Post Run Treats

I had a good night sleep, and was better hydrated this weekend for my long run. I mapped out a 10 miler starting at Walgreens. Usually, I start from my house, but I have some yucky hills around there, plus ending near Walgreens would allow me to pick up my prescription and a post run treat at Starbucks. Do you give yourself any rewards after a nice, long run? I went with a non-fat pumpkin spice latte, YUM.

The run went well, I was by myself again, brain was all over the place thinking things out and looking at all the leaves falling and halloween decorations out for trick or treating tonight. My knees were a little achy (reminding me of why I need to do my strength training). I wore my new pink running skirt, pink CEP compression socks, a short sleeve shirt and arm sleeves, and don't worry, I remembered the glide this week. The running skirt was awesome! Not sure how flattering it was, but I thought it was cute & isn't that what matters? I saw a friend's mom who was out for a walk & I said hello and waved, don't think she recognized me in my running get up. My badass Oakleys can be a little misleading. As I was struggling the last 3 miles or so, I made a deal with myself. If I finished in less than 2 hours, I would go home and buy some new Bondi Bands. I really wanted those damn things, so I pushed through to finish in 1:57:40 @ 11:45 pace, which is almost exactly the pace I was scheduled to run today.

After stopping for my prescription at Walgreens (plus a cool Halloween decoration that I had seen out on my run that was 50% off), and Starbucks for my latte, I can home excited to buy my Bondi bands! Then as I was checking my email, I saw that Road Runner Sports is having a special 25% off for VIPs today only. Hmmmm super tempting. I went to the site to check out my sneakers, and saw they have a pre-order for the Asics GT-2160 10.5 wide in a color besides blue! Stupid to be so excited? Maybe, but they have had nothing but blue in wides FOREVER. I filled up my "shopping cart" with sneakers, socks, sport beans, running pants, and a sports bra. I haven't clicked buy yet.... I am still contemplating. The Bondi Bands however, I picked out 3 for me & 2 for my sister as part of her christmas present (hoping she is not reading). Those I ordered since I made my goal fair & square.

I'd KILL to have Abs like these!
Another exciting thing, is that I was recently given the opportunity to try out a new workout system from the makers of P90X & Insantiy, called Rev Abs. It's a 90 day program with 8 different DVDs to work primarily on core strengthening, but overall strengthening as well. The best part is, they also gave me a set to giveaway to one of you. I'm going to take my pre- Rev Abs measurements & pictures today & begin the program on Monday. I figure it will be a perfect after work stress reliever, & since most of the DVDs are 40 min or under, it won't take up too much of my night. I'll post some updates along the way as I try things out, and at the end of the 90 days give a full review with before/after pictures. Then we will have a giveaway so one of you can see what you think.

My plan for this weeks workouts is:
Monday: AM- elliptical @ gym, PM- Rev Abs Total Strength & Mercy Abs
Tuesday: AM- Speedwork Run  PM- Rev Abs Fire up your Abs
Wednesday: AM- elliptical  PM- Rev Abs Power Intervals
Thursday: AM- 5 mile Tempo run  PM- Rev Abs Total strength & Mercy abs
Friday: AM- off  PM- Rev Abs Fire up your Abs
Saturday: Rev Abs Power Intervals
Sunday: Long run 9 miles

Wish me luck on sticking to it! Have a fun & safe Halloween! Congrats to everyone who raced this weekend!

How to not lose it....

Focus that is.

I'm in my 3rd week of training for my 2 races. A plan that I have promised to be faithful to. And I feel like I am miserably failing the past couple of days. Work had been ridiculous, I literally cried out of anger/frustration yesterday when I got home. Wednesday I was too tired to do my cross training in the morning, so I decided I'd do a Jillian DVD at home after work. BIG MISTAKE. Work was my workout. I have an extremely difficult caseload right now that all requires a lot of lifting & I was running around all day. It was muggy and 70+ and the heat was ON. Why?? Not sure, but it was miserable. I had to shower immediately when I got home. I was so exhausted I could barely get off my couch to get something to eat. Thursday I was supposed to get in my Tempo run, but I was still exhausted from the day before. skipped. Thought about doing after work, but was exhausted once again and could feel my back was out of alignment. Friday morning didn't happen to squeeze it in because drama with Kevin kept me up too late last night. I'm mad at myself. Probably because I don't want this to become a pattern.

What do you do to keep from skipping your workouts? Or what do you do at least to not beat yourself up when you do skip them?

What I'm grateful for...

After my long run this past weekend I started thinking about how I've changed as a runner since my foot surgery 6 months ago. Before then, I frequently skipped my long runs that I scheduled. In fact, I've skimped on training for every half marathon I've done. I think when I trained for Disney last year, I did maybe 4 or 5 long runs total, 2 of them outside. I don't think I ran more than 9 or 10 miles. I was way undertrained, and it showed based on my decreased ability to walk up stairs or sit on a toilet for about a week after. After I went out for my long run sunday, despite the cold weather & lack of sleep, I was so proud of myself. I feel grateful that I'm able to run.

