Faith & Fitness Friday – 9/11/15

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Welcome to the Faith & Fitness Friday Link-Up, co-hosted by Raechel (@psyched2run) and Rachel (@mcmichaelrach).  The goal of the Faith & Fitness link-up is to create a fitness-focused community which shares in the joy of learning about and spreading the Good News.  The link-up will provide an opportunity for shared fellowship.   We hope you will join us each week in finding new ways to make scripture relevant to our lives!

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Discipline

 

S(cripture): See Image Above

O(bservation): Hebrews 12 is a chapter full of encouragement.  When we find ourselves in dark times, we need only read this chapter to receive a reminder of all we can, and should, endure in order to follow and worship Jesus.  Indeed, though the scripture we’ve chosen this week can be most easily applied to fitness, many other verses throughout the chapter speak to endurance: Hebrews 12:1, 3, 6, 7…the list goes on and on.  But we should rest assured that we, in considering Jesus, “will not grow weary and lose heart”, because all we experience in comparison to his death on the cross is minor. I think verses like this in the Bible help to keep us humble – to remind us that things are going on outside of our own tiny, focused worlds, and that we should reconsider our perspective.

A(pplication): Consider how you felt at the end of your last race.  Pictured above is me at the end of the 15K I ran in Paris, France.  Let me tell you how terrible that run was (or, I’d better not. You can read my race recap here.) To both shorten it and to give you waaayyy too much information, I had to poop for roughly 99% of this run. Badly. And it was too warm. And there were hills.

But you would never know it from my picture at the end (above, with my friend Sarah). At the end, I looked (and felt) AMAZING! Accomplished. Proud. Exhausted mentally and physically, but in that good way we crave.  In other words, after all was said and done, all the running produced “a harvest of…peace” for me.

Who finishes a race and thinks, man, I really regret doing that?

No one, that’s who.

So whenever you are having trouble getting up early when the alarm goes off. Or you feel like you just can’t possibly get your feet going for that run. Or the stress of work tells you to sit on the couch or take a nap instead of heading to the gym, remind yourself of this verse.  Remind yourself that, though you may not feel like training or being disciplined in this moment – when you reach your goal, a whole host of good feelings await you.  And at the end of it all, God’s grace awaits you.

P(rayer):  I pray today that God strengthens me.  That in my moments of weakness, he will gently lay this verse of scripture on my heart. That he will help me to shift my perspective from “oh, why God? Poor me, don’t make me, how come no one else struggles with this?” to “I’ve got this. It’s just one step at a time and I can take this step and then the next…and the next..and the next” so that I may finish strong.

What “race” are you training for? What seem to be your biggest struggles in training?  

 

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Faith & Fitness Friday – 9/4/15

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Welcome to the Faith & Fitness Friday Link-Up, co-hosted by Raechel (@psyched2run) and Rachel (@mcmichaelrach).  The goal of the Faith & Fitness link-up is to create a fitness-focused community which shares in the joy of learning about and spreading the Good News.  The link-up will provide an opportunity for shared fellowship.   We hope you will join us each week in finding new ways to make scripture relevant to our lives!

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FF90415

 

I have recently begun listening to a new sermon series (online) at my parent’s church (the pastor there married my husband and I). It is called “Word of God Speak” and it is about how to hear God (spiritually, not audibly) when reading the bible.  The church recommends that you journal daily about a certain section of the bible using the acronym SOAP. If you’re interested in more information, you can click here to learn about the bible reading plan, including the verses for each day. It’s very manageable and I have been journaling each night since last weekend.

SOAP stands for

Image from http://lifecenternorth.org/resources/bible-reading-plan/
Image from http://lifecenternorth.org/resources/bible-reading-plan/

 

So today, I want to apply the SOAP method to our Faith and Fitness verse, so you can see it in action. In order to do this, I’ve read all of 1 Corinthians 9.

