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My Life in Rewind June 8, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Running.
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Because life sometimes takes the controls and runs with it…

ing ga bibsBack at the very end of March, I ran the ING Georgia Half Marathon in Atlanta. I was joined by my hubby, my dad, my three sisters-in-law, one of my brothers-in-law, and a few friends. It was fun to get together with everyone and share in this event.

ing ga medalUnfortunately, for me, due to my procrastination with training, it was too little too late as they like to say. I pushed too hard on the distance with not very many weeks remaining before the race began. In short, I injured my IT band prior to the race and that injury manifested itself BIG TIME at about mile 7 on race day. I haven’t given birth to a child, but it was some of the worst pain that I’ve had to endure. Despite my knee injury and the bazillion hills on the course, I managed to finish. I wasn’t thrilled with my time, but I was happy that I pushed through and crossed the finish line!! Most everyone else that I was with ran personal bests which is quite impressive given the difficulty of the course.

Although it’s a bit belated, CONGRATS to all the finishers!

Totally Kool February 12, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in General, Running.

koolnfitI must be a glutton for punishment. After running the ING Miami Half Marathon last January, I swore I would N-E-V-E-R run a full marathon…and I am sticking to my guns. However, in a moment of weakness, I signed up to run another half marathon. I have no clue what I was thinking. Well, clearly, I wasn’t.

I am on week 6 of a 12-week training program, and my arches are killing me.  I was first thinking that it was plantar fasciitis. However, after much googling, I believe that I may be straining my abductor hallucis muscle. Anywho, I was telling my chiropractor about the problem and, among other things (you didn’t think I would tell you everything…hello, doctor-patient privilege), he recommended that I try Kool ‘N Fit for relief.  It’s an all-natural pain relieving spray. I like to call it “magic”.  This stuff freakin’ rocks!!  I don’t want to mislead you into believing that it completely fixed the problem, but I sprayed my feet just before bed and *instantly* there was no more discomfort. The other great thing is that it has a multitude of uses (like Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding): spray on sunburn for relief, spray on bug bites to prevent itching, WHOA, hold the phone. Prevents bug bites from itching?!?!!?!  Sign me up. I hate to go all Y2K, but I may very well stockpile this stuff in my basement.

Go Daddy! October 27, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Family/Home, Running.

Yesterday was the 33rd annual Marine Corps Marathon. This was my dad’s second time running this race and he finished in 5:19:27. We were all very proud of him!! Click here to see the video we took of him as he approached mile 23.


Old Shoes Get New Life June 17, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Eco/Green, Running.

Now’s the time that I try to do my spring cleaning. I go through the house and pile up things to toss…in the trash or to a charitable organization. Closets seem to amass the most junk for us as I’m sure they do for most families. In going through our closet, I noticed how many pairs of old running sneakers we have accumulated over the past few years. I feel guilty about throwing them in the trash which is typically why they are still sitting in our closet. Guilt be gone! Nike has developed the Reuse-A-Shoe Program which takes old running shoes (ANY BRAND) and repurposes them into a material that can be used to form the surface of basketball courts, tennis courts, running tracks, or playgrounds.

How does it work? You drop off your shoes at one of the participating locations or mail them to the Nike Recycling Center. Once the shoes are out of your hands, they are then sent to one of two processing facilities, Oregon or Belgium, where they are then ground up into a material called Nike Grind. The Nike Grind is then sorted and incorporated with other materials to create various sports surfaces. Nike states that is takes about 2,500 pairs of shoes to create a typical playground. You can read some of their other statistics here.

There are a few stipulations.
1. They accept athletic shoes only…NO dress shoes and NO cleats.
2. The shoes cannot contain any metal.
3. The shoes must be dry.

Those are pretty minor things considering that your old sneakers can now be put to good use. For those in the DC area, the closest drop off location is in Rehoboth Beach which is not so convenient or close. However, for less than the cost of a gallon of gas, you can mail them to the Nike Recycling Center in Oregon. That’s a small price to pay to keep those shoes out of your landfill!

