Memories of 26.2 Miles through San Francisco

6 years ago today I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon through San Francisco. I loved that race and I like to think it loved me back!  Just to take a trip down memory lane here’s a repost of that race report.  Originally posted here

 

I traveled, I ran and I came home with the signature Tiffany blue box. Yep, this past weekend I made a whirlwind trip from Mississippi to San Francisco to run in the 2011 Nike Women’s Marathon. For 5 years I’ve entered lottery only to be turned down till this year.  In the meantime I’ve ran in 6 marathons with 1 DNF (did not finish) and since August 2010 I’ve been chasing #6 finishers medal. In August of 2010 I planned on running a marathon only to be plagued with injuries. Then in January 2011 I went to Georgia to get #6 finishers medal only to have to throw in the towel with three miles to go.  Then in August of this year I had planned on running the race I wanted to do in August of 2010  but I backed out at the beginning of August so that I could concentrate on the Nike Marathon. So needless to say #6 was worth the wait.

Friday at  9 A.M. I flew out to San Francisco arriving at 1 p.m. busting with pure excitement. I couldn’t wait to see the pink Nike tent and all that awaited. I knew that if Nike was involved it was going to be an awesome event. And it was.  The Nike Expo was located centrally in downtown San Francisco at Union Square. Fortunately it wasn’t far from my hotel, two blocks.

 

From the beginning Nike made it so easy and so much fun to be there.  They had people from the start directing folks to the correct area that we needed to go and if there were any problems they handled them with great ease.  Gatorade was a sponsor so there was nice little area set up so that you could sample what would be on the race course.

Next Neutrogena had an awesome booth that let you sample their products plus sent home some nice samples as well. It was like a mini facial.

Paul Mitchell staff was on sight to help style hair.

While all of this is going on there was a phenomenal DJ rocking the place.

It was so much fun just hanging out. In addition  there was a relaxation area where you could prop your feet up in massaging chairs.

In the back of the expo was Nike’s main area.  In one area there was gait analysis, sport bra fittings and photo ops as well.   They also had several laptops set up so that we could set up our Facebook to request automatic updates to out statuses while we were running.  Outside the expo several other booths were set up as well.  It was definitely a fun and upbeat place to be. They also had a small little booth set up outside (think porta potty small) with last minute race essentials.

Across the street was Niketown and of course, Tiffany’s!!  Fun little thing is that Nike had a huge wall with all the participants names listed.  It was exciting to see my name. It made it all a little more real that I was about to run 26.2 miles.

 

After cruising through Niketown and purchasing a few souvenoirs  I headed back to the hotel to change clothes stretch my legs out and then we were headed to Alcatrez for a night tour.

I highly recommend it if you ever go.  However before we could leave I realized that on our way there we had to go back to the Expo.  Somehow I realized that I was given a half-marathon bib instead of a full marathon.  Fortunately, the folks made it super easy to switch it out and we were on our merry way..

Saturday I wanted to see as much of San Francisco as possible with little walking as possible. The tour company Mr. Toad’s was just the way to go. I had to book our tour before going out there so in advance we knew to meet them at Fisherman’s Wharf.  So after doing the tourist thing and taking the trolley down to Fisherman’s Wharf we spent the next 3 hours touring San Francisco from a 1922 Rambler.

We got out twice to see a few things and to stretch our legs.  First stop was at China Town where we checked out the little shop where they make fortune cookies.It was actually interesting to watch since there was only three ladies doing these by hand. They make approximately 20,000 of these every year!  Next door was fellow who played his violin outside his barbershop. Apparently his quit famous around there. He’s even starred in a movie or two. Pursuit of Happiness was his proudest appearance from what I gathered.

If your ever in the San Fran area and want to see a lot in a short amount of time I highly recommend Mr. Toads Tours.  They really make it fun, enjoyable and you won’t kill your legs climbing hills trying to see everything.

