Category Archives: Running

My First Meetup

Now that school is out, I’m making sure I get out and do the things I couldn’t do because I didn’t have time.  My plan is to share with you the new things I try that relate to social media and marketing this summer.

This past week’s new adventure was attending my first Meetup.

meetup_logo_1

What is a Meetup?  It’s a gathering of people with similar interests such as running, hiking, pets, dance, games, etc.  It’s an online social networking site that serves as a community bullitan board of activities and meetings going on in your area that you can sign up for and attend…off-line.

When looking up the definition of Meetup on Wikipedia I learned the interesting story of how and why Meetup was started.  After the 9/11 attacks Scott Heiferman, the sites co-founder noticed how the people of New York came together.  This connection inspired him to create the Meetup community online (Meetup.com) so anyone could connect with strangers with similar interests in their own community.  

So my first Meetup was with a trail running group.  Yes, I’m trailblazing again!!  It was a lot of fun.  There were 4 of us and our leader who is very familiar with the trails where we ran showed us newbies how to look for snakes, slick terrain (we just had some rain here) and poison ivy.  He also gave us tips for running on areas with large rocks, how to pace yourself when running up hills, staying hydrated and running through creeks.  My favorite part of the run was how he talked to us,  he talked about “our training.”  That gave me an instant feeling of belonging to the group.  I will definitely run again with the Tejas Trail Runners!

Happy Memorial Day!!! (from Tipper, Lola and cousin dog Maggie)

Memorial Day

-B

Mid-Week Post: Boston

Runners-Unite-Boston

Now that my last test of the semester is behind me I can relax and reflect a little better about this Monday’s tragedy in Boston.  It’s been weighing heavily on me, not only because of the horrific nature of it but also being part of the running community I can relate to how so many runners and spectators had thought their day was going to end.

Here are some of my thoughts about this changing time we live in.

  1. First I have a friend that ran in the race.  As soon as I heard the news I immediately went to Facebook to see if she had posted anything.  She had and said she was OK but could not locate her dad and son.  It was such a relief later when I read she had reunited with her family  and they were all safe.  Scary part of the story is – the meeting place they had designated was where the bomb had exploded.   I thank the power of Facebook though that Kathy was able to reach out to all those worrying about her to let us know she was OK.
  2. I’m extremely touched by the concerns of some people in my life.  Later that evening as I left my night class I noticed I had a message from a friend of mine.  She knew I traveled to races sometimes and was checking on me.  She asked if I could send her a text letting her know I was ok.  Then the next day a co-worker said he immediately thought of me as well when he heard the news.  These situations make you realize how we are intertwined with those around us.
  3. I feel for the families of the deceased and injured.  A day of expected celebration will always be scarred with the memories of this unfair tragedy they have now been forced to deal and cope with.
  4. I’m exceptionally saddened by what the bomber(s) took away from the intent of the day for so many people.  Finishing a marathon is a major accomplishment after so much sacrifice has been given during training.  To run Boston puts you at an elite status due to the qualifying requirements.  Monday night should have been filled with celebration and well deserved self-satisfaction.
  5. I’m proud of the humanity of those that helped the wounded and secured the area.  The pictures and stories are very moving.
  6. I’m proud and impressed with the runners that ran additional miles after finishing a marathon to local hospitals to give blood.
  7. I’m moved and inspired by what the running community across our nation has done to pay tribute to those affected.  I’ve seen countless posts, articles and invitations to join groups of runners to run together in honor of those in Boston.  Here’s a link to a Facebook event to log 26.2 miles at your own pace.  Run 26.2 for Boston  

Lastly, not to get on a soap box – but I’m proud to be an American and I’m proud to be a part of the running community.  I’ll continue to travel to races with my friends and I look forward to the day when they bring justice to those responsible for this gross act of humanity.

-B

 

Recharging into a New Perspective

Last week was spring break.  As a 40+ year old that works full time and goes to school on the side, spring break has a whole different meaning compared to the spring breaks from high school and my undergrad.  How did I spend my week?  Well I felt the need to do something for myself so I took 3 days off from work.  To kick off my 40+ yr old break, I had a total play date!  It included lunch, spa and several glasses of wine at a near-by restaurant with my good friend Julie.   Then the rest of the time was filled with…wait for it and brace yourself for the excitement…sleeping, chores and homework. 

