Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eat Like A President

Michelle Obama champions healthy living for families across the nation, and the #1 online health captured exclusive behind the scenes recipes, tips and confessions from the first lady herself. Read about her biggest indulgence, what family dinner is like at the White House, and her one wish for American diets. READ MORE NOW!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

To run or not to run....that is the question!

I am sooo ashamed to admit it BUT, I haven't been running in a LONG time. I have tried my hand at tons of other things and enjoyed them too but I have always missed the commaradorie of my SMR group in Montclair VA since I moved to NC. I was thinking running was in my rear view mirror but now I am reconsidering. WHY? A friend of mine texted me this week end about wanting me to do a 1/2 marathon with her........ hmmmmmm...... The angel on my right shoulder whispered "that would require training, meeting for long runs, goals, Starbucks ( yes, *of course *) ect. I actually like that sort of stuff. My youngest is now in kindergarden so I could make the time..... The devil on my Left shoulder whispered " you are getting old, your L knee hurts all the time, you need new running shoes, you could spend that time on other stuff....." I am leaning towards giving this a go. Mostly because I am trying to relive some of my Montclair Strider days. Even back then, it was the friendships that made getting up on the coldest of mornings with a double jogger worth the embarrassment of being the slowest one there! Send all your good karma my way I am soooo gonna need it!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Treat a Soldier for Halloween

Not sure what to do with all that leftover candy and other treats?  Limit your kids to choose just a few precious pieces, then pack up the rest and send it to one of our soldiers!  After all, they deserve a little pick-me-up and a whole lot more!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

2011 Strollers

As you may know, I used to be a loyal fan of Dreamer Design strollers, but they no longer manufacture jogging strollers. I believe the company only makes handicapped equipment now. So, I really don't have any useful parts left since most of what people are looking for either broke on my stroller as well or I was unable to remove it without damaging it. Before you send a request for a part, please consider whether the broken part is one that can even be removed if it were not already broken. Many parts are riveted on, for example.

So, if this leaves you in the market for a new (or new-to-you) stroller, the options may have changed since the last time you took a look. Here are some suggestions that are available NOW:

1. Best Mixed-Terrain Running like you are training for something: Bob Ironman Stroller
2. Best Straight and Paved Road Running as fast as you can: Baby Jogger, 25th Anniversary Performance
3. Best I want one stroller to do everything: Joovy Zoom ATS Fixed Wheel Jogging Stroller
4. Best Inexpensive and good enough for real running: Schwinn Joyrider Jogger
5. Honorable Mention for Brand Loyalty: Kelty Speedster Swivel

Generally I have a strong preference for fixed wheel strollers, but in light of EIGHT years (and counting) of loyal service by my Kelty stroller, I have allowed it on the list.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I have read about the effectiveness of mantras, such as in this article in Runner’s World, but I have usually found them limited. I have even scoffed at them.

I live in the very hilly town of Cheverly, Maryland. When I first moved here in 2003, I hated (and complained about) running these relentless hills (“rolling” would be a kind way to describe them). I think the longest flat stretch is a mere half mile. I have come to embrace the gradual uphills as “almost flat.” I am now used to doing regular old runs and long-ish runs here. I figure they make me a stronger runner and racer and I take some pride in running here.

But I am now training for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20. And I have found that, this time around, it seems much easier to do my long runs from my front door instead of driving to Rock Creek Park or the Capital Crescent Trail. By “easier” I mean mentally (I don’t need to think ahead and, say, pack a bag and plan out bathroom or water stops) and temporally (I save almost an hour of round-trip driving), not physically. 

If you drew a circle around the town, it might be four miles around, so I have to do a lot of loops and zig-zags to get a long run in; the longest so far was 18 miles, and those miles included countless hills, from short and steep ones to long and more or less gradual ones and every type in between. I have the bits of my long runs planned out so that I get some recovery and that I don’t have to go up or down the very steepest hills. (I want to conserve some energy and save my knees.)

Last weekend, running a “short” long run of 13 miles, I suddenly thought, “tumble up hill.” And I felt my effort ease as I climbed the who-knows-what-number hill of the run. Today, on a standard run of 7 miles, the mantra popped into my head again, and I felt light, as if gravity were helping me uphill.  "Tumble up hill," not "fall up hill," has energy and movement and helped me keep going (but I'm rather stubborn, so I would keep going anyway).

I have learned that, instead of being “limited,” mantras are useful to me if they are specific. Generic ones such as “rock on” or “pain is temporary” would never work for me. Tumble up hill, people. (This weekend, I'll find out if this helps with my inevitably hilly 20 miler.) 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Remembering a Friend

Dedicated to seeMOMMYrun member KRISTINA from SARAH. 

During the time we spend here in this world friends enter our lives in many different ways, shapes and forms. Accidents happen every day and you never know when they will happen, how they will happen, to whom, or why. This is the story of a friend who came into my life and who left this world, as far as I'm concerned, much too soon.

 I moved to Tucson Arizona in the summer of 2004. I didn't know a soul. I started graduate school and made my first friends. On July 15, 2005 I became a mom and made some more friends. After the birth of my first child I also began my journey of getting in shape and falling in love with running. Little did I know, somewhere else in Tucson, there was a mom I would meet four years later who share the same passion.

