Announcing My Self-Publishing e-Course Launch!

Intensive and ecourse FBI’m very excited to announce the launch of my brand new self-paced e-Course, So What’s Your Story today!  For this “grand opening,” I’m offering a special $50 promo to anyone who registers for the course with the code SWYSLAUNCH (this week only)!

Need course details? Check it out here.

Please share with a friend who has always wanted to write a book about their life. And as a special bonus, if you both register, I’ll give YOU an additional $25 credit as a big thanks for your support.

Running Like a Diva in PR (But No PR)

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Yesterday was the first time I ran in Puerto Rico. It was also my first race in the DIVAS series.

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I arrived in San Juan on Saturday evening, but many members of my running group arrived on Friday. I had a friend pick up my race packet for me since I was arriving late. They told me that the race expo was not memorable and that there were not as many vendors as in years past. I didn’t get any goodies in my packet but and the ones that others received were very inconsistent. One lady got a really nice lip gloss but no one else did. Some other people got chocolates and then that others. It was just kind of random.

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About 30 members of my running group participated in this race. We took a group photo before the races began. Many of them did the half marathon (13.1 miles), but I stuck with the 5k (3.1 miles), even though that distance is not a challenge for me. I would have preferred a middle distance but I wasn’t trying to “upgrade.” My cell phone did not update the clock, but clocks in Puerto Rico showed the time as 1 hour later than Eastern Standard Time, because PR does not participate in daylight savings time changes. So my body thought I was getting up at 4 am and I am not used to that.

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The half began at 6 am, and the rain began just before the 6:30 am start of the 5k. It was light, off and on, for the duration of both races.

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Because of the rain from all week, there were a lot of puddles and the roads were not flat and smooth. Therefore I spent most of my time looking down to make sure that I stepped correctly. Of course there’s always the issue of people walking two and three abreast in various parts of the crowd instead of moving to one side which is common courtesy, but I enjoyed myself and did not try to set any records (I knew I wouldn’t PR in PR). When I saw interesting things I slow down to a walk so that I could get pictures.

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Just before the finish line shoot, volunteers handed us feathered sashes and tiaras. You had to stop running to get them before you could finish. It was a little awkward and somebody pushed me hard after she got hers to get around me to the finish line.

After the crossing the finish, shirtless men in shorts passed out the medals. Then I met a friend of mine that also did the 5k and got a few snacks. We took pictures by the water and then went to wait for our friends across that we’re doing the half. When the last one came about, we joined her to run the last mile with her, back to the same finish area. It was very humid!

There was a post race party on Sunday night, but I just walked by to see what was going on. There was music and dancing and people sitting around. I was just tired because I had not gotten enough sleep for the last few days. I did a wise thing by sharing a room at the host hotel, even though it was very expensive. I wish I could have stayed in San Juan a little longer but I had to get back to my daughter who is still in school.

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What I do this race again? No, because I don’t repeat races.  I would only recommend the race for someone who doesn’t mind running in the rain on uneven pavement in a beautiful and scenic city.

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Bacon Run – Quick Race Recap

IMG_20151010_075012On Saturday I did my first 5K of the year, which was also my first local race of the year, and a fun run: The Bacon Run.

It started at ended at Jim Miller Park in Marietta, GA, where the Georgia State Fair is held. I heard about it via Living Social.

It was raining when I awoke, but it stopped before I arrived at the park. I was so sleepy because I always get excited and anxious the night before, and I can’t sleep well.

The race started at 8 am and plenty of families were present to run for bacon.

The course was a simple out and back loop with some hills (par for the course in the Atlanta area-no pun intended), but nothing major that threw me off guard.  We had to dodge some puddles but the air felt good for a run.

IMG_20151010_085540I’ve done 19 races thus far, but this race hosted the best variety of post-race snacks I’ve ever had, hands down!  My plate had Zaxby’s 5-piece fingers, Bojangles bacon biscuits (halved), chips (a little stale), cookies,  bananas,  powdered mini donuts, and PLENTY of bacon plates!

