The Lululemon Run Club continued to be strong through May — lots of RunBuds made it to at least one of the sessions. We even tried a jump shot! We are seriously fun.
After a successful 18 miler I was pretty confident I could complete a marathon, so I started looking into nearby races. The All American Marathon was having it’s inaugural race in May so I liked their facebook page. I entered a contest they posted where they wanted to see how people were displaying their bibs or medals and I posted mine.
It ended up being selected randomly out of the posts and I got a free entry into their race as well as two pasta dinner tickets. So the decision was made — I would run in the All American Marathon in Fayetteville, NC. I enlisted Robin to join along for the fun and she signed up for the half marathon. She also helped me with my longest training run — the 20 miler meeting me about halfway throughout it on the trail and running eight miles with me. She even reminded me to eat something which at that point I had completely forgotten about.
Things really got exciting when it was announced that the winner of the Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi would be attending the race and speaking at the pasta dinner the night before. The weather on the other hand was not the best starting at around 60 degrees and ending at 80. It made for some challenges for me along the way — namely chafing on my arms due to the fun shirt I was wearing and sweating in, and a sunburn that rivaled the one I got in Mexico in 2001. The tan lines from my temporary tattoos lasted for months. But in the end, I got to meet Meb AND completed my first FULL marathon. What?!? How amazing!
Warning, the following post is long, but it is definitely not as long as it could be — I mean we prepped for this run for months and then took over 36 hours to run it! There’s a lot to say and a lot of people to thank.
We could not have had a better line up of sponsors for this run. I’ll say a bit about each, but know that we all thank you SO much for your efforts to help us make it across the finish line healthy, safe, and happy.
We could not have begun this journey without our training partners, Bull City Running Company and the Bull City Running Company Run Buds. We have said it all along that we wouldn’t have found each other if not for this incredible local running store. Kim and Jason have done an amazing job bringing people together throughout the Durham area and they celebrate each and every one of us from the beginner to the elite. In addition to support and training, they also helped immensely with the process of getting our team shirts and recommending a place where we could get them screen printed. There was not a better looking team out on the course. They also sent us off with a sweet care package which included addictive fairy dust Chicago mix popcorn, tattoos, and NUUN — you’ll see later how much we love that stuff.
Major thanks goes out to Stiner Massage — his generous donation made our van possible. I recently sent the following testimonial to John to outline my feelings about his practice: “I started running in 2010 and started a running streak in 2012. I am still considered a neophyte in the running streak community, but within my own running circles, it’s something of a novelty. I also spend a great deal of time running with groups of women in those circles and as such get asked for advice quite a bit. I guess if you run every day and rarely seem to have any injuries doing it, people assume you must know a thing or two about how to avoid injuries or at least how to keep them from affecting your ability to run. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, but my recommendation includes three things: 1) listening to your body — if you start to feel a twinge of something, recognize it and adjust your running accordingly 2) invest in good shoes — get the right fit and don’t wear them past their prime, and 3) get a sports massage therapist and go regularly. I’ve been lucky to have been pointed in the direction of John Stiner of Stiner Massage to handle number three for me. I don’t see him nearly as often as I would like, but I do make it a point to see him regularly. He uses a combination of different approaches to handle everything I throw at him. He knows the sport and also knows I want to keep on the road so he tunes me up and keeps me going. He incorporates muscle testing to figure out exactly what seems to be firing incorrectly and then targets those areas specifically in his approach. He will also stretch and lengthen things that have gotten tight. At the end of our session, he always incorporates a more relaxing approach leaving me refreshed and ready for the next day. I love that I can go to him and he will figure out exactly what combination of those approaches I need and fit it all in within our session.”
Thank you, John.
Chris Dolan of Brooks Running arranged to have the team outfitted in the amazing Brooks Women’s Nightlife Essential Vests and race day arm sleeves. Our team was highly visible on the sides of the roads throughout southeastern North Carolina all throughout the race. When asked about the vests the group had the following reviews: WOW! Pretty Awesome! High Quality! Kept me warm! They were totally excited about them and are loving using them during the cold, dark, winter months of running. Thank you Chris and BROOKS!
Nuun was kind enough to send us EACH a tube of Nuun in the flavor of our choice to fuel our training and our race. We all ordered different kinds and some of us even picked out the all day variety.
I love NUUN for my training — I use it on all my long runs and am especially enjoying the energy variety with added caffeine. I also use it the morning after a long run day to help rebalance my electrolytes.
Andrea said: For my ½ marathon training I am using NUUN as my electrolyte replacement during long runs in particular. My favorite flavor by far is Stawberry Lemonade – Love!
Susan says: Grape Nuun and puppy kisses…perfect post-run recovery drink
Tracy said that not only did NUUN fuel her latest half marathons, she also used it to fuel her first ever 25k race this past spring. She LOVES her NUUN.
Cheers to NUUN
Kari Wilkinson of Move With Intention has led multiple seminars on Chi Running at RunBuds. We want to thank her for her support of our team as well. Kristen Rosselli and a number of the RunBuds have done training with her, but here is what Kristen had to say about it: “I started running three years ago in my late 40s. I was attracted to Chi Running because of its low-impact running style. I attended both Chi Running clinics taught by Kari, who is an excellent and patient instructor. I have since run a marathon and many half-marathons. I love to run and haven’t had any injuries thanks to Kari and Chi Running.”
Empower Personalized Fitness is another sponsor that has been super supportive of the running community. I have had the pleasure of attending three of their boot camp classes and those are an especially fun way to get fit. I am a coach for Girls on the Run this season and they awarded each of the coaches with a five class pass to their gym and I am excited to take part in some of their other group fitness classes. Tracy has done the Cross and Core program there and had the following to say about it: “The cross and core program is GREAT!” She was thrilled with the personalized approach to helping her strengthen her core and eliminate weak areas and identify strengths.
I would also like to extend my thanks to Bull City Crossfit for their donation. I have been enjoying my practice there for the past few months and have invited a number of RunBuds to join me at various workouts — especially over the summer. Here is a review I posted of Bull City Crossfit recently:
“I have spent the summer participating in Bull City CrossFit classes. My true love is running, but even a runner has to do some cross training. Jack has done an incredible job creating a very approachable gym. I’ve been bringing my running buddies through one at a time all summer long and he hasn’t broken any of them yet. He is very conscientious about making sure everyone in the room is using good form. He circulates throughout the workout to check in with everyone and gives sound advice about what you can do to improve what you are doing. He never suggests weights that I can’t handle and no one in the gym is egging me on to do more. Everyone there has been really supportive and encouraging. I’m definitely stronger than I was when I showed up for the first class. I also appreciate the variety of class times that are available. I’ve seen other Crossfit “BOXES” around the area and by far this one seems to be the best. I definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking to give Crossfit a try.”
Throughout April there were a ton of other fun highlights. Of course we continued to meet on Thursdays to run as a group. I was also running with Jamie to help get her ready for the Tar Heel 10 miler — we would meet 2-3 times a week to run and did her long run on Wednesday nights. It was always challenging to run on Wednesday night for so long, but we had a great time talking and often grabbed a bite of something to eat afterwards.
I did my first marathon training run over 15 miles in April as well — an 18 miler which I ran with different combinations of running buddies. I killed two birds with one stone also earning a virtual half marathon medal for a Girls on the Run fundraiser. The inspiration from the medal came about after a controversial photo was posted in Self Magazine saying that tutus at races are “out” and the photo they used was two women dressed in fabulous superhero attire with tutus racing and one of the two women was also battling brain cancer. I am definitely pro-tutu wearing at races.
One of my favorite races of the year is the Tar Heel 10 Miler. It’s just down the road from my house, so it gives me an excuse to train nearby which I love. We always get a decent sized group of RunBuds to sign up — this year it was close to 48. It’s a challenge because the course is hilly throughout with a special wallop of a hill towards the end. I am already looking forward to it in 2015.
The race director has also been super supportive of the holiday and summer activity streak I host on facebook. This year my favorite part of the swag was the ribbon design by Elaine O’Neil — she made a GORGEOUS tapestry highlighting the race course sites and they used the design to make the ribbon to hold the medal. It’s little touches like that which make this local race a favorite of mine.
In 2013, the RunBuds took the Studio East 54 Run Club by storm when RunBuds ended in March. This year, we jump started the Lululemon Run Club who had co-hosted the Studio East run last year. It was a nice fit because the Lululemon store is just over the highway from Bull City Running and they have Kim Page, co-owner of BCRC as one of their store ambassadors. They also offer a kick ass complimentary in store yoga on Sundays throughout the year showcasing the area yoga studios.
I think one of the most impressive things about running two back to back halves with Tracy and Robin was how consistent we were on pace. Tracy knocked it out of the park on the first day while I took it pretty steady. What that meant for me was that my second half of the weekend only took one minute and 12 seconds longer than my first. In the half fanatics group this moons you up to Saturn — doing two halves back to back. It also helped plant the seed that I could run a full marathon because we basically did with a nice hearty break in the middle.
I was thrilled to run into Katherine before the race — it was her first full marathon and she did an amazing job! We also ran into fellow Half Marathon training buddy, Curtis who just keeps on truckin’!
One of the best experiences you can have if you are a local runner is to participate in an event hosted by Run Raleigh Races. This particular event, the Rock’n Rebellion was no exception. A nice sized group of RunBuds came out for this half marathon event at Anderson Pointe in Raleigh. The greenway is a beautiful place to run and the course was easy on the legs. This particular race was especially fun because I got to run it with Kellie — she and I always have a good time running together. It also marked the first of two half marathons for the weekend for Tracy, Robin, and me. We thought, what could be a better way to celebrate Tracy’s 54th birthday than with two back to back half marathons?