Friday Fête

I have 10 days of vacation to use before June 30 or else I lose them. That means I need to take quite a few Fridays off before then. So this morning I took the time for myself for this:

Trails on the outskirts of Las Vegas

Try to not get lost… they look like they all come back together, but they don’t!

Trails on the outskirts of Las Vegas - big rocky hill

Climb me…

I received some new trail shoes: Montrail FluidFlex ST (disclosure: freebie shoes for the purpose of blog review/social media) and while I had run on an easy trail in them before Boston, I was excited to get out on new terrain. They were really comfortable and I was glad I had the traction on these trails full of loose rocks and uneven slopes. They have a 4mm drop, are lightweight and they retail for $95… I’m looking forward to putting in more miles on the trails now that I’m not marathon training for a while. *


And just because today I am taking vacation, that doesn’t mean I’m free from checking my work email or talking to my boss. I seem to recall once upon a time I could actually take a day off… but the past few months that vibe has changed A LOT in my job.

And in true Friday fashion… here are a bunch of things that have graced my inbox this week that have caught my eye.

Aquasana Filter Water Bottle (Kickstarter)

This Aquasana water bottle is made of glass and has a super-high-tech filter. I don’t think I’d carry it running, but it seems like a good traveling bottle – one to take with you past security into the airport and fill up out of the drinking fountains. Or to keep in the car and then fill up at parks for the kiddo… park drinking fountains always seem a little iffy to me!

Aquasana Filter Water Bottle

Hidrate Water Bottle

Did you know there could be so much innovation in water bottles? This Hidrate bottle communicates with an app to make sure you’re drinking the right amount throughout the day. And it’s kind of like a work of art!

Hidrate water bottle and app

JournalMENU Winner

Congratulations to Amy who won the training journal giveaway. For those of you who are interested in getting your own JournalMENU journal, you can get 15% off by visiting this page by May 20! They have journals for a wide range of things available, so check it out! (No, I don’t get commission from this… it’s just a nice thing they have offered!)


Red’s Burrito Bowls

I received some coupons to get free Red’s Burrito Bowls and I was excited to try them. I found them at a local Fresh and Easy store, where unfortunately they don’t take manufacturer coupons. (I could get into a whole other rant about this!) So I just bought them anyway… and I really like them. Super easy when I need a fast lunch and they’re non-GMO, have a good amount of protein in them and are one of the better tasting microwave meals I’ve tried! BTW – Red is not the owner, Red is the owner’s dog. I’m pretty sure Jade the Boxer would approve.


Standing Workers Just Want to Sit Down

I thought this was interesting… we hear a lot about how bad sitting is (I share a lot of those stories. I want to stand at my desk more!) but I frequently hear from friends who do a lot on their feet when I share those how they would love to sit down more during work. I received a pitch from Futuro who is doing a giveaway for a vacation, gift card, compression gear, about how workers that stand a lot end up so fatigued they often don’t do other exercise. This isn’t the athletic compression gear I would normally lean toward, but I hadn’t thought that if I do actually stand more at my desk that I might need compression gear for that! Sounds like standing while working and sitting while working are just like anything else… best in moderation!


*Did you catch that? My “for a while” statement? I really want to run another marathon and I’m already plotting out where the next one should be. I just don’t want to train for one through the summer months in Las Vegas!

All the Workouts I Dream About

I’m tired today. I ran a brutal marathon last night… in my sleep.

  • the weather was awful in this race. It was cold and rainy…
  • then we ran through a 5 mile segment that had suddenly turned to snow and dropped about a foot of snow in this stretch that we had to shuffle through.
  • There were tunnels that were pitch black because there was no power to illuminate them. All the runners were shuffling along dragging their hands along a wall to keep some kind of an idea as to where they were.
  • Further the rains were even harder and roads were flooded. We had to run an underpass that was flooded. There was a gate and a race volunteer instructed us we could stick to the race course and swim the underpass or cut a mile off and go through her gate, but we’d take a penalty. There was a line of us there waiting to take the penalty, but she was all scattered and rude and would only let one runner through the gate at a time while she searched through her notebook to check off with a pencil the runners who would be penalized while balancing her umbrella.
  • We got through the gate and ran up a huge hill, only to have strong gusts of wind once cresting the summit literally blow runners off their feet.
  • I keep saying “We” in this… I was running with a group of gals I had no idea who they were, but I think we just banded together because we were all in this same situation.

I was over 6 hours into this race and not near the finish yet when my alarm finally went off, saving me from this hellish experience that was leaving me to question, “Why did they not cancel the race?” My husband said I was tossing and turning all night long.

