Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Goals for 2012

2011 is the year I become a runner.  2012 will be the year I become a distance runner. Yesterday I did a year in review, so now it is fitting that I tell you about my goals for next year.  My New Year’s goal for 2012 is to run five half marathons.  I had considered the goal of doing a half marathon each month, but that might be a bit much for my first year as a distance runner—maybe in 2013.  So, what half marathons do I have planned for 2012?  I’ll tell you!

1)       TheDisney Princess Half Marathon on February 26.  I can’t believe this has been my goal for almost a year.  This is the goal that got me started with running.   I am a girlie girl and love all things princesses.  This goal brought me so many new friends and a reason to get fit.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

2    2)    The Movie Madness Half Marathon on April 7.  This race looks like so much fun!  The volunteers will be dressed as movie stars.  The race starts on a red carpet with the words “lights, camera, action!”  The course is along the picturesque Susquehanna River.

        3)  Myrtle Beach Diva Half Marathon on May 20.  This will be a family event!  My three sisters and I will travel from Pennsylvania to South Carolina and all run in this race together.  We will spend the rest of the week celebrating on the beach.

       4)     Disneyland Half Marathon on September 2.  I love Disneyland even more than I love Disney World—and that is saying a lot!  My plan is to do TNT for this one.  It’s a lot of money to raise, but it’s such a good cause.  It will be my first trip across the country alone. 

     5)    The Baltimore Half Marathon on October 5.  I have lived, worked and went to school in Maryland for a large part of my life, plus it’s only an hour away from my house.  Knowing the route might give me a slight advantage. 

What a year I have planned!  Besides these half marathons, I have lots of shorter races planned too, like the Baltimore Women’s Classic.  I am so excited about what 2012 will bring me!  What do you have planned for 2012? 

A dream is a wish…


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Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Year in Review

What a year!  2011 is the year I became a runner!  If you told me a year ago that I would be typing this, I would have laughed at you!  The idea of running in the Disney Princess Half Marathon just came to me one day in mid-January.  I knew that I need a big goal to get me moving to lose weight.  Since I love all things Disney, the Princess Half was a perfect fit for me.  From the day I made this my goal I put myself on this path.  I started running at the gym the next day…and, as they say, the rest is history.

Running has given me a confidence I never knew before.  I have witnessed my body do things that I never thought I was capable of.   I have made some the wonderful and supportive friends, some I know I will be friends with forever.  I have found a new way to bond with my sisters.  I can never thank running enough for all of the things it has given me.

I have done several races this year, in length from 5ks to 10 milers.  My very first race every was in June.  It was the Baltimore Women’s Classic.  I had no idea what to expect, but had a great time.  From that time on, I was hooked!  I decided then that I would try to do one race each month for the rest of the year.  I am happy to report that I accomplished that goal.  In July I did the Full Moon Run, then in August I did the York Rail Trail 10 miler.  This was my most difficult race to date, but I did it!  Finishing gave me so much confidence in my abilities as a runner.  I knew that if I could finish the 10 miler in the August heat, I would be fine to finish the Princess Half—my ultimate goal.  I finished out the fall with the 9/11 run, the Wrightsville Bridge Run and the Turkey Trot.  As long as weather permits, I will do doing a New Year’s Eve run to finish out the year, and get 2012 started on the right foot.

Looking back on all of these accomplishments, I am truly amazed where this year has taken me.  To celebrate, I registered today for the 2012 Baltimore Women’s Classic.  It was my first race ever, any my favorite (the swag bag was amazing!).  My ultimate goal—finishing the Disney Princess Half Marathon will be accomplished in just eight weeks!  All of this hard work over the past year has been very worth it!

Where did 2011 take you?  Was this expected or unexpected?  What would you change if you could?

A dream is a wish…


Friday, December 23, 2011

Runner’s Christmas List

With Santa coming tomorrow night, I figured it was time for me to write out my Christmas list.  Since running has been my main hobby of 2011, the things on my list are running related.  Most of the things on my list are things I need for the Disney Princess Half Marathon!

SparkleSkirt:  I want the SparkleLight in Perfect Purple.  It will be perfect for my Rapunzel costume.  I love that the SparkleLights have built in, hidden pockets and that they are flattering to every figure.  I plan to wear this over a pair of black capris.  

