Tuesday, August 31, 2010

mile crunch ...

Once upon a time, there was a girl who ran 20 miles a week. And she usually struggled to do so. There was never enough time to get everything in. The kids were demanding. The miles were long. The weather was too hot. Or too cold. But, then she decided to up her game. To take her obsession to a new level.

She is still faced with the same challenges. Maybe even a few more. The kids became even more demanding. The miles weren't just long. They were really long. The weather was still too hot and on a rare occasion, too cold. But, she didn't care. She wanted to push herself. She wanted to improve.

So, she juggled when she had to. She scheduled all the time. And sometimes, even though she was tired, she had to do the "mile crunch." You know the "crunch" - when miles are run on back-to-back-to back days because that's the only way to make them happen.

Today is the end of my most recent "mile crunch." Three days. 38 miles. Two really tired legs.

But it's all worth it. We are headed to Rhode Island tonight and my "mile crunch" has allowed me to run less on vacation (less being a subjective word, of course). Two 5 milers and a 20 are all I have left for the week. And then, I will have two days IN A ROW off.

Which is reason enough for me ...

Monday, August 30, 2010

wins and losses over 18 miles ...

Yesterday morning, G and I set out on our first 18 miler of this training cycle. (We are ignoring the fact that I ran a 24.8 mile run two weeks ago. That was a race, albeit virtual.) Anyway, we embarked on our longest training run this summer at the ever-so-lovely hour of 5:40 a.m. Triple L (Long Legs Leslie) joined us for the first 12, then sent G and me on our merry way. And although I failed to take a single picture, the run was quite eventful. Some things were good. And some were less than good. Here are my take aways - Wins vs. Losses:

Win: I look super cute in lime green and yellow. My outfit was stellar (as was G's) and was commented on by random people along the route.

Loss: No matter how BRIGHT my outfit may have been (and it was), people will still attempt to hit you with their cars.

Win: G and I now have three different six mile routes from the same starting point, giving us tons of options for our mid week runs once school starts again.

Loss: Running three different six mile routes from the same starting point to make up an 18 miler is a bad idea. You end up having to pass your car constantly and thus have to fight the urge to cut the run short.

Win: This 18 miler brought be to over 1,100 miles on the year and 48 miles on the week. A new record in both departments.

Loss: 48 miles is a lot. And my legs are tired. And I have 50 on the schedule for this week.

Win: G is notorious for planning hilly routes. This is going to be a huge benefit if I am ever handed a hilly race course.

Loss: G is notorious for planning hilly routes. This makes my legs really tired and sometimes makes me want to punch her for her cruelty.

Win: My long run pace has been consistently faster than my current marathon PR pace. Like significantly faster.

Loss: My long run pace has been consistently faster than what my training calls for. I suck at slowing down.

What did your long run teach you this week?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Backpocket Sports Review and Giveaway

A few weeks back, I was messing around on Facebook and came across Backpocket Sports, an apparel company that specializes in cycling and running tanks. I clicked around their page, checked out the photos and I was immediately interested in learning more.

Once I made my way to their website HERE, I knew I had to try one of their stylish, yet functional tanks. Having recently broken up with my fuel belt, I needed a place to store the "essentials" on my runs. And the tanks from Backpocket Sports promised to do just that. Here's what they have say about their product and how it came about.

"How often have you shopped for a cycling or running top with pockets that can hold more than a stick of gum? Do you ever want a top in a fun, pretty printed fabric? If you are like me, the answer is yes. As an avid runner and cyclist I want a place to put energy gels, ID, money, a baby wipe or two without having to wear a fanny pack. I want a top that makes me feel feminine when I'm working up a sweat. Yet, most women's athletic apparel have small or no pockets, come in solid colors and in the case of cycling jerseys, make you look like a boy. So, I started to make my own and gave them to my workout partners. We like them. I hope you will too."

I was intrigued. So, I contacted Monique at Backpocket Sports and asked to do a review. She agreed and sent me this beauty (which has a built in bra top) in a size Medium (I usually wear a small):
I wanted to give the tank a true test. So, I decided to wear it on a 40K run. You remember the one ...
I figured, if it could perform well over nearly 25 miles, it would make it through anything.

So, bright and early, I filled the three back pockets with my GU (4 of them), a reusable ice pack and a flashing light.
Then I headed out on my four and a half hour run. And the tank performed beautifully. Despite having a ton of stuff in the back pockets, I totally forgot it was all there. No bouncing or jiggling. And it fit like a dream. It didn't creep or chafe and that built in bra top kept me in place. I love this top.

And you have a chance to love it too. Backpocket Sports has agreed to give one of my readers the tank of their choice. Here's how to enter (separate comments for each entry!):

1. Become a follower and leave a comment to let me know.

2. "Like" Backpocket Sports on Facebook HERE and post a comment on their wall to tell them you just entered my giveaway and what you will put in your tank pockets if you win. Then come back and comment to let me know.

3. Head over to Backpocket Sports HERE and look around. Then leave me a comment to let me know which tank you would pick if you win.

4. Repost this giveaway on your blog, Facebook page or Twitter and leave a comment to let me know.
Entries will be accepted until Sunday, September 5. Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, September 6.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

cut it off ...

In my house, haircuts are few and far between. This happens for several reasons.

First, I am cheap. I don't like to spend money on things like haircuts or makeup or non-running clothing.

Second, I can't be bothered with the upkeep. I am extremely low maintainence. I wear my hair pulled back everyday and Chapstick is the extent of my morning routine. My poor girls suffer for this. I often give them ponytails or throw on a headband. I don't see the point in doing much else.

Third, I am not really sure what styles look good on us. So, instead everyone gets a bob and I just let it grow out.

This is what I looked like the last time I cut my hair (November 2008):

And this is what it looks like now (June 2010):

These are pretty much the only two hairstyles I have ever had. Once every two years or so, I cut my hair to within inches of my scalp. And then do nothing with it.

I would like my girls not to suffer a similar fate. So, yesterday, I took them to get their haircut (it was Dilly's first). And I left the style up to them (well, Dizzle and Doodle anyway) and this is how it turned out.

Dizzle Before:

Dizzle After:

Doodle Before:

Doodle After:

Dilly Before:

Dilly After:

Not too shabby, right?

Friday, August 27, 2010

you wanted to know, questions 6-10

As a requirement for entry in my 1,000 mile giveaway, you needed to ask me a question. Any question. And I promised to answer them over a series of posts. Here are questions 6-10 ...

Kelly asked, "On non-iPod runs, what do you find yourself thinking about the most?"

Let me begin by stating when I actually use an iPod. The following things must be true for me to run with music:

1. I must be running solo. I am very anti-iPod when running with friends.
2. The run must be at least 6 miles.
3. The run must be outdoors.


4. It's a race.

So, when it comes down to it, non-iPod runs don't happen to frequently around here. For the following reasons.

1. The vast majority of my runs are done with someone else (usually G).
2. My shortest run of the week is 5 miles (and I only run that once).
3. When I run on the treadmill, I forgo the iPod for the television.

But on the rare occasion that one of these solo music-free runs happen, I generally use the time to prioritize. I run mental checklists of what I need to accomplish and how I am going to do it. It's basically a business meeting as I pound the pavement.

Rene' asked, "What are your feelings on speed work for a first-time marathoner?"

I have mixed feelings on speed work for first-time marathoners. I think it mainly depends on the athlete. For example, if you are a seasoned runner with a good base and a lot of experience, I think that speed work can be very beneficial from both a mental and physical perspective.

However, if you are new to running and have a small weekly base, I believe that building your weekly mileage is more important that a ton of speed work. I would eventually add speed work into the training program, but the primary focus should be building endurance. And you do that by running more, not running faster.

Twilighttwinsjewels asked, "What's your superhero name? What does she dress in? Please share her persona."

Name: Buttercream Crush (an homage to my love of cupcakes).

Outfit: Nike Shirt, Running Skirt, Knee Highs, Turbo Boosted Trainers and Sunglasses for when I have to go incognito.

Persona: Strong. Powerful. Determined. Organized. Jack of many trades. Ultimate multitasker. Able to clean up bodily fluids while remaining stylish.

mommaof3ontherun asked, "What's one thing you do as a mom that you said you'd never do before you became a mom?"

One thing? Dude. There are tons of things. But the one that occurs most frequently is saying to my kids, "Because I said so." I hated when my parents threw that one at me, but now I find myself saying it on a daily basis. Talk about eating your words.

Cynthia O'H asked, "When you started this 1,000 mile journey did you expect to finish it in mid-August?"

No. To be honest, I wasn't sure that I would get there at all. This is my third full year of running and my third attempt at 1,000 miles. In 2008 and 2009, I finished the year with 923 and 921 miles, respectively. So, I knew it wasn't going to be easy.

But then in April, I was told by two different running coaches that my mileage base was too small and that the small base was the reason behind my disastrous marathons and half marathons. And with that I decided to make the change. I gradually built my mileage to 40 miles a week and 1,000 miles just kept getting closer. Now, I just really want to set a mark for me to beat next year.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Three Things Thursday ...

1. In addition to marathon training, working as a running coach, managing my Etsy shop, and being a stay-at-home mom, I serve as the VP of Licensing at the Ashland Community Preschool (obviously, I needed something else to do with my time). ACP is a parent-run Montessori cooperative preschool, which I love. We are going into our third year there and Doodle is super excited to get started again.

But I am slightly less excited. Mainly because the start of a new school year means a lot of work for me. Between all the paperwork and Social Services requirements, it's like having a full-time job. But of all the things I have had to accomplish to get our parents and students ready for the school year, the most challenging has been getting a background check done on myself. Apparently, the State Police of Virginia are willing to release the search results for the 30 other parents in our school to me, but they don't want me to have my own. Funny? I wonder what they are hiding from me. I'm pretty sure that I already know everything that I have already done.

2. Since I am super cool and you probably want to know even more about me, head over to Run Jodi Run today. Jodi is featuring me in her post today. You can check it out HERE.

3. Thanks for all of your suggestions on my shoe woes. I really think that the foot pain was a fluke after all. I tested the shoes again on last night's run (6.27 miles) and this morning (8 miles), and I was pain-free. The shoes felt exactly like my old pair (with slightly more cushioning). Maybe my feet just needed a break. And for good reason ...

I am running a lot. I have not taken a rest day since last Tuesday. That is nine straight days of running. In those nine days, I have run 61.47 miles. Tomorrow is supposed to be a rest day, but I am going to run anyway. I committed to 10 days of running without a break (Thanks Shelly). And I am going to do it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

shoe woes ...

If you have been reading this blog religiously (like you should be), you probably know that I have had my fair share of shoe woes. For the first year and a half of my running, I was wearing the wrong type of shoe. Although, I supinate like crazy, someone put me in a stability shoe. Fortunately, I remained injury-free.

Then, last spring ('09) I finally got properly fitted. I was put in the Asics Gel Cumulus 10. I love those shoes, but the more I ran in them, the more they bothered the pesky extra bone I have in my foot. And after 350 miles or so, they looked like this ...
And I ended up in a cast. So, after much trial and error, I ended up with my current love - Mizuno Wave Rider. I have worn my way through 4 pairs of these this year. But, on Monday, when I put on my newest pair (they have about 30 miles on them), they felt "off." I could feel the insole pushing weird on the bottom of my foot. But, I ran in them anyway.

Well, I kind of ran. I made it about a mile before I had to walk. My foot was seizing up to the point of pain. I instantly thought my marathon dreams were over. I walk/ran until I got home (3.1 miles). Then I iced my foot and left it at that.

I woke up the next morning for a 10 miler with G. I put on my old pair (they have about 400 miles or so on them) and prayed for the best. And I finished that run with ZERO PAIN OR CRAMPING. What is up with that?

Now I'm not sure what to do. I really don't think that there is anything wrong with my foot. Obviously, I ran 10 miles yesterday without issue. But, I'm not sure if it was a fluke with the new shoes. If they are defective or my feet were just beat from the triathlon the day before. I really don't want to ditch a pair of expensive shoes, but I'm a little afraid to test them again.

What would you do?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

you wanted to know, questions 1-5

As a requirement for entry to my 1,000 mile giveaway, you needed to ask me a question. Any question. And I promised to answer them over a series of posts. Here are the first five ...

Rebecca asked, "What do you eat for breakfast?"

Breakfast. The most important meal of the day. What I have for breakfast really depends on the day. If it is a day when I will be doing an early morning run, I generally eat a Fiber One bar before the run. Then when I get back, I have a Chobani Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and coffee.

On rest days or when I plan on running after 9 a.m., I have a bowl of cereal (two servings) with skim milk. Usually it is Cinnamon Toast Crunch. But, it really just depends on what we have in the house.

