Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's Who I Am

Being a mommy has changed my life. It *saved* my life - made me better - made me healthier - made me whole. There wasn't anything particularly wrong about my life pre-kids - but it wasn't amazing. I had friends. I had fun. I ran[sometimes].

I didn't really know myself though. Becoming a mommy made me realize what was important to me. In realizing this, I decided that the only way I could be a good mommy to them, was if I was a good person to myself. I needed to start treating myself and my body with the respect it deserved. I needed to be happy for all that I could do and had accomplished instead of focusing on what I didn't have or hadn't done.

Having kids made me appreciate every run I went on. I no longer had to run - I was privileged enough to get to run. I realized how important *me time* was. I realized that I felt the best during and after a run. I realized that I wasn't just a girl who ran - I was a runner girl.

In essence having kids made me find myself.

I would get up at 4:50(and still do at times) and head out the door in the dark for my runs. I found out who I was on these runs. What I was made of.

There isn't a day in my life that I'm not a mom. There isn't a day in my life that I don't think about running. Being a mom is my life - it's who I am. Being a runner is my life - it's who I am.

Go to to enter my Why You Run Contest. Contest ends 12/1

The weather out there is frightening....

Ok, so the weather in Houston is not frightenting, but it is that time of year when I feel my running is most threatened. All of the busy stuff going on, all of the food and goodies that once consumed make you feel a run could be worthless. This is also the time of year family and friends are less understanding about why you have to leave to get a run in (except my running husband who completely gets it). On Thanksgiving Day I had a spare 25 minutes in between taking the turkey out and finishing up and just ran out the door as fast as I could to just move before that dinner. I ran into my husband pushing a running a stroller, my 13 and 11 year olds running, my 6 year old on a bike, and the two year old gleeful to be out. I love my running family. I will persist this season despite the distractions. Run Mommy Run!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

running makes mice smarter

So, mice who are forced to run on a treadmill at a faster pace than they would choose are smarter. Does this mean when I force myself to run faster than a steady pace, say, do sprint repeats or tempo runs, I become smarter? Or do I need some outside influence forcing me?

Phys Ed: What Sort of Exercise Can Make You Smarter?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MomsWhoSave Gift Idea #1 - Personalized Photo "Skins" for Cell Phones, Laptops, and More!

I know some of you love holiday shopping, but I don't! Is that surprising? I love finding a good deal--obviously, but the hard part for me is coming up with gift ideas year after year for the same people. It's especially difficult finding something for those people who already seem to have everything. And, of course, I need to stay within my budget.

This year, I'd like to share some of the things I've found that are reasonably-priced, and are hopefully new and different enough th
at the person you're buying for won't already have them. I'll post a new gift idea as often as I can between now and Christmas.

Here's something I have seen before, but not nearly as highly personalized as these from Snapfish. I'm talking about "skins," or coverings for your laptops, cell phones, MP3 players, and other devices.

You can upload your favorite photos and emb
ellish them as much or as little as you'd like to make them just right for whoever you're giving them to (or for yourself).

Check out these examples:

These are available for a long list of electronic devices in nearly every brand name you can think of--plus they're on sale for 20% off. Make sure to enter the coupon code PHOTOSKINS20 on the site when you check out. (This offer is good through November 20th.)

In fact, if you want to order holiday photo cards, photo books, calendars, photo jewelry, mugs, mousepads, or any photo gifts (even just prints), the entire site is an extra 20% off when you click here, and use the Snapfish coupon given.

Want more great deals? Click to visit MomsWhoSave's main deals site, and join us on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Marathon Stroller Record

I was just reading this article on two(male) marathoners that are trying to break the stroller marathon record. I'm not sure how I feel about it....what about you? I personally know that my kids might unbuckle themselves and try to kill me if I ran for that long with them in the stroller. (And I've been pushing them since they were born) Wonder how these kids feel?

Makes me curious to know if there is a stroller record that involves moms rather than just dads??

