Sunday, February 28, 2010

Huguenot 3 Miler Recap ...

Can we talk for one second about how I am notorious for horrendous racing? And how I rarely finish without being a victim of total crash and burn? Or how I almost always self-sabotage?

Well, for one second, let's just imagine what would happen if I didn't do any of that. What a perfect world that would be. Oh, wait. I don't have to imagine. Because, for once, I DIDN'T CHOKE. No, you didn't read that wrong. I ROCKED THIS RACE. I woke up at 6:30 this morning in total freak out mode. I knew how I wanted this race to go, but I was super afraid that I wouldn't be able to deliver. Again. So, I got dressed, ate some breakfast and tried to settle my nerves. I had decided that I was going to shoot for sub 24 minutes. McMillan said that based on my two mile time from a few weeks ago, I should be able to finish in 23:13. That's a 7:44 pace. I figured that if I averaged just under an eight minute pace, I would be happy.

At 7:30, I headed over to meet G and V to drive to the race. Here we are before heading out.
Shortly after 8, we registered and met up with D (our other Cheetahlicious friend). This is right before the start.
I was in complete freak out mode until the start. Seriously, I was shivering from the nerves. (I know, weird reaction). Once we started, it was a whole other ballgame. The course description said, "A fast out and back course with a few turns." To me, this meant that we were going to be running pretty much in a straight line turning here or there. So, about that. This course was treacherous. There were gumballs (you know, the ones from trees, not actual chewing gum) and like a zillion tight turns on a packed trail. At one point, D literally grabbed a tree like a pole and swung from it to make the turn. Oh, and that out and back part. Not really, more like out to a loop, run the loop twice and back to the start.

I tried to take it out slowly and really had no other choice as it was challenging to get around people on the trail. Finally, at around mile 1.5, the trails cleared up enough to maneuver freely. I decided that I was not going to look at my watch during the race. All I did was listen for the beep at each mile and try to pick it up a little. And shocker, shocker, it worked. I felt great the whole time and finished strong. And guess what I crossed the line in ... 23:13 (6th in my age group). Exactly the same time McMillan predicted. Creepy, right?
(And in case you were wondering, that finish predicts a 1:51 half ... perhaps I'll hit that sub-2hr goal I have at Disney?!?!)
This is my after picture, as requested by Shelly

Saturday, February 27, 2010

open letter to my Newtons

I think this might just be love at first run. I mean, look at you with your Action/Reaction technology and your lime green laces, you're irresistible.
I can't take my eyes off of you. Tempting me with your slipper-like uppers and lightweight design. Running with you is like running on pillows. I know I'm supposed to break you in slowly, but how am I supposed to do that when you make it so easy to run faster and longer. I need my fix. I crave speed. And you deliver.

Our first date was so memorable. You, me and the treadmill. That mile was bliss. But, then I heard that you were a much better performer outdoors. (No, it couldn't be.) I needed to see for myself. So, I took you out for a loop around the neighborhood. And you did not fail to impress. I know you told me to run slowly, but I'm not even sure how that would be possible. You propelled me forward. I never even looked at my watch. I just ran comfortably, singing along with my iPod. We finished that first mile in 8:08. And when we turned around to head home, I considered walking. But I just couldn't. So we jogged the quarter mile home. I tried my best to go slowly. But all I could drop back to was an 8:33. What have you done to me?

Forever yours,

P.S. - Please don't turn on me like I've heard you can do. I promise I'll treat you right ...

Friday, February 26, 2010

no more limping ...

So, I went back to the Witch Doctor yesterday for a follow up on my uneven legs and messed up tailbone. He had both good and bad news. The bad was that my tailbone is, in fact, broken. Yup. I broke my butt. Fortunately, it happened three weeks ago and it usually takes six to eight weeks to heal, so I am like half way there!

The good news was that he is pretty sure that my uneven legs can be corrected. From the x-rays, it looks like when I broke my pelvis, it reset in the wrong position causing the difference in my leg length. So, the Witch Doctor worked his magic (not really sure what he did, but it involved slamming on my SI joint which kind of felt like breaking my pelvis all over again). And guess what? I stood up and MY LEGS WERE EVEN! He said that it's probably temporary due to the fact that my body will try to force itself back into the position it has been in for the last 16 years. But that he can keep adjusting my pelvis and eventually it should stick! Can I just tell you how excited I am?

In other news, Katye tagged me with an Honest Scrap Award (not quite sure what that is, but I figure I'm scrappy, so I'll take it.) Accepting requires me to answer the following 10 questions:

1. Best Meal Ever: Hands down, garlic and pepper crabs. My dad made this for us all the time when we were kids. I could eat them FOREVER and now, when I smell them cooking I instantly think of my Dad.

2. Best Sleep Ever: Obviously, it was on Wednesday night - my first night in my new king size bed! That didn't suck ...

3. Best Cup of Coffee: Well, I have always hated coffee. At least I hated it until I was pregnant with Dilly. Then suddenly it was all I wanted to drink. Now I drink like 4 cups a day. And without a doubt, Dunkin Donuts coffee is the best. No question about it ...

4. Best Romantic Moment: OK, so you know that moment in movies where the girl and the boy lock eyes and the rest of the room becomes a blur? Well, I had a moment like that with J. We were in a bar in Wales and we were sitting at a table talking and I just remember looking at him and thinking to myself, "Wow!" and in that instant, it felt like everyone else disappeared ...

5. Best Childhood Memory: When I was a kid, we used to take a bunch of tubes, tie them together and float down the Delaware River. We'd spend the whole day on the river, swimming, eating, relaxing. It was so simple, but so much fun. It was always my favorite part of summer vacation.

6. Best Moment of Your Life: Without a doubt, becoming a mother. There is something about holding your baby for the first time that just can't be explained.

7. Best Moment of Revenge: Hmm? I'm not sure I have had one yet. Maybe it will happen at that 10 year reunion I was telling you about ...

8. Best Thing Someone Has Done For You: My parents taught me about determination, sacrifice and self-sufficiency. They have been great examples on how to live your life and I am beyond thankful for that.

9. Best Thing You Have Done For Someone Else: I once read this shirt that said, "I grow people. What's your superpower?" Having my children is definitely the best thing I have done for someone else. I have loved them. Nourished them. And sacrificed for them. And I will continue to do all of that until the day I die.

10. Best Life Changing Moment: Take one guess ... That's right, the moment I laced up my running shoes for the first time. Running has changed me in so many ways and I just can't figure out why I didn't start it sooner ...

And now to pass it on. I bestow the Honest Scrap Award on ...
Sarah @ Brunette on the Run
Saundra @ Fitness for Foodies
Angela @ Life of a Former Beauty Queen (she's new to blogging and my little sister ... go show her some love)
Jill @ Running to Sanity
Meg @ Meg Runs!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

three things thursday ...

There are just 10 days until the Disney Princess Half Marathon!! Taper is in full swing. I have one more four miler and four more three milers before the race. And we leave on Tuesday night. I.CAN.NOT.WAIT!!

And the three things for today are ...

1. DILLY IS WALKING!! Holy cow! This means I now have three children who can all run off in different directions upon arrival. Fantastic! I am so never going anywhere ever again. (Note: I will still be going to Disney. We will have a third adult on our trip. There will be no zone coverage going on here. It's all man on man.)

2. My new king bed is GLORIOUS! Best night of sleep I have had in a long time. I actually woke up refreshed. I'm kind of wondering why J (who is 6'7 and built like a linebacker) and I suffered on a rock hard queen for the last 6 years ...

3. I am running with G in her comeback race on Sunday - the Huguenot 3 Miler. OK, I probably won't run "WITH" her since I don't have a 3 mile PR (and I'd like a fast one!). But I will stand with her at the start and cheer for her at the finish! And speaking of races, G and I are running the Marine Corps Crossroads 17.75K on June 12th. The race is in Manassas, VA. And we were thinking it would be the perfect opportunity for a bloggy meetup. So if you live in the DC area, or want to drive/fly/run in for the race, check out the link above and let me know if you are interested. We'd love to run with you!

Happy Thursday!

the procrastinator ...

I know it's totally not PC to stereotype or categorize people, but let's be honest (aren't I always?), some people just have certain characteristics they are known for.

Take me for instance, I have ALWAYS been known as "The Jock." This is evident by the fact that when Senior Superlatives were announced in high school, I won "Class Olympian." My jock status still manifests itself every now and then on Facebook when people tag me in one of those stupid pictures that lists a whole bunch of character traits and you have to scroll over the picture to see which one is you. (I NEVER have to look. I already know the answer.)

This is not to say that this classification is not correct. In fact, it's dead on. I have been an athlete in one form or another since I started playing soccer at age three. And as luck would have it, I was always pretty good at whatever sport I tried. I was a varsity athlete in soccer, basketball and track all four years of high school. I won two state titles in the shot put. I was a Division 1 track and field athlete in college. (Note: I always managed to play the position or compete in the event with the LEAST amount of running. Weird, right?)

I'm starting to notice that my children are also showing certain classifiable character traits. I'm already sure of what sports my children will excel at and which they won't. And I am pretty confident that I can pinpoint each of their "categories," (at least the ones they are demonstrating at this point in their young lives). Dilly is a "class clown." She's just plain silly and is always working the room. Doodle is a "tantrum queen". She has a fiery temper. She's quick to overreact and lets you know it. And Dizzle, well Dizzle is "The Procrastinator." That girl knows how to play anyone. And it is crazy annoying. Take last night for instance.

I put the girls to bed at 7 and told them that I was going to run on the treadmill, which meant that I would NOT be able to hear them if they screamed for me. So, don't waste your time. Just go to bed. They said OK and kissed me goodnight. Fast forward to the end of my run and guess who is screaming ... Dizzle. I proceed to go check on her and this is what happened:

Dizzle: "Mom, I was calling you because I really had to go to the bathroom."
Me: "You just went 40 minutes ago. Ugh! Whatever! Just go!"
Dizzle: (lets out two drops of urine) "OK. But now I need to wash my hands. And my face. And brush my teeth."
Me: "You already did all that."
Dizzle: "Um, I need to call Daddy and tell him goodnight and when is he going to come home."
Me: "He is at a work thing. He won't be home until Friday. I'll let him know you said goodnight."
Dizzle: "Oh, well, I had to borrow Doodle's slippers because my feet were cold. But now, I need to go get mine."
Me: "Why?"
Dizzle: "Well, what if Doodle needs hers back?"
Me: (obviously frustrated) "You don't sleep with your slippers on, so you don't need them. Just get back in bed!"
Dizzle: "Will you just tuck me in extra tight so that I don't get cold?"
Me: "Yes."
Dizzle: (now in bed) "Um, Doodle was up when I was screaming for you because I had to go to the bathroom. And then she fell asleep. I don't even know how she did that. She is SO CRAZY!"
(And I just walked away ...)

No, Dizzle. You are the crazy one. The crazy one who should have been asleep rather than thinking you could pull a quick one on your mom. When are you going to learn that I am the last person that is ever going to work on?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

total and complete randomness ...

So, I am kind of ADD today. Very scattered, which is so unlike me. I think I am starting to feel the pressure of being a single parent this week and needing to prep for our Disney trip (only six days away) and the need to plan Doodle's 3rd birthday party and the self-imposed pressure to kick tushy at the Princess Half and well, really, a lot of things.

And because of my temporary ADD, I bestow upon you a mish-mash of a post.

1. I bought a pair of Newtons yesterday. I didn't tell J (surprise, honey. Remember when you said you'd make up for not cleaning the office by getting me something ... well, you just did. Thanks!). I am super excited to try them. Expect a full review after my vacation ...
2. After yesterday's post, where I showed off all of my pregnant running glory, I got several requests for more information and tips on running for two (or three). A post is in the works. And if you have any specific questions you'd like answered, shoot me an email or leave me a comment.

3. Look what I made for G to commemorate her first marathon. Super cute, right?

4. I am super popular. Seriously, I jumped to 90 followers in like half a second. Thanks for joining me on this crazy journey. You are all awesome and I am really super awesome (no one ever said I was modest ...) And since, I'm close to both 100 followers and my 300th post, there might just be a pretty sweet giveaway in the near future ...

5. I can prove my super awesomeness. This morning, my girl G presented me with this:

That's right, a Gorgeous Blogger Award (and she would know, she's seen me in person ... oh, wait. She meant on the inside, didn't she?) To accept this award, I am to share 6 random facts about me. So here it goes:

  • I am not an animal person. And I will never have a cat or a dog (I did have both as a child, though). I really can't stand fur and I don't think that animals should live in your house. I just don't like the idea of it. I have told my children that I am allergic to cats and dogs, to prevent them from asking anymore. (which isn't entirely false - my eyes itch like crazy around them). Maybe one day we'll get a fish.

  • I am mildly addicted to hot sauce. I put it on everything. Eggs. Macaroni and Cheese. Popcorn. Everything. I love spicy food and I always ask if my food can be made spicier. This was even true when I was pregnant. Fortunately, I never had heartburn.

  • I once had the lead in a school play. It was in the sixth grade and I was a superhero. The best part of the role was that I got to wear my inline skates and skate around the school. And no one every tried to stop me.

  • My 10 year reunion is this year. I am beyond excited to go. Mainly because I am a completely different person (both inside and out) and I am 100 percent positive that not a single person would have expected me to turn out the way I did. Plus, I love my life and am totally planning to brag about it.

  • I have never smoked or experimented with any kind of drugs, but I do have two tattoos, pink hair and have had more piercings than I can count. I guess we all rebel in our own ways.

