Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Runcation!!!!

Runcation – a brief sojurn or holiday destination determined and developed based upon an athletic event.  In other words, planning your vacations based on what races you are intending to do while you are on vacation.
I don’t know how you all plan your vacations, but I plan mine based on races - Florida, the Cape, Washington D.C., you name it....and of course who can forget Vegas.  The situation goes something like this.  I am innocently looking at races on the computer and then all of a sudden I might get an email or see a side bar on a race.  It might say Florida, California, Hawaii, or something of the sort.  And then the wheels start turning.  Next thing you know it on I am Jet Blue's website just looking, just thinking, and saying what if.   And then before I can talk myself out it, I am e-mailing a link to my husband and calling my father.  Ultimately, my father drives to Florida, Aaron and I take a flight down and  all too quickly I am running through the Disney's Parks. hmmm does this sound familiar to anyone besides me?
Its Mickey in a Rice Krispie Treat! Does this even look like me?!?

What better souvenir than a medal?!

We know the latest situation, you know the one coming up on Sunday.  See, I was just minding my own business on Twitter one day in July and I saw a Tweet about a Blogging Running Convention in Las Vegas no less and then the next tweet was about Rock n' Roll Las Vegas.  Well that about did it in.  Next thing I knew it, I was on Jet Blue.com and you better know that tomorrow I am headed off to Sin City.
When I tell people that I am going to Vegas, they are excited.  When I tell them what I am doing there, they are confused.  They cannot imagine why in the world I would ever spend my vacation doing THAT (i.e., running).  I just smile a giddy smile and say I love it.  Because that is the truth my idea of a good vacation is packing up all my running gear,getting up extra early to toe the line at a race with 20,000 of my closest friends, and sweating my ass off.  What is not to love?!?!
You get to hang out with M&Ms on Runcations
Sure I could go on a cruise.  I could go sit on a beach.  I could go sight seeing.  But honestly, my vacations are not complete unless a race is involved and I get to ride a camel, clearly....haha

Do you take runcations? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Elusive PR - My Fears

First things first - we have a winner of the Road ID Sweepstakes and it is Cheryl!  This lady is too cute. Congrats Cheryl, e-mail me. 

So amidst all the post-MCM excitement, there is little thing I have not really been talking about much called Rock n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.  And I happen to be running it, uhhhh this weekend.  Oops?!?  Now, I have not forgotten about this race, but it is also not something I have been really "training" for.  The focus of this past month has been recovery.  My long runs have meant 8 miles at most, and my weekly runs have been short and as fast as my legs will allow.

But now we are here, it is Vegas time baby!! I love Vegas and I can't wait.


Yay Vegas - it means M&M World!

But what about the actual race, you know that 13.1 I am running on Sunday that I have not trained for.  Today, I really started to consider this race and what my strategy is going to be and well, truth be told, I would love love to PR!  But a PR for me would be 1:47:14 - oh gosh!!! I have not seen those days in a looooonnnng time and my speed is not what it used to be.

So I consulted this wise lady, who might as well hurry up and get her coaching certification.  And we came up with some numbers about how to PR and boy are they scary.  They involve some low 8 numbers for too long of time.  When I asked her if she thought I could do it, she said as long as I stayed positive and did not let negative thoughts in my head.   She knows me too well. And I think I could do that, stay positive, at least I hope!

What is really holding me back though is FEAR! I am afraid of the idea of not being able to hold on to those low 8 numbers, of positive splitting (like always), and of struggling....When I sat down to discuss this with Aaron, he said why not go for it.  And why not?! When I put these fears down on paper, they seem kind of silly.  Why am I so scared?  If I get out there and go and can't do it, so what, at least I tried.  This race was and is supposed to be for fun.  It was not supposed to my race of the season (I did that, it was amazing, I want more of that), so there really "should" not be so much pressure.  I should just be able to go out there and have fun.  So folks that is what I am going to try and do.  I will get out there with the intention of going fast, and just see how it goes.  If I can do it, great.  If not, well that is why they call it a PR, there is always next time (and there will be a next time!)

How about you all, are you afraid of the elusive PR?


No fear I am marathoner, only kisses from this lady!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Flying High

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments on my Garmin post.   I am so glad to know that I am not alone and you are also kind of Garmin obsessed too.  Maybe we need a "leave your Garmin at home day"?  Nah....that is just crazy talk.

So on to more normal talk, running, what else? Seriously.  On Sunday, I had one of those runs were you just can't help but smile!  Not those runs where it is effortless, but even better, one of those runs hwere it is hard! Where at Mile 3 you think you can't get any further, that you don't think you will make it.  But you shut that part of your brain up and you suck it up and you just get through it.  Where you just finish, ready to keel over (or maybe lose your pre-run fuel session) but can't stop smiling because you are full of that oh so elusive "runner's high."

Ok, what happened already?  On Sunday, I set out to do 8 miles with Robin.  I was going to do the first mile warmup by myself and 7 miles with Robin at her marathon pace - 8:08.  I don't know about you all, but 8:08 for a few miles is fast let alone an entire freakin marathon!  This lady is insane and pretty powerful and speedy.  Needless to say, I was a little bit worried about keeping up with her - I even brought my iPod just in case she had to ditch me one mile in.  Yes, that is how much I believed in my ability to run 7 miles at Robin's marathon pace.  Ever since the marathon, I have been recovering slowly and I did not want to get my hopes up.

I did the first mile alone and it did not feel good.  When Robin saw me she said I was speeding, I beg to differ, Garmin said 8:30 pace (not too speedy for me), but Robin promised I was going faster - ugh you win again Garmin!  So off we went, the first mile was not so bad, but then we started on a gradual 3.5 mile uphill jaunt at ooh the 8:08 pace or below.  It did not feel good.  I could not talk.  I wanted to stop.  I told Robin just to go on, that I was never going to make it.  She told me just to get about 1.5 miles more and we would be able to go down hill.  I struggled, but I pressed on.  Robin told me again that if we made it to Mile 6 we would slow down.  So I kept going desperate to get to Mile 6.

Finally, we turned around.  That messed me up.  I needed to stop. It was something about the turn around that just made me have to stop for a second.  So I did.  But after a second, we moved on continuing below the 8:08 pace.  Then something happened, I found my groove, my second wind whatever you want to call it, the fact was, I was able to keep going.  And at Mile 6, I told Robin lets keep going.  We could kick out the last two miles!! So we did!

Look I am flying!
It was amazing, I felt like flying (minus the major need to stop it because it was too hard).  We pushed harder.  Each of us struggling at different times.  I love that being in sync with your running partner means that you struggle at different times so you can encourage each other when you need it most.  We were determined, we were ready, I even got visions of us cruising Boston on Marathon Day.

