Friday Five – Blogs to Love!!

Happy Friday!  T-minus 9 days until the Frederick Half Marathon (not that I’m counting).  Let the weather stalking commence!!!  Right now I’m seeing mostly sunny with a low of 50 and a high of 74.  Perfect!!!  I’ve got a 5 miler on tap this weekend that I’ll be doing in my neighborhood so it looks like all my hilly runs have been done during the taper, super!  Thanks winter from hell!  I’ve been looking at my training over the past 3 months and I’ve got some goals for the race that I’ll share in next week’s final weekly recap.

So this weeks theme is Blogs to Love!!!  Everything has been about the love lately and I’m lovin’ it.  Aside from our lovely hosts’ blogs, Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia, here are a few more that I love to check out regularly.  In no particular order.

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Run Salt Run – She is my running hero.  Ms. Salt, whom I’m blessed to know in person, is just all around awesome sauce.  She’s a great athlete, a great mom, and a beautiful person.  Her blog is fun to read and what you read is what you get with her.  She encouraged me to start this blog, and I’m so glad I did!  Please go wish her luck, she’s running her second marathon in New Jersey this weekend!

The Country Cook – Totally not running or health related, but this site is chock full of easy family friendly recipes.  My favorite sections are the crock pot section and the dessert section.  I’ve made the Beef Dip Sandwiches, Taco Soup, Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches, and the Party Meatballs.  I’ve also made a few of the poke cakes to take to family gatherings.  Those are always a hit.

Running Out of Wine – Lisa is another one of my running heroes and she’s a local Baltimore runner.  When I first started running I was always trying to find race recaps and that’s how I discovered her blog.  I also love her Food Prep posts – I’m usually finding a recipe or some idea to steal.

Gettin’ My Healthy On – I found Katie’s blog one day while looking for a plank challenge and I liked hers.  After digging around on her site a bit, she’s got a lot of workouts and recipes on there.  So this week, not only did I get some fitness inspiration, I also found a recipe for Mexican Casserole that I want to try.  Her posts are really useful, some recent ones have been on taking care of your feet and she did a review of the Shoe Dog Analysis at Road Runner Sports.  There is a Road Runner in my area, although not entirely convenient, but her post made me want to go there.  Like yesterday.

Another Mother Runner – Not really a blog, but is the hub of all things Mother Runner.  I believe the website was all started after Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell came out with their first book a few years ago, Run Like a Mother.  I got that book last year when I started running.  It was full of their stories and stories of other women of all ages and all stages of life.  How they got started running, race experiences, etc.  I devoured it and went on to purchase their second book, Train Like a Mother, and their third book came out last month, Tales from Another Mother Runner.   They have really built a great community for female runners (mothers or not) and the site was a great resource when I got started running and it still is today.

 

Thanks again for the lovely link up Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia!

Friday Five

 

So what are your favorite blogs?  Aside from health and fitness, are their any other blogs you like to follow (food, fashion, etc)?

 

 

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Five Things About Me – Friday Five!

Good Morning!

After being in sunny & warm Atlanta all week I’m back here in Maryland with the cold prepping for a snowy, yucky weekend.

I’m linking up again with Mar from Mar On the Run, Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC, and Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?! for the Friday Five!

Friday Five

These kind of posts are hard for me. I need prompts…so I Googled and found lists upon lists of fantastic “get to know you” questions.  Yeah, I know, I’m so creative.  I chose 5 random questions that I thought were unique and would help me share something a little different than I have before.

1.  What musical instruments do you wish you could play?  I played the flute in middle school band for 3 years.  Once I went to high school, I didn’t want to do marching band so I quit.  My mom refers to that as one her greatest disappointments.  I try to remind her that if that’s the biggest disappointment she’s experienced, she’s done really well for herself.  (She’s a bit dramatic.)  Later on in high school, I really wanted to learn guitar.  I still kinda do.  When I was in high school I wanted to be in a band and be a “rock star”, dye my hair pink, and travel the world.  Maybe I just should have pulled a Ron Burgundy and made the flute happen.

flute

2.  If you did not need the money what would you do for work?  If I didn’t need money, I’d foster dogs or adopt lots of dogs.  I’m a dog person through and through.  Several years ago, when I was visiting my mom, we killed some time by going to the shelter and I was saddened by the number of older dogs there.  They weren’t going to get adopted.  So I’d like to adopt those older dogs and give them a nice place to live out the rest of their lives.  Almost like a doggie retirement home.

