Monday, October 31, 2011

It's a Star Wars Halloween!

I love Halloween and so I was very excited when hubby walked out to get the annual Halloween pictures taken with the following outfit on. 
 Yep- Chewy!


We had fun dressing up in our Star Wars gear this year.  Princess Leia- I so wanted to be her in 1st and 2nd grade.  I wanted to be able to wrap my long auburn hair in side buns.  This head gear was as close as I could get. 

The kids had a great time trick or treating with our neighbor girls.  My little Yoda had fun trying to keep up with the big kids.  Mason enjoyed telling everyone that Chewy was his dad. 


What a great Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gardening: who is it really helping?

So I am notorious for getting ideas in my head and diving in head first.  I tend to do this a lot in life.  First time I trained for Chicago Marathon I had never ran a competitive race of long distance (longest race was 200 meter in high school track) in my life.  I was in graduate school, was at the highest weight of my life (minus being pregnant), and didn't have the best eating patterns ( Stein night every Wed after class wasn't helping).  But I did it and it worked out o.k. for me.  Fast forward to 8 years later and I'm pretty much the same person who has tons of ideas bubbling in her head, but not always real logical before taking the leap into something.  I tell you all this because it is back story to my recent signing up to improve some gardens at Mason's school.  At the beginning of this school year I would walk my son by a butterfly garden at the school and couldn't believe the overgrown state of the garden.  A couple months into school and I just couldn't let the feeling go.  I didn't want to be one of those people who thinks something looks bad, but doesn't try to help make it better.  So about three weeks ago I started working on the garden.  I started by working on two small areas (first Friday I took Kate to daycare so I could figure out what kind of mess I'd signed up for).  Matt and the kids came the following day and Mason actually grabbed a rake and helped Matt take some tree limbs to the forest behind the school.  Kate, not into the gardening as much, but she really enjoyed playing on the playground.  The next week I did the same, but surprisingly another parent showed up on Saturday with her 2nd grade daughter in tow.  Mason and Kate had great fun playing with her while we worked on the garden.  This weekend was the same, except my mom and dad were visiting so they got involved too.  So there were 5 adults and three kids.  We weren't able to get all of the garden in tip top shape this year, but it definitely isn't overgrown anymore.  My mom's presence this weekend was helpful, but she also wanted to really work on details which when you have this big of a project sometime the "details" have to be left to next year. 

This all started the week after I ran Chicago.  Maybe this was my way of coping with the funk I've felt in the past following races/training.  I didn't have time to think about if I could have done more during training, or been sad that this marathon season was over.  The gardening gave me time, especially on Fridays, to be alone, be in peace with my hands in the dirt and for me manual labor keeps me sane.  Plus the day after gardening I had a soreness that comes with knowing that you have worked hard- similar to 20 mile runs.  Although the soreness was coming from different body parts I still felt like I had done something physical. 

The Saturday, especially the first one, when Matt and I were alone gardening I felt extremely happy.  Matt is not a big fan of gardening or yard work, but he got out there, put gloves on and dug in.  It was great to spend time together in that way.  The other part I loved about these gardening excursions on Saturdays were how the kids reacted.  Kate I think thought it was the coolest to be able to play with Mason at his school.  Mason really enjoys working/helping me with projects and after the first and second weekend of gardening this weekend he asked if we would be going gardening on Saturday- he asked this with a "hopeful" not "annoyed" tone.  Gardening over the last few weeks has been good for me physically, emotionally and for my family.  It has told me that diving in and following one of my "crazy" ideas isn't always that bad or problematic.  I'm getting older and need to start realizing that embracing all of me- even my "crazy" ideas is going to make me a happier person.  So I close with many before/after pictures of our work in the garden.  I told my mom this weekend, " mom do you feel like we are in the 'secret garden' ?"  I think I will have to read that book to the kids next. 















