Daily Chatter

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let's Talk about Skirts

I recently joined the many fans of Running Skirts by finally purchasing 3 beautiful skirts from their Princess collection thanks to a heads up from Tonia and a great sale. 
I ordered a pink, blue and yellow skirt all in size 2.  
What follows is my experinces with these skirts so far.

Run # 72 S'ghetti and I rocking our skirts

The Pink one.  It is super cute and comfortable.  The inner shorts did not run up on any of my runs.  The skirt was just the right length to move as I ran without becoming a distraction.  The Pink one did become nearly saturated during several of my runs in VA and did not slip down from the extra water weight however, carrying my cell phone in the side pocket (I had placed it there while getting ready and then forgot to take it out and put it in the stroller) did cause the skirt to fall down. 
My verdict.  I love this skirt!  It made me feel like I carried myself better simply by looking a bit nicer while I was running.  I did not notice the skirt at all during the runs which is what I am looking for in workout clothes; looking good without having to fuss with my outfit along the way.

The Blue one.  It too was cute and comfortable.  I did notice that I had to pull the skirt up higher on my waist or it felt loose.  This did not fully register until it was too late.  I did feel like I ran better simply by caring about how I looked while I was running.  The first few runs the inner shorts kept bunching up.  I assumed that this can happen from time to time with tight "biker" shorts as your body weight changes throughout the month or your stride differs on runs. 
Then came the run in the rain.  Downpour really.
I had planned to run a bit longer looking for around 10 miles in one run so when it rained on us (thank God for the weathershield) I did not think about cutting short and going home.  It only rained for about 10 minutes but I and my clothes were drenched!  It cooled me off but immediately my Blue skirt would not stay up.  You may have noticed my pace on that run was around 9:18 that was due to all the stopped to pull up my skirt. 
I tried to wring out some water but nothing helped. 
My thoughts, since I have no verdict yet. 
 Could one skirt be that much bigger than the other even though they are the same size?
Should I try a smaller size?
Are running skirts simply not good for running in "conditions"?
Long distance running.  Can a running skirt really hold up to the sweat fest of an ultra?

I have yet to wear the yellow one fearing that the running skirt will not make the ultra cut, I may have to run in my shorts again to have my outfit chosen for the race next weekend. 

For those who have logged miles in running skirts, any thoughts?  Or fixes?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Waiting on a Water Heater

Doesn't it always happen this way?  You go away to relax and escape the normal day-to-day responsiblities in your life only to come home to a bigger mess than you left!
That is what we found when you came home from the stay-cation at the VA house.
At first I thought it might be a case of our dog-sitters (aka helpful family members) simply using the washing machine, over flowing it and not wanting to 'fess up about it.
However, after repeated attempts to mop up and dry out my laundry room I finally conceded on Sunday evening that in fact the slow leak was coming from my 22+ year old water heater.  Luckily Hubbs was home all day Monday and was able to wrestle the old one out and install a wonderful hybrid water heater in it's place.

Run # 70 (6.5 / 53:xx)

We had to wait for him to get home with the new tank so what would I do with a bit of time to kill?  Well, LBM and I hit the road for our miles and sweat session of course.  I wore my new blue running skirt with a top that I haven't be brave enough to wear for a long time!
Yes, I did come over to the Running Skirt side - times 3!  Thanks to a great clearance sale.  Thanks Tonia!
I will be sharing my two-cents about them in a later post and looking for some opinions. 
Plus some great giveaways that I was lucky enough to win!

LBM did NOT want to stop playing!

LBM and S'ghetti girl were BIG helpers when Daddy got home!

Sometimes staying out of the way IS being a helper!

After run # 70 we played outside until Hubbs returned with the hot water heater.  For the kiddos the biggest hit was not the advertised heating costs but the giant BOX in which to play for the next week!
Then we all tried to be helpful but the project took until after 10:30 needless to say baths were cold last night!