Saturday night was pretty low key.I was pretty tired from the day before and actually fell asleep pretty early.  I was relieved when I woke up Sunday morning knowing I had slept well. Sunday morning getting ready was easy. Had a decent little breakfast and then it was off to get my Tiffany necklace.  From the moment I stepped out the hotel the streets were packed almost an hour before the race was scheduled to start. The city was booming with music, lights and videos being projected on to screens.  Nike even had someone to help warm up the crowd. I personally just watched the warmup. That’s what the first 3 miles are for right?

So after a relaxed start I was off to complete my marathon. The first two miles were easy but mile number three introduced me to my first hill. Immediately I thought, “Oh crap!” I immediately knew that I had to walk the hills in order to make it.  Miles three and four were rough but it was mile seven that really got me.  It was the never ending  uphill.  It’s a hill I never want to see ever again!  Then the downhill was just as hard.  I felt certain that if someone bumped into me I was going to roll downhill!! It was pretty steep.  Miles nine and ten were steady inclines as well.  The whole first half was just brutal with hills.

The second half wasn’t as nearly as bad.  My hips were feeling the effects of the hills but I feel like I went into the second half feeling pretty good.  The only time I ever started feeling tired was when they took us around Lake Merced.  A lot of people didn’t like the route I learned as I was chatting with folks while we were running.  The didn’t like the traffic part but it gave me something to look at. It kept me entertained.  The thing that was hardest for me was the fact that up until that point it had been cloudy most of the day but the sun started coming out  and it was zapping some of my energy.  However at some point it went away and after a much needed potty break I felt ready to go again. Also on the way to Lake Merced and to the finish line was a beautiful view of the beach.  Yes it was a long stretch of it but it’s not something I personally get to see everyday. It was fun to watch the surfers and it gave me a mental break from what I was doing.

The whole race I had been running off of heart rate instead of pace.  My goal was to keep it above 145 but I didn’t want it going pass 155. I think once it did but other than that I probably had a harder time pushing it up to 155.  My hips were just fatigued and didn’t have the strength to push like I wish they would.  Mentally I feel like I held up really well.   I never questioned myself or doubted myself. I knew what I had to do and that was that.

The finish line was a sweet sweet sight. And the prize was just as phenomenal as I had hoped.  My little blue box I’ve been wanting was just beautiful.

 

It’s definitely the best finisher’s medal I’ve gotten to date! It’ll be hard to top that one!

The post race set up was a little weak.  They were out of fruit and the finishers tee didn’t have my size.  Neutrogena did have a set up with face wipes that was much needed especially since I had my finishers photo taken with some hunky firefighters!

There was chocolate milk available and a really neat stretching area as well.

I also highly recommend purchasing the post race shuttle tickets because I was in no shape to try to figure out how to get back to my hotel. The shuttle took us back to Union Square which was plenty close enough since I was only two blocks away.

Monday I’m back in Mississippi with a little fatigue and some mild soreness.  It was a very fast, fun and busy weekend.  A lot of flying, and a lot running.  Would I run NWM 26.2 again? Probably not. I can say I’ve been there, done that and got the blue box.  A lot people have done that race repeatedly and just love it.  I would give it an A- just because of the finisher’s t-shirt issue but overall I would recommend to a girl friend to run. It’s a fun race, it’s entertaining, it’s challenging and the course is well supported.

I’m so glad this race was my #6 finishing race.  It was well worth the hard work and wait.

The First Mile is a Liar

I know anyone who has ever visited this site more than once thinks I have completely abandoned my little world here on the world wide web. I haven’t. I like to think I’ve been on a really  long holiday. So here I am today with a few post run (okay, run/walk) thoughts.

First thing, the first mile always is a dirty liar!  This morning the weather was amazing and my workout schedule has been totally on point so there was no way I was passing up an opportunity.  I started off with a nice warm up (aka…..walking) then I went into a very gentle run with a nice ratio of walking included. That’s when  the mileage started whispering it’s dirty lies to me telling me how heavy I felt, how  slow I was and that I was just tired. It’s that feeling as if a two year old was hanging on to each leg refusing to let go as I tried to progress. My whole being said “GO HOME!” Luckily before I knew it, I was in the thick of mind clearing remembrances (oh yeah I need to call so and so,  oh yeah I need to get that order out, oh yeah I need to start the washer).  By mile three I was golden!

