Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Running Costumes: Yay or Nay?

I thought it was hard enough running 13.1 or 26.2. Really I did… 

But then you've got these special folks.  Not for nuthin' but I wouldn't even want to walk around the block in these cumbersome things:

I guess a big boulder chasing me would inspire speed…
My iPod would have to have that Indiana Jones 'chase' music on loop
The flower is an interesting touch?

Totally puzzled how this guy does it

Uh. Can someone give me a 'hand' with
opening my Gu?

I have friends who like to dress up for these things. I'm torn. I have a (little) sense of adventure but I barely like having my race bib on and usually don't even want to push a pair of sunglasses on my head - it bothers me.  I can't imagine running with a costume and not being tortured by every second of it.

What about you?

Have you ever dressed up in costume for a race?

Would you ever?

Do you think you need to train in your costume to perform in it?

What's the best costume you've ever seen on someone else?


Monday, November 28, 2011

Jack LaLanne Power Juicer GIVEAWAY and review

I actually really like juicing - I have never personally owned my very own juicer up until now but when ever I'm someplace that juices, I'm all over it.  So I was thrilled when I got a shot to check out the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer!

Jack LaLanne juicer looking good

In full disclosure I do freelance work for the company that makes the Jack LaLanne juicer. I do a little television production type stuff but have never worked on the juicer itself. 

When I mentioned to someone in the offices that I would love to try the juicer they were quick to let me try it!  Let me tell you, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. 

When my energy is sinking mid-afternoon and I'm starting to look for stuff to snack on - this has taken the place. Instead of trying to get a boost from another cup of coffee or something sweet - I turn to juicing. I love that now I'm getting fired up with all kinds of yummy vitamins and nutrients.

My favorite recipe is a carrot-apple-ginger juice. I find it to be super tasty.

It's so easy - you just turn the machine on and add the veggies and fruits you want to and voila - the juice comes out.  If you're using organic veggies you don't even have to peel the carrots or anything. I cut up the apple for my recipe because I only use a half an apple for a little sweetness and eat the other half later on.

After checking out my own Jack LaLanne juicer for the last few weeks, I went back to the company and told them about my blog. 

PS: Check out the cool
t-shirt from
They agreed to give one away to one of my readers! YIPPEE!!

The juicer retails for about $135 before shipping and taxes but can be yours absolutely free!

Here's what you need to do to enter the contest:

1. Mandatory - Follow my blog and leave a comment
2. Bonus - Follow me on twitter and leave a comment
3. Bonus - Tweet or link this contest on your blog - leave a comment
4. Bonus - Like me on my Facebook page and say hi over there
5. Bonus - Visit this power juicer page and tell me what kind of juice recipe you would try

Thank you for swinging by and good luck!

Winners will be picked and announced on or about December 7, 2011.


While I do occasional freelance work with the company that makes this thing I am not being paid or compensated in any way for my review or giveaway and the views in this blog are entirely my own. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Long Run: Ugh! I mean, I love the long run

my long run park - Bergen County NJ
Ah, the long run is back.

The long run (for me) is any run that requires me to run an hour and a half or more so for me, that's pretty much anything over 7-8 miles (though as training starts to become serious - I look forward to 8 milers because they are easier than 16 or 20!)


I hate to admit it but I often (well almost always) dread the long run.

Ironically, I always feel good after the long run but finding the oomph to get ready for it before hand… Well, that's where and when a lot of the crappiest excuses to get out of a run start ebbing it's way in.

As I embark on marathon training, I'm trying to get my motivation up for these long run days and will fake this til I make it. I have a new mantra for every time a dreaded long run thought seeps into my mind. It's not particularly clever or creative but I figure its easy and to the point. I LOVE THE LONG RUN.

I'm also comprising a list of reasons why the long run ROCKS! (Yes, read that with gusto! Feels more real that way…)

So here's my list of why the long run rocks!

1.  FOOD I love to eat. Even with all this running, I have to be careful with my food. And while I'm eating relatively clean, running (especially long runs) allows me eat a little bit more peanut butter, avocado or even an extra glass of wine without sweating it.  My long run of 8 miles yesterday yielded me 15 WW points!

2.  TUNES I love music but don't get to carve much listening time out. So running is my time to catch up on tunes and jam to my favorite songs. I enjoy exploring and finding new music for these runs and have special playlists just for long runs.

3.  TIME Ah… an hour (or two, or three) that are entirely mine. No phones, no Email, no answering to anyone. Just me, my thoughts and my music. This time is completely a gift.

4.  NATURE Aside from the occasional treadmill long run, my long runs are through a beautiful park in Northern NJ. There's no better way to experience the change of seasons then running through that park. It's a really nice way to 'smell the roses' and get outside.

5.  ACCOMPLISHMENT OK the best part of my long run is when I'm finished. But not because all that hard work is simply over. There is no bigger feeling of accomplishment or pride then thinking about all those miles you just stared down and tackled. I've never ran a long run and shrugged it off as no big deal. Every long run means something significant in my journey to me.  And lets face it, every long run is bringing you one step closer to marathon success.

