Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Operation Jack & the Big Stocking Winner!

Sunday was The Operation Jack Satellite 6.1 mile run to celebrate Sam's completion of 61 marathons this year!

Hubby dropped me off at Dawn's house and then we met up with Misty. Soon we were on our merry little way to the Southern Maine Community College campus to run amok!
Luckily I brought plenty of clothing with me and had sufficient layers to keep warm as it was freezing cold. The cold winds off the ocean certainly made it bitter and biting!

But nothing warms the heart faster than running for a great cause with a bunch of awesome people!

Thanks to Sarah and Danielle!

Danielle, Misty & Dawn

I finally got to meet Dailymile friend Brendan!
Team Maine on the run~

Team Maine post run-can you tell it's COLD?
Now...for the big Operation Jack stocking winner!

First, I want to thank each and everyone of you who supported Operation Jack with a donation. Every dollar is appreciated and that is why I did the giveaway in the first place! SO...

We did it all VERY scientifically.

I wrote every name down on a piece of paper in blue crayon.
Lola supervised to make sure everyone got an entry!

Then I showed Lola how to fold up each entry and it was put into her giant (empty) pretzel jar that she loves to play with. This turned into a game for her.
 **yes, I am wearing shorts during a blizzard in Maine. I just got off the bike...I was hot.**

Then we put all the names into the big jar

The very last name going into the jar...

and the name that Lola pulled out??

Congratulations to Bridget!!

*email me at jsmall14(at)maine(dot)rr(dot)com and I will make arrangements to get your big prize sent out.

If you did not win THIS giveaway, don't dispair!!
I am doing another great giveaway RIGHT NOW!
Click on over to HERE for my SPIbelt giveaway.
If you dontated to Operation Jack it earned you an extra entry into the SPIbelt giveaway!!

Thank you again to all who supported Operation Jack!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

running to 37-

This is me 32 years ago-I was 5.

I hated those bows!

My Mom used to always match my hair bows to my outfits and I despised it. I would ask her "Do I have to wear those DUMB BOWS??" The answer was always yes. Now, I'm really glad my Mom made me wear them. I will impose the same DUMB BOW rule on my own daughter.
Ahhh, to be 5 again. Life was good.

My favorite things at 5?
Riding my bicycle (some things don't change)
Riding horses. Climbing tress.
Listening to my records. Yes, records. I recall Free to Be You & Me as one of my favorites.

Let's jump forward 15 years-

Kim & Me in my new convertible!

Here I am at 20 with my cousin Kim. I just bought my very first brand new car with a little help from Mom and Dad! A little blue convertible. Life was good!

My favorite things at 20?
Hanging around at the beach (again, some things don't change)

25 was fun. Lots and lots of fun.

Boston night life. Parties.
I spent way too much time in a tanning booth in my 20's

I spent 3 weeks in Northern California touring thru Napa Valley, Sonoma and then San Fransisco.

Smiling big-I think it's the wine-or beautiful Northern Cali
I would travel to Florida at least once a month. I spent time in the Bahamas. Diving in BVI. Surfing in Mexico. Weekends in NYC.

1st pic-Mexico 2nd pic-Abaco, Bahama's

My favorite things at 25?
Traveling- anywhere at anytime.
Dancing- anywhere at anytime.
Drinks- anywhere at anytime.
Shopping- anywhere at anytime-especially Newbury St.

I still wonder how I worked 12 hours days followed by dancing all night in the clubs and could go and go with little to no sleep!

Then I returned to Maine and met up with my husband-to-be. We were school mates but did not like one another in school. I guess that some things DO change.

Somewhere along the way from 27 to 30, I started packing on the pounds and I lost a bit of myself.

Just before my 30th birthday we got married.
My favorite things at 30?
Beer, Chinese food and cigarettes!!

Then just before my 35th Birthday, I had Lola.

A bundle of joy

on my 35th Birthday with the best gift I have ever!

My favorite things at 35?
My family. Being a mother. My health.
Lola became my motivation to live a better life each day

I discovered things about myself that I never knew.
I found that running is a lot more fun once you get off the treadmill.
I learned that there is nothing you cannot accomplish if you set your mind to it.

This is me on my 36th Birthday-
RUN U MOTHER. Running & Lola-Life is good!

Tomorrow I will be 37 years old.

I plan on making year 37 even better then 36.