Zensah Compression Sleeves:  I need these in purple.  I have them in pink and I love them.  These babies help you avoid shin splints and help with muscle recovery.  Many people don't know this, but marathon runners are more likely to get blood clots due to a lower heart rate. Most of these blood clots form in the calves and then travel to other parts of the body.  Prevent this by using compression sleeves during and after a race--especially if you have to sit on a long drive or flight home after the race.  Safety first!  

Asics 2170’s:  Yes, I did just get a new pair of Brooks.  My Asics are my old favs, and these come in purple! I love the new design and fit.  Even if I absolutely love my new Brooks, I will still have to get a new pair of this shoes.  

Adidas Squad bag:  I saw this bag at Dick’s last weekend and loved it!  It is the perfect size to carry all to running gear and it has a special zipped section for shoes. Such a great idea and the perfect way to carry on all my race stuff on my flight to Orlando. 

Tiara:  Every princess needs a tiara.  Now I need mine.  I am not sure how I will get it to stay put during the race, so I need it now to practice. I am not really to picky about what tiara I get, it just has to be really pretty. 

The perfect top for my Rapunzel costume:  Santa can work his magic on this one.  I have no idea where or what I want for this one yet.  Any ideas?

I sure hope Santa reads my blog!  What is on your Christmas wish list this year? 

A dream is a wish…


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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Year's Reads

Do you read self-improvement books?  I have never been much of a reader, but this New Year, I plan to read a few self-improvement books.  I am going to start with PUSH by Chalene Johnson and Run Your Butt Off by the editors at Runner’s World Magazine.  I have never read a self-help book, so I really don’t know what to expect.  Here is a bit about the books I am going to read: 

Run Your Butt Off!: A Breakthrough Plan to Lose Weightand Start Running   When I first found this book, I thought—perfect, my two goals combined into one book—losing weight and becoming a better runner.  The books description on Amazon is:

 “Shed unwanted pounds and keep them off ONCE AND FOR ALL with Run Your Butt Off!, a back-to-basics, test panel–approved weight-loss plan and beginners’ running program that yields sustainable, healthy results. The Run Your Butt Off! program is founded on the simple concept that in order to lose weight, calories burned must exceed calories consumed. No gimmicks, no shortcuts, no silver bullets can circumvent that reality. With this program, you’ll learn to burn fat from both sides of the weight-loss equation—the calories in and the calories out—at the same time. Run Your Butt Off! will make you fitter, stronger , and leaner.”  

Doesn't all this sound great!  My book review and results will surely come soon. 

PUSH: 30 Days to Turbocharged Habits, a Bangin' Body, andthe Life You Deserve!   You all know of my love for Chalene Johnson.  I love her workout DVD’s (Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire and Chalean Extreme), her live workouts (Piyo, Turbo Kick and Hip Hop Hustle) her clothing line and now I get to check out her book.  She is my mentor.  Chalene has already helped me so much.  I have lost over 50 pounds doing her workouts and I can’t wait to see how her book helps me. I hope one day to become an instructor of her workouts.  The Amazon description of PUSH is:

 “Fitness superstar Chalene Johnson creates a revolutionary 30-day system that will allow readers to transform their bodies, their diets, and their lives!”  “Chalene gives readers the life-changing tools they need to change their habits with 30 days of practical steps that include pinpointing goals, reverse engineering a course of action to achieve them, and kicking the clutter—whether that means junk food, draining exercise regimens, or toxic relationships. In one month, readers will learn how to create layers of accountability so that success is their only option.’’ 

This book was released today and I should get it any day now from Amazon.  Getting this book has me so psyched about the New Year and the next year of my life!  Again, review to come.

Have read any of these books?  Do you read self-improvement books?  Which ones do you recommend?

A dream is a wish…


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Charm City Run

Yesterday, I finally made it to Charm City Run, a legendary running store in Baltimore, MD.  I have been to a local running store several times (Flying Feet), but have heard wonderful stories about the service and great advice that is given at Charm City Run and I have wanted to go for a long time.  Since my Christmas shopping is mostly done, my husband and I had time to take a road trip to Baltimore and check it out. 

We walked through the doors and were quickly greeted by a nice young man, Aubrey.  He asked me what I was looking for.  I told him I was looking for the perfect running store for me.  I explained that I have been running for about a year now and that I have a half marathon coming up very soon.  I told him I have been running is Asics 2160’s, a chance pick at Dick’s Sporting Goods.  I continued telling him that my 2160’s were working out well for me, but that I wanted to make sure I have the best shoes for me.  He asked if I was having any problems with my current shoes.  I told him for the most part, no, but I was getting blisters on the insides of my feet.

