Wednesday, January 30, 2013

F^3 Half Marathon Race Recap

The day of the F^3 half marathon started out like any other race. I met up with Nicole, Amanda, and Maggie to carpool to the city. We got to the city much earlier than I expected and we were able to find a nice parking spot right by the start with no problem. We stayed in the car to keep warm for as long as possible before meeting up with some bloggers and some FN Runners. Nothing felt particularly out of the ordinary.
Carpool crew (L to R): me, Maggie, Nicole, and Amanda

FNRC, plus 1 blogger

I started the race with Erin and I know we run well together from our Zooma experience. We started off at a conversations pace of about 9:30. This is usually easy for me but it just seemed like a struggle. We kept it going until about mile 4 when I had to dial it back. I knew I had some mental blocks that I had to try and break through if I wanted to finish this thing. I wished Erin good luck and I slowed to about a 10 min pace. Soon afterwards, I ran past some of the Chicago Running Bloggers and their signs made me smile! Thanks so much for coming out to cheer us on!

As I kept going, I felt more and more sluggish and the nausea started. I was moving at about an 11 min pace at this point. After getting sick, I stopped to walk and one of the course marshals asked me if I was okay. I knew what I wanted the answer to be, yet that was different than the truth. I wasn't okay and this just wasn't my race. Instead of trying to struggle through the next 7.5 miles, I decided to throw in the towel and DNF. I had to listen to my body and my body was telling me to stop. There are a bunch of different factors that could be reasons why, but I don't want to over analyze the possibilities. It just wasn't my day.

On the plus side, I got to head to the finish line early and see the elites finish. I was most excited about seeing Tera Moody finish! I also got the chance to talk to her after the race, and congratulate her on her Houston finish earlier this month. As we were chatting, some random guy came up behind Tera and gave her a big hug, lifting her up. Apparently he thought she was someone else... Awkward... But Tera just laughed it off an we kept on talking. She lives and trains in Colorado so we talked about the difference in sea level and different running terrains. She was really friendly and I'm super bummed I didn't get a pic of us together! What kind of blogger am I?

I then headed back to my car for a little bit and waited for my other friends to finish. It seems like everyone had a really great race despite the temps an conditions (some of the terrain was quite snowy).

Post-race, posing with medals (which also doubled as cowbells)
After the race, we headed to the Cubby Bear for the post-race party and some beers. With my nausea, I decided it was best to not have any beers so I enjoyed an ice cold glass of water.

The FNRC at the Cubby Bear
Overall, I thought this was a fantastic race. It was well organized and well staffed. Even when I was off on the sidelines, waiting for a ride to the finish, I overheard some of the walkie-talkie conversations and they had each other covered. I wish there would have been more warming tents at the start as they got pretty crowded before the race. All of the post-race eats were great (except, a bottle of water would have been nice versus cups) and I especially enjoyed the donuts. :)

Packet pickup was offered in the city and a few different suburbs and that was definitely helpful. The shirt we got is a nice short sleeved tech tee. I thought it was strange to have a short-sleeved shirt for a winter race, but given my long arms problem, I'm not going to complain.

I hope to run this event next year and cross that finish line smiling. :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Inspiration - Part 1

This past weekend was the F^3 half marathon. I'll have a full race-recap later on this week. If you follow me on DailyMile, you know I didn't finish the race. I just had an off-day and didn't feel like myself. As I tend to be hard on myself, and I'm making a point to not let this event define me or my 2013 season. I completed 6 half marathons in 2012. I just did a 10 mile run 2 weeks ago and felt fine. Saturday just wasn't my day. Maggie brought up a good point on DailyMile. "Days like these don't define us as runners - it's how you handle this and bounce back that make you who you are." I think this is a really important point that we can all learn something from. Being a runner isn't always full of great workouts and PRs. If it was, what would be the fun or the challenge? There are days when a workout just doesn't go as planned. There are days when a race doesn't go as planned. But that isn't going to stop us from going out there again and giving it another try. That's what makes running so much fun to me. I'll be back out there this week, and I know it will be fabulous. :)
Having a bad day and still smiling while running the F^3 Half Marathon

I think this is a great time to talk about inspiration. After the Olympics were over, I talked about what had inspired me during the games. Now that I've been in kind of a rut lately, I'm looking beyond myself. I'm going back to some videos and finding some inspiration. I posted a video on my Facebook page on Friday of Ms. Lauren Fleshman tearing it up in the 5000m. (There are a few familiar names in this race too. Amy Hastings, Desiree Davila...) It is from 2010 but it is still freaking amazing. Hearing the announcers, just adds more to it. If you have never seen this video before, I highly suggest you watch it.

Then, there were some big indoor meets over the weekend. Thanks to Flotrack, I'm pretty much obsessed with all things T&F related. I've been following along with the story of high schooler Mary Cain and over the weekend she destroyed the 41 year old high school record for the mile (previously held by Debbie Heald who was highlighted in a recent issue of Runners World). (You can watch the video here.) This girl is only 16 and she is already breaking records and racing with pros. I can only imagine what is in this girl's future and I can't wait to follow along for the ride!

Also, Galen Rupp ran a pretty outstanding indoor mile, missing the American record by a margin. For someone that excels in the 5k and 10k events, it is pretty amazing to have such a fast mile time. Galen is pretty fun to watch compete and I'm looking forward to seeing what he does this season and in the years to come! (Full video here)

Watching these professional athletes really gets me fired up. I find these athletes running these events much more inspiring than reading quotes. To help keep myself motivated, I may turn this "inspiration" thing into a series of posts.

I don't know if there is a short answer to this question, but what or who inspires you?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Race Pricing: What's Worth Paying Extra For?

Last year I did a lot of races, some cheap and some more expensive. This year I've decided to be much more selective and I'm starting to think about my budget limits and what races are worth paying more for and which aren't.

I'm not a race director and I do not know any race directors, but if you know one, I'd love to chat and find out more about what goes into race pricing!

A few weeks ago, the pricing for the Chicago Marathon was released and lots of people were upset with the increase from last year. Compared to other major marathons, and the increased popularity last year, I'm not really surprised the price was raised. (The race costs $175.) It really is a superior event. You run through the streets of Chicago in many neighborhoods you'd never have the chance to do so otherwise. It is well supported, well organized and the city really embraces the event. Plus, living less than an hour away, it really is right in my own backyard. The Chicago Marathon and I have some unfinished business and I hope to cross that finish line some day. But I digress... The point I wanted to make is that the Chicago Marathon may be expensive to some, but you'll get an experience unlike any other. I don't really think it is that expensive for what you're getting out of it.
Me and Mag Mile Runner during the 2012 Chicago Marathon

There seems to be a new trend though, races charging a "premium" price for a "premium" event. The meaning is that the larger price tag comes with perks that you wouldn't normally get at a "regular" race. The thing is, if you use these extra perks or not, it doesn't matter. You will be paying the same price tag as everyone else. This past year I signed up for some races with larger price tags where some lived up to expectations and others did not. I'm not going to name names of races, but sometimes the more expensive ones just weren't worth it. And sometimes the cheaper races were just that, cheap. With so many options out there, it is nice when you find great events that are fun and worth the price. Have you done one of the "premium" events? Was the premium price worth it?

There was once concept I learned in the race registration world last year and that is "menu pricing." I don't know why more smaller-medium sized races don't do it. You sign up for what you want (general race price, race shirt, chip timing) and if you don't want it, you don't have to pay for it. I imagine there would be some headaches associated if computer systems don't sync up properly or if people change their mind on race day, etc. That is why it probably would work best for small-to-medium sized races. Would you like if more races did "menu" pricing? There have been some races that I just can't justify spending the money on, but I'd like to run them.

When I run any race (5k, half marathon or full marathon, I guess), there are a few things I'm looking for.

