Thursday, May 31, 2012


It’s time!  I head to the airport for San Diego is just a few hours.  While I am so incredibly excited about my journey, I am so nervous to leave my daughter.  With all of her medical problems, I do not leave her often.  Since she came home from the hospital on September 14th of 2009, I have not been away from her for more than a few hours.  The idea of leaving her for four nights is making me sick to my stomach, but I know I need to do it.  My husband will take great care of her.  I think this will be harder on me than it is on her. 

I wanted to thank all of you for encouraging me along the way.  You helped me meet my fundraising goal and you help me stay motivated.  You have answered my questions and given me a reason to keep going.  For that I am eternally grateful.  I am so thankful I get to run to find a cure.  I am so honored I get to run in memory of all of those who have lost their battle, like sweet little Kaitlyn.  It is a TEAM tradition to decorate our running jerseys with the names of those we are honoring or remembering.  I will have the names Kaitlyn and Emily on my shirt.  Do you want me to honor or remember your loved one on my running jersey at the race Sunday?  Make a donation to my training page (link to the upper right) and send me a message with your loved ones name.  They will be honored for 13.1 miles on my training shirt.  

My trip starts with a 7 am flight out of Philly.  We land in San Diego around 10 am  Pacific time.  After checking into the hotel, we will get our race bibs at the Expo and have the rest of the day free.  I am thinking about going to Sea World.  I have the zoo planned for Saturday, followed by the Team in Training inspiration dinner.  Sunday morning is the big event—the Rock and Roll half marathon!  After that I plan to hit the beach, followed by the TNT victory dinner.  Monday morning it is back on a plane and back home to see my baby.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it! 

Have you ever been to San Diego?  What is a “must do” there?

A dream is a wish…


Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's Hot!

The last TEAM run of the season. 

Yesterday was my last Team in Training team run before we hop on a plane and go to San Diego on Friday morning.  We all meet at the trail, socialized some, and then Coach Barb read us a letter from a parent who had lost her child to leukemia.  The letter was very inspiring and was meant to put us in a certain mind frame.  I can tell you, it worked for me.  After getting a team picture, we were off on an eight mile run. 

A Kaitlyn Klover--in honor of sweet, beautiful Kaitlyn 
I started the run off ok, but boy was it hot!  The heat usually does not bother me, but combined with the humidity—wow!  It really took a lot of out my run.  Coach Barb says it was a good last run because San Diego will be nothing like that.  I remember our first team run in January.  It was freezing!  Now, at the last team run of the season, we had the weather I was wishing for in January.  I have never been so happy during a run as I was when go got to mile four where coach had water and Gatorade waiting for us.  After the fluid stop, it was time to run back up the trail.  Between miles four and six Coach John ran with me.  He evaluated my run and gave me some pointers about building my endurance and relieving shoulder tension.  When the run was over, we celebrated a bit and received lots of well wishes for San Diego.  I have been so happy with the training I have gotten from our Team in Training coaches.  I feel very ready for San Diego.  I know this will be my best half marathon yet!  If you ever want to know anything about joining Team in Training, please contact me! 

As Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, I have been thinking about my summer training schedule.  With so many half marathons coming up for me in the fall, summer will be when I train for my best half times yet.  As part of this, I am really going to focus of losing weight and strength training.  Join me!  I could really use some training buddies to keep me accountable. 

What are you summer fitness plans?  What are the goals you want to meet?

A dream is a wish…


Are you looking for something to do for Memorial Day to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that is active, fun and helps out a great cause?  How about registering for my virtual 5k!  You can run or walk until June 3rd and earn yourself some awesome, two-sided BLING!!! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Diva Half Marathon in Myrtle Beach

Lish and I

I woke up very early the morning of Sunday, May 20th for the Diva Half Marathon in North Myrtle Beach, SC.  It was a 7 am start time, and with parking concerns my friend Lish and I left our hotel at 5:30 am.  We parked and rode the shuttle to the race start.  The day was beautiful and the weather was perfect!  We were all concerned the day before the race about tropical storm Alberto making a presence.  Thankfully, Albert stayed at sea and gave us a perfect race day. 

