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Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Sweet 2009

It's that time of year again - everyone is thinking about and talking about those 3 little words: New Year's Resolution.

Every year at New Year's, I, like everyone else make my resolution. Only I don't just make one, two or even three. I make an entire list! But instead of calling them, "New Year's Resolutions for Sarah Kay Hoffman," I just call them, "X Year Goals."

Goals

This year is no different! And this year I am calling them a plethora of things:
  • New Year Goals. Inspirations. Passions. Motivations.
  • A Brand New Decade
  • 2010
  • Simplified
My father-in-law told me last year, "Let's just see if you can get through one goal!" To him I responded, "Thank you for the challenge!"

For my "2009 Year Goals" I had created upwards of 20 Goals. Of those goals, here are the achievements I was most proud of:
  • Ran my 1st half marathon
  • Figured out my food intolerances and how to help myself
  • Began a Blog
  • Built my Social Media Network
And then there was the Goal that was not on there as of January 1, 2009 - "Work for Nike as a Human Race Ambassador, promote via Social Media and win a trip to the Superbowl in 2010."  That, although unplanned, was my greatest success (Let's go Minnesota Vikings!)!


I have yet to make my entire list for the "2010 Year Goals," (and yes, it will be complete for tomorrow!) but perhaps what's more important for me to remember about this list I'm about to finish is this: The Possibilities are Endless.

I have proven to myself that no goal is out of reach. Whatever it is you want, with a ton of hard work, perseverance and passion, is possible!

They say that "the shortest distance between two points is a straight line." I know now, though, that even if I can't get from A to B in one, simple straight line that I can get there by never giving up - getting it done - "zig-zagging" if need be. And sometimes, the outcome is all the more sweet after you've taken the "longer way!"

So....to 2010 - Carry on! I'd love to hear all of your goals!

Happy last day of 2009!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm Hungry: What's For Dinner

In my last post I discussed, "Treatment for the GAPS Patient - Part I - Diet I."

Today is, "Treatment for the GAPS Patient - Part II - Diet II - I'm Hungry: What's For Dinner."

JUST because I can't really eat things "most people" eat, doesn't mean that I don't still need to eat! So, what will I eat?

The GAPS Diet is basically an "advanced" or "extension" version of the popular Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Dr. Natasha states (about the SCD), "There is a diet already invented, a very effective diet with a more than 60-year excellent record of helping people with all sorts of digestive disorders, including such devastating ones as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis."


The difference lies in the fact that the SCD allows lactose-free dairy products, GAPS Diet does not allow. Dr. Natasha says that "whether it is lactose or casein or allergies or a combination of factors, the clinical experience shows that GAPS children and adults should not consume dairy products until their digestive system is well enough to handle them. The only exception is for the milk fat, which contains virtually no milk proteins or lactose and is generally well tolerated. Pure milk fat is called ghee or clarified butter." 


Recommended Food List
  • Meats and Fish (Fresh or frozen, but not preserved)
  • Eggs (Especially raw egg yolk; I am actually very intolerant to the egg white, so I will stay away from that completely)
  • Non-starch fresh vegetables (Fresh or frozen, but not preserved or with any additives)
  • All fruit, including berries (Fresh, cooked or raw, dried and frozen, as long as there are no preservatives. They also need to be well-cooked in the beginning)
  • Nuts and seeds (Raw only. Not until stomach has completely settled)
  • Beans and pulses (Dried white, lima, string, lentils and split peas; must be soaked for several hours prior to cooking)
  • Honey (All natural honey, the only sweetener/sugar allowed)
  • Beverages (Water, freshly pressed juices and meat/fish stock. Weak tea and coffee without milk. Red win, gin, Scotch, bourbon and vodka on rare occasions)
  • Natural fats and oils
This is what I live off of. And beginning Friday, January 1st, I'm getting extremely strict with it! I'm going back to the beginning; back to Phase 1. The GAPS Diet worked miracles for me. I've been off it and I've been on it; I know what is best for my body!





 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Treatment for the GAPS Patient - Part I - Diet I

Now that I've discussed a little bit more about what GAPS is and how it is "born," the next question is, "How do we get rid of it?" 


The treatment for the GAPS Patient is three-fold:
  1. Diet
  2. Supplementation
  3. Detoxification and life-style changes
All three are very important. 


I will start today with the DIET Portion I.


Dr. Natasha begins with an explanation of The Gluten and Casein Free Diet. She states, "Gluten is a protein found in grains, mainly wheat, rye, barley and oats. Casein is a protein found in milk and milk products. GFCF diet aims to remove all sources of these two proteins. The theory behind this diet is sound, the problem is the application." What happens when someone goes on the GFCF Diet is that they make "substitutions" in the form of rice, sugar, potato starch, etc. and "these sort of foods will feed the abnormal flora in the gut just as much as the previous diet did, perpetuating the viciious cycle of a damaged leaky gut."


Dr. Natasha continues on by explaining all about our villi, how they work and how they are damaged. (I strongly recommend reading her whole book for in-depth explanations!)


Dr. Natasha gives a summary of what GAPS Patients MUST avoid:
  •  All grains and anything made out of them: wheat, rye, rice, oats, corn, maize, sorghum, barley, buckwheat, millet, spelt, bulgut, tapioca, quinoa and cous-cous. 
  • All starchy vegetables and anything made out of them: potato, yams, sweet potato, parsnip, swede, Jerusalem artichoke, cassava, arrowroot and taro.
  • Sugar and anything that contains it. 
  • Starchy beans and peas: soybeans, mungbeans, garbanzo beans, bean sprouts, chick peas, faba beans.
  • Lactose and anything that contains it: fluid or dried milk of any type, commercially produced yoghurt, buttermilk and sour cream, processed foods with added lactose.
  • Anything processed. Period.
Next up...."I'm Hungry - What's for Dinner?!


