Monday, March 10, 2014
It's finally here! I am opening pre-orders for my very first product with my See Sharp Run branding! THAT is crazy exciting! As a part of my Boston Marathon fundraising efforts, I decided to get a little creative. So, thanks to Stacy at PunkeeLove Headbands, we put our heads together and BOOM the keychain was born! The artwork was specifically designed for me. These are beautiful hand crafted cloth keychains! They are currently in production and I should receive them by the end of the month. I ordered 100 so these are extremely limited edition. I am also financing them, which means the proceeds are 100% going to the charity...I am not making any money back on these.
So here is the high level breakdown. If you are interested (and I hope you are because these things are gonna be awesome) the cost is $10.00. Shipping charges of $3.00 will be applied at check out. This cost will cover envelopes and postage via USPS. Total cost is $13.00. The proceeds will go to the Boston Bruins Foundation. There is also an option for me to hand-deliver it to you, which will remove the shipping charge...please only use this if I can ACTUALLY get it to you. You know who you are.
This is a pre-order. Product will be delivered to me by the end of March and I plan on beginning shipping in April. If we sell out of keychains, we will add $1,000.00 to the total! We are over half-way there so this is exciting. So here we go! SHOP AWAY :) Thanks again for your support! I can't do it without YOU!
Order Your Keychain Here!
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Update: 5:39 PM PST - WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER! First, THANK YOU to all of you for your awesome response to this flash contest! I truly didn't expect such a great response...no seriously, I didn't expect it. As promised, one lucky sponsor below is being awarded a $50 INKnBURN gift card as my thank you for your support. Please show some love for TRICIA POBLETE! Congrats darling, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize! Again, thank you to everyone for your donation and contributions! More fabulous to come!
This weekend is my redemption at the Asics LA Marathon! I am planning on owning this course and showing Sunset Blvd. who's in charge! In an effort to continue to raise funds and awareness for the Boston Bruins Foundation, I thought we would have some fun! I am asking for 26 sponsors to sponsor each of my miles this Sunday! The donations will benefit my Boston Marathon fundraiser. Now, why would I use the LA Marathon as a fundraiser? Well, let me explain.
This is going to be a baseline for me. I am planning on pacing to a 4:45 marathon which would be a PR for me. I will be running at this pace as long as I can using the Galloway run/walk interval those being 3:00/:45 intervals. This is my baseline for training for the next few weeks. The focus of this race is to do better than last year and really have a realistic view of where my performance is. This is an important race.
To sponsor a mile (or two...you can have more than one), please leave a comment below indicating which mile you would like to take on. Each mile is only $10.00. You can donate by clicking here via my page or the widget on the right of my blog page. With these donations, we will reach the half way mark for the Boston fundraising goal! This is exciting and I appreciate each and every one of you! Let's do this!
OH...and one lucky sponsor will receive a $50.00 egift card to INKnBURN! I'll be doing a random drawing once all miles are claimed! Good luck!
Mile 1: Triniti Tran
Mile 2: Maureen Crabbe
Mile 3: Monica from RunningHappilyEverAfter.com
Mile 4: Patty Wills Holliday
Mile 5: Emily Allwardt
Mile 6: Jen Pelhem
Mile 7: Connie Kosberg
Mile 8: Connie Kosberg
Mile 9: Adam Chamberlain
Mile 10: Tricia Poblete
Mile 11: Tricia Poblete
Mile 12: Danelle Barerra
Mile 13: Benny & Aaryn LeMaster-KleinMile 14: Laurie De Freitas
Mile 15: Jen Pelhem
Mile 16: Kelly from Sparkle Athletic
Mile 17: Kelly from Sparkle Athletic
Mile 18: Kelly from Sparkle Athletic
Mile 19: Kelly from Sparkle Athletic
Mile 20: Becca Goodman-Sudik
Mile 21: Jen Pelhem
Mile 22: Tabetha from irunonwater.net
Mile 23: Tracy Garcia
Mile 24: Katie Preston
Mile 25: Katie Preston
Mile 26.2: Arbel Bedak
Monday, March 3, 2014
We are 48 days away from the 118th Running of the Boston Marathon! This still feels like a dream come true, it's still surreal. January 30th, 2014 is forever going to be a life-changing day. That was the day The Boston Bruins Foundation extended me the last spot on their Boston Marathon charity team. I remember my response like it was yesterday. I remember crying, shaking, going to work and being hysterically happy, emailing back and forth to Boston, and realizing that I would join the field of athletes on April 21st, 2014 as we run to Copley Square in the city of Boston.