The running momma
The thing I love most about running is the friends I have made.  When Lish and I got to the race staging area, I recognized one of my Facebook friends, Michelle.  She let out a squeal as she ran toward me to hug me.  I was just as happy to finally meet her.  Then it was time to meet up with my running momma  friends that I had dinner with the night before.  We took a few group pictures, then we all as a group headed to the race start. 

Love this sign! 
There were no corrals at this race.  At first, I was not sure how I felt about this, but it seemed to work well.  Race organizers hung up estimated minutes per mile speeds.  Runners were asked to start the race near their estimated pace.  I started in the twelve minute per mile pace with my friend Lish and some of the slower running mommas.  Since I was so far back, I did not get to hear the start of the race.   Half the race was behind me, so none of them got to hear it either.  The crowd started moving forward slowly, and with about seven minutes on the clock, I crossed the start! 

I got this picture from a friends Facebook page.  A sea of Divas!
The first three-ish miles were run on the road the parallels the ocean.  Although there were lots of hotels between us and the ocean, we got plenty of glimpses of the beautiful Atlantic and felt her beautiful breezes.  This part of the race was crowded but maneuverable.  Here is where I ran into my friend Jen dressed as Rainbow Bright.  The course took a turn and we began to run through a residential neighborhood.  After that, the course went through the staging area.  There were so many people—friends, family, children—cheering us on.  I always enjoy reading signs people make to cheer on their loved ones at races. 

Tiara and Boa station
By this time, it was getting very hot and very sunny!  I was still running strong by the time I hit mile marker nine.  This was the mile along a main highway and past my hotel.  We then turned into a brand her neighborhood still under construction.  These were some of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen.  Around mile ten and a half, I began to feel very nauseated.  I tried to fight it off, I tried to keep running but I could not.  Water did not help, Gatorade did not help.  I ended up walking most of the last two miles, on the same ocean front road we stated the race on.

Kendrick and I at the finish
At mile thirteen, there was the signature Diva tiara and feather boa stop!  This was so much fun.  They had several tiaras to choose from, some with pink or purple rhinestones.  After the tiara and boa stop, I started to run toward the finish.  I ran though the finish line and a medal was placed around my neck by a shirtless fireman.  I looked up at the clock and noticed I beat my first half marathon time by about thirty minutes!  The official Diva training, Kendrick,  was just past the finish line congratulating runners.  I got to meet him at the expo, but was so excited to see him again at the finish line.  I headed off to the Diva cafĂ© to get some food and water, and wait for my friends to finish.  After some fun pictures with friends, it was time to head back to my hotel to see my daughter. 

My Diva bib and medal
MyOverall the Diva Half Marathon was a great, very well organized event.  Parking was easy, bag check was very efficient and the course was well marked.  Was it as magical as the runDisney Princess Half?  Maybe not, but to me, nothing will be. My second half marathon was a success.  I can’t wait to run like a Diva in Long Island on October 7th

A dream is a wish…


Have you checked out my Memorial Day virtual 5k to benefitthe Leukemia and Lymphoma Society?  I would really appreciate your support! 

The start line!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Diva Half Marathon Expo

I just got back from a wonderful trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the Diva Half Marathon.  The trip was perfect!  The drive down was about 10 hours.  My mom, my daughter and I arrived in Myrtle Beach around 8 PM on Friday evening.  We checked into our hotel, got some dinner and then made a Wal-Mart run for some last minute essentials.  We went to bed that night with plans of hitting the Diva Half Marathon first thing Saturday morning. 

We got up Saturday morning, got some breakfast and headed out to the expo.  I was not sure what to expect for this Expo.  The only other Expos I had ever been to were Disney.  We got to the Expo around 10 am.  The cars were pouring in.   We parked and went in.  A very grouchy lady from the chamber of commerce handed my mom and I a bag of coupons and directed me to packet pickup.  There was no line at packet pick up.  I told them my bib number, showed them my ID, and they gave me my packet.  Very easy! 

Inside the packet was my bib, some bib pins, a draw string back pack and the race shirt.  I really like getting a goody bag, but it is nice to not have a bunch of papers to through away.  The shirt is awesome!  It is a ladies cut tech material, hot pink and super cute.  The draw string back pack is nice and also served as our gear check bag. 

After I got my packet, I walked around the vendor stands.  There was maybe 10-15 vendor stands at the Expo—much less than at Disney.  I checked out Running Princess and got an awesome shirt that I wore for the Diva half.  I checked out some other vendors and got a new headband.  My last stop was the Diva Lounge.  At the Diva Lounge, there were lots of tiaras, feather boas, and Diva bling to play dress up with.  There were also banners to take pictures with.  I also got to meet Kendrick, the official trainer for the Diva running series.  I have been following him on Facebook and Twitter for a while now.  He always gives great advice and answers reader’s questions.  He is a real class act. 

The highlight of the Expo for me was being recognized by two separate blog/Facebook friends.   I love meeting new people!  It was so great to meet you, Cara and Jenna!  I also met up with some friends from home.  It was fun to shop the vendors with friends. 

After the Expo, my mom and I spent some time on the Myrtle Beach board walk and beach.  For the evening, I went to dinner with some of the most wonderful women I know.  Thank you to Hope Epton for hosting and giving us a place to hang out together!  It was so great to see you ladies again!  After dinner, I went back to the hotel to prepare for the Diva half the next morning. 

A dream is a wish…


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Memorial Day virtual 5k to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

I wanted to take time out of all my fun race reporting to tell you about a project I am working on.  As you know, I have been training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.  I will run the Nike Women's Half Marathon on October 14th, 2012.  I will be running for a reason much more important than the personal challenge of completing a Half Marathon.  As a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training program, I have pledged to train on the behalf of all the affected children and their families to help raise money for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma research and patient assistance programs.

During my training, I have gotten close to a few families with sick children.  I am very sad to report that my sweet angel Kaitlyn has lost her battle.  I am very happy to report that Emily is still fighting leukemia at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia--and winning!  She is the first child to get an experimental treat that involves giving her body new T-cells.  The treatment is working for Emily and she is now cancer free!  
As you may or may not know, leukemia is the #1 disease killer of children and the leading fatal malignant disease of men and women under the age of 35.  Although the cause of leukemia remains unknown, recently developed treatments and steady advances in research bring us closer to a cure every day.  These research advances were only achieved as a result of contributions made by companies, foundations and individuals like you.
Like the medal?  It's double sided!  
My goal is to raise $3000 by October 1st. If you would like to help, please consider registering for my virtual 5k.  For the 5k, anytime on or around Memorial Day weekend, run, walk, skip or crawl the distance—BLING included!  As a thank you for registering, I will send you a finisher medal.  The medal this time is AWESOME!  It's two sided!  Please consider registering and helping me reach my goal.  With the generosity of people like you, there is every reason to believe that a cure for blood-related cancers is in sight!
A dream is a wish…

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Confidence.  Without it we can accomplish nothing.  Confidence is very important for a runner.  It is what gets you to the starting line.

A good friend and I have both been (separately) mulling over the idea of attempting a full marathon.  We discuss it often.  She has attempted a full before but was swept at mile 14.  She feels that she must complete a full—to prove to herself she can do it. I don’t know why in the world I want to attempt a full.  I guess I feel like it’s a natural progression.  I started with a 5k, then a 7 miler, than a 10 miler, then a half marathon.  A full marathon should be next, right?

I think my friend has a very good reason for wanting to complete a full marathon.  She wants to do it for herself.  She is not working for someone else’s approval or to impress anyone—she is doing it for her!  I really respect that.  I guess my reason for wanting to do a full is similar, but my desire is nowhere near hers.  

I keep asking myself—am I really capable of this? Can my body really complete 26.2 miles?  I believe that just about anyone is capable of finishing a half marathon, if they train well.  A full marathon is a different beast.  It is very hard on the body, both physically and mentally.  Is it really worth it?  These are the things that keep going through my mind when I think about doing a full marathon.

How do you know when you are ready for a full marathon?  How do you get the confidence to get to the start line? 

A dream is a wish…


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Overlapping Training Plans

I have so many fun races coming up!  Each race comes with its own training plan.  With these races spread over the next year, what races do I train for officially?

In the immediate future, I have the Diva Half marathon on Sunday, and then the San Diego Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  I committed to do the San Diego Half long before the Diva, so I have been following the SD training plan.  Coincidently, the SD plan has me do 12 miles the weekend of the Diva, so it fits into the plan very nicely. 

My fall race training is what I am not sure about.  I have Disneyland September 2nd, the Diva Long Island October 7th, my most anticipated race of the season—Nike San Francisco Half on October 14th  with Team in Training, then Hershey Half October 22nd, then finally Disney Wine and Dine Half November 10th.  Official training for Disneyland started on May 1st.  Official training with the Team starts in mid-June for Nike. 

What plan do I follow? 

My plan is to jump right into the Jeff Galloway training plan for the Disneyland half as soon as I get back from San Diego.   Since I will already be trained, after DL, I plan to follow the Team plan until Nike, and then jump into the Jeff Galloway plan for Wine and Dine.

What do you think of my plan?  Have you ever worked overlapping training plans?  How did you mesh the plans together?

A dream is a wish…


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Race Nutrition

I have two half marathons coming up in the next three weeks (Diva Half in Myrtle Beach and the San Diego Rock and Roll).  Race nutrition has been on my mind.

During my first half marathon, the Disney Princess, I did not take any during race nutrition with me.  I ate a bagel and banana before, but nothing during.  There was a Clif Shot station at mile nine, but gels are just not for me.  Although I do enjoy the taste of some of them, I can't take the texture--especially while running.  By mile ten, my stomach was growling.  I really could have used some nutrition, but still have not found anything that I like.

I came across this article on while I was trying to find alternatives to the usual gels.  I love that some of the options are all natural stuff I can buy right in my local grocery store.  Dates and dried fruit are now on my shopping list.  I plan to try a "race trail mix".  The idea of watermelon would be so refreshing along the course, but it is totally impractical in my opinion.  I don't know how you would carry it.  One person that commented on the article said she has her husband meet her at specific spots on the course so she did not have to carry her nutrition with her.   She suggested potato chips as the perfect mid race nutrition.  At first, this seemed strange to me, but it makes perfect sense--potato chips have carbs and lots of salt.

The article also has a recipe for home made energy gel.  The recipe looks very easy to make with just a few ingredients.  If I figure out a way to carry it during the race, I will give it a try.   I think I could down this one while running.  I love all of these new options.  They just may replace my good old pop tarts.

What is your favorite race nutrition?  Do you do anything unusual?

A dream is a wish...


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Amish Paradise

Here is an article from last month’s Runner’s World magazine I wanted to share with you.  The article is about Amish runners.  Since I live in South Central Pennsylvania, just outside of Amish country, I found this article particularly interesting.   

Before I read this article, I had no idea there was such thing as Amish runners.  I used to see Amish every day, even riding the school bus with them for a time.  The Amish, as part of their religion, shun modern conveniences.  They do not have electricity in their homes.  They do not own cars or tractors.  They work their fields by hand and ride in horse drawn carriages.    The idea of them being great runners makes total sense to me.  Running requires lots of hard work and dedication.  Those are traits most Amish people have.

What did you think of the article? 

A dream is a wish…


Monday, May 7, 2012

Spirituality of Running

I would not consider myself a religious person, but I would consider myself a spiritual person.  I do not regularly attend church, but I certainly am a believer.  Last week I wrote a post about not listeningto music when I run.  I told you how I like to listen to my surrounds and take in the people around me. 

While I was running yesterday, I thought some more about why I run and how it makes me feel.  When I run, I feel more in tune with my body.  Not only do I feel more in tune with my body, but also with my mind.  When I have an important decision to make or feel overly stressed, I go for a run and can think clearly.  I can sort things out easier.  I can simplify things.  I guess that is what they call a runner’s high.

When I am running and working my body hard, I feel more spiritual.  I feel more spiritual when running than I ever have in church.  I feel closer to God when running.  I have moments of clarity when I am running like I have never experienced before.   I think running clears my head and lets what was always there shine through.   
Have you ever experienced anything like this while running?  Do you feel like your mind opens up? 

A dream is a wish…


Need any Bondi Bands?  All proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!