Saturday, July 31, 2010

more proof ...

Remember earlier this week when I mentioned that Dizzle and Doodle asked to have salad for lunch? And how I suspected that they might have been replaced with androids?

Well, I have further evidence to support this theory ...

1. Doodle has been referring to herself strictly in third person. Everything is "Doodle wants to wear this," or "Doodle is not going to eat that." It's super annoying. And do you know who else talks in third person? That's right, androids. Just like Norm on Phineas and Ferb. (Apparently, he has a Facebook page. Weird ...)

2. Yesterday morning, Dizzle and Doodle told me they did something for me. Usually, "did something for me" means that they have teamed up to make my life more difficult. But to my surprise, they actually did something NICE for me. They cleaned their room and made their beds ... WITHOUT BEING ASKED. I am telling you, they are ANDROIDS.

3. No human being would dress like this ...
Believe me now?

Friday, July 30, 2010

important race information ...

This time tomorrow morning, I will be on a plane making my way to Chicago. And 48 hours from now, I should be about two miles in to the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon. But, there are a few important things I need to fill you in on before any of that happens.

1. I know you have been in suspense all week as you waited for my answer to this question HERE. The vast majority of you felt that I should go with C (run all my miles and pray for a PR). While a few people, who obviously don't get how competitive I am, suggested B (use the race as a fun run). And now the time has come for you to find out my decision. Drum roll please ...

I went with C. I knew that I would be disappointed if I didn't run all of my miles this week. And I know deep down that "running for fun" just isn't my style. So, I packed in 27 miles in my four runs this week, will be taking off today and tomorrow and am praying for a kick a** race on Sunday.

2. For those of you who are also running (or spectating) this race, please say hi. To aid you in locating me, I am providing you with a snapshot of my race outfit.

Katye will be sporting it too. So, if you see two tallish women running together wearing this combo, introduce yourself. I promise I don't bite. Most of the time.

And if you happen to be looking for me at the expo, I am 99.9999% sure that I will be wearing this shirt.

It's bright yellow. You can't miss it. You probably won't be able to miss the bags full of running skirts I'll be carrying either ...

3. If you are feeling really stalkerish, go ahead and track me. I'm not promising anything exciting or super fast, but if you have nothing else better to do, go right ahead and follow my every move. My bib number is 8818 ...

4. Oh, and most importantly, don't forget to wish me luck. It would be rude not to ...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Three Things Thursday ...

1. You know you have good friends when they indulge your obsessions. First, there is my running obsession. G is always there when I want to run. And I can ALWAYS convince her to add a few miles or to attempt a 40K with less than four weeks to build her mileage (note: I am not actually recommending that anyone do that. And she's not either, nor is she going to run it.)

And then there is my cupcake obsession. After hitting 900 miles, I decided that a cupcake would be the perfect reward. But, life got in the way and I never made it over to the cupcake shop. In swoops, Dee a.k.a. RunHapi13. She offered to make a cupcake run. And yesterday afternoon, she treated me to these ...


Have I mentioned how much I love my friends?

2. My children have been doing things as of late that I don't approve of. This morning, I caught Dilly with one leg over the bar of her crib trying to escape (she's too young to be doing that). And yesterday, Doodle bit Dizzle. And then tried to justify her behavior. A few hours after the biting incident, she said this to me:

"Sometimes I am naughty. Like when I bite Dizzle today. But I only bite her once. So, it's OK."

No, Doodle. It's NOT OK!

3. You all really want new workout gear. There were 250 entries in my Nuu-Muu giveaway and thanks to the winner is entry number 1 (I know, weird, right?)

Congrats Keri @ The Blue-Eyed Runner

Please email me with your size, dress choice and contact info and I will get you hooked up ASAP!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

900 ...

I am a numbers person. When I was a kid, I used to find the patterns in phone numbers to help me memorize them (thanks to speed dial, I no longer need to do that). Since becoming a runner, my number obsession has intensified. Every bib number is an omen (this week's is 8818 - definitely a good one). Every split holds the key to the future.

Over the past three years, I have kept a record of every mile I have run and exactly how long it took me to do so. When I found my passion for running in August of 2007, I never thought I would become the running addict I am today. But I should have. I never do anything halfway. It's go big or go home. And going home is not an option.

During the last five months of 2007, I logged 251.17 miles. Not bad for my first few months of running. Then, needing a goal for 2008, on January 1, I started my quest for 1,000 miles. I ran and ran, but came up short. I finished the year at 923.79 miles. So, I tried again. And again, I fell short. A broken foot at the end of November 2009, left me 78.65 miles short of my 1,000 mile goal.

I was ticked off. I resolved that 2010 was going to be the year. Third time's the charm. No matter what, I was going to log the miles and break that threshold. I decided to take my running to a new level. Failure was not an option. And it's working.

As of yesterday, I hit 900 miles on the year (well, 902.75 to be exact). 1,000 miles is mine. I am going to crush my goal and test my limits. I am going to break through the mental barriers I've set and prove to myself that if I want something bad enough, I can make it happen. Because the only person who can stop me is me. And I guarantee, that is something I am not going to let that happen.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

where did my children go?

In my house, we have food battles. No, not food fights where people start throwing things and I am left to clean up the mess. But rather, food battles where I tell my children what they have to eat and they refuse, ultimately heading to bed hungry.

Most of our battles center around vegetables. Dizzle won't touch them. Any of them. All things green are apparently evil and will kill you if they touch your lips. In fact, if you even look at them, your eyes will ooze out of your head and you will die a slow painful death. Doodle agrees wholeheartedly with Dizzle, but at least I can get her to eat corn and beans (yes, I know neither of those are technically a vegetable.)