So those are my reasons why I LOVE THE LONG RUN - tell me why you love the long run. Or share your mantra. I need all the help I can get for when the "Ugh, I don't feel like running for a million hours" voice tries to get in the way of my mantra!



Friday, November 25, 2011

Operation don't overeat on Thanksgiving FAIL

Well I ate too much at Thanksgiving which is really annoying.

I started the day off strong with a bowl of oatmeal, a cup of coffee and a 4.3 mile run around the neighborhood. GO ME!

Then, it was a scramble to shower, pack up the kid and head over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house.

Nana and Poppa (as my son calls them) live about an hour and a half away. I ate the oatmeal around 8am and that was all I ate. By the time we got to my mother's house, I was STARVING and promptly fell face first into a platter of cheese, olives, crackers and (I'm not proud) potato chips and onion dip.  

Oh and what the hell… It's a holiday. Sure. I'll have a bottle glass of vino please.

I was pretty full by the time the bird flew out of the oven but Thanksgiving is my very fav holiday and there was a no retreat, no surrender thing going on internally and like a good soldier (or a very foolish, slightly sloshed and full of junky food girl), I piled on the mashed, the stuffing, the turkey and I don't even know what else… (well I do know what else but I won't bore you with the delicious ridiculous details.)

I rolled from the table (thankfully, I didn't clean my plate) but I was mad at myself for eating waaaay past the point of satisfaction which is something I've worked hard to grasp… 

Of-course I wasn't angry at myself enough not to roll back to the table 45 minutes later for a little dessert and coffee…

Well. Ya know. What can I say? I'm not proud of myself. But I learned something.  Nana and Papa are evil people who tempt me with their goods! Bastards… 

Seriously, I learned that I need to never arrive at a festive affair hungry or I'm a goner.  I should've had some fruit and yogurt post-run or a half a whole grain muffin with a little peanut butter - something to keep starvation at bay and a little control in pocket.

So the bad news: This was a food fail.

The good news: Truthfully, years past I ate all this and more without a second thought. I would of then followed this debacle with a leftover plate around 9PM at night (we eat around 2 PM in the afternoon) and would've had it for breakfast the next day.

Instead, I came home, drank a ton of water and went to bed.

I also would've never exercised (heaven forbid) on a holiday.

Got up this morning and went to a Weight Watcher meeting like it was confession, cleared my soul and started my healthy life over and followed that with a two mile run.  I stopped the bleeding and am carrying on.

For the record - I was up only .2 this week at WW and with long runs coming back and a little focus, I'll take that off by next weigh in.

So I guess it's not so bad after all.

How was your Thanksgiving?



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday.

The Macy's Day parade, food, family and football and of-course giving thanks.

My heart swells with gratitude when I stop to really think about all the wonderful things in my life.

1.   I am thankful for my family.
2.   I am thankful for my friends.
3.   I am thankful for having found running.
4.   I am thankful for fellow bloggers and the support I get from other runners.
5.   I am thankful for iTunes, sport beans, Gu and other stuff that support my run.
6.   I am thankful for Facebook, Twitter and other means of connecting to others.
7.   I am thankful for my followers and commenters because sometimes it's what keeps me going.
8.   I am thankful for Saucony and Brooks for sneakers that support my over-pronating feet perfectly.
10. I am thankful for my health and an injury free body.

I can go on and on. I am so thankful to be on this journey.

I am thankful that I got my virtual Turkey Trot in this morning! (Actually 4.31 miles but who's counting?)

Now I'm looking forward to being very thankful for a great meal and day with the fam.

Enjoy your holiday.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Running: There's an App for that and other techie stuff

There's a running App for that
Today I got an exciting package in the mail and it wasn't a new pair of sneakers, box of Gu or running book…

Today, I stepped into a new tech world for me - one that up until now, I've only dreamt of.

Today, I got my very first iPhone.

She's a beauty.

I'm having a good time learning the cool stuff she can do - it makes my old dependable Black Berry look boring.

As I explore the million and one Apps I thought I would turn to you and ask, What's your favorite running techie thing?

It doesn't have to be iPhone or cell phone specific, it could be a website, watch, or any other doohickey that modern technology has brought forth for the world of running.

My favorite stuff includes:

My Nike+, iTunes and Dailymile website.

I love sharing my runs, analyzing my stats and seeing how far I've come. I've tried to journal but I'm just not that organized - the Dailymile and Nike+ thing has been great for my record keeping.

So whatcha got? What do i need or should check out?

By the way, as I was looking for a picture to steal display for this post, I stumbled upon 10 Essential iPhone Apps for Runners - I still have to check these out but thought I'd share.

I've gotta go. I have a new iPhone to play with! Wheeee!



