Friday, April 29, 2011

making time ...

This whole royal wedding thing is insane to me. I love a wedding as much as the next person, but I REALLY DON'T get the appeal of today's event at all. Maybe I'm just out of the loop, but had my Facebook wall not been plastered with status updates about it, I wouldn't have realized that I had missed "HISTORY IN THE MAKING!!!" (That's a direct quote from a status. Exclamation points and all.)

But do you know what I think is the craziest thing about the whole royal wedding? It's not the expense. Or the fanfare. Or the dress (Note: I have no idea what her dress looks like).

Nope, it's none of that. It's the sheer number of people who got up at an ungodly hour to watch it happen. The number of people who "made time" to watch. And the fact that so many of those same people, swear up and down that they can't "make time" for exercise. Seriously? You just proved that you can. And that right there is why America is obese - The unwillingness to make time for healthy choices.

And with that, I step off my soapbox.

Am I really the only person who thought that this morning?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

3TT: things that are sweet edition ...

1. Sugar - Since admitting my EPIC FAIL on Sugar Ban 2011, I have made a complete 180. I've avoided all of the remaining Easter candy and haven't even glimpsed at my "secret" stash. And I'm a tenth of the way through this thing, so, go me!

And really, who cares that J brought home a bunch of candy bars last night and said, "I got these for you, but then I read your blog post."? Yeah, not me. I don't care at all. Those Reece's Peanut Butter Cups aren't yelling my name from the freezer or anything like that. (Honestly, though, I'm not about to fail at this twice. Sugar Detox here I come.)

2. My New Training Plan - I'm in the middle of week two of my "unorthodox" training plan. And it's pretty awesome. To be honest, I LOVE IT. The speed work has been fun. The shorter runs are easier to schedule in my day, which allows me to add 3-4 hours a week on Sleeper. But, only having one rest day is kicking my butt. Well, actually, it's beating up the quads. My legs are never quite "fresh", which I guess is kind of the point.

3. Race Weekend - I am running races (not exactly racing) both days this weekend. On Saturday, I'll be joining Dizzle for her FIRST 5K, where we will be wearing these "i run" shirts from Tough Chik (I have one too).

I'm totally pumped for her. However, I got an email on Tuesday that the event won't be "officially timed." But, someone will be able to tell us our finish time when we are done. What?!?! You'll be able to tell me how fast we ran, but you're not going to record it? Why the heck not? Whatever. We will be Garmin timing Dizzle and I will declare her winner of the 5-9 age group, if I have to.

On Sunday, G and I will be racing Muddy Buddy Richmond, thanks to MCM Mama, who gave us an entry she won. We are 100% unprepared. We don't mountain bike. Or trail run. And until Monday, we didn't even know how long the course was. But, it will be fun. And we have a sweet team name - "Beer and Cupcakes."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I am a runner ...

I am a runner.

I am a runner who has haphazardly completed three sprint triathlons with zero training. Literally, ZERO.

I am a runner who thinks that finishing a triathlon (especially without training) does not make you a triathlete. Just like randomly showing up to a 5K, finishing and never running again, does not make you a runner.

I am a runner who wants to be a triathlete.

I am a runner who wants to own her triathlete status as much as she owns her runner status.

I am a runner who refuses to give up her mileage base to train for the other disciplines.

I am a runner who "doubles" most days. Sometimes, it's a second run. Last night, it was an hour and a half ride on the trainer (Thank the Lord and SpeeDee for the new seat.)

I am a runner who will RACE her next triathlon, not just show up and finish. Limits will be pushed. Barriers will be broken.

I am a runner who will find the extra hours in the day to get it all done. There will be no excuses. No late nights. Lots of early mornings. Hours upon hours of training each week with one goal in mind - 70.3 in Spring 2012 - My 30th birthday present to myself.

I am MORE than a runner ...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

confessions ...

I'm not going to pretend like it didn't happen.
I'm not going to pretend that I am superhuman.
I'm not going to pretend like I stopped at just one.
I'm not going to pretend that it's still not calling my name.
I'm not going to pretend that I'm OK with my actions.
I'm not going to pretend it didn't send me into a downward spiral of bad eating.

I am going to confess that I couldn't resist this ...