The last mile came quickly, and we saw other walkers and runners ahead of us.  Almost as I thought it, Robin said it - good now we have people to tick off.  Yay for competitive runners who have to win.  We passed the walkers, no problem.  The runners took a bit longer, but we passed them strong and fast.  As we passed, I heard them talking - what are they doing? They look like they are racing!  I could not have been prouder.  Ok, now you all think I am crazy....what can I say, I am crazy Type-A runner,

And then we were done.  And I did keel over (and no I did not toss my cookies).  When I looked up, all I could do was smile.  We kept at Robin's 8:08 pace with the last mile lower than 8 to get to 1:05 for the 8 miles.  Was this my fastest 8 miles ever?  No.  But was it amazing, encouraging, and FUN? Hell Ya!  And it is these days when you cannot love running anymore. I will say it before and I will say it again - Running MEANS Fun, Friends, Fitness....can't get much better!

Are you a competitive freak like Robin and I (sorry Robin)?  Any flying high stories to share with me?



Yes I am recycling this picture. Dear Robin lets take more pictures together please

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Letter to My Garmin

Have you checked out my new Road ID Sweepstakes - practical and life saving, check this thing out  (& Terms and Conditions here )


Also check out my very own Run for Fun Facebook Page!


Dear Mr. Garmin,

Ever since you came into my life, I cannot live without you.  As ashamed as I am to admit it, I am, how do they say it, a bit obsessed with you.  When I go for a run, I make sure to never leave home without you.  And I apologize for the time I forgot you while driving to the Boston Run to Remember Half Marathon.  But don't worry, even though we were 20 minutes away from home Aaron dropped me off at the race and sped drove safely home to retrieve you and get you back in my arms at the starting line.  See Garmin, I would not go anywhere without you.  It is just you and me on the open road.  And I never forget you are there, listening to your mile "beeps" and glancing down at you oh to often to check my pace, my time.


But Garmin,  I have to admit, I do not always agree with you.  Why do you not sync up with my running friends' Garmins if we are running the same pace, side by side.  I do not understand you Garmin when I am speeding along and you tell me I am running 2 minutes slower than I thought.  Why is that when I plug you in from a hilly run, your map looks like the route was flat as a pancake.  AND Garmin why oh why do you have a different "time" and "moving time" when I never stopped during a race.


Garmin I just don't always understand what you are trying to tell me and we don't always see eye to eye.  Why can't you just see it my way!  Why can't you click over to 13.1 just a little bit more quickly when I am  staring at you for seconds on end.


I wish that I did not love you as much as I did.  Don't get me wrong, you are quite the gift.  You allow me to pace myself and run a race smart....well sometimes when I don't fool myself into thinking I am running a sustainable pace.  But why can't I just let you go?  Let's face it, I am not a run by feel kind of girl.  I am a bit of a co ntrol freak sometimes, if I am being honest and honestly, I can't get enough of you Mr. Garmin.  But I wish I could relax a bit more and leave you at home once in a while. Help me Garmin be a little bit kinder, non-judgmental to myself and relax a bit more.  Oh it would not hurt if you start flashing more low 7s on that interface of yours....just saying, something to think about.

I guess it is time for us to meet once more.  Time for my run.  I love you Garmin, but today I will try not to admire you at every moment.  To look up, to take it all, and be thankful for another day of running.

Thanks for listening,
Stephanie
Run For Fun

P.S. Am I the only Garmin obsessed freak out there?


P.P.S Just came back from the run - of course you said 8:20 pace, Robin's Garmin had sub-8. Seriously?!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My First Turkey Trot

Have you checked out my new Road ID Sweepstakes - practical and life saving, check this thing out  (& Terms and Conditions here )


On Thursday morning, I ran my first Turkey Trot.  Yup, that is right, I said my first one ever. I have always  been in school and could never actually make time for a Turkey Trot - I know it is a sin.  But this year, all of that finally changed and I was able to take part in a Turkey Trot.

I had not put too much weight into this trot.  But Wednesday night I began feeling pretty nervous about the whole thing.  Maybe it was because I had dismissed it so easily or maybe because it was supposed to be freezing out, but I started to get pretty nervous.  But in a 4 mile race not too much time for nerves and before I knew it, it was Thursday morning and Aaron and our favorite pink loving cousin and her boyfriend, Kyle, were off to Cambridge.  I am not sure Aaron and Kyle were too thrilled about the whole thing, but they were good sports and we found a Starbucks to hang out before the race.  Hot chocolate made the boys happy, real, warm bathrooms made my bladder happy win-win.  I give a major plus to any race that allows me to use a real bathroom and stay warm before the race.  Also we got an awesome parking spot at the street right at the start and we were not blocked in at the end and could leave right away because conveniently our car was also right at the end of the race too.

Around 8:45, we headed outside.  I gave Brenna a little pep talk here.  She is a run/walker and such a chilled out runner.  It is amazing.  I am so impressed, I wish I could relax sometimes while running but then I go super competitive and you know.  Anyway, here I am trying to bring Brenna to the dark side telling her to just run as long as she could without walking and her telling me it would mess up her place list.  Valid point. Afterwards, she told me she tried, but then she saw hills and was like no.  Valid.

Team Sparkle smart ass at her best ;)

Here we are stretching but more important look at Brenna's awesome pink tights!

Brenna and I lined up about 10 rows deep. There were about 2000 runners, pretty big for a local race I thought, and we did not want to get stuck in the back among the turkeys and pilgrims...I am serious people were decked out in all sorts of awesome for this race.  Next year, Brenna and I are going in style.

The start of the race went like this.  We are all standing around and then I hear Brenna say are we starting?  And then all these people just start running out of nowhere and I get pushed and almost fall to the ground.  Seriously?!!? This is a TURKEY TROT PEOPLE! Is this really necessary?!?

After that, I was pretty pissed, overwhelmed, and amazed for the first mile.  This was the first race I feel like that I have been in where there are just so many people all around me gunning it.  Maybe it was because it was a short race or maybe because I wasin  the front of the pack but it was the first time I felt like people were not just trying to beat their PRs but also win the thing.  I absolutely got caught up in this craziness and saw some 6:51s flashing on my Garmin (give me a break we were going downhill and I was cold, no gloves!).

With my legs still recovering from the marathon, I did not know what they were going to do for this race.  I was trying to strategize with Robin beforehand on how to go and she told me not to sell myself short.  I remembered this the whole 4 miles along with Dorothy's Dream Big.  They both helped a ton because there were some serious hills in this race, actually the whole time we were either going up or down a hill, great (Vegas flatness here I come).  Sometimes, I think it is just me.  That I think everything is a hill. I feel so much better when other people agree, so yesterday when I talked to a friend that works at my local running store who will be running Boston for his 6th year this year  and he also agreed it was hilly, I felt much better (how awful is that - if it is a hill to me, it is a hill darnit!)

So how did this race go overall?  Well I successfully rocked the positive splits (oopps) and went out too fast.  I am not disappointed though.  I pushed myself.  It was hard.  And I will continue to push myself and get faster!  I am not really sure how the timing ended up, I passed the two mile marker at 13:52 and my Garmin ended the race at 30:09 (official time 30:14 - ugh), but my Garmin splits don't represent that....who knows?!?

Looking at these now, I am pretty happy.  I kept it under 7:50 the whole time, and originally I thought about starting at an 8 pace.  Also I hit 6s almost at every mile...This also helps explain the 13:52 because the course might have been a bit longer than 4 miles...shocking..


By the end of the race, I was totally done.  No side cramps though!!! Only the regular, I am going so fast I want to vomit, which I just see as an indication that I am working hard...such a great metric system, I know...The end of this race was so disappointing, I pushed as hard I could but I had hardly anything left.  I watch the clock tick 29:58 and knew there was no way I could there in under 30:00 because I was still several seconds away.  It was defeating but it also pushed me to get through and keep go to get the best time I could.

Look, I am running so hard, I am flying. Are my feet eve touching the ground here?!?

Still flying..nope I don't touch the ground..

 Finish line you could not be close enough!

Dear Aaron, how do you even rock these awesome shots!

When I finished, I keeled over to catch my breath and then I ran into a Dunkin Donuts.  I decided not to wear gloves for this race and the results were not pretty.  I have really bad circulation to my fingers and little gloves do nothing, which means ski gloves are my only answer.  Even Hand Warmers do nothing for me.  I did not want to have use the big bulky gloves and it was not that bad out so I sucked it up.  During the race, I was fine.  But as soon as I finished, my hands hurt so much I wanted to faint.  So I snuck into a Dunkin Donuts and watched as people starred at me as I tried to warm up.  Seriously! People were starring. I think they were thinking that crazy girl, why did she just do this.  WHY NOT?!?!  Come on people, don't you want to get up early on your day off and run in the freezing cold, I know I do....

And that is that.  1st Turkey Trot ever is over and pretty successful if you ask me.  How did all your Turkey Trots go?  Do people ever stare at you after races like you are crazy? Gloves or no gloves?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

4 Miles to Thankfulness

Honestly, I did not think I would write one of these posts.  You know, an "I am thankful post."  Nothing against them, just figured who would really care what I am thankful for.  But ultimately, I can not, not write one of these because there is so much to be thankful for these days and nothing like a 4 mile Turkey Trot to remind me of this.  Now there are soo many things I am thankful for at this point in my life but I will keep it to four in the honor of my four miler this morning.

I have been thinking all morning on how to write this post, I knew that I wanted it to have to do with running but I did not know exactly how.  Then, it hit me.   Last year at this time, I was just starting to learn how to run again.  Learn how to run for the right reasons and those right reasons seemed simple but they were not easy for me to get to.  

To Run For....

1) Fun
2) Fitness
3) Family & Friends

It was not an easy road getting to this place.  When you run just because you have to and not because you love it and because it gives you all of these wonderful things, it is sad place.  But today I am full of joy and thankfulness to say that running and I have finally come to a place where I can do it for fun, fitness, family & friends.  So here we have it

1)  Run For Fun - starting to understand where this blog title came from?  Yup, I am thankful that running is fun.  That is it no longer something I have to do, but something I want to do!  I look forward to my runs and can't wait to share them all with you.  I schedule my vacations around running (yayyy Vegas, who is going?) and make major life decisions based on my race schedule (come on, admit it, I know you do too). And finally, Run for Fun comes in the form of this blog.  An experience that has changed my life forever. I am thankful for all of you. For your comments and kind words. Amazing. That is all.
This looks fun right? Everything is fun in a sparkle skirt!

2) Fitness -  running is finally something that I can say is healthy for me.  Sure I think people believe that I am beating myself up, especially my podiatrist (whole other story), because running gives me all these aches and pains.  But honestly those folks just don't get it.  Running keeps me healthy, mind & body.  It lets me speed to a 30:09 (Garmin time) 4-miler this morning.  It lets me go out and brave the cold, when I never thought I would.  It keeps my heart going strong and it helps me honor my body.  I only want the best for my body, it does everything I ask.  I was not always good to it, but now that I am a runner, an athlete, I refuse to ever not respect my body again.  Thank you body!

Rocking it, running style, thanks body!


3) Family & Friends - this is probably the best thing that running has given to me.  It has instantly brought me closer to family members.

Pre-race prep talk for the cuz from the Stephanator

But it has also helped me make friends that I will keep a life time. It might start out as a simple shy tweet (lol), or a run where you just need a running partner and before you know it you are texting and talking on the phone like a high schooler. 

Yes, it is necessary to have two hour long phone calls, thank you very much!

 I have to say my long runs are my favorite part of my week and it is not the actual running part that I like best.  
I love running buddies, specially speedy, cool girls like this one!

And besides the friends, I have made while running, I am thankful for all the friends and family that are supportive of my running - that is hard stuff.  Dealing with runners and spectating is serious business and I could not thank them enough.  I am sure my dad loves his random trips everywhere, and crazy hours trying to get out of a city or times where there is no where to park but he puts up with it...thanks Dad!  

Thumbs up for running!


Friends that actually come to my races, cool!

4) I said there was four right.  You know where this is going hmm? I am thankful for my husband - my partner, my best friend (yes I am sappy!).  Every day I am reminded of how blessed I am to be married to a man that is so warm, loving, supportive, and caring as mine.  My only wish is that others can find the happiness that I have found in my relationship with him. He is pretty much the best, that is why I chased him down the minute I saw him - true story.  I chased him!

Just cuddling, what else is there :) 

So thank you everyone.  Have a wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving.  What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Road ID Review and Sweepstakes!

In the spirit of being thankful (as apparently we are already coming up on Thanksgiving, pretty crazy, huh?), I think it is time for yet another Sweepstakes.  Why not, right?  I am sure you all are not complaining.  I personally can't get enough of them.  And I love you all so much, no I am being serious, you guys are the best, that I can't help but offer you, what I believe, is another great product and this one might literally save your life!

