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So long, engineering. Its been real.

7 Jun

Well, today is the day! This is my last day as an electrical engineer and it is still feeling pretty bittersweet. My current company has been so good to me and was incredibly supportive when I had Baby Key and all the issues we have had with him. As much as I am thankful for every opportunity I have been offered, it is time to bid them adieu and pursue my dreams!

After today, I will be heading out into the world of all things running and racing and making an attempt to become Mistress of the Racing Universe. Sounds like a monumental plan, right? That’s because it pretty much is! I am still overwhelmed with all of the things that have to be pulled off in the next few weeks, but I am determined to take things one step at a time and not get (too) overwhelmed. Oh, and I suppose this calls for an update to my LinkedIn, right?

I Can Do This

YES.

Please allow me one quick moment to insert a shameless plug…I promise not to make a habit of this…

If you are in the South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, or Georgia area and you need help with any type of race, please feel free to contact me at katie@go-greenevents.com. We offer full service race management, direction, and timing services. Want a more detailed list of what we can handle? Just shoot me an e-mail! And if you are outside that geographic area, and need help, e-mail me anyway! We might be able to work something out! You can rely on us for the following types of races (all distances!)…

  • Road Races
  • Trail Runs
  • Cycling Events
  • Mountain Bike Races
  • Swim Meets
  • Duathlons
  • Triathlons
  • Mud/Obstacle Runs
  • Adventure Races

Today I leave you with this little video that my friend shared on facebook. I nearly died laughing and I think some of you will find the humor in it too! Enjoy!

(Oh, and don’t forget, if you have have any questions, comments, etc. about non-race stuff or about my blog, you can always e-mail me here! I love hearing from you!)

What’s on the horizon for YOU? Any big plans or life changes coming up?

Perks of Not Working for THE MAN

4 Jun

As my time as an engineer draws to a close, I find myself getting even more nervous, excited, and anxious about our big move and my massive career change. I will spend today cleaning out my office and clearing off my work laptop. Reality is setting in big time. To keep myself from focusing on the anxiety associated with such big changes, I need to highlight some of the perks that will come along with my new position!

BLUE HAIR
I am 100% serious about this. Throughout my college years, I experimented with many different colors of hair…some natural…some notsomuch. My favorite hair experiment was with the color blue. I absolutely LOVED it. As soon as I find a stylist in Greenville that I feel is capable of giving me such a dramatic color, I will be dying some (possibly all?) of my hair navy blue. Imagine comic book hair…looks almost black when inside, but is obviously a deep shade of blue when the sunlight hits it! Or maybe I’ll go with a lighter blue? Either way, I cannot wait!

This could be cool, right? Even though I’m almost 30?


FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE
Run at 6AM? Run at 9AM? Run at 11AM? Run at 1PM? Run at 3PM? Sure…why not! The perks of having a flexible schedule is that, barring important meetings and/or conference calls, I will be able to schedule running and workout time when my body is ready for it. No more awkward crack of dawn runs or runs in the dark of night…unless I feel like it. As I have said before, my body most enjoys running around 8AM but, like most people, I have always had to be at work at this time. In addition, if I want to take group exercise classes that fall during the daytime, my schedule will now allow it. Since I will be directing/managing/timing races, many of my work hours will fall on the weekends anyway, so I will not allow myself to feel guilty for taking a mid-morning run. I will have to get used to this, since I can tend to be a workaholic, but I am sure that it won’t be *too* hard of a routine to break into.

!! TREADMILL DESK !!
Oh yes, you read that right, friends! Mama is gettin’ herself a freaking treadmill desk! I need one of these…I mean NEED. And I don’t mean “need” like “want”…I mean “need” like I NEED food and water. Okay, so maybe the situation isn’t *that* dire, but I have wanted to have a job where I could utilize a treadmill desk for YEARS and I am determined to make this happen. With the expenses of a new house and moving so far, I don’t know how we are going to afford this yet, but trust me, I will make this a reality. Can’t you just picture me…planning races, making big stuff happen, all while burning calories and getting fit? That’s the ultimate in multi-tasking! I’d be able to keep the longest run streak EVER with a treadmill desk!

