Monday, September 30, 2013

Motivation from Endorphin Warrior and a Giveaway!

My marathon is only three weeks away and right now I need more motivation than ever as I am hitting burnout in training. Luckily, I have reached my taper weeks and race weekend is in sight! The hills of San Francisco are calling my name and I am excited to conquer them. These final weeks I have been looking to different places for motivation. My training buddies have been a huge help along with run club, the Mission I'm Possible crew and Hood to Coast teammates. Since I have had to do my last few long runs alone, I have looked to my Endorphin Warrior bracelet for some extra motivation. Endorphin Warrior was kind enough to give all the Nuun Hydration runners a bracelet of their choice. I chose one with the phrase RELENTLESS

Pre Hood to Coast race cheer. Look at those Endorphin Warrior bracelets!

Endorphin Warrior makes "products with positive and powerful messaging to wear while running, cycling, working out, sweating, racing - or all day long - to help you train harder and live stronger." I really have been enjoying mine, especially during my long runs. Sometimes, when I'm trying to motivate myself to head out on a run, I look down at my wrist and see the words relentless and they give me that extra push to get out the door and run! 

Choose to be Relentless

Endorphin warrior bracelets come in all different colors and with different phrases to motivate you to get to that finish line. Conquer, Unbreakable, Persevere, Believe - whichever phrase you prefer, there is a phrase to motivate and inspire you to keep pushing towards your dreams. I have partnered with Endorphin Warrior to give one lucky reader a Warrior Training Bracelet of their choice! For your chance to win simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below! I know you'll love this bracelet!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Marathons and I are Meant to Be

Recently I have been struggling with finding new, exciting places to run. I follow Nike Running and their many running photos always inspire me. I found this amazing shot on the Nike Running Facebook page and I wish the girl in this photo were me. Not only would that fulfill my goal this year of modeling for Nike Running, but it would also mean that I had the awesome privilege to run over this amazing terrain. The Oregon girl in me, with an arguably obsessive passion for running and all things swoosh, dreams of one day running here.  

Turning my dreams into reality is hard work. I don't have a clear path towards my goal and I am doing the best I can with the resources currently at my disposal. I inspire on social media and love helping people realize that they are capable of more than they think they are. In the same way, I am inspired by those who follow me and interact with me day to day. Since I was young my goal has been to work in Beaverton, OR for Nike. In recent years, I haven't let that passion and goal go, but I have had to expand my goal to include becoming someone who inspires others to pursue their goals and challenge themselves. I love inspiring others and can't tell you how much it means to me when someone tells me that I have helped them take up running and better their lives. It truly means the world to me and makes all the hours I spend on social media worth it. 

My husband and I are living in Northern California so he can pursue his career dreams and finish graduate school. It's hard for me to always be cheerful about living somewhere where I can't see my corporate dreams becoming a reality. With that in mind, I refuse to give in. When we do finally move to a larger city, I want to have made these years count. Right now, blogging and social media are my connection to expanding my dreams and sharing my passion on a local and global level. So, mastering these skills is something I want to focus on now. 

Motivation from Nike Running

My third marathon is coming up in three weeks. For the third year is a row I am running the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. I can't help but feel like the marathon is my race because of the parallel's that I can draw from it in my own life. All my dreams take time, work and seem impossible. The marathon distance is tough to train for, takes work, sacrifice and at times seems out of reach. No matter the struggles, I refuse to give up on race day and I will get to that finish line if I have to crawl there! I have to keep faith that my career path is somewhat like a marathon. I have lessons to learn along the way, setbacks and triumphs, but in the end, I will reach that finish line. They always say that the journey is the best part, so for me, I am going to try to enjoy the ride. But someday, Nike, you better be ready, because this girl is coming for you and I challenge anyone to beat my passion and persistence. I have big dreams and it's about time I Just Do It.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Athleta Wish List

It's about time I do another workout gear wish list! I always have a wish list much longer than I can afford, but that's what makes it a wish list. Here are some of my recent favorites from the new Athleta Fall collection. The first outfit I want is for my yoga practice. I love Athleta pants and tops because they come in long lengths and are perfect for someone nearly 5'11" like me. This outfit is the perfect amount of function and style. The pants come in long lengths, score! Also, the pattern is flattering and they move with your body during practice. The top is lightweight and stays snug around the waist during yoga practice without riding up. This is one winning combination!

