Bio: Wife. Web Developer. Kitty Momma. Runner. Singer. Triathlete. Shoe Collector. Blogger.
Posts by :
- Leaving a comment telling me why you’d like to win.
- Tweeting about this giveway. Something like “I want to win a @SportlineInc watch from @mostlyirun! Read more: http://tinyurl.com/mostlyirunsportline“ (leave a comment here to let me know)
I’m a regular participant in #runchat Twitter chats (if you’re a runner and you’re not chatting, go check them out!). They launched their first-ever photo scavenger hunt a couple weeks ago, which sounded like a lot of fun.
Of course I procrastinated until the last minute, but did manage to find most of the items on the list this weekend.
A running sticker (13.1, 26.2, etc.)
Bridge (bonus for covered)
Christmas decorations still up
Letters from signs to create #runchat
Trail marker or mile marker
Well, there were trail signs in my bridge and hill photos, but one more for good measure:
A scene from your favorite place to run
I’m counting the wooden bridge/water spot for one of my favorites, since it’s right around the corner from my house. I love living so close to water, even if it’s just a creek. My true favorite running spot in town is right on the Chesapeake Bay, but I didn’t run that route during the timespan of this scavenger hunt.
I did not find:
Which is just laziness on my part for not having my phone with me all the time. I run downtown often. I live in a historic city!
“Welcome to” state/city/county sign
I’m actually not sure where the ‘welcome to’ signs are in town. I have some from a favorite vacation spot, but that would be cheating!
Well, that was fun. I hope there are more of these and/or other fun challenges in the future!
Awhile back, I wrote about pvBody, a subscription service where you would get a top/bottom each month. The selection was random, though you could exchange/return anything that didn’t work for you. They promised big brands for big savings.
Well, you may have seen some chatter around the web about a drastic change to this program that started in February. Instead of a random selection of brands and no choice in what you got, they relaunched as a new clothing brand, Ellie.
This, of course, made people wonder. Was that the plan all along?
Well, I don’t know. It does seem a little suspicious, but I stayed despite the bad press. (Um, google “pv body scam” if you haven’t heard about them previously.)
Anyway … I decided to stick around and see what Ellie was all about. Yes, I was a pvBody ambassador, and I still am an Ellie ambassador … but I’m also a paying customer.
The experience has been less than perfect. Right after I promoted pvBody in my initial blog review, they said they experienced an influx of new customers and fell way behind on all orders. Communication was poor — I got most of my updates by reading customer complaints on their Facebook wall. My November order was so late it was apparently shipped just days before my December order.
It took over two weeks for that December order to arrive. But the November order never left the office. The Fedex label generated and I had a tracking number, but the package was never picked up. I sent several emails, only getting a couple form letters back that did not address my issues. I left a voice mail that was never returned. I only finally got help by reaching out to my ambassador contact, which is not a channel a normal customer would have to get their problems resolved.
But at least it is resolved now. My missing pvBody clothes were replaced with my choice from the Ellie line. I also got some Ellie gear to test as an ambassador. All of it from the February collection.
I really liked the “Catch Me If You Can” top, and got it in both colors. I’m so glad I did! The shirt is so soft, and I love the thumb holes and built-in mittens!
I’m also a big fan of the bottoms I received. You can’t really see the “My New Obsession Legging” in the photo on the left, but they are awesome. They looked small, but are super stretchy, and the waist stayed put during a run. They also kept me warm on a really windy, chilly night. The only problem I had was they were too long, but at 5’3″, that’s not a new problem to me. (Though, surprisingly, running tights are often OK in length. Most people must find their tights are usually too short!)
I also got the “Kiss Me Capri.” While not the same stretchy material as the leggings, they’re still really soft and comfortable. I wore them to yoga last week and loved them.
Of course, now that I’m happy with their products, it seems there’s another hiccup in the Ellie brand. I didn’t order anything in March, but I’ve been notified that there have been delays in production of the March product line. Sigh.
