Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Operation Jack Satellite Run

December 26, 2010 marks a big day in the journey of Sam Felsenfeld and Operation Jack.  Sam set out to run 61 marathons in 2010 to raise funds and awareness for Train 4 Autism.  This journey started on January 1, 2010 and will come to a close on December 26, 2010 when Sam runs his 61st, and final, marathon of the year in Manhattan Beach, CA.
Sam and his beautiful family, Tiffany, Ben, Jack, and Ava
As you may know, live in St. Louis, MO, and as much as I'd love to be in California on 12/26, I will be right here in the Lou.  I was pretty bummed about not being able to be a part of Sam's final race until Sam mentioned on Twitter that he decided to have a satellite run option for those of us not in Southern Cali. 

Here are the details (copied straight from Operation Jack's site):

If you can't make it to Southern California on December 26, you can still participate by going out for a 6.1-mile run wherever you are. We're aiming for participants in all 50 states, plus as many countries as possible.
It's one last chance to raise awareness and funds for Train 4 Autism in as many locations as possible.
Participants will receive a race medal and t-shirt.
Registration Fee: $25
Fundraising: Click here to create a fundraising page for this event. Raise just $30 to bypass the registration fee! Click "Join Our Team" to join the team and create a fundraising page.
Registration: If you'd rather register than fundraise, click here to register now! Your name will appear on the list below within 1-2 days.

Sam's Goal is to get at least one person from every state to participate in the satellite run, and while Maine may be kicking every one's collective heines, at least Missouri and Illinois (where I'm from) are throwing in respectable numbers.  While I bet we can get those numbers a little higher, here's what I'm really writing to request, there are TEN states that are not yet represented in the satellite run and I'd like that to change.  I'm talking to you Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming! 

I know I have had readers in every one of the states listed about, and while y'all may not be runners or walkers, I'm sure you know someone who knows someone who is! Please help spread the word. I'd really like to see the entire country back the efforts of Sam.

If you're in the St. Louis area and would like to meet up to run or walk these 6.1 miles, please let me know and I'll be happy to come up with a route for us!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Run for the Ranch - A letter

The below is a letter that I have sent to everyone I can find that maybe able to influence the 2011 Run for the Ranch. I hope it does not fall on deaf ears.

I am writing regarding concerns with the Run for the Ranch Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k that was held on the campus of Southwest Missouri State University on December 19, 2010.

As a marathon runner, I have devoted hundreds of hours to training, choosing the races that I want to participate in, and planning out the logistics of race day. A marathon is something that requires one to spend time apart from family and friends while training. Racing is also a large financial investment, especially if traveling out of town for a race.  These are things that all runners accept. They joy of crossing that finish line makes every sacrifice worth it.

Runners understand that things can, and will, go wrong on race day.  Injuries can cut training short, bad weather can make race day miserable, illnesses can strike.  These are risks we are all aware of and accept.  Runners also expect that the races they choose to run will be safe.  We expect that the course will be clearly marked and well-lit, that, when possible, roads will be closed, that Course Marshalls will be monitoring the course, that aid stations will be manned until the official close of the race and that medical assistance will be available if needed.

Race Directors are only human and I cannot begin to comprehend the work that goes into putting on a wonderful race.  I have completed races of all sizes, from a 5k with twenty-five participants to the Chicago Marathon, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Race Directors responsible for putting these fabulous events together. 

Runners realize that Race Directors are only human and expect a few hiccups on race day, especially in smaller, less expensive races.  That is why I could forgive a lot of what occurred during Run for the Ranch. 

From the moment my friends and I stepped into the Student Center for registration/packet pick-up, everyone we encountered was curt, almost to the point of disrespectful, when speaking to us. Things were disorganized from the start. When a runner asked to see a course map, someone manning the registration table told him that there were none available and if he didn’t know the course by now a map wouldn’t help.  The course was boring. The roads that we were running on were not closed to traffic and runners were forced to use the sidewalks. The half marathon, 10k and 5k all used the same course as the marathon which caused a lot of congestion on the course. The aid station on the track closed almost three hours before the official close of the race. I was not offered food, water, or an electrolyte replacement drink after crossing the finish line. Runners had to wait in long lines for a food ticket and to receive their medals.  These are all things that a runner has the right to complain about, but they are things runners are willing to overlook.