S: Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. – 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

O: In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul is discussing how and why he preaches the Gospel.  He discusses earlier in the chapter about how he has become like every person so that he may reap the benefits of spreading the word of God and living in the freedom of God. Often times we do not think of following Jesus as a freedom, but it does grant us spiritual freedom.  In the final section of the book, Paul is telling the people of the church in Corinth about how to approach their lives using the analogy of runners in a race. As he points out, when trying to win a race, every athlete goes into strict training to compete for a temporary prize. So he is telling us the prize we are after (which is everlasting life after death) is so much greater that we must train in the same way to achieve it.

A: In my own life, I think that God is speaking to me through this verse as a reminder that you can go awry in this life by always judging others and offering suggestions to them about how to improve. God wants me to remember that I must also discipline myself, not just others, so that I do not lose myself and my connection to him along the way.  In simpler terms, I think the verse is telling us to live, not just by example, but by super-example; if you are going to preach to others about (insert anything here), then you too must be willing to work hard to achieve your goals in that arena.

On a more literal fitness level, this bit about self-discipline is reinforcing what we’ve been learning over the past several weeks that in order to achieve our goals, we must be strict with ourselves. I do not think God means this to be restrictive, but just to remind us that without a plan to achieve our goals, without reaching out to him for help in achieving them, we will become frustrated and fall short of our potential.

P: My prayer to God is to give me strength. I hope over this next week (and the coming weeks, since I am training for a half marathon), God gives me the strength to remain disciplined. I have started a concrete training plan and have been doing pretty well on it for two weeks now.  I pray I continue to grow in my strength and running ability so that I may perform well in my race in December.

In addition, I pray that God will help me to apply this verse to my Bible Study. I have been very bad in the past at starting and stopping, but I am highly motivated now with the Word of God Speak bible reading plan (just one chapter a day, can be done in as little as 15 minutes) and I pray that he helps me to see my goals through in continuing with my study and journaling.

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I would encourage you to pick up a regular time you spend with God. I used to lay in bed at night and play Candy Crush until I fell asleep (or I ran out of lives). I decided to dedicate that 10-15 minutes instead to the Word of God Speak plan. Generally the dogs are asleep and my husband is asleep at this time, so I have that all to myself to spend with God. I actually use the Youversion bible app on my phone and even type in my journal entries directly to the app.  It saves them so I can go back and review what I’ve learned.

What is something going on in your life that you feel you could use a little more self-discipline in?

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Faith & Fitness Friday – 8/28/15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the Faith & Fitness Friday Link-Up, co-hosted by Raechel (@psyched2run) and Rachel (@mcmichaelrach).  The goal of the Faith & Fitness link-up is to create a fitness-focused community which shares in the joy of learning about and spreading the Good News.  The link-up will provide an opportunity for shared fellowship.   We hope you will join us each week in finding new ways to make scripture relevant to our lives!

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FFFWeek3

I think the really important part about this verse, which I didn’t really notice when I selected it, is what follows…”but mere talk leads only to poverty”.

This bit of scripture first and foremost, I think, is given to us to provide a sense of hope and reassurance that, once we put all of our heart and soul into something, the way last week’s scripture advised us, that we will reap the rewards.  And, we need only review some of the important things we’ve accomplished in our lives to see how this is true.

The above picture was taken at the end of my second Spartan Sprint race (at AT&T Park in San Francisco, July 2015).  I had put in a lot of time and effort to strength train in preparation for this race and, no only did I finish faster than I expected to, but I made it to the top of the rope climb – something I hadn’t been able to achieve at my first Spartan and was my main goal of this one.  The sheer joy I felt at the top of the rope – the absence of any fear that I might fall – the elation I felt afterward – those were my “profit” for all the hard work I had put into my training.

Now I find myself in another training situation (I’m running a half marathon in Portland, OR, in December) and at first I was sort of lackadaisical about it.  But the other night I sat down and planned out all of my running and gym time over the next 12 weeks and I’m buckling down.  I’m working hard and I can expect to achieve great things because this bit of scripture tells me I can (and I believe it).

