Category Archives: Ragnar Relay SoCal

I Guess it’s Time for a Real Recap

I’ve been slacking in the blogging/Ragnar recapping department this week so I figured it was finally time for me to get on that. All the fun pictures and excitement from last weekend can be found here, but now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and not-always-pretty details (I’m so clever, huh?).

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After meeting up with the rest of Van 2 around 7AM, we headed to the first major exchange to await Madison. It was already really warm out when Ashley headed out for her first leg – 8.8 miles. She wasn’t feeling great thanks to the heat, but she knocked out that leg like a total Rockstar before handing off to Linzay.

Linzay was a total champ, covering one of the hilliest legs of the race and it was just about noon when she handed off to me in Corona. By the time I took off on my first leg of 4.9 miles, it was close to 90*. In any other situation, 4.9 miles would be a breeze that I could easily knock out at a 9:30-9:45 pace, but this was far from my normal comfort zone of running in 60-70* weather.

I immediately felt the effects of the heat combined with my lack of actually fueling for this run. I guess half a Krispy Kreme donut and a banana don’t exactly work as well as my normal PB-Toast breakfast. But it was tasty.  My first leg ended up being a sad, slow 11:55 pace for 4.9 miles. I was taking in lots of Nuun but it was so hard to keep drinking as my bottle was downright hot, and hot Strawberry Lemonade doesn’t taste fantastic when you’re running in 90* temps. I felt dizzy and my face was cold which I knew was not a good sign. I also felt SO defeated because I know I am so much better than such a slow (for me) pace. It didn’t help that I got stuck at two horrible stoplights, including one that was almost 4 minutes! The other runners and I were sharing water and spray bottles and it was so great how everyone was working to lift each other’s spirits. I ended up running the last mile and a half with a girl in a tie-dye shirt from Chino Hills but I totally forgot to get her name. She was so nice for sharing her water though!

I initially thought I ‘d be running my second leg around midnight, but because of Satan’s Death Legs from Hell (aka all the legs through the boiling hot Inland Empire) we ended up a couple hours behind and I set off for leg 2 at 2:00AM all decked out in my stylish reflective vest, headlamp, reflective BIC Band, some killer knuckle lights (which really made the run way more fun) and about 30 glow sticks.

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This leg went MUCH better. Let me just tell you that running through San Marcos at 2:00AM while strange dogs are barking in the yards around you keeps you VERY motivated to stay as close as possible to the person in front of you.

3.8 miles in 36 minutes. Much more my style.

Luckily, after Elisabeth finished her 2nd leg we had a few hours to get a little sleep. Ashley and Phil live just a couple miles from the final major exchange so they were amazing and let all of us crash their apartment and get a couple hours of rest before we had to be up and running at 8AM. They also let us all use the shower which felt AMAZING after running and sweating and sitting in a van all day. Best shower ever.

I set out for my final leg of 11.1 miles at noon on Saturday and that’s where things went all kinds of wrong. The first 4 miles were ok. I had to stop to pee and my legs were sore and my body felt exhausted but I held a steady 10:30 pace despite the stop and the headwind for the first 3 miles. At mile 5 I saw my team waiting for me, but little did I know I also had the biggest beast of a hill ahead as well. Sharon was amazing and paced me up half the hill and basically talked me down from the “I hate this and I hate myself for doing this” ledge. If it weren’t for her I probably would still be curled up in the fetal position at the bottom of that mountain.

The second half of the hill was… interesting… Basically this was my view for half a mile:

Those would be Ragnar temporary tattoos on his cheeks. Yep. Half a mile. Uphill. Staring at THAT.

I finally made it to the glorious downhill and I was tired but trucking along just fine. I did start to notice that I hadn’t seen any Ragnar signs in a while but I was following closely behind Man-Thong and tons of other runners so I really didn’t think too much of it.

Around miles 8 is where the fun really started. A bunch of runners I had been following about 1/4 a mile behind all of a sudden came running back toward the rest of us yelling that we’d gone over 2 miles out the wrong way. Commence mental breakdown. I was so sore and so tired and so beat up over that damn hill that I just couldn’t hold myself together. I called my team practically in hysterics and told them what happened. Luckily, they swung by and picked me up, fed me some water and goldfish, and got me back to the road where I should have been.

