Friday, December 2, 2016

Life Lately

*ahem* Hello? Is this thing on? Holy moly, y’all… I swear that I’m alive, that things are fine. But at some point, blogging just wasn’t a priority. I’ve still done my races, had a blast, taken photos galore, but at some point, I’m just like Meh. That race recap isn’t important.

So here we are, it’s freaking December and I haven't really blogged about anything since what, June? Where have the last six months gone? Let me tell you.

1. Wedding Planning
We had all these grand intentions to knock out a whole bunch of important wedding things over the summer during the three weeks that we share as "down time" (and I use that term super loosely). We didn't get as much done as we could have, nor probably should have and now that we're like 106 days out, it's time to get cranking on things we haven't done yet (officiant, dessert, other relatively minor things) but it's time to be putting it all together! Holy cow! 

We did our engagement photos the weekend before Thanksgiving (you know, 9 months after we got engaged) and I'm just in LOVE. A drizzly, gray day at Disneyland but it made the colors and lighting and story just all that much better. We super lucked out with finding Brady and I can't wait to see what he does for our wedding! 

2. Still Running
I mean, you don't expect that to ever change, right? Since June, I've hopped around, running San Diego and Seattle half marathons, paced Ventura in September, ran the Long Beach Marathon in October, added a birthday race, went to a conference in Indiana and conveniently was there the same time as the Indianapolis Monumental race weekend so duh new state to cross off! Vegas was right after that with some of the best girlfriends ever to top it all off. Tomorrow, I'm headed up to Sacramento to run the California International Marathon (my original goal race for the year) and pending its result, maybe you'll actually hear all about it! 

This is how we roll. Rock 'n Roll Las Vegas 2016. 
3. Enjoying Family Time
My sister moved back to California from five years in New York in the middle of July and I am sooo happy to have her home! Not only is it great having her home for wedding planning, but it's pretty fantastic having my whole immediate family in one place. There are only four of us in my immediate family, so we are small, and it's awesome knowing that we can kinda see each other whenever. Lots of family time and I wouldn't have it any other way! 

4. #WorkLife
This summer was insane. I mean, summer always is and my running mileage takes a total nosedive, but that's expected. But we made it through another summer of orientation programming, insane schedules, ups and downs and a summer with these amazing 45 student leaders I get to call my team. They are ridiculous, spirited, genuine beautiful human beings and I am so grateful that I get to call it my job to work with them and watch them in action.

Scheedules this summer were just crazy, and that's an understatement to say the least, but nothing we couldn't handle! Next summer is already shaping up to be a little cray cray too, but that's the way it rolls in the world of higher education - you just about never know what you're going to get!

5. Health
Nothing major, to start. But a major struggle this year has been some health and wellness challenges that some days, just knock me on my butt. About 6 years ago, I did a sleep study that revealed nothing. Just last week (right before Thanksgiving), I did another and while results are pending, I am hopeful that it starts guiding my doctors to some answers. 

Can you sleep attached to that for a night?
My challenge is that I can sleep for hours - 5, 7, 10 - and I never feel rested. I never get to a point where I feel entirely alert. Any given day, I can take a nap on my office floor for an hour and be out (that's twice now), or I'm asleep in the car on the way home from Disneyland in 5 minutes flat. I am out cold - dead to the world - but still wake up feeling totally and completely exhausted. I've worn my Garmin to bed for the last three months to get an idea of my sleep habits and essentially, I never hit REM sleep, which is when your body ultimately settles down, recharges and rests. I never get there, which would explain why I can sleep 10 hours and feel just as tired as if I slept 5. My doctor mentioned a few ideas that he thinks may be the diagnosis, but I'll hold off until I actually find out what's up, hopefully in the next week or so. 

I like to think that this hasn't affected me day-to-day but in hindsight, it's totally dictated how some of my days, weeks, go and I hate it. Hate. It. 

