Friday, May 11, 2018

Never Thought I Would EVER Use the Word GOODR In a Sentence and Other Ramblings


I have a confession to make:  I get slightly anxious when someone asks me to try a new product to give them feedback.  My conscience will not let me gloss over something and not be honest.  If I do not like whatever it is, I will figure out a way to gently give them the truth, usually starting out with something like, "It's me, not you".  You ONLY have your reputation and I take mine very seriously.  When our local sports store asked me to try a new brand of sunglasses they were carrying and told me they were only $25.00 I hesitantly said yes.  Best. Decision. Ever.  These glasses are fantastic!  I put aside my almost $200 running glasses and took a test run with my running friend, April.




It may be a cheesy picture, but this company is all about play.  I love their tag line, "To destroy the boundary between working out and having fun between the utilitarian and the fashionable".  The other photo is from our free community yoga class, "Class on the Grass 2018".

In 3 days I ran, hiked, did yoga outside at a ballpark, taught a free class under the underpass and walked my dog, Miles ToGo.  My sunglasses are affectionately named, Mick & Keith's Midnight Ramble in honor of the Rolling Stones and their epic stay at the Hotel Palazzo Murat in Positano, Italy.  I will not bore you with the details, but suffice it to say it cost over 2 million pounds and involved Dom Perignon, llamas, Saucony trail shoes, and a 55 gallon drum of Blackberry Jet Gu (200,000 pounds in case you were wondering how much Gu costs for a 55 gallon drum).  These glasses stayed ON my head and never felt as if they would fall off.

I remember running in a very expensive pair of sunglasses a few years ago and a bug lodged itself between the bill of my visor and my glasses.  I quickly swiped to dislodge the bug and my glasses went flying to the pavement scratching (and ruining) the lenses.  I remember cursing and being very angry.  For $25.00 I can take a chance swatting bugs.

I would be remiss if I didn't put all the specs for those of you (like me) who are worried about UVA & UVB rays.  These glasses have UV protection of 400 which means they block 100% of the UVA & UVB rays.  They are polarized to reduce glare and have a no slip, no bounce to them (how do they do that?)

Anyway, if you live in North Carolina, Omega Sports is now carrying a wide array of these glasses in some very fun colors and of course each pair has a unique name to (and I quote) to give you that perfect mix of inspiration and contentment.
Mick and Keith's Midnight Ramble Goodr Sunglasses  


Don't live in North Carolina?  No worries, they have a website https://www.playgoodr.com
I have even bigger news, if you go over to Instagram at  @cindyrunsmiles you can register to win YOUR very own pair of Goodr sunglasses courtesy of Omega Sports.

Suffice it to say,  r u n....don't walk to get your very own pair of Goodr glasses.

Tomorrow I am pacing the 1:45 group at the Carolina Brewfest Half Marathon in High Point, NC.  There are still a few spots available, come run with me and see the sunglasses in person (unless it is raining, lol)

Let's get social together:
Facebook:  Cindy Kearns Barbour
Instagram:  @cindyrunsmiles
Twitter: @cindybarbour1
Snapchat: cindyabarbour

*this 52 year old may have been given these sunglasses, but the opinions are solely my own and are not influenced by word FREE


Upcoming Pacing:  Carolina Brewsfest, High Point, NC
                                Lululemon Sea Wheeze, Vancouver, Canada
                                Cannonball Half Marathon, Greensboro, NC

Upcoming Racing:  Marine Corps Marathon, Washington, DC
                                 Crooked Road 24 hour Race, Rocky Mount, VA
                                 Kiawah Half Marathon, Kiawah, SC
                                 Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon, Wrightsville Beach, NC


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

I Went Camping Alone on Friday the 13th and Lived to Tell About It!

There is something about the Appalachian Trail that calls me like the sirens in the Odyssey.  The pathway with its white blazes beckon me to traverse the trail.  The white blazes beckon me keep moving forward.  The trail takes my spinning brain and starts to unravel and slow it down.  I feel more connected to myself and my loved ones while on the trail.  It allows me to process emotions and feelings more thoroughly.  I am so lucky to have a husband that knows how important this 2,190 mile journey is to me and never questions why.  I don't even think I know the reason why.  All I know is that I have been itching to get back on the trail.  When the weather forecast for Friday and Saturday was supposed to be beautiful throughout most of the southeast and Dan was scheduled for a couple of rounds of golf, Miles ToGo and I went for an adventure.  Miles is now 82.2 pounds and LOVES being off leash and stays very close by while we hike.  He is now old enough to carry his own food, but I hadn't bought one yet so I got to carry everything.  This time.  We hiked 43 miles in 2 days and 1 night of camping. 

