Thursday, February 28, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Before I get to the list - I must apologize for being the laziest blogger ever. I've been super busy at work, mostly thanks to doing the work of THREE people (have I mentioned that enough yet?) and I've been going to bed "old lady" early. Plus, I haven't really had anything to blog about.
  1. Have you entered in my RAFFLE yet??
  2. I had a pretty successful 7 mile run before work this morning (my alarm went off at 4:23 am), which is GREAT since this weekend is one of my last remaining marathons - the Little Rock marathon. I signed up opening day (August 1) because I want one of those GIGANTIC medals. This is also the beginning of the end of my travel days, as starting in May, we are really focusing on the local races.
  3. Speaking of local races... 100k? Yes?

Friday, February 22, 2013

It's a Raffle!!

I am doing something different this time!

As you know, I am fundraising for Lazarex, for entry into the Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Challenge in September.

To kick-start donations, I am going to toss in some of my own money as incentive!

Rules:

1. Obviously any donation, no matter the size, is appreciated! However, for the raffle, a minimum $10 donation is required.

2. 1 entry per $5 donated. So if you donate the minimum $10 - you get two entries! Donate $25? Get 5 entries. Easy peazy!

3.  What do you GET?? I'm doing tiered giveaways based on OVERALL donations! The prizes are cumulative, so at every new level, just add it to the list of stuff I'm giving away. NEW PRIZES TO BE ADDED, THE LIST WILL JUST GET BETTER AND BETTER!

$10+ (This tier is guaranteed!)
  • ONE pair of Pro Compression marathon socks
$100+(This tier is guaranteed!)
  • ONE pair of Pro Compression marathon socks
  • TWO tubes of Nuun (to one winner)
$200+ (This tier is guaranteed!)
  • $25 INKnBURN gift card
  • 1 black Newton visor
  • 1 yellow Newton visor
$300+ (This tier is guaranteed!)
  • $25 INKnBURN gift card
 $400+
  • $25 INKnBURN gift card
$500+
  • $25 INKnBURN gift card
$750+
  • $25 Lululemon gift card
FUNDRAISING GOAL MET+
  • $100 Runningwarehouse.com gift card
4. Since I'm an INKnBURN ambassador, I would love for my readers to get a shot at trying out the brand. If my 15% off code BeckaToldMe isn't enough, stack $25 free money on top of that and you'll be on your way to getting a great deal on the most stylish and unique gear out there! (To be clear, I am buying these out of pocket, these are not being provided by INKnBURN for this raffle - I love the brand THAT much that I want others to love it too!)


Also up for grabs - marathon socks from Pro Compression!! Two pairs are available for two winners!! (Even if you don't win - you should check them out! They consistently have GREAT deals!)


If I raise enough, I added in a gift card to Lululemon. Everyone should have ruffles on their skirt (or, if you are a guy, it looks like their non-ruffly men's stuff is also pretty sweet.)

Source
I also thought about just giving away a pair of shoes, but people are so picky about their shoe choices. INSTEAD... I am going to throw in a $100 gift card to runingwarehouse.com - That's enough either for a pair of shoes or a large chunk of a pair. If you have never bought from them, they ship SECOND DAY AIR FOR NO SHIPPING COST. I've bought from them for years and they are top notch.

5. From now until May 1, donate for a chance to win! NEW donations from today, February 22 through May 1 are eligible for entry in the raffle. (Raffle extended - March 1)

6. This is a great opportunity for BOTH males and females!!

7. I will post weekly occasional updates with donations received for reference.
  • As of February 28 - $25 in total donations
  • As of March 6 - $25 in total donations 
  • As of March 20 - $230 in total donations
  • As of April 18 - $355 in total donations
8. Please be sure to leave me a comment on this post that you have donated so I can track. Thank you!

9. Winners must notify me via email - squirrelgirl44 (at) hotmail (dot) com by MONDAY, MAY 6 to claim their prizes! I will then get your gift card emailed to you within 48 hours OR your prize mailed to you (if applicable).

Why wait... start now! Donate HERE. 
  •  Remember, your donation is tax deductible.
  • The service budget for Lazarex is 83% (or $0.83 of every dollar) and annual operating expenses are 17%. Since Lazarex founders cover the cost of annual operating expenses, 100% of each dollar you raise or donate goes directly to our patient program services.
  •  Lazarex Cancer Foundation builds a bridge to hope, dignity and life for cancer patients and their families. 
  • They provide financial assistance to defray the costs associated with patient participation in FDA clinical trials.
  • They help patients navigate their clinical trial options and provide community education and outreach services.
  • They provide resources for cancer patients who’ve been told they have no other options, but who are not yet done with their journey in life and refuse to give up now.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I forgot to post about the results of my bloodwork/labs. ALL NORMAL. So... that kind of sucks. I mean, if there was actually a medical explanation for my fatigue and loss of stamina/energy, I would actually feel better because there would be something I could do to fix it. Only other thing doctor could think of is that the hormones in my birth control (depo) could be causing that. I can see how that would make sense, I have been taking it for just over 2 years, and about 2 years ago is when I started seeing a change in everything. I have 5 weeks until it "expires" so I'll talk to my other doctor about other options. Otherwise, I am at a loss.

2. Another person quit at my office. And they have no plans on replacing her. Which means I will now be expected to do the work of THREE people, with no extra pay. Related: I NEED A NEW JOB.

3. I got a deal to register for a half marathon in June for $25. Sold.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

(Sort Of) Wordless Wednesday

Who am I kidding? Of course I have things to say.

So Monday, A didn't have school because of President's Day. Actually, she didn't have school last Friday either. Lucky. Since I had been gone most of the weekend racing in Arizona, I took a half day off from work so we could hang out a bit. I left work at noon and we had lunch, then drove up to Chautauqua Park in Boulder.

One of my duties as an Ambassador for INKnBURN, obviously, is to get some "real life" shots of me wearing the gear - what better way to spread the word, than through... pictures? A was pretty excited about going for a hike (I figured even dead and brown foothills are more scenic than the city) even though it was in the upper 30's and CRAZY WINDY.

These were my two favorite pictures she got of me:

Lotus Camisole and Performance Denim
Red Sakura Pullover and Performance Denim
A says, "I LOVE HIKING!"
It was a super fun afternoon and we can't wait to go back when the weather is a bit warmer.

And if you still haven't taken the plunge and tested out some INB for yourself, set up an account and use the discount code BeckaToldMe and save 15% off your order. This is HUGE!

Unrelated: I participated in a plank challenge. Goal was one hour of planks in one week. I missed the first 2 days because I didn't know about it and only did a few minutes on marathon day. To help catch up, I did A BILLION minutes yesterday (over 20, in sections of 1.5-3 minutes), ending the challenge with just over 53 minutes. My abs are angry.

Also unrelated: Since there were zero donations in the last week, I will hold on to my tube of Nuun. I'm at a loss for a better way to raise money. I had luck before when I was giving away a ton of stuff, but I'm not able to do that this time around. Any other suggestions? I still have about $800 to raise (I have until mid August, but the more time that passes, the more nervous I get about reaching my goal).

Anyway, donation link is in my sidebar or HERE.

Monday, February 18, 2013

IMS Arizona Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, February 17
Phoenix, AZ
Marathon #19
Arizona Marathon #2
Weather - Chilly/mild at start, sunny and hot at the end

Remember that one time I registered, on opening day (for $35!!) for a marathon that was almost 11 months away? Yeah.Who can even pass UP a marathon for $35??? So when Heather alerted me to the IMS Arizona marathon, I immediately signed up. I bought airfare for about $100, and my friend Ruth decided to join me. Her mom lives in Scottsdale, so the entire race cost me less than a Rock n' Roll!

Saturday

I booked an 11 am flight out of Denver so that I would have time to go to an expo, etc. when I arrived. A few months later, Frontier (AGAIN) eliminated that schedule, so I didn't end up heading to Arizona until 2:00, arriving around 3:45. Luckily, Ruth was able to pick up the packet (and me at the airport). We did some last minute shopping - Target (for sunscreen) and Sports Authority (so Ruth could get a new visor). We had dinner at Applebee's. I got something different (!!), steak fettuccine, a salad and a beer. By the time we got back to her mom's, I was EXHAUSTED. We chatted with her mom for a bit, and I headed to bed around 9:15, although by the time I got everything ready for the morning, it was probably 10:00 :(

Sunday

Woke up at 4:30 am, and had slept GREAT. Had a Krispy Kreme at the house and grabbed a banana for later. We were to park at the finish line, and then there were shuttles to take us to the start. We found everything without any problems. I had my banana on the bus. There were indoor bathrooms at the start. By the time we cycled through the line and put on sunscreen it was about 20 minutes to the start and we still had to drop our bags. I ran into Chiara at the start (no picture because I am the worst blogger EVER). We talked for a minute and parted ways so we could use the bathroom at the grocery store before the start.