Dilly, on the other hand, is a saint. If it is food, she'll eat it. She doesn't care if it's a fruit, a vegetable, a starch or an internal organ. That girl is hungry and she doesn't care how she gets fed.

Our vegetable battles have been going on with Dizzle and Doodle since they transitioned from pureed baby foods. With Dizzle, that was over four years ago. Four years is a long time and I was almost ready to give up. Until yesterday. Because yesterday, Dizzle and Doodle asked to have salad for lunch. And not only did they ask, but they both ate it and wanted more. No bribing. No yelling. No hunger strikes. WTF?

It's obvious to me what has happened. Someone came into my home and stole my children and replaced them with androids or they were successfully brainwashed. Either way, I don't really care. All I really care about is that the next time Dizzle and Doodle tell me they hate vegetables, I can laugh in their faces, tell them they are lying and make them eat them. Being a mom is so awesome ...

Monday, July 26, 2010

what would you do?

Say that you were in the middle of marathon training.

And then you won free entry into a half marathon you weren't planning on running.

The race fits perfectly in your schedule, distance wise.

But you're not sure how it fits in the big scheme of things ...

Would you ...

A: Taper in the days leading into it, hope that the weather cooperates, race it all out and shoot for a PR.

B: Run all of your scheduled miles for the week and treat it like a training run, hoping for a decent time, not far off of your current PR.

C: Run all of your scheduled miles for the week, take the two days before the race completely off as a mini taper and pray for a PR.

D: None of the above (please explain).

Please submit your answer below ...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

sharing the wealth ...

Recently, J and I have started to give the girls an allowance of sorts. If they go to bed without a fight, they get a quarter (note the importance of our kid-free evening time). If they clean the playroom, they get a dime. Nothing big. We are just trying to show them the value of money. To let them know that the money has to come from somewhere and that it has to be earned. And they are starting to grasp that J has to work to pay for all the things we need and he has to work so that I can stay home with them.

This fact became evident last night. We were asking the girls what they wanted to use their newly earned money for when Dizzle hit us with this one ...

"I want to go shopping. And I want to share my money with you, so that Daddy doesn't have to work so much."

So cute, selfless and heart-breaking at the same time ...

Friday, July 23, 2010

circle of friends ...

I am an introverted extrovert. If that makes any sense at all. I really don't like social situations. I hate introducing myself to others and making small talk. I like to have some background about the people I meet, before I actually meet them. And in a room full of people, you will often find me sitting in the corner playing with my Blackberry.

That is unless someone else does the hard work for me. Because once I have an in, you can't shut me up. I am an open book. If you ask, I will tell. And I tell it like it is. This personality style has been both good and bad for friendships. I tend to have a cyclical pattern to my friendships. And it kind of works like this ...

I meet someone and we become friends. Then over time, sometimes days, sometimes months, we meet more people who seem to mesh well. The duo becomes a trio and before long, there is a whole group of us who are tied together by a common trait, interest, belief, whatever.

Then, sometimes rather suddenly and without warning, that group dissolves and I am back in a duo (and not necessarily with the original party). And that friend ends up remaining in my life for the long haul. It happened that way in preschool and elementary, middle school and high school, college and even now. Because of this, I have a handful of extremely good friends. No, they are more than good friends, they are family. And I love this. And I hope that my children will emulate my friendships in their own.

But, while I cherish those close to me, I often wonder why others didn't cut it. Why I let some relationships dissolve. Why I didn't fight harder. Why they didn't either or if they even realize that I gave up the fight. And why it doesn't bother me more.

And the more I think about it, the more I realize I don't care about the answers. It doesn't matter why people come into your life or why they leave it. What matters is how they affected you, how they shaped your experiences, even if you can't see the value of that.

For me, every person who doesn't make the cut, makes me appreciate those who do that much more. And that is enough for me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Three Things Thursday ...

1. Have you ever seen Justin Bieber? And his shaggy hair?
Well, we have long joked that Dilly has "Justin Bieber hair" and we've even been known to call her "Justin Bieber baby."
Now, thanks to some coaxing by Katye and me, Dilly is now also singing like Justin Bieber. You know his song, "Baby"? Yeah, well so does Dilly. She keeps saying, "Baby, baby, baby, oh. Baby, baby, baby, no ..." Perhaps I have a future pop-star on my hands ...

2. Speaking of future careers, I like to think that I encourage my children to live up to their potential. Maybe one day they will all be doctors or rocket scientists or just really great people. But, I am starting to get concerned. Because yesterday, Dizzle told me that when she grows up she is going to be a bunny. Or a witch. She's not really sure.

Well, Dizzle - If you're current behavior is any indication of your future career, I'm leaning towards witch ...

3. And on a completely different note, in case you weren't aware, there is a ton of free stuff to be had via the Internet these days. In the last few weeks alone, I have won two necklaces and two entries to the Rock-N-Roll Chicago Half. Pretty sweet, right?

Are you jealous? Well, don't be. Because you can get in on the action, too. I have a bunch of giveaways listed on my sidebar, including my current giveaway for a Nuu-Muu exercise dress. And unless you have been living in a hole, you probably know that GoLite is hosting a 93 day long giveaway called GoLite Up Your Day.
All you have to do to enter is head over to the GoLite website HERE and sign up for their newsletter. And once you do, you are automatically entered in the daily giveaway, which is announced around noon on their Facebook page HERE. So, what are you waiting for? Go win some free swag ...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nuu-Muu Review and Giveaway ...

Hi. My name is Tonia and I am a running gear addict. I feel an incessant need to look fashionable when I run. That's why I was beyond excited when Enid at Nuu-Muu gave me the opportunity to test out one of their exercise dresses.

