Sunday, February 28, 2016

New Orleans (WW # 30)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!

This linkup is hosted by yours truly and my good friend Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin.    The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women.  

You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!  {See rules}  We hope you'll challenge yourself to come back later in the week and interact with more women.   It's a wonderful way to make new friends!

Monday - Physical Therapy
Tuesday - 5 miles
Wednesday - Physical Therapy
Thursday - 3.5 miles
Friday - Rest (Sightseeing)
Saturday - Rest (Sightseeing)
Sunday - 13 miles (RnR New Orleans Half Marathon)

I didn't do much of a taper since I decided to go to this race only one week prior.  My Tuesday morning 5 miler was a struggle.  I was tired and it was very humid between thunderstorms.  I did see the full moon set which was pretty awesome.  I cut back my miles on Thursday to 3.5.  This run felt much better, but so was the weather -- a nice breathable 40 degrees.  I skipped my Saturday run.  Ready or not, Rock N' Roll here I come!

I arrived at the expo Friday evening with 20 minutes to spare and breezed through quickly to find black arm warmers.  As a bonus, I was happy to find the 26.2 Christmas ornament to match my 13.1.  The only thing I can complain about is the T-shirt.  Upon my arrival at the expo, they asked what size I wanted and made me write that on my bib.  I walked around the corner to pick up the T-shirt and realized it was way too small  They wouldn't let me change it. (If I had selected my size in advance, I could understand.) Tricia just happened to be finishing up at the expo when I arrived.  This Jester was odd to say the least...    

We met Tricia and her husband later that evening for a little adult socializing.  FUN -- and I'll just leave it there.  {What happens in NOLA, stays in NOLA.}  Saturday was spent sightseeing including a great horse drawn carriage tour.  Overall, we had a fun weekend in New Orleans. The food was delicious.  The weather was perfection.  It made me wish I was in PR shape. Timing is everything!  I'll save my thoughts on the Rock N' Roll race itself for another post.

If this post seems unfinished, it's because we stayed too long in New Orleans! 
Tell me about your week!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Runfessions (February)

I'm linking up with Marcia today from Marcia's Healthy Slice
Please stop by and join in with your Runfessions!

I runfess...

I wish I was in shape for a half marathon PR.  When I line up at Sunday's Rock N' Roll New Orleans, with beautiful weather and a flat course -- it's not going to happen.  This is one of those times I will focus on my love of running, the weekend fun, and not on a time goal.  Do you know 315 days have passed since my last half?  I know!  What was I doing?  Oh yeah...I was insured for wwaaayyyy too long.  

I runfess...

I have NEVER given away any of my running shoes, until just recently.  I considered them memories and simply couldn't do it.  You can tell how old they are by their relative whiteness, although I think white is coming back.   A few days ago, I decided to take a picture to preserve the memory and I let these five pair go.  Don't ask me how many I kept.  {Baby steps people.}  There are stories attached to these shoes.  Some good, some not.  Now I wish I'd saved those awesome yellow shoe strings to match my neon yellow minion pants.  Oh, man!

One possibility, based on Mardi Gras colors.  Meh.
I runfess...

Speaking of shoes and half marathons, I often get tripped up (pun intended) on what to wear.  The problem is my brightly colored properly-broken-in shoes never seem to match what I want to wear.  {See there?  I should have kept those old white shoes!}  So, I'm forced to choose something based on my current shoe color.  I've got several options for this weekend's race that I'm not particularly thrilled with. But hey, they do coordinate with my shoes.  Am I the only weirdo? Does anyone else do this?  Perhaps you are lucky enough to be able to ignore your shoe color?  EEK.

Got anything to get off your chest?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

ABCs Of Me

If you are visiting from the Grow Your Blog Hop hosted by Kristy from Runaway Bridal Planner, welcome to my little southern corner of the world!  I hope you'll visit again.

I've posted a couple of times about me in detail: HoHo Chronicles and Five Things.  You can also check out my Who is HoHo page.  This time, I opted for the much quicker ABCs of me:

Alabama is the college football team we cheer for...Roll Tide!

