Race Recap: Chicago Marathon

So. Last Sunday I ran a marathon. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise as I feel it’s all I’ve been able to talk about for the past few months. When I signed up to run the Chicago Marathon with a charity team, I knew I had to do something different than I did when I ran the Space Coast Marathon in 2016. Basically I knew I had to train. If you’ve followed my journey you know I started training earnestly this summer. I live in South Florida, so it basically sucked. I learned so much about myself, what I could do, what I needed to do to take care of myself, how hard marathon training is.

BUT – it definitely paid off.

 

IMG_3290

Post race pic, but I thought I’d start with something happy.

 

Last Thursday I took a half day off work and my mom, sister, and I got ready to fly to Chicago. It was typical hot weather here on the Gulf Coast, with a few showers. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 5:00 and we ended up being delayed until 6:50. It was about 8:30 Chicago time when we landed and we ended up taking a shady cab to the city. I’m not going to go a lot into the city and trip because I feel like there’s so much of the race to talk about, but we had a great time. It’s been sweltering down here recently and the change of weather was nice. Even if it was rainy and cloudy, it was better than suffocating in the heat. A true testament to my taper diet was the fact that I had to try on all my jeans before I packed to make sure they fit. Don’t worry, I also packed leggings…just in case.

We did the sightseeing thing Friday and Saturday, making sure to see the good stuff. We walked the streets, rode an architectural tour boat, and ate some good food. On Friday I met Michelle at the expo so we could pick up our packets. We also picked up some t-shirts, headbands, nuun – the essentials, ha! A lot of you also know that I signed up with the American Heart Association and I finally got to meet the team leaders at the expo. It was nice to talk to them about my story and to finally put a face to their names. I reached my fundraiser goal a week before the race, so that was a huge weight off my shoulders!

Saturday night Michelle and I planned to meet at the hotel restaurant for some last minute carbs, only to find it was closed for a private event. We took the opportunity to go to a pizza place around the corner to grab a slice (okay a whole pizza) and drinks. Beer and pizza seems to be our pre-race ritual, so this was spot on. (We did not get deep dish as it would have taken an hour to cook and I was starving.)

After dinner I went back to my room to prep and make sure everything was ready to go. And to set up my Flat Ash pic, of course. I went to be early, knowing I wouldn’t sleep well. Every time I woke up it felt like I’d been asleep for hours, until my alarm finally went off at 5AM. We’d planned to meet at 6 for breakfast and a walk to Grant Park. Our hotel was full of runners doing the same thing so we hung out a little bit in the warm breakfast area before getting ready to brave the cold.

IMG_3153

I know I said the cold was a relief, but not really when you’re running in a skirt and tank top. Michelle’s brother walked with us to the start line and we parted ways as we got ready to enter our corral. The crowd was already huge and it was only 7AM. Our start time was 8:35! We filed into gear check with everyone, sloshed through the mud, stood in line for the porta-potty, and finally shuffled into our corral. The energy just waiting to start was intense. Everyone was in sweaters and ponchos, taking pictures, and having a good time – in the rain, by the way. I met two Skirt Sport Sisters and chatted for a few minutes before we got shuffled up to the start line.

Our wave finally let out at almost 9AM. It had stopped raining by this time so I’d shed my poncho but kept my sweater for a while. We started out slow and steady, keeping a good pace with everyone around us. I chucked my sweater around Mile 1 because I was starting to warm up. About that time I – literally – ran into my Internet Friend Maura. We’ve known each other on Twitter for years and had been keeping up with each other’s training these past few months. I joked that we would “run” into each other and we did! (She also crushed Chicago, by the way.)

I’m not sure when it started raining again, but I seriously regretted throwing my sweater and poncho when it did. It got cold quick and didn’t let up for a while. Besides the rain, the course at the beginning was great! When you read that there are 1.2 million spectators you can’t really visualize that. But when you finally see all the people on the sidelines it gets a little overwhelming! The first few miles seemed to go pretty fast, even if my running wasn’t that fast. We made sure to stop for water and Gatorade and kept up with our fuel. Seeing so many different parts of the city was so much fun and the people at each turn were different in so many ways.

