Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Brush with Celebrity & a Free Garmin

So way, way back in August I attended an RRCA Coaching certification course. And after that I dropped off the face of the earth, or so it seems. I had no idea what to expect when I arrived and I really hoped that I had not plunked down several hundred dollars to learn how to make a training plan.

I was really surprised by the caliber of the teaching and the amount of information they were able to deliver in a short amount of time. After the two days I feel well equipped to coach others toward their running goals.

But being someone in the online world, it was only fitting that I should recognize a fellow blogger--Rebecca of Thru Thin And Thick. Trying to not act like a cyber stalker, I casually asked if she was a blogger. She replied that not only was she, but there were two other bloggers in our presence! I got to meet Matt of Tundra Running and Adam The Boring Runner. How cool is that? And amazing how our little running community can intersect.

Now even cooler is that Matt is giving away a Garmin 405 on his blog! I'm entering too because this is what I use, but my husband needs his own. Just like dessert, I don't share my Garmin.

You can enter too! Just click through here for a chance. Contest ends tomorrow so good luck!

Monday, September 5, 2011

~Labor Day Sale ~ One Day Only ~

Labor Day one day sale - all items 20% off! Hope you all have a restful day!
Click HERE to visit our shop.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fastinista or Fashionista?

If you have known me for longer than 5 minutes, you know that the two things I love the most, right behind God & my family, are fashion and running.

Since I can't run in this, not quickly anyway....

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

I was happy to find this running skirt by lululemon. It has fashion-forward ruching on the side and a wide waistband. The drawstring is wide as well and stays tied without knotting up. I have tried all kinds of running skirts and this is hands down my favorite.

My style is no longer on the site, so while I'm still crying my eyeballs out that I didn't buy another, I may just *have* to buy this one. It is simple in the front, but ruffles in the back make it super cute.


What is your favorite piece of running clothing?

Do you look for fashionable items, or grab whatever is handy?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Me at 13

I am assistant coaching our junior high volleyball team for the second time this year. We collect all the usual forms including the sports physical from each player. I normally don't look at them - just file them and move on.

Today I glanced at one as a mom handed it to me and a few words the doctor had written jumped off the page.

"would like to weigh less". 

I read them and my heart broke. I could feel the blood pounding in my ears as I felt what this girl is feeling.

I felt that those few words spoke volumes about how she really sees herself.

I wanted to run over to her, grab her in a hug and tell her she is beautiful, she is perfect and there is no mistake in her. She has been given a strong, healthy body. (and she's tiny, not an ounce of fat on her)

And you see, I can relate to her. We moved to a new school when I was in 3rd grade. I read my journal from that time recently. I wrote about how lonely I was and I thought that I should go on a diet and then I'd make friends. I was 9.

Then we moved again when I was in 7th grade. I was so lonely. Some boys called me Ethiopian because I was so thin. I had terrible self esteem and no matter how well I did at school or sports, it didn't change what I really felt inside. Maybe if I look right, dress right, eat right - then they will like me....

And do you know what I realized as I grieved for this young woman? I don't feel like that any more. I am 37 years old and I am finally saying good-bye to that girl. I love her, she is part of me, but I am learning to love this body I was given.

This body of mine is strong.

I am enough; just as God created me.

This body grew three amazing human beings.

And I can run.

If you know a young teen, please, please tell her she's perfect. Just as she is.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Morning Run

We are beginning to have little tastes of fall. This morning was 64 when I left the house. I know we'll jump back to those hot/humid days but today was just perfect. In the midst of the sunrise I was greeted with a perfectly placed rainbow. It just doesn't get better than that. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

RRCA training this Weekend!

This weekend I am heading north to Minnesota to attend a RRCA certification course. This is exciting for a number of reasons:
*learning to coach others = awesome
*No family responsibilities for 3 days
*A hotel room
*2 days with other running nerds

And the best part is I am going to see my dad's sister and family, whom I have not seen since his funeral 19 years ago. All in all, should be a very fun weekend.

