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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Too Picky? Why Yes I Am, and Proud of It!

As a single woman, sometimes people tell me I am just too picky.  I call it “selective.”

Everyone has preferences, but there are some important situations in which you SHOULD be picky, which I discuss in this video I originally shot on Periscope.  It was inspired by Master Brand Coach Jai Stone, when she said, “I can’t lower my standards to meet your mediocrity,” at an event I attended the day before.

 

Read more: 4 reasons why it’s good to have personal standards

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.  🙂

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.

Join Me During National Journal Writing Month #NaJoWriMo

Do you journal? Does it seem daunting, useless, or just something writers do?
It doesn’t have to be.

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From the NaJoWriMo Website: October 2015 Theme – Unleashing Your Creative Mind Through Journal Writing

I’m a little late to the party, but Bakari Chavanu created NaJoWriMo at the beginning of this year as a practice to concentrate on journal writing for 4 months of the year.  I’ve been an avid journaler since age 11 (when I called it a diary), and back then, I didn’t know that journaling would help me write my first book.

Journaling is for everyone–it doesn’t matter how old you are, what gender  you are, or what you do for a living.

There are lots of reasons to journal. It has nothing to do with whether you have the talent to write for a living.

Continue reading “Join Me During National Journal Writing Month #NaJoWriMo”

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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Help Me Help You: Reader Survey

3CZQ87F245Hey there. Yeah, I know, I’m guilty of neglecting this blog :(.

8 years in, and I don’t know what else to say! Actually, I’ve been working diligently on my new podcast and currently creating a couple of new course and campaigns that I will reveal later this fall.

In the meantime, I’d love to get YOUR input.  What should I talk about? What do you need to know? What are you struggling with? If I don’t know, I can’t help you.

Sure, you can let me wing it, but if you have 5 min to spare, you can answer the questions on my new reader survey.  Thank you so much for helping me craft more relevant content for you and the rest of my loyal audience.

Go to Daree’s Survey