Memory Lane: Birthdays and Valentine’s Day 2005

I didn’t realize yesterday was Friends Day until Facebook told me.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 9.49.17 PMI browsed through some of my old photo albums and started tearing up when I came across a picture from Barbara’s 21st birthday weekend.  I can’t believe it’s been almost a decade since this photo was taken! We stayed in a hotel, ate cake with our friends, drank vodka and laughed so hard we almost died.

Next month Barbara will turn 30. I cannot fathom that nine years have already gone by since this picture was taken. Even though it’s grainy, the lighting is terrible and I was a mess eating disorder wise, I remember being deliriously happy in this moment. It’s one of my favorite pictures ever and when I came across it yesterday I shed a tear.

Happy Friends Day, B. I can’t believe this is the year we turn 30. I can’t believe this is my life. It’s a good one and I feel exceptionally lucky to have it, but where did our youth go? I wish I didn’t spend so much time and energy wanting to be an adult… but I plan to retire early enough to enjoy my golden years to the fullest, haha.

Speaking of time passing by fast, this year Adam and I will celebrate 12 years together – and this February will be our 11th Valentine’s Day as a couple.

Yesterday I asked Adam to be my Valentine and he accepted. I’m pretty smug about it, tbh.

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As far as Valentines go, he’s a pretty good one to have. Our first Valentine’s Day together was so crazy. I was a freshman in college living in a dorm with a roommate and Adam had just moved from Orlando back home to Miami. He drove up to Orlando to spend Valentine’s Day with me. We decided to rent a hotel room because of the whole roommate situation, *wink*.

We booked the hotel for two nights and for whatever reason after the first night the hotel asked us if we would mind moving to a different room. As we were walking over to the new room I looked across the parking lot and noticed Adam’s car was gone… IT WAS STOLEN!

There are a million reasons why I’ll never forget our first Valentine’s Day together and that one is at the top of the list! The police eventually recovered Adam’s car, but it was covered in chocolate stains and the thieves took everything — from CDs to text books and of course his laptop.

They couldn’t steal my love though.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist ;).

Ah, what a trip down memory lane!

Do you have any fun/crazy/weird Valentine’s Day stories?
Do you remember what you did for your 21st bday?

 

You Know What? (+ Snapchat)

You know what running the day after squatting feels like? Hell.

I usually schedule my leg day better but I had to do it on Tuesday night this week and my run yesterday felt like TORTURE. It reminded me of why I stopped squatting heavy when I started training for my first half marathon way back when. It’s okay though, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! I finished the run, stretched and then felt like a badass so it’s all good :).

The weather at the beach last night was just perfect: 75*F with a very slight breeze. For me, that’s absolute ideal running conditions for night time. (If the sun had been out that would be a different story!)

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If we’re friends on Instagram (@kristinarunning) then you probably saw that a couple of my coworkers got to go play in the Everglades yesterday for a photo shoot.

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^ That’s our art director hanging completely off of an airboat with his hand (and expensive camera) one foot away from a wild gator. He is CRAZY! Apparently he later got *into* the water so he could get better shots of the gator!

INSANITY. I can’t wait to see the pics though!

In other news: I love this cat.

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The best son I could ever ask for. And I don’t have to pay for him to go to college! 😉

BTW, I just started using Snapchat for research purposes for work. Yesterday I created my first Snapchat Story (aka here’s my day in 25 seconds):

If you’re on Snapchat you can add me @kristinarunning and let me know in the comments so I can add you back too!

HAPPY ALMOST FRIDAY!

Have you ever been on an airboat ride? I went once a long time ago. I can’t really remember anything from it except that it was noisy!
Do you like using Snapchat?

Random Life Updates!

Can we get random for a second?

Ever since the Miami Half where eggs didn’t sit well in my stomach I’ve been avoiding them at breakfast time. Instead I’ve been going with this simple combo:

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I add a splash of milk and a couple drops of maple syrup. I know a lot of people like to make oatmeal with water but I think a splash of milk gives it a completely different (and better) flavor!