Nuu-Muu mixes fashion with function, something I am always looking for. You can wear these dresses from trail to beach and everywhere in between. They are comfortable, adorable and flexible. With no built-in undergarment, you can choose what best fits your workout style. Nuu-Muus are self-described as the "no-fuss exercise-and-everything-else dresses" and it couldn't be more true.

I chose the "Foxtrot" to test and paired it with a pair of spandex boy shorts.

The dress fit true to size (I wear a 4 and the dress was size small, 4-6), but I found that the dress was rather short on me due to my uber-long torso. And although, I think my legs are my best asset, I think in the future I will pair it with capris or a longer pair of compression shorts to make up for the length.

The first time I wore my Nuu-Muu was during a VERY hot eight miler in Key West. And right from the start, there was a lot to like about this dress. To begin with, the material is ultra-comfortable and does an incredible job of wicking away sweat (and if you've seen me sweat, you know that this is a HUGE plus).

Another major plus is the fact that it's one piece. There is absolutely no way that my "mommy belly" was going to make a surprise appearance due to shifting clothing. And speaking of shifting clothing, there was none of that. The dress stayed right where it was supposed to be (even if it did show off my boy shorts ...

Overall, I really love my Nuu-Muu exercise dress and it will definitely make it into my rotation of running outfits.

And now, thanks to the people at Nuu-Muu, one of my readers will win a Nuu-Muu dress of her own. Here's how to enter:

Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry!

1. Become a follower and leave a comment to let me know.
2. Visit the Nuu-Muu website HERE and leave me a comment to know which dress you would choose if you win.
3. Join the Team Nuu-Muu group on Facebook HERE and leave me a comment to let me know.
4. Repost this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, on your back when you run ... and leave me a comment to let me know.

Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, July 28th. Winner will be selected at random and announced on Thursday, July 29th.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

have you seen my bling?

The awesome Marlene over at Mission to A(nother) Marathon posted a fun challenge last week. She showed off her massive collection of race hardware HERE and asked her readers to do the same. And since I have NO PROBLEM bragging about my accomplishments, I am happy to oblige.

Now, I don't have a zillion medals lying around here. But I am proud of the ones I do have. Here's my entire half marathon and marathon collection. (L to R: '08 RNR Half VA Beach, '09 Patrick Henry Half, '10 Bermuda Half, '10 Disney Princess Half, '10 MAC Half, '10 Marine Corps Half, '08 Shamrock Marathon and '09 Richmond Marathon)

All of the half marathon ones are hidden away in a bag in the top drawer of my dresser.

But the two marathon medals are proudly displayed in a frame with race photos, which hangs in my bedroom (I took them out for this special occasion).

So, what kind of bling do you sport? And how do you show it off?

Monday, July 19, 2010

when two worlds collide ...

I've met other bloggers before (and have a few meetups planned in the coming weeks). I mean, dude, my best friend is a blogger (OK, so maybe I knew her before her blog. Stop trying to catch me on a technicality.) Anyway, I've in the past few months I've gotten to meetup/run with MCM Mama, Shelly, MissZippy and of course, Katye.

Before Friday, all of my blogger encounters gave the other party a mere snapshot of my life. But now, Katye has been to a place few have seen. She was privy to the inner workings of my life and family and the pure chaos that encompasses my days. (And she didn't run away screaming ...)

We did a ton in the three days Katye spent with us and my girls took to her immediately (they were begging her to stay). During her visit, we made a trip to Busch Gardens and G's pool. We ran the street of Richmond and ate a lot of good food. And she even saw a tantrum or two thanks to my resident troublemaker, Doodle. It was a ton of fun and rather than bore you with all of the details, I will just share some of my favorite pictures from the weekend instead. Oh, and if you are wondering what Katye thought of her time with us and the craziness that is my life, check out her posts HERE and HERE.
You wish you had been here, don't you?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Half and Half Virtual Race Report ...

This weekend, G hosted her very first virtual race. A half marathon and a half 10K. I chose the half marathon option since my long run scheduled for this week was 14. So, Friday morning at 5:30, G, Denise, Katye and I embarked on our ill-fated run ...
  • It was wicked hot. 78 degrees. Major humidity. It was like running through water. I kept thinking we were running too fast, only to look at my watch and see we were running a 10:20 pace.
  • Katye wasn't feeling great, so when we passed my house (at the half 10K) mark, she bailed. God, I wish I had joined her.
  • I had some serious mental issues between miles 8 and 10. I didn't want to continue on. I was positive I would never be able finish another long distance race (sucky, considering I'm planning on an Ultra) and I really thought I was going to die.
  • I didn't die, but I did get a major side stitch around mile 11. And I had about 2 oz of water left. Again, not fun.
  • By the time we hit mile 12, I was feeling good again. And I was wondering what I had complained about. I left G and Denise to pick up my extra mile and sent them to the finish. G offered to come. I said no. I shouldn't have. Mile 13.1-14 WAS SO INCREDIBLY PAINFUL. I could have used some support.
  • I finished in 2:19:12. It could have been better. But it could have been worse.
  • We got some really cute pictures ...
Our Half and Half outfits. (Half one color, half another) ...

Our attempt at a self photo ...

Denise and I around mile 5 ...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Zensah Compression Sock Winner ...

I love socks. They give my outfits that extra splash of flavor. Yesterday, I found these for $1.23.

And now, one of my readers is going to win a pair of these from the people at Zensah.

There were 473 entries and thanks to the winner is ...

# 175 - Roggia @ Beautiful Exhaustion

Congrats! Please email me your size, color choice and contact info to claim your prize!

