September 30, 2016

Logistics for running the Disneyland Paris races

When runDisney announced the Disneyland Paris race weekend during the Princess Half Marathon race weekend in 2015, we knew we would want to attend this inaugural event.  With little information available online, including the option for race bibs without a hotel stay we decided to go with the tour operator in France to book our trip.  The list of official tour operators for the race included one in many different countries. Someone we met in the Expo line on Thursday from the US told us they used the UK travel partner since it was easy to book online.  I called the number provided for the Paris tour company and finalized the details last October.

September 28, 2016

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon race recap

The inaugural Disneyland Paris half marathon was held on September 25th in Marne de Vallee outside of the city of Paris.  With a start time of 7am and staying at a hotel just a 10 minute walk to the corrals, we actually got to sleep in compared to the US runDisney races.  After our walk to the corrals (we were in B) we listened to the loudspeakers play music and the announcers getting the crowd revved up for the race.  They were dressed in tracksuits, unlike the runDisney announcers in the US who dress in costume on race morning.  It was a festive atmosphere and soon they were sending off the first corral of runners after a fireworks display for all the runners instead of a sendoff for each corral. With a B corral placement, we were started at approximately 7:15.  With quite large corrals, they sent the runners off in small waves within the corral and that worked out beautifully.  One thing to note, the course is marked in kilometers, so this can be a challenge to compute how far you have gone in miles. We got to the finish line sooner than I expected since my math was not correct.

June 24, 2016

Taking a mental health break from running

At times, running can become a chore.  Sometimes you don't feel like following a plan. Getting up a o' dark hundred is no longer appealing. Has this ever happened to you?  Over the last 8 months, I have run 3 marathons with a 4th to come in less than 4 months.  In other words, I have been "in marathon training" for a long time.  While running is a passion and I love racing and training, the last few months have been a struggle with my mind and body.

Taking a step back, certain things came into focus including long term health and a body that did not feel constantly worn down. Here are some things that I have done to make the month of June a good one in terms of fitness and well being.

June 22, 2016

Then and Now

Every once in a while, I'll think back to things that I did when I first started running. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cringe. Other times, I simply shake my head. I generally operated in a blissfully ignorant posture. In some ways, I think that really worked for me and there were definitely things that I could have benefited from knowing about. I figured it would be fun to look back about 5 years and see what I was doing then as compared to know.

June 20, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: June 20th

A big lesson was learned this week and boot camp type classes will no longer be part of my training.  After working really hard on Monday, I ended up being so sore on Tuesday that I cut my run short and walked instead.  It's hard to resist classes, but being sore for too long afterwards is not productive or fun. So back to the personal trainer I will go after testing Orange Theory Fitness and the classes at Axis Fitness Studio.

Besides working out, my time was spent working on special treats for the upcoming birthday celebration for my mother who turns 90 next month.  Since her wish if for a small celebration, we have planned a dinner party. Decorations and party favors have kept me busy while Christine works on a slide show for the event.  A photo magnet and some special order M&M's will be in the take home bags for the attendees.  And if you want to order the special M&M's, be sure to look for an online code.  I got 25% off the order and free shipping with a simple Google search.
We love the way these came out.

June 17, 2016

Let's Talk Fitness Bodies

I knew it would happen. It was inevitable really. As a member of the fitness industry, I assumed that eventually body image would become "a thing" that I was drawn into. After all, the fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that is largely focused on looking fit, chiseled abs, and thigh gaps. In recent years, there have been improvements and progress to have a more diverse range of bodies represented but we still have work to do.

The other day in my post, I made a random comment about wondering if my body is right for the fitness industry and I was really interested in the comments that rolled in. For the most part, I'm pretty comfortable with my body. I understand it. I know it. I am honest with myself when I need to cut back on the treats. I know when I need to bulk up on calories when I am marathon training and historically, have dropped lbs. Most of the time, I don't obsess over my size. Every once in a while, I'll think about what would happen to my abs if I quit eating ice cream. But then after dinner, I say "screw it," cookies and cream ice cream is delicious. I have a pretty healthy relationship with my body and food.

