on my feet, and the chafing under my right arm. I never thought I would be so happy to see a man standing on the side of the road with a glob of Vaseline on the end of the wooden stick. Truly a gift from God.

After the Vaseline, some water and gu, I’m feeling reenergized. For the majority of the race I knew that my right shoe was not tied tightly enough and finally I cannot take it anymore. For the first time in the entire race I have to signal to Christine that I need to stop and retie my shoe. I feel horrible because we are so close to the finish and I know that starting to run again after stopping to tie my shoe is going to be hard. Bending over to tie my shoe made me realize just how tight and sore my lower back was, and stopping for this short amount of time made my body scream, throb, and beg me to stop the torture. A few min. of walking loosen my back and I’m able to run again.

At this point we are less than a mile away from the finish. The cameras line the last mile of the race, to capture this moment. Christine and I put on a smile, and Christine even has the energy to wave. (BTW, our pictures turned out pretty well, considering what we just went through, Sleeping Giant on the other hand looks like he is about to meet his Maker in his pictures).

Finally, hand-in-hand we cross the finish line. We didn’t break any records with our time, but we accomplished what we set out to do, and we did it together. We came a long way, baby! We both manage to walk through the snack line and refuel before crashing in the parking lot, not even close to the family reunion center the race has set up to reunite racers and families.

The day after the race, sitting in the car for 8 hours on the way back to Colorado was not pleasant. Tuesday at work I was glad I had no clients because I was still walking like I had a dirty diaper. By Wednesday I was Googeling “intermediate half marathon training programs.” With one half under my belt I can say, ‘This ain’t my first rodeo’ as I line up on June 6th in San Diego for my second half.

Ten Things I learned from this:

1. Don’t let sleeping Giant touch your Ipod pre race. I ran without out my NikePlus because I was fearful of running out of battery, this let me at the mercy of the pace clocks on the side of the race route. Because of this, I think we ran a bit too conservatively during the first half of the race.

2. Arizona is the place to be (December – March).

3. When you think you cannot possibly take another step, put one foot in front of the other and just do it!

4. Make mini goals, this helped me so much. I would pick a land mark I could see, like a street corner or a stop light and tell myself to run to that point. When I made it to that point I would set another mini goal. This made the miles fly by.

5. Start in a higher race corral. There were a lot of people walking the half. We came across several large groups and it was hard to run around them, not to mention wasted much needed energy.

6. DON’T STOP RUNNING! Too hard to start again.

7. Run outside, I did way too much training on the much more forgiving treadmill and my joints were feeling every step pounding the pavement.

8. HAVE FUN! I’m not trying to set any world records, just personal records.

9. Do all the runs on the training plan, those missed miles will come back to haunt you.

10. I have the best most supportive friend in the entire world and there isn’t anyone else that motivates and challenges me to perform to the best of my abilities.

Christine, the pain is gone but the memories will last forever. Can’t wait to do it again in San Diego. Keep on running!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

First run...

First run since the race and I feel good! WOOO! Just 3 miles, but no pain at all and my joints feel great.

I actually took some time today to clean out the bag of stuff that I got at the runner's expo before the race. Fun stuff in there. I highly recommend the GU chews. They were awesome and almost beat out my CLIF shotbloks. Well maybe its a tie. I also loved the samples of olive oil and balsamic vinegar?! WTH?! I had no idea runners needed these things, but they were really tasty with tomatoes and artichokes. YUM!

Anyways, here's a lil quote that I love and I thought I'd share it with all of you little bloggettes:

Have a wonderful day!

xo, c

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Go 'stine and les! WOOOO!

Hi Everyone!

Les and I are back from our blogging break and we are so excited to share our big news:

1) WE ARE ALIVE! Yessssss! We made it through all 13.1 miles!

2) We promised each other we would update this blog more often, so expect to hear from our crazy selves lots more! December got kinda busy with Christmas and everything... blah blah blah excuses!

