Chick Chat: First Race Ever

We didn’t choose the running life, the running life chose us!

Actually, that’s not true. I think that anyone can tell you that it’s a decision, and sometimes a struggle to get out there day after day, year after year and run.

It’s a love/hate relationship. There are times when it’s awesome and there’s other times when it sucks and we dread every minute of it. But being that it’s Valentine’s Day, we are going to focus on love and share our very first race experiences with you.


When I started training with C25K (Couch to 5K) in the summer of 2013 I’d signed up for a The Color Run with some friends. There were three of us that would be running our first race together so we kept up with each other on Facebook and through texts to see how our progress was going. Before we got to the race in which we would get colored cornstarch thrown all over us, we found a different race.

The local fire department supports a charity each year and does a Pink Heals 5K, so we figured we’d go for it. We’d all done the training and we were ready. Right?

Well, yeah. Right.

This bridge! I’ve been back to it at least four times with different races. Still gets me.

The race was in October so the weather was, well, I live in Florida so it was warm and muggy. I was feeling pretty confident, especially being surrounded by all of my friends. There was no pressure, really. It was the first time for a lot of us and we thought of it as a “practice run” (get it?) for our upcoming race. The course was simple: down the street, over the bridge, and back. Only…I didn’t train for bridges! I remember feeling so defeated because I ended up walking some of the bridge and hating that it was happening.

When all was said and done, though, I felt such a great sense of accomplishment. I was also sore and having my first experience of being rungry. It’s a thing, okay? Looking back, I am so glad I had those friends to train and run with. Having support for a sport that is about mind over matter, truly matter.

My training buddies! I could not (and still don’t) do it without them!

I have a really hard time coming up with my first race. I honestly can’t remember what the very first running race I ever did was… I would have been very little, probably running alongside my mom, in some local 5k in Anchorage. That was just my childhood – running with mom, doing triathlons, cross country skiing, playing basketball.

Having said all of that, as a kid I also didn’t like running. Like, at all. It made me tired, there wasn’t a whole lot of “fun” in it, I wasn’t scoring points… yeah. It was lame. My mom dragged me out there and I complained the whole time (until I could horse-to-the-barn back to the car when we were almost done).

I ran as training for basketball in college – still hated it. I ran after basketball (still in college) to kind of stay in shape – it just made me feel really OUT of shape.

I graduated college, realized that I missed being fit and strong and decided that running was an easy way to find those things again. So I started on the treadmill in my friends’ basement, ran at the gym, cleaned up my diet, ran outside, and finally decided to sign up for a race.

In 2012, I’d just moved back in with my parents and was making the most of the comfortable Alaskan running weather and knew that the Run for Women – a five-miler – was right around the corner. I hadn’t run a race in a long time and really felt as though I could run this one and feel good about it.

And I DID feel good about it! I had signed up alone, but about a half mile into the race found a friend of my mom’s and ran with her for a bit. After a while, we split up, but I felt comfortable and confident and by the time I crossed the finish line I’d not only enjoyed myself, but I done so much better than I thought I would. After I got home that morning, I told my mom I wanted to run a half marathon… and that was that.


It was 2013 and the Color Run was all the rage, so when some friends asked me if I wanted to join their team, Team Scrambled Legs, for the Denver Color Run, I was IN! I trained using Couch to 5k, too, and my team mates were much faster than me. I remember finding them before the start was the most stressful part of the race.

Not only was it the best team name ever, but it was a great intro to road racing. I was slow as usual, but it didn’t matter. I think my time was around 42 minutes. I was hoping to be closer to 35 minutes but meh. I had fun, got dirty, and gave a little girl my gumball necklace. It was a crowded race, and aside from the BOLDER Boulder and Run Disney events, I tend to stay away from big race crowds.

Running through Denver City Park is always enjoyable, the  park is gorgeous and the weather that day was warm. My husband, saint that he is, got up with me and made the 45 minute drive to the race start. That day, he became my personal race photographer.

I think I might be the only person in that photo who still runs. When I ran that race, I never dreamed I’d run a half marathon. Five years later I’m planning to finish my 10th half this year, and embark on lots of trail adventures. Looking back, it’s great to see how far I, and my running goals, have come!

My very first race was a 5k. But not just any ol’ 5k. It was the Down and Dirty Obstacle Race in Philadelphia.

The year was 2011 and while I’d been working out for a few years before that with Stroller Strides, 2011 is the year I started running. I’d begun training on my treadmill during the spring and by the summer event, I thought that I’d be absolutely FINE.

I was absolutely wrong.

Why am I smiling? I don’t know.

The hilly, rough terrain running was honestly the least of my problems. You guys, the obstacles… the first one was a low wall which I not-so-gracefully threw myself over and landed on my knees.

