Friday, May 30, 2014

friday five: five things in my gym bag

I'm linking up again with the DC gals for the Friday Five: Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed up for What?, and Mar at Mar on the Run. The theme for this week is five things in my gym bag. I don't belong to a gym anymore, but these are things that I bring with me when I do trail runs. Without further ado....

1. Sunscreen – I know this is a little weird, since most people's gym bags are for indoor activities, but since I'm going off of an outdoor activity, it makes sense for me. I have very fair skin that, honestly, begins to burn the instant it hits sunlight. So, for me, sunscreen is a must (plus, it's a important to use to help prevent things like skin cancer and early aging). I'm on the hunt for the perfect sports sunscreen, but have tried Coppertone Continuous Sport Spray and Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Spray. They were ok, but I'd love to find one that doesn't give me that greasy feeling. I don't remember for the Coppertone one, but I didn't like that after spraying the Neutrogena you then had to also wipe it in. I get you want even coverage, but if I wasn't near soap and water to wash my hands, then I am very likely to get it in my eyes, which burns (I rub my eyes a lot, and tend to forget that I shouldn't). Also, I like to have as few steps as possible. I've heard good things about Banana Boat, so I'm going to try that next. I also use the sunscreen sticks for my face and ears.

2. iPhone with Yurbuds – I need me some music when I'm running, and I love the Yurbuds Inspire Pro for Women. They stay in my ear, and I like being able to control the volume and skip songs via the 3-button dry mic. I've tried using Siri as well with the mic, but she never seems to be able to translate what I'm saying into text very well, but that's a Siri problem, not the earphones.

3. Water Bottle – I'm very particular about water bottles. I really love my Camelbak Eddy and Eddie Bauer Freezer water bottles. I don't use the freezer core on the EB often, but if I'll be out for a long time in the summer heat, I add it in. It's a great one to keep in the car for when I'm done, because it's still cold. I also love that both are 'no-spill', so they can be tipped upside down without make a mess. Another bonus is they both have nice tops with loops that I like to carry them by (with a finger or two). Sometimes my teeth start to hurt from having to bite the Camelbak, which is why the EB one is great – just a sip straw!

4. Chapstick - this is a must! I hate dry lips. For working out I use Chapsitck moisturizer (I don't like using the scented/'flavor' ones when I exercise, but love them for everyday use. EOS is my recent favorite).

5. Body/Face Wipes – After a sweaty, dusty trail run, I like to wipe down before having to get in the car and drive home. For the face, I really like the Simple brand wipes. I've tried both the Cleansing Facial Wipes and the Radiance Cleansing Wipes and liked them both. For body (which needs a bit more oomph than the face wipes provide), I've found that Action Wipes work really well.

There you have it! There's plenty of other things I bring/like to have in my 'gym' bag, but these are a few of my essentials (you know, other than the obvious—shoes, shirt, shorts, bra, socks, GPS watch is always a must, so include it with the shoes list haha).

What's in your gym bag? What are your must-haves? Anything unusual?

Thanks to CourtneyCynthia, and Mar for hosting! Make sure to check out their "Friday Five" posts and link up if you are joining in!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

week in review; may 19–25

Sorry for being two days late, but the weekend was a whirlwind and I barely had a chance to sit down! This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but for some reason, even though I had set up the schedule to post it, it didn't go up. I have to figure out why that was...

Monday, May 19: rest day

Tuesday, May 20: rest day

Wednesday, May 21: 2 mile walk

Thursday, May 22: 2.65 mile run

Friday, May 23: rest day

Saturday, May 24: #SF10; Soldier Field 10 Mile (unofficially 10.4 miles, official race 10 miles)

Sunday, May 25: rest day

The week itself was pretty uneventful. Thursday during my lunch break, I went to Fleet Feet in Old Town to grab the Soldier Field 10 Mile bibs and shirts for my mom and myself. That was a breeze, as are all pick ups at this location. The only snag was that the lady helping me had trouble finding our bibs at first, because we had signed up earlier in the week. They weren't in the pile they should have been (if we had signed up earlier), but she did eventually find them.

Friday night after work I met up with some couples at our friends brewery. We had some beer, pizza, and great conversations. I headed home around 8:45 so I could get my gear together and get some rest for the 10 mile race in the morning. (So far, my research of eating some greasy food and having a beer or two the night before a race has turned out pretty good results on race day. I shall continue my research until I have more conclusive results.)

Saturday morning was a 4:30 wake up call to get to Soldier Field for the 10 mile race. It was a beautiful day for a race, which I'll recap eventually. I know I'm a bit behind on my race recaps, so to any one (if there actually is any one) that has been waiting to read them, I apologize. I hope to catch up in the next few weeks. The rest of the day was filled with a little bit of reading, laundry, and cleaning. Sunday was another day of cleaning, and then I went to my brother's for a BBQ.

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day, and was able to spend time with family and/or friends. I'm so thankful to all of the military men and women, past and present, that have fought for our freedom, especially those that made the ultimate sacrifice. Monday recap will be in next week's weekly review post.

How did your weekend go? Any races? BBQs? Swim time?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

the weekly chase #8

Road Runner Girl

Weekly goals for May 19–25; recap

Goal #1 - Continue to log all of my calories in My Fitness Pal.
I was about 50/50 on this one. Some days I was great at logging everything I ate. Other days, well, just didn't go as well.

Goal #2 - Continue to clean the office.

Goal #3 – Go through my clothes, donate items I no longer wear, and pack away most of my winter gear (jackets, sweaters, etc.).
I did not get the chance to complete this task. Boo.

Goal #4 – Finish my 10 miler on Saturday with an average pace of 14:00 or under.
Yes. Official pace of 13:48, but Nike+ has me at 10.4 miles and a 13:13 pace... darn zigzagging around people.

Weekly goals for May 26–June 1; recap

Goal #1 - Continue to log all of my calories in My Fitness Pal.

Goal #2 - Continue to clean the office.

Goal #3 – Go through my clothes, donate items I no longer wear, and pack away most of my winter gear (jackets, sweaters, etc.).

Goal #4 – Catch up blog reading and commenting. Sorry for always getting so far behind, you guys, but time is so limited.

Goal #5 – Start collecting healthy recipes I want to try out over the summer in order to start weekly meal planning and grocery shopping.

Goal #6 – Run every day. Runner's World Summer Run Streak started yesterday. The goal: run at least one mile per day, every day, starting on Memorial Day (Monday, 5/26) and ending on Independence Day (Friday, 7/4). That's 40 consecutive days of running. I've never done a run streak challenge before, so this shall be interesting. I literally have to set a reminder for every day, otherwise, I am likely to forget about the challenge! Forgetful much? Hey... whatever works!

Thanks to Mindy over at Road Runner Girl for hosting this week's Weekly Chase

What are your goals for this week?

Friday, May 23, 2014

friday five: five places i'd love to run

This is my first Friday Five linkup with the ladies at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?. The Friday Five topic? Five places you'd love to run. 

It's so hard to choose just 5 locations, when there are SO many beautiful ones to choose from. I'm going to stick with US locales, but if I were to go international, my wish list includes these places: Florence, Rome, London, Paris, and Greece. In general, I think running through cities is a great way to get in some sight-seeing along with some exercise :)

Five places in the US that I'd love to run (in no particular order):

1. Boston. Even though I've been to Boston (back in my Irish Dancing days), I haven't returned in my adult years, and would love to enjoy the city during a run. I'm pretty sure I'll never be fast enough to quality for the Boston Marathon, and have doubts that I could raise enough money to fundraise and run for charity. However, I'd be cool with just going for a run and exploring the city. 

Boston montage

2. New York. I've never been to the Big Apple, but it's on my wish list. And if I ever get a chance to go, you just know I have to go for a run in Central Park!

Panoramic view of Central Park from Rockefeller Center.

3. Napa Valley. That Zooma Napa Valley half marathon looks like a great girls weekend (and heck - my husband would love it, too!). Running a half marathon past vineyards with mountain scenery, and then hitting up some of the best winery tasting rooms in the country? Yes, please. I pretty much love any running event that includes wine in the description.

ZOOMA Napa Valley Medal

4. San Diego. This is another place I have been to already, but again, pre-running days. I just adored this city, and would love to run along the ocean in the nearly perfect temperatures they have year-round. Also, California has a lot of breweries I would enjoy visiting. I also loved the zoo... is running allowed in there, or do they have any races through it? — that would be a lot of fun. 
Here I am at the San Diego Zoo, circa 2006

5. Washington, D.C. I was there when I was pretty young and didn't get in any sight seeing (how disappointing, I know). Planning a racecation that includes either the Cherry Blossom 10-miler or the Nike Women's Half Marathon would be a ton of fun. Not to mention getting a Tiffany's necklace for the Nike race would be pretty sweet. And then, of course, spending a few extra days to get in all of the sight-seeing.


Whew! That was hard to choose only five! I secretly have a desire to travel to all 50 states, and would just love it if I could also check off a race in each one as well. Two birds, one stone... right? ;)

Thanks to Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for hosting! Be sure to check out their five choices they posted on their blogs (just click their name/link), along with the other linkups! Ladies – please let me know if I committed any faux pas for the linkup. Hopefully I followed all of the rules :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

the weekly chase #7

Road Runner Girl

Weekly goals for May 12–18; recap

Goal #1 - Continue to log all of my calories in My Fitness Pal.
I missed a few days, but overall did pretty well at keeping track of everything I ate.

Goal #2 - Catch up on my blog reading. I've fallen a bit behind, again. There's just too much good reading for me to keep up!
Check. I also finished another book.

Goal #3 – Organize my bookmarks and reading list on my computer.

Goal #4 – Clean the office. 
Sort of check... I got some bits cleaned up, but there's still plenty to do.

Weekly goals for May 19–25

Goal #1 - Continue to log all of my calories in My Fitness Pal.

Goal #2 - Continue to clean the office.

Goal #3 – Go through my clothes, donate items I no longer wear, and pack away most of my winter gear (jackets, sweaters, etc.).

Goal #4 – Finish my 10 miler on Saturday with an average pace of 14:00 or under.

Thanks to Mindy over at Road Runner Girl for hosting this week's Weekly Chase

What are your goals for this week?

Monday, May 19, 2014

week in review; may 12–18

Monday, May 12: rest day

Tuesday, May 13: rest day

Wednesday, May 14: rest day

Thursday, May 15: 2 mile walk

Friday, May 16: rest day

Saturday, May 17: 1.63 mile shake out run (is it considered a shake out run when it's the day before?)

Sunday, May 18: Chicago Spring Half Marathon, 13.1 miles

A run down of my week:
Tuesday night was our final trivia night until October. While I'll miss it, it will be nice to have the evening free during the summer for getting in some runs or other form of exercise, cleaning, and hanging out with my little family. Thursday night, my husband and I did our monthly wine tasting and dinner date. Friday, my mom and I headed to Fleet Feet to grab our packets for the race. I also picked up a bunch of Clif Shot Bloks (cran-razz, strawberry, tropical punch, and mountain berry), so I could test out some new flavors for Dopey training. I am sure I'll get sick of the Black Cherry if that's all I use for 6 months ;) For a while I had used the Gatorade chews, which were fine, but I started to get annoyed with how they sometimes stuck to my teeth. The Clif Shot Bloks don't do that (at least, not as much). I also grabbed some G Endurance Carb Energy Chews in fruit punch (they seem more like the shot bloks than the regular chews), AND some Picky Bars to try (All in Almond and Lauren's Mega Nuts). I'll be adding on more mileage as the months go on, and need to figure out the fuels that work for me, so I'm trying just about everything! Why not, right? How do you know what works best, if you haven't tried what's available?

Friday night (after I got home from work and packet pick up) and Saturday afternoon, my husband and I headed to a new brewery that was having a soft opening. One of our friends is part owner/brewer there, so we were excited to check out the place, have some beers (we've always enjoyed his home brews, so knew that anything they had on tap would be delicious), and support him in his new venture. The place looked amazing, and was pretty crowded, which was great to see. Hopefully it'll stay that way after the grand opening... which I think it will. They had two of their own beers on tap, and then a whole bunch of guest beers (including JK Scrumpy's – one of my favorite hard ciders. I've never had it on tap, so was excited to see how it differed from the bottle; it didn't disappoint.). Eventually, they'll have a small food menu and more of their own beers on tap. We are looking forward to spending time there in the summer when they have their patio area set up—they are currently waiting on approval from the town. Saturday evening I gathered all of my race gear and then settled in to watch Wolf of Wall Street. It was a very long movie, but the time went by quickly. Even though a lot of people complained about the profanity and nudity, it didn't bother me much. I'm pretty sure that was the first movie we've seen so far that was part of the Oscar Best Film nominees. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest and forming my own opinion on who the winner should have been, or if the correct movie was chosen :) I'm super late to the game in watching the nominees, but oh well.

Sunday I woke up bright and early for the half marathon. I didn't set any goals for this race; I had decided I would just enjoy the day and run/walk the race with my mom, and was happy with the results. I figured with my PR two weeks ago, plus another half in three weeks, I didn't want to push it too much where my next half would be too difficult. I didn't want any more blisters that would put me out of running for a week. I still got some minor blisters, but they aren't too bad. I'm going to hit up my local running store to get re-fitted for a new pair of shoes. The ones I currently wear only have about 200 miles on them, but obviously, something isn't working anymore. Not sure why they would suddenly give me issues, but it's really important to find a new pair that won't give me blisters like these have the past two races, especially if I want to survive Dopey/training. I find it odd, since they never gave me problems before, nor did the pair before them that was the same model. I digress. I'll have more details about the race in another post.

How was your week? Have you ever had any Picky Bars? If so, what are your favorite flavors? What type of fuel do you use on your runs – Clif Shot Bloks, Clif Shots, Gatorade Chews, GU, Honey Stingers, Sports Beans, or real food like pretzels, grapes, candy? Always looking for new things to try :) What did you think of Wolf of Wall Street?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

inaugural disney castaway cay challenge

Yesterday, runDisney announced on their blog a new challenge during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January, 2015. I had heard rumors that they were moving Tinker Bell weekend because runDisney was planning something regarding a cruise that would be enticing to runners after their WDW Marathon Weekend experience.

This inaugural event will combine any eligible race during the WDW Marathon weekend (eligible races include: 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon or either Goofy or Dopey Challenges) with the Castaway Cay 5k during your cruise on the Disney Dream, leaving from Port Canaveral, Florida on Monday, January 12 (the day after the marathon). If you complete both races within the pacing requirements (which is a 16 minute per mile pace for all athletes), you will earn the Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge Medal in addition to the WDW Marathon Weekend and Castaway Cay 5k finisher medals.

Challenge registration opens on Friday, May 23 at Noon ET. You must enter your cruise reservation number in order to register. Additionally, you will need to book your January 12, 2015 Disney Dream 4-Night Bahamian Cruise separately through Disney Cruise Line. Disney recommends that you register for your Disney cruise PRIOR to registering for the Castaway Cay Challenge, and your cruise reservations must be booked by August 1, 2014, or your Challenge  Reservation will be forfeited.

As seen on runDisney's page:

Castaway Cay 5K Highlights
  • 3.1 mile course through Disney Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Lines’ private island in the Bahamas
  • Course runs past sparkling lagoons, the harbor, and white sandy beaches
  • Surprise Disney magical moments and entertainment on-course

Castaway Cay Participants Receive:
  • Castaway Cay Challenge Inaugural Event T-Shirt
  • Commemorative Castaway Cay 5K Finisher Medallion
  • Commemorative  Inaugural Castaway Cay Challenge Finisher Medal for participating in one Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend 5K or longer event PLUS the Castaway Cay 5K
  • Post-race refreshments
  • Exciting Activities and access to Special Merchandise on board Disney Cruise Line
  • Featured Healthy Menu Options on board Disney Cruise Line

Go to to book your January 12th, 2015 cruise aboard the Disney Dream today, then register for the Castaway Cay Challenge on on May 23 at Noon EST. Use the promotional code RUN at the time of booking your Disney Cruise Line vacation. Be sure to enter your Cruise reservation number when registering for the race. 

Be sure to note that the number of registrations for the Castaway Cay 5k are limited and subject to availability. So if this is something you're interested in, I wouldn't wait to book your cruise and be ready for registration on May 23.

How awesome does this sound?! As a runDisney addict and medal junkie, this is just begging for me to register. I mean, adding on two more medals, after (hopefully) earning the six from Dopey?! Swoon. However, I don't think I can afford it after already shelling out the money for Dopey and all of the hotel days that will include, plus getting that extra time off of work might be difficult. Sometimes, I really wish money grew on trees ;) I've only ever been on one cruise, but I had the time of my life. I would LOVE to include this Disney Dream cruise as part of my runcation, but really don't see how I could swing it... But anyway...

For more detailed information, check out the runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend event page.

Do you plan on registering? Are you already booked on this cruise? Do you plan on adding this new challenge to your itinerary? Did you want to donate money to me, so I can go? ;)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

the weekly chase #6

Road Runner Girl

Weekly goals for May 5–11; recap

Goal #1 - Log all of my food/calories on MyFitnessPal. Not specifically to stay under my calories every day, but just to get back into the habit of doing it every day. Eventually the goal will be to stay under my daily allotted calories, but one step at a time, people ;)


Goal #2 - Get the house cleaned up for when the family comes over to celebrate Mother's Day on Saturday (clean bathrooms, wash floors, clean off kitchen and dining room tables, vacuum, etc.)


Goal #3 - Start reading a new book. I love reading, but sometimes, I get out of the habit because I'm spending my time watching tv instead. I usually get most of my reading done on my commute to and from work, but sometimes I get into streaming missed tv shows on Hulu, which stunts my reading. Sometimes, I think it's ok to stream, but I shouldn't be doing it both ways for an entire week. Plus, when I start a book that's good, I get really involved and invested and have trouble putting it down. All it really takes is for me to start and get a few chapters in. I recently finished the second book (out of six) in the Kenzie-Gennaro novel series by Dennis Lehane, so I'd like to keep that going and finish up the series. I'd read Gone, Baby, Gone a while back, but plan on re-reading it in the order the books were written. I honestly was unaware that it was part of a series when I read it, I had just wanted to read it before watching the movie. I feel like you can read each of the books on their own without having read any of the others, in any order (as I read Gone, Baby, Gone without any issues), and still understand everything, but I enjoy reading series in the order they were written.

Check! I started, and finished, Sacred by Dennis Lehane. I'm now reading Gone, Baby, Gone. Like I said, once I get started I can't stop.

Oh my, you guys! I actually stuck to all three goals. I'm so proud of myself ;)

Weekly goals for May 12–18

Goal #1 - Continue to log all of my calories in My Fitness Pal.

Goal #2 - Catch up on my blog reading. I've fallen a bit behind, again. There's just too much good reading for me to keep up!

Goal #3 – Organize my bookmarks and reading list on my computer.

Goal #4 – Clean the office. 

Thanks to Mindy over at Road Runner Girl for hosting this week's Weekly Chase. I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, May 12, 2014

week in review; may 5–11

Monday, May 5: rest day

Tuesday, May 6: (unplanned) rest day

Wednesday, May 7: rest day

Thursday, May 8: rest day

Friday, May 9: 2 miles, speed walking

Saturday, May 10: rest day

Sunday, May 11: 6.1 miles at 14:11 pace

Nothing too exciting to report from this week. I took a lot of days off after the half marathon. I had gotten the worst blisters of my life (and coming from a former dancer, that's saying something). I'm not sure why, since I've worn the shoes and socks before in long distances and haven't had any problems before. Anyway, I wanted them to heal because I have another half on the 18, so I rested my feet a bit more to try and speed the process up.

Before adding the top layer of crust and putting in the oven.

The finished product. Not too bad, right? The top half definitely looks better, but it all tasted great!

Saturday evening, my family came over to celebrate Mother's Day. I spent the entire day cleaning and, for the first time ever, baking a caramel apple pie. It was a bit messy because of the caramel, and it looked a bit off, but it tasted delicious (which I believe is the only thing that matters). I definitely see more pie baking in my future. I enjoyed playing Wii with my oldest nephew and hold my youngest nephew, along with joke around with the gang. It was a fun evening.

Sunday I went for a 10k run in the neighborhood. It was a warm, sunny day, and one of the warmest days we've have so gar this year—it was in the upper 60s when I started, and mid 70s when I ended. I drank some Nuun fruit punch about an hour before leaving the house, and with it being so warm, I figured any inkling of having to go to the bathroom would just sweat out. Unfortunately, around mile 1, the Nuun caught up to me. I was in the middle of a loop, so decided to finish that and then head home for a bathroom break. I also added some ice cubes to my handheld water while I was home, since my water had gotten disgustingly warm. 

After a quick break around mile 2, I headed back out and decided to just wander the neighborhood, rather than going back to my usual loop (which gets boring). Shockingly enough, there are still a lot of streets in the area that I don't know where they lead to, so it was kind of fun to explore. Somehow, I managed to get exactly 6.1 by the time I reached the house. I was impressed with myself. My average pace was a bit slow, but with the heat, along with conquering more hills than usual, I was fine with it. I even tried some new products on the run and I think I've finally found my favorite brand/type of shorts. I plan on doing a separate blog post regarding said items — so look for that later in the week :)

After the run, I had a quick bite, showered, and headed over to my brother's for an early dinner with my mom and my sister-in-laws family. I got home right before the big storm hit, then spent the evening on the couch with the dogs watching the "Once Upon a Time" and "Revenge" finales. So good! I can't wait for "Revenge" to come back in the fall. I can't handle cliff hangers! When this show first started, I wondered how they could sustain the storyline to fill more than one season. Once I started watching Season 1 on Netflix, I was hooked and have been watching ever since, never disappointed (well, maybe once or twice). Ohhhh, the drama! Haha. 

Anyway, it was a great, family-filled weekend!

How was your weekend? Did you have any races or runs? What is on your Sunday night TV line-up, if you have one?