On race day, breakfast is ALWAYS a Clif Bar.

Joanne asked, "What's your go-to quick and healthy meal (that the kids like) for those crazy days when ordering pizza or hitting the drive through sound really appealing?"

That's easy. Morningstar Farms Chipotle Black Bean Burgers with a side of fruit for the girls and a salad for me and J.

MCM Mama asked, "When are you coming up here to visit me (can be for a race or just to hang out)?

Next week. Let me know what day works for you and my crew and I will come spend the day with you, Jones and Shoo.

ajh asked, "What running accomplishment are you most proud of other than your coaching certification?"

The running accomplishment that I am most proud of is probably the fact that I stopped being a lazy, run-hater and decided to take up the sport. It would have been so much easier to NOT run. But becoming a runner has redefined me. It's changed my perspective on how to live and what I can handle both mentally and physically. And that is worth more to me than any award I win or race I finish.

Momma on the Run asked, "If you could give just one bit of advice to a newbie runner, what would it be?"

Push your limits (as long as you're not injured). When you think you can't go a step further, run for 30 more seconds. And when you see that you have survived, do it again. To make change, you need to be uncomfortable. Working through the discomfort, whether it is tired lungs or burning quads will teach your mind and body that it is stronger than you think.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pink Power Sprint Triathlon Recap ...

On Thursday, SpeeDee (a.k.a. RunHapi13) mentioned me in her post. She said something about me being an a** kicker and that I would rock the triathlon and take home some hardware. I laughed in response. Because, seriously, you are crazy if you think that doing no bike or swim training for 2+ years is going to help you walk away with an award. That doesn't happen.

Well, until it happens.

Yeah, that's right. Despite, my utter lack of training and failure to assemble my bike until Saturday, I finished 3rd in the Athena division with a finishing time of 1:23:43. (I know. Pick your jaw up off the floor.)

So, here's how it went down.

G and I arrived at the race at the way too early hour of 5:30. We set up our transitions.
Took this super cute picture of us in our swim caps (how much do you love the pink?)
And proceeded to wait. And wait. It was a pool swim with a time trial start, so being #341, I had a while to hang around. In fact, I saw G enter and exit the pool before I even got in line.

The Swim (11:12): The swim was the leg of the race that I was most apprehensive about. It was longer than I had ever swam before (400 m) and I can't exactly swim freestyle. So, I (and my less than stellar breaststroke) headed into the pool a little worried. I started out as strong as could be expected and I had managed to catch up to the woman in front of me by the end of the lane. She let me pass and that was pretty much the last time I saw open water. From then on, a group of five of us proceeded to swim on top of each other. No one was fast enough to make a true pass and no one was slow enough to drop off. It was crazy annoying. And at the end of each lap, we would all get bottlenecked waiting to push off the wall. Eventually (it felt much longer than it actually was), I climbed out of the pool and headed to T1.

T1 (2:02): After some barefoot running from the pool to the transition area, I quickly ate a GU, dried my feet, threw on my socks, shoes, helmet, sunglasses and most importantly, running skirt. I unracked my bike and ran as fast as my tired legs could take me to the bike course.

The Bike (42:39): I knew heading into the bike that the course was rather hilly, which was actually an understatement. Compared to the other triathlons I have done, this course was freaking Mt. Everest. I swear there were times that I passed people who WERE NOT MOVING. Early in the bike, I messed with my gears during a climb. That was a big mistake. Apparently, in the two years since last riding my bike, I had forgotten how to change gears properly. TOTAL FAIL. Eventually, I got the gears to a comfortable position and didn't touch them again (this probably wasted a lot of unnecessary energy).

T2 (0:43): Once I dismounted my bike, I attempted to sprint (if you want to call it that) to rerack and head out on the run. I grabbed my handheld and was off.

The Run (27:09): Like the bike, the run was all about the climb. After the first half mile or so, the remainder of the course was pretty much uphill. I went Garmin-free and have no idea of what my splits were but I can guarantee that my first mile was considerably faster than my last. Despite being completely spent at the end, I did my best to kick it to the finish. And fortunately for me, I had a great race photographer who caught this shot of me with about a tenth to go (could my quad look more fierce?)
After the race, G met me at the finish line and we snapped this picture.
Overall, the race was fun. Lots of painful fun. And the whole time I kept thinking, "How does anyone race anything longer than a Sprint?" (I cannot express the amount of respect I have for Triathletes.) And even though, I have proved that you don't really need to train to finish a Sprint distance, I am not eager to try it again any time soon.

But in the end, I was really happy with my finishing time, especially considering I was just hoping to break 1:30. And, I'm not going to lie, it was totally awesome to place (here I am with my award - a sweet beach towel)
But, I would kind of like to know what I could do if I actually trained ...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

it's racing day ...

It's go time. Pink Power Sprint Tri, here I come ...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

1000 mile giveaway winner ...

As of this very second, I am officially tapering for tomorrow's Pink Power 15.75 (the closest I'll ever get to an Ironman 70.3). And it promises to be one heck of a 23 hour taper. Packet pickup, a pre-race briefing and an early bedtime are all on the schedule. Oh, and I get to announce the winner of my 1,000 Mile Giveaway.

There were 109 entries and thanks to random.org, the winner is #102 ...

jen @ Jen in Real Life

Congrats Jen! Email me your contact info and I will get you winnings out to you ASAP!

Friday, August 20, 2010

how NOT to train for a sprint tri

As you may recall, I am registered for the Pink Power Sprint Tri on Sunday. I have been registered for this event since March or April, with full intention to train for the race (unlike the other two triathlons I competed in). I had a plan and I was going to stick with it. But I didn't. And now, I am two days away from the race and I have not sat on my bike or swam a single lap in over two years.

Obviously, this is going to be a stellar event for me. So, to help you in your triathlon adventures, here are my tips for training for a sprint tri ...

If you are training for a sprint tri, do not ignore that there are three different disciplines on race day. Running 40 miles a week will build your endurance, but it is not going to teach you how to freestyle or do flip turns.

If you are training for a sprint tri, do not ignore the fact that riding a bike is different than running. Sure, they are both cardio activities, but they are not the same.

If you are training for a sprint tri, do not ignore the fact that although it might be hard to get your workouts in, it can be done. Take the bike for instance. Sure, you can't bring three kids on training rides with you, but stop pretending you don't own an indoor trainer. It's not that you don't have time, it's that you're not making time.

