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Chicago Marathon Expo with Nuun!

7 Oct

The last few days have been a whirlwind! I know I keep saying that, but I feel like I am in this time-space hurricane where the days are all just swirling around me. I flew into Chicago last Thursday afternoon to work the Nuun booth at the Chicago Marathon expo. When I arrived in the Windy City, I immediately noticed how cold it was. I had been so busy in the days before the trip that I had not even thought to check the weather report. Since I would be spending most of my time indoors at the expo, I did not really think to bring heavy layers, but I should have. It was stupid cold. (Note: To me, “stupid cold” is anything below 45 degrees.)

After I grabbed my bag, I hopped in a taxi and headed over to our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Okay, I know this is going to make me sound like a country bumpkin, but all I could do when I arrived was look around with my mouth agape. It was beautiful! And HUGE. The last time I was in a hotel that big was when I was traveling back and forth to Japan for work. (Everything is big in Japan…well, except the people.) Check-in was a breeze and I quickly made my way up to the 16th Floor to meet my friend, Kim, who works for Nuun. She had a fancy-shmancy Chicago Marathon social thing to go to for a little while, so while she went to that, I was in charge of picking a restaurant for dinner.

Chicago Marathon

Pre-marathon prep!

Let me just say, I super suck at picking restaurants. I don’t discriminate much when it comes to food, so I am pretty easy-going when it comes to eating. Since it was cold as you-know-what and raining outside, we decided to go somewhere quickly walkable. We settled on a place called Houlihan’s near our hotel. It wasn’t anything fancy (which was fine by me), but the service was good and the food was tasty. (I had the buffalo blue cheese salad.) After that, we made a bee-line back to the hotel since we knew we had a long day ahead of us.

On Friday morning, we were dressed and ready to head to the Chicago Marathon expo at the McCormick Center around 7:30AM. Working an expo is pretty fun because you get to go in, walk around, and check out all of the booths without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of other people. Kim had a system down for setting up the booth, so she said I could take some time to check out the expo floor. I walked around and looked at just about every single booth. By the time I was done, the expo was just opening up, so I headed back over to the Brooks booth.

Let me just say this…Brooks Running does it up right. They always have the most fun and interactive set-ups and their marketing TOTALLY works on people like me. If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing their Cavalcade of Curiosities exhibit, you know what I am talking about. Those folks know how to have fun!

Carb Happy! Run Happy!

They were doing free gait analyses and since I had not had one since Baby Key was born, I wanted to make sure my gait/stride had not gotten too wonky since being pregnant. Luckily, the analysis confirmed that I was running in the right shoes for me (neutral, non-stability shoes). For racing, I really like the Brooks Pure Connect. For longer runs, or for when my feet are feeling fatigued, I really like the Brooks Pure Flow. Anyway, I digress…

After the gait analysis, they gave you a scratch off card to win a prize. You could have won a free pair of shoes, a bag of Brooks custom runaroni pasta, or a CD of accordion jams. I won the CD of accordion jams. At first I was like, “Eh. Great. Accordion music.” Then I turned the CD over and realized it was a kick-butt running mix! SCORE! Don’t worry, I’ll make sure all of the songs get added to my running music page.

Coolest pasta EVER!

Brooks Runaroni Pasta!

On my way back to the Nuun booth to start working, I passed by the Mizuno booth. They had a monitor up and they were showing a company video. Out of the corner of my eye, I see my friend, Pat, on the screen! I knew he worked for Mizuno, but I didn’t know he was in their company promo video. I was like, “Hey! I know that guy!” It made me feel all big time knowing a guy who was in a fancy company video.

Mizuno Running. Stepping up their game!

Once I got back to the booth, the CRAZY set in. We were busy slinging Nuun all day. I got all warm and fuzzy when someone would come up and say, “I LOVE Nuun! It’s the only thing I will drink other than water!” or “Nuun helped me get through my training runs!” Lots of Twitter friends came by to say hello, which I super loved! As I have said before, I always love it when online friends can become in-real-life friends. I finally got the chance to meet Gene from, since he was working at the Arctic Ease booth. I got to reconnect with old friends like Valerie, and I also got to see one of my old #RunLA buddies, Ed!

