Thursday, April 24, 2014

Running to Remember RAFFLE!

The Longest Day is a fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Association that is held on the summer solstice. Teams around the world participate in activities for the entire 16 hours of daylight all while raising funds and awareness for Alzheimer's Disease. Over the past two years our team, Running to Remember, has raised just shy of $10,000 by running continuously for those 16 hours.

On June 21st my team will again be dedicating 16 hours of continuous running in recognition of the fight against Alzheimer's disease. Our goal as a team is to raise $10,000 and to run hundreds of miles throughout the day around a high school track. My personal goal is to run 50+ miles that day.

A quote from this article helps sum up WHY I am passionate about being a part of this cause:

"There’s no survivor of Alzheimer’s who can give a great speech and say, “I was affected and here I am to tell my story.” We don’t have that. People are confused and scared. There’s no great voice saying, “This is something we need to get behind.” We want to make Alzheimer’s a household name, if you will, and push the government to find a cure. That stigma is going to remain until we can all get together and get over it." - Lauren Miller


Please consider helping me reach my personal fundraising goal of $1600 ($100 for every hour that we will be running) by visiting my fundraising page. Every little bit helps and you'll be rewarded with a chance to win some awesome prizes!

 
 
Without further ado, here are the prizes you can win in the Running to Remember Raffle:


1 & 2. Allied Medal Displays:

Prize: Two (2) lucky donors will win a medal display of their choice. ($50+ value each!)

These stainless steel medal displays are sleek, sturdy and a great conversation piece. Whenever I have people over they love to check out all my hardware. As you can see, they hold A LOT of medals:

I think I do too many races...


3. Spartan Race:

Prize: One (1) lucky donor will win a free entry to any Spartan Race + a copy of the book Spartan Up! by Joe De Sena. ($100+ value)

Spartan Race is the global leader in obstacle course racing since 2005. Races of varying distances are held all over the country! Find the one closest to you and challenge yourself!

               
You can read my interview with Joe and learn more about the book here.



4. Gone for a Run + Road ID:

Prize: One (1) lucky donor will win a $20 gift certificate to the Gone for a Run online store + A $15 gift certificate to Road ID! ($35 value total)

Gone for a Run offers a HUGE variety of gifts for runners and athletes. Check out my recent review of their Runner's State Tee.

Road ID's are designed to keep runners safe in the event of an emergency. If you ever run, bike or walk outside by yourself you should be wearing one of their products!

          



5 & 6. Color Me Rad:

Prize: Two (2) lucky donors will receive a free entry to any Color Me Rad run!  (up to $45 value each!)

Color Me Rad is a 5K that fires off in a blaze of color bombs, color cannons, color mortars, and multi-toned courses. These races can be found all over the country and around the world. Convince your  friends to get active with you and have a rad time at one of these casual races!





7, 8 & 9. One More Mile + Road ID:

Prize: Three (3) lucky donors will win an Ultra-Light Waistpack  from One More Mile + a $15 gift certificate to Road ID! ($30 value each)

One More Mile makes it funner to be a runner! These fully adjustable belts hold all your gear - phones, music players, gels, race bibs, small dogs etc. The zippered pouch is water proof and reflective!


    






10. Runners World Book + Road ID:

Prize: One (1) lucky donor will win a copy of the Big Book of Running for Beginners + a $15 gift certificate to Road ID! ($30+ value)

The Runner’s World Big Book of Running for Beginners by Bart Yasso, Jennifer Van Allen and Amby Burfoot presents readers with tips for smart nutrition and injury prevention and includes realistic training plans that enable beginning runners to achieve gradual progress (by gearing up for a 30-minute run, a 5-K, or even a 5-miler). It also includes inspirational stories from people who used running as a tool to lose weight, stop smoking, overcome illness and manage chronic pain.