I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! It's almost Christmas:)


Monday, December 14, 2009

To: Lady A's Mommy


Last night we said good bye to Mike, Tracy and Lady A. And it was not fun for me. At all. But it reminded me of some things I want to share today:
  1. Gone is gone, but never forgotten: Just because someone leaves my life on a day-to-day basis, doesn't mean they are gone for good. It also certainly doesn't mean they leave my mind. I will think of them often; always with a smile.
  2. Thankful for every time we did spend together: They have made the past year so much more fun! How could I not be absolutely grateful for that? The memories will certainly make me laugh. I'll always have that.
  3. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Having Tracy around reminded me how important it is to have wonderful girlfriends to talk with, share with, laugh with, complain with and just be with. One of the last things we did together was a Pedicure Day. I never do that. I thank her for getting me out!
  4. Don't take things for Granted: Really. Don't. Take. Them. For. Granted. It was just a couple of months ago when they told us they were moving. Time flies.
Finally, I just want to write this "mini-letter" to Tracy, wherever she may be tonight (because I know that she reads my blog postings - and is always a fan:)).

To: Lady A's Mommy

First of all, tonight, as I was driving home, I hit Mountain House and my heart sank. It was a weird feeling. It really was. I NEVER needed to drive by the Carroll House. But tonight I just wanted to. And in the end...I didn't. I couldn't. Then, I pulled up to our house and remembered that, OH MY GOD....you guys were really, really gone in Texas. 


I got home, made dinner....and I ate the last of the Carroll Lemons. They were really good. I put them on my grilled chicken - just like we always liked to do! I was so tempted to crack my bottle of Layer Cake. But since Ryan wasn't home, I didn't want to do it alone:) I will be baking the Coffee Cup you got me either tonight or tomorrow night. I added to it after you left last night, "2009 - Run, Wine & Tracy."



THANK YOU for being such a great friend to me. THANK YOU for going on the "running adventure" with me - I wouldn't have wanted to laugh (about being rad) or complain (about hills) with anyone else. THANK YOU for sharing many, many bottles of Red Wine with me. THANK YOU for always being up for anything and everything with Ryan and I. THANK YOU for including Avery in so many of our outings. THANK YOU for everything you helped me with for Nike. 


I could go on and on and on....THANK YOU for being YOU


I'm listening to Eric Church tonight - I know I'll always think of you when I hear him now! I hope you guys had a safe flight to Texas. I'm sure Lady A was good as can be. 


This weekend will definitely be so different without you guys here, but we pray that you'll get settled quickly and that Texas will be as good to you as you were to California! 


MISS YOU!
Sarah Kay
ps. Tell Lady A I found her diaper in the bathroom:) Precious little reminders!

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How Did This Happen?

Gut and Psychology Syndrome - how does this come about? WHY do I need to follow the GAPS Diet? Here are the 2 main reasons people develop abnormal gut flora:
  1. Antiobiotics
  2. Other Drugs
These factors can then also have an effect on the gut flora:
  1. Diet
  2. Disease
  3. Stress
  4. "Other"
Here is what I suspect in my case - years plus one constant year of nothing but antibiotics followed by years of improper diet. Let me explain:

Growing up,we all use antibiotics. We get sick, our parents want us better, we go to the doctor and more often than not we were given an antibiotic. And then it came about that the entire year before my tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, I was chronically sick. Tonsillitis - pharyngitis - strep. Each time I would go in, an antibiotic was prescribed. The antibiotic would clear it up, but typically very temporarily. Shortly thereafter, I was sick as a dog again - back on antibiotics.

Dr. Natasha states, "The damage is worse when antibiotics are administered orally and when the course of antibiotic is a lengthy one on a low dose, like the one prescribed for acne, chronic cystitis, chronic ear infection and other chronic infections." She continues to say, "Even when the course of antibiotic is short and the dose is low, it takes different beneficial bacteria in the gut a long time to recover."

Antibiotics have just become a "normal" part of the Western life. But with each new "course" of antibiotic I (we) took/take, the immune system actually becomes more damaged. The antibiotics "have a devastating effect on beneficial bacteria in the human body, not only in the gut but in other organs and tissues as well."

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I believe that my 20+ years of improper diet also contributed to my GAPS. While the antibiotics and tonsillectomy stress may have been the main cause of gut "teardown," improper diet certainly did not help." Too many sugary foods and processed carbohydrates increase numbers of different fungi, Candida species in particular, Streptococci, Staphylococci, some Clostridia species, Bacteriods and some aerobic opportunistic bacteria. Processed and sugary carbohydrates (white bread, cakes, biscuits, pastries and pasta) also promote population of the gut with worms and other parasites."

I know what most people are thinking right now, "Yeah right - you eat so healthy." Two points I will make about that:
  1.  Growing up, I ate sugar, carbs, cakes and anything else consistently! I never once thought about food, until about a year ago.
  2. Even when I did think about food, "healthy" to me was fat free, sugar free. However, typically that meant 100-calorie packs of Oreos. And what that means is fake, artificial, preservatives
"Healthy eating" is not simply fat free, sugar free or the like. Dr. Natasha says, "Generally, when gut dysbiosis is caused exclusively by poor diet it is usually fairly mild and can be corrected by better eating habits. Unfortunately, in our modern world it is rare not to be exposed to other factors which would also damage your gut flora, antibiotics for example.

So, How Did This Happen? Seems fairly easy to understand how easily this happens, especially in our Modern World.

Next up, The Opportunistic Flora.  

Time to grab a probiotic and head to the gym!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thankful

(Taking one day off from discussing the GAPS Diet to reflect on Thanksgiving.)

Truly, I am THANKFUL. 