Run # 71 (3.5 / 28:08) Wore the same outfit from last night

This morning LBM was up super early so I got out for my run before the day got hot...sorta.  But I was able to get the kids around a little bit earlier and avoid the usual morning rush-fest!
Hubbs goes back to VA to begin a temporary assignment.  Temporary as in 93 days. 

With race coming up (The Skyline Challenge Trail 50k) July 10th I hope Hubbs is still able to support me aka take care of the kiddos and hopefully cheer me into the finish line and potentally carry me around when my legs die.  So anyone wanting to volunteer to play pit crew or run a little race in the woods feel free to send me an email!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pretty Big Shoes to Fill

After run #68 we went swimming!

As I talked briefly about in yesterday's post, I made a few observations about VA while we were there stay-cationing at the VA house.
I really like where we are now so VA has some mighty big shoes to fill!

background:  We have a house in PA where the kids and I live.  Hubbs has been live/working away due to his military/professional choices/obligations.  We recently purchased a house in VA with the thought that this may be a place where the entire family might live (someday) while keeping our orginal home in PA for weekends and coming back since our families all live in PA.

My observations of VA (as defined as the area around our VA home not the entire state.  I haven't run that far yet!)  from a runners view point.

  • VA does not have berms or shoulders along the roads.

  • People in VA do not believe in mowing the road right-of-way along their property

  • VA DOT does not use weed/posion control in the road right-of-way

  • VA gets hot

  • VA DOT did not change the topology much when installing the road surface

  • People in VA do not think their dogs will bite

  • VA does not provide any opportunity if you need to "cop-a-squat"

  • VA drivers are (mostly) willing to get over and not crowd a runner off the road

  • In VA I can run right out my front door

  • VA gets hot, did I mention that?

  • VA believes in private property signs on side roads

  • VA does not have hills...mountains maybe but no hills
Now the comparasion to where I am in PA.

  • PA has wide hard and soft shoulders

  • People in PA mow at least the road right-of-way along their property (usually more)

  • PA DOT (and twp/boros) use weed/posion control

  • PA does not get as hot

  • PA DOT believed in making clear lines of sight for drivers and pedestrians

  • People in PA don't think their dogs bite

  • PA provides many opportunities to "cop-a-squat"

  • In PA I can run right out my front door

  • PA drivers are willing to get over (they are used to me after all these years and if they didn't I'd remind them about when I saw them again since I know everyone!)

  • PA does not have any private property signs on side roads (where I live)

  • My PA routes are hilly (and I like it!)
There are my insights after about a week at the VA house. 
I am sure I will find more things out about the new area as we spend more time there.

Whenever you are in a new area (visiting family or vacationing) what do you look for in running?
Is a hotel treadmill good enough? or do you want that outdoor experince?  Do you need a public park/trail or do you like to hit the open road solo?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What I did on my Stay-cation

Xterra Xduro

I have been a bad blogger for the past week.  But I did have a good reason.

We had planned to go to our family reunion in Florida however with the new home purchase followed shortly but Hubbs lack of employment we choose to vacation at the VA house.
Our time started with a trip to Hershey Park which I already spoke about briefly and will post about when I have more time.  It was as always a great day!
The kids and I packed up and headed south.
First was the Xterra.  It was a great course but a HUGE dissapointment when they cut the course short.
The best part of the day was meeting Tonia and her family.

Disappointed but still smiling.

While Hubbs did some Reserve duty, the kids and I spent some time getting familiar with the area.  I ran an expanding route each day to find safe places to run with LBM in the jogger.

As I was running I made a few observations about VA.  I am eager to share them with you in a later post.

Did I mention it is HOT in VA!

After one of many afternoon runs.  What was I thinking? 
Stay-cation time gets my body clock all messed up.

Finally no more air mattress!

We made a trip to Sams Club for a new bed!  Finally a night of sleep in comfort.  It was wonderful AND the first night LBM slept through the night in VA!  He must have known mom and dad wanted to enjoy their new bed.

