Monday, October 31, 2011

Winter Running Clothes

As you may know, it is starting to get cold in the North East.  Here in south central PA where I am, we just got 8 inches of snow.  Running in the winter is new to me.  I started my journey to the Disney Princess Half Marathon last January, but ran on a treadmill at the gym until the weather got warmer.  I have no experience with running in very cold temperatures. 
Over the past few weeks, I have been running around my neighborhood as the temperatures fall at night.  I have been wearing mostly C9 clothes from Target—yoga pants, a tech t-shirt and a running jacket.  This has suited me well for the above 40 degree temperatures, but it will not due for lower temperatures.  I am ready to invest is some good running clothes for my cold winter runs.  It is still 16 weeks until I leave for the princess half.  With a lot of training runs ahead of me, I need to be prepared for some cold weather. 
What do you wear when you run in the cold?  I really need suggestions! 
A dream is a wish…

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I am not eating Halloween candy; I am refueling my glycogen stores.

LOL, this was a tweet from a friend a few days ago.  While it may be a good excuse to eat candy, it will not help my running goals.  I have devised a plan to try to stick to healthy eating habits over the extended Halloween weekend. 

·         Keep healthy, yet tasty food on hand.  I got some whole wheat bread and rotisserie chicken for sandwiches.  I got apples, carrots and light veggie dip.  I also have lots of chocolaty Shakeology on hand. 

·         Allow myself a few treats here and there.  My favorite candy is Milky Way.  I got just a few fun size bars from the bulk food section of my local grocery store.  Any more than that would be to much temptation.

·         Buy only candy that is not a trigger food for me. Since I am a chocaholic, I can deal with other candy in the house, but not chocolate.  To avoid over eating, I got a Willy Wonka assortment bag to hand out to trick or treaters (nerds, laughy taffy, bottle caps, sweet tarts).  I do not discriminate when it comes to candy, but these are less of a trigger food for me than chocolate.

·         Buy candy the day before it is needed and not a second before.  Trick or Treat in my neighborhood was Saturday night, so I waited till Friday afternoon to buy candy.  I did not open the bag until just before it was trick or treat time.

·         Drink lots of water. Water keeps you full.

·         Stick to an eating schedule.  I eat every three hours, as to never be hungry.  I do not trust myself when I am hungry!  I will eat anything in site, including not so healthy Halloween treats. 

What do you do to stick to a healthy eating plan around food based holidays? 

A dream is a wish…

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Don't Give Up!

This week has been a tough one for me running wise.  My allergies have been acting up and it has been a lot colder this week.  I have felt more tired this week.   It must be a trend with all of us, because this week I have gotten a few emails from reader telling me the same thing.  One reader even asked me if I think she can do this and do I think she should quit.  Let me be clear—I KNOW that each and every one of you can do this! 
One of my Facebook friends posted something that I found really timely earlier today.  He posted: 
Don’t expect every run to be better than the last one, some you'll feel sluggish and some of them will hurt....but those are the ones that train your mental strength...a very important component in becoming a successful runner!

Well said Ken!  I have been experiencing some not so great runs lately, but I know that I have to keep going.  I know it will get better!  Remember that on your next not so great run. 

While I am quoting, there is another one I want to share with you, brought by my friend Kristin of Bigger Girls Can Run: 

"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run."-John Bingham
Happy running!
A dream is a wish…
Don’t forget to entry my GU giveaway!
I am posting a really big giveaway very soon!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2011 Race for the Cure

