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BOO! It’s (Halloween) Runner Swag Swap time!

22 Sep

Do you like fun, new running gear? Oh, who am I kidding…of course you do! What runner doesn’t like fun, new running gear!?

Several posts back, I mentioned how I had participated in @JerryMAllison’s Runner Swag Swap! (To see her original post about it, click here). Here is the skinny…everyone that participates will be given the name and address of their swap partner. Each person then has one month to prepare a box of goodies and send it off to their partner. And that is pretty much it! Simple, yes?

Runner Swag Swap

Runner Swag Swap

When I saw that she posted this earlier this year, I immediately jumped at the chance to participate. I love surprising other people and I was really excited to get a mystery package in return! You can see what I received from my Running Swag Swap partner, Mark, by clicking here.

After the swap was over, Jerry and I exchanged a couple of e-mails and I agreed to host the next one. Here are the details of how the swap works…

If you are interested, drop me an e-mail. The subject line should automatically fill in with the words, “Runner Swag Swap”.

In the body of the e-mail, include your name and address. Also include information regarding any allergies you may have. This is important if your swap partner is interested in sending you food items, gels, etc. You are also welcome to include other information that you would like your swap partner to have, such as Twitter handle, e-mail address, blog address, etc.

E-mails will be accepted through September 30, 2012. I will then pair you up and send you an e-mail with your swap partner’s information.

You are then charged with creating a package of your favorite running items for your partner! The price cap for each package is $30. And to step up the level of creativity, we are asking that each swap package contain one Halloween-related item!

The Running Swag Swap is really fun and I hope that you want to be included! Not only will you get a fun surprise in the mail, but who knows, you might just end up making a long-distance running buddy!


Making Magic Happen

4 May

I feel a little guilty that I haven’t posted in a whole week. Trust me, life has been moving at the speed of light for us and we are literally doing all we can to just hold on for the ride! Don’t get me wrong, we are on the verge of making some magic happen in our lives…the details of which I will happily share…as soon as I have them and I get the green light from the hubs to put it out in the Twitterverse and blogosphere!

I’ve got to scoot…more conference calls and Skype meetings this afternoon! Thank heavens for the world wide interwebs! Again, I promise to write more soon! Stay tuned!

P.S. – Oh, and that bike race last Friday night? I got 2nd place in the Women’s Fat Tire division! WOOT!


This runner’s gotta sleep.

20 Mar

*yawnstretchyawn* Slrrrrrrp the caffeine. Repeat.

That’s me these days. The zombie runner. And I don’t mean “zombie runner” in the cool, dress-up for Halloween 5k kind of way. I mean, I literally feel like the death-warmed-over kind of zombie runner. I look in the mirror and I do not see the same energetic, pep-in-her-step-filled runner that used to be there. I cannot lose faith though. She is in there…somewhere. And maybe if I can catch just a few more zzzzz’s, I can find her.

Getting enough sleep was never something I really thought about before. After work, I could quickly change my clothes (faster and stealthier than Superman does in a phone booth, no doubt!), head straight to the gym or running group, work out until I nearly dropped, eat dinner, shower, and then slide into bed. Tired mind, tired muscles, restful sleep. It was a no-brainer.

These days, notsomuch.

I am operating in this vicious cycle where lack of sleep (or not enough quality sleep) produces tired mornings. I slam back the coffee in order to just get moving (I used to be totally anti-caffeine), but then I crash. I then work all day and by the time I get through my hour and a half commute, I seriously have to FORCE myself to run or workout. Running groups and running clubs that I used to be a part of and find so much joy in seem so far away from me now. I used to anxiously watch the clock tick-tock the hours away so that I could get to my evening runs. I hate that I now have to talk myself into them. I know all of this is temporary, but…

But sleep and rest are NECESSARY. I just cannot function being half-alive. I need quality sleep.

But here is the “chicken and egg” conundrum….one of the largest benefits of running is improved sleep! One running study conducted in Australia found that runners seemed to have great sleep efficiency, meaning that compared to the total amount of time spend in bed, more runner were actually spending that time asleep.