3.  What is the most enjoyable thing you family has done together?  There was this one time when I went to the beach with my family, maybe in 2009?  The first night we were there, it was just me and my brothers, we had all gone to the beach earlier and gotten sunburned.  That night we were sitting around, drinking, playing card games, and laughing about getting lubed up with aloe (you had to be there).  I think I might have even peed myself from laughing so hard.  We rarely hang out when it’s just us (no spouses, parents, kids, etc.)  Even though I’m not as close as I could be with my brothers, we will always have the same history, shared inside jokes, and an understanding of each other no one else gets.  I always remember that night as one of most fun.  We still talk about it today.

4.  What restaurant do you go to more than any other?  I don’t go to the restaurant, but I have been getting pizza from this place across the street from me almost weekly lately.  It’s my favoritest pizza ever!  It’s a thin crust, with great sauce and cheese.  Pizza is one of the reasons why I run.

pizza

5.  What magazine do you look for when you are stuck in the waiting room?  People or US Weekly.  Even though I hate to admit it, I love celebrity gossip.

So there you have it!  Some more about me.

What would you do for a living if you didn’t need money?  Did you ever want to be a rock star?

Friday Five Linkup – Gym Bag Edition

Good Morning!  Today I’m linking up with Mar from Mar On the Run, Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC, and Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?! for the Friday Five!

Friday Five

This is my first link up!  I’ve seen bloggers doing this for a while and since one of my non-running goals is to expand my blog a bit, I figured I’ll jump in starting this week.

This week’s theme is “What’s In My Gym Bag?”

First up, here’s my bag.

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It’s a Thirty One Zip Top Organizing Tote.  I liked it because it had lots of pockets and it’s not too big, not too small, can fit a pair of shoes and a change of clothes if need be.  I don’t shower at the gym, so this is just the right size.  Now on to the contents.

1. Spin Shoes

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I just recently got a pair – like in the past month.  I can’t really explain how it feels different, but it just does.  It’s a smoother ride, because your foot is attached to the pedal – none of the jostling around in the shoe straps.  I got these on clearance at REI.  Even if you can’t find a deal, they are a good investment, they won’t wear out, like ever (or so I’m told).

2. My Garmin

  01f1ad4f5d8e64e931adc1d423b2673a6d13cc942fI actually don’t use my Garmin at the gym, but I keep it in my bag so that it doesn’t get lost.  As you can see, I put those lovely KT Tape cases to use and store it in there.

3.  Hydration

0100ca2fedbb5a86beef6d9711a82f375591c02e28Here is my awesome giant water bottle and a couple of Gu Brews.  This is a water bottle I got from work and it’s the only water bottle I have that holds enough water to get me through spin class.  Its just a basic squeeze bottle, but I never go to spin without it.  On to the Gu Brew, I went a few months without any Nuun and the last time I was at the running store they had Gu Brew – so I thought I would try it out. It’s not as good in my opinion.  To be fair though, one of the flavors I got was strawberry lemonade, which I knew I probably wouldn’t like.  They should probably convert their root beer Gu into a Brew.  (Maybe even the watermelon flavor.)

4 & 5 – Miscellaneous

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This picture contains so much miscellaneous.  Due to the multiple pockets, lots of things end up in my gym bag for safe keeping.  If I ever need something for a run, I know it’s probably in my gym bag.  In this pic is a spare Bondi Band (they soak up ALL the sweat), Body Glide from last summer, my Road ID, chapstick, some extra safety pins, and my headphones.

This bag should really be called my run bag.  Last summer during my training, I used to just grab this bag and go.  I would keep my hydration belt in it, my post-run snacks, Gus, a towel for my car…  I was never running around looking for things in the morning when I knew I had to meet up with my group.

So that’s my gym bag.  This was an easy first link up!  Can’t wait for next week.

So, what’s in your bag? Nuun vs. Gu Brew – Where do you stand?  Any other creative uses for the KT Tape cases?

2014 – A Year in Review

Wow…what a year!  I became a runner.  I still can’t wrap my mind around it.   All in one year I ran my first 5K, my first 10K, my first half marathon, and a handful of other races and runs!  It seems like only yesterday I was attempting my first run walk on the treadmill.  I’m so happy to be finishing 2014 a better person – a changed person – than when I started.

Let me start off by reviewing some goals I had set back in July when I first started blogging.

  • Finish the Baltimore Half Marathon.  No time goals here, just a finish.  (check back after October 18th for the exciting conclusion) – Did it!  Didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but did it!  I’ll see you again in 2015 Baltimore!