 I didn't realize it was Friday the 13th until a radio announcer in a commercial was talking about Friday the 13th specials at some local bar in Virginia.  My eyes got really big when it dawned on me that TODAY was Friday the 13th.  I looked in the rear view mirror and adjusted my crown attitude.  I can run over 100 miles in 24 hours so I know I can do it.  If it meant not sleeping a wink, I think I could have done it.  I found solace in that fact.  I drove to my starting point at Grayson Highland Park and took off NOBO (Northbound) toward Route 81 where Dan was coming to pick me up to retrieve my car the next evening.

We hiked some pretty hilly terrain and were rewarded with some awesome views during our hike.  Not every mile on the trail is blessed with magnificent views.  In fact, you have to work to get to  most of them.  Miles loved swimming and splashing around in the streams along the trail which were pretty full of water.

We arrived at the Trimpi Shelter which was where I wanted to camp for the night since the odds were there would be people there and it was Friday the 13th for goodness sake.  My fears were allayed as when I arrived there were already 2 thru-hikers setting up for the night.  One in the shelter, one in a tent. 

We exchanged pleasantries and I went a little farther away to set up my little tent.  My tent feels like my little magic bubble.  If I can't see any spiders, snakes, skunks, racoons, bears, bobcats and anyone else in the animal kingdom than they can't see me.  Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous but it is my reality. It has worked so far.  Anyway, there were 7 in total for the night so I felt some comfort knowing there were people around if I needed them.




I turned in at 8:15pm because it is dark and I knew we had quite a long day to hike the next day and if I had any prayer of sleep I better try and snag it when I felt I needed it.  I slept pretty soundly till 2:30am when Miles bolted upright and let out a low growl.  A growl I had never heard before.  I was wide awake with my heart pounding, but I never unzipped my tent.  Again, I was in my magic bubble.  I couldn't hear anything over my beating heart so I just decided to lie back down and try and sleep.  I slept fitfully after that and finally got up a little after 6am.

Miles and I were on the trail by 6:45am and had the best time by ourselves.  We crossed over a cute little bridge and then we saw it:  a TRAIL MAGIC bus!  If you are not familiar with the term it is simply a person or group of people who bring all kinds of food, drinks and supplies and give you handouts of whatever you want.  It is magical.  I didn't want to take anything since I was only out there 2 days and wanted to save the vast array of goodies for the thru-hikers, but he insisted and I quickly cave in and took a rootbeer and an oatmeal creme pie.  Best decision ever made. Trail magic is something I would love to do one day just to see the faces of the hikers.  Priceless.



Anyway, we were off and the rest of the trip was uneventful.  We arrived at our prescribed meeting spot (Route 615- Settler's Museum) early so I sat on the porch and called Dan.  He was just leaving so he wasn't going to be there for 2 more hours.  There was a short stretch that was 2.8 miles so that he could meet me right off of Route 81.  After a couple of phone calls, a 20 minute meditation/stretching session, we decided to go for it.  I didn't want Dan to wait on me so we actually ran a little bit of it and arrived 20 minutes before Dan got there. 

I sat with Miles on a park bench at a gas station dirty, slightly sunburned, sweaty and tired.  I hadn't combed my hair in 2 days (I did brush my teeth 3 times, I do have some standards, lol) so I know I must have looked pretty bad because nice local folk made conversation with me to make sure I was okay and that I didn't need a ride somewhere.  I thanked them and gave Dan the biggest hug when I saw him.  I didn't care how much I smelled. 

I cannot wait to get back out there.  I feel the peace, the tranquility, but more importantly I feel alive.

xoxo











Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Proper Running Send Off for Our Greensboro Boston Bound!