Photo courtesy of TrekDesk


Being an engineer, I had originally planned on crafting one myself, until I saw the TrekDesk. I still think I could design and make a pretty awesome treadmill desk, but I do not have time for those shenanigans right now, so TrekDesk it is! Now I just need to figure out how to pay for it…and pay for a treadmill. To that end…

ANNOUNCEMENT! I am now taking financial backers for katieRUNSthis! Ha! I kid, I kid. But seriously, if you have a wad of cash lying around and you want to help me invest in my health, I would be more than happy to let you buy me a treadmill and treadmill desk. After all, I just want to be like Bart Yasso when I grow up.

Photo courtesy of my friends @runhers!


As far as treadmills go, I think this one from Cybex is pretty fancy. Plus, it helps raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).

I’m normally not a huge fan of pink…but it does support a great cause!


I also like this one from ProForm. I mean, with the Boston Marathon logo smack dab on the side, how could you NOT be inspired daily? Get me to Copley Square!

In all honesty, I will probably end up with a used one from a garage sale or Craigslist. There has got to be someone who is tired of just hanging clothes on theirs, right?

Do you have a job that allows you to not work for THE MAN? If so, what are your favorite perks? If you do still work for the man, what would you change if you could?

Wheels In Motion. UPDATES!

31 May

As I wrote that title, all I could think of was this… Man, I love me some Journey.

On our new jobs…
Well, it is really happening. The wheels are finally in motion and we are REALLY doing this. My husband left for South Carolina this morning. He starts his new job on Monday, so today was the day our little family parted ways. I know it is only temporary and, considering how hard we have worked for these opportunities and how long we have waited for everything to fall into place, being apart for a couple of weeks is a small sacrifice to make to be making giant leaps toward our goals.

I am so insanely bad with goodbyes and I usually avoid them when I can. I am one of those people that will offer quick hugs and “see ya laters”…all while acting completely unfazed by the whole situation. But later, when I realize that I am on my own, the loneliness sinks in. The time apart will be hard on both of us. My husband will be getting settled in at his new job and missing us, and I will be managing wrapping up my current job, making big move arrangements, and taking care of Baby Key. Luckily, Elvis (the most awesome miniature Dachshund on the planet), Baby Key, and I will be staying with my mom so she can help me in the evenings.

(If you are a new(er) reader, suffice it to say that Baby Key is a high maintenance child…who does not sleep…and he almost NEEDS two adults to care for him. If you think I am being dramatic or whatnot, you just come hang at my house for a few days.)

Things for my new job are coming along well too! Remember that “Super Secret Race” I mentioned a few posts back? Well, I can spill the beans about it now! This fall, I will be in Atlanta working on the inaugural Black Girls RUN! and AARP /Drive to End Hunger! I am absolutely thrilled to be working on this event with the dynamic duo, Toni and Ashley, and the rest of their team. There is so much about this event that I can stand behind: great group with a valuable mission supporting a wonderful cause! Registration is officially open and we hope to see you there!

On a new home…
We got a house! Let me say that again…WE GOT A HOUSE! Though the whole ordeal was an emotional roller coaster, we finally came to an agreement with the seller and we officially have a contract on a new home. Here’s is basically how it went down…

We found the house online. Judging from the listing, it had everything we were looking for: space (bedrooms for our family + 1 spare, an office area for me, music space for my husband, etc.), great location, close proximity to the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and nice kitchen (I love to cook for my family!)…just to name a few. We scheduled a date to go see it…4 days after viewing the listing…which was the soonest my husband could arrange to get there and get a showing scheduled with an agent. Between the time we saw the listing and my husband was able to go and see it, an offer was made on the house. SUCK! Having already made the trip to South Carolina, my husband decided to go and see the house anyway. As you can imagine, after viewing it, he believed even more that this would be the perfect house for us.

We knew this house was at the high end of our price range, and, knowing the other offer on the table was probably still higher than our best offer, we sent in our offer anyway…along with this note.