So this morning the temperature at 5 a.m. was a beautiful 55 degrees! I was totally in bliss with this. I was ready to pull out the blankets  paired with a stout cup of coffee. I wanted comfy sweatshirts and sweaters with scarves and gloves.  I was ready to pack the house up and say ” We’re moving to Vancouver!” (I’m sure the leaves are changing in Vancouver but if not don’t spoil it for me. Just let me think it!).  I wanted to pair it all up with a good book and a fireplace (p.s. I don’t have a fireplace but a girl can dream).

Then I started thinking (this was heading into mile 3) that I was ready for some type of adventure. Maybe a race. Marathon maybe?  That reminded me of when I was 10 or so I saw this program on PBS and they were talking  about corporate adventure racers. These people were kayaking through the Amazons and hiking through the mountains.  I remember thinking, “I want to do that!” I was ready to drink the Kool Aid! They explained how to take short steps up the hills to get up the mountain  faster and immediately I was practicing these things on the one tiny hill near my house which was located on flat lands in south Mississippi. I was a 10 year old girl who lived a very sheltered life and was blown away that these things were possible. There was more out there than what sleepy town USA had to offer me. There was more than getting up, going to work , punching the clock, rinse and repeat.  Whatever  stirred  inside me  at  10 years old and is still laying there inside me today.  The thought of an adventure of any sort gets me  excited. I don’t think that needs to be wasted (as I have, obviously).

Finally this mornings cool brisk run/walk led me to   remember this……..

That’s about all I have today. Nothing Earth shattering. Just me being me. Hope you a have a fabulous day!

Cheers!

 

 

Day 1

It’s spring. The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping. People are emerging from their houses looking at longer days and warmer weather. That also means………..less clothes. UGH.

And you know, for me it’s not about the “lesser clothes” issue but it’s a reminder of what I’m not accomplishing. Sure I’ve been making weak attempts at being a better version of myself. VERY. WEAK. ATTEMPTS.

I have to have some accountability. Even if no one is reading this. I just need the habit of making myself do something good. A streak so to speak.

Preferably at the end of the day. So I can post my food journal. You know, for EVERYONE to see.

Here’s to Day 1.

Cheers!

 

Restart

anybody

Okay, tell me if you’ve heard this one.  Girl is a runner and a gym rat. She decides to start a blog so she can share all about her adventures and along the way she managed to gain weight instead of maintain or lose. So she loses  the weight and shares that on the blog. Then she gains it back and stops blogging. So have you heard of that one before?

My intentions were to be at least 20 lbs lighter by now. But as always I let excuses and a huge dose of laziness take over. It’s like I wanted to pretend it wasn’t THAT bad and if threw on some Spanx maybe no one would notice.

spanx

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It’s incredibly awful.  It’s frustrating and mentally tiring. I have no one to blame except myself.

At this point you may be asking…………what’s your point? Well, a couple of years ago after being called pregnant (when I was not) in a huge way  (“Oh good your pregnant, I thought you had just gotten fat!” True story, it was said out loud to me) and I got pissed about it (a rant about it here) I said enough is enough and I gave myself 6 months to lose the weight. Well, here I am again. This time I know that when I lose it I’ll have to continue to fight for it. That’s my point.

Friday’s are weigh in day. I have to count calories, log them in and do the workouts. It truly has to be a lifestyle change. A mindset change as well. It’s not like I don’t know what to do or how to do it.

And also keep in mind  that I’m not saying my way is the only way or the right way…..it’s just what works for me.

Feel free to keep up with me here, here or here as I breathe life back into this quiet little blog. I’m praying for big, bold changes that are all good.

Till next time……….

Cheers! 

