Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pony and Pig Tail Headbands

I had previously reviewed the headband by Bondi Band and loved it so I had high hopes for the pony and pig tail hat.  When I first felt the hat, I thought it was thin and wouldn't keep me warm.  Well I was wrong.  It was just the right thickness to keep me warm throughout my run.  I was even surprised by a sudden snowstorm during my run and it kept me warm and dry.

The dryness is the best feature of this hat.  While keeping me warm, the hat stayed dry and kept me dry.  When I took it off, my hair wasn't a sloppy, sweaty mess as it is when I've used fleece hats, etc.

When I first put the hat on I was concerned about how it was going to be to pull my ponytail or pigtails through it.  Well it was easy as pie.  I just made my ponytail, put the hat on and it nearly pulled itself through.

Bondi Band's hats come in all sorts of patterns, colors and with adorable and motivational slogans on them.  The best part is they are only $20.00.  By the time I was home from my run, the hat was dry and I would have happily worn it again before washing.  Despite, this, I suggest you get yourself a few!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nathan Quick Draw Water Bottle

If I could have made a list of everything I wanted in a running water bottle and given it to a company to make, they would have come back to me with the results it would be the Quick Draw Plus bottle by Nathan.

The bottle itself is 22 ounces...not too little and not too much.  I think its enough water to sustain you through your activity, but not too much that the bottle becomes heavy.

The attachment around the bottle that allows you to hold it on your hand slips right off when pulled so you can put the bottle in the dishwasher easily.  I've had others in the past that are impossible to wash except by hand and who has time for that?

Let me next address the hand grip.  It is large enough that you can COMFORTABLY put your whole hand in.  I even carried it this morning with mittens on and it stayed on with no adjustment throughout the run.  The hand hold does also have the ability to be adjusted smaller or larger, because let's face it our hands aren't all the same size.  The adjustable strap is also reflective, great for road running.

The other side of the bottle has a small pocket designed to hold a small ID or your key.  The zipper is large enough so that you can put a car key in it that is large (like mine) and there is even a small hook to which you can attach your key.  However, I will tell you that the zipper didn't budget and I don't think the key would fall out.  The bottle is even equipped with a small ID and medical information section.  You can fill this out and never have to remember to take your information with you on your next run.

While running with the bottle, it stayed put.  I didn't have to adjust it and it was comfortable.  Those are all complaints I'd had after using other bottles. And although this may seem small, the nipple on the top has a ridge in it.  Its perfect for opening and closing the bottle with your teeth should you not want to stop your run to drink.
I'm not only going to use this bottle to hydrate while I run, but I think it will make the perfect hiking companion. I also intend to throw one into my work bag.  This easy to use bottle will take away my excuses to "hydrate" throughout the day :)

The bottle retails for only $18 and is worth every penny.  You can take a peek at it and get one here:


This color is part of their 2011 product line and will be available online in January 2011.  Who doesn't love a cute AND stylish water bottle?!  Take a peek at the picture here:

Friday, November 26, 2010

New Tutu

I love my pink tutu.  It came from Target and while I will always have it, I wanted some variety.  Not being close to Halloween anymore I needed to get creative.  Through the wonders of Etsy, I found someone to make me one for $10!  I've been meaning to post a photo so here it is!  I will surely be getting more as time goes on!


This is an essay I wrote this past April.  I never did anything with it and although life is a little different now, I figured I'd share.

My membership card had been revoked. Every month when my Runners World arrived it was painstakingly clear I was no longer part of the club….of runners.

I used to run, in high school and then I started again a few years ago.  Although I loved owning the cutest running clothes and knowing who was favored to win the next marathon, I was never very good at running. 

I would read about short runs, long distance runs and speed work and wonder how I could manage all this, when I was focused on making it through the first mile. 

Just as I was making progress (or so I felt), I got mono.  And as the doctor said “its just not so easy at your age”.  For the first time in my life I was be faced with the realization that I was no longer “just out of college” and I could “push through it”. 

We all know how the story goes, weeks became months and months became two years.  Every month my magazine would arrive and bring with it a reminder of the potential I was not reaching.  It would also taunt me a little, showing me a glimpse into a club of which I was no longer apart, runners.  People who went out and punished themselves day after day in the pursuit of happiness and being a better runner. 

Sure I still worked out.  I hiked and used the ellipse and spin bike I have in my living room, but it was never the same. 

