‘Twas the weekend before…

There are a few things I feel we need an update on.  BIG things.  Things happening in the next week.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Reindeer Games

I can’t wait to share this fun fitness treat with all of you.  What a great time of year to get rewarded for making healthy choices (the time of year when you least want to!).   A combination of cold weather, holidays, stress, delicious food and LOTS of wine/fireball/tequila/eggnog mean a few extra doughy pounds for most people.  PLUS there’s this big incentive to just wait until January 1.

I’m challenging you to START NOW (or on Monday at least).  Make a commitment to get at least a little exercise everyday.  Continue to cook healthy things for yourself.  Get enough sleep.  Pass on the fruitcake (not sure I’ve actually ever had a piece…it always just rotted in the fridge!).  AND GET REWARDED FOR IT ALL.

There will be weekly prizes and the top three overall winners at the end of the first round (3 weeks long) will get free coaching from me!

The Rules

The Rules

The Points

The Points

Can’t wait, and hope you’ll play!  There’s already been some Twitter trash talking between my parents…… email me: coachsprenkel @ gmail.com if you’re ready to join us!  Just $20 for three weeks.

Route 66 Half Marathon

The Runnin’ Fools have been training since I moved here for this race and they are so ready!  All the long runs are wrapped up and now they must just survive the anticipation of this week before they line up on Sunday.  I wanted so badly to run with them and had secured my entry.  Four days later I messed with a heavy bag at the kickboxing gym and lost that battle.  I’m on a “take it easy” prescription from the doc and waiting to hear about surgery.  So no running for me for the rest of the year.  We’ll have to discuss that later.

But the group is ready!  And I’ll be out there cheering them on.  I know they’re all hoping the Oklahoma weather turns up a bit….

That’s all the update for now, Miley may see snow for the first time tomorrow!!

 

Reindeer Games comes to Tulsa

I am BEYOND THRILLED to announce that one of my favorite fitness games is coming to Tulsa.

REINDEER GAMES!

 

The Reindeer Games are the brainchild of my favorite mentor Lisa, owner of Inside Out Gym in Memphis, TN.  She created them to help people stay committed to health through the holidays, and maybe even have a little fun!  I participated for several years when I lived and worked there and now am so excited to announce the games have spread to my new home of Tulsa.

Here’s how they work:

  1. Workout
  2. Eat Healthy
  3. Share it
  4. Earn points
  5. Win Prizes (gift cards to local shops, free personal training, unlimited monthly boot camps etc.!)!
RG

Reindeer Games!

REGISTER

For $20 you can register to play.  This will get you a registration form, an official points sheet and access to the weekly workout and recipe distribution (one per week).  The first round of the games runs November 17-November 30 (Thanksgiving Round!).

 

There are plenty of opportunities for points – you can log a home workout, join me for a boot camp or check in at a gym!  The greatest thing is that you don’t have to live here to make it count – thanks to social media the games can come to wherever you live.  There will also be random opportunities for points each week via recipes, challenge workouts and surprises!

Stay tuned for official rules and more details!  If you have more questions or are ready to join – fill out the contact sheet below and I’ll get back to you!  Get ready to rock your way through the holidays 🙂

State 13: California (Nike Women’s Half Marathon) Part 2 of 3

Let’s talk about race day!  The only unfortunate thing was the fog mist.  I was so hoping for crystal clear skies like we had Saturday but it’s San Francisco and that just wasn’t in our favor.

With a 6:30 am start time, Erin, Julie and I were up by 4:30 making coffee and oatmeal to fuel us through the 13.1 miles.  I was feeling full from the pizza the night before (food post of course to follow!) so opted to just have coffee and grabbed a banana for the start line.

Julie was wonderful enough to drop us right at the start line!  Our corral was close to Union Square where packet pickup was the day before.  We hopped in with thousands of other girls and waited for our wave’s start.  There was loud music, a light show and balloons popping around the anxious crowd.  A sea of girls chatting away in between rows of the highest end shopping imaginable (to me at least!).

The usual nerves associated with a race crept up on me surrounded by all my fellow runners.  I wasn’t sure how well my sporadic training would serve me.  But I had a good playlist, the energy of the crowd and a fun city to explore.  (Not to mention the bling and firemen waiting at the finish line.)

We're ready!

We’re ready!

I didn’t have a particular goal, I wanted to enjoy the city-scapes and help pace Erin to either a PR or her first sub-2 hour.  All while Instagramming and texting my progress.