There are so many things day-in and day-out that go wrong, in our own lives and in the world in general. But as a whole, I believe we have so much to be thankful for. I'd like to share my Top 7 (in no particular order):
  1. Ryan, Reagan and Fiona - our family. I love knowing that they are the first people/things I see when I wake up and the last before I fall asleep. I love my husband's heart, the unconditional love and the smiles he creates around our house. I can't imagine life without any of them. I am so thankful for them each and everyday.
  2.  Family - back in Minnesota. I miss them everyday, sometimes too much. But I know that they are there - always there - and that even though we are so far apart, nothing changes because we love each other all the same. I could not have asked for a better Mother, Father and Brother. I was blessed to "inherit" unbelievable in laws. Family is the most important thing to me - always will be. I am so thankful for them each and everyday.
  3.  Friends - near and far. There is nothing like good friends. Good friends become almost like family. I always have a guard up when it comes to good friends; they are rare to find. But when I do find them, the relationship is priceless to me. They are always the friends that would drop anything and everything in a heartbeat if needed. And even more importantly, they are always the friends that just "come easily." There is no work involved. They love, respect and understand. Most of my best friends don't even live in a 100-mile radius (and another one soon to be leaving:(), but while it kills me the friendship is all the same!  I am so thankful for them each and everyday.
  4. Health - not something I may have said last year at this time. You don't know how great it is until you don't have it anymore. I have finally figured out how to stay healthy. And when I stray from that (like I have so often lately) I really realize how thankful for good health I am. I am thankful that I know how to control "feeling well." And I am thankful that I have had some key support to get me from there to here in this past year. Having good health allows me to be active, which is one of my favorite things in the world. I am so thankful for health each and everyday. 
  5. Success - through hard work. Success is measured in so many different ways. I am thankful for success through hard work. I am thankful in knowing that because I am driven and strive for the best in everything I do, success can always be looming around. I am so thankful for success each and everyday. 
  6.  Life - simple. I am thankful for this life that God gave to me and continues to give to me and the ones I love the most every day. I am thankful for the beauty that surrounds me each and everyday. Sometimes I can't even believe that life is so great - that the world is so beautiful - that the possibilities are endless. Sure, I have bad days - we all do. But as a whole, life is great. We have to appreciate all the small things and not sweat all the little things. Tomorrow will always be another day - we can be thankful for that idea, as not everyone will have the chance for a "tomorrow." I am so thankful for life each and everyday. 
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

 


 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

GAPS Diet: Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD

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She is the face behind the GAPS Diet. According to her site:

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride holds a degree in Medicine and Postgraduate degrees in both Neurology and Human Nutrition.  In her clinic in Cambridge she specializes in nutrition for children and adults with behavioral and learning disabilities, and adults with digestive and immune system disorders.

Dr. Campbell-McBride set up The Cambridge Nutrition Clinic in 1998.  As a parent of a child diagnosed with learning disabilities, she was acutely aware of the difficulties facing other parents like her, and she has devoted much of her time to helping these families.  She realized that nutrition played a critical role in helping children and adults to overcome their disabilities, and has pioneered the use of probiotics in this field.

She believes that the link between learning disabilities, the food and drink that we take, and the condition of our digestive system is absolute, and the results of her work have supported her position on this subject.  In her clinic, parents discuss all aspects of their child's condition, confident in the knowledge that they are not only talking to a professional but to a parent who has lived their experience.  Her deep understanding of the challenges they face puts her advice in a class of its own.
 
If ever there is a day that I get to meet Dr. Natasha, I will be in awe! I admire her for 4 main reasons:
  1. For evolving the SCD in a way that perhaps aided in benefiting above and beyond what the SCD does/did for so many. 
  2. For taking concepts she already believed in and people she admired and transforming them into her own through diligent studying and research.
  3. For taking an unfortunate situation with her own child and investigating healing through nutrition vs. relying on a doctor to medicate.
Finally, and most importantly, I admire her because she spoke the truth. She was not out to provide "just another" useless self-help book. This resource she provided CHANGED MY LIFE. YES - I can say with 100% conviction - The GUT & PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME DIET has CHANGED MY LIFE!


I will forever be thankful for you, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD.

Back to the Basics: GAPS Diet

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I have been getting many questions lately about the GAPS Diet. The 2 most common:
  • "What is it?"
  • "Why do you do it?"
Along with it, I get comments. The 3 rudest:
  • "That's weird."
  • "You must have ADD/ADHD/Schizophrenia if you do that."
  • "Just be normal."
Due to the amount of questions & comments, I decided - for myself -to get "back to the basics." And by "back to the basics," I mean: Educate myself on the Diet even more so that I can educate others in an understandable way. I have been spending most nights and every break during my days that I can re-reading this amazing book. You can see it HERE.

I will not be doing this in one blog post, but rather over the next several. There is a plethora of great information that I believe people will find interesting and also beneficial. 


It is NOT my intention to have you think that what I write and discuss is the be all, end all. It IS my intention, though, to share what I know though the passion I have towards it. I once heard from a teacher in junior high, "Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you read." That being said, take this information for whatever it's worth to you!

Stay tuned....


 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Combating Turkey Day Bloat

Thanksgiving is still one week away, but I can already smell the Thanksgiving Day feast!

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This is OK. This is normal! BUT.......BEWARE! Thanksgiving is loaded with calories. Furthermore, Thanksgiving is the "kickoff" to a season of feasting on foods that only come around one time a year. And because these foods only come around one time a year, we think we can gorge day in and day out. The problem is, the season lasts for 1+ months (if you consider that you don't stop until your "New Years Resolution").

This year, join me by kicking off the "season" right!  
Here are the Top 3 Things I'm doing to Combat the Turkey Day Bloat:
  1. Move It to Earn It - That's right, you've got to move it to earn it! I would guess that most of you will not do a Thanksgiving Day meal until at least 11am. Even if you choose not to wake up until 10am that day, you would still be able to get in a good half hour walk/run/lift/swim/bike/etc. Any way you can move prior to your meal will help in combating the Turkey Day Bloat. Better yet, lift your weights in the morning or do a circuit training workout. Both will help burn optimal calories post-workout! I will be leading a 10K Turkey Trot at our local Club, which will be a fun way to move it and earn it!
  2. Protein + Favorites - If your Thanksgiving is anything like ours, it includes plates and platters and dishes and tins and jars of item after item. There really is no end in sight. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach. But, Thanksgiving is not the day to be on a "diet" or attempt "self-deprivation." ENJOY yourself, but do it in moderation. I will load up with turkey and any other proteins I can get my hands on (mostly because this is part of my GAPS Diet I follow). After that, I will look at my options and I will choose a few that look the best to me, even if they are the highest in calorie. Eating something that's second best in order to skimp on a few calories will not do you any good. In the end, you'll end up going back for seconds, thirds and fourths - all because you aren't getting what your body is screaming at you to take! Protein + (moderation) of only your favorite items will help reduce the Turkey Day Bloat.
  3. Start Today - Start preparing for Thanksgiving Day today! No, I do not mean physically preparing food. I mean, work a little harder at the gym and be a little more conscious about your current food choices. If you ran on the treadmill for an extra 5 minutes a day for the next 7 days, did one extra set during your weight lifting sessions and skipped dessert just 3 nights, you will have saved up (or earned) about 1,000 calories (give or take, depending on the various factors). And couldn't we all use those 1,000 calories to combat the Turkey Day Bloat?
I am looking forward to Thanksgiving! I love knowing that I work hard almost every single day of the year, so when it's time to eat a little extra on Thanksgiving I can do so - with Thanks - and a full, (unbloated) stomach!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On Top of the World

My husband and I recently got back from a mini-trip for our 1-year Wedding Anniversary. We went up the coast to Mendocino and Sea Ranch.

