Yesterday was my 37th birthday. I would love to entertain you with stories about my exciting day/night out in Las Vegas… but that’s not what happened. In fact, the whole day was kind of a let down. I think my kid wasn’t feeling 100%, (the throwing up at the grocery store TWICE the day before could have been an indicator, right?) but it made her super irritable. So every suggestion on things to do was met with either NO! or whining or sobbing.

Me with my daughter on my 37th birthday.
One moment where she wasn’t furious. But even here I can tell she’s not feeling great.

So pretty much by the end of the day, I was feeling like I wanted to respond to every suggestion with a NO! or whining or sobbing.

I had a delusion maybe I could convince my husband we should go to REI and purchase a Garmin 920xt… cause the family needs that, right? And I got this idea that for a “birthday resolution” I would start a run streak and it would be exciting to have a device that linked my Zero Runner and outdoor miles. But 1) there’s no way he’s going to support that purchase right now unless I sell my other GPS and 2) after going to buy a new pair of sandals and get some lunch the kid was so grumpy that I didn’t want to go anywhere else.

Birthday resolutions? What? A friend recently posted on Facebook that she sets those each year as that seems like a better and more personal timing for setting a goal or resolution. I thought that sounded like a good idea. But I didn’t really think about anything in particular that I REALLY want to work on. So I made the spur-of-the-moment choice to start a streak: 1 mile a day for the year. But then I changed it to 1 mile a day for however long I felt like. And then after my husband’s response to the idea of the streak, “Why? That’s crazy.” I felt like I needed to re-evaluate. So… I don’t have an official streak plan anymore. Shortest lived goal ever.

1 mile inside before my strength workout. #running #shoeselfie #runselfie

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

Also… I’m guessing that people who really do running streaks have the most supportive/encouraging spouses in the world or maybe nobody else in their life. Oh… and I have no birthday resolution because really I just feel too tired to think about it anymore. What I really want is a few days off where I can actually feel relaxed and recharge. This week of taking vacation leave but still responding to work emails and trying to entertain a little girl who is feeling slightly ill is more exhausting than just working. I kind of feel like if I look too far ahead in life, I just start getting stressed. I’m basically just trying to make it through each day right now. 

I got the latest StrideBox in the mail though and I did manage to pick through that while sitting with my kid.

#stridebox August 2015 contents – still need to dig in and learn more about each item! #sp #running

A video posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

There are a lot of things in here I’m excited to try and some that I’m just happy to learn about new things in the industry but don’t know if I care to try them.

  • Amrita energy bar – a fruit/sunflower seed based bar
  • E-Gel by Crank Sports – sports gel with a lot of electrolytes
  • Honey Stinger grapefruit chews – it says they are a sweet/sour flavor, I like sour things!
  • EFS Pro Cucumber Water – this is an electrolyte/endurance fuel drink.
  • Pure Clean Powder beet juice powder – this one I’m excited about, I’ve heard lots about all the benefits of beets for athletes
  • Sportea – I’ve seen a couple of tea products hit the market lately marketed toward athletes, seems an interesting blend of things that are beneficial for endurance.
  • Dr. Hoy’s pain relief gel – an arnica and vitamine E topical paint reliever
  • All Good sunscreen stick – a zinc oxide sunscreen stick that is good for the face as well as for kids.

This month StrideBox wants to see where people run, so they’re asking for people to show off their favorite running trail and tag it on social media with #TagYourTrail.

Today has been a little bit better, we went to the children’s museum and had a lot of fun. But I still have a kiddo who isn’t feel great and she can’t seem to tell me what it is that’s wrong. I guess I understand, we’ve all had days where we just feel “off” but can’t pinpoint what it is that’s dragging us down. That’s where we’re at… and I’m pretty sure I’ll probably “catch” whatever this is next week. :-)


So… we’re on vacation this week. It’s a thrilling experience in Fabulous Las Vegas!

But wait, we live in Las Vegas… so it’s not that thrilling. This is the culmination of my child’s school being closed this week, forcing our hand to take vacation this week and our vacation rental that we had secured getting cancelled on us. So we just stayed home.

It’s taken me about 10 minutes to type those first two paragraphs so far. It’s hard to do stuff with my kiddo around. We’ve had to type her name in TextEdit several times, we’ve had to find new video clips to watch in the YouTube Kids app and we’ve had to close videos that are stupid. There is sooooo much garbage out there. Not bad like “that’s too adult” but bad like “someone wasted their time to crappily animate this thing and put it to a song and yet they still sing robot “rubut“?! Stupid is my label for them, not hers. And it’s just my label in my head, and on this site. 