The one thing that I cannot and will not over look is the lack of medical assistance at this race. While on the course, a friend on mine became ill and was extremely dehydrated. As she completed her seventh lap, she informed myself and another friend that she was dehydrated and would likely need medical attention after the race.  My friend and I immediately gathered our things and began trying to find help for her.  We spoke to every race official or volunteer we could find, including the Race Director. I was in disbelief to find that most of them did not even know if medical help was available. I was angry after the Race Director ignored our requests for help and continued to announce awards. I was furious when we were laughed at by a man in the timing van while he joked that we should call 911.

When our friend finished, she collapsed into my friends arms.  She couldn’t walk without assistance and she was slurring her speech.  Even at that point no one offered any assistance.  There were several race officials at the finish line and not one of them even offered to get a bottle of water and open it for her.  It’s scary to think about what could have happened to her if she had traveled alone to this race.
I can say, with absolute certainty, that it is irresponsible and negligent to stage a race without having medical assistance available.  I don’t believe I have ever participated in even a one mile race without seeing medics on site. Marathons are dangerous events – a lot of things can go wrong when covering 26.2 miles on foot. Unfortunately people do die while completing this distance.  What would have happened if a runner had collapsed on the course? There were no race officials anywhere to see if someone was in distress.

If calling 911 for emergency services was our only option, doesn’t it only seem reasonable that someone would offer their assistance? I understand that every member of a race crew has a job to do, but someone out on their course was in trouble.  Any number of people could have put their duties aside for a few moments to have helped us.  As stated before, not only did we not receive any assistance we were laughed at while trying to get our friend help.  I would venture to guess that she was not the only person on the course that could have used assistance. 

There are numerous things about this race that runners could have legitimate complaints about, however, the real problem with Run for the Ranch was that it was dangerous. Runners were dodging cars on the course, after the sun went down there were parts of the course that were poorly lit, there were no Course Marshalls to offer assistance while on the course, one of the two aid stations was closed early, and medical aid was denied by every single person we could find to seek help.  When you take everything else away, the real duty of a race director is to ensure the safety of his or her runners and he failed to do that.

In closing, I ask that you require a realistic plan for emergency medical staff for the 2011 Run for the Ranch. I think it would be reasonable to request that the Race Director step down or even request that this race is not held again, but I am not asking for those things to happen. I am only requesting that someone put some time and effort into thinking about the safety of the runners.

Thank you.
Jennifer Whitter Adams

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My day started like this...

and now feels like this...

but I will get through it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Everyone loves a giveaway!

So you should check out this awesome iPod Shuffle giveaway over at 26.2 Is My Cooldown!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Saucony Kinvaras

With any luck these bad boys will be mine in just a few short hours!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ShoeDazzle - December

First of all, if you're reading this in Google Reader, hop on over to my blog to check out my awesome new layout!  A huge thanks goes out to Erin for the completely customized design - she seriously transformed my blog in 24 hours!

Ok, now on to the shoes!  Here's my favorite from my December ShoeDazzle showroom.  As always, please leave me a comment letting me know your favorite (and PLEASE tell me if you think they're all hideous!).

A desire for style sets off a chain reaction in this metallic faux leather and snakeskin platform.

Deseo is clearly showy, so show off in this season’s hottest Lucite jewelry and pale gray tones. In a room full of LBDs, lighter hues will shine like Deseo’s metallic faux leather and metal embellishments!

A studded contrast bow lends a subtle edge to classic faux leather pumps.

Bonbon may seem sweet, but her hardware accents signal urban sophistication. She’s just as appropriate with lighter-wash jeans, a tee and a casual scarf as she is with a goddess-glam one-shoulder party dress and rhinestone-encrusted baubles.

Glossy and glam in faux patent leather, Club pops against a matte black platform.

This shoe is a showstopper, with a towering heel and substantial platform that will lengthen your legs for miles and add some sex appeal to your look. Keep it elegant with a black satin cocktail dress and a shimmering gold, layered necklace.

