Alarms starting blaring at 6am on Friday morning - also known as Day 2 of the Runner's World Half & Festival weekend. Presley from Run Pretty and I blindly started hitting snooze on our iPhones before realizing there was no time for snoozing! Day 1 of the #RWHalf weekend brought us to Runner's World HQ and the Comfort Suites Bar. Since Day 1 set a high bar, I was excited to see what Day 2 would bring.
(Note: Runner’s World did sponsor my participation in the RW Half & Festival, but all comments are my own – ain’t nobody got time for lyin’!)
In case you haven't picked up what I am laying down - our "let's take it easy because we have 22.4 miles to run this weekend" shakeout run turned into a "it's Amazing race and I need to win" 4-mile all-out sprint.
Let me back it on up for ya.
We huddled together in the Comfort Suites lobby at 7am on a Friday morning ready to get the 411 from David and Beachy (otherwise known as Laura). They let us know we would be breaking into 4 teams of 4 (each team would be joined by a member of the Altra Running staff).
It was captain time and guess who got picked.
That's right. Apparently the PR staff thinks I am a tad competitive.
Saayy whhaa?? Not sure where they got that. <>
Please pick a team name. Done.
We headed outside behind the hotel to get the first clue, which was sponsored by Skirt Sports. Our Altra rep stood by 4 bags of costumes to help each of the bloggers grab a costume, change and run back to tag the next blogger. Once all 4 bloggers were dressed, you snapped a pic and received your first clue.
Since we were the second team done, we had the added bonus of adding a second Altra employee - yay Ashleigh - to our crew. We bound out of the parking lot.
Now we probably should've stopped and figured out where we were going before leaving the parking lot, but we were ready to roll. That led to a little extra mileage added to our total. While in the moment we regretted, but thankfully didn't hurt our overall performance.
Since this was a group of bloggers we had to Instagram and tweet our locations each time we figured out a clue. Thank GOODNESS I have mastered the art of running and IGing. :)
(Note: This is where my friend and Zelle Editor Elizabeth's son asked her if I was Katie Perry. #DayMade)
As we made our way through the first two clues, the third was sending us to the Sands Casino. Yes for the first time ever I can say I have sprinted through a Casino.
It was JUST before entering the Casino that we made our move from second place to third! Take THAT Team Wombat.
After texting in our final pic to the Runner's World PR team, we received our final clue and headed back to the ArtsQuest building. We were a quick crossword puzzle away from first place.
That's right - WE WON!
Did y'all expect anything less from me? :P
Each Team Domination member will receive a $100 gift card to Altra Running!
Once the other three teams returned, it was breakfast and story time.
While enjoying strawberries and yogurt, Budd Coates spoke to us about his book Running On Air. He was talking about the proper way to breathe while running. He did some exercises with us where I learned I cannot follow directions. Ha.
Following Budd was Golden Harper, creator of Altra Running AND the current marathon record holder for a 12-year-old with 2:45. Yeah you read that right.
It was fascinating to hear more about the Altra Running story. I had no idea the company was so new on the market - about 3 years.
After getting a sneak peek at what Altra is coming out with in 2015, it was time to hear more from iFit.
Prior to #RWHalf weekend, each blogger had been sent an iFit Tracker to test and I had really gotten hooked on mine. In addition to testing out the trackers there was a small competition amongst the bloggers put on my iFit.
And. Guess. Who. Won. :)
And I won a...
I am BLOWN away and psyched. This will benefit not only me, but my entire family. My mom had her knee replaced this past summer and had been wanting a treadmill. Now we have one. :)
After hearing more about the iFit products, including a membership where you can link google maps to your treadmill and basically run anywhere in the world. I mean really? Wicked cool.
Once I was officially pumped from my win! It was time to get a quick "learn to run" session with Golden before Yoga for Runners.
Yoga for Runners was HILARIOUS. The noises of agony we were making were loud and unanimous.
Since this reiterated that I need to do more yoga, the yoga gear they hooked us up with will come in handy at home. The instructor told me to start with easy poses for 15 minutes a couple of times a week and build up. I let her know how bored I get in yoga classes, which is why she suggested starting small.
After so much activity and winning :P, it was time for lunch. The chefs created another delicious meal out of the Runner's World Cookbook, while we listened to Elizabeth from Zelle and Sean MacMillen from Team RWB.
It was finally time for me to grab my selfie with Bart Yasso! #TripMade
With a happy stomach and an inspired heart, it was time to head back to the hotel, clean up and sneak in a nap before the evening began.
We headed to pick up our bib, t-shirt, hat and socks (we got all three since we were doing the hat trick) before heading down to the Expo floor. I made sure to thank our sponsors before gunning for the "Pretend you are on the cover of Runner's World" booth.
Yes folks those covers you saw on social media were in fact fake. Womp womp! :P
Then Presley and I wanted to be recognized on the cover for our selfie taking skills.
What the photog caught
What we caught
Doing a cover shoot was fun. <<Hint Hint Runner's World Hint Hint>>
With the Expo officially owned, it was time to do some carbo-loading ... Casino style.
While I personally do not gamble, I am really good at WATCHING other people gamble. ;)
Presley hadn't gambled before so Doug and Matt were going to be the mentors.
The gambling didn't go well so we grabbed salad wraps and headed back to the Comfort Suites for some karaoke. The locals had the place packed so we did our best to grab a table and blend in. Well as much as we could being about 35-30 years younger than the rest of the people in attendance.
Adorable duet from Matt and Doug.
Even Pamela joined in on the fun.
After closing down karaoke (it's how we roll), we all headed upstairs to bed with visions of not one, but two Finish lines dancing through our heads.
Up next? #RWHalf Festival Part 3: Five & Dime!