So there you have it. It feels like a lot and then not a lot at all, but it all adds up, right? I'm hoping I can start getting on the blogging bandwagon again soon because I miss y'all! More soon. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Runner's Guide to Gift Giving

I figure Christmas is kind of my favorite time of year, so why not make a comeback at the most appropriate time? Let me wipe the spiderwebs off Run Megan Run here and while I promise I'll do a quick post later this week about where I've been the last FIVE months, 'tis the season of Secret Santas, ornament exchanges, and all kinds of holiday fun - so it's time to bring this blog back to life and talk about some of my favorite things that you might want to give the runner in your life this holiday season!
Gifts Under $25
Sparkly Soul Headbands
If you follow me anywhere, you know I love my Sparkly Soul headbands (some of my most favorites are below). These no-slip, no-headache headbands are soft, stylish and have pretty much every color and pattern you could ever want - and they're still coming up with more! Right now, all orderes over $50 earn free shipping. The wides ($17) are my personal preference for working out, but I'll use the thin ($15) ones to dress up a ponytail when I don't feel like actually doing my hair. :) 
RoadID -
It's wintertime, and winter means dark all the time. Okay, not really, but I hate. Despite that, I feel like safety only becomes a thing during these dark months, but there are products in place with runner safety in mind all year round - Road ID being one of those. Whenever I'm out on a run, my Road ID comes with me. Even when I do run with a phone, what happens if I were to get injured, or my phone battery dies? Someone can help you out. Prices range from $19.99 - 24.99, and you can add all kinds of fun badges to personalize and customize your runner's ID band. 
Momentum Wraps -
Also a new discovery to me this year, Momentum Jewelry has become one of my favorite sublte hints of motivation. Share a spark with a friend, buy one for yourself with your personal mantra or favorite saying, but know that these cute and functional little gems are all kinds of fun and your runner will love one! 
They're running a few deals the next few weeks, so you have time to stock up and save on their weekly specials too! 

Gifts $25 - 50
PRO Compression  - 
There's no doubt that PRO Compression would be on my list of favorite things in the history of ever. I recently learned that my aunt loves them too - the lows for walking and going to the gym, but she also wears the marathon socks for long flights and international travel to keep her legs fresh! These socks are awesome - colors, patterns, designs, special Socks of the Month? You name it, they've got it. While there are a number of awesome designs and solids to chose from right now, be on the look out tomorrow for the release of the 2016 Ugly Sweater sock. You don't want to miss it, trust me. 
The 2016 Ugly Sweater sock! Who's in?
Abundant Heart Apparel - 
I was introduced to Abundant Heart earlier this year and some of my favorite mantras this year have come from Jenna's designs. Not only does she carry some of the cutest, softest tanks ever in all kinds of colors and cuts, but you can do a totally custom order too. 
Check out this one, another one inspired by Shelby and designed for me - but now you can get it too! 
Running Mile After Mile tank / $26

Gifts $50 and Up 
Project Repat T-Shirt Quilts​ -
Project Repat is one of my favorite finds from the past year - a company that started up in areas of the country (North Carolina and Massachusetts) where textile industries were dying off, in an attempt to restart the economy and create jobs for those who lost them. Amazing. How does it help you? Well, if you're like Doug, you're probably tired of seeing drawers overflowing or buckets and boxes of t-shirts bursting at the seams because this runner in your life can't keep count of how many shirts they own, and better yet - do they ever wear them? I rarely wear mine, and even if I do, I definitely have some favorites over others. Enter Project Repat. Purchase a blanket for your runner, and they can pick and choose which shirts to send off to be made into one of these beauties:
I've had one blanket made of t-shirts from my undergraduate life in my office (it's a great conversation piece!) and am working on a second queen size of running and race t-shirts that I can't WAIT to share with you!
Race Entries 
Find out if there's a huge race on your runner's bucket list that you can help cross off. Or even if they've entered, maybe you can help with some of the travel costs (assuming it's a destination race from wherever you are). Help them pay in part of their entry. While it may not be a surprise, feel free to ask and find out what their dream race would be that you can get them into and help them with their 50 states quest a little at a time! 
Gift CertificatesLet's be real, running ain't cheap. Between shoes, and gear, and race entries any of the fun stuff I've mentioned above (needs v. wants aside!), it's not a cheap endeavor!
Find out where your runner loves to shop, whether a local favorite running store or online shop, and help support their healthy habit!
What's on your list this year? Happy shopping! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