However - I have no idea what to expect the class to be like and I am PETRIFIED of test taking. Of course you have to take a test after the course but somehow this never crossed my mind and now I'm paranoid that I will fail. I will probably have a few of those going-to-class-n*ked-and-forgetting-to- study-for-the-final-until-the-day-of-the-test-dreams.

For those of you who have completed the training, are you glad you did it?

How hard is the test, really? :)

Any of you other bloggers attending this one?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Live Out Loud - Ink & Changes

A little over a year ago I took an inventory of myself and decided it was time to reclaim my life. For 12 years I had been doing everything "right". Trying to run a business, be a mom, a wife and friend.

And I was dead inside. I had been making jewelry for 6 years at that point and finally had hired help. With the additional help I was able to breathe again.

During my kids' VBS week I decided to start running again after a 2 year break. And I wanted to train the way I've always dreamed about. I joined Weight Watchers and learned how to eat a reasonable amount of food in a day and finally lose the baby weight from my 8 year old "baby". I stopped filling myself with food and began to nourish my soul - and find ME again.

Those first few weeks I was happy to complete 2.5 miles. I would feel so good after and as the weight dropped off I was able to go longer and after a few months faster.

And then my world fell apart. I'll spare you the gory details but I cracked; my walls crumbled and through it all I ran.

Through all those miles the layers began to peel away. I sweated out my fears and anxiety - many miles I wept through but new dreams began to form. And old dreams reappeared and became attainable.

Sporty Girl Jewelry was born after several years as only In February I had the opportunity to go to Africa to teach single moms a viable trade in jewelry making. Seeds were planted began to form new growth in my soul.

As I awoke from that 12 year hibernation I realized I no longer wanted to merely exist - but to live all out. So my year has been a little frenetic...

26.2? You bet. Go to Africa? Sure! A new tattoo? Why not?

And that brings me to the biggest news of all - Sporty Girl Jewelry and Hip Mom Jewelry have found a home together - in a real brick & mortar storefront. We officially opened for business yesterday. It is definitely a dream come true to have my own little piece of retail space. So if you are ever in Lawrence, KS, stop in and say howdy-do at Studio 163

What do you think of the new Live Out Loud & Free Charms? They will be added to the site in a couple days.

Has running or another sport helped you through hard times?

Has it helped you find courage for bold steps in life?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Today's Ride by the Numbers - & Animals

I can't help it -I'm the daughter of a farmer and a huge animal lover. Even though my kids are 13, 11 and 8 I still mentally point out every living thing I see. Everywhere.

Friends who ride or run with me quickly discover this trait as I'm pointing out every robin and bunny we see. Mentally I tally animals as I go along my routes and today was a pretty good day.

2 - Bunnies
6 - geese
1 - snapping turtle
1 - turkey
1 - duck

My favorite by far was the turkey and the duck. When I passed them they were sitting next to each other and chattering. The turkey vamoosed when I turned around to take their photo but they were so cute I couldn't resist.

Oh wait, that's not a praying mantis - that's me! Ha

So grateful for the chance to experience the sunrise and God's beautiful creation this morning.

Do you have any rides or runs planned this weekend?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Paging Dr. Google

*Warning - pity party ahead!*

Admit it - you know you do it too - spend hours googling your injuries or suspected injuries and playing sofa M.D. I have tried. Really tried. But yesterday I just couldn't keep a positive outlook. I spent hours researching my type of fracture and how long until I can return to running. I did not find one site that said I can start running now though. :(

As of yesterday I  can wear two shoes that happen to be the same but I still have 3-4 weeks until I can begin to run - walk. Part of me is scared to even start running again.

I've been biking and ellptical-ing and will add swimming back in after my tattoo heals. I'm considering trying deep water running a la Beth of SUAR too.

The truth is that I am just not me when I'm not running.

I want to read the current Runner's World so bad but each time I pick it up I get sad.

So my dear bloggie running friends, help me out of my pity party!

How much time do you spend with Dr. Google?

Do you make your kids help you with your blog posts?