We waited a day and finally heard back from the seller…they wanted to take the other offer. We were so disappointed. We had just lost the home we had really had our heart set on. Until…

We got a call the following day that the seller had reconsidered. They read our note again and had a change of heart! They said they really wanted US to have their house. We did a little back and forth negotiation and now we have a new home! We should know a closing date by the end of the day tomorrow and then we will make a firmer schedule for getting our stuff moved!

On the #RWRunStreak
The streak is alive! Today is Day 4 and I am still going strong! I know that 4 days is not really all that much to write home about, but with all that we have going on these days, I am pumped to anything I can commit to outside of work and moving.
Day 1 (05/28): 1 mile
*I worked all day and packed all evening. This was the best I could muster at 10PM.
Day 2 (05/29): 2 miles
*It was hot, hot, HOT. Still managed to push them out though!
Day 3 (05/30): 1 mile…walked
*I worked all day and then took my mom out to a celebratory birthday dinner last night. After food and a glass of wine, I was happy with a walk. Hey, I moved.
Day 4 (05/31): ~ 4 miles
*Mom is picking up Baby Key from day care today, so I plan on getting in a good run around her ‘hood. Woot!

The next few weeks will move every bit as quickly as the last few weeks. This transition will be…interesting!

No, I’m Not Pregnant Again.

23 May

It has been 20 days since my last blog post. No, I didn’t forget about it. No, I’m not dead. No, I haven’t hit a block with my writing. I’ve just been…well, busy. Like really REALLY busy.

Since I started this blog, the only time I have gone that long without a post was last fall when Baby Key was born. Everyday that would go by, I would think about all the things that were going on and all the things I couldn’t wait to share.

Well, as a family, we sort of find ourselves at this same point. The last few weeks have been eventful, stressful, busy, and exciting! I know I have been teasing about dropping some big news on my Twitter for weeks, but I really had to wait until the timing was right. So, without further ado…

“Now this a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down” ~ Fresh Prince

I AM QUITTING MY JOB
Well, technically, I am turning in my 2 weeks notice today. Over the last year or so, I have come to the conclusion that I am not destined to be an engineer. I have learned that just because I can do calculus and physics in my sleep, it does not mean that I have to. In short, my heart is no longer in it and I no longer feel fulfilled pursuing this career. I have realized that I have other talents and gifts and I need to use them.

I don’t get all preachy very often on my blog (though some would argue that I should use my voice to do so, but this is my blog and I will write about what I want, when I want), but I feel that God is opening doors for me and my family and is leading us down a new path. Over the last six months or so, I have crossed paths with several different members of my church who have reminded me that as Christians, God wants us to be joyous in our work. I can honestly say that I find NO joy in being an engineer. In fact, I dislike it so much that I often find it putting me in a bad mood. That is not the kind of person I am and not the kind of person that I want to be. I find joy in helping people, encouraging others, helping people pursue their fitness goals, running, and leading others. The decision has been made to pursue a line of work where I can be happy and share my passions with others…even if it means getting comfortable in a new salary bracket. The value in being happy and healthy far exceeds the salary I collect as an engineer.

But, I won’t be broke for long, because…

I HAVE LANDED AN INCREDIBLE NEW JOB
Goodbye, hard hat…HELLO, RUNNING SHOES! Let’s be real, I have made no secret about wanting to shift my career from engineering to all things running. But how does one actually do that? By working your tail off, that’s how. I have been involved with the management, direction, and timing of races as a side job (or by contract work) over the last several years. However, I have been extended a partnership opportunity with a successful race management and timing company and I have decided to accept it. Two weeks from today, I will literally be immersing myself in all things running and racing…as a career! In addition, this new position will bring the opportunity to do some beginner run coaching. My two new partners are accomplished athletes…one is a successful track and running coach at a university (who also writes about running) and the other is a multiple marathoner and back-to-back Ironman 140.6 finisher (yes, he did a full Ironman on one Sunday…and then did another full Ironman the following Sunday). I have known these guys for a long time and I feel honored to be working with them. I am excited about all the good things this will bring and I look forward to growing our business and putting on first class races/endurance events for our clients! While I have managed, directed, and timed many running events (both road and trail), I will also be expanding my horizons and venturing into the management/timing of cycling events, swimming events, triathlons, duathlons, and mud/obstacle runs. So much to learn! Me…a (partial) business owner! All things running…all the time!  Say what!?