 I welcomed my second child into the world in February of 2007. After his birth, I was still focused on staying in shape and running. I registered on a site called SeeMommyRun hoping that maybe I might find another mom in Tucson who liked to run and would want to go running together.

 On May 26, 2009 I got my first - and only - e-mail from someone off of SeeMommyRun. Her name was Kristina.

I just joined seeMOMMYrun and noticed you have been a member for a couple years. Your zip is the same as mine. Your pace is about the same as mine. I was hoping that you`re still interested in running. My son is 3 and I don`t get home until 7pm some nights. I like to take my son along, but am new to jogging with a stroller. I`d like to find someone to join me because I`m always reluctant to go out in the dark alone. Please let me know if you`d like to get together for a jog. Thanks! Kristina
 It turns out Kristina messaged a few ladies, but I was the only one that responded, and little did we know this was the beginning of a great friendship. She and I met, and continued to meet, for runs together. We'd most often meet at the paved 3-mile path at Reid Park with her son Frankie in her single jogging-stroller, and my two children in my double jogging-stroller.

 It wasn't very long after I met Kristina that I introduced her to my friends. My dear friend Jenn who I also ran, drank coffee, and had play dates with quickly and happily welcomed Kristina in on the running dates at Reid Park. I also quickly extended the invitation to Kristina to join the book club we had with a bunch of friends who were also mothers of young ones. Through the book club we met another runner through another one of our friends: Amy. And Amy soon began joining us for our Reid Park runs, too.

 Kristina, Jenn and I all shared the love for a great cup of coffee. Across the street from the 3-mile loop at Reid Park there was a Starbucks, and soon we began incorporating a post-run cup of coffee as a reward. After our runs we'd order our coffee and then we would take the kids to the playground at Reid Park to play as a reward for them sitting through another one of our runs.

 As Kristina and I continued our running dates, we also signed up for several races together. The beautiful thing about running with someone else is that when one of you are having a rough day, you have someone to help motivate you and see you through it, very much like life. Some days we had it, some days we didn't. Some races were great, others were disappointments. But we always stuck it out and were there to support each other.

 The bond we forged over the months, and then years, of running together astounded us both. I remember discussing with Kristina one day, on one of our runs, how her one e-mail from SeeMommyRun changed both of our lives for the better. We were mutually and deeply grateful for our friendship.

 In December 2010 my husband, children and I moved back to my home state of Connecticut. My husband had accepted a position at UConn and we agreed it would be wonderful to live within driving distance of our families again. However the move would prove extremely difficult for me as for a couple of the friendships I had made in Tucson were much like family.

 Team Caffeine (which is what our running group eventually dubbed itself) had its last run together with me on December 16, 2010. I can't begin to tell you how much I miss our runs, post-run coffee, and the kids playing at the park while we drank and caught up on our lives.My homesickness  motivated me to plan a trip to visit them all again. In April 2011 I booked a flight to visit my dear Tucson friends for an extended Labor Day weekend in September.

 Kristina and I had done the Labor Day Saguaro 8-miler last year and I immediately forwarded my itinerary and told her to sign up for the race; I would be there and we would do it again! Little did I know the tragic turn of events that would take place on a Friday evening in July.

 July 15th 2011. Six years ago I welcomed my daughter, my first child, into the world. I could have never expected that on this day of celebration of her birthday I would lose a best friend. Kristina was an amazing, strong and beautiful woman. She had an awesome sense of humor. She had exceptional taste in everything culinary. She always managed to blow me away with her running and her PRs. She was intelligent and witty. She was a creative, silly, imaginative and fun mom. I always admired how she shared her love for reading with her son Frankie, the creative stories and inside jokes they would have, and the incredible lunches she would pack for him. She worked hard and kept her chin up through everything life threw at her. She was such a wonderful friend to me, generous of spirit, and had a huge heart.

 My heart breaks for her, for her family, for all the lives she has touched, for all the lives she will never get the chance to touch. The world lost a beautiful person. Kristina: I will never forget you and the beauty and happiness you brought into my life. Every run I go on, every cup of coffee I drink, every book I read - you will be there.  I'm so sorry you were taken from us. I love you. I miss you. I will never forget you.


Friday, August 05, 2011

Gymboss Makes Workouts BETTER

I know most of you are out there running your hearts out. But what about your cross training? Doing some high intensity interval training (HIIT) I hope! I thought my training sessions were stellar. However, I was "eyeballing" my breaks and using a stopwatch for my 30-second or 50-second intervals. B-A-D idea! I just got a GYMBOSS interval timer and, man, was I in for a surprise.

The GYMBOSS lets you set your interval time + break and set the number of rounds you would like to repeat. For example, if you want to do 8 sets of kettlebell swings for 20-seconds, plus a 10-second break between sets you would set the timer to beep each time you need to start your set, beep again for your 10-second break, etc. It is super simple. And it works!!! I realized that my breaks were WAAAAAYYYYY longer than 10-seconds.

Let me repeat that.
Set the timer.
Do your workout - timed correctly for a change!

