Friday, April 18, 2014

Liebster Award

I feel very honored to be nominated by the beautiful Lauren at Halfway to the Castle for  the Liebster Award! This is a great opportunity to connect with new blogs and give bloggers something totally different to write about!! Seriously check Lauren out! She upholds the #runnerslove philosophy everyday and her blog is always a lot of fun to read!!

Here are the rules of the Liebster Award:

  1. You must link back to the person who nominated you
  1. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you
  1. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award
  1. You must create 10 questions for your nominees
  1. You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees
Lauren really came up with some great questions for me. Here are my answers:

1. Why did you decide to start running?

I ran off and on in college, mainly so that I could eat what I wanted, and drink what I wanted!! Haha. But running was never really part of me then. 

It took until my mom was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gerhig's Disease) almost five years ago, that running because my therapy. I have never talked about this on my blog, as it is really too difficult for me, but here is the short version: the night my mom was diagnosed, I slept in my closet, or at least I spent the night in my closet, I was numb, I was scared, I was out of control. 

The very next day, I left the house and went for a walk to clear my head, walking allowed me too much time to think, so I just started running. I wasn't numb anymore, I was struggling to breathe, and to keep my legs moving, but I wasn't numb. I wasn't scared anymore, I had a goal, I knew where I was going. Running was my release that day, and has been by daily release through the past 5 years. Running allows me the time to just live, to not think about anything but myself, it allows me to free myself from all the hurt. There is nothing better than pounding your pain out on the pavement. Without running, I don't know where I would be. 

2. What would your best piece of advice for a new runner be?

Keep going! In the beginning it is hard!! Just keep going, don't give up! Find a group of friends that can motivate you through the rough times and cheer you on in your successes!! 

3. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?

Wow! Only 3?? Well, in that case:

1. I would love to open my own running store. 

2. I want to inspire people. I want to give others hope when they think they have lost it.

3. I want to live a long, happy and healthy life, with lots of travel and adventures.

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

I get asked this question a lot! Mainly because I am a German teacher and everyone thinks that I want to move to Germany, or that Germany is my #1 dream destination, and while I LOVE Germany, and the city of Berlin, it is not where I would want to live permanently. 

I would love to move to California, somewhere in the Bay Area. I love having the ocean and the mountains close by (two HUGE loves in my life!). I love the vibe in SF and would love to live close to that. Also the food, the wine and the people! I would move to CA in a heartbeat if my current situation allowed.

5. Dog or Cat?

Dog!! Dogs all the way! 

I am NOT a cat person at all! 

I have 2 Yorkshire Terriers who rule my life with all of their cuteness! Small dogs are best, as I have some fear with larger dogs. Dogs are just great animals!! I have not lived without a dog for over 25 years!

6. If you were an Olympic athlete, what event would you compete in?

Great question!! I would compete in downhill skiing. Primarily in downhill or GS. I have skied my whole life, and raced just about that long! In my younger days, I was a ski instructor and a race coach, and those were some of the best days of my life. I love being out on the mountain, flying down the hills. I like to ski fast, so the downhill event would be my top choice!!! 

7. What can always make you smile?

The little things in life make me smile. My dogs, family, and friends. A great latte, a cupcake, or trying a new food.  My students have me smiling and laughing everyday. My BRFF Meg, can make me smile even on my worst days. Seeing the kindness of others warms my heart and brings a smile to my face.  

8. Favorite flavor of ice cream?

Coffee! Hands down! Yum!

9. Have you ever been fired from a job?

No, I haven't. I have fired a few people before though…if that counts! ;)

10. Tell us something we might not know about you from first meeting you!

I'm painfully shy! Seriously, I am! It takes all I have sometimes to connect with people. Most people think I am outgoing and really confident, and I can come off that way, but it is very hard for me!

