October 11, 2021

Loverly Chris: Marathons, Mindset and Motivation

Loverly Chris: Marathons, Mindset and Motivation

Today I’m sitting down with my husband, also known as, Loverly Chris, to chat all about marathon training, what motivates him and the medal he is working towards earning.

Make sure you stay tuned until the end to hear how Chris really feels about being married to an influencer!


This podcast was transcribed using Descript. Please forgive any typos or errors.

Brittany: Hi friends. Welcome to Life with Loverly. I'm your host, Brittany Sjogren. I'm excited to share my heart with you beyond the 15 seconds we get on Instagram, grab an iced coffee and let's do life together. 

Good morning. How are y'all? Hope you had a great weekend! I feel like so much happened from the end of last week through the weekend. First thing was I launched a jewelry collection with The Sis Kiss, which was a project that has been in the works for about two years.

And I've been working with The Sis Kiss really since I was a new blogger. They reached out and wanted to send me something from their collection. And I was okay, sure. I would love to see. And then we just built this friendship and partnership. And we decided to launch a jewelry collection and it's all these beautiful, like dainty pieces.

It's a five piece collection and it went live on Thursday and all of my readers and followers on Loverly Grey has just eaten it up and has loved it. They shipped everything out super quick, so I've loved seeing y'all get your pieces in and trying them on and just hearing how excited you are about the collection.

So that was one thing that I feel like really started the weekend on such a high note. If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, or you're interested to see what I'm talking about, every piece makes perfect Christmas gifts or birthday presents. Somebody mentioned that they were going to use the bracelet bridesmaid gifts, and I thought that was such a great idea. So I'll leave a link for the collection in the show notes. So you can check that out, but there's also pieces on my Instagram @loverlygrey in The Sis Kiss highlight, so you can check out pictures and hear my inspiration behind all the pieces.

So that was just a really fun thing that has finally gone live. So thank you so much if you supported me, even if it was just like your congratulations. It just truly means the world that you guys love what I'm doing over on Loverly Grey, and then we went into the weekend and we had a slow Saturday.

We hung out with some friends at the playground, and all of our kids played around and that was really fun. And then yesterday, Sunday we did our family photos, so I can't wait to get all of those back. I'll be sharing those plus additional outfit inspiration. I know several of y'all are still trying to figure out what you're going to wear for your family photos.

I did share a blog post last week that has several outfit ideas for the whole family. So I try to do mom, dad, and two kids, boy and girl. Most of them are like toddler outfits, just because that's where I am, but, you can get an idea of mixing the prints and textures. And maybe if you have a 10 year old little boy, you could see what I've put for the little boy option and you can find that same idea.

So I feel like the guides are very easy to use and shop, and they're really fun to make. So we'll continue publishing those outfit ideas, especially as we get closer into holiday and some people are looking for more dressed up outfit ideas for family photos. So we try to make a lot of variety, but I will share additional options once we get our photos back.

But it's always so interesting taking pictures with little ones. It was funny yesterday, I was starting to think as the girls were napping, our photos were in the afternoon after their nap. And I was like, what am I going to do to bribe them? What do I need to have in the arsenal already ready, so in the meltdown starts, I can be like, okay, we're going to get this or let's go home and do whatever. And so for Collins, I told her before we went to photos that when we get home, we're going to paint our nails. Because she's really into painting nails right now, and I got her some new nail Polish colors at Target.

So I showed her the nail polish and I was like, okay, remember after we do our pictures, we're going to come back home and paint her nails, and she was so excited about it. So throughout the whole photos, she was like, okay if I'm a good girl, then I get to go home and paint my nails. And she was telling the photographer that, and it was just so cute.

So we get home and I'm like, are you ready to paint your nails? And she's no, I just want to sit on the couch and watch TV. She was so exhausted afterwards. We have now moved the nail date to later this afternoon. But you just never know what you're going to get with kids and pictures.

 Are they going to have meltdowns? Are we going to get one family photo that we can use for a Christmas card, which, Lauren Carnes is who we use here in Athens. And she did our family photos last year. She's a mutual friend and is amazing, and she sent us a few, like sneak peaks yesterday. They were so cute. I can't wait to see them all, but I'll share all of that later on the blog. 

 Today on the podcast we're going to get into conversations with Chris, who is my husband. He is a marathon runner and he just ran a marathon in London on behalf of St. Jude. I've shared several times on the podcast about raising money and just like his story a little bit, but he's going to join us here in just a second.

And we are going to chat a little bit more about his background in marathons, like why he got started, how he got in with St. Jude for this marathon and just like future goals. And then we'll have a few questions for him at the end get to know him and I'm sure he'll be back. So he is about to join us and we will get started in today's episode. All right. 


Chris: Hi friends. 

Brittany: Chris is in the building. It's funny. He is actually the one who coined the term. Hi friends. When we used to work together, which part of our backstory is we met at work, but he would always say hi friends to the other people in the office, and I just always remember him being so cheery.

So if you've ever wondered where high friends comes from, that's it. 

Chris: You know just try to and stay positive early in the mornings. 

Brittany: Welcome to the podcast. I'm so happy to have you on it's so crazy. Can you believe that we're doing this?