21 Reasons to Run the Strip at Night

There is no better feeling than being a part of a massive weekend. 40,000 people from 50 states and 64 countries, all coming to run–and take over–the famed Las Vegas Strip at Night.
Whether you’re riding in a taxi from the airport, walking the sidewalk from casino to casino, or reveling at it from atop the High Roller Wheel, there is nothing in the world like this 4.2 mile stretch of neon beauty.
15 of the world’s 25 largest hotels wrap the Strip, housing over 150,000 hotel rooms. And the best part? They know darn well it’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon weekend.
Britney Spears? Check. Cirque du Soleil? Check (7 of them).  Seeing the crazy costumes people run in? Check, and free.
Rated top-ten in the country for great food, and for good reason. Pick any top celebrity chef and they’ve got their name on something in Las Vegas. Into wine? There are more master sommeliers in Las Vegas than Los Angeles and New York City combined.
It’s the biggest (and longest) Expo Rock ‘n’ Roll puts on, and for good reason—it’s your first stop of the weekend! 100+ vendors, epic merchandise, and photo opportunities galore to get the weekend party started.
Dark colored to embody the night races, but bright designs to reflect the Las Vegas neon lights, these are t-shirtsyou need in your collection.
The perfect distance to shake out to on Saturday night, and to get the friends and family involved who are tagging along for the weekend.
We’re putting together a bigger and better than ever list of Perks for you in 2016. Look forward to exclusive participant offers on dining, entertainment, nightlife, and shows to help amplify your race weekend–all unlocked by the wristband you receive at the Expo.
What other race can you get treated to a massive headliner concert from a 70 ft long stage with 30,000 of your closest friends, BEFORE you run?!
The “pre-race jitters” are different here. The community is tremendous and as you cross the line, fire shoots into the sky. YES.
Your iconic Las Vegas tour starts before you hit the first mile marker as you run past the famed sign. Snap a selfie on the move, or jump into the photo area to line up the perfect shot.
Local musicians and DJs lining the course with one goal in mind—to keep you pumped up from start to finish! All genres are covered, and they get into it!
Keep your eyes peeled on course for hundreds (yes, hundreds) of couples tying the knot or renewing their vows ON THE RUN! Only…in…Vegas…
The king of rock is well-represented each year in the form of hundred of white lycra-clad runners taking on the Strip at Night like the superstar himself. ROCK. ON.
Where Las Vegas all began. Staying true to it’s neon roots despite incredible gentrification, the vibe & energy is amazing!
Not only are you finishing in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, but the Mirage volcano is erupting just to your right. If you’re lucky, your finish line photos will literally be on fire.
We bring the nightclub to the finish line, with lasers, lights and tunes to celebrate your epic achievement. See it all come together here in 27 seconds!
Words don’t do them justice…just take a look at the below, close your eyes, and imagine the feeling of crossing the finish line and being crowned with one of these like a running king or queen. (1)
Those willing to take on the challenge of running back to back nights (Saturday 5K and Sunday marathon, ½ marathon or 10K) will be rewarded—heavily.
Wear them loud, wear them proud, wear them wherever the heck you want! You earned it.

Now, share this with your friends! The marathon and 1/2 price increases on August 2, so the clock is ticking! Use code RUNMEGANRUN for $15 off the half or full marathons!
(Originally posted here from Run Rock'n Roll)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Race Recap: Rock 'n Roll Seattle Half Marathon

I can't believe Seattle was almost two weeks ago. After playing all day in the city on Friday, we grabbed food on the way back from the Space Needle, chowed down and got ready for the morning. With the forecast of rain still lingering, we were totally uncertain about what to pack for the morning! Long sleeves? Jacket? Shorts? Gah! Stupid crazy weather. 

