Monday, July 19, 2010

Loving Larabars!!

Last week a good friend from high school came for a visit! We grew up one town apart, but now she lives on the other side of the country. I hadn't seen her since I was pregnant with my daughter, who is now 7!!

It was a great visit! She is also a runner, who recently finished her first marathon and is training for her second. We even got to go for a run together, which was such fun!

While she was here, she introduced me to Larabars and I am now head-over-heels in love! I bought these flavors last week and loved them all!

The main ingredients are nuts and dates. There are VERY few ingredients in each one, but that taste delish! For example, the pb&j one has dates, peanuts, unsweetened cherries and salt....and that is it!! I ate one for a quick breakfast on the go this morning and it was delish and filling. I HIGHLY recommend these....gotta get more at the store tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Running at Night

First of all, thank you to everyone for all of your positive and encouraging comments about my back injury....they made me feel so much better and motivated and inspired guys rock!!!!

I ran 5 miles on Sunday with little to no back pain....yeah!

This summer has been CRAZY trying to fit everything in. There are so many things I want to do with the kids and only so many hours in the day. Tonight by the time I was able to get for a run it was getting dark.

Luckily....I was just down in NYC to visit my sis and picked this up at a running store:

An Amphipod light! The light I had been wearing around my arm was not very bright. I got it for free at a race and knew I needed something brighter. This light looked great in the store and when I got home and compared the 2 side by side the amphipod was clearly MUCH brighter. I wore it around my ankle and it was very comfortable.

My neighborhood is very residential so I am comfortable running at night. My only issue is making myself as visible as possible to drivers. I wore the amphipod light, carried a flashlight and wore a reflective vest. My only issues with the vest is there is very little reflective surface on the back and although I run on the left side of the road, I still worry about the cars coming up behind me.

Anyone else run at night??? Any helpful tips for me???

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My back

So...I have talked about having back problems before and figured I would share some details. I wonder if anyone has gone through anything similar.

About 2 years ago I was reaching forward and felt something pull in my back and all of a sudden my back was in spasm. It was really painful and difficult to walk, but resolved itself after a week or so. The same thing happened in January during training for my half, but this time took at least 2 weeks before I was back to running.

After my half I started having back pain again, but not the same kind as before. I am a PT, but currently taking a few years off to stay home with the kids. I was able to successfully treat myself the first 2 times. This time I was just not seeing enough improvement and decided to go see a friend from school work is an orthopedic specialist and works with a lot of athletes.

He evaluated me and decided my problem was currently with my SI (sacroiliac) joint. I have a lot of weakness in my back, hips and abdominals and his theory is that after running a few miles I get the pain because my muscles are fatiguing and my form gets bad. He taped me and I went for a run and it helped a lot, but I found out I was allergic to the tape. :(

Right now I am wearing a soft brace for running and activity. I am doing a LOT of strengthening work for my hips, back and abdominals. When I go for PT, once a week, the PT stretches me and does some joint mobilization.

I do see an improvement, but I still get the pain at times. Speed work is difficult to do...I have to only speed up moderately or else the pain starts. I know it will take a while, but I am so not patient!!

Anyone else ever have to deal with back pain and a running injury???

Monday, June 21, 2010


I apologize for the delay in announcing the winners....things have been CRAZY here! End of the school year stuff has been keeping me busy...I just can't ever seem to say "no". Anyone else have that problem?? Also, Bubby turns 4 this weekend, which means 20 kids at an inflatables party and then family/friends/neighbors over for a busy!

On to the winners!!! Since I am totally low-tech, I put the names in a hat and had my husband pick 2.

And the winners are.....

Beth and Alanna!!! Beth, your name was picked first, so contact me and let me know which Bondi band you would like. Alanna, you get the remaining Bondiband. Please e-mail me at:
sazpt1 at yahoo dot com with your address and I will send it out to you. Congrats ladies!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

My First Giveaway!!!

I recently bought a Sweaty band and posted about how much I loved it. I figured to be fair, I would also try a Bondi Band.

I got mine in the mail the other day, just in time for some REALLY humid weather. I have curly hair, which tends to get WILD in the humid weather. So..I put my hair up in a pony, slipped on the Bondi Band and headed out for 5 very sticky miles.

The result is...I LOVED it!! It is wider than the sweaty band, but did a very good job of keeping my crazy hair in place. It was very comfortable to wear and stayed right in place.

Here I am rocking one after my run. honor of the fact that I am shocked to now have 109 followers...I am giving away 2 Bondi Bands!!! One is black with pink dots and one is a blue zebra.

To enter, just either be or become a follower and leave me a comment to let me know. For another entry, post a link to my giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment to let me know.

You can enter until midnight on Friday and then I will draw 2 winners. The first name I draw with get first choice of which one you would like and the second name gets whichever one is left.

Hooray for Bondi Bands!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rail Trail 5K race report

This past Saturday I ran in a local 5K. The location was the rail trail where I normally train, so I know it well. I had debated all week about whether or not to run it, given my current back injury. I had had an awful run the Tuesday before and had to stop due to back spasms. On Thursday I had a fair, but slow, run.