Big Boys are what we were blessed with.  Two out of three weighed over 10 pounds.

Coffee is my one and only true vice.  I hope I never have to give it up.

Disney was my first half marathon and recently my first full marathon.  Yep, I'm still on this high!

Eggs with cheese is my favorite post long run training meal.

Fitbit Charge HR is on my wrist at all times.

Grandmother names can get no cooler than HoHo.  What started as a joke ... stuck.

Half Marathon is my favorite distance.  I've completed 36 so far with # 37 slated for this Sunday.

iPod Shuffle is so easy to clip on and go!  Music is a big part of my life.

Jupiter is my Half Fanatic moon level.  The next one (Mars) is crazy difficult.

Keurig is the best Christmas present I've ever received.

Lake bound is where you can find me on warm weekends.


Mizuno Wave Inspire is the best running shoe for me.

Nut Butter (a la Justin's Maple Almond) is my favorite treat.

Outdoors is where I prefer to be, even if just relaxing in the back porch swing.

PoPo is my counterpart, love of my life, and willing boat driver extraordinaire.

Quiche is the family's current favorite Sunday meal.

RRCA recently certified me as a Running Coach.

Swiftwicks are my favorite running socks.

Trek Lexa-SL is the road bike that got me through a recent and extremely challenging foot injury.

Unite with me and MissSippiPiddlin on the Weekly Wrap, a wonderful place to connect with other active women.

Vector EP is my old faithful slalom water ski.  I got very lucky when I found another on eBay.

Water Skiing is a huge passion!  I love to slalom and be anywhere around a body of water.

X this letter out!  Do we really need it?  I think not.

Yurbuds are my headphones of choice, in camouflage no less.

Zebra is the pattern on my favorite running skirt. 


Speaking of ABCs...

Today's Wednesday Word is CONFIDENT.  Coming back from a lengthy foot injury (which also contributed to a post marathon ITB issue) my confidence has been sorely shaken. We've probably all known the fear of "what if IT happens again?" when we return to running after an injury.  Today, I'm still not mentally completely over it.  I'll begin to fret about my next run.  {And pray nothing will hurt.}

For whatever reason, the worry dissipates after I hit the pavement.  I realize I'm strong, I'm healthy and I don't have to run gripped with that fear. Yes, something may happen...just as it could stepping off a curb or tripping up the stairs. Honestly, odds are something will {but hey now -- let's hope not for a long time down the road}.  But I'm confident I can handle it, even though I will be disappointed.  I'm confident I'll get through it, just like the other times I've been down and out.  I'm confident I'll return to running again and again.

Tell me three items -- an A, B, and C -- about you!

I'm linking up with Deb @ Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word.

Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Just A Normal Week (WW # 29)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!

This linkup is hosted by yours truly and my good friend Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin   The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women.  

You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!  {See rules}  We hope you'll challenge yourself to come back later in the week and interact with more women.   It's a wonderful way to make new friends!

Monday - Physical Therapy
Tuesday - 4.5 miles
Wednesday - Physical Therapy
Thursday - 6 miles
Friday - Physical Therapy
Saturday - 3 miles (CCAP 5k)
Sunday - 11 miles

Total Week - 24.5 miles

Having never gone to physical therapy except once after ankle surgery, let me say -- it is hard!  They are lighting me up with stability and hip strengthening exercises.  I am often very sore either the next day or the 2nd day (just when it's time to go back).  I feel it's been one of the best decisions I've ever made.  I have an extensive list of exercises to do at home as well.

The members of our running club were offered free registration in Saturday's CCAP (Childhood Center Adult Program) 5k.  It's one of the charities the club donates to at year end.  In an effort to get some speed back, I am doing 5ks as tempo runs.  It's worked well for me in the past.

I assumed this would be a tiny race but was pleasantly surprised that the event had a respectable turnout.  Quite a few of the CCAP young adult students participated in the race assisted by Ansley's Angels.  If you've never witnessed this, it is a truly inspiring thing.

