Team In Training: Round 2 & Raffle Prizes!

You know what would make my Monday EXTRA marvelous? A donation to the LLS, via my Team In Training chapter!

As most of you know I ran my second half marathon with Team in Training!

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Then this year I was given the opportunity to mentor the Boston chapter participants who are running Nike this year.

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This weeks practice: with a participant & Coach Spencer. Photo Credit: Coach Laura!

So what does this mean to you? I am raising $500 to help the find a cure for blood cancers, 100% of the donations I receive of to LLS. I try not to ask readers for money to donate to often, but I did want to make you aware of the raffle I have going on. Anyone who donates $10 between now and September 7, 2013 will be given an online raffle ticket.

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Edited: It has been brought to my attention that I can’t use some companies information, even in raffle purposes, on the blog. I have taken down the raffle prizes and they are now listed only on the donation site. I hope no one feels any pressure to donate.

I appreciate anyone’s support, and if you can’t donate to a charity (mine or anyone else’s) things like donating blood are also a wonderful way to help!

Finding the Confidence and Inspiration

Thank you for all your comments on yesterday’s post. You know how to make a girl feel great, even when she is sick.

I have some really great news, I am going to be a mentor for Team In Training this season. I am a mentor for the Massachusetts/New England Chapter. Not only that, I am the mentor for all those who are running the Nike Women’s Marathon (Half and Full).

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{before NWM 2012}

A huge part of me is super excited about this. I can’t wait to meet and help my mentees with their fundraising, running, pretty much anything they need. I know that I had a great experience with TNT all the mentors and my coach were amazing sources of inspiration and information. I had some really low runs and some really great runs, and through all of that I had the support of my mentors and coach. However, I have talked to some friends who had a not-so-great experiences. I know how much it helped to have these people supporting me and I want to be that person for the women who I am mentoring.

There is this 10% of me that feels like I do not have 100% of the qualities it takes to be a mentor. I am not ashamed that I am a back-of-the-pack runner. I am not fast, but that doesn’t bother me, as a mentor though, I feel like I should be faster. I know that I am qualified to be a mentor, but sometimes the insecurities get the best of me.

As a mentor I am raising money for LLS, I am working on a few giveaways with some of my favorite companies and any donation gets you a virtual raffle ticket. You can donate here or click on the image on the sidebar.

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{Coming through the finishers chute, NWM 2012}

The great thing about mentoring is that the NWM 2013 race is about a month after Zooma 2013 and 2 weeks before my next half marathon, so the training lines up pretty close to my training and will help keep me accountable.

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If you want to register of Zooma Cape Cod, you still can, and get 10% of your race cost, this works for the 10K or Half, with the code CCAMB09!

Have you ever mentored for an event?

What’s In My Fitness Closet: The Clothes

Fitness closet

Pavement Runner has once again come up with a brilliant link up! Showing our readers our fitness closets. I am going to show you just my clothes — pants and tops. I will get to accessories, shoes, gear, and recovery equipment in a few different posts!

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Long Sleeves
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From L-R: Wicked Salem Half long sleeve, Old Navy Active top, Nike Women’s Half half marathon long sleeve, Nike Women’s half marathon half-zip.

For a small and local race the Salem half long sleeve is extremely comfy, I was actually unsure of sizing so I ended up getting a top that was too big. I usually wear it while I warm up or if it is very cold. The Old Navy Active top I originally saw on Julie’s blog, but unfortunately they are almost all sold out online, but check your local store!

I know I have a lot of Nike Women’s (Half) Marathon purchases, but here is my reasoning, it was (supposed) to be my first half-marathon, and is probably one of the only destination races I will ever do. As much as I’d really love to travel for cool races it just financially and family wise is not feasible. I had a budget, and I spent it, and I am not one bit upset about it. At first I purchased the half-zip at the Nike store, but I saw the finisher long-sleeved for the marathon at the finish line tent, and the half-marathon long-sleeve was sold out, sad face. My sister, however, is a shirt ninja. She found the last existing shirt and grabbed it for me, score it was my size. They are both extremely comfy, only the half-zip has thumbholes, but I don’t discriminate.

