Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Cupcake Fairy Strikes Again!

As a reward for reaching another running milestone (13.22 miles), the "cupcake fairy" brought me more yumminess! Thank you, Hali Hannigan's, for your delicious creations!

Ok, so I'm not a "clean" eater! I like my sweets & fats! I'm 4-5 lbs lighter than I was when I started the training. My clothes are all getting too big for me. For once, I don't have to stress out about working out/losing weight before my annual Spring Break trip to Jamaica. I just have to worry about a whole new wardrobe...including swimsuits!

So I'm going to enjoy these cupcakes & try not to feel too guilty about eating them!

I EARNED that 13.1 one sticker today...

And I haven't even run the Half-Marathon yet! That sticker I've been hanging onto is going on my car TODAY! I don't care if I haven't run the race yet...I ran my own race! I earned it! I ran 13.22 miles.

Felt pretty good up until the last mile-mile & a half...started getting that floppy clumsy feeling. I tried out my Zensah ankle't that impressed...I hurt on the front of my ankle this time. It made my shoe feel a little tighter...I felt unbalanced since I didn't have one on my right foot...I guess I need to order another one.

I tried out the Power Bar energy gel in much difference in the thickness of it & Gu...maybe just slightly thinner.

When I looked down at my watch & saw that I had surpassed 13.1 miles, I started to feel a little emotional. I could feel tears of joy & pride welling up in my eyes. I DID IT! The girl that always claimed she wasn't a runner. The girl that couldn't run the required mile in Jr. High in the required time. The girl that couldn't get that good running start in gymnastics to do vault or floor routines. I'm starting to get that feeling that I have arrived! I've finally found that one thing I enjoy & that I'm not so bad at. I AM A RUNNER!

I don't know why I always tend to doubt myself. I tend to doubt my teaching abilities, yet I've made Level 5 for the past two years. I CAN do this Half! Keeping fingers crossed that Mother Nature will be my friend that day!

3 weeks from tomorrow until race day!

I have done IT! I have run a HALF-MARATHON distance! by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I recently stumbled upon this site. Reasonable prices. Wide variety of products. 1-2 day FREE shipping.

I found a Zensah ankle support for $14.95. Wasn't for sure if it was one or a pair. I noticed they had a LIVE CHAT button, but it kept saying OFFLINE. I decided to call the toll-free number, which sent me to an automated voicemail. I left a message, but really didn't think I'd hear back. Someone returned my call within 10-15 minutes! Now that's customer service!

I also ordered a few individual packets of Power Bar energy gel in Chocolate for $0.99 each. I've been using Gu, but wanted to try something not as thick, but love the chocolate flavor. I couldn't find individual packets of chocolate at Dick's Sporting Goods. Thought it was worth a try. Even got my favorite Nuun hydration in Grape for a $1.00 less than what I normally pay.

Received my order via FedEx today. Was pleased with my shopping experience & already have them bookmarked in my favorites.

Can't wait to try out the ankle support & Power Bar gel on my long run Saturday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hot Booties...

Ah! I knew that'd get your attention...

No, I'm not referring to a particular body part. "Hot Booties" as in the AS SEEN ON TV socks/booties that keep your feet HOT!

Hi! My name is Jennifer, and I own a pair of Hot Booties! GUILTY! I received them as a Christmas present. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I have tried them out. Yeah...yeah...laugh it up!

One of our local news stations has a segment called "Does It Work?", in which they test certain products and give them a pass or fail stamp. They recently tested "Hot Booties" and claimed they passed the test. So I thought I'd give them a try and see for myself.

I had been out for a cold run. Once I'd gotten back home, I couldn't seem to get warm & my feet were freezing. I put the booties in their "booty bag" & heated them in the microwave for 1 minute. I don't know if they come in a one-size-fits-all...didn't really read the box, but they seemed a little big & floppy, but I must admit...they actually warmed my feet up! As cheesy as a gift that it was, they actually passed the test.

So laugh all you want, but I will wear my "Hot Booties" the privacy of my own home!

Not so Speedy Speedwork

Looking at my stats from my Garmin, apparently my speedwork is a fast runner's slow run. Wasn't for sure if we were doing speedwork this morning. To be honest, I've had my Garmin for a year & haven't taken the time to figure out how to set it up for intervals...I guess because I loathe speedwork.

We did a 2 mile warm-up, then 4x400s, then a mile or so cool down. Whenever "Coach Ruthie" says "Ok", "Start", or "Go", I start speeding up & just try to listen to her verbal cues. I ran a little over 5.2 miles in 52 minutes...said I ran around a 10 minute pace. I don't know how fast my intervals were. I know my runs can be faster! I don't know if it's the cold or what. Oh well, at least I'm out doing something! Could be worse.

