Monday, January 28, 2013

Running in the snow and a pain in the leg

Today was a first for me - I ran in the snow!

Snowy Moms In Motion I am bottom left with white hat/brown jacket
I would've NEVER elected to run in the snow on my own. I mean, that's what my gym membership is for! lol but it was the first day of the new season of the Moms In Motion and I didn't want to wimp out so I sucked it up and went.

It was actually a fun experience and I was surprised by how much I didn't hate it. The only worry was keeping an eye on my footing the white coating made it tougher to know where the pavement was uneven or rocky but I made it thru.

Since getting the calf pain, it was my fastest run too. 3 miles @ an average of 10:30 pace. I think the splits were 11'15, 10'30 and 9'59 or something. I'm happy to have picked up the pace but it's also a funny thing to note how much weight and stuff affects my running. I'm up a good few pounds (I'm guilty of eating too much and having one or two extra glasses of wine or martini) so it's no shocker. But I swear I felt like I was running my little heart out. I would've rated my exertion as a 10'30, 10'00 and 9'30 pace instead. Oh well. I'm counting calories again will peel off the few.

I am unfortunately still dealing with the very strange calf pain. I mean thank God it's not a clot but it's still a mystery.  It's in the middle-ish towards the left of my right calf and almost feels like a mini little charley horse has moved in and it always feels on the verge of getting worse. Maybe it's a nerve thing? Over the weekend I really slowed my running down on Saturday and Sunday to make sure running wouldn't further aggravate it. The good news is it doesn't seem like running isn't making it any better or worse. I guess that's a good thing. Should be interesting trying to go 13.1 this coming Sunday :/ I'd be lying if I didn't admit I'm a lot little nervous. I have a super busy week ahead. Maybe I'll try to see a doc on Friday if it's still nagging at me. Just not even sure what kind of doc to see. A PT? A orthopedist? My regular doc? Anyone?

I have been foam rolling which is interesting. I am not sure it's doing anything yet but going to keep rolling - I think practice makes perfect.

And tonight I have another yoga class at a different studio. This should be interesting. Will keep you posted!

Ever have a weird calf or leg pain? Did it 'just go away' like I'm desperately hoping for?

Have you ever run in the snow or rain? Do you love or hate it?


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Easy banana oatmeal pancakes: vegan, gluten free and dairy free

One of the biggest bummers for me when it comes to being gluten-free is missing pancakes. Pancakes are one of my favorite things in the whole world. I know you can buy gluten-free pancake mixes and stuff but I haven't felt moved to do that. I can't see spending that kind of money just so I could have an occasional pancake or two.

This morning I woke up in the mood for a pancake. Taking the gluten/dairy thing into account as well as not wanting to veer off my healthy path - I decided to experiment with what I thought might make a good pancake and it worked! I really enjoyed this and thought I would pass it along.


1/2 cup of quick oats
1 very ripe banana
a sprinkle of baking powder
a sprinkle of cinnamon
a dash of rice milk (or 'milk' of your choice - this is what I had on hand)
a tiny pinch of salt
2 tsps. of Olivio coconut spread (I happen to like this - it's dairy free and organic but you can use soy spread or other thing - your choice.)

love that coconut spread!
I threw the dry ingredients into my magic bullet and grounded it up until it was like an 'oatmeal' flour - a few seconds. Put that in a bowl.

Added the banana and dash of rice milk to bullet thing and blended til smooth.

I combined wet and dry ingredients in the bowl (add a little more milk if too thick).

Heated up a non stick pan with a tsp. of coconut spread. Once the pan was nice and hot I poured the batter into the pan - I made one huge pancake.

Once edges started to get dry looking, I flipped.

Took out of the pan and plate. Topped with other tsp. of coconut spread.

YUM. I think you could add shredded coconut to the batter, chocolate chips, pecans - whatever kind of ingredient is your thing and it would be awesome. I am a walnut fan and will throw a few in the batter next time.

The banana made the pancake pretty sweet. If your banana isn't very ripe, you could prob. add a half tsp of honey or something to the batter. I didn't feel it needed any syrup.

I hope you enjoy it!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Overreacting vs under-reacting

Photo Credit

I'm sitting in the ER feeling pretty stupid.

Let me back up. 

