5k Update!

So I started to get a little itchy when I was at home.

I’ve been keeping up with all my workouts.  I’ve been spending more time in the gym, and if you live on the East Coast, you understand why.  It has stormed nonstop just about every day since I’ve been home.  But after my visit to Charlotte Running Company, and my discovery of that 5k series about an hour away, I signed up, and there I was! 

First off.  I have never been so late to a race in my life.  I rolled our of my house super early and encountered some traffic due to a, get this, pickup truck that was towing a car.  Rubberneckers almost made me late to my race?  Seriously guys?  So once I got there, I literally jogged to the registration table, snatched up my race number, and jogged down the start.  I don’t suggest this to anyone.  Leave enough time for traffic, for rubberneckers, for whatever may go wrong.  That was stressful, and not a good way to start a race.

So the 5k began, and it was literally the hottest and most humid race I’ve ever participated in in my entire life.

Hot 5k

This is me after the race, looking like a sweaty shrimp. I had to run shirtless, and fantasized about all the things I could drink as I dragged through the course. The air was like swimming through soup, and the fact that I could see Lake Norman along the course, and that I couldn’t touch it, really wasn’t helping.  So we finished, and I stuck around for awards, and found out I won my age group, 25-29, for the 5k.  Cool!

I think for the minute, my thirst to get out of the house and do something competitive has been quenched 🙂

I’m the worst traitor, and runners are the nicest people in the whole world.

So I’m settling in at home.  Still trying to keep up with training, even though I haven’t picked a fall race yet.  And I realized yesterday, as I huffed and puffed through NC humidity, that I’d forgotten any type of hydration back at home in Raleigh.  Dang it.  That won’t work.

So I googled a running place, and slunk in.  Slunk, because I work in running specialty and I felt like such a jerk for being there.  But while I’m there, I may as well check out what they’re working with, right?

I walk in.  Put my Hater Shades on. And…our store looks SO much hotter.  Score.

So I’m trying to find something, anything wrong with this adorable store, none of which is real or true, to make myself feel better about shopping at a competitor.  Truthfully, I went into the store, the Charlotte Running Company, and it was cute, clean, well set-up, and the folks were so nice, even as some of my weird questions about the Hokas they carried revealed to them where, and for whom I worked.   When they found out I’d be in unfamiliar running territory for a few weeks while taking care of my mom, they directed me to where I could run, and groups I could meet up with. Okay, I feel kinda guilty now for being a hater when these guys were so nice.

And no sooner had I walked in the door when I spotted this.


A 13-race 5k series?! Prizes? Uh, where do I sign up?

So I got my nutrition, chatted with the super duper nice folks at Charlotte Running Company, called my little brother, and signed us BOTH up for a 5k.  So tonight will be sibling bonding time – our first family 5k!

What running means to moi.

Yesterday was National Runner’s Day.  So I had to celebrate what’s brought me so much joy, so much comfort, so much much CONFIDENCE, and so much calm.

I can’t say that I’m an incredible runner.  I just love to run.

I dabbled in running a few summers ago, in the summer of 2010, when I took off some of the weight that college put on me.  I was teaching Zumba, and I was interested in this whole “running” concept.  So I didn’t really run, I more schlumped about.  And I continued to schlump as I began my second year of graduate school.  The schlump became more of a jog.  The jog became more of run.  And my first race was a Warrior Dash.  One race turned into many.  Many 5k turned into a half.  And a few halves turned into my first full.

Running means feeling comfortable in my body.  It means I’ve accomplished insanely cool runs that I never thought in a million years I’d be able to.  It means this blog.  And it means this super cool feeling I get when people tell me (as they did at the wedding I was at a few weeks ago,) “I love your blog!  You’ve inspired me to do my first 5k!”

That said, join me in cheering on my little sister!

Kimmy Treadmill

Kimmy’s joined us for our summer streak as she strives to take off a few pounds that Auburn University put on her, with an ultimate goal of doing a 5k in November.  I’m proud of her.  We ate, we drank, and she still had it in her to hop on the treadmill (positioned right in front of Jeremy Lin), and get some milaege in.  Keep it up!  We’ll certainly keep up with you!

