Monday, July 30, 2012

Leibster Awards

Leibster Awards

The Liebster Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers
(I wonder if you get more points for having less than 20?)
I was tagged by Darlena at Run Find Your Happy Pace; she has a very inspirational blog and a virtual race coming up soon.  You should check her out!
(shhh,I also cut and paste this from her)
The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

Rules for receiving this award:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Then answer the questions the tagger sent for them, plus create 11 questions for the people they’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Notify the people you have tagged.
5. No tag backs.

Here we go….

 11 Random things about me...

11. I was married on New Years Eve 2005.
9. I love British TV.
8. I have always wanted to go to Bermuda, the island not the triangle.
7. I have an outie.
6. I love athletics but I am not a big fan of sitting and watching sports.
5. If I could go back and pick a different career, I would have loved to be a chef.
4. I came very close to getting struck by lightening and get very anxious if I am outside and a thunderstorm is approaching.
3. I have hiked parts of the AT in VA, but the closest I have ever gotten to actually hiking the entire thing is reading A Walk in the Woods. Maybe someday! 
2. In referring to number 3, I have never actually camped out before!
and the number 1 random thing about me.....
1. As much as I love to run I have never run a full marathon.

11 questions from Run Find Your Happy Pace…

1)      What is your favorite dessert
This has to be this little number from Bakerella. It’s a brownie with a chocolate chip cookie baked in and chocolate frosting on top! Amazing!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

2)      What is your favorite time of year and why?
The fall or autumn is hands down my favorite. I love when the weather starts to cool off and the leaves start to change. Not to mention, I love Halloween.  Oh and all that summer running in the heat makes racing in the fall weather seem like a piece of cake.

3)      Dark, milk or white chocolate?
Dark Chocolate, but really I don’t discriminate.

4)      How do you get your “sweat on”
I really love to run! But there is nothing like a good ol’ high intensity strength training session.

5)      Where is your favorite vacation spot?
The Outer Banks of NC or OBX, as the cool kids say. There is plenty of sun, sand and relaxing.

6)      What do you do to stay healthy?
I would love to say that all my running and healthy eating keep me in tip top shape, but I am sick A LOT! I blame that on my boys and their kid germs! I did quit drinking Diet Coke and have been only buying foods with natural ingredients. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives for this girl.

7)      When did you first start blogging?
January of this year, as part of the Moms Run THIS Town January challenge for change.

8)      What was your first post?
A post called Finally Time. You can read it here, it’s kind of lame though, haha. I tried to summarize what I wanted to blog about, running, family, time management, etc… I for some reason thought I was an “expert” in time management. I must have been smoking crack that day. Ya right! I should have wrote, I want to be an expert, because what I am doing isn’t working! Hahaha!

9)      Would you run for cupcakes?
Ummmmm, ya!

10)  If you could meet one person (dead or alive) who would it be?
This is so hard….Princess Katherine!


11)  What your favorite song to exercise too?
I’m Sexy and I Know It! Not that I am or think I am. But when I am on the treadmill running and it comes on, I like to pretend the guys lifting weights in front of me are putting on a little skit to the lyrics! You know I am not the only one...

 11 Questions for you!

1. Have you ever been on a blind date?
2. If you could be any of the Fresh Beat Band members, who would you be and why? (If you don't know who the FBB is then you are WAY to cool for my blog.)
3. Are you a righty or a lefty?
4. Do you have a pre-race routine and if so what is it?
5. Have you ever stopped to ummm, go number one in the woods on a long run?
6. Can you ice skate?
7. What is your chosen profession?
8. What is one of your favorite non-running blogs?
9. Have you ever been to Las Vegas, and if so did you do something that should stay in Vegas?
10. Please share the answer to # 9! (if you haven't been to Vegas would you go?)
11. What is your favorite book or book series?

Bloggers I have tagged....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Berry Patch Times Two!

It’s blueberry season. I love this time of year. I look forward to it for months, right after I eat the last of the frozen blueberries I scored the summer before. I love it so much that this is the second time I have been and the season just started! I think I am such a fan because it is in the dead heat of the summer AND I get to head out to a rural part of the beach AND sweat through my clothes to get a large amount of super food for a very reasonable price! But really, it reminds me of one of my favorite childhood memories, picking wild blackberries in NY. Good times.
One for the bucket one for me!

