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Runner Swag Swap!

22 Jul

There is almost not faster way to get me jumping up and down like a little kid again than to send me a surprise in the mail. I love getting “fun mail.” As an adult, getting bills in the mail is a regular thing, but every now and then, something fun arrives that makes me super excited!

Yesterday, FUN MAIL arrived! EEEEEEEK!

A while back, a fellow running blogger, Eat to run. Run to eat., hosted a runner swag swap. All you had to do was send Jerry an e-mail letting her know that you were interested and include your mailing address. She paired runners together to swap a gift box of runner goods! I thought it was such a fun idea, so I immediately signed up to participate.

Well, my swag from my partner arrived yesterday! SWEET!
Surprise Running Swag
I got:

I am so excited! I have never tried an official sport wash, but I have heard it really does the trick on getting the stank out of “long run clothes.” Also, the reflective bands come with PERFECT TIMING! With Hood to Coast coming up in only a few weeks, these will be ideal for wearing during night runs. I have a lot of running gear, but I was seriously lacking on reflective, safety gear, so these will definitely come in handy! And Gu products? You really can’t go wrong!

Also, my super awesome swag swap partner made me a great running mix! I can’t wait to check out these tunes and add them to my running playlist!
Runner Swag Swap

  1. “Intro” by the xx
  2. “Cracks” by Freestylers
  3. “Throwing Fire” by Ronald Jenkees
  4. “Young Blood” by The Naked and Famous
  5. “Life in Technicolor” by Coldplay
  6. “Move Away” by The Killers
  7. “Goodness Gracious” by Person L
  8. “19-2000 [Soulchild Remix]” by Gorillaz
  9. “We Owe This to Ourselves” by Anberlin
  10. “Watch the World” by Boxcar Racer

IF I can get my act together by Halloween, I mentioned to Jerry that I might be interested in hosting a swap on this blog. Things with the move and new house should be much calmer by then, so I don’t see why I couldn’t, but I’ll let you know as that time gets closer. 🙂

Speaking of new house…tomorrow is the BIG DAY! We were supposed to close this past Friday, but due to circumstances out of our control, the closing got pushed to tomorrow. I am so excited! I really don’t know what to do with myself! We are going to finally have a home! There are so may awesome things about our new house that I don’t even have the time to write it all out here, but suffice it to say…super amazing things lay ahead!

How is YOUR weekend going? Did you RACE this weekend? If so, how did you do?

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


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 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?

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?

Running/Fitness Twitter Chats – Join The Conversation!

25 Sep

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!  Last week, Bart Yasso announced that he would be hosting another #BartChat on Twitter this week!  Woot!  Even more exciting is that he has asked me to help moderate!  Excited? You bet I am!  If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know how much I love running/fitness chats.  Since I am unable to spend hours and hours running like I used to (at least for the next few weeks!), I enjoy spending the extra time I do have connecting with runners online, trading stories, sharing experiences, and participating in Twitter chats.  People who are new to Twitter or even still learning about it often ask me about these chats, so here is the run-down (no pun intended!).

“What IS a chat?”
“So, how does it work?”
“How do I know what to say?”

What is a Twitter chat?
One of my favorite things about Twitter is the immediate interaction you get with people as passionate about your hobby/lifestyle as you are.  A Twitter chat is like one big instantaneous group text where participants can share ideas and opinions, back and forth, in real-time…all in 140 characters or less.  Twitter chats are most often hosted on a particular day and at a particular time each week, and the chat moderators/hosts are generally responsible for determining the chat topic and/or preparing questions for the participants to answer.  Once the chat gets started, participants are encouraged to interact not only with the moderator/host, but also with the other participants, offering valuable information and contributing to the topic.  The benefit of a Twitter chat is that it allows all users from all over the world to interact instantaneously, as opposed to the delayed response from other sites (like facebook status updates or forum posts).  Twitter chats help you expand your social network and help you find other people interested in the same things that you are!  As you can imagine, my favorite Twitter chats to participate in are those that revolve around running, triathlons, and general fitness.

How do I follow a Twitter chat?
In order to follow a Twitter chat, you will need to know the hashtag.  I will explain each one a bit more specifically below, but the hashtags for chats I follow are #runchat, #BartChat,#trichat, #fitblog, and #fitstudio.  There are a few different ways to follow a Twitter chat.