Irony… considering I was planning on posting about ALL THE WORKOUTS I wish I had time to do. Just thinking about that after the horrible midnight marathon exhausted me further! BUT in a perfect world, these are some of the workouts I would love to have time to do… you know, in my dreams. ;-)


I want to run 4 days a week. I usually make time to do that. I would love to have at least an hour for that each day, except for one day that needs to be long run day.


Zero Runner

So…. I haven’t actually tried the Octane Zero Runner. But I have decided this NEEDS to be my life. I have been meaning to incorporate more cross-training, but there’s the whole specificity of sport thing too… This looks perfect because it’s a way to keep building endurance and cardio health without the pounding! Plus, it’s quiet so I could do it in the early morning hours or late hours when the kid is asleep and I can’t go out to run due to heat/no backup parent/etc. Acquiring one of these machines is high on my to-do list. I wonder if they would give me a discount if I promised to blog/Tweet/Facebook/Pin/Instagram/Medium about it. (Wait… I just did blog about it for free! And I’m serious about this!)



I think doing a barre workout 4 or 5 days a week would be good for isolating and toning all those little muscles that are so important for balance. And I really like these workouts, they make me bust a sweat and they make me sore, letting me know they’re working areas that I neglect otherwise.

The studio at Las Vegas Pure Barre. This was an amazing class.

The studio at Las Vegas Pure Barre. This was an amazing class.

Surfset Classes

Easily the most fun I’ve had in a group fitness class. Also, not exactly the thing that one would do at home. The surfboard is big and not the most home-friendly option and I don’t think the class would be as much fun if you were coaching yourself through it. But these were fun classes and killer core workouts.



Every day… every single day… I’d love to do some yoga each day. I did a daily practice in February and it was hard to fit in, some days it was literally just 5 minutes. But it also greatly improved how I felt; physically and mentally. Yesterday I did 20 minutes of yoga after my run and it was great, except for the moment that I lay down for savasana and heard “Mommy…. I need to go POTTY!!!!!!” from my daughter’s bedroom. I have a subscription to Fitstar Yoga, it’s really convenient to be able to get a variety of practices in as long as I have the time!


Strength Training

I have friends who have shown amazing gains and improvements by incorporating strength training. I have ZERO desire to do one of those “stand on a stage in a sparkly bikini flexing my muscles” competitions (Trust me, it would be a very bad choice for me to embark on that path with my eating disorder history.) but it would be cool to be able to knock out a few chin-ups/pull-ups. So maybe 2 days a week of this?

No one gets toned from a Shake Weight

Image found via


I have a hula hoop and I am good at spinning it around my waist and hips… I can do that for a long time. It would be fun to figure out how to actually do tricks, like spinning it up and down my body and along my arms artfully. Then again, I’m very ungraceful so this is probably a pretty laughable proposition, but one I’d like to do purely for the fun of it. And to get to the point of doing tricks, you probably need to keep trying consistently, huh?

Image via

Image via

But incorporating all of these workouts means lots of two-a-days… which means more minutes and hours dedicated to working out. And all these workouts is going to lead to an increased need to shower. I always thought people were joking when they said on teh interwebs they had a hard time fitting in a shower once they had kids. But it really does get harder! Yesterday I took a shower after my run and as I was getting out of the shower I had a little girl run into the bathroom crying, but then she started laughing when she saw me and she said, “You have no clothes on!” Then she remembered she was upset and started to cry again and said, “Put your clothes on! I need you downstairs!”

Oh… and the sleep issue. I’m already sleep deprived a good majority of the time. I consistently get about 6.5 hours of sleep (sometimes fragmented when I have to go soothe a 2-year-old who is awake and saying, “I’m scared of the ladybugs!”) each night. And I would think that if I’m getting in this many workouts, I’d probably need more recovery time. A couple more hours of sleep… maybe a nap every now and then. Doesn’t a nap sound glorious? I’m so jealous of people who have kids that nap. The only way I could get my kid to nap is to strap her to me the first year of her life or to go on a drive around town at nap time. But if she would take a nap, maybe I could take a nap!

And there are other things that I haven’t explored as much but sound great. Pilates, PiYo, Orange Theory Fitness, SoulCycle (I don’t think these are even in Vegas yet)…

Are you like me, do you hear about all the different workouts out there and want to try them all? 

Protein Up! with Silk Soymilk

Throughout marathon training I had a real problem with runger. I just felt hungry all… the… time! I thought it was due to the big miles I was running, and that probably contributed. But I’m still feeling pretty ravenous and I haven’t run since the race. My body needs fuel to heal and rebuild all the little microtearing that happens from running a marathon, but also to just function in daily life. And here’s what I’m realizing… I’m still skimping on protein! I need to increase that more, it will help me feel fuller and more satisfied.

