Thursday, June 30, 2011

Three Things Thursday ...

Runner's World - J came home from a business trip with like 18 copies of the August 2011 Runner's World. In case you missed the memo HERE, Dizzle, Doodle and I are pictured in the cover story. We are on page 70. It's pretty much the coolest thing ever.

And since I love the photo so much, I will be shelling out $250 to purchase ALL of the photos taken of us during the shoot. There were two different set ups and about a zillion and one photos. I am so excited to see them.

Shoulder - Speaking of the photo in Runner's World (expect me to talk about this for a while), it was taken 13 days after my surgery. Bet you can't even tell. Anyway, tomorrow will be 2 months since the crash and as of this morning, my doctor has given me the "all clear" to resume my normal activity. And thanks to my active lifestyle, he thinks we can forgo the PT route. I am so psyched about this.

He even said I could try swimming, but to be prepared to doggie paddle. Doesn't he know that's the only stroke I'm good at?

NYC Marathon Raffle - Tomorrow morning I will be selecting the next three winners in my NYC Marathon Fundraising Raffle HERE. There are still 15 awesome prizes including items from Tough Chik (the maker of the shirts the girls and I wore in Runner's World), See Jane Run (race entry, people!), RoadID and Allied Medal Displays. All you need to do to enter is make a donation HERE and then leave a comment on my raffle post.

As of right now, I am $90 short of being HALFWAY to my $3000 goal. And I need your help to get there. Anyone who makes a donation today, will get 10 BONUS ENTRIES in the raffle. And if you happen to be the person who gets me to $1500, you will get 20 BONUS ENTRIES. So what are you waiting for?

Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Open Letter to my Offspring ...

Dear Offspring,

I truly appreciate having you in my life. I love the three of you more than you will ever know. I want nothing more than to provide for you, nurture you and to watch you flourish. Because I love you so immensely, I would do anything (within reason) for you and I am certain that I will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

With that said, recent events have lead to the development of some grievances that I need to get off my chest. Please take this letter as a formal complaint and do your best to rectify the situation.
  • I do my best not to let my training schedule interfere with "family time." I train before you are awake and after you go to sleep, so I would appreciate it if you could sleep past 3:15 a.m. on the ONE DAY all week that I actually get to sleep until 6:30.
  • I do not appreciate having to change the sheets on the same bed, three days in a row. Get your $h*t together. Literally.
  • It is not my job to make sure that you poop. We all control our own bodily functions. But trust me, if you can't remember when the last time you pooped was, you have a problem. Ask for some help. Or some laxative.
  • Did you all forget that my shoulder is jacked up? Well, it is. I can't do things as quickly as you might like and I can't do some things at all. Deal with it.
  • Sitting correctly on your chair is not optional. I've taken your chairs away before and I will do it again. I swear to God that if you fall off your chair one more time, I'm throwing it away and I'm not giving you an ice pack.
  • Yelling at me is never acceptable. I don't care if I yelled first. I am your mother. You can yell at your own kids.
  • Just because you ate your dinner does not mean that you get dessert. Stop asking. If I feel like you haven't eaten a ton of crap that day, I might offer you some. Otherwise, don't ask.
  • If you continue to choose to hit your sisters, expect that you will get hit back. Don't come crying to me saying that you got hurt. It's not my fault and honestly, I don't want to hear about it. You know it's wrong to hit, so if you decide to go that route, you're only getting what you deserve.
  • I heard you the first time. You don't need to repeat yourself.
Once again, I would appreciate a quick remedy of these behaviors. As I said before, I haven't slept much recently, so I may be slightly sensitive at this moment. But, I love you and I know you can address these issues before I go completely insane.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gotein Review and Giveaway ...

Recently, I was sent a few samples of Gotein - Protein to Go to review. If you haven't heard of Gotein yet, (I'm not sure how you couldn't have by this point), here's a little about the product.

"Gotein - Protein to Go (available in Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry), helps refuel the body, and improves lean muscle mass while burning fat. Perfect for the sports minded person that needs to perform at their best while exercising or playing a high energy sport. Drink approximately 1/3 of a 16.9 fl. oz water. Add complete packet of Gotein to your water bottle, swirl and shake well until completely dissolved and enjoy a tasty, low carb shake!"

I have to admit that I was hesitant to try it. I know what I like and I'm not generally a fan of powder mixed with water. I really don't even like my hot chocolate to be made with water. And if we are being honest, I was afraid that the Gotein might taste chalky or something. But, after much internal debate, I gave it a go.

I just grabbed a packet.

Poured it into about 12 oz of water (Gotein recommends drinking 1/3 of a 16.9 oz bottle of water, then mixing).Swirled, then let Doodle shake.

And drank up. Easy peasy.

So, what did I think?

The Good:
  • Gotein is super convenient. Since every packet is one serving, all you need is water and you are all set.
  • Low calorie and high protein. All three flavors are 110 calories or less and contain 24 vitamins and minerals. Both the vanilla and strawberry flavors have 17 g of protein, while the chocolate has 16 g.
  • It didn't have a chalky taste/consistency. The powder mixed quite well with the water and the flavor reminded me of Carnation Instant Breakfast, that my mom used to give me as a kid.
  • My kids LOVED it. I literally had to rip the water bottle out of their hands. And I would much prefer them drinking this to a milkshake.
The Not So Good (most of these are simply my opinion)
  • Gotein is pricey. Each serving comes in at just over $2.00. Not something I would buy on a regular basis.
  • I love my food too much to drink my calories. Unless circumstances prevailed, I would choose food over a supplement.
  • I wasn't a fan of the strawberry flavor. Just not my cup of tea.
Want to try Gotein for yourself? One lucky reader will win a three pack of Gotein. Here's how to enter.

1. Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment.
2. Become a Facebook fan of Racing with Babes HERE and leave a comment.
3. Become a Facebook fan of Gotein HERE and leave a comment
4. Repost this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment.

