Monday, November 8, 2010


Hi All,

Soooo this has absolutely nothing to do with running, but it does have something to do with free stuff, so I figured I'd post about it!  I don't know if any of you are into writing handwritten thank you notes, but if you are... GADABOUT is the way to go! These things are so adorable! 

So one of the blogs that I follow The College Prepster is giving away some of these Gadabout cards... for free! Enter her giveaway here! Or don't enter and let me win it :)

Hope all of you are well today!

I did a really treacherous run yesterday. I pretty much hated it, but oh well, its over! :)

xo, c

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

40 days in the desert

So we have a little over a month until the big halfer in Vegas. I'm most excited about going to Hermes after the race is over these next 40 days of training. WOOOOOO! I love running! Les came up with a plan for the last leg of training. Basically, this is what it looks like:

Sundays: Long run (4 minute run/1 minute walk intervals)
Mondays: Rest
Tuesdays: Powerwalk 45 minutes (with incline)
Wednesdays: Cross Train (elliptical, bike, swim, whatever...)
Thursdays: Run 30 minutes (no breaks)
Fridays: Rest
Saturdays: Yoga

I'm pretty sure Les made a reference to Jesus being in the desert for 40 days. And I thought it was Moses. It was actually Jesus. Moses was lost somewhere for 40 years. I haven't been paying enough attention during Sunday School. I have no idea why I am still typing.

So after these races we always like to buy ourselves a little big treat. This time around I wanna buy myself this little munchkin from Hermes.

Just in case you were wondering... the "H" stands for HOLLAAAAAA! Ok, that was lame. I'm gonna get going now. :)

xo, c

"The best motivation always comes from within."  - Michael Johnson
"The best motivation always comes from Hermes."  - Christine Melang

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Change of Plans...

Hi blog buddies...

Change of plans! Leslie and I were planning to do the Rock 'n' Roll Denver Half Marathon in October. One small issue... we attempted to sign up a smidgen late and the only slots remaining were reserved for charity runners. Which basically means the runner has to donate a nice chunk o' cash to one of two sponsored charities if he or she wants to participate. And I'm all for charity donation, but my favorite charity The Christine Melang Handbag Foundation  wasn't participating, so we decided to opt out of running that halfer. So here's what we decided to do instead...

We're doing another HALF marathon in Las Vegas and then a FULL marathon in New Orleans in 2011. I am SO GLAD that we changed things up because this means that our time in Vegas will be a little more relaxing and we'll have some time to spend together and hit up some serious spa action. And serious shopping action. And serious food action. Las Vegas is where Les and I celebrated Jason and I finally being over, thankyoujesus her becoming an ATTORNEY! I cannot wait to have another fun-filled weekend with my bestie in sin city. Additionally, she's currently in grad school getting her MBA, so please help us find a very awesome place to celebrate when she finishes that program and has 6819293402 letters after her name.

New Orleans should be a lot of fun... A full marathon will be quite a challenge, but Les and I have been there twice and we're excited to head back and see the city! Anyone who joined us on either of the Carroll University American Marketing Association "conference" trips to The Big Easy should probably just zip it, we're adults now and we don't want those stories getting out. It may be too late anyways... :)

And seriously, I don't even remember there being any sort of "conference" there... but who knows, I could be wrong... Moving on....

So that's the current update. See ya in Las Vegas!


Ta ta for now!

xo, c

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Product Review

Happy Tuesday!

So I decided to do a little product review today... Too Faced Shadow Insurance. This is a really nice little product that seriously works wonders. I had never tried shadow primer before (and I really should have!) but one of my friends posted about Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion on facebook the other day and I knew I had a shadow primer freebie from Sephora laying around in the masses of beauty products that have taken over my cupboards and closets somewhere so I gave it a try.

What does this have to do with running, you ask? Oh, because I love wearing makeup when I run. Especially at races. Why? Ohhh, I don't know, because there's literally a cameraman following you around through the last third of the run at long distance races. You know, the part of the race where you're looking your hottest. I learned this lesson the hard way at Al's Run 2009. As Les and I are prepping at the hotel room, she looks at me and says "Uhhh are you really wearing makeup to the race?" and I was like, "Uhhh yeah." Well, by the end of the race I had raccoon eyes from mascara dripping down my face. That's when I switched to waterproof mascara for running. I will now be adding Shadow Insurance to my race-day repertoire. I tried this stuff last night and slept in my makeup just to see how well my shadow would hold up (normally I have a very strict anti-aging cleansing routine at night, but I threw caution to the wind yesterday evening). Good news, I seriously woke up and my shadow hadn't moved at all! I'm not kidding you when I say I normally have shadow all over my entire face if I sleep in my makeup and this stuff kept ALL of my shadow on my eyes and it still looked brand new even though it was almost EIGHTEEN HOURS old! I think I may go to Sephora today and get the full size tube because I have nothing better to do I love a nice brisk walk around the mall. Its such a great way to kill some time, waste some money, get out of the freakin' house workout!

So, I'm sold on this product. I think it will be great to help keep my face in place during those oh-so-important race day photo ops! Speaking of photos, Leslie just sent me a framed pic of her and me at the finish line of our very first half marathon. So cute. I have the bestest best friend everrrrrr.

Have a great day!

xo, c

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Runner's World and Real Simple

Good morning my fabulous four readers... :)

I absolutely love magazines and I wanted to share two little snippets from two magazines I just got in the mail.  As most of you already know, I am a pretty avid New York Times, Wall Street Journal US Weekly reader because I like to keep up with world news, politics, the economy current fashion trends, celeb diet tips, and Hollywood gossip, you know, things that actually matter. However, these tips are from Runner's World and Real Simple. 

I rely entirely on my Dad for political information which is why I still think Ronald Regan is president. And the economy's good, right? Cool. This is said somewhat tongue-in-cheek as I do think my Dad is the smartest person alive, but alas, I do have some of my own opinions... ;)

Runner's World October 2010
(Jenny Crain feature on page 23)
I blogged awhile ago about Jenny Crain (elite runner from Milwaukee, WI) and her struggle to live again after a tragic accident. Against all odds, her speech, memory and mobility have greatly improved and she is now walking again on an anti-gravity treadmill and participating in local races in an adult jogger. What a great story, I hope she continues along on the path to recovery. Kudos to her!