I am still planning on doing an entire Blog posting about our time there, but I have one picture Ryan took that is just amazing.

Ryan titled it, "Sarah On Top of the World." And how could you not call it that? These views were incredible! Living in such a beautiful place makes your mind free, heart open and opportunities limitless!

When you step back, take it all in and look around you realize that, YES, you can feel On Top of the World! Happy Wednesdsay!

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's Where I Run

I wanted to share with everyone my new Blog.

The new Blog I created is called "It's Where I Run!" I encourage you to check it out, as it goes along with my whole "vibrantly living" ideas!

Hope you all enjoyed a nice, relaxing weekend! Cheers!

Spicing up Breakfast

I have decided to dive into my GAPS Diet book again. I am excited about this!

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This morning
I made "Eggless banana mini-muffins." So yummy!

Here is the recipe I used (there are modifications to everything):
  • Coconut flour (Organic, Bob's Red Mill)
  • Gelatine crystals
  • Very ripe, smashed bananas
  • Coconut oil
  • Honey
The consistency is not what we are used to. As a matter of fact it was the consistency of cookie dough. (I believe this is because I used Coconut flour and not Grounded nuts, since I couldn't find them at Raley's yesterday.)

These are wholesome, all natural and healthy mini-muffins, but I made them mini for a reason - they are super high in calories and fat. I tend to worry much less about that now than before, since finding a "great treat" like this for me is so rare!

Even if you do not follow the GAPS Diet or any diet for that matter, I highly recommend trying this recipe out!

ENJOY!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Brazil Nuts & Red Wine (Two Items I Never Had Growing Up)

It's Friday! Finally Friday! I had off last Monday and yet, still, Friday could not have come soon enough.

But here we are - Friday! In light of it being Friday, I figured I'd better not complain about anything, but just be thankful for the day and talk about Brazil Nuts & Red Wine.

Yes, weird, but nonetheless I am looking forward to both of these tonight!

Brazil Nuts

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Growing up, my parents always had several jars of peanuts, nuts and mixed nuts in the cupboard (all salted of course - I don't eat nuts of any sort salted). To this day, every time I go home, it's guaranteed that we will have a few drinks at night and eat from their "nut" jars. There was always one nut, though, that no one ate - the Brazil Nut (or as my Mother calls them, Filberts). I avoided them for most of my life because I just automatically thought they were "gross."

And then one day I decided to try them. I have never looked back, since!

Not only do I think they taste great, but these Brazil Nuts are so good for us, too! According to one site, they are one of the Top 6 Healthiest Nuts!
These nuts are extremely nutrient-rich and contain protein, copper, niacin, magnesium, fiber, vitamin E and selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that works to neutralize dangerous free radicals. A study at the University of Illinois even found that the high amounts of selenium in Brazil nuts may help prevent breast cancer.
I like eating them plain - raw. I don't like to put salt or anything else on them. But....the next time I'm in Minnesota, having drinks with my parents, you can be certain that I will be the one to finish the Brazil Nuts in the Mixed Nut jar - even if they do have salt on them!

Red Wine

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Red Wine was also another item we never had growing up. Yeah, clearly I wouldn't have been allowed to actually drink it, but what I mean is that my parents never had any in the house. They don't drink it. They don't care to drink it (my Dad drinks Miller and my Mom drinks Miller Light, with the occasional "other" drinks here and there:)).

It wasn't until Ryan and I moved to the West Coast that I got into wine - and Red Wine in particular (I used to be a fruity, White Wine girl.)

I am now hooked on Red Wine. There is nothing like a good glass of Red Wine! Price doesn't matter - taste does. We're always on the hunt for our "next best Red Wine." Getting to the "next best Red Wine" is part of the fun, too. Trying several never killed anyone! As a matter of fact, Red Wine is good for our health!
  1. Red Wine has antioxidants
  2. Red Wine has heart protection
  3. Red Wine has cancer protection
I wonder what glass of Red Wine I'll get into tonight? Whatever it is, you can be sure that I'll tell my Mom about it and she'll say, "Yeah, ya know I've just never been a Red Wine drinker (in the greatest Minnesota accent of course!)

Perhaps tomorrow I'll discuss coffee.....and did I mention ever that that's also a drink/item I never grew up with? To this day, neither parent drinks coffee. They don't like it - at all!

I guess I've ALWAYS marched to the beat of my own drum!

Happy Friday (go out and get yourself some Brazil Nuts & Red Wine)!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

if better is possible - good is not enough

I found a Nike Blog post in July stating that they were looking for "Nike+ 10K Human Race Ambassdor's."

It sounded like fun to me. I applied on July 30th. The first two sentences of my email stated,

Choose me to be one of your Nike Ambassadors!

I promise to make Nike proud!

On August 3rd, just days after, I received an email from Nike. Their first two sentences were,
Congratulations! You have been selected to be a
Nike+ Human Race Ambassador.

Life has not been the same since! I have a quote that says, "if better is possible - good is not enough." This quote should have been my Human Race Ambassador Motto; I am now certain of that.