I used to be really good about making meals that were “balanced” and contained a wide variety of food groups and nutrients. And then I got busier. Life happens! Work obligations, being a mom, taking care of a household… And with time limited I got in the habit of shoveling a bowl of cereal in my face each morning. Cereal is great, but just making a simple switch from an almond/cashew milk to soy milk on my cereal each morning I’m introducing more protein with hardly any effort.

Silk Soymilk has 8 grams of plant-protein per serving, the same as dairy milk! Since it comes from plants, there is no cholesterol and it is low in saturated fat. Plus it just tastes good!

For my upcoming half marathon training, I’m going to try to get back into the habit of consuming more smoothies to get a range of nutrients from fruits & veggies and to increase my protein intake. While I usually like yogurt in them, I do prefer a plant-based “milk” for the liquid. Soy milk is awesome for boosting the protein and creaminess factor in a smoothie.

But smoothies do take a little more time to make, so that’s why just incorporating it in simple ways will make a difference too. Topping my cereal with Soymilk is a fast and effortless change and I feel like every second counts these days, especially in the mornings! I’m trying to re-bank some of the sleep I lost over the past several months! (Wishful thinking!)

However, this is deliciousness worth a few extra minutes:

  • orange juice
  • banana
  • ​Silk Soymilk
  • blueberries
  • yogurt and/or plant-based protein powder
  • optional add-ins: spinach, any fruit you can think of, carrots, chia seeds, oats

And it’s easy to sip while sitting at a desk… or maybe if you’re commuting to work or school… or just sitting on the couch and watching TV!

Whether you’re already a fan of Silk Soymilk or looking to try it, I encourage you to visit for a coupon to save on your next purchase.

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Serial Racing

If you’ve been in the running/racing community long enough, you’ve heard about the special breed of runners that does a ton of races throughout the year. The people who race every weekend or even multiple times in the same weekend. And I’m going to be honest… whenever I have heard of these people I always think what a great adventure that must be and then I wonder “How do they manage that?” And when I think manage, I am literally thinking about the logistics… from finances and organization and traveling.  I suppose I should think about how they physically manage the accomplishment, but since I’m a tightwad I always think of the monetary side first.

Thus the book Serial Racing: Planning For And Affording A Lifetime Of Endurance Events intrigued me. (Disclosure: sent to me for free to review.) I have no aspirations to do this kind of endeavor at this point in my life, but this book helped me realize and appreciate all the effort that it takes to do something of this nature.


The author, Andrea Herrmann, is speaking from experience here. She completed the 10 Moon/Sun level in the Half Fanatics club… doing 52 half marathons in 365 days… TWICE and wrote this book after doing so to share the knowledge she’s acquired on the subject.

She dives into information on how to make sure you are saving money on your race registrations (early registrations are key… which means planning your calendar out in advance is key!), tricks to get free flights, saving money on accommodations, how to find a variety of races and generally how to keep your self organized when you are doing this many events.

So what if you have zero interest in doing as many events as the author? Well… if you’re doing one race a month or so (something I know a lot of people can easily do locally) there are tips in here for you too. There is one that I don’t want to giveaway (you’ll have to check out the book) that has to do on saving money on an Active Advantage membership that I want to look into further.

The other really cool thing is the author volunteers with Medals4Mettle, a nonprofit that collects earned donated finishers medals and presents them to individuals battling cancer and other illness. A portion of the book proceeds are used to fund medal presentations.


The book is available in paperback and kindle format on Amazon. Definitely check it out if you want to find ways to keep your racing habit in check or figure out how to take it up to a new level!

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

What’s Next and Journaling Training

So…. the Boston Marathon was kind of my big THING this year. And as with anything you do in life, people always want to know what’s coming up next.

  • Get married, people want to know when you’ll have a kid
  • Have a kid, people want to know when you’ll have another
  • Run a big race, people ask when the next one is
  • Read all the way to the end of the post for a giveaway

First up on the agenda… is to rest. I haven’t run since the race a week ago. I have the itch to run… but I promised myself I would take at least two weeks off from running after the marathon. And even though I came through the race remarkably unscathed, I do have a toenail that is sore. At race finish I had a sore toe and the top 1/3 of the toenail came off a couple of days after the race and I thought I was all set. But another toenail on the other foot is getting blacker and has some pain. So I’ll give it another week to chill out.


Look! Giant picture of my foot!


After a week off from any kind of specific exercise (I did a lot of stretching and foam rolling this past week, just because I felt like I “should” do it but there was no targeting of any areas that were in need) I feel the need to have a little more structure. And as I mentioned before, I’d like to do a lot more Barre3 workouts. I would LOVE to go to studio classes, but all of the barre studios are a good drive from my house, so it’s not like I can truly run out to do it on my lunch hour… unless I want to do a “lunch 2 hours.” :-) So Barre3 online and DVDs are what it will need to be.