A charity entry is something I have been working on since September 2013. I kept it quiet because I didn't want to jinx my chances and get people all excited for nothing. I submitted applications to various charities that I knew I could stand behind and advocate for. I didn't just go down the list and send applications to every single charity on the list, and trust me there are a lot. I took my time and researched charities that sounded like they would be a fit for me. For example, I took a look at charities that assisted with cancer treatments, medical services, children's programs, and environmental organizations. All in all, I think I completed and submitted 8 applications to charities in hopes to receive a ticket to Boston. 6 of those charities did not offer me a spot on their team. You could imagine that the application, interview, and selection process this year was more competitive than ever. Two of those charities in fact told me I came in 2nd and to apply next year for a sure shot at a bib. I can say, I really appreciate all of the charity coordinators I've interfaced with over the past few months...their job isn't easy by a long shot.
I was offered and humbly accepted the invitation to join the The Boston Bruins Foundation marathon team. Last week, I received my official Confirmation of Acceptance from the Boston Athletic Association, so you can imagine that the tears started all over again. Many of you have asked why I chose to join this particular team. I think this is a fair question, considering I am campaigning and fundraising $7,500.00 for this cause. Sidebar, we are almost half way there can you believe it?!
I chose this team because they do incredible work not only in the city of Boston but throughout all of New England. The mission of the Foundation is to provide resources to charities that meet their set of requirements to help improve the quality of life for children. Some of the programs that the foundation helps to support include athletics, academics, health, and community outreach. The foundation is multi-faceted and reaches and touches so many lives. I am a person that is all about making a difference. Children deserve to have the resources and capabilities to live their best lives so they can go on to become adults and do amazing things with their lives. When you give a child the gift of education, healthcare, athletic or other extracurricular activity, and show them the importance of advocacy, that is a recipe for success. THAT is why I chose the Boston Bruins Foundation. I am a proud member of this team. Although, I live in Southern California, and have only had the pleasure of running past the TD Garden on my running tour with my BRFs last June, the impacts that your funds will make to the children in New England is nothing short of amazing.
I run for them. I run for those effected by last year's terrible events at the finish line. I run to prove to myself that I can conquer this course. I am anxious to earn my jacket and say that I am a Boston finisher. I may not have qualified (yet), but I know that the money I've helped to raise is going to improve the lives of some amazing kids that are deserving! That for me is enough.
I ask you to help make not just my dreams, but their dreams come true by donating here to the cause. You can also use the secure CrowdWise widget in the right column of the page, just click the orange button. In the coming weeks, I will have a See Sharp Run Boston 2014 keychain available with 100% of the proceeds going to the fundraiser.
To all of you that have donated, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I literally can't do this without you. I have never raised this much money for a cause before, so this is a true test of my creativity. To those of you wishing to donate or interested in the keychain, please let me know. I want to connect with each and every one of you! THANK YOU AGAIN!
Thursday, February 27, 2014
The only thing constant in life is change. This is something I have learned time and time again. Nothing is ever what you think it is. Life and your personal environment is in a constant state of metamorphosis. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Change keeps life interesting. If nothing ever happened or changed, then where would the excitement of living life come from?
My life the past few months have been an absolute roller coaster. There have been some deep valley lows, and some intergalactic highs. Sometimes the changes come so rapidly you don't have time to adjust or absorb from the previous change. And let's not forget about external influences that can certainly dictate the energy in your space. I'm a pretty busy guy. I'm not one that usually sits still for very long. So with all that life throws at me, how do I keep myself from going to the CooCooBanana house? I focus on what's important in my life.
