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The Experience of a Lifetime

22 Aug

Note: For the next several days, I’ll be blogging from my iPad. Forgive me in advance for any weird formatting, wonky photos, etc. I’m doing the best I can. Promise!

ITS HERE. ITS REALLY HAPPENING. I AM NOT IN A DREAM. I AM REALLY GOING TO RUN HOOD TO COAST. Time to pull out the bucket list and scratch this one off!

As I am writing this, I am currently flying somewhere over the Midwest (I think) as I make my cross-country journey from South Carolina to Oregon for Hood to Coast! First of all, I have to say…and forgive me if this makes me sound a bit “country bumpkin come to town”-ish, but…IN-FLIGHT WI-FI ROCKS. And its free, which makes it rock even harder.

When I started packing yesterday, I felt like I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I was trying to find all my gear, work some serious magic to get it all into my carry-on bag, manage not to forget anything…oh, AND make 1,000 race bibs for the Mutt Strut 5k this weekend. Throw in the mix a fussy, teething 9 month old, and you have a seriously sleepless night. I think my head finally managed to hit the pillow at 11:30PM. A few hours later, my adventure began…

3:00AM: Alarm goes off. *yawnGRUMBLEstretchYAWN* I peeled myself out of bed.

3:15AM: Dressed, and bare minimal make-up on. Yes, I put on some make-up that early. Don’t hate.

3:30AM: Finished up last minute packing, sat on my suitcase to get it to close. That’s how I roll.

4:05AM: Arrive at Corey’s house. Her super nice husband, Brad, played chauffeur and drove us to the airport. Her super cute Schnoodles even came too!

4:30AM: Get in line to go through security at GSP. We were there so early that security was not even open yet! Was it naive of me to think that airports sort of didn’t close?? After we got through security, there still wasn’t anyone even at our gate!!



5:30AM: Corey and I take off! We head off to our first stop, CLT! I desperately tried to catch some winks on this flight, but it proved impossible as it was so short.

6:30AM: We land in CLT and we are on a mission to find food! Thank goodness for healthy (though mondo expensive) food options in the airport. Naked Strawberry Banana smoothie and a banana for the win!


7:15AM: We board our flight to Seattle-Tacoma Airport! We were worried that our other traveling buddy, Jess, was not going to make it in time.

7:30AM: Jess walks on to the plane just in time! WHEW! A few minutes later, we are OFF! Hood to Coast, here we come!!

7:45AM: Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. More glorious sleep. ZZZzzz…

11:00AM: Awake and feeling like a million bucks. It is amazing how much better I feel with just a few hours of extra sleep. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to need the biggest coffee I can find when we land, but at least I don’t feel like DEATH.

So, that brings me to now…and what’s coming up in the next few days! We have so many fun things plan that I can barely stand it!

When we land, all of the AfterNUUN Delight teammates that have arrived will all be going to a Seattle Mariners baseball game! I have never been to a professional baseball game, so this will be another first for me! After the game, we will just hang out and wait for more Nuun runners to arrive!

Tomorrow morning, we have the option of the following: open water swim, group shakeout run, tour of Oiselle headquarters, and chilling at Starbucks. I *had* planned on giving the open water swim a whirl and then checking out Oiselle headquarters, but I’ll have to see if I am feeling jetlagged or not. I certainly want to be on top of my game for Friday. After the swim/run/tour, we have a smoothie breakfast graciously provided by Jamba Juice! We will be on our own for lunch tomorrow, but in the afternoon, the cool kids at Nuun have created an Amazing Race: Seattle Style game for us all to play! Awards will be handed out in the early evening, followed by a group dinner at Nuun Headquarters! After that, we have to get creative and decorate our vans!

Friday and Saturday are running days and will be running, running, and then running some more! My team (#TeamNight <;– Twitter hashtag) is predicted to finish around 6PM on Saturday. After all the teams finish, we will make our way over to the Nike VIP tent for some post-race partying!