It started last week with a few simple things. A meeting at the gym led to discussions of fitness videos and ensuring the trainers had the "right look" for the videos. Immediately I wondered if I fit this image. In my head, I assumed not, thinking about my thicker thighs and less than perfectly sculpted abs. And then a client asked if I had played soccer. I told them "no" and tried to put it out of mind. Deep down, I knew the question was an inquiry into my thicker (read: strong) legs. It stung a bit. I'm not ever going to be a leggy girl. It's just not my build.

When I think about my legs, I don't usually worry about their size. Instead I worry about what's going on inside. Are my quads strong enough to support my creaky knee? Are my hamstrings smooth and long, instead of adhesion-filled knots? These legs have carried me countless miles. They have helped me hike technically challenging trails. They have pushed off thousands of pool walls. They helped me leap off the blocks at swim meets. They have carried me across four marathon finish lines.

And then there are abs and the ever-present photos of abs that often surface in the fitness industry either as motivation or progress photos. In the last year, I have developed my own set of baby abs. I don't really bare them much unless I am in a bathing suit. I have to work really hard for them. My mid-section tends to be the spot where any excess fluff collects. So when my baby abs start to pop out, I feel psyched. But they're not Jillian Michaels-quality abs. They are Christine Suter abs. And in all honesty, I'm pretty stoked to see them peeking out these days. They remind me that I am getting strong and lean.

When the topic of fitness bodies or runner bodies surfaces, I can usually count on my circle of friends to come to a quick and simple consensus - there isn't one body type that represents fitness (or running). And I agree, 110%. It isn't about being a size two, having ripped abs or a big thigh gap. As a trainer, I would much rather see a client improve basic health metrics like blood pressure, BMI, lean body mass, and waist to hip ratio than get down to a size two. So I guess it's time to apply this logic to myself, yes?

I've spent several days pondering this and have arrived at my own thoughts on what having a "fitness body" means.
- Strong
- Capable
- Resilient
- Possessing endurance
- Flexible

That sounds pretty generic, doesn't it? Well in some ways it is. I don't really believe being fit is about having a specific look. Some people are blessed with a predisposition for slender legs while others are blessed with dense muscle fiber making muscle definition easier to attain. At the end of the day, if someone is an appropriate weight, and seeks opportunities to enhance their physical well-being, they're good, right?

Related articles:
- Why aren't more gyms and fitness trainers embracing body positivity? from Well+Good
- Yoga Bodies discussion from Well+Good
- Fitness Professionals: Do you Feel Pressured to Maintain 'The Look'? from Fitknitchick
- The Fitness Industry: Does it REALLY pressure you to look a certain way? from LAQFitness

So tell me, what does the term fitness body mean to you? How do you define fitness in a physical context...or do you?

June 16, 2016

Luvo Frozen Meals Product Review

Disclaimer: I received several Luvo meals as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review and find race reviews!
Luvo Frozen Meals Product Review

When I think of frozen meals, two things generally pop into my mind. The first is those gross meals with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and some rock-hard brownie, and a whopping calorie, fat, and sodium content. The second thought is generally around the stereotypical diet-esque frozen meals that lack flavor and texture. When I got the chance to try Luvo meals, I was sold. I had heard good things and had seen them in stores, but hadn't taken the plunge.

June 15, 2016

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Preparations

With just over three months until the inaugural Disneyland Paris half marathon, we are in planning mode to make sure everything is in place before we leave the US.  Hotels are booked and airplane tickets have been purchased, but our day to day plans need to be put in place so we don't waste any time once we arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Here are some of the items you will need to consider if you are traveling for these races.  After purchasing your airplane tickets, make sure to book some kind of transfer to the DL Paris location if you are staying at a property adjacent to the parks.  While the location is considered Paris, it is actually in Marne-la-Vallee and you need to either study the train maps and brush up on your French, or plan to have a driver take you to the location.  There is also a magical express option if you are staying onsite.

June 13, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: June 13th

Sometimes I am reminded why I love living in Hampton Roads...and that usually happens during the summer! We are so lucky to have a fantastic beach, actually several beaches, within reasonable driving distance. When we woke up on Saturday, we debated a few options for activities. I went outside to water the flowers and immediately realized it was the perfect beach day. We tweaked our plans to head to the gym and instead, did a quick run through the neighborhood, changed into our swimsuits, packed a quick lunch, grabbed our beach necessities, and jumped in the car.  We had a glorious day on the beach and even spent some time with one of my dear friends from high school. Yes, it can definitely be a pain to park down at the beach, but that small headache is totally worth it. After living near the water for 11 years (whoa!), I'm not sure I could move inland.
North End of Virginia Beach 

June 10, 2016

These days...

