Giveaway – Orange Mud Handeld Hydration System

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This is a pretty exciting post! First, it is my first giveaway from my new home on the web, and secondly…it’s a product that many people have been asking about and waiting for. Recently, Orange Mud the makers of the HydraQuiver hydration packs and transition wraps launched a new product. Runners have different tastes and preferences when it comes to how they choose to carry their hydration and nutrition. Some like bladder hydration packs, others like the vest option, and some really love handhelds. The mad scientists at Orange Mud listening and developed a really rockin’ handheld to offer endurance athletes all over the universe.

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Let me share something with you. We are friends here we can be honest. I hate handhelds. I don’t like them. The Master Scientist at Orange Mud doesn’t care for them either. So, as we do at Orange Mud…products we don’t really care for we take them to another level and create something we would want to use. This puppy doesn’t disappoint! The handheld holds 21 ounces of fluid, which is plenty for a great training run or even racing. This also means they are easy to refill. The hand strap is wider than normal to allow for maximum comfort and torsional stability…that basically means you won’t feel lop-sided or off balanced with this hydration system.

It is equipped with the signature Orange Mud reflective webbing so you will feel safe running in the evening. My favorite feature has to be the pocket made for phones! Yes ladies and gentleman, the handheld WILL hold your phone! For social media blogging type unicorns like myself this is the best thing since the qwerty keyboard! There is also storage available for gels and other nutrition…and a clip for a house or car key! Listen, this handheld rocks!

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It comes in four colors! Black, Grey, Orange, and Sharpie Purple! Yes I am calling it Sharpie Purple because it was my suggestion for Purple! The scientists approved and it was created! YAY ME!

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The handheld retails for $29.95 and is now available on the Orange Mud website! Of course you can use my discount code ABLINZROCKS to save 15%! OR you can enter to win one now! Use the RaffleCopter below and one lucky US winner will score one of these bad boys! No purchase necessary, open to US residents only. The winner will be announced on Friday! Good luck everyone!

<a id=”rc-b4a88ffa10″ class=”rafl” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b4a88ffa10/&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
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Hello From The NEW Command Central

Hi Friends!

Well, this is fun and new. We have officially completed the transition from See Sharp Run to the all new Sharp Endurance web experience. I appreciate all of the support and patience as we went through this really exciting change. So, this is where I will be blogging from from here on out, so tell a friend! Coming up in the next few weeks I will have a race review of the Ventura Marathon which I will be taking on on Sunday, some product reviews on the latest RunnerBox, and my lovely Apera duffle bag, and I will be launching a giveaway for you to win a chance to run with me at REVEL Canyon City in Southern California in November!

I have so many funtastical things planned to share with all of you. Please share and tell the world that we have arrived and Command Central is online and ready to inspire and motivate you! Hit me with some comments kids! Let me know what you think of the new home. We will make making some minor adjustments as we move along so I thank you again for understanding. Before I sign off, I want to thank Becca @OneLittleBecca for her amazing work in transitioning my website. She worked tirelessly for THREE WEEKS to get this done. I couldn’t have done this without her. I also want to thank Pavement Runner Brian for all of his awesome work with the logo and branding for this page! He truly is a genius! And finally, every last one of you for your support, kind words, feedback, and thoughts on the migration and changes. You guys do make the difference!

Welcome to Sharp Endurance!

Griffith Park Trail Marathon Relay Recap

So this is kind of funny. Literally two weeks ago the home girl Tiffany from RunningHutch.com hit me up on Facebook and asked if I would be interested in participating in the Griffith Park Trail Marathon Relay, hosted by the amazing folks at A Runner’s Circle. For those that don’t know, ARC is THE premiere running store in Los Angeles. Anywho…she gave me all the details and she was forming a team. The fun thing about runners is we are basically fearless! Tiffany helped form the team and before I knew it I was on a team with three other strangers and we would be giving it our all at a relay. Neat.