Next up is a great running outfit for when you want to be warm and cute. I would wear this out for a run and still feel comfortable enough to grab a bite to eat at a cafe or stop by the grocery store without changing after my sweat session. The top is long sleeve to keep away the early morning chill and fitted so it doesn't ride up on your run. The capri's are super comfortable and provide just the right amount of compression with a fun, skirt over top. Run in style in these two essentials! Quite possibly my next fall marathon outfit!

Last but definitely not least is my casual outfit. I love zip-up hoodies and Athleta makes some of the best! I happen to have the Batwing and Robin pullover hoodie and am in love with it. It just makes sense that a zip-up would be a great addition. The fabric is soft and it's a super cute style. For hiking the Northpeak pant gets the job done! This pant comes in long lengths for me and is adjustable with a cinch up system that allows you to change the length on the go. There are also six pockets to store all your hiking or game day needs! For yoga, studio or hiking, the Namaste bra is awesome. The straps in the back are an adorable criss-cross pattern and it has light support for low-impact activities. 

Athleta is a great store for finding functional, stylish products for your active lifestyle. Their yoga, running and hiking styles are some of my favorites! Athleta stands behind each and every one of their products. They offer a 100% guarantee on all their products and that in itself is a huge incentive for me to shop with them. They know their product and they care enough to stand behind it. 

Athleta also offers free in-store classes such as yoga, Zumba and run club! Be sure to check our your local store or shop online at For sneak peaks of their upcoming collection and insider news be sure to follow them on Facebook!

What's on your workout wish list? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Marathon Training Peak = More Sleep!

Marathon training is kicking my butt right now. Yes, I said it. I'm starting to remember when I got to this point last year. The tiredness and the life suddenly devoted to running - and running LONG miles. Yesterday I ran 7 miles - 3.5 of which were straight up a hill. Today I had a speed workout on the track and tomorrow I have a 6 mile run. Today I got home and I fell asleep, on the floor. I didn't even have the energy to make it to my bed and it's a nice bed! I have to say, it was some of the best sleep ever. Much needed! I'm excited for the marathon and it is now less than five weeks away, but these are always the longest weeks for me. 

My track workout this morning

Today I didn't feel like going to the track, but I did it anyway. I went early in the morning before it got too hot and I got it done! It wasn't the speediest I could have gone, but I was running on tired legs. In my marathon I will be running on tired legs, so it was good training and helped me learn how to pick up the pace even when I am feeling exhaustion creeping in. I shared my run with Nike Running on Twitter and they were able to give me a pick-me-up. The showed me that focusing on my training will get me to my PR goal. A big shout-out to them for giving me an extra push right when I need it.

Personalized poster from Nike Running

This evening I did some yoga and it felt amazing. If there is one thing that I have been slacking on recently it would have to be my yoga practice. I am starting to feel the tightness creeping in, so it was high time I took to the mat. After 45 minutes of yoga with Leah Kim on the Nike Training Club app, I feel much better. I don't recommend skipping yoga or stretching, trust me, you'll pay a price! 

Marathon training is hard right now, but I am going to push through stronger. I'd love to know if you have any tips for pushing through the tough weeks of training. Let me know in the comments below!

~Happy Training!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Motivation Times Three!

Today's motivational monday is one in which I would like to share with you some great people that have inspired me on their blogs and websites. I often need to reach out for motivation, new training techniques and advice and these ladies are my go-to's for inspiration! You really need to check them out if you haven't already. Need extreme motivation? These ladies always help push me out the door!

Winter Vinecki - A fourteen year-old marathoner, triathlete and Olympic hopeful in aerial skiing. She travels the world racing to raise money towards a cure for prostate cancer in memory of her dad. She's an amazing athlete and has some similarities to me: she grew up in Salem, OR and she is an Athleta sponsored athlete! She is currently running a world marathon tour to become the youngest athlete to run a marathon on all seven continents. Check out this video of her marathon in Antarctica below! 

