Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Recap. Recap. Recap.

Sorry I've been so absent, catching up with all you guys has been fun though! Mr. R and I just flew home tonight from Northern California, and I was busy racing around from here to there and now am just having time to breath. It's nice to be home. Anyways, here's a mess of pictures that show my holiday festivus for the rest of us. Plus, I love it when everyone else posts pictures so I thought I would post some too!


This one is from an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party we attended that one of his friends threw up in Ventura, it was really fun and good to see everyone again. Yes, my sweater said I love Santa. Sicking.


This next one is of my brother, and two cousins who also are my best friends. This was on Christmas Day dinner at my grandma and grandpa's house. Yummmmmmmy!

This is one of my brother's girlfriend and I. We were wearing the same shirts and playing by the fire and my brother said he couldn't tell us apart from the back. Weird.

This one below is of the family 'shoot' that Mr. R's family takes part in every year for Christmas. It's fun to go up to their ranch and shoot guns. The picture below this one is me being a serious badass and shooting a pistol.

For Christmas I got some great running gear and some new trail running shoes for myself. Can't wait to try them out! I also got a 500 cupcake recipe book, some dinero for a new camera, every GU flavor imaginable, and about six movies which I can't wait to watch. Tomorrow I'm doing a few returns and hopefully getting in an 8-10 mile run. I already reached my 500 mile mark for the year so I'm really glad and thankful that this year has not only allowed me such a great and supportive running community but also the desire and drive to run competitively again! Happy New Year to everyone! If you haven't yet, check out Kayne West's new song, Heartless. I love it, and it's great to run too!


PS. To anyone who was interested in the cupcake holder... I'll have the link once I'm not posting on my mac. It's screwing everything up!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and to all a good night

So about the shoes, I've decided to return them and get the next biggest size, the 6.5. I ran about the house for a bit and it was just almost like they were good for maybe 5 minutes but after that they wouldn't last long distances. Anyways, last night we had a mini Christmas gift exchange between Mr. R and the fam because he left this morning to fly home. He got me a really cute pink nano armband, so I don't have to wear my old huge ipod armband when I'm out running. He said it was because he was embarrassed for me. It's even breast cancer awareness and has a really cute pink ribbon on the side and seems to be super well made with all the top fabrics. I can't wait to try it out. He also got me the movie StepBrothers, and big headphones for at work to listen to music, which everyone else has but me so I am glad I won't be left out anymore.


I would have to say though, the best gift was definitely the pink breast cancer awareness cupcake carrier shown above. I love making cupcakes, but never can take them anywhere and so they sit at home and get yucky. I have been lusting after this cupcake carrier for a while too. So last night, between drinking margaritas, wine, and champagne, there were some good times had, and I can't wait to see what Christmas brings!

This is going to be my last post for a while, after these 26.2 things I don't have much else to say! Just kidding, but I'll be posting once after Christmas and then will be back in full force around January 5th, so don't worry, I'll make a comeback!


Today's gift, and the final gift of 26.2 things to get a runner for Christmas is Dean Karnazes book, "UltraMarathon Man". I recently finished this book and it's inspiring and really a quick read. I enjoyed his stories and insight to running, and I felt like I was there with him, or with his family in the motor home cheering on Team Dean. It also really allowed me into the mind of an ultra runner. It was great to see his perspective on races and how he attacks them and never gives up. His spirit is contagious and his descriptions are dead on. It's a great read for any age and I highly recommend it. It's amazing what he does, and just reading about his races and training reminds me that my training isn't that hard at all.

You can find it here @ amazon.com for $13.57. Go out and pick up a copy and make it a resolution to read it in 2009!

Merry Christmas to all my readers, and friends. You all make my life so bright with cheer! I hope you have a Merry Christmas, and wonderful holidays. I get a whole week off work, I am so excited.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


And not the chocolate kind! So today the gift of the day is NIP GUARDS! These are mostly for my guy running buddies, but still, girls can get a good laugh in at some of these descriptions. I can for sure see that happening as I was writing this whole post I was laughing.

But hey, Guys love them, check out the reviews below and how much they profess their love for them.


"Nipple sensitivity almost ruined my runs, until someone told me about nipguards. These are great. Easy to use, comfortable, and best of all, no more sore nipples after a good run."

"No more gauze and 12" pieces of medical tape across my nipples! Tried out my Nip Guards for my first mini-marathon and couldn't be more pleased. 13.1 miles of pain-free nipples. And almost invisible under my shirt. Kudos to the inventor(s)!"

"For men who have had pain/bleeding from nipple chafing from longer runs (>6+ miles)when wearing even the best of running sportswear. (I have not used compression shirts) I don't leave home or go to a race without them now. Cost about the same as toe corn pads but are sized to fit and will stay on much better. Yes, they will last through a marathon. They prevent an injury which requires about a week to heal from."

Guys have such passion about the strangest things, now don't they! To the man wearing 12" tape across your chest... Wow!

TriSports.com has the best deal for a 10-pack of Nip Guards coming in at $8.95.

So guys like Steve, Greg, Borsch, and Stuart, this is a special gift just for you. Protect the Nips! ;)

And, now, girls you are free to laugh.

I got new shoes last night but I'm still very up in the air about them. They seem great but INCREDIBLY overpriced and I can't decide in between a 6 and a 6.5 size. I am going to have to test them out around the house tonight so I know if I for sure love them. Anyways, hope everyone is gearing up for Christmas!


Monday, December 22, 2008

You want what on your shirt?

Can you believe we only have a few more days of gits? I know it's pretty crazy! :) Whatever will I post about after the gifts are all given away?