Race Review! Run Raleigh Half Marathon!

I think by now, I’ve figured out, that though I work okay without the pressure of a race coming up, I do a little better when I have a race breathing down my neck.

I hadn’t planned to run the Run Raleigh Half Marathon, but a friend of mine decided she couldn’t run it, and generously allowed for me to take her place.  And it’s a good thing, I still have the Nike Women’s Half in two weeks, and it kept me on track with a long run this weekend.  And gosh, I needed that long run.


I have stress dreams. So I dreamt all night that I’d overslept the race. But, my mom’s been sick, and I dreamt that she, on the way to the race, took my hand, and jogged with me to the start line. (One day Mommy, you’re totally gonna do it!)

I ate the breakfast of champs, Nutella on toast with a Gatorade Primer, Rock Taped my hips, and watched Sean T’s hip-hop abs infomercial for a while. (I love for a good infomercial).


I put on my compression pro-tight (rocked my world), and my Brooks mesh tank (doubly rocked my world), and set off for the start line, which was about a mile from my house.


I mean, on the real, how cute is the back of that top?

Okay, onto the race review.  

Run Raleigh Half Marathon 2013:

I give the race an A- overall.  Lemme break it down.

  • Packet pickup was seamless.  Packet pickup was at Capital Run/Walk, a local running store.  I’m more of a Fleet Feet Raleigh girl 😉 but I’d be lying if I said the store wasn’t beautiful, and the volunteers weren’t friendly as could be.   
  • The race was extremely well organized.  I walked to the site, and was easily able to find the start, find the pacers, find out where I was supposed to be, and all that good stuff.  For folks that are down with  Port-a-Potty, there were like a million lined up to start.  Heads up: if you’re driving to the race?   You share those parking lots with a Starbucks, a Rite-Aid, and a Harris Teeter.  What I’m saying is, these businesses don’t love it when you park in their lots, but you’re not shopping.  If you’re driving, park respectfully, or have someone drop you off at the start line.
  • The race started on time.  You don’t know how important that is.
  • The volunteers.  They were the rock stars of the entire operation.  The volunteers were well-trained, friendly, smiling, and handled the water stops with ease.  They were wonderful.  If any of the volunteers are reading this?  Seriously, thank you.  You guys rocked.
  • The course.  Okay, here’s where the minus part comes in.  The course was pretty.  We had home-court advantage, so the hills weren’t a surprise.  We used Greenway (which was so cool!), and the miles just flew by.  Here’s the minus.  There is the rudest hill at 12.1 miles that will have you praying for salvation.  I ran with the 2 hour  pacer, and nearly lost him at that hill.  And my glutes are talking today, they didn’t like that hill, either.

Overall? If you’re looking for a pretty spring race to do? Do this one? Beware of that hill at 12 miles, but other than that, you’re in for a really really enjoyable 13.1 mile ride!  On a more personal note, I’m proud of how consistently I was able to maintain a 2-hour pace, despite a pretty hilly course.  I certainly need to work a little harder, I’d like to hit below 2:00 now, but I’m proud of my work yesterday.

Q: You’re running a marathon? How many miles is that?

First, I haven’t heard from my friend, Kyle from the New York Post.  Kyle, darling, if you’re reading, I’d love to hear from you!  Seriously, let’s talk.

Nextly (that a word?!), onto our question!  I promise you I’m not being silly, and I’m not being condescending, but I’ve been getting this question a whole lot.

photo (5)

So I’m sure you’ve seen these little dooders cropping up on cars.  Do you feel a little confused when you see them? Or the 5k? The 26.2? There’s a whole language you adopt when you start racing, and I’m here to translate it for you.  I’m extremely multilingual.

  • Marathon: 26.2 miles – a marathon isn’t an arbitrary term for running around without a purpose.  When someone says they’re running a marathon, generally, they’re running a 26.2 mile course.  This accounts for those 26.2 stickers and magnets you see on cars.
  • Half-marathon: 13.1 miles
  • 10K : 6.2 miles
  • 8k: 4.97 miles
  • 5K: 3.1 miles

So your friend tells you they’re running any of these? Or you see one of these stickers on a car? Here’s your cheat sheet!