Tere Derbez-Zacher

Tere Derbez-Zacher - I met Tere at Hood to Coast and while I only briefly spoke with her I have learned so much from her simply by reading her blog. Tere is a World Champion Swimmer turned marathon runner training for the 2016 Olympics. She also has a master's degree in sports psychology and reading her blog has already helped me improve my mental training. Need help pushing past those mental blocks? Look here for some great methods of improving your mental endurance!

Jesica D'Avanza - One of my van mates from Hood to Coast, Jesica has a great blog called rUnladylike. She inspired me on Hood to Coast when she crushed her runs and set new PR's! You go girl! Also, her blog is real. If she has a bad training week, she tells you. If training is going well she tells you that too! I've learned a lot about training, life and running from her blog. She's as awesome in real life as on her blog. 

Do you have any bloggers you recommend that I follow? Have you read any of these ladies blogs? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Big Thank You to EspnW and a 98 Days to Shine Finale Recap!

Most of you know by now that I was in New York, courtesy of espnW, the last week of August. I won their grand prize in the 98 Days To Shine Twitter and Instagram contest they were running to promote women in sports. I was privileged to experience New York, the US Open and an exclusive summer finale event. Many of my readers participated in the contest and are one of the reasons it was so successful. Thank you for sharing your motivating photos all summer long! 

Me next to the wall of 98 challenges!

On Wednesday, August 28, I attended the US Open in the ESPN suite at the US Open. I'm telling you, this is the way to watch a tennis match! The seats were great, the view was perfect and the hospitality was top notch! My husband and I saw Li Na, Agnieska Radwanska, Juan Martin Del Potro, Rafael Nadal and many more tennis players throughout the day. The fun thing about the US Open early rounds is the amount of matches around the grounds. We could see so many players up close. Inspiring!

Can't complain when enjoying the ESPN suite!

There were a few rain delays throughout the day and we even saw a few lightening strikes in the sky, but the tennis was still amazing! If I ever have to sit through rain delays, I will gladly wait them out in the comfort of the ESPN suite. With couches, TV's, food and charging stations for electronic devices, a rain delay is definitely not a hardship I can't handle. 

Juan Martin Del Potro's match after two rain delays. 

Did I mention that we felt pretty important with our ESPN bracelets. Branded! I really didn't want to take it off all week, but alas, all good things must end. Though I refuse to believe that this will be the last time I see the wonderful people I met at espnW and their partner agency. After all, the espnW Women + Sports Summit is just a month away! 

Branded! I like the way this looks. Yes, I think I would be happy working for espnW!

That evening was also the summer finale event for the 98 Days To Shine contest and I was invited to attend. EspnW had rented out a gallery for a showing of the best pictures of the summer, hosted a special event for young girls and had a cocktail hour at the end. They also had some of their featured athletes at the event. I got to meet Julie Foudy and Lakey Peterson! They were so down to earth and awesome. I could really tell that they enjoyed being at the event and promoting female success in sports.

98 Days To Shine Open House in NYC

I arrived at the event after a day of tennis and met many of the people who were working behind the scenes of the contest. I wish I could list all their names here and thank them for all the work they did and the great contest, but alas, I am afraid I would forget someone important! I will say that I owe this experience to their creativity and relentless pursuit to elevate female athletes. I was honored to be included and treated as a VIP! It truly was a great presentation, event and summer long contest and I felt like I learned a lot about my self and met some inspirational female athletes via social media because of the contest. I will be reaping the benefits of my involvement long after my trip to NYC. 

Inside the Gallery!

The gallery itself showcased some of the best photos from throughout the summer and I found so many of my photos displayed! I can now say I had my photos up in an NYC gallery showing, pretty cool right? I also saw a lot of photos from some of my friends and new acquaintances via the contest pictured along the wall. I tried to take photos of as many as I could. It was exciting to see so many female athletes featured in one place. These are everyday athletes like myself who are pushing themselves to be better than yesterday and achieving great goals. 

I got the meet the amazing Julie Foudy, Lakey Peterson and Laura Gentile!

The highlight of the evening was meeting Olympian Julie Foudy, Professional Surfer Lakey Peterson, Laura Gentile and Laura Suchoski from espnW. These ladies were so sweet, down to earth and genuinely excited to be promoting the growth of female athletes. They really took an interest in the contest and the gallery showing. I have a lot of respect for everything that each one of these ladies is doing to elevate women in sports and I can only hope that I can help them with the cause and give women the ability to believe in themselves and elevate their lives through sport. 