Friday, October 28, 2011

Mommy's Project 52: bathing

I am going to kind of cheat and even though the following isn't exactly a bath story it is a "shower bath story".  I love sitting on the bath tub floor and letting the hot (I mean HOT) water hit my body.  I have always loved "shower baths".  I remember being little, really little and being a morning person as a child and after my dad would get in the shower, every morning getting ready for work, I would come into the bathroom and lay a towel down and lay on the floor between the toilet and the bath tub and put my ear up to the bathtub base and listen to the sound of the falling water. This sound would almost soothe me back to sleep.  I would sneak out before my dad finished his shower.  He, like me, is known for being a long showerer.  My mom jokingly says that he sleeps in the shower.

My parents no longer live in my childhood home, not that I could fit between the toilet and bathtub as a grown adult.  I still love that sound of running/shower water.  In fact I love the sound of rain/thunderstorms etc too.   I function much better with a shower to start my day in the morning and I sleep much better with a shower before bed time: hence, a good day is a 2 shower day.  I'm definitely not being "green" by my shower/bath routine, but it is one of those little things in my life that makes me happy. 

My kids still love baths, but also enjoy showers.  My son doesn't seem to appreciate the lengthy shower or bath where as my daughter loves to be in the warm water.  We may have to fight over the HOT water as she gets older. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Two down, 8 to go

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair:
My Year of Magical Reading
Nina Sankovitch

The first time I heard about this author and her book was in the Sunday Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times.  The story goes: 46 year old sister Anne-Marie dies of bile duct cancer and Nina, the youngest sister copes with her death by taking a year to read a book every day. This idea of using books to cope with grief was  interesting.  Even more interesting and appealing was the thought of reading a book a day for a year.  This is what got me started on thinking about looking at my own book list and picking 10 books to read over the next four months (not including book club picks).  

 It is a memoir and anyone who enjoys reading and books will likely love this book, at least I hope, as much as I did.  I wanted to share my favorite quotes/parts of the book and I do apologize if this type of quoting sharing of the book annoys you readers out there who want to read it from it's virgin state- if so turn away from this post NOW!  

page 73: Because words are witness to life: they record what has happened, and they make it all real.  Words create the stories that become history and become unforgettable.  Even fiction portrays truth: good fiction is truth.  Stories about lives remembered bring us backward while allowing us to move forward.
I love the like about how "good fiction is truth"- totally agree with this!

page 89: The purpose of great literature is to reveal what is hidden and to illuminate  what is in darkness. 
I thought this was a beautiful/elegant line.

page 101: People share books they love.  They want to spread to friends and family the goodness that they felt when reading the book or the ideas they found in the pages. 
I love sharing my books and I obviously love talking to others about books and I think it is because I want them to experience what I have experienced.  This goes along with my forever being a high expectation person: I expect/hope the borrower will have the same experience I did, but this isn't always possible because as a reader we all come to the book(s) with different lives/beings and that duplication of happiness may not be possible. 

page 174:  "No one wants you to try and do it all" Jack said to me... "You mean I shouldn't try to read and write and see friends and hang out with the kids and feed the family and do the laundry  and cook great meals..." I replied.
Jack is her husband.  This comment struck a chord with me.  I do try to do all those things and that is why I sometimes get bogged down and don't feel like I'm doing any of those things well- how could you do it all well if you are trying to accomplish so many things- take home note- I need to simplify. 

page 193: Act of kindness demonstrate, in the clearest possible way, that we are vulnerable and dependent animals who have no better resource than each other.  On Kindness by Adam Phillips and Barbara Taylor

page 197: "All love is sacred" is my grandmother's philosophy.

page 204: read anything, as long as you can't wait to pick it up again. Housekeeping vs The Dirt by Nick Hornby

page 210: I do need to talk about books. Because taking about books allows me to talk about anything with anyone.  When we discuss what we are reading, what we are really discussing is our own lives.
OMG- totally me!

page 217: But the meaning of my life is ultimately defined by how I respond to the joys and the sorrows, how I forge crossbars of connections and experience and how I extend help to others as they travel on their own winding road of existence. 
I liked these lines and thought appropriate at the end of her book.   

