Thursday, December 31, 2009

1,200 mile goal reached for 2009

On the very last day of 2009, I have finally reached my goal of running 1,200 miles for the calendar year!!!!!! I am so over-joyed.

I had five miles left to run today and ended up running them on the treadmill, just like most of my miles logged this year. I had the kids along side me, and had to stop once for some snacks for the little ones and another time, because the little guy purposely dropped his blankie on the floor again, while he was in the playpen playing. Last year, stopping would've bothered me. But, this year I have realized that a mile is a mile is a mile. It doesn't matter if I run 3 now and 6 later. I did it. By just getting on the treadmill, while I'm spending time with my little ones, is an accomplishment.

When I stopped the treadmill after 5 miles, to cool down, Jackson said "all done running', just like he does every time. But this time it brought tears to my eyes. I did it, I was done, I actually met my goal set back in January. And my kids witnessed it. I gave both the kids a high five and explained to my six year old that mommy just accomplished a big goal that that I had set for myself. She gave out a big "woot woot!" with a huge smile on her face.

In 2010, I will be running 3 half marathons (this year I ran 5) and 2 marathons (this year I ran no full marathons). I hope to run at least 1,400 miles in 2010.

2009 Mileage: 1,200.1 miles

December: 109.2 miles
November: 101.4 miles
October: 115.3 miles
September: 75.5 miles
August: 67.0 miles
July: 104.6 miles
June: 94.3 miles
May: 116.1 miles
April: 131.1 miles
March: 119.2 miles
February: 100.0 miles
January: 66.5 miles

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm gonna be a Rock Star. In Chicago.

I have registered and committed myself to running the Chicago Rock & Roll Half Marathon on August 1, 2010. This will be the second of three half marathons that I will be running in 2010. I also have signed up for a full marathon on the spring and will run a second marathon in the fall (hopefully with my hubby). I have heard nothing but great things about this race and have received feedback that it isn't quite as chaotic as the Chicago Marathon I ran in 2008. I hope that it will be a wonderful experience. I have always wanted to run a race in the Rock & Roll series and get some BLING!!!

Bib Keepers -- Running Scrapbooks

I was an avid scrapbooker, before running and kids took up all of my time!! I wrote about this in an earlier post, where I wanted to get into scrapbooking again and at least record the momentous occassions and vacations.

I just came across Bib Keepers on Erica's Blog.

They are racing bib-specific scrapbooks. The right side of each page has a custom cut opening for your race bib. The left side of the spread includes vellum, to secure photos and other memorabilia.

These scrapbooks are only $29.99 and they only charge $3.95 for USPS Priority Mail shipping.

DVD Review: UltraMarathon Man (Dean Karnazes)

Hubby and I exchange stockings annually, for Christmas, instead of gifts. We set a $100 limit. One item that was on his Amazon.com Wish List was Dean Karnazes' UltraMarathon Man DVD. I was excited to purchase this for him, and then I, too, could obviously enjoy it!! We sat down the other night, after the kiddos were in bed, and watched Dean's journey of running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. How truly awesome and motivating.

Individuals in each state could join Dean as he completed each marathon. I recall that Jason was considering joining him in Green Bay, as he completed his marathon in Wisconsin. But the timing didn't workout with his schedule, or he didn't have enough notice. But, gosh, what an experience that would've been. It turns out, that Dean said his favorite race moment was doing the Green Bay race at Lambeau Field on his son's birthday.

I really love Dean's message. Just as I love the Girls on the Run Program, Dean started his own foundation, Karno Kids, to help encourage youth to get outside and get active. He has also participated in the GOTR program, when his daughter competed int he program. I love it!!!!!

Jason has read his book, UltraMarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, and we also listened to the book on tape, which we borrowed from our local library. I unfortunately didn't get to listen to the whole set of tapes, because I didn't have time before returning it. I hope to reserve it again and now listen to it in it's entirety. All three experiences were different, and equally as awesome and motivating. I would suggest trying watching, reading AND listening to his journey (in no particular order).

Want to be inspired?? Check out Dean's website, Ultramarathon Man at: http://www.ultramarathonman.com/flash/

Mom Agenda's -- Daily Planners for 2010

I have already purchased my 2010 daily planner (yes, I still keep a paper calendar!). But, I wish I would've come across the "Mom Agenda", before I placed my order. All I can say, is OMG!!!

Visit momAgenda at http://www.momagenda.com/. They have a lot of good deals and promotions running right now!!!

They offer Mom Agenda's in so many fun, bright and vibrant colors and so many different sizes, too. You can also personalize and emboss your agenda -- who doesn't love personalization?? Personalization appears to be less than $5.00 per item.

The Mom Agenda "Desktop" week-at-a-glance format allows mom to keep her schedule and the schedule of up to four children.
The mom Essentials pamphlet is included and can be removed to use from year-to-year! I love this concept. I really hate having to grow through the previous year's planner and re-record all of the important information: phone numbers, birthdays, important dates, websites/passwords, etc. It also features a medical history section for your entire family.

There is also a section that features usesful mom-friendly websites. You will find a lot of good resources here.

I also love the party planning pages, which help you stay organized with when/where the event is and what you're bringing and other important reminders.

Are you currently goal-setting for 2010??? You can download mom Agenda printables here. Write down all sorts of goals for 2010 in their awesome printables. They also feature printables for school shopping, holiday shopping, holiday cards sent/received, expense tracking and more!!!

Check out the accessories section for some other really neat mom-must-haves!! Grocery list makers, fancy clipboards and notepads. I love the little "love notes" that you can use for writing notes to your kids in their lunches or leave hubby a note on his car in the morning.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You know you're a runner when ...

You see your friend's Facebook status that she has "1,000 miles down, only 200 to go". She is referring to the miles traveled so far to get to her Christmas destination. But, you automatically think, "Hey, I didn't know she was a runner?!?". Duh.

Mommy's Goals for 2010

Along with everyone else, I am goal-setting for 2010.

Be more patient with the kids ... L-I-S-T-E-N to them
Schedule one date each month with my husband
Schedule one date each month with my daughter
Schedule a "me day" once a month
Inspire someone
Revisit Weight Watchers Meetings (I am a lifetime member and at my original goal weight)
Lose 10 lbs by Disney Half Marathon in March
Set new 5K PR (sub 24:46)
Set new half marathon PR (sub 1:55:59)
Set new marathon PR (sub 4:37:23)
Run 1,400 miles
Run 2 full marathons
Run 3 half marathons
Start an ab and strength training routine
Try an aerobics class at my YMCA
Cut debt in half
Double amount in savings acount

Race Sign Up -- Madison Mini Marathon

I've just received the early bird rate for the 2nd Annual Madison Mini Marathon. I ran this half marathon last year and loved it! This year, it is scheduled for August 21, 2010, and the race runs through Madison, Wisconsin.

Last year was the innaugural race and there was a FANTASTIC turnout and the event was very well organized. Great crowd support, my family was able to see me over a half dozen times along the 13.1 mile course. They even drove along side me for a bit, which made me chuckle.

This was a great course last year, starting at the UW Campus Memorial Union and ending at the same location. The course was scenic, as you run through downtown Madison, the Capitol Square (where the weekly farmer's market was taking place), UW Campus, Henry Vilas Zoo, UW Arboretum and the scenic lakeshore path. I really enjoyed the half marathon last year and wanted to get in on the early bird rate, before December 31. (Enter MMMFB10 at checkout!!)

I'm hoping to run a second full marathon in the fall, so this will hopefully keep me on my toes and committed to my training plan for the fall.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm Committed! 2010 Madison Marathon

I did it! I've signed up for my second marathon!! I will be completing my second 26.2 mile journey at the Madison Marathon on Sunday, May 30, in Madison, Wisconsin.

I ran the half marathon in 2006 and 2009 (I also signed up in 2007 and 2008, but had to drop out due to morning sickness during my pregnancy and then shin splints with my post-pregnancy training). The route was different this past year and I really enjoyed the "reverse" course. I look forward to seeing what the second half of the race is like. We've had friends complete the full marathon and they have really, really enjoyed the race.

We live in a suburb, just outside of Madison, so it is really only a 20 minute drive from my doorstep. The convenience factor was key in me deciding on this for my next full marathon. We traveled a lot in 2009 to "destination races" around Wisconsin and in the midwest. So, we are hoping to save a little change in 2010 and not have to secure as many hotels. Also, I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2008 and it was a very FULL DAY event (getting up before 4AM to drive and catch a train into downtown Chicago and then walk to the event, sit and wait after the race for my family in the sea of spectators and then travel the whole route back to our hotel to shower, 6 hours after I finished.) It will be so nice to drive home and shower and nap in my own comfy bed that afternoon!

It will also be nice to have family close by, to help cheer me on and help Jason with the kids during the race day festivities.

I look forward to racing among familiar landmarks and on familiar roads. I'm hoping that knowing the course will help make me successful, come race day.

I have logged onto Cool Running and looked up the training program that I used for Chicago and have altered it to fit into my personal schedule (as I always try to balance my personal life, work and training) and have written my target miles for each day on my daily planner. Let the fun begin!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Plan of Attack for the Weekend Ahead

My daughter's birthday is five days before Christmas and my son's is five days after Christmas. Smart planning on our part, huh?! Here's the big plan for the weekend ... Lots of fun stuff planned ... need to fit in the miles on the TM.

Clean House (check)

Laundry (check)

Run 6 mi (check)

Family movie night at home


Errands for party

Kids' joint birthday party

Run 6 mi

Paige sleepover with friend


Paige's 6th birthday

Breakfast and presents

Take friend home

Drop Jackson off with Grandma

Mommy/Daddy date with Paige for her movie (lunch, movie and possibly bowling)

Run 6 mi


Run last minute holiday errands

Run 6 mi

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Go! Go! Sports Girl dolls on the TODAY Show , 12/18

I just received an email from the fabulous owner of the Go Go Sports Girls Dolls, Jodi Norgaard. The dolls are going to be featured on the TODAY Show at 9AM EST tomorrow, Friday, December 18. Make sure you tune into NBC tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weekend Recap: 28 TM Miles, Baby!

This weekend I pounded out every mile of the scheduled 28 miles on my calendar:
Friday - 6 mi
Saturday - 6 mi
Sunday - 10 mi
Monday - 6 mi
Each mile was ran on our treadmill, in our unfinished basement. Some alone, some with the little munchins keeping me company. None of my runs were continuous, unfortunately. I did have to hit the stop button quite a few times to get more snacks for the kids or because the little guy thought it was funny to keep dropping his blankie on the floor. Quite the fun game THAT was!!
I'm right on target to hit my 1,200 mile goal by December 31st ... ahead in fact. I just hope that I benefit from the extra time off over the holidays and that the "holiday cheer" doesn't stand in my way. 52.1 miles to go.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Kids Running and Triathlon Book Review: Pellie Runs a Marathon and Coco Loves to Tri

Recently, I wrote about these awesome children's books that I came across online. Pellie Runs a Marathon and CoCo Loves to Tri were by Michele Bredice Craemer.

I was so enthused about the books, that I wrote the author personally to thank her for promoting an active and healthy lifestyle to young readers. I was even more enthused when she offered to send me copies of both books for my children.

When I returned home one Sunday afternoon, after my last long outdoor run of the season, the package was there, waiting for me. The kids were so excited to get mail!

Each book included a personal motivational message from the author, Michele Bredice Craemer.

Paige was eager to look at the books right away. She is a kindergartener and is just starting to read the "early readers" books. She really enjoyed reading Pellie Runs a Marathon. She actually didn't need too much help, except for the longer words. There is also a lot of repition in the book, she got really excited that she needed less-and-less help as she went on. She began recognizing a lot of the words.

Our kids go to almost all of our races with us and cheer us on and spectate. Our oldest, who is almost 6 years old, really understand all that is involved with training and racing. She really does understand that it takes committment to juggle personal time and family time and knows that mommy and daddy need to fit their workouts in. She also understands that there are long races and shorter races and that that the races can take a lot out of us on race day. So, it was really neat to see Paige both read and understand what she was reading and the journey that the characters were taking. She also noticed right away that "this is a rhyming book". With a smile on her face, she enjoyed the flow of the words and repitition of the phrases throughout Pellie Runs a Marathon.

Pellie hears "You can do it!" and keeps right at it. As tough as things get, she keeps at it, until she finishes the marathon.

In CoCo Loves to Tri, even though CoCo is scared to get in the water, he has trained and knows he can overcome his fear. He conquers his fears and gets in the water, to start the race.Pellie the Duck also appears in CoCo Loves to Tri, as the pup's training buddy. After his long journey of swimming, biking and running, his training buddy sees him through to the finish line of the triathlon.
Paige personally identified with the girls in pigtails throughout Pellie Runs a Marathon. She kept spotting "herself" as she turned the pages. She also enjoyed reaching each mile marker and recognizing the numbers and counting her way through the 26.2 mile journey.
A duck was selected as the main character, Pellie, because Michele's son received a duckie from his grandmother and it was his favorite nightime companion. I love that she incorporated some her personal life in this book.
If you are interested in receiving your own copy of these books, the author has agreed to offer my readers a great discount for SIGNED COPIES! Please post here if you are interested in recieving a SIGNED book for $10.00 plus shipping. I will work directly with the author to get you your copy. Through Amazon.com the unsigned copies can be purchased for $12.95 plus shipping. These would make great holiday gifts for your little ones. What a great way to keep them active through the long winter season!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Product Review: Eco lips Organic Lip Balm

Don't panic. It's Organic! I am totally thrilled to be able to review Eco Lips Organic lip balms.

I was really excited to try some of the yummy Eco Lips products. They have also agreed to provide samples to team members of Edge Multipsport for our kick off party in the Spring. I can't wait to share these products with everyone. I will be sure to post more reviews later, after everyone has had a chance to give them a try.

My favorite was the Eco Tints Rose Quartz lip balm. They call it a "naturally glistening lip moisturizer". 90% organiz ingredients. This balm works great as a lip balm or as a light lip color with a hint of sparkle and shine, that you can use while working out, bumming around town or out on the town for the evening. They also offer thwo other Eco Tints colors: Plush Red and Mocha Velvet.

I was intrigued by Eco Lips Energy Lip Infused Lip balm, which includes caffeine, green tea andB12. Apparently, the lips are one of the most absorbent parts of your body. Unlike other energy products and coffee, which are absorbed through your digestive system, Eco Lips Energy transfers the nutrients directly through the lips and mouth. You receive a quicker surge of energy, with a smaller dose of ingredients. Try this the next time you want to grab an energy drink! It will be sure to give you a boost!!!

I love the Eco Lips Pure and Simple Lip balm. i received it with one of their cool purple Eco Clip carbiner accessory. So, I can clip it right onto my diaper bag and I never have to sort through all of the junk in the diaper bag to find my lip shine. And, the diaper bag is the perfect place to store this, because the Pure & Simple lip balm is 99% organic, has 100% edible ingredients and is perfect for keeping your kids lips hydrated.. My daughter and I loved trying the grape flavor -- yum! This line also comes in kiwi strawberry and coconut.

As I mentioned, I haven't yet had a chance to try all of the products that were sent to me, but will be sure to post an update, once I've shared them with our team mates for the next season of racing.

