Category Archives: Run Life

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Reach The Beach – #TeamPumpedUpKicks Recap

Reach the Beach – 208 Miles. 12 runners. 24-36 hours long (depending on how fast your team is). 2 vans. Lots of Lessons Learned with #TeamPumpedUpKicks

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The last time I did Reach the Beach I was worried about everything Crohns related.  While I am in no way adverse to Porta Potties, a girl has her limits … and I can say that I have successfully made it through 2 relay races without too much Crohns-y drama.

This time I almost forgot about anything Crohns and was focused on the thought of managing myself post appendectomy.  It was just shy of 4 weeks after my surgery … and although I wasn’t 100% better, I was running 3 miles comfortably and figured I could pull it off (I know, I KNOW, insert obvious medical advisement here.  I don’t always make smart decisions)

I was also well supported by the New Balance folks and some great friends who assured me that they would run if I needed them to.  And so I went … and I am beyond happy that I did.  Yes it was hard, and yes I felt pretty gross after that long without a shower, but I needed this. After a year like I’ve had, I needed to fight through a challenge like this and win.

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My take away is best put in these 5 lessons:

 

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1. The meaning of Teamwork.

The 5 other girls in my van rallied to help me at every single step of this race.  From switch legs and running farther than they had to, to driving when they shouldn’t have had to, to letting me lay down when I needed they were truly there for me at every single minute.  And they made me happy the whole way.  Sisters in Sport.

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 (Missing Christine here – who was running!  BTW love that appendix clutch … totally normal, eek …)

2. A baby wipe shower is an amazing thing.  

Im pretty high maintenance with the shower thing, many days I shower more than once a day … so 3 runs, no showers and being in and around porta potties is a real challenge.

As a qualified clean freak, I am here to tell you that baby wipes and face wipes are the best thing that ever happened.  And you can actually feel quite clean after a complete wipe down.  #winning

3. Running in the dark is 3 things – exhilarating, frightening and emotional.  

When I say dark, I mean dark.  I mean New Hampshire backwoods, not lit, no street lamps dark.  Good news is that the run flies by because you are thinking about the dark, not the run.  Bad news is that its kinda scary.  Headlamps and reflective gear help, but there is no getting around the fact that the dark is sometimes scary.  With the fear comes emotions … I cried, a good cry, a wow I am pretty overwhelmed with exhaustion and I can’t believe I am doing this cry.

Tip: Stay close to your runner during these runs, even if they have a short leg.  My van got a little lost and I barely saw them … which added to the emotional drama.  We also did this to another one of the runners.  It happens and its understandable, but try your best to stay close to your runner when its dark or you may have an emotional runner on your hands at transition!

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4. If there was such a thing as a good porta potty, a Green Porta Potties would be it.  (promise, last porta potty reference!) 

Major points to the Reach the Beach organizers for using certified green portable toilets supplied by Dave’s Septic.  All of the units use non-toxic chemicals and recycled paper and I swear they were not as gross as a porta potty usually is.  There was plentiful Purel in each one.  I really appreciate that RTB.  Thank you!

5. Sleep is something that we can sometimes do without.  

Sometimes I wake up early in the morning to go for a run and I don’t end up going because I am “too tired” … well that excuse will no longer be working.  I was tired on some of my legs, but I ran anyway and you now what … it was actually a great way to energize.  Im amazed at how much I was able to accomplish on very little sleep.

I will caveat that by saying that I was exhausted when it was over.  But I found my ability to push through again and that is a beautiful thing.

 

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Thank you so much to the generous people at New Balance for sending me on this trip, for supporting a mildly injured runner and for reinvigorating my running.  

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Reach the Beach Part 1: New Balance Factory Tour

Hi guys! Meet Carrie, she accompanied me on Reach The Beach #TeamPumpedUpKicks.

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She is a crazy fast runner, an avid triathlete and an all around wonderful person (with great style!) Her recap of the New Balance Factory is below!

I never considered how much thought (and work quite honestly) went into the shoes I wear daily. And it makes a whole lot of sense when I think about it, that the shoes I lace up daily and depend on to carry me through my endless running adventures are made with some serious athletic consideration, extra TLC, and a little bit of style.

