Sunday, December 15, 2013

Digital Running Ambassador

Back at the beginning of 2013 my friend and fellow blogger Kim AKA Barking Mad About Running posted about a Digital Running Challenge.  You had to run 2 half marathons in 2 states in the year and you get a medal.  You know I love bling and I had 2 half marathons in 2 states already on the schedule for March and April.  So right after AllState and April Fools I submitted the times and a short time later I got my medal.




Not too long after this challenge I received and email about a Indiegogo fundraiser to get the web site to the next level.  I of course donated and one of my perks was a free membership for a year.  I was excited.

So what is Digital Running you ask?  Well no one says it better than Brian, the founder of Digital Running.

The mission of the Digital Running Club is to promote running & healthy living with fun, educational content and events centered around the community of digitalrunning.com. We believe that everyone is a runner and we believe in the social aspect of what is generally considered an individual sport. As an online community, we strive to provide instructionsupport and entertainment that will extend beyond cyberspace and into the real world.

Along with the challenges there are so many other wonderful things you get from Digital Running.  There are training plans, experts that you ask questions about everything from running to nutrition to gear.....ect.  There are a few different columns listed on the website from some pretty talented people.  They also have a few Ragnar teams you can join throughout the year and race discounts.  If you are running Disney in January they will be there and there will be a party.

This past summer I saw that they were looking for Ambassadors.  I have never been a brand ambassador but I figured I would give it a go.  I filed out the application and hoped for the best.

Well in September I received an email saying that I was one of the 5 people chosen ?!?!?

YES!
Not only was I chosen but so was Kim!!!  Double YAY!  A week or so ago I received some awesome clothes to wear to my races this year and when I volunteer.  2 tech shirts, a jacket, bondi band and tshirt!  Bad Ass....you will be seeing me in these starting with RnR Phoenix in January!!!


So if you haven't yet check out Digital Runnning and sign up for some challenges!!  We can do them together!!!  What are the challenges?

The Hat Trick -Test your running abilities at multiple distances. Complete any three of the following four race distances and you’ll receive our awesome Hat Trick medal: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon.


The Grand SlamFeeling a bit more ambitious? Run a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and a Marathon in 2014 and you’ll receive the Grand Slam medal! Best of all, your registration in the Grand Slam Challenge includes registration for the Hat Trick Challenge so you can earn both medals.


The Interstate ChallengeRun a marathon or a half marathon in any two U.S. states, any 2 Canadian provinces OR a U.S.state and a Canadian province and you’ll receive the Interstate medal.



So which challenge will you be running with me?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend.

I had 4 races on the schedule for this weekend.  I have done the Thanksgiving 4-peet in the past and it is a lot of fun.  Only difference is that this year it was in the low 30's temp wise. It wasn't snowing, it was actually very dry and clear but FRRREEEEEZZZZZIINNNNGGG.  So when I woke up on Thursday and I was not feeling well I decided that I was not going to just suck it up and go because I didn't think there was going to be anywhere inside and warm to wait and I was right.

This was not how I wanted to start my day.
Instead I slept another hour and then got up to start cleaning and cooking for Thanksgiving.  First thing I saw was FIVE dead fish in my fish tank.  UGH!!!!  I had no idea what happened.  Other than that the day was uneventful and we had a nice night, my mother, brother in law, cousin and his wife came over.

Friday I did get up and even though it was still cold I headed out for the Run your turkey off 4k.  The day did not start well, I found 2 more dead fish in my tank THEN I forgot my watch and chapstick.  I thought I could get more chapstick on the way but forgot my wallet too..... ugh.  I checked in and was happy to see a bunch of friends there.