I’ve also got in about 2 hours of work so far today, just because this is kind of a crappy time for me to be off work. There’s a lot of stuff happening in the next couple of weeks at work and people are realizing “OHNOES! We need to get things ready for everything that is happening and we need you to work on it.” It’s all good, I don’t have to actually post the info myself, I can give it to my staff (I have awesome employees right now!) but I still have to direct it out. But we have spent about 2 hours in the car today anyway, so I can play email traffic director at that time.

Our excursion today was to the Lion Habitat Ranch here in Las Vegas. #AwesomeA was so excited to get going to this, and hearing her say “lion habitat” is adorable. We had about 5 minutes of our drive where she asked “Where’s the lion habitat?” before she fell asleep. She should be tired because she was up at 6am yelling “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I’m up now Mommy!” So we watched The Little Mermaid while I ran on the Zero Runner.

Okay, so back to the lions. She was excited, she dozed on the drive, we arrived. There is a little trailer/modular office building that visitors are supposed to enter at one end, shuffle through and pay admission and then step out at the other end to enter the habitat. She stepped out the door, didn’t realize it was a fairly big step and fell onto the ground. And started to cry… and well, the lion habitat pretty much wasn’t any fun anymore at that point. So we paid our admission fee to have her be sad the whole time. At least she’s free and we got in with discounted rates for World Lion Day. She didn’t want to look at the ostriches, the first animals you see upon entry. So we walked toward a staffer who had some ostrich feathers and an ostrich egg for people to look at and she started to scream/scramble out of my arms saying she was scared of them. So ostrich feathers and egg are a ‘NO WAY JOSE!’ ticket item. We walked around to look at the various lions but she really wasn’t as interested in them as I had assumed. We walked over to see the baby giraffe and she didn’t want to get anywhere near that either. She thought the lion cubs were cute for a moment, but she just really wanted to “get out of here.”


So we went to lunch at Jason’s Deli. She didn’t want any of their kids meals, even though they have a fairly large menu. She said she wanted chips and fruit. So we ordered her a fruit cup and baked chips. She devoured the fruit and ate a couple of chips and then she got to have a tiny ice cream cone for dessert. (Jason’s Deli = free ice cream for everybody!)

We eat ice cream cones with a spoon cause we’re classy like that. #AwesomeA #VegasStaycation2015

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

And then we drove home and we’re having “quiet time” on the couch. Which means mommy and daddy are on their computers and she’s on the iPad. Kind of exactly what I wanted to avoid during vacation, but I give up today. We planned something, it didn’t really pan out how I hoped and it’s too hot to go outside and do anything. I tried to convince her to play with play-doh or color or something with me but she said, “No thanks, I’ll just watch my iPad. When it’s cooler we can go to the park.”

This may be a long week… But I do have something new that I hope to get in a few workouts on this week… provided I’m ever given a moment to myself.*


TRX is in the house! I can’t wait to give it a try and share what I figure out with you! Recent studies have shown that suspension training is just as effective, if not MORE effective, than traditional weight lifting.  And there are runner-specific routines for TRX that I can’t wait to try. Because when I do strength training, my goals are to be healthier all-around and to have it help my running. I don’t need to build presentational muscles to be in a sparkly-bikini-lady-competition-thingamajig. (My friend is training for one of those… she’s getting super ripped and her dedication is amazing. But man… her life/training/feeding schedule for that sounds like torture. I don’t believe some of these people I see on social media who just say “It’s a lifestyle.” No… I’m pretty sure it’s a form of sadomasochism. There doesn’t seem to be any fun in it! Plus, there’s no way that would fit into my life with a small kid and a career.)

*I love my child more than anyone/anything in the whole wide world… but she’s exhausting sometimes!

Parowan City Half Marathon 2015 [Race Report]

I’ve mentioned it here, but after Boston I was lazy. Well… not lazy, since I still ran 4 times a week and I’d picked up more strength training. I just wasn’t focused. I didn’t have a plan I was following and I just ran however much I felt like running. Until about 6 weeks ago and had the epiphany, “Oh yeah… I have a half marathon coming up!”

Parowan City Half Marathon

Friday late afternoon/evening my husband and I loaded the kid and the dog into the car and we drove to Southern Utah. We stayed at my mom’s house and she was kind enough to get my race packet earlier in the day. I brought her a massive supply of Retro Bakery cookies to put in her freezer in exchange for taking care of that task for me.

