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Thursday, March 21, 2013

ABC Get to know me!

I got this from the lovely OlivetoRun! I've really been enjoying her blog, so if you want another blog about running, you should check her out! :)
A. Age: 29 (eep!)
B. Bed size: We have a full size...but we are probably ready to step it up to a queen since our dog takes up most of it during the night!
C. Chore you dislike: Cleaning the bathroom or washing dishes
D. Dogs: I have one...His name is Winston and he's the best. We think that he is a mix between a Shih-tzu and Italian Greyhound. But he's adopted from a puppy mill, so we aren't sure.

E. Essential start to your day: Breakfast. It's my absolute favorite meal. I especially love going out to breakfast. Best thing ever.
F. Favorite color: Blue, Green, Purple, Teal, Grey...That kinda palette. 
G. Gold or silver: Silver all the way! :)
H. Height: 5’7”
I. Instruments you play(ed): Flute, Piano...Voice!
J. Job title: Currently, Promotions Assistant and Temp.
K. Kids:  They can be cool...but they can also stand outside your front window yelling about stupid stuff and telling lame stories about what happened at lunch.

L. Live: Originally from Upstate NY, now residing in Southeast Michigan!
M. Mom’s name: Regina.
N. Nicknames: Cait...Mimsie...Hey you.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Mayyyyybe when I was little for an operation. But I don't really remember.
P. Pet peeves: Cockiness, Slowing to a stop before you turn when you really don't need to, rushing for no reason standing in the way of other people, ignorance.
Q. Quote from a movie: "My Friends, you bow for no one."- Lord of the Rings (I know, I'm a nerd.)
S. Siblings:
Older Brother, Liam.

T. Time you wake up: For work: 6:40am On days off Winston will wake me at 8:30 on the dot to go out. He is a living alarm clock!

U. Underwear: Yes, I wear it.
V. Vegetables you don’t like: Ummm..Cooked Pepers and raw onions. 
W. What makes you run late: Distractions.
X. X-rays you’ve had: My ankle, my teeth...
Y. Yummy food you make: I've gotten pretty good at Salmon with lemon and basil, Cheesy chicken burgers, Pasta!
Z. Zoo animal favorites: I Love Hippos, and watching anything that swims. Also Giraffes and Monkeys.


Monday, March 18, 2013

First Race: The Lucky Dash!

Before the race...trying to stay positive!
Soooo...I ran my first "5k" (3.01 mi) this past Saturday! It was the Lucky Dash in Royal Oak, MI!  I was feeling pretty good about it the day before and not until I was getting to bed did I get a bit nervous. A slightly restless night of sleep later, I woke up ready to go... until I looked out the window and saw about 4 inches of snow on the ground.
Now, I'm not a fan of snow. I run inside during the winter so I don't have to worry about suddenly slipping and injuring myself on some black ice... This was making me nervous. I just kept telling myself that they'll make sure it's plowed and salted because there was a parade happening right after the race.
We got there after some confused driving and parking too far away, I got my bib and t-shirt (light green and super soft! Horray!) and we moved the car closer and camped out in there to stay warm.
Everyone dancing to keep warm!

The race started at 10:45, so we stayed in the car until 10:30. People started to gather at the start and everyone was dancing around to the music to stay warm. It was a fun atmosphere and you could tell everyone was antsy to get moving. 
I've read over and over again to never try new things on race days...and yet for some reason I didn't listen. I had downloaded the Nike+ app to try to track distance. I'm not sure why, exactly, because this was a measured distance... but I still figured I'd try.
The gun went off and I started it. It immediately started to play my playlist (not on shuffle) and every so often it would turn my music down, tell me how far I've gone and tell me how awesome I am... That's great, Nike+ App...but REALLY?! *sigh* I guess I learned my lesson on that one! 
Waiting for the train....
At about .75 mi into the race we had to stop for a train...Which for some reason was fully stopped halfway across the road.
People seemed a bit was I. I had been hoping to run the whole thing stopping, no walking...but I had to stop and wait for a train to pass by. I took it as an opportunity to turn the stupid app off and turn my playlist on shuffle for the rest of the course. The train moved soon after and everyone cheered and waved as it passed. As soon as the barriers went up the crowd started moving to yells of "GAME ON!!" 
The pack continued on and we started seeing the front runners on their way back. I was starting to feel a little tired, but I wasn't about to stop running now. We passed a local school, where everyone in the parade was lining up and they cheered us on.  There was one water stop at the turn around and everyone seemed to slow down to a crawl, but I wanted to keep moving. Plus, really? It's only a 5k. Passed the school again, this time there was a group playing Celtic music on a flatbed truck. That made me smile. :) 