Tank Tops
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These are all Lululemon cool racerbacks, I actually prefer the extra long ones because they do not budge, even as a shorty, I find the regular length moves a lot. Plus the extra long keeps the top of my thighs warm during cold races.

Other Tops

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From L-R: Nike Women’s Finisher Tee, Nike Women’s Half Tee (purchased), Colosseum Tank via pvbody, purple and coral Old Navy Active bubble tank

I love the Nike tee’s, sometimes I wear them over a thin tank, especially if I am strength training and will be moving a lot. The Colosseum top doesn’t have nearly enough support in the chest area so I usually wear it around the house or I double up on bras. The bubble tanks are awesome, especially when you are feeling a bit bloated, and I love how it has a peep hole in the back, but it is small!

Luxury Pants
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From L-R: Nike Dri-Fit Slim Legend (mostly cotton), Nike Dri-Fit Slim Legend Poly and Lululemon Run Inspire Crop

The Nike pants are the ones that the stylists put me in at the Nike expo, I LOVE them. I wear the cotton ones a lot around the house, perfect flexibility to chase a toddler. The Lululemon crops are a newer addition, I love the zip pocket and the high(er) waistband.

Reebok Capris
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From L-R: The first three are Reebok Skinny Capri – which unfortunately they do not carry anymore, huge bummer, because they are some of my absolute favorites! The last pair I was sent when I ran the Canton Road Race, the crossfit skinny capri.

Old Navy Pants
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From L-R: Old Navy Compression Leggings in black & grey, Old Navy Compression Capris in grey (I had black too but cannot find them!)

I hate running around to find clothes in the morning, so I fold all my clothes into sets for the week and stack them in the drawers that way.

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For example, the bundle of clothes for today’s workout include:
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Reebok Skinny Capri, Lululemon Cool Racerback and an Old Navy long sleeve tee.

So, what is in your fitness closet? What are your must have’s? Did anything surprise you about mine?

Inspire The Women

I got an awesome opportunity to try out the Yurbuds when I was in San Francisco running the Nike Women’s Marathon. I have incredibly small ears and I have tried all shapes and styles of headphones, in fact I thought I was doomed to have those Walkman type headphones for the rest of my life, am I dating myself here? I was so excited to be running for TNT and Team Yurbuds at the Nike Women’s (Half) Marathon

Before I left for San Francisco, Yurbuds graciously sent me a bunch of goodies.

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Tiffany Blue yurbuds (very appropriate), Yurbuds sweaty band, a sweat towel (one of the softest I have ever had) and a Luna bar, which made a great snack on the airplane! Check out the blue color on Kristen’s recap!

I also was able to get a t-shirt from the Yurbuds booth at the Expotique, it was snug in the arms and I usually chafe when wearing a t-shirt that is snug around my bicep, although I wish I had taken a note from Gia and cut mine, then it would have been perfect!

I first tried the Yurbuds on the plane
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Now I know what Linz meant when the sound came blasting through! I turned the volume to it’s lowest setting and it was still loud. I think a huge part is when your headphones fall out, at least for me, I just let them hang outside my ear and turn the music loud.

I think the most confusing part was when I read that I had to twist to lock, I watched this video and it was so simple.

Another feature that both Tiffany and I liked was the ability to hear what’s going on around you while wearing them.

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I workout from home a lot, and when B is napping it is nice to put on some headphones and not worry about missing any cues that he is awake or upset!

The Yurbuds are also sweat/water proof, I think this is what attributes to most earphones falling out. I sweat, a lot, and I need an earphone that won’t budge because of that. I have tested out the sweat, but not the water, I am sure that will happen sooner rather than later!

The last thing that I really love about the Yurbuds is that they are soft, I don’t know about you but when I wear my iPod headphones for too long they start to feel like I am shoving sharp rocks into my ears and give me a headache.

Check out the Yurbuds site to see where you can buy them!