However, I had Cam with me for this race so while I might have been ill-prepared for the obstacles, I had a really good time! Well, not a good time, but we entertained each other and made sure we both survived.

My husband was a spectator, so he snagged a few pictures of obstacles that I was actually able to conquer and not hurt myself on.

Up and over!

This felt a lot more steep than it looks here.

It was a tough, tough race but I had the determination to finish and then sign up for another race, the Rothman 8k, about 4 months later.

After the Down and Dirty, on my old tumblr, I wrote:

Something I learned this weekend is that it’s always important to challenge yourself because you hold yourself to a higher level of achievement each time. Things get easier every time you do them and that’s when you have to kick it up to the next step.

Also? I’m pretty freaking bad ass.

We love you! Tell us about YOUR first race ever? Was it love at first run or did it take some time to settle into the relationship?

Scoot a Doot’s 5th Blogaversary (with a BOCO Gear giveaway!)

Exciting news in the video! We have a new Scoot a Doot Chick joining Kyle, Jenn, and myself, a new giveaway, and a new cast! Well, okay, that last one might only be exciting to me – but it is purple!

Watch me ramble and then click down below for the giveaway.

 

Click the pic to enter – now through 2/5 at 12am est

You can meet Ash here! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and subscribe (right over in the side bar!) so you can get blog post updates sent directly to your email!

ETA: I am such a dolt. ASHLEY IS A RAVENCLAW, not a Hufflepuff. I have no good excuse. At least I know I’m a Gryffindor?

Starting 2018 with a Bang (literally)

Video blogs aren’t usually my thing but typing is hard right now so, here we go!

Disclaimer: I received pjuractive 2skin to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Race Plans in 2018

I’ve written it on my heart and I am ready for all that 2018 has to offer.

Thus far I’ve signed up for 9 races for the upcoming year. That’s right – NINE. I have plans, my friends! While my goal for 2016/2017 were PR based, my goal for 2018 is to focus on shorter distances.

january

2017 was the first time I did a Good Day for a Run’s Chili Run, a 2 mile race which is just down the street from my house. I decided to return again this year and when my husband had imbibed in a few beers one night, he agreed that I should sign him up as well.

I love when that happens!

Last year’s swag was a really cute chili bowl and spoon. This year all runners will receive a Chili Run Beanie with an embroidered logo! While the January date is already sold out, there is also a February date that appears to have availability left at this point.

The race ends at Carolina Blue restaurant and each runner gets a hot cup of chili and a beer ticket!

march

You might recall I did The Light Run a few weeks ago. While at the after-party, my friend Beth won an entry for The Lucky Run. She isn’t quite at the “timed event” mark so she graciously offered the entry to me!

I’m very excited for this one because it will be my first 5k of 2018! Unless something else jumps in there ahead of schedule (which is always a possibility). It takes place at the park where I used to teach Stroller Strides so in addition to an awesome event, I’m sure I’ll be a little sentimental too.

In 2017 I was so excited for the annual Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k. My husband was looking forward to it, I was looking forward to it… and then the week of the race I realized that I hadn’t registered us for the sold out event.

*cue the sad trombone*

Yeah, somehow in my excitement for the race, I didn’t remember that we hadn’t signed up. We discussed it and I guess I thought I had. But alas, I did not.

As soon as I saw that registration was open for 2018, I immediately registered for us. Make no mistake, we WILL be there!

This was an impulsive decision. I’ve never run the Philly LOVE RUN before but I feel like I’ve run nearly every other Philly based half and therefore needed to do this one.

Of course, a few weeks after I registered for the half distance, a brand spanking new 5k distance was announced. So now I’m vacillating between wanting to stick with the half or seeing if I can switch to the 5k. Hmmm, what to do, what to do. I’m still mulling it over.

april

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate Philadelphia race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! 

This past year I celebrated my 40th birthday at the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15k. In 2018 I’ll be celebrating my 41st (and 6 day) birthday at the Hot Chocolate 5k!

And, what’s really, really cool is that many of my friends are going to be at this race too! Retired Scoot a Doot Chick, Bec, will be visiting and will be there; Past guest poster, Ana, just signed up as well.

Fellow BibRave Pros Joe, Sara, and Janelle will also be there!

If you want to sign up, use the code BRHCPHILLY18 and you can pick up a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap. You’re welcome! (Also, please comment and let me know so we can find each other!)

I’m returning for my 7th April Fools half marathon in Atlantic City in April as well. I’ve run this race since its inaugural year and I attained my PR this past year on the course!

It’s one of my favorite places to do training runs and races. Being that it’s tried and true, I love this race thoroughly. I can’t wait to return for another year of running!

