Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bye Bye, Bia

I am guessing most of you know by now, that Bia Sport is going out of business.  As of April 1, my watch will no longer work.

I have been with them from the beginning. Backing them on Kickstarter and then patiently waiting for the watch to be delivered to me. Since the day it has arrived, I have used it for every single run.  My Garmin, has not even been charged since it's arrival.

My heart is broken. It was easy to use and tracked my runs, bike rides and open water swims.  It never died on me or froze up. The main reason why I chose a Bia was for the SOS feature.  Thankfully, I never had to use it but felt comfort knowing it was there.

I was worried about the GPS being right, but it was always right on with the girls I ran with who use a Garmin or other product.

And the customer service! These women were wonderful. I had two small issues and they fixed them right away. And lets not forget the messages that would appear on the screen to celebrate each and every workout.

Reading their email made me so sad. I know how hard they worked to get this product up and running. Plenty of hours, sweat and tears. This was their baby.  Just trying to keep it going, people have worked without a pay check. Now that is dedication!

Who really knows what the further holds for Bia? Maybe a bigger company will pick them up.  Either way, I wish nothing but the best for Cheryl Kellond and her team.  And maybe, just maybe, this isn't goodbye.

So, tell me, what is your go to watch?  I plan to take my time so that I get the watch that is right for me. I will mostly be running but there are more tri's in my future, including a second half iron man.  What would you recommend?

Thanks everyone!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

In Black and White

When I started running in 2011,  I was clueless.  As we all know now, there is a little bit more to it then just putting on the sneakers that have been sitting in your closet.  I started reading everything I could on the internet and then discovered people actually wrote books about the sport.

The first one I picked up was about a women who went from her couch to a full marathon. It was good but a little too much for me.  I was not even finished with the Couch to 5K plan yet. Plus, she was  a little too serious for me.

Then I found a pretty little yellow book called, Run Like a Mother.  The title alone got my attention but when I stared to read it, I was hooked. This book made me laugh and cry and realize everything I was experiencing was normal.

The authors, Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea made me feel like I was their friend and running buddy with every word.  I started every morning by first, looking at their FaceBook page.  I started to get friendly with some of the other mother runners that posted there. I found a community and a home all about running.

Book number two, Train Like a Mother, came out and it did not disappoint.  Training plans galore and advice with the same witty dialogue that hooked me in the first book.

Along the way, I continued to post on their page and talk with the other women.  After my first ten mile run, they made my comment their status update to start their Pile Of Miles for that weekend.  Some time after that, I was invited to fill out a quick questionnaire and became one of their, Follow This Mother posts.  Man, that just thrilled me.

When they announced their house party tour for 2013,  I immediately signed up to join them in Connecticut.  

This past summer, I joined Michelle and our friend Erica in Cape Cod to help man their booth at the Zooma Expo.

When they announced that a third book was in the works and posted an online survey to fill out, I jumped on it.  It took some time to really put my thoughts together, but I was proud of the finished product that I sent them.  Tales From Another Mother Runner was in the works and along with thousands of other mother runners, I patiently waited.

Well friends, Tales From Another Mother Runner is here and SBS and Dimity are currently on a book tour.  I was able to go to their party in Boston and what a good time it was.

BRF#1 and Connie joined me.  The party was at the Greater Boston Running Company, about two hours away.  Once inside, we found Michelle, Deb, Erica and Jessica.  There was wine and cookies.  The place was packed!  Dimity, SBS and Adrienne Martini all read from the book and in between readings they gave some pretty awesome stuff away.  I did not win anything.

After the readings, I purchased a book and a shirt and then got in line to talk and have them sign my book.  In line I perused the book looking to see if they used anything from the survey I filled out.  There were so many great stories in the book, but I didn't see my name.

I was chatting with Connie and BRF#1 was reading from the book when all of a sudden she says, "Nicole, this is you!  5:23. I know that number."  And there it was, in black and white, page 139 in the, "What's The Hardest You Pushed Yourself in a Race" section.  My words.

Shocked, I opened my book, read it and tears formed in my eyes.  I texted Mr. RWM who wrote back,  "Your 15 minutes."  Ha, whatever, I will take it!

Connie got to Dimity first and then it was my turn. I thanked her for putting me in the book and we talked about tackling Philly again this year. She signed my page!  Yes, my page.  We talked a little about bike training for tri's and she generally was interested in my questions and what I had to say.

When I got to SBS, we also chatted about Philly and how great a race it is. She signed my book and told me she loved my boots.  Then we snapped a few pictures.  My heart was full and my smile was wide.

We were all pretty excited getting in the car for our two hour trek home.  But it was worth it!

The girls checked out the swag bag which included socks, GU and NUUN among other things.