This summer I was reading through my blogs when I read a sad story about a blogger tri-athlete that an awful accident while out biking.  She crashed her bike and blacked out.  Luckily, someone found her and she had her cell phone on her and called her husband.  This story, thank G-d, actually turned out ok.  This woman is totally amazing!  But it really got me thinking, when I used to run, I never carried a cell phone.  What if something were to happen to me...this is no good. I can see my Grandmother freaking out my computer now as I write this.

But don't worry Grandma, I shaped up!  This was not a safe way to go about things.  In comes Road ID.  This company must have been thought up by a mother/grandmother/athlete who knew more than me and thought about how to stay safe while running, biking, swimming etc.  They realized that going out on "athletic outings" without ID is a BIG no-no.  But also realized that it is not practical for us athletes to always carry cell phones or IDs.  So they devised this nifty little product:

                        

This "Road ID" is a bracelet used by runners or athletes when they are out and about, but don't want to handle a phone or other ID.  It comes in multiple forms and colors (you could even attach something to your shoe laces kind of like a timing chip), but this one is the one I got and it is absolutely my favorite.  It has a place for your name, your "in case of emergency people" and their phone numbers, any sort of medications you take, allergies, or conditions, AND room for a mantra.  Mine has my name, Aaron's name and phone number, my dad's name and phone number, and my mantra: 26.2 (short and simple!).

So now that we put my grandmother at ease knowing that I am safe with my bracelet (and my running buddy), what are the other benefits of this thing? Well, first it is blue (you can pick your own color) so it matches my racing shirt, shorts, and sneakers (never hurts to be fashionable, come on who does not like to match).  There are also a bunch of different styles, not just the one I got.  Second, it is so lightweight you never even notice it except when you want to look at your mantra.  I have tons of shoulder problems so I always worry about wearing something on my wrist but this does not bother me in the least.  Plus, when I take it off, it is as if it was never there.  In other words, no chafing! Score for Road ID.

That is really it.  It may be plain and simple but let me tell you this thing is a life saver and I don't leave home without it.  You better bet I wore it all 26.2 miles, would not have had it any other way!  Road ID has also been nice enough to sponsor a Sweepstakes of this product.  Not bad huh...which means time for the rules....

TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR ROAD WRIST ID SWEEPSTAKES
Check out the full Terms and Conditions here

Basics:  To enter the sweepstakes for a Road Wrist ID, please just leave a comment on this post, meaning the post that announced the sweepstake.  The comment does not have to be anything in particular.  It will be used so that your name can be entered into the sweepstakes as facilitated by Random.Org.   There is NO PURCHASE NECESSARY or any other type of consideration that must be given to enter this sweepstakes.     By entering a comment, you are entering in the sweepstakes and are thus agreeing to the full terms and conditions outlined here.

Eligibility Requirements:  To enter this sweepstake you must be over 18 years of age and a United States citizen.  Other restrictions apply.  You can enter by simply leaving a comment on this blog, NO PURCHASE or other consideration is neceessary.   You cannot enter by any other means.

Contact information:  When entering the sweepstakes, please provide a means for the writer of this blog to contact you when the sweepstakes has ended.  You may choose to leave your blog address, twitter handle, email address, or any other means that you are comfortable with and provides a reasonable way for the writer of this blog to contact you.  If you do not want, your contact information put in the comment field, you may e-mail the writer of this blog at 26.2runforfun@gmail.com.  Your contact information will be used so that the writer of this blog may contact you if you win or if the retailer sponsoring the sweepstakes needs to contact you if you win.

Eligibility Requirements:  To enter this sweepstake you must be over 18 years of age and a United States citizen.  Other restrictions apply.  You can enter by simply leaving a comment on this blog, NO PURCHASE or other consideration is neceessary.   You cannot enter by any other means. 

Duration and deadlines:  This sweepstakes starts on Tuesday November 22, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. and will go to Tuesday November 29, 2011 at 5:30 p.m..  Winner will be announced by Wednesday November 30th, 8 p.m. and will be announced through this blog - Runforfun-stephanie.blogspot.com.  A winner has one week from the announcement of the winner to claim the prize or else a new winner will be chosen (Wednesday, December 7th, after 8 p.m.) .  All prizes will be awarded.  Thus if the winner does not come forward, a new winner will be chosen.
Prize Description:  Winner of this contest will receive a Road ID Wrist ID Band the value of which ranges from $15.00 - $30.00 depending upon the wristlet chosen.

Monday, November 21, 2011

PLEASE MASTER & Thanksgiving Traffic Terrors

I work in health care and in health care we are all about the acronyms. While this one is not a main stream acronym, I needed to pull it out of my pocket today for sure. So here it is....

PLEASE MASTER

And I know already that I won't be able to tell you exactly what it means (because that is how health care works, we use the acronym so long we forget the meaning, ooops) but the long and short of it is that it is about taking care of yourself.  I know there an S is for sleep, an M is taking the right medications, E for exercise.  Or something like that haha Maybe I should have started this post off differently, hmm....

Ultimately the point is things are crazy over here in Run For Fun land.  All my fun activities are well fun, but also a little bit overwhelming.  With Christmas in the City and my Wellness Day rapidly approaching and work busier than ever, I am just a tad bit stressed.  There is not much time for some relaxing or down time as I am constantly answering e-mails, making phone calls, or writing legal memos.  It is exhausting and overwhelming.  Can anyone relate?

See I am exhausted, I have to lay down, this is the same thing right?!?

All of this kind of came to a head today, when I tried to schedule my massage therapy appointment and realized I had no time to make a 45 minute trek to my massage therapist because crazy me has a massage therapist as well as other doctors that live so far from her adding more time and stress to the day.  Major fail stuff (I am leaving this mistake here, that is right I am so overwhelmed that I meant to write "Steph" and put "stuff," and this blog does not even autocorrect).  Combine all of this today with massive traffic to a meeting to go over my inspirational speaking and I was one step from beeping my horn like a crazy woman in traffic. Can you really blame me, it took me 20 minutes just to merge onto the highway, really?!?! Has Thanksgiving Traffic Terrors started already, please no!

Don't get me wrong, I love all the things I do and would not change them for the world. And I also love all my awesome doctors.  But sometimes you have to take a step back and care yourself and that is what Please Master is all about! So its official, I have decided that I need to find new doctors and new health care providers, I can not be driving all over New England trying to get to doctors in rush hour traffic and never making it on time. I also need to ask for help when I need it. I am pretty amazing (haha not to be bashful or anything) but I am not super woman. And I need to give myself time for me and that includes some none computer, none blogging, none running time - ahhh I know, shocker right, but it has got to happen...maybe some of that time will involve some extra sleep and cuddling (I love cuddling).  It does not have to be much (except for the cuddling, that has to be "much" especially when they involve foot rubs), just even a few minutes for me to relax and unwind.  Because honestly, crazy stressed Stephanie is Scary Stephanie and none of you want to see that, believe me, Aaron gets enough of it for everyone (sorry, I love you babe!). 

