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!

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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!

Celebrating National Running Day 2014

One of our favorite running holidays has arrived! It is National Running Day! National Running Day is more than a day where we as runners lace up and head out to log a few miles. This is a day where we as a community of runners come together to focus and reaffirm why it is we do what we do. Every single runner has a different story. While many people may have started running for similar reasons, or discovered running by accident like I did, today is all about remembering why you started running in the first place, encouraging others, and focusing on those goals you have. I have to say, all of the stories, posts, and images I see on my news feeds and on other blogs inspire me everyday. No matter what you skill level, you are making a difference and an impact on someone else. So I encourage all of you to continue toward those goals and thank you for inspiring and motivating me!

How am I celebrating today? Well, after work I thought I would head to the Preserve and climb some hills and then run down them really really fast lol. That has become one of my favorite places to run. A local trail, beautiful scenery, and so much to explore and discover. I get to connect with the landscape and clear my head and for those moments I feel alive and centered. Running has given me so much. Amazing friendships, a sense of purpose, drive and determination, and the sexiest leg muscles I’ve ever had. Last night I signed on to be part of the Run It Fast club to continue to connect with runners that…well…like to Run Fast HAHA! No seriously, this is an awesome group of athletes of all skill levels and I can’t wait to really get in there and have some fun! I’ll also be continuing to interact with all of you! And let’s start with this blog post. Share in the comments why you run!

Happy National Running Day! Remember, running is a gift and it always has something to teach you. Also, Runner High is still legal in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

QOTD: Why do YOU run?

My Personal Thoughts About runDisney


So, this post is a pretty difficult one to write. For the most part, I have kept my opinions and thoughts about runDisney and their recent changes to myself or shared them with people that are close to me. I haven’t really come out and taken a position one way or another. I’ve played this out in my mind for weeks and came to the conclusion that I owe it not only to myself but I owe it to you to share my thoughts openly and honestly. These are my opinions and this is my space…so I am going to try to frame these thoughts the best that I can.
Before we even dive into this, I am going to provide you all with my runDisney race resume. I am sharing this so you know that I have been doing this for quite some time…so maybe some of my thoughts will have some context against them when I talk about the changes I have seen over the years.
-Disneyland Half Marathon 2012
-Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2012
-Walt Disney World Marathon (Goofy Finisher) 2013
-Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2013
-Disneyland Half Marathon (Dumbo Double Dare Finisher) 2013
-Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2013
-Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (Dopey Challenge Finisher) 2014
-Tinker Bell 10K AND Half Marathon 2014
-Avenger’s Super Heroes Half Marathon 2014 (Coming Soon)
-3X Coast to Coast medal recipient
Ok, now that I have that out of the way let’s get right into this post.
I discovered runDisney by accident. I began running in 2012 and found out that Disney had their own race series. I, being the huge Disney fanatic that I am was very excited and signed up for the Disneyland Half Marathon without hesitation. It was my third half marathon and it was A LOT of fun. I am local to Disneyland so travel wasn’t an issue and in 2012 I don’t remember the course or the expo being too crowded. I had the time of my life. I was moved and inspired and didn’t want this to end. Upon returning from vacation to Alaska (on the Disney Cruise Line no less…I left the next day haha), I signed up for the Wine and Dine half marathon. Food and wine and running…who says no to that. I went to that event alone. I was fortunate enough to secure a place in the Disney Parks Blog meet up group where I was formally introduced to Team #runDisney. I had been chatting and conversing with many of these people online for a couple months. The group was small, yet welcoming. I continue to keep in touch with A LOT of these folks to this day. After finishing that weekend, I walked away with so many new friends. Again, I didn’t want that to end.
I have said it before and I will say it again, runDisney race weekends aren’t so much about the race…it’s about the people! The people are what make these racecations what they are. Hands down. Period. I like to think of it as a family reunion when we all get together. I mean, we run races that aren’t Disney and make it a point to meet up with one another just to say hi and steal hugs. THAT is what makes this special. I hang on to those memories and look forward to creating more both on Disney property and off. 
As of the past year, runDisney has seen some major administrative changes in how they operate. The changes are not subtle and the changes in MY personal opinion are quite disheartening. Let me be perfectly clear. I was a cast member at Disneyland. One of my roles was a guest control/special events cast member. They are part of the team that runDisney leverages for race weekend logistics. So, I understand what it is like to be a cast member and the stress that comes with it. I am not blaming ONE single person for ANYTHING. These are my personal feelings and observations. You have every right to agree or disagree. I also welcome alternative perspectives as well. This is meant to generate conversation, not bash anyone.
Let’s talk about what runDisney does VERY well. runDisney knows their audience. One of the reasons they exist is to encourage families to get off the couch and be active together. They do that by holding races at their vacation destinations and hoping all will participate. BRILLIANT. I love that families can run/walk/play together. runDisney is also a great place to run if you are new to running and want to give it a try. I have always found runDisney races to be a safe haven and space for all skill levels. I find for the most part their races and expos are very organized. They have their moments when they aren’t so smooth…but so does everyone else. They really leverage their runners in their campaigns. This forms a sense of community and inclusion. I also find they are always on the hunt for continuous improvement. Not every race (Disney or non) is perfect. There is always something that can be done better. I find they address the big things and get them corrected. Jeff Galloway & Tara Gidus are wonderful resources that are warm, open, and available for the participants! I love that so much. The list of what they do well is much longer but these are just some of the things I really do appreciate.
Ok…here’s where it’s gonna get dicey. In today’s technical age social media presence is important. Lots of us turn to Facebook or Twitter for news and customer service…they miss the mark on this hardcore. I find the accounts go nuts during race weekends and then are pretty quiet there after. New participants have legitimate questions that only runDisney can answer and those vehicles would be a great way to close the gap. I know the staff is limited. I know they have a lot on their plate. But client engagement and loyalty is important. For most inquiries I will direct you to the Team #runDisney blog/forum/Facebook group because they are an amazing resource with seasoned runDisney participants…myself included. I always wondered why they don’t have a formal race ambassador program to help with this…then it hit me. Why do they need it? Bloggers like me do the work for free. We recap our experiences and answer questions for free. They don’t need to create or leverage a program for that because the need is already addressed. Makes sense to me. Although it would be a nice idea.
The prices are now out of bounds. Yes, we can discuss the “value” you get for the races. Yes, the tech shirts are usually awesome (and have improved drastically in both design and materials that are used), yes the medals are usually awesome (I’ll come back to this), and the on course entertainment is usually spot on. I still have a hard time justifying $195 for a half marathon. Some high profile marathons don’t cost that much. When you factor in travel, housing accommodations, food, and swag at the expo…it adds up. Fast. Especially for someone coming from Southern California to Orlando. Now, no one is forcing any of us to make these commitments and sign up and everyone has an individual circumstance. For me, I’ve done these races find a better value in using those available funds to explore and experience other races. It’s not cost effective for me to repeat these races at the high price point…that continues to climb. That’s just me.