At the end of the book is a list of all 365 books she read throughout that year.  Since first hearing about Nina I now follow her blog:  http://www.readallday.org/blog/ .This book was "magical" for me and hope it is for some of you, but if not I won't take it personally :). 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

DIY- Chalkboard Wine Glasses

I found this idea from another blog:  http://www.babiesdesignfood.com/2011/07/diy-chalkboard-wine-glasses.html

Here is what one box of chalk, painter's tape, 4 wine glasses and chalkboard spray paint (FYI- went to Target, and Walmart before finding it at Michael's)
Wrap the painter's tape around the stem- found that overlapping helps prevent bleed through onto stem- also spray paint directly at base.



It was fun to write a b-day greeting on the bases.
My final product picture didn't turn out- so here is the above site's final product picture.  Wish I could stage my food, DIY, etc as good as this lady- her pictures are really pretty. 

This was a fun craft, easy and rather reasonable b-day gift.  She also did beer glasses too. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mommy's Project 52: time-out

Nope, not mine.  Both of my kids never really did well with time-out.  They do/did o.k. with "go to your room".  I don't remember  time-out as a kid either. 
30 second timeout in B-ball

Funny how a time-out in sports means a halt in play.  Time-out for a kid(s) also means halt in play. 
However, how many of us adults are good at recognizing when we need our own time-out.  We go, go, go, and then we get tired, fatigue, and need re-fueling- not much different than time-out in sports.  A time to refuel and reenergize.  I need to do a better job realizing when I need my own time-out. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One down, 9 to go

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

I finished this book last night.  It was one of those books that is so emotionally disturbing, because it is historical fiction and hence you feel even worse knowing that the characters portrayed in this book were written from looking at other's lives and basically change of name was all that occurred.  Steinbeck every other chapter would write a narrative description about what was happening in the United States during the Depression with migrant workers.  Now these aren't migrant workers from Mexico, etc.  These are as Steinbeck writes "our own" people- just poor people.  Those chapters were normally short and he then followed the description with another chapter looking at specifically what the Joad family were experiencing with their migration to California.  It is unbelievable to think that people really lived like this and that they survived.  The book is not a feel good book, but I felt  like I was again reading about American History. 

Steinbeck's also wrote East of Eden, which is by far my favorite work by him.  If I had to pick I'd encourage you to read East of Eden first and then tackle Grapes.  The one thing I struggled with when finishing this book was how he let the story end.  This is sometimes a common complaint I have with books I can't put down- I'm sometimes disappointed in the ending.  This was not one of those books, but I still felt at the end like he didn't really know how to wrap the story up.  However, I think this is his writing style and so purposeful. 

I leave you with my favorite line(s) from the book.  I'm moving on to Tolstoy and the Purple Chair- started it last night in fact after finishing Grapes of Wrath.  I could tell within 5 pages this will be a great story! 

The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed.  And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quicklime, and watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath.  In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.

JohnSteinbeck TheGrapesOfWrath.jpg

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Big day changed "about me" on blog

So my "About Me" has changed today.  I'm no more "almost 35 year old mother" I am "35 year old mother".  Some women/men/people don't enjoy their b-days.  I actually enjoy mine full heartedly.  I enjoy the cake/fanfare/cards/well wishes/dinner out with family.  Today I turned 35 and went and ran 4 miles at 5:30 a.m. with my BRB and did our normal therapy session.  It was a great way to start off the a.m. - hug and "happy b-day" in the a.m. hitting the road to run 4 miles in the nice cool, star light of morning.  Work was good today and many well wishes and cards, etc graced my desk.  Unfortunately, with increase in age I am now hitting the reality that my friends and even myself are at risk to lose our loved ones.  I went to a visitation for a friend who lost her father this past Friday.  My friend has always amazed me, because as I am in visitation line she says out loud- somebody's b-day is today- always so selfless and focused on others as she has to stand next to her father's casket for 9 + hours visitation today.  Hugging her teared me up and reminded me that enjoying your b-day is so worth it because the alternative isn't that happy- not enjoying another b-day.  So I leave you with pics of my precious kids who along with my hubby made from scratch smores cupcakes- they were yummy! If you have a b-day coming up or within the this year or next :)- please enjoy it!  It is a day to celebrate life and all things great about your's. 


