The 1% Club…More Exclusive than Abercrombie

If you were anywhere online last week, you know all about the crap storm that Abercrombie and Fitch’s CEO Mike Jeffries created for his company.

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This man.  A man who doesn’t appear to be capable of blinking his eyes or closing his mouth (but fully capable of scaring small children) drew the proverbial line in the sand and declared war against the average American when he openly stated that Abercrombie sells only to skinny women; no fat girls allowed. And just in case you’re wondering what size Mr. Jeffries starts considering women fat – anything above a size 10.  The quote below is from Mr. Jeffries regarding his views about beauty and Abercrombie’s marketing strategy:

“It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.

In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”

As you can see from his own words, he’s pretty proud of the exclusionary club he’s created.  A club that forces unrealistic and unhealthy body images at us with every seductive advertisement.  A club that is responsible for countless tears shed by teenage girls because they don’t can’t belong in that club.  Psychologically damaging doesn’t even begin to describe Mr. Jeffries’ club.

I could go on and on about the damage Abercrombie has caused by its bigoted marketing practices but that’s an entirely different post.  Right now , I want to introduce you to another club.  One that’s MORE exclusive then Mr. Jeffries’ could even imagine. The 1% Club.

marathon graphic

Welcome to the 1% Club. This club literally is the ‘cool kid’s club.’ However, as exclusive as this club is, it really is one of the most inclusive clubs out there.  There is no discriminating in the 1% Club; we want and welcome everyone and every body.  You can be short, tall, skinny, fat, able bodied or disabled.  The only thing you have to do to belong is to decide that you want in.

Initiation into the 1% Club doesn’t come easy, but it’s worth it.  To get in, it will take you months of preparation, countless hours of questioning if you can actually do it, and one 26.2 mile race that will test your mental fortitude.  However, crossing that finish line secures lifelong membership.

Wondering what type of company you’ll be in once you’re a member?  These are just a few of the characteristics the members of the 1% Club exhibit: determination, tenaciousness, confidence, empowerment, patience, selflessness, empathy, acceptance of others, camaraderie, and the list could go on and on.  Members are supportive of each other, encouraging of each other, and celebrate each time someone, including a someone they don’t know, crosses that finish line.  You will never feel like you have to change who you are to belong to the 1% Club.

I wanted to showcase some of the fabulous marathoners out there so I reached out to my fellow Sweat Pink Ambassadors.  The following pictures are of women, all shapes and sizes, who are proud to call themselves marathoners and be part of the 1% Club:

Mary V. (my runspiration) and her dad Mel. Both are proud marathoners.

Mary V. (my runspiration) and her dad Mel.
Both are proud marathoners.

marathoner

Tanya B.
Blogs at Run Turtle Run

Mindy B. Blogs at Road Runner Girl

Mindy B.
Blogs at Road Runner Girl

2

Tabitha Y.
Blogs at Tab a Dilly

3

Pam
Blogs at We Run Disney

Colleen D. Blogs at Live Free and Run

Colleen D.
Blogs at Live Free and Run

Untitled

Megan S.
Blogs at Elbowglitter

Karolynh Blogs at Karolyhn Can Run

Karolynh
Blogs at Karolyhn Can Run

Abby L. Blogs at Back at Square Zero

Abby L.
Blogs at Back at Square Zero

Megan J. Blogs at #RunMeganRun

Megan J.
Blogs at #RunMeganRun

Cori Blogs at Olive to Run

Cori
Blogs at Olive to Run

Kate E. Blogs at Run with Kate

Kate E.
Blogs at Run with Kate

And meeeeeee! Proud marathoner & 1% Club member.

And meeeeeee!

Even though the women pictured above are all quite different, there are a few common traits that you can see: grit, determination, and pure happiness.  Happiness that can’t be purchased in a store.  This is the type of club I’m proud to be a part of.  One that celebrates the diversity in people and encourages self growth through a 26.2 mile journey.  Not the club Mr. Jeffries’ & Abercrombie has taken so much care and bigoted energy to create with their clothing.