              



11. Pro Compression Socks or Calf Sleeves

Prize: One (1) lucky donor will win a pair of compression socks or calf sleeves from Pro Compression! ($50 value)

This prize is being funded by me, because I love compression so much. I'll even let you choose your color. May I suggest purple for the Alzheimer's Association?




There are 11 prizes total! Those are some great odds of winning an awesome prize!



How to enter:

1. Donate on my donation page

$5 donation=1 raffle entry. For every $25 donated you'll get 3 bonus entries (So $25=8 total entries, $50=16 total entries etc, etc.)
 
2. Let me know in the comments that you donated and which prize(s) you want your entries to go towards. You can split them up any way you like.


Extra chances for entries (after you have donated):

1. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter or your blog (1 extra entry each, leave me a comment letting me know what you did)

2. If you get a friend to donate and they let me know that you sent them (via a comment) I will give both of you 1 extra raffle entry each. You can refer as many friends as you'd like.


Raffle ends May 8th with winners announced May 9th.


Thank you so much for your support and thank you to all the raffle sponsors!


If you have any questions about the raffle or donating you can email me at rachelreallife@gmail.com



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hangin' with my Peeps

 
On the evening of Easter Sunday Kevin and I ventured out to the grocery store. It was perfect because it was not very busy and we didn't have to fight any crowds. Since I had been sick all week I hadn't had ambition to buy or make any Easter treats, so we decided we would pick some up while we were out.
 
After browsing the whole store we realized we never came across any Easter candy! What the huh? Were they hiding it from us? We asked a sales associate and they confirmed that they were completely out of Easter candy. So we made a second stop at Wal-Mart. Surely they would have some leftovers - it was still Easter after all! Amazingly, all they had was a couple chocolate bunnies and packages of nasty jelly beans. So we gave up. I was so sad. I had been looking forward to my all-time favorite - Peeps.
 
Peeps have been my #1 choice in Easter candy since I can remember and I am the only one in my family that likes them. Not only do I love them fresh, but I love to leave the open package on the counter so they get all hard and crusty a week or so later. That is my favorite way to eat Peeps.

So naturally I've been moping the last few days over the lack of sugared marshmallow goodness in my life. Until this morning. The girl who runs the cafe in our building brought me this:

 
 
I think I wiped away a tear as she explained that they were leftover and no one wanted them. They are even already a little bit crusty.
 
Today is a great day.



Favorite Easter candy? My second choice is Cadbury Creme Eggs and we couldn't find those at either store as well!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I can't turn my brain off

On Thursday night I went to a spa to get a facial. Backstory: On a particularly zitty day in November I bought a Groupon for a facial and promptly forgot about it. Then I got an email from Groupon last week that my discounted facial was about to expire and being the cheap ass that I am, I booked it right away.

I never had a facial before and the very nice skin technician exclaimed that I would love it and it would be so relaxing. Great! I need to relax.


Here's my problem: I can't turn my brain off. Ever.

A million thoughts were going through my head: "I wonder what she's putting on my face?" "Crap, I forgot to pay the water bill!" "My big toe is itchy." "Did I send that work email?" "Is my breath stinky?" "I bet it's totally stinky from that sub I had for dinner." "Was there onions on it?" "Does she smell my onion breath?" "Great, now I have to leave a bigger tip because of the onions." "How much do you tip for a facial?" "Do the Brewers play at home this weekend?" "Mmm grilled onions on a brat sounds good." "Why am I still thinking about onions?" "I'm supposed to be relaxing, damn it!" "RELAX STUPID! JUST EFFING RELAX!" "Ooh that stuff on my face smells good." "I wonder if it covers up the onion breath?" "Squirrel!"

And on it goes, just like that. I have the same problem at yoga during savasana - the part where you lay on your back and try to relax but just end up wondering what everyone else is doing. Hint: they are trying to relax, dummy. I just can't seem to take advantage of a chance to calm my mind.