Entries will be accepted until Sunday, July 3rd. Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, July 4th.

And while you're entering giveaways, be sure to enter my NYC Marathon Raffle HERE. There are 15 great prizes to be won and every donation helps me reach my goal.

*I was provided this product for free to review, but the opinions are all my own.

Monday, June 27, 2011

volunteering observations ...

Yesterday morning, I woke up at 4 a.m. by choice. It wasn't because one of my kids was screaming my name. Or because I was headed out to log some miles. It wasn't even to savor the quiet and alone time I could get at that hour of the day.

No, instead, I was waking up at 4 a.m. to volunteer at the I Love the Tavern Triathlon - my first race volunteering experience. (Well, other then the Penn Relays - I used to work in media relations for that event.) I always wanted to volunteer, but it never seemed to work out. Either training got in the way. Or racing. Or J's work schedule. Or an inability to convince J that it would be fun to hang solo with the girls all day.

But, finally, the stars aligned. And it was awesome. I would highly recommend that if you've ever raced or even considered racing, that you volunteer to work an event. It will make you appreciate all the hard work that goes into your "race experience."

Personally, I learned more than just that though. Like ...
  • G and I can have fun no matter what time it is.
  • "Body Marking" does not suck. Triathletes are some fit individuals.
  • I have really good handwriting. If you need well-written numbers on your arms, I'm your woman.
  • I have serious bike envy.
  • You can never have enough volunteers. If nothing else, they can stand and cheer for every athlete. Especially the ones who left their posse at home on race morning.
  • Be prepared to give up your sneakers. Elusive Dave (volunteer coordinator extraordinaire for Richmond Multisports) handed his over to a racer who couldn't find his when it was time for the run.
  • G and I make "red shirts" look good.
  • Standing in one spot for three hours and cheering for every last racer is the perfect opportunity for calf raises and other various isometric exercises.
  • A good leader makes all the difference.
  • The part of the triathlon that makes me cringe the most is the barefoot run from the swim to transition.
  • I can do things I never thought possible. Like lift my arm over my head.
  • Some people are way more body confident than I.
  • Some guys shave more of their body than I do.
  • People have a fascination with my socks. A dozen people must have asked me about them.
  • I now know what outfits "work" and "don't work" while racing.
  • Seeing someone crash their bike, takes me back to the very instant when I crashed mine.
  • Working the race gets you "insider information," such as race dates for new 70.3 races in Richmond (may have found my 2012 70.3 goal race. Just saying.)
  • Some people volunteer only for the food.
  • Little kids cheering for their parents, or running with them through the finish chute, will always make me cry.
  • I want 70.3 bad.
Have you volunteered before? What are you waiting for?

Be sure to enter my NYC Marathon Raffle HERE. There are still 15 prizes to be won and the next three winners will be selected on Friday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

NYC Marathon Raffle Winners, Week 1 ...

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has already donated to my fundraising efforts. As of this morning, I have raised $1250 of my $3000 commitment, just about 42%! Without all of your support, reaching my goals wouldn't be possible.

With that said, there is still plenty of time to donate and to win some FABULOUS prizes. Just head over to my NYC Marathon Raffle post HERE, make a donation HERE and come back to enter. It's easy peasy.

And now for the first three winners! There were 398 entries and thanks to the winners are ...

#186 - Rene @ The Amherst Shuffle
#121 - Giraffy @ 365 days of Awesome
#286 - Kortni @ Today is the day ...

Congrats! Please email me with your prize selection at

And if you didn't win (or didn't enter yet) remember that there are still 15 prizes in the mix and the next three winners will be selected on Friday, July 1. Good luck!

lucky number seven ...

Seven years ago tomorrow, I said "I do" to my soul mate and my best friend.

Over the past seven years, we've gone from fresh faced kids (this was actually from our first "date" in 2002, a two week trip to England),

To, um, more mature versions of ourselves.

We've moved three times. We've added three children to our family.

We've laughed. We've cried. We've fought. We've made up. We've faced everything thrown at us as a team. Side-by-side, every step of the way. There is no one I'd rather be on this journey with.

Happy Anniversary to the man I love ...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Three Things Thursday ...

Hood To Coast - As you may have heard, Nuun announced their Hood To Coast Relay teams yesterday. And you might have also heard, that I was selected to join this fabulous group of bloggers HERE in the running of the relay. I could not be more excited.

And if you were wondering if you missed the post where I talked about this opportunity before today, you didn't. There were only two or three people who even knew I applied. SURPRISE!

So, as you can probably guess, between making the Hood to Coast Nuun Team and my Runner's World announcement, yesterday was kind of a big day around here. I am so hot right now ...

Mouth Drama - On Friday, Dizzle lost her front tooth.

It was a long and arduous process with lots and lots of tears. But we survived. (It was rough there for a while).

Now, her other front tooth is hanging by a thread.

I tried to get a good picture of it, but it doesn't photograph well. Trust me though, it's migrating towards the center of her mouth and is starting to stick out instead of down. It's a total snaggletooth. And the only thing sillier looking will be the GINORMOUS gap she'll have once it actually falls out.

In other mouth news, on Tuesday night, Dilly was running around on the hardwood floors in our home with socks on both her hands and her feet. I was in the office (just off the kitchen) when I heard her hit the ground next to the refrigerator. When I went to see what happened, she turned to me and screamed. When she opened her mouth, blood poured out.

Dilly had bitten a gaping hole in her tongue. It was close to needing stitches, but the risks of the sedation were higher than that of waiting to see if it healed on it's own. She's fine, by the way.

Giveaways - If you haven't entered my HUGE NYC Marathon raffle HERE, do it today. I will be selecting my first three winners tomorrow. All it takes to enter is a donation to my fundraising HERE. Go ahead, all the cool kids are doing it.

And now for the winner of the Sportline Heart Rate Monitor and Pedometer. There were 174 entries and thanks to, the winner was #107 ...