Still, I’m not ready to give up on them. I’ll order from them again in the future and give them another shot.
So … I know this isn’t the most ringing endorsement, but if anybody is patient and wants to give Ellie a try, there’s an ad in my sidebar you can click on to save 20%. (Ellie’s Fit Fashionista club gets you any two pieces for $49.95 regular price, shipped free.)
Disclaimer: I occasionally receive free products from Ellie as an ambassador. Opinions about the products and company are my own. I receive a commission when someone signs up through my link.
I ran my 8th marathon on Sunday. It was not a PR. It was not entirely pleasant. It was cold and windy. But I had a great time!
We headed down to Virginia Beach on Friday afternoon. I needed to hit packet pickup for my bibs — I was not only running the marathon on Sunday, but the 8K on Saturday as well. If they offer a challenge, I will do it! (It’s the Whale Challenge if you do the 8K and full marathon, the Dolphin Challenge if you do the 8K and half.) After the Goofy Challenge, I figured that’d be easy, right?
Well, it was OK.
I focused on keeping the pace slow since I really didn’t want to be racing the day before a marathon. It was easy enough to stay slow, but I got kind of bored. Once I was getting towards the end, I couldn’t keep it slow anymore. I just let go for the last mile!
OK, so it was kind of fun at the end. Post race I didn’t stick around for the beer tent — no drinking the day before a marathon! I grabbed my medal (!) and some snacks, and headed back to the hotel.
I took it easy the rest of the day. I even napped for a couple hours. I was a little concerned about a sore shin, likely from running on the concrete boardwalk. I wore compression sleeves for the rest of the day, and fortunately felt better on race day.
Race day was quite leisurely for a marathon. The full marathon had an 8:30 a.m. start, so I could sleep a little later. Still, I was up by 6:30 getting ready, eating a peanut butter sandwich, and deciding if I wanted to make any last-minute wardrobe changes.
According to my weather app, it was supposed to be in the mid-40s at race time. I decided to brave it and wear compression socks with a running skirt even though I usually wear pants or capris unless it’s over 50*. I settled on a short-sleeve shirt with arm warmers. That would have worked for mid-40s …
But then it was closer to 40*, and there was a wind chill. Brrr… when it came time to bag-check, I couldn’t part with my jacket. I didn’t want to race with it, but it really wasn’t that bad. I got a tiny bit warm for only a short time when I debated shoving down my arm warmers … but then the wind picked up again and I was happy I kept my layers.
Oh, but I guess I should get to the race itself, huh?
I decided I would line up with a pace group. This race offered 4:00 and 4:15 goal times. While I thought 4:00 was a bit too ambitious — I’ve only run two halfs under two hours — my personal best marathon is a 4:09. On a net-downhill course, but still … I had to line up with the faster group. I know myself, and I knew I wouldn’t pick up the pace enough if I started that much slower.
The first 11 miles or so went well. I had no problem with the pace, and the miles were ticking by. And then we hit the boardwalk. The wind was insane! There were sea gulls everywhere that seemed to be swarming us — it looked line one was trying to steal somebody’s hat. OK that’s unrelated to the race itself, but it was just weird and stands out in my mind. Anyway, it was a struggle, but I stuck with my pacer.
I was so happy to leave that windtunnel! We got back to the main road … and I felt like I was fading — I spent too much energy fighting the wind. I was losing the will to stick with the pacer.
And then she put in headphones, which turned me off. I know some people can’t run without their music, but aren’t pacers supposed to engage their runners and *not* tune out? Then the next mile split hit at 8:58 — faster than goal pace. My chip splits have the 13.1 at 2:00:23, so she was doing well. But I couldn’t handle speeding up, so I decided to drop back. I managed one more mile by myself at 9:07, but then I really did slow it down.
It was really strange how the crowd thinned immediately once I dropped back. I guess a lot of people were running a 4-hour pace? It was nice to have space and to just be able to run, no more zig-zagging around people.