The way back was actually kind of nice...You could see the big red inflatable finish line down the road so it gave me something to focus on. I felt like I could push a little more than I had been, so I picked up my pace and passed a few people that I had been running with since the train stop. 
Coming in to the finish!
The finish came along faster than I thought and I couldn't help but smile the last .25 mi!

I finished at 31:35 with a pace of 10:32...which is right about what I run on the treadmill! I ended up finishing at 170/318 overall and 28th out of my age group! So including the train stop, I probably did about 28 minutes in that's not too bad for my first race!

Crossing the finish line!
Happy to be done! ON TO THE NEXT!
I decided I wanted my first race to be a St. Patrick's Day race because years ago (I was probably 11 or 12) my dad talked me into doing a St. Paddy's Day kid's "fun" run, which I think was about a mile. I suffered through that thing so badly and it was ingrained in my mind for years and years that because of my experience at that race, that I would never be a runner and I couldn't run anything more than a mile without walking or stopping. Silly, I know...but that's what I got out of it.    So I'm pretty happy with the result of this one, and I'm excited to see how I do at the next 5k in April! 

For my first race and it being the first annual Lucky Dash, I have to say I liked this race. It was a simple course and everyone was in good spirits, despite the cold weather and the unexpected stop. Maybe I'll do it next year too! 

**Special thanks to Boyfriend (and friend of BF) for going with me and taking pictures!** 

If you race, what was your first? Why did you choose that particular race?
What is your favorite 5k to run?
If you don't run, do you think you might try a 5k sometime?

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Shoe Adventure!

*Photo Courtesy of The Running Lab Facebook Page

On Friday night, the boyfriend and I embarked on an adventure to find new running shoes! The ones I have been using (New Balance 720's) have lasted me through 6 years of on and off running. I think it was time to find something new. Through my searching for running specialty stores in the Metro Detroit area, I found The Running Lab. It was a little bit of a hike away from the town we live in, but I found their fitting process intriguing, so I decided that this is where I needed to go.
It took about 45 mins to get there, and once we found some parking, we tucked inside and started browse. I was surprised at how many people were in there at the time. I almost expected it to be dead on a Friday night. However, after being there for a little while, I realized it was the local runner's hub. They were familiar with their customers and knew their general situations. It was nice to find myself in a small local store like this.

                                                                                *Photo Courtesy of

I was assisted in my shoe finding mission by Swenja. She asked me about any injuries or issues and then asked me to walk around the store barefoot so she could get an idea of what my foot was like. She told me I would need a neutral shoe and then measured my foot and ran into the back to see what she could find for me. She brought out 3 pairs and explained to me that the one pair she REALLY wanted me to try on (Mizuno Precision 13), they didn't have in my size. So the next best thing was the Mizuno Wave Rider 16. Then I tried another shoe that seemed very minimal to me (I think they were Saucony KINVARA 3) and a pair of Brooks Ghost 5s. I liked the lightweight feeling of the Saucony, but they weren't cushioned enough, and I liked the cushioning in the brooks, but they felt kinda clunky like my New Balance had always felt. So it was back to the Wave Riders. She had me put those on and brought me back to the treadmill to try them out. 
The treadmill was really cool, they have 2 cameras set up to film you while you run. That way, you are able to see where your foot lands and your form. I always felt like I landed in the right spot, but turns out I land a little too far back! Interesting. She had me try on another pair of Mizunos that were similar to the Precision to see if I wanted to special order, but I was really impatient and wanted to leave with a pair that night! 
 I ended up deciding on the Wave Riders 16 in Rouge Red / Apple Green / Dark Shadow and had a chat with Swenja about my form and cadence. All really good information to know if you are planning on doing a lot of running!
She explained to me that I have a month to try them out and get them dirty and really give them a good go, and if I don't like them, I could still bring them back and get something else! I LOVE that policy! I can't tell you how many shoes I've bought and worn only 2 or 3 times because they just aren't comfortable, and I can't return them because they are worn! 
I brought them home and yesterday, I did my first trial run. There was a lot of unexpected adjusting. Loosening of laces and a last minute trip to the dollar store for some sports tape because they were rubbing my ankle bone a weird way that they hadn't when I tried them on. But that's all part of breaking a new shoe in! I ended up running (with a little bit of walking) for 80 minutes and doing 7 Miles (the most yet!). They held out nicely and didn't hurt too bad. I'm sure once I wear them a bit, they'll get more comfy.