Allison @ Just Tri and Finish

Congrats Allison! Please send me an email with your mailing address so I can send you your prize!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

we run this world ...

So, if there was a bible of running, it would probably be Runner's World.

Think about it, have you ever met a runner who hasn't at least glanced at it's pages? Personally, I have the last three years worth of issues stacked neatly in my living room. When I have a question, Runner's World is where I go. When I am looking for a race or new gear, I can usually find it somewhere on those pages. And when I dream about the day when I cut two hours off my marathon time and qualify for the Olympics, it's not a Wheaties box I envision myself on. It's the cover of Runner's World.

OK, so maybe that last one isn't likely to happen, but that doesn't mean I can't get my Runner's World glory. (And I'm not talking about the fact that G and I are on first name basis with Sarah Bowen Shea and that Bart Yasso loves our socks - Yes, I just name dropped. That's how I roll).

Anyway, back to my point - Runner's World glory.

Well, as you may recall from this post HERE, Sarah Bowen Shea, (co-author of Run Like A Mother: The Book) wrote an article on running fashion for the August issue of Runner's World and the magazine was looking for photographs to go along with it.

When I got the email from SBS, I knew I had to submit some of my favorite shots, not only because I think I am a total SOCK Runner (Stylish and Obviously Completely Kicka** Runner), but because I knew G was being featured in the article. Yeah, my BFF is cool like that and I kind of figured that nothing would be cooler than BOTH of us sharing Runner's World glory.

So, I sent my shots in and waited. The next day, I had shoulder surgery and just as the drugs were wearing off, I checked my email to find this in the subject line:

Runner's World Photo Shoot

Commence freak out. I nearly crapped my pants.

I mean, seriously, how many people can say, "I was featured in Runner's World. In a cover story."? Not a lot. (Well, other than G and Katye - I submitted a picture of the two of us).

And it gets even better. Not only did Runner's World send a photographer to take my picture, but they wanted Dizzle and Doodle in the photos too.

Commence second freak out. They nearly crapped their pants.

How the heck did this become my life?

Honestly, I don't really care how it happened. I'm just thankful that it's happening and that I get to share the spotlight with my kids and my friends. Trust me, I am going to eat up my 15 minutes of fame. Oh, and when the August issue of Runner's World hits newsstands, Dizzle is ready to autograph your copy ...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

food quirks ...

My eating habits are often critiqued by the people around me.

Some people think I don't eat enough (trust me I do). Some people can't understand why I don't eat "meat with feet" (I'm a pescatarian and I choose not eat meat with feet because I don't believe you need it to fuel properly and I've never been that big of a fan). Others think I'm crazy when I tell them I haven't had alcohol in seven years ( I just don't like the taste). And occasionally, people get on my case when they see how I control what my kids eat ("You get what you get and you don't throw a fit" is the law around here. But, they get their fair share of junk, too).

Most of the time, I ignore these comments. I don't let other people's opinions dictate the way I live. But, as I was digging every last piece of red onion out of my salad the other day, I realized I do have *some* food quirks. And I'm OK with that. In fact, I'm pretty sure I am not alone ...
  1. As a child, I refused to eat any food that had touched something else on the plate. I was not a fan of contamination. I have grown out of this to some extent, but I really detest when sauces mix or when they get on items they are not meant for.
  2. I eat my food off my plate in a clockwise pattern. I start at 12 o'clock and work my way around.
  3. I will not touch raw meat. Just the thought of it makes me throw up in my mouth a little.
  4. I do not like raw onion and will pick out every piece. But I will eat cooked onions, except if they are red.
  5. I will put hot sauce on anything. Eggs, couscous, popcorn, sandwiches, vegetables, cheese. Like I said, anything.
  6. I did not like coffee until I was pregnant with Dilly. Then I craved it. Now, I drink at least half a pot every day.
  7. In high school, I ate a Burger King Bacon Double Cheeseburger with extra ketchup and pickles, fries and Dr. Pepper every single day during the school week. I also weighed 70 pounds more than I do now. Shocking, right? Now, just looking at the Burger King logo is enough to make me nauseous.
  8. I am a creature of habit. I could eat the same three meals every single day and not complain. The only reason that my home cooking is more diversified than that is I am concerned that J would get bored if I ALWAYS made what I felt like eating.
  9. In college, I was known to make a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, load it up with hot sauce and eat the entire thing in one sitting.
  10. I once ate 7/8 of a Carvel Smiley Face Ice Cream cake at one time because my dorm room didn't have a freezer. And because it tasted really good.
  11. I often try to trick my guests into eating "meat substitutes" when they visit. No one has ever called me out on it, but I think they are just trying to be nice.
  12. I used to be a far pickier eater. Although I will eat pretty much anything now, I used to *think* I knew exactly what I liked. Thus, when I was in England, I ate tons of Subway cheese sandwiches with pickles and yellow mustard, for no other reason than I thought everything else was gross.
  13. Lobster is my all-time favorite food. It is the only thing keeping me from becoming a vegetarian, rather than a pescatarian.
  14. I will try anything once. If I don't like it, I can almost guarantee I will never try it again.
  15. I love eggs, and usually eat 6-8 egg whites with lunch. But, I hate quiche. It might be my least favorite meal. No, it's second to liver and onions.
  16. I've always told J to "forget the flowers, and buy me a box of donuts instead."
  17. I will not eat raw broccoli.
  18. I almost never eat dessert while my kids are awake. Part of the reason is that I don't want them to think dessert is an everyday thing AND I often see dessert as my reward for making it through the day and it just tastes better when it's quiet.
  19. I was the only child I knew who ate snails and frog legs on a regular basis. And I'm one of the few adults I know, that would jump at the opportunity to now (I would probably break my "meat with feet" rule for some frog legs).
  20. I will not eat the ends of a loaf of bread. It grosses me out.
  21. I refuse to share my food. It's mine. But I will happily sample yours.
  22. I used to view food differently. Before I ran, I saw it as something you celebrated with, enjoyed and indulged in. Now, I know it can be all those things, but more importantly, it fuels me. And I want to be fueled well. Otherwise, my running is going to suck. And I'm not OK with that. Plus, I want to be a good example for my kids. I want them to see food as fuel, first and foremost.
What are your food quirks?

