Archive for May, 2013

Thanks to the long holiday I’m a little late on this post.


Monday: 7.02 miles (1:25:12 time/12:08 pace)

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 2.01 mile easy day (21:16 time/10:35 pace)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: XT playing for an hour with my son at the playground (trust me I was running and climbing too)

Saturday: XT racing, climbing at the playground with my son part 2

Sunday: Rest


Yes, I should have run this past weekend, but I was enjoying family time and watching my son run with high knees through the grass. He was born to be a runner. I say “ready, set, go!” and he takes off with no particular direction or plan. It’s hilarious.


P.S. The Survival Strap Military Care Package has been sent out to a random warrior. Thank you to GG for participating.


In Memorial… giveaway follow up

… And the prize goes to…


GG! Be on the lookout for an email from me so that I can get your personal message to a troop of your choosing or a random recipient!


Only because you were the only one who participated. I have to admit that I am surprised that only one person decided to take part in my giveaway. While I received a few “likes” which I thought was encouraging, not a lot of participation going on.

If I were to look at this and feel pessimistic, I’d think that people only wanted to participate in giveaways when it’s something they receive themselves rather than them choosing someone else to get a surprise. I could be all “don’t you care about our military?” but I think I’m mostly at fault here. I gave only one way of entering (leaving a comment) and I gave readers three (3!!!!) days to participate on a holiday weekend where I imagine many people travel or have company to entertain. I really couldn’t expect blown away results when I only have a few dozen followers to begin with. So in the event that I do something like this again, I promise to give more time and perhaps do it before a holiday weekend 🙂

But I’m not discouraged and I fully intend on following through with my end of the bargain. I will still send out this care package to a serviceman. Maybe he or she will save a life because I did this. Maybe not. But I’m sure they’ll be grateful that someone back stateside is thinking of them.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy weekend. Now it’s time to fall back into the routine. Godspeed.

I’m blown away… like you could knock me over with a feather kind of blown away. I’ve been nominated for a SOAPY (Friends reference anyone?) Liebster Award by the incredibly talented, creative, and gracious Jolene from Miss. Once Upon A Marathon. I swear I’m not trying to suck up. Just calling it like I see it. This is kind of a “pay it forward” process to bring lesser known/followed blogs to light. It’s a contagious affect where one blog asks and answers questions and then brags about 11 other blogs who must follow the same steps.

First of all, I’m completely shocked that I’m nominated. It’s a very humbling moment when someone says “I enjoy your blog so much that I think it deserves some recognition.” My blog definitely reaches an incredibly small portion of the global population. At this very moment I have a whopping 34 people following my blog. This statement is not even a little sarcastic. I never thought this blog would reach beyond my personal friends and family. So go me.

So in order to follow through with my nomination I need to do a few things.

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to his or her blog…. CHECK!
  • Answer 11 questions asked by the nominator <- sounds a bit like “The Terminator”. “Come with me if you want to win!”)
  • Post 11 random tidbits about yourself. The inevitability that it will get all kinds of awkward is promising.
  • Nominate 11 blogs for the Liebster Award.
  • Create 11 new questions for my nominees!
  • Don’t forget to include the Liebster Award logo on your post. Double check!

Jolene decided to have mercy on me and ask only 5 questions:

  1. What is your favorite meal? (ie. breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks): Lunch!
  2. If you could change one thing about yourself what would you change? Make my scoliosis disappear!
  3. If you could go to the Olympics in one sport, which would you choose? Archery (this is assuming that I’d instantly acquire the skill to be good enough right? I’d hate to go and just embarrass myself considering how I’ve never shot an arrow in my life!)
  4. Jeans or sweatpants? Jeans
  5. Cats or dogs? Dogs… dogs all. day. long.

Now for my 11 random things that may make you scratch your head in wonder, laugh, or both.

  1. In high school, I thought I wanted to be a nun. My family has never let me forget this fun fact. LOTS of nunnery jokes.
  2. Before high school, I wanted to be an architect. I drew housing plans on graph paper more than I played with my dolls.
  3. I became neither a nun nor an architect and got a Bachelor’s in Psychology instead. Probably to study my crazy self.
  4. My son’s middle name is Maverick because I thought God was trying to tell me something when I saw Top Gun on the TV almost every week of my first trimester. (In reality, Tom Cruise probably just had a new movie coming out.)
  5. My favorite book is Catcher in the Rye.
  6. I had a short story nationally published when I was in high school. I wrote it under a pen name.
  7. I have 11 toes. Kidding. Just making sure you weren’t skimming through the list. I have actually traveled to every U.S. state except 2 (Alaska & North Dakota).
  8. I have a very irrational fear of vampires. I refuse to watch any Twilight movies because of this.
  9. I grew up in New England… until I very randomly decided that I couldn’t sanely handle another winter and moved south of the Mason-Dixon a handful of years ago.
  10. My favorite city is Washington, D.C.
  11. In keeping up with the “11” theme, I married my husband on November 11th 2011.

Now for my 11 nominees, I hope you will accept the terms and conditions of this award (I don’t think there are any other than to follow than the above stated rules.) Drum roll, please!

  • A Witty Running Pun: a fellow first time marathoner joining me and so many others at the Marine Corps Marathon 🙂
  • We are 2 Fit 2 Quit: an inspiring blogger who is full of encouragement and great advice. You should buy tickets to his gun show.
  • Semper Spouse: a Marine wife happy to extend some advice to those new to the military “game”
  • runstilletos: exercise, food recipes, awesomeness.
  • The New Adventures of Lo: a blog about planning and new life changes
  • All is Fitness: I’m pretty sure the title says it all 😉
  • shortcuthills: reading, running, travel, and creativity… even some pretty impressive Words With Friends scores
  • cultfit: as noted on the blog- random workouts, random results
  • Fluency’s Folly: a fellow runner who encourages exercise, patience, and hope
  • Rather Be Runnin’: I’m sure you can see a trend with the theme of these blogs, but this one in particular is always a fun read when I’m not feeling motivated.
  • Run Cardiff Run: really great running advice and idea with the added bonus of recipes

Now if you would like to enter in the running (no pun intended) I should probably provide you with 11 questions. Ready, set….. GO!

  1. What place have you always wanted to visit?
  2. Which is your favorite season?
  3. Who do you admire the most? (ie. a parent, a friend, an athlete, a historical figure, etc)
  4. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? (Bonus: would you ever eat it again?)
  5. Are you a beach, mountain, farm, or city kind of person?
  6. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  7. What is you favorite movie?
  8. What do you have on you at all times that you’d never want to forget at home?
  9. Who was your celebrity crush as a kid?
  10. What is your favorite dessert?
  11. Name a goal you want to accomplish this year:

Gotta go! Time to start writing my acceptance speech! (Really, I’m tracking down each of my nominees to let them know how awesome they are!)

Editor’s note: I have received a second nomination from Stacy at The Complaining Runner (is there any other kind? haha)! The first nomination was luck. The second one I think is considered a fluke? At any rate since this is my first go around at this award I’m not really sure what to do when a second blogger nominates you. So I’m just putting a small addendum down here to answer her 11 questions (because it’s fun).

