Three Things Thursday 

  1. I missed a self care Saturday post. I guess this means I’m no good at this routine blogging thing. Oops. In case you’re  wondering what l I did to take care of myself last week I took a lot of walks.  Some solo and some with my dog Flapjack. I even walked to the library to return some books.
2. I’m not feeling confident that I will run a sub 4 hour Chicago Marathon. My runs have not been coached prescribed like they were last year.  I’m not even close to accomplishing what I did this time last year.  Running fast is just not happening. And I’m sure that I’m not even putting in the proper work that is required for such a lofty goal.

3. I started lifting again. I got side tracked when I got the flu back in April and haven’t lifted since. Two weeks ago I started following the 5×5 strong lifts program. My husband and friend both had this program work for them. I’m hoping the squats and deadlifts will create legs of steel that will come in handy for the last 6-10 miles of my upcoming marathon.

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Self Care Saturday (3)

Okay, so it’s not Saturday, but I’ve been a bit distracted this week.  Lots of driving my girls here and there for their different summer activities.  Tennis, swimming, theater oh my.  Let’s take a look at what I was able to do this past week to take care of myself.  Check out my original post from last week to find out why I’m a huge advocate for self care.

Jurassic-World-hd-Wallpapers2 I took a night off and met my friend at the movies to see Jurassic World and eat some movie popcorn.  It was entertaining, the popcorn was delicious and Chris Pratt was nice to look at, but the plot line was a little lacking.   So why build a theme park with killer dinosaurs again?  I guess I lack the imagination for a movie like this.

While my girls were at a tennis lesson this week used the time to fit in one of my runs.  Now this was a nice way to use the hour, but man was it hot and humid at 8:30 in the morning.  I may just have to keep getting up ungodly early to beat the heat.  Sometimes it’s necessary to sleep in though.  It’s a toss up.

This one isn’t so much self care as it is just a straight up treat.  I got myself a new Fitbit Charge HR.  I have been wanting a device that records heart rate for some time now.  I didn’t want to shell out $150 for a new Fitbit now and them more money later when I get the second generation Apple Watch (because that is going to happen).  My original plan was to keep my Fitbit Flex until it dies and hope it lasts another year.  But I got lucky and my mom gave me 2 Kohls gift cards that she and my dad got as some incentive from some senior health home visit they agreed to. When I got to Kohls and saw the Fitbits on display I knew exactly how I wanted to spend my free money.  I’ve had the Fitbit Charge HR for 2 days now, so I’ll let you know how it stacks up to the Flex once I’ve worn it for a while.

How did you take care of yourself this past week?

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WINNER: Christmas in July Races 2015 Giveaway

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Thanks to everyone who commented and/or “liked” my Facebook page.  I have a winner.   Congratulations Ellen!  You win a free entry to the 5K/10K or $75 off one of the ultra events.  Please respond to my email and I’ll get you hooked up with the winner’s code.

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For those of you who didn’t win and still want to run in the Christmas in July Races please use my coupon code  ANNEPROMO10 for any of the race distances and get 10% off registration.

I hope to see many of you out on the race course July 17th and/or 18th!


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Self Care Saturday (2)

Let’s take a look at what I did this past week to take care of myself. I thought I’d try to make this a regular weekly post since you know, therapist prescribed. Check out my original post from last week to find out why I’m a huge advocate for self care.

My computer and I made a stop at Starbucks for a venti, sugar free hazelnut, cafee misto with coconut milk. Oh my god, how much do I hate ordering at Starbucks? My list of wants is so long and I never know what ingredient to say in what order. And when all was said and done I forgot to say that I wanted it iced. Oh well, the caffeine is most important and that goes without saying, thank god. My youngest was at the in-laws and I was able to use the hour that my oldest was at her theater class to sit down drink my coffee and quickly write a race recap.

