Dog Days Virtual Run

I recently (and finally) began getting back into running.  I’m taking it super slow for the simple reason that barefoot running kind of requires that.

My life is full of coincidences, and so soon after I started running again Level Up Runs took me on as an ambassador.  They’re a company ran by runners who offer virtual runs with fun medals to help keep you motivated.  I do love to get some bling for my running, who doesn’t?

I skipped the first few races because I was so recently back to running, but I’m not missing the next one! They’re having an August Dog Days run, and  for every entry, Level Up will be donating a toy, blanket, or a dog bowl to the Second Chance Dog Rescue in San Diego, Ca. Running, a medal and helping a good cause all in one.  Can’t beat that! The run is $25 if you are in the US, you can get more information and sign up here.

Check out the medal design for the run, who doesn’t love Lady? And Stitch, though I don’t think he actually qualifies as a dog.

Medal

 

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100/100/3

I was exploring other blogs out there and stumbled across a girl who started a New Year’s challenge for herself to paddleboard 100 miles in 100 days.  A mile a day doesn’t sounds like much, but when you take into account the fact that it’s an activity that you can’t do on a daily basis, it’s weather reliant, and not actually all that close to the house it puts it into perspective a bit.

I liked the idea so much I decided to challenge myself to do the same.

I just started bicycling a couple of weeks ago, so I thought it would be fun to bike 100 miles in that time too.  That’s something I can just go outside and do, as long as it isn’t lightening.  Fun!

Then I decided to sign up for the Dare Greatly Trail half marathons.   It’s 3 halves starting in December.  I mean, ya I’ve never run more than 4 miles and I haven’t run at all in a year, but what the heck, right?

I even made this great banner photo thing for my post.

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Then I announced my super great plans to the boyfriend, aka partner in crime.  (AKA person I’m volunteering to do this with me.) And he used his stupid logic on me.  How many weeks in 100 days? About 14. So that’s less than 7.5 miles a trip.  Easy, right?  We usually paddle about 3 miles, what’s the difference?  Unless, of course, we skip a weekend which is a given considering 5 kids between us. Plus jobs that easily take 50 hours a week. Plus his other job and out frequent non-paddling adventures.  Hmmm, maybe not quite as easy as I thought.

The bike part really should be easy though, we tend to ride the trails near the house about twice a week so that part should be easy peasy. Heck I’ll ride around the block until I hit 100 miles if I have to.

The running, well that’s not a given and not something I’m great at being consistent about. But we have 7 months until the first half, so it’s probably doable. Right? Sure.

So the question is whether or not I should give it a go.  No point trying something you know for a fact you can’t do, but then how do you know if you don’t give it a try?

Any opinions? Are there 3 things that you enjoy doing so much that it would be fun to challenge yourself to do them a lot more than you currently are?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 5K Zombie Run 2016

Another year, another zombie run in Tampa!

Everything started off fine this year.  Happy faces all around.

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But then some of the runners started acting a little strange.  No offense, but people just weren’t looking all that healthy.  Myself included.  That’s what I get for wearing a dress to a run. How are you going to outrun zombies in a dress?  And so I became a zombie. So sad.

zombie run Collage

I’ve been lucky enough to run in the 5K Zombie run for years, but this was my first time as a zombie. OMG Fun.  Since my partner in crime was not allowed to run due to surgery a couple days before we switched from runners to zombies kind of last minute.  I mean, plus there were those bites.

Turns out being a zombie is AWESOME. Much more fun than it looks on The Walking Dead.  I didn’t even get an arrow to the head or anything.  Want to take it easy? Just stand dead center and moan about it.  Want to get rid of an excess of energy?  Well there are all those tasty looking humans to try to catch. Being a zombie can actually be MORE work than being a runner when a long wave of humans goes by!

Being on the zombie team was every bit as much adult recess as being a runner.  Maybe even more because you are hanging out with strangers trying to strategize about taking down the next horde of humans. Not to mention the extremely scientific discussions regarding why there aren’t more retired age zombies in the movies and why there really should be. Amongst other philosophical discussions while awaiting the next victims.

I got to say, we were pretty good at being the running dead.

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Want to try the zombie life?  Take a look and see where you can catch The 5K Zombie Run next! You’ll have to be in Florida though, because these runs are put on by a local Tampa company.

 

It’s ON. Zombies and Colors.

So like 4 months ago I wrote a couple of posts about The 5K Zombie Run and out The 5K Color Blast.  They were both scheduled to happen November 14th at Lake Park. And then this:

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A sinkhole opened right near the entrance and the races (along with other events I don’t actually care about but other people do) had to be postponed until an evaluation could be done.  Said evaluation made it clear that the park had to be closed, indefinitely.  Hopefully they will be able to get the sinkhole fixed and re-open the park again soon.

