Misadventures with wine, weights, and running shoes.

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Back at Square One (or Damn My A** Hurts)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015
I've started running again and while it may not be far or fast, I AM running. Naturally, the muscles that I put on a six week vacation are disgruntled - in other words, my ass hurts.

I had forgotten about that feeling. It was one that I had grown accustomed to when I first started running and later forgot about because, as my body adapted, it went away. What is funny, I am glad my ass hurts. I know that I am getting back into a routine and that, thanks to the wonders of muscle memory, I will progress in mileage quickly.
Night view of Baker Park, Frederick, Maryland - right before our run.
Running again isn't my only news. I have also joined a new running club; the Frederick Steeplechasers. The verdict is still out on the club (last night was my first run with them) and I'm impatiently awaiting the announcement of the start of Winter Marathon Training.

Blue Ridge Marathon will be here before I know it.

I originally planned to train so I could run Blue Ridge better in 2016. Now I'm hoping I just finish it. Six weeks off is detrimental to you mindset that way. That mindset should turn itself around once I am more rooted into a routine that includes both running and cross training.

Speaking of "cross training," I still am trying to figure out a cross training option. I've reached out to a couple of Crossfit Boxes and am trying to be patient considering it is the holiday season. Isn't this the time of year to boost membership though? Oh well - maybe crossfit doesn't operate that way.

Until next time, run happy - Love, Theresa.

Change is Good...Right?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

It's been a tough year full of changes and unexpected twists but I've managed to arrive at the other end relatively unscathed. Still, a lot has changed and more is on the horizon.

I moved and while it wasn't to a new state, the distance has shaken things up a bit and will require some getting used to. The sale of my previous home, packing, and move were not without their challenges and the stress that they brought on made me sick causing me to drop too much weight in a short time. Sure, I wanted to lose a few pounds but this was not what I had planned. Needless to say, the Doctor was concerned and had me pull out of the rest of my races for the year.

I was not happy.

Just as I start to settle into my new norm, a new curveball is thrown into things with a change to my worklife. What exactly that will entail has yet to make itself clear, but I'm hoping for good things.

Improvise, adapt, and overcome.

In the mean time, I have my favorite race to look forward to; the Blue Ridge Marathon. Time to get back on track. I have a training plant to work out. I want to finish this race better than last years.

Love, Theresa

Mentors, Motivators, and Inspirations: Sid Busch

Saturday, October 24, 2015
"I am a United States Sailor. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me. I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world. I proudly serve my country's Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment. I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all."
- The U.S. Navy's Sailors Creed
It is one week since the Baltimore Running Festival and if you asked me who the first place runners were, I couldn't tell you. However, the last marathon runner is a much different story.

The last runner was Sid Busch, a Retired Navy Senior Chief that has been dedicating marathons to fallen soldiers since 2001.

At the age of 69, Sid embarked on his 200th marathon, a feat that I couldn't even fathom. I had the honor and privilege of meeting Sid at the Expo the day before the race. In the short time we talked, I learned that Sid was running in honor of not one but two soldiers: U.S. Marine Cpl. Bradley T. Arms (KIA 2004), and Sgt. Brian Theiobold, (KIA July 2015.) For Sid, these races were more than recreation, they were his mission; his passion. He wanted to further illuminate these bright souls that died well before their times. He wanted to draw attention to something that is often taken for granted; FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.

This is why, at the end of our half marathon, we changed, grabbed flags, and retraced the marathon race course to find Sid. 

It was a finish unlike any other. A finish that took a village. The Baltimore City Police rallied together, clearing his way. Few runners can lay claim to a police escort for their run and far fewer can say they were being cheered on from a Police helicopter with a, "Sid Bush - YOU are almost there." 

We dropped in behind the pack around mile 25 and at 26 we shot ahead with other flag bearers and the Baltimore Police to flank the finish area and welcome Sid home. Upon his approach, tears streamed as we witnessed a true Patriot finish this days mission.
No, I can not tell you who the first finisher was of the Baltimore Running Festival Marathon but I can tell you about Sid Bush, the full embodiment of the U.S. Navy's Sailor's Creed; the "Fighting Spirit of the U.S. Navy.

I'll be looking forward to seeing Sid on the course tomorrow, at the 40th Marine Corps Marathon.


The Weekly Ramble #4: Find Your Fierce

Friday, October 9, 2015

This weekend is the Chicago Marathon and many of my friends and readers will be there. Although I will not be running it with them, I will carry them all in my heart as I run my longest unsupported trail training run; a necessity both mentally and physically. Not to worry though, I've become proficient in supporting myself for 9 miles and load my car up like the Martha Stewart of Aid Stations. If you don't believe me, you can ask Sandy over at So What? I Run. 

Naturally, as with any long distance training run, it is met with apprehension. This is more because of the fact that it is currently raining buckets and not because of the distance. I am anticipating laps that will be far longer than I want in an effort to not slip, slide, and land on my assets in a wet mushy pool of mud - or worse - horse manure. The horses share this trail with bikes, runners, and walkers. 

But enough about the possibility of me falling in horse poop...

