First Ever Blog Conference (and my unvegan weekend)

Warning: What you are about to read may or may not contain non-vegan items. Sometimes rouge things happen, this time it was a huge mistake and I was pretty darn I’ll that night.

#BBCSTL

What what?! One week ago today, right now actually, I was sitting at a local hotel surrounding myself with a room full of lovely ladies and two gentlemen. It’s more ethical than it sounds – I swear!!

I attended Bloggy Bootcamp Saint Louis and in short it was a great experience! I was able to spend quality time with one of my favorite bloggers (Show Me Ashley) and explore Saint Louis with a new-to-me blogger (Cupcake Cardio). More on that later!!

At the welcome table bloggers picked up lanyards and a badge with first names, assigned table numbers, Twitter handles, and blog names. Great combo in my opinion!

The assigned table numbers made things a breeze and I still felt like the new kid in school searching for a lunch table (mainly because I couldn’t find my assigned table – directions aren’t exactly my thing ;) ) but once I found Table 6 life was good! Business cards were passed and the ladies and I settled in for Session One. For Session Two I was assigned to good ole Table 6 (what a relief) but was surrounded by all new counterparts, everyone was just as nice. We took a break between sessions three and four to grab a small bite, take a potty break, and fill up our water. I had scoped out Table 10 ahead of time to ensure I would not be the lost kid at lunch again so I made the quick trip to the back of the room between Dana of Chocolate and Sunshine and Holly of Where We Can Live Like Jack and Sally, Laura of Lalymom. While chatting with the table I got a wonderful surprise – Ashley of Show Me Ashley came up and surprised me, I may or may not have jumped right up and had an overzealous reaction to finally meeting her in real life *guilty*. She and chatted before the session and promised to get together afterward.

The end of Session Three brings us to lunch. Uh, yeah, that’s what I’m talking about! The staff who served us didn’t see my veg meal ticket so I had to send the chicken back but all was resolved and we were soon chowing down. I ate with Ashley, Dominque from My Work At Home World, and Danielle. Learned a lot of new things and bonded over some delicious grub.

 

#BBCSTL

Holly (think back to Table 10) presented after lunch and even though she was nervous she rocked it. There is no doubt she was the funniest of the day! Session 5 seemed the longest of all, I think it may have been the time?

Session 6 was a cool down session where we examined life balance and what matters. Something we all try to keep in perspective.

To wrap up the evening most everyone joined the wine sponsor, Mirassou, as they generously poured glass after glass. For those who love a rich red wine I’d highly recommend their Sunset Red. Just for the record – it’s strong wine and you should always drink responsibly.

Looking for a rundown of everything? Here are the deets:

Pros:
Meeting such amazing people, it’s just awesome,
Getting the wisdom sprinkled in the presentations: the tips and tricks only people who have been “in the Space” know,
Assigned seating: it took out all the awkward seat saving and other cordial ____ free seating requires. “Well, I guess you can sit there, it does have your number on it.” Looping, I met a ton of awesome people I probably wouldn’t have otherwise this way,
Wine Time - thank you Mirassou. Best part? Maybe…
Cons:
No breakout sessions - it wasn’t advertised, but looking for feedback I would have liked to see the option to go to other
I learned more from the questions – no lie, the major takeaways were from the questions asks during and post sessions rather than the information in the presentations.
Although the pros out weigh the cons I will probably not attend another Bloggy Bootcamp, I will certainly try other conferences and personal/professional development. I came out of this excited by being around the people who “get me” and with a better appreciation of what I do.
Saturday night Margarita of Cupcake Cardio bribed me and we went and had a blast at City Museum. Slides, crevasses, and climbing galore. Oh, and more food.
City Museum
Yes, that’s fried chicken on top of a waffle drizzled with maple syrup. Don’t judge me. Or do. There are also donuts, best ever, right out of the vat. Yum! We also checked out a magic show at the City and spun in human sized tops.
That was a “late” night. So much fun – thanks for bribing me girl!
And then there was Sunday. Ashley and I meet at a cute little Greek restaurant, it wasn’t open yet so we walked up and down the downtown street and chatted until it was open. We then had a three hour lunch! I’d say it was a success!!
Ero's

If you went, what was your favorite part?If you didn’t, have you ever been to a conference? Tell me about it!

Gettin’ Busy

Oy, it’s past my bedtime! Yours too? Great we can sleep deprive ourselves together ;) Let’s get to chatting!