On Sunday, I ran in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Hunt Valley, MD.  This race is to find a cure for breast cancer.  Since my mom is a survivor, I felt like this race was a must for me.  For the past five years, I have wanted to do this event, but I never felt like I belonged.  Since I have several races behind me and feel more comfortable in my role as a “runner”, I knew this was my year to do the Race for the Cure. 
I woke up at 5:30 am the morning of the race.  This is nothing new for runners, but I am not sure I will ever get used to the early hours.  My partners in crime, my friends Erin and Will, along with my sister Samantha met at my house and we were off to the race.  The drive to Hunt Valley is about 45 minutes.  The race started at 8 am, but by 7 am all of the area parking lots were packed and finding parking was difficult.  We finally found parking about a mile from the start.  We got to the race village, picked up our bibs and shirts and hit bag check just in time to make it to the start line. 
Several announcements were made that the runners started at 8 am and that walkers stated at 8:30 am.  Although the organizers attempted to keep walkers in the back, it did not happen.  Getting past the starting line was very slow to say the least.  There were so many people in front of me that were walking…very slowly.  There were even people pushing stroller, regular stroller, not jogging strollers.  This was by far the most difficult race start I have ever experienced.  After a few minutes, I began to realize this was not a race for a PR and to just have fun.
One thing about the race I really enjoyed was all the special tributes.  People had tributes to loved ones, past and present, which have battled breast cancer.  Tributes ranged from shirts, to posters, to balloons.  It was very moving to see all the families and the survivors themselves running or walking for the cure.  A local sorority was at race village providing pink cards to attach to the runners bibs.  The cards had a spot for the runner to write who they were running in honor of.  This my sister and I with a card to honor our mom.
I always enjoy reading race shirts, but this race had some particularly good ones.  My favorite read “Yes, they are fake--The real ones tried to kill me. “  A local fire company had shirts that read “jogging for jugs”.    They were black with hot pink letters, worn mostly by men.  There was a little kid running the race wearing a shirt that said “care for your pair.”  People can be very creative.
I finished the race with a clock time of 40:24.  This was not a chip timed event.  With the very slow start, I figure my time from start line to finish line was around 38 minutes.  I am happy with it, considering how crowded that race was.  I heard an announcement saying there was over thirty thousand race participants and over three million dollars was raised for the cure!  I am proud to be part of such a wonderful event. 

A dream is a wish...


***Don't forget about my GU giveaway!

***I have an amazing giveaway to start in a few days!  Stay tuned!   

Thursday, October 20, 2011

GU review and giveaway!

We have done a lot of discussion here about nutrition and hydration during runs.  The good people at GU found out that many of you and I were interested in nutrition and hydration.  They sent me a GU Performance Energy Sampler to try out and tell you about.  They also sent me a Performance Energy Sampler to giveaway to one lucky reader.  Here is what is in the sampler:
Original GU Gels:  As many of you know, I am not a huge fan of gels.  It’s a textural thing.  I will tell you though, that I like the GU gels the best.  I feel like GU has the best flavors of gels on the market, making it easier to get them down.  My favorite would have to be Chocolate Outrage.  I could suck that stuff down all day!  I also really like the Mandarin Orange.  GU gels come in varying degrees of caffeinating.  They have flavors with no caffeine, one dose of caffeine, or even two doses of caffeine.  Since I like to caf up before a race, but not during or after, this is a huge plus for me. 
Roctane Ultra Endurance Gels:  This is an energy gel—supercharged.  It has the same texture as the regular GU, but contains scientifically advanced ingredients for better performance.  This product also comes in varying degrees of caffeine.  I liked all the flavors of the Roctane, but the Chocolate Raspberry was my favorite, followed by the pineapple. 
Chomps:  This was my favorite product in the box.  Chomps have the consistency of gummy bears.  They taste really good too, not like an endurance product, but like candy.  Chomps are much easier for me to down.  I cannot take a gel while in the middle of a run, but I can easily chew on some Chomps.  When I did my York Rail Trail 10 miler in August, I ate one Chomps block every mile or so.  The Chomps also coming is varying degrees of caffeine, a running theme with GU products. 
Brew Electrolyte Tablets:  These are tablets that you add to water.  I broke mine in half and dropped then in my bottle of water.  They are designed to be used before, after and during your workout.    I will report I am not a huge fan of the taste. This is nothing new for me though, since I am not a fan of any sports drinks due to the salty taste.  They are no more or less salty tasting than any other sports drink.  I am strictly a water only runner. 
Sounds good, right?   So, how do you win?  It’s very simple.  To win, you must be a follower of this blog.  To do this, click on the blue “join this site” button to the right of this post.  Next, you must be a follower of my new Twitter page.  Yes, I finally did it!  I started Twitting.  To follow me, click to the right on the Twitter box where it says “Join the conversation”.  Then comment below that you are a blog follower and a Twitter follower, including both your Twitter handle and your blog username.  If you already are a blog and Twitter follower, just tell me that in a comment with both of your user name and you are in.  On October 31, I will choose a winner from the comments I read below.  Good luck everyone! 
A dream is a wish…