“If you’re an athlete, there may be one simple way to improve your performance: sleep. A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina. The results of this study reflect previous findings seen in tennis players and swimmers.” ~ The Huffington Post

So what do I do in the meantime? I’ll tell you what I’m going to do…I am going to keep pushing forward. I will keep slogging through my sloppy, poor-form runs until I feel that I can do better. If my 110% is 10 minutes on the treadmill, then I will be the 10 Minute Champion. I know that if I keep pushing through, eventually I will come out on the other side. Granted, Baby Key might be 10 years old when that time finally comes, but at least I won’t have to sit on the sidelines until that day.

This is what I feel like before I even get started.

But since it is almost noon…can I grab a lunchtime nap under my desk? I could make George Costanza really proud right about now.

How do YOU fight the fatigue? Is it a mental hurdle you have to leap or is it truly a physical one?

All The Things I Am Not

27 Feb

A few weeks ago, my sweet friend, Heather, told me about this really stupid website that said hateful things about her and her blog. (And, no, I will not link to it as I do not want to give this site any credit or additional hits.) The things she told me that were written about her were insanely high-school and attacked her on a pretty personal level. The claims were nothing short of ignorant and elementary.

Out of sheer curiosity, however, I made my way over to this site today…you know, just to see what’s up. I really shouldn’t have done this.

In there forums, I saw lists of Mommy Blogs, Healthy Living Blogs, and yes, even Running Blogs…all hog-tied up and ready for the bashing. People sit around and say what they really think about many of the “big bloggers”. At first I got a little frustrated, as there was a thread dedicated to almost every single one of my favorite reads. Upon reading some of the threads about some of my favorite blogs, I started getting this whole “cool older Senior” picking on the “nerdy new Freshman” vibe…you know, when people pick on someone else just to make themselves feel better. But then I realized, as with most negative situations, there is always at least one kernel of information to learn.

I am sure you are thinking that my “kernel of information” is something noble like how we should all rise above, be kind to each other, and not put hateful statements like that out in the universe. While I do wholeheartedly believe we should all just be kind to each other and rise above, that, my friends, is not the real world. Forgive me for not sounding like my usual Suzy Sunshine self, but what I actually learned was…

…the importance of the pre-emptive strike.

So, for the negativity I have heard here and there about katieRUNSthis (because, c’mon, everyone has some haters), this is for you…

Things I Am Not and What You Won’t See on katieRUNSthis.

I am not a dietician. When I give advice on healthy foods or foods that might be good for runners, it is all about my personal experience and how it fueled me as someone who exercises.

I do not actually run 24/7. And you know what else? There are even some weeks where I only run ONCE. You hear that?? ONCE! Does it make me less of a runner? Heck no. And if you say it does, you can bite me.

I am not the fastest runner. In fact, among my friends, I am actually one of the slowest. Was it always that way? No. But right now, I am finding running after a C-section to be one of the most difficult things my body has ever experienced. For the life of me, I am having the hardest time ever figuring out how to get my core-strength back while dealing with the seriously wacky numbness that still surrounds my incision and all the guts below it. I will keep at it because I will always be chasing my pre-baby PR’s, but for now, I am slow. Whatev.

I am not this raging hard-body who is back to a Size 2 only two weeks post-partum. In fact, I have never been a Size 2. I was once a Size 4, but only for about a month before I found out I was pregnant…and then every calorie consumed seemed to find my backside. Oh, and that Size 4? It took an INSANE amount of training and calorie-counting to maintain. You know why you don’t see any super flat post-partum belly pics on katieRUNSthis? Because there aren’t any. I am still fighting the flub and wiggly belly that most women experience after giving birth. Genetics are certainly not on my side and I have to work at my pre-baby body every single day.

You won’t see me posting stats about every workout, every training session, or every race I run. This is not me trying to hide anything. I just feel like blogs where all you see are numbers for weekly mileage and mile splits are boring…and a dime a dozen. And sometimes I run a race and don’t actually “race” it. And if I do that, I don’t need someone reminding me that I ran slower than they think I should have. In fact, there are even some races that I start never intending to beat my PR. (GASP!) Yes, sometimes I do, in fact, just run for fun.

Sometimes, I eat fast food. Look, I know it is really important to get the right amount of calories, eat 5-6 small meals a day, drink lots of water, yadda, yadda, yadda. I know all about how terrible high fructose corn syrup and how it will probably give me cancer. But sometimes, life gets in the way and I get busy. And when I am driving to and fro and I am hungry, sometimes I stop and eat Chick-Fil-A. There I said it. And just sometimes I get a McFlurry from McDonald’s just because I want one.

