A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

A gardening day ahead of us!

We’ve gotten tons of rain in the last couple of weeks, which means the grass around my garden has gotten seriously overgrown:

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Today, O and I are going to spend some quality time weeding, cutting grass and thinning out some of our plants. I confess, thinning out plants always makes me nervous because what if I choose the wrong ones to thin and up pulling a plant that would have done beautifully and leaving one that will die in a week? I am way overthinking gardening I know!

I love this post from a local farm, Clementine’s Produce, that gives a good introduction for people who are just starting out gardening. Overdoing it is so easy! Last year we got overwhelmed with butternut squash because we didn’t know how well it was going to do and it ended up taking over the whole garden. This year, with that lesson in mind we made some adjustments in our planting.

A)     I’m going to aggressively thin the butternut squash seedlings – probably only leaving 3-4. We know they do well and produce a lot and even if they don’t, it is something we get frequently in our CSA bag so we’ll have lots of squash regardless.

B)      We moved our tomatoes up and out to their own containers. After years of living in apartments, I know that tomato plants do wonderfully in containers. That gives us the advantage of keeping the tomatoes up and out of the butternut squash vines, in case the squash takes over despite our best efforts.

We also planted some yellow summer squash from seeds and some bell pepper plants. With our box less crowded overall thanks to thinning the squash and moving the tomatoes out, hopefully these guys will be able to produce better this year than last year.

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I planted kale and spinach for the first time this year and so far they’re both doing great! The kale is down in the garden and was planted in late April, just before our last frost. This weekend we’ll be thinning it and in a few weeks, we’ll actually be harvest some leaves! I can’t wait. I love kale and I’m hoping that helping with the leafy greens like kale and spinach will help Oliver get over his opposition to all things salad-like. In his defense, he was very proud of himself for eating a shrimp with an obvious piece of parsley on it Thursday night. “Look Mama, I eat salad like you”

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The spinach is up in a window box on the deck, along with all of our herbs. Everything I’ve read about growing spinach says you have to aggressively thin them in order to get plants healthy enough to continue producing, so I will be brave and thin things out today. I’ve got plans for the basil in a tomato & spinach-y egg bake for dinner tonight (hubby will be out, so vegetarian dinner night!).

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I’m hoping all of our work with the garden helps O to learn to love veggies. He loves helping go through the CSA bag when we pick it up on Fridays and I have to keep him from eating the tomatoes before I wash them then, but I’d love it if we can help him branch out some more. Hopefully this will help!

I hope you all have a great weekend! Wish us good gardening weather!

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Friday Favorites: #yesallwomen and Reading Rainbow

I don’t know if you’ve been following the #yesallwomen hashtag conversation on Twitter, but it’s been a depressingly true description of what so many of us experience as women. There are articles covering the conversation on CNN, Forbes and the New Yorker to give you an idea of what’s going on in case you haven’t followed the story. Following yet another episode in which a mentally ill person killed and wounded many innocent bystanders, a conversation has come to the forefront of social media regarding the kinds of sexual harassment women experience every day. While not all men are perpetrators of harassment, an alarmingly large number of women are victims of it.

I get looked at a lot more often now that I’ve lost weight – although weirdly I get physically touched by strangers a lot less, for which I’m grateful. A few weeks ago I was talking my assistant about running with my RoadID bracelet and phone app and potentially my pepper spray, depending on where I am and he was amazed that I even worried about that kind of thing. As a woman, I’d be foolish not to (although I’d argue men also need ID and someone needs to know where you are). Just after I was discussing this issue with my husband last night and updating him on this #yesallwomen conversation, I came across a post from Shelley in my little college town in which two women were attacked in a single day. As women these things are never far from our minds and that’s depressing to think the world has not progressed more.

As the mother of a son, one comment particularly struck me that said something to the effect of “maybe we should teach our boys not to rape instead of our girls how not to get raped.” It consciously enters our conversations with the young girls in our lives to have conversation about not walking away from your drink, not walking alone at night, being aware of your surroundings and the people around you, etc and yet how often are we consciously having those conversations with our boys? It seriously disturbs my mother than I run alone and yet no one ever expresses that concern about my husband or my brother (well, I worry about my husband, but I’m a worrier). I know that we are trying to model for Oliver the importance of respecting women and equal value for everybody, but is that enough?  I don’t know that there is a right answer to these kinds of questions and certainly they’re not new questions, but I am glad to see them rising to the forefront of conversation again and hopeful that as a parent, I can do my best to help my son learn a better view of the world.