But like most scripture, this verse also has a warning for us: “…mere talk leads only to poverty”. I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “poverty” I tend to think about money.  But the definition of poverty is “the state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount”, not only in regard to money.

This links back so beautifully with what we talked about last week – we need to work with all our hearts. We need to work “hard” to achieve what we are hoping for.  Because, as God is reminding us in the end of Proverbs 14:23, just talking about doing things doesn’t get us anywhere.  Without action, our words leave us in a state of need.  Without regular workouts, we are in need more more training for a big race. Without eating healthy, we are in need of more energy. Without getting enough sleep, we may find ourselves sick or weary.  Without reading the Bible on a regular basis, we are in need of spiritual fulfillment.

I think between last week and this week, across different books of the Bible, God is speaking to me loud and clear. He is reminding me to work hard, to put my best version of myself forward in all that I do, in all that is meaningful to me and to Him, and to not give up because, in the end, great profit and reward are coming from it.  Maybe that means feeling physically better on a day-to-day basis, maybe it is the pride of doing well in a race, or maybe it is referring to life after this one, where I surely will be regarded for my faith.  Whatever the reward, I can rest assured, if I work hard, it will be mine.

What things are you working hard for in your life? What is some of the best “profit” you’ve gained after working hard for something?

Don’t forget to link up with us!

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Faith & Fitness Friday – 8/21/15

work at it

Because I am new(-ish) to studying God’s word and especially to sharing my own thoughts about it, it took me a little while to identify with this week’s scripture from Colossians.  Indeed, it resonated first and foremost for me, not in regard to fitness, but in regard to my students.

Just this morning, a student who had previously failed my class copied and pasted some feedback I gave her last semester as an answer to an activity this semester.  When I was relaying this absurdity to my husband, he said (oh, so wisely) “If only they would spend half as much time working as they do trying to get out of working, they’d be really successful.” He hit the nail right on its big, fat head: my students (seemingly) are always trying to do the least amount of “work” possible.

To me, this verse is a reminder that we don’t reap great benefit, rewards, or success from doing the bare minimum.  As is the case with my students (unfortunately, little Miss Cheater in the above example is not my only one like this), doing the bare minimum does not get you a “C” (a passing grade) in my class.  A passing grade is earned by putting in more effort than just what is stated in the instructions.  Though this is something I tell them repeatedly, many students waste precious time and energy into devising “short-cuts” or “easy ways out”. And at the end of the semester, let me tell you, they are not happy with the results.

As Galatians 6:7 tells us, “whatever a man sows, this he will also reap”. 

So finally it dawned on me how this applies, directly and immediately, to a fitness hurdle I’m facing in this very moment (doesn’t the Word always find a way of speaking directly into our lives?): I am concerned with some recent weight gain and I’m struggling to find my way out of it.  I know what I need to do and I know exactly how to fix it, I’m just. Not. Doing. It.

I’ve looked at copyright laws for memes – they’re very gray. If this meme belongs to you, please send me an e-mail so I can attribute it properly.
I’ve looked at copyright laws for memes – they’re very gray. If this meme belongs to you, please send me an e-mail so I can attribute it properly.

 

I went to the gym today, bike shorts in hand, with the intention of spinning before my workout.  But I didn’t.  I just did a leg work-out and called it a day.

I went to dinner last night with friends and wasn’t going to order a beer or dessert, but I did.

I was thinking about running with my husband this morning, but I made an excuse not to.

So I have two options: I can put in the work I need to or I can be happy with the way I currently am.

But really, as the verse today tells us, I really have no choice at all.  I should embrace this challenge “enthusiastically”, knowing that God sees all and will reward my efforts.