Me  & Joe

Ladies of Team Chris & I
(I missed getting pictures with my IGR's)

The race started late and I was trying to use my Nike+ since I forgot my watch but my music wouldnt play so I had to stop to mess with it.  BTW The gloves with the pads so you can use a smartphone are BS.  I finally got it up and going so I took off.  It was cold but once you were moving it felt good and it was a nice and sunny day.  As I came around the final 1/4-1/2 of a mile I really wanted to walk but there are students lining the course cheering you on as you enter the HS track so you just can't stop there.  Also Jennifer and Jennifer had both finished so they were there cheering me on for my final sprint across the finish.  With a 2:27 min PR thank you very much :)  I know it is just a 4k but I will take it, as it has been a long time since I got a PR at any distance!  I got to hang out for a bit as both Jennifers and Kate placed in their age groups.  After I rushed home to figure out what was up with my fish.  I think that some uneaten food that had gotten under some decorations started to rot and raise the ph in the tank to a dangerous level.  I decided to just get a new tank and hope the last catfish and 3 frogs would make it through the transition.  I headed out got a new tank, decorations and water treatments. 

Lucas Approves.
Saturday's race started at 11am....LOVE THAT!!  It was still chilly but not as bad.  This was a trail run that I had not done before so I did not know what to expect.  I made sure I had everything and headed out the door.  Met up with my IGR ladies got a picture and headed to the start.  This race was a late start too...WTF?  The course was tough I am not going to lie but trails are a nice change. 

It doesn't seem steep but it was and there is a log at the top to jump over.  We did this TWICE.
 
It kicked my ass but I had fun towards the finish.  My friend Jeff takes MANY MANY race photos and he was there.....I decided to show him some love :)

Photo Credit Jeff Littwin
I had a tattoo appointment in an hour so I had to haul ass out of there with the late start and my 38 min time I was pushing it.  One last picture and I was out. 

IGR ladies - Photo Credit Jeff Littwin
I actually got home, showered and got to the tattoo shop in time.  My friend Regina did some more work on my ally flower and rainbow.  It goes around my elbow so it was super painful and no I couldn't finish LOL.  I hate how much they hurt.  I just like how they look after.....kind of like running.  I hate it during but love how I feel after..... Oh and since many asked what an ally flower was, it is to proudly show my alliance with the LGBTQ community.  Straight Ally



Well then came Sunday......I am still laughing about this.  I got up on time, got out the door on time, remembered everything, found a good parking spot, not line for bathroom or check in....such a good day.  Well I had about a half hour until the start so I headed to my car to wait.  As I was sitting there playing a bit of Quiz Up - my new addiction.

if you play let me know!!

I heard announcements but they were muffled as I was in my car in the parking lot.  I looked at the clock, just about 9:15, I had 15 more minutes, right? ...... the answer to that my friends is NO.  I heard the horn and was confused.  I figured it must have been the kids run, wait there was no kids run....I looked in my rear view mirror between the cars and saw people running.  I hopped out of my car and ran across the parking lot, I saw someone walking and asked "Did I miss the start?"  He looked at me strange and said Yup.


As I saw the runners disappearing into the woods I took off running TOWARDS the start.  I decided half way to just cut the field and catch up to them.  All while trying to plug my headphones in.  I didn't even think to hit my watch until I got to the woods.  *headdesk*  I stopped just to get my headphones in and took off.  I started passing people and I won't lie I started to feel better.  Then to my surprise I met up with my friend Jessica.  She is a coach for Rolling Thunder which is an amazing program here on Long Island.  I was happy to see her and decided to stick with her and Mikey for the rest of the run.  As we all know I would rather be with people then alone on a course any day.  We had fun and it was great to see Mikey charge across the finish line!!  I also found out my friend Laura was running so I got to see her cross the finish line and chat with her and Keith for a bit, we used to run together all the time but she chose Deck Hockey over running for awhile

How I felt about her choice.
When I got home I decided that since it was World AIDS Day I was going to do what Bill Ransic did for the NYC Marathon.  (He started last and Timex donated $1.00 for everyone he passes)  Well I passed 22 people so I donated $50.00 to amfAR.  I figured something other than a funny story should come out of this weekend. 