I have a couple of half marathons I’m already registered for, one in August and one in September. I have seen ads for a great race that is in July and I get tempted to sign up for it each time I see one… but I haven’t yet.  I also have my eye on a Ragnar Relay in the fall… or maybe two. If I get trigger-happy, I may just join a team of random strangers for the Vegas Ragnar once more… it’s kind of an adventure to do that!

Something I did learn through this training cycle is that I should really keep a better log of what I’m doing on each day and each week. Pay attention to the meals that I’m eating the night before a long run and see if there are any patterns between the rough days and what I eat or if it’s just random dumb luck. There are a lot of online logs… but I definitely wouldn’t want to use a public forum for this kind of information. There are runners out there who are comfortable sharing all of the bad details, the boring details, the pointless details with anyone who happens to look online… I’m not one of those runners!

So I’m going to try a paper log for the next few months. I received a great one from Journal Menu and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how many nice little details have gone into this planner. I got to choose my own photo that wrapped around the covers, so I used a photo I took in Hawaii on a trail a few years ago.


There is more inside than just blank spots to write down your information. There are a few sample training plans for 5K, half marathon and marathon.


Fortunately, these only take up about 6 pages, so if you aren’t interested in those it’s not like you’re losing a ton of usable space. There are pages for you to write out your plans for races.


And also to write a review of the race:


The bulk of the pages are designed to be used for tracking the day-in-day-out training. It’s nice because it gives you cues on various things that you could be recording to look for patterns to success/disappointment in your training that you may not remember on your own:


And I like that there is a little motivational quote at the top of each page too! I’m going to give it a try and I’ll let you know how I like a paper option!

If you would like to get your own journal, I’ve got a giveaway for one! And it doesn’t have to be a running journal… take a look at the Journal Menu site, they have a TON of options for personalized journaling.

Giveaway closes on May 5 and all entries must be registered through the Rafflecopter widget. Winner must be in the US. Winner will be chosen randomly and will be emailed. Contact information will be passed over to Journal Menu for prize redemption.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Boston Marathon 2015 Recap – Numero Dos

Read: Recap Numero Uno

Rain started to fall a little as we made the 45 minute drive to Hopkinton. It was just a sprinkle and stopped by the time we were there.



But the Athletes’ Village was kind of soggy. There was a big tent set up with bagels, bananas, water, coffee and Gatorade. People could spread bags, or whatever items they had, on the ground to sit, but most of the people were in line for the potties. And many had already run out of TP! You’d think with how detail-oriented everything was with this race, they wouldn’t be out of that!

We found teammate Angela there and hit the potty line. And it wasn’t long before they announced it was time for our wave and corrals to start heading toward the start line. Volunteers checked every bib to make sure you were in the right corral, no jumping ahead like I’ve seen in other races. I’m glad for that.

It’s nearly a one mile walk from the Village to the start line. Along the way in this shuffle I ditched my sweatpants, but kept the jacket. It was also during this walk when the rain started to fall more steadily.

The start was rather sudden, we kept shuffling forward as they released corrals and all the sudden – RUN! – it was ON as everyone realized they were at the start line.

Rachel and I had decided to start out the race running together and keep evaluating how we went along and how we felt. Both of us had kind of lonely training with many miles on our own and we each appreciated the company. I can’t imagine that you’d ever run alone in Boston, there are so many people, but it’s nice to have someone in particular that you’re checking in with throughout the miles.

The first miles are all downhill; over and over I’ve heard the biggest mistake runners make in this race is going out too fast for those early miles. I was very aware our pace wasn’t exactly where I wanted it to be, a little fast, but not too bad. And it felt so good. Oh… and there are so many people, it’s hard to not be swept along in the crowd. Despite the rain, despite the wind, despite the cold… I was having so much fun.


There’s really no way to get how much this area loves the race until you’re there. I’ve heard stories of the crowd support many times, yet it still blew me away. Even in the rain, people lined the streets. For 26.2 miles you have people screaming and cheering for you. They set up tents in their yards, have music blasting, people playing various musical instruments (drums, a fife, cowbell…) and you can get aid between all the official aid stations. Residents hand out water, Gatorade, Twizzlers, oranges… I can’t believe how much pride they have for this race. The aid stations were very consistent: every mile with Gatorade Endurance and then water. The volunteers all smiled and cheered for us, even as they had to stand in the rain and cold.

Rachel and I decided that at the halfway point she would dig her phone out and we’d take a picture. Both of us had our phones in plastic bags tucked firmly away so they didn’t get soggy. Everything else was soggy, must protect the electronics!

