Ultra Running Co. Is Uber Amazing!!!!!

ultraruncoskirtlogMost woman love to shop….I detest with a burning passion akin to the thought of only being able to race in fun runs for the rest of my life…….the act of SHOPPING…..Imagine this scene if you will….Do you know the area by the mall..or in the front of the mega stores like Old Navy or gawd awful Kohls?  Do you know where the benches are with the kindly little old gentlemen with soft tufts of hair that fluff from their noses and ears????  NO?!!!  OMG ….. If you said NO…. then YOU….. are one of them a shopper!  benchesmen It’s ok, I believe there are some type of treatment options or homes you can be put into…islands you can be sent to or what*not.  I know EXACTLY where each and every one of those benches are…because I am married to a shopper…and I own four shoppers….yes TEENAGERS!!!  That being said however, my heart skipped a beat like a shopper on the black Friday day.  A day that has ruined Christmas and most of Thanksgiving, when I heard that Charlotte, North Carolina had an Ultra Running Store…..Who cares that Charlotte is THREE HOURS from grittyglittergirl’s home…..we are ultra runners…we RUN that far for FUN!!!  

Now I needed to research…maybe these people were idiots…it IS POSSIBLE…they could be the worst thing ever…strollers!  Remember stroller are non-runners…the people that tell you that your running habit will kill you, then ask you if you have a light as they fumble with their pack of Marlboro reds……I love idiots, I mean really I am an intensive care nurse.  To me, idiots are a chance to educate and continue my employment, but they are NOT who I want to take running or SHOE advice from!  For all I knew, it could be a KIM-CHI restaurant that had kept the now defunct Ultra Running Company sign and was whipping up bulgogi in the back at an extremely alarming pace….which would not be necessarily BAD…but does it warrant a six hour trip…I think NOT!

So I decided to do what any smart woman would do….who was currently dealing with an Altra Olympus and Hoka Bondi crisis due to a wide footbed issue when grittyglittergirl has noodle thin feet..yet wears a stinking size 11, I CALL THEM!  I am pleasantly AMAZED!!! I spend a super 15 minutes talking with Jeff Dean.

Does that shirt look familiar?
Does that shirt look familiar?

Let me tell you right away, as a trained nurse, Jeff is not smoking packs a day! He knows his STUFF!! Immediately it is evident the Jeff Dean is pretty talented (I later find out why!)  We talk about the wide footbed issues, my three stress fractures, and my concerns about the shoes I currently have ordered.  He hangs with advanced conversations on metatarsal placement, dorsifexion, and even though my shoes are not from their store he helps me with my selection on the ones to replace them.  (He may actually be an orthopedist at night..would not surprise me!)

I actually make the trek up..or is it over..who knows…for being a trail runner I am geographically challenged to say the LEAST.  Visiting the store is amazing…it is just really REALLY cool!  ultrastoreThey have everything…..I want to buy everything!!! I leave with two inkburner shirts, a new pair of Hokas, and without my VISA.  Jeff quickly called me and kept my card safe until I was able to come get it a couple hours later.  THESE PEOPLE ARE AWESOME!!  I would be very remiss if I did not mention Nathan, the very unassuming yet highly talented and charismatic leader of Ultra Running Company.  I will admit to basically begging them to open another branch in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Goodness, I will pull the data analysis for them to show that we can not only support an independent running store….it would thrive!  Of course, I happen to know a wonderful runner with a MBA that would LOVE to work there…HINT HINT HINT……..

Check out this link and small part of an article, I guarantee you will make the trip.  If and when you go… TAKE ME!!

To see the schedule and learn more go to: www.ultrarunningcompany.com,www.facebook.com/ultrarunningcompany, or better yet, visit Nathan in the shop at 1027 Providence Rd.

