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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Things I Love Thursday - Getting Ready to Race

Saturday is race day. My first half marathon since last August. The first of four between now and the end of this August.

Do I want to PR? Yes. What does that mean? Beat my 1:59:08 time. Have I worked hard? Yes. Were there bumps in the training plan road? Yes, a week of biking three weeks ago because of a broken toe. Am I going to let that be an excuse? No. Am I going to leave everything I have out there on Saturday? That's the plan.

Besides kicking some half marathon booty, why am I excited for this race? Because Farrah is running it too. Alicia will be at one of the aid stations. And when I finish, my family will be waiting for me and then my Princess is going to run her first official race, the Kids 1 Mile run.

I was going to include a pic of my race day outfit because I'm a girl that way, but the weather keeps changing, so my planned attire does too. Since it was almost 70 degrees today and is supposed to snow tomorrow, I've given up making a final clothing choice until tomorrow night.

Now I'm off to bed to get a little extra sleep before the big day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Runnerd Pride

I know, I know. You were dying to see what I got in the mail on Monday, and then I made you wait an extra day to find out. So sorry. At least you could enter my giveaway in the meantime though.

I'll quit making you wait and get right to it. Here's the first thing that made me smile from Monday's mail:


I realize my car is ridiculously dirty, but it snowed and rained all morning while I was out running my girls around, so what you see is what you get. Believe it or not, I washed it two days before this pic. You are supposed to be noticing my awesome new RUNNERD sticker though, not how dirty my car is. I ordered this sticker from the RUNNERD shop. I had to get one to make sure it lives up to my runnerd standards. Obviously it does.

In the same package, I got this:




I really don't like pictures of myself in general, if you haven't noticed from how few actually appear on my blog. But I made an exception for this shirt even though I had to do a self portrait (although I obviously can't figure out where to look when taking a picture of myself using the mirror) because my 5-year-old was already in bed. And I had to wear the black shirt under it because of that darn snow/rain. Hello, spring??? Are you there?

And last but not least, I am going to be sporting these Auria personalizers on my earphones at my half on Saturday:

Speaking of these, don't forget to enter my Auria Exceed Earphone Giveaway!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Exceed Indeed


It was a good mail day. For you and me. Tomorrow, I'll show you my spoils. But today, it's all about you.

Last week I told you about my new Exceed earphones from Auria. This week, you have a chance to win your own!!!

I have one pair of Glacier White Auria Exceed Earphones to give away to one IHR reader. Here's a little review of why you want these (from Auria.com):

Exceed
Experience an exciting new level of comfort from our XFit system. Run, hike, bike or walk with the confidence that your earphones will remain in place.

Control volume with a mere finger touch to the stylized InLine control. Use the function button to control audio/video and answer/end calls. Take advantage of the integrated Microphone to make calls on iPhone 4/3GS/3G, Blackberry and Android phones.

Upgrade to Exceed high-performance audio and listen to music with excellent clarity and detail. Hear sweet vocals, rousing guitar riffs and tight bass lines come to life.

The super-soft, black mesh carrying case is sized to hold most smartphones (including iPhone 4/3G/3GS and Blackberry models), Exceed earphones
and accessories.


Here's how you can enter to win some Exceed earphones (please leave a separate comment for each):

  1. Visit Auria's website and tell me what you like, what you want, or something that caught your eye. Leave a comment to let me know. (+1 entry)
  2. Follow my blog. (+1 entry)
  3. LIKE Auria on Facebook HERE. (+1 entry)
  4. Facebook, blog, Twitter, etc. about this giveaway. (+1 entry)

*AURIA provided the earphones for this giveaway. I did not pay any thing for them. The winner will be chosen by Random.org on 5/2.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things I Love Thursday: Abs



I'm not talking about my abs here. I'm talking more about what I want them to be, their true potential. It's time to make them a thing I love.