I’ve also been enjoying this edamame hummus as a snack:

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Adam’s kind of turned his nose up at it based solely on the name, but I don’t think it tastes all that different from regular hummus, which I LOVE!

Another thing I love? Being in full on vacation planning mode! I even bought these candles to put me in the right mood :) and well they smell really, really good too!

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Italy I am SO ready to see you!

One thing I’d like to see less of? RAIN. Ugh, rain, rain please go away!

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My commute into work increases by 25% or more on rainy days. I hate when my hair gets wet after I’ve just blown it dry. I hate when my feet get wet. The only time I like rain is when I’m falling asleep to the sound of it while snug in my bed!

Before bed it’s important to take makeup off and I’ve just started using this product called micellar water:

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I love this stuff because you don’t have to rinse your face off after using it. I wash my face thoroughly in the shower with a nice face scrub, but I hate having to splash water on my face at the sink. That’s just been a pet peeve of mine forever and now there is a product that allows me to not have to do that! WHOOO! Hallelujah!

Speaking of exciting things, now that I’m fully out with my love for pro wrestling, I can tell you that Adam and I got tickets to see another NXT show next month! It’s just too sweet (<–reference for any other wrestling fans out there!)

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I think I’ve gotten all of the random updates out of my system for today!

Back to running :)

Have a great day and tell me something random that you did/happened to you recently! 

I’m Not Going to PR

HI! Long time, no see!

I went missing for a couple of days because I just felt drained. Every night when I got home from work all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and eat a Hershey Kiss. I’m feeling recharged now and ready to jump head first into February!

After a couple of days without running I got out to the beach yesterday for a short run. This was a planned down week for me as far as long runs go so I was happy to just cruise along for 60 minutes without a pace or distance in mind.

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I’m looking forward to running the A1A Half Marathon in just a couple of weeks but I’ve completely changed my expectations for the race. Now I’m just running this one for fun (and to hopefully beat my Cape Coral time). I’m not running for a PR and admitting that is so relieving.

I’m simply not in shape to PR. My best long run in recent weeks was 8 miles at 14:14 pace. To beat my current PR I would need to run 13.1 miles below 13:30 pace. You might think an easy long run at 14:14 pace means a PR is within reach but really it’s not.

Since coming back from time off after the Chicago Marathon I really haven’t put my heart into speed work. I’ve done it erratically. Every time my right hip doesn’t feel right (even if it’s just extra tight) the first thing I stop is speed work because I just don’t want to end up having to take extra time off again. I spent way too much time sitting out in 2015.

In January I started incorporating speed work back into my routine regularly and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how good it feels to do again. However, I don’t have enough speed work behind me to say a PR attempt is a reasonable thing to do. I tried tricking myself into believing it was possible, but it’s time to face the music. I dug myself into this hole and well, it is what it is.

I’ll close out the 2015-2016 season without achieving any new PRs, but I will hopefully be able to hang my hat on finally completing the Florida Storm Series.

November – Fort Lauderdale Half
December – Cape Coral Half
January – Miami Half
February – A1A Half
March – Miami Beach Half

More importantly, if I make through the Miami Beach Half in March that will mean I’ve gone five months without having to take off time for injury. Here’s hoping that’s a trend that sticks around all year so I can crush some PRs in 2016-2017!

I’m ready to make this year the best running year of my life!

How was your weekend? Did you watch the Pro Bowl?
Is it still snowing where you are? I think we’re going back up to the 80s this week!

NXT in Orlando

I was missing in action for a good part of last week because Adam and I were getting ready to go out of town for a couple of days.

Some of you know that Adam and I both went to the University of Central Florida in Orlando for a couple of years. We actually met at UCF when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore. I’ll tell you that I don’t believe in love at first sight … but it kind of was a case of love at first sight. Something made me reach out and grab this stranger’s arm as he was walking right on past me. Maybe it was love, maybe it was alcohol, we’ll never know.