 

This past Thursday, I had the privilege of taking a tour of the New Balance factory in Lawrence, Massachusetts. As we pulled into the parking lot, I was instantly impressed by the giant mill and its grand, illuminated clock tower. A famous landmark in Lawrence, the New Ayer Mill Clock Tower is the world’s largest mill clock and only inches smaller then Big Ben in London!

As we ventured into the factory, New Balance’s efforts in the mill’s restoration and preservation quickly became evident. The well maintained wood floors, exposed brick walls, and large glass windows all seemed to be reminders of the mill’s history.

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However, the building’s aesthetic appeal was not the only gem found within the walls of the mill. Soon our tour guide took us into the factory- a large, bustling 5,000 square foot space filled with sewing machines of all kinds, over 200 employees, and of course, fabulous shoes.

 

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As we roamed through the space, I realized the amount of consideration in both design and quality New Balance puts in to manufacturing shoes. Beginning with New Balance’s dedication to continual improvement, employees are encouraged to act as both catalysts and coaches by sharing any ideas that may improve the production process. In order to facilitate this culture, New Balance divides its factory employees into 5 teams. Combined all 5 teams make 600 pairs of sneakers a day- thats 12 pairs of shoes every 9 minutes! These statistics do not vary if there are multiple shoe styles or color variations. To get the job done, each associate has standardized work so no one can get ahead and overproduction does not occur. The floors were even mapped with colored tape to indicate which station to move to next! As we followed the “colored taped road” our guide showed us the final stages of assembling the shoe. In our tour, we witnessed the marriage of 33 different pieces to form the 990 shoe.

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As our tour concluded we exited the factory through a long museum like corridor- where the graphics on the walls narrated the tale of New Balance. A brand so rich in history, culture, and passion, I left the the mill feeling inspired and ready to “make excellent happy” at the Reach the Beach Relay…not before stopping at the factory store first for a quick shopping splurge, of course!

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I try to update this blog as much as possible, but I can also be found daily here:

RUNgiaRUN on Instagram 

https://twitter.com/RUNgiaRUN

And blog update notifications are on the RUNgiaRUN Facebook page

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How to convert a golf skeptic – #Play9Golf

I’ve been married for 5 years to a pretty avid golfer. A 7am on Saturdays, meetings on the course, travel for the sport kind of guy. For the most part I will say that he balances his time spent golfing really well … But I have noticed just how much time golf can require.

Personally, I’ve never had much interest. I prefer to spend my Saturday morning hours running lots of miles and I take my “work” meetings on the run. The environment of a golf course is nice, serene and I could sometimes be found hanging on the cart while he golfed in the later afternoon but I never thought to pick up a club.  It seemed to me that golf and distance running could never be combined in my life.

Enter Play 9 golf.

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Last week I was invited to take part in this new initiative that American Express, USGA and professional golfer Rickie Fowler are promoting called Play 9.  The Play 9 program is encouraging golfers to fit a nine-hole round into their busy schedules, making the game accessible to more people. As it turns out many golfers find it challenging to regularly fit in a full round and playing 9 makes it easier to get more out of the game they love in less time.  What I heard out of that was accessible and less time … exactly what was deterring me from the sport. 

Oh yes and Rickie Fowler :)

In efforts to attend this event and not seem like a complete goon, I had a quick lesson on the range the weekend before.  Result: fully enjoy the challenge of the game.  Way harder than it looks.

Not feeling 100% confident to just go out on the course, I opted for another lesson on Play 9 day … which again went well and left me with a serious urge to golf?!

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And a new found love for adorable golf clothes.

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I finally put my skills into play with 9 holes this past saturday afternoon.  After a hot and hilly long run, I showered up and headed back outside with my husband to his club.  And its official, this golf skeptic now has a new hobby.  The concept of playing 9 holes is so much easier for me to wrap my head around and the time spent is way more doable.  I’ll be honest and say that after about 7-8 holes I was a little spent, but thats most likely because I was grossly over par for that majority of the holes.  Oops.  I figure with a little practice 9 holes will take me just about as long as a yoga class

For those of you who don’t golf, but are golf curious I highly recommend checking out the play 9 concept and program.  And if you are a true beginner who wants to play with someone else that knows nothing, let me know!

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The Play 9 WEBSITE has a ton of good info and some tips on how to get started, there are certainly some ettiquite things that are unique to the sport along with certain courses that participate in the Play 9 initiative.

Thank you to American Express for the foray into a new found hobby and the chance to Play 9!