(Not) Working for the weekends!

Yesterday I got word from my boss that he was able to accommodate my weekend racing schedule.

wicked awesome.

Working at a hospital means weekends are required for me, and with 2 therapists leaving, and only 3 of us left, I was nervous. I decided on a whim to give him a list of my weekends I have plans for (one wedding, a few sox games, spectating my brother's first marathon, and a bunch of races for myself), and to my surprise, he was able to do it!

i wish!

Maybe its because I am being super flexible with my vacation week this summer. I am letting everyone else pick first, then picking from what is left. Maybe its because I told him I wouldn't work my per diem job so I could work when I'm free there (now that my pay rate is the same I really don't care where I work). This year we didn't have any solid vacation plans, but my weekends were most important to me. So I'm happy I got what I wanted.

So you know what that means??

I took out that race calender and started some planning. I registered for Susan G Komen 5K at Bushnell Park in CT that I run every year (although I'm disappointed that they are now charging $4 extra to get a D-tag & have your race timed). I reserved a hotel for Rock N Roll Providence (did I ever mention running that one?) at the Marriott downtown. The race I really am itching to sign up for is my first triathlon of the year, but I need my estimated finish time for the swim since that determines the order we start in. I want a little more practice before committing to that (skipping my swim workouts does not help).

My eating has been great, completely on plan with WW, but I have been so exhausted my workouts have been lacking. I was completely unable to get out of bed for a swim this morning, and could barely drag myself to work. I tried eating a little more protein today to maybe pep me up, hopefully it will work, if I keep it up. I got a fabulous shipment on my doorstep to help me with that, which means an awesome giveaway in the works for you!

Another early night to bed? I have a run I need to aim for in the morning!

Need or Want? (and a winner)

today's quote

"Think about what will improve your quality of life. Swimming lessons? Organic food? Fancy face cream? Whatever it is, invest in that!"

There is a game I play with myself that a coworker taught me when I was saving to buy my house. It's called need or want. Every time I wanted to buy something, I was supposed to say to myself, "Do I really need this or do I just want it?" Sometimes there would be things I would say need to (new running shoes, jeans that fit, relaxing vacation), and want to (relaxing vacation, new coach purse, drinks & a nice dinner out). I also think there is a category in between. Sometimes there are want items we need to help us sustain a healthier lifestyle. We don't necessarily need to buy organic foods, but to me it's important to avoid the added hormones & processing. I don't need to spend money on race entries, but I want to so I have motivation to work hard. 

In my opinion, the wants that makes a healthier, happier you, are really needs. It's important to invest in our bodies, take care of ourselves, and put a little extra in when it counts. Maybe your investment is dedication, time, or money. Whatever  it is, take the initiative to make it happen.

What are your wants that are really needs?

I have been exhausted this week, Kevin literally had to kick me out of the bed this morning so I could get a quick run and some strength training in. I skipped yesterdays pool session, but got my trainer ride in. My plan is for bed in the next 20-30 min to make it an easier morning tomorrow for a swim.

I can't believe that the Cherry Blossom 10 miler is almost here!
Maybe its because I haven't been 'training' specifically for this race. I just kind of kept up my mileage after the half marathons with 8.5 mile long runs, so I'm sure I'll be fine. I obviously paid extra to have a finishing medal, I have to add to my wall of bling!

I need an updated shot with my latest medals!
I'm not sure what I'll wear to the race yet. I'll pick out some options, then maybe have you guys help me. I leave saturday morning with my brother out of Boston, so we'll get there around 10:30am with plenty of time to get to packet pick up!

Is anyone else running the Cherry Blossom?

Now the moment you've all been waiting for.... The Moving Comfort Giveaway winner!!!

Let me start off by saying we had over 280 entries, and I gained a ton of you as new followers, which is all wicked exciting. Thank you all for following, reading my ramblings, and supporting me in my journey. I hope all of you new followers stick around to see what is on my agenda next!

winner is... Deanne from I'm not a Runner! (but she really is)
Shoot me an email Deanne at sgrigely at hotmail.com and I'll get you set up with your new bra!

Off to bed, goodnight!