To know you are EXACTLY where you are supposed to be and EXACTLY what you are supposed to be doing in life is a treasured gift.  I have been one of the lucky ones.  I have traveled and seen many parts of the world, but I am most happy with my husband, kids and puppy.  Home is definitely where your heart is.  Knowing you are doing what you are destined to do allows the body to feel peace and a calm presence.  I may be calm now, but I a SUPER excited for our local runners going to Boston this weekend for Monday's epic run!

My heart this week has been excited for all my friends running Boston on Monday.  Patriot's Day.  A day where runners connect before, during and after the most momentous race there is; the Boston Marathon.  This year is no exception.  No, I am not going (I'm not the streaky, consecutive type- I like to go every 5 years) but the excitement does not escape my mind and body the week before Boston.  It is hard to believe this has been an organized race for 122 years.  Ah-mazing!


I am SO excited to see all the big names compete on a world wide stage.  The competition this year is going to be FIERCE!  The men will certainly not disappoint, but MY eyes will be glued to the television screen to see some of my favorite women compete:  Flanagan, Linden, Huddle, Kastor, Hasay, Burla and Hall.  It will be Christmas morning on Monday for me and for the first time I will be not working and having to watch the entire marathon later in the day.

On a more local, personal note I was fortunate enough to invite a few local runners to a get-together at the Greensboro Lululemon store last night.  Adam Admundson spearheaded the party so that fellow runners could meet one another and get a proper send-off to Boston.  I could not have been more proud to represent (as an ambassador) a company that truly VALUES the community.  I will post photos on social media as they become available!



The introductions that were made and the shared stories created a sense of calm with the first time Boston runners and a sense of knowing with the seasoned runners.  I am so excited to track and cheer for them.  Here is a photo from the infamous bus ride from Bolyston to Hopkinton.  No matter how many times you run Boston, the bus ride seems like FOREVER and you question if you can even run that far...lol...Jeriann & I were giggling, laughing and having WAY too much fun!


The weather forecast may not be ideal for them, but I doubt they will notice with all the cheers from the crowds.

Running is my favorite sport because most of the competition is with yourself.  Running is a mental sport as well as a physical one. 



I am thrilled to be back on the Appalachian Trail tomorrow and Saturday with Miles.  This guy turned 1 a little over a week ago and I KNOW he is excited because as I began to pull out my camping gear, he went nuts smelling it as well as wagging his tail.  Have a super rest of your week!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Race Report: New Hanover Regional Medical Center Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon


Yes I am a runner, but no, I have not been following a plan.  I am pretty consistent in my mileage each week between 20-50 miles per week.  My average mileage for the last 4 weeks (according to my Garmin Fenix 5s) was 29.3 miles.  My average mileage walking for the last 4 weeks was 12.1 miles (walking Miles ToGo).  I am getting mileage in, but it is erratic.  I can’t seem to want to bring myself to train for any races, although I am pacing quite a bit this year which is always fun.



Last weekend was a baseline run to see where I need to work.  I ran in the Wrightsville Beach half marathon and promised myself to run happy and strong and not push it.  I was good about pulling back when I felt my heartrate start to climb.  I did not look at my watch for pace or distance the whole race, but I did have it on my heartrate screen so I could just run by feel.  I was thrilled to be so consistent throughout the race.  Here is a  breakdown of the mileage:

Made the conscious decision that since I was fun running it I would not warm up at all and just try to start slow and work my way into the race.  Mile 1 was probably a little fast, but it felt really slow: 7:40.  7:40 on another day would feel fast but with the excitement, adrenaline and all the runners  surrounding you it felt slow.  I guess it felt slow enough that subconsciously I picked it up. We had wind at our back during most of mile 2 so it felt effortless at 7:17.

During mile 3 there are many people along the side of the road and it is always fun to read the signs, chat with people and thank all the people cheering for you.  I wore a St. Patrick’s Day outfit and received lots of extra cheering for my costume.  In fact, a couple of men that were right behind me said they wanted to stay near me as long as possible because of all the loud cheers.  They dropped off around mile 7 and I ran alone most of the way unless I was passing someone, or someone passing me.  Mile 3 was 7:29 which felt comfortable.

Mile 4 is a mental blur for me, so I will just leave it at my time for that mile; 7:33.