Rachel and Jill at the 13.1 mile point of the Boston Marathon

My new running buddy for life, Rachel!

The Wellesley College Scream Tunnel is amazing and loud, you can’t help but smile as you run through their noise and signs. Going into this I wanted to record this section, but with the rain I didn’t get any my phone out. And even with the rain there were a lot of girls out there… thanks ladies, for braving the cold/wet/wind to cheer us on!

Heartbreak Hill has the reputation, but really there is a series of hills leading up to Heartbreak. It’s just once you top Heartbreak, the real climbs are finally over that everybody looks forward to! It’s not that it is super steep either, it’s more a lot of climbs in a row and the fact that they come so late in the race after you’ve been running downhill. But I conserved energy and felt really strong at this point still.

Rachel and I took some walk breaks on the hills, making agreements on where to start and stop our breaks. “Start at the umbrella and end at that tent?” She tried to encourage me to go on ahead, but I told her she was stuck with me. I was having too much fun having a pal on course, someone to share all the amazing energy with me, I wasn’t about to ditch her.

My friend Terri’s apartment is actually right on the race course, so I got to wave to her. She had some things to offer me if I needed them; a jacket, new hat, gloves… But I was feeling okay and nothing added to me at this point could change how soggy I felt. So I waved at her and we pressed on. She said that most people she knows say they don’t remember the race from beyond her place cause it’s so late in the race, but I’m pleased to say I do. I felt FANTASTIC!

I remembered signs at the expo saying “Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston”, and in the final mile as I saw the course turning right I knew we must be at that moment. I wanted to just charge ahead full speed, it was so exciting knowing I was going to finish another marathon after a long hiatus, and not just any marathon… The Boston Marathon!

Rachel and I promised to cross together and that we wouldn’t mess up each other’s finish. She had a friend charge ahead of her at the last minute once and I had a friend cover my face in the finish as she outstretched her arms. We grabbed hands briefly for a moment and then crossed that blue line. It was also so great to have someone who I could immediately turn to and share in the moment of victory… the “Holy crap we just ran the Boston Marathon!” moment.




This was my best feeling marathon ever! I had a dopey smile on my face most of the race, I never felt my form slip, my energy was consistent… It was simply amazing. The rain seriously worried me, but it didn’t pose a problem during the run.


The finish area was great, the volunteers put the medal around each finishers’ neck and treated each of us like we were special. Then volunteers put the heatsheets on each of us, helping to guide our arms in, pulling the hood up, and fastening the Velcro closure for us. (BTW – the heatsheets were WAY better than a simple mylar blanket, which I couldn’t have held on to at that point as my hands were frozen.) We were handed a bag of snacks and volunteers were passing out bananas, even offering to peel them for us.

It was just as we approached the finish line the rain started to fall harder. I went to the gear check area to pick up my bag and it seemed so far away. I had dry clothes in my gear bag, but no way to get dry. I ducked into the women’s changing tent and pulled off my wet top layers and put on a new shirt/sweatshirt on top of my wet skin. I don’t know if that actually improved how I felt or not, I was shivering pretty hard. I didn’t really want to sit down on the wet ground to pull off my soggy shoes and walk through all the puddles in flip-flops, so I kept my soggy shoes on.

Then I had to walk just as far to get to the family meetup area where Terri was waiting for me. I eventually found Terri and we boarded the T to get back to her place. (Marathon runners ride the T for free on Marathon Monday, good thing… my hands wouldn’t function to find my money.) I’d have to say the finish area was the hardest part of the race for me, and I think that was mainly due to the weather.

I had an amazing time, I would love to get the opportunity to do Boston again in better weather. But I’m so grateful to my sponsor, Stonyfield, for getting me there. This was the experience of a lifetime and just what this mom needed to recharge. I guess I recharge by completely draining my physical reservoir and letting my mental/emotional reservoir refill at the same time. These past several months have been difficult for me, but this weekend has brought me back to life!

And since my phone was ensconced in layers of plastic baggie to protect it from the rain, I didn’t get many pictures on race day. So here’s a bunch of pictures of some of the things I received from the race packet:




Boston Marathon 2015 Recap – Numero Uno

On Monday, April 20, 2015 I ran the Boston Marathon as part of Team Stonyfield, with over 27,000 other runners participating in the race.


Where do I even begin? This was one of my best running experiences ever!

I arrived in Boston on Saturday evening; I flew out of Vegas at 7 AM to San Francisco and then caught another flight to Boston. It was the option that got me to Boston the earliest! My friend Terri picked me up at the airport, she was gracious enough to be my host and guide for the weekend in a city I had never been too. We went back to her place to dump my stuff then went out for Vietnamese food.