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Great training run

I had a great run last night!  I am so tired of the treadmill, and since it has been so nice outside—I hit the sidewalks.  It had been so long since I ran in my neighborhood; I had forgotten how much I enjoy it.  I put my kiddos to bed, laced up my shoes and headed outside around 9:30.  I did a 2.8 mile run in about 36 minutes.  This is a bit slower than my treadmill pace, but my neighborhood is very, very hilly.  I like the hills.  They really work my legs and my lungs.  The crisp fall air felt great.  I love running in the cool air.  I plan to take a lot more of my training runs outside.
There are some very interesting things to be scene while running outside.  I once saw a very old man on one of those old time bikes—the ones with the huge wheel in front and a little tiny wheel in the back. I wish I would have thought to snap a picture. While that was the most interesting thing I saw while running, last night I learned some strange things about my neighbors.  First, I was unaware that mid-October is the perfect time to put up Christmas decorations.  Yes, at 10 PM on a Tuesday night, I saw a neighbor climbing a ladder to a two story foyer, put up two white, fuzzy snowmen in the window.  Toward the end of my run, I saw the owners of a local Chinese restaurant pull into a driveway.  I did not know they live in my neighborhood.  I love their food. 
Big announcement:  Thanks to my in-laws, we are going back to Disney World in December!!!  As our Christmas gift, my in-laws are flying us down to Orlando and letting us stay with them at their timeshare from December 1 to 4.  We will get to see the Candlelight Processional, go to Mickey’s Christmas Party and see the Osborne lights in Hollywood Studios.  As much as we loved our recent trip to the World, it did not have the same magic the Christmas season at Walt Disney World does.  Since we all felt this way, my in-laws are making it possible for us to still experience the magic of a Disney Christmas.  This means more Disney training runs!  I get to run the Boardwalk resort loop again before the Princess Half.  I plan to do some more research and find some other great places at WDW to run. 
So, what are some interesting things you have found while running?  
A dream is a wish…
***Stay tuned—I have a few great giveaways coming up VERY soon! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back from Disney World

We are back from an amazing Disney World vacation. My favorite moment was when we watched the Wishes Fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian after dinner at the Polynesian.  It was so beautiful.  That is my dream resort to stay at.  We also hit up the Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party.  It was so much fun to trick or treat as adults!  I have not trick or treated in twenty years!  Oh yea, the kids had fun too.  We were a bit disappointed in the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  It was just a few extra booths moved in for a few weeks.  The food was great, and the drinks were excellent. (Grand Marnier slush!)  We really missed the magic of the Christmas season, our usual trip time.  As always, the Princess breakfast at the Akerhaus was great.  It was a great trip and I can’t wait to get back for the Princess Half in just four months!
I had an excellent run while in Disney.  I ran from Epcot, around the Beach Club, past the Swan and Dolphin, to Hollywood Studios.  I circled there and ran back to Epcot, but by the Boardwalk this time.  It was 2.8 miles and took me around 34 minutes.  The run was so scenic, the time just flew by.  I can’t wait to get back and do this route again.  This run really makes me want to stay at the Boardwalk during or stay next December.
While I am not excited to be home, I am excited to get my half marathon training underway.   I have a 5k coming up on Sunday, the Komen race for the cure.  I will be sure to post all about it.  I have go to, it’s time for my Tuesday night 30 minute Galloway run…
How is your training going?  What plan are you following? 
A dream is a wish…

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Does exercise make you hungrier?