And lastly, this brings us round to our study of the Bible.  I need to pursue this as well, with all my heart, knowing that in the end, there is a great reward that awaits me.  When I’m tired in the morning, I put off my daily reading.  When I have work to do, I put off writing my Faith & Fitness post.  But God doesn’t want me to put these things off.  He doesn’t want me to half-ass dedicate that time to him.  He wants me to embrace the Word, share the Word, and build community with others to whom this is also important.

What are some things you’re pursuing in your life that could be jump-started by today’s verse?

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How to Blog (for Beginners)

Starting a Fitness Blog

I started my blog in December of 2013, honestly, on a whim. Some companies I contacted for giveaways were responsive and so I was feeling like it was a great idea.

In its original inception, the idea for my blog was to blog about science related to running, fitness, and health in general.  I did some really interesting (at least to me) posts in the beginning:

                 What we think about while running

                 My personal struggle with depression and how running helps with that 

                 What does it mean to be mentally tough?

                How music (doesn’t really) help you when running

                How not to be duped by stupid stuff on the internet that looks like real science 

And those are just a few of my favorite posts.

But here I am, 1.5 years later, with a decent number of followers on social media, one brand ambassadorship, and about two people who read my blog (my mom and maybe some rando on the interweb).  And I want more.  I want to reach more people, more often.  Maybe what’s holding me back is a belief that people aren’t really going to be that interested in what I have to say.

When I first started, I just went in full steam ahead without really doing any leg work. I had read that you needed to have a strong point of view and something to offer readers that they’d actually be interested in.  I had that, so I thought I’d be golden.  Not so much.

So, in a quest to improve my blog (when I, in fact, know next to nothing about blogging), I’m going to scour the internet and summarize the best of what I find here for you (in case you’re a newbie like me).

What are some of your struggles you face as a blogger? What tips or tricks have worked for you to improve your blog?

Faith & Fitness Friday – 8/14/15

1 Timothy 4:8 scripture

Welcome to the Faith & Fitness Friday Link-Up, co-hosted by Raechel (@psyched2run) and Rachel (@mcmichaelrach).  The goal of the Faith & Fitness link-up is to create a fitness-focused community which shares in the joy of learning about and spreading the Good News.  The link-up will provide an opportunity for shared fellowship.   We hope you will join us each week in finding new ways to make scripture relevant to our lives!

 

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So this is our first-ever Faith & Fitness Friday Link-Up and I, for one, am totally stoked. Being the scientist that I am, it may surprise you to learn that I think of myself as a Christian – given that science can’t really answer the question about whether God exists or not.  However, I do not think science and religion always need to be at odds with one another.  For me, I say let science answer the questions it can and let faith do the rest.  So, to topics that fall under the scientific method umbrella – research away!  But for questions of the heart and of the soul, I turn to the Bible.

I will be honest – I’m not good at reading the Bible consistently.  We are in more of an on-again, off-again relationship.  However, I find that when I’ve spent too long away from the Word, things in my life just seem to go downhill.  Then, when I begin to pray and spend more time with God, things get better.  Just recently, for example, our little dachshund (Rudy) had to have back surgery and was recovering at home, but he didn’t seem to be doing well at all.  I buckled down, started a new reading plan (New Testament in 30 Days), prayed before I went to bed at night, and he has been steadily improving.  Some might choose to call that coincidence, but I don’t.

So, in an effort to (1) read the Bible more consistently and (2) write blog posts more consistently, I came up with the idea for this link-up.  This week’s scripture comes from 1 Timothy 4:8 and says:

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”

I think this verse is a great reminder that, above all else, we need to spend time learning about God and spending time in his word.  Many of us are girlfriends, wives, mothers, friends – all roles that eat up an incredible amount of our time.  In addition, we have goals we have set for ourselves (maybe in the fitness arena, maybe in other areas of our lives) that we are scheduling time to achieve.  To me, this verse is a clear endorsement for God first, all of these things after.  In caring for ourselves spiritually, we will find the freedom to enjoy the other, “busier”, parts of our lives.