IMG_3209

At Mile 8 I met another Internet Friend with her amazing sign. We hugged for like two seconds then I ran away.

IMG_3178

By this time it had stopped raining, but I was definitely starting to slow down a little. We’d been running full (kind of ) speed and my body just wasn’t used to it. At Mile 13 my mom and sister were on the sidelines with hugs and a super fun sign for me. (Captain America is my favorite superhero so my mom had a nice Chicago resident make a sign for me.)

IMG_3246

Technically this is an after pic, but whatever.

A little after 15 I started to slow down a lot. I told Michelle to go on without me. I was sad we were getting separated but I just couldn’t keep up with her pace. My hips were killing me and there wasn’t enough BioFreeze in the land to make it stop.

Going on by myself was tough, but I managed. I set my phone to do intervals so I could take some walk breaks. I knew I had to keep a 15:00 pace so every checkpoint I peeked at my app to make sure I was scheduled to finish on time. We had chosen not to track through any running app (I usually use Nike Running) because we were told the GPS would mess up and we didn’t want to kill our phones, knowing we’d need to find everyone at the end. I let my sister and Mer know that I was on my own (and Twitter). Everyone’s encouragement was amazing and I knew that I had to get through it, if not for me it was to not disappoint others. I hate doing that. As we continued to move through the neighborhoods some of the crowds got smaller, but they were still enthusiastic. By this point pedestrians were trying to cross the street in the middle of runners, which I didn’t really care for. I know that life must go on, but some of them were a little reckless. My legs weren’t working that well and I didn’t want an injury when I was so close!

IMG_3222

I remember texting Mer when I was close to the end and visiting one last BioFreeze station. It was basically something like “I just BioFreezed my butt” to lather up my hip. I’m usually pretty modest, but I was dying. At some point it started to sprinkle again and I’d kind of lot track of where I was, mileage wise. There were bananas on the course and I ate a couple in the last few stretches. My friend Lily was tracking me and tweeting my progress, and Mer was texting me encouragement. Without them I probably would’ve ended up walking and not caring about my time. People around me were struggling, but there were still so many people behind us. I always makes me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one suffering!

image1 (1)

 

IMG_3217

When I hit the Mile 26 mark I almost cried. Mostly because there was a big hill at the end and I wanted to die. But also because it was over. As I rounded the hill to come into the finish a girl next to me was crying. I told her “You got this!” and she said “I know, I’m just so happy!”

IMG_3237

That’s a marathon, y’all. It hurts and it sucks. It takes six months of your life and then suddenly none of it matters because you’re there and you’re trying not to cry or throwup or quit. It’s hard. I admire people who do more than one every couple of years. Whether you’re Sir Mo running your sub 5 or you’re me and my crew struggling to keep your 15 minute mile. You’re awesome.

So, back to the race. Coming across the finish line I felt a lot of emotions. I felt strong, tired, hungry, and delirious. Michelle was waiting for me right after medals, so we took pics and got our free beer. We sloshed our way through the mud to get our gear and WALKED DOWN THE STAIRS to get out of Grant Park. My mom and sister were waiting with the crowd outside and we grabbed and Uber with Michelle and her brother. It was fun piling into someone else’s car all gross and smelly for once.

Everything after that is kind of a blur. I took a nice Epsom salt bath while my mom went across the street to grab me food. It was still early in the day, but I stayed in my pajamas and ate a cheeseburger and fries in bed. I answered all my texts and tweets, assuring people that I was still alive in some way. After it all I managed to pack my suitcase to prepare for leaving the next day. I even walked to the Nike store the next day on my own, albeit slowly. My flight was excruciating to say the least. I got stuck with a middle seat and we were pretty much confined to our seats due to turbulence the whole flight. There were some inhuman noises from me once I was able to stand up.

IMG_3245

Once we got home Monday afternoon I didn’t move from the couch. I elevated and binged Brooklyn 99 while my sister brought me things so I would stop moaning and groaning every time I got up.