If you are training for a sprint tri, do not shift your focus to marathon training. That poor tri that you so wanted to crush will only suffer.

If you are training for a sprint tri, do not let your bike sit in a shed for two years with flat tires. have your bike tuned up. Or at least put air in the tires. That way, you could train if you wanted to.

If you are training for a sprint tri, do not let time slip away. If you are going to use an eight week training program, start it eight weeks out. An eight week training plan will do you no good two days before the race.

If you are training for a sprint tri, do not ignore the fact that you will have to transition from the swim to the bike and the bike to the run. Sure, you have a vague memory of what transitions are like, but someone came up with brick workouts for a reason.

If you are training for a sprint tri, do not rely on the fact that you can "get through it." Yes, you probably can. But, it's likely to be painful or embarrassing or flat out laughable.

If you are training for a sprint tri, do not finish the race thinking you are invincible. You are not. And you most definitely can NOT finish a half Ironman. Even if you promise yourself that you will train, because you won't. And you can't fake your way through that ...

(disclaimer - these tips may actually be less helpful tips, and more a stark realization of how poorly prepared TMB may or may not be for her upcoming sprint tri. It might be best if you do the exact opposite of her when you attempt to train for a triathlon.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

a little healthy competition ...

My house is a hot bed for competition. Somehow, we have all morphed into these people who view everything in life as an opportunity to "win." The girls compete in a multitude of ways, including but not limited to, who can eat faster, who can get dressed faster, who can balance on one foot longer and who has the best singing voice.

J and I are not immune to these competitions. In recent months, our competitions have centered around our running. Who ran faster, further, longer. Dailymile has really upped our game.

And if it wasn't enough that we are constantly comparing our workouts, now we are having competitions about "who is fitter." For example, on Monday night, J decided to measure his resting heart rate. So, he put on his heart rate monitor, laid down and relaxed. A few minutes later, the monitor was reading 43.

I'm thinking, "What? 43? Last time I checked, mine was 41 (right before I upped my mileage from 25-40 miles per week). No way is his as low as mine."

So, like any sane individual who has a constant urge to win, I told J to hand over the heart rate monitor. I needed to check mine. I put it on and laid down. And do you know what it said?


Heck yeah. Take that Lance Armstrong and your resting heart rate of 32.

Hey, no one said I was a gracious winner ...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

she really is Selena Gomez ...

So, you know how Dizzle thinks she is Selena Gomez? And how Selena Gomez is beautiful and obviously, so is Dizzle? Well, I'm pretty sure Dizzle also thinks she can sing like Selena Gomez.

Yesterday, she got in trouble for hitting Doodle and was sent to her room. Instead of crying or pouting or even apologizing, Dizzle broke into song. I think she was trying to butter me up. Her future Billboard Top 10 goes like this ...

Mom. I really love you, Mom.
Yeah, I really love you, Mom.
Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom.
I really love you, Mom.
I love you through and through,
Even when you yell at me, I love you.
Mom, I really love you, Mom.
Oh, yeah.
(repeat until Mom actually gives a hoot)

It was freaking hilarious. I was laughing so hard that I was crying AND I gave myself a headache. The girl was belting it too. She was so loud that I called my sister to tell her about the hilarity and I didn't even have to go upstairs for her to hear the singing. Sometimes, I really can't handle my children.

So, do you think it's a hit?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

are you kidding me?

Some days my kids say the most random things. And they never stop talking. On Sunday, I dared Dizzle a quarter to not say a word for five minutes. She did it, but I thought her head was going to explode. She was pacing and kept leaving the room. It was quite funny to watch.

OK, back to the crazy things that come out of their mouths. I seriously can not fathom where they come up with this stuff. Usually I just laugh at them or with them, however you want to look at it. Sometimes I laugh so hard, I cry. Yesterday, both Dizzle and Doodle had quotes that made the "random" list.

On our way to the store, Dizzle said this to me:

"Mom, you know how Dilly is like Justin Bieber? (they share a hairstyle). Well, who from Radio Disney do you think I am? (doesn't let me answer) I think I am Selena Gomez. She's beautiful. And Doodle is Hannah Montana, because she has blond hair."

What? So, you are beautiful like Selena Gomez, but Doodle HAS to be Hannah Montana just because she had blond hair? Are you kidding me?

Funny, right? But the quote of the day came from Doodle, who is three. We were in the kitchen. She was eating lunch and I was facing away from her doing the dishes. We were not talking. I turned around and looked at her. She lifted her fork and said ...

"I'm gonna fork you."

OMG. I nearly peed my pants.

I told you my kids say some RANDOM things ...

Monday, August 16, 2010

balancing it all ...

On Friday, I got a message from a very dear and long-time friend of mine. She just had her second child earlier this summer and like me, lives very far away from her family. The message read like this:

"How in the hell ... do you have 3 kids, a job, run and have sanity? All while being without your mom? I am dying here. I want my kids to have my fam and they can't. Write a blog about that."

OK, Aim, here's the answer (sorry if this is harsh) ... I just do it. I want my kids to see their family more. But, unfortunately, that doesn't really happen. So, we try to make the most of the time we do get to spend together.

And I know you will be OK too. I firmly believe that if you think you can do it all, then you can. It takes a positive attitude, hard work and dedication. I try to keep in mind that things could always be worse. We are all happy and healthy and although I have my moments, we usually get along.

I'll admit that it's hard. We have a lot going on and parenting is NOT AN EASY JOB. And it's made more difficult by the fact that our support system is hundreds of miles away. But I take comfort in the fact that if I was really in the trenches, I know that my family would be here in an instant.

And, it gets easier (in ways) as your kids get older. Now that Dilly is 18 months old and far less dependent on me, I am no longer pushed to my limits everyday. New babies are hard. They require a lot of attention. And can do nothing for themselves. But eventually, things change and parenting becomes less of a physical battle and more of a strategic one.