This link-up is a vision I have of creating an online community where we can spread the word, discuss and learn new things, lift one another up, and hold one another accountable. In other words, it will help us with our “training in godliness”. Many thanks to Rachel McMichael for her enthusiasm and support in co-hosting this link-up.

Please use the widget below to link-up your own post about how Faith and Fitness are related. I can’t wait to meet you and read your thoughts!

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POW

POW

 

POW is the latest and (in my opinion greatest) product from EBOOST.

I am a brand ambassador for EBOOST because the science supports the ingredients found in their products.  For over two years now I have been using their powders for a natural energy boost (works better for me than coffee) and their energy shots as a pre-workout supplement.

When EBOOST released POW, the Ambassadors were the first group to try it.  I was skeptical at first, thinking that this couldn’t really be too much better than what they’ve already got.

My first time using POW was before an early-morning spin class.  It was my first spin class in a long time and I was really worried, especially since it was 5:30am.  At first I was really worried – I got this intense tingling/itching sensation in my face and arms – any place where blood was rushing to as a result of exercising at a high intensity.  The good folks at EBOOST assured me this was a natural reaction to the Beta-Alanine and it would likely decrease over time (in my research, I found out this is called parasthesia, which is a common side effect, even at low doses).  But then, as I kept at it, I realized my mind was perfectly clear and I didn’t have any sense of fatigue – mental or physical.

Since that first morning, I use POW before almost every workout – cardio and weights alike.

But personal experience is not enough – as a good scientist, I want to make sure I do my due diligence.  So here goes.  The biggest caveat is that there is no way for me to verify how much of each active ingredient is in POW (when comparing it to research doses).

  • Beet Root Juice – The claim is that “nitrates” and “betalains” promote nitric oxide levels and act as an anti-inflammatory.

    • There is a plethora of evidence showing that high concentrations of beet juice increases physical performance in animals and humans.  However, a study in 2012 showed that when cyclists ingested an amount that more closely simulates an actual dietary amount, there were no changes in time trial performance, power output, or heart rate (Cermak et al., 2012).  At high enough amounts, though, the amount of time people can exercise can be extended by consuming beet root juice (Wylie et al., 2013).

  • Beta Alanine – The claim is that this increases carnosine levels in muscles and improves muscle endurance.

    • Lots of complex science, blah blah blah – basically put, beta-alanine availability is what limits muscles’ ability to make carnosine, carnosine is necessary for pH buffering, and pH buffering is what prevents muscle fatigue. In a review article by Sale, Saunders, and Harris (2010), the authors concluded that supplementation with beta-alanine can improve physical endurance, especially in high intensity exercise, after four weeks of regular consumption.

    • In a study looking at the more immediate effects of beta-alanine supplementation on women runners, perceived exertion ratings were lower in the supplement group but no meaningful physical changes occurred (Smith et al., 2012).

    • As recently as 2014, the reviews are still mixed as to the ability of beta-alanine to improve physical performance and some concerns that side effects are, in general, under-reported (Quesnele et al., 2014). This means you need to monitor your own reactions to it closely and quit using it if you experience anything even slightly adverse.

  • Calcium Fructoborate – The claim is that this ingredient can improve joint flexibility and mobility when used consistently for at least a week.

    • In a recent study by Pietrzkowski and colleagues (2014), participants showed less knee discomfort one week and two weeks after being supplemented with calcuium fructoborate at 220mg per day.  At a similar dosage, indices of inflammation were reduced in people with knee osteoarthritis (Reyes-Izquierdo et al., 2011).

    • A bonus impact of calcium fructoborate is that, at 110mg/day, participants saw a reduction in total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, triglycerides, and other blood markers of cardiovascular disease.  This means calcium fructoborate might help increase heart health when taken every day for a month (Rogoveanu et al., 2014).

