Renegade Racing Representative

I have been chosen as a “representative” or “ambassador” for Renegade Racing for 2014. I’m super excited to be a part of this group! They are a fabulous local company, and I love doing local races!

2014 Renegade Racing Reps

I had the opportunity to volunteer at two of their iTry events in the past year and had a blast. Because racing is not always about running. I think that sometimes you also need to “give a little back” and volunteer too. I had a great experience helping out, giving information, and assisting with the race staff.

And it is probably a good thing that I have umm excellent customer service skills because athletes can get a bit cranky and rude at race events. Geez people, we are just trying to follow the rules on put on a fantastic event. Be nice to the race staff and volunteers, they are here for you!

Race volunteering at the @renegaderaceseries iTry in Laguna Niguel today! Come visit me at the Renegade booth! #renegaderaces #iTry #triathlon #running #race

Renegade Racing always has awesome awards for their division and overall winners! And I never leave one of their races without an amazing medal either! They even have kid’s race which is great for getting your entire family involved!

Reflecting on last weekend's @renegaderaceseries #coasterrun and thinking about my next race. Waiting to hear about the @marinecorpsmarathon lottery, and searching for my "A Game" race to kick ass and PR! I will always have my @sparkleathletic skirts on t

 So be sure to check out my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts with news about upcoming races, discounts, and even race entry giveaways from Renegade Racing!!!

Renegade Race Series
 
You can find Renegade Racing online here:
 
Website • Facebook •  Twitter •  Instagram

The Magical Mile, Working on my Speedwork

Last weekend, I posted a picture on  Instagram. I was at a local high school running laps on the track. Although I have not been doing regular “long runs”, I have been working on my speed. I can keep running half marathons, PR, but my speed needed a little work.

The Magical Mile, Speedwork on The Track

I’ve done speedwork before, mostly on the treadmill. I find that it is a little easier to focus on my speed and form with a smoother running surface. When I go out and run in my neighborhood, I’m constantly bad drivers, bicyclists, and even people walking their dogs. It is amazing how someone can be out walking their dog and not even pay attention. I’ve had many dogs try to attack me without the dog walker even noticing. It is hard to be speedy…when you are trying to deal with all of these “situations” when going out for a run.

I’ve learned that Yasso 800s are the best thing to do when trying to get faster, or speedier (is that even a word?). I usually hold on to some part of the treadmill, crank up the speed and start running. I’ve learned from Kelly that when the speed starts up, the treadmill can get a bit scary. I have also learned from myself, seeing as I had a little “treadmill incident” in 2011 when I hurt/bruised my arm pretty bad. That bruise took forever to go away and hurt for weeks!

I tried working on my treadmill speedwork a few weeks ago and could just not get into it. I’m not sure what it was. It had been awhile since I was in the gym. I’m not sure if it is all my Crossfit lately or the fact that I needed some fresh air, but I was not getting into the groove. I got my run in, at a decent pace, but I was just not motivated.

Goal Achieved, My 8-Minute Mile

So last weekend, the first day of daylight savings, I went to a local high school and did some running on the track. I made sure that I was running on a rubberized track because I wanted a smoother surface rather than a dirt track. I actually messaged Heather and asked her about, “which schools in our city had rubber tracks?” Her oldest daughter is a super fast-kick ass runner and I know that Heather would know all about our local tracks.

Did I mention that it was 6pm when I finally made it to the track to start running? And it was super warm…and I was a little dehydrated! Ya that! I did not realize how warm it was and how my “speed” was going to make me super duper thirsty. I was pretty much running the track by myself until another guy showed up. He seemed to be having hydration issues also because he kept stopping for water about every 400 meters (one lap around the track) or so.

I had a time goal when I started running the track. I wanted to get to at least an 8-minute mile. I’m all over with my times lately, so I can’t even tell you what my average pace is when I going out running for a few miles in my neighborhood, maybe 9:45 or 9:30? But I pushed myself, I ran the #1 lane which was closest to the interior field area of the track. Well I got my 8-minute mile my very first mile that I ran that night. I was pretty proud of myself. Especially since I have slowed down on my running lately. Eight minutes might not seem fast for everyone but when you started at thirteen minute miles only two years ago, it is a pretty good pace.