I sort of hung in there … but there’s a long, gradual incline that actually starts around the halfway point and lasts all the way until mile 19. The road from miles 16-19 was slanted, too, which started to bother my knee (which was not a problem at all throughout training). I started walking through the water stops.
That’s actually not as bad as I expected. I did feel pretty down for a few miles there, but mentally once we hit mile 20, things started looking brighter. It surely helps that we got off that slanted road and stopped going uphill!
I also really enjoyed the jelly beans they were handing out around mile 22.
I started chatting with runners. There was a guy from Canada running his 7th marathon. Another man who also kept on his gear he intended to bag-check. And the woman who said to me, as we were leaving Fort Story, “We’re doing awesome.”
Yes. We were.
It was around mile 23 that I caught up with my pacer. She was walking, with who I’m assuming was the 3:50 pacer! She had a quad cramp, he had a side stitch. They started running again and it felt faster than I had been going, so I thought maybe they’d help me bring it in … until I passed them. But knowing I was so close was enough to move my legs a tiny bit faster.
I knew a PR was unlikely … and while I tried to pick it up, it wasn’t enough.
Still, I’m happy.
My 4:10:12 was not too far from my 4:09:07. And now it’s feeling less like a fluke that I had one fast(ish) marathon! (Next best: 4:22:22.)
Post race, it was SOOOOO cold! It made this year’s finisher’s gift — a fleece blanket — so appropriate. Did they know how cold it was going to be? I gladly bundled up, as did just about every other runner!
My husband joined me in the beer tent where it was a little bit warmer, and we shared my free Yuengling. Four free beers? That’s the most generous post-race party I’ve ever been to!
Overall, this is a great, well-organized event. I didn’t really love the full marathon course — I think I’d actually prefer some rolling hills! But perhaps I’ll come back and do the half. It was a fun weekend.
Basically, you get points for exercising (1 point for every 10 minutes), points for drinking water and eating lots of fruits and veggies (affectionately coined as “freggies” by the group), and tons of support via private Facebook group.
Most people check in daily, encourage each other, and share successes and failures.
Oh, and there are prizes! Last session, I won ProCompression socks in a random drawing one week, and some coupons for free Amy’s products during a Twitter chat. We all started out as winners this challenge, with free LockLaces sent to all participants!
I’ve just had a pretty successful first week. I did skip a boot camp workout due to a rough workout the day before — gotta listen to your body! I also had to skip a run due to calf soreness, but replaced it with yoga. Another boot camp class was cancelled due to “snow” (that never actually came). But I was still really active!
Monday: Bikram Yoga
Tuesday: Yoga DVD
Wednesday: Bikram Yoga
Thursday: 3.75-mile run, Yoga
Friday: Bikram Yoga, Boot Camp
Saturday: 11.2-mile run
Sunday: Tri class: .75-mile warm-up + timed 3-mile run + 12.8 miles on spin bike with drills & hills
I really focused on drinking water — at least 64oz a day. I’m not always good about that, but I’ve downloaded an app on my phone for tracking, and the challenge is keeping me accountable. I’m usually good about eating lots of fruit and veggies during the week, but weekends are tough for me. I was a little short yesterday, but made up for it today with a little creativity in the kitchen. Banana pancakes, carrot juice (in my new Blendtec), and spinach-chickpea burgers were all new creations for me today!
I’ll be dialing down the exercise a little bit this week (well, maybe not the yoga) … I’m running the Shamrock Marathon next Sunday!
Nine years ago this month, some of my co-workers were talking about putting together a team for a corporate 8K. They all ran recreationally, while I had been a couch potato up until that point. Could I start running and join them?
Well, clearly, I could.
I bought a $300 treadmil from Sears, found a “learn to run” plan online (Couch to 5K didn’t exist yet, as far as I know), and started running.
Nine years, seven marathons, a 50K, more than 25 half marathons (lost count!) and over a hundred other races later … yeah, running is a part of me.