And then by Sunday morning, its all over (whomp, whomp)…but I don't want to think about that yet! My journey is just getting started!!

I have to give a serious shout out to Nuun. Without this team and their amazing and supportive staff, none of us would be able to have this experience. I know this will be a runcation that I will never forget!

And if you want to stalk…um, I mean follow…our journey, I will blogging here as often as I can, but you can also check out my Twitter (@katieRUNSthis) and follow me on Instagram (@katieRUNSthis)! To follow all the AfterNUUN Delight runners, check out the #nuunHTC hashtag on Twitter!

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?

Sky rockets in flight…afterNUUN delight!

25 Apr

I have good news and bad new for you today. Which one to you want first? The bad news? Okay.

Bad News: I am NOT becoming the fifth member of The Starland Vocal Band. (Super sad face)

GOOD NEWS: I was selected for Nuun’s 2012 Hood to Coast Team!!! HEYO!!

The big announcement came at 2PM PST yesterday and as soon as I clicked on their site and saw my name…I freaked!! I am SO amped, y’all! I made it!

So much good stuff is going to come out of this experience, I just know it! I have so many thoughts and questions and ideas…I don’t even know where to start! So many of the other running bloggers that I follow and talk it up with on Twitter will be there. I simply cannot wait to put faces with names…and, as always, I love the opportunity to turn online friends into in-real-life friends! Plus, I have never traveled to the Pacific Northwest, so I am super jazzed to see (and run in!) a different part of the country!

In the meantime, if you want to check out my teammates and see what they are up to, you can check out their blogs at the link above or you can subscribe to the list on Twitter that Dorothy made!

START: Friday, August 24, 2012 (Mt. Hood, Oregon)
FINISH: Saturday, August 25, 2012 (Seaside, Oregon)

These dates work out perfectly for me.  By then, I will have “graduated” my TurboFire program and I will be feeling strong!  YES!  Over the next couple of weeks, I will be getting more details about the event and I will be sure to share them all with you!

Have you ever run an ultramarathon relay before? Have you ever run Hood to Coast before? Got any advice for me about the race or about the Pacific Northwest, in general?

TurboFire/Shakeology Program: Initial Reactions

24 Apr

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post

Yesterday afternoon I raced home to pick up my TurboFire/Shakeology Challenge Pack! I was like a kid in a candy store and I may or may not have actually done a happy dance when I had the box in my hands!

Want to know what I got? Here is a quick intro…

Note: The weighted gloves were not part of the challenge pack. I ordered these separately. This is an accessory that is also available through Beachbody. I wanted to really get my arms toned, so I will be using them with the TurboFire program.  You can find them in the Beachbody store under “TurboJams Gear.”

As soon as I got everything out of the box and set up on my table, I got down to the business of taking my “before” photos and recording my beginning measurements. While I know that taking before photos and measurements is an essential step, the whole process made me cringe. Shedding my shirt, standing there in from of the camera in my running knickers and a sports bra…Oh Lord, I felt gross. And then I started taking my measurements.

The last time I took my measurements was a couple of years ago when I was being fitted for a bridesmaid dress. At the time, I was working out regularly and I was pretty proud of my numbers. Yesterday? Yeah, notsomuch. Seeing the numbers written down in my notebook made me tear up a little. It was a stark reminder of how much my body has changed and just how much work I have to do to get it back where I want it.

I had a pity party for a minute or two and then reminded myself that the only thing I can do is what I am doing…focusing on healthy eating and an exercise program. Diligence! Persistence! I have to keep reminding myself what the end goal is…fast, fun, happy running! I want to be a joyous, strong runner again!

Initial Reaction of Package Contents
It seems that Beachbody has given me all of the tools to be successful. In addition to the DVDs and resistance bands, there is ample literature explaining the methodology of the program, why HIIT training is so effective, and how to monitor your nutrition throughout the duration of the program. I didn’t have time to read all of this last night, but I plan to do so today. I want to follow the nutrition program as well so that I can truly maximize my results.

Initial Reaction of First Workout: Fire 30 Class + Stretch 10 Class
It took me a whole 2.7 seconds to fall in love with this workout. Once the DVD was in, absolutely no time was wasted jumping into the workout. This is good for me. I need something I can get in, work out, and get on with my day. The Fire 30 Class was about 35 minutes long and I TOTALLY feel like I got a good workout. By the time it was done I was dripping with sweat and I moved muscle groups that I haven’t used in SO long with just running. The Stretch 10 Class was a great way to wind down and the focus on stretching out the arms and rotator cuffs was a nice change. The rotator cuff is a body part that I rarely stretch out and the DVD serves as a good reminder that all parts of the body need attention. Today, I am feeling “good sore.” I am not so sore that I feel like I can’t do anything, but I am sore enough that I really feel like I worked hard. This is a phenomenal feeling! That slight soreness means I am triggering muscles that I hadn’t been in previous workouts and this is EXACTLY what I was hoping to achieve from this program. I am already looking forward to this evening’s workout! Woot!

Initial Reaction of Shakeology: Chocolate
After my workout, I went inside to make my first Shakeology shake. Normally, I will be drinking this for breakfast, but since it had not arrived until yesterday evening, I made it my dinner. Let me say this…I am really impressed with the way this stuff tastes! Although you can mix it with other things like skim milk, almond milk, etc., I just mixed it with tap water since I was kind of in a hurry (mama duties were calling!). The taste was really good and very chocolately. The best part? No weird chalky or powdery after taste. I have tried several other protein/nutritional shakes including EAS AdvantEdge (Rich Chocolate), Big Train Fit Frappe (several flavors), and Spiru-Tein (Chocolate). This product, by far, has a smoother texture and better taste, though I will say it compare most closely by taste to the Big Train products. I look forward to trying some of the shake recipes that were included in the package!

This morning, I made another shake and ate an apple. I have not felt this full after an “on the go” breakfast in a really long time! I am excited to see the long-term effects of the Shakeology program. If you are interested in learning more about just the Shakeology, you can check out their website or YouTube it to see personal results videos.

(Side Note: I will put it out there that I did sign up to be a Beachbody coach…mostly for the discounts. Hello? Who doesn’t like to save money?? However, if you are interested in trying anything from Beachbody, it would be cool if you ordered it through me. No pressure, but if you have any questions or want to order anything, you can always e-mail me.)

So, that brings me to today. I’m going to spend some time today really understanding the nutritional guide and making a grocery list. I want to stock my refrigerator and pantry with all of the right things so I have no excuse not to make healthy eating choices. And like my friend, Kristyn, suggested…I plan on shopping from the edges of the grocery store as much as possible! I also want to plan out meals that work for ME, as some of the recipes suggested on the plan include ingredients that make me gag.

As always, I will be blogging this whole journey. That way, if it works and I have crazy good results, I can remember exactly how I got there! In the meantime, I will be using MyFitnessPal to log my daily meals, water intake, and what not. If you are on there, add me as a friend! You can find me under username “katiemkey”.

In other (equally EXITING!) news…Nuun is announcing the women they have selected to participate in the Nuun Hood to Coast Relay teams! There will be three all-female, all-blogger teams and I really hope I make the cut! I heard about this last year via other bloggers I follow who participated. The experiences they shared were incredible and it looked like so much fun, so I wanted to make sure I got my name in the hat for this year. I submitted my entry a few weeks ago and I have been anxiously awaiting the announcement. The selected members will be announced today at 12PM PST! Fingers crossed! I have never been to that part of the country and I have never run Hood to Coast before and I feel like this would be an experience of a lifetime! And to represent an awesome company like Nuun? Yes, please!

What’s happening in your world today? Are you mixing up your workouts? Are you trying any new products that you like and think I should check out too?