What I really want to do is wish each and every one of you that is running the Chicago Marathon the following:

Swift feet and strength of body, mind, and heart. May each of you FIND YOUR FIERCE when you need it most. 

Love you all,


The Weekly Ramble: #3 - A Somewhat Late Edition

Friday, October 2, 2015

What's New:
Knocked out my twenty mile road and nine mile trail training runs. Although they were tough runs, they were just the confidence builders I needed for the coming weeks. Unfortunately, my calves are angry with me now. Oh well...this too shall pass.

Training: There is nothing like a rough weekend of training runs to make you appreciate upper body work. It's also a step back week! That means lower mileage. Sweet! Of course, the upper body work has left me finding creative ways to change clothes - like hooking the back of my sports bra on a door knob and sliding out of it by dropping to the floor. Oh, and don't get me started on my leg day...it was Wednesday and I'm still carefully negotiating stairs and bathroom visits. 

What I'm Loving: Apple & Cinnamon Huma Gel - I even eat it on pancakes pre-run.

What I'm Listening to: Florence + the Machine, Dog Days are Over

Ridiculous Comment of the Week: "Your ankle is still bothering you? It's been months!" - a non runner friend who apparently lives in a bubble because she has never had any kind of injury. Ok. First it has been six weeks and not "months." Second, it can take as long as six months to heal an ankle depending on the degree of the sprain. 

Best Comment of the Week: "You are actually doing really well and don't need any needles." My PT, Brenda. 

My question of the week for you guys: What's the dumbest thing you've been asked or told this week?

Asthma Sucks

Monday, September 28, 2015

Asthma sucks. I spent my childhood watching my grandmother and mother suffer and die young from COPD. I cared for many asthmatic patients as an ICU Nurse.  I witnessed one my closest friends have issues and even attacks in front of me.  I could appreciate the sentiment, “Asthma sucks” - or so I thought.
Eighteen months ago spring allergy issues made my normal running routine challenging. After an allergy consultation ended in normal test results, I was sent off with some “as needed” medications that included a rescue inhaler and my breathing problems resolved quickly.

Six months ago, a cough landed me back to see the allergist.  Once again, tests were negative, but this time I was given steroids, antibiotics and more “as needed” drugs to get me healthy for the Blue Ridge Marathon. Within a week I was, once again, right as rain. Problem solved.

Tuesday July 21st:  I am up at o’dark thirty, to run Yasso 800’s on the treadmill before my CX works class.  Yassos are a type of speed drill I was using to gauge my goal pace for MCM.  Complete ten training rounds and you have a good chance to make your goal.  I was on round five and feeling encouraged that I could reach my target Boston Qualifying Pace.

A half mile into my warm up I felt off and sluggish. “I need more PlowOn and coffee” was my initial thought, but pushed through thinking once I warm up, the energy will come.  I began my first Yasso round, and started sputtering and coughing like I had inhaled a glass of water and nearly fell off the treadmill after about two minutes.  I collected myself, and tried again. Same result.  So I gave up and taught my class thinking I was having an off day and would try again tomorrow.
The coughing continued with little relief for a week, and at this point, I am taking ALL THE DRUGS and none seem to be helping.  I schedule my appointment with the allergist and when I see them a couple days later, I am a veritable hot mess.

“See this? This result is definitive. You have asthma”, said my doctor in a matter of fact way pointing at numbers on a test sheet.  The statement hit me like a 2x4 across the face.  The nurse in me gets it and understands. The athlete thinks all my healthy activities and still my family history bites me in the butt. The fact that Asthma NEVER goes away sunk in. I’m given steroids, antibiotics and various other drugs with the hopes I will be good to go in a week.
Cough, sputter, wheeze, and cough.  Sleepless nights and fatigue drag on for weeks.  No relief, no let up, so much that even my friends were grabbing me by the shoulders and saying, rest, heal, and go back to docs.  I cannot remember being so miserable, ever.  Forget about breathless exercising; I was breathless sitting.  I could barely do basic living necessities for my family and I can tell you, my family had way more than our share of take out.  It wasn’t until a repeat visit to my primary care physician and a change in medication that I finally started to find relief.

It’s been more than two months now since the start of my initial flare up. I don’t cough nearly as much, and more extensive tests this week show improvement, but not in the time frame I had hoped for. Fatigue is still there, and cannot physically push myself like I had been used to. Pulmonary consults and comprehensive asthma treatment plan and knowledge is helping me understand my asthma and how to manage it.
In less than a month from the time I am writing this, I will have completed my 10th Marathon as part of the 40th anniversary of the Marine Corps Marathon and gearing up for my second Rosaryville 50k.  I wish I could look into my crystal ball and know what happens, but this story is still playing out and I will take each day and moment as it comes. No matter what the result, I will toe the line with my inhaler and give my best effort on that day.  This is not the end of my journey. My path may have had a detour, but the best paths are the ones less traveled. 

No matter how badly Asthma sucks, it will not define me or limit my possibilities.

Love, Cindy

The Weekly Ramble #2

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What's New:

I have another 18 miles in the books and ten weeks until I hit the trail for a 50k. Crazy - I know. I also can't believe that I'm actually following a 50k training plan that does, in fact, include a 26 mile run which happens to fall right in line with the Marine Corps Marathon.

