celebrations, dare to be different

The Extra Bling

What girl doesn’t like bling?

Well apparently the group I travel with is not willing to settle for one medal when they can get another to earn the bonus bling. What’s next….a 5k the morning after!

Sunday was planned to cheer on two of our group running the 5k before we hit the road for our return leg. And then the next not-so-good idea hatched.

The smarty pants of the group read the fine print. The fine print nobody else read because we all focused on the headline….the Marathon. Nope, she read that if you run the smaller race on day two you get a medal for that race and a bonus medal for accepting the challenge.

None of us registered in advance for that. Most of us were sore. Why on earth would we run a 5k? Well, because we are crazy.

Beth, aka Chick 2, sent the email to verify we could register onsite. One by one we agreed this is a very bad idea but we can do it. It’s only 3 miles. That’s a fun run compared to the day before. We pop the Aleve. We whip out the extra set of running clothes. We hydrate again. We giggle.

We have zero preparedness. We grab a quick bite to eat on the way. I got the last bagel at the shop. It wasn’t my favorite flavor but it was a carb and I needed it for fuel. Let’s face it, I needed rocket fuel.

This is us. A group of fit-ish people spending time together making memories. Pain is only temporary, I said to myself. If my calves hurt when it’s time to run I’ll walk. I’ll just keep moving. Isn’t that what life is about? You keep moving through whatever obstacles get in your way.

Port-o-potty time again. Oh, how I hate port-o-potties. They are one of the nastiest places to go voluntarily. You can not unsee what you see inside of them. You can’t not smell the rancid smell that comes with them when the contents are baking for hours in the hot sun. It’s absolutely foul.

Moving on to the race line. The national anthem plays and there is a sense of calm in the air. One by one we line up. We are moved like cattle through the corral. 5-4-3-2-1 time to get this run done.

One mile complete. That wasn’t so bad. 33% complete. The scenery was amazing. A park setting with beautiful trees. Less spectators but off to the streets we go. Houses rich in history. Roundabouts to run. Corners to turn. Mile two was there before you knew it.

Running back to the park you see some running mates. You hear the cheers from friends. The final stretch ends in the minor league stadium. A grand entrance of sorts.

Crowds of people in the stands cheering as run the edge of the field to the finish line. It’s over. We did it. We earned the bonus medals. We didn’t die. Life will continue.

The irony of this story is the bad idea was actually a great idea. The short run loosened us up for the long car ride home. We ran with friends who cheered us on the day before. We did something spontaneous. We made more memories.

The Bad Idea Club is open for membership. Are you ready to join or will you create your own club with likeminded people?

This post series goes out to my tribe. My tribe of strong friends who push through life with me. Thank you for an amazing great story, awesome memories, and adventures to look forward to.

I added some unexpected medals to my collection this weekend. So glad I have friends to remind me to step out of my comfort zone to conquer what seems impossible in the moment. Reflection is key to development. I am always raising my bar to foster my own personal growth.

This post is the third of a series. Be sure to read about the PJ party and the equation post. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.

fitness and nutrition, friendship

3.1 + 13.1 + 20.4+ 20.3 =

A bunch of hard work, a ton of memories and few checks off the to-do list is the sum of the above workouts.

That’s right folks, in seven days calendar days I completed the CrossFit open 20.3 WOD Monday, then went on to complete the 20.4 WOD on Friday just hours before traveling to Savannah, GA to complete my very first half Marathon (13.1 miles), The Rock n’Roll Marathon to be specific. If that wasn’t enough, I took the Remix Challenge and did a 5k as a bonus the following day.

Talk about a wild ride. An adventure to say the least. On my journey I had many of my CrossFit besties competing along side me in the Open but a handful took on the marathon event too. Ten in total hit the road for an adventure.

We traveled as a group and rented a beach house for the weekend. We planned an amazing pj party for the night before the race or that was the original plan. Traffic, dinner, race number pickup and other things seemed to get in the way. Sleep called our names but somehow we didn’t get to bed until close to midnight.

That 4:44am wake up call came entirely too early. “This is a bad idea” crossed my mind several times but I just kept moving with the plan. It was cold. We were tired. It was to be expected, I suppose.

Up way too early to get to the start line. It felt like a marathon before we even started. Driving. Parking. Layering up. Port-o-potties. Hydration. More potty breaks. Anticipation. Warm-up. Giggles. Selfies galore. This went on until we hit the corral At 7:30am and peeled off the layers to literally pound the pavement.

It was .25 miles in the corral, full of excitement with friends and strangers. 13.1 on the road and cobblestone and lots of music to soothe the soul or soles. That 13.1 miles was under three hours but seemed never ending at times. Am I there yet? crossed my mind a few times. Another one down was a level of excitement with each passing mile marker. I can do this!