Oliver and Jessica 5.26.14 2

A rule in our house is ending serious and depressing conversations with good news, so I’ll end with the awesome news that the Reading Rainbow kickstarter campaign raised over a million dollars in 24 hours. As a lover of books and children’s books in particular, this is very cheerful new indeed. 🙂

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Liebster Award!

Sorry Lauren for taking so incredibly long to get around to answering your awesome Liebster award questions! The Liebster award is a great way to highlight other blogs we like and find out new things about our favorite bloggers, so I’m glad to get to play along. Thanks Lauren (check her out at Lauren’s Glass Slipper)!

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The Liebster Award Rules

1. You must link back to the person who nominated you
2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award
4. You must create 10 questions for your nominees
5. You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees

First up, answering Lauren’s questions:

1. So far, what is your favorite race that you have run and why? The Princess Half Marathon in 2013 was definitely my favorite. It was such a huge goal for me, so crossing the finish line after 13.1 miles felt huge, and the whole trip was such fun! See my recaps and pics here and here.

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2. What is your favorite childhood memory? I had a great childhood, so thinking of a single great memory is a little difficult. At the moment what comes to mind is riding the teacups with my dad at Disney World. My dad was really into spinning merry-go-rounds as hard and fast as absolutely possible, so he really got us whirling on the teacups!
3. What is your favorite thing about blogging? I love all of the support I’ve found from others online and all of the wonderful people I’ve met.
4. What are you most passionate about? I’d have to say I’m most passionate about teaching, both in my job and with my son and even a bit with the blog. I love helping people get to a new understanding of things!
5. What is your dream job? I think if I could do the teaching and writing parts of my current job all day every day without having about the bureaucracy and finances of it all, I’d keep doing my current job as my dream job (but with no 7 am meetings ever!).
6. If a movie were to be made about your life, what celebrity would play you? Hmmm . . . I’ll have to ask my husband about this one.
7. If you could have played a character from any movie, who would you pick? Arwen from The Lord of the Rings movies. She gets to kick a$$ riding a horse and sword fighting, ends with Aragorn and bonus: ends up a queen!
8. What is your favorite Disney movie and why? I like so many for so many different reasons. My childhood favorite was Sleeping Beauty. I remember watching it over and over on VHS. Eventually, my copy of the tape got a skipped spot in it (when Prince Phillip gets kidnapped from the cottage) and I learned to just fast forward when I got to that spot so it wouldn’t hit that glitch and automatically start rewinding! Now I prefer my princesses to be a little more proactive (love Rapunzel) but my nostalgic favorite is definitely Sleeping Beauty. 🙂 I’m looking forward to the Maleficient movie!
9. What is the #1 race on your bucket list? Hmmm . . . I think the Great Wall marathon would have to be it. If I was going to run 26.2 miles, that would make it worthwhile!
10. If you could choose one food to have zero calories, what would it be? Bread – I love bread, but don’t eat much of it becuase I have a hard time controlling my portions!

For the next part of this, I’m supposed to come up with questions of my own and invite a new group of 10 bloggers to play along.

My questions:

1. What’s your favorite healthy snack?

2. What’s your favorite splurge or treat?

3. Do you prefer to work out in the gym or outdoors?

4. What’s your favorite workout music?

5. Where do you find the cutest workout gear? I always feel faster/stronger when I have cute clothes!

6. How often do you change your hairstyle?

7. What’s your favorite date night activity?

8. What’s your favorite board game? (We do game night most Tuesdays and love new ideas!)

9. If you went on a cruise, where would you like to go?

10. Coffee, tea or neither?
Nominees:

Karen at Losing the Glass Slippers (who is so fantastic she’s already answered Liebster’s for others – check it out here)

Laura at Project Lovely Laura

Nancy at Nancy Getting Healthy

Leanne at Leanne Nalani

Kristin at Stamped with a Heart

Laura at MommyWifeRunner

2Cups’N Run (who I seriously enjoy and yet just realized I don’t your name! So sorry!)

Desiree at Finding the Skinny Geek Within

Lauren at RunningSlowlywithKids

Cara at Running in Sanity

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Race recap: Boys Town Memorial Day 5 Mile

After the fun and excitement of Oliver’s first race Monday morning, I had my own run to get in! The nice thing about doing my run after his is that I had zero time to worry about running on a humid day, running all of those hills or running my first 5 mile race. I got him all through (and warmed myself up in the process) and before I knew it, it was time to hit the starting line for my own race!