But, if you were wondering how I do it EVERYDAY, how I manage to fit it all in. Well, then the answer is slightly different. Yes, a positive attitude carries me through, but the SCHEDULE is the key to it all. My entire household runs on a schedule. We try not to deviate from it. There is very little "wasted" time. I am all about multi-tasking. Here's what happens on a typical day:

5 a.m.: Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast.
5:30 a.m.: Run
7 a.m.: Shower, take over parenting duties from J, get the girls dressed and fed.
7:45 a.m.- 9 a.m.: The girls play (in the room connected to my office), catch up on emails, blogs, work, etc.
9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.: Play with the girls, straighten up the house, run errands.
11:30 a.m.: Lunch.
12:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.: Dilly naps, Dizzle and Doodle get computer/art/board game time, call/email clients, catch up on more work (the problem of working from home - you can't escape it).
2:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.: More playtime for the kids, finish whatever dishes/laundry/cleaning/errands that didn't get done earlier.
4:15 p.m.: Make dinner.
5 p.m.: Dinner.
5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.: Clean up mess from dinner.
6 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.: Get girls ready for bed, baths, stories, etc.
6:45 p.m. - 7 p.m.: Girls go to bed.
7 p.m. - bedtime (usually around 10): Prep lunches, clothes, and everything else for the next day, finish any work related tasks that didn't get done earlier, straighten up the house (I can't sleep in a messy house), watch TV/catch up with J.
10 p.m. - 5 a.m.: Sleep, hopefully uninterrupted.

So, that's how I balance it all. Some days it works. Some days it doesn't. But I try my best and we make it through. Oh, and that part about keeping sane? Well, that's what the running is for.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Mama Goes Masters" Virtual 40K recap ...

A few weeks back, MCM Mama and I were having a conversation on Facebook (because isn't that where everyone has important conversations nowadays?). And she mentioned that she was thinking of hosting a virtual race. She had planned on offering a couple of distances, including a 40K for, and I quote, "crazy people like you."

I took it as a complement and instantly agreed to run the 40K. I mean, it made sense. I'm marathon training right now. And who doesn't love an extra 20+ miler tacked on to their schedule. Then there is the fact that it's virtual, so no pressure. Plus, MCM Mama was flexible about the race date. She allowed (is allowing) racers to fit the event in where it works with their training schedule, which for me was yesterday.

So, here's how it went down. Knowing that I would be deviating from my scheduled 18 miler, I skipped a shorter run this week, so that I could tack the mileage onto my long run and still keep my weekly mileage the same. (I may be crazy, but I am not stupid.)

Up next was planning my route. In order to finish running before the heat arrived, I planned on heading out at 5 a.m. This posed a problem when I was determining my course, since I don't like to leave my neighborhood when I am running alone, in the dark. So, I set up a 10K course that I would repeat four times. This also allowed for a water/fuel stop every 6.2 miles.

I woke up at 4:45, but I had a hard time getting motivated. When I finally got out of bed, I got dressed, (check out my new Back Pocket Sports tank - a review and giveaway are in the works) and grabbed a white chocolate macadamia nut Clif Bar for breakfast.
Then, of course, I had to check my email and Facebook. And before I knew it, my 5 a.m. start became more of a 5:40 a.m. start.

I'd like to say that the run was exciting and super eventful, but that would be a lie. Each loop was pretty much the same. Not shocking, since it was the same loop over and over. Here I am after each of the first three 10k loops.
After the third loop, I couldn't mentally handle the same route again, so since I have an in with the race director, I had the race moved to my treadmill for the last 10K.
And then, a mere 4:26:12 after I started, it was all over. I ran a 40K (or 24.8 miles), just for the fun of it. Yes, I realize I am completely crazy.

But the fun didn't stop there. My post race activities included my first ice bath ...
And a post-run meal consisting of water and a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake cupcake. Delicious ...
And I capped it all off with a trip to the Nike Outlet - which is reason enough for me to run that far.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

1000 mile giveaway ...

Today on my long run (which was also my run for MCM Mama's Virtual Race), I hit 1,000 miles. For the first time EVER! And it is only August 14th! I'm a little bit excited. And I want to share this excitement with you.

So, to commemorate this AWESOME day, I am hooking up one reader with some pretty cool loot.
One randomly selected person will win the following:

3 sample packages of Sports Beans
1 package of Powerbar Energy Gel Blasts
1 package of Cytomax (tropical fruit)
1 Crunchy Peanut Butter Clif Bar
1 GoLite HydroClutch (my personal favorite handheld)
All you have to do to enter is the following: (You MUST COMPLETE BOTH parts)

1. Become a follower AND ask me a question. Any question.

And I will answer them in a series of posts in the next few weeks. Entries will be accepted until Saturday, August 21. The winner will be selected at random and announced on Sunday, August 22.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Moonlight 4 Miler Recap ...

Time: 7:45 p.m.
Temperature: 75 degrees
Humidity: 87%
Course Profile: Flat, except for the non-stop hills
Outfit: Totally cute

As I mentioned yesterday, last night was the Moonlight 4 Miler, a local road runners race with ice cream in lieu of race tees. I was really excited to run this race. To begin with, I love ice cream. And second, it was my first four miler - an instant PR.

The weather wasn't really cooperating yesterday. We were hit with a series of thunderstorms in the hour before race time. I was convinced that I was going to get there to find out that it was canceled. I arrived at the start just before 7 p.m. and caught up with Mrs. D in the parking lot. We snapped this quick picture (I didn't want to carry my camera in the rain) and headed over to pick up our race numbers.

Immediately after getting my bib, the skies opened and the race director commanded everyone back to their cars to wait out the storm. Here we are waiting in the car (Mrs. D, Earth Momma Mer and Me).

Just before 7:30 (the original start time), we headed back to the start area. Shortly after the 1/2 mile kid's race concluded, we were toeing the line. And it was steamy. Just standing there my sunglasses were steaming up.

Once the race started, we headed through the parking lot out to West Creek Parkway and did a series of two out and backs. The entire four miles was rolling hills with almost no flat sections. I started out faster than I had intended (Garmin clocked a 6:20 at one point) but I was feeling good. I decided that I was going to run hard, but comfortably and not look at my watch. All I wanted to do was run strong. And I did just that. With the exception of one woman, with whom I played a cat and mouse game the whole race, not a single person passed me after the first half mile.

As I was finishing, I knew I was in good position. Due to the layout of the course, I could see the leaders headed towards the finish and I knew there weren't very many women ahead of me. And from what I could tell, there weren't any other Athenas (yes, I weigh 151 and race Athena) ahead of me. So, I kicked it into high gear and crossed the line in 32:13.

I was super pumped. I was really hoping to break 35 minutes, based on the course and humidity, but I killed it. It was awesome. Then, after cooling down, stretching out my seized calves and eating some ice cream, I ran Mrs. D in (she did awesome in her first four miler).