  1. Who is your fitness inspiration? Shalane Flanagan (that girl can run!) and Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh Jennings duo (beach volleyball Olympians)
  2. What is one thing you did everyday when you were 10, but now never do? You’re asking me to think back 20 years? Sweet Georgia Brown, that’s tough. Probably using my imagination… yikes, that’s sad!
  3. What is your favorite brunch item? A mimosa? How about we stick with a spinach, goat cheese, and tomato omelet.
  4. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? sushi… of course mercury poisoning would probably be imminent so “the rest of your life” is a pretty loose term at this point. But, man, what a way to go.
  5. What is your greatest accomplishment? I think the expectation would be to say that my son is my greatest accomplishment… but until he turns out to be a kind and respectful young man who has graduated high school I don’t really think I can smack a label on his tush that reads “greatest accomplishment”. With that being put out into the universe, I will say that I’m over the moon proud that I did not poop during labor. For real.
  6. If you had to spend 24 hours with either Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes who would you choose? Ah, see, this one is easy. Considering how Lindsay is at Betty Ford right now I’d have to stick with her because at least someone is overseeing those 24 hours who has access to medication (medication for me or her, it doesn’t matter).
  7. What was your worst haircut? HA! Well, in college I let a friend give me a trim… which turned into a half done disaster… which then lead to a very cute shoulder length cut. This monstrosity was only slightly better than the incredibly short bowl like hair cut I had in fifth grade. It was not cute. DO NOT LISTEN TO MY MOTHER!
  8. Early bird or night owl? Definitely night owl. I struggle from the moment my alarm goes off until my son’s wakes up and requires that I get my act together. It’s a slow process.
  9. What was the last book you read? I am currently about to finish Inferno by Dan Brown. I love mystery/historical adventure books.
  10. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen a stranger do in public? Someone launched a bag of Werther’s Originals at my husband and I from an aisle over in a Walmart once. It was at 2 am. And it was Walmart. So I guess that’s pretty tame.
  11. Apple or Android? I have an Android right now but I’m desperate to have an Apple. (I curse my phone aloud on a daily basis and I’m one frozen screen away from chucking it into a wall.) I’m totally a Mac/iPod/iPad/iWhatever kind of girl.

Well, that was fun! Thanks again Stacy. I look forward to checking our your blog and who knows maybe we’ll run in a race together someday. You’ll be the runner complaining right?

In Memorial… Giveaway

I am a military wife. A military daughter. A military granddaughter. A military granddaughter-in-law. Like for many others, this upcoming Memorial Day is not just a “day off” from work or school, or a day to fire up the BBQ grill to me. I hope people of our nation recognize this day of remembrance for what it is… a specific time to acknowledge the lives lost and sacrifices families make when their loved one dies as a result of combat (whether it is killed in action or a life lost later but in direct connection to the effects of combat).

With that being said, I wanted to do something to acknowledge this Memorial Day by sending a Survival Strap to a deployed service member so that he/she may have this tool to save his/her own life or the life of a fellow freedom protector.

but I need your help!

Although, I know a few people who are currently deployed I want to give this wonderful community an opportunity to join in the giving. On Memorial Day, a participant will randomly be chosen to have a Survival Straps Military Care Package sent on his or her behalf to a deployed loved one or a randomly chosen deployed service member. (Randomly chosen by Survival Straps not me!)

Click on photo to return to source

What is a Survival Strap?: A Survival Strap is a bracelet made of military spec parachute cord that can be unraveled in an emergency situation to save their own life or the life of another. If a Survival Strap is utilized share your story and your Survival Strap will be replaced in exchange for the cost of shipping.

{Click on photo to return to source}

What is included in this care package?: A black or OD green Survival Strap, a bag of small candies, and a personal note from YOU!

How to enter: In the comments below, leave a message about Memorial Day, a service member (or all service members) you’d like to thank, or let us know if you or a family member has served. Make sure your valid email is entered where indicated. One entry per valid email please.

Drawing held: Monday, May 27th, Memorial Day 6pm EST via Entries will not be valid after 5pm EST. I will announce the individual on this blog and also send a congratulatory email requesting the name, address, and your personal message to your service member. The name and address of your service member will not be disclosed to anyone without his or her permission and your personal message will remain between you two as well. I am just the messenger. Your message will be sent as written so please make sure the name, address, and message are all typed as intended. If you choose to send it to a random service member you do not need to provide a name or address; just a personal note.