One of my favorite running quotes of all time is “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”– Kathrine Switzer.  Obviously Mr. Jeffries has never spectated a marathon; that doesn’t seem like something ‘cool’ people do.  It’s kind of hard to restore your faith in humanity when you’re busy destroying everyone else’s.  Who knows, maybe he’ll have a change of heart with his narrow fat/skinny view of the world someday, but as far as I’m concerned, he did us all a favor by being ignorant enough to boast about his discriminatory viewpoint.  It makes my decision {and hopefully millions of other’s} to never shop there again incredibly easy.  Even though I’m their target demographic, their clothes will never touch this body.  Ever.

Don’t let someone else’s narrow view of the world define your worth.  However, if you’re upset about being excluded from the Abercrombie club, remember two things: 1.) you have the purchasing power to shut that club down and 2.) you have a standing invitation to an even more exclusive club. Myself and everyone of those ladies pictured above can’t wait for you to join us.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the 1% Club includes also includes clothing.  As a member, you’ll be the recipient of some of the most amazing race t-shirts, tanks, shorts, shoes and more accessories then you can ever imagine.  And the absolute best part? Elastic band pants are the preferred clothing choice. Word.  Abercrombie doesn’t have anything on the comfort, style and fashion of workout clothes.  Suck it Jeffries.

Question:  What do you think about Mike Jeffries’ / Abercrombie & Fitch’s viewpoint on selling clothing only to certain people.

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Was is Worth It?

Since returning to the land of the living, I’ve been asked several times “Was is worth it?”  Sometimes the question is well intentioned, sometimes there’s a hint of sarcasm behind it, but at the base of the question, there is a genuine curiosity if running a marathon was worth the health problems that came with it.

My sweet friend Nicole from Masters to Marathons made this for me while I was sick.  I LOVE IT!

My sweet friend Nicole from Masters2Marathons made this for me while I was sick. I LOVE IT!

A bit of background for context first.  Three weeks ago (approximately a week before Rock-n-Roll New Orleans) I started to feel sick.  I spent basically the entire week before the marathon trying to get rid of whatever bug I had picked up.  By the Saturday before the marathon I felt about 85-90%.  Sunday, race day, I woke up with a bit of a sore throat but otherwise felt fine; thankful I had dodged the bullet on being sick race day.  Monday, after the marathon, I felt like I had been hit by a truck and then got progressively worse throughout the week.  By that Thursday it hurt to breathe and I was coughing up green stuff.  {TMI? Sorry.}  I drug myself to the doctor, got a lecture, a shot in the butt and the diagnosis of bronchitis and sinusitis.

I was put on two medicines but the damage had already been done to my system.  I spent the next four days (Friday-Monday) in my jammies, coughing so hard at times that it made me throw up.  I had zero energy, couldn’t really talk (no voice) and didn’t have much of an appetite. I lost weight which is always a concern since my BMI is an underweight figure.  Probably the funniest side effect of being sick is that I {still three weeks later} sound like a man.

My doctor confirmed that if I hadn’t run the marathon, I would not have gotten sick like this.  Since I ran the marathon with a compromised immune system, it gave free range for whatever viruses I had in me take me down for the count.

When answering the question, “Was it worth it?”, I take into account the fact that these people don’t run; I have yet to be asked by another runner if it was worth it.  Non-runners don’t understand the effort that goes into preparing for a marathon.  To them, this is just like any other race I run.  They don’t realize that I registered for it 9 months ago.  Or that I dedicated 4 months of my life preparing for it.  Four months of “I’m sorry I can’t {insert fun event}, I have to run”, 16 weeks of sore muscles & body aches, 112 days of mental battles and questioning my ability if I could actually do it.  Not to mention the amount of money that went into shoes, clothes, fuel, etc.  No to them, this is just a race.

