The story of nuun

I’ll never forget how embarrassed I was on the drive home from my first half marathon. It was in San Francisco – about 3.5 hours away from home. My boyfriend came with me to be race support. We had been together for about a year. After I finished, we grabbed the shuttle bus back to our hotel. En route, my stomach was screaming to be let out of the bus. I did my best to maintain my composure (and avoid having anything other than sweat in the nether regions). Our post-race plans included brunch and football at a bar down the street from our hotel before we headed home. While I went to our room to shower, he headed for kick-off which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as what happened in that hotel room after, shall remain in the hotel room.

When I thought I was safe, I headed to the bar. One bite into my breakfast and …. nope.

I told him I wanted an entire bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for the drive home because I’d sure as hell deserve it. Screw the medal, I want the chocolate and so it was such. Stubborn me put the morning with the porcelain throne behind me. After a few, my stomach was revolting. I don’t know where exactly we were, but we weren’t near a bathroom and luck would have it, there was a shitload (no pun intended) of traffic. We finally made it to a Carl’s Jr. – which I will never step foot in again.

After that day, I thought my boyfriend would never find me attractive again. (Side note, we just celebrated our sixth anniversary).

I almost never wanted to run a half marathon again. Forget the chafing. Forget the amount of training. Forget the early mornings. Forget the distance. Forget the black toenails. Dealing with that amount of stomach issues from running was a deal breaker.

After I recovered and did some research, I found this miraculous Nuun Hydration product. As a kid, we were told to drink Gatorade for stomach flu and as a college student, Pedialyte for a hangover. The problem with both of those is the amount of sugars and unnatural ingredients weren’t worth it. Nuun is none of that. Nuun comes in delicious flavor tablets, is gluten, dairy and soy free and packed with electrolytes to keep you hydrated. Given my post-half marathon stomach pain was as bad as the stomach flu or a hangover, I was willing to give it a shot. Hands down, its one of the best products I’ve ever discovered and one I can truly say has kept my desire to distance run alive. I do not run a distance greater than 10K without a tablet the night before and the morning of.

This morning, I powered through a 5K at the gym and came home to an email that I had been selected as a 2019 Nuun Ambassador. And while it brought me flashbacks of this first half marathon, it was one of the most exciting things I had read in a long time. I’m super proud to represent something that has truly changed the way I think about preparing for a run.

For more information about Nuun, visit www.Nuunlife.com. Stay hydrated! 

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A few of my favorite running things

I hate being all preachy, but I love preaching the things and people I truly believe in. As I spent much of 2018 expanding my running world and making hundreds of new running friends (i.e. you reading this), I latched on to the products you all promoted and even discovered a few on my own. Here are a few of my top running finds of 2018:

  • Goodr sunglasses – polarized lenses so the sun doesn’t blind you, that come in gorgeous colors and who’s ‘mission statement pretty much says what (they’re) about: We’re recklessly committed to fun…blah blah blah, sunglasses.”
  • Sparkle Athletic Skirts – So I literally own a tutu in every single color. Half of why I became a runner was so I could prance around in a tutu. But sometimes they aren’t all that practical unless you’re running the Ultra on the Playa at Burning Man. Fast forward to multiple, sequin-filled dreams later, I now have a bit more practicality and a bit more sass in my running attire.
  • Science in Sport energy gels – because chewing energy gels is out of style and absorbing melted-jello is in. That may not be the most appealing way to describe these, but that’s why you’ll try them for yourself. And that is – I appreciate their liquid form vs. chewy cubes that have to be chased with water (multi-tasking is hard).
  • Pro Compression Marathon Socks – I wish I had actually discovered these while training for a marathon, but now that I have them, I can’t run without them. I feel like I’m floating on pillows and recovery is 10x faster. Side note – as of late, I’ve had a terrible obsession with buying expensive and colorful running socks. Like, its almost out of control.