I love my life- I really have never known true joy like I do now.
I have passion for the things I enjoy-running, triathlon, being a Mommy.
My family is amazing-they make me SO happy every day.
I feel so blessed.

So here's to 37.
Some fear getting older.
Not me.
I am embracing it.
Actually, I'm running to 37. With open arms and a smile!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Musical Motivation

Music can be a valuable training partner. Always on time, ready to go whenever you are. Music can be adjusted to fit your mood or tempo for the day-it can be mellow, motivating or just an easy distraction from the miles you are churning out on the road or the treadmill.

I used to spend a lot of time planning out playlists, timing the type of music to the run. Angry rock for tempo runs or hard speedwork sessions. Or progressive beats on long runs with things starting and ending on a easy, happy beat. Race playlists were timed down the minute of target finish line time.

Last year I made the decision to "wean myself" from my iPod addiction-aka music while running-especially as I tackle longer distances in triathlon. If you are not aware already, the USAT does not allow the use of iPods or MP3 players while racing so of course, it became necessary to mentally train myself to run again. I needed to break being dependant on Eminem telling me it was time to Lose Myself to dig deep while I was struggling or hearing the cliched Rocky Theme {Gonna Fly Now} starting within sight of the finish line and hitting the "turbo" button.

At first it was a challenge to run without my favorite songs in my ear but as I ran and ran in my self imposed silence, I discovered there is music all around me. The sounds of the birds, the rhythmic pat pat pat pat of my feet on the pavement, the crunching of the frosty gravel under my feet, or the roar of the ocean and the call of the gulls.

That does not mean I never run with music now because I do, on occasion. These days though, my runs are usually accompanied by the sounds of chatter as I conversate with a running partner or the sound track of my environment is playing in the background.

Now that I am spending hours on the trainer, I do add music to help with this. Today, actually Eminem helped me get through a couple rough intervals and just when I did not think I could find some "push" in me, sure enough...there was plenty of gas left in the tank. Sometimes, you just need to stimulate that inner well of motivation. So thank you Eminem and 'till I Collapse for helping me out today. The words that helped me today-

'Cause sometimes you just feel tired,
Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that sh!t out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse

So, in addition to the above, I have discovered many great lines in music that serve as little mantras that I sing in my head when I feel I need that Musical Motivation. Here are some of my favorites:

...Don't cry like a bitch when you feel the pain
You're Going Down, Sick Puppies

...it's time to exorcise these demons
These muh'f*ckers are doin jumpin jacks now
Not Afraid, Eminem

(machine) (machine) (machine)
Around the World, Daft Punk
...when I get high, I get high on speed
...My heart, my heart, Kickstart My Heart!
Kickstart My Heart, Motley Crue 

So I wanna know, what songs give you the MUSICAL MOTIVATION to keep going??

I SPI with my little eye...another Great Giveaway!!

Several weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a SPIbelt from Holly's blog, Rust Belt Runner.

What is a SPIbelt? SPI stands for small-personal-item.
Sleek, expandable, secure and does not bounce. Can hold an iPod™, Blackberry™, cell, keys, up to five GU™ packs, and other small personal items. The SPIbelt does not bounce, ride or shift while running or doing other activities.

I have been wanting one for quite a while and a SPIbelt was included on my Christmas Wish List. I have a Nathan Speed 2 hydration belt with 2 10 oz bottles and a small (rigid) pocket,  I do like it but I find it is a little too bulky for those days where I just want a few things with me (like a phone, lip balm, gum etc) and most of my layers do not have pockets. So the SPIbelt would be perfect!

I was contacted by Debbie at SPIbelt about which style I wanted to try out (I picked the black belt with the hot pink zipper. Big surprise there huh??) and she got it to me so quickly. When it arrived, I could not wait to try it out! I have to say that I am also very happy that SPIbelts are made right here in the good ole USA! Austin TX to be exact.

The SPIbelt
I was really impressed once I got to check out the actual product as the pictures online do not do this belt justice. I was amazed at how little the pocket was when it was empty but how much stuff you could fit inside! It is very sleek and oh so cute too! 

The belt itself is so soft and comfortable. I wish that the makers of Polar and Garmin would take a cue from SPIbelt and use this super soft and comfy material for their heart rate monitor straps.

The 4 miler day
My first run out with my SPIBelt was an easy 4 miler. I did not need much for this run-just my lip balm. Since I do not really like my iPod armband, I wanted to try using the SPIbelt to hold my iPod.