From August - October 24, 2009, I would habitually wake up everyday at 4:30am. I would check my email and respond to new or existing Pied Pipers. I would then head to my favorite coffee shop to "strategize, plot and plan" until about 6am. At 6am I would hit the gym to run and/or lift weights. (Since I was asking my team to run and then run some more, I felt it was nothing less than absolutely essential for me to be doing the same. I believe: Leadership does not exist without the leader doing as they wish to have done.) I would get home around 7:30am, at which point I would check more emails, shower and head to work. I would work my regular, full-time job, from about 8:30-5pm, fight traffic and get home. The rest of each and every night was devoted to the recruitment, development, inspiration, motivation and Social Media Marketing for the Nike+ Human Race promotion and the Pied Piper Team I worked so hard for!

And then on October 25, 2009 it was over. I had given the "run" everything I had. My only hope and wish at that point was that the team I had built enjoyed it all, ran their hearts out and (mostly) respected, appreciated and were (even more than before) motivated by not only Nike+ & the Nike+ Challenges but also by me, Sarah Kay Hoffman!

On October 29, 2009 it was announced that my team, Team Pied Piper, had WON the Nike Human Race Ambassador's Challenge!

Here is what they did during that short amount of time:
  • Built my Pied Piper Facebook Fan Page to 723 Fans
  • Grew to a team of 1,039
  • Ran 114,390 miles (whew!)
In addition, the Pied Pipers had the most people sync their 10K runs on 10.24.2009. Mission was 100% accomplished! THANK YOU!

The Nike+ Human Race might be over, but I still believe...."if better is possible - good is not enough." I found my Passion in recruiting, developing, inspiring, motivating, leading through Social Media Marketing and through this wonderful (and yet crazy) Virtual-osity. I am not ready for it to be over. I am not ready to stop doing what I love so much! I can't wait to help the next person and/or company get from HERE to THERE! I can't wait to watch myself get from HERE to THERE!

Thank you, Nike (for the opportunity)!
Thank you, Pied Pipers (for having Passion and spreading that Passion)!
Thank you, Ryan (my husband who didn't see me for 3 months, for supporting me)!

Tonight I'm just simply thankful.

Tomorrow morning, I'll just simply be thankful for my coffee and the opportunity to "strategize, plot and plan" my next endeavor!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Is Food just Fuel for my Vehicle?

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I admit.
I have been much too lenient these past couple of weeks, post-Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon with my food.

I have basically "gone all out," eating anything and everything I've wanted for 2 weeks (mostly on the weekends). And what has happened because of it? A step back. I've taken a million steps forward just to take these (so unnecessary) steps backwards.

But it has gotten me thinking - "Is Food just Fuel for my Vehicle?" And what it comes down to is "Yes - for me - it IS!" And, "Yes, it's super, duper unfortunate." And the reason it's so unfortunate is because I've allowed myself to get in this awful rut. I eat the same things every single day. And when I do that, I'm OK. Meat, broth, bananas and more meat, broth and bananas.

But a girl can only live like that for so long before the hands fling up in the air and say, "Wait a minute - I'm also trying to have a life!" So, Saturday night, I go out with my husband and friends, we enjoy wine tasting at Ruby Hill Winery, then dinner at Zephyr and we end at 1st Treat Yogurt for some unbelievable frozen yogurt (mixed with slews of "treats")! And never mind the fact that earlier in the day I had a mixed drink, some bread, fries with chipotle ranch and a beautifully-decorated strawberry from Bouquet of Fruits.

And then late Saturday night it started to sink in...."What on EARTH did I just do?" I've been paying ever since. Stomach reverted to blah. And yesterday is when that awful mouth annoyance came back in full effect!

So as I sit here and write this, I am forced to think, to remember, and to contemplate this idea that, for me, "Food is just Fuel for my Vehicle." Keep it pure - and I'll run so smoothly. Fill it with impurities - I shut down.

But there is a positive to all this: THAT CHOICE IS MINE.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Did It: My First Half Marathon Success Story

I did it - all 13.1 Miles! Not only did I do it, but it was an AMAZING experience!

My words cannot and will not do this perfect day for me any justice. I am just hoping that through some of these pictures you can "see" a little bit into my day!

From the beginning of the weekend at the Nike Women's Expo...the journey had started.
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I met some FABULOUS Nike Human Race Pied Pipers: Ms. @anotorias & Ms. @bicoastalite. Pretty cool that we all originally met via Social Media! I can't wait to see you guys again!

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Nike Town was BOOMIN' on Friday!

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I had to Spread my PASSION on the HUGE Nike Town White Board!

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I had a relaxing day on Saturday before the event on Sunday. I ate, had my Baristas latte and got out for a 3 mile jog. As I laid my head down that night, though, I started to get so nervous. I h ad 3 things on my mind:
  1. Would I make it in under 2 hours, like I wanted so badly?
  2. Would my stomach finally hold up for all 13.1 miles for me?
  3. Would family, friends and Pipers be proud of what I accomplished?
Needless to say, I did not sleep very well. I probably fell asleep about 10:30pm. I woke up at 3am and when I could not fall back asleep, I made the decision to get up, brew coffee and mentally get in this game.

We left the house at 4:38am. We arrived in San Francisco at 5:38am.

Standing there at the starting line was an overwhelming experience. There were 20,000 people ready to run. It was still dark. The only lights were those in Union Square and the ones that lit up for the course. Looking straight ahead all you could see was the "countdown" to the start. The National Anthem was sung. My heart was beating so. Then music was playing, energy was soaring. Some were crying, others were laughing and still others were just mentally preparing themselves as well!

10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1....

And we were off!

I paced myself so well! I just kept moving. The views were unreal. But I was not prepared for all the hills. I was so thankful I had done treadmill hill workouts. I was also thankful that I had prepared a lot with HIIT.

There were times throughout the race when I wanted to cry just because I was so happy! I'm not saying that the whole 13.1 was such a breeze that I was on Cloud 9 the whole time. What I am saying is that there I was -doing it - REALLY doing it. I did it for me - for the me I am NOW and for the me that I hope I NEVER HAVE TO BE again with so many stomach problems. I did it for everyone who could not be out there running. I was so thankful. I felt so blessed. And so when the hills got tough for me, I just fought them right back!