One of the nice side roads I ran on

It was so hot and hazy and some routes didn't provide much shade but it was pretty scenery everywhere.

LBM ready to roll

Most runs LBM napped while I explored the area.  We discovered 4 dogs on the route but only one that was eager to come out at us.  On following days, that dog was not outside. 

I was able

Run from your cubicle

Hubbs had a "company" picnic and signed us up for a 5k.  That was a nice suprise!  It was also a suprise to find out that it was a cross country/trail run.  Oh and of course it was HOT! 
Hubbs did great.  It is really only the third time he has ran since his knee surguries.
I pulled a rookie mistake and forgot to retie my shoes before the race and they both came untied while I was running.  Duh!

Run from your cubicle - first female

I was able to get them both quickly tied and finish in
23:58 good enough that morning for first female. 

It was even hot for the race supporters

After the race we cleaned up and head off to the picnicing.  They had music, activities for the kids; face paining, sand art, snow cones (longest line!), bounce houses, bull riding...

LBM loved the bounce house

We went to Winchester to meet up with a friend of Hubbs from AFG.  She was on her way to Spokane to be with her husband who is ill.  We had a wonderful meal in the downtown walking mall. 

View of the walking mall

Even the kids enjoyed getting out in the evening air for a walk while Hubbs caught up with his friend for some grown up talk. 

S'ghetti girl wearer dad's shades at night

So now I am back in PA.  We came home early since VA was being hit with such hot weather.  We spent our first day home running errands, swimming and well, running.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A good piece of advice

When I have too much time on my hands I often end up accomplishing less.
I am off work for the week spending some time at the new house in VA.
First off, it's hot!
This is not the situation where I should be waiting until 1 o'clock in the afternoon to get out for my run however that is exactly what happened yesterday and it looks promising again for today.  Ugh!

Thank goodness for shade!
43 days ~ 63 runs

With loads of things to get done and hubbs doing Reserve duty during the day I have to squeeze in what miles I can.  I would like to get up early and run before Hubbs leaves but with LBM not sleeping well in unfamiliar surroundings getting up early is not easily done.
Plus a brand new mattress didn't help the get up early efforts!

A treat after my nap on the run

We got in 7.77 miles ~ that was just how the distance worked out.  I am still in the process of finding suitable routes here.  I carried water and LBM napped the entire way.
I have found a realitively safe route that I have been extending with each run.  There are 4 dogs on this route, a decent amount of shade and one advice giving little old lady.
She was on her front porch when I went past her house which is on a dead end road.  So as I ran back past her house she was slowing finishing her walk out to the road.  I think it was something that took her quite a bit of effort to accomplish. 

Running skirt ~ run approved!

As LBM and I ran by her she offered me some advice perhaps she believed I hadn't thought of it before, "Don't let that little babe get away from you!"
I thought, Oh someday it will happen but probably not for another 16 years.  Until then I'll hold on tight!

Monday, June 21, 2010

If you give my Son Sunglasses...

...he'll need help to put them on.
When you stop to put them on he'll notice the flowers along the road.

As you explain that we shouldn't pick those flowers he'll probably decide he needs more snack.  After giving him a snack you'll need to stop again because he'll need a drink to go with it.

When you give him your drink he will choose to spill some in his tray so he'll need a paper towel to wipe it up.

When you stop to give him the paper towel to clean up the mess he will stand up in his seat.
As you try to get him to sit back down he'll complain about the sun and when you go to give him his sun glasses...

.....you'll have trouble finding them again.

Barefoot Angie Bee is hosting a Nuun Giveaway for her anniversary!
This should be no surprise since this amazing barefoot running mom of  three recently got a job with Nuun. 
She has also be streaking!  Okay, Angie is a progressive runner blazing new trails but not that kind of streaking.  The running without a rest day kind!  Go Angie!!
With all that and loads of other tasks Angie somehow holds it all together.
If you don't know her yet get over there and catch up with an inspiring running mother!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Xterra Trail Race Recap (Run# 61)

Boy do I have a lot to catch you all up on!
But for now you'll have to settle with knowing I am still going strong on my 100 Runs Challenge and I ran my trail 21k...well, sort of.