Real Simple September 2010
Interval Training feature on page 158)
If you're looking for a way to introduce hill-work into your walk/run, check this out. It only takes 15 minutes and I swear, its easy. Here's the gist of it:
  •  0:00 - 3:00 (3.5 miles/hour -- 0 percent incline)
  • 3:00 - 5:00 (4.0 miles/hour -- 0 percent incline)
  • 5:00 - 8:00 (3.5 miles/hour -- 4 percent incline)
  • 8:00 - 11:00 (3.5 miles/hour -- 6 percent incline)
  • 11:00 - 13:00 (4.5 miles/hour -- 4 percent incline)
  • 13:00 - 15:00 (3.5 miles/hour -- 0 percent incline)
Easy peasy! Right? Hope you give it a try!

So this is totally off-topic but does anyone watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey? I absolutely ADORE Caroline Manzo. I mean, I wish I could be her, that's how much I love her. But anyways, did you all just die when she looked at Danielle and said "We are in the OK CORRAL, so buckle up and let's ride. Yippy Ki Yi Yay!" Too funny. I love this chick. Next time Addy ticks me off, I might just use that line on her and see if it makes her shape up a little... Speaking of Addy, all the kids in the subdivision started school yesterday and I was really tempted to just put her on bus and see if they'd take her, but ehhh, I'd probably get in trouble for that, since she's uhhh 3. Only 728 days until her first day of kindergarten!

Have a great day!

xo, c

Monday, September 6, 2010


Hi bloggies...

So here's a random question for everyone, do you take any daily vitamins/supplements that I should know about? I know there are a million different things available for joint health,  mental health, muscle recovery, increased energy, etc... the list goes on.

I seriously have the worst taste in my mouth in regards to the whole vitamin thing, literally. When I was pregnant with Addy and had to take prenatal vitamins, I wanted to puke every time I took them... and yeah, I pretty much stopped taking them because they made me so sick. So, because of that bad experience, and because I'm usually pretty lazy about stuff like this, I decided to not really worry about taking any vitamins. I always kind of figured that I would get all of the nutrients I needed from the food I ate. Well when you live on Ben & Jerry's and buffalo wings for nine straight months, you begin to realize, hmmm maybe I'm not getting all the nutrients that I should be getting... hmmm... let me ponder that.

Well, I pondered for awhile, I'm no longer suffering from pregnancy-induced morning sickness or prenatal vitamin nausea. So yeah, my kid is almost four years old now and I feel like I'm ready to take vitamins again. Wow, such a risk-taker.

So anyways, here's what I take:

Acai Vitamin Super Chews

Trader Joe's Gummy Multivitamins

Now you'll notice these are both gummy-ish vitamins. That's because I like candy. I'm sure acai supplements are available in regular pill form and I know they sell acai juice at Wal-Mart because I buy it there all the time. I don't really know why I take these, I just saw "stay mentally sharp" and "healthy hair and nails" and I bought them. Typical Christine impulse buy. I can't get much sharper than this, really.

My multivitamin is from Trader Joe's. I love them. Addy takes gummy kids vitamins from Target but I prefer the TJs brand for myself because they're shaped like flowers and they taste better.

I should probably be taking Viactiv because I have bad joints, but I don't. I would feel really old if I started taking calcium supplements before my 30th birthday. But maybe I should. Tell me all your secrets. How do you get your vitamins?! :)

xo, c

Friday, September 3, 2010

my week in running...

Hi All!

It was a STEAMY week here in Michigan. I'm talking like mid-to-upper 80s all this week until some sort of cool front moved in and now its really cool. I love summer, but I'm ready for fall, we had a very hot/humid summer in the D. I'm getting ready to bust out one of my 9274613 sweaters and begin every day with a pumpkin spice latte.

Here's what my running looked like for this week:

Monday -- rest (I started a pilates DVD and was too lazy to finish it)
Tuesday -- 3 miles (treadmill at gym, I'll throw some hills up in there!)
Wednesday -- 6 miles (half treadmill at home, half hoofing it around the 'hood)
Thursday -- 3 miles (track workout -- try to run fastttteerrrrrrrrr!)
Friday -- rest
Saturday -- 12 miles (I won't be running all of this, I'll definitely run/walk it)
Sunday -- cross train (does bumming around the mall count as cross training?)

I have to try to do a really weird training schedule until December because a) I'm simultaneously training for the Denver Half-Marathon and the Vegas Marathon and b) I combined two different programs. So work with me here, I know 12 miles looks like A LOT for a long run this early in the game, but my whole schedule right now is kind of a mess??? Does that make sense? Good, because I'm totally lost too. Oh, did I say, "this early in the game?" I meant this late in the game... Denver is 7 weeks away. And Vegas is 14 weeks away. Shoot me.

Anyways, so I might go home to wisco for the Al's Run for Children's Hospital. It's the week before the Denver Half-Marathon... My little cousin Matt has a pretty amazing story and Children's Hospital was there every step of the way with him, so its always cool to run for a good cause. Plus the entire Marquette University basketball team is there cheering you on. I did this run last year with Les and it was freezzzzzzing, but still a great time with my bestie. If I go home for the weekend, I'll definitely do this for fun and to support such a great organization.

Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend! Don't forget, no white pants if you have a fat butt after Labor Day! :)

xo, c

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random stuff I figured you'd all want to know...

Hi Everyone!

Hope everyone is having a great Wednesday! The sun is just starting to shine here in Michigan and I'm getting ready to head out for a run, but before I go I wanted to share some totally unrelated and somewhat unimportant things that I've discovered lately. ;)

I read an awesome book by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea called "Run Like a Mother." This is an awesome running book not just for mommas. Its very motivational and pretty much just tells it like it is... Pick up a copy for yourself, or if you're a big technoid, download it to your kindle or ipad. It's a good read! These chicks are not nearly as funny as me pretty funny!