Years ago, when my podiatrist told me I'd need bunion surgery one day, I had a panic attack when he told me I'd be non-weightbearing for 2 months. I avoided the subject for another year and a half. Finally, my bunion pain got so bad, that after Disney I decided to get a second opinion from an orthopedic surgeon. He told me I could heel weight-bear right away, but it would be 5-6 months until I could run again. Slight panic attack. No running for 6 months??!! I imagined all the weight I would gain (and then gained some pre-surgery out of depressing thoughts of no running), the races I would miss, and all the free time I would have. Some of you may remember how stupidly I grinned when I jogged at 4.4 for the first time (READ HERE). My surgeon was impressed that 5 months after surgery I completed my first triathlon, and now 6 months later I am beginning training for 2 Half Marathons!

I am just so happy to be running, and having my foot feel good. I feel like I can really focus on my training, and give it my all. I'm loving the FIRST training program. I'm loving only running 3 days, and being able to cross train. I'm loving having these quality runs where I can really work at it, instead of just running.

In exciting news, I also booked our flights for New Orleans for the Rock N Roll Half! They dropped to $222 & we scooped up the savings. I'm excited several of you are running the Disney Princess Half too! What are your travel plans as far as days your staying or hotels your staying at? I think we are going to do a Vacation club rental at the beachclub or boardwalk resort. Now back to Biggest Loser before bed!

ooo! And I'm wicked excited because I won a giveaway for a Road ID certificate from 5K Rae!

And I'm also grateful for all of you new followers! Thanks for joining me along on my journey!

It's official!!

Just a quick note to share the good news!

I have comitted to running the Disney Princess Half Marathon!! I bought my plane ticket tonight (a total of $110 thanks to the screwup with Delta in August), and after we get a total count of how many of us are going, we're going to figure out the hotel & ticket stuff. Sooo excited & wanted to share the good news!

Now I really have to be on top of my training so I can successfully run 2 half marathons in 2 weeks. yikes!

Off to bed so I can get my speedwork run in tomorrow morning!

CEP review & giveaway!

I came home last weekend to find a wonderful surprise on my doorstep! My new hot pink CEP compression socks were here to try!

I originally heard about CEP socks through someone's blog (not sure who), but didn't really feel like I had the need for them at the time. Then my brother was developing some lower leg pain with training for his half marathon (I'm always his go to for injury fixing), and I thought I would look into it a little more for him.

The important thing for me to say here, is that I am a Physical Therapist. I have a doctorate degree, and I know how to use it! Evidence based practice was drilled into my head in school, which is why I am skeptical to believe a lot of gimmicks that are out there. When I went to the CEP website, there were no gimmicks. Much better, there was ACTUAL RESEARCH & medically based information! I love to see a product that instead of just saying it makes you run 5% faster (which research has shown with CEP by the way), but it actually had abstracts from the research articles and detailed information on why this was the case.

I think this video sums it up nicely, and if you want more information to back up their claims, check out the research articles they post on their site. I did. There are a few other things I want to point out. The first is how the CEP socks do what they do.  As a medical professional, I'm extremely impressed with how a medical company Medi, made the same compression tights that patients with circulation problems, blood clotting disorders, and vericose veins use, and adapted them to athletes for CEP. They are made with graduated compression, which pretty much means they are tighter around the ankle and slightly looser around the calf. This prevents blood pooling in the lower leg, and assists with the flow of blood back up to the heart to get re-oxygenated. Also, the amount of pressure within the socks, has been shown to be effective at dilating arterial walls, which means newly oxygenated blood is better able to flow through your lower leg. This means less cramping and pain!

When I first found out about these socks, I wondered when I was supposed to wear them? While running? Recovering? I found my answer on their website, pretty much I could wear them all the time. CEP recommends wearing them for training, racing & recovery:
  • Training - with increased blood flow to the legs you can work harder & maximize your training.
  • Racing- CEP socks can take 5-10 minutes or 5% off your time, which is backed up by research!
  • Recovery- The graduated compression prevents pooling of blood, and swelling, and increases oxygen levels to decrease muscle fatigue

I took them out on my 9 miler today, which I already knew was going to be a slow pace, I wasn't looking for a CEP time boost today. My right calf was a little crampy to start with, but it worked itself out around mile 1. They kept me warm and comfortable for the entire run. I love the smoothness on the interior, and of course the HOT pink color! After my run, I showered and put the socks back on to help with recovery. Last week I had a tough time getting around after my 8 miles, today has been a piece of cake. So far I LOVE them, even though I've only been able to use them once, and I LOVE that this is a company that uses medicine and research to help athletes perform better. Now, YOU have a chance to experience it for yourself!

How to win!
8 chances possible to win
make sure to post a separate comment for each entry

1. Mandatory- be or become a follower of my blog
2. Mandatory - visit CEP HERE & post what you would want if you won
3. "Like" Running to Health on facebook
4. Join CEP compression sportswear on facebook
5. Tell me what your favorite feature of CEP socks are
6. Post about this giveaway on your blog
7. Post about this giveaway to facebook or twitter (1 entry for each)

Entries can be made until November 3rd, and I'll post the winner shortly after!
Good luck!

Who ya gonna call?


Kevin & I at the party!

The party was a total success. After a day off on friday to clean & prepare, and skipping my run saturday to fit in everything that needed to get done, we were ready to go. The house was decorated, dry ice & beer bought, and all the food was put together. Kevin had worked wicked hard on our proton packs, they looked awesome, and I painted & put the patches on our shirts. We were really for an amazing time!

