Thursday, December 30, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, my running buddy Liz tagged me and I am just getting around to it (bad blogger!!)

1. What is your most embarrassing moment (or your funniest story)?

Um, have you met me?  I am kind of a walking distaster so there are so many embarassing/funny stories.  Probably the most memorable is the time I was visitng Annapolis (I was probably 11 or 12 and still lived in Iowa with my parents) with my family and was just chatting away with my cousin (Hi Amanda!!!).  Since I was too busy talking to pay attention to walking (which is how I broke my ankle---hmmmm---perhaps there is a trend here) I didn't noticed the sidewalk narrowing.  All of a sudden I walked smack dab into a parking meter on a crowded summer day.  Second most embarassing-Cheering my senior year of high school.  We had new warm ups (it gets cold in October in Iowa) and it was our first game wearing them.  I did some split jump and all I heard was *rrrriiiiippppppppp*.  The pants split up the backside.  In the first quarter.  There was no backup pair. 

2. What is your all time favorite running song (or workout song)?

 I have lots of them. 
Voodoo Child--Stevie Ray Vaughn
Jesus Walks--Kanye West
Whyyawannabringmedown--Kelly Clarkson
Love and Memories - OAR
Layla (electric version) -Derek and the Dominos (Eric Clapton)

This is a shortened list.  I could go on and on and on with my list.  My entire running playlist is filled with stuff that just gets me moving!
3. If you could chose your last meal, what would it be (my husband and I had a LONG conversation this weekend about this. I know it's kind of morbid, but you learn a lot about a person based on this answer)?

Hmmm- probably my mom's cajun seafood pasta and lots of garlic bread.  I'd say a salad, but seriously, I would INDULGE for my last meal!  I would top it off with some yellow cake, strawberries in sauce and some milk.  YUMMO

4. What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Bad TV.  Seriously, I watch General Hospital DAILY (I record it on my DVR) and a lot of reality TV compliments of Bravo.  I watch the news, but I am not going to pretend I watch smart shows.  I like bad TV.  :)

5. What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?
As cheesy as this may sounds, my grandparents dancing at my wedding.  They had been married for 63 years at the time and met dancing in London (during WWII and all the bombings--they narrowly missed one bombing and saw each other a few days later--they decided maybe it was fate and my grandmother ditched her fiancee and married my grandfather 6 months later).  My grandmother had been ill for a while, so the fact she was able to make it was incredible and seeing her and my grandfather bust a move was amazing.  There was not a dry eye in the house.  I wish we had a video of it now.

So, now I get to tag some of you out there!

As for my questions:
1. If you could chose your last meal, what would it be?  (good question Liz)
2.  What is your favorite movie--one you could watch over and over and over again?
3.  What is your biggest hope for your running career/hobby/pasttime?
4.  What has been your greatest accomplishment?
5.  What are you most excited about for 2011?
6.  What are you goals for 2011?

Um, its almost the end of the year

Um, its almost the end of the year.

How in the heck did that happen?

Did you have a nice weekend?  I spent a snowy weekend in Eastern Iowa in my parents house with my brother, and his family (of 5) my sister, her boyfriend, her two year old and one crazy black lab.  I loved every stinkin' second of it.  Aside from some issues getting back (BWI cancelled flights in Sunday night--because it was going to snow).

And coming back, I realize there was one more bad up for grabs! 

So, without further delay



Send me an email here (should not bounce back--I double checked that I entered my email correctly!) and I will be sending your package out in the next day or two!

Do you guys have any big plans for the new year??  Any fun NYE plans?!?!  Do you have any resolutions?  Do you make resolutions?!

I would like to point out that I am running my first marathon in 10 days.  Seriously, tomorrow will be a single digit countdown!  HOLY COW!  Seriously, how did this happen so fast!?!?!

Happy new years everyone!  Happy Running!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Busy, busy weekend!

Greetings everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Mine was fairly busy.  Friday night, I ran some errands with the husband and had a nice dinner out.  I knew I needed to be home early to get to bed to be prepared for the Celtic Solstice in the morning.  The Celtic Solstice is an awesome 5 mile run through Druid Hill Park in Baltimore.  There were lots of guys in kilts and lots of girls in running skirts.  If you ask me, I think we were the cutest though!
I got to the race and about 10 minutes before, Katye found me while she was with her dad and a group of TNT alumni and LLS employees.  We found Liz right as the race was starting (I didn't get a picture of her with us, but she was rocking the red skirt and tights too) and before we knew it, we were off.

This race is amazing.  Druid Hill Park can be pretty hilly (they have a race in the summer called the Dreaded Druid Hills if that gives you an idea of what you would be up against) but this race did a great job of finding a relatively flat course.  There was a hill at the start, maybe about .3 of a mile long and some winding curves and some slight elevation changes after that.  The park offers some really pretty sights and some great views of downtown Baltimore.  I was really there to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere and I was scheduled for a 20 mile training run the next morning.  Something that struck me and made me feel really awesome was knowing so many people out and about in the race and really feeling as part of the community.  As we would run by people we knew, we'd yell, sometimes people would yell for us, but it really felt like I was part of the running community (which is super embracing).  About 3 miles in, I felt both sides start to cramp up really bad on me, so I let Liz (who I had been running with, as well as someone from Katye's 5K group from the summer/fall) take off.  I ended up doing a lot of intervals, but like I said, I was there to take in the atmosphere and take it easy.  I needed to save my legs for the next day.  With the uphill start, we had a NICE downhill finish, which made the last half mile fly by. 

This was such a fun race, I hope to do it every year.  If you signed up early enough and paid for the premium, you got a really nice Brooks quarter zip shirt with the race logo embroidered on it.  They also had hot wine, minestrone soup, italian cookies, hot chocolate and coffee (plus the bananas, water, apples and oranges you'd expect) that the finish.  You get a lot of bang for your buck with this race!