If you just can't read enough about running - check out my personal running blog at :0) Become a fan while you are at it?!?!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Tuesday night I got the rare treat of being able to run when my husband got home from work. It was an easy run and so I decided to really attempt to take it easy. I got lost in thought. This happens quite often as I pretty much never run with an ipod. I am forced to be alone with my own thoughts. I thought about all that I have accomplished this year and started to feel some regrets. I wondered if maybe I would be faster if I had ran cross country or track in high school. I started wishing I had drank less beer in college, partied a little less and ran a little more. I went down this track for about 5 minutes when literally out of no where a little voice said to me "are you kidding me?!?!" At that moment years of regrets went out of my head.

Maybe if I ran cross country or track in high school I'd be burned out from running and wouldn't even be a runner right now. Maybe if I ran more in college I would have gotten injured and again not be running now. There are a million and one things that happen in your life that you can either look at as regrets or you can take the moment to realize that every decision helped you to get to where you are today. If you are proud of where you are, then why live with any regrets? I am exactly where I am and am accomplishing the things I am because I didn't run in high school(other than randoms runs with friends) and because I did choose drinking and hanging out in college rather than focusing on a sport(though I did run cross country my senior year). If I had always ran these times, if I had never gained 35lbs after high school, I wouldn't appreciate the way I feel/look/run now. I'm a better person now. A work always in progress. From this day forward whether a decision is the *right one* or the *wrong one* I will be living with no regrets.

Check out my personal blog at :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

#5 at 5

So, it was now a couple weeks ago, but I finished my 5th marathon (the Marine Corp Marathon) 5 weeks after the whole appendicitis fiasco. In retrospect, I do remember the doctor saying something about how my stamina wouldn't be what it used to be for a while. that is what she meant! The short story is that I lasted 3 hours. Unfortunately, I only covered about 21 miles in that 3 hours and the last 5.2 miles were a combination of walking, jogging and hobbling. Lucky for me (?) my husband was pretty much ready to throw in the towel at that point too. At least it was a lovely day and it fit our definition of a date!

Unlike the last time I failed to make my "goal" time at the Marine Corp marathon, I don't feel bad about this one. I stayed hydrated and well fueled. I really don't think I started out too fast. I just think that my body had 3 hours in it - at whatever pace I saw fit. Besides, I did achieve my down-graded goal for this round of marathon training: I didn't die. (I realize that sounds overly dramatic, but I'm actually being completely serious.)

I also need to thank my two youngest kids for putting up with this marathon training nonsense! They've spent countless hours sitting in the jogging stroller with minimal complaining. I couldn't train like I do if they weren't so great! Don't forget to thank your kids for tolerating your idea of fun :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


One of the many gifts that running has given me is a greater understanding of the world and more compassion for those around me. Today is the first Veterans Day that I have truly took the moment to understand and comprehend what has been sacrificed for us...for me.

Thank you veterans. Thank you for giving me the freedom to run down my street when I so choose, the freedom to run races in whatever I choose, the freedom to believe in what I want, the freedom to blog about whatever I think - whatever I feel, the freedom to have as many children as I want, the freedom to vote, the freedom to marry who I choose, the freedom to go where I want to go and to be what I want to be. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veteran's Day Freebies and Deals from

Here's a round-up of discounts being offered to veterans and military personnel for Veteran's Day. Please doublecheck these offers, as not all locations may be participating. You'll note the days for these offers vary too.

Applebee's is offering a free entree to active duty military personnel and veterans on Veteran's Day (Wednesday, November 11th).

Also, on Wednesday, Krispie Kreme is offering free doughnuts, and Outback Steakhouse is offering a free blooming onion and beverage.

Home Depot and Lowe's are both offering 10% discounts--also on Wedneday.

McCormick and Schmick is offering a free entree to veterans, but this discount will be on Sunday.

Golden Corral is offering a free buffet meal, including beverage and dessert to veterans and current military personnel on Monday, November 16th.

