Friday, January 27, 2012

Fitfluential Friday—A Father’s Influence

I am excited to introduce Pavement Runner, one of the few male Fitfluential Ambassadors. I talk a lot on this blog about motherhood, moms etc., but rarely explore a dad’s perspective. I really enjoyed his post and I hope you do too.

You can follow him at Pavement Runner or @pavementrunner on Twitter.  Send him some love!

SONY DSCIn all the landmark moments that have happened in my life —  from kissing a girl, to graduating college, to buying my first home — becoming a father makes those seem like small stepping stones whose sole purpose was to bring me to this single moment. This one opportunity to take everything that I have learned in my (insert number here) years of life and positively influence this beautiful little girl that my wife and I have been blessed with.

I have always been in shape. Sometimes that shape is a little more round than I would like, but I have typically always been at or within 10-15 pounds of a healthy weight, given my age and height. But something strange triggered when our daughter was born, I felt the need to improve my health and fitness. I guess at the root of this inclination was that I need to be healthier not just for me, but for her. That daddy needs to be around to see his daughter grow and to set a good example of what a healthy lifestyle is like.

My influence is being put to the test and it will help shape the life of a little girl. At who she will see as a male figure in her life growing up. How she will or will not depend on a man as she gets older. As a father, making my daughter feel safe and confident seems like one of the most important things I can do.

In the early months, finding time to squeeze in a few miles was difficult. If I wanted to learn how much of my personal time has to be sacrificed to fill the needs of starting a family, it was made clear early on. Although a mother's role typically demands more, being a part of the day-to-day routine was important to me. Making sure that mom and baby rested when possible required odd hours of maintaining the household: laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, etc.

But remember that strange feeling I mentioned two paragraphs ago? It was remembering that I needed to wanted to lead a healthier lifestyle that helped me make the decisions to put on my running shoes and head out the door when possible. It's also the reason that even with the reduced hours of sleep and fewer miles I was able to become a faster runner after she was born.

I wanted to be a better person for her. I wanted to be a stronger person for her. I wanted to show her through example, what it is like to lead a healthy lifestyle and to place value in fitness. I don't think I'm one of those parents that will force their children to partake in the activities that I enjoy. I won't force her to get up at 5 a.m. and run 10 miles before work or school. But at the same time, I don't want that to be considered strange if that is what she wants to do. I don't want it to be weird for her to have vegetables at dinner instead of french fries.
Becoming a father changed almost everything about my life. Things that I placed so much emphasis on before, were reevaluated and adjusted to fit the needs of the little one. But the thing is, it's good. It's changes that I wanted to make. People have commented that because I have a blog or run lots of miles that I influence others or motivate them to give running another try... but in all honesty, this tiny little beautiful girl has influenced me more, without saying a word, tweet or status update.

Sincerely, an influenced father.

Also, don’t forget to check out last week’s Fitfluential Ambassador. Please send Ashleigh some love at her blog, Waking Up in Vegas or on Twitter, @ashlovebash.

Have a great weekend and Happy Running…

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Giveaway Winners!!

The four winners of the “Favorite Things” giveaway are:

Entry #87  Michelle B.—iFitness Double Neoprene Belt

Entry #30 Toni C.—Nuun—bottle and tube

Entry #91 Aubrey L.—Jamba Juice gift card

Entry #19 Jen N.—Arbonne Lip Saver

Congratulations to the winners!  Stay tuned for another giveaway soon.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First real “runner’s high” in a while—Los Angeles 13.1 Race Report

Have you ever had a race/run where out of nowhere it gave you an incredible runner’s high? The run you weren’t really looking forward to, but did it anyway because you made the commitment?

That was what happened to me last Sunday. I won an entry to the Los Angeles 13.1 Half Marathon from RoadBunner. This race is about an hour from my house and as it approached I wasn’t too excited about doing it by myself.  My friends didn’t want to do it and I didn’t push the issue since it was a $100 race. I was further un-excited when I had to drive an hour to pick up my packet.*

So without any taper [10 hard, hilly miles the week before; normal runs during the week; 8.5 miles the day before; 44-day run streak leading up to it] I decided to run without a solid plan.

Last year, I ran that race in 1:49:08. It would be nice to run it faster than that. A 1:45 would be spectacular. So even though I didn’t think I could keep the pace, I started out hoping to run between 8 and 8:15 minutes/mile. Normally, I don’t like going out too fast; I hate hitting the wall at the end of a race.  But in this race, I didn’t really have anything to lose.