The berry patch is only open select days of the week and since it’s been raining and I have had other obligations I haven’t been able to go and this would be the only day for another week I would be able to get out there. So, in order to get my workout in, I did a quick HITT workout of 30 wall balls, 30 triceps dips, 30 plyo lunges, 30 TRX rows, and 30 knees to elbows, with 4 burpees every minutes (I am loving this sequence). I also added in a few minutes of the rope climbing machine. That thing is IMPOSSIBLE! But I really want to be ready for, at least, the obstacle portion of the Tough Mudder and that will help. (Oh, and I also did some ITB rehab, foam roller, hip strengthening exercises that sort of thing. I am trying to be a good patient!)

He was so proud of his "biggest berry ever mom!"

Back to berry picking…I also stopped at the farm stand and got a bunch of farm fresh produce! So excited to bring this home and the boys picked it all out! I hope they eat it!!

Fellow blogger Breath of Sunshine is loving her farm CSA. I haven’t gone that route yet. Do you use a CSA or visit your farm stand regularly? I am hesitant of the CSA because I am not sure I will use or even know how to cook everything they give you. Plus I wonder if I am still going to need to go the grocery store to get things they left out? What do you think?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mystery Solved, Now What?

Just because I know what is wrong with my knee doesn't mean it is healed. Duh. If only it worked that way. I am actually feeling more frustrated than ever. I have turned into that annoying runner who doesn't want to listen to anyone, MD, PT, ATC, fellow runner. I just want to RUN!

This "pain" has been going on since March. So for 4 solid months I have been dealing with this and if you have been following me at all, you have had to deal with my stupidity, arrogance even. Why can I tell people everyday to do something else for cardio while their injuries heal, but I can run while I am injured? I can't. I am not above other runners out there. I heal the same way. Then why did I waste the last 4 months being stupid? Probably because I AM stupid or just stubborn.

I have tried therapy on my own and with a PT. I have done Graston Technique and additional soft tissue mobilization done. Pelvic/core strengthening and mobilization done. I've tried Kinesiotape and bracing. Nothing has worked. I finally gave up and went to a doctor, got an MRI to rule out other pathologies and all it came back with was a small amount of degenerative changes and some mild fluid around the ITB. That's it. I guess I should be grateful that I don't have a meniscal tear. I am just annoyed that so little can cause so much pain! Maybe I am just a wuss.

I had my follow-up with the ortho on Friday. He did an injection of cortisone and told me to take it easy for a few days. Of course I didn't listen and tried to run on Sunday morning. I got about 2 miles in and my entire knee hurt. I sadly walked home. I shed some tears after a very fit, young, blond woman zoomed past me. I hate getting older. I hate that my body doesn't want to keep up with my mind. I hate that I feel like I wasted the last 4 months messing around when I should have just taken my running shoes and put them on a shelf while all I did was rehab. Now I am about a week away from one of the races I was so determined to run and where am I? As my mom would say, "Up shit's creek without a paddle."

I realized something else Sunday morning. It's not just that I am stupid and stubborn. It's that I feel like I have something to prove to everyone. I am not getting any younger and I have so much on my plate, a job, kids, a home and family to take care of. I feel like I need to prove it to the world that I can handle everything all while being a fit strong woman who didn't give up and let herself go. Stupid, I know. I am caught in between these two worlds of working woman and wanna be stay at home mom. I have been able to keep all the balls in the air but it's a lot of work and I'm tired. So what's going to happen with me and my running? Who knows. I am going to get through the races I have paid for and go from there.

Thanks for reading and listening to me whine about inconsequential stuff when there is surely more to worry about in the world than my aching knee. 

"I run because it's so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can't. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you're capable of so much more than you thought."
--Arthur Blank

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


This is so not a running related post. But while I am letting my knee rest before next weekends big race, I thought I would share some of my 5 year olds art work. It is my own take on almost Worldless Wednesday. Enjoy.

monster with 4 arms
3-eyed squid
our house

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Today is a big day for our little family. My son goes for his kindergarten assessment interview. In a few short weeks he will be donning a uniform of maroon plaid and heading off for his first day of kindergarten.