At the conclusion of the race, there were a bunch of random prizes ranging from candy bars to a Garmin. I walked away with a new running cap. And the best prize ever - a FIRST PLACE finish in the Athena division (I was also 3rd in my age group and 15th woman overall). This is my sweet hardware.

How cool is that?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Three Things Thursday ...

1. Do you like running? And ice cream? Well, then you probably want to get yourself to Richmond today so that you can run the Moonlight 4 Miler with me this evening. I have been waiting for this race ALL YEAR. It is my first 4 miler (can you say instant PR?) and rather than race tees each runner is served Brewster's Ice Cream at the finish. Which is probably a good thing, considering it is supposed to be over 90 at race time.

2. I've got some other races coming up on my calendar as well. First, is MCM Mama's "Mama Goes Masters" Virtual Race. I am planning on running the 40K and hope to tackle it this Saturday. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try it again later in the month.

The other race on my calendar is the Pink Power Sprint Triathlon on August 22. Like 10 days from now. And I have a few issues facing me. To begin with, I haven't been on my bike since July of 2008, when I raced my last sprint tri. Oh, and did I mention that July 2008 was also the last time I swam. (To be honest, I didn't really train for that tri either.) Good planning, right? But, wait. It gets even better. That bike I mentioned, totally has two flats. And have I made any attempt to fix them? Nope.

But if nothing else, I am going to kill the run ...

3. Remember that Deshler Designs giveaway I have been running? Well, it's time for a winner. There were 151 entries and thanks to random.org, the winner is #24 ...

Rae from 5K Rae

Congrats! Please send me an email with your contact info to claim your prize.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

stomach pains ...

As a runner, I am used to stomach pains. I get them more often than I would like. Sometimes, I can run through them. Sometimes, I can't and I would rather stop running than risk "ruining the skirt."

I'm not always sure what causes these pains. Maybe I ate too much. Or too little. It might be nerves. Or dehydration. Or caused by a bunch of other things that I can't really explain.

What I never considered was that my stomach pains might be caused by the people around me. More specifically, the people singing around me. I didn't even realize that other people's singing could have that kind of effect. But, apparently, it can. Because last night, Doodle said to me ...

"Mom. Stop singing. It makes my stomach hurt."

Really, Doodle? I know I don't have the greatest voice. And maybe if you heard me for long enough you might get a headache. But stomach pains? How is that even possible?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

new words ...

When Dizzle (my child who never stops talking) was younger, she had a speech delay. At the age of two, she said three words. Mama, Dada and Baby. The rest of her vocabulary was jibberish. Jibberish that J and I mostly understood.

It turns out that we were anticipating all of Dizzle's needs, thus she had no reason to talk. We enrolled her in speech therapy and at the end of her first eight week cycle, she was discharged. And from that moment on, she hasn't stopped talking.

Doodle, on the other hand, has had typical vocabulary development. If all the books said she should have 50 words by X age, then that is exactly what she did. To J and I, she seemed incredibly intelligent. But, really, she was just like every other kid (she just seemed to speak so much better than other kids, since we were used to Dizzle's speech patterns)

Then came Dilly. And we really didn't know what to expect. Our pediatrician suggested that she may speak early, having two older siblings as a guide. But we also knew that she might end up like Dizzle, only she would have four people anticipating her needs instead of two.

As it turns out, our pediatrician was right. Dilly has a crazy vocabulary. She has been speaking in 2-4 word phrases for months. She repeats everything she hears from song lyrics (her current favorites are Baby by Justin Bieber and Follow Me Down by 30H!3) to the crazy things that come out of her sisters' mouths.

In the past few days, she has taken a real liking to naming body parts. She sits there and point at the body part and says it's name. She has had toes and nose down for a while. Then she added mouth and eyes and ears. And thanks to Doodle, who ran around our house naked yesterday, Dilly has a new favorite - boobies. Which comes out more like, "oooo, boobies".

Just what you really hope your 18 month old will say while you are out in public ...

Monday, August 9, 2010

crazy mileage ...

In the past two years, I have trained for two marathons. Two marathons that didn't work out exactly as I had hoped. Try like way worse than I hoped. (Based on my 5K PR, I should be capable of a 3:51 marathon. My PR is 5:06).

During each of those training cycles, my weekly mileage maxed out at 38. I ran that far once during my first training cycle and twice during the second. In the past five weeks, my lowest mileage week has been 38. Seriously? And I haven't even run my first 20 miler yet. That is just crazy to me.

Looking ahead in my schedule, my 50+ mile weeks seemed quite intimidating. 50 miles is a lot. Like 5,850 calories worth of running. Do you know how many cupcakes I could eat for 5,850 calories?

OK, that was not my point. What I was getting at is that I am no longer intimidated. Because in the first seven days of August, I logged 56.2 miles.

Six days of running + One day of rest = 56.2 miles and one happy Tonia.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

sweet deal ...

In case you didn't know, there is tax-free shopping (school supplies and clothing) in Virginia this weekend. Hmm. That reminds me. I should probably go stock up on running gear ...

(Cue the sunshine and butterflies ...)

Sorry about that. Back to my point, I am all about a deal and was not going to pass up what is essentially a 5% discount. So, early yesterday morning, I loaded the girls into the car and headed to Target. I knew I could get all of Dizzle's school supplies there (even the four pre-cut tennis balls. Seriously, they are on the list.) And I figured that I would take her to pick out an outfit for the first day.

Right. So, about that. When we got to the Girls' department, all I could see was CLEARANCE. And before I knew it, I was picking up things left and right. I couldn't control myself. The deals were so amazing that we ended up going to a different Target later in the afternoon to see if we had missed anything.

Two trips and $80.52 later, Dizzle and Doodle had brand new wardrobes ...

Crazy, right?

In the end, we bought 22 pieces for $80.52. That is $3.66 a piece. And really, the deals were better than that. I bought each of the girls a sweater (at $10 each), so that they could wear the outfits year-round. Which means, we got 20 of those 22 pieces for $60.52.

And thanks my habit of purchasing items a size up when they go on sale, the girls have plenty of leggings and tees to layer the pieces when it gets colder.

Not to shabby for a year's worth of clothing ...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

keeping it off ...

As you probably know, I wasn't always thin. I once weighed in at 220 lbs and wore a size 16. I got the way I am today entirely by hard work. I work out and eat well (usually). I wish that there was some secret to it. But really, it's just science. Calories in vs. calories out.