Drama, life changes, and unexpected events are going to happen. It's a fact and there isn't a thing you or I can do about it. What we can do is adjust our responses to said variables. The actions of others or other forces are powerless without the energy of our reactions/responses.
Whenever I feel myself getting down, or feel I am off balance...I try to adjust my perspective on life and course correct as quick as possible. I count my blessings. I remember that I am an able-bodied person that is blessed to be able to breath and blink my eyes on my own. On a higher level, I am able to run! Taking it a notch further, I am blessed to be able to run in amazing races around the country and have brands that stand behind me! I have a great family support system I couldn't ask for a better one. I have a job that helps me to realize my dreams. I am healthy. I am here. When I think about all of these things, life doesn't seem so bad anymore.
Now, if you do find yourself getting down or feeling off-centered, it is important to realize what those feelings are. You need to acknowledge them, work through them, and realign your mind, body and spirit. I know this sounds easier that it is, and it certainly is a process...but it's helped me in the past.
Why am I writing this post? Because I have found that the past few months for me have been full of interesting changes, and observations. I am sure you have your own experiences you could share, but this blog is a great way for me to get my thoughts out and reaffirm some basic principles. This blog is also here for you. So, if my thoughts help you in the slightest...well then I feel as if I have done something good.
Now, time for some meditation before bed. Stay focused on your prize.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I landed on Friday evening and the lovely Jen and Jill were kind enough to pick me up from the airport. I had a minor delay in Tampa but that was okay, we made it to Al's Pizza to meet Marcia and Katie for tasty calzones! I was starving because I hadn't eaten all day. So needless to say, we tore right in to those lovely rolled up pizzas and they were TASTY! After that, we headed back to Chéz Mar to settle ourselves and get ready for bed...ya know since some of us had the Donna 5K the next morning! Marcia our gracious host (@TravelRunEat) and the official Social Media Butterfly of 26.2 with Donna had everything covered for us! I am one of the National Ambassadors for the race, so I got my really nice Ambassador tech tee!
|Butterfly Marcia presenting me with my shirt|
Before the 5K we met up with other ambassadors Shannon, Liz, and one of my faves Krissy and we decided to take on the 5K together! Now THAT was an absolute blast! So many laughs and memories! Krissy even paced us to negative splits!
After the 5K we grabbed some Italian ice and headed into the expo! Marcia had Butterfly duties to tend to, and I had to pick up my race packet for the next day. The expo would be the place the remaining #CorralG folks that were in transit would meet...so time couldn't move fast enough for our mini reunion. While I waited, I did some shopping :). I was walking down one of the aisles and came across the best headband ever! A black and pink houndstooth headband! I walked up with my new friend Stacy at the Punkeelove Headbands booth and asked that she ring me up immediately! I wore this thing literally until I had to change later in the evening! I instantly fell in love with it!
Before I knew it, Jennifer, Joe, and Adam arrived! And the party officially kicked off! We chatted, caught up, laughed, and strategized plans for the remainder of the day. Although, that wasn't to hard since we all basically text each other every day. Do you guys have any idea how close we are...
|Insert Kira...she came a little later ;)|
|The party begins|
|The amazing Donna Deegan..she loved my Pink!|
|The Donna Ambassador Team - Photo Courtesy of Fellow Ambassdor Ashley (The Pavement Princess)|
Before we knew it, it was race day! We woke up bright and early and headed to the start line. We were all ready and excited to take on the challenge! We all met up in the corral staging area and did some last minute strategizing and joking...like we always do! We were ready for a day of fun and memories. It's not everyday that the running family gets together for a race ya know.