  • Carbonates – Intended to promote pH balance

    • In well-trained men, supplementation with bicarbonates (thought to buffer lactic acid), did not lead to performance improvements (Stephens et al., 2002).

    • Although a review paper in 1993 showed very mixed results from bicarbonate supplementation (Matson & Tran, 1993), other research indicates that taking sodium bicarbonate before a high intensity workout leads to improved recovery after the fact (Percival, 2014).

    • A 2015 study indicates that taking bicarbonates before exercise can improve exercise tolerance and reduce perceived exertion (Krustrup, Ermidis, & Mohr, 2015).

  • DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) – To boost mood

    • An interesting thing happened when I tried to find out more about DMAE.  It appears to be used to treat mild cognitive impairments in people with dementia and to treat mood in people suffering from ADHD/ADD and to provide a slight stimulant effect without any withdrawal (Tabassum & Ahmad, 2015).  However, there are little to know individual references that support the claims in this paper.   Typically, DMAE is not used alone, but in conjunction with other nutrients, and is proposed to work by increasing brain levels of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter related to many behaviors including sleep and mood).

  • Nicotinyl-GABA (picamilon) – For boosting mood and cerebrovascular function

    • Most published research on this supplement is not in English. However, it is known as a “cerebral vasodilator” – meaning it increases blood flow to the brain.

    • Knowing what I do about the brain, it makes sense that increasing blood flow to the brain (and thereby increasing oxygen and glucose delivery) may improve brain function.  However, I’m not sure how any significant changes in this would be measured.

  • N-acetyl-tyrosine – Involved in mood regulation and general feelings of energy

    • I could only find research that tested this ingredient as part of a workout supplement.  That being said, there appears to be little to no existing scientific research on the use of n-acetyl-tyrosine with regard to mood and energy.

Overall, after doing the research, it would appear that only a few of the ingredients that make up the “Superenhancer Blend” in POW may have some scientific evidence to support its use as a pre-workout supplement.  Of those, I think the most support is for beta-alanine, calcium fructoborate, and bicarbonates.  In general, these ingredients appear to increase exercise tolerance and have overall antioxidant effects on the body.

For me, I think I’ll keep using POW.  I feel a level of mental clarity and ability to persevere during hard exercise that I don’t feel when not supplementing with POW.  I still use the packets and shots for a little pick-me-up during the day or as a general immunity supplement.

 

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Join the link-up by clicking this image!

Want to try POW for yourself? Be on of the first 10 people to send me an email (psyched2run@gmail.com) with your mailing address to receive a free sample! Ready to buy? Use code “BASOICHER25” for a 25% discount*.

*Disclaimer: I receive commission from the use of this discount code.

Nike Women’s Paris 15K Race Re-cap

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This is me post-race.  I look great, huh? Like I wasn’t even trying that hard? (I was).  Or maybe I just trained like a pro? (I didn’t).  Recall my post about only having two weeks to train? (If not, you can read it here.)

But this race was amazing because I got to race it with Sarah.  Sarah is my “cousin” – her mom and my mom have been friends for-ev-er.  She is living and working just outside of Paris as an aupair (and blogs about it at http://skayinfrance.blogspot.com/).  We were reunited back in Tallahassee before she moved to Paris and we started running together.  Then she ran her first half marathon back in February thanks to the long-distance coaching of yours truly.

So while I was coaching her, I was wishing – man, I really want to go to Paris and run that half with her.  And I almost bought a plane ticket to go, but it ended up just being too cost-prohibitive.  But I was scheming.  So when she told me she signed up for the Nike Women’s Paris 15K, I thought – why the hell not?

So that’s how I ended up running in Paris.  The race itself was great – I had to walk a couple times and throw back half a Gu I couldn’t really stomach without gagging, but Sarah and I wore awesome shirts with a Divergent theme (we are both crazy readers of YA fiction, so it only seemed appropriate).  Sarah was amazing – keeping a steady pace ahead of me (…and so the student becomes the teacher) and motivating me to finish strong.