Last year I had PRed at this race. It was difficult to go back this year and run it knowing I would be much slower. But...I decided that the day I don't do a race because I worry it won't be my fastest is the day I need to hang up my running shoes. I need to remember that I run because I truly love it and not let my competitive self get in the way.

I decided to go ahead and run it and try to stuck to around 10 minutes miles, because it seems the faster I go the worse my back is.

I arrived to the race about 20 minutes prior to the start. It was a very small race...just over 100 people and completely flat, out and back course. I grabbed my packet, put on my number and started my warm-up.

Before I knew it, we were off. It was very hard at the start to stick to 10:00 miles. I wanted to take off and run my best, but didn't want my back to give out in the middle, so I stuck to my pace.

By the time I made it to the halfway turn-around I was sore, but it was manageable. I kept on chugging along. By the time I hit 2 miles I picked up the pace a bit. I ran the last 1/2 mile at my normal 5K pace and was sore but able to finish it. My final time was 29:42....a far cry from last year's 26:52. But, I was glad I got out there and stuck it out.

About 1/4 mile from the end there was a man collapsed on the side of the course being loaded onto a golf cart to be taken to the ambulance at the finish. He was a tall, built guy and was a complete rag doll at the time...4 large men struggled to get him on. My guess is dehydration. It was very hot and humid. Kind of a scary finish to the race.

So...not the most interesting race report. I have since the race been fitted for an SI support and ran with it yesterday and my back felt great, which is awesome. I will talk a little more about my back injury and PT in my next post. :)

Here I am after the race:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I won!!

I actually won a giveaway!!! Julie, over at Julie's Running Blog, hosted a giveaway and I won one of the smaller prizes. The package arrived yesterday and let me tell you, it made my day! Presents in the mail just rock!!

The package had everything below...a sweet card, 2 gels, beans and a Starbucks gift card, which will certainly come in handy, since I am there every day! Thanks Julie!! If you don't already follow her, check out her blog...I love reading it!

I have been to PT twice now for my back pain. After the first session of stretching, manipulation, modalities and taping, it felt great. Unfortunately I am allergic to the tape and have to stop that. By yesterday I had to stop a run after 2 miles. I was disappointed, but determined to stick with the treatment plan and my exercises.

I have been doing more cross training. I have a hybrid Trek bike and took it out for a ride today. I really enjoyed it! I need to invest in some gloves and cycling shorts. Anyone have any suggestions for the cycling shorts?? I am definitely a bike newbie.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Running with MissyMiss 7-year-old daughter, MissyMiss, has decided that she wants to be a runner. She wants to train for and run a 5K with me this more kid runs for her.

I took her out the other day and we ran 1.6 miles with 2 short walking breaks...she did great!!! The picture below is of a picture she drew of the 2 of us running. The other one is just before our run.

Anyone have any experience with kids training for a 5K?? Any advice for me???

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sweaty Bands!

Lately, I have loved the look of a headband with a pony tail. My hair tends to get crazy when I workout, so I like the idea of something to hold back all the crazies. I tried thin, stretchy ones from Target and did not like them...too tight and didn't stay in. I bought a cute package of Under Armour ones, but they also didn't stay in.

The other day I saw these on someone else's blog and figured I would order one and give it a try....I LOVE it!! It looks super cute and stays in! I bought a camo one and then placed a second order with a polka dot one for me and a soccer one for MissyMiss.

They are called Sweaty Bands and are available here.

My back has been bugging me a bit and causing me to cut runs short and miss runs, so I am going to go see a physical therapist next week and hope that it helps. My mattress is also old, so I just picked out a new one. :)

It is gorgeous here today, but I am home with a sick boy. Hopefully I can squeeze in a run once hubby gets home from work!

Friday, May 14, 2010

More HM Pics and Thoughts

Since the race I have thought of a few more things to share:
1. The best spectator sign I saw read "Run Like You Stole Something"...I LOVED it! I actually laughed out loud.
2. In high school I ran cross country. I knew one of my old teammates would also be running the half and I saw her around mile 9. It was fun to chat for a bit and great to see her!
3. My quads were KILLING me for several days after the race. I finally remembered that miles 8-13 are a gradual downhill. I forgot how killer the downhills can be!
4. I am still a little sensitive about the fact that I don't have a "runner's body". I am working on getting over it. I was so amazed at the starting line to see a TON of others girls without a "runner's body" did a lot for my nerves.
5. When I went through a water stop, I always tried to throw my cup off to the side. However, it seems everyone in front of me were content to just drop it right in the middle of the road, leaving us back-of-the-packers to wade through a sea of cups. Is it just me, or is that rude??
6. At mile 11 I almost fell..hard. My foot got stuck in a rut in the road and I ended up lurching forward. I must have had a guardian angel that day, because I somehow recovered without landing flat on my face. A guy watching on the sides gasped when it happened. After I recovered I looked up and said "Wow...that could have been ugly!"
7. And finally...being that it was my first half I actually purchased the race pictures. I plan on framing one...still trying to decide where to put dork, I now. I am the one in the blue hat. Here they are:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Long Island Half Marathon

Well, it has taken me almost a week, but here it race report!

I grew up on Long Island, but now live 4 hours away. Originally my mom and daughter were going to come along with me, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, I ended up going by myself. The race was on Sunday, but I drove down on Saturday so I could pick up my number and race packet at the Expo. The Expo was small, but I did manage to get 2 shirts from the Run Like a Girl for me and one for MissyMiss.

Saturday night was the first time I ever slept in a hotel room alone....very strange! It was a bit lonely, but also a little nice to settle down and watch a movie in the quiet without having to explain to the front desk why I can't keep my 3-year-old away from the phone. :)

I went to bed around 11, but had a hard time sleeping! I had 2 alarms and a wake-up call set, but was still worried about oversleeping and ended up waking up every hour!

I was up for good at 6 and checked e-mail, watched some tv and had my traditional long run breakfast: bread with peanut butter, mini Kitkat and Capri sun.

My hotel was right across the street from the starting line, which ROCKED! I left my room with 30 minutes until race time. The weather called for record high heat and humidity, so I decided to wear my hydration belt and was very glad I did!

With a few minutes to go I found my spot at the "10+ minute miles" and waited to start. Before I knew it, we were off! I got really emotional at the start of the race. It had been along road just to get there and it almost felt like a dream. My plan was to stay around 11:00-11:30 miles. It was VERY crowded and my first mile was likely even slower. I am not used to racing in such a big crowd!

The first few miles were FUN! Everyone around me was so excited and the energy was great. I noticed that as the miles ticked by people got quieter and quieter.

There was a water stop just about every mile and since it was so hot and humid, I drank at every water stop. By mile 5 I was feeling like I should use a porta-potty, but as I ran by one, it had a good 6 people on line. I didn't want to lose time, so I just kept running. The next one also had a line.

At mile 6 I ate my fruit flat even though I didn't feel hungry. I definitely felt better after eating it.

Now I am around mile 7 or 8 and know I have to use the bathroom soon. The guys are running behind stores and into bushes, but I could never do that. At this point, we are on a highway with lots of store and I spot it...a DUNKIN DONUTS!! As I am pondering running in, I see a guy running out. That decided it, I ran in for a quick pit stop, even washed my hands and then right back out on the course!

The rest is a blur. As the miles went out people really slowed down and more and more took walking breaks. I was able to run the whole race and was shocked with how many people I passed in the last few miles. On my long runs, I always picked up the pace a bit for the last mile or so and I was able to do that during the race and passed a TON of people during the last mile. I felt AWESOME at the finish!!

I finished in 2:27. My #1 was to just finish. My 2nd goal was to finish under 2:30, so I did it!!!

I am still a bit in shock that I actually achieved something I have dreamed about for so long!!!

Here are a few pics from the race:

The starting line! The race actually started on the other side of the ballon arch.

Me before the race

Me after the race....I DID IT!!!

I have felt a bit strange this week...a little lost regarding my running. For so long I have been so focused about running this half. It was a little strange to not have a plan for what next. So...I signed up for a 5K the first weekend in June! My plan for the summer is to work on speed and the local 5 and 10Ks.
I also apologize for not vising everyone's blogs as much as has been a crazy week! I intend to catch up in the next few days!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I did it!

I did it!!! I finished my first half marathon...such an amazing feeling. It was so worth all of the training and hard work to get here! Full race report to come...I am just too pooped right now!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Almost there...

First, thank you to everyone for all of your support and comments...they make my day!!!

I did my last run today before my half on Sunday. I feel strong and ready...can't wait!

I have some AMAZING friends, who know me so well! My friend Beth, who I know from back in my high school days, is also a runner. We only get to talk running now, since we live on opposite sides of the country. I got this package from her and it made my day! It is a Runner Girl magnet and Swedish Fish, my favorites!! Beth has run several half marathons and has her first full marathon coming up in June...Go Beth!

Then, tonight my friend Michelle dropped off a gift bag for me and inside were some great magazines and all my favorite pre-long run foods: pb, kit-kat, capri sun and my mid-run snack, fruit flats. Michelle is so unbelievably sweet and thoughtful, and she knows me so well!

I picked up this shirt for myself the other day. I can't seem to help myself when it comes to the Nike shirts that say something cute. :)
I am prepping my iPod for the race. What is your favorite song to run or work-out to????

Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Missy Miss!

Well, I am officially daughter turned 7 a few weeks back. Instead of having a party with her friends, this year she chose a weekend trip to New York City to go to the American Girl store.

It was a BLAST!! The hotel we stayed in was only a few blocks from American Girl and Times Square. We went shopping at American Girl and also had afternoon tea there, which was delicious and such fun! We also had her doll's hair done and ears pierced while we were then.

We did a lot of walking around. My husband and I grew up in NYC and Long Island, but my kids have only lived out here in the country. They love visiting NYC. Our hotel had a revolving door, which completely entertained the kids.

Here are some pics from out trip!

I completely LOVE cupcakes. I have had cupcakes from Crumbs once before and they were delicious! I was thrilled to learn our hotel was only a few doors down from a Crumbs. We got a mini-cupcake sampler, which was a great way to try a lot of the flavors.