Temptation & a winner!

todays quote

"The less food in your face, the less tempted you'll be to eat when you're not hungry"

So true for me. If I can see it, then I'm tempted to eat it. This is why I cannot keep items like Ice cream & Stacy's Pita Chips in the house regularly. For me, its an out of sight, out of mind thing. The closer it is to me, the more I crave it. So what do I do? I don't buy trigger items. I hide trigger items to only have a few at a time. I buy smaller portioned bags (like cadbury mini eggs) so I don't inhale 10 serving sizes.

What do you do to stop the temptation?

The Winner of the Pay it forward book giveaway is....
17 Hours to Glory: Extraordinary Stories from the Heart of Triathlon
Lisa @ Because I Can!
email me at sgrigely at hotmail.com with your address!

Don't forget to enter my Moving Comfort Giveaway HERE, which ends Monday night!!

I'm happy to report I'm still on track with my eating, and workouts. I bought a cadence sensor for my bike to use with my Garmin and spent almost 45 min figuring it out. 3 you-tube videos later, I was sucessful. I hopped on for a 97 min ride, but I'm not sure if it was working right. For some reason it said I burned over 2,600 calories, but had a super slow 9mph pace. Help??

Today was long run day with Shelley, and whoops, I forgot to charge the Garmin after the ride so it died halfway through the run. We killed our 8.5 miles in about 1:30, and I ran up the entire hill at the end. Awesome. My legs feel great, especially after my massage I had today. Bring on the Cherry Blossom next weekend!

Early morning at the pool & weight training!


This weeks Raffle Winner is....

Jill, email me your choice of prize!

Have you donated yet?

There are still awesome prizes to win including Bondi Bands, iFitness gear & belts, Under Armour, Road ID, inperspire towels and more! Please help me by donating money for my Run to Home Base to help injured war vets. I still have over $500 to reach my goal!!

Please check it out HERE, I would really appreciate your help to reach my goal!

Also.... my book giveaway ends tonight! Enter HERE

Cupcake (Half)Marathon 2011

Since I got a late start on the mileage, I opted for the half marathon distance for the Cupcake Marathon which is so awesomely being put on by Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race!

Me & my race bib

The first run I started with was my St. Pattys Day 10K last saturday. See the race report HERE.

 I finished the first 6.2 miles of my half marathon in 1:08:02 on a super hilly course. Here's the Garmin proof.

1 second off from official race time
My next run I did was tuesday for a treadmill speedwork run. I was only scheduled for 28 min of running, but pressed on to get my 2.9 that I wanted for the cupcake race in 33:14. Heres the treadmill proof

My last run for the cupcake run was a thursday treadmill hill workout. I did 3 miles in 35:03.

My Cupcake (Half)Marathon total
miles: 13.16
time: 2:16:19
An PRish race haha I'd LOVE a 2:16 Half!

Now I'm dreaming of these...

My roomate brought some home from Crumbs Bake Shop in New Jersey & they were to die for.
Motivation to run.

Think Summer!

todays quote

"The key to body confidence is to concentrate on something positive about yourself instead of fixating on the flaws"

so show yourself some love today. Embrace what you love. Work to fix what you don't. Remember that a love your body attitude makes a difference in how you view your entire self.

Yesterday I did my run & finished my cupcake half marathon miles (recap to follow soon).  My back had been bothering me though, so I skipped lifting to get a good stretch in. This morning, sleep trumped my swim. Onward to tomorrow, I have a killer trainer ride planned, and am hoping to make up some strength training and Ab work from the week. Sunday is long run day.

Tonight = super relaxing. Sushi takeout, blog reading/writing, and a redbox movie. love it.

Thinking about summer vacay plans, we have a bunch of options, no decisions...
1. Use the "free" cruise we got at the timeshare hell 
2. Go back to Mexico! we loved our time there.
3. Go on a different cruise and save the "free" one
4. Somewhere else in the Caribbean
5. Anyone else have any ideas?

We love to be active, but mostly lay around & relax by a pool or beach. There should be plenty of cocktails available nearby.

Also have been thinking about Hypnosis. A ton (like 6) coworkers of mine went to a hypnotist for weight loss a little while back, and they look freaking a-maze-ing. I am beyond jealous. Maybe a hypnotist would give me the willpower I need?