  • I married my first guy I brought home to meet my mom (I dated one other guy for less than two months). I knew J was the one, pretty much from the first time he kissed me. Had he asked me to marry him while we were in England (we started dating while on a trip there), I probably would have said yes. Even though that would have been completely nuts. We did get engaged 10 months later, in case you were wondering.

And now to pass on this award. I am going to choose only one person, just for the fun of it. And the winner is ...

Robyn at Ramblings of A Wannabe Writer and Runner

This girl is super funny (read her letter to her scale) and does most of her races in my old stomping ground, the Jersey Shore (yes, that Jersey Shore). So stop by and give her some bloggy love ...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

flipping the switch ...

Christina from Lazy Bones Running asked the following question this morning: "How or when did you know you caught the running bug?"

At first, I considered commenting. But then I realized that I can be kind of long winded (shocker, I know) and this question really deserved a post. So, here it goes.

I first started running when Doodle was four months old. I saw it as a way to drop the baby weight without obsessing over the scale. I knew that running would help me fit into my old clothes and if that happened, the number on the scale didn't really matter. And you know what? It worked. I dropped every last pound I had put on during my pregnancy and was actually wearing a size smaller than I did before having children (two years and another kid later, I'm even smaller than that.) But (and this is a big but) I pretty much HATED every minute of it. Running was not something I enjoyed. It was something I did. I ran to fight the "fat demons." I trained for my first marathon with this mentality. Whenever I was asked my opinion on running, I would reply with a big resounding "I run, but I still hate it."

I was in a negative running place. I couldn't see the joy in just running. It was a constant competition for me. I hated that I wasn't faster. I hated that I wasn't able to beat my friends. I hated how I trained and trained and didn't get the results that I wanted (I think all of this has contributed to my horrible racing techniques). But then something changed. I found out I was pregnant with Dilly. Instantly, I could run without worrying who I was faster than or hitting another PR. No one expected a pregnant woman to run. And they definitely didn't expect a pregnant woman to run fast. I started to take pride in the fact that I was a runner. A runner who was determined to show people that you can be strong and fit and pregnant at the same time.

Speed began to matter less to me. Beating my friends lost it's importance. I learned to love running for what it is. I began to enjoy the run, not just the satisfaction of finishing. Sure, I'm still competitive (we all know that) and it's fun to go against my teammates, but now I focus on beating me. The me I used to be. I'm constantly striving to become a stronger runner. To go longer and faster. And I know that with time and training that will happen.

How did you catch the bug?
And in case you wanted to see what a pregnant runner who has caught the bug looks like. Here you go:
17 weeks at Rock and Roll Half Marathon
34 weeks after a 4 mile training run (yeah, I was huge)
35 weeks before the New Year's Day 10K

Monday, February 22, 2010

no, I'm not limping ...

If you haven't read my fabulous 100 things about me post, then you probably don't know that when I was 12, I dislocated my hip, tore my hamstring and broke my pelvis all at the same time. Serious ouch! I was stuck in bed for 3 months and my doctors thought that I would never play sports again. (Yeah, about that ...) This injury, which happened to correspond with the onset of puberty, left me 70 pounds heavier. Not so fun. (I eventually went on to gain another 25 lbs or so, that was even less fun.)

Eventually, I returned to sports (about six months later) and shed the weight (about 10 years later). But I did have one lasting side effect. My right leg is considerably longer than my left. Like over an inch. I can not stand with my hips in a neutral position without bending my right leg or standing on the toes of my left foot. Fortunately, I have never had an injury due to this imbalance (OK, the ankle thing was probably due to this, but there is no way to be sure). I am, however, asked on a daily basis, "Why are you limping? Are you hurt?" And my answer is always, "No, one of my legs is way longer than the other and I'm just not paying enough attention to how I am walking."

Sick and tired of hearing that question, I decided to go see G's Witch Doctor to see if he could help me out. (And I figured that I'd ask about my tailbone, which is still killing me two weeks after my rump busted up my dining room table.) So, I had my appointment this morning. I went in and explained my history and what I was looking for. He listened, then checked the imbalanced and went on to tell me, "Wow. I usually don't see people who present this way." (Shocker! When I have EVER been normal?) He's not sure how much he can help me through adjustment since it's obvious that my imbalance is "structural." But we are going to try to get my hips to sit a little more neutrally and if that fails, we'll try out some heel lifts. So, I am going to go back on Thursday (once he has read the x-rays to see how "off" I am) and we will take it from there.

BUT, and I actually mean BUTT ... He also checked out my tailbone. Remember the one I smashed? He's pretty confident that I either have a severe bone bruise or it's fractured. Yeah, that's kind of what I suspected (we'll know for sure on Thursday). There's not much you can do for it and honestly, I'm fine unless I need to sit. Say for 12 hours. Like, when we drive to Disney next week. GREAT! Before I left, I was treated with stim and heat, hoping to decrease the inflammation. I felt great (until I sat in the car), but at the same time I felt way bad for the girl who I had to moon so she could set me up. If she reads this, yeah, I'm sorry about that.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

it's taper time ...

Today was my last long run before Disney. Taper starts tomorrow. The plan for this morning was 10, but somehow it ended up being 12. Apparently, I am beginning to think, "What's a few more miles?" when asked if I'll stick around. This is good and bad. I love running. Especially with friends (like this morning). And I REALLY want to hit 1000 miles this year (I'm way ahead by the way). But have you met me before? I'm kind of competitive. With everyone. Including myself. Which generally means I am constantly trying to one up those around me. And if I keep this up, I might just end up spending four hours every weekend on my long runs and I'm pretty sure J is not going to be a fan of that.

Seriously, though. This morning's run was great (and it's finally warmer!). Here's G, D and I before the run. Note how I managed to make myself the focal point of this shot.

G and D ran the first four with me. Then we dropped G off and picked up Em (a.k.a The Kenyan) and Alyssa. The four of us ran together for the first half mile, then D and the Kenyan broke away, never to be seen again. That's when Alyssa coaxed me into two more miles. (I'll forgive her. I love her.) I finished the run in 2:01, which falls right smack in the middle of my long run zone.

Once I got back, I put on my Recovery Socks. And they definitely are super comfy and my legs feel quite good. I'm still not sure they are worth $35 a pair, but I might feel differently tomorrow morning. We'll see.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

sharing the love ...

This morning (and the past few Saturdays), I helped out with a 10K training team held each winter by Stroller Strides Richmond. This year, the group is comprised of over 40 women (most if not all, mothers) who are tackling the challenge of running. Some for the first time. Some after a long absence. Some who caught the running bug during our fall 8K training.

Today's run was two and a half miles - a distance that I'm sure some of them thought was impossible just a few short weeks ago. I was assigned to run with the lead group of beginners, which gave me a great opportunity. As the first finisher, I had the chance to go back and run several different women to the finish. With each person I picked up I asked them about their running and how it was going, then proceeded to talk their ear off until we got back to the start. (I really hope this served as a distraction for them and wasn't just super annoying.)