Post run on the track

Just a little to note to self though, it might be nice to hydrate a little more when you are going out to run, and run fast! Especially when you are out running in a Nuun singlet. You kind of look like an idiot. Giggle.

I’m going to try and work on speedwork more often. I can tell that doing CrossFit three times has helped my strength though. I could feel it in my arms and legs when I was running. Maybe I can PR at the 5K that I’m doing on Sunday.

Runners…Do you have any tips for speedwork? Or how do you do speedwork?

Ten on Tuesday, The March Edition

It’s Tuesday and it is already starting to look like spring around here in Orange County. It was beautiful last weekend and the weather was in the low 80s. I am not a fan of cold weather plus I love love love daylight savings.

And since I am a bit scatter brained lately, I will share my “Top 10″ things for this week.

10 on Tuesday

1. The Bachelor

I’ve never been a big fan of that show. I watched a few episodes this season. I could not get past Juan Pablo’s accent. It made me a little crazy. When I think of Juan Pablo, I think “le douchebag”. The whole thing was a trainwreck.

If you are in for some online entertainment, Kristen and Sarah do video recaps of The Bachelor every week.

2. My Hair

Wore my hair down yesterday and only put a little product in. Proof that I have natural curly hair. Nobody believes me. #pixiegrowout #pixieproject

I’ve been growing out my hair since August of 2011. My hair was very short, like 1″ long. I’m still getting used to having long hair. My hair is also very curly. I’ve been wearing in a ponytail, pigtails, and even braids. But when my hair is down and I have an event to go to, I love it!

3. Chores

I gave the husband a chore list the other day. I got this picture sent to me later that day. Child labor. I like that he is using a pylo box to access the dryer. I heart my @boschhomeus washer and dryer! #childlabor #crossfitkid

The kid is getting old enough to do chores now. Even though we only have one child, we are super busy in our house. With both parents working, and a busy 8 year old, stuff doesn’t get done. On my husband’s days off from work, I make a “to do” list. Most of the time, the list is made with intentions of my husband doing several or most of these projects. Obviously the laundry has been outsourced to the kid.

I guess everyone in the house is using my pylo boxes. Whether it be for box jumps or as a step stool.

4. Binge Watching of TV Shows

Have you ever had a marathon of TV watching? Or hyper-focused on a certain TV show? These “binge watches” started a few years ago with me when I watched the show, LOST, on Netflix. Anytime I have an hour or so, I would watch an episode of LOST. It took me about a month to finish the entire series. After LOST was over, I continued my binges with Alias, Dexter, Veronica Mars, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and now True Detective.

True Detective is on HBO. The season finale just happened. I started it last night and I have already watched two episodes.

What will be my next binge show?

5. Running

Two words: Speedwork Sucks. The only way that I can achieve my fiitness goals is to do things that I loathe sometimes. Had to hop on that dreaded treadmill for some miles. #speedwork #instarunner #fitfluential #renegaderaces #sweatyselfie

My running has slowed down lately. My last half marathon was in November. I’ve done a 10K and a few 5Ks since then. I started CrossFit recently and I’m working on my strength now. My legs are strong from running, but the rest of me is a hot mess.

When I have ran lately, it has been low mileage. I usually only do 3-4 miles. I have been doing some speedwork to get faster. I ran on the treadmill last week and I felt like I was dying. Last year, I was running about 25-30 miles a week, spread over 5 days… Lately, I run about 2 days a week.

6. Pinterest

Pinterest

I was an original user of the site, Pinterest, when it first started. I use it as a bookmarking feature. My boards are expanding and I’m starting to work on organizing them more. I love all of the beautiful things on Pinterest. And I’m pretty obsessed with their iPhone app also.

7. Hockey

Inline Hockey, Winter 2013.jpg

My son is still obsessed with hockey. He plays inline hockey at a local rec program. His skills have greatly improved this season. I’m not sure if it is all the practicing, camps, games, or my parents offering him cash for goals, but something is working! It is almost playoffs and then a break before the next season.