After the expo, we headed back over to the hotel where we met up with Jocelyn, who had come in town to participate in the race. I heart Jocelyn. I really do. I swear she has a smile that can light up a room. She is so kind and funny! I met Jocelyn when I went to run Hood to Coast with Nuun. While she wasn’t on my team for Hood to Coast, she was on my team for some of the activities we did the day before the race. I loved getting to know her then and was thrilled to get to see her again. (PS – Check out her blog, Enthusiastic Runner!)

Since we got back late, and since Kim and I were EXHAUSTED, we just ordered room service and went to sleep. I know it sounds pretty uneventful, but after working a 12-hour day and visiting with Jocelyn, there has no gas left in our tanks.

Saturday was pretty much the same, only busier. Much busier. Jocelyn even joined us in the booth for the first part of the day! It was really fun when people came by and said that they had followed our Hood to Coast adventures on Twitter or via our blogs. Sometimes I wonder if people ever really read this blog, but…it seems as if they do! (Thank you so much for reading, peeps!)

I snagged these! Limited edition colors! Available online late Nov 2012!

Even though 99% of what I did while in Chicago was work and sleep, I did get to have an awesome experience. It seemed like every time I took a break to grab a bite to eat or run to the restroom, I was seeing someone famous! I have never been to an expo with so many famous folks! Literally, in two days, I found myself within a few feet of Dean Karnazes, Hal Higdon, and Deena Kastor! Crazy!
Dean Karnazes!

Dean Karnazes!

On Saturday night, Jocelyn just picked us up some sushi from Whole Foods. I was glad not to have to get back out after we got “home” from the expo. There was a huge football game going on (Notre Dame vs Miami) and football fans were EVERYWHERE. It was nice to just grab a quick bite, and again, head to bed early.

On Sunday morning, we all got up early to help Jocelyn get ready for the marathon. She had all of her stuff laid out the night before, so getting ready was pretty quick. Since it was so chilly, she made these homemade tear-away pants out of a pair of navy blue child-size sweatpants from Target and white duct tape. I wish you could have seen these things. They were pretty…special. But, hey, they worked, and that’s all that mattered! Kim and Jocelyn put on their trash bags for warmth and they were off to the race!

Jocelyn was ready to race!

And that’s as close as I got to the actual Chicago Marathon…unless you count watching the live news coverage while I was packing my stuff up or being able to look out of my hotel window and see the elites pass by. I wish I could have stayed to see all of my friends finish, but my flight left Chicago at 10:30AM. With all of the street closures, I had to start making my way over to the airport shortly after Jocelyn and Kim left. Boo.

Although I wanted to stay in Chicago, I was glad to be heading home to my guys. I missed my husband, baby boy, and pup so much. I landed at GSP around 1:00PM and Brent and Baby Key were waiting for me! Oh, and did I mention that Baby Key started WALKING while I was gone?? C’mon! I was gone 24 hours and he started walking. What the heck! Being home was nice, though brief. All I had time to do was unpack, wash my clothes, spend a little time with my guys, repack for Kona, and head to bed. Before rolling over to go to sleep, I set the alarm on my phone for 3:00AM. I can’t remember the last time I got up at 3:00AM for ANYTHING. 6 hours of sleep won’t be much, but I probably won’t be able to shut my brain off anyway.

I’m heading off to Kona tomorrow and I am PSYCHED. I’ll be putting in a lot of time on the airplane, but it will SO be worth it! So many thoughts are swirling in my head about this trip that I can’t even start on that now.

More tomorrow! The next time you hear from me, I’ll most likely be in Kona, HI for the Ironman World Championships! What what!!

OCTOBER: Run, Work, Run, Work…

3 Oct

Well, it is only the 3rd of the month, but October is shaping up to be busy, busy, BUSY!

