Props Wednesday- Meet Erin

Yeah, I know, it’s Thursday. But I write the blog so I can break the rules. I know, rebel behavior.

Meet Erin.

This is officially my first food blog props.  I am very picky about the foody blogs I read, because in my opinion, pictures of food can be, well…boring.  There I said it. I don’t particularly like looking at pictures of food. But I do love Erin’s blog. A lot. Food pictures and all.

Why do I lover Erin and her blog?  It is like no other food blog I have ever come across.  For one, it isn’t solely a food blog.  Erin also writes about being economically friendly, eating ethically, books she has read and all the places she has traveled.  Oh and her three loves: Hilary (a super cute dog), the Steelers (her favorite team ever) and uh, right…her husband.

Erin is an ecologist (how awesome of a job is that!) so when she writes about the environment and ethical eating, she knows what she is talking about.  I have learned so much from reading Erin’s blog that I have applied to my own life.  I won’t lie, I still eat things from time to time that would probably make Erin scream, but for the most part I have really changed how I look at what I am eating.  It is a different piece to the nutrition puzzle, that before I came across her blog, I really didn’t know existed.   I had for a long time been shopping (as much as I can) organic and staying away from fast food (it has been years and years) but I never gave much thought from the food sources I was supporting.  This year, I made an extra effort to visit local farmers markets that are directly benefited by my purchases.  I believe that I have been greatly and positively influenced by reading what Erin has to say.  In addition to her own knowledge, Erin frequently reviews books, articles and products that are super helpful.

When it comes to living life to the fullest, Erin gets it.  Seriously…she holds a full-time job (with an hour commute), she writes a kick ass blog and manages to have a pretty amazing social life.  And she is well-traveled too- I am super jealous of all the amazing places she has been such as France, Australia, Switzerland, Costa Rica and China to name a few. 

All around I just think of Erin as a really inspiring person who has a lot to offer the world.  And who knows she may have something to offer you- so go check her out!

And here is a pic just for you Erin:

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Too Slow To Race?

It took me a long time to call myself a runner.  I am grateful that I have supportive parents, friends, teammates and all of you that make me feel validated no matter how slow or fast I run.  But it is articles like this one that bring to the surface all my insecurities.  Who is anyone to say, that because I sometimes walk in a race, that I am not truly a racer?  Or that I don’t deserve my medal?  Or worse of all, that I should not take pride in myself because I don’t fit the standard “fast” pace? 

And really…what is fast?  I feel like fast is personal to each runner.  I mean, clearly Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall are fast and the Kenyans are super fast but do they necessarily set the standard?  And if they don’t, who does?  Is it fair to pass judgement on anyone who doesn’t run at a certain pace?  One commenter said that an 11-minute race pace was too slow- but for some people 11-minutes is fast.  Just because someone finishes with an 11-minute pace, doesn’t mean they didn’t run.  And so what if they did stop and walk?  That makes then unworthy of the medal??  Really?? 

To say that running a marathon is only worth something if you are as fast as Adrienne Wald thinks you should be, is absurd.  Julia Given says she doesn’t acknowledge those who finish a marathon in over six hours as runners.  Well Julia, I would venture to say there are runners out there who think your 4:05 finish time is slow.  I mean a 9:22 pace…is that fast???   Who is to say you aren’t “disrespecting the distance” along with the rest of us slow runners?

The line that really put me over the edge was the quoted statement made by slowtwitch commenter Record10Carbon that asserted, “more than half of the people at a marathon are just overweight and looking for a for a shirt” and goes on to say they only do it so they can later “tell the saga of their suffering.”   I have so many issues with this statement, I hardly know where to begin.   As if it isn’t bad enough to say slow people don’t deserve to enter races, now this person wants to put a weight limit on it as well?  REALLY????  And did this person really just suggest that someone would run (or run/walk or just walk) 26.2 miles  for a t-shirt?  And did this person also assume that those who are not overweight don’t suffer during a race?  And in a society that struggles daily with obesity, do we really want to dissuade people who are overweight from being active?

As John Bingham asks, “What is wrong with promoting the activity of running to entire generations of people ” regardless of pace, weight or finish time?  How long before they want a height limit?  Don’t get me wrong…I understand the need for a cut-off time due to budgets and I think stopping to eat lunch is a little ridiculous…but if race directors were to listen to this “no slow runners allowed” garbage, they would be biting the hand that feeds them.  If races limited their entries to only those who could keep to a specific pace, or worse to those who fit in a certain weight category, the directors (and the charities that benefit) would take a serious financial hit. 

