Daily Chatter

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Three Things Thursday ~ The Gear Edition

Recently I won this fabulous Savvy Tank from MCM Mama HERE when she hosted a MPG Mondetta Performance Gear giveaway.  I already knew from Erika's review that the items she reviewed ran "small." 
I chose a bright coral Savvy tank in medium.  As you can see in the photo above, it is snug.  Although I don't usually like things too tight, I am wearing it quite often now that the temperatures call for cooler clothes.  It also helps remind me to push a little harder in my workouts so that I can pull it on one day and feel it get a bit looser.  It also helps remind me to keep my core engaged while I am running.

Despite the snugness this top is actually very nice.  It is very well made. 
It's color is even brighter than the photos shows.  I like that!
It is a tech material and wicks sweat very nicely.  It is doing a decent job even through my Insanity workouts.
There is a little zippered pocket on the lower back.  I haven't yet used it but I could see stashing a Gu and keys there on long runs.
So far the perma-stink factor has been non-existent.  This top washes up very well.
Thanks again to MCM Mama for a great new addition to my otherwise often repeating wardrobe.

I was the lucky recipient of a Columbia Titanium Cool Rules Short Sleeve Top in Oxide Blue.
What they say make this shirt great. 
Omni-Wick® - Advanced Evaporation
Moisture transferring technology that moves and disperses sweat away from the body for quick evaporation, keeping you comfortable during physical activity.

Omni-Shade® - Sun Protection
Omni-Shade sun protection technology helps block damaging UV rays from reaching your skin, allowing for more carefree hours in the sun.

Omni-Freeze® - Advanced Cooling
Our thermal transfer technology disperses body heat, keeping you significantly cooler in hot weather, so you can stay out longer.

I'd say what makes this shirt great is the fact that it doesn't even feel as though you are wearing it.  This shirt is seriously the lightest running top I have ever worn.  While trying it out in TN, VA and PA I was concerned about wearing even short sleeves due to the heat and humidity however, the back and sides of this top has a kind of waffle texture and I never once felt the sun beating down on my back.  It is this same texture that I would have to field test longer to make sure it would not chafe if I was wearing my camelbak for an ultra distance run.
During my short and medium length runs that I have taken it on and during my Insanity workouts this top has lived up to it's claims.  I was kept cool, relatively dry (during Insanity I believe dry is impossible) and chafe free. 


This week is week 3 of Beachbody's Insanity plus a fairly normal running schedule.  After all the hectic traveling over the past extended weekend I am beat!  Seriously jet lagged. 
Can you be jet lagged when you travel by car?
I made the decision Sunday evening when we didn't get back to PA until well after midnight that I would need to adjust my running schedule to recover not from all the workouts but from all the sitting in a car for hours on end.  The adjustments I made were to "cut out" my morning run for the past four days.  While I know that my body and mind have benefited from a little extra rest and recovery, it is often difficult for me to give up the numbers that I am used to seeing each week and month.  
June will be my lowest mileage month of 2011.  
I don't really like that fact until I look in the mirror and see the changes that fitting in cross training is accomplishing for me.  I remind myself that in ultra trail events; the events that I love to do, I will need my entire body to help carry me not just my legs.  With my sights set on the path to 100, I know that I need to change my way of thinking and get it in gear

I was provided with the Columbia shirt free of charge for me to field test in exchange for my honest review.  My experience with this product and resulting review is based on my honest opinion.  Your experience may vary.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The TN mini-cation

Our mini-cation started Wednesday evening after working all day, I picked up the little kids and headed home to gather our bags and get Army Son
who isn't in the Army any more so he'll need a new bloggy name soon.
We drove the 3+ hours to our VA house thinking that we were planning to drive through the night after meeting the MIL and FIL however they had decided to spend the night in VA with us.

After a night's rest in VA I headed out bright and early for my morning run and then we headed south.

At first I was in our truck with the kids but with the MIL and FIL driving their mini-van it wasn't long before I joined them for a little more leg room.

It was hard to leave this much back seat fun!

Once in TN we briefly checked into our condo and then it was off to Mexican Night with the extended family.

Ready for some fun!

We took over the place.  We enjoyed catching up with family we don't get to see often. 
We eat wonderful food. 

We left a mess!  With full bellies we head back to our condo needed some sleep only to be kept awake by a huge thunderstorm!  Although the mattresses in our condo were so hard I doubt we would have slept much anyway.