Friday, July 16, 2010

my top 10 reasons why I hate traveling ...

OK, let me rephrase that. I love traveling. When I am doing it alone. Or with J. But with kids? Well, that's just a little less fun. So, here is my list of the top 10 reason I hate traveling with the kids ...

10. All the gear - When J and I went places before we had kids, we packed a bag. A very small bag. But now, we pack up half of our house for a three-day weekend. And even when we think that there isn't that much to bring, we still end up forgetting something ...

9. All the toys, or lack thereof - Kids like toys. I like toys. They keep my kids occupied when I need to get things done. But when we travel we never have enough toys. Or the right toys. Or we come home with new toys ...

8. The limited wardrobe - Kids are messy. Even my three girly girl princesses (who have an affinity for getting dressed up and playing in the mud). And when you are traveling and only have a few outfits with you, your kids either end up very messy looking or you are stressing out about where you can do laundry. Or you end up buying more clothes ...

7. Poor food choices - At my house, my kids eat what I say, when I say. But when traveling, it's every man for himself. We definitely don't eat a balanced diet and sometimes eating something (even if it's goldfish) is better than eating nothing at all ...

6. Sleeping arrangements - I LOVE my bed. My kids LOVE their beds. When we travel, we don't have our beds. And Dilly has to sleep in a Pack and Play, which is code for a wood plank with a 1/4 inch cushion on it. No one sleeps well. This makes for an unhappy mother ...

5. The excess whining - The lack of good sleep leads to an increase in poor behavior. Mainly whining and screaming. And in case you forgot, my kids are already beyond loud ...

4. No schedules - I am a creature of habit. I like structure and I rarely deviate from it (and my kids have come to expect it). Except when we travel. I try my best to keep everything as close to normal as possible, but it's nearly impossible to do. And it drives me crazy ...

3. My workouts are erratic - Traveling makes working out hard. Especially, if you have to work around someone else schedule. Or don't have child care. Or it's 1000 degrees out ...

2. Traffic - Getting stuck in traffic is hellish to begin with, but add three unhappy/bored/tired children to the mix and we are all lucky that I don't just drive off the road ...

and the number one reason, I hate traveling with kids is ...

1. PUBLIC RESTROOMS - Enough said ...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Three Things Squared Thursday ...

Lots of random thoughts going on in my head today, so we are taking a slight departure from Three Things Thursday. Instead, I present to you, Three Things Squared Thursday ...

1. We are headed home from New Jersey today. The drive here last week was rather interesting. I'm sure today's drive will be just as exciting or horrifying, depending on how you look at it.

2. Shortly after we arrive home, I will be graced with a visit from my best bloggy buddy, Katye. She is coming in for the weekend and G and I are going to show her how moms of three rock it out. And if that doesn't go to plan, we will probably serve as really good birth control.

3. We have a ton of plans for this weekend. On Friday, we are waking up before the sun to run G's Half and Half Virtual Race. Just wait until you see our outfits. I promise they are super.

After we finish the half marathon, we are going to head to Busch Gardens for the day. Katye is in for a big surprise with this one. Busch Gardens with a bunch of children is not exactly Busch Gardens with a bunch of friends. Again, this could turn out to be a great form of birth control.

At this point, Saturday is one big possibility and on Sunday, we are going to round out the weekend with a MTT training run with G. Lots of good times.

4. So, you know how I always wear those awesome socks? And how I LOVE the attention they get? Well, on my run on Monday, I had my first real creep-out moment because of them. I was halfway through my run when a white pick-up truck pulled up beside me. Then the creepy old dude in the front seat said to me ... "My kingdom for your socks."

I was totally caught off guard and kind of convinced he was going to kill me, cut off my legs and hang them in his living room. Anyway, I looked at him and said, "Um, yeah. They are kind of hot." He laughed and drove off. Afterwards, I figured he was probably complementing me. But at the time it was just weird ...

5. I have run over 825 miles this year. And it's July 15th. It took me until the week of November 2nd to reach that mileage last year. So, basically I rock and that elusive 1000 mile mark, I'm kicking it's a**!

6. Speaking of crazy mileage, I am plotting a single day crazy mileage run some time in the next year. There are a lot of logistics involved (finding the right location, travel, training, convincing J that I am not insane), but it's going to happen. And I may have someone else in on my plan ...

7. There are only 16 days until the Rock N Roll Chicago Half. Katye and I are arriving on Saturday morning and will be greeted by Courtney. She is going to pick us up from the airport, take us to our hotel and the race expo and then out to lunch. I'm super excited. So, if you happen to be running this race and want to meet to go to the expo, let one of us know.

8. I think 8 might be my new favorite number. I hit 800 miles this month. I am in corral 8 for the Rock N Roll Half. And my bib number is 8818. How cool is that?

9. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, you have less than 48 hours to enter my Zensah Compression Socks giveaway HERE. So, go. Do it. Now.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

telling it like it is ...

I take pride in the fact that I tell it like it is. Sure, sometimes I come off as harsh or insensitive, but at least I am honest. There is no sugar coating around here. It's just not worth my time.

And I'm like this with everyone. Even my kids get this treatment from me. "Deal with it," is an everyday phrase in my house. And it is starting to rub off.

The other day, my mom was saying that she was really tired because "it had been a long day." I shrugged at this, but Dizzle responded. Stating the obvious:

"Mimi, that's just silly. It is the same everyday."

You're right, Dizzle. It is the same everyday. There are always 24 hours. It's just being around you and your sisters that makes it feel longer ...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

calling it quits ...

Yesterday, my little sister said something that stuck with me. I was trying to convince her to join my running cult ... I mean, running hobby. We were talking about doing a half marathon when she said, "I could never do it." To which I replied, "I didn't think I could either. But now, I run marathons." And then she hit me with it.

