Archive for January, 2011

One of These Days….

January 12th, 2011 24 comments

….I’ll get to relax. At least that’s what I keep telling myself!

I had to teach my normal 5:30 Group Power class tonight, but yesterday was the launch of all the new programming so it was a little more stressful than normal (just a lot to remember!). And Cleveland decided to have another snow storm today so I wasn’t even sure anyone was going to show! Luckily everything worked out – I remembered my programming AND had people in class. Win win. :)

After class we rushed home to eat dinner, change, and head right back out. C’s basketball team was playing a scrimmage during our city’s varsity half time.

He looked a little nervous while sitting with his teammates and watching the Varsity team play.


But loosened up in no time once his good friend got there.


And before we knew it, there were 2 minutes left until halftime!

The boys played hard – it’s always cute watching the 8 and 9 year old play on a full court with the hoop a whole foot higher than what they’re used to. :)

Not sure he’ll ever go pro, but he’s having fun and making friends…….that’s what counts, right?


That’s all I really got for tonight, guys. My right knee has actually been bothering me a bit so I think I may take tomorrow as a rest day and run on Thursday instead (just to give it a little break). Hopefully the snow will have calmed down by Thursday, too. There’s no way I could have run outside today!

Have a great night!!

Did you play sports in high school? Did you play to compete, or just for fun?

Lulu Lover

January 11th, 2011 28 comments

Hey! Thanks for all the nice feedback on the marathon my sis and I signed up for. I’m super excited! I love having a goal, and a plan on how I’m going to get there. :)

So, last week I was anxiously waiting for the FedEx truck to drive down our street. I love everyday clothes, but I seriously HEART workout clothes. I spend the majority of my days in them so they should be cute, too, right? ;)

Well, when I heard Diddy barking when I got out of the shower Saturday afternoon I raced downstairs. It was here!!


(sorry, I know the picture is a little dark!)

It’s my new Lulu hoodie!! And it’s just as perfect as I imagined…..

More than just the style, I think I love Lulu more for their details. The zipper is too cute:


Of course, thumb holes are a must:


Their name is even on the end of the hoodie strings:


I know their stuff is on the pricey side, but it is totally worth it. I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for (even though I always make sure to scour the “we made too much” section of their site – that’s where I got this!).

I love that I can wear this to and from the gym, out shopping, to dinner, etc. I’m definitely going to get my money out of this bad boy.


I’m not sure I’ve ever been disappointed with a Lulu item? If I have I can’t think of it right now.

What about you? Do you love Lulu?? :)

And So It Begins

January 10th, 2011 25 comments

Did you all have a nice weekend? I wish I could say mine had been relaxing as I had hoped, but it was go go go like usual. Luckily I had something to look forward to this morning……

……….MARATHON TRAINING started today!!!

I didn’t want to say anything because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with coaching Team Challenge again this season and also being my busy season at work, but I’m going to

And, even better?? I got my sis to join me!!!


(totally love this old pic of us – even though this was pre-lasik and when I tanned WAY too much)

This will be her first FULL marathon (and she may even be a little scared), but I know she can do it. I’m actually a little jealous of her running abilities – she makes it look so darn easy!

So after some major research, we finally decided on The Trail Marathon in Ann Arbor, Michigan!! From the website: “The Course is a 13.1 mile single track loop through lower Michigan wilderness. Constant hills and beauty including views of 10 lakes.”

The marathoners run 2 loops. The reviews on were all so great, and a trail marathon sounds like a blast! Of course we’ll be doing this more for “fun” than for time, but we’re still going to try our hardest. :)

This morning I headed out in 19 degree weather to tackle 6 miles.


I’m actually using the FIRST Training Plan this time around since I’m trying not to re-injure myself. This means I’ll only be running 3 times a week. But they’ll be HARD runs – no easy 3 or 4 milers – every mile counts in this program. I’ve read some real great reviews on it so we’ll see how it goes.


The sidewalks were a bit of a challenge and I found myself weaving back and forth (from the sidewalk to the street) a whole lot. It was a little annoying, but it actually distracted me and made the time got by a lot faster than usual! So, thank you to the Lakewood establishments who actually shovel and salt your sidewalks – us runners appreciate it! :)


This is just the beginning. I’m sure there are many more snowy runs to come this season. I can’t wait. :)

Do you have snow by you? How much?

I Ate It

January 7th, 2011 25 comments

This past Sunday I did something a little crazy.


image found here

Yes, it happened. I ate it.

If you know me, you know that I’ve been a veggie for almost 2 years now. It was/is for moral reasons. I don’t believe in or want to support how animals are raised or slaughtered for consumption. However, I do believe in the whole circle of life and that animals are meant to be eaten, I just have a hard time eating them when I knew how they got on my plate.

Well, ever since I went veggie, I’ve gotten softer. Much, much softer. Literally. Each year my pants were getting a little tighter. I was trying to tell myself that I was OK with it and all that mattered was that I was the strongest I had ever been. Well, even though I’m strong, you can’t really SEE the muscles anymore.

