You might be a runner if...

You might be a runner if...
you've ever seen someone running and try to guess how many miles they are running that day.

You might be a runner if... 
on a super-hot day, you wear a running shirt when you are not running because of it's moisture-wicking ability.

You might be a runner if... 
you've ever purchased two pairs of running shoes at once because they are on sale.

You might be a runner if... 
you pick up your pace a little bit and correct your form when you see an attractive runner coming your way.

You might be a runner if... 
you cheer for people running up a hill from your car.

You might be a runner if... 
when you hear a good song you think: "I'm adding that to my running playlist."

You might be a runner if... 
you are planning a vacation and check to see if there will be a race the same time you are there.

You might be a runner if... 
you have ever said the words: "It's okay, I'm carbo-loading" while eating something you shouldn't be.

You might be a runner if... 
you drink excessive amounts of water or Gatorade on a Friday preparing for a Sunday race.

You might be a runner if...
you smile a little when someone asks you: "How many miles is THIS marathon?"

Some of these may apply, or maybe none do. But I listed these because I have done EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE. Yep, I root for people from my car. I'm that guy. Feel free to share your favorites or some additional ones in the comments below.


Disney and the Coast to Coast Challenge

We have a guest blogger today... it's Liz Weed, who we previously interviewed here. She is coming back from injury and recently tackled the Disneyland Half Marathon, completeing the Disney Coast-to-Coast Challenge (run Disney World and Disneyland Half Marathons). Here is her race recap:

I began 2010 with the Disney World Half Marathon. It was my first attempt running after 6 months of physical therapy (a marathon related injury). January in Florida was supposed be good running weather, but at 29 degrees and sleeting rain, I disagree. While attending that event one of my running friends suggested we do the Coast-to-Coast Challenge. If we run Disneyland and Disney World in the same year, we will get a really cool medal. I myself was thinking: "a great reason to travel to California and hit the beach!" 

September arrived early in my mind. After a whirlwind summer and a move, I was ready for this break. Disneyland proved to be a much nicer venue for a race. The weather was perfect at 65 degrees, and the days leading up to it were beach filled. Two other women joined me, one of whom met me in Florida for the first race. She too had just moved and couldn't find her race shoes! I was the only uninjured runner in my trio, so the others just wanted to finish. I wanted to run a good race at marathon pace knowing that I have one in 4 weeks (Chicago). 

We all had some glitches. First I was placed in the wrong corral. As a matter of fact, I was placed in the very last one! But it is Disney and they agreed to move me up to C. I should have been in B, but I was thankful to have been moved at all. I forgot my running socks, but isn't that what running expos are for? One of my friends forgot her ear buds for the much needed iPod. We had great fun in Downtown Disney trying to convince her to buy the animal shaped ear buds (Monkey or elephant!). She went with basic black. My other friend eventually found her running shoes, but needed me to get her bib since she was late. I am so thankful for camera phones since I have had to do this twice now for friends. 

I will say that Disney World puts on a bigger show, complete with fireworks and a live camera to see the front runners begin. Disneyland does not do any of that and the announcer was awkward at best. But Disneyland made up for it with better weather, a more scenic course and great audience participation. My favorite aspect of the race was running the bases at Angel Stadium. That was just FUN! Your name is called out as you are running and you are filmed on their live cam. The stands were filled with a multitude of groups and people cheering. I enjoyed running through the theme parks and I did stop for a picture with the characters from Toy Story, but I was focused on time. I had a rough start when my iPod fell and I had to face a swarm of runners to retrieve it (that was scary), but I managed to break from the groups and finished within my goal time of 2 hours and 5 minutes. Since my friends were run-walking and pretty far behind me I decided to help bring them into the finish. So after a snack and some coffee, I ran back to my first friend and helped her with the last mile. Then I turned around and ran back to my other friend and helped her in. So I managed to get my extra miles in and helped my friends at the same time. Of course, when you run a Disney event it is a requirement to act like a kid. And we did it with style. After the race, we put on our pink tiara's, our Coast-to-Coast medals and our Disneyland medals and we went to the theme parks. As soon as we entered Disneyland we ran into Cinderella herself. She gladly posed with us "the running princesses."

A great race. A great venue. And a much needed getaway.

* * *
Thanks Liz. I had the opportunity to run the Disneyland half in 07 and I enjoyed it as well. I'm glad you had a great time at both events and also that you were able to help your fellow runners finish. Now it is our turn to help you out: Liz is fund raising for her upcoming race in Chicago, so let's see if we can help her out. Here is a link to make a donation to Liz: http://www.active.com/donate/RMHC2010/lizweed

Liz participated in our "A Cause to Run For" donation program and was awarded a $5 Starbucks gift card. She declined to accept it, saying it was "her pleasure to donate," so I decided to "pay it forward." Everyone dollar that you donate to Liz will count as a raffle entry to win her $5 gift card (and for fun, I'll throw in another $5.) So if you donate $5, that's 5 entries. If you donate $10, that's 10 entries, etc. All you have to do is donate to the link above, then comment below how much you donated and tell us your favorite Disney Character. Sounds like fun!


Starbucks Giftcards

I'm mailing out the first pair of Starbucks gift cards as a thank you to those that made a donation to 25:40 — Saving South Africa's AIDS orphans on behalf of Dana Casanave.

If you're not sure what I'm talking about here is the quick rundown:
I squared away some money to donate to Dana's cause... rather than donating it directly, I'm using it to see if I can raise more money through give-aways and thank you gifts to others for donating. If by the end, I have exhausted my give-aways, I will donate the remaining funds. (original story here)

Here is the first give-away:
The first 5 people that donate (at least) $10, will receive a $5 Starbucks card as a thank you. AND OF COURSE, everyone that donates will receive something from me. Starting with "A Runner's Playlist" — a personal collection of my favorite songs to run to.