3 1/2 weeks until my first Half-Marathon! I can do this! Going to try for 13 miles on my long run Saturday...we shall see.

My Speedwork is a Fast Runner's Slow Run! by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Time to dust off the Stability Ball!

I used to love doing workouts on the stability ball...just haven't used it in a while.  I have a 10 Minute Solution Stability Ball workout somewhere...each of the five 10 minute workouts targets a different area...perfect if you're short on time!

Well, I was looking at and ran across some stability ball moves & video demonstrations that I thought I'd share...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Calling all Energy Gel users

I've been using Gu & have found 2 flavors I really like: Chocolate Outrage & Peanut Butter. On my cold, long runs, the Gu seems even thicker. My training partner uses & swears by Power Bar energy gels. She gave me a sample of Green Apple. It wasn't as thick, which I did like, but wasn't totally crazy about the flavor...don't think I'm much of a fruity flavor fan. I noticed that Power Bar has a chocolate flavor. I've looked at Dick's Sporting Goods & my favorite running specialty store, but can't find a single packet of chocolate to try. I know Power Bar's website sells individual packets, but it'd be silly to pay for the shipping. Was wondering if anyone out there has tried the chocolate flavor?

Going "Mental" 9-miler

This week was a drop back week for me. It should've been last week, but I knew "Coach" Ruthie was going to visit her son this weekend & I didn't want to do the majority of a 12 or 13 mile run by myself.

I couldn't sleep, so I got up around 5:15. I wasn't planning on starting my run until 7, then meeting my other running buddy, Beth, around 7:15. Since I was up, I decided to do the first 10 minutes of my yoga DVD (basically a warm-up) and the last 10 minutes of my pilates DVD (stretching/flexibility)...what a way to start the day!

Decided to shower since I needed to wash my face & my foot and leg in order to tape up. 2nd application using the KT tape for my ankle issues...seems like a little bit of a process, but was proud of my work...was better than the first time (see pics below). Went to put on my calf sleeves & part of the tape frustrating! So I had to take my cheaper athletic tape that I use for my plantar fasciitis, and tape from one side to the other going across my foot...whatever it takes!

Beth & I decided to run the grounds of our mental institution. There's something eerily calming & peaceful about it. Most of the buildings are very old & now empty. It's almost asylum-like. I'd love to go inside some of those old buildings, but at the same time it seems kind of haunted. The picture I have in my mind is from the show "American Horror Story". If you've ever seen it...FREAKY! Almost zombie-like too. There's no traffic to have to fight with, except the occasional garbage dumpster truck. Plenty of scenery & inclines/declines. Then we finished up on the highway...felt like we were in a game of "Frogger" trying to cross all the lanes.

Not a fast run, but not horrible...pace was around 10:15...could be better, but for a long run I didn't struggle today. It was very comfortable, breathing wasn't bad, and the time/miles went by pretty quickly.

Ruthie, if you're checking up on me...I missed you!

Going "Mental" by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sleet, Short Week, & Pilates...I Can Do This!

Three days off due to inclement weather. Back to work today. A 2-day work week...I CAN do this! Then a 3-day weekend!

Finally got to run at 5am this morning, since the streets weren't as icy. The trees were so pretty covered with ice & the streetlights shining on them. They just seemed to glisten. As I was walking down the driveway, I could hear a sort of crackling sound...I thought it was the trees trying to thaw out or ice dropping to the ground. Then I thought I saw a few snowflakes. I continued to walk down the street to meet up with my running buddies, and I noticed small chunks of ice hitting me in the was sleeting! The sleet came down for a good 30 minutes of our run. I managed to squeeze in a 5 mile run.

The school day went by quite quickly! YES! One day to go!

Came home & finally made the time to do my new Pilates DVD I received for Christmas. Hello abs & inner thighs! Went to the gym yesterday...didn't realize how sore I was until I started the DVD. The thigh machine kicked my butt at the gym! Pilates kicked my butt this afternoon, but it was so nice!

Next long run is Saturday. It's a drop back week, so I'll be running around 9 miles.

My shoes have arrived!

I ordered a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 15s from on Sunday evening. Got a heck of a deal from the site & found a promo code. (**See earlier post: Looking for a new running shoes or gear?) You can't beat 2-day free shipping! They arrived via UPS around noon.

They are quite shiny & funky! I like my shoes a little funky & flashy. I told my husband they were the violet version of ruby slippers, and his response to me was, "They're violet, Violet!" I guess they'll go perfect with my purple ProCompression calf sleeves.