After spending Thursday in Hershey Park and then driving to VA house on Friday we headed to Richmond for the night.
With all the extra activity it is a wonder that I slept the night before the race but Hubbs slept with LBM - who slept through the night!! - so that I could get some rest.  When morning came I was up and ready while the rest of the family slept.
Since we were within minutes of the start line, I let the family sleep as long as possible and when I finally woke them they were quickly ready to go.
It was already warm when we got the the packet pickup but I didn't think it was going to be an unexpected issue. 

After potty stops, shopping some of the sponsor's tents and getting our photo taken by the helpful gentleman; I was ready for final instructions and the start.

Since I don't have the recall of some of you, bring on the bullets:

  • I started pretty close to the front
  • the first few miles were urban "trails"
  • the remainder of the race was single track trails
  • it got hot
  • I did not carry my own water
  • a gingerbread gu is a wonderful friend!
  • Not everyone who runs trails is nice
  • the last 3/4 of the races I felt like I could run forever
  • they shortened the race without telling us - grrrrrr
  • I love trail races
  • If you run a race with the plan to "kick" the last few miles - its upsetting to have them taken away
  • My family was not due back until 2 - 2:30 hours after the start
  • I sweat...a lot.

So when the family finally came, I forgot all about taking pictures so this is me once we were back to the truck.  I felt like I still have more to give since I missed the opportunity to push it on the last few miles.  I wish they had told us in the begining about the change - I overheard talk that it was known by race officials before the start that the course would be shortened.

They are going swimming and I am still dripping wet!

Alittle muddy after the race

Upside:  I got to go back to the hotel and shower.  The kids got to swim more.  I was able to work out a bloggy meet up with Tonia at Racing with Babes

We met for lunch at a great little place after being a half hour late (sorry, Tonia!).  It is completely a guy thing.  Why do we have GPS if we are not going it use it?  That's all I'm saying.
After lunch which I was in major need of after not eating breakfast - oh, except the gingerbread gu, we went for a walk to a local running store.
Tonia's hubbs, J who is really nice...and TALL.  Needed fitted for running shoes.  And s'ghetti girl had to get a new sweaty band to NOT share with mom!  It was a great time.
Tonia is just as nice and funny as she seems in her posts.  And her girls are honestly saying some of the funniest things! 
It was a great day.  I wonder how I'll top it tomorrow?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Do Groundhogs Eat Lucky Charms?

Run# 56 ~ 3.5 / 28:38

Yesterday was probably my last double until after the race Saturday.
I have to admit I am a little glad to have the race coming up.  I really enjoyed my run yesterday morning ~ after I got out there and started.  When I first woke up I was thinking that laying in bed seemed momentarily nicer.
But once I was running I was so glad I ran!

File this under "Things I see Along me Way"
Soaking wet baby groundhog

My evening run was the opposite.  I couldn't wait to get going and then after about 2 miles when the hills really get going and going and going, I could not wait to be done!  I didn't walk but I really wanted to.  Dead Legs!
I was slightly revived when LBM and I saw this little critter in the path.  I felt so bad for him.  LBM gave him a handful of the Lucky Charms he brought for his snack.  I don't know if groundhogs eat Lucky Charms but It helped LBM be able to not take the little critter home.
Come to think of it, he looked a lot like Little Critter you know from the story books.  Minus the blue eyeshadow and clothes.

Back to the run.  You can tell from the evening "after" shot that I look a lot more tired than I did in the morning and I don't think it was just the longer run.
100 runs maybe catching up to me.

Run #57 ~ 6.5 / 53:13

We were greeted happily after our run.  The dogs were ready to eat up whatever snacks LBM had left uneaten in his seat.  They are such helpers!

Ready for snack patrol.