Aubrey had me take off my shoes and roll up my jeans.  I then walked up and down the store several times so he could analyze my gait.  He told me that I slightly over pronate, so I would do well with a neutral or support shoe. Next, it was time to measure my feet.  I told Aubrey that I have been getting a size 9. He told me I should try a 9.5 or a 10.  I am a true 9, but you need a little more room in running shoes, so I should try a larger size.  This may be the cause of my blisters—my shoes were to tight. My Asics 2160’s were one of the shoes he chose for me.  Since I have had several pairs of them, I wanted to try something else.  Aubrey was very patient and gave me four different pairs of shoes to try on—Brooks, Mizuno, Saucony and Asics, in a variety of sizes. 

I tried on each and every pair brought out to me.  I walked around the store in them to find the ones that were best for me.  A size 10 felt way to big, but a 9.5 felt nice.  After trying on lots and lots of shoes, I decided on the Brooks AdrenalineGTS 12.  I chose these because they felt roomie, but not to big.  They did not offer quite as much arch support as my Asics 2160’s, but that might be a good thing.  Since I donated my old running shoes, Charm City Run gave me 10% off on my new shoes. If you live in the area, I would certainly recommend Charm City Run for all of your running needs.  Shoe review to come….

A dream is a wish…


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fitness Trends in 2012

I can across an article about what fitness trends will be hot in 2012.  Since I know all of us want to stay fit and get even more fit in 2012, I wanted to share it with you.  Some of the predictions were surprising, some were obvious to me and one I had never heard of. 

Have you heard of Barre?  I had not before I read this article.  It is a blend of Palates and Ballet intended to give you a killer, dancer like body.  I may have to give it a try. 

What I found surprising was the section the author calls “Unconventional Workouts”.  I got a chuckle out of imagining people hula hooping, pole dancing, roller skating, trampolining, and doing acrobatics.  But hey, if it gets them moving and helps them achieve fitness while having a little bit of fun, more power to the hula hoopers, pole dancer, roller skaters, trampoline jumpers, and acrobats. 

The obvious to me were running and home workouts…because these are the things I do every day and plan to continue doing in 2012.  With the success of Beach Body workouts suchas P90X, P90X2, Insanity, Turbo Fire and countless others, this trend it here to stay.  (If you want more info on any Beach Body workouts, contact me—I am a coach!)  The recent explosion of running for fitness is why we are all here.  While I will NEVER be a Tough Mudder, a Spartan or a Warrior Dasher, I respect those who take on the challenge.  Fire, mud,!  With more and more people interested in our sport, it paves the way for companies and race directors to make more specialized products and races.  I love all the running gear that comes in pink now! With more buyers, fitness companies will devote more resources to newer and better products.  Race directors all over the country are developing all kinds of cool niche races, like the Dive Half Marathons, the Disney Princess Half Marathon (see the medal below!) and the Tinkerbell Half marathon that cater to women runners.  RAM racing has a “Hot Chocolate” running series where finishers go to a chocolate themed after party.  How fun!  With more people joining our sport, even more specialized products and races will for sure be on their way. 

Technology and our busy lives will continue to shape fitness in 2012.  Do you have a smart phone?  Thought so, most of us do.  There will be tons of new and updated apps for our smart phones to help us eat smarter and work out better.  No time to work out?  There are lots of shorter, 10 to 20 minute workouts to try.  Working out for a few minutes is better than not working out at all. I recommend 10 Minute Trainer

What do you think about these predictions?  Which is your favorite or least favorite?  Will you be part of any of these trends?

A dream is a wish…


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cold Weather Running

As you know, I am a total wimp when it comes to cold!  I hate being cold and I will use it as an excuse not to do something any time I can.  I will tell my son “it’s to cold to walk to the bus stop, let’s drive”.   I drive around at the grocery store until I find a really close spot so I don’t have to spend to much time outside.  I have even went as far as using valet parking when I take my daughter to doctor appointments at the hospital so I don’t have to walk from the garage to the building in the cold.  I know--total cold wimp! 

Since the Disney Princess Half Marathon is at the end of February, I have resigned myself to the fact that, yes, I will indeed have to suck it up and do some running in the cold.  While some runs on the treadmill at the gym will be alright when it is raining or snowing, my marathon training will be so much more effective if I run outside.   Since runners have to be in their corrals around 4 am in Disney World, spending time in the cold now will get me used to it for the big day.

