Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I Am A Runner

I am a runner.  I have never been anything else. This blood runs deep. I have given the streets my triumphs, beliefs, stresses and fears. I am more than a woman, more than a wife, more than an athlete. I merge fashion, function and style. I run the runway. I work harder, train longer and reach farther everyday. To be better than myself, I compete against myself. I dream bigger than life and work tirelessly to become my dreams. I live in the moment, but train for something better. I dance, dream, love, live, and run. I speak softly and run fiercely. You may say you don’t know me, but I know you.

You are a runner.

You rise before the sun. You smile and wave as I run past. You stutter step while waiting for the light to turn green. Some might say your pants are too tight, shorts are too short or you are too skinny. Jealously hurts. Running heals all wounds. To them you are superhuman. You are a runner. You make the rules. You make your street the playground. You call the shots. You push through the pain. You are my inspiration.

Who are we?

We are your crew. We run faster. We run farther. We run together. We run the elements. We run the night. We run to believe in something bigger. We run to dream. We run to live. We run for now.

We Run Free.

We Run DC.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Turn Your Dreams into Reality

For dreams to come true you must write them down and never stop reaching towards them. You must constantly strive to find new ways to work harder and learn more. I started to implement this principle after reading Nike Global Yoga Ambassador Leah Kim's book, From Office Hell to Yoga Heaven, on how she became a yoga instructor sought worldwide and represents one of the biggest names in the athletic world, Nike.

Her book made me realize that I hadn't been writing down my dreams and I had only been thinking about them, keeping them hidden from the world. With the advance of social media, blogs, and youtube, you can write down almost anything and share it with the world. These resources have helped me seek out new opportunities and write down my goals and aspirations, effectively causing me to work hard to achieve success.

Today is another chance for me to share what has become of the goals I have written down and how I am working towards goals that are still to come true and setting new ones.

Completed Goals:

  • Top 10 in the 2010 Nike Field Reporter Competition (so close to this dream!)
  • Black Belt in Taekwondo
  • 2012 Nike Women's Marathon Ambassador for Nike Women
  • 2013 Athleta Sponsored Athlete
  • Run Club Leader 
  • Run Hood to Coast with Team Nuun Hydration (will complete in August)
  • Nuun Ambassador, Fitfluential Ambassador, Sweat Pink Ambassador
  • Work in social media
  • Connect with Nike employees - met amazing Nike representatives at NWM 12 and via Twitter I was able to speak with a Nike Digital Recruiter. 
  • Run a sub 2-hour half marathon (1:53!)
Current Goals:

  • Become part of a Crew for Nike and represent them at Nike Women's Marathon SF 2013
    • I am inspired by the NWM Runway Crew, SF Runway Crew and SheRunsLA Crew
  • Work for Nike in event planning, social media, or Nike Women
  • Participate in a Nike Running photoshoot
  • Run a 3:45 Marathon (Follow-up goal, qualify for Boston Marathon!)
  • Complete a race in Europe and Australia
  • Run for a cause - I want to run for Crohn's disease, which is an illness my sister fights everyday
As you can see, the majority of my goals are athletic related. I am a very fitness oriented person and running allows me to express myself everyday. If I could turn this love of running and motivating others into a career, or even an insanely fun hobby, I would do it in a heartbeat.

These are the goals I am working towards this year. I'll keep you updated on my progress and if you have any ideas to help me reach them I welcome your advice, assistance and mentorship!


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dare I Say It...Race Budget Time is Here

Next Sunday, April 28, 2013, I will run the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon in Washington, DC. I am extremely excited and can't wait to spend my birthday exploring our beautiful Capital city. The Tiffany's Finisher Necklace, friends, and Nike swag are pretty exciting too! This will be my first destination race, as I will be traveling across the country for it. I can't wait to run. It has also brought up the need for me to implement racing budgets. Yes, I cringed when I typed that word. 

Budgets are my least favorite thing when it comes to planning my race calendar and training. But, one that must be addressed. I do a relative few number of races per year, mainly due to money and partly to make myself adequately able to train for the ones that I REALLY want to do, aka: Nike Women Races, the Hood to Coast Relay and a few races with my close friends. I've never had a specific racing/training budget, but this year it has come to my attention that I should really start planning out my year ahead of time and budgeting a certain amount.

I also have started wanting to do more destination races, which are not any cheaper! Yes, Sydney Australia Marathon and Nike She Runs race down under, I will run you someday! China Wall Marathon, hopefully. London Marathon, absolutely! I have learned so much about cities and the streets by running, I can't imagine a better way to explore a new place. Of course, coming home with a great finisher's medal is awesome too. I think you can see my predicament: travel + race fees + training gear = Budget! 