So one day, when the snow was still on the ground here in New England, my shoes started calling me.  I’m not sure what made me think of running, or more importantly, what possessed me to strap on my shoes, some thermal pants and leave my heated car seats for the trail.  Once I started running the story was typical.  I panted, stopped running and almost cried.  But at the same time I woke up something inside of myself.

I felt that although I wasn’t a runner in anyone else’s eyes, I’d become on again in my own.  When my next magazine arrived, it wasn’t scolding or a painful reminder; it was a welcome back hug.

As time had gone on, I’ve improved.  I’m not running a marathon or breaking speed records.  I’m a busy, small business owner who desperately tries to carve out thirty minutes to head into the woods to run.  This makes me a runner.  We all use a lot of subjective adjectives to describe ourselves, runner is one of mine.

I don’t have abs or buns of steel and I’m not training for a race.  Everyday and every run is a batter of woman versus herself.  My mind still races when I put on my shoes and gear up my iPod. 

The moral of this story isn’t mine alone.  The moral of this story is that we are all runners.  No matter how fast are or how far we can go.  We face our own challenges each and every time we head out for a run.  Whether it’s a marathon or a mile, we all have the same spirit, determination and possibly, craziness that gives us all membership to the same club.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Trot

I had my second race on Thanksgiving day. It was a Turkey Trot.  I was very nervous.  I had only raced once before as an adult (on Halloween of this year).  As it was my first race I had a PR on Halloween.  I was coming back from injury so I was pleased with just about anything I did.  Finishing thrilled me.

And so I felt the pressure was on for this race.  I was worried I wouldn’t beat my last time.  I was worried the colder weather would make my asthma act up.  I was worried that I would be tired from holiday activities. 

Well it was colder and I was very tired from going into NYC the night before the race to see the Macy’s balloons inflated.  I had a horrible meal and I barely slept the night before. 

I showed up at the race and figured I’d do my best and if it was a PR or I came in DFL, who cared, I was awake in in running shoes while most of the town slept in their warm beds.

Well I beat my last PR by almost 3 minutes!  I was thrilled!  Again, I don’t remember a lot of the race. I don’t remember being out of breath.  I don’t remember feeling like I was running any faster than I do in my training runs.  I just remember running, enjoying being with “my people” and loving the fact that I was blessed to participate in an event like that on Thanksgiving morning. 

I love racing.  I feel like when I attend a race I’m with “my people”.  I love the excitement.  I love the fact that to each and every person running or walking, the event is a challenge and together we are all going to do the best we can and find victory in our own way. 

Since my first race was on Halloween, I wore a tutu as my costume.  Well I’ve decided that its my thing.  Its my race skirt.  I wore the tutu today with a matching pigtail hat.  (My pigtails come out the side of the hat.)  I love the fact that lots of people complimented me on it.  I love the fact that running is fun and even the fastest runners can be silly and support others.  So for this Thanksgiving I’m thankful for so much, my friends and family, my health, the love I have in my life and for the sport of running.  I’ve posted some photos of me at the race today as well. 

Happy Thanksgivining!

Its not a typo, its my "thing" to spell it like that.  And every year it reminds me that something that is mortifying at the time can teach you some great life lessons (and provide great story telling) later on.

May you be close to those you love this holiday and find peace, joy and happiness.

Enjoy your holiday and all is has to offer.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Lots of people run, and lots of people call themselves a RUNNER.  However, for many of us, we feel like there is an elite club to which we don't belong.

When I ran my first race since high school, I stopped and looked around and thought "there are my people", I had found my home.  But that's not when I thought of myself as a runner for the first time.
It wasn't when I bought my first shoes or anything like that.  It was when I got injured.

When I become hurt so badly that I couldn't run, I know it was part of me.  I longed to get out and struggle against myself, huff and puff and feel like I was going to die.  I longed to slip into my unflattering running tights and muddy shoes.  I knew at that moment that I need to run.

And the next two months would teach me so much about myself.  I had to find a new outlet to express myself, a new outlet to deal with my emotions and a new outlet to break a sweat.  Thankfully, I was surrounded by people who were supportive of my recovery and I found the best physical therapist.  His name was Steve and he knew about "people like me" who go crazy without working out and quickly designed a program for me to follow that would allow me to feel better mentally, and continue to allow my injury to heal.

Now that I'm on my way to a full recovery I look back and I'm so thankful the injury occurred.  I learned patience.  I learned how strong I was to deal with this.  I learned how much those around me love me and support me.  I learned that physical therapy is harder than any run I will ever go on.

