Tuesday, March 8, 2016

It's Official. My mind has been blown. #TCSNYCMarathon #BamagirlrunsNYC



     Today. March 8, 2016. My mind was OFFICIALLY BLOWN.  I got in to the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon.

     Legit. Legal. Lottery. I saw my name.

     I still can't believe it!! It's 8:57pm and I'm typing this STILL IN SHOCK. I have forwarded the official email to myself twice just to make sure I've read it right. Lol. I woke up this morning with NYC on my mind. I went to bed last night with NYC on my mind. My hubs just asked me if I was in NYC tonight....oh he knows. When I go there in my brain, he's lost me. And he's right. Tonight, I'm in the Big Apple. ;)
My Morning Coffee. :)

     So here's my back story and my Love/Hate Relationship with TCS New York City Marathon.

First, I'll tell you why the hate fest:  Because I've wanted it SO bad. And yeah, I know..I could have ran for charity or I could have qualified before now. But, But, But. And here come the excuses...

1.  I'm not that fast. Nor do I care to be.
2.  I wanted to see my name as being accepted. Petty, I know. But still, I wanted to see it.
3.  I love New York City and I wanted to run through it.

     When you want something SO BAD and you know that you can't have it, you want it even more. You're Hungry for it. You're Not gonna settle until you have it. And you get MAD when you don't get it. There's only a few things in life that I'm this way about.  NYC Marathon was one of those things. I'll have those others one day too.

     Moving on to the Love Fest:  I've been a runner since 2008. My sister had been a runner for one year prior to me. She had told me a year or so after we had been running that she had applied for NYC Marathon and that I should too. At that time, a marathon was not even in my vocabulary. Keep in mind, I was sooooo new to all of this. 

     I had just decided that I was going to train for my first Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in 2009 and I was a nervous wreck! Regardless, she still applied and I did not.

     The next year I applied.
And the year after, and the year after, and the year after, and the year after and the year after. The more I applied and got rejected, the more I wanted in.

Sigggggghhhhhh.

     I had missed the window of the 3 + 1. And thanks to the cancellation of the race a couple of years ago, the odds were just ridiculous the past couple of years with all of the deferments.

Good Grief. 

     I wasn't going to give up. And, this lottery drawing was out of my control. That drove me nuts!!! I couldn't just get in.  It was a hard pill to swallow when I saw people getting in that I KNEW wouldn't train or were just applying because it was the cool thing to do. It was HARD to read the posts from people who bragged about people waiting for years to get in and they got in on the first try and were most likely not even going to go because they didn't care enough.  #WhatTheWHAT?!?!  I wanted people to run this race with heart and I wanted to cheer for everyone, every year in NYC. I did not want to harbor any ill feelings just because I didn't get in.  I needed to change my thought process because I felt like I was being SO SELFISH and SO BRATTY. There were people who wanted to run this race waaaaaayyyy more than me out there. And I wanted to realize that. I wanted to be happy for everyone. Again, I'm SO THANKFUL that my broken ankle taught me more lessons than I ever imagined. I learned to be happy for people in ways that I never thought that I could. 

     Needless to say, my sister and her husband got in the race a couple of years ago. I lived vicariously through her! That was so awesome to follow her that day. And I still wanted in.

     Last year, through the power of social media...it seemed as if I knew a million people running that race. That was so fun to watch on television and then live it all over again through their social media. And I still wanted in.

     Year after year, I remember watching this race on television. I watched all of the elites. I watched all of the sappy stories. And I just cried. Nothing is more emotional that watching this race. I still wanted in.

     The running joke between me and my husband has always been that I live here in Alabama but somewhere along the way, I missed my calling. My gypsy genes need to be fed.  I could always see myself living right smack in the middle of NYC. Or Chicago. Or Los Angeles. Or Nashville.  Or anywhere in Florida. It's just a joke and I really love living in Bama but my gypsy genes are not a joke. He knows it. I like to get out there.

