Monday, April 9, 2012


If you have subscribed to my RSS feed (first thank you!) I just want to let you know that I will no longer be posting at this site. If you would like to continue to read HMR, I am now at
I have a whole new look and now I am self-hosted (YAY). Please take note, that you will not get any updates if you are on my old feed (you will have to sign up on my new site). Sorry about the inconvenience, but HMR is going to be a lot more fun for everyone!


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Precautions to take when you workout sick

It happened, my munchkin man got me sick. No race this weekend, skipped a 5 miler on Wednesday, passed on the zoo Friday <insert sigh> plans just didn't work out. But after one day of rest I was itching to be active again.

During my doctors visit I was told that I had to take it easy. My heart rate was higher than normal. So when I started my routine I made sure I was monitoring my heart.

While completing my workout I took precautions to make sure I wasn't going to do more harm than good.

(1) Stay hydrated and drink electrolytes. Dehydration is a problem when you're sick. Add in the extra sweat and it can accelerate the problem.

Keep your drink handy so you don't have to stop to rehydrate.

Nuun is a good way to get electrolytes without the unnecessary sugar.

(2) Make sure you have something to eat before hand. I do not eat much when I'm sick because my stomach doesn't cooperate. But if I do any kind of physical activity I know it's important to consume something before hand. It helps from getting dizzy and passing out.

TryChips are great source of fuel they are all natural and very easy on the digestive system.

(3) Listen to your body. When I started my cardio workout I knew it was too much, so I decided to change my routine and do some easy strength training.
Utilize the space in your house. The long hallway in mine is great for lunges.

(4) Stay away from forms of exercises where you move quickly between different height levels (for example Burpees). I love a good Burpee but when you have sinus pressure the quick movement down and up can cause dizziness. Instead, do exercises that are centered on one level (like one legged plank).
Keep it easy.

(5) Don't workout in public. If you are contagious stay home or do your workout where you won't have to worry about interacting with other people. Don't pass your cold. It's not polite.

Don't spread your germs!

Friday, March 30, 2012

My Nuun Hood to Coast Video Submission

I have decided to submit an application for the Nuun Hood to Coast Relay Team. This experience looks amazing! The Hood to Coast Relay is a 197 mile relay race that takes place August 24 - 25. I absolutely LOVE Nuun, and to run for a company whose product I really support would be an amazing experience. The aspect I am most excited about (if selected) would be running with a handful of women who appreciate the sport as much as I do!

If you are interested in applying the application can be found here

You can watch the official 2011 Nuun Hood to Coast video here

My submission video for this years team can be found below. Keeping my fingers crossed. The teams will be announced April 24th.

Nuun Hood to Coast Video by Happy Mother Runner

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rocking my Race on the Sidelines

The inevitable happened. I got sick. No matter how many times I cleaned the door handles, washed my sons hands, and drank airborne...I still got sick. The timing is awful. I have the Atlantic City April Fools Half Marathon on Sunday. So in a worried haste I went to my doctor. As I sat there waiting to be seen I played the scenario in my head. The Dr. would say, "Amanda, just take these pills you will feel 100% by tomorrow and you will crush your race on Sunday."

Well, that wasn't necessarily what happened. Instead I heard, "You came in just in time. The infection is located in your nasal cavity and throat. It hasn't gone to the ears. You need to get a lot of rest and fluids. NO RUNNING. You will suffer from major dehydration if you push your body in a half marathon."

I was disappointed. As I went over to the pharmacy to pick-up my antibiotics I couldn't help but feel sad. This was suppose to be my 6th half marathon in 7 months. The course is suppose to be beautiful and the medals are suppose to be awesome.

While waiting for my prescription to be filled I browsed the aisles. At the end of the last aisle in the store was neon poster-board. In that moment I decided to not let this sinus infection get me down. Instead of sulking about missing one race, I am going to go out there an be an amazing spectator. So along with two pieces of poster-board I picked up three bags of Hersey's kisses.

In every race I have ran there has been at least one amazing spectator. At the Disney marathon relay a TNT member chewed my foot bandage off. At the Hyannis Half a paramedic chased me for two minutes to let me know I was going in the wrong direction. When running the Rock and Roll USA DC Half Marathon a group of college students were handing beer out at mile 9(ish). Now it's my turn to provide the runners with some humor with my signs and appreciation with chocolate.

My roll has changed, but my attitude hasn't. I am still going to go rock it, even if it's on the sidelines.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Father's Birds and Bees Advice Ringing True Years Later

One day, when I was 16, my father called me into the kitchen. He motioned for me to sit at the dining-room table next to him. As I sat there, I scanned my memory for any possible action I could have done that warranted getting into trouble. I couldn't look my father in the eyes, I didn't want him to see my nervousness. As the moments went by I noticed that he was also nervous. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw him open his mouth trying to say something, then close it quickly. I knew he was trying to speak to me about something important but didn't know how to start. So I took a deep breath and quickly said, "I'm sorry for whatever I did."
My father looked startled, "You didn't do anything."
"Really? Then why am I here?"
My father blushed a little and in a cautious tone said "We need to have the talk."

This caught me off guard. I was 16 and was well aware of the birds and bees. But I sat there quietly waiting for him to proceed. "I know you understand what sex is. But you are a woman now and there is more to it then what you think. Promise me when you find yourself in the situation you will keep stuff in mind?" I nodded at him, not sure where this was going. "First never let anyone make you feel that you have to, ummm, do it. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean you have to."
"Ok" I whispered.
"Be sure that you are prepared. The consequences of going into it unprepared are big. You have a lot to lose, don't risk it."
I nodded.
"It has to feel natural. Let it be the next step in your relationship."
I still couldn't look him in the eyes, but I could see he was holding back tears.
"Be truly in love. You want to look back on that moment and smile. You don't want to feel regret for a moment in time that is everlasting."
"Ok. Is that all?"
"If it's right you will enjoy it. You will feel excited and scared. But also happy. You will know it's right."

I sat there quietly. I was trying to take it all in. But for a 16 year old the conversation was pretty intense. I got up from the table and hugged him, grabbed my purse, and went over to my friends house. My fathers talk and intentions were sincere. And I listened. I had many boyfriends but the timing wasn't right,  I wasn't ready or in love. So whenever I was in the moment with a boyfriend where the question "are you ready" was asked, I would say no. Granted, I was dumped numerous times and was called many names. But when the time did come and it was right, it all fell into place. Never have I regretted it.

Recently my fathers "first time" talk has rung true (even all these years later). But the funny thing was, it had nothing to do with sex. In January my husband started nagging me to sign up for my first  marathon. And during one of our conversations I told him that I was not ready and I am not running one (yet) just because everyone else was. The hubby told me not to worry and we started to talk about something else. I had a few marathons on my "I would really love to" list, but not 100% ready I put them in the back of my mind.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was sitting at my computer entering in my weekly mileage into DailyMile and something clicked inside my head. I love and respect running. I have been training hard and the next step is a longer distance. I have a long way to go but I can be prepared if I keep up with my training. This is the natural progression of my relationship with the sport.

That night at dinner I looked at my husband and said "I'm ready."
He just stared at me puzzled.
"I'm ready to register for my first marathon."
"AWESOME! Which one do you want to do?"
"I am thinking the Marine Corps"
"Are you sure you are ready for this? We can wait."
"I'm ready. It's the next step."

When registration opened, I sat there waiting patiently to sign up. When I finally saw that we were confirmed to run I was excited, nervous, happy, and ready. At that moment it hit me. Even though my father has been gone for years, his words swirled in my head. I laughed. Never did I think his "first time" advice would apply to my running. But it did. I was proud to have waited. This moment felt perfect and right, one that I will never regret. But now it's time to prepare.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Keeping the Sniffles Out of Your House - Preventing the Spring Cold

As a runner I have a some common fears which include shin splints, stress fractures, and plantar fasciitis. But as a mother and runner my biggest fear is the flu (even a cold). It's just my luck, the moment Mother Nature graces us with beautiful weather I get a phone call at work about MG being sick. I spent my lunch time searching "Spring Flu", "Preventing Flu", and "toddler colds". How is a mom to deal? From my findings in my Google research and my personal experience, here are some tips on making sure you prevent or beat the spring flu.

Eat Foods that Fight the Flu and Common Cold
There are some good flu fighting foods out there. They include foods rich in calcium (vitamin D is good at helping fight germs), vitamin C enriched fruits and veggies (oranges and red bell peppers), green tea (helps relieve inflammation), berries full of antioxidants (blueberries and strawberries), and healthy carbohydrates (full of zinc).

Take Everyday Precautions
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze.
- Stay away from touching your face (mouth, nose, and eyes).
- If your child is sick DON'T SEND THEM TO SCHOOL! If you are sick stay home from work.
-Disinfect. Germs can live up to three hours on objects, so if you have a sick child clean door handles, toys, and anything else your child may have touched, sneezed on, or licked.

One of the easiest ways to combat the cold and flu is to stay healthy.  If you are not feeling sick try not to skip your workout. If you start to feel sick transfer your workout routine to your house and complete what you can comfortably do in your current condition.

Get Fresh Air
Since the weather is warmer, open your windows to let some fresh air in. It will help energize everyone stuck indoors. If you and the kids are up for a walk, take one. Just make sure you stay away from other children and playgrounds. Sometimes fresh air is exactly what a sick family needs.

I wish everyone a cold/flu free spring!

Carin Gorrell (March 13, 2012). 10 Best Foods to Fight Off Your Spring Cold and Flu. Posted on ABC News

Monday, March 26, 2012

Daily Happenings for a Happy Mother Runner

Last week was pretty nice. Not a whole lot of craziness, but just enough excitement to keep me happy.

Thursday my PhD adviser told me that I don't have to take any classes next semester. Instead I can begin my pilot research and work on my literature review. This was the greatest news because I have been feeling really stuck in my studies lately. I know a PhD isn't easy, but I am 5 years in and I just feel like I am not moving. This is the worst feeling when you want to get out and start life. I am also starting to wonder what I am going to be doing after graduation. So if any of you know of awesome jobs that want to hire a PhD in Instructional Technology and Media with a focus in Developmental Child Psychology, please let me know!

PhD Comics are what most graduate students live off of to bring some humor into a very stressful environment.

Friday I went to FinishLine PT and ran on the AlterG. I can't get over how amazing it was to run with almost no pressure on my lower body. It does motivate me to lose a little more weight. (The Verdict is...FinishLine Rocks!)

Saturday I was informed that I was given a scholarship to attend the Fitness and Health Blogger Conference taking place in Denver during the third weekend in June. The conference "discusses the communication of cutting-edge fitness and health information to the public via the internet with the goal of combating obesity and improving wellness." It also provides many opportunities to take part in seminars and classes. I am really excited about being a part of this.

Sunday was Greece's Independence Day. Since I am Greek Orthodox and married to a Greek man, we partook in the festivities (I made sure to get my cross training class in before we headed out, talk about a busy Sunday!). The whole family headed down to the parade that took place on 5th ave in Manhattan. MG was dressed in the traditional Greek military uniform. He had so much fun, and some of the pictures that were taken were just stunning. It was nice to have a large positive community gathering during a time of struggle and rebellion happening in Greece.

What is happening this week?
I started off my Monday as a Guest Blogger on Running with Sass. Please check it out! Heather has an amazing blog and I am honored to have one of my posts featured. The post that I wrote is titled "Tips for the Active Mom".

Hubby and I have another half marathon coming up on Sunday. It is the Atlantic City April Fools Day Half Marathon.

And my followers and friends submitted 6 votes for me this past weekend. That means I have a 6 mile run dedicated to all of you! If you have a minute please take the time to vote for me for the Fitness Magazine Blogger Award. Thanks for all your support!

Other then that, we will see where life takes me this week :)

Week 8 Recap

Monday - Rest Day

Tuesday - 4 mile walk

Wednesday - Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

Thursday - Hill Run - 2 miles

Friday - Tempo Run - 3 miles

Saturday - Interval Run - 3 miles, Hip Abduction (30@ 50lbs), Hip Adductor (30@50lbs), Glutes (30@50lbs)

Sunday - 1 hour of UXF (strength training and cardio conditioning) & 1 mile run

#PROOF Photos for the Week

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Favorite Blog Posts From This Week (March 18, 2012)

Here are some great reads from fellow runners this past week.

I'm That Mom and I'm ok With it - by MCM Mama
What's Your Mantra? - by Another Mother Runner
How to Save a Life - by Run Faster Mommy
A Father's Influence - by Pavement Runner
An Open Letter to My Boobies - by The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail

Tips to Accomplish Your Spring Running Goals - by Live Run Love Yoga
You Know You - by Running with Sass
Top 10 Exercise Mistakes Women Make - by MizFit Online
Learn to Love Morning Workouts - by Angela at Eat, Spin, Run Repeat
Benefits of Morning Runs - by Live Run :Love Yoga

Sh*t Non-Runners Say - by Wild Things Run Free
Are You a Mother Runner - by Ultra Chicks Unite
Funny Foto Friday - by The Boring Runner

Nutrition & Recipes
Happy Meals - by Women's Endurance Gear
Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salad - by Laylita's Recipes

Lessons Only A Race Can Teach Us - by Women's Running Magazine
I Did What?! - by RunWiki

How to Run Through Allergy Season - by Run to the Finish

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Guess What I Have For You! Support, Motivation, & Direction

Today I am announcing some exciting news! I am looking for 3 people that want to get off the couch to run or have just started running. I am looking for readers who feel that they need more support, motivation, and direction in their running adventures.

I am putting together a small virtual running group for beginners. The intent is to provide you with a support system that will encourage you to complete your goals. I am starting off with 3 people and seeing how well this works before making it a larger group.

How does it work?
The requirements are the following:
(1) You will first set a goal (5K, 10K, 15k, Half Marathon, etc or weight loss goals).
(2) You will choose a plan (if not already selected) to help you accomplish your running goals.
(3) You will record each workout (timing device or photo) to share with the HMR Community.
(4) You will check-in with your progress every week. During this time, I will also answer questions.
(5) Your progress will be recorded on HMR. Where you will also be asked to do a few guest posts about your training, accomplishments, road blocks, etc.
(6) At the end of all your work you will run your race!

*The goal is have the environment to be held accountable for your workouts and runs. This will provide that necessary accountability that many feel they are lacking

If you are interested in partaking in Team Happy Mother Runner and would like to be considered. Please answer the following questions and send your responses to
1) Name
2) City
3) Are you running yet? If yes, what is your longest distance completed and average pace?
4) What has drawn you to running?
5) What are your most important goals that you want to accomplish?
6) Do you have Skype or Google chat? What way do you feel best communicating online?
The deadline to submit your information is April 7th. Three runners will be chosen shortly after.
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

Until next time...
Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!

Future Runner Shirt Winner Is....

Angela from Happy Fit Mama! Congratulations Angela. Please send the preferred shirt size for you child; as well as, the shipping address that you would like your child swag sent to!

Thank you all for reading and participating!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Verdict is... FinishLine Rocks!

As you may have figured out from my tweets & Facebook updates my hip has been giving me some major problems. When I went to the Multisport Expo (a few weeks ago) I met some amazing people from FinishLine PT who were giving away 1 free visit and assessment. After much thought, I decided to give it a try. So I scheduled an appointment.

When I arrived at FinishLine, the first person I met was Andre. He knew my name before I even introduced myself and he was extremely welcoming. Then came Sara! We chatted a little bit about half marathons and then I headed off to the changing room.

The FinishLine PT office is one of the coolest PT places I have been. Picture taken from
Once I was in my running gear I met with Erica, who got me ready for the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill. The AlterG allows you to run at a set % of your weight (ranging from 20 -100). Before I hopped on the AlterG I had to put on a pair of neoprene shorts that zipped into the machine making for a complete pressurized chamber. Once zipped in and pressurized, the machine took my exact weight. Then I was off and running.

I started off with the AlterG set at 75% of my body weight (108lbs). I did feel lighter in my run. After a few minutes Andre came over to tell me to fluctuate the body weight setting so I could really see what it felt like to run with no pressure. I decreased the body weight option slowly; because I had no idea what to expect. When I hit 30%  I felt like I was running on marshmallows with the stride of a gazelle. I was float-running; the only part of my body hitting the ground was my toes. Absolutely amazing! I admit that the 30 minute run on the AlterG has changed my outlook on how much improvement I need in my running form.

Running at 30% of my body weight. Which is approximately 43 lbs!
After completing my run on the AlterG, I met with Brynn who performed my gait analysis. Like having a pair of running shoes professionally fitted, FinishLine uses a camera setup to record your run/walk on the treadmill (not the AlterG). After 45 seconds of walking, Brynn had me come off the machine to take a look at my video. FinishLine uses an in-depth program, OptoJump, that analyzes everything from my stride to my how my hips move. From the analysis it was confirmed that the pain in my hip is not coming from my IT Band (oh thank goodness!). The problem actually lies in my weak hips. Because of the lack of strength in my hips, I'm not using the correct muscles when I run. My glutes aren't firing and my pelvis is not tilting correctly (I think I got that right).

The OptoJump software is awesome for a tech nerd like me!
I am still surprised that all of this pain stems from the fact that my hip muscles are not as strong as they should be. So guess what I'm focusing on? Yep, some intense cross training that centers on muscle strength in my lower body. I will also be making my next appointment to see a PT at FinishLine because I think that with some guidance I can become a much stronger and faster runner (SCORE!).

If you are in the New York area and are interested in having an analysis done, you can find out more at or by calling 212.486.8573.

Until next time...
Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

For every vote I will do what?!?!?!

I am putting it out there in the Blogiverse (Blog Universe), for every vote I get from now until this Sunday at midnight I will run one mile! I already have one vote (started at 70), so that's one mile! Let's see how far you gals and gents (my readers/followers) are willing to push me :) I will videotape a before and after.... make me earn that sweat!

You can vote for my blog by clicking on the badge below and registering. Registration is quick and if you don't want to receive emails you can opt out of all. THANK YOU!!!

Until next time...
Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!

Slow Runners Shouldn't Race (well at least that's what I'm told)

Pearl Izumi recently came out with an ad that states "The Marathon. Once a test of will, now a test of patience."

I understand that there is A LOT of controversy over slow runners partaking in ultras, marathons, and half marathons. There is now an overarching assumption that the sport of running has been weakened by those who aren't fast and/or elite.

As a slow runner I am not offended, but more disappointed that people see me for my speed instead of looking at my effort. I am out running 4 times a week. I have decreased my pace by 2 minutes per mile over the last year. And I have NEVER disrespected a race and have always pushed myself to be better.

I PAY to participate in races I know I have no chance of winning. I also cheer on those who are "fast" and look-up to runners who are considered elite. I recently saw a comment on a post out there in the Internet Universe that said something along the lines of "You aren't a true 'Runner' if you can't qualify for Boston." I may never qualify for Boston, but I do dream that maybe (one day years from now) I just might make it.

I feel like a lot of the controversy stems from the fact that running has no 'real' rules. Anyone can do it. The idea of calling a slow runner an "Athlete" (gasp) boggles the minds of many.

But the real question is, "what's the big deal?" As long as I am not in front of you in a race and I pull to the side when you're lapping me (yes I do) what is the problem? I never register for a race that I do not meet the pace/time requirements. So there should be no reason why the water stations have nothing left for me or that the volunteers are taking down the finish line before I cross.

I just ask for the same consideration from running companies, race organizers, and other runners that I give to them. Putting down the little (slow) guy isn't any way to increase profits, race registrations, or make friends.

I AM A RUNNER. Maybe a slow one... but who are you to judge?

A reader of HMR posted this link "Pearl Izumi Ads Separate the Runners From the Pussies… I Mean Joggers" explaining why Pearl is right in their campaign.<--- this blog post has since been deleted and has been replaced with a public apology "Pearl Izumi and Pussy Apology
I do want to acknowledge something Vanessa said "Runners are runners. Runners KNOW they are runners. Runners are NOT defined by an ad campaign." She really is sincere in the fact that we shouldn't let others define us. As I stated above "Who are you to judge?" We know who we are and will not let othera define us!
To Vanessa (if you ever read this, which I doubt) keep strong! I may not have shared your view on the subject (100%) but I respect the idea that all people have different views on topics. Your intent at trying to tell people not to let a campaign define them was heard and I respected that.


Another reader, Elizabeth, received a response from Pearl after she sent them an email explaining her distaste for their marketing campaign and this is their response (also found below in the comments):

Dear Elizabeth,

We really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts about the Run like an Animal Marathon Ad. This is actually an Ad from 2010 that we decided not to run any longer; we are currently trying to discover where this ad was disseminated?! Please let us know where you saw this!

I apologize that the ad struck such a negative cord with you. Our only intention is to inspire runners to get out and run. This was never about being an elite athlete or the time you finish a race. This is about a state of mind. We want people to challenge themselves and test their limits. We want you to feel great about being a runner and we want to celebrate the human effort to push yourself to be as good as you can be. We consider anyone who is out there testing their limits and trying to be improve to a runner.
Please accept our sincere apology!


Kody Riley

And also...

Elle posted a link to a public apology made today by Pearl. Here is what they said:
"Hey everyone, we really appreciate you taking the time to share you thoughts about the Run like an Animal Marathon ad. This is actually an Ad from 2010 that we decided not to run any longer; we are currently trying to discover where this ad was disseminated?! Please let us know where you saw this! I apologize that the ad struck such a negative cord with you. Our only intention is to inspire runners to get out and run. This was never about being an elite athlete or the time you finish a race. This is about a state of mind. We want people to challenge themselves and test their limits. We want you to feel great about being a runner and we want to celebrate the human effort to push yourself to be as good as you can be. We consider anyone who is out there testing their limits and trying to be improve to a runner. Please accept our sincere apology!"
** Any other update or opinions I would love to see and share!**

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesdays: Brooks Women's Infiniti Jacket (GIVEAWAY)

Like most runners, I have important pieces of gear in my wardrobe. I do have a lucky pair of race socks, favorite undies, as well as a go to jacket. My go to jacket is the Infiniti from Brooks. I don't only use it for running, but I also throw it on when doing errands or taking a walk. I LOVE this jacket for a few big reasons:

1.) The Infiniti doesn't necessarily look like a running jacket
2.) It has a million pockets (ok not really a million, but enough that I don't have to wear a SPI belt).
3.) It does a great job at keeping you warm and shielding the wind. Perfect for mild conditions.
4.) The Infiniti is waterproof.

Brooks did a great job with the design as well as color selection (with options in Cobalt, Cerise, and White). The Infiniti details can be read below:
  • Full zip jacket with lockdown zipper, garage and decorated wind flap
  • Windproof and water-resistant material with Durable Water Repellent Coat (not seam-sealed)
  • Perforated back for venting
  • Soft, lightly brushed collar
  • Side hand zipper pocket (6"W x 7"H)
  • Color contrast paneling
  • 3M Scotchlite reflectivity front and back
  • Moisture-proof media pocket on left bottom (2.5"W x 4"H)
  • NOTE to customers with longer arms: sleeves are slightly shorter than average jackets
Infiniti Shelter (100% Polyester), a lightweight windproof and water resistant fabric with a sheen, silky hand

This is a great spring jacket because it's not too heavy, but perfect for cool days.
Where can you find it? Running Warehouse ($49.88), Amazon ($65.00), RoadRunner Sports ($89.99), Brooks ($65.00).

- If you go with Running Warehouse the coupon code FB15D will get you an extra 15% off ($7.00 savings)
- If you go with Road Runner Sports the coupon code CX12D054 will get you 10% off and free shipping.

**How to win a Brooks Infiniti Running Jacket**
+1 entry - Like me on Facebook at
+1 entry - Make a facebook status that says "@Happy Mother Runner I want to win the Brooks Infiniti Running Jacket." Then post on my facebook saying "I entered to win the Brooks Infiniti Running Jacket."
+1 entry - Follow me on twitter @HappyMotherRun
+1 entry - Tweet @HappyMotherRun I want to win the Brooks Infiniti Running Jacket.

+1 entry - Tell me in the comments below what your favorite part of spring is.

A lucky winner will be randomly chosen using on  April 7th.

Until next time...
Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rock 'N' Roll USA (DC) Day 2

Today is race day!

Hubby finally arrived in DC! Granted it was 11:30pm and he had to take a plane (a great friend hooked him up), but he made it. So bedtime came a little later than I had hoped; I finally fell asleep around 12:30.

The alarm went off at 6:00 am and I felt exhausted. My prerace jitters got the best of me and I didn't sleep as soundly as I liked. After getting ready and hurrying out the door we finally made it to the metro station (which DC opened an hour early).

When we arrived at our transfer point, the trains were having major problems. Which meant there were 20,000 runners stuck waiting for long periods to squeeze into a small space on the train.

When we finally arrived at our station, I couldn't help but turn around at the top of the stairs and look down (of course out of the way of foot traffic). The sea of runners was insane.

Once out of the metro, we made our way to our corrals. As I found my pacer (2:45), my hubby whispered to me that he would be running with me today because he was exhausted (both mentally and physically from work). Hubby only ran one run with me during training, so the fact he wanted to run a whole race with me was surprising. He is substantially faster than me, so I was pumped to have him run alongside me for 13.1.

As the race started, the corrals moved smoothly through the start. Runners were spreading out nicely and it didn't feel like people were on top of each other. Not once did I feel like I was being squeezed to the shoulder of the road.

Mile one went by pretty fast.  I kept a really steady pace and was pretty proud of the speed. As we reached the mile one marker a female spectator was yelling, "Yo! You running through the hood! Run faster!" My hubby and I looked at each other and laughed.

Mile two I stopped to use the bathroom. I hesitated because I didn't want to lose my pacer, who was only a few yards in front of me. I hate my bladder (will do a separate post about it a different day). But the pit-stop cost me 3 minutes. The port-a-potties were disgusting, pee all over (I mean on the walls, floor, seat, etc). And there were so few of them as the race went on. Definitely not enough for 25,000 people to utilize. After I was finished I hurried outside to find my husband motioning for me to get a move on, "You got to pick up your pace a little bit to make-up for the time you were in the bathroom". I nodded and sped up to a comfortable fast.

The first five miles were pretty uneventful. But the scenery was nice; we passed the Capital Building, Washington Monument, the Smithsonian's, and ran Constitution Avenue. There were great spectators. Some cute signs. One family waved a sign for their daughter, Ali, that said "Don't Dilidalie Ali, Beer Awaits." It made me smile. A group of people who were part of the Fallen Soldiers had flags set up and it lined half a block. Everyone seemed to fall quite when they passed. During this whole time I hadn't seen the pacer, but I held hope that I could catch her. A little after mile 4, I saw her turning a corner. I got excited and told my husband we can get to her if we increase speed just a little bit. He told me to not push to hard and we would catch her soon. I sorta listened. I sped up gradually. And just short of mile 5 I had caught her. I was happy.

Just after we passed the mile 5 marker I started to feel like I was losing some steam. I had just climbed our first massive hill. So I took 3 Shot Blocks. It took a while to feel the energy comeback, but my husband kept pushing me forward. I took a short walk break and we continued. My bladder started to act-up and I told my hubby that I might have to pee. We saw some bathrooms, but the line was at least 20 deep. Hubby motioned to pull off the road towards the line, I shook my head no. I couldn't afford to lose the valuable time.

Miles 6-8 had some crazy hills. CRAZY! I walked a few and coasted down the downhill. But hubby wouldn't let me walk them all, he would say "you trained for this, utilize it" or "keep strong". It helped. I ran up most of them, and while doing it I would say "I eat hills for breakfast!" Hubby would just giggle and keep going. At mile 7 I felt tired. I lost a lot of energy running up those hills, and it really did have an impact on my time. It was the worst mile I ran at 13.43 minutes, it was over two minutes slower then my good pacing. Mile 8 I took a few more Shot Blocks and I started to feel the energy come back in. I felt strong and I utilized it.

The spectators in the later miles were amazing. We were now running through neighborhoods, and people were on their porches and sitting on their lawns cheering us on. One group of young adults were giving out cups of cold beer. COLD BEER! Oh how much I just wanted a sip, but I didn't want to risk it. I had never had beer while running and I had a mission to accomplish.

Mile 10 volunteers were handing out Gu, I passed it because I had my own sustenance. I should have used that as a sign that I needed to have something soon. Miles 10 and 11 I cruised through. I felt strong and hubby kept me going. I had been keeping my pacer in front of me most of the time, but at mile 10 I passed her. I had the energy, I didn't push myself and I knew it was the right thing to do. The rest of the race I felt like I was being chased. I did not want for her to pass me. If I could accomplish this, I had my PR in the bag.

Mile 12 was brutal. It was getting hot and my energy was running out. Hubby kept telling me to run just a little faster. I couldn't, my back was killing me and I just wanted to walk with everyone else I saw walking. I saw my hubby glance back. The look was disappointment. "What is it?" He didn't answer me. He didn't have to. 3 to 4 seconds later my pacer was beside me. I had slowed down and she caught up and passed me eventually. But I wouldn't let this happen. My brain turned into crazy mantra mode, I started saying out-loud "Pain is temporary, Pride is forever" over and over. It helped, because on a uphill I passed them.

Mile 12.6 I knew the finish line was around the corner. But I was exhausted. I wanted to stop. Not once during this race did I say I wanted to quit. Until that point. I told hubby "I'm done. My feet can't go anymore." He shook his head no and said "push". So I did. I ran that uphill to the finish (this was very mean of the race organizers to put a finish on an uphill like this). And as I got to about 20 yards from the finish line I began to sob. I couldn't help it. The harder I ran the harder I cried. But I pushed. And I finished.

My unofficial Garmin said 2:45. I did it I had a PR. Thanks to my hubby and my Personal Trainer, Alexandra. My official time was 2:44:59 (even better). As I sat at the finish line trying to gain composure, I watched my pacer come through. I had done it. The feeling was crazy. I was so proud of myself, of my husband for pushing me, and us as a couple for working together. It was amazing. I beat my previous PR (from Oct) by 6 minutes and 42 seconds. As I sat in a chair waiting to get ice for my knees, I heard the live band Switchfoot start their next song. They begun singing Dare You to Move. I just closed my eyes and lived in that moment, and it felt great.

My Mile by Mile Breakdown

* After looking at my results and really thinking about how I felt during certain times of my race, I have come to the conclusion I need to adjust when I take my energy bars. I think I could have avoided those slow times at miles 5, 7, and 12 if I had gave myself the blocks a little earlier.

The Overall Pace and Course Elevation Graph

The Race
- Water stations were in abundance. At least 1 every other mile. They had supplies of water and Gatorade.
- Food after the race was also abundant. Tons of bagels, bananas, water, Gatorade, and chocolate milk.
- The first medical tent post race was swamped. The second tent had more people helping. Response time post race was fast.
- I only saw one medical tent on course and a few medical people sprinkled around the miles. This was slightly disturbing for such a large race.
- There were not enough restrooms on course for 25,000 people.
- People have been complaining that there was not enough on-course entertainment, I didn't mind. But I am not a big on-course entertainment person.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Case of the Mondays

Have you ever seen Office Space? If you have you probably remember the clip below. Don't you just want to scream!?

For me I am having a horrible case of the Monday's. A lot stems from an amazing and emotionally charged race on Saturday that has given me the running blues, as well as <insert whisper> that time of the month, and the very basic fact that it is Monday. I have been trying to find things around me that make me smile and think, "Monday isn't so bad!" So here it is, my anti-case of the Monday's list.

#1 - Really taking in the the beauty that is NYC.

#2 - Seeing a group of small children watching the trains pass by and getting the conductor to honk his/her horn.

#3 - Spotting a poster with crazy discounted tickets to go see Spider Man the musical

#4 - Realizing that I shouldn't feel blue about an amazing race. Instead I should be depressed by the pile of readings I have stacked on my desk... <sigh> graduate school stinks!

#5 - An amazing salad for lunch with mixed greens, apples, cranberries, turkey, tomatoes, and eggplant. Yummy.

#6 - Seeing a professor cruise down a hall on a non-motorized scooter (no picture, sorry)

#7 - Passing by an office of an elderly man, who is sitting at his desk jamming out to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack (no picture, sorry)

#8 - This face.

#9 - And this face.

After writing this post Monday doesn't seem so bad after all!

Week 7 Recap

Week 7 Recap

Monday - 100 squats, 2 minutes of step ups, 125 sit-ups, 2 minutes of wall sits with shoulder press, 50 side lunges, Pull downs (30 reps @ 30lbs), shoulder press (30 reps @ 15lbs), chest press (30 reps @15lbs)

Tuesday - 1 hour of lower backing and hip stretching

Wednesday - 20 pushups , 30 seconds of Mountain Climbers , 20 squats , 30 seconds high knees, 15 shoulder presses, 30 seconds Mountain Climbers, 20 tricep dips, 30 seconds squat jumps, one minute walking lunges with a bicep curl (or just curls if your legs are tired), 30 seconds 3 Level Mountain Climber...Repeat 3X’s! Found on NherShoes  

Thursday - 4 mile run

Friday - Rest Day

Saturday - Rock N Roll USA DC Half Marathon

Sunday - Rest Day

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rock 'N' Roll USA (DC) Day 1

Written on Saturday 3/16/2012
Today I set off for my next adventure running adventure…The Rock & Roll Half Marathon in DC. I am beyond excited for this race. Running through the National Mall, pass the white house, underneath the cheery blossoms. In all honesty, out of all the races I have ran to date, this one is by far the one I am most looking forward to. I just hope it lives up to the mental hype I have going on in my head right now.

On the flip side of things, the planning process has been a crap-storm for this race. As a compulsive planner, everything is always setup and ready to go weeks in advance. But because of a minor snafu, my husband had to work on Thursday and Friday. Instead of arriving in DC Thursday afternoon and enjoying the day seeing the city and attending expo on Friday; I left this morning by myself. Hubby will be arriving late tonight via plane because he has officially missed his bus. The most important thing is that we both get to the starting line.

Today started with a 5:30am alarm that taunted me until I reluctantly rolled out of bed after a brief 5 hours of sleep. I had to be on a bus in Manhattan by 7:30am. On our way to the bus station, we drove by the Today Show where I saw Matt and Al sitting in their newscaster chairs laughing about something. Here I am watching two ‘celebrities’ and thinking “If I don’t make this bus, I am going to miss bib pickup and I might kill somebody!” Oh how my outlook on life has changed. I arrived at the station just is time to climb on the bus; within five minutes we were on our way.
Long Line for MegaBus
The trip went smoothly, nothing too crazy. The bus was packed to the max and was slightly hot on-board. Not to mention the toilet must have backed-up because the smell started to seep through the bus during the last 30 minutes of our trip. During the trip I regretted not buying a cup of coffee and some breakfast before getting on board. Besides my deep thoughts of caffeine, I spent most of my time reading Running On Empty by Marshall Ulrich. Great book, but it did cause me to shed some tears. Probably not the best choice for a light read on a packed bus.

Once to the hotel, I got checked in and headed to my room. I reserved a room through Pricelines name your own price and I got the Hotel Monaco. This place is pretty cool, but the hallways do give off a slight “The Shinning” vibe. Once in my room I noticed no bathtub! So I called down to request a room with the right “half marathoner” facilities. They moved me to the first floor, which was right below ground level. The whole place smelled like stale cigarettes. After sitting in the room for 20 minutes I decided that it wasn’t worth the switch, so I called the front desk and ask for our old room back. They were more than polite and understanding.

What?! No Bathtub!

 After I finally got settled in I headed over to expo. I arrived at 2 on Friday so the foot traffic wasn’t horrendous. The shirts were pretty cool and we got one free Gu in our race packet. The expo was pretty interesting, with Brooks having a carnival type atmosphere right after you left packet pickup. Other than that the thing I found most interesting was the Brooks changing rooms. Totally hilarious!

After expo I went back to the room, started to do my hydrating, put out our racing gear, and ordered pasta for dinner.
Hydrating Time!

Seafood Pasta for Dinner
Running gear ready!

Now it is just time to sit and relax. I will probably do some foam rolling and read a little bit before we have dinner and head to bed. Race day tomorrow! 5th half marathon in 6 months!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Favorite Blog Posts From the Last Few Weeks

I have read some great blog posts and news stories the last few weeks and I really feel the need to share! I think it's a great way to connect readers with other forms of info and stories that are appealing and fun.

News Worthy Stories
Boston Marathons Black Market by Casey Lyons

Humorous Tales
Oops by Born to Plod
New Toys by Happy Fit Momma

Amazing Race Recaps
Little Su 50K Race Report Part 1 by la chanson de ma vie
Little Su 50K Race Report Part 2 by la chanson de ma vie

Inspiration and Motivation
26.2 Running Quotes by Mile Posts

Food and Recipes
A Recipe: Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, Spinach, Chicken and Beans by LiveRunLoveYoga

Nutrition Case Study: The Fourth Discipline by

Running and Exercise
Running on Vacation by Womens Running Magazine
Fit to the Core by Happy Fit Momma
TMT + New Workout Scedule by Nhershoes

Rants with Purpose & Meaning
Dear Competitor Group, Stop Overcharging by Mile Posts
Enough Already by MissZippy

Awesome Giveaways
Thank You Giveaway by Run to the Finish
Glambandz Giveaway by Running M.I.L.F

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Success isn't Always Measured Based on Miles

Most of all my posts revolve around running, it is a running blog after all. And the posts that don't revolve around running are usually about being MG's Mommy. But today is a little different. For the first time I am actually going to write about some work I have done professionally.

I am currently unemployed, due to the fact that my PhD program is crazy right now and I don't have the time for a full-time job. But when time does permit I do a lot of freelance work for television companies in their research department. My jobs usually involve researching scripts from children's television shows. From my research sessions, I pinpoint what is successful in the script (educational, humor, appeal, etc) and what aspects need to be changed. One show that I am extremely proud to have been a part of has finally placed a clip online publicizing their Fall airdate.

So to all my readers, I am proud to give you the first released clip of Daniel Tigers Neighborhood (yes the Mister Rogers Spinoff).

You can find it here:

I hope you enjoy!

Until next time...
Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!