This is another race that I’m returning to; this will be my 3rd time running the Run the Vineyards Heritage 5 Miler.

Rachel is registered to run it with me and it’s always a great time with her. I’m looking forward to getting out there and stretching my legs on this course. Also, I’m looking forward to chilling and having a glass of wine afterward. It’s all about balance!

And now for the portion in my schedule where I jump from APRIL TO AUGUST. I’m certainly that I’ll be filling up the months in between, I just haven’t yet.

august

Here’s a destination race for me – Vacation Races Elk Double. I’ll be taking a little trip across the country to join Jenn at her favorite race weekend!

I’m so excited for this for several reasons:

  1. JENN. I get my Jennifer! I haven’t seen her for far too long and I can’t wait! Not only that, but I get to spend 16.2 miles with her.
  2. Colorado. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. If you haven’t been there, you should go!
  3. I’m bringing my family along with me! My boys are SO EXCITED for all things travel related but they’re really fixated on going to Colorado. Probably because of number 2.

So yes, I am really pumped for this and while I don’t want to rush time along or anything, I am very much looking forward to August!

I can’t wait to report back and let you know how all of these go. Plus, I’m looking forward to seeing what other races I add to the list!

What events are you looking forward to in 2018? Will I see you at any of these?

Chick Chat: Christmas Movies

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the time when we get to watch ALL of the best Christmas movies. The only problem? Deciding which ones to sit down with. There are so many good holiday flicks out there, so to help you narrow your list down, we’ve pulled together some of our very favorites. When we decided to do this post, I told Kyle and Meridith that there was no way I could pick just ONE favorite holiday movie. I mean, who can, honestly? I’m wagering no one. I did, however, force myself to limit my selection to three favorites. It was super hard, y’all! Someone fetch me some eggnog!

Numero Uno for me is and will always be A Christmas StoryI remember the first time I watched it in 1985 when I was in fourth grade. It was a cold Christmas, and although I don’t remember what I asked Santa for that year, I will never forget watching it for the first time. I sat next to my deaf grandmother, and her full body belly laughs when Randy shows mom how piggies eat were contagious. Being deaf, grandma couldn’t understand what was being said (we didn’t have a closed caption machine, it was an actual machine you hooked up to the TV back then), but boy she thought that kid sticking his face in mashed potatoes was the funniest thing ever. My grandma had the best laugh, and I think it was because she was deaf. When you can’t hear yourself to be self-conscious, you let it rip full gusto! It was infectious. This movie is such a staple in my family that we have a tradition of watching it while we decorate our tree. I even have my very own leg lamp.

Number two for me is an old movie, Heidi staring Shirley Temple. It’s colorized so it has a special charm about it that can’t be duplicated. It started my forever unfulfilled wish to travel solely by horse drawn sleigh throughout December. My mother loves this movie and we watched it often growing up. Most folks won’t think of it as a Christmas movie, but Christmas is sprinkled throughout the film with the film’s climax taking place on Christmas Eve. The story is a bit rough, involving kidnapping and child abuse, but it’s a Shirley Temple movie, so you know things aren’t THAT bad and there’s of course a happy ending. It’s hard to find, but look, someone uploaded the entire movie here on Youtube. Yay!

Lastly is my very favorite version of the Dicken’s Classic, Scrooge. Why is this one my favorite? I’m a bit of a sucker for Golden Age musicals, and although this was made in 1970, it has great songs, lush costumes and sets, and superb acting from Albert Finney as Ebenezer. It’s a wonderful traditional telling of the classic holiday story. It also has one of my favorite songs in musicals ever, one that reminds me of the humor of Gaston andLes Poisson, called Thank You Very Much. It’s a sad day when all of London comes out to say “thanks for dying, jerk!” Ebenezer deserves it, though. It’s also a hard one to find. Youtube to the rescue again!

ELF

You guys, any movie that has a NARWAL in it gets an automatic A+ from me.

Elf is one of those current classic movies that just makes me laugh and laugh. My entire immediate family can apply so many great quotes from this movie to every moment in our lives. “YOU DID IT! CONGRATULATIONS! World’s best cup of coffee!” for example, is great any time of year, not just during the holidays.

Plus, blonde Zoey Deschanel singing “It’s Cold Outside” gets me every time.

The Polar Express

I love this one because my kids loved this one when they were younger. We used to watch it over, and over, and over.

Sure, the book is better because the book is always better, but I love the songs in the animated movie like Hot Chocolate and When Christmas Comes to Town. Honestly, it just reminds me of when my boys were little. They’re not super little anymore but they still enjoy watching this one with me, so I can pretend.

Love Actually

I’m sure someone else is going to mention this one but I can’t not say it. Because, to me, it is perfect.