Don't forget to check out my current giveaway HERE (winner selected on Thursday) and my NYC Marathon Fundraising Raffle HERE (3 winners selected on Friday).

Monday, June 20, 2011

long(ish) run ...

In case you failed to notice, I'm running the San Francisco Half Marathon in 41 days. It's a race I have been looking forward to for almost a year, ever since G and I decided it would be our "Girls' Weekend" for 2011 (In 2010, we ran the Bermuda Half Marathon). Anyway, the goal for this race was always "to have fun", but when I was training for National, G and I realized that I should be able to pace her to a sub-2.

But then, I crashed. And my base basically went back to zero.


Now with just about 6 weeks left before the race, I am starting to feel like we can get G that sub-2. I'm feeling stronger. I'm running more. And I am ignoring the fact that the last time I ran a double digit run was a 10 miler on April 21. Who cares? That's such a minor detail.

As of Saturday, my longest run since my surgery was 6 miles and about 58 minutes. And every time I had run that distance, it kicked my butt. So, you can probably understand why I was apprehensive about my Sunday long run this week.

8 miles - I was going to have to run for over an hour.

Thankfully, I was with about 300 other MTT runners and had S (who always keeps me entertained) by my side, every step of the way.

Was it the best run?

Well, no.
It was brutally hot.
Miles 4-5.25 was straight uphill.
Auto-pause on my Garmin was a total fail.

BUT ...

We finished the 8 miles, my longest run in two months, in 1:15.
We looked wicked cute while doing it.
I wasn't totally wiped afterward. In fact, I am confident that I could have held that pace for a few more miles.
I finished the week with 28.1 miles - almost twice as many miles as I ran in May.

All in all, I'm calling it a success ...

Friday, June 17, 2011

last time ...

When my father passed away, everyone was at home. Odd, considering that both my younger sister and I were in college at the time. In fact, it happened right before summer - the first summer I wasn't going to be living at home. But, in some twist of fate, the previous tenants of the apartment I was renting couldn't be out by their move date, so they split the month with me. They stayed in the apartment and I went home (since I still had that ability).

With that, my two roommates and I headed to my parent's house for a few days. And on the second day of our visit, it happened. My father unexpectantly passed of a cardiac event in his sleep.

I don't think this is coincidence. I was supposed to be there. I was supposed to be the one making those dreaded calls to our family members. Not the one receiving it.

From that moment on, I have never questioned fate. I have never left angry. And I have never ended an interaction with the people I love, whether over the phone or face-to-face, without saying, "I love you." It's too important not to. I want the people who matter to me to know that they matter to me. Because if nothing else, you never know if it is the last time you will get the chance to tell them.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because we're closing a chapter in our lives. Maybe it's because someone else is. Maybe it's because I crashed my bike and it could have ended so much worse. Maybe I just needed a reminder. Who knows?

The reason doesn't really matter. All that matters is that the message is clear ...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

3TT: things J enjoys edition ...

RUNNING - About a month ago, I posted a link for the Amica Newport Half Marathon on J's Facebook page. With it, I wrote something to the effect of, "We will be in RI the same weekend as this race. We should run it."

At the time, J wasn't sold. Although he ran two half marathons last year (Marine Corps Historic Half and Richmond), I didn't know if I could convince him to join me. But then, yesterday morning, when I checked my email, I found THIS GROUPON for discounted race entries to the Amica Newport Half Marathon (5K and Marathon are included too).


I told J about it, expecting resistance. But instead, he didn't fight at all. In fact, he said that the $37 dollar price tag for the Half Marathon was too good to pass up. (I actually think he said that it would be silly not to get it if it's that price.)

And with that, we were registered. J's 3rd half. My 12th. We may or may not run together. The course profile is favorable for a PR and although it's just three weeks before NYC, I might just have to go for it.

(Note: If you want to run the Amica Newport Half Marathon, the groupon HERE is still available through today.)

GADGETS - As of yesterday, J and I have been together for 9 years (just about a 1/3 of my life). On the 25th, we will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. Most years, OK, pretty much every year, we don't get each other gifts. We just try to go out to dinner together without the kids and that's that. Neither of us really NEED anything and I like to show him how much I love him EVERYDAY. He's my best friend and the love of my life and I don't need flashy gifts to know that.

With that said, this year we did something rather atypical for us. We got each other gifts. And we went big. J got me the new Droid Charge to replace my BlackBerry (it's basically a palm sized computer). This phone is INSANE and I'm completely obsessed with it (J is too).

And I got J an iPad. Um, yeah. I am pretty sure I can do no wrong for a VERY LONG TIME. On a similar note, I may have lost my husband to a piece of machinery FOREVER.

ME - J pretty much loves me more than anything (well, aside from our kids) and he wants to see me succeed in whatever I do. So, he thinks you should all head over to my NYC Marathon fundraising page HERE to make a donation. Then you can check out my HUGE raffle HERE to be entered for some sweet prizes. There will be 18 winners in all, with the first three announced next Friday.

And if that wasn't enough, a donation will earn you extra entries in my current giveaway HERE. You know you want to. Giving back makes you feel good. And a donation to Grassroot Soccer will help fight AIDS in Africa. Come on, all the cool kids are doing it ...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sportline Heart Rate Monitor and Pedometer Giveaway ...

A week or so after my crash, I received a package in the mail from Sportline which included the Sportline DUO 1010 Heart Rate monitor and the 340 Step and Distance Pedometer, both of which I was excited to check out.