It makes me wonder if I need more instances in my life like facials and yoga to try to 'let go' or if it's just a big waste of my time since I never get to the point of relaxation. Why should trying to relax cause me anxiety?

Do you ever have problems relaxing? What do you tip for a facial? How far away can you smell onion breath? Why do these questions resemble my frantic thoughts?


Monday, April 21, 2014

Unproductive + Undertrained + Crazy


Well, I was pretty unproductive at work this morning as I tried to catch as much of the live stream of the Boston Marathon as possible. It's hard to know exactly what's going on without sound, except for: "Holy crap, they run so fast!"and "Shit, I think my boss is walking by my desk."

I have no recaps I'm wanting to share from the last two weeks because I am starting to sound like a broken record. I'm sick. Then sick again. Then better for a day or two or three. Then sick again. It's been frustrating to say the least and I feel like I haven't had a string of good health since September. How annoying is that? I think I need to make a doctor's appointment soon, just to say I'm actually trying to do something about it.

But, I'll spare you the majority of the whining and let my husband and friends deal with that.

I'm going to be positive and look forward to this weekend's 55 mile relay that I'm running with my partner-in-crazy-running-antics, Kim. Along with staying positive, I'm going to replace the word 'undertrained' with the word 'well-rested'. Yeah, that'll do it.

Here's how we are breaking up the legs of this 11 leg relay:

Kim 4.9 miles
Rachel 4.6 miles
Kim 6.5 miles
Rachel 4 miles
Rachel 3.3 miles
Kim 6.8 miles
Rachel 5.7 miles
Kim 6.1 miles
Rachel 5.7 miles
Kim 3.4 miles
Rachel 4.6 miles
55.6 total

I am running legs 4 and 5 back-to-back so that we only have to run 5 times each and our mileage will be even at about 27 miles each. Our goal is to stay around 9:00 overall pace and finish under 8 hours and 30 minutes. We shall see how our bodies like this plan.

 
"We already hate you for terrible spandex shorts." - our bodies


The plan isn't really any different than what we've done the last two years at The Longest Day, and it's half the time, so we should be fine, right? RIGHT? (Ignore the fact that we are going to try to do it much faster...TWSS)

I've already packed the pickles and Mountain Dew, so I can look forward to my favorite 'ultra' foods in just 5 days. Yessssss. How's that for staying positive?


Thursday, April 17, 2014

I don't want to be an inspiration...

Let's talk about the word 'inspirational'. It's thrown around too much. Being skinny is not inspirational. Eating whole foods is not inspirational. Lifting 100 lbs over your head is not inspirational. Running fast/slow/long/short/on your hands/naked is not inspirational. It's just not.

I don't want to do races looking for people's admiration. I feel uncomfortable to hear that I am 'inspiring'. I'm not. I'm just a gal that likes to run for fun. I'm not fast, I'm not talented. I don't change the world with my running. I just feel lucky that I get to run. I'm not inspirational.

Working 3 jobs to feed a struggling family is inspirational. Overcoming a disability is inspirational. Giving up your life to help others in need is inspirational. Fighting for what you believe in at the risk of your well-being is inspirational. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Pope Francis, Jackie Robinson - they are inspirational. There are no ambassadorships or hashtags for this.

Sure, you might see someone do a race/have success with a diet and think "Hey! I want to try that too!" That's cool. Go for it. I've done it too. If it works out and your life is a little better because of it, then great. Maybe someone else will want to try it because of you too. But we're not solving world hunger or stopping wars here. We're just doing something for ourselves. And you should do stuff for yourself - we all deserve to be happy.

But really, we are just doing all of this for our own selfish purposes...are we not?