Have some fun with the kids!

The Eco Lips website has a fun matching game. Take a peek and have fun playing with your children (or by yourself!). With each round, the level gets more difficult, with more "cards" being added to the mix. Enjoy! http://www.ecolips.com/MatchEm.aspx

The Eco Lips Story (as taken from their website)

Visit Eco Lips online at: http://www.ecolips.com/In the early 1990s, Andrea Danielson began brewing small batches of natural lip balm in her kitchen for her friends and family. She took great care in handcrafting the balm and packaging it in small amber glass jars to preserve the freshness of the pure ingredients. Andrea didn’t realize that by giving a sample of her natural lip creation to Steve Shriver, her life would be changed forever. Having larger than average lips, Steve was continually searching for a better lip balm. When Steve met Andrea in 1995, he immediately fell in love with the lip balm, and moments later he also fell in love with Andrea. They were married in 1997 and Steve, a lifetime entrepreneur, quickly spent Andrea’s life savings on ingredients and packaging for the couple’s first product, Hemp Lip Buzz. By 2003, Steve and Andrea had built a specialized private label natural body care company focusing on making high quality products for many other successful brands. Their company rapidly became a leading natural body care manufacturer in the Natural Products industry. Much of the growth of their business was due to their top sales representative and entrepreneur, Jim King. Working out of his California office, he founded and grew a successful and environmentally friendly promotional products company called Access Eco. He enjoyed the process of building other peoples' brands through promotional products, but something was missing. Jim had a vision of creating a lip balm brand like no other. He became obsessed with lip balm! Jim looked at every lip care brand currently on the market, buying them, one by one, until he had acquired over 200 different samples. From petroleum-based lip care to natural brands, he packed all of these samples and flew to Iowa to meet with Steve about his dream. Jim and Steve spent hours mulling over a 10-foot conference table layered with what would soon become their competition in the lip balm industry. The goal was to create a brand image and an organic formula that would take market share from petroleum-based lip balm brands. VoilĂ ! Eco Lips was born! Jim and Steve swiftly brought the product to market and began raising awareness of the importance of pesticide-free organic products. Today, Eco Lips organic lip balm is handcrafted in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. With the mission of satisfying the needs of every customer, Eco Lips has been first to market with several innovative organic lip care products and packages. With environmental initiatives in place, a focused marketing and sales strategy, award winning packaging, and a relaxed, yet productive work environment, Eco Lips is making its way around the world, one set of lips at a time.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nuun Active Hydration

Looking for something a little different for your long training run? Hoping to find something more portable?

Nuun (pronounced "noon") active hydration consists of a single tablet. You simply drop a nuun tablet in a 16 oz of bottled water while you are working out and store the small, portable tube of tablets in your pocket or fuel belt. This product is super portable.

Orders over $50.00 qualify for free shipping in the continental US!!

(Shout Out) Running Moms Rock

Erika and Michelle are to pretty cool running moms. They founded Running Moms Rock to promote the idea that moms can live passionately and fearlessly while improving themselves, their families and their communities in the process.

Visit them online at: http://www.runningmomsrock.com/
Their next 5K run/walk is scheduled for Saturday, April 24, 2010 in Highland Village, Texas. The event benefits the Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Miles for November

I had a great month of November and am happy to report that I met my weekly goal of 25 miles per week last month. I'm almost to my 2009 goal of 1,200 miles!!

Year-to-Date Mileage: 1,090.9 miles
Number of Miles Needed to Reach 1,200 miles goal: 109.1 miles

November: 101.4 miles
October: 115.3 miles
September: 75.5 miles
August: 67.0 miles
July: 104.6 miles
June: 94.3 miles
May: 116.1 miles
April: 131.1 miles
March: 119.2 miles
February: 100.0 miles
January: 66.5 miles

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Running/Marathon Scrapbook Supplies

I use to be a frequent (and obsessed!) scrapbooker before I had my children. Sadly, now that I have subjects to document, and now that I have taken up running in just as an obsessed fashion, I never get around to actually documenting our photos in albums. That doesn't mean that I don't take hundreds (literally!) of photos every month.

After I completed my first (and only to date) full marathon last year, I purchased some supplies to document my journey. And over a year later I still haven't completed a page for that album. I need to do this and it is on my list of 'things to do while we're couped up inside all winter long'.

Does anyone else create albums for their races?

It looks like in the past year, several more patterns and page accents have become available. If anyone is interested, I came across three pages of papers, stickers and page accents at Scrappinstuff.com: http://www.scrappinstuff.com/store/track-field-c-55

Ahhh ... Running Outside

Ahhhh ... I ran outside today for the first time (other than a race) in a long time. Since I'm usually muti-tasking with the kids on the TM or I'm wimpy and staying away from the cold Wisconsin weather, I haven't been outside running in awhile. I had six miles on tap today and we are still having unseasonably "warm" weather here in Wisconsin. Today was a high of 50 degrees.

