50 States Challenge

In running, there are is a badge of honor to run a race in all 50 states. So far I’ve only done races in two states. I will have to wait until I am in a much better financial position before I can do any traveling to other states to work on my own challenge.

I have my own fundraising challenge going on right now. A teammate of mine started a 50 State Challenge and I stole her idea.

Cancer affects everyone no matter where you are from. Let’s see if I can fill up this map with purple. It doesn’t take much. Just skip your Starbucks for the day and drink the coffee in the office (if you work with me, I know that is a big sacrifice) or skip your martini at happy hour. Take that money you saved for the day and make your donation.

I know people in most states but not in every state. Please share this with your family and friends and see if we can fill this map together! I’ll color in the states as I receive donations and I’ll try to update every other week or more frequently until my map is completely purple.

Make your donation here.

50 States Challenge - Fundraising Ideas - Team in Training - http://whomerun.com

50 States Challenge

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Iron Girl Clermont

Did you ever wake up in the morning and think, “Hey, I want to run a triathlon this morning?” No? Only me?

Well, it didn’t quite happen like that but it kind of felt like it. The Iron Girl Clermont Triathlon had been on my to-do list all year. I never got around to registering for it. I kept putting it off and up until the Friday before the race, I thought I may not even do it. On that Friday I was thankful that I hadn’t registered because I thought I would need to go home to Connecticut the next day.

I had actually made the effort to switch my schedule with a friend so that I wasn’t working past midnight the night before the race and when I realized that I wouldn’t be going to Connecticut for a few more days, I decided to get up for the race to cheer on Mel. I did take the extra steps to get everything together in case I decided to do the race. I made sure that my bike had enough air in the tires. You know, the important stuff. I even sent Rob a text message to look out for my stuff since he would be getting home late and I didn’t want him to trip over anything.

Sunday morning I got up at 4:45, got everything into my car and made the 20 minute drive over to Lake Minneola. As soon as I was parked, I grabbed my bike and went to the registration table. All bikes had to be in the transition area by 6:30 so I wanted to make sure I got my bike in there as soon as I was able to.  At the registration table I was able to meet Meghann and tell her about being registered for the Rocketman Tri.

Once I got marked and racked my bike (in the wrong section – whoops! I fixed it before the race started), I went back to my car and got the rest of my stuff and sent Mel a text message letting her know that I was there.

After getting my transition area all set up (in the right section), we headed over to the beach to relax before our wave started. Mel wanted to line up at the back of our wave so that we wouldn’t need to deal with the mad rush of people trying to start the swim. There was a total of 5 waves, 3 for the Sprint distance and 2 for the Super Sprint distance and I was in the last wave.

The Race

Once we got in the water, we had to run out a bit before we were actually able to start swimming. Normally we would have started further out in the lake and the drop off would have happened sooner, but we’ve had so much rain recently that the shore was about 30 feet “higher” than the last time I saw Mel do a race here.

I was able to start swimming and very quickly started passing people. I had to stop and tread water a few times to avoid getting kicked in the face or swimming right on top of people. By the time I was heading back to shore, I was passing people who were in the wave ahead of me. When I was able reach the bottom, I started running. I wanted to run all the way to the transition, but I am just not that good at running on sand so I moved as quickly as I could.

For T1, I was able to get my feet rinsed off quickly and then I tried to put on my shoes. Here would have to be my biggest mistake. I decided to try my Vibram Five Fingers because 1) my bike seat was a little bit low and I thought the thinner material under my feet would make it seem like my seat was higher and 2) I thought they would take less time to get on than dealing with socks and sneakers.  Yeah… I finished the swim 2 minutes before Mel and she still caught up with me in the transition. I just couldn’t get them on with damp feet.

Iron Girl Tri Clermont Florida Bike Elevation Profile - http://whomerun.com

Bike Elevation Profile – Check out those hills!

For the bike, I survived. As I mentioned before, Clermont is hilly. Florida has hills folks. The first hill was not very long after the start of the bike portion. It was a pretty good climb, but it was followed by a nice and fast down hill. Unfortunately, the entire bike portion was rolling hills for the rest of the ride. We biked around all of Lake Minneola. It was very pretty and maybe next year I can actually plan on training on the course a few times. The last big hill was actually the worst. I managed to make it up it without stopping though!