I woke up Tuesday with a strange aching in my calf. Petty unusual feeling and not typical of what I've ever felt before. I dismissed it as maybe a weird thing I did during my first yoga class or maybe something happened during my Sunday long run. I don't know. 

First I fretted whether I could/should run, take a scheduled boot camp class or take my next scheduled yoga class. Don't want to risk "over-doing" it and hurting it further. The ache isn't unbearable just dull but steady. I could certainly work thru it and walking doesn't hurt much at all. Still. I have another half coming up a week from Sunday and the last thing I need is to further aggravate a sprain or strain if that's what it is.  Over-reacting not to run? Under-reacting to be tempted to go test the waters on a 3 mile run? Ask ten people and you'll get ten different answers. 

I haven't run since Sunday, opting instead to see if rest would help… and now I suffer the dark, sad and slightly depressed mood to prove it. I'm getting really sick of all this leg pain and issues. I just want to f'ing run already and without worry! (Sorry. The crabby, haven't run in a few days, girl rears her head)

Anyhow, while frittering away on FB and to make my already-hypochondriac ass even more confused, I come across this article:   Runner's and Blood Clots - what you need to know and why  athletes may be at greater risk… and now I'm bugging the hell out. 

Just traveled? Check
Dehydrated? Check
Muscles fatigued? Sore? Check, check
Plus check, check, check to being over 40, on bc pills and imbibing in alcohol. 

The freakin Internet and all of its information is ruining my life. My medical degree from Google now has me believing I could have a blood clot in my leg.  I called my doc and told her the situation. She said to go to ER. So here I sit. Waiting for an ultrasound that I'm sure is going to confirm I am crazy and have nothing. Our shitty insurance will leave us paying for this crap forever. 

The problem is, I'm always so fearful to over or under- react. It also comes down to a little bit of that old question of "being worth it". I'm sitting here feeling guilty and beating myself up over incurring this medical expense. Why aren't I feeling good enough to validate if I've got a clot or not? It's sick and scary that I'm almost hoping to have a clot to prove to myself that I'm not crazy or overreacting. To say, "see! Good thing I went!" Which is awful to say. I apologize to my friend Sara who did suffer a very serious clot and it severely set my friend back she's been dealing with it for nearly a year now and spent time in the hospital. It can be very, very serious.   That's why I didn't want to take chances. That's why I'm here.

Getting wheeled in now...

Good  news. No clot. Just another medical case of over-reacting and reading too much web-md.

And instead of relief the voices scream, "See. you are crazy. See you just wasted a shit-load of money and time." (Must get those mean thoughts out of head).   Funny how I would never berate a friend for being safe and not sorry. 

Now the only question left is can I run or will I aggravate a strain?

F it I am rolling the dice and running. before I lose my mind or misdiagnose myself with something else.


PS: Despite the fact that I'm in a crappy mental place - please don't ever f*ck around with your health - when in doubt, check it out. I still rather feel stupid than dead. IMHO

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Yoga, foam rolling, Surf City and Lance Armstrong

So this is what we all get when Jen doesn't blog for more than a week.

A whole bunch of stuff crammed into one blog posting.

This post will be much like the rest of my day, an A.D.D. cocktail of different thoughts on different subjects...


Where to start?

I took the plunge on Jan. 10th and signed up for the Surf City half marathon - which happens on Feb. 3.  Trained? Eh. Not as much as I would like to be. With less than a month to go at sign-up time, I started to cram/train immediately. My first week was a  3 - 2 - 8 mile week of miles. (um.) and last week I did 4 - 2- 4 - 10.  A twenty mile week. And it felt pretty good. I made sure to take my 10 miles slowly, hydrate tremendously and even stopped to stretch around five miles in. It all paid off. I managed to do it with no cramping. I will not be PR'ing this half but I am looking forward to enjoying it.

I'm coming back! 
This past week's ten mile long run was important and significant for me. The last time I attempted 10 miles it wasn't a good experience at all - as you might remember from this Ragnar Race report. Conquering those miles felt really good. I will do another 8 - 10 miles this weekend and then use the rest of the week to taper with smaller 2 or 3 milers.

It sucks that I'm traveling the day before the race - 8 hours of travel with my layover. I'm going to really have to super hydrate somehow and try to remember to wear compression socks on the plane.