I’m doing this. I’m almost done. This isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I say that like it wasn’t hard, it was. It just wasn’t impossible. Rather, it was possible and I was the only one who made it possible. This might be the one thing that I learned this weekend about running and myself. I decide. I decide the start and stop. I decide the music. I decide the distance. The duration. The tempo. I am the one that pushes myself over that finish line. My drive. My perseverance. My strength.

The run/walk/jog was a combination of beauty, commitment, community and just raw emotions. Savannah is breathtaking in the scenery department without question. I had plenty of time to be in the moment with the beautiful homes, trees, and community.

I vividly remember a cop at mile 2. He was cheering and giving high fives to runners. He voice was strong and encouraging yet firm and distinct. He made you want to keep going. He said the runners motivate him. That was crazy to me. But I thought about that for a bit on my run.

I also remember running through a small community that wasn’t a well off neighborhood but it had a very populated street of cheerleaders. Strangers cheering on others. I even saw a small child in his Spider-Man suit cheering while holding his mom’s hand. This was simply amazing. They were handing out water to keep the runners hydrated. Would I be out of bed at 8:30am on a Saturday to cheer on a stranger? Another thought to ponder on my run.

6 miles was upon me before I knew it. And I was met there by my three amazing friends. Ali caught my eye first, screaming keep going from a pole if I recall. Guess she wanted me to see her. Kim was snapping pics at the corner and Chris was somewhere nearby. I heard his voice. Just what I needed at the mid way point. Some friendly voices saying keep pushing yourself. These three won my heart for being so supportive.

I can’t leave out the virtual reminders/pushes that were pretty cool. All of our running group put each other in the tracker app. This might have been the best thing next to sliced bread. Chirp, chirp, chirp. I would get a ding every time one of my running mates passed a check point. This was virtual motivation. Mindy was ahead. I could see her pace. I could adjust as I needed to based on how she was doing. This worked for me. I could see Nick. My oldest who was running the full 26.2 marathon on a slightly different course.

Nick was inspiring all by himself. Doing his run his way. Me being able to experience with him from a distance. Talk about a proud Mom moment. I watched him hit the same pace for almost 20 miles. Holy cow he was doing amazing. How could I not keep going. I mean I was only doing 1/2 the race he was.

The chase. The chase to the finish line. I did it. I’m sore but I did it. I met my goal injury- free. I earned my medal and my 13.1 sticker!


This weekend was so full of adventure that I must split my posts. You read my PJ party post, and next I will continue with my bonus medal chasing experience. A series is warranted because this weekend was just that amazing and it’s a story worth sharing.

If you have ever wanted to run half marathon, do it. My tidbits above are only a glimpse of the amazing journey. I chronicled some of my training sessions previously as well. The bottom line is you can do whatever you put your mind to. Plan. Prepare. Put in effort. Repeat. You can make your own memories. It all starts with the sign up form!

adventure, dare to be different, friendship

PJ Party Surprise!

I absolutely could not wait to write this post. For one, it’s amazing and I haven’t even started writing it yet. Doesn’t the picture below indicate an amazing story is forthcoming?

How can this story be so amazing and I am just about to start it? I lived it. I experienced the fun. The crazy. The spontaneity. The friendships. And now I can’t wait to tell the world about it.

It all started with a simple idea. A PJ party. A onesies PJ party to be exact. That morphed into who will have the funniest onesie. Some borrowed. Some new. Some old ones in the mix. Didn’t matter, they were all unique.

A day late on the party but that didn’t matter. There were 2 dragons, 1 fox, a frog, a giraffe, an elephant, a snowman, and a couple I can’t recall. Doesn’t really matter we all dressed up in onesies for fun. And oh, what fun we would have. Everyone played along. They all dressed up. What a sight.

Amidst it all, a surprise was lurking. A “joke’s on me” kind of surprise. An unexpected event. A KT’s bad idea club. They even had t-shirts made. What in the heck. I can’t make this up. My group of fun, fit and fabulous friends were the best at concocting an epic event that I was completely unaware of. They even had an unveiling party within the PJ party.

This crazy crew said my bad idea (marathon adventure) warranted a club. KT’s Bad Idea Club to be exact. The Bad Idea Club guarantees amazing memories. Ha, it sure did on this adventure.

This crazy crew opted for beach photos in the onesies. That was a sight to see in itself. From the strangers giggling as they took our group photo to the comical poses we created in our onesies. As my friend Sarah said, “if you’ve never been to the beach in a onesie, do it pronto.”

I wish I could tell you everything but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, thus I will leave you with a few pics to close out this post.

You can imagine how awesome our beach/onesie adventure was.

