Monday, April 29, 2013




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Guns, Bombs, Runners, & Politics.

I'm very disappointed in our Senate. The men and women who are representing us have failed us. They let politics get in the way of making a difference. They let politics get in the way of making things right. I do NOT think people should NOT be allowed to own guns but I do believe that there should be more red tape to go through in order to get one. The person with the gun is to blame for the violence. But we are to blame for not making a change. On issues such as this, Politicians need to put politics aside, they need to stop trying to get reelected, and they needed to have made a change. It's not about taking away rights, it's about protecting others. It's about protecting our little brothers and sisters, our nieces and nephews, our friends, our families, our Future. It's about trying.

I may have stopped keeping up with all the details of what has been going on with the gun control debate but I know how I've always felt. I studied Political Science in college but even before that, I knew how I felt about guns, gay marriage, abortion, etc.

Guns scare the crap out of me. I've always wanted to go to a shooting range and try my hand but I have no coordination however, the side of me that wants to be prepared for anything that comes my way will always have that itch to learn.

What the Senate didn't do today was try something new. They didn't let themselves try because they fear failure. They didn't try to see if their vote would have a positive impact on the future of our country. They didn't want to lose votes when it comes time to get reelected. But this was just round one. 
I don't know if there is a perfect way to stop people from performing violent acts, but we should try. 

People are pouncing on the idea that we've blamed the bomber for Boston but we blame the killings on the guns. I can absolutely understand this but it's twisted. We blame the guns AND we blame the bombs. We blame the shooter AND we blame the bomber. It's the word that we choose to highlight that gets stuck in our heads. It's not the black and white issue that we make it into.

Who are we blaming for the Boston Marathon Bombing? Monday's bombing shook the world. It changed the way we see races and large athletic events. It was an attack on athletes throughout the world. But as Americans, we aren't used to the violence that so many other countries see. And we are lucky for that.

My Monday afternoon was spent on the bike at the gym where I pumped out 21 miles in an hour. But I spent most of that hour talking to the guys on the bikes beside me, sharing my headphones with a stranger walking past so she could hear the updates, and sharing experiences with fellow athletes that were strangers.

One of the guys I spoke with was from somewhere in the UK and when I first arrived at the gym I was oblivious to what had happened. In the time I spent on the phone with my manager at work and driving to the gym, everything had changed. It wasn't until I checked my phone to turn on Pandora when I saw several strange messages asking if my friends were alright that I became aware of the situation. I scrambled to turn the TV attached to my bike on and get the news up. I was in absolute shock. But the guy next to me, while he showed grief over what happened, he was less frantic than I. He commented on how Americans just aren't used to that type of violence but he grew up with it. He apparently missed a bombing by a few blocks as a child.

I am proud to say that this sort of thing is not normal for the States. No one should ever get used to bombings or shootings. And as an athlete, my feelings are especially strong that this should not happen at athletic events. Running and racing are weekend norms in every small town and big city; it's what we do now. We run and watch races. Marathons, especially ones like the Boston, are meant to bring people together to celebrate and spectate.

It was a State holiday is Massachusetts on Monday. People were celebrating. Kids had the day off from school, people had the day off from work. It was a happy day. Monday was a day when people from all over the country, and across the globe had come together to participate in a Historic event. And they did, but it didn't end the way it should have. It didn't have the ending it has had in the past.

To put into perspective where I'm going with this, a close friend, and athlete said to me:

"We're a visible example of everything right in this country." 
And it's true. Athletes are. Which makes it even harder for us to understand why anyone would attack runners, let alone any athlete. Why would you go after people who are amongst the most supportive human specimens I've ever met. I've yet to meet a runner who hasn't supported their competition. We are all out there to race, to place, to win, to achieve our goals, but we do it together. We are all out there sweating and pushing to the finish together. We're fighting together. Runners and athletes alike, set out each day to fulfill goals and dreams but someone decided to to take that moment of glory away and we don't understand why.