     When my hobby of running and traveling collided, my whole world changed.

     Suddenly, a trip to Walt Disney World was never the same again. I looked at every city in a different way.  I wanted to visit places that I've never even thought of before. On foot.  I tell everyone that I'm geographically stupid and can't remember road signs, street names, etc. but I can remember every twist and turn of a race and remember things so specifically on each mile during races. I think most runners can relate to this.

     So today is the big day. Today was the day of the lottery drawing. I get to work for a few hours and then I check my checking account. Nothing.  I had thought that I would not even look at it. I was going to try to keep my mind occupied. I wasn't going to look. Crap. I couldn't do it. I couldn't be calm. I caved to the NYC Marathon pressure.  And then I looked.....

And then I lost it.


     I sobbed like a baby and my boss said..."Baby, I don't even know what you are crying about and I have no idea what to do with you but please don't do that. Can I help? Are you okay?" Poor guy...He was being so sweet to me.

     I was crying the happiest tears. I could not believe what I had just seen. I had imagined it for 6 years.

Seriously, my mind just started going nuts. This was my number one. I created a Bucket List YEARS AGO and this was my number one race. I wrote it all down and folded up the paper and tucked it in a drawer. On November 6, 2016, I'm going to cross this race off of the list. Unreal.

     I texted my hubs. I posted it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. I was over the moon excited. I had to pretend to be calm at work. I had to go watch my boy in a Band Concert later. I had to go teach a class. How in the world was I going to function today?!?!! I was also very sensitive to the fact that there were lots of people who didn't get in and hearts were broken. That's the part that I hate too.

Back to my crazy mind....

WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO WEAR???

WHAT SHOES AM I GOING TO WEAR??

OMG. I HAVE TO TRAIN LIKE A BEAST.

I'M ABOUT TO RUN LIKE A REAL MARATHONER. OMG. A NEW YORK CITY MARATHONER.

BUT SERIOUSLY, WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?!?!

I NEED NEW LIPGLOSS.
I'm gone. I've lost my mind today.

I cannot wait. I'm a nerd and actually counted the days. 

And then because I'm a spaz, I forgot the days. I don't care about how many days I have. I care about the process of getting there.

I made a promise to myself after I broke my ankle and crossed the Finish Line of the 2015 Runner's World Half Marathon that I would always cherish the process of making it to the Finish Line and not ever beat myself up over times or things that stress me out. I will train and run hard but I refuse to think the way I use to before.  I will always invest in other people and runners. Other stories. The heart of the races. I will run with the injured and those who are slower than me. I will pray for those who can't run to heal quickly so that they can run. I will run for those who can't. I would not act bratty or selfish if I didn't get into races. My time would come and my time would come at the BEST TIME. That time is better than any PR could ever be. To me. :)
Chicago Marathon.

I will train to run this marathon with heart. I am making that promise to myself.

I'm about to cross off another Major Marathon off of my list. I never would have thought way back in 2008 that I would be saying those words.

I'm excited. I'm ready for this race. I'm ready to train.

     If you know me in real life, you know I love pizza. You know I fell in love with Central Park on my last trip to NYC. You know I'm a Seinfeld Junkie. You know I love being a houndstooth wearing tourist nerd. You know that this race and all of my NYC adventures will mean the world to me.


Gimme that NY Pizza.



     I've been working on reserving my room. On my last trip, I stayed at RowNYC and LOVED it. I am going to try to stay there again. I realize that it's a little bit of a walk or a taxi cab ride away from the Central Park area but I really want to stay in Times Square again!  Check out my hotel review here.

I cannot say it enough!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU, NYRR for picking my name.  I already love everything about this race and I haven't even left Alabama. Get ready NEW YORK CITY.....BamagirlRUNS is coming for ya!