Even though I didn't feel very rested I was determined to get out early so that the rest of my day was open for family fun.   
 Hubbs was going golfing with his uncle and the kids and I were hitting the beach but not before I admired some of the amazing properties in the area.
You can file this under:  Things I see along my way.

I also also a Raw Water project going on in the area.  Working in the water industry, I had to stop and talk with a crew member.  What a geek!

After a HOT run and Insanity we were off to the beach.
Army son decided to forgo listening to his mother the sunscreen and lay in the sun...in TN sun!

With my hands full making sure LBM didn't drown himself, I neglected to wake up remind Army son that he was in the sun and still had not put on sunscreen. 

Photo refused by Army son

Once I noticed that Army son was french fried getting a little too much sun, the little kids played on the playground to get into the shade.   

S'ghetti girl was all about the photo-op' in her new bathing suit.  But she really needs sunglasses.
What do you do?  If your kids wear glasses do you usually buy prescrip sunglasses for them?

I could hang at the beach the entire vacation but with Army son feeling the effects of too much unprotected sun time it was back to the condo to clean up and meet up with Hubbs for the shrimp boil.

The little cousins enjoyed getting to know each other.

Family reunions are very hands on in this family.
We had a great time working together to prepare the meal while the cousins rode four-wheelers and caught up on all things fun.

Day # 412 

Hubbs and I shared Running Partner Appreciation Day by sharing a run while Army son watched the sleeping little ones.  Thanks dude!
It was the second longest run he has taken since his knee surgery.  Although it was challenging due to the heat and elevation, he proved that he can outpace me in the short distance every time!
Nothing like keeping me in my place.

After our run we got a call that MIL had twisted her ankle the evening before after leaving the shrimp boil. 
Maybe a little too much wine?!? 
She had iced it through the night but it was still very painful and swollen. 
They were going to the hospital for x-rays. 

The official family reunion luncheon was held at the state park.  It was a nice gathering of many of our extended family. 

Some of the older cousins were already planning their next way to escape spending time with the grownups activity,
laser tag.  We enjoyed our meal and conversation although we were still waiting for an update on MIL.  Finally word came that they would not make it to the luncheon the ankle was broken.

After the news the MIL had broken her ankle, FIL asked us if we would head back that evening so that we could share the driving and they could break up the 11+ hour drive by sleeping for a while at our VA house.
We all decided to finish our day at the beach while FIL got prescriptions and packed up to leave that evening.

Although our time was short in TN we always enjoy getting to spend time with extended family and our own.

Even though things didn't go as smoothly as we might have liked, nothing beats a little time away together.  I am impressed with how my family has grown to be able to simply roll with our circumstances.  
This will be a mini-cation to remember and one my MIL will likely not live down anytime soon. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Extra Life

I always wanted to make my parents proud but lately I've been feeling a bit like a thief.

There is nothing like the feeling of an early morning run.  That stillness as you slip out of the house while everyone else is asleep.  The quiet as you moving along the road or trail seemingly the only one alive.

It feels a little bit like stealing.
Like stealing a little extra life.

I believe that running will allow me to live a longer life but I've also come to believe that running will allow me to live more of the life I have already been given.  Those stolen hours that I might have otherwise slept away.  Those evenings spent not in front of the tv mindlessly watching someone else live their lives but spent sweating, working and loving it!  Some times with kiddos playing around my feet.  Some times after their asleep in their beds, I'm stealing more life from the time I have.

When my non-running friends want to tell me how I am missing out on life by all this running I just smile in response knowing that I'm living far more life than they are probably dreaming of!

Monday, June 27, 2011


What I Wore This Week
In a effort to change my habit of wearing the same thing day after day
and not washing it nearly enough
I bring you WIWTW to help keep me accountable.

Sunday ~ p.m. run 6.5 miles

Monday p.m. run ~ 7 miles + Insanity

Tuesday p.m. run ~ 6.5 holy sh** she's trying to kill me miles + Insanity

Wednesday a.m. run ~ 3.5 miles
Before the 3.5 hour drive

Thursday a.m. run ~ in VA 7.5 miles
Before the 7+ hour drive

Friday a.m. run ~ in TN 8 miles + Insanity

Saturday a.m. run ~ in TN 7.5 miles
before the 7.5 hour drive

My miles are down this weekend and I didn't get my Insanity done every day but I didn't enjoy running in different places.  I enjoyed proving to myself that I can run everyday.  I enjoyed getting to run with Biking Sherpa and Hubbs this week.  I am glad I found ways to fit purposeful exercise into my days even when I am traveling. 
I did get a bit lazy in my running-wear chooses while on mini-cation even though half of my suitcase was running gear, I'll work on that on the next trip.