From L to R: Matt Runner 4, Me Runner 1, Gillian Runner 3, Tiffany Runner 2, Mike Runner 5

Early morning in Griffith Park and we couldn’t of asked for better summer trail running weather. It was cool and overcast! That meant the climbs wouldn’t be to terrible since the heat wouldn’t be as high. We all met and laughed and discussed our strategy. We didn’t have any goal time or pace in mind…we wanted to just enjoy ourselves. All of us were seasoned and experienced runners so this was gonna be great. This was my first relay so I was REALLY excited. I was first up!

The crew in order! Boosted from RunningHutch.com

The first mile and a half was a steep climb. It was a straight shot up. By the time I got to mile marker one I was winded but kept going forward. I was the first runner out, so I wanted us to maintain a good place in the relay. Once I reached the top of the climb I enjoyed two miles of fire road and recovery. I had an even pace and focused on just staying consistent. I felt like the climb took a lot out of me, but running with Michelle on the trails I’ve learned some things that made it easier for me to handle the run. At the end of the fire road was my favorite thing…DOWN HILL SUICIDE! This is where I shine. I turned on the after burners and SHREDDED the hills going down. I blasted past at least 10 runners. I went so fast my shoe came untied. In an effort to be safe I stopped to tie it…but I was pretty mad because I was FLYING. I flew all the way down into the Old Los Angeles Zoo which is where home base was. I came down the trail and didn’t even see my team cheering me on as I came through, they were there :). Next up was Tiffany and she was in the chute ready to rock. I came in so hot I almost knocked her over! We laughed and she took off on her great loop!

Our team did VERY well! Every did an amazing job on their loop! Strong performances by everyone! We placed 12th out of 39 in the open co-ed division with a time of 4:00:49! WE KILLED IT! I was blown away and really excited! Our team had a great chemistry! Everyone was so friendly, warm, and encouraging. There was amazing communication and the energy was spot on. I would totally relay with these folks again for sure! After we got our relay batons Matt had a real fun idea to capture the moment. It looked something like this…

As you can tell…none of us could handle it we all laughed! So much fun!!! Then we took the normal people team we did it type photo of sorts…

It was a great Sunday! These guys are great!!!! Magic certainly happens when you run. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again…running is better with friends…even if you just met them 15 minutes before the race HAHA!

Check out:

Tiffany: RunningHutch.com
Gillian: ThatsG.Com

Run REVEL

If you remember a a couple months back, I made a personal goal to achieve a sub 4 hour marathon by my birthday in December. I began to focus on my strength training ensuring my body would be able to withstand the physical demand of running a sub 4 marathon. I have introduced yoga, PIYO, and Focus T25 into my training routine. Not only have I seen physical results (which are so cool to see), but I feel stronger when I run…and I’ve gotten faster. This is INCREDIBLE! So the question everyone wanted to know was, which race would it be? Where would I earn that sub 4? Well, I am pleased to announce that I am not only participating in the REVEL Run Series Canyon City Marathon in my own backyard in November (yes it is the day before Avengers I am aware), but I am also a REVELer! That means I am on a great squad of 14 runners from around the country who want to achieve greatness. This ambassador team was formed to get you pumped up about REVEL and help you earn those PRs! If you haven’t heard of REVEL, let me fill you in!

REVEL is known for their fast courses in beautiful scenic areas around the country. Currently there are three races on their docket...The Rockies in Denver, Big Cottonwood in Utah, and Canyon City here in Southern California. Not only are they fast…they are beautiful. Through my trail running, I have a new appreciation for nature and my surroundings. When I am surrounded by the splendor of nature I feel more at ease and comfortable. I tend to enjoy the run more. REVEL is known for amazing swag and an amazing community of runners. Fast and scenic is totally my scene. THIS is the race I will earn my sub 4 at and THIS is why I chose to team up with REVEL.

I am excited to kick off my partnership with them! I will have your chance to win some entries real soon! Also, I’ll be forming a team for Canyon City! So if you wanna run with me, it’s gonna be a party! I may even have a balloon!