1) Course - I'd really like a nice, different course. In Chicago there are so many half marathons on the lakefront path that are just "out and back." Give me something different, something that I haven't seen before, something that gets me excited! If a Chicago race actually closes down city streets, I'm willing to pay a premium price to do something I wouldn't normally get the chance to do. And please, please include an ACCURATE elevation chart if there are hills. When you're running a longer distance (like a half or full marathon), it is great help to manage your own expectations and training on race day.

Get Lucky 21k with Sara aka Gingerfoxxx
 I did this race just for the medal
2) Medal - Can I have something that looks nice, a little embellishments, perhaps a nice decorative ribbon to commemorate the achievement? If there are other events, along with a half marathon or full marathon, that offer a medal, can we have something that differentiates us? I ran a race where 5k and half marathon participants received the same swag. Not that I think that 5kers don't deserve a medal, I just would like something a little extra since half marathoners pay more and go 10 miles farther... If the medal is really cool or something that is unlike anything else, I would pay a little extra for it.

3) Swag Bag - Some races have a bags full of random flyers but a decent expo where you can score some cool free stuff. Other races charge more because they are giving you some things in your swag bag. In my opinion, I shouldn't be paying for stuff that comes in a swag bag. If I wanted to pay for it, I would buy it from the store. Please don't tout this as a perk because not everyone wants to pay for something they don't want or will use.

History of the Shamrock Shuffle shirts
4) Shirt/Jacket - Jackets appear to be coming more popular, especially in fall races. Although these jackets come at a much higher price tag. I already have a bunch of jackets that I like so I could kind of give or take them. I only wear jackets at certain times of the year and I have extra long arms so not many of them fit me properly to begin with. I don't want to pay for something that I don't want or am not going to use. I might be in the minority here but I really love a nice-fitting short sleeved dry fit t-shirt. I wear them year round (even underneath my layers in the winter) including wearing them to the gym. Just please, please give me something gender-specific ("unisex" is not gender-specific), whatever you do.

Disappointed with post-race promises
5) Post-Race Food/Party - After a race, there is nothing better than downing a banana (sometimes 2 or 3) and then munching on a bagel while drinking a bottle of water before getting an ice cold beer. Some races have promised big parties with lunch boxes, chocolate, pizza, beer and lots of other stuff. All the other stuff is great, as long as we get our bottles of water, bananas, and bagels. Beer is always a nice added extra.

6) Packet Pickup - Many races in large cities do not do race-day packet pickup, which I completely understand. However, it would be really great if packet pickup was at a convenient location (accessible via public transportation), in the downtown area (the Loop). Having it at a western/central suburb location for one of the days (or 2) would be even better. If packet pickup isn't convenient for majority of people (only after work, during the week, in Lincoln Park), there is a good chance I won't do the race.

What are some of your must-haves for a race? Did I leave anything out? What are some things you'd pay extra for?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter Blues

Lately I've been feeling kind of lethargic (aka lazy). I've been sick with a head cold for the past week and that has got me a little unmotivated. Then, I went on a super fun vacation where I didn't make time to run. Now, I'm back home and the temps are super cold (like single digits with wind chills in the negative double digits) and I'm turning into a big old baby. The motivation just isn't there. I really need to suck it up, buttercup, and get out there. I have the right gear and I know I will get my motivation back, I just want to vent a little bit. (Isn't that part of the purpose of a blog? At least, that is part of the purpose of this post...)

With my lazy feelings this past week, I'm thinking a PR for the F^3 Half Marathon is out the window. Plus, with how cold it has been, who knows if the course will be icy, snowy, sleety... You never know what Chicago weather can bring. If the course is slick, I'm not going to risk getting injured since I'm naturally prone to being a little clumsy. So my game plan now is just to go out there and have some fun... and maybe also try for another sub 2... We'll see what happens.