Piles and pile of Easter candy. Oh, yeah, and the cookies and the fudge ...

I thought I could resist. I thought that my 30 day ban on sweets would survive. But it didn't. Yesterday, I broke into the Easter candy. And I didn't stop at one piece (hence why I need a 30 day ban).

In the last 24 hours, I ate ...
  • 20 Cadbury Mini Eggs
  • 1 package of Swedish Fish
  • 2 packages of Runts
  • 2 Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs
  • A unknown amount of Fudge
  • A peanut butter and Nutella sandwich (2 tbsp of Nutella)
  • Copious amounts of cereal every time I walked into the pantry
On top of all of the food I usually eat in one day. I'd say we are looking at 1000-1500 extra calories yesterday. 1000-1500 calories of sugar. See, once I start I really can't stop.

So, today, I recommit.

30 days. No candy, ice cream, baked goods, sugary cereals, chocolate spreads masked as food. Nothing.

Ready. Set. Go ...

Monday, April 25, 2011

dear legs ...

Dear Legs,

I want to apologize for what I put you through on Saturday. I know that our first ever run-bike-run was a challenge and that I didn't choose the easiest course. But, honestly, I didn't choose the course. G did. And we all know when she's in charge, there are going to be hills.

And really, who are we kidding? You were built for this kind of work, TORTURE, whatever you want to call it. Just look at you.

I'm not trying to boost your ego. You know that's not photoshopped. That right there is 100% all natural. And it's fierce. Just embrace it. And the power you hold.

Yes, I realize those climbs were tough. I know I'm asking you to power a lot of weight up those hills. And it's true that a six mile run, followed by a 13.5 mile ride and another 2 mile run is crazy tiring. But, I promise, it will get better. Easier. Know that one day, I will upgrade Sleeper and maybe, just maybe, you won't have to work quite as hard. Maybe.

But until that day comes, know that I love you. And that will never change. But, I need to be honest with you. Saturday was just the start. There is a lot more pain coming your way. So be prepared.

Love always,

Friday, April 22, 2011

speed work success ...

When I unveiled my new training plan last week, I mentioned that it included an aspect of training that I have failed to include until this point - SPEED WORK.

In the past, speed work has taken a backseat to endurance building. I run a lot of miles at a comfortable pace and a few miles faster than that (depending on who I am running with), but I've never really executed intervals or tempo runs or fartleks. At least not intentionally.

That was until this week.

On Wednesday night, I finally executed. The schedule called for 3 x 1 mile at 10K pace (7:51). So, I hopped on my best friend, the treadmill. I started out with a quarter-mile warm-up at 9:40 pace. Easy peasy. Then, I kicked it up to 7:47. Not bad. I could handle that. And that quarter-mile recovery was HEAVEN. It felt like I was walking. Repeat the cycle two more times and the first speed work session was complete.

Was it easy? No. Was it as hard as I thought it would be? No. Did I pray for it to be over? Yes.

Fast forward to this morning. KC joined me for an early morning tempo run. The goal: 5 miles, tempo miles @ 8:18 (HMP). I was kind of freaked out before we started. KC completed a hard strength workout last night and I finished my 10 miler less than 12 hours earlier. We didn't know if we could hold the pace. And it was so dark that we couldn't read our watches.

Mile 1: 8:41 - Not bad. Still warming up.
Mile 2: 7:58 - WHAT?!?! Where the heck did that come from?
Mile 3: 8:07 - Almost on point.
Mile 4: 8:04 - Please someone end this now!
Mile 5: 9:03 - Cool-down

I read those splits and I was super happy. And sweaty.

Maybe speed work isn't evil after all ...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

sugar coma ...