Since I can't see myself being sponsored to travel the world to race quite yet, (though Nike - if you are listening, I'd love to run for you or work as an event organizer, I would be great at it), my only solution is to start a race fund and that starts with a monthly budget devoted to racing! 

Since I have no idea where to start, I need some help from you, my faithful racing friends. How much do you budget to racing monthly and how do you choose what races you will do each year? Do you have vacations planned around races? 

Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated! And if you know of anyone who wants to sponsor me to travel the world.... that would be great too.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Made the Team!

I Made the Blogger Team!

Today was the day I have been waiting for since I submitted my application to Nuun Hydration to run Hood to Coast on their team. I woke up multiple times during the night and even had a few nightmares about NOT making the team. I was a nervous wreck, seriously! I have wanted to do this race so badly for awhile. I am from Oregon and was at the finish in Seaside about five years ago. There were so many happy, accomplished runners there and I wanted to experience that myself. 

I applied this last year but did not make it into the lottery. As luck would have it, Nuun hydration was putting together two teams of female bloggers and I applied to be on their team. I really want to run this race because:

  • I am from Oregon and this race is in my home state!
  • I put on my Athleta Sponsored Athlete goals that I would run Hood to Coast with them and then didn't make the lottery - I was devastated.
  • I want to take on this challenge with other female bloggers
  • I want my first relay to be Hood to Coast
  • I love that the race is sponsored by Nike
This morning I checked my email and the Nuun Blog repeatedly to see if I made the team. Finally, around 10am the names were posted! I anxiously scrolled down the list and there it was, my name! I had made the team! You can check out their announcement post here. I quickly sent texts to everyone who had supported me and helped me make my video. It was a great morning and I am on cloud nine! I am so excited to meet all the other women who made the team and have a blast together this August! 

Congratulations to all the women who will be running Hood to Coast. I look forward to seeing you all there! Follow my journey here and on Twitter. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston On My Mind

Monday was suppose to be a day of joy. I followed the Boston Marathon all morning long and was excited to see the elite runners push their bodies so far and achieve so much. I'm not sure if I'll ever be fast enough to cross that finish line or qualify for the race, but watching those that are, that have fought to get there, is always inspiring. One of my friends, Tiara, is training right now to get to Boston 2014 and she has made sacrifices and changes in her life that only following a dream will allow. She pushes her body every day to achieve greatness. She is my inspiration and the reason I have been thinking about seriously training to run Boston. The sadness, devastation, and destruction that the bombing created is inexcusable. It took lives, sparked fear, and brought a day that should have been about triumph and achievement into a small hell. It wasn't fair of the bomber to do, to crush dreams like that. 

The heroes that arose will never be forgotten. The power of the running community bonded through tragedy both in Boston and in the social media sphere is inspiring. Runners are a resilient group of people. We put ourselves through pain in training, make sacrifices in life, wake up at the crack of dawn all to train for just a few events in which most of us will never win. We do it because of the feeling we get from achieving our own personal best times and for encouraging others along the way.

Runners around the country and world are running today in remembrance of Boston. We have banded together as crews, groups, friends and individuals to honor those who could not achieve their dreams. We run to show the world that we will not back down. We are the strong, the brave, the resilient. We #RunForBoston. 

Life goes on and it would be a shame to ruin the moments that make runners who they are and not to share the triumphs. This week I had a personal design session set up with NIKEiD set for Tuesday. I have been excited about talking with the Nike design team and creating my own shoe for quite some time. It was a fun experience and allowed me to see how designers work and what they look for in their shoe inspiration. Today I built my own shoe via a video chat with a Nike designer. My design was inspired by my home state of Oregon and the Oregon Ducks and their green and yellow colors. Also, green is my favorite color and had to be in the design. The blue and grey reflect the Oregon rain and cloudy skies. I also wanted to include the blue and yellow tones to remember Boston, if only in a small way. I put my mantra "Run Fierce" on the shoes to push me onward in my training and remind me to push harder when I feel like slowing down. 

NIKEiD shoes take 4-6 weeks to arrive because they are custom made in the factory, so they should be here by the end of May. It is going to be so hard to wait! I can't wait to try the new Nike Free Run design and put them into my training cycle. Stay tuned for my review and for pictures when they arrive. Until then, I hope you are all running fierce!

The Shoes I Designed with NIKEiD!

