Why hello there!

Is it really almost July?! This is insane. It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating my BQ and now it’s time for fireworks. 2013 is literally going by in a blink. Let’s get caught up, shall we?

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My big man graduated Kindergarten. I was so glad that I got to volunteer during his last week of school!

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Mini me moved out of the “little kid class” and will officially start Pre-K this fall. So we had a girls day at Disney to celebrate. Bring on the cotton candy…and coffee…

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California Adventure earned my love ever since they opened Starbucks.

My FIL came for a visit! It was so good to have him here. We hadn’t seen him since Mama Kay passed so it was NEEDED.

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This is my first summer home with the kids. Man, it is so much fun! I am bummed that I missed out getting to do this when they were babies, but I feel so lucky that I am getting to do it now. Focusing on the moment and enjoying it.

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I started training with my brother who will be running his first marathon at Long Beach in October. He has finished 2 half marathons but since then has lost more than 80lbs! YES 80!

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Isn’t that incredible? We will be getting into double digits this weekend and I’m sure he is REALLY looking forward to me yapping his ears off for hours on end. What?? Good convo makes time fly.

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This was the view during a sunrise run this week. Stunning. This is one of the many reasons I love BCOD runs. So quiet and so beautiful.

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I’ve gotten back to including strength training in my weekly routine. While I never totally cut it out I did have to scale back during marathon training due to time constraints. It feels so good to feel strong again. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you know I love to hashtag #dowork. What you put into it is what you will get out. Keep a log.When things aren’t going the way you want them to look back at your training and see where you need to adjust.

I am running a 15k on the 4th of July (one of my favorite races) and then will have a month off until the Giant Half. Pretty excited for that race. I am bringing the eye black back. Oh yes, it’s happening.

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What are your plans for the 4th? Anyone else running?

– I will definitely be sporting the Red, While and Blue!

Ahhh one last thing before I take off.¬† I want to leave you with this quote from my pastor. It really hit home for me and as we head into the second half of the year I want to encourage you all take a moment to reflect. Remember what’s important- it will make each day a whole lot easier ūüôā

“It’s not about what you have, it’s about what you DO with what you have…What you do with a little is what you will do with a lot…but don’t get so focused on the future that you miss out on the moment” – pastor Matthew Schlesinger

WORD.

SD Rock N Roll Half Recap

A week late but here it is. This eye injury is bothering me more than I thought it would (we can discuss later).

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Beings that this race was one week after M2B I wasn’t expecting to run as well. I just wanted to go check out the new course and see if this was an event worth running again. If I ran well great, if not no big deal.

I got up around 3:20 a.m. and was able to catch a 4 a.m. train down to San Diego. I thought I would be one of the only peeps at the coaster station that early but to my surprise it was pretty busy. I ended up seeing a friend that I used to work with so we chatted the whole way down to SD. The train ended in Old Town and there was a shuttle waiting to take us to the start. It was seriously so easy.

The starting area was buzzing! From runners to coaches to supporters there were people everywhere. Bathroom lines moved faster than expected, got my bag checked and headed to the start line.

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I ended up in corral 5 next to the 2 hour pacer. At that point I had to make a decision to either just chill and go with the crowded flow or expend energy and go out fast to get out of the madness.

I think it took 4 minutes to cross the start and we were off. Dude, it was CROWDED.¬† At that point I went with the decision to just go out fast. For the first mile I just tried to focus on getting through the crowd. I knew the street opened up around 1-1.5 miles so I would get some room to move. I remember passing the 1:45 pacer and knew I should probably put the brakes on a bit. That’s when I met Juan Fernando (John). This dude was freaking fast and there was no slowing down.

He was visiting from Mexico and spoke very little English. He asked if I understood Spanish and I said yes. From that point on he spoke to me in Spanish and I replied in English (or Spanish if I could). It was awesome. As we climbed a few short uphills we talked about races, strides and pacing. Around the 10k mark he told me he was gunning for better than a 1:36. He started in corral 3 so he had time to make up. At that point we were running 7:15-7:20s and I told him my brain was not ready to run better than a 1:36 and off he went.

Around the 15k mark we had another sneaky uphill that I just didn’t have the energy for. I made it up and over but at that point my mental state was just hang on. We hit some really fast downhills that I didn’t take advantage of but it did feel good on the legs.

As we made our way through downtown I heard the winner of the marathon finish. That was awesome. As I passed mile 13 I sprinted toward the finish. My last .10 was at a 5:43 pace (goes to show you I had a lot left physically, just not mentally!).