I was hitting negative splits like a boss for the first 6 miles – I even achieved a 10K PR during the race.  After that though, things started to go downhill (my time, not the course – the course still had plenty of uphill).  But I finished in 1:41, so I was really happy.  And, since it was my first 15K, it was a PR regardless of my pace.

About the Course: 

The race began at 9am (kind of late in my opinion and it was already pretty sunny and warm out by then) and ran around Paris:

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Here’s a shot of the course.  What you might notice is that, unfortunately, it didn’t run near any major tourist attraction.  Close, but not within sight distance.  Lucky for France (and Europe in general), pretty much every building is historic and awesome looking.  But still – you couldn’t have run us over around Notre Dame, Nike?

The start was crazy – so many people (there were about 15,000 runners).

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And of course we took an obligatory shoe picture (those are all the rage on social media, yeah?)

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We’re the pink Brooks. Don’t know who that black shoe belongs to.

 

Immediately at the start, I had GI issues (which is really rare for me).  But we started and I had no choice but to suck it up and run.  I kept thinking I’d find a porta-potty.  But apparently they have public toilets every so often on the street corners and Nike thought that would suffice.  Well it didn’t.  I had to poop my ENTIRE run – cuz I couldn’t really find any of those public toilets and there was not a single porta-potty on the course.  (Sorry, but the truth ain’t always pretty).

During the run, cars and pedestrians crossed the path in front of me.  Nothing too crazy and since I wasn’t racing for time really, I wasn’t upset.

Since the run was in the streets, there was intermittent shade.  The course was superbly marked.  Aid stations every 5K. Lots of people cheering (which is always a plus).

Race Organization: 

This might have been one of the most poorly organized races I’ve ever attended.  There was no clear signage for the start.  In fact, we just went through a fence in the crack and had no idea if we were in the right place to start.  We just sort of snuck into the front and hoped for the best.

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Note that we are the only ones not wearing the race shirt. But we’re American – you gotta earn that sh!t.

We found out after the race that there were lots of photo op spots for social media, including a wall with everyone’s name on it.  But literally, no signage anywhere (although to be fair, it would have been in French, so I wouldn’t have been able to read it anyway).

I guess the real bummer was that after we finished, we were all excited (see pic below).

Image1 (1)

And Nike Women’s series are famous for handing out jewelry at the end.  We went (like a mile…ugh!) down to where they were handing out water and food (honestly, it was waaayyy too far to water) and then searched around for the people handing out the “finisher’s medals”.  We could see people holding/wearing the necklaces.  And they were superbly ugly compared to designs at other races, but still couldn’t wait to get our hands on them.

But they had run out.

Yeah, you heard me.  They ran out of finisher’s medals.  Everyone in the 10K got one, but they started running out when the 15K finishers came through.  Super. Lame.

I mean, they’re going to mail me one (and part of me hopes it’s like a different thing altogether because, honestly, the necklace is super ugly), but it’s the principle, right? (At least the race shirt is cool)

In Conclusion: 

Running with friends is always awesome.  Seeing so many healthy women getting out there and getting after it is inspiring.  Having a great excuse to travel to and vacation in Paris – also fantastic.  So glad I have this experience under my belt.

But, given it’s a Nike run, I would have expected so much more.

 

What’s your most favorite and least favorite race you’ve ever run? How do you feel about destination runs (love em, hate em)?

 

Now an Oregonian

 

Our road trip began on April 30th and lasted until May 12th.  Rather than tell you about it, I’ll just show you in pictures a few of my favorite things.

 

Hanging out with Matt's cousin Sharon in Birmingham, Alabama.
Hanging out with Matt’s cousin Sharon in Birmingham, Alabama.

 

Our AirBnB in Nashville, TN. Our friend Karly joined us for the ride.
Our AirBnB in Nashville, TN. Our friend Karly joined us for the ride.