To me, it’s much more.  This marathon was a test of not only physical endurance but also overcoming that annoying voice in my head that still tells me “You’re not a real runner.  You’re just putting on a good charade.”  Running is so much more mental than physical.  If I had decided not to run the race due to health reasons (which would have been the smart thing) I would have felt completely defeated.  Like that little voice inside me won.  “See I told you you’re not a real runner.”  If I hadn’t ran that day, Rock-n-Roll New Orleans would have always been the race that got the best of me.  I would have always wondered what if…  I know myself and I know I would have a very hard time forgiving myself.

All of that is what flies through my head when they ask me if it was worth it.  But I know they wouldn’t understand, so I just simply say, “Yes. Yes, it was worth it.”

The marathon was two weeks ago and I finally feel like I’m on the upside of this crud.  I’m still coughing and having sinus issues but I was able last week for the first time in 10 days to do something physical.  I went for a 2 mile run on Wednesday and then a 3 mile run on Thursday.  Both runs were slower than normal and exhausting.  Saturday I went for a 5 mile run with walk intervals and felt pretty good; although my pace (with the walk intervals figured into it) was 2.5 minutes slower than usual.  It’s going to take me awhile to get back to where I was but I’m ok with that.  All things considered, I would not hesitate to run the marathon again.

Don’t forget to enter my Huma Energy Gel giveaway – contest closes tomorrow at midnight!

Question:  Have you ever ignored physical symptoms just to compete in an event? Was is worth it to you?

Just for the record, I don’t advocate running while sick or injured.  It’s a personal decision and one that should be made with care.

February #GoalGetter2013 Checkin

I realize that February is the shortest month but it really seemed to fly by this year.  And so far, March has lived up to it’s in like a lion, out like a lamb stereotype.  Thanks to getting diagnosed with bronchitis and sinusitis, I have been down for the count.  Not only have I been cooped up in my house since Thursday, I haven’t done any workouts – literally ZERO – since the marathon last Sunday.  This is also the longest I’ve ever missed work.  My house is starting to feel like a prison and I’m beyond stir crazy.

Now that it’s March, it means I say goodbye to my February goals and hello to March goals.

goalgetter2013

Here’s how I did on my February Goals:

Run marathon #2 aka Rock-n-Roll New Orleans.  I don’t have an official time goal.  I want to finish somewhere in the 4:20s.

  • Goal accomplished.  And while I wanted to finish in the 4:20s I actually finished with 4:18:50!  If you missed my race recap you can find part 1 here and part 2 here.

Love this guy so much!{best husband ever}

GotSub 2 hour 1/2 marathon (PR). I’m not sure if this is going to happen. With marathon training, I’ve been focusing more on endurance then speed so I’m not sure if I’m conditioned enough to run a sub 2 but I’m going to give my best effort.

half

Spend more time in the kitchen.  These past few months I have gotten way too comfortable with blending my meals (smoothies / protein shakes) instead of taking time to cook something.  This often leaves hubby hanging for supper which means he seizes the opportunity to get fast food. #WifeFail

  • Fail.  While I did cook more then I have been, I still didn’t do a great job with this.  Sorry hubby.

Here are my March goals:

  • Get better!! This one may seem like a silly goal but it’s super important right now.  I haven’t been this sick in years and it’s really messing with me mentally.  I feel like I’ve regressed, fitness wise, tremendously.
  • Spend more time in the kitchen. Yep, I putting this one back on my list; however, I’m going to be more specific this time.  I will make at least one meal the both of us can enjoy.  One of the reasons I find this such of a struggle is due to the fact that Jody aka the hubster refuses to eat clean.  After 1 1/2 years of clean eating, I still haven’t been able to get him on the bandwagon.
  • Enjoy my next half marathon.  At the end of the month I will be running the Viking Half Marathon and I just want to have fun.  I’m not worried about time goals or PRs.  Just whatever happens, happens.
  • Cross train, cross train, cross train! Now that I’m not training for a marathon (first time since last July) I can focus my attention on cross training without fear of injury.  I will be hitting the weight machines pretty hard, cycling my little legs and {of course} still getting in my running – just not 40 miles a week worth of running.
  • Focus more on my spirituality.  I have dropped the ball big time with my devotions and Bible reading in the past few months.  Instead of getting up and getting into His word, I find myself jumping onto the computer to check the blog/social media/my favorite bloggers.  My priorities definitely need re-arranging.