PS: Right after I posted this on Twitter - Active posted a similar article called, 6 iPhone Apps for Triathletes… So for my Tri friends - you might want to take a peek!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Marathon Monday - 1st day of the rest of my running life

I have been bugged for the last few weeks.

There is something deep inside me that is screaming - run another marathon.

I thought I'd be one and done.  But, nuh-uh.

I thought that halfs would suffice - enough to keep me training and active but, nope.

I want more.

So today I started training for a marathon. I'm not sure which one or where yet. I can run the full at the Jersey Shore in early May (that would be poetic as it was the site of my first half marathon and holds a special place in my heart). Or I'm considering Sugarloaf in Maine per the suggestion and twitter "c'mon" of my blogging buddy Jen at Miles, Muscles & Mommyhood.  My training program on Nike takes me thru June 5th so i figure anything between the first week of May and then should be OK since we're still in November.

I really want to run NYC but who knows when the lottery is gonna open and who says I might not just do that too if I get in?

So, 16, 18 and 20 mile long runs here I come.

Get Road Runner (my running store) on the horn, I'll need a box of Gu and Sports Beans.

And I hope my favorite gatorade is on sale because there's gonna be a lotta training going on up in here. 

I've been accused of sometimes looking before I leap but the truth is, I believe that you do have to look before you leap but there comes a point where you just have to leap or you could miss your opportunity to jump.

See ya at the finish line and at every mile in-between.

What marathons are you doing?

Do you have any to recommend for the time frame I've mentioned?


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Running Pays: Thank you universe and Lolo Jones

coolest picture ever Lolo Jones
Running pays.

I've been blessed in this journey to find so many wonderful things and ways it has enhanced my life.

I have found health, weight loss,  confidence, drive and determination.

I have found friends, fire, peace and an inner athlete.

I have found a passion I never knew existed. I have even found a way to fuel my love of writing.

Today I even found money!

During my 3 mile run around the neighborhood this morning, I stumbled upon a crisp dollar bill! :) I found it to be a sign. A sign of all the wonderful things I have found on this journey.

lucky dollar found on run
I didn't start this blog to make money. I still have never made a penny from it. Making anything on this blog has never been the goal (though, if someday it helped fund a pair of running shoes or two - I wouldn't be opposed.)  :)

Truthfully, I started it as a way to keep myself motivated and in the game. I knew that if even just one person was reading this thing, it would help keep me accountable. Especially in the early days when running was so out of my grasp of ways I would define myself.

The blog started to take shape and I found a few key people that have kept me going. People who inspire me everyday. Presently, this blog still keeps me grounded and on-track. I take pride that every once in a while, something I share, whether it's about my own personal struggles or successes might actually inspire someone else or encourage someone else in their own journey.

Yesterday I came home to see a ton of new twitter followers. Hmmm. I was sure it was some kind of spam. I was wrong.

Somehow, in some unexplained way, Lolo Jones, an Olympic hurdler found my blog. She tweeted my "Five crappy excuses I've made to get out of a run" blog. To all 35, 722 followers. WOW!! 

I admire this woman - she is a top-notch athlete and inspiration. She is a class act all the way. The fact that she may have even read my blog gave me an excitement that cannot be explained - the fact that she shared my blog - blew me away. 

So I thought I'd check my blog stats. For those of you who do not blog, it's just a way to see how many people have checked out your blog.

I don't get a ton of hits. Maybe (more or less) around 100 on a good post - 200 on a great one. That's exciting enough for me. Yesterday's 'retweeted' blog? 1949!  WHAT!?

It's just too cool for words.

What do I think will happen with all of this? Well Adsense might eventually deliver me the whopping .06 for that amount of hits -- but whatever. For my little modest blog and my little modest journey to have even one person read it has done my soul good - this was an incredible gift.

Running pays, if you keep your feet on the ground and your head in the game - the blessings are everywhere.



Friday, November 18, 2011

Five crappy excuses I've made to get out of a run

I am getting better at this and after all of this time I usually want to run more than I don't but here are five terrible excuses I've tried to feed myself to get out of my runs in the past:

1.  Bad Mood. Depending on the awesome and not so awesome people in your life, this could happen a lot or a little. I get in pretty crappy moods fairly often and while grumping around and eating ice cream and watching bad TV sounds good it rarely 'snaps' me out of it. If I can grumpily get my running stuff on and get my grumpy ass out the door - I come back far less grumpy and sometimes even downright (almost) chipper.

2.  No Time. Bullshit. It's BS at least 80 percent of the time. Every so often I have a day where I work 12 or 14 hours and that might be called a rest day. The rest of the time? Get off Facebook, get off the phone, turn off the House Wives of New Jersey television marathon and get your ass out the door.

3.  The Weather Sucks. Yeah? So does being fat and out of shape. By the way (for me) I have a gym membership and while I can debate all I want the pros and cons of running on a tread - I can avoid a frozen nose and soggy toes by driving the 1.5 miles to the gym and getting to work.