I had to then hurry home, shower and run to the store because I had a marathon ahead of me.  A marathon cooking baking afternoon with my aunt and cousin.  We made spritz cookies, chocolate chip cookies, black bottom cupcakes, krinkle cookies and chocolate cookies with mint kisses inside.  I attempted to make peanut butter chocolate truffles but they ended up having to be turned in to peanut butter cups (but were tastey and a crowd pleaser at a family dinner the next evening).  We had a great time, but were exhausted by the end of it.  I came home and was ready to crawl in bed (at 7!!)

The next morning, I got up bright and early to hit the trail at 7:15.  It was a a cold day, so I lathered by my chest with glide stick (I have just started to expereince winter chaffing from my sports bra) and a lot of under armour cold gear (fail!!!).  I tool the 45 nminute drive all amped up for my 20 miles!  I started out with another TNTer beccause we keep the same pace and use the same (or similar) intervals.

I felt great for about the first five miles--strong, and suprisingly happy despite the cold (my braid had icicles forming at the ends--I wish I had taken pictures--it was probably only 25* and the sun wasn't up at all). The problem started shortly after mile 5 when I could start feeling the seam on my tights against the inside of my thigh.  Every. Step. I. Took.  I made it about 6.5 miles before I decided (at Katye and Dani's urging) that I could track back to my car, get in, cover my areas with body glide and head back out to finish the rest of the miles.  In theory, it was a great idea, but I still had to get back to my car.  I did my best with shorter run intervals (running seemed to aggrevate it more) and carried on until I hit about mile 9.5.  I think Katye managed to catch up with me at this point and said from behind, I was waddling when I walked.  It HURT.  I did what I could to make it back and realized that no matter how much glide I put on, those parts would still be aggrevated so much that maybe I should finish out the miles later, on a treadmill wearing something without seems in the same places. 

I was so bummed and started to feel like maybe I wasn't going to be ready for the marathon.  Then I had to remember I had done 5 miles the day before, so I had 17 miles done in 24 hours.  I plan to wrap up the rest of my miles tonight on the treadmill, but I had a bit of a panic attack on my way home from the trail, thinking "what the heck am I doing" and "I am so not ready for this--hello sweeper bus".  Katye (my wonderful TNT coach) told me that the furthest she did for her marathon was 14 (limping) miles and that had me feeling a lot better.  I still have some nerves and apprehension about it, but I am excited to give it a go!

After the trail, I had to again, race home, shower and change to head to my aunt's for a family Christmas get together (I am leaving for Iowa--roadtripping with my brother, sister in law and their three kids--and my cousin and his family are heading to Syracuse) at my aunts house.  It was another long, fun filled day, but I came home at 7 and just wanted to crawl in to bed!

It was a busy weekend, a marathon of sorts, but I had a blast.  I can't believe I only have 20 days until my first marathon!  Where did the time go? 

How was your weekend?  Do you have any fun baking traditions in your family? 

Happy Running!

Friday, December 17, 2010

How has the week gotten away from me!?

I owe you guys two winners!  Holy cow!  Seriously, the week has flown by and I looked at the calendar and realized I was two winners behind!

Getting First pick is:


Getting the Second pick is


Email me your selections here and I will get them out Monday of next week!

Thanks for your support and congratulations!

Happy Running!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Guess what?

Guess what I finally got out to do yesterday??  

 That round ninja in black is me!  Thats right, folks.  I managed to out for a nice 8 miles today with my TNT group!  Let me tell you, it felt great!

 The weather was perfect (a cool 27* and clear  and there was snow on the trail.  There was ice on the water too.  Seriously, the trail was in use by the hard core and it was great to be part of them!

It was great to get out and I felt wonderful.  I only got in about 8 miles, but it was still wonderful to just be outside and get some miles in!

I know yesterday I was supposed to announce the second winner of the TNT giveaway, but I was running around once I got home to get ready for a holiday party.  Without further delay, the winner is....


Send me an email here with your choice and I will get it out to you.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!  Happy Running!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winner #1

Hello there lovelies!  Can you believe its already the 8th of December?  I feel like this year and the last few months have flown by.  I wish time would slow down a little bit more so I could enjoy it!

Thanks for all the tips on what you do when you are sick.  I went to the doctor and found out that my sinus infection turned into some middle ear infection and an upper GI tract infection.  Seriously, I am over being sick, so I have some good medicine that should help over the next few days!

But you aren't reading to find out all about my medical woes (as thrilling as they may be), so without furhter delay, the first winner of the 12 days of TNT is


Go over and give her some love and tell her congrats.  Katye, send me an email with your selection and I will bring it to you on Saturday :)

Another winner will be selected on Saturday, so keep you eyes peeled and keep spreading the word!!

Hope you are all staying warm with the cold snap around the country.

Happy Running to everyone!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

12 days of TNT

Clever, aren't I?  I have had some time to think about the title with being sick the last few days running a pretty high fever (gee, with my hip feeling better, there is NOTHING like feeling sick to make me even more nervous about my marathon!)  With the holidays here or looming, I wanted to have one last big raffle before my TNT fundraising is closed.  I appreciate your continued support and donations and I am doing so well and it wouldn't be without your help.

Here is one last push for me to send out some items and for you to get gifts for the runners in your life.

Here is the deal.  I have 4 running specific packages I want to raffle off in the next 12 days.  Every third day, a winner is announced, HOWEVER, you do not have to donate again for the next raffle.  So, on the 8th, the first winner will be announced, their name removed, and then on the 11th, a new winner, and so on and so on.  I also have a Vera Bradley Wallet/Clutch that will be available.  If someone picks that over a running package, two winners will be announced.  Pretty cool, right?  This way, you have a chance to get some shopping done and save a little money while you are at it!

So, here are the 4 runner gift bags to choose from.