Sunday was a beautiful day. A little chilly to my desert blood, but not that bad and the partly cloudy sky made it fun to see a little bit of Boston.




I had a lunch date with the members of Team Stonyfield, my first opportunity to meet the team in person and they’re all wonderfully kind people. And the Stonyfield people were fantastic, so supportive and encouraging. They gave us all gift bags with a hat, sweatshirt, carabiner and a card. Lunch was at a place called Sonsie, the food was tasty, albeit a little salty. But before a marathon extra salt is good!

After eating we went to the expo and took group photos at the Stonyfield booth. The Stonyfield members at the booth greeted us like we were rock stars and made us feel welcome.


Next I needed to pick up my race packet and bib number. I made my way back through the expo and saw Varidesk was there, I made a mental note to go back because I’ve wanted one of those for a while now. I also saw Epson there with a running watch and wanted to see what that was about. If it is running and technology, I want to play. I embrace my geek girl status!


I took the escalator up a level to retrieve my number. I was super impressed with how quick and efficient that process was. And the volunteers helping with the process were so nice and seemed genuinely happy for all of us. All thousands of us!


Back down to the expo, I was dumped into the official Adidas shop. I wanted to make two purchases: buy the Boston Marathon jacket and the Spike the Unicorn stuffed toy for my daughter. I struck out on the unicorn, they sold out. I didn’t know the toy existed or that it is apparently a hot commodity. I just knew that after my daughter’s requests to “go to the unicorns” a few weeks ago, it would be a fun surprise after mommy had been gone a few days. So if I do the race again, I will try to get her a unicorn earlier!


I wandered through the expo a bit, met up with Terri and forgot to stop by the booths I had wanted to. I did sample the new Generation UCAN bar and it tasted pretty good. I also bought a Sparkly Soul headband from their Boston Marathon collection.


Terri and I took the T back to her place and ordered in pad Thai. I have been terrible with having any kind of consistent pre-long run meal this training cycle, so I didn’t have anything in particular I wanted. But the pad Thai tasted great and was good energy for the race. Need to remember that for the future.

Monday morning I woke up around 5:30, which sounds like sleeping in compared to all my training, but it was the same as 2:30 AM at my house so it was actually really early. However, the time difference hadn’t started to affect me much yet and I was excited and ready to go. I ate some cereal with almondmilk and a banana, got dressed, covered myself in BodyGlide and slathered my feet with RunGoo. I have never had problems with lots of blisters, just occasionally I’ll get one but it’s not consistent ever… But I had no idea what was going to happen during the race due to the weather.

The weather? Rain predicted. All day rain.


In addition there was wind and the temps were supposed to be in the 40’s when I looked at the most updated forecast. (That screenshot was from the day before!) I’m glad Terri lent me a long sleeve top to wear under my tank because a tank and arm warmers wouldn’t have cut it for me out there. I had throwaway sweats and a fleece jacket to wear before the race started too.

At 8 AM Terri and I walked over to pick up a ZipCar so she could drive me to the finish area. I checked in my gear bag with clothes, flip-flops and face wipes in it.


Next I met up with Team Stonyfield members Laura and Rachel, and we boarded a bus for Hopkinton.


To be continued in another post… this is getting long!

A Netflix List Ramble


I saw an article about the 50 Best TV Series on Netflix a while back and decided I’d compare the list with my own viewing history and use it to start deciding on new things to watch. What does this have to do with running? Nothing. But I’m not marathon training anymore…  so I have more time to watch TV? Okay, not really… I have the same amount of time because most of the time when I watch old episodes of TV it’s while I’m working and I frequently miss out on lots of the story because I use it as background noise to compensate for the fact that I don’t go into an office each day. And other times that I would have been running (aka 4AM) I think I’ll use for some sleep for a while.

I should use some of the time I’m not running to clear up my inbox. It’s out of control, but I don’t want to. It’s not fun. I’m still debating the direction of this site. In the early days of (2008) this site was all about training for a marathon with Team in Training. I made new friends and was part of a running blogger community, several of those people are still some of my most favorite people! As my running obsession grew, I started to post reviews on things I purchased just because I felt like it. Writing was fun and it felt natural.

Then I shared my decision to enter into eating disorder treatment. I wouldn’t call myself an “ED blogger” but I do advocate for positive body image messages, and that falls firmly within my definition of being healthy so it was kind of a natural addition to the site. Running and healthy living and body positivity.

Next I chronicled my years as a running coach with the Team Challenge organization and all the fun that came with that. (Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about Team Challenge!) I started receiving review products for free more frequently and I felt honored that companies reached out to me. I still had a fun community of people on this site and everything here was all fun.