Alright that's enough, time for some ME time and hopefully some dinner!  

How do you all define Please Master? Do you take time for yourself? If so, how? Any experience Thanksgiving Traffic Terrors yet?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Turning Negative Nellies Into Positives and a Sweepstakes Winner

I really can't believe the weekend is over already!  I guess I would be more sad except for the fact that I ended my Sunday with my favorite family coming over for pizza and now, if Aaron ever stops playing video games, I will be watching Glee, which I am not ashamed to admit I am totally and utterly obsessed with!  Oh and it also does not hurt that I have a 2.5 day work week complete with a trip to Pinkberry and a Turkey Trot on Thursday (my first ever, I know really, I am little behind on the Turkey Trot).  Plus one more thing, we are officially on Vegas countdown, in less than 2 weeks I will be in Vegas, one of my favorite places.
I love when this girl comes to visit - she even has her own room where we keep her Care Bears!

First off the winner of the Tommie Cooper Sweepstakes is Sandy! Sandy, I don't have any of your contact information so please contact me by next Monday, November 28th or else I will have to pick a new winner.

Second off, check this lady out, she is my amazing cousin and just did her first 5k (first race ever and she placed!)

Now on to my actual post, I have been thinking about this post ever since my run on Saturday, when things were not going so well on the run (yup on my run I was writing this post in my head).  I have kind of been avoiding this run all week...Well, not avoiding it but not looking forward to it like normal.  Normally, you see, I am running with this lady.  And even though we are serious about our running, I really consider it my girl chat time more than a run (well Robin chats while I grasp for air).  So when we realized that our training schedules did not sync up this week we decided that we would run this one on our own - big mistake.  A) we did not get in normal girl chat time = lots of texts and phone calls (not that I am complaining) and B) no one to pick you up when you are down.

So meanwhile the actual run, what was so bad you ask?  The first mile was great (I needed to 8 miles btw) - 7:50, and I felt good!  I knew it was fast, but I felt like I was flying and could not stop.  But then the trouble started, the fuel belt I was testing out was a major fail - it would fall down or ride up so I decided to go back to the car and take it off.  Fine - go back and the mile was still good - 7:49 and the next one, yup you guessed it still good.

But then it happened, the evil side stitches were back with a vengeance!  First the right side, then the left side, then all over the place.  UGHHH  I was going up hill and I watched my Garmin incessantly as I got slower and slower.  And then came the Negative Nancy talk.  It got into my head and into my legs.  There was no stopping it and it stopped me dead in my tracks.  I could not make the pain stop, so I stopped, I stretched, I was ready to cry!  I almost did.  I felt like calling it quits, it was not pretty.

But then it happened!  I snapped out of it and told myself I AM MARATHONER and I CAN and WILL do this.  I fought those negative thoughts and I put positive ones in their place with every freakin mantra I could possibly come up with and ended my last two miles  with an 8:04 and 8:30.  SO THERE NEGATIVE NELLIES, I won't have you!

Afterwards though, those negative thoughts kept creeping back in as I looked at my splits, but I did my best to fight it - I had fast miles, I ran by myself, I got out there and I would do it again (all the positives I could come up with).  I looked at what went right and what went wrong and tried to think positive!  This is running and it is supposed to be FUN after all!!! So I guess that is it folks.  Do I still have those negative thoughts? Yup!  Am I annoyed that I can't beat these side stitches? Yup.  Will I be back at it this week harder and more positive than ever? You know it! Will it be with the running buddy? Hell ya, that was pretty silly running without her.

Do you ever get the case of the negative nellies?  What do you do?  Any ideas on why I can't get rid of these side stitches?!?!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Marathon Jacket - Rocking It With Pride

It has been a little over two weeks since the big day - you can tell exactly how long because I have not exactly taken down my old marathon counter - am I in denial? Maybe. But don't worry it will soon be replaced with a new counter (who did you take me for, I am not a one-timer, I like to go back at it, again and again - that's what she said...yet another lame joke, sorry!)

Anyway, there is something I have noticed ever since I finished my marathon and bought my exclusive Brooks marathon jacket.  I have officially joined my own secret fraternity. It is not one you can just be in but one that literally requires blood, sweat, tears (and lets face it more sweat) in order to gain entry.  It is not one that everyone knows you are in but one that you yearn to join and are so proud to officially be a part of.  What club is this?  There is only one of course - the marathon club (oh of course and the 5K, half marathon club etc. as well, all races count!). And what club does not have their own official gear - e.g., the jacket.

Yes the marathon jacket.  I don't know what it is but ever since I got it, I cannot take the darn thing off.  I wear it everywhere and I mean everywhere.  My days go like this - time to go to work should I wear my Anne Taylor nicely pressed coat or marathon jacket?  Marathon jacket.  Time to go to a wedding, should I wear my fancy long black coat or marathon jacket? Marathon jacket.  It is raining out should I wear my cute Black & White Polka Dot jacket or marathon jacket? MARATHON JACKET!!



No matter how I am feeling or what the occasion, I can't help but reach for this jacket and each time I put it on, I beam with pride.  It is like I am telling the world, I am STRONG, I am FIERCE, and I am part of this pretty freaking amazing club!  Nothing makes my day more, when people stop and ask about my jacket.  Today, I was leaving a meeting and someone asked me wait did you run a marathon?  Of course, I stopped and exclaimed I did!  Did you? And we proceeded to talk about how he had run four marathons.  Which I countered with I am running the Vegas half in two weeks (oh, Steph always the competitive one).    I even can't help but smile when people stop and ask me, wow you ran a marathon, how many miles was that? I JUST LOVE IT.  Pretty much the only thing better than this jacket is running the marathon (and Aaron, of course, sorry hunny I love you although I think you gave up reading this blog a long time ago, true test if he comments or not).

Well, that is about it. Got to put on my marathon jacket and go run a Christmas in the City meeting.  Note the meeting is inside, but that is no excuse not to wear the jacket, seriously?!?

Do you have a marathon jacket or another race article of clothing that you love to wear and show off to all?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Honoring Your Body

Once upon a time, I did not honor my body.  Sure, I took care of myself, sort of.  But I did not really think so much about it.  I could not tell you how many bottles of water I drank in a day or if I had the allotted number of carbs to optimize my workout for the next day, nor did I really care.  It was all about weight loss and maintaining weight.  Exercise was a basic means to an end, a way to stay "skinny."  Food was something to enjoy, but also something to not eat too much of (you know evil calories and all...)