Restrictions: The care package will only be sent to an overseas active deployment address (APO/COB/COP/FOB). I will not disclose the name or address of your service member to anyone without his or her permission. Please do not include a message that can be misconstrued as offensive or derogatory.

Bonus!: Survival Straps donates $5 per care package to the Wounded Warrior Project.

You do not have to share this on your blog or social media (I mean you can if you want to, but don’t feel like you have to).

Please note: I have no affiliation with Survival Straps or Wounded Warrior Project. I am not receiving any kind of compensation for conducting this drawing or mentioning their product/service. I’m just a supporter. Neither my name nor blog name will be present on this care package. This is just me trying to do a small act of kindness for someone you appreciate for service of our country. This package will be of no cost to you but if you do not win I encourage you to check out the website and consider sending one yourself.

Safety First

On a day earlier this week, my husband arrived home from work which meant it was time for a run. I told him that I was only aiming for a three mile run. As it turned out…

I lied.

As I have done many times in the past I started out on a run only intending to get in three miles or so but if my legs and lungs felt good I kept going. So that three mile run turned into a seven mile run. Quite a big difference in terms of not only distance but time. I don’t carry a phone on my run. I don’t run with a partner or dog. On this particular night since I thought I’d be back before nightfall I wasn’t even wearing anything particularly reflective or bright. I run mostly along rural roads and facing traffic. Almost every one of the handful of cars I saw that night gave me more than enough of a safety cushion when driving past, after which I give the “courtesy nod” or the “courtesy wave”. The “I recognize that you are not an ass-hat and you don’t want me to fear for my safety” nod/wave of appreciation. If there’s enough of a shoulder I run in the grass off of the road because you never know when someone is going to veer a bit because they’re looking at their phone or radio. If there is a sidewalk, I use it. So not to worry. I’m not a completely naive runner who likes to throw caution to the wind.

On this particular run it was completely dark by mile 5. I had been gone for about 50 minutes and honestly expected to see my husband roll around the corner in his vehicle with our son strapped in his car seat for a “let’s go find mommy” joyride at any moment. At mile 6.2 is when it happened. A truck slowed and I knew. My husband had given in to his worry and hunted me down for fear I was in a ditch somewhere and he needed to contemplate how to continue working as a single parent. I think he was overreacting a bit but it’s nice to know he cares.

I apologized and told him I was fine and that I wanted to finish up the last mile or so and I’d see him back at home. Our son was happily along for the ride probably wondering where the final destination would be. I’m sure he was super bummed when they arrived right back where they had started a minute ago. Being in running mode, I immediately cursed myself for not stopping my watch when I stopped to converse with my worry wort husband and knew my pace numbers would be all messed up.

Upon reaching home and acknowledging that I was no longer a lonely spinster bachelorette, but a wife and mother who had responsibilities and a family that needed me, I made a deal with my husband. On my long running days I would bring my phone on an arm band and I would purchase hi-vis yellow gear or wear his military glow belt (because nothing says special like wearing one of these…) if I ran close to sunset or thereafter.

I see what you did there, Army. Touche.

Because, really, runners should do their best to be safe on the roads or trails.

  • Invest in RoadID, or a similar identification tag to alert someone of your identity, emergency contact, and pertinent medical information.
  • Run against traffic; bike with traffic.
  • Lift your knees higher when running on uneven terrain like trails or broken pathways due to roots. This will avoid trips and spills that can lead to rolled ankles, sprains, and breaks.
  • Wear reflective clothing in the evening and early morning.
  • Make sure that if you run with earphones on that they are sensitive to ambient noise, or don’t wear them at all and just let your phone’s speaker be a mini stereo.
  • Make sure you’re adequately hydrated. Nothing messes up a run/ride like lack of water flowing through your system.
  • Buy some runner’s mace and avoid known unsavory neighborhoods. Heck, take some self-defense classes while you’re at it. Probably a good way to burn some extra calories.
  • If you have the opportunity, run with a buddy or your pet. But if your pet is a short legged basset hound please let him just bask his floppy ears in the sun rather than make him accompany you on a 5 mile trek and because his intimidation factor is probably a -2 anyway.
  • ALWAYS make sure someone knows what neighborhood/trail you are running.
  • BE VIGILANT. I don’t mind zoning out on a run because it makes the miles go by faster but that’s not necessarily great for my safety. Make sure you’re looking around if something catches your attention. I always make note of where law enforcement officers live along my routes