Mile 5 is in Land Fall where my friend, Josie, has a house.  My hubby and her hubby were supposed to cheer us on at the end of their street, but they never made it.  The pillow was just too tempting….lucky them!  I was anticipating seeing them so it pushed me along at a 7:27 mile.  I had one Honey Stinger Fruit Smoothie flavor chomp during this mile.

Mile 6 was still in Land Fall and the neighborhood residents are really great at coming out and cheering for us.  They had cute signs and many had cowbells.  Everyone needs more cowbells in their life! 7:29.

Mile 7 is where I took in nutrition with my salted caramel Gu.  Yummy.  I was wearing a costume, so I had no pockets.  I wore a wrist band that had a zipper compartment and I had my chomps in there in a small baggie.  Well….when I took out my Gu I did not zipper the wristband up correctly (while running, mind you) and the rest of my chomps all fell out.  I was certainly not going to stop in the middle of the race, so I hope there are some happy squirrels and rabbits feeling nourished.  I dismissed any negativity here because I like a couple of more chomps before I get to mile 11-12 to finish strong.  This mile was a 7:28 .6

Mile 8 was a blur probably because we were running around the circles at Mayfair Center;  7:28.5.  It is odd to me when you lock and load during a race and you remember nothing, but stay very consistent.

Mile 9 was a 7:28.6.  We started on the greenway and thus started the quiet part of the course.  I felt good here and kept pulling myself back when I felt my heartrate started to rise.  I was sweating so much at this point (cotton t-shirt, I  am looking at you) that I was starting to get concerned about not having any nutrition on me.  I cannot tolerate Gatorade because of the sugars so water was my friend on the course.  I am hoping maybe I can convince the race director to switch to Nuun….wouldn’t that be awesome.  

During Mile 10 a gentleman came up on me and I picked it up a little to chat and run with him.  He then picked up the pace and I wished him well as I wanted to stay comfortable.  7:25 was my pace this mile and to me it felt much slower.

At Mile 11 I had decided that I was too stinking hot and I wanted food.  Anything edible.  I focused on my heartrate a bunch during this mile because I could feel it creeping up.  7:27 was my pace during this mile but it didn’t feel this fast.  I thought I was in the low 8’s at this point.

Mile 12…this mile was the mile I felt.  I felt every blessed step.  I was hangry by this point.  I kept pulling back my pace because I started to get a little lightheaded everytime I tried to up the pace a little.  I knew I needed water and food.  I was trying to pick up the pace to get FINISHED. I saw the beer tent at the WVU water stop and knew THAT was not going to work, but I don’t remember any water from 10 miles on.  I either missed it or drank it and don’t remember.  Either way, this was my slowest mile since mile 1; 7:35. 

Ahh….Mile 13.  Heaven help me.  Loved getting to this point, however…….insert screeching sound here.  When my watched vibrated at 13, I was nowhere near the finish line.  I picked up the pace a little and finished this mile at 7:31.  The competitor in me would have really worked this mile, but it was actually nice to   f  e  e  l   good coming in towards the finish line.  The last .31 was an average of a 6:47 mile.

My watch and many others had this course as long.  I am the queen of ‘as the crow flies’ and know the roads to know when I should be on the left, middle or right.  According to my watch, my overall pace was a 7:28 average mile, and the results show a 7:35.  Either way, I was happy to be done and get food and drink! 

My official time was 1:39.24 and I placed first in my age group out of 104 runners.  This was a great starting point and now I get to start working. I need to work at varying my workouts.  I need more speed workouts in my life.  Who am I kidding…I need to START speed workouts again.  I love speed workouts so I have NO idea why I stopped.

I am putting my intentions out here in print and for the world to see.  Plan your work, work your plan.  I want to see where this goes.  I am excited to create a running plan!
Meanwhile, if you are looking for a fun, yet challenging half marathon the Foothills Brewing to Kick off NC Beer Month with the  2nd Annual HopSwap Half Marathon powered by OrthoCarolina is on Saturday, March 31st.  I am pacing the 1:45 half….please join me!