And since it all comes down to calorie intake, I live by one simple rule: MODERATION. I eat what I want, when I want. But I keep my portion sizes in check.

With that said, I still have my moments. Times when I let myself go overboard. Times when I fall back into my old eating habits. And when I do, I feel nothing but guilt. I hate that I didn't treat my body as the amazing specimen that it is. I hate that I lost control. I hate that I knew I had had enough but still went back for more. I guess what it really comes down to is that losing weight is the easy part, KEEPING IT OFF is the challenge.

It is something that I think about a lot. I am not fearful that a day of poor eating, or even a month for that matter, is going to make me balloon up again. The fear comes from the thought that over time the little things will add up without me noticing. I mean, that's how I ended up weighing 220 pounds in the first place, I didn't see (or chose not to see) my weight creeping up.

Obviously, I shouldn't be as concerned as I am. I balance my calories in vs. calories out quite well. The proof is on the scale. I have run just shy of 1000 miles this year and haven't lost or gained a single pound. Which means, I am fueling properly. But my eating and exercise balance hasn't become second nature. It takes quite a bit of effort to perfect. And I'm starting to wonder if that will ever change ...

Friday, August 6, 2010

16 miles on the belt ...

Yesterday, I posted a question on the Racing With Babes Facebook page. I was contemplating doing my long run of 16 miles on the treadmill last night and wanted to know which of the following options my readers would choose:

A. 16 miles on the treadmill with the television as distraction


B. 16 solo miles on Sunday out in the heat

25 people responded and there wasn't really a clear winner. 11 people said to hit up the treadmill. 10 people opted for outside. And 4 said that it would depend on whether or not there was a good show on.

I ultimately decided to hit up the treadmill. I had to run either way and I figured that if I felt good after eight, I would keep going. But first, I needed to say something to my treadmill. We've always been tight, but I've been avoiding him all summer. Choosing running with friends over him. So, I drafted this apology ...

Dear Treadmill,

I am sorry. I am so very sorry for abandoning you these past few months. For being pulled away buy the open road and early morning runs. For severing ties without thinking twice. I had forgotten how good you are to me. How you help me escape from the elements. How you give my joints a break. And how you make sure I hit my paces. I love you. Please take me back.

Yours in running,

Once that was taken care of, I got on my way. I decided to mix the run up a bit and ran the first 12 miles at long run pace (10:54) and the last 4 miles at half marathon pace (8:57). At times I thought it would never end, but 2:46:46 and three episodes of NCIS later, I was done.

And I was very happy about it ...

What would it have taken for you to stick out 16 on the 'mill?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

can't fight the power ...

I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. And if you give it enough time, you can usually figure out what that reason is. I also believe that each of us is set on a course headed toward a certain destination and nothing you can do is going to change that. You may think that your actions are altering things, but no matter how you travel there or how many detours you take along the way, you always end up exactly where you are supposed to be.

I often ponder this when I think back on how J and I ended up together. We first met when I was a senior in high school and went on a recruiting trip to Cornell, where he was a sophomore. I was 17 and had dreams of working in Media and J was the only thrower at Cornell who was enrolled in a Communications course that semester. So, by default, I ended up spending the day with him. He took me to class and then on a never-ending tour of Cornell's very hilly campus (note: I could rock those hills now, but back then I was an overweight non-runner).

Despite, J's very interesting tour, Cornell wasn't the place for me and I ended up at the University of Pennsylvania. J and I would continue to cross paths for the next two years (Penn and Cornell are kind of rivals), but we never spoke again and I am pretty sure he had no recollection of who I was.

Then in April of 2002, at the end of my sophomore year and his senior year, we both were selected to compete as members of the Penn-Cornell team, which would travel to England to compete two months later. I was crazy excited (it was my first trip out of the United States). But just a few weeks later, on May 15, my father passed away unexpectedly. It was such a hard time and I contemplated not going. But my mother insisted. She probably knew it would do me good to get away.

So, I went and two days into the trip, J and I started dating. Everything happened so fast. It was fun and spontaneous and so completely unlike my "normal" life. It was something I would have typically shied away from, but things kind of sucked at that point and I figured that even if it ended badly I couldn't hurt more that I already did. But, it didn't end badly. In fact, it was pretty perfect and by the time that we returned home I knew that I was going to marry him.

And when I look back on it now, I think about all the things that tried to work against us. The things that could have kept us from ending up together. What if I had gone to Cornell? Would he have seen me the same way? What if I decided to give up my spot on the trip? Would we have crossed paths again? What if my father hadn't passed? Would I have been as open to the possibility of dating J or would I have let fear win out? I guess I'll never know. Either way, I truly believe that the sequence of events in the weeks and years prior, brought me to that exact point. It was where I needed to be and I was in a mental state that allowed it to happen.

And that is why I don't fight the power or sweat the small stuff. I have faith that things will work themselves out in due time. That you need to look for the signs, pay attention to what is around you and to take the detours when you need to. The path is already there for you. You just need to find the means of travel that work best for you.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Deshler Designs Giveaway ...

In a few weeks, I will be heading out to Seattle to run/hang with Tall Mom, Jill, Zoe and Kerrie (among others). While I am there, we will be running the You Go Girl! Half Marathon and 10K. Mel will be pacing me to a sub 2 half and we will all be wearing our "Will Run for Ice Cream" team uniforms. Included in our uniform will be an ice cream cone headband made especially for us by Emily at Deshler Designs.

After hearing about Deshler Designs from Mel, I searched Emily's Etsy shop and decided to pick up a few more to test. I went with a thick black headband ($12) and a thin navy with white stripe headband ($10).
I received my order two days later and was instantly in love.
Not only are they super cute, but like comparable products, these headbands do not move as they are lined with a non-slip velvet underside (a major selling feature). And they are super comfortable. I can wear them all day without a single complaint. I can say without a doubt that the headbands from Deshler Designs are worth every penny.

And since I know you all LOVE my fashion sense and totally want to rock my style, one lucky reader will win the navy and white stripe headband I am wearing in the pictures above (well, not that very one, but it will look the same). Here's how to enter:

Please leave a separate comment for each entry!

1. Become a follower of this blog and leave me a comment to let me know.

2. Head over to Deshler Designs and make a purchase. Then leave me a comment to let me know.

3. "Heart" Deshler Designs on Etsy and leave me a comment to let me know.

