Time to party!!

This was the week we’ve all been waiting for. Okay, well not everyone…lol! My family and I are all set to celebrate this little big guy’s FIRST BIRTHDAY!!!

12 months=1 year in case you didn't know :D

12 months=1 year in case you didn’t know 😀

The official day was this past Wednesday and unfortunately, our new 1 year old was home sick 😦 He wasn’t able to face plant himself in chocolate cake then but he’s definitely well enough to give it a go at his party tomorrow 🙂

I wasn’t able to run after Wednesday and Thursday as I was home with my son. Today will be spent taking care of last minute party planning but I’ll be heading out for my long run tomorrow morning before the festivities begin. His birthday theme is Summer Fun, I’m Turning ONE and we’ll have plenty of water activities because, well…

Yesterday's temps...

Yesterday’s temps…

At least it’ll be a cool 108 tomorrow…

giphyI hope you all have a great weekend!! Who’s running, who’s racing??

What’s your favorite way to celebrate your birthday?

5 Tips on Finding a Running Group

I’ve been meaning to share how I found my running group for quite a while and like I mentioned yesterday, it’s been a popular topic amongst my blogging friends lately.

I had just had my son (July 2013) and was so antsy to get back to running. I did my first race, a 5k, six weeks post partum and I was the happiest ever, ever.

A month after the race, October, my husband and I went to San Francisco and of course we ran while we there. We talked a lot about running and I told him I wanted to run a marathon. Like the following year. Like that March. He laughed and said I was crazy but that’s why he loved me and that I could totally do it. So at the airport, on my phone waiting to get on the plane back, I signed up for the Phoenix Marathon.

When we were home, I began looking up training plans and as I was searching I thought about how I wished I had more running friends. I’m a part of several great online running communities but I really wanted to meet up with other runners. I started thinking about how I could find a running group. So of course I started with Google.

Tip 1: Google

  • Search using key words like your state + running groups or your city + running groups
  • Also use the word “club” instead of group to see if anything different pops up
  • Try neighboring cities as well
  • Do a national search and just type in “Running Group”. Sometimes national groups have sub groups organized by state or region.

Tip 2: Facebook

  • Do a search using the same key words as Google
  • Some groups are closed but don’t let that stop you from joining and lurking for a while to get a feel of it

Tip 3: Visit your local running/shoe store

  • If you don’t know of any near you, Google first and then go (or call). Ask someone there if they know of any running groups in the area. It’s very likely that people who shop there are a part of one.

Tip 4: Go the mall

  • If you’re like me, I’ll take any excuse to go the mall lol! But seriously, go to the mall and visit athletic shops like Lululemon, Lucy, and Athleta. Often times, those places have their own meet-ups for running and workout sessions. My local Lululemon store meets on Thursday nights for a 3-5 mile run and Sunday morning for free yoga.

Tip 5: Swing by the gym

  • You don’t have to be a gym member, just visit one, or a few, close to you and ask the help desk if they know of any groups in the area that meet up to run. A lot of groups use gyms as meet up spots (mine does!).

Okay, I know this might sound like a lot of work, but trust me, get out of your comfort zone for a while and do it!! You will be so happy you did.

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Once you find a group (or groups), here are some other suggestions:

1. Give it a test run (ja! See what I did there?) If you find a group, or several, see what meet-ups work for you and go! Give it a shot–you really have nothing to lose. If you’re not digging the vibe, no sweat–you don’t have to go back. If you like the people you meet, then awesome!

1a. Take it easy on your first meet up. You don’t want to over exert yourself.

2. If you’re more comfortable joining a group’s Facebook page first, go for it and lurk around. I actually found two groups in my search that interested me so I joined both of their Facebook pages and lurked. I found out one had a membership fee and that kind of turned me off–it wasn’t much, but still. I also didn’t really like the vibe I got.

But the one I did eventually join I felt good about what I saw. The page was very active, which I liked. And I could tell that people were actually friends with each other. <—this was what actually kept me from meeting up. Which leads me to…

3. Don’t be afraid to jump in. I loved how the group all joked and talked with each other but I was afraid to go to a meet up because I felt like everyone had known each other for years and I would just be a newbie all by myself running alone. During one conversation, I decided to take the plunge. I commented. Once people saw a new face (me) everyone was SO nice! They asked me when I could come out for a run, how long I’d been running, and if I was training for anything. I was still pretty busy with my then really, really young son and couldn’t make it to a run until about 2 weeks after my comment introduction but when I did, everyone was super friendly and welcoming. Best decision ever, seriously.