This weekend was a great weekend for a run and I got in a 6.5 miler and it really felt great. Well let me rephrase that one. The first mile and a half felt like CRAP. My shoes are so shot and my feet just felt so flat. I need to get new ones ASAP, but I just keep putting it off. The first mile I felt like I was only wearing socks, and my whole body ached. I thought my entire run was going to feel like that, and thought about buying new shoes the whole way. I still have yet to get them, I'm going to go this week for sure, hopefully tonight or sometime tomorrow night. Once I hit two miles though I was on cruise control and just knocked the rest of the miles off. Other than the shoe issue, it was a great run, and I felt really, really good and somehow pulled out a 6:45 last mile, which I don't know where that came from. I even ran in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, and got almost a little bit to warm! Sorry all you snowbirds! Alas, I was planning a nice long run the afternoon of Christmas eve if I get off work early enough down at the beach, and now in CA we are projected for rain all through Thursday. I do not run in the rain so I'll be putting in a few miles at the gym for the rest of the week.

Also, as for running my 500 miles this year, I am at 493 now! I am really excited because I get a certificate from Nike+ once I hit 500. Hooray! Those 6.5 miles really helped me out, and I'm feeling a bit more confident about the 1/2 coming up. I was starting to get nervous so we'll have to talk about goals for that, and the four weeks of hardcore training I'll be doing in January. Pray for no more rain, because putting in more than three miles on the treadmill is awful for me.

So the gift of the day? Well, A runner makes a statement with every shirt worn. Many drivers can see what your shirt says, and I've been caught reading other gym-goers shirts often as well. Maybe it's just me though. :) Especially at races, shirts can have important meanings and even become inspirational tools. Anyways, the gift of the day today is a custom running shirt from Running Banana.

You can pick out the type of shirt you want from a singlet to a long sleeve or short sleeve. You can pick from a variety of sizes and then can upload whatever picture you want, along with your own special text. This would be great if you planned on running any given race for a specific person. They also work great for teams as well.

You can be creative and inspirational just by wearing a shirt by Running Banana. They also have pre-made options that you can choose as well if you aren't very creative that include marathon graphics, girl power graphics, animal graphics and in your face graphics. Their shirts range from $31-$37 dollars. Check out Running Banana to get your runner a special shirt for Christmas or for their next race!

Here are some creations in their gallery.



Sunday, December 21, 2008

Penguin What?

So I'm super excited about today's gift. Not only did I and all the other loungers at Runner's Lounge get some samples of Penguin Sport Wash, but you can too if you sign in over there and leave a comment in this forum. That is why today the gift of the day is for Penguin Sport Wash!


So we all workout, workout means *hopefully* getting a sweat going, but then unfortunately it means being smelly. Though we might not notice our own stench, people around us can definitely smell us, and that is why we should all give Penguin Sports was a try! Hey, running for any distance can make you stinky, lets be honest here!

According to Amazon.com's reviews everyone has given it at least four or five stars, and the reviews are all raving how it got the stench out and did it's job. They also have said that it's gotten the 'kitchen' smell out of clothes after working at a restaurant as well. You can read the reviews for yourself here.

On Epinons.com, the "Pros" I have seen are that is cleans the smell out of expensive, high-tech, clothing perfectly, and saves the clothes as well. While the only "Cons" I've seen are that it's hard to find and many wish it would come in bigger bottles.

So where do you find Penguin Sports wash? Of course here are the links for you with the best prices I could find:

Zombie Runner has One small packet of Penguin Wash for .95

REI has Six pack of one use Penguin Wash for $6.00

TriSports.com has 20oz Penguin Wash for $8.25

Joe's Sports has a 2 pack of 20oz Penguin Wash for $19.99

So scrub with with Penguin Wash, and watch my blog for when I get my own and am able to post an in depth review! Can't wait to be clean!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Just whistle whilst you work!

So sadly, it has crossed my mind that I might be attacked on a run. I already gave you the option of stun guns and pepper spray on this post, but I found this and couldn't resist adding this to my list of 26.2 things to give to a runner.


It's a Spalding Electronic Whistle. Single tone electronic whistle that has a loud, consistent sound every time, even if user is short of breath or injured. Personal Safety & Signaling Device and includes 2 sets of AAA Batteries. It's also hand operated instead of mouth blown is sanitary, even for multi users. Get yours for $15.95 here.

Be safe out there!


Friday, December 19, 2008

The Stick...

So lately I've been having lots of drama in my life and haven't been keeping up with my running. I have no motivation to do anything really. It's sad but true, but I also am hoping to get in a 7 to 8 miler this weekend, which will be a nice change of pace and get me right back on track for my 1/2 in February. Enough with that nonsense! Onto the gift of the day!

Today is such a pivotal gift and EVERY runner should own one, including myself, but alas, this is actually on my Christmas list as well. I have used one when I was running in high school and though painful, it works serious miracles.


Here's a rundown of "The Stick"... The Marathon Stick was specifically designed for long distance runners, or any runner for that matter, that would like to get any of the following benefits:
Increased flexibility
Extended endurance
Accelerated recovery time
Reduced muscle soreness, stiffness & pain
Prepares your muscle for rigors of activity
Flushes muscle from rigors of activity.

It's small enough to be taken everywhere, even on trips or running vacations.

You can get your very own "The Stick" here at TriSports.com for 29.99. Visit the official "The Stick" website HERE and choose your own stick.

You can even look super happy like him when using "The Stick"

Good luck to anyone racing this weekend! There arn't many races left in the '08 calendar year so make each race count. I am thinking about some running goals for 2009 and I'll share those with you soon.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crashin' the Drive thru

So this morning, I was really craving one of my favorite foods, the McDonald's Fruit and Yogurt Parfait. This delicious little treat is great to pick up on my way to work and I didn't have enough time to eat breakfast. So I pull into the 5 car drive-thru line and patiently await my turn to inch towards the speaker. Once there, I notice the SUV in front of me ordered $15 worth of breakfast foods and I am shocked that someone can even spend $15 at McDonald's. I then ordered my tasty treat and inched forward. I'm now stuck in the curbed area next to the playground about 3 cars from the payment window and 2 car from the pick up window.