Last winter was pretty mild with only a few cold days so I feel I have forgotten what a real Chicago winter feels like. Unfortunately, it fees like this. I know once I get out there and do it a few times, it won't be so bad. I've had fun running in the winter!
I just need to get out and get moving! Have you had problems with some self-motivation with the cooling temps? What did you do to get yourself out of a funk?

And thanks for all of your kind words on yesterday's post. I am still on cloud 9 and probably will be for a little while yet. That is, until I have to register and take Level 2...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Results are In

Some of you may remember when I was studying for that huge mega test a few weeks back. It was Level I of the CFA exam. Well, I have some news to report. I just got my results today and....


Thank you all for your continued support and well wishes throughout the process. It was difficult but I am glad I have that chapter behind me. Now, onto the next one! (I still have 2 more levels to pass before I get the designation.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Restaurant Post - Wisconsin Dells Edition

Whenever the husband and I go on vacation, we like to explore some of the local fare. Looking for some of the best local restaurants can be difficult when you're in a tourist town in the "off season" when a decent amount of establishments are closed. I spent the weekend in Wisconsin Dells with some friends, and we shied away from huge chains that we can get back at home. Here is a quick summary of some of our favorite eats from the trip.

Sprecher's Brewery
I've been to this place before and it was just as delicious the 2nd time around. They make their own beer and pop so there really is something for everyone (you may have tried their root beer before). Their menu was extensive with lots of vegetarian options. I have eaten there twice and both times it was outstanding. The service is always fantastic and I really can't say enough great things about their food. I highly recommend the fried cheese curds. It is a Wisconsin delicacy and one you shouldn't miss! (website)

Foodie photography skills to the rescue!
Moosejaw Pizza and Brewery
This restaurant calls you in with their huge signage and an adorable moose mascot. We arrived on a Saturday night with no reservation and were able to get a table for 7 with less than a 30 minute wait. They make their own beer and had sampler platters available (which is always fun). The restaurant was 3 levels with a bar on each level and an arcade in the basement. This was a great place for families or friends to gather together and eat. On our way to our seats, I saw someone eating taco pizza and I just knew that was what I had to order. Sauce, meat, cheese, lettuce and Doritos all on a pizza? How could I go wrong? It was delicious and lived up to my expectations. The beers were also very good. I think this is a great restaurant for a family where mom and dad could have a good time too! (website)

Cheese Factory Restaurant
Staying at the Wilderness Lodge, we passed this place any time we left the campus. It didn't look like much on the outside but it had some great Yelp reviews. There was one drawback for our group, it was a vegetarian only restaurant. This deterred some of the guys in our group from wanting to go there, but after having some disappointing breakfast meals at other local restaurants, we ate here for our last meal before heading back home. The menu had extensive options including meatless and fake meat options for both breakfast and lunch. I went with a skillet that was full of fresh grilled vegetables that you wouldn't normally see in a skillet. They had a delicious coffee bar with cool specialty flavors as well as homemade baked good and some to-die-for looking desserts. They only had 1 waiter for the entire restaurant so the service was a little slow, but they brought out the food as it was ready so everything was nice and hot. I would highly recommend this place if you're in the area, even if you're not vegetarian! Although, it is only open for breakfast and lunch (I think this was because it was "off season"). (website)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wisconsin Dells Weekend Intro

Yesterday I had a meeting in Michigan and then met up with some friends for a "couples trip" in Wisconsin Dells. I drove an hour to Chicago, 3 hours to Michigan for a client meeting, another 3 hours to a Chicago suburb to drop off a colleague, and then 2.5 more hours before reaching my final destination. As I sit here writing this post and doing the math, that is a lot of hours and a lot of driving. Yikes. I didn't get my run in afterwards because I was absolutely spent when I reached my final destination. That is probably the most driving I've ever done in a single day in my entire life.

I wad hoping to sneak in a run before we have too many activities to do today, but I slept in instead. Oopsies! We did go to some waterparks so at least I got in some cross training with the stairs and swimming. That totally counts, right? :)

Tomorrow I'm hoping we can go the the outlet mall and get in our run while the boys are at the casino. We have very different ideas of fun so it will be nice to split it up like we did when we were in Las Vegas.

Have you ever been to Wisconsin Dells? We've hit a lot of the tourist hot spots today (including Wizard Quest) and it looks like that will be continuing into the evening!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Confused by Treadmill Walkers

I woke up yesterday with a bad case of the sniffles and spent the entire work day sneezing and keeping a box of Kleenex close. I really didn't feel like working out but I feel that a good run can help clear the sinuses. Since I didn't think that running outside was a good idea, I headed to the gym to knock off a few miles on the treadmill.

You're seeing correct. I was the girl working out in her matching pink and purple outfit.

When I was at the gym, it wasn't as busy as I would have expected. There were maybe 8 other people using treadmills when I went in there (although, I was the only person actually running on the treadmill). Do you find this at your gym too? That a lot of people walk on the treadmill? Are you a person that walks on the treadmill? I am bored running on the treadmill and I couldn't imagine walking on a treadmill. That just seems more boring to me! If someone could help explain this, I would greatly appreciate it.

This weekend I'm heading off to Wisconsin Dells with some friends for a "couples trip" weekend. If you have any recommendations for restaurants or attractions to visit, please let me know!

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Little Ice Can't Stop Us

Friday night I had my office holiday party so I decided to move my long run to Sunday. On Saturday, it was unseasonably warm with temps in the 50s. On Sunday, there was a high in the 30s and snow was expected. Although we didn't get snow, we got rain that turned to ice.

I met up with Maggie and Kate for a 10 mile run at a local trail that I haven't been to in awhile. I was really happy to have the accountability because it was one of those days where it seems much more appealing to stay wrapped up under the covers! Despite the temps and the conditions, we got out there and got it done. When the trail was icy in spots, we ran in the grass. Our splits weren't really consistent since there were some rolling hills, but I always love when the last mile is the fastest! :)

I took half of a Picky Bar at mile 6 with a pretzel and then took another pretzel about a mile later. I took a little more Picky Bar and another pretzel at mile 8.5. My stomach felt good so that was very exciting! I think the mixture and adding in the pretzels was helpful. Do you eat pretzels when you run? Do you think they help settle your stomach too?

Post-Run photo with Kate (left) and Maggie (right)

The worst part of the run, though, was that my hands were always freezing!!!! Despite wearing my favorite gloves from last season.) I brought the little hand warmer packets and one burst in my glove about a 1/2 hour in. I'm now on the lookout for some running mittens. If you have any preferred brands or types, please let me know. With my long arms and long fingers, I need something heavy duty (maybe something even meant for skiing). What do you wear on your hands when you go for a run in the cold?

Overall, it wad a great run with great friends! The F^3 is less than 2 weeks away and I feel ready to PR! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Running on the Wall Winner

The winner of the Running on the Wall medal hanger is...

Melanie at See Mommy Race

Congratulations to Melanie! Please contact me at Runningkellometers at gmail dot com to claim your prize! As stated in the original giveaway post, you have 72 hours (until Sunday, January 13 at 10am CST) to contact me before a new winner is chosen.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tempo Take 2

A few weeks ago I tried to do a tempo run. It was too much too fast after taking a break from running during my busy study time. I have been apprehensive to re-attempt the tempo so I have stuck with fartleks and intervals. Last night I decided to give the tempo run another go. The plan was to do a 1 mile warm up, 3 miles at tempo, with a 1 mile cool down. Historically this was one of my go-to workouts so I was hoping it would workout this time around. Dressing to run in these unpredictable temperatures can be kind of difficult.

That's okay though. I look like an awesome green ninja (a runnerd ninja). The middle top is something I picked up at the outlet mall over the weekend and it is my most favorite new winter running top. What is your favorite piece of winter workout gear? I only just realized that my Bondi Band (from my Daily Mile Secret Santa) matched my outfit perfectly. Also, special thanks to the husband for getting me green Yurbuds for my birthday!