By this point I was verging on tears. I really felt like I’d let them down and I felt HORRIBLE. But they put me backed together and Ashley was the sweetest thing ever and busted out the final 3 miles with me. She pushed bums out of the way, yelled at moms with strollers to move, and pretty much paved the way for me to survive those last few miles. Champ.

13.13 miles – 10:45 pace. Eh.

I was so relieved to hand the wristband off to Erica at that point. She rocked her final leg and Elisabeth held strong to bring us home to the finish line. It was such an amazing feeling to be done! Driving home was exhausting but coming home to my sweet boyfriend with champagne and flowers was so worth it. I definitely broke down a couple times during the week (after plugging in my Garmin and seeing some pretty dismal numbers), but I wouldn’t trade the experience for ANYTHING. We all ran in the heat, we all hit horrible hills and we all had to pull through and tough it out. I am so inspired by the performance of my teammates and I’m working even harder to become a stronger runner so that one day when I do another Ragnar I can feel as proud of all my legs as I did of my 2nd leg this time.

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Seriously how cute are we? That’s after 41 hours awake and only 3 hours asleep BTW.

So in an effort to become a stronger, faster runner I’ve recruited a new running buddy that pushes me a little more:

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We had 2 great runs last week and I think if I keep running with him I can be busting out some consistent sub-9 paces on the reg Winking smile

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No more double-digit mile paces for this girl. Time to get fast. Pinky-proms.

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The Best 203.5 Miles Ever

Holy smokes. I can’t even begin to describe how incredible-amazing-fun-awesome-exhausting-exhilarating-rewarding this weekend was. Ragnar was without a doubt the best experience of my runlife so far.

Since words really can’t do it justice I am just going to let the pictures speak for themselves right now and I’ll get some real recaps up soon. Enjoy!

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So Much Cooler Online – Van 2 (That’s the molecular formula for caffeine!)

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So much tweeting took place this weekend!

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This may be one of the only times you will see 6 girls fit all their weekend outfits into just 6 backpacks.

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Some love for our sponsors – Nuun kept us hydrated in the 110* heat index through the IE and PROCompression and Aspaeris seriously saved our butts (and legs, calves and hips). Huge thanks to BIC Bands for keeping our hair in check, and Running Skirts and Run Pretty Far for keeping us looking cute even when we were sweaty, tired and hadn’t showered in 2 days.

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Cheering on the runners while Ashley takes on her first 8.8 mile leg in the INSANE heat. This was only 10AM and already over 80*!

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Ashley downing the water we brought her – she was a champ on this leg! She was feeling sick from the heat and still managed to bust her butt and run hard.

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Sharon, Me, Ashley, Linzay and Elisabeth posing and looking purdy in our Run Pretty Far tanks while Erica tackles her first leg.

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One of the many odd signs in Corona.

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Just a little foam-rolling and thunder-sticking out on the sidewalk. NBD.

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Rocking my reflective safety vest and BIC Band (and a few – or 20 – glow bracelets) for my night leg. I ran 3.8 miles in 36 minutes at 2:00AM! (in my exhaustion-induced haze I accidentally wrote 4.8 miles – um I wish! Maybe one day I’ll run that fast!)

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#SMCOL Van 2 with our driver/map-reader/hydration-expert – Ashley’s BF Phil.

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Porto lines! A kind lady shared some TP with me and Linzay because they were all out by 8AM on Saturday.

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A seagull with a whole bagel in his mouth.

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Ready to run our final legs of the race after being up for more than 24 hours.

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Our home for 35 hours of running.

I cannot say it enough – this experience was INCREDIBLE. I wish I had more pictures of the girls in Van 1 but I was lucky I could even find my camera half the time in the van – let alone remember to bring it to the major exchanges where we saw them. I’ll link to everyone’s blog again at the end of the post so you can read their recaps and see their pictures. Our team came in 16th out of 35 finishing teams in our division with a total time of just 35 hours 6 minutes and 22 seconds (10:21 average pace). Our ULTRA Team came in first! They ran the whole thing (just the 6 of them) in just around 29 hours – these girls are MACHINES!