Haven’t joined the #GoalGetter2013 challenge yet? It’s never too late to get started working towards a better you.  Check out this introduction post and then join some of my favorite blends (bloggers + friends = blends) as we work toward achieving our 2013 goals!  This is your #GoalGetter2013 team:

Question:  How are you coming with your goals? What are you wanting to accomplish in March?

Rock-n-Roll Marathon: Part 2

Last week I mentioned that I wasn’t feeling well, thanks to the hubster, leading up to the race.  Saturday and Sunday I felt pretty good, not quite 100% but I’ve definitely felt worse.  Monday I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a Mack truck and then got progressively worse throughout the week.  I finally drug myself to the doctor yesterday when I started coughing up green stuff and it hurt to breathe.  Turns out that if you run a marathon while you’re sick, you can {and will} develop bronchitis and sinusitis.   Who knew?  My parting gift from the doc was a nice IM (intramuscular) shot of antibiotics in my rear (ugh!!), two prescriptions and a stern warning not to do anything physical. *facepalm*

I deserved a treat after that shot to the derriere.

I deserved a treat after that shot to the derriere.

Now, as promised, Part 2 of Rock-n-Roll NOLA.  The Finale:

Yesterday I left you hanging with part one of the recap right at the split between the marathoner and half marathoners.  It was so nice to go from being squished in like sardines to having room to move around without stepping on someone.  It was also at this point that the pavement leveled out; my feet and ankles couldn’t take the potholes and broken street much longer.

At mile 13 there were two guys running next to me and I told them, “Alright boys, this is where the race really starts.” They chuckled and told me not to beat them too badly with which I responded “You’ve got nothing to worry about.”  That statement was a bit of foreshadowing for what lied ahead.  Little did I know how much effort I was about to put forth to finish the next 13+ miles.

The second ½ of the race was an out and back.  Anybody who knows me know that I absolutely loathe courses like that.  Not only are they boring, but out and back courses are so psychologically damaging to me.   From the very first step I start looking for the turnaround point.

The purple at the bottom is where the 1/2 marathoners split; the red is the remaining full course.

The purple at the bottom is where the 1/2 marathoners split; the red is the remaining full course.

Mile 15 I started seeing the elites on their way back to finish the marathon; I cheered for the first few then realized they were all in the zone and I was probably annoying them.  The top male ran it in 2:28:23 and the top female 2:52:21.  I can’t even run a 5k at that fast of a pace!  I took another Huma Chia Energy Gel around this point to top off my glycogen levels.  {That stuff is the bomb, by the way.}

Mile 16 was where I first noticed the race really starting to wear on me.  It didn’t help that Mother Nature decided to play dirty and had us run straight into a horrible head wind which would last the next 6-7 miles.  I just kept thinking to myself, ‘you can’t be tired! You still have 10+ miles to go.’ I wasn’t expecting to have such negative thoughts so early in the race; when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon I didn’t experience any negative self-talk.

In the zone.{Side note: When I first saw this picture I freaked a bit because it looked like I had an extra finger}

In the zone.
{Side note: When I first saw this picture I freaked a bit because it looked like I had an extra finger.  I assure you, I only have 5.}

Then, as if the wind and negative self-talk weren’t bad enough, the “fast, flat course” that RnR had bragged became hilly.  The course took us over 4 overpasses (8 total since it was a bloody out and back) and while they weren’t super big hills they were still large hills that my already fatigued body had to over come.  On one of the bigger overpasses, I joked to a lady that ‘we had just made that hill our b*tch’; she wasn’t amused.

The next few miles all blur together.  I got a really awesome pick-me-up when I saw my friend Mel pass me on the back part of the course. I screamed and smiled like a crazy person.  FINALLY at mile 20 I made it to the turnaround. Yes!! Only a 10k left! My body was hurting pretty badly at this point but I was excited to know that I made it into the 20s.  I got another burst of energy from seeing my friends Stacey and then Lorena on their way to the turnaround.