But now, good news!  Both The 5K Zombie Run and The 5KColor Blast have been relocated and rescheduled for March 19th at Northwest Equestrian Park.  It’s just north of Citrus Park Mall, putting it very near where I work but I’ve never heard of it before.  I love finding new places!

Anyways, the timing is perfect for me.  I haven’t run consistently since the Spartan Race which was all the way back LAST February.  Sad, I know. Too many excuses to list, so I won’t.  But I am now over a string of random illnesses including a stupid stomach flu thing I think I am just over as of today, and positively jonesing to go for a run. Weird, I know.  The point is it’s been so long since I’ve done anything remotely like a workout that I decided to start all over with the Couch 2 5K plan again. I’m hoping to be able to skip ahead in it a bit. But seriously, I did a pretty mellow yoga routine the other day and stopped before it was done because I was tired.

But now, I have a goal!  I have zombies to avoid and colors to run through.  So March is perfect.

It seems they still have tickets available for the run, and not only for the Tampa run, both runs are also going to be held in Largo on February 27th!  Check out the races web sites for all of the details as far as times, registering, and bling.

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The 5K Zombie Run Tampa

The 5K Color Blast Tampa

The 5K Zombie Run St/ Pete/Clearwater (Largo)

The 5K Color Blast St/ Pete/Clearwater (Largo)

 

 

If you didn’t sign up before, you should totally sign up now.  These runs are fun, casual, and fun. Plus it’s always cool to support locals.  You don’t have to be able to run a 5K to run one of these, you just need to run when you see zombies. Especially if you see them in The 5K Color Blast.  Just saying.  You never know.

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You should also follow them on Facebook, because not only can you get up to date info on all of their runs, they post funny stuff when they aren’t sad about sink holes and maybe wondering why they don’t live in California.  (Because every other natural disaster). Here’s the link to The 5K Color Blast’s Facebook and The 5K Zombie Run’s Facebook.

Welcome.

The 5K Color Blast – and a giveaway!

The 5K Color Blast is coming to Tampa (actually Lake Park in Lutz, but whatever) November 11th! If that date sounds familiar it’s because it’s the same day and location as The 5K Zombie run. Coincidence?  I think not.  It’s because Monster Runs LLC is putting on both runs / parties. They’ll also be in Sarasota October 25th, the day after The 5K Zombie run there.

Know whats cool?  If you sign up for both The 5K Color Blast and The 5K Zombie Run at the same time you get an extra ‘combo’ medal. So if you run for the bling you are in luck!  Check it out. You know you love your running bling.

Zombie Color MedalsWhat else is cool?  This is a color run / trail run hybrid.  You’re fine with a jogging or large wheeled stroller if you’re running with young-uns, it won’t be mountain hiking or anything, but it does add a fun change from your average run.

I went to Monster Runs LLC’s color run last year with my usual running partners, we had way too much fun. They may not make it this year though, they are busy preparing for a little sister they are expecting soon after.

5kcolorrunIn case all of that cool isn’t enough (you are being SO difficult!) I have a pair of tickets to give away.  The winner will be contacted next Tuesday, you’ll just need to register by October 1st.

Here! Enter here!

Can’t decide if you want to go?  Watch this and then sign up, don’t forget to use code ZEN5 to get $5 off your entry. You’re welcome.

The 5K Zombie Run – Giveaway!

Guess what time of year it (almost) is. Zombie time! I’m seeing Halloween stuff in my Facebook feed, I’m already looking forward to the Walking Dead starting back up, and it’s time to get your tickets for The 5K Zombie Run. Yay!

The 5K Zombie Run will be in Sarasota Saturday October 25th at Nathan Benderson Parkand and in Tampa Saturday November 14th at Lake Park.

I ran in The 5K Zombie Run the last two years, it’s a little like playing chase on the playground in grade school. But all of the so called adults around you are making horrible zombie jokes, and you will too.  Trust me.

2013_11_9 5k zombie runThe folks at Monster Runs LLC were nice enough to send me codes for 2 race entries to give away, and they can be used at either the Sarasota or the Tampa run.  I’m going to give them away as a pair, because who wants to face zombies alone? Just click the Rafflecopter link below and enter. The contest ends Thursday the 11th, I’ll notify the winner by email Friday.

Enter to win!

All participants will receive a t-shirt, finisher medal, tattoo, photos, a car decal and entry to the post-race apocalypse party. Yay apocalypse party!