I also took a much needed break from everything; a little sand and salt water is good for the soul.

Training: Took it easy this week in an effort to get my mind and my body on the same page. It is funny how your body can be ready to go but mental exhaustion can crush your progress.

What I'm Loving: My Alex and Ani Saint Anthony Bracelet.

What I'm Listening to: Morphine - Cure for the Pain

Ridiculous Comment of the Week: "With all that running, I'm surprised you're not smaller." A Verizon Tech

Best Comment of the Week: "Turn off your phone during your work break...the world will continue turning." This was from my co-worker in Utrecht. She was right; the world did keep turning.

My question of the week for you guys: What's the best thing someone has told you this week?


Running Into God

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The other day I logged into facebook and a July 15, 2015 post from Dean Karnazes showed up in my feed. The caption read, 
"If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon. If you want to talk to God, run an ultra."
While I don't disagree with the statement - I can not say that I agree with it either. Running and God are relative.

A little over two and a half years ago, when I literally put my foot on the path of my running journey, I did so with excitement as well as apprehension. I did not see myself as a runner. I have never saw myself as a runner. In fact, the image embedded in my minds eye is that of my 14 year old self who is both overweight and lacks all forms of cardiovascular fitness.

So it can go without saying, I spoke to God the moment I dropped my 5k training application in the mail to the Annapolis Striders. I think the dialog went something like this:
Dear God - What in the hell am I doing?
I repeated those exact same words on the first day of training and many subsequent days there after. Again - it is relative.

On the frigid February morning that marked my first 5k race, I stood shivering at the starting line and muttered those exact same words, yet again. However, at the half way point the conversation changed:
Dear God - please get me through this.
and upon reaching the finish line:
Dear God - Thank You for the strength to persevere.
At that point in my life and given my past experience, a 5k seemed much like an ultra to me; unfeasible. Even as I reach for longer distances, the conversations continue:
Dear God, why am I doing this again.
Dear God, I can't believe I'm only at mile ...
Dear God, please let there be a spot-a-pot at the next aid station.
and always
Dear God, Thank You for the strength to persevere.
I have ran many 5ks, a number of 10ks, a lot of half marathons, and two full marathons. This November I am shooting to complete my first Ultra. Maybe then, the conversation will change.

Much Love,

The Weekly Ramble #1

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

If you had the faintest impression that I did this for a living, allow me this moment to set the record straight - I don't.

Sure, it would be great to make my living writing a blog, lifting weights, and running but that is not the case. I do, in fact, have a day job; one that is at times demanding and calls for some crazy hours. It is all good though. For the most part, I love my job and the people I work with. I get to do cool things and they don't bat much of an eye when I come to work with another tattoo or say, "I want to run a 50k."

So that should give you a bit of a clue as to what I've been up to the last number of weeks; I've been working my butt off. It's a shame it doesn't actually trim my waistline.

In an effort to try and get back to my writing, I'm trying to get back on a weekly post campaign. We'll see how that goes. In the mean time, allow me to share the following.

A.) Training - not going as well as I'd like it but it is going. I using this year as a learning experience and looking to next year as being "quality over quantity." More on that later.

B.) What I'm Loving - Quest Banana Cream Protein Powder. I'm not sure what the hell they are putting in this stuff but I can not get enough of it. I've got a pack of peanut butter but haven't had the heart to try it because I just love the banana that much.

C.) What I'm Listening to - Nickelback. Trying to come up with some new playlists for running and cross training.

D.) My question of the week for you guys: What is your dig deep song? That song that pumps you up and gets you over the finish line or through those last few reps?


Peaks and Valleys Along Your Journey

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
I’ve been in a valley lately in my training/physical performance.  Some self-imposed and some out of my control. In typical OCD fashion, I’ve hyper focused and over analyzed, trying to figure out why and how to get back on track.

At the beginning of my Yoga class last week, I was recalling a conversation I had with Dick Beardsley, during a shakeout run before the BlueRidge Marathon in April. This amazing man was not only the Guinness record holder for 13 consecutive marathon PRs, but had also won tons of races and had more accolades than I can count. Taking advantage of my good fortune, I had asked him for pearls of wisdom about his race experience and strategy.

He summed running a race as this:
During the race, especially in the beginning you will feel amazing, invincible and that anything is possible.  Acknowledge that but don’t let that change your strategy. Stay even and steady. You will also have those low periods, where pain and doubt screams at you from within, and you wonder why you are doing this. Same as before, acknowledge it but don’t feed into it.  Both will happen; both are transient.  Keep yourself steady and ride the waves and you will come out just fine in the end.
It was both comforting and enlightening to know that the most elite athletes have these waves also.
When I first heard it, it made perfect sense. I was thankful of the information.  Almost two months later, as I relayed the wisdom to my students; I had an epiphany:  Not only does this work for marathons, but also for periods during training as well as in life itself.

Very rarely will you find someone that has a steep upward trajectory in training or race performance like Mr. Beardsley had in the beginning.  Most wax and wane; having plateaus and dips with injuries, illness, work, and sometimes just overcome by life events. The goal, overall, is to work towards long term improvement.