My Nike+ SportBand also got me through that race. I realize that most of you know by now that I'm an Ambassador for the upcoming 10.24.2009 Human Race and that perhaps I have to say this, but trust me when I say that that statement is 100% true! The SportBand tracks total distance, pace, calories and overall time. I kept it almost the entire time on the "pace." I figured that if I kept it on "distance" it would play too many mental games on me. This way, when I kept it on "pace," I was able to use those mental games to my advantage. I knew that it was okay when I was going up those hills at a 10 minute+ pace because when I was on a flat or downhill I would typically pace between 7-8 minute mile. With my SportBand, I could make sure of it! The challenge was fun for me!

I only made a PowerSong Playlist of 14. In hindsight, I should've probably had 20. But these 14 songs were magic for me:
  • Rollin'
  • Playaz Club
  • Smoke a Little Smoke
  • Lotta Boot Left to Fill
  • Poker Face
  • 'Till I Collapse
  • U + Ur Hand
  • Yeah!
  • Boom Boom Pow
  • Fight Like a Girl
  • Pink Guitar
  • I Didn't Know My Own Strength
  • Beverly Hills
  • That's Not My Name
My body started to hurt around Mile 10, which for the NWM is not a good place to start having breakdown because there is so much cheering there and you think it's the end. But then you see the Mile 10 Marker and you know you still have 3.1 left to go.

So I told myself...."It's less than a 5K to go!"

Around Mile 11 or 12 there people standing with bananas, holding them out for us to grab. I decided I better grab one, since I didn't stop for anything before then. I held it in my hand like a baton. I just tasted it. Somehow that taste helped me get through.

Mile 12 was the "Chocolate Mile." Oh how nice it would've been to participate in that:) I just kept on moving. At that point I was ready to be done. I started to pick up the pace. I could feel that my knees were going to be an "achin' unit." AND THEN.....the roaring and cheering was heard. I knew the end was there. For about the last .25 miles I felt as though I was in the Olympics. There was Blue Carpet. A straight shot. A sprint. Thousands of people on both sides of you. The time clock high above to see in clear view. 1:47:58.....just seconds away - loud music, cheering, speakers - my last all....everything I had....Crossing the NWM Finish Line!

My "Official Time" - 1:48:30. Out of 2,065 1/2 Marathon F25-29 year old, I placed 48th! You can find me HERE.

There are many great "Official Pictures" from the Brightroom Photography of me HERE.

When I was done, I was definitely hurting. But I was so excited. So happy. So proud. I found a whole new part of me that I never knew existed! I found even more Passion and Inspiration. I can't wait to see where this leads me next!

Amanda and I were freezing after the race! She was happy, too...she just was giving me "the look!"

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We Celebrated at Lefty O'Doules near Union Square with Mike, Tracy and Baby Avery....to watch the Vikings of course!

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And then we did one more stroll by Nike Town.

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The Husband I Adore.
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From the Curly Girl Design, "I am fairly certain that given a Cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.

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I am just getting started....these past 2 days since my mind has been going a million miles an hour! I hope to share my new project(s)/goal(s) with everyone soon! But for today.....I DID IT! BECAUSE I CAN!

Oh, and just one more thing..........YES, the men in tuxedos were waiting for us at the end - ready to hand us our perfectly-colored turquois Tiffany's Box!

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ps. IF you don't think I'm in a Good Mood now or deserve to continuously write a Blog on being in that GOOD MOOD, perhaps you never will:) Vote for me: http://bit.ly/fS6h4

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

13.1

Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon. Running Like a Girl.

In just 4 days, I will complete my FIRST EVER 1/2 Marathon. It seems like just yesterday when I was writing about this in my "Shifting Energies" posting.

The time has come! I can't hardly contain myself.

I was running an easy 10K with my Nike Running Group in Danville on Sunday when I decided that I would dedicate each mile to someone/something - make it even more meaningful.

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Here are my dedications - enjoy:

Mile 1 - For the Music
Let the Music Move us! I am a huge fan of Dr. PowerSong. I am mostly a huge fan because music has always inspired me and moved me in incredible ways. Music can take your workout from slow to "go." It can elevate your mood from low to fabulous. It can make you focus. It can do about a million, zillion other things. But one thing is for sure, it will get me movin' on MILE 1.

Mile 2 - For Food Intolerances/Colitis
As you all are well aware by now, I have struggled with this for the past 5+ years. I had no idea what was wrong in the beginning. I thought that "it was just how I was supposed to be." I listened to Doctors who told me to just take meds, this, that or the other. And then I found Leah. With her, we discovered this could all be changed with a change in diet. A year ago today (prior to her) I was "backing down" from any sort of 1/2 Marathon because my stomach didn't allow training. I am so proud that today I'm a changed person. This is because I have managed my food - it will keep me vibrant on MILE 2.

Mile 3 - For Goals
I have them. I am extremely goal-oriented, if you don't already know that. When I put my heart and mind to something, I get it done. I love the sense of accomplishment. I love knowing that goals carry you from one day to the next. I love knowing that I set this goal of completing the 13.1 miles. My goals in health, fitness & life in general support me on MILE 3.

Mile 4 - For Those Not Here Today
Those I've loved; gone and passed away. I will celebrate them on MILE 4.

Mile 5 -For My Family
I have the most amazing family in the world! From my Mom, Dad & brother, JJ to the family I was blessed to inherit by marrying Ryan! We have the cutest neices and nephews. I come from a huge extended family - they are all my heart! In a world where so many families don't even get along, I am so fortunate that I cherish mine so much. Even though most of them are hundreds of miles away, I run for them on MILE 5.


Mile 6 - For Missy
Yes, Missy gets her own mile! Why? Because she wanted to come so badly to run with me; it just didn't work. She was my "bestest" California friend while she lived here. I have a bond with Missy that is rare. There are very few people who come into our lives that are able to place a cloud around the heart. Missy did that to me, in a short amount of time. I miss her everyday. She has encouraged and supported more than she knows throughout this past year - stomach problems to running and all. She would send me texts from Chicago, "Miss your beautiful Guts." For my LD(B)BFF - who will be there with me in spirit - helping me achieve MILE 6.