I was a little unsure about the color of them, normally I'd prefer the Aruba Blue / Electric / Anthracite combo...but after Swenja likened them to a Watermelon...I was on board! 
I'm really excited to run with these on my feet and I feel confident knowing that they were fitted properly by someone that knows what they are doing and that they stand by that fit!

If you are ever in the Brighton, MI area and are in need of some new running shoes...Seriously...Go. They know their stuff and carry good quality products. I'm sure I'll take a few more trips out there as the year progresses. It's worth the drive!

What Kind of running shoes do you have? 
How was your buying experience? 
Are you planning on repurchasing the same pair when it's time?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Workout Playlist

*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
  I NEED music in order to run. I'm sure it's possible for me to run without it, but I'm not gonna like it, and it won't be easy. My playlist has evolved over the past 8 years. Some songs have stuck ("Get Me Bodied") and some are brand new ("Survival"). 
  I've found that there are some songs with a negative/angry vibe that I just feel miserable running to. Those get cut or skipped over quickly. I need a solid fast beat and the longer the song is, the better. My favorite on this list is "WORKOUT!" by ALL CAPS. It's long, has a good beat, it's interesting to listen to, and it's powerful. It's the best when I'm really struggling.
  So here is my really long Workout playlist!

"My Girls"- Christina Aguilera (Feat. Peaches)
"Don't Want You Back"- Backstreet Boys
"Total Hate 95"- No Doubt
"Do your Thing"- Basement Jaxx
"Get Me Bodied"- Beyonce
"Gold Trans Am"- Ke$ha
"Shut Up"- Black Eyed Peas
"Technologic"- Daft Punk
"Do Something"- Britney Spears
"Woohoo"- Christina Aguilera (Feat. Nicki Minaj)
"Oh Yeah"- The Cliks
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"- Daft Punk
"Gimme More"- Britney Spears
"Cascade"- Deluka
"Straight Through My Heart"- Backstreet Boys
"Fixin to Thirll"- Dragonette
"Fergalicious"- Fergie
"Jump Around"- House of Pain
"If"- Janet Jackson
"Blow"- Ke$ha
"Up all Night"- One Direction
"Bulletproof"- La Roux
"Boyz"- M.I.A.
"Hella Good"- No Doubt
"CrushCrushCrush"- Paramore
"Thinking of you"- Ke$ha
"Come with Me"- Puff Daddy
"Some Girls"- Rachel Stevens
"S&M Remix"- Rihanna (Feat. Britney Spears)
"Excuse Me Mr."- No Doubt
"What You See is What You Get"- Save Ferris
"Buttons"- Pussycat Dolls (Feat. Snoop Dogg)
"Bobblehead"- Christina Aguilera
"Internet Connection"- M.I.A.
"Jai Ho!"- A.R. Rahman (Feat. Nicole Scherzinger)
"Want You Back"- Cher Lloyd
"C'mon"- Ke$ha
"Closer"- Tegan and Sara
"Born For This"- Paramore
"Dirty Love"- Ke$ha (Feat. Iggy Pop)
"Hello"- Karmin
"Crazy Bitch"- Buckcherry
"Red Hot Kinda Love"- Christina Aguilera
"Your Body"- Christina Aguilera
"Bad Girls"- M.I.A.
"I Wanna Go"- Britney Spears
"Call On Me"- Eric Prydz
"Live While We're Young"- One Direction
"Survival"- Muse
"Scream and Shout"- Will.I.Am. (Feat. Britney Spears)
"End of Time"- Beyonce
"When Love Takes Over"- David Guetta (Feat. Kelly Rowland)

Do you HAVE to listen to music when you workout? If not, what do you do to keep yourself going? What are your "Go To" songs? 

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


I was just alerted by an RSS follower that somehow really really old posts showed up on the feed.
I tried to do some housekeeping yesterday by getting rid of old entries and somehow they posted to RSS instead! Feel free to 'mark as read' and move on! It won't happen again...I hope!