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goals for 2012- No it's not New Year's Eve

but it kind of feels like it as I compose this post.  So as to not fall off the wagon of training/running I decided I'd take the week off running and think about what I want to do this next year.  Well it is hard to believe, but it has been a week and today I was back on the road again for a good 5 miler. 
Retired the marathon saucony Progrid Ride 3 after the marathon.  These are the new ones I found at the Marathon Expo- these shoes are no longer being made so I was ecstatic to find one pair left on the shelf.

So here goes my goals for 2012 (starting a little early :)).
1. Do Yoga at least once weekly- either class or home video, etc.
2. Run a 1/2 marathon under 2 hours.
3. Run Chicago Marathon- this would be a first for me- running two consecutive years in a row.
4. Run 1,000 +++ miles in 2012 
5. Do the Oswego Triathlon

Seems kind of gutsy goals, but you know me and my grandiose ideas, guess that is what makes me- me. 

The races I plan to sign up for are the Sunburst 1/2 marathon in South Bend, the Rock N Roll Chicago 1/2 Marathon July 22, tri sprint in Oswego in August and Chicago marathon in October. 

In order to meet some of my goals above I will need to fulfill other mini-goals.  For instance, working on speed work, getting back in the pool and swimming, and some cross training on the bike.  More posts to come on how I will work on improving in all of those areas.  So I leave you with a couple of shots of me from the race last week.  I still can't believe a week has gone by.
O.K. I think you might be able to see my brown streaked shirt- seriously no idea what was going on with my body during the race.
The girl next to me is smiling trying to put on her best "picture face" either that or she is smelling my wonderful "marathon" aroma.


We run through some really pretty streets in Chicago- I love the ones that brown stones line and people are out with their families, tailgating as they watch the marathon- no really it reminds me of fall tailgating.

I really do love running in this town.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mommy Project 52: Rewarding

As I'm entering this 2 minutes before Midnight central time- one could say tonight has been a rewarding night. O.k. again ironic that tonight's post of choice for Mommy Project 52 is Rewarding.  I just finished training and running a marathon and so was rewarding myself with the following (see I even put the 2011 Chicago Marathon Metal in the picture with the brie wrapped in crescent roll- my signature dish and my BRB's buffalo cheese dip).

"tastes like butter" cheese, apples, grapes and cheesecake platter

BRB called this a "Natalie Pour", but it really isn't because half of the wine glass is still visible (clear with no wine filling it's space) :).
No really I love rewarding myself.   I endulged on buffalo dip, brie wrapped in crescent roll, bread, cheese with the description of "tastes like butter", cheese cake and a "natalie pour"or couple wine glasses of some red wine and some more red wine as a reward to all I've accomplished over the last 4 months.  I'm a total sucker for rewards. Some may think it is weak, but I'm all about rewarding  hard work or any accomplishment.   I think if you work hard and do your best then some reward should come of it. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicago Marathon 2011- I did it!


Picture from Chicago Expo Nike booth- this says how I fell today a day following the Marathon- I did
"Own It"!

I can't believe it is over.  I can't believe how hard and fast I ran.  Unfortunately I didn't get my PR of   4:23:21 which occurred at the Chicago 2009 marathon.  However, as I've told many of my running peeps following yesterday's race I'm surprisingly feeling o.k. with the fact that I didn't get my PR.  I really felt I ran my best race for yesterday.  I've had many emotions during the week up to the marathon, yesterday and today.  Last week I was feeling hypersensitive to any pain my body was experiencing.  Yesterday, other than the pain most people experience while running 26.2 miles I didn't have any monumental pain.  Today, the only pain I have is in my quads walking down stairs- which is strange because I had no quad pain all yesterday. 