8. PicMonkey

It is the 2 year anniversary of the online photo editing company, PicMonkey. I am so grateful for services like this. I go in spurts with my photography and photo editing. Photoshop, Lightroom, and all of those other programs confuse me. I never have enough time to sit down and learn how to use those programs. But PicMonkey has been my photo editing BFF for a solid 2 years now. I highly suggest using this site!

9. Summer Camp

OC kids helping promote their favorite summer camp @catalinaislandcamps at the @parentingocmag Camp Jamboree today! #iheartcamp #campchat #cic #catalinaislandcamps

Spring Break hasn’t even happened yet and we are thinking about summer camp in our house. I have my calendar printed out and things already “inked in” during June, July, and August. Deposits and payments are already due for some camps.

On Sunday, the kid and I attended a Summer Opportunities Jamboree here in Orange County. My son’s favorite camp, Catalina Island Camps was at the event, and my son put on his camp shirt and helped give information to potential campers and parents during the event. He cannot wait to go back to camp this summer.

Have you even thought about summer and summer camp yet? I’m starting to freak out already!

10. Pokémon

pokemon cake pops.jpg

My son and his friends are obsessed with Pokémon cards. They collect them, they trade them, they discuss them. I’m not sure where the obsession came from. But my son spends all of the money that he gets on those cards. He attended a friend’s birthday party last weekend and the mom made Pokémon cake pops, which was super creative!

Anyone else’s kids obsessed with this?

Instagram has killed my blogging mojo

I’m sure that you have heard or seen this written by several bloggers already…

Life is just getting busier, and when I sit down to the computer, I can’t find the words to actually blog. I’ve done several races, attended several events, and even a conference recently. I want to recap all the awesomeness.. But it is just so easy to post a photo on Instagram. I even get rewarded on my Instagram posts with “likes” and comments. People don’t really comment on blogs anymore, but they take the time to comment on my photos.

Instagram AngryJulie

I have posts in draft and when I find the time I will write them. I’m slowly plugging away at them. My main problem is the photos. I have hundreds of photos to go through and post-edit. But if I could find the time in between family, work, running, kid’s hockey, and now crossfit…

I hope you enjoy my Instagram feed though. Even if you don’t follow me already, I’m @AngryJulie on Instagram also!

If you are a blogger, are you having the same issues as me? Finding the time to keep up with your blog?

The Superbowl of Cupcakes

I could care less about football. Yep, I said it. The SuperBowl is all about the commercials and food for me. I was sick all last weekend, but I found the time to make some cupcakes in the “team colors”. I’ve used this same cupcake recipe several times and it works perfectly. Using multiple colors always impresses everyone.

But seriously, that game put me to sleep!

The Superbowl of Cupcakes. Will it be Denver or Seattle? They are tie-dye in the middle. #superbowl14 #cupcakes
 

My kid looks like he is up to no good eating a cupcake tonight. Apparently he had 5 of the Superbowl cupcakes that I made. He never eats sweets like this. #superbowl14 #cupcakes

I think my son loved the cupcakes, don’t you?

My blog was hacked, ughh Malware!

So last week, I received several emails after it was discovered that malware had hit my blog. I have been rather busy lately and my blog has not been a priority. But with some upcoming conferences etc., I’ve been more interactive with the blogging community.

What is Malware?

Short for “malicious software,” malware refers to software programs designed to damage or do other unwanted actions on a computer system. In Spanish, “mal” is a prefix that means “bad,” making the term “badware,” which is a good way to remember it (even if you’re not Spanish).

Common examples of malware include viruses, worms,trojan horses, and spyware. Viruses, for example, can cause havoc on a computer’s hard drive by deleting files or directory information. Spyware can gather data from a user’s system without the user knowing it. This can include anything from the Web pages a user visits to personal information, such as credit card numbers.

It is unfortunate that there are software programmers out there with malicious intent, but it is good to be aware of the fact. You can install anti-virus and anti-spyware utilities on your computer that will seek and destroy the malicious programs they find on your computer. So join the fight against badware and install some protective utilities on your hard drive!