Chris: You started this as a hobby five years ago. I did not see a podcast coming out of it, but here we are.

Brittany: It's funny because you are the like ultimate podcast guy. Back when I first started the blog, you were listening to all of these podcasts. Like we would get in Chris's car to go take outfit photos and a podcast would pop on. And I was always like what are you listening to?

I was more of a radio music type person and he's like always super into podcasts. So it's just crazy that I have one and you are. 

Chris: It's wild. It's been a fun ride. 

Brittany: Yeah. So we really wanted to talk to you today about marathon and your background with running, and the readers and listeners on Loverly Grey just have questions about training and how you got into them and just your experience. So that's what we really want to chat about. 

But I think before we get into that, wanted to just have you give us a little bit of your background for those listeners who don't know you as Loverly Chris, who don't know you from the blog. We would love if you could tell everybody about yourself and a little bit about your background.

Chris: All right. So here is the quick backstory. I grew up outside of Boston in a town called Wister, Massachusetts. It's about 45 minutes outside of the city. I was always an athlete. I was never the fastest in any sport I ever played, whether it's baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse. However, I always prided myself on being really good in shape. So my endurance was always good, but I was never fast. So fast forward, I ended up playing lacrosse in college at Florida state. I decided I didn't want to see snow. So I went down to Florida, took a visit down there on St. Patrick's day weekend. It was snowing in Boston. It was 75 and sunny and Tallahassee.

And I said, where do I sign up? So I ended up down there, played lacrosse there for four years. Then after graduating, I moved to Atlanta, started working and did not stay in shape. Started to pack on some pounds, started to enjoy the party life a little too much, probably. At 25 I decided I was going to get sober. So I did that just on a whim. I was like, I'm done? That night I was like alright, I'm done. I'm not drinking anymore. And that's when it started. So that was eight years ago, and about a month or so after I got sober, Brittany and I started dating. So I guess this whole sober thing is working out.

Brittany: Yeah. I feel like Chris's sober sobriety story is definitely like a podcast in itself, but I remember we were sitting at a bar and you were like, yeah. I'm going to be sober; I'm not drinking tonight. That's when our conversations started. He texted me after I got home and was like, did you make it home okay? And I feel like from that point, we just never stopped texting. So I don't know. It's of cool. 

Chris: Fun fact, my last night drinking Brittany was there and we drank a lot. 

Brittany: It's so crazy. So that's a whole other episode in itself, but I feel like when you got sober, you also lost a ton of weight from not drinking.

Chris: Yeah. The the liquid calories really helps. So I dropped the ton of weight real quick, started working out a little bit, not running, just going to the gym a little bit more. I started getting in a little bit better shape. And then that fell off. And the liquid calories came back on just in the form of not eating great.

So I started to get a little bit bigger and decided I wanted to get back in shape. So I did a half marathon in 2017, I believe. 

Brittany: No, I think it was like 2018. Because I was pregnant with Collins. At the Athens half. Yeah.

Chris: That wasn't my first one. The first one was Boston. 

Brittany: Oh, that's right. 

Chris: So I did the Boston run to remember Memorial Day weekend. Great half marathon if anyone's in new England area, I would highly recommend it. You get a great tour of Boston a while you run it. So I did that with my brother. We had a terrible time. We had no idea what we were doing. No idea how to train for it. Neither of us were prepared. We crashed early. We went out too hard.

We just, every mistake you can make running, we made, and it was a struggle to get across the finish line. And that was just a half. So we did that. We finished and I was like, all right, fun experience. I'm never doing that again. Then fast forward Brittany's entire family decides to sign up for the Athens half marathon.

 I was like alright, if they're all going to do it, I might as well do it with. Then about a month before the race, everybody bailed on it. And I was like I've been training, so I might as well run this. So I run that and I took eight minutes off my time compared to Boston, just by having a little bit better idea of what I was doing and how to train for it and how to practice.

Replenish fluids and nutrients while I ran. That went well. And then about a month after that, my brother was running the New York City Marathon for charity that supports Boston children's hospital. Brittany and I flew up to New York to support him. We went to the race and I just got.

I don't know, what's the word, but I saw and I was like this is awesome. 

Brittany: I feel like you had FOMO from not being able to participate in the race. Like we were on the sidelines cheering and I feel like you were like, I need to be running right now. 

Chris: Yeah. The crowd was awesome. The environment was awesome. And I was just like alright, I want to be a part of this. So we left that marathon and I immediately put myself in the lottery for the Chicago marathon because I love that city for the next year. And if anybody's a runner and you know anything about these lotteries, they're incredibly hard to get into.

And I just got super lucky and I got in first try. So I ran Chicago in 2019. I'll get a little, get into it a little bit more here in a second, but I followed a Nike training plan for it. But just like my first half, I didn't know a ton about how to properly use nutrition, how to properly like fuel myself with like gels and different things while running ended up cramping up real bad, hurt my knee.

 A little bit of it band issue and runner's knee. Didn't have a great time, wasn't thrilled with it, but finished the race and said, I'm not done. I'm going to do this again. So there are six major marathons; they're called the six majors. It's Chicago, New York, Boston, London, Berlin, and Tokyo.