Personally, I use two windows logged into my account.  On my first (left) window, I have my account on the @Mentions page.  On my second (right) window, I have my Search page with the hashtag actively searching.  I do this so that if someone specifically directs a comment towards me, it will show up on the first window (where I can respond from there), while I can keep the hashtag feed rolling along in the second (right) window.  Smaller chats may not require as much back-and-forth action, but larger chats, like #runchat and #BartChat, often involve a large number of participants and move relatively quickly.

Some people find my system cumbersome, and I realize that it is not for everyone.  If this seems to be too much for you, you can use a Twitter chat platform like TweetChat, TweetGrid, HootSuite or TweetDeck to help you manage the conversation.  TweetChat is probably the simplest of the three and would be the one I would recommend the most.  It is very straight forward and is not confusing at all.

As a courtesy to my followers, I will often make a quick announcement (Tweet) that I am about to join in on a chat.  My purpose for this is two-fold.  On one hand it gives me that chance to apologize in advance if my rapid-fire tweets (conversation) junk up their timelines.  On the other hand, it also gives me the chance to encourage those who follow me to join me if they are curious about the chat or what we are talking about!  As with most things, the more the merrier and I love it when new people join in on chats!  If you are concerned that you will be Tweeting too much, your followers are always welcome to use a site like Muuter where they can literally put you and your Tweets on “mute” for a particular amount of time.  Feel free to send out a Tweet suggesting this if you feel it necessary.

Now you are ready to get chatting, right?  RIGHT!  Here are a few chats you might be interested in…

#runchat (Running)
#runchat happens on the second and fourth Sundays of every month at 8:00PM EST.  It is hosted by @RunningBecause (David) and @iRunnerBlog (Scott).  The topics encompass all things running and David and Scott encourage runners of all levels to join in the conversation!  This is a chat for runners, by runners.  These chats are often sponsored by gear companies who will offer a great prize to a random participant. FUN!  One time I won a sampler pack of GU Energy gels!  For more information about it, be sure and check out their website and facebook page!

#BartChat (Running)
#BartChat is hosted by Bart Yasso (@BartYasso), the CRO of Runner’s World. While this chat does not have a regular day/time, it is always announced well ahead of time (and often retweeted by other runners) so it is not likely you would miss it.  But just to be sure, go ahead and follow @BartYasso so you make sure you are always in the know!  Bart’s topics run the gamut but are often focused on distance race training.  Dubbed the “Mayor of Running,” Bart has run in more than 1,000 competitive races during his nearly 30 years with Runner’s World magazine.  His years of running and experience truly offer a wealth of information and many runners find his tips on training and his chats extremely helpful!

**The next #BartChat is Tuesday, September 27 at 12:00PM EST and I will be helping moderate.  So excited about this!  Be sure and join us!**

#trichat (Triathlon)
#trichat happens on alternating Sundays from #runchat, being held on the first and third Sundays of the month.  It is hosted by myself and @JoeVukson.  #trichat is geared to wannabe triathletes, newbies, and seasoned Ironman competitors alike.  Topics range from training to gear to transition tips and beyond.  This is a new chat, having only been held a few times, but the number of participants is definitely growing!  If you are a triathlete or if you are just interested in the sport of triathlon, I encourage you to come by and chat with us!  Oh, and we are also on facebook, so drop by and show some love!

#fitblog (Fitness)
#fitblog chat is held every Tuesday night at 9:00PM EST.  It was created and originally moderated by @katywidrick, but now has a different moderator/host each week.  #fitblog chat is focused on fitness and health but also sometimes covers ways to increase readership to your fitness blog or how to monetize it.  This chat begins by having each participant introduce himself/herself and list the name of his/her blog.  Having a blog is certainly not a requirement, so please do not let it deter you from joining in!  The easiest way to join this chat is to go to their official website!

#fitstudio (Fitness)
#fitstudio chat goes down on Wednesday nights at 8:30PM EST.  #fitstudio chat is brought to you by Sears @fitstudio but has different moderators/hosts each week.  These chats focus on sharing ways to stay motivating, maintain overall fitness goals, and maintain proper nutrition while on a training plan.  This is a great chat if you are having trouble staying motivated and need some encouragement to keep pursuing your fitness goals.