Boys town starting off 2 5.26.14That distraction was nice for nerves, but no so much for getting set to run. I was setting up my Garmin’s virtual pacer as I was walking to the starting line and thus, it didn’t pick up the signal to start timing my run until I was about a quarter of a mile into the race! They had signs for approximate paces to guide people as to the appropriate point to line up, but people didn’t really stick with that given the number of walkers I weaved around at the beginning. It’s always nice to see so many people out and active, so I didn’t mind doing a little weaving for the first quarter mile or so.

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Gorgeous green course

My focus was more on Oliver getting ready for this, so I didn’t actually set any goals for the race until I was walking to the starting line. The nice thing about it being my first 5 mile race is that it was an automatic PR, so I knew I had that set. 🙂 On the way to the starting line, I decided that given the humidity (80+%) and what I knew to be a hilly course, I’d set my pace goal for 11:30 minute miles overall and have an easy run. Starting out, I remembered how much I like running races. The cheering family members on the sideline, running with others but not having to talk to people – a great way to get a long run in for the week!

My guys saw me several times on the course, which is a first for us!

My guys saw me several times on the course, which is a first for us!

I decided to run the first two miles just for the fun of it, without worrying about pace or walk breaks or anything like that. These turned out to be my fastest and favorite miles! I walked through the water station but otherwise ran all of these first two miles at about 10:15 pace, which is pretty speedy for me.

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At mile 3, the sun came out and it started get hot and humid right about the time the course got hillier (about 4% grade according to MapMyRun). Thus, I adjusted my goals and decided to take advantage of the hills. The hills I ran (I allowed myself to walk if I wanted) were hills I’d run while keeping good form in mind. More importantly, I wanted to actually run down the hills. I have a habit of slowing down a bit coming down hills for some reason. It’s not like I’m going fast enough that I’m going to lose control and yet in some crazy part of my mind that’s what I think, so I hesitate! For miles 3 and 4, I was going to run down those hills without fear. It was sweaty but fun to see all of the families cheering people on. The course looped back and forth around a central point, so it was easy for family members to catch their runners several times along the course. I saw my guys three times on the course, which was great and definitely a rarity in my races! I also got high fives from other people’s children along the way, which was awesome. 🙂

Boys Town Finish line 5.26.14

Finishing time 55:11, ahead of my 11:30 minute mile goal pace

For the last mile, my goal was to run the entire thing and keep it below an 11:00 minute mile pace to finish relatively strong. I’m happy to say I met that goal (well other than walking the water stop – I’m not coordinated enough to run through those) even though I felt sick thanks to the humidity. I even picked up the pace for the last 100 yards or so! I felt a little like throwing up as soon as I got across the finish line and felt a little less wimpy about that when my husband told me he saw several people throw up when they crossed the finish line. It was a lot more humid than most of us expected. All in all, it was a fun race and one we’ll definitely do again in the future! The course was pretty, the hills just challenging enough and I love a good family event!

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Weight Loss Wednesday: Lessons learned from gestational diabetes

I spent Memorial Day weekend 3 years crying because in my third trimester of pregnancy, I’d just been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is insulin resistance and poor blood sugar control unique to pregnancy. It usually, but not always, resolves when pregnancy is over but it is considered a risk factor for developing type II (insulin resistant) diabetes in the 5-10 years following your pregnancy. While I felt physically well during pregnancy and ultimately delivered a healthy child, it was an emotionally tough pregnancy for me because I felt like I kept stacking up bad thing after bad thing in terms of risk for my baby and the gestational diabetes felt like the straw that broke the camel’s back. Ultimately, I delivered a healthy boy and I learned a lot from the experience.

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– With the right motivation, you can do anything. Suddenly, with this little guy to think about and his health on the line, I was able to stick to changes in my eating habits and exercise in ways I could never maintain before. Similarly, remembering finger sticks four times a day and carbohydrate counting were huge motivation for me when I was trying to make changes in my diet and exercise two years ago. My health (and particularly my fear of impending diabetes) has been a bigger motivation than size 6 pants could ever be.

– There isn’t a single diet that best for everyone. I got so frustrated with my nutritionist who kept insisting I could eat any carbohydrate I wanted so long as it fell within my carbohydrate range for the day. The truth was, 30 grams of oatmeal shot my blood sugar up sky high whereas 30 gram of other whole grains, like bread, were okay. Every body sees food differently. We are all just experiments of one so we can’t assume that what worked for our friend or our sister or whoever is going to work the same way for us.