Two years ago reading this article may have discouraged me from entering a race.  But now I look at an article like this and it fuels me.  So, people might think my 11-minute pace is slow.  Hell, they might think a 9-minute pace is slow.  For those of you who may think that there is a place for you…it is called Boston.  You want to run with all the fast kids, go there.  But I am going to continue to enter and RUN every race my heart desires and I am going to do it at MY pace!  And on top of that…I am going to wear my t-shirt and medal with all the pride in the world!   

 

Readers: please share your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree, I would love the hear them.

Sicky Onelittletrigirl

sick

Not feeling so well over here, that is for sure.  I am pretty sure this is a food reaction and (luckily) not the flu or something.  No fever and no aches…just me and my stomach not getting along.  I’ll spare you the details.

Due to my sickyhead status, I am taking a sick day tomorrow.  At the very least I will be able to catch up on much needed sleep/rest and maybe get ahead on some homework.  I really hate being out sick but I know if I try to work through it, and it is more than just a food issue, I will only be worse off in the end.

For now..real quick week in review:

  • Two runs: both were in the 11/min pace and felt great.  In both cases I was stuck on the treadmill, once because of the early darkness and once because of pouring rain.  I never run as well on the treadmill as I do outside, but these runs were both successful.  With Philly around the corner, I am really trying to make every single run count!
  • Spin class Tuesday was SO HARD to get up for…the Phillies had played the night before and I didn’t go to bed until @2am.  The wake up call for spin is 4:30 so as you can imagine it was a tough morning.  But no matter how tired I am, I always feel better after a good hard workout.
  • So as you can tell from my previous post– I am STOKED about my Phillies making it to the World Series.  As I write this I am watching the Yankees/Angels; I am pulling for the Angels but I have to say it would be WAY sweeter to beat the Yankees.  Sorry to any Yankees fans but I hope you GO DOWN HARD.  And to my fellow Philadelphia fans- LETS GO PHILLIES!!!
  • I am debating at 10k for next Sunday.  Rutgers is one of the major sponsors and it goes over the bridge to Philly and back…it is a really good race from what my friends tell me…I just feel a little burned out from racing and think I should stick to my solo training.  I am very indecisive when it comes to this kind of stuff, so I am sure I will debating it all the way until Saturday night!

Okay kids, that is all I have for tonight…lame, I know!  Hopefully my stomach and I will be getting along much better come tomorrow morning.

TiaRT- Why Run?

This weeks question comes from MCM Mama and she asks:   We’ve all discussed why we run, but why do you RACE and how do you choose which races to run?  Do you look for certain distances, swag, location, start time, or something else?  Tell me how you decide where and when to race.

Why I Race: After some not so stellar races last year, I really began to question why I race.  I am clearly no Chrissie Wellington or Kara Goucher and this will never be my full time job, but for me…racing is doing something bigger than myself.  Each time I race, especially at the big ones (Philly, Baltimore, CGI…etc) I think about how amazing it is that so many people are together at the same time doing something so awesome.  I race to feel accomplished and I race to be a part of something I believe in which is the healthy and active lifestyle.  I may come in at the back of the pack, I may never break a 9/minute mile and I can assure you I will never get to Kona…but somewhere out there, someone is inspired by me.  And that keeps me racing.

How I Choose My Races:  A variety of factors go into why I choose the races I participate in.

  • Location:  I choose the majority of my races by where they are located.  For the most part, I pick races that are within driving distance and that do not require a hotel stay.  When choosing races outside of those parameters I focus on places I would like to visit so that I can make it a mini-vacation. 
  • Race Directors: This is vital when picking triathlon races.  The triathlon race directors can make or break a race, therefore I do research the races and take feedback from other atheletes seriously.  For example, I will always race with CGI but you will never find me at a Danskin race.
  • Swag: I will admit it, I am a swag whore. I love it.  I have a collection of shirts, hats and gear that are all mine for simply going out and doing something I love. That is a win in and of itself.
  • The people: With the exception of Baltimore which I chose and ran without any friends, all of my races have in some way been chosen through discussions with others who are doing the same race.  Being on a team means that most of the time we race the same races, and I really love seeing my teammates on the course, so I will pick them at times based on who else is racing.  Likewise, my friends who are not on my team who also run are good motivators for race choices.  In 2010, three of my races are road trips with friends which makes racing that much more fun!
  • Charity: I want to know that my money is going somewhere.  Sure, I have picked races before that donate to charities I normally would not on my own, but I do look for races that directly support charities I believe in and would donate to regardless. 
  • The Calendar: I work full time and go to school so my schedule is pretty jam packed.  I race most from May-Sept when school is out of session and in the months when school is in session I try to plan around exam weeks and etc.  I focus more on running in the Spring and Fall while the Summer is more focused on Triathlon.  I do like to plan my races in advance, especially the 1/2marathons and triathlons, but I will pepper in smaller races as they pop up just for fun. 