Some of the decorations (cant see the bloody handprints in this picture)

Veggie platter with finger dip

Spooky 7 Layer dip

Bat Cookies

Worm jello shots

Witches Brew

We had a good crowd show up, played some successful party games, flip cup, beer pong, and smashed the pinata successfully. Everyone went home with a goodie bag & my friends K & I went home with the best costume award!

All my work girls

Candy corn toss game


Success! Awesome party, I didn't make it to bed until 2am (way past my bedtime of 9pm!) We slept in until 10 or so, then made breakfast & did some cleaning. Since I hadn't made it out yesterday for my 9 mile run, I really wanted to get it in today. I knew after multiple cocktails last night and a late bedtime, I may not make it. But I felt good last night before bedtime, and started with drinking powerade when I got up in the morning. I hydrated & fueled, and was feeling like I may make it out for my run! A quick weather report check showed me if I didn't get out there, I ran the risk of getting caught in the rain. I got dressed, and told my roomie I may be calling her to come pick me up.

Now I know several of you warned me against this, but I was feeling pretty good. I was wearing my new CEP running socks (hint, full review & giveaway to follow soon!), and a longsleeve top. It was chilly, a few sprinkles, but no major rain thank goodness. I decided that I would go nice and slow, because of my post party status and walk whenever I needed, not really caring about pace, just making sure to get the distance in. Off I went, slow & steady. I don't have a garmin (on my wishlist), and have a horrible memory so I had no idea how far along I was as I traveled. 

I was feeling pretty good, then between miles 3-4 my right knee was aching, so I slowed down and walked a little. Right before mile 5, I took some sport beans, then as I was chugging along slowly, another runner came up behind me and passed me & flew right by. I was a little discouraged, but told myself that there are plenty of people faster than me and I kept going. Mile 7, I saw a runner on the opposite side of the road, we waved and it picked me up a little. Miles 7-9 were not bad as I made the familiar loop back home. I finished in 2 hours and 43 seconds, a horrible 13:18 pace, but I was just happy to have gotten in those 9 miles. My major fail was forgetting my glide! I had the worst chub rub which I think was a contributing factor to the frequent walk breaks.

Looks like the Disney Princess Half Marathon may be a go! We talked about making a girls weekend of it last night, and so far 3 of us are in. We're going to try and see who else wants in, then book our airline tickets and start looking into disney timeshare rentals near the race start.

Time to relax! oh ya, and finish cleaning the house!

Another race?

Thanks for your advice on not running hungover sunday. You're right, probably not a good idea, so I'm going to try & squeeze in a long run between work & my party tomorrow. I did manage my 5 miler today, it was supposed to be a tempo run. Treadmills are boring the crap out of me lately (maybe a sign I'm becoming more of a runner?), so it was tough to make it through. Oh ya, I guess I was getting tired too. I got a nice surprise in the mail today, and hopefully will be able to post about it tomorrow.

Since I've been price stalking airfare for my new orleans trip, I randomly decided to check out the prices to Orlando for the weekend of the Disney Princess Half Marathon. The medal is an awesome tiara, which I think would be a good addition to my collection. Airfare is cheap. about $200. The problem? The race is 2 weeks after New Orleans. I'm think that 2 Half Marathons in 2 weeks is a bad idea, any input?

After my run this morning, it was time to get ready for the party tomorrow! My roomate and I cleaned the house like crazy, then went out to Costco & the grocery store for a few more things. I made some jello shots & cookies, she made the stuffed shells, and we put together the prize packs for our halloween contests. I'm getting soooo excited!

Halloween plans.....

So my party is this saturday, and I think it is going to be totally kick ass. My friend Sue let me borrow a bunch of her decorations, and the roomie and I went shopping sunday for a bunch of stuff. We're making a witches brew in a cauldron complete with a dry ice mist & creepy hand crawling out, a ghost pinata filled with candy, and jello shots with gummy worms. This may be the best party I've ever thrown. I'm pumped, and I'll be sure to post pictures. We decided on being ghostbusters, and Kevin is hard at work making our proton packs, and I'm painting our name badges on our shirts & ironing on the patches. Totally awesome!

As far as my workouts are concerned, I have been a naughty girl. I had a great run tuesday morning for intervals. Reaaalllly tough, but doable with a couple of walk breaks. I was supposed to cross train wed & run today, but neither happened. I was so tired when I tried to wake up in the morning, and exhausted & pissed off hating work in the evening. This morning I thought to myself, "uggghhh i am so tired. I probably won't have time to get in 5 miles this morning, so I'll do it tomorrow." I have tomorrow off, so I will have plenty of time, but really? I need to get my butt in gear & focus.

One thing to motivate me is the running skirt I just ordered tonight! I was lucky and the ladies at Running Skirts were able to locate me a pink plaid skirt in my size. BONUS, the pink ones are on sale! I cannot wait for it to come in so I can try it out! I also have a few bloggy giveaways in the works, so look out soon for some exciting things!

Long run this weekend has been scheduled for sunday, hopefully I am not too hungover from saturday night to do 9 miles. In reality, I wish I could run saturday before the party, but I have to work saturday morning and don't think I'll have time to squeeze it in. I hate sometimes that I work so much, but I do like to have money to spend on fun things like running skirts & trips away to go running!