Gymboss even provides great workout ideas to get you started on interval training! Check out their blog for workout ideas. This handy little timer is great. I love it. You will love it. Just don't let your kids get a hold of it! (they'll love it too)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mothers with Mesothelioma: Duty in the Face of Disaster

By: Heather Von St James

As all healthy new mothers know, raising and caring for children is one of life's most difficult and rewarding challenges. However, for mothers diagnosed with mesothelioma, the difficulties of parenting are compounded incalculably. The amount of energy needed for play, preparing meals, transporting children, not to mention cleaning and taking care of household issues is immense. In addition, with the inevitable weakness and sickness that chemotherapy causes, these tasks may prove insurmountable. Still, heroically, as a mother with a mesothelioma prognosis that is less-than-encouraging I trudged on, nurturing my family and selflessly providing all of the love, care and attention that I could physically manage.

Perhaps the cruelest part of mesothelioma is its slow, undetectable infiltration of the body's defenses. Caused by exposure to asbestos or glass particles, as many construction workers have been, the disease can take 20 to 50 years to exhibit symptoms. Women contract the disease, often times, as children as it was in my case, or through washing clothes of males that have worked around asbestos.

Anemia, fever, internal pain, blood clotting and bowel obstruction are all signs of mesothelioma, all of which present terrible obstructions to the daily duties of new mothers. Wheezing, hoarseness and coughing can all be potential indicators of the disease, signaling a buildup of fluid in the body. With such physical discomforts, bathing, feeding and even holding children can become more difficult than ever. From there, the most difficult and tragic question arises: who's to care for a caregiver in need? Many husbands need to work to provide for their families needs, and if their wives have mesothelioma, the benefits that jobs may carry are more vital than ever. In a best-case scenario, extended family members can rally to provide the nurturing and care for an ailing mother, as well as her children. I found that my husband and sister provided a vast amount of support to me during this difficult time. More importantly, they helped me to remember the importance of humor during challenging times.

Sadly, the symptoms of mesothelioma are difficult to recognize as indications of the disease, and often, by the time a diagnosis is reached, the treatments available are all but useless. Mesothelioma prognosis are generally disheartening, unfortunately, and despite the constant improvement of radiation treatments and chemotherapies, a large number of cases are fatal. Mesothelioma life expectancy is the most devastating aspect for new mothers: it is heart-achingly short. However, with early diagnosis and intensive chemotherapy, successful surgery, and light exercise I was able to beat the odds. The great hope is that science will continue to advance our methods of detection and treatment, so that new mothers like myself can survive mesothelioma in order to watch our children grow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shopaholic - Invite Only Shopping by Email

Okay, I admit it...I'm a shopaholic. I'm an online shopping addict. I'm a clothes whore. And a shoe nut. I love, love, love me some deep, deep discounts!!!

If you haven't tried these high fashion shopping deals that come directly to your inbox, you really should. GET UP TO 90% OFF RETAIL!! AN ACCOUNT IS FREE! They send you new deals daily on the hottest well known and up-and-coming designers, coolest gifts and toys, etc.

Just click on the invitations below. Then invite your own friends to earn $10 TO $25 each time your new invite has made a purchase! Sweet!!!







THE CLYMB (fitness and sports):

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Little Zen Goes a Long Way

Not long ago I read an article about how to become a bit more Zen by creating fewer obstacles or distractions in your daily living space. Being Zen basically means dwelling mindfully in the present moment. This can be achieved with some very basic changes. The same can be said about arranging your living space according to feng shui. In a nutshell, feng shui suggests you remove clutter, allow air and energy to flow freely, and create a relaxing atmosphere. And how, might you ask, is a busy mom suppose to “dwell mindfully in the moment” after little to no sleep then fumbling to find the bathroom sink amidst all the clutter? What if we put a few of these practices into place to become slightly more Zen moms?

Experts in Zen living and feng shui both suggest we first organize our closets and throw out all unworn items, organize outfits, and clean off the closet floor so that we can face the day less stressed. Another suggestion is to invest in a good mattress. It is amazing what a huge difference memory foam mattresses can make on your body, mind, and mood. Next, how about a bathroom facelift? You don’t have to spend a fortune tearing out walls to change your bathroom. A few simple bathroom furniture updates and organizational pieces can remove clutter and create a spa-like atmosphere. If you’re trying to be a little more Zen, tweaking your living spaces should be high on your list of priorities. After all, your bedroom, bathroom, and closet are the first places you greet your day so why not make them functional and pleasant.

Namaste, Zen mama.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Throw 'em to the wolves

After 8 years of running with a single or double jogger, we are entering a new era. We are soon to be that crazy family you see with 1 to 3 kids on bikes while mom and/or dad are attempting to run for exercise. These are not serious training runs I'm talking about. Just those in-between jogging-for-fitness days.

I have often worried about what happens when your kids are too big for a jogging stroller, but too young to stay home by themselves. Occasional sitters are fine, but it would be way to expensive to hire a sitter for every jog that I go on. So, enter bicycles. We successfully removed TWO pairs of training wheels from the fleet in the month of May, so that puts the 8-year-old and the 5-year-old on two wheels each. The two-going-on-three-year-old prefers her bike as well (with training wheels and tow rope), though she will sometimes get relegated to the jogging stroller once I build up the older kids' stamina a bit. Our current maximum is about three miles.