After that I remembered passing the 35k mark (which would be mile 21.8ish) and I was crushed to know that I still had 15k left to go.  I couldn’t figure out how I was going to make it another 9.3 miles.  Apparently I had gone somewhat delirious with my math skills and thinking that a marathon was 50k (31 miles).  Thankfully it took me all of 30 seconds to figure out that I had just passed mile 22 which meant 4.2 miles NOT 9.3.  WHEW!  {Side note, this race really made me question my desire to run a 50k…..and my mathematical skills}

Taken after mile 22 right after I figured out that I only had 4ish miles left to run, not 9.3.

Taken after mile 22 right after I figured out that I only had 4ish miles left to run, not 9.3.  That’s the look of pure joy.

Mile 24 I opted for a potty stop.  I knew I was close to finishing but it was either stop or risk losing bladder control.  Let’s just say quickest potty break ever!  Right before mile 25 I passed my husband again; I managed to yell to him that I was really struggling.  He lied and told me I was looking good. ❤  Seeing him was really what I needed to finish.

After seeing my husband I knew that I had roughly 15 minutes left to run.  I tried to find any spare gas in my tank and crank out a strong finish.  And at exactly 4 hours, 18 minutes, and 50 seconds (a 9:50 overall pace) I hit 26.3 miles (yep, an extra tenth) and crossed that damn finish line!

Coming in for the finish.  Yeah, that's a forced smile...

Coming in for the finish. Yeah, that’s a forced smile…

I have never been so exhausted and happy to be done in my entire life.  I found my husband and promptly sat down.  Ouch.

Love this guy so much!{best husband ever}

Love this guy so much!
{best husband ever}

I can honestly say that this race took everything I had both physically and mentally.  It was a totally different experience from the Marine Corps Marathon where the race didn’t feel challenging at all.  I immediately found my husband and gave him the biggest hug and kiss.  Then we waited for my two running girls to finish.  Stacey rocked a 27 minute PR and Lorena can now call herself a marathoner.  So proud of these girls!

Finally, it was time for my favorite part of the race….leaving!  We waited in line to get bused back the to starting line.  I had to chuckle because you could totally tell the marathoners from the 1/2 marathoners by the length of time it took them to get up and off the bus.

Buses

Buses, buses and more buses.
You can tell from the picture that the weather had turned nasty, too.

And then it was time to get our grub on!  All that running left me with a huge appetite.  We ended up eating at Hard Rock Café and it was delicious. The food was delicious, not Hard Rock.  Although I was hungry enough I threatened to eat part of Hard Rock while waiting for my food.

Vest worn by Mick Jagger.

Vest worn by Mick Jagger.

Pulled pork, cole slaw and baked bean (I didn't eat much of the fries) made this girl very happy!

Pulled pork, cole slaw & baked bean (I was too full for the fries) made my tummy verrrrrrrry happy!

As far as races or race courses go, this wasn’t my favorite.  The ½ marathon course was amazing but the full course left a lot to be desired.  The bands were far and few between as were the spectators; it got pretty lonely out there.  Although, the first half of the course was amazing.  While the streets in New Orleans are incredibly hard on feet and ankles (as evidenced by rolling my left ankle three times) they do provide beautiful, historic sights.  I wouldn’t discourage anyone from doing this race.  New Orleans is a great racation city; so much to do…..and eat!  Just be prepared to be incredibly bored on the second half of the race, that is, if you’re doing the full.

I’ve had plenty of time over the past few days to look back and reflect on this race.  The positives and negatives, what I could have done differently, what I will do differently next time.  I can honestly say, with the exception of the pre-race potty fail adding 4 minutes, that I couldn’t have done anything differently during this run.