Despite the weather, I saw kids, grandparents and even dogs enjoying this race.  Whether you are a seasoned runner or a newbie, I feel good recommending this race. It’s a great fun run for the whole family.

How Do You Rock? Chicago Women Rock Race Recap

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Chicago Women Rock was my second race of 2015, but the first all-womens race I’ve ever done. That is really light, considering I used to run a race just about every month. But I’m making changes to my racing budget and doing more things with my business, thus racing is not as high a priority. I volunteer for races sometimes locally, as Atlanta is never short on a race. But I now prefer to do mostly destination races instead of repeating the same ones locally. So I headed to Chicago on the eve Chicago Women Rock, which was held on Saturday, September 19.

 

EXPO

 

I arrived in Chicago 4 pm the day before the race. It was gray and had just started raining when my flight landed. It rained very hard, almost nonstop until just before my 10K started the next  morning. Traffic was horrible, and I had a slight ordeal at the rental car office, but thanks to Google Maps, I finally made it to the 63rd Street Beach House on Lake Shore Drive about 40 minutes before the expo was to close.

This was the smallest expo I’ve ever seen. I only recall a few vendors: race tees & socks, Nissan and a company selling pretty headbands. I went to the back of the hall to find the table set up with volunteers handing out jackets and bibs for this race as well as the Monster Dash 5k.

A lady in front of me in line was kind enough to tell me I had to know my bib number to pick it up. Well, I received exactly two emails since I registered, which were the automatic confirmation of my payment back in July, and a promotional email 2 days ago about a different race. She said I had to go to the organizers website (Team Ortho) and confirm something to look up the bib number. Turns out they found my bib using my name, and handed me a small envelope with the bib and safety pins. On the back were detailed instructions about placing the chip on your shoe, but it was the bib that had the timing chip. There was nothing in the packet about where to park, start times and locations, Porta potty/water stations–zip.

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I got in a second line to pick up my awesome jacket. Let’s face it, that was the last influencing factor in me flying my fam to the Chi to run in the cold 🙂

Then I went to find someone who I could ask a few questions about race logistics since none were in my packet. Parking is what causes me the most anxiety the night before a race in an unfamiliar city, so I made sure I had that info.

It ended up being a long evening driving in the pouring rain, so I had McDonald’s as my dinner around 10 pm and only slept about 5 hours.

 

RACE DAY

I headed to the race with my fam early and arrived around 6:20 am. Another race was in progress (probably the full and/or the half) but thanks to my sister’s disabled parking tag, we were able to find a spot in a lot across the street from the beach house and near the pedestrian walkway without circling. I paid the pay station $2.25 for 3 hours with my card. However some folks struggled because the signs said it took coins, but would not accept them. Pay stations aren’t the responsibility of the race organizer, but parking logistics factor into the race experience, so to me, it’s worth mentioning.

Sitting in the car without it running, we weren’t cold. But as soon as you opened the doors, you couldn’t hide from those gusty winds. I shot a few brief Periscope videos as I approached the start line and waited, but I stayed cold until about mile 2–including my hands. It was about 61 degrees, so I was surprised.

image Continue reading “How Do You Rock? Chicago Women Rock Race Recap”

Kickin’ It with Daree – New Podcast Launches Next Week!

I’m excited to announce my big launch for this year–and this time, it’s not another book. I love writing, but I can only focus on one big project at a time.  I’m switching gears to use my often-praised chops to bring you another phase of my personal development brand.

It’s a new talk show, delivered as a podcast.

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So many friends (as well as people I’ve only met once), have complimented me on my voice and recommended that I do voiceovers, record audio books, or get into radio. I have researched all of the above, but podcasting seems to be the thing for me right now.  It’s pretty inexpensive compared to the others, without a lot of gatekeepers blocking me hoops to jump through to get started.

Some of the topics I cover on the new Kickin’ It with Daree podcast are things I’ve discussed before on this blog.  Show topics will center around life coaching, personal development, personal growth, faith and the fun, candor & silliness that is me.