So I'm setting a goal. I want my abs to look good enough that I would feel comfortable wearing just my sports bra (and something on bottom, of course) during one of my half marathons this summer. Just to clarify (for my Mom's sake), I'm not saying I will wear just my sports bra. But I want it to be an option. My June 11 half is seven weeks away. With a little focus, I should be able to see a difference by then. And by the Timp Half on July 30, I will have identifiable abs.

I am not expecting rockin' abs like EMZ or to be abalicious like Beth and Morgan. But I do want tighter, more defined abs. So I'm setting a goal and putting it in writing. Tonight's P90X AbRipperX was a good start. Throw in a little more discipline in what I eat, and I'm on the road to success.

And if I end up with truly awesome abs (at least as far as I'm concerned), I'll consider before and after pics on the blog.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ooh, la, la Auria

A few months ago, I bought a pair of Yurbuds. After my Bean thought the earbuds I have been using for the last few years looked like a fun toy and took one of the earpieces off and lost it, I just couldn't get them to work with the larger earpieces. So I consulted eBay and bought a pair of Ironman Yurbuds. With my history of unhappiness with earphones, fifty bucks was too much to justify spending, but I'd heard so many good things from other bloggers about them so I found a brand new pair on eBay for half the price.

The hubs got my hand-me-downs with the larger earpieces, and I started using my Yurbuds. After the first try, I contacted Yurbuds and asked if they came in something smaller than a size 5. They don't. I have fairly small ears and have a hard time finding earphones that don't hurt. I figured since Yurbuds came in multiple sizes, I would be good to go. Not so much. The Yurbuds "worked." But I didn't love them.

Then I was contacted by Auria and asked if I would be interested in testing out their Exceed earphones. About a week later, I got these in the mail:



I was so excited to test them out! I tried them out on a shorter run and then the next day on an eight miler.


My lovely attempt at a self-portrait while on the treadmill modeling my Exceed earphones


I can honestly say these are as close to perfect as earphones can come for me. Here's why:


  • They fit! They don't hurt my ears. They don't fall out. They come with four sizes of ECO rings to ensure the best fit for any ears, even mine.

  • The in-line control is awesome. I have a multi-touch iPod Nano, so it isn't easy to change the playlist while I am running. I also have to choose whether I want the power button to change the songs or pause them; it doesn't do both. With Exceed's in-line control, I can easily change the song, pause it, and turn the volume up or down. There is also a model designed for runners who place their cords under their shirts, but I have actually worn my Exceed earphones under my shirt and just clip the cord to my sports bra so the in-line control stays above my shirt.

  • Auria thought of everything. You can tell that some real thought and testing went into these earphones. They sound great while also allowing me to hear ambient sounds, which is great for runners who wear them outside. For me it's good when I'm on Millie and my girls are in bed so The Princess can't sneak up on me and send me flying across the room with one of her many excuses to get out of bed.

  • You get to choose between three color options. I went with Glacier White, although the Black/Hot Pink ones were tempting. The third color is Carbon Black (with blue trim).

  • Personalization!! The personalizers allow you to make a statement, to make them yours. I plan on adding these to my earphones ASAP:




Here's a little more info about the Exceed earphones from the Auria website:

In-the-box
Exceed earphones with stylized Personalizers
and Small-sized ECO rings
One (1) luxury carrying case, ultra-soft mesh
fiber
One (1) additional set of Personalizers with alternate graphics
Three (3) additional sets of ECO rings: Small-Conical, Medium, and Large

Specs
Compatibility: All iPods, iPhone 4/3GS/3G,
Zune, Zen, DVD players and CD players
Speaker driver: Expanded band design
and neodymium magnet
Frequency response: 50-18000 Hz
Plug: 3.5mm
diameter, L-shaped, gold plated
Impedance: 32 ohms


Price
$33.99



And like I said, there is also the Provoke model that comes without the in-line control. And Auria has a third model, the Zeal earphones with nano technology speakers. You can find out more about all of Auria's earphones and accessories (be sure to check out all the personalizers) HERE.