Race Recap: 2012 Rouge-Orleans 126.2 Ultramarathon Relay

16 Feb

This past Saturday morning at 4:30AM, I woke up to the sound of Baby Key crying. Normally, this would be a non-issue in my house, as that is his normal waking time, but this day was different. My alarm was not scheduled to go off until 5:15AM and Saturday, of all days, was a day that I would need every single second of extra sleep.

My team, Girls On The Geaux, was preparing to set out on a 24-hour ultramarathon relay adventure called the Rouge-Orleans! Our wave started at 8:00AM, but we had everyone picked up and at the start of the race by 7:00AM. Team captains had to be there an hour early in order to have our safety gear (headlamps, flashlights, safety vests, etc.) checked by the race director. After we got all checked in, we spent the next hour decorating our van. On Saturday morning, the temperature was about 40 degrees and there was pretty heavy wind. Oh, if we had only known what was to come!

Meet our van, Rapunzel.

Check out our sheVANigans at...#GirlsOnTheGeaux!

Me, Kristyn, Lindsey, Jenn, Erin, and Heather

Leg 1 of the 8:00AM wave got started promptly with a firing of the canon from the USS Kidd. The race website had mentioned this, but somehow I had forgotten. When it went off, I swear I almost peed my pants. Good thing I didn’t though…that would have been a looooooong day in pee-pants. 😀

Our 6-person relay team went like this…Kristyn –> Erin –> Heather –> Lindsey –> Katie –> Jenn. God bless my sweet friend Jenn for being the anchor leg. Seriously, that was some tough mileage.

Legs 1 – 6 (Mileage: 27.45 miles)
Time: 8:00AM Saturday – 1:12PM Saturday

As expected, this was the happiest round for us. As soon as the race got started, the fun began. The sun was out and it was shaping up to be a gorgeous day! Though still cold and windy, the weather was tolerable because there was not a cloud in the sky and we were running on the scenic Mississippi River Levee. At this point, all of us were still bouncing off the walls and excited to be there! At each exchange, we chatted with other runners, crews, and teams…discussing training, strategy, and, of course, food.

Doing what we do!

Highlights of Round 1: Our van got gnomed by Team Rolling with My Gnomies! They gave us the cutest antenna topper ever! We started tracking all of the other teams on Twitter by using the #RO12 hashtag! Watching their progress was really fun and a great interactive way to stay connected to other teams.

Lindsey coming in for the hand-off!

Best hand-off face EVER, Jenn!

We got GNOMED!

Legs 7 – 12 (Mileage: 27.50 miles)
Time: 1:12PM Saturday – 6:19PM Saturday

As we moved into the second half of the day, we were still having a ball! Once we figured out how much time we really needed at each exchange, we fell into a comfortable groove of getting to the next exchange, tagging our runner, and refueling with our Nuun and sandwiches. The temperatures crept up in the early part of the afternoon, and at one point we were even able to peel off some layers! After my leg of this round was done, I distinctly remember saying, “Man, I got hot out there.” (That would be the last time I would say that.) In this round, Erin had her longest run at 7.3 miles. On this leg, she passed the Carville Leper Colony…which was the site of the only hospital that treated leprosy in the United States. CRA-ZAY! She also passed a creepy cemetery and I am disappointed to report that she saw no ghosts. Bummer! Add to that the fact that on this leg the road diverts far away from the levee so we couldn’t even watch her run. Oh, and add to THAT the fact that she got chased by dogs about 0.6 miles into her leg, causing her to tire much too early in her run. Pushing the tiredness and overall creepiness of this leg aside, Erin finished like a champ! On Jenn’s run, the last leg of this round, the sun started going down and we had to break out the safety gear! C’mon, who doesn’t love a headlamp! We all posted good times on Round 2 and going into Round 3, we were about 30 minutes ahead of our anticipated pace.