– It’s easier to get little bits of exercise in than you think. Going for a walk after I ate, even if it was just around the block (of course, at almost 300 pounds in my third trimester of pregnancy, that waddle took a while), was a huge help in regulating my blood sugar and it didn’t take long to realize that in the time I spent making excuses NOT to go, I could have already done something.

– Banning foods completely makes them incredibly desirable. I spent the last 3 months of my pregnancy dying for brownies and pizza. There was nothing I wanted more than those foods and I absolutely inhaled a whole tray of brownies once I was home post-baby (and we won’t even talk about the pizza). There was no way I could have those things and keep my blood sugar safe for O, so they were completely off limits for me during that time period and that made them the thing I dreamed about at night. I don’t eat pizza or brownies often these days either but I don’t dream about them or crave them often because I know I could have them whenever I wanted. I’d just have to make room in my calories with good choices for the rest of the day and exercise. The fact that it is a choice makes it so much easier.

I’ve come a long way from that miserable Memorial Day weekend 3 years ago and I did at least learn a lot from the experience. Thankfully, I passed my post-pregnancy glucose tolerance test with flying colors and so for now I’m in the clear. Hopefully remembering these things will help me stay as healthy as I can for years to come.

The best motivation ever to keep me and him healthy for years to come!

The best motivation ever to keep myself (and him) healthy for years to come!

 

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Itty Bitty O’s first race report

I have a new favorite race and it is the 400 meter race I ran with Oliver yesterday morning!

Olivers first race 5.26.14 3We did the 30th annual Boys Town Memorial Day Run in Omaha, which consists of a 400 meter kids run, followed by a 1 mile run and then a 5 mile run. We registered for the 400 meter for O (after checking that I could run with him) and I ran the 5 mile later in the morning (race report to come Thursday!). Our practice run with O turned out better than I could have ever imagined, with him running a mile the first time we ever took him out to run in our neighborhood. We mentioned it periodically to see if he was still interested in running it and given his excitement when we took him to packet pickup on Sunday afternoon, it was clear he was still excited by the whole thing. He insisted on putting on his t-shirt and hat as soon as we picked them up and wanted to pose for pictures with all of the flags!

Trying on his first race t-shirt

Trying on his first race t-shirt

Posing with the flags

Posing with the flags

He woke up bright and early Monday morning and immediately told me he was ready to go run with mommy. He picked out his clothes and his “fast” shoes and made sure to bring his camera.

O's camera

O’s camera

He ate his normal breakfast and we headed out to the race. We were parked about 3/4 mile away from the race start, so he alternated between riding on Darrell’s shoulders and running to get up the hills.

Long walk to the race start

Long walk to the race start

They had lots of kids there to run and lots to keep us busy while we were waiting, like clowns and face painters and a karate demonstration.

Warming up with the karate guys

Warming up with the karate guys

When the time came to go start the race, he started whining a bit once Darrell left us to go find a good spot for pictures. That whining stopped and he took off running as soon as the starting gun went off! It was kind of funny because as soon as the gun went off, about a third of the kids starting crying and refused to go anywhere. Meanwhile, my guy stopped crying and took off running suddenly enough that I was caught off guard! Thankfully, the crowd at the beginning kept him from getting up too much speed.

Oliver and Jessica 5.26.14 Once things cleared up a bit, he went quickly! We actually passed by the place where my husband was waiting to get our pictures. Thus, all of our race pictures are of Oliver and I from behind while my husband was trying to catch up with us!

Laughing and dashing all the way!

Laughing and dashing all the way!

He laughed a lot of the way and ran it all without stopping to walk or be carried, which I was surprised by! Running down the finishing chute of this kid’s race was so fun! There were so many people cheering for all of the kids as they came through and O really loved it!

Racing for the finish!

Racing for the finish!

I didn’t have the Garmin turned on, so I don’t know his first race time exactly but the gun time was about 3:30, which is great for his first 400 meter race! He got a ribbon and a bottle of water as soon as we crossed the finish line (and a frisbee – loved the frisbee best!).

Ribbons for every kid at the finish

Ribbons for every kid at the finish

As soon as we crossed the finish, he told me he was thirsty!

As soon as we crossed the finish, he told me he was thirsty!

He wanted to wear it like a medal. My guy is all about the bling, just like mama!

He wanted to wear it like a medal. My guy is all about the bling, just like mama!

We had a fantastic time running together, although he did tell me afterwards “That was hard, mama!” Such a sweetie! I loved running with him and seeing all of the other little kids run! I can’t wait to do this again next year (and maybe even the mile in a few more years!).