Hi, my name is Tonia and I am addicted to sweets. Like hard core addicted. When I see something delicious and sugary, I.CAN.NOT.RESIST.
  • I have been known to stand at the freezer and eat ice cream directly out of the carton (You know that it doesn't count if you don't use a spoon, right?)
  • I have been known to eat my kids' candy and pray they never notice.
  • I have been known to pick out the glazed walnuts from the mixed nuts container.
  • I have been known to eat an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in one day without ever eating from a bowl.
  • I have been known to have J hide any chocolate that gets brought into the house so that I can't eat every last bite.
  • I have been known to forgo dinner so that I can have a bigger dessert.
  • I have been known to eat the remnants of my daughter's cupcakes.
  • I have been known to eat entire bags of chocolate chips while standing in my pantry.
  • I have been known to eat 7/8 of an ice cream cake. In one sitting.
  • I have been known to eat an entire package of raw cookie dough. Also, in one sitting.
  • I have been known to consume my weight in Splenda (yes, I realize this is bad).
J tells me to get some self-control. But, it's not that simple. I try. I really do. And I have self-control, I became a pescatarian (who's really contemplating dropping seafood as well) and never flinched. I lost 70 pounds and have kept it off (aside from pregnancy) for seven years. But, sugar is my undoing. It's 100% pure evil. And we really need to break up.

So, I decided to commit to 30 days of no sweets. No candy. No chocolate. No sugary cereals. No ice cream. No cupcakes. No anything that can be classified as a dessert. I'm on day four. And it's pretty much torture.

Why couldn't I just be addicted to vegetables?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dizzle's first two miler ...

As you may recall, on April 30th, Dizzle is running her first 5K. After her rock star performance, two weeks ago at the VA 529 Kid's Mile, I asked her if she wanted to run a longer race. At first, she was hesitant. But, when I told her we would run/walk the race, she quickly jumped on-board.

Now, I realize that a 5K is a lot longer than a mile. And I know that two weeks isn't ample time to train. But, it gets hot here in Virginia and I decided that a chance at a cooler race with less training was a better option than a guaranteed hot race with decent training (I would feel differently if she was an adult, but she's 5).

Plus, Dizzle has two things working for her ...
  1. She can run for about 15 minutes without stopping.
  2. She has walked more than three miles at a single time on several occasions.
Because of that, I KNOW she can cover the distance. The challenge is convincing her that she's strong enough to run a lot of it. (Dizzle's a bit of a whiner.)

Yesterday, I decided to get an idea of her endurance. So, at the hottest time of day (because I am nice like that), I put Doodle and Dilly in my double stroller and told Dizzle to get her shoes on. She did, and we started running. 4 minutes running, 1 minute walking. I told Dizzle nothing except that she had four minutes until we could walk. No mention of total time or distance.

And it went really well. Sure, she whined at moments (I swear our elderly neighbors thought what I was doing was a form of child abuse. I call it tough love). And she constantly asked how much longer she had to run. But she did it. We covered the two mile route in 25:44.

Afterward, she was tired (obviously), but she recovered quickly and due to the fact that she was singing/talking to me the entire run, I know she will be fine over that final mile. Once we got back inside, I asked Dizzle to show me what two miles looks like. Here's what she gave me ...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's pride on her face.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

overstressed ...

I am the type of person that works best with a plan (obviously, I have every workout from now until November scheduled already). Spontaneity has never been my strong suit. In fact, it kind of scares me. I like structure and order. And I truly believe that with the right strategy, any task, no matter how daunting, can be accomplished.

For as long as I can remember, I have tackled my life in this manner. Things tend to be black and white for me. You are either moving forward. Or you're not. And right now, I'm not. Right now, I'm standing still. Waiting. Waiting for something that is completely out of my control. Something that will ultimately reshape my family's future for the better. But, the wait is driving me insane.

Honestly, I'm really not handling the stress well.

I am moody and short-tempered.
I am distracted and preoccupied.
I am unfocused and erratic.
I am anxious and excited.
I have a constant case of "the butterflies."

Maybe I put on a good show, but I'm not sure that's the case. And unfortunately, I think J and the kids are taking the brunt of my bad mood, which makes me feel horrible. Maybe if I scream, I'll feel better. I mean, it couldn't hurt, right?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dismap Swamp Stomp Half Recap ...

Location: Chesapeake, VA
Date: 4/16/11
Temperature: Mostly Cloudy, 59 degrees, 88% humidity, 8 mph winds
Official Time: 2:00:21 (9:11 pace) for 13.1
Garmin Time: 2:00:22 (9:09 pace) for 13.15
Place in Age Group: 18/70
Overall Place: 316/805

I usually write my race recaps in a GOOD, BAD and UGLY format, but not this time. Mainly because I am having a hard time seeing much other than the "ugly". Well, except our outfits. Those were definitely good.