Recharge

I seriously think I slept for half of my time off!  I just needed that time to re-charge.  Even last night I was determined to finish putting up the laundry so I could start off the week with a completely clean and put together house.  For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been getting dressed in the kitchen every morning because that is where all my clothes are.  I take them out of the dryer, fold them and place them in piles on the kitchen table.  Assuming I’ll put them up when all the laundry is done.  I’m one person and the laundry is never done??  Point is, last night at the end of the night,  I still had so much I wanted to get done.   I was simply out of time.  I didn’t even get my Sunday evening post out.

Even though this morning I was energized that I now felt back to my old self and had the “I’m going to attack the day” mindset to get everything done, I was still a bit frustrated.  I had five, yes five days off and what did I have to show for it? 

Thanks to the Today show and Natalie Morales I got a good kick in the butt of  “perspective.”  There was a segment on a woman, Julie Weiss.  Yesterday she ran her last marathon of her 52-marathons-in-52-weeks goal.  She set her goal to honor her father who lost his life to pancreatic cancer, as well as raise hope, money and awareness for those that have been affected by the disease.

She works a full time job and has 2 children. Most Fridays she would leave her job and family to get on a plane for some destination in the US or Canada.  She’d run her 26.2 miles on Sunday, then fly home and start the work week again on Monday. 

About the time that segment came on, I was just thinking about my own race coming up this Sunday, a half marathon.  I was disappointed that my training had gotten away from me.  I was on track to get a personal best but the stress from school and work got the better of me over the past 4 weeks. 

I’m no longer frustrated with the loss of what could have been a great race and just happy that I’ll be running and finishing my race number 5 out of my goal for 13 races in 2013.  (My races can be any length – so a 5K counts the same as a half marathon…whew!)  I’m also not as frustrated with what is left on my to-do list and just happy for what I did get done and organizing my week so I can keep on track.

So thank you Julie, for a very clear and timely message this morning and Congratulations on meeting your goal.  From every Finish picture I saw – you were smiling; it was very inspiring!

Inspiration

If interested in finding out more about Julie’s marathon of marathons or how you can support her cause – go to Marathon Goddess.  

Have a great week!

-B

The Growing Social Side of Running

Running has always had a social side.  You hear stories of friends holding each other accountable to meet up for daily runs or strangers meeting up for group runs through running clubs.  BUT lately it seems a new social side of running is taking over.  There’s a whole cyber running community out there and is growing in size. 

Social Media Campaigns:  I’ve lately noticed this method for of marketing is successfully taking off with a bang.  I recently ran in the Hot Chocolate Run in Dallas.   RAM Racing did a great job building excitement before the run by posting creative custom images on Facebook and sending fun, motivating emails to registered participants.  HotChocolateRunDallas

Another one I’ve been following is the Rock N Roll series.  I’m training for the Rock N Roll half-marathon in March.  Their Facebook page posts great motivational images to help keep you faithful to your training schedule.  I have to say, it works.  keeprunning

Running Apps:  I like the Nike+ App.  I’ll like it even more when they finally get their challenges working again. (Helllloooo Nike – I hope you are reading this!)  On this App you can log miles through GPS or with a chip attached to your shoe that works as a pedometer.  You can connect with your friends and see how they are doing with their miles.  In the past you could create challenges to compete with your friends or join public challenges to log miles against strangers as your represent your team in the brunettes vs blondes challenge or run for your home town vs others across the world.  (Again – Nike I hope you are reading this – a lot of us miss the challenges!!!)

Other popular apps are:

    • RunKeeper
    • MapMyRun
    • Endomondo

Running Blogs:  I may mention running in my InTuitionat40 posts but I wouldn’t call this a running blog.  There are a lot of great ones out there where people share their journey of starting to run, logging miles at the age of 77, running for charity or motivating other to run.

Here are a few of the blogs I mentioned:

Social Sites:  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest… running is everywhere.  On Facebook and Twitter we can promote our own accomplishments by saying how far we ran, how fast we did it and where.  (Guilty of all 3!)  On Facebook &  Instagram we can share our pictures and we can pin all kinds of motivational images, training routines, etc on Pinterest.

Social Groups:  When you’re ready to leave the computer to venture out and pound the pavement or trails, you can find a running group on Meetup.com.