Monday, March 04, 2013

Gear and Gadgets

As I get more and more into the running world, I've been finding lots of fun gadgets, gizmos, and gear that are intended to help you along the way. It's a surprisingly expansive department!
When I started running, I wore really old Adidas x-training sneakers, a cotton t-shirt, a pair of cotton leggings, and a pair of short shorts. I was fine with it, but this embarrassed my long-time running father, when I went on runs in their neighborhood. He got me a few things to encourage my new activity. I guess one of my favorite things about running, is that it's an excuse to get new clothes, and that keeps me excited.
Here are some things that I currently use:

THE SHOES! (omg shoes.)
Probably the most important thing to a runner is the shoes. I have a pair of New Balance 720's. I've been using these for about 6 years (on and off) only for running, and they've served me well. I know almost nothing about running shoes (trying to learn more) and these were a pair that I found with my Dad's assistance. They are comfy and supportive...although sometimes they do feel a little clunky while I'm running, and let's face it, the color is SOOO BORING! Though New Balance doesn't make 720 running shoes anymore (they are now a pair of water shoes...), I would recommend their comparable version to these for anyone unsure of what to get.
I believe the time has come to get myself a new pair and I will be taking a trip to The Running Lab in the coming week or so to find myself the perfect new shoe. Story to follow! :)

The Clothes
Like I said, I'm not fancy. My clothes are gonna get sweaty anyway, why spend a ton of money? Usually I run in a pair of  Danskin Mesh pants from Walmart, and an old work or event t-shirt. I have a pair of Underarmour Shorts that have always worked well for me, as well as a really comfy Nike running Jacket (Similar to this). I also have a pair of Activa runner's spandex tights that are good for cold weather. Lately I've gotten a few moisture wicking shirts, which are comfortable enough, but I find that they aren't as roomy to move in unless you buy a size larger. As far as socks go, I just wear white ankle socks...nothing too exciting there. Other than that, I'll wear a random hoodie for a little extra warmth to the gym, but that's the gist of the running clothes that I own. I'm looking to expand upon that collection once I have a bit more income to play with. 

Now the exciting stuff!


When I was living in NYC, I HAD to bring a key with me when I ran (auto locking building doors, wee!). I had no pockets on what I was wearing, and I wasn't gonna risk tying it onto my shoe somehow. So I found this handy little thing online one day. It's called a SpiBand. They fit around either your wrist or ankle and use a folding system to keep things in place. It can actually hold a lot of stuff  (keys, credit cards, ID, gels, etc.) and it's not uncomfortable. Mine is hot pink and lime green and I really don't mind if I have to wear it while on an outdoor run.

Tune Belt
I'm a fairly new iPhone 5 owner, and finding a decent armband seemed like quite the task after reading reviews on amazon. (Some of them let sweat in and it completely destroys your phone?! NO THANKS!!) I searched and searched runner's message boards and the Tune Belt was suggested and the price was right! (It's not just for iPhone 5...for almost every possible phone or gadget you could think of!) The phone fits perfectly inside the pocket (with or without my Incipio Dual PRO case), and there are outlets in the bottom to plug in your headphones and your charger. There is also a really handy little velcro tab on the side that holds your coiled-up headphone wire! You can access the screen while it's in the band and it's relatively easy to see when you are wearing it. It's also quite low-profile, so you don't feel like you have a brick attached to your arm. The material is great and doesn't let any sweat through (PHEW!). It stays in place very well without having to be adjusted too tightly, which is incredibly important if you want your arm to have circulation while exercising! 

I couldn't run if I didn't have music. I'm actually terrified to run the races that don't allow runners to wear headphones. I guess I'll be crossing that bridge when I get to it! But for now, I use my trusty Sony MDR-Q33LP headphones. I bought these babies when I was 17 (oof!...11 years ago...) and they still work like a charm (though the foam pads have fallen off and the silver paint is worn)! I really like the clip-on kind of headphones for working out because they really stay on. Earbuds always pop out of my ears and I spend more time fixing them and praying they don't fall out than I do focusing on my workout. The cord is really long (6ft I think), so it's good if you set your player in the cup holder of the machine you are using. This is another reason why the Tune Belt's cord holder was a plus for me. Unfortunately it doesn't look like I can get this exact pair if I wanted to without spending A LOT of money. Luckily, there are some comparable styles available now and the sport earbud has improved a lot in the past few years...but I love these so much, I don't know if I would ever be brave enough to try something else.

