Spartan Super Asheville, NC August 6, 2016

Ok, so I lied.  I said that the Spartan Sprint was the best weekend ever when it came to fitness (you can read all about it here).  Well, technically not a lie, because it was the whole weekend ūüôā and the Super was just Saturday but man, oh man, what a great time I had.

What is the Spartan Super?

It’s a tough race that is 8+ miles with 20+ obstacles on insane terrain.  The obstacles are put in place to test our physical strength and mental resolve.

Since I had just got back from Puerto Vallarta (you can read about it below) on Wednesday, I decided just to drive to Asheville that following Saturday and return home right after the race.  This made for a very long day but it was so worth it.

I’m not going to lie, I was hella nervous. Check out my video, as I’m heading to meet my team.

Oh well, I was there and knew I had to do what I came to do….. Be a BEAST!!!

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Race 13.1 Greensboro and BGR! National Meetup, May 15, 2016

Race 13.1 hosted the Inaugural BGR! Meet-Up at Race 13.1 Greensboro, NC on May 15, 2016!

‚ÄúRace 13.1 is the southeast‚Äôs premier half marathon series that spans over 20 counties in 7 states in the southeast‚ÄĚ.  Race 13.1 mission is ‚Äúto encourage healthy living in America by bringing premier road races to mid-size communities while exceeding the expectations of our participants and giving back to the communities we serve‚ÄĚ.   I love that they bring the perks and feel of a big race to mid size racing communities.

“In 2009, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks-Rocha created Black Girls RUN! in an effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners. The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority”.

Turns out I’m a brand ambassador for Race 13.1 and one of the ambassadors for BGR! Columbia, so I wanted to be there to represent on both fronts. Also, BGR participants (half marathon, 10k and 5k) received a bonus medal and pullover with their registration. I run for bling and shirts LoL. I learned shortly after the race that some of the members that registered before the deadline never received their shirts. I contacted my contact at Race 13.1 and was insured that it would be handled (Did you get your shirt?)

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PacketPickup

Was just that, packet pickup. I arrived Saturday afternoon and stood in line for about thirty minutes before getting my packet. It was clear that Race 13.1 was unprepared for the volume of folks picking packets up at one time (lessons learned). Hopefully next year this won’t be a problem.

Race Day

Headed out and met over 1,400 BGR! members for our photo op (it’s just what we do lol) at 6 am that morning.

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In the midst of the crowd, I located some of my BGR! Columbia sole sistahs.

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I didn’t have any expectations for this race, other than to finish what I started. Since I have found a new relationship with lifting, my running has fallen off the beaten path. I’m determined to pick it back up though. I realized how much I missed running, so I plan on incorporating 2-4 miles here and there at least twice a week into my regular scheduled program.

The course itself was a lot of rolling hills, inclines, and a couple of mountains. Funny thing is I didn’t even mind them at all. I did however mind running over half the course on concrete. Yeah I know I run on the street but there is a big difference and I surely felt that difference in my joints after the race. OUCH

Overall the race was great. The weather was perfect – chilly at start and then it warmed up quite nicely. It was awesome seeing so many people running that looked like me. BGR! was in full force!!

Race13.1 never fails when it comes to the after party ūüėä.  The music was jamming on the one.  They also had a nice setup for water, fruit and food.

 

Have you ever ran a Race13.1 race?  Where? Did you enjoy it? Would you recommend it to a friend?  Let me know in the comments below!!

If you have never ran a Race13.1 race before, I highly recommend checking one out.

 

Tour de Cure, Columbia, SC May 21, 2016

Last year, I decided that I was going to raise awareness to diabetes by riding 35 miles in the America Diabetes Association (ADA) Tour de Cure in Columbia, SC in 2016. I figured I had a few months to get it together (bike and all). The American Diabetes Association is the nation’s leading nonprofit charity fighting against diabetes and its deadly consequences. Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 40 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association.

I was able to raise $383. Thanks to all that graciously donated to the cause. I really appreciate each and every one of you. Thanks!!!

This year marked the 25th Anniversary of the Tour de Cure. I was really excited to be participating in my first ever cycling event. So excited that I signed up to ride 35 miles, but what had happened was….

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RRCA Running Coach Program April 30-May 1, 2016

At the end of April, I attended the RRCA Coaching Certification Program.

RRCA, stands for Road Runners Club of America. It’s basically a club of runners, coaches, running clubs and maybe a few other things all with an overall goal of promoting distance running. You can read the history more on their website.

RRCA is one of several running coach certifications and I’ve wanted to become a running coach for a while now.  Taking this course was threefold:

  • Hearing from the experts in the field and having something else to qualify me as a running coach beyond the USTAF Level I Certification, only makes me mo’ betta.
  • I love running and I wanted to learn a bit more to self coach myself.
  • Over the past year, I‚Äôve had an increasing number of readers and friends asking me for coaching advice, so now I have a more structured way of advising and helping potential clients and friends.

The course was a two day course that touched the surface of conventional running and how it relates to psychological and physical training for those just starting out on their running journey to the more advanced and experienced runner.

Before I go any farther describing the class, I need to take a moment to appreciate Steve Mullaney, yes the same Steve that coached me from Dec 2014-April 2015. He was our hostess for the weekend, having made the arrangements for the class, which was held at Midlands Technical College in Columbia. SC. Steve went above and beyond, feeding us a continental breakfast of fruit, yogurt, and bagels on both mornings. For lunch we had sandwiches the first day and pizza the next (plenty of veggie options) with plenty of sweet treats to get us through the lecture. Thanks Steve!

The goal of the RRCA Coaching Certification program is to provide trained individuals to work as coaching professionals for the sport of distance running at all levels, from beginner to advanced runners.

 

The course was 16 hours long, split into two 8 hour days of instruction.  The RRCA includes a handbook/workbook in the registration fee that extensively covers the topics of the two days:

Day One:

  • Principles of coaching
  • Understanding exercise physiology for coaching
  • Principles of building a training program
  • Understanding running form
  • Basic sports nutrition

Day Two:

  • The business of coaching
  • Sports psychology for coaching
  • Recognizing injuries and injury prevention
  • Environmental factors that effect running performance
  • Building training programs as a group activity

 

We were even given a book…..

This course covered creating training plans for 5Ks to marathons, as well as runners safety, injury prevention, and the business of coaching.
Takeaways

Things I learned and focused on:

RRCA stresses uniform usage/meaning of certain terms like cross training, tempo run, or intervals, as it relates to coaching running. As coaches, they want us to be careful with how we use these terms. Basically, each different coaching theory uses a different definition for terms like ‚Äútempo‚ÄĚ and intervals so when we give our runners plans, we need to be very specific on what we want them to do.

Aside from putting together a running plan, most things in regards to said runner is most likely out of our scope, which includes but is not limited to:
Nutrition and diet
Injuries and dealing with them
Therapy
Legal stuff
And pretty much most other things

As coaches, we have to stress to our clients

So, where do I go from here?

Well, if you haven’t done so before, perhaps you’d like to check out my Coaching page, already updated with my bright shiny new RRCA certification badge. Some of the benefits of having a coach is that they will create a training plan just for you, with your goals, history, schedule, and experience taken into account. They will also help keep you accountable, make adjustments in your plan if necessary, and give you honest advise regarding racing, goals, and injuries.

Have you ever worked with a coach?