Next up came pregnancy/having a baby and my time became more of a commodity. At the same time the influx of pitches coming into my inbox increased massively. I accept maybe 10% of what comes to me and I ignore anything that comes to “Dear Ms Jill Blogger” – if they can’t be bothered to find out more about my site, I can’t be bothered with their pitch. Many pitches come with the offer “for pictures of this product, write back.” I don’t work for pictures… and posting about all of these things in some ways is work. Even if my income doesn’t come from this site (I have a full-time career and the money I do get from this site would leave me homeless if I had to live off it.), taking the time to test and write a review on something takes time. And there are days it is less fun to run this site. Looking at my inbox usually invokes the “less fun” feeling.

My comments dropped and I don’t feel as much of a community here, yet my traffic increases and the pitches keep coming. But I also feel I’ve lost a little bit of “Jill” in all this. I started blogging in 2001 when I needed to do something to fill the hole that was occupied by my wedding website. (Yes, I had a wedding website way before it was considered semi-normal to do so. I was Super-geek-girl and I loved it!) Blogging was something I read about in tech magazines and I did it as a geek thing, after figuring out that I was already doing a form of blogging anyway… I just didn’t have a database engine behind it as blogs now do!

My former blog site is still out there, mostly stagnant. There are days I think I’d like to merge that one with this site, injecting more of my personal stories/anecdotes/observations into this site. There are days I think I should take this old school and write strictly about running. There are days I think I’ll just shut it down. But I can’t… I’d miss it and feel the void. Writing is my creative outlet, even when it’s really bad writing. But then… there is a void with this site right now. It’s not completely what I want.


So anyway… I saw an article about the 50 Best TV Series on Netflix a while back and decided I’d compare the list with my own viewing history and use it to start deciding on new things to watch.

  1. Breaking Bad: Never seen it, it’s next to watch with my husband
  2. Freaks and Geeks/Undeclared: Never seen it (er… them)
  3. Louie: Never seen it
  4. Friday Night Lights: Never seen it
  5. Sherlock: Never seen it
  6. Arrested Development: Seen the first few episodes
  7. Friends: Seen most episodes, if not all, in real-time and re-runs
  8. Archer: Never seen it
  9. Mad Men: Never seen it
  10. Orange is the New Black: Watched most of season 1, got tired of it
  11. Scrubs: Seen lots of episodes, never in order
  12. 30 Rock: Seen them all, mostly real time
  13. The X-Files: Never got into it when it was airing
  14. Gilmore Girls: Just finished watching it on Netflix because of this list
  15. West Wing: Never seen it
  16. Doctor Who: Never seen it
  17. Firefly: Never seen it
  18. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Watched first couple seasons on Netflix a few years back
  19. Luther: Never heard of it
  20. The Office: Watched it all, some episodes multiple times. Fantastic show!
  21. Peaky Blinders: Never heard of it
  22. Parks and Recreation: Never seen it
  23. Black Mirror: Seen heard of it
  24. Bob’s Burgers: Never seen it
  25. Better Off Ted: Never heard of it
  26. Terriers: Never head of it
  27. The Walking Dead: Watching it now with my husband, I love it
  28. House of Cards: Never seen it
  29. Raising Hope: Watched it real time
  30. The Wonder Years: Watched it real time when I felt like catching an episode
  31. Parenthood: Watched it real time on Hulu
  32. Lost: Watched it mostly real-time
  33. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Watched everything on Netflix, loved it. Should have recorded season 10 on DVR!
  34. The New Girl: Saw the first couple episodes, didn’t stick with it
  35. Portlandia: Never seen it
  36. How I Met Your Mother: Watched it all real time
  37. Alias: Seen them all, have DVD boxed sets for seasons 1-3
  38. Family Guy: Seen lots of episodes, some more than others
  39. Quantum Leap: Never seen it
  40. Cheers: Have seen lots of episodes, absolutely not in order
  41. Dexter: Never seen it
  42. Damages: Never seen it
  43. Psych: Never seen it
  44. Fringe: Watched the series in real time, recorded each week on my DVR
  45. Top of the Lake: Never heard of it
  46. Arrow: Never seen it
  47. Scandal: Never seen it
  48. The League: Never seen it
  49. Sons of Anarchy: I actually kind of watched half of the first season, but just stopped for some reason
  50. Broadchurch: Never even heard of it

As I mention, I watched the show Gilmore Girls due to this list and I have thoughts on it… a whole blog post rattling around in my head. It’s the type of post that I’d just dump on my old site without thinking. I want to write it, so I shall write it. But now I think, “Will anyone want to read this? Would this upset people if it’s on this running/healthy living site? Will all those companies who send me stuff dislike this? Do I care?”