The McDonald lovin' SUV wanted to pay so badly they crashed into the car in front of them. Literally just plowed into the little Toyota in front of them. Granted, I know it was an accident, but now I was stuck in the drive-thru lane, and I hadn't even gotten my parfait yet. So I waited, thinking these wise people in the drive-thru line would continue moving forward and take their problems to the parking lot, thus allowing the rest of the McDonald's drive-thru patrons to continue through the line, ordering, paying and getting their food.

Wrong again. Immediately the Toyota driver hops out in the middle of the drive-thru line and walks up to the SUV and demands them to also exit their car, in the middle of the drive-thru. She won't get out. There's yelling through windows. McDonald's employees are coming outside. A cop rolls up. I just sit and wait. I just wanted a parfait! Seriously! I would have not gotten in the drive-thru lane if I knew this whole debacle was going to happen! Oh you golden arches, how you lure many in.

So besides the drama from McDonald's, we have the lovely 26.2 gift!Tthe gift of the day today is all the warm weather wear from Tel-a-Runner. They have tons of super warm weather stuff which is exactly what I need lately! It's been a chilly 40-50 degrees here which, I know, I know! Some of you have it so much worse, and I think you must need this WAY more than me! So check out their site. They also are having a 15% off holiday coupon, which you can find on their site, and you just have to press apply coupon for the discount. Here are some of my personal favorites.


Manzella Wind Stopper Cap
Ear flaps can be lowered for versatile ear protection. Gore windproof membrane blocks wind, by eliminating wind chill you can stay out longer. Pull closure allows for adjustable fit. It's $ 24.99 and can be found here.


Asics Thermopolis - DUOTECH foul weather gloves have a fabric base with denier gradient mesh lining that enhances moisture transfer and the DUOTECH design adds dry comfort. The Terry surface at outer thumbs helps wipe perspiration from your face. Boxed finger design provides excellent fit without causing circulation loss to your fingers. This helps in keeping your hands warm. They are $27.00 and can be found here.


The Brooks Vapor Dry Headband is another fave and I love the colors they have! The moisture transfer headband with a mesh band helps regulate temperature by moving moisture away from the head, keeping you dry and comfortable. It is $14.99 and can be found here.

Check out Tel A Run though for some great products and running gear!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A gift for the yucky

Last night's Biggest Loser Finale was AMAZING! How great did Amy and Phil look?! Heba and Ed looked amazing too, but I could not get over Amy and Phil. They were little rails. For those of you who didn't watch yet, I won't ruin it, but Michelle looked great and she was my favorite all season! Her pink dress was too cute, and her attitude about everything was amazing. Vicki looked like Vicki, mean and scheming. I was never a big fan of her and her devious ways. Ed looked great and it seems like him and Heba will keep up on the exercise and hard work too. I was kind of shocked that such a huge number of votes that wanted Ed to go up against the girls. Oh well, congrats to the winner and everyone on the show for looking so amazing at the finale.

Tonight I'm back at it at Amp'd Abs which I'm really excited about. If you are thinking about taking a class, I would totally recommend them at a local gym or a 24 hour fitness if you are willing to look like an idiot in front of other people. At first taking the class was kind of awkward, but once you get past the fact that everyone else is looking just as dumb as you are, it's fun and I feel like it has definitely strengthened and toned and has taught me new moves to do outside of the gym as well. After the class I'll be on the good old 20 treadmill-20 bike-15 elliptical-5 stair stepper program. I feel really good after I work out that hard at the gym.

Today's gift of the day is all about blisters. Those little nagging things you get when you run to far and think, oh it's just a little pain, or it will go away, then you take off your shoe and a huge bump of, okay, okay that's enough! Here's what will help you get through the long runs or even if you are just starting out with running. I used to live by 2nd skin and mole skin back in the high school racing days.


For all types of blisters, we have the Spenco Blister Kit sold on American RX that can be found here for $6.20! It features Spenco 2nd Skin (which I'm super partial too) and foam pads to soothe, cool and protect against rubbing, hot spots, and blisters. It includes 6 moist pads @ 1" square each in a resealable bag, along with 1 adhesive sheet (3"x5"), 6 adhesive strips (3"x1.5") and 11 foam pressure pads.


Mountain gear also has a before and after Blister Kit for $18.95 that can be found on their site here. This kit claims to prevent blisters from forming or eliminating the discomfort of them. This kit includes a Blister Medic first aid kit from Adventure Medical Kits and two Body glide sticks. The first aid kit includes 2 strip adhesive bandages, 2 knuckle adhesive bandages, 3 antiseptic towelettes, 2 Moleskins, Spenco 2nd Skin, Molefoam, Non-woven adhesive knit, scissors and 2 double antibiotic ointments. There are also 2 0.45 ounce Body glide sticks to help prevent chafing and blisters.

Backcountry.com has some options as well that includes the Adventure Medical Blister Kit for $7.99. The option includes GlacierGel, Moleskin, antiseptic towelettes, and alcohol wipes to give you complete first aid for a hiker's feet. Including 15 dressing and 15 wipes.

Lastly, I found the blister kit mecca on
Zombie Runner. They have a foot care section that would battle Dr. Scholls laboratory.

First off they have the
Pocket Foot Care Kit. It's designed for blister repair on the run. It's small enough to fit in your pocket. Includes blister patches and other essential items, plus instructions for use. Find it here for $7.95.
It includes: Benzoin ampules (2) Alcohol preps (6) Antibiotic ointment (2) Spenco Blister Pads (2) Blist-O-Ban Blister Pad (1) Sterile lancets (2) 3" x 5" baggies (2) BlisterShield Powder, packet (1) Engo Performance Patch (2) Trail Tissues (1) Instructions.

Secondly you can find the
Small Foot Care Kit here for $ 19.95. It includes all this : Benzoin ampules (4) Alcohol preps (8) Antibiotic ointment (4) 2" Elastikon tape (1) 1" Micropore tape (1) Spenco 2nd Skin (2) Folding scissors (1) Powder 2" x 3" baggies (2) 3" x 5" baggies (4) Instructions. Seriously talk about a ton of stuff!

You can also check out these great products they have on their site.