4.  Someone Else. My husband, son, friends, the girl next door, my high school prom date, the man on the moon will miss me on my long run, needs my attention, expects me to be around. Well. Maybe or maybe not but they'll want me around much more if I'm happy, healthy and in shape. People who really love you support your goals not undermine them. Find balance.

5. Too Much of a Time Commitment. When I was training for the marathon I would look at my program and see 8, 10, 14 or more miles and think - i can't fit that in today. I would get paralyzed and do nothing. HELLO? Who said that training was writ in stone? And since when doing 6 miles on an 8 mile day was not better than doing 0 miles on an 8 mile day? Get over yourself. Every mile counts and I've really come to believe that. It's an epiphany I had during my "No Mile Left Behind" journey. It's not to say you shouldn't go for the program but if running for an hour and fifteen minutes is doable but 2 hours impossible. Just fricken do it.

Honorable mention goes to a broken iPod. Music could enhance a run but it shouldn't be a mandatory part of it.

Good reason to stop running? When your pants are on the ground.

What are some dumb reasons that has stopped you from running?



PS: In other news - please check out this giveaway at racing it off - there are great gifts for a great cause!

And if you are a blogger and want to participate in a holiday blogger secret santa - this looks like fun:
Blogger holiday gift exchange

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Racecations: Where in the world are you running?

When I first started running and wanted to run my first half marathon I figured out approx. how long it would take to train and then googled, "NJ half marathon" and stumbled upon the Jersey Shore half marathon.

Close to my house. The right amount of time to train. Great. Sign me up.

Along this journey I've come to realize that half the fun of this marathon/half marathon running thing is the whole other side of it. Some of you know what I'm talking about. The racecation.

For those of you new to the game let me give you the definition (that I just made up.)

racecation [race-key-shuhn
a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity,used for running while at a destination that includes travel away from home and hotel stay: The running guy from Jersey traveled to race RNR Las vegas on racecation to try to qualify for Boston.

I took a racecation for my first full marathon and met up with Lesley from Racing It Off where we ran the San Diego RNR marathon together. (And when I say together, I mean Lesley ran it and then patiently waited around a few extra hours for me to finish… but that's a different story.)   :)

There are so many cool racecations to take and so little time! Disney - the happiest place on earth, Paris where you can carb load on croissants and crepes and refuel on steak frites, and even The Great Wall of China. To name a few.

If cruising is your thing,  you can even sail your way right to a Caribbean marathon!

There are great destination races everywhere.

There was a time that all I wanted to do on vacation was eat, sleep and do a little sightseeing - now I want to run! (well a little eating and sleeping would be good too.)

There are a few things to note about racecations:

* Scope out and book hotels early - you do not want to book your marathon, train, get excited, only to be spending your racecation in some crappy motel 50 miles away. When booking hotels get the details on start line/finish line/parking - these things all matter.

* Most races start early. Plan your fuel. Do not go on racecation thinking you're going to wing it. If you're used to a certain breakfast, your race morning is not the day to switch it up. Make sure you have access to food, it could be a disaster to have to prefuel on a bag of skittles and funyons because the only food access you have is the vending machine in the hall. If you're a coffee drinker per-race, make a plan to get your coffee. I had to scramble in San Diego because the hotel coffee bar didn't open that early. I wound up making a cruddy cup in the room.

* Make a checklist and double check it when packing: from sneaks to tunes to sports beans and hydration systems you do not want to forget your must haves at home. I would recommend taking all race day essentials on as a carry-on if you are flying. You don't want to spend the day before your race in tears because your running shoes are lost in space.

* Make sure you know packet pick up details. When is the expo? Do you have to pick up your materials the day before - what happens if you miss the expo? Plan this out because if you don't have your bib, you might not be able to run.

* Consider going out a few days before if there is a time change, climate change or altitude difference. Some people need a few days to acclimate and some do better if they just hit the ground running.

So, what is your dream destination or where is the coolest place you've ever raced? Do you have any tales from the road or tips to future racecationers?


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Free running songs from The Biggest Loser and Subway

You know I'm always on the lookout for new running songs… and I'm cheap on a budget so this is great.

I stumbled upon this and thought I would share!

Subway and The Biggest Loser are offering SIX FREE WORKOUT SONGS!

They are pretty good too. They are all dance versions and even the BPM are listed.

All I had to do was enter an Email address and voila, downloaded the songs and dragged them into iTunes.

CLICK HERE for your free songs.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Running fail: Pants on The Ground

regrettably not my ass
After coming off the high of a great 5K I was looking forward to getting a few miles in tonight. 

Some girls have issues with sports bras, some with the right undies or socks… Me?  I always, always have problems finding running pants I like. Something never seems to work with them for me. I have a big ass curvier hips and thighs and a small waist so I can never seem to get the right fit.

I'm getting sick of wearing the same one pair of pants for the last year and they don't even make them anymore for me to get a second pair. If I ever lose these pants, I'm through.