Some people probably view their kids growing up with some trepidation, but I will say, that I find it incredibly satisfying to give your kids that shove to get them started off on the bicycles. It seems so symbolic of sending them out into the world to sink or float on their own. I'm still running nearby, but there is that big push and then it is up to them.

I hope to get the 8-year-old up to about 5 miles this summer while I run with the single jogger. Though not so much an opportunity for speed-work, it is good enough for daily maintenance running. You know - mental health runs. We'll see how it goes...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Recycle Those Bras!

You know that drawer stuffed full of old bras that you just know you might need again someday? Time to purge! Bosom Buddy Recycling will take your old bras and give them to deserving women around the country including women’s shelters, transitional housing, and breast cancer-survivor support groups.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Thighs Rub

I said it. They do.

After a weekend of totally overeating I needed to run this morning. When I say overeating I do not mean the run of the mill oh-I-let-loose and ate a little too much. I mean I ate a disgusting amount of food this weekend. Part of it was from being tired and wanting energy, some of it happened when I was feeling bored, a majority of it happened when I drank too many glasses of wine, and even more happened the next day when I was trying to make my stomach feel better.

As I got dressed this morning I searched for my capris. UGH - all of them are dirty? You have got to be kidding me? I grabbed a pair spandex shorts that I felt like I had no business wearing. I grabbed my bodyglide and stuffed it into my bag knowing there was no way I would make it through a run, in shorts, without my thunder thighs chaffing.

The run began like any other. The first mile felt painful. It made me doubt my abilities as a runner. Wine always seems to do that too me. Fun for the first glass or two and the devil the next couple of days. Yes, my body feels like crap the next day after drinking, but what feels the worst is my mind. My mind that mostly is my friend, that helps push me, suddenly works against me. It tells me I am overweight, it tells me I am not pretty, it tells me I am a horrible friend, it tells me I was in shape but no longer am, it tells me that I have no business calling myself a makes me miserable.

Surprisingly the first mile was a sub 9 - 8:55. Dorothy you are okay - it was one night of drinking too much, one weekend of overeating, get back on the bandwagon - it is okay.

Mile 2 was even faster at a 8:44 mind was going crazy. Literally anything that has been bothering me even slightly came rushing to the forefront of my thoughts. I tried to focus on my breathing but the only thing my mind would focus on, other than the negative thoughts, was my thighs rubbing.

I wanted to hate them. I started to think about all the things about my body I dislike. The melasma all over my face. The keratosis that covers my arms and now has begun to cover my legs. Both have worsened from pregnancy. I felt mad thinking about the dermatologist telling me that she could try and help both of those issues but that it would have to wait till after I was done nursing.

Mile 3: 8:24

As I made the turn around something happened. I decided to take back my mind. I decided to forgive myself for overeating and 'over' drinking. I switched my thinking.

I have flaws. I have insecurities.

I do not like talking about them.

I push them to the back of my mind and only write about the good things. I try not to blog on days I am down - choosing to attempt to erase those days from my memory.

As I pushed both of my boys in the stroller I thought about the things about my body I do not like, my perceived flaws.

Here is one of them:

I have cellulite on the back of my legs. There I said it. If you run behind me and I am wearing shorts, you are going to see it. You know what though? I no longer care. I am not perfect, emotionally and physically.

This body with all its flaws, moves faster than I ever dreamed possible. These hips have given me three beautiful children.

These legs get me to the finish lines of marathons and also help me play a mean game of Tag-Your-It. I love them - cellulite and all. I love them even though they rub.

I choose from this day forward to stop hating my body for anything I do not like. I choose to love it for what it is and what it has given me.

Mile 4: 7:57
Mile 5: 7:35
Mile 6: 7:33

I am a work in progress - emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically.

Until next time.....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Should You Incline The Treadmill?

I often hear people say they incline their treadmill at least 1% if not more when running indoors. Does this sound like you? They quote that the reason they do this is because if the treadmill is not inclined then it is not like running outside. In my opinion this is one of those 'running myths' that continues to get perpetuated for no good reason.

Running on a treadmill is NOT like running outside in any way shape or form, so it is my firm belief that in order to avoid injuries you should not treat it as thus or try to make it like running outside. This is why you will see me distinguish between tempo runs outside and treadmill tempos, a timed mile on a track and a treadmill mile, and so on and so forth.

I don't hate on the treadmill. Why? Because with out my treadmill this mom of three would have never have been able to train for and run numerous races, including marathons. My treadmill, though not as fun as running outside, is one of the most important tools in my training routine. On most days it is either the treadmill or no run at all. This makes it very important for me to make sure I avoid any injuries typically associated with treadmill overuse.

In my opinion you should not incline the treadmill and keep it at a level zero percent grade. If you want to make the workout harder then I would attempt a faster pace than you typically run outside. Running with your treadmill on an incline, even a small one, is associated with overuse injuries. Typically I hear people complain about pain in their Achilles, this is from overstretching on every stride.