Can't decide if I want to break them in now or wait until after my Wave Rider 16s need to be retired. For the price I paid, they could be my "yucky' weather running shoes.

Sleeting 5-miler by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Getting the FUNK out of FUNKY smelling running/workout clothes

I have a confession...I sweat like a MAN! Not just when I'm running/working out, but also at work. I'm paranoid about smells & my clothes smelling. I hate when I go to iron a shirt around the underarm area, and no matter how many times I wash it, I can smell it when the heat hits it. Maybe I'm the only that is funky...I don't know. After trying many different products, I finally found something that works...Resolve Max. I spray it all around the underarm area right before I wash it. The item can even sit in the hamper for a day or so and the smell still comes out. I have been quite pleased with this product.

Inclement Weather Days

So Monday we were out of school due to flooding. Late yesterday afternoon, we started getting sleet & freezing rain...which led to day 2 of being off work. Wishing now that I had gotten up & ran this morning, but wasn't quite sure what the streets would be like & didn't want to run across any "black ice".

Got up this morning, turned on the local news & saw that we were under and are still under an ice storm warning. We've had freezing rain since around 10am CST. Just got the phone call not too long ago from the Superintendent that we'll be out for a 3rd day! I'm going to go CRAZY if I can't get out & run tomorrow! Our training runs have been so unpredictable lately due to our crazy weather. Looks like it may be yoga or pilates.

We've got our generator ready! Groceries bought & cabinets stocked over the weekend (being off has made some of that disappear) that means bread, eggs, and milk...check! I guess if we run out of food, there's always GU! Hoping this isn't anything like the Ice Storm of '94...pretty rough stuff! Though, the ground doesn't look frozen, the trees are iced over & I've noticed the neighbor's pine trees leaning over our fence. Good times!

How do you Rock your Run or Workout?

Do you run or workout to music?  Where do you get your music from?

This past Spring I discovered  Great site with a variety of music.  Here's how it works:  when you sign up you get one free credit, and then one free credit per month after that.          Some of the downloads only require only one credit.  You can also pay for extra credits.

There are many genres of music from hip-hop to country and everything in between.  You can choose the length of your mixes and bpm's (beats per minute).  You can also search for a particular DJ...I'm partial to DJ Little Fever's mixes.  It will also tell you whether the lyrics are clean or explicit.  You can even hear a sample of each song on the download.

Since becoming a "Run Rocker", I rarely ever download from iTunes or pay for downloads.  Check them out, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Looking for new running shoes or gear?

Check out the Liquidation section at  Last night I noticed they had the Mizuno Wave Rider 15s for $69.88.  I received the Wave Rider 16s for Christmas, but thought I'd get me a back-up pair...surely there's not much difference in the two.  I did a search for a promo code & found one at

I really wasn't sure if the promo code would work since it had been posted a year ago, but said it had last been used successfully a day ago.  So I thought I'd give it a try.  It worked!  I received 15% off & wound up paying $59.40 for my shoes.

This is the 2nd time in a week I've searched for a promo code, tried it, and it worked!

Flood Day

We've had so much rain that we got a flood day & now we're under a winter weather advisory. Mother Nature just can't make up her mind! I'm not complaining...glad to get an unexpected day off.

Saturday I was running in shorts & a tank top, and today I was bundled up & wearing 2 pairs of gloves! My thermometer said 30 degrees, but we had a windchill of 13! Winds were blowing at about 12mph or more. Thank goodness for my buff! I don't care if I do look like a robber while I'm sure kept my face warmer.

I was supposed to be doing speedwork with the other 2 girls. We did a 2 mile warm-up, then I did one 400. The next was supposed to be an 800. I kept hearing beeping, thinking it was Coach Ruthie's watch (mine wasn't set for speedwork) telling us to start, but it was mine. It was telling me that my watch was full & runs needed to be deleted. I've had my Garmin for a year & I'm still so ignorant as to all the features...basically, I start/stop, plug it into the computer, & charge it up. So I had to stop to try to delete the runs...while I'm doing this, the other girls run ahead & make it back around the block which is .6 of a mile. I'd get to the delete screen, hit "yes", then it kept taking me back. I finally gave up! So I guess you could say I ran "naked". Don't have an exact distance or pace, but I'm guessing that it was around a 10k...judging from what the others did, then I added extra to it. I gave up on the speedwork. The wind was beating me too much anyway...felt like I was going nowhere. Good times!

At least I got UP & OUT! Now, bring on the laziness! :)

Flood Day 10k by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details
**Note to self:  Delete old runs so watch will fully log current run!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ankle issues?