IMG_5957I’m taking advantage of my husband’s work schedule being a bit lighter in June.  He doesn’t start teaching his summer school class until July.   We all slept in and  he took the kids to tennis.  I went for a run later in the morning while while the girls were at their lesson.  I “treated” myself to some 400 repeats.  I wanted to see how this workout compared to last year’s and the results were not too shabby.  I’ve been doubting my ability to get back into the shape I was in this time last year.  Today’s speed work gave me a little bit of hope that I am capable.  Sub 4 hour marathon here I come.

IMG_6354On Wednesday and Friday I slept in again. Since these classes were not at my usual times  I was lucky to experience two different teachers.  The first was my favorite kind of yoga teacher.  She offered assists and at the end of class used essential oils and gave a light neck/shoulder massage (I’m surprised I didn’t gross her out with my sweatiness).  She also waved a cold breeze my way while I was laying in savasana.   The second teacher was also excellent. The poses she called  were different than I am used to and her sequences were new to me as well. These classes were a great way to spend some time with myself and at the same time get a good workout.

What have you done for yourself this week?



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My manic wall color mistake



When I had one of my manic (for lack of a better word) episodes a few months ago I became set on redecorating my bedroom.  I really wanted (still do) my kitchen completely gutted, but because that will never happen, due to the million dollars it will cost, I concentrated all my efforts on making my bedroom a nice place to be.

I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and shopping online to try and find the perfect bedding, rug, curtains, wall color etc.  I also went out shopping one evening with every intention of buying EVERYTHING I needed to transform my room.  I ended up buying a lot of things that I ended up returning after getting them home and realizing  they didn’t look right in the room.  It took me a few shopping trips to get exactly what I wanted.


My Dad painting the room

Eventually, I bought the paint and arranged for my dad to paint the room.  I chose an aqua color.  Previously my room was a taupe/brown color and I wanted all the brown out of my room.  I thought the blue color would brighten things up a bit.


My husband’s opinion

Once the room was painted (it took 2 coats and 2 days) it was apparent that I had made the wrong choice.  I was trying to make myself like it, but my husband did not hold his opinion back.  He hated it and was very open about hating it.  He thought it looked like we were under the sea.  He even made these decorations to go with the theme.  Then later my daughter checked out the book Aqualicious from the library and the inside cover of the book matched our bedroom wall color perfectly.  The jokes kept coming.



Now I’m in the process of figuring out what color to repaint the room.  I’m thinking a neutral shade of grey will be best.  However, I will be painting it myself because how can I possibly ask my 70 year old dad to do it again?

Have you ever made a wall color mistake?  How long did you have to deal with it before repainting it?


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Upcoming Races

IMG_5697Last year was my year of PRs.  I PR-ed in every distance (5K, 10K, 10 mile, 13.1 & 26.2) I ran.  This year I’m not so sure I can keep up.  I have already told myself I will not sign up for as many races as I did last year.  That would mean I have to keep it under 8 races.  I want to take a more relaxed approach and maybe save some money on race entries this year.

In 2015 I have two races behind me and three on the horizon (maybe I’m not doing so good on the run less races thing).  You can read my recaps from the Big Sur Marathon here and the Esprit de She Naperville Triathlon here.  The following races are still to come.

1.  Strike Out ALS 5K on Tuesday July 14 at 6:30pm.  I won an entry to this race from Maggie at Mag Mile Runner.  I rarely win anything and definitely nothing as cool as a race entry, so I’m thrilled.

2. Christmas in July 5K or 10K  on July 17 & 18 in the evening.  I have a giveaway up until June 22nd if you want to take your chances and win a free entry (5K or 10K) or $75 off one of the ultra events.  I still have yet to decide which distance I’ll run.  I will probably wait until the last minute to make my decision.  I had a great experience at this race last year coming in at 3rd place woman overall and securing a new 5K PR for myself.  Check out my giveaway for this race.

3.  Chicago Marathon on October 11th I will be aiming to run my first sub 4 hour marathon.  I am running again this year for the Les Turner ALS Foundation.  I have to raise $1000 and I am a bit worried that I will not raise my goal amount.  This is the 3rd year in a row I have run for an ALS charity (NYC Marathon 2013 and Chicago Marathon 2014).   I feel that I may have tapped out my donors by now.