If you are unaware, Sportline is the performance brand leader in Personal Fitness Monitors. Their products are designed to instill motivation, increase safety and bring greater enjoyment to all levels of fitness enthusiasts. The company offers a comprehensive range of multi-functional pedometers, many featuring the patented Advanced Pendulum Design technology for unmatched accuracy. Sportline is the exclusive marketer of Any-Touch Technology and the brand behind the DUO and SOLO Heart Rate Monitor collections, as well as the Hydra Coach Intelligent Water Bottle. Sportline also delivers a complete assortment of fitness walking and running accessories designed for storage, safety and portable music needs.

I had intended on testing and reviewing the products, but since I was recovering from surgery, I never had the opportunity to. So, instead, one lucky reader will win BOTH the
Sportline DUO 1010 Heart Rate monitor and the 340 Step and Distance Pedometer. My loss, your gain.

Here's a little information about what you'll win ...
Sportline DUO 1010 Heart Rate Monitor (valued at $69.99): A heart rate monitor can set the proper pace for any kind of workout by ensuring the user stays within a certain heartbeat per minute zone to get a more effective workout. This monitor is superior because it works with or without a chest strap. Simple to use, but full of features, the DUO 1010 allows for continuous and on-demand HR monitoring. Activate your heart rate by touching the watch face (no chest strap required), or utilize the included chest strap for continuous measurement. The DUO 1010 provides EKG accurate data and helps the user increase or decrease your intensity to get a more effective workout. The DUO 1010 has pre-defined HR zones, audible alerts, numerous heart rate indicators, and tracks calorie burned. Available at most sporting goods stores and

Sportline Step & Distance Pedometer (valued at $17.99): Not sure how far you walk each day? Get this easy-to-use pedometer from Sportline and know exactly how many steps you take and how far you walk. It's fun to use and will help you track your training goals and improve your health. Easily input personal fitness data to customize measurements for your stride. Accurately counts steps to 99,999. Available at most sporting goods stores and

Pretty sweet, right? Here's how to enter:

REQUIRED: Become a follower of this blog. Leave a comment.
REQUIRED: Head over to Sportline HERE, then leave a comment to let me know something you learned or let me know which other product you'd like to try.

  • Donate to my NYC Marathon Fundraising efforts HERE (1 entry for every $5 donated). Leave a comment. (NOTE: A donation will also get you entry in my fundraising raffle HERE)
  • "Like" Racing With Babes on Facebook HERE. Leave a comment.
  • Follow me on Twitter HERE. Leave a comment.
  • Repost this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Leave a comment.
Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, June 22. Winner will be selected at random and announced on Thursday, June 23.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

44.35 ...


It's June 14th and 44.35 is how many miles I have run this month.


8 weeks ago, I was running 44.35 miles in a single week.


It's hard to hold yourself back when you know what you are capable of. It's hard to slow down when the group is pulling you along. It's hard to watch your friends keep running after you've hit your "mileage cap" for the week or run. It's hard to stop yourself from doing more than you should.

There is a fine line between training well and overtraining. The thing to remember is that training well can even encompass undertraining at times. With overtraining comes danger. And injury. And burn out. I truly believe that it's better to be 10% undertrained and healthy than 10% overtrained and injured.

These are the things that I have to remind myself of, as I return from this injury. I need to remember that I did not take a day off. I took a month off. I need to rebuild my base. And I need to do that smartly. No crazy jumps in mileage. No all out bursts of speed. Slow and steady win the race. And I am in it to win it. Just like always.

I will get back to where I was. And I will be stronger than I was before. It's going to take a while. And I'm not going to see 44.35 in a single week any time soon. But it will happen. I just have to trust the training ...

Have you entered my raffle yet? You totally should. Just click HERE ...

Monday, June 13, 2011

NYC Marathon Raffle ...

I'm sure you've heard (as I have mentioned it a zillion times), I will be running the NYC Marathon with Team Grassroot Soccer.

For those of you who don't know about Grassroot Soccer, here's a little information about their mission:

"Each day more than 7,000 people die of AIDS, and it is the leading cause of death of women globally.

At Grassroot Soccer, we see a world mobilized through soccer to create an AIDS-free generation. Our mission is to educate, inspire and mobilize youth to stop the spread of HIV. By 2014, GRS plans to reach 1 million youth with life-saving education. To date, we've graduated 393,225 girls and boys from our programs globally.

To achieve our mission, we continuously improve our innovative HIV prevention and life-skills curriculum, share our program and concept effectively, and utilize the popularity of soccer to increase our impact."

To learn more visit,

I am honored that I have been given the opportunity to use my running to give back and to raise money for such a worthy cause. For so long, running has play such an important role in my life. It has provided me with sanity, health, friendships, purpose and passion. And now, I am to use running to be an agent of change.

I have pledged to raise $3,000 for Grassroot Soccer and I know with your support, I can reach my goal. And to help with my fundraising, I will be hosting a raffle of some of my favorite products starting today and running through Friday, July 29th.


Allied Medal Displays: Winner's choice of ANY Medal Display from their online catalog HERE Won by Jill @ Running to Sanity

ViSalus - Body By Vi: The Balance Kit HERE - includes 1 bag of ViShape (30 servings) and 5 flavor mix-ins (1 each of banana, strawberry, chocolate, peach and orange). Won by Karen @ Working it out

Back Pocket Sports: Winner's choice of running/cycling top. Won by Rene @ The Amherst Shuffle

Jessica's Gifts (3 Winners):

GU Energy: (2 Winners) GU Energy Variety Pack - Includes 16 GUs (both original and Roctane), 4 GU Electrolyte Tabs (single serving), 1 GU Chomps, 1 GU Electrolyte Brew, Won by Kortni @ Today is the day ... and Jess @ Run with Jess

PartyLite: (2 Winners) $26.22 Gift Certificate

Raw Crunch Bar: Variety Box of Raw Crunch Bars HERE (4 Chocolate, 4 Goji Berry, 4 Blueberry, 4 Cranberry) Won by Lesley @ Racing It Off

RoadID: Gift Certificate for winner's choice of RoadID Won by Katie @ Blessed with Full Hands

See Jane Run (2 Winners):
TMB Endurance Bands: (2 Winners) 4-pack of non-slip headbands (2 thick headbands (1.5") and 2 thin headbands (7/8"-1")) Won by Courtney @ Run, Courtney, Run

Tough Chik: Winner's choice of any in-stock t-shirt HERE Won by Meredeth a.k.a Earth Momma Mer

Zensah: $50 gift certificate Won by Giraffy @ 365 days of Awesome


Become a follower of this blog (1 entry). Then leave a comment.

