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Warning! This blog post isn't about running! It's about being a Ginger!

#RedHairDon'tCare is a Hashtag that I first discovered on Twitter. It's funny and it's a new philosophy I've adopted. I wish I would have discovered that philosophy when I was younger. I would have spent less time hating my hair color or the fact that my mom wouldn't let me dye it. I can hear her now "No you cannot dye your hair, do you realize how many women would kill for your hair color? You can't get that out of a bottle!" 

Now that I'm older I completely understand where she was coming from. Every time I go to the salon I get compliments on my color. Older women approach me and tell me stories of when they were younger and had the same color as I do now.

But let's face it, growing up in a small town in the heart of Osage County where almost EVERYONE is Native American, I definitely stood out. 
I've heard all the insults, been called all the names, etc. 
"I'd rather be dead than red on the head"
"Carrot Top" or "Copper Top"
"Do your drapes match your curtains?" 
"...Redheaded step child..."
"You're a Ginger and you have no Soul" 

And to that I say: #RedHairDontCare 

As I've grown up, I've embraced my crimson locks. I even named my blog after my genetic make up of red hair and a sprinkling of freckles. I am a Ginger Kid. It's cool, only 1-2% of the human population can say that.  

Fact! My name is Sarah, not Ginger.

Here are 5 random things about redheads you didn't know you wanted to know! 

1. Beware of Increased Cancer Risks 
We are most at-risk for skin cancer such as melanoma  So if you are a Ginger Kid like me and a runner, you need to take extra precaution and use tons of SPF while you are out in the sun training for those races.

2. Anesthesia is not our friend
Due to genetics, those who are naturally red headed are less sensitive to Anesthesia such as Novocaine. Dentist trips = no fun! My paternal grandmother once told me a story about how she had to have a tooth pulled without the amazing numbing affects of Novocaine because the dentist had given her as much as he possibly could and it flat out didn't work on her. Yikes!

3. No Gray Hair For Me!
 Fact! Redheads don't go gray. We retain our color longer than our brunette and blonde counter parts. Our hair may turn a blonde color and then eventually white, but it will be at an older age than others. My dad, who I get my red hair from, is in his early 60's and still has yet to have much gray or change in color in his hair. Also - Ginger Kids has fewer hairs on their head but they tend to have thicker strands. 

4. We Aren't Going Away
Someone started a rumor that redheads are going extinct. Not true. While we only make up 1-2% of the human population, our numbers aren't decreasing. Thanks to the increase in Ginger-Celebrities like Emma Stone (LOVE her!), Jessica Rabbit, Elmo, Julianne Moore, Isla Fisher, Molly Ringwald, and yes even Lindsay Lohan we are growing in popularity.

5. History Was Not Nice To Redheads
Historically Redheads have been associated and accused of being things such as Satan, Witches, Vampires and mischievous pixies or fairies. Historical outcasts such as Judas, Mary Magdalene, and Lilith (The first Wife of Adam) are often portrayed as having red hair. 

 
 
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Since I am not running as much right now I've been taking time to allow my body to adjust to my new diet, letting my feet get better, and I've been reflecting on the last year and a half of my running career and I've learned a few things. Some things I learned the hard way, but eh #RedHairDon'tCare. (That's my favorite Twitter HashTag by the way)

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Getting Attacked by Gravity

It happens from time to time and luckily everyone that I have seen bite the dust has been ok. Let's keep it that way. But it never fails. Every training season at least one person in my group has suddenly been viciously attacked by gravity. Why didn't Newton also discover the crazy Matrix moves that would keep us from falling to the ground?

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Running in Groups

If you haven't trained with a group, you probably don't think about the randomness of group dynamics until you have experienced them first hand. For example,  I like to run towards the front of the group to avoid others passing gas and being downwind of them. And don't forget about the random conversations that everyone can hear that are often TMI. No offense, but when I'm running I'm trying to find my happy place and your Baby-Daddy issues are not my business nor my concern. However, If you want to talk about what happened on this week's episode of Survivor, I'm all ears! 
Now here's something that doesn't happen very often. My training group was once mooned by a guy in another group because my coach was yelling at him (funny things and words of encouragement of course) as his group passed mine. True Story Y'all! (That is probably the funniest thing I've ever seen while on a training run.) 