Stay tuned in the coming days…I will have so much more to share!

Be Better Than You Were Yesterday

As I begin to settle back into being my normal goofy self, that means I can get back into providing some inspirational tea to all of you…I know some of you have been missing it. So, I generated this quote graphic earlier in the week. It is inspired by a few things. One being I got the chance to see Jill Scott perform last week and that is always a treat because she is all about story telling and inspiring. Secondly, remembering quotes from two of my faves Oprah and the late Dr. Maya Angelou about forgiveness and the power of words. Thirdly, applying those thoughts to my everyday life. Running isn’t what I do day in and day out. Hot damn how I wish it were. Running is a part of my life. It is something that has embraced me and given me so much, so much that I can’t repay it. The best way I can repay the gift is to pay it forward. Isn’t that how much of life should operate. We want to be faster, more consistent, and stronger athletes right? What I am going to write about will help keep you focused in your everyday life and will translate into running.

At the end of the day, the only thing I want (and what I enjoy seeing in others) is to be a better person than I was the day before. What does that mean? I’m glad you asked.

Now I know I am not the first person to have said this and I know I won’t be the last. My interpretation goes something like this. Life is all about change and growth. Every day your interactions with others and your personal thought help to shape what type of person you are. Energy is neither lost or destroyed, it is transferred from one party to the next. Energy between people works the same way, it is no different than electricity. It’s science, kids. Anyway, with every interaction or energized thought/action it usually leaves behind a crumb of influence…think of it as an Internet cookie. Some are subtle, while others are giant Mrs. Fields cookie cake size. At the end of the day is it up to you what you do with these crumbs.

Some crumbs are stale, yucky, and unwanted. Think of these as harmful energy and not-so-pleasant interactions. I am staying away from using the word “negative” because sometimes in negativity comes a positive result. For the crumbs that are in the way of you achieving what you want, remove them. File them away as a memory and a lesson and continue to move forward. Don’t waste time and energy on situations you can not change or fix. You can’t save the world…so don’t try. You can have influence to spark which will hopefully create change. But keep this in mind, just because you think something should be a specific color doesn’t always make you right. Yes, that’s a metaphor.

Now good interactions and good crumbs. Keep those. They are typically endearing, things that make you smile, and bring you authentic happiness. You want to collect these and keep them. You also want to share them. A cookie (especially an Oreo double stuff’d) is no good when you can’t share the love. You want to uplift and share these interactions and this energy with the world. When you surround yourself with people that are happy and positive…this energy exchange brings amazing results. Don’t be afraid of it.

In closing, be aware of the your energy and the energy in your space. Protect the happy crumbs and share them with the world. Acknowledge, then file away harmful crumbs and move forward bringing joy to those around you. Share happiness with those who may not be. You never know who you can influence. You may not be able to change the world at large, but you may be able to create a change in someone’s world.  Be better than you were yesterday. Don’t carry grudges and drama into your new day.  No one is promised another day so use each day wisely. Stay blessed my friends.

Time For Something FRESH!

It has been a great road with See Sharp Run! This blog and everything associated with it has opened so many doors! I have been introduced to so many amazing readers, blends, companies, and organizations. This blog has become way more than I could have ever expected or imagined. I am so grateful to each and every reader, supporter, and cheerleader of the See Sharp Run movement! But like all good things, they must come to an end. It’s bittersweet, but come mid-July, See Sharp Run will be closing.

Ok, now that just sounds dramatic. You didn’t think I would just leave you would I?! We have way more work to do on these roads, trails, and rainbows!