 While we were at the running expo in Chicago, I saw the sign for this and I saw it. You get this pretty cool looking metal when you run all six. I want that metal. I don't know why, but I said, I'm going to get that metal. And I told Brittany afterwards, I was like I'm going to do all six, and I'm going to finish Boston and it will be my last because that's like a going home race and it's always been something I wanted to do.

 I finished Chicago immediately put myself in the lottery for New York for all the ones I could and then got into Berlin for 2020. As everyone knows everything in 2020 got canceled. So I did not get to run in 2020. I did a half in Atlanta. I took another six minutes off that time. So I started to learn a little bit more about training a little bit more about prepping for a race and actually running smart.

 So I ran my best time in Atlanta during the Olympic trials, had a great race. I was like alright, I'm ready. And then COVID shut everything down. So I was like, ah, this stinks.

Fast forward to 2021. I had my Berlin entry for that race. But I also put in an entry for London and I ended up not getting it in the lottery, but St. Jude asked me, if I wanted to run with St. Jude. I did that. It was awesome. The fans here were a huge, you know, part of that success because we raised a ton of money for the St. Jude Children's Hospital. You guys as a group, we raised $46,000. 

Brittany: That's so amazing. I can't believe that.

So backing up a little bit, Chris had to do like an interview with St. Jude to get accepted and they interviewed a lot of people. And so he set like a pretty lofty goal for himself. And the minimum requirement is $10,000 to raise. And I said, I will hit that. I guarantee it, I was like but my goal is $25,000.

They were like, wow, you want to do two and a half times the minimum. I was like, yeah. And I explained, I was like, look like we have this following, and they're awesome. They're very loyal to Brittany and they are the best fans we could ever ask for. And I said, if I can leverage them, and I had known what we had done with Poshmark, and we've always donated charity and we've always donated a good amount due to Poshmark.

Chris: So I knew, if we started getting the rally cry behind St.Jude, we can put up a big number. Did I think 46 was in the cards? No, I did not. I thought we'd get the 25 and I was very happy with that. But after the closet sale and then doing the raffle, we obviously blew by all the goals we had.

 Again I know I've said it before, but thank you to everybody who participated in the raffle, who helped with the closet sale, who bought things on Poshmark and who just donated out of the kindness of their heart. Thank you for doing that. because that meant a lot. So I did a 46,000 and then as a team, we raised $295,000.

Brittany: And how many people were on the St. Jude team in London?

Chris: I believe it's 10 or 12. I could confirm that, but I don't want to look at my phone.

Brittany: Yeah. But that's great, like amazing that all of y'all together raised almost $300,000. So I feel like that also has made training for the marathon even more exciting because it's like, you're doing it for a purpose. And I think that really helped you on some hard days, too, when it was like a tough training day, it was, you were able to be like, okay, I'm not doing this for like myself. I'm doing this to raise money for the kids. And that's been our motto throughout this whole year as we've been raising money, and just talking with you guys. So I don't know. I think it's so cool.

Chris: Yeah. So during training, I ended up hurting my knee in August which I ended up having to sit out a couple of weeks. So I lost a little bit of training and then Brittany got sick, so I couldn't train during that because they were worried if I ended up with COVID and I trained and got my heart rate too high, I could get really hurt.

So I ended up taking probably three or four weeks off from training. I knew going into London, I wasn't going to put up the time I originally wanted. So I was like, look at the end of the day, I'm just going to go in and have a good time, see the sites and just run the race. I still took eight minutes off my time from Chicago.

So again, I'm getting better at it, but like Brittany kind of touched on it a little bit. If anybody's ever seen a football game, a quarterback wears a little wristband and you'll see them look down at it every now and again, it's basically a sweatband on their wrist. On one side, it's like the sweatband material, and then other side it's this little plastic case. In the plastic case, I printed out a little picture of the St. Jude logo, and then on inside, I had a picture of Brittany and the two girls. A marathon is mental more than anything else, like everybody could do it. It's just when you hit mile 21, 22, 23, your legs are tired, your body's shutting down, you're cramping up, your everything hurts. I had that to look at to be like alright this is what you're running for. This is how you're going to get through it. So if anybody's ever looking to do a marathon before you do it, figure out what your why is going to be, and that'll help you kind of power through the struggle that will power through.

I wore a St. Jude had every time I ran, just so I knew what I was running for when I was doing the hot training in Athens in the middle of the summer. Then when I got to London, and I hit those hills at the end and I was dying. I hit mile 22. My legs started to cramp up and I was like, all right, we're going to finish.

We're not going to hit the time we originally wanted, but we're going to finish. Finding your, why is the most important part of doing that? We finished the race again, not, originally at the time I wanted, but still better than Chicago. I'm still learning more and more, and I think more than anything else, what a marathon teaches you is it doesn't matter if you're running it in two hours and you're breaking world records, like some of these Kenyans, and they got the Boston marathon going on right now as we record this. Those guys are extremely fast and it doesn't matter if you do it at their speed or you do it at seven hours. If you can complete a marathon, you can do anything because it's more than anything else, it's learning how to push your body past boundaries that your mind thinks it has. And knowing that no matter what, your body will respond, if your heart and your brain says, keep going. That is my piece on that. If you ever want to test your mental fortitude, run a marathon. 