REQUIRED: You MUST make a donation HERE. The more you donate, the more entries you get. Then leave a comment. Please let me know how much you donated and if you fit the criteria below.

  • For every $5 you donate, you get one (1) entry.
  • If you donated prior to today (6/13), you get a five (5) bonus entries.
  • If you already donated AND you make a new donation, I will DOUBLE your entries, including the five bonus entries. (Example: a $25 donation before 6/13 (5 entries) + 5 bonus entries + a new $10 donation (2 entries) x 2 = 24 entries)
  • If you repost this raffle/giveaway, you get one (1) entry each time you repost. Then leave a comment.
  • If you become followers on Facebook or Twitter of any of my sponsors listed HERE (links to their Facebook and Twitter accounts included), you get one (1) entry for each follow. Then leave a comment for each "follow/like."
THREE winners will be selected at random every FRIDAY from June 24th to July 29th. Winners will select their prizes in the order in which they were drawn.

Friday, June 10, 2011

NYC Marathon Raffle: The Sponsors ...

As you may recall, I will be running the NYC Marathon with Team Grassroot Soccer.

For those of you who don't know about Grassroot Soccer, here's a little information about their mission:

"Each day more than 7,000 people die of AIDS, and it is the leading cause of death of women globally.

At Grassroot Soccer, we see a world mobilized through soccer to create an AIDS-free generation. Our mission is to educate, inspire and mobilize youth to stop the spread of HIV. By 2014, GRS plans to reach 1 million youth with life-saving education. To date, we've graduated 393,225 girls and boys from our programs globally.

To achieve our mission, we continuously improve our innovative HIV prevention and life-skills curriculum, share our program and concept effectively, and utilize the popularity of soccer to increase our impact."

To learn more visit,

I am honored that I have been given the opportunity to use my running to give back and to raise money for such a worthy cause. For so long, running has play such an important role in my life. It has provided me with sanity, health, friendships, purpose and passion. And now, I am to use running to be an agent of change.

I have pledged to raise $3,000 for Grassroot Soccer and I know with your support, I can reach my goal. And to help with my fundraising, I will be hosting a raffle of some of my favorite products starting on Monday, June 13th. Entering is easy. All you need to do is make a donation HERE. The more you donate, the more entries you get.

Today, I want to highlight the companies that have made this raffle possible with their generous donations.

  • Allied Medal Displays - Prefabricated and custom steel medal hangers. You can learn more about Allied Steel on Facebook HERE.
  • Back Pocket Sports - Women's cycling jerseys and running tops, equipped with three back pockets. Check out Back Pocket Sports on Facebook HERE
  • ViSalus - Body By Vi - ViSalus means Life, Health and Prosperity. ViSalus shake mixes are made from the world’s best ingredients and formulated by a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of the brightest minds in nutritional science.
  • Jessica's Gifts - Quality hand-crafted commemorative charms, race lockets and other inspirational pieces for runners and triathletes. Check out Jessica's Gifts on Facebook HERE.
  • GU Energy - Performance energy products for any endurance sport. Every product is formulated to further GU’s mission: to help athletes go faster and longer than ever before. Learn more about GU Energy on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.
  • Partylite - Home Decor items including, candles in a variety of sizes, as well as Two Sisters Gourmet Food items and spa products. Learn more about PartyLite on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.
  • Raw Crunch Bar - Handmade, uncooked, unprocessed energy bars. Every Raw Crunch bar is hand-made fresh with a personal passion for excellence and quality that only a small cottage manufacturer can offer. Follow Raw Crunch Bar on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE
  • RoadID - USA's #1 source for Runners ID, Cycling ID and Medical ID. Founded by a father and son team, RoadID will speak for you, if you can't speak for yourself. Check out RoadID on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.
  • See Jane Run - See Jane Run is so much more than a running store. As a woman-owned and operated company, See Jane Run reaches out to individuals of all shapes, ages and fitness levels. In addition to selling a variety of athletic apparel, See Jane Run has established the I Run for Chocolate and Champagne race series. You can learn more about See Jane Run on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.
  • TMB Endurance Bands - Non-Slip Headbands handmade by yours truly
  • Tough Chik - Performance clothing designed by women for women. Tough Chik is not just a clothing line, it is an outlook on life. Check them out on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.
  • Zensah - A seamless performance apparel company with products ranging from compression socks to arm sleeves to everything in between. Check out Zensah on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.
So, what are you waiting for? Click HERE to donate now. And come back on Monday to see the prizes!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

3TT: crazy edition ...

1. The Temperature - I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but Spring failed to arrive here this year. One day it was 45* and the next it was 102*. And I am so not a fan. Yes, Virginia is always hot, but usually there is a period of acclimation. I don't think that ever happened, and if it did, I definitely missed it.

With that said, the Posse and I had 5-6 miles on the schedule today. When I left my house, it was 75* with 95% humidity. During our run, we couldn't get over how hard it felt. So, I said I was going to come home and find out what the Apparent Temperature was. I was expecting 85*, 90*, maybe more. I was so wrong.

It was a "feels like temperature" of 79. Well, at least according to this chart ...