Success. The belt was comfy, did not bounce around and I didn't even know I was wearing it. I also liked having the option to take a few things with me.

Loaded for the bike and some quality TV time!
 A couple days later I wore it for an hour plus ride inside on the bike. Again, I used it to hold my iPod -some lip balm and the TV remote. This time I wore the pocket on the small of my back. It was another successful go.

Heading out on Sunday-14 miles

On Sunday, I wore the belt out for a 14 mile run in the cold Maine weather. I packed a little bit more for this journey-the usual lip balm, my phone, some Beans, a pack of gum and my iPod. It wasn't even close to full and it was very comfortable. This run I did have on my cold weather fleece and I cannot imagine having to pack all this into my pockets. I was really happy to have the belt and liked the security of knowing I had my phone with me.

Yes, this fit in that pocket with lots of room to spare. I think Lola might fit in there too!
My overall impression? I like it-- A lot!! I think that this accessory is a must have for anyone who is active. I can see many, many uses for my SPIbelt not limited to running and biking.

This will be a great option for busy days out and about with Lola - the park, Chuck E. Cheese's, the amusement park, zoo, shopping etc-and my hands will be free to take care of her without toting around a pocketbook and I can have my necessities like a phone, debit card, lip balm, gum.

I was so impressed with my new SPIbelt that I wanted to host a giveaway here as well!
So Debbie has agreed to hook up one lucky Miles, Muscles & Mommyhood reader with their own SPIBelt!

How can you win your own SPIbelt??
Since it is the Holidays, I am giving you a ton of ways to enter!

Please leave a separate comment for EACH entry!

1) MANDATORY: Be or become a follower of my blog.
2) MANDATORY: Visit SPIbelt and tell me something you learned about SPIbelts. Also, tell me what you would pick if you are the lucky winner!

Additional Entries (optional):

3) Follow me on Twitter.

4) Follow SPIbelt on Twitter.
5) Follow SPIbelt on Facebook.
6) Did you already donate to my Operation Jack fundraiser before this contest??
If so, you get 2 extra entries!
7) Want to earn an extra entry? Then make any amount donation here. Plus you will be entered into another Fabulous giveaway- it is a win/win!!
8) Tell me about a run where you wish you had a SPIbelt!
9) Tell me what the strangest/weirdest/most unusual thing you have taken on a run/bike/etc.
10) Are you one of the original 100 followers of my blog? Give yourself an extra entry!
11) Do you follow Holly's blog, Rust Belt Runner? Earn an extra entry for following her!
12) Tell me what is the #1 health/fitness item on your Holiday Wish List this year!
13) Are you a member of the Endurance Athlete Project? Get an extra entry if you are currently a member OR become one!

I will accept entries into this contest until midnight on 12.31.2010 and will announce the winner on 01.01.2011! Start the New Year in style with your very own SPIbelt.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

this, that and a BQ

First, a bit of good news!
My father, the mechanical genius he is, was able to fix my camera in about 4.5 seconds. Well maybe 10...but he fixed it and it is working good as new! Thanks Dad- YOU ROCK!!
(yes, he does read my dribble now and then)

I had a great training week this week-logged 111 miles this week with a majority of those miles on the bike. I am enjoying the early morning spins and it also gives me a chance to catch up on my favorite garbage television. I did DVR the Ironman Kona coverage Saturday and this will be played again and again during spin time!

I wonder who won??

Speaking of which-I think I am going to take some advice from Joe Friel and rotate focus on different things. One week bike, the next swim, the next run etc. I am still working on getting my 2011 training plan together ala JF and all I learned at the clinic.

I did get out for a long run this morning. The plan was 10 miles but once I got going and got out to one of my favorite spots I just went with it and did a 14 miler. I have been neglecting my long run the last couple of weeks and I was really happy to get out. Considering my mileage has been pretty paltry in the run category, I am happy to be feeling great right now.

So here it is Sunday afternoon, the weekend coming to a close and I can say "I have to work tomorrow".
he he he
I have not said that sentence since early October of 2008. While I love being a stay-at-home Mommy, I am looking forward to a couple hours a week working. I will be in the gym and I can't think of a better place to spend time and get paid!

One week from today I will be running the Operation Jack/Train 4 Autism 10k Satellite run! That means there is only one week left to get in on my Big Stocking Giveaway!! *any amount of donation gets your name into the Big Hat to win this awesomely awesome stocking.* Lola will pick the winner sometime on Sunday.
Please see this post for info on the giveaway and the link to make your donation.