How to spot a Blood Clot

My friend A was supposed to be running the Niagra Falls half marathon with her husband this weekend. It was his first half, her 2nd (she ran Disney with me last year), and she had been training so hard, really working at getting in under 2 hours. 2 days ago, she posted on facebook that she had a calf strain and was looking for recommendations to heal up quick for the race. Today, her husband posted that she was admitted to the hospital with a blood clots in her legs and lungs. WOW.

Since I work in a hospital as a physical therapist, I know all about these sorts of things. I need to be careful of exercise with a patient who has a suspected blood clot because they can lead to many serious problems if they travel. I want to post a little about the signs & symptoms that A had, and other things to look out for. My hope is that it will help you recognize it in yourself or a friend or family member to get them treatment as soon as possible.

I used Stop the Clot for a lot of my information here to relate this topic to athletes. The rest I know from my expensive years I spent in school at Springfield College.

There has been research done to show that DVT (deep vein thrombosis) & PE (pulmonary embolisms) often have delayed or mis-diagnosis in athletes. How many times have you shrugged off an injury? Most athletes, and some health care providers are looking for the typical elderly patient with multiple risk factors. Your young age, and affinity to endurance events may throw them off.

So what is a blood clot? Your body has a crazy system of "pipes" called arteries & veins that carry blood throughout your body, nourishing your cells, and allowing us to go about our every day routine. Think of a blood clot like a clogged pipe. If there is a blockage in one of these "pipes" the blood is unable to flow to that specific area, which can lead to pain & even cell death. The scariest part is that these blockages can break off and travel through these arteries and veins, leading to pulmonary embolisms & strokes, both of which could kill you.

Sounds serious doesn't it? Well it is! I am a HUGE advocate for preventing strokes in particular since that is the patient population I'm passionate about. I LOVE treating my stroke patients, but I wish just as much as they do that strokes didn't occur. In fact, I trained for my first half marathon in Kona, HI with Train to End Stroke and raised over $5,000 for the cause. A stroke is pretty much a blood clot that occurs in the brain.

The most common clot is called a DVT or deep vein thrombosis. A DVT is a clot that is formed in a vein (the "pipes" that bring blood to your heart) deep inside your body. A very common place for this clot to occur is in the calf. Symptoms may present as:

  • Pain & swelling in one leg
  • Changes in skin color in the leg (redness)
  • Increased warmth in one leg
  • Increased tenderness in one leg

A had pain, but didn't notice any swelling. She was of course, training for a race! If she had any mild swelling, she attributed it to running & thought the pain was a calf strain. She only called her doctor because she was nervous since her dad had a blood clot at his knee about a week ago, and the pain wasn't going away, even with rest. She went to the doctor, who sent her for an ultrasound, the diagnostic testing for a DVT. It came back positive, and A was sent to the ER.

If those blood clots move away from where they began in the leg, they can move up through the heart, then end up in the lung. Here, if it becomes lodged in a lung artery, it is called a PE or pulmonary embolism. Symptoms for this are:
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sharp chest pains, especially with deep breaths
  • Increased heart rate
  • Unexplained cough, sometimes bloody mucous

When A got to the ER, they did a chest xray to see if she had any PEs, and she did. 2 in fact. I asked A if she had noticed any shortness of breath. She told me about her run this past weekend, only 5 miles since they were tapering. She said she felt short of breath the whole time. She had to stop a lot, and felt like she was struggling to breathe like someone with asthma. After her exercise it went away, so she didn't think it had anything to do with her calf.

Luckily A & her doctors caught it in time. There are plenty of other races in her future, now that she is ok & being treated. The doctors aren't quite sure what exactly was the cause of the clots. A is very active so it certainly wasn't that. She was on birth control pills, which do carry an increased risk of developing blood clots. Her dad also had a blood clot, and family history is a risk factor as well. Amy's treatment is bed rest & blood thinners. She is stuck in the hospital, will miss her race in Niagra Falls, but will be happy that she is alive and ok.

As far as athletes are concerned, I think this summary from Stop the clot really summed it up.

"Unfortunately, there are few studies investigating the influence that physical training has on blood clot formation and dissolution. So, the exact net effect of training on this equilibrium is unknown. It is known, for example, that blood levels of the clotting protein “factor VIII” increase with exercise and that the elevation persists during recovery. Theoretically, this could lead to an increased risk of blood clots in athletes. However, data also indicate that the fibrinolytic system that dissolves blood clots is overactive in people who exercise. With this over activity present, the athlete would be protected from having a blood clot. Yet, the net effect of these changes in the athlete is not known."

 While we may not know why exactly athletes are getting blood clots, or how to specifically prevent them to avoid ever having to worry, you now know all the warning signs. So next time you notice it's touch to breathe as you run or you notice your calf to be painful & warm, go to the ER. Get it taken care of before something more serious happens.

My first Long Run

since my training began for New Orleans anyways. My friend Angie & I made a running date for 8 miles on saturday afternoon, but she ended up car shopping. So we rescheduled for this morning, an early run at 7:30am. It was cold out, around 40, I wasn't really sure what to wear. What do you wear in 40 degree weather? I went with my running tights & shorts, and a longsleeve top that I ended up pushing the sleeves up on. I started with gloves because my hands were frozen, but ended up tucking them into my fuel belt. WOW what a difference having a running partner makes! It was great to chat to pass the time, and have someone I felt like I needed to catch up with and not wimp out on. I was able to stay up with her for probably about 7 miles until I started dropping back. I could see her, and wasn't too far away though. I still can't believe I made it through the 8 miles, since I haven't done that since the Disney Half last year, and the most I've run since surgery is 5 really tough miles. I'm sore, and hoping it doesn't get worse for tomorrow.

