Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hood-To-Coast...Packed and Ready To Roll

I can't believe it's here...HOOT-TO-COAST with NUUN!!! 

To say I am excited, would be an understatement! I am so excited for everything that is #NUUNHTC...meeting a fabulous group of ladies and creating lasting friendships, having another opportunity to run for and with a truly phenomenal company with just as great of a product, and running my heart out through Portland, Mist,  and Seaside!

As runner 12, I can't wait to have my first run be at night and to bring my team into the finish in Seaside! I thought I'd share with you what I will be bringing on this 200 mile journey from Mt. Hood To Seaside:

Because I travel {fly} to most of my relays, I pack everything in my roller board, and pack a duffle bag to take in the van. You want to pack in something that can by shoved under seats, between coolers, and stacked on other bags.

*note for packing: pack everything in bags to help keep you organized! It is amazing how quickly the van looks like a tornado went through it and you are unable to find anything!

- 3 running outfits {including socks, sports bra, etc} labeled and packed in individual ziplock bags. Not only do the bags aid in organization, they also serve as odor blockers for you sweaty clothes post run.

*tip: I put a Shower Pill in each ziplock back so that it is handy when I finish my run.   

-Compression gear for in between runs to aid in recovery
-Warm clothes to wear at night...sweat shirt, long pants, gloves, etc
-Running shoes...I only pack one pair....unless I know I will be running on different terrains OR in the rain.  For my first relay, it poured during my first leg, leaving my shoes wet and stinky the entire relay! Lesson learned!
-Flip Flops for in between runs 

This was from when I ran an ULTRA relay, hence the 6 running outfits


*once again, keep everything in a bag, whether a ziplock bag or an Eagle Creek Cube, so you can easily find things needed. And trust me, you will lose your headlamp at least 5 times, if not more

-Reflective Vest..I love my Road Noise Vest
-Headlamp...for running, and navigating your way to the porta potties in the dark
-Spi-Belt...I always run with my phone
-Arm Warmers for night runs
-"Throw Away" gloves...it can get cold standing at the exchanges during the night, but once you start running you warm up quickly.  I like to take a pair of those $1.99 gloves that I can toss once I warm-up


-Shower Pills or Baby Wipes...which I pack in each "outfit" ziplock bag
-Relay Handbook...for my next relay, in addition to a copy of the handbook for the the van, I am going to print off everyone their own copy of their individual legs. Even though everyone looks over them at least 20 times, they still ask to "see their next leg" several times before they run. 
-Chargers for everything
-Ipod adaptor for music
-Colgate Wisps...trust me, you will thank me for this later! Nothing wakes you up more and makes you feel "refreshed" at 3am like freshly brushed teeth.  
-Garbage bags and febreeze
-The Stick or Tiger Tail...perfect for recovery on the run. 
-Face Wash Toilettes
-TUMS/Mylanta...enough said
-10 Gallon Water Cooler...saves room, easier to fill water bottles with, and doesn't create a lot of excess trash
-Towel...great for wiping off with and sitting on {preferably different towels} after a sweaty run. 
-A FUN attitude and willingness to have the time of your life!


-Pillow and blanket...it's nice to have, but don't count on getting much, if any sleep.  I have always just got some shut eye in the van, but there are opportunities to sleep in fields and gymnasiums {sounds fun, huh!?} 

My bags are packed and I am ready to head to Seattle, where one of my running dreams will become a reality! 

It's not too late to order NUUN and save with the discount code HydrateHTC.

Follow the three NUUN Teams: Team Lemonade {That's ME!}, Team Watermelon, and Team Cherry Limeade, as we take on Hood-To-Coast by using the hashtag #NUUNHTC

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Color Party: An Evening Around The Table

While I don't do it as much as I would like, I love entertaining, having people over, playing hostess and bringing out my inner Martha!  I love my lunch dates, coffee chats, and conversations on the run, but nothing compares to the fellowship, connectedness, and conversations that take place around the table.  Shauna Niequest put it best, "Many of the most sacred moments in my life, the ones in which I feel God's presence most profoundly, when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly, take place around the table.  Something extraordinary happens when we slow down, open our homes, looking into one another's faces, and listen to one another's stories around the table." 