Now I'm a stronger runner because my workouts are more diverse.  I've learned that taking days off are a part of training, not a break from it.  And I now know that unless something drastically changes, I will run the rest of my life.

For all of these things, I'm thankful.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This made me laugh!



Well I've had some crazy things happen recently.  And let's just say I don't do well with stress.  And so I have been sleeping poorly, and things have just been a bit off.  Personally, professionally, things have just been a bit too much over the past few weeks.  And today something changed.  I don't want to say I gave up or that I don't care any more because that's not true.  However, I think maybe something just "gave out" and I can't put forth the effort required to be extremely stressed out anymore.

I woke up this morning and was exhausted.  I dragged myself into my running shorts. Its a balmy 6o degrees here in CT today, VERY unusual for this time of year.  I drove to my park and started my watch.  Well then I just ran.  And didn't think about anything except the running.  I don't know what songs played on my ipod or the colors of the houses I passed, I just know that while I was running I somehow managed to outrun the issues that have been following me.

I don't run fast so they must be really out of shape!

I am wondering what's next for me in life.  I am considering a change of career direction, in order to protect myself from recent events happening again.  I don't know what the future holds and I can only plan so much.  However, I know that whatever the next few weeks bring my way, running will be there to help me deal with it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Perfect Pouch

I've been running steadily again for about a year now.  During that time I've been adjusting a lot of things....by wardrobe, shoes, socks and what I carry with me when I run.  I run alone and often in areas that my husband would rather I not run in alone, like the woods.  And so, its been required that I carry a cell phone.  I started by trying to use the pockets in my running clothes....that didn't work...my car has one of those large keys that isn't easy to fit into things and my Blackberry couldn't fit into any pocket.
So to solve these issues, I bought a mesh pouch.  While it held what I need it to, it moved around, required a lot of fidgeting from me and although it was light weight, it allowed moisture into the pouch.  So although I could carry my cell phone, it was going to be wet from sweat by the end of my run.  Gross.

Now that fall is upon us I've gone back to putting things in the pockets of my running clothes...my windbreaker particularly.  That works well expect my very heavy and very large phone (Droid X) bangs against one wide of me the whole time I'm running.

So when I came across iFitness I was cautiously optimistic.  I was sent the single neoprene pouch (grey with pink zip).  I tried it out today.  I spent a little time when I first started running getting it to that spot where it doesn't bounce.  Once I did that, I didn't even know I had it on for the rest of my run.  I put my Droid and my car key in it and zipped it with no problem at all.  When I was done running and took it off, I took my phone out expecting the usual grossness.  However, it was dry!  I put the pouch aside and drove home.  By the time I stopped for a latte and drove home the pouch itself was dry!  No more airing things out for a night before I can use them again!

So, not only is this pouch comfortable, it makes running and carrying your possessions easy and they stay clean!  I'm getting these for some running friends I have so that everyone can carry their phones while they run!

Want to get your own? Visit here:
They also have other sizes (even bigger ones) and LOTS of colors!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Race Nerves

When I used to race in high school I was always nervous.  Often so nervous I'd throw up BEFORE I ran.
Well I had my first race a few weeks ago and I was surprisingly calm.  I have my next race this Thursday and I'm already nervous!

I'm not sure what's different this time, but I keep thinking about my family members at the end, the hill at the start, the possible, rain, etc.

I need to get a lot of sleep between now and then and I have a lot of work to do, which will hopefully distract me.  But that being said, I'm going to have to learn a way to beat the race jitters as they will end my racing "career" before it even gets off the ground.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


We all know how important is it to our well being to be drinking lots of water.  And over the past few years the media and retail have really picked up on the non disposable water bottle craze.  And I will admit I have LOTS of water bottles.  Its against everything I tell my customers, I don't get rid of one when I  get a new one.  I do love them and use them all.  However, I am still in search of the perfect bottle.  I have plastic ones, metal ones in all shapes, sizes and designs.

When I first saw the Platypus water bottle I couldn't get my mind around it.  How did it stand up?  How did you drink from it?

I was sent two bottles, one larger (.5 liter) with a screw on cap and a 17 oz with a Hyper Flow cap (think sippy cup).  Well they rocked my world.  The bottles are SUPER light when they are empty.  When they are full, they are easy to hold and drink from  The Hyper Flow cap made drinking water while driving very easy.  And it doesn't leak if you drop the bottle!  The cap locks from underneath so if you will be stashing the bottle in a purse or bag, you can make sure that the cap is not accidentally pressed and all of the water leaks out.