Annnnnd Here are my nominations for the Liebster Award are:

1. Meg at Runaway Royalty 
2. Samantha at Dance to the Finishline
3. Sandra at Running through Pixidust
4. Jindy at Flowers Croon
5. Katie at Katie Looking Forward
6. Anne at Outrunning the Fork
7. Karen at Losing the Glass Slipper
8. April at Run the Great Wide Somewhere
9. Carolyn at Royal Runner
10. Daniella at Run Around the World

Now for the hard hitting questions:

1. If you could run with anyone,in any place in the world, where would you run & who would you run with?
2. If you weren't scared, what would you do?
3. What has blogging done for you and your life?
4. What is your favorite restaurant?
5. What was the hardest race you have run? Why was it hard?
6. When was the last time someone did something really special for you? What was it?
7. East coast or West coast?
8. How would you describe your style?
9. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
10. Are you a hugger, hand shaker or high fiver?

Have fun!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

These are happy tears!!! Seriously!!!

Two weeks ago I got an amazing surprise!! I got a tweet from Nike!!

While it is not out of the norm for companies to tweet individuals, this is Nike!!! And they wanted me to contact them!!!

I started shaking right away, because I had an idea as to why they wanted me to contact them: Meg and I had been tweeting Nike for awhile about getting a Woman's 1/2 marathon DC bib. Meg and a bunch of other #Runnerslove ladies were picked through the lottery system, and we wanted to have another #Runnerslove meet-up, and hey, another chance to see Meg?? I'll take that any day!!

I entered a bunch of drawings to win entrance to the sold-out race, but nothing ever came of that.

I had pretty much given up all hope of running DC.  And then, that tweet appeared!!!

I emailed Nike right away!! <-- Who would wait, right?!?

Nike emailed me back right away!! (Way to go Nike!!!)

What the email said caused me to bawl, scream, and run around the house like I was on fire!!!!

They offered me a bib!!!! Their email read:

Hi Kristine!
We have been keeping up with your tweets and we love your dedication to running and being the best you! We know you were trying to get a bib for the Nike Women's Half Marathon, and you've been entering all the second chance drawings. We would like to extend an invitation to register for the Nike Women's Half Marathon DC 2014. As you already know this is a sold out event and we are no longer offering second chances. We wanted to offer this to you in appreciation for your dedication, and positive attitude toward running.

OMG!! OMFG!!! I was completely floored!! I was speechless!! I was:

Of course, I called Meg right away, but I was crying so hard I could hardly speak!! It was so exciting!! Everything about this opportunity was so exciting!! Not only was I given the chance to run a sold-out race, and earn a Tiffany necklace as my medal and above all run with my BRFF Meg!!! 

It took seriously, about a week for the whole thing to sink in, and as it did, I am so grateful for this opportunity! I cannot wait to run this race!! I cannot wait to have an entire weekend to hang out with Meg!! I am beyond thrilled!! I am blessed!!

Watch out Washington!! Meg and Kristy are on their way!!!! 

#Runnerslove Meet-Up: PHM Style & Future Plans!

I know, I know! I am still trying to catch up on all the Princess 1/2 marathon excitement from almost 2 months ago!!! Yikes!!

One of my most favorite memories of PHM weekend was the #Runnerslove Meet-up I held with Meg (@Warsawmermaid). It was through the planning of this meet-up that we became besties and she is now forever in my life!!

We held our meet-up unofficially on the beach of the Poly resort. I say "unofficially" because we did not ask permission to do so, and pretty much the entire time I was paranoid that we would be kicked out!! Haha!

That didn't happen, but we did get poured on and that dampened the party….only a little!!

This meet-up was my opportunity to thank all of my great blog readers, and Twitter/Instagram followers, as well as provide an opportunity to meet all of you for real!!!

I was super nervous about the meet-up to be honest! Meg and I had received SOOOOO many prizes to give away and I was worried about just how many people would or wouldn't show up.

