2015: Looking Ahead

This blog is entering its 8th year (I started it in January 2007).  I usually write about goals and such between my birthday (in November) and the close of the year. This is Part 3 of 3 in my 2014 yearly review.

 

5 PLACES I WANT TO GO in 2015picjumbo.com_HNCK2304-40e
– NYC (I would have gone in October, but a race I scheduled there was cancelled)
– L.A. (to be on another talk show like Ellen, Wendy, Fallon or The REAL and be in the audience with my sister)
– EssenceFest*
– Puerto Rico* and/or Hawaii* (these have been on my list for years, as I’ve never done them)
– My hometown (I have not been to my hometown in 12 years, and there is a 15K race I want to do–it was even recommended as a go-to in Runner’s World magazine this month)

Continue reading “2015: Looking Ahead”

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2014 Race Stats

In Part 2 of my 2014 yearly review, I recap my second year of running. Although I ran less overall, I conquered more distances and volunteered more as well. Audiobooks were a great addition to my training, as I usually “lost” my group run members during long runs.

 

TOTAL RUNNING TIME– 70 hours, 14 minutes, 10 seconds (includes regular workouts, training and races)
TOTAL DISTANCE– 354.23 miles
MAX MONTH- January, 51.49
MIN MONTH- September, 10.02 miles (the month after finishing first Half)
RACES RAN– 11
RACES VOLUNTEERED FOR– 4 (HBCU, espirit de She, 13.1 Michelob, and Black Girls Run)
“AWAY” CITIES– 2 (Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill in Boston; Rock n Roll Half Marathon on Virginia Beach)
FEES PAID– $308 (5 of my 11 races were free with my track club membership)
NEW RUN SHOE: Saucony Ride 6 (purple), purchased in April
Saucony Ride 6
Saucony Ride 6
Last year I ran all 5K races except for one 6K. This year most of my races were new and longer distances:
1- 1M (March)
3- 5K (April, Aug, Oct)
1- 4M (July 19)
1- 8K (Feb 22)
3- 10K (New Year’s Day, June 6 and July 4)
1- 15K (January 26)
1- Half (August 31)

My daughter and I wore these cute football race bibs in October
My daughter and I wore these cute football race bibs in October

FAVE BIB – Rise Up & Run (5K) with the Atlanta Falcons, October 18 (coincidentally, my bib number is also my hometown’s area code)

FAVE MEDAL – Peachtree Road Race (10K), July 4

The commemorative 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race medal
The commemorative 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race medal
 FAVE RACE APPAREL – Hot Chocolate (15K) pullover, January 26
Hot Chocolate 15K race packet
Hot Chocolate 15K race packet
I had some elective surgery that will keep me out of winter races now, but in the Spring, look out because I will be back on my feet! I have more “race trips” planned for 2015 including a 15K in my hometown (upstate NY in July), possibly one in Chicago, and A Christmas Story Run (Cleveland, in December).

Continue reading “2014 Race Stats”

The Book is Here! and Making it Personal

Yay! Woo-hoo!

I’ve talked about it in many posts this past year, and I’m so happy to now announce that my new book is finally here! It was literally a labor of love.

Over the weekend, I did an interviews on The Relationship Party, Chat Atlanta and Intentional Life shows where I discussed different aspects of the book and why I wrote it.

Please consider ordering Ending the Blame Game from my website, especially if you want a signed copy and will not be at my launch party this weekend.

Continue reading here.

Chocolate Me!

20140126_083511As the days drew closer to the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K yesterday, my anxiety grew. I was prepared to run the distance (15K = 9.3 miles) because I trained properly and did my first running streak throughout December, but I heard that the parking situation was a mess last year, so I was on guard.

In Atlanta, several races begin and end at major landmarks like Piedmont Park and Turner Field, the former home of the Atlanta Braves. Like the Thanksgiving Day race I did, this race was at Turner Field. And I had received several emails from the race organizers stressing that parking passes were mandatory to park in their lots, but parking space could not be guaranteed if arriving after 6:30 am.

20140124_114452I tossed and turned early that morning, then arrived at the exit to Turner Field at 6:05 am. It took me one hour to crawl around the side streets and finally get a spot. Nerve wracking. And honestly, that was the worst part of the day.  It was 10 degrees warmer than the Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day races, but still cold. For some reason, the 5K started before the 15K (I am used to the longest race distance starting first), so I had a long wait before it was time to stand outside in my corral (15K start time was approximately 8:25 am).

One thing I love about racing is the costumes, the volunteers and the spectators! A lady near me at Grant Park was running with a tutu, sash, and cute headband that said “30th.”  I wished her a happy birthday as we went up that hill.  Next I saw my people, Black Girls Run at a water station.  Later I saw a lady on the sidelines holding a sign that read, “WHERE IS EVERYONE GOING?”  On another street, cars were stopped and a couple of little kids were hanging out of the window giving high fives. Those kinds of sights do my heart good!
Continue reading “Chocolate Me!”

What Have You Done All Year?

I hope you enjoy my yearly review of major events and accomplishments in 2013.

What I Did in 2013

 

Bookish Stuff

Runnin’ Thangs

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Me, feeling exuberant after a 7-miler

I obtained three fitness instructor certifications this year, but I’m proudest of my decision to start–and keep on–running. It was monumental that I even started running in the first place!