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Raining (or shall I say snowing) On My Parade and Onto Brighter Things

I have a confession to make.  I made a huge error, and I am the first to admit when I am wrong.  I did run 101.3 miles at the Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra Race, but I did not double check the Virginia state record book prior to the race.  The last time I had checked it the record for 50-54 year old women was 80.something miles. Well......there was this little race called The Virginia Cancer 24 Hour Race and a 50 year old woman named Paula Garrigan went 107 miles.  I am mortified  I neglected to look at the website before I announced I had broken a state record.   Should I be confessing to fake news?  Absolutely.  As my mother always said, "You only have your reputation, so act accordingly".  I am humbly apologizing on record so I can move onward and upward.

Speaking of upward, my thoughts these days have been filled with the "What's Next" question.  I am wrapping up my 93 day notice in the next couple of weeks and I am still hemming and hawing when people ask what I am going to be doing.  Well...my retirement is going to start out with a bang.  I am helping my son, Nick Westfall, behind the scenes of his movie, 8 Slices, which he wrote and is directing down in Holden Beach for 2 weeks in January.  Like his first movie, I will be doing a little bit of this, a little bit of that.  It will be a wild ride that will be exhaustingly fun.  He has endless amounts of energy (I wonder where he inherited this) and I enjoy seeing him follow his passion.

I just started running consistently and adding a few miles of speed.  I am looking forward to devoting more time and energy to my running.  I may be almost 52, but I feel like I can thwart off the big slowdown that often occurs in women in their 50's (especially those who have been running as long as I have).  I may be delusional, but I want to see where consistency and the devotion of time can lead me.

I am a little stressed about the impending holidays because I am currently juggling so much on my plate.  I am learning to give myself permission to be less than perfect.  Christmas seems to happen each year and somehow I have always gotten it all done.  I may be acting too nonchalant, but hey there is still 11 days.  Miles is 8 months old now and a great road/trail companion to me.  He does not care if the presents are all wrapped (because he's too busy yanking ornaments off the tree when we are not looking)




I just bought a new microphone to use in a podcast I am developing so I played around with it by creating a short 5 minute meditation.  This is an easy way to refocus during this hectic holiday season.  I would love your feedback (bad, constructive and good) and whether or not you would like to see more.  If you cannot retrieve it below, it will be on my Facebook page:  Cindy Kearns Barbour.  Please find and enjoy it there.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mQuTrxObayKqJY719ebq8MXL_cqmg1am/view?usp=sharing

From the bottom of my heart, I feel badly about misrepresenting the record and I wish you all a peaceful, joyous holiday season.

xoxo
Cindy

Thursday, November 30, 2017

101.3 Miles and a New Virginia State Record...oh my!

 Some years races are easy, other years you wonder if/why you run at all.  This year was my 6th year at the Crooked Road 24 hour ultra.  I love this race.  This is the most well supported race I have ever experienced in 41 years of racing.  For 24 hours, the volunteers kept me hydrated, full and motivated to continue.  Well...almost.  I better start at the beginning.  Being the most de-conditioned I have ever been before an ultra I knew there would be some dicey spots in the race.

 Beforehand, I had convinced myself that 80 miles was non-negotiable and 100 miles was my stretch goal.  I was the most relaxed I have ever been before staying awake for 24 hours and moving forward running and walking.  My dear friend, Tonia, let me stay at her house at the Virginia/North Carolina border with my puppy, Miles the night before. She graciously kept him so I could race as Dan was on a golf trip with the boys.  I actually slept like a champ (very unusual the night before a big event) and I got to Rocky Mount, VA around 7:10am.  Perfect amount of time to unpack, visit and get ready for an epic 24 hours.

 We had a little fun at the beginning of the race in this picture here:

 The weather was perfect for this type of event and the warmest this race has ever been to my recollection.  The plan was to run with Dena (who bypassed moving a couple of weeks later so she could be part of the race) till she left which was somewhere near 50 miles and darkness.  I was laser focused for my 80 miles so I was not as sad as I usually am when she deserts leaves me.  I was in good spirits and had fun chatting and running with Stephanie (a first time ultra runner who placed THIRD overall for females) till about 67 miles or so.  She was going to change clothes and get some food so I opted to just keep going because again I was stubborn laser focused for my goal.

Here is a view of part of the course.  I had our Jeep right along the course for all my supplies ( I knew it was going to rain in the middle of the night) and in case I wanted to lie down and nap for a little bit during the night. 