Highlights of Round 2: We got to meet the awesome crew for Meredith Dolhare. Seriously, if you have a chance, check out her website and how badass she is! Also on these legs, we encountered lots of wildlife on the levee. Heather was fully prepared to handle any livestock she encountered by making sure she ran with her 1 million volt Tazer. No really, she did. That girl wasn’t messin’ around! At one of the exchanges, we got to meet the super fly girls from Team Hippie and A Ginger! Very cool girls! Oh, and Kristyn ran her fastest 2 miles ever!!

Waiting to see Kristyn!

A gorgeous afternoon!

"Imma Taze me a cow!" ~ Heather

Finishing up Leg 2! Sun starting to set!

Runners on the levee at sunset!

Jenn ready to take it from day to night!

Legs 13 – 18 (Mileage: 24.86 miles)
Time: 6:19PM Saturday – 11:55PM Saturday

Well, this is where all the fun stuff sort of ends. *sigh* It was on round 3 that things went from good to bad. As nightfall settled in, the temperatures quickly dropped from the 40’s down into the low 20’s. Considering the 20mph winds up on the levee, the “real feel” temperature was in the upper teens. In all honesty, it was awful. I mean, really, really terrible. Let’s put it this way, since I moved back to Louisiana in December 2010, this was the coldest overnight low it had been since then. IT. WAS. PAINFULLY. FRIGID. Once the sun went down, our plan was to run and then when your leg was done, you hop on the bike and pace the next runner. During daylight hours, running on the levee is quiet and relaxing. At night, when you can’t see anyone in front of your or behind you, the dark can be extremely disorienting…making every tenth of a mile feel like half a mile. We planned to have someone on the bike to assist the runner to help keep the runner motivated and moving along. This was a really, really bad idea. Going from running to riding really did a number on our legs. While running, we were able to keep our bodies warm. However, getting on the bike allowed the cold to sink deep into our bodies. Riding at the runner’s pace was not fast enough to keep the rider warm. By the time each of us got back in the van from our running leg, we were exhausted. It took each of us about an hour and a half to warm back up…which meant that right as we were warming up, it was almost time to get back out there again. These Louisiana and Mississippi girls were NOT built to handle these temperatures. Give me 100 degree weather with 90% humidity over cold and windy any day!

Really not a good look.

On a personal note, this is the leg where my cold-weather asthma really took a toll on me. Sadly, I forgot my inhaler. I wheezed and coughed the entire leg. When it was my turn to hand off to Jenn, I had an extremely hard time getting going on the bike. The helmet was too small and the bike seat was too high. My fingers were numb up to the second knuckle so adjusting both proved to be nearly impossible. I ran down the levee to the van and begged my teammates to loosen the helmet and help me lower the seat. Of course, my girls were there for me. However, by the time I finally got going on the van, Jenn had already started running and was well into her leg. I had to pedal overtime in order to catch up with her. By the time I got to her, I realized that hypothermia/asthma attack was taking over. When I caught up to her I wanted to ask her how many more miles she had to go before we could get back to the van. In my head, this questions was coming out of my mouth. In reality, I couldn’t the lower half of my face. My lips were literally freezing and my tongue felt thick and solid. The only words I could really get out were “mileage” and “I need help.” When Jenn saw what bad shape I was in, we stopped. I got off the bike and pushed my face into my shoulder, desperately trying to breath warmer, humid air. Jenn, seeing how bad off I was, said she would call the van to come and get me. I refused to leave my friend out there, on the levee, in the middle of the night. Thankfully, we were only about a 1.5 miles to the end of the leg. The whole situation was so scary and I have never felt anything like that before. I was seriously happy to see the van at the next exchange.

Lowlights of Round 3: Cold temperatures + Fatigue = VERY quiet Girls On The Geaux van. We tried our best to stay positive despite the cold, but quite frankly, there were A LOT of curse words thrown around the van during these miles. The question, “Wait, WHY did we want to do this again?” was said A LOT. Unfortunately, all the good pacing we had earlier in the day caught up to us. The nighttime cold meant we moved slower and breathed harder. It was rough.

