About Me

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I am an experienced direct marketer who is now perusing a graduate degree in Entertainment Business with a concentration in Sports Management and a master's degree in Internet Marketing.  One day soon I will be a Director of Social Media Marketing for a major sports organization.   I am avid runner who in the next 6 months will run at 2 full marathons and 3 half marathons and that doesn't include the training runs. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pulling up the back at the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon

At this weekends race I knew I was not going to PR frankly I hadn't trained for a half marathon since my lovely bruised ribs had sidelined me since April. I went out that morning with a plan one I knew I could easily stick to, one I came 1 minute off from. My plan was a nice and easy training run of 13 miles on part of the Boston Marathon Course. I planned to take full advantage of my entry and what they call Heartbreak Hill. 

The attached is a great account of what happens at all races when the elite finishers are done and go home. I've been on a course for just 2:30 minutes and as long as 3:54 mins (my favorite race yet thanks to a man dressed as a frog). For everyone who isn't a runner go watch a race and see the effort of those at the front and those at the back, it's exactly the same. Everyone is covering the same distance 13 miles, 3 miles, 6 miles or 26.2. For some the push is harder, it's their first race, it's hotter 3 hours after a start or their minds are telling their able bodies to stop. Regardless everyone on an open course should be treated with the same, the entry fee is the same if you run 13 under 50 mins or 3:30. 

We must have been around the writer when the car came through because my experience was exactly the same. Honestly I am surprised that no one got hurt as that car was flying and weaving in and out.  

I can say one thing about this race that I haven't been able to in a long time because I've been so focused on a finishing time (pacing or not), I had a wonderful time. For me it was running in Boston, it was spending time with a friend and it was finishing 5 weeks after a fall that had side railed me and it was finishing with one inspiring women, Ironman Sarah Reinertsen. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

That Voice In Your Head

I recently received an email with the following quote:

"Today I told myself I was going to run for 60 minutes.
I wanted to quit after 15, but I told myself to make it to 30.
I wanted to quit after 30, but I told myself to make it to 40.
I wanted to quit after 40, but I told myself to make it to 50.
I wanted to quit after 50, but I told myself I only had 10 minutes. When I was done, I had ran five and a half miles.
But something whispered... make it to six."

Runners, new and seasoned, have a voice in their head that talks to them. The voice tells you that today will be that day where you will run a mile longer than you ever have before.  Today is the day that you will PR or in many cases the voice tells you that today will not be your day. 

For the new runner just starting out this voice starts within the first 3 minutes of running, it’s the voice that gets your shoes on and opens the door.  For a half marathoner the voice usually starts around mile 8 and for a marathoner, the voice is called the wall which occurs at mile 20.  Many would believe that for an ultra-runner, who runs races that are well over 50 to 100 miles, there is no way that they have a voice.  A voice that tells them to stop or that the pain in the right small toe will prevent you from finishing a 50-mile run. 

Every runner has a voice.  The question is, has your training prepared you to turn the voice off when negative and make it louder when positive.  What training rituals are you going through for the mental preparation?  You buy the right shoes. You run the required long distance run on Saturdays and your training includes the speed work required to improve your times.  Have you trained your mind to believe that every training run and every race is YOUR day?  Do you visualize crossing the finish line or running up the bridge and lifting your arms in victory? 

One way to turn off the negative voice in your head is by breaking down your run into small increments.

  •  New runners focus on the first 15 minutes, then go 15 more. 
  • Half Marathoners break it down to 5 miles, another 5 miles and then an easy 5k.
  • Marathoners can do the same with 7-mile increments and an easy 5-mile.  Bringing you past the 20-mile wall. 
  • Ultra-runners break it down by half marathons. 
If during training you hit the wall enlist friends to come along for a half marathon or a marathon during your race. The help of your friends will silence the voice.