Running skirt made from Ultra Running Company's tech shirt
Running skirt made from Ultra Running Company’s tech shirt

Medoc Trail Marathon on a WHIM…

medoc swagBoth my running teammates were out….Leggs had call, and the other injured….I had to get some miles in!!  The trusty ultrarunning sign up to the rescue!!  I saw that some spots had opened up for a race not to far away….(granted my GPS skills suck so the 2 hours was actually more like 3.5)    And next I knew…..medoc man

Medoc Trail Marathon was held October 18, 2014 in Medoc State Park up by Hollister, North Carolina.  The race consisted of a 10 mile option and a full 26.2 mile option…hence the marathon word.….(of course, I had to do the full 26.2)   The Rocky Mount Endurance Club were the ones responsible for such an awesome race, and this was the seventh running of the event.  These guys are my kind of people…..the only way they could have improved upon thing was literally to have thrown some glitter bombs every once in a while……  For example, I registered late so rather than granting me my trail request name of grittyglittergirl (BIG SURPRISE THERE!!) I was given the name tree licker…. My seventeen year old daughter assured me this was very close!  This same crewing daughter ate all the “emergency sugar rush” beans the very first 6 mile lap…..emmasign

This race was nice and small, as you can see I am number 195…out of 200.  This totally beats the Marine Corp Marathon that I ran this weekend…8 days later in which I was number 4000 out of 30,000…..

We drove in from Fayetteville the night before and arrived very late.  We did not stay at the group campground but from the stories we heard we will be doing that next year!! Everyone sounded like they had a great time!! The packet pick up was super quick and easy….Great sweatshirt, jelly beans, car sticker, tattoo, free safety pins, and a new trail name! They even had a DJ playing music.

The course had some water issues with mud which was glorious! I was very glad to have my Hoka speeds and really had no trouble…I believe with my Cliftons I would have fallen on my A@#.  That being said my Clifton’s are still my number one favorite shoe!!!  It also helps that I move as slow as molasses in snow….maybe slower…..stairsI did roll down one hill..but only one dude saw…and I did a complete somersault with a full bow upon standing so technically it was more of a trail trick then a fall…so not counting it...and it may have actually shaved five minutes off my time!

At the finish, the medal is ENORMOUS!! medalAnd it spins….you could pinch your finger if you had ADD tendencies to mess with things……All in all it was an awesome race.  I will totally be back next year.  I cannot imagine anyway to improve upon it….unless they added about…let’s say….. 4 ish little miles…and made it a 50K….well that would just be the bomb-diggitty…..PicMonkey Photo

Trail Testing in South Carolina

IMG_20141011_232624Grittyglittergirl actually won tickets to something!  This is amazing and even better..

.they weren’t tickets to a rendition of The Sound of Music performance by tone deaf former country singers. TIMG_20141011_162542he prize was tickets to the two day Southern Ground Music and Food Charleston,  South Carolina. THIS  made guitar man SUPER HAPPY!  This made me try to super detective up some running trails! Luckily, grittyglittergirl Team is in ramp down week so milage is decreased. We follow the plan of steadily increasing training distance for 3 weeks then a serious ramp down rest week cycle.

A little Internet checking and I came across Marrington Plantation Trail.  IMG_20141011_23144113.4 miles of bike, horse and running trail in South Carolina.  Perfect! Less perfect was the conversation between grittyglittergirl and guitar man when I said I wanted to leave by 5am so I could be running by 9…… but I digress…….

Marrigton Plantion Trail is crazy pretty and easy to run. Note of caution…..not one biker…(and there were MANY) said “to your left” or even made their approach known…..prehaps due to the roots …….the fear was if they opened their mouth to talk….their teeth would fall out…

Just be very careful!IMG_20141011_232746IMG_20141011_231947IMG_20141011_232208IMG_20141011_232115

You’re Welcome Elliptigo !!!!

Last week I received a sweet email from Elliptigo thanking them for my blog post called Wake me up B4 U GoGo.  Before I started this whole blogging adventure I totally had no idea how it worked, this blogging thing….elliptigoswagI still pretty much have NO IDEA HOW MOST of it
works.  I have learned a few key factors though!! The one thing that I DID NOT KNOW IS THIS!  That fancy real peep bloggers receive free gear to use and then review for their blog!  This is not us.  Now as a disclaimer…..grittyglittergirl has never received anything for free….the awesome t-shirt, bumper sticker, and gift certificate thank you from Elliptigo, which we did not know in advance we were going to receive.  We got a lovely email from Meagan at the company letting us know that she enjoyed the blog post after reading it which was AWESOME!!!!!