Have you tried deep water running? Tips?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Date Night & Winner!

I'm just popping in for a moment to say congratulations to BitterHag Running! You are the winner of our new - and yet unnamed - necklace! Please email me at sportygirljewelry AT gmail DOT com to claim your prize.  If I could figure out how to post the random number generator on here I would. :(

On another note, I am celebrating 16 years of marriage to my imported hubby. Look how young we were - and how much hair he had!

We are off on an overnight date in the big city - our first since our 5 year anniversary. We've weathered a few storms and I can say today that we are stronger for it. He has encouraged me and stood beside me while I have pursued my dreams and I am so blessed to have him.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Recovery & the GIVEAWAY

Today I am officially one week into my stress fracture recovery. That means 1 more week in the shoe and then I can start walking. Who knew I would be so excited about walking? Today I used the elliptical at the gym for the very first time. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was able to get a good sweat on and while it wasn't the same as running - it wasn't too shabby either.

Toward the end of my workout this woman came and started running on the treadmill. I could see over her shoulder that she was running at a 5 and my first thought was "even she can run at a 5." But then that thought immediately changed to "I want to be her." When I have become that woman of a certain age, I still want to be running. So I will continue to swim, elliptical and bike. Then in a few more weeks I will walk and then run/walk. But when I am her age I will

Who doesn't need a little jewelry inspiration once in awhile? I know I do! So here's the giveaway!!

See this lovely silver number? See how sleek and stylish it is while still rockin' our runner girl and a distance? Here's your chance to WIN ONE! It's so brand new it's not even on the site yet.

One lucky winner will have one custom made. You will receive one necklace as shown, customized with any distance or even an inspirational word.

Here's how to enter:

*Comment below and tell me your favorite thing about running. (mandatory)
*Like us on Facebook (Extra entry - leave another comment)*Click Here!*
*Follow our blog (Extra entry - leave another comment)
*Link to the contest on your blog, tweet it or share it on facebook (Extra entries - leave comments)

Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday July 8th.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Stress Fracture & a Sneak Peek!

I know you're all jealous of my new peep-toe shoes.

The results are in and I do have a stress fracture.  2 weeks in this lovely shoe-boot and a few weeks after that before I can run. I think I pretty much went through all of the stages of grief in a few hour period. The good news is that after only 3 days in the shoe-boot  my foot feels better.  So I've done what I do best, I decided to make some jewelry. My family has refused to allow me to go out dressed like this:

Day after race - I look pretty tired!

So I decided to make something a little more socially acceptable than my race medal. The oval pendant has our signature runner girl and 26.2. The pendant can be customized with any distance, or even an inspirational word.

So what do you think?

Want one?!! Then check back on Tuesday for a GIVEAWAY!

Until then I will leave you with a teaser photo - look what else we've been up to!

Happy 4th & see you Tuesday!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

26.2 - BQ & Injury? Grandma's Marathon Race Report

How to put into words something you have worked, sweated and dreamed about for years? I want to shout from the mountaintops "I am a MARATHONER!". I feel like wearing my finishers' t-shirt everyday (and maybe my medal, race number...) but I digress.

I'm smiling because I had just seen my family. :)
Saturday morning we awoke to heavy rain in Duluth. It was not looking good for the 35th running of Grandma's Marathon. I had resigned myself to slogging along and kissing my time dreams good-bye.

Duluth is not a huge city so we had to stay about 90 minutes away in a whistle stop called Hinkley. Grandma's Marathon is a point to point race which meant I had to board a bus at 5:30....which also meant I had to wake up at 2:45 to leave at 3:30.  (Did I mention I have an amazing family that is so supportive of me?)

After getting a little bit lost we made it to the buses and I hopped aboard. It was raining heavily and my fellow racers and I commiserated about the weather for the 30 minute ride to the start. Literally as the bus pulled up to the start the rain stopped.  It remained cloudy & 50 degrees with a few sprinkles here and there, but throw in the tailwind and the weather was just about perfect.

