Friday, March 30, 2012

Guest Blogger: SEMPER SARAH

I met this gal back in our Marine Corps days, and wanted to share a post that I loved!

Three-Legged (never down) Dog: We Run ‘Cause We Want To!

Posted by  on March 22, 2012 in Semper Sarah | 0 comments
Three-Legged (never down) Dog: We Run ‘Cause We Want To!
(written immediately upon returning from run…no editing…no over-thinking  ;-p)
A few things happened tonight and I felt compelled to write immediately…  This evening, I went for a jog with my three-legged wonder pup, Bailey.  He and I both are out of shape.  We’ve spent the winter doing lots of down dogs and child’s pose ;0), enjoying gentle short strolls, and eating healthy.  We have not, however, done any running in months.  Twice in the last week, I took us for a jog.  We were both winded after ten minutes.  We both expressed our defeat on our faces – his with lolling tongue, mine with furrowed brow.
Tonight was different, though.  The air was different…the feel was different…we were different…but we were more ourselves.
I was going to cancel my jog tonight.  I taught a free yoga class at my chiropractor’s office and the session ran long.    Then, the other chiro who doesn’t usually adjust me, did adjust me today.  She was awesome!  I felt great.  I felt relaxed and aligned.  I asked her if I should just let the adjustment settle or if going for a run as I planned would be ok.  She said if I felt energetic, go for a run; if I felt relaxed, don’t.  I felt relaxed…plus, it was already dark out, which meant I could only run in my neighborhood, which falls in the “lame” category for scenery.
But when I got home, Bailey bounced to the door to greet me. I fastened his blue collar around his neck, carefully avoiding his long luxurious Cocker Spaniel ears hanging in the way, and we stepped outside.  “aaaaahhhh” I inhaled the early evening air.  I love this time of night.  It feels like summer here even though it’s Ohio, and it’s March.  About 8pm…about 75 degrees…about perfect.
When we were kids, this was the time of day my brother, Matt, and I always used to run.  We’d dart out the front door of any one of the numerous houses we grew up in, and he’d set the pace.  I’d chase him for a while, but being four years my senior, he’d leave me in the dust soon enough.  It was a game sometimes, though.  We often ran different routes every time, but I’d manage to follow his trail.  We loved to run.  We did it every day andthrived off the movement, the breath, the flight we took on our adolescent feet too big for our toothpick legs.
Tonight, as I ran, I looked down at Bailey.  His characteristic doggy “I love running” smile stretched from floppy ear to floppy ear.  He looked majestic.  When he walks, he hops; he has only three legs after all.  But when runs, he is smooth.  He is like the doggy version of Seabiscuit.  The vets said he’d never be able to run the way he runs today. But with one look at this furry fellow and you can tell he is in a state of pure bliss.
His smile is contagious.  It’s on my face now.  Then, the expression spreads to my mind…the memories of my brother and I that I just described then flooded my mind.  My smile grew even bigger.  I miss my brother.  He’s lived in Peru for about seven years.  My mind trails off for a bit…
I return to the moment.    I love the way the nocturnal air feels on my bare arms.  I love that I finally feel aligned.  I love that I feel light again.  This may not last.  I may not feel this way tomorrow when I run.  “But I feel this waynow,” I think.  Somehow, my smile gets bigger, and all I think, as I take one more glance down at my pogo pup is, “We run because we love running…we run ‘cause we want to.”
This is what running is all about. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @TheMarineChick and check out her blog Semper Sarah.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

When Does It Change?

As a stay-at-home-mom, I spend a LOT of time playing outside with the Weasel. And as the owner of a water table and as a family who has absolutely enjoyed every minute of this unseasonably warm winter/early spring, the Weasel gets soaked 4 days out of any given week. As soon as she finishes playing, she immediately requests to be stripped of her wet rags and continues to play in her diaper.

Now she's a little chunker. The Weasel weighed in at 10 pounds 1 ounce upon birth, and though her growth has slowed, at just over 20 months, she's nearing the 30 pound mark (28.2). She LOVES her tummy. When she found her belly button, I strongly considered getting rid of most of her toys, as that took over as her favorite:). Well, it got me thinking...