Honestly, I think it's lying. It was at least 120* out there. I am just thankful I don't have to run outside this afternoon when the temperatures are supposed to be over 100* with humidity at 40%.

2. 2 Marathons in 6 Days - Yes, I am fully aware that my plan to run the NYC Marathon on November 7th and the Richmond Marathon on November 12th is COMPLETELY insane. But, I just want to make it clear that I have no intention of "racing" Richmond. NYC is my goal race. Richmond is an opportunity to run MTT with my friends, have fun and NOT worry about time. Plus, it will qualify me for Marathon Maniacs, which I think is kind of cool.

3. My Children - I love my kids. Most days, they love me back. Some days, however, I question how much. For example, a week ago or so, Dizzle said the following to me ...

"Mom, when YOU ARE GONE can Dad marry R's mom so that we can be sisters?"

Um, what Dizzle? WHEN I AM GONE? Am I dead in this scenario? Or did your father just divorce me? And really, why couldn't he be the one that's "GONE"? I mean, really, you'd choose him over me? I could always marry R's dad you know ...

Whatever, I'm over it.

And in other crazy kid antics, yesterday I walked in on Dilly, who had taken her diaper off. When I asked her why, she said, "I needed to see my butt."

Right, Dilly. You just NEEDED to.

15 minutes later, after the diaper had been put back on, I found her naked again. This time however, she was running from one end of the room to the other screaming, "I A NAKED BUTT BABY."

Obviously, I need to better supervise my children.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

28 days later ...

Four weeks ago today, I got a brand-spanking new shoulder, held together by artificial stitches. My doctor says that I am progressing nicely and has given me allowance to do whatever doesn't make me uncomfortable.

In my opinion, I am somewhere between 60-70% recovered. Most of the time, due to my "I can do everything" mentality, I consider myself to be 100%, only to have that proven otherwise with a painful stab to the shoulder. I'm trying to take it easy. I'm trying not to do too much.

Over the past four weeks, I have some huge successes and some total failures. Here's where I stand as of today:

  • I have returned to training. Since 5/22, I have run 39.38 miles and biked 183.76 miles. I feel like I am slowly getting back to where I want to be.
  • I ran a 5K, in a sling, and finished 6th in my age group. I am bada**.
  • I can do a lot for myself. Four weeks ago, I couldn't change my shirt. Now I can do my own hair.
  • I finally dropped the five pounds I have been holding onto FOREVER. Apparently, pain and trauma kill your appetite.
  • I have proven to my kids that things don't always go as planned and when they don't, you have to find a way to bounce back.
  • I have accepted help, which is HUGE for me.

  • I am still not even close to pain free. Most everything causes some level of discomfort (FYI: Running is not painful if I stabilize my arm). The worst things are driving, changing diapers, folding laundry, cutting up food and fixing the girls' hair. However, I am fortunate to have an extremely high tolerance for pain.
  • Getting dressed is still a challenge. If the material is not stretchy enough, I get stuck in my clothes. It is much easier to get dressed than it is to get undressed.
  • I can not do 90% of the ab exercises in Ab Ripper X. Obviously, this isn't important, but it made me withdrawal from the Posse's ab challenge.
  • I can not lift my arm above my head. And you don't realize how often you lift your arm over your head, until you can't.
  • I can not put pressure on my shoulder. I have to sleep on my back with my arm propped up.
  • I can not support weight on my arm (think standing up, push ups, etc.)
I've come pretty far, but I've got a long way to go ...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

rebuilding my insanity ...

Yesterday morning, I had my three week post-ob appointment for my shoulder. The doctor was impressed with my superhuman powers and said that my shoulder is healing just fine. He's cool with me cycling and running (although he would prefer if it was on the treadmill) and he expects that I will get the OK to return to ALL of my normal activities in about three to four weeks.

Before I left, I made sure to reconfirm that I am allowed to do anything that does not hurt. He was good with that and just asked that I try to avoid heavy lifting with my right arm. Easy peasy.

Since I got the go ahead to continue doing what I have been doing, I decided I needed to reformulate my training plan for NYC, since I am basically back at ground zero. Two weeks ago, I ran 10 miles. Last week, I made it 19 - a far cry from the 40-50 miles I was averaging prior to the crash, but I'm getting back into it.

After a little deliberation, I came up with this ...

A nice and easy build back into the modified Hanson Brothers plan I set up weeks ago. And if you look really closely, you might notice not one, but TWO 26.2 races on there. Just SIX days apart.

That's right, I am completely insane. On Sunday afternoon, I registered for the Richmond Marathon. I caved to the peer pressure (the whole posse is running it) and decided to go for Maniac status. I'm kind of feeling a little off my rocker right now ...

Monday, June 6, 2011

my freakishly amazing posse ...

I know I have mentioned it before, but I have the most kick a** group of running friends. We are all borderline insane and would do pretty much anything to ensure that we all get our run in. Schedule changes. Multiple loops. Early start times. Late start times. Fast paces. Slow paces. We do what needs to get done. And we support each other, no matter how off the wall the plan may be.

Last Monday, I was still unsure about my running. I was feeling good after my one-armed 5K, but I was hesitant to rejoin the posse for a run - for multiple reasons, including the fact that I didn't know if I could keep up for 4 miles. If my arm would make it. Or if my lungs would make it, for that matter. So, instead of jumping right in, I did a four mile treadmill run to see where I stood.

I basically crushed it. 38 minutes. No sling.

Then on Thursday morning, I decided to meet everyone for a run (after ensuring that G would not leave me, no matter what). The run went well. G and I fell back from the group, but I was feeling good enough to run five miles.

That afternoon, emails started flying about the weekend's long run. I immediately knew that I was out for two reasons.