October 3: International Walk to School Day
Did you know that today is International Walk to School Day? I didn’t either until my super awesome friend, Jil Littlejohn, who happens to be Greenville City Councilwoman, filled me in! Over the last several weeks, I have been coaching Jil to race her first 5k at the end of this month. We are currently in Week 5 of her 8-week training. Normally we run at Cleveland Park, near downtown Greenville, but today we ventured over to Nichol Town Green. The new route brought on lots of twists and turns and steep hills! After the run, we went over to the playground area where all of the children were gathering before heading off to school. Jil put on her City Councilwoman hat and helped present a check for $39,474 to the neighborhood. The money will go to making improvements to the trail so that the children will have a safe path to travel on to get to the school every day! Thanks, State Farm for helping to improve our community!
Walk to School Day
Walk to School Day
October 4 – 7: Chicago Marathon with Nuun Hydration (Chicago, IL)
I’ll be working the Nuun Hydration booth at the expo for the Chicago Marathon! If you will be there too, swing by Booth #584 and say hello! One of my best good friends, Valerie, will be running her very first marathon ever in Chicago and I cannot wait to cheer her on. Plus, I will get to see Jocelyn, one of my Nuun-mates from Hood to Coast, again! All around WIN!
Nuun Chicago Marathon
October 8 – 15: Ironman World Championships with Timex (Kona, HI)
If you missed the big announcement the other day, click here to find out all the details. Since then, I have received a sweet welcome kit from Timex! I received a pretty blue Timex Kona t-shirt, a commemorative Timex Ironman Kona watch, the promotional DVD from last year’s event, and a Visa gift card! I *love* the watch! This particular design/style is sold only at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and the social ambassadors are the first ones to receive them! AWESOME.
Timex Welcome Kit
October 18 – 21: Runner’s World Half Marathon (Bethlehem, PA)
I am so excited to be able to participate in this inaugural event! Again, I will get to reunite with a few of my Hood to Coast Nuun-mates…Elizabeth, Jess, and Laura! I will be going up a day ahead of time to participate in some blogger activities like a BBQ at the Runner’s World headquarters and a shakeout run with the editors of Runner’s World. This will be super fun! Plus, I will get to hang out with my boy, Bart Yasso again! Good times! If you have not signed up for this race, but want to register, use code BLOGGER23 to save 10%!
Runner's World Half Marathon Discount Code
October 27: Spinx Run Fest (Greenville, SC)
This is the big day for Jil and I! I will be pacing Jil during the Big Punkin 5k for the Spinx Run Fest. I have run the half marathon that is part of this running festival and I loved it! Maybe next year I will do the full marathon. Who knows, maybe next year I will be pacing Jil through the marathon! All of the races that are part of this running festival offer beautiful courses and I would highly recommend them if you are looking to run a race in SC! This is also the same weekend as the Marine Corps Marathon. My friend, Tess, will be running her first marathon there, so I will be cheering her on from afar!

October 31: Halloween!
This will be Baby Key’s first Halloween! Woo hoo! I am a total GEEK for Halloween, so we need to come up with a good costume for him! Should we do coordinating family costumes, or is that totally nerdy? What do YOU think?

WHEW! I’m exhausted just looking at all of this, so I better just take it one day at a time…


From the other side of the race registration table…

18 Apr

This past weekend I worked the Gulf Coast Half Marathon Pensacola Beach. A lot of people think when I say I “worked” the event that I really mean I “volunteered” at the event. While I in no way want to take away from the awesomeness of volunteers (after all, volunteers are what allow any group to actually make a race happen), I will put it out there that I am actually on staff with this particular race series. For this and other races I work on, it means that outside of race weekend, I spend many hours (in addition to my “real job”) helping get course certifications, city permits, coordinating packet pick-up, and all the other myriad of things that go along with planning a race. Often, for a big race (half marathon or longer), we start planning about a year out. That being said, I can assure you that for any well-produced race, there are dozens of people behind the scenes that work many hours…usually at the oddest times of the day…to help ensure an exceptional race-day experience by every runner.

Start line! This went up at 3:00AM.

Having been on both sides of the registration table allows me to have a unique perspective when it comes to planning/managing a race. As someone who has done a stupid amount of races, I feel like I have a good understanding of what a runner expects, what a runner is impressed by, and what makes them want to come back again. As a race director/manager/member of staff, I also know what is/is not feasible and what things are/are not under our control.

That being said, I wanted to share a few things about what it is like to be on the staff side of the registration table…

  1. If you did not register online ahead of time, please do not fuss at me if the race is sold out when you arrive at packet pick-up. Most races publish online registration links MONTHS ahead of time. Additionally, throughout the online registration period, you will often see discount codes published to further encourage online registration. If there is a race you really want to run, go ahead and sign up for it. Once online registration closes, we will open the remaining spots to registrants who sign up in-person at packet pick-up. For a successful race, this may mean only 10-15 remaining spots, and those are on a first come first served basis. If you show up in the last hour of packet pick-up on the day before the race and we say we are sold out, I assure you, we are sold out.
  2. Me and @RunningWithSass!