Speaking of Operation Jack...Sam ran marathon #60 and BQ'd with a time of 3:14:21! Congratulations Sam!! I am looking forward to cheering you on in Boston!! Check out Sam's race report here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Foto-less Friday

Last night Lola dropped the camera on the ground and it hit the lens. Now the camera is not working because the lens is crooked and cannot retract. Damn.
Even worse?
I am the one who gave it to her as a "reward" for going on the potty.
Hubby-needless to say-is not thrilled with my decision to let her play with the camera.

"who let's a 2 year old play with a $200 camera??"

ME. I do.
Pick your battles.
But who really won this one?

So, hopefully  it can be fixed. If not...well, looks like I will be camera shopping soon.

Good thing I now have a job!

Yes, after being a stay at home mommy for the last 26 months, I will be working part time at my local YMCA where I will be helping others discover how wonderful fitness is!

I'd show you my new sweet YMCA STAFF shirt
(not even close to being as cute as RUN EMZ or Chuckball)
but I don't have a camera that works.

And I don't know how to use my phone or ipod to get pics from THOSE to the PC or laptop.
*yeah, Im blonde*

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vegging Out & an Organics Challenge!

I love to cook (and eat!) and I don't classify what I eat or my eating style into a "group" or "type"~I eat a variety of foods and try to just keep it as clean as I can (meaning not processed). I will try just about anything from Paleo to Vegan that sounds good and is good for me.

The last several weeks I have been participating in the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge and one part of the challenge is to get in a minimum of 7 servings of fruits and veggies per day. I love veggies so this is certainly not a problem in this household BUT it has been a (fun) challenge to come up with some new dishes since I can easily find myself eating the same things over and over.

I have been reading lots of cooking website, my collection of cookbooks and magazine, vegan blogs, paleo blogs, and clean eating blogs looking for ideas. To my surprise, I have even found many delish dishes on Twitter! (Yeah, I'm on Twitter now too~you can find me here).

I discovered this Slow Cooker Smoky Pumpkin Chili recipe on Twitter.
I found this Kale Salad recipe on Sonja's blog (a side for din-din tonight!)
I stumbled upon this recipe for Bedtime Blueberries at Everyday Paleo.
Can't wait to make Eggplant & Portabello Lasagna from Jason's blog (scroll down to find this dish).
Veggie & fruit love at Marni's blog with Pineapple Spinach salad.

I even went meatless last night and just enjoyed the veggies-baby red potatoes, parsnips, carrots & fresh string beans from the pot roast I made and left the roast to hubby and Lola. Paired with a big salad it was plenty satisfying.

in my search for new veggie recipes, I read about a very interesting challenge-

Sonja has home delivery of organic veggies right to her door from-you guessed it-Door to Door Organics! Well Megan thought it might be a little cheaper to just do it yourself and went on over to her local Whole Foods to meet that challenge.

Sonja's Door To Door Organics box cost: $38.66
Megan's Whole (Paycheck) Foods trip cost: $51.18and this started the fun little challenge The Great Organic Basket Challenge or The Real World Food Challenge trying to compare prices of organic produce all over:

Here is the challenge-
Buy these things and total your bill.

I thought it would be fun to try and play along. But the challenge would be getting it all in ONE STOP. I usually make several stops at several different places to get what I want and save money. I shop at Trader Joe's, Hannaford, Shaw's and my local health food store-New Morning and my local Asian Market. Yes, this is lots of stops!!

I opted to try this challenge at my local Asian market, Tran's. They always have the best produce prices and some days I can get organic pears and apples for as little at $1/lb. I knew that Hannaford would have everything on the list but it would be close to $80.00 there and even more at Shaw's.

Produce List (ALL ORGANIC):
 -Roma Tomatoes – 5
- Avocados – 2
- Collard Greens – 1 bunch (don’t worry we’ll post recipes)
- Fennel – 1 LARGE root
- Golden Sweet Potatoes – 3 small
- Zucchini – 4
- Cucumber – 1
- Pomegranate – 2
- Anjou Pear – 2
- Kiwi – 2
- Pinova Apple – 2
- Pink Lady Apple – 2
- Navel Orange – 4
- Pea Sprouts – 1 box (also called Young Pea Greens, near the sprouts)
- Lemon – 5
- Lime – 2

How did I do??

