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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I may be a chicken, but you can be a SPARTAN!

I've been pretty straightforward in previous posts about how I feel about adventure and obstacle type races and color runs. I am seriously afraid of getting injured and derailing my training in the one type, and I have no desire to have anything thrown at me, no matter how soft, in the other.

But I think it is awesome that so many of you have a little more courage than I do, that you have jumped over fire, crawled through mud and had a rainbow of colors thrown in your face.

So when Dan with Spartan Race contacted me to see if I'd be interested in giving away a race entry on my blog, I was excited. So many of you are willing to get out there and get dirty. To bust your butts in a totally different way than I do when I line up at a starting line.

Besides being able to let one of you totally kill it at a Spartan Race, I am looking forward to heading out to the Soldier Hollow Spartan Race here in Utah on June 29th. As a spectator, of course. And you will get to find out what I think after having a front row seat to one of these amazing races. Maybe I'll even consider doing one myself. But that's yet to be seen.

The Spartan Race has been voted the #1 obstacle race by Outside Magazine and has been the global leader in obstacle racing since 2005. There are almost 50 different events throughout the United States, Canada and Great Britain. You can find a list of them HERE.

Want to know a little more about what a Spartan Race is? Then watch this!

After watching that, how can you NOT want a free entry to the race (in the US) of your choice? Here's how YOU can enter to win (please let me know when you have done any of the following and leave each entry as a separate comment):

1 - Tell me which race you would enter and why you want to win. (required - 1 entry)
2 - Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. (optional - 1 entry for each place shared)
3 - Follow me on Facebook HERE and/or Instagram @ihaverun. (optional - 2 possible entries)
4 - Follow Spartan Race on Facebook HERE. (optional - 1 entry)

Winner will be chosen (by on Monday, June 3rd. That's in ONE WEEK, so don't waste any time!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Things I Love Thursday - Getting Back on the Horse

My little Bean is obsessed with horses. After asking for months when she could ride a horse, we signed her up for riding lessons. She is fearless. All she wants to do is "go fast." But she's also willing to do whatever it takes to be able to ride a horse. She puts in the work. She brushes the horse; cleans out its hooves; puts on the saddle and the bridle. She has learned all the commands and noises to guide the horse to do what she wants. She has completely devoted herself to learning to ride a horse so that she can go fast. (Sound familiar?)

Her last few lessons, she started galloping. First it was walking, then trotting and now galloping. For that tiny little 4-year-old body on top of a great big horse, a gallop is pretty fast. Yesterday, her horse decided since she liked to gallop so much, he would gallop when she wasn't expecting it. And my Bean fell off. Luckily it was kind of a slow slide down the side of the horse, and she landed fairly flat on her back.

Once she calmed down and stopped crying, we confirmed that nothing was more than bruised. Then she asked to go home. One the way home, Bean said she was done with riding lessons. For good. But an hour later, as she sat in the bathtub getting hay out of all her nooks and crannies, she decided she would go to riding lessons again next week. She would get back on the horse.

Last Saturday, I ran my fifth marathon. I was excited and nervous. It was a course I hadn't run before, other than on one long run a few weeks before. And while my official goal was a sub-4:00 marathon, I secretly (or maybe not so secretly as my pace became faster and faster over the past few months) wanted to BQ, which meant a sub-3:40. I knew it was a possibility based on my long run times. But I was also scared to let myself really want it.

Things didn't go exactly as I hoped on race day. I was on target to get under 3:40 at the half. And still had it in my sights at mile 21. But the last four miles were tough. My stomach was upset; my neck was stiff and painful; it had rained the entire race, which made me so cold I couldn't feel my fingers enough to get my salt tabs out of my pocket or to push the little button to change the song on my headphones. 

I crossed the finish line at 3:48:52. I got my sub-4:00 and a 14 minute PR, but I was just done. Emotionally and physically. I couldn't even be happy about it. 

Before the race, my husband contacted some of my closest friends, some of the most amazing women in the world, to find out what they would put on a poster to cheer me on along the course if they could. Then he and my girls made those posters and hung them along the course.


