Browsing articles tagged with " Running"

Join #TEAMDATA #PiDay5k Virtual Run/Walk/Crawl

Jan 24, 2016   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, DLBlog, Fun, Social Networking  //  No Comments


NOTE: There’s a 10% savings if you do early registration by 27 January 2016.  CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO REGISTER.

Due to event rules, you must have a Canadian or US address to go for the medal/swag option, but if you live elsewhere, you can register under the “no swag” option.  So anyone can join us.

We are repeating our efforts to be math-y runners by creating a team for #PiDay5k.  Join us for a virtual run/walk/crawl.  There’s great swag (Medal, t-shirt, stuff) and a chance to be part of a nerdy effort to move on Pi/Pie Day, 14 March 2016.

This isn’t competitive, much (there are some great prizes for special categories). You can cover your 5k distance how ever you want, at the pace you want…you can even spread it over several days. You can complete it on a treadmill or at your gym.  Last year this fell just before a race, so Josh Fennessy (@joshuafennessy | blog ) and I walked a 5k.  Then we ran a half marathon a few days later. 


This year you can register for a 5k or a 10k, plus you can choose to register with a no-swag option.  Just click on the button below to get signed up for the distance and package you want.


As a virtual race, you register before hand, they ship you the goods (including a race bib) and you complete your distance, then share that you completed it. It’s all on the honour system.  We on #TEAMDATA (that’s you!) think the honour system is a good thing.

There’s even a kids option!


BTW, ladies, like all promotional shirt things, I recommend you size up two sizes if you want a shirt you can actually wear. Men, you likely want to size up, too.

I’ll update the #TEAMDATA roster here as we get signups.  Join us in all the #nerdshirt glory of Pie, Pi and a 5k

Have questions? There’s a FAQ for that.


Registered Awesome Data Professionals:

@datachick Karen Lopez

@projmgr Rob Drysdale

Barbie Buckner, CA

Tom Bilcze, OH

Corine Jansonius , AB

Kim Medlin, NC

Join #TeamData for a Virtual Pi Day 5k

Jan 28, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Awesome, Blog, DLBlog, Fun  //  1 Comment




You can join #TeamData on a virtual run or walk any time between 12-15 March. A virtual races means you run it wherever you want, whenever you want during those days.  You can even split your runs/walks over those days.


First off, you register for the Pi Day 5K. Online registration is currently open. You can register at any time, up until midnight on March 5th. (Canadian registration closes one week earlier to allow for shipping times. Sorry, eh.) Your registration will come with a sumptuously soft Pi Day 5K shirt you can wear with pride, plus a bib number and finisher’s medal (if you wear the medal before completing the run, you will burst into flames), all which you will receive the week before the run dates. Run the Pi Day 5K wherever you’d like (on your favorite local running trail, in your neighborhood, on a treadmill, in a fog, on a log, etc) between March 13th and March 15th. Once you have run, report your time to us to be eligible for marvelous prizes.

$1 from every registration goes to fund #STEM activities.  There’s even a special priced Kid’s Run that comes with Shwings (I LOVE MY SHWINGS!)

So come join us for an easy, just as fast as you want it, Pi Pie 5k in mid-March.  To register as part of the team, just choose “Join a Team” on the registration page.


You can tweet your prep and run using hashtags #TeamData and #PiDay5k

See you out on the road, virtually. 

Join #TeamData for the Portland Half Marathon

Jan 28, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Awesome, Blog, DLBlog, Fun  //  1 Comment

If you’ve been following me on Twitter (@datachick), you know I’ve been checking some races off my bucket list.  I apologize for all those tweets, by the way…but I also loved the fact that people could Tweet to me while I ran.  It’s so helpful to have people virtually cheering me on.

TeamDataBinaryI’ve made a commitment to run a race a month for 2015, so I’m going to be setting up “teams’ for the races that allow this.  The first one I’ve set up is for the Portland, Oregon half marathon.  This is a longer distance, I know, but I’ve run both the half and the full marathon and I can tell you they are excellent events.  There’s an 8-hour cut off for both races.  That means you have 8 hours to finish.  Since a half marathon is 13.1 miles, 8 hours means you can run, walk, stroll or whatever you want to do. In fact, 8 hours would give you time to stroll, have lunch and a nap during those 13+ miles/21+ kilometres.