Miles 1-4—7:48, 7:48; 7:57, 7:54  Was a 1:45 possible?? Sub-8’s were feeling easier than they ever had.  I had only run that fast during a 5K and during the Fontana Half Marathon last June, which has a major downhill loss in the first half.

The course this year was SO much better than last year. We ran along the boardwalk in Venice beach and then around the bay of Marina del Rey. I have never been in Marina del Rey and it is beautiful.  There is something very peaceful about a marina.

Miles 5-7—8:04, 8:04, 8:08  My legs were starting to feel heavy. I am not sure if my fatigue was helped along by the concrete beach path. I really felt like my feet were pounding. This part of the race reminded me of the beach path during the Long Beach Marathon.  There were a lot of winding turns. Even though I tried to run the tangents, I kept losing mileage; the the halfway point of the race, I was about .1 off on the mile markers**

Miles 8-11—8:18, 8:18, 8:18, 8:19 Right before the mile 8 marker, there was a mean hill. This was a race along the ocean,so I didn’t expect hills. It is advertised as a flat course, so I didn’t expect hills.  I don’t usually mind hills, but my tired legs were NOT loving hills at this point.  Then there was another at mile 9.  This one kicked my booty pretty hard. For the first part of that mile, I was running in the 9’s.  Luckily, it flattened out and we hit the turnaround. You know what that means…we got to run back down that hill.  Yeah! Unfortunately, I was so wiped out by that time, I couldn’t take full advantage of that downhill.

The worst part of the entire course was during this section. Around mile 8.5 I smelled a horrid smell. At first there was a strong chemical smell. Then a pungent smell of sewage. I tried to breath out of my mouth as best I could, but it was really nasty. Unfortunately, this was an out-an-back course and the way back was even worse.At around mile 10.5, the smell was nearly intolerable. I definitely had to breathe exclusively through my mouth. This smell ruined the race for one runner. G(r)eek Melie felt nauseous from it and didn’t recover the rest of the race.

Miles 12-13.25—8:21, 8:06, 6:45 pace Around mile 11, I hit a serious wall. I didn’t stop, but I wanted to. I knew if I stopped to walk just once, I would not be able to finish strong or finish at all. For the first time in a long time, I was hating running right then. I just wanted it to be done. I was putting one foot in front of the other. I knew if I kept doing that, I would get done with the race. This part of the course was straight and slightly downhill. The downhill was the only thing that kept that mile respectable.

When my Garmin hit mile 12, I knew I just had a couple more songs on my iPod and I would be done. I thought of my encouraging words to my friend, Jen in Santa Barbara, “it will stop hurting when we cross that finish line and stop.” I kept telling myself that the agony would be over when I stopped. So I picked it up and basically gave it everything I had to the end. I was shocked that I could still pull out an almost 8-minute-mile being that tired.

Toward the very end, I picked it up.  Then I saw a woman ahead of me who I had seen throughout the race. I guessed she was close to my age.*** I decided that I didn’t want to be beat in my age group by a couple of seconds. I started to sprint. I ran faster than I can remember running in a race. All I wanted to do was to beat that random woman. The crowd helped me by cheering me on. I ended up beating her by three seconds. I thanked her at the end and told her good job. That last bit of the race was some of my fastest running ever. In fact, when I kicked it into that final sprint, I felt so strong! 6:45 pace? Wow…that is FAST.  Go me!

My official time was 1:46:59, which was in the top 10 of my age group. That is nine seconds faster than Fontana of 2010, making it my second fastest half marathon. My PR is 1:42:30, but that is an incredibly fast downhill course. I don’t even really count it as a PR. Sunday’s race was a more true PR.

I am super proud of myself and very happy with my performance. I thought I had lost some speed. Tempo runs have been few and far between and a struggle to run under 8-minute miles. I found a new gear and overcame very tired legs.  It makes me wonder how I would do if I actually trained for a half marathon with speed work and a decent taper.

I was on an incredible high for days. I was there by myself, but found plenty of friendly runners to chat with. I shared a beer with one runner (darn, I forgot her name!), some food with others and a shuttle seat with a lovely lady named Magaly.

13.1Oh…and the bling wasn’t either.

Next race…Tinkerbell.  I am really looking forward to dressing like a fairy and running with some great women. I will be meeting at least one online friend for the first time.

Don't forget to enter my Favorite Things giveaway!! Tomorrow is the last day!

Happy Running…

*There was no expo, just people passing out bibs.  Really?   What a waste of gas and time!  This fact became more annoying when I saw them passing out bibs the morning of the race. I kicked myself, because I should have emailed the race personnel to see if this was an option that wasn’t listed on the website.  Grrrr….
**I enjoyed the fact that there were mile markers with clocks at every mile.
***When checking the results, it looks like she was actually in the age group above me.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fitfluential Friday

I am starting a feature every Friday called "Fitfluential Friday." I will be featuring guest bloggers to talk about various aspects of what "fitfluential" means to them. I am hoping to provide some different perspectives while highlighting some pretty incredible people.  I hope you enjoy!

Hey Everyone!
I'm Ashleigh from Waking Up In Vegas, and I'm sure as you guessed I am from Las Vegas, and I write a fitness, healthy living, and everything in between kind of blog! Feel free to pop over and say hello! I am so excited to be apart of this new Fitfluential Friday series, it is ironic i also happen to write a Fitfluential post every Friday too. =] Great minds think alike ;)

Today I decided I should share some background on myself of how I became a fitness lover!

I have been athletic for as long as I can remember, I did dance/gymnastics before i could even spell my last name! [its a true story, my last name is pretty difficult] I soon quit dance to become a full-time competitive gymnast. This meant going to the gym [as in gymnastics gym] 4-5 days a week for 4 hours a day! no was intense. I was told I was too small and needed to gain muscles but I couldn't because I wasnt intaking enough calories. I worked off way more than I ate so my muscles were thriving for more fuel! I was put on a strict diet of protein, protein, and more protein! I had to drink protein shakes before gymnastics and had to stop and have a snack halfway through practice because doctors were scared I was losing to much weight.

Insert first time I was concerned about my weight...As a gymnast you are very aware of your weight and you need to make sure that you eat healthy and stay in shape; coaches would warn you if they thought you were gaining too much. I never had this problem thankfully but you would think I did. One day I went to the doctors at the age of 11 and weighted 72 pounds. I saw the 72 and freaked out..the last time I went to the doctors I had weighted 70.  I didnt take in account that it had been a year, I didnt take in account that I was growing up..I just saw weight gain and got scared that my coaches would be mad.

Fast Forward about 5 years..age 16 hits. I am in high school weighing in about 120..I was about 5'5-5'6 at the time so this was definitely a healthy weight. I had quit gymnastics and started dancing again. I was on my high school swim team (captain to be exact ;)) and I was starting my senior year. I didnt really pay to much attention to my weight at this time, I was dancing an hour a day and then had practice for 2 hours for swim team.  Insert friends my friends were soooo insecure..and they rubbed off on me. I became very insecure. I started watching what I ate, exercising even more and looked up every single calorie i consumed. I was secretly developing a disorder.
um yah..I hated this picture because I thought I was HUGE. 

Fast Forward 1 year to my first year of college. I was 17 about to turn 18, and was extremely insecure.  Thinking I looked fat in everything. I was size 3..not fat at all. I was dating someone long distance and was enjoying getting to buy my own groceries, make my own food and being in total control of EVERYTHING. No one was there to monitor me. I soon developed some really bad habits, I would eat around 700 calories a day and work out twice a day. I would walk the long way to all my classes trying to lose some extra calories. I would do this for the 3 weeks I wasnt with my ex, then when he came up we would enjoy everything and I would act as if I was eating normally. Then once he left I would have a binge day..eating everything I saw....then go back on my crazy diet.  Those freshman 15 myths never happened for me because of this. I once went on saltine diet..6 saltine crackers a day. no joke. chugging water whenever hungry. I also had a slight case of bulimia.  Right before I moved back to Vegas I ate a mini box of thin wheats with salsa...and I cried. I called my mom crying..I called my dad crying..I was slowly losing control.

see how skinny i look in these two pictures.. the one on the pants are so baggy...and the one on the right..well i just look hair was so brittle.  I remember this was right when i moved back from Reno.
 [although i do love the definition in my legs]. 

My grandparents came up to help me move home, my grandma commented on how horrible I looked and that I should not lose anymore weight. I just nudged it off. When I arrived home it was late in the evening, I ate "dinner" and went to bed. What did I do the next morning? Went to the six a.m. nothing was unpacked, nothing was done; but my first priority was the gym. What didnt help is that my ex LOVED the way I looked. but everyone else hated it.

My mom threatened to send me to a therapist if i didn't stop this business. I slowly started to eat better and work out an appropriate amount of time. I started to look better and to tell you the truth, I started to feel better. I gained back some much needed weight.  After a couple of months of living at home I decided to move out with the dreaded EX, and that did not help any situations. We enjoyed "acting married" and we would make elaborate dinners and have movie nights on the couch gorging on popcorn and candy.

I gained some "love" pounds but quickly got rid of it the moment I realized my pants were much tighter than I wanted. I made the decision to end the relationship due to cheating  unrecognizable differences, and some of the pounds creeped back on. I tried crazy fad diets like HCG, and almost going anorexic [but I couldnt do it, I just love food too much.] After each failure with each diet I would binge and the weight never went anywhere, I just kept gaining.
me at my heaviest;

About a year and a half ago I met the love of my life, my boyfriend, he met me at my highest weight and fell in love with me. I realized I didn't have to be stick skinny to be loved, if he loved me at my highest he will love me even more when I lose it.  But that didnt mean I felt "sexy" or happy with my own self, and I wanted to change that.

Speed forward to present time. I have lost about 15 pounds and gained about 2 lbs in muscle. I have started running, eating right and tracking everything to make sure I am giving my body what it needs. How did I start this? Fitfluential. I read a ton of fitness/healthy living blogs and it inspired me to become healthy not only for me but for my unborn babies, and my boyfriend/husband. Healthy living isn't about a diet, it isn't about working out two times a day trying to drop LBs really fast. It's about setting your life up for success, knowing that small changes in diet and exercise routine can help you in the long run. It's about giving my body the things it needs to function properly.

this is me now.

Do I still get discouraged when the scale doesnt move? fact just the other night I wanted to cry because the numbers went up by one and not down.  But the definition I am seeing in my arms, legs and those little itty bitty abs are what make it count. The fact that I am able to run further than ever before, the fact that I can do more push-ups than before..this is what keeps me going. Without Fitfluential i dont know if my new healthy-living lifestyle would be going this strong. The support from fellow bloggers, the support from YOU, is what keeps me going!

starting to see definition.
work in progress.

With that I thank you for reading this ridiculously long post, and hopefully it shows you how far I have come in my life and why Fitfluential is so important to me.

Thanks, Ashleigh!!  Are you "fitfluential?"  Why are you "fitfluential" in your own way??

Enjoy your weekend.  Get out there and MOVE. Happy Running (or whatever your movement is...)!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tough Chik Tuesday

As I posted last week, I am going to start featuring other athletes each week to get a new perspective. We all are different and all have our stories, but are connected in one way or another. I am connected to most of you and to my guest posters by running and fitness. Tuesdays I will feature someone from Team Tough Chik, a great group of women that I have been so excited to get to know.

Today’s guest post is from Michelle.  She writes a blog at Carpenter’s Corner.

tough chik logo

What Makes Me A Tough Chik
michelle carp guest postLet’s be honest. I don’t think I’m the poster child for “Tough Chik”.

I consider myself on the training roster. Oh sure. I’ve battled trials and tribulations in life—the loss of my dear friend to cancer, alcoholism, unemployment and depression. But that’s all in the past. I feel fortunate that I’m not fighting for my life, that I have a loving husband, healthy children and a good job; a warm bed, a roof over my head, good friends and a full belly. And through all the bad and good, I’ve got this wonderful body that has carried me many miles through life.

I’m learning to push my body to places I’ve never been. My goal is that at the end of this life, people reflect on me and think “That was one TOUGH CHIK”. I don’t think that I’ve pushed my body to the depths of tough. I keep pushing the envelope and keep watching my potential grow. That’s a pretty cool feeling.
I signed up for Tough Chik because it is what I want to aspire to be. It’s a good reminder of why I work hard. I had no idea when I signed up that I would be welcomed into a community of other women. Really! I thought I was buying cute clothes and supporting a great cause. Instead, I have gained MORE running friends. And what once were taboo words in my vocabulary….swimming and cycling, are becoming a little warmer thanks to many of YOU. Do I hear a TRI in my future? Hmmmm. But first up, is Boston baby!

Training for any marathon, especially Boston reminds me of what makes me need to strive to be a Tough Chik. Balancing a full time job, a husband and two kids, a household and other “big girl” commitments takes up a large part of my day. I’m not an early morning runner because my husband works nights and is just going to bed at 3 a.m. I treasure those few hours we have together. I fit my run in at night, when I can. It is what it is. On the weekends, my family commits to Sunday mornings without me so I can get my long run in. We all make it work…for my sanity and theirs!

In the past, I’ve trained alone or with my dad who bikes with me. As I’ve become more comfortable in my running skin, I’m learning to embrace running with other people. Joining Tough Chik was a good way to help me find enjoyment in running with a group. I’ve learned a lot, been pushed a lot and have encouraged others a lot, too. This is a new place for me and I love it. I recently wrote a post about “Where It All Began” and I can’t believe where I am now!

So thanks for allowing me this opportunity. You ladies continually inspire me with your enthusiasm, honesty and athleticism. I can hardly wait to meet you on the road ahead. Push on, Tough Chiks
michelle carp guest post2

Thank you, Tough Chik, Michelle!  Happy Running!

Don't forget to enter to win some fabulous prizes on my favorite things post! If you already entered, you can get more entries by tweeting every day!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Favorite Things AND a couple of giveaways!

2011 was a good year. Here is a list of some of the things that got me through the last year in running.  I originally planned to post this as a Christmas list, but my December hiatus postponed this post.
Some of my favorite things are the same as last year, but I have a few new ones as well.

1. Nuun.—I am a new Nuun convert (a “Nuunie”). I had tried it in the past, but didn’t become loyal until this year. They have lots of yummy flavors, so I will never get bored. I am so spoiled now that I don’t even use water. My kids are hooked as well. They drink it during hockey and soccer practices. It seems to really keep me hydrated—no more calf cramps. Keep reading for giveaway below!

2. iFitness Double Neoprene Pouch—I have already written about this one, but it remains my favorite accessory. I use it for nearly every run. I honestly don’t know what I would do without this accessory. It fits my phone (an HTC Incredible 2, which is not a small phone), camera, cash, lip balm…whatever.  Keep reading for giveaway below!

3. Knee Socks. Fellow Hood to Coast Nuun Plattuuner Tonia (from Racing with Babes) got me hooked on knee socks.  They make a fashion statement AND when they are compression socks, they help my muscles feel better after a run.  In fact, I have enjoyed running in compression socks so much that I ran St. George in my hot pink Recovery Socks. I also have compression socks from Zensah and Bauer (they came free with my husband’s hockey gear).

4. Arbonne Lip Saver lip balm. This little lip balm is awesome. It has SPF 30 and stays on for a long time. It smells nice, but isn't overpowering. It is smoother than chapstick and other lip balms, but stays on longer than most smooth or creamy lip stuff.  You can buy it HERE.

5. Sugoi Versa jacket—I received this for Christmas last year and I love it. The sleeves come off to leave a vest.  The bolero style sleeves stash neatly in the back pocket. I t is great to wear on a chilly morning, especially one that is a little breezy.

6. Arm Warmers—I love my arm warmers. I have four pair and enjoy all of them. They are different brands. The weather around here can get pretty crazy. We have had runs where it is 40 degrees when we start and 70 when we end.  This is when arm warmers really come in handy. When it warms up, I just pull them off and tie them around my iFitness belt.

7. Garmin—This little gadget continues to be a staple in my running. Pacing and split management was key in my success in St. George. I still need to find ways to use it to its fullest potential. I rarely use the heart rate monitor and haven’t learned how to use the virtual partner.

8.—My new source for running music can’t be beat. Have you discovered this site yet? Do yourself a favor while it is still in Beta. Their running mixes are FREE right now!  And they are awesome. They have worked with runners to find some great mixes with the perfect beats per minute.

9. Jamba Juice—I still love my Jamba. I love the smoothies, I love the oatmeal, I love just about everything. I am trying to add more greens to my diet and have recently started having a wheat grass shot every time I go in.  My kids beg me for the frozen yogurt.  Did you know they had frozen yogurt?  disclosure:

OK…now the part you were looking for!  The GIVEAWAY!  I am giving away FOUR of my favorite things!  I am giving away one iFitness Double Neoprene Pouch, one tube of Nuun (and a bpa-free plastic bottle to drink it from), a $5 Jamba Juice gift card, and a tube of Arbonne Lip Saver!!!!! I will have a total of four winners--one for each prize.

You must be a follower to win, but other than that, all the entries are optional. You get an entry for leaving a comment saying which prize you want to win, if you have a preference. It is optional, but if you don’t leave a comment, I won't know what you want, so you get what you get. ;-)  If you tweet, please use @momtomarathon so I know you tweeted.  Also, if you like a Facebook page (mine, iFitness or Nuun), can you stop by and leave a comment so I know?  Thanks!

 Please make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter entry form below.  I will use Rafflecopter to pick a winner on January 23.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tough Chik Tuesday

I recently joined a team of women called Team Tough Chik. At first, I did because I liked the singlet and thought it would be cool to say I was on “Team Tough Chik” while I was running my first 50K.

But then I was added to the Team Tough Chik Facebook group and discovered 100+ other athletes that were a lot like me.  There are newbies as well as experienced athletes. It is an extremely active group with great advice and encouragement. I knew several of the women already from the blogging world.  Two of them are Nuun Platuun teammates.

There are so many outstanding women sharing the moniker of “tough chik.” I have decided to dedicate Tuesdays on my blog to featuring women on this team. I am excited to see what these great women have to say about being tough chiks!

My first Tough Chik post is from the owner/founder of Team Tough Chik, Shannon. Thanks for putting together such a great group of women, Shannon!

Hi, my name is Shannon and I am the owner of Tough Chik women’s performance apparel.  I am an amateur athlete who just happened to start a clothing company.  I have never podiumed, I’m not sponsored, and I buy all my equipment just like everyone else.  I am a gal just like you, who started cycling which led to running which led to triathlons.  I am not particularly good or fast, but I love it and I like to look cute when I do it.

I say on the site that Tough Chik is not just a clothing company, it is a way of life and that is very important to me.  Tough Chik, the name, came from my mom and grandmother, who always referred to themselves as “Tough ‘Ol Birds”, referring to their inner strength and courage.

Our tag line is “this is what tough looks like”, because I believe we are all tough in our own ways. That is why I love to ask, “What makes you a Tough Chik?” The answers are as varied as we are.  Some women are cancer survivors, some run in the snow, some have lost over 100 lbs, some women, like me, have just gone through a lot tragedy in life and have come out the other side with increased experience and resolve.

Tough Chiks are proud of who we are, where we came from and, more importantly, where we are going.

I started Team Tough Chik with Angela Meyers with hopes of creating a team that accepts all women from elites to beginners, Ironman triathletes to fun-runners and everyone in between! We are very proud to announce that Team Tough Chik is 171 chiks strong with women from 5 countries and 36 states.

I will be featuring one Tough Chik each week to learn a bit more about what makes tough chicks tick.

Happy Running…

Friday, January 6, 2012

How I do a bowl game

It all started in the year 2000 when the Oregon Ducks played the Texas Longhorns in the Holiday Bowl.  My husband, a die-hard Ducks fan (who I didn’t know at the time), made an elaborate wager with his best friend, a die-hard Texas fan. The bet involved pushups, arm slaps (they all revert to 12 year old boys) and beer.

This year at the Holiday Bowl, Texas played Cal, but my hubby tried to resurrect the wager- this time cheering for the Pac 12 team. However, my dear husband couldn’t back up his trash-talking. He had injured his shoulder a few weeks ago and was unable to do pushups.  So his wonderful wife stepped in. It was actually pretty fun. I did the pushups on the stadium steps in Qualcomm Stadium. I was challenged to do them with my feet up the stairs. By the end of the game, as Texas came close to scoring, all the fans around us would look at me in anticipation.  I think if I wasn’t wearing a Duck jersey, I might have made it up on the bowl

I did 42 pushups for Texas’ 21 points (7 + 14+ 21). It actually made the game more exciting. This year’s Holiday Bowl was a bit boring—it broke the record for the most number of punts. Thank goodness the Texas coach doesn’t like running up the score.  At the end of the game, they could have scored another touchdown, but they chose to take a knee and end the game.