A huge thank you to espnW for everything that you have done for me this summer and for women in sports. I am excited to have been a part of something so special. Being among women who are as passionate about sports as I am really helped to push me in the direction of finding a career that allows me to help empower women in sport everyday. What's better than that? Whether that career becomes my childhood dream of working with Nike or perhaps I become a writer or social media guru for the WTA or maybe even espnW, I'm sure an opportunity will arise as long as I continue my relentless pursuit of my passions. After this past summer, I know that anything is possible and that the sky is the limit. 

We were meant to have dreams and goals for a reason and these past few years I have learned more about myself through sport than any other area of my life. I want to share that passion with others and continue inspiring women to go for their dreams. 

The 98 Days to Shine contest may be over, but I intend to continue to shine throughout the coming years. This is only the beginning.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Nuun Hood to Coast Report!

It's been two weeks since I had the opportunity to run Hood to Coast with Nuun Hydration. The day after I flew home from Oregon, I immediately flew to New York to meet the wonderful crew behind espnW and to attend the US Open in Flushing Meadows. I got back on Monday and have been playing catch up ever since. I have tried to sit down and write this post many times, but I just haven't known where to start. So much happened during Hood to Coast. I met so many amazing ladies and inspiring runners, I feel privileged and a little in awe of the opportunity I was given. Nuun itself proved to be an even more amazing company than I already knew. The owners and employees were so down to earth, motivating and tuned into us as athletes. Yes, they really do care and it showed in everything they did for us and they do every day. I'm forever in their debt for making this dream of mine come true and I will continuing sharing my "Nuun Love" wherever I go! I hope you're ready for a long recap about my adventure!

#TeamLemonade Van Mates and Our Fearless Driver!

I flew to Seattle the Wednesday before the race to meet with my Nuun teammates and do some bonding before the race. I arrived in Seattle Wednesday morning. I met a few ladies at the airport and then we all split up to tour the city. I was able to meet up with my sister for lunch and then headed back to Nuun headquarters and then off to the bowling ally!

I'm a runner and so was everyone else in the group, so as you can imagine, we did not post the highest bowling scores. But it was a great team bonding activity, made better by the fact that we could laugh at ourselves. After bowling and food we teamed up with our roomies for the next two nights and tried to get some sleep before Friday's race!

Thursday Morning Shake Out Run

Thursday was a very fun filled day. We all went out for a short shake out run around the lake and then toured the Oiselle headquarters. A huge thanks to Oiselle for providing us with our cute team jacket, long-sleeve tee and team shirt! I had never worn Oiselle clothing before, but I have to say I am a believer now! After a quick return to the hotel to shower and get cleaned up, it was off to Ride-A-Duck! 

View from the Seattle Duck Ride

I was in Seattle a few times when I was in grade school, but I haven't been since and was excited to get the chance to tour the city. The Duck Ride was actually pretty fun and I felt like I learned some new things about the city. If you are ever in Seattle and want to see a lot of the city with fun drivers and a sea cruise, then check out the Ducks!

After the duck drive we headed over to Nuun Headquarters for supper, received our goody bags and decorated our vans for the next two days of travel and running! There were so many fun things from Nuun and our sponsors I had to bring an extra bag back from the my parents house to get it all back on the plane. A big thank you to Naawk, Swiftwick, Tiger Tail, Oiselle, Amphipod, Endorphin Warrior,  Team Sparkle and of course, Nuun!

Hood to Coast Swag Bag!

After we all opened our Swag bags and shared in the excitement of our new gear it was off to van decorating! I'm not an amazing artist, but luckily a few of the ladies on our team were! I did help with some dots and lemons. The van turned out really well and was full of our team spirit. Go Team Lemonade! 

Van decorating in process!

Friday morning the Van #1 girls left before 7am and then those of us from Van #2 had a big breakfast before hitting the road at 11am. We had a team cheer and then packed up the vans and started the drive south to Oregon! The energy in the vans was electric as we all were excited to start the race! We still had a while to wait before starting our legs of the race around 5pm.

Team Cheer!