I felt a bit over dressed during the run but since it was only 5 miles, it wasn't too bad. I made sure to take the warm up nice and easy. I tried not to go out too fast which ended up with my first tempo mile split at 8:03. The second mile I knew I needed to pick it up. An 8:03 just wasn't going to cut it for me, mentally. I just did loops around my neighborhood and part of the way, the wind was at my back and part of the way the wind was in my face. I tried not to let this get to me and just power through it. The second mile I clocked in at 7:52. I wasn't sure if there was a way for me to keep going for another mile at that pace. I was beating myself up thinking that my third mile would probably be my slowest. I also thought, maybe I'll just do a half mile. To get myself out of it, I tried a technique that Sierra mentioned she had done during the Hot Chocolate 15k. I told myself that I can keep this up for a half mile more. That was nothing. When I stopped focusing on the distance, my watch was at 0.65 mile before I knew it. Then, the rest was easy (well, as easy as the end of a tempo run can be). I think I might have even been able to tackle one more tempo mile, if I wanted to. The last mile I clocked 7:49. I don't think I've run a mile that fast in a long time. The last mile cool down felt great as I was so happy with how things went down.

I am ready to improve in 2013 as I was no where near this point at this same time last year! I felt so invigorated when I got home! Have you ever had one of those workouts where you weren't sure if you could do it, but you talked yourself into it and succeeded?

Now, today at the office, I'm wearing some compression sleeves under my dress pants as the calves and shins are a bit tight. I plan on using the foam roller and doing a bit of yoga tonight to help stretch things out.

DON'T FORGET! Today is the last day to enter the Running on the Wall giveaway!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Food For Thought

A few weeks ago, I went with a coworker to a nutrition seminar put on by our company. It really opened my eyes to lots of things that I hadn't really thought about before. Soon after, I had a girls night with some friends and my friend Kate S was talking about the Paleo diet. Also, I ate a frozen dinner recently that left a nasty, filmy, chemically after taste in my mouth. All these things added up together have got me thinking a lot about the food we all eat.

I'm not at all interested in the Paleo diet or lifestyle, but it definitely got me thinking. I have started reading the ingredients of everything I eat. Do you always read the ingredients labels of things before you eat them? I would skim the labels on certain products (looking for meat items to see if something was vegetarian) but wouldn't normally for "every day" products. It really did change my perspective.

So the biggest thing I've gotten out of this is that I've decided to stop eating frozen dinners. I have eaten them regularly for lunch over the past few years just because they are easy to grab and go. (Of course, I would have other things in addition to them because a girl can't live on a 300 calorie meal for lunch.) After actually reading the ingredient label (and having a filmy, nasty taste in my mouth for several hours after eating one), I've decided to make my own pasta with marinara or fetuccini alfredo to freeze. Thinking about this more and more, I've decided to do an even bigger overhaul. Why stop there?

Looking through my iPhone photos, I found some gems.
I made some of these recipes because they are delicious.
I made others because they are easy.
I try to share with you those that are both.

The evils of too much soy have really been haunting me lately. Since Toph is vegetarian, we eat A LOT of soy and soy is in EVERYTHING. I'm trying to cut down on the soy that I buy, therefore cutting down on the soy that we eat. I found a bunch of recipes on Pinterest for seitan, black bean burgers, lentil burgers, sweet potato burgers (all soy free) along with vegetable stock and breakfast sandwiches. (If you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know!) I just plan on storing these in various storage containers to keep in the freezer for easy transport. I already switched to making my own oatmeal varieties versus the packets, and I switched to almond milk too (less sugar and more protein than regular milk). There is also the "dirty dozen" produce list that I have been trying to watch for too. I think getting into these types of habits now is really important, especially for when we plan on starting a family some day. Do you pre-make meals ahead of time? Have you thought about doing something like this before? Do you always buy organic or just try to follow the "dirty dozen" rule? Let's see how ambitious I continue to be with all of this because it definitely takes more effort and time.