Cold. Quiet. Dark. Still.

Legs 19 – 24 (Mileage: 22.37 miles)
Time: 11:55PM Saturday – 5:30AM Sunday

Round 4 was DIRTY. Team Girls On The Geaux was cold and tired and we fought for every single mile. The van stayed pretty quiet during these hours in hopes of giving some of us a chance to catch at least a few winks.
Lowlights of Round 4: Unable to find the port-a-potties in the dark, several members of the team may or may not have bare-butted it and peed right on the side of the levee. Just sayin’. Around 3:30AM, we had to make an executive decision. The cold was really doing a number on us and we felt that it was almost dangerous for us to be out there. We were having such a hard time warming up and knew that we needed a break. Although it was our goal to finish in 25 hours, we made the decision to stop and rest for an hour. We had to. It was either rest and let everyone warm up, or risk not finishing at all. We had come to far not to cross that finish line, so rest we did. I wish we would not have had to but it was the smart thing for us to do.

Legs 25 – 30 (Mileage: 24.19 miles)
Time: 5:30AM Sunday – 10:55AM Sunday

Round 5 brought better spirits to the van! As the sun came up, we all perked up a little, but it would be the understatement of the century to just say that we were ready to be done. We were all so close to the finish line and we were fighting tooth and nail to get there. This round brought lots of tears and a lot of walking. I am so proud of each of my teammates for getting back out there and fighting through to the end. Jenn’s IT band started to act up but she pushed through her entire last leg. The race ended in Audobon Park and as soon as we saw that big, blue inflatable finish line, we knew victory was ours.


I have LOTS of advice about what worked for our team, what did not work for our team, what we brought and did not need, items we wished we had, etc. That is an entire post in itself. I will get to all that this weekend, so be on the lookout!

Again, a massive huge epic THANK YOU to all of our sponsors. Without you, we would not have gotten this far.

To 110% Play Harder,
After Round 3 of running, there is nothing that felt better than pulling on my perfectly snug calf sleeves. Not only did they provide an extra layer of warmth while out on my run, but they also helped keep my calves feeling fresh and energized. I’m proud to say that after the event, I did not experience one iota of calf soreness! SUCCESS!

To Brooks Running,
The Cascadia 7s were the most perfect shoe for running this terrain. Normally I wear a more minimal shoe, but on the rocks and uneven levee, the Cascadias provided the ideal amount of support and cushion. The Cascadias are an amazing shoe!
(insert pic)

To GO Sport ID,
Thank you for keeping us safe. I had no idea how scary it would be up on that levee, out in the middle of nowhere, all alone. Our ID bands gave us the peace of mind to know that should anything happen to us, that our loved ones would be able to notified quickly.

To Nuun,
Thank you for keeping Team Girls On The Geaux hydrated. With the freezing temperatures, it was often hard to convince ourselves to keep hydrating but the tasty fizziness of Nuun made drinking freezing cold water much more palatable. By the end of the race, several teams were calling us the Nuun Girls!

To Running Skirts,
Thank you for the awesome purple plaid running skirts! When undertaking an adventure such as this, it is always easier when you are doing it in STYLE! We tried our best to put a running skirt on our van, which we appropriately named Rapunzel! The running skirt was super comfortable and the fabric, design, and fit are excellent. Thank you!

To Drink Chia!,
Thank you for the awesome chia drinks! After a couple of the legs, I was not really interested in eating heavy food, but the chia drinks helped give me much-needed calories and nutrition without making me feel too weighed down. The texture took a little getting used to, but the drinks were delicious!

To Barber & Mann, 1st Choice Real Estate, and Good Shepherd Christian Academy,
Thank you so much for your financial support of Team Girls On The Geaux. With your contributions, Team Girls On The Geaux was able to contribute $550 to the Girls On The Run of Greater Baton Rouge. GOTR provides incredible programs to the girls in our communities and we appreciate you helping us help them!