At the first major van exchange we started to really sense the fun and excitement of this event! The exchange was held in a Safeway parking lot and it was full of decorated vans, cheering teams and excited onlookers. I have to say it was the most exciting of all the major exchanges. Since it was still early in the race everyone still had energy and the anticipation of the next 28 hours of running was still high! I spotted Marie Purvis and her team "Purv Army" and had to say hi and get a picture! She's my fitness inspiration!

Marie Purvis and I and the "Purv Army!"

Exchange #1 was a great place for group photos so the Nuun teams took a few with those who were there and not out crushing their runs on the course. Van #1's had just completed their first six legs and Van #2's were just beginning! 

Nuunies at the first exchange!

My first run was as the sun was setting and made for a beautiful course. I couldn't have asked for a better first leg. There were a few rolling hills, but all in all it was a pretty easy leg. I ran through neighborhoods and families were out cheering me on as I ran by so that definitely helped me push my pace! Too bad they weren't out cheering on my second leg at 5am! That leg was more of a struggle. It's amazing how much the support of a bystander cheering me on can push me.

Running into the sunset!

The final stretch of leg one went up a slight hill and then had a downhill straight into the handoff area. As you can tell from the smile on my face in the photo below, I had a lot of fun on this run. Look at those trees in the background. Gorgeous!

Handing off after leg #1

I don't have any photos from run two because it was an early morning run and there were no great places to take photos. This leg was tough, straight uphill for the first few miles, then a slight downhill and then uphill again on a very slushy gravel road! The dust from the vans driving by was hard to breathe as well. I definitely struggled on this run, but I kept thinking of my teammates and pushed through to the finish!

From here we finished up the following four runs and headed to the last big van exchange. At this exchange everyone could sense that we were nearing the end. I spotted the Nike "Run Free" van and got to finally meet Jessie Zapo who is the Captain of Black Roses NYC and has done a lot to elevate running! I was excited to meet her and wished her luck on the race!

Jessie Zapo and I in front of the Run Free Van!

My third and final leg was probably my toughest because I was fatigued from my earlier two runs, lack of sleep and the heat outside. I had a lot of fun on the run, but the worst part was coming into the exchange, I had to try to sprint uphill! I felt like I was sprinting, but I'm sure I was probably just shuffling up the hill. Seeing my teammates cheering me on gave me an extra boost and knowing that we were so close to the finish and glory was worth it!

Handing off to Zoe!

Once I was back at the van I got to check off my final run and mark my kills! Kills are how many people you pass while you are running and I finally had a lot to check off! Excitement for the finish was building and I was excited to cheer on our final four runners to the finish! Relay's are such fun experiences! I love running, but running with a team and for a team is so much better! 

Checking off my final run!

We came into the finish in the evening and our team came in 9th in the Women's Open Division with a time of 28:45:31. We were 351st of 1002 teams and I could not have been prouder of my teammates and the work they all put in on their runs. The finish on the beach was gorgeous and so inviting! I couldn't wait to see the ocean and feel the sand in my toes!

Finish Line!

There was a bit of a jam at the finish line with so many teams going through, but it was so fun! Our team was happy to be done and still decked out in our Team Lemonade gear and trucker hats! The first van had arrived hours earlier and had already showered and eaten but had to wait for us to finish before they could go through the finish chute to receive their medals. 

Team Lemonade at the finish!

Finally we received our medal! Recognition and proof that we had all gone through this amazing experience together. Hood to Coast is a relay race that I will never forget. It was special to me because we ran through places I grew up visiting as a child, I made new friends and am so inspired by everyone I met. This medal is going to go on display as a reminder of my experience and as a motivation to me to push my limits everyday. I can't thank each person who impacted me at this experience individually, but I hope you all know how much you impacted me and my running journey. A huge thanks to Nuun for making this possible.

Finisher's Medal

I've run two marathons, multiple half marathons and other races, but none of them measure up to the experience I had at Hood to Coast. I learned about the power of a team and that we are all capable of more than we think we are. No matter where we are in our running journey, there is always room to improve and things we can do to maximize our potential. I hope to do Hood to Coast again soon, but no matter what happens, it will always be an experience I cherish. I will look to the women I met for inspiration online and hopefully we will meet up again soon for a reNUUNion. 

