First Raffle Winner!!

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far!
With your help, I have raised $120 through this raffle so far to help injured war vets coming home from afghanistan & Iraq!

The first winner is....

Kayla will be running the Disney Princess Half this weekend too, hopefully we can meet up!
Email me to let me know your choice of prize Kayla!

It's not too late to enter to win some fabulous prizes, check out my fundraising raffle HERE
Disney here I come!

Disney Princess here I come!

I leave for Disney saturday morning and I couldn't be more excited!

I've been thinking a lot about this race. My legs feel much better after New Orleans than I anticipated they would. I thought to myself, should I push it and try for another PR, or just have fun?

Then I thought about all the fun photo ops I missed last year at Disney as we plowed through the first 9 miles in the sleet and rain, to my brother's almost defeat. I also thought about the last killer hill up to the Disney highway on the stretch back to Epcot. Lesley @ Racing it Off invited me to join her for a 2:20 finish. I would love a 2:20 finish, but 2:25 on a perfectly flat course really pushed me in New Orleans. 

Freezing and almost to the finish, I convinced my bro to stop for 1 pic!

I decided I will have fun.

I will stop at most picture stops.

I will walk through water stops as needed.

I will enjoy myself & cheer others on along the way.

I will look super cute in my race outfit I have planned.

My friend Ash is aiming for a finish under 2 hours, so she may be waiting awhile on me. Hopefully I can keep it under 2:45 or so. This week has been a running wash. I have not gotten in a single mile, maybe I can squeeze in a couple tomorrow morning. Im crossing my fingers to skip out of work early tomorrow to finish packing & running errands, and I'm praying extra hard that the rain/snow scheduled for tomorrow doesn't throw a wrench in my travel plans.

Wish me luck!
Don't forget to Check out my fundraising Raffle to benefit injured war vets HERE
I'll post the first winner tomorrow night!

when boredom strikes...

My long run this week.... nonexistent.

I headed to the gym sunday morning since the wind chill was ridiculous, with a goal of 8 miles. I wasn't feeling it before I even got there. At the gym every TV had either sports or CNN type shows on and a guy watching it intently. I jumped on, and it was sucking. Boredom, and lack of drive were killing me, and my back was bothering me. I said to myself "Ok, screw 8, do between 3-5." What do you think I made it to? 3 of course. Oh well....

Ride on the trainer last night, and a skipped run this morning. My eating has been a little better. I've been tracking with the WW Iphone app the past 2 days. My goal is to keep it up until I leave for Disney!

The Princess Half is almost here!!!

I know Courtney @ RunCourtneyRun is having a blogger meet up, but it is thursday, before I arrive. Does anyone who is going have any interest in a quick meet up at the expo on saturday? Today I picked up my goodwill throwaway clothes in case its chilly! I won't ever make the mistake of leaving those at home after last years marathon weekend.

On an off note from training, my job has been killer lately. We have 1 girl leaving this week, and another leaving in April. Unless we can find ourselves some PTs soon we may be screwed for the summer, which will mess with my vacation & racing plans!! So if you know any physical therapists in the massachusetts area looking for a job, shoot me an email! Another coworker and I have been looking through job listings elsewhere too, we'll see if anything comes of it. 

If you haven't yet checked out my Fundraising Raffle, please do so HERE
There are a TON of great prizes up for grabs from some fabulous companies. It was recently pointed out to me that the minimum donation per the website is $10, so I have adjusted the fundraising page. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far!

I really hope that you can help me support the troops that defend our lives every day. The ones returning back to us injured especially need our help, so please, check out the raffle HERE & make a donation & win some great prizes in the meantime!

Home Base Raffle

On May 22, 2011 I will be running a 9K at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox!
This is a run put on by the Red Sox Foundation & Massachusetts General Hospital to help raise money to help treat veterans of war, specifically with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) & traumatic brain injury (TBI). I am running with my brother in honor of Sgt. Mark Ecker, a soldier from my home town who lost both his legs in afghanistan, and later died in a car accident. I am also running with my friend Lindsey who is currently serving in the airforce over in afghanistan.