Be sure to read all three posts from my marathon series. They are linked but different. I encourage you to read them all for a full visual of the weekend’s adventures.

fitness and nutrition, hustle

Getting My Butt in Gear

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Just a few more days until half marathon time. It’s all about fine tuning and staying as injury-free as possible.

As I make my packing list, here are the most important things I’ll be sporting.

My new AirPods with my “run run run” playlist is probably my most important accessory. A birthday splurge.  I am all about the tunes while I’m running to keep me motivated (and distracted)…I’m lost without music.   I’ve been adding and scrubbing songs for months now.  From Earth, Wind, and Fire to Miranda Lambert, Elton John to Maren Morris, Madonna to Stevie Wonder and everything in between…I think I have about 7 hours of music on my playlist.  Hopefully I’m a little quicker than that!

Paired with my Apple Watch, another birthday gift that I’ve quickly grown fond of.  I love how it connects me to other members of my running group and keeps track of my mileage and pace.  I’m still figuring out all that it can do, but I’m enjoying it so far.

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I’ll admit, I’m building my outfit around the shorts.  I have tried several different brands, but I’m going with one of my pairs of Constantly Varied Gear shorts.  I am a 5″ inseam girl.  I love the comfort of them and don’t forget another key element – POCKETS!

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But which pair to wear?  I thought I would wear my colorful unicorns or mermaids, with my Sunday Runday tank top from Miles and Pace.  But, then I feel pretty unstoppable in my Thunderstruck pair with my Strong Like Bull tank.  No matter which pair, it will be CVG shorts, a tank top, and a coordinating V Sport Bra.  (In a recent update, my thighs  started leaning out in the last month, so it will be a size down plain black pair of CVGs!)

Finally, I have a little belt that I bought years ago from amazon to carry along the essentials – ID, gels, pain reliever.  It has been with me since my very first Peachtree Road Race 4 years ago. Wouldn’t feel like a long race without it.

What a difference from that day four years ago, July 2015. I’ve covered many miles since then.  I’ve shed many pounds and even some bad habits along the way.  I’ve picked up some new ways of thinking (and ok, a few wrinkles).  One thing is sure…it is a long haul, and one I still work at every day.    I don’t really believe in “before and after” shots, but there are definitely differences along the path that are worth reflecting on.

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I have made many changes between now and then.  But I still feel the excitement in this picture…this is a girl getting ready to take on the Peachtree Road Race 10K for the first time!  She is nervous, excited, and joyful all at once.

Here I am again in October 2019, facing something new with a tangle of criss-crossed feelings. The day is nearly here! So exciting! Can’t wait for this time with my running group, finally reaching the start line, when we can make our goals happen.  Pictures, giggles, and fun to follow.  And then, what will the next goal be?

 

 

 

fitness and nutrition, hustle

Rock N’ Roll Time

The final countdown is on. Travel plans are made. We are ready to lace up and run in less than 30 days.

Prep time is almost over. Did we do enough? Are we ready?

Took me several weeks to get cozy in my shoes. Finally got music working on my Apple Watch and AirPods. Still not where I need to be on weekly miles but I am putting in effort.

Working on sprints and intervals each week as the months turn into weeks and weeks turn into days before the big event.

Still trying to find the perfect running pants or shorts. This is what’s making me the most nervous right now. I don’t want to be chafed, period. Time to start biting the nails. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, it’s also time for the CrossFit Open amid marathon training. Why do I always double stack my trainings? Will I be able to handle both?

As the days wind down, the cold feet set in. A few of my running mates are opting to downgrade to the 5k leg vs. 13.1 miles. Each have their own reasons, as I have mine for pushing through. I don’t need to be the best. I don’t need to be the fastest. I just need to get it done. Part of my life lessons to myself come from reaching beyond my comfort zone. Pushing the limits so to speak. If I’m healthy on race day, I’m putting my best foot forward one step at a time. There was a time in my life where a 5k seemed impossible, and I did not only one, but many.

Now is the time for me to see if I can push the mileage up to 13.1 and earn that sticker.

Wish me luck!

fitness and nutrition, friendship, hustle

A Runner’s Diary of Sorts

Training diary for August is below. How am I doing?

CrossFit 6 days a week. No excuses. Well maybe I can take a rest day here and there because life is crazy in general and of course I added running a half marathon into the mix. Always enjoy a sweat sesh with my writing partner, aka Chick 2. I guess lynx barbell gave us a shout out recently…

Extra post-WOD mileage: here and there but I have been so busy that I have had to trim my extra bonus gym time which is where I would get those miles in. Sigh.

Air runner work: did some intervals this month but it’s been extra hot out making two-a-days at the gym pretty dreadful. As you can see, I sent a special # 1 sign to the person egging me on. No photo creds needed. They know who they are.

