Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Race Entry Giveaway!

Just in time for a Christmas giveaway, the Hot Chocolate race series asked if I would be an official ambassador for them again this year and of course I said yes!  I will be running the San Francisco Hot Chocolate 15K on January 11th and am really looking forward to it- I ran the 5K this year and it was so much fun that I signed up for the race again next year way before they asked me to come back as a Hot Chocolate Blogger- all my bias aside, it is truly a fun race I’m sure to do annually!

Not only is the course beautiful here in SF (oh how I love running Golden Gate Park!) but the schwag really can’t be beat!  You get a reusable drawstring bag and a gender-specific, fleece lined, full-zip hoodie, a sweet chocolate bar medal for the 15K, plus a huge post-race mug filled with goodies and a warm chocolate sauce for dipping- YUM!  For even more schwag, be sure to enter code SFBlogger4 when you register to get a free Hot Chocolate running hat at packet pick up! Love great race schwag!!!

But before you register, please keep reading to find out how to enter for a chance to win a FREE ENTRY to ANY upcoming Hot Chocolate race in 2015 (San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, Nashville, and Las Vegas)!

Myself and BFF Amy- Happy Hot Chocolate Runners!

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Zooma Winter Sale!

I am honored to announce that I was among those chosen as race ambassador for the Zooma Napa Valley half and 10K on June 20th, 2015. Of course, I have a discount code to share (code LAURA15 gets you 10% off registration for either distance) and if you are planning to run Zooma Napa, please let me know in the comment section!  I love seeing my readers along the course and would really love to meet more of you live and in person!

I am really excited about Zooma Napa mainly because I’ve never done it before and I love races that are new to me.  I also love, love, LOVE running in beautiful wine country and as a Bay Area native, I am lucky that Napa is just about 45 minutes away, plus we have family in Sonoma, and I’ve researched every single kid-friendly winery there is!  There is nothing better, to me, than a relaxing post-race wine tasting with my medal proudly around my neck and my family in tow.

As an added bonus, from now until December 14th, you can also use code LAURA15 to get 10% off ANY Zooma race- in addition to Napa, Zooma also hosts events in Florida, Annapolis, Cape Cod, and Texas- so pick your destination, grab your running buddies, and make a race-cation out of it! (Race registrations make great Christmas gifts. Just sayin’.)

zooma-facebook_WinterFlashSale_v3

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Journey to 26.2, Part 1: Beginning Again

I attempted yet another half marathon this past weekend despite the fact that I’ve been injured for over a year, and it really didn’t go well.  Duh. I plan to write the race recap, of course, but wanted to write this first in an attempt to ease my mind… to be completely and totally honest, I haven’t been running much at all lately. I ran a bit prior to the Nike half and that race went really well (not speedy well, just hey-I-don’t-feel-like-imminent-death-this-time-woo-hoo kinda well) so why I seem to think I can race and expect a positive outcome while NOT training at all and eating ALL my kids’ Halloween candy is a certifiable mystery to me. I’m crazy like that.

I pushed and pushed to cross the finish of the half last Saturday, and as soon as I was done, puked about 5 times, much to my husband’s dismay. After I recovered, we headed out for my traditional post-race-burger-and-beer and chatted about the race, the course, and I complained about my sundry issues- that list seemingly 13 miles long itself… Hubby asked, “Why do you do this to yourself? I know you love running but why do you suffer so much? I just want to protect you and make sure you aren’t in pain but you just keep punishing yourself! Why???”

That’s a stupid question, I thought. Running is hard and I don’t expect every race to go perfectly, especially when I’m not prepared. I’ve always believed that the ultimate goal of training IS discomfort, you’ve got to push yourself past what you are able to do in order to get better, no one improves in the comfort zone… but then I remember that time- oh so long ago- when running was easy for me, training was a joy, PRs were a plenty, long runs were something I looked forward to and upon completion, would give myself a big pat on the back, proud of my accomplishments. Now, it’s more like, “Well, let’s get this fricking thing over with!”

That tells me it’s time to press the re-set button. I’m going back to square one. I need to re-teach myself all the basic mechanics of running in order to start doing it the RIGHT way again. Get back to the roots of why I started running in the first place and get my body and mind ready to accomplish the goal I wasn’t able to complete through this past year-of-injuries: crossing the finish line of my third 26.2.  Continue reading

Happy Movember: Mustache Dache 5K Discount!

The Movember Foundation is an organization committed to changing the face of men’s health and has raised $559 million to date toward saving and improving the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health problems. During the month of Movember- aka November- the foundation challenges men to grow their mustaches out all month long to spark conversation, raise vital funds, and increase awareness for its men’s health programs.

Not only do I love a good cause, I’m also a sucker for a fun run so when the Mustache Dache 5K contacted me and asked if I would be interested in running their San Francisco race on November 16th, I- of course- said yes! The Mustache Dache directly supports The Movember Foundation  by raising men’s health awareness and donating a portion of its registration funds to help end prostate cancer- all great reasons to go for a run!

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Tune Belt Review and Giveaway

Tune Belt provides neoprene armbands and belts that carry and protect phones and devices of all sizes. As a runner, I always take a couple devices with me when I hit the road and as a blogger, I take even more- typically my phone, camera, and music player. I’ve had some challenges carrying all these items when running so when the good folks at Tune Belt contacted me and asked if I would try one of their armbands, review it, and give away one to a lucky reader, I happily complied!

Read on to find out how to enter for a chance to win one of these custom, super comfortable sport armbands from Tune Belt!

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Race Recap: Nike Women’s Half Marathon (SF)

(photo credit: Run Nike Women Series)

(photo credit: Run Nike Women Series)

Round 5 of the Nike Women’s Marathon, my fourth in SF, accomplished this past Sunday and I am happy to report that it went SO MUCH better than I expected given my litany of injuries this past year.  I had such a great time and was reminded of how much I really and truly love running.

If you are familiar with the Nike race series, you know that this year they changed everything for their San Francisco race for the first time in 10 years. They removed the full marathon and completely changed the course.  I ran my first full at Nike SF in 2011 and once was just fine (as it was SO AMAZINGLY DIFFICULT!), ran their SF half in 2012 and again in 2013 so I was eager to see just how different it would be this year.

Going into this race, I was more than nervous and worried.  My last two halfs (The Town’s Half Marathon and the 2nd half of the San Francisco Marathon) went horribly. I hit the wall at mile 4 and every part of my body hurt and screamed, “QUIT! QUIT! QUIT!”  This Sunday however, with the race I have been obsessed with even before I ever started running, I felt absolutely great and loved every single minute of it!  Continue reading

Recap: Peak Hike for Prevention

In 2001, I decided to use my energy to start fundraising for cancer research and to that end, found The Breast Cancer Fund which aims to prevent breast cancer altogether by raising awareness and eradicating exposure to chemicals and radiation in our everyday environments that link to the disease. The first event I ever participated in was The Breast Cancer Fund’s Bike Against the Odds, raising $1500 in 2001, then I came back to accomplish their Peak Hike for Prevention three times: in 2002 ($1300 raised), 2009 ($1100 raised), and then again this year, 2014.  Continue reading