NYC, you have my heart tonight. Thank you for that. <3

Happy Running, Happy Training and Happy Bucket List Crossing Off!
Follow #BamagirlrunsNYC and follow my TCS New York City Marathon journey.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

My Mizuno Paradox 2 Shoe Review #MilesChangeYou

Mizuno  Paradox 2
     
After running Dopey Challenge and LOTS of miles in 2015, my shoes have HAD it. I knew going into Mercedes Half Marathon Weekend that I needed a new pair of shoes. I shopped around at the expo because I knew that my local running store was going to have a fabulous sale and I wanted to take advantage of that!

     I was correct! There was a great sale at the expo and I found the shoes that I've had my eye on. I wanted a pair of the new Mizuno Paradox 2's. I had read that they had a really wide toebox and I love that. I have wide feet so this is right up my alley. I ended up not wearing them during Mercedes Half because I tried out a friends' Hoka One One shoes....I saved my new kicks for the following weekend.

     I will admit that I'm not loyal to one shoe brand...there are just so many great brands out there. However, I will say that I'm a total Mizuno fangirl. These are my 6th pair within two years. I think I've tried them all....Wave Rider, Wave Enigma, Wave Inspire etc. I have a pair of Wave Catalyst on the way to my house too! ;)

     I bought the Silver and Dark Shadow (Green) combo. I was going to be a mermaid the following weekend at Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend so as much as I needed a functional shoe, I needed one that would match my sea legs too. Right?!? #Priorities.

     Here's a little more technical information about this shoe.....

WAVE PARADOX 2: NIMBLE MEETS STABLE

The Wave Paradox 2 is a popular lightweight women’s running shoe with a wide toe box. Offering both structure and cushion while providing a light and sleek ride, the Wave Paradox 2 redefines maximum stability.

Durability + Flexibility:

One of the features of the Wave Paradox 2 is an additional millimeter of blown rubber on a refined outsole. This provides you with a better underfoot feel and increased durability without sacrificing flexibility.

Key Features:

  • A PU printed design wraps around the heel and midfoot for a lightweight yet structural upper.
  • This shoe features a Double Fan Wave in the heel for maximum support and an Articulated Wave in the forefoot for maximum cushioning and minimal forefoot rigidity.
  • An additional millimeter of blown rubber on a redefined outsole means a better underfoot feel and increased durability, without sacrificing flexibility.
  • Ramp: 12mm
Feeling like a Mermaid Rockstar in my new Kicks!
     My Review?? Oh my gosh. I loved them. They were super comfy and super cush.  Normally if shoes are too tight for me, my pinky toes start screaming at me. I crossed the finish line of Disney's Princess Half Marathon and my pinky toes were completely happy. :)) I can't wait to put some serious Spring miles on them. :)))
Mickey Mouse Aprroves of my new Mizuno's!

Mile 5..Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom!
     Although I needed a pair of shoes that I could wear with almost any running outfit or color, I've noticed on the Mizuno website that there are a few new colors for this model..a pink and a purple. I think a new Spring color will be calling my name soon. I like bright. :)

     One thing that I've learned about running....investing in good running shoes is never a bad idea.  All of the training in the world will do you no good if your feet are killing you because of worn out shoes! 

Look for a review of my Mizuno Wave Catalyst coming soon.

Happy Running, Happy Destination Running and Happy New Spring Running Shoe Shopping. :))

For more information on these Mizuno shoes and others, please visit MizunoUsa.com.



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Total Weirdness and Good Hair Days. #OperationMissionThankful




     Today may go down as one of my weirdest days in the history of weirdest days.  It started out with me laying in the bed this morning and snuggling up with my puppies for the longest time. I heard my hubs in the the kitchen cleaning up and fussing the kids off to school so I had a little bit of extra time to just lay there. I'm a super slow mover when I first wake up and truth time....I don't like to talk to anyone for the first couple of hours that I'm awake. I'm soooooo NOT a morning person. Thanks hubs! I needed to just have a late morning.

     Once I got up, I got up with a mission. I got ready for work, was going to be on time AND was having a great hair day. That NEVER happens....you are now entering my weird zone.

