One year ago - I started this blog with the intention of keeping me accountable with my training after the "slow champ" incident. If you're not familiar, you can get caught up with the Slow Champ story in this post, "In Search of an Impressive Run."
So - why "Lace & Race" as a name? There's the obvious connection to running - lace up your shoes and get racing, fool! But the name kinda has a double-meaning for me. I've always toed the line between being a girly-girl and a tom-boy. Lace represents the girl in me that likes vintage skirts and rom-coms; Race is the competitive tom-boy instinct that I can't suppress. Hence Lace AND Race because I don't want to choose sides.
And what about that saying, "You ain't no punk?" Think of it as my version of Nike's "Just do it!" The saying came to me during a particularly challenging half marathon. I was bonking at the bottom of a hill. I looked up at this daunting beast in front of me and thought those words, "You ain't no punk!" And the hill is history. I live my life by that slogan - grab all things by the horns and move forward with purpose. (Fun fact: Kanye West also likes a version of this slogan: "If you ain't no punk holla we want pre-nup!")
The year has been exciting to say the least! If I think back to this time last year, things are so different and a lot of that is because of Lace & Race.
The biggest difference is in the people that I have met along the way. Between Twitter, Instagram, blog followers and Facebook - I have "met" so many incredible people. It's funny, because I talk to a lot of you more than I talk to my real-life friends and better yet - some of my internet friends are now REAL LIFE FRIENDS! That's so great - it's like if your childhood imaginary friends were suddenly real people. I guess that just shows the strength of the runner, fitness and wellness community. We all have so much in common that we connect in major ways - like we've been living parallel lives, so we already "know" each other pretty well. And - we understand the high level of "crazy" that this runner's life demands.
The support I have received from many of you has been invaluable. I love that I can come to my blog followers and internet friends for advice, for a good rant and especially a laugh. You've also helped me with my training and accountability. I always know I'm going to have to report my performance results to an internet audience - so you guys keep me motivated. Plus - so many of you are inspirational and extremely talented. I have sincerely learned so much from you guys. I'll stop gushing now, but you're pretty neat.
The first year of Lace & Race has been AWESOME.
I look forward to what the next year has in store!
Here are some bloggy highlights from the last year...and a major giveaway at the bottom!
TOP 5 MOST-READ (Non-Giveaway) POSTS:
1. Runner's Savings Account $$$
2. Running Alone: Stranger Danger
3. This Marathon Will Cost You Five Pounds
4. GI Distress: The Joys of Runners' Trots
5. 'Twas the Night Before the Marathon
TOP 5 RUNNING ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS YEAR:
1. Ran and BQ'd at my first marathon! (3:18:35)
2. Finished 2013 Boston Marathon (3:21:26)
3. The Journal Times wrote THIS wonderful article
4. Joined founding group of OlallieMKE
5. Became member of Oiselle Volee Team
A FEW NOTE-WORTHY & LOYAL NET FRIENDS:
1. Sun* - Eat. Host. Run. Style.
2. Sheila* - sheilawordell/roadrunner
3. Kat* - The Fit Girl's Kitchen
4. Laura* - Backstage Balance
5. Nicole* - More Beets, Please!
6. Cori - OliveToRun
7. Jen - Jen's Best Life
8. Lindsey/Glenn - Out For A Run
9. Kristy - Pittsburgh Runner
10. Lauren - Breathe Deeply and Smile
11. Kristin - Mrs. Miller's Miles
12. Ashley - Running Bun
*denotes "net friend" turned "real life human friend"
*Disclosure: I was not compensated by any of the companies that have agreed to participate in my Blogiversary Giveaway. Products were donated. Opinions are my own.*
Enough chit-chat! Let's get to the good stuff - the FREE STUFF! I have a pretty great giveaway for you all - filled with products that I personally use and love. It is a winner-takes-all situation, so if the single winner is you, you will get all of the following items as described! Some will come directly from me, some from the generous companies that have offered to participate - so please read carefully. Continental US entries for shipping purposes please! Enter through the Rafflecopter Giveaway below.
1. ONE Sparkly Soul Headband in winner's color of choice
2. Bearded Brothers Energy Bars - Variety 4-Pack
Bearded Brothers is one of my favorite up and coming "real food" companies. The Bros make yummy, organic, vegan, mostly raw energy bars - and they try to do it in the most sustainable way possible. I really respect their business and it helps that the bars are fantastic. In their words, they are made "with love and joy." I love the packaging, too. *Bars will ship from Lace & Race*
3. Health Warrior Chia Bars - One box in winner's flavor of choice
Health Warrior Chia Bars are another favorite energy bar of mine! The texture is incredible, if you're a texture eater. I am a huge fan of chia seeds in general - they pack a lot of punch in those little seeds. Health Warrior has several flavors to choose from, but my personal favorite is Coconut. I'm getting hungry thinking about it! *Chia Bars ship from Health Warrior*4. Lace & Race Coffee Mug
The winner will get one of the coveted Lace & Race coffee mugs - featuring my slogan "You ain't no punk! Go run!" I hope it will serve as a motivator every day while you sip your morning joe. *Mug ships from Lace & Race*5. PaperMichelle Stationery - THREE cards of winner's choosing
Last but not least, the winner will receive three cards of their choosing from my stationery shop, PaperMichelle. I know this is not running related, but I'd love to bring my two worlds together a little bit. I actually do having running cards! But come on - who doesn't like punny greeting cards? *Stationery ships from Lace & Race*