"Yeah, but you get an idea in your head and you just do it. I'm not like that."

She's right. When I decide that I am going to shoot for something, I make sure that I accomplish it. Failure is not an option. I've always been that way. But, it got me thinking. Is a drive like that what differentiates runners from non-runners? Or the obsessive runner (like me) from the recreational runner?

I've mentioned it here before, G and I gave ourselves a tag line after a run where we let our drive to finish win out over our common sense.

G and I are "Runinspired: Runners first. Logical thinkers second." (Our shirts are in the works)

I ALWAYS finish the run. If the schedule calls for 10, I am running 10. Not 9.92. It's just how I roll.

My obsessive nature was proven yesterday during my six miler. I had just eaten a HUGE lunch (with dessert) and it was 90 degrees out. Feeling guilty about lunch and knowing I had to get my run in at some point, I headed out without really thinking about how my body was going to handle all that food.

I started running and was feeling fine. Until about mile 1.5. Then it hit me. I was going to vomit. So, I stopped. Sipped some water and composed myself. I started running again and made it another half mile before I was vomiting on the side of the road. This pattern continued until mile three, when I decided I was going to walk a tenth then run half a mile until I got home. It worked, but I was on the verge of vomiting the whole time. It was rough.

The kicker was that I was running a zig-zag course. And even at the three mile turn around point, I was less than a half mile from home. I could have cut the run short at any point. But I just couldn't. I just kept thinking about what my sister said to me. That I decide to do something and then do it, no questions asked. I knew I wasn't really sick. I knew that I had just eaten too much and tried to run too soon. And since I knew that finishing the run wasn't really detrimental, except maybe to the front yards I yakked on, I kept going. I didn't quit. And it will make me stronger. If I can run through vomiting, I can run through mental fatigue and self doubt. Getting through the tough spots is what makes you a champion. But, I'm sure to most people, I just looked like a lunatic puking on the side of the road ...

Like I said, I'm a runner first. A logical thinker second.

Monday, July 12, 2010

snapshot of eight ...

Yesterday morning, I woke up bright and early for an easy eight miler. I usually run a boring out and back from my mom's house, but I took five minutes and planned a route the night before this time. And before venturing out, I decided I wanted to share my run through snapshots. Now, I am challenging you to do the same.

It's simple. Grab your camera before your next run. Take a pre-run photo of yourself. Then take one photo of whatever is directly in front of you at the end of each mile (I snapped one every time my Garmin beeped). And then, when you are done, take a post-run photo of yourself.

I'll go first. My figure eight course took me through four different towns along the way. Here's what I saw at each mile marker ...

Mile 1

Mile 2

Mile 3

Mile 4

Mile 5

Mile 6

Mile 7

Mile 8

So, what do you see on your run?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

my future rockstar ...

Dilly's audition photo for a Kiss cover band ...

It doesn't get more adorable than that ...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

catching up ...

Did you ever have a friend that you were super tight with? How about one that you stopped talking to for no reason at all? Were they ever the same person? I have a few. Most of them, I don't really care to reconnect with. I feel like they served their purpose in my life and there's no reason to keep trying. I appreciate what we had, but now it's just not worth my time. Not to be harsh, but it just is what it is.

There is, however, one exception on that list, my friend Josh. We met at the end of freshman year of high school. We were in the same Geometry class, yet I have zero recollection of him prior to April. Weird, right? Anyway, we quickly became great friends.

At some point during our freshman year of college, I took a train and stayed with him for the weekend. It was just a normal weekend. We didn't have a fight, or at least I can't remember one, but that is the last memory I have of us as friends. I'm not even sure that I ever talked to him again after that. That was nine years ago. And it has kind of bothered me ever since.

Until now. Because yesterday, we reconnected. Despite living on opposite coasts, we both happen to be in New Jersey this week. And after nine years of silence (with the exception of the occasional Facebook comment), Josh asked if I wanted to go on a run with him and catch up while I was in town. (He obviously knew I wasn't going to say no to a run.) So, bright and early yesterday morning, we ran (very quickly thanks to his 8:30 "easy" pace). And caught up.

It was really nice and by the time we had finished, I felt like those nine years never happened. And hopefully it won't happen again ...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Zensah Compression Sock Review and Giveaway ...

A few weeks back, Suzanne at Zensah contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying out a pair of of their ProGrade Compression Socks in Argyle print (obviously, the people at Zensah are aware of my affinity for cute socks). Never one to turn down a sweet pair of socks, I happily accepted and started my research on the product.

What Zensah says about the ProGrade Compression Sock:

"The Zensah compression sock incorporates ProGrade Compression technology. Developed with the optimal amount of compression for athletes helping to increase oxygen blood flow which can enhance an athlete's performance. The only compression sock to incorporate padded arch support which allows your legs to last longer. Engineered using seamless technology for superior comfort. Graduated compression provides muscle support, increase circulation and reduces edema when traveling. Zensah Fabric is both anti-microbial and thermo-regulating which keeps your legs cool in hot weather and comfortable in cold weather. Great for racing, recovery and traveling. WARNING: May lead to ultra comfort and improved performance."

What I say about the ProGrade Compression Sock:

Well, to begin with, the socks just look good. The Argyle print is fun without being over the top (although, I don't really mind being "over the top." And I would love to see these socks in pink and yellow. Just a suggestion).

Seriously though, I was really impressed with the comfort level of these socks. They were by far the most cushioned socks I have ever put on. And my feet appreciated it. And the compression level was pretty much perfect. The socks were challenging to get on (as they should be) and felt snug, but not tight or restrictive. I first wore them during a mid-week eight miler. And when I finished, my legs still felt fresh.