BTW did you catch this? I was voted some sort of "Top Health and Fitness blogger!" -->

In other news -- I've been taking a very serious approach to trying to fix my leg issues. I suffer from tight hamstrings and frequent cramping on runs over 6 miles and it's starting to bum me out. So I've been playing with hydration/potassium/magnesium and other nutrition approaches.

I've also invested (freaking $40 bucks!) in a foam roller (they say it's a great way to work those muscles) and am attempting yoga and strength training. Anything to become a better runner. I swear - who is this person I've become?

Kinda liking this thing
As a person who's pretty impatient, sort of has trouble with balance and is the most unflexible person on the planet, yoga is (haha) kind of a stretch for me. I mean it's uncomfortable for me to even sit cross legged and when bending, my hands go just below the knees when trying to touch my toes. It's really bad. It's probably also why I really need yoga.

Yoga was kind of annoying. I didn't care for the instructor who just kept telling the newbies to "look at others if you don't know what you're doing." and I didn't get a nice zen vibe there. I didn't love it but I'm going to give it a few shots before I give up. I didn't like coffee, beer or running at first either and now I am a fan of all three of those things. So there you go. Maybe it's an acquired taste! I'm trying a different studio this Friday.

And then there's Lance.

Oh Lance.

I think doing Oprah was a mistake. I felt zero sincerity from him and I felt so much like the only reason why he was doing it was because his big ego made him believe that it was all he would need to do to win back some affection from fans and possibly pave the way to be eligible to compete. Uh. I don't think so. I think I liked him even less after the interview. The whole thing just seemed pathetic to me.

So... Any races coming up? Do you do yoga? Do you foam roll? Do you have thoughts about Lance?

Inquiring minds!!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ragnar Relay race review: The Finish Line

Ragnar Relay race review - THE FINISH LINE

If you want to read the saga that was Ragnar for me (the good, the bad/ugly and the great) then -

Read first:
part 1: Best day ever
part 2: We had it all
part 3: My darkest hour
part 4: Redemption

I am sorry for the fifty part series here but it was so epic and so much going on that in order to really document the journey, I saw no other way then to break it down in five parts. If you've read all of them, thank you for indulging me.

So after I redeemed myself with my last leg run - it was still up to the rest of the team to finish their legs.  I was excited and ready for the finish line. This was it!

We rooted and cheered off  Linda, Jen, Allison, Carly on their runs. And finally it was John's turn. John donned his "Captain Awesome" cape and headed off. We were now so close to the finish line we could taste it!

Van one, had finished a few hours earlier so got to mill around town, perhaps grab a cocktail and finish up Today Show Interviews. Lucky ducks! We couldn't wait to reunite with the rest of the team. As John made his final run, we headed to the finish line area. It was a madhouse down there but the expert navigation of Allison and Jen up front had us finding a parking spot a half a block from the finish line and right if front of Van 1!

We excitedly piled out of the van and quickly found the rest of our team. Kerry Sanders from the Today Show was hanging out as was camera men and the producer from Today show. Too cool! Our own documentary crew was there too and all of it made us feel like a lucky bunch. It occurred to me that I'd be able to relive this special moment again! So awesome.

I chatted with van 1 and especially thanked Katie for being there for me that morning in my hour of despair. It was so great to talk to van 1 and the biggest bummer of the whole thing (even bigger than my 3 am running debacle) was the fact that we didn't get to all do it together.  I wanted to hang out with van 1 so much more but that's not how the race is set up. Everyone was kind of bummed by the fact that we missed out on getting to know the other vans. We all joked that next time we're renting a big 'ol bus so we can all stick together the whole time :-)

Soon enough, we saw John and his awesome cape trailing behind and we all joined hands and bolted triumphantly for the finish line! We did it. We were team "From Fat To Finish Line" and we did it! We overcame heat, set-backs and tummy troubles - we did it. What an awesome moment. It was exhilarating, special and just absolutely joyful. It was a moment to relish forever.

We hugged, shed a few tears and then our Captain, Rik, presented each of the teammates with our medals. It was great.

We then milled about. Jen and I called it a night because we were famished and exhausted.

The one thing I do regret is not hanging out an extra day. Most of the team stayed in Key West for a few days and I left early-ish the next day. It would've been an awesome way to hang out with everyone  and I could've used a day of non-running, cocktails and food, fun. Oh well. I won't make that mistake next time. (And yes. There will be a next time.)