Here is MissyMiss and her doll at tea. They brought a little doll chair to the table and her doll even got her own cup and saucer. Bubby found a little boy doll that we got for him, which he calls "American Girl boy doll".

It was such a fun and memorable trip!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I love you guys!

First of all, thank you so very much to everyone who commented on my last blog post. I appreciate the advice and encouragement so very guys rock!!

I did 12 miles on Saturday and felt great! That will be my longest run before the half on May 2. My plan for this weekend is 8 miles.

I am still undecided as to whether or not to wear the fuel belt. If it is going to be hot, I will, since I like Gatorade during runs on hot days. If it is not hot, I plan to just wear a Nathan gel-holder belt I just got. It is big enough to hold my fruit flats and keys.

I am now up to 85! Judging by my hit counter there are a lot more people visiting my blog than there are people who leave comments. I would love it if anyone reading this post could leave me a quick comment with something interesting about yourself...what state do you live in? Are you a runner?? What is your favorite color? Anything! Especially if you have a blog...I would love to know so I can visit!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

HM Advice

I have less than 3 weeks to my first half marathon. I am starting to get nervous! I have 12 miles scheduled this weekend and then I will start my taper.

Anyone have any pieces of advice for a first timer???

Also..I have thought of wearing my hydration belt so I don't have to rely on the water stops. I also like to drink gatorade when it is hot. Do other people wear them for a half or would I look like a weirdo??

Here are some pics from my b-day. My kids decorated my cake and each picked me out presents. I slept in late (10 am!), had breakfast in bed, went out shopping on my own with some b-day $, out to dinner with hubby and kids and then cake and presents. It was an AWESOME day!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Today I ran the longest run in my life...11 miles! It was unseasonably warm here and I was tired, but I did it!!! When I was 16 I wussed out of a 7 mile run because I thought I could never make it. is just days from my 32nd birthday and I am happy to report that my 32-year-old self is kicking my 16-year-old self's butt!

I tried my Recovery socks for the first time after the run and my legs feel great...much less achy than after my 10 miler 2 weeks ago. My husband has been teasing me about my knee-high fuschia socks all day, but I don't care...they feel great!

I also just finished Yasso's book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had thought it would be more about training. It is actually only a little about training and a lot about his life. That man is AMAZING!!! I really loved reading about his races, his struggles and his triumphs. He is very honest in the book, but also does not come off as the least bit cocky, despite his amazing achievements. I give it 2 thumbs up!

My birthday is Sunday I love being a mom having a birthday. My husband took me 3-year-old son out to buy me a present and when they got home he ran in the door and yelled "I got you an apron!!" So much for the surprise! (I actually LOVE aprons, so it is perfect for me.) Then, I had my daughter out shopping at my favorite store, LOFT, the other night and she came over to me and said "Can I please have $29.50 so I can buy you your birthday present???" There is not much at that store I don't like, so I forked over the money. Then she told me that "I want it to be a surprise, but I can tell you it is some kind of earrings." It does my heart good to see how excited my kids get about picking out presents for me. Can't wait to open my presents!

Friday, April 2, 2010


When I run outside, I run on a paved trail. When the weather is nice, as it has been lately, it can get crowded. I don't really mind the crowds, as long as everyone is courteous.
But...lately there are far too many times when people are not courteous. Here are a few examples from runs this week.
1. I had just started out when I felt my foot kick was DOG POOP!! Right in the middle of the path! And my shoes were brand new! NOT a good way to start a run!
2. When I ran yesterday I took my daughter with me and she rode her bike as I ran. She is only 6, but is very good at following the rules of a shared path. She was riding a bit ahead of me and was about to pass a man, on the left, who was walking a dog. Just as she is about to pass, the man see a person with a dog coming from the other direction and decides to cross to the other side without checking over his shoulder to see if anyone is passing him. My daughter swerved just in time to miss hitting the leash. The man didn't even seem to care until I yelled something at him...I was annoyed!! I yelled " kid is trying to pass!!" Nothing awful...but I think he got the idea.
3. I was running along tonight having a great run when 2 girls come up from behind me and on each side of me with barely an inch to spare! WTF!!! They were around 18...old enough to know that is rude. It is not even like it is a race! I was really annoyed until I caught up with them at the 1 mile mark and they were WALKING!!! Is it awful of me that it made me smile to see them walking and then pass them?? I wouldn't have even thought twice about them walking, except I was already mad about how they chose to pass.

So....what do other people do about shared paths and rude people?? I usually say something when it is warranted. Unfortunately my 3-year-old son is with me a lot and has seemed to catch on. There was a lady in front of us the other day (who was not being rude at all) and he yelled out "Out of our way lady!!!' I was mortified!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010


The last week or so has been CRAZY here. MissyMiss is turning 7 and we had her family party this past weekend. We also had some friends over, along with family, making for a total of 9 kids. Wow, did those kids have fun!! We did an Easter egg hunt in the house which was a huge hit! Here I am with the birthday girl!

I just got this book from Amazon. Has anyone else read it?? I am in the middle of reading Yasso's book and then I will start this one.