Two nerve induced pit stops later it was time for the gun! Before the start the pacer had said he liked to go out fast and lose the people who couldn't keep the pace. I thought it was joke, but no, he took off like a bat out of you-know-where. The first couple miles were sub-8. I knew I couldn't keep that pace so I let them go. It's interesting with each race what your mantra ends up being and what gets you through. Saturday after those first 3 really fast miles I knew I had to run my race and this was my day. I relaxed into my own pace and settled in to run my race.

The course is beautiful. The first 18 miles are along the lake and you get really stunning views. I tried to take it all in and not just stare at the pavement the whole time!

I couldn't believe how quickly it all seemed to go. After all the months of training the actual race seemed to fly by. It remained rather uneventful until mile 23 when I felt a searing pain under the toes of my right foot. I knew I was on-pace but didn't have any time to spare but I had to check and make sure I was ok. I was certain that I was going to fine blood in my shoe but thankfully when I pulled off my sock I saw only a blister. I put on my shoe again and took off.

My amazing family met me at mile 25 with high fives and cheers. My hubby looked so proud and said "you're right on time!" and I knew my goal was in reach. I picked it up and killed the last 1.2.

Thank God I ran the last mile hard because my Garmin was off on time. The only thing I can think of is the auto-pause activated because the Garmin time was almost 2 minutes faster than chip time.

But can I just say either way I qualified. Barely. ;)  When it hit me at the finish line that I had run my race and hit my goal I was overcome and cried. That's when my daughter took this photo of me hugging my son. He is my biggest cheerleader and gave me the sweetest post-race hug. I'm so thankful that as I pursue this passion I have a family who supports me AND puts up with me!

Garmin time 3:43:31 (and 26.32 miles but who's counting?)
Chip time 3:45

Thank you sweetie for loving & encouraging me all the way to 26.2!

After the race I was hurting so off to the hotel for a little r&r. This photo may or may not have been staged.

Now for some rest and reverse tapering. I think I changed my gait in the last couple miles to compensate for the blister so I'm paying for that in my 5th metatarsal. No break but it's very bruised. I'm under Dr.'s orders for no running until it doesn't hurt any more. I'm trying to remember that as much as my brain is ready to hit the road again, I want to run for the long haul so it's ok to take a break to heal. To the pool I come! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Marathon Training - the glamour and firsts

It's 4 weeks from my first 26.2. I feel ready and well trained.

Every week there is a first - the first 16 - first 18 and the first 20 miler last week. Every week I am amazed by the fact that I can actually finish.

Finding time for the long run is proving  a bit more challenging with the times getting close to the 3 hour mark. Thank God last week I ran early because I had a momentous first:

I had to pee. Twice. On the trail.

I've discovered that Gu with caffeine has quite a different effect on my insides than decaffeinated. Really happy to have learned this lesson on a training run and not race day!

As you all probably know already training is not all glamorous. Sometimes you find yourself on the couch Sunday afternoon looking like you stole your outfit from an Oompa Loompa with frozen veggies on your knees that won't bend past 45 degrees. And it's ok.

Anyone else going for their first 26.2 this season? What have you encountered that surprised you?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Guilty & a Giveaway

I'm guilty and I can admit it freely. I have a few (ok a lot) of running blogs that I stalk. One of my favs and I'm sure yours too is SUAR. I love the inspiration of her BQ and her recovery from injury and I equally enjoy her (ahem) bodily function stories.

I am so honored that she wore our necklace for her Boston race I may just print off a copy and carry it in my purse.

Hop on over to SUAR's blog for a chance to win a $50 voucher to Sporty Girl. Good luck!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

15 miles of suckiness & carbs

Yesterday was my first 15 mile run and it was rough. The run began well with nice temperatures and a good attitude. I was daydreaming about "qualifying" someday and had a good rhythm.

And then. I. bonked. I just ran out of gas at mile 8. I didn't have any water or gatorade with me so I stopped in Kwik Shop where they took pity on me and gave me some water. I drank that with my gu and took a few minute break before heading out to finish. It was ok the next few miles but the last 3 took everything I had. I didn't cut the run short because I knew that I would be even more disappointed in myself but I did take a couple short walk breaks.