The entire PACO POSSE has never gotten any free swag…not that we aren’t willing to test drive some gear…we run through serious products!free We buy with our own money…a ton of gear…..Free running gear though goes to serious bloggers and serious runners…..not hanging in trees, hand*standers, bumper carrying funners like us !!!!  But…..if the earth did ever tilt upon it’s axis…. we would never not make you AWARE of our Gifted status…mostly because we probably wouldn’t be able to even believe it ourselves!

On that note……. a huge thank you to all the folks that are reading the blog!  Thank you for the reposts and the shares on twitter, facebook, instagram, and google.  Yesterday alone grittyglittergirl website had 211 visitors!!!  

Imagine if all of these people continue to share and follow the blog….to comment and to spread THE  FUN of running and  fight LONGRUNITIS….to run from mail box to mail box…to stand up and SHOUT THAT THEY ARE A RUNNER!!!!! 

you know what will happen??? we will have a huge number of people running for fun! we will be encouraging each other…..and we will be spreading gritty glitter all over the trails….exactly like we are meant to!  Now does this mean HOKA is ever going to send the PACO POSSE any shoes….NOPE! …………… pinkbut does it mean YOU WILL BUY THE RIGHT shoes because I bought the wrong ones eight times….YEP!!!!

Are you Working 2 Hard @ Running??!!

Are you running for fun…or have you made running work?  If you are PAID to run then by all means….work at it…although I still believe you would benefit from listening to my fun theory!  The video above shows what happened when they simply made taking the stairs FUN over the escalator…..a full 66% of people started PLAYING ON THE STAIRS…..My running team of pals that we fondly call “Paco’s Posse” pacoposseafter a deer head we found on a long run….make it a mission to have FUN on each and every long run.  PERIOD…no excuses, no wankers, no wimps!! FUN WILL BE HAD!!…..Are you having the same fun on your long runs??? Are you running in groups?? Or have you fallen victim to LONGRUNITIS………that will kill your will to run you know…..faster than a wedgie in the bestest pair of run shorts you own……..

Long Run FindThe way my running team…..by the way we can ourselves a team because WE CAN!!!  Looks for official long run finds on each and every long run we do.  We have found some amazing finds!! ….. skullwe have also found some not so amazing treasures!!!   We have found skulls, car bumpers, umbrellas, coolers….without any dead bodies…..

We have even found an AMERICAN IDOL...at mile 16 of a 20 mile run!!!! clayClay Aiken was more than happy to take a moment to snap a selfie with us, even though we were pretty crusty by that mile!!  So the question is…..how do you make a piano out of your stairs??  Do you wait for someone else to come along and do it FOR YOU???  Or do you charge full force forward determined to have a blast on each and every adventure that you have the grace and gift to be given???  I challenge you to be one of the piano BUILDERS not just an escalator rider….Find a bumper, find a cooler, decorate a skull, grab an American Idol, or a police officer…..don’t wait for someone to make your life fun and exciting for you….this is it…it’s all you get.  ROCK IT!!umbrellacooler