Brittany: And there's so much though that went into this. I have a few questions and just what some people have asked about your training and all of this behind the scenes that goes into it because it's a lot of prep. How far in advance did you start? Okay today I'm starting like the training specific program for the marathon?

Chris: So there's a bunch of different training programs you can use there. There's a lot of them that are free online anywhere from a 12 week program, if you're already in pretty good shape and you run a little bit all the way up to a 24 week training program where you're almost like the couch to 5k. I wouldn't suggest that. I would definitely suggest doing something a little bit longer before doing a marathon then just that. That's neither here nor there. The biggest thing is you have to put in the work. I was talking to one of St. Jude's like running coaches, we had a team call prior to the race and what she was telling some of her runners is to look back on because I track everything on a Garmin watch and I can see how many miles I run each month.

And during my 18 week training program, I ran almost 500 miles over the course of 18 weeks. You run a lot but most, if not all training programs only have one quote-unquote long run a week. So find a spouse, find a partner who is willing to let you go out for a couple hours at a time.

 My long run caps at about three hours, but I can't just I don't know, maybe I'm weird, but I can't just wake up and go run. I need to be up for an hour before I can start.

Brittany: Chris has a whole process of drinking something, stretching, using his back massager, going to the bathroom. It's literally a routine every morning.

So he's not the one that's roll out of bed, throw on running shoes and fly out the door. He's got to really prep, but I think that's what your body needs and everybody will figure that out, but I always think it's so funny because he's like okay, I'm going to leave for my run at this time. Are you really leaving at that time? Or once you get done your whole situation in the morning, then you're going to go. 

Chris: There was a couple of long runs that I was like, Hey, I'm going to be back after the girls wake up. But for the most part, I would try and get up between four and five and finish my run and get back right around seven for when the girls got up.

But when it got to like the three hour run, I'm like, I can't get up at three in the morning. Like I just can't do that. 

Brittany: There's a few things it's just cooler in Georgia, it's cooler for you to run that early in the morning. So that was a benefit, but you're also a very hands-on dad, so you are part of the morning routine and part of the breakfast, getting the girls out the door. Chris is the one that takes them to school every day. So that is just part of who you are too, which is something that I feel like you think is important. It is important. So figuring out your schedule around the marathon, it's just, it conveniently worked for you to do all of this early morning and then, occasionally on Saturday or something there was a longer run.

Those were conversations that we had. It's no different than you going and playing golf on a Saturday morning.

Chris: So yeah, to answer your, I think your initial question was training plan length. If it was my first time doing a marathon and I had done, try and do a half before you do a full just so you get a general idea how your body will respond.

But there's a ton of 18 week. If you just Google marathon training plan, hundreds will show up. I'll be honest. The first one I did, I thought it was the perfect plan for me. It was through Nike. I really liked the amount of running I did, but I didn't do enough strength training with it. So that's where my knee hurt.

This time around, I did more work around keeping my heart rate low and that helped, but for my next one, I'm going to do more speed work. So my legs aren't as tired at the end, so I can finish stronger than how I start. Every time I'm doing this, I'm learning a little bit more on what my body needs when I hit that two, three hour mark to finish.

And luckily enough, I already have another race scheduled I will be running Berlin next year. God willing, we don't have another COVID shutdown on anything. So I'm already scheduled to run Berlin at the end of September of 2022. I'll probably run a half in the spring just to keep training on.

And potentially run New York as well next year, which would be first week of November. Potentially two marathons in six weeks, but we'll see. 

Brittany: It's funny you say that because that sounds intense to me within six weeks, but for this year the original plan for Chris was to run Berlin and then one week later run London.

If I could've 

Chris: made it work logistically. I would have done it. But get into London. If you don't know, you have to be vaccinated to go. Otherwise you have to quarantine for 10 days, even though I think they just changed that policy. But Monday I got back from London, but to go I had to take a test prior to leaving.

I had to take another test, right when I landed, I had to take another test the next day. Then I had to take another test the day after that to come home. So I took four tests in six days. Then it was pretty similar to Berlin was going to be the same situation, and having to test over there and make sure the logistics worked of going in between the two countries. It couldn't work. Logistically. So that's why we punted Berlin to next year and stuck with St. Jude for this year. The original plan, that's why I did the heart rate workouts. I picked a plan that was designed to have a little bit more strength training to encourage just finishing the race.

I did if anybody's ever heard of the Disney marathon is actual there's a way to do it's called like the goofy challenge or the dopey challenge, which is Disney marathon weekend is a 5k on Thursday, a 10 K on Friday, a half marathon, Saturday, and a full marathon. Sunday, if you do all four, you get some special metal, but I use the training plan built around doing that, so my legs would be strong enough just to finish the race. And not particularly go for, a good time. It was all about just finishing both of them because running back to back weeks was going to be very hard and going into it and knowing that not a lot of speed work was going to get done.