Happy Friday, friends!! I am so excited for this upcoming weekend. We are celebrating our first wedding anniversary by having dinner at the place where we got hitched last June. Yeehaw! I thought about writing a running-centric post today but honestly I haven't really run since my 10k 2 weeks ago. Call me a slacker, but I've been enjoying some new workouts and getting back to my favorite spin bike at the gym.  So here are some updates, on running, training, and life.

These beauties from my yard make me happy!

June 8, 2016

Why Orange Theory Fitness is not for me

When I signed up for Orange Theory Fitness back in the winter, it was with excitement and anticipation of a new way to cross train, in a class setting.  Granted, my current gym offers classes, but they never were at times that worked with my schedule.  So a once a week membership to OTF was my plan to start and then if I enjoyed the classes I could change my membership to include more.

June 6, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: June 6th

It's hard to believe the year is almost half over.  We are both in a lull in terms of upcoming races, but with the arrival of summer heat and humidity, neither of us is too bothered to have blank spaces on our calendars.  After a strong long run last Saturday, a slight setback happened when I woke up with a dull ache in my leg and foot on Sunday.  Unfortunately it continued the next couple days, but after some rest and recovery, I ran without a problem Saturday.  Hopefully my planned Tuesday run will go well and this was just a freak couple of days.  And speaking of Saturday, the humidity was horrible and since we were out later than normal Friday night, my early start was not to be.  I wore a new tank from Brooks that was lightweight and felt great even when the back was saturated after a few miles. It is this one and I found it discounted on the Running Warehouse website along with a pair of my beloved Ravennas at a greatly reduced price. 

Lulu loves the post run cool down!

June 2, 2016

Favorite Things - May/June Edition

It's hard to believe it's June! I feel like this spring slipped through my fingers and was gone in an instant. I suppose that starting a new job, traveling a few weekends, and doing a few major home DIY projects will do that! It's been a while since I did a rundown of the things rocking my world so I figured now was a good time. You will find some affiliate links in this post to help keep Two Runners Travel running.

1. New Balance 880s: Earlier this spring, I transitioned from a stability shoe to a more neutral shoe. I love how lightweight they are...after being in a heavy-ish stability shoe for so long, these feel so light! So far, they've felt great and I have been really pleased with another New Balance style in my closet.

June 1, 2016

Chick-fil-A 10k Race Recap

Last Saturday, I ran the Chick-fil-A 10k as my first race back from a knee injury that started last fall. It's funny how a hiatus from racing for 7 months will impact your mental game. I had all kinds of crazy anxiety like what if I forgot what to do at the starting line, what if my legs wouldn't work, etc. Silly! It turned out to be a great race day and exceeded my expectations in so many ways!

May 30, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: May 30th

Summer arrives on June 20th, but honestly summer arrived here in North Carolina this week. The temperatures were really warm, there was abundant sunshine and the pool water has hit the low 80's.

Post run, sitting here is always a treat.
Spending lots of time outdoors was the plan on most every day and my house usually takes a back seat to fun and sporting activities during this time of year. At least I got my laundry piles whittled down by mid week, but today will be a busy day cleaning clothing and the house.  Do you have tons more wash when it is warm?  We seem to fill our basket almost daily.

May 27, 2016

Vacation Running

Summertime is around the corner and many of us take vacations to the beach, the mountains and all sorts of places in between.  When traveling for a vacation and not specifically for a race, it is important to decide ahead of time where you will compromise.  Visiting my mother frequently and with access to a gym, it usually is not too difficult to get in the workouts from my training plan.  But other types of vacations might make it a little more difficult.  Here are some of the things I have tried, some working better than others.

May 25, 2016

It's (almost) race day!

For those of you who haven't had the privilege of spending the night before a race with my Mom, you haven't heard her legendary "it's race day" cry that she usually squeals when she hops out of bed on race morning. Now you understand the secondary meaning of the title of this post. But really, it is almost race day for me.