If you are not a Twitter chatter, I highly encourage you to give it a try.  If you are nervous or a little shy, at least check out the hashtags and see what people are talking about.  If it looks interesting to you, try lurking for a chat or two just to get comfortable.  Lots of people do that to “get their feet wet” and get the hang of how chats work.  When you are ready, hop in and start chatting!

Do you participate in Twitter chats?  Why or why not?  Do you follow any running/fitness hashtags on Twitter? 

Social Media is Changing Running

23 Aug

It is no doubt that social media is changing everything these days. Very few people are able to hide from Twitter (or “THE Twitter” if you are my mother), facebook, YouTube, myspace, etc. As runners, social media is having a huge impact on our sport, whether we even realize it or not. As a person who enjoys the use of many social media outlets (see sidebar), I view the impact that social media is having on the sport of running as a positive thing! 🙂

Sites like Twitter and facebook allow us to feel thisclose to runners and coaches that we admire. It is easy to send out a Tweet to our idols like Bart Yasso, Amby Burfoot, or Ryan Hall and the interaction almost seems intimate. If we ask them a question and are lucky enough to get a Tweet back, we feel like a million bucks! And all hell breaks loose if they follow you or “friend” you back! All of these people used to seem so far away, but thanks to Twitter and facebook, “meeting” those we admire most is as quick as hitting the Send button. We are no longer light years away from getting training tips and advice from coaches and elite runners. Updates on social media sites also give us the chance to gain a little insight on what they do when they are not training or coaching. Social media makes world-class athletes feel approachable.

Once upon a time, contacting a company to ask questions about a product, offer it praise, or offer advice on improvements meant hand-writing a letter or picking up the phone to call a 1 (800) number. (The Dark Ages, right!?) Then, with the advent of e-mail and website forms, it became even easier. You could be even more anonymous or contact the company on hours when it was convenient for you. Social media has heightened this experience and made it personal again. Often, we are more aware that companies are listening to what we think of them (because they are!) and getting feedback on our issues seems faster and done with more care because it is done in such a public way. They can see our names and our profile photos. They can see that we are real people, with real concerns, and that we want real answers. When we receive quick and honest feedback from a company, we are often eager to share information about that product with others we think would like to be “in the know”! It’s a win-win for everyone! Some of my favorite companies that take advantage of social media are Bodyglide, GO Sport ID, Altra Zero Drop, Zensah and Brooks Running!

As we all know, race day information can change with the drop of a hat. When changing information, race organizers would often rely on mass e-mails for relaying important information. While this was good for reaching a large population, there are always people that miss the information for whatever reason (email sent to spam, didn’t get the e-mail, didn’t think to check e-mail, etc.) Sending out race day changes via social media sites in addition to mass e-mails allows pertinent information to get to racers at several levels. Before the big day, social media allows races and multi-sport events to hype the big day and get participants excited about the experience. During the event, we are able to quickly share updates of how much fun we are having at the race, photos of neat things we see, and up-to-the minute stats of racers. And, of course, if we set a PR, we are quick to share our stats and show off our race bling! In the days following the race, blogs, Tweets and other site updates allow us to share more details about our experiences and give feedback to race organizers about what we loved and what might need some improvement. It also gives us the chance to encourage others to try a new event that they might enjoy! This year, the Boston Marathon and The San Francisco Marathon (#SFM2011) are two events that really stand out as having utilized social media in a powerful way to entice, engage, and support racers and race fans.

There is no shortage of advantages of using social media to interact with other runners. Social media sites give us the chance to talk about training strategies, find training buddies (whether we link up with local runners or make virtual training partners), give each other tips on nutrition, and offer support and encouragement to reach our goals. We can also get quick advice on healing injuries, finding great running routes while traveling, or finding information about events we might want to add to our bucket lists. Running-specific social media sites like GoGazella, Just Finish, and Daily Mile offer a forum for walkers, runners, or multi-sport athletes to link up and support each other. Think of them as facebook specifically for runners! Cool!

Social media is definitely here to stay. Why not get on board and join the social (media) revolution! C’mon…all the cool kids are doing it! Peer pressure is a beast, isn’t it?

What social media sites to YOU use? How do you use them in relation to your running? What advantages/disadvantages to you see with social media’s influence on the running community?