Since it’s Valentine’s Day … here are a few things I love about running.
In no particular order:
It got me active.
I started with just running. A few years later I added yoga. Then I started doing triathlons, which forced cross-training at least part of the year. I started taking masters swim classes. I did an organized 50-mile bike ride. I take fitness classes. It’s not unusual for me to work out more than once a day. And I love it!
I’m still improving.
Nine years later (and, ahem, nine years older!), I still surprise myself with frequent PRs. In 2012, I set new personal bests for nearly every distance!
I can be having a really crappy day, and may very well want to bail on my scheduled run. If I just force myself to run I know I’ll feel better!
When I run outdoors alone, I don’t usually run with music. I don’t mind getting lost in my thoughts.
I prefer running with friends, though. I’ve met so many people through running. If you haven’t joined a local running club, I highly recommend it!
I can do it.
I was never an athlete a a child (Or teen. Or young adult.). I was pretty bad at sports. I even failed to make it on an extra-curricular track team as an 8-year-old. I was too slow! I’m happy I’ve found my place in distance running!
I’m actually pretty good at it.
I’m still no superstar, but I’m usually at least in the middle of the pack if not a bit better. If a race is small enough, I can even place in my age group
Running gear is fun.
I’ve always loved buying (fashion) shoes. But I seem to have re-focused. (And then there’s my running skirt and running dress collection … oh yeah, and my Garmin obsession …)
Oh hi! I’m home from Jamaica (oh, did I mention that?) and am ready to announce the winner of the Sportline Solo 965 Heart Rate Monitor watch!
By the ever-scientific method of picking a scrap of paper out of a hat, the winner is …
I’ll be in touch to collect your info.
Before the holidays, I was contacted by Sportline to see if I would like to do a review of a few of their latest fitness products. The Solo 965 Heart Rate Monitor caught my eye since I was interested in doing more heart-rate training. I currently have a Garmin 310XT that supports it, but it is really only good for outdoor workouts. I wouldn’t want to use it for fitness classes since it’s such a large watch.
Well … the review sample I got was a men’s version, so it’s still a bit clunky for me. They do make a women’s version which would likely be a better fit. I have really small wrists, so it probably wouldn’t be so bad on most women
Solo 965 Heart Rate Monitor is the first fitness device with FitTrac and MoveTrac technologies and a built-in Calorie Genius (24 hour calorie burn tracking), is designed to track your resting heart rate over time and also record the intensity of movement 24 hours-a-day to show users how they are improving fitness condition and burning calories. Take your workouts to the next level.
Sounds good … but this watch wasn’t really what I was looking for when it comes to heart-rate training. It doesn’t use a chest strap. It relies on contact of the watch with your wrist along with placing your index finger on the front of the watch to take a reading. There is no real-time heart rate display without touching the face of the watch. When training, it won’t be easy to check heart rate while running. (In general, I had a hard time getting a heart rate reading, but I think it may have been due to the fit of the watch. When I did get readings, though, it was accurate.)
If you’re interested in monitoring resting heart rate, it would be good for that. “Fit Trac” mode tracks resting heart rate, and gives you a Fit Score noting the difference from day to day. You tap the screen to enter Fit Trac mode to record your resting heart rate each day.
That’s not really something I’m interested in right now … and actually, I found Fit Trac mode was a bit too sensitive. It didn’t only turn on with a tap to the screen. I’d find it would get triggered often as I was putting on the watch, or after I simply lift my arm to check the time. And once Fit Trac mode starts, it’s on for about 15 seconds while it waits to take your resting heart rate. Not convenient when checking the time!
In regular heart rate mode (just taking a reading), you can cancel out of it by hitting any of the buttons, but Fit Trac won’t cancel. You can also set a lock to keep the heart rate monitor from taking a reading accidentally … but again, this only works for regular readings. You can’t stop Fit Trac from turning on accidentally. It was a bit frustrating.