I did at least get a delicious breakfast in before departing (and it was the best damn breakfast I ever had.)

Best breakfast ever

This was one of the highlights of my life and I'm so thankful and blessed to have made friends with all of these wonderful people. I'm soooo lucky that Katie thought of me to include me on the team to begin with. And I'm thankful that despite not knowing how I'd afford it, and everything else, I just took the leap and said yes.


PS: If you didn't get to see Today Show about the team - here's the link to the piece

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ragnar Relay race review: Part 4 - Redemption

Ragnar relay race review Part 4

Read first:
part 1: Best day ever
part 2: We had it all
part 3: My darkest hour

After Allison and John took a mile or more each to finish what was to be my run (so generous of them) It was Linda's, Jen, Allison, Carly and John's turn to take on their legs. During this time, I tried to hydrate, pick myself up from the crappy night I had, dry my tears and support my team on their runs. The sun barely broke the horizon and the heat was returning.

I still had to get cleared by medical to ensure that I could run that day but I was sure I'd have the chance. I was feeling fearful of that run though. It was only a 4.1 mile run but now I was doubting myself. What if I failed again? What if I couldn't do it? My tummy never recovered and walking around with a lack of sleep, a bad stomach, heat, and nursing the wounds from the night before was tough. But I tried to put on a brave face and suck it up. I still wanted to enjoy this experience in spite of it all.

I reached medical and they asked how I felt - I said, "OK" they told me to drink water and gave me some salt pills and I was cleared. Ok. That was easy.

The thing that did come from all of this was my "It's a Wonderful Life" moments.

Once Katie and others from Van 1 started to hear of my night, i got beautiful messages of support and worry from them. The whole team started to work out what needed to be done to get us all to the finish line in time. They never once made me feel like I f'ed everything up - they never once expressed to me how I set them back and I appreciated that so much.

I couldn't really even talk to my hubby about it yet but he simply had my son text me this:

Just what I needed.

And then I reached out to my Moms In Motion running coach, Dana, and told her I had a bad night. I'm not sure what she did or what she said, but she must've put out word to the other moms that I had a third leg coming up and to send me some support. I'm sure she didn't mention my bad time because no one brought it up, but my email was flooding with messages like, "Jen, you are so inspirational to all of us! Run strong and have a great race this afternoon!"

It all made me feel like George Bailey at the end of "It's a Wonderful Life." It didn't matter if I tried and failed, it didn't matter if I had to walk or crawl or even bow out. I had all of these people who legitimately cared about me. If I was George Bailey and facing jail, people would help and Clarence would get his wings. I was the luckiest girl alive. The love of my family, van, team and fellow moms really made me re-prioritze and appreciate all that I have instead of "woe as me-ing" over the bad run the night before. My heart swelled with gratitude for it all.

I was nervous but I was determined. We kicked around for a few hours, stopped for lunch and headed to the transition. I was still shaky but looked down at the pink band that I wear in honor of Heather Boyum, I thought of the kind words from my fellow MIM's, teammates and the sign from my son - and I soaked in the fact that the two vans converged to see me off on this run. People cared and were rooting for me, they would love me no less if I failed. As a perfectionist, and someone who puts so much pressure on herself to succeed - this was a big revelation for me. I could relax and just do my best, whatever my best was.

I told myself, I was going to do this. I was going to make this count in a big way. I was going to have the best run of my life or die trying.

It. was. hot. And it was slow. But I never stopped running. Not for one second. I didn't walk. I plowed on, head up and smiling. I would touch my pink bracelet and run for Heather. I was lucky and blessed to be there. I was lucky and blessed to run. My van beeped, hooted and hollered as they passed by - so did van 1. I kept going. I downloaded "Key Largo" to my iPod after our sing-a-long and it made me so happy to hear that I laughed to myself the whole time it played.  I saw my team around 2 miles and barely slowed to swig some coconut water. They knew by my smile that I was running strong. I had this.

In Ragnar, if you pass a runner, it's called "roadkill." Now I was the one usually being 'killed' but in this run, I "killed" two runners. Yes. I did. Go me.