While I was running back each time, all I could think about was the fact that I just LOVE running. And with each person I ran in, I was getting to share this love. To help show them that they can be runners. That something so simple can make you feel so amazing. So accomplished. And that right there is why I am getting certified as a running coach. To inspire and to be inspired.

Friday, February 19, 2010

finding my pace ...

Can I just start by saying, "Wow! 80 followers!"? Seriously, when did that happen? Welcome and if I haven't stopped by yet, leave me a comment and I will be sure to.

OK, back on task. Thanks to G, and her declaration of my greatest weakness as a runner, everyone in the free world knows that I am a notoriously bad racer. I train my butt off, but when it comes to race day ... TOTAL FAIL. The problem with this (other than the obvious suckage) is that I have been using training zones based off of my PRs. That would be fine if my PRs were actually an indicative of what I can run. I started to think something was up when I was breezing through tempo workouts like they were nothing.

So, with some guidance from the wonderful and super speedy, Mel and Aron, I have finally found my proper training pace. They both said I should be pushing to keep the pace in my tempo workouts. To accomplish this, I played around with McMillan's calculator until my current long and easy runs fell into the range provided by the calculator. This then gave me a new tempo range. So I tried it out. And guess what ... I FINALLY felt like I was working to keep the pace.

Yesterday, I wanted to double check that the zones were correct, so I logged that super speedy two miles. And guess what, my time was 3 seconds slower than what the calculator predicted. Sweet, right?

And the best part is that based on these new zones, my current PRs are WAY off. It gives me something to shoot for and if I can figure out this whole racing thing, maybe I'll actually hit them ...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Three Things Thursday ...

It's Three Things Thursday ...

1. I had a change of plans today and wasn't able to meet up with G for our run this morning (hopefully next week, G). But, I still wanted to get a quick run in before I picked the girls up from school. So, I hopped on the treadmill for the two fastest miles of my life. 14:50! Yes, you read that correctly, 7:25 pace. And since you are wondering what I look like after such blazing speed, here you go (rocking the Bondi Band that Katye sent me)...
2. I'm beginning to believe that I am a mid-foot striker. After reading Zoe's post about her Newton shoes, I realized that my wear pattern is pretty much identical to hers. The heal is perfectly intact, and the ball of my foot and plastic support at the arch are beat to heck. Here, take a look. Now, I am really interested in trying out a pair of Newtons.

3. I got to spend the entire morning with this little ball of cuteness (she's getting over the Chicken Pox) ... How could that not make you smile?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Recovery Sock Review ...

For my birthday, my mom and little sister were kind enough to each purchase me a pair of Recovery Socks. I have been interested in trying them out for a while (since I am such a sock lover). But to be honest, the $34.90 price tag has deterred me. So, I was super psyched when I received both the fuchsia (to match my hair) and the lime socks in the mail yesterday.

If you don't know what Recovery Socks are, here is the lowdown from their website:

The Recovery Sock® is not simply a graduated compression sock, but a totally new concept of health for your feet. It is the result of studies and research conducted in the medical field as well as in the world of sports. This synergy has produced an international patent leading to a new concept of FEETNESS.
The Recovery Sock® advantage is that it's compression socks incorporate a Patented Graduated Compression design that enhances and stimulates circulation in the lower leg - making it a superior sock. Recovery Sock's Running and Recovery Socks can help anyone looking for a boost in athletic performance!

- Worldwide Patent
- Exclusive wicking and antibacterial fiber
- Improves oxygen delivery to muscles
- Lactic acid production reduced
- Proven cramp relief
- Tested and used by World Class athletes

Compression is not a new technology; it has been used for years in medical patients with venous and arterial insufficiency. However, the application of this technology to athletics is relatively new. There is clear evidence to support compression use in promoting recovery. Using compression socks after a race or hard workout provide a substantial benefit. These garments will help to avoid venous stasis (blood pooling in the legs) and swelling. Compression is particularly helpful in depended areas of the body, such as the feet and lower legs where gravity has a greater effect on blood return. Improved blood flow after a workout results in enhanced nutrient delivery and removal of waste products to and from muscles. This creates a situation optimal for muscle repair, reduced stiffness and heaviness in the legs and possibly less soreness. Several studies have demonstrated that post exercise blood lactate levels were lower with compression sock use both during and after exercise. Other studies have demonstrated that compression socks do create a major fluid shift in the body. Compression garments are believed to improve venous blood return to the heart and allow for better cardiac output (flow of oxygenated blood from the heart) thereby aiding oxygen delivery to working muscles and increased endurance.

I decided that I would test one pair while running and then the other post-run. Here I am before sweating it up:
So, how did they work? Well, let's say I had high hopes. The socks were challenging to get on, as they are COMPRESSION socks after all. But once they were on, they were rather comfy (and SUPER CUTE might I add). But, if we're being honest here (and you know I always am) I was expecting more. Once they were on, I didn't feel like they provided any more "support" than my standard knee high athletic socks that I usually rock. With that said, I was still interested to see if they made a difference. I planned on a five mile tempo run. I figured that this would be ample time/distance/speed to test them out. Now, I'm not sure if it was. During the run, I noticed no difference from the socks I am currently wearing. In fact, I felt like there was almost too much compression on my Achilles. Not painful, just kind of annoying. I was really aware of it. (Note: this might be due to the fact that I was really paying attention to how they performed.) Overall, I'm kind of on the fence about running in them. They didn't hurt, but I'm not sure that they helped either.

For the second part of my test, I decided to wear my other pair immediately after the run and overnight to see if they helped my recovery time. Usually, when I wake up the morning after an evening run, my legs are tired. I feel it as soon as I get out of bed. Then once I get up and moving, I'm fine. On most days, I am ready to hit the pavement by 9 a.m. (two hours after waking). Today, I woke up and my legs were still tired. But, I noticed it much more in my quads than in my calves. And because of this, I was ready to run by 8:30, instead of 9. Which initially I didn't think of as much of anything. But then I thought about it. If these socks shave 30 minutes of recovery off of a five mile run, then that would be an hour off a 10 miler and two off a 20 miler. And I can see the value in that. I can also see the value in all the things that compression use has been connected to (i.e. reduced swelling, optimal muscle repair, etc.) And because of this, I am going to test them again during my long run this weekend and the recovery period afterward. Maybe then I'll be convinced. But as of right now, I'm not sure that the slightly shorter recovery is worth the hefty price tag, at least for me.

*This review is solely my opinion. I was in no way compensated for my review.

Monday, February 15, 2010

what I did on my rest day ...

So, you know how I am all matchy matchy with my outfits? Well, I just stepped it up a notch. Now the hair matches too. Check out my new fuchsia highlights.
I love it. But to be honest, the picture really doesn't do it justice. It is actually much brighter in person. Maybe it will actually be sunny here tomorrow and I can get a good shot it the sunlight.