My Bounty

-Roma tomatos- Fail. They only had vine, cherry & grape tomatos. I got a box of grape tomatos for $2.99
-Collard Greens- Another fail. But I got Kale instead. $2.99 for this as well.
-Fennel- Fail. Nothing!
-Golden sweet potatoes? ummm, not golden. Only regular-$1.49/lb= $2.56
-Zucchini-done-kind of...I only got 2. Ooops! $3.99 for the 2
-Cucumber-done! (although today it looks kind of sad) $1.89
-Pomegranate-fail. None.
-Anjou pear-I had to get 4 at $3.99 so 1/2 of that is $1.995
-Kiwi-again, had to get 4 at $2.50 so 1/2 of that is $1.25
-Apples-no Pinova or Pink Lady. I had the choice of Granny Smith, Red Delish or another variety I can't recall. I went with a bag of Red Delish at $4.99 for a 3lb bag.
-Navel Oranges-fail. Nothing organic citrus. Even the regular citrus looked kind of sad but I did get a crate of clementines and they are awesome. $5.99 for the box
-Pea Sprouts-fail. Nothing even close.
-Lemons-I got 5 but I used 2 last night for dressing! *lol* $0.79 each = $3.95
-Limes-came in bags of 4 at $2.99 per bag so 1/2 of that = $1.995

My total for the challenge was $34.60 (not including tax)
I did not get 5 of the items on the list.
the most expensive thing (the crate of Clementines) were not organic.
It's looks like Sonja's Door to Door Organics won this hand-big time!

If time allows, I am going to try this challenge again at Hannaford where I know I will be able to get all the produce listed!

If you are interested in participating in this little challenge yourself it is running until 12/20-and to sweeten the deal, Sonja is throwing in some awesomely delish Justin's Almond Butter for the blog post she likes best.

I would like to know, what great fruit and veggie dishes are you lovin'?
Share the links and the veggie love :)

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I am now giving out the very first YOU FREAKING ROCK AWARD.

What is the YFRA you ask?
Well, the YOU FREAKING ROCK AWARD is for the blogging athlete that I think just plain old rocked it for one reason or another.

So, who gets the very first YFRA??


well of course-- EMZ. If you do not know who or what I am referring to, this would be the incredible EMZ-she runs 50 miles with horses, she is an accomplished marathon runner, she spends days running hundreds of miles on her treadmill, she has abs of steel. If you do not read her blog-well, you are just missing out on priceless literary genius.

Yes, I totally HIJACKED this pic!!

Anyway, EMZ ran a 3:26:14 marathon this weekend. I think that is just awesome. That is why she got the very first (and soon to be very coveted) YOU FREAKING ROCK AWARD. She will also BQ like man. Of this, I have NO doubt!

She is SO awesome, in fact...I ran 2.62 miles on the treadmill in her honor. I was going to ride 26.2 miles on the bike but it would be embarrassing if she ran it faster than I could bike it.


yes, shorts in Dec in Maine. It's 50 degrees out! (but pouring rain)

I hope you are not sick of hearing about Chuckball yet. This is one of my favorite shirts and I wore it to hang out with Joe Friel on Sunday.
Yes, Joe and I are now friends. Buddies actually.
But this is a WHOLE notha post all together.
This post is about the shirt.
I got so many questions and comments about the shirt, it was quite the ice breaker in a room of amazing athletes. I now you are all dying to get your very own Chuckball so go to PunkRockRacing and you can be as cool as I am.
...and maybe, just maybe Joe will be YOUR buddy too. (probably not though)

Me and my new BFF-Joe Friel

Age Group Awesomeness
I found out this weekend that I have qualified for the USAT Age Group National Championships.

The 2011 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship will take place on August 20, 2011 in Burlington, Vt.

I would NEVER had known this if it was not for my tri-BFF, Dawn. Now being the ultra competitive gal that she is, she could have kept this quiet. But, being a true friend - not only did she verify this to be true, she even told me! (just kidding D, you know I love ya!!)
Time to get a new bike (is that Cervelo P3 winking at me???), put the pedal to the medal and try to convince hubby that this is something that needs to be done.
This might not seem like a big deal to some of you but considering that just about 2 years ago my idea of a triathlon was eating 2.4lbs of Chinese food, drinking 112 beers and smoking 26.2 packs of cigarettes--this is a big deal to me.
Even bigger of a deal, I qualified my first season.