Cause I was looking for just finishing the two races. That is why next year I've already decided I'll be doing more speed work.

Brittany: So one thing that I've always thought was interesting, and hearing you train and, get back from a run and say different things, but when you're out on a run what are you listening to? Are you a music guy, books on tape? What? because I feel like it's changed when you first started. So that's something I feel would be helpful for people to know. And your why. 

Chris: I started running. A lot of people don't use anything. I have to have something, otherwise I get my own head, so I can't do that. I started with music and I created a playlist that I knew was going to be just long enough for my first half marathon with my brother. So I had enough songs on it to cover the entire half marathon. The problem with that is if you know the amount of songs and, the order of the songs.

When you hit song like 12 and you're like, wow, like, all right, I'm good. This is song 12. Okay. If each song is four minutes long, that's 48 minutes. Oh my gosh. I still have an hour to go, and the mental warfare that, that is when you're already tired is not great. So after that debacle I switched in no longer listen to music when I run.

I only listen to podcasts and books on. So typically my runs when training is all podcasts. However, when I ran London, I listened to the new Vince Flynn book. I've listened to all of his books on tape. But I just listened to the book. Now do I take in all the information in the book, what I recommend doing it for a book that you actually want to remember everything that happened?

Probably not because your mind is going to wander a little. But this is like a spy James Bond type, CIA Jason Bourne thriller series. It's not like you need to be a hundred percent locked into it while you're reading it or listening to it in my case. So that's why I listen to, while I do my races.

 Luckily enough for me, he comes out with a book, usually every September. So it fits in perfectly with my marathon scheduled that I can download it the week of the race and have that common for me. And I still have a couple hours left of that book. So I'll be finishing that at some point better start running again soon.

Brittany: Yeah, I feel like that's so interesting that and podcasts.

Chris: I like comedy podcasts while I run. It's like a comedy slash sport package. Just to lighten the mood when you're tired and you hear a funny joke and you're at mile 18 or 19, it's nice to just get a quick laughing just to ease the mind and just remind yourself, Hey, you're going to be fine, you're going to make it. I've only had one issue that I had to call Brittany to pick me up from a run. I didn't bring enough water on a run when we were still in Alpharetta and it was in the middle of summer and I cramped up so bad. I couldn't move. And I had to have her come get me. I was like, I'm not going to make it home.

I was still a couple of miles away. And I ran out of water and at that point, Apple pay wasn't a thing, so I didn't have my wallet. After that I started taking a credit card with me every time I ran just in case I ever ran out of water and needed extra fluids. Now that Apple Pay is the thing it's I can use that was never a fan of Apple Pay until I went to London and that's all they use over there, and that was super convenient. 

Brittany: It's funny, Chris texted me while he was in London and was like, Apple Pay is awesome. This is the coolest thing ever. And I was, like okay, cool. Cool. I remember picking you up from that one time you ran out of water and were cramping. It was such a crazy feeling for me to being like, getting that phone call and he's I can't make it. And that I feel like it took a lot for Chris to even make that call to admit, I am in a place where I need help right now. I think Collins was six months old maybe. Put her in the car, we go pick him up. He's on the front steps of this bank.

Chris: Sitting in the shade, my knee at that point. This was training for Chicago, and I got really bad runners knee just because, I won't get into the weeds because a lot of people don't understand it, but basically it feels like a knife is going in the side of your knee.

 It has to do with not having enough hip strength. I learned about that later on. My knee was fading and I was cramping up like crazy. And I was like, if I run any more, I'm just going to hurt myself. Rather than risk injury and not sideline myself for a couple of weeks, let me just have her get me.

I was at mile I know it was probably like 17 or 18 of a 19 or 20 mile an hour run. I got most of it done, but I was like, let's not make this worse than it already is. Yeah, throwing in the towel was definitely a first, it's not something I'm super proud of because I've always had the, there's a Will Smith quote that I heard years ago that I was like, yeah, that's how I live my endurance life.

He basically said I don't care if you're more talented me. I don't care if you're better looking than me, that you're whatever you are. I don't care if you're just better than me. If you step on a treadmill next to me, I will die before you, before I get off that treadmill before you something to that effect, basically saying if there's two of us on the treadmill next to each other, you're getting off first because I will die before.

And obviously he's super successful and has done amazing with his career. So I was like, it's a pretty good mantra. So I kinda took that into my endurance. Now, again, I did throw in the towel that one time. That's how I've always looked at my sport career has never being the fastest, never being the strongest, never been the most athletic is I would rather, I will always go until I can't until everyone else has done whether that's a long run, whether that's training, whether that's lacrosse, I'm not going to be faster than you, but when the chips are down in the fourth quarter or whatever, my gas tank will always have that little bit extra that. Rely on. I will always have that little bit extra of endurance.

Brittany: I mean the mental game that you have to put yourself through to prepare and to run a marathon, like you need things like that to keep you going.

Chris: Again, like I tell anybody the hardest part of the marathon isn't signing up for the race, isn't running the race, isn't training for the race it's during the race when you are at mile 20 21, 22, whatever it is, you aren't going to hit a wall. Your body's going to want to stop your brain's going to tell you, Hey, you can't go any further, you're done. You have to know, I don't care. I'm going to make it. I'm going to push through and I'm going to finish. It's that mental warfare that you have to play with yourself to find your why and find, okay, what am I, what can I use to get through these next couple of miles? What can I think about what can I lean on?