We all know this saying, but how often do we heed the word? This too, shall pass.

It is very easy to grab hold and feed into the highs and lows. Many times myself, have I been known to swing wildly in both directions.  The challenge is slowing down long enough to be able to acknowledge what is happening and know that like all things are transient and will pass.

Learn from the lows, take advantage of and appreciate the highs, continue to work on your goals and know that all of this is okay.

We are all on an amazing journey.  Smile, breathe, stay steady as you go, and just make sure you take time to enjoy the ride.

Love, Cindy.

Starting Over

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
"The goal's always simple: to push myself. Past discomfort, into pain. Outlast the pain. aim for numbness. To come out the other side...feeling a little destroyed. Then I know I've won." ~ Cait Chock.

I ran this morning.

While it wasn't far - only a couple of miles - it was the first time in a while that I'd been out on a solo run. I've actually grown accustomed to running with others. Despite that, I crawled out of the comfort of my bed at 3:00 this morning. I drank some coffee, slowly got dressed, and at 4:00 am I wandered out into the humid darkness and ran.

I destroyed myself while proving one thing - I need to get out of my head.

 I feel like I'm starting over again. Not quite at the beginning but close enough. I can push through a long run but I need to reestablish my base - my foundation. I need to overcome the little voice in my head that says - run tomorrow and you're not capable of faster. The very same voice that says I can't go further.

I need to destroy it the way I destroyed myself this morning.

Time to get back to my old routine.

Coffee is calling...

Until next time. Love, Theresa.

Marine Corps Historic Half - in Blue

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
About a year after I ran the Marine Corps Historic Half, I found myself up at a ridiculous hour heading to Virginia to do it again. At least this year, I knew going in that it would not be pretty.

My allergies and asthma were (still are) at an all time bad and the weather forecast called for a high around 80 with 100% humidity. That translates into running through hot thick soup while breathing through a straw.

Awesome, right?

At least I was prepared. I limited my meds to the ones that caused the least dehydration and had a hydration plan. Erring on the side of the super cautious, Cindy and I started hydrating with electrolytes about three days before the race. We were as ready as we were going to get.

Unlike last year, we were running with a purpose that didn't involve a PR. This year we chose to run with wear blue: run to remember®.

My first encounter with this organization was at the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon at what would be my most memorable and emotional mile of the race: the blue mile. Over the distance of one mile, photos of soldiers - hundreds of them - and their names are staged one after another along with members of the organization who are holding American flags and cheering runners.

photo credit: wear blue: run to remember
It was only a few photos in when I realized that this line of photos appeared to go on forever and the shear magnitude of what I was looking at unfolded before me. Freedom is not free and these Men and Women made the ultimate sacrifice for it. I then spent the remainder of the mile in tears and determined to finish the race.
"The mission of wear blue: run to remember is to build running communities that honor the service and sacrifice of the American military. wear blue seeks to (1) act as a support network, (2) serve as a living memorial, and (3) bridge the gap between military and civilian communities."
So like I was saying, up at a ridiculous hour to go run this race...or to drive to the race, take a nap in the car, and then go run the race.

Nap behind us, we were getting ready to head to the start when we heard, "hey blue!" Someone was talking to us. I was honestly, so taken aback her name escapes me, but she was talking to us. Assuming it was a fluke, we went about our way.

On our way to the starting line, people past us saying, "Good luck blue" and "Run strong blue." There was much more to this community that I had realized. The same occurred during the actual race. Others with wear blue would pass and we'd cheer each other on and offer a thumbs up or some motivational words.

In the final miles of the race, we encountered the blue mile again. Much like the Marine Corps Marathon, I was overcome with emotion. Just when I thought I had myself together, I reached the line of wear blue volunteers who one by one cheered us up the hill. "Go Blue" - "You've got this hill, Blue." - "Looking strong, Blue." - "Run with Honor, Blue."

...and just like that, I was a mess all over again.

In the final stretch of the race, the route was lined with spectators and over the cow bells and screams I heard "Go Blue."

Across the finish line and once reunited with Cindy, we grabbed a drink and then headed to the spectator area. We needed to give back so we spent a good hour cheering on other members of wear blue: run to remember.

Everyone's story is different much like everyone's reason for running is different but wear blue: run to remember unites us as a living memorial to the American Military. A visible reminder that freedom isn't free.

Learn more about wear blue: run to remember:
Love, Theresa.

Today We Run

Monday, May 25, 2015

Today we run. 

Not to train - but to honor our fallen.

We run for those who can't run. We run for the Sons and Daughters who didn't come home. We run for the Daddies and Mommies and the children that will miss them. We run for the favorite Uncles and Aunts who didn't get to go home to their doting Nieces and Nephews.

We run for the Husbands. We run for the Wives. We run for the Spouses that hold their memories close.

We run for the Brothers. We run for the Sisters. We run for the Siblings that go on each day with part of them missing.

We Run!

We run for all of those that made the Ultimate Sacrifice to preserve our Freedoms.

We run because Freedom isn't Free.