I retested the socks with a second wear after my 13 miler on Monday (I didn't run in them. I only wore them for recovery). Since that run would bring me to 35 miles in four days and my legs were bound to be shot afterwards, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to check the effectiveness of the compression. The test was easy. Wear the socks all day and if my legs felt good at bedtime and for my run the following morning, these socks were the real deal. And guess what ... I went to bed without a single ache and woke up bright and early for six miles. And with that, I was sold.

And now, thanks to the lovely people at Zensah, one of my readers will win their very own pair of Zensah Compression Socks. Here's how to enter (separate comments please!):

1. Become a follower and comment to let me know (or let me know that you already are).
2. Visit Zensah's website HERE. Then come back and leave me a comment to let me know what other product you would like to try.
3. Become a Facebook Fan of Zensah HERE and comment to let me know.
4. Become a Facebook Fan of Racing With Babes HERE and comment to let me know.
5. Become a follower of Zensah on Twitter HERE and comment to let me know.
6. Repost this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else you see fit and comment to let me know.

Entries will be accepted until Friday, July 16th. Winner will be selected at random and announced on Saturday, July 17th.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

road trip revelations ...

Yesterday, I braved the open road. Just me and my SUV and 300 miles. Oh, and the girls were there too. I knew that the trip would be a challenge, simply because I was outnumbered 3 to 1. But, I never considered all that I would learn. Our six hour trip opened my eyes to so many things.

I am now aware that ... it only takes my children 23 minutes to ask, "Are we there yet?" And they will continually ask that same question (with slight variations) every two and a half minutes. After 30 minutes, I totally remembered why I so rarely take my daughters on long road trips.

I am now aware that ... it is pointless to try to answer any questions about how long a certain amount of time is. There is no right answer. Whether my children want to know how long five minutes is or five hours, the answer will only evoke crying.

I am now aware that ... it takes less than an hour for my children to request a bathroom break. I know that children have small bladders, but really, AN HOUR?

I am now aware that ... Doodle thinks that needing to go to the bathroom will save her from EVERYTHING. Seriously. She saw a bug which caused her to scream and scream that she was going to pee her pants immediately. Then the bug disappeared. And suddenly she no longer needed to go. Interesting. Then when I called her on it, she looked at me like I had two heads.

I am now aware that ... going to a public restroom with three children aged five and under is absolutely NO FUN. Dilly has a tendency to stick her hands in the toilet. Knowing this, I was forced to wear her in a carrier on my back. While I peed. Challenging to say the least. Add that to the fact that Dizzle and Doodle were constantly fighting about who got to pee first and I'm sure you can imagine how enjoyable our three bathroom breaks were.

I am now aware that ... I have the only children who will not sleep (even for 10 minutes) during a six hour car ride. Not even Dilly. What's up with that?

I am now aware that ... you can get an ungodly amount of food at Taco Bell for $10. We ordered four cheese roll ups, two fresco bean burritos, three milks, and a diet coke. And had I let the girls order the lemonade instead of milk, we would have saved $3.

I am now aware that ... I am a port-o-john magnet. At one point, I was boxed in by three trucks carrying port-o-johns. The weird thing was that they all entered the highway at different locations.

I am now aware that ... Garmin traffic reports are 100% inaccurate. I had a traffic warning on my screen for the entire duration of my trip. The road was even highlighted to indicate a current delay, yet I didn't hit traffic at all during the "delay areas." But, a car explodes and shuts down all lanes bringing traffic to a standstill and I get zero warning. Why does that happen?

Needless to say, our road trip was an adventure. I can only imagine what kind of revelations I'll have on the ride back ...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

P90X - The Final Results ...

I AM SO DONE. P90X is over. Yay! (sorry, Tony Horton. I love you and all, but I'm kind of happy not to have a date with you six nights a week. Just saying.) Anyway, a lot of you have asked if the program is worth it. And I can honestly say - YES. The program is expensive. And time consuming. And challenging. But IT WORKS (and I didn't follow the nutrition plan). I am stronger, leaner and more flexible than ever. I don't think I could be more satisified. And even though, I am taking a break from Tony, I do plan on using the program to cross-train on my non-running days. So, do you want to see the results? Yeah, I know you do.


"Post Baby Belly": Day 1 - 33 1/2", Day 90 - 31" CHANGE: -2 1/2"
Waist: Day 1 - 30 3/4", Day 90 - 29" CHANGE: -1 3/4"
Bust: Day 1 - 35 1/2", Day 90 - 34" CHANGE: -1 1/2"
Hips: Day 1 - 37", Day 90 - 35" CHANGE: -2"
Right Arm: Day 1 - 11 1/2", Day 90 - 11 1/2" CHANGE: 0"
Left Arm: Day 1 - 11 1/2", Day 90 - 11 3/4" CHANGE: +1/4"
Right Thigh: Day 1 - 22", Day 90 - 21 1/4" CHANGE: -3/4"
Left Thigh: Day 1 - 22", Day 90 - 21" CHANGE: -1"
Body Fat: Day 1 - 23%, Day 90 - 21% CHANGE: -2%
Weight: Day 1 - 152, Day 90 - 150 CHANGE: -2 lbs

Total Loss: 10", 2 lbs, 2% Body Fat

But the real proof is in the pictures ...
(Day 1 followed by Day 90)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

a fortunate runner ...

Yesterday, I ran a solo 13 miles. Something I don't often do. Solo runs are a rarity around here. I ran it alone by choice. I needed to prove to myself that I could run for two hours with nothing but me and my thoughts. That I can carry myself through the run. And I learned that I can. But that run taught me something else.