  3. If a race is sold out, please do not beg and plead for me to register you. Look, I *hate* being the bad guy. However, permits from the city only allow a certain number of people. If we ever hope to have a race in that city again, we simply CANNOT go above the number allowed on our permit. If we do, this could involve legal ramifications beyond what you are aware of. I promise to do all I can to find a way to get you in this race, but if I cannot get you registered and I have no more entries left, please respect that.

  4. If it is highly advertised that there is no race-day packet pick-up, please do not fuss at me on the morning of the race if you see me standing there with a bin of packets. As a runner, I totally understand how convenient race-day packet pick-up is. And for smaller races, perhaps a 5k with only a few hundred people, that start later in the morning, race-day packet pick-up is totally feasible. However, if a race has over 1,500 people and starts at 7:00AM, there is simply no way we could get everyone’s packets to them and have the race start on time…even if we started packet pick-up at 3:00AM.
  5. My favorite race day buddy, Ms. Diane!

  6. If you have an extenuating circumstance, please e-mail/call the race director/staff ahead of time. We are not bad people. We are generally willing to work with you on your situation. However, we cannot work with you if we do not know about your situation. Letting us know about it after that fact does not help us help you before race day. If you have special needs, we really do want to accommodate you! Drop us a line or give us a shout and give us the chance to help you make arrangements for race day!

  7. At the end of the race with a certified course, please do not complain that the course was too long/short. If a race has been certified, I PROMISE you that it is the correct distance. If you are running a half marathon, the only way your Garmin, RunKeeper, or other GPS device will read exactly 13.1 miles as you cross the finish line is if you hit every curve in the race course at 1 foot off from the tangent. If that makes no sense to you whatsoever, check out this post regarding running tangents.

  8. If you feel like you are so sick or injured that you will not complete the race or the race will have a tremendous negative impact on your health, please do not race. Before the start of Sunday’s race, I was approached by a woman who asked at what mile she would find the first sweep vehicle (ambulance). She said that she had been having terrible hip pain, and while she had gotten half way through her training, the last several weeks were not as dedicated to her training as they should have been. Basically, she started the race fully expecting not to cross the finish line. I understand there is a fine line to teeter on when deciding whether to push on and race through an illness/injury or pulling a DNS. However, if you are thinking of starting a race with the plan of not finishing, I encourage you to rethink the race. Take the time to get well and heal. There is always another race.
  9. Me and @Atha75!

  10. If you did not earn an age group award and you notice that we have extras, please do not ask if you can have one or offer to purchase one. Age group awards for this past Sunday’s race were these cool glass drinking jars. Everyone really seemed to like them. After all of the age group awards were given out, we had a handful left over, as some age group winners had already gone home before the awards. Those who did receive their awards happily filled them with beer and continued on with the post-race party. One gentleman noticed we had extras. He asked if he could have one. I politely told him that we could not just GIVE him an award. He then asked to purchase one. I again told him that we could not make the glasses available for purchase on the same day as the event. After all, the people who won them fair and square deserve the right to revel in their accomplishment. Just giving out the extras (or worse, SELLING them) would only cheapen their award. When I explained this to him, he walked away. Moments later, I overheard this gentleman call me “the B word.” Sigh. You just can’t win with some people.

  11. If you have an AMAZING time, please tell us! We work hard for months to make sure you have the best race experience possible. If we are successful, please tell us! When something goes wrong at a race or if there is something that runners really hated, you can bet we will hear about it. However, if something is overwhelmingly awesome, we want to know about that too so that we can make sure we do it again or incorporate it into our other races (if possible). If you have a great time at a race, please reach out to the race director/staff via e-mail, facebook, or Twitter to tell them about your experience. We love hearing from happy racers!

Finish line! Also went up at 3:00AM!

All in all, it was a fantastic race weekend in Pensacola Beach and I am already looking forward to our next race in the series, the Gulf Coast Half Marathon Louisiana Northshore (Mandeville, LA). I am also working on several other big races outside of the state (more details on those coming as soon as I am allowed to spill the beans!) so this summer and fall will definitely be busy.

Have YOU directed/managed a race? How do you feel it affects you as a runner? What issues have you encountered in the past?