Anyway, that was before.  Before something clicked.  Before I realized how much more running was.  How it no longer was about losing or maintaining weight but rather about something more, about a passion and a love for a sport.  It was about being an athlete, performing stronger, pushing harder, and smiling wider than ever before

Big Smiles!!! I love running!

So what has this change meant?  It has meant learning to honor my body.  My body allows me to run.  It is nice enough to work hard day in and out and agrees to let me push it just a little harder the next day and the next day and  I could not be more thankful.  I thank my body every day by instead of just drinking when I feel like it and being careful about what I eat, by actually drinking fluids and food to fuel my body and give it what it needs.  I am not saying that I watch every little thing I put in my body and never eat or drink those "bad" foods because we know that is not true!  But I do look at my body, running, and food differently these days.  I realize that everything I do impacts my training and that everything I do or don't put in my body effects it in a serious way.  Not drinking enough equals dehydrations on runs equals running fails.  Not eating my pasta means I won't have the energy  I need to run.  It is a good thing I have the hubby around then - tonight's meal pan seared bronzini over arugula and sautéed tomatoes and onions!  YUM.  And for dessert - Oreo Ice cream.  I honor my body, and my body is always thankful for ice cream!

Marathon ice-cream is the best kind of ice-cream!

How do you honor your body?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Marathons Make You Slower?!?!

When googling marathons make you slower,  you may come up with the following

- can hill running make you faster?
- a 12-week training program
- Faster Marathon - How to Run a Faster Marathon

But what it does not tell you is that post marathon, when you go back to run, you may be unpleasantly surprised....Sure you expect to feel tired, sore and fatigued after the marathon. You even expect your first run to be pretty crappy but you figure that will wear off right?  And then it does, you no longer feel tired or sore, but something still is not right.  And what is it? It is your speed or lack thereof.  Because apparently 16 days post marathon, the speed I once had is pretty much gone.  Where did it go?  Well, to the marathon of course.

Case in point, this morning I got the treadmill to do 5 miles.  I was told to do one mile slow, two faster, two even faster. Ok, five miles. In June, I was in a five mile race and did it 37:04 (which is way fast for me).  I was hitting 7:14s on the Garmin and there were HILLs and I was flying high.  Today, I started at an 8:00 pace and at the fourth mile when I got down to 7:47,  I was ready to go flying right OFF the treadmill (and 7:47 should not be such a hard pace for me).  My mind remembers that I could do this type of speed but apparently my legs do not.

Here I am running fast and uphill for that matter!!

So what happened?  I wanted to quote some scientific article for you here explaining how marathons make you slower, but I can't seem to find one.  All I seem to have is basic word of mouth (a.k.a what I hear from other bloggers and runners).  And what I hear is this - marathons make you slower!  You are going for distance and ultimately that means you have to SLOW down, which in turn teaches your legs to go slower and not faster.  You may get the marathon time you want (yayy 4:07 MCM forever, sorry shameless plug) but you may be unhappy about what comes after - high 7s average pace for a five mile run.

At one point, this change in time would have upset me more.  I would have been really PISSED that I was not going as fast especially since I knew that at one point I could do better.  And I am not saying I am thrilled about the situation, but I also know it is not THAT big of deal.   Running has become so much more to me than just a time.  Getting out there, trying my best, and having fun with my favorite running buddy means so much more than 2 minutes on a 5 mile run.  Sure, don't get me wrong, I want to push it, I want that high of rocking a PR, and I do not smile when the time is not what I want it to be, but then again, I am still smiling (I know I am making sense now right?). Because I am getting out there and I am loving every minute of it.  I wanted to run a marathon and it made me slower, for now, but I would not trade that for the world.  

Yup thats right  I am running a marathon!

So, next marathon (spring 2012) watch out! I am going to be building up my speed and distance to kick your butt because sub-4 I know I have it in me some day, somewhere :)

Did you slow down after you ran a marathon? Don't tell me I am the only one please!

Running on Empty - Do You Fuel Your Body, Like You Fuel Your Car?

Have you entered my sweepstakes - also check out the Terms and Conditions 

So I am going to let you in on a little secret.  It is one that will help you run better, run faster, and run stronger.  Don't tell too many people though, I need an upper edge on some of these races.  But because I love you all, I will let you in.  Running while eating will make you run better, run faster, and run stronger than ever before!!

Some of you might be thinking, Steph, I can't run before I eat, especially in the morning.  My stomach won't take it, it won't like it, and it will end badly.  You might say you are not hungry, and you are totally fine without food.  And I am here to tell you, that is not the case.  Now, I don't like to preach, but I got to say, eating before running was a tip I learned that I just have to share.  My amazing sports nutritionist Nancy Clark puts it perfectly in her awesome book Sports Nutrition Guidebook 


Just as you put fuel in your car before you take it for a drive, you want to put fuel in your body before you exercise


She goes on, "this pre-exercise snack or meal will help energize your workout and serves four main functions:"

1) prevents hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and thus wards off symptoms like light-headedness, needless fatigue, blurred vision, and indecisiveness (all things you DON'T want during your run or workout);
2) it helps settle your stomach, absorb some of the gastric juices and ward off hunger (yup you have me right, it will SETTLE not upset your stomach);
3) it fuels your muscles  with both carbohydrates that you eat far enough in advance to get stored as glycogen and carbohydrate that you eat within an hour of exercise which enters the bloodstream and feeds your brain; and
4) gives peace of mind knowing you are fueled!

Yet, people still exercise on empty as Nancy likes to put because they think that it enhances fat burning.  She explains that this is true but that assuming that burning more body fat will = losing more body fat is FALSE.  To lose body fat, you need a calorie deficit (a whole separate can of worms!).  Also you may not eat before because you are worried about upset tummies, diarrhea, and bad performance.  Nancy explains eating the wrong foods can cause issues but going undernourished can result in poor performance!!

Ultimately, to do your best you NEED to fuel before exercising, especially those of you who work out in the morning like me.

If you are interested in further hearing what Nancy has to say about this, you should absolutely check out her book!!!  It is crazy amazing and the book and Nancy has made a HUGE difference in my life.  In her book, she goes on to explain exactly how you can learn to eat before working out.  It involves experimenting and training your body to get used to eating before running.  This is not always easy and takes time and patience, and sometimes ubber tummy failures.  But in the end, you will win out!  Believe me!

Case and point, this morning I had five miles.  I was not hungry at the beautiful hour at 4:45 and my tummy was not feeling it.  I needed to get going and did not want to eat and then wait for some time, which probably would have helped my stomach in this case.  I debated for a moment, thought what Nancy would tell me and grabbed half of a large banana and moments later jumped on my treadmill and brought some shotbloks as well, just in case.  I figured that would be enough for a 5 miler.  Did my stomach feel ok? Yup.  Did my energy feel ok? Yup.  Afterwards did I feel a bit dizzy? Yup.  OOOPSS, Steph, are you practicing what you preach?  Yes, I am!  I am trying, I am learning.  Each day, Nancy might say, live and learn - what went right, what went wrong?  Today, I tried to listen to my body before the run and after my body told me I got it wrong. I needed more! I needed a whole banana or a banana and something else.  So next time I know!  Next time body, you've got it!

So there you have it, just a bit of the importance of eating before exercising!  There is so much more to learn and I am not an expert and just giving you a view of what I have learned.  I have to say, go out and get Nancy's book if you are interested.  Best thing I ever did!

Meanwhile, do you fuel before you workout? Why or why not? What do you like to eat before working out - I like bananas, granola bars, PB, or English Muffins - YUM!


 Bananas or Pinkberry -seriously which one would you choose to fuel before running?!? hehe I love me some Pinkberry!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Turning It Around With A Run

Have you checked out my Sweepstake?  Check out here with full terms and conditions here. Also btw, the winner of nuun never came forward so we found a new winner Britton from Its a Beautiful Thing This Life of Ours.  Congrats lady.  I will contact you to get this going ASAP.

So lets move on.  This week I have been stressed to state it lightly.   As you can see from my past few posts, I am doing A LOT right now between work, Christmas in the City, my mini race expo, and oh yea, some inspirational speaking which I may share on another day, I am a little overwhelmed!  I love everything I am doing, but it kind of takes a toll especially when work is crazy!  To top it all off, I had a wedding in Rhode Island this weekend which took me away from home for the weekend leaving me little time to get stuff done.  It was great, but stressful in some ways as I am not so great with directions causing some minor mishaps...

Needless to say when I got home this morning, I was itching for a run more than ever.  There are a lot of ways to de-stress.  But can anyone tell me a better way than running with your favorite running buddy outside in 50 plus degree whether in November no less and chatting it up?  Seriously, you better not answer yes to this question because there is NO better way to de-stress.  I met Robin at Mile 9 for her and we went along to do 8 and compared to last week I felt fantastic!! My legs felt well-rested and ready to go. At points, I was itching to go under 9 min miles but Robin was doing 17 so we kept it at that pace and it was pretty comfy - I was chatting it up and smile city and Robin was rocking it.  My ankle was not great and I was sooo dehydrated from the weekend wedding festivities but all in all it was a great run!! And by the end, you guessed it, 100% better - clearer head, smile on my face, and overall feeling of wellness and health.  It just felt so good to be back in the zone with my people doing what I do best, enjoying life while running.

And that folks is that.  What more do you need?  A beautiful sunny day and a perfect run to turn it around!!!

Do you ever "turn it around with a run?"

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tommie Cooper Review and Sweepstakes

Hello all!  It is Friday and it is actually Wedding Weekend, one of my best friends from law school is getting married AND I get to see some pretty cool ladies including Sam, Robin,and Collen this weekend (well maybe ColleenRobin and I kind of decided she was running with us without actually getting confirmation, oops).  Finally, I just saw Sunday's running weather is going to be 64 degrees (knock on wood) and I am ordering my Team Sparkle Skirt for our (Colleen, Robin's, and my's) 5K.  Things are looking up!  Sure, this morning's workout was HARD and harder than it "should" be, but I got it in, proving once again that even a 2 mile run surrounded by elliptical training can be stress relieving and enjoyable :)

So since I am in a better mood than yesterday ( you did not want to be my husband last night, believe me!).  Lets start the weekend off right with a Sweepstakes (which some people refer to giveaways, but actually is more correctly termed a giveaway).  So just a bit of an intro, I have been blogging since April and have done a number of these things and as I am doing them, I am learning from experience.  I have had some trouble locating winners when they don't leave their information and other issues.  Because of that I have set up a more clear Terms and Conditions Page on my blog (see the tabs above) so that it is very clear how my Sweepstakes will work, and they will all generally work in the same manner.  Each time there is a sweepstakes, you can see the general rules on the post that posts the Sweepstakes as well as the full rules on my Terms and Conditions page.  But before we lay all that out for today, lets get to the fun part the review!!!

So, what am I reviewing today?  Tommie Copper ankle sleeve and knee sleeve.



* Source 
*Source

So who is Tommie Copper.  I know we have seen them all over Facebook and Twitter lately.  But who are they, and what do they do?  It is a pretty cool (well some is not as cool, the injury part mainly) story in fact in which someone took a bad situation and created good. Don't you love these.  Tommie Copper was started by Tom Kallish who was in a traumatic water skiing accident.  He was forced to wear lots of compression wear during recovery.  Hating the bulky nature, he knew something had to change - in comes Tommie Copper Compression wear.

Now I don't wish accident or injuries on anyone, but I am very happy he came up with this compression wear because it is pretty awesome people.  In fact, I may or may not be wearing mine to work each day underneath my "work attire."    The point of Tommie Copper is to provide compression wear that "provides relief from arthritis and other joint pains, promote muscle recovery and reduce inflammation" and the kicker line WHILE BEING COMFORTABLE ENOUGH TO BE WORN THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE DAY.  I don't know about you folks, but when I wear other compression wear I absolutely get to a point where it has to come off. It is great but VERY constricting, because well isn't that the point? Right? Apparently, Tommie Copper dreamed BIG and found a way to do it all - provide relief without that squished up compressed feeling.

So I know I love compression, what runner or athlete does it? I always feel better with it on and after I use it but why? I guess I could not really answer how they work in a scientific way so hear we have it.  Why is it so great?  What does it actually do?
  • help stabilize muscle tissue
  • keep the swelling down
  • increase oxygen blood flow to the muscles
  • reduce inflammation
And ultiamtely all this means quicker recovery! I like!!!  But this is all from their Website.  I am not going to lie.  You should check this site out btw.  So what do I think?  Because I know you all care soo much... so here we have it

The Ankle Sleeve - I love this product.  I have been looking for something like this forever.  I love my long compression socks that go to the knees however they are not practical during the work day and compression socks don't love my blisters on my toes.  If I need to keep my toes airing out (yea, gross but the best thing for blisters), I can't do that in compression socks.  Plus for a while, I did not like running in the long compression socks but needed support for my ankle.  I looked high and low for a short compression sock and guess what? Tommie Copper had it! I was sooo excited when I saw it I could not wait to try it out.  As soon as I got it, I put it on. Unfortuantely, it was too big.  I talked to Tommie Copper (and this was RIGHT before the marathon) and within like a day or two I had one that was the right size! Big plus for TC!