Everyone at work this week has been amazing. They are all so congratulatory and don’t care how long it took you or if you walked any of the race. Sometimes the kids ask “Did you win?” and you just have to laugh. This past Wednesday my class talked about setting goals and it was really perfect timing! They’d known all year that this was my goal and it was something I got to share with them. As far as my race goals are concerned, I was really hoping for a sub 6. I ended up with a final time of 6:26 and some change. While I didn’t reach my goal, it was still a 33 minute PR! I’m pretty proud of that.

IMG_3251

BioFreeze cheers from my people.

If anyone is thinking about running a marathon, I’d definitely look into Chicago. The course was amazing, the people were great, and the city is beautiful. Even if the runners totally destroyed it.

Thanks to all of you for following this journey and all of your kind words!

Don’t ask me if I’m ready for another one.

IMG_3259

#REALwomenmove

#REALwomenmove

Real women move.  Yes, they sure do.  But what does this mean to me?  It means that it doesn’t matter what your body shape, size or fitness level is.  It means that you are getting off the couch and doing something.

When you think of an athlete do images of super fit people in Runner’s World come to mind?  Do you think of someone with either huge muscles or no body fat?  That is what media wants us to think.  But to me, it is someone that is strong.  Someone that has the willpower to get out there and try to weather their storm.  Someone who will try  to run their first 5K or a marathon, it doesn’t matter as long as they are becoming a better version of themselves.

There is a giant tree near my home.  I run by it as much as possible.  It is America’s largest Bebb Oak on record.  Some call her Grandma Bebb Oak.  She has her own Facebook page.  To me, she is strong.  Her limbs are heavy and her bark is brittle, but she still stands.   She is said to be well over 200 years old. To me she is strong and she is real.

I used to be a slave to the scale.  If a certain number didn’t come up, I wasn’t happy.  If my pant size wasn’t the right number, I was disappointed.  Now I realize that my body is strong.  I might not have the perfect amount of body fat.  I might be slightly overweight at times.  I have never been accused of being skinny.  On the flip side, I have been labeled as determined, hard core, and relentless.  My legs are more like tree trunks, like that Bebb Oak tree.   But those tree trunks get me to the finish line of 100 mile races.  I think that if you can believe it you can achieve it.

So get out there and do the impossible.  Do what you think you cannot do.  Don’t let others establish your limits because they see you in a different light.  Redefine yourself. Accept yourself, love yourself.   Prove people wrong.  Be strong and prove that #REALwomenmove!

#REALwomenmove is a new campaign by my favorite clothing company, Skirt Sports.  It is based on REAL women, REAL bodies, REAL inspiration.  Skirt Sports believes we all can and should embrace fitness and health.  We should be strong, confident and not judge, but rather encourage other women.  You can read more about #REALwomen move and check out their great running skirts and other great clothing items at skirtsports.com/realwomenmove

***Disclaimer: I am a brand ambassador for Skirt Sports.  They provide me with discounts on their products.  Regardless of this, I would wear their products and sing their praises.  It’s a company I believe in and am I’m proud to be a part of their family.

Sandy is an Ultra runner who’s on state 35 of her 50 state quest! She loves to push herself and encourage others to dare more than they dream. Sandy shares her running adventures on her blog, TheUltraFreak 

A Walk in Her Shoes Feeds a Village

We love doing good, don’t you? We knew you’d say yes! We knew that because our readers are the kindest and sweetest. It’s true. Pat yourself on the back.

We know you like to give back, especially when it’s super easy to give. And we especially love when our training miles count for something. That’s where this fantastic charity event comes in. It’s called the Walk in Her Shoes Challenge, and its goal is to bring awareness to the struggle women and girls face in some of the world’s poorest communities. The Challenge’s goal is to bring equal opportunity and human dignity to women and girls in developing countries. Here’s a quick video to learn more.

One of my Skirt Sport Sisters started a team called the Sole Sisters, and we’d love to have you join us. It’s free, and you don’t have to donate or raise funds if you don’t want to, but your walking and running miles are valuable and count toward the Challenge. You can join our team here. We have already raised enough to build a well for clean drinking water! What I love about this Challenge is that it helps women and girls get access to necessities like clean water, good hygiene and basic medical care so that they can spend more time in school and earning a living than gathering food and water. It’s an empowering program that helps enrich communities around the world.  If you’re so inspired, you can donate to our team by clicking on the graphic below.

