Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cast your vote for this special runner!

As you may or may not know, the program Girls on the Run International holds a special place in my heart. Several of my students were participants in the program when I was teaching in Charlotte, NC and I saw it transform their lives . . . and through their growth, the program transformed my life. Anyhow . . . you can read more about THAT on my website, but that's not really why I'm posting this, it is just the background.

You may have heard about the Youth Achievement Awards being given at the ESPN ESPY's this year in LA. It is the first time that they are honoring youth, so it is a very exciting thing. One of the finalists for the award is a Girls on the Run participant - Nichyria. You can visit the site and check out her story (and, to be fair, check out the other 4 youth, too . . . but you know deep in your heart, you'll choose the RUNNER!) about her growth and her personal goals, which were inspired by the lessons she learned through the power of running and Girls on the Run. I promise the time you spend on the site is WELL worth it! This girl will inspire YOU!!!

The Girls on the Run of Chicago Executive Director Kelly O'Brien reports this:

"Nichyria is up on the web, putting herself out there for people all over America to "vote." Every day, the web tells you the score. Right now she is, according to the vicious web, in "last" place. This KILLS me. We all, every one of us, work so hard to let these kids know that they are all FIRST. They are all special. The rest of the world is not always so kind .

So I write to you with two specific requests:

1. Please, please, vote for her once each day. You can do this right through the Girls on the Run homepage at

2. Please spread the word! Send to your friends and family, post on your website, your MySpace pages, your blogs, email to your friends. We need to get the word out.

Yes, Nichryia happens to be from Chicago. But she represents ALL our girls. She represents all that is so great about GOTR, and I want to give her the best chance to shine for us, but also be sure she knows that she's already a star! "

I echo this request and have already put in my vote for this special girl today - and will do so each day until the voting closes. This is a great way for us all to pass along our passion for running and to recognize the strength that running brings to character and self-esteem development!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Backyard Camping: Take 2

Well, we ended up bringing our son in from the tent on Saturday night around 11PM when we went to bed. When we brought him in for a potty break he was sweaty and we were concerned that all of the sweat would leave him chilled as the temps dropped for the night. The choice wasn't an easy one, for there was no telling what his reaction would be in the morning when he woke up in his own bed instead of the coveted tent. Though he woke up earlier than we would have liked (6:15 . . . *sigh*), he was a jolly little guy and immediately asked if he could go out and play in the tent. But, of course!
We dragged our own tired selves out of bed and got everything ready for an adventure at the Seattle Zoo (which, because it is out here in WA doesn't open until 9:30 - seems a bit late for this gal who grew up east of the Mississippi!). I even remembered to pack the camera (though I discovered later when there was a picture-perfect moment that the camera didn't have the memory card in it - *doh!*). We didn't tell the kids where we were going - Little Sister doesn't remember her previous zoo trips and Big Brother was thrilled to have a mystery adventure. Not so surprisingly, both kids fell asleep on the way there (proof that what we've been saying about getting up early is true - when you're 3, it makes you TIRED - actually at any age it can make you feel tired!!!). As we parked the car, Big Brother woke up and bellowed, "We're at the ZOO!" Little Sister was so zonked she didn't wake up until nearly 30 minutes later when we finally made it through the ticket line and could enjoy the sites (and that includes sleeping through the transition from the carseat to the pack). She's got a knack for timing things just right. I mean, why wake up to bore yourself with waiting in line?
It really was a magical day on Sunday. The kids had a really great time all day and were even as cooperative as could be expected for my husband as I was fitted for a new pair of running shoes (more about that tomorrow), even though it was well past lunch time and we had been at the zoo for 3 hours. When we got settled into the car after purchasing said shoes, my son declared, "I'm not going to take a nap today!" and in the next breath doubled over and was sound asleep for the next 2+ hours (he didn't even flinch when we transfered him from the car to his bed).
When he asked if he could sleep in the tent for another night, we felt it would be a great treat for having such a great day. He got all situated, had his dad read to him in the tent, zipped up all the windows and tried to settle in. Unfortunately for his sleeping desires, it was quite the sunny evening (even at 8:15 as he was trying to doze) so all of the neighbors were out in their yards and it was too much light for him. He tried to stick it out, but finally asked to come in and sleep in his "cave" of a room around 8:45. No sooner did we have the sheets pulled up to his chin and he was O-U-T. And this time he slept until 7:15!
While he didn't actually make it a full night (partially our fault, I suppose), we do feel certain that he'll do well on our camping excursions this summer. And, we just may pull out the tent to try again some other beautiful weekend.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

He IS a runner already!

I don't recall what prompted the conversation yesterday, but my son's message rang loud and clear and I'm not likely to forget it anytime soon:

He IS a runner ALREADY!!!

I think I was plotting some future races with my husband - discussing whether it is reasonable for him to do a full marathon in the fall (plausible), my conviction to do a half vs. a full in the fall (he votes for me to do a full or even a 50 miler (haha, what a kidder he is)), and how we could line up our training runs. We're dreaming of the days when he can bike along side us while we run (at least for shorter distances)!

I must have said something to the effect of:

"And when you're a runner, you can do that, too."

To which he immediately went off on a rant that only a 3 year-old who is a little over a month shy of his 4th birthday can pull-off (I'm not even sure if he breathed):

"I AM a runner. I like to run! I can run fast, too. Just the other day I ran with you and Dad while (Little Sister) was in the jogger. She's not a runner yet because she's too little, but I AM a runner already because I can run and I can run FAST! I swing my arms and my legs GO! So, Mom, I'm a runner ALREADY!!!"

Message received. The boy is a runner. You can bet I'm not going to stand in his way!

So, this little runner of mine is camping in the backyard tonight. He had high hopes that we'd open up the camper and let him bunk there for the night so he could really dream of our camping excursions for the summer, but he thinks the tent option is okay, too, especially since it is his dad's tent, not his little play tent. We're not sure if he'll really last there tonight (my husband will be out there with him, too, we're not TOTALLY crazy!), but we're giving it our best shot. We filled his day with adventure:
- bike shopping for my mom (she found one!)
- an 8 mile bike ride on his tag-along with my husband with my parents on their tandem (meanwhile, I ran 5 miles with Little Sis in the jogger)
- yard time
- a 1 mile walk home from dinner at my parents'

So this boy is BOUND to sleep, right? Especially since this is his first week with only 1 nap (prior to this we were at an average of 4 naps/week). So far he's been out there for 45 minutes - after about 30 he dismissed his dad saying, "You've been out here long enough. You can go. But be sure to come back when it is your bedtime."

I just heard the back door open and his little voice chirping something about getting a drink. I'm not sure of my husband's location, so he might be back in the tent. I should probably fetch his pillow for him, because he might just end up there permanently until morning. Not quite like his treasured camping experiences of his youth, the Boy Scout that he was and the adventurous high schooler and college boy that he became . . . but it is the first "camping" that he's even had a chance to think about this spring, and he's passing his torch of love for camping down to our son, so I think he's fine with whatever tonight brings. Let's hope!

Of course we spent most of yesterday preparing his bedroom with blackout curtains to keep the sun from keeping him up until 9:30 and waking him up at 5AM . . . and what do we do now that his room is a total bear cave? We have him sleep OUTSIDE. Smart? Ah, well, that's the fun of a long weekend, I suppose!

So . . . here's to an adventure-filled weekend and the possibilities that come with going with the flow!

And here's to all of you for not judging me or my writing based on the amazing number of run-on sentences and lack of flow in tonight's post. It has been a LONG (but good!) day and I'm thrilled to still have my eyes open.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Breath of Fresh Air - Eco-Runner

No, the title for this post isn't about how grand the weather is here (because, just as quickly as fabulous weather graced us with its beauty, it went away leaving us with CRAZY wind, grey clouds and rain . . . and temps in the 50s and 60s instead of the 80s and 90s we had this weekend . . . ugh!). Instead the title is in regards to my discovery of Eco-Runner. Go follow the link!



Do it . . .

It'll just take a second . . . come on already!

See? Aren't you glad you did?

Eco-Runner is a great concept, wouldn't you say? Makes you want to lace-up your running shoes, grab a plastic bag you've been saving to re-use and head out to make your community a bit greener, right?!!

Some readers may recall how I posted some time ago about making efforts to be more in tune with the impact I'm having on the environment. Since pledging to be a better citizen, I've tried my best to keep on the steady course to live a more "green" life. Here's a quick recap of what actions I'm (and by "I'm", I mean "my family is") taking:

- cloth diapers for my 15 month old (we're consistently at about 75% cloth, 25% disposable, though that's an average) Image credit: Bummis

- cloth napkins at dinner (100% - AND my parents have followed suit - AND my mother-in-law sent us a set of 8 so we're golden now without me having to do laundry as frequently!)

- washcloths for counter cleaning instead of paper towels (100% - 1 roll of paper towels used to last us about a week, now they last closer to 3 and I'm considering ditching them, if I can convince my husband that it is a reasonable idea!)

- we compost all of our fruit/veggie food scraps (there's a little compost jar by our sink to make it easy - and my husband IS good about dumping it regularly into our bin in the back yard)

- reusable grocery bags (90% - I'm still working on getting my husband to remember the ones I've placed in his car for the "on your way home" grocery stops)

- I cancelled 6 catalogs through Catalog Choice (and will continue to cancel them as they arrive in our mailbox . . .and, sadly, they will - even though these are from companies we've NEVER ordered through or only order through for the holidays!) Image credit:

- my husband is biking to the bus stop to take the bus to work . . . currently 5 days a week, but since he gets motion sick (translation - a headache that lasts a few hours - ugh!), I think it might be okay if he does it a bit less frequently. When making these choices, you DO have to consider if the trade-off is worthwhile . . . and a husband with a headache for the entire night does not seem worthwhile. We'll see how it goes in the long-term, as he's just nearing one month of it. The gas saved for the nearly 40 mile round-trip commute is quite a chunk of moolah . . . not to mention the reduction in his carbon footprint. Decisions, decisions.

MSNBC just posted a simple list of consumer tips for making a difference in helping the planet. You may be surprised at how much you are already doing - and how simple it could be to do just a bit more!

I could keep going . . . but I won't bore you with the minute things we're doing or that we can do, since I think the above choices are making a fairly decent dent and there are hundreds of sites DEDICATED to the topic!

And now I'll get back to the Eco-Runner - this guy lives and breathes the notion that who he is and what he does MAKES A DIFFERENCE (and he's right)! By starting in his own backyard and spiraling out globally, he is spreading the joy of running and the idea that a passion for running can go even further by combining it with cleaning up our environment as we run. Simple, effective, inspirational! And, another reason this philosophy caught my mom's eye to pass along to me - Eco-Runner has a curriculum for Kids ! Too cool!

Now, that's what I call a breath of fresh air!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Kicking into Full Gear!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed, knocking on wood and tossing some salt over my left shoulder just to be sure . . . but (to be read in a hushed tone): I think Winter's darkness has left and Spring is sticking around for awhile! Now THAT is news to cheer about after close to 7 months of grey skies and drizzle. To celebrate, my family has spent the last few days in ACTION:

- Thursday evening my husband and I ran a little over 4 miles, soaking in the fresh air, sunshine and time without kids (though we waved in their direction as we passed my parents' neighborhood!)

- Friday we spent the evening playing in the backyard (sandbox fun, weeding, mowing, etc.) - I did my treadmill work in the AM before retrieving the kids

- Saturday we went for bagels with my mom and then met her at the trail (she walked Little Sister in the jogger while Little Brother joined us for a bike ride - probably close to 5 miles with all of our double backs!) - upon return, my husband switched from his single speed to his road bike for a solo 15 mile ride.
*Photo credit: Novara Afterburner Trailer Bike

- Today we went for a hike . . . sort of a training hike for later in the season and the summer when we have our camping trips (it is good to test these things out in small does before a big event - almost like marathon training - you don't want to find out 2 miles out that you don't have the right gear/food/distracting songs/trail games to last an entire day!). Little Sister did about a quarter of a mile before deciding that riding in the pack would be a good way to go. But, at 15 months, she's going strong!
*Photo credit: Piggyback Child Carrier

- I think I'll work in a run this afternoon. The 10K is fast-approaching and I want to be sure I'm mentally ready for the hills. I'm definitely more ready now that I was about 3 weeks ago when I set my goals to run 3x/week, no matter what. I've kept with it - and have even added in the other stuff like bike rides, hikes and playtime outside with the kids. It is SO great to see that not only am I conquering my mental challenges, but I'm also seeing some results physically - I didn't recognize my calves in the mirror, they looked so strong!

Ah, the rejuvination of spring! And the wonder of REI gear that keeps us doing what we love to do! What are YOU doing to enjoy the return of sunny weather?!

Friday, May 16, 2008

And the winners are . . .

My mom reminded me that somehow I neglected to announce the 3 winners who will receive a copy of We Are Girls Who Love to Run for their entries in the Virtual Launch Party. Not sure how THAT happened . . . I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the week of the launch went by in a *flash*, that I still haven't caught up on my sleep from the chaos of last week, or that I've increased my running these last 2 weeks, too (HOORAY for that, I'm already noticing a difference in my muscle tone, strength and patience with others - cool!). I am tempted to blame it on the return of the sun, though, which HAS gotten me away from the computer and outside where we really SHOULD be any chance we have.
Anyhow . . . thanks to everyone for sticking with me and for participating in the party, it was an honor to have you! Winners, please be sure to contact me so I can get a copy to you!
Using the totally non-scientific approach of drawing names out of a hat . . .
Drumroll, please . . . . brrrrr . . .  ummmmmm  . . . prummmmmm . . . . thrummmmmmm . . . . . (what does the sound of a drum look like, exactly?)
The winner for the recipe entry (and there sure were MANY great ones!) goes to:
* local gal, Carrie (who keeps things quick and easy so she can tend to her 3 growing kiddos)
Hats off to the winner for the inspirational story:
* Diana (who no doubt inspires MANY with her running and her kindness)
And for the photo entry:
* Kevin (true, we can't see his face, but he's so fast you'd really only get to see the back of his head in a race, anyhow)
I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog reading. As for me, my daughter is stirring from her nap (my son is soon to follow, I'm sure) and the sunny day demands we take a walk to the park to fill what is left of the afternoon.
Happy running, everyone!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

National Women's Health Week

Hey, all!
Did you know that this week is National Women's Health Week? The US Department of Health & Human Services Women's Health department established the week "to empower women across the country to get healthy by taking action. Check out the website to see how you can participate in helping women improve their health.
I know MizFit and Jacqueline have teams for the WOMAN Challenge. Need something to get you in gear and on your path to fitness? This might be what you're waiting for!
Not looking for something organized? Just follow the advice of my dear mother-in-law and get outside and move your body - walk, run, hop, skip, roll, skate, swim, pedal or dance!
As for me? A run is definitely in order . . . and with the drop in temperature and drizzle, I'm probably opting for the treadmill today. Tomorrow morning I'll start my day with a run and Thursday looks good for some Vinyasa yoga! We might fit in a family bike ride again this weekend, assuming my tush can handle the saddle again by then - bikes do take some getting used to when it comes to your sits bones! :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Celebrity Day (and a few other guests!)

I'm so glad you dropped by to enjoy the final installment of this fun little Virtual Book Launch! Thanks for your patience with me as I took care of "real life" experiences last week and spent time with my family for Mother's Day yesterday (we went on our first ever family bike ride - what a thrill!).

As I worked on We Are Girls Who Love to Run over the past 3 years, I've worked hard to reach out to the "everyday runner" - you know - girls just like your sister, daughter, neighbor, teacher, mother, grandmother . . . or even YOU! In my research and through my work to spread the word about the book, healthy self-esteem and running, I've come to meet and get to know some AMAZING women who may have started their experiences as everyday runners, but they now hold special places in the world of running and fitness as LEADERS!

The first woman I'd like you to meet is Carol Goodrow. If you are new to my blog or haven't had a chance to follow the link to her Runner's World affiliated site, do not pass go . . . do not collect your race medal . . . go directly there - PRONTO! Carol's site offers a WEALTH of resources, lesson ideas, running games, book reviews, and ways for runners to share their passion with our next generation of runners and world leaders. Want to know something even more amazing about this woman - she does all of this in her SPARE TIME!!! She's a full time educator, her second job is as author/illustrator of books for children about running, she runs religiously and then keeps this site updated. When I grow up, I want to be like Carol Goodrow!

Here's what Carol has to share:

"Here is a photo of me (front left) with Kenny Moore, author of Bowerman.
I am also with Nancy Eldert and Mary Pearch, college friends, whom I hadn't seen since 1974.
I was in Eugene, Oregon at the Eugene Marathon Expo last weekend.
My books are: The Treasure of Health and Happiness (most loved by kids), Happy Feet, Healthy Food (my best seller), and Kids Running (my newest book).
I ran the half marathon as a finish and I worked hard the last 3 miles, but I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face and then went out for pancakes!"

Not only does Carol work to get out the word about her own books, she's been one of my biggest cheerleaders . . . as you can see here:

If you are a runner, please support Brianna and other authors of children's running books. We do this work for you! Oh, why I love to run? There are a million reasons." - Carol

Thanks so much for coming by the party, Carol! It is an honor to have you!

Another leader in the running world this job has brought me to meet is Kathrine Switzer. Now, I guess I should admit here that I haven't yet shaken the hands of these women, but thanks to the world of email, we've gotten to know and support one another over the past few months and years. Like Carol, Kathrine is one BUSY, BUSY lady. I was kicking myself for not going across the state of Washington to Spokane for a second race weekend when I found out that Ms. Switzer was the keynote speaker and signing copies of her own book, MARATHON WOMAN at the Bloomsday Expo. But when I shared my disappointment with her, she assured me that our schedules are bound to cross our paths sometime soon. I love her optimistic attitude - surely she wears a yellow hat, right?! Her love of the sport simply radiates.

Though she has been an elite runner (she qualified for the Olympics the year the US boycotted them . . . can you imagine how THAT felt?), she still takes joy and pride in every race (and she runs PLENTY, even now that she's in her sixties) and took time to report to me, "Hey, I finished 2nd in my age group in the Bloomsday run!! yea!" And I'm sure that was no easy feat, as she was running with 60,000 others who love to run. Zowie! Congrats on a fabulous run, Kathrine!

Some of you may recognize our next party guest, MizFit, a fellow blogger and lover of fitness. Like me, she discovered her inner athlete later in life . . . and there is just NO stopping this woman now!

Here's what she has to share (part recipe, part inspirational story!):
food glorious food.

By MizFit

Once upon a time your MizFit was a new weight trainer.She joined a women-only fitness facility & started lifting with a passion. She loved it. The process of it. The way she FELT stronger. Empowered. How she looked? Well, that was another story. MizFit didnt look one bit different than she did prior to her newfound fitness endeavor. Why–you ask? Because she wasn't consuming enough protein to BUILD the muscles she was hoisting the weights to create (and, if you look here, the muscles which would also JUMP START her metabolism). Now, MizFit was just crazy enough that she—bitten by the ironbug—immediately turned to grilled chicken breasts and canned tuna. You? Perhaps you’re just crazy enough to try this MizFit-twist on an old American fave. Sure it’s a dessert-y treat but with all the good fats from the peanut butter AND the new found extra protein (and eliminated powdered sugar) you can still feel pretty dang virtuous about eating them!oh.feeling feisty? a bit MizFit-y as it were? TOSS IN SOME FLAX SEEDS. I dare you.

1 1/2 sticks butter softened (Brianna's comment: you might try a vegan alternative if you have dairy allergies at your house like I do!)
1 cup chocolate protein powder *
1 tablespoon vanilla
12 oz peanut butter (or if you’re allergic another nut butter should work - or, Brianna adds, soynut butter??)
12 oz chocolate chips

mix together ingredients (preferrably with hands whilst phone rings off hook & Toddler Tornado winds herself around legs).
roll into balls and refrigerate.

(I like to use this method for melting the chocolate chips both because it’s less messy and you have more control over how much you put on each buckeye.)
bring a saucepan of water to almostboiling.
shove a bunch of the chocolate chips into a zip-lock baggie.
dunk into the almostboiling until the chocolate is prettymuch melted.
Snip off corner and drizzle on top of chilled buckeyes.
Repeat until all buckeyes are covered or—as the Renaissance Man likes to call it— hatted.

*since we arent going low-carb here it doesnt matter AT ALL what kind of protein powder you use. name brand. store brand. ON SALE. Anything."

Thanks for those treats, MizFit! I bet a few of my readers are jotting down their grocery lists now and making sure to pick up some flax seeds to add to your buckeyes! With all of the recipes of the week, we should all be SET with some great new things to try with our families - and with motivation to keep running/walking/practicing yoga/swimming/hiking . . . MOVING those bods!
And now, a quick return, as promised, to a couple more of the folks who keep me inspired and keep me running.

First, I'd like to introduce you to my dad, Marty. A former US Air Force Officer, Rochester, NY city-wide tennis champ (pre-Air Force days) and self-proclaimed non-runner, my dad has recently come to know and love his inner athlete. This man got my mom to ride bikes with him by getting a tandem ("tam tam" my son calls it!). And my mom, in turn, got him to try yoga. The two of them now go to yoga at least twice/week and I have to say that my dad's "down dog" could kick my own "down dog's" tush any day of the week. He also enjoys snowshoeing, as you can see from the photo (he's leading the pack!). And, since I don't include too many photos of myself here, I'm adding a photo of me in snowshoes, too - we do enjoy these outings as a family!

This was 2 years ago . . . last year I had a newborn and this past year wasn't as safe, so we opted to not go. I'm hoping we can all return next Winter!

My mother-in-law is a tough-as-nails mother of four (2 boys, 2 girls) who's life mission was to get all of her children through college. She did it - and both girls are even in grad school now (though they're covering ALL of their own tuition expenses this time around - whew!). Pat isn't a runner, but you can find her just about any evening of the year out for a walk (snow and rain don't make her shy!). Here's what Pat has to share:

"Go outside! The best thing you can do for yourself is to go outside-take a walk-it is awesome.
It is always hard to get started as the dishes are calling you back or the laundry or the kiddos or the phone or the bills or you are just feeling sorry for yourself because it was a long hard day.
Just start walking-smile if you see anyone, say hello but don’t stop walking.
Stand up straight and swing your arms a bit and smile.
Look up at the sky and down at the ground.
Take some deep breaths and let them out slowly.
Walk for at least 15minutes somewhere away from all you have to do then walk a different way back.
Go back home and when everyone say WHERE WERE YOU? Just say,taking a walk and smile.

Ps Don’t take a cell phone or beeper –just be free."

I think I might post her message near my computer as a reminder to myself. It really is good advice! Thanks for taking time to share your wisdom with us, Pat. I'm so lucky to have such a supportive mother-in-law. I wish the same for everyone!

And finally, a recipe from my mom's big sister, Susan. She squeezed in her entry just in time! I'm happy to welcome her. Though she's not a runner, she knows all about living an active lifestyle - she's the mother of 4 boys, grandmother of 2 (with a third on the way!), award-winning PE teacher, and wife. Before heading out for the day to teach, she emailed this quickie note about the recipe (simply follow the link to get the ingredients & directions - no need to repost it here, right?!):

Spaghetti Squash Supreme

"It's tons of food for 2 and very tasty"

See, I told you it was quick! Thanks, Aunt Sue!

Well, there you have it, folks. Thanks for coming to the party! Winners of the drawing for the signed copies of We Are Girls Who Love to Run will be announced tomorrow!!!!

Thanks for spreading the word and inspiring those around you to discover their inner strength and keep their bodies moving!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Nike 5K for Kids

Just a quickie little post (I know, I know . . . you want your celebrities - it'll happen, I promise . . . but I need more energy to pull it all together. Translation: come back Monday!) to say HOORAY!
- I enjoyed a run on Thursday morning before the kids got up (miracle of miracles!) and the GOTR of Puget Sound auction was AMAZINGLY successful for the group. I also got to talk with Sally Bergeson of Oiselle and Deborah Reber (author of the newly released book Chill) what amazing, down-to-earth women they are! The three of us were VIPs to help with the auction. 
- I put my running shoes in the middle of my floor Friday morning knowing that eventually I'd be so tired of climbing over them, tripping over them or trying to move them that I'd just put them on my feet and make a run happen. Sure enough, it only took 2 hours (I'm slow on the uptake sometimes) and I did it! The kids were with my friend and I took the opportunity to get off the treadmill and onto the hill to train for that upcoming 10K of mine in June. It gave me the energy and strength I needed to carry me through my day - with a smile, even. :) 
- Last night was the Book Launch Party, hosted at a generous friend's amazing home. It was great. Really, really this evening will stick with me for a long, long time. (I just noticed that I'm repeating words a bit too frequently, I'll try to contain myself from here on out - it must be my lack of sleep and the possibility that my "decaf latte" was really a "caf latte". Jittery, jittery, jittery am I! - darn, I did it AGAIN!) 
- This morning I was honored to be part of the Seattle Nike 5K for Kids post-run event. They had a Nike table set up for me to showcase and sell my book (how cool is THAT???!!). I was there, signing books (my dad was there to help me greet folks and help with the money stuff - thanks, Dad!) and passing out bookmarks, listening to runners' stories (like the woman who ran her first 5K today with her daughter and is now HOOKED and wants to do more running!) and observing the smiles of countless runners of all sizes, shapes, ages, colors, speeds (and their proud parents/coaches/siblings). What an awesome morning! AND, to top it off, we were right next to the Girls on the Run of Puget Sound booth so I got to visit with some of the great gals I know from GOTR and we sent families to one another's booths to share our passion for running. I'm still shaking from the excitement of it all. Can't you hear the extra rattling sound as my fingers wobble on the keyboard? I'm WAY wound up! 
- I signed a book for a woman's daughter who runs track at The University of Georgia (that's where I went to school - Go DAWGS! - what are the chances that we'd meet up in Seattle, of all places??!!!)
So . . . now I'm off to spend some time with my hubby before the kids awake from their naps. Even though he was at the party last night, I don't feel like I've seen much of him lately. He's been my rock this week through all of the excitement and chaos. What would we do without our systems of support? I know I couldn't do ANY of this alone.
Seriously folks, come back Monday for the final party bits! You'll be glad you did!

Friday, May 9, 2008

In Over My Head!

Hey there, happy readers!

I know you're here lookin' to meet some celebrities . . . but I took a step back to look at my week before crashing into bed last night and realized that I took on WAY too much stuff this week (here's where my family looks at me and says, "You THINK?!"). You will meet them, I promise - just NOT today!

So, like all awesome parties, this one will run a little late, which I think is quite fitting since it got a late start (that part bugged me because I'm always . . . nearly always . . . um, okay since the kids have come along it is more like "usually" on time for things).

So, if you are a local reader, I hope to see you at the in-person launch this evening! Can't make that? Maybe you're up for a run tomorrow morning in Seattle - the Nike 5K for Kids event takes place tomorrow and I'll be somewhere near the finish line (perhaps near the yummy Jamba Juice booth - I could sure use a perk like that after this exhausting week!) to greet the young runners as they feel the release of endorphins that come with the satisfaction of finishing a great run and hopefully even sell a book or two (as an author, that IS what I have to do, afterall).

Happy Friday! And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a list a 10K long (no, Nancy, unfortunately it isn't really a 10K, but I wish it was!) to accomplish before I pick-up my kids at 8 . . . wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The folks Behind the Curtain

Welcome back for more Party fun!

Here we go: Family Day (posted on Wednesday night because I had the time!)!

*That's my son on the left, who like his Mama and Dad, LOVES to run as fast and as far as his little legs will carry him!*

I'm honored to introduce you to the wonderful (and crazy, of course!) members of my family who so kindly took time out of their days and nights to visit this little shin dig. I'm sure it had NOTHING to do with repeated emails or subtle hints that if they didn't send photos, I'd gladly find some myself . . .

As usual, let's begin with the snacks. As you can tell by the way my daughter bathes herself in her food, my family enjoys some good eats (though we usually show more reserve than my little gal does)!
My mom and her little sister, my Aunt Siobhan, have been recipe swapping their entire adult lives (they used to be the decadent dessert ones, now the healthy breakfast ones, go figure). Here are the dishes they're bringing:

The photo is of Aunt Siobhan and her younger son, David, at the top of Saddle Rock in Wenatchee, WA - she's not a runner like her husband and sons, but she says, "Hiking is something we can do together as a family. It's a great time to enjoy our time together and appreciate the beauty around us. It's a great time to chat and catch up but also time for quiet reflection." She's a former Army Officer and PE teacher and says, "This is a great pre-workout meal and tastes great reheated the next day too."

Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal
(Serves One Hearty Breakfast Portion, Two smaller portions.)

2 tsp Non-Hydrogenated Vegan Margarine or butter if you are not Vegan
1/2 Cup Steel Cut Oats
1 1/2 Cups Hot water
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 Pinch Salt
1/2 Cooking Apple, diced
1/4 Cup Soy, Oat, Nut , or milk
1-2 tsp Brown Sugar (or regular sugar with a small drizzle of molasses)
1 Tiny Pinch Nutmeg, optional
Heat margarine in a small sauce pot that has a tight fitting lid. Add oats and toast them for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add cinnamon and salt, stir well. Stir in hot water and bring to a brisk boil. Cover and turn down heat. After 15 minutes, add apple, milk, and sugar and stir. Cook for another 5 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
If after 5 minutes you'd prefer your oatmeal to be thicker, cover and turn off heat and let sit for an additional 5-10 minutes. This gives the oats a chance to absorb more liquid without running the risk of burning the oatmeal. Also, the oatmeal at this point is approximately the temperature of magma, so you might as well let it cool down a bit before you dig in.
If you feel like dressing up your oatmeal, drizzle it with a small amount of molasses and a pinch of nutmeg, or sprinkle it with additional brown sugar, nuts, or add a fresh apple slice or two to the top.
My mom (that's her in the front of the kayak, with my husband steering in the back - I was pregnant and SICK, so they took a kayaking class together while I slept at home and my dad chased after my son) has this to share about her tasty treat:

"Last year we joined a local organic farm co-op and had a huge basket of fruit and veggies every week from June through October. I learned to grill fennel, and add rainbow chard to salsa for grilled chicken fahitas. My favorites must be the berries: rasberries, strawberries, blueberries and my favorite, the wild blackberries! (They are considered weeds in this area as they have taken over the sides of many roads and fields.) We picked lots of berries last summer, and filled our freezer with them for the rest of the year. In my quest to get 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day, I start my day whipping up the following smoothie in the blender:

1/2 cup low fat or soy yogurt
1 small banana
1 orange (or 1/2 cup of orange juice)
1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked oats
ground flax seed

The banana is important, as it keeps my muscles from getting cramps during yoga. I realize it's not a low calorie breakfast, but it's certainly healthy, and keeps me from even thinking about a snack before lunch. Our grandkids love having this the mornings after their sleepovers."
She's right - the kids come home from their sleepovers FULL (it is truly the one time all week I can say that) and singing the praises of "Oma's Smoothies".

My husband is a lover of all things chocolate. He's been known to head straight for the freezer for some frozen dark chocolate kisses as soon as he gets home from work. Here he is:

"In the picture I'm the one in the gray shirt and black visor. This is after the 2007 Duvall Days 10K. You will notice that the picture includes a bonus shot of Brianna (Brianna's comment: I finished the 5K a bit earlier. And, for those of you with a copy of the book, you may recognize the running gear to be the same as what the "coach" is wearing - that's no coincidence!).

As for a favorite recipe I know Brianna isn't surprised. While these are good post-workout, they are great pre-workout (Brianna's comment: also great for breakfast . . . ). Some of my best bike rides have been powered by these cookies (for sake of space, I'll just let you follow the link to them - REALLY, you should follow the link, but be forewarned that they will call to you in the night . . . and in the morning . . . and in the middle of the day!).

As to why he is a runner/cyclist/etc. . . . and why he managed to make a lover of running out of me (except he's much more analytical and number-oriented than I am):

"Running, biking, kayaking etc are great because they me break out of the slog and challenge myself in new (or old ways). I can focus on my pace, or not focus at all. I can watch my time or escape from deadlines. I can keep my heart rate in the proper range for my goals, or I can pedal until I'm spinning out and catching cars."
My cousins are BOYS who love to run. They took some time out of their finals studying to visit. Here they are:
Kevin and David have been running for as long as they could keep up with their dad, Al (Siobhan's hubby!). At first they rode his bike along side Uncle Al on his runs, but before we all knew it, they were running for their schools. That's Kevin on the left, getting his cleats ready to go.

Kevin's little brother, David (that's him, running his heart out!), says, "Running is gives you the chance to make your mind perfectly clear, to feel strong, to create your own independence, and it shows you exactly the person you are."

I couldn't agree more!

You know what . . . this party is getting BIGGER than I realized. You've probably had enough mingling for tonight. Go get yourself a drink, go for a run, do some stretching . . . and wander your way back again tomorrow for some more snacks and faces.

REMEMBER: Tomorrow is Celebrity Day . . . and you'll get to meet a few more of my family members, if you can handle it.

The Party's Nearly in Full Swing!

I hope you brought your appetite to the party today! Get ready to dig in to some good stuff!

My dear friend Jen (fellow art history enthusiast and my Maid of Honor 8 years ago) from Atlanta sent along this good lookin' snack recipe. I'm excited to report that Jen got fitted for her FIRST real pair of running shoes earlier this year and is giving running a go!

"I tried a recipe from my new favorite cookbook, Elie Kreiger's The Food You Crave. It's a perfect pre or post run snack! And it actually gave me something to do with the jar of wheat germ that's been sitting on my shelf for a couple of months.

Here's the recipe:

Energy Bars
Cooking Spray (I used PAM organic spray with canola oil)
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup shelled unsalted raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ (I toasted mine in a dry frying pan on the stove for a few minutes)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pitted dried dates
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk (you can find this on the baking aisle in the same place where the condensed milk is)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350.
Coat a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Place all ingredients, except syrup and eggs, in a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped. Add the syrup and eggs and pulse until the mixture is well combined. It will resemble a course paste.
Transfer to the baking pan and spread evenly to cover the bottom (you will want to do this with your hands, I tried a spoon and it just kept breaking up, also, the layer of mixture will be very thin when you are done spreading it out, maybe 1/4 inch thick). Bake until lightlly browned, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into 24 individual bars. Store in an airtight container at room temp up to 3 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 3 months.

Yummy and filling!"

Be sure to give it a try, folks. You can bet it is on my list of new recipes to try!

And Carrie, mother of three (who is diving head-first into her own workout groove - go Carrie!), sent along this super easy breakfast concauction that any mom-on-the-go can squeeze into the morning. And, seeing as she lives in the town of Carnation (really, named after the Carnation dairy farms that were there!) she writes:

"I’m not a runner, more of a “speed walker” and I just started a more formal exercise program. My personal trainer told me to drink or eat a protein snack in the afternoon when I’m hungry, and it is not quite dinner time, but I need energy to keep up with my three small children. I love Carnation Instant Breakfast and found this simple recipe on their website for a smoothie. I’ll bet my kids would like this as well.

1 cup fat free milk 1 cup ice cubes 1 packet Rich Milk Chocolate Flavor NESTLÉ CARNATION INSTANT BREAKFAST Complete Nutritional Drink 1/2 banana

PLACE milk, ice, Carnation Instant Breakfast and banana in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.
Serving Size: 1"
*logo image credit:

Now that we're all feelin' good with full bellies, we're set to meet another party-goer!

I'm not sure from where Diana hails, but I'm honored to introduce you to her! This woman has PASSION and a true love and dedication to her family. Diana says,

"For me, running has always been a way to exercise and stay somewhat in shape both physically and mentally. It calms me down, gives me confidence and it has taught me mental toughness. As I began to increase mileage, running took on more meaning. Running no longer is just about me. I run for all those who are unable to run, those who are afraid to lace up their shoes, and for those who will never get the chance. I run for my nephew who never got the opportunity to buy a pair of sneakers, never felt the wind in his hair and who during his 11 weeks of life never got the chance to see the sun. I run because it is when I am out there lost in my thoughts that I know he is still with me, with us. That is why I run."

Isn't amazing how running takes us out of our own little world to connect us with something so much bigger? I know many of you dedicate yoursleves to running for others, whether it is running in memory of a lost loved one or celebration for the renewed heath of a friend. We all have internal drives that keep us going and it is powerful when we can share that love for life with others. Thanks for sharing your story, Diana.

Have a story, recipe or photo you'd like to share? There's still time to join the party! Just send me an email with your entry ( and I'll include it in one of the remaining Virtual Book Launch Party Blogs this week. BONUS: I'll enter you in a drawing to WIN a COPY of We Are Girls Who Love to Run (the reason for the festivities!).

Thursday you're in for an EXTRA special treat: It's Family Day! Stop by to meet the people who make my life colorful and fun and who have helped mold me into the person I am.

Friday is CELEBRITY day! I won't tell you any more than that!

Saturday wraps up the festivities with the official announcement of the winners of the drawing and postings from the party-goers who were fashionably late, but still treasured!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Let's Get This Party Started!

Hello, hello! Come on in! I'm so glad you could join me in celebrating the launch of We Are Girls Who Love to Run.

Make yourself at home, meet some fellow runners/readers/walkers/life lovers, have a snack, enjoy! Like any good party, we'll start low-key and by the end of the week it will be in FULL gear. It's okay to be fashionably late for your own party, right? Thanks for being understanding as I navigate this unusually full week - from here on out, you can expect to meet some great folks each day this week.

So, to kick-off the party, be sure to try these great (and I do mean GREAT, we've tried them and my kids give them their FULL approval!) healthy cookies sent by Cecilia (as a Reflexologist, she knows ALL about helping people take care of their bodies . . . and the feet that carry them on their journey to many a finish line!):

I'm sending a recipe that is sure to please all the health-conscious Moms (and anyone) who is looking for a quick, yummy snack treat. Enjoy!

Healthy Banana Cookies: No eggs, flour or dairy
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups oatmeal (I use course cut)
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup oil (vegetable oil or try extra virgin coconut oil, melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla.

Mix all ingredients. Let set 15 minutes. Drop by rounded teaspoon on parchment lined or ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool on rack. Recipe makes about 3 dozen. Since they freeze great and make a super quick breakfast on the road, I always make a double batch!
Some suggestions: use any dried fruit you like or a combination (raisins & cranberries, gogi berries). Be sure bananas are ripe and that they are medium to large. If you have small bananas, use 4. Chopped nuts can be added. Reduce the dried fruit by the amount of nuts used. The finished cookies are not brown on top, so check the bottoms for doneness.
Yum, yum, yum! Dig IN!

*bloop* (that's the Virtual door bell - couldn't you tell?)

The guests must be sensing that I've put out some snacks, because they're starting to arrive!

I'm honored to introduce you to two inspirational runners: Suzy and Lisa (you bloggers may know Suzy from her blog "The Runs" and Lisa better by her blog name Java-Mom - can you believe she even got her kids to call her that on her birthday for a little bit of monetary incentive!)

Suzy reports that she would have sent a photo along with her story, but she's been running for so long that her husband and kids don't turn out at races to take pictures. Don't feel bad for her, though, because the time her husband spends watching the kids so she can run is FAR more precious to her than any photo! And now . . . Suzy's inspirational story:

"I have a husband who is recovering from knee surgery, three very active children (one of which has a broken arm), 2 dogs (one of which is in heat and is wearing diapers) who follow me around the house under my feet, 2 cats that holler for food and litter changing, and a bearded dragon lizard who demands his greens and crickets. I'm needed by all at every given moment of the day, getting the energy squeezed and sucked out of me until tears come and go. It is so rewarding, and so exhausting."

My week is already starting to feel tame . . . I wouldn't even know where to begin with a bearded dragon lizard! I think we're starting to see why you need to run, Suzy . . . tell us more:

*photo credit: Wikipedia*

"I need to refuel properly, and I do that several ways. One of them, and one of the most important ways for me to do that is by running. It is so liberating for me to run out the door and 'away from home.' I work out all the kinks, frustrations, anger and stress by literally pounding them out of my body through my feet into the pavement with each step. Sometimes it takes seconds for me to feel liberated from all of that, and sometimes it takes the entire run. I run away from home, and when I feel like I have ran out all the negativity, I turn around and run back home!

I can honestly say that I don't primarily run for the physical health benefits of weight control and cardio health. Those things are bonuses for me. For me, I actually tend to lose a bit of weight when I stop running, and gain it back when I start. (Muscle gain mixed with increased appetite maybe) I run for my mental health and also to bring myself closer to God who is my primary stronghold. This, combined with the stress-relieving physiological benefits of exercise is why I run, and I will do it for as long as I am able."

I wish you MANY happy years of running, Suzy. Thanks for stopping by the party to celebrate with me!

While Suzy helps herself to some snacks and fills out the slip for the Virtal Book Launch Party Drawing to possibly WIN a copy of We Are Girls Who Love to Run (read about how YOU can join today's guests and win a copy here), we'll chat with Lisa for a few:
Lisa sent along not one, but TWO fabulous running celebration photos. I think you'll agree that she definitely has a grasp on the JOY of running. Just "meeting" her will make you want to get out and RUN (I'll give you three guesses as to which runner is Lisa, and the first two don't count!)!

"This picture captures what running means to is pure joy. It is a celebration of my new fitness and health." You can read about Lisa's personal fitness journey (she's taking life to a whole new level by doing triathlons now!) at her blog.

What else, Lis?

"I love running because of all of the wonderful friendships I have made. Who knew that you could start a simple running blog and then end up at a dinner (PFChang's pre-race dinner) with all of these blogger friends?!?"

Hey, Lisa, is that Marcy sitting beside you? Hi, Marcy! Happy running to ALL of you!

Be sure to stop by the party for more yummy treats and to meet some other great folks who love to run/walk/swim/bike/smile. I might even be able to convince my husband to drop by . . . you just never can tell what the week will bring!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The calm before the storm

I'm gearing-up for a big week of running celebrations (Girls on the Run of Puget Sound auction and the Launch Par-tay for my book!) and supporting youth (the auction, my son's first music concert), so I spent the weekend enjoying life with my family because I'll be away just about every evening this coming week.

Other than fitting in my third run of the week (hooray!), Saturday was rather unmemorable and tiring (I don't remember specifics because I've tried to push them out of my mind, but I believe the day was heavy with children whining and eating - they're both going through growth spurts and didn't sleep well the night before . . . come to think of it, the adults may have been whining, too, by the end of the day).

(Yes, these adorable kids who were engrossed in the sandbox for nearly an hour were the same two who were unbearable yesterday - I find it hard to believe sometimes, myself!)

But TODAY, the glorious day that it was, was SO good that I brought out the camera to document it (well, part of it, anyhow)!

(My daughter ready for the day with a hat to shade her eyes from the bright sun that we haven't seen much of in MONTHS!)

- the run for the day was gifted to our dog, Albus, who spent about an hour frolicking around the dog park while we enjoyed watching and following him around. Today was a good day to be a dog!

- a trip to REI for some new yoga pants for me and bike lock-related stuff for my husband (who is now riding his bike to catch the bus to work!) had us smiling . . . the kids were thrilled that we finally made the switch over to SIGG bottles because they are now the proud new owners of some neat-o new water bottles (my son's has gorillas, my daughter is getting my old purple one and I got a sweet new red one, which she proudly carried for me).

- The day was TOO nice to pass-up a picnic at the park, so we swung past Whole Foods to get the best picnic lunch I've ever had - custom sandwiches for all (that translates into a tomato/mozzerella/basil one for me!), potato salad for the grown-ups, fruit salad for all . . . yum!

- We capped off our excursion with the picnic at a park we'd never visited - which turns out to have a mini farm where we enjoyed seeing goats, a VERY pregnant pig, horses, bunnies, young chicks . . . we'll definitely return!

- The afternoon was spent fully engaged in PLAY - play in the backyard, our daughter's first time in the sandbox, wagon rides galore, and we pulled out the play tunnel after dinner for one last dose of giggles and fun.

(The day was so nice, our son just couldn't keep his shirt on and my husband and I took turns pulling them around and around and around the back yard in the wagon)

(There's nothing like being chased through a tunnel by your big brother while the static attacks your hair!)

I now feel fully rejuvinated and ready to tackle the week!

I hope YOU feel ready to hit "send" to pass along your favorite snack or post-run recipe, a photo of yourself running or a lovely little blurb about what makes you passionate about running . . . because I'm looking forward to sharing it with my readers this week for the Virtal Book Launch that kicks off TOMORROW!! Email your entries to: with the title Virtual Book Launch Entry so I know it isn't junk!

And WHY should you feel inclinded to participate?

I'm so glad you asked! By participating in the party you'll be entered to win one of 3 FREE copies of We Are Girls Who Love to Run! If you already own a copy, this will be a copy you can pass along to your favorite gal (whether or not she runs!) or to your local school library. See - you have NOTHING to lose and a fun new book to GAIN! :)

See you at the party, folks . . . it starts tomorrow and goes ALL week! Now, how's THAT for a party?!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Refusing to Miss a Run Pays Off

Sometimes life throws a wrench in your plans . . . or even two. BUT, with a little creativity and some determination, you can still make Plan A work (note: this is not ALWAYS possible, but I'm happy to report I was able to work it this morning!).

Before you read on . . . be sure to send your entries for next week's Virtaul Book Launch Party! You could WIN a SIGNED copy of my book We Are Girls Who Love to Run just by entering! I'll be compiling the photos, stories and recipes this weekend to share with you over the course of next week - don't miss out on the fun!

And now, kind reader . . . back to your regularly scheduled blog entry:

Last night was supposed to be treasured Date Night. It started well, but took a bit of a turn.

- When I dropped off the kids, they were both smiling. So were my parents. The sun was even shining!
- I went to yoga without my husband, as he's testing out the new bus system in our efforts to help save the earth (and money) and couldn't make it back in time.
- My hubby called in our take out order . . . I picked it up on my way home after yoga
- We were about to take our dinner downstairs to watch some TV while eating (*gasp* - NOT romatic for Date Night, but a rare treat that we just couldn't resist) when the phone rang . . .
- My poor mom was sick, so we needed to pick up the kids
- We inhaled dinner through 10 minutes of My Name is Earl and then I went to get the kids
- Our regular night time routines ensued, but then . . . at 2AM, Little Sister decided she was cold and the only possible way she could relax and go back to sleep was to sleep in our bed . . . horizontally . . . with her feet in my face . . .
- my clothes were set out so I could get up at 5:45 with my husband (who is now getting up at this unimaginable hour to take the bus - my hero!) to run before cleaning the house and fetching the kids . . . and having 2 kids come over for the morning
- with Little Sister in bed, there was no way to safely do that, so I "slept" until 7ish, when Mr. Music (her nearly 4 year old brother) came singing and dancing into the room proclaiming that we should all be awake since he was. And, so we were.

I could have ignored my neatly piled running attire for another day, but I knew that I set a goal on Monday at Go Workout Mom to get in 3 runs this week and if I didn't run this morning that my goal would be dead in the water. SO, I cleaned like a mad woman for an hour (while feeding the children and doing a little Mary Poppins-like maneuver to make cleaning seem fun to get them to help) and then decided to try something new . . . something daring . . . something that I'm sure thousands of moms across the country do on a daily basis, but I've been too scared to try . . .

Are you ready? Take a deep breath . . .

I let my kids play while I ran on the treadmill.

Is that ALL, you ask? Yup. That's all, folks. BUT, for me . . . it was a big breakthrough. I'd done it regularly when I could plop Little Sister in the play pen or the exersaucer, but she's WAY too mobile and big for those lifesavers anymore, so it really has been about 4 months since I've been able to run while the kids are awake and not being entertained by another able body. And, for the most part, it was great!

I DID have to stop the treadmill twice to redirect my stubborn son from leaving the room (with the door open to the stairs - NOT good for Little Sister) and from exploring some of his Dad's tools. I also had to stop once to keep my daughter from riding our poor dog like a horse (despite my attempts while running to get the dog to move BEFORE she swung her leg around . . . you'd think he would have seen that coming!). But, for the first go at this, I'll take it. It was just the jump start I needed for my day and the step I needed to get toward my goal. It also gives me hope that as I really get my running back on track (I couldn't help the pun, sorry) that I have this option available to me for the days that an outside run just doesn't happen.

I am a runner. I am strong. I can DO this! Duvall Days 10K, I'll be ready for you!

What tips do YOU have to entertain your troops so you can run? How do you carve out time in your day for YOU and your goals?