Yesterday I ended up going for a ride in the afternoon since we changed our running plans. I did my usual 12 mile loop, but it was so windy I almost got blown off my bike a few times! I made sure to wear my headband & gloves to keep warm. I can't wait for the toe warmers I won from Tech-Tri to come in so my toes will stop going numb!

We did some planning for our halloween party today. My coworker brought me in 2 HUGE buckets of decorations to borrow, then my roomate & I hit Walmart, & I Party to buy some other fun stuff. We picked out what we're going to make a serve for cocktails, and what games we're going to play. I took friday off from work so I can give the house a good cleaning and work on decorating for the party. I have to work at my per diem job on saturday morning & the party is this saturday night. So excited!!

My plan is to do a little cross-training & weight-training tomorrow, and my speedwork tuesday. I'm ready to start week 2 of my training!

Travel Planning

I started peeking at airline prices a few weeks ago for the trip to New Orleans for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon. We are hoping to fly on delta, because we each have a $100 credit to use from the horrible problems we had coming home from cancun in august. Last time I checked they were around $250 & I thought "sweet! only $150 each for our flights!" Now they are up to about $322 on Delta, $290 on a few other carriers. grrrrr. Anyone have any tips? Did I miss the window for a cheaper flight? I thought under 3 months was the best time frame, but maybe I was wrong.

Next I starting searching for hotels. I went to the Rock N Roll site to see the hotels they recommend HERE. I am looking for one that is not too far from the start or finish. Although, I guess a cab back to the hotel from the finish wouldn't be a bad idea. Any recommendations based on places you've stayed? Also wondering if I can get around New Orleans enough without bothering for a car rental. I would LOVE to save some money here, if most of New Orleans is walkable.

What kind of travel tips do you have to save money when traveling for a race?

p.s. stay tuned for some awesome new giveaways in the works!

MY Badass race shot

Hartford Marathon 5K

Time: 32:04
Pace: 10:20
Overall: 816/1423
Female: 407/864
Athena: 13/72
Age group (25-29): 84/160

Love it! Good luck weekend racers!

(Late) Weigh In!

Thursday is my usually weigh in day, and I did manage to weigh in, just not post about my fabulous success! I was surprised to see the scale at 181, a 2 pound loss, especially with my multiple Octoberfest sam adams & post Hartford party. This is even more exciting since I have now lost 10 pounds since recommitting to weight watchers & actually working at losing weight!

Yesterday I dragged my butt out of bed to the gym to get in Key run #2 for my first week of FIRST Half Marathon training. The plan called for 2 easy miles, 3 miles short tempo speed (5.5mph), 1 easy mile. I didn't sleep well the night before, and my energy was low. I was barely making it through the first 2 miles, and I realized I wouldn't have time to complete the plan & get home to shower & get ready for work. I decided to cut it to 1.5 easy, 3mile tempo, .5 easy. I'm pretty sure a tempo run means you go at one speed, but I needed a few walking breaks, I was tired! Plus, I'm pretty sure my sacrum & pelvis are out of alignment, and even though my coworker worked on me yesterday, I still don't think its right.

Today I rested & skipped the gym. My coworkers and I are going out to breakfast to celebrate my student's last day. She's done really well, and we'll miss her! Tomorrow I am working in the morning and then have my 8 mile running date with my friend Angie. Hopefully I can make it through without TOO much walking.

Good luck to everyone at their races this weekend!

Bondi Band winner!

Quick post since I'm at work & (shhhh!) not supposed to be doing this! (but I know how much your looking forward to it)

44 comments were entered into the random number generator. Thanks so much to everyone for making this such a successful giveaway (I can tell you love your bondi bands!)

The winner chosen was #27 : Kayla @ Running: My Anti-Drug! She's busy training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

Congrats Kayla! email me at sgrigely at homtail dot com to collect your winnings!

Making christmas lists....

Christmas is 74 days away. I like to start my shopping early, and make my list early so my loved ones can find everything on my wishlist.

So far I have my eye on.....

A Garmin watch! I would really love one with some pink in it. I think it would be awesome to see my pace and mileage as I run. Any recommendations?

Some Running skirts! How cute! Not sure how I'll actually look in one, but I plan on buying one, and asking for more if I like them. 


Some cold weather running gear. Jackets, tops, maybe more pants. I really want a reflective jacket of some sort since I know it can be kind of dreary in the new england winter months. I like the Brooks Women's LSD Lite Jacket, Nightlife that I found on amazon.

Brooks Women's LSD Lite Jacket, Nightlife, Large

A bike trainer! I'm not sure how many people actually have or use these, but what a great way to keep at it during the winter months. I've never seen people cycling in the winter, so I'm guessing that they move it indoors?

I want some inspirational jewelry and cool running shirts. I love the jewelry at Jessica's Gifts & am looking for places to find some cool running t-shirts or tanks in tech fabric or regular old cotton. Know a great place? Please post me the link!