That's why, if you ever get a chance to run, a marathon or you find something search for marathons with great crowds. That's the one thing I said after I remember. From mile one to mile 26.2, there was fans at every single point of the rates cheering you on. Just great signs the entire time.

Now, again, they don't know you from a hole in the wall and it's not like they're cheering for, their favorite, it's not like it's a Chelsea match or a man city match over there in London. They're just cheering you on because they know how hard it is. And they're just, they were awesome.

Is the best way to describe it as. They motivated people to keep going. And I cannot say enough about how great the crowd was in London.

Brittany: I think that's one thing too. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a marathon, these large cities there's marathons all over the place. We were spectators at the New York city marathon and it was so fun to be like going all around the city at different spots to make sure we could see Mike and planning out a route, but even if you just were, had no skin in the game, didn't know anybody running, I would encourage you to go out and just watch it. It fires you up.

Chris: There's no way you can go to a marathon and see what these people are doing especially, you go early and you see them at the beginning miles, everyone's feeling strong, their field. But if you show up and you're sitting at mile 23, 24, and you're watching, you can just see it on everybody's faces. There's just this look of agony and pain, but you also see perseverance and you see these people saying, look like I'm going to finish.

I saw guys at the race. They were cramping up and they were just, rubbing everything they could to Kell and yeah, their times might've got hit because they were basically almost crawling to the finish line, but they made it 

Brittany: it was probably because people were cheering them on like just strangers cheering them on. So it'll definitely make you feel good supporting somebody else. 

Chris: One thing I would suggest, and I didn't do it, but a lot of guys had like their names below their bid number or their names on their singlets, whatever they were wearing. And the crop was your chair for him by name. It was smart. It was really cool to see.

I'm definitely into do that in the future. I saw it and I was, oh, that was actually awesome. It was funny. I was running next to. I think it was a young woman and her name was Georgia. And so she had Georgia across and they yelled go Georgia. And I was like, oh, thinks of like me.

So I thought it was cheering for me. And I was like, wait, that's how they know from Georgia. And then I was like, oh, that's probably not for me. It helped for that, that quick 10 seconds where my mind wasn't really working at a hundred percent capacity, that kind of helped me push through that.

Yeah, it was awesome. And just go yes, there's a difference between the elite runners. I'll never be that. And most of us, most of the population will not be that, but I believe it's only like 1% of the population actually runs a marathon. So if you get the chance to go do it and go watch it and go see you'll see a lot of different, what people wear and different uniforms and different things like that, but the amount of money that's raised for charities during these. Astronomical, like it's a big number. And after you get past, the elite runners and you start looking at a lot of the, everyone's sent off in different waves based off of what time they're going to finish, just so people aren't tripping over each other.

But if you look around, especially in the groups that I'm usually in, I'd say 50% or higher of the groups are wearing, different, like tanks or shirts or hats for the charities that they're supporting and the overall numbers. Like I said, we did just under 300,000 for St. Jude, and that's just a small American charity in London. Some of the money that they raised for the, the different local charities in London and some of the local charities and, just all of Europe was huge. So I would definitely, if you want to get inspired and you want to see what your body is capable of doing, go watch a marathon.

Brittany: So exciting. I guess you do have plans to do these others, our guess is four now. Is there any of them that you are super excited to do for some reason?

Chris: All of them for different reasons? So luckily enough Chicago was first. Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the U S I love visiting Chicago.

I love chicago as a whole the food, the people, the nightlife, the atmosphere. It's probably my favorite major city in the U S I just love going to Chicago. So doing that one first was really cool. because you get to see I think you see 29 neighborhoods in 26 miles or 27 neighborhoods and 26 miles, whatever it is.

So Chicago is awesome. So then luckily enough for me with my old job, I traveled to London. So I had seen London and, seeing some of the sights and sounds, and done some of the touristy stuff already. Brittany and I had gone to, a Chelsea soccer match while we were over there.

So we've gotten the full London experience before, but when you're running the race, the best part about London is, excuse me, the last few miles, it's all coming up with themes river and you are seeing Buckingham. Palace is right at the end. You're seeing. The London eye, you're seeing tower bridge. You're seeing all these historical, facts.

So like we need a tire just look up and look around and take it in. It's amazing. I was excited to do London and then next up is Berlin because of my previous job. I've been to Berlin before and I run in Berlin before. So I know where you finish the race is like the heart of downtown Berlin, where all.

Berlin is an old city that if you go to is not actually that old read into it as you may, you could probably figure out why it's not that old. If you think about war history and how new the city is. But there's a few older buildings that are awesome to see, and it's just really cool.

