I’m A Sellout. And I’m OK With That.

January 14, 2011

Now, don’t get me wrong,  I’m all about supporting my local running store, but there are just some things that the internet can do for me that my pals at Falls Road Running Store can’t.  And that’s sell me my beloved Brooks for a whopping 76.2% off.

So Pretty….

I’ve been wearing Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10s for almost two years now.  I’m a little in love.  The one time I tried a different shoe, I ended up with shin splints that kept me sidelined for the better part of a month.  Needless to say, I’m pretty loyal to my brand these days. 

I’m loyal to my LRS too, it’s just that they want to charge me $105 every 4-5 months for my prized kicks and my wallet just can’t handle that.  So what would any budget-respecting child of the Information Age do?  Turn to Google.

The first time I Googled my Adrenalines I found them for $79 + shipping and saved myself almost 20 bucks.  Sa-weeet!  I nearly cried when yesterday I went back to that same website and they were gone.  Back at square one I hit up my trusty Google Shopping search engine a second time and, lo and behold, it turned up an even better deal.  I almost didn’t believe it.  Sixty…Five…Dollars.  

So, of course, I bought two…but not before Googling a coupon code that saved me $6 on shipping at checkout. 

Final damage?  Two pairs of Brooks Adrenalines  (size 10.5–you try finding those in a running store!) for $130 even.  I basically bought the second pair for $25 and saved myself $80! 

Sorry, FRRS.  I still love you…just maybe not as much as I’m loving Google right now.   Don’t worry though, I’m sure I’ll make it up to you in April when the spring lines come out.  XOXO!

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Blissful Bumper Stickers!

January 13, 2011

Christmas is a great time to be a runner.  Maybe not for the frigid temps or the icy sidewalks, but definitely for the presents!  I’ll do a run down of all my new gear in an upcoming post, but first I wanted to share with you  the most surprising gift of all.  Blissful Runner bumper stickers!

It all began with an offer of free promotional items from a generous reader.   Megan works at BuildASign.com and  contacted me to see if I would be interested in some custom merchandise to promote the blog.  Of course I immediately jumped gleefully around the room said yes, and eagerly checked out BuildASign’s website to see what they had to offer.  There were a lot of products to choose from, but finally I decided to create a bumper sticker for the site and share with all of you. 

Now, Megan didn’t ask for anything in return other than a link back to her company’s website, but I have to tell you guys, if you’re ever looking for promotional materials BuildASign.com has a huge selection.   Whether your looking for your business or for personal items, they have tons of products and services.  For the DIYer they have countless vinyl decalsart prints, and magnets (wouldn’t those make great Save the Date cards for a wedding?!) to make it easy.  For the workplace they offer banners, posters and even car wraps (I’m loving the pink Barbie Hummer!  Think she lets Ken drive?) to help keep your brand visible.

Best of all, they have an amazingly easy-to-use platform for you to create your own designs.  Thier default colors and fonts were great and I didn’t even bother to change them.  I was able to upload my own image in seconds and see a fill size proof of my design before sending it to the presses.  Despite the fact I’m the most indecisive person on the planet and always second guessing myself,  I whipped these babies up in about 5 minutes. 

Want one?  All you have to do is email me and I’d be happy send one your way.  Catch me at liv612@yahoo.com.

Fellas, sorry it’s pink, but I’m a pink kind of girl!  I do stop a little short of a pink car wrap though…



A Soggy Sixteen

September 13, 2010

I woke yesterday to the sound of rain drops hitting the window above the bed.  It was 5:40 in the morning, but it didn’t matter, I bolted out of bed and raced to check the weather — I had 16 miles to run!

According to weather.com the rain was anticipated to decrease to only a 60% chance by 7am and then down to 30% by 9am.  It was cool out — only 60 degrees, and if it weren’t for my company picnic planned for early afternoon, I would have waited out the storm.   As it were, I had no choice but to head out I the wet.  I was weary of heading to my planned trail head because I had no idea how long it had been raining and had visions of a swampy, muddy mess.  However, on the flip side, the foliage overhead promised a drier run.  It was a toss up, and since no other options really struck my fancy I laced up my old, dirty trainers and headed for the trail.