And speaking of the sun, Anne tagged me with this Sunshine Award! And now it's my turn to pass this on to 12 wonderful bloggy friends and let them know with a comment. So here it goes,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

not quite a recovery run ...

Did you ever have one of those runs where you kind of forget that you are running and suddenly you are done? Well, that was my "recovery" run today. I met up with D and K for five miles this morning. Here we are pre-run looking, um, less than awake. (I know I cut out half of K's face, but I thought it was more authentic that way).

Now, K and D are speedy (K has competed in Worlds in the duathlon). But usually, they just run whatever pace I set. (I kind of have a way of setting my group's pace. Not sure how that always happens.) So, I figured that we'd run 9:30-10:00 miles, not really in the recovery zone, but not hard either. But, that didn't quite happen. Instead, we ran negative splits for the five miles, posting an 8:36 last mile. It was awesome. (And, yes, I was still the one who set the pace.) I just love runs like that. I feel so energized afterwards.

I also needed this run, because my running mates helped to put my head back on straight. They managed to talk me down from the "run two half marathons in a week and blow your Disney PR" cliff I have been on. They know that I won't just run the first race as a "training run." (I knew that too. I just didn't want to say it.) So, instead, I think I am going to run a 3 miler with G. I've gained a lot of speed in the past few months and I've never run a 3 miler, so it would be an instant PR.

As for the Fanatic thing, I have a couple options. I am registered for the Georgia Half on March 21. My trip to GA got cancelled, so I wasn't going to run. But I might just head down there and do it anyway. Or, I have until April 18 to get the three in 90 days, so I could always find another local race to run. Or, I might just wait until next year and take MCM Mama's suggestion and do two in one weekend here in VA. (I'm kind of bummed that the weekend she told me about doesn't work for me this year).

The point is, I'll get it. I'm just not going to rush into it, as I have been know to do ...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

am I crazy?

In case you haven't noticed, I am kind of competitive. Not only with myself, but with those around me. Even if they are not competitive in return. (Seriously, why don't some people get that EVERYTHING is a competition? So frustrating.) Anyway, I am constantly trying to one-up myself. Which is good. And bad. Sometimes I just take on too much. But worse than that, sometimes I don't know if it's too much until it's too late.

Here's my dilemma. I really want to earn Half Fanatic status. Thanks to G, I have become aware of a half in Williamsburg (about a 45 minute drive) that is on February 28. Exactly one week before Disney. This race would give me 3 half marathons in a 90 day window AND 2 half marathons in a 16 day window. So basically, I'd be set. The only problem (other than convincing J) is that I really think Disney is the race that could give me that 2 hour half I am looking for. And I'm not sure I want to risk that. My thought is to run Williamsburg at a controlled pace of 9:30-9:45 (which would still be a PR) as sort of a practice run for Disney. Am I totally nuts? Should I just find another half to run after Disney that falls in the same 90 day window? Should I just wait until next year for the Fanatic thing?

On a lighter note, I ran an awesome 12 miler this morning. Here I am looking super cute.
I started out on the treadmill, which I quite like. It's really nice being all toasty when you step outside. After about 6.5 miles I joined the Stroller Strides 10K training team, which I am helping out, for their long run. Once we got back, I picked up the pace and finished my run. It was one of those runs that you don't want to end (although I wouldn't have minded it being a tad warmer). I finished in 2:02 and considering we were running 12 minute miles with the training group, I was quite happy with the overall pace. I was really pushing it in the last two miles.

So, how was your long run?

Friday, February 12, 2010

it's my bloggy anniversary ...

Two years ago today, I started Racing With Babes by posting this. I'm pretty sure that when I wrote it, I was positive that no one but my immediate family was ever going to see it. And I think I was right. At least initially. It was two months before anyone even left me a comment. And even then, it was someone who could have just told me face to face. But I didn't care, I figured if nothing else, one day my kids would read this and maybe they would have a better understanding of their childhood and the choices I've made for myself and for them.

Over the course of the last two years, I have shared ups and downs. Sadness and joy. Successes and failures. And just plain silliness. But most of all, I have chronicled my journey as a wife, a mom and runner. I have shared my moments. The way I see them. And sometimes, when you do this, you don't see the whole picture. And that's why for this special post, I have asked the three people who know me the best in those three areas of my life (my hubby, my mom and my training partner) to share with you my greatest strength and greatest weakness (with my color commentary, of course).

So, here it goes.

J's take on me as a wife:


There are so many great things that I can say about my wife that it’s really hard to pick just one. She truly is everything and more that I could have imagined as a wife. She’s organized, patient and committed to what she does. If I had to pick one trait about Tonia that is her greatest as a wife it would have to be her understanding of and support for me.

Tonia is my rock. She is 100% supportive of me and knows how to pick me up if I’m having an off day. She gets my sense of humor and no matter how ridiculous I can be or how fired up I get (mainly watching sports) she gets it and let’s me be me.

Opportunity (Obviously, he works in the corporate world ...)

While Tonia is a great wife and I wouldn’t change anything about her, I think that her biggest opportunity is that she sometimes puts herself and her ambitions on the back burner. T is a smart cookie and can accomplish whatever she sets out to do, but sometimes she decides not to do things because she doesn’t want to take away from her time with me. I am grateful for this, but want her to know that I am behind her as she is behind me.

I’ll add a second item (light of course) and it is that she is so focused on being a great mom, which she absolutely is, that she never decides to dress it up with some nice clothes and make-up. I have no problem with this, but Tonia should know she can do as she pleases. Lastly, I think she’s addicted to running clothes as I think she is going to run out of color combinations to match up between running skirts, socks, shirts, hats and accessories. (That was three things wasn't it. What happened to following the rules. And in my defense, I wear my running gear like 90% of my day. So I might as well look cute.)

I love you Tonia!
(Aw, I love you too!)

Back on task. Here's what my mom had to say about me as a mother:

Tonia’s Greatest Strength as a mom
When asked to write this, I thought how on earth am I going to pick one particular strength of Tonia’s, when there are so many that stand out. Picking one is like finding that pea under your mattress or the needle in the hay stack. We all know that raising a child is one of the most difficult yet rewarding jobs one can have and as parents we need to know how to keep control, as we teach respect, passion and love.
My daughter is an amazing teacher of life. She takes pride in herself and her children.

So having said that I now have to pick her greatest strength, and I would without a doubt choose her patience. Tonia has this unlabored talent of keeping her cool at the hottest of moments. Fighting with her children is virtually unheard of, but instead she goes head first into the conversation with a calm non judgmental attitude. Giving her child the opportunity to explain the situation before placing judgment or punishment. She approaches her children and the many moods that children go through with "just another day" attitude. I have always taken pride in the way that I have raised my children, but I can honestly say that Tonia has it hands down over me and its mostly because of her patience.