3) Our next race is... wait for it, wait for it, wait for it... the San Diego Marathon in June! This is another event in the "Rock 'n Roll" series, so we're very excited to get our "special" medal for completing more than one RNR race and very excited to go to San Diego!

Since Leslie and I have known each other, we've always had THE BEST times traveling together. Well last summer marked the "10th anniversary" of fate and destiny colliding -- allowing the two funniest people in the world to meet and shortly thereafter become besties! So, in honor of the blessed event, we decided to take a trip to Vegas in June 2009. As many of you probably remember, the day before I left for the honeymoon suite at the Wynn, I got hit by a car on my bike (on my birthday, mind you!) and became very irritated that I would have to go to Vegas with road rash. Well, to make a long story short, the trip was awesome, road rash and all, and we decided that a yearly trip together would be a tradition that we would continue forever! So, this year, San Diego! Not only will we be going to sunny SD during the week of my birth, we'll also be running our second LONG race together in 2010! I can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday!

Let me give you a short recap of what was the most painful couple hours of my life (please note, I've delivered a child w/o drugs, been in two very serious car accidents and visited the ER for every possible ailment imaginable... I know pain!) followed by the most painful several days of my life! I will say this though, even though this was extremely physically taxing, I don't know if I've ever felt anything quite this rewarding!

We couldn't have had a more PERFECT day to run! The race started at 8:30am with sunny skies and cool temps! If I had to guess, I'd say we started at about 55 degrees and finished at about 65 degrees. As I sit here and type this, I keep thinking to myself "Why did I ever get back on a plane to Milwaukee?! The frozen tundra, of all places!" Ahhh, I digress! So, the weather was perfect! The course? Close to perfect! Aside from some potholes and pebbles, most of the course was fairly flat and easy-to-navigate.

To be totally honest, and I think Les would agree with me... this was hard. However, by the end of the day, we were already planning our next race and how we wanted to train for it. So albeit quite challenging, there aren't any hard feelings towards the 13.1 and we are actually very excited to begin running again soon! Here are a few tips that I came up with for myself:

1) Complete at least half of weekly miles outside. You all know I'm a treadmill junkie... I gotta break this and start movin' where the sun shines! This is definitely doable considering spring is right around the corner. HA! Wait a second, that was Wisconsin just bitch-slapping me. Spring is not around the corner and the sun rarely shines here, but at least the temps will be warm enough for some outdoor sweating sessions within the next month or so!

2) Integrate regular hill-work into my training schedule. I know I make fun of my parents mercilessly in regards to the time I saw them doing sprints up the stairs on Lincoln Memorial Drive, but I think they might be on to something. Maybe next time I'll ask my Dad if I can tag along :)

3) Stay strong with this vegan thing. Every time I "cheat" on my vegan diet (anytime I know I'll be eating out a lot or there won't be many "vegan" choices) and totally overload on dairy, I get a cold and a massive headache. I'm no doctor, but I think I've cracked the code on this one. Bye bye cheese, chocolate and chicken wings... you will be missed :(

I also wanted to give a big shout-out and "thank you" to Leslie's awesome parents who let us stay at their beautiful home all weekend! It was such a great time and I look forward to hanging out with the German clan again soon! They also trekked all the way out to the race site to pick us up and get us home before we passed out! Thank you again for your kindness and hospitality!

Does anyone LOVE San Diego and want to give us some hotel recommendations? So far we love Coronado and the Four Seasons, but we are open to suggestions! Remember, 5 star, this is our anniversary! Gosh! Somewhere with a ridiculous spa and close to or directly on the beach! Leslie's boyfriend Bo is coming along with us, so there needs to be some cool stuff for him to do too! All suggestions are appreciated!

Well, on that note, I'm sleepy and my muscles are still achy... so I'm signing off! Hope everyone is having a great 2010 so far! I know mine is... ;)

xo, c