Usually when I finish a race I feel like I could have given more, pushed further, but I can say with complete confidence that I gave those 26.2 miles everything I had; I left it all on the course.  I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing that ‘all I had’ resulted in a 4:18:50 finish but I’m certainly not losing any sleep over it.  There will be other marathons in my future, ones that I will train harder for and run faster at but for this particular race, I’m happy with the result and proud of myself.  And I think that’s a lesson that I needed to learn; to respect and appreciate each race as it is.

My pretty new bling that will get put with the others behind my husbands ties.  I should really fix that.

My pretty new bling that will get put with the others on my hubby’s tie rack behind his ties. I should really fix that.

Question:  What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned during an endurance Furevent? 

Rock-n-Roll Marathon: Part 1

First things first…. I have the best husband ever! Even if he did share his cold before the marathon and then got me massively sick after, he’s still the best.  I’ll explain why in a minute.  Now that I’ve left you all hanging almost the entire week for this recap, here is the first 1/2 of the race for your viewing pleasure… {Apologies for breaking it up; it would have been death by words if I hadn’t.}

Sunday started off with a leisurely wake-up call of 5:46 am.  Waaahoooo, I got to sleep in!!

Alarm

I’m used to being up around 4am on race day but we were only two blocks from the starting line so why not sleep in, right? {I realize that 5:46 is a random time to wake up; I don’t like getting up on even numbers. Weird, I know.}  I fully expected to experience some sort of nerves when I got up but I was remarkably jitter free.

My running girls and I got ready, stretched, and attempted to eat some breakfast but wasn’t really feeling it. The pizza from the night before left my tummy slightly unsettled (I totally went against everything I talked about with how to properly carbo-load); luckily Lorena had some Pepto. Problem solved.

Since we were running the full marathon we went ahead and checked out of the hotel that way we wouldn’t feel rushed after the race.  Then we headed to the starting line.  It was about 6:45 by the time we got there; the race started at 7. Whoops, maybe I shouldn’t have slept in after all.

Hooray for a gorgeous sunrise!

Hooray for a gorgeous sunrise!

I saw this guy before the race and chatted with him for a minute. He was doing the ½ marathon in full gear; about 150 extra pounds. I actually remembered him from last year’s ½ marathon; although, last year he had two other guys with him.

FirefighterI shook his hand, thanked him for his service and wished him luck.  Then I was off to scope out the portopottie situation. The lines were extra long and decided that I wouldn’t make it to the start on time if I waited.  So I skipped it. Bad idea! When you start a race with the urge to pee it only gets worse once you start running. My running girls had VIP potty passes from Brooks (yes, I was jealous) so while they used the nice, heated potties with running water, I spent a few minutes jogging to loosen up the muscles.

My lovely running girls.

My lovely running girls.

My time goals for this race were kind of three-fold.  My gimme goal was to beat 4:30 (I had zero doubt I could do that), my ‘I’ll be happy with’ goal was 4:22, but my ultimate goal was to get into the 4:teens.  However, with being sick the week prior, I wasn’t sure I could break into the teens.  I wrote several of the splits for a 4:17 finish on my arm just to give me an idea of how I was doing during the race.

As we were walking to the corral, we heard the National Anthem being sung.  This meant the elites were a few minutes from taking off.  I was supposed to be in corral 9 but ended up squishing (like a sardine) into corral 10.

I dug the guy's superhero cape.

I dug the guy’s superhero cape.

Before I knew it we had moved up to the starting line.  I really love the way that Rock-n-Roll starts their races in waves verses everyone starting all at once.  And then we were off!

It's hard to see but that's the starting line.

It’s hard to see but that’s the starting line.

Or so I thought.  At .36 miles into the race I almost plowed over a person walking. WTH?!? I was so irritated.  I don’t have a problem with people walking races but be polite – don’t get into a corral where people are trying to run.