With all these options out there to be “social” in your running, I have to say the one that hit home the most was in an article I read where a researcher asked “What is the best way to get someone to start running?”  The answer…”Invite them, make it social.”

Friends

So if you’re a runner, keep things social and invite someone to run with you.  If you do – feel free to share your story below.

-B

8 of My Favorite Stress Relievers

I’ve now wrapped up my Finals (that’s why I was MIA for a while) but I still have A LOT to do to catch up on life in general and prepare for the Holidays.  I know I’m not the only one that’s busy and we all have our own schedule demons we deal with everyday.  With that said, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things that put me in a good mood, relieve stress or just put a smile on my face.

#8 Retail Therapy: This can be tricky during the Holidays because you’re in stores or looking online for others.  It’s so easy to find things that would look just perfect in your house or on you.  For budget’s sake I recommend this one in March through October.

Retail Therapy

#7 Just Dance on Wii:  Most of my friends make fun of me for this one but if you’ve ever tried it then you know what I’m talking about.

Just Dance

#6 Hot Yoga:  Two years ago I started taking hot yoga classes.  The heat loosens up my muscles and it’s so easy to just tune the world out and listen to the instructors voice guide me through the poses.  I don’t have to think because he or she is telling me what to do.  The best is when I hear them say that I’ve struck my pose…beautifully.

Serenity

#5 Pinata Parties:  Nothing like beating the crap out of something when it’s sole purpose is on this earth is to take a good beating.  I went to a party last year where we stuffed our own pinatas with candy and wrote on paper whatever issues in our lives were giving us stress or making us sad or angry.  Pair that with a bunch of your closest friends, great food and wine – stress free here you come!

Pinata Party

#4 Massages:  Ahhhh…this is where I can really check out for an hour or more.  Nothing like the total escape from the world and pure relaxation.  My favorite place here in Dallas is Body & Sole.  For $29 you get an amazing reflexology foot massage.  If you have the time to follow it with a back massage, even better.

Foot Massage

#3 Laughing with Friends over Dinner & Wine:  Best friends are the best.  Over the years, I’ve been tested with different struggles or disappointments in life.  I’m so thankful for my closest friends and family.  I wouldn’t trade them for anything! (Before anyone gets on to me – I need to note – not all friends and family are represented below.)

Dinner

#2 Running:  This past Fall, I can’t explain it but running has truly become my therapy.  There have been times I was mad about something or frustrated with everything on my to-do list.  At the beginning of my run I would think of all the things I would tell the person I was mad at or how I was frustrated with everything on my plate.  Somewhere along the course, I would just zone out, think how great my run felt mentally and physically.  I’d not only forget about my stresses but as I would walk back in my front door at the end, I’d no longer care about what or who I was mad at and I’d have a plan on how to get everything done.

Running

#1 Playing with the Dogs:  They love me unconditionally.  How can that alone not make me smile?  I love walking in my front door to their excited, happy faces.  The best is when it is still daylight and we can go out in the backyard and play.

dogs

So as life gets a little hectic just remember to take time out for you with your own personal stress relievers and most importantly, smile.

-B

 

Trailblazing Debut

Part 3 of the development of my trail running quest and my own marketing principle.

Development Milestone 12:  Dec 1, 2012 Race Day!!!  Yesterday was my trail running race debut.  I showed up a little early just in case I couldn’t find the park.

2012DeckTheTrailslogosoldout3

The race sold out so I felt pretty lucky to have a spot.  The weather was perfect, a little windy but dry and a nice 67 degrees.  Can’t beat that for Dec 1st!!  The course started out on a flat field where we were soon routed to the wooded trails.  We had to run single file due to the narrow paths so I had to strategically time passing the runner in front of me.  Yes, I actually was able to pass people!  I found I like the challenge of the quick sprint to pass or the small uphill slopes.  Thankfully there’s normally a downhill on the other side to help me catch my breath.

finish

What a great morning!  Not only did I run my first 5K by myself but I finished my first trail race AND placed 4th in my division!!!  It was a lot of fun.  Hopefully there will be other similar races throughout the year.

Now…how did the Poser Principle wrap up…

The primary premise of my principle is we all want to be either someone we’re not, be better at something than we really are, or just look good doing it!