Well if I do not incline my treadmill then I will not be able to run fast outside, correct? No, not true. It will feel different to run outside, but this does not mean you will automatically be slower. Since getting my treadmill I have recorded my 4 fastest marathons to date. Running distances up to 20 miles on it during each training cycle. Do I think it is as effective as running outside, no, but it can get you into great shape if you treat each run on it as a treadmill run and do not attempt to make it like a run you would do outdoors.

What are your thoughts? Do you incline the treadmill?

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Using Your Blog As A Training Tool

Before I had a blog I will admit, I did not really understand them. They seemed time consuming and for what?

Blogging has changed my life. It sounds like a dramatic statement, but it's true. It can change your life too and possibly help you become a faster, more consistent or happier runner.


Blogging and using sites like dailymile or even Foursquare can help keep you accountable to your training. It is harder to skip a run when you know that what you did or did not do for the day will be posted for all your friends or training partners to see.

If you do not have friends who run or you are not part of a running group or club, the Internet allows you to make friends virtually. Running can at times, be a very lonely sport. While the Internet can not always help you find a friend to run with, it can help you find a virtual community of runners where you can share your passion for running.

In order to have a successful relationship with running, you must do it for yourself.

What do I mean? You are ultimately the only person who can get you out the door. The only person who can push yourself farther or faster on a run. You are the person who will have the internal head battle that all of us runners have. Should I run today? Will I feel better if I run? I'm tired, maybe sleep is more important today? I ran 2 days this week - I really deserve a rest day - right? You can not and should not run to impress others, to make someone else happy, it has to come from with in - in order for it to become a life long endeavour.

Allow the Internet to help you on your quest to become a runner, but do not let it take over your training life. Do not log miles just to log miles for your weekly total, those are junk miles and get you no where fast. Do not run faster than you should just because you know someone will see it on your facebook page. Ultimately if you are the type of runner who trains for and run races, your blog, daily mile, etc. will hurt you if it pushes you at the wrong times. Remember the training runs are not the race. Do not peak when it does not matter.

Run your own pace so you are ready for your own race.

Has blogging, dailymile, foursquare or twitter helped you become more accountable to running and working out?
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Why I Don't Wear Gym Clothes To School - By Crumbs

I'm jobless.  Well, not exactly, I'm raising my boys, blah, blah, blah..(which if I were a paid nanny, I'd totally be fired for being lazy).  I coast at my "job."  The first thing I think of is "how can I get coffee into me faster" and then I think "I wish I could go for a run right now all alone without having to do anything for anyone else."  And then, even though I LOVE my kids immensely, I'm always plotting ways to get away from them or to get them to take naps or go to bed.  It's like a habit now, an artful balance between keeping everyone going with the least amount of work required.  Having relatively low standards is helpful.  I can go to bed with dishes in the sink...and on the dining room table.

Honestly, I know I'm amazingly privileged.  How many people wish they didn't have to work and could spend time doing the things they love, playing with their kids or doing nothing at all but surf the web?  Everyone.  Well, for a few years, I get to do that.  The price?  Being the official First Responder to 3am bedwetting and my toddler's "The Toy".  Done.  Don't get me wrong - I ADORE witnessing my youngest's exponential learning curve and being read to for the first time by my older boy.  I love the soccer games and playgrounds and easter egg hunts and rock skipping and team photos and piano practice and cuddling and all those delicious experiences mothers enjoy.  But I also love the open schedule that having 1 in Kindergarten and 1 who naps allows.  Could I better use my time? Absolutely!  But then I might miss out on this precious time to do nothing in the middle of the day - when no one is watching or waiting; kind of like at college. I know it won't be forever...just when they are young.  Supposed to graduate sometime, right?

Like when my eldest was 4, I went back to work.   I baked in a cupcake shop, waking up at absurd hours so I could be home by 1 to pick him up from preschool and enjoy the day with him.  I'd like to say it was hard to get back into the demand of work & home, but it wasn't.  I was ready to be productive again- and have an excuse not to spend 12 hours a day with my boy (it's true! absence DOES make the heart grow fonder).  But then after several months, what I thought was impossible, happened: I got pregnant again.  Not only did my energy drop from 60 to nothing in 3 seconds, but I threw up so much, it made me stupid.  I'm pretty sure my ability to count without using my fingers got flushed down the bakery toilet. I was fired for being an inept employee.  Totally. Deserved.  (but the 1st trimester's fault).  And then the Stay-at-Home-Mom cycle re-started, which is super cool.

But I know it's an indulgence I can enjoy for just another wee chunk of time.  What do they say about if you want something done, give it to a busy woman?  Yeah, don't give it to me.  It's not going to happen.  If I'm not on a run at the Y, them I'm sitting in my stinky clothes checking my facebook page (friend of a friend's wedding photos? don't mind if I do!)  This stay-at-home mom lifestyle is a luxury my husband has sacrificed for because he knows it's good for the kids, and lord knows, HE doesn't want to spend all day with them!