LBM was eager to be free and run on the road.  He waited so nicely while I snapped a quick picture of me and the dogs but was a little too eager to wait while I took off my shoes.

Ready to run! 
Come on Mom!

We enjoyed our barefoot cool down but finally had to go inside and call it a day.

But this is what happens when LBM doesn't feel like he is ready to stop running yet...
Temper tanturm lately?
...and he is not even 2 yet.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Refusing to walk

Day 37
55 Runs
272 Miles

Run #54 (3.5 / 27:24)

I am still a little amazed that this streak has lasted this long.  But when a new morning comes, my legs feel good and I think, "You never regret the runs you take...."  So out of bed I go and on to the road. 

Happy to be done with s'ghetti girl

Tonight at about the last mile of my run I noticed my legs.  Meaning I felt them.  They were tired and really would have been happy to stop or at least walk.  But Shelly does not walk.  Have I ever told you that?  When I set a goal to run X distance.  I run X distance.  I don't walk.  Not that there is anything wrong if someone else chooses to walk.  It's just not something I do when I am running. 
This is a touchy subject so I will tread lightly because I do not want to discourage or offend anyone who is practicing a method that allows you to run longer distances by walking some of it.  In fact, if I do a 50 miler this fall, I will probably end up being forced to walk some of that race.  Maybe.

Do you allow yourself to walk during a run? 
Is it okay to walk during a race?

Run #55 (6.5 / 54:13)

I did not walk tonight.  Like I said, Shelly does not walk.  I just pushed through that tired feeling when I got to yet another hill and although my pace was a bit slow for me on this loop (since I've ran it for 2 decades!) I still felt strong when I finished and recovered quickly.  But as for the streak, it still continues - it refuses to walk too.
Who knows how far it can make it.

Tonia at Racing with Babes is hosting a Wooha Gear Giveaway!

Who is Tonia?
She is an amazing wife and mom of three who recently became a certified running coach.  She is busy trying to complete P90x while increasing her mileage.  Let me tell you that IS hard!  She somehow manages to pull it all together through sick kiddos, races and a hubbs who has to be away at times and looks amazing doing it!  She truly is inspiring.  So if you don't let know Tonia, get over there and tell her I sent you.

Who is Wooha?
What they say:

Inspire yourself...that is the goal Whooha Gear has set for you! Started by two women athletes, Whooha Gear provides athletic wear made for women by women. Our shirts and accessories have inspirational sayings for athletes that range from runners, climbers, triathletes, cyclists, hikers and much, much more.

We look forward to broadening the Whooha line to fit the needs of those women who are out there doing what they LOVE!!! Please feel free to contact us with your inspirations!!!
Click on their link and check out all their cool stuff.  Go on.  You know you want to.  Maybe a new shirt for that next race or because it Tuesday.  Whatever the reason, hop over and check it out.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Running this weekend

It's late already.  Where does the weekend go? 
We did accomplish more this weekend than just running but for now the running review will have to do.

Run #51 - I finished my Friday with a double.  (a.m. 3.5 / 28:44 and p.m. 6.5 / 54:07)
I really need these temps to ease up.  I can not imagine "racing" in this heat. 

Friday evening #51

Saturday LBM and I went out for a single run.  The activites of the day combine with the heat to make just one run enough!  Run #52 (3.5 / 28:29) 

LBM ready to keep the streak going.

As you can see even after a cool down, I am still rather red faced.  When will I learn that it is ALWAYS better to get out first thing in the morning?

Saturday #52

No photo of Sunday's run #53 (3.5 / 26:53)  I figure you probably tired of seeing me all sweaty anyway.  We spent most of Sunday by the pool.  So as you can see I did rest from the double digits and double runs most of the weekend.  I am hoping that will do the trick to help my legs be a bit fresher for the race this Saturday. 

Where will this 100 Runs end?  The poll was nearly tied. 
I still have not made a decision and I may simply allow life and how I am feeling make the decision for me.  But for now, my body is saying let's do it and I am eager to see how far I can get.