Because of the heat and lack of shade, it did feel like a long 4 miles (in fact my Nike and Garmin says the run was more like 4.6 miles and not the 4.1 the books says… but who's counting?) As I was towards the end of the last mile I spotted my team off in the distance. I pointed at them and screamed, "I'm coming home!" I started to Jersey-girl fist pump and my team began to jump up and down enthusiastically. Come what may, I was finishing my third leg and finishing strong!! Tears sprung to my eyes as I passed the baton to Linda for her run and collapsed into the hugs of my other van mates. I was never so happy to overcome something. I felt like it was my come-back run. And of-course in my enthusiasm I had to tell my team about my passing other runners, "And I killed two people!" I shouted in my full-on Jersey accent. My team laughed and told me that I might want to keep that quiet. I guess when you sound like Tony Soprano, it just doesn't sound so cute.

First the great salt caper and now the kills.  Key West never knew what hit them! Hee hee.

I am so thankful for everything that day. I'm happy that I had to run again because if I hadn't, that night-before run might've paralyzed me from running for a while and this forced me to "get over it" and not just wallow in it forever. I learned so many lessons and so much joy came out of that dark hour that, while I wouldn't wish it to happen to anyone or to me ever again, I can find some peace in it now.

Now, with this run behind me, we were just a few short hours from the finish line.

Continued HERE


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

TODAY SHOW - Tune in Alert!!


From Fat To Finish Line, our film, Ragnar experience and teammates: Katie, Carly, Rik and Ada was featured on the Today Show!!!

Yay! There we are!

Carly behind the scenes of her interview
Watch the piece here: 

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Woo hoo!!

If you are finding us from the Today Show - why, hello there!

You can follow the team on our Facebook Page and learn more about us and the project at our website.

If you are looking for my personal race reports from Ragnar click here.


Ragnar Relay Race review Part 3: My darkest hour

Ragnar Race Report - part 3 -- 

Read part 1 here and part 2 here first.

So the first 3 miles of this run were OK. The camera guys were following me on and off and I had a little go-pro camera strapped to me to catch the uniqueness of what it is to run in the dark. I was making some jokes for the camera about the woods and the dark. I made comments about the many "gazelles" (other runners) that kept running quickly past me. I had decided to take this run very slow. It was still super humid (I began to sweat as soon as I started to move) and 10 miles is not a drop in the bucket for me. I had run a 7 mile long run the week before but it wasn't under these circumstances that included being under-fueled, (in hind-sight) probably under-hydrated and sleep deprived. So, 'go slow' was my mantra.

Those first 3 miles I felt pretty good. All-in-all, as soon as I started running I was able to shake off the nerves and get in good spirits. I was smiling and joking as I greeted my team during the first two supported stops. But the slight cramping in my calves and hamstrings was alarming to me. I get that feeling usually in mile 11 or 12 of a half marathon. To start to get that feeling at mile 2 or 3 of a 10 mile run was disconcerting. So I thought, "maybe I should walk a bit." So I began to alternate walking and running but still the cramping gradually got worse, until somewhere in mile 3, the last time I decided to try a run, it occurred to me that I was in trouble. Serious, serious trouble. My legs were starting to lock in those awful cramps. Both legs all muscles - even the tops and arches in my feet cramped and seized. This was going to be bad and a looong night. I staggered, I crawled along. And then I lost it.

The pressure of making the film, the feeling that I was letting down the team, the idea that I might not be able to finish this run, the excruciating pain coursing thru the lower half of my body, the idea that I could be pulled not just from this leg but from the overall race, the thought of NOT making it to the finish line…. it was too much. I was overwhelmed, I had waited nearly a year for this moment and I was becoming undone. I was exhausted and so, so, so devastated. I couldn't stop walking because I knew if I did my legs would completely give out and painfully cause me to fall to the concrete. My body was giving up on me but I didn't want to give up on this run or myself. It was awful.

I had worried about dumb stuff, alligators, tripping over an unseen crack in the road in the dark, snakes,  even toothless backwood guys chasing me with axes or chain saws but never did I think my body would do this to me so soon. (I suspected that mile 8 and 9 might be challenging but I never doubted that I would make it.)

All of it made me fall apart not just physically but mentally. I forgot a camera was following me (because joy of joy, who doesn't want to be filmed during the most vulnerable, raw moment of your life…) My breaking point was a Ragnar van full of joyful racers who beeped at me and said "Looking good, runner" in support. They meant it kindly. It broke me. I began to sob, "No I'm not. I'm not looking good." And I dragged and sobbed for what felt like miles.