I was so excited for an excuse to have a party when I found out I won Rosewood Vintage Rental's 12-person vintage table giveaway from Reluctant Entertainer .  I knew I wanted to do something fun, something different, and something somewhat unique, so I had Girls' Night Out Color Party.  All of the guests were assigned a color to wear, with each color corresponding to a dish to bring {Shannon and I provided the main dish...chicken pesto paninis with arugula}. 

As the women arrived, some who knew each other and some who didn't, the house was filled with laughter, small talk, new friendships being formed, and old friendships rekindled.  We gathered around the table, and it was like we had all been lifelong friends.  We talked running, marriage, motherhood, jobs, single life in Medford, fitness, pursuing goals...and the list goes on.  What started out as small talk in the kitchen, quickly turned into a real, genuine, inspiring conversation.  

One of the guests, Betsy, who I feel so blessed to FINALLY meet, is a friend of one of my dear  friends, and just happens to be a FABULOUS photographer, truly captured the essence of the evening:

Decorations/Table Settings:
-Mason jars and paper straws
-Turquoise round placemats from Target, silver chargers from Michel's, and an assortment of napkins from Target to correspond with guests' assigned colors
-Princess ring party favors for napkin rings
-Paint sample strips for invititations
-Candy jars filled with skittles and starbursts and chocolate covered oreos

Around 11:30pm, when the wine was gone, women had families to go home to, and all of the problems of the world {well at least Medford} were solved, the evening that left me feeling enriched by old and new friends came to an end,  with me already planning the next one.

The table was provided by Rosewood Vintage Rentals, who have a large, and growing inventory to fit the needs of everyone for every type of event! Choose from antique tufted sofas, chairs, rustic farm tables, hutches, vanities, and MUCH more.

For  daily inspiration, including simple entertaining ideas, dinner party tips, and ways to reach out and grow your hospitality make sure to head over to the Reluctant Entertainer. 

With a fresh approach to lifestyle photography, Betsy captures the uniqueness of your life & your love.

Finally, make sure head over to Run Ride Eat, and read Lisa's inspiring post about the Color Party.  

Next party, White-Out...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

{When Life Gives You Lemons} Dealing With Disappointment

This post does not result from me being in the pits, rather it is a cumulation of me reflecting on the past year and observing how others handle their disappointment...I hope we all can learn something from it. 

Life, when lived to the fullest, taking risks and pursuing goals & dreams, will have its disappointments.  Sometimes I feel like the bigger the goals and aspirations, the bigger the disappointments. These disappointments I speak of include things throwing a wrench in our plan, falling short of a goal, pouring  heart and soul into something, only to have it not go as anticipated...leaving us in the pits!

Sarah captured the feeling of being in the pits perfectly, "I am in the pits. Not like peach pits. Nope. Not even like a pit in the ground. That sounds relaxing. I'm in the big, old, hairy, stinky armpits of life. And life doesn't believe in deodorant and is sprinting uphill in Georgia at noon in July with me tucked up in its pits. Get the picture?"

Trust me, I have been in the pits, from breaking my collar bone 3 weeks prior to what would have been my first half Ironman, falling short of a BIG goal and finishing a race overcome with disappointment, to putting myself out there and applying for opportunities {several times}, only to receive an email saying I wasn't selected. I get it...these moments hurt, leaving us questioning "why?", doubting ourselves, and perhaps even sparking anger inside of us; all of which are normal reactions when so much heart, soul and passion are invested in something. 

But it's how we respond and react to these disappointing moments in life that reveals our true heart and what's important to us. 

These moments of disappointment should be driving forces to pick ourselves up, dust off the dirt, and keep trudging forward; taking one  leap of faith at a time, as we move closer to our dreams and goals.  It's in these moments that we have the opportunity to assess what went wrong and what can be done differently, evaluate what is truly important to us, and decide how will we proceed. We have the choice to dwell in the anger, pain, disappointment, and frustration or LEARN and GROW from the anger, pain, disappointment and frustration. It is also so important to realize and acknowledge how our personal responses to disappointment effect those around us. The same moment of disappointment for one person might be a moment of joy and success for another person, and it's important that we do not remain so self focused that we miss the opportunity to celebrate in others' accomplishments.