Have you run with kids? Their joy in running is so fun!

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Happy Memorial Day!

Today, I’m taking my little guy out for his very first “race”. Send us good vibes for a fun and safe morning running!

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I got a little teary when I got the email with his registration information on Friday. I hope he has fun (he certainly seems to enjoy running!) and I know he’ll like getting his own ribbon. If I can toot my own horn for a minute though, I’m so proud of myself for setting an example of a healthy lifestyle for him and proud for my little family that we’re spending the holiday out doing something active together.

I’ll be sure to let you guys know how our little 400 meter run goes! I hope you all have a safe holiday weekend celebrating with your loved ones and remembering those that have served our country.

Happy Memorial Day!

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Easing the miles back up!

With the weeks steadily counting down until I start my next half marathon training cycle on June 30th, this week I set some concrete running goals for the first time in a while! I’ve enjoyed the last couple of months of running for the fun of it, but I’m looking forward to getting back to work too. I’m not sure what that says about me!

My goals for the week were to get in at least 3 good weekday runs, with either three 3 mile runs or two 3 milers and some speed work. For the month of June, my plan is two good runs during the week (either 3 mile+ and a speed workout or two 3+ milers)  plus a long run on the weekend of 5-6 miles. I didn’t plan a long run this weekend because I have the 5 mile race tomorrow. I’m happy to say I met my goal for the week! It was exciting to check the boxes off in my running log again!

Workouts for the week

Monday: 30 minutes walking in my bedroom while my husband was putting O to bed. Sometimes the Leslie Sansone-type walk in place workout is good enough. 🙂

Tuesday: Speed work intervals for the first time in a long time!

Wednesday: Rest day (unexpected, but I ended up fixing a flat tire after work!)

Thursday: 3 miles on a rainy morning

Friday: A really easy 3 miles with lots of photos for the scavenger hunt (and this gorgeous robin’s egg, which didn’t check any box on the scavenger but I snapped anyway)

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Saturday: Lots of walking at the zoo with a friend visiting for the weekend

Sunday: Today will be another day for a nice walk to keep things moving and easy before my very first 5 mile race tomorrow. I’m excited about O’s 400 meter race tomorrow too! Here’s hoping it isn’t rainy!

As of right now (before any miles I get on my walk today), I have 6 miles to go to meet the goal of 100 miles between April 1 and May 31, which I’ll definitely hit by the end of my race tomorrow! I’ve loved having a little challenge to keep me going this month. Thanks to Desiree over at Finding the Skinny Geek Within for getting me on board with that challenge early on! It definitely helped keep me moving this spring between training cycles.

I hope you are all having a great holiday weekend! Stay safe!

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Scenes from a run in the suburbs …

I’m working on easing my weekly running mileage back up after a prolonged rest period following my first half marathon. I got an email last week from the lovely ladies at Another Mother Runner regarding the training plan I’ll be starting in 5 weeks that outlined where each training plan option would start, as far as baseline mileage and long runs. While a 19-20 mile week and 6 mile long run were no big deal back in January, I’m definitely not at that point anymore! Thus, this week I set the goal of getting in 3 good runs (either 3 – 3 mile runs or 2 – 3 mile runs plus speed work) with the knowledge that I had a 5 mile race coming up on Memorial Day. For the month of June, my goal will be at least two 3 – mile runs and a long run of 5-6 miles on the weekend, with lots of cross training walks in between. Given this goal and my schedule for the week, I was faced with getting in 3 mile runs on both Thursday and Friday. A few months ago, that wouldn’t have been a big deal, but now that I’m out of practice of back to back runs and with a “race” on Monday, I wanted to be sure I didn’t overdo it! Thus, I ran Thursday morning as a normal run and Friday morning tried to really focus on doing an EASY run. Easy runs are hard for me because I pretty much go at one pace or effort, unless I’m doing speed work.

To make my easy run truly EASY, I decided to check off as many things from the Summer Run Scavenger Hunt (via FairyTales and Fitness) as possible Friday morning. I think some of these are a creative stretch, but it keeping an eye for these things definitely helped me take it easy pace-wise and resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable morning run! I thought I’d share some of the things I saw on my jaunt through the suburbs with you guys today.

imageThese were some of the more straightforward/obvious items on the list. It was surprising to find a house number 12 (although I awesomely ran across a house #1212 under construction!) because lots of houses in my neighborhood skip from #08 to #16 for some reason! I didn’t expect to find a port-o-potty until my race on Memorial Day, but found one near a house under construction.