Image

I’ve noticed Coffee Dates going around the Space again, I thought I’d kinda join in, in the dip my toe into the lake to see if the crocodile bites it off kinda way. You guys are not nearly as scaly or scary as crocodiles (usually) but anyway…

Who else is too busy being awesome? Hop on train and let’s forget the million and one things to do tomorrow (which so happens to Monday in two hours my time but you have more or less time than even I!) so what’s up? I suppose I’ll spill first, you’re not off the hook though!

As I sit down at the end of what has been a seemingly long season on busy I am finally realizing just how much I miss writing, blogging, and influencing.

Lately (the last month) I have been MIA from the blog and pretty sporadic on other social media. It has been largely unintentional and tonight is a completely organic, gotta get it off my chest kind of post. Bear with me.

School, extracurriculars, and life in general has been ever demanding which is good, great really but dang! Being so busy has me prioritizing more than ever and although the blog isn’t the shining star in my life it used to be you guys and TSP are far from the bottom. I love working out, I love writing, and above all I love meeting the people behind the scene, er, screen.

I attended Bloggy Bootcamp yesterday and picked up A Journal of Intention and Change diary/notebook - sounds daunting, huh? Although the Bootcamp wasn’t perfect (more on that later) it helped renew my sense of purpose and reminded me that my happiness (as a blogger) matters. I need to continue to do what makes me me because I’m awesome and I should be busy being awesome. In comes the journal. My first page already has “Starting today I will…become a more conscious influencer.” What does that really mean? I’m going to clear the gunk out of my life in order to make time for what matters. School and family will always come first and yes, I will most certainly miss a post here and there but this is my renewed 2014 resolution and blogging is what’s becoming important to me.

It’s not really about me, it’s not really about the blog, it’s about being present and never getting too busy to go to the City Museum at 9PM on a Saturday night (happened) or too caught up to look back and realize the first three months of the new year weren’t nearly as productive as you had hoped (guilty).

Instead of the ever popular coffee date hop can we call this Margarita Monday? High Ball Hour? Sangria Sunday? Cocktail Confessions? And have these raw, unconventional but appropriate conversations more often?

PS chocolate milk is an appropriate substitute.

so busy but ok

What would your Cocktail Confession look like?

Is there anything you just need to get off your chest or maybe busy is your season too?

Oh yeah…I didn’t start (aka the tale of the LR Marathon)

Edit: Good morning!! It’s been a bit, how is everyone? I pinky promise to become the consistent blogger I once was.

If you follow me on Twitter or know me you probably also know I didn’t even get to the start of this weekend’s race…and *spoiler alert* it sucked!

Driving down was awesome, I had perfect driving weather and although not in the mood to drive the eight hours I was certainly antsy to get there! Since there isn’t anything special to report fast forward eight hours. I made it to my parents about 6, just in time for dinner ;) ! I’m still a college kid at heart. After dinner I was exhausted and headed straight to bed, let’s fudge the time and call in 9:00. Ok, ok I think it was more like 8:30.

Fast forward another 9ish hours and I’m up and ready to run. But wait, the run wasn’t until Sunday. Dang, I was ready!
There was no day of packet pick-up so this out-of-towner headed into Little Rock and attended the expo.

trafficsignal

You’d think since I now live in STL and at least drive through downtown pretty often I would remember how difficult parking can be. Nope, not in the least. I ended up parking a half mile away and walking, it just wasn’t worth the fight and it wouldn’t kill me to walk a little so I did.

Packet pick-up was quick and easy, he had to look twice though to make sure I was in the stack -panic set in- then he found me and directed me to the rest.

I went and listened to Bart Yasso for a little bit while he was on the side stage of the expo and met up with a Twitter buddy. This was planned ahead of time and it was great to put a face to a social media handle (look at me being all tech-savvy!). She and I chatted and walked around for a little bit. We dropped by the Another Mother Runner‘s booth and I fell into conversation with Another fan who was working the booth. We had the best geek out moment together and swapped information so hopefully get to volunteer together this summer!

By the time we split it was getting close to time to meet up with Bree, Running Breezy, who was running the half and a friend of hers who was running the full. I met up with them right before Bart Yasso held his actual speech. I got to sneak in a little bit before and meet him personally as well as pick his brain for a few. I’ll be honest, I didn’t exactly take full advantage of that chance…

cff

Instead I ran into a CF mom with a 14 year old. I can’t lie, this was the highlight of my weekend. I was wearing my Xtreme Hike tshirt and she approached me to tell me her story. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that causes thick mucus to build up in the body causing a multitude of health complications throughout a patients life. Although the average life expectancy is now 37.5 less than forty years ago it was 18. She had incredible things to say about the Foundation and was very happy to report her daughter is extremely happy and healthy.