My aim is not only to expand and build on the platform that I began with my books, but also to will offer practical resources and real advice that will inspire listeners to improve relationships, develop themselves, and better handle everyday situations and stressors. Each episode will provide food for thought, tips and strategies they can implement to foster personal growth and development, and live a life with more fulfillment.

You want to know what’s really awesome?  I’m launching the show on August 4, 2015 with not one, not two, but three full episodes, each featuring full guest interviews! I recorded nine episodes so far this summer, so I’d have plenty of content for my loyal and new followers.  Once the show launches, I’ll post show notes here in brief, and on my website in full.  Once the show launches, the best way to ensure that you don’t miss an episode is to use your player or app of choice from iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher, search for Kickin’ It with Daree, and Subscribe.

My Homecoming Race – Boilermaker 15K Recap

Downtown Utica
Downtown Utica

20150711_163340I grew up in Utica, NY from age 3, and not fond of it overall. In spite of this, I decided last year that I wanted to go back to do the Boilermaker 15K. I haven’t been to Utica since my daughter was a newborn 12 years ago.  My mom was my last family member to move South with us in 2004, so there’s been no compelling reason to go back.
The Boilermaker 15K is the biggest 15K in the world, and takes place on the second Sunday of July (July 13, 2015 is the 38th annual event).

 

Training and Prep

I started the Hal Higdon training plan at the top of May, simultaneously doing T25 Beta round for the first 5 weeks.  On July 4, I had nothing to do (I did the biggest 10K in the world last year, Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race) and since it poured all morning, I decided to make it a rest day instead of my usual long run day.  I’ve never done more than 3 miles on a treadmill and didn’t want to then, either.  So I spent the entire morning reading race recaps to add to the hype I was feeling about coming back home to run a race I heard about all my life, but never cared until I became a runner.

New York Travels

In front of the Manhattan Bridge
In front of the Manhattan Bridge

A few days later, I flew to NYC to hang out and visit friends before heading to Utica for the big race weekend.  I had not seen these besties of mine in 9 and 18 years respectively!  And my visit meant that they got to reconnect too (they are mutual friends and each of them also have very young children.)

It was awesome to run in the Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan–I did a quickie shakeout run a couple of days before my race.  I would love to run in the park without crowds and street lights, so maybe next time I can plan better for that. (It was kinda cool to sleep in an apartment with a fire escape. I imagined I was in a real-life episode of Blue Bloods with Donnie Wahlberg.)  I don’t know if I’ll ever get to run a race in one of the five boroughs.  I prefer races under 10K anywhere, and when traveling, I like Saturday races better than Sunday–so we’ll see.

When I took the train to Utica, I spent some of that time editing a couple of my forthcoming episodes of my forthcoming podcast (next month!), Kickin’ It with Daree.  I’ll talk about that more in another post soon.

Continue reading “My Homecoming Race – Boilermaker 15K Recap”

My Encounter with Heartbreak Hill

IMG_0551Sometimes I like running more when I’m not doing it. 🙂

Enter Runner’s World magazine. I read each issue from cover to cover, usually as soon as I get it. And of course, it’s chock full of race ads and recommendations. So when I first saw that RW was going to have an inaugural race in Boston, I was stoked.  I started running a few days before the marathon bombing in 2013, and I have some special friends there. So I when I made my 2014 race calendar, Heartbreak Hill (HH) was a firm fixture on the list. I chose the 10K.
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The expo was at the Silvio Conte Forum at Boston College. Bib pickup was well-organized, in the hallway outside the Forum, while the main floor had the vendors and the area to pick up your tees. I think I was spoiled at a previous race because I was able to exchange my hoodie for a different size–not so here though. Thankfully I actually picked the right size– it just looked too small in my hand.IMG_2928

I got in a short line to take a picture for a mock RW mag cover, and then popped over to get a branded tank. The weather report was looking good for the weekend, and I wanted to be cool and comfortable for those hilly 6.2 miles. Continue reading “My Encounter with Heartbreak Hill”