Looks like the hubs will be getting a set of slightly used Yurbud earphones, at least until he tries my Exceed earphones and wants his own pair. And you never know, there might just be something in it for you. (Do I see a giveaway in the I Have Run future???)




* I was provided one set of Exceed earphones free of charge. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things I Love Thursday - Underoos

Readers Note: I apologize for the use of the word "panties" throughout this post. I know some of my readers can't stomach that word, but it was hard to write about this topic without using it a few times. I could only get away with substitutes in some instances.

When I did the ABCs of Me a few weeks ago, I had a few comments on my response to U: Underwear. My response: Usually. I thought there were far more of you out there going commando on your runs. Apparently I was mistaken. So I felt the topic is deserving of a post all its own.

When I started running, I tried a few different types of undies. I knew enough to at least avoid cotton, and I knew I didn't want to deal with something inching its way up my crack while I run, so thongs were out. But after a few failed tries, I decided to try nothing. And it was great.

First, I am a not a fan of visible panty lines (VPLs). Even the all-knowing Urban Dictionary says they are a no-no:

"VPL is where the panties of a woman are visible through the material of lower-body clothing. This is a definite fashion misdemeanor. VPL damages the aesthetic beauty of a fine rump and can be very harmful to a woman's health."

Second, it was just one less thing to worry about when it came to getting ready to run and avoiding chaffing. It also helped that a lot of my running bottoms - all my running skirts and my running shorts - have built-in briefs. The only time I was officially going commando was in my tights and capris. That, however, has changed.

Those marketing people at Victoria's Secret know what they're doing when they send out those free panty coupons. When I got my free pair of Bare Ultimate Hiphuggers, I thought I couldn't love a pair of underpants more. These have NO SEAMS. Yes, you read that right. A runner's dream. No seams. And no VPL. What more could I ask for? Then I got a free panty card for the Incredible Hiphugger. There is a reason it is called Incredible! These are the softest, most comfy undies I've ever had. I. Love. Them. They don't give me a little roll above the waistband, and if you can see a VPL, you are too close to my booty. And they don't move when I run. No wedgie is always a big plus.

So I guess in reality I should change my answer on the ABCs of Me to:


U- Underwear: Yes, please.


*Photo(s) credit: VictoriasSecret.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Run

The toe is still cooperating. It isn't better, but it's surviving. All that really matters is that I can run comfortably. But step on my poor little piggy, and it takes all I have to stay in an upright position and keep the profanities in my head. Not being able to run for a week just about put me over the edge. Four miles on Millie on Monday did what three 10+ mile sessions on the bike couldn't do last week. There's just something about running.

After my forced hiatus, I didn't need any motivation. Yet I realized something about motivation and me lately. When the scale goes up or my clothes aren't fitting as comfortably as I would like, I am not motivated to run. In fact, it's just the opposite. I don't want to do anything except feel sorry for myself, sit on the couch, and zone out to the TV. And eat hot tamales.

Then the other day, I took my girls to the mall to Minnie's Masquerade, a little costume party they had at the Disney Store. People can't help but notice two little girls walking around the mall dressed like Disney characters in the middle of April. On our way to the Disney store, a girl working at one of the mall kiosks told them how cute they looked and asked why they were dressed up. As we passed her again after the party, she asked if they had fun. Then she asked me if I am just naturally skinny or if I do something. Heck yes I do something!

My real response: "It's not natural. I have to work at it. I run." I don't think of myself as skinny, thin maybe, but not skinny. And compliments about how I look are rare. Her comment carried me through the rest of the weekend. And all it made me want to do is run. Because that is how I got and stay "skinny."

What motivates you?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Take That

Saturday night, I was sick. I sat in front of the television most of the night because it isn't too far from the bathroom. I'll just leave it at that. Needless to say, I was very jealous that while I was watching TV, my husband was watching this:


He texted the picture with a single word beneath it:

HEAVEN!!!