Running with Fatty


jackMail box to mail box…..that used to be my motto…my goal…some days it was even a frantically whispered prayer….I literally would run from one mail box to the next.  I would then WALK three or four mailboxes before running ONE MAILBOX SET, again……We are not talking rural routes here people….we are not speaking of mailboxes that are set great distances apart….we are talking about CUL*DE*SACS!!!!  fataI was so saddened and bummed…what had happened? I had just had my last child….she was only 14….YEARS AS THE DOCTOR POINTED OUT...not months….I was a NURSE….I was supposed to be a role model of health, yet I felt like someone had literally slapped me across the face with my single serving box of girl scout cookies when I saw on my chart it said “Morbidly obese, recommend diabetic and hypertension medications, patient in denial.”  Denial? More like my provider was delusional….how could I be morbidly obese? Sure I was chunky….weighed a bit more than high school…fatgbut MORBIDLY OBESE….How FRICKEN RUDE!!!  So ever the ICU nurse…I did a calculation to prove that my provider actually received his degree at some third world country that only required water polo and the ability to perform canine CPR to become a MD.  But guess what??? That little brat, that 12 year old with eight years of college beyond mine was RIGHT!  I was a fat ass time bomb.  So I did the only rational thing, I bargained…I asked to be given time and promised to change.  Now I am SURE that other providers had tried to gently tell me to take care of my health.  I just never heard them.  I HEARD this 12 year old…..I heard him tell me if I didn’t lose a significant amount of weight I was going on medications and going to be like my ICU patients (yep he actually SAID THAT!) So I started to run….from mailbox to mailbox….eventually getting all the way to marathons and now training for ultras.  I remember those mailbox days….I remember when it did not matter what the brand of shorts I wore were….THEY ALL RODE UP!!!!  Cute little run skirts didn’t come in my size……I very VERY much recall what it felt like to feel like my entire skinny, strong body was trapped inside…..The only way I know how to describe it, is that you are trying to RUN and all around you……these heavy fighting squirrels, are trapped in pillowcases, and they are wrestling….and you are carrying those SUCKERS strapped to every available part of your body….I still struggle, I often look at other runner and wonder how they got so strong…so fast, so amazing!  Then I remind myself….we NEVER know where someone came from….where their journey started…..We never know if they experienced the raging squirrel dance, if they suffer from debilitating demons that chase them as they run, if they agonize over every piece of food that enters their mouth…..But what WE DO KNOW is that EVERYONE who moves forward….be it as a one mile fun run runner, a 5K color run participant, a marathoner, an ultra runner, or a woman chasing her vision across the country……We are all RUNNERS…….and we are all AMAZING.



Are you a RUNNER?

journeypissedAm I a REAL RUNNER???   In what other sport does this question exist?  Let’s examine football for a brief moment….and peeps it is going to be BRIEF….because when I go long….it’s in RUNNING not for a fabulous pass…believe ME!!!! I have never, ever heard a football peep say “Am I a REAL PLAYER?”…..and you know what…they really aren’t….they even have virtual games in which they can design entire TEAMS with little outfits and cheerleaders, they have fantasy leagues that YOU PAY to play in!!! footballThey play the game with little strips of cloth hanging from their shorts to ensure they are not injured unnecessarily….Now what exactly do you think would happen in the marathon…or ultra world if we runners did that?  Let’s say for instance…I by some odd act of Jesus caught up with Josh Holmes….granted this would need to be like a lapping ultra in which I was on lap 2, he was finishing but you get THE DRIFT!!!  How do you think it would go over in the running world if I just pulled some piece of fabric from the back of his shorts?? And said…oops…guess you are out dude!  WHY??!!! Because in running EVERYONE IS A REAL RUNNER!!!!!  Can you see how ridiculous it IS to even question yourself….to even stop believing in yourself??!!!!  After all do you really want to disappoint the entire band of Journey? I,  for one, do not want that weight on MY shoulders…..

YET every single day…..I see it on Facebook or on Instagram……or on Tumbler…or Vine or wherever…this question of validation by runners.  If you move forward….at ANY speed or pace and YOU DESIRE TO CALL YOURSELF A RUNNER by all means do so.  To help the folks that run up against the naysayers and middle-school bullies who now are wearing grown up skin…I have developed a cheat sheet!  Feel free to laminate with uber expensive scotch tape and place in your Nathan’s pack!!  It may be needed at any meet-up run group, the current match.com of distance running.

What’s your pace?   Forward, this will be met with confused looks, further probing questions. Remain firm. “Forward, you haven’t heard of it yet?”

What method are you using, Galloway? ” No rhythm, but we don’t want more children looking into better methods.”

How do you fuel? “Before and during…sometimes after”

What’s your weekly mileage? ” I’m tapering” if they persist ask them about their last ultra….this will turn the conversation.

Are you supposed to eat twinkies? “I am experimenting with Fuel.”

Have you run any races? What’s the furthest you’ve run? and How do you know you can do it?  Should all be met with a smile and a long swig of the tube of your Nathan’s bladder pack….then spit the water as far as you possibly can…walk to the nearest set of trees and declare in an extremely loud voice that you have to pee and when is this run gonna start anyway!

Being a runner is about heart, not labels…..so ask yourself…do I move forward?

Do I like the term runner?

If the answer to both of these is yes…..then….


<p>Original article: <a href=”{http://www.grittyglittergirl.com/are-you-a-runner/running/ultra/marathon/mom}”>{Are you a RUNNER?}</a>.</p>