I am going to take a couple days off and just chalk that up to inadequate fuel. I did go and pick up a fuel belt so next week I won't be stuck without hydration.

I met my hubby for lunch after and have mercy was I depleted. The sweet waitress was taking her time about taking our order so I finally asked if we could have some bread. Please. I said I just ran 15 miles and I really need some carbs. And then a few tears leaked out. Seriously. It was so embarrassing.

This was the first time we'd eaten at this restaurant and they make their own pasta every day. It was simply delicious and I enjoyed every bit.

How do you overcome tough runs?

How do you hydrate and fuel before/during/after long runs?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Parkway Rocked! - Race Report - and a coupon!

First of all thank you to everyone who commented or emailed about pace groups. I really appreciated all of the insight!

Saturday I ran the Rock the Parkway 1/2 marathon in Kansas City. It was the first 1/2 I've done where my goal was not just to finish - but I had a goal pace in mind. I spoke with the pacers at the packet pick-up and they suggested that I start one time back from my goal time since I have not raced at this pace before. Even though I felt confident in my time I decided to take their advice.

Saturday morning arrived with PERFECT, that's right PERFECT IMO race conditions. At race time the temp was about 50 degrees, sunny and no wind (a Kansas miracle!).

My goal time was 1:45 so I started with the 1:50 pace team as they suggested. The pacers were awesome and did a great job. My only complaint about running in the group was the other runners! It felt like some people just couldn't figure out how to run in a straight line and kept bobbing and weaving back and forth in front of me.

By mile 6 I was feeling pretty great and started thinking about dropping from the group. But since it was my first "goal time" race I decided to stick with them a few more miles to make sure I had enough left for a strong finish.

At mile 9 I broke from the group and put in a kick for the finish line. I hope you can see the detail of the gentleman's face in this photo because it is pure anguish. I'm secretly hoping he's thinking "man, I just got passed by 4 girls!" :)

I didn't make up all 5 minutes to my goal, but finished strong with a time of 1:48. I was so happy with my race I've worn my race t-shirt 2x already.

Can't wait for the full in June!

To celebrate here is a coupon code just for my readers. Use code RACE10 for 10% off your order on Happy shopping!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pace Teams - Love 'em or Leave 'em?

Ten weeks out from the marathon and I have a 1/2 this weekend. I feel very prepared - my long run last weekend was 14 miles. I'm ice-bathing-knee-strap-wearing and feeling good.

I have a time in mind that I really-really-really want to make that's about 30 seconds per mile faster than my long runs have been. I think it's doable but with a Pace Team maybe it's a guarantee.

Have any of you used a Pace Team? Did you love it or hate it?

Can you still wear your iPod if you are with a Pace group or is that bad manners?

Do you obsess over times? :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

days like these

I am a cold-thusiast at heart. Sub-zero wind chill? Bring it on. Rain, snow, sleet? No problem - I'll just wear more gear. I run faster and longer when it's cold. But I'm not gonna lie - today was 58, sunny and no wind when I ran. Pretty sure I looked a little nutty as I ran the first 2 over the country roads with a grin on my face. Sometimes enjoying God's creation is the best part of my day. 

And yes, I took an ice bath and no it wasn't too bad. Less ice today may have helped! And there were no tears today. HA

Has Spring sprung where you are?

What is your favorite running temp?

What will keep you indoors?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

first ice bath - and I live to tell the tale

I took the plunge this week and signed up for my first marathon. I chose Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN which looks like a nice flat course and great for a beginner like me. And then with all my confidence about the race I had one of those achy-painy runs 2 days later. Maybe it was just coming off the fast 7 miles I had done the day before but my knee cap felt like it was sliding back and forth for the whole run. I have launched into injury prevention mode and went straight to the running store for a knee strap and decided to take the plunge today.