So when I found myself doing a little trash talking on Facebook with Erika, from MCM Mama, about the Rose Bowl on Monday, I decided to take my dear husband’s lead. Erika is a big Badgers fan and, as you know, I love my Ducks. I challenged her to a wager.  Here is what I challenged her to:

Every time the other team scores, we do pushups for every point (when Oregon scores a touchdown, you do seven pushups; when Wisconsin gets a field goal, I'll do three). To make it more interesting, we will do all the points (when Oregon scores the second touchdown, you'll do fourteen pushups).
Every time our team loses yardage (sack, penalty etc.) we will do a sit up for each lost yard (fifteen situps for facemask etc.).
The loser will run the difference in the score in the other team's colors and write about it. Let's hope it isn't a blow out!

She accepted the challenge.  It was ON.

If you watched the game, you can probably guess how things went.  Well, to clue you in, this game was the highest scoring Rose Bowl EVER. You can read her account of the challenge HERE.

I just have to say that Erika is SO cool.  She was such a great sport. I was worried that she was going to dislike me and think I was some sort of sadist.  Our text conversation reassured me that she was taking it all in stride.

I ended up doing 139 pushups.  I’m not going to lie, the last 38 pushups were pretty tough. I also did 30 situps.  I think I would have rather done 139 situps and 30 pushups!  Erika ended up doing 200 pushups! She really only had to do 192, but she rounded up to 200.  That is one tough chick!

To add insult to injury, she had to run seven miles in green and yellow.

And THAT is how tough chicks do bowl games.  How did you celebrate bowl season for college football?  Did you cheer for your favorite team?

Happy Running….

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Break and a New Year

I have taken a break from this blog for a few weeks.  It wasn’t a planned break.  I have several posts in my drafts, but I couldn’t muster the creativity and motivation to finish and post them. I suppose it was a case of writer’s block. I just couldn’t find it in me to complete a blog post. It was a busy, busy December and something had to give.  It was this blog (as well as reading blogs of others—for that I apologize).  I will do my best to make up for it over the next weeks and months.

Here is a little recap of my running life since Thanksgiving.

I was chosen recently as a Fitfluential Ambassador!  While my blogging this past month hasn’t been much help to them, I am hoping to be an active member of the Fitfluential community!  Check out my bio:

My husband and I had our perfect kind of date. The kids were at our friends’ house and we went on a wonderful mountain bike ride. It was a perfect Southern California December morning and we had fun riding a nice mix of technical trails and fire road.IMAG0112

I volunteered for the XTerra Crystal Cove Trail Run for the third year in a row. I enjoy the people organizing the race, I enjoy crystal covethe trail runners.  This year I was able to talk a friend into coming with me. Shannon and I braved the cold dark, early morning to check in runners and then help the timing crew record everyone as they crossed the finish line.

It is trail running season in Southern California. The weather is perfect, the snakes are long gone and it has been relatively dry. My big race in the spring is a trail race, so I am eager to get out there in the wild. I love our area and hope to explore even more trails in the coming months.IMAG0065IMAG0067IMAG0070






I finished up a couple of sessions of Body Back. These sessions were small, but they were GREAT. My clients had amazing results. I am learning more and able to provide a lot to these women.  In turn, they inspire me to keep on track with my goals. I am particularly proud of one client’s twenty pound weight loss.  She lost six inches from her waist in eight weeks. That is a noticeable difference.Body Back results

I joined a challenge on Daily Mile initiated by Mel-Tall Mom.  She challenged her DM friends to run at least a mile every day in December.  I have had trouble with motivation lately and I figured that I needed some extra help. A public challenge is just what I needed.  I ended up December with 133 miles!  That is my second highest mileage month of the year. I don’t own a treadmill, so 100% of the runs were outside. Several of them were with one or both of my kids. At least twice, I had to change out of pajamas to get a late night mile in (having almost forgotten to run with all the Christmas chaos). Toward the end of the month, my kids would check with me, “Mom, did you run your mile?” or “Mom, did you do the streak today?”  I love it!  Are we friends on Daily Mile yet?

It is a new year and I am excited to face new challenges.  But more on that later.   I hope you are enjoying a happy new year’s weekend.

In the next few days and weeks, I will be finishing up some posts.  Posts I have waiting to be finished:  Santa Barbara Race Report, Favorite Things (including a giveaway!), Winter Hydration and a “Tell Me About Yourself” Blog Award, Brief Overview of 2011 and my 2012 race schedule.  Stay tuned!!

p.s.  Go Ducks!!


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