Since the weather was cool, I donned capris and a loose-fitting long sleeved shirt, but because wearing things around my waist over baggy clothes always causes bunching (and thereby the dreaded chafe!), I was left wondering how I was going to carry my water.  I’ve tried running with handhelds before, and always ended up stashing them in the bushes 3 miles in.  Taking inspiration from Danica’s recent post about learning to run with a handheld I grabbed one of the 8oz bottles that came with my new 4-bottle hydration pack.

             

Danica suggested starting by carrying something small like an iPod or mace, just to get used to carrying something in your hand.  I do this already without a problem, but at 20oz the handheld I was using was not small at all and my arm would get tired after a few miles. 


My Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Extreme Hand-held Bottle. 
Great for hikes, not for runs. 

I’m happy to report that the little 8oz bottle worked swimmingly.  My arm never got tired and I never ran out of fluid.  Because it was cool out, and because I knew there would be a water fountain at my halfway point, I was comfortable carrying so little fluid.  On a warmer day this never would have worked! 

Two things stood out to me on my run:

1) Apparently only dedicated runners hit the trail in the rain.  No walkers, chit-chatters or recreational runners dared to brave the elements.  You could see it in their eyes — every runner out there was focused on knocking out their workout as quickly as possible.  I was dreaming of warming up with a big mug of black coffee and comfy sweats and I’m pretty sure they were too. 

2) There were also no cyclists to be found.  Why is that? Is it because the trail is too slippery?  Or do rain drops really hurt that much more when hitting you in the face at 16mph rather than 6mph?

The highlight:  Another celebrity sighting!  Right around mile 2 a guy runs past and shouts, “Olivia!”.  I knew instantly who it was, but of course I could only remember his blog name and not his given name.  As I was debating the merits of calling it out in return, he saved me by pointing to his chest and yelling, “Running moron!!”.  Yes, that’s right.  It was Brett from The Running Moron.  I had a good chuckle over that one  and it helped time fly by for a while, so Brett?  I owe you one.

The low point: Dispite using a handheld, I did not escape chaffing.  As I stepped into the shower I let out a little scream as the water hit my collar bone.  Turns out that the necklace that I’ve been running with for years is not ment to be paired with rain under a high-collared shirt.  The chain rubbed my poor collarbone raw.

What’s the strangest injury you’ve sustained while running?


iSweat

August 23, 2010

Apparently sweat and iPods don’t play well together.  Or maybe it’s just that I shouldn’t have shoved my iPod down my sports bra mid-way through the Baltimore 10 Miler back in June.  Admittedly, that probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had.  Regardless, my iPod now refuses to scroll through the menu options and while it will play tunes, I can’t access my playlists.  On yesterday’s run I was entertained by Beyoncé, ABBA, Garth Brooks, and the Original Broadway Cast of Avenue Q … in that order. 

  I may need to order on of these babies.

My mental state is just as discombobulated these days.  This will probably be glaringly obvious by the end of this post. 

Work is stressing me out.  Usually I can blow off some steam with a good workout, but today I opted for shopping as I desperately need a new suit for a presentation I have  to give on Thursday.   Wanna know the only thing better than retail therapy?  Finding a $200 suit on sale for $25.  I heart Marshall’s. 🙂

Oh, and a burger and fries from Five Guys.  After today, I totally deserved it.  Just like I deserve to sit here and do absolutely nothing other than browse homes I can’t afford on Long and Foster’s website for the rest of the night. 

…so pretty… 

Interesting fact:  Last week I was diagnosed with a B12 deficiency.  B12 is a vitamin found in animal products that is required for proper neurological function and red blood cell formation.  The primary indicators of a deficiency are fatigue, poor memory, anemia and enlarged red blood cells.  Nope, nothing on attention disorders.  Damn.

Another interesting fact I found on the Office Of Dietary Supplements website pertains to B12 and endurance sports: 

Due to its role in energy metabolism, vitamin B12 is frequently promoted as an energy enhancer and an athletic performance and endurance booster. These claims are based on the fact that correcting the megaloblastic anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency should improve the associated symptoms of fatigue and weakness. However, vitamin B12 supplementation appears to have no beneficial effect on performance in the absence of a nutritional deficit.