Holyoke St. Pattys Day 10K Race Report

10K Race Report
I'll start off by saying I've raced this before, its a HUGE local race. Everyone who runs does the Holyoke St. Pattys day race. Plus it has a reputation of being a killer course with practically all hills the first 4 miles or so. In 2009, Shelley and I ran for a 1:10:11 finish, conquering the hills and running the entire race. Unfortunately this year we had a later race start at 1pm. I am NOT a fan of a late race start. My body likes to run in the morning. Plus, against me, I haven't been doing much hill work lately.

Shelley and I picked up our bibs & t-shirts friday night before the race to avoid race morning hassle

I had my regular breakfast, then prior to race time had my usual pre-race food. Toast with peanut butter & banana, washed down with riptide rush gatorade.

I packed a cooler backpack with beer for after the race, and a post race bag with a sweatshirt and snack for me, and Kevin and I headed off to the race. I had a few friends running, my speedy trooper friend, my NYC friend and Shelley was my pace parter. I managed to catch up with everyone before the race start, and a little before 1, Shelley and I lined up. We had our matching Tutus, our green New Orleans tech tees, and our matching hydration belts. We decided to go without music, I'm kind of getting used to it now.

As you can see, the hills are pretty brutal, especially for someone who hates uphills. I wish every race was downhill!

We started off pretty good, but as soon as we hit the first big hill after mile 1, I really started to feel it. I was exhausted, and had to stop for a walk break. I went a little more, then a little after mile 2, I sent Shelley away from me. I could tell I was slowing her down, and she wanted to fly. I was getting side stitches, and knew I would be fine if I was able to incorporate some walking into the race. 

I struggled through the next mile & a half or so, then the downhills came & I took off. Obviously since my mile 5 clocked in at a 9:46 pace with a 12:15 pace the mile before. One awesome part? The shout outs that people loved the Tutu, random hi fives from kids and guys who were along the course. The crowd support is definitely the strongest point of this course. People are lined up through the entire thing, even if they are drinking and offering you beer & shots. There was one more uphill about a half mile from the finish, then a slight uphill finish, then I was done!

Heres the splits

I knew going into this race that I wouldn't PR. Its an extremely tough course for me, and I just wasn't feeling it. I did however want to beat my time from 2009, and I did by about 2 minutes!

My least favorite part of the race is the post race confusion. The finishing chute is not blocked off for runners, and there was no water immediately following the finish. I couldn't find the water because there was so many people in the way. Another big negative, NO FREE BEER! I think for a St. Patricks Day Race they should at least give you 1!
Me & speedy trooper

After the race, I found a drunk Kevin, who offered me beer, and we hung around the big park drinking with some of our friends until we were ready to go.

I saw these guys after the race, and immediately it made me think of EMZ, I had to get a picture.

Official Stats
1743/2384 overall
1045/1398 female

Hopefully next year I'll be in better shape & a little speedier!

What are you preparing for?

Todays quote:

I'll keep running
Because it makes me feel ready.
I'm not exactly sure what I'm ready for.
But whatever comes along, boy do I feel prepared.

For a lot of us, we spend a lot of time training for races. We spend numerous hours logging miles to feel ready for the moments leading up to the big races we commit to. Whether is be a first 5K or a 20th marathon, we run to feel prepared.

What else does running prepare us for? Certainly there are other moments in life that are better handled by our running. We may be able to handle stressors at work or home better, running may make us feel ready to tackle other challenges that we face. 

Sometimes when I finish a long run, or a race, I think to myself, "If I can do that, I can do anything." Running boosts our self esteem, lifts our mood, improves our health & prepares us to be happier, better versions of ourselves.

What does running prepare you for?


Last night I stumbled across a couple small notebooks. In college, and a few years ago, while diving into my weightloss journey, I made collages of motivational clippings from magazines. Everything from quotes, to pictures, and weight loss tips. I read through them last night, and it really brought me back to a time when I was focused on my nutrition and weightloss. I'm going to try and post some of these quotes and advice as I go along for this journey to help keep me more focused.

I'm a guest blogger today @ Diet, Wellness, & Nutrition Journal. I'm talking about body image and endurance sports, so make sure to check it out!

Today's workout? Supposed to be a 28 min run & strength training. My muscles however were screaming from yesterday's strength work (I can barely lift a jug of milk), and I opted instead for a 34 min run (2.9 toward the cupcake Half), and some intense stretching. Did well with my eating today, and even did Abs when I got home from work. sweet!

