Category Archives: Running

Rise. Run. Retreat. {Giveaway}

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Picture it.

A weekend away at a beach house in Maine with an amazing group of fun, fearless and fantastic friends. And you are all runners.

Sounds absolutely wonderful, right?

Well, that is what will be happening the weekend of October 2-5th. I’m beyond excited that I’ll be attending the inaugural Rise.Run.Retreat.

Rise.Run.Retreat. is an intimate retreat built around the idea that through connections with other women in the running community we can build each other up to be stronger women. Sarah and Jes cooked up this idea and have invited myself and 7 other spectacular running bloggers:Tina, Laura, Christine, Michele, Allie, Sandra, Jen. (Click on their names to follow their amazing blogs).

I can’t wait to hang out with Laura, Christine, Sarah and Michele again. I’m even more excited to FINALLY meet Allie, Sandra, Jen, Jes and Tina. Can you believe I’ve never met Sandra and we live in the same state?!?!

It’s going to be a weekend of laughter, good times and of course running. All the retreat attendees are running the Maine Half Marathon – although I’m undecided since it is the weekend before Chicago Marathon. And who knows what my running status will be by then.

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And look at the amazing line up of New England based companies!

Since Rise.Run.Retreat. is in it’s first year, Sarah and Jes wanted to keep it small. The hope is to one day open it’s doors to all who wish to attend.

BUT, there’s room for one more lucky lady to join us!

Pretty cool, right?

Here’s the details:

  • the contestant will receive: free retreat registration.
  • must be available October 2-5th
  • provide for your own travel to and from Wells, Maine and be responsible for some meals
  • responsible for Maine Half Marathon registration $65 cost
  • be active on social media in some form, you don’t have to have a blog

To enter, simply let me know why you want to attend Rise.Run.Retreat. in 200 words or less in a comment below.

So join us for what is going to be an amazing weekend of running, laughing and building life long friendships!

This giveaway is void where prohibited. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Contest runs 7/1-7/10. Winners will be selected based on their response. Winners announced 7/13. Winner is responsible for all travel and meal costs. 


How to Become a Morning Runner

morning runner

I’m one of those super annoying people that can jump out of bed and be ready for a run no matter how early it is and what season.My body is just naturally set to be a morning person.

Like I said – annoying.

But I understand that not everyone is like that. I mean if you asked me to go running at 10 p.m., I’d think you were nuts. Side note – I actually saw a guy running down my street the other night at 10 p.m. He was legit going for a run – blinky lights on and everything – so I knew he wasn’t running from the cops or anything.

With summer running upon us, the heat and humidity can really suck the life out of your run. (Find tips HERE on how to survive). When you run first thing in the morning, you can at least get a little bit of relief. If you are a night owl, making the switch to early morning runs is going to be rough. I’m not going to lie – you’ll probably hate it. BUT if you make a gradual switch, you may find it you will actually enjoy it.

How to become a morning runner in 8 easy steps:

Plan, plan and plan some more. Set out your clothes the night before. Know the distance, pace and route of which you’ll run. To take it a step further, I’ve even slept in my running clothes.

Go to bed early. Make sure you are in bed by 10 p.m. at the latest.

Do NOT hit snooze. That button should have never been invented in my opinion. Besides being the most annoying sound ever, laying in bed an extra 5 or 10 minutes won’t do anything for you. Seriously. Get rid of the snooze alarm.

Set your alarm for 20-30 minutes earlier than you normally wake up. Continue setting your alarm 20-30 minutes earlier every day until you reach your ideal wake up time. Taking baby steps towards your goal will ensure that you are too miserable.
Sunrise Running |
Get dressed in the bathroom. Or at least away from sleeping family members so you don’t have any grumpy spouses or early bird kiddos who will throw a wrench in your plans. Although I think my kids have super hero hearing some days no matter how quiet I

Find a fellow crazy awesome morning runner. If you know you are meeting someone, you are less likely to bail on the run.

Enjoy the view. In the early morning, especially during the summer months, there is so much to soak in – birds singing, dew on the grass, the sunrise. If you run later, you’ll most likely be paying more attention to all the busyness of the day rather than the beauty. A perfect sunrise is always worth it.

Be persistent. Habits are formed over time, and on average it takes 21 days to form a new habit. If you don’t fully commit to making this new habit of running in the morning, it won’t stick. The good news is that if you stick with it for a few months, you’ll see that it will get easier and easier.

And soon you’ll be another annoying morning runner.

Saucony 26 Strong Photo Shoot

Saucony shoe shot |

It’s hard to believe a week ago at this time I was on a plane to San Diego for a photo shoot with Competitor Magazine and Saucony. It was a whirlwind three days of fun and getting to know some of the other teams from the marvelous 2015 Saucony 26 Strong campaign.  It’s amazing how you can put so many people from different walks of life together, but after just a few hours together, it seems like we are old friends.

Marina and I purposely picked the earliest flight arrival so we’d have extra time to sight see before the other teams got in. After arriving at our hotel, Estancia La Jolla, we ate a quick lunch and then headed to the beach. The concierge gave us a map to Blacks Beach which was near by. She said it had a steep climb in and out but was absolutely beautiful.

Black Beach |

She didn’t lie.

The one thing she didn’t tell us? There would be naked people. Lots of completely naked people.

Marina and I were so into the beautiful scenery that we missed the nakedness until we were deep into it. Of course, we couldn’t help but burst out laughing especially when we were the ones getting the funny looks because we had too much clothing on!

Blacks Beach

Sorry I didn’t get any close up pics of naked people. :)

With a belly ache from laughing so much, we made it back to the hotel in time to hang out at the pool with Allison and Erin (reps from Competitor) and Danica before freshening up for dinner. Dinner was absolutely delicious, but getting to know the other girls and meeting our photographer, Nils, was the best. My cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling so much.

Marina and I were first up for hair and make up at 6 a.m. the next morning. It was such a trip to have my foundation airbrushed on. I think I need to get one of those for at home!

First outfit Saucony 26 Strong |

We picked out our outfits and then we were off to our first location – Balboa Park – where I yelled at Marina to stretch dammit! But not before your run, k?

Stretching Competitor Saucony 26 Strong

Balboa Park – beautiful! Everywhere we went it was just gorgeous with lush gardens and amazing architecture.

Balboa Park Garden

The first shot was of a group run.

Saucony 26 Strong Group Run

Unfortunately, that meant I had to sit out. You don’t know how bad that sucked. But the girls looked so, so good. I did get to jump in for a running shot in a garden and then later on I tried running 10 steps.

Competitor Saucony 26 Strong running

Can you tell I’m grimacing? You would think running 10 steps wouldn’t hurt after 7 weeks of rest. Wrong. It hurt. I was totally disappointed and it kind of bummed me out for the rest of the day especially when we moved to a new location.

Trail Run |

Isn’t it a gorgeous trail? Marina graciously volunteered to run for me.

The trails behind UC San Diego were unbelievable. I just wanted to take off and explore. I had visions of self timer pics galore.

By then we were all toast. We headed back to the hotel for a late night of dinner, drinks and dessert. I’m not sure how I managed to stay up past 10 p.m. (1 a.m. my time), but when you are surrounded with good people, you rally. And by the way, who knew modeling could be so exhausting?

The next morning, Marina and I had a 6:30 a.m. make up/hair time. We were split into groups of four so the East Coasters with early afternoon flights could get our last shots done sooner.

When I first saw where we were going, a bike path under the I-5, I was wondering why Nils chose such a spot. But then he showed us a test shot he had done and it looked perfect – cloudy, dark and powerful. We did a lot of shoe shots – I got to practice tying my shoe – and team shots.

Behind the scenes Competitor Photo SHoot

The second group arrived just as we finished up so we could say our good byes and get one last group photo.

Competitor Saucony 26 Strong Photo Shoot

Before going back to the hotel, Allison made a special detour to show Michelle a route she could follow for her run. I was insanely jealous – so many trails, so many beautiful spots.

must. go.back. when. I .can. run.

Of course, no trip to California is complete without a last dip of the toes in the water.

Torrey Pines Beach

I can’t thank Saucony and Competitor enough for this amazing opportunity. I am so not model material, but you made this girl very, very happy. It was definitely a trip that I’ll never forget!