What's my point?  Despite it all, I draw the line at wearing my gym clothes to my son's school because nothing flaunts Privilege like wearing a Dri-Fit tanktop and yoga pants at drop-off.  No matter how late I might be or how disheveled,  I won't let anyone see me looking like I have plenty of time in the middle of the day to go to the gym.  Why?  I'm totally embarrassed to look unproductive AND selfish... and I fear my ostentation will goad Karma into taking it all away too soon. Regardless of convenience, no one, especially working moms and dads rushing to get their child to class AND themselves to work on time, needs to go by a  lil' pony-tailed chick in a running skirt who's 'Off For a Workout with My Trainer, Emmanuel, and then Mimosas with the Ladies at Lunch'.  Of course, that's not what happens, but I want to guarantee it doesn't look like that either.  Now, if I actually had a job with non-traditional hours and I had to s-q-e-e-z-e in a quick run at 7:30 am, perhaps I'd feel justified...but I don't, so I'm not.  I'm on a sabbatical from the hard, real world.  I don't want to rub it in.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Get Off the Road!

Disclaimer: don't try this with a newborn, but once your kids are a bit older (I'm currently running with a 2-year-old), try to go off the road!

I have developed a passion for TRAIL RUNNING and actually managed to win my age group in the EX2 Adventures Backyard Burn 10-mile Trail Running series this spring BUT I still do the large majority of my running with my daughter in a jogger. Much can be accomplished running up and down paved hills, but don't shy away from getting off the paved paths!

What are the benefits of trail running? It gets you away from traffic - both the hazards of motor vehicles and the fumes, it is so much quieter, and there is often more to look at. We pass people walking dogs, we have seen birds, ducks, geese, squirrels, storks, turtles, frogs, snakes, foxes, deer, caterpillars, butterflies, and more. The terrain can also be more exciting for your child. We do up and down and through curvy turns. The occasional bump, bump, bump is fun!

Where to go? There are, of course, a variety of levels. Here in Northern Virginia, there are SO MANY choices. Burke Lake Park, for example, is a partially paved and partially packed dirt, fairly level trail that circumnavigates the lake in a 4.5 mile loop. This is a path oft-traveled by our local See Mommy Run group. The recently renovated Cross County Trail has both paved and unpaved sections as well. Part of that trail also skirts Lake Accotink with the much-enjoyed waterfall! There is also the C&O canal and the WO&D path. Even Wakefield Park in Annandale is passable with a stroller with a little upper-body strength :) If you are feeling really adventurous, you can often follow underneath power lines and telephone lines. I'm told that the telephone lines passing next to our house go all the way to Richmond! I haven't yet brought the stroller to Fountainhead, but I'm game to try.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

RunFit Kids 2-day Camp

RunFit Kids 2-Day Running Camp – in Springfield on Sunday April 3rd & April 10th at Orange Hunt Elementary School - OR - in Fairfax on Sunday, May 8th & May 15th from 2 to 3:30pm at Van Dyck Park.

This is a 2-day program available for kids in grades 3 thru 8. RunFit Kids provides a fun and safe environment to learn about running mechanics, proper nutrition/hydration, pacing, and goal setting. Our instruction includes dynamic warm-ups, strengthening and speed drills, plyometrics, and plenty of games. We want kids at all levels to learn how to run better, faster and smarter. Cost is $30 for both days. For more info visit or email (Andrea 703-586-5037).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Boston & Mommyhood

It's been awhile since I've blogged over here :)  I promise to be better!!  Getting the hang of 3 kids is hard!  How do you mom's of 3 or more do it? Advice please!

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BOSTON MARATHON BIBS were announced. For those of you who don't know [I didn't either] Boston is one of the very few, if only, race where your number is based on how fast you are. The lower your number the faster you are. Literally on race morning you walk around and look at every person's number. oooo he's fast oooo man look at her she's even faster.....It's sort of like highschool or something.

My number this year is #8625. My previous # was 14843. I went down over 6,000!! My number is fast enough to put my in the 1st wave[there are 3 waves this year for the 1st time - each starting 20 minutes after each other]. Okay so who cares about waves? Well really it doesn't matter, getting to Boston is what counts. The reason I care is because I used to run 11 minute miles. So to me the wave reminds me that all the runs I went on, all the situps and pushups I did, all the tempos after sleepless nights, all the things I sacrificed, were worth it. My number makes me smile because it says to me Dorothy, hard work pays off.

Are you running Boston? What does your number say to you?

Today I will share the last 24 hours -

I made baby C sleep in his room last night for the entire night, for the first time. I'd like to say that he slept the whole night or that I didn't have to make 8+ trips into his room to replace his pacifier, calm him down and/or feed him - he didn't sleep and I did all that and more. At about 3 am I was questioning why I decided now was a good idea to make him sleep in his room. Oh yeah cause I need sleep and I'm not getting ANY. I ended up curling up on his rocking chair and sleeping for over an hour in there before walking back to my room. I'm exhausted.

For those of you who don't have kids - I'll fill you in on something - sleep will become more valuable to you than gold. Some parents get lucky and have kids who sleep through the night at 8 weeks. Me not so much. I've been told by friends that my kids sleep issues, meaning their lack of sleeping, is somehow my fault. It's not. Chloe, Miles and Colton take after their mommy and daddy - they are early risers and have way too many things they would rather be doing than sleeping [or so I like to tell myself].