I have committed to raising at least $1,000, and would appreciate your help to meet that goal HERE!
I am holding a MAJOR fundraising raffle with some fabulous prizes from some amazing, generous companies that want to help me make a difference!

The Fabulous Prizes.... 

1. Allied Steel Medal Display of choice Won by Kayla!
"Mounting hardware and instructions are included with each display! They are cut from heavy gauge stainless steel for a smooth, grained finish." The perfect way to display your race bling!

2. Prize pack (3 winners) featuring:   all 3 won!
An Inperspire Fitness Towel 

"When you make time to go to the gym, go for a run, or exercise at home we want your workouts to be nothing less than inspired. That is why we came up with the idea of high quality inspirational fitness towels.Our philosophy is that everyone can be healthy... sometimes we just need a little motivation to help us along the way."

"The simple premise of Bondi Bands is to offer comfy, colorful, and creative headbands to fit every lifestyle and personality." 

1 pair of Chrissy's Knee high socks

"Let’s face it, if you are going to wear socks, why not wear ones that are stylish, fashionable or sexy!"

3. Punk Rock Racing T & Running Training LogWon by Jill
choose your own size & color!
"Because we just can’t bring ourselves to wear a “Will Run for Beer” shirt, Punk Rock Racing has created another way to pledge your allegiance to the art-of-movement while offering a tip-of-the-hat to one of the coolest pop-rock bands ever. Just like all the other shirts, it is cotton and offered in a unisex and girl cut option."

Training Log was donated by Whitney @ Running with Whit

4. CEP compression Shorts Won by Elizabeth
"The CEP Compression Tri Shorts represents a unique new version of what you've known as triathlon racing apparel. The shorts feature a compressive knit in the leg section which absorbs less than 3% moisture and dries very quickly. Constructed with an upper and lower section, the compression Tri shorts offer an incredible amount of compression for the quads and hamstrings for a truly new experience in muscle oscillation dampening." 

5. CEP compression sleeves or socks Won by Jess!

"The times are over where the sole purpose of socks and stockings was to protect feet from blistering. The CEP compression sportsocks are the first functional sport socks with a unique compression profile that provides a scientifically proven increase in blood circulation and a consequent increase in performance."

6. $30 Gift certificate to Silver Maple Jewelry & 1 Sweaty Band Won by Jess
"We use sterling silver and copper in our creations. Many of our pieces are hand-cut and filed from a sheet of metal, allowing us to create unique, one-of-a-kind designs. By hand, we stamp, distress, brush, and polish each piece to provide a vintage-inspired look. The meaning is special and the look is subtle but beautiful."

"We’ve turned perspiration into a fashion sensation! Sweaty Bands are the ultimate sports and fitness headband, uniquely designed for women and girls who want to show their style, even when they sweat a while! Slip into one today and become a Sweaty Bands believer."

7. Road ID Prizepack contains: Won by Karen
  • ecard
  • hat
  • socks

"If you are a runner, cyclist, triathlete or just a person who doesn't sit on the couch all day, Road ID is for you. This awesome piece of gear not only looks good but it could save your life. In the event of an accident, if you can't speak for yourself, your Road ID will. Available in 6 different styles. It's not just a piece of gear - it's peace of mind."

8. GU Sampler Pack won by Sara
GU Energy Gels - includes each flavor of the workhorse of endurance nutrition Roctane Gels - when you really need to dig deep on that long training run, ride or race Chomps Packets - mix things up a bit with this delicious and chewable form of energyGU Electrolyte Brew Packets - a great tasting, balanced electrolyte mix to improve hydration GU Recovery Brew Packet - use after workouts to recover faster and perform better the next time out 

9. Run Naked giftcard Won by Lesley
"When you are running in low light conditions, bits of reflection on your shoes usually doesn’t cut it. Reflector vests can seem like a punishment of discomfort. Reflection will only protect us if we wear it. Run Naked Sports is making reflection fun."