Please don't forget to enter my Birthday Giveaway. It is for a great cause and I have some really awesome stuff I'm giving out!! GO HERE!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Operation Jack & A Birthday Giveaway!

I got out for an easy 4 mile run today. A run that made me laugh & cry; I was feeling excited, determined and humbled all at the same time.
You see-I had been waiting to listen to the rest of a podcast from Jake,  RunLikeHealth that was featuring fellow Maine runners, Danielle and Sarah to discuss Operation Jack/Train 4 Autism and the satellite 10k on 12/26 This would be the run where I could finish listening to this podcast.
I met these two lovely ladies online through Dailymile.com and bloggyland but finally had the chance to meet them face to face at the Maine Marathon Expo at the OJ/T4A table. Shortly after meeting with Danielle and Sarah, I joined up with Operation Jack/Train 4 Autism-I run in honor of my nephew, Nathan who is on the spectrum.

To back up a bit-when I started running, it was for a very self serving purpose: to burn calories to lose weight. Along the way, I fell in love with running and it took on SO much more meaning in my life. Running to me now is my therapy, my "me" time, my social time, my hobby, my love, my passion. Running is on longer a chore and it has brought so much to my life. It has helped me reach my goals, it has brought some amazing people into my life and I have been wanting to find a way go give back.
This summer when I ran Run for the Fallen, I did it because I wanted to "do something bigger than ME". I have been searching for the something that had more meaning than just about me and a way I could give back-pay it forward. I had looked into several charity teams etc. but nothing really hit home for me.
That is until I met Sarah and Danielle and learned about Train 4 Autism. I thought about it for a while before I made the commitment. (Y'all who know me KNOW I don't do anything unless it is full-on, full-force 110%!!) and I wanted to be sure this was the right place for me to "hang my hat".
So as I am listening to Jake, Sarah and Danielle talk about this upcoming race to celebrate Sam's 61st marathon this year (ummm-can I get a amen??) I got SO excited to be meeting some of these fabulous Maine runners that I have been socializing with online. Then there was discussion about Sam coming to Maine next October to run MDI (Mt Desert Island Marathon) and *ding*ding*ding*, I think I committed myself to that race right then and there.
Sam talked about all he had been through this year running and how the awareness had grown. I thought about how he made this amazing commitment to run all this time, taking him away from his children and wife. The travel. The miles. The recovery. And he was making a big difference. I don't even know him and I am SO dang proud of him.

Then I started thinking about Sarah's post the other day about her little brother (you can read it here-get a tissue!) and thinking about my nephew, Nathan. I got all choked up and tears started rolling down my face (not good on a cold, Maine morning).
I had finally found that thing that was bigger than me. I found a way to make a difference. I found a way to give back. And I found a way to honor someone who is so special.
How can I not be so excited to be a part of something so wonderful??

So I am asking you, please, do a couple things this weekend.

Check out OperationJack.org and find the satellite run in YOUR area and run.

Not one near you? How about you just join us on your own and run your own distance in honor of Sam, Operation Jack/Train 4 Autism and anyone you know who has been touched by Autism. Come back here and tell me about it or post it on Dailymile.com.

Spread the word!! Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell anyone who will listen. Tweet. Blog. Facebook. Email. Snail mail. Pass notes. Get the word out!

Please make a small (or large donation) to Operation Jack. Even if it is one dollar, every bit counts and leads to change.

It's my birthday on December 22nd and I want to celebrate!! All I want for my birthday is...

Now here's the fun part!! If you would like to make a special birthday donation, you can visit my Operation Jack/Train 4 Autism page here:

If you make a donation to OJ/T4A, leave me a comment telling me so.

For those who make ANY AMOUNT donation (one entry per donation), I have a super fabulous CHRISTMAS STOCKING* filled with all kinds of RUNNING GOODIES to giveaway. You have until midnight on 12/26 to enter. I will announce a winner on 12/27.

What is in this fabulous CHRISTMAS STOCKING??
Here are some of the goodies that you will find:
GU-assorted flavors
A pr of Balega socks (will custom size/gender for the winner!)
A tech shirt from The Maine Running Company (ditto on the size/gender thing)
Body Glide
K Tape
Cliff Bars-assorted flavors
A bottle of REAL Maine Maple Syrup
A $5 Target gift card
A special portrait drawing of you by LOLA!! (priceless)
and MORE! This stocking will grow and grow between now and 12/26!!