Coffee is my best friend. I dream about it.

For some crazy reason the traffic was insane this morning. Chloe was late to school for the FIRST TIME EVER. I'm a crazy freak when it comes to being on time for things. I was so nervous walking her in to school. It was as if I was 10 years old and was going to be scolded by the teacher. Silly thing was that LOTS of other parents appeared to be late as well. TWO HOURS later baby C, Miles and I were back home. Yes I said two hours. Chloe's school is less than 20 miles away and it took us 2 hours to get her there and get back home this morning.

Did I mention already that I was exhausted before I even took her?

Here's the bright light to the day.

Last night before I went to bed I wrote a list of what I wanted to accomplish today and stuck it to the fridge. When I got home I wanted to collapse on the floor and sleep. I didn't. I got on with the day. I got completely caught up on the dishes, laundry, and ironing. All in between baby snuggles, playtime with Miles and attempting to get caught up on my Bible Study lessons.

When hubby got home I was able to head OUTSIDE for a 6 mile run. I also finally ran with my heart rate monitor for the first time ever. I've only owned it for a year so I figured it was about time I figure out how to use it!

Today I am proud of myself for getting all I wanted accomplished, getting in a run, and keeping a positive attitude despite the rocky start to my day and a serious lack of sleep.

What are you proud of yourself for today? Tell us!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Find my friend a running partner in DC

Hello Running Mommies! I made the online sign up and am planning to run the Marine Corps Marathon with 4 other Army Wives from my past. One of the Moms lives near DC and wrote to seemommyrun looking for a group and no one wrote back-- how do I get her hooked up? She's a new runner-- on the treadmill now, but could use support, non judgmental types, and the mother of a very active 4 year old boy.
One of the Army Wives set up a google page called Schweinrunners that we are having a BLAST with. At some point we'll go live and I'll hook you in with a link.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Hydration Rules

I never knew there was such a prominent link between being “a little bit” thirsty and having a BAD run.

But experts now say that if you are more than two percent dehydrated on a warm day, your performance goes down, down, down.

Here’s what to do to stay on top of it:

1) drink first: The rule of thumb is 8-16 ounces an hour or two before a run.

2) go cold: It’s a fact that the colder the beverage, the lower your body temperature goes, and therefore you can exercise longer. So opt for ice water before your run, and take a little extra with you in case you keep on going :)

3) be consistent: Here’s an interesting thought. While you are running (or biking, treading, etc) set your watch to beep every 15 minutes in order to rehydrate. Taking a few sips at frequent intervals avoids stomach sloshing. (I had the worst experience with this during my last race!)

4) just swish: If you can’t stand to swallow a sugary drink, new research says that swishing it around in your mouth can trick your brain into thinking it’s rehydrating! But beware, for runs over a half hour, try to find a drink you can swallow because although you may trick your brain temporarily, it ain’t stupid!

I hope these hydration tips gave you something to think about. Happy sipping!

For more info: Runners World

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Love this: ID Your Butt Type

I couldn't help but share this link to Shape Magazine online. The title of the link in email was "ID YOUR BUTT TYPE NOW!" Of course, I had to click. Check out the workouts!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dust off the runner's journal

Greetings Running Mommies! Running weather here in Houston got better. I was having to wear long sleeves the last few weeks which necessitated pulling out a race t'shirt from my last marathon- NY in 2003- 9 months after my 3d child. I had a 4th child in 2006 and started training for a marathon and once I got to mile 15 of a training run just lost the oomph. Now I feel silly wearing t'shirts from a 2003 race and wonder if these 46 year old knees have another one in me? I've put feelers out to my other running Mommies that Marine Corps next October 30th is looking like a go. That gets me thinking maybe just maybe I could actually train for a time and not just finishing alive. I am from Boston, do need to run it, and am running out of years and knees. This sent me to the Garmin Forerunner to really figure out my heart rate, time, pace, and distance. It is in a box on the counter. Must get to it!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Groundhog's Day

I'm tired. I'm tired of the cold weather. I'm tired of it taking 15 minutes to get all of our clothes on to go outside. I'm tired of my hands being so cold that it feels like my fingernails are going to fall off whenever I run in fewer than TWO pairs of gloves. I'm tired of the kids being home for fear-of-snow days. I'm tired of fighting with kids about getting dressed in the morning (like it is a surprise EVERY day that you have to put clothes on?!?!) I'm tired of climbing over piles of gross dirty snow at every intersection. I'm tired of drivers looking at me like I am a negligent parent because I am running on the street in bright daylight, facing traffic on a road that is at least three lanes wide. I'm tired of stepping in dog poop because it seems that dog owners only feel like picking it up when it is comfortably warm and convenient for them to do so. I'm tired of searching for the matching mitten. I'm tired of waking up at 4:30 am to go to the gym when I don't want to brave frigid temps outside. I'm tired of snow getting packed into the treads of my running shoes. It feels like I'm running in high heels. You can pretty easily conclude I don't like high heel shoes either. I'm tired of my jogging stroller refusing to roll in a straight line. I'm tired of wet snow gear sprawled across the entry way, kitchen, and dining room. I'm tired of the older kids - stuck at home for another snow day - teaching the 2 year-old curse words. I'm tired of drivers looking at me like I am a negligent parent because I've taken my children outside at all.