It taught me that I take running for granted. It has become this thing that is so ingrained in every aspect of my life, that I just expect it to be there. But I shouldn't be that way. Things can change. And I should appreciate how good things are now. I should appreciate the little things that running contributes to my life. The sanity. The strength, both mentally and physically. The freedom. The structure. The friendships. The really cute outfits.
And beyond that, I need to be more grateful for all of those in my life who make my running possible and those who make it enjoyable. I am fortunate to have a husband who understands and fully supports my running. He gives up his weekends so that I can travel to races. He gives up sleeping in so I can escape for early morning runs. He gives up his evenings with me because he knows that I am just too tired to stay up. He gives up eating what he wants, because I force him to eat what he should. He's a runner and he gets it. And I am thankful for that.

And I am thankful to have such an expansive group of runners in my life. Yes, I chose to run 13 miles by myself, but I didn't have to. I could have reached out to a number of people who would have been happy to join me. People who would have helped the miles fly by. And I should appreciate them more. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a training partner, nevertheless a group of runners from which to pull. I am fortunate. And I will no longer take it all for granted.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Run U Mother Winner ...

Last week, I asked you to share your fitness mantra with me for a chance to win an item from the Run U Mother product line. Instead of just telling you who won, I decided to compile all of your mantras. Think of it as a one stop shop for motivation ...

  • "You are such a ROCKSTAR!"
  • "Suck it up, Buttercup."
  • "Ice bath, ice bath, ice bath. The quicker you run this, the quicker you get an ice bath."
  • "Honor yourself by being excellent"
  • "You can do it, put your back into it."
  • "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened!"
  • "Running away from Diabetes and Heart Disease. Run faster Mommy, Run!"
  • "It's just one foot in front of the other"
  • "I can do anything!"
  • "I run because I can"
  • "Winners never quit and quitters never win."
  • "Suck it up, Sweetheart."
  • "I run for me."
  • "Rock it!"
  • "Show that road who's boss"
  • "Mind - Body - Soul - 26.2"
  • "Just do it."
  • "Just keep running."
  • "This hill won't beat me."
  • "Keep going. Just keep going."
  • "Faint, puke or die."
  • "It's just a hill, get over it."
  • "Mind over matter."
  • "Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes."
  • "You can do anything for 30 seconds."
  • "You won't regret doing it, but you probably will regret NOT doing it."
  • "That which does not kill me, makes me stronger."
  • "Yes, you can!"
  • "Never give up!"
  • "Hope doesn't disappoint"
  • "Anybody can run to the next (insert closest landmark here.)"
  • "Just one mile. ANYbody can do a mile."
  • "If I keep running, I finish faster."
  • "Your tushie isn't getting any smaller acting like a crybaby, get over it and GO!"
  • "Just a little further"
  • "If I can give birth to this many babies, I can push through this pain!"
  • "Pain is temporary. Pride is permanent."
  • "You've got more girlie"
  • "You tough bitch"
  • "You've got this"
  • "I know I can do anything I want to."
  • "PUSH, PUSH, PUSH. Don't ever stop."
  • "You're fine."
  • "Run easy, finish STRONG"
  • "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It's our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are meant to shine, as children do. We are born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
  • "Don't think about it. Just go out and do it. You'll be happy when you are done."
  • "I will pass out before I die, so this won't kill me."
  • "Just finish"
  • "Be strong, be fast. The first one is far more important than the second."
  • "Never give up"
  • "Breathe in, 1, 2. Breathe out, 1, 2."
  • "PR, PR, PR"
  • "One more kilometre"
  • "I'm just trying to survive"
  • "Don't tell me I can't"
  • "Stronger"
  • "You can ALWAYS push harder."
  • "Believe it!"
  • "Think you'll fail, you will. Think you'll succeed, then watch it happen."
  • "No matter how slow, or how small, I am still moving toward that finish line."
  • "No pain, no gain"
  • "Buttercream" (This one cracked me up, but hey, if it works ...)
  • "My body loves to run. I run (insert your distance) miles for fun."
  • "Keep running, Fatty."
  • "Man up!"
  • "Aspire to Inspire"
Personally, I ALWAYS repeat, "You are stronger than you think." And I had secretly hoped that one of you would say the same thing, so that I would have my winner. But, since that didn't happen, I left your fate in the hands of There were 73 entries and the winner is ...

#19 - Michelle @ Running With Attitude

Congrats! Email me and I will get you your prize ASAP!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

and on and on and on ...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - My house is LOUD. My children NEVER STOP talking. And their volume, well, that leaves something to be desired. Recently, things have gotten worse. Dilly is learning more words everyday and she is not afraid to let us know that she has something to say. Yesterday alone, I recall three occasions where I had to LEAVE the room because my ears were about to bleed. I'm not quite sure why they talk so much (or so loud). Maybe they feel like screaming their words is the only way to get heard. Maybe they feel like they are in a constant battle with their sisters. Or maybe they just like to hear the sound of their own voices ...

Wanting to know what was behind the vocabulary vomit that consumes our home, I asked Dizzle why she never stops talking. And this is what she told me ...

"I just really like to talk. I like to hear my voice. I just really enjoy talking so much. I do it all the time. I never stop talking ..."

She kept going on, but I just walked away. Apparently, she's not really talking TO me anyway. Maybe I will just get some earplugs ...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

move North to run fast?

Over the last two days, we have had a bit of a cool down here in Virginia. When I headed out for my runs, the thermometer read 59 degrees on BOTH DAYS! And there is almost no humidity. In fact, there is a slight chill in the air. It's lovely.