I also just ordered these Recovery socks. Has anyone tried them? So far I have heard good things, so I figured I would give them a try.
Last weekend my long run was 9 miles and it felt GREAT! I ran faster than usual and just felt awesome. The good weather definitely helped! This weekend I did was rough because the wind was wicked, but I finished at just slightly slower than last weekend. But, just a few hours after the run my legs were stiff and a bit sore. Who knew just one more mile could make such a difference?? I went to the gym this morning and did 40 minutes on the bike and my legs felt much better after.
I have another training question. My half is May 2. I plan to do 11 miles on 4/10 and 12 miles on 4/17. That will be my last long run before the taper. My question is what to do this weekend. I will not be able to run Sat/Sun, but have a babysitter coming Thursday morning so I can get my long run for the week in. Should I do another 10? Use it as a fall-back week and only do 8?? Need advice!!! :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Running on the Sun

I recently got this movie through Netflix and LOVED it!. I think you have to be a runner to fully appreciate it, because my husband was not very interested. It is about Badwater...a 135 mile race in extreme temperatures of up to 130-degrees with 60 hours to complete it. It was truly AMAZING to watch.

The profiled some of the participants before, during and after the race. It was a very interesting group. There was a 68 year old man running it, as well as 2 amputees.

I found it very inspiring to watch. It is also very real and shows everything....blistered feet, vomiting, crying in pain, etc. Not everyone finished and that was heartbreaking to watch. Some of my friends think I am crazy to want to run at all, much less train for a half marathon. But these people take it to a whole other level.

I don't want to give too much away for those who have not seen it. I checked Amazon and you can no longer buy it there. I was able to easily get it from Netflix.

Has anyone else watched it?? I would love to know what you thought of it!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I won a giveaway from Beth over at Shut Up and Run. I won a pair of Yurbuds!!!
Basically, I took a picture of my ear with an apple earbud in it and e-mailed it to the company. They then sent me specifically sized yurbuds to place over the earbuds.

I was VERY skeptical. I have tried various brands of earbuds and have never liked them. They never stay in and are very uncomfortable in my ear. My husband teases me that something is anatomically wrong with my ears and doesn't understand that ear buds just don't fit in my ear.

I have been using good, old-fashioned headphones and feeling a bit dorky at the gym, being the only one. Well...I am no longer the dork with the old school headphones!

The yurbuds worked!! They actually stay in my ears and are actually comfortable. I really completely doubted the yurbuds given my past fails with ear buds. I am thrilled to be able to comfortably wear them.

So...if regular ear buds don't work for you, definitely check out the site! And...this is my honest opinion. I won these, didn't pay a dime and already have them in my hot little this review is truly what I think. If they sucked, I wouldn't be afraid to tell you so. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Strong vs. Stupid

On Sunday I had 8 miles planned. On Friday, I started getting cold symptoms, which turned into a sore throat, tight chest, runny nose and cough. I took off from running Friday and Saturday, but decided to still go running on Sunday. Sunday morning as I was trying to decide, I was debating if attempting to run was me being tough or me being stupid.

I ended up heading out for and completing the 8 miles without any real problems. The run actually seemed to help with my cold symptoms.

Does anyone else struggle with these types of decisions? To me, deciding to still run was me being mentally tough and not letting things get in the way of accomplishing my goals. To my non-runner family, attempting 8 miles while sick is just plain stupid.

Backing up a bit... I started running in middle school and got even more serious about it in high school. I had a great coach, a great team and a teenage body...I had it all going for me. Except...I was a sissy. Any time anything popped up that allowed me to get out of running for the day, I took it. I look back at my 16-year-old self and think "Why did you throw away such great opportunities??"

But...I can only work with what I have now. When I was 16, I had the body to be a runner, but not the heart. Now, I have the heart of a runner and the body of a 30-something mother of 2. However, I am determined not to be a sissy ever again. No regrets....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Need Training Help

I am trying to figure out my plan for the rest of my half marathon training. I had been far ahead in my plan, but then lost a bit when I hurt my back. I ran 7 miles last weekend and am back on track.

My question is when my last long run should be before the half. The half is on May 2nd. I am planning my last long run, of 11-12 miles, 2 weeks before the race. Is this is a good plan?? Also...what should my distance be for my weekend run the weekend before the race??

Many of you are way more experienced runners than myself and any input you can give me would be greatly appreciated!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gym Top 10

So...I have been a gym member for about a month and am loving it and wishing I had joined sooner. I love the elliptical, the bikes, the pool, the childcare, the weights, the social aspect. But..there are quite a few things that I DON'T love about the gym. I don't know if it is just my gym in particular that has these problems, if I am being too picky, or if others deal with these same issues...would love to have you weigh in! it is...

Top 10 Things I Don't Love About the Gym
1. The SMELL!! The minute I open the door my nose is assaulted by the smell of people sweating. I understand the gym is not gonna smell like fresh-baked cookies, but the sweat smell has got to go!
2. NAKED LADIES! What is the deal with the older ladies in the locker room who walk around and sit in the hot tub completely naked! As I was leaving the locker room today I was visually assaulted by a large, and I mean large, naked butt!
3. SWEAT! I had no idea that some people sweat so much whilst working literally pours off them. I run on the treadmill in fear of their sweat flinging onto me.
4. Making out with the elliptical. What is up with the people who are all hunched over the machines. I would think they should perhaps set the resistance a bit lower and be able to stand up straight.
5. Dirty Looks. Most of the people are very friendly, but there are plenty of others who are just not. Why are you looking me over as I run? Do I have toilet paper stuck to me shoe??
6. Front Desk Girls....they are just so not friendly. It is as if I should be so grateful that they have allowed me to enter their gym.
7. There is a sign near the water fountain that says "No expectorating in the water fountain". EWWW!!!
8. The guys who insist on banging the weights down on their last scares the bejesus out of me every time. And I am not means you can't control the weight and shouldn't be lifting it.
9. I am out of ideas.....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fuel for Running

It has taken me a while to find both a good pre-run and mid-run snack for my long runs days. I tried the sport beans but was running in such cold weather that by the time I went to eat them they were basically frozen and I ended up at the dentist with tooth pain. I have also tried gels but just can't deal with the consistency. It seriously makes me gag. is what I eat before my long run. Peanut butter on whole wheat, mini Kit-kat and a Capri Sun. For me, it seems to be just the right amount of sugar and protein.

Midway through my run I eat one of these fruit flats. It is essentially fruit and fruit juice and each one is 70 calories. If I am out for a while, I will have another one. They fit nicely in the pocket of my jacket and don't seem to freeze on my cold runs.

I would love to know...what do y'all eat before and during your long runs?? If you are not a runner, what is your favorite healthy snack??

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where's my noodle??

As I have previously mentioned, I joined a gym. I wanted to have access to more options for cross training, as well as weight machines.

Another goal was to start swimming. Especially now with a healing injury, I figured it would be a great way to workout with less stress on my joints. My gym has adult swim as well as family swim times. Last weekend I took the kiddies to the family swim. It was my first time in the pool. It is small, only 3 lanes, but warm and clean. There were only a handful of people there. The kids LOVED it!. MissyMiss wears a floaty suit and with it, can freely swim laps back and forth. She will take lessons again this summer. Bubby liked being in the water, but I had to hold him the whole time. Even when I showed him how to use a noodle to float, he wanted me to hold him. I figure it will take time for him to feel more comfortable in the water. Overall, the kids had a blast and were very tired when we got home.

Yesterday I decided that I would try to actually swim alone. When I take the kids in, I just walk around trying not to mess up my hair and make-up.

I was a bit nervous, as it had been a long time since I had actually swam. I got to the pool and there were only 2 other people there, so I got my own lane. I put on my goggles and got far, so good. Then...I dove under the water and FREAKED OUT! It had been so long since I had been underwater that I think I had a little panic attack! I have no idea why. I grew up on Long Island and lived at the beach and in the pool all summer. In high school I even learned to surf....I would never have expected to freak out the way I did.

I ended up doing breast stroke without going under and then slowly going under water for more and more time. I tried a crawl stroke, but could not coordinate my arms with putting my head above water to get a breath.

I know I need a lot more practice. Does anyone have any suggestions for me as to how to figure out how to coordinate my breathing when doing a crawl stroke?? Every time I tried I ended up swallowing water. I ended up doing the stroke without putting my head under water.

I was a bit disheartened, but am going to embrace this challenge. The swimming didn't bother my back and felt like a good workout for my arms. My goal is to swim at least every other week.

After about 10 minutes I really just wanted to grab a pool noodle and float around, but I stuck it out for 25 minutes. Go me!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunshine Times Two!!

Michelle over at Let's Roll Mama has given me the Sunshine Award...thanks Michelle!

Time to spread the sunshine to some amazing blogs! I love reading each and every one. They make me smile, inspire me, make me laugh and just make my day a happier one. I would like to give a Sunshine Award to:
Cheri at Gamma's Gab
Running Diva Mom
My Stitchalong
Life at the Zoo
Last Place Runner
Rookie on the Run
One Step at a Time
Gotta Run Now
21 Days

My back injury continues to improve, but is still not 100%. I ran 3.5 on Thursday and had 5 planned for Sunday. The weather on Sunday was SUNNY when I got to the path...what a nice change! When I looked down to get the Garmin started I saw that the last run I had on there was the 9.5 I did 4 weeks ago, before I hurt my back. It was so sad to realize that at that time I was on top of the world...way ahead in my training and feeling great. 4 weeks later I am battling a back injury and hoping to be able to run 5 on Sunday and praying I will be able to get my mileage up in time for the half in May. I won't lie, I cried a bit when I saw the 9.5 on my watch.

I just can't help it....I am passionate and emotional about running. When I first got back into running after having my daughter, it was my hobby, but not a passion. If I got injured I took time off and figured I would get back to it when I was feeling better. Now, an injury is a big set-back and every day not running makes me crabby. I don't know exactly when running went from a hobby to a passion, but I know there is no going back now.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another Great Giveaway

Zoe over at Run, Zoe, Run is having an awesome giveaway...a Champion shirt, jacket and pants. Yep, that's right, a whole outfit!!! Check it out!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gym Mishap

I finally joined a gym! I have been thinking about it for a while. I have a treadmill and some weights in the basement, but really wanted to be able to also use an elliptical, weight machines and a pool.

I went for the first time the other day. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill and my back felt great! I then ventured up to the weight room. I had planned to do some upper body. I did some pull downs, tris and bicep problem. Then I laid down to do the bench press. I had put the pin in at what I thought was a reasonable weight. I grabbed the bar, tried to push up and..NOTHING! I couldn't get the darn thing to move!

I figure I will very nonchalantly get up and switch the pin. As I look to my left side I see a guy watching me and realize he had watched the whole thing unfold. He smiles and me and I laugh, loudly, and blurt out "That wasn't what I had planned!" Yep...I'm smooth like that.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


First, I ran 3 miles today without any back troubles.....YEAH!!! It feels great to be out there running again. I ran very cautiously and slowly, as memories of the pain I had are still very fresh. But...I did it! I am a much happier person when I am running. When I got home I had a slight ache, so I took some Motrin and did some ice and rested and it was quickly gone.

I have blogged before about my love of Rascal Flatts' song "Unstoppable" and applied it to my running. Well....they just released an Olympic version of the song with some changed lyrics and it ROCKS!!!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Read

I got my package from Amazon yesterday and these 2 books were in it....yeah for new running books! Has anyone read either?? I am trying to decide which to read first.

On the injury front, my back continues to improve every day. On Monday I tried to run very slowly on the treadmill and there was no way. The minute I started, I began to have pain. Instead I walked 30 minutes and even struggled with that. I have a disc problem with nerve root involvement, and the walking caused symptoms down my right leg.
I took off for 2 days and then walked tonight. I had no trouble walking and was able to do a full 30 minutes pain-free. I ran very slowly for the last two minutes and things felt o.k. At least I am making progress! Hopefully I will be back to full running in no time!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Beth over at Shut Up and Run is having an awesome giveaway courtesy of Champion. Her blog is one of my favorites!!! If you can't handle talk about running and bodily functions, you may not like her. If you, like me, find is will love her too!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Just Dance!

I have been looking for more ways to burn calories in addition to my running. One of my facebook friends had written about getting Just Dance for the Wii and how much she loves it. So...I had to have it!!!

It is FUN!!! You hold the remote in one hand and then follow the moves on the screen. Your score is based upon how closely you are able to follow the moves. There are over 30 songs to dance to and each is rated on difficulty and effort. I tend to go with the ones with the highest effort, as they get my heart rate up the most. It is a lot of fun and a good way to burn some extra calories.

My 6 year old LOVES it too! We can compete against each other, which is fun. I am not normally a video game person, but when it is 10 degrees out and you are looking for a way to get yourself and your kids moving around, this is a great option! My mom was also doing it last time she was over and really enjoyed it too.

Funny side night after the kids were in bed I was dancing with myself and having a grand ole time. I was getting down to "Eye of the Tiger" and looked over and caught my husband recording me. Before I knew it, the video was up on facebook and people are still laughing about it. :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

I hate walking!! back is slowly improving. I can do my day-to-day activities with little to no discomfort. I tried walking on the treadmill yesterday and had to walk pretty slow. When I tried to up the speed I started to feel some pressure right where I had injured my back. Today Bubby and I went mall walking and my back felt pretty good. My plan is to walk a but faster tomorrow and then hopefully try running the beginning of next week. I am desperate to get back to running, but smart enough to know I need to be very careful with this.

Not being able to run is HARD. It downright sucks like a Hoover (still love that one Tanya!). I keep telling myself that I need to be patient, but ya know what, I am just not a patient person!

I started thinking more about it, and I had gotten to where I was able to run and follow my training plan easily. If I had 8 miles on the schedule, I got out there and did 8 miles. Sometimes it was pure joy and other times I schlogged through it, but I did it. I was gradually increasing my mileage without much difficulty. But...I think it is times like this, dealing with an injury, that help me to become a tougher person. THIS is challenging. THIS helps me to grow and develop. THIS is character-building. But ya know what...THIS still stinks!

Thanks everyone for all of your sweet and positive comments...they have meant the world to me!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Set-back

I have worked my butt off this month. I have my highest monthly mileage ever (73), have done lots of cross-training and lost 2 pounds. I was thrilled with my progress this month...until yesterday that is.

About 18 months ago I hurt my back. I was reaching forward when I felt something pull and ended up with awful back pain and muscle spasms. I healed from this and have been careful with my back ever since.

Yesterday I only had 5 miles planned, as it was to be my fall back week. After about 3 miles into it I felt some twinges in the right side of my lower back, the same place I had previously injured. They were not too bad, so I kept going and finished the 5. By the time I got home I could barely get out of the car, the pain and spasms were AWFUL!!

It is better today, still tight and a bit painful...but much improved over yesterday. I had to spend the day on the couch, which I despise. I am not someone who does well just sitting around.