Since last Saturday's long run, I've been noticing a little ankle pain/tenderness in my left ankle.  I did a search on KT tape and ankle stability.  Their website provided a video ( and visual (

I had some KT tape leftover, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I don't think I did it exactly right, but I didn't feel any pain on my long run.  During my run, I could feel the tape loosening a little bit, and noticed some of the tape had come undone once I got home.  Maybe my compression calf sleeves helped to hold the tape in place.

I'll definitely try this technique again with the hopes of getting it a little tighter.  The first time is usually a trial.  It's definitely worth a try if you're having ankle issues.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Did I really run 12 miles???

I can't believe the rain held off for me to even attempt 12 miles. I was meeting up with my training partner at 6am the bottom fell out. I just knew we'd be running in the rain or have to cut the run short. We're having crazy weather...60 degrees at 6:30 & running in shorts & tank top in January. Come Monday, the high temp will be 35...for my 5am run it will be 25 with a windchill of 13...not looking forward to it!

I was originally planning to drop back on my mileage today, but my training partner is going to be out of town next weekend, so I decided to go for 12 today & drop back next weekend since I won't have anyone to run the whole distance with me. Thank goodness for running buddies! I don't think I could do 12 by myself.

Actually, I felt pretty good for the majority of the run. I forgot to puff on the inhaler before I left, so I had to run back after about a mile (I definitely don't see how people with asthma run). By about mile 11, I began to feel very floppy...clumsy...uncontrollable legs. I don't like that feeling...very weird, but I fought through it. I wanted 12 & by gosh I was going to get 12 miles!

I'm starting to feel like...I CAN DO THIS! The half-marathon is 5 weeks from tomorrow!

I must admit, after my run today, I had to have my green tea in my Wonder Woman mug!

Mercedes Half, I'm coming for YOU! 12 miles, Baby! by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Friday, January 11, 2013


How I love thee! First chance to do a little yoga this week, and I SO needed it. A margarita would've helped too! Been a long day...long week for that matter. I needed something to calm the nerves and stretch the muscles for my long run tomorrow. It definitely did the trick. Just wish I could find more time to do it during the week.

If you've been curious about yoga, but are afraid of the moves, you should try 10 Minute Solution: Yoga. I can't say enough good things about it. The DVD breaks it down into five 10 minute workouts that you can pick & choose from. The moves are not that tricky. It's a great starter DVD!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mother Nature Strikes Again...

Rain...rain...rain...and more rain! She's also taking us on another roller coaster ride of temperatures. Cold start to the week and by the weekend we'll be in the 70s, then drop back off into the 40s next week. No wonder my sinuses are jacked up!

Intended to run Tuesday, but felt I needed a break after my pathetic, sluggish run on Monday. Still struggling with the effects of bronchitis & breathing. We knew rain was in the forecast for pretty much the rest of the week & weekend, but thought it would arrive later Wednesday...WRONG! So no run.

I decided I was going to set my alarm this morning and run no matter what...even though I loathe the rain. So I get up first thing to check the weather. Now to the paint the picture for you...I can't tell by looking out the window if it's raining since I don't have my glasses on, so I go outside in my t-shirt & underwear. I know...lovely visual, but I had to see & feel if it was raining. Luckily it was only lightly misting, so I decided to get ready.

I figured I would be the only one out in the unpredictable weather. As I was rounding the corner to our usual meeting place in the neighborhood, I see "Coach Ruthie" (my training partner) coming up the street. Thank goodness! She was doing speedwork, so I only got to run with her for 2 miles. I didn't want to push it when I'm still trying to recover. Though I was pleased to see that my last 3 miles got quite a bit faster. Can't wait to get back to my normal self so I can work on speedwork & get a little faster. Thankfully the rain held off for the most part...just experienced some sprinkles.

The forecast is showing rain from Saturday-Tuesday! Hoping I can at least get my long run in on Saturday or it'll have to be a soggy one.

5 weeks from Sunday until the Half-Marathon! I'm starting to get excited, but nervous at the same time. Will I be ready? Will I be able to run the whole thing without walk breaks other than the water stops?

Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Braggin' Rights!

I did it! 11 miles! It may not have been the prettiest 11 miles, but I got over the 10 mile hump! I really wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it with me still having some congestion in my chest & "barking" like a dog. I actually felt pretty good with my breathing...I guess the inhaler really does work. Just wish it hadn't been so slow, but I'll take it!

I convinced "Coach Ruthie" to run the grounds of the mental institution. Forgot how many little inclines there were! We decided to take a back road to the highway...came out further down the highway. It was nice to switch it up! Gets old running loops around the neighborhood.