When one of the girls, who I ran the 5K with, showed me her new running pants my eyes lit up. The fabric was nice, the details divine and the great deep zippered pockets on the side would come in so handy... (ooooh think of the gels and beans I could carry on long runs!) I was salivating and then she told me the best part… they were on sale! Only $15 at Modell's!

So I headed off and grabbed the last pair on the rack! Score! And then I tried them on in the dressing room. Seems good to me! Wrap 'em up!

A dumb thing like new running pants is enough to get me excited for the next run so I've been looking forward to this run all day!

I get geared up and head to the gym. They feel a little tight in the wrong places and a little loose in others but it's going to be A-OK… 

I start running and in 1.2 seconds I realize my new pants aren't going to work out. I try to run thru it but as they continue to slide down, from my waist to my pelvic bone, I realize that unless I want to grasp the sides the whole run, that I'm about another 1.2 seconds from mooning the entire back row of treadmill runners.



So I power walked on an incline for two miles and called it a day.

Pant suggestions? I'm on a budget too so I can't afford a swanky pair of pants that cost $60 or more. 

Have you ever had a running wardrobe malfunction? What's your 'hard' to find running apparel item?

Thanks for your help.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Personal Record 5K Day Hooray: Race recap

Hooray, hooray! A PR 5K!
team run strong
Shannon, me, Nicole, Nicole C. and Jeff

I ran a 5K yesterday and it was a fantastic day for many reasons.

The weather was slightly chilly but bright and sunny and a great racing temperature.

I arrived at my friend Nicole's house nice and early. Nicole is a lifelong friend - we've known one another since kindergarten and really have grown close as adults and have particularly bonded over running, writing, family and everything else in between. Nicole was the first person I ran a race with, my first 5K - more about that later.

Anyway, Nicole brought a few of us together for the race and as team captain made sure that we were all unified in shoelaces so we all sported these fancy blue guys:
Blue Thunder!

So the team was ready to rock.

I had decided that I wanted to break 30:00. That was my goal. My last 5K, back in June, I ran in 30:01. I remember running my hardest to get that 30:01 and was pretty proud of that effort. It worked out to a 9:39 pace and I was super proud of it. I knew breaking 30 wouldn't be easy but I was hoping to do it.

The gun sounded and we were off. It's a smaller race, no chip, no timing just run as fast as you can and be kind of close-ish to the start so the clock is kinda accurate. I wasn't too far back but kind of middle of the pack.

I shot out. The first 1/2 of a mile was pretty narrow - only two people wide with a teeny bit of squeeze room - I was a bit frustrated during this part because I was squeezing thru and trying to book. I did a pretty good job at it because I could feel myself running hard.

It then opened up a little bit for a slight hill around the one mile and I took advantage of that. Then for what seemed like forever, we were running up hill. We rounded the corner and ran up another yucky hill. I was still trying to push, push, push and run up these fricken hills like I was being chased. I was worried I wouldn't break 30 because the one that I did 30:01 in was flat and fast and this was hills and dodging people - but I was determined to do my best.

I was tired and running my ass off.  Several times I summoned visions of Jason and Lesley cheering (well, yelling but in a good way) at me to go faster. Jason telling me to suck it up buttercup- you're stotan and Lesley pretty much asking, "Are you ready to throw up yet? Then you're not running hard enough." And this is only because if they were literally running besides me, I would expect no less.

So then we were in our last mile and back in that annoying two lane narrow path. I was losing steam but continued to dig. I was passing people and chicking guys left and right. :) Loved this because I'm usually the one getting passed but I was zooming by peeps the whole time and that felt pretty damn good.

I can't really guage my time because the NIKE+ thing is on my Nano in my media pocket, taking it out is tricky and awkward so I'm just going and hoping.

I was making all kinds of strange panting noises and sure I sounded like a loon I was exerting so much effort but I wasn't throwing up so I knew there was still more to give and that while a bit painful, it wouldn't kill me.

I have no idea where I'm at time wise and then I come around the bend for the homestretch.  The finish line is on a high school track so you have to do a quarter around the track into the finish line. As I'm nearing the finish I finally see the clock… It's 28 something. WHAT!? I look again… I think it's 28 something for real.

I crossed over in 28:48! Now I didn't cross the start at the exact start time so it could be 28:40 but who knows. I started Nike a little late so it's off a bit. A year ago I PR'ed this race and I ran it in 32 mins straight so in a year I took 3:12 off my time for the same course. 

My very first 5K took me 40 minutes to do.

I get a little choked up thinking about how far I've come.

Never mind that I PR'ed, never mind I placed 4th in my age group, never mind that I place 25/151 women or 105 out of 315 people… even as I've been running, I've never considered myself a 'real' runner.  I know how silly that sounds (and it's probably coming out wrong) but I've always kind of felt still like the fat girl, like the girl who is kinda 'cute' running as a novelty. But these numbers prove that I'm capable of being stronger and faster than I thought, that the only limitations I have are the ones I put on myself. I am capable of being better than what I think my best time is even. I was aiming for 29:59 when I should've been aiming for 28:45. 