I was REAL disappointed with the 2015 Goofy medal. Why? Because it looks EXACTLY like the ING Miami Marathon medal from 2012!!!!!!! The only thing missing were the palm trees. I am all for leveraging ideas for inspiration and such but this is THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY! You are known for creativity, innovation, and for using your imaginations to bring ideas, concepts, and stories to life. You bombed that one guys…sorry ’bout it. Normally the medals are breathtaking. I have some that just make me say WOW that rocks to this day! Even the 2014 Goofy medal is stellar! The Marathon medal this year as simple as it is, still has charm and appeal. I don’t know what happened, but I want to see that flare come back. Racing isn’t all about medals…but having one that you can fall in love with is always nice. Now, everyone has the same taste in design so this opinion is completely subjective…like most of this post but you get what I mean.

runDisney has realized it is officially a cash cow. They sell out races in record times at high prices (which is their prerogative), the merchandise isn’t the cheapest (and sells out quickly), New Balance shoes are a hot item (I waited for my pair), and everyone wants to sign up for what’s next. Why wouldn’t they as a business play to these strengths? And they do. And why shouldn’t they? It’s about the bottom line at the end of the day. A business exists to make a profit. And they have found new and “creative” ways to do that. Introducing new challenges for one (Dopey, Glass Slipper, whatever is going on on Castaway Cay).

For me, it’s exhausting to go to these events. I literally need a vacation after the racecation. Dopey about killed me. The mileage wasn’t the issue. It was the constant 3 am wake up calls, hardly any park time, and early bed times. It starts messing with your head. I hung out and met old and new friends that weekend and I will forever be grateful for that, but it’s just too much mental stress for me. I love the concept of runDisney, but I think since they have made their changes they primarily focus on the bottom line instead of the runner. The runner will always be there because let’s face it…y’all are still stalking the website and social media grasping at those registration dates and links. The demand is there. I don’t see that changing. This post isn’t trying to steer you away, do what you love! I am here sharing my perspective because I have seen a shift and it makes me sad.

Wine and Dine will always be my favorite event, and I plan on returning to that in 2015. This isn’t goodbye by any means, but this is I need to reduce my participation. runDisney has give me SO SO SOOOO MUCH!!!! Memories, friends, and magic. I want that to continue and I wish all participants find the same happiness that I have been fortunate enough to experience in their own races and trips.

This has been on my spirit for a while. So there it is. Now you know. It’s not the bubbly funny post that you usually get from me, but it is honest and from my heart. And it’s taken me some time to get here and put it down on paper err…computer screen. Whew. It sure isn’t what it used to be…and sadly it’s pretty obvious.