I also got an exclusive email invite from the Run Nike Women DC series to attend a special Ellie Goulding concert the night before the half-marathon in DC. This is such a great early birthday present! I can't wait to attend and hear her in concert. I absolutely love her songs and attitude. She is an amazing runner and I know she will be inspiring to see pre-race. Be sure to follow my story and all the happenings in DC on my Twitter account @superwomankw. I'll also be running with blue and yellow ribbons in my hair to show support for Boston. Life must go on and racing must go on to show the world that we will not be scared away from doing what we love.

Ellie Goulding Running for Nike!

I wish you all the best in your race training and reaching your goals in life, whatever they may be. I hear back from Nuun Hydration on whether I get to run on their Hood to Coast team this year tomorrow so stay watching the blog for news. Win or lose, it has been a great experience sharing my love of running with Nuun.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stretching My Limits

Stretching Limits

I have been stretched to my limit recently. With so many changes in my life I have been struggling to get back into my routine of running and training and my health and body has been paying for it. There are aches and pains where they didn't use to be and moments where I question why I keep pushing onward, but it's in these moments that I realize that running and fitness make me who I am. I have never been one to back down from a challenge and I push towards my goals even when everyone around me says they are impossible. As cliche as it sounds, the very word itself does scream "I'm Possible!" 

This photo speaks to me for so many reasons. The power of a great picture is the feelings it invokes in me and this one says a lot. It shows me that dreams really are worth pursuing and that at some point I have to let go of my excuses and take those first steps into unfamiliar territory. It's not always easy and it's always out of my comfort zone, but I have never regretted pursuing my dreams even when I end up not getting the result that I want. Sometimes it takes me places I never thought I would go. My ambassadorship with Nike Women last year took me to San Francisco and I met amazing ladies I am still in contact with. I met some very creative minds and people at Nike that I am privileged and honored to have met and interacted with. I have learned so much from them about social media and the power of relationships. It has only served to increase my dream to work at Nike and be involved with their women's and running categories. 

I have followed the ladies of the Nike Sportswear Runway and SF Crews, She Runs LA Crew and Bridge Runners. At this point I can only dream of meeting all these ladies and running with them, but I am going to work hard towards reaching this goal and maybe someday participating in a Nike Running photo shoot and running the streets with these amazing ladies! 

This year, I have partnered with Athleta Roseville as their sponsored athlete and I love the support that they have given me in all my endeavors. Leading their running group has been an amazing experience and taught me about the power of community and how much other women can push me to show up and get a run done. When I was running the Shamrock'n Half Marathon in March, near the end of the race I was struggling with running strong to the end. It meant so much when I heard a girl say "Hey - it's the Athleta Sponsored Athlete!" Her encouragement and belief in me pushed me onward to a 1:53 half marathon personal record and my fastest three miles of the race. Runners are so supportive and I don't know where I would be without running in my life. 

I'm still eagerly awaiting an email back from Nuun Hydration saying that I am accepted on their team for Hood to Coast this year and I refuse to think negatively until after April 17, the day when the team is announced. It would mean so much to me to be a part of this team and I am hoping that my video showed my desire to run with them. Just one more way that I stretched my limits this year.

So 2013 is my year to research my goals, make a plan and then execute that plan to achieve my wildest dreams. I am going to stretch my limits and take risks. What makes you stretch your limits? How do you push yourself?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Volunteering and a Tasty Snack!

In leu of going crazy while waiting to hear back from Nuun Hydration on whether my video has won an entry to run with their team in Hood to Coast, I am putting my thoughts towards my next big race, which just happens to be the Nike Women's Half Marathon DC! It is only18 days away and I am getting more excited as the race gets closer and closer. This is going to be one amazing experience and I am ready to live it up, meet amazing ladies and crush my race goals!

Today I got my confirmation for volunteering for packet pick-up on Friday morning in DC and then I will be volunteering to help with the Somersault Snack Co. booth handing out samples of their amazing sunflower treats! Cinnamon Crunch is my favorite! I first found out about their company at my very first marathon, the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco in 2011. I have since stocked up on their tasty snacks every time I go to Whole Foods. Seriously great energy before and after a workout. It's a power packed, superhero food! Yum! It's always the first thing I eat out of my race goodie bag. 