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Random People Cheering For You

During my last marathon I felt like the most popular kid on the street! During the race everyone was calling me out by name and telling me to Keep Going, or Keep up the good work or whatever. It took me a few seconds to realize that my name was printed on my bib and they weren't my fan club. ::Insert Sad Music Here::
But really this is the best part about the running community. I didn't realize that people I didn't even know would be pulling for me and cheering for me. I love it!

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Toe Nail Problems!

Nobody really tells you about black toes nails.
They do happen and they are gross. And to make it even worse, it takes a really long time for your feet to look normal after that. This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Eight months later, my toes are back to normal. Oh and don't even get me started on blisters and bloody toes. Ugh!

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Running Makes You Dumb

I wrote an entire blog post about this. You can read it here. But I'm serious. When I'm running something happens and my normal ability to do simple math, repeat my name, or plan what I'm going to have for lunch goes completely out the window. Running can also make you very ADD. One minute you are thinking about your dog, then the next thing you know, you are in the middle of a conversation about Maroon 5. Huh? Anyways, luckily this is a temporary thing. Squirrel! 

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Running Races is Addictive

True Story. We ran 3 Half Marathons in 90 Days and then less than 6 months later, we ran 3 Marathons and an Ultra Marathon in 4 months time. That doesn't even count the 5ks, 10ks, and 15ks we ran in between those. Is there a Running Anonymous group I should join? As I type this I am really starting to see how addicted we are! No, but really? Is there?
Our cars eve now have multiple running related stickers on them just so everyone can tell we are serious about running. Real. Serious.

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Ice Baths

Think about those two words. Ice. Bath. Sounds like torture to me and it is! Enough said.

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People Who Don't Run Will Give You Running Advice
I usually just smile and nod. :) 
But really? Running is bad for my knees? Well eating junk food on the couch is bad for my heart sooo... I'll get a shiny new bionic knee while you sit and wait on the heart transplant list! Ok - that one was cruel, but c'mon it's true! 






So what have you learned in your first year or many years of running?

 
 
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Okay, Okay, Okay! I won't make you all wait any longer. If you are connected to my RunGingerRunBlog Facebook Page, you'll know that I've been teasing you all about a big announcement coming up. Well it is time to let the Ginger out of the bag! I had such a positive response from everyone about my motivational back-bibs that I've decided to start selling them on my blog! 

If you aren't familiar with the back story you may want to read my Running Is Stupid post. Then you'll need to read my Ready To Run blog and you'll get the idea. My fellow Ginger Kids and I have been wearing these bibs to every race we've done since the Hubbo first brought them home and everyone has thought they were fun and inspiring! 


You may be thinking, "Why is she trying to sell stuff on her blog?" Well I'll be perfectly honest about it. Here's why:
  • I got such a positive response from everyone I thought others might want one too.
  • Why not?
  • Running is expensive. I thought if I could sell enough to cover a race entry fee for the Hubbo and I, then I would consider this venture a wild success. 
  • I'm not running a lot right now because I'm still in recovery mode, so this is the perfect time to do something like this. And why not?

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Want to know what they look like? Sure you do! Just look to the left. 

For starters, there are two designs to pick from. If there is a need or desire for other designs or team orders, let me know! We can make that happen. 

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This is a new style. The Hubbo made the first one (Keep Going) and I've worn it to a few races. The Right Foot Left Foot Repeat is a mantra that came to me during my first 50k. I had A LOT of time to think and that phrase just kept popping up and helped me to Keep Going. (See how I tied that together? Clever huh? :))

Product and Ordering Info

Here are some questions I'm assuming people want to know.

Q. How big are they?
A. They are 6" X 7.25" which is about as big as your average race bib.

Q.  How much are they?
A. $10.99 which includes shipping. (In the US) 

Q. How do I order?
A. Good question! There is a tab on my blog that says Ginger Gear. Go there. Select the bib you want to order and you'll be taken to my page on PayPal where you can finalize your order. I'll receive notification of your order and then I'll send it to you. Done deal.

Q. Can I do a personalized bib for a team?
A. Heck yes you can! Just email me and we'll figure out the details. 
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Here's a close up shot of the bib in action. I'm pretty sure this was the only reason I was able to finish my 50k.

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See? Back bibs make Gingers happy. Even at the bottom of a hill during a 50k. 