Too fat for your business?

I watch Morning Express with Robin Meade on HLN each morning as I get ready for work.  HLN is CNN’s sensational sister network, and I think I got attached to it when I was like 20, and I had to get up super early to drive out to my internship that was an hour away when I was still attending Elon.  At any rate, I still watch each morning and was part intrigued, and mostly horrified at the story I heard last week.

Laura Smith

The half: So the lovely lady pictured above is Laura Smith.  After training since last fall with both a trainer and a nutritionist, and peeling 47 pounds off of her 6’3″ frame, on Sunday, January 20th, Laura embarked on her first half marathon, the Arizona Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon.  She ran for the American Cancer Society, and was covered in ACS ribbons.  “I actually had to stop by the med tent after the first three miles because I had horrible shin splints.  The doctor took one look at me and said, ‘there’s no way you’re gonna finish if you’re hurting this bad three miles in’.  And I was like, I can’t stop.  You could probably see in the pictures I was covered in ribbons.  And each ribbon had the name of a person who’d died or who’d been affected by cancer.  So I shoved some ice packs in my compression tights.  It took me a little longer than I’d hoped,” she chirped in a cheery voice.  And for a first half, you’d have to admit, she didn’t do too shabby!

The massage:  Laura purchased a Groupon and scheduled a massage at the Natural Healing Center, in Aurora, close to where she lives in Denver, knowing she’d be in dire need following the half.  This is where the story just gets absolutely horrifying.  “We were in the room and I thought she [Dr. Wells] was gonna take me back and say, ‘take off your clothes and lay down, I’ll be right back’.  And we were just standing there and staring at the table.  And I thought, ‘Oh my God, am I gonna be too tall for the table?’ And she [Dr. Wells] just goes ‘I’m sorry you’re too fat and I’m afraid you’re going to break the table’.” (At this point in the interview, I was in absolute disbelief).  Laura went on to say that “Dr.” Wells told her not to worry, that she could call Groupon and get her money back.  And Laura was left to scoop her Groupon up, and leave the facility with no massage.

The press:  So how did this get to HLN?  Laura’d tagged her visit with Wells at the Natural Healing Center on Facebook, and said she was excited to go, still high off her success with her completed half marathon.  When she left (without the massage), she’d also written it up on Facebook.  Some friends saw, and next thing she knew, the center had taken it’s Facebook page down.  And that’s when she said the press came calling. “Fox News got ahold of it.  And if they’d [the massage establishment] called, I may not have spoken.  And now, if they were to call today?  It’s the principle of discrimination.”  Kinda cool to see what the power of social media can do, right?  She got my attention, and I’m not the only one.  She’s been featured on CNN, HLN, ABC, Fox News, and Inside Edition.  And the best part?  The owner of the business claims she never called Smith fat.  She claims she called her “large”.  Cue the side eyes.  “I know what she said,” Laura said matter-of-factly.

Laura 2

Why is this sort of discrimination still acceptable? So Penny Wells isn’t really returning phone calls, and has deleted the center’s Facebook page, and largely avoided the firestorm that is inevitably brewing.  However, in the brief statement that she did make in response to Laura’s claims, she (in addition to essentially calling Laura a liar), also stated that she was concerned because a 165-pound man had broken a table earlier.  Um.  What the frig is wrong with your massage tables if they can’t hold normal amounts of weight?

That aside, why did the owner feel that it was in any way acceptable to turn away a customer (whose money was just as green as anyone elses’) by making a rude statement about her weight, especially in this case where she essentially discredited all the wonderful work Smith had just done in losing 47 pounds, running a half marathon through some serious shin pain, and signing up for three more halves.  It makes no sense.  And just because the owner was discriminating on the basis of Laura’s weight, doesn’t make it any less offensive than if she’d told her, “I’m sorry, we don’t serve women here.  But if you call groupon, I’m sure they’ll be willing to give your money back!”