I allow myself to turn on my IPod and phone after 50 miles during an ultra, but I did not turn it on till mile 88.  Why?  I have NO idea.  Although it did start raining in the middle of the night TWICE.  I had a poncho that fell into pieces a few minutes after putting it on and luckily Ricky (the race director) gave me a trash bag that I wore till it stopped raining.  It was as long as I am so I was constantly pulling it up off the ground to prevent myself from tripping.  

At some point in the middle of the night I lost the stomach for food.  I could not find anything I wanted so I stuck with chicken broth and it seemed to help me tremendously.  I usually counsel people that if you get behind in your food (which apparently I did) and you stop taking in food you are toast.  Well...I felt like toast, but somehow managed to KEEP GOING.  In retrospect I should have figured out SOMETHING to eat.  During the day I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like they were my job.  I actually stayed away from the really bad sugar, but did allow myself ginger ale and an occasional coke during the night.  These drinks are in 2 oz. doses, so I did not consume much sugar at all.  I did have the McDonalds hamburgers, but I refrained from the pizza this year.  But hey, there is a first time for everything.  Me turning down pizza?

When daybreak came I had less than 5 miles to go to hit my goal.  I became very emotional at around 7am for some reason.  I couldn't point at any particular thing except maybe the lack of food.  I was almost inconsolable the last 2.3 miles.  I was so emotional, in fact, that Dena called Johnny and Melanie and they ran around the course trying to find me and helped me emotionally get over myself and get an extra lap to win this race for females.  

Was I happy to break the Virginia State Record again?  YOU BET.  Was I happy to be over 50 and winning a race?  YOU BET.  Will I do it again?   Hhhmmm...it's still too early to think about it for 2018.  

Here is the official list of finishers and their total mileage.  There were 10 people over 100 miles with 2 of the finishers being females.  


Here is Mark and myself accepting our overall Male and Female award complete with the cutest little Banjo I have ever seen.  I am currently coveting it on my kitchen counter.  I have never been so tired, yet so happy.  



Here are the Greensboro friends that were there at the end to cheer, hug, cry and celebrate with after the race.  Johnny, Amy, Stephanie, and Melanie.
 I do not know what is next for me, but I look forward to the next adventure! 


Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Tsunami before the Calm 24 hours of Relentless Forward Motion

Race week.  It brings a tsunami of emotions.  What am I thinking....I cannot run for 24 hours.  True.  There is quite a bit of walking involved WITH the running (if all goes well).  Last year was not my year.  There were horrible winds that blew (my friend) Dena and I all over the course and we decided to 'pack it in' 62 miles into the race.  We left some unfinished business out there on the course.  This year I am committed to seeking my second 100+mile completion within 24 hours.  I am FULLY committed to 80 miles and I am MOSTLY committed to 100.  I can do this.  I've done this before.

 The week of a race I let doubt and anxiety creep into my psyche but I am old and hopefully wise enough to continue to ignore the fear of the unknown.  Any given day anyone can do anything they put their mind to.  I continually tell myself, "What the mind will believe, the body can achieve". 

I have started my packing for the weekend.  I tend to over pack because I would rather have too much stuff than not enough.  With the weather being iffy in the afternoon, you do not want to mess with mother nature and wearing dry clothes is a MUST.  Each year is a different story of what I need and must have.


 I have run in snow at Crooked Road, but never rain.  There is a chance of rain this year and I am reminded of a Lululemon Product Photo Shoot where I was running in 40 degree rainy weather and laughing about it.  It shouldn't be this cold but at least I have a frame of reference on laughing in the rain.  Who knows, maybe I will start singing.
 Whatever Saturday will bring, I will bring what I have and with the utmost energy and enthusiasm.  Heck- if I can pull off a 3:34:17 at the NYC Marathon with a hurt toe (I kicked a subway grate by accident after sliding on a paper cup in the road) then I can run/walk a 100 miles.  Right?! 
This picture epitomizes that I will go from girly grace to grit in a nanosecond.  Don't count this princess out.  I have plenty left to prove in the running world.

When I finally get to the starting line of the Crooked Road 24 hour ultra I will find my calm rhythm and crank out the mileage; one mile at a time.