Saturday, September 8, 2012

Turkey Trot 2012!!!!

The second official fundraiser for The Spina Bifida Association is now open! I am running the Marine Corps Marathon to support SBA and have a goal of $1250! To help raise this I am hosting a virtual Turkey Trot 5K or 10K!!!

How does this work??

1. Register through PayPal by clicking the button over to the right.......if you don't have a PayPal, please email me at for other instructions!

2. Sometime around Thanksgiving, November 22, 2012, you go out and cover the 5k or 10k distance. You can run, walk, crawl, cartwheel, skip, whatever you choose! Just get out and move!(We will be running ours on Thanksgiving morning to earn our dinner! :))

3. After November 22, 2012, you will receive your bling in the mail (look for a special medal design soon!)

4. Know that you've supported the Spina Bifidia Association because all proceeds from this race will go towards my fundraising goal!

It's that simple! But if you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to ask!

Thank you for your support, and please share with your friends!

PS: We are working on more giveaways for participants that will be posted soon!!!  

Preview of the medal!! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A10 Race Recap!!!

Sunday I ran the A10, or more like sloshed my way through the pouring rain!! The A10 is a ten mile race through downtown Annapolis, MD, that is put on by the Annapolis Striders. The Striders are the running group that I belong to and normally train with. A few weeks ago they sent out a call for volunteers for the race so I signed up to help Saturday at packet pick up. This was the first time I've volunteered at a packet pick up and I loved it! It was so great getting to talk to everyone before the race (and discuss our theories for the weather for the race!). Historically, the race is HOT and HUMID.

Two years ago my dad & I ran this race as our first "long" race. It took me 1:54:14. When I ran it I was so impressed with that time, but since then I have improved and knew it would not be a problem to beat this PR. It has been rainy all weekend and the latest forecast was calling for rain on race day, I glanced it over but didn't pay it much attention. (I should have!!)

I woke up around 3:30 AM to thunder and lightning lighting up the room. I never really fell back asleep and was extremely nervous for the drive up to Annapolis and for the run. Last year it was cancelled because of the hurricane and I was afraid of driving to the race and having it be cancelled again. Against my husbands suggestion I left to drive up in the monsoon.  (I was determined to get my finishers premium!)
 What thousands of runners did until it was go time....

Not to mention, I was supposed to run this race in my traveling skirt from Team Sparkle, but due to shipping difficulties it did not arrive in time. If you know me you know I already have a few, so I still wore one anyway and was determined to run it in!

It poured until about 15 minutes before the start of the race when the sun decided to show a sneak peak. I follow a meteorologist on facebook who is also a runner, extremely helpful, and he was warning against running, this only made me more nervous! (Photo's from his page,

 As soon as it was "go" time thunder and lightning rang out again and we were off running in the POURING rain. By the end of mile 1 all you could hear was the sloshing of everyones soaking wet shoes. I honestly thought for a second that I would be better off running barefoot!

At mile 1.5 my friends Shannon and KC were volunteering at the water station so it was nice to seem them along the route. The cups of water they were handing out were over filling with water from all of the rain! :)

By mile 2 it was hailing, or at least that's what me and hundreds of other runners thought as it was hitting us in the side of our face! This run is not the flattest courses and I was just hoping it would clear up before we had to climb the bridge. Sure enough it did, briefly, and before I knew it I was at mile 5 and over the bridge. On the way over the bridge the leaders were already heading back and I just wanted to be in their shoes! It's so inspiring seeing how fast they day....maybe!

 I glanced down at my watch and saw that I was running about a 9:30/mile pace, which is pretty good for me, and I was thrilled! In this weather I thought for sure I'd be more around the 10:00/mile pace. I decided to pick it up, even with the hills, and aim for beating my 1:35 PR from the Cherry Blossom race last year. (Which was ran on a flatter course with much better weather conditions) I managed to keep a pretty good pace and going into the last mile I was at 1:25. I dug deep and pulled any energy I had left into running that last mile - it's always a goal to have my last mile be the fastest but I usually don't meet that goal. I was doing well until I remembered the .2 part of the last .4 mile that would be through the soaking wet grass and then the final .2 incline to the finish.  I was so focused on the finish line I almost missed Shannon and KC cheering me on! (Thanks ladies!)
Realizing they were screaming and trying to say hi!