This is huge in so many ways. Being our oldest, he is our first child to start school. I am excited and sad at the same time. He is growing up, FAST. Where did the last 5 years go? So much has changed since he came along. We went from a family of 2 to 4, started new jobs, made new friends, and bought a new house. My running has taken on a life of its own and has really become an essential part of who I am. I ran before kids, but not like I run now. It’s what I do.

Even though, he has been going to daycare since he was 5 months old I am a little sad that he is going to school. I even got all choked up when we went to tour his school. I just couldn’t believe he was going to be in a class, listening to a teacher, making more and more independent decisions, and becoming his own person. I know this has to happen, you can’t stop time but this also opens up new challenges for our family, including LUNCH.

Lunch? What does this have to do with anything? Isn’t this a running blog? It is, but it is also about the everyday challenges a mom on the run faces. Making sure my kids have healthy meals is one of the many hurdles I will face when my son goes off to school. It might seem trite but as he grows I will have less and less say in his life and I at least want him to appreciate healthy good tasting food.

My lunch challenge: finding packable portable food for a picky eater with a food allergy!

My son started out as a great eater, eating everything I threw at him, fast forward 5 years and hello Sir Picky Pants. To help me find foods that don’t involve heating and to give me some creative ideas on what to pack for this picky school go’er that are healthy (we are still trying to avoid artificial foods and preservatives) and appealing to him I have been searching the web and wanted to share what I have found. best lunch boxes and coolers

I came across this great blog called The Easy Lunch blog, brought you by Kelly, the maker of EasyLunchBoxes. So cleaver. This is one of those, “why didn’t I think of that” items. The EasyLunchBox is a bento style lunch box, free of BPA. It's also FDA approved. You can buy them on her blog or Amazon for $13.95 for a set of 4 and the matching cooler bag for $7.95. She also has a cookbook coming out soon in conjunction with Trader Joe’s called Trader Joe’s and EasyLunchBox – The BOOK! This a compilation of 32 different social media foodies lunch time favorites that use foods from Trader Joe’s to pack a lunch. Sounds great: Trader Joes + EasyLunchBox = quick healthy lunch for my school bound son. Except, I rarely if ever shop at TJ’s for a couple of reasons, one being everything is labeled processed in a plant that also processes peanuts. It's not worth the risk of sending my kid into anaphalaxis just to get organic food. I will be implementing the concept of ELB and will definitely be checking out all the great blogs that that helped make this cookbook happen. One of my favorite blogs, 100 Days of Real Food is a contributing author and I am looking foward to getting many more great ideas and recipes for my picky son's lunch box!

School is still weeks away, so you maybe thinking what the heck I am thinking worrying about school lunch, but I am always thinking ahead....

What is your favorite thing to send your kiddos off to school with? Or what was your favorite school lunch? Did your mom pack little notes or surprises in your lunches?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Mystery of the Aching Knee has been SOLVED!!

I planned my day yesterday thinking I was going to be able to get in a quick workout between work and my doctor’s appointment. You can read that post HERE. Well one thing led to another and yesterday ended with me totally exhausted but not from exercise.
I skipped my workout to get my MRI read by one of the doctors that I work with. (Friday is my actual appointment, but I couldn’t wait. )

The diagnosis has gone back and forth between providers. Most recently, I was convinced I had torn my meniscus and was going to need surgery. I am such a hypochondriac! I must really annoy the people I work with with all my aches and pains and obsessive talk about what could possibly be wrong with me! I work in an orthopedic sports medicine clinic and I swear I am turning into Michael Clarke Duncan’s character from The Green Mile. You know the guy on death row that grabbed Tom Hank’s junk and cured him of a bad urinary tract infection. Except, I don’t have the ability to expel the ‘toxins’ like Duncan’s character could. I just keep sucking in the toxins and the next thing you know my patient’s knee pain goes away and mine flares up! Ok, maybe that’s a stretch, but that’s how I feel. Then I talk about it and over analyze it until everyone is sick of hearing about it! But, I digress.
Back to the MRI results:  My cartilage is fine. There are minor degenerative changes to the articular cartilage but at this time are asymptomatic. There is no lateral meniscal tear. According to the MRI there is mild fluid around my ITB. MILD?? Well I guess, but that mild inflammation is causing me a lot of problems. Mild is relative. It would be mild if I wasn’t a runner; if I didn’t want to run more than 3 miles at a time; if I wanted to sit my butt on the couch and knit; but I don't want to knit! I want to RUN. To me it isn’t just mild.  This mild amount of fluid is not only painful when I try to bump up my mileage, it has caused me to fall way behind in my training and is holding me back from the goals I set for myself.  
So where do I go from here? Well, my actual appointment with my ortho is on Friday. (Yesterday’s appointment was just an annual physical to keep my insurance costs down.) Assuming he concurs with the other doctors interpretation of the MRI, I am hoping for an injection of steroid. I have already gone the conservative route with therapy. I am not sure why that failed, probably because I am not very consistent.  This needs to change either way.  
The remainder of my day was dedicated to my pool in a most unfortunate way. It turned green over the weekend and after a very expensive chemical treatment(s), it  needed to be vacuumed and given a little more TLC.  So I didn’t get to check everything off my to do list; Swim lessons were cancelled along with my workout.  But today is another day and my schedule is wide open.  I hope to get a good run in and spend some time with my family.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Busy Day = Quick Workout