I set out my tank and shorts and had my running jacket packed just in case, but lo and behold when we woke up in the morning and headed out - no rain! It had clearly poured that night, but it seemed to have all gotten out of its system by the time we woke up at 5:30. It was almost humid outside - 50-something degrees, but it felt warmer than that, so I had zero complaints. I walked to the start in my jacket, just in case.

A few of us rocked our rainbows to #StandwithOrlando.
We decided to walk the mile up to the Space Needle and found ourselves very quickly in the throes of all the other runners getting ready. We walked over to the start line and played around with photos and shenanigans before we decided to find our way to Solutions to grab my VIP bracelet. We caught one of the staff members and asked when the wheelchair start was, as I'd never seen the start line that empty, save for the four wheelchair athletes starting to line up. He told us the start was delayed until 7:15 (it was about 6:35 at this point) due to traffic.

Yes, that's Libby in a onesie. Loved it.
Hearing that, we headed back towards the Seattle Center to find Solutions and get my wristband for a little post-race action. After hopping in the longest Solutions line ever (downside to a Saturday morning race, I think, is that a Thursday-Friday expo is hard for folks to get to sometimes), I learned I could just check in at VIP after the race and get squared away up there. Woot. We headed back toward the start line so we could catch the wheelchair start.

Apparently Seattle is one of RnR's largest events, as it offers an 8K, half and full. With 40-something corrals, you could tell it is certainly huge! Tons of people not following their corrals and jumping wherever - though I was assigned 13, I ditched my jacket with Lindsay and figured I'd take the risk and see how weather turned out. I headed back to 16 to hang out with Libby and try and find Briana in the midst of it. No such luck, but we were in the middle of 16 at that point and decided just to hang.

Libby and I got started and contemplated the idea of her running a PR that day. She wasn't sure, but she had a 2:21 to beat and maybe - just maybe - this could be the place to do it. My only goals for the race were to enjoy it, take it all in, and just have a better day than I had at San Diego. Easy goals, right? We caught up with Briana and Andrew about a mile and a half in, and ran with them for a bit and then carried on!

I LOVED getting to run through the sights of Seattle - it made me wish I had stayed an extra day to play in the city and take it all in, but such is life! We had a little fun as we ran through Pioneer Square, by the cruise ship terminals and down and around CenturyLink in the background. A 10K split PR for Libby, and we were on to good things! Boom! Libby split for a restroom stop and I carried on, trying to keep steady so she could catch me. I found this guy about mile 8:

Andrew and Briana caught up to me about there, and I continued with them through the last tunnels and back into the city. About mile 10, we caught up with one of the wheelchair athlete who was going backwards up the last incline - can you say inspiration? My legs were tired, but certainly not any more tired than his arms. I fought harder just to be sure I really tired myself out by the end.

It got really humid inside the tunnel - certainly mostly thanks to all of us sweaty folks - but also for the impending rain outside. When we came out of the tunnel, it started to mist... and then rain a little harder. Never a full on rain, but at mile 12, it was a nice little repreive from the humidity and the rain just teasing us. At that point, I actually really liked it. 

You come down up and over the offramp that leads back towards CenturyField and SafeCo Field. It's a nice gradual downhill, just to climb a little bit up and around the stadium, which was a little cruel, but whatever. The rain started to come down just a little bit harder but actually felt pretty good - at least for a little while!

And just like that, that was it! My goal of just having a better day than San Diego was more than achieved, and my 2:17 finish was pretty on point with how I felt. I walked when I wanted, enjoyed the course, took photos and had a great day. Zero complaints. I will note that I think this new course is totally worth of a PR kind of day - a few gradual inclines but more than enough decline to make up for it. Fast and flat otherwise and a beautiful one, to boot! 

Overall, I loved this race. The course is definitely quieter than San Diego, but that's not a fair comparison by any means! Gorgeous scenery, a fun run through a new state for this girl and I have zero complaints overall. I am glad the rain didn't totally pull through and the mist at the end was just enough to cool me off and feel nice (again, for a little bit). 