It wasn’t all bad. I really like the pedometer feature. Despite only entering my height, it was pretty accurate in most of my testing. I had to walk someplace that I knew was a mile and a half away, and it was exactly right. Running was pretty close too — I had it with me for my Ragnar Relay legs, though since I hadn’t tested running with it before, I just looped it to my hand-held water bottle and wore my Garmin. Despite not being on my wrist, two of the three runs recorded distance within a quarter mile, which I think is acceptable. One run it was about a mile short, though, but again I was carrying rather than wearing the watch.
The pedometer feature starts tracking once you’ve made 25 steps, so it won’t register unintentional movement. It counts calories burned based on your movements, and tracks the amount of time you’ve been active. Since I like to track per activity, like time and distance running, this wasn’t quite as useful for me since I’d have to reset the rest of the day’s activity to isolate my run. If you’re looking to track movement and calorie burn for the entire day, it would be great.
So, this watch wasn’t quite right for me. But I can see how it would be useful. Think it might work for you?
Well, you can find out for yourself since I’m giving one away!
You’ll get one entry each for:
US residents only. (Sorry international friends!)
I’m going to keep this contest open until February 9, with a winner drawn February 10. Good luck!
Disclaimer: I received this watch for free in exchange for my review. I was not compensated any other way. Opinions are my own.
My first race of 2013 was my first-ever overnight relay, and I couldn’t have picked a better place to do it. It was 27*F the day we left Annapolis and headed to Miami!
Ragnar Florida Keys is a 12-person, 197-mile journey from Miami to Key West. The teams split into two vans which follow their runner to exchange points along the course. Once all runners in Van 1 were done, they’re “off duty’” until all of Van 2′s runners have run. And repeat — each runner has three legs of varying distance.
Thanks to the Florida heat (warmer than usual, from what we’ve heard), and an injury (he was able to finish all his legs, though), we were a bit slower than expected and finished in just over 36 hours.
After my first leg (I was runner #12!), we drove to the Key Largo area for our first break. We stopped at CVS for some supplies (I picked up bottled water and baby wipes), and then we had a gourmet dinner at Waffle House. Um, not much around there that was suitable for a van full of sweaty runners!
We were able to wait out the rest of our break at a high school that was open for the off-duty teams. We could shower (for $3), and sleep on the gym floor. Though I didn’t get much sleep … after two hours of on-and-off dozing, my phone (which was also my alarm and way to communicate with my team) died. It was charging (I placed my sleeping bag by an outlet), so it wasn’t the battery. Turns out it was dead-dead (and currently sent away for repair ). I was worried about finding my team when it was time to go again, so I hung out in a common area reading for a little while, and then headed back to the van. Two of my teammates were sleeping there since the gym wasn’t working for them, and I joined them.
We ended up getting a much later start than we thought (that’s where the injury came into play, with our teammate having to mostly walk an almost 12-mile unsupported leg). Our runner started around 3am.
Despite the heat and little-to-no sleep, she had a great 10-miler, and the rest of our runners did well, too.
My second leg (6.9 miles) was initially estimated (by Ragnar’s calculations, based on each of our planned paces) to start around 4:30am, but actually ended up at 8:30 am. I was glad to not be in the dark — much of the run was on a trail that would have been creepy — but it was really hot. I was surprised I hadn’t lost that much speed from my first leg. My team met me at the halfway point. I took some Gatorade, and kept plugging along.
It briefly started raining, and I was excited. I could have used a good cool-down! But, it was just sprinkles, and didn’t last long. (A couple miles down the road, everything was drenched. Looks like I missed out on a good downpour!)
Since I was the last runner, we had another break, so we found a place for brunch. It was a casual pizza place (though they weren’t serving lunch yet), and they had outdoor seating which seemed more appropriate. After we ate, I “showered” in the restroom with my baby wipes and changed into a clean/dry outfit. Not perfect, but not bad, either.
We had another school to wait at for the next exchange with Van 1 — who would be finished when they met us! We had some time, though, so most of us tried to nap in the van. It’s amazing what a good cat nap can do. I was still feeling pretty good!