Van 1
Runner 1: Shannon@hungrygazelle
Runner 2: Becka @squirrelgirl44
Runner 3: Heather @hmgiraffy
Runner 4: Julie @julie16750
Runner 5: Sandy @bicbands
Runner 6: Madison @Borntorun77
Van 2
Runner 7: Ashley @prettyfittie
Runner 8: Linzay @brokerunner
Runner 9: Me! @GTR_Danica
Runner 10: Erica @cajun_runner
Runner 11: Sharon
Runner 12: Elisabeth@ewallerscott

Ultra
SkinnyRunner @skinnyrunnerSR
SarahOUAL @SarahOUaL
HauteRunningMama @hauterunningmama
Margot @FasterBunny
Chiara @lil_yogini
Pam

On another note – my good friend Andrew also ran with the team Zombiebait so I was able to hang out with his adorable girlfriend Carolyn and his cousin Lisa and see him cross the finish (another running addict was born).

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We were able to catch up a bit at the night exchange and snapped this picture as proof to our parents that we were still standing (my Mom was convinced I would be found curled up in the fetal position somewhere crying like a baby I think – Love you Mom!).

Sharon and I finally made it home around 11:30 on Saturday after 41 hours of being awake with only 3 hours of minimal sleep. I walked in the door to see this:

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Along with a flute of my favorite TJ’s almond champagne. Is my boyfriend the best or what?

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I love him so much! I’ve never been so happy to see him!

I’ll have some detailed recaps up soon for all of my legs and funny stories (spoiler alert – man running – in. a. thong.)

THANK YOU SMCOL FOR ONE OF THE BEST WEEKENDS EVER!!! I LOVE RUNNING! I am annoying Jason with all my I LOVE RUNNING RUNNING IS THE BEST RUN RUN RUN talk but it’s true. I love it!

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It’s Ragnar Time!!

After many, many months of planning, emails, facebook groups, sponsor-seeking and list-making – IT’S FINALLY RAGNAR RELAY WEEKEND!

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I spent the last 2 days packing and repacking until I finally felt satisfied that I had enough without having too much.

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My outfit for each leg (4.9 mi, 3.8 mi, 11.1 mi) is carefully stashed in a Ziploc bag so I can easily toss the sweaty clothes back in a bag and grab my whole next outfit out of a new bag without frantically having to search through the van for another sock or sports bra.

Tonight I’ll be roadtripping down to Orange County with our newest team member Sharon, who was a total lifesaver and joined when we had a last minute opening! And, in less than 24 hours, our So Much Cooler Online 12-man team will be off and running! The Ultra Team has a slightly later start so all of us in van 2 will be meeting up with them Friday morning to decorate the vans.

If anyone wants to follow along (and possibly win some cool giveaways along the route) follow us on Twitter:

#SMCOL

Or:

Van 1
Runner 1: Shannon@hungrygazelle
Runner 2: Becka @squirrelgirl44
Runner 3: Heather @hmgiraffy
Runner 4: Julie @julie16750
Runner 5: Sandy @bicbands
Runner 6: Madison @Borntorun77
Van 2
Runner 7: Ashley @prettyfittie
Runner 8: Linzay @brokerunner
Runner 9: Me! @GTR_Danica
Runner 10: Erica @cajun_runner
Runner 11: Sharon
Runner 12: Elisabeth @ewallerscott

Ultra
SkinnyRunner @skinnyrunnerSR
SarahOUAL @SarahOUaL
HauteRunningMama @hauterunningmama
Margot @FasterBunny
Chiara @lil_yogini
Pam

(Big thanks to Heather for putting together this Twitter list!)

Some more huge THANK YOUs to our sponsors for preventing us from becoming dehydrated or having to run naked:

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RunningSkirts
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BIC Bands

Run Pretty Far (Wait until you see the tanks we’ll be rocking – too cute!)
Hydrated by:
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Nuun
Compressed by:
Aspaeris Pivot Shorts
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Pro Compression Socks
And fueled by:
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GU

And a final GIGANTIC thanks to our 3 (male – poor boys) drivers and our AWESOME volunteers – you guys ROCK!

Holy crap this is really happening. 18 girls, 3 vans, 203.5 miles. This is going to be fun. Or crazy. Or insane. But probably all three.

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Ragnar Meet-Up and Hair Accessories

Ran 4 miles in 40 minutes. Treadmill. HOT!