Saturday morning I woke up at 4:45 AM (3:45 AM in my time zone) to get ready to race! I had hoped to be out of her house at 5:15 to drive to the finish line, about 20 miles north of her house. But I was a little slow getting my stuff together. I filled my water bottle, made sure I had everything together and took my mom’s car to the fairgrounds.

I got out of the car, walked toward the bus loading area and straight onto a yellow school bus. I knew I was cutting it close to when the last buses were leaving, so I figured I would just use the porta potties at the start line.


The moon was glowing as we rode the bus up the canyon. I ended up sitting next to a fellow Las Vegas resident. Funny, given that there were about 400 participants in the race and from the discussions happening around us it seemed everyone was fairly local to that region of Utah.

The start line is at a small lake, Yankee Meadows Reservoir. It’s beautiful to watch the sun come and light the sky there. I think it was between 40 and 50 degrees at the start line, cool enough to need my toss-away sweatshirt, but not cool enough to make me cold.


There was one challenge… they only had about 9 porta potties at the start line. And the lines were pretty long. And I was at the end of these long lines.


As I was leaving the “facilities” I heard the race organizers yell “Go!”, so I started about 30-40 seconds after the official start time. Not that big of a deal, except this race was timed gun-to-chip, not chip-to-chip. This means there was no starting mat for our timing chips to cross so EVERYBODY has the same start time. So there’s some time added on my official race time where I wasn’t even up to the course yet. Oh well.

This race is beautiful. I was thinking as I ran that I wished I had a way of taking photos of the course and still keep running along at a fluid pace. But I noticed there was a drone flying above the course and sure enough, a video has been posted online. I snagged a couple of stills from the drone video to share the beauty.

Aerial photo shot by a drone during the Parowan City Half Marathon, August 1, 2015
Still from drone footage shot by St George News
Aerial shot of the 2015 Parowan City Half Marathon
Still from drone footage shot by St George News
Aerial shot of the 2015 Parowan City Half Marathon
Still from drone footage shot by St George News

I felt really good throughout this run. I was happy, had no digestive woes and was so eager to run toward my little girl. The promise of her being at the finish line is wonderful for me!

I forgot to start my Garmin at the start, didn’t start it until about .9 mile into the race. So I just ignored it the whole time.

Parowan City Half Marathon 2015
A photo captured early in the race by a photographer on course.

I did throw myself off a little thinking that I was about 2 miles away from the finish and decided to take a walk break to fish a ginger chew out of my Orange Mud hydraquiver (first time I got to wear this in a race! I’ve trained with it all year, but it wasn’t allowed in Boston) and lost about 30 seconds due to that. If I had the vest model this wouldn’t have been an issue as I could have had them in front pockets. And if I had realized that it was more like 1 mile away I would have just said, “Tough it out, you don’t need that sugar!”

The last mile is a very gentle incline. A slope that I would normally not even bat an eye at but after 12 miles of some steep downhills, that incline HURTS! Even if that stretch was pancake flat it probably would have felt hard to traverse after the declines.

Overall I am really happy with this performance. I’m trying hard to not dwell on those missed seconds at the beginning and from the ginger chew thing, because there is nothing to be done. But I also realize those precious seconds cost me my sub-2 goal. Next time, right?


And now, post-race, I am in serious pain. I assumed my quads would be sore from the downhill pounding, but they’re fine. It’s my calves that are screaming at me now. Not sure I can pick my strength training back up today, it’s technically legs day! LOL!

If you ever get the chance, sign up for this race. It’s so pretty and SO cheap. I think I paid $30 or something like that. And the small town vibe is great, you get the sense that people in the community take pride in the event and they pull together to make it happen. It’s great when the organizer is at the start line and tells everyone just to throw their jackets, bags or whatever into her van and she’ll have it for you at the finish!

I wore a pair of Fabletics capris, my Eddie Bauer Quantum t-shirt (seriously, love this shirt. They need more colors!), Saucony Virrata 2 (They’re almost dead! I might need to do the new shoe hunt soon! NOOOOO!), and the Hydraquiver mentioned above.  I also ate an applesauce pouch and a Yummari bar before the race. That combination seemed to be the perfect balance of fueling me for the run without being too much to digest.


Friday Fête

Happy Friday! It’s almost time to do tons of laundry and chores! Woo hoo!!!! OMG it’s the weekend!

Okay, actually… I get to run a half marathon this weekend too. And then come home to do laundry and chores.

Time to share random things!

That Sugar Film

A new documentary being released today: That Sugar Film is kind of like Super Size Me, in that a person uses their own body to document how unhealthy a certain thing is while also going around talking to a bunch of people about their experiences with said unhealthy thing. This time the unhealthy thing is the hidden sugars in so much of the world’s food supply.

