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

March 18, 2016

How to deal with a rainy race day

This weekend's forecast for the Qunitiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon and Half Marathon is not looking too promising.  But when rain is probable what do you do as a runner?  Do you pray that the rain holds off?  Do you skip the race altogether?  Here are some things I think are key to making your rainy race a fun experience.

March 16, 2016

The graduate...or something like that!

Yesterday marked my last day of Physical Therapy. Hip hip hooray! I'm happy to be done for many reasons but most of all, that I'm slowly on my way back to running again. I got lucky in that I started to make significant progress again in the last 2 weeks just in time for my last appointment. My ortho agreed to write another 4 week PT script in February so these last 4 weeks were it as far as structured therapy goes.

I'm also grateful to be done with the process. Most of the time I truly enjoyed it, but there were days when it simply wasn't convenient and cut into my personal training studying time. 

So what does this mean now? Well I got a spiffy blue shirt from the therapy office and hugs from several of the staff with whom I have worked for the last 3 months. I'm planning to try to run 3-4 days per week, starting with 1:1 run:walk intervals and will increase my run intervals and mileage very, very slowly.  One of my challenges in the last 4-6 weeks is that every time I experienced pain, I quit running immediately. Based on the guidance from my therapist I should try to stick to a normal running schedule, assuming the pain isn't increasing. That will help get my body adjusted to running again and help me continue to build strength and endurance. 

Since the weather is turning nice in VA, I'm excited to get back to the road and hopefully enjoy some runs in the evenings with Adam. I'm contemplating a 5k later this spring/early summer so that I have a goal for staying consistent with my running.

More on my knee injury saga:
That pesky knee
My plan for a healthier knee

Have you ever come back to running from an injury? Any advice? 

March 14, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: Mar 14th

This was a better week of running and exercise and maybe the weather had a little bit to do with that. When springtime arrives, it is hard not to be enthusiastic about outdoor activities. Wearing a tank top and shorts for all of my runs this week was heavenly.  However, I do not look forward to the summer heat and humidity and hopefully it is still a couple months away. Even little Lulu was excited to spend time outside by the newly uncovered swimming pool.

Several fun things happened this week and best of all was the arrival of my travel documents from Marathon Tours for our upcoming trip to London.  One of the girls in my running group knew another runner in town running the race and we had a chance to meet for coffee yesterday after my long run.  We chatted for more than an hour about the logistics and details about the London race. Robyn also booked through Marathon Tours so we will be riding the bus to the starting area and also will be at the Friday meet and greet party together.  We decided to plan a dinner with our spouses before crossing the pond so they would have someone to hang out with on race day!

March 11, 2016

The Need for Speed

Disclosure:  I am a Jeff Galloway blogger and receive periodic emails with tips to share with our readers.  No compensation was received for this post.

Speed and running go hand in hand and most runners are eager to improve their pace.  My desire to improve my pace started after my first half marathon, the Princess Half in 2011.  It was then that I discovered racing and running were fun, and maybe I could improve upon my finish time of 2:25 and change.  There are several things that happened after my realization that hard work and some research needed to be done.  Christine and I found a basic training plan for our first half marathon, and for my second, I used the Run Less, Run Faster training plan found in the book based on my prior race time.  Track workouts on my own were a drudgery, but thankfully the hard work did pay off several months later when I earned a PR of over 17 minutes.

Obviously running is a sport that requires training, and more than anything a commitment to follow through week after week.  Endurance sports are different because you spend so many hours training for just a couple goal races per year. Before I joined a group I planned one day of the week of running at the local university track.  Tom kept me company which helped alot, but running solo at the track was not my favorite thing to do.   Adding speed work can enhance your chances of quicker times at races, but be aware that adding faster workouts also increases your chances of injury. Adding them gradually gives your body time to adjust.

March 9, 2016

SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Product Review

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free SL3 Dual Pocket Run Belt in exchange for a review on our blog. As always, all opinions are my own. 

I have run with a running belt for as long as I can remember. I have tried countless varieties - hydration, basic pocket styles, etc. After getting a new phone (iPhone 6) over the summer, I realized that it would no longer fit in my current running belt. Since I often run alone, I never felt great about running without my phone for safety reasons. Often I would find myself trying to fit my phone in a shorts or skirt pocket and use the belt to house all of my fuel, keys, etc. So when SLS3 contacted us about trying out their new dual pocket run belt that fits the larger phones on the market these days, I was really excited and totally on board to give it a go!

SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Product Review from Two Runners Travel

March 7, 2016

Weekly Workout Roundup: Mar 7th

Wanna hear something funny? When I was little, I loved playing hair dresser with my Mom. I have a feeling that I enjoyed this game way more than she did. Usually it ended with Mom having at least a dozen ponytails and one that inevitably looked like a unicorn horn. Over the weekend, Adam took a turn with putting Paddy's hair into a ponytail. A few minutes later I came back into the den and she had a trio of made me laugh and reminded me of my fun times playing hairdresser with Mom.
Paddy's not sure about her new hairdo

March 4, 2016

How and why I chose to use a Personal Trainer

Back in December, the girls in my running group got together for a dinner out and a goal setting session.  Each of us had the opportunity to share one of our goals for 2016 and possibly beyond.  Dedicating time to strength training is my biggest goal for 2016.  It may come as a surprise that someone that is stuck like glue to their training plan would have trouble working on body strength.  I am here to tell you that I struggle to make myself do the work necessary to improve hip, core and upper body strength.  Even if it is on my plan, I seem to shortchange that area on many days. It never seemed particularly important to me, but after my recent injury, it became crystal clear that in order to run more marathons, my body needed a strength tuneup.

How to choose a personal trainer to help you meet your running and fitness goals

March 3, 2016

Want to win Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, Lululemon or Garmin?

If you have been following our blog for any length of time, you know we are both fans of the companies mentioned in this blog title.  Due to my location in NC, my closet is stuffed with Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines clothing.  It is perfect for a casual lifestyle near the beach and the sizes work well for me.  I also have an ample supply of Lululemon workout clothing in my collection and seem to pull those items out first for my gym workouts or for a run. The clothing wears well and they offer some great colors and options that make me purchase way too much. My excuse is I workout six days per week so new attire is a necessity! The other item included in this post is the Garmin watch.  My only running watches have been Garmin and I absolutely love my Forerunner 220.

The real reason for this post is not to plug brands, but to offer a giveaway of some fun things if you make a donation to my London Marathon fundraiser here. Back in November, I shared that I am running this race as a member of the National Osteoporosis Society. This cause is really important to me as it has impacted me and several family members.

Donate $26 and be entered to win a Vineyard Vines scarf, Lilly Pulitzer makeup bag, Lululemon gift card, or Garmin 220! 
Each donation of $26 starting today will give you one chance to win one of the prizes in the photos below. I'll draw for a winner  on March 31stPlease note that none of these products were provided by the companies listed nor is this post sponsored.

Prize 1: Vineyard Vines blue and white scarf, value $45

Prize 2: Lilly Pulitzer makeup bag, value $40

Prize 3: Lululemon $25 gift card 

Prize 4: Garmin Forerunner 220 - the grand prize! 
I'm well over halfway to my goal. When I receive another $500 in donations (or £355), we'll do a drawing for this beautiful brand spanking new Garmin Forerunner 220 watch. The date for the drawing will be determined based on donations.

Please read the fine print: 
1. Only one prize per person
2. Prizes will be selected at random based on donations received to my fundraiser starting March 3, 2016 until March 31, 2016. 
3. Winners will be notified via email. 

Please help support this worthy cause and give yourself a chance to win some great prizes. You can make a donation online here.

March 2, 2016

Staying healthy at work? It's possible!

When I was working my corporate desk job, I was always looking for ways to bring some activity to my days and not become a sloth, mindlessly putting my hand in the candy jar. Ok, who am I kidding? I did that too, and on plenty of occasions! When contacted us a few weeks ago about partnering to put together some workplace health hacks, I was totally sold! I shared three of my best tips for making the workday part of a healthy, active lifestyle and they added a few to come up with the nifty infographic below!

7 workplace health hacks

Here are my best tips and things that I used to do religiously!

1. Keep a healthy snack drawer. So many offices are filled with junk food from the break room to the candy jar on your coworker’s desk. I stocked my snack drawer with peanut butter, 100-calorie almond packs, nuun tablets, applesauce cups, and protein bars. When I got hungry in the late afternoons, I had something to grab rather than reaching for candy. 

2. Invite your coworkers for a walking meeting. My days were simply filled with meetings and often I felt like I never moved, other than walking between my desk and a conference room. Since I had some like-minded, active coworkers, we instituted walking meetings for simple, shorter meetings where detailed note-taking or presentations weren’t needed. 

3. Stand up. When I was on marathon conference calls, I would take 10-15 minute standing breaks. Often, I would slip off me high heels in favor of the flats I left at my desk,and stand up and do some light stretching while I listened in to the call. This strategy worked well when I wasn’t the primary person speaking. I definitely wouldn't recommend it if you're briefing something important!

What do you think? How do you stay active when you're sitting at a desk most of the day?

And for some additional tips and options for healthy snacks you can check out the following:
Healthy Snacks Page
Healthy Snacks for Work Page

Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration between and Two Runners Travel. No compensation was received for this post. We hope you enjoyed it!