Apparently, I later learned, I slipped into a mental zone of not feeling good enough and of feeling like a complete failure, who was letting the team and myself down. Apparently all of the darkest demons of feeling 'not worthy,' 'not capable,' 'not good enough' of being a failure surfaced. Those might be quieted but I guess they are never dead and attack at you when you're at your worse. Yeah. It was baaaaad.

I don't remember much, just feeling emotionally and physically in pain. (But good for me! It's on film! ugh.) When I finally found my van at our next place of support, they urged me to let them run the rest of my leg.

It felt so much like I had failed - I wanted to press on walking even if it took me all night. I misread the rules and thought that if I was pulled, my race was done. They convinced me that they didn't think that was the case. They wanted me to recuperate so I could be there for them for my third leg. If I had carried on, I would never be able to run my next leg.  I was too beat up to argue, my legs hurt to bad, plus I knew that it would take me two more hours to walk at the pace I was managing and I would screw over the whole team by backing up everyone else's runs and then I'd jeopardize the team crossing the finish line. I had to raise the white flag. Devastated just isn't a strong enough word.

There's just so much more emotion and drama in this night that it's still too painful to talk about. It's totally freaking me out that the whole ugly thing is firmly on camera (not just from the camera guy - but the go-pro I really forgot about - recorded the whole thing.) As a producer, I know it needs to be a part of the film. It's a part of the story. As the person it happened to? It's going to be very, very hard to watch. Never in my life had I felt like that. I am not editing the film. I probably will not watch that footage until the movie is made. I'm scared to see it.

In the midst of this all, my van was f'ing solid. Talk about team work. Talk about unconditional love, care, support. They nurtured me, they fueled me, they helped to stretch me, they cried for me, they ran for me, they loved me. They took to action to figure out the exact rules (turns out as long as I wasn't administered an IV I could return for my third leg). If anything immediately came from this, it was the tremendous feelings of love from my team that I needed so badly in that moment and thank God for.

Van 2 day 1 - waaay before my night run - I love them (and the rest of the team) so much

So that was that. Good times - huh? So humbling.

The good news is no matter how dark the night gets, light always returns.

PS: So why did this happen? I think that despite eating rice and beans at 7:30PM and trying to choke down a rice cake right before my run - I was way under fueled and not prepared to run at 3AM run. And even though I thought I was drinking enough water, due to the tummy issues, the fact that I ran 4.2 earlier that day in high heat/humidity, and the humidity in the middle of the night, I probably needed 2 or 3 times the water I had. I probably drank 5 or 6 16.9 fl ounce water bottles during the course of the day (felt like a lot for me). I also tend to lose potassium and magnesium quickly - that could've been an issue too. Whatever it was, I need to really fix that asap.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ragnar Relay Race review Part 2: We had it all

Ragnar race recap Part 2 --  read Part 1 here.

So, dusk is setting in and Katie takes off for Van 1 and Van 2 decides to take the opportunity to find a 'real' meal (all day we pretty much snacked on bananas, apples, nuts and that type of stuff) I suddenly realized that I was famished and with a ten mile run ahead I had to eat ASAP. It didn't take much coaxing, we all were pretty hungry.

Because of my gluten/dairy restrictions, the team agreed to try a place called Pollo Tropical. We used to have a couple of those where I live in Jersey. It's basically a Boston Market type place with Cuban food. I was able to get white rice, black beans and roasted chicken for dinner. The food was good and everyone enjoyed their meal. I skipped the salsas and hot sauces because I wanted to keep the meal as bland as possible.

my dinner minus the roll
Unfortunately, my strategy didn't really work because as usual, my tummy decided to give me trouble and bothered me for most of the rest of the trip. Such is my life. I know that nerves, stress, not eating regularly and being out of a routine wreak havoc on my digestion system and I can check all those boxes off. Oh well.

As we started our trek down Florida for our next transition point where I was to run we had some really fun times in the van. First, there was the great "salt caper." I knew I needed little packets of salt to help my night run so we decided to crash a Wendy's for it. I also needed a plastic knife to spread my peanut butter on the rice cakes I had purchased earlier. I felt very shady as I went into Wendy's, slid up to the condiment station, stole the salt and made off like a bandit. I played it up for the van and jumped in and made them pull away like I had just stolen the hope diamond!