If there is interest in doing it, I may set up a submission post where different people send in their favorite make-ahead pasta or burger recipe and I will do a summary post. We can have different themes to the recipe and I can create a tab up at the top to help keep track. We can do it once a month or once a week, depending on the interest level. Let's take a stand against frozen, processed, chemically enhanced tv dinners!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Running on the Wall giveaway. You have until tomorrow (Wednesday, January 9th) to enter.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Vacation Accountability

Have you entered my Running on the Wall Giveaway yet? You have until Wednesday, January 9th to enter!

This past weekend we made our annual trip to Lake Geneva. My husband's family has been going up there once a year for the past 30+ years. Last year I had a lot of trouble fitting in my workouts so this year I planned accordingly. I met up with the local running club for a run on New Years Eve morning. Pepper came with me and she absolutely loved the attention! She would just stand by various people in the group, waiting for them to pet her. Lol. Amanda even brought champagne for us to sip on.
Can you spot the happiest dog in the world?

Tuesday I braved the dark and freezing temps to meet up with the running club again for some easy miles. When we left for Lake Geneva on Thursday, I was happy to already have 2 runs under my belt.

In preparation of a long run, I had emailed Kim earlier in the week as I knew she didn't live that far from Lake Geneva. We met on a trail that was half way in between for 9 windy miles. Bobbi joined us too! Since I haven't actually ran with Kim or Bobbi before, it was a lot of fun.
Thanks Kim, for letting me steal your photo!

Kim even got me a birthday present (complete with a card that made me laugh)! Thanks again Kim for the amazing gifts!! :) We ended up having a bit too much fun at the local watering hole on Friday night so I was glad I got my run done earlier in the morning! I brought a Picky Bar with me on the run that we shared as I really want to try and get a fueling strategy down this year. It seems I get part way there and then my stomach has other ideas...

Running on vacation is always hard, but it helps to have some friends that will meet you half way! When you go on vacation, do you run with friends? Do you look up local running clubs to participate with?

Do you have any traditions or vacations that your family has done for many years?

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Goals

After reflecting on my 2012 goals, I'm ready to start a new chapter of whatever 2013 will bring. I have lots of plans so we'll see where time will take me!

  • Attempt my first trail race (this is a rollover from 2012 as this didn't really happen)
  • PR the half marathon (I really want to try for a 1:45 as I totally think this is something I can do.)
  • PR the 5k (Would love to get much lower into the 22s or even into the 21s!)
  • Be more selective with my race schedule (I ran 17 races in 2012 and I felt this was too much. I wasn't able to have fun at all of them, and I think my bank account will be thankful if I take it down a notch in 2013.)
  • Attend more gym classes and try different types of cross training (Already tried crossfit and I also want to give Zumba a try!) Sub-goal: do yoga at least once a month (preferably once a week). I just found a Comcast Yoga for Runners video that is less than 20 minutes. I think I can manage that once a week. 
  • I have one more goal that I have mentioned to a few folks already, but I'm not ready to post it yet for all to read (although, if you've been reading the comments, you can probably guess/figure out what it is). I'm just going to leave it at that.

What are some of your goals for 2013? I love the start of a new year. A clean slate with a fresh state of mind to get things rolling on a positive note! :)

Just a few new pieces of hardware to add to the collection... :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Liebster Award Nomination

Have you entered the Running on the Wall giveaway yet? You have until Wednesday, January 9 to enter!

Katie at Live Half Full nominated me for the Liebster Award. I was nominated back in August as well so I'm not going to repeat the 11 facts about me, but you can check out my original post here!
Katie and I met for lunch during the Nato Summit week.

Here is how it works:
-Write 11 random facts about yourself.
-Answer the 11 interview questions you’ve been given by the person who nominated you. (see below)
-Create 11 new questions.
-Nominate 11 bloggers and mention them in your post.
-Go and tell the person who nominated you, along with the people you’ve nominated about your post.