Mile 7 - For the Pied Pipers
I'm sure by now you also know that I am the Pied Piper "leader" for the upcoming 2009 10.24 Nike+ 10K Human Race. This race, other than the NWM, has been my life since August. I have met and connected with so many fabulous people that I would not have had I not received the opportunity from Nike to be a US Human Race Ambassador. I thank God everyday for the opportunity to "spread the good running word." Our Challenge, the US Human Race Ambassador Challenge, will only count for those on my team who are in the US on race day. However, that does not change the fact that I am so proud that through Social Media I have been able to "meet," connect with and learn about people - runners - Nike+ users - from all over the world. My GOAL was first and foremost to make the connection, BUT it was also to have an impact on them. To inspire them. To get them saying, "I'm a runner. I love to run!" What I didn't expect was the opposite - they gave that all to me! For them, for the Pied Pipers - inspiration gets me through MILE 7! (PS. There is still time to become a Pied Piper - click HERE for how to do so!!)

Mile 8 - For Fiona & Reagan
You better believe I'm running a whole mile for my dogs! They are my babies. My heart. My soul. The 2 that I know no matter what, when I get home from a good or bad day, good or bad run - will love me. They will be excited to see me - their days are better when I'm around. They make me laugh (especially when the little Peekepoo growls and chases the Great Dane and when the Great Dane grunts and toots:)). They are our best friends. I can't imagine my life without them - they would love to run with me on MILE 8!

Mile 9 - For Faith, Hope and Love
Because you've "just gotta have it!" No matter what, if we have these 3 things, life will go on and life will be that much sweeter. Faith, Hope and Love carry me through MILE 9.

Mile 10 - For Success
Success is so sweet. Success is even more sweet knowing that you prepared for it. Success doesn't come overnight. You take in one day and then the next, building, planning and preparing for it. When it comes, it's nothing less than sweet. I'm not just talking about money and power for success - success can manifest itself in so many ways. Today I just pray for NWM success - the concept gets me through MILE 10.

Mile 11 - For Friends
They say you are a very lucky person if you can fill up one hand with people you'd deem "friends." My very best friends in the world fill up one hand...and people I'd deem "friends" overflow onto the next. This is a great feeling! Most of my best friends live hundreds of miles away. We don't need to talk everyday; we don't even need to see each other often. The one thing that remains, though, is our "easy friendship." We pick up right where we left off. We know each other inside and out. We appreciate each other and our busy lives. We value the time we get when we do see each other. If not for great friends like this, and for the great friendship of Mrs. Tracy Carroll (ALSO running her first 1/2 Marathon at the NWM) life would be much less fulfilling. My friends always pull through - and they pull me through MILE 11.

Mile 12 - For My Husband, Ryan
The miles are coming to an end.....it's not that I've left Ryan to the END, it's that I need to think of him most to pull me through it! I've said it once and I'll say it again, "Not only is Ryan my husband, but he's truly one of the best people I've ever met in my life." Most people could attest to this. I am so lucky that I married my best friend. We will celebrate our 1-year anniversary just a couple weeks post-NWM, on November 1st. Ryan makes me laugh and smile. He brings out the best side of me. He believes in me. He's my #1 FAN - always - (okay, except for (also) maybe my Mom and Dad!!) He supports me with everything in life. He loves me unconditionally. For his love, passion and huge heart - I'll make it through MILE 12.

Mile 13 - For "Running Like a Girl" - "Fighting Like a Girl"
"Running Like a Girl" is the NWM "Theme." "Fighting Like a Girl" is the song by Bomshel - my "Theme." Combine the two - it's an overwhelming thought. Working so hard has been anything but "girly." But I am proud to run like a girl, fight like a girl - be a girl! I always say, "My Sassies." I love strong, proud and sassy girls. I believe that a girl can do anything. Now I'm ready to "get to the finish line like a girl" - on MILE 13.

Mile .1 - For ???
Nope. We're not through yet. A half marathon is 13.1 miles. This .1 is very, very important to me. This is where I think about, contemplate, plan and get super excited and passionate about WHAT COMES NEXT? Will I train for another 1/2? Will I attempt to train for a full marathon? Will I choose an organization I am 110% passionate about and run for it? What will it be?! MILE .1 is TBD - and it's exactly THAT that will get me through it - I love this "forward thinking," this "what comes next in my Puzzle of Life!

CHEERS! See you at the finish line......

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Good Mood Gig

I want to reach out to others with my PASSION for life!

PLEASE HELP ME!

Click HERE to vote for me!

Sarah Kay from Mountain House, CA
Why are you perfect for this job?
My passion and love for life is contagious. I already share this via my personal Online Blog, where I share about living Vibrantly. I write, just as I live, with Passion. I am to inspire through my words, and motivate through my social media utters. There will not be a day to go by where you will not "catch" my passionate virus!

How do you maintain your good mood naturally?
I run. I run some more. I sing. I blog. I eat healthy. I think positive. I create things that instill passion. I lift weights. I dance. I spend time with people I love the most. I play with my Peekepoo and Great Dane. And did I mention I run?

Vote for Me
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e

Click HERE to vote for me!

You can vote one time/day! I obviously signed up so late, so I'm behind. I'd love all the help you all can give to me.
  • Forward the link (http://bit.ly/fS6h4) on to your friends
  • Share the link on Facebook/Twitter/Your Personal Blogs/MySpace/Any & All of your Social Media Sites
THANKS SO MUCH!

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Cup (negatively) Runneth Over

I really have not been taking care of myself when it comes to food in...my cup has (negatively) runneth over! And I am now down to T-less than one week until my 1/2 Marathon. Every single thing I put into my body is going to be critical for me on this final week.

Time to have this cup filled up with vim, vigor & vitality!

Just so you all know, here is how I handle it to ensure nothing less than 100% success on Sunday for the 1/2:
  • IMMUNITY by New Chapter
  • Probiotics
  • Multivitamin
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • HCL
  • Sauerkraut Raw
  • Magic Mineral Broth
  • Tea
  • Coconut Milk
  • Honey
  • Lean turkey meat
  • Chicken
  • Chicken broth
  • Bananas
Side note on the IMMUNITY: I thought I was getting sick last week. Everyone at work is sick, too. This product was suggested to me. I got it at Whole Foods. I didn't end up getting sick. Fabulous!

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That's it! I'm SO ready. I'm SO determined. I'm SO focused! I can't hardly contain my excitement for this upcoming week/weekend events. Stay tuned....I'm working on a "13.1" List!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oh no!