So...right now I am just annoyed. This messes up my training for this week. I hope to do some walking in a day or 2 and then see how the running goes. I am concerned because I have no idea why this happened...I was just running along, slowly, when it started. Since I don't know what triggered it, I don't know how to prevent it in the future.

I am a physical therapist, but before I took a break to be a stay-at-home mom, I was working with kids with developmental orthopedics was not my area of focus. I am going to call a friend I went to school with who specializes in sports and see what he thinks. Hopefully I will be able to get around a bit more trying to stay positive, but man is it hard!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

It is no secret that I love to bake. But...I can't bake fattening cookies, pies and cupcakes all of the time and not turn into a blimp.

I do have some lighter recipes and this is one of my all-time favorites.

They are oatmeal blueberry muffins and here is why I love them:
1. They taste delicious! They don't taste like a 500 calorie fatty muffin, but they do taste really good!
2. My kids and husband love them, so they don't last long!
3. You can use fresh or frozen blueberries. In the summer my kids and I love to go blueberry picking. We pick a lot! I freeze some for use in the winter. You can't just throw a bunch in a bag and freeze it or you will have a mess. I spread mine onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Put baking sheet in freezer until the berries are frozen. Then I portion them into ziploc bags, with 1 cup in each bag.


Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins
1 ¼ cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 egg
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup blueberries
Extra Cinnamon/sugar for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 425. Line muffin tin with paper cups.
2. Combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients. Mix wet into dry until just moistened. Fold in blueberries.
3. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes.
Makes 12-16, depending on size.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Beautiful Blogger

Michelle over at Let's Roll Mama tagged me with the Beautiful Blogger Award...thanks Michelle! I am supposed to list 7 random facts about myself and then tag 7 other goes!

1. Sometimes I feel like I am living in the wrong decade. I love aprons, pearls, staying home with my kids,baking pies and cookies, etc. I sometimes feel like I was meant to live in the 50s. Then again...what would I do without my ipod, iPhone and facebook!
2. I have a bit of a temper. I am usually very calm and most people are shocked to hear I can have a bad temper. Once a woman gave my daughter a dirty look and long story short, I ended up yelling "Screw you lady!" to her...she just started pushing my buttons and I couldn't help myself!
3. I love the tv show Friday Night Lights. I am so embarrassed to admit it, since it is about high school students and I am 31 and looong past high school.
4. When I have had a little too much drink, which hasn't happened since before I had kids, I start spelling words instead of just saying them. My husband says that I am a nerdy drunk.
5. I don't drink alcohol anymore...I just don't like the taste of any of it. But...I LOVE Shirley Temples!! There was an open bar at my husband's company Christmas Party and I must have had 10 of them!
6. I drive a mini-van but really want a car that is not a stereotypical "mom" car...I am trying to convince my husband that a hummer would be very practical!
7. Besides my running goals for the year, I also want to be able to bake a mean pie, all from scratch.

Now to tag 7 people:
1. Fantastically Fit 40s
2. A Marathon Leap
3. Last Place Runner
4. Junk Miles
5. Schizophrenic Girl Running
6. Rookie on the Run
7. My Stitchalong

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Love This Shirt! (Part 2!)

I posted a pic of my new shirt for my last post. After I took the pic, I cut the tags and threw the shirt in the washing machine and then hung it to dry. When I went to take it off the hanger, I saw it from the back and saw this!!!:

Yep...on the back it says "Believe in the run"...I love it even more now!!!

Note to self: must always check the back of Nike shirts...what would I have done if it said something about basketball or soccer??

This is my new favorite running shirt! I am soooo saving it for my first half!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Love this shirt!

I was out shopping the other day and saw this shirt and HAD to have it. I just love it! I am planning on wearing it for my half in May. Whenever things get tougher and I start to doubt what I am doing, I always figure that I will never look back on things and think "Wow...I regret training hard and running that half marathon...I should have spent more time sitting on my butt."

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm baaa-aack! has been crazy here! My "few days" break from blogging turned into almost 3 weeks! But I am back!

Since it is my first post of the year, thought I would look back at last year's running goals and if I achieved them. Here they are:

1. Log at least 500 miles.
I did it!!! My total for the year was 549.98. My on-line training log was not working the last 2 weeks of December....I had no idea I was so close to 550, or else I would have added on that final .02!

2. Run in at least 5 races.
Sad to say, this didn't happen. Those who have been reading for some time know that I had to take August and part of Sept off for medical issues. I was told "You cannot run." by the doctor and decided I had better follow orders. But...I did 3 races, PRed in one and took first in my age group in another...not too shabby.

3. Do more cross-training!Yes...I did! I had been running 3-4 days a week and that was it. Last year I started walking and/or cycling on my off days, leaving just one day of rest. I also added in more strengthening work, but still need to do more in this area.

4. Lose 15 pounds.
I lost about 13 pounds, but gained 5 back. So a total net loss of 8 pounds for the year.

Overall, not a bad year! Here are my goals for this year:
1. Complete a half marathon (I am already registered for one in May)
2. Log 575 miles
3. Lose 10 pounds (I am down .6 this week and am really working hard at this so far)
4. Do ab/arm work 3 times a week.
5. Complete 5 races

Happy New Year Everyone!!