More importantly though, these runs have proven to me how much temperature affects your performance. My heart rate on my Friday eight miler was 142. And I averaged 144 on this morning's 10 miler. Obviously, a pretty easy effort. But, runs of a similar distance and pace over the last few weeks (in much higher temperatures) have yielded a significantly higher average heart rate, usually between 157-162.

I noted this trend after my run and mentioned it to J. The conversation went a little something like this ...

Me: "The temperature really does make a huge difference. It's crazy how much lower my heart rate was."

J: "See? Maybe we should move back North where it's colder. Just think about how much faster your times would be."

And for a second, I actually considered it. Only something a runner would do ...

Friday, July 2, 2010

overactive bladder ...

Some days you write the post. And some days the post writes itself. Today is one of those days ...

Yesterday, J was at an off site meeting in Williamsburg. Busch Gardens is in Williamsburg. Obviously, we NEEDED to meet J there when he was done. It was the only logical thing to do.

J was planning on meeting us there at 4:30. I figured that the girls and I would go a few hours before that to make the most of the day. So, I fed the girls an early lunch, packed up our stuff and got in the car. In the first 10 minutes of our hour long drive, Doodle decided she needed to drink her entire 16 oz cup of water. No biggie. Except she proceeded to fall asleep. Also, no biggie. Except that when we pulled into the parking lot and she woke up, the first words out of her mouth were, "Mommy. My pants are all wet."

Fan-Freaking-Tastic! The car seat was drenched. As were every inch of her shorts and half of her shirt. I stripped her down in the parking lot (covering myself in the urine that dripped off of her clothes) and gave her a fresh pair of underwear. Unfortunately, I didn't have a spare pair of shorts. So, the poor kid had to walk into and through Busch Gardens WITHOUT PANTS until we could find a store to replace them. (I did, however, tie a spare shirt I had in the car around her waist. But, you could still totally tell that she was pants-free.)

Now, for a normal person, the story would end here. But, not for me. Because Doodle wasn't my only child to have a peeing incident yesterday. At the very same time that I was trying to clean up Doodle, Dizzle started pleading with me to take her to the bathroom. I couldn't. We were in the middle of a parking lot and her sister was naked. I was left with one option. Grab the training toilet I keep in the car. I placed the toilet in the back of the car and told Dizzle to go. Which she did. A lot. She got up. I wiped her and helped her exit the car. Now, remember, I am still dealing with Doodle at this point. Dizzle is all set. I grab the toilet to empty it. Then I stumbled. And I emptied it. Right on my leg. Seriously? What the heck? In a matter of five minutes, I managed to get covered in the urine of two of my children. How is that possible?

When I finally thought we were past the lack of bladder control for the day and everyone was once again fully dressed, I let my guard down. But, it was too soon. I had forgotten that I have a third child who had failed to cover me in pee. You see, a mere 40 minutes after arriving, I decided to take the girls on a ride which required me to take Dilly out of the stroller. I grabbed all of our stuff, unbuckled Dilly, picked her up and that's when it happened. I had failed to notice that her diaper was oversaturated and the simple act of me picking her up had covered me in pee. For the third time in less than an hour.

Let's just say, I'm not planning any solo trips to Busch Gardens in the near future ...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

June rewind ...

Seriously. How is it July already? Six months into 2010, I am well on my way to hitting my 1,000 mile goal (745 miles down through yesterday) and I am less than two weeks away from completing P90X. Oh, and while we are talking about P90X, note to self: DO NOT take a week off from the program to go on vacation and expect to be "all good" when you start up again. I am unable to lift my arms and my biceps are shaking while I type this. Thanks a lot, Tony Horton.

OK, vent over. Back to the point, six months down, six to go. Here is my recap of June 2010 ...

Miles Planned/Miles Ran: 134/158.17

Rest Days Planned/Taken: 9/8

Highest Mileage Week: 6/21-6/27: 40.23 miles (while I was on vacation)

Long Runs Planned/Ran: 4/4

Donuts Earned: 111.17 (my favorite statistic on Dailymile)

Current Book: OK. Hold on tight. For the second month in a row, I read an actual book (New Moon - Yes, I know I am way late on the Twilight bandwagon). Can you believe it? I read more than just a magazine. I know you are impressed. So what if it took going away without the kids to accomplish it?

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Um, yeah. About that. All of that ultra rich food I ate last week on vacation falls into this category. Just look at this Red Velvet Crepe, I had for lunch on Sunday. Not exactly low calorie ...
Current Colors: Pink and Orange. There is something so cheery about that combination.

Current Drink: Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla Coffee. All day. Everyday.

Current Song: L.A. Baby - Jonas Brothers (seriously? Did I just admit that?)

Current Triumph: My early morning runs. I have been sacrificing sleep to get my miles done and it has been totally worth it.

Current Bane of My Existence: Humidity. I love hot weather. It could be 95+ everyday and I would be just fine. I keep my house set at 75 degrees and because I am always cold, I wear long sleeves any time I am inside. But, humidity, it's too much. I hate it. And I REALLY hate running in it.

Current Goal: Survive my current training plan, which will have me at 50 miles per week by the end of the summer.

Current Blessing: Well, that kid-free vacation was quite the blessing. And of course, there is always my loving husband and kids. Oh, and winning entry to the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon didn't suck either ...

Current Excitement: Lots. A long weekend with J and the kids starts tomorrow. Next week, the girls and I are headed to NJ to visit my mom. Then the following week, Katye is coming to visit and is going to run G's virtual race with us. Oh, and this outfit. I am loving how my navy/orange running skirt is the perfect match for my new Run U Mother shirt. It is definitely going to get some race exposure in the near future.