Weekly group sessions: Sunday Rundays with the girls. It’s tough waking up on Sunday but I do it and it’s great to have likeminded people around to support my growth and push me.

Healthy eating: working on this. Added some 1st Phorm protein to my days to see how that goes in the coming weeks.

Proper hydration: trying to elevate my game here. Trying to lay off the “Ice” brand of water and dial into the more pure form of water! Wish me luck.

Attire: alternating the Nike Air Pegasus and Zoom. So far I like the Pegasus the best. Keeping chafing at bay which is always a good thing. Haven’t found the perfect bottoms for race day yet but I’m trying. I upgraded to the newer Apple Watch Version 4 so I can run without my phone, in hopes music will let me go on for miles and miles. This is what my home screen looks like:

Random rants in the month from the peanut gallery:

You are not running enough. One day day a week won’t cut it. Add in this and that.

You’ve got to build up your distance. Work on your breathing. If you stop and walk do five push ups. Maybe that will make you want to keep running😂.

Guess what people? I’m training. I doing the best I can and I don’t expect to win. I do expect to finish and I’m working hard to hit the goal time I set for myself.

I might fail. I clearly won’t know that until I try to do it. How many people won’t ever sign up because it’s hard? Many. And for that reason alone I am already proud of my efforts.

Until next time…

 

fitness and nutrition, friendship

The Friendship Relays

Six women.  Seven o’clock. Early one Sunday morning.

Six different paces. Six different goals.

One had to be done in 50 minutes.  One wanted to run two miles.  One wanted to run six miles.  Others somewhere in between.

Most, but not all, preparing for a half marathon this fall. Several working on upping their speed.  Some working just to get (back) into running.

An out-and-back course. One endless hill – gentle slope on the way out, daunting mountain on the way back.

How do we do this, as a group?

Meeting early, we parked.  Everyone adjusted their respective technologies…mileage counters, music.  The fast group took off, three in number.  The wide, empty road with generous sidewalks meant we could see them for a long, long time as they took off at an ambitious clip.

One of us, at a moderate pace, moved right along brightly.

I was in the slow, steady tortoise pair with a friend.  We chatted the whole time.  Neither was overly winded.  And before we knew it, a mile had gone by – and then she said, “that’s the first time I’ve ever run a full mile without stopping.”

WHAT A VICTORY!  And I had no idea that was happening!  Such a great moment, and we could still keep going.

She was the two-miler this day, so we turned around and paced ourselves back up the hill.  Once she was back to the car, I took off down again, only to see the three hares flying up the hill together.  The 50-minute limit gal was in that group, and they made the most of it. Screams of KEEP GOING WE’RE ALMOST THERE as they were so close to running to the top! Inspiring!

I plodded down the hill, singing along to the Beastie Boys, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, knowing we had a friend still out on the course.  Over a mile passed until I saw her.  She was working her way back up.  I pulled out my headphones to check in – so hot, it’s THICK out here, I said – then kept moving along toward my goal distance.

Turned back for home, finally. And all I could see was UP.  That hill looked SOOOO long.  I’d be going at it for a mile and a half (a while and a half!)  Endless. And even though I’ve been doing really well most days with just continuing to run, I stopped.

To walk.

And I was so mad at myself.  Just knowing the hill was so long, it was enough to make me walk.  Just for maybe 45 seconds.  Then back into running. Still, though. A mental setback.

One lonely moment.  Grudging, trudging entered my mind.

Then, I turned a corner only to see three figures in the distance, two in dark and one in bright, walking down the hill toward me.

It was the other three women still on the route.  Coming back for me.

In that moment, gears shifted.  Seeing them, I could have run for days.  My stride picked up.  I sang a little louder.  Moved a little faster.

We met and they turned and we finished together, telling stories and giggling.

It IS possible for everyone to meet their goals.  Even if the goals (and the gals) are wildly different.  Even if they seem incompatible.

It IS ok to “take the long way” or to double back “relay style” as part of your path, especially if it means more time with someone you enjoy.  Bonus points if you help them meet their goals, too.

It IS awesome to push yourself to keep up with those moving at a faster clip. Even those who seem the strongest, most invincible among us, have weak points of doubt or moments when they might feel like slowing down.  You could be the voice of encouragement at that moment!  Yes, YOU!

Even if you are done with your work, have met your goal, and completed your task, going back out to help the people still on the trail when you can is a beautiful show of support.  Being last can be challenging, even lonely, even if everyone’s goals are different at the start.  And then next time, when you have to begin again, or turn for home and all you can see is a great big pile of UP, that long hill climb might be a little less daunting, knowing you won’t be forgotten.

Six women. Six paces.  So many fluid groupings, lessons. Challenges faced, goals achieved.  All on one sunny Sunday morning.