Power to the Blends

One thing that keeps me going are the crazy and unexpected friendships I have made and continue to nurture with fellow runners and bloggers. Once they become friends (like we text and chat pretty much every day in some form) they take on the term “Blends”. I have lots of people I want to name so there will be multiple parts of this series but I have to start somewhere. So let’s just dive right on in! And before they even start these are in no particular order (uhhum KAT LOL)

I just love Dani! I met Dani at Rock N Roll Los Angeles last year. She was coordinating a social media meet up at Yard House at LA Live the day before the race. Of course, I made my presence known. I am so glad that I did. I met a ton of new people some I had been following via social media and others were new introductions. Now the minute I met Dani I knew we were going to get along. She is full of energy, so positive, and just a joy to be around. You can’t help but smile when you are around her. Later that day, I would head to Paramount Ranch to participate in Keira Henninger’s Haunted Trails of the Night 10K. I was walking back to my car and I ran into Dani…totally surprising. She was there to support a friend of hers and Keira being as awesome as she is allowed Dani to participate…but there was a hitch. It’s a night time race in the Malibu hills and the only light out was the beautiful moon. I offered to pace and run with Dani since I had my new fancy Black Mountain headlamp. That was an amazing choice we made. We chatted the entire time about who we were, where we came from, our goals, our dreams, Dani’s Boston experience. I instantly bonded with her. Dani really is an inspiring person. Her weight loss journey is just astounding. I’ve kept in contact with Dani over the past year, hosted social media tweet ups, shared blogging ideas, and partied like rockstars in Disney World and Boston together. She’s truly gem and I am happy to be part of her circle. You should definitely follow Dani’s blog Weight Off My Shoulders and on social media. She always knows how to make me smile…and she is also a great listener.

Kat is my sister from another mister. She is a ton of laughs and fun! I was first introduced to Kat as her, Brian from Pavement Runner (we will get to him), and I coordinated the #DumboTweetUp last year at Disneyland. We instantly clicked. Kat is all about fitness and is an amazing coach! Kat is just as sarcastic as I am…which is always an adventure haha. She roomed with me during Dopey weekend for a few days and we hung out, laughed, ate Quest Bars, and enjoyed the half marathon with social media walk breaks. I probably talk to Kat at least once a day. She is one of the people that helps me stay on track and accountable with my fitness goals. She’s a hoot. She also has an amazing fitness and weight loss journey that you can follow at Katrina Elle. I KNOW I talk to Kat at least once a day and it’s usually just a barrel of laughs. If you are interested in pursuing some fitness goals in any sense, definitely reach out to Kat. She’s a personal trainer, Shakeology advocate, and all around a positive person. I love me some Kat.

Brian is just a cool cat! If you haven’t visited or followed Brian on Pavement Runner.com then I’m not quite sure where you have been. Brian is such an inspiring guy. I met in him person for the first time at last year’s San Francisco marathon expo. I was REALLY nervous about that. Brian is highly respected runner and blogger. What I like most about him is that he is just a laid back soul. We clicked immediately. He is really kind, really open, really fast, and quite the inspiring runner. He has had my back throughout my personal blogging journey from the beginning. He is always helpful, and supports his friends and other runners. Anyone that has met him knows that he is totally approachable and hilarious! We have hosted meet-ups and coordinated a few social media events together. We always support one another in our many adventures. It’s great having this guy in my corner. It’s probably best that he lives in Nor Cal and I live in So Cal…I’m not sure the Interwebs could handle the two of us in the same space for too long. We always have a blast. I can’t wait to hang out in San Diego in a couple weeks. Should be a ton of fun!

 

Let’s talk about Michael. I met this fun guy also during Rock N Roll Los Angeles. Pavey ran with Lisa (@runwiki) who is just a love, and I crashed the party! We also had Michael come along from the fun 13.1 mile ride through Los Angeles. Michael is from Texas and this guy is a machine. Michael and I have stayed in touch over the months and I have been cheering him on as he takes on running allllll the races. I mean, I thought I ran all the races…this guy hasn’t stopped. He has some goals, and he is going for it. I couldn’t be prouder. Michael has started his blog at PointOneMiles.com and you can read all about what he has going on. What I like most about Michael is he is just a great spirit. He travels all over and everywhere he goes he just smiles and meets someone new. I can’t wait to run with him in San Diego. Pavey, Michael, and I are gonna have a boys run that weekend. Maybe we will break the Interwebs…or at least prepare it for #Disney2LV. Certainly follow Michael and all his adventures. This guy pretty much rocks the party.
This is a really fun post to actually write. I have many other people I want to highlight and share with all of you. Who are some of your favorite bloggers? I would love to meet some new people and make some more friends?