At mile 22, I saw one of those friends. And after she said exactly what I needed to hear and then went back to wait for her sister, she texted my husband and told him I was struggling. He went and took down one of the signs. This one:

When I was sitting in my car after the race, convulsively shivering, he showed me the sign. I just broke. I was so overwhelmingly disappointed. And at the same time overwhelmed by the amazing friends and family I have supporting this crazy running thing I do. And everything else I do too.

I was in a funk the next two days. I'm not sure I will ever appreciate my PR from that race the way it should be appreciated. But I have picked myself up and am finding the positive. Because I believe in myself. I believe in the run. 

Like my little Bean, I'm getting back on the horse.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Things I Love Thursday - Grammar Nazis

Because it has been a decade for some of us (just go with it) and even longer for others since your last grammar lesson in high school, I just want to tell you how much I love it when people use correct grammar. Some of my favorites, when used correctly, are:

It's and its
  • It's means it is or it has. If you can't substitute one of those for it's, you shouldn't have the apostrophe in there. Example: It's been rough tapering this week. It's going to be even worse next week.
  • Its is the possessive form of the word. Yes, possessives normally have an apostrophe, but this is an exception. Get over it. Example: I put my Garmin on its charger but forgot to plug it in.

Your and you're
  • Your is a possessive pronoun. Don't remember possessives or pronouns from middle school (or probably elementary school)? Basically it shows ownership. They are YOUR running shoes. It is YOUR marathon PR.
  • You're is the contraction for you are. If you can't replace you're with "you are," get rid of the apostrophe and the e. Example: If you don't have some bad runs, you're doing it wrong. Or you're a freak of nature.
There, their and they're
  • There indicates direction. I would add that it is an adverb, but I don't want to confuse you. Direction can also mean location. There can also be used like a pronoun. This one is a little tougher so here are two examples: 1- You can pick up your race packet over there. 2 -There were too many port-a-potties at that race, said no one ever. 
  • Their is a possessive pronoun. It is like "your." Still confused? Remember that whole ownership thing. Example: Look at their bloody nipples!
  • They're is a contraction for they are. Don't stick the apostrophe in in there and add an e at the end unless you can substitute they are for the word! Example: They're going to kick booty at the Ogden Marathon next weekend.
To, too and two
  • To is a preposition. Don't remember what a preposition is? Lets just say it means in the direction of. If that is still throwing you, learn the uses of too and two, and then use TO when the others don't work. Here are some examples anyway: She went to buy bananas. To run or not to run; what a stupid question.
  • Too means very, many, also or a degree of something. Examples: I am too sore from my marathon to walk down those stairs. She wants to qualify for Boston too. That is too much foam rolling for one day.
  • Two is a number. You probably learned it in preschool. Maybe even before. As in when you weren't much older than TWO. If you use this one incorrectly, that's just sad.

There is no shame in printing this out and hanging it above your desk. Bookmark it on your iPad. Add it to your favorites. Or take a screenshot and save it on your phone. You can even make it your screensaver. Or just hire me to edit your Facebook, IG and blog posts. Up to you.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Things I Love Thursday - Struggles

One of the things I love most about running is it has taught me I am stronger than I ever thought. I have been thinking about this more lately as I've seen some of the people I love face different challenges in their lives.

No matter how hard a run is or what struggles I face in running, whether physical or mental, I am never alone. There is always someone who has gone through the same thing. Someone there to understand, commiserate and comfort.

In running, as in life, we are not alone in our struggles. Whether the people around us have experienced the same thing or not, they have had their own obstacles to overcome. No one is immune. And if we can let our guard down, admit that we are human, let others see deeper than the surface, we can have an amazing support system.

As a runner, I am constantly amazed at how runners support and lift each other up. We share something, and it's something that only runners understand. There's a strength that goes to the very core of a runner.

My hope is that as a runner, and as a person, I can let my guard down. I can be real. And I can be there for others in their time of need. Like so many have been there for me.

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