A bike computer. My bike shop told me they sell wireless ones for $45, and they'll hook it up for me. I'd love this for all the same reasons I'd like a garmin. I think I'm definitely getting my brother one as his christmas present.

Can you think of anything I'm leaving off my list?

In other updates, I did my first training run today! Very tough for the first week of an 18 week training plan. 10 min warmup with 12 x 400m @ 6.2mph with 90 sec rest intervals. Was DYING by the time number 8 rolled around. Made it through sticking exactly to plan and was very proud since it ended up being my longest post-surgery run! 

I made a running date for this weekend with an old coworker I haven't seen/talked to in years! I randomly saw her as she was running the Hartford Half Marathon and I was cheering people on waiting for my brother to past. We shared a few messages on facebook, and are planning an 8 miler for saturday afternoon. I have only run with people 4 times in my life. Once for a training run, for my first half marathon, my first 10k, and coaching my brother through the disney half last year. She said she's not much of a talker, but likes someone to tell her to suck it up & keep going. Little does she know, that she will be saying those things to me! I'm going to map out the run later tonight during Biggest Loser commercials.

Tomorrow is a cross-training day on the schedule. I'm going to do a little warm-up on the elliptical, and follow it with some strength training since I haven't done any in FOREVER (unless you count the one time I did 30 day shred). My goal this week is to stretch more! I feel so tight, and my foam roller is under used. Most of the time I just roll around on the sore, tight spots, but I want to post some pictures the way you are *supposed* to use it. That means I need to do a little more homework!

Tomorrow is the last day to enter my Bondi Band giveaway HERE! Make sure you enter or spread the word!

Starting the training plans!

February 13th seems so far away. As I started looking at what I wanted to use for a training plan, I came across the FIRST Half Marathon training program. I originally saw it in a runners world email I got about a book called...

I read the summaries on the book and the reviews. Most of the reviews raved about the program, and then a fellow blogger (Thanks Manderz!) also told me she is using the program to train for her first marathon.

The program focuses on having 3 quality runs a week, and incorporating cross training to avoid injury & burnout. I really like the idea. In the past, I've run 4-5 days a weeks training for half marathons and eventually end up skipping a bunch of runs from burn out. After going to the FIRST website, I saw the training schedule started at 18 weeks. February 13, 2011(Rock N Roll New Orleans) is 18 weeks away, go figure!

So HERE is the program I am going to follow. I don't have a track to practice on & honestly have no idea what those 400m, 800m whatever mean. I googled it, and it seems to be about a half mile for 800m, so I can just work that on the treadmill during the week. I'll keep my long runs planned for outdoors on the weekend.

Tomorrow I start, wish me luck! As always, advice is appreciated!!

New blog design

I am itching for a new blog design... any ideas or suggestions on how to make updates are much appreciated!

I love the personal headers, signatures, and backgrounds some of you have. Any input on how I can liven things up over here is much appreciated!

All signed up!

Yesterday was the Hartford Marathon, Half & 5K. I was really hoping for a good time, but I guess my endurance just isn't back to par yet since my surgery. I finished in 32 & change, still waiting for the official time on the race site. Kevin finished about 2 minutes after me, I was so proud of him, especially since I don't think he has ever run 3 miles in his life (I swear those long legs make him much faster). The race course was much improved since years past when I've run. Quite a bit of downhills, and nice scenery instead of the scary ghetto of Hartford. My brother ran the Half, finished about 15 min past his target time, he hasn't been feeling well the past week & I think he did the best he could have. Unfortunately I brought my camera, but forgot my camera battery in the charger at home, so I am without pictures!

Today I signed up for 2 races! A turkey trot on thanksgiving in Manchester, CT which is 4.5 miles and the Rock N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in february 2011! Courtney @ Run Courtney Run gave me a coupon code for $20 off, so I jumped at the chance! I researched a few other races for the year too. I found the website for The Cherry Blossom 10 miler in DC in April. My friend Jessie @ Kissing Frogs ran it I *think* last year and I think it looks like a fabulous time. And of course the main plan is for the Disney Marathon (my first marathon!) in January 2012! I love using running as an excuse to travel to new places!

I am thinking more and more about cold weather running gear. Specifically on shoes. Do you put anything on the bottoms of your sneakers to keep from slipping on ice/snow? Any jacket recommendations? I also am reallly wanting a running skirt! After seeing a few ladies with them on at Hartford, I want one even more. I really love the pink plaid skirt @ Running Skirts, but they are out of my size! Anyone have any other recommendations?

Don't forget my Bondi Band giveaway! I rocked my Bondi Band in Hartford yesterday. Enter HERE until October 13th!


This week Kevin & I have been trying to decide on a halloween costume idea. We've come up with a few clever ideas in the past, pregnant Britney & K-fed, wonder woman & superman, 80s rocker & groupie, but this year we were stumped! My best ideas were John Mayer & Jennifer Anniston, Hugh Hefner & a playboy bunny, ghostbusters, or legends of the hidden temple. I was really pulling for John Mayer & Jen, but I got veto'd and it looks like we'll be ghostbusters this year. We decided to throw a halloween party at my house, I'm a little nervous that it will be lame since themed parties are usually not my thing. Any suggestions are much appreciated!!