I'm bummed. I was bloated yesterday and today.

Ahhhhh.......I think I've become too relaxed. I'm sure of it. I've been eating raw almonds again. Probably a no-no. I also think I'm getting too comfortable with my Soy Latte's. I need to cut back on those, too. Other than that, I can't think of what it might be.

It has been a good reminder for me, though. Whenever I get bloated like that I get unmotivated and crabby - and the two do NOT make for a good combination.

I have a few weeks to hang on for dear life: Running, my 1/2 marathon, the Human Race, working....I'm busy 24/7. I'm up by 5am almost every day. I go, go, go....

I don't have time to not feel well. And if I don't have time not to feel well, then I better make the time to watch what I eat!

No one said the GAPS Diet was easy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Apple Crisp, Lemon Cake, Pizza....Oh NO!

I deviously went off of the GAPS Diet while I was back home in Minnesota. Here is just a "taste" of what I ate:
  • Pizza (Yellow Mushroom - the BEST)
  • Apple Crisp
  • Lemon Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Candy Corn
  • All fruits
  • Breaded Chicken
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Alcohol
Ok....I'm stopping there. I'm embarrassed. That list alone makes me feel like a failure to those of you who follow this blog day-in and day-out as I proclaim the "evils" of all those foods to me. But then again, I stop and wonder, "Does it really make me a failure OR does it make me just a girl trying to maintain some sort of normalcy?"

In the end, I've decided that it doesn't matter. What matters is that I'm HONEST with everyone reading this and following me on my journey.

I have good days and I have bad days. I have many, many, many more good days than bad, though. I learn from my mistakes and I move on.

Just so you all know, though, eating like this is definitely a mistake! I have not been feeling well since I began eating in that way. My stomach has been so upset - so bloated - so uncomfortable. Thankfully I was able to "get sick" a little this morning.

I jumped back on the GAPS upon waking today! I know that "this too shall pass."

Food aside, it was an amazing weekend with my best friends and family!


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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pied Pipers get FAMOUS

And here's ANOTHER way you can get into the SOLD OUT San Francisco Nike Women's Marathon & Half Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, October 18th, 2009 (see previous Blog post for more information).

This one is called - The Pied Pipers get FAMOUS!


"Last year Nike hosted the world’s largest running event with nearly 780,000 participants. This year, the Nike+ Human Race is back on October 24. This 10K run will once again celebrate the sport of running and give participants everywhere the chance to run together with others around the globe. Nike is hosting runs in more than 30 cities around the world, but with nikeplus.com, every city and every road can become a race day course. By combining the virtual running world with the physical, the Nike+ Human Race is open to anyone, anywhere." - From Nikerunning.com Human Race FAQ

Here are a list of links that currently are near & dear to my (and all Pied Pipers) hearts:
  1. The Human Race 10K (10.24.2009)
  2. Nike+ Human Race Ambassador's Challenge (Pied Pipers)
  3. Hear from Your Ambassadors
  4. Pied Pipers: Starts with a You, Me & Us
  5. The Sound of the Pied Pipers
I want to give you your entry (you will still have to pay the entry fee) into the San Francisco Nike Women's Marathon or Half Marathon, if you will help the Pied Pipers get FAMOUS.

All you need to do is link this Blog Posting to your health/fitness Website/Blog/Social Media Sites.

The contest will run from Sunday, September 20th - Sunday, September 27th.

The person who comes up with the BEST of their Top 3 Creative Things to Promote this Blog Posting Link will win! Please email them to me at sarahkayhoffman@gmail.com. I will choose the BEST and winner will be notified on or before Monday, September 28th. GOOD LUCK!

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San Francisco Nike Women's Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

Are you ready to Run Like a Girl?

Did you try to get in to the San Francisco Nike Women's Marathon or 1/2 Marathon via Lottery, but not get chosen?

Well here's your second chance at it!

This is a Sold Out event! The event is in San Francisco on October 18th. For all the details please click HERE.

And if those details don't excite you, maybe a few more details will:
  • NIKE+ MEMBER REWARDS - Make sure you are a Nike+ Member. Hands down one of the best features to Nike Running (in my opinion).
  • LIVE RUNNER TRACKING - Nike is going to alert (via text) your biggest fans on race day your progress throughout the race. (My Mom will love this, since she'll be 1,000+ miles away!)
  • And yes, it's TRUE. Once you cross that finish line, there will be men in tuxedo's waiting for you - to give you that little Tiffany's box!
Today I bring to you your second chance of getting into this! I have a few ways to do this. Here they are (PLEASE MAKE NOTE: For ALL winners - you will still need to pay the entry fee. What I provide you is the access code to get in. You take it from there!):
  • Pied Piper (Entry to) SF NWM Challenge -
As most of you know by now, I am an Ambassador for the Nike Human Race 10K for the Pied Piper Team (October 24th).

1. Join the Nike+ Human Race: http://bit.ly/UZ1xd
2. Join my Pied Piper Ambassadors Challenge: http://bit.ly/152Z2N
3. Join the Pied Piper (Entry to) SF NWM Challenge: http://bit.ly/14vlAQ
4. Start syncing your miles (Yes, this will mean that you are a Nike+ Member. To see a full list of Nike+ "Gear," click HERE.

The person to sync the most miles AND recruit at least 1 person to join the Pied Piper Nike+ Human Race Team (that person must also have at least 5 miles synced) will win their entry to the NWM.

Per the Challenge description, contest will run from Monday, September 21st - Wednesday, October 1, 2009.

  • Spreading Pied Piper Passion
The Pied Piper (who has synced at least 10 miles) to recruit the most new people (each new person MUST have synced at least 6.2 miles) for our Human Race Pied Piper Team will win their entry to the NWM. (I will take a screen shot on Sunday night so that I know who was already on the team before contest begins on Monday.)

Challenge runs from Monday, September 21st - Sunday, September 27th. Please email me (sarahkayhoffman@gmail.com) your new recruits on Sunday, September 27th. I'll let the winner know who they are on or by Monday, September 28th.

Good Luck! See you at the Finish Line.
And ps. There is still one more way to get in.....see my next Blog posting.