Leading up to this race, I was feeling confident, both in my training and my ability. I know what I am capable of. I just needed to execute. It seemed simple. But, it wasn't. Not because of my training. Or the course (which was exactly what I expected). Or the weather (although, it was more humid than I'm used to).

I failed to execute because of me. It was 110% my fault. There is no other place to lay blame. I completely lacked focus. It's like I showed up to the start and forgot that I was, in fact, racing.

Don't believe me? Well, here's a list of my failures from Saturday.
  • I forgot my pace band. Then, after going back to get it, I forgot it again in KC's car - which we weren't taking to the race.
  • I forgot my ID at home. Thankfully, we didn't need it for packet pickup.
  • I left my hand held water bottle at home. Inside the pocket of my hand held was my GU, meaning I also left my GUs at home. And there were none on the course. There was also no Powerade or Gatorade, just HEED, which I have never tried. And wasn't about to in the middle of a race.
  • I got a cramp at mile 8 (we were still on pace for about a 1:53 at that point). I sent KC on (she ran a 1:54) and I tried to shake it off. Instead, I shook off my motivation and drive.
  • At mile 10, I walked through a water stop and when I started running again, my lower leg seized and I couldn't flex my foot. My thought was not how to push through, but rather, "I should probably just DNF right now." My focus was gone.
  • I lost one of my Yurbuds mid-race. This did not at all affect my performance, but it did frustrate the heck out of me.
  • When I got back to the car to get changed, I realized that I had failed to bring underwear, socks, shoes and certain feminine hygiene products - all which I needed post-race.
  • Back at home, I washed my race clothes with food in the pockets, proving that my lack of focus was not exclusive to the race.
Saturday was just frustrating for me. And not because of my finish time or missing my goals. Six months ago, I would have been seriously pumped about a 2:00:21. What really bothers me is how UNPREPARED I was. It was so atypical of me. And I'm not entirely sure why it happened. Although, I have my suspicions. And it's a six-letter word - S.T.R.E.S.S.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dismal Swamp Stomp Preview ...

Tomorrow is my "A" half marathon for 2011 - Dismal Swamp Stomp. I have been looking forward to this race for two years (for some reason I couldn't run it last year). The course is a notoriously fast and flat out and back. This chart is deceptive. There all of that bright yellow is 0% incline.

Everyone I know who has ever run it has told me it's a PR course. And I want my 1:55. The thing is, I KNOW I can run a 1:55. But, I THINK I can run much faster. I've just been too afraid to admit it. So, yesterday, I asked around (via Twitter, Facebook, text), if I should play it safe and get my 1:55 or if I should run the race I think I am capable of and pray I don't bonk.

The overwhelming consensus was - RUN THE PACE YOU THINK YOU CAN RUN.

So, that's what I am going to do. And hopefully, if something goes awry, I can hold on to that 1:55. With that said, here are my goals for Saturday.

A: Sub-1:50, more specifically 1:48:00 (perfect day, perfect race, perfect everything)
B: 1:54:59 or better
C: A new PR - 1:57:05 or better.

I'm excited and ready. And thanks to everyone who helped me pick out an outfit, I will also be dressed. In this ...

13.1 here I come!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

3TT: pieces of awesome edition ...

1. Remember this picture of me on Sleeper?

Well, apparently my friends saw my suffering and are helping me upgrade. Earth Momma Mer's husband couldn't take my use of towels as aerobar stand ins, so he passed along the set he had purchased and didn't like. I installed them on Wednesday and I LOVE THEM.

In addition, SpeeDee informed me that she will come over today with a new seat for me. Actually, two. And whichever one fits, I get to keep. My very bruised back side is beyond grateful for this gesture. I am a lucky girl. My friends are freaking amazing.

2. I am racing my "A" half on Saturday. I feel that unless we get a crazy hot and humid day on Saturday (which does happen in VA), I think this is my best attempt at a sub 1:55 at least until the fall/winter. The course is perfect. I'm running with KC and I'm ready to go. The major issue right now - I have NO IDEA what I am wearing. This is so unlike me. Throw out some color suggestions or something ...