To make this a bit easier (or at least harder to get out of), I have done a few things.  First, I signed up for the winter running series with a local running club.  They offer eight events ranging for 5k’s to ten milers from November to March.  Next, I got a running buddy.  She is also training for the Princess Half and we are both using the Jeff Galloway plan.  We meet on Sundays at 2 PM.  If I wimp out, I will be letting her down.  I also bought some good cold weather gear.  I got a bottom layer Under Armor shirt, a fleece and a wind coat.  All of this gives me no reason not to run in the cold. 

For some inspiration, I came across a really good article that I wanted to share with you.  They offer great tips as to why running outside in the cold is beneficial to you. 

Do you run outside when it’s cold?  How do you make it more bearable?  Do you have any cold weather running tips to offer? 

A dream is a wish…


Friday, December 9, 2011

My Take on Barefoot Running

It is a trend that can be seen all over in the running world—barefoot running.  I hate wearing shoes, so this concept intrigued me. Just about every shoe company offers some sort of “natural” or “minimalist”.  A few months ago, I decided to take a spin on the minimalist bandwagon.  I got a pair of Vibram FiveFingers and gave them a try. 
The VFFs took some getting used to at first.  They felt kind of funny on my toes at first, a bit tighter than I am used to.  As shoe wearers, we are not used to having anything between our toes.  I started wearing my Vibram around the house and then on errands.  Once I got used to having something between my toes, they began to feel natural, like wearing nothing at all.   I even wore them walking around the Magic Kingdom one day in October in Walt Disney World. 
I tried the VFFs one day for a 30 minute run.  I will report, I am not a barefoot running convert.  As an over pronator, the shoes did not offer me enough arch support.  I did not feel the usual spring back in each stride that I usually experience when I wear my Asics 2160’s.  For now, barefoot running is not for me. I will continue to wear my VFFs in my day to day activity.  I also like to wear them when weight lifting or taking Pilates classes, as I do find then comfortable.  While I appreciate the science behind barefoot running, I am not a fan. 
Have you tried barefoot running?  What did you think of it? 
A dream is a wish...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Team in Training Lousy Medal 5k

Some friends have put together a fun event that I wanted to tell you about.  Heather Gannoe and Hope Epton are training for a half marathon with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training.  Through Team in Training, athletes train for an event and raise money for the LLS.  The girls have come up with a really cool fundraising idea—a Lousy Medal Virtual 5k run/walk.  Basically, you run or walk where ever and whenever you want that day.  For supporting the cause, they will send you a “lousy” (or really neat I hear) finisher medal. 
I started reading more about the LLS on their website.  What a great organization.  They raise money to help patients in need and fund vital research to cure and treat cancer.  The Team in Training program offers athletes their choice of endurance events all over the world in exchange for raising funds for the organizations.  All of this has got me thinking….I am considering joining TNT for an event in 2012, maybe the Disneyland Half in September.  I plan to attend an informational meeting in January. 
Please consider joining me on December 17 for the Lousy Medal 5k in support of TNT and the LLS.  Have you ever done a TNT event?  What did you think of it? 
A dream is a wish…

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My First Running Injury

I don’t know if this is something to complain about or something to brag about, but it seems I have my very first running injury.  Apparently, I have an injury to my Patellair Ligament—a ligament just south of the knee.   
My daughter sees a physical therapist a few times a week. The physical therapist, Mary, was nice enough to look at my knee for me.  She told me it is a very common injury to runners, probably caused by coming to abrupt stop.  That makes sense to me because the Turkey Trot was a very crowded course and I did a lot of bobbing and weaving with many instant stops.  Mary told me that since this is a small, thin ligament it does not get much blood flow.  Not getting much blood flow means it will heal slowly.  She suggested Aleve and rest.   
The Aleve feels like it is working. The rest part is going to be difficult for me.  Last week, my family visited Walt Disney World.  We had a great time, but as you know, you walk all day long at Walt Disney World.  Now that I am home, I plan to take this whole week off from running.  I am hoping to heal enough to get back on my Jeff Galloway Disney Princess Half Training plan on Monday.  If it takes more than a week to heal, I will take all the time my body needs to heal.  I will not let this temporary injury become permanent. 
What types of running injuries have you sustained?  How long were you on the side line? 
A dream is a wish…