By the time we got out of the bathroom (right across from the start) we had about 2 minutes to get a picture:


Less than one minute later, the race started. With as crappy as I have been feeling lately, I was REALLY apprehensive about this race. The goal, like always, start out slow and hope I don't die.

I had a really big goal to not walk at all this race. There were aid stations on the course every two miles, starting at mile 1. I took the following pictures at the mile 1 aid stations. Sunrise is so pretty!



I spent the first few miles panicky about my calves seizing up. My left one got a bit testy but never cramped up to the point that I had to stop running. I was keeping what felt like an easy pace and even though the sun was already coming up, it was still a bit chilly. I am still boycotting the Garmin, so I had NO clue what my paces were. Which, turns out, is pretty nice.

We entered our first neighborhood around mile 5 (?). The spectators were the cutest, they all had their golf carts and lawn chairs. Lots of enthusiasm! Two ladies circled drove up and down the neighborhood with tambourines.


I was taking GU (13 month expired Roctanes) starting at mile 3, every 4 miles. I stopped to stretch at the mile 7 aid station because my (right) hip was starting to throb, and my IT band (also right side) was threatening to become a problem too. Luckily, the brief stretching seemed to keep the pain at bay.



Mile 11 aid station - they gave out Goldfish crackers!
The temperature still felt fine. It was SUPER sunny, but I wasn't hot yet. I felt great through about mile 12.5. My thighs started to feel super tight and I had to stop and stretch, even though I knew it was less than a half mile to the next aid station. I felt "mostly ok" for the next few miles.



Around mile 17 is when things started to heat up. My (right) ankle was throbbing a bit (this has been an issue on and off for over 2 years, it is hard to tell when it might flare up), even though I had KT taped it. My right hip was hurting. Overall, I was hurting. I stopped to use the bathroom at the mile 17 aid station, and pretty much from there, I took a lot of walk breaks.

Aid stations 19, 20, 21 were all hosted by Eagle Scouts with American flags
I didn't think the course got boring until maybe mile 19. By then, the sun was blaring down and we were no longer running in the pretty neighborhoods. It was pretty bland out. I had hoped to not take any walk breaks when the aid stations were every mile (starting at mile 20). Between the heat and how I was feeling, I still took breaks. Lame. The miles were crawling by and I just wanted to be done.

The only major hill on the course is about a half mile from the finish - an overpass:



I thought I could give it all I got once I hit the downhill from the bridge. Nope. I walked until I saw mile 26, and then barely was able to run across the line. I crossed with 5:20 on the clock, the "fastest" marathon I have run since San Francisco in July. Even though it was "faster" - I was disappointed with how great I felt the first half and how crappy I felt the second half and how much I fell apart at the end. I never used to have that happen in marathons.

Bib #104
Official Time - 5:20:08
Official Chip Time - 5:16:46 (I don't recall starting this far back, so I'm going with the other time) Overall Place  - 279/306 (Time limit was 6 hours so no walkers)
Division Place - 34/38
MMR Time - 5:19:59
MMR Distance - 26.67
MMR Pace - 11:59
Mile 1 - 10:01
Mile 2 - 10:56
Mile 3 - 10:31
Mile 4 - 11:02
Mile 5 - 10:58
Mile 6 - 10:46
Mile 7 - 10:52
Mile 8 - 10:57
Mile 9 - 11:26
Mile 10 - 10:52
Mile 11 - 11:02
Mile 12 - 11:16
Mile 13 - 11:59
Mile 14 - 12:05
Mile 15 - 11:46
Mile 16 - 12:09
Mile 17 - 11:57
Mile 18 - 13:51
Mile 19 - 13:04
Mile 20 - 12:24
Mile 21 - 12:48
Mile 22 - 13:10
Mile 23 - 13:42
Mile 24 -12:52
Mile 25 - 13:43
Mile 26 - 13:08
Mile 26.8ish - 13:32

Somehow, Ruth got me to do a jump at the finish (waiting for official picture). Forgot to get a picture of me with my medal - but don't worry, here is me with a creepy statue at the finish area.