Is it just me or does everyone feel like gyms are extra hot and sweaty this time of year? I would blame the fact that it’s colder in winter, so maybe they don’t keep the gym quite so cool, but our weather hasn’t dipped below 68* in weeks!

I definitely gained a running motivation boost on Saturday at my first meet-up with Team So Much Cooler Online.

Huge thanks to HRM for playing paparazzi and snapping the group photo :)

Everyone is so nice and reading all of their stories as to how they started running and challenges they have all faced an overcome is so inspiring. I was so happy to finally meet most of the team and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone else who couldn’t make it very soon.

As OUAL requested, we put on our serious pants and got some Ragnar business out of the way before conversation turned to the importance of dry hairspray and where the best places to pee and shower are going to be along the race route. All the important things of course. (Another huge thanks to Sarah for stepping up as Master Planner of the whole thing. Coordinating 18 women cannot be an easy task and she rocks at it).

We also added a couple new team members to the party – Sandy from BIC Bands and Julie! Exciting stuff! Sandy was also a total sweetheart and brough BIC Bands for all of us.

If you are like me and deal with headbands constantly slipping and needing adjustments then you have to check out BIC Bands!! They DO NOT slip. I ordered one in the black skinny sparkle and brown skinny minnie sparkle and have been wearing them non-stop. Thanks to Sandy’s thoughtfulness, I was able to add red and white sparkle skinny minnies to my collection and I already have started scoping out other fun colors I plan to order. They also would make great gifts for girlfriends, sisters, moms, aunts, cousins, etc.

The best part about these headbands? A portion of each sale goes to charity! Check our their facebook page to see what charity funds are being donated to this month.

 

 

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Team So Much Cooler Online Loves Aspaeris Pivot Shorts

Ready for some exciting Ragnar news that everyone can benefit from?

Aspaeris is sponsoring Team So Much Cooler Online by providing all of us with a pair of their incredible Pivot Shorts to wear during the relay. I am so excited about this for many reasons, with the biggest one being injury prevention.

From the site:

Aspaeris Pivot Shorts™ are actually two pairs of shorts bonded together. The Outer Short is a high performance compression short designed to support your muscles. The Inner Short features our breakthrough, Dual Sensory Compression Bands™.

These cross-knit bands guide your muscles into the proper position, thereby improving your pivot performance, which helps prevent ACL and hip injuries.

The Aspaeris Pivot Short™ is not an ordinary compression short. Athletes who try the APS™ report feeling more confident in their ‘pivot moves’ and almost all feel more in control without being restricted.

If you’re interested in your own pair of Aspaeris Pivot Shorts, just click here and use the code “cooleronline” for a whopping 50% off your shorts! Seriously, you are losing money by not scooping up this deal.

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Tuesday Refueling

Today’s workout was short but sweaty – 20 minutes elliptical @ 12 resistance +10 minutes of abs. I read Mockingjay (the 3rd and final book in the Hunger Games series) so my elliptical session went by super fast. I didn’t even notice how much my legs were burning from the resistance until it went into cool-down mode.

After the gym, I headed over to J’s where I properly refueled.

Please excuse the sweatiness. I told you it was an intense 20 minutes.

Despite what the picture suggests, I’m usually pretty good about refueling after long workouts, and especially after long runs. My favorite things to eat/drink after a long run are oatmeal with brown sugar and maple, chocolate almond milk, or a Click protein shake blended with ice, almond milk and a little chocolate syrup.

J, Tiff and I also made a delish and healthy dinner of pasta with broccoli and a garden salad (my contribution – I’m good at chopping, not so much cooking).

Tomorrow I’m planning to do an easy 3 miles. I don’t want to work myself too hard during the week because I’m running that Gladiator Rock N Run on Saturday morning then Sunday morning I want to get up bright and early to get in 8 miles. I’m actually excited for that and hoping that I survive the Gladiator run with nothing worse than some mud in eyes. Thankfully, Madison @ I’d Rather Be Eating ran a Gladiator run and warned me about the slippery state of the walls so I’ll be careful on those babies.

And don’t forget to vote for our Ragnar Team Name! Polls close on 9/30 and we’ll be announcing the names over the weekend.

