Very Inspiring Blogger Award

This month, our little blog was nominated by Diary of an Everyday Girl as a Very Inspiring Blogger. So exciting to discover that someone actually reads our little rants.  And quite humbling to be called "inspiring". <blush>

Here are the rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you. 
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know. 

Since this is a joint blog, DG and I will split this up.

1.  (DB) I'm a fiber artist.  I knit, crochet, and spin my own yarn. I own two spinning wheels.  I crochet 'amigurumi' - crocheted toys.  Also, I knit...  sweaters, hats, socks, lace shawls, etc.  I've been asked to teach at a local yarn store, and occasionally offer instruction on advanced knitting techniques and crocheted toys.  Anyone reading this that is also a fiber junkie, you can find me on as BeltwaySpinner  (a nod to my political interests and Washington DC roots)

See! Fun, right?

The spinning wheel does appear scary in this scene with Princess Aurora - but it is definitely not scary in real life.  Modern wheels use flyers, not the 'spindle' upon which Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger - so there is no danger of hurting yourself or falling into an enchanted sleep.

2.  (DB) I love, I mean REALLY love to travel.  I've been to thirty eight countries, five of these merited multiple trips.  Backpacking around Europe?  Loved it so much, I did it three times.  I can't choose one favorite country - all are so different and impossible for me to rate against one another.  Still at the top of my list of places to go:  Greece.

3. (DB) I'm not a lawyer, I just play one on TV.  So I pursued a career as an attorney for a time.  It wasn't really for me.  I've not written it off forever, and I can see myself going back for the right opportunity.  I still maintain a strong interest in Intellectual Property Law: Copyright, of course, but especially Trademark Law.  I know! I know! Super sexy and thrilling, right? Try to contain your excitement.  Law is a nerdy business, and finding a specialty that floats your boat you is no small thing.

4. (DG) I work as a utility regulator (and you thought that trademark law was sexy).  I actually enjoy my work.  Working with energy policy keeps me on my toes and reminds me that I need to learn new things every day.  It also allows me to interact with politicians and shape energy policy. 

5. (DG) Until very recently, I didn’t enjoy running.  Running had always be something that allowed me to be better at another sport.  Now I enjoy running for the sake of running.  I hope the lighter moments on our blog bring joy to your running as well. 

6. (DG) I love bacon!  My love started long before bacon was cool.  Ten years ago, I organized several intramural teams that I named bacon.  My bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers have been making appearances at tailgates since 2000.  I may have to write a post about my favorite bacon.

7. We are aunt and uncle to a pair of rambunctious girls - DG's brother has two little princesses, and more recently: a newborn nephew, son to DB's sister. We have already shared our love of Princesses and Buzz Lightyear - and decked out our little relatives with clothes, toys, and swag featuring our favorite Disney characters..  Now we just need to convince our siblings to let us 'borrow' their kids on runDisney weekends, so we can experience some of the Kid's Races and events.

Nominations:  Instead of 15, I have twelve names.  I'd like to nominate ten fellow #SPAs also known as Sweat Pink Ambassadors, plus the one blogger who nominated us. DisneyGroom has a nomination for Running is Funny, a blog we both enjoy that also looks for the lighter side of running.

Running is Funny
Barking Mad About RunningFitness-Love
Running, Loving, Living
Piloting Paper Airplanes
Happy Fit Mama
Get Fit With Krista
Get Fit Naturally
Gina's Fit Life
Healthy Food Fit Family
Fabulous Fit Foodie
Diary of an Everyday Girl

#Motivation Monday: #BostonStrong

Sunday April 21, 2013, the running community of Tallahassee gathered to run 5.2 miles.  The 5.2 miles is not arbitary - rather it was a show of solidarity for the many runners stopped at Mile 21 of the Boston Marathon course that fateful last Monday.  These runners were robbed of their chance to finish their race.  Whether you run or walk 5Ks, ultras, or anything in between - crossing the finish line is a big deal.  You put in the miles training for your race, you mentally prepare, you have loved ones rooting for you - it's important to complete that distance.