I am leaving my current platform on Google’s Blogger and will be moving to WordPress. I am excited to begin self-hosting my blog and taking my digital presence to the next level. With that being said, I will be retiring See Sharp Run…and I will become SharpEndurance.com! Sharp Endurance will focus on more than just running. I find that I am becoming a more well-rounded athlete in the areas of fitness/cross-training. I am also moving into cycling (as soon as I purchase a bike). All that being said, See Sharp Run doesn’t seem to fit all of the great adventures I am embarking on. I want to create a space that you can come to for a majority of your endurance sports needs. I am really excited to bring all of this great material to you. Don’t worry!  You will still receive the great race recaps, thoughts, and product reviews you’ve always gotten from me…we will just add more!

Why? Because you all ROCK and you deserve it!

The closer we get to launch you will hear more from me. All of my social media profiles will also change to reflect the updates. I wanted to let you all know that if my blog is quiet…it’s because #TeamSharpie is hard at work creating an amazing experience for all of you! So shout out to many of my Blends for offering a hand, opinions, and thoughts as we work together to create a new place for fitness, running, unicorns, and delicious cupcakes.

If there is anything you’d like to see on Sharp Endurance, let me know in the comments and I will try to keep those in mind! Remember, I do this for all of you. You make the success possible and I appreciate each of you SO SO MUCH! Thank you for allowing me to share my world and inspire you.

Finding Peace on the Trails

I am starting to get back to normal. I’ve been having a very interested month or so. One thing that occurred I didn’t believe would…I reached marathon burnout…and it was bad. After sitting back and really being honest with myself, I realized that I pretty much have been nonstop since 2012 with racing from here, there, and everywhere. There really hasn’t been any real downtime. Which explains why my times have pretty much been consistent and not really improving. You can’t improve if you aren’t training toward something. After Boston, I was on such a high. I ran Big Sur and enjoyed the scenery but my focus began be redirected to how many hills there were. I stopped enjoying the run…I didn’t realize this until a few weeks after. And let’s be real, by the time OC Marathon got here I was mentally fried. I was ready to just be done for a while. I wanted to just relax and not think about racing. I didn’t want to race. I needed to stop before it stopped being fun. Running is a gift, and there is a such thing as to much of a good thing.

So last month, I started getting back to what I love. Running just because I can. Running because my legs would take me places…not because I had to compete or show up…but just run. I had forgotten about just running. This is so important. I linked up with Leslie and we climbed Mt. Baldy…just because we could. That was the start of something big for me. Then I linked up with Michelle and we have been shredding hills and canyons and mountains for a few weeks now. I not only connect with the trail beneath me, but I connect with my mind and spirit. The trails and mountains are where I love to run. Fresh air (even if it is thin), beautiful inspiring scenery, animals, and running water. So many beautiful vivid colors and the ability to literally run along the clouds. THAT is what I love. That is something that has inspired me. That is what I have grown to appreciate. So that is what I will do.

I want to get faster and stronger and running technical trails will make that happen. Yesterday I had the chance to run with Keira and Michelle.We went and tackled Mt. Baldy and spend 5 hours running, chatting, and connecting. I was really humbled to be able to run with elite women (who hold course records and win 100 milers by the way), and even more astonished that I could keep up with them, especially on the down hills! What I learned from them yesterday is that it is important to always do what you love and appreciate you life. So that’s what I’m gonna do.

I signed up for El Moro 50K in October today. El Moro is a beautiful scenic trail in Crystal Cove that hugs the coast line of Orange County. I can’t wait to earn my Ultra status. Additionally, I want to run more trail races. I find that I connect more being in mountains and deserts. Nothing wrong with road races, and I am not quitting them completely just adjusting to new venues and trying new things. I still have my favorite road races that I will continue to do, but I want to really start to focus my race calendar on those races that I love and really hone in on those bucket list items and goals.

I haven’t had this much fun just relaxing and enjoying the run in some time and I am glad I found my happy again. I still have some things to work through, but life will take care of itself. Always remember to live the life you always imagined. No one else is in charge or obligated to make you happy, that’s your job. Have honest conversations with yourself and make plans to get back to your happy place. Life is too short, and the world is to beautiful to be caught up in nonsense! Ain’t nobody got time for that. Do what makes you happy and live your best life!