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PDR & Rock the Vote

7 miles baby! Yesterday morning I set out at the far-too-early-for-a-Sunday hour of 7AM and was out the door by 8. I was determined to up my mileage from last weekend’s 6 mile run and get in a nice 7 miler while taking advantage of the misty gloomy 60 degree weather. After running 6 miles in 1:05, my goal for the 7 miles was to do it in 1:15. Well I kicked that goal to the curb and finished my run in exactly 1:10. A perfect 10min pace. I was so excited and felt great afterwards! I definitely had a few moments where I had to keep telling myself “You’re almost there. You’re so close. You DO NOT need to walk. and WHEN YOU GET HOME YOU GET TO HAVE COFFEE!!!” But overall, I felt really good and steady the whole time.

Coffee w/ Natural Bliss PURE HAPPINESS

We had a crazy busy day planned so I was a bad runner and got home and I pounded a cup of coffee, showered and was out the door again after barely remembering to grab a Clif bar on my way out. No stretching, no icing. Thank goodness I feel OK today. My hips are a little sore but I think that may be from the gym on Friday so the only part I seem sore from my run is my feet. Not bad, but I think a pedicure with a foot massage may be in my near future.

So remember that little Ragnar Relay thing I’m taking part in at the end of April? We now have the top 10 names chosen by all my fellow teammates’ readers (all you lurkers reading this should know you missed out on the change to win some sweet running swag). Now we just need everyone to vote and then the 12-(wo)man team and the ultra team will duke it out over the top 2 names and the winning names will be plastered all over our shirts, signs, vans, and someone else’s face with sharpie bc I’m sure OUAL isn’t kidding about that and I don’t intend on being the first person falling asleep. So now I need anyone who reads this to head on over to her page and vote on our team name. Vote as many times as you want and we’ll be finding out the winning name this weekend. I’ll be recovering from the Gladiator Rock N Run so I’ll be excited to find out our team name and have another crazy-psycho-running experience to get even more excited about. So please go vote and if you do, leave me a comment and tell me what name you liked best. I can totally see how many views I get via facebook, links from other blogs, twitter and people just typing in the address and coming straight to my page. So quit lurking and let me know you’re here. Otherwise I might say something mean about you not knowing you’re one of my 5 readers (JUST KIDDING!). 

So what name did you pick???

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Crosstraining and a NAME CONTEST

Yesterday I hit the gym for a little crosstraining: 30 min elliptical, 15 min abs and back on the incline thing, 15 minutes of leg machines. I don’t really feel sore, but I also know I probably wasn’t working as hard as I should. We’ve had so many client meetings at work (the third was today!) and I’ve just been exhausted and kind of run down the last week. Also, I think I feel like I’m on the verge of a cold.

Tonight I decided to just hit up Target after work to get Catching Fire (yes I have the reading level of a 14-year-old right now) and come home to relax and do a little blogging and baking. Tomorrow morning will be an easy 3 miles. 

Does anyone else have that weird disease where you walk into target and end up walking out with about 47 things you never really needed but had to buy because they were such a great deal? Yeah me neither… 

But today I was good and I only bought the things I went in for – the book, toothpaste, new toothbrush heads, some baking supplies and a random can of tomato soup (ok ONE thing that was too cheap to pass up).

On another note – I need some help. There is a group of 18 of us crazy running blogging  girls planning to run the So Cal Ragnar Relay in April. It’s a relay race from Huntington Beach to San Diego. I think I’m clinically insane because I have yet to even run my first half, but I’m hoping to be the runner who gets assigned the “easier” legs of the race (hint hint ladies). We have two AWESOME teams. A 12-woman relay team and a 6-woman ULTRA team. Thanks to OUaL for this amazing picture collab and for organizing the teams:

The ULTRA Team

SkinnyRunnerChachaMargot, OUaL, Pam, HauteRunningMama

The 12-(wo)man Team

HeatherBeckaRoseKat

PrettyFittieKate & AngMonicaBrokeRunner

MadisonElisabeth, Me

I’m so excited to have the opportunity to run with some of the AMAZING ladies that have inspired me, as well as to meet some new bloggers I’ve become a quick fan of, and most of all have a SUPER CRAZY FUN experience while making some new friends. But here is that catch – OUaL has done a great job organizing everything but WE NEED A NAME! 