Something about this particular race has validated me or changed me or did something that I can't really articulate. It's something really special. 

By the way, who's the bitch competitor who took 3rd? The one who if she hadn't entered - that place would've been mine? Well crap. Who can be mad? Congrats Nik on your great accomplish and for taking third -- there she is with her medal:

And Nicole's daughter also placed in her age group!! There is so much more I can say about this day but this post is already getting long. I hope you had a great Sunday as well!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Great day for a 5K

Tomorrow I'll write a full race recap but for right now - I will tell you that I had a fabulous 5K PR today!

So I hate to do it but I resurrected good 'ol Sheen for the occasion.

Now if the Jets win and my son goes to sleep promptly at 8PM my day will be 100% perfect… That'll really feed the winning addiction… but even without a win and an easy bed time - I'm on cloud nine -

Will tell ya all about it tomorrow!

Stay tuned and happy Sunday :)


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Slow Your Roll, Yo

I'm gonna feel like this guy after my 5k YIPPEE!
Tomorrow I'm racing a 5K and I have every intention of running as fast as I can - right up to the point of feeling like puking. (Hellz yeah! How did I ever get to the point in my life that something like that even sounds like fun?)

Anyway -

Today, after having a crappy Weight Watcher weigh-in (up 2.8!) Yikes… (Still under goal but still…) I decided I needed to get a little extra run in today for at least a little calorie burn.

I decided not to aim for miles but rather for minutes. I decided to aim for a light pace. I wanted to slow my roll and save most of my weekend effort for tomorrow. I tried. I failed. I thought the minute vs mile thing would help. Yet I still ran around my average speed of about 10:40 per mile - I was trying to run more like an 11min mi. 10:40 is still pretty speedy for me. My best 5K is around a ten minute mile. Every time I would try to slow down it felt like I was dragging, practically walking. The crisp air and sunny skies begged for me to pick up the pace. 

While I wasn't running my hardest, balls-to-the-wall and it was only a 3.5 mile jaunt - I still think there is something to the whole question of why it's so hard to slow down. I mean there was a time in my life where I would have preferred to run slow that pushing myself to run fast just sucked.

I don't know.

Who woulda thunk this could be such an issue?

But selective and strategic slowing down is (from what I understand) crucial to running success - especially in long distances.  We all saw what happened to Mary Keitany who decided she wasn't going to slow her roll at the beginning of the ING NYC marathon. It was her race to lose and she did. The commentators frittered about her way fast start and indeed it was her undoing.
no slow roll here

And the commentators were right but I don't think there's a runner out there that didn't understand Mary's heart.

Now, I don't think my whopping 10:40 3 mile run today is going to affect my race tomorrow one way or another - and I don't think this was so super fast or anything. Just brought up some interesting observations about trying to find the right balance between speed and distance.

If you want to run faster, you've got to run faster :) So there's obviously 'right' training times for speed work too.

What about you? Do you find it tough to slow down? Do you ever train at a slower speed? Have you ever faced this issue in a half or full marathon? Has running too fast ever bit you in the ass? 

Inquiring minds.

Have a great Saturday!!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Fast food Favorites: Cheap Eats that won't kill your health goals

DO NOT try this at home
Listen, I'm all about clean eating. If you have the time and money to always whip up a little quinoa/squash and organic whatcha-whatever - that's better. Do that. I strive to eat as clean as possible but… I'm also a realist that juggles a lot of stuff and a four year old toddler. Sometimes, I don't have the time or energy. And sometimes, I'll admit it, I'm just freakin' lazy.

None-the-less, I did lose over 90 pounds and came to rely on some of these foods on occasion.

So while I wouldn't encourage anyone to eat fast food on a regular basis every once in a while you might be caught out and about. It doesn't mean you have to throw it all away on a double-sized number one with extra mayo and cheese...

Here are my favorite go-to's that are not only affordable, they are under 300 calories:

1. Wendy's. Wendy's is my number one favorite fast food restaurant for when I'm stuck eating on the road or in a mall. There are a number of decent choices. I usually like to order a small chili and a side garden salad. I top the salad with one of the fat free or reduced fat dressings offered. The chili is high in fiber and low in fat. I have also ordered the baked potato and mandarin oranges off the menu. Small chili (no added cheese or crackers): 220cals. 7grms fat. 6grms fiber.
skip stuff like mayo and load up on veggies
2. Subway. Between thumbs up votes from their spokesperson Jarrett and the cast of the Biggest Loser, most people are aware of Subway's healthier options. Even Apolo Ohno teamed with Subway to raise money when he recently ran the ING NYC marathon. Stick to whole grain breads, lots of veggies, mustard and turkey breast for a low calorie sandwich. 6" Turkey sub with mustard: 280cals. 3.5 grms of fat. 5grms of fiber.
3. Pizza. Being a Jersey girl there is always a slice of pizza from the local mom and pop shop within distance. I like to top my slice with a bunch of healthy veggies when possible. An average slice of thin crust cheese pizza (from non-chain pizza parlor) is 272 cals. 9.8 grms fat. 1.8 grms fiber.
Again, these choices are no match for cleaner eating. I'm pretty sure sodium levels and processed words run rampant in some of these choices but at very least these choices provide a little bit of fiber, are portion controlled and are not a total fat and calorie disaster.
When in doubt order a salad or plain burger and be aware of fried toppers, fatty dressings and extras like cheese and croutons. 
mmm - a warm fuzzy blanket of comfort food
Honorable breakfast mentions: Starbucks 'perfect' oatmeal. Oatmeal that comes with a packet of brown sugar, dried fruit and nuts. This isn't super lowcal but it's one of my favorite pre-race breakfasts. If you skip the dried fruit and only use a touch of brown sugar, it's probably a little healthier. If I'm at McDonald's I'll get their new Maple Oatmeal with fruit or just a plain, old-schoool, Egg McMuffin. 
Do you have an affordable "kind of" healthy fast food go-to?
Happy Friday everyone!!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

I love you, you love me… We're a great big running family

Thank you Sara from Words to Run By for presenting me with the Liebster Blogger award.

means 'beloved' blog. Aw, shucks.
Sara and I have been friends since nearly the beginning of our blogging lives. She ran her first marathon a mere 2 weeks sooner than I ran mine, we are similar in pace, lifestyle, and personality and I've come to call her a friend and inspiration. Make sure you check out her blog and follow her journey to run GOOFY in less than 60 days at Disney!

So now, it's my turn to pass on the love by picking five bloggers I adore.

Picking just five is like picking just one favorite kid (except that I only have one kid so actually, that's easier…)

Anyway - here are the blogs (in addition to Sara's) that I hit up on the regular:

Cook, Train, Eat, Race: This site is inspirational and chock full of great information. Jason keeps personally connected to his followers and is always quick to help anyone that wants to make a health change. Whether you are training for your first 5K or your 5th Ironman - there is something for you.

Racing It Off: Lesley is one of my first blogging buddies and she was there at the finish line (and shared her room with me in San Diego!) for my first marathon. Lesley's site offers advice, funny stories, great giveaways and her own tails from the road and trails. She's gearing up for an exciting new journey - she'll be running the Rocky Racoon 50m!!

The Boring Runner: Do not let the name fool you. I have never, ever read one of his posts without at least chuckling if not cracking up. Adam is a no-joke, fast runner and his blog is awesome. The pictures alone are usually worth the click to his blog.

yes! she's posing with Chrissy Wellington!

Miles, Muscle & Mommyhood - Jennifer Leah is one tough tri-athlete, booty-kicking chick. She also has an inspirational back-story of weight loss and total health change. Her multiple-part Ironman race recap was probably the best race recap I've ever read and I would encourage you to read it pronto!

note mentioned abs
If I can't Convince You… I'll at least confuse you. Emz is funny, amazing, supportive to other runners and can run. I mean she once ran for 24 hours on a freakin' treadmill!! And if her abs don't inspire you, then you should check and make sure you have a pulse.

So there you have it. Five of my favs. but I could go on and on.

For artistic, craft and other fun stuff I like Look at The Birdie and Smile

For great picture and warm, fuzzy and funny musings I love The Scenik Route.

So there you have it. 

I love you guys and I love all of the blogs I read, most of them listed here -------------------------------------------------------------------------->>>

but still needing to update with more.

The blogging community has held my (virtual) hand when I need help, has lifted me up when I've fallen down, has inspired me to run further and provided a support that I'm not sure I would otherwise find.

Thank you to all the bloggers out there who share their stories, time and expertise with us all.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Best Running Songs

I appreciate those of you who run without music. I may give that 'no music' thing a try sometime but for now, I LOVE running with music. Music inspires me, motivates me, moves me. It provides escape and enjoyment. I've "disco-gunned" thru tough spots, I've "banged my head" to distract me from pain and I've even belted out love songs and show tunes during long runs to keep the boredom at bay.

I am constantly on the hunt for good running songs. 

Some of my faves right now are:

Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5
On The Floor - J. Lo.
Born This Way - GaGa
Raise Your Glass - P!nk
Beautiful Day - U2
S&M - Rihanna
All I do is Win- Wiz Kahlifa
Til I Collapse - Eminem
Paradise City - Guns N Roses
Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen

Also Kimberley Locke has a great 4 song album called, "Four on The Floor" on iTunes - the whole album is great running music.

My favorites change on any given day. Tomorrow it might be Earth, Wind and Fire and Madonna. The next day it could be a White Stripe song and the Goo Goo Dolls. 

So I'm wondering - what are your favorites? What do you consider the best? Or are you a non-music runner?