The pepper is sad because I stole his friend 
Then, we entered Key Largo, Flo. Of course this prompted a van sing-a-long of epic proportions. We all just had to sing this old "Key Largo" song. Even Carly (who had never heard the song) got into it, John found a version with lyrics and we did the song Karaoke style. It really was so much fun. Nothing like a group sing-a-long to keep things going.

Eventually, we made it to the transition where we had about 2 hours to catch a nap before running. I am  not a good "on the fly" type sleeper. I was so amped that I probably would've had trouble sleeping at the Ritz Carlton, so sleeping in a van in my running gear just wasn't happening. I closed my eyes and rested for a bit - until my tummy forced me to get up and find a potty.

Should I sleep or run?
Eventually the rest of the van began to wake up and it was time for me to really get ready for my run. I was nervous! My stomach was bad, plus I was fearful of the pitch black, critters in the night and even crazy people in the woods… but still, I was sure that I would run this run and be relieved and exhilarated by the end for accomplishing such a feat! And in spite of the not-so-great tummy, it was a fun night and the team was feeding off the high of the day and the fun of this adventure.

Van 1 pulled up and tried to get me pumped up. I was getting excited but I also worried. We ate that dinner at 7:30PM it was now 3AM in the morning. I wasn't hungry and since my tummy was flipping, I'd only managed to choke down a half of rice cake. The heat and the humidity of the day kept us pretty zapped and I was probably woefully far from being properly hydrated. Still I had hopes this run was going to work out.

Rik came in for the transition and began running the first quarter of a mile with me, just to make sure I was going to be OK. I thanked him and bid him adieu. I took off. I felt pretty good for the first 3 miles… and then the wheels began to fall off and I began to descend into a very dark place that had nothing to do with the time of day. The best day of my life began to slowly turning into my worse nightmare.

The story continues… READ PART 3 HERE.


Monday, January 7, 2013

RAGNAR RELAY Race review - Part 1 Best day ever

From Fat To Finish Line's Ragnar run

Where do I even start?

I arrived mid-day Thursday which was a whirlwind of picking up film crew members and getting situated! 

So much was going on! There was the TODAY SHOW which interviewed four teammates: Katie, Rik, Carly and Ada. It made sense why the show decided to highlight these four teammates. Katie and Rik put the team together, Ada is a former Biggest Loser and it's kind of cool to see "where are they now" and BL happens to premiere this week, and Carly because she still is in the process of losing weight and she was the newest member of the team.

The Today show piece will air on Thursday morning January 10th. I have no idea what time or which hour but I'm very excited!!

After their interviews, we headed to a little Italian place for dinner.  The Today show filmed us all meeting for the first time. We were all excited and overjoyed to be meeting each other and gathered under one roof. It was awesome to be surrounded by all of these people who have become close friends over the course of nearly a year.

We were anxious, however, to get back to our rooms to turn in for a good night sleep.

I slept so/so. I was too excited to sleep but got a few hours in, before my alarm sounded at 4:45 for our 5:30 AM meet at the van time.

This was it!!

We got to the location where it was a flurry of activity. Once again The Today Show was on location to shoot the start line. Katie was runner #1 and was going to kick off the run. Unfortunately, her start time was 7AM and her safety briefing was taking forever! They were ticking down the seconds and Katie was rushing to get to the start line - talk about nerve-racking!

But she made it, WHEW. And it was so cool because she was front and center and ready to get it going! 

Van 2 was excited to support Katie coming into her first leg - she looked strong - but hot! We were all in for a steamy, hot day of running.

Katie, Runner #1 finishing her first leg

The rest of Van 1 ran their legs while we in Van 2 went and fueled up on some Starbucks oatmeal and coffee and then headed to the major exchange point where we got safety briefed. I was runner #7 which meant I was the first from my van to run. I was getting nervous but excited! I was also concerned with the heat. It was already almost 90 degrees with the heat index and 98 degrees humidity. I knew I had to slow it waaaay down if I didn't want to burn myself up and screw myself up. I had to save a lot for that middle of the night, 10 mile run.

The whole team is awesome. I feel like we are beyond friends now, like family. And my first taste of what it means to have such a family is the support I got on my legs.

Our van featured all of our before and afters - it was a hit!