Map picture

This race is known for its great crowd support, on-course music, excellent swag and great food after the race. Plus, it’s Portland. Food Trucks. Coffee. Donuts. The perfect race fuel.

Register to join us on 4 October 2015.  Registration for this race usually closes around the end of January, so you only have a couple of days to commit.

And if you can’t join us, remember you can still cheer us on.

The Whole Idea…

Jun 1, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun  //  No Comments

This applies to everything in life, doesn’t it?

It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.

– George Sheenan

We did it! #SQLRun Portland Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k #SQLFamily

Nov 1, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Travel  //  4 Comments

As I previously blogged, a group of PASS Summit attendees ran events in the Portland 40th Anniversary Marathon. And we all finished.  Some with amazing times, and others (like me) with a "I’m happy to finish upright and smiling".

#SQLRun team

I nominate this as one of the best #SQLFamily photos ever.  I get all teary-eyed every time I see it. This was taken after the people running the Half Marathon finished and went to breakfast.  Look at those happy "I just ran/walked 13.1 miles" smiles.  I can’t tell you how much more fun it was to run my second half marathon with a group.  My first, a Nike Women’s Half, I ran all by myself.  Literally, as it was a virtual half using the Nike+ system.  The difference was astonishing.

Starting in back left going clockwise: Brent Ozar, Rob Drysdale, Rob Farley, Jes Borland, Erin Stellato, Karen Lopez, Yanni Robel.  Missing from this are the people who ran other events, namely Doug Lane (10k) and Allen White (Full Marathon).  Doug blazed a great time in the 10k and for Allen this was his 26th state in which to run a marathon.  He ran ANOTHER FREAKING MARATHON the weekend after PASS, too.  Amazing.

Allen blogged about his races here:


The Fun in Fundraising

P1030351We didn’t just finish our races; we raised a pile of money for great charities. Jes, Rob, Erin and I raised money for the Ray of Hope, a tiny charity based in Portland that provides services to women and children in Kenya.  In total, forty runners for Ray of Hope raised almost $20,000 for a charity that normally has a budget of about $50,000 a year.  Do you see how we in the #SQLFamily made a real difference to this group?   Rob and I raised $1,850, which I was impressed by until I saw that Erin raised more than $2,250 and Jes raised more than $1,100 all on their own.  So the four of us, as a #SQLRun informal team, managed to motivate all of you to help the works of Ray of Hope to the tune of $5,200.  That’s 10% of their previous budget and more than 25% of their goals for this event.  I’m so proud of all of us who ran for them and all of you who helped them continue their work in Kenya.

Ray of Hope fell just short of their goal of $20,000.  So if you were thinking of making a real difference with a charity that has almost no overhead and only a tiny administrative budget, this would be the time to pony up a few coffees’ worth of cash.

Jes Borland blogged about her race and fundraising experience at Her fundraising page is at

Erin Stellato’s fundraising page is at

Rob and Karen’s fundraising page is at

And then there are the people who ran for Team in Training, a fundraising group for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Yanni Robel, Rob Farley and Brent Ozar ran or sponsored for this great charity that directly contributed to helping Yanni survive blood cancer.  Yanni is a huge inspiration to me: she survived while training to climb a mountain, then trained to run her first half marathon and is now training to run another half and a full marathon. I think there’s more; I can’t even keep up with all she has signed up for. All after taking up running just this year.  Amazing woman. 

Yanni raised just over $2,200 and inspired Rob Farley’s LobsterPot Solutions to be a corporate $1000 sponsor for Yanni’s team.  Team in Training raised $316,455 for their charity at the Portland Marathon. Across both the Portland and Nike Marathon, runners raised $760,340.  That’s a lot of life-saving dollars.  I’m still amazed. 