Look, I try to keep things here at authentic and organic as possible. That is why when I am feeling extremely inspired, you will see a post here every single day for weeks on end. When I need a break or when life…you know, becomes LIFE, and I get busy, I might post only once or twice a week. I try my best to start everyday with a good attitude and an infectious smile…

…but some days…

I look in the mirror and drop the F bomb. For real. In fact, I wish someone would video me doing that. In hindsight, it has got to be pretty funny.

In brief, here is what I am and here is what you will always find at katieRUNSthis:
I am extremely passionate about running and everything that goes along with it. Running has “fixed” so much of what I thought was wrong about me. I find special joy in talking with and getting to know new runners and helping them find encouragement along the way. I am really good at being a race director and I enjoy putting on running events. I have directed several races over the last several years, have served on several race committees, and I love providing an exceptional race experience to everyone running one of my races. I get ridiculously inspired by runners who are faster than me, and I made secret promises to myself that one day I will run just as fast as them. I will always try my best to relate my experiences with running and training in the most real and honest way.

So, that’s what you get. The good and the bad. Take it or leave it. And if you don’t like my blog, you just don’t have to read it. It is pretty much that simple.

How do you address negative ju-ju?

Pardon my absence!

24 Feb

Hellooooooo party people!

Guess what!?

Contrary to what you might believe, I have not, in fact, forgotten to post new stuff.

Since the Rouge-Orleans ultra relay, I have been taking a little bit of time off to re-evaluate what my goals are for this year. At the beginning of the year, I think I was a bit naïve about all the things I could accomplish with a newborn. It is definitely time to step back, refocus, and form some new, realistic, and attainable goals.

I have also been crazy busy with life, in general, and new running opportunities that have been coming my way. As with most good things, you have to strike while the iron is hot so that is what I have been trying to do. I am hoping to share more details about all this stuff soon, but for now I have to keep the goods on the DL. You understand, I am sure.

Today I am continuing to play catch-up and return e-mails that have been flooding my inbox. I am also working on a couple of new fun features for the site that I hope to have done before the end of the weekend.

I plan to get back to regular blogging on Monday! I wish all of you well in your races this weekend! I will be out at the Amedisys Mardi Gras Mambo 10k tomorrow. Here is a pic of the tech tee and race bib! I *super love* that the bib is 100% recyclable!

I'm a sucker for colored bibs.

And with that, I bid you adieu…just for today. If you are not already, you can always catch me on Twitter to keep up with all the minutia (read = hilarity) that I deal with all day.

Champagne wishes and caviar dreams,

Race Recap: 2012 Rouge-Orleans 126.2 Ultramarathon Relay

16 Feb

This past Saturday morning at 4:30AM, I woke up to the sound of Baby Key crying. Normally, this would be a non-issue in my house, as that is his normal waking time, but this day was different. My alarm was not scheduled to go off until 5:15AM and Saturday, of all days, was a day that I would need every single second of extra sleep.

My team, Girls On The Geaux, was preparing to set out on a 24-hour ultramarathon relay adventure called the Rouge-Orleans! Our wave started at 8:00AM, but we had everyone picked up and at the start of the race by 7:00AM. Team captains had to be there an hour early in order to have our safety gear (headlamps, flashlights, safety vests, etc.) checked by the race director. After we got all checked in, we spent the next hour decorating our van. On Saturday morning, the temperature was about 40 degrees and there was pretty heavy wind. Oh, if we had only known what was to come!

Meet our van, Rapunzel.

Check out our sheVANigans at...#GirlsOnTheGeaux!

Me, Kristyn, Lindsey, Jenn, Erin, and Heather

Leg 1 of the 8:00AM wave got started promptly with a firing of the canon from the USS Kidd. The race website had mentioned this, but somehow I had forgotten. When it went off, I swear I almost peed my pants. Good thing I didn’t though…that would have been a looooooong day in pee-pants. 😀

Our 6-person relay team went like this…Kristyn –> Erin –> Heather –> Lindsey –> Katie –> Jenn. God bless my sweet friend Jenn for being the anchor leg. Seriously, that was some tough mileage.