5 Apr

In Louisiana, we use the word “lagniappe” (pronounced LAN-YAP) a lot. It means “a little something extra.” Today’s post is just that…here are bits and pieces of what has been going on this week…

I am working the expo for the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans today, but I wanted to leave you with a few blog goodies…

The Crescent City Classic is the 6th largest 10k in the United States. This year, they are expecting over 18,000 runners! Wow! This year is the 34th running of the Crescent City Classic. For runners in Louisiana, this is a “must-do” race!

I’ve been house-bound since Baby Key has been sick this week, so I have been catching up on the following blogs…
The Wannabe Athlete
Running With Sass
Black Girls RUN!
Garden Variety TRI
Pavement Runner
No Meat Athlete
Stories of a Slow Triathlete
Twelve in Twelve
Vanessa Runs

In light of all the news of pink slime (GROOOOOOOOOODIE!), I am really considering becoming a vegetarian/vegan. I know this will be a drastic lifestyle change and will be difficult for me, but I am so tired of being continuously grossed out by what is going on with the meat packing industry.

I have to get back to work, but here is a little motivation to boost your running mojo…

And lastly, don’t forget that it is not too late to get in on the sweet Couch to 10k running plan! We are only in Week 2! Come run with me!

What has been keeping YOU busy this week?

A Gut-Wrenching DNS

6 Mar

This past weekend I experienced my first-ever DNS. I really do not want to talk about it. While I did miss the race for a very good reason, I would be lying if I said I was not still pissy about it. I wanted this race. This was going to be MY race. All of the other races I had been a part of this year had been relays or shorter distances. This was to be my return to solo effort distance racing. But alas, it was not meant to be…

Here is how all of the events from the weekend went down…

Friday I arrived to the Ernest R. Morial Convention Center around 10:30AM. I went over and checked out the booth space for the Gulf Coast Half Marathon Series (where I would be working), finished getting it set up, and then headed over to the press conference at 11:30AM. I ran into some of my girls, Rivers and Heather!

@RivsHughey and me!

@runningwithsass and me!

After the press conference, I headed over to the booth to get ready for the circus. The doors opened at noon and there was a really, really long line of people waiting to get in!

There was a lull in the crowd for about 3.27 seconds, so I seized my opportunity to go and pick up my goods. EXCITED?? You bet I was!

After the expo, I hauled my tired body back to my car and drove back to Baton Rouge for the night. The drive is only about an hour, but it felt like DAYS. When I got home, I spent some time with my husband and kiddo, packed up all my stuff for the race on Sunday and shuffled my way to bed.

On Saturday, I was up and on the road at 6:30AM. The expo opened at 9:00AM, but I had a few things I needed to do before the doors opened. I still got there a little early, so I visited with Heather, whose Running Skirts booth had now been moved right around the corner from me! Woot! I couldn’t resist purchasing this little number…

Photo courtesy of

I spent the morning chatting with excited marathoners and half-marathoners, dancing to the old school tunes coming from the Sweaty Bands booth which was right behind us, and getting amped about race day!

At 1:00PM, I made my way over to the black and red balloon arches for the Rock and Roll New Orleans Marathon Social Media Mash-Up! It was a blast! I got to meet so many Twitter friends from all over the country! I love turning online friends into in-real-life friends! We all go super cute t-shirts and some Gu gels!

After the meet-up, I went back to the booth I was working. It got CRAZY on Saturday afternoon, y’all. CRAZY. I could not even begin to put an exact number on how many thousands of people I probably talked to. Every now and then, while I was talking with someone they would suddenly look at me as if a light bulb had just gone off in their head and they would say, “Hey! I read your blog!” and that made me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Those people automatically got a high five and a big hug!

@RunRockNRoll, @Bama26point2, and me!

As the clock struck 7:00PM, the expo drew to a close and I was beat. Standing on your feet for two days in a row on a hard surface can really make your legs sore! I had no idea! Needing some grub and an adult beverage (or two), a couple of buddies and I headed off to Mulate’s for some fried catfish and other South Louisiana fare.

And this is where it all went south….

First, I exchanged text messages with my husband…

Then I texted my friend, Ann, who I was supposed to be spending the night with…

Then, I texted Brent back.

My husband gets migraines. Really, really bad (read = debilitating) migraines…headache, light chasers, nausea, etc. Pair that with a screaming, fussy, sick GERD baby and you have a recipe for disaster. And that, my friends, is exactly what we had on our hands. It was NO BUENO.