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if you are reading this, if you could PRETTY PLEASE leave a comment on here with an idea for a name. If you go check out SR’s blog – she has a pretty sweet giveaway planned for the winner and I will totally contribute especially if one of my 4 readers comes up with a good name. So help us out, make it funny, cutesy, girly, whatever, and I will GREATLY appreciate it!! And if anyone who lives in a close enough vicinity to me wins I will totally bake you cookies or take you to Yogurtland :) So COMMENT AWAY! Team YET-TO-BE-NAMED thanks you!

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September Goals

We’re getting closer to FALL! I’m so excited. I’m literally drooling over the thought of a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Pumpkin creamer for my morning coffee. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins… I might actually turn to a weird shade of orange before it’s even October.

With the start of a new month, I thought I’d hop on the running blogger bandwagon and lay out my goals for September. (I am also secretly trying to distract myself from the Snickers bar in my desk drawer but it’s tough.) Here are my Goals for September:

1. Wake up earlier. This means waking up at 5:30 at least 2x per week for morning runs, 6:00 for non-running mornings, and no later than 8:00 on weekends (7:00 for running!). I am a HUGE oversleeper and this usually results in me waking up far later that I would like to and feeling completely rushed every morning. And on the weekends, it results me in waking up when it’s already too dang hot to run outside so I’m stuck running on the treadmill.

2. Pack my lunches every day. I try to buy lunch as little as possible at work, but some days (due to being rushed from oversleeping) I end up running to Subway or Togos. DUMB. I can make just as good of a sandwich on my own. Or make good salads or bring leftovers. Living at home still means that groceries cost me nothing. Time to start packing.

3. Blog more. I love updating my blog. Sometimes I am just lazy. My goal is to post 5x a week.

4. Take more pictures. Another thing I love to do, but don’t do enough. Maybe I should title this goal “Remember to charge camera and stop leaving memory card in computer”.

5. Run a 10k and train like a beast for the half in December. It’s time to get cracking on that. Time to run faster and start tackling those hills instead of letting my mind talk me into walking the hills instead of fighting on. And I don’t want to let my Ragnar Team down!

I think these are some pretty realistic but challenging goals for the next month. I’ll make sure to keep you posted on how I do :) **Update: the Snickers bar sadly did not make it through this post.

What are your goals for the new month?

Oh and one more thing – you should definitely watch the BFster’s new YouTube vid because he is my own personal JT and I’m super impressed because I couldn’t hit a note if my life depended on it:


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Want Wednesday: A Gym Bag

I had another successful morning run today. My dad and I went out and just did 2 quick miles at 5:30. We were planning on 3, but we brought the Heidi and she’s too dumb to understand that if she didn’t spend the first mile of every run sprinting and tugging her leash then she wouldn’t tire out and practically need to be carried after just 2 miles. She also turns her head to stare at rabbits and then runs into parked cars. Gotta love her.

I also ran 2.5 miles at the gym last night. I was planning on 4 but I was just struggling. I drank a Venti iced coffee late in the afternoon before a client meeting and was super jittery by the time I got to the gym so my heart kept beating oddly fast. Freaks me out when that happens. So since today wasn’t even supposed to be a run day I guess my 2 miles makes up for yesterday getting cut short.

After work, I’m off to Pump class for an hour. I realized this morning while I was throwing my gym clothes into a random tote bag that one thing I really want is a legit gym bag. One with compartments for my iPod and stuff and a zipper so my stuff isn’t falling out everywhere. Normally I am super indecisive and list like 5 different things I want, but when it comes to the gym bag I’m pretty set on a custom Nikeid duffle bag in purple, yellow and crimson. I wish I could add a picture but my computer is being super freaky tonight and decided to make life difficult. Instead, here is a picture of me with my favorite dogs. Oh and my boyfriend. 

 

 

And finally, on a completely unrelated note… I think I blacked out and went temporarily insane because I have committed to doing the So Cal Ragnar Relay in April with some amazeballs runner ladies. A lot of my favorite bloggers will be on the team and if you are one of them, or anyone else who has some super awesome training advice to offer (that doesn’t include cutting out candy, coffee or good beer) I would LOVE to hear it. But more on that in my next post.

Until then, goodnight. I’m off to consider showering (now that I finished this post-Pump class) but let’s be honest I think I’m just going to go finish The Hunger Games eat the last half of my box of Swedish Fish. Goodnight!!

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