You can be a runner (victim) or a Zombie – either way tickets are $35-$60 depending on when you get them. Spectators and gear check is free, both of which I consider a huge plus. I’ve left my backpack sitting on the side of a field at a couple of runs and it’s always been there when I get back, but there is still something to be said for knowing FOR SURE your car keys will be there when you get back.  Just saying.

If you don’t win your tickets be sure to use the code ZEN5 for $5 off your ticket.

Need more excitement or have the energy of a 2 year old lab? The Zombie Run starts in the morning at 9:00; at 2:00 The 5K Color Blast starts at the same park!  Come back next week for a chance town 2 tickets to The 5K Color Blast.

I received 2 tickets to the Tampa run as a member of Tampa Bay Bloggers and their partnership with The 5K Zombie Run in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own, of course.

Color Me Rad 2015 Review

This is the second year that the family and I did Color Me Rad en masse.  We had a couple of different faces this time (same day as SAT testing), but everyone that goes to Color Me Rad is going to want to come back and run it again.

This year we even got my mom to run it – she decided that if the twins could do it at age 3 she had this.  And she did!  The only problem is with this as a first race you’ll have a hard time finding future races to live up to the precedent Color Me Rad sets!  Especially this year.

color-me-rad-biggerBigger, Badder, Radder is no joke.  Twice the color stations, gel (shot from water guns and cannons!) AND the free photos after the event. Seriously?  To top all that off several of the color stations actually had people on each side with different colors, so you were TRULY not getting through without being turned into something akin to a running rainbow.

Before and After photos tell the story pretty well.

EveryoneBefore

Everyone2015What’s funny is the two on the right went to prom that night. They went to the run determined not to get too colored up. Which I took as a challenge. All it took was asking one person throwing color to be sure to get my niece, next thing you know the two of them were having color wars every time I turned around. Just another reason why having a ton of teenagers in the family is underrated!

Oh, and just in case you were worried, they cleaned up just fine. (Told you so, but didn’t really know for sure…)

Kaili and EthanWe ran in the very last group, which the race people were nice enough to let go WAY after the original time due to the fact that apparently my family isn’t the only ones who forgot how to estimate time that morning.  Just another reason to love the Color Me Rad  people, we got there 10 minutes after the last run should have gone, a result of getting three car loads of people headed in the same direction at the same time.  Three ring circuses have got nothing on this family, you should see our holidays when there are 4 times more people.

Anyways, since we started in the last group and ran with 4 year olds we were some of the last people to finish too. We only caught the tail end of the after party, but the older kids ran ahead (am I allowed to call 20 year old+ people kids?) and they had an awesome time.  They got some great videos too, but we seem to have misplaced the charge for the GoPro so there will be no sharing of videos for a while.

Anyways, to make a long story short ( I know, too late for that) if Color Me Rad is coming anywhere near you you should go. Regardless of age or ability this race is tons of fun for everyone.

Disclosure: I received race entries through the Tampa Bay Bloggers’s partnership with Color Me Rad in exchange for writing a review.  All opinion are my own of course.

River Run 2015 – Giveaway

I have a confession to make.  OK, it’s not really a confession because everyone knows and I’ve said it before.  I am a LAZY runner.  I’ve been running for ages and still have never run much more than 4 miles because I tend to take breaks. Usually just because I lose the bug, sometimes, like this last time, because of a ulcerative colitis flare. Even when I take a break because I’m sick I tend to milk it.  I haven’t been sick in over a month and I just started running again last week. This time I decided to stop pretending like I have running pride and I am sticking to a beginner 5K plan I found on Runkeeper. For free!  Check them out.

Anyways, I found the perfect motivation to stick with it for a couple of weeks at least, and by then I’ll be back in the habit.  Sunday, May 3rd at 10am Cigar City Brewing is having a fun run in downtown Tampa along the Tampa Riverwalk.  There’s no color being thrown on you, no obstacles and no mud.  So what makes this a fun run?  Well.  Let me tell you.

First of all, it’s only 2 miles making it the perfect run for someone who hasn’t been running so much lately. Short and sweet, sounds perfect!  Secondly, since it’s being put on by Cigar City Brewing you know you’ll be getting a Cigar City Beer afterwards. AND the medal that you get doubles as a beer opener. Which (call me an optimist if you must) I feel pretty confident will also open my Angry Orchards. You also get a t-shirt. I really should begin calling myself a professional t-shirt collector between running and donating blood!

RiverRun2OH, lets not forget that this run is just one part of a BIG weekend in Tampa!   As part of the RiverFest 2015 there will also be the Bloody Mary Festival and a downtown carnival, both of which I’ll be doing a giveaway for very shortly. There’s PLENTY more going on as part of RiverFest 2015, you really should check it out!