I know with all my heart that I made the right decision to not race on Sunday. But I just cannot seem to shake the “bummed” feeling about it.

This race was “my thing”…my one thing that I wanted to be really selfish about. I know this sounds ridiculous, but this was my thing that I did not have to share with my husband (as his wife) and I did not have to share it with my kiddo (as his mama). This race was going to be 100% my thing and I wanted to do it for myself.

And I suppose I would not be so antsy if I had another fun race planned and on the books. But I don’t. RnR NOLA was supposed to be my “big race” before I took a step back, refocused, got a new plan, and started training differently. However, now that I did not run it, I sort of feel like I am just hanging out there…not really sure what my next move should be.

Do I find another race to make “mine”? If so, how do I justify the cost and just WHERE can I fit in my schedule?

Do I scrap the idea of an immediate “redemption race” altogether and start a new training plan with a different goal race later this year?

I think I will sit down with a calendar today and look at what the rest of the year holds. There are some pretty big plans later this year (which I will divulge as soon as I can!) and I want to see what kind of wiggle room I can find in my schedule.

Sunday was spent mostly in the house, making Little One as comfortable as possible. Every time he took a breath it sounded like liquid was gurgling in his chest. While I was very concerned, he was not running a fever, so we decided not to take him to Urgent Care. Yesterday, however, we spent just about our entire day in the doctor’s office. After our first appointment with the doctor, x-rays were schedule to rule out pneumonia. Luckily, the x-rays showed no pneumonia and he was diagnosed with a serious (recurring) case of bronchiolosis. We were sent home with a breathing machine, which is now ours to keep. Lucky us! Nexium has now been bumped up to twice a day and albuterol breathing treatments three times a day. I know the breathing treatments are not the end of the world, but I am just so ready to have a healthy little nugget!

So, how was YOUR race weekend? What did I miss!?

Running Your First RnRNOLA (Half) Marathon

1 Mar

I am so excited that the Rock and Roll New Orleans Marathon is almost here! I have run this race as a half and full before and it is one of my favorite races! I am really looking forward to seeing all of my friends who will be going for their first half or full marathon on Sunday. As their friend, it thrills me to see them training hard and achieving their goals.

However, with so many of my friends attempting this race as their first “big” race, my e-mail inbox has been on overload with questions, comments, and general chatter from all of the excitement!

What will the weather REALLY be like?
Let’s face it, “winter” weather in Louisiana is just tricky. At the start of last year’s race I was FREEZING but I ended up being comfortable in capri pants, a tank top, and a pair of arm warmers. Sunday’s weather is looking pretty good and should make for some ideal race conditions. If you are traveling to the Big Easy, plan on packing option of layers. You will most likely end up in short sleeves and shorts though. And pack some rain gear. When traveling to Louisiana, ALWAYS pack rain gear. It is a necessary evil here.

Photo courtesy of

What is some advice you have regarding the route?
My biggest advice here is…mind your footing! The race course takes you down some streets that are in desperate need of repair. They are potholed, cracked, and terribly uneven. If you are not careful, you can easily land your foot wrong on a slant and get an injury. Obviously, you want to run your fastest race, but you don’t want to be looking so far ahead that you accidentally step into a crater-sized pothole.

Please don't step in this!

When I feel like stopping, what will keep me going?
This one is EASY…the music and spectators. There will be a local band/aid station positioned at a little over each mile. All you have to do is this…run one mile, as you are approaching the band/aid station, pull out the head phones, grab a quick sip to hydrate, toss the cup, and GO! Run another mile and repeat the process. Just keep doing that over and over again until you are done. Whatever you do, don’t become a slave to your Garmin or RunKeeper. That will only make the race seem unbearably long. And if you need a mental/physical break, take a second to high five a spectator! They are all along the route and they are there to cheer you on!

I have never done a race this big. I am nervous.
There is nothing to be nervous about. It is time to get ready for the party. You have put in the time training and now it is time to pass the test! On race day, let yourself get caught up in the excitement…let the music and energy from the other runners suck you in! Whatever you do, remember that you are running YOUR race. Run for yourself and no one else. And if this is your first half or full marathon, you are guaranteed to PR…how about that!