     I get to work. I'm not on the schedule for the day. whaaaaatttt???? I'm off work for the entire day??? Ok. Big time bummer that I drove all the way there, hurried to get there, fought the 8am Birmingham traffic but OKAY. This day is not lost. It was going to be a gorgeous day and I knew exactly what I was about to go do....RUN.

     I had been texting with one of my gal pals for days trying to figure out when we were going to get our run in this week. Our schedules just were NOT MESHING. I called her up, and BAM!! Just like that, we were now about to get our run on. 

     Bye Bye Good Hair Day...This Mop of a Do is going up in a ponytail and I don't feel bad for wasting you away!

Yay us!

     We got a great 5 miler in. We chatted and then went for coffee afterwards. I feel so bad sometimes for not being a good friend. Lots of my girlfriends are in training for runDisney's Princess Half Marathon and I feel like I've dropped the ball on helping with their training.  Today is not that day. I'm in total #FriendZone.  Seriously, this is turning into a great day. 

     After my run, I went home and checked through my zillions of emails, scratched through a few things on my to-do list. Forgot to go to the bank. Oh well. I'll do that tomorrow.

     By now, it's late afternoon and I've got to head back to work for the evening. I'm teaching a Group Women On Weights Class and I gotta get there! This is a small group Personal Training kind of thing and I'm adding a new friend tonight.

     I get to the gym. We have a great class. I worked their butts off. We were a hot sweaty mess.  Life is good and they seemed Happy.

     ........And then it happened.

     I take the new friend into my Personal Training office and we discuss all kinds of goals, exercises and plans.  For the sake of confidentiality I can't go into any details about our discussions. However, I can tell you that I cried with this girl and I laughed with this girl. She didn't even have to say a word. It was written on her face and I knew at that moment that she was placed into my life and mine into hers for a reason.  Good gracious gosh. There are just some days when I love my job waaaaaay more than I could EVER put into words.  I have complained for years that I have a Social Psychology degree and don't use it. That couldn't be further from the truth. Working in the fitness industry with a Social Psych degree couldn't be a more perfect combo. 

     I expected to be silly today. I expected to get a workout in today. I expected to work today. I work everyday and I work all day long. In fact, I never quit working. I expect to work all day long. Heck. I'll expect to work all day long tomorrow. I love working.

     But what I didn't expect was that when I woke up feeling like I was waking up on a mission, I REALLY was waking up on a mission. I don't get very spiritual on social media EVER (I save all that for my private life) but I will tell you that I do believe in prayer and I do believe that missions can be found right in your own backyard.  I know that I'm not here to save the world but I do believe that I am placed right where I need to be for certain people. For that, I am SO Thankful for my less-than-glamorous paying job. I love it and I cannot put a price tag on that nor do I ever care to. 

     Tomorrow, I may not be on a mission and that's OKAY too.  Not everyday is like that. BUT.....not everyday is a good hair day either ya know??

     I just know that when these moments happen, you know. You just know.

Again, this was just the weirdest day. In a totally good weird kind of way.

     This week, I prayed that my week, my attitude and mindset be totally turned around and I couldn't be more thankful that my prayers were definitely answered. :)

I hope you ALL have a great rest of the week!

Happy Running, Happy Good Hair Days and Happy Missions. :)))

Fun 5 Miler
Scenes from a McCafe with a Bestie.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Note to Self: Don't Deny Your Crazy

After last Saturday's post on Instagram, boy oh boy did my phone BLOW UP. I appreciate all of the words of encouragement. 

I certainly wasn't looking for a pity party. I just had a really bad week. If I ONLY posted the good things in life, I feel like I would come across as a social media weirdo. 

I possess a touch of crazy. I don't deny that. But I do deny that I'm a slacker. I deny that I do things strictly to hurt others. I do deny that I'm not worth someone's time. 

I am one of the most driven and motivated people FULL of positive energy and intentions that you will EVER find. Just like I claim my faults, I claim the good things about myself. 