Gym Bag 
I love this gym bag. It was one of those random "Hey! It's on sale!" kinda purchases I made on a shopping trip in Manhattan one day...This is the Lululemon Athletica "Hot Yoga" bag. It fits what I need exactly. the inside is lined with lots of pretty colors and it came with a drawstring shoe bag. There is a zipper mesh pocket inside and a larger flat snap pocket that could fit a small laptop, a tablet, or some magazines. There are also pockets in the rounded part on the outside that are super handy. I love the material it's made out of (kinda leathery) and the color is awesome! The only thing that I'm not 100% pumped about on this bag is that it's very rigid. When you use the shoulder strap, it's really awkward to carry, and putting it into a locker is sometimes a bit of a squeeze. But I usually just use the handles on my shoulder or arm, and it works out fine. It's too cute not to use!
 (Plus, it's the perfect size to carry my dog around in! NYC dog owners...I'm looking at you!)

Those are my essentials and I look forward to adding on and replacing the old. I'll update as I go!
What is your favorite exercise gadget or piece of clothing? Is there anything you recommend I put on my wishlist?

Friday, March 01, 2013

Me + Running: a history

I'm the kind of person that obsesses over things. I usually go through phases and sometimes it sticks and it turns into a big part of my life. Lately, I've gotten back into running. and it's becoming a large part of my life at the moment.
Now let me tell you, if you asked me 10 years ago, what would be the activity that I would be thinking about almost non-stop as I near my 30' would most defiantly NOT be running. I wouldn't run unless I was academically required to (yearly mile run in gym class, anyone?) or someone was chasing me with a knife (this didn't happen.).  

But here I am! I started running when I was in my last semester in college. I had been involved in a depressing and unfortunate relationship for 1 1/2 years and gained the relationship and college weight all in one go. One day I stepped on the scale and realized I was almost at the 200 lbs mark. I needed to do something. Well, the end of that relationship somehow made me feel like running. So the next day, I got up and ran. I think it might have been a very hilly mile that I ran every single morning. Add that to not eating, and VOILA! I lost about 30 lbs. in a month. 
I stopped running when the NY winter came rolling in and eventually moved back home after graduation. I managed to maintain my weight for a while by eating better, but that was all I did. I remember the exact date I was going to start again. Inauguration day 2009 (1/20/2009). I figured it was a good day to start. This time I managed to keep up with it on the treadmill in the basement for the cold days, and when it got warmer I tackled the long slow hills in the neighborhood. I managed to keep that up on and off for a while. 
Then came the big move. I traded in my empty country roads for the streets of Brooklyn. My first apartment was in a not so nice neighborhood, but I tried. Through my headphones I could hear old men (who were playing cards on the sidewalk) yelling various English and Spanish phrases at me... Not the most comfortable situation to run in. Then I changed neighborhoods and eventually tried to run in this one. This time the problem wasn't the people, it was the cars! and the hills! I was dead by the time I hit a half mile, and almost literally from all the traffic! So I gave up.

Then came the big move. We moved to Michigan. The suburbs of Detroit to be specific. Close to all the amenities I was used to. Target? Large Grocery stores? Malls? Inexpensive gyms?! YES PLEASE! So after settling in a bit, I joined my local Planet Fitness (Dear Planet Fitness, I kinda love you.), and hopped back on that treadmill. 

This time with a few goals in mind:
- Lose the 20-25 lbs gained from all the amazing NYC food. (I miss it so...)
- Actually an event goal to work towards. 

  First it was a 5k race. I wanted to do the Color run or Color me rad...and actually RUN the thing. I bought "5K runner" for my iphone and slowly worked my way up from a very tired mile, so a not so bad 3.5 mile run. I just started the "10k Runner" program earlier this week and hope to be kicking butt on that! 

I have races planned for most of the months of the year and maybe see a half marathon in my sight within the year. We'll see how it all goes! I'll be sure to update as work toward my goals and plan on reviewing some races along the way. First race is 3 miles on March 16th. :)
I suppose this is my version of 30 before 30...but it's just one big goal.




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