On Thursday after work Adam and I drove up to Orlando to the UCF area for the first time in 10 years. I moved to Miami in 2006 and neither of us has gone back to the that part of Orlando since.

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We made the drive up because we had tickets to a WWE NXT show (pro wrestling). I grew up watching wrestling with my dad. As a kid some of my earliest memories are of seeing him sitting on the living room floor with a glass of milk on Monday nights cheering on Hulk Hogan like a kid! He used to take me to events all around central Florida to see shows and meet wrestlers. To this day my dad is the biggest wrestling fan that I know and he couldn’t be happier that somehow Adam has gotten me into it.

Creating signs for wrestling shows is just part of the fan culture, so of course Adam and I had to come up with a good one. My favorite wrestler is Finn Bálor and he just happens to be the current NXT champ. He always comes out wearing his championship belt and a black leather jacket that he flashes open to show off the belt.

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Adam said I should recreate this belt situation with a three sided poster board, so that’s what I set out to do! It took me three days but I eventually got it! I started by buying the poster board and outlining the belt and Finn’s legs.

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I then filled in the paint and was more than halfway there!

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Here’s the final product – closed jacket:

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And opened jacket:

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It’s not the most beautiful poster but I think it’s kind of cool and creative. Our show was taped so I can’t wait to see my poster on the TV when it airs next month!

Here I am at the show in my wrestling stuff:

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Yes, I totally get the irony of being pro-gun control and yet wearing a hat that says Bullet Club on it. I would never, ever, ever wear this hat anywhere but at a wrestling show! :)

We really had the best seats ever. I can’t wait to do this again!

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After the show we headed back to the hotel and were up by noon to head back home because I had a race on the horizon!

We walked in the door to this:

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Yes, that’s Cecil on top of the fridge, belly up. He gets into weird stuff when we’re gone.

Have you ever made a sign/poster for a concert or show?
Until this poster I hadn’t made one since my first *NSYNC concert back in 1998! 

Miami Half Marathon 2016 Recap

Hi there! Sorry I’ve been gone for a few days. Last week kicked my butt. Adam and I worked all day on Thursday and then drove up to Orlando. We didn’t get there until after 11pm and then we had a full day on Friday. More on that tomorrow!

On Saturday we drove home from Orlando and I had to go to bed almost right away! Since I didn’t book a hotel room for the Miami Half this year I bought a shuttle ticket which ran from the Miami Beach Convention Center to the start and finish. (Trying to  drive and park around the starting line while dealing with closed roads just didn’t sound fun).

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In order to catch the shuttle by 4:30am I needed to leave my house by 3:30am… which meant a 2:30am wakeup call. OMG. That was rough but by 5:55am I was safely tucked away inside my corral right next to the American Airlines Arena, home of my beloved Miami Heat!

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You know how they say you should stick to the same routine every race morning? Well the extra early wakeup call on Sunday threw me off guard. It made me think I could eat eggs for breakfast since I would have enough time to digest them (?). Let’s be honest, I don’t know how digestion works. I do know eggs sometimes give me GI issues but that I really wanted to eat eggs on Sunday morning. With a hazy, sleepy brain I decided I could totally do it and be fine.

Bad idea. I won’t get into the sordid details but by mile two my stomach wasn’t happy about the eggs. The line for the port-o-potty cost me 4 minutes and my stomach still didn’t exactly feel good. I would go on to make additional, shorter stops a couple more times. Ugh. At least Miami looked pretty while I looked for anything to take my mind off of my stomach.

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I was only able to eat half a Gu right before mile 9 and I could only take a couple of sips of Gatorade and water throughout the whole race. The lack of fuel surely didn’t help in the final miles although I tried very hard to keep up a positive mental attitude.

The course for the Miami Half was new this year due to construction on the Venetian causeway – but it really wasn’t terribly different than last year. I would say I enjoyed the views and the course just as much as in 2015 when I set my current half marathon PR.

The only downside to the alternate course was having to run the MacArthur Causeway twice. The first time up is not a big deal, but facing this bridge again at mile 10 was not so much fun! As I was approaching it I slowed down to snap this pic but of course it doesn’t look nearly as big in the picture as it is in real life!

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Whoever thought putting a race photographer at the top of the bridge at mile 10 was a good idea clearly doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a runner. I would have preferred to see the photographer at the bottom of the bridge when I was recovering from the climb and picking up a little steam! Oh well, what can you do but smile and pretend to not be dying! I tried my hardest! :)

To be honest around this time I was pretty frozen and not feeling much at all! I stupidly tossed my throwaway jacket and top at the start of the race assuming I would warm up in the sun. Unfortunately that never, ever happened and I was freezing the entire time. I think my arm must have went numb from the cold + wind because after a certain point I didn’t even feel my Garmin buzz with mile splits.

Somewhere around mile 11 I was struck with emotion and shed a tear or two. I remembered the exact moment last year when I knew I was not only going to PR but that I was going to PR pretty big. I remembered that I was getting kind of tired but I told myself “this is where you determine how big that PR is going to be” and then I kept on trucking along.

I remembered that at mile 12 I passed a girl wearing the same sparkle skirt and she gave me a thumbs up. I remembered entering the finisher’s shoot and hearing Will Smith’s “Miami” blast through my earbuds and thinking it was just so appropriate. I remembered walking to the Results tent and getting the print out with my time and texting Lauren right away since she was coaching me at the time. Last year I ended this race on a total high… and I wouldn’t have any of those feelings or experiences this year.

All of that didn’t really make me sad though, it just made me emotional. You could say after the Miami Half last year the rest of my running year was one frustrating thing happening after another. I felt like I never really gained any momentum and it’s not too surprising that I haven’t had a great race season.

I finished the Miami Half Marathon with one of my worst finishing times ever: 3hr 20min. Of course that includes all of my bathroom breaks, including my 18+ minute mile 2. It is what it is. I finished and let out a big sigh of relief. I think the look on my face says it all: I’m sort of happy, I’m sort of upset and I sort of need to use the bathroom. 3hr 20min is way off from the previous year’s race where I finished in 2hr 57mins. WOW. What a difference a year can make.

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I could definitely whine about my bad racing season, but at the same time a lot of things went really well for me last year outside of running. I traveled to a few new places, I experienced career growth and just generally learned to enjoy my life.

Having a bad racing season reminded me that I run because I just like to do it. I don’t need to knock down PRs all the time to find motivation to keep on training. I’m always going to run just because.

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I believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t know why I had to have a bad racing season but I’m sure it’ll become apparent at some time.

Now my focus is to run two more races this season: the A1A Half Marathon next month and then the Miami Beach Half in March. After that I’ll close the chapter on 2015-2016 and start clean.

Defining My Personality

Last week Ali posted about taking a personality test similar to Myers Briggs. I’ve taken the Myers Briggs test three times and each time I came out as an INTJ (introversion, intuition, thinking, judgement).

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It’s been a couple of years since I’ve taken the test so I thought I’d give it a whirl and see if anything had changed. This time I came out as an ISTJ (introversion, sensing, thinking, judgement). I guess that means not a whole lot in my personality has changed since I last took the test a couple of years ago.

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“This is all very interesting. Now just give me the facts” is the caption under the ISTJ character and that seems fitting for me. Whenever I read anything or someone tries to tell me a story my first reaction is always, “how interesting, what’s the source on that?”

A coworker once told me that I should be more go-with-the-flow. He asked why I need to know the source on stories that are told just for fun. It’s a good question and the answer is because facts are facts, man! :) He sent me this email the other day, which seems appropriate to share right now!

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2sources

It’s probably not surprising that out of all the types of marketing out there I was drawn to digital marketing which is heavily driven by data rather than design!

One of the negatives about having an ISTJ personality is that you’re considered judgemental. I am extremely judgemental, it’s something I’m well aware of and something I am working on. At this point I KNOW when I’ve made a judgement and even though it’s already happened, I can at least identify that it’s happened and try to move forward with a more open mind.

What would I like to be? ESTJ and ENTJ both sound like good options. To make the jump to Extrovert I’d need to put more effort into being social and outgoing – so that’s probably not going to happen ;). I can’t help it if I really like being at home on the couch with Adam and Cecil! I also can’t help it if I prefer long runs all by myself to group runs.

Oh well! :)

Have you ever taken the Myers Briggs? What result did you get?
If you have time you can take the personality test here: http://www.16personalities.com Let me know what you get!

Rant & Running

I hope everyone who had today off from work enjoyed a nice lazy morning. Unfortunately I am not one of those lucky people and am drinking the standard 10 cups of coffee needed to get through a Monday morning!

Before I jump right into running stuff I want to take a minute to put out a PSA: dear drivers in South Florida, putting on your EMERGENCY flashers so that you can park in front of a store while your friend/family member runs into a store “real quick” is ILLEGAL and when you do this and cause a traffic jam it’s just so freakin RUDE!

I’m not referring to a specific incident here, I’m referring to the many times per week I see this happen. I just really don’t understand how people can be so oblivious to what’s going on around them … Or worse know that they are causing a back up of traffic and just not care. Just pull into a damn parking spot, please!

I wish there was a citizens arrest equivalent for giving out traffic tickets so I could cite every single person who does this! ARGH!

Okay, so now that I have gotten that out of my system let’s talk running :). After realizing that the reason my calves were unhappy was due to dehydration I started drinking more water and the issue completely went away! Thumbs up to that!

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This weekend I did 5 easy miles on Saturday and 8 breezy miles on Sunday at my favorite place:

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Now it’s time to mentally prep for the Miami Half Marathon this coming Sunday. While I’m not going for a PR, a race always require a little mental prep right? This is especially true because Adam and I will be going out of town Thursday night and not coming home until Saturday afternoon. That means I’m not really going to be in “half marathon running mode” all weekend. Instead I’ll be rushing around like a… race car. (I hate that saying about the chicken and his head but it’s applicable here.)

I thought about skipping the Miami Half altogether, but a friend of mine is running the full marathon and I really want to be there to cheer her on. Plus I am trying to complete the Florida Storm Series this year and if I skip the Miami Half then I will definitely need to do the Sarasota Half in March just a week after the Miami Beach Half. That’s not ideal aaaaaaand our weather right now IS ideal!

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The day of the Miami Half it’s supposed to be sunny with a high of 72*F. Does it get any better than that? This whole week of running is going to be pretty great (based on the weather forecast).

No snow for us, but that’s okay. I will live vicariously through all of your wintery pictures on blogs, Instagram, etc! :)

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If there is one thing that visiting New York last month taught me it is that I hate having to put on and take off a bunch of layers!

If you have today off work, any special plans?
Have you ever raced when it was snowing out?

 

 

What Doesn’t Kill You…

Things on the running front are not going so well right now. Mentally I’m SO in the game, but physically I am riding the struggle bus! Before I left for New York it seemed like every run was better than the one before it. I was literally on a roll. Since I got home every run has felt worse than the one before it.

My calves are tight. My hamstrings are tight. My calves are tight. My calves are tight. SIGH. I’m stretching, I’m foam rolling and I know I’ll get over this hump, but it’s so frustrating! When my calves are tight running even one mile feels exhausting.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

I think part of the problem is that the weather has cooled down and maybe I’m not drinking as much water as I normally do. Actually, I’m 100% sure that’s true because I just realized I am not self-consciously getting up to pee every five minutes at work!

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Okay good, I’m glad we solved that problem. Starting right now this train is heading to hydration station. (Sorry, that was a bad joke.)

Despite my legs feeling like bricks I’ve been plugging along and knocking out the necessary mileage every night.

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I’ve lived in Fort Lauderdale for almost four years now and I still get excited to run by the beach. I hope I never get tired of it!

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Okay, so I know when we buy Greek yogurt we’re supposed to choose the plain, no-sugar added kind. Well, if you’re ever feeling like “to hell with it, I want to eat a yogurt that actually tastes good” please try this one:

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This is not sponsored, but by all means Dannon please send me a case and I will post about this yogurt every day! 😉

What a world we live in that I always feel the need to tell you that the things I post about aren’t sponsored. In 2015 I feel like a lot of bloggers and online influencers started disclosing their paid posts. Hopefully that trend continues. As someone who works in marketing I have a lot of thoughts about disclosure and why I don’t think it hurts a campaign – but that’s a discussion for another day!

Happy Thursday!

Do you indulge in flavored (greek) yogurts? Favorite kind?
What was the temp like on your last run?

When I Win the Powerball I Will…

Around the office my coworkers and I have been dreaming about what we would do if we won the Powerball. The only thing we all agreed on is that we would keep it hush until we met with a financial advisor and lawyer.

One of my coworkers would take the money and buy a nice house in San Fran. We figured this house alone would take up about half of his winnings, haha. Another coworker said he would give $100 million to his brother and then give his mom a black AMEX card. He said he wouldn’t give her cash because she would just donate it all to the Catholic church ;).

Create a Financial Safety Net 

I would definitely take $100 million and make sure it went into safe investments. I’m hopeful that I would never need to touch that $100 million and in my will I would donate it to various charitable organizations.

Save All the Cats 

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I would immediately donate so much money to animal nonprofits. You don’t have to tell me that there are plenty of humans on this earth that need the money. Adam reminds me of that every single time I make a donation to a charity for animals. I would donate plenty of money to organizations that provide assistance for humans, but I would also try to save all the cats.

Buy My Dream House on A1A in Fort Lauderdale 

I love living in Fort Lauderdale, so much so that I wouldn’t even think about moving. I would just immediately build my dream house right on the beach. I would have big glass windows so that I could look out at the water any time I want.

Have Personal Aid Stations Setup Every Weekend 

I would also hire people to create small aid stations along my normal long-run route every weekend. These small aid stations would be available for any of the local runners (and also the homeless). I know this is a bit crazy but let’s not forget I would be rich enough to make crazy decisions like this!

Travel the World on a Private Jet 

Immediately after I get my affairs in order, and while my dream house is being built, I would buy a private jet and travel the entire world.

I would take a private jet for comfort, but also so that Cecil could have his own seat and litterbox on the plane.

Hire a Cat Nanny 

Speaking of litterboxes I would never clean one again. I would hire someone who is responsible for scooping Cecil’s litter each time he goes. I think he would like that …and once again I would be rich enough to do crazy things. I would pay this person well and offer benefits too because anyone helping me take care of Cecil is a VIP.

Buy an Apartment in London and Paris

I love these two cities so much and I would definitely want a permanent residence in each. I would rent the spaces out through AirBNB at reasonable prices so that other people could benefit!

I would donate the money made through AirBNB to the local homeless community.

Start a Nonprofit (or Two)

After I got settled into my new life I am sure I would get the itch to do marketing again. I would start a nonprofit and be involved in the daily marketing activities. I am not entirely sure what kind of nonprofit it would be since there are already wonderful organizations I could just donate to when it comes to things like sex trafficking, access to clean water and human & animal rights.

Go to the Superbowl! 

I would definitely live out all of my sports fantasies by buying the best seats for the Superbowl, sitting courtside at all of the big Miami Heat games and being in the front row for every NXT Takeover show.

Create a Free Race Weekend for the Run Blog Community & Fly Everyone In 

Finally, I would create a free race weekend in someplace cool (we’d have to vote on the location) and then I’d fly everyone in!

I would make all race pictures free and I would have a ton of photographers on the course :).

What’s one thing you would do if you won the Powerball?