Then the cannon went off! The show had begun! Some of us were running the half marathon, and the rest of us were taking on the marathon! It was all smiles as we left the shoot and made our way to storm the city of Jacksonville. We headed out and we were in great spirits! We were ready to really take on this challenge. We felt confident because we had one another. One amazing thing about us as a group is when we run together, no matter your pace or ability, we always stand by one another. This was very important as we went forward through the day. We started on a high as we made our way to Jacksonville Beach, where I saw and touched the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. It's really cool being able to run on hard packed sand on the beach. Feeling the cool ocean spray and connect with the energy of the ocean! Priceless. This was a very happy moment filled with various emotions.
|Linz, Katie, and Marcia running the Donna on Jacksonville Beach|
|Thanks Jen for capturing the moment!|
Katie and I stuck to one another through the remainder of the race. She wasn't having the best race either, but that is okay. We stuck together and encouraged one another! We connected, we talked, we tried to stay in the moment as much as possible. At one point, Katie reminded me "This is easier than Chemo...we can do this." Those words resonated with me so deeply. There are women in my life I know that are battling Breast Cancer as I write this, and I'm having a bad marathon? These women probably wish they could be out here just to cheer us on! This changed my mindset immediately! My focus was to finish for them!
Between Katie and Donna's Angels carrying me through and reminding me that they were with me and that I could do this...that is how I got to mile 26.2. The race course was called Level Black as we crossed the mile 25 marker due to lightning in the area. Katie and I successfully crossed the finish line holding hands. I couldn't have done it without her. Donna's Angels were on my side. I felt them.
All in all, 26.2 with Donna is an absolutely incredible race! The energy and the spirit of the participants, the city, and the spectators is unlike anything I've ever seen. Chicago had spectators, but the folks in Jacksonville PARTY! They celebrate the runners. The city literally shuts down! The neighbors are so friendly and encouraging, the route is flat and scenic, and you can feel nothing but love positivity when you are out there. Yes, I had a bad day, but this is no reflection on the race. Some days we don't have it. The Donna did a great job of helping to keep me focused and grounded. Sometimes we can loose focus, and we let our inner voice get the best of us. Sometimes it takes a great race and a great friend to remind you of some important things.
I love this race. I really do. It was everything Marcia told me it would be! Spiritually moving and absolutely inspiring.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
As a runner, one of the most important things is hydration. Sometimes, water is enough...we need to ensure our electrolytes are primed and ready for that training run or that race. There are tons of different drink mixes and tablets out there and I have some of my staples and go-to items. But, Skratch Labs hydration mix changed my world. This stuff is the real deal! Much like my relationship with EnergyBits, I like to fuel and hydrate with products that are as clean and natural as possible. Skratch not only is a natural product, but it is absolutely delicious! So I want to talk about 5 different reasons why Skratch is now my hydration of choice for training and races!
5. The Cool Swag! The folks over at Skratch are real down to Earth! They understand their customer and want to provide high quality hydration mix, and they want you to look awesome when you're drinking it. No shock to anyone, but I like to make a statement...and water bottles are an essential part of that! I scored the Polar Bottle and the Liberty Bottle. My Polar Bottle did an amazing job of keeping my Skratch cold for hours! And it looks really awesome! My Liberty bottle is a little more subtle but just as neat. With it's matte black finish and debossed Skratch logos make it sleek and stylish. It gets bonus points or being made out of 100% recycled metal materials! It also does a great job of keeping the good stuff nice and cold! Yay for swag...it's important.
4. Variety! Skratch comes in four varieties; daily electrolyte mix, exercise hydration mix, HOT exercise hydration mix, and hyper hydration mix. Now I haven't tried the hyper hydration mix...it sounds intense. I want to focus on the daily electrolyte mix and the daily hydration mix as those were the items I used the most. I tried the hot mix, and it is VERY tasty and does a great job of keeping you warm when it's chilly outside. The electrolyte mix is what you'll use when you are in the midst of battle. And the daily hydration is a new addition to their line up. I found myself addicted to this stuff as a daily beverage! Let me explain why...
3. Daily Electrolyte Hydration is AMAZING! Hydration can be boring, but your water doesn't have to be (hey that's a good line!) Water by itself is pretty bland, but adding Daily Electrolyte Mix by Skratch takes it to the next level. Now this isn't their sport drink mix at all. This is meant to drink throughout the day to remain hydrated when you don't want water, and you want to stay away from other naughty beverages such as soda. It comes in two flavors; lemons and limes and raspberries. I love them both! They are crisp, light, refreshing, and overall just delicious. It isn't overwhelming or gritty. You can't go wrong! I highly recommend this for your everyday hydration needs!