Why are you going to attack those that represent what is right? We, as athletes, as human beings stand for more. We are who our government needs to look to for guidance. We work hard. We set goals. We break records. We do things to inspire and help others. We do what we do to make us happy. We are THE example of hard work and dedication. We show the world around us how to work together toward a common goal. There are always differences between athletes but we respect each other enough to overcome them. Yes, someone always wins. But you know what happens in the end? The winners and the "losers" come together to shake hands and congratulate each other.

Ok, fine. We all gloat at some point but Politicians have taken their victories to a whole new level and their gloating is tearing us down. There is little to no working together in search of a common ground anymore. Politicians are forgetting about the team aspect of their individual sport. And that's what running is. It's an individual sport that is part of something bigger than being #1.

Politicians: you are individuals, representing your State, but you are also part of something larger and more important than yourself. You may have been elected to "make decisions in the best interest of your state" but you were also elected to make decisions that affect the entire country. You aren't supposed to be there representing #1 but that is what happens.

Gun control is still up in the air. I know that yesterday was only the first of many rounds, the first of many mistakes that will be made. Some day we will figure out the best way to "solve" the problem but before we get there, we must try. Our Politicians need to accept that mistakes will be made. Athletes practice everyday to get better. We do drills to improve and fine tune our skills. We continue to run races to reach our goals. To get better. We don't always win those races. We don't always set PR's but we try. We take a shot and we try. Our government, our politicians, and even us citizens need to remember that life is about trial and error. Checks and balances.

If the first fix doesn't work, then go back to the drawing board and try again. If your first 5k isn't as fast as you'd hoped you take step back, train harder, train smarter, and race again and again until you surpass your goal. Our government needs to learn this. Athletes represent all that is right with our country.

We don't always win but we rarely give up. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Why am I still such a headcase? I woke up last Saturday morning and straight up did NOT WANT TO get up. I waited till the absolute last minute to get out of bed and geat ready. Why? HEADCASE.

But I got up and rushed to get to the park to run the race. For those of you who know me personally, I like to think that I know how to safely drive at faster speeds to get where I need to go sometimes. With that said, I am semi-proud but really not at how good of time I made it to the park that should have taken me at least 5 minutes longer to get to than it did...
But. Because of my above mentioned teleportations skills, I was able to take a minute and enjoy the scenery. I did some quick yoga and had some moments to myself by Lake Norman to pull myself together. Once again, I may or may not have shed a tear or two on my drive...who am I? I don't cry! I need to get this checked out. Something must be wrong with my eyes. Overactive tear-ducts when under self-induced stress? Likely diagnosis.

But guys. Look at this picture FREAKING GORGEOUS. And it helped me get my mind set for the race. Too bad it didn't help my body....

My tush was still twitching a little but I felt good. I met up with the girls I was running the race with and we warmed up. Hindsight: I shouldn't have done such a long warmup. I actually compete better & run faster when my legs aren't as "loose." Something I need to remember for my next 5k.

I was all taped up with my standard PURPLE KT TAPE! My knee and feet were set. I was loose. I was ready to go. However, my back wasn't. Approx 1200yd into the race my lower back seized. One of my friends was just behind me at this point and she saw me grab my back. Following the race, she mentioned it and how I slowed up (and she passed me..) So even she knew something was up. I slowed my roll. A lot. Until my back relaxed and when I tried to pick my pace back up again, the darndest thing happened: IT SEIZED AGAIN! I wouldn't let myself stop but I knew I had to drop my pace slower than my 5k pace. Which really made me mad.

People started passing me and I was no longer passing people. It should be humbling (or so I've been told) but I hate it. I can't stand it. (This often transfers over to my highway driving... whoops). But I knew that if I wanted to finish the race I had to keep steady. At the 1.25 mile area my tushy started to cramp and twinge too. This made me angrier and I couldn't use that energy for my run because I tried and had to once again, drop my pace. I finished the race. I somehow managed to muster up enough energy to fly into the coral with what I felt looked like beautiful strides. I also almost passed out because at this point the awesome area between my shoulder blades (thoracic spine..) were starting to lock up. YAY.