3. I have decided to register Dizzle for her first 5K on April 30th. I am going to run it with her and we plan on implementing a 4:1 run/walk ratio. I'm pumped for her. I know she will do awesome and since there are only like three other kids in the 5-9 age group, she could walk away winning her age group. At least that's my goal ...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

sushi, skirts and a winner ...

A few weeks ago, G and I got an email from Jen asking if we lived near The Glen. She had to go there for a meeting and was hoping we would be close. Two nanoseconds later, I replied back that not only did I live near The Glen, I lived IN The Glen.

It was perfect. Jen would come in the night before her meeting and we would get together for dinner and an early morning run the next day. I was pumped and eager to get to know her "in real life". Since we were late getting to the start at National, I only had the chance to talk to Jen for a few minutes before the race (At which point she said my name wrong. Or so she claims. I do not remember this.)

Anyway, last night, we met for sushi. And had an absolute blast. We laughed a lot. And ate a lot. And probably overstayed our welcome at the restaurant.Jen's first question for us was classic, "Tell me one thing I don't know about your from your blog." And since we share almost everything here, I'm pretty sure both G and I surprised her with our answers. I believe there was even a threat of ending the friendship. And no, I'm not sharing. At least not yet.

Then this morning, long before the sunrise, we met for a five miler decked out in our skirts and knee highs (which managed to get cropped out of all the photos we attempted to take).

The whole visit was a total win.

And speaking of winners, I am happy to announce the winner of my Races2Remember giveaway. There were 130 entries and thanks to, the winner is # 125 ...

Paula @ Running Mom of 5

Congrats Paula! Send me an email to claim your prize!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

a fairytale ...

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess and a handsome king,

on a quest to visit a magical land. They plotted a course ...

to search for Everest, but it was no where to be found.

Along the way, they rode giant ants,

got trapped in a log,

went deep-sea diving,

and befriended a dinosaur.

Their quest went on for days and days. And it wasn't all fun. It was hot ...

which only added to the moments of whining by the Princess.

And just when they thought things couldn't get worse, they were chased by wild animals.

Even the king was freaked out.

Despite their fear, the Princess and King continued on in their quest. But, Everest alluded them. In the end, all they could find was this termite mound.

With the challenges and triumphs behind them, the duo returned home, traveling as royalty does - in First Class.

And with them, they brought gifts for the other princesses and the queen to make up for their absence.

And they all lived happily ever after ...

Monday, April 11, 2011

unorthodox ...

When training for my first two marathons, I followed plans that peaked at 36 miles per week. They were fine plans. I'm sure that lots of people did well with them, but for me they were a total fail. In both instances, I ended up seriously injured and barely made it to the start line. At that point, I swore off marathons FOREVER (obviously, that didn't stick).

For me, marathon number three wasn't on the schedule. I was registered for the Indianapolis Half Marathon and I was tagging along with G on her training for the Richmond Marathon. I had zero intention of doing anything but building my base. But then, FOMO (fear of missing out) set in. I was consistently running more miles than I ever had before. And I was injury-free. I figured I might as well switch my registration from the half to the full at Indianapolis. So, that's what I did.

In the eight months since making that decision (two complete marathon training cycles), I have built my base from 25 miles to a peak of 60 miles a week. Since January 1st, I have run 622 miles (44.4/wk). I have cut my marathon time by 51 minutes. And I have done ZERO speed work. Honestly, it's not that I planned on skipping all the speed work. I was just more focused on building my endurance. And the key to endurance is a large base.

It's clear that things were working. The plan that I was following played to my strengths. But then I came across this article in the January issue of Runner's World. It described the Hanson Brothers marathon training plan which peaks with a 16 mile long run. Yes, 16 miles. But, their plan also included something I have failed to execute in the past - SPEED WORK. Lots of it. So many aspects of this plan seemed crazy in relation to what I had been doing, but at the same time I was completely intrigued. (Note: the weekly mileage is very similar to the plans I have designed for my last two marathons.)

I decided right then that I would use this strategy for my next marathon (NYC). I mean, what's the worst that could happen? I've had horrible marathons and I've survived. And since my goal for NYC is to HAVE FUN, I really had nothing to lose.