Then you go to Tokyo. I've never been to Asia. So I'm super excited for that. Obviously Brittany's brother, Jarryd has been a bunch of times and he loves it there. So I'm very excited to get over there. New York city, obviously, it's not the capital of the country, but it's pretty close. It's probably the biggest city in the country and it's, it's got that rich history and it's actually pretty cool that you basically see all five boroughs while you run that race, and knowing that my brother ran it and knowing I'm going to be quote unquote, competing to be his time. And let's just say, I'm going to beat his time. And just knowing, what that has in store and just having a feel of what that race is like. Knowing that it's in November, it's going to be a little bit cooler.

So it'll be a good race, even though it's really hilly coming up in all of our, all those bridges, it's, a strong race and I'm excited for that one. And then obviously finishing with Boston and, just being from Massachusetts, the Boston marathon holds such a special place. And all of new England's heart, especially after everything that happened seven years ago.

And just knowing what marathon Monday meant to the city, it's your wake up, you watch the marathon and then the Sox play at 10:00 AM and it's this whole thing. It's going on as I said right now, so it's in October, but usually it's in April, it's on Patriot state, which is a state holiday for Massachusetts.

So I'm going to finish with that one. That will be my last one that I. That it's the hardest race with the amount of Hills and the weather and everything else that is not a set, a record pace that is finished the race, because that one's the hardest. But running that last will mean a lot to me.

I'm excited for all of them for different reasons. But finishing Boston last and then getting the six star metal to close it out that holds a special place. Yeah, I'm excited for you to accomplish that because it's cool to see you pick up something that means so much to you and. To see all this hard work that you're putting into this.

Brittany: I think it's really awesome. I'm excited for you to hit these goals and continue training. And I don't know. I think it's really fun. 

Chris: Yeah. I just pulled up my phone. I created a note app aligning my projected schedule after I'd run Chicago. I immediately put a little checkbox next to each of the marathons. Chicago is 2019. Berlin was supposed to be 2020. I had my times written down and then it was the dates. And when, what years I'm going to try and accomplish each race. This is going back a couple of years now, so right after Chicago in 2019. Two years later we got to down four to go. But this is something that I want to accomplish in something that I'm going to.

Brittany: That's so cool. Before I let you go, we usually end out the podcast with, we have readers submit questions and I answer questions each week, just about whatever the readers are interested in. So have a few questions. I figured I would tailor towards you this week, since you're our guest on the podcast.

The first one is what is it like being married to an influencer? 

Chris: Okay. There's this preconceived notion that influencer's lights are all sunshine and rainbows and it's just shopping and taking pictures and trying on clothes. And it's just perfect. Beautiful. Oh my gosh. That's the best life ever. I'm so jealous. If you truly believe that I challenge you to try. There's no barrier to entry. Anybody can be an influencer it's literally free. You can start by yourself. And you grow from zero and put your eggs in the basket and go for it. You will quickly realize that it's not that. It's very hard and it's a lot of work. There's no off switch. It's seven days a week. It's. It's not your nine to five job. If it was Brittany wouldn't post after five o'clock, she wouldn't answer any DMS after five o'clock. She wouldn't post on the weekend. She wouldn't post, reply to you on the weekends.

There would be no stories. There would be no family stuff. It's a lot harder than it looks when she started this. She started at while I had just gotten a promotion at work and I was going to have to start traveling quite a bit and I was going to be going back and forth at that time to Seattle.

So I'm thinking, perfect. She's got a hobby. This is going to be awesome. This will let me knock out my work. Be done right. The Seattle travel originally, it was supposed to be like once a quarter and that turned into once a month and that turned into every other week pretty quickly. But I was like, she's got a hobby.

This is going to be great a little bit. I know that while you're starting, I would be taking every single photo. I would be get how would get back from a long trip. Okay. I'd be jet lagged as all get up. And that Saturday we'd go shoot for four hours and take, 10 different outfit photos. And we try and plan the week because we didn't have the budget to hire somebody to take the photos or have a team in place or anything like that.

I quickly realized that it was not just a hobby. It was going to be a lot bigger than that. But I didn't know what it was going to be and what it could become. Fast forward. I think she hit 10,000 followers after grinding it out. And it was, wow, this is growing. It's doing well, making a little bit of money, pull it break even at that point.

And then, we hit 20,000 and I think that's when she was like, all right. I think it's time to either, it's the expression shit or get off the pot came to play. And she decided to leave her corporate job where she was very successful. We were not newlyweds, but we were yeah, we were newlyweds.

Yeah. And we both had good income coming in and she was leaving that to pursue this where we were going to take a financial hit and it was going to be significant. But we made the decision that, you know what, this could be something and let's try, let's see what it can be. So we did that and it kept growing and growing.

And now I'm a part of the team. I left my corporate job because it got to the point where she needed help. And I was like, I'm not going to pay someone to do a job that I can do. Yeah, that's that's the long and short of it, but back to my original point of, if you think it's all sunshine and rainbows, I challenge you to try and be an influencer yourself.

Cause it's not, and not only do you have to put in the work the time, the effort, you also have to have really thick skin. People hear about troll and like Kim Kardashian online. Yeah. That's one thing. When you are trolling people who put out free content for you. And you're just downright mean online and saying just despicable things to, these young women and men who are these influencers, one get a life and two why, what brings you joy to have some of these online forums where you just bash these girls and, just talk about them as they're secondhand citizens and everything.