And I'm going to do it all again tomorrow.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My First Tempo and 14 Miler Post Baby #3

I ran three times last week. This isn't enough. It isn't enough mentally and it's certainly not enough if I plan to successfully run Boston. I could dwell on this or I can choose to move on and focus on the success's I had.

I've often talked about how running is not just about the physical but also the mental. Dwelling on things that don't go according to plan or perceived failures in your training, only bring you down. In order to be successful and meet your goals you must use things like this as motivation, but never dwell on them and allow them to discourage you.

The positives about my week, in regards to running, were that I ran my first tempo and first 14 miler post baby #3.

Mile 1 - 9:06
Mile 2 - 8:46
Mile 3 - 8:56
Mile 4 - 8:27
Mile 5 (tempo) - 7:07
Mile 6 (tempo) - 7:07
Mile 7 (cool down) - 9:26

This was a perfectly executed tempo. I almost did negative splits in the warm up part, I was dead on for both tempo miles and my slowest mile of the whole run was the cool down.


Tempos are an excellent way to include speed work in your training. They are perfect if you don't have access to a track or simply don't want to do track workouts. Include these in your training if you are at a point where you no longer walk during your runs. It's important that you run the entire workout and push yourself hard during the tempo portion, but not to the point that you are unable to run a cool down mile or two after. As my training goes on, the tempo portion of the run will increase, but I will keep the mileage between 6 to 8 miles.

On Saturday I ran my first 14 miler post baby. I had company for 8 of the miles, but had to run 6 of them alone.

I don't typically run with music, preferring to test my mental strength and also be aware of my surroundings. I'm sure this has helped me during the marathon. I don't need any outside help to get through the race. I DO NOT RACE WITH MUSIC. I know I will catch some slack for this but I just don't believe it in. You don't see athletes in other sports wearing music during their games, races, competitions, etc. I think it should be no different for running.

My goal for the run was to complete all the miles and to keep them between 9:00 and 10:00 minute pace. I consider the run a success.

Mile 1 - 9:46
Mile 2 - 9:17
Mile 3 - 9:30
Mile 4 - 9:36
Mile 5 - 9:21
Mile 6 - 9:27
Miles 7 - 9:10
Mile 8 - 9:22
Mile 9 - 9:10
Mile 10 - 9:32
Mile 11 - 9:50
Mile 12 - 9:46
Mile 13 - 9:44
Mile 14 - 9:55

I've already moved on from my lack of running last week and am looking forward to a new week, a fresh beginning.

5 COLD miles tonight alone. Thankful that I was able to literally start the week off on a good foot.

You can find me running around on my personal blog at or on twitter as mileposts

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Meet TR

So this is my treadmill, affectionately names "TR," and the bane of my existence lately. TR and I have been through years of ups and downs, and this winter just has not been a good one for us.

Last night, I tried to put in my miles. I really did. But mentally, I was totally defeated. How is it that one can run 8+ miles in freezing temps, wind, hail, snow and ice, yet fails to run a measly mile on the mill.

Last night, I turned to my peeps at DM and here are some thoughts / suggestions they came up with:

The Una Runner: "drop it off the roof."

Shawna L: "intervals"

Esther J W: "I am much faster and less bored outside"

The Una Runner: "glad I live down south" (warmer)

Scott S: "check out these DVDs - "<--- I did, and an awesome idea!!

Killer: "dreadmill. enough said."

Michael S: "if you get a good answer to that one, let me know."

Ihopeagain: "these last 7 weeks of jogging outside have made me a convert."

Jeni: "I make sure to have Pandora radio turned on"

Mark H: "Im real close to going with Una Runners suggestion"

Jocelyn: "I put a towel over the timer and guess how much time is left"

The comments go on, but Im sure you get the idea: I am not the only one who has a mental barrier with treadmill running!


If you have any other ideas, please, throw them my way!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Tuesdays Tips

Re: Running Shoes

Buy Running shoes during your lunch break. Afternoons are the best time because your feet are at their largest midday.

Heat Destroys. The trunk of your car is not the best place to throw your shoes. Heat damages the form & shape of the shoe.

Untie the Laces. Believe it or not, kicking off your shoes with the laces tied can not only ruin the fit, but the heel counter as well. (fyi- the “heal counter” is on the inside of the shoe between the lining and the outsole. Dont worry, I had to look this one up too.)

Softer Surfaces Preserve. Obviously, pavement and hard surfaces wear the shoe out faster. Grass and track are more friendly. So. Happy Trails ;)

* I’d love to know of any other shoe tips you’d like to add??

Sunday, January 02, 2011

It's final: My blog has moved

I am no longer Marathon Mommy. I'm now Watch Mom Run. Sorry for the Confusion!!

Follow me at

Thanks so much!!