So, I got started on drafting my plan. I based it roughly on the plan in the article, but extended it and swapped some things out. And this is what I came up with ...

I'm really excited about it.

Starting next Monday ...

I will be running six days a week.
I will commit to speed work.
I will stick to the paces. Slow runs slow. Fast runs fast.
I will cycle three days a week.
I will put my faith in the plan.
I will pray for the best.

Wish me luck!

Friday, April 8, 2011

What do you eat?

Last week, Marlene posted what she eats on a typical day. And since food is central to my thoughts every waking moment of every single day, I thought it would be fun to play along. So, here's what I eat on a normal day, whether I am training or not (yes, I'm boring and I tend to rotate a few items in and out) ...

Our pantry (a reference of how much food we usually have on hand)

Breakfast - Coffee with Splenda and fat-free half and half, Luna Protein Bar - Cookie Dough, Black Cherry Chobani yogurt

Mid-morning Snack - Gala apple

Lunch - Thomas Bagel Thin with hummus and feta cheese, baby carrots, strawberries (Ignore the stained place mat. It's a hazard of having children.)

Afternoon Snack - Pop Secret Homestyle Popcorn, Fiber One bar

Dinner - Morningstar Farms Black Bean Burger topped with pineapple, banana peppers, cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce, broccoli

Dessert - Chocolate Espresso cupcake from Two Sweet Cupcakes

Are you boring like me, eating the same thing over and over?
Does your pantry look like a grocery store?
Does your eating style change when you are training?

our weekend is cool too ...

As you may have guessed, telling the other children that they were NOT going to Disney was not an easy thing. Initially, I hoped that I could "forget" to mention it and pray that they didn't realize. But, the more I thought about it I realized that, although my plan might work on Dilly, I am almost positive that Doodle was going to notice that her bunk mate was missing. And if you haven't noticed, Doodle tends to overreact. It could have gotten ugly around here.

So, instead of withholding the truth, I decided to tell Doodle earlier this week. I thought it would give her enough time to calm down before her Dad and sister left and would give me enough time to play up all the fun things we would do when they were gone.

It worked. Mostly. But, I think what really sold her was that we told her she could do the same thing for her sixth birthday. Nothing like bribing your kids to behave ...

But, at least, I wasn't lying when I was playing up all the fun things we would do. Doodle even helped me compile an agenda. It looks a little something like this ...

  • Preschool - 9:00-1:00 (Doodle)
  • Board Meeting - 9:15-11 (T and Dilly)
  • Playground time - 1:00-2:00
  • Dinner - 5:00, Chinese (or as Dilly calls it, China Food)
  • Bedtime - 6:30 (wait, that's only fun for me ...)
  • Run 600th mile of the year - 6:50
  • Relax in peace and quiet - 8:00-Bedtime
  • Run with the double stroller for the first time in almost two years - 8:00
  • Eat a bunch of junk while sitting the the stroller - 8:00-9:30 (Doodle and Dilly)
  • Dance Class - 11:30 (Doodle)
  • Shopping at Target - 11:40-12:20 (T and Dilly)
  • Visit Two Sweet Cupcakes - 1:00
  • Eat cupcakes - 1:30
  • Shop at the "Singing Dog Store" - 3:00
  • Dinner, Chocolate Chip Pancakes - 5:00
  • Bedtime - 6:30
  • Run (if the stroller experiment fails) - 6:45
  • Relax in peace and quiet - 8:00-Bedtime
  • Whatever Doodle and Dilly want to do (apparently this will include a visit to Sonic) - 8:00-2:00
  • Soccer - 3:00-4:30
  • Dinner - 5:30
  • Bedtime - 6:30
  • Run - 6:45-8:30
See, that's totally as much fun as a trip to Disney. Who's jealous now? (OK, I'm still the jealous one. Disney is WAY better. But, let's just ignore that fact ...)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

3TT: jealous edition

1. Tomorrow morning at 5:35, J and Dizzle are headed to Disney for the weekend. I had two park passes from the Disney Princess Media Mixer that I hadn't used (one was mine and one was given to me by Monique @ Mo Travels). Initially, I thought that J and I would sneak away for a kid-free weekend, but logistically, it was too complicated.

