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


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.


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:


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.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Weekly Recap + South Shore Half Marathon!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you're all having spring-like weather like we have today. I'm even wearing a skirt with NO TIGHTS! It actually feels weird- like I'm naked and forgot my pants. That's what winter will do to us, I guess!
Last week I got some pretty good mileage in:
28 miles running
3 miles walking
1 race!

On Saturday morning I met Kim on the south side of Milwaukee for the South Shore Half Marathon put on by the Badgerland Striders. We ran this race last year and the small entry fee ($15) and beautiful course brought us back!

Sparkly water!
Since we both wanted a little extra mileage we set out for two easy warm up miles before the race started. It was a BEAUTIFUL day - probably the best day so far this spring - and with good company like Kim I just couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

The course follows the Oak Leaf trail that runs along the Lake Michigan shore line. It has a few rolling hills, but for the most part it's an easy run. Some of the sections before the turn around at the half way point became a little narrow through the woods, but luckily the pack had thinned out enough by then that it didn't seem to be a problem. There was only one big puddle on the course this year and as usual we went splashing through while everyone else tried to run around it!

I'm glad I was running this race with a friend and that we had no time goal, because I felt a bit sluggish. I just can't seem to get my legs moving as fast as I'd like them to lately. Our pace was mostly just above 10 minute miles and for some reason it felt harder than that. Just one of those days I guess! It's a good reminder that I need to do more speedwork and eat better. I just haven't been fueling my body properly lately.

My official time was 2:14:00 for a 10:13 overall pace. It's funny - I've run my last three half marathons 'for fun' and they have all been in the 2:14-2:15 time range. I guess I'm consistent?
After the race we walked to The Palomino for a delicious brunch and more chatting. I think if we were allowed to Kim and I would talk all day! I was sad to leave another fun day with her - but she did send me home with some delicious cupcakes to cheer me up!

Thanks for another fun race - and for letting me steal all your race pictures, Kim!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Would you rather #4 - Fear Factor Style!

These questions are inspired by the twisted mind of Kim at ilaxSTUDIO. Read on...if you dare! Muahahahah!

Would you rather:

1. Get pooped on by a bird or step in cat barf with bare feet?

2. Poop your pants on a run or fall and hit your face and get a bloody nose?

3. Get thrown up on from a baby or change the poopiest diaper ever?

4. Have a cat sneeze in your face or a dog belch in your face?

5. Sleep in a tiny box or sleep on a narrow ledge on the top of a skyscraper?

My answers:

1. I've had both happen to me, and honestly the bird poop was less disgusting, though less expected.

2. I'd rather fall and bust my nose open. I feel like there's less of a chance of that being viral on the internet for the rest of my life.

Be honest, you knew this picture was going to show up...
3. Baby puke is a lot less disgusting than what comes out of the other end, so I'll choose that.
4. Leo and Sox have sneezed in my face many times and I'll take that any day over dog breath! Yish.
Knock, knock! Who’s There? Ash. Ash who? Bless you!
5. I don't have a fear of small spaces or of heights, so I guess I'd take either one. On top of a skyscraper would be a cool view!
Your turn!
Thanks for the suggestions Kim...I think. You can all blame her for the poopy runner picture! Let me know if you have any suggestions for a WYR post.
Have a great weekend! GO BADGERS!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

March-ing on...

March Recap:


Total Miles - 107
Running Miles - 72
Walking Miles - 35
Strength Workouts - 7
Hours working out - 25
Long Runs: 3 (12 miles, 16 miles and 13 miles - all in crazy ass wind)
Kicking January and February's ass: Priceless

Races run: 1 - Point Bock Run 5 miler. 

Money raised towards my $1600 fundraising goal: $475!

Overall March was a pretty good month. I wish I would have had better mileage, but last week ended up being so busy that running was put on the back burner. Also, my parents visited last weekend, so I missed out on a fourth long run. Family trumps running though and I enjoyed their company and celebrating my mom's birthday!

Date day with mom!

April Goals:

1. At least 100 miles running.

2. Cheer the Wisconsin Badgers basketball team to a national championship!

3. Win first place in the Women's pair division with Kim at the Run Away to the Bay Relay.

4. Have fun running the South Shore Half and the Oshkosh Half with my friends the next two weekends!
Cheers to another month down and hopefully nice weather in April!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday Things + a Survey

Happy Tuesday everyone! No April Fools here, except for the wind howling outside! I have a few exciting things to mention about my Longest Day team and I'd also love your help in setting up my upcoming raffle, if you have some time to answer a few questions.

  • LOGO: A while ago I posted about finding someone to design a logo for our Longest Day team. Emily stepped right up and offered her services. She was so great to work with and totally put up with all our crazy ideas and revisions. Thank you so much Emily! We are so appreciative! Check out our awesome new logo:

  • TEAM STORE: The logo will soon be famous because we have a team store! Family Fan Club is donating 20% of all sales of Running to Remember gear towards our fundraising goal!  A big THANK YOU to owners Kim and Paul for all of the help they have given our team the last two years. If you're looking for some quality running gear and want to help our team at the same time, go check it out. You can even personalize any of the white shirts to make them your own! I can vouch that the New Balance shirts are top notch quality - it's the same ones Mattie and I ordered for our marathon shirts last fall.  

  • Before I open the raffle to raise money for The Longest Day, I want to hear everyone's opinion on online raffles. I'm sure there are many different ways to go about it, and I want to be sure I'm taking the best approach. If you have an opinion about any of the questions below (or any good advice in general) I'd love to hear it!
    • What do you think is a good minimum donation amount? ($5? $10?)
    • What makes you more likely to donate to an online raffle?
    • Would you prefer to choose which prizes your entries go towards, as opposed to just being assigned a prize if you are a winner?
    • Does a large amount of small ticket items (more chances to win) or a small amount of large ticket items appeal to you?

  • Also, unrelated to the raffle - would you be interested in doing a (free) virtual race on The Longest Day?
    • If so, would you like the chance to order a medal (with proceeds going towards our fundraiser)? 

Thanks for your help with any of those questions. I value everyone's opinion, so even if it's "I effing hate online raffles" you can be honest!