~ Theresa

Dedicated to the Men and Women of the American Military who sacrificed everything and the Families that they left behind. 

Memorial Day:Remembering the Fallen

Sunday, May 24, 2015
I woke up Friday morning to a facebook feed full of

"OMG. Three day weekend. Time to Par-tay."


"Wooo hooo...Memorial Day - Poolz open beeatches."

and I was annoyed.

Annoyed because too many people take for granted the freedoms that we have and neglect the real meaning of Memorial day...

and no, it isn't cook outs and thanking every soldier you see for their service.

So here is a reminder.
A photo posted by Andrea πŸ‘£ (@rothertmomma) on

and another one

and this one

A photo posted by Andres Jaime (@andresmarioj) on

here's another

and another

and this one

this one too

A photo posted by Ash (@ssgt_hubbard) on

one more

So while I am not saying you shouldn't enjoy your time at the pool or your big cook out, what I am saying is to remember to take a moment to give thanks for those that made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve your freedom.

Friday Favorites: Zipfizz Health Energy Drink

Friday, May 22, 2015

I across stumbled Zipfizz several years back while wandering the aisles of Costco one weekend. They were giving out samples of Citrus flavor in a 16oz bottle of water and, like all free samples, I happily accepted. I remember the taste was okay, but by the time I left the store, I had enough energy that I contemplated cleaning my entire house when I got home.

With that, an addict a fan was born.

Their website touts their main product as
“a healthy and great tasting energy drink-mix powder that delivers a powerful charge of micronutrients to the body's fuel system. It contains no ephedra or other artificial stimulants. Most people experience an immediate, revitalizing burst of energy after taking Zipfizz.”
It was no joke. Even better, you got the effects without bouncing off the walls and crashing into a huddled mess like you get from energy drinks. The energy you get from Zipfizz is from vitamins and natural sources of caffeine. It also contains electrolytes that you lose during your workout. What it doesn’t contain is a ton of sugar; there is NONE.

Tons of bang for your buck in a little tiny tube!

That's one of the unique features of Zipfizz; their packaging. It comes in small plastic tube containers making it easy to stash in your car, gym bag, purse, desk drawer etc. You can easily pour into any water bottle. Just remember, it does have a “fizz” to it, so you need to take a sip out of the bottle before adding so it doesn’t bubble up and overflow. Then you are left putting your mouth on the opening, causing you to inhale a lot of powder so it doesn’t go everywhere (not like that has EVER happened…well, maybe). The recommended amount of water is 16-20 oz., but I personally put it in at least a liter to get my needed water intake in.

Zipfizz comes in five original flavors: (Grape, Orange Soda, Pink Lemonade, Berry and Citrus) and 4 special edition flavors (Fruit Punch, Orange Cream, Lemon Iced Tea and Blue Raspberry)

My favorite flavors are Orange, Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, and Grape.

So whether you use this for your workout or a pick me up, it is a great way to get your vitamins and daily water intake in one step.

For more information:


CrossFit: Stepping outside of one box, and into another

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

CrossFit: the response, to which, tends to be a spectrum ranging from an exuberant love of anything related to it (all hail the CULT-TURE of CrossFit) to a visceral disdain and fear of the sport. I can honestly say I was closer to the later.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love lifting. Theresa and I both have a competitive streak. We know equal amounts of people from both camps. Occasionally we would discuss trying CrossFit, joking that we would try to not laugh too hard at each other when we ended up featured on Gym Fails. We never pursued it though.

Opportunity knocked in the form of a Facebook post from Bob, a friend and the owner of CrossFit Glen Burnie. He was looking for Yoga Instructors and the idea sparked my interest. I have known Bob and his wife, Margaret, for ten plus years. We worked together at Gold’s gym, staying in touch when he left to open his business.

I contacted him, setting up a time to see what this whole CrossFit thing was about; if this was somewhere I would want to teach yoga. Knowing someone, especially the owner, helped remove a bit of the angst I was feeling going into an unknown experience. For someone that constantly touts taking a leap outside of your comfort zone, I needed to put words into action.

I have only seen the inside of two crossfit boxes; one in Florida and this one. While both have their own flavor, they were similar. Big, no frills open spaces. Pro military/first responders. Lots of equipment, stacks of bars, bumper plates, kettle bells, giant tires and a masochistic looking jungle gym with rings and bars in the center.


Cullen broke squat clean thrusters into five manageable pieces, later putting them together in one fluid move. You pick up the bar, throw it up to your collarbone in a squat, then press the bar over your head as you stand up. We used PVC pipe to practice for 15 minutes as he walked around, tweaking our form. Once he was satisfied, we were then given five to ten minutes to figure out what weight we would use. The top weight for females with this exercise was 105 pounds. Since I had never done this before, I went with a conservative weight of 65. My fear was that I would either rip my arms out of their sockets or drop the bar on my head. My goal was to avoid both scenarios.

Next, Cullen demonstrated the first part of the WOD; box jump-overs and toes to bar.

I have a love hate relationship with box jumps. I’m pretty good at jumping, but fear face planting, loosing teeth, or skinning my shins. For those reasons, I chose a medium height box.