I was lucky to have access to the VIP area, but more on that soon in an upcoming post!

Where will I see you rock this year?

Want to rock with me at an upcoming race? Use code RUNMEGANRUN to save!

Disclosure: I am a member of Rock 'n Blog and was given a 2016 Global Tour Pass from the folks at Rock 'n Roll and Competitor. The opinions expressed herein are my own and represent my experience at the race and over the weekend as a whole. Otherwise, no compensation was given for this review. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Weekly Workout Recap Roundup #26

June 26 - July 2

Happy Fourth of July, all! I hope your holiday weekend has been amazing and filled with food, friends, fireworks and lots of good times! This week wraps up the last FULL week of the 2016 #RWRunStreak - amazing!

Started off the week with a too-late run in the morning. I had to work this day, but got to sleep in still and unfortunately, that just meant the heat took advantage too. These were slower than I'd have liked but the first 2 miles are straight uphill and then got to blitz right back down, so I think I made up for some of it. A decently long run to start the week - boom!

5.60 miles 

Woke up Monday morning ready to roll! Doug was back from Vegas after a weekend away, so I was feeling a little more in my zone and ready to get this week started. A Monday morning 5K is never a bad way to start the week either. :)

3.17 miles

Somehow I jumped back on this run-in-the-morning streak, which is nice, given that my days are also getting crazier. Tuesday and Thursday nights for the next several weeks, I'm on campus until 9 pm doing workshops as part of our orientation program for our early starter students. This means for a) longer days and b) runs are mandatory in the morning, otherwise they will definitely not be happening! Sooo... morning mileage it is. Not gonna lie though, running with the sunrise is pretty fantastic.

4.4  miles

Yoga was cancelled today, which was sad, but it left me a little flexibility with how fast I had to get home from work and how long I could run. Jacky was hurting a little bit from a calf workout, so we went for some easy miles and repeated most of the route I had done on Sunday - 2 miles up, 2 miles down and some extra. I need to stop wimping out on this incline and get some solid runs in - time to get back into marathon shape! 

6.54 miles 

Thursday was going to be the longest day ever - at work by 6:30 am, hosting our last transfer student orientation of the summer, taking an hour break for dinner and catching up on the rest of work, and then one of our late-night workshops. Whew! Can you say a bit much? Me too. To boot, my boss was out on jury duty from Tuesday on, so it got even a little crazier because it was just me running the show. Done and done. Morning miles, therefore, were the only option, so ya gotta make it work!

6.8 miles 

FRIDAY! Off day! Yay summer! I also let myself sleep in a little bit, which also meant then that it was hot, and that was dumb, so I paid for it. My legs were also quite tired from Thursday, so I figured one quick lap around the block was enough - besides, I had a haircut + color appointment and a massage waiting for me, so I had better things to be doing. ;)

However, I finally got to debut my new Abundant Heart tank Jenna had made for me. Is it perfect, or is it perfect? Madly in love - keep an eye on her FitBride collection and it'll be posted there soon too if you need it for yourself. :)

1.36 miles 

I was supposed to meet up with Arlene for 12 miles but by the end of the day Friday, my lower back was killing me. Honestly, I think the massage was a little hard and did me in - can you say first world problems? Sorry. Anyway, so come Saturday morning when my first alarm went off, I couldn't even fathom getting out of bed - what's one more day to sleep in, right? So I let myself, and then naturally, when I saw everyone's Saturday morning exercise posts, I felt lazy. Blaaaah.

So later in the evening, I headed out for 5 miles on a loop that would take me up to the dog park to meet Doug and Molly and then if  I was still feeling okay, I'd run home and get a little more in. The 5.5 to the park were hot and kinda lousy, but the 4  home were freakin' fantastic and a sub-9 pace for all 4 splits. So I guess that's an evened-out win! Woo!

9.56 miles 

Total for the week: 37.43. Booyah.

How was your week? Make sure you link up below!