Shortly after 3PM, I headed outside for my run around the neighborhood ... and it felt GREAT! I couldn't believe I was outside in running shorts and a long-sleeve t-shirt at the end of November1 I got to my first mile marker and was over 45 seconds ahead of my usual pace. I thoroughly enjoyed being outside today. We were feeling a bit "cooped up" this weekend, not having much planned. And I NEEDED to get out of the house today. I loved seeing how my neighborhood landscape changes through the seasons, with the leaves now fallen off of the trees. Things just look different. It seemed like a whole new route today. I loved smelling people burning firewood in their yards, families preparing early meals for the evening and the lovely smell of laundry tumbling around in my neighbors' homes. I had such a great time, I took a few extra turns on my way home and logged an extra mile.

I came home and got the mail and found a lovely package on my doorstep from Michele Bredice Craemer, the author of two of the children's books I spoke of recently. Coco Loves to Tri and Pellie Runs a Marathon. The books were addressed (and signed!) to Paige and Jackson and the kids were SO excited to get mail ... and such special mail at that. We read them before bedtime tonight. Tons more on that later.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Five Ways to Make Sure Mommy Gets Her Workout In

I have a husband, am a mommy to two wonderful children (almost two and six years old) seven days a week, work three ten-hour days each week, commute, and own and maintain our home. I have excuses, too! Here are the top five ways I make sure that I have my "me time" and fit my workouts in.

1. Change into your workout clothes after work or when you get up in the morning. Don't put on those comfy "after work" sweats. If you don't do your workout, and have to change, you'll feel guilty.

2. Get off the couch BEFORE you workout! Similar to #1, if I sit on the couch and veg in front of the tv after dinner, I tend not to want to get off the couch. I find that if I play with the kids, do family activities, clean up around the house or pay bills, that I have much more energy to do my evening workouts. AND, WE LOVE TV!! The best investment we've made is our DVR. I can set it to record all of my favorite programs and can watch them at my convenience. After dinner, I can play with the family, put the kids to bed, workout, shower and then catch up on my favorite programs while hubby works out. It works out great for watching all of my programming that he doesn't enjoy!

3. Multi-task. Set up a play area in your "home gym" for the kids. Or, take your children with you in the jogging stroller. Drop your child off at sports or class and run around the neighborhood until it's time to pick them up. You'll experience new neighborhood and landscapes in your area and may just discover a new, favorite route!

4. Make an appointment on your daily planner/calendar. Write your workouts down, how long/how far and when you'll do it. Set your alarm to get up early, if you have a busy evening planned.

5. Communicate with your spouse. If your spouse also works out regularly, set some sort of set "schedule". We all thrive off of routine. We put the kids to bed at 8:00 and 8:30. One of us typically works out at 8:00 PM and the other at 9:00 PM. Initially, evening workouts didn't seem appealing, but now it has become very routine and I begin to wonder what everyone else does while their kids are in bed?! If late evening workouts aren't for you, try alternating morning workouts with your spouse, while the other one gets everyone ready for school/daycare.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marathon Memories 'N More -- Medal Display

Awhile back, I posted about these really cool medal hangers for displaying your race medals. Now, I've also come across these VERY AFFORDABLE wooden versions. Check them out. I just love find this stuff -- especially when it's affordable.

Marathon Memories 'N More:

They offer: Natural Oak, Golden Mahogany, and Dark Walnut

Five sizes and affordable prices:
02 pegs, 08" x 3 3/4" -- (13.1 & 26.2 Headings only) $24.95
04 pegs, 13 1/2" x 3 3/4" $34.95
10 pegs, 21 3/4" x 4 1/2" $49.95
21 pegs, 21 3/4" x 5 1/2" $64.95
50 pegs, 26 1/2" x 5 1/2" $79.95

They currently offer 17 headings, or you can get your customized saying for only $10.00!!

Specialized: Mom's and Dad's Medals Running: Marathon, Half-Marathon, 26.2, 13.1, 13.1 26.2, Running, Running America Multi-sports: Triathlon, Duathlon, Swim Bike Run Individual Sports: Bicycling, Gymnastics, Swimming, Running Team Sports: Bicycling, Wrestling, Soccer, Gymnastics, Swimming, Running

Cool Running-Themed Cookie Cutters

So, since I had the holidays on-the-brain, and my family is obsessed with watching "Cake Boss", I was trying to think of some fun baking ideas for the family to do for the holidays. In searching for some unique holiday cookie cutters, I came across these awesome running themed cookie cutters at Copper Gifts: http://www.coppergifts.com/

I may just have to splurge and get the family some of these!! The kids would have a blast. Can you just imagine how awesome these would be, for gift-giving for your favorite runner? Cookie gift baskets for marathons; JELLO jigglers for the kids; Rice Crispy treats; fun PB&J-shaped sandwiches for race day. I have so many cool ideas right now!!!

Burn the calories; Feel no guilt

Found this on another running blog -- It made me chuckle.

I'm planning on putting in an few extra miles this week on the treadmill, so that I don't have guilt over that extra serving of pie and mashed potatoes on Turkey Day.