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I crossed the finish line in 1:38:40, 7:32 avg pace (hooray for a positive split, lol).

When I crossed the finish I took a quick picture and silently celebrated my 1 min PR. One week after a marathon PR I pulled a half PR out of my hiney. Awesome. I saw my new friend Juan and he showed me his Garmin: 1:35! He said he couldn’t believe it and I told him I knew he could do it. He ran a strong race!!

I grabbed my goodies and medal and headed to bag check to grab my stuff. I quickly changed my clothes and hopped on the trolley to get back to the train station.

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The finish line was super organized and easy to navigate. I had no problem grabbing my stuff and getting out of downtown. I’ll do a race review this week but I will say now that this year was a HUGE improvement for the half! HUGE!

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I’m looking forward to race downtime for a few months. I will likely run on the 4th of July but next half isn’t until August. Time to just go back to running with no plan for a few weeks and just enjoy the scenery. With one eye. So ridiculous. Welcome to my world.

Anyone else run the new half course? Thoughts?

–¬† I loved the downtown finish!

 

Time To Rock N Roll, #EndlessSummer

I’d never thought I’d run this race again. After dealing with horrible logistics in 2010 and again in 2011 I swore I was done with San Diego Rock N’ Roll. I hated running on the 163 and the finish at Sea World was miserable. I do not exaggerate. It’s not fun trying to get out of that place when 30,000 other people are trying to do the same thing.

And then they changed the course.

And I was tempted.

I knew I was running Ojai so I hesitated.

And then I was offered an opportunity to run it. Done. Challenge accepted.

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The race is this Sunday, June 2nd. Registration is still available at the Expo today and tomorrow. I believe the half is now $165, Full $175 and Relay $195. I heard Jamba Juice is handing out smoothies at the finish so if that doesn’t get ya maybe the course will.

The half course looks to be fast (no freeway running, YES!):

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The full offers the challenge of getting over the hill at mile 21 and then it’s all downhill :

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Both courses finish downtown next to Petco Park. If you haven’t had the chance to hang out downtown SD it’s pretty darn nice.

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Bonus? Padres are in town all weekend so you can hit up a game while you’re here. Tickets are cheap. CHEAP.

view from the cheap seats
view from the cheap seats

My only concern is getting to the start. Options are limited and with the early start time of 6 am, getting to SD at the BCOD is pretty much the only option. There is parking available downtown but the walk to the start is all uphill. Not ideal right before a race. What to do, what to do. Fingers crossed that public transportation is going to be ready.

I am really hoping that the changes to the race are going to be for the better. If you are in town this weekend come join me before sunrise for a little 13.1 mile jog through my old neighborhood.

What?

You didn’t think I was going to run back to back fulls did you? Come on, I’m still celebrating my 3:3o!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountains To Beach Marathon Recap

I am still on cloud 9. What a race.

As you saw in my last post, and probably on Twitter and IG I had a major PR. A 15 min PR to be exact. And I BQ’d. There were lots of tears at the finish.

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Sunday morning I woke up late. Really late. Lucky I didn’t miss the race late. I accidentally set the alarm for Mon-Fri. Ooops. So thankful that my husband randomly woke up, freaked out and got me up. If he would not have gotten up I would have slept the day away.

Back to the race.

I threw my clothes on, heated up my oatmeal and we were on the road just after 5 am. By the time we got to Ojai I had just enough time to go to the bathroom (the line was crazy long) and get to the start line.

As I waited for the gun to go off I chatted with a gal from Orange County about goals for the race. I told her my BQ was 3:40 (hers was too). She had a pace band and offered to make sure we stuck to the splits if she saw me on the course. I told her I was gunning for a 3:30. I hadn’t told anyone but L that. In fact, I knew I could run better than a 3:30 if I ran smart. There was no way I was running this race with anyone but me.

About 10 min after 6 it was finally go time.

I took off a little fast in knowing miles 2-4 were an uphill climb. I knew I would slow a bit during those miles and felt good where I was at. Plan was to try to run an even split.

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As we finished the 10k loop around Ojai and started downhill toward the beach I was cruising. I was talking to runners around me. I felt awesome. Crazy awesome. I felt like I could run forever. I couldn’t freaking believe it! I crossed the half right around 1:44. I was right on pace for my 3:30 (or better!).