Bart Yasso LR Marathon

Listening to Bart Yasso talk about his international experiences  and his battle with Lyme disease was eye opening and just fueled my running passion. He also had his book for sale so I went ahead and picked it up, I haven’t had a chance to so much as peek at it but I have a feeling I will love it. I’ll keep you guys updated!

We all went our separate ways after that and went back to parents, grabbed dinner, and went to bed. I live an exciting life, let me tell you!!

I was up at 5 to get to the start line by 7:30. The line being about  an hour away I figured giving myself an hour and fifteen would be perfect. My mom was amazing and came in right after I woke up to make sure I was up and see if I need anything. Best mom ever. After showering and dressing it was time for breakfast, an avocado! Mom also made me a peanut butter bagel – awesome. We talked a little longer without looking at the clock and I had to rush out the door 23 minutes later than planned…oops. That’s 6:53AM.

Still took this artsy shot of my trusty Brooks and bib

Still took this artsy shot of my trusty Brooks and bib ;)

By the time I got into downtown Little Rock it was 7:45 and I was stuck in traffic by 7:48. The LA kind of traffic that is. From 7:48 to 8:10ish I literally sat in the same spot. AGH! It’s true, I was gridlocked too. The light kept changing but the if the first car were to go said car would hit a runner. That would have been bad. Real bad. So we sat there; the light kept changing; runners kept running and eventually the car next to me let out it’s passenger out so he could run. Yeah, that sucked.

I was happy for him though and wrote down his bid number, let’s just say I ran vicariously through him and we did pretty good!

Anyway, once one car moved we all turned around and left…I got back on the highway, drove back to my parents, and ate breakfast after they got out of church. Most disappointing race to date.

That being said I learned a lot and I really do think I was supposed to miss this one. Yes I cried and yes I “wasted” my weekend for “nothing” to some but I got to go on a road trip, enjoy the buzz of the race atmosphere, and most of all I got to see my family and friends. I’d call that a pretty ok weekend overall.

What’s shaking Bacon? Er, I mean…What’s up Chuck? Or maybe just…What’s happening? I won’t even try to rhyme any more haha (you’re welcome).

Gearing up for an EPIC weekend

It’s Fridayyy!
Today I’m traveling (YAY!)  eight hours south to visit my parents and run the Little Rock Marathon this Sunday, as if I haven’t shut up about it lately ;)
Here’s the really *epic* banner that’s sure to be plastered everywhere:

2014LittleRockMarathonHeaderIII1I think it looks pretty awesome myself!

Back to left justified to be easier on the eyes! I have been looking forward to this weekend since mid October (when I signed up) and will be running as the Flash! I think it’ll give me extra speedy vibes! Since I gave you guys the low down on the weekend yesterday I figured today could be short and sweet. Thanks for reading and being awesome – keep it up!

The rest of the week:

  • Girls Gone Sporty is offering $5 off any Pretty Muddy race (Dallas, Sacramento, Chicago or Richmond) with GIRLSGONESPORTY
  • Saturday I’m going to be meeting Bart Yasso at the Little Rock, I have no idea what that’s going to entail but yeah, I’m excited about it! PS Bart Yasso is Runner’s World Chief Running Officer and he goes around
  • If you’re vegan (even if you’re not) you should check out everything Vegan Cuts has to offer. 100% of the site is vegan-friendly, giving voice to beauty, bath, snack, and a pleathra of other products a voice!

That’s all folks! What do you have planned this weekend?

Facing a Possible DNS…Again

You’re welcome for an extra post this week ;)

DNS: Do/Did not start.

It’s 9:30 and I’m sitting down to write this as I decide whether to leave to go to my race this weekend or not. Quite frankly it sucks. The imminent threat of a DNS for a second time this winter is taking a toll on me. Sure, both are out of my control but it’s getting to my head. My first DNS back in December was when I flew out to California to be with my family as we mourned the loss of my grandfather and in all honesty I would not trade that for a shiny piece of bling or anything else for that matter. TITAN is now icing and snowing it’s way across the Midwest and seems determined to beat me out of running. I, however, would like to shove snow right upnever mind me, I would like to run. More than anything I would like to get down there, run the 13.1 from start to finish Sunday and drive a little too fast (just kidding Mom) to get back in time for school on Monday.

Honestly this is the perfect time for a time machine. Really guys, I have the best readers so if you could whip up a quick little time machine I’d be real cool with that, especially if it had funky monkey wallpaper in it! That’d be great!