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Everyone has a dream… What's your dream?

I've been dreaming of running NYC marathon for the last few weeks or so.

It's becoming a bit of an obsession actually. I'm not sure why this has become such a big dream but it has.

NYC is the city I have grown to call 'almost' home. I live 20 minutes outside of the big apple in Jersey - For 16 years I commuted daily into to the city for work. I still go in often for meetings, dinner and fun.

I think that running New York would be the most amazing experience and I have officially set my sights. There's a definite magic to the city and oh to put that notch on my running belt! What could be better for a Jersey girl than that? It might be 2012 if I can get lucky to get in or it might not be for years but I'm going to run it someday.

Hey, that girl between Apolo and Meb clearly stole my bib! My name is on it!
What's your running dream? Is it New York? To run across the country ala Dean K? Maybe it's to qualify and run Boston? 


PS: My other dream is to run Disney someday :) that just looks fun.

Monday, November 7, 2011

NYC Marathon 2012: WIN automatic entry with ING contest NOV 7 & 8 only! HURRY

Just have to share...

I'm definitely throwing my name in the lottery for the 2012 NYC marathon and while internet surfing about it, stumbled upon this special sweepstakes that ING is running today and tomorrow only (11/7-8)

It's a sweepstakes! You can win entry right into the half marathon in March and the full next November.

Here's the info from the website:

Win Guaranteed Entry to the 2012 Marathon!
Special opportunity: On November 6 & 7, tell us you're interested in running the ING New York City Marathon 2012, and we'll contact you as soon as the application opens. Plus, you'll be automatically entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of 43 non-complimentary guaranteed entries to the marathon's 43rd running; 10 of those winners will also receive a Grand Prize of non-complimentary guaranteed entry to the 2012 NYC Half and a free NYRR training program

Winners will be announced on November 9th.

Good luck!! And let me know if you enter!!



Sunday, November 6, 2011

A stumble, a tumble and some trouble on a morning run

Fall seven times, stand up eight.  ~Japanese Proverb

frequently-regularly-often trip while reaching for my high ideals.  Then I giggle, or cry, and get back up.  ~Erika Harris

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I get knocked down… But I get up again - You're never going to keep me down - -Chumbawamba 

I am a huge fan of 'falling down and getting up' quotes and analogies. In fact they pop up in my blog all the time - I am all about "not being afraid to fall" and 'it's the great man' who keeps getting up and all that jazz. Of-course, I love the metaphor of it but the reality? Well. Yesterday I literally fell. on my face - actually on my palms and the somehow on the back of my shoulder.

It was a beautiful brisk morning and with the opportunity to run outside I was going to take it. I've been doing a lot of tread running lately because it's been dark when I've had time to run and my neighborhood probably isn't the safest to run around in after dark…

So I was taking that nice outdoor run. And I was cooking. I could feel myself running FAST I even was passing other runners up and I was poised to clock a winning run.

Part of the hazard of my neighborhood is steepish hills, uneven sidewalks, dodging cars, etc. I'm particularly careful to watch my footing on the hills and sidewalks because they can be tough.

I thought I was doing a good job paying attention. Really I did. But somehow the toe of my shoe caught a raised sidewalk crack on the way down a steepish hill and I found myself in that dreaded moment of OH SH!T and down I went. A woman tried to help me up who didn't think I tripped but was having a heart attack. LOL. 

I was banged up, scraped bruised arse, scraped bloody palms, sore wrist and a bleeding shoulder but do you know what I did?

I got up. And I kept on running.

I have to say that this was a new thing for me and pretty unexpected. The old me would've sat down, cried over my bleeding, cursed my bad luck, called my hubby and called it a day. But all that Ironman watching made me want to 'finish' even just this little training run. I wanted to finish strong.

As far as falls go, this was a great one. I mean, klutzy me was long over-due a tumble instead of crying my way home, I celebrated. I fell down onto concrete running fast downhill and my knees, ankles, feet, hips and legs were still in perfect working order. I didn't chip a tooth or break a bone. A few flesh wounds? Eh. Plenty of athletes have gone thru worse.  I was capable of running the way home.

And I did.

My final time on my ipod was 3 mi for 10:02 mile. That's an AWESOME time for me. And that was with falling and running much slower that last half a mile. I'm bummed because my NIKE+ for some reason didn't upload the run and now it's lost so I can't see the splits and what kind of pace I was holding for those first two miles but they must've been pretty fast (for me.)

Trail running is probably not for me. I can't even navigate pavement… but in any case -

I am kinda happy about the fall - I learned something about myself. I'm stronger than I think. And I'm proud that I fell and got back up again and I'm eternally grateful to the running universe that I wasn't seriously hurt.

Have you ever tripped during a run? 


PS: I am no hero - if i thought or even had an inkling that running would've injured something seriously or if something was in red-alert pain, I would've called hubby and been shuttled home - no shame in taking care of yourself appropriately either. You can always 'get back up' another day.