Okay, since I’m the one putting this post together, I had to put myself last, because I didn’t want to repeat a movie that was already mentioned! Meridith and Jenn both talked about a few of my faves, but because I have a lot of favorite Christmas movies, I have plenty more to choose from.

Home Alone
This movie typifies early 90’s everything. From the John Williams soundtrack to John Candy to Macaulay Caulkin, Home Alone is a classic. Far better than its sequels, the first story of “Kevin mouths off, gets sent to the attic and accidentally gets left behind” is implausible in all the best ways. The highly adept 8-year-old buying fabric softener and milk is questionable at best, but the running away from the scary neighbor and accidentally stealing a toothbrush in the process is totally believable. The Wet Bandits are delightfully dimwitted and the booby-trapped house is every kid’s dream. It almost goes without saying that Home Alone was second on my list of Christmas movies watched this year.
The Santa Clause
Another 90’s Christmas classic that far exceeded its sequels (seriously, don’t bother watching them). I will never not love the premise of the clause that ropes Tim Allen’s Scott Calvin into becoming St. Nick after the latter falls off a roof and disappears. Allen – at the peak of his ‘Home Improvement’ fame – is fantastically funny. But what I really love about this movie is the emphasis it places on the idea that “seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing” – even grown-ups, for whom Santa is just an idea, can believe in the spirit of the season. The juxtaposition of real life with magic is well thought out and this particular imagining of the North Pole may be my favorite of all time. Two thumbs all the way up.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Twenty-five years ago, the best version of the Dickens classic was brought to life by some of the greatest actors of all time and Michael Caine. Complete with singing and dancing rats, Gonzo as Charles Dickens and Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit. It’s hard not to like the Muppets – except for that abomination of a song (if you know the one to which I am referring, points to you). I think I watched this movie on repeat for most of my childhood Christmases, a tradition that continues to this day. I haven’t yet watched this year, but because I’m 99% sure that Clay hasn’t seen it, I’ll be remedying that soon. After all, there’s only a few more sleeps til Christmas!
Christmas Vacation
“Why is the carpet all wet, Todd?”
“I don’t KNOW, Margo.”
“Merry Christmas. Shitter’s full.”
“HALLELUJAH, HOLY SHIT.”
That’s all I have to say about this one. Thank you, National Lampoon, for gifting us the Griswolds.
What are your favorite Christmas movies? Do you have any family traditions that involve watching the 24-hour ‘A Christmas Story’ marathon? 

Jumping Holiday Hurdles with AfterShokz

Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz Trekz Titanium wireless headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro earlier this year. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! 

Holiday merriment is in full swing here in our house! Our trees are up, the banister is decorated, our menorah is ready for this evening’s first night of Hanukkah, and my kids excitement and noise level are at a constant eleven.

Between running from music recitals to art shows to karate testing to Scout meetings and parties and whatever else I’m forgetting to list right now, there’s the age ol’ task of wrapping presents. This task usually falls on me, because, well I think I said once that I liked it (what a mistake that was).

My older son has been really great about pitching in and wrapping gifts for me and things that he’s bought, but the majority of the gift wrapping falls on me. Last year I even hurt myself wrapping presents. I am a talented one, I know!

This year, I’m just trying to figure out how to get everything accomplished and remain sane. Rather than wrapping everything all at once, like I’ve done in the past, I’m attempting to wrap prezzies as they come through the door.

My main wrapping area station is the floor in my bedroom, where I have enough space to spread out the wrapping paper and my box of scissors, tape, labels, etc. that I can quickly squirrel away if anyone happens upon me mid-wrap.

The one issue that I have is that there’s no television or holiday movies to keep me entertained upstairs. I could bring everything downstairs but I like keeping everything consolidated and I don’t want to carry the bigger gifts up and down the steps. #firstworldproblems

Thankfully, I have my AfterShokz Trekz Titanium wireless headphones and they’ve made all the difference this year. Not just for running training runs and races, my friends! I’ve been putting these to work and they’ve yet to let me down.

My mail lady (who brings many, many packages from Amazon) usually arrives at 1:30pm and my kids begin arriving an hour later.

Donning my AfterShokz headphones I’m able to listen to holiday tunes/laugh along with my favorite podcasts and wrap to my hearts content. If I lose track of time, I’m able to hear my kiddo’s triumphant return from school even when I’m jamming out, thanks to the open ear design.

It’s a wrap (for now)!

Here’s to making life easier and embracing the little things along the way that help make that happen!

How are you getting ready for the holidays? Any tips or tricks that you use to make wrapping less of a chore? Here’s how a few of my fellow BRPs are jumping their holiday hurdles:

Dyenna
Lindsey
Sara
Ryan
Sara
Jenna
Mai