The race was typical for me in the aspect of me always going out faster than I normally do.  I struggle with whether this hinders me or helps me.  If I went out slower would I be able to go faster in the long run? or would I still feel totally done in the middle (which historically I have noticed the last two marathons experiencing mental and physical fatigue midway through race)?  Maybe next year I'll try to slow the beginning down, but in all honesty probably not.  I felt like this marathon was the most congested for me running.  I did a lot of bobbing and weaving in the beginning trying to get past people and trying to get out from behind 6 ft or taller runners who were blocking my ability to see the street and what was coming in front of me (Chicago streets can be hazardous to runners if not running with eyes ahead looking for divots/pot holes etc).  Mile 4-5 I was running along at a good pace and felt a tap on my shoulder- I thought it was another runner trying to get by me- I received a couple of elbows by other runner either trying to pass me or I pass them- nope here is my college friend who I haven't seen in probably 2 + years  (we were in each other's wedding- that kind of friend)  tapping me on my shoulder to say "hi" as we both ran.  I checked her time today- she did great!  I did struggle a tad with whether I should stay with her- were we going to reconnect with chat on the course or was it all business for chattynatty- it was all business.  Seeing her messed with me a little bit mentally- we were very close during college and during both our weddings and then our friendship lost its closeness and so I started thinking about the typical: what went wrong, etc?   Then I got a grip about 2 miles later and refocused my energy and mental focus on the job at hand.  I saw my family around mile  3, 13/14 and then again at mile 16.  I love knowing that they are going to be there cheering me on.  Before I saw them at mile 16 I hit a little block because I had to eat my sports beans.  I'm not very coordinated when it comes to eating GU, eating beans, or drinking from an open container while running.  So the only time I walked during the race is through every Gatorade/Water station (which they had one at almost every mile on the course) and when eating the sports beans.  I tried running and chewing beans in the past and almost gagged myself- so walked while chewing the beans- looking back maybe I walked a little too long there, but really that was the only time I walked.  Of course when you run for that long and aren't extremely fast you always want to walk, but my thought process was if I walked that was time I was losing and I really wanted to try and beat my PR.  It didn't work out, but again feel lucky to have done my best.  Below is a copy of my splits- what I ran at different times of the race. This to show all you runners how even when you don't think there is anymore to give you can kick it in at the end- I love kicking it in at the end.

My age group was 30-34 (I'll be old lady next year with 35-39 year olds :).
Place for age 860, Place total 14995 and time total 4:27 :08 (10:11 min mile-average)

Split             Time        Min/Mile    Miles/Hr
5K/3.2mi     00:28:01   9:01            6.66
10K/6         00:57:28    9:29           6.33
15K/9.5      01:27:24    9:39            6.22
20K/12.5    01:58:32  10:01           5.99
half             02:05:23    10:04          5.97
25K/15.6   02:31:28   10:46          5.58
30K/18.7   03:06:30   11:17          5.32
35K/21.8   03:41:01   11:07          5.40
40K/25      04:13:41   10:31          5.70
26.2           04:27:08   9:52            6:09

I saw some great signs yesterday- there is always the infamous "Free Beer for Runners"- I definitely don't take advantage of that offer- I can't handle open containers of Gatorade/Water let alone an open container of alcohol.  There is also the infamous: "Don't Poop Your Pants"- I fortunately have not ever had that urge or done that during a race (very gross but it is known fact that some runners just are so focused on running their fastest they don't stop if the urge occurs).  Another favorite sign about Pride in Running- I agree with this sign and it is so applicable to all runners- there is so much pride in getting it done, no matter your finishing time.  I always get teared up running this race because so many runners have shirts stating what charity or whom they are running for- "In memory of mom", one lady running for American Cancer Society chartiy had all of these pictures (almost like ribbons) hanging from the back of her shirt with different people's pictures and date of birth - date of death noted below picture.

I feel good about this marathon and I can tell that I feel good, because I'm already excited to plan my races/training for next year, including trying to run Chicago again and beat my PR next year.  I have other ideas/goals when it comes to running in the coming year, but I'll save that for another day.  I know this is getting long, even for chattynatty, but I want to close with a couple of big "thank you's".

