My life has endless blank pages…

I’m now self-hosted! Please visit my new URL for all the continued awesomeness :)

http://sheenabean13.com

Run for education!

VPEF’s 10th Annual Loop the Lagoon Fun Run – Ever since high school graduation, I haven’t been up north for this run, since I was in San Diego and in Europe for a year.  They’re celebrating their 10th anniversary (and my 10 year high school reunion is this summer, oy), so I’m glad I’ll be participating (finally!)

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I was looking for a shorter May race to keep the legs from completely hating me, so this was perfect.  When I saw an email and subsequent Facebook post from Fleet Feet Vacaville about joining Team Fleet Feet for the run, I knew I had to hurry up and register. 1) They had a $5 off code (woo!) and 2) if you joined Team Fleet Feet, you got an awesome technical Team FFVV shirt (double woo!).  Around $26 for a local 5k, supporting the schools and a tech shirt, YES PLEASE! You know the way to my heart.

Disclosure – This post is sponsored by Under Armour through FitFluential

Under Armour is reaching out to all the ladies out there once again.  This is the 3rd part of their What’s Beautiful campaign – a way for ladies to join up, set goals and challenges, and use social media to track our progress.  The biggest and best part of the campaign? They are urging us to redefine what is beautiful.  OK, an even better perk? You’ll be in the running for awesome swag from Under Armor along with a chance to partake in a yoga and relaxation retreat in Costa Rica (HOLLER!).

I’m lucky enough to be working with the campaign along with a ton of other awesome ladies from Fitfluential.  It’s a  way to showcase what we’re made of. To set goals, track them via social media (and teams) and to support each other in reaching our goals in all things fitness related. It’s female empowerment to the max.

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Often times (I’m guilty) we go to the gym or we’re in a class or out on a run and we are constantly looking at others and comparing ourselves.  We judge ourselves, our happiness, our fitness, etc., based on someone elses fitness level or achievements. STOP DOING IT LADIES! Listen to your own heart and your own body! Do what’s best for you. No person is the same, so let’s quit acting like we are.  Let’s set goals for ourselves, let’s provide healthy and helpful challenges to our fellow womankind and then support the hell out of each other to reach those goals.

You can set challenges, accept challenges from others and basically rock your fitness in a way we normally don’t.  You can set up your own profile here, and/or join a team (or many teams!) that fit with what your fitness goals are.  I started Team Run Happy.  Team Run Happy is a place where you run for the love of running. You run hard. You run strong. You run with soul and run with heart. Just run! I’m working on creating a banner image and hopefully be able to edit team information as I made a smidge of a typo :/ If you’re interested in participating and meeting (even online) some of these fabulous ladies, please consider joining my team!  Please share this with friends — the campaign is open to ALL women.

Here’s a little bit more about the What’s Beautiful campaign from the Under Armour website:

Together we’re redefining the female athlete by setting epic goals and pushing past where we’ve ever been and where we thought we could go. Join us. Set your own personal goal. Then document your journey by posting videos and photos that tell your story from start to victory.

We’ll continuously post challenges for you. But that’s just the beginning. Show us your journey. Show us what makes your story the one that stands out from the rest. If you meet your goal, set a new one. Make it even bigger. Prove to everyone, and yourself, that you have more than what it takes.

Each week, Under Armour will be giving away swag bags full of loot to participants. they will feature top performers on their website. after 8 weeks, they will announce 10 finalists who have documented the most impressive & motivated journeys toward the goals. mid-july, winners will be announced! three winners will receive a trip to Costa Rica for a 4-day retreat.

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You’ve read this far and there’s only one thing left to do: think of a goal and sign up for the What’s Beautiful campaign today!  Need more info before joining the community?  Check out this UA Women video for a little inspiration, or follow the hashtags #whatsbeautiful and #iwill on Twitter and Instagram.

#IWILL

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Yesterday I posted on my Twitter account about helping out Boston one more time.

#Saucony has come out with these sweet #BostonStrong Lace Medallions (shoe tags):

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I received a couple responses from fellow bloggers about absolutely loving these. They are available for pre-order (will ship in about 4 weeks) and every single penny of the $5 cost (for a pair) goes to One Fund Boston.