So as I stand here in my bathroom early on Monday morning, I had contemplated deleting that post all weekend(I don't like to be vulnerable)....I have decided to leave it. 

I've already ran a couple of times to clear my head and I have a few AMAZING opportunities going on this week....ain't NOBODY got time to be in a bad mood. :)))

I've got to finish getting ready for my day...this is NOT "No Make-up Monday". Lol. #GirlGoPutYoHappyFaceOn

Hope everyone has a GREAT week! I plan on it. :)))

Happy Running and Happy Monday.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Certifications, Red Shoe Run and WOW! Just WOW.


     Hey BamagirlRUNS....what's been going on with you??

So last week was a VERY interesting week for me. 

A few things happened.
1.  I started teaching a Women on Weights (WOW) class at my YMCA. After 1.5 classes, I have already figured out exactly WHY I'm supposed to be working with these women. I cannot even imagine
how much I will take away from these women after 10 sessions.   I was scared to death to teach this class and now I'm totally at ease. Funny how things work like this.

2.  I have completed The Red Shoe Run. 
Gosh!! I'm super proud to say that I've had a hand in this one. (more to come on this race...SOON, I Promise!)


3.  Last Thursday, I was Silver Sneaker Certified! What??
Never in one million years did I think that I would ever want to teach that class. I love working with Seniors, but wow. just wow. I'm actually nervous now.

When I get nervous, I get motivated and know that I'm nervous for a reason. My mind/body/spirit says one thing but my heart says another......ALWAYS trust your heart. :)))

I know that I'm going to LOVE this class. I just don't know why it's taken me so long to get the nerve up to teach it. 



This is me working out for about 8 hours behind a chair, in a chair,  on the side of a chair.
Silver Sneakers....I'm ready for you!!


  I had an AMAZING meeting this week that I'm chomping at the bit to share my news but can't just yet!! Fun running adventures are in my near future and I'm so so sooooo excited! 

Until then, 
Happy Running, Happy Running Adventures and Happy WOW! :) 

You had me at Funky Pants.

     A few weeks ago, I posted a New Year's Resolution-ish type of post where I claimed that 2016 would be the year of Funky Pants for me! Normally, I don't make promises or New Year's Resolutions of any types. I have a MAJOR fear of commitment. (Seriously, I jump ship when I feel like I'm committing to something that I can't follow through with or something that freaks me out). #OutOfSightOutOfMind

     However, I am LOVING wearing my funky pants.  I wore my new Dona Jo workout pants to the Walt Disney World 5K during Marathon Weekend and I couldn't have been any happier with my wardrobe selection.

     It was a cool morning and these pants were PERFECT. I didn't need anything thermal or insulated but I liked having the coverage on my legs. I think I must have received 500 compliments on my pants.  Seriously, the bright pattern was just fun.  I like fun!


First Leg of the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge....Walt Disney World 5K.
Afterglow
    After a few corresponding emails with Dona Jo, they were so gracious to create a special discount code for me to share with my friends and readers. How cool is that??

     I quickly ordered my second pair of leggings (because I loved the first pair so much) and will wear these fabulous leggings as I run, in yoga class, while I teach my classes or when I'm out running errands. They are just too fabulous to keep in a drawer. 

How Do They Fit??
This is the number one question that I have received about these leggings. I think that they are SUPER SOFT and are stretchy enough to cover multiple sizes. I ordered the size 1 (0-8). I  think that they fit true to size and even after running a few miles in them, they did not sag. Major bonus points from me on that one. #SaggyPantsAreNoBueno.

**I have only tried out the leggings so I cannot speak for the sports bras, tanks, shorts or skirts.


Leggings in Whirlwind Pattern.
          So as of tonight, I'm 24 days into 2016 and I'm doing OKAY on some of the resolution-ish type promises that I've made. I'm wearing and LOVING my funky pants. I'm still working on my one-year goal.  I'm making great progress with that one. I have 341 more days to make it happen. ;)  I am focusing on what I need to focus on. 