Big Foot Care Kit for $31.95
Blister Shield Powder Single Use Packet for $1.15
Blister Shield 8 oz for $8.95
Sport Shield Liquid Roll On for $8.95

Their site was a wonderful location for many foot care items so make sure you check them out if you are in the market for foot repair!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gettin' Amp'd...

This weekend was a BLAST! :) So glad my two cousins and I were able to get away and just relax. There was only one night of mayhem but tons of good food and tons of old people at our resort. We went and played trivia night one night, and won two bottles of champagne and I was the grand prize winner of a bag of popcorn. Exceptional prizes I know. Over the weekend I also finished two books including Chasing Harry Winston and Ultra-Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes. Both are really good and it was nice to read two totally different books. I'll be posting a review of both once the holidays are over.

Unfortunately, I didn't get in as much running as I wanted to, but I did a bum busting workout yesterday and then again this morning that included a 3 mile, 6.5 incline run that I thought I would never finish. I also did some weight-lifting today and yesterday that made me sore today. Tomorrow I'm finally getting the chance to go back to Amp'd Abs and I'm stoked! I can't wait to get back into the swing of things and start training more hardcore for my half in February.

Here's one picture of my cousin and I, posing by a big pig in front of the BBQ place "Babe's" in Rancho Mirage. We didn't even eat there, but the picture on the pig was hard to pass up. I'll be posting a few more pictures when I get them from my cousins camera.


So in the wide world of running I've come to realize that running more than five miles without a little energy booster is a drag, and that is why the gift of the day is dedicated strictly to these lovely little energy boosters. I've got a wide variety of reviews and where to get Gu's, shot blox, everything you can think of!

MMMM it's 10:00 am and now I'm hungry for sugar!

Gu has the "GU is simple. Simple is fast." slogan and they are quick, but I'm not one to rave about their consistency. Sometimes, on a nasty flavor, I've been one to gag. Anyways, GU Energy Gel provides just what you need for premium exercise fuel and none of the extras that slow you down. GU takes you where you want to go, fast. GU’s carbohydrate blend delivers high-quality, easily-digested and long-lasting energy for athletes in every sport and at all levels. If I'm running more than 45 minutes I down one of these bad boys.


Outdoor Pros has the 6 pack GU Tri-Berry for $6.08

Jenson USA has many flavors for $.99 for a single shot

Lucky Vitamin has the 24 packs of single shots for $21.98

Clif Bar & Company has introduced my personal favorite, the CLIF SHOT Blox. They are the latest nutrition option for endurance athletes. Bloks come in chewable, 33 calorie cubes, making it easy to customize and track caloric and electrolyte intake during long outings and races. You can easily buy them right off their website too. They have tons of good flavors and I love the black cherry and strawberry, but Pina Colada is yucky. They have a 12 pack of blox and there are 6 blox in each pack. They are sold for $23.88 Check them out HERE!


I am the hugest fan of Jelly Bean Sport Beans too. They are tasty, small, easy to handle and did I mention, like CANDY? They are $4.99 for 5 here, and you can look at all the flavors, prices and packets here. At REI, they are a steal for only a $1.00 a pouch. Go here to see the REI selection.


Power Bar also has it's own offerings called the Power Bar Gels. I don't like these ones as much, but I have grown to love the Power Bar Gel Blasts. They are like the shot blox, in their small shape. The cola one is decent-tasting bite-sized energy chew. I have yet to try the lemon flavored one. They are $1.99 a bag and can be found HERE!


Here's some more links just in case you were interested in other kinds:

Powerbar Gel from REI -$1.25 single shot

Hammer Gel from REI - $1.25 single shot

So gel up and get out there. These seriously have helped me get through my long runs, and even I didn't understand the purpose of them to begin with once I started using them, I realized they are so helpful! Enjoy the power of energy!


Monday, December 15, 2008

This has to be the coolest thing ever...

Tomorrow I'll have pictures from the weekend. Get excited, but I'm excited about this! Granted besides the hatphones, and maybe you snowbirds knew about this but I just came across it. SHOE DRYERS?! WHAT!!!! I am in shock that something like this existed. Read on!


What is the PEET Dryer?
The PEET Dryer is a clever device designed to effectively remove wetness, sweat and odor from footwear and gear, without deteriorating materials and without using an undue amount of energy. PEET Dryers are safe for use on footwear and gear made from most any materials: leather, canvas, rubber, vinyl, cloth, plastic and all modern fabrics. The drying process eliminates odor-causing bacteria and arrests the development of mold and mildew that can deteriorate materials, extending your investment in your valuable footwear and gear. The result is what we call “PEET Dry”

The PEET Dryer and all PEET products do what we say they will do — and then some. PEET effectively delivers on its promise to eliminate wetness, perspiration and odor. In fact, the “and then some” is what true value is really all about to us… Products that Work — Guaranteed!

PEET is known for its commitment to the best product warranty in the business. You only offer this kind of assurance if your product can live up to it.

Get your own shoe dryer for $39.95 here!

Dry Guy has a similar product but his link to purchase doesn't work. It has all the same features and you can see it here and possibly try to get more information.

Hope this keeps your feet dry and warm snowbirds!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

What nice keys you have...

I've been known to leave my key on my tire after driving to a given place to run. It's not a good or safe habit I'll admit, so that's why I need one of these for sure! :)


It's the Nike Running Shoe Wallet and is perfect for one key or cash while you run. Nike Running Shoe Wallet gives peace of mind while in the gym and on the road! It's a neoprene case with rip-and-stick closure that securely holds your keys and cash as you work out. It doesn't flop around either. It's flexible polypropylene clip slides between the laces and tongue of shoe holding the case securely in place. The reflective pattern on fabric increases visibility while exercising at night as well. It's only $5.60 on MVP Fan Shop.

The desert has been incredibly fun and I'll post pictures of our girls weekend when I return on Tuesday! Hope everyone's weekend is spectacular!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Body Movin'

So I didn't understand the whole, "chafe" while you run thing up until I started to put in longer distances and now I know how horrible it is! I am a big fan of Body Glide and that is why it's also on my 26.2 Christmas list!