I just want to give a Ginger Shout Out to my Hubbo! If he didn't bring these home to cheer me up, I wouldn't be trying this new adventure!

Also - another special Ginger Shout Out to my fellow Ginger Kids - Chad and Amber. They have been great supporters of my  blog and have even let me sweet talk them into wearing the back bibs at their races. 

Last and certainly not least, I'm sending a Ginger Shout Out to Debbie! Thanks for being a huge part of the research phase of this! 

Ok, this is the last Ginger Shout Out - Thanks to all of you! You all keep reading my blog and have given me encouragement throughout my running career and that is awesome! 

Okay. Enough  mushy talk. Go order a bib! 
 
 
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First of all, no woman should ever have to experience the horror that I had to today. You may be wondering what kind of horrible, dreadful, and awful thing I had to do? I'll tell you. I had a running gait screening done. Sounds innocent right? Not. So. Much. 


It started out okay. The Screening Specialist took my height, my weight, my blood pressure, all that was fine. Then the screening specialist, we'll call him "SS" so I don't have to type that out a lot, started to manipulate my feet and take my complaints down. No problem! This is easy. While I don't like to be touched and I really hate to have other people touch my feet, this wasn't the horrible part of the Gait Evaluation.

Next I was walking barefoot on a treadmill. NBD, I can do this all day! Then the bad news. The SS asked me if I had worn a jogging bra under my shirt. Luckily he had prepared me before my visit that I needed to wear one. So I did. He asked that I take off my shirt so he could put on a monitor and also so he could see how my spine moved while I run. Aakkkk!!!! Are you kidding me?!? These cameras are recording full length body shots while I run! And they were displaying the footage on a HUGE TV screen right there in the room. It was like my overweight self was laughing at the fatty on the treadmill running. No way Jose'! Ugh, but I did it anyways. So the horrible, awful, and terrible event started. I had to run on a treadmill in my sports bra ON CAMERA. NO woman should EVER have to do that!! Nothing will make you drop the cookies and cupcakes faster than seeing yourself running in very little clothing. Ugh! 
Luckily, I started a low carb diet last week and I'm already down 5.4lbs. 

You may be wondering why I had a running gait evaluation today. Let's rewind a little bit. I've been running marathons lately...a lot of marathons. The Hubbo and I ran 4 marathons in basically 4 months. One of those being my first 50k. So naturally I ended up at my Chiropractor's office complaining of foot pain, calf tightness, heel pain, and a sore spot on the arch of my right foot. Most of those problems are fading but not 100% so he recommended a gait evaluation to see if there is something in the way that I run that is causing all these problems. Sure enough! I am one jacked-up runner! 

                                                   Warning! 
I am about to show you pictures from my evaluation today. If you don't want to see a pasty, overweight, white girl running a treadmill, turn away now!

                                                   Disclaimer
While I did not Photoshop these to make myself look better, I did crop out the unnecessary parts to make me feel better about posting them. 

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I learned several things about the way I run today. Turns out that my stride is a little too long and I am landing with my leg extended a little too far ahead of my center. The yellow line is showing where my center is and my foot it a little too far forward. 

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Also, my feet do something I've never even heard of before. The SS kept telling me that I have a "Heel Whip". Sounds terrible. Basically it just means that my heel turns inward as I'm running when it should be aligned better. This is probably caused by overpronating. 

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Speaking of pronating, this picture shows that my right foot is pronating at 18 degrees. That can't be good.

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I am also a heel striker when I run in shoes. If you look at the picture of me running barefoot 3 pics above this one, you'll see that I am a mid-foot striker when I run barefoot. The SS said it was normal for people to strike differently in shoes versus no shoes.

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Another fun fact I learned today is that my right leg likes to crossover a little too far. The yellow line shows my center again and you can see it is hitting me on my second toe. It should be on the inside of my arch or somewhere around there. This is probably caused because my right glute muscle is weak. Big booty exercises here I come! 

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This one is another reason why I need to do some Big Booty Exercises. I apparently run in an up-and-down motion rather than propelling myself forward motion. The SS said it was because I am "using my big ol' calf muscles and I need a big ol' booty to move me forward not up." 
The green line is my normal height and the red line is how far up I go when I run. It's about 4-5 inches. Big Booty Exercises here I come! 