Diary of a Travel Guide Junkie: Charleston, SC April 23, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Food, Running, Travel.
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Better late than never, right?! A couple of weeks ago we headed to Charleston, SC, to run the Cooper River Bridge Run. It was a nice weekend getaway before officially heading out of town for work. I have always enjoyed Charleston, but this year it felt a little different. It just seemed too crowded. While that part was disappointing, one arena in which Charleston doesn’t disappoint is the food.

We hit up Jestine’s Kitchen for dinner on Friday night. This is a restaurant with no website and no reservations…just country cooking and blue plate specials. I tried the glazed ham with a side of collards and mac & cheese and, you know me, I couldn’t pass up on a glass of sweet tea.

On Saturday, following the race, we headed to Virginia’s on King to meet some friends for lunch. I would have to rank Virginia’s way high on my list. Upon being seated, we were offered bite-size pieces of their broccoli cornbread. Ok, really. I just ran 6.2 miles, must you torture me with this miniature morsel of deliciousness. We tried two of their appetizers: fried pickles served with remoulade and fried okra with spicy aioli. The okra was pretty tasty, the fried pickles (aka frickles) were just ok (my taste buds have been spoiled by the frickles served up at Del Merei’s). Moving on to the entrees. I can’t pass up on pimiento cheese. It’s a comfort food from my childhood, one that I don’t see very often and don’t make at home mainly because Casey hates pimiento cheese (and he calls himself a southerner). Virginia’s Pimiento Cheese Sandwich on Texas Toast was jaw-smackin’ good and paired with the most drool-icious blue cheese coleslaw. If anyone out there has a recipe for this coleslaw, please let me know! I couldn’t even tell you what anyone else ordered because I was up to my elbows in pimiento euphoria.

We grabbed dessert at Cupcake. This is the cutest store ever which specializes in made-from-scratch, you guessed it, cupcakes. They have 32 different flavors and serve up nine of those flavors daily. Our group sampled the chocolate peanut butter, red velvet, and chocolate chip cheesecake. I really wanted to try the pina colada, but it wasn’t on the menu that day.

With our bellies at maximum capacity, we crossed the street to go to Three Dog Bakery. Since I was going to be away from home for such a long period, I wanted to send some goodies back to Dixie Belle. Her package included a few Scottie’s Biscotti, Puppermint Patties, and Carob Chip Cookies. You can just save me the speech on how spoiled our dog is.

We got our seafood fix at Fleet Landing. I tried the sea scallops in lemon butter sauce…not my absolute favorite; however, my mom tried their shrimp and grits which was prepared very nicely.

We were pressed for time on Sunday morning, so we didn’t get a chance to stop by Hominy Grill for brunch. I don’t know about you, but an hour wait didn’t really appeal to me. Instead, we hit Camille’s Sidewalk Café which was surprisingly refreshing. The food was simple and good and the coffee rocked my world. I was sad at the thought that this may be my one and only opportunity to eat at Camille’s, but then I discovered that there’s one in Arlington and in DC! Guess I won’t need to start a franchise after all.

What’s that? You want to know how the race went? I had a PB for the 10K finishing in 1:05:28. While I didn’t reach my goal for this race (60 minutes), I did shave about five minutes off of my previous time. Not bad, considering the humidity was unreal and I was struggling a lot more than anticipated. Note to self: When you average a 10 minute mile, don’t think that you can sustain a pace of 8:57 just because your friend, Mr. Adrenalin, is sitting on your shoulder. Casey finished in 51:53, my dad finished in 1:05:28 (notice a similarity? thank goodness parents show pity on their children), our friend Blythe finished in 1:04:07 (oh, and friends show pity too).

Trackin’ Those Miles April 19, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Gadgets, Running.
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I received a Garmin Forerunner 205 as a birthday gift a few years ago. I have loved using this GPS wristwatch for all of my runs. It tracks my distance, time, average pace, and calories burned. About a year or so ago, Garmin created an upgrade to the 205 with the Forerunner 305. This version included the addition of a heart rate monitor. Just recently, they’ve added the Forerunner 405 to the collection. This newest model features a touch bezel to allow you to easily scroll through all of the features during your workout and it has a wireless transmitter so that when you are within range of your computer, your data transfers automatically. Nice.