They have many different types of Body Glide, and I always opt for the Original Anti-Chafe Balm. It works really well against friction and moisture and feels dry to the touch. They also have an Anti-Chafe with SPF 25 which is great in summertime for a long run.

They have a newer liquefied powder. It claims to be the same as body glide sticks because it is a cream base that keeps friction at bay.


I also like the Warm FX Anti-Pain Balm because it stays in one place and is applied easily in the "stick" form as well. It's like a type of bengay.

You can find where to buy here, or here are some options:

Running Expo has the Anti-Chafing Stick for $4.95 (.45 oz) and $7.95 (1.3oz) they also have the Anti-Pain Stick here for the same prices as above.

Stop the chafe and keep on running!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Those T-shirts are piling up

Tomorrow I'll be in the desert soaking up some relaxing time, but I do have some great news. The blue running shirt that I bought and talked about here, and it's the same one I'm wearing in the pictures here, is on sale at target for $4.98. I love, love, love this shirt, and it's perfect for longer and shorter runs because of it's versatility. It's oddly not on sale online, so creep to your local target and try to find one yourself. I have this problem where I like to buy things in bulk. Thus I bought three. Yikes. I also got a super cute running skirt, (I'm still up in the air about this one, but we'll give it a try) for only $4.98 too. Then I splurged and got some sick leggings for $24, they are long and spandexy all the way down to my ankles and knowing my luck will be on sale for like $10 next week. There won't be any pictures of those leggings though and hopefully no one ever has to see me in them!

Since it's photo Friday, and I posted pics of my monster tree a few days ago I thought I'd give you the decorated version. It's kind of an embarrassing picture of me, don't judge! I had just gotten back from a run and it was time to decorate. (and you can see my dog creeping up at the top of the stairs! What a little lurker)


Here's a picture of my dad and I. I absolutely LOVE (cough, cough) it when people think we are a couple. It's SUPER great. SICK. SICK. SICK. And no, we didn't plan to match and I don't know why my hair looks so horrible.


So the question of the day is how many race t-shirts do you have? I know back when I was running in high school I had a ton of different shirts from all my races. Sadly, I didn't know about this cool gift back in those days or I would have loved to have something to show off all my accomplishments! This gift is great not only for runners but for anyone who has a ton of memorable shirts!


The picture isn't so good but tilt your head and picture it on a bed. It's called a Sport-Quilt, and the business evolved from a "gift" that was made for a husband that been admired by many of his running and tri-athlete friends. Not only is it great to look at, but it also frees up drawer space of shirts you don't want to throw away. Each Sport-Quilt, when finished is a beautiful and colorful memento of your favorite races out of tee-shirts!

On the website, she has charts that show how many tee-shirts are needed for each quilt and the costs for each one. They start at $130 and go up to $360 for a deluxe king.
Click here for Order Form.

Though it may be a little late for Christmas, these do make a great gift, and you can even say you'll have one made for your runner. Allow 3- 6 Weeks for a completed SPORT-QUILT. Check out the complete website at SportQuilts!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend. I'll be dawdling along the desert roads.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

One of those days.

It was one of those runs last night. When the breathing is hard, everything hurts, you question why you want to keep going. The three miles I put in were slow and painful, I finished at a slow 27:00. Yup, this morning it happened again, but not until about three miles in. The last two miles were torturous. My shins hurt, my legs were barely moving and I felt like I was so incredibly far away from my house. I knew I was much overdue for a crap run but man, I forgot how awful they are. Oh well. Tomorrow morning is a short three miler and then this weekend Saturday and Monday I hope to get in some miles at least 12-15. Hopefully my crappy runs are over.

I have realized that in order to reach my goal of running 500 miles for the year (I know you crazy people have run WAY more than me! I'm jealous, but I didn't run as consistently as I am now until July.) I have to put in about 30 more miles. Shouldn't be too hard, but I know I'm going to die of frostbite when I run up in Northern California when I go to visit Mr. R's family for four days.

Speaking of shins hurting, that's what the Gift of the Day is! My cousin has started running latley and is really beginning to enjoy it. She did the Couch to 5k plan, and is improving a lot! I am proud of her. Anyways, she has really bad shin splints and way back in the day (when google wasn't born yet and Al Gore was still perfecting the Internet) her basketball coach told her about these lovely little things called Shin Ice. It's a neoprene like sleeve that you slip over your ankle onto your shin. It has ice packs sewn inside the sleeve in pouch like form and a little area that your calf fits into too. I was skeptical myself of these contraptions but the other night at dinner she opened the package and I saw how these little babies could be VERY helpful for those who suffer from shin splints. They also seemed durable and the pack was very well sewn in, and for throwing it in the freezer I think it would be perfect.


Now, I know, I know, ice baths (eeek my worst enemy) are the way to go, but this, when you need a quick treatment after a shorter run can be super helpful and the material they are made from seem to be able to take a beating as well. It's almost like a wetsuit material and once slipped onto the leg it will also give compression, and that's also super helpful when it comes to dealing with shin splints. You do have to measure your calf to get the right size, but it seems like a perfect gift for those who are plagued with shin splints.

There are lot of different places to get these magical things online, and I've included the links and prices below for each place.

Footsmart - $19.99 each leg

Amazon.com - $12.89 each leg

Support USA - $26.00 each leg

AliMed - $20.50 each leg

MedEx01 - $13.53 each leg


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gift that keeps on..

Giving! This gift is all about those of us who have planned our race schedules and our loved ones know when our races are. The cost of entering some races can defiantly put a damper on registering, and by signing up a special someone for a race that you know they were looking into can motivate them and also help save them money. I would only do this though if you know they were going to run a certain race. If they usually run 5ks, don't take Christmas as a time to sign them up for a marathon in two months. That might be a little overwhelming!