10. iFitness Neoprene Hydration Belt in black won by Sara
  • Water resistant pouch, stretchy and sturdy, made of neoprene will keep your cell phone or iPod (any size) dry. 
  • Two 6oz  bottles (BPA free)
  • elastic slots will hold your gels on your belt, for easy access.
  • A special inner pocket will keep your ID/credit cards or room key securely.
  • Comes with two reflector strips in the front and one in the back, for night time safety.
  • Also featured are two toggles to hold your race number, under the pouch

11. iFitness mini sport belt in military green won by Mary

  • This unique Mini Sport Belt™ was designed to fit all your essentials. It will hold a BlackBerry/iPhone and 3-4 GU's.
  •  Stretchable and strong pouch will hold your items close to your body comfortably, without bouncing or riding up.
  • One size fits all (adjustable)
  • Special inner pocket will keep your ID/credit cards in place.
  • Can be used as a race number belt – just pin your race bib.
  • Machine washable – cold, dry flat.

12. iFitness Arm Gel Holder in grey
(plus a special collection of Gu from me!)
13. Laura Elaine designs Race Bib Book  won by Jess
"Looking for a great way to store your race bibs? The Runner's Race Bib Book is for you! It measures 8" by 11" in landscape orientation, will hold up to 10 of your race bibs, and is decorated with scrapbook paper, cardstock, die-cuts, and stickers." You can work with Laura to design an album of your choice!

14. Vera Bradley 2011 Organizer in Night & Day & Lunch bag in Blue Rhapsody
"Keep a date with style! This bright and beautiful planner makes staying on track easy. Tabs separate calendar months (August 2010-December 2011) and sections. Includes 164 pages with lists, two built-in pockets, bookmark and sticker sheet. Updated for more flexibility--Mini Notebook pages now fit this planner's three-ring binder design."

"Make lunch a real treat with our new lunch bag. Designed to hold most pre-packaged frozen meals or a thermos, it's lined in a new vinyl-backed taffeta with a slip pocket and a large zippered opening for easy access. We also added an ID window on the side to eliminate any mix-ups in the lunch room or cafeteria."

15. Under Armour Recharge Recovery Shirt (size Med)
“UA compression gets your muscles back to full strength faster. Strategic compression promotes muscle repair and decreases the amount of time your muscles are sore. It helps to reduce swelling caused by exertion and impact. Anti-odour technology is used and UPF.” Women’s sz. Medium

Overall, there will be 17 winners!
(maybe more if I get more donations)

How to Win
Make a Donation HERE to my fundraising page
leave me a comment that you did!
$10 = 5 entries
$25 = 15 entries
$30 = 25 entries
$40 or > = 2x the dollar amount

Bonus entries:
(please leave a comment for each)
1. Share the news! Post to facebook, twitter or your blog (+1 for each)
2. Have a special blog post dedicated to this raffle (+2)
3. Donate within the first week (+1)

There will be more bonus entries announced as the raffle progresses

A new winner will be chosen each friday, until all prizes are won.
When you are chosen as a winner, email me with your prize choice!
Yes, that means you pick your own prize!

Please help me support our veterans and win some great stuff in the process!
From the Run to Home Base website: 
"In New England, an estimated 50,000 veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are affected by TBI and/or combat stress. These invisible wounds of war are extremely complex, highly individualized and extraordinarily difficult for all those affected. Families of veterans suffering from combat stress and/or traumatic brain injury often need support and guidance as they seek ways to better understand and support their loved veteran. Many veterans struggle with the stigma associated with these injuries and the so called "invisible wounds" caused by battlefield experiences. While anxiety and distress may not be as obvious as the physical wounds of war, the scars are just as painful and deep. Such injuries require attention and treatment by a team of providers who are familiar with and experienced in the complexities of combat stress and traumatic brain injury." 

You can find more information on the program at HERE 
Thanks in advance for your help to help me support a great cause!

weekend plans & Gu winner!