This picture is from our honeymoon 2 years ago:


Those arms make me happy!!

I am very active and lift weights 3x a week since I am a group fitness instructor and running coach. After evaluating my diet for a few months I now know that I don’t get enough protein. Sure, I eat plenty of veggies and beans and protein powder but it’s not the same. You see, it’s hard to find a meatless protein source that doesn’t have carbs in it. Chicken has zero carbs, but a faux chicken nugget? It can anywhere from 10 to 20 grams of carbohydrates (estimated of course).

This was not an easy decision. Poor J. I talked about it over and over again and spent countless hours pouring over the poultry sections in each grocery store we entered (without ever buying anything!). I finally bought some certified-organic free range chicken and made it for dinner this past Sunday.

It was weird. I wasn’t sure what to expect. And to be honest, it wasn’t that great – just so so. And my body responded fine to it (not sure why I thought it wouldn’t!). But I made a recipe last night that was fantastic and had me craving more! Right then and there I knew I had made the right decision.

It’s important to me to treat my body right and give it the nutrients it needs. So, yes, I’ll be eating chicken, but only certified-organic free range chicken (keep this in mind for Sunday dinners, Mom!).

Have you had any tough decisions to make lately??

Goal Setting and Random Wednesday

January 6th, 2011 25 comments

Wow – I was so surprised by how many of you have had encounters with loose dogs (or even dog bites!) while out running! I guess I’m not as alone as I thought.

So, I told you on Sunday that I was going to post our family resolutions. This is our first year doing this so we’ll see how it goes. Saturday night J, C, and I all sat down together and stated THREE goals we wanted to accomplish in 2011:


  1. Participate in a local charity (most likely during Christmas this year)
  2. Complete 2 web based trainings for work
  3. Complete first bike race!!


  1. Clean room at least once a week (Monday is the designated day)
  2. No more treats after lunch (dinner only)
  3. Run a 5k in less than 30 minutes!!


  1. Fit back into my favorite designer jeans by the end of March
  2. Run 1 race a month (or 12 this year – whichever works)
  3. Run a marathon in under 4:20!!

So, seriously, how fun is it that we each have a racing goal for this year?


I swear we didn’t discuss these with each other first either. I heart my boys. :)

I also think that all our resolutions/goals are attainable. And I’m going to try my hardest to meet all 3 of mine. I’ve already declared 2011 “my year” so I better get at it (and sorry if any of you thought 2011 was your year – I already claimed it).

In other news, today was pretty quiet. Our Wednesday family fun nights have been postponed, as C has basketball practice on Wednesdays now. But I did walk into the kitchen to find this today:


See anything on the fridge that looks out of place?

Need a closer look?


Ummmmm, yeah. That’s a bag of pretzels hanging from a magnet on the fridge. I guess when C went to put the bag away he couldn’t reach the top of the fridge where they go so he just decided to hang them on the front. Sigh……….whatever. Made me laugh. :)

Hope you had a great Wednesday!! What made you laugh today?

Scary Running Encounter

January 5th, 2011 31 comments

Man, I am exhausted tonight. I keep staying up late every night like I did on my mini Christmas break, except now my alarm goes off at 5:30am! My body does NOT like this. But before I go to bed, I want to tell you what happened on my run this past Sunday.

Though being frigid outside, it was a sunny and very pleasant day! I left the house around 11:15 or so and was enjoying running an old route I ran last year a lot while training for the Pittsburgh marathon.

So, normally when I run I zone out. It’s always my “me time” to think and then just zone out to my music if I’m not in the mood for any heavy thinking. Well, I’m not sure why, but when I came around a familiar corner I just happened to notice 2 LARGE dogs not on any leashes roaming the front yard of a house. I immediately thought of Andrea, and what had happened to her on NYE, so I slowed my pace and crossed the street without the dogs noticing me.

I don’t know why an alarm went off in my head to steer clear of these dogs, because I’m such a dog person and this little guy is so friendly:


He’d never hurt a sole!

But as soon as I got on the sidewalk across the street, the bigger dog looked up and immediately came charging across the street barking. I stopped, threw my hands in the air, and yelled “stop!”. Mind you, I have no idea if this is what I’m supposed to do, but when I looked around there were no sticks in sight that I could use to defend myself or anything. Luckily the other dog wasn’t as interested and even though that one crossed the street it pretty much was just walking around and sniffing the ground.

But the bigger dog ran directly in front of me and stood to my left in almost a stand off. I have to be honest, this dog looked MEAN. Is it because my heart was racing and I didn’t know what to do? Or because I’m only used to this face?


I have no idea. All I know is my heart was racing and my body was tingling from the adrenaline.

I started walking slowly with my hands up, trying to seem as least threatening as possible. I walked for about a tenth of a mile before the dog finally gave up and turned around to see what the other dog was doing. I think having the smaller, less interested dog around definitely helped diffuse the situation.