It was good to catch up with my friend Jenny.
It was a delightful 57 degrees and overcast.  Although the humidity was high, it's not a problem at that temperature.  My goals were to: run faster than last week, manage the hills properly, and finish strong.  Check. Check. Check.  My splits were 9:16/9:23/9:05/7:43 for an average of 9:12.  I'm still not in the 8's where I'd prefer -- and I may honestly never get back there -- but this was an improvement and much needed confidence booster.

I was honored to be rewarded for my hard work with a nice little trophy.  Everyone received a finisher's medal and blue toboggan, which I thought was nice because I don't need another T-shirt.  Oh, I also won a handmade picture frame as a door prize.  So, it was a very good day!

My long run Sunday was a test.  I had not run double digits since the Disney Marathon. I wanted confirmation my body would be OK at that distance.  It was fine!  So -- this happened...

I'd been tossing around the idea of going to New Orleans for the Rock N' Roll half marathon.  I've always wanted to participate in one of their events and this is one of the easiest to get to.  It will also add a new state to my half marathon list.  (And yeah, my buddy Tricia will be there and I was having major FOMO!)  This will be half marathon #37!  Anyone else going to be there?

And that's a wrap!

Was your week what you consider "normal"?

Anyone else race this weekend?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Friday Five: Winter Run

Five Favorite Things On A Winter Morning Run

In Dixie, we relish our winter running.  As opposed to our northern friends, we do much more suffering in the summer.  The birds have been chirping so loudly outside my office window for the past week.  I know our Spring will be here soon.  I thought I'd pay homage to my southern winter running before it's sadly gone.


As I run past the houses with their frosted rooftops and smoking pipes, I anticipate the faint glow of sunrise coming up from behind the hill as soon as I turn this particular corner.  I notice it is getting lighter and lighter these days.


It's a peaceful treat to pause my music and just listen to my footfalls.  There is literally not another sound to be heard.  It's like I'm the only person awake in the world.  The quiet helps me get centered and ready to face the day.  The warmer it gets, the more walkers, dog walkers, runners and noise there will be. 


I enjoy seeing that frosty plume of my breath puffing out over and over, in it's own rhythm.  In the dark, it glows from the light of the streetlamps.  It's confirmation that I am working hard.  It's also a celebration that I'm alive and healthy.   It reminds me to never take running for granted.

This looks like me, sort of.  Blonde hair.  Headband.
Except I would be running with my eyes open!  And, be a little lighter on the ol' blusher.
(Wait...does she actually have stinky onion breath?)


I still listen to Christmas music all Winter long.  It fits with the weather and I can enjoy it without the stress of the actual holidays attached.   Sleigh Ride by the Boston Pops Orchestra is my all-time favorite song and really gets my legs pumping.  As a bonus, our neighborhood keeps white lights on all of the trees at the entrances throughout the Winter.  I pass by several times during my run.

A real sleigh ride is on my bucket list!


I play this game on every weekday run.  I check my watch and try to decide how much longer I can run.  If I only take a 5 minute shower, I can add a mile.   {But no, I can't do that because a long hot shower feels so good after a cold run.}  If I skip blow drying my hair, that's another mile.   {Yes, yes -- I can do that!  Who cares about hair?}  If I wait and eat my breakfast at work, that will buy me a few more minutes.  {Oh yeah, that's easy!}  It's silly, but it's all about time management.  Right?

What do you enjoy MOST about running RIGHT NOW?

Don't forget to enter to win an incredible

I'm linking up with the lovely ladies of the DC Trifecta for Friday Five.
Please hop over to these blogs and check out the other posts too.

Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC,
Mar from Mar on the Run!.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Race Shirts

Today's Tuesday on The Run topic is Race Shirts.  
I have quite the collection.  Let's start with a few favorites:

The upper left pink shirt is from a 10k trail run.  If you put lime green on anything, I'm going to love it.  The upper right is from the inaugural REVEL half marathon in Denver, a scenic downhill run through the canyons.  I'm bummed to see I'm wearing the letters off of this one.  In the middle is the softest shirt I own.  It's also in a very flattering women's cut.  I missed Route 66 this past fall, but hope to get back this year.  

For a 2014 Christmas present for my husband to give me {wink}, I cut up 64 race T-shirts (all from 5k or 10k distances) for a king sized quilt by Project Repat.  I could not get the entire quilt in a picture.  It's huge!  It was completely worth the time and money to do this.  That humongous pile of race shirts in the corner of our bedroom is gone!  I chose a red fleece backing and it is the warmest blanket we own. Most of the squares fall into the not-so-pretty category.  When you put them all together however, they do make a striking display.  Here are two I simply don't know what the race directors were thinking:

What is supposed to be a hill, looks like a big pile of baby diarrhea.  And the red path?  I'm sorry it reminds me of steam.  So, I see a huge green steamy pile of poop.  It completely missed the mark.  On to the other shirt -- what is that thing?  I'm thinking it's a sweaty, angry, red blood cell.  Why are the rabbit and frog sitting together in the running shoe just watching the cell run?  When did frogs and bunnies become friends?  I'm just simply confused over this one.

I saved the best for last.  The cut and fit of the shirt is fantastic, as well as the memory of conquering the marathon after an untimely foot stress fracture.  I won't wear it much for fear of wearing it out (like the REVEL shirt above).  Also, it's red.  Of all the race shirts I've received -- approaching 150 now -- this is only the 2nd red one.  Why is that?

Do you have any shirts that completely missed the mark?

Don't forget to enter to win an incredible

 *** SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt ***

Thanks to our wonderful hosts:

 Ericka @ MCM Mama Runs,

Sunday, February 14, 2016

I'm Back (WW # 28)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!

This linkup is hosted by yours truly and my good friend Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin   The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women.  

You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!   {See rules}  We hope you'll challenge yourself to come back later in the week and interact with more women.   It's a wonderful way to make new friends!


First of all, have you registered to earn this very cool BB8 finishers medal from Level Up Virtual Runs?  Hurry, today is the last day!  You don't want to miss this one of a kind spinning medal.   I will be highlighting the participants in a post race wrap up on March 1st.  Please join in!

Click RIGHT HERE for more information and a discount code!  

Secondly, I had the wonderful opportunity to review the SLS3 Dual Pocket Belt.  I was provided with this belt at no cost in exchange for an honest view.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Because my hips are wider than my waist (putting it mildly) belts just do not stay put.  Typically, they inch up to my waist and bounce around.  Yep, this drives me bonkers.  So, I was excited to try this belt! 

The first thing I noticed was the strap.  It is flat and wide with very squeezy elastic {such technical terminology, I know}.  I was able to get it tight enough, which is a problem with my current belt.  My large iPhone 6 while still in it's rubber protective case fit easily in one waterproof pocket. For kicks, I stuffed 6 GU (that's all I had), a mini Cliff Bar and my car key fob in the other waterproof pocket.  It could have held more.  Both pockets are extremely expandable.
Not one, but TWO roomy
WATERPROOF zipper pockets!

I fastened the belt low on my hips and took off.  Within a couple of minutes, sure enough -- it had risen to the smallest part of my waist.  But guess what?  It did not bounce!  The weight of my phone was not causing any sagging either.  I completely forgot I was wearing it.  I have never been able to say that.  

The next time I used the SLS3 Dual Pocket Belt, I went ahead and buckled it around my waist - right against my bare skin - instead of on my hips.  Again, I completely forgot it was there.  I felt the tag in my pants!  I felt the seam of my sock!  I felt the hooks of my bra!  But, I did not feel this belt!  This speaks volumes.  It's a definite keeper for me.

The wonderful folks at SLS3 are currently offering an introductory $12.90 discounted price (a whopping 57% off retail) through AMAZON.  (<< Click).  In addition, they are very graciously giving one away to a lucky reader.

