Looking Ahead to 2016 (The Goal-Getter in Me)

20150906_155418cIt’s been 9 years that I’ve been blogging off and on (I started this blog in January 2007).  This is Part 3 of 3 in my 2015 yearly review.

 

5 PLACES I WANTED TO GO in 2015–and those To Be Continued…
– NYC (I did that in July, visiting old friends I hadn’t seen in over a decade, and their small children. It’s funny, the last time I saw those ladies, they weren’t moms.)
– L.A., to be on another talk show like Ellen, Wendy, Fallon or The REAL and be in the audience with my sister. I went to the Wendy Show in July, during the trip mentioned above, but I had no luck getting a booking for Ellen during her 12 Days of Christmas where she gives away EPIC gifts that almost rival Oprah’s. I also was an audience member of Family Feud in May, and another show in March called “Fake Off.”

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2015 Race Stats

In Part 2 of my 2015 yearly review, I recap my third year of running, which was my least exciting. I didn’t even do my first race of the year until the year was half over!
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Outside my hotel room in San Juan

Although I ran less overall, I didn’t give into any pressure to run half marathons like my other buddies (I know which distances work for me), nor to run races in town because they’re popular. I sought to do only “away” races (except for a special one, and you’ll see why in a sec.

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This Goal-Getter Got Another One: I’m Now a Certified Life Coach!

I DID IT!Aww yeah! My goal-getting just won’t stop. I have wanted to make my life coaching gift “official” since 2008, when I first became the client of a life coach in New York City. She was the one who encouraged me to write my first book. Fast forward 7 years of personal and professional obstacles and achievements later, and now I am a professional certified life coach!

I earned my certification from the Georgia Certified Life Coach Academy.
I earned my certification from the Georgia Certified Life Coach Academy.

I took my practicum this past Saturday and passed. I am over the moon with pride and gratitude to all of the people who have ever coached me, encouraged me, or supported me in word, prayer or deed.  In my heart I always knew I was a coach; only now have I made it official with all the back-to-back projects I’ve taken on over the years. Everything on “the back burner” is now off, so now my “stove” is empty.  And I will keep helping others reach their goals, too.

That includes you, my dear reader. You have been so loyal. Thank you for continuing on this journey with me. I have a lot more to give and I am ready to serve.

Keep pushing towards your goals! It’s not just a trite cliche; you can do just about anything you set your mind to–no matter how long it takes.  🙂

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.

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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.

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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)

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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).

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