What started as a little facebook event announced last week, grew exponentially.  Shannon of BadAss Fitness initiated this run expecting 40 - 50 runners.  She got 1000 runners plus volunteers.  Local businesses donated many wonderful prizes to raffle.  When all was said and done, over $12,000 was raised for the Boston Red Cross.

This event had a more serious tone than other races you might attend.  There were prayers, hugs, and sharing of stories.  But it wasn't sad.  It was uplifting.  The common theme was being strong for Boston, sending them our thoughts, our donations, and our prayers.

Terrorists take note: Runners are not, and will never be victims.

Kona Kase Review

I got the chance to try a subscription box service, Kona Kase this past week.  Kona Kase is designed for the endurance athlete in mind.  Packed full of healthy snacks, a box will arrive at your door once a month.  How neat is that?

Here is why I really liked it:
  •  Everything was tasty.
  • With the exception of the ClifBar Shot Blocks, that I use often, all the products were new to me.
  • These were full-size products, not bite-size or 'sample-size' like you might try at a health expo or receive in a promotion.
  • There is a handy-dandy Grade Card with ordering info.  You can rate the products, and have a list of your favorites to purchase later.
  • Many of the products in your Kona Kase come with discount codes listed on the Grade Card.
  • Everything arrived in a cute little box that can be re-used.
  • This would be a very thoughtful gift to the runner in your life.  And because you can order on-line, it can be a last minute gift and the recipient would never know!
  • Broad selection of things you may not have seen before, but now can't live without.

Fair Warning:  Do you come back from the gym RAVENOUS?  Well DG and I do. The box was sitting in my mailbox when I got back from the gym.  A box of delicious healthy goodies delivered right to my house proved rather tempting.  That first night, I put a major dent in the contents. That is not Kona Kase's fault, of course.  But it did feel a little bit like Halloween, except with good-for-you treats.

Ready to get a Kona Kase box of your very own? 

Head on over to and use the code:  RunningHappily for $5 off your first box.

Have you tried a monthly subscription box service?  What did you think?

Note:  I was provided with one (1) free box of Kona Kase for review purposes only.  There was no montetary compensation.  All opinions stated here are my own.

What Can I Do? #ICE

The shock of Monday’s Boston Marathon tragedy is still fresh.  Under normal circumstances, my words will flow on paper or in real life.  Since 3pm Monday however, I find myself not wanting to say much.  I read news. I read social media outlets.  I retweet the ones that catch my eye.  And I continue to shake my head and my fists in sadness and anger.  I wasn’t in Boston that day.  I do have runner friends that were there, along with their families.  As I connected with them one by one late Monday and into Tuesday, I listened to, and read their stories.  I am so very thankful that all are safe.  I am also brokenhearted that their wonderful weekend was ruined by such horror.

I urge everyone to read some of the personal accounts of the eyewitnesses and runners that day.  Read the stories of family members trying to locate loved ones amid the mass confusion following the bombings.  Families glued to their TVs hoping for a glimpse of their loved ones, and frantically calling unanswered mobile phones over and over and over.  Minutes ticked by, turning into hours before there was any word.  'Your son is in the hospital and has lost both of his legs.' and in other cases worse. I can't imagine the pain and torture of that statement - but I can relate to the preceding hours of panic - and frustration of the unknown.  I have no Boston Marathon 2013 story, but I do see a lesson.

Those that know me in real life know that I’m not wired to pour out my emotions. I’m wired to listen, to analyze, and then dispense practical advice. And that is what today’s post will be.
I hesitated to write this several weeks ago when it occurred, even though the message is the same.  This post is especially relevant after such a tragedy.  Presently, I believe this little blog reaches only runDisney enthusiasts.  I believe this lesson is important enough to reach EVERYONE – runners and non-runners alike, and I hope this brings more readers, that in turn share this post.  I’m also sharing this with my local running club, and online running groups, and hope anyone reading this will do the same.  If you don’t read any of my other posts, that’s fine.  But please read this one.
Early one Saturday last month, DG and I were headed to a local 5K.  We were looking forward to this one especially because this would be our first time racing with some friends.  The husband is good friends with DG and a former triathlete, so he runs with us often.  This race however would also be run by his wife, as she had finally caved to the peer pressure of us three – and agreed to a race.  It’s a great feeling to drag a newbie out for their first 5K.  Because you just KNOW they will become as addicted as you.  So it promised to be a great morning.  I was very eager to run/walk with her, while our husbands ran together further up the pack.  But it wasn’t to be.
On the way to our race, DG spotted a man walking by the side of the road stagger and fall down.  DG stopped the Jeep and I called 911.  Another motorist also stopped to assist.  In what was the longest 15 minutes of my life, we waited for the ambulance to arrive.  During that time, the man appeared to be having a stroke and was really struggling to breathe.  We put the 911 operator on speaker, and DG followed her instructions to the letter.  We both kneeled in the grass next to the man; while DG administered CPR in the manner directed, I held the man’s hand and prayed quietly.  A passerby flagged down a Deputy Sheriff.  The officer brought a defribrillator and took over the situation.  But about three minutes before the ambulance arrived, we saw this man breathe his very last breath. 
There were others that stopped to help.  They had searched the man’s truck and his pockets. No mobile phone. No emergency contact info.  I was sick with grief for this poor man’s family, expecting him to come home.

We never made it to our race. We called our friends and explained. We were both shaken by the events that morning.  So we went to see our priest, and I talked out some of my thoughts.  The paramedics told us that we could not have saved him.  But that did little to lighten my heart.  We had discovered the man lived just down the road from where he collapsed.  There would have been time to notify a family member, or even for one to arrive on the scene while he was still alive.  A family member would surely know if there was a history of a heart condition or stroke, diabetes, or something else that may have caused him to collapse.  Instead, this poor man died on the side of highway, surrounded by strangers. And while everyone that stopped to ‘help’ was well-intentioned, we were all in effect, helpless in our ignorance.
Let me say that I am in absolute AWE of police, firefighters, and medical staff that deal with similar situations on a daily basis.  You all are amazing individuals.  Oddly enough, DG and myself have many family members (including both of his parents and my Dad) with backgrounds in medicine and health care.  They would all know exactly what to do – but neither of us had the inclination to pursue healthcare as a profession, and that day I was very angry with myself over my lack of knowledge.
So I tried to make sense of what had happened. And I came to a conclusion. After the initial shock of what I witnessed, what upset me most was that the man did not have any emergency contact information on him.  I thought of my Dad, in his mid 60s, with multiple health issues, living in a busy Washington DC neighborhood. I imagined something similar happening, and strangers scrambling to find out who to call.  I thought of my mother, struggling with early onset dementia for the past nine years.  She lives in Tampa, and is well looked after; but on two occasions has wandered off and been unable to remember where she was.  And I thought of DG, beginning his training for the Goofy Challenge (since that day it has become Dopey Challenge training), and I thought of the many long hours he would be out running on the trails or roads.   Anything could happen to my parents or my husband, and no one would know to call me!   And then I looked down at my RoadID, a gift from DG that I had specifically requested once I started longer training runs.
That night, I gathered info and ordered some ICE (In Case of Emergency) bracelets. I also told my loved ones WHY it is important to wear them, and that ANYTHING can happen unexpectedly.  And I stressed that I would be heartbroken and furious if I wasn’t notified immediately.  I’ve lived 1000+ miles away from both of my parents for most of the past 20 years, and sometimes have found out over a week later that there was an accident or a hospital stay.  Stuff would happen and no one called me.  This would finally put a stop to that.
We are human, we are vulnerable, we should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.  For most of us it won’t be a stroke, or the mass chaos of a terrorist attack.  And we should give thanks that it isn’t.  But running on a familiar trail and tripping over a fallen branch… I could see that happening to me, or to DG.  A car accident, a ‘slip and fall’ in a store, a child taking off and running into a crowd at a theme park.  These things happen everyday.  Sure some runners put one on for a long training session, but really, how often do you see the average person on the street wearing an ICE bracelet?

So that is my practical advice.  Wear an ICE bracelet everyday.  Running, cycling, grocery shopping, to the playground, to the office, whatever you do - please have something.  And for your loved ones too, as soon as you can, gather the info you need and get something for them also.  Don't put your family through hours of not knowing.  It is pure hell to wait for news like that.  If you are not able to call, someone on the scene will have a mobile and can call the numbers on your bracelet.
This is not a promotional post.  There are no coupons or giveaways.  Hopefully in the future I will do one. 
Health, Safety, and Peace of Mind should not wait for a discount code though.

What to put on an ICE bracelet 
Mine contains the following information:   
  • FirstName LastName / b. 1972 (year of birth is helpful to first responders)
  • Walt 850.555.5555 Husband
  • JC 202.555.5555 Sister
  • Donor/Allergic to NSAIDS (any allergies or medical conditions – are important)
  • Catholic – Call Priest (hope we never need that one)

Other suggestions: blood type, donor status, food allergies, asthma, gastric bypass, implant devices, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Really ANYTHING that might be important can go on there.  There are character limits for each line, so do some googling for common and recognizable abbreviations, e.g. HI BP.

Where does one get an ICE bracelet?
I went with Road ID; it was designed for runners and triathletes, and has everything I wanted.  I really like Road ID’s Wrist ID Elite for seniors and perhaps some children.  It is a bit tricky to put on and remove, so they may be less likely to ditch it when you aren’t looking. DG and I both wear the Wrist ID Sport, but I will be ordering a Wrist ID Slim here soon.

These are some other vendors I found online.  I’ve not tried these personally and cannot comment on them.

In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to learn more, and mentally and emotionally process Monday’s bombings.  They will no doubt be in the forefront of our thoughts at many of our future races.  Runners are people of action.  Right now, the entire running community is primed and ready to take action – but we continue to ask, “What can I do?”  Some will give blood to their local Red Cross.  Some will offer up #PrayersforBoston. Some will wear race shirts. Some will run 26.2, or 5.2, or 4.09 in local events wearing memorial bibs.
But this is something that EVERYONE reading this can DO TODAY.  And no, it cannot help the victims from Monday, not in a tangible way.  But it does show that we can always learn something from tragedy.  I learned that lesson several weeks ago on the shoulder of a state highway, waiting for an ambulance that seemed to take forever.  I should have shared it then.  But then this happened. 
Nothing but time and faith can heal the scars from the Boston Marathon tragedy. But this small action, the simple wearing of emergency contact information, THIS can bring you and your loved ones a little bit of peace.
(DG adds:  In addition to the above, take a CPR class and learn basic first aid.  Hope you never need it, but be prepared if you do. ) Excellent advice!
Note: This blog post is not a product review or promotion for any of the vendors listed.  I was not compensated in any way for writing this.  Bracelets were purchased by myself and DG, not gifted by anyone. All opinions are my own.
I would really love it if you comment and tell us that you ordered an ICE bracelet.

#MotivationMonday Watch Boston Marathon LIVE!

I have so many ideas in my head for this week's Motivation Monday, but really nothing can top this.

Today is one of the greatest days in road racing, the 117th annual Boston Athletic Association Marathon.  Coverage is live today beginning at 9:30am EST.  Expect it to be streaming most of today.

Enjoy, and be motivated.

We're EVERYWHERE! New runDisney runner fan group on LinkedIn

Very short and sweet post today, I promise.
If you're like DG and myself, there's no such thing as too much runDisney! 
To that end, check out the brand new fan group on LinkedIn.

And because all runDisney fans love countdowns...

21 Days until Expedition Everest!
139 Days until Disneyland Half Weekend!
174 Days until Tower of Terror Weekend!
209 Days until Wine & Dine Weekend!
271 Days until WDW Marathon Weekend!

Have an AWESOME and ACTIVE weekend!
I'll be running the Clearwater IronGirl on Sunday and hope to see many of my runDisney peeps!
Recap to come next week.. because I know you miss my rambling long-winded posts. ha ha


The running blogosphere is buzzing with #BestRun posts and tweets.  I've read many of these testimonials with awe, tinged with envy.

I can't say my #BestRun is completing a marathon.  I can't say my #BestRun is shattering a 5K PR.  I can't say my #BestRun is coming back from a crippling injury or illness.  My runs are none of those things.

I am an everyday slow runner. I don't rack up impressive weekly mileage or diligently track speedwork, tempo runs, hillwork, cross training, etc.   I've finished in the far back of the pack in every race I've ever entered.  I have crappy runs.  Lots of them. 

I pondered this at length... what IS my #BestRun? And I became convinced I've never had one.  That I am still chasing my #BestRun like a child chases a rainbow or a runaway balloon.

Last night, my local running club, Gulf Winds Track Club, held its first meeting of an 8-week trail running training group, TrailBlazers.  I've done other group runs with this club and know the drill.  We break up into three groups:  Advanced (sub 9mm), Intermediate (9-10mm), and Beginners (11mm+).  Now I just started running six months ago, but I really dove in.  So, I don't actually FEEL like a beginner. However I am slow - so that is my label.
A few friends I had hoped would make it were not able to be there.  So I decided to walk by myself at a brisk pace.  Each pack took off in waves.  And I watched them go.  This week we were running my usual trail, and I knew it well.  There I was, third from last, walking.  While I walked, I thought to myself:

1. Why did I wear my white Mizunos?  They'll get all muddy.  I should've worn my old Brooks.
2. I wonder why Friend A and Friend B couldn't make it at last minute.  I hope they come next week, I dont want to do the next eight weeks by myself.  (DG comes to the training runs - but he runs in the faster group - essentially leaving me alone.)
3. Cripes!  I didn't wear a running bra.  This stupid sports bra has ZERO support. Better not even attempt to jog, or I'll hurt myself.
4. The mosquitoes are getting really bad already.  Why do mosquitoes ignore everyone else in the vicinity and only feast on me?
5.  I'm going to yell at DG when I see him for not reminding me to coat myself with bug repellant.
6. How long have we been out here?  Maybe I should head back to the Jeep.  No wait, we brought DG's Jeep today, not mine.
7. I'm going to yell at DG for not giving me his spare Jeep key so I can sit and wait for him instead of being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
8. I wonder if these mosquitoes have malaria?  Have I been vaccinated against malaria?  Where are my childhood shot records?
9.  Why didn't I bring headphones? I have a pair each in my Nathan belt and my SPIbelt, but I was so eager to try out my new iFitness belt -  I didn't pack anything in it.
10.  DG could've offered me HIS keys before the run started. At least!
11. Out of over 40 people on this run, I'm the only person here wearing tights.  Everyone else is wearing shorts.  They are not as delicious to the mosquitoes - so they don't need to cover their legs.
12.  How long have I been out here?  There is no way that mile marker is correct; I've gone further than that!

Shortly into the second mile, I looked down at my feet and saw I was running.  Now my thoughts were:

1. I'm running!  It feels suprisingly good!
2.  If I stay low to the ground like this and don't bounce, my lack of supportive bra doesn't bother me too bad.
3. How does my form look?
4. Hmm, now what was the Chi Running mental checklist I should be going over?
5.  Should I walk now?  I don't want to walk.
6.  Wow.  I'm doing the deep belly breathing the right way, without thinking about it.
7. Well, I'm thinking about it NOW.  But I was doing it before - unconsciously.
8.  I'm going FAST!
9. Whee!
10.  I still don't want to walk.  But maybe I should.
11. Who says?
12. Jeff Galloway says.
13.  I'll walk later.  This can't last forever.
14.  Seriously, I can't believe I'm still running. 
15. I'm Pocahontas, scampering through the woods!

And so on.  What started as a blah walk in the woods turned into my #BestRun.  I ran the furthest I have without walking in recent memory.  It wasn't an impressive distance or speed.  But it was an everyday sort of victory.  It was a reluctant beginning that turned into something better.  And sometimes that is what a #BestRun is.


When we got home, I found my #SweatPink Ambassador Welcome Package waiting for me in the mailbox.  More on that later!

Motivation Monday: runDisney Countdown

General registration is April 9th for 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. We've done early registration and are excited about Inaugural Dopey Challenge for DG, and the Inaugural Minnie 10K for me! If you are still undecided, don't wait too long. Predictions are that these events will see a quick sellout.

Wordless Wednesday: Food for Thought