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Ugh, the dreaded full length body shot. I put this one at the end hoping that some of my readers would be so bored they wouldn't scroll down this far and see this. 
But you are still reading so I'll tell you what's going on here.
My left hip drops when I run. In my bare feet my left hip drops 7 degrees, in my normal running shoes it drops 10 degrees, and in my running shoes with my special running inserts it drops 8 degrees. This is also caused by my weak booty muscles. Soo..Big Booty Exercises here I come! 

Now for the question I know you are all asking? How do you fix this, or what next? Well here's what is on the agenda:
  • Big Booty Exercises
  • Big Booty Exercises
  • Big Booty Exercises
  • Only running 2 marathons a year
  • Taking time off from distance training in the summer
  • Maybe trying minimalist running shoes as recommended by the SS


Do any of you wear minimalist shoes? Do you love them? Hate them? What can you tell me about that type of shoe?
 
 
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My second installment of my BirchBox subscription came in the mail this week. Excited!



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This isn't the best picture, but I'm too lazy to retake it. So this will do.

Here's what I got this month.
  • Juicy Couture Perfume - Couture La La. Smells nice! Has a sweet floral scent. A full size retails for $19-$90
  • Serge Normant Volumizing Dry Shampoo. Really Really Excited to try this sample! (Red Bottle in the picture) A full size retails for $25
  • Whish Shaving Cream - Blueberry. I'm pretty excited about this too. I don't usually use a shaving cream because I have sensitive skin so I'm always up for trying something and hopefully finding something that won't irritate my skin. (Blue Bottle) A full size retails for $20.
  • Nail File - Floral Pattern You can never have too many nail files right? This on will probably make its way to work with me. Retail Price $5
  • Juice Beauty - Stem Cellular Color Correction Cream. The description says it is a lightweight cream that naturally improves skin tone with vitamin C and grape-derived resveratrol. (Silver bottle) A full size retails for $39. 


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Never heard of BirchBox? I'll tell you how it works. 

  • You go to their website by clicking here
  • Sign up for an account.
  • Sign up for the waiting list.
  • Wait about 2 weeks. Give or take a bit.
  • Then they email you and tell you that your subscription is ready to be claimed. You have 48 hours to claim it so do it right away. 
  • Then you finalize your payment settings and wait for your first box to come in.
  • Finally, enjoy the fun new thins that show up on your doorstep!



 
 
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Last week my second Stridebox came in the mail. Yay!
Having a subscription to this box and my other one, BirchBox, makes checking my mail a lot of more fun.

In case you are unfamiliar with Stridebox, it is a monthly box subscription that comes directly to my door for $15/month. The items are focused on things runners want.

This month the box had a lot of nutrition related items. 

Here are the contents of the box:
  • WIA - Sports Laundry Detergent
  • Power Ice - Electrolyte Popsicle
  • Picky Bars
  • Gu - Peanut Butter
  • Run Guard 
  • Kind Bar
  • Click - Protein Drink

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I haven't been running for the last week and a half, but I ate this snack bar anyways. It was good. Very crunchy. A little on the small side. I noticed that I can buy these at my local convenience store as well.

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I ate this as a snack bar as well. It was pretty good. It has the density of a brownie but it has a sunflower seed taste to it. I like the tag line "It's freaking science, dude."

This bar is made by 3 Pro Endurance Athletes.
  • Lauren Fleshman
  • Jesse Thomas
  • Steph Rothstein

The back of the packaging says that at least two of the creators have a food intolerance.
Jesse - Gluten & Dairy Intolerance
Steph - Celiac Disease

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I haven't actually tried these yet but my husband is a huge fan of the GU Gels. Unfortunately, he's not a fan of peanut butter.

Even worse, I don't care for the consistency of the GU Gels, but I LOVE peanut butter. So I'm stuck in a dilemma! Maybe this will be the flavor that makes me like the GU Gels?


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I haven't used the credit card holder yet, but I know exactly how I'll use it when I start running again. My local running club holds a Pint Night Run on Monday nights. They select a 3-4 mile course and along the way, we stop at a bar and drink a pint of beer. You have to bring your own ID and you own credit card. This credit card holder is perfect for that type of run.

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I used this Sports Detergent on my running gear from my marathon last week. The scent is fresh and clean. It seems to have worked well. They don't smell anymore, but that's kind of the point of washing your clothes, right?