Family Christian Stores is offering this printable coupon for an extra 33% off any one item, including sale items on Wednesday, November 11th.
(There are a few restrictions, so read the fine print.)

Active Duty, Reservists, National Guard Members, and Military Retirees are invited to spend the day free of charge at Wet'n'Wild Hawaii. Plus family members and friends get in for $19.99 with prize giveaways throughout the day. Click for more information.

Eli's Cheesecake in Chicago is offering both active-duty soldiers and veterans free slices of cheesecake and coffee this week at the Eli's Cheesecake Cafe.

Several historic sites in Virginia are offering free admission for vets and current military in honor of Veteran's Day. Click here for more details, but sites include Colonial Williamsburg, the estates of George Washington and James Madison, among others.

Carolina Tire & Service Center in the Charlotte, NC area will change your car's oil for free if you're a vet or currently in the military. (You need to bring in a current or expired ID.)

ALL national parks' visitors can enjoy free admission on November 11th! Click for details.

Florida state parks will not charge a fee on Veteran's Day either. You may want to check with your state to see if they will also be free on Wednesday.

Finally, lots of stores will hold special sales. For example, Sears will have a one-day sale online Wednesday, and I've heard there will be free shipping to military addresses.

Do you know of more freebies for Veteran's Day? Leave comment below.

To see more deals and online coupons, visit MomsWhoSave's main deals page, and for grocery coupons and freebies, click here.

You can also follow MomsWhoSave on twitter and Facebook for even more savings!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Training Smarter Every New Year

There truly are many joys in getting older. The body, however, might sometimes disagree. A new little ache, a nagging pain...all signals that you need to change your way of thinking. No more logging miles to just log miles. There comes a time when you must train smarter, not harder. And you know is actually a lot of fun.

These days instead of squeezing in a run whenever, wherever, and for however long or fast I feel that day, I plan ahead and stay focused. No more racing every weekend just for the heck of it. No more going out for a 20-mile run on a random Sunday without building up the miles carefully and progressively. No more 5 or 6 days of running in a single week.

You know what? We could all learn from the "aging" athlete. Not that being 40 is old! But you will be surprised how the amazing human body can start becoming your personal coach! Screaming at you to take a day off. Letting you know exactly how much is too much.

What can we learn?
  1. That all those junk miles really do us no good.
  2. That smart training can make us stronger, faster, injury-free.
  3. That running 3 or 4 days per week helps our bodies heal and our muscles repair themselves.
  4. That learning good form will increase our natural ability to run well and remain injury-free.
  5. That dedicating each weekly run to either endurance, speedwork, terrain, or even an easy run helps us perform better.
  6. That actually warming up (instead of just thinking about it) makes our run easiser.
  7. That stretching is actually enjoyable and important for preparing our bodies for its next great performance.
  8. That cross-training keeps things fun, challenging, and interesting!
  9. That rest days aren't for wimps!!!

Once we come to the realization that the hundreds of race bibs in a box in the closet really won't make cool artwork, maybe can take a deep breath and focus on just one, two or three big races with a big personal goal.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

It's Not Doily Lacing Day....

It's racing day....well not yet, but almost....

Tomorrow I'll be running a new 1/2 marathon in DC with none other than the one and only Snez(my mom). I never really understood how cool it was running races with my mom until I became one. I hope that when I'm in my 40's - I look great and am still kicking butt in races with Miss Chloe Raine running up ahead of me. Honestly my mom rocks. Up until last year her marathon PR 3:38 killed my 3:59!! And she set that PR in her 40's :0) I hope this means that many more PR's are in my future.

My new favorite pre-race tune I hum in my head is actually from the children's show the Backyardigans. It's a catchy little tune - I'll share the lyrics....

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not nervous pacing day.
Today's the day we race.

I'm ready to race a long, long race.
This race goes almost every place.
It's fast, it's long,
It's vast, it's far,
It starts out right here where we are.

But when the finish line's unfurled,
We will have raced around the world.
When we finish this long, long race
I hope, I hope I'll take first place.