And if you get really nervous or feel like you just can’t go on, just picture the sweet race bling waiting for you at the end…


If you will be at the Rock and Roll New Orleans Expo tomorrow or Saturday, be sure to come and find me! I will be working the booth for the Gulf Coast Half Marathon Series all day, both days…except for the #RnRNOLA Social Media Mash-Up on Saturday from 1PM – 2PM! Can’t wait to see you there!

Official #RnRNOLA Social Media Mash-Up!

29 Feb

This is so exciting! Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon runners from all over the country can get together, chat, and get excited about the big race on Sunday! We hope you will join us!

Though and RSVP is not required, you are welcome to do so here.

Will you be coming down to the Big Easy for the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon? If so, where are you traveling from? Will this be your first time in New Orleans?

Gulf Coast Half Marathon Expo

8 Oct

I have had so much fun volunteering at the expo for the Gulf Coast Half Marathon the last two days!  The last several years, I have been so involved in racing that I have not done a lot of volunteering.  The Gulf Coast Half Marathon Series is a great series of races and since I could not run this year, I definitely wanted to find some way to stay involved.  Plus, so many of my #RunLA fam will be at this event, I knew that I could not pass up being involved in some capacity!

Here are some things you get to do when volunteer for a race expo…

You help race newbies figure out the process…

You help people find their race number and get their packet…

You tell awesome people about upcoming races…

You show off the cool race medal (BLING!) and get people super excited about the race…

You hang out with cool vendors…who may or may not also happen to be your friends… 🙂

You hand out t-shirts…

If you are in Louisiana and there is an LSU game, you listen to the game in the background (GEAUX TIGERS!)…
…and that just scratches the surface!  You are also a safety pin finder, question answerer, and all-around friendly, smiling face!

So far, it has been a great day!  Tomorrow will start early but I can’t wait!  Lots of the #RunLA fam will be racing tomorrow and I can’t wait to cheer them on!  My cowbell is ready!

Do you volunteer for races?  What is your favorite job as a race volunteer?

2011 Crescent City Classic 10k Expo

22 Apr

The 2011 Crescent City Classic 10k Expo this afternoon was TONS of fun! I’ll be the first to admit that I am a total running expo geek. I love love love checking out the booths of upcoming races in my area and seeing all booths with new gear for me to drool over.

The 2011 Crescent City Classic 10k Expo definitely did not disappoint! Granted, it wasn’t nearly as big as the expo for the Rock N Roll Mardi Gras Marathon, but the event isn’t as big, so that was expected.

My first stop was at The Louisiana Marathon booth where I got to chat with Craig Sweeney and Pat Fellows. They were super nice and really got me excited about The LA Marathon on January 15, 2012. I’m not sure I’ll be in full marathon racing mode by then with Baby Key arriving in November, but I’m might be able to squeak out the half marathon. *fingerscrossed*

Craig Sweeney and Pat Fellows

Next up was the Gulf Coast Half Marathon booth. I ran the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Pensacola, FL just a few weeks ago and loved it. The medals are beer bottle openers! Super fun! There is a sister half marathon coming up in October on the Louisiana Northshore. Again, not sure that I’ll be up for it at 8 months pregnant, but hey, I’m not counting it out yet! Ha!

Gulf Coast Half Marathon

After that, I visited with Cesar Torres from Q50 Ultras and Jennifer Radecker from Louisiana Running Company. Cesar got me all jazzed up about the Q50 USA 2011 Bogue Chitto State Park. There will be 1mi, 5mi, and 10mi options, and with the June heat, I’m pretty sure I’ll be maxing out with the 5mi route. Jennifer and I chatted about KSwiss running shoes and about the cool KSwiss truck that visited the Happy’s Running Group in Baton Rouge on Tuesday night!

My last stop was a the One More Mile booth where I spied this jewel of a t-shirt:

One More Mile

I laughed because this shirt is SO me! What would I do without my Garmin Forerunner 405??

I was in a bit of a hurry, so I didn’t have a chance to swing by a lot of the booths…especially the one that smelled the best…the Blue Runner bean booth. Yes, I know it sounds weird to have a booth about red beans at a running expo, but this is South Louisiana, so its definitely not out of place here. Those red beans smelled DELICIOUS but my parking meter was running out of time and I had to boogie!

Overall, the expo was a lot of fun and I got to meet a lot of great people and put a lot of faces with names! Now I’m looking forward to the main event on Saturday morning!

Happy running, y’all!