Saturday, I'll be running the Chick-fil-a 10k as my first race, post-injury. To say I'm excited is an understatement! My focus leading up to this race has been a smart approach to running. I have trained pretty conservatively and have no aspirations for a PR on Saturday, but I do have some goals.

May 23, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: May 23rd

This week was a little all over the map so I'll try to capture the highlights...
- We picked strawberries on Monday evening after work and I was able to use some of them in a homemade strawberry cake. Delicious!!

Going into the oven! 

May 20, 2016

Springtime Favorites

It's Friday and a day to share some of my current favorites.  We are linking up with Courtney at
Eat, Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar on the Run and Cynthia at You signed up for what for the Friday Five.

1. It's no secret that reading is a hobby of both of us and running books appeal to us as well as non fiction and fiction.  Recently a new book was written by Amby Burfoot titled First Ladies of Running. Following the beginning of the women's running movement up until 1994 when Oprah Winfrey ran the Marine Corps Marathon, Burfoot covers the pioneers of the sport.  These women made it possible for all of us to participate in a sport that used to think that women would be injured or hurt by running more that a very short sprint race.  My favorite quote of the book came from Katherine Switzer:
"I think the Olympic Marathon was in many ways as important as giving women the vote.  Everyone had come to accept what women could do in the social and intellectual realms, but it took the Olympic Marathon to show the entire world how physical and powerful women could be."

I am not going to spoil the book by giving details but the running profiles and experiences of 22 women are shared by the author after many emails and visits with those profiled..  Burfoot captures the personalities and struggles these women faced at a time when distance running was tabu for women.

May 18, 2016

The comparison trap

There's a famous quote from Teddy Roosevelt that you've probably heard...
"Comparison is the thief of joy." 

I generally subscribe to this idea and when it comes to running, I am pretty good about this. I don't often compare my efforts or times with others. That's not to say that I am not intrigued when a fellow runner smokes a PR. In that case, I want to know how they did that and what tools or techniques they used that I could employ with my own training. I love learning about other runners's training and races but don't pay too much mind to how I stack up. But...when it comes to myself, I am playing the comparison game all day long....all day e'ryday.

May 16, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup May 16th

After a whirlwind trip to Boston and Washington DC last week, I was happy to be home and ready to start running again.  I did not log many miles this week, but it felt good to get back to running after a two week break following the London Marathon.  Track practice is always a challenge after training and running a marathon, but it was great to accomplish the intervals recommended by the coach and know that hard work will pay off at future races.  A first happened this week too when my fingers slipped and I signed up for a triathlon clinic.  Although a triathlon race may not be in my future, cross training with biking and swimming will be incorporated in my training every week this summer, so why not improve in both of these disciplines.  One of the speakers is Michelle Jones, an Ironman World Champion and Olympic Medalist.  Surely there will be great information shared with all the participants including a track workout.  I can't wait!

Took this out for a spin after signing up for the clinic

May 15, 2016

Thank you.

Friends, I am overwhelmed with grace and gratitude. Your kindness and words of support on my previous post mean so much to me (and Adam - he even read the post and comments). Being vulnerable is never easy and I am so grateful that so many of you took the time and energy to share your stories with me. Like anything in life, shared experiences are so valuable and meaningful. 

I wasn't really prepared for how I would feel after spending time putting my story on paper, and really articulating my emotions into words.  I still have moments when I feel sad. And this week, there were more of those moments than normal. So tomorrow we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming. 

Again, please accept my most sincere appreciation for your kindness and warmth. 


May 11, 2016

Silver Linings

For those of you have been reading for a while, you know that a Disneyland Paris has been on my wish list for years, since December 2012 to be exact. I dreamed of the time when this race would become a reality and I could combine one of my favorite race experiences, runDisney, with one of my favorite places, Paris.  When the race was announced a year ago February, I was excited but wasn't sure where life would take me in the 18 months until the race day. During that time, I became engaged, got married, started a new career, and dreamed of starting a family. In full disclosure, I also became less enthusiastic about runDisney for a variety of reasons so my excitement had waned (but that's a topic for another day). With a flexible transfer policy, I registered but never really was 100% committed. Simply put, I wasn't confident about registering for an overseas race so far in advance. 
Spending a very chilly afternoon at Versailles

May 9, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: May 9th

Without a doubt, the highlight of our week was some quality family time this weekend as we celebrated my cousin's college graduation. We had a great brunch on Sunday before the ceremony...celebrating Mother's Day together was a bonus! 