You can sign up for most races on Active, or go to any given races specific website to sign them up. The costs for races can range from $20-$150 dollars. Another idea is that many bigger races have special dinners, or events that also cost money. The dinners are usually carb loading dinners before the race at a local pasta place. You can also purchase tickets for these online if you know your runner has already signed up for the race and they were interested in doing something like that.

Nothing too exciting besides that to report back to you, I'm going for a run tonight again and I am excited about this weekend because we are going out to Palm Springs for my cousins 30th birthday! I know it will be a nice scenery change to run out there. My back has been super stiff since the 5k so I'm trying to take it easy and not run too much so I can get in a really long run this weekend.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Seeing the light...

Thanks for all the encouraging words yesterday about my race. Tonight I'll be doing squares at the park again, and I'm looking foward to it.

Today's gift is all about reflectiveness! Running in the winter, and anytime during the year can be a safety hazard! Being safe is key and that's why I have found an abundance of reflective, blinking, fun things that you can attach to your clothes and make the statement of "Don't run me over!"


We have lovely ankle bracelets, (which I'm sure could be fashionably worn on the wrist and around the neck) from REI for $4.00. They have a band that adjusts to fit with a Velcro brand closure. Oh and just to let you know, the brilliant yellow reflective banding is visible from up to 1,500 feet! Get yours HERE!


REI also comes up with this, and how funny it is! I would stick this on my butt or head or something. This reflective yield symbol is designed to help you be seen, feel safer and enjoy your chosen sporting activity in poor light. The international yield symbol is effective for day and night use, and can be used in all weather conditions. It attaches with a webbing belt with buckle for easy on and off and it's reflective up to 1,200 feet in wet or dry conditions. A bargain at only $8.00, pick yours up HERE!


Dick's Sporting Goods has this lovely little vest that would make you a visible creature in the night. The lightweight and highly breathable Asics Hi-Vis Reflective Vest features 360° retro-reflective trim to keep you visible in high-volume traffic areas. The hydrology mesh fabric provides UPF sun protection while wicking moisture from your skin, keeping you cool and comfortable. It's $14.99 but only comes in the large and xl size. You can get it HERE!


Then Jog-a-lite has a ton of vest options, including the Active Lighting Vest that actually lights up. A child Vest that is easy to personalize, and would probably fit most women. A vest to fight breast Cancer, a fashion vest, and a stealth vest. See their vest options here. They also have a whole hoard of lights, blinking and attachable here. There stuff is inexpensive and seems to have gotten many great reviews online. Their homepage can be found here.

For more ideas of reflective gear check out:

Runner's Gear

Walkers Warehouse


Revel Sports

So be safe, strap on your reflective gear (yield sign included) and make sure you are seen out while running at night.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blue is for Winners

So I mentioned yesterday that the 5k was great, and it really was. I didn't know what to really expect because I hadn't been training specifically for anything. Up until last week I wasn't going to even be able to run in it because I thought I was going to be out of town. Last minute plans changed and I was able to race in it. I haven't run a 5k since my senior year in high school, and I didn't want to set my expectations too high to only get them crushed. It was a pretty small race (290 racers) through a park nearby my house.

So yesterday, I didn't want to wake up. I was so tired and thought, gosh I'm going to have to RACE?! ARGH! Anyways, I got up, then had a dilemma of what I was going to wear. I couldn't decide between a long sleeve, or a short sleeve. I finally showed up to my cousins house since we were carpooling over with her boyfriend's sister, and played a little with "preshie" (who we had to change the name to patchy after we found out he was actually a boy like four weeks after I found him. You can read his story and how I found him on the side of the road during a run and my cousins adopted him here) Here's a little picture of me and him. He was being a feisty little boy!


We took off over to the race course and parked and wandered around for a little bit. It was fun to be at such a small race. I felt like everyone there was friendly and there was some serious people watching going on. I ran for maybe 2 minutes and stretched only my calves. Before races I never stretch and I never warm up. Another bad habit. The race finally seemed ready to start so everyone was lined up. I thought I was near enough the front of the start that I would be able to get out and get a good start. WRONG. For some reason there were some walkers in the front and I had an awful start. I was zigzagging to get around them and get going. I hate the start of the race. I thought to myself, Okay, 23 minutes. You can do this. Oh, by the way, I talk to myself a lot in my head when I run, especially when I race.

I was at a pretty good pace going into the first mile, but I was scared I wasn't going to be able to keep the pace. I hit the first mile at 7:15, and I thought, hey pretty good. Alright, we can do this. I was chugging along and just kept reeling people in and trying to pass them. There was a turn around and that's when I realized there were only about six women in front of me, or women who I thought looked like women. Thinking to myself, I figured if I could pass three I would get third. I then, mid-race, made this my new goal. I worked at passing and I could just hear my coach in my head from high school screaming at me, only good things of course. I hit the 2nd mile at 14:24. I never have had a split so perfect without even trying. I was like, okay, I'm on course for a good time here. I was running by a boy who was around 16. I knew I was annoying him too. I would have been annoying myself if I was running next to me. I was so focused and just used him to pace me. I could tell he was thinking, I can't let this girl pass me.

I passed two of the girls and there was one more older women in front of me out of the women I wanted to pass. Now, I am wearing a long sleeve shirt that is not running related at all, just a green long sleeve. I'm also wearing black leggings from Walmart. This woman was wearing super short racing shorts, a pink sports bra, and racing sunglasses and overpronated like nothing I've ever seen before. She was incredibly tan and was just skin and bones. I literally kept thinking that she might break her leg from overpronating, or her hip was going to give out, it was crazy. Then I thought, I can't let her beat me. So I worked the last mile just on trying to get even with her. With about 400 meters left to go, I was even with her, when her husband, who had already finished, ran back from the finish line and with his long stringy brown hair flowing behind his equally skinny and tanned body with equally short shorts and an awkwardly tight muscle tee, he shouted to her, "Come on! Don't let that woman beat you!" I though, oh hellllll no you didn't just say that. I also freaked out kind of because he called me a woman. I'm not a girl anymore?

Anyways, I sprinted in and beat her, and the guy I was pacing myself with the whole time, ha ha! As we finished she said something to me about drinking too much coffee, and how it was suppose to be all natural. Weird. Then I went back in front of the finish and found my cousin finishing, who beat her old 5k time of 30:00 and finished at 29:16. Then we went to look for her boyfriend's sister who also accomplished a great feat in running the whole race! Then I realized I could get a medal. For me racing is all about the hardware so I was super excited. I found the race results and it had me placing sixth female and first in my age division. Now I know there were not six women in front of me, so I assume I thought some men were women. Awkward, but that's their problem I guess. So I got a lovely first place finishing medal, blue ribbon and all. My final time was 22:28 and I was 27th overall. Here are some pictures from the race.


The medal


My cousin and I


Our whole little group after our successful day!


The medal legitimately says first. I love it. :)

The expo was pretty fun after, though none of us won a raffle prize, the Laker girls were there. Super cool, not. Other than that a successful day! I kind of wonder what would have happened if I actually trained for something though, like worked my tail off and got really after it with my training. This is also related to my confession that I promised you guys. Well I am becoming slowly obsessed with running a marathon. You've all done it to me. I've gotten the marathon itch. I can't stop thinking about it, how I can train for it, everything. I figure, and call me crazy, but I know if I actually trained and had a goal time and everything that I could possibly qualify for Boston, and now I've become even more obsessed with that. So I am thinking of doing a marathon in October. The Portland Marathon to be exact. More on this soon when I come to my senses and realize that it's a horrible idea. :)

So after all that, we still have our gift of the day... For all those male runners in your life... this is great gift!

Running Neckties! (that are super ridiculously tacky!)


First we have one from Revel Sports. They have super fun Running, Biking, and Swimming Ties that are printed on heavyweight 14M silk twill. I don't know what this "generously cut" means but they are 3.3/4" wide x 56" long. They are $31.99 and can be found here.

That was the nice tie, these are more funny running ties.

This is the GO PRE tie. BUT, it looks like PREGO TIE!? Made me laugh. It's 37.45 and can be found here.


Here's the Peace, Love, Run Tie, again, random, but kind of cool? Find it for 31.75 here.


Sorry the bottom two pictures are so bad, but they are pretty funny so I advise you to click the link to check them out, even if it's only for a laugh. Well this week we have more gifts, and more jibber jabber about running and maybe even some more marathon confessions. :)


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Run Baby Run!

The 5k this morning went great! More on that tomorrow with an official 5k race report and a bajillion pictures! :) 

Today's  gift is so not the gift for me, but for those who are running with their kids. I went to a one year old's birthday party yesterday so I'm converting all my baby feelings from that into this post. :) No kids here, but I know that running with a child can be fun. I actually ran with a jogging stroller when I was a nanny, and I did enjoy it. Though picking out a jogging stroller is totally up to personal preference, and I would have never guessed there were so many choices, I'm going to set you all up with some links to find the best stroller for your preferences.

There are so many things to look into when finding a stroller to fit your needs. Here's a small list that you need to consider. Who would have ever thought!

Car Seat Compatible: These strollers have an optional accessory that makes them car seat compatible. None of the Jogging Strollers actually accept a car seat that just sits on top like a Travel System

Shocks: Shocks are not a necessity, as these strollers all absorb shock very well. However, they're becoming a common feature for many of the newer models.

Adjustable Handlebar: Many Jogging Stroller brands have stayed away from adjustable handlebars, as there's been issues in the past with sticking, breaking, returns, recalls, etc. They are a popular feature, however, and can prove very useful for couples who are of dramatically different heights.

Flat Recline: In the early years of Jogging Strollers flat recline was a big no-no. Almost all strollers today recline to some degree, but few fold flat. The option of a full recline is available on many models, but it should never be used while you're running.

Bike Trailers: Believe it or not, some Bike Trailers do convert quite easily to high quality Jogging Strollers with a fixed wheel. Some have swivel wheel options, too. What's more, they're not all as big and bulky as you might think. There's many varieties, some of which can be fitted with hiking or skiing harnesses as well.

Jogging Stroller - Really great information and easy to click through menu that allows you to choose what kind of stroller you need based on what you are going to use it for. Also many reader reviews and options of strollers.

List of Top Running Strollers - Just a top ten list of top jogging strollers and their features.

Strollers.com - Easy to use and a ton of selection, even if you are looking for a regular stroller.

StrollerReviews - Tons of reviews about tons of different kinds of strollers.

Okay I'm all babied out!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sliding through the Snow...

So I admit wholeheartedly that I will probably NEVER enjoy running in cold weather, and yesterday my freezing was a chilly 50 degrees. For many of you, my definition of cold weather is anything below 60 degrees. I know my cold and real COLD weather are much different, that's why I picked out this special gift for all you snow bird runners. I applaud you in all aspects and this gift is suppose to help you out in your freezing weather! Keep up the training and I'll keep drinking hot chocolate.


How ridiculous are these things?! Called Microspikes, they are lightweight and economical, and are a pocket-sized traction system that stands up to slippery terrain. Claiming to be grippy and durable, this slip-on traction system features strategically placed stainless steel spikes connected to a dynamic flex-chain with a tough elastomer shoe harness.

The unique “microspike” chain adjusts itself to grip nearly any surface — from ice and packed snow to wet rocks, concrete, and scree. (Honestly I don't even know what scree is, but it sounds dangerous!) Extremely durable, MICROspikes require no special buckles or straps. This pocket-sized traction device is the answer for people of all ages who want to stay active in the winter with convenient, effective foot traction.

The Microspikes slip over any type of shoe and are available HERE for $59. They also come in a variety of sizes, so if you know a runner who tramps through snow, get this for them out of the kindness of your heart, it might save them from sliding throught the snow, or scree...

There are another version of these also called YAKTRAX! I never knew these things existed, but anyways, they claim to have a unique, spikeless, patented coil design, unlike other products on the market. (ahem microspikes, ha ha) The Yaktrax Pro will instantly give you better traction, confidence and safety on packed snow or ice. Move about naturally with the same solid grip that you are accustomed to on dry surfaces. Walk or run as you normally would and experience stability on ice and snow like you have never felt before.