Does anyone else have any tips to remain safe while going for a run? Or better yet do you have a story of a close call but you were grateful that you had a safety item that helped you?

Last we left off I was getting over the plague a couple days of the flu with some residual throat soreness. I milked my illness recovery as long as I could without making my body feel like I had given up my training entirely.


Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: sore throat is gone! Abs & Stretching

Friday: 4.07 mi (54:26 time/13:22 pace)

Saturday: 5.01 mi (52:01 time/10:23 pace)

Sunday: Arms & Abs


So yeah. Total mileage was 9.08 miles. Not what I should be at in this stage of the game but after factoring in being sick, I figured I bounced back pretty well. I can’t wait to get my treadmill soon because I’d like to be a bit more consistent with my pace. I’m all over the place. If I can maintain that 10:23 pace for my longer distances I’d be happy. I think tempo runs and 800m repeats are in my future. Don’t be jealous.

So Moto

No matter what type of exercise you do… running, lifting, spinning, yoga…. there are just some days you struggle to muster up the motivation to lace up those sneakers, squeeze into your spandex, or even find your iPod.


When you skip a workout you often go through the five stages of loss of motivation.

  1. Bargaining: “If I skip today I’ll do an extra set/mile/lap/etc. tomorrow.”
  2. Depression: “I could have worked it out today. I’m full of sad excuses.”
  3. Guilt: “I can’t believe I messed up my training schedule. Everyone is counting on me to train for this marathon/keep the weight off/lead the class/etc.”
  4. Overreacting: “I will never skip a workout again! I don’t care if I have a pneumonia!” And then you end up getting pneumonia and you have no choice but to derail your workouts indefinitely.
  5. Acceptance: “I missed one day. I am human.”

So to keep myself from making excuses I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get me out on the pavement.

  • Listen to some energizing music throughout the day that gets me jazzed for a workout.
  • On that same note, make a new playlist or wait to listen to a newly purchase album until your workout.
  • Change into your workout gear as soon as you can. If you’re a morning athlete, have your clothes set out and staring you in the face when you awaken. If you’re hitting the gym after work, bring your change of clothes with you to work and make the transition from office manager to gym rat before you even get in the car. I’m a stay at home mom who likes to workout in the evening so when I’m feeling like I’m on the verge of making an excuse I change into my running tights ASAP. I feel like I’m tricking my brain into being prepared.
  • Buy new gear and save it for a day where you need a mental pick-me-up. It’s like giving yourself a reward for persevering.
  • Have a range of goals. I’m a total planner who loves to make lists. I like to make daily, monthly/short term, and yearly/long term goals. It gives me a confidence boost when I’ve done more miles than I thought I could, PRed on a hard, hilly run, or my love handles have magically disappeared. Those days are the best!
  • There’s an app for that: Download a fitness app on your phone or just go to their website to log in everything from what you eat to exercises. These programs can often be linked to social media accounts so your friends can cheer you on or secretly despise you for following through on your new year resolution when they quit on day 5.
  • Blog it up: Start a fitness blog or follow other fitness related blogs to get new ideas or encouragement. Encouragement from strangers is often more satisfying than getting a compliment from a friend or family member. But acknowledgment that you’re working hard is good even if it comes from your dog. Talk about your goals and how far you’ve come. It might light a fire under someone else to get moving!

So let’s hear it. How do you keep motivated?

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