Legs 1 – 6 (Mileage: 27.45 miles)
Time: 8:00AM Saturday – 1:12PM Saturday

As expected, this was the happiest round for us. As soon as the race got started, the fun began. The sun was out and it was shaping up to be a gorgeous day! Though still cold and windy, the weather was tolerable because there was not a cloud in the sky and we were running on the scenic Mississippi River Levee. At this point, all of us were still bouncing off the walls and excited to be there! At each exchange, we chatted with other runners, crews, and teams…discussing training, strategy, and, of course, food.

Doing what we do!

Highlights of Round 1: Our van got gnomed by Team Rolling with My Gnomies! They gave us the cutest antenna topper ever! We started tracking all of the other teams on Twitter by using the #RO12 hashtag! Watching their progress was really fun and a great interactive way to stay connected to other teams.

Lindsey coming in for the hand-off!

Best hand-off face EVER, Jenn!

We got GNOMED!

Legs 7 – 12 (Mileage: 27.50 miles)
Time: 1:12PM Saturday – 6:19PM Saturday

As we moved into the second half of the day, we were still having a ball! Once we figured out how much time we really needed at each exchange, we fell into a comfortable groove of getting to the next exchange, tagging our runner, and refueling with our Nuun and sandwiches. The temperatures crept up in the early part of the afternoon, and at one point we were even able to peel off some layers! After my leg of this round was done, I distinctly remember saying, “Man, I got hot out there.” (That would be the last time I would say that.) In this round, Erin had her longest run at 7.3 miles. On this leg, she passed the Carville Leper Colony…which was the site of the only hospital that treated leprosy in the United States. CRA-ZAY! She also passed a creepy cemetery and I am disappointed to report that she saw no ghosts. Bummer! Add to that the fact that on this leg the road diverts far away from the levee so we couldn’t even watch her run. Oh, and add to THAT the fact that she got chased by dogs about 0.6 miles into her leg, causing her to tire much too early in her run. Pushing the tiredness and overall creepiness of this leg aside, Erin finished like a champ! On Jenn’s run, the last leg of this round, the sun started going down and we had to break out the safety gear! C’mon, who doesn’t love a headlamp! We all posted good times on Round 2 and going into Round 3, we were about 30 minutes ahead of our anticipated pace.

Highlights of Round 2: We got to meet the awesome crew for Meredith Dolhare. Seriously, if you have a chance, check out her website and how badass she is! Also on these legs, we encountered lots of wildlife on the levee. Heather was fully prepared to handle any livestock she encountered by making sure she ran with her 1 million volt Tazer. No really, she did. That girl wasn’t messin’ around! At one of the exchanges, we got to meet the super fly girls from Team Hippie and A Ginger! Very cool girls! Oh, and Kristyn ran her fastest 2 miles ever!!

Waiting to see Kristyn!

A gorgeous afternoon!

"Imma Taze me a cow!" ~ Heather

Finishing up Leg 2! Sun starting to set!

Runners on the levee at sunset!

Jenn ready to take it from day to night!

Legs 13 – 18 (Mileage: 24.86 miles)
Time: 6:19PM Saturday – 11:55PM Saturday

Well, this is where all the fun stuff sort of ends. *sigh* It was on round 3 that things went from good to bad. As nightfall settled in, the temperatures quickly dropped from the 40’s down into the low 20’s. Considering the 20mph winds up on the levee, the “real feel” temperature was in the upper teens. In all honesty, it was awful. I mean, really, really terrible. Let’s put it this way, since I moved back to Louisiana in December 2010, this was the coldest overnight low it had been since then. IT. WAS. PAINFULLY. FRIGID. Once the sun went down, our plan was to run and then when your leg was done, you hop on the bike and pace the next runner. During daylight hours, running on the levee is quiet and relaxing. At night, when you can’t see anyone in front of your or behind you, the dark can be extremely disorienting…making every tenth of a mile feel like half a mile. We planned to have someone on the bike to assist the runner to help keep the runner motivated and moving along. This was a really, really bad idea. Going from running to riding really did a number on our legs. While running, we were able to keep our bodies warm. However, getting on the bike allowed the cold to sink deep into our bodies. Riding at the runner’s pace was not fast enough to keep the rider warm. By the time each of us got back in the van from our running leg, we were exhausted. It took each of us about an hour and a half to warm back up…which meant that right as we were warming up, it was almost time to get back out there again. These Louisiana and Mississippi girls were NOT built to handle these temperatures. Give me 100 degree weather with 90% humidity over cold and windy any day!