Just like buying the right shoes, hydrating and speed work practice improves your form. Training your mind to believe in the possible is just another item in your running toolbox.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy Anniversary Title IX

If there was ever a law with so little words that made a huge impact it was Title IX.  The 37-word law turns 40 this week and women everywhere are celebrating.  The legislation called the 1972 Education Amendment, Title IX was simple “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance”. But a simple law made a huge impact in classroom, colleges, and boardrooms and in women’s confidence everywhere.  Since the legislation went into place women playing high school and college sports has jump 1,000 percent.  That said there are still issues and impacts of the law those needs to be addressed. 
When the conversation of pay for play comes up in college sports, Title IX benefits both women sports as well as men’s sports. In short Title IX ensures gender equality in college sports, but also will help smaller men’s programs like wrestling and lacrosse from being excluded from a pay for play system. As Mechelle Voepel describes in a 2011 ESPN article “there is no viable end-around Title IX to allow schools to pay only those athletes who are in a profitable sport, which generally are football and men’s basketball.” A court would rule that all sports, regardless of size, popularity, or revenue source for the university, would need to be a part of the pay for play system.

Sadly the playing field is still not equal 40 years later.  How many stories have you heard about a high school or college building a new state of the art complex and forgetting the girl’s softball field or a girl’s locker room?  In a summit held at the White House this week, Olympic gold medalist in women’s soccer, Julie Foudy, told the story of when she and fellow teammates planned the first Women’s World Cup tournament and were told to book stadiums that held no more than 5,000 fans and only on the East Coast because the women’s game had limited regional appeal.  To her and everyone else surprised they opened in a packed 80,000-seat Giants Stadium to a standing ovation.  A great sign of how far women sports and women in sports have come.
As a woman who wants to merge herself into a career in sports and in an industry that now has close to 60 percent of participants who are women runners, I say “Happy Anniversary, Title IX”, thank you President Nixon for the wonderful future you made for women like me everywhere. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Women’s Running and The Competitor Group Team Up for Fitness

It was announced last week that Competitor Group Inc. had made another in a series of acquisitions.  This time acquiring Women’s Running Magazine and the Lady Speed Stick Half Marathon Series.  Many of you may know the founder of these two organizations as well as WomenRunning.com, Dawn Stone.  Dawn was the 2005 winner of the Martha Stewart version of The Apprentice.  At the time Dawn was the founder and publisher of Her Sports Magazine, the only magazine dedicated to women’s running. 

Dawn Stone was a pioneer in the marketing to women runners.  In 2009, she launched a half marathon in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida.  One that was marketed with one of the best “goody bags” in the industry and a revolutionary medal that provide participants that opportunity to take a part of it to wear daily to show off their accomplishments.   The Women’s Running Half Marathon is now a 4 event series held across the country with a new recently named head sponsor, Lady Speed Stick. 

So what might a mega event holder like Competitor Group, Inc. need with a women’s half marathon when it also runs all of the Rock n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon events?  Well it’s actually a good fit given Competitor Group’s current publishing background and ability to show how they have expanded the Rock n’ Roll series.  With over 50,000 runners in just the 3, short, years that the Women’s Running Half Marathon series has been in existence, the series is set for great growth and Competitor Group can take this into the hundreds of thousands as well as international expansion.  With the continued growth in women running the market isn’t taking a turn for the worse anytime soon.

With this acquisition, it doesn’t appear that Competitor Group, Inc. will slow down their acquisitions anytime soon.  They don’t stop finding niches were they can input themselves in.  The question is will the dedicated runner continue to find events run by the mega endurance organizer a continued draw for their running funds.  In October I’ll get to see for the first time what makes this group so great that Dawn Stone would partner up with them.  Only time will tell what impact this partnership will have on women’s running.  As a runner I hope this works out to my advantage and the magazine, website and the running series grow even better. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Reward your employees. Go Green.

If there are two things that I have learned from my research on Joe Reynolds and Steve Ells is that your employees and the earth are the two most important things in a business and a business plan.  Regardless of if you are starting to put together a business plan or working for a company who is asking for your input into a business strategy you need to look at what can make you different and why your employees will want to continue to invest in your positive future. 