To describe the feeling: my back went numb. My muscles seized. They tingled like my arm/hand/shoulder does with the nerve issues I have from the car accident. It felt like heavy bug legs were crawling all over me. And because my reaction to pain is not normal, It wasn't that it hurt. In fact, there wasn't pain. But I knew something was wrong. After years of running, swimming, and being an all around athlete, I've gotten to know my body. I don't run with music/headphones for this very reason. I need to be able to listen to my body. My breathing. My thoughts. My everything while I'm doing what I do. Sometimes I wish I actually felt pain but I'm also thankful for my tolerance to pain even though I would probably listen to my body more if I felt pain like a "normal person." Ramble.

My time? I think it was a 13:40? I was shooting for a 12 flat. I can do a 12 flat 2 mile. My split for 1.75 miles at the St Patricks day relay I ran was 11:50. And I had 3 WHOLE LAPS LEFT TO DO. That's how I know I could have done 12 flat. BUT ANYWAY!

Wanna know some cool things about this race?

  1. The Top 10 overall Male AND FEMALE winners all received cash prizes. 
  2. Swaggarific race swag! DeFeet Socks & a killer Relentless Running shirt were in the race pack! 
  3. The race was put on by Anthony Famiglietti. The 2 time Olympic runner. He's an amazing guy and glad I had a chance to talk to him after the race and hear about his future running plans. (click his name for more information about him and & company, Reckless Running)
  4. There are a lot more awesome things about this race but back to my race... 

By this point I conceded that I wasn't going to win any prize money. My time was not great. It was just an overall crappy run. I knew the girls I ran with all won prize money and placed top 10  and I was so excited for them! They're amazing! We were all standing there waiting for Anthony to announce the winners.

WEll.... Suddenly my name was said. I was really confused. Why was he calling my name, congratulating me, and telling me to come up and get my prize. OH WAIT. WHAT?! OH YEAH. WHAT?! Apparently I PLACED better than I thought I had. I cam in 10th overall and my prize money was a stack of $2 bills! (Which I am purchasing new shoes with this week!)
I was in complete shock. I'm glad I didn't wimp out. I'm glad I got my tush out of bed and made it to the race.
It's not always about our time when it comes to a race. We all want PR's but there's nothing wrong with shooting for a top place but not a top time. Right? I'm starting to realize this.

The girls I ran with all placed top 10 and all won some prize money! Someone actually came up to us at the end and asked if that's what we do... "go around and run races, placing, & winning all the prize money.." This was my first time but it wasn't theirs! (OH, and they're all Iron {wo}man! Who had a 50 mile bike ride to do after the race... They're kind of absolutely amazing and I'm so glad I met them!

The girls and me with Anthony Famiglietti! 
I have no idea when my next race will be. Maybe over my birthday weekend (April 28th!) I'll do a 5k!? I have a lot of work to do on my hip over the next 2 weeks. But I'm really itching to get back to steady training like I had been! I WANT THAT 5K PR!

I would like to run longer races but I have a plan and I have goals.
5k PR (20 or lower)
Then I'll increase mileage of races up through 10ks
Then up to Half Marathons.
I'll eventually look into full on Marathon's but for now I want to embrace my speed.

I have the rest of my life to slow down and run for hours at a time. One of the girls above reminded me of this!

I will not let this one bad race set me back like I did in the past.
I'm still technically 3-3 with my races.
I'm shooting for 4-4 next!
This is my time. I am who I want to be. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

I'm really just a headcase....

Pre-Race rambles!
So Acupuncture happened for the first time today. It really helped.
It's kind of funny to say that my tush doesn't work, but it doesn't. I do squats, I do monster walks, etc. All the things that should make it work. But #smashfail.

So here I am rambling on the night before my race. I'll be heading to bed soon.

It's a 2 mile race. Called the "American 2 Mile." It's put on by Anthony Famiglietti, a 2-time Olympian.
My goal is 12. I know I can do faster than 12. But 12 is the goal. The high goal. The low goal is closer to 11.

I am now going to get ready for bed and finish cleaning out my brain. I have a 20 minute or so drive tomorrow morning which will absolutely help.