2. Exercise Hydration Mix Keeps You Moving! Listen, I love a good hydration mix that isn't overpowering with flavor. When I am racing, I like the taste of water, but always want just a hint of flavor to awaken my pallet keep my mind stimulated. Exercise Hydration Mix meets the challenge head on! The mix comes in lemons and limes, raspberries, pineapples, HOT apples and cinnamon flavors. I tried raspberries and lemons and limes and I was very happy with the results. With this stuff, I had absolutely no stomach issues or cramping what so ever! The mix is made to help maximize your performance, and I definitely felt the results. Partnered with EnergyBits this is a marriage that is meant to last Talk about amazing performance! Real Food + Real Hydration = Real Performance!
1. All Natural! Skratch is all natural stuff. They only include ingredients we normal folks can pronounce and understand what they are for. It's naturally sweetened with cane sugar and they use real fruit juices in their powder to create the out of this world light flavor profile! No cramps, amazing taste, great style,and very affordable! For a one pound bag of Skratch, you are looking at about $19.50, which for what you are getting in my humble opinion is absolutely spot on!
I'm in love with this stuff, I drink it all day long! I am due to place another order myself :) Give it a shot and tell them I sent you! Skratch Labs is awesome! Thank guys!
Thursday, February 13, 2014
It's approaching. In just 23 days I will be taking on the Asics LA Marathon for the second year! This race and I have a history...and I have a bone to pick with it I first ran this marathon in 2013. It was my first solo marathon without my running family and my second marathon in general. I was excited to get out there and show Los Angeles what I was made of. The race fell on St. Patrick's Day last year, so you can imagine the sea of green that filled the streets from Downtown all the way to Santa Monica. I felt great the first 19 miles of the race. I blew right through Downtown, zipped through Silver Lake, and made my way through Hollywood and back up the Sunset Strip. The strip elevation varies and rolls so you have to be careful and watch your pace. I gotta say, if you want a tour of Los Angeles and all it has to offer, run this race! You will see everything! I even saw some new things...and I have lived in Southern California my whole life!
Something happened when I turned the corner to mile 20. I hit the wall. I hit the wall to date harder than I can remember ever hitting it before. I hit the wall so hard I thought my body was going to just let go. It happened so fast, I wasn't sure what was going on. I ended up stopping at a medical aid station, hydrating, applying Biofreeze to my sore muscles, and continued to walk the last 6 miles from Brentwood to Santa Monica Pier. I was almost in tears but didn't let it show on my face. When I turned the corner to Ocean and was on the final approach, the last .2 miles of the race the spectators were amazing! I kept hearing "Keep Going!" "You're almost there don't quit!" Mentally I felt like I completely gave up. I was defeated. I knew I could do better and wanted my first solo marathon to be one for the books. Well that it was. I did finish the race with a very respectable time of 5:42. Not bad for a first time out, but I knew I could have done better had I not hit the wall. So what happened?
I was hydrated thankfully. The problem came with nutrition on the course! I wasn't consuming enough calories during the appropriate times. So basically, my body ran out of energy, sucked the nutrients from other parts of my body to supplement which leads to extreme fatigue and cramps. I was toast. I've since learned what works for me in terms of caloric intake and I am doing MUCH better with this. Thank heavens.
Today, fellow So Cal runner pal Tracy posted a photo of the 2014 LA Marathon medal! I am just gonna say it, MUCH better than last year's medal. It had charm and whimsey and all that...but I like this one much better. That's just me. Anyway, I instantly got charged! I have 26.2 With Donna to focus on first (which is next week and I am so excited...you can still register by the way). I want to go out there and show Los Angeles who's boss! I run this city! I want to get out there and not only have fun and enjoy the sights, but finish faster and stronger! Can we say further, faster, forever? I have gotten stronger, I have learned a lot, and I am ready to ROCK IT! I am excited! Cheer me on! I will be out there enjoying every moment! It will also be hard not to stop for brunch again on Rodeo Drive. Let's the journey begin From Dodgers Stadium to the Sea! POW!