Things went swimmingly well after that little hiccup and a little bit after mile 2 I noticed the race motorcyclists on the other side of the road.  This meant that the elites had made the first out and back turn.  Talk about starstruck! I got to see Olympian Mo Farrah tearing up the pavement; he would later win the race and set a new course record of 60:59.  Maybe 5 or so minutes after watching Mo run by, Shalane Flanagan appeared followed by Kara Goucher. I (along with lots of others) was cheering like crazy for them! I heard a girl behind me ask why everyone was yelling and I thought to myself ‘because we just saw three Olympians!’

Right before mile 4 I decided it was time for a potty break.  My logic that I could quickly get in and out of the potty failed me and I got stuck waiting for 4 minutes.  That may not seem like much but, trust me, it was an eternity! I watched the time on my Garmin creep up  and I was so upset knowing that it’s almost impossible to ‘make-up’ lost time in a marathon.

Miles 4-9 were uneventful except for rolling my ankle twice (and I would do it one more time later on in the race) on the uneven pavement. I fueled up with some awesome Huma Chia Energy Gel and I felt amazing; I had set my cruise control at a comfortable 9:35 pace.  The bands had been entertaining and the cheer squads were great.

Mile 10 took us through the French Quarter and had us pass by Café Du Monde home of ahhhhmazing beignets.  I joked to someone about stopping and getting one to go.

For those of you not familiar with beignets, feast your eyes on these babies.  This picture was from a different trip to NOLA but you get the idea.

For those of you not familiar with beignets, feast your eyes on these babies. This picture was from a different trip to NOLA but you get the idea.

Right after Café Du Monde I heard a guy yell my name; I looked and it was my husband!! He had been terribly sick all week so when I left Saturday I left knowing that he wasn’t going to be there.  Talk about surprised! (This is why he’s the best husband ever.) I gave him a quick kiss and kept running {and smiling}.

race pic #1
At mile 11.5 some well meaning volunteer shouted what he thought was an encouraging ‘you’re almost there’ only to be dumbstruck when I yelled back ‘Nice try. I still have 15 miles left.’  I’m hoping that he didn’t try to encourage anybody else with ‘you’re almost there’.  There’s nothing worse, IMO, than hearing that during a race.

Before I knew it, it was mile 12.5(ish) and it was time for the marathoners to break away while the ½ marathoners went in for their finish.  Last year, this race was my very first ½ marathon and I remember watching the marathoners split, I had such envy watching them that I swore that I would come back next year and do the marathon. Mission accomplished!

And this is where I leave you hanging until tomorrow… I didn’t want to overwhelm y’all with such a lengthy recap so I figured I’d break it into two parts.

Question: Don’t you hate it when bloggers break their recaps into part 1 and part 2?  Forgive me??

Rock-n-Roll NOLA Expo

After writing about how disappointed I was with the Rock-n-Roll series being all about the money on Friday, my running girls and I headed over to the expo to pick up our bibs and shirts.  After driving around in circles for a bit (navigating New Orleans isn’t the easiest) we finally found a place to park and headed into the convention center.

IMG_2610

We snaked our way through the convention center, admist a muck (ok, maybe that word is a bit harsh) of pre-teen cheerleaders in WAY too heavy makeup; apparently there was a cheer competition or something going on, too.

The first stop at the expo was picking up the bibs and doing a last minute corral change.  When I had registered for this back in May I put 4:30 as my estimated finish time; however, my goal was to break 4:30 so I moved up two corrals.

Marathon #2 in less then 18 hours! EEEEP

Marathon #2 in less then 18 hours! EEEEP

After the last minute corral change, it was we headed to pick up our shirts.  I have to give RnR props because their expo is expertly executed.  Before you can enter the vendor booths you have to pick up your bib, swag bag and tee’s.

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Awesome participant tee. I looooove it!!

Then it was time for the FREEEEEBIES!! And the expo did not disappoint with the freebies.  We stopped at the Brooks store first where I won a free cotton tee and my friend Stacey won a pair of free shoes. HECK YES!!

We stopped at different booths and sample various products.  I headed to the Perform Pain Relief booth and was incredibly surprised to find that they were handing out full size products…Um, yes please!