 Bag 1

  1. Tote from One More Mile Reading You Don't Have to Go Fast.  You just Have to Go.
  2. One More Mile magnet with either 13.1 or 26.2
  3. One More Mouse Pad saying "Will Run for Wine"
  4. Two Sweatybands, one thin and one thick.
  5. One Live, Love Run Magnet

Bag 2

  1. One More Mile bag reading "Toenails are for Sissies"
  2. One More Mile Mousepad reading "Sorry, I've got to run (with my dog)"
  3. Pink Nathan Shadow Pack
  4. One More Mile Magnet with 13.1 or 26.2 
  5. One Zensah Seamless Tshirt, size L/XL in brown and can be viewed here

 Bag 3

  1. One More Mile Bag reading "My sport is your sport's punishment"
  2. One More Mile mousepad reading "13.1 miles, been there, done that"
  3. Two magnets for Lift Your Sole Reading "Endless Miles, Endless Smiles" and "The world is my treadmill"
  4. Runner Girl Stick Figure necklace which can be viewed larger here.
  5. One More Mile 13.1 or 26.2 magnet.

Bag 4
  1. One More Mile Bag reading "Will Run for a Cure"
  2. One More Mile magnet with either 13.1 or 26.2 on it.
  3. One pink iPod Shuffle, 2GB.
  4. One $10 iTunes Gift Card

 Vera Bradley Clutch/Wallet

Now, on to how you enter.

  1. Donations can be made here and are required for additional entries.
    1. $1=1 entry
    2. $5= 5 Entires
    3. $10=15 entries
    4. $20=30 entries
    5. Anything above $20 will be be awarded entiresof twice the dollar amount.  If you donate $25, you get 50 entries, $30 gets you 60.
  2. Spread the word.  Post this on your blog, facebook, twitter, email, etc.  Leave a post telling me you did so.  If you see something you want, drop shameless hints to your family!!
  3. Tell me why you run.  What inspires you?  What keeps you going on a cold, dark morning?
  4. Tell me what is on your runner's wish list for the holidays.  I am just curious as to what you are all dying for!
  5. Tell me what your go to is when you get sick.  Is it mom's soup, some tea, certain medicine or vitamins?  Seriously, I need to kick this nasty bug's rear!
Also, remember I have a Bondi Band Fundraiser going on still.  You can check out the remaining bands here.  They would be a great stocking stuffer for some of the runners in your life!

Again, thanks to all the support you have generously offered me over the last few months.  I can't put into words how wonderful both the donations and kind words have been.  You guys rock and are some of the best people out there!  I promise, my begging (albeit for a good cause) will be over soon and you will get the same old lovable Erin you once had back!

Also, thanks to the wonderful people at SweatyBands, Zensah, Life Your Sole, Nathan and One More Mile for their generous donations to my raffle.  They are such awesome people and were so excited and happy to help me out!

I am off to go drink some tea and chug some OJ.  Darn you bug, I want to feel better!

Happy running!  Fingers crossed I can get out in the next day or two for a long run!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Long time, no blog

Hello there lovelies! Miss me? Life has been crazy, as it has a tendency to do around my birthday and the holidays, hence my absence. I finally have a chance to breathe, so I wanted to catch you all up on the happenings in my running adventures.

First, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend and allowed yourself to eat some tasty treats. I had a great day, even if I wasn’t able to go back to Iowa and visit family.

I have continued to do Bikram Yoga over the last couple of weeks. I love it. The second and third class were so much better than the first; I am taking my fourth class this week. Bikram will become a part of my cross training going forward. Being drenched in the first five minutes of class is not the most enjoyable thing in the world but its done wonders for my body in terms of flexibility.

In addition to Bikram (and probably with the aid of Bikram) I have been able to get in four pain free runs in the last week! Talk about a huge sigh of relief, especially since on the 20th I had a run that started out great, but ended painfully! I have 39 (!!!!!) days until my first marathon down at Disney and I was really starting to get worried about my hip and completing the run. I am determined to just finish my first marathon!

I wish I could tell you that my life was full of wonderful adventures and crazy stories, but I am pretty boring, so you aren’t going to see that. My biggest excitement right now is looking to replace windows in my house. Whoohoo—jealous?!!? It’s hard to believe its already December. Where has this year gone!?!?

Happy running and happy December.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Bikram Yoga Experience

Last Thursday I had a bloggie sleep over with Julie (she was flying out of BWI early in the AM and I live pretty close to the airport) and on the drive to dinner (Olive Tree—rip off of the Olive Garden—but tasty) she was raving about Bikram Yoga. After hearing her rave on and on about it, I figured I might as well give it a shot. It would probably help with my running and stretching and maybe help take care of my hip issues.

If you are unfamiliar with Bikram, here is a little snipet I pulled from

“Bikram Yoga is the 26 postures Sequence selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury from Hatha Yoga.

It has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.

The room is kept at 104*F because yoga changes the construction of the body from the inside out, from bones to skin and from fingertips to toes. So before you change it, you have to heat it up to soften it, because a warm body is a flexible body. Then you can reshape the body any way you want.

Hatha Yoga flushes away the waste products, the toxins of all the glands and organs of your body. It provides a natural irrigation of the body through the circulatory system, with the help of the respiratory system. It brings nourishments to every cell of your body so that each one can perform its function and keep your body healthy. Bikram Yoga also employs heat to further that cleaning process: When you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin.”

I found a place between my house and my office and decided to give it a shot last night and was able to talk my friend K into coming. First impression—I walked in to the office of the studio and it was quite steamy with a lot of half dressed people lounging about. I actually started sweating once I walked it. I signed up for a week of unlimited Bikram, listened to the instructor give me a few first timer pointers, got changed and walked in to the studio.

Yeeesh, if I thought the front office was warm, I thought the studio was ridiculous. I could only imagine what their electricity use must be like. I got myself all situated and laid down on the mat until class started.

I think its no secret I am a sweaty beast. I really underestimated how much I would sweat during class and I was soaked about 5 minutes in to it and we were just working on a breathing exercise!! I really worried about the remaining 85 minutes of class.

Let me tell you something; I am inflexible—way more than I ever thought I was. I struggled to grab onto parts of my body, but I gave it my best and just tried to get close. The first half off the class was all poses where you stood. Some poses worked your flexibility, some worked your strength, some worked your balance (which I lack) but all had you sweating like crazy. I felt great during this part of class, to the point where I was thinking I could get into it.

The second part of class, you did a lot of laying down, back and stomach stretches. At this point, I started to feel really sick. I have been fighting a cold for a couple of weeks now and thought I had it kicked. I am not sure if it was the travel, stress, the late nights, the yoga or a combination of all, but I started to feel more congested and my throat started to kill me. I also was feeling a bit nauseous (note to self—maybe put some vicks under my nose so the BO smell is not as strong), so I took the rest of the class pretty easy, trying poses when I could and drinking some water, hoping it would make me feel better.

Even though the class was long, I really felt like it went by quickly and I enjoyed it. I am planning on going tonight too, hoping that it will help flush out the rest of this cold and that I will. I have heard that the first couple of classes are the toughest, so I think that next week will be a different experience!

Today, I feel a bit sore in places that were stretched and not often used.  I am hoping that the poses are a bit easier tonight, but expect another report after my week of unlimited Bikram Yoga is over!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Sweaty Winner!

First, pardon the absence from my blog.  Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away (at 91.5 years old--because I think that half year is important to add) and I was out of town for her services and spending time with my family.  I hope to be in a more regular blogging pattern within the next couple of days.

Thanks for all the donations and entries into the raffle!  I appreciate all that you guys generaously shared with me!! 

Out of 71 entries, selected entry 20, making the winner Jamie!!!  Go over there, check her out and tell her congrats!  Shoot me an email and I'll get your package out to you!

Thanks again for all the support and entries!  Its so cool to have all your support.

Happy Running!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Quick update

Due to an unexpexted trip back to Iowa, the raffle winner won't be announced until Wednesday the 17th at noon. You can have until midnight on the 16th to enter now!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Three Things Thursday + a Raffle

  1. I guess I should thank the running gods for letting me stay healthy during my three races in three weeks stint.  I woke up Monday morning with an awful cold that has kicked my tail.  B (cousin's husband) ran the marathon last weekend with this and all the props in the world to him.  He is tough.
  2. My husband is going to have a crazy few months of work and school, involving some serious traveling.  One of these trips happens to be over the weekend of my Disney Marathon so I was seriously bummed about him missing this huge event.  Today, my mom, sister, sister in law and niece all said they were going to come down and make it a huge girls weekend!  I am super excited to have all this support with me, even if the husband can't make it!
  3. Need anything from Pampered Chef?  I am hosting a party this weekend, but you can order online.  If you go here you can order from the party and I will get money donated to my Team in Training page. 
Now to the raffle!

A Nathon Quick Draw Water Bottle

A StephanieMc Design Necklace (it says run like a girl on the circles)

A Thin Sweaty Band

To Enter:
  1. Mandatory--Donate to my TNT account here.  Comment to let me know you have done so.
    1. $1-one entry
    2. $5-five entries
    3. $10-15 entries
    4. If you want to donate more than $10, let me know and we can talk about how many entries you get.
  2. Post this giveaway on your blog and comment to let me know so.
  3. Spread this giveaway via facebook, twitter, etc and let me know you did so.
  4. Tell me about your best running experience.  Where, when, get the point!  
Thats it!  You have until November 14th at midnight.  The winner will be announced by noon EST the next morning!

Good Luck and Happy Running!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Runniversary

**Pardon the typos.  I have kind of beat and am fighting to keep my eyes open.

In case you didn't remember, my first race was the Marine Corp Marathon 10K in 2009.  It started this hobby obsession with running and races and over the last year.  So, the 2010 MCM 10K is what I will affectionately call my runniversary! 

Saturday, Katye met me at my house and we headed into DC.  Instead of fighting the traffic (the rallies in DC were going on as well), we decided to hop on the metro to the Expo.  After an uneventful ride, we made it to the expo and cruised around, picked up our race packets and shirts and walked to various booths.  I stopped by Bondi Bands to exchange some of the bands I have (look for an update in a few days).  

Finally, we stopped at the Running Skirts booth to help out.  It was a good three hours of non stop helping ladies pick out skirts, find the best race outfit and convince them that once you run in a skirt, you will never run in shorts again.  Before we knew it, it was time to help the ladies pack up the booth and head out for some carbo loading, but not before we got a free case of Honest Ade (yummmm) and a photo opp with Cindy.
Honestly, why do I look so gosh darn goofy in all my pictures? I think I was trying to look taller.

We headed to Noodles for dinner (mac and cheese--yummy) and  made a quick ice cream pit stop at Target before heading to my cousin's house for the night.  Katye got to meet their crazy lab TurboTail Louie and we talked to B (my cousin's husband--my running partner) about his head cold and his plans for the race in the morning.  Before long, it was time to head to bed and get ourselves prepared for the morning.

5:15 came way too quickly, and we were all shuffling around to get ready, with one very excited dog at our feet the whole time.  After a quick ride on the metro we were at the National Mall, where the 10K started (the marathon started at the Pentagon).  We took in the sights and I noticed Cindy and her husband walking by.  We stopped to chat, take a few photos and delay removing our extra layers on the chilly morning.

Crappy iphone pic.  That's the Capitol :)
 Chewbaca.  When he said cheese, he sounded just like Chewie from the movie.  Best costume of the day!

Washington Monument.  
 My friend Melanie, Katye and I before the start.
Katye trying to stay warm??

We used the stink boxes and left just in time to head to the start and join in as the crowd was going by.  People were starting to run before the start line, but not this girl.  Its 6.2 miles people.  You will get plenty of chances to run!

The first mile, I felt great.  I was moving well, keeping an eye on my friend Mel and being a goofball (I was darting in and out of traffic cones).  We were able to see this awesome group of women (I can NOT remember what their group is called) drumming at the start and check out all the costumes

After the first mile, I was slowing down, but I still felt great.  After 1.5 miles, we walked for a minutes, then started up again and then I felt it.  My right hip was bugging me.  UGH.  We had started our 6:1 run/walks and I was keeping up (Celebrity spotting-- Carla Hall from Top Chef) with it until I felt a super sharp pain in my hip.  We stopped to try and stretch it out and talk to a guy working the course to try and find the next medic station (seriously, I appreciate you being there to help out, but could you have at least KNOWN something about the course).  

The next few miles were me walking and running shuffling when I could.  I managed to keep my walk to a really brisk pace and kept apologizing and urging Katye and Melanie to go on without me, but neither did.  I even tried to trick them, but running and slowing down, hoping they wouldn't notice, but they always did.  I hate being slower and holding people back.  At one point I thought I was going to have to hold Katye back from going up an overpass and yelling at some Steeler fans who were hating on the Ravens.

As we approached mile 6, I kind of got emotional.  First, because it my runnivesary and also because I had completed three races in three weekends--sheer craziness.  We hit mile 6 and I decided I would run the last .2 of the race.  There was minor hill (but its kind of cruel to do that to the marathoners) and made sure to finish the race running and really happy with myself.  Whats even cooler is I still PR'ed.  Even with my bum hip and a lot of walking, I PR'ed by a minute with my chip.  Katye stopped her watch when I stretched and walking to a medic, so without that stop, I would have PR'ed by 6 minutes!  Go me!  That is what I call progress!!

If you ever get a chance to run with Katye, do.  She is awesome.  She is such a great pacer and concerned with how you are doing and getting you to the finish line and is super positive.  Seriously, I could go on and on about her! 

The rest of the afternoon was spent running around, trying to find other runners we knew (Another Celebrity --I spotted Laura  between miles 22-23 and yelled for her like a huge psycho--sorry about that).  Katye finished the marathon with her friend (and helped get her across too---seriously, you need to run a race with this girl).

Me, Branden and Melanie-Branden ran his first marathon in 4:19!!!!  That would be a TMB Endurance Band on my head too, btw.

Spectating in Crystal City.  Katye got lots of comments on her "costume".  People, its an outfit!!
My cousin Amanda and Branden.  We love a Chuck Norris joke!

It was a long day, a long weekend and a lot of fun!  It concluded three long, hard weeks of road races for me too, which was a really cool experience.  A year ago, I did not think I would have done this at all!  

The whole experience also got me thinking--on October 30, 2011, I will be running the Marine Corp Marathon.  Awesome race, awesome crowds, awesome views and being part of the 4th largest marathon in the country--yes please!!!

Happy Running Everyone!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Humpday Happenings

First, thanks so much for all your kind words. It’s so nice to hear such support even though I am not the fastest runner in the world!!

I woke up Monday morning a bit nervous and just laid there for a minute. Last Sunday, the day after my half marathon, my legs were stiff. Walking was a process and it took me a while to get moving. So, while I laid there, I started moving my legs a little. Imagine my surprise when they were fine! No stiffness, no heaviness, no grimacing in pain. Maybe a tad sore in my right hip and right knee ( I have noticed that my right foot strikes the ground different than my left foot—my right foot strikes the ground with the outside of my foot--I wonder if I need a different insole in my right shoe), but that’s not anything that I wouldn’t have expected! I was so psyched to feel fine I jumped out of bed and did a happy dance!

I was a tad worried that the back to back (to back) races would be hard on my legs. People told me I was crazy—and heck, I realize I am. I was a bit worried to see what conditions my legs would be in by the time the 10K rolled around, but I am pretty confident that they are going to be in pretty good shape.

If you are coming to the MCM Expo in DC on Saturday, stop by the RunningSkirt Booth. Both Katye and I will be working there after our training run! Should be a fun day, followed by an excellent race the next morning!

That’s all for today. I am off for an easy treadmill run and then more work on my legs with the stick (ohhhh it hurts so good!).

Happy Running Everyone!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Army Ten Miler

Hey there lovelies!  I just woke up from a nice three hour nap and am still flying high from this Ten Miler I ran.

After the letdown of last weekend, I was a bit worried about this race.  I tried to shake the feeling, set a couple of goals for myself and wanted to get past the pissy missy mood I had been in.

Saturday, I met with my TNT group because Katye kindly picked up my race packet (because she was working the running skirts booth---jealous!!!).  Nothing of note in there, aside from the race shirt (a nice long sleeve cotton tee).  It was a super cool morning (31*) and I went for a nice 3.5 mile jog to enjoy the chilly morning.

I packed my bags once I got home and headed to my cousin's house (her husband was running with me).  We watched Iowa lose (ick) and then headed out for dinner (Pei Wei--yum).  Once we got back to her house, I started getting myself ready for the night and the next morning by laying out my clothes.
I thought the camo skirt was cute and appropriate for the event!

After a good nights sleep (albeit with a 90 pound lab right next to me) I woke up at 5:20 with a sore throat.  Uh Oh.  All I could do was get dressed, drink some water, try and wake up and focus on the race.  I wolfed down a Clif Bar (spiced pumpkin pie--love the seasonal flavors) and drank some water.  

Soon, B and I headed out the door to the train station to head to the Pentagon--which we did--over an hour early--woops!  Luckily there were plenty of things to do and see, including a special ops maneuver booth and a few blues bands by army members from various bases.  Time flew by, and before I knew it, we had to head to our corrals to get ready for the start.

At the start waiting for the gun canon to go off.  Thats the pentagon in the background.

Some races have gun starts.  This race had a canon start.  Pretty cool.  B and I had separated at this point, so I took some time to stretch, take in the sights, and enjoy a beautiful morning.  After about 15 minutes (there were 30,000 runners), we finally started moving to the start and before I knew it, we were off!!

The first mile flew by!  I made sure I moved towards the outside and stayed out of the faster people's ways (but managed to keep a 10:54 pace for the first mile--go me). We turned to go over the Memorial Bridge and into DC and it was wonderful about seeing all the crowd support! 

I started my intervals by the second mile, 2 minutes on, 1 minute walking.  It really helped my legs feel fresh and kept my attitude positive.  I was moving well, keeping a good pace with it (it managed to slow down to about a 12:30 pace, but still, I'll take it) and before I knew it, we hit the five mile mark (at an hour and 2 minutes in).  

There were various bands (some army, some not) set up along the course, plus a ton of people.  Miles 5 to 8 was lined with people which was amazing.  We were also running across from runners (as the course looped around and had runners going in both directions on the same street) I just started yelling at people, telling them they looked great, and offered up high fives to anyone who would take them.  People looked at me like I was crazy, but hey--I wasn't going to win the thing but I was going to enjoy every second and be as POSITIVE about the day as I could be.

The last couple of miles has some slight elevation changes and there were bridges and overpasses as part of the course.  I just kept up with my intervals and about 8.5 miles into the race I realized I was going to smash my Ten Miler PR from April.  

At mile 9.5, I recognized one of my TNT teammates and gave her a hug.  We decided to finish the race together.  Once we hit mile ten (Olga had me running 10.11 miles by the finish line) we saw the finish line and just sprinted our hearts out.  Legs flying, picking off people left and right (at a 7:15 pace) I finished the race with a HUGE smile on my face!

 Pardon the gross, sweaty beast picture.  I was still freaking excited about my PR.

 I checked Olga and my finish time was 2:10:31, which I was thrilled with.  Seriously!  I was dead tired and felt like I might vomit and my legs felt spent (I think it was really adrenaline that got me moving so fast for the last .1 mile) but I PR'ed and I felt so confident and wonderful.  I wished the same legs had showed up last weekend, but in the end, I finished strong and felt like a runner :)  Officially results aren't up yet, but I will update this post with my official results once I get it!
Our finisher medallion.  Pretty sweet!

This is a race I would run over and over again.  Seriously, the crowd support was amazing, the course was beautiful.  The Army runs a great, well organized race and I would recommend that everyone try and run this race at least once!  

That is all for today.  I am going to use the stick on my poor legs to make sure they are ready for next Sunday and the MCM 10K.  3 races in 3 weekends--66.666% complete!!!  Maybe it wasn't so crazy after all!

***Official race time--2:10:28. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baltimore Half Marathon

First, I got a PR!!  YAY.  *sigh* However, my goal of coming in under 3 hours was not met.  I'm trying to not get so hung up on that, but its hard.  But, a PR is a PR and I really need to focus on the positive.

Could I tell you what went wrong?  No, I don't know that it was anything specific.  My knee pain was not taper related, so I am taking lots of advil and icing it plenty to try and get it ready for Sunday (the Army Ten Miler).  I started the first mile with Liz and her friend Omari and was doing ok.  Not great, sucking air and just not feeling light and fast.

Liz did awesome.  I'll let you read her blog to see her story, but I ended up telling her and Omari to go head after the first mile and a quarter.

But let me back it up a little.  First, the Baltimore Running Festival is an AWESOME collection of races.  Baltimore is a beautiful city and we were treated to a great (hilly) course on a beautiful (but windy) day with plenty of crowd support.

I got up at 6 and was able to stay in bed for about an hour and relax a little.  I didn't need to leave the house until a quarter of 8 (the half started at 9:45--a real treat for me!)  I decided to wear something different Friday night. 

Cute right?  You can’t see it well, but I have on knee high hot pink compression socks (which look like candy canes on my legs).  It really made the outfit pop!

I had planned on eating my Clif Bar in the car on way to the train station, but once I got away from my house I realized I had forgotten it.  I debated turning around but figured I could eat my clif shot before the race started (Liz gave me a clif bar when we met up—thanks Liz).  Perhaps this was a bit ominous.

I took the train in, waited for Liz and chatted with Omari before she arrived.  Her husband offered to take my bag instead of me having to check it (thanks D!) and we separated.  Timbelina and I needed to use a restroom and an awesome hotel near the start was letting runners in to stretch, use the rest rooms and decompress.  I forget which hotel it was, otherwise I would have given then a shout out.  It was seriously nice of them (they were even holding the doors open for runners!)

We made our way to the start and it was crammed and packed full of people.  I really started to get nervous at this point (I started getting nervous the night before).  Before I knew it, we were off.
Liz Prerace
The wave 4 crowd
Not really the face of confidence.

Like I said, the first mile was ok.  Our pace varied and we were averaging a 10:53 pace by the end of the mile, with some slight elevation changes throughout. I just felt like I had lead in my legs and couldn’t get moving.

Shortly after the first mile went by, I let Liz and Omari go without me.  I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with them and I’ll be darned if I ruined the race for her too.

I tried to start intervals, but my legs still felt so heavy, but I managed to bang them out as best I could.  Around mile 7, I ran into my friend Marisa as we ran around a beautiful lake.  She was so excited for me and kept telling me I looked great (I know she was lying, because I felt like death, but I appreciated her trying to cheer me up).  She ran a little with me with me yelling at her the whole time (she is about 12 weeks pregnant) until the water stop, where I grabbed a couple of glasses of water and a banana.  Oh sweet banana, you tasted so good!

At about mile 8, my endurance was really dying.  I tried to keep up with my intervals the best I could, but at this point, I realized my goal of coming in under sub 3 was disappearing fast and I started to get really disappointed.

Around mile 9.5, a group of people who lived on the course were handing out little plastic glasses of beer.  I figured I needed the carbs (I kid, I  kid) so I took a cup and drank the tasty beer offered up to me!  About a quarter of a mile beyond that was the Gummi Bear Man!  This guy bought 400 lbs of gummy bears and was passing them out on the course.  It was a nice pick me up.