Her Greatest weakness

This is actually a harder search for my mind. There aren’t many if any weakness I can think of, so I think I will have to go with television…I know lame right, but yes television, her children have an obsession with it. They love watching and learning which is cool, but they also stand not one foot away from it, which drives me insane, and doesn’t for one moment bother Tonia. So is this a weakness? I’m not sure but it sure as hell bothers me. (OK. So my kids watch TV REALLY CLOSE to the TV. But do you know who else watches way too much TV? Me! And do you know who one of the most active and intelligent people I know is? Right. Me. And I'm not tooting my own horn. I have an Ivy League degree. Just saying.)

And finally, G's take on me as a runner:

Before I talk about T’s greatest strengths and weaknesses, I would like to say that I admire her more than any person ever featured on the front of Runners World, Self, or any other magazine. Not only because she looks hot in her running skirt, but also because she is FIERCE and COOL at the same time. T, it’s an honor to be your running mate. Congratulations on another great year of blogging, running and mommy-ing. (Look at her buttering me up ...)

T’s greatest strength as a runner is the strength of her “heart”. Some people mistake this as purely “competitive nature”, but I know what I see on each and every run. Truly, if there is one thing I know about T, it’s that she knows the meaning of DIG DEEP, and if she does that and doesn’t find what she needs, she will just DIG DEEPER. I confess that I have used this against her and when she tells me she has nothing left, I simply push myself to run a half step ahead of her. She never falls behind, she just pushes harder to pass me. Maybe I’m not such a good friend after all, and I probably won’t be invited to run the last mile of a half marathon with her ever again, or write on her blog page again for that matter....

T’s greatest weakness as a runner is hard for me to put into words. Partly because I am T’s cheerleader, biggest fan, and teammate and telling someone their weakness isn’t a good way to keep any of those titles. But, after thinking it over, T, there is something I’ve wanted to say to you for a while, and didn’t know how to express. I’m certain that with patience and time I would find a nice flowery Hallmark card that conveyed this message, but I’m a mom of 3, I don’t go into card stores, so... I will just say it like it is: You’re better at TRAINING than you are at RACING. The training system you follow is a prescribed regimen of dependable, inoffensive, risk-free paced miles designed to ensure that you finish every training run. There is nothing wrong with this, except that isn’t your race style at all. You race like an ex-BMX Junkie with nothing to lose and something to prove. I would know. The day to falter, see spots, and get light headed is NOT on race day, it’s on training day. I believe that this weakness will be your greatest strength when I write this post next year, because you’re going to either learn to race with this same controlled pacing OR you are going to inject some of your race day FEROCITY into your training. Bring it on. (Fine. I can't even dispute that. It's 100% true. Probably would have picked the same thing for myself.)

WOW! I can say nothing but thank you. Thank you for being my support team. Thank you for risking getting me upset by throwing my flaws out there (especially J who has to live in the same house as me.) Just thank you.

And thank you to all of you who listen to my ramblings day after day. And thank you to all of you who chime in with your two cents. And all of you who lurk in the background (you know, you should really speak up. I don't bite and I love to know you're there ...) I hope that you've enjoyed my family's journey as much as I have. We'll do our best to continue to provide you with a fair share of chaos ...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

and then I couldn't sit ...

My office is in my dining room. My desk is right next to my table. My table has a glass top. Today, I felt the need to slam my tailbone onto the corner of the glass table top. (I'm not even sure why I was squatting). The table top shifted. I feared that when I turned around the plates on the table were going to be broken. But I couldn't turn around. I was too busy clinching my cheeks (yes, those cheeks) to fight the pain. The pain that nearly made me pass out. The pain that caused pressure in my ears. The pain that made me call G to have her watch my children in case I fell unconscious. Fortunately, that feeling passed as quickly as it came, but then I couldn't sit ...

My Coccyx is crazy bruised. It's definitely swollen. It hurts when I cough. My first thought (before the wave of impending doom hit me) was, "Holy Crap. I have a race in three weeks." But I'll be OK, because I did some research and found this info on how to heal ...

Avoid sitting down for long periods of time. When seated, sit on hard surfaces and alternate sitting on each side of the buttocks. Also, lean forward and direct your weight away from the tailbone.

For traumatic injuries, apply ice to the tailbone area for 15-20 minutes, four times a day, for the first few days after the injury.

Use ibuprofen (Advil), or a similar pain medicine, as directed on the label for pain control.
You can purchase a "doughnut" cushion or pillow to sit on. This cushion has a hole in the middle of it to prevent the tailbone from contacting the flat surface.

Eat foods high in fiber to soften stools and avoid constipation.

Look there is no mention of NOT RUNNING. Just ice, Advil and sitting on a "doughnut." In fact, it says not to sit for a long time. And what is the opposite of sitting? Standing. And what can you do when you are standing? You can run.

Race Reports

I am compiling all my race reports (the ones I can find anyway) into one place. Here it goes ...

Shamrock Marathon - 3/08
Ukrops Monument 10K - 4/08
Run Like A Girl 8K - 5/08
Carytown 10k - 5/08
PowerSprint Triathlon - 6/08
3Sports Triathlon - 7/08
Rock N Roll Half Marathon - 8/08
Annabelle's Angels 5K - 9/08
State Farm 5K - 11/08
NTelos 8K - 11/08
Turkey Trot 10K - 11/08
New Year's Day 10K - 1/09
Youngblood 5K - 2/09
Ashland Railroad 10K - 4/09
Susan G Koman 5K - 5/09
Carytown 10K - 5/09
Patrick Henry Half Marathon - 8/09
Richmond Marathon - 11/09
New Year's Day 10K - 1/10
Bermuda Half Marathon - 1/10
Huguenot 3 Miler - 2/10
Disney Princess Half Marathon - 3/10
Cherry Blossom 10 Miler - 4/10
MAC Half Marathon - 5/10
Marine Corps Historic Half - 5/10
Autism 5K - 5/10
Crossroads 17.75K - 6/10
Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon - 8/10
Pink Power Sprint Triathlon - 8/10
You Go Girl! Half Marathon - 9/10
Indianapolis Marathon - 10/10
HCA 8K - 11/10

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

illness and heart attacks ...

Everyone in my house is sick. I'll spare you all the details, but Boogie Wipes are in high demand. I haven't run in two days. I know that two days may not be that big of a deal. But it's killing me. I will run today. Even if it's only three miles and even if it's really slow. (I will note that I probably need a recovery week. I've been going hard since January 1 and it wouldn't be the worst thing if I took it a little bit easier this week. But it's SO HARD to do.)

So, like I said. Everyone is sick. Dilly knows this, but she still insisted on nearly giving me a heart attack this morning.