So I’d like to take this opportunity to commend Laura for not being silent about what happened to her.  It was discrimination, plain as day, and it wasn’t acceptable.  When I told her how blown away I was at how much weight she’d already lost, she responded, “Well…47lbs doesn’t seem like much when you’re 6’3″.  I still have a long way to go.”  Well, whether that’s true or not, you keep up the good work, doll!  You’re gorgeous, and you’re doing a great thing by responding so openly and positively to everyone who’s reaching out to you!  Laura will be in Raleigh next October, so she and I will be raising a glass to her awesome progress.      

New Year’s Weather…

New Year's Weather...

I hope the weather wherever you were was better than ours. Here, today’s weather absolutely blew. The silver lining? Today was one of the first days in a while that I didn’t need to wear gloves on the run – it was warm enough! And I have to admit, running in the drizzle made me feel a teeny bit more hardcore than I normally do.

Music to Move By (Monster Post)

As I was driving home from my parents’ post-Christmas, NPR featured a story on the best songs of 2012.  I was interested because it kinda tied in to this post, on the music that moves you.

Let me disclaim this post by saying when you run or lift, DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT under any circumstance, work with your headphones on full blast.  There are creeps running around who look for folks who aren’t paying attention who would gladly hurt you.  It’s also a good way to get injured – sometimes when you’re listening to your favorite song, it’s easy to miss the first twinge that could signify the start of a worse injury.  When you put your earbuds in, lower it a few notches so you can pay attention to what’s going on around you, kay?

Also, I alphabetized this list for you.  SO MAKE IT WORTH MY WHILE AND READ IT!  That said, this monster post is a compilation of the best songs of 2012, the suggestions of some runner friends, and what I have on my playlist that makes you want to get up and move!

James Brown – Living in America
80s Music – General genre
ACDC – Thunderstruck
Anything by Muse or Girl Talk
Anything from Space Jam
Beastie Boys – Sabatoge
Beyonce – Get me Bodied
Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Diddy Dirty Money – Last Train to Paris
Duran Duran – The Wild Boys
Dyland y Lenny – Pegate Mas
Eminem – Lose Yourself by (The version featuring the Selected of God chorus)
Eminem – Til I Collapse
Eric Prydz – Call on Me
Imagine Dragons – It’s Time
Kanye West – Power
Karmin – Brokenhearted
Ke$ha – General genre
Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
Lecrae – Hands High
Lil Mama – Lip Gloss
Major Lazer – Anything Goes
Muse – Uprising
N.E.R.D – Rock Star
P!nk – Blow Me (One Last Kiss)
POP – French Montana
Public Enemy  – Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos
R. Kelly  – The Worlds Greatest
Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade
Rich Boy – Throw Some D’s on It
Robyn– Show me Love
Sean Paul – Birthday Suit
Soulja Boy – Speakers Going Hammer
T.I – Top Back Remix
Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
The E.N.D. (entire album) – Black Eyed Peas
The first Wu-Tang Album
The Roots & John Legend – The Fire
Timbaland – Carry Out
Wale  – Slight Work, Legendary
Ying Yang Twins – Dangerous

Muse and Eminem are trends.  Get on that, man, apparently these guys fuel a lot of workouts.

One Direction gets their own section on here.  Live While We’re Young is the kind of tune that will take you from 5-15 miles in a matter of minutes.

**As an aside, if you find yourself horrifically bored, try this!

Get the free Pandora app.  The only annoying thing about it is that there are some ads, but when you’re running for like two hours, SafeLite ads don’t seem so crazy.

Set the app to the Katy Perry Station.  You will be entertained for DAYS.  Not kidding, it’s the best!  Kimmy (my dear sister) also says the Big Sean Station is poppin.  Whatever gets you moving, hopefully you’ve added a few new tunes to your list!**

Post-Apocalyptic Run

Post-Apocalyptic Run

As we all know, the world ended at some point today. I think I’m one of the left-behinds, so I decided to do a short, zippy 3-miler before work. I hope those of you who were also left behind will take a moment to behold the horrors I encountered on my End of the World run. Sunshine, perfect temps, and a cool breeze were just a few. Also, if you’re too left behind, I’ll trade you some canned goods for a little donation for my beloved Haiti! What do you say?