For Toes to Bar, you hang from a bar by your hands and then raise your legs to bring your toes up to the bar. You can swing up, but you want to come down under control. He shows us a couple times and the alternate knee tuck.

I thought these exercises were something I did ten million times as a kid; this shouldn't be too bad.

And just when I thought I was getting the hang of the Double-Under - SMACK right across my rear; serving me a slice of humble pie. Toes to Bar was no different. I am sure I looked pretty pathetic trying to figure out why my legs wouldn’t move that way, I managed to get two under extreme effort and a lot of cursing. I decided I would need scale this to complete it. I couldn’t help but giggle about a comment Theresa made to when I told her toes to bar, “if the bar is on the floor, I’m golden, other than that, forget it”.

Instruction and warm-up done, we prepared for the actual WOD. Five box jump-over, ten toes to bar (or knees up for me) AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) for five minutes. With the timer set, we set up our boxes next to the jungle gym. With a “Go” we started.

Instagram photo by CrossFit Glen Burnie * May 13, 2015 at 2:24pm UTC

I got four and a half rounds in before the timer went off. One girl face planted the jump and another guy actually did miss the box, gaining him a golf ball sized knot and bloody shin, which Bob and the trainer addressed quickly.

We had three minutes rest before doing the squat clean thrusters: AMRAP three min. You could rest when needed. In this, I finished completing a total of 22. It was intense. My heart rate rose up as high as any moderate to high intensity cardio. Then we were done.

Wow! Eleven minutes from start to finish of the actual workout. Slightly breathless, I was surprised at how I could feel the work out already. My arms were still attached to my body, no concussions or missing teeth: goal met.

After class, Bob and I talked a bit about cross fit and how Yoga could help many of the members with mobility and injury prevention. Then we parted ways. Bob said he’d get back to me regarding the job.

I left with not only a slightly changed view of CrossFit, but a very humbled view of my own abilities. I was always told that these workouts are what you make of them; they will also pull out your weaknesses and smack you with them like the jump rope.

Use that information to improve or not, the choice is up to you. I start next month.

Check out CrossFit Glen Burnie:

Love, Cindy

Friday Favorite: Genepro Protein Powder

Friday, May 15, 2015
I am relatively stubborn when it comes to products I know and love and my protein powder happens to be one of those things. As much as I love it though, it isn't exactly convenient to use outside of home. Yes, I'm one of those people that prefers her protein powder blended with almond or coconut milk and ideally with a frozen banana and some almond butter. Yep, not convenient at all.

When my friend and fellow gym rat, Leslie, told me about Musclegen Research Genepro Protein Powder and how it can be blended with any beverage or sprinkled on food, I had to give it a shot.

First a little about Genepro Genetic-Tri Protein Peptide (From their website)
"The combination of the Tri-Protein and the way it is processed along with the addition of protease enzymes, allows for the equivalent of a 30gram serving of protein with only a 1 TBSP serving size. With the small granule nature of this protein, it allows the powder to mix almost instantly in any beverage (hot or cold). It is flavorless and odorless and does not change the consistency of the beverage. Coffee, juice, soda or any item you may be drinking, can now be your source of the most complex and complete protein. This electrophoresis process allows us to remove bacteria and impurities in the base protein for immediate absorption into the system and bypasses the intestinal digestive system by 94%. Compare this to Whey Isolate that has an absorption rate of only 31%, making Genepro three times more effective than any other protein on the market. Genepro is ideal for individuals with gluten sensitivity, lactose intolerance, diabetics and bariatric patients. Because of this immediate absorption your body peaks with a surge of insulin 10 times more anabolic than Testosterone. This will also trigger your thyroid from a molecular level to match the surge of insulin causing your body to be in a full anabolic and fat burning state, while supplying the muscles with the world's most complete and usable protein. This combination feeds the muscles and aids in the repair and the building of new muscle at a record rate. The evolution of performance supplementation is here and it goes by the name of Genepro."
 The moment I read that one tablespoon yielded 30 grams of protein that could be mixed in ANY BEVERAGE hot or cold. I was sold. Such a small portion size makes this incredibly portable as well as convenient to use.
I just love the tiny little scoop!!! 

But how was it? 

Mixed in my morning cup of coffee with a splash of cream and a little stevia, I saw no difference in taste. It also blended well in my gluten free pancake recipe without altering the flavor or texture of the pancakes. I have also mixed it in my vitamin drink and aside from making it cloudy, I didn't notice any change in flavor. Black iced coffee was a bit different however, changing the color slightly as well as the flavor but not so much that I disliked it.

Most importantly, the whey based protein caused no gastric distress unlike some of the other proteins I've used in the past. Another win, in my book.

All in all, it is a new staple and I'm already on my second bag and keep finding new ways to incorporate it into my diet.

Check them out. 

Genepro is available online here. A 30 serving container is $41.99.
Follow them on facebook here.
Follow them on twitter here.

Love, Theresa

2015 Frederick Running Festival - Nut Job Challenge

Monday, May 11, 2015
The Frederick Running Festival, now in its 13th year, is comprised of four races: The Twilight 5k and Kids Fun Run - both held on a Saturday evening - and a half marathon or two person team relay on Sunday.