It’s going to be a long busy week and it’s going to take some juggling and tight planning to get it all in. Hopefully, Friday will get here sooner rather than later.

On today’s agenda I have to work, then off to a Dr. appointment, pick up the boys, home, vacuum the pool (it turned green over the weekend), probably go back to the pool store, get dinner together for the family, swim lessons for the boys, and maybe just maybe put up some pictures around the house (we are still unpacking from our move).
Since I am short on time and can’t run today, I am going to try to fit in a Crossfit-type/HIIT’ish workout on my lunch. Here is what I have planned:
5 minute warm-up on the bike
30 Wall Balls
30 TRX Rows
30 RDL’s
30 Triceps dips
30 TRX knee to chest
5 minute cool-down on the bike
To bump it up a notch and really get my heart rate up, I am going to do 5 burpees every minute on the minute of the workout. So if I only have 15 wall balls done and a minute is up then I’ll stop, knock out the burpees and then go back to wall balls until I am done with 30 reps, then right onto the next exercise.  There is no planned rest time so I hope to get my heart rate up and have this done in 20-25 minutes. Not including the bike.
This workout was inspired by a ZWOW youtube video I saw last week. Is it just me or does she make some crazy breathing noises when she works out? 

What do you have planned for today? Do you have any favorite quick workouts?

Friday, July 6, 2012

On the Move!

Last weekend my family finally got to move into our new home! It seemed like an eternity had passed since we put an offer on the house back in March until now. But at the same time time has flown by and the movers were at our door bright and early Saturday morning.

Of course, the temperature was in the high 90's for our move. I felt so bad for the movers! As the beads of sweat fell and the furniture and boxes got packed into the truck and then moved into the new house, the excitement for this new chapter for my family grew. This is the house where my kids will grow up and graduate from high school. It will probably be the home they come back to visit us as they go off into the world and bring their families to visit Grandma and Grandpa. (A very cool and young looking Grandma!)

internet photo, but this is them and I swear they were 3 inches long
The family we bought the house from was very helpful in getting us acquainted with the ins an outs of the house. However, we are still unpacking and getting settled in and I can't find my Fuel Belt or my Head Sweats Visor. I kinda need those. So, if someone from Head Sweats and/or Fuel Belt is reading this I would LOVE the opportunity to do a review in exchange for a new one! ;) I would buy new ones, but I had to drop almost $200 to have a nest of European wasps removed from the second floor overhang. Apparently, this  species of wasp is particularly aggressive and dangerous, not something I should be removing with a can of Raid! So I bit the bullet and forked over the cash. 

I finally got internet access yesterday and hope to start blogging a little more.  Also, now that the move is pretty much complete, I can finally start on some projects that had been on hold. Including getting some answers about my knee. My doctor appointment is next Friday, yes Friday the 13th. Great. I am going to try and get the MRI images looked at sooner, I can't stand the suspense! I also want to get my meal planning more organized and looking a little fancier. You can read my post HERE. And of course spend more time actually interacting with my boys instead of yelling at them to not unpack the boxes that I just packed. So glad that is over!

Well, Happy Friday everyone! Anyone racing this weekend? It's going to be a scorcher here, heat index over 100*, so my potential long run will be on the treadmill.