When you are done drinking all the water, the bottle rolls up and fits in your purse!  I love that!  Normally, after a long day I am picking up all the metal and plastic water bottles from my car, work bag etc...and carrying them all upstairs.  This is the best solution for a long day, lots of water and NOT hauling around a ton of bottles to do it.  They are 80% lighter than regular water bottles and they are BPA,PVC and Phthalate (all the bad stuff you've heard about the media) free.

These bottles are available in various sizes and colors.  (who doesn't love a pink water bottle?)   This bottle takes away every excuse you have for not packing and drinking water during the day.  Get one.  Now.
Take a peek at their selection and find a store near you that sells them!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Perfect Headband

I have LONG and THICK hair.  This is not a great combination for a runner.  I spend a lot of time before, during and after my runs dealing with my hair...getting it up to run, keeping it up during my run and then trying to get it back down and out of whatever contraption I'm using that day to hold it up to get it washed.

I was recently sent some products by Bondi Band.  I received them and at first glance they weren't anything super special.  (I received plain colors.)  I wore the headband out today and before I even arrived at my run, I had forgotten I had it on.  Now let me back track for a minute and tell you I've tried all sorts of headband...thick ones, thin ones, sticky ones, rubber ones, you name it.  If they hold my hair in place, they hurt and if they don't hurt, they don't stay in place.

So this headband is comfortable, we established that.  AND it held my hair in place for my 5k this morning.  I will admit I kept putting my hand to me head to adjust it because that is habit for me.  But every time I did, I realized that it was just where I'd left it.  Normally when I make it back to my car, I rip my headband out...I left this one on the whole time I stopped and ordered a latte and after I got home for about an hour.

Its cute enough that I want to get this head band in some other colors to wear to work at client's houses.  And one of my favorite features is that it can be worn flat for a bigger headband or scrunched up for a smaller one.  Okay, one of the best parts of this headband is the price.  Its only $8!  They come in all sorts of colors and patterns....check them out today!

To buy one, visit here:

Feel Better Dad!

Feel better soon Dad!  Sending you happy, healthy thoughts!  xoxoxoxo

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not Running

Well for the first time in a LONG time, I am happy not running.  I've taken a few days off due to a crazy, hectic schedule, being exhausted and fighting the world's most persistent cold.  And although I'm usually a mental person when I'm not running, I'm happy, resting, and learning to deal with not being able to fit running into my life for a few days.  This is huge people.  Huge.

That being said, I have a nice long run planned for this weekend and lots of new routes printed out to try.  Oh and two new races on the calendar to train for.  And I spent part of this afternoon working on a very special costume to wear to a New Year's race...its a penguin!  See the attached photo...its the pieces that will become a penguin costume...My husband thought I was crazy when I asked to go tot he craft store yesterday to get felt and googly eyes.

However, NOT running has taken away my emotional outlet...the time I give myself to think about things and make decisions.  So I feel a little frantic and emotional.  Thing that I can usually compartmentalize aren't so easy to address without running.  And so, I have my clothes laid out for tomorrow morning, for a quick run before the start of another busy day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cross Training

Its funny how as we get older, our tastes and preferences change.  I used to hate cardio and love weights...now its the opposite.

I can't stand cross training.  I love running.  Giving up a day of running to cross train is painful, upsetting and well, just boring.  But as my recent injury has taught me, cross training is necessary.

And so, I am now using those days that I used to have to skip my runs to cross train.  This morning, I was so exhausted I could barely walk to the bathroom, never mind head out for a run.  However, the prospect of heading down the stairs to the mini gym in my living room was feasible.  I didn't have to bundle up, remember my ipod and gloves, or warm up the car.  I was able to get to "the gym" workout and be done in less than 30 minutes.  So while the activity in between still isn't my favorite, I'm learning to look on the positive side of things and find that cross training just might be my savior.

I also intend to cross train on days its miserably cold or rainy outside.  Not only am I adding in weights to my running workout schedule, I'm focusing on yoga again.  I have an awesome yoga video that I love and I set up my mat in the middle of the living room.  Not only will it improve my balance and flexibility, I'm hoping it will improve my focus and peace of mind.

I will write more later about meditation and how its changed my life since my injury.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lost in the Woods

Okay today I ran a trail that I hadn't been on since this summer.  Its a very rocky and hilly cross country trail and although its fairly short in length, its challenging.  Well it was so covered with leaves that the rocks were hidden.  I almost tripped twice.  I slipped once.  Despite all of this I decided to continue on the trial even after having the opportunity to get off the trail at the halfway point.  Big mistake.