4. You don’t have to be “fast” This is the number 1 thing I hear from people who are afraid about joining a group–that they’re not fast enough. What I love about running groups though is that more often than not, you’ll find one with people of ALL abilities. Everyone there has something in common despite one being faster than another–they love running!! Plus, when you run a race with a running group, no matter how fast a person is, you all cover the same distance. You’ve all experienced something together. It’s seriously an awesome feeling having people who know what you went through after you’ve finished a race.

I’ve had a blast with my running group. I ran my first marathon with them, crossed the Grand Canyon twice with them, and most recently, ran 16 miles at night in the middle of nowhere with them. I’ve done so many things that I’m pretty sure I would never have done by myself. I’m pretty excited for what’s in the future–I know it’s going to be great!

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–Are you in the market for a running group? Think you’ll join one?

–Are you part of a running group? How did you find them?

–What other tips would you give people looking for a group to run with?

Full Moon Friday Five!

I’m linking up again with the DC Trifecta girls–Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney (<–happy weeding weekend!!) for another Friday Five!

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.17.23 AMThis week—Random Edition. Who doesn’t love randomness?? 🙂

Here we go!

1. Happy Friday the 13th!!!!
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I’m totally not superstitious nor do I scare easily. I love horror books and films and think it’s fascinating how people think of things like that to write/film. Crazy, really.

I’m an English teacher and I know I’m supposed to love the classics, and I do, but I also like reading fun stuff (I know, horror? Fun?) One of my favorite authors is Jeffrey Deaver. He wrote the book turned-into-big-time-movie starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie called The Bone Collector. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, do it! At least one of them 🙂 Last month, he was doing a book tour of the sequel to the aforementioned novel. I had been waiting forever for it to come out and was pumped that I’d be able to go to his signing. Except not. I was off crossing the Grand Canyon a couple of times and couldn’t make it that day.

So my husband went!!! He’s never read a single one of his books but he knew how much it meant to me and he got the book signed.

yay!

yay!

In celebration of today, my run club is doing a full moon fun run tonight 🙂

–Do you like horror/murder mystery books/movies?
–Will you be celebrating today?

2. World Cup!!! Another exciting thing happening today is Mexico is playing. I’ve been loosely following (really on Instagram) the team’s road to the cup. I’m a Mexico fan because I grew up right on the border of the United States and Mexico. Like right on the border. I cheer for the U.S. when they play and I cheer for Mexico when they play. When they’re against each other, well, it’s tough lol!

Mexico's coach is hilarious!

Mexico’s coach is hilarious!

–Did you see the bizarre opening ceremony??
–Will you be watching any soccer games?

3. Marathon Training Plan This weekend I’ll be whipping up a training plan for my October marathon. I’m so excited to do this! I don’t know why, but having that sheet telling me what to do makes me happy 🙂

I’ve been reading Run Less, Run Faster and I’m not sure if I want to follow the plan 100%. I’ve been liking a lot of what I’ve read but there are a few things that worry me–I plan on talking about this further in a later post.

I liked Hal’s plan that I used for my first marathon. I’ve been talking with a friend about Hanson’s Method. My run club coach provided me with a plan as well. I honestly think my plan will end up being a hodgepodge of several different methods, who knows! But I am sure that by Sunday, I will have a final product.

Do people still say 'ermagerd'? I'm so not cool.

Do people still say ‘ermagerd’? I’m so not cool.

–Do you use a plan to train for a race or do you wing it? (I’m not a winger–I stress out too much to wing! lol!)

4. 100 87 Days of Summer Thirteen days of no soda.

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It has been a super tough week with plenty of thoughts of caving. But, I kept strong and when the going got tough, I texted a few friends doing the Summer Challenge with me for support. It’s definitely helped not having any soda in the house too–my husband is on board with my quest to go sans soda and we’ve decided to both go without it.

It’s interesting because I’ve become super more conscious about what’s in everything I drink. Like I wanted Minute Maid Lemonade and when I read the label thought, wha??! This is really no different than the soda I was drinking! So I’ve been mostly sticking to water–H20 4 lyfe!!

–Do you check to see what it is you’re actually drinking? I never really did til now.

5. and OMG this ❤ ❤

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I double booked us on play dates yesterday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and they had so much fun! My husband was out of town so I did my best to keep us busy and we seriously had the best day ever. (Plus, the Heat lost!)

I’ll be taking it easy today and tomorrow–I’ve got my first trail and first night race!

–How was your week?
–What are your weekend plans? Running, racing? (If you’ve got a race, good luck!!)

P.S.
Happy Father’s Day to the dads out there 🙂

❤ ,
helly