Finish Line

  • I’d like to drop another 20 lbs – that will put me in my healthy weight range.  At this point though, my weight loss has slowed significantly – I guess my body has gotten used to the running and I’m eating differently to fuel my running.  So I’ll be happy to be down another 10 by December 31st.  I won’t be a slave to the scale though – if I could drop another pants size, I’ll take that in lieu of 10 pounds.  If I don’t lose anything and I’m still in the same pants – I’ll take that too.  I’ll have run a half marathon – I’ll be riding that high for a while. – Didn’t lose any more weight, but haven’t gained and I’m still in the same pants.  Sounds like a win to me!
  • Shave a minute or two off my 5K time.  I’m not sure how aggressive that is or not.  I’m assuming that by running more, adding in speed work while training, and dropping a few pounds I’ll definitely get a little faster. – I have unofficially run a faster 5K, but not in a race setting.  I have added some speed work to my weekly runs this winter, so I’m hoping that will help come spring.

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  • Work in more cross training.  I’ve mentioned before that this training schedule has eliminated my ability to attend my favorite spin class and Body Pump class – so now I’ve got to find other alternatives.  There is a Yoga for Athletes offered at the gym on Wednesday mornings – I’m going to give that a go next week. –  I have been loving Yoga for Athletes and have gotten back to Spin and Body Pump this month.  As I work on my training schedule I’m trying to make sure I can keep going to them.

Several bloggers have been posting their Year of Running reviews.  Looks like it might have originated with Amanda over at MsZippy.  I thought it was a great way to really sum up what this year has been for me.

I’ve Been Liebstered!

Thank you Salt for the nomination!  I feel so loved!

liebster

I love when these awards go around because I love to read people’s answers.  I always learn something new.

1) What is my current health related goal?
Get stronger and get more variety in my workouts. When I started training for the half I dropped most of my cross training and it more than likely affected my running. I have major plans to add spinning & body pump back into my life.  Just went back to spin this morning for the first time since September.

2) What is my biggest irrational fear?
Messing up at work. I feel like I totally kick butt at my job, but I deal with legal issues so I’m always afraid that I might have said or done something wrong that could come back to haunt me.

office

3) Do I enjoy wrapping presents?
Do I ever!  I spend way more time than I should making every corner perfect. Sometimes that requires a lot of tape and the recipient has a hard time opening my gifts. Oh well.

4) What’s my favorite cross training activity?
I have three.  It’s hard to call one a favorite, because they all do different things.  Spin, Yoga, & Body Pump.

5) If you came to visit me, what would we do?
I’d probably take you downtown, stroll around Fells Point, Canton, and/or Federal Hill. Weather permitting , we’d go to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware – because who doesn’t love the beach?

rehoboth

6) I have 2 weeks off work and 2 round trip plane tickets to ANYWHERE. Where would you go and who would you take?
Um – I’d take Charlotte to Disney World. She is currently obsessed with princesses and princes and castles. We drive by a church every day on the way home from school and she gets so excited to drive past her “castle”. She told me she wants me to move her bed there and live with the prince. #toosoon

7) What’s the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me during a run or race?

This wasn’t really embarrassing b/c it happened at home immediately after coming in for a run. After birthing a child, it is hard to hold pee for any length of time. So during a run, I had to go, but figured I could hold it until I got home. Once I got home, I started racing up the stairs and luckily made it into the bathroom before a floodgate opened that I could not stop. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the actual toilet.  There, have a laugh.

8) The 3 best days of my life? Or at least the top 3 that pop into my mind…
The birth of my daughter, the day I married my husband, and the day I finished a half marathon (Salt and I think very much alike)

9) Okay so I HAVE to eat a fast food meal. What restaurant would I choose and what do I order?
Hands down, Chick Fil A, Deluxe Chicken Sandwich, no cheese, w/ waffle fries and Unsweet Tea.

10) Have you ever met a celebrity?
I don’t think I have. If I did, it wasn’t significant enough to stand out in my mind.

11) Share a pic of myself in non-workout clothes.

Unfortunately, it was hard for me to find any pics of myself that weren’t just a face or shoulders up.  But I dug deep!

cruise

This is from our cruise 3 years ago – tank & capris

12) If I could choose to have a ‘do over’and switch careers, what would I choose and why?
Eh, not sure. I wish I could do something more creative sometimes. But I’m happy where I’ve ended up.  At one point in high school I did want to get into Forensic Science, but that was the days before CSI, so no one could really give me any direction other than going to medical school.  Without the Forensic side of the biology major, I lost interest.  Otherwise, this could have been me:

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13) If I won an Olympic Gold Medal how do I think I would react?
I’d pass out – probably b/c I’d be exhausted from whatever it was I was doing to win a gold medal.

14) What do I want for Christmas?
A windfall to pay off some bills.

15) What skill do I lack?
I’m perfect, what are you talking about?  I kid, I kid!  I guess swimming.  I wish I could swim.

Now, onto the nominations!

Anna (Piper) @ Piper’s Run

Amy @ Lets Go Running

Sam @ Bake N’ Burn Bombshell

Salt already nominated most of the other blogs I read…but anyone else can join in!

What do you want for Christmas?