I love running and I am very excited to give back by volunteering to help these amazing race sponsors. I am also excited to meet Brandy on Friday evening and experience Washington, DC together. I am even more exited to run the race on my birthday with great friends! What races are you looking forward to running? Have you volunteered to help at any events like this? What is your favorite part of volunteering?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Nuun Hood to Coast

The moment has arrived! I just submitted my 2013 Hood to Coast video entry to run with Team Nuun! I could not be more excited and more nervous. I have wanted to do this race for years. I grew up in Oregon and this race has a lot of meaning for me. I entered the lottery this last year but was not chosen. Unfortunately, they can only take about 50% of the teams that enter. When I saw that Nuun Hydration was doing a contest and giving twenty female bloggers the chance to run on their team, I knew I had to enter. This would be a dream come true!

I worked with some of my amazing co-workers and friends to create this video showing Nuun why I would be a great pick for their team. Check it out, let me know what you think and then head over to Nuun's Twitter and Facebook accounts and let them know I'd be a great fit for their team! One of my other friends, Elizabeth is applying to go too. I hope we both get to run the 32nd Annual Hood to Coast race and can dominate the course this year and make new running friends throughout this two day relay.

Nuun Hood to Coast Relay Team Application

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ten Years of Running Bliss

Ten years. A Decade. The difference between 16 and 26. That is how long the Nike Women's Marathon has been happening in San Francisco, CA. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of this amazing race supporting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and women everywhere. There is no doubt in my mind that this is going to be one race event you don't want to miss. With 25,000 women racing through the streets of San Francisco, this race will be one for the record books!

I ran the last two Nike Women's Marathons and I enjoyed every minute of them. From the weekend long expo to the amazing Nike staff and race day festivities, I have nothing but compliments to shower on the staff and runners of these events. Nike knows how to make an event memorable and this race is no exception. 

2011 Nike Women's Marathon

If you are thinking of running your first marathon or half marathon or if you're looking for a new race to do I would recommend the Nike Women's Marathon. The course is beautiful, although it is a bit hilly, and the atmosphere is electric. 

I plan on meeting back up with girls I met through Nike Women last year and some new friends I have made around the country this year. Brandy, Becca, Elizabeth, Nerissa, Renisha, and Tiara, I can't wait to meet up again and race with you girls. 

 2012 Nike Women's Marathon

I hope to see you all at the 2013 race!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Running Brings Me Home

Run Clubs, Crews, Sisters, Brothers, Friends - whatever you call it, running creates groups of people that become bonded by the act of lacing up their shoes and hitting the streets. Running is the easiest sport to pick up because all you have to do is step out the door and pick up your feet. Run! Racing and training as a Nike Women's Marathon Training Ambassador last year made me aware of the community running creates. It crosses borders, languages, religions, the past and present. Running is an equalizer and is something that has bonded me with my Sisters In Nike who I first officially met at the Nike Women's Marathon in 2012 and who I plan on meeting up with again in 2013. Running brings me ultimate joy and that is something I like to share with others. In just a few short weeks I will again meet up with crews from around the country and world at the Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington DC. This race is going to bring thousands of women together for one cause. Nike employees, ambassadors, celebrities and elite athletes will be there to cheer us on and run side by side. One of these celebrities is singer, Ellie Goulding. 

Ellie Goulding's Custom Nike #Flyknit

Ellie Goulding is a singer and a runner. She has partnered with Nike this year to share her running story and to show how running keeps her fit. Running is how she clears her head and thinks. She will be running DC and inspiring us women to greatness. Elite trainers will be there and Olympic Gold Medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson will be tackling her first 13.1. This race has endless possibilities for excitement and achievement. I can't wait to run it and get caught up in the moments surrounding the race.

After the Nike Women's Half Marathon I hope to make the Nuun Hydration team to run Hood to Coast. This race is such an amazing event. A relay covering 197 miles of Oregon terrain that bonds teams together and creates community. I filmed my video application last weekend and will have it finished up this week to submit for the chance to run with twelve other amazing women and conquer this course. I've been in a conversation the last few weeks on Twitter with hashtag #nuunHTC. This conversation has led me to meet many other inspiring women hoping for the chance to run this race. It's amazing how athletic and driven these women all are and I wish them all the best of luck. I hope we get the chance to team up and race this coming August.

I have been exploring other running routes recently since I moved and found these convenient markings on the sidewalks of Ukiah. There are five walking routes through Ukiah and the sidewalks are marked so you don't get lost, genius! What we need next are marked running routes. I could go for a few of those. For example, a route for your long run day, and easy five miler. These would be simple enough to mark right? I know, I know, there's an app for that. Ukiah hasn't gotten there yet. My GPS still dumps me off in the middle of the woods when I'm headed to the grocery store. Oh well, my internal navigation will get better soon.

What crews do you run with? How has running changed your life? Let me know!