I've also been breaking in my new kicks... The Saucony ProGrid Guide 3s... I absolutely LOVE these shoes and I cannot say enough good things about them. I have run in the aesthetically pleasing Nike Shox, really dorky looking but somewhat comfortable Brooks shoes, and everything in between and I'm telling you, THESE SHOES are the best. They feel like I'm running on clouds and they don't look like my grandma's running shoes. I went to the Running Fit store in Northville, Michigan to buy these bad boys and they had me do something there that I've never done while trying on shoes before. I tried on a different shoe on my left and right foot and walked in them with my eyes closed. I didn't know the price or how the shoe actually looked on my foot, just how it felt while I walked in it. And that's how I came to buy the Sauconys. Normally, I'm always drawn to the newest, most expensive shoe or the pair that I think will look really cute with the Lulus but I think buying for comfort is the best idea. I love these shoes. I'm taking them with me to Vegas in December and I'm gonna marry them.

So, as many of you know, Les has perfect feet. I, however, do not. I literally get those gross black running toenails if I run downhill like one time. Seriously, from going down the stairs. It's pretty pathetic. In addition to running toes, I'm barefoot or in flip flops from April through October so, needless to say, I want need pedicures all the time. And that brings us to the international search for the highly-coveted, yet unavailable fall nail color, Chanel Paradoxal. Well, don't fret. I got my sticky fingers on the last bottle at the Saks in Troy, Michigan. Thank you Somerset Collection, once again, you've restored my will to live. You can't really tell from the blurry Blackberry pic, but this color is AWESOME. Its a really cool purple-y grey. I love it. I can't wait for my next pedicure.

Well lovers, I saved the best for last. Guess who came out with an active wear line... Lilly Pulitzer. I literally died when I got the catalog in the mail. So, I am a LOYAL lululemon fan... LOYAL. But how flippin' cute is the Norma Fleece wrap in the Navy/Pink stripe?! Maybe not even for working out, but you know, grocery store, pedicure, whatever! Comfy and presentable. Love that Lilly!

Well, I've put off this run long enough. Time to head out there and get some sun! Have a great day!

P.S. I'm still looking for more songs for my running playlist so if you have any good ideas for me, f-book or tweet me!

xo, c

Friday, August 13, 2010

Things I wish I had known...

One of my very favorite blogs to read is called Summer is a Verb. I love reading her blog because she posts a lot about Hermes, summering on the beach, and she's hilarious. She pulls off the preppy/bohemian look effortlessly (bo-prep-ian?) and her blog is lighthearted and fun to read. Anyways, she recently wrote a post for her niece's 19th birthday (I think its her niece) about things she wished she had known when she was nineteen. It was fun to read, but also really endearing. So I'm copying her idea and making a little "Things I now know about running... and life in general."
  • If you ever decide to run a marathon (or any distance, for that matter!), tell everyone you know about it.  Its a great way to self-promote make sure you stick to your goal! One of my former managers used to say "you better be selling you, because chances are nobody else is..." and it's true! So in addition to encouraging others, we can't forget to advertise our own personal goals! 
"Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer." --Marcia Wieder
  • Help people who have helped you. This is not to say that we should only give to receive, or only give because we have been given to, but be mindful of the people who aren't in your corner. And get them out of your life!
"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few; and let those be well-tried before you give them your confidence." --George Washington
  • If you aren't taking care of your skin and teeth, start today! I'm always thinking to myself, if only I hadn't lived in a tanning bed and only visited the dentist when my teeth were aching I had diligently taken care of my face back in the day... Take care of those chompers and use good products! No one forgets a beautiful face!
"Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles." --George Eliot
  • Any sort of extreme physical challenge (marathon, century ride, etc) is going to be extremely tough! If there is anything I've learned from running races its that I cannot slack off. That behavior pretty much only leads to a hungover thirteen mile run through the hills of San Diego a big wake-up call! Train for the race knowing it will be a huge challenge!
"The virtue lies in the struggle, not in the prize." --Richard Monckton Milnes

And there you have it, my words of wisdom for the week. Thanks Summer is a Verb for inspiring this little post!

In other news, yesterday I went to the high school track to run... Uhhh apparently cheerleading practice has started. So I went to the gym instead. As much as I'd love to drag myself around a track in front of twenty-ish 95lb cheerleaders, I'll pass. No need to make them all jealous... ;)

Have a great day!

xo, c

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You just give me the... sparklies.

So I stalk blogs. I'm a stalker. I'll just put that out there. Well, over the last couple of weeks, I've noticed lots of bloggers adding these little "sparklies" entries to their blogs. Basically, I think the sparklies are just things/events/people that make us happy or send a little shiver down our spine. Here is my list. Clearly, I've got... nothing better to do than blog about NOTHING Time. On. My. Hands.

In no particular order...drumroll please...Christine's "Sparklies"

“My Way” by Frank Sinatra... I love Frankie tunes, but this is a personal fave. My Nono loved this song too, so it has sentimental value.

A personal mantra... Some people choose a motivational quote, a Bible verse, etc... Choose one that means something to you and repeat it to yourself when you feel like ending it all, perhaps during a verbal altercation with your three year old daughter while running the hills of San Diego.

Any email from Banana, lululemon, Sephora, etc... that says, "Thank you for your order, Christine. Your [white timeless tee, 57th pair of yoga pants, newest miracle cream insert item here] has shipped and will be delivered personally by Bradley Cooper sans shirt via FedEx within 2-3 business days.
Aviators... These sunglasses make anyone look smokin' hot. I love them. I rock aviators everyday!

Cleaning/Organizing a cupboard or closet... I have no idea why I like doing this so much, but for some reason I do. I'm totally becoming so lame awesome in my old age.

My sister... Sure, we are sisters and we still have our share of physical brawls disagreements, but no one else can get me into a gut-busting laugh attack more than this girl. And she's an awesome aunt to Addy.