So where is this great new opportunity? Well, this brings me to the next item…

WE ARE MOVING
Sadly, my dream job is not located in Baton Rouge…not even in the State of Louisiana. It is actually located in Upstate South Carolina, so that is where we will be relocating! Although I am originally from Baton Rouge, I spent 6 years in Greenville, SC after I graduated from LSU so this area is very familiar to me. Plus, my husband is from that area and we have plenty of family there (read = lots of family to gush over and spoil Baby Key rotten 24/7). The Upstate is beautiful and I am looking forward to having more places to run (both on the road and on the trails) and being able to do more cycling, as Greenville is a cyclist’s dream thanks to George Hincapie.

I will NOT be driving this 700+ miles.

One of the best parts about this move is that we will be able to buy our first home. Just writing that makes me tear up. We have dreamed about this for SO long. The cost of housing in Upstate SC is 20% lower than it is in Baton Rouge, so that means we will be able to afford a nice house, nicer than anything we could have gotten here. My husband is working with our real estate agent this week and we are hoping to put an offer on a house this Friday. I simply cannot wait! Owning our own home will bring me so much joy! I will have a kitchen with lots of counter space where I can prepare healthy meals for my family. We will have a big backyard where Baby Key and Elvis (our furbaby) can play and run around. Our new home will be big enough for me to have a home office that I can work from…giving me almost three hours (my current commute time) of my day back. Seriously, do know how much you can accomplish in three hours!? Hello long runs and training time!

My business partners and I are currently seeking new office space. With all that I have going on in Baton Rouge, I could not add that to my list right now. I will be tackling that project once we are there and settled. One space that we are seriously looking at is in a specialty running store in town. That’s right…I would get to work out of a running store! That sounds so fun, but I fear I may come home with new gear everyday and it probably take my running shoe addiction to a whole new level. What a sacrifice, right? Ha!

That’s the long and short of it…quitting a job I hate…starting a job I know I will love…and planting roots in a city that makes me happy. Folks, it is going to be good. GOOD.

But wait, what will my husband be doing?
As fate would have it, my husband has also found an incredible new job in the Upstate. His new company is AMAZING and it is one that he has wanted to get on board with for a long time. Plus, it comes with lots of perks…on-site fitness center (that the whole family can use!), on-site doctor/medical facility, great health benefits, and incredible contributions to 401k, etc. He is very excited and I know that he has so much to offer in this new position!

But wait, what about the #RunLA fam?
Don’t worry, friends! I’m not leaving you! C’mon, did you really think I could just up and leave?? No way! I am still working on several races in Louisiana and even after we move, I will be making regular trips back for race planning meetings, expos, conferences, and events. I plan to schedule my trips back to Louisiana on days where I can meet up with my running groups as much as possible! I am so blessed to have established so many wonderful friendships here and I look forward to continuing those relationships…just from a little farther away. Thank heavens for facebook!

But wait, what about your family in Louisiana?
While most of my family will stay in Louisiana, my mom has decided to make the move with us! She is about to retire and is ready to start a new chapter in her life. She always loved visiting me in Greenville when I lived there before, and she is ready to make it her home also! She will not be making this initial move with us, but once our little family is settled in, we will start the process of relocating her. I am so excited that Baby Key will be able to have my mom and my husband’s parents in the same city!

But wait, won’t you miss Baton Rouge?
In some ways, yes. In some ways, no. I will miss my family and friends tremendously. I will definitely miss the food. I will NOT miss the traffic and the never-ending construction. Baton Rouge is my hometown, but I am ready to make Greenville my home. And I’m really, really ready to get my legs used to running in the mountains again!