Thank you so much for all of the bars! The Old School PB&J is the best and was super tasty around 2:30AM! We were able to share with some of the runners in other vans and every said how delicious they were! Thank you for keeping our tummies full and our bodies fueled!

To Icelandic Glacial,
Thank you for all the water!! Runners could not do what we do without water and Icelandic Glacial tastes awesome! After leg 10, my teammate Lindsey took a swig and looked at me and said, “Man, this is REALLY good water!” It made me smile!

To Enterprise,
Thank you for the GIGANTIC Econoline van! It was massive and FANTASTIC! Even though we overpacked big time, we still had plenty enough room for all of us, our food, water, and medical gear. We even had enough room left on the seats to stretch out our legs and nap a little between legs. And, surprisingly, it was really great on gas too! Way better than I expected!

To Giraphic Prints,
Thank you for the most awesome team tech shirts! Having matching shirts made us feel like a real team and we were so proud to be able to display all of our sponsors on it! You did a great job!!

To my fellow Girls On The Geaux,
Thank you for this incredible experience. We laughed, we cried, we danced, and we ran. Boy, oh boy, did we run! We shared stories, we helped each other, we got aggravated with each other, and we hugged. I could not have imagined tackling this adventure with a better group of girls. We only barely knew each other when this trip began, but I feel like we are running buddies for life! Who knows what fun things might bring Team Girls On The Geaux later this year and into 2013!! Keep on running, ladies!

Photo Credits: Erin Parker Skinner, Krisytn Gunter, Heather Montgomery, Jenn Macha-Hebert, Lindsey deBlieux, and Evin Beck.

T-2 days to ultramarathon relay!

9 Feb

Oh heavens! Where, oh where, do I begin!?

I am ready for this...right???

Tonight is the pre-race meeting for this weekend’s Rouge-Orleans 126.2 and it would be a vast understatement to say that I am freaking AMPED beyond belief! I seriously have not been this excited about a race in such a long time. There are so many things about this event that have fallen into place to make it one of the most special and memorable races I have ever run…and I have not actually even run yet! Ha!

For starters, I have been blessed with an amazing team. When I first had the notion to do this race I signed on with another team. After that quickly fell through, I got nervous that I would not be able to participate. However, within a day, five other ladies and I threw caution into the wind and formed our own team. Team Girls On The Geaux was born! You can meet the other members of my team here.

I knew most of the ladies on my team pretty well when we first decided to run together, but throughout the last couple of months, we’ve shared funny stories, advice on gear, fears about being chased by all forms of Louisiana wildlife (including cows/bulls, dogs, and alligators) and tips on training. We have supported each other through solo runs and group training runs, in-person as well as “virtual” long-distance training runs across two states via the internet. As I have gotten to know my teammates better, it is easy for me to see that there underlying goal here is to HAVE FUN. As long as we keep that in mind, we can’t lose!

After we got to talking, we decided that we wanted to run for a cause. Since our team name was Girls On The Geaux and we are all ladies, it only made sense to run for Girls On The Run. GOTR is an organization that I hold personally close to my heart. The programs provided by Girls On The Run instill so many good values into the young ladies in our communities, and to be able to support them and help spread the word about their programs is the least we can do. If you are unfamiliar with Girls On The Run, please visit their website (or my previous blog) to learn more about them!

Once the word got out that we were running for such an awesome group, we started getting sponsors! Yes, for real! We are so honored and thankful to the following companies for supporting Team Girls On The Geaux with donations of gear, supplies, and funds for us and for Girls On The Run!

We are excited to have these gigantic signs to plaster on our van (along with some other interesting van decorations, of course!)

Please visit our generous sponsors and show them some love too! They have been so good to us!

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Please, please, please don’t forget that we will be documenting our experience in real-time via Twitter, facebook, and our blogs. If you are on Twitter, be sure and check out the hashtag #RO12 for updates on the event. If you want to keep up with my team, follow the hashtag #GirlsOnTheGeaux!