4. "Like" Deshler Designs on Facebook and leave me a comment to let me know.

5. Repost this giveaway on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter or your locker room wall and comment to let me know.

Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, August 11. Winner will be selected at random and announced on Thursday, August 12.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

my new clients ...

For some reason, Dizzle is crazy obsessed with my business card. She carried it around all day yesterday. And once every ten minutes or so, she would bring it over to me and say, "Mom, can you teach me how to do this yet?" (she wants to run, not create her own business card).

It must have started bothering Doodle at some point because she came over to me with tears streaming down her face and asked, "Are you going to be Dizzle's running coach?"

"Um, sure. If she wants me to be."

Doodle didn't not like that answer. She responded by stomping her feet and screaming, "BUT I WANT YOU TO BE MY RUNNING COACH! Look how fast I am."

At which point, Doodle and Dizzle proceeded to have a race around our staircase. It was unclear who the winner was, but they finished, out of breath and demanded to know who I was going to coach.

I told them I would take them both on as clients. They seemed happy with that.

But when I asked them how they were going to pay for my services, they just laughed. In fact, Dizzle said, "Can't you just be our running coach? We live in the same house you know."

Yes, Dizzle. I know. But it would be nice if I occasionally got paid for everything I do for you ...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rock N Roll Chicago Recap ...

As you know, I decided to go with option C for my race on Sunday. I ran all of my weekly mileage and was going to pray for a PR. The PR didn't happen (more on that in a minute), but Chicago was a blast, the race was hot and bloggy meetups were happening left and right.

I landed in Chicago at 8 a.m. and navigated my way around O'Hare until I found Katye's gate. (not easy since I forgot to ask what airline she was on.) After an hour or so, her flight landed and the two of us attempted to make our way out of the airport. We had been calling Courtney (who picked us up) while we tried to find her car. It was a total mess and after 30 minutes of wandering, we finally found Courtney less than 50 feet from where we originally started looking for her. Go figure.

Once we were settled, Courtney gave us a driving tour of Chicago and we headed to the expo.

And it was fantastic. A little slice of running heaven. Once we picked up our bibs, we headed over to hear the end of Kara Goucher's talk. At the conclusion, Kara signed autographs and took pictures with fans and thanks to Katye (who has a mean hip check), we were the first in line. So very cool.
After meeting Kara, we headed over to the Running Skirts booth, where we proceeded to scavenger through their entire stock. I'm actually pretty certain that we scared the staff. It was hilarious. While we were attempting to take over the Running Skirts empire, Bobbi came up and introduced herself (RNR was her first half).
We all stuck together and explored the rest of the expo before heading out to lunch at Flat Top Grill.
The food was fantastic and our server was awesome.

As we left he shared these well wishes with us, "Good luck in the race. Don't sprain anything."

After lunch, Courtney dropped Katye and me off at the hotel. It was around 4 p.m. and I was 100% ready to go to bed. In fact, Katye and I made a quick trip to the 7-11 across the street, came back and were fast asleep by 7 p.m. Yes, we are that boring.

We woke up at 5 a.m. for the race. I was feeling good. Still a little tired and slightly dehydrated from the day before. We got ready for the race (which included writing my goal paces on my arm) and walked to the start.

There was so much going on, but once we got into our corral we managed to meet up with Courtney.

And before we knew it we were off. The race started with a slight uphill that lead to tunnel. The most stifling and hot tunnel, might I add. And that's where my Garmin freaked. I lost the signal for the first of many times on the course and when it came back the pace was all crazy. Apparently, I was running a 5:53 mile. Not so much.

I hit my first two miles exactly where I was supposed to be, but when the time to speed up came, I just couldn't do it. I was hot and thirsty (I stopped and refilled my handheld (22 oz) four times during the race). And once I hit mile 7 and heard the winner's time being announced, I knew a PR wasn't in the cards. So, I changed my race strategy and switched to option B. I slowed my pace and started to use the race as a training run. It wasn't worth killing myself to not PR. And it was good that I made that choice because by mile 8, I was hit with the runners trots. Four bathroom breaks in the last 5 miles. Not fun.

I finished the race in 2:11:05, exactly a 10:00 pace. After grabbing as much water and Popsicles as I could, Katye and I headed over to meet up with Jamie and Jodi (who introduced herself during mile 3 of the race).
Afterwards, Katye and I headed back to the hotel, ate a fabulous brunch (chocolate and marscarpone stuffed french toast) and relaxed before heading to the airport. The weekend was a blast. An extremely exhausting blast.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July Rewind ...

Thanks to the magic of auto-post, I am off rocking Chicago while you read this. So here it is. My recap of July 2010 ...

Miles Planned/Miles Ran: 166/168.95 (an all-time monthly mileage record)

Rest Days Planned/Taken: 9/8

Highest Mileage Week: 7/12-7/18 - 41 miles

Long Runs Planned/Completed: 4/4

Donuts Earned: 120.31 (my favorite statistic on DailyMile)

Current Book: I am finally catching up with the rest of the world and reading the Twilight series. I am currently making my way through Eclipse and am planning on reading Breaking Dawn during the travel portion of my trip to Seattle to visit Mel next month.

Current Shame Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Teen Mom. I hate that show, yet I CANNOT STOP WATCHING. I know, it's pathetic.

Current Colors: Lime, White and Black

Current Drink: Lots and lots of water. It's too hot for anything else.

Current Song: If we ever meet again - Timbaland and Katy Perry. LOVE IT.

Current Triumph: I recently launched my coaching business. You can check it out HERE or 'like' me on Facebook HERE. Or if you really wanted to support me and do a little advertising while you are at it, you can buy a logo tee HERE. Lots of fun stuff. There might just be a TMB Endurance Training giveaway in the near future ...

Current Bane of My Existence: All these early morning runs. Now don't get me wrong, I do appreciate being done with my run by 7 a.m., but I really miss my sleep. I am literally counting down the days until school starts again and I can run at a more reasonable hour.

Current Goal: Finish my marathon training in one piece. My first two marathon training cycles left me injured. But third time's the charm, right?

Current Blessing: Life. Things seem to have a way of working themselves out and I am so grateful for that.

Current Excitement: Well, obviously launching TMB Endurance Training. And my upcoming trip to Seattle. And MCM Mama's virtual race (I'm in for the 40K). And the thought of runs that start after the sun rises ...