This is what she looked like when I sat her down for breakfast. As you can see, our table is bar height. Not your standard table.
And this is what she looked like when I returned from the pantry. And yes, she was buckled in.
Great job, Dilly. At 12 months old, you have figured out how to be completely dangerous. Fantastic! I've been waiting for this moment for so long ...
Oh, and on a different note, I got my bib number for the Disney Princess Half yesterday. It's 2287, which are the same 4 digits of my birthday, 2782 ... can you say good omen?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

spider ...

My children are afraid of bugs. Sometimes. Well, usually only when they are being over dramatic. Like on Sunday. Dizzle got banished to her room for her less than stellar behavior. Once she got up there, she started screaming, "THERE'S A SPIDER IN MY ROOM. THERE'S A SPIDER IN MY ROOM."

Me, being the hard a** that I am, yelled back. "Stop screaming and get in your room!" But, the yells didn't end. They intensified. "THERE'S A SPIDER IN MY ROOM. IT'S FOLLOWING ME! (tears, tears, and more tears) IT'S FOLLOWING ME!"

By this point, I was laughing. I was picturing a GIANT spider running after her. Seriously, I'm not quite sure how I have such a wimp for a child. I am so not like that. Anyway, I told her to get back in her room and headed upstairs. She, being the defiant child that she is, continued to scream.

When I got to her room I asked where the spider was. "RIGHT THERE!"

Huh? I couldn't see anything. "Where Dizzle?"


Oh, wait, I see something. As I bent over to investigate, I spotted her spider friend. Which was not a spider at all, but a few strands of knotted hair that must have fallen off her brush and landed behind her bedroom door.

I left the room, slamming the door behind me. Laughing all the way downstairs ...

Monday, February 8, 2010

a rest day realization ...

I'm a planner. I like to know what I am working towards at every possible moment, even if that only means improving who I am today compared to who I was yesterday. It can be stressful at times (since spontaneity doesn't sit well with me), but my methods work for me. And I can honestly say, that if my life stayed exactly how it is right now, that would be OK with me.

I can say this because I am truly happy with who I am and what I have accomplished. I have three beautiful children, a loving husband and very close relationships with my mother and sisters. I have found my passion. I have transformed myself into the person I wanted to be. I am driven and focused. I strive to give my all everyday.

With that said, I don't expect my life to stay as it is. It will evolve. I will evolve. And being 28 for one whole day has given me the time and maturity to ponder my life goals.

Here are my top three:

1. Develop a career that centers around women of all ages and running - I have a multitude of ideas on where I would like this to go and I'm not sure that I have found the one that suits me (or the life I want for my family) best. But I will. And when I have more time to focus on work (read: when I'm spending less time raising children) I will put my plan into action. It might not be this year, or even this decade. But hey, I've got time. I'm only 28.

2. Travel to Australia - This is the one place in the world that I have always wanted to visit (and now I want to run there). J and I are totally on the same page about this one. It's his dream destination as well and we want more than anything to experience it with our children. And we will. When they are old enough to appreciate and remember it.

3. Run a race with my husband, my children, my sisters and my mom - Finishing a race and accomplishing something you didn't think or know that you could is an amazing experience. It's an experience I want to share with the people I love. I want to stand in the starting corral with them and be there as they finish. I want them to understand why I love running so much. (Maybe they will all read this and be motivated to reach this goal with me. Pretty pretty please with cherries on top ...)

So, what do you want to accomplish?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

my birthday run and YakTrax review ...

If you haven't watched The Weather Channel recently (or listened to me complain), you might not know that good old Virginia has been hit with three major snow storms since mid-December. This has led to me logging endless miles on my treadmill. My treadmill that I love. That I am beyond grateful for. That I will cry about when it dies.

But, I needed to run outside. To run with my teammates. I had the itch and it needed to be scratched. But, I am not crazy. I know I have a less than stellar ankle. I wasn't about to risk falling unnecessarily. So, I went out and purchased YakTrax. (Note: by went out, I mean called every store in the Richmond area that might possibly have them, then begged for the store to hold them for me. Thanks REI!)

I ended up with these. YakTrax Pro.

Here is the what YakTrax has to say:

Yaktrax have a unique, spikeless, patented coil design, unlike other products on the market.
The Yaktrax Pro will instantly give you better traction, confidence and safety on packed snow or ice. Move about naturally with the same solid grip that you are accustomed to on dry surfaces. Walk or run as you normally would and experience stability on ice and snow like you have never felt before.

Made with high strength, abrasion resistant 1.4 mm steel coils and heavy duty natural rubber material, the Yaktrax Pro easily conforms to the shape of your boot or shoe. With its patented SkidLock coil design, the Yaktrax Pro provides 360 degrees of traction on packed snow and ice and can be worn in temperatures as low as -41° Fahrenheit.

• Easy On/Off
• Walk Naturally
• Spikeless/Ultralight
• Helps Reduce the Risk of Falls & Injuries

So, what did I think?

Overall, they rocked. Super easy to use and I didn't slide at all. And considering the amount of ice we were running on, that says a lot. (Some of my un-YakTraxed friends were not as lucky.) I'm not 100 percent sure how much I would have slid without them, as I wasn't about to test that out. But, either way, wearing the YakTrax gave me a sense of security on some tricky terrain.

There was one thing that bothered me though. I wore a small, which is for sizes 6.5 to 10. I, being a 10, probably should have gotten a Medium. I felt throughout the run that my big toe was being pulled back (not painful, just kind of annoying). Maybe it was the size, maybe it is just the design. I'm not sure. Regardless, I wouldn't attempt another icy run without them.

OK, back to my run. So, I was itching to get out. Since we had planned an eight mile run around the lakes at a local park, I needed to get a few more miles in before I met up with my friends. This meant waking up at 6 a.m. to get in three on the treadmill before leaving. Definitely a good idea. I was nice and warm when we started the eight miler, but it was SO DIFFICULT changing my outfit. Between the sweat and the heat. Ugh!

Anyway, we did two loops around the lakes. Picking up and dropping off people in between.

Here's the group at the start: Kate, Me, Dee from BitsNPiecesofMe, G and Fay

And mid-run.

Despite being super cold and kind of treacherous, it was so much fun. I had really missed running with my team and it was totally worth getting out of bed super early to be with them. And I'm sure that everyone who passed us either thought we were super hardcore or completely off our rockers. (I'm not really sure which one is true.)

Here's Court and I after the first loop.
And me post-run.
Isn't running with your friends the best? I couldn't have imagined a better way to start my birthday.

and the winner is ...

I know you are all on pins and needles to find out who won my FANTASTIC giveaway. But first, I want to thank everyone for entering. And if I haven't stopped by to say hi, I will soon. OK, back to the real reason you are here ...

MY BIRTHDAY!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the birthday wishes. I'm quite enjoying being 28 ... Wait, that's not why you're here? Oh. I see. I guess you want to know who won then. Well, I suppose I've held you in suspense long enough. Here's how it went down.