I haven't gone for a run or to the gym since tuesday, I'm feeling better & I'm looking forward to trying out my Yurbuds that I won over at Forward Foot Strides. Not too crazy of a run, since I want to do well at my first 5K back at racing this saturday in Hartford. Kevin decided to sign up and I am totally excited & proud of him! Since online registration is closed, he's heading down tomorrow after work to register and pick up my race packet. Hopefully we have nice weather on saturday!

Today was my weigh in day & I am down to 183, which is -1.5 pounds! Very exciting, especially since I felt as thought I worked hard at staying in control at the Sox game. Now I need to keep at it, so I can kick these 180s goodbye!

Don't forget to enter my Bondi Band giveaway HERE until October 13th!

"I'd like to think the best of me, is still hiding up my sleeve" John Mayer, no such thing

p.s. I have a John Mayer obsession, he is my celebrity "free pass". Does anyone else have one of those?

Tired & sick.....

This morning I made it out of bed just fine.  Went to the gym, got a good hill run & a little elliptical work in, and back home to shower, eat breakfast, clean the kitchen, pack my lunch, etc, etc, etc. Totally fine until maybe 1 1/2 hours into work when I started feeling so lightheaded I thought I may pass out. Now, I normally have a low blood pressure to begin with, but I started having a small scale feeling of how I felt while taking my Oxycontin that dropped my BP so low I passed out constantly. My friend Jess took my BP, 98/64. I tried having a snack, drinking water, having some OJ, nothing helped. I started getting a headache & getting really nauseous. Jess told me this is how she started when she got sick last week. GREAT. I really hope I'm not coming down with something. I went home early & took a big nap & I'm feeling slightly better.

I need to share my delicious Mac & Cheese recipe from Fitness magazine that I tried out yesterday. WOW, the most delish low cal/fat mac & cheese I have ever tasted. I could have eaten the whole thing. It doesn't make a ton, do you may want to double the recipe.

Mac & Cheese Light
makes 4 servings, 5points each
237 cal, 7g fat, 3g fiber

YUM! despite my poor picture taking!
What you need:
nonstick cooking spray
4 ounces whole wheat macaroni
1large vidalia onion
9 garlic cloves
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded 50% reduced fat cheddar cheese
1/3 cup nonfat greek yogurt
1/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Make it
1. combine 1large vidalia onion & 9 garlic cloves roughly chopped & 1/2 cup water into a microwave safe bowl. season with salt & pepper. cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap & microwave on high for 10 minutes. Pour into a blender & blend until smooth. Makes 1 cup, but use only half for the mac & cheese recipe.
2. pre-heat oven to 425 deg, coat 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray & set aside.
3. cook macaroni to package directions
4. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of the onion/garlic puree, mustard, and cayenne to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in cheddar until melted. remove from heat & whisk in yogurt.
5. In a medium bowl, toss macaroni with the cheese sauce. Season with salt to taste. Pour into prepared baking dish & sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs & parmesan cheese. 
6. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

This was the creamiest, cheesiest, low cal mac & cheese I could have never dreamt up on my own. I enjoyed the leftovers tonight for dinner!

Now time to finish my get better plan with some green tea, relaxing on the couch & America's Next Top Model!

Bondi Band Giveaway!!

As some of you may remember from my Danskin triathlon race report (HERE), I stopped at the Bondi Band booth at the expo to pick up a couple moisture wicking headbands. Their booth was so crowded! Apparently everyone had heard of Bondi Bands before me. I had to elbow people out of my way to dig through the massive bins they had in a million different colors & patterns & sayings, to narrow it down to 2 bands to purchase. I found a pink with silver polka dots band that I thought would go perfect with my race day gear, so I put it at my transition area & wore it for the race.

Under my helmet on the bike

Finishing up the run

Normally I am used to wearing thin, black headbands to help keep my bangs in place, and have to readjust every 20 min or so, and thats part of why I loved the Bondi Band. It stayed put. Now, the particular one I wore on race day was a little wide & covered a lot of my hair, I like the slightly more narrow one I purchased a little better. I'm a heavy sweater, but somehow missed the memo that the solid colors with sayings on them were heavy moisture wicking, so that's on my purchase list next. It was nice not to have to wear a hat or have sweat dripping down my face!

I was so happy with the bondi bands that I wrote them a nice email & they were generous enough to share the love by sponsoring a giveaway for 2 bondi bands! I picked out the patterns, and I really want the Run <3, I'm going to have to place an order soon.

The Run <3 is heavy moisture wicking & I love the animal print!
This past saturday I wore one on my outdoor run & sunday on my chilly ride. On sunday I pulled it down over my ears to keep them a little warmer and it worked fabulously.

Getting ready for saturdays run!

How to Win
6 chances to enter, please leave a separate comment for each

1. Mandatory- Be or become a follower
2. Link this contest on your blog
3. Add me to your blogroll
4. Post the link to this contest on facebook or twitter (1 for each)
5. Visit Bondi Band HERE & tell me what headband pattern or saying is your favorite

I'll pick a random winner on October 13th, good luck!

Sunday Sox Day!

Soooo sunday was a planned fun day to the last Red Sox game of the season. Know what I did? I stepped on the scale before I left. I saw a good number (183.5!), which made me want to stay in control on game day & not ruin my hard work. It was a good motivator to not screw up.