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I'm really excited about these. I want to wait and save them for a super hot day that I run because what is better than a Popsicle on a hot day? A Popsicle that will help you replace your electrolytes! They sent me two, orange and lemon flavors.

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I got a nice sized sample of Run Guard. I've been a regular Body Glide user but will give this a chance. Anything has to be better than chaffing! 

 
 
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This weekend the Hubbo, Amber, and I ventured over to a  neighboring state to run the Little Rock Marathon.  The Hubbo and I finished our fourth marathon while Amber finished her second. We had fun, got a huge medal, and conquered a crazy hill. 

Let's get down to business and find out how the Little Rock Marathon did on the RunGingerRunBlog Grading scale.

Course - 4 Ginger Points The majority of the course was really great. The first half is actually really flat and scenic, but (there's always a but) there was a LONG stretch up Kavanaugh hill. I promise this hill must have been 3 miles. There was a long out and back stretch which I was happy to see after that hill, but that happiness quickly faded the longer I ran down a long straight stretch.

Entry Fee - 4 Ginger Points We didn't register as early as we could have so we probably could have saved some $, but the fee was $95. Considering the HUGE medal (see pics below) and that they offer a post-race party with a full meal and entertainment makes it worth it to me.

Participation - 4 Ginger Points The marathon had 2,447 marathon finishers and 4,404 half marathon finishers. The only reason I didn't give it 5 Ginger Points is because the marathon sold out 2 months before race day. That shows you how high the demand is for this race. So if you want to do it next year, register early! 

Parking - N/A - I took the trolley from my hotel to the race so I didn't have to worry about parking. 

Shirt - 3 Ginger Points ::Insert Sad Music Here:: I was not impressed with the shirt. It was a tech shirt so the material was good, but the color was a dark burgundy color with the race logo on it. The colors just didn't do much for me. Also by the time we finished the race they were out of finishers T-shirts in our size to purchase. On the bright side, the finisher shirts were only $10. That's not a bad price.

Medal - 5 Ginger Points This. Thing. Is. Huge. Enough said.

Expo - 3 Ginger Points The expo was okay. It was in a room that was a little too small so it was pretty cramped. I wanted to spend more time shopping but the volume of people in every booth made it hard to do that. Also the number of vendors seemed kind of low. They did have good representation from other Marathons. 

Temperature - 5 Ginger Points We got really lucky on race day. The temps started out in the high 20's and climbed to the low 50's. The day before the marathon there were snow flurries in Little Rock. The day after the marathon it was really cloudy and overcast. 

Overall Organization - 5 Ginger Points This race is organized by the CIC or the Chicks in Charge. They put on a great race overall. There was tons of great support along the course, there were plenty of bathrooms, the medals are awesome, and everyone seemed to have a great time.

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Now that you've read the race recap portion of this blog post, let's talk about the shenanigan's of the 3 Ginger Kids who drove to Arkansas to run 26.2 miles.

Here is The Hubbo, Amber, and myself standing next to the Arkansas sign just to prove to people we actually made it there.

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The day we were leaving to drive to Arkansas I couldn't sleep. In fact, my alarm was set to go off at 7:30 and I ended up waking up at 4:45. So what do you do when you can't sleep the day before your race? Paint your nails to match your compression socks! Duh!

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Here we are at the Expo with our bibs. This is probably the only picture where I am taller than the Hubbo. I will cherish it forever.

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I was so excited to see mile 20 I had to take a picture. This was on the first part of the out-and-back about a mile or so before we got to turn around to head back.

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And this is where we got to turn around! I was even more excited to see this sign. This meant that the race was in the final stretch. I was headed to the finish line. This race was difficult for me. I've been battling some foot problems that started bothering me at mile 6. The few days before the race I was on the verge of getting sick and battling headaches and nausea. At mile 9 I got nauseated again. But I made it!

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We finished! Look at how big this medal is! It weighs almost 3lbs. Crazy. How in the world am I going to display this one? 

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Last picture, I promise! I had to take a picture of this medal next to something that people would recognize so you can see the true size of this thing. The cool thing about the Little Rock marathon is that the medals are different every year and they get a little bit bigger each year too.
Amber is already talking about doing it again next year. I told her to ask me about it when I'm not still sore and paying the chiropractor bills for my foot problems!