Another exciting gadget on the horizon is the Nike+ SportBand. I love Nike. I run in Nike+ shoes which when paired with an iPod nano and Nike+ SportKit can track your distance, pace, and calories burned. Now that so many races have banned earphones and music players, it renders the Nike+ iPod of the past useless. Enter the SportBand which eliminates the need for a music player. Simply drop the sensor in your shoe and slap on the wristband. When you’re finished with your workout, remove the Nike+ link and plug it directly into the USB of your computer. With your Nike+ account, you can track everything on your computer and share it with others. Don’t run in Nike+ shoes? No worries. You can purchase a ShoePouch which attaches to the laces of any athletic shoe and holds the Nike+ sensor.

So many options to track those runs!

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me A Match April 2, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in General, Running.

Nobody likes to workout alone. Well, I take that back, some people probably do. However, having a fitness partner helps you stay on track and keeps you motivated. I run. Not because it’s a joyful activity, but because it keeps me in shape (oh, and who can resist those cute clothes). I don’t like to run by myself. I try to run with Casey, but we don’t really run at the same pace. He’s an 8 minute mile kind of guy and I’m a 10 minute mile kind of gal. There are days when I feel guilty for asking him to run with me because I know how much effort it takes for him to slow down to my pace. Enter FriendsWorkout.com. It’s like the fitness version of eHarmony. You can put in a request or answer a post and find your perfect match for vitually any fitness activity.

looking for person to make me laugh; must watch The Hills and discuss it; must like good food; must know where every shopping mall is located in the DC area; oh, and can run a 10 minute mile

Nowhere did it mention that exercise had to be at the top of the list!

The Fast and The Finishers January 31, 2008

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Yippee! Hardcore proof that we actually made it to the finish line.

ING Miami_Pic 1 ING Miami_Pic 2

ING Miami_Pic 3 ING Miami_Pic 4

Feeling the Burn January 30, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Running.
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This past weekend was the ING Miami Marathon, and boy are we feeling the burn! We had a great time and got great times!

Casey = 4:54:48 (full marathon)
Joy = 4:51:14 (full marathon)
Brett = 2:28:55 (half marathon)
Susan = 2:28:56 (half marathon)

2008 Miami MedalThe course was nice and flat, and the weather was perfect. The race was very well organized from the expo to the shuttles to the aid stations, etc. Now that I’ve completed my first half marathon, I have a deeper appreciation for those individuals who ran the full marathon. I also came to the conclusion that I NEVER EVER want to do a full marathon! By the way, the finisher medals were pretty snazzy! Once race pictures are posted, I’ll be sure to share them with you.

I also have to give a plug for Cytomax Energy Gels. Our running guru at Run-In in Greenville, SC, recommended this particular energy gel over everything else citing how easy it is on the stomach (I had a bad experience with Clif Shot Bloks once).  I was feeling my tummy grumble around mile 5.5 (of course, the smell of bacon and eggs cooking at some of the local cafes we ran by didn’t help).  I took half the packet at mile 5.5 and the other half around mile 8 and, without a doubt, it gave me the boost I needed to push through to the finish. I have only used the vanilla flavor which tastes pretty good and more like pina colada than vanilla, but they also make orange flavor.

Now, what’s next on the list? San Francisco or Las Vegas. Two of my favorite cities. A half marathon makes a good excuse for a little getaway!

Flying South for the Winter January 25, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Running, Travel.
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…or more like for the weekend. We’re heading out on a jet plane bright and early tomorrow morning. This is it. This is THE weekend. It’s make it or break it. We’re heading to Miami for the ING Miami Marathon/Half Marathon. We are running the race with my sister-in-law and her husband. This is Casey’s second marathon and Joy’s first. Of course, Brett and I are total newbies. We have high hopes that we will win…in our own minds! Wish us luck. I’ll be sure to post pictures upon our return.

“I don’t think jogging is healthy, especially morning jogging. If morning joggers knew how tempting they looked to morning motorists, they would stay home and do sit-ups.” ~Rita Rudner