There were 91 entries in the contest. So, I found a nifty little number generator, plugged in the digits and it chose ...
Comment #62 - Congratulations, Paige! Email me with your contact info and I'll get your prizes right out to you!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

the real reason I run ...

I know I've said that I run because it is my passion. Because it has made me a better wife, mother and me. All of that is true, but if we are being honest, there's more to this story. The real reason I run might just be because of these ...
Say hello to my birthday cupcakes! (courtesy of my hubby who braved the snow to get them.) Talk about yumtastic. And high calorie. Now, you can see why one of my 2010 goals is to eat less than 50 cupcakes. If I ate anymore than that I'd never do anything but run ...

lucky me ...

Last week, I was lucky enough to win not one but TWO giveaways. First, I won a $25 gift certificate to Nike from Saundra. Then, like three days later, Kerrie announced my name was pulled in her Modern Union Yoga Bag giveaway. Crazy, right? (This probably means that I am going to go through quite the dry spell. So, if you are considering hosting a really good giveaway, why don't you just wait. Just a few months. That way the odds won't be stacked against me.)

Anyway, like I said, I won a Nike gift certificate. I was so excited that I started shopping before I actually had the gift card in my hand (Nike is my favorite for apparel, well, other than So, do you want to see what I got?

Drum roll please .... The $25 gift card got me this awesome dri-fit visor (which I'll be wearing at the Disney Princess Half) and this super cute t-shirt which reads "There is no finish line."

Sweet, right? I told you I was thrifty.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

pancake flat ...

I have mentioned it before. But in case you missed it, I have no chest. I am pancake flat. Once, I went into Victoria's Secret and they told me that they didn't carry my size. When I was pregnant (and nursing) I was slightly more "blessed." But quickly after weaning Dilly, it was back to the status quo.

Recently, Dizzle has become more body aware. She is noting difference in people and is quite interested in why we are the way we are. Yesterday, (while sitting on my stomach) she looked down and said to me, "Mommy, did you have your boobies taken off?" I nearly choked from laughing so hard.

Once I could contain myself, I simply replied, "No, Dizzle. But now that I don't feed Dilly anymore, they don't need to be so big," But really, I wanted to give it to her straight and tell her that she and her sisters had sucked the life out of me. But I thought that might be too harsh.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

my race day staples giveaway!

I have been contemplating a giveaway for a while. But, I wasn't really sure what direction to go in. So, I thought about it. Then, I thought about it some more. And I kept coming back to one thing - ME.

I mean, this blog is about Me. Me and my running. Me and my family. Me and all of my little quirks. Me and my obsessions. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.

OK, you get the point.

Anyway, as a thank you for listening to me go on and on about myself, I am giving you the chance to win some of my favorite race day staples. (See how I brought that back to me?)

Here's what one lucky winner will receive:

1 pair of Reebok All Sport Socks in Pink Tye Dye

1 black Marcelle hair bow from

2 packages of Jelly Belly Sports Beans (lemon-lime and orange)

2 tubes of Chap Stick (original and mint)

So, how do you enter? (One entry per comment)

1. Become a follower and leave me a comment.
2. Become a fan of my blog on Facebook HERE and leave me a comment.
3. Leave me a comment telling me what your race day staples are.
4. Post this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, wherever and leave me a comment to let me know.
Contest ends on Sunday, February 7th.

tiara test ...

I'm pretty sure that by now you are all aware of my desire to mix fashion with running. It seems to work for me. I'm not speedy enough to garner attention for my running, but I get endless comments and media exposure for what I wear. So, of course I had to come up with a stellar outfit for the Disney Princess Half. And this is what I decided on:

This yellow tank from Nike

My yellow skirt from
Yellow knee high socks, of course. And a tiara. Like a real tiara. The kind that beauty queens wear. (No pictures until race day. Something has to be a surprise.) Anyway, Dizzle had one and I figured that I would rock it. I mean, what would a princess be without her tiara.

And since you can't debut anything new on race day, I had to test it out. So, last night I ran a quarter marathon run at race pace (6.55 in 1:00:28) to see how it held up. Initially, I wore the tiara alone, but after about a mile, it was starting to slide and I was way too conscious of it. So I pulled out my visor and placed the tiara on the brim. SO MUCH BETTER. By the end of the run I had totally forgotten that it was even there. Well, except for when J came into the room, looked at me with a puzzled stare and asked, "You're running with a tiara on?"

Um, yeah. I'm pretty sure he thinks I am crazy ...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

i'm on facebook ...

So, I have jumped on the bandwagon and made a Facebook page for this blog. You know you want to check it out. Go ahead. Become a fan. All you have to do is click HERE.

Monday, February 1, 2010

January rewind ...

Holy Cow! Where did January go? It felt like I had waited FOREVER for it to get here (with booking the Bermuda trip last July and all) and now it's over.

We had a pretty relaxing weekend here, since we were trapped due to the foot of snow that fell on Saturday. J took the girls out to play and I spent a lot of time with my trusty old treadmill (which I didn't so much mind). I realized, after my 10 miler on Saturday, that I was only 3.83 miles short of 100 for the month. Sweet! I debated for all of 10 seconds, then decided to do one more run on Sunday to round out my mileage. (Initially, I thought this was a HUGE feat, probably close to my all-time monthly record. But, I was so wrong. Apparently, I logged 149 miles in October. Way more than I had realized.) Anyway, I ran a four miler on Sunday and finished January at 100.17 miles! Woo hoo!

And that was going to be the end of my recap, but then I saw Morgan's post this morning and was inspired to make a list of my own. So here it goes:

January 2010
Miles Planned/Ran: 97.3/100.17 (with an overall pace of 9:33)
Rest Days Planned/Taken: 14/12
Highest Mileage Week: 1/25-1/31: 27.07 miles
Long Runs Planned/Run: 5/5
Donuts Earned: 66.37 (this is perhaps my favorite part of DailyMile)
Current Book: Book? What is a book? I've read a magazine before, but these books you speak of ...
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Handfuls of chocolate chips from the BJ's sized bag in our pantry.
Current Colors: PINK (obviously) and charcoal grey
Current Obsessions: This blog, my birthday (only six days away!!)
Current Drink: French Vanilla Coffee
Current Song: OneRepublic - All the Right Moves
Current Need: A new cheetah skirt - mine is hanging on by a thread. Hopefully, a certain little sister of mine will come through with one for my birthday.
Current Triumph: Hitting 100 miles in January, which puts me on track to easily hit 1000 this year!
Current Bane of My Existence: The snow. I hate it. I want Spring to arrive and to run outside again!
Current Goal: PR at the Disney Princess Half
Current Indulgence: Extra warm knee high socks ... I know it doesn't seem like much, but they make me smile.
Current Blessing: My kids, hubby and fact that I am injury-free!
Current Excitement: Did I mention that my birthday is only six days away?