They're opening up their lives and they're giving you free content. If you don't want to consume it, don't consume it. It's not like you're paying for it. It's not like you're having to look like you choose to look and then you get mad about it and you post online what is wrong with you? You're just a shitty person.

I'm going to get off my soap box now, but yeah, if it's a lot, it's rewarding. If you can make it The freedom we have now, where we were able to move to Athens, we're able to, go to the beach house, it's rented really well. So we can't go in the summer as much as we'd like, but we can go.

If we'd like to, we can go up to the lake. We can take a day off if we want, we can. We, I get more time with the girls now and there's a lot of things like that, but it's also a lot of work. And when we're sitting on our phones at 10 o'clock at night, replying to emails, replying to DMS and like doing work.

You don't have that in your typical nine to five. Yeah, that was a long-winded answer. I would say. It's great.

Brittany: That's what it's like to be married to an influencer. And not every influencers, husband or wife decides to leave their job too. A lot of people have separate jobs and do just fine, and that is great as well, but for us it ended up getting to the point where Chris comes from his background, made sense to transition into this role to help me run the business. So that's just what worked for us. 

Chris: If I was a doctor, if I was a lawyer, I probably would've made sense, but my job as a project manager, I was responsible for running basically small businesses.

It translated well to helping Brittany run a small business. Brittany is phenomenal at content. She's great. The creative side of the house. I love her, but she's not great at the business side of the house. That's my specialty. 

Brittany: It's a hard no for me on the business side. 

Chris: So that's where I helped. I kind of step in and I've been doing it the entire time, but as it grew and grew, there was an opportunity to expand the business and I couldn't give the effort she needed as well as help with the girls, as well as keeping my corporate job. It's just not enough hours in the day. So that's why we made the decision for me to come over full-time.

Brittany: I guess that question and your answer and everything leads into the next question. When I mentioned to you about wanting to start a blog at that time, did you have any idea that it would be what it is today? 

Chris: No. I thought it was a hobby that would keep you busy while I was traveling work. I did not expect it to be where it is today. Now when it hit 10 K and a hit 20 K, I was like, wow, this could actually be something where, we make a little bit of money off of it. I didn't think it would be where it is today, where it supports us as a family, but at the beginning, we were subsidizing the blog through our corporate. People think oh the brands will send you clothes. Yeah. They have to see an ROI before they start sending you stuff. We're paying for this stuff and trying, doing the try ons in the store and trying to be as efficient as possible with the budget we had for the blog.

But I thought it could be something where, she could leave the corporate job and run this full time and it would subsidize, it would basically be the equivalent of our corporate job. I never thought it would get to the point where it was our family's income and I'd be working with her as well.

At the beginning now, fast forward as it was growing. And I started to learn more about the industry because again, my Instagram following in my Instagram itself, I don't follow influencers. So I didn't know enough about the industry, but as she started getting into it and I started meeting some of the other people and seeing, someone's success and seeing the rewardStyle conferences and seeing different things. Then seeing, how as somebody who comes from the tech world, understanding how times are changing. I started looking at it as, okay people don't get print magazines anymore. People don't get newspapers anymore. I haven't listened to the actual local radio, and I can't tell you how long because I do podcasts and audio books or their Sirius XM or their Spotify, or there's a hundred other.

Most people in this country are, or in our age demo are moving away from cable and, different things like that and cutting the cord. So now you're looking at these brands that no longer going to have TV spend, because most people are streaming no longer going to have radio spend, because most people are on different streaming outlets, Spotify, audible, whatever it is.

Most people aren't getting books in. Or excuse me, magazines anymore. And most people aren't getting newspapers anymore. So these, those are four huge outlets of media and advertising spend, where are they going to start putting that money? While people are moving away from those things, everybody's on their phone, everybody's looking at Instagram, everybody's looking at their, different social media outlets, whichever one you choose and that's how people consume their entertainment now.

So rather than brands spending money on things that are. And the dinosaur age, they're starting to move more towards, the modern movement of social media advertising. And that's when I started realizing, okay, this is a full industry. This is a billion dollar industry if we're being honest.

When I started realizing that and starting to see that's when I knew it could be a lot bigger than my initial estimates.

Brittany: It's been a fun ride. I would say, what don't you agree? It's opened up a lot of opportunity that I don't think we would have had. And while it's been hard work, it's also been a lot of fun and there's been a lot of cool opportunities. 

Chris: I'll say look again, there's no barrier to entry. Anybody can try this. I highly recommend if you think it's, if you're capable, if you're one of those keyboard warriors who thinks you can do it better, I challenge you. Try. I would love to see the effort that you put in and see, how it goes for you. 

Brittany: I feel like we covered a lot in this episode and there's a few topics that I feel like we will have Chris back on for, to discuss as this podcast continues there's a few things that people are wanting to hear from you on other topics too. So we would love to have you back on, but thank you for being here. Thank you so much for all your information about the marathon. I hope that is helpful for those of you who are interested in that. And until next time.

Chris: Thank you for having me.

Brittany: Thanks for listening to today's episode. I can't wait to continue these conversations with you over on Instagram, at Life with Loverly. Until next time.

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