I hope to call you teammate soon! Do good, feel good, always, Scooters.

What are your favorite charity events? Have you ever participated in a virtual fundraising event before? Tell me all about it!

Building Each Other Up

I met Nicole DeBoom when I stopped in the Skirt Sports warehouse to pick up a Christmas gift for Mer last year, and my girl crush started then. Not because she’s the Ironman winner, a successful entrepreneur, or because she is hilarious, but because she is real. Authentic. I know that word gets thrown around a lot these days, but you know when it’s genuine and when it isn’t. Nicole is the real deal, and so is her message.

At a recent event, she shared a few stories. Stories about how she made her first running skirt an wore it as she won 2004 Ironman Wisconsin, and of her calling to help women change their lives. And in this video, she shared the story of her daughter’s birth, and, trust me, it was one for the books. My sides were aching by the time she finished. She is the cutest.

Earlier this year, she started a Podcast called “Run This World” where she talks with “…visionaries who are creating change in the world”. Nicole and her guests go deep, and they aren’t afraid to be honest about the struggles they’ve had on their journey. They share their stories with us, and in doing so, empower us to tackle our own challenges with grace and self acceptance. This is why I enjoy working with Skirt Sports, because they are genuine in their goal to help women feel feed good in their skin and in life.

Nicole in the skirt that would inspire Skirt Sports

Nicole in the skirt that would inspire Skirt Sports

My favorite episode so far was an interview with Kara Burns titled “From Prison to 26.2”. By the title you can guess what it was about. I was so touched by Kara’s forgiveness of herself and her determination to move on from her past. Kara reminded me that no matter how hard we think something is, it can be overcome with discipline and determination. She was so honest about her mistakes and their consequences, and she didn’t shirk from  the pain she caused those she loves the most. She is a beautiful soul, and I hope to meet her at a Skirt event one of these days. Her positivity and was truly inspiring.

nd_podcastgraphic_flirt

Every episode has the same root message, love and positivity. We can always use more of that! Nicole and her guests inspire us to pursue our goals and keep sight of what’s truly important.  Next time you go for a run, check her out. Each episode lasts about 45 minutes, so they’re perfect for tuning in while you get in a few quick miles. I highly recommend it!

 

What do you like to listen to while training? What’s your favorite Podcast?

Save

How To Cheer a Friend at Her First Marathon (991 Miles Away)

First step: Realize that your friend is running her first FULL MARATHON when she posts pictures of herself with an astronaut buddy on Instagram.

Immediately text her and demand to know all the details, including how to track her. Confirm she’s running for funsies and that it’s okay to send her texts throughout her race (yes and yes).

This was the picture that tipped me off. I don’t know where I’ve been but as soon as I realized Holy schnikes, she’s doing a the FULL marathon I was texting that adorable little hand holder.

Second step: Wake up at 6:30am on a Sunday morning. Stalk the Twitter feed to get all aflutter when you realize that they started the race at exactly 6:32.

Third step: Decide that not only are you going to send TEXTS but you’re going to make motivational signs and text/tweet/Facebook her at appropriate times. Why? Because when you do something, you like to do it BIG.

Lay in bed and create them on phone (thanks to A Beautiful Mess and Word Dream apps) while your husband asks, “What in the world are you doing over there?”

Fourth step: Proceed to drain her battery with cheering! #sorrynotsorry

legends

beautifulmiserable

idiot

If you need help thinking of fun marathon signs, just search Google Images. I started there because it was early and my mind wasn’t fully engaged. As the day went on, I got more creative.

halfwaythere

I’m sure they really appreciated that “only” modifier in there!

gilmoregirlsmarathon

Yeah, they both have to work.

Yeah, they both have to work.

Got a text from Ash saying she was around mile 25, so I sent this one.

Got a text from Ash saying she was around mile 25, so I whipped up this one lickety split. The beauty of cheering via the internet!