1. J was out of town, meaning I had 3 kids to worry about.
2. There was no way I could make it 10 miles.

No biggie. I wasn't really concerned. I replied to the conversation, saying that I wish I could make it but J was out of town and there was NO WAY I could push all three girls in the stroller (the shoulder's strong, but not that strong). Within seconds, G and SpeeDee (who had never pushed a stroller before) were throwing around ideas of how everyone else could push my kids in the stroller so that I could join them for five miles.

I'm thinking, "This is insanity. Do they realize how much my children weigh? Or how hard it is to run with a stroller if you've never done it before?"

They didn't care. Three single strollers had been secured. The route had been changed to accommodate a five mile pick up.

Game on.

The girls and I arrived and got them settled in the strollers (Yes, I realize that Dizzle is WAY TOO BIG for that stroller).

A few minutes later, the rest of the crew arrived (they ran five miles before we got there). We did a quick stroller run-down and headed out. Since everyone else was doing the hard work, I dropped back and snapped some pictures.

And then jumped in one myself.

Then ran ahead and took a few more.

It was so much fun. A freakishly awesome run with freakishly awesome friends.

I am beyond lucky.

Friday, June 3, 2011

readjusting ...

If you've been paying attention, you probably know that I live and die by a schedule. My training plans are laid out six to eight months in advance. Every workout, every day. And I run my household the same way. I know exactly what we are going to be doing pretty much every minute from now until December. That's just the way I roll.

But recently, life has thrown me some curve balls. Nothing life altering. Just schedule altering. And future plan altering.

It's rather annoying. And frustrating. And nerve racking. Some days, I just feel like screaming. Or walking away. Neither of which would be productive. But, at the same time, these curve balls have brought a sense of relief. OK, maybe not relief, but maybe, ease.

It has taken some readjustment (hard for an obsessive compulsive Type A), but the break is kind of nice. Losing the feeling that XYZ has to be done by this date or that time has lowered my stress level (to a point). I've had to accept help, which KILLS me. I've had to accept that I can't control EVERYTHING. And I've had to accept that even when you think you have everything planned, things can change. And the changes aren't necessarily bad.

These little curve balls are probably the universe's way of telling me to "chill out", to be more balanced and to stop rushing things. Maybe, I needed to see that I should appreciate things just the way they are instead of looking forward to what's next.

Well, Universe, I'm listening.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

3TT: blessings edition ...

I'm definitely a "cup's half full" kind of person. I don't sweat the small stuff. And I know I have a lot to be thankful for. Today, I'm feeling uber-appreciative of the blessings in my life. Especially these ...

1. My Beautiful Daughters - Last night was Doodle's preschool graduation (she didn't really graduate since she's not old enough for Kindergarten). I took the opportunity to get the girls all dressed up and take some photos.

Later, when I was looking through the shots, all I could think was how lucky I am to have them and how lucky they are to have each other. Sure, we have our moments, but I love them more than I could ever express and I know they are destined to be best friends.

2. J - He is my best friend and I can't imagine my world without him. He puts up with everything I throw at him and his support never falters. I could tell him I was going to run to the moon and back and he'd ask what he could do to help. Because of that, and a million other reasons, I love him endlessly.

He provides for us. Loves us. And would do anything to protect us. I know how much he sacrifices to give us the life that we want and I am forever grateful.

3. The Posse - This morning, exactly one month since my first day of "forced rest" thanks to the shoulder, I rejoined the Posse for a run.

Five miles (a post-surgery PR) in the heat. I fell back and G stuck with me. The Speedsters looped back to cheer us on.

We might be a bunch of outcasts. We might be too competitive. But we are there for each other. 100%. No doubt about it. And I wouldn't trade that for anything.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May rewind ...

Four months down, eight to go. Here's my recap of May 2011 ...

Run Miles Planned/Miles Ran:
191/16.38 (over the last 10 days of the month)

Bike Miles Planned/Mile Rode: 0/118.76

Rest Days Planned/Rest Days Taken: 4/23 (the crash/surgery)

Highest Run Mileage Week: 5/23-5/29: 10.13 mile (I know, pick your jaw up off the floor)

Highest Bike Mileage Week: 5/23-5/29: 75.76 miles

Long Runs Planned/Long Runs Completed: 5/1 (if you count 3.1 miles in a sling as long)

Current Book: The Triathlete's Training Bible by Joe Friel. Love this book (Thanks SpeeDee). It's just what I needed to set up my 70.3 plan. Plus, it reaffirmed what Racing Weight said - I have a body built for Triathlons.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Secret Life of the American Teenager. I swear that every time I watch it, J questions why he married me. The show is a total train wreak. But I watch every week. Pathetic.

Current Colors: Purple and Turquoise

Current Drink: Diet Dr. Pepper - Totally been craving it lately.

Current Song: E.T. - Katy Perry

Current Triumph: I ran FOUR MILES last night without a sling at a 9:25 pace. And on Monday, I rode my bike 30 miles, my longest ride to date. I'm kind of feeling strong right now.

Current Goal: Continue to recover from the surgery that produced this before and after ...

And to rebuild my endurance so I don't get swept off the course in San Francisco in July.

Current Blessing: That my superhuman powers have once again shown themselves. I know I am recovering wicked fast. And I am thankful for that.

Current Excitement: I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of July. G and I are headed to the San Francisco Half Marathon where we are going to meet up with Katye and Kim and whoever else we can wrangle in. And earlier in the month, I'm expecting to announce something AMAZING. It's going to be awesome.

2011 Goals - Status Update:

  • Clean up my diet - I am tracking my food religiously at SparkPeople, survived my sugar detox and have been able to add a small amount of sweets back in without causing a total binge.
  • Eat no more than 25 cupcakes - As of June 1st - 14 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 June 1st - $0 spent.
  • Run 2,000 miles - As of June 1st - 743.63 miles run.
  • Run a sub 1:55 half marathon - Next race - 7/31, San Francisco Half
  • Take 30+ minutes off my marathon - Completed - 3/26, National Marathon, 4:15:48, 33:50 PR.