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After taking some silly pictures, we headed over the the KT Tape booth.  My friend Lorena has been having some horrible IT band issues and her massage therapist recommended she get taped before the race.  I had decided to get taped too to see if it would help with my foot issues.  I was somewhat skeptical but knew I’d find out soon enough.  I figured that even if it failed, the KT Tape still looked cool.

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I have to admit, I felt slightly like a legit athlete with this stuff on…

Then it was time to take all of our freebies and bid adieu to the expo.  My running girls and I were starving and we still had to check into the hotel.

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Scccchhhhwaaaag!

After navigating the parking garage from hell we finally arrived at our hotel.  We ditched our race gear and headed to find some grub.  We had decided ahead of time to eat at Chef John Besh’s restaurant, Domenica.

Outside of Domenca.  It was gorgeous.

Outside of Domenica. It was gorgeous.

And like the true non-city dwellers we are, none of us thought to call ahead for reservations.  We got there just before 7 and they said they wouldn’t have a table until 10. Whaaaaaaaaat? My tummy needed food ASAP.  So we ended up ordering at the bar and then heading back to the hotel.  I ordered the Calabrese pizza which was thin crust topped with spicy salami, fresh mozzarella, capers & olives.  Maybe not the smartest pre-race meal (sodium wise) but it ’twas yummy.

mmmmmmmmmmm Get in mah bellay

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Get in mah bellay

And then it was time for bed.  I knew those 26.2 miles weren’t going to run themselves in the morning.  After all was said and done, I had finally started to get excited about running my 2nd marathon.

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Ready to Rock-n-Roll!

Question:  What do you do at expos? Do you take advantage of the freebies or just get your race stuff and go?

It’s Marathon Time?

Happy Friday y’all! You’ve made it through another work week and now have the entire weekend to do something epic.  Spring is completely on its way so hopefully your something epic will involve lots of sunshine.

In less then 48 hours, my something epic for this weekend is running my 2nd marathon; Rock-n-Roll New Orleans.

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I managed to catch the crud that my hubby had so the past few days I’ve been in ‘get this crap out of my system mode’ so I’m acutally less than thrilled about this weekend.  Although, to be perfectly honest, I was less then thrilled about this weekend before I ended up sick. For some reason I just can’t wrap my head around this race.  I wish I could blame it on nerves but I don’t even have those right now.  I have total 100% apathy towards this event.

I know that a lot of it has to do with the fact that my first marathon was so emotionally charged with running it in memory of my brother.  The Marine Corps Marathon was just so special that really nothing will ever be able to top it.

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Me and the best hubby ever….AKA the culprit who got me sick.

I’m also a bit disgruntled with the event organization.  I went to register for runner tracking so my hubby could keep up with me only to find out that they are charging people to track runners.  I guess they don’t get enough money with the already high registration fees.  So I did what any 21st century person does and vented on social media.  Apparently a LOT of folks are disgruntled with the Rock-n-Roll series.

meI will give RnR credit though, they responded right away to the cascading flood of negativity my one {very mild} tweet caused.

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Also, I found out that they DO offer free runner tracking on race day (of course it was after a family member had already paid to track me).

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However, when you click their track a runner link it automatically takes you to the pay site.  So basically they’re directing people to pay to track runners without telling them about the free option.  That doesn’t sit well with me.

I could go on about this topic but I’ll save my ranting.  *You’re welcome* I’m already registered for one more RnR marathon in November and unless something changes, it will be my last one.

So tomorrow I will head to the expo with my running girls and I’m hoping to catch the excitement bug there.  Maybe it will bring back fond memories of last year’s race which I adored.  Rock-n-Roll New Orleans 2012 was my very first ½ marathon so I kind of feel like I’ve gone full circle, toeing up to the line as a marathoner.

I’m also really looking forward to the fact that Kara Goucher & Shalane Flanagan are going to be running.  Talk about star struck.  These two women are absolutely inspiring and I hope to at least catch a glimpse of them sometime this weekend.

Question: Have you ever been apathetic towards an event? What did you do to pull yourself out of it?