1. What’s your favorite holiday splurge? Desserts. I always end up eating way too many of them! Currently in a cheese-less, tons-of-veggies stage. Looking forward to lunch!
2. How do you hold yourself accountable for workouts? I like to make plans with a friend. I feel this always helps me get back into a good routine, if I've fallen off the wagon. Running groups and group workout classes are a great way to be accountable during the winter months when it is so much easier to stay in bed or on the couch.
3. What made you start blogging? I've had online journals and various blogs since the age of 17. However, I started this running blog after completing my first marathon when all my friends and family were sick of hearing me talk about running. Now I have lots of internet friends that never get sick of it! What a treat!
4. What keeps you blogging? I love the online community that I feel a part of. I love meeting other bloggers and sharing my thoughts with the world (or small group of people on the internet that actually read my blog)!
5. Any goals in mind for 2013? A few... but that is a post for another day!
6. What is your biggest flaw? I can be very hard on myself if I don't meet a goal or don't do what is expected of me. I can be my own worst enemy in this regard. I've self-destructed a few times during races. This is something I'm going to try and work on in 2013. I have more fun and do better when I just go out there to have fun.
7. What are you three favorite things about yourself? my energy (I've been told by others that this can be motivating during a race), that I can easily go with the flow and have a good time with any group of people, and my sense of humor (I am easily amused and any day with a laugh is a good day).
8. What is your day job? analyst. I'll just leave it at that. :)
9. What is your go to snack? pretzels, possibly with something to dip them in (cream cheese, cottage cheese, peanut butter, pumpkin butter, anything really)
10. What is your go to weeknight dinner? frozen pizza. Just one of the many reasons why I will never be a healthy living blogger.
11.What’s your favorite thing to read on blogs? I love different blogs for different reasons. I always love reading new, easy dinner recipes. There can never be too many easy dinner ideas. I also love the "off the cuff" thought-provoking posts. Those can sometimes be my favorite.

As I know a lot of my blogging friends have already been tagged for the Liebster award, either now or earlier, I will not be posting any questions or tagging anyone else. (I have my blogger survey that a few folks have filled out for guest posts that may make a reappearance when I go on my next vacation.) Thanks for nominating me Katie! Sorry it took me a few weeks (literally) to get the post up. What is just 1 random fact about yourself, that you're willing to share?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Running on the Wall Giveaway

A few weeks ago, I entered a giveaway through the Zooma blog for a race medal and bib display from Running on the Wall. I was super excited when I found out that I won! I was able to pick a bib and medal display to hang on my wall. When the medal display arrived, there was a mix up in communication and it was not the holder I had ordered. When they sent me a new one, Running on the Wall let me keep the original and I would like to give it away to one lucky reader! I have been saving this giveaway until after Christmas in case Santa didn't put one in your stocking.
The medal holder text reads "Runner Girl" and it comes with hooks to screw into the holes, to hang your medals. These hooks come in a separate bag.

To enter, (1) please leave a comment letting me know your favorite race medal. Mine is from the Grand Rapids Marathon.

For additional entries,
2) Like RunningKellometers on Facebook
3) Talk about the giveaway on Facebook, mentioning RunningKellometers
4) Follow RunningKellometers through Google (click "follow" on the right hand side of the blog)
5) Tweet about the giveaway, mentioning (@kellywils0n)

PLEASE summarize all entries in a single comment!

You have until Wednesday, January 9 at 11:59pm CST to enter. The winner will be chosen (using on Thursday, January 10 by 10am CST. The winner must contact me within 72 hours (3 days) to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen (using again). If you have any questions about the product or rules of the giveaway, please contact me before entering. This giveaway is open to all readers within the continental United States.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Pepper got really tired after a few too many vlog attempts. She wanted to take a nap. Thanks again for following along in 2012. I'm looking forward to what 2013 will bring for all of us! :)