Walk on the wild side in this dramatic faux croc pump.

Frederique’s purple hue is rich, so play up the drama with a wrap dress in a contrasting color. She’s got texture and a hidden platform that will lengthen your legs for miles, so complement her endive faux snakeskin heel with glitzy gold accessories, then mix in some silver bangles for an eclectic twist.

Here are my thoughts on all of these shoes:

I really like Desco and I don't have another pair of shoes like it, but do I really need to buy open toe shoes in December?

Bonbon is super cute. I love the color gray and the studded purple bow! The catch is I've purchased several pairs of gray heels this fall, not sure if I should add another to my collection.

I'm not sure why, but I really like Club. I have other blue shoes, but not this color blue. To me they look fun...but part of me also wonders if they look trashy.

At first glance I feel in love with Frederique, but when I looked closer I noticed that they heel is cream. I'm not sure that I love the two-tone look. 

Ok guys, what do you think? Love 'em or Hate 'em??

Friday, December 3, 2010

Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale...

In just a few short hours Ashley and I will be heading to Memphis for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon (and half)! 

This is probably my favorite my favorite race - there's nothing like running through the campus of St. Jude and seeing the patients cheering you on.

As much fun as I had at this race last year, I have a feeling that it won't even compare to the weekend I'm about to have.  You see, the real reason I'm so excited about tomorrow is that Ashley is running her first marathon!!  I got to be with a lot of friends who were running there first 26.2 in Chicago but I obviously didn't get the opportunity to see them finish and cheer them on.  This weekend will be totally different.  I'm running the half and Ash is running the full - that means I'll have plenty of time to run my race, get my medal, go to our hotel, change clothes, grab the sign I made and head to the course to find her. 

Ashley's friendship means the world to me and I am so honored and excited to be a part of her first marathon.  I can't wait to watch her cross that magic finish line and see her face as she realizes all of her hard work has paid off handsomely!   Every marathoner knows that nothing really compares to the feeling of crossing that finish line for the first time.  Being there for Ashley's finish is going to be pretty special for me. So thanks, Ashley, for letting me be a part of this weekend!

Ok, enough with the sappy shit....

Ashley - Feed the f*cking dog!!!

The sign I made for Ashley

And if you don't know the meaning of feed the f*cking dog, do yourself a favor and read this post from Ashley. It's something every runner should read!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wedsday this isn't exactly (ok it's not at all) a Wordless Wednesday.  I started looking for hot shoes to show you today and I found these!!

Here are the details: 

Welcome to comfortable heels! This 3.5” pump is perfect to dress up any outfit and put a smile on your face. This classic style is so versatile and never felt so good. The ____________________ comfort footbed will give you confidence knowing your feet will be thankful!
The _______________ high heel features:
  • Genuine leather lining – supple leather lining ensures breathable wear and immediate comfort with little or no break-in required.
  • Shock-absorbing innersole for reduced muscle fatigue and added stability.
  • Durable TR (Thermoplastic Rubber) outsole provides resilience and traction for long-lasting quality – can be resoled.
  • 3.5 inch high heel (88.9 mm).

They're also available in these other awesome colors:

See - aren't they all cute?? And as an extra bonus, every single review I can find for them is positive (well, except for the one that said they run very small) and said this sure is even better in person and very comfortable.  How often does that happen?

These shoes are $99.99.  They offer free shipping! Ebates will give you 7.5% cash back for your purchase of these shoes.

Have you noticed that I haven't posted any links or given you the name or designer of these shoes??  Yeah I thought you probably had.  Wanna know why?? Because they're designed by...I can't believe I'm saying this...they're designed by crocs.  That's right, crocs.  More specifically, You by crocs.  The beauty I've been going on and on about is the Frilita.

Yeah, you read that right.  I'm posting about fucking crocs.  You know, the shoes I often say were created by the devil himself.  And yeah, I still think crocs are creations of the devil, but their You line has some cute stuff like these hot boots and...ok, maybe those are the only two pairs I like, but man I really like them.

So I'm here to ask you, how big of a hipocrite would I be if I bought a pair of shoes from crocs?  Are they really cute or am I fooling myself?  HELP!!!