Any of the Mari Winsor pilates DVDs... Pilates will help improve your posture and lots of other things and the Winsor Pilates series (old, new, current) are some of the best out there. I love Mari!
Diet Coke... warm/cold, can/bottle. I get a little chill down my spine when I crack my first DC of the morning. After I've already had two cups of coffee, natch.

The street I grew up on... Ok remember when we you were a kid and everyone made up their pornstar rockstar name and it was always the name of your first pet (Coco, the wonderdog) followed by the name of the street you grew up on (Paradise Lane), COCO PARADISE. Thank you Mom and Dad for planning that so perfectly. That aside, I do love going to see my old house in Arizona and I love seeing the homes where my parents grew up in Wisconsin. Ok, that was a really stupid "sparkly."

Meeting someone with the same birthday... One of my girlfriends is my birthday twin (June 10) and I love sharing my special day with her, but I also love hearing about other June birthdays. Love my Geminis!

The finish line of any race... It could be a local 5k or the Olympic Marathon, regardless, I get a full-body rush watching the athletes finish the race. All that hard work, courage, and determination paying off. Definitely a good "sparkly."

Trader Joe's Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip... if I had to choose between eternal love or this ice cream, I'd choose the ice cream, because then I'd have both! I love this stuff!

A nice bottle glass of pinor noir or cabernet... I'm Italian. Its genetic. Its actually illegal for me to NOT like red wine. Oh well.

Any celeb sightings of the A-list variety... If you know me at all, you know I love celebs. And if you don't know me, sucks for you you should!

Vegan Cupcakes from Cupcake Station... I absolutely love treats. And I also love eating raw cake batter (or cookie dough, I'm not picky), so baking and eating cupcakes is a great hobby for me.

Aquaphor... I absolutely love this stuff. If you are a runner, use it to avoid chafing. Not a runner? Use it to make your lips shiny, your cuticles softer, the heels of your feet less gnarly... etc.

Well kiddies, there you have it. My list of "sparklies."

Since this is a running blog, I figured I should let you know I ran two miles at the highschool track last night. I hate running on the track, but sometimes I do it. Ahhhh well, that's it.

xo, c

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Hi All,

It's been awhile since we've posted anything, so I thought I'd give you a few updates on what we've been up to...
  • We finished the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon. I would like to give a big "thank you" to my best friend Les for not leaving me at mile one where I DIED. That was a tough course. Add some day-before vino consumption and not enough water consumption and I pretty much wanted to quit before the race started. But, its over, and we got our medals. Which is all that matters, the medal and, of course, bragging rights. Onto the more important parts of the trip...
    • Les took me to an awesome spa in La Jolla for my birthday (its June 10th in case any of you were wondering. Next year I'll be 30 29!). We got couples massages (with each other, natch) and had a great time. Love my bestie.
    • I also got to see Sleeping Giant (Les's boyf) and Leslie's parents whom I LOVE. If I could choose any parents to adult-adopt me, it would be hers. They are such fun people and I always enjoy the time I spend with them. And, congrats to Leslie's dad who decided spur-of-the-moment to run the 13.1 as well! And thanks to her mom for buying us some awesome "San Diego FINISHER" shirts! I wore it on the plane ride home! And a big thank you to Sleeping Giant who cheered us and so graciously allowed me to share his girlfriend for the weekend. Thanks Sleeping Giant, she was mine first I owe you my sanity. :)
    • We went to an awesome mall called "Fashion Valley" in San Diego. I love malls. And I really like going to the mall with Les. So yeah, that was a highlight.
    • We got to explore La Jolla. And we think we saw a celebrity at a Mexican restaurant. We're not sure who she is, but she's blonde and she lives in Del Mar. She wears bifocals and is clearly in her late 40s or early 50s, but looks quite nice for her age. If any of you know who this woman is, please let me know because I will add her to the ever-growing list of celebrities I've seen in-person. And SPEAKING OF CELEBRITIES...
    • I saw Lynne from Real Housewives of Orange County at the race expo. She looks old. Her husband is really creepy looking. And I was totally unimpressed. I probably won't even add her to the list. Yeah, I definitely won't. Lynne, you're not on the list.

  • Our next half-marathon together will be the Denver Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon on October 17th. We had originally planned to do the Disney Half-Marathon the week before in Orlando, but Denver is a better weekend and will be more fun!

  • Our first full marathon together will be the Rock 'n' Roll marathon in Las Vegas on December 5th! BOOM! Yeah! I'm excited for this! 26.2 miles of hell fun! :)
I love the idea of the 26.2 miles, but I may hang up the running shoes for awhile after that race... and just do 5k and 10k stuff... I like that running allows me to eat garbage 24/7 to eat lots of nutritious food, but I hate that my knees hurt all the time. So we'll see, I haven't really decided either way yet. :)

It's been awhile, but I'm back. Hope you enjoyed today's installment :)

xo, c

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Empowering Moments

Hellllllo... it's been awhile. I've been lazy busy. I am writing this blog post to give myself some motivation to finish strong in my training for this upcoming 13.1 in San Diego. Do you ever have to remind yourself of all the amazing things you've done just to give yourself that extra boost to finsh the current task at hand? I DO!

I know everyone has those empowering moments in their lives and oftentimes those special memories can be used to give you that extra push you need when you're trying to tackle a problem at work, fix an issue at home or in my case, train for another race. So anyways, enough small talk, here are some of my empowering moments: 

Finishing my very first half-marathon. I put this first since this blog is about about me running. The day I did this was the most exhilaration I've ever felt in my entire life. I was so excited and proud and happy and EXHAUSTED all at the same time. It was truly one of the best days of my life. I wouldn't take that day back for anything and I still have my medal hanging on my dresser to remind me everyday that I CAN DO ANYTHING IF I PUT MY MIND TO IT! And so can you!

Delivering a 9lb child, no epidural. I kid you not, labor was child's play in comparison to the halfer. I'm not kidding. My body was in more pain in the days following the race than it was following childbirth. I am 100% dead serious. Let me also say this, I wanted that epidural so bad, but there wasn't enough time. I'm not one of those brave people who wanted to experience the miracle that is childbirth naturally, I wanted the drugs. This was definitely an empowering moment!

Breaking up with a friend. Do any of you have someone in your life that after a certain time has caused you more hurt than happiness? Well, I did. But I don't anymore. And it took a really long time for me to come to grips with the fact that maybe it just wasn't meant to be. And you know what, that's ok. I'm going to be totally honest here, it was quite hard for me to just let go of this particular person. I wanted so badly to make her happy and continue to make memories with her. But finally I realized it was just time to say goodbye. I wish her absolutely nothing but the best and I will always have open arms if she ever needs me...
Graduating from college. I remember opening a card from my Dad hoping it was filled with a significant amount of cash and reading the words, "I am so proud of you. Love, Dad" That's all it said. I still have that card and I'll never throw it away. Let's face it, college was the best four years of all of our lives. Don't be coy. It was. How many times in our lives are we faced with the opportunity of four (or five, or even six) years of carefree living, great times with friends, no stress, and endless freedom? Just once. College. But outside of the awesomeness that is college, you leave with a degree! What a sweet deal! No one can ever take that away from you.

Finishing a professional sales training program. After finishing the sales training program at Pfizer, I really did think, "wow, I didn't think I would make it out of here alive." That was one of the hardest, but most rewarding experiences in my life. And I love when an interviewer looks at my resume and say "wow? Pfizer." My little heart skips a beat and I say to myself, "YEAH! PFIZER!" The mind games, two months without a normal night's sleep, the gross food, the endless scrutiny from colleagues and sales trainers is over. Finally, I finished boot camp. It wasn't all bad though, that experience gave me the confidence to know I could make it through any training program at any company. And I also met a great friend while I was there. How empowering!

Anyways, I hope you all think of some empowering moments in your life. Its kind of a cool exercise to do because it truly will life your spirits!

Since my knees have been killing me lately, I decided to take Addy for long bike ride in the Burley today. I've always loved bike riding and its great for the quads! :)

Getting excited for Sannnnn Diego!

xo, c

Monday, April 26, 2010

Listen to Your Body

Listen to your body:

Just about every exercise plan is followed by a disclaimer of some kind. I’m not opposed to these, they keep lawyers in jobs. However, until recently, I never gave much thought to their credence.

Yesterday Sleeping Giant and I were doing a pretty strenuous 7 mile trail run at about 7,000 feet. At about mile 4 after climbing a hill, my breathing became so labored and I was so afraid I wasn’t going to be able to catch my breath I almost had an anxiety attack. I was able to stop and relax and regain somewhat normal breathing for the last 3 miles.

After we returned home, I told Sleeping Giant how scared I was as that was happening. Sleeping Giant told me he was worried shortly into the run when my breathing was already labored. I’ll admit, I’m not in the best shape. However, I have completed a half marathon less than 6 months ago, I run regularly, and don’t smoke.

Normally when I run I have my Ipod on so loudly that I cannot hear my own breathing, not smart. After a trip to the Dr. (ok, WebMD), it appears some of the lung problems I had in the past (i.e. pneumonia twice, bronchitis, and asthma as a child), I may have developed adult asthma. This would also explain, according to WebMD, my previously unexplained fainting spells.
I am actually going to a real doctor to get this checked out, but this event was just an important reminder that running through injury or other ailment can be dangerous and should be taken seriously. I’d like to continue to enjoy running for many years to come, so I don’t want to neglect something now that may prevent that.

Canyon Ranch Cookies

Hey All,

Happy Monday!  I don't know if any of you have heard of the Canyon Ranch (in AZ, FL, and MA) but its a chichi resort known for its fantastic spa, healthy food, and gorgeous locales. Every so often while I'm trolling the internet, I find their recipes and some of them are quite good! Yesterday I decided to try their healthy version of the chocolate chip cookie. Here is the recipe:

Canyon Ranch Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup lowfat cream cheese
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a baking dish with canola oil (I used vegetable oil, I'm sure you could substitute Pam if you don't feel like making a huge mess with paper towel and oil like I did).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, cream cheese and brown sugar on low speed with an electric mixer. Agg egg yolk and vanilla and mix on low until just combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add to butter mixter and mix by hand until combined.
  4. Portion heaping teaspoonfuls (or use a 3/4 ounce scoop) onto baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 7 minutes. Lightly flatten cookies with finger (I just used a spoon, I didn't feel like getting blisters on my hands). Rotate baking sheet and bake an additional 3 minutes.
FYI -- I think you could add oatmeal to these if you want a more substantial cookie and added fiber.

Makes approximately 38 cookies

Serving size: 1 cookie
85 calories
3 grams of fat
1 gram of protein
0 grams of fiber

Here's my schedule for the week:

Sunday -- 5k race (I actually did 5k hill powerwalk)
Monday -- stretch and strengthen (pilates and 30 day shred)
Tuesday -- 4.5 miles
Wednesday -- cross-train (bike or elliptical)
Thursday -- 4.5 miles and strengthen (30 day shred)
Friday -- rest
Saturday -- 50 minutes cross-train (bike)
Sunday -- 7 miles

I'm joining a gym tonight. I'm so excited!

xo, c

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Hills... and I'm not talking about Spencer Pratt

O.M.G.  Sooooooo I have a little confession to make. I hate running hills. Seriously, my hatred for hill running stems from when my dad took me to Wirth Park (normally a sledding hill) during the dead of summer to run it because apparently I was getting a little chubby. So from that day forward, I see hills and I want to barf.

Well, I figured that since my treadmill has an incline feature, I would just use that to experiment with some fierce hill running. Now, I should let you know that everytime I run on the treadmill I always use at least an incline of 1, but I usually do 2 or 3.... just because a perfectly flat surface is impossible to recreate in a race setting, unless you're racing around a track. (PS, I've also done a few runs/walks at the local highschool track, we'll get to that in a different post....)