Front
Back

I was able to exchange my size medium shirt for a Unisex XS (which was still big). They had laminated finisher certificates and picking up our bag was a breeze. Somehow, even though neither of us had bothered to look where we parked, we managed to find the car with no issues. On the way back to her mom's house, we stopped and got bacon maple lattes (yes, that is for REAL a thing). Then we sat in the pool/hot tub for an hour or so. By the time we showered and packed, it was time for dinner. Her mom took us to a place named Keegan's, where I had a jalapeno bacon burger, fries, green chili mac & cheese and a beer. THE MOST DELICIOUS MEAL EVER.

The airport was a breeze and our flight left on time. We landed about 15 minutes early, I was NOT the last person dropped off at my car, and I was home just after 10:15. Overall, a success. Thoughts:
  • I went into this race with very low expectations. While the course was described as "flat and fast" - I also heard it was incredibly boring. I didn't really find it that bad. The end wasn't great, but until mile 18/19, it was pretty!
  • The forecast was for highs in the upper 70s. I am happy that it didn't "feel" hot until the last 8 or so miles.
  • I am bummed that my body didn't cooperate better. My legs just did NOT want to run. They were tight and angry and achy. Not cool :-/
  • The medal is awesome.
  • The race is 100% volunteer run, and they did a GREAT job. There were 16 aid stations on the course and they all had water AND different flavors of Gatorade. There were also port-o-potties ALL OVER the course. (THUMBS UP!!)
  • Everything was VERY smooth. Ruth said pick up was a breeze, and the shuttle service was fantastic. Bag drop was easy. There were just over 300 runners, so for me, it was pretty much a perfect sized race.
  • For the first time, I clipped my iPod to my hat instead of my shirt (I've been having chafing issues with the clip) - that was a GREAT idea.
  • I don't think I would travel for this one again, but if you are local or close, I say do it. It maybe isn't quite as scenic as Lost Dutchman, but it's a flat and pretty decent course.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wordy Wordy Wednesday...

Maybe I'll just start doing ALL my posts as bullet lists (other than race recaps?)
  • So hey, I'm running a marathon on Sunday. I sure hope I survive. My calf pain has gotten pretty bad. Not to mention I went to Chaos for the first time in ages and I am so sore I can barely move.
    • Related - I have that doctor's appointment tomorrow. Cross your fingers that I just have some dumb vitamin deficiency or something.
  • Fundraising, fundraising... Click HERE to donate!
    • Team Lazarex provides financial assistance to defray the costs associated with patient participation in FDA clinical trials. Additionally, they help patients navigate their clinical trial options and provide community education and outreach services. Their mission is to provide resources for cancer patients who've been told they have no other options, but who are not yet done with their journey in life and refuse to give up now. 
    • Anyone who donates $10 between now and February 20 (one week from today) will be eligible to win a tube of Nuun (my choice of flavor, sorry!). Comment on this post that you want to be included, I'll post a winner on the 21st.
  •  I created a "bio" for INKnBURN when I was chosen as an Ambassador (it's actually a Power Point, but I converted to pictures for my lovely followers):


























  •  Speaking of INKnBURN - did you notice I have a code on my blog where you can save 15% on EVERYTHING they sell??? Use code BeckaToldMe at checkout.
  • Did you notice on the last slide of my "bio" that I stated I wanted to do the Transrockies Run??? Well, you can join me! Use code rebeccatrr and save $100 off your entry! This is good on both the RUN3 and RUN6 options. Mid August, say YES!!
  • I swiped a few pictures from my race on Sunday: 
Mile 3.75
Mile 12
FINISH!

Week in Review (November 7 - November 13)

Tuesday  (9,392 steps) - Nothing... walked on the treadmill and watched an episode of Game of Thrones. Wednesday  (19,114 steps) - Runners ...