Even though I'm back from NOLA, I've been having trouble getting on track with eating. My goal for the weekend is to get back to my weight watchers tracking. At least until leaving for Disney, then I'll allow myself a break. 

As far as running? I was so sore after RnR, I thought Disney would be a fun race with lots of walking & pictures for sure. Now my legs have recovered & I'm feeling pretty good, like maybe I'll actually be able to run a good portion of the race! I still plan on this being a fun race though and stopping for pictures and whatnots along the way!I have an 8 miler scheduled with Shelley on sunday, and I have a massage today. All to prep me for next weekend. I have been craving to ride my bike, but the trainer will have to do for today.

Later today, I'm heading out with my mom to go car shopping. She wants a new Ford Escape, and I want a new car too, but I won't be getting a new one right now. A friend of mine works for Ford and is signing my mom up for his friends and family discount, sweet! Plus we have red sox/yankee tickets to buy today! We won the lottery and will hopefully be able to get a 4 pack to  a weekend game. Taxes are on my agenda for later today or tomorrow as well, how fun haha

oh ya......

Gu Winner?
Elizabeth @ Canyon Carins!
She's currently mapping out her triathlon race schedule for the summer (something I need to focus on!)

congrats & email me at sgrigely at hotmail dot com so I can get your info to Scott for your prize!

Lastly, I will be posting my BIG fundraising raffle TODAY!!
I have a couple more prizes on the way, but the complete list won't be needed until we start getting some winners, so lets get some entries! I am so excited for this, and I hope you are too! Check it out later today!

Rock N Roll Mardi Gras Race Report

Race Expo
Fabulous. The Expo was rockin. Killer music & TONS of vendors. The only bad thing? The goody bags weren't consistently packed, so they contents varied a lot from bag to bag. Shelley and I didn't get all the same freebies & flyers. Otherwise it was a blast. After bib & T-shirt pick up, we headed to the race merchandise to stock up...

Shelley's gear!

I ended up buying a pair of capris to wear race day, as well as a long-sleeve technical T & half zip top. We spent over $150, so we were awarded Brooks VIP Potty passes (more on that later). Then we headed out to check out the rest of the vendors. A glamour band, and new tshirt for the race, and a stop by a few other booths, including...
Dan & Jackie from Biggest Loser!!
Did anyone watch the orange team on the Biggest Loser a few years back with mother/son team Jackie & Dan!? I did, and was excited to meet them and ask about life on the ranch. They are busy running 20 half marathons this year to raise money & awareness for Reach Out For Life

Race Day
The hotel was a quick walk away from the race start area. Shelley and I met near the Casino and walked over. By the start, they had an area set up with pre-race food. Bananas, snicker's marathon bars, water, cytomax, I was impressed, I've never been to a race with pre-race food. There was a huge area of porta-potties, but we had our VIP potty pass...

The VIP potty pass
Flushing toilets, running water, mirrors, sport beans, lotion, sunscreen. What a nice treat instead of a pre-race porta-potty! The corrals were set up with clear easy to read signs, and even porta-potties in the race corrals!

corral potties
We were back in corral 15, so we didn't cross the start until about 7:20ish with the wave start. Off we went! The miles ticked by easy, Shelley and I were cruising along thanks to a super flat course and interesting people and places to look at. We decided against wearing music for the race, and I was happy since there was a lot of on course entertainment. There were also a lot of cheering groups all dressed up, and some people with creative signs along the route. We were killing our times the first 6 miles, and slowed down a little by mile 7 & 8. Mile 9 we saw Kevin & Caitlin and they captured a good shot of us, still smiling!

Shelley left, me right!
Around mile 10, I really started feeling it. I slowed down quite a bit taking short walk breaks when I needed it. Mile 12, I started getting overheated. I shed my arm sleeves, but kept running out of fluids, and could feel my heart rate getting to high. I had to stop to refill water, but I still ran out before mile 13. A little after mile 12 I let Shelley go ahead and finish, and I did what I could to finish strong and managed to speed up a little for the last mile. I hit the finish line with an official finish time of 2:25:56, a new PR!!

Here's my Garmin split!

Post race was fun, my legs were incredibly sore, so we laid out in the sun to stretch out for a while. Eventually I headed to the beer tent to grab my free beers, Shelley got a sandwich, and we listened to a little music before heading back. The band was so-so, not really a Bowling for Soup fan, so we headed out early. The shuttle buses back downtown were speedy! We barely waited to get on one, then lucky us, it dropped us off right near our hotel! (big change for the wait at Disney last year for a shuttle)! 

Overall I loved the race, definitely my favorite half I've done so far! Did I mention Shelley and I signed up for RnR Providence at the Expo since they had a $15 off coupon code? I can't wait until the next RnR race, they really know how to throw a party! And the Medal was pretty bad ass too!

Were you at the race? What did you think?

Livin' it up in the Big Easy!

Wednesday night as we flew into Hartford and saw the snow coating the ground, I almost started crying. We had a blast in New Orleans, mostly from the warm weather and non stop drinking, but the race was pretty kick ass too. I'll have my race recap to follow, but I wanted to start off with an overview of the entire trip.

We got in pretty late to New Orleans, and were tired from traveling, so friday night was lame low key. Straight to bed once we were able to have the maintenance crew from the hotel disconnect our fire alarm that kept chirping. 

Saturday was Expo day! 

We had a blast, I'll give more details in my race report including my semi-celebrity meet up!
Then we headed to lunch...

We saw a cathedral on the way for Beignets...
and even though we missed out on meeting Elizabeth, we scored some delicious treats.

We had a bad dinner at the Crazy Lobster (which ironically was out of lobster), then stopped at the convenience store by our hotel on the way back for gatorade for race day. We also found 4 Loko, which is outlawed in Massachusetts (obviously Kevin went back to get some after the race).

The race was amazing! My favorite so far. Well organized and supported, I was wicked impressed!
Don't worry, my official race report will follow later today!
Shelley and I totally killed it and had an awesome time.
Can you see that gorgeous sky? It was a beautiful day...

After some relaxing, we went to dinner at Cafe Giovanni's which was the most delicious meal of our trip. Then we headed out on the search for hand grenades.

We found them, and they were delicious! After a couple of those, and my drinks at dinner, my legs weren't feeling as sore!

Saw this on the way home.... Never knew CVS sold booze!?
Monday we walked to Magazine street to Varsity Sports to get my medal engraved. I couldn't resist and bought a new pair of running shorts. We did a little shopping before Shelley & Caitlin left for home, then Kevin and I went to get ready for our Valentine's day dinner.
We went to Dragos, and had lobster (yum!), then headed over to Bourban for a few cocktails. Tuesday we went on a tour of Mardi Gras world, where they make many of the floats for the Mardi Gras parades.

One of the finished floats for this year

A lindsey lohan, paris hilton themed float design for this year

After, Kevin and I decided to make our own bar tour. We picked out 6 different bars to go to that had some history behind them, and classic drinks. At each one, we got a drink (or 2) and read about the history of the bar from our iphone. Our spots included:
1. Napolean House
2. Muriel's
3. Pat O'Brian's
4. The Bombay Club
5. Old Absinthe House
6. Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
We had everything from Pimm's cups, whiskey sours with egg whites, hurricanes, mint juleps, absinthe,  and obituary cocktails.

Pimm's Cup


wicked strong

Needless to stay, after that and a couple grenades & a slice of pizza, we ended the night with Kareoke at the Cat's Meow. A little Ke$a and Carrie Underwood for me, then I was ready for bed at 2am.

Thursday morning we did last minute shopping and packing before heading home. I miss the warm weather already! I do however, need to stop drinking & get my eating back on track since the Disney Princess half is 10 days away!

We had a fabulous time in New Orleans, who knows, maybe we'll make it back there again someday!

Today is your last chance to enter my Gu giveaway HERE!