Really not a good look.

On a personal note, this is the leg where my cold-weather asthma really took a toll on me. Sadly, I forgot my inhaler. I wheezed and coughed the entire leg. When it was my turn to hand off to Jenn, I had an extremely hard time getting going on the bike. The helmet was too small and the bike seat was too high. My fingers were numb up to the second knuckle so adjusting both proved to be nearly impossible. I ran down the levee to the van and begged my teammates to loosen the helmet and help me lower the seat. Of course, my girls were there for me. However, by the time I finally got going on the van, Jenn had already started running and was well into her leg. I had to pedal overtime in order to catch up with her. By the time I got to her, I realized that hypothermia/asthma attack was taking over. When I caught up to her I wanted to ask her how many more miles she had to go before we could get back to the van. In my head, this questions was coming out of my mouth. In reality, I couldn’t the lower half of my face. My lips were literally freezing and my tongue felt thick and solid. The only words I could really get out were “mileage” and “I need help.” When Jenn saw what bad shape I was in, we stopped. I got off the bike and pushed my face into my shoulder, desperately trying to breath warmer, humid air. Jenn, seeing how bad off I was, said she would call the van to come and get me. I refused to leave my friend out there, on the levee, in the middle of the night. Thankfully, we were only about a 1.5 miles to the end of the leg. The whole situation was so scary and I have never felt anything like that before. I was seriously happy to see the van at the next exchange.

Lowlights of Round 3: Cold temperatures + Fatigue = VERY quiet Girls On The Geaux van. We tried our best to stay positive despite the cold, but quite frankly, there were A LOT of curse words thrown around the van during these miles. The question, “Wait, WHY did we want to do this again?” was said A LOT. Unfortunately, all the good pacing we had earlier in the day caught up to us. The nighttime cold meant we moved slower and breathed harder. It was rough.

Cold. Quiet. Dark. Still.

Legs 19 – 24 (Mileage: 22.37 miles)
Time: 11:55PM Saturday – 5:30AM Sunday

Round 4 was DIRTY. Team Girls On The Geaux was cold and tired and we fought for every single mile. The van stayed pretty quiet during these hours in hopes of giving some of us a chance to catch at least a few winks.
Lowlights of Round 4: Unable to find the port-a-potties in the dark, several members of the team may or may not have bare-butted it and peed right on the side of the levee. Just sayin’. Around 3:30AM, we had to make an executive decision. The cold was really doing a number on us and we felt that it was almost dangerous for us to be out there. We were having such a hard time warming up and knew that we needed a break. Although it was our goal to finish in 25 hours, we made the decision to stop and rest for an hour. We had to. It was either rest and let everyone warm up, or risk not finishing at all. We had come to far not to cross that finish line, so rest we did. I wish we would not have had to but it was the smart thing for us to do.

Legs 25 – 30 (Mileage: 24.19 miles)
Time: 5:30AM Sunday – 10:55AM Sunday

Round 5 brought better spirits to the van! As the sun came up, we all perked up a little, but it would be the understatement of the century to just say that we were ready to be done. We were all so close to the finish line and we were fighting tooth and nail to get there. This round brought lots of tears and a lot of walking. I am so proud of each of my teammates for getting back out there and fighting through to the end. Jenn’s IT band started to act up but she pushed through her entire last leg. The race ended in Audobon Park and as soon as we saw that big, blue inflatable finish line, we knew victory was ours.


I have LOTS of advice about what worked for our team, what did not work for our team, what we brought and did not need, items we wished we had, etc. That is an entire post in itself. I will get to all that this weekend, so be on the lookout!

Again, a massive huge epic THANK YOU to all of our sponsors. Without you, we would not have gotten this far.

To 110% Play Harder,
After Round 3 of running, there is nothing that felt better than pulling on my perfectly snug calf sleeves. Not only did they provide an extra layer of warmth while out on my run, but they also helped keep my calves feeling fresh and energized. I’m proud to say that after the event, I did not experience one iota of calf soreness! SUCCESS!

To Brooks Running,
The Cascadia 7s were the most perfect shoe for running this terrain. Normally I wear a more minimal shoe, but on the rocks and uneven levee, the Cascadias provided the ideal amount of support and cushion. The Cascadias are an amazing shoe!
(insert pic)

To GO Sport ID,
Thank you for keeping us safe. I had no idea how scary it would be up on that levee, out in the middle of nowhere, all alone. Our ID bands gave us the peace of mind to know that should anything happen to us, that our loved ones would be able to notified quickly.

To Nuun,
Thank you for keeping Team Girls On The Geaux hydrated. With the freezing temperatures, it was often hard to convince ourselves to keep hydrating but the tasty fizziness of Nuun made drinking freezing cold water much more palatable. By the end of the race, several teams were calling us the Nuun Girls!

To Running Skirts,
Thank you for the awesome purple plaid running skirts! When undertaking an adventure such as this, it is always easier when you are doing it in STYLE! We tried our best to put a running skirt on our van, which we appropriately named Rapunzel! The running skirt was super comfortable and the fabric, design, and fit are excellent. Thank you!

To Drink Chia!,
Thank you for the awesome chia drinks! After a couple of the legs, I was not really interested in eating heavy food, but the chia drinks helped give me much-needed calories and nutrition without making me feel too weighed down. The texture took a little getting used to, but the drinks were delicious!

To Barber & Mann, 1st Choice Real Estate, and Good Shepherd Christian Academy,
Thank you so much for your financial support of Team Girls On The Geaux. With your contributions, Team Girls On The Geaux was able to contribute $550 to the Girls On The Run of Greater Baton Rouge. GOTR provides incredible programs to the girls in our communities and we appreciate you helping us help them!

Thank you so much for all of the bars! The Old School PB&J is the best and was super tasty around 2:30AM! We were able to share with some of the runners in other vans and every said how delicious they were! Thank you for keeping our tummies full and our bodies fueled!

To Icelandic Glacial,
Thank you for all the water!! Runners could not do what we do without water and Icelandic Glacial tastes awesome! After leg 10, my teammate Lindsey took a swig and looked at me and said, “Man, this is REALLY good water!” It made me smile!

To Enterprise,
Thank you for the GIGANTIC Econoline van! It was massive and FANTASTIC! Even though we overpacked big time, we still had plenty enough room for all of us, our food, water, and medical gear. We even had enough room left on the seats to stretch out our legs and nap a little between legs. And, surprisingly, it was really great on gas too! Way better than I expected!

To Giraphic Prints,
Thank you for the most awesome team tech shirts! Having matching shirts made us feel like a real team and we were so proud to be able to display all of our sponsors on it! You did a great job!!

To my fellow Girls On The Geaux,
Thank you for this incredible experience. We laughed, we cried, we danced, and we ran. Boy, oh boy, did we run! We shared stories, we helped each other, we got aggravated with each other, and we hugged. I could not have imagined tackling this adventure with a better group of girls. We only barely knew each other when this trip began, but I feel like we are running buddies for life! Who knows what fun things might bring Team Girls On The Geaux later this year and into 2013!! Keep on running, ladies!

Photo Credits: Erin Parker Skinner, Krisytn Gunter, Heather Montgomery, Jenn Macha-Hebert, Lindsey deBlieux, and Evin Beck.

Making Sacrifices

9 Dec

Today my kiddo is one month old! The last month have brought me some of the best and close to some of the worst days of my life. I know that sounds awful to say with a newborn, but it is honest. I love my son, but like all newborns, he has his moments (you know, like when he howls in the middle of the night while getting his diaper changed). The first two weeks were hard…REALLY hard. In all the classes we took, the one thing that instructors and veteran moms stressed to us about being difficult was breastfeeding. We were prepared for that. I had read about the “baby blues,” but no one had warned me about how miserable they could be…especially when compounded with exhaustion and a sore body. The first two weeks are quite literally “sacrificial.” I had to give up all of me and everything I needed to take care of this awesome little person…who I knew could do nothing for himself.

Daddy and Owen

After the two week mark, things really started to perk up. I thought everyone was lying to me when they said that this would be the turning point, but it really was. I mean, it is not like he had done anything dramatic like start sleeping through the night or anything, but we are now familiar with his different cries, we have some slight routine, and, as parents, we are starting to feel more confident. This is a good thing! PROGRESS!

Back in September I was contacted about attending this awesome trade show in Austin, TX called The Running Event. I. WAS. AMPED. Hundreds of running retailers…all under one roof…showcasing all their products and new technology for 2012! Yes, please! I thanked my contact and quickly started planning my trip! The Key Family was ready to Keep It Weird in the ATX!

The Running Event started this Wednesday. You know where I am NOT this week? Obviously, I am not at The Running Event. I had my heart set on going and it is just not going to happen. Having a newborn requires SO much more time, energy, attention, etc. (not that I ever thought it was going to be easy, but I certainly did not think it would be like this) and I just can not do it all. No, Blogosphere, I am not Super Mom. (Gasp! Alas, it is true!) With all the cold, rainy weather and with flu season well on it’s way, I just could not take the risk of getting Baby Key out like that. I am sure this is just the first of many sacrifices I will make for my kiddo. While I am disappointed that I cannot go, there is always next year, I suppose. There is always another trade show, another race, another expo. It was just really fun to have been invited, but I will have to take them up on the invitation in 2012!

Making sacrifices is a funny thing. Once upon a time, I gave up important things for running, training, or for making it to a particular race. There were late night parties I did not go to, new clothes I passed on because I wanted new running shoes more, and dinners we did not eat out at restaurants so we could save money for race fees. Now running is taking a back seat to all things involved with Baby Key. That’s right, there’s a new sheriff in town. While it is a “sacrifice” I am happy to make, it is a sacrifice nonetheless.

For the longest time, I was Katie, the runner. Now I’m Katie, the mama…who also runs.

And you know what? It is kind of nice for a change. At first it was a little hard to adjust to my new identity, but its definitely growing on me.

Stealing Moments

29 Nov

Well! Hello there!

I know, I know! It has been AGES since I have been able to update my blog! I have missed it tremendously and I have had lots of good blogging ideas in the last few weeks (don’t worry, I’ve been writing them all down) but I just have not had the time to get to the computer and get them down.

Baby Key, my husband and I are still trying to fall into some sort of routine. At 3 weeks old tomorrow, my little man is finally starting to take naps where he does not have to be held. This gives me moments here and there where I have the use of both hands. Everyday is getting better and I’m getting a bit more time each day, but for now, I have to try and “steal moments” for doing things like washing bottles, making phone calls, keeping the laundry going, eating, and…well, everything else…including blogging.

I promise I’ll be back on a regular blogging schedule soon. Just bear with me! As each day passes, we get closer and closer to a routine…whatever that is. 🙂

One more week until I am allowed to start back with light/moderate exercise. My mind and heart are ready, but my body definitely needs a little more time to heal. For once, I am willing to listen to it and take the time I need. However, I have lots of fun gear to try out and review for you all when I get back to it! I am excited!

Wishing you all the warmest holiday season! I’ll have more to say soon…PROMISE! 🙂

What it means to love a runner…

2 Nov

I never thought that wanting to run throughout my pregnancy would make me “crazy.”  Okay, while I do not consider myself crazy, there are a lot of people in this world that think running up until you are 37 weeks pregnant (or running AT ALL while pregnant) is completely insane.  But do you know who has stuck by my side the whole way, supporting me, always reminding me that what I was doing has healthy for me and our child?  My husband, who, in every sense of the words, is my other half.

Loving a runner is not always easy.  Sometimes (okay, A LOT of times) we are crazy people.  To some who are “outside the circle,” some of the things we do are downright off the wall and absurd.  Loving a runner requires patience and the ability to laugh it off when your partner says, “Look, I know it is 11PM.  But I have miles to get in! I’m on a training program!”  Loving a runner means understanding that sometimes a “meal” is completely made up of scoops of peanut butter, a handful of Swedish Fish, and a Gu Energy gel.

Loving a runner means putting up with stupid amounts of money spent on running shoes and race entry fees.  Even after all these years, I am still not sure if my husband really relates to this one.  Loving a runner means being patient when we curse, scream, and fight when our muscles ache, when we have a bad run, or when we feel our bodies have disappointed us.  Loving a runner sometimes means being the gear bag toter, cowbell ringer, support sign holder, amateur sports photographer, pom-pom waver, and personal cheerleader…all at the same time.  Loving a runner often means leaving a Friday night party at an hour that even your mother would be ashamed of…all because of an early Saturday morning race.

Loving a runner means learning to embrace (okay, at least tolerate) sweaty hugs.  It means finding words of encouragement to keep your significant other going, even when you are questioning their sanity.  I mean, really…should any sane person be waking up at 5AM…on a Saturday…when its 25 degrees outside…for a long run?  Loving a runner means being understanding and accommodating when your spouse wants to fit in a marathon, half marathon, or other race on a family vacation.  Loving a runner means taking all of his or her quirks in stride, every pun intended.

But the good thing is, loving a runner is not all give and no take.

Loving a runner means loving someone who knows what it means to be fiercely dedicated to something they love.  Runners have vision; loving one means loving someone who knows what it is to sacrifice something important for the bigger plan.  Runners are strong and resilient; we do not bend and break easily and we know what it is to work hard for something we want badly enough.  Runners have an insane amount of trust and loyalty.  Everyday we train, we have to trust our bodies, our coaches, and our running buddies.  Loving a runner means loving a person who knows the importance of supporting and encouraging others.  We promise that if you do this for us, we will return the favor.

Loving a runner is not always the easiest job on the planet, but I assure you, its rewarding.

Why do you love YOUR runner?  If YOU are the runner, what kind of crazy things does your spouse have to put up with from YOU?

Gifts for Runners, Part I

1 Nov

Do you hear that? No? Well, around this house, it is the sound of holiday music! Yes, yes…I know it is ONLY November 1st, but I just cannot help but getting excited about the holidays! Each year, I try to put a lot of thought into the gifts that I purchase for my family and friends. For runners, there are SO many cool and novel products on the market and I would like to share some of the things I have seen that I think would make awesome gifts! Each week I will try and feature 5 of my favorite or coolest products I have found. Some of them will be products that I personally have or have tried, while others may be things I have seen that I love and are also on my Wish List!

So, without further ado…let’s get started!

1.   Race Medal Display:   Allied Medal Display
Price: Varies
I have searched high and low for a quality medal display and I wholeheartedly think that the selection at Allied Medal Display is the best! I actually first saw them over at Endurance Isn’t Only Physical and I fell in love with them! Not only can you select one of their stock designs, but if you are so inclined, you can even order one custom-made with your text and/or design! Too cool! All of the displays are cut from brushed stainless steel so they are definitely sturdy enough to hold all of your race bling! I love my custom display, but of the stock displays, I think the “PR” one is pretty darn awesome!

2.   Race Jewelry:   Erica Sara Designs
Price: Varies
I originally found Erica Sara on Twitter and once I heard she made race jewelry, I knew I had to check it out. I was so impressed! Her designs are truly beautiful and she offers selections for women and men. For the ladies, the “Born To Do This” necklace is my favorite and for the gentlemen, the 26.2 Cufflinks are super swanky and would look fantastic for any holiday party! If you get some time, also check out her blog…its fun!

3.   Book:   The Accidental Athlete by John “The Penguin” Bingham
Price: $16.95 (from
An Accidental Athlete is the story of Bingham’s unlikely transformation from couch potato to adult-onset athlete. Inspiring, poignant, hilarious, and heartbreaking, An Accidental Athlete celebrates the unexpected joys of running – the pride of the finisher’s medal a bureau-busting t-shirt collection, intense back-of-the-pack strategizing. And one man’s revelation that middle age wasn’t the finish line at all, but only the beginning.” ~ Competitor Magazine, October 2011

4.   Gear:   Yurbuds
Price: $29.99 – $59.99
Yurbuds are sport headphones that feature a unique twist-and-lock technology. Their shape allows the earbud to fit farther down in the ear, providing better sound quality and securing the fit inside the ear. Bouncing around from running will not dislodge these babies! I first saw these back in the spring at a Rock and Roll Marathon expo and I was so impressed by them! While in the booth, I had the chance to speak with several people who owned them and they all said they had really great experiences while wearing them. Since I am a sweaty girl, one of my favorite features of these earbuds is that they are sweat and water resistant. You can even run in the rain with them!

5.   Therapy:   Foot Log
Price: $19.95
The Foot Log is specifically designed relax muscles and joints of the foot and to help massage the fluids back to the heart. This is an especially helpful product for runners. After a long run, the bottom of the foot needs to be stimulated at its reflex points in order to reduce pain. All you have to do is place the Foot Log on the floor and roll your foot back and forth across it, concentrating on the heels, the arches, and the toes. The Foot Log is small and convenient to pack, so you can take it with you when you travel or even use it at work!

Are you already getting in the holiday spirit? Have you already started thinking about holiday gifts? What are your favorite gifts and gadgets for runners?