But, back to the run.  Want to go?  You can check out the run and register here. Or, I’m giving away a pair of tickets to a random winner.  To enter just leave me a comment telling me what your first run was, or letting me know if this would be your first!  Don’t forget to click HERE: RiverRun giveaway and let me know you are entering!  That way I’ll have your email address to let you know if you win.  🙂  The contest runs through Sunday night and I will contact the winner on Monday.

I received 2 tickets to River Run 2015 as a member of Tampa Bay Bloggers thru their partnership with the Big City Events in exchange for this giveaway. All opinions are my own, of course.

My Cross Training Took Over!

Well, once again I have done no running OR other exercise in a couple of weeks because of stupid colitis. It isn’t horrible this time but it is enough to make me not want to go get thrown around in mma class or go running or pretty much anything that I really should be doing.

However.  Before this latest bout I hadn’t been doing any running anyways.  Because I don’t like running anymore? No. Because ‘cross training’ has taken over.  I’ve been going to classes three nights a week for about an hour and a half, going out (what? Just for fun?) on a weeknight most weeks and spending the other with the kids doing whatever. Don’t ask me what happened to the weekends because I don’t know.  They do seem to start and finish simultaneously sometimes! Oh, and I was throwing in some yoga and a bunch of walking too. And Walking Dead is on again. And I bought a kettle-bell so I had to try that out… But not a run to be found.

It made me wonder, am I seriously the only adult around that cannot stick to doing one thing consistently? It’s not like I don’t enjoy running, because I do. Mostly. It’s just that there are so many other fun things to do! And it’s not like I am focused on getting to the Olympics or anything.

The funny thing is that when I was at the Spartan Race running all over the place I actually was able to run further and faster than expected.  Further and faster than if I’d been just running all this time. Seems running isn’t always the best practice for running after all. Of course it could just be me-weirdness. Not at all outside the realm of possibility.  It makes me wonder what I could do if I kept at the other stuff and somehow managed to get a few runs in every week too.

Last Saturday was the 5K Zombie Run, I think I’ll use it as a catalyst to get back into a running schedule and see how it goes.

Do you ever have an issue with simply running out of time before you can get all of the different kinds of workouts in that you’d like to?  Also, do you choose your workouts because they sound fun and you enjoy them or do you push yourself to do workouts just for the physical benefit?

Don’t Tell the Short Girl Size Doesn’t Matter (but I Spartaned anyways)

Last weekend I finally ran a Spartan sprint at Raymond James Stadium.  Just about time. right?  I had a blast, as expected.  I couldn’t do all of the obstacles, as expected.  But I did hella better running up and down stairs than I thought I would.  Plus I didn’t fall once which is always a major win for me. Of course I did run into a stadium chair twice, leaving my hand looking kind of like I punched someone and a bruise on my leg the size of a saucer.  Not bad for me, I’ll take it.

This wasn’t a mud run at all, though we did go through some mud a couple of times.  So I guess not at all is a bit strong and untrue. Whatever.

It was a stadium run, which I didn’t really think about when I signed up (good thing) but which meant about a thousand miles of running up and down stairs.  Up got a wee bit painful after a while, down I was just terrified I’d trip and fall. Not that I would.

The funniest thing about the race (you know there are funny things about everything) is that just to get to the start line you had to get over a pretty high wall. Of course I needed a boost, but up and over is what matters, not how you get there.

The most FUN thing was they had jump ropes out of that really thick rope that cross fitters use and you had to jump with this huge rubber band around your ankles. And jumping over the fire at the end, but that’s a given.

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So why does size matter? Because from the top of the ladder thing I could not reach the (curse word) monkey bars.  Yes, I tried on my tip toes. Anything I had to get over or reach up to was harder than it had to be for me.  However, crawling under the barb wire? Cake. I would not have wanted to be any bigger for that one, or for running between the stadium chairs! I guess it all evens out in the end. At least this run didn’t have the mud / water that some people walked through while I had to swim.  🙂

Here’s the course as they mapped it, but I am pretty certain there was a whole lot more weaving up and down the stairs than this map shows.

SpartanCourse2015So what did I actually think of the race? I would do it again, for sure.  I’d even like to try the longer distance next time. But I will say this run is (fun but) less about having fun than most of the runs I’ve done in the past and more about proving something to yourself. There was nothing fun AT ALL about lugging a huge @$$ jug of water that seriously maybe weighed almost as much as me. I had to stop and set it down a few times. Didn’t really know how much I hated stairs till going up them with that thing.  But I did it and I did it without help.  There is something to be said for completing a task that you are seriously certain you can not do when you start it.

Maybe that’s why they say you’ll know at the finish line.