MCM Mama also asked for race suggestions because she is looking to run in all 50 states (AWESOME) so I would like to personally suggest the Broad Street 10 mile run in Philadelphia or my most recent race, Baltimore.  To date, those are my favorite running races 🙂

 

The End Is Near…

Can you believe there are only 10 weeks left in 2009?  72 days to be exact.  That’s right kids…the winter holiday of your religious choice is right around the corner!  I know, I know, it isn’t even Halloween yet and I am talking about 2010 (have you seen the stores….christmas trees already…really?!?!?) but the truth is, it is going to be here before we know it! 

In just over a month, my race season will officially be over.  Even though I started this journey and raced in 2008, I didn’t really feel like I had a “season” so to speak.  This year, I really feel like I was all immersed in my training and took on a full season of racing.  In 2008, I participated in 8 total races- one triathlon, two 8k’s, a 10k and four 5k’s.  By the end of 2009 I will have participated in twelve races- 2 triathlons, 1 duathlon, 4 half marathons, 1 ten-miler, 1 8k and 3 5k’s!  I don’t in any way want to downplay 2008 because it was where it all began and I am as proud of those accomplishments as any, it is just that this year was a little more personal.  I started this blog, trained on a schedule, raced new distances and most importantly, I feel like in 2009 I really changed for the better where my health and lifestyle are concerned.

In an effort to celebrate this hell of a year being almost over, I want to continue to focus on 2009 reflections and my goals and plans for 2010.  So from here on out for the next 10 weeks, one post a week will be similar to this- dedicated soley to looking back and/or moving forward.  I haven’t decided if I will do this on a designated day of the week yet and as clever as I am (and humble too!) I haven’t been able to think of a catchy name either.  Ideas???

Second…AND…Last!

Yesterday I ran the Delanco 5k.  Delanco is my hometown; very small, one stop light, one 7-11, no high school and all of approximately 3,500 people total kind of town.  It is a beautiful town and it was a wonderful place to grow up.

As for the report…it is as small as the race:

The race usually pulls in around 75-100 people and is still chipped the old fashion way, so needless to say, it is a really small no-frills race.  Add in pouring rain and freezing cold temps and small becomes much smaller.  The official results aren’t posted yet but my guess is there were no more than 40 runners yesterday.

I debated back and forth between going through with running; it was so very cold and I was soaked before it even started!  But this is me we are talking about and I don’t just give up.  So there I was at the start line, half numb  to begin with and off we went!  I ran the race in a hoodie (I was too freezing cold to take it off) which was a first for me and by the first 500 yards my shoes were full of water from all the unavoidable puddles.  The race is along the river and the wind off the water was brutal.  Thank goodness I had the hoodie which I could put over my face.  I won’t lie, it was a tough 3.1 miles.

My watch had me come in at 31:47.  Not a sub-30, but it was a course PR!  I don’t know where I landed overall but it was good enough for a 2nd place AG award.

And now that you read that and got all excited for me, I will come clean…

I did win 2nd place AG…but…there were only two people IN my age group!!!

So basically I could have walked the whole course and STILL been 2nd!  I will admit I was a little embarrassed at first and felt kind of lame, but then I took on the attitude that a win is a win is a win is a win!  And I walked away with a bottle of red wine, a $20 gift certificate to dicks and a silver medal….so I’ll take it!

So that my friends is how you get to be second…AND…last!

delancoAt my parents house…before the race and before the hoodie!

delanco2In the middle (gray hoodie) behind the hardcore dude in shorts!

delanco3Here I come, completely soaked and frozen cold!

delanco4With my Dad…proud of me no matter how many people are in my AG!!!

Hope all of you survived your respective races- heard it was cold in Denver this morning!!!!