They are made with high strength, abrasion resistant 1.4 mm steel coils and heavy duty natural rubber material, the Yaktrax Pro easily conforms to the shape of your boot or shoe. With its patented SkidLock coil design, the Yaktrax Pro provides 360 degrees of traction on packed snow and ice and can be worn in temperatures as low as -41° Fahrenheit. They are also 'easy on/off', spikeless, and can help reduce the risk of falls and injuries. They are $29.95 and can be found here!

So for all you snowbirds, these gifts are specifically for you! Tomorrow morning is the 5k, so I'll post the gift of the day before that and have a mini race report and a confession to make on Monday! EEK! 


Friday, December 5, 2008

DVD inspiration --- UPDATED!

Last night I went for an easy three miler. It felt great and I wore my HATPHONES that I'm obsessed with. I did find a minor problem with them. You see, I have this ridiculous amount of hair that likes to flop all over in a high ponytail on my head. Wearing the hat means the hair has to stay in a low ponytail at the nape of my neck. This makes my neck sweaty and gross. Okay hatphones, I'm sorry, I still love you. After that I watched the Victoria Secret Fashion show. HOLY COW. This morning when I didn't want to get out of bed, I thought about those girls and my butt was up and going quick!

This morning I went for a 6 miler and finished in 50 minutes. It was pretty good, but man I was FREEZING! I wore a long sleeve shirt and leggings. Let me just tell you, these leggings are not running leggings, but fashion leggings from Target for like $5. I love them for both purposes, but the beginning of my run was quite chilly because I wasn't warmed up yet. I did use my mailbox as the finish line, I felt a little channeling of Pre. :) (If you don't know who Prefontaine is, pick up the gifts below, you will start using your mailbox too!)

Anyways, I am super excited to share with you guys that I am the ExtraOrdinary Runner of the month from Runner's Lounge! When Amy emailed me that I was chosen I was super shocked! If you lurkers want to read more about me in my Open Mic Interview that was posted today, then travel here RUNNERS LOUNGE BLOG WITH MY INTERVIEW!

If you haven't gotten the chance to read my story that won me the award and talks about why I run then creep over here. MY STORY OF WHY I RUN

Thanks so much Runner's Lounge! I am so glad that you guys exist too because it's nice to have all us crazies in one place, venting, and loving each other! If you aren't already a member there, go check it out. It's like a myspace-type website for runners and it's inspiring and super helpful.

For those who run, they know the pain, the hardships and training that you have to go through to finish a race. Everyone who runs has a special place in their hearts for athletes who are competing at incredibly high levels too, because we know how much goes into the sport. These gifts are inspiration in a little box.


Without Limits is the first running film I ever watched, and it was amazing. Seriously, AMAZING! The film follows the life of famous 1970s runner Steve Prefontaine from his youth days in Oregon to the University of Oregon where he worked with the legendary coach Bill Bowerman, later to Olympics in Munich and his early death at 24 in a car crash. If Steve Prefontaine doesn't inspire you, you might be dead. You can find this one right here.


Prefontaine is another great one that I've seen which is based on the life and times of Steve Prefontaine, one of the biggest, yet most tragic sport stars in America. Get it off amazon.com here.


Saint Ralph. Though I have never seen it, it's on my to rent list. Set in Hamilton in 1954, Saint Ralph is the unlikely story of Ralph Walker, a ninth grader who outran every one's expectations except his own in his bold quest to win the Boston Marathon. Ralph is a fatherless 14-year-old with a seriously ill mother. An unfortunate incident of self-abuse in the community pool inadvertently sets him on this road when, as penance, Ralph is conscripted to the cross-country team. Desperate to believe a miracle will bring his mother out of a coma, Ralph becomes a convert to the church of running, and determines to win the Boston Marathon. Pick up your copy from amazon.com here!


Running Brave is about the true story of a man's triumph over prejudice, pain and himself. Billy Mills, a North American Indian brought up on the reservation, destined against all odds to become the best distance runner in the world. Here is where you can find a copy.


Run Fat Boy Run is about a chunky, clueless guy leaves his pregnant fiancée on their wedding day only to discover - 5 years later - that she is his one true love. But in order to win back her heart, he looks to finish his first marathon while making her realize her new man is the wrong guy for her. I haven't seen this one either, but it looks interesting and funny. Get yours here. BUT!! One of my friends, Billy of LA Runner Fame, said this movie sucks and thinks that you should get this one instead (see below)!!

RunningForMyFather! On January 14th, 2007 composer Cody Westheimer lost his father, Dr. Eric Westheimer to a brain tumor. Faced with the biggest challenge of his life, Cody discovered running as a way to cope with the death of his best friend. Inspired by working on “ULTRA MARATHON MAN,” a film about folk hero Dean Karnazes, Cody decided to begin training to run a marathon. Houston was where his dad was horn. The race was taking place on January 13th, 2008 - the eve of the anniversary of his father’s death. The choice was obvious-the Houston Marathon would be the race Cody would enter to honor his dad. Follow Cody and his family as he travels through grief, pain and perseverance in his quest to run 26.2 miles. (Totally forgot about this one, and it sounds great! I think you can email CODY for more information. Sounds SUPER Inspiring!!!)


Also the Wonderful LA Runner suggested Spirit of the Marathon. Which looks like ANOTHER great pick. Spirit of the Marathon is the first ever non-fiction feature film to capture the drama and essence of the famed 26.2 mile running event. Filmed on four continents, the movie brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon luminaries.As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepares for and ultimately faces the challenge of the Chicago Marathon. More than a sports movie, Spirit of the Marathon is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph; a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike. It's $26.20 and can be found here!

Thank you so much Billy!!! :)

Whenever you want to get out there and need some inspiration, just watch Prefontaine run, it always works for me. All these movies really allow you to appreciate the sport of running. Happy movie watching!