My T2 was remarkably fast. I got in, racked my biked and turned around to head out right away. Notice something I forgot to do there? I didn’t notice right away either.

I was so thankful to only be doing the 2 mile run by that point. But very quickly, I realized that wearing the Five Fingers was the worst decision I had made. My feet and legs were not happy. There were a few parts of the run course that were out and back. I was able to see Mel and she kept encouraging me to catch here. I tried to, I really did and maybe with my sneakers I would have been able to, but my legs just could not move any faster.

Back to that thing I forgot to do during T2. About a half mile into the run, one of the other participants asked me why I was still wearing my helmet. What? Oh. Whoops! I took off my helmet and started carrying it. Then one of my swim coaches happened to bike by. She asked why I was carrying my helmet. Yup. Thankfully there were some bushes nearby and I through it in there so that I could pick it up on the way back. I didn’t want to run through the finish line with the helmet so I though it to the side again just before the finishing chutes.

Iron Girl Tri Clermont medal - http://whomerun.com

You are an Iron Girl!

I was pretty satisfied with my performance in my first triathlon. I was already making plans to do it again. I can’t wait to do my next one!

My stats:

Total time: 1:30:31

Swim: 9:58

T1: 5:43

Bike: 43:17

T2: 1:11

Run: 30:22

Lessons Learned

I came in 5th in my age group for the swim. I was so close to the next person that I am certain if I had started at the front of my wave I would have come in 4th for the swim. I spent too much time during the swim stopping and battling my way around people. Also, only socks and sneakers for my next race. I know I can slip my socks on damp feet much faster than trying to get the Five Fingers on. Oh yeah, and leave my helmet with my bike!

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Fundraising Ideas

I am in full swing with my fundraising for Team in Training again this year. There are so many different ways to raise money for charities. I have a few that are different fundraisers that I am running right now and a few more ideas that I am working on.

logo_tnt_teamPampered Chef Catalog Show

A friend of mine from work is a Pampered Chef consultant and has set up an online catalog show for me. I love Pampered Chef products. So much so that I used to be a consultant for them when I was first out of school. They also have some really good recipes that I like to use. I plan on making their French Apple Pastry this week. It is apple pie season and I have been craving some lately. I’ll be sure to post that recipe and pictures of the finished product when I make it.

For the catalog show, 15% of all the sales will go towards my fundraising. Additionally, $3 for every show booked will also go towards my fundraising. I’m not sure if that will apply to other catalog shows, but if you are local and want to host a show, please get in touch with Taryn and she will get you started. Check out the Pampered Chef fundraising show here and place an order today!

Banana Bread to Beat Cancer

This idea come from one of the girls that is on the Space Coast team. She is known for her oatmeal cookies. I decided that there is one baked item that I am really good at. I’m selling banana bread for a $15 donation to my website. Currently I’m not able to ship the bread, but if you are coming into town, I am willing to drop off the cookies at most local hotels. This is especially a good idea for those of you who are coming into town for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler. I have an event page on Facebook with more details.

Yankee Candle Fundraiser

Finally, I have a Yankee Candle fundraiser that I’m running. I have a catalog sale right now, but in the next few days, I will have the website up and running. The website will be up until the end of December. This is an amazing deal. Team in Training will get 40% of all the proceeds. You can place an order for Yankee Candle here. You may need to enter my Group Number 990056039 and my Seller ID Megan1 in order for me to receive credit.

Of course, direct donations to my fundraising site are always welcome too!

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Dead Last Finish

After a long overdue post, I am sharing with you the time that I had a Dead Last Finish. In my early days of running I signed up for a local 5K to give myself a goal. It was during my training for my first half marathon and timing-wise it fit right into where I should be.

Dead Last Finish http://whomerun.com

Dead Last Finish

I ran the Phoenixville 5k back in October 2008. It was only about 10 minutes away from home and they also ran a 10k that day. I wasn’t really nervous about it, my goal was just to get out there and get it done. The race was small and local. I guess I should say that was actually nervous.

Phoenixville is a town on a river with lots of hills. The 10k actually went down to river and back up the other side before returning to the finish line. The 5k stayed on the same side as the start/finish line, but that didn’t make the course any easier. There were still some decent rolling hills throughout the course. Maybe it wasn’t the wisest choice for a first race, but the timing was right.