To my surprise, my watch still said 1:33 when I crossed the finish! VICTORY was mine!!!! This race is well run and prepared with volunteers, as soon as you cross the finish you are given an ice cold towel and sent to pick up your finishers premium! This is the only race I know of that requires you to finish the race before you are given your "race shirt", you truly earn it in this one! I think this years was the best yet.

I can't wait to see my race pictures because I only remember seeing one photographer - which means you will be in for a hilarious treat when they come in!! 

I was even more surprised when I synced my watch and saw my mile splits, this was the most consistent I have ever been and I am so impressed that my last mile was 1 minute faster than my others!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Iron Girl Photo's & Recovery Food!!

I have to admit, one of my favorite things about running races are seeing the hilarious photos that the photographers capture during the race! Every now and then there is a decent one, but more often than not they capture non flattering pictures. Here are a few of my favorites from Iron Girl:

Clearly I cannot time their picture.....

As promised, here is the info on my recovery food from Iron Girl! My husband make homemade guacamole and fajitas!!!



3-6 Chicken Breasts, sliced
1 packet low sodium fajita mix
1-2 Peppers, sliced
1 Onion, sliced


1. Brown chicken in pan on the stove until cooked, then add fajita mix.
2. Add water and desired veggies, cook until done!
3. Enjoy this simple recipe! :)



2 Avacados
1 Tomato
1/2 Onion
1/2 Lime, juiced
1 tsp ceyenne pepper
Fresh garlic, we used about a quarter size chunk
Fresh cilantro, we chopped up about 4-6 leaves


1. Chop avacados into small chunks, stir
2. Add tomato & onions, stir
3. Add lime juice, pepper, garlic and cilantro
4. Stir gently, and taste test. Feel free to add more pepper for a more spicy taste!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Iron Girl Triathlon: Race Recap!

Warning: This may be a long post!! I apologize ahead of time, so if you just look at the pictures, I understand! But if you want to hear all about Iron Girl, keep reading! I wanted to post about the day before the race separately but that didn't work out, so you will just have a recap of everything! =)
 Iron girl was on Sunday in Columbia, MD, which is about an hour away from home. For anyone who doesn't know, Iron girl consists of a .62 mile swim, 17.5 mile bike, and a 3.4 mile run. Saturday is packet pickup and when you have to rack your bike. (This was new to me until last year, but it's where you take your bike and set it up in the transition area the night before so there isn't a rush to do it the morning of the race) Note: I would not want the job of guarding all of those bikes at night!! Anyway, since we would have to go up Saturday anyway, Shannon (she's been the training partner I usually run with!) and I decided to get a hotel and stay the night Saturday night. Another friend came up with us to to cheer us on, so awesome!!

We got to the expo, got our super cool wristbands on and picked up our packets. This is always the most exciting part of a race for me because it's where everything really becomes real! After we explored the expo, and made a few purchases, we headed over to the park to rack our bikes. As you can see in the picture we were some of the last to do so!

We walked around the park to check out swim buoys, which looked awfully close to shore and the lilly pads, but still needed a before picture =) This might have been the last one of us smiling!

The lake we will swim in!

After crossing all of this off our list we headed to dinner, with everyone else! We ended up up eating around 8:00ish and got back to the hotel around 9:45, which was way past the time I thought we'd be asleep! The regular ritual of setting everything out and checking it off my list was the first thing I did!
 It didn't really matter how late we got back though because this was one night I didn't sleep last year and nothing was different this year. I woke up every hour thinking we were going to oversleep and wondering what I had forgotten.

Once the alarm sounded we were up and ready to roll! We headed to the park and once inside thought we were going to park right away, we didn't realize they were going to send us a 1/2 mile into the park just to then have to walk back. Either way, we needed to set up our transition items and get our body's marked.
I frantically began pumping my tires (which I do not care for) but hoped that it was good enough and I wouldn't get a flat on the route. I also tried to tape gu on my bike for easy access. The bike was wet from sitting out all night so it wasn't working as planned, and I ended up putting way too much tape. Transition closed at 6:50 so it was off to body marking and then over to the swim start!

Shannon's swim wave wasn't until 7:28 and mine wasn't until 8:04, so we still had plenty of time to watch other swimmers start and continue to freak ourselves out! It wasn't so much the distance we were swimming, we've done it a hundred times, it was the open water! We both knew we could do it and had done it before, so it was just a matter of keeping calm.

 Before the swim!!
My husband and parents showed up right after Shannon's swim took off. I cannot explain the wonderful feeling of having your family at an event to support you, there is just nothing like it! My parents did an excellent job of capturing pictures of my swim wave entering the water, I just kept telling myself to breathe and "be one with the water" - as gross as that was!
 The 3-4 minutes of sitting in the water went SO fast and we were off before we knew it. Kayakers were all around keeping us together and swimmers were on top of each other and I was already taking in water, which I did not need to! I kept counting my breaths and every tenth stroke I would look up to check to make sure I was swimming in the right direction. I stayed off to the side to stay away from the other swimmers, so I'm sure I swam more than necessary, but it was totally worth not feeling like I was going to drown the entire time.
 The swim was going really well until I approached the final 100meters where everyone is funneled in to get out of the water. It became really crowded and again I couldn't take a breath without getting splashed in the face. I told myself to just suck it up and keep going. Before I knew it I was out of the water, and still with swim caps from my wave! (We were color coded - each wave had a different color) I was so excited and couldn't wait to get to the watch at my bike and see the time!
 When I reached my bike transition and saw that my watch said 8:34 I knew that I had beaten my swim time from last year and I couldn't have been happier! My transition onto the bike last year was almost 7 minutes so I knew I didn't want to waste time again like last year, haha! I jumped on the bike and started running out of the transition area! I did this so quickly I forgot to put up my kickstand! (see below!) Yes - I do have a kick stand on my bike and completed the route with a hybrid. My lesson and has been learned and I know I need a road bike, they are MUCH faster!!
I started my garmin as soon as I was on the bike and took a gu and drank some water. My goal was to get refueled on the bike and to stay hydrated. I'm not an expert at drinking while moving, so this was a challenge, but went of well! The bike route has few killer hills in it, you can see this on the elevation chart from my garmin! I kept telling myself to just push through it, and it worked! The frustrating part was that on 2 of the major down hills cars somehow got onto the road so I had to ride my breaks the entire way down. I was really disappointed because I was hoping to make up some time there. When I looked at my speed I couldn't believe I reached 30mph 2 times! The route is an out and back and my watch is pretty accurate but when we made the turn to head back towards the park a volunteer said 1.7 miles to go, I immediately looked at my watch and saw I was only at mile 15. Since she distinctively said 1.7 miles (who makes up fractions of miles?!) I trusted her and thought for some reason I was riding the tangents and cut the course short. This was not the case! It was still the full 2.5 miles back, and I actually rode 17.7 miles, no shortage there! The time on my watch was 1:18 and I was SO happy! I had beaten my time from least year by over 10 minutes without even changing bikes! Seeing this immediately had me thinking about which road bike I would get as I was trying to get ready for the run, haha! There was a back up getting into the transition area so I knew this was just adding time onto my bike. Everyone is so nice and supportive in this race that it is hard to get frustrated, but I just wanted to run and be done!

I have an obsession with Team Sparkle skirts and didn't have time to put it on for the bike, so I did waste the few seconds putting it on for the run. Which my husband later informed me that him and my parents laughed at while they were watching my transition :). Gotta love them! I feel so much more confident in these skirts and love the sparkle!
 I was off fast on the run and knew there were hills coming up so I just needed to pace myself. I had already beaten my time from last year, so it's a win, right?! A lot of people walk the entire run because they have already exerted their energy on the swim and bike, but I knew the run was my strongest leg and I needed to pick up time here. I felt really strong and just kept pushing! The downhills were great, but the uphills sure were a struggle on exhausted legs! The run is a circle around the park and from the time you start running until you finish you hear the announcer saying "Congratulations NAME you are an IRON GIRL!" This was so motivating to hurry and get to the finish!

As I mentioned earlier, Shannon started well before me so I was so excited to see her right before the finish line! A lady also yelled "you're smiling too much, you must have energy left so SPRINT!" It only took me a second to realize what she said and I was off to the finish! I passed my husband and parents yelling for me right before the finish and it make the ending even more perfect! I crossed the finish line with a huge smile and so much better than I felt last year after the race. 

The photographers immediately stop you for pictures (will post as soon as they are online!) and then you are allowed to go find you family. Having their support meant the world and it's something you always cherish. Once hugging and congratulations were done, recovery began! Mission: Muscle Milk! =) & signature finisher picture!

Iron Girl has become one of my favorite races that I will continue to do as long as I can! It is extremely organized and the support from spectators and the WONDERFUL volunteers is unlike any other race I have done. If you have any Iron Girl event near you, I strongly encourage you to sign up! 

What's next?! Olympic distance? 70.3? Stay tuned....

If you're still reading my final times were:

Coming next.....recovery dinner!!! Fajitas's & guacamole!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chicken Taco Soup!

Chicken is one of our favorite foods, but it can get boring eating it the same way. We were inspired to come up with this recipe based on other versions of it that we have seen! Hopefully you will like it as much as we do! It's for dinner tonight - but it also good to make it and have it prepped for lunch during the week :)


4-6 Chicken Breasts
1 Taco Seasoning Packet (Or you can make your own)
1 Cup Water
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (28 oz) We use Del Monte diced tomatoes with green pepper & onion
1 Can Black Bean (You can use any beans you want, or even add more if you want! We are new bean fans so we use Bush's black bean fiesta)
Sprinkle of Garlic Salt
1 Cup Frozen Peppers
1 Cup Corn or veggie of choice

*Every time we make this we change up the veggies, you can add as much or as little as you want*


Place everything in the crockpot except the chicken
Mix evenly
Place chicken in crockpot and cover with all other ingredients
Cook on low for 6 hours
Shred the chicken after 6 hours
Cook 1 hour on low
*Top with shredded cheese (If you would like) You can also use greek yogurt as sour cream.

We enjoy eating this as is, but you can serve over tortilla shells or chips. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lemon Protein Bars!

One of our favorite snacks to have are Jamie Eason's lemon protein bars! The first few times we made these we used the dish, as she calls for, but they were super moist and hard to package. Recently we have been using a mini muffin pan and lets you package them to go quickly!



Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Mix oat flour, vanilla whey protein, salt, baking soda and crystal light, in large bowl.

Mix egg whites, Splenda, applesauce and water in a bowl.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together.

Spray 8x8 glass pyrex dish with non-stick butter spray or spray a cupcake or mini muffin pan, whichever you prefer

Pour ingredients into dish

Bake 23 minutes for pyrex, and 8-12 for mini muffin pans. You will have to keep an eye on them.

Remove to cool


Kristin & Jessica

Monday, August 6, 2012

14 Miles of Misery!

Saturday mornings are all about marathon training, which means long runs. The plan called for 14 miles Saturday morning. Knowing this was going to be a hot one, I hydrated even more on Friday than normal, but that proved not enough. Friday evening my friend Shannon called to see if we could run together, and I was so glad she did! Running to clear your mind is relaxing, sometimes, but not on a 14 mile journey.

We headed out around 7:00, when it was already 80 outside. The first 5-6 miles were ok. We ran down toward the water and took a break to cool off with the showers they had there. (No, we didn't fully shower, we just sprayed the cool water on our heads) There was surprisingly no breeze on the water and we wanted to try to cool down before the almost entirely up hill climb back. By the time we hit mile 10 we were both at our walls. A slower pace and breaks were essential, but they still did not feel like enough.

We ran out of water around mile 11 and stopped into a local hardware store for some AC and a re fill on the water. Balancing hydration while running without drinking too much to cause pain is something I really struggle with and I was afraid to drink to much. The remaining 3 miles were HORRIBLE!! Our legs were heavy and tired and we could not quench our thirst.

Runs like this leave you mentally drained, they did us, and questioning your training/progress. After the run  we found out that the dew point was in excess of 70 degrees! A run in that will not happen again! One lesson learned is that each long run is an experience. This one training run does not define training, we will keep experimenting and learning from each one! 

Run on friends!