And a quick shout-out to some of my favorites that I’ve been using for years: vaseline for chafing, Cyclecast for active recovery, Powerbeats by Dre for … sweet beats …, foam rollers for masochism, Nuun for helping me avoid runner’s trots and Saucony shoes for supporting my passion.

What do you recommend I check out for 2019? 

 

A (running, curve-loving) place

Season’s Greetings and Chocolate Eatings! I love a good catchy rhyme.. and a good Toblerone. I write to you from a place I thought I wouldn’t be at. Of course this time of year, its natural to reflect on the last twelve months, what you sought to do at the beginning of the year and what you actually achieved. When I say I thought I wouldn’t be in the place I’d be at, I say it with multiple meanings.

I am no longer on a weight loss journey. Yes, I want to see the scale go down. Yes, I’d love to get smaller sizes at the store. But this year, I’ve really learned to fall in love with my body and all it has accomplished. I walked around Hawaii in my sports bra or swimsuit top for most of the trip, and I was comfortable doing so. I ran races in just a sports bra and learned to block out the gawkers. I posted photos of myself in these once vulnerable states so that all the world could see. And they were met with nothing but support and love from the world out there (much to my surprise, I’ve yet to be approached by a shamer – knock on wood). This is the year that I have learned to love my body more than ever. Through curves and rolls and stretch marks and muscles, it is mine to keep, mine to nurture and mine to love so I sure as hell am going to do that.

I’d be lying, though, if I didn’t say I’m bummed by how tight my pants are, how many times I’ve skipped the gym this month and how many nights I’ve opted for a big, cheesy plate of pasta delivered via DoorDash instead of the homemade chicken fajitas in my fridge. I told myself I would no longer let the holiday season get to me, but it did. I told myself I would never look at January 2 as the day to start over, because I would never stop, but its happening. Place #2 I thought I wouldn’t be in.

I’m as excited about running as ever. After my first marathon, I refused to put my Saucony shoes on. I couldn’t find it in me to wake up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym. There was no WAY I’d even look at signing up for another race. Thankfully, that didn’t happen after this year’s marathon (place #3 I thought I wouldn’t be in). I kept running throughout the year (logging 527 total miles in 2018!!) and I have multiple race prospects on the horizon for next year. I am super stoked to be heading to Walt Disney World for the first time and as luck would have it, our trip was coincidentally fell on the same weekend as the Princess Half Marathon. I’ll be doing Desert Sky Adventure’s Biggest Little Half Marathon shortly after and will hopefully make a triumphant return to the Reno Tahoe Odyssey relay race this summer. That gets me through June of next year and I’ve set a goal to complete four total half marathons in 2019 so there’s certainly more miles in my future.

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“The feeling of being different is really what makes us the same. We have our own struggles, yet we want the same things. We want human connection, a place to feel at home, and pizza.” ~Justin Timberlake, “Hindsight” 

 

Marathon 2

On June 3, I became a two-time marathoner. It wasn’t without challenge, chafe or crisis, but it was with pride, power and pep. It wasn’t the race I wanted, but its a race that, at the end of the day, I am proud of.

Since I am a Rock n Blogger for the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series, I decided to sign up for the Remix Challenge, which is a 5K one day in addition to the full or half the next day. I told myself I’d walk most of that so as to not put too much stress on my body or risk a freak accident that would stop me from being at my best the next day. But, in true me fashion, I ran the whole way and killed it with a 10 min/mile pace (I’m normally 11:30-12 min/mile). I spent the rest of the day in recovery and relaxation mode, fueling up on carbs, enjoying Porto Vista Hotel’s spool (spa jacuzzi pool) and straight up Netflix-and-chillin’ in my hotel room. I was determined to awake the next morning in a calm and motivated state.

Since I traveled to San Diego for the race, I purchased a VIP pass so I had somewhere to eat breakfast, get coffee, stretch and hydrate pre-Race. While shoving a bagel down my throat, I saw the one and only Boston Marathon winner Des Linden hanging out on the other side of the tent. I tried to finish scarfing down my meal so I could go take a selfie with her, but I sadly missed her by seconds. Still, being in her presence was one of the most motivating feelings I could have pre-race. “Run like Des,” I told myself.