So, [insert Christine huffing and puffing here] after 2 miles of incline repeats, I actually saw Jesus' face. Let me give you a little idea of how I attempted this suicide mission hill workout.
Allow yourself 2 hours away from husbands, children, pets, soulmates, partners-in-crime, etc to receive the full benefit of this workout (30 minutes on the treadmill and at least 90 minutes to watch Jersey Shore to allow your muscles to recover).

Here's what I did:

Warm-up 10 minutes  4.0 mph 3 incline 00:00-10:00
Interval 1 30 seconds 5.5 mph 10 incline 10:00-10:30
Interval 2 30 seconds 4.0 mph 5 incline 10:30-11:00
Repeat 14 more times 11:00-25:00
Cool-down 5 minutes 3.5 mph no incline 25:00-30:00

I'm just being honest here... towards the end I was not hitting the 5.5mph everytime. I was DYING. Legitimately dying. So, that's just a format to follow, by no means would I suggest to push yourself so hard that you feel as though you may actually fly off the treadmill.

Here's a little thought of the day for you to focus on while you sweat:

Ok, so I know I normally post all of the unicorns and rainbows inspirational quotes, but Addy was sitting next to me when I picked out that wolf image (and since her Husky looks just like a wolf) she decided that she wanted me to use the picture of the dog for the blog. So be it. What Addy says goes.  SO BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW! And then chew it up like its a Godiva dark chocolate with raspberries bar. YUM :)


xo, c

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Still alive and running

It’s been a while since we posted a blog. I can assure you we are both alive and well (and still running).

I did my first outdoor hill workout on Saturday. Wow. Ouch.

It’s not too late to get in on the Nike+ challenge.

Any runners have races coming up soon?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So Far So Good...

This week brings the 60 day countdown to the San Diego half marathon on June 6th. At the 60 day mark there is little room for error and every run counts. Training for the last half marathon, I did a lot of long boring runs on the treadmill, probably going slower than I should have, just to get it over with.

This time around, I am trying to train with more of a purpose. I am really working on my speed and working toward a time goal for finishing the race (my goal for the pervious race was just to cross the finish line still alive). This time I am incorporating a lot of interval training.

With the weather still not conducive to much outdoor running here, the battle for time on the treadmill continues to be ongoing with Sleeping Giant. To compromise we alternate 5 min on the treadmill and 5 min of cross training using dumbbells, the exercise ball, and incline bench. This makes the time fly by! It also pushes me to run harder and faster. We will see if it pays off!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter and a good article!

Happy Easter All! Hope you enjoyed some quality family time today and easter candy (of course!)...

Here is an awesome article by Jeff Galloway for new runners. It's great. I think it offers some really useful tips. Also, if you aren't a runner, but would like to be one, Hal Higdon has an awesome 30/30 plan that you must check out! I used this plan to get started running last year and it worked quite well for me.

I just wanted to let you know that THESE little gems will be 50% off at Target tomorrow:

Yummy! I love chocolate!

xo, c

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Have fun!

All winter running felt like a chore, so more often than not I decided not to do it! Over the past couple of weeks I got slapped in the face by reality, and had to accept the fact that ready or not, the June 6th half marathon is approaching whether I'm ready or not.

I took a tip from Christine's blog about other activities she does for cross training, and dusted off the jump rope. I then challenged Sleeping Giant to a jump-off (hollllaaaaa). Are you wondering who won? Come on, do you really think I would blog about this brilliant idea if it was not I that prevailed?

We then took turns running intervals on the treadmill, this was actually fun. First we walked for 5 min, then jog at 4 mph, then a run at 5 mph. During the rest period, we each did some cleaning up around the house and getting ready for the following day. There was no fighting for treadmill time or sacrificing household chores to run.

If you have a buddy use them for inspiration, push each other! Friends push each other to bring out the best in one another and want success for the other. A "Friends" use competition to foster her insecurities and hopes to win to make her feel better. So, be sure to find a FRIEND and not a "FRIEND"! I'm so lucky that Christine and sleeping Giant are friends!!!

13 Goals for 13 Miles

Hello kittens...

Hope your early Wednesday morning is going well! Mine is off to a sleepless start, so I decided to post a blog.

Leslie had a great idea about creating a list of ideas/tips to help her along with training for her next race. I decided (since I copy everything she does) that I would do the same thing. So here's my little list:

13 Goals for 13 Miles:

13. I will always remember a very important comment that my Dad made in regards to running (well, life in general). "Christine, always go the extra mile... it's never crowded and never goes unnoticed." Now I know he plagiarized that quote from somewhere, but my Dad is one of the most goal-oriented people I've ever met. What Randy wants, Randy gets. And at 62 years old, he smoked me by 10 minutes seconds in a 5k last summer. No, not a half marathon, a 5k.  The point of this little rant is that sometimes when you are absolutely mentally and physically EXHAUSTED (ie. ohhhh I don't know, the last 12 miles of the 13 that Les and I ran together...), you have to keep telling yourself, GO THE EXTRA MILE. If your goals are easy to achieve, make them harder, CHALLENGE YOURSELF! Test the limits of your strength. So, I've made a promise to myself (and Les) that I will push hard this time (because last time was such a breeze, HA!) and set a time goal and stick to it throughout the entire race.

12. No matter what, always try to be an encouragement to those around me. I received a text tonight from one of my girlfriends telling me about her running progress and that she reads the blog! I LOVE hearing this! You guys have no idea how important it is to me to always encourage other people and I get so excited when other people share stories with me. I love love love knowing that our little blog has given others inspiration and motivation. GOSH, IT MAKES ME FEEL SO SPECIAL! :)

11. Stop cheating on myself. To mirror what Les said about cheating on long runs at the end of the training... Yes Jesus, forgive my sins as well, because I lied about this to myself on a regular basis. Let's be real here, sometimes its really flippin' hard to find time to take an 8-mile run... it just is. But, if we want to do well, we must remember... "When the going gets tough, the tough get going. We need to put our noses to the grindstone and get serious." (FYI, I just included two infamous quotations from my Dad and Leslie's Dad, respectively, from when we were a little nervous about exams our freshman year in college. Ahhhh, the memories. Let me just wipe the tears gushing from my eyes. Ok, it passed, I'm fine now. Dang allergies!)

10. Leslie is right, "Cookies are not breakfast." Neither are M&Ms, Tofutti Cuties, gummi bears, Oreos, etc. STOP EATING JUNK CHRISTINE! Enough said. I will consistently monitor my fruit/vegetable/whole grain/lean protein intake in the next 8 weeks and I will make sure that I'm eating things that are good for me rather than a sleeve of Oreos in one sitting. Maybe, I'll see if I can stretch it out to two sittings....

9. Pay attention to pain. I'll just admit this right now. I hate getting old. I've researched (and in many cases, purchased) tons of anti-aging, wrinkle-reversal, make-me-look-younger products because I absolutely cannot face reality. I hate admitting to myself that I am indeed getting older. Because I am such teenager-wannabe, I tend to ignore those little aches that runners sometimes have... then they turn into big aches. OOOPSIES! My goal for this race is to pay attention to the little pains and figure out what might be causing the problem, for example, "Do I need new shoes?" "Did I not stretch properly?" "Would a few Botox injections solve the problem?" ETC.



6. PINOT NOIR.  WATER! I absolutely love diet coke, red wine, coffee, hot chocolate (basically ANYTHING that is NOT water)... I've slowly been incorporating more water into my routine. Those packets that you can toss into a water bottle (I prefer Crystal Light or Special K Protein) have really been helping a lot.

5. Just be Christine. Don't aspire to be Ryan Hall, Deana Kastor or anyone who does this professionally... like, as their job. JUST. BE. YOU. Because, let's face it, YOU are awesome, and if anyone wants to get all competitive and make you feel inferior, he or she is LAME. We all have great qualities and things that are totally unique to us and we all have aspects of our lives that maybe we aren't so proud of, but at the end of the day, we're all trying our hardest, and that's what matters. I mean, hey, I might not be the fastest runner out there, but I have a pretty sweet handbag collection a really positive attitude. You are great, don't let anyone tell you different. And if they do, send them my way, maybe they just need the Speedy 25 across the eyes special a hug. ;)

4. Tell someone your goal. Today when Les and I were bbming (a daily ritual), I told her one of my goals for a race following San Diego in July. If you want to force yourself to stick to something, advertise your goals. Its a whole heck of a lot harder to quit when you've told dozens of people about your plans!

3. Treat yourself. Leslie and I have always been big fans of doing something special for ourselves when we spend time with each other (for those of you who don't know this, Leslie and I have lived hundreds and hundreds of miles apart from each other for the last six years, so our visits with each other are cherished!). Regardless of price, we always do something fun together to remember the race/trip.

2. SLEEP. I need to focus on getting 7-8 regular hours of sleep a night. Addy, go with it, girl. We can do this together. You in your bed. Me in mine. Game on!

1. OK, instead of creating one final goal, I'm about to go work on goal #2, sleeping. Night all!

xo, c

"Within each of us is a hidden store of determination. Determination to keep us in the race when all seems lost." --Roger Dawson

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sitting on my ass all day

I work...a lot.  I spend most of my day sitting at my desk working hard (see blogging/FB-ing). I got to thinking of things I can do at the office to benefit my health. Now that the weather is warming up, on days when I can, I go outside for a walk.  I'm finding that it does wonders for my mental state and gets my blood pumping.

That inspired me to see what else I can do at work.  Here is my next purchase: the balance ball chair . In researching chairs similar to this, I found the Hawaii Chair, check it out on You Tube.  I think I'll pass on that, but it's amusing.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Half Marathon Confessional

Bless me Father for I have sinned, it’s been about 800 years since my last confession. Ha! In training for the last half marathon, I told some white lies, TO MYSELF. I’m having flash backs off all those times as a kid I was supposed to be practicing piano or flute, but was watching TV. My parents or teachers would find out, because it was obvious from the quality of my performance.

Well the same thing happened with my running. Towards the end of the training program for the last half marathon, I would tell myself “oh that’s enough for today, I’ll make that run up later…” Well when that day finally arrived in mid January, I was so mad at myself for not being honest with my progress. While I am proud of the race Christine and I ran, I know it wasn’t the best I could do, if I had been more honest with myself I know I could have done better. So in training this time here are my 10 commandments:
1. I will not run at 0% incline if I MUST run indoors

2. No excuses for running indoors on days when weather is not an issue

3. I will not use cross training days as rest days

4. I will not consume 3,000 calories at the Olive Garden pre-race

5. I WILL NOT wear anything I have not run in prior to the race (please see Under Armor compression shorts purchased less than 24 hours before race day and the 3 inch by 3 inch area on my lower back that required a skin graft, well not really but almost)

6. I WILL warm up and stretch before the race, even if Christine makes fun of me

7. I will be responsible for charging and unplugging my own ipod pre race (if you want to hear about the day Sleep Giant almost lost his head ask Christine what happened)

8. I will eat a good breakfast before the race, not cookies

9. I will find stress free transportation to the race

10. I will clear the 4 days post race and plan on “chillaxin” as Sleeping Giant would say

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fun Running Fact!

They say that less than 0.5% (less than one-half of one-percent) of Americans will ever complete a marathon. With roughly 308,000,000 people in the United States right now, only about 1.5 million of them have the physical stamina, the desire, and the motivation that marathon runners have. Hey, that's pretty elite! I'll take it! :)

Come be "elite: with us this December!

Have a great week!

xo, c

Friday, March 26, 2010

A few things I've been doing...

Hi All...

I just wanted to give you a few updates in regards to my training for the big halfer in SD. First of all, San Diego is really sunny, so I've put a lot of effort into my tan recently.... ok just kidding. I'm not really funny today. I'll stop :)
  • I have SLOWLY started to incorporate egg whites and low-fat cheese into my diet. I have no intention of ever eating as much dairy as I used to, but I do miss those foods and its hard to go completely vegan especially while eating out. I will say this, my headaches have drastically improved and I will definitely be monitoring my dairy intake to see if this was indeed the culprit for all of the headaches I used to have. PS. Meat still makes me want to vomit, so I don't think I'll be bringing that back into the old repertoire anytime soon.
  • I am on day 6 of the 30 DAY SHRED with Jillian Michaels. Oh. My. God. This chick is crazy. I'm not in a ton of pain after the workouts, per se, but I think that may be because my entire body is in shock and I don't even know what pain feels like anymore. This is a pretty tough workout but only 20 minutes long so its easy to stick with... and I start Level Two today, so wish me luck. This DVD is awesome and its only $9.00 at Target, so you might as well get it. Let me tell you this much, its kicking my biceps into high gear (a lot more pain than the Shake Weight).
  • Also, and I'm about to sound like a massive dork here, but I've been doing a lot of jump roping with weights on my ankles. "Now Christine, why would you  have ankle weights?" you ask.... Well, I'm six feet tall and when I was in highschool my dad was still really bummed that he didn't have a son and he offered to buy me any car I wanted if I got really serious about a sport (basketball, perhaps?) and learned to DUNK. Well, obviously for an uncoordinated loser like myself, this was going to take some serious working out. Well, my aunt told me that her brother-in-law could dunk(who was only 5'10" and played bball at Marquette) and I asked her what he did... she said "well I think he just jump roped with weights on his ankles..." and the rest is history. I never did learn to dunk so instead of "any car I wanted," I got a pretty sweet CAMRY. Then, after that Camry, I got another Camry and then a company car... So yeah, I'm still waiting on that Bentley. But, to make a very long and rather lame story short, this jump roping will tear up your calves and quads like nobody's business. Trust me, I know, I'm an elite athlete here.
  • I have been doing lots of outdoor power walks lately instead of runs... My knees KILL me when I run outside (that's why I'm such a slave to the treadmill) and this walking thing has actually really helped a lot... I've been trying to do one long run and several short walks a week outside and I really feel my joints getting stronger. Or maybe I'm just delirious from Jillian Michaels. Who knows. I'll keep you updated.
Well I know I mentioned before that I've been keeping a gratitude journal...

I am grateful for the SUNNY weather!

Anyone who knows me knows I hate clouds, cold, snow, rain, sleet, etc.  Basically this means I hate Wisconsin, period. But lately we've had some nice, sunny weather! Which is awesome! I love it and I hope it never leaves! Yay sun!

Alright, peace out!

xo, c

Monday, March 22, 2010

76 Days and counting until San Diego

Wow, the Rock and Roll San Diego Half Marathon is sneaking up on me. I'm slowly getting back into a serious training program, but struggling to push through and stay motivated. Perhaps it is because I know the impending pain about to be thrust upon my body as I train for this half, and (hurts to even think about) the pain to be had post race.

While brainstorming this weekend, I came up with a few lessons learned from the first half. So, I thought I would share my plan to make the second half marathon slightly less painful.

1. Yoga, stretch, and more yoga. Last summer I found a yogi and a class that I love, it was reasonably priced, good timing, and close to home. I attended class two days a week and felt amazing. I gaining flexibility, had fewer headaches, and just felt better overall. When I started a new job in November I couldn't make it to one of the classes I was attending regularly, then they canceled the weekend class I was attending. I attempted to do some yoga on my own, but didn't follow through. So, for the next 11 weeks, I am going to get back into the yoga habit. I know as the miles start to increase stretching and keeping those muscles relaxed is so important. I also had a back spasm during the first race and I do not want that to happen again.

2. Drop a few pounds. I'm not talking anything crazy here, but the less weight your moving over 13 miles, the easier it is going to be. With a few modifications in my diet and as the miles start increasing on a weekly basis, the weight will drop. I just need to continue to monitor this, because it is also easy to gain weight as you train due to increased hunger.

3. Making my own training program. There are many great training programs for purchase or for free on the internet. The key to any program you chose is actually committing to following it. Take a realistic look at the plan and your life and make sure they work together. I followed a plan for the first half, as the miles started to increase I did not always have time to follow the plan exactly, that got discouraging and I started to slack. Towards the end I found myself trying to play catch-up which is a bad idea and can cause injury. So this time I have incorporated some different plans to make my own, borrowing from: FIRST training ,, and of course Hal's .

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Race Updates, Speed Training, Gratitude Journal

Happy Thursday Everyone! 

First and foremost... we are less than 90 days away from the San Diego Half-Marathon. Woooo! How excited am I to spend an awesome weekend in an awesome city with the awesomest person in the world? VERY EXCITED! And let me tell you the best part... we are only doing a HALF! After much deliberation (full or half, half or full, full or half, half or full?!?!), we decided that a half marathon would be the best option for us in San Diego. Now, here's the biggest bestest news of all... WE ARE DOING A FULL MARATHON TOGETHER IN LAS VEGAS THIS DECEMBER!

There are two reasons we chose Las Vegas. Awesome hotels. Awesome shopping. Additionally, it will be our third "Rock 'n' Roll" race in the 2010 calendar year, so we'll get a killer medal. If you're privileged enough to know Les or me personally, you know that we are both extremely competitive people and any sort of "special award" or "limited edition" type of medal will have both of us jet-setting to god knows where to collect our prize. So there you have it, see ya in Vegas!

Today I read an awesome article on speed training on the Runner's World website. I'd link you to it, but I think you're smart and you can find it on your own. Actually I'm kidding, I just can't find it now and I'm being lazy. Regardless of the article, something I took away from the article is that I need to try working out on the track once in awhile and pay attention to my stride and make sure I'm making the most of these long legs.

Lastly, I'm keeping a gratitude journal starting, well, today. The first thing I'm grateful for is the weather. It has been super cloudy, but decently warm (40s-50s) in Wisconsin the last few days. This is awesome because it has allowed me to run twice outside in the last two days. YESSSSS! So that's entry #1: the weather. Check back soon to see what else I'm grateful for... :)

Have a great day!

xo, c