The plunge into an ice bath that is. I've always been an icer and ice my knees and shins after every run but have never been brave enough for an ice bath. Last night we bought the requisite bags of ice - which seems a bit like an oxy-moron - kind of silly to actually PAY for ice.

Post run I stretched, drank my protein shake, and then did the most natural thing ever (NOT) and put on my bikini bottom and a parka. And got into a tub full of cold water. And then allowed my daughters to pour 32 pounds of ice on top of me. Lord have mercy was it terrible for those first few minutes - but then the numbness set in and the shaking (and possibly a couple tears) stopped and it was ok. And then it was over.

I promptly hopped out and had no feeling in my legs and they were lobster tail red so I decided to hop in the shower. I don't know if that's ok or not but I think I may have had hypo-thermia. :) I managed to get my fluffy socks and robe on and promptly fell asleep. Not sure if it was the 12 miler or the ice that kicked my a$$ but  I was out for 2 hours.

So I want to know - do you ice bath?

If  you ice bath - do you shower after or does that negate the process?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Best Son Ever - Treadmill Chronicles

It's no secret that I don't love treadmill running. But after Snowpocalypse 2011 I have been driven indoors this week. I put on my Nike Tempos this morning to help ensure I could do the run today. But I just.couldn't.face it. I was complaining to dh and had just thrown in the towel.

Then my sweet son and runner-in-training came up to me. It went something like this:

Son: How many miles are you supposed to do today?
Me: 6
Son: How many are you supposed to do tomorrow?
Son: Well how about if you do the 4 and I will come keep you company.
- followed by huge encouraging bear hug-

So we banged out the 4 miles. Thank you sweetie! You rock!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Multi Sport Athlete?

This fall I was lucky enough to co-coach our little junior high volleyball team. (My daughter is the blonde standing next to me) We had 10 girls, including 6 6th graders so we were a young team. I so thoroughly enjoyed seeing them grow in the sport as well as rediscovering my love for volleyball. I played in highschool but my father passed away my senior year and that sort of diverted my attention from sports to REAL LIFE.

After volleyball season I suckered a few other white ball obsessed people into joining a coed team with me.  I've been using it as my cross-training. Our record is 5-1 so far and we are having a lot of fun.

Don't be jealous of our awesome team name and t-shirts. One of our guys wanted Suspiciously M0ist and that was very quickly vetoed by the ladies.

Now I just need to learn some new defensive moves. My knees have been taking a beating and I need to keep them safe for running!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Winner Winner(s)!

WOW! To say I am blown away is an understatement. Thank you to all who entered and WELCOME to our new followers and fans. 

Winners chosen by random number generator (sorry I don't have the little widget but I'm apparently a numnut and can't figure out how to link it on the blog) anyhoo the winnners are number 99 JenniferLeah who chose Believe & number 71 - Dawn W. who chose the word Quismet! Please email us at sportygirljewelry AT gmail DOT com to claim you prize.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Your Word - 2011 *GIVEAWAY!*

If 2010 had come with a road sign, this would have been it. There were a lot of twists & turns, hills & valleys. Normally I don't make  New Year's resolutions or spend a lot of time pondering what the next year will hold. But after the valley that the last 3 months has been, I have spent a lot of time in prayer and reflection-ready to step out of the periphery of life. My word this year is MORE. I am ready for my life to be more, to give more, train more, love more and just BE more. This year I will not just exist, but I will LIVE.

So what is your word? How will it change the way you embrace this year?

Now for the good stuff! We are giving away a Your Word Necklace. You can choose to have it like mine (shown with our "I am not afraid" pendant, or you can choose to have just the customized "Word" charm on your necklace.

How to enter:
Mandatory: Comment on this post and share your WORD for 2011 & how it will encourage you
Extra Entry (must leave another comment): Fan us on Facebook or let us know if you are already a fan
Extra Entry (must leave another comment): Follow this blog or let us know if you already follow
Extra Entry (must leave another comment): Tweet, Share on Facebook or Blog the Giveaway

Contest ends Friday 1/7.