I kept running all of a sudden my surroundings didn't look familiar anymore.  I realized that I was in the middle of the woods, with no trail markers anywhere in sight.  Now I did have my cell phone and my whistle with me and I'm confident I could have cut through the woods  and found my way back, but there isn't much as disconcerting to a run as being lost.  I backtracked, found the blazes and then high tailed it off the trail....and I won't be back until there are leaves on the trees again.

However, being on this trail really made me think.  I remembered the last time I was on it..and what was going through my head then.  Although this was just a few months ago, everything was different.  Its hard to believe so much has changed in my life in just a few months, but it has.  I've opened another branch to my business, entered my final year of grad school, walked away from some relationships, developed some others.....and really worked on finding happiness.  It sounds corny, but a lot can change is just a short amount of time.  And if I've learned anything its to expect the unexpected and despite the best laid plans you can never tell where you will be in just a few months.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Running Skirts

Okay I'm not a new convert to the running skirt.  I've actually been wearing them for years....since before it was easy to find them and the only ones available were bulky and poorly designed.  Boy have they come a long way.

I will formally review this product in more depth at a later time on my business blog, but I feel as if I had to mention it now.

I was sent the Camo Running Skirt by Running Skirts (http://www.runningskirts.com/).  When I first held it up to myself it looked downright tiny....I was a little nervous to try it on.  I did however, and found it fit perfectly.  The waistband is soft and forgiving and very flattering.

The pattern is so cute that my husband even commented on how cute the skirt is.

So when I ran this am it was below freezing.  I wore the skirt over tights and it was so cute and comfy I didn't want to take it off after my workout.  While I usually wear skirts with small bike shorts underneath, this skirt has "bloomers" or built in panties.  I may be a little concerned about my modesty in the warmer months, but unlike the traditional bike shorts, the panties didn't ride up or pinch.  I didn't have to fidget with it once.

My other favorite part was the side pockets that velcro shut. Skirts normally have pockets that MIGHT hold a key during a whole run.  My key stayed in the pocket the whole run with no movement and no worry.  Once again, making this skirt easy and effortless to wear.

I am going to be buying more skirts from Running Skirts!  They have all sorts of patterns, colors, sizes and even theme skirts.  When ordering, be careful...I was sent a size three that the tag states is the equivalent of a size eight in women's pants.  I usually wear a four or six, but this skirt fit perfectly.

Thanks Running Skirts for the best discovery I've made in running gear in a while!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Compression Socks

When I was injured this summer, my physical therapist suggested I obtain a pair of compression shorts or tights.  I did and I love the way they feel to run in.  I have a pair that is specifically designed for those with IT Band problems.  So yes, I do feel they are worth the money.  However, I know that most runners are much more accepting of spending over $50 on a pair of tights than they are speaking $60 on a pair of socks.

When I bought my tights, I also bought my CEP compression socks.  I was waiting until the temperature dropped low enough to wear them under pants.  However, yesterday, my curiosity got the better of me.  So I wore them with a pair of capris.

As you can see, they made quite the fashion statement.  I know I got some smiles while on the trial, but I especially got some looks when I visited Target after my run.
Regardless, I want to tell you, they are awesome.

My feet go numb a lot...I lose feeling in my pinky toes first and have no hope of regaining it throughout my run.  With these socks, not only were my feet NOT numb, they were warm and although this is a tough word to quantify...they felt "peppy".  So, the verdict is YES, there are socks out there worth $60.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Love Hate Relationships

Running and I have had a love hate relationship my entire life.  I ran cross country in high school.  I love running, but I hated my coach and the anxiety of racing.

I have run on and off most of my life.  I started running regularly again a few summers ago.  I was getting ready to race in the fall when I ended up with mono.

Fast forward about two years and I once again had the desire to run.  I began in February of this year.  I worked steadily and drove myself to exhaustion and eventually, injury.  I developed a severe case of IT Band Syndrome.  I had some actual tearing and disconnection of the tendon.  Not only could I not run, I could barely walk.

I will talk about my injury at another time, but it took months to work myself back to being able to bike, then walk, then jog and on Halloween of this year, I completed my first 5k race in over a decade.

If I thought I loved running before the race, I had no idea.  I'm not in love with running itself...we all know how it feels to be panting, in pain and dripping in sweat....I'm in love with what it does for me, my life and those who join me in the sport.  I'm in love with what running represents and what it teaches me.  And every day I head out to learn a new lesson.