Yanni blogged about her race and fundraising efforts here:

Rob Farley blogged here:

Getting to Meet my Running Guru

You’d think that with all that magic going on, my race weekend experience couldn’t have gotten better,  but you’d be wrong.  At the Marathon Expo, I briefly got to introduce myself to Jeff Galloway, Olympic athlete, author, and trainer. I have been reading his works and using his running methods since I started running again after shaming my middle school track team one time too many.  Jeff’s methods involve a run/walk interval for training, something that just works for me.  This sort of not-running-the-whole-distance method is controversial in the running world ("You aren’t a real runner"), but I don’t care.  At my age and ability, this is the only way I can cover distances like 13.1 miles.  Meeting Jeff with a  brief handshake and babbling "You are  the reason I am here" was a great addition to my race experience. 

But wait! It gets better.

After the expo Rob and I walked over the the Starbucks to get my daily fix of Quad Tall Soy Latte (QTSL).  As I looked around for a place to sit, there was Jeff, sitting next to the only two open seats in the place.  We sat down next to him and I dithered about bothering him.  I, who had pushed Barbies in the faces of astronauts, Homeland Security officials, pilots, Twitter friends, politicians, celebrities…was afraid to say "Hi" again.  But you know what, Barbie gives one courage, so I dragged her out of my bag and said "Jeff…Hi…It’s me again and I need to take your picture with this Barbie." And guess what?  He was fine with that.


It’s always amazing to me that 1) I have the courage to ask people to have their picture taken with Barbie and 2) That they say "yes" on a regular basis.  In fact, I’ve only had 2 people ever say "No". Jeff was great about my story of @data_model and how Barbies help me talk to people about STEM education. For about 30 minutes Rob and I chatted with Jeff about his training programs, his experiences coaching people like me, his travels and how race registration websites are less than optimal. I talked to him about using his Twitter account more often. I told him how he really made an impact in my life.  Even though he had never met me. The whole time I was thinking "You really should attend one of his retreats or training runs".  I need to add this to my 2012 goal list.



Our Scream Team

I said that I ran my first half marathon virtually.  The best thing about that is I didn’t have to follow a course. Most of my run was via the Waterfront Trail along the shore of Lake Ontario.  The worst part was that there were no water stations, no candy and no portapotties anywhere along my route. I had to carry all my supplies with me and hope that I didn’t need to powder my nose anywhere. There was also no one cheering along the way.  You’d be amazed at how motivating having a Scream Team can be. 

In Portland, I ran with an app on my iPhone, Runmeter, which allowed people to Tweet supportive messages and have them read to me while I completed each mile.  I can’t tell you how wonderful this simple technology was.  I wish I’d remembered to set up a log of these tweets; I so want to read them again.  Perhaps when Twitter gets around to letting us see Tweets over 5 days old I’ll go get them.  Every single one of your Tweets made a real difference. 

In person, Harry Chandra, Ryan Malcolm, Bill Fellows, Mike Decuir, Camille Warwick and John Robel were part of our in person scream team.  I saw some of them a few times. My friend Kirstin was there, too, cheering from her hotel window. I think there were others, but I didn’t do a good job writing them down.  If I missed you please let me know.  I want to thank you here.

#SQLRun is Now a Thing

Given the success of our first #SQLRun, Jes Borland added at #SQLRun event during the PASS Summit and Steve Jones blogged about it.  This was a fun training run, but it looks like she had 40-50 people out early in the morning running the streets of Seattle.  I ran on my own so that I could get back earlier.  I wish I had just been late.  The pics look amazing.

Looking back now, I couldn’t imagine that one short Twitter discussion with Erin Stellato led to all this coming to be.  If you’d asked me then how much money we’d raise, how many people would join us, etc. I’d come up with a number no where near these numbers. I learned we can make a difference as a group of dedicated data professionals who have come together to enjoy something else we have in common.  I’m also excited to see how our stories have inspired others to take that first step in getting in to or back in to running.   You can follow the future success on Twitter by searching for #SQLRun hashtag.

So at your next SQLSaturday, or even the next conference, consider seeing of anyone else wants to get together and go on a run. You never know how you might just change some lives.

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