Thursday, May 29, 2014

#RunCMM Recap

Yeah, I realize this recap is WAY overdue.

You guys forgive me, right??

Yay, thanks :)

So, I left off with the St. Jude Heroes pasta party Friday night which was AWESOME and it turned out to be just the right fuel for Saturday's half.

One of the downsides to this event was that unless you wanted to take your chances parking at the finish line (LP Field in this case) and hiking to the starting line, you were going to need to take a shuttle.  And the shuttles were not free.  Lucky for me I read about all of this in advance and purchased my shuttle pass on Friday at the expo - $20 for round trip to and from the race.  The shuttle met runners at a hotel right up the road from mine so when I woke up Saturday morning I had a very short walk.

Which was good because it was COLD that morning.

See, this is what I was wearing because I had seen on the news it was going to be a warm one.

In actuality, when we woke up Saturday morning at dark thirty the temperature was in the 40s and I had forgotten my throw-away shirt at home.  #runnerfail  Needless to say, standing in line for the bus was not a fun experience, especially since they had oversold bus passes than they had room for.  But I talked with some really nice folks while we all stood around freezing and when we finally got on a bus I shared a seat with a guy from northern Georgia who was running his first marathon (I hope you did fab!!!).

When we got to the starting line area the sun was starting to come up and as I was walking up to the corrals I passed by the St. Jude Heroes pre-race VIP area and in hindsight, I wish I had stopped.  But I guess I was getting anxious so I kept on walking.  I got a really pretty pic of the starting line:

I was originally slated in corral 30 (out of 40 - this race was HUGE y'all) but at the expo I got moved up to corral 23 (hence the cute green sticker on my race bib).  After a potty stop I began to head to corral.  I had quite a walk from the starting line but I did get to see my good friend Heather, who was in corral 6.  Once I got to my corral, I stretched and tried to find a sunny spot to stay warm and I finished off my pre-race Cocogo

 The race, unfortunately, started a bit late and with corrals going off every 2-3 minutes, I had quite a wait before I actually started (the race was supposed to start at 7am and I didn't hit the starting line until at least 30 minutes later) but I was glad to get moving so I could warm up.  BUT - that Cocogo I had drank while waiting caught up to me before the 1 mile marker so I had to pit stop again in front of Music City Center (and this time all the porta potties were out of toilet paper - bleck).  I told myself not to stress out about the early pit stop because I had already said I wasn't running this race for a PR - I was hoping for at least a 2:30 but if it didn't happen it didn't happen and I was going to be ok with that. 

I really enjoyed the course - the hills were there but I knew that was coming.  I think this course covered more of the area that the Women's Running Half course has the past two years.  Since it's been a few weeks I have forgotten a lot of the smaller details but I remember walking away thinking I liked this course better.  The on course entertainment of course was much better with music at every mile and there seemed to be more crowd support.  I really enjoyed the street lined with supporters that had the funniest signs around mile 8 - really made me smile!

As we got closer to the river I knew the finish line was coming and I glanced at my watch - remember when I said earlier I wasn't that concerned with my time??  Welllll...........that wasn't entirely true.  Because I'm competitive by nature and when I saw that I might not hit that 2:30 mark I kicked it into overdrive.  Thankfully, the course ended with a downhill bridge into the LP field parking lot so I flew down the hill and around the corner.  All of the spectators kept saying "it's just around the corner" and for once, that was actually true :)

I crossed the finish line in 2:30:25 - and I was extremely happy with it.  I snagged my bling and some post-race snacks (including my chocolate milk, I love how they have that at the end of the Rock 'n' Roll events!) and met the hubs in the family reunion area.  By this time it had gotten pretty warm so after I finished off my chocolate milk I downed my water bottle also and grabbed a second one to work on on my way to the shuttle.  Mr. Smith Summary and our friend J that lives in Nashville had ridden their bikes to LP Field so they walked with me towards the shuttles and then took off to meet me back at the hotel.

And this will be my one gripe for the weekend - the walk to the shuttles.  We've just run 13.1 or 26.2 miles here folks; we do not want to have to hike to get on a bus.  We also do not want to sit on that bus for almost another hour trying to get back to our hotels, which is what happened when the bus that I was on took the 440 loop all the way around Nashville to get back to our hotel in West End.  I realize there were road closures but I'm pretty sure there would have been a faster way to get back to our hotel than the route we took - just sayin.  Mr. Smith Summary beat me back to the hotel and showered before I made it back, so I barely had time to run through the shower before we had to check out of the hotel (because the hotel was less than accomodating with a late check out but I could go off on a rant about that so I will stop there).  Thankfully, we were spending the night with J and his fiance Saturday night so once we got checked out we drove to his apartment and he made us a yummy lunch, which was good because I was starving at this point.

Overall, I was very pleased with the race.  A few VERY minor things I was unhappy with but I think I would definitely do this race again - and maybe next time, fit in some more hill training so I can try for an even faster time.  Thanks Rock 'n' Roll for an excellent race! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Cuteness Overload

I am playing catch-up at work after a pharmacy board inspection last week, so how about a little cuteness overload??

You can't tell me these aren't the cutest kids you've ever seen.

And for the record, Morgan is holding her breakfast - a sausage wrapped in a pancake on a stick.  It has some nutritional value, right?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Five for Friday: Catch Up Edition

Happy Friday y'all!

I owe you an update!  I know things have been quiet around here, so I thought I would use a little Five for Friday to fill you in on what we've been up to!

1.  Samantha's dance recital was last weekend - hard to believe this was her fourth recital!  We are still not sure if she will be dancing next year so this was a bittersweet event.  

My dancing star!

We brought Morgan to watch her "shisser" dance and I was so proud of how well she behaved!  She sat quietly and watched and clapped and cheered when she was supposed to.  And when Samantha hit the stage she cried out "That my shisser."  Heart.exploding.

2.  My big girl also graduated from kindergarten this week.  Y'all, I had a really hard time with this.  It seems like just yesterday I took her for her first day of school and now they are done.  The program was at school Tuesday and the theme was "Aloha My Friends" and the kids did fantastic.  My girl even had a speaking part, which she nailed.

3.  When I graduated from pharmacy school 8 years ago I said I would never crack a book to study EVER again.

Boy was I wrong about that.

With my new job I am having to reciprocate my license to 9 11 states.  Yes, since I accepted my position back in December, two more states have changed their state law to require that out-of-state pharmacies have a pharmacist licensed in their state also to dispense.  Thank you West Virginia and Alabama.  I have gotten the ball rolling on this process with my applications to Virginia and Kentucky and am hoping to schedule my Virginia exam in the next few weeks.  I guess the good news is that if we ever move to any if these states, I will already have a license to practice in that state.  Hey Mr. Smith Summary, how about we move to Nebraska??

Or not.

4.  I am all confirmed and ready to attend my first Disney Social Media Moms On the Road conference in Philly in a few weeks!!  

I am so excited to room with DisBroad Tania for the night before the conference and then afterwards I will ride home with her to Virginia and fly home from Washington the next day.  DisBroad road trip!!  I have been to Philly for work before but it's been 8 years, and I have never been to DC so even though it will be an uber short trip it will still be awesome!

5.  Running?  Yeah, still doing that.  I am actually really loving my maintenance schedule of two short runs/one long run weekly.  That gives me the freedom to add bootcamp classes twice weekly (and they are opening their studio on June 1st and adding even more fun classes like spin and Turbo - can't wait to get in on those).  I don