Tonight he was at yet another game, but this time the texting went like this:

Me: I would be more jealous of you being there tonight if I weren't on the treadmill for the first time in a week =)

Him: RunNERD!!

Me: You betcha!!!


Then I texted him this picture, with a single word:

HEAVEN!!!


Four miles done. TAKE THAT, TOE!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The "F" Word

I literally cringed the other day when The Princess tried on her soccer shin guards for the first time and told me her legs look fat. I know she didn't mean it like most people mean it when they say something looks fat, but it still gave me a little shock. We don't use the "f" word at our house. I am very, very careful to never complain about looking or feeling fat in front of my girls. I am very aware of what they are exposed to and take a certain amount of pride in the fact that The Princess didn't acknowledge the differences in people based on their size until recently. Even now, at 5-years-old, it's just a simple acknowledgement, not a judgement.

I never want my girls to dislike their bodies. It is nearly impossible to avoid being exposed to the public perception of what is attractive and acceptable as far as a woman's body goes, so the least I can do is set a good example in what I say and how I treat my body. As a mother, I have a responsibility to teach my girls the value of and to respect their bodies. One way I do this is through the example I set with my running. I also encourage them to be active through things like gymnastics, soccer and an occasional run on the treadmill.

Yet as hard as I try to set a good example, I am not immune to feeling that "f" word myself sometimes. And unfortunately I have been feeling that way a lot lately. It doesn't help that just when I was getting motivated to amp up my running, I stubbed my toe and have been a slave to the bike. It's funny that not too long ago I went almost a week without running by choice and it didn't phase me. But now when I can't run, I am grumpy and itching to get moving like nothing else. Riding the bike just isn't cutting it, even if it means I am getting caught up on some of my TV shows since I bike and watch but never run and watch.

I was a little optimistic the other day when I thought I would be able to run. I did get as far as putting on my running shoes and stepping on the treadmill. Yet, I knew as I slid my shoe over my toe that it wasn't going to happen. That didn't stop me from turning Millie on and taking a few steps though. I thought maybe the pain would somehow ease up once I started running. Nope.

So now my booty is sore from the bike seat, the scale is literally stuck (even the numbers after the dot, as in 199.99, don't even change!) and all I want to do is eat. The eating thing should only happen when I'm training. And training I'm not, at least not the way I should be with a half marathon on the 30th. But sore toe aside, I'm going to keep on keeping on, because getting rid of that "f" word feeling doesn't just happen on its own. That means P90X Core Synergistics tonight and another attempt on Millie tomorrow, with 20 miles on the bike as a back-up plan.

I don't get to take a break from setting a good example for my girls just because I'm having a few weeks where my clothes don't seem to fit right or because I got a boo-boo. I don't want to take a break. Core Synergistics, here I come.

Things I Love Thursday - Not My Race Photos

My little Bean's room has slowly transitioned from an office to a little girl's room. After I was able to let myself sleep more than five feet away from her, we moved her crib into the office. Since Bean is a seriously light sleeper and The Princess can sleep through just about anything and talks in her sleep A LOT, the original plan to have them share a room didn't seem like the best idea. At least not if anyone in the house wanted a good night's sleep. So Bean's crib went in the office. After a year in there, it was time to make the room a little more girlie. So out went the desk and in went a dresser and cute white bookshelf. The walls however still suggested it was once an office until this week. There was the picture of The Prayer at Valley Forge above her bed until this morning. Now there is this: This canvas print was generously provided by Easy Canvas Prints. After I had The Princess's five year pics taken a few weeks ago, I knew one of those would be the choice for my canvas print. I was somehow able to resist the temptation to get one of my race photos done, although this one was tempting, just because it is proof that I ran a marathon with Spiderman: When I chose the picture I wanted printed, I didn't know I would love it so much. Or that it would be so easy to turn one of my favorite pics of my girls ever into the perfect thing for my Bean's room. And yes, The Princess also loves it. Enough that she might start wanting to share a room just to have it moved to her room. The Easy Canvas Print designer is so easy to use. It is a 4-step process that lets you choose your canvas size and how thick you want the wrap (mine is the gallery wrap - 1.5 inches), upload your image (it uploads very quickly and tells you if your photo resolution is too high or low), pick your border (I chose the mirror image, which extends a mirror image of your pic around the sides), and then you choose your image options (things like turning it black & white or sepia or getting minor or major retouching). That's pretty much it.