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If want even more reviews, check out these blogs! Rachel, Janene , Melissa, Alexandra, and Meg.

Disclaimer: I was provided with the Yurbuds for review, all thoughts are my own.

San Francisco: Day 3 – The Half-Marathon

Check out where I shopped and what I ate before you read about how I raced!

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It’s here, it’s finally race day. Decked out in my favorite reebok capris, sparkle skirt, lululemon tank, TNT tank and of course no outfit is complete without a sparkly soul headband or garmin ;)

I may have a big smile on my gave but I was a wreck. My sister made me coffee while I showered and dressed. I drank about half a cup and choked down an english muffin with some peanut butter. I met the rest of my Team In Training group in the hotel lobby, we took some group photos and headed to the start corrals together. I took a banana with me so that I could have something to eat, but ended up eating it before we left the hotel. We got into the corrals around 6ish, the race didn’t start until 7 am.

Let me start by saying, I did have race goals, ones that I kept to myself, the first was to finish and be happy, but what I really wanted was to finish in the same time as my first half or PR. So when I bird pooped on my head on Friday I thought, hey this race is going to be awesome and I am going to ROCK IT.

Unfortunately, this is not a happy tale. As I mentioned before we went to our start corrals about an hour before the race started and because it was such a large race and my corral was so far back, it took our group about 30 minutes to even cross the start line. I ended up starting my fuel earlier than I usually do.

The race started in Union Square and made its way down towards the Embarcadero and the Marina, Christine managed to find me in the crowd and I actually heard her, thanks for the encouragement! The first 4 miles were relatively flat and I was under my goal pace for those miles, but I still felt like I was not really pushing myself, I wanted some energy in the tank for the hard miles.

I made a bathroom stop around mile 3 and around mile 3.5-4 was the first big hill, but I just powered through it and got to the top, I saw my sister at mile 4…(sorry to anyone I sent this too, she took this pic at mile 4 NOT the finish line)

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I wish I had remembered to grab the extra fuel that I packed for her to take but I forgot, problem #2. I had my fuel around mile 4.5 – 5, these areas were fairly flat, I remembered that there were going to be shot bloks at the aid stations so I thought I would be okay. Mile 6 was were it started to take a turn for the worse. It was a winding hill that I thought was going to never end. I trained on some hills but they were nothing compared to this. I ended up power walking about halfway through, but I was starting to feel woozy at the top. I started walking when it flattened out and grabbed as much water and nuun as I could carry and hoped that I was dehydrated, but the fluid was not helping either. Around mile 8 a girl that I talked to earlier in the race noticed that I had slowed down, and maybe saw the desperate look on my face. She offered me a pack of sports beans, black cherry flavor, and I was so grateful, I wish I had caught her name or something, she saved me from a DNF, I am quite certain.

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This is what desperation looks like

I call mile 8 – 9.5 my dark miles. These are the ones I was alone and all I wanted to do was quit. It was an internal battle. I started secondary fuel way too late and I just wouldn’t be able to recover. Which meant walking the last 5 miles, I ended up on my feet for much longer than I ever had been before and that really hurt my knees and hips.

I was texting my sister and told her that she was going to have to wait longer than we had anticipated, but she was awesome.

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Honestly, I was not feeling it, I just wanted to finish. My time was 03:56:45, a full 38 minutes slower than my first half-marathon. I ran through the finish line, determined to have a smile on my face, it didn’t hurt that the commentators were discussing my awesome sparkle skirt over the speakers.

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FINALLY

I grabbed my necklace, finishers T, food and bag! I just wanted to eat and go shower, so I only stuck around long enough to snag the last long sleeved 13.1 finishers shirt.

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Caty and I hopped on to the TNT shuttle back to our hotel and showered & changed then proceeded to Boudin and Ghiradelli for my post-race treats, and unfortunately I forgot my ID so no post-race beer for me

San Francisco: Day 2 – FitFluential Dinner

Check out my guest post on the MA Team In Training Blog today!

Check out Day 1 if you haven’t read it yet!