So, instead, I suggested to J that he take Dizzle there to celebrate her upcoming 6th birthday, in lieu of a party. Coincidentally, J turned 31 on Monday, so it looks like they will be celebrating his birthday too. It worked out quite well. Perfect, actually. And between redeemed points for the hotel and car rental, we only had to pay for the flights, which cost within a few dollars of Doodle's party last month.

Honestly, I am really excited for them to a have weekend of Daddy and Dizzle time. But, let it be known that I am 100% jealous that they are going and the rest of us are not.

2. I have bike envy. Don't get me wrong, my bike is fine. It works. Yes, I want new handlebars. And a new saddle would be nice. But, it's functioning and I know that's all that matters. And I know, eventually, I will get my way and J will let me upgrade. But, I'm impatient and the Performance Bike catalog was delivered yesterday ...

3. And you should all be jealous of Shannon @ Tough Chik. She named my bike for me. Here's what she said ...

"Ummm...a good name...what do you think of Sleeper? They call cars that don't look fast, but can blow the doors off other cars sleepers. Your bike doesn't look flashy and fast, but the motor (you) will blow the doors off the competition!"

I read that and knew it was the perfect description of me and my bike. The choice was obvious. Sleeper, it is! So, Shannon, shoot me an email with your address and I will send you a little thank you gift.

See, I told you that you should be jealous ...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

the bike is back ...

You may or may not know that I am a seasoned triathlete. And by seasoned, I mean I have raced three sprint triathlons, all with zero training. Like literally, zero training. In fact, prior to the my most recent triathlon (August 2010), I hadn't sat on my bike in over two years and I hadn't swam a lap in just as long. Two days before that tri, my bike had flat tires. It was sad. Pathetic, really. But despite that horrible prep, I somehow finished that race third in the Athena division.

Luck? Maybe. Sheer talent? Obviously.

Since that race, my bike has sat dormant in our shed. Until yesterday.

As of last night, my bike has a new home. Right smack in the middle of my living room. And even better than that, I actually used it. For an entire hour. My LONGEST RIDE EVER.

(Yes, I wear the knee highs during EVERY workout.)

(I just really like my leg in this picture.)

Anyway, I plan on riding my bike (which could really use a name) A LOT. I've got some big plans in the works. And J's not going to let me make the upgrades that I want to until I log some serious miles. Now, let's just see if I can stick with it ...

Any guesses on my plan and/or the reason behind it?

How about a name suggestion for my bike?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Races2Remember Giveaway ...

Remember that post before my marathon where I told you about all of those things I had grown to love during training? You know, the one - HERE, where I reviewed the awesome Pace Bands and MyName Bib I received from Races2Remember.

In case you don't know, Races2Remember offers a variety of customizable products ranging from Pace Bands and MyName Bibs to Tattoos and Back Bibs. With all the options of products and customizable features, your Races2Remember products promise to be unique.

In the past, I just wrote my paces on my arm, like this ...

But I will never do that again. In fact, I loved the pace bands I wore during National Marathon so much, that I already ordered more for my upcoming half.

(I taped two pace bands together to give me a range of paces.)

And now, thanks to the husband and wife team of Al and Molly at Races2Remember, one lucky reader will get to try out the Races2Remember product of their choice (excluding the Cheering Signs).

Here's how to enter (separate comments, please):

1. Visit Races2Remember and leave a comment to let me know what you would choose if you win.
2. Become a follower of this blog and leave me a comment.
3. Become a Facebook fan of Races2Remember HERE and let them know I sent you. Comment here to let me know you did.
4. Become a Facebook fan of Racing With Babes HERE and comment to let me know.
5. Repost this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, wherever and comment to let me know.

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, April 12. Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Wednesday, April 13.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free, but the opinions expressed here are all my own.

Monday, April 4, 2011

VA 529 Kids Run Recap ...

This weekend was the Ukrops Monument 10K and VA 529 Kids Run. And although I opted out of the 10K, I did hit up the expo to pick up Dizzle's packet and to chill with G's BFF Bart Yasso and Mark Remy (author of The Runner's Rule Book and Executive Editor of

You know, it was your standard 10K expo. Except for the celebrities. And the fact that it was the best expo I've ever attended.