      So far, so good! 

Use code BAMAGIRLRUNS to save yourself 20% off of your total Dona Jo purchase if you would like to order some of these fabulous leggings!! I really love mine and hope that you will too. :))

Happy Running, Happy Shopping and Happy 2016. <3

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Red Shoe Run, McCoffee and Red Shoe Shopping. :)


     Happy 2016! Along with the rest of the world, I have decided to set a few goals for myself. One of those goals was to begin running a few more local races and really getting to know my running community in Birmingham, Alabama. Not saying that I won't travel a little in 2016, but I do want to tune in a bit more to my home life. :)

     I was beyond thrilled when McDonalds and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama  reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in helping out with The Red Shoe Run in Homewood, Alabama! Would I??? Of course I would!!  This race offers a one mile fun run, a 5k and 10-mile distance.  There is something for everyone!!


     I've had friends with very sick children who have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House so I knew this was a FABULOUS charity to support. Plus, who doesn't like McDonalds?? I don't know of a soul who could really say that.


     All I knew before I started this adventure was that I was going to have some pretty big red shoes to fill. #SeeWhatIDidThere?

     I went over to my local Hoover McDonalds where there was Red Shoe Run Sign Up Party going on. Runners were encouraged to stop by, register and enjoy a combo meal compliments of McDonalds.  How cool is that?? Free meal and register for a race? I'm in. My kids were pumped! They can gobble up a Big Mac Meal in about two seconds...Hungry teenagers are the BEST. :)))

     Not only did I register for the race but I became a Team Captain! I'm going to encourage all of my local running friends to join my team (Team BamagirlRUNS) and come have some fun with me on January 23rd at the Red Shoe Run!

     As a Team Captain, I will be in charge of picking up my teams' race packets, raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama and attending a social.  At the social, we will take a tour of the Ronald McDonald House, enjoy a dinner provided by McDonald's, game some race day information, pick up my team packets early and receive a team Captain t-shirt!!  I'm so excied about this!!
    



     My little Seahawks fan COULD NOT WAIT to get the Red Shoes on his feet and has asked me at least one million times to buy him a pair!  He's a nutty little fella who likes to dress up and wear silly things....wonder where he gets that from?? hmmmmm.... ;)



Proud moment.
     Anyone who knows me in real life knows that after I run, I freeze. I mean, I FREEZE. Shaking like a leaf and can't hold a cup kind of freezing. It could be 85 degrees outside and my body temperature dips waaaaay down. I stop after every race or workout for coffee somewhere. I'm not gonna lie when I say that normally, it's either a local coffee shop, O'henry's, with my running group or it's Starbucks if I'm on the go.


     Well. 2016 is a brand new year and I'm trying brand new things! I'm swapping over my coffee habits to McDonalds coffee before and after my workouts. This is working for me. I like McDonalds coffee. It's inexpensive compared to other coffees that I have been drinking. I like the fact that I can work with a Company that supports a FANTASTIC Cause and I love their products. It's the perfect combo for me!

     Another thing that I'm learning through this process is that McDonalds has changed up their menu a little bit. They are really focusing on healthy menu options. I'm a HUGE fan of that!!  I typically don't eat a whole lot of fast food just because I struggle with eating junk food.  The more I learn about the new menu, the more impressed I am.  Bring on the salads, yogurts and Artisan Chicken Sandwiches!



     I'm heading out now to be interviewed on my local news station to talk about The Red Shoe Run! EEEEEeeeeKk!!  I'm really looking forward to this race and cannot wait to have fun in my striped socks and RED SHOES!!  That reminds me... I gotta go Red Shoe Shopping! :)))

Happy Running, Happy Coffee and Happy Red Shoe Shopping!

For more information on The Red Shoe Run, please visit www.redshoerun-bham.org.  Use Code BAMAGIRLRUNS and save $5 when you join my team!