So in this movie, Damon (our human guinea pig) embarks on a journey to consume 40 teaspoons of sugar a day that is hidden in foods that we may consider to be healthy. Films like this always take it to an extreme for the shock value, but it was kind of gross to see the kid who had to get all of his rotted out teeth removed because he drank Mountain Dew since he was a baby. And when Damon illustrated how he could put the teriyaki sauce on his chicken, or put 4 teaspoons of sugar right on his chicken? Gross. But also, HOW MUCH TERIYAKI SAUCE DO YOU NEED? The pouch that he held up was huge. That chicken would be drowning in sauce. Kind of a “have a little chicken with your sauce” situation. Again, back to the shock value.

But it was still an entertaining film to watch with some good reminders about just how much sugar is hidden in every convenience food. (It’s added to reach the Bliss Point, I learned this from the film.)

If you want some guidelines on what the recommended limits on sugar consumption are and how to determine how the sugar in your food plays into that, read this article. And just remember… moderation, balance, mindfulness when it comes to food consumption. I still think it’s okay to enjoy a cookie or cupcake, just not all day every day.


Threenager: a 3-year-old who acts out, pouts, complains and has the general attitude, angst and mood swings of a teenager
Image from KeepMommySane.com

Does this give you an idea of what my life is like lately? And my kid isn’t even three yet… she still has a few more weeks! She really is a sweet, loving girl. She says please most of the time, thank you all the time, she is articulate and energetic… but this sudden phase we’ve entered is so hard. I don’t remember being a 3-year-old girl myself, but I remember being a teenage girl. A time where you can go from happy to despondent in a matter of minutes seconds and we’ve entered that realm.

So I just read stuff online to give me comfort that I’m not alone and that my child isn’t some kind of anomaly, as I try to keep my cool.

The Google Support Group for this syndrome is lengthy.

Trip vs Vacation

We don’t take vacations. We go on trips. If you need help differentiating between the two, this article should help. But even before I had a kid we didn’t go on vacations. This article about taking longer vacations showed up in my inbox and the mere thought of a long trip gives me anxiety. For a few reasons:

  1. My work never seems to shut off, I carry it around with me all the time, I LIVE in my job and it just seems to get worse every single day lately.
  2. My husband complains that we never go on vacations, but he never offers suggestions of places to go or things he’d like to do and he takes no joy in any of them. So why would it be relaxing and fun to go hang out for an even longer time with someone who is acting like I took him to get needles poked in his eyeballs?
  3. The dog! What to do with the dog?! You have to find a place where we can take her along with us or you have to board her. If you board her, she’s miserable. If we take her with us, we’re stuck in the car and that’s ONE MORE individual that I have to pack for.

Maybe if I got to go on a vacation all by myself?

No… that wouldn’t work. Because I don’t want to leave my kid that long. I’m supposed to go on a cruise NEXT YEAR without her, and the thought of that makes me sick to my stomach.* I don’t want to go away for a long time without her. ZERO desire. And if I do go away, I’ll just worry about her the whole time anyway.

Parenting is kind of cool, but kind of horrible too. Like… I’m pretty sure I’m going to have even more anxiety (than I would have given myself over everyday life) for the rest of forever. She’ll be a 45-year-old off on her own, and I’ll be anxious about what she’s doing. Sigh…

Digital Money for Health Habits

I recently learned about Wellcoin, a new healthy currency. You can earn Wellcoins for doing the healthy behaviors you already do (or start doing because you are enticed by earning Wellcoin). After you’ve accumulated so many Wellcoin, you can turn them in for various rewards. The rewards are products or services from big name vendors like Skechers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and more.

The initiative had a successful beta test period with 10,000 Boston-area participants and is now spreading to everyone. You can sign up on their website, or you can use the app to log your activities, monitor your Wellcoin balance and turn them in for something cool. I’ve been playing with the app for the past couple of days, it’s a little clunky but it has potential. I have 420 Wellcoin right now and once I hit 1000 I could trade them in for a blender bottle or a discount on a Bulu Box. Or I can keep saving them and once I have  5000 I can have $70 to spend at Hello Fresh. (Maybe then I’d like cooking dinner?)

If you feel like signing up, use this code: TVSTchp8chde
That will give me 100 Wellcoin. :-)

Hope you have a fun weekend that involves some laundry and chores! Or something better. Hands up for the weekend!

*It totally sucks that I can let something that is way off in the future consume my thoughts and give me anxiety at the same level as something I have to do in the next 40 minutes.