Before leaving, I wanted to get in a quick ride. Brrr was it cold! I wore my long sleeve disney half shirt with a zip up jacket & cycling shorts. 4 miles in, my toes were numb & I was wishing I had my winter gloves instead of my cycling gloves.  I made it the whole 12 miles, and jumped right into the shower to warm up & thaw out at home.

It made me start wondering about cold weather clothing. Living in New England, we get a TON of cold weather & snow. Now, normally I am the girl who skips runs outdoors if it is too cold or snowing. I want that to change this year. So now, I need the appropriate gear so I don't freeze to death. I get cold very easily in the winter, so I need stuff to keep me warm, but not overheated. I already have my running tights, but I'm wondering about socks, tops, arm sleeves?, and I would LOVE a face warmer lol What are your suggestions for keeping warm on outdoor runs in fall/winter?

I know I'm a runner since I look forward to buying running clothes, more than regular ones.

Sox game was awesome! I stayed on track with only 2 beers at Boston Beer Works, and a chicken sandwich & sweet potato fries for lunch/dinner. Best of all, the Sox beat the Yankees & we got to run the bases after the game!

Down on the field
My fabulous shirt that finally fits!

Tonight I did a Jillian Michael's 30 day shred DVD, and made the most fabulous low cal mac & cheese I've ever tasted (I'll post that recipe tomorrow). Planning a morning run tomorrow at the gym, wish me luck at waking up!

Inspired Endurance Winner!

And the Winner is.......

After a visit to, with 24 entries...

Aimee from I Tri to be Me!

Congrats! Email me at sgrigely at with your address & I'll send you out the gorgeous charm!

And thanks so much to the wonderful people at Inspired Endurance for sponsoring this giveaway!

Am I a Runner or Triathlete?

Me & Monica at our first 5K in 2006!
This week I started thinking about triathlons vs. running. I started running almost 5 years ago, and it took me a long time to consider myself a runner. Since I was chubby & slow, I never felt like a "real runner", just someone trying to fit in. I felt like an outsider in the running world. I finished a few 5Ks, and even my first and second half marathons & still didn't feel like a runner. You see, I was the kind of girl who would find plenty of excuses not to get up for the gym, to skip my long runs on the weekends (even when I was race training), and I would never dream of going out if it were too cold, rainy or snowy. When I signed up for my 3rd half marathon at Disney World with a group of friends, I promised my brother I would go as slow as we needed to so I could help him finish. The race was in January, which in florida should be ideal running weather, right? Last year unfortunately was the worst weather florida had gotten since the 70s, making our 3:30am bus time & 6:30am race start the worst thing I have ever experienced. I had my running tights, long sleeve shirt, gloves, headband, and a disney poncho to block out the rain, hail and snow as we got pelted waiting for the race to start.

Me & Christy pre-race at the hotel

Amy & Christy getting ready for the start

Almost done! at Epcot
We were cold, miserable, and if I hadn't paid so much money to get to Disney & wanted that race medal so bad, I would have turned around & climbed back to bed. My brother & I finished the race in just under 3 hours. His legs cramped up at mile 9, and we walked for the majority of the race after that. It was my slowest finish time ever, but I finally felt like a runner. Only a runner would endure snow in florida to run 13.1 miles through Cinderella's castle!

Horrible self taken shot of me & my brother after the finish
Becoming a Triathlete was a totally different story. I felt it the minute I crossed that finish line. Maybe it's because I struggled into a wetsuit at 6am, maybe because I was crazy enough to ride up the practically vertical hills, maybe it was because I pushed myself to keep running even though my back felt like it was going to give out on me. The moment I crossed that finish line & high fived Sally Edwards, I felt like a totally bad ass triathlete. For months people had looked at me like I was crazy when I told them about the swim, bike, run plan, and I proved I could do it. Totally Bad ass!

Now clearly I have more running races under my belt than triathlons, but now I'm trying to figure out how to be a runner/triathlete. Train for both at the same time, improve my body to benefit both sports. Thankfully tri season is over for now, and I can focus on the running.

Me & Monica after my Athena win!
I signed up for the Hartford Half Marathon's 5K for next weekend! My friend Jessica at work helped me out by taking my backup shift at work, so now I can do my first 5K road race since my surgery & watch my brother & friend Ashley finish the Half Marathon! I won the Athena category a few years ago at this, so we'll see how it goes this year! The Manchester turkey trot is on thanksgiving & New Orleans is looking like a definite, so my calendar is looking good so far!

Today, I got out of work around 2:30, and really wanted to go for a run. I got home and in my mailbox was a fabulous motivational surprise that I can't let you in on yet, since it is for our next giveaway! I was all pumped up & ready to go for a little over a 3 mile run. As I was heading out, I felt so good, I decided to add on another loop, which really turned out to be a pretty good sized extra loop. I thought about adding on a little more, but my right knee was aching (old ACL reconstruction) and my back was starting to bother me, so I started for home. I had no idea how long the run was, but it felt like the longest distance I've done in awhile & I was able to keep my heart rate manageable & my breathing under control the entire time. I only needed 2 rest breaks walking for the knee, and didn't walk at all until almost 4 miles in. Total I ran 5 miles! Guess I'll be fine for my 5K & the turkey trot, I'll start working on building my speeds.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway HERE for an Inspired endurance Triathlon bead, and be sure to check out their website HERE for lots of fabulous running jewelry!

Want to know how my triathlon went? go HERE to get my Danskin Triathlon race report!