At mile 10.25, my cousin was there with the his wife and daughter and a sign for me.  I stopped to give them a huge hug, give his daughter some extra love (she made a sign that said “Go Cousin Erin”  in pink that matched my outfit) and they told me that I was doing great, looking good and after a couple of minutes I took off again (ok, I could have picked up a couple more minutes off the PR—but I wanted to give them the hugs and I might have needed it myself too!)

I was thinking "Can I just come back to your house?"

At this point, the race was largely downhill (in terms of elevation) and I just tried to go the best I could.  It was a challenge, but I knew I was getting there and to just plug along.

I kept trying to do my intervals and started to feel relieved as I saw the TNT water stand and said hello to a few of the people who I knew working.  I kept plugging away until I saw the stadium and just tried to finish it.  It felt like the last .1 of a mile took forever.  I yelled at one of the course photographers (who was wearing all his Iowa gear) and tried to sprint, but my stupid legs just wouldn’t go.  I finally crossed the finish line and checked my watch.  PR achieved.

I was frustrated.  I felt prepared, I felt like I had trained enough. Liz and my husband told told me its still an improvement and to keep plugging away.  Katye told me she is going to scream in my ear and get me to a 2:30 half in Richmond.

So, that is what I am doing.  The Army 10 Miler is next Sunday and the MCM 10K is the following Sunday. The Richmond half marathon in 11-13.  I have plenty of chances for a better race, and I will get there.  Baltimore, while not what I had hoped for, was still fun and I got a nice piece of hardware from it!

I am off to use the foam roller and the stick and get some ice and get my game plan for next Sunday.

Also, huge shout outs to TMB, Wendy, The Dawn, and Olivia.  They all raced this weekend and killed their races.  Give them a look and say hello!

Happy running!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Race Day Outfit

Does this look like a PR outfit or what? 

Happy Running!!!!

3 Things Thursday-In Pictures

  1. After several suggestions of fellow runners for my shin pains, I stopped by a running store last night and picked up some Zensah Compression Sleeves (headless man not included).  My goodness--I am not sure what took me so long to invest in there bad boys, but I <3 them.  As Sarah told me via email, they are like hugs for your legs all day long!
  2. I swear,  my legs are not really this ugly.  I think its just a weird angle!  I wore them under my dress pants today and I feel great!
  3. I have less than 48 hours until the Baltimore Half Marathon so I am trying to hydrate myself better than I have in previous races.  I have had three of these bad boys so far at work, and will probably get another 1 to 1.5 in before I leave.
  4. My desk is not normally this messy--its just a hectic day. 
  5. I was digging around in my purse this morning for my chapstick when I realized that my purse, aside from my wallet, a book, and my phone, is filled with running stuff.  Olga, some Blistex Chapstick, generic Aleeve (seriously, I am cheap), my nano (with an updated play list), a luna protein bar (totally delicious, btw), Clif Chocolate Shot (so goooooood) and Clif Bar (pre run fuel). 
 Thats all for today.  After work I am heading to the Expo to get my race packet.  I am bib number 41285.  I am trying to find something positive in the number, but can't quite come up with it.  For those of you who like numbers and can come up with something creative (and positive) regarding the sequence of my bib numbers, I am interested in hearing it!

Happy Running Everyone!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

4 Days

Yesterday, I set out for 3 miles (after work, by myself---shhhh—don’t tell hubs). No big deal, right? I had taken some rest (I was on the arch machine) to try and let my shins heal (because I ran on the treadmill a couple of times last week) so this was a pretty easy run, just getting the legs warmed up and ready for Saturday.
 My knee was screaming by the end of it. Did I rest too much? Is my body protesting my crazy miles? Is my mind just freaking out? I am getting taper madness and phantom pains??

I am not freaking out though. I have a foam roller, I have Aleeve, I have a stick, I have a plan, and I have an awesome couple of partners in crime for Saturday. I have trained (courtesy of TMB Endurance Training plans), worked hard and pushed myself so that when this half arrived, I would kill it. Slaughter my PR by at least 20 minutes (ok, so I have a lot of room to improve, but still—it’s a sign of progress).

In 4 days, I will be running my second half marathon and I will see just how far I have come. I. Can. Not. Wait.

Happy Running everyone, because really, is there any other way???

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

An Extra Boost

Saturday morning, I got up bright and early for a run with the TNT group and Liz, my Baltimore Half Marathon partner. I was nervous. In case you missed it, my previous post was all about my shins and the pain they were causing me.

Saturday was the perfect running day. It was cool at the start, just 40* and clear. The fall TNT group was meeting up too, so we listened to their coach give them a pep talk, then Coach Katye gave us ours. Liz and I had planned on 10, but Katye mentioned it’s not too early to start tapering, so we decided on 6.

 The first mile—I struggled to get into a groove—but no shin pain. Hmmm,weird. The second mile, I managed to pick up the pace a bit and keep up with Liz (or Speed Demon as I shall call her) and Katye dropped off and headed back to some of the other TNTers. At the end of the second mile, I wanted to walk a second, so Liz obliged. I figured this would be the true test. Last week, my shins would hurt AFTER I would take my walk break and start up again.

After a couple minutes of walking, we started again, and kept the pace under 12:00/mile (shut up—this is fast for me) to the third mile marker. I had the unfortunate opportunity to use a port a pot (seriously, how do you get poo on the seat? WTF?) and came out gagging and walked a couple more minutes to catch my breath and control the gag reflex. We started up again, and still managed to keep the pace under 12:00/mile (pretty close to 11:20 according to Olga) and this pattern continued through the rest of the 6 miles. We did stop between miles 5 and 6 to snap a picture of some deer and fawns in the river bed (ahhh, nature at its finest), but the rest of the run was uneventful (well, aside from the cyclist who came flying up next to me and almost ran me over) and more importantly, pain free! So maybe the shin pain was a fluke, or just because of the treadmill?

We finished 6.2 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes—which sparked some confidence in me. Somehow this run made me super confident about the Baltimore Half Marathon coming up. I know I can do this race, I know that Liz and I are going to kill our previous half times too.

After some tasty treats, we treated ourselves to Wegman’s (mmmmmm chocolate croissant) and had some pretty good laughs.

I am starting to think I might have this running thing down now! This run couldn’t have come at a better time.

Now, I am thinking about trying to get a qualifying time for the National Half Marathon, which means my half needs to be at 2:30 or my ten miler at 1:50. Either way, I am determined to qualify. I will be running that race!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Letter S

Today's post is being brought to you by the letter S (or possibly F).  More specifically, for shin splints!  Stooooopid, shin splints 15 days before my half marathon where I was (and still am) going to kill my previous PR and show the course who the boss is.

I noticed it on Wednesday.  Tuesday, I put in 3 miles in 33 minutes (ok, not super fast, but fast for me) and felt great.  Wednesday, I finished my first mile (9:45 pace--thank you very much) I went to slow down and OUCH.  My shins were on fire!  Same results last night.  Started running and when I wrapped up, the shins were burning again. 

To say that I am frustrated is an understatment.  I have managed to go an ENTIRE year with out shin splints (yes, I have had injuries, but never shin splints).  Last week, I switched from the Brooks Trance 8 to the Trance 9 and I really hope thats not the problem (because they are such a comfortable ride).  I also  have been doing a lot of treadmill running this last week, and at speeds that are much faster than I am used to.  I am going to chalk it up to the speed.  Woops--guess I went too much too fast!

I hoping with a bit of rehab, some aleeve, some icing and extra stretching I should be good to go in 14 days. 

Any suggestions to help alleviate the pain, other than what I mentioned above?

Thanks for reading the whine-fest.  Just needed to vent a little!

Thanks for all the suggestions a couple weeks ago regarding the naseausness I would get after a hard workout.  I started eating more carbs and drinking more water than usual; those seemed to do the trick!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bondi Bands Galore

Yes, I am sure you are tired of my continuous posts about TNT and fundraising, but hey--it IS helping to save lives.

In order to raise some additonal funds, I contacted the wonderful people at Bondi Bands about participating in their TNT Fundraising program.  They sent me 100 Bondi Bands, which I am itemizing below.  If you are interested in buying any, please let me know.  All of the bands will be $8.00, which is what Bondi Band sells them for, but with me, you save on both sales tax AND shipping!!  Win-Win right???

If you are interested, email me here so we can work out the details.  I will keep this page on a side bar and update it periodically to let you know whats available.

First-The Lyrca--light sweat wicking.

1-Pink/Orange Animal Print
2-Green and Gray Xs
3-Green and Gray Xs
4 - Blue and White Swirl
5 - Pink and Black Animal Print
6 - Black and Silver Tiger
7 - Red and Black Tiger
8 - Blue Animal Print

1 -  Purple Polka Dots
2 - Multi Colored Dots
3 - White with Small Flowers
4 - Brown Tropical
5 - Hot Pink Print
6 - Orange Print (2)
7 - Black, White and Print Print (2)
8 - Blue and Black Leaves

1 - Brown and Blue Hearts
2 - Blue and White Herringbone
3 - Black and Silver Diamonds
4 - Spiderwebs
5 - Solid Black with White Dots
6 - Pastel Print
7 - Brown with Tropical Motif
8 - White with Dots and Flowers (2)
1 - Black Tropical (2)
2 - Pink Camo
3- White with Pink and Navy Flowers
4- Black with white and Pink floewrs
5 - Baby Blue with White dots and small hearts
6 - Light Blue with hearts
7 - Multi-colored stripes
8 - pink with Silver Metallic stripes

1 - Black with Silver Peace
2 - Black with Love and Peace
3 - Blue with Flowers and Peace
4-Tie Dye with Peace
5 - Pink, Navy and silver Peace
6 - Hot Pink with Silver Peace
7 - Red with Gold Ovals
8 - Brown with Gold Ovals

1 - Black with Sparkle Flowers
2 - Black with White Flowers
3 - White and Black waves with blue dots
4 - Whitw and Black Waves with Pink Dots
5- White with multi colored dots
6 - Purple, Blue and white
7- Green, orange, and white flowers
8--Orange, Yellow and Maroon
1- Orange Stripe
2 - Green Stripe
3 - Pink Stripe (2)
4 - Multi Color Polka Dot
5- Black w Red Polka Dots
6 - Brown with multi color dots
7 - Blue with Small Dots
8 - Black with various dots
9 - Light blue with white dots

1-Yellow Bandana Print
2- Pretty Purple
3 - Orange Print
4 - Brown Print
Team in Training--Heavy Wicking
1 - Black (2)
2 - Forest Green
3 - Brown
4 - blue (2)
5 - Gray
6 - Pink

Solid--heavy wicking

1 - Blue (2)
2 - Brown (2)
3 - Grayish Green (sage green)(2)
4 - Black (2)
5 - Pink (2)
6 - Grayish Blue (2)
7 - Green (2)
8 - Cream (2)
1 - Kahki
2 - Navy
3 - Hot Pink
4 - Green
5 - Yellow
6 - Orange
7 - Sky Blue
8 - Texas Orange (Courtney, this made me think of you!!!)
1 - Pink w Tiara
2 - Blue w Tiara
3 - Black w Tiara
4 - Will Run for Wine
5 - White with Red Hearts

If you see one on Bondi Band's website you like better, let me know and I will see if I can exchange out a few of what I have for other items.

Check back in the next week or so--I believe I have gathered enough items to have an online raffle .

I am off to make sure the house is ready for the 6 inches of rain we are potentially going to get tomorrow. 

Happy Running all!!!