*this stocking is made by me and none of the products featured in this stocking were given to me by the companies listed. These are just a few of my favorite things that I want to share with other runners. I was not compensated in any way by any of the brands listed.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It'll go a little somethin' like this-

For the last couple of weeks, I have been working on putting together my race schedule for 2011- as well as focusing on develping a training plan and getting to a leaner racing weight.
There are just SO many races I want to do. These are on "the list" so far
Rev3 Quassy Oly
Pumpkinman Tri
Fireman Tri
Mainiac Tri
Tri for a Cure
Eastern States 20 Miler
Smuttynose Marathon
Mt Desert Island Marathon
Maine 1/2 Marathon
Beach to Beacon 10k
Kerrymens Pub 5k
Run for Cash 5k
Labor Day Classic 5k

this is just a prelim list but the ones I really want to do. I won't get into all of them either as reg fills fast on a couple of these. Also, timing is really messing me up because some of the "A" races are back to back
Then, I got this email about a Ragnar Relay in New England and well, I started thinking about it.
REALLY thinking about it.
The Rev3 Quassy Olympic distance tri would be one of my "A" races and this is just two weeks after Ragnar.

I can just imagine how this is going to go over with the hubby.

Yup, something like this:


Thursday, December 9, 2010

SUAR & Chuckball

Happy Happy Day!

I got THREE treats delivered today:

Mr. Mailman left this for me-a new issue of Runner's World and my SUAR sticker.

I love my mailman!

and Mr.BrownTruck delivered this:

The shirt says: Chuck Norris Never Did an IRONMAN

I just had to try on my new Punk Rock Racing Chuckball shirt as soon as it came! I don't know what is better-the awesome gear that Punk Rock Racing has or the level of service.
Ron totally hooked me up! He went out of his way to make sure that I got this on time and I got the right size!  (Ron-thank you. They do run small! as you can see the Large fits just right!! muah!)

Can't wait for the Joel Friel seminar this weekend!!

So -- decked out in my new Chuckball, I put up my SUAR sticker on my wall of motivation in the home gym This is a temporary home...not sure where she will reside permanently.

I'm thinking on my behind at my next race!! Thoughts?
Can you find the SUAR?

Happy Holidays

Mod And Bright Holiday 5x7 folded card
Shop 100s of holiday cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tougher than a Cornflake

Sometimes the universe speaks to you in quiet ways. Sometimes is shouts.
This week, it yelled directly into my ear.

It told me that I was heading in the right direction-just keep going!!

While I do not lack motivation or drive to train on most days, there are those times when I just don't have the "oomph" I normally do or I find it a bit frustrating to have my workouts interrupted (ie: Lola smacking up a little boy in the Y daycare. Lola waking up early while I am trying to get my bike groove on. Hubby working late or being out of town. whatever)

I am a stay-at-home-Mom. While in THEORY is was easy decision for my husband &  I to make-to stay with my daughter and be Mommy-it was not so easy to give up my salary. In doing so, we sacrificed a lot of things by cutting our income in half. I don't have the budget to buy a great, new tri bike right now nor do I have the funds to hire a tri coach to learn the things I need to learn-I would love a (bike) trainer so I could ride the bike I DO have but for now I am resigned to the stat bike. Swimming is my weakest discipline right now and I could really use some lessons and/or a swim coach.
-but these things are not going to deter me. I will find a way to make these things happen.
I never quit and I don't question my motivation. I am trying to put a plan together to make it all work. I am reading. I am researching. I am learning. Working with what I have.

One day this week I was feeling down and a bit frustrated with some of these issues as well as some things that were out of my control.
I stumbled upon a link to a blog this week via Twitter.

Come to find out, this blog is written by a rockstar Maine Triathlete and Endurance Coach. Just the name of her blog alone should motivate you!

It's YOU vs. Can't, YOU vs. Excuses, YOU vs. the Odds--Let's see what YOU've got

The post that was Tweeted was titled
Where it all starts
(here is an excerpt)

It doesn't matter what your friends are doing. It doesn't matter what they think. It makes no difference whether or not your husband thinks it would be fun or if your parents would be proud.

You can't do it for them.
You Must do it for You.

If you want to succeed, it Must come from your Heart.

I highly suggest reading the entire post.

This just solidified everything I have been thinking about and planning for the last month or so.

Getting up at 3:45pm to ride the bike instead of sleeping in.
Running anytime I can make it happen, even if it means pushing 50lbs in the jogging stroller-or running in the dark. Or in the cold wind. Or the snow.
Swimming until I am waterlogged and wrinkled.
Selling my designer handbags to buy a new bike.
Eating steel cut oats instead of Captain Crunch to fuel my body.

These are some of the things I am doing because I have goals I want to achieve, I have dreams that I will make a reality.

I have the HEART to put in the work.
and I am tougher than a cornflake
(read the blog post to understand)

The neighbors can continue to stare at me as I run by in my dayglo orange or neon yellow reflective tops as I head out onto the roads in the dark. My husband can laugh when I want to fit in a second workout of the day. My non-runner/triathlete friends can shake their heads in confusion.

There are a couple friends that "get it" and I hold them close. I am sure there are many of you out in bloggy land that COMPLETELY understand.

I am going to continue creating FrankenJen in full force-one mile at a time!


What sacrifices have you or do you make to reach your goals?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Questions, High Heels, Laundry & Chuck Norris

First, I want to thank everyone for their very nice comments on Friday's post (Fat A$$ Friday...From There to Here). It has been an amazing journey!

If I inspired just one person then I feel like the post did it's job. Please, don't ever give up on your dreams!

To answer a couple questions I got about that post and my weight loss-

No. I did not get gastric bypass surgery. While this may be a viable option for some, it was not for me. I think that GBS is not always successful at addressing the reasons you got fat in the first place. If you do not learn new behaviours and/or change the destructive ones, then you will not be successful with long term success. I feel that getting healthy requires a lifestyle overhaul. My experience in medicine has shown me first hand that some medical practices are all too willing to push this procedure through the insurance companies and the therapy, counseling, nutritional education procedures that used to be in place prior to surgery are no longer a priority. Money is. This is my opinion and yours may differ-and that is OK. I am just very passionate about doing it in the healthiest way possible.

No. I did not take diet pills or any other kind of dietary "supplements" such as fat burners. I lost the weight by changing what I was eating and by getting my fat ass off the couch. I slowly switched over to a lifestyle of eating clean foods (meaning unprocessed), I started eating every couple of hours and drinking water. I also cut out all alcohol.

How did I start with exercise? Exercise was a slow start for me-I stared with walking on the TM at the gym and then slowly progressed from there. Lola was a c-section baby so that also contributed to a slow start. Once I started weight training, my body really started changing shape.
I am a huge advocate of circuit training! Love her or hate her, Jillian Michael's was a life saver for me at the start. My first intro to circuit style training and weights were with her DVD's and her book, Making the Cut. I learned SO much from her about how to workout to maximize fat loss and how to eat. She used to have a really great radio show on KFI but it is no longer on.
Still to this day I utilize her basic set ups for my circuits/weight training (resistance exercises x 2 with 2 cardio/plyo bursts then one ab/core exercise). I write up 5 circuits and do each one twice. It usually takes an hour or so.

How long did it take me to lose the weight? It took me about 14 months. I have been at my current weight since April of 2010. Yes, I did this with a newborn baby as a new Mommy. Yes, my husband was incredibly supportive.


I got out Sunday for a quick 4 mile run in my new pink Kinvara's and I love 'em.

However, running in the new grey suede 6" platform heels, not so comfy!

NOTE TO EMZ: They are Paris Hilton shoes believe it or not-you can find them here. Didn't even know SHE did shoes but...Orig retail $100, TJMaxx clearance price? $15.00. The style is called Sashay-

Sunday I had a really hard time finding my motivation to get out and run. After two weeks of great workouts, I think my body was just asking for a bit of a break. I spent the majority of the day playing with Lola-coloring, playing hide-n-go seek, watching Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer on DVR over and over....

Lola and her Bungle Bee!
Somewhere along the way I managed to get 4 loads of laundry washed and folded. And she managed to find a great place to cuddle up with her blanket and take a nap.
Right in the laundry basket. 

I am so excited for the coming weekend! I am attending a Joel Freil seminar and I am looking forward to learning a lot! I am also pretty excited to meet some amazing triathletes-including fellow Maine Triathlete and blogger Caratunk Girl-

I will be wearing the super cool Punk Rock Racing shirt called Chuckball (as long as it makes it here in time!!) Be sure to check out PRR's site for some really great stuff.

FROM PRR: Sure, Chuck Norris is a badass BUT even he hasn’t completed an Ironman (pansy).