How did you do on adding variety to your workout wardrobe this week?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Things I See Along My Way ~ A Nature Stop

Things I See Along My Way ~ A Nature Stop
that's not to be confused with a nature call.

To say I am a bit of a nature freak would be putting it mildly right on the money!  If you have followed me long you know that I say, "Shelly doesn't walk on the road"  meaning when I am out of a run, I am out for a run.  I don't want to stop.  I don't want to talk (to people along the way). I don't want to slow down let alone walk.  The clock is ticking.

But there are exceptions to that road rule.

Nature would be the biggest exception to my rule.

I will stop to get a close up look at bugs, flowers, weeds, cats, turtles, snakes, frog, dogs, cows, muskrats, ergrets...oh and anything baby.  Pretty much any cool living thing that can't talk to me, I'll stop to check out.

It's annoving to some around me because they have to endure the three dozen photos of all that nature when I get back...and the delay it some times causes.

But by far the coolest bit of nature I saw along my way recently, I saw sitting on the back deck in Virginia long after my run.

A baby praying mantis. 
I can't believe that in all my looking I have never seen one this little.  If it hadn't decided to check me out by running up my arm I would never have seen it.  To think we share a world with creatures that we are only luck if we see is amazing.  Our brief exchange was priceless.
I love when my routine often ordinary life can still feel amazing to me.

Do you stop for nature when you run?
Have you seen anything lately that amazed you?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why do you take a vacation?


Why do you take a vacation?

I take a vacation to see a new place, visit family, share time with my own family or escape the routine or stress of my normal home life.  I take a vacation to leave behind the thing I don't enjoy.  I want to experience something new.  I want to relax.  I want to learn.  I want to have fun...all without a time clock.
But one thing I do not want to do is take a vacation from my fitness.
 Yep.  That's right!
When I go on vacation I still get up early and go run. 

I plan to have what ever amount of time I can or feel I need to stay on track for the goals I have set on my racing schedule. 
This summer our family has a variety of mini-cations planned.  I took the little kids to an amusement park.

Even though I knew I'd be on my feet running from one end of the park to the other, I still got up early that morning and went for my run. 

Did I need too? 
You might think the answer is No but I feel you'd be wrong.

Let's look at the facts:

~  I easily woke up in time to fit in a run.
~  I felt as though I could give my entire day to the kids because I had already done something good for me.
~  The kids enjoyed a happier mommy since I had already released all those wonderful feel good hormones
~  I was able to eat a little bit of not-so-healthy park food and not feel quite as guilty
~  I have made a commitment to daily purposeful exercise and I am keeping it
~  I not only tell others that daily exercise is essential, I show them

In terms of my overall fitness or race readiness missing a workout or two at anytime whether the excuse be vacation or laziness will probably not have a negative effect...any where but your mind. 
 It usually shows up in a marathon about mile 19 or 22 or in a 50 miler at about mile 33 when self doubt arrives.

I love running.  I am committed to purposeful movement every single day.  While it may not always be defined as running, it might be backpacking through the Grand Canyon or hiking the Appalachian Trail or zip lining in some tropical forest, whatever it becomes I will be doing it every day because I love it!

So now tell me, do you take a vacation from fitness?
Tell me why.  Make me see it your way. 
If you can't, maybe you can see it mine?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

....AP...Breaking News...

....it has been confirmed that as of June 21st, 2001 at 7:30 p.m. EST a previously held belief has been disproved.

The famous Biking Sherpa known for her works in educating the minds of the future, tormenting her siblings and encouraging runners to nearly die of heat stroke.
has actually sweat!

We have photographic evidence and an eye witness account that Biking Sherpa, though previously thought incapable, has perspired.

Testimony from the eye-witness who requested to remain anonymous; ..."she didn't at first but by the end she was actually sweating!  I saw it on her face and back.  I don't think she was used to it."

What is the cause of such a revelation?

Beach Body Insanity - Pure Cardio

 Remember you heard it here first. I'm just a country runner returning you to your normally scheduled running news.

In other running news, Biking Sherpa has been charged with attempted heat stroke induction by forcing encouraging a runner to push her pace during a severe heat wave.  At press time charges were being dropped due to counter charges being filed citing the alleged torture of Biking Sherpa via forced extreme exercise following the run.  Both parties agreed to drop charges.
That's the running news at this hour. 
I'm just a country runner and I'll see you next time on the trail.

Day # 409