Saturday started with a wonderful breakfast with Caty and some of my family that was in San Francisco. We met up with one of my uncles and his girlfriend and one of my cousins. We hadn’t seen my uncle in 4.5 years and we hadn’t seen my cousin in over 20. It was crazy, but also so nice that we could fall into conversations with ease.

I being the bad blogger that I sometimes am, enjoyed the moment instead of taking lots of pictures, although I wish I had taken some family shots. I gratefully got my normal breakfast of oatmeal and coffee! My cousin had to get to work so Caty and I took that opportunity to head back to Union Square and check out the displays at Macy’s

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It was pandemonium. While they had a fraction of the stuff that NikeTown had, people were going crazy. Literally just as racks were filled with items they were just as quickly emptied. I ended up grabbing a sweatshirt and a pair of capris, that I wanted at NikeTown, but didn’t want to spend the money. Good thing I had a Macy’s gift card in my wallet and I got a sweet 20% off.

Our last stop was Tout Sweet Patisserie

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If you are a fan of Top Chef: Just Desserts, the Yigit Pura will ring a bell, this is his place so I had to check it out. I got a gift for my mother-in-law and a few macaroons for myself and an energy bar that I ate post-race, I could have ate it before but I didn’t know if it would mess with my tummy.

From there we ran to the Team In Training inspiration luncheon. We were greeted with the coaches and mentors screaming and yelling, it was amazing!

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The lunch was your usual pasta, bread and salad. We had an amazing speech from John Bingham and a cancer survivor shared her story as she would be running her first marathon the next day. It was incredibly inspirational and moving, I know I was crying.

After lunch Caty and I went to Ghirardelli and just people watched until it was time to head to our Fitfluential blogger meet up. I’ll be honest, I was more nervous about this than the race itself.
I had met bloggers before, but this was a very intimate setting with a large group of bloggers I look up to.

We ended up at Ristorante Umbria a bit early, but we just people watched and chit chatted about race day, until people started arriving.

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Back Row (L-R): Alexandra, Tiffany, Meg, Linz, Gia, Kristen
Front Row (L-R): Rachel, Janene, Melissa, Me, Pavement Runner

Of course my dear sister came as well!
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she loves blogger hangouts, right Caitlin?

I was pretty hungry, since I ate lunch so early, so Caty and I shared a caprese salad and then I had my standard pasta with tomato sauce, my pasta of choice was gnocchi.

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And while it was delicious, the company was even better. I finally got to chat with Pavement Runner and Gia and of course see Linz again. It was hard to chat with everyone with such a large group, but it was nice to be in a space with so many like-minded people. I hope every race starts with a blogger dinner from now on!

Tomorrow – I reveal how everything went down on race day!

San Francisco: Day 1 – The Expotique!

Friday morning started super early, my sister Caty (pronounced Katie) and I got in our taxi at 5:15 and made our way to Logan. Turns out Virgin America has a separate security line (thank goodness because the normal one was about 100 people deep) and once we went through our security we realized we had two gates and a tiny Cosi stand with coffee and sandwiches. We promptly left and got my classic Starbucks breakfast, ate & drank quickly and went through security a second time.

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Starbucks perfect Oatmeal with brown sugar & nuts and iced coffee, 2 pumps pumpkin spice and non-fat milk. Fall perfection

We boarded and got in the air pretty quickly. As soon as I connected to the WiFi, I got a twitter notification.
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Oh hey BFF Kara. I told my sister and my husband, they didn’t get it :(

We landed in San Francisco around 1 and proceeded straight to our hotel, dropped our bags, and then went straight to the Expotique in Union Square.

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I didn’t wait in long for very long, I got my bib and bracelet and neon bag (Nike+ member perk) and proceeded to check out the Expo. First things first, I headed to Yurbuds to grab a shirt, unfortunately they only had Extra Small and Medium, the medium fit but was snug, and I knew that it would chafe on race day. I will say, wearing it now, and it is very comfortable!