The Knee Sleeve - I actually just started using this one due to all the aches and pains of post marathon.  I love it too!  It gives me the good compression blood flow and hit a part of my body that regular compression gear can't.  Sure I have Compression Shorts and Socks, but what about that knee.  Tommie hit the nail on the head once again!!  These are perfect and they do the trick.

The only downside to either of these products is they don't feel tight.  I know this is not a downside but to me I feel like it "should" be tighter, more compressed to be working.  Clearly, I feel better with them on and after, so they are really working.  But there is a bit of a mental hold up for me about not having that really tight feeling.  I guess this is not much of a downside, so I can't complain!!!

So are you hooked yet? If so, check Tommie Copper out.  You can look at their website, Twitter, or Facebook page!
By now, I am sure you are itching to try these things, why wouldn't you be?  Ok so here we go with the Terms and Condtions and what are you actually getting?!?!  These are the basics, see the Terms and Conditions Page for more!  Please read them because by submitting a comment, you are agreeing to them. They will be very similar each time, so please take the time to read them once and you are all set!

Ooo and btw, what are you winning here. A Pair of Tommie Copper Compression Sleeves - pretty awesome right?  And even better you can pick what you want - the knee sleeve or the ankle or a different one (there is also a calf and elbow one).  This is pretty awesome folks.  And all you have to do  is submit a comment. You have until next Friday November 18th at 10 a.m.!!  So get on this...oo did I remind you to read the below, please!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS - TOMMIE COPPER SWEEPSTAKES

Basics:  To enter the sweepstakes for a Tommie Copper Compression Product, please just leave a comment on this post, meaning the post that announced the sweepstake.  The comment does not have to be anything in particular.  It will be used so that your name can be entered into the sweepstakes as facilitated by Random.Org.   There is NO PURCHASE NECESSARY or any other type of consideration that must be given to enter this sweepstakes.     By entering a comment, you are entering in the sweepstakes and are thus agreeing to the full terms and conditions outlined here

Eligibility Requirements:  To enter this sweepstake you must be over 18 years of age and a United States citizen.  Other restrictions apply.  You can enter by simply leaving a comment on this blog, NO PURCHASE or other consideration is neceessary.   You cannot enter by any other means.
Contact information:  When entering the sweepstakes, please provide a means for the writer of this blog to contact you when the sweepstakes has ended.  You may choose to leave your blog address, twitter handle, email address, or any other means that you are comfortable with and provides a reasonable way for the writer of this blog to contact you.  If you do not want, your contact information put in the comment field, you may e-mail the writer of this blog at 26.2runforfun@gmail.com.  Your contact information will be used so that the writer of this blog may contact you if you win or if the retailer sponsoring the sweepstakes needs to contact you if you win.
Eligibility Requirements:  To enter this sweepstake you must be over 18 years of age and a United States citizen.  Other restrictions apply.  You can enter by simply leaving a comment on this blog, NO PURCHASE or other consideration is neceessary.   You cannot enter by any other means. 

Duration and deadlines:  This sweepstakes starts on Friday November 11, 2011 at 10 a.m. and will go to Friday November 18, 2011.  Winner will be announced by Monday November 21st at 8 p.m. and will be announced through this blog - Runforfun-stephanie.blogspot.com.  A winner has one week from the announcement of the winner to claim the prize or else a new winner will be chosen (November 28th at 8 p.m.) .  All prizes will be awarded.  Thus if the winner does not come forward, a new winner will be chosen.

Prize Description:  Winner of this contest will receive a pair of Tommie Copper Compression Sleeves of their choosing (ankle, knee, etc). The retail value is $49.00.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Christmas in the City

If you are coming here now it is because Christmas in the City is just days away and we are in an emergency!  Christmas in the City may not have enough toys for its 8,000 plus kids this year due to Internet malfunctions and we could really use your help! I am sorry to bother you all, I know we all have our own specific charities but if you could read on I would forever apprecitate it..

Regardless of your religious affiliations, anyone can enjoy and take part in this adventure called Christmas in the City, one of my favorite, 100% volunteer, non-profit organizations.  And because this is, afterall, my blog, I can't help but let you all in on one of my favorite things that comes around  once a year.  So please forgive me as I spend a moment or two on the best event ever!!



So what am I talking about, what is Christmas in the City?  Christmas in the City is a nonprofit organization that brings Christmas to thousands of children and mothers who are currently homeless or living in domestic violence shelters. For one day, the children and moms can forget about everything and just enjoy Christmas...

In 2010, more than 3000 people attended CITC.  The children entered the event on red carpets into a large room decorated for Christmas.  Fake snow filled the air and volunteers and cartoon characters lined the room welcoming the children as the choir sang Christmas Carols.  The day was a dream come true.  It included a 7-course meal, kid friendly exhibits (e.g., a petting zoo and the Children’s Museum), Winter Wonderland – an area full of carnival rides, games, food, and fun, and performances by various dance troops and performers.  The day concluded with Santa bringing each child a personalized present off their very own Wish List as well as a gift bag with different age appropriate presents such as stuffed animals, hats, gloves, and t-shirts.  The mothers also received a gift bag with gift cards, books, and more! For those children who could not attend, CITC still provided them with a personalized gift, giving out an additional 3,000 presents in the last year alone!

Ok, now I have told you what CITC is, so you know what is coming next....How do you get involved?  It does not matter where you are, you can get involved in CITC. You can volunteer your time, donate presents or money, or simply spread the word.  Every bit helps CITC!  This year we are looking at 5000 children at the party and need an addition 3,000 presents for children not at the party plus gifts for moms!!!! If you want to get involved, it is pretty simple you can go to christmasinthecity.org or you can just let me know and I will set you up!!!  We could really use your help and would love for you to come and support his awesome cause - come on, who does not love Christmas?!?  If nothing else, check out our Facebook page or Twitter Account.  We need people to spread the word!!!

So an add on as of December 13, at this point we are days away from CITC.  We do not have those 8000 presents due to some problems and we need your help whether through donating, tweeting, buying a gift, we need your help soo badly!! It can be all done online and we would forever be greatful!  Thank you for taking the time, I am so sorry to bother you! I really really appreciate your time :)

Here is a suggested tweet:  @CITCBoston is in trouble! we r days away from the party w/o enough presents for 8000 kids! Please help! http://tinyurl.com/73mezam

Have you ever heard of Christmas in the City?  Would you like to be involved?