Musings and Ramblings

My last post was about procrastination. Guess who hasn’t posted since then? Yep. Me. So so sad. It’s not that I don’t care but to some degree I just needed a break. Mentally.

I’m still here. Silent but still here. I’ve tossed around the idea of taking the site down but it doesn’t feel right. I love my little bit of Internet space.

I was reminded by one my sweet lovies, right after she discovered I had a website, that I’m a motivator. I motivate people. And it’s true. I love encouraging and motivating others to be the best version of themselves they can be. So sometimes you will see several large chunks of time between post and other times you’ll multiple post. It’s just part of it.

So if you’re reading this (and all my horrible grammar) then be patient with me. I haven’t left. I’m just taking my sweet precious time.

Till next time…………..

Cheers!

Confessions of A Procrastinator

Hello, my name is Brandy, and I procrastinate. A few minutes becomes in a couple hours followed by later today which turns into first thing tomorrow morning and that becomes I’ll tell Siri to remind tonight and so on and so on. Which leads to today…………….80 days later. Ugh. Then today I came across this post………….Tomorrow – New and No Mistakes, YET!! It is written by my cousin (cousin by marriage actually) and it inspired me to stop procrastinating! It’s like she said/quoted, well actually L.M. Montgomery said “isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

Yes thank goodness!!

I also tend to overthink things to the point that by the time I get to where I need to be I’m mentally zapped. I’m also guilty of overplanning. I think that if I have the perfect schedule/plan I’ll be fool proof. Or if I do this, this and this then I can get this done. Instead, I’m exhausted mentally and physically. I like to think I dream big which can be good and bad. I dream so big sometimes I just do nothing because I don’t know where to start so I just don’t do.  Sometimes (and I do me sometimes) it’s best to rip the bandaid off and just do. A cold cannonball jump will get you moving.

So here’s to a optimistic tomorrow! May my day be productive, enjoyable and perfectly planned.

 

Cheers! 

 

Confession

confession

Well, it’s never easy to confess.  It humbling and it hurts. I think I would rather pull ten band-aids off at one time rather than confess. It won’t be a long post, but it is a needed post.

I’ve gained my weight back. I’m right back where I started.

sigh

 

After my dad passed away I self soothed by eating. I didn’t want to and I didn’t plan it. It just happened. The worst part………I get to wear my feelings, sins and anything else you can think of on my hips for the world to see.

So I have a plan. It’s pretty basic and simple……count calories and workout. So there you have it. Now that I’ve confessed my ways for the world I move forward. I look forward to seeing more often.

Cheers!

Thankful #10

Thankful November

 

I am thankful for dirty dishes and a messy kitchen

Thankful for dirty dishes

 

I’m ever so thankful for a messy kitchen because that means I have a kitchen. I have some place to make messy. I’m thankful for dirty dishes and a messy kitchen because that means I have food to cook and enjoy. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly and place to lay my head at night. I’m safe and loved.

What are you thankful for?

~Cheers!

Thankful #5

Thankful November

I am thankful for patient people in my life.

I had a rough day today. It was stressful. I couldn’t find anything, nothing was where it should be and I was tired and snappy. Those around me could have lashed out at me for not being more organized or for being so snappy or for just being me but instead they gave me grace and space.   I am so grateful for that. I’m going to bed and tomorrow will be a new day.

~Cheers

Thankful #4

Thankful November

I am thankful for our home.

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I have a thing for small houses. I love an older home with charm and history but I think our home is perfect for us. We’ve lived here for ten  years now but our home is newer. When everyone we know was looking for bigger and better we found this small place and fell in love with it.  I love the coziness of it. Sure I would love to have a designated office and a true laundry room instead of a laundry closet but truth be told what we have just works really well for us. A couple of years ago we added on a beautiful covered porch so my love for the home grew even more!  I think a small home (if your responsible) keeps a person from owning too much stuff. If you do, then you’ll likely find yourself very cramped.  Putting all that aside I love our house because it fits us. It gives us freedom to do other things rather than cleaning a bigger home, repairing a bigger home, supplying a bigger home. I love that our house is just minutes from everything we need. We  live in a neighborhood where children can travel around safely. There’s only one entrance and all the streets are cul-de-sac. Another bonus is  I get to walk out my front door and take off running and get in a comfortable 3 miles. No country roads to fight and I don’t have to drive anywhere to run if I  don’t want to. It truly is just a perfect little place for us.