Too much of this blog world is just a narcissistic chance to make something out of mediocrity. "I ran 6 miles today!"  Super duper. I bet some poor dude somewhere in the world traveled twice as far on foot to feed his family today. I bet he didn't shout it out to the world on twitter/dailymile/facebook/some other useless social network that takes actually being 'social' out of life. Can you imagine? @poordude: I ran 10 miles (8:05 pace!) to avoid the guerrillas and their machine guns today! #fitfluential

Don't read too far into this. I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad about any of their accomplishments. Whether you run 1 mile or 100; do yoga or crossfit; eat paleo or vegan; you should have fun and be proud that you're active and healthy. I just think things get out of perspective really quickly. The constant bragging and over-glorifying of athletic endeavors takes away from the intrinsic value we should all feel from having fun and improving our well-being. Think about it: would you still be as proud of yourself for that shiny new PR if you didn't have 40+ facebook 'friends' telling you you're an inspiration? 

Don't do anything to be 'inspirational' - just do it because you love to do it! (Dang, Nike was really on to something with that slogan...)


What do you think? Agree/Disagree? What is inspirational to you? Who inspires you? I'd love to hear your thoughts!



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Chafed.

Hi, my name is Rachel and I have a problem. My problem is chafing. Specifically - uh, boob chafing.

There. I said it. (Also, I am going to use fun words for 'boobs' throughout the rest of this post...because I can.)

I also have another problem - I am a really stupid person.  On Saturday morning when I was getting dressed for my half marathon in Milwaukee I threw on a new sports bra that I hadn't yet run in. For about .02 seconds I had a thought that it might not be a good idea, but quickly tucked that thought away. "What's the worst that could happen?" I mumbled to myself.

Carnage.

Complete and utter carnage on the underside of my sweater puppies. That's the worst that could happen.

I knew it would be bad when even before the halfway point I was uncomfortable. My chumbawumbas were already screaming at me and I still had over an hour of running. Yikes. My only comfort was that the sports bra was black and I wouldn't be able to see any blood stains my funbags left behind. I wouldn't have to deal with this visual:

 
Aaaaiiiiiieeeeeyyyyeee!!!

This was from my fall marathon. The chafing actually wasn't that bad, but it left its mark...if ya know what I mean.

As I sit here today, uncomfortable because with each small move my lung protectors/frost detectors remind me of my stupid choices, I am reminded of THE WORST CHAFING EVER. This happened last spring at the Green Bay Marathon.  It was the perfect storm of chafing:

  • Bad sports bra (It hadn't betrayed me before...until that day)
  • 80+ degrees
  • Body Glide that quickly melted off
  • Shoving ice down my bra at every water station...for 26.2 miles.

And when I finally pulled my Danny DeVitos from the twisted, burning wreck they looked like this:




Yessir, that was the worst chafing I ever seen.



What's the worst chafing you've ever had and/or seen?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gone for a Run - Runner's State Tee

Hey everyone! Check out my cute Wisconsin Runner tee from Gone for a Run!
 
 
I feel like there should be a brat and a beer on it too...
 

 
I chose the women's neon series shirt in pink, but there are a ton of other apparel options if neon is not for you - men's, women's, long-sleeved, short-sleeved and even sweatshirts! This shirt is soft, long, lightweight and very comfortable! Gone for a Run recommended ordering up a size for a good fit and the medium I chose fits great. It is a thinner material, so I suggest wearing a cami underneath.  This shirt is a cotton/poly blend so I prefer to wear it for casual wear as opposed to a running shirt, but they do have tech material state tees as well if you want to show your state pride during a race.
 
Besides apparel, Gone for a Run has a TON of gear customized to your state: medal hangers, mugs, glasses, frames, phone cases and more!
 
Soxie wants a 'Wisconsin Cat' shirt.


Which state would you choose?


Gone for a Run has generously donated a $20 gift certificate to my upcoming raffle in exchange for my review, so you'll have the chance to order your own state gear if you win! Watch for the raffle in the next couple weeks for your chance to win the gift certificate and other prizes! If you want to donate early you can do so here and I'll even throw in 2 extra raffle entries for you if you do!

All opinions and cat props are my own. Seriously, that giant cat is mine.