I made my way to Corral 22 hydrated, fed and stretched. Normally I like to jam to some New Found Glory when I’m nervous, but I didn’t want to waste my headphone battery pre-race as I knew I’d need the power-through songs towards the end.  Instead, I made a few friends – some returning marathoners, some first-time marathoners. We shared our stories as we waited nearly an hour after the first corral started for our turn. At about 6:56 a.m., I was officially en route on marathon number two.

828418_278303175_XLargeI vastly underestimated the number of hills that were on the course and they started right from the beginning. What did blow me away was the amount of course support there was from the City of San Diego. Everything from costumed strangers with motivational signs to a full on stretch of bars set up outside of people’s houses. Around mile 4.5 I enjoyed myself a shot of tequila, a swig of beer and a few jolly ranchers (the whiskey leprechaun was sadly on the other side of the street). Little kids were high-fiving everyone who would accept and neighbors thankfully set up their hoses to help runners stay as cool as possible on a wicked hot day. I kept myself occupied just at the sheer curiosity of what would be around the corner on the next stretch of road.

At about mile 10, the crowd thinned as the marathoners and half marathoners split courses. I had spent the latter half of the race headphone-free so I could enjoy the conversations, cheers and live music, but as the course became more and more desolate, I knew it was time for my “26.2 songs to get me through” playlist to be cranked.

During my training, the half-way mark seemed to be where my downfall would begin, no matter what distance I was aiming for and that was no different for this race. My feet were so sore I could feel and count at least three blisters on each foot. It was hot. SO hot. I felt well-fueled, well-fed, well-hydrated, but the heat and hills still took a toll on me. I did everything I could to just enjoy the surroundings, what I was about to achieve and the thought of what was at the finish line. I had great friends and family cheering me on and coaching me as best they could from a distance, my favorite bands were blasting in my ears and I was in beautiful San Diego. Of the many messages replaying in my head throughout the long course, “only half marathons from now on” was definitely one of them.

As I approached mile 22, a police officer was moving a course barricade. He then proceeded to tell us the race was over and the course was being shut down. “What do you mean?? We have two hours left to finish!!” “There’s an active shooter downtown.”

In this day and age, that is my biggest fear. Every concert, festival, special event I go to, I am met with that fear. I blew up in water works and called my family and my boyfriend to let them know that I was in a safe spot. We were being re-routed to the mall and a shuttle would come pick us up. Despite safety, I was mortified by the thought of not finishing. I did not spend six months training for something to be destroyed by this god-forsaken society we are currently living in. By some stupid schmuck. By today’s new norm. Fellow runners saw how distraught I was and comforted me. Thank you, strangers.

Luckily enough, the situation was quickly controlled and unrelated to the Race with no injuries at play. About ten minutes later, we were back on the course and met with the amazing news that we would be able to finish. However, the break was my downfall. I spent so much energy crying and fearing that it completely killed any stride I had left. I knew the last 4-ish miles would be the biggest challenge, especially with the MASSIVE hill that was miles 23-24. Literally all up-hill, at the end of the race, on the freeway, with no shade. It was brutal. I feel like whoever conquered that that day, should get a medal just for beasting that portion. The brightside was that a good majority of the remaining miles was downhill – but at that point, I was so beat-up, blistered, chafed and burnt that mostly-walking was how I kept going and “just keep moving” is all I could tell myself. 828418_278213763_XLarge

As I turned the corner to see the finish line, a little over a quarter of a mile away, I got that final burst of energy and off I went. Six hours and twenty minutes later (including the potential active shooter lull), I was a two-time marathoner. And thanks to the Remix Challenge, I had three medals to celebrate it with. And some pizza, beer and uber-delivered ice cream sandwiches.