Around mile 17 or so we lost shade. It started to feel warm but I still had some spring in my step. I couldn’t wait to hit the beach. At mile 19 I ticked away another sub 8 mile and knew that all I had to do was hang on.

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We made a turn out at mile 20 and there was the water. It was gorgeous. Much better than last year when the last 10k was out and back through a neighborhood! At mile 22 I saw my husband and gave him a giant smile. At that time my watch read 2:57. I just had to hang on for 4 more miles and I would get my 3:30.

Those last 4 miles hurt like a mofo. At 23 I pulled out my iPod and turned it up loud. I just needed to make it to the turn around at 24 and give it what I had. At 25 I was begging my legs to run faster. Finally at 26 I saw the finish banner. I passed a lot of people that last .20. It felt freaking awesome.

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As I crossed the finish line I cried. I ran a strong race. The past several months have been a roller coaster ride. So many highs and lows. Every emotion fueled me through this race. I freaking did it. I did it! Mama Kay would have been SO proud!

Oh, and my plan to run an even race? I came so close to nailing it! The last 4 miles were the pace killer, lol.

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I ran the tangent pretty dang perfect. Man, I had a day.

You know, last year I ran a 4:09 in Ojai. That’s a 39 min course improvement. Hard work totally pays off.

Boston HERE I COME.

30 days: The Rug Pulled Out From Under Our Feet

30 days…

I remember getting the text about Mama Kay not sleeping well. She would wake up in the middle of the night and think that it was morning. She once sent us a text at 3:30 a.m. our time apologizing for missing a trip out to a family ranch in Oklahoma. That trip was a long time ago and L and I didn’t go. At least we got a laugh out of it. While her waking up in the wee hours was not necessarily a bad thing for her, it was effecting my FIL. Poor guy needed sleep!

On Monday April 29th he called hospice (remember she was released from their hospital) and they suggested she do a 3 day stay to give him and L’s aunt a break. They would monitor her, take the night shifts and make sure all was good. In 3 days she would return home. Sounded like the perfect plan.

They checked in late that afternoon and FIL decided to stay with her. Close to midnight they were laughing and eating and just happy. I wish we could have just stayed living in that very moment.

Tuesday is when it all changed. Tuesday is when she stopped responding. Tuesday is when we got the call that we needed to get there ASAP. Wednesday is when we packed L’s bag and prayed that she would hang on. Then the stroke happened. We broke. Literally. We prayed, our church prayed, our friends prayed, our neighbors prayed, people we didn’t know prayed. We asked for comfort. We asked for guidance.

Thursday morning we took L to the airport. It was Deja Vu. We just did this same thing at the same time 30 days ago…last time it was better. This time would be different. This time the rug was being pulled out from under our feet.

He made it the hospital and got to spend lots of time with Mom, Dad, his brothers, family and friends. He would call me every few hours to check in. The emotion during each of the calls was high. It was really hard.

Friday I booked a flight for the kids and I to leave Saturday morning. That Friday was the longest day of my life. Everyone was calling. So many emotions, so many questions. Tick, tick, tick. It was like time was standing still. I just wanted to get there. That night I got us packed got everyone tucked into bed and then around 10:15 p.m. the call came.

No, no, no. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not yet. She was just released from hospice care. She was just on the news thanking HIM for additional time. She was just at the gym. She was just out shopping and negotiating deals at a local thrift store. She was just butt dialing me at work. NO NO NO. Please no.

Our plans aren’t HIS plans. We’re not in control. And then the flood gates opened. Uncontrolable tears.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” Matthew 11 28-30.

On Saturday May 4, 2013 Mama Kay when home to heaven. She battled Pancreatic Cancer for 11 months. She never complained about it. Not once. She, in fact, thanked GOD for her cancer because it gave her the opportunity to speak to people about her faith. She was given a powerful voice. One we never saw her use until her diagnosis. She was a warrior. She encouraged so many. She loved, she laughed. She changed lives.

The first time I saw her I didn’t believe it. It was Saturday night. She looked like an angel. She looked so elegant and peaceful. She was finally healed.

We celebrated her life on Monday May 6th. At the graveside service the pastor read Isaiah 41:10. I lost it. That’s the verse written on my hand every race. He had no idea. “That’s just how God works” he told me. When we made our way to the church it was packed!! She was (and still is) loved by so many. She touched people she never even met. She will never ever be forgotten.

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I want to thank you all for sharing in this journey with my family. Thank you for letting me share my faith.This is real life. We all go through this. It has not been easy to share. There have been many times (like today) when as I write tears are streaming. It still doesn’t seem real.I don’t think it will for a while.