One thing I have been struggling with recently is the vulnerability that comes with being actively involved in the social networking world. I want to share my goals, what I am working towards, and the real me, without worrying about publicly facing the disappointment that comes with not achieving  said goals or falling into the trap of comparison and self-doubt {as easy and obvious as it seems to most, I want to be confident with posting my race results on here, which I don't always do}. While I struggle with this constantly , I am also reminded of the blessings that have come from being willing to give it my all and just be myself.  Through social networking I have branched out, putting myself out there in the world of vulnerability, only to face disappointment {i.e. applying for the NUUN Hood-To-Coast team last year and the Oiselle team}. But I am here to tell you that those "NOs" have turned into the best "YESes" I could asked for! Those "NOs" have resulted in lasting friendships, amazing opportunities, a passion for relays, a deeper love for running, and a greater sense of self worth.  I am beyond thankful that I did not allow the "NOs" to discourage me from continuing to pursue my dreams.  Today I am humbled, honored and oh so thankful to say that I will be running Hood-To-Coast with NUUN and am a proud member of the Oiselle Team.  The  "YESes" that will come from the "NOs" are only beginning; everything happens for a reason, in perfect timing!

Please, whatever you do, DO NOT let the disappointing moments in life stop you from pursuing that which is most important to YOU! 

And when life gives you lemons, don't just make lemonade, make Strawberry Basil Lemonade! {I had to incorporate the lemonade quote AND the recipe for my favorite summer beverage!} 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

{Oiselle Team} It's More Than The Clothes

Honored. Ecstatic. Humbled. Inspired. Grateful. Just a few words to describe how I felt {and still feel} upon receiving the news that I was selected to be a part of the 2013 Oiselle Voleé Team {Volée is French for Flock and is pronounced Vo-lay} I spent the day grinning from ear-to-ear, overflowing with gratitude. 

I was first introduced to Oiselle, through the Oiselle Team, via twitter.  I knew there was something unique, one-of-a-kind,  truly special about this phenomenal group of runners who passionately supported and encouraged one another in their running, and personal, endeavors.  My interest was piqued the more I got to know, both via the social networking world and in real life, the members of the team and what it was all about.  I knew this was something I genuinely wanted to be a part of.  I wanted to be a part of a team that is passionate about running, committed to supporting their teammates no matter where they are at in their running career, and truly embodies what it means to be "Sisters In Sport." Running has become a large part of my life…it has taken me on many adventures, created lifetime memories, and helped form truly one of a kind friendships.  I run for the feeling of accomplishment I have EVERY TIME I cross the finish line.  I run to constantly better myself.  I run for FUN! I run to achieve the impossible and constantly better myself, in an effort to reach my TRUE potential.  I am so excited to by able to share my "why I run" with people who share the same passion for running as I do, and learn more about their stories.

Come race day, running is an individual sport, but it's the team aspect that keeps my passion for running alive: 5 am moonlit runs with friends, 20 miles on a Saturday working through the problems of the world, the text from a friend who understands the disappointment I am feeling following a race where I did not achieve my goal, celebrating others' victories, seeing people accomplish what they once thought was impossible, and joining 11 other strangers for a 200 mile, 30 hour journey and walking away lifetime friends.  One of the things I am most looking forward to is learning more about the individuals on the team, their personal goals & stories, and cheering them on as they pursue their dreams.  

With my introduction to the Oiselle team came my introduction to Oiselle, the apparel.  Let's just say it was love at first site, touch and run.  From finding the first pair of shorts I could run in that didn't ride up or result in chafing {let's be honest, it happens} to a tank top so soft it could easily be mistaken for PJs, to the Bum Wrap {enough said},  I was hooked. Comfort. Style. Functionality. A triple threat! 

Thank you Kristin, and the entire Oiselle team, for believing in me and providing me the opportunity to run for a company that is more than just a "women tested, women approved, best-of-the-best"  apparel company.  It is with great pride that I will put on my Oiselle singlet, run fast, take chances, and run to inspire others.