Marketers know this and I fell right into the trap!  I saw the girls running in the Athleta catalog and I wanted to be like them.   It doesn’t have to be the Athleta catalog, a sport or athletic “look” to mimic.  It can be a the image of a model in a great holiday outfit.  One could think they will have as much fun as she is having if they purchase that dress or top.  Companies use pretty pictures, celebrity endorsements or slice of life imagery to entice us.  In my case – it wasn’t just the attire I went after but the lifestyle.  I got a lot out of this experiment.  It may not get the rest of my tuition covered by my innovative theory but I found a great healthy stress reliever to help get me through my future stressful times of school and life.

Trailblazing:  Suggestive of one that blazes a trail; setting out in a promising new direction; pioneering or innovative

OH and I can’t forget the last stage of the Consumer Decision Process.  STAGE SEVEN: DIVESTMENT (Disposal, recycling or remarketing)  This won’t happen for  a while. I have a lots of miles to run with my North Faces!!!

-B

trailshoes2

Will I Still Be a Poser if I Actually Run the Race?

Part 2 in the development of my soon to be famous Poser Principle and the story of how I might actually become a real trail runner.

Development Milestone 5:  Nov 3, 2012  After some research I find a park not too far from my house with trail running routes.  When I finish my Saturday morning chores, off to Arbor Hills I go for my first official trail run.  The parking lot is crowded, this is a good sign.  I’m excited!  I start out on a concrete path but soon find signs for smaller dirt paths around the park.  I don’t have a clue where I’m going.  The paths are made up of a network of different small trails that seem more like a maze.  But I don’t care.  It’s exciting not knowing where I’m going or what is around the corner.  I feel like Phoebe in Friends running through Central Park. (watch)   Not only are the new routes fun but the scenery is great.  I’m surrounded by leaves turning colors, hills to climb and tree roots to dodge.   Deep down I know I’m in the middle of the city but this beats my normal sidewalk neighborhood route any day!  I am hooked but my feet aren’t.  No doubt, this time I have a blister.

Development Milestone 6:  Nov 3, 2012 Not only do I have a blister on my right foot but my feet are sore.  There now is a need vs. want for trail running shoes.  I go to REI and I take one look at the selection in the women’s area, they average $110! Ouch – I have tuition and the bills are coming in from my recent retail-therapy binge.  Big sigh – I really shouldn’t spend $110.  I then glance over at the kids section and see some pretty sweet looking North Faces, just as a saleslady asks me if I need any help.  I tell her I think I need some trail shoes.  And quickly follow with – I have a small foot and I’m not too proud to wear kid’s shoes.  She measures me and cha ching!  I walk out of there sporting my new  North Faces for only $55!  AND I’m on my way to looking like the Athleta models!!!  STAGE FOUR:   PURCHASE

Development Milestone 7: Nov 10, 2012 Three weeks until the race, I need to make sure I break in the new shoes.  I head out to Arbor Hills, this time with my friend Diane.   She’s a walker so we take different routes.  Again – I love the freedom of the trails and now know to stay on the outer loop to avoid the network of mazes.   The weather was perfect and the shoes felt great!!!  See Exhibit 2 below.  STAGE FIVE:  CONSUMPTION

In comparison to my normal running shoes, I can tell I have more support and no blisters.  Plus I just look cool…or at least I think I do.  STAGE SIX: POST CONNSUMPTION EVALUATION

Development Milestone 8: Nov 17/18, 2012 Two weeks until the race.  I have different things planned off and on throughout the weekend so I don’t head out to Arbor Hills.  Instead I run my normal routes in the neighborhood ending with faster times.  This cross training might be working!

Development Milestone 9: Nov 24, 2012 One week away from the race.  This weekend I head out to Grapevine to my sister Dana’s to run the trails near her house.  Again, love the change in scenery and this time I have a lake to look at.  On my way home I stop to run a few errands.  I have to say I just felt cool walking around in my running clothes and North Face shoes.  I’m sure Athleta is tracking down me down now and I’ll be asked to be in next year’s catalog.

Development Milestone 10:  Nov 24, 2012 Later that day I get a text… SANDY CAN’T RUN THE RACE!   We have been texting back and forth about the run over the past 2 days.  We planned to register today but she just realized she will be out of town next weekend.  Ahhhhh!!!  The stakes have been raised and the pressure is on!  If I don’t run the race I’ll remain a poser.  Do I really have it in me to go run this thing alone???

Development Milestone 11:  Nov 28, 2012  I have registered for the race!

-B