            Joe Reynolds, the founder of Red Frog Events, believes so strongly in the assets that are his employees, he provides them with a fun environment to work in.  That environment includes a rock climbing wall, a zip line and a tree house.  When he started he want a fun place to go to work where it didn’t feel like work.  With 2000 applicants a month, I believe he has created what he set out to do.  He also provides his employees with an unheard of unlimited vacation days and a mandatory sabbatical after 5 years. That’s putting a lot of trust in your employees to not take advantage of the perks, something that Joe Reynolds hasn’t experienced an issue with yet.

The one thing that Joe Reynolds provides each of his employees that I will incorporate into by business plan is an event budget.  My business plan is for an endurance sports event and while I want my event to be the best that is out there, I’ll never know it is the best if the people who for my event can’t see what else is out there.  Giving people the opportunity to train for a marathon, half marathon or triathlon and then providing them with the funds to enter the event ensures that employees can see the competition or unique events around the country and the world.  Giving them the opportunity to experience what being a participant is like and what other do right or not so well, will only improve my event.   

Steve Ells, the founder of Chipotle, believes in something called “Food with Integrity” which is about sustainable food, and responsible treatment of the land and animals.  Through everything that Chipotle does, it keeps the “Food with Integrity” in the forefront.  To the farmers they use, the materials in the building supplies in the restaurants to the advertising and creation of short films reminding people to think about the food that they eat.  Being an environment conscience company is at its core. 

Runners want to ensure that their carbon footprint is a positive one and the way that many races are moving.  I don’t feel we are doing it fast enough but my business plan that I have created addresses this from the start of the planning.  It takes everyone to make a conscience effort to improve the environment.  Even if my business plan never takes off, this will be the corner stone of any strategic initiative that I have involvement in during my future career in sports and endurance sports.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Run Away With Your Business Plan

There are two things that runners love to do, have fun and run to eat.  When I think of two men who are instrumental in making an impact on these to fundamentals of running I think of Joe Reynolds, the founder of Red Frog Events and Steve Ells, the founder of Chipotle.  Both of these individuals have built incredible organizations from scratch and are doing what they love.  They are both experts in developing business plans and seeing them come to fruition.  They advise people everywhere on how to build a business, what’s important, from the name of the company to ensuring that your employees, the meat of your organization are happy and productive. 

When it comes to making sure your business plan finds a niche Steve Ells understands the concept well.  Mexican food isn’t new.  Fast food isn’t new. Sustainable food in a fast food environment on a mass scale is new.  Steve Ells perfected it with the Chipotle brand.  Now he is bring the same philosophy to Pan-Asian with his new ShopHouse restaurants. Steve Ells understands you have to, be different, think different and stir the pot a bit with your margins, ideas, and branding.

You may not have heard of Joe Reynolds or Red Frog Events, but I am sure you have heard of the Warrior Dash or the Great Urban Race.   Joe took $5,000 in 2007 and founded Red Frog Events, LLC.  The company was projected to make $50 million in revenue in 2011.

Joe Reynolds proves it’s important to take a normal function, like running, and turn it into something fun.  With a business venture you have to be different, be creative and stand out from the rest.  Make your marketing idea transcend geographical boundaries and differences.  Creating the Great Urban race for cities and the BeachDash for the cities by the bays.

Joe provides advice on how to make a great company including ensuring from the start you have a creative environment for your employees and a company mission that stands behind this.  Joe provides unlimited vacation to his 81 employees and offers a four-week sabbatical after 5 years of service. 

If you’re looking at being entrepreneurs take the advice of Steve Ells and Joe Reynolds:
1.     Be creative – Pick a great name, have unique titles, have a great different logo
2.     Be different – Take something simple and make it better, unique
3.     Grow quickly but not too quickly
4.     Do well for your employees and the earth.

If you are just starting out in business these two individuals are great resources to gain an understanding of what makes a great business plan and entrepreneurs.  So don’t just stand in place, come up with a grand concept and get running. http://warriordash.com/