It was a great night!  Thank you SBS and Dimity for leading this tribe of BAMR's!

Have you picked up Tales From Another Mother Runner yet?  Are you getting to one of their party/book signings?  I highly recommend both!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

Friday, March 6, 2015

Finally! A Plan!

I think, after much back and forth, I finally have my plan for the year.

The last two years, I tackled two big races and while doing that, I planned my training around races.  Nineteen races in 2013 and seventeen in 2014.  I still want to run, but run less races this year.  There are so many good ones, especially local, so organizing this calendar was not easy.  Keeping myself and my family sane was the number one goal.  Not sure how sane this is but it is better than the last two years.

To kick the year off, I am volunteering at The Ocean's Run.  I have run this race the last three years but did not feel as ready this year, even with all the running I have been doing.  I have friends running it, so this gives me an opportunity to cheer them on and still be involved with this cool race.  It also gives me a free entry to any one of TriMom's races. I will most likely use it for one of her triathlons.

Road Races

The Middletown Half Marathon on April 12, will be my first race of the year.  This race is part of the HMF Triple Challenge.  I chose this series for a couple reasons. First, it mixes things up a bit. I have not run in Connecticut yet. That is a new state to cross off my list.  I have only heard good things about HMF and their races.  But secondly, and most important, this race is run in the home town of Sarah, aka, Professor Badass.  I will get to run with her, meet her friends and enjoy some time at her home after.  I am going into this race with a have fun attitude and just enjoy the day. (registered)

The Philadelphia Broad Street Run on May 3. This race just looks like a fantastic time!  I have signed up to run it with The American Cancer Society and Team DetermiNation.  I have worked hard to raise money to secure my spot.  My team is made up of fifty amazing people with all different skill levels.  Some I have met and some I will meet that weekend.  I go back and forth with a goal for this race. Not sure if I will shoot for a PR or not. Either way, it will be a hell of a good time! (registered)

Narrow River 5k, May 9.  I love this race and have had a course PR every year.  This year I am shooting not only for a course PR but an all time 5K PR.  (not registered)

The Mystic Half Marathon, May 31.  This is the second race in the HMF series. We love Mystic and I am hoping we can make this a family weekend so we can enjoy the seaport and the aquarium, as well as the race.  This is the first year for this race and I know nothing about the course.  Not sure what my plan will be for this one, but think I will be in good shape and can come close to my PR. (registered)

The Blessing, July 24.  This is a fantastic ten mile race in my hometown.  I get to run this with all my running buddies and our families are there to cheer us on.  This race tends to be hot and humid but lots of fun.  I will have a goal for this one but want to see how my summer running is going before I put it in writing. (not registered)

Hartford Half Marathon, October 10.  Last race in the HMF series.  I will be training for my "big" race of the year so not sure what my goals for this race will be. Might need to just use it as a training run and add a couple miles. Either way, I should be in pretty good shape leading up to this race and will enjoy it. (registered)

Citizens Bank Pell Bridge Run, October 25. I have run this race since it's first year and plan to be there this year for the fifth time.  This has always been a fun run for me and each year I have improved on that uphill.  Maybe I might even try for a PR this year.  We will see...  (not registered)

The Philadelphia Marathon, November 22. This is my big race of the year.  My finishing time never sat well with me in 2013 and I feel like I can do better.  Like, 24 minutes better.  Still working out the details on how to get that PR and I will share them with you when they are finalized.  (not registered)

Maybe Mr. RWM can help with my training?


This year I am looking at The Crabman and maybe one other triathlon.  Still working that out.  Not registerd for any yet.

Virtual Races

The Kiss My Shamrocks Virtual Race, anytime between March 14-17.  This is one of Andy's races and it will help with our fundraising for Broad Street. There is still time to sign up and you can do so here.  This race has a great medal and some fantastic prizes.  (not registered, but just reminded myself to do so)

Skirt Sports has three virtual races this year that coincide with their IRL races. All fun, all with great swag.  I will be doing all three.

261 Fearless, April 18.  (not registered)
The 13er, June 14. (registered)
The Boobie Run, September 12 (not registered)

You can find info for the Skirt Sport race series here.

As we all know, anything can change, but with smart training I think I can make this happen without any crazy race burnout.

One thing I didn't mention yet.  I may be able to work the Skirt Sport booth at the Boston Marathon. I really want to do this but have to wait and see what Mr. RWM's flight schedule brings for April.  I may have to bring mom in to stay with the kids if he can't be here. I missed it last year and really want to try and make it work for me this year.

So there you have it! Nine to ten real life races which is really all I count. The virutals will be fun or used as training.  I am pretty sure this is doable and look forward to many happy miles.

Is your year planned? What is your "big" race for the year?  Will I see you at any of these races?

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole