Thursday, October 28, 2010

I try, but it's never just three things on a Thursday

1. Yesterday I ran for a second time, and again it went great.  I'm kind of taking this whole cross training thing day by day, whatever exercise I do, ride my bike, something from the Exercise On Demand channel, a rest day, depends on how I feel.  It was unseasonably warm here yesterday, and gorgeous out, although the trees are really looking bare, so many of the leaves have fallen.  I decided to head outside, and truly escaped into my run, I didn't look at G-Unit until I passed a woman walking her dog, I had gone 2.3 miles and was running a 8:45 pace!! I didn't want Hammy to explode, so I slowed way down. I was good, and stuck to my planned 3 miles, but when I got home I didn't want it to end.  So I grabbed my bike, and set off again, for 20 minutes, I only went home at that point because I was starving.   Success!!

2. I think I'm over the Biggest Loser this season, as it is I watch it after it starts, so I can fast forward through all of the extra crap they pad into the episode.  None of the contestants are doing it for me either, although I do love it when Curtis Stone shows up.  On the other hand, I think the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills might be the best season ever.  I love that the woman who played Tia from Escape to Witch Mountain is on it, and it's going to get good when the whole Kelsey Grammer divorce plays out. 

3. When buying Halloween candy, I made sure to buy Baby Ruths, in case the kids don't get any when they're out trick or treating. I LOVE those babies, and eat them once a year, which will be this Sunday.....

4. If you didn't see it, I have a small giveaway tied into my 300th post, which you can find here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

300 (it's long, but there's a giveaway at the end. Natch.)

I'm psyched.

I ran three miles Sunday, with NO hamstring pain or tightening, AT ALL!!!  I was nervous beforehand, and kept myself in check to run a 10:15 minute mile pace, even when Lil' Wayne's Knockout came on my ipod and I wanted to just let loose.  It felt like a walk in the park, so I'm confident that I didn't lose any fitness with my time off, but I'm going to force myself to take it slow, so I don't undo any of my progress.


It's my 300th post, and to help write it, I used all the suggestions given to me.....

I've been running for years, but as Kristin suggested, here are some of the highs of the races I've done since I started my blog:.

1. The Marathon, obviously.  I knew I would do it someday, and I did.  I know I'll do it again. And maybe again.
2. St. Patricks Day Four Miler. This race covers a course with some steep hills, and aside from the fun of the race itself, were the training runs I did every Saturday morning with my running group, Lake Effect.  After the race, it was fun to be social with the group over beers in an Irish bar.
3. The Chilly Chili 5k this past February.  This was the first winter that I ventured outside, away from the comfort of my treadmill, to keep up my winter runs.  Race day it was 15 degrees, and it snowed during the run.  And I had a ball.

Tortuga Runner suggested I write about who I am, and Iron Mike thought I should go back to my first post, and see how far I've come. This is a snippet from my first blog post:  "For 32 years I knew who I was. And I still do, but it comes and goes. I feel like I'm still searching for something, and what that is I honestly don't know. I'm hoping that by putting my thoughts into this blog, I can get myself to where I need to be."

I've struggled since I became a stay at home mom, but I've learned that I don't necessarily have to define myself in terms of what I do for a living.  When you think about it, we all do lots of things, and each one of those things help to define us.  I've learned that as long as I keep challenging myself, I'll continue to evolve, and there is no end to what I can do.

So here is a bit of who I am:

I'm a Mom.  Here we are, all cleaned up on Easter Sunday:

I'm a wife. I met Mike when I was 18, and we've been married for 11 years. The Black Knight thought I should take a look at my 100th and 200th posts, and I just so happened to write about Mike in post number 100.

Here is us in the summer:

and in the winter:

I have a great family.  I love my brother and sisters dearly, I know I bug them sometimes, and sometimes they bug me.  I don't see my parents often, but talk to them all the time.  I hate the phrase "in-laws" because I'm lucky to have all of mine as my family.  I have fabulous girlfriends, some of which I'm hoping aren't too pissed off at me for bailing on our 20th reunion this past weekend. 

I was thinking of changing my header to my dancing in the kitchen photo.  Angie thought so too, so I did.

Mighty M suggested I do a giveaway of some of my favorite things.  Well, I figured I could do a small one of items that I always have on me:

*I have chocolate once a day, so I'll start off with a bar of chocolate from Newman's Own Organic.
*Coffee is a necessity, a $5 gift card to Starbucks should be good for a cup.
*Tic Tacs are needed after coffee, for fresh breath.
*GU.  During marathon training, I always had GU on me.  I like a bunch of them, but these two tend to cleanse my running palate the best, one Lemon Sublime, and one Strawberry Banana.
*Blistex Lip balm. I figured I should go unisex on this one, since Mark is always bitching that my giveaways are more for the gals than the guys.

Since Mighty M and Erika both suggested a Q and A, to enter this little giveaway, in your comment, ask me whatever question that's been keeping you up at night.   The giveaway will end at midnight, one week from today, Monday November 1.  I'll choose the winner with, then answer the questions in another post.

I made you wait long enough....congrats to Liz, at Quiltz n Hoez, the winner of the CSN Stores giftcard (I used to pick the winner)  send me an email, and I'll get you hooked up!

Friday, October 22, 2010

the same, but different

first off, don't forget my CSN Stores giveaway, which ends Sunday, a $75 gift card is up for grabs here.

I'm going to try and go for a run this weekend, I figured a three week rest should do it.  I'm actually nervous about it, and have my fingers crossed that hammy holds it together for a incident free run!

I find it so interesting that two people with the same parents can be so different physically.  I was talking to one of my sisters the other day, and she mentioned how she's down to 116 pounds, and had to go out and buy some new pants.  This is the result of her running around after her one year old, and three year old, and not having many chances to eat.  She's tiny to begin with, and delicate, while I'm on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, over six inches taller, I inherited the sturdier Irish build (lets say I would probably have made it through the famine).  It's not only genetics, but behavior.  When Luke and Eliza were small, I never lost weight just because I was busy with them, I always managed to cram something in my mouth, because for me, a hungry Mommy is a crabby Mommy.  And we don't want that.

I love this photo of said sister and I, dated October 1979.  It sits on my dresser, and is one of my favorites, not just because of the Bee Gees lunchbox.

My next post is my 300th, and I keep debating on what to write about.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm never Wordless on a Wednesday

This is what it looks like when your sister visits the weekend after you run your first marathon, you have some vino, and start listening to Vampire Weekend.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I haven't run in two weeks. 

And I'm starting to feel the effects. 

Biking and fitness videos be damned, I want to run. 

Eliza is acting up, the other day she "brushed" her hair with Daddy's shaver that he accidentally left in the downstairs bathroom, and picture day is Wednesday.  It's thinned out, but doesn't look too bad, but there was so much hair in the garbage it looked like a small animal.

She got out of bed two nights in a row, the first night I caught her with her hands plunged into a tub of my Mom's moisturizer, her arms and legs looked like an oil slick. The next night she snuck back into the bathroom and emptied an entire bottle of Crabtree and Evelyn powder, the bathroom was covered in it, and like someone dumped a bag of flour on her head.

Then she threw popcorn kernels in the fish tank, and they started to sprout.

As usual, Luke is being an angel...aside from tracking two soccer cleats worth of dog poop into the Jeep after practice.

I made Butternut Squash soup, and it was more babyfood like than soup like.  It was still good though.

I got my lip waxed, and for the first time ever, I had some weird reaction and it erupted into huge, itchy welts. I felt like I had a duck bill and had to buy Benadryl cream for it.

By Friday afternoon I was pacing around the living room feeling like a Lion in a cage.  I've read my InStyle and Glamour, but haven't cracked open my Runners World.  Even my Halloween socks were making me think Boo Hoo.

I get like that sometimes, a really bummed out feeling, that nothing but a good crying jag can cure.  Then I feel guilty because I have absolutely nothing to complain about.  But I cry anyway.

Mike suggested some retail therapy, and I did need new jeans.  Although next to bathing suit shopping, there is nothing worse than jean shopping.   After trying on a gazillion pairs at Macy's with no success, we went to the Gap, where they have my favorite cut, Long and Lean....and they were 40% off to boot.  Although they didn't have my size, but after the sales guy let me plow through the pile of discards in the dressing room, I found them! Yee-ha!

Then on Sunday morning, I walked into church, and this little girl looked up at me and said "WOW! You're TALL!!!" 

Which made me laugh.

Then an afternoon of football, and chatting with my girls at the kitchen table along with vino and guacamole helped my spirits even more.

So this is the last week of no running.

And no complaining.

Bring on the Jackie Warner Power Circuit.  (the ab section is a killer).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Want to go shopping at CSN Stores?

I've paired up with CSN Stores a few times now, and I know many bloggers have heard of or shopped at one of their 200+ stores.  They've got everything from bar furniture, to exercise equipment, to items in their newest store, Toys and Games.
Sooooo, wouldn't you like a chance to win a $75 gift code to use on anything you choose???

I thought so, and here is how you can enter:

Please go to the CSN Stores website here, look around, then leave me a comment telling me what you would choose.

For additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each) you may:

1. be a friend of my blog
2. let others know, either by twitter, facebook, know the drill.

That's it!

Giveaway ends at midnight EST on Sunday, October 24.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three Bullets for Thursday

  • Do you like my fall decor? The eyeballs are courtesy of Mrs. Potato Head.

  • I was on the phone the other night with my Triathlete/Marathon runner Dad, and he casually mentioned that he's thinking of doing a Tri in the Spring.  He's 65. Which just goes to show you can be active for as long as you want to. Go Dad.

  • Alert the media, I bought a set of kettlebells, one 8 pound, one 10 pound.  I'm still using my 6 pound medicine ball and resistance band, but I thought I'd shake things up a bit.  I took another lovely bike ride yesterday, and the hardest thing has been to remember to ride with traffic, and not against it like when I run.  I don't know how you bikers do it, I've got ample padding in my rear, but I'm still sore when I get off the bike.  Ouch.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mexican Veggie Soup with Brown Rice

I have been eating this soup for lunch the past few days, it's got a nice flavor, is full of veggies, and it's good for you (bonus).   I made it up as I went along, and I think it turned out pretty well.  So if you're looking for a new fall soup, here it is!


2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into circles
2 stalks of celery, sliced thinly
1 large vidalia onion, chopped
4 large cloves of minced garlic
2 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
1 can of corn, drained (I love nibblets)
64 ounces of stock (veggie or chicken, just make sure it's low sodium without MSG)
one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 cups of cooked brown rice
2 teaspoons of chili powder
one bay leaf
olive oil
salt and pepper

Take a heavy stock pot, and coat the bottom with olive oil, about 2 tablespoons. 
Once heated, add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, a teaspoon of salt, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the stock, and tomatoes, cook about 5 minutes.
Add potatoes, corn, beans, lima beans, chili powder, bay leaf, and several grinds of black pepper.
Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about an hour. 
Check to see if you need to add any salt or pepper, then add the cooked rice, and simmer for a couple more hours.

When serving, pair it up with corn bread, and it's especially tasty with some grated cheddar cheese on top.

Let me know your favorite soup, I'm always looking for more ideas!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Are you going to get in a funk?

That's what Mike asked me the other night, after I looked at the weather forecast for the weekend, and saw that it was going to be perfect for fall running. I got into an particularly long funk two years ago, the last time I had a running injury.  But this time around, I'm not going to let that happen.  I'm going to stay busy in general, which I was all weekend.  I got in a few great bike rides, and on Thursday I did Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown....meltdown indeed, I was a sweaty mess after that, and was actually sore the next day!

I did a bunch of cooking this weekend, which I especially like to do in the fall.

So after picking pumpkins:

I made a batch of vegetable soup with a Mexican flair (I'll post the recipe, it turned out reeeeally good).

Baked a bunch of garlicky meatballs.

As well as some caramelized onion, goat cheese and walnut pizza with a beer crust (recipe HERE).

Finished off with an apple crisp, made from the 20 pounds of apples we bought at a farm stand, for $8.00.

So that was my weekend.

Bring on the yoga.

CEP Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the CEP giveaway!  I loved reading about what everyone's favorite running distance is.  I myself love a run that is around six miles, and besides doing another marathon, I'm hoping to incorporate some more half marathons into my schedule as well.

Congrats to Cynthia at Balls in the Air, who was number 176 using   And don't forget you can use the code BLOG15 for 15% off an order at

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I will cross train. I will cross train. I will. cross. train.

This morning was pretty typical.  I woke up, somehow mixed up my contact lenses and put the wrong ones in each eye.  Then I shook up the container of almond milk, which wasn't closed all the way so it went all over the place (I've done this several times in my life).  But then my Mom, who is visiting us after retiring from her job last week, put on my glasses by mistake.  She thought she had a stroke, and said "I knew this would happen as soon as I retired!!!"

I'm being good. No running. I took the advice of you triathletes out there, and went for a bike ride this morning.  The sun is out after days of rain and it took all I had in me to get on the bike instead of going for a run.  I rode for about 40 minutes, and I took it easy, just rolled along, do-di-do.....I felt like I was in a Country Time Lemonade commercial. 

I really am going to try and be good and let hammy heal, and suck it up and cross train.  I don't know why I have such a hard time with it, back in the days that I belonged to the gym, I would finish my cardio, walk over to the weights, and then keep walking.  I don't think I have it in me to sit there and do exercises, I want to just run around and get in a good sweat.  

At least the weather is starting to cooperate, fall has really kicked in, and I want to take advantage of our weekends while it's nice out.  I asked Mike what we were doing this weekend, and he pointed to the pile of wood in our driveway and said, "Stacking that!"  Well, I guess I can count that as cross training.

Last weekend was fun, I went on a wine tour of Seneca Lake, in the Finger Lakes, with my mother in law, her sisters, and my sisters in law.  It was a great day for it, my favorite vineyard of the six we visited was Four Chimneys, an organic vineyard that had a yummy Chardonnay.  The Finger Lakes are known for it's Riesling, which I'm not a huge fan of, I wish I had bought more than one bottle of the Chard.

Here I am with my sisters in law, note that for once Jeannine and I are not in running skirts.

Don't forget my CEP Compression sock giveaway, which ends can find it HERE!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Running Date

I've mentioned before that because the kids are back in school, I have three mornings a week of guaranteed running time (barring illness, or a pile of laundry).  I can actually make plans to run with others in the middle of the week!  My sis in law Jeannine and friend Norine (my friends and marathon partners) run pretty often at Green Lakes Park, which has trails that loop around two lakes, as well as up into woodsy areas, so we planned our first post marathon run together last Friday.  My friend Kelly and I have been trying to meet up for a run for months now, and as she's training for a 50k trail run this fall, I invited her to come along.

We ended up going the day after a huge rainstorm, and the trails were wet, and pretty muddy in some spots.  Started off around the lake, then headed up some steep inclines, I kept my head down for most of it, lots of roots and rocks to watch out for.  Here is Norine: 

It was so much fun to just clomp along in the mess, not worrying about pace, just running.  Well, and walking up some of the crazy steep parts.  I was hoping we could do about six miles, before we had to leave to pick up Miss Eliza at school, so we did have to watch the clock.  Here is Kelly when she realized the trail ended after we made a wrong turn:


Got going again, and this is Jeannine and Kelly from the back when we headed back towards the lakes:

Once we made it back down, we had maybe a mile left to get to the car, which gave us plenty of time to get back home on time.  Kelly and I ran along, and we lost sight of Jeannine and Norine.  I suggested we back track a bit to see if we could find them, which we did.  So we ran, and ran some more. And some more.  When we got back to the point where we had stopped to look for them, we realized we ran that lake loop twice!  Once we figured out where we were, we got moving again, and that's when I knew I was going to be late for school pick up.  So we were booking along at a good clip, with not much of the trail left....and Hammy started protesting, big time.  So much so that I had to walk, which was annoying.  I felt like I had really pushed it, but didn't totally destroy it, so that was good. 

Back in the car, Kelly checked her Garmin for our splits, the first couple of miles were in the 11:00 minute range, which makes sense because we were climbing, and figuring out where the trail was.  The last mile was around 8:37! Which goes to show I have it in me to go fast, I just have to really want it!

After I got Eliza, and said bye to the girls, I popped some Advil, iced and rolled the heck out of Hammy, and felt okay for the rest of the afternoon.  It was stiff over the weekend, during an all day wine tour of Seneca Lake on Saturday, and during a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Sunday (which we did for my Mom in Law Diane, and her sister Cathy who are both Survivors).

So I figured this morning I would go out for a short run, because I'm all amped up to tackle the 259 miles I have left in my 1,000 mile goal.  Made it half a mile, when Hammy said, "uh uh, no way, no how." So I walked some, started running again, and it said "weren't you listening? I said no way. Not now."  Which reeeeaaaly makes me mad, because I just had two weeks of solid, pain free runs.  I'm hoping I didn't undo all the progress I've made in healing.

I'm going to be good, as much as I don't want to, I'm going to take this week off.  I really, really don't want to.  But I'll be good. 

I think.

Friday, October 1, 2010

CEP Compression Sock Review....and giveaway!

I've read great things about compression socks, and have been eager to try them. So I was excited when I came home the other day to find a package from on my doorstep, containing a pair of pink CEP compression socks to test out!

If you aren't familiar, compression socks and sleeves are used to help with muscle recovery either during or after exercise. The compression increases circulation, which flushes out lactic acid, thus helping to improve your performance. They also support muscles that have been injured, like shin splints or dreaded plantar fasciitis (which I've dealt with on and off for years now), by reducing the muscle vibration in the tissue.  You can read more about the advantages on CEP's website,

I put the running socks on as soon as I got them out of the box to see how they would feel, I noticed right off how smooth they are, the stitch at the top didn't bug my toes at all. After a few minutes my legs started to feel lighter, the socks were tight to put on, but they felt good.

Sports Compression suggests that you wear them for 4 - 6 hours after activity, I ran 8 miles yesterday, and put the socks on right after I finished. I had to do a bunch of errands, and get Eliza to story time, so I waited to take a shower (it was raining so I figured I could get away with looking a bit skanky), threw my sweats on over the socks and got to it. My legs felt good all afternoon, I took the socks off at dinnertime when I finally got in the shower. By the time the Biggest Loser started, I put them back on because my legs were getting tired, and they immediately felt better.

I usually have a rest day after a run longer than 8 miles, but today when I got up, I felt like I could go for a run! I think the socks are great, I think I'm going to wear them on a run later in the week to see how they work while running, plus now that it's getting cooler they'll be a great addition to my fall running gear.

Thanks to David at, here is a chance to win a pair of CEP Compression Running socks, AND if you can't wait to get a pair, you can use the following discount code on for 15% off your order.  Use code: BLOG15.

To enter the giveaway, please go to, click around, and let me know what you would like to try out.

For additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each) you may:

1. Be a friend of my blog, or become one

2. Follow CEP on facebook here, or twitter, here

3. Share the giveaway info, by blog, twitter, facebook, etc.

4. Let me know what your favorite running distance is.

Giveaway ends at midnight EST on Sunday October 10th.

*Note, I was provided with a pair of Compression socks for this review, my thoughts on the product are my own.