And finally, the tweet I was waiting for… they FINISHED the Space Coast Marathon.

262

I am so happy for Ashley and Michelle and their awesome accomplishment! Sure, I wasn’t there handing them shots or beers (um, and I hear that happens on this course) but it almost felt like I was right there along with them.

Ash has promised a play-by-play guest post for Scoot a Doot, so be sure to look for that… and if you see Ash and Michelle around the internet, make sure to congratulate the marathoners!

Who else was at Space Coast? I hear it is a heck of a lot of F-U-N!

Show ‘Em Your Rack, A Tutorial

A while back, I posted about my plan to make a medal rack and share it with you, and this weekend, the planets finally aligned to allow me the time to get my craft on. Of course, there are a few things that always make DIY projects better.

Things like a snowy morning.

snow

And Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Colin Firth IS Mr. Darcy.

So, now that we’re all in agreement on that, let’s proceed, shall we? Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

supplies

Supplies:                                                                                                                                                                                   

Wood plaque of your choice                                            Chalkboard Paint                                                        Magnetic Clips

Primer                                                                                       2 Coat Hooks                                                                 Aluminum or Tin Strip

Paint Tinted color of your Choice                                Picture Frame Hook and Nails

Tools:________________________________________________________________________

Hammer                                                                                  Ruler                                                                              Level

Pencil                                                                                       Marker                                                                           Sandpaper or Sanding Block

Drill  or Screwdrivers                                                       Painter’s Tape                                                             Bristle Paintbrush

Foam Tip Paint Brush                                                      Fine Tipped Paint Brush for Touching Up

______________________________________________________________________________________

Step 1: Using a fine grit sandpaper or sanding block, lightly sand any rough areas on your wood piece. Pay attention to edges and corner in particular.

Step 2: Using a piece of paper, make a template for your chalkboard area to help you decide where you want it on your plaque. Once you have decided on placement, mark the corners with a pencil.

Step 2

Step 3: Using a ruler and pencil, outline the desired area. Make sure your lines are straight and centered. Tape off the inside of your area with painters tape. Later you will paint the inside of your rectangle with chalkboard paint.

step3

Step 4: Paint your plaque with primer. Be careful not to get any in the taped off area. Let dry.

step4

Step 5: Paint over the primer with your tinted paint. Let dry.

step5

Step 6: Paint a second coat of your colored paint. Once it’s dry, remove the painter’s tape.

step6

Step 7: Tape off the painted area around your chalkboard area. Paint the bare wood with two coats of primer. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly, and sand lightly between coats. This will help ensure a smoother writing surface once the chalkboard paint is applied.

step7b

Step 8: Apply two coats or chalkboard paint, allowing each coat to dry completely between coats.

chalk1

Step 9: After the chalkboard paint is dry, remove the tape. Touch up any areas with a small tipped paint brush if needed.

chalktouchup3

Step 10: Affix the tin strip (or pieces, as the case may be). Decide where you want your bibs to hang, and using a pencil, outline the strip. Nail in place. I had some tin tiles laying around my house, and used tin snips to cut them to the desired shape and size.

tin Collage

Step 11: Affix the picture frame hanger on the back. First, find the center of your plaque and mark it with a pencil. Then, find the center of the hanger and mark it with a marker. Next, align the two marks and nail your hanger to your plaque.

hanger collage

Hanger Collage 2

Step 12: Affix your medal hooks. Decide where you want them to go, and mark the screw holes with a pencil. It’s easier to start the holes using a drill and a bit. Using the hardware that came with your hooks, attach them to your plaque.

hooks

hook Collage

Step 13: Celebrate because YOU ARE DONE. And you rock! All that is left to do is hang your new medal rack. Then, attach your bibs to the clips and hang your bling from the hooks. Look how awesome you are!

I had my magnetic clips a little crooked in this shot, but you get the idea.

I had my magnetic clips a little crooked in this shot, but you get the idea.

finished Collage

 

I am loving how this project turned out. Now, I just need more medals to hang from it!

How do you display your medals? Have you made your own rack, or anything else, for that matter? Tell me all about it in the comments!