I walked for about another quarter mile and then started running again. It was so hard to get my breathing back to normal after that! Maybe took me a mile or so? I was going to stop a police car if I saw one to tell them about the dogs (I didn’t want anyone else to get in that same situation!), but it never happened.

I haven’t been taking my phone with me on my shorter (less than 6 miles) runs lately and this situation really reminded me how important it is to be able to contact someone if needed. I walked away with no bites, scars, or serious damage, but not everyone is as lucky.

What about you? Do you carry your phone when you run? What about some sort of defense mechanism (pepper spray, whistle, etc)?

CLE Cold Weather Running

January 4th, 2011 25 comments

Today just flew by! Guess that’s what happens when you have over a week off work and come back to the madness. Plus, my busy season is just about to start so things are about to get crazy at work for me. I’m NOT looking forward to it. It’s going to be a crazy few months!

In addition to work and Team Challenge, I’m about to start training for my next marathon. I have my eyes on a select few, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I’m still trying to nail down the specifics (I’m talking to you, Mandy!). But when I do, I’ll be sure to share them with you! Until then, I thought I’d show you what it’s like to run in the winter months in CLE. :)

There are many important layers and strategies I use when dressing for a cold run. Keep in mind that it was around 23 degrees when I went out for my run on Sunday.


(don’t mind the tattoo – it was my first and I got it on a whim when I was a freshman in college and when I was making some not so great decisions)

I always start with a dri-fit short sleeve shirt that is long enough to tuck into my pants.


This first layer is key because if you can’t tuck the shirt in, your belly will end up red and splotchy and burning (like my legs last week!) from being exposed to the wind and cold.

Next I wear a long sleeve tech shirt:


And finally a cold gear top layer:


Can you see the warm fleecy underneath? :)

I also ALWAYS wear 2 pairs of socks.


The thin, taller pair always go underneath with my favorite Balega socks on top. Double socks are KEY for me – especially since running shoes are so breathable! I hate running when my feet feel numb.

Based on Jenn’s recommendation, I bought new Nike cold gear pants last week:


Again with the warm, inner fleece!

These new Nike pants were AMAZING – they kept my legs SO WARM. I still can’t believe it – what a difference! They’re a little short for my liking, but they kept me so warm that I’m willing to overlook it.


Totally worth the $65. And since I bought them online at Runners Warehouse, there was no tax and free shipping. $65 out the door!

A headband, gloves, and neck/face protector complete the outfit.


(don’t mind the dying plants in the background – I’ve been trying to bring them back to life!)

Dead sexy, no? :) It’s a wonder people don’t say hi to me when I’m running – they probably think I’m going to rob them!!

What about you? Do you run outside in the cold? If so, do you look like a ninja/robber like me?

New Years Eve 2010

January 2nd, 2011 17 comments

I know I’m a little behind, but Happy New Year!!!!

Yesterday I took a much needed mental health day. C, J, and I all spent the day in our jammies, layin on the couch, and watchin movies. It was divine. And the perfect way to start 2011. :)

But to close out 2010, we went out with a bang. We ran the Great New Years Eve Race 5k in Stow, OH. We were in it to win it – a family PR (personal record) was in the back of all our minds. The fastest family 5k we had done so far was 32:34.

So after we picked up our welcome packets, the boys immediately put on their game faces:


I had expected this race to be super small, with a minimal crowd, so I was completely surprised when we walked into the school’s cafeteria to see this:


Madness. But even with the crowds, we managed to find Katie (and her husband, John) and Alicia (and her husband, Hans) with no problem!

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It was a family affair!

The weather was so nice that we were even able to wear shorts. Which was great since we had to wait outside for a little before the race started. While waiting, C and I got each other pumped up:


Then before we knew it everyone was running! There was no gun, bell, or announcement (that I know of)! So weird. And there was no start line either. Wherever you were standing was your start line. Even more weird. But we sucked it up and took off.

We had no idea this run was going to be so hilly. Holy heck. It was a constant up and down – pretty intense. Especially for an 8 yr old.

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J and I were convinced there was no way C was going to be able to break the time goal (he was pretty miserable on the uphills). But we kept on with it and brought it home!


(thanks for the picture, katie!)

So proud of my boys. We finished in 31:35 – crushed the PR by almost 1 minute exactly!!


Everyone did great – Katie beat her PR and Hans rocked it out! I just keep thinking about how much better we would have done without those hills.


Next time……..right, Katie?? :)

After the race we had to cut our visiting time short since we had to get home for C’s NYE party and sleepover! But not without grabbing some post-race grub first:



Yesterday we sat down as a family and came up with our 2011 resolutions. Can’t wait to share them with you tomorrow! Have a great day/night, guys – back to the real world in the morning……. :(

Did your town have a New Years Eve or New Years Day race? Did you run it? :)