May 6, 2016

Maintaining endurance and speed while not racing

Race season in the south is usual fall and spring with a very few races in winter and summer. Because of this, many of the girls in my running group don't race for months at a time.  The coaches of the group try to keep everyone focused on fall races once the heat and humidity set in and the racing calendar dries up.  So what do you do to keep focused on the prize?  Here are some of the ways I enjoy keeping up endurance during the off season.

1. Pool and ocean swimming  While swimming is not a favorite activity, I do enjoy morning swims when it is too hot to enjoy running.  I get workouts on my training plan that include varying sets of intervals that include leg work and arm work plus sometimes timed drills. Ocean swimming is another great option and since we live very close to the beach, we sometimes do an open water swim.  I tried my first last summer and despite being very nervous, found it quite exhilarating.  And lets face it, the salt water really helps with buoyancy, a very good thing for swimmers.

2. Classes  My gym offers a vast assortment of classes including spin, pump and sweat, Yoga, Pilates etc.  While I have tried some of the classes, the timing has not worked out great for me so I decided to try Orange Theory Fitness this week.  They just opened a studio less than 3 miles from my house so it is convenient and since I am paying for monthly workouts I will attend.

3. Personal Training  Christine will like this one.  I am resuming my personal training sessions with Britt next week after my two week hiatus from the London Marathon.  I love working with a trainer one on one because they can focus on your weaknesses which are usually the things I avoid doing on my own.

4. Biking  When the weather is hot, a bike ride is usually a better option than running.  Having now found a group of girls who would like to ride once a week, this is another workout I am adding this summer.  Riding uses different muscles than running so it is a great workout between those difficult speed workouts.
Love my new bike since I can go faster on it!
5.  Running  You can't quit running just because there is intense heat and humidity to deal with. Getting out early in the morning or after the sun sets is the best option to beat the heat, but just plan of slower paces and know when racing season arrives, those legs will be able to run faster than you think!

Do you have any special workouts you incorporate into your plan when it is the off season?

May 5, 2016

Race Day Maps

Disclosure:  This post was not sponsored and no compensation was received.  We simply want to share a company who offers  products that we love and purchase with our own money!

Last December, my favorite birthday gift was a race day map gifted to me by a very thoughtful running friend.  Any big race is worthy of wall space, and these Marathon Maps by JHill Design part of their runink collection will delight you too.  Made on heavy card stock, the maps include the race name, your name, finish time, bib number, date and  the map with the race course highlighted.

 These maps are available for many races and they will even custom design one for a race not currently offered.  The maps come in three sizes, 5 X 7, 8 X 10 and 12 X 18 so you can decide which will best fit your needs.  I love the small size so that I can frame three together as a collage.  With vivid colors for the maps and dark lettering for the details, they are a great addition for your running shrine!  All you do is visit their website, supply your race day details and within just a couple of days, you find these lovely cards in your mailbox.  After completing the NYC Marathon last fall, and then the London Marathon on April 24th, I decided to place an order for two additional running maps for my collection.  Arriving just days after placing my order, I was please again with the great customer service and prompt delivery.  Here are my latest additions

J Hill Design has offered a discount code to our readers and hopefully you can take advantage of it before it expires on May 13th. It is available for all items on the site  Code:TRT15  Happy Shopping! (No compensation will be received if you use our code. We are excited to share a discount with our readers)

May 4, 2016

London Marathon Expo and Trip Photos

After being home for just over a week,  my thoughts are now turning to a wonderful week in London and what worked well for our racecation there.  Our arrival day was Wednesday, the first day of the race expo.  After landing at London Heathrow airport at 7:30 am, we went through customs and immigration quickly. After a pretty long walk,  we made it to the underground station for the trains into central London (affectionately called the Tube). It is an easy way to get around and we had Oyster cards from a prior visit so we just topped them up later on in the day. With only one stop for a change of trains, we were at the door of the Conrad Hilton by 9:30 am, far earlier than we had anticipated.  Our room was not ready, but we were allowed to use the lounge to have some breakfast, shower and change and then store our luggage.  Next stop: expo!
Again we took the subway and this time we had to change to light rail to go to the expo at the ExCel building that is located in East London.  When changing trains we caught sight of the Tower of London and of course this got me excited for race morning when we pass the tower during the race.

May 2, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: May 2nd

This past week was a busy one! I found myself training clients solo which was exciting and intimidating all at the same time. I had a blast and am quickly learning how to modify workouts on the fly. And slowly I seem to be adjusting to the physical demands of running around on my feet all day. I have some new cushy sneaks and have been rotating them with some of my cast off running shoes and that seems to be helping.

Our weekend was a good balance of fun and adulting. We have a few projects that we are working on around the house and the dreary weather helped us stay inside to work on those yesterday. I have to admit that I miss our sunny spring weather but the rain did make it easier to be inside! Rather than write about our weekend, I figured I would share some photos!

Saturday afternoon at the Virginia spring beer festival with friends 

April 29, 2016

London Marathon Race Recap

Last Sunday, April 24th was a special day and the 36th running of the London Marathon. As one of the lucky runners with a race bib, I woke up early and got ready for the bus ride to Greenwich Park where the race would commence.  Because this race has a later start for the average runner, I ate an early breakfast in my hotel room and brought an additional breakfast to eat at 9:00am at the starting area.  The weather was perfect for a race with a high of 50 degrees predicted and possible rain in the afternoon.
Dressed and ready for the big race

April 27, 2016

Random thoughts from a run

I intended to get a post up this morning but sleep was more important last night! That 4:25 alarm comes quickly!

It's been really nice to hit the roads again. I forgot what it feels like to have some time to sort through my thoughts and quiet my mind. I truly missed that aspect of running. And now that I'm back at work, it's nice to have some time and space to quietly process my day. So what has been rattling around in my running brain, you ask? Well so glad you on!

April 25, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: Apr 25th

This week was a very busy one! Between starting my new job and getting back on track with my workouts after a quick hiatus, I have been tired. I spent some time this weekend meal prepping, getting my calendar organized and trying to get ahead on some household chores. Hopefully that will make the work week smoother!

While Mom was enjoying London Marathon prep and the race, Adam and I were enjoying spring in Virginia. The weather in VA has been amazing and we really enjoyed it this weekend - bike rides, hanging out in the hammock, backyard TRX, etc.

April 22, 2016

Starting the best possible way

Monday began my new life as a personal trainer. When I started my journey 7 months ago, I wasn't exactly sure where my career was headed. In January I started thinking about fitness. I talked to friends, family, and sought out fitness professionals for input and advice. When I finally registered for the NASM Personal Training certification, I was excited. The studying was hard. I was by myself a lot and as an extrovert, that was draining for me. When I finally passed my exam at the end of March, I grew nervous that I might not find a job or a job that was fulfilling.
Not related to starting over but a fun pic with my Chinese zodiac symbol!

April 20, 2016

XX2i Bermuda Sunglasses Product Review

Disclaimer: I received the XX2i Bermuda1 Sunglasses to review as a part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews. 

I wear my sunglasses at night ALL DAY! Remember that song by Corey Hart? It seemed like an appropriate tie in for this post. Anyways, let's get back on track. Today, I wanted to share some thoughts on a pair of glasses that I recently received to try out - the XX2i Bermuda1 Sunglasses.
Polarized sunglasses for active lifestyles

April 18, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: Apr 18th

We are both a little backed up with many things and last week we did not get any blogging done. Oops! So in an effort to catch back up, we are recapping our training for two weeks.  Many people may not care if we rested or ran, but we prefer blogs that include training to see if we can improve/alter our own plans when we see huge improvement from others.

What a contrast in weather from my trip to Boston to North Carolina over the last two weeks. Flying to Boston in early April can make for some interesting weather conditions but wearing a down coat the entire time was not what I expected.  Anyone else find snow totally annoying in April? Luckily, the weather in Wilmington has been nicer so shorts and tops have been my running attire lately.