Love the Nuun Teams!

A big thanks to each and every one of you that made this experience great and I hope we meet again soon! Hood to Coast will always be a part of me.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Don't You Want to Run Ireland with Me? #RUNIRISHLUCK

I have been traveling the last few weeks so this post is coming much later than I would like. I have so many updates to share about running Hood to Coast with Nuun Hydration, NYC with espnW and the US Open and more, but this post is time sensitive! I was chosen as a finalist in the Nike Running Free Run competition. I created the run of my dreams in Phase 1 of the contest and now I need your help in Phase 2! All you have to do is log your runs with Nike+ from August 20 - September 13 and share them on Twitter with the hashtag #runirishluck and your miles count as a vote for my run! At the end of the contest, Nike Running will pick one run as the winner and the creator of the dream run and the top contributors get to go on an all expenses paid adventure! Excited yet? This would absolutely be my dream! For more information simply click on this link

What my run looks like so far.

I created my dream run through Ireland and am in awe of what an opportunity this would be. Any runs that you can contribute, friends that you can recruit and tweets and posts that you share would be a great help! As you can see, there are 74 contributors at the time of this post who have already logged 381 runs! Thank you so much if you have contributed and if you haven't, what are you waiting for? Your miles not only help me reach my dream run, but they could also get you to Ireland as well! Nike is creating the opportunity of a lifetime and I do not want to miss out! If you don't believe me when I say what an awesome opportunity this would be just search #montaukproject on Twitter and Instagram and you'll see what great adventures that Nike Running plans for consumers. 

Short Clip from My Free Run!

Running through other countries and on other continents throughout the world would be a dream for me. Please help by logging your miles towards my run! After all, if you are already running or training for a race you might as well make those miles count! 

The Nike+ App is free and you can easily log your runs from there and tag them to Twitter directly from your phone. If you don't have the app be sure to download it today and start running! I wish you the best of luck in your training and running journeys and hope we get to #RUNIRISHLUCK together soon! If you have any questions for me just ask!

Happy Training!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My First Triathlon is Only A Month Away!

I have been traveling so much for the last few weeks that my posting has been sporadic. I just realized that the See Jane Run Triathlon is only a month away! The triathlon takes place at Shadow Cliffs Park in Pleasanton, CA on October 5th. This will be my first triathlon and I am very nervous! I'll be the first to admit that my training has not been what I had hoped it would be. I just need to work hard and focus the next few weeks. I'm not too worried about the swimming, but the bike portion is a bit intimidating since I will only have a cruiser bike! I may need to look into a more competition worthy road bike after this race, especially if I plan to get more into triathlons. 

I absolutely loved the See Jane Run half marathon I did earlier this summer in Alameda, CA. The ladies at See Jane Run really know how to put on a race and make us ladies happy! Chocolate and a sweet finisher's medal can't be beat! I know the triathlon will be another empowering race with very spirited and supportive women cheering me along the way! Here are the race details (there is a duathlon too):
The See Jane Run Women's Triathlon and Duathlon. It’s a race. It’s a milestone. It’s a moment of triumph. And it’s got camaraderie and girl fun written all over it. Beginners encouraged so grab your mother, sister, daughter, girlfriends and join the celebration. 
The start, finish and transitions areas are in the very charming Shadow Cliffs Regional Park. For the triathletes, the 400 yards swim portion happens in the main lake with temperatures around 70 degrees. Then it’s off to bike 11 miles in the beautiful surrounding areas of Pleasanton, and wrapping up the race with a 3 mile run. Cross the finish line and celebrate with your friends and family. For the Duathletes we will start with a gorgeous trail run through Shadow Cliffs Park. Followed by a scenic ride around Pleasanton and then back on the trails for another 2M run.
I've had nothing but positive experiences with See Jane Run races and would love to have you join me! As an ambassador, I have a special code to share with you to receive a discount on your race registration fees! To receive 10% off of your registration for the See Jane Run Triathlon just enter this code at checkout: AMBTRI.  I hope I see you at the triathlon!

Want to see more about what See Jane Run is all about? Check out this video on how their races empower women!

Have you raced in a triathlon before? Any tips for a beginner like me? I'd love any advice I can get from triathlon veterans!