For those runners looking to go the extra mile - or three point one miles - you can run the 5k on Saturday AND the half marathon on Sunday. This challenge is affectionately known as the "Nut Job." Registering for the challenge gets you two race premiums and, upon completion, two medals - one for the half marathon and one for the challenge.

Of the two race premiums, the 5k shirt is my favorite. It is a cotton feel short sleeve in purple. The half marathon shirt is okay but the temperatures made a long sleeve shirt a little less than desirable.

This was my second year running the combined event (2014 Recap HERE) and Cindy's first. Being Ambassadors with PlowOn, we were thrilled to be running as a part of their team and made the most of our roles by joining them in the booth at the expo as well as at the finish festival.

PlowOn's own, Matt Dell, showing everyone just how short we are.

The Twilight 5k

Earning its name with its 6:00pm race start, the Twilight 5k starts and ends on the horse track at the Frederick Fair Grounds. The course is pretty much an out and back with some easy hills thrown in. Last year I loved the course.

This year I spent 3.1 miles silently complaining to myself that there was no shade.

Beginning twenty minutes before the race, as we stood assembled at the starting line awaiting the send off, the sun began to beat down on us. What started out as a cool evening turned into blazing hot and uncomfortable. By the time the race began, grumbles could be heard across the crowd about the temperature and everyone was glad to be moving. Cindy, myself, and our band of merry runners were glad to be getting this out of the way.

The Good:
  • Late start time so you could hit packet pick-up and then run the race.
  • Under normal circumstances, the course isn't terrible. 
The Not So Good:
  • Packet pickup could have been expedited if the "smart phone" sign outside of the area also provided a QR code for runners to use to pull up their information.
  • Organizers posted the "Race Start" directional sign for the HALF MARATHON out early causing some confusion as to where the 5k started. 
  • IT WAS HOT!!! 
  • I'm pretty sure that Cindy and I inhaled half the race track between the start and finish of the race. 
The Half Marathon

Since I was driving, I stuck to my usual plan of arrive early, get the good parking, and nap in the car. Which we did. As far as I'm concerned, this should have been the VIP parking area because as a runner, this is a beautiful view.
In all seriousness, my one big tip about the Sunday morning half is arrive BY 5am to get good parking as well as avoid road closures and rerouting. Then take a nap in the car. That is exactly what we did.

Knowing full well that we were in no way at 100% for this race - hey...we had only ran Blue Ridge two weeks prior, were not acclimated to the high temps, and were fighting allergies - we opted to just run the race comfortably. We planted ourselves in conservative pacing locations (I should have gone even more conservative). In fact, my running buddy, Amy, and I both laughed about setting out to complete PWs (Personal Worsts) in this distance.

Between allergies and the temperatures going up even faster than expected, Cindy and I both had less than stellar performances and we were not alone. Along the route, a number of people got sick. I ended up cranking up my head phones so I wouldn't hear.

What can I say; I am a sympathy puker.

Stellar performance or not...we still got two cool new medals to add to our walls.

The Good:
  • Early arrival = great parking
  • Two finishers medals when you come across the finish line. 
  • Great finishers festival - they even solved the beer issues from the year before
  • Relaxed starting area with pacers
The Not So Good:
  • Once you were in the finishers festival, locating water was difficult unless you wanted to beg your way back towards the finish line or buy some - that's kind of messed up.
  • IT WAS HOT!!
  • I think we snorted the other 50% of the track. 
  • A male guard near the festival exit was down right rude and took himself way too seriously. 
Final thoughts:

While the premise behind the race is cute and the event is fun, neither of us are certain that we'd run this race series again. There are other races that we'd like to knock off our bucket list in the coming years.

Friday Favorite: Brooks Running

Friday, May 1, 2015
In October, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) for the first time. Not only did I want to add the “People’s Marathon” to my bucket list, but I also wanted one of the coveted MCM Brooks racing jackets I had seen other runners wear. This Army Wife hates to admit it, but Marines have a style that is the envy of all military services.

When I got to the expo, I was thrilled about this year’s color and the look of the jacket. It was a must have. I have always been a fan of their running gear. Their Infinity Compression Shorts have been my go-to shorts for a few years.

Sadly, a month after the race the weather became too cold to wear the jacket. I packed away my beloved running jacket away until more favorable weather returned.

Fast forward to March and warmer spring weather! I head out to the store wearing my favorite MCM jacket and realize that I had a good 2 inch seam separation in my right sleeve.

I was devastated! I happen to be online chatting with my partner in crime, Theresa, when I discovered it and I shared my heartbreak. I barely got to wear it! She replied, "hey, give them a call, they have a great reputation for customer service."

I had my doubts. It’s been nearly five months since I bought my jacket, and had little faith in online customer service in general. Despite that, I took my sole sisters advice, contacted a Brooks' customer service representative via an online chat. She sent me a link to fill out a form and said they "will see what they can do”.  Still leery, I fill out the form, attach a picture of the damage and sent it on its way at 10:00 am, March 16th. I then received an automated message saying they got my message and someone will get back to me. I honestly don’t expect to hear from them any time soon as I formulate how I was going to repair my jacket. To my surprise, I got a response at 1:14 PM telling me that they are sending me a replacement and I should get it in 5-7 days. 