I'll update tomorrow!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013



 Growing up people always told me that the best athletes, dancers, and artists are the biggest head cases of them all. I would laugh it off and think "no, it's JUST me." But I've come to realize how true this statement is. My raceblock kept me from running; I psyched myself out and competed with the me in the mirror. I feel like, as a runner, it's so easy to get stuck in our heads and those who are super competitive- not just with ourselves but with others... but mostly with ourselves-- get the worst of it.  If I had a quarter for every time I talked myself out of training runs and then with the 8 years I didn't race or run regularly... I could have easily paid for any of the #RunDisney events; probably two. And the flights to get there. 

So what does this have to do with my St. Patricks Day race? Well. Everything. Not only did I have to have others talk me into registering for the race AFTER I was asked to join a team of seriously legit runners, but even leading up to the morning of, I was struggling.  The awesome people I have in my life kept reminding me that I was asked to be part of that team because they wanted me to run with them, they had confidence in me, they chose me.

This race wasn't the most competitive race (for my team)-- we kind of won the entire Relay Marathon by 25 minutes or something along those lines-- but I was still so competitive with myself and couldn't get the positive thoughts to stick. I really didn't want to let myself or others down-- the standards I hold myself to are a little ridiculous--and I was being silly by stressing over the dumbest things. The biggest worry was about my knee locking up and my feet struggling even though I knew that KT Tape was my answer for that. Yes, KT Tape. I can honestly say that without KT Tape, I wouldn't be where I am with my running. 
KT Taping! 

The drive to the park was probably the worst. I wanted to cry. And I did. Tears fell as I was driving. I have no idea why. I just did. I was a head case. And almost turned my car around. But I didn't. I parked. H happened to arrive around the time that one of my teammates had. I got my stuff out of the trunk walked over the bridge. Picked up my race packet. And started the last bit of my race prep.

The Race: 
My knee was taped.
My feet and toes were taped. 
My bib was on.
My shoes were laced.
My legs were warmed up. 
I was ready to go.

The 1st Runner of my team! In his baller hat.. 

I was set to run the 3rd leg of the relay. 
The format of the race had the first lap at 1.75 miles and the following 3 were 1.6 miles. 
Lap #1: 11:58:8
Lap #2: 11:11:1
Lap #3: 11:31:5
Lap #4: 11:33:7

So about that. 
Halfway through the first lap I relaxed.
I realized I was passing everyone and no one was lapping me. 
Kind of an awesome feeling. It was definitely the boost I needed. 

Unfortunately, a friend of mine was going to join me at the race but wasn't able to but I still received constant texts reminding me to relax, have fun, stretch, stay loose, hydrate, etc. all the things I actually ALWAYS forget to do. 

Second lap? Still passing people. Third lap? Still no passing... Fourth? Not a single person on our team was "lapped" during the entire race. We had a blast! Yeah, ok... most people at the race were just hanging out, running/walking their lap... but we had fun killing ours! Racing puts together what we do every day of the week. As one of my teammates put it races are our tests. We study and prepare throughout the week for our tests. Races are our tests. We put into our races as much as we prepared. And then we ace them.

Baton Exchange Priorities: Star/Stop Nike+ Watches... 
The cool thing about the format of this race is that it felt like a swimmeet to me. Something that I grew up doing. You do your event. Take a break and wait for the next one to come up. Just like this race. I think it was during the first lap when I realized how similar this race was to a swimmeet, which also helped me relax because swimmeets are normal to me. AND! My knee didn't lock up until the final lap and my feet didn't give me any trouble! (Thanks KT Tape!)

 Hopefully I'll be around Charlotte next year to run the race with those guys again! If we break our own record, there's apparently be a cash prize involved.... OBVIOUSLY I'm down! 
MY TEAM! Run For Your Life! 

Now to plan my next races! I might have a trail 5k coming up next weekend! It's a small race. Looks like it will only have about 200 participants but should be a good time! I won't be going for a PR but I plan to turn it up..

INFO: The race was the ShamRockin' Relay put on by Trivium Racing (it's their first year and you should absolutely check out their races! They also have a Glow in the Park 5k race series!! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

RACE #1 RECAP: Why I stopped racing.

