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.”

Continue reading “Looking Ahead to 2016 (The Goal-Getter in Me)”

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.

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”

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?”

Running Scared?

Source: Greatist.com
Source: Greatist.com

I’m still doing the Runner’s World streak with just a few more days to go. It’s pretty awesome, as I’ve never ran more than 6 days in a row before this Thanksgiving. However, sometimes it’s challenging to even complete the minimum 1-mile run for the streak. (Driving several miles to get to a treadmill so that I can run one mile on it?) It has been raining a lot in Atlanta this December, and I’m accustomed to running earlier in the day, although now that winter has set in, it’s colder in the morning than the afternoon.  An incident just happened that made me re-think how I get my miles in when I’m close to home.

The other day, I decided to do this quick 1-miler in my neighborhood before sunset–around 5 pm. It was still daylight and I always in my own neighborhood when I am alone. (Since the seasons have changed, my running group meets at the same times, but it’s always dark outside now and I don’t like running in the dark, even with reflective gear.) When I get literally two blocks from my doorstep, and a bright orange car with three or four 20-somethings rolls up. I notice them as they are about to turn down the street that I am about to cross. They yelled something out the window–I don’t know what. I looked to see who it was and then turned back and ignored them. They turned on the street and pulled over. One of the guys ran and caught up to me, but I didn’t give him a chance to say anything before I told him to leave me alone. He immediately put his hands up almost apologetically, turned around and went back to the car. I’m grateful that no one touched me or did me bodily harm. I also saw a couple running in my direction, so I wasn’t totally alone.

I’m well aware of safety precautions to take, including carrying mace, a phone, ID, and not running with both ear buds inserted. I know some terrible things have happened to all kinds of people while running, from dog attacks, kidnappings, rapes and of course death– but like Beth of Shut Up + Run, I refuse to let a few dummies incite fear in my heart and keep me from doing an activity that keeps me sane.  I learned how to do a take-down earlier this year, but it looks like I need some more self-defense classes.

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 ~

Why Do You Run?

Bibs for my daughter and I to wear on National Running Day 2013
Bibs for my daughter and I to wear on National Running Day 2013

Today (June 5, 2013) is National Running Day.

 

Why I Run

I run to push myself to the next level. I have *never* run in my life until 8 weeks ago, and I see the difference. I also run to have a fun outlet with my daughter, alleviate frustration and other negative emotions, and will continue to run to keep this weight off since I recently reached my goal. Making new friends is a pleasant side effect of this newfound determination I have.

Continue reading “Why Do You Run?”