Rik from Van #1 is announced into the check point, in he comes, slaps me with the relay bracelet and off I go.  My van-mates formed a human bridge and chanted "Go Roe" as I took off. It was so fun…. and hot. Whew. 

At mile 1 my team was set up and waiting. Linda was holding up a sign, "Rock and Roe" and my team was cheering me on - handing off water, asking if I needed anything. I felt like a Nascar race driver. I got the supplies that I needed and ran off again. Most of the time, I was being tailed by a camera for the documentary. I have now come to realize that I'm going to look absolutely insane in this movie. When I run I sing, I play air drums, I "Jersey girl" fist pump away to my favorite songs, I hoot, I holler. These tactics keep me preoccupied especially during tougher runs. Do you think it would occur to me to contain myself with a camera on me? Naaaah. Fantastic. Oh well. 

"Go Roe"

I finally end my 4.1 mile run and hand off to teammate Linda - and she is off for a brutally hot 7 mile run, followed by Jen, Allison, Carly and John. We offered van support for all of the runners as it was just soooo fricken hot it was dangerous. 

John is runner #12 so as 12, he hands off back to Runner #1, Katie to take off again and into the night. This type of transition is called a "major transition" and there's a whole lot of activity that goes on there. While walking from the van to the transition, I bump into BART YASSO!! I was so excited. 

I'm so happy in this picture to meet him, I could cry:

best part of this pic is the photo bomber - lol

What was even cooler, was just the day before, BART YASSO emailed me! He caught wind that our team was running and being documented and sent me this note: 

I mean. Are you kidding me!! Who gets an Email from Bart Yasso!!??

So, pretty awesome day - right? After Katie heads out after John came in, we decide to head out for some dinner and get ready for our loooong night ahead…


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ragnar Florida Keys… This is it!

team dinner
I can't believe it's here!!

As I sit in a dark hotel room as team mate Ada Wong (from season 10's Biggest Loser) sleeps  - I just had to write a quick post. I can barely contain my awe and excitement.

It's been a surreal day of travel and seeing everyone all together for the first time!

 The Today Show interviewed a bunch of our teammates - YES! From Fat To Finish Line will be featured on The Today show!! It's going to air sometime next week. I will keep you posted.

Then we all had dinner at an Italian restaurant and they even gave me gluten-free pasta.

It's 9:55 PM and I should try to wind down and sleep. Alarm is set for 4:45 AM.

Talk to you on the other side!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals for 2013

Happy New Year!

So I've been looking at other people's goals all day and trying to mull over some of my own. Coming up with some worthy goals has been tough this year for some reason.

But, I do believe in kicking off the New Year with some goals so here are a few:

2012 miles at a glance

1. Run more miles this year. In 2012 I ran 721 miles - my goal for 2013 is to run 722.

2. Run faster? Maybe. I found myself having a hard time running faster last year. I would have to beat a 2:19:58 half and a 26:46 5K. Might be tough but if I train for it, I could possibly get there. Lately I've been getting slower rather than faster so we'll see.

3. Cross train seriously. I will be taking yoga, boot camp and incorporating more strength training into my regime.

More of this kinda thing

4. Maintain my goal weight.

5. DRINK MORE WATER! Seriously. I have such a hard time with this but in 2013, hydration will be my bitch.

6. Keep this blog going.

7. Eat even cleaner.

8. Track my food at least one week a month (will help me with #4 and #7 and keep me on my game)

9. Run 4 half marathons and at least 2 5k races - to keep training for stuff.

Wishy-Washy goals:

Here are a few things I would like to (maybe) do. I know this is an all-wrong approach but I'm still trying to figure out how to accomplish:

9. Run another full marathon? Maybe. Once again I will throw my hat in the ring for NYC marathon. If I get in, I will train. I have no other plans to run a full right now - with a new TV show in the works and the film -- I don't want to fully commit yet… (I know that's lame.)

26.2 if I'm in

10. And I know this is lame too. I still really want to try a tri. I am still struggling to figure out a bike and pool solution. The gyms with pools are literally 3 and 4 times more expensive than my gym and way out of my budget. Now if some of these projects we are working on generate some money, maybe I can afford to take that plunge - sometime. We'll see. Still putting it out there in the universe just in case I can make something happen.

So that's what I got so far.

What are your goals for the New Year?