Super-quick running summary:

  • Finished five 5K races (four in Atlanta, including a 6K, and one in Charlotte)
  • Total of 425 miles ran in approximately 86 hours (April to December)

2014 Plans include more races: one half marathon in Virginia Beach, one 15K in Atlanta, three 10Ks (one in Brooklyn), and several smaller races in Atlanta. (I am also shooting for a race in Boston and other cities as my budget allows.)

Trippin’

This year I went to Virginia (visiting family and friends), Charlotte (runner’s conference), and Las Vegas (fitness conference).

2014 Plans include trips to St. Louis, Cleveland, and a few cities where I hope to run in races as mentioned above.

4 Big I-Want-To-Dos in 2014

These are listed in the order in which I think will be hardest to easiest to achieve:

  1. Learn how to swim
  2. Learn self-defense techniques (I had a scary encounter while running alone the other day)
  3. Finish a half-marathon (at least one, as mentioned above)
  4. Launch my new book Continue reading “What Have You Done All Year?”

Sweat with Your Sole: Charlotte (Recap Pt. 2)

This post is a continuation of my two-part recap with my impressions of the 2nd Annual Black Girls RUN! (BGR) Sweat with Your Sole Conference.

My last session was “RUN! Safe.” We all know that things can happen to people when they’re out running, especially alone. But criminals look for people who look weak or are distracted before they move in. Two local officers facilitated this session, and they were not only knowledgeable, but HI-larious!  They said that the top two places people are attacked/abducted are in the parking lots of shopping malls and grocery stores. Sometimes they come from between cars, and sometimes they don’t hide–but they ask a question and feign needing help. They use intent and opportunity. You can’t help what another person’s intent is, but you can control their opportunity to harm you. Be assertive and observant where you walk, take someone with you if you can, and run without earphones or only in one ear.

I was with my family in the evenings, so I did not attend the mixer on Friday night, nor the gala dinner with Marion Jones on Saturday night, but heard great things about them both. The expo area was nice, too, but I didn’t purchase any bling.

The 5K & 10K races on Sunday were awesome. What a way to end the conference! I beat my previous 5K time by two minutes, probably because I only took a couple of short walk breaks, and ran most of the hills. I came in 196th out of 1,040 5K finishers, and 2nd in the F35-39 division, which had 9 members (not the same as 2nd place for all divisions, but I did a great job)!

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As always, I got a little emotional when I saw the finish line. 🙂

I wish I could have stuck around to greet my friends who were in the 10K, but I had to walk back to my hotel (half a mile–I passed it twice during the race), freshen up, check out of the hotel and take my sister to the airport for her flight.

The best part of the conference was meeting other runners and getting the chance to hang out and talk with my sole sisters from my local group. So often we run together, but we don’t get the chance to know each other better.

Continue reading “Sweat with Your Sole: Charlotte (Recap Pt. 2)”

Sweat with Your Sole: Charlotte (Recap Pt. 1)

Just got back from Charlotte, NC for the Black Girls RUN! (BGR) Sweat with Your Sole Conference (in its 2nd year). I enjoyed myself immensely! Getting involved in BGR 6 months ago (an awesome running group) has changed my life, my mind, and my body.

I was so excited when the conference and its sessions were announced.  I immediately contacted my sissy, and asked if she could meet me and the girl in Charlotte to serve as my babysitter. She accepted.

Highlights

The sessions I attended were pretty good:
“Speed Training 101” and “Psychology of a Runner” were both presented by the same BGR  lead/ambassador. She won the 10K race last year. In the former, I learned some running drills for the track to help train myself to get faster. I also learned about goal pacing based on running one “give-it-all-you-got” mile after the drills.
In the latter, she talked about figuring out your “why” for running, what type of runner you are, and dispelling myths about running. For example, a few runner types could be A) Pacifier (someone who is forced to run), B) Socializer (runs with peers for the camaraderie), C) Improver (making a healthy lifestyle change), or D) Achiever (a goal-getter). Initially when I began running 6 months ago, I was C, but now I’m also B and D too.

Traci speaks
Traci speaks

My fan-out on Friday was sitting across from Toni Braxton’s sister Traci on a panel about health called “Running From You: Embracing Your Fears, Flaws and Frustrations.” Beside 6 other panelists, Traci talked about how she accomplished her 40-pound weight loss and took questions from us about her family and WeTV’s Braxton Family Values.  Because a lady from WeTV encouraged us to stay for this panel (and I wanted to hear from Traci), I missed the abs sessions I originally signed up for.

 

In the session “Bling Junkies,” my own BGR lead/ambassador discussed how to tame that craving many of us runners have for new gear (or new races). BLING stands for:
B) Budget – prioritize safety and comfort in whatever gear you choose, and make sure it motivates you to run)
L) Local – Consider local races and local running clubs
I) Internet – Use social media and running/sports companies to score free or discounted gear
N) Narrow – Limit the number of races you run. Consider volunteering for some (which might get you into the next year’s race for free or at discount).
G) Give and get – This is all about giving back. Volunteers often get great swag bags (running leads, race volunteers, etc.). Support your local running group and others even you are not a member.

 
I love line dancing, and I got an hour of it in first thing Saturday morning. Who knew that Blurred Lines had a line dance to it?
Come back tomorrow for the rest of my BGR conference highlights and takeaways.

~ TO BE CONTINUED ~