I also am so thankful that I have a roof over my head, a warm bed and place to call home.

And that’s why I am thankful for my home.

What are you thankful for?

~Cheers!

Thankful #3

I am thankful for the rain.

rainy days

We have had a really dry summer and until two weekends ago, a dry fall. I mean, it’s not like have a garden that needs watering I just enjoy rain. Nothing treacherous or damaging. I’ve never been to Oregon but its that kind of weather I would imagine they have that I think I would like (notice a lot of “I thinks” in that statement). Anyways, I love sun and sand and all things beachy. I could move to Hawaii and live my days away there in the surf but I’m enjoy a good rain day (or two or three).  I love how it washes everything clean  even though there are mud puddles.

singing in the rain

I love umbrellas and rain boots.

rain

.I love running in the rain  (a light rain). So when I have rainy days, I tend to be thankful.

What are you thankful for?

~Cheers!

two ducks

Thankful #2

Thankful November

I am so thankful for early morning quiet times and the amazing sunrises that come with it. I love walking out my door and knowing that moments like this are just waiting for me.

purple sky

It doesn’t matter where I go, the world normally has some type of view just waiting to be found. Sure I could skip taking pictures but it feels selfish not sharing this.

Sunrise somewhere
Sunrise somewhere
Sunrise at Sunfish Triathlon in Meridian, MS
Sunrise at Sunfish Triathlon in Meridian, MS
Sunrise somewhere in Ohio
Sunrise somewhere in Ohio
Sunrise on the Longleaf Trace in Hattiesburg, MS
Sunrise on the Longleaf Trace in Hattiesburg, MS

I personally think it’s the best time of the day. The world is still quiet and the sky comes in some amazing colors.

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Most the time I catch these sunrises thanks to running other times it comes just from me sitting on my front porch while I read. I find that this time is so important to keep me in my happy place.

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Sunsets are great but starting the day fresh, new and waiting to see what the day brings is the best part!

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What are you grateful and thankful for?

~Cheers!

P.S. You can find more sunrises and peeks into my quiet time on Instagram.

 

Motivational Monday

motivational monday

A couple of positive thoughts to start the day and the week………..

You can’t be positive while being negative.

think positive

drink water happens icandothis one pound at a time positive

~Cheers!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.-Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Hello November

Hello november

Can you believe it? Another month gone and another month here. November is my favorite because……

  1. It’s like the mother of them all for fall. It’s like the last hoorah to get in all things fall…

fall

2. The food is just amazing…….

Thanksgiving-dinner

And the best part……………

itsmybirthdaymonth

My intentions for this month was to run a marathon my birthday weekend or close to it but I couldn’t find one I just absolutely loved. However I’ll be training my legs off for the Rock and Roll New Orleans Marathon. It’s not until February but the clock is ticking down so I’ve got to train or it will be ugly!

So it’s November and that means I’ll be sharing my list of what I’m thankful for until Thanksgiving. I’m thankful everyday but this month I like to share the love and gratitude with you guys (lucky you). Starting with today (since it is November 1 you know) I am grateful for my hubby. I know it sounds cheesy to go straight there but I have to say I really am grateful for him. He makes me laugh and he drives me crazy and supports me. We spend our whole lives trying to find “the one” and I’ve made it. We’re not perfect, he lets me be weird and he doesn’t try to change me. He loves me for me. He makes life, love and marriage easy. He never makes me feel like I have be some version of myself I’m not. If I have a bad day he knows to let me have space.  If I fail at something he doesn’t make things worse by reiterating how I failed. I’m grateful for him everyday.

So what are you grateful for?

~Cheers