Sooooooooooooo how was your weekend?  Any running?  Funny stories?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Annapolis Half Marathon

I wanted to do one more half marathon in 2013 but I didn't want it to be too cold so I found one in Maryland at the end of November.  It also had a 10k so I knew I could get Gabby to run at least part with me.  I posted I was doing it and found out Susan, Danielle and Dawn were doing it too!!  BONUS.  I flew out after work on Friday and Gabby grabbed me at the airport.  We went straight to Annapolis and checked in.  We grabbed food and the girls met us back at the hotel.  Susan thankfully got our packets.  We all laid out our outfits and got to bed early.  We had to be up super early!!



I knew it was going to be cold but I needed to have my Dr Who shirt.

We were up early and it was FREEEEEEZZZZIIINNNNGGGG.  We got to the race location pretty quick and it was nice and small.  The start was right in the parking lot.  We hit the porto potties which were DISGUSTING.  The smell could knock you down and there was no toilet paper.  We went back to the car for a bit then headed to the start.  It was a nice and small race so we were across the start in about 5 minutes max.  

Gabby and I were going to be able to stick together for the first 5 miles.  The first mile or so was around the area where the race started but then it headed across  bridge to the cute part of Annapolis.


This is the woman who sang the national anthem for the race and she was having the best time smiling and taking pictures.



Not too long after this was the first water stop HOWEVER...they were out of water.  Luckily it was not hot out but the cold and wind made it very dry.  We ran through the main area of Annapolis and there were maybe 5 spectators total....what the hell is up with that.






At the end of this area there was finally a water stop ....with water imagine that.  The course did a few little loops and parts when you run down a road to a cone and come back....strange but one part about this that I like is you see the other runners.  We saw that woman from the bridge and I found this picture on her Flickr.

Photo Credit Flickr set of WebSphinx
We headed back over the first bridge and it was time for Gabby and I to split up.  She got to go left and finish and I went right to go to all the hills.

Photo Credit Flickr set of WebSphinx


 I put my headphones in and decided to try and make up some time but not go crazy and burn myself out.  There were quite a few surprises.  I am not sure why I never thought about hills but there were a bunch.  I walked up them usually but took advantage of the downhills!







Miles 7-9 were down and back on a side street.  It was pretty and I got to pass Danielle and Susan.  

Photo Credit Flickr set of WebSphinx

Photo Credit Flickr set of WebSphinx

I was feeling pretty good until mile 12, that last up and back on a street and then through the parking lot killed me.  I crossed the finish line and got my medal and space blanket but NO WATER again.  I had to go to the tents to get way underripe bananas and water.  I grabbed my race shirt and socks and sat down in a bus stop enclosure.  I checked my splits and was pleased to see how much time I was actually able to make up.

Gabby got pictures of Susan and I crossing the finish line.








The half way mat was at mile 7 not at the half way mark but still send half was 20 min faster!

No mad at the fact if I didn't stop for pictures I would have been closer to 2:45

I told you there were hills in that second half!!!

Happy I got the average back under 13!!!

The professional pictures were posted today and I actually liked them.  I ordered some so I am OK with posting these screen caps of them.





I loved doing this race with my friends but there was a lot about this race I didn't like.  The course was silly with all the turn arounds, it was over ¼ a mile long and apparatnly as posted on their Facebook page cones in one of the turn arounds were wrong.  Running out of water is never acceptable especially at the the finish line.  The medals and shirts were the same for both races (not a huge deal but still) and more/cleaner porto potties WITH toilet paper. 

After we got back to the hotel and showered Gabby and I headed back to Rockville where she lives.  We got some Silver Diner and then went back to her place to hang out and watch a bunch of episodes of Psych and it may be my new favorite show.


The next morning we got up, hit Starbucks and I headed home.  I was through the airport and home in 3 hours total.  Southwest and LIMA are better than any other!!!  This was the last long race and race to travel for until Phoenix in January.  I am looking forward to the local 5ks I just wish it was going to be more than 27 degrees LOL.