Now time to chill out & try to shake this nasty cough.

New Braggin' Rights by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!

I just received this from a friend on my Facebook page and had to share. Pretty funny, but I may not be thinking so when I try for 11 miles tomorrow. Then later on I'll be wishing someone were singing the following song to me.

One good thing...I finally made it to the gym today! Yay me!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Things don't always go as planned...

So...I didn't make it to the gym as hoped/planned. I did actually get my gym bag packed & placed in my car this morning. I was planning to go directly after work, but the principal called for a grade level meeting. We met for well over an hour...I didn't leave school until 4:45. By that time, all the guys are making their way into the gym & I'd have to fight for equipment. Since I'm still feeling cruddy, I decided to come home & do my yoga DVD.

I've only run once this week with me being sick. I was thinking about running a few miles in the morning, but my training partner (might as well call her my coach...Coach Ruthie), has advised me to skip tomorrow since I'm planning to do 10 or more miles on Saturday. She says missing a short run isn't going to matter much. I just hate missing runs, but I know I need to get well for my long run.

Hopefully I won't have too many more setbacks before the half-marathon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Resolutions...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  (I know...a little late, but I've been sickly.)
With each new year, comes resolutions.  Usually we all make them & then break them!  So I haven't really stated any...or out loud anyway.

Every year, after the holidays, I start stressing about losing the holiday pounds, because we always go to Jamaica over Spring Break.  So I worry about having to put on that bikini.  This past Spring Break, we won 5 free nights while we were in Jamaica, so we used it during my Fall Break in October.  I am proud to say that I've maintained that weight.  And since I've been training for this half-marathon, I've actually been losing weight over Thanksgiving & Christmas...SHOCKER!  I really like to eat!  I'm not the healthiest eater...quite picky actually, but I do plan to get back on track of eating a little better.  Especially to help my husband out...he's got a goal to lose at least 15-20 lbs by the end of March.  I was so proud of him...he even go up this the cold...and ran a little over 2 miles!  It's a start!

My plan is to try to make it to the gym at least 2-3 times a week for crossing training.  Mainly I just go to work arms.  Here lately, I've been doing good if I make it to the gym once a obligations & sometimes just making excuses.  I've got to do better. 

I also plan to get back on track with my ab workouts.  I was doing really good with the P90X ab routine...when I knew I had to put that bikini on for Jamaica.  I may have to pull my stability ball back out & try some different moves.

For Christmas, my husband ordered the 10 Minute Solution Yoga DVD & the Pilates DVD that I used to do on Netflix when they had it on Instant Play, and then for some reason they removed them.  Can't wait to start back with them!  I felt so much better after doing them.  They also helped with the stresses of teaching!  Here's a link for the 10 Minute Solution Series (  You can also find them broken up on if you're interested.

So those are plans for right now.  I guess you could say they're my short-term plans...from now until my after my half-marathon, since Spring Break won't be too far from the half.

Back to Work, Bronchitis, & Bringing Up the Rear

Back to work...YAY! Not really! Christmas Break spoiled me...I got to sleep a little later, which meant I didn't have to be out the door at 5 am for a run. That was the best part! Other than being able to lay around in the pj's for the majority of the day watching Christmas movies. I think my dog & cat were thrilled I went back to work, since I was hogging the couch!

I must admit that I was ready to get back into a routine. So, stubborn me, decided to get back into the swing of things with a run before work. I really shouldn't have run with still having bronchitis! It was COLD (windchill around 19 degrees)! I bundled up...wore my buff over my nose, even though I looked like a robber...I didn't care as long as it kept me from sucking in cold air directly! Once I got started, I realized that I'd forgotten to puff on the inhaler prescribed to did my chest feel tight! I wound up only doing 4 miles and felt like I was bringing up the rear the entire time.

I know that Runner's World just did a recent article on running while sick ( Why can't I listen to advice? As a result of my stubbornness, I have felt cruddy all day at work! Luckily, the students don't return until tomorrow.

I had every intention of going to the gym after work. That didn't happen! Speaking of the gym...I have been SLACKING! I haven't been since the week we got out for Christmas Break (2 weeks ago). TOMORROW...I WILL go to the gym tomorrow! Must get back on track!

Hopefully, I'll get a better night's rest and will feel better tomorrow. I guess I won't be running in the morning as I had planned...maybe Friday. I'd like to be well enough to get over the 10 mile hump...I want to make it to 11! I need to make it to 11!

Back to Work & Bringing up the Rear... by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details

Untitled by nikerunner75 at Garmin Connect - Details