Wow! Thank you! (My actual response). They replied immediately saying you’re welcome, included a tracking number and told me there was a surprise headed my way.

Five days later I receive a package in the mail. Not only did they replace my damaged jacket, but they sent me an ADDITIONAL JACKET!!

Wow! I now have one to wear and one to run IN! From call to replacement of what was damaged was a total of FIVE DAYS. I emailed them, thanking them, to which they replied promptly saying they were glad I was happy. 

The company’s customer service and willingness to stand behind their products is more than enough reason to keep Brooks Running as one of my favorite running companies.

Love, Cindy

The Blue Ridge Marathon - It Takes a Village...or at least a small town.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Last Saturday, we ran the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon and there is a lot that I could say about it. 

I could give you a play by play that echoes the similar sentiments of runners that have come before me; how it will destroy your quads, tackle your hamstrings, and send your caves and joints screaming. 

I could tell you about the three mountains that make up the race - Roanoke, Mill, and Peakwood - and how one will invigorate you, one will empower you, and the last will humble you beyond words. 

I could also tell you about how an increase in temperature can rob you of what energy you have left and turn an already difficult race into one that is simply brutal.

Yes there is plenty to be said about what makes the Blue Ridge Marathon America's Toughest Road Marathon but anything that I have said has been said numerous times before. Instead, I will focus on what makes this race worth coming back and doing again. The reason I wanted to ambassador for it in the first place. The reason I'll probably return in 2016 to do it all over again.

It is the people - the unsung heroes of the Blue Ridge Marathon.

Like most races, the Blue Ridge Marathon would not be possible without its volunteers. From runner check-in to medal distribution, volunteers maintain the structural integrity of a race; however, BRM volunteers are a class all their own. They are the heart and soul of this event infusing it with their personalities. The event boasts between 400 and 500 volunteers. That is about one person per full marathoner or per four runners (approximately 2000 between the three events.) 

In addition to the volunteers, there is another key ingredient to this race; the community. The community comes out in force. Sure the majority of volunteers are members of the community, but there were an awful lot of people supporting the race that were not wearing the signature "You Run mountains ... I Help" t-shirt. The Roanoke community peppered the race throughout the 26.2 miles along with the volunteers.

Volunteers and community combined, they provided well over 21 aid stations - both official and unofficial ones. They set up scaffolding made up of ladders and hoses creating "misting" and "rain" stations. They played music, sang, and danced us through the miles. They shot pictures for us, provided loads of goodies, held our fuel belt when we made a "pit stop", and offered us words of encouragement. They handed out adult beverages, iced coffee, and ice cold soda. Oh, and who can forget the entertainment - both live (hello finish line festivities) and recorded / played along the course - our personal favorite being the delightful gentleman that played "First Call" on bugle. 

Of course, they also directed us along our journey especially when we were having problems determining our right from our left - "Stay left... no, your other left." 

This post would not be complete without also acknowledging the emergency services personnel that were on duty. The people that kept us safe, directed/stopped traffic, added to the encouragement, and offered to rent me their bicycle - I need to stash some cash in my sports bra. 

Finally, the organizers. The ones that had the ridiculous idea in the first place and the people that make the magic happen behind the scenes. I personally imagine it being a conversation over a few drinks - the adult kind - and that it started out as a joke, went on to be the crazy idea that no one will ever go for, and has grown into the successful race that it is. 

To everyone that makes this event possible, Thank you! 

Special thanks go to the following:

Photo courtesy of the Blue Ridge Marathon
  • The wonderful woman at Volunteer Check-in who ensured us that we would look AWESOME in our yellow volunteer shirts. She was right! 
  • Hope and  Jones Racing Company: You and your crew are total rock stars.

  • Greg and the Fleet Feet Noke water stop around mile 21. You were there where we needed someone the most.
  • Clay, my brother, who was there waiting for me at the finish and laughed at me for being so delirious and saying.."Hey, I know him."

  • The wonderful ladies that took the time to explain our right from our left so we headed to the finish line rather than back out on the course for a second lap.
  • The officer that offered to rent me his bike - again money goes in the sports bra.
  • The EMT that smiled and said "SURE THING" when I asked them at around mile two to meet me at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Bullitt in about five hours. 
  • Our bugle player on Mill Mountain that turned up again on Peakwood with a huge smile and a "HEY GIRLS!! REMEMBER ME?!!"
  • The awesome gals with the iced cold coffee towards the end of the race.
  • The awesome guys with the iced cold soda.
  • DUDE, Marsha, Chad, and the Marathon Maniacs for the conversation along the route.
  • Pizza Pasta Pit for having one hell of a gluten free menu.
  • Finally, thank you to Cindy for taking this ridiculous adventure with me. 

Run the Blue Ridge Marathon for the challenge, but come back for the people.

Love, Theresa

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  As a race ambassador, Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon provided me with a free entry into the Marathon, along with my packet goodies.  Hotel accommodations, travel, and other expenses related to the race were paid by me and as always, the opinions are 100% my own.