No outside run due to this mess

April 8, 2016

Five Goals for London Marathon

I'll be on a plane to London in less than two weeks and it is time for me to plan my goals for the race.  At the moment, there has been no weather stalking, because there will be rain in the forecast since it rains all the time in England.  This I know from spending nearly five years living in the northeast part of the country.  While the rain is usually just a drizzle, it can be bone chilling in the winter, and I'd rather not know until closer to the race if we will be dealing with a slog of a run.

So without further ado, here are my five goals for running the marathon.

1. Take in all the sights This sounds easy right?  I am the runner who has been known to miss lots of things during races due to my being focused on pace and my music.  While I do plan to run with music with just one earphone, this will be my only London Marathon and I am going to make every attempt to enjoy all the historical sights along the way starting in Greenwich ending near Buckingham Palace!


April 7, 2016

I just want to run fast

It's been a really long time since I ran a new PR. Most recently, I ran a 10k PR at the Enchanted 10k last February. My half PR is from the 2014 Shamrock Half Marathon and my marathon PR is from 2014 Richmond Marathon. My 5k PR is from December 2013! I couldn't even remember when I ran it...that's how old it is! Oof. It kind of feels depressing sometimes.
So very cold after Richmond Marathon

April 6, 2016


Today's post has been on my mind for a very long time. In the running and blogging world, you read about a lot of people's goals, dreams, races, accomplishments, and the like. Generally speaking, I love reading about friends and fellow runners accomplishing their goals. Several years ago, I wrote about the core values of the running community. At the time, I listed health, fun, achievement, humility, and encouragement. Today, I would like to add another trait - modesty.

April 4, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: Apr 4th

This week was an eventful one! After passing my CPT exam last week, I started the job search process. Through the process of deciding on personal training, I had reached out to several personal trainers through my own network or that of friends to get advice, input, and thoughts on the career and fitness industry. Their advice and guidance has been incredibly helpful as I began this new phase. I've met with a few gyms and am cautiously optimistic given my lack of experience and strange resume trajectory that lead me to fitness. It's been a while since I have been in the job market and I am reminded that sometimes you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.
Job hunting is tiring! So we took a reading/nap break!

April 1, 2016

5 Running goals and how they evolved

It's Friday and we are linking up with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the Friday Five. Many thanks to these lovely ladies of DC who host this weekly linkup.  Be sure to check out some of the other posts. The 1st Friday of the month is fitness Friday and I thought it would be fun to look back on my running goals and how they evolved.

As runners, there are many ways to establish goals, the most common being the finish time on the clock at your races. Earning a new Personal Best time is always very satisfying, but sometimes not the easiest thing to do.  Some runners prefer to run as many races as possible, while others race just a few times a year to have a better chance at improving their speed.  There are clubs such as Marathon Maniacs and Half Maniacs for those runners who do alot of races of those distances close together.  This is something that I have avoided as an older runner, but is very popular for some.  Going back to the fall of 2010, when I first laced up a pair of running shoes, I just tried to survive half marathon training so I could get to the starting line of the Princess Half in one piece.  But here are the five biggest running goals that I have accomplished, while none except one includes the time element.

March 30, 2016

Some things to tell you

This post is a bit of a stream of consciousness but I have a few things to share! First some news that makes me grin from ear to ear...last week was a big week for me. On Thursday, I took the certified personal trainer exam after 2 months of studying. It was hard. Two months of self-study and teaching yourself new material is hard. It requires a lot of self-discipline and at times, was a bit lonely. But guess what? The studying paid off. I PASSED!! I cannot wait to start this next new phase of my career. Any tips for a career transition? 
The four happiest letters!

March 28, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: Mar 28th

While I tend to workout or run solo, I always enjoy having company. And I definitely enjoy a chance to run with Mom! With my parents in town for the Easter weekend holiday, we took advantage and enjoyed 10 miles together on Saturday morning. Now I'm not anywhere near ready to run 10 miles, so I did an easy mile (the first full mile I have run in a long time!) and then hopped on my bike for the rest. 

March 25, 2016

Five Do's for Race Fundraising

When I took a chance and applied to run the London Marathon for the National Osteoporosis Society there were many questions in my head about how to go about raising the money and what were the "rules" of fundraising.  Let's face it, no one is ever thrilled to donate to a charity unless the request is done in an appropriate,  professional manner and in a heartfelt way.