Once I confirmed that my blog had malware in it, I contact my good friend Sarah, at Blogger’s Help Desk. Sarah has always been there for me when my blog has gotten hacked, or if I have had “major tech issues”. I’ve had a plug-in or script error send my entire site into a frenzy before. And swoop, Sarah has came in and saved the day.

Malware on my blog alert

So ya, when you “Googled” my site, you got the above listed notice when you clicked on a link. I would have not known this prior until someone told me on a Facebook group. PEOPLE, “If you see this on one of your favorite sites, please contact the site owner, they may not know that they have been hacked!” After Sarah fixed the code on my site, I had to submit my blog to Google Webmasters to have them re-crawl it and check for errors. It took 24 hours for my site to be available as a “safe site” in Google again. I’m not quite sure what caused the “malware issues” on my site. Sarah said that typically it is a vulnerability in a  plug-in or a theme.

The theme for all of this is, 1. If you have a blog or website and care what happens to it, make sure you can fix it if it gets infected or 2. Have someone who can do tech support and fix your errors. You don’t want to go looking for an unknown tech support person when your site is already down. You want someone that you can trust. If you can’t or don’t use an awesome person like Sarah and Blogger’s Help Desk, please find someone! There is nothing worse than having your site down, and not being able to fix it!

Focus

With a busy family, it is hard to get everything done. I feel like I’m constantly apologizing for forgetting things, and being behind. But there are only 24 hours in the day, and 7 days a week. I cannot fit it all in.

Using the magical powers of my Macbook and teal Dre Beats...I actually blogged today. I posted my @rundisney Tinker Bell 10K Race Recap! #tink10k #rundisney #teamsparkle #drebeats

I took some time last week, and checked out to get some things accomplished. I opened up my Macbook, put on my headphones, and blasted some music. I got one blog post done, and several emails answered.

I’m finding that some things new priority, and really I need to develop some sort of schedule, because I cannot do it all. With prioritizing, some things also need to be cut out. Not quite sure what is going to be cut out right now. But my running has slumped lately, my laundry is piling up, and I’m finding myself watching my DVR more and more…

Does anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions? I’m totally open to it!

Focus

runDisney Tinker Bell 10K Race Recap 2014

As with any runDisney race, registration comes up quickly, and the races also sell out quickly. Last year when the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend race registrations came up, I made the decision to only register for the 10K. My sole decision at that point was based on two things, 1. the medal was pretty much the same, and 2. the cost. Several months later when it came time for race weekend, I had no regrets, because I had a wedding to attend the day of the half marathon.

A little @sparkleathletic for the @rundisney #tink10k tomorrow! Super excited that I am in "A" Corral! Yippee! #rundisney #teamsparkle #tinkhalf #instarunner

During the middle of a crazy and busy 50-hour work week, I found the time to go to the expo and get my race bib. My plan was to get there at the opening, get in, and get out. I attempted to do that, but shiny things distracted me. I only spent around $100, which is very easy to do when you are at a Disney event. I wanted EVERYTHING!

I was super excited to see that I made it to “A” Corral which is super huge for me. I submitted my time from a 10K race that I did last year, which was not fast at all. As soon as I got home, I prepped my race outfit, and then left for work, yet again!

Untitled

This was a beautiful site after my 3:30am wake-up call. Yep, 3:30am. I got up and got dressed, and then made my way to Anaheim. I only live about 15 minutes away from the Disneyland Resort but you never know what traffic and parking will be like on a race day. I parked my car at a neighborhood resort and made my way to the race starting line with Victoria (whom was there to cheer the runners on). Victoria is crazy for getting up in those early morning hours!

RunDisney Tinker Bell 10K Starting Line

Since we arrived a bit early, it was time for pictures, of course! As with any race, I probably accumulate at least 100+ pictures! You should see all of the pictures on my iPhone plus the official race pictures that came a few days later.