 

Delicious food at the Peg Leg Porker
Delicious food at the Peg Leg Porker

 

Downtown Nashville, just before the Zack Brown Band concert.
Downtown Nashville, just before the Zack Brown Band concert.

 

Pizza - Chicago Style
Pizza – Chicago Style
Chicago Architecture Tour
Chicago Architecture Tour
The Bean (well, that's what we call it)
The Bean (well, that’s what we call it)

 

Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park

 

Mt. Rushmore
Mt. Rushmore

 

Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park

 

Our new home - Landlord bought us a bottle of wine!
Our new home – Landlord bought us a bottle of wine!

Two weeks to a 15K

To say I’ve had a lot going on over the last two weeks might be an understatement.  On April 29th, my husband and I left Tallahassee, Florida and it wasn’t until May 15th that I slept again in my own bed.  Now the reason for that is a good one – we moved to Corvallis, Oregon, because my husband accepted a new position with an engineering firm out here.  But we took a leisurely road trip to get here, including stops in many awesome places (like Birmingham, Nashville, Chicago, Mt. Rushmore, and the Grand Tetons) and also including stops in some not so great ones (::cough:: Sioux Falls ::cough:: though no offense to anyone that lives there).  And did I mention our two little dogs went with us?  It was fun, but exhausting.

We arrived in Corvallis three days ahead of our stuff (a day earlier than planned because of an impromptu drive-all-night scenario during which it rained/fogged/passed through treacherous mountain passes in East Oregon).  Then we had to unpack all of our stuff (hahaha, yeah, right…that’s not even close to being done) and start getting settled in.

And settle in we have.  Some of our best friends, Ryan and Kristen, who have made an appearance on my blog before, live here. In fact, Matt and Kristen are now working together.  We have run a couple of times with the local run club (Heart of the Valley runners).  We joined a gym. We walk the dogs all over to learn the neighborhood better.

And then today, I got an e-mail that looked something like this:

Nike Paris 15K Packet Pick-Up Image

It’s about packet pick-up for the Nike Women’s Paris 15K (don’t worry, I signed up for that race but I have to have Google translate all the e-mails they send me).

The Nike Women’s Paris 15K is on June 7th.

June 7th is 19 days.

In those 19 days, I am spending three of them traveling to California for a wedding (#gaysciencewedding), another full day on a plane from California to Florida (to pick-up my mom), and another full day from Florida to London.  So really June 7th is in 14 days.  Then, let’s be honest, I won’t be running in the week before the race (since I’ll be with family in London and sight-seeing in Paris), so this race is practically in a week.

Can you feel me freaking out? This reminded me of a conversation we were having with Ryan and Kristen just yesterday about a friend of theirs that ran his first half marathon at a 6:48 min/mile pace with no training, just because he wanted to.  At the time I thought, wow it must be nice to run so effortlessly (and so well, damn him!).  Right now I’m thinking – is that even possible?

So I scoured the internet for training plans for 10Ks (15K is not a terribly popular distance) and even the simplest one (a three workouts per week plan offered up by SELF magazine) requires 4 weeks of training.  Interestingly, and related to my convo yesterday with friends, I found this guy (The “Beefman”) who also doesn’t follow a structured training program and trained for a 10K in just two weeks (read about his plan here).  He’s pretty inspiring, by the way.  And if he can do it, I should be able to, right?

So help me accountable – here’s my plan:

Today (5/20) – speed/track workout with HOTV

5/21 – 5 miles with HOTV social run

5/22 – gym

5/23 – gym/rest

5/24 – 6 miles

5/25 – gym/easy 3 miles

5/26 – rest

5/27 – 7 miles

5/28 – 4 miles with HOTV social run

 

I have a lot in the works for this blog.  In the meantime, how do you stay accountable when your goals are looming in the near future?

PS – I was trying out some video-making programs today and created this short/sweet/funny gem: https://plotagon.com/62488