Maybe my new vitamin will turn me into the next Kara Goucher?   I’ll keep you posted.  My next speed workout is tomorrow! 😉

While I have been cutting down on my meat intake these last couple months, the diagnosis came from a blood test that was done last November – well before I made any changes to my diet (speaking of which, can anyone recommend a doctor in the Baltimore area who doesn’t take 9 months to call you with abnormal test results?  Thanks).  In fact, my employer gave me an entire ham for the holidays so I’m pretty sure I was getting B12 in heart-stopping doses.  I’m now taking a vitamin supplement that is 16,667% of the Daily Recommended Value!  Apparently, when I’m retested they’ll be able to determine if the supplement resolved the issue or if I have an absorption problem.  If it’s the latter than I’ll have to get B12 injections. 

Anyone ever been B12 deficient? 


Athletes Run

June 26, 2010


My sister-in-law has this awesome Under Armour shirt that says “Athletes Run” on the front.  I searched the internet for hours and with the exception of a sighting on Run Lindsay Run, where Lindsay is sporting it in a few race photos, I can’t find it anywhere.  So sad.  I did find some other gems though. 

“Wicked” is my new favorite word.

I so need this shirt after I finish my first marathon in October!


I just want this on a bumper sticker… or maybe on a plaque above my desk.  My coworkers tease me mercilessly about my appetite.

Aside from the shoddy grammar, this is pretty funny.

“Runners have the best buns.”  Ain’t that the truth! 

This is so true.  And kinda sad.

 Do you have a favorite running shirt slogan?

 


The NCR Trail

June 12, 2010

When I got off work yesterday the temperature gauge in my car said 88 degrees.  It felt like it too.  I also knew that my gym would feel like 108 degrees and that I’d have to find some shade if I wanted a run that would redeem Thursday’s torturous journey.  The first thing that came to mind was the Northern Central Railroad (NCR) Trail

Honestly, I think I may be the last Marylander to have ventured out and discovered all the wonders of the NCRT.  Since I run alone 99% of the time, I never felt comfortable with the idea of running in largely unpopulated areas, especially one I was unfamiliar with.  A few weeks ago though, I somehow convinced Kirk to join me for a short run.  While he hated it (the running, not the trail – he bitched with every footfall!), I fell in love.  The best part was the trail is far more populated than I thought it would be and I didn’t get the skeevies at all.  After a couple miles Kirk turned to me and said that he’d be fine with me coming by myself – you know, in between gasping breaths and profanities – so I’m not really sure if he said it because he really believed it or simply out of fear that I might start dragging him along every weekend. Either way, I knew I had the green light.

On the way to the Ashland trail head, I stopped by Charm City Run and picked up one of these:

  

A SPIbelt!  I’ve been eying these for a while now.  I’ve been wearing wristlets for the last couple years but there is only so much you can put in those (a few bits of a granola bar, a key) before it gets cumbersome.  I’ve heard a lot about SPIbelts and their bounce-free versatility and decided that with marathon training commencing this week it was time for a new toy. 

So, I took my SPIbelt on its annaurgural run on the NCR Trail.   I think it’s going to take some getting used to as I’ve never worn anything around my waist while running before, but overall I was really pleased with the belt.  Off the bat I was impressed with how much that teeny pocket could hold!  It’s made of swimsuit-like material (spandex I’m guessing though it doesn’t really say) that stretches to fit all sorts of goodies.  I had my cell phone in there and carried my iPod, but I could have easily tucked both into the SPIbelt and then some.  Once I found the proper fit (for me this was in front, granny-style), the belt didn’t bounce much at all.  My only complaint was that it made my shorts hike up a bit, but again, I think if I play with the clips a bit and adjust the length it will be perfect.  The fact that I was more focused on the beautiful scenery then I was on my new accessory is also a good indicator of comfort.  Love that  green!