I was blown away at the amount of people who showed up!! And while I was too busy giving away over $4000 worth of prizes, I just wanted to hang out and chat with all y'all!! :)

I think Meg did an amazing (and timely!) job recapping the event on her blog (please visit her!!) 

So I want to talk about the future of #Runnerslove:

#Runnerslove is a movement that has started out of the hearts of two runners, who because best friends through all of this social media craziness. We want to share our love for running with you all, but more importantly we want to support you and cheer you on in anyway possible!!

We have started a Facebook group to keep in contact with all of our #Runnerslove friends (new and old! <-- not that any of you are OLD!!!), please join in on the fun!!

We also have a #Runnerslove Wine & Dine meet-up in the plans for Disney's Wine and Dine Weekend in November --> RSVP here!!

We have been holding Sunday night #Runnerslove Twitter Parties, which are announced on both our Facebook page and our twitter accounts! I encourage you to participate in the fun, and meet some new peeps!!

And…… we are working on a VERY LAST MINUTE #Runnerslove Nike DC meet-up!!! We will hopefully have more information very, very soon!!

#Runnerslove is all about supporting our fellow runners, sharing our excitement for them and connecting in a positive way! We are a great group already and would love you to join in on the fun!!

Meg and I know we want to take #Runnerslove to new places, and to new heights soon! We are working with PunkeeLove Headbands to create some special #Runnerslove merchandise, and would love to plan some more meet-ups!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Running around the Country!!

2014 has already been quite a year!! I am loving it!! While my year-long goal is to run 14 half marathons, it has sparked a secondary goal: to travel as much as possible!!

Traveling has always been a favorite activity of mine, be it a quick drive to Minneapolis, or riding the train in Europe, I am always down for a great trip, amazing food, and adventures!!

This year has not disappointed me!!

In January, I traveled to Disneyland, and got to spent an amazing week in California with my sister.

Just a month later, we headed to Florida to run the Glass Slipper Challenge in Disney World.

Two weeks after returning from Florida, I was on the road for work, driving to Wisconsin for an inspiring conference/training where I ran 9 miles on a brisk morning.

Just 3 days after returning from that trip, I was flying to St. Louis for another work-related conference. I did not get to run in St. Louis, but we walked a lot and explored the city as much as possible!

And just 2 days after returning from St. Louis, I was on my way to San Francisco for a solo spring break!

This trip was pretty last minute, but was an amazing experience. I took every opportunity to run. The first morning I was in California, I woke up early and ran by the bay. It was probably the slowest run of my life, because I kept stopping, just to take in the views, and breathe in the air.



After my run, I played "tourist" in SF, riding the cable cars, and sampling the local food! Yum! One of my very favorite ways to experience a city it through its food, and SF doesn't disappoint! :)



I even tried "animal-style" fries at my very first IN-N-OUT ---haha! I just had to! So many of you swear by their burgers!!

Later that night, I was able to sample the fare from local food trucks at a Off The Grid meet up. I feel in love with the Koja Kitchen truck and their delicious Korean eats!! Seriously!! Find them and try it!!!

The next morning, I traveled over an hour south to run at Wilder State park, crossing "running by the ocean" off my running bucket list! I ran 11 amazing miles, each one more beautiful than the next! This was by far my favorite part of the entire trip. The trail was amazing, and was lined with wild rosemary and thyme bushes….mixed with the sea, the sent was intoxicating. I never wanted to stop running.



The next day, my last day in CA, was met with pouring rain. It was a real downer, but I made the best of it by driving into the city, and exploring it via my little car. I was soaking wet, and chilled to the bone, but I again made it to the ocean, where I could have sat forever just listening to the waves.


It was an amazingly restorative trip for me. I know people think that traveling alone is, well, lonely, but for me it was a time to reflect on my life, and a time to re-charge. I met so many amazing people during my short time in the Bay Area.


I would move to this area in a heartbeat. The ocean, the city, and the hills have once again captured my head and my soul.

Do you ever travel alone?