WinterStromTITAN

Let this be a lie. Please?

PS Did I mention that this storm is called Titan?! TITAN?! Whattt?! If I were a storm (let’s just be hypothetical here) I’d want my name to be Titan, just saying.

WinterStromTitan

Cold air in the South? Hm. Must mean it’s going to be the Polapocalypse.

I know, I’ve gotten a little gloomy on the blog lately – let’s blame the weather but I really love running and training and being more active than ever. I love love love it. With my first half marathon pending this weekend, my first marathon in about a month, my second 50k this September, and my first Ironman in the plans I could not be more excited. Too top all that I will be learning how to ride a bike (yes, you read that right) and taking you along for the ride – it’s sure to be interesting or at least entertaining!!

I’ll make a (hopefully sane) judgement call tomorrow morning after I get out of class about 11, with any luck I’ll be on the road. I’m packing tonight and have prepped all week like I’m going. I have also been running/biking/swimming this week since it’s not technically not taper week I’m “running through the taper” but still have taper jitters.

Eek! Dealing with said jitters have been an extremely delicate matter. I’ve been eating everything in sight, have spent several classes actually standing and very fidgety, even when I went into the Foundation (where I spent my volunteer hours) I could hardly sit still. Alas I made it through the day and am looking forward to the weekend, whatever it may hold!

Can it hold this?

ryangosling-meme2

…or 80% of this?!

HowardWaterMeme

Ha, yeah. I’m a huge Big Bang fan
and let’s be real, Ryan Gosling can make anyone run faster!

What’s the plan?

  • Get to Arkansas Friday night,
  • Meet Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea (authors of Run Like A Mother), Andrew Starykowicz (pro triathlete), and Bart Yasso (CRO of Runner’s World). Yeah, the Little Rock Marathon has a great lineup and I’m pumped to be in the same room as each!
  • Run (fast) Sunday,
  • Get back in time for class Monday morning.

Yeah, so that’s it! I’m going to pray about it, hope I don’t get stuck in north Arkansas/southern Missouri, and pack for an awesome race this weekend!

Thanks for hearing me out and I hope you guys will share your thoughts! Have you ever faces a DNS? In a race or in life?! How’d you make the decision?

What I Ate Wednesday #162

If it’s first time here I’m Emily, I’m vegan, this is my first WIAW link up, and I hope you come back!
You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, FacebookPinterest and of course here!
If it’s not your first, thanks for coming back!

Jenn from Peas and Crayons  does a WIAW link up every Wednesday and I thought I’d join today!10degrees7:20 AM at 10 degrees!I was stopping at stop sign…I swear!Traffic banana7:50; halfway into this morning’s commute!If you follow me on Twitter this is not news to you.cheerios8:15; the iconic Cheerios.beVita10:15; belVita biscuitsI picked these up at Sam’s this weekend and they’re are yummy! Even non-vegan table buddies (I swear we’re in college) loved ‘em!Pretzels11:15; time to start snacking (and studying).avocado11:25; don’t judge me.Also, it said ‘buy me’…I had to do it!carrots and greenbeans12:00; leftovers from last night :).SkinnyPop12:25; Skinny Pop, no surprise!!water8:15 and 12:25 and 2:00pm; I always carry at least one bottle!salad2:30pm; I’m vegan, lettuce just be stereotypical!Pecans, carrots, blueberries, raspberries, and baby lettuce.That’s all for now! I hope we go out for dinner…hint, hint honey! ;)

What’s your favorite food?!

Marathon Monday: I’m afraid

We can get to workouts in a second, my biggest concern (besides of a DNF) is not packing enough XYZ. What if I forget my super fast lucky undies? Surely I’m not the only who is extra speedy in a specific uh hms? TMI? Sorry (#notsorry). Either way I’ll start packing when I get home today and my checklist is a mile long…or 13.1 miles. My race this weekend is 8 hours away so I’ll be far away from the hubby who can bring whatever I forgot! What do you have to pack for a race weekend?

5weeks

Tuesday: Outdoor Fartleks; 1 hour.

Wednesday: Swim; 1 hr, 15 mins. No surprise, my favorite!!

Thursday: Bike easy; 45 mins.

Friday: Yoga/Stretching; 1 hr. I can’t lie, if I were to even try to stretch for an hour I would probably pass out from boredom. Just saying. Let me know if you have tricks for that!

Saturday: Tempo run; 1 hr.

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Swim; 1 hr 10mins.

That’s all folks! Do you have a favorite workout? A least favorite maybe? What is it?