After nearly 8 years, I finally raced again. It's been so long that it's hard for me to remember all the details of what happened that day. It was Fall of 2005, my Junior Year in high school, and I had been dealing with a strange back issue where the thoracic area of my spine was hyperflexible. No matter what I did back then: I was always uncomfortable. Aside from regular visits to the chiropractor and heat/ice, there was little they could do to help the pain but being the stubborn Smash that I am, I kept pushing through until that last race.

That was when everything changed. It was early in the Cross Country season so it was still hot and humid in North Carolina. I had been feeling "better" at that point but looking back I think I had stopped listening to my body telling me to take it easy because I wanted to be able to run and was so tired of the pain. So I went for it. And I went hard. I was toward the front of the pack, close to the lead when things went down hill. I want to say it was after the 1st mile mark of the 5k, just before the 2nd when I started to feel funky. My eyes were doing things, I became super winded, and well I'd boarded the struggle bus. It was just after the 2nd mile marker (from what I remember) when I took myself out of the race. I knew something was wrong when black dots were becoming larger and I'm pretty sure trees were spinning around me. It was a nightmare come to life. When I pulled myself off the course I realized I wasn't really breathing. My back was screaming. Oh, and they tried to cut my lucky sports bra off when I went closed my eyes and went silent as I tried to pull myself together. At that point, I shot up and pushed people away from me. There was NO way in hell that anyone was going to cut anything off me, especially not my lucky sports bra!

After that, I don't remember running a race again. I might have but I can honestly say I don't remember any. I created a block in my mind. Psyched myself out of running. I just stopped. I wouldn't do distance anymore. I look back now and think how silly and want to say stupid I was for letting that one race make me quit something I'd been doing since my first steps as a 9 month old: RUNNING.


Back in December I decided I was going to take a trip to California to see one of my best friends. I also decided that I was going to run a race while I was out there. Once we finalized the dates, myself and Jess (one of my favorite followers on Tumblr) picked the Timberwolf 5k to run. I was really excited to plan out this run with someone. Why? Because I wouldn't be able to chicken out the morning of (like I've done several times in the past year...)

My goal for the race was to run at least a 22:00. I know I can do faster, and I've done faster but the hip issue that I've been working through lately had me on #GimpStatus and I wasn't sure how well I was going to do. I placed first in my age group (19-24) and I ran a 22:02. THOSE 2 SECONDS DRIVE ME NUTS! The course is a USATF Certified course. Oh hai rankings..... The race itself felt awful to me. I didn't have my gum, this felt off, that felt bad but I finished! We finished.

What's funny is how I finished the race: the same way I used to run most of my races. I'm not a front of the pack kind of girl for the start of a race. I don't know I'm doing it until I finish but in the last half mile of the race I start passing people. Things get so easy for me with that last half mile. It's like I'm floating. And I love that I raced how I used to, without even realizing I was doing it. I am so proud of myself for finally running a race. It wasn't as good as I wanted it to be but it was close and has left me wanting more! I know what I need to work on and well definitely need to work on my finish and getting my 5k down to a 20:00 or lower! BUT GUYS! SMASH IS BACKKKKK!!!

It still baffles me that I waited so long to race again because it's clearly a part of me. Running and racing and competition is in my blood. Now, I'm still trying not to psych myself out for the next races but I'm so excited and have caught the bug!

My next race is on St. Pattys day where I'll be running with 3 sponsored male athletes in a Relay Marathon. Yes, sponsored guys: Brooks sponsored, Adidas Sponsored, Mizuno Sponsored. Me? Not sponsored. Cool guys, cool. More details on this coming soon! And maybe a photo of my sweet team gear too! (Which I haven't officially received yet but it's probably going to be purple!!)

Thursday, February 28, 2013



LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE THIS, ETC. SO I CAN GET A GOOD IDEA OF THE AMOUT OF INTEREST THAT IS ACTUALLY OUT THERE! THE COST WILL BE AROUND $20-$25 USD (US Dollars) {will depend on the size of the order, so the more that are interested slash order, the lower the cost will be!!!}