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not sausage casing day,
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not picture-tracing day,
Today's the day we race!

We'll run somewhere that's not right here,
And while we do the crowd will cheer.
Through the forest over the snows,
Across the ocean and then who knows?

Whoever is the first around,
will get to make that victory sound,
Dunt-da-daa! is what they'll say
at the end of racing day.

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not puppy chasing day,
Today's the day we race!

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not doily lacing day,
Today's the day we race!

A long, long, long, long way we've come,
To get back where we started from.
We raced real hard but now it's time,
To break that tape and cross that line.

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not self-effacing day,
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.

I don't have any goals tomorrow except to have fun! I mean of course deep down inside I secretly would love to do well but I'm realistic and certainly know it's not the best idea to race a 1/2 two weeks after running a marathon. Sooo that being said we will just have to see tomorrow what the day brings.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Still Got It.

Part of running is fitness - part is mental. Sometimes the mental can take over and make you question the fitness. Sometimes I feel the need to push myself a little on a run just to make my mind remember that *indeed girl - you still got it*

Sunday - I ran 5 in rain before 6 am - 9:19, 9:19, 9:07, 8:18, 8:21. I had wanted to run 10, but was too cold, soaked and discouraged. I called it a day at 5 miles. Then on Monday I ran with Charlie's mommy and felt like we were really running fast - 9:07, 9:10, 9:02, 9:27, 9:14. Don't get me wrong - I don't think that any of those miles were slow per se but I felt like I was running a 7 min pace when I was really running over 9. I know that some of you will say - hello Dorothy - you just ran a marathon - and I know this. I just don't like the inevitable slow down/ recovery period after a marathon and so my mind goes a little crazy.

And so today arrived and I hadn't run in two days. Reason #1 - laziness. Not so much laziness of not wanting to run but because it takes a whole lot to get out the door. I must get dressed, get my hydration ready, get the kids up, dressed, fed breakfast, then get drinks/snacks/lollipops ready for them, make sure we have the correct blankets they like, let the dogs out/get them water and food, then try to head out the door. All that before even taking a step to run and I'm exhausted. Reason #2 - OLD MAN WINTER IS COMING. And I don't like him. I feel bad taking the kids out on especially cold mornings because even though I bundle them up - I feel like it's still just too cold/windy. This morning I was dying to run so I just was going to suck it up and head out the door. Luckily Charlie's mommy offered to watch the kids and I did not hesitate for a moment to take her up on the offer.

Anyone who has kids and whose husband works crazy hours(or is a single parent) knows that it's super hard to run/work out in the winter if you don't either a. have a treadmill or b. a gym membership. Since we moved we ditched the gym membership and we don't have a treadmill(though I have been pleading my case to my husband to get us one). So when someone offers help of the running kind I'm always ESPECIALLY grateful.

I decided to run a 3 mile tempo, which then turned into 4 mile tempo, which then turned into a total of 8 miles. 7:37, 7:33, 7:15, 7:05, 7:56, 7:39, 7:41, 7:15 - 8 miles in exactly 1 hour, average 7:30 pace. I still did the 4 miles tempo but then slowed a bit a mile 5 to recover a little but still push myself. Yes this is less than two weeks after a hard effort at Marine Corps, but my mind has started doubting my capabilities and is wondering if I will loose all my gains from this summer, over the winter. I pushed myself sooner than I know I should but now I feel like *I still got it*.

My mind needed this run. I left Charlies mommy's house feeling refreshed and better than I have felt all week. I'm so thankful for friends who run - they truly understand the need to *get out there and pound the pavement*

Mommies - how do you make your winter running work? Any tips or suggestions are welcomed!!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


November is National Novel Writing Month. Hm. So I signed up. Day 3. I've got 1800 words that look nothing like a novel. I don't care; I will try to write more words than I would write without the structure of NaNoWriMo. They may turn into a novel. Who knows?

First, I'm going out for a run.