Like I said, we started in Union Square in a downtownish area of San Francisco.  The first few miles wound us through city streets.  It was still dark enough and misty enough and early enough to not really appreciate anything going on around us.  My main goal became to keep an eye on Erin in her bright orange and keep her from starting out too fast.

Course support

Course support

There was one moment of panic when the crowd I was hanging with was re-routed to a street over.  It seemed a little bit planned but also a little bit like “oops we let to much traffic through, let’s send them over here”.  Racers looked to each other for confirmation that we should stick to the new route and we continued on as a pack, eventually rejoining the main group.  For the first three miles we twisted and turned on the streets, with a few little inclines here and there.  Nothing like what we knew was coming.  My entire social media coverage became a countdown to the beast at mile 10.

We hit our first significant hill around mile 3.  There was a big jumbotron screen at the top of the hill with a live stream of runners pushing their way up the hill.  Right underneath it stood a man with a big poster scribbled with “F*ck Nike”  I appreciated his sentiment at that moment on the hill.  But I had a good song on (Boom Clap, to be specific).

After that hill we were in a more residential area surrounded by painted ladies.

Painted ladies

Painted ladies

I had a good pace and an eye on Erin.  I yelled at her once “Easy lady!” when she started to pick up pace a little too early….unfortunately a few ladies around me thought I was snarking at them..woops!

We had been pretty flat for a while by this point, and continued that way for a few more miles.  We ran into Golden Gate Park, a part of SF I hadn’t seen on my first go ’round.

The course was twisty and turny with a few ups and downs but still not really anything of major significance (not that I felt anyway).  I was wearing capris and a Tiffany colored tank but by this point because of the humidity was plenty sweaty.

They were handing out Luna Bars around mile 8 and I grabbed one for a bite.  Since I don’t normally do solid food during training, I was nervous to eat too much of the bite sized treat so stuck to one bite.  I was glad to have it though, my stomach was starting to feel empty and crampy.  We passed the motivational sign we contributed to at the expo and it was covered in signatures of girls from all over the world (I’m assuming).  It was cool to see that again.

Run like you’re finally going to catch your tail!

As we turned out of the park, we hit another residential part of the course.  I almost had a wipe out mid-text to mom and dad…..Erin tried to save me, yelling about a pot hole but my foot went straight into it.  LUCKILY – either because of cross training, balance drills or great genes, I stayed upright and unharmed!  And managed to finish my text 😉

We hit our biggest hill yet and I lost Erin for a bit in the mile 8 to 9 stretch.  We were both still counting down to mile 10, but this was one we hadn’t anticipated.  I was still feeling pretty strong and by now had hit that runner’s high that people talk about.  I checked in with Erin and we pushed ahead.  1 mile to the beast.

Ain’t no time for Walken!  (Photo of Christopher Walken)

Then, it was upon us.  As if there was any doubt that the steep incline in front of us was the hill, Nike put a sign out to let us know for certain.

I don’t remember a lot about going up the hill.  I remember falling into pace behind a woman and using her energy to pull me to the top.  I remember being on beat with the music but not sure which song.  I remember thinking about the bling, and thinking about the downhill.  I remember thinking about the inspiration of all the women trudging up the hill beside me.  And then, we were at the top!  There should have been a spectacular view of the bridge, but alas there was a spectacular view of whiteness…..maybe heaven.

There was new energy at the top of that beast!  I knew it was all downhill to the beautiful finish line.  Erin was trying not to puke but we found each other and got ready for the last 2-3 miles.  We had been in the beautiful Presidio Park and were coming down through and into Chrissy Field.  I so wish we could have seen farther than a foot in front of us, but I guess it’s not really a trip to San Fran without some fog.

Keep going!  Don’t Stop! …..that’s what she said.

This part of the race is where the high really kicked in.  I was feeling so inspired by the strength in my legs, the runners around me and the music.  It was one of those glorious runs where you remember why you’re out there.  It was fun and my heart was soaring.  (Weird to say and hard to explain but that’s pretty close).

We were downhill for about a mile before it flattened into the finish.  The water was to our left and the Presidio hill to our right and behind.  I kept checking in on Erin, we were on pace for a PR!

By this time I was running for Erin to get her time, for Julie at the finish, for my new life in Tulsa and for the medal at the end.  There was plenty to be celebrated and I couldn’t help but think of all of it in that final stretch.  We came into the harbor with the sailboats on our left and such a great crowd.  State 13 was in the books!