If all goes well I will have run 5 races in 2015.  Two of those races were complimentary so they don’t count in my run less races/spend less money pact I have with myself.

How may races do you usually run in a year?  Have you run for charity and if so how do you raise the money to meet your goal?

Posted in About me, charity, giveaway, Races, Triathlon | 3 Comments

Esprit de She Naperville Triathlon Race Recap

 The forecast predicted rain for the entire day on Saturday.  Usually I freak out about racing in the rain and it never ends up happening, so this time I wasn’t at all anxious about it.  I think I truly believed that it wasn’t going to rain.

My friend Pam and I headed to the race early.  I wanted to get there around 5:00 am so that I wouldn’t have trouble finding close parking.  Last year it was a little tough finding parking and I didn’t want that tourble again this year.  It turned out there was no problem finding close parking because no one was there yet.  It started to drizzle when we arrived just before 5.  The radar did not look good.  We headed to transition to set up and find our friends.  The rain just kept falling and falling with bouts of heavier rain happening.

 I set up my  transition area in plastic bags.  I had one bag for the  bike and one for the run.  I also put my helmet and bike seat in a plastic bag.  I’m so glad I packed those plastic grocery bags at the last minute.  I also grabbed a large black garbage bag, which I wore until the moment before I walked in the water to start the swim.  The race time was delayed 15 minutes so we had the pleasure of standing around in the rain for that much longer.

 I was thrilled to be with such a large group of my friends (there were 7 of us, not all are pictured) because it made standing around in the rain bearable and at times actually fun.  We had to wait about and hour after transition closed for our wave to start the swim.

When I got in the water I was relaxed, but still somehow seemed to get out of breath quickly. I couldn’t get a good freestyle going so I succumbed to the breaststroke for the entire half mile.  It was a little embarrassing swimming this way, but I got it done.  I ran as fast as I could to my transition area.  It took me forever to unpack everything from the plastic bags. I grabbed my huma gel and bike shoes.   I carried the shoes with me to the bike out area and put them on there.  I did not want to slip on the wet pavement.  It took me over 6 minutes before I started the bike.  FOREVER.

The bike was 2 loops.  It went pretty well.  The rain had stopped sometime during the swim so I was glad that I wasn’t riding in the rain.  My bike worked very well even though it had been water logged pre race.  I found that I was able to pass a lot of people without being passed too much myself.  When I finished and dismounted the bike I immediately took my bike shoes off and ran with my bike to get ready for the run.

 Again I had to unpack everything from a plastic bag.  It took me too long to get dry socks on over my wet feet. I quickly opened  another huma gel, grabbed my water bottle and headed to the run out.  At this point I could never catch my breath.  My body was not tired, but my breathing was labored.  It’s so weird feeling like I was running so much slower than I actually was.  I just kept telling myself it’s only 3 miles.  I chatted with another runner and the time flew by.  Right before the finishers shoot I saw my family and stopped to get some hugs. And dare I say that this is when the sun started shining. I was wet and muddy, but thrilled to have finished my second triathlon.

I loved this race.  It felt very accessible to a newbie like me.  Not only because the distance was doable, but  everyone I dealt with from race officials to participants were very supportive and non judgmental.  The race shirts are awesome (I’ve worn mine from last year out.) and the expo and post race swag were super cool. I went home with lip balm, tomatoes, essential oils and a plant.  Top that!

 am SO not qualified to swim and my bike is too nice for someone who knows nothing about biking, but I challenged myself and got it done.  Despite the terrible weather I finished 6 minutes faster than last year.  I went home, ate and then crashed.  I took a nice afternoon nap to recover.  Getting up at 4am was the hardest part.  Not sure when I’ll tri again, but this definitely won’t be my last.

Posted in Biking, Races, running, Swimming, Triathlon | 5 Comments