I have had a fairly regular workout schedule for about six months now.  On Monday and Wednesday mornings I take a one hour spin class and then a thirty minute abs class. Then on Tuesday evenings, Thursday evenings and Saturdays, I run.  I really like this schedule, but I have been noticing that on my spin days I feel hungrier than on non-spin days. 
I did some research on this and found conflicting information.  I had read and agree that rigorous exercise does decrease the appetite temporarily; I am more interested in what it does for the rest of the day.  On my spin days, I usually eat a packet of oatmeal and a hard-boiled egg before class.  By the time my classes are over, I am starving!  I get home and drink my usual Shakeology for lunch.  It does not keep me full on spin days like it does on non-spin days.  My Mondays and Wednesdays tend to follow a similar pattern of eating but still being hungry all day.  I do not experience this on my non-spin days.  It is so much easier for me to stick to a lower calorie eating plan on days I work out in the evenings. I am thinking about switching up my schedule and moving all my workouts to evenings. 
I am not sure what to do about this.  The calories I torch during my morning workouts, I eat later in the day.  This is contributing to my slow weight loss.  Have you had similar experience with exercise and hunger?  How did you overcome it? 
A dream is a wish…

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It’s time!

Ok ladies!  It’s here—time for our official training to begin!    Where my princesses at?
Jeff Galloway has given us a great plan to get us all ready to finish the Disney Princess Half Marathon on February 26, 2012.  I really love the plan.  To me, the beauty of the Galloway plan is the walk breaks.  I feel like I can give my runs so much more knowing that I have a walk break just around the corner.  I have been doing Galloway training (the Ultimate 10k iPhone app) for a while know.  Galloway reasons that we use different muscles when we walk than when we run, so the walk breaks keep our muscles from reaching fatigue.  Walking also helps to keep our breathing in check. 
The key to the Galloway plan is the long run.  These long runs condition our bodies and minds to go long distances.  The long runs build our endurance for race day.  Galloway also plans for us to do two, 30 minute maintenance runs to sustain our conditioning.  That’s it—three runs a week!  The plan includes what runs to do on what dates. Who is ready to start? 
I plan to follow the plan as religiously as possible.  I may move a Saturday run to Sunday sometimes if I have other plans.  I also have a few races planned in the next few months.  These runs should fit nicely in my official training plan. 
I have had great success with the Galloway 5k and 10k plans.  I look forward to following this half marathon plan.  Are you following the plan?  What do you like about it?  Dislike about it? 
A dream is a wish…

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vacation Running

As many of you know, my Disney World vacation is just 5 days away!  I have everything all set—our villa is rented, our flights are booked, our dining reservations are made—I have even started packing.  One thing I have left to plan is when and where I will run.   A lot of people through their diet and exercise habits out the window when they go on vacation.  I used to be one of those people.  This time I am determined it will be different. 
I will try to eat right on this trip.  No, I will not be as strict on vacation as I am at home, but I will try to make good choices.  I will still have a Dole Whip at the Magic Kingdom and a chocolate covered caramel square in the German shop in Epcot.  All the walking will burn more calories, so a small increase is daily calories won’t be that bad.  My eating goal will be to make better choices, but still enjoy myself.
 On my training schedule the week we will be there are two thirty minute runs and a three mile run.  I found a great website that suggests fun places to run while on vacation at WDW.  One run I plan to do is around the Boardwalk/Epcot are resorts.  On the website, it says the run is 2.4 miles.  That should fit perfectly in with my thirty minute run.  I would also love to try a run all the way around seven seas lagoon.   A view of the castle and all my favorite resorts would be so motivating.  It would be a small glimpse of what the Disney Princess Half Marathon will be like. 
What do you do to keep your good health habits on vacation?  Have you ever run at Walt Disney World outside of a race? 
A dream is a wish…