Description from their website:
In an effort to inspire runners to honor and support the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, Saucony has created the #BostonStrong Lace Medallion to be offered as a fundraiser for The One Fund Boston. The two-sided medallion features the viral hashtag and unity motto #BostonStrong on one side and a custom-designed, laced-up heart icon on the other. For every pair of medallions purchased, Saucony will donate 100% of sales to The One Fund Boston, established by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

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I pre-ordered 4 pairs (totally not overkill when all of it goes to One Fund Boston… Plus, I like even numbers, and since shipping is free, an even $20 is perfect).  A pair or 2 for myself, and a couple pairs for friends (… or a giveaway on the blog perhaps?).  Pavement Runner and myself are (not so) secretly holding out hope that Saucony will come out with color and city-specific lave medallions, and would love a pair of #BostonStrongSF in orange. If that happens, I’ll be buying more for sure.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER your #BostonStrong Lace Medallion

I’ve always enjoyed walking around town, and during the year I lived in Germany, I only drove twice (during road trips). Transportation around our little university town was all walking or biking (or to get up or down the giant hill between town and the dorms, the bus).

It was precisely that walking that kept me from blowing up like Violet Beauregard in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, since I love food. Europe provided me with so much deliciousness that I was able to keep steady weight, while eating said weight in pastries and gelato and German bread.

When I started the job at the end of last month in San Francisco, I started walking every day. I take the bus into San Francisco and then walk a mile to work. After work I walk another mile to the transit center. When doing errands in the city, if its under 2.5 miles, you just walk (unless you’re under a strict time constraint). Walking sometimes gets you there faster than a cab or bus.

Tonight after work, I got home just after 7pm and needed to go to the bank to deposit some cash. I quickly changed clothes, grabbed a drawstring bag from my trunk and headed out to run to the bank.

I made my deposit and then headed to the grocery store to pick up a few apples, a few bananas and a big bundle of asparagus. I put all of it in the drawstring backpack and had intended on walking home so as not to bounce/bruise the fruit, but just after leaving, my bladder decided it wanted to go from empty to full in a matter of about 5 seconds.

I held the drawstrings of the backpack taut to the sides, holding the fruits and veggies firm against my back and started to run. Oh man was it the most awkward run EVER.

Did I look ridiculous with my arms like that? YES. Did I possibly semi bruise the banana that was up against my back? YES. Did I give my shoulders rope burn from the drawstrings being tight and rubbing on my shoulders? YES (and ouch). Did I make it home with minimal seconds to spare before peeing my pants? YES (and whew!)

It wasn’t fast but I did my errands with no car, no emissions and no wasted time!

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I know awhile back I did a blog post showcasing a few of my favorite things (cue Sound of Music), but wanted to do a quick blog post shoutout to a company that already does good things on an everyday basis, but has stepped up in a tremendous way in support of those affected during last weeks Boston Marathon and the One Fund Boston foundation – BIC Bands.

BIC Bands offers non-slip headbands for those of us that are active (and also tend to get a little schweaty… and for those of us with crazy cray hair like myself).  The company was founded as a fundraiser when the owner/founder/genius was part of Team in Training (another organization near and dear to my heart).  We all know what a pain it is to have hair flopping to and fro when we’re trying to handle our business, and thus the non-slip headbands were born.  They come in a bunch of different styles, colors and sizes and promise no headaches (can I get an amen?!).  Each month a portion of their sales is dedicated to a different charity.

When the tragedy at the Boston Marathon occurred (and subsequent manhunt, shootout and lockdown), BIC Bands quickly stepped in and knew they could help.  Medical costs are not cheap.  Treatment is not cheap.  Amputations are not cheap.  Prostheses are far from cheap. Rehab is not cheap.  The One Fund Boston was set up to help those directly affected by the bombings.   As of when I refreshed the page, crowd-sourcing has generously and miraculously come up with $26,398,865 in donations for One Fund! Amazing, right?! And that number is growing every few seconds (literally, it kept changing when I was refreshing the page). Over $8.5 million from public donations and over $17.5 million from corporate donations. YOU GUYS ROCK!

In comes how you can help in a way that won’t break your bank, but will fill your heart with lots of warmth and good feelings.  BIC Bands is offering a limited edition Boston Strong headband.  Every single penny of the $12 band cost goes directly to One Fund Boston. Every cent.

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And, if you spend $50 or more, you get free shipping! Not that I needed the extra incentive to buy the Boston Strong headband, but I have a runcation coming up in June with my roommate from freshman year of college, and we wanted to make this race special.  It’s the 3rd attempt for both of us to try to get up to Seattle for the Rock n Roll Seattle 1/2. We’re determined… 3rd times a charm right?? And on top of that, we met and became roommates when we were babyfaced teenagers in 2003. This year is our 10 year friendiversary! I wanted to get us something special, and matching glitter headbands is the perfect idea! That’s 3 right there, so I might as well go for the free shipping option, right? :)

I can’t wait for my Boston Strong headband to get here and start wearing it out, showing my support and that we will never forget!

If you’ve been wondering how you can help, even if you’re nowhere near Boston, please  consider purchasing these limited edition Boston Strong headbands.  You get a little something for yourself, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to One Fund Boston. They have been such a great success, that they quickly sold 750 bands in about 24 hours and had to order more ribbon!  As of this morning, BIC Bands have already sold 973 bands Boston Strong bands, which is equal to $11,676 which will directly benefit those affected on 4-15-2013. Again, you guys ROCK! That combined with the overwhelming success of the #BostonStrong<city> runs that happened a week after Boston, just goes to show what an amazing community the running family (and the rest of the world) is!

You can order the bands in three different sizes: small (19″ for children or small-headed adults), standard (20″), or large (21″). Show your support by clicking the link and pre-ordering your BIC Band. Show off the love, support, unity and perseverance that has been going on all around the world!

Last night after work, I headed down to Crissy Field to join a ton of other runners in support of Boston.  TO show unity, support, love and admiration for all they’ve endured the past week, how resilient you are, and to give an air high-five to all of the first responders, especially those involved with shutting down an ENTIRE city, and not resting until the final suspect was captured alive.  They sure picked the wrong city to mess with!

I got off work late, the bus I was supposed to take didn’t show up, so I hopped on the next bus and didn’t realize until after $8.60 had been deducted from my Clipper card that I had jumped on a Golden Gate transit bus (charter bus) and was possibly not on the right one at all. After a few seconds of panic (because I literally only had my phone, drivers license and a $20 bill), I decided to just get off at the next stop with another guy. Turns out that was actually the stop I wanted and after him going one way, me running through Palace of the Fine Arts, and then meeting up again at a red light, we discovered we were both looking for #BostonStrongSF. Unintentional score!  We ran to Crissy Field, looked for the biggest crowd (and the news van) and headed that way. I was blown away at the site of all those runners.

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Brian being interviewed by Channel 7

The first thing I see when I run up is the awesome Pavement Runner being interviewed by Channel 7 news.  Please check out the news clip online about the event!  I tried to embed the video but it didn’t want to cooperate :(

Brian was the genius that first thought of people organizing events in their city one week after Boston. When you think of something like that, you always hope that people will pick up on the idea and form a little group to show our love. Never in my mind did I think it would be as big as it was.  Over 120 cities organized events for yesterday after work, in the US, Canada, London and Paris. I was blown away and filled with immense emotion when I saw their pictures and read their recap blog posts.

Pavey said on his blog when announcing his idea:
“I’m organizing a global event: #BostonStrong<city>

         A run for us to unite and show our strength.
        A run for those that were unable to finish. 
        A run for those that may never run again. 
       A run for us to try and make sense of the tragedy that has forever changed something              
       we love.”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.  People read that, took it to heart, and started organizing runs and fundraisers to raise money for One Fund Boston.

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Brian started things off with offering words of support, explaining why he wanted to organize an event like this, how amazed he is at how quickly the idea grew, how thankful he is for the support, and shared our own sentiments about why we’re all out there. We are a community. We are a family. When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. When one of our hearts hurts, we all hurt.  We had a moment of silence to pay our respects, and I thought back to watching the Bruins game and how emotional I got while watching the entire stadium singing the national anthem. 

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Thanks to Pavement Runners photographer for this one :)

ImageAnd then we were off! It was great to see how far along the horizon we stretched.  People wore blue and yellow, people wore black ribbons, people wore Red Sox hats and jerseys.  A few people even wore Boston Marathon memorabilia, some from previous years, and a couple that were actually in Boston last Monday, and experienced the mayhem firsthand. Cue emotions yet again.

Parts of the run were just runners, walkers and dog walkers, and a few parts were sharing the road with cars. A couple people rolled down their windows and asked who we were and what we were doing. A few people honked and gave us a thumbs up from their cars. A few people handed out high fives like it was their job. And what an awesome job to have!

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Our run was 3.5 miles along the water. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day in terms of weather, or a more perfect running route.  Mother Nature was showing her support as well, shining sun beams down on us, and giving us a light breeze to cool us down when we needed it.

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Sending our love from coast to coast

After finishing up the 3.5 miles, everyone stayed until the very last person came in, cheering them in the entire way.  Afterwards, Sports Basement Presidio had an event with free refreshments and beer, with ways to donate to One Fund Boston, as well as 10% of any purchases going to One Fund Boston.  I wasn’t able to make it to that since I needed to catch the bus back towards work, walk another .5 mile to work, pick up my bag, walk .75 miles to the nearest BART station, take BART 25 minutes to Oakland and then take the bus back to Alameda. Long night for sure.

Thank you to EVERYONE who took part in this event around the world. I felt your love and support and unity, and I’m hopeful that Boston can as well!

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Please disregard my misshapen heart. I’m short :)

You can shake us, but you cannot break us. We are one. We are united. We will not be stopped. We are Boston Strong.

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