Here are some of the things I have learned while fundraising for the past few months.

1.  Choose a charity that has specific meaning to your life:  When looking through a list of potential charities find one that you can easily relate to that has a cause you truly believe in.  The National Osteoporosis Society wasn't my first choice initially, but it resonated with me because my mother, sister and I all suffer from the disease.  I've seen many of my mothers friends fracture bones and Osteoporosis causes thinning of bones which can cause these breaks.  I love little furry pets and one of the animal charities would have been my first choice, but after careful thought, this one had better meaning for me and so it was easier for me to support.

2.  Be the first to donate to your charity   It is important to show those who you are asking for donations that you believe strongly in the cause and are willing to donate your money before anyone else.  Oops, my page went live and a friend donated before Tom/Pam had a chance. If I ever do this again, I will be better prepared.  Thanks Lois!

3. Work hard training   If someone, especially a friend or relative is donating their hard earned money so you can run the race of your dreams, make sure you are training to the best of your ability. It is really unfair to slack on training if you are asking people to support your race.  Training for London has been a weekly challenge for me, not because I did not want to but due to my IT Band injury back in early January.  Thankfully my coach has included alot of cross training and I should be ready on April 24th.

4.  Offer incentives   My first suggestion is to offer a song on your race day playlist for anyone who donates a certain amount.  I chose $26 for the marathon distance leaving off the point 2.  Other options are offering a gift card giveaway or running gear giveaway.  I chose a combination of things since many of my contributors would not be runners.  Let's face it, they don't need a Garmin watch or a new hydration belt.

5.  Keep in touch with your charity contact   My contact in the UK changed recently, but when I first started out, Claire could not have been more supportive and kind.  She suggested some things to get started and also called to wish me a Merry Christmas and make sure I had gotten my race vest (singlet) and package of materials.  That call made my day.

6. (a bonus) Thank you   I'm old school and write thank you notes, but even a nice email would be appropriate to thank anyone for their contribution to your chosen charity.  No one is required to donate and their support should be appreciated in a thoughtful way.

Last of all, I am so thankful to everyone who has donated so far to my charity.  There are just a few days left until I draw for some awesome prizes so if you would like to donate, here is the link.

We are linking up with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the Friday Five.  This week the topic is free Friday!  Please check out some of the other blogs.


March 23, 2016

Wrightsville Beach half marathon race report

Waking up on race day is especially fun when you are heading to the start with your neighbor and the big race is almost in your backyard,  This was my second year to run the Quintiles Half Marathon, the last time being in 2013 when I earned a PR.  In 2014, I ran the marathon course for my Boston qualifying time and last year, I ran with my friend Lynda for the last 10 miles of her first marathon. Christie was running the marathon this year and since my plan was to run a 2:05 half as a training run, my 9:30 pace would be perfect for her first eleven miles.

The morning was really chilly and waiting at Wrightsville Beach near the town hall, our group huddled together to try to stay warm.  We got a little drizzle during this time but luckily it never started to rain while we waited. At 6:30, the National Anthem was played, a prayer was said and soon it was time for the 6:40am start.

March 22, 2016

The ABCs of Christine!

I like reading random facts about other bloggers so after seeing Suz post her ABCs, I figured I would jump on the bandwagon! Hopefully you'll learn a few random things about me other than what you do know...I like running and travel, just finished PT and I quit my corporate job last fall. 

A – Age: Isn't that on the list of things that ladies aren't supposed to share? Still legal, not eligible for social security. 
B – Breakfast Today: plain Greek yogurt, strawberries, granola, and a drizzle of honey.
C – Current Time: 4:25 PM
D – Drink You Had Last: Water with lemon

March 21, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: Mar 21st

It's been a busy week since yesterday was our big race in Wilmington, NC, the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon and Half Marathon.  My race plan included no taper since this was just a good paced training run. However, we did eliminate strength work for just this one week.  I spent the extra time doing alot of foam rolling and stretching.  The weather here was unseasonably hot early in the week, so being out on the water was also lots of fun. 
Not impressed with her new life preserver