The trail is flat, flat, flat or at least the first three miles that I’ve become familiar with (I’ve been running out and back 4-6 milers).  The ground is a packed stone/gravel and wide enough to pass others three abreast.  This is good since there are a fair amount of bikes on the trail – and horses too apparently, though I’ve yet to see one.  I did however have a close encounter with a deer and her young one.  They leapt out in front of me – mom first, then baby – bringing me to a dead stop 20 feet away.  I must have somehow frightened the fawn because it looked at me and then abandoned all plans of crossing the path and turned around.  Mom, came bounding back and followed his retreating white tail back into the woods.  The whole episode took maybe 6 seconds, but I was able to watch them off to the side of the trail for a while and struck up a conversation with a fellow startled runner who kept oohing, “Soooooo cuuute!!!”, because yeah, they really were.  🙂  Of course I forgot that my handy SPIbelt was carrying my camera phone until I passed this magical sight:

How gorgeous is this?  Really. 

I also discovered the NCR Trail Marathon today.  A marathon?  On my new favorite running trail?  Does it get any better than that?!  It’s at the end of November …  is it crazy to sign up for a second marathon before even completing my first?  You know what?  I’ve decided I don’t care!


Cynic Is My Middle Name

April 28, 2010

Back in college, I used to make lists all the time.  To-do lists, wish lists, reading lists, cleaning lists… the list goes on.  My favorite lists of all were the just-for-fun lists that chronicled the goings on in my own little world.  I would write a just-for-fun list about once week and post them on my Xanga page (remember those?!).  I always titled them Rock Vs. Suck. 

The Things That Sucked almost always outweighed the Things that Rocked.  It wasn’t that I was an unhappy person or anything.  Quite the opposite – I’m most often accused of being too optimistic and excitable.  For whatever reason though, I have a very negative and cynical sense of humor (perhaps you’ve picked up on this?).  Some people get it, some people don’t.  I laugh at unfortunate happenings in life… I guess it’s how I deal.  So, in the spirit of poking fun at life getting me down, I’d like to introduce you all to…

Things That Suck:

  • I’m pretty sure I have shin splints. Posterior Shin Splints to be precise.  A dull ache along the inside of each shin.  It started up last Wednesday, which was convenient since I had planned to take Thursday off for a work party anyway.  I ran through the weekend (21.75 miles!) and everything was fine which had me thinking it was just a passing thing.  But after last night’s speed intervals, my shins are angry.  Wake me up in the middle of the night feeling like fire kind of angry.
  • This means no running.  I’ve replaced all my runs for the remainder of the week with workouts on the stationary bike, the elliptical and yoga classes. 
  • The $6 drop-in yoga classes at my local studio don’t start until 8pm.  I’ve lost all motivation by then.
  • I’ve lost motivation for a lot of things.
  • I bought a pair of booty shorts…  I think I have too much booty and not enough shorts. 
  • My good camera took a dip in the Caribbean Sea.  My backup camera has lost all ability to focus.  This leaves me with either a very fuzzy outlook or a very empty wallet.
  • It occurred to me somewhere during my intervals yesterday that even if I held my sprint pace for 26.2 miles I STILL wouldn’t qualify for Boston.  Boo…

Things That Rock:

  • My family is planning an Alaskan cruise for next summer.  So far, 11 of us are signed up.  Can you say party boat?!
  • Strawberry Activia yogurt in my oats.  ‘Nuf said.
  • My aunt has offered Kirk and I her place on the Chesapeake Bay for Memorial Day weekend (our anniversary!).  It’s literally ON the water.  Can’t.  Wait.  Oh, and they have funnel cake there.  Win, win.
  • We’re also planning a trip to Boston sometime in the coming months.  Gonna hit up Fenway Park, obviously (have you visited the Hubby Luv tab at the top of the page?).  Any other suggestions for things to see and do in Boston?
  • Last but not least:

He’s baaaaack!!  The blurry sticker on his bubble wrap reads: Newly Overhauled!  Mr. Garmin is working better than ever.  In fact, all the issues I was having before (navigating his menu options, setting data fields, etc.) are no longer a problem.  I guess it wasn’t user error after all!  Yippie!