But, this is not my recap, it's Dizzle's. Like I mentioned on Thursday, Dizzle had two goals for this race.

1. Win.
2. Run a sub-12 mile.

The thing was, Dizzle didn't exactly train for this race. She's probably run a total of three miles since January. Maybe not the best training plan when you have such lofty goals. But, I was confident she could accomplish both.

However, the race was not officially timed, so it was hard to concretely say whether or not she won. She did inform me that she had, in fact, beat all of the other five-year-olds. And I trust her. Really, she has no reason to lie.

The thing we could determine was if she ran a sub-12 mile. I wore my Garmin and ran the entire race with her. During the first tenth of the mile, she was tripped and fell hard. But, she got back up and kept going. With less than a quarter-mile to go, she told me she needed to catch her breath. I told her she was fine and to keep running. She did. And when we crossed the finish line, my Garmin read 10:46. A 1:22 PR for Dizzle. And she was pumped.

But, don't take my word for it. I interviewed her post-race so that she could tell you herself ...

Me: Did you have fun?
Dizzle: I did have fun.

Me: What was you favorite part?
Dizzle: My favorite part was winning a medal.

Me: What was the worst part?
Dizzle: The worst part was when I had to go home because I wanted to go on the pirate bouncy and I wanted to get more food. (Obviously, the post-race festivities were a big hit.)

Me: Would you run another race?
Dizzle: Yes, because I like to run and win medals.

Me: When will you do your next race?

Dizzle: I don't know, maybe like in May.

Me: What is your running goal right now?
Dizzle: My goal is to not stop running ever.

Me: Do you want to run a marathon?
Dizzle: Maybe. I think I would like to do that next October.

Me: Do you know how long a marathon is?
Dizzle: No.

Me: Take a guess.
Dizzle: Long.

Me: Exactly.

Friday, April 1, 2011

March Rewind ...

Three months down, nine to go. Here's my recap of March 2011 ...

Miles Planned/Miles Ran:

Rest Days Planned/Rest Days Taken: 9/9

Highest Mileage Week: 3/1-3/6: 60 miles (a new weekly mileage PR!)

Long Runs Planned/Long Runs Completed: 4/4

Current Book: I just finished Body by Design by Kris Gethin. And I LOVED it. Eventually, when I stop slacking, I'll post a full review and giveaway of the book.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Part-skim ricotta cheese, sliced strawberries, mini chocolate chips and a dash of Splenda. Best.Dessert.Ever.

Current Colors: Pink and Turquoise

Current Drink: Dunkin Donuts Mint Mocha Coffee. 100% yumtastic.

Current Song: Misery - Maroon 5

Current Triumph: Um, can you say 4:15:48? My 33:50 PR at National Marathon last weekend was pretty rockin'. And I'm totally going to be riding high on that one for a while ...

Current Goal: The Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon is this month. It is a notoriously fast and flat course. And I'm primed to get my sub 1:55. Enough said.

Current Blessing: Well, last weekend was pretty awesome. But in all seriousness, pretty much everything in my life is a blessing. And I don't take that for granted.

Current Excitement: This moment right now. As of today, I am 100% free of the constraints of my past. It's a fresh start without any hindrances. Cryptic, I know. But trust me, it's good to be me today.

2011 Goals - Status Update:

  • Clean up my diet - I am tracking my food religiously at SparkPeople and am currently sitting at my happy weight. Eventually, I'll get to my "racing weight."
  • Eat no more than 25 cupcakes - As of April 1st - 8 cupcakes eaten
  • Pay off our consumer debt by the end of the year - We have paid off over half of our consumer debt and are on track to be credit card debt free in 10 months. Plus, we are on track to have our student loans eliminated by February 2013, five month ahead of our schedule. And 10 years faster than if we let it go to term.
  • Spend $0 on clothing - As of April 1st - $0 spent.
  • Run 2,000 miles - As of April 1st - 568.95 miles run.
  • Run a sub 1:55 half marathon - Next race - 4/16, Dismal Swamp Stomp Half.
  • Take 30+ minutes off my marathon - Completed - 3/26, National Marathon, 4:15:48, 33:50 PR.