I was amazed by some of the cards/ well wishes I received last week from people who I least expected to receive a word of encouragement from.  These cards and well wishes mean a lot!  Secondly to all my friends who have helped me get through this past summer with "fish tank" accident and then the diagnosis of my dad's cancer- despite these events you guys were there to help me not only with my physical disability with running but some of my mental roadblocks along the way.  To those who donated to Girls on the Run- International (130 runners raised $100,000 which will support 600 runner's scholarships to participate in the program). To my BRB (best running buddy)- Melanie- Our runs together mean a lot to me- it was easier to get out at 5:30 am. and get the miles in. Looking forward to many more years of running together. To my amazing family: especially my sister who is always there to help and support me in everything I do, my sister in-law who has put me and Matt up starting in 2003 when I first ran chicago and subsequent year's of one of us doing the race,  my parents (including awesome in-laws who are likes 2nd parents to me) who help watch the kids so we can get our runs in and who were there on the sidelines cheering us on, my kids who have never asked me why I run or cried about me having to leave for a run, and lastly my husband who has worked his own training schedule around my own, helped me revamp my training schedule when I was freaking out about missing all of June running, and says at the end of the race "I'm so proud of you".  I am lucky- so lucky to have my running buddies, friends and family who support my craziness!  So as I'm finishing this post I'm finishing my first beer after a month of no alcohol prior to the big race- Cheers! Here are some pictures from the weekend.


Hal Higdon talking at the Chicago Marathon Expo- he is the guy whose marathon training schedule I have followed every year I've done the marathon, other than this one d/t decreased training time.  His new book is out and it is on my "to read" running book list.

Me on race day- My shirt is white in this picture, but midway during race I looked down and it basically looked like I was sweating "poop"- serious no idea what happened, but my shirt after race had brown stain at my bra line- the shirt is back to looking like this, but no idea what that was about.  My marathon aroma during this race was little much.  Towards the end of the race I realized that the bad smell I was blaming on other's running around me, was actually coming from my own body- basically imagine smelling a homeless person in 80 degree weather who has run 26.2 miles- that's what I smelled like- I know too much, but typical chattynatty.

Me waving with the skyline in the background at mile 13/14.

Girls on the Run International gave all my supporters Cheer Squad shirts.  The kids had fun at the race cheering me on, but notice how the guys in the picture chose not to wear pink- John Henry, and Mason wanted nothing to do with the pink :).  That's o.k. I needed a shirt to change out of due to the sweet smell of accomplishment I was wafing everywhere.

Again- how lucky I am to what I have!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mommy's Project 52: cleaning

Growing up my mom taught my sister and I how to clean.  We each had different "chores" to do during the week.  She was pretty picky on cleaning, especially the bathroom.  I secretly dreaded cleaning the bathroom, because I knew we would clean the bathroom many times only to have her come behind us and clean again.  No she isn't mental, she just liked it done a certain way.  I can appreciate that now because when I saw the word cleaning I thought of two (o.k. four words)- bathroom and peace of mind.  I don't always get to cleaning the whole house on a regular basis, but if pressed for time the rooms I choose to clean are the bathrooms.  I have a certain process and cleaning products I use for this room. If my husband is part of the cleaning process I give him other rooms to do and keep the bathrooms for myself.

Peace of mind comes into play because of how stress free I feel with a clean home.  Cleaning also gives me a peace of mind, because many times when I'm stressed or in frumpy mood just the action of cleaning the house: which includes physical activity and making rooms nice and neat- truly makes my stress and bad mood melt away.  Cleaning for me can be very therapeutic. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rundies...

O.k. this cracked me up!  These might go on my Santa "wish list" for this x-mas.  Don't laugh too hard. Below I explain where and why I found these. 

RUNDIES

$65.00
You have your underwear. And you have your running. Now you can have them both in Oiselle's all new day-of-the-week underwear. We like to think of them as workouts you can wear (and wash!) all year long.
- set of seven underwear
- each with a running-inspired print
- 100% cotton
- machine washable
- rundies are not pre-shrunk & will shrink slightly. Order up if you're between sizes.
- designed by athletes, for athletes in seattle, wa
- made in usa
I found these due to a blog I follow- here is her post:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oiselle Start Line Tee Giveaway

This weekend I am going to race my first 8K. I am EXCITED because this is one more race I can account for on my Oiselle Start Line Tee HERE after this weekend I will be missing the Ultra then my tee is complete :) I love a great running T-shirt, high quality, comfortable and cute conversation piece.

Don't know about Oiselle? This awesome company was started by Sally, a Runner Mom and is based in SEATTLE!! Read the story HERE.
I LOVE my new Oiselle Outfit Start Line Tee and Long Roga shorts. I am adding a few things from their website to my Christmas list, yes I said it Christmas is Coming!!! They even have RUNDIES, what are rundies? Find out HERE.