At what point in our lives (I'm mainly referring to females here), do we start becoming so critical of our bodies? I posted awhile ago about when that started for me. I have a love-hate relationship with my body. I'm 5'9" (5'10" on a good day), and I weigh 149. I hate that I know that. I hate that I weigh myself everyday, but I cannot seem to get rid of my scale. I want to embrace my "love handles" and look at myself as a strong mother runner, but I struggle with that. I drink beer and eat crap sometimes and then feel horrible about it. If I have a bad run, I blame my body. When I get my Athleta or Title Nine catalog, I obsess over ways to achieve a better body; to look like those models. (Side note: I love the models in those catalogs. They are real women, real athletes with beautiful muscles. They are NOT stick skinny Victoria Secret, make-you-want-to-starve-yourself girls.

I'm sure it happens as soon as girls get to middle school, perhaps even earlier with the advent of the Internet and these ridiculous teeny-bopper TV shows. Girls suddenly become their own worst critics. They stop running around in diapers and start sucking their stomachs in. This makes me sad. I don't want my daughter to face this same fate, but I know I can't prevent it. 

What I can do, is remind her that she is strong and beautiful no matter what her shape is. I will continue to show her that running and exercise makes for a happier, healthier life. I will not let her forget about these wonderful days when she reveled in the sight of her own fabulous round tummy:

And while I won't lie to you and say, this post means I've accepted my spare tire, I will say that I'm trying to learn to love my body for all its flaws. I will focus on my strengths as an athlete. I will learn from the Weasel. 

...but I will always love beer, and therefore, I will most likely always sport a little extra around the middle.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's A Bird...It's A Plane...No, It's the Nutless Wonder!

I had every intention of tasting all 4 of my sample Picky Bars BEFORE writing a review, but after the first bite of the Nutless Wonder bar, I absolutely had to tell you about these things. 


Honestly, I was skeptical at first. The bars are small and individually wrapped in resealable plastic bags (a huge plus)! I headed out on Monday morning to hit the gym, and in my typical fashion, I only had time to get the Weasel her breakfast. So I grabbed the Nutless Wonder bar and hopped in the car. The bars are very dense, but less than 200 calories each. I took my first bite and tasted pumpkin seeds and chocolate...YUM! I was shocked at how tasty it was. 

Take a look at the ingredients:

Ingredients: organic datesorganic sunflower butter, raw honey, organic rice cereal (Organic brown rice, Organic brown rice syrup, Sea salt), rice protein (protein from whole grain sprouted brown rice, natural vanilla flavor), organic apricots, cranberries, organic pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, semi sweet chocolate chips (cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin (soy), vanilla extract), cinnamon, kosher salt, canola & sunflower oil. 

HOLY can pronounce every last word! Now that's refreshing!! I am so excited to try the other three bars they sent: All-In Almond, Lauren's Mega Nuts, and Smooth Caffeinator.  

Let's break it down. Here are the PROS:

1. Small, easily digestible for pre-workout fuel. 
2. Resealable packaging means you can eat a few bites and save the rest for after your workout.
3. They have tasty chocolate bits!
4. I've finally found a nutrition bar that doesn't make me want to gag.
5. Picky Bars is a small company started by runners and made for runners. Why wouldn't you want to support them?!


1. I would have to order the product online because the only place they are available in NC is about 2 hours from my house. 

Seriously, only 1 con, and luckily, you can grab these online with no hassle. I'll be providing more reviews of the other flavors in the near future, but I really couldn't wait to share this with you. So go grab a bar and find out what the craze is all about!

Monday, March 26, 2012

What Next?

Some of you may recall, that I recently did a post about Insanity. After just three days of it, I loved the program, but I took a break because I was running the Quintiles Half that coming weekend. After reaching my goal (sub 2-hour), I took a couple days off from running. Now I'm back at it again. Unfortunately, I'm struggling with what program (if any) I want to do now. I've signed up for the MCM in October, so I know I'll have a marathon training plan in the relatively near future, but what should I do now? Do I keep running? Do I change it up and go back to the Insanity workout for a bit? Do I break out my dusty bike and log some miles in hopes of fitting in a tri before we move in the fall? 

HELP!! How do you come off a big race? 

I don't want to lose the momentum from my half training, but I don't want to burn out either. Just looking for some advice here. I'm all ears.