Our runners continued to do well, though it was hot and sunny again. By the time I started my last leg — heading to the finish in Key West! — it was after sunset. I got lucky — it was still humid, but not nearly as bad as it would have been if we were faster and finished mid-afternoon as estimated!
My last leg wasn’t as scenic since it was dark — most of the time I was running along the water. But it was exciting to be completing such an interesting journey! Once I got close to the finish there were lots of turns, but finally I was at the last corner.
I almost didn’t see my teammates since there were some bright lights at the finish line (and one of them was wearing a pirate hat so I didn’t immediately recognize him!). I got a burst of energy and sprinted to the finish, with my team right behind me.
We hung out long enough for our free beer at the end, but we were beat! Our first night in Key West was an early night — shower + dinner + bed. But fortunately we had a few vacation days to enjoy it!
I had a great time running the relay. While it was more of an adventure than a race, I felt more pressure than I do racing solo, since I was running for my team! But it kept me motivated to push through the heat and humidity.
It was exhausting, but a lot of fun. I’d do it again!
2011 was the first year that I ever run more than 1,000 miles. I had to work hard for it with a 100-mile December, and finished out the year at 1,001.
I’m happy that this December, it didn’t take until the last day of the year to cross that 1,000-mile mark. I suppose it helps that I didn’t have any injuries limiting my running this year, but I also didn’t run a 50K in 2012. My weekly (and monthly) mileage never got quite as high as it did in the fall of 2011.
Finishing the year strong, huh? That higher-mileage December was likely due to my first-ever running streak this winter. The Runners World #RWRunStreak required at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. It wasn’t even that hard! Sure, I had a few late nights on the treadmill (including a four-miler on the hotel treadmill at 8:30 on Christmas Night!), but most of the time it was easy enough to hop on the treadmill or run down the street for a quick one- or two-miler.
You can tell running is my first love if you look at my crosstraining. I’m only motivated during triathlon season
(January – March and probably part of April would have been on spin bikes during off-season tri training classes)
Oh, I really do love swimming … once I’m in the water. It’s so tough to motivate myself to go to the pool unless I’m taking a class! (April – May: cramming for early triathlons. June-August: masters swim class!)
Total distance traveled in 2012: 1,547.
In 2013, I won’t set any firm distance goals. I just hope to keep running (and swimming and biking) and racing all year long!
Oops. Thanks to a busy concert schedule and holiday week, I never got around to my weekly workout round-ups. I’ve been pretty successful keeping active, fitting workouts in whenever I can!
Catching up …
Monday: Bikram yoga, 1-mile run, boot camp class
Tuesday: 3.5-mile run
Wednesday: 1.2-mile run, yoga DVD
Thursday: 3.2-mile run, yoga class
Friday: 1-mile run, Workout of the Week, hip exercises
Saturday: Celtic Solstice 5-mile race (my husband joined me for his first-ever race!)
Sunday: 9-mile run
Yup, let that wine sneak in. Celebrating the end of holiday concerts!
Monday: Bikram yoga, 1-mile run, boot camp class
Tuesday: yoga/stretching, 3.5-mile run
Wednesday: Bikram yoga, 1-mile run, boot camp class
Thursday: yoga class, 4-mile run
Friday: 1-mile run, Workout of the Week
Saturday: 12.5-mile run
Sunday: 3.1-mile run
Photos/images from a blustery long run!
Finally, this past week. I didn’t have as many twice-a-day workouts, and Christmas travel made things interesting. Proud that I knocked out four miles Christmas evening on the hotel treadmill!
And then I celebrated with some delicious chocolate ale
Monday: 3-mile run
Tuesday: 4-mile run
Wednesday: 1-mile run, Workout of the Week
Thursday: Bikram yoga, 4.1-mile run
Friday: Bikram yoga, 1-mile run, strength workout
Saturday: 11-mile run
Sunday: 2-mile run