And finally, I'm back (in the saddle again ... I'm back!)  I believe my ITB problem is in the past now. Knock.On.Wood.  I even ran a 5k Saturday.  It feels so good to be running regularly again.  My early morning runs were quite frosty this week and I enjoyed them immensely.  I faithfully attended Physical Therapy to work on strengthening my hips and did my at home exercises as well. 

Tuesday - Ran 4 miles
Thursday - Ran 5 miles
Saturday - Ran 3 miles
Sunday - Ran 9 miles

Total Weekly Miles  =  21

On Saturday I ran in the Love Run 5k.  It's a very hilly route, 230 feet of gain to be exact -- pretty strong for a 5k don't you think?  You can be assured any race held in our downtown area will be that way.  The last time I participated, I swore I never would again.  See how well that worked?

After everything I've been through, my pace has suffered a good deal.  I hope getting back to regular 5k runs will help my speed.  I've used them many times as tempo runs in the past during half marathon training.  I did place 2nd in my age group, but they only awarded 1st place.

Since our kids had other plans Saturday night, we went to our favorite local, authentic Italian restaurant for a quiet meal for Valentines Day.  I admit it.  I ate a cannoli for dessert.  Delicious!

My long run Sunday was a delight.  It was very sunny but windy and I wore some festive (aka very loud pink cheetah print) capris in honor of Valentine's Day.

And that's a wrap!

Do you like wearing a running belt?

Do you do regular exercises to strengthen your hips?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Runner Awakens

Look at this incredible BB8 spinning medal! 

Better yet, look at the uber cool ribbon!

Level Up Virtual Runs has been gracious enough to give out a discount for The Runner Awakens!  You get to choose the distance and can run any day between February 15th through February 29th!  You can also run this virtual race in conjunction with any other non-virtual race you are scheduled to run.  It's that easy. 

Level Up Virtual Runs gives back a portion of their proceeds to schools around the US who are struggling to keep their sports programs alive.  Your race fee is going to a great cause!  Please, don't miss out on this one of a kind finishers medal!  Registration ends on February 15th!  Use Save15 to receive your discount.  Register HERE.

JOIN ME!  Anyone that participates can send me a photo and I'll do a special The Runner Awakens post race wrap-up here on the blog.   

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Scenes From A Weekday Run

It's A Beautiful Day In This Neighborhood...
A Beautiful Day For A Neighbor...

I run in my neighborhood.  I don't drive anywhere for meet ups.  Why would I?  It's so quiet here and shady, which is wonderful for that summertime heat.  I'm out on the streets on weekdays before my little world wakes up.  Traffic concerns are almost non-existent.  This is standing in front of my mailbox where I keep my supplies.  My runs always start by going up this hill.

This is my favorite section of road.  It's a 1/2 mile of a very gentle downhill grade.  I love doing any type of speed work here, even if it's just a few strides.

We're lucky to have a park with a running/walking trail inside our neighborhood.  The mileage is a little off.  Three laps is more than one mile.  Year ago, I ran countless laps here training for my first half marathon.  I would literally lose count.  I would run extra laps...just in case. 

Although the trail is flat, I don't run in the park much anymore.  Occasionally, I'll finish a long and hot run here because I can always find shade and there is a water fountain.  I have to be careful of the gnats that swarm around the creek in warm weather.  {Do I really need to inhale any protein today?} My favorite time to run in the park is in the fall.  The path is really pretty with yellow leaves scattered about.  Sorry, no picture of that.

This is the hill leading back to my house...the biggest one we have.  If I need to loop by my mailbox for fuel or fluids (aka summertime), I've got to run the dreaded hill.  You'd think I'd be good at it by now.

So, that's where I run.  It's nothing fancy.  But, it's very convenient and very quiet.  Most importantly, it gets the job done.

Is it a beautiful day in your neighborhood?

Thanks to our wonderful hosts:

 Ericka @ MCM Mama Runs,