I lined up near the start line. The race was so small that there were no corrals. When the gun went off, I started off at a comfortable pace with everyone. Of course people were passing me. I had been following the C25K plan inconsistently prior to the race but I didn’t continue to follow it during the race. I was a new runner so I thought I could handle it! Boy was I wrong. My Nike+ measured the first mile as my fastest mile to date. I quickly lost my speed after that first mile.

http://whomerun.comWhen I reached the turn around point, I knew I was the last runner. The other people were still in sight though. The volunteers at the water stop were really encouraging so I kept going. During the last mile I was exclusively walking the race. By the time I was in sight of the finish line most of the 10k runners were finished. The volunteers at the finish line were great and cheered me on.

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Dead Last Finish

I managed to finish strong and even finished in under 45 minutes. It was a surprise to me that I still met my goal for the race. (I’d like to note that on any given day I’m still not much faster than that in a 5k.) This race was definitely filled with fast runners. I’m not sure how far behind the rest of the group I was. At the end of the day, I was still satisfied with my race.

In case you missed it, you can read about my DNS (Did Not Start) and DNF (Did Not Finish).

DLF>DNF>DNS

Posted in Couch to 5K, DLF, DNF, DNS | Tagged | 2 Comments

2 Degrees Bar Review

I was provided with samples of 2 Degrees Snack Bars through my association with Raynforest. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

I had the opportunity to try 2 Degrees Snack Bars recently. 2 Degrees is an amazing company that was started by two friends in San Francisco. Their mission was to make delicious product and feed hungry children around the world. It is their goal to fight childhood hunger.

How do they do that? It’s simple. They use a “Buy-One-Give-One” model. For every bar that you purchase they give a child a meal. According to their website, their try to purchase food that is produced locally in the region where the meals will be distributed. They work with non-profit organizations in developing countries to help distribute the meals through health clinics, schools, and community groups. In the United States they work with Feeding America to distribute the meals. You can see some of the other countries that they are working in on their website.

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2 Degrees Snack Bars

So how are the bars? I really enjoyed them. My pack included four different flavors: Chocolate Peanut, Cherry Almond, Chocolate Banana and Apple Pecan. The bars contain all-natural and nutrient dense ingredients such as nuts, chia and quinoa. If you are allergic to nuts, I highly recommend the Chocolate Banana. It is incredibly delicious!

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Cherry Almond

I can’t decide my favorite between the Chocolate Banana or the Apple Pecan (which reminds me of an apple pie). The Chocolate Peanut was yummy too. The only one I wasn’t a fan of was the Cherry Almond. Funny enough that is was the one that I got a picture of in it’s package! It was a good bar, but I’m not a fan of cherries so it didn’t really appeal to me.

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Apple Pecan Bar

I had one before one of my long bike rides and it held me over until I got home. I plan on ordering some of these again and I may even take them with me while I do my Rocketman Triathlon next month. I think one of the bike might be a great source of fuel.

Here is a added bonus: all of the bars are vegan and gluten free! I know I have some friends that would benefit from that.

If you are interested, you can use the promo code Megan15 that you can use on their website. It’s good for 15% off. For full disclosure, I will also receive a small percentage of any purchases made during my discount code. As with any other income I make through this blog through the end of the year, I will be donating it to my fundraising.

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The Liebster Awards

I can’t believe I have been blogging for six years now and I just received my first Liebster Award. I was nominated by Lara at Methodical Living. Check out her blog!

Here are my answers to her questions:

1. Who is the most influential person in your life?

My Mom. She has always been the most supportive person in the world. She also isn’t afraid to tell me when I need to get my act together.

2. What is your favorite desert?

I have to pick one? I love pie. My favorites are apple, pumpkin and chocolate cream. Hmm… I haven’t made that in a while.

3. If you could own any animal, what would it be?

A dolphin. I love cats and would love to have one of them as a pet, but I think dolphins are the most amazing animals in the world. I would love to have one to swim with every day.

4. I’d like to believe that there are two types of people in the world Beatles fans and Elvis fans. Which one are you? True, there are people who like both but typically everyone likes one a little more than the other.