So far we have had 2 donations, hence the two gift cards being mailed out above. Already, 10 of my dollars has turned into $20 for the cause. Let's see what else we can do.

Here is a link to donate and to Dana's page where you can read about her journey to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks. All you have to do is e-mail me after you donate with the amount and your address so that I can send you your "thank you." Here is my email: pavementrunner@gmail.com

Again, if you are a San Francisco Giants or 49ers fan, let me know and I can score you some swag. 


Me vs. The Alarm

Each morning as the sun slowly rises and the grass begins to collect the morning dew, we enter the battlefield. Armed with our weapons of choice, separately we prepare for this encounter in our own ways. As I choose to rest and store up energy throughout the night, he decides to countdown the minutes until our predetermined skirmish. As I rest my eyes, he stares me down with an intense look of intimidation and readiness.

I enter the battlefield armed with the potential to become stronger and faster. Although he holds the key to kick-start the ignition and turn that potential into a reality, we must face-off each morning, trying to accomplish different tasks. As the time approaches, with his tenacity and determination, he strikes the first blow by blaring a noise so startling that it threatens to awaken me from my dark slumber. Often times it proves ineffective as I strike back with one of two strategic moves:

Defensive Jab: with a quick strike through the darkness, I manage to quiet his relentless noise. Although this is a strategic move that will grant me 10 more minutes of sleep, it is not a game changer. He will strike back when the time is right.

Knockout Uppercut: with a calculated and decisive maneuver, I'm able to end his bothersome noise for good. As he lays there silenced and defeated, I am able to return to sleep as he continues to count the minutes, but unable to make a sound.

If a defensive jab is delivered, he will counter attack 10 minutes later. At this point, he is delivering an ultimatum: "You may have silenced me, but I absorbed your attack and am here, standing strong." At this point, I can respond with a second defensive jab or face defeat and arise from my state of sleep. If I choose to deliver a follow-up defensive jab, this "dance" may be repeated as many times as necessary at 10-minute intervals until I face defeat or deliver a knockout uppercut.

Although a knockout uppercut may be thrown and I appear to have won the battle, as they say, I may still be in jeopardy of losing the war. Additional sleep may have been won, but an opportunity to become faster and stronger has been lost. A glimmer of hope lingers that tasks scheduled for that morning can be completed later in the day, but based on past history, it does not appear likely. Neither of us will walk out of the ring victorious with our head held high. He has failed to remove me from my sleep coma and I have failed to allow him to give me the opportunity to become a better runner.


A Cause to Run For

For the past few weeks I've been thinking about how I can help a fellow runner. What started this thought process was reading this runners blog about how she slept in a rental car the night before a marathon due to budget concerns (read here). It got me thinking how committed I am to this running thing... would I do the same? In a certain situation I guess I could see it happening... but for this runner, making that decision was the easy part. The following morning, not only did she have to run a marathon, but she had to run #30 of her 52 marathons in 52 week quest.

You may remember Dana Casanave, we
interviewed her awhile back and she also appeared on Pure Fit Radio. Recently during the San Francisco Marathon, I got the chance to "officially" meet and her. As she is running a marathon every weekend, she is also raising money and awareness for 25:40 — Saving South Africa's AIDS orphans. The easy thing for me would be to donate money and consider my "helpful-task" complete. But nothing is easy about what Dana is doing. So I've been thinking of a better way to use the money I planned to donate... so here is what I've come up with:

I've committed to donating a certain amount to 25:40 on behalf of Dana. (and no, I'm not going to tell you the amount, it would ruin the fun.) But rather than donate it directly, I plan to use that money to raise EVEN MORE money. I did this a couple years ago when my sister ran her first marathon for Team In Training. I took the money I committed to donate and held a Wine Tasting party and raised 4x as much. Same idea.

So here is the plan. Anyone that donates to 25:40 on behalf of Dana will receive something from me as a thank you. I'm not asking you to donate $30 or $50 (although it wouldn't be frowned upon). I'm hopeful that most people can donate $5. That's a cup of Starbucks and a pastry. If you can afford $7.50, that's great. More? Better. But I know times are tough and budgets are tight. After all, a tight budget is what started this process. But if you can donate $1, then my mission is on it's way to being complete because If I can get 878 people (the number of my facebook friends) to donate $1, then I have done more than my original donation could have done.

So with my donation money, I plan to purchase books, Starbucks gift cards, LIN socks, Runner's World subscriptions, running shirts, CDs, anything that will serve as a way to thank you for taking the time to donate. Over the next month or so, I'll be posting links on Facebook about special giveaways if you donate. Here is our first one:

Everyone that donates at least $1 this week, will receive a "runner's playlist." A CD comprised of great songs that will get your feet moving on your next run.

On top of that, the first 5 people that donate (at least) $10, will also receive a $5 Starbucks gift card.

In order to be counted as the first 5, you need to e-mail me your name, address and amount that way I can confirm with Dana. And it is limited to the first five... as you can see 25 of my dollars will turn into $50 for the cause. It's working already.

Again, everyone that donates will receive something from me. Whether it's $1 or $25, you are going to get something. Just e-mail me your name, address and donation amount that way I can confirm. I don't need any additional information than that — not your first born, shoe size or favorite color. If you are a San Francisco Giants or 49ers fan, please let me know since I already have some special give-aways planned specific to those teams.

Here is a link to donate — It is her blog page, there is a link on the upper right hand side that says "Click to Donate"

and here is my email: pavementrunner@gmail.com

Thanks again. And please note: if my mission falls short, the money I squared away for Dana will be donated. I committed to donating a certain amount and if it goes unspent on swag, it will be donated to her cause.