So slow but sure, the office is becoming a bedroom. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the other walls. That will have to wait though because it's soccer time at our house. I am now officially a soccer mom. The Princess had her first game last week and will play her second game (most likely in the rain) today. She isn't totally sold on soccer though; she just wanted to play because one of her besties plays. Their first (and only) practice involved a lot of hand holding and playing with each other's hair. And the first game looked a lot like this:
Although there was some of this too:



Since The Princess hasn't been very excited about her second game, I'm really hoping the rain stops before we head out the door. Maybe I'll just have to try and sell her on how awesome it is that she gets to run (like Mom!) while she plays soccer.



* I was provided one canvas print free of charge. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Not a Food Blog

This is not a food blog. It's a running blog. But while I busted out 12 miles on the bike last night, there hasn't been running since last week, so I decided why not talk about food? More specifically, I decided to share the recipe for the the Pumpkin Cream Pasta I mentioned in THIS post. It isn't the healthiest thing you can eat, but it is pretty yummy. And I tell myself the pumpkin makes it a little healthier. Right??

(The quality of this picture, which was taken with my phone, is proof this is not a food blog!)



Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce



  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1/4 cup fresh-grated Parmesan

  • 16 fresh sage leaves (sliced into thin strips) or 1/4 tsp rubbed sage

  • 1/4 tsp fresh-ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon butter

Combine cream, pumpkin puree, Parmesan, sage and pepper in medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until slightly thickened -- 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Toss with your favorite pasta. Top with additional Parmesan if desired.

I have used tortellini but actually prefer rigatoni. I have also made it with fresh sage and with rubbed sage and like it both ways. And I have made it without the butter and sometimes throw in a little more pumpkin, and it was just as good.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have something to say about running. I took Mike's advice and taped my littlest piggy to it's neighbor. Between that and making it through the day yesterday without bumping it (or having it bumped by one of the little people roaming around my house), it is doing much better today. In fact, I'm walking like a normal person again. This is especially nice since The Princess told me I walk like an old lady when I was limping the other day. So after the girls' heads hit their pillows, I'm going to gently slip my running shoes over my tender little toe and spend some time with Millie.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Toeing the Line

There's nothing like having to change your monthly goals on the third day of the month. But that's what I had to do yesterday when I did this (the bruised toe, not the dirty ones or the freckle): It didn't even happen while I was doing something fun or crazy. I was just walking from the livingroom to the kitchen and the leg of a chair jumped out in front of my toe. Based on how quickly it became a chubby little sausage and changed colors, I am highly suspicious it is broken. According to the trusty old Internet, I could be looking at six weeks before it is feeling completely back to normal if it is indeed broken. I guess only time will tell. But time I do not have. I have a half marathon in less than a month. So once the pain subsides a little, hopefully sooner than later, I will be slipping on my running shoes. Until then, I have a feeling I will be spending some time on the bike and doing modified P90X Core Synergistics. This won't be an excuse to be lazy. It's just a little bump in my running road.

Now that I made you look at a picture of my foot, here's a more pleasant picture:


Alicia, Me, Farrah

I had an awesome time with Alicia and Farrah when we had a little blogger meet-up to see My Run last week. Since you've probably read enough reviews on other running blogs or maybe even saw it yourself, I'll just give you a few quick thoughts. Loved the reminder of how mental running really is. And how much you can overcome physically if you can get through it mentally. I so need to master that in my own running. Didn't love that he doesn't run anymore. That was very disappointing. But at least I walked out of the theater wanting to push and challenge myself more.

Then I stubbed my toe. Not exactly the challenge I had in mind.

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