Here's what's on tap:

Sunday - 6 mi (check!)
Monday - 7 mi (check!)
Tuesday - 4 mi
Wednesday - Off
Thursday - 6 mi
Friday - 6 mi
Saturday - 6 mi

Total for Turkey week: 35 mi

See Mom Run, by Kara Douglass Thom

See Mom Run, by Kara Douglass Thom
Kara wrote this fabulous book before she had children, strangely enough. One of her friends (a man) told her about how his daughter took his marathon medal to show and tell and bragged about him, even though he was in the back of the pack. One day during yoga (so much for focusing!) the idea for a children's book around this idea came together for Kara. When she asked her publisher about it (he and his wife run, too) he was very interested in the project. Timing was such that the book came out literally two weeks before Kara had her twins.
Even though she read a lot to her children, she didn't bring that book out much until she started training for a marathon in 2006, after her third daughter was eighteen months old and her twins were three years old. They had read it a few times that summer and she didn't think they would understand that "mommy wrote that book". As the marathon approached, Kara started to feel a little weepy about it -- This was her first big event since having children; managing the marathon training; and the mothering wasn' teasy and she was proud of herself for getting through it. She was as nervous as heck, not knowing if she'd be able to finish the 26.2 mile race.
That night, as the craziness of bedtime was just getting started (and all she could think of was, "I'm running in a marathin inthe morning, shouldn't I be in bed myself?"), her daughter, McKenna, picked up "See Mom Run" and asked her if they could read it. It was just what Kara needed to squash her fears and reaffirm that all the hard work was worth it. And, especially, that her little girls seemed to get what was going on. And yes, she cried!

Kara Douglass Thom Website: http://www.karathom.com/

Follow Kara on her blog: http://mamasweat.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Product Review: Kashi Granola

I was craving Granola the other day and added it to my grocery list. When I got to the store, I had no clue that there were so many granola options out there -- OMG! Since I'm a big Kashi fan, I decided to put a few of their granola products in my cart. And, I'm so glad I did. This stuff is just awesome!

My favorite is the Kashi Cocoa Beach granola. It is a sweet treat that includes seven whole grain clusters infused with natural cocoa and mixed with coconut and crunchy almonds. It's like going on a mini vacation. Yum, yum. I loved it alone or mixed in some fat-free vanilla yogurt.

I also tried the Mountain Medley variety. It's like trail mix, but better! Again, there are toasted seven whole grain clusters, mixed with a bit of honey and maple, yummy plump cranberries and raisins, almonds and pecans, sunflower seeds and yummy coconut flakes. This stuff was awesome in yogurt, but I liked it even better by the spoonful.

With about 220 calories per half of cup and about 7 grams of each fiber and protein. These have been a great way to satisfy my sweet-tooth cravings for an evening snack that will also fill me up. I also don't feel the least bit guilty about it. My only regret is that I didn't try this stuff sooner!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Treadmill Pace -- How Fast?

I'm curious just how fast others are pushing themselves on the treadmill? When I first started running a few years back, I was only running at 6.0 MPH. Overtime, I've sped things up a bit. I always start at 6.6 MPH and work my way up to "sprinting" at around 7.5 - 8.0 MPH the last 1/2 mile (regardless of the distance). I end up running a 5K in about 27-something minutes. But, my recent 5K PR is 24:46.

I don't do an incline and I don't change my "terrain". I feel like I push myself so much harder on the treadmill, than I do outside though. But, I feel like I'm flying on that thing.

I'm curious, how fast you're running on the treadmill?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I am thankful for running.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am obviously thankful for my family, friends and my health. But, I am also thankful for running. It's more than just the physical benefits that have made me fall in love with it.

Here are the top five reasons I am thankful for running:

1. I run for me. I am teaching my children that it is ok to do something for yourself and that an active and healthy lifestyle. Running has also taught ME that it is ok to do something for myself.

2. Cool couple. It has given my husband and I a common interest. I honestly don't know what we had in common before we took up this hobby/routine? Whether we are running together, in a race together or cheering one another on, I think that it has brought us closer in so many ways. We love sharing our goals, training plans and race reports.

3. We're tourists. It has given our family a reason to travel around the country and in the Midwest. We have given our children so many more experiences than they would have had otherwise. We've scheduled destination races and then found local activities and landmarks, that incorporate the whole family.

4. Bring it on. Running has encouraged me to take on challenges and embrace them. It has made me realize that I really can do almost anything, if put my mind to it. I was always shy as a kid and didn't take on sports or other activies, for fear of embarrassment and failure. I love that when you're running in a 5K, you are surrounded by runners young and old and people of all shapes and sizes and experience. It's so cool to be running in the same event as professionals. Where else can you do that?

5. Social-networking. Running has been a great key in social-networking. I've reconnected with old friends, met new ones, discovered new companies and organizations and have created this lovely, little blog. It has also helped me inspire friends and family in some way.

What are the top five reasons YOU are thankful for running/exercise?

Unique Find for Active Little Girls: Go Go Sports Girls Dolls

I came across these really cool dolls for active little girls in my new SHAPE magazine. GO GO SPORTS GIRLS. Check out: http://www.gogosportsgirls.com/

There is even a running doll, named Ella. I mean, how cool is this?

Here is Ella's little bio:
Ella lovest to run fast! Before running, she always puts on sunscreen and stretches. Ella drinks plenty of water and between races will have a healthy snack, like a banana. When she is not running, Ella likes riding her bike and writing in her journal. Ella likes to dream big and go for it!

There are also dolls for golf, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, dance, softball, swimming, and basketball. Check out all of the girls at: http://www.gogosportsgirls.com/thegirls.html

The founder also supports the Girls on the Run program ... that I love oh, so very much. She created these dolls, that was positive for girls, were portioned properly, and send a postive message about a healthy and active lifestyle (physically, mentally, emotionally) -- through sports. She also gained inspiration from her young daughter. She also is donating a portion of the proceeds to organizations that share her mission.

Another awesome find for our little active girls !!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Unique Holiday Gifts for Your Little Ones

While making my holiday Wish List on Amazon.com, I came across these really awesome kids running and triathlon related children's books. I thought these were fabulous gift ideas for my children; just another way to share our passion and our healthy and active lifestyle with them. I think it's great!

CoCo Loves To Tri by Michele Bredice Craemer

Run, Dad, Run! by Dulcibella Blackett

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sick Mommy + No Running = Ick Mommy

Well, after we recovered from Jackson's bought with the H1N1, both kids ended up coming home with colds last week. They seemed better on Saturday for my race, and I was able to enjoy the 5K with my sister, followed by a nice "girly afternoon" alone with Paige at Red Robin and the Kid's Expo.

Then on Sunday I woke up sneezing and could NOT stop. Then the body aches started. I basically didn't get off of the couch on Sunday. Both kids were still hacking up a storm and running warm. I had 9 mi planned for Sunday, but decided to take the day off.

Monday, Paige had off of school for Parent/Teacher conferences and we had a doctor's appointment for her. I still felt crummy and decided not to push myself and took another day off of the treadmill. I ended up taking Jackson to the doctor in the evening, too. And, he has a double ear infection and pink eye in both eyes. So, he had to stay home on Tuesday, too.

So, I stayed home with him today and we just cuddled and played on the computer and watched tv and I still didn't run. I still feel crummy and decided that this one time that I'm just going to listen to my body and not push it. I'm still on target for reaching my 1,200 mile year-end goal. But, I'm still feeling guilty.

I'm feeling icky and bloated. Why do you not crave celery and carrots when you're sick? I've purposely not kept junk food in the house lately, so I'm turning to any "comfort food" I can find in the pantry: sugary cereal, leftover Halloween candy (that is stuff I don't even like!), etc.

I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow and get back into routine with life, diet and exercise.

These last few days has made me realize just how much exercise has become apart of our routine and how much I crave the running and the sweating.

Back to the treadmill on Wednesday.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New 5K PR -- 24:46

The 5K race results are up ... and in my favor!! My new 5K PR is 24:46!!!

24:46 clock time
pace: 7:59 min/mile
43/364 overall
12/255 gender

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Race Report: Dane County Girls on the Run 5K

In September, Jason completed Ford Ironman Wisconsin. My sixteen-year-old sister, Kelsey came along with the rest of the family to cheer him on. She had seen me race before, but Ironman is something different. She was inspired enough to ask me to do a race with her in the future. So, of course I took her up on it. And I found out that on November 14, that Girls on the Run for Dane County was hosting the Innaugural 5K in Waunakee, WI (just a few miles from my home). I just love GOTR. The organization promotes getting girls outdoors and build self-confidence through running. It's just so awesome to see these little girls train, make friends and build self esteem, while having the drive to have their little legs compete in a 3.1 mile race! So very cool. Paige did one of their one mile races earlier this year and has also competed in other kids races. I only hope that she will have enough interest to get involved in this organization. I figured that this race was a good "starting race" for Kelsey. Not intimidating at all.

The week of the race, there was a chance for rain in the forecast. But, on race day, it ended up being perfect. at 10:00 AM it was round 50 degrees and the sun was trying to peek through the clouds. It was a perfect morning for a race. Kelsey and I grabbed our bib numbers, my parents took over watching my children and we snapped a few fun photos pre-race and then headed to the start line.

Since this was the first year for this event, I wasn't sure what to expect. But, the turnout was awesome. There were so many little girls and young women competing and then there was also a reasonable amount of seasoned runners competing.
The 5k race looped through neighborhoods in Waunakee, which included two large inclines and hills. I couldn't believe that these little girls could compete on such a hilly course, but they did. I even got passed by a few that were at the front of the pack. It was so cool to see that. The course was a portion of an annual 10 mile race that I like to compete in, so I was really familiar with it. As I approached the finish line, there was a little boy in front of me that was flying the last 1/10 mile. I tried to catch him and someone yelled "Get her!". He sprinted the last few steps and beat me. I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face and patted him on the back with a "good job".

I set a new PR, by about 2 minutes. 24:52 according to my watch. The race wasn't chip timed, and the results aren't posted yet. But I am setting my new PR according to my watch time (unless, or course, the results posted are in my favor!!). The 5K I ran earlier this year was cut short, since the lead bike took a wrong turn and it had been early in 2008 when I ran my previous 5K. I was super happy with my time. Sub-25:00 was my goal ... and I did it!!

Kelsey ended up crossing the finish line in 29:05. I was so proud of her for crossing that finish line and doing it well!! Here we are in our Bondi Bands!!
And, here I am with my biggest, little cheerleaders: Jackson (almost 2) and Paige (almost 6). What a great race experience I had today. A great way to end my 2009 racing season.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

2010 Racing Schedule

So, I've already been working on my 2010 racing schedule; have you? Am I nuts ... or obsessed?? I think I'mjust trying to stay motivated. I need something on my calendar to keep me motivated and stick to some sort of training program.

I'm only currently signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I'm waiting until we complete our holiday shopping, before I go charging away with race entry fees!!

Jason will also be doing the (one or two) full marathon(s) with me next year, as well as several other races, including sprint triathlons and a half Ironman in July.

3/7/2010 - Disney Princess Half Marathon (Orlando, FL)

4/24/2010 - Crazylegs Classic - 4.97 mile run (Madison, WI)

5/30/2010 - Madison Marathon (Madison, WI)

7/?/2010 - Diva Dash (Girls on The Run) 5K (Madison, WI)

7/24/2010 - Waunafest 10 miler (Waunakee, WI)

8/1/2010 - Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon (Chicago, IL)

8/21/2010 - Madison Mini (Half) Marathon (Madison, WI)

September/October 2010 - Full Marathon TBD

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Race Report: Tyranena Beer Run -- Half Marathon

This Saturday, Jason and I competed in my fifth half marathon of the year and his second. We ran in the Tyranena Beer Run. They called it the "half barrel" route. They also offered a "1/6 barrel" route at the event. The race took place in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

Registration was closed, as the race had met it's 1,500 participant cap. My mom's family is from this small town, so we dropped the kids off with my parents at my grandparent's home and got on our way to the race. We had to park down the street, because the event parking lot was full over an hour before the race. So, we had to park and walk (not far).
I was happy to be racing with Jason again. This was only the second time we had the chance to race together this racing season.

I snagged myself one of these cute ringer-tee's, in my goody bag. Not a technical tee that I'll use for a workout, but at least it was something a little different from the standard white racing t-shirt.

Due to the expected weather for the season, this race starts later than all other races I've competed in. The 1/2 marathon didn't start until 11:30 and the 1/6 marathon didn't start until 12:30. Last year it was very cold and drizzly, I'm told. This year the weather was close to 70 degrees!! It was an awesome November day for racing.

Before the race, I had a breakfast of waffles and yogurt. I also had a banana and a bag of Sports Beans before the race. Unfortunately, I don't think I consumed enough that morning, because I felt famished from mile 1 to mile 13. I just don't think I was ready to race so late in the morning, when I was already for lunch. I really should have planned better.
My dad took this picture around mile 2 and I was already feeling like crap. Just an off day, I guess.

The pre-race email had said that the course was hilly, but that they didn't have an elevation map. I had no clue what was in store for me. In the first half of the course, there were so many hills, and other points of elevation that seemed like hills/mountains, just because I was sick of hills at that point! The second half of the course was relatively flat, so I really welcomed that. A lot of the second half was on the Glacial Drumlin State Trail, which was nice and scenic, but I think that the crushed gravel made me slip a little and I was constantly adjusting my groove.
I never got into a rhythm during this race. I downed a pack of Sports Beans again and a gel, but never felt a rush from either of them. There were four water and Gaterade stations. I feel they should've had more aid stations and more volunteers. I never stop and walk at water stations, but was forced to walk all four times, because I was waiting for them to pour the water/Gaterade. At the last water station, they even ran out of cups. I heard that runners were grabbing used cups from the ground and garbage and filling them up or using their hands. People were really thirsty, because the heat was rising and we had all tackled those huge hills earlier on.
There were so many points on the course that I felt like quitting, but didn't. Once, I even wondered if I was coming down with something, as Jackson had H1N1 earlier that week.

I even gave myself a 10 second countdown to walking at the top of the last hill, around mile 11. I have NEVER walked during the race, and gave in on Saturday. Unfortunately, the small break backfired and I felt like my hips locked up when I started again. The last 2 miles were really tough. I was never so happy to hear the even over the horizon, and the music over the loud speakers. I knew I was getting close.
I had hoped to set a new PR, under 1:55:59, or at least hit my second goal of going sub-two hours. Unfortunately, neither goals were met on race day, although I wasn't too far off.

My chip time was 2:04:35.

overall place: 459 out of 865
division place: 47 out of 131 (22-29 F)
gender place: 153 out of 419
time: 2:04:35
pace: 9:31

Everyone I heard from was about 5-6 minutes off of their goal or expected finish time. So, I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. When I met up with Jason after the race, I just put my head on his shoulder. He must've known how upset I was, because he just said, "That was one tough course". He set a new PR, but was about 4-5 minutes slower than what he was hoping (after all of his Ironman training this season). He finished about 10 minutes ahead of me, and I think he was beginning to wonder where I was on the course.

We stood at the finish line, after we finished, to watch some of our friends to come in. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the event tent, the line was so incredibly long, that we didn't get to redeem our vouchers for free beer or the really yummy looking lasagna.

Despite my time and bad attitude, it was a beautiful day for running and racing and I really am glad I did it. It was nice that many relatives were handy to cheer us on and my grandparents got to see me race for the very first time.