#Journey2Million Round-Up (Hint, We Still Rock)

We know it’s not news, but Team Scootadoot continues to be amazing! We’ve logged over a thousand miles for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s #Journey2aMillion event, and the month is not over yet!

ALS_MID-MONTH

You guys own us. It’s true. To show our love, we’re handing out a few tokens of appreciation!

Mid-Month-Round-Up

The event wraps up next week, but we’ve still got 8 days to knock it out of the park. And we will, because we’re awesome like that! If you’d like to join us, it’s not too late to help us make an impact. We’re doing great things together here, folks.

 

 

500 Down, 2000 To Go On Our #Journey2aMillion

YOU GUYYYYS. I cannot even. I seriously Can.Not Even. We are barely 9 days into September and we’ve reached 20% of our #Journey2aMillion mileage AND fundraising goals. So yeah, I cannot even begin to tell you how amazingly, wonderfully, fantastically, stupendous you all are!

wk1roundup

Of course numbers are great. Goals are great. Meeting goals is even better. But the best part about our 425 miles and $500 is that we’re doing it together. Nothing is better than that. That’s why we’re giving out a few pretty prizes this week just (and every week this month) for being a part of the team!

WK1WINNERS

Bonnie

Every year, we ask you to join our team and donate your miles to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Every year, we are awed and inspired by your generosity and commitment. All the kiddos fighting the good fight are grateful for you, and so are we.

There’s always time to join the team (if you haven’t already).

Thanks to Racedots and KatieK Active for their kickin’ prize donations!

 

Let’s ROCK Our #Journey2aMillion, Team Scootadoot!

Today is the BIG DAY, Team Scootadoot! What’s the occasion, you ask? We’re so glad you asked! Today kicks off our #journey2aMillion miles together! Starting today, we’re pooling our miles and our fundraising efforts to tell cancer to SUCK IT. Our team has certainly grown over the last week, and we’re SO HAPPY to have all of you join us on this journey! We’re doing good things here, folks.

2015_CCA_FB_bannerFor the last two years, our team has come together to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and it’s not too late to join this year’s team! You can join us anytime this month, but everyone who joins the team by midnight tonight will be entered to win a pack of Racedots!

racedots

Today at 3:00 pm eastern (noon Pacific), we will take our first steps in our journey together in the First Mile kick-off event. Let’s go out there and get in our first miles knowing that we’re united in our intention to do good, feel good, and make an impact.

Gooooooooo, Team Scootadoot!

The First Mile is the Sweetest (On Our #Journey2aMillion )

Every year since our blog started we have hosted a team for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Million Mile month. During the month of September we get together, all over the country, and log miles to raise awareness while telling pediatric cancer to SUCK IT. Over the last two years, our team has logged a total of 3,413 miles and raised over $4,100.00 for pediatric cancer research. Not too shabby at all, we thinks!

2015_AMM_FB_banner_public draft3

We would love for you to join us! You can join the team now, or anytime in September. There’s no fundraising required (unless you would LIKE to) and it’s a great way to join in a community driven campaign! We have A LOT of fun supporting this important cause, it’s super easy to log your miles, and we’ll be giving away some fun prizes! This year, we’re mixing it up by giving away prizes randomly throughout the month, and everyone will have an equal chance of winning any of the prizes! After all, we’re a team!

A peek at some of the treasures in the #Journey2aMillion Giveaway Kitty

Once you join the team, you can log your miles using your FitBit, the MapMyFitness App, or you can track your miles manually like always. You can read more about that here. We love that we can use our FitBit to track our mileage, it means every step we take will count toward the Million Mile goal!

The month long event kicks off on Tuesday with the First Mile. Imagine people all over the country (and the world), raising awareness and fighting cancer by walking, running, or biking their first mile at the same time. YES. We’re talking POWERFUL, people! At 3:00 PM ET we’re walking together in spirit and in cause, our hearts untied and our legs in unison! You’ll need to register for the First Mile, but it’s a snap! And we’re a fun bunch, we promise!

lemonfacers

No #lemonfacechallenge is required of course, but there *might* be a giveaway for anyone who does it. Maybe. Possibly. Probably. Yes.