"Why am I doing this again? Oh yeah, just prove to myself that I can. And hey, everybody's got competitive juices flowing and I'm ready to put mine to work. Even if I really am just competing against myself"

I've found it! (plus giveaways & winners!)

Saturday was my St. Pattys day 10K complete with the Tutu (race recap eventually).  After the race, I seriously thought about how I need to stay focused with my nutrition and really follow weight watchers to lose some of this weight. So sunday I had an awesome 80 min trainer ride while watching Jersey Shore, and today I spent the morning working on total immersion techniques at the pool & lifting. Then tonight, I pumped out another 58 min trainer ride while watching gossip girl. To top it off, my nutrition has been great all day, and I'm feeling really positive about staying on track this week!

In case you haven't noticed, I have a TON of giveaways going on right now!

1. My Fundraising Raffle for the Run to Home Base HERE. I am still over $500 from my goal. I challenge you to tell people this week about the Run to Home Base program. If you can get 10 people to donate $1 to you, then you have yourself a donation & raffle entry! Not only will you earn your raffle entries by posting HERE, but reply to this post with the word 'BONUS' after your 'spread the word' donation and get an extra 5 entries past what you've already earned.

2. My Moving Comfort Bra giveaway HERE. Enter by 3/28!

The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete

3. My pay it forward book giveaway for the Long Run & 17 Hours to Glory HERE, ends 3/26!

4. My Gone for a Run giftcard giveaway HERE, ends 3/31!

And.... I just realized I never picked a winner for my arctic ease giveaway!

Off to track my food & plan for tomorrow!

Gone For A Run Review & Giveaway!

A little while ago, I got in touch with Ryan from Gone for a Run about all the awesome products they have. 

cute running gifts

Great gear!

fun jewelry

and my favorite

The Bibfolio!

My Bibs from all my races were piling up in a corner of my office, collecting dust. What a great way to put all my memories in one place. It holds about 75 bibs, which for some of you, may not be enough, but for me was great. You can have it personalized with your name, and display it in a place to remind you of your accomplishments. Mine sits outside my bedroom door, by my race medals. 

putting together my bibfolio!

Easy to put together! The front & back pieces along with the rings to hold my race bibs (see my New Orleans bib at the top of the pile?). The colors are bright, the materials are durable, and I absolutely love it!

Here it is, in its home!

Lucky for you, I have a $25 gift certificate to Gone for a Run for one of you!

How to win
please leave a separate comment for each
1. Be or become a follower of this blog
2. Go to Gone for a Run HERE and tell me what you'd spend your $25 on
3. Like Gone for a Run on facebook HERE & let them know I sent you
4. Like Running to Health on facebook HERE
5. Spread the news on your blog, facebook or twitter! (1 for each)
6. Add me to your blogroll

Giveaway ends 3/31, good luck!

Book Giveaway!

A while back, I won a pay it forward giveaway from Running with Whit, which actually originated from Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race for a couple of fabulous books. 

The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete


17 Hours to Glory: Extraordinary Stories from the Heart of Triathlon

I. loved.them.

The Long Run, not only motivated me as a runner, but had a huge impact on me relating to my job. Matt's details of working with his physical therapists reminded me of why I love my job as a rehab physical therapist. Rehabbing people like Matt make my job worthwhile. Check out my reflection on it HERE

I read most of 17 hours to Glory on my trip to Disney. It was so inspiring to read the stories behind the most celebrated race in Ironman. I loved reading about the history of triathlon, the stars behind the races, and the unbelievable stories of people who overcame the odds. Some of my favorite stories? Team Hoyt is my number one. The amazing strength and perseverance of a father to allow his son to do what he loves is so inspiring. Of course with my rehab profession, I also loved the Ironman stories of wheelchair athletes David Bailey, Carlos Moleda, & Marc Herremans,  and Amputee Sarah Reinertsen. 

Now its my turn to pass them on to one of you!

Just agree in one comment to the following:
1. Agree to pay it forward. Send it off to another blogger when you're done.  
2. Write something motivating in both of them and send them forward 
3. Email Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race when you post the giveaway so that he can follow where the book goes next.  
4. Once the book fills up with quotes they have to agree to mail it back to Jason.

Ill take entries until 3/26