Pre-Race Yoga

I have to admit publicly, I am not a morning person, and I am not a morning runner. In the summer of 2012 when I was training for my first half marathon, I was very regimented and got up early to do those super early long runs on Saturday mornings. After I learned that I’m better at the end of the day, I basically said “screw that” and switched to more night time running. So anytime I run in the morning or do a race, I’m a hot mess. I’m sluggish, slow, and un-motivated. I had to stretch a lot before the 10K.  So here I was, in front of the start line, stretching and doing yoga! I think Victoria took this photo about 10 times before it came out right. I kept falling over!

Julie, Mindy, and Victoria at the runDisney Tinker Bell 10K

Me, Mindy, and Victoria posing before the race. Mindy was chosen to be featured by runDisney for her #WhyIRunDisney video she sent in featuring the students and their run club that she helps run at the school she teaches at. During the race, Mindy and her students ran past me….and kept running.

runDisney Tinker Bell 10K 2014

Photo via runDisney.

And then we were off….If you look to the right, you can see me in the pack of runners. It was a crazy start as usual. People pushing and shoving. I saw one guy on the ground a few minutes after the race started. This is the second time I’ve started in “A” Corral and people are a bit aggressive there. They come out super fast. I started off with an 8:00 minute pace which is super fast for me. I kept up for about a mile and then slowed down once I got in the parks.

runDisney Tinker Bell 10K 2014

One of my favorite parts of running in the parks at Disneyland and Walt Disney World is stopping at the character photo stations. Throughout both parks, there were several stations to stop at during the Tinker Bell 10K. I handed my iPhone over to a cast member for all of my photographs here, but there was also a race photographer at most of the stops. So I have my iPhone photos with the characters and I got several “better” ok “fantastic” photographs taken that showed up in my “official race photos”.

One of the best parts of doing an @rundisney race is running through the parks and taking fun photos with the characters like Bert and Mary Poppins! #tink10k #tinkhalf #rundisney #teamsparkle #marypoppins


Disney California Adventure during the runDisney Tinker Bell 10K 2014

I always have to stop and take a photo of this fantastic view. Seriously, the colors just pop when it is dark outside. I love the rainbow colors!

Mid-race during the runDisney Tinker Bell 10K 2014

After I had ran through the parks, I headed out onto the streets of Anaheim. Mindy caught up with me and took this silly picture. I was at about mile 5 in the race. I love that she texted it to me a few hours after the race.

High-fiving @according2kelly and the rest of @sparkleathletic gals on the way to the finish!

Right before the mile 6 marker, I passed the ladies from Sparkle Athletic on Katella. They were cheering everyone on and giving out high-fives. Carrie captured this photo of me high-fiving Tinker Bell, I mean Kelly.

runDisney Tinker Bell 10K Finisher picture

And then, I was a finisher!
I had finished the race. It was a great race. The weather was perfect. I loved my costume, and I got a shiny metal for a reward!

Kris cheering on runners

After finishing, I walked back to Katella and cheered runners on at the corner with the Sparkle Athletic girls. I also found Kris, Mindy’s husband, cheering runners on. He looked so involved with the cheering…giggle.

runDisney Tinker Bell 10K 2014

I had Victoria take a full view of my race costume for me while we were cheering. I loved this costume. Kelly wore this when we ran the runDisney Wine and Dine 1/2 Marathon in 2012. I was going to wear it last November for Wine and Dine but my shirt did not come in time for the race.

So you might be wondering what my “Donald Duck” costume consisted of or if you want to re-create it…

  • Blue Wool Beret  (borrowed from Kelly) with a black tassel made of felt attached with a safety pin.
  • Blue Nike v-neck long sleeve soccer shirt
  • Sailor collar that I attached to my shirt (made and borrowed from Kelly)
  • Red velvet bow pinned on (made and borrowed from Kelly)
  • Large yellow buttons with safety pins glued to the back of them
  • White Sparkle Athletic Skirt
  • Yellow Tights
  • Brooks PureFlow2
  • Garmin 310XT

runDisney Tinker Bell 10K Medal 2014

As they say, “Keep your eye on the prize”…or in this case, the medal. It sure is pretty!
Now on to the next race….

Speaking of, Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend registration is coming up soon! It opens up on Tuesday, January 28th 2014. If you are an Annual Passholder or Disney Vacation Club Member you can register now!