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The Ojai Marathon is a week from Sunday. I will be wearing purple to support the fight against Pancreatic Cancer. I will run with my heart and not my legs. It’s going to be an emotional race. The one thing that is certain is that I will have an angel with me for all 26.2 miles that day. It can’t get any better than that.

2013 Carlsbad 5000 All Day 25k Recap

I’m just going to say it. Carlsbad is awesome. Every race put on in this town is legit.¬†Organized, on time and sensational views of the ocean.¬†There needs to be more than a few road race¬†events each year. Hear that Cbad? NEEDS.

Last Sunday¬†I participated in the Carlsbad 5000 All Day 25k for the second year in a row (here is last year’s recap).¬†Running 5 5k races (not a 25k course) is awesome and exhausting at the same time. Let’s face it, runners I¬†can’t help but getting caught up in the “race” factor for at least one race.

I got parked around 6:15 a.m. and made my way to the VIP tent. The all day 25k’ers are well taken care of!

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After checking my bag and getting to know a few people and I headed out for a half mile warm up. My plan was to run hard in the first race and then go 10kish pace for the last 4. I also wanted to make sure I finished in the top 250 during my age group race so that I would medal (only the top 250 get medals in each division. Motiviation to run hard).

Around 6:50 I made my way to the start.

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The first race was the men’s master (40+) and these guys are FAST. Smoking fast. It seemed like I was only waiting a few minutes before the gun went off.

We started out with a slight downhill followed by a quick easy climb that took us out toward the water. Once we made the turn onto Carlsbad Boulevard I decided I was not going to look at my Garmin and just run at an uncomfortable but not “I’m going to puke” effort (I needed to survive all 5 races injury free).¬†I figured if I stayed with the pack of dudes I started with¬†I would be all good.¬†

Look at what happened…

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Holy toledo! More than a 1 min 5k PR! I was elated. Yeah it was a positive split but SO WHAT! I wonder if I would have gone sub 20 if I would have paid attention to pace and pushed a little harder??

My best pace? 5:33. BOO YAH! (ok, it was on a slight downhill at the end, but it still has a 5 in front of it!) I think I have been seriously underestimating myself and my speed. Only time will tell.

Squeeking out a smile while running fast.
Squeeking out a smile while running fast.

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I had a 25 min break between race 1 and 2, and then the races came fast! I think I had 10 min between 2-3 and 10 min between 3-4. I took race 2 much easier and then ran at tempo for race 3, 4 and 5.

Bring chased by a 12 year old :)
Bring chased by a 12 year old ūüôā

The hardest part on the day was the 90 min break between race 4 and 5. That long of a break is mentally and physically tough.

Final race results as follows:

Finish Time: 1:52:46, 7:16 avg pace.

26/267 all day 25k finishers (last year I was 44th)

4th female overall (last year I was 7th)

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Yup that’s a bottle opener. If that doesn’t get you to run the all day 25k, maybe the sweet long sleeve will

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If you have ever considered running a 5k this is the one to do. I can’t say enough good about it. The all day 25k is great for marathon training (heck, half marathon training too) and it just plain awesome. Race Grader offered a sweet discount this year so keep your eyes peeled for 2014. They are the ONLY ones that offered a discount off of the 25k.

This race seriously increased my confidence. I am going to see what I can do at La Jolla on April 28th.¬† Not as concerned with my finish time there as I am my endurance and ability to rebound after the big hill climb. If I can keep my pace sub 9 (say 8:30-8:45) up Torrey Pines reserve and then pace back into the low 7s in the late miles I will be stoked. It’s just all part of training for marathon May. Good times.

Photobomber!
Photobomber!

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I’m off to get a few easy miles in before my boy’s baseball game. I was hoping to squeeze yoga in this morning but it doesn’t look promising. Maybe this afternoon. Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

Oh…one last thing…

I need you all to be prepared for my next post. Regardless of your faith I am pretty sure your mind will be blown. This is life changing people. LIFE CHANGING.

Change Happens So That We Change & A Giveaway!!

Funny thing about my “running” blog is that it often strays from the subject. I try to stay on task for you all¬†but¬†then life happens. DANG REALITY.¬†I suppose the balance is good, no? I mean I’m SURE you would rather hear about stuff other than running, right?

Before I go off subject let’s have a quick run chat. Don’t say I didn’t try…

RUNNING

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Due to the Chicago registration issues I wasn’t able to sign up for the race. So instead of whining about it,¬†I saved $135 and signed up for the Hooley’s to Hooley’s Half Marathon on St. Patty’s Day. You better believe I will be head to toe GREEN.

Training this week has looked like this:

Monday: 4.o5

Tues: 6.10

Weds: Rest

Thurs: 7.25 (2 w/u, 5 @ MGP, C/D)

Fri: 4.10 easy

Sat: 13

Sun: Recovery Miles..

Total mileage will be right around 40 for the week.

I am still not sure where my next 26.2 will be but I can tell you that it will likely be sooner than later. We are getting into crazy-summer-kids-have-too-much-going-on time of year so fitting in long runs will be a challenge.

Whew, now that I got that out of the way let’s talk about more important stuff.

LIFE

A week or so ago my company made an announcement that they will be centralizing our operation in another one of our offices. Far far away from the beach. Sigh. I am now faced with a major decision.

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Do I (and the fam of course!) follow my career to the windy city or do I retire my high heels and dedicate myself to being a stay-at-home mama.

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This is tough. I have ALWAYS wanted to be home with the kids. They would love it. No more after school care. Way more time together. Awesome, right? On the other hand I have worked my butt off to get to where I am. I am blessed with a rockin job that allows me to majorly contribute to the livelihood of my family. A move across the country is major. Staying home is major.

I am hoping to find a compromise. A middle ground.

I truly believe that HE creates change so that we change.

Going to just keep praying about it. It will all work out.

If you have any words of wisdom please share. There is always comfort in knowing that others have been in this same boat!

GIVEAWAY

You all know that yoga holds a special place in my heart. It has saved me from injury. It has brought strength and balance into my life. It gives me much-needed downtime.

I have mentioned on the blog and Twitter that Manduka has captured my heart with their latest movement. Now Is Wow. It’s kind of a big deal.

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Life moves pretty fast.
If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Those are the words of accidental yogi Ferris Bueller. And he’s right. It’s important to look up, to allow ourselves to be awed. Possibility comes from presence, so this Spring, we have a challenge for you.

We’re celebrating NOW. Yes, now. This moment. This is actually quite a remarkable moment, if we’re open to seeing it. Yoga helps us be present to the WOW, like seeing the world through a new lens. So let’s use this lens, and the lens on our cameras, to capture how Now=Wow.

Every week we’ll showcase a new Manduka Spring Collection color: Pop, Pulse, Glow, Breeze and Shade. We’ll share what inspired these colors, then you share what they inspire you to notice in your own life. Instagram or Tweet a photo tagged #NowIsWow, or upload to the Facebook Now=Wow contest page. After each week, we’ll collect your photos into galleries and select one yogi to win the entire family of Manduka products in that color.

For each photo tagged #NowIsWow or uploaded to the Facebook entry page, Manduka will make a donation to Off the Mat, Into the World, a non-profit organization inspiring leaders who are fully present.

So let’s stop overlooking and start seeing how bright this world can be. This week let’s POP. A color that says “here I am,” so here we shall be. This is how we see the world in POP.

I absolutely love that Manduka is doing something for the greater good. All we have to do is take a photo of our now moment and they will contribute to OTM. Easy.peasy.

Manduka

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The kind folks a Saeger Media Group teamed up with Manduka and sent me an eQua towel in Breeze so that I could take a zillion photos of myself. Ohhhhh…and use it during practice. It’s been doing work for more than a week now and so far it’s love.

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Not only is the Breeze color gorgeous and fun, it does not slide around on my mat. More importantly it soaks up sweat like a champ. If you are a sweaty betty like me, this is huge.

For those of you that do not practice yoga, fear not, it can be used in so many other ways ūüôā Gym, running, swimming, beach…shoot, it can be your new shower towel if you would like…

And here is your chance!

Maduka wants to give you a chance to be present and has offered to give one of you the same towel that they gave me. Funnnnnnnnn!

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All you have to do is comment and tell me what inspires you.  How you celebrate your NOW?

Yup, keeping it simple.

If you want an extra entry or two you can…

FB/Tweet about the giveaway (and tell me you did it)

Follow Manduka on FB or Twitter

Don’t forget to snap photos and tweet/instagram/FB them to enter their giveaway. You can win an entire spring collection! Freaking awesome.

**Giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older and will close at 10 pm PST on Thursday February 28th. Winner will be chosen by random.org on Friday March 1st. Good Luck!**