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I like that I got a fence and a (litttle) red car in a single shot. With our little tornado a couple of weeks ago, several fences in our neighborhood got damaged. 😦 Unfortunately, there are always food wrappers to be seen out running in the suburbs. Don’t litter people! Seriously!

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One of the items on the list is “Disney yard art” and I was so excited to come across this Minnie Mouse on someone’s door, until I got home and looked closer at the picture. Ladybug. Fail!

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Animal crossings are also on the list, but not something I have in my particular part of the suburbs. I stretched “wild animal” to be a worm Thursday on my rainy morning run, but don’t know if the “invisible fence” sign – arguably it’s own kind of animal crossing notice – is too much of a stretch or not. I’ll keep my eye out for a more traditional animal crossing sign! The only road kill I’ve seen so far is a cricket, which I’m happy about in general, but again – not sure that isn’t too much of a stretch for this particular game. 🙂

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I also saw a stroller (another item on the list) but couldn’t get a great pic, and saw a golden retriever but didn’t realize that was an item on the list so I didn’t even attempt to get his picture! Hopefully I’ll see him again. I’m sure I’ll see strollers when I’m out at the Memorial Day race on Monday.

How do you keep your pace “easy” on some runs? 

Be sure to check out #summerrunhunt on Twitter to see everyone else’s contributions to the game!

 

 

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Friday Favorites: A great new summer challenge

I have a really random collection of posts I flagged as interesting this week! Going into a holiday weekend, I guess that reflects my scattered brain pretty accurately!

As my 100 mile challenge I’ve been participating in is winding down (I have less than 10 miles to go so I’ll definitely make it by 5/31!), I’m excited to have found this new summer running challenge via Fairytales & Fitness – the Summer Run Scavenger Hunt! They’ve posted a list of sights for you to snap photos of while out running over the next month or so. I’ve already found my running word on yesterday’s rainy morning run:

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If you sign up via their post, there even be the opportunity for prizes but I’m in it for the fun! Anything to keep runs interesting and exciting as the weather gets warmer is a good thing.

While you’re out on those summer runs and walks, be sure to keep safety in mind! This post from Pam at We Run Disney goes through a lot of the safety I keep in mind as I’m out and about. I was talking to male co-worker the other day, who runs alone in a city park, but never worries about any of things. As a female runner and especially one who runs on the road/sidewalks in the suburbs, I definitely have to stay aware of these issues unfortunately!

As someone who was a plus size bride, I absolutely love this Plus Size Dress boutique linked over on A Practical Wedding (yes, I still read a wedding blog coming up on my 5 year anniversary – love the marriage/feminism posts). When I wore plus size clothes, it was always so hard to find something that made me feel pretty and made me feel like the person who made the clothes actually thought I could be pretty. That was particularly noticeable when I was wedding dress shopping and it is just such a shame. You should be able to wear clothes that make you feel pretty no matter what size you are and I love seeing all of these gorgeous dressing for any wedding or non-wedding occasion!

A few posts have come out in the last couple of weeks that I found really interesting from a runDisney perspective. I loved my experience with runDisney and can’t imagine a better incentive to train for my first half marathon than the idea of doing it at Disney, the happiest place on earth. As much as I loved everything about my experience, it is a little disheartening to see some of the business aspects of the runDisney enterprise in play. Like I said here about the races I’m doing in October, I’m doing a half marathon and a virtual half, both with lots of swag and perks, for less than I paid for the Princess Half Marathon. The prices of Disney races are absolutely insane and yet they sell out quickly, so why shouldn’t Disney ask as much as they can, right? The most concerning new development for me is actually the new Castaway Cay challenge. Running the Castaway Cay 5K was actually what kept me motivated when I first started trying to run at 250+ lbs and I really hope they keep it as the free, low key event it currently is. It’s such a nice fun, easy event right now and I worry that by incorporating into these bigger challenges it will either go away except in the setting of these challenges or become associated with the crazy cost of runDisney 5Ks. We’ve decided to go on another Disney cruise in early 2015 (yay!) and I really hope that I’m able to run the Castaway Cay 5K again. That will actually be the first race I’ve ever run twice, so it’ll be fun to see how much my time changes! You should check out the interesting discussions of the runDisney growing pains (and I’m hopeful that’s all this is) at See Sharp Run, No Guilt Life and Run the Great Wide Somewhere .

To finish on a cheerful note heading into this long holiday weekend, I absolutely love this post from the Oatmeal (and if you don’t follow the Oatmeal, you should!). We should all remember that last frame more often. 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

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