Guess What? Oiselle loves Tall Mom Readers so they have offered a Giveaway and a Discount!!


What will you win?


Start Line Tee in the color and size of your choice


How do you Enter?

One comment per entry please..


1- Go to the Oiselle Website HERE, shop around and leave a comment with the item you would add to your Christmas list.


2- Like Oiselle on Facebook HERE leave a comment here.


3- Browse the Oiselle Blog HERE leave a comment with something fun you saw/learned.


4- Like Tall Mom on Facebook HERE leave a comment here and say Hi on Facebook if you like.


5- Share this Giveaway on your Blog, Twitter or Facebook and leave a comment each time you share.


****Contest ends and a Winner will be announced on Monday 10/10


  • If you love my Long Roga Shorts HERE you are in luck!!! Oiselle is offering 10% off a pair of Long Roga shorts using the discount code TALLROGA today until the contest ends.

I love also the "Born and raced in..." t-shirts in their sale area on the website- I of course would get the Born and Raced in Chicago one. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Marathon Bound...



Well I can't believe it is 6 days before I run my fourth Chicago Marathon.  So many different emotions are buzzing in my head.  I felt pretty restless last night before bed, that kind of restless that you experience the night before a race. 

So what do I do the 6 days before a marathon.  Try to keep it easy, so only running 4 miles two times this week.  Trying to stay well hydrated- drank at least 8 8 oz glasses of water, milk or low calorie juice during a day. Fueling up on healthy carbs, protein, and vitamin C. Trying to get decent sleep.  Stretching, icing and Naproxen.  Update my marathon playlist and set the music up to get me through the tough parts of the marathon- which could be mile 4-Mile 20 :). 

Don't know whether it is just me being hypersensitive to what will occur at the end of the week or what, but my body feels like it is challenging me.  My left knee has been bothering me- just a "I'm getting old/arthritic" feeling.  My back- not the side I hurt with the infamous "fish tank" injury- the other is sore/tight.  My shins are sore too.  I know, I know-probably just my psyche playing with me.  But I will try to prophylactically medicate and stretch, etc to ward off evil. 

I've told myself that the important thing on Sunday is to keep perspective and remind myself that if I finish the marathon that is an accomplish in and of its self.  Secretly I do want to run fast and keep my streak of beating my marathon time as I have each year I've done the marathon, but I know that probably isn't in the cards this year.  I can still hope.  The weather is also another obstacle- I really don't like running in heat- and 73 is "hot" for this runner.  I'm hoping a cold front will somehow come in and 34-45 degree dry sunny day will be more my style.  So I guess I end this post a little pessimistic so I'm off to stretch and downward dog my down-ness away.

 Funny how what seems like "only yesterday" I was worried I wasn't going to be able to run at all- following "fish tank",-but now I'm worried about not running fast enough or in the perfect "chattynatty" weather condition.  So I guess I need to "buck up" and take my own words of encouragement I've given to others- "its not how fast you run a marathon, its that you are even able to step up to the start line and run it and then finish it"; because really people can talk about how they would run a marathon, but "I can't run it at my goal 8 min mile pace so I won't run it".  Anyone who toes the start line to any race be it a 1 mile, 3 mile, 8 mile, 13.1, 26.2, etc and trains to the best of their ability ( because really the training is the hardest part), is a winner in my book. 

Many of my peeps are running races this weekend and the next and I wish all you girls the best- I'm super proud to call you some of my favorite running buddies!
In honor of 6 days until the marathon here are 6 quotes I found motivational and true in regard to marathons.

"We are different, in essence, from other {wo}men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon."
Emil Zatopek

"Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts."
Steve Prefontaine

"What matters is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog."
Dwight D. Eisenhower- Side note I thought this one was pretty good and when I shared it with Matt he just said "wow" not like "wow- what a quote" it was "wow- dumb a%# you've never heard that before"- nope I hadn't.

"The will to win means nothing if you haven't the will to prepare."
Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner


"I've learned that finishing a marathon isn't just an athletic achievement. It's a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible."
John Hanc, running writer


"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."
Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