I’m an Elvis fan. I think this question is funny because I usually make the same distinction. I don’t dislike the Beatles when forced to choose, I pick Elvis every time. I always liked him music but when I visited Graceland in 2007 it solidified my love of his music.

5. What is your proudest moment?

Graduating from college. It has been 15 years now, but that was a big accomplishment. I went from a small, all women’s college my freshman year to a large, top 50 university. It was much more academically challenging and it was a huge cultural shock for me too. I never thought about going so far away to school until I visited Washington, DC and fell in love with the campus and the city.

6. If you could have dinner with any celebrity, politician, or other influential person (alive or dead) who would you choose?

Bill Clinton. I lived so close to him for 3 years of my life but I never had the opportunity to meet him. Despite his personal dramas, I liked him as a president. I think he is a very fascinating person.

7. What is your absolute favorite book?

One book that I read for the first time when I was a freshman in high school, again as a senior and then again in college, and probably the only book I actually finished of all those I was assigned to read was Animal Farm. It is actually one that I would read again on my own too!

8. If you could live anywhere on Earth, where would you settle down?

Aside from Florida? I would love to live in France. Any part would make me happy!

9. What have you learned since starting your blog?

I’ve learned that when I am not meeting my daily fitness goals, I’m less likely to sit down to write a post. I’m sure it’s noticeable here, but my desire to sit down and write a post goes hand in hand with my desire to get off the couch and do anything.

Here are my nominees:

Tabetha at I Run on Water

Stephanie at Cat Lady Runs

Karen at …Just Me and My Running Shoes…

Mindy at Road Runner Girl

Lacey and Miranda at Fairytales and Fitness

Kimberly at Black Dog Runs Disney

Heather at Divas Run for Bling

Nominees, here are your questions:

1. What do you like about blogging?

2. What is your favorite type of exercising?

3. What race is on your bucket list?

4. What is your favorite “cheat” meal/snack?

5. What was your favorite activity when you were in elementary school?

6. Have you ever run a race in a costume? (If so, please share)

7. Name three songs that describe you right now.

8. What are you surprisingly bad at?

9. Do you have a significant other? How did you meet?

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10 Things on Tuesday Volume 8

Ten Things on Tuesday http://whomerun.com

1. I can’t believe it is September already. We had a crazy weekend at work with lots of check-ins, but by the time I get back tomorrow most of the people will be gone for the week.

Boogie Boards at Cocoa Beach http://whomerun.com

Boogie Boards

2. I had another beach day yesterday. Rob got a boogie board for me at the Ron Jon store in Cocoa Beach. I managed to get a couple really good rides in. I never had a boogie board before so for me there was a bit of a learning curve. I had a lot of fun.

3. I found a Christmas Tree Shop in Florida. We were in Altamonte Springs last week and I saw one in a shopping center. After screaming and making Rob turn around, we easily spent an hour in the store shopping.

4. I’ve got lots of different fundraisers in the works for my fundraising with Team in Training. I’m getting closer to meeting my goal, but I would like to reach it as quickly as possible.

5. One of my fundraisers it selling loaves of banana bread. I have to admit that my banana bread is really good. If you or someone you know lives in the Central Florida area, I can make you some for a $15 donation to my fundraising page.

6. I’m also hosting a Pampered Chef catalog party. A friend of mine is a consultant and she set me up with a party. A portion of all the sales will go to my fundraising goal.

7. Yes, I know, lots of TNT updates… I was asked to mentor the Disney Team for the North and Central Florida chapter of TNT. I’m excited and nervous about it. I mentored a season with the Eastern PA team when I lived in Philadelphia. There were multiple mentors out there for the whole team. This time I have THE WHOLE TEAM. No pressure.

Muppets Most Wanted http://whomerun.com

Muppets Most Wanted

8. I got to meet the puppeteer who was Constantine in Muppets Most Wanted last week. He signed my copy of the movie too.

9. I have been having blog guilt. I feel bad that I haven’t been posting that much, but I plan on getting a few more ready for you this week. I have so many things that I want to write about!

10. I’m ready to get a new pair of sneakers. I think I’m going to be getting a new pair by the end of the month.

Posted in 10 Things on Tuesday, fundraising, team in training | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments