Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Huma Chia Gels!

Hüma is a veteran-owned company that makes 100% all-natural, great-tasting energy gels. It was started in January 2012 by Ian McCollum and Kevin Sherbourne, two young grad-school students who were tired of awful energy gels. Hüma gels were officially introduced in November 2012 and have since become the best-selling all-natural energy gel! 


Like all endurance energy gels, Hüma is a tool for glycogen supplementation. When you exercise for more than 45 minutes, you run the risk of hypoglycemic shock, a.k.a "bonking", which basically means your body runs out of its glycogen stores. Hüma provides an alternative fuel source so your glycogen lasts longer. 


The idea for Hüma was born in the sands of Iraq. In the summer of 2009 a US Army soldier named 1st Lieutenant McCollum was charged with leading grueling missions throughout Iraq. At the time he was reading a book about the Tarahumara, a tribe of Mexican Indians who regularly compete in epic 100+ mile races as part of their culture. To fuel themselves on these ultramarathons, they use a special chia seed blend. He figured if it worked for them in Mexico, maybe it would work for him in Iraq.
It did. In fact, the stuff was amazing at keeping him going, and that discovery eventually led to the creation of Hüma. Today, Hüma brings together Tarahumara tradition, sports nutrition research, healthy ingredients and great taste as our best shot at helping you enjoy your gel.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

My newest and greatest adventure yet, Ragnar Relay!

Sitting in the airport bar, listening to the soft conversation and the Ratpack being played in the background, sipping on my vodka seven reflecting on where my life has lead me. There has been a constant roller coaster of ups and downs in my near 30 years on this planet, the ups severally outweighing the downs. Although, the downs have not been too dissimilar to the following 300 scene: 
I have had many careers already! I have been an office assistant, safe ride driver, a secretary for Northwest Missouri State University's Upward Bound Math and Science program, a Sam's Club cashier, an accounting office assistant at Missouri State University, a cashier at Family Video, a security officer at T-Mobile and SNBL through Gaurdsmark, a Control Room Technician/Security Manager (also through Gaurdsmark), an Executive Assistant at Amazon with Amazon Logistics Last Mile, and Executive Assistant at Intentional Futures and now I am working at Ragnar Relay as a Race Director! 
My lows tend to have been mostly from failed relationships! Thus, my singledom for the last couple of years. :) 
My life currently is almost surreal, I have a job that ticks all of the boxes that I have ever wanted from a job. To be an event planner, traveler, to work with awesome people and be involved with something that I am passionate about, and in this instance that is running! 
My sister moved with me to Salt Lake City when I took the position with Ragnar Relay which is also completely wonderful. We are hiking and exploring the area together having a blast with our two pups. 
With Ragnar, I have already been to two states that I haven't really spent much time in. Texas and Massachusetts, both were incredibly beautiful, although, I am more partial to oceanfront towns that true countryside. I am just coming off my first back to back race weeks with Ragnar. I flew into Cape a first then flew directly to Chicago for my second week. I spend the first half of my life in Wisconsin/Illinois and I was glad to see that this trip lead me to many places in both states that I had never seen before. I had forgotten just how beautiful Wisconsin truly is, especially in Spring when everything is almost startling green. With lawns so well manicured that it makes me feel like I have been transported back to a time when people had great pride in their homes and took great care in keeping them up. 
Massachusetts was wonderful, the location of the race was a lot of farmland, not too dissimilar to Wisconsin actually. Minus the peek-a-boo sightings of the Atlantic Ocean every once in a while. I had a pretty intense night course set up shift while there, so I wasn't able to take in that many views but I was able to see the sun rise over the Atlantic, which was spectacular. The finish line for Cape Cod was in Provincetown, MA. It was the cutest little seaside town I have been to and I have been to a lot! I loved it, next time I visit I hope to spend a couple of extra days there. 
The Chicago relay also had a completely wonderful finish line in Madison, WI. Olin Park is located right on Lake Monona with stunning views of downtown Madison and the capital building. 
I have only found one downside to all of this jumping around! That is how much my miss my baby boy Laddie! He is in spectacular hands of my sister (whom I also miss). This almost two-week trip has been really hard it has been that longest that I have ever been away from him, I am constantly thinking of him and wishing that he could join me on all of these adventures that I am having.
To say that I am excited to see where Ragnar leads me is an understatement, to say the least. I have loved every second of my experiences thus far with Ragnar and I have no doubt that I will continue to love all of the crazy adventures that are to come.
Keep on Running!
Keep on Dreaming!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Eating disorders and more

I try my best to live a healthy lifestyle but life sometimes puts a bit more stress on me than it should and I break down every once in a while for a few months at a time. Whether it is because of recovery time from an injury or something else, I just get down on myself and I stop working out. I put on a few pounds here and there but it usually isn't that much. This year was different, even though I try to keep my head held up sometimes it loose sight of that healthy lifestyle and I binge eat junk food, this year, I binge ate for a few months! I just tried to eat my problems away. Which is never the answer but talking it out with my friends, and working hard to get some of the harder life things taken care of, I have been able to get the binge eating under control for now. It is something I have always struggled with, and I am sure I will continue to. If you would like to learn more about Binge Eating, click HERE
What is Binge Eating Disorder? Binge eating disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort); a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (e.g., purging) to counter the binge eating. It is the most common eating disorder in the United States.
If you are effected by Binge Eating there are many sources of help out there. HERE is one, an online counseling group. You may also reach out to me if you want to speak with someone who also struggles with this eating disorder. 
Bulimia Nervosa, thankfully I am currently not suffering from this but did for several years. Bulimia nervosa is a serious, eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or abusing laxatives designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating. If you would like to learn more about Bulimia, please click HERE. If you would like help, click HERE for online support groups of eating disorders. Again, if you would like someone to speak to, you are more than welcome to reach out to me. But I can only speak to my personal experience and I am Not a certified trained specialist. I highly recommend using one of the sites I provided or speaking with your physician. 
I wanted to share this with you as I am re-entering my weightloss and fitness journey. Binge Eating and Bulimia are always on my mind and I worry about them all of the time when I am losing weight. I love working out, eating well and having fun but it can be easy for me to slip back into a unhealthy lifestyle. I can easily spend 3+ hours a day working out and counting every single calorie that I eat, down to a ketchup or salt packet. Or "slip up" and feel as if I need to go to extremes of using laxatives or other methods of getting rid of the unwanted calories. 
I have found that I have been doing these things less and less often over the years, I know it's because I have wonderful support from my friends but I feel I also get stronger and stronger each year that passes. That doesn't mean it isn't a struggle but it does help so much. 
10-15% of Americans suffer from a severe eating disorder. I encourage you to speak up, you aren't alone! 
My heart is with you. 
Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes.

Friday, December 8, 2017

2017 has been an interesting year

So, here I am once again in Missouri. The place I never thought I would live again. Have to give life that, it is so unexpected and you just can't control it.

I have had a very rocky 2017. So much has happened this year in a negative way that it is almost unbelievable. I left Amazon because they wanted me to work more, I was already pulling 60-70 hour weeks (in office, not including work I did from home). Then I moved on to Intentional Futures and the job was ok but it wasn't challenging enough for me and it was just not quite the right fit, so I left them.

I have been unemployed now for three months. I have applied to hundreds of jobs and so far, nothing. It isn't from the lack of interviews. I have interviewed at least two dozen companies, mostly phone screens, but I am still in the rut. Hopefully the right role will come along soon.

As far as my running goes, I have talked about my IT band injury from July. I received a steroid shot in my knee which I had several reactions to, unfortunately. It made my recovery time easily 6x longer than it would have been without it. After a couple of months of PT and simply not over using my knee, it is starting to feel like normal again. Thankfully!

The day I signed the new lease on the house my sister and I are now living in, mid November, I tripped off a step that I didn't know was there and severally sprained my ankle. It still isn't completely recovered 3 weeks later. It is fine to walk and run but with no sharp turns or technical track. But it is slowly getting there.

Black Friday, I was setting up a Christmas tree in our living room and I slipped and fell, my knee hit the corner of my sister's piano, (the same IT band knee) and was severally bruised and bloodied. Yesterday was the first day of exercise that it didn't bother me during the run, just a little bit after. . .

I have spent over a year basically injured with a couple of good months in the middle lol. Don't forget my horrible ankle sprain last August that left me in a boot! Once that was healed I got a couple of good weeks in and then was in a car accident that messed up my back! Hahaha I should live in a bubble.

Despite all of this, I still wake up each day hoping that it will be better than the day before.

There has been a lot of good this year as well. Like making several new and wonderful friends, getting to run more trails than I ever have (in between injuries 😄), I got to go on an awesome road trip around the PNW with Laddie, and I get to spend time with my family because of the move. Just a name a few of the good things.

The thing I am most grateful for are my friends and family. My of my friends have become family. The photos below are just a few of the friendships that have blossomed and grown this year. If I were name and go through them all, this post would be a small novel! Know that I love all of my friends and am blessed to have you all in my life.
This photo was at Sun Mountain 100k and 50k. It was the first race I had ever DNFed but because I was there with these wonderful people (and many more not pictured) I still had a wonderful time.
Tiffany and I out hiking, in search of some fall colors. The snow was falling on us from the trees. We were pretty damp by the end of this hike in the snow. But this is exactly our friendship. "Want to hike in the Enchantments in 1 day?" "What to go snowshoeing at Rainier?" "Want to meet up in Winthrop for a trail run?" Yes to all and so much more!
Mary, my trail sister! I met her briefly in 2016 at a trail half marathon but didn't connect until earlier this year. We had many wonderful unforgettable trail adventures this year. I didn't get to spend time with her before I left Seattle because she was off getting married! Congratulations again Mary. I love you!
Andrew, we met a couple of years ago through a mutual friend. We've had many city adventures together, from trying lots of new restaurants, to weird mini golf, feeding seagulls French fries, lots and lots of walks around the city and countless adventures. To my friend who I can say that I am really thinking/feeling and who will still love me afterward!
Stephanie! Adventure buddy for sure! We did brunch once with Tiffany and Andrew (like the perfect day!) but other than that, this is what our typical friend hangout sessions look like! So much fun all of the time. So much laughter and giggles, look forward to more adventures in the future!
These are my friends Emily and Sean. I chose this picture because it was the first weekend that we had ever really hung out! That and the story that goes with it. Emily and Sean were maybe 100 yards ahead of me on the trail. Just enough that I couldn't see them becuase of the trees but close enough for me to hear everything they were doing for this photo with Glenn. It was so much fun to hear them laughing and joking around. It was great, I was so excited to finally get my photo taken by Glenn! I was trekking along and right in front of him I face planted... All I see is his head popping over the side of the cliff, "Are you alright!?" I was fine, got up to where he was taking the photos and he totally let me pose for my photo. Such a wonderful guy. 
Anyway, this is where Emily and I became fast friends. I am sad that I didn't get to spend more time with her before I left Seattle but that just means we will have to have more adventures when I move back to the PNW. :) Congrats on the Calendar photo guys! 
Oh yeah, that's Carol. Enough said. 

Just kidding, Carol is the most spunky person I think I have ever met. She won't admit it but she has such a big heart. We had some pretty great times this year, from adventuring out to Pridefest, to watching Mary finish her first 50 mile ultra! Oh and I may have forced her to run White River 50... oops! 💙💚💙
Kaurine, my sister. She and I have been blessed this year with many adventures of our own. I have absolutely loved our time together this year. From traveling around the PNW, to moving in together! So many more adventures to come. Love you Kaurine!

This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions that is for sure. It is easy to let all of the negative things overshadow all of the fantastic things. Even with the bad stuff, I have had one of the most wonderful years yet. Thank you to all who have helped make my life a beautiful adventure.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Do not go gentle into that good night, a poem by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night
Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

A poem about death, how I have been feeling about not giving up on my life lately. Do not go gentle into that good night, do not go down without a fight.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Time to get real

At this point in time, other than injury (knock on wood) the only thing that will keep me from finishing Mountain Lakes 100 is not having the correct gear. So I thought I would share why I am concerned and that all I am still needing. I am sure this list won't be complete either. 
(UPDATED as of 8/8/17 6:22 PM PDT)
  1. Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta 9L Hydration Vest - Women's Obsidian, M/L
  2. Black Diamond Distance Z Z-Poles, Carbon, 110cm - Borrowing!
  3.  SaltStick Caps, Electrolyte Replacement Capsules, 100 count bottle - Gifted!!!
  4. Tailwind Nutrition - 7 Stickpack Set by Tailwind Nutrition
  5. Huma Chia Energy Gel, Variety Pack, 24 Gels - Premier Sports Nutrition for Endurance Exercise
  6. Shock Absorber Women's Active D+ Classc Support Sports Bra, White, 34E UK - Gifted!!!
  7. Altra Trail Gaiter Protective Shoe Covers, Orchid, S Regular US - Borrowing! 
  8. Petzl - NAO 575 Lumens - Borrowing!
  9. A running puffy jacket 
  10. Second pair of Altra shoes - Gifted!!!
Amazon List for a better idea. I am going to try and borrow some of these things but clearly some, like that bra, I can't borrow. 
I will be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was getting myself into financially when I decided to go for a 100 miler. I definitely bit off way more than I can chew. If you have anything on this list (or know of things that I am missing) that you are willing to let me borrow for a few weeks, that's be super awesome and I would be eternally grateful. 
Thank you!