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Next stop, Nike had a “get dressed by a stylist” booth. Fine, twist my arm. I got matched up with an expert and she picked out a tank, capris, long sleeve half-zip and a pair of Lunarglides (that unfortunately did not make it in the photo)

 

 

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I fell victim to the marketing, and definitely ended up purchasing the pants (2 days later), at least I had a coupon?

Vain moment: I know I may not be the skinniest or most fit person, but when I saw this photo, I was shocked, my legs look thinner than they have in a while. Thanks running!

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After Nike, I moved onto my favorite hydration booth, Nuun, and introduced my sister to the amazing product. Turns out we love the exact same flavors.

We started to head over to the Nike Gait Analysis, but just as we got in line out came the MC and he was about to introduce some of my running heroes, Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan and Joan Benoit Samuelson. Run nerd overload.

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The chat didn’t last for too long, but it was amazing seeing so many greats, I wish I had taken note from Pavement Runner and gotten a photo with them. I didn’t even realize that they were in the crowd. I did end up having my gait looked at it, and the expert told me that I over-pronate (I knew that) but that my foot automatically compensates and tries to correct it (knew that too), but I saw a ton of improvement from my last gait analysis, so thanks again running.

After the analysis, we headed over to NikeTown, they put all the names of the runners on the wall outside. I didn’t take a photo of the whole wall, because luckily my sister spotted my name right away and I jumped in front of those still searching, took a photo and headed inside.

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OH. MY. OVERLOAD. So many goodies, I told my sister to keep me in check, well she tried. It was my first big race and expo and I was celebrating. I walked away with a jacket, half-marathon half zip and half-marathon t-shirt. By this time we were exhausted and still had to wait 2 hours for dinner. West Coast dinner time reservations on an East Coast appetite, travel fail. We went back to the hotel, checked in, changed and snacked until dinner.

We went to 54 Mint, it was this tiny italian restaurant and had this rustic, countryside Italian feel. We were seated a few minutes early and had bread and oil right away thank goodness.

We started with the Sformato di Cavolfiori – which was a savory flan of cauliflower with fontina cheese.

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I apologize in advance, dark lighting & an iPhone camera.

It was one of the most delicious things I have ever had. The portion size was perfect for two (or even 3 people), as it was very rich.

I kept it simple with my dinner I had the Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe – which was fresh pasta with black pepper, olive oil and peccorino. It was so simple and perfect, actually had to hold back from eating it all. I knew I would be too stuffed if I ate it all.

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and Caty had the daily special: Gnocchi with prosciutto, mushrooms and parmigianna.
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and we had to try dessert, I had the salted dark chocolate pudding and Caty had her favorite Tiramisu.

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Tiramisu – I don’t usually like tiramisu, but this one was perfect because the rum flavor wasn’t strong, it was more of a light cocoa flavor.

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Pudding – I wish the salt was a bit more granular, since one of my bites had a large rock of salt.

I had a few bites, it was all I could handle. I would however, recommend this to everyone. We have lots of staples in San Francisco and this was immediately added to the list. I loved it so much we almost went back on Sunday night. We headed back to the hotel and proceeded to pass out almost immediately.

Day 2 – tomorrow, includes a fabulous FitFluential meet up!

Scenes from San Francisco & NWM

I really should be packing now, but I wanted to share a few photos with you of this past weekend in San Francisco!

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NO BIG DEAL!

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Can you find me>

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My motivation!

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Sister time!

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FitFluential Time

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Officially a Nike Women’s half Marathon Finisher.

Official race reports and thoughts will be up soon, but first, packing and processing :)

48 Hour Fundraiser

Saturday morning I am running my longest run to date and my longest run before the Nike half-marathon. In honor of that I am holding a fundraiser, the catch? It is for 48 hours ONLY.

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I am in the final push to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through my Team In Training efforts. I have FOUR great gift packages. For every $13.10 donation you will receive one entry in to the raffle.

First, donate here! Again, $13.10 gets you one entry, for each additional $13.10 you receive another entry. Example $50 = 3 Entries.

Let me tell you a little about where your money goes before I tell you about the great prizes.

✷76.2% of all funds go to research projects, grants, financial assistance to patients, producing educational material and videos and run support groups.

✷$25 provides patients and their loved ones with FREE booklets that contain up-to-date information on their disease and help them make informed decisions about their treatment options.

✷$50 makes possible a Family Support group with a trained facilitator where comfort can be found and experiences can be shared among patients and family members.

✷$100 helps supply laboratory researchers with supplies and materials critical to carrying out their search for cures.

✷$500 could provide patient aid to THREE patients with Leukemia or a related cancer for a year.

✷$1,000 makes possible one-on-one conversations with health care specialists who provide patients with information about their disease, treatment options, and helps prepare them with questions for their health care team.

WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Now onto the prizes!

First ($140 value):

✷Gift card to Lululemon

✷CASE of Carb Boom gels

✷Team In Training NUUN

✷Water Bottle

Second ($130 value):

✷Gift Card to Starbucks

Sparklysoul Headband and Fit Approach SweatPink shoelaces

✷CASE of Carb Boom gels

✷Team In Training NUUN

✷Water Bottle

Third ($130 value)

✷Gift Card to Johnny Cupcakes (apparel)

✷CASE of Carb Boom gels

✷Team In Training NUUN

✷Water Bottle

Fourth – The local package ($125 value)

✷Gift Card to Marathon Sports

✷Gift Card to Emack & Bolio

✷CASE of Carb Boom gels

✷Team In Training NUUN

✷Water Bottle

I will contact all the winners on Wednesday! Good luck and GO TEAM!

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Fitness Friday: Race Schedule and My Fitness Inspiration

Fitness Friday is BACK!

First up! My race itinerary from now until October. I am using the last 6 weeks of my training to get in to race mode. I am still doing my weekly runs and track workouts, but my weekend runs have been replaced by road races.

September 15 – I am running the Canton Road Race 10k with Reebok and Fitfluential. This will be my first race that is longer than a 5k, I am super excited and also super nervous!

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September 22 – This is my last long run before my half! 11 Miles. So my coach and another teammate and I are running the Salem Wicked Half. I realize that I am completing a half before my real half. The game plan, go all out for the first 11 miles, and walk/use the last 2.1 miles for cool down.

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October 8 – My last training run before the big day. I am running the Tufts 10k for Women. This race is near my town and I have had friends run it every year, but honestly the 10k distance intimidated me for such a long time. I am pumped for this.

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October 14 – THE BIG ONE. The race I have been training all summer for. The Nike Women’s Half!

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Are you running any of these? Let me know if you’d like to meet up!

For the second part of Fitness Friday, my fitness inspiration!

I entered this competition on Pinterest, but it really got me thinking…who is my fitness inspiration. Not just the people who support me emotionally, like my amazing husband and family, or my friends. These are the people that understand my fitness craziness.

Source: fitsugar.com via Kelly on Pinterest

The answer is in this picture.
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who is sick of this photo? ha

I would never have started seriously running if it wasn’t for two of the people here, I also don’t think I would enjoy this journey as much without either of them alongside me.

The first being my trainer, he constantly is pushing me beyond what I think is possible and he is definitely my running inspiration. Completing an IronMan and PRing a half-ironman a few days after a bike accident, seriously he is insane, in a good way obviously. When I doubted my athletic abilities, or when I had a break down about not being able to run a half-marathon, he had my back and gave me support on my running. Our relationship has evolved from trainer & trainee to friends. I am so glad that I have him to confide in about my athletic worries.

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not our most attractive photo..

The other is my best friend, Casey. She has always been into working out, being fit and running. When we first started hanging out she was training for duathalons, and we started going to boot camp together, running fun runs together. She and my trainer got me to sign up for my first Spartan Race and I have been hooked on mud/fun runs ever since.

She has always cheerleader my fitness accomplishments and has always been supportive, even of my crazy ideas.

I can’t thank either of these two enough for their support.

Who is your fitness inspiration?