So while I watch TV shows and ponder what direction this site is going to go, I’ll leave you with this: What shows have you watched on this list and would recommend and/or discourage?

Boston Marathon: Check!

You know how they say you shouldn’t try anything new on race day? Well, living in the desert I had never really run in the rain before. A tiny sprinkle a couple of times but never REAL rain. But today I had no choice but to try something new on race day! 26.2 miles of rain/wind/cold to finish the Boston Marathon! It was amazing and I will write more later. But I’m so glad Stonyfield chose me for this! 


Boston Bound

I fly out for the Boston Marathon tomorrow. TOMORROW! Tomorrow I get the opportunity to go to Boston and run in the infamous Boston Marathon because Stonyfield (the official yogurt of the Boston Marathon!) hand-picked me from amongst many running-mom bloggers to be part of Team Stonyfield. I am incredibly grateful to them for this opportunity. Go buy as much Stonyfield yogurt as you can to thank them for me! :-)

Stonyfield Organic

Anyway… I have never been more nervous before a race in my life. Yes, my training was more sporadic than marathon training in the past, simply because when you are a mother there are more things that can pop up and surprise you. Don’t berate me for saying that… I’ve done the training multiple times as childless married person and now with a kid. Having the kid added a whole new wrench to the process! (And she’s a lovely little wrench!)

So even though my miles didn’t end up clocked the way I’d anticipated, I am as ready as I’ll ever be and need to do the ol’ trust in my training thing. There are some things that I’ve been using throughout my training that have worked really well for me, so they’re making the journey with me.

Generation UCAN

I heard about this Generation UCAN superstarch on various sites/blogs and finally decided to order a sample pack to try. I was super impressed about how it fueled me for a good long time with no spikes and crashes in energy. So after I went through my sample packets I ordered a canister of the Lemonade flavor, which was my favorite out of the packets. But now that I’m at the marathon, I’m really tired of it. I almost wish I had just ordered more packets and had a variety! And Meb drinks it… so this makes me part-Elite, right?


Fitletic belt

I have 3 belts from Fitletic. Some of them are actually branded as iFitness, as it was before they changed their name. I referred a lot of my Team Challenge runners to them. And even though I already had a couple of their belts, I purchased another one for this race. One with built-in water bottles this time. Plus it has bib number toggles so I don’t have to deal with safety pins. Their belts don’t move around as much as others. You can’t wear a backpack hydration system in Boston and I did all my training on my own… so I’m used to carrying fluids and it makes me more comfortable to have them available on my schedule.


Salt Stick

I had never tried electrolyte capsules before now. I had heard about them a lot… but in all these years I’d never used them. That was a mistake! I’m a salty sweater, something I’ve always known. But I feel A LOT better popping a Salt Stick cap every hour during a long run and one at the conclusion. It seems to keep some of my dizzy feelings at bay. My recovery has been really good after each long run, so maybe this had something to do with that!


Neutrogena Naturals makeup remover towelettes

Neutrogena is doing a “Wipes for Water” campaign with their Naturals makeup remover wipes. Basically, the idea is that you are saving water by using a wipe. I don’t know about how all that works, because you are generating more waste with these too… but I do know these are going in my gear check bag for the finish line because they are extremely gentle on my facial skin and I will want to get a little cleaned up upon race conclusion!

Bani Band

I’ve been wearing a Bani Band headband on most of my runs for about a year now? I don’t know exactly how long… but it’s been a while. They don’t slide off my head. They are adjustable with a little clip that is kind of like a bra strap adjuster. They come in cute patterns and I just really like the ones that are about 1″ wide. I have a thinner one that I’ve never actually worn because my daughter claimed it as her own! I meant to order a new one for the race… but I’ve hardly had time to remember my own name! So old sparkly it is!


Update: Rain is in the forecast! I may have to wear a hat. Please don’t rain, please don’t rain, please don’t rain!

Fabletic capris

In the past, I was sooooo superstitious about my marathon training that once I decided on the pair of pants I was wearing in the race, I trained in them for every long run. No variation. This time around I basically decided I would probably be wearing capris because those should be comfortable in Boston, but wouldn’t be too hot on the warmer days I would get here in Vegas leading up to the race. And then I found Fabletics… and they have so many fun patterns and I love the way they fit and I have ended up with a lot of different pairs. So in a way I was doing the same thing where I trained in the same pants, but I had different pants! LOL So I’ll be wearing my camo Fabletics capris on course.

Longest #bostonmarathon training run done! Let’s taper! #shoeselfie #runselfie #teamstonyfield

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

And of course I’m glad there will be Stonyfield at the finish line… because that’s a great source of protein and my body will be needing that after 26.2 miles!

Wish me luck… I’m terrified!