When does all this excitement go down?
As soon as possible! My husband starts his new job very soon and as soon as we can set a closing date for a house, we will be scheduling the big move! The tentative plan is to be settling in to our new home around the first week of July.
AJC Peachtree Road Race
First week of July? Isn’t the AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4th?
Sadly, it is. I was so excited to have won the lottery for this race and I was really looking forward to it. However, with all the craziness we will have going on that week, it just is not feasible for me to get to that race. So, as of right now, I am going to have to move it off my race calendar. However, as things develop over the next month, if it looks like I can squeeze it in somehow, I will. After all, it is the largest 10k in the country…and I really don’t want to miss out on it!

What about the other races I’m planning on running this year?
Other than the AJC Peachtree Road Race, my race calendar should continue on as normal. I am currently committed to Hood to Coast in Oregon at the end of August and Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah (half marathon) in early November. Conveniently, one of my Nuun Hood To Coast Relay Team teammates, Corey, also lives in Greenville, so we will be able to train together in July and August and we will be able to be travel buddies! Too fun! I am seriously eyeing the Kiawah Island Marathon (full marathon) in early December, especially since they have changed it from a double-loop course (I loathe double-loop courses!) to a single-loop course. However, I will make that final decision after Hood to Coast, when I have a better idea of what my fall work/event schedule will be. I want to make sure I have the time to train properly.

So, have you been keeping up with TurboFire and Shakeology?
Yeeeeeah…about that. Y’all, I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I tried…really hard…but with still working full-time, working on races part-time, house hunting, organizing everything for the move, and dealing with an infant that STILL refuses to sleep through the night, something had to give. So, I put it on hold. Trying to do it all was creating so much stress, so I had to pare down the commitments. I will say that I LOVED TurboFire and Shakeology and I am super amped to restart the program once we are settled into our new place. I have been able to maintain the weight loss from the few weeks I was on the program, so that’s a bonus! From now until the actual move though, I will just be doing a few weekly runs to maintain my endurance.

As I mentioned above, I have sort of already started my new job and I am currently working on three big races…one repeat race and two inaugural events!

“Super Secret Race” (September 16, 2012; Atlanta, GA)
I am so, SO excited to be part of this race! This race is collaboration with two incredible organizations and although we are still in the initial planning phases, I know this race will be a success. Technically, it has a name, but since the press release for it has not gone out yet, I am sworn to secrecy. Don’t worry, though, as soon as I can spill the beans on this one, I will.

Woman’s Half Marathon (December 9, 2012; Baton Rouge, LA)
The women of South Louisiana needed a female-only endurance event, and the Woman’s Half Marathon is just the thing to fill that spot! The press release for this race just went out last week and we are already seeing excellent registration numbers! The course is awesome, it will have a beautiful finishers medal, and the health and wellness boutique (read = expo for ladies!) will feature all kinds of women-specific vendors, running apparel brands, and information on women’s health. While this is event is focused on the ladies, it really is okay for dudes to register too. All I’m saying is that if you are a single runner guy looking for a fit runner chick, you might want to consider running this. C’mon, the odds are in your favor, man!
The Louisiana Marathon
The Louisiana Marathon (January 20, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA)
I am excited to be working on the Louisiana Marathon again. It was held for the first time in January of this year and I am thrilled to be part of this race team again! It is going to be fun! The extent of my involvement with this race is still being hammered out, and as more details unfold, I will share!

Once I move to South Carolina, I will have the chance to work on some other really fun events! Here are just a few of the races I will get the opportunity to work with…
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (Lowcountry Affiliate – Daniel Island, SC) – The largest 5k in South Carolina! (10,500+ runners)
Cooper River Bridge Run 10k (Charleston, SC) – The 3rd largest 10k in the United States! (34,000+ runners)
Spinx Run Fest (Greenville, SC) – A weekend of running events!

I think that pretty much covers all the excitement that has been going on in our lives lately! I promise to not let so much time go by again without posting! The next 6 weeks will be jam-packed and busy, but I hope that you will keep reading and enjoy the roller coaster with me!

As soon as I hit the Publish button on this post, I will start typing my resignation letter.  I am a mixed bag of emotions, but I am ready.

I can do this.
I can do this.
I can do this.