I have made my packing list and my things are all ready to go! I swear it seems like I am going camping for a week. I packed lots of stuff and I am sure I still forgot something. Oh well…

Less than 48 hours to go! GEAUX! GEAUX! GEAUX!

Are you racing this weekend? Have you ever done an ultramarathon…either solo or as a relay team? What did you like/dislike about it?

Ultramarathon dreams really DO come true!

5 Jan

Some little girls grow up wanting to be like this…

I, however, want to be like this when I grow up…
Catra Corbett
…and, no, even at 29 years old, I still do not feel like a grown up. By the way, that is Catra Corbett. If you do not know who she is, look her up. She is amazing and is a total inspiration! Also check her out on Twitter…@dirtdiva33!

While my goal one day is to complete an ultramarathon all on my own, for now, I think it is safer to stick with a relay team. I certainly will not have the time to devote to ultra training this year with Baby Key being so young and demanding so much of my attention, but I can still participate in the fun with a team!

A few weeks ago, I was recruited by a team called the Krewe of the Slow and Chatty to run the Rouge-Orleans with them. I was stoked! As I have mentioned before, I wanted to run this race last year, but we had just moved back to Baton Rouge and I did not have a chance to find a team. This was going to be my year! HEYO!

Then I got the e-mail…

My team captain sent me an e-mail saying that for various reasons (injuries, other commitments, etc.) several team members had to pull out of the team and we would no longer be able to participate. Sad face! I was so disappointed. With the race now only being a month away, I thought the idea of getting a new team together was impossible. But alas, it was not!

I immediately sent out a call to arms across the interwebs! Twitter! Facebook!

Within one day, I had formed a new all-girl powerhouse team…with members from all of the Gulf Coast…from Baton Rouge, LA on over to Biloxi, MS! I guess I am now the team captain of the Girls On The Geaux! We are PUMPED!!! Meet my new team…

Jenn Macha (@jmacha)
I met Jenn this past summer at the Rocketchix Triathlon. I volunteered for the one in May and she stood out to me. At the time, I was pregnant and Jenn had the only other baby bump I saw! I had to say hello! Then, it turns out that we were both selected as bloggers for Woman’s Hospital!

Erin Parker Skinner (@erinparker)
I originally met Erin at the Sunday Runday group run but more recently we connected over some photos for 225 Magazine. Erin was my photographer! You can see her photos in the magazine every month.

Lindsey DeBlieux (@ldeblieux)
Lindsey and I went to the same high school but only sort of knew each other. When Brent and I moved back to Baton Rouge, we made some new friends and Lindsey just happened to be in that group! Yay for coming full circle! Over the past year, Lindsey has been working really hard to improve her fitness and has competed in races of varying distances and has also done a couple of triathlons!

Heather Montgomery (@runningwithsass)
Heather and I were Twitter friends first and then became “in real life” friends. She is an avid distance runner and routinely visits Disney World. When she’s not running or visiting/planning trips to Disney, she is repping the Gulf Coast area for Running Skirts!

Kristyn Gunter (@KristynKG)
So far, Kristyn and I are only Twitter friends, but I am anxious to meet her in real life! Heather and Kristyn are a tag team and will be joining us all the way from the MS Gulf Coast! Yay! What better way to get to know someone than by spending 24 stinky hours with them in a van!? Am I right or am I right?

And you know what is even awesomer than awesome? We have sponsors! These generous folks have stepped up to help us out with registration, transportation, fuel, gear, and raising money for Girls On The Run! Team Girls On The Geaux is so excited to have these companies supporting them as well! We are so fortunate and appreciative!

The Rouge-Orleans is coming up quickly with only one month left! I will be Tweeting and blogging in real-time so you will not miss any of the action. It is going to be an adventure!

Have you ever run an ultramarathon or ultramarathon relay? Did you have fun? Would you do it again?