The finish area was AMAZING.  We picked up our blue boxes with the pretty white satin ribbon and searched immediately for the firemen (no shame).  Sadly, the medal wasn’t handed to us individually like I anticipated but we did get a photo with a large group of them :).  Our finisher bags were reusable grocery bags from Whole Foods and came with a reusable customized race water bottle, plenty of delicious snacks from Whole Foods and chocolate milk!  We made our way to the recovery tent where party music, delicious juiced drinks and foam rollers awaited.  There were hundreds of yoga mats laid out for stretching and even human stretchers out to help with the achy muscles.  It will be one of the best, most thorough races I run (I think anyway!).

By this time the sun was starting to break through and burn off the fog.  Erin, Julie and I headed back to the car in the harbor, cheering on the final finishers during our walk.  We took some time to play on the beach and stick our achy legs in the cold water.  Almost like an ice bath right?!

I can’t say enough positive things about this race, this experience and the weekend.  For the price required for entry, I would certainly hope that it would be as well organized, thorough and thoughtful as it was!

State 13: California (Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco) Part 1 of 3

I’ve said since the beginning of this “Race the States” adventure that California would be the Nike Women’s Half Marathon.  I wanted San Francisco.  I wanted Nike.  I wanted Tiffany’s.  I wanted firemen.

And San Francisco didn’t disappoint.

Friday

Friday was a travel day for me.  I flew from Tulsa to Las Vegas to San Fran where I met up with my friend and grad school roommate Erin.  We rented a place in the Haight neighborhood off of Air BnB.  It was a darling room in an upstairs apartment.  We shared a bathroom and kitchen with the other rooms on the floor but it didn’t matter much since we were gone most of the days anyway.

Our little place had all the little touches that made it feel like home – succulents, coffee, red wine.  One of the big problems was that it was over a night club….our hosts provided ear plugs for us but still.

We spent the evening exploring San Francisco and making plans to eat and go to the expo on Saturday.  The weather was unexpectedly warm for SF (or so everyone told me.).  We found a before I die board in our neighborhood.  I’ve seen these on social media but never in real life.  I took the time to write my dream on there!

IMG_4885

…..open a studio

Saturday

Expo was our top priority for Saturday.  And food.  The Nike Women’s Half called it the Expotique and it was certainly catered to women.  (Men were allowed to register, and smart ones of course did but everything was catered to women.)  For me, it was the little details that made this expo better.  Even though it was crowded (over 25,000 runners came through over 2 days), it was very streamlined and efficient (that morning anyway).  Before we went into the tent, there were several photo opportunities with Nike propaganda and their were staff/volunteers waiting to take photos for everyone.  Lines were formed and people waited patiently.

Next we made our way into the tent to pick up our bibs.  All of the volunteers were very friendly and asked about training, where we traveled from and what our race history was.  Many of them also planned to run on Sunday.  The Tiffany blue colors set the backdrop for most of the tent and big Nike-esque motivational quotes appeared around every corner.

We wove our way through different stations: packet pickup, Whole Foods cupcakes, bib photo opportunities, Luna Bar customized cheer signs, and Spotify playlist making.  Erin and I stopped to sign the motivational wall (which reappeared around mile 10 on the race course!) and take photos throughout.  We had to skip the Neutrogena and Paul Mitchell Booths but they had people there doing race day hair and makeup!

My favorite touch was the customized Luna Bar sign.  We could use some of their quotes and sayings or come up with our own.  The wait wasn’t very long at all and we were able to sample different flavors of their bars.


The expo was held in Union Square, close to both Nike and Tiffany and Co.  After some time at the expo, we crossed the street to the Niketown SF store and found our individual names etched in the window of the store!

We spent the rest of the day touring the town and fueling for the run (food post coming later!).  I (and everyone else) couldn’t stop appreciating the cloudless and warm day in SF.  That’s 2/2 visits now that I’ve had beautiful weather :).  It made for some beautiful pictures of the Golden Gate.  My aunt Julie came over from her town of Livermore to hang with us and play cheerleader.  It was so great to finally have her see one of my runs after talking about it for so long!  When she picked us up, Erin and I debated driving part of the course to try to find the dreaded mile 10 hill.  Julie took charge and drove us into the Presidio Park and we found it.  And we weren’t sure that we were glad to see what was in store for us…..definitely a beast.  I for one am always glad to know what’s coming, Erin felt like she would be dreading it for the whole 10 miles before it.  (Spoiler alert: we both survive)




I can’t rave enough about the expo.  I loved that they were selective of the vendors so you didn’t have all that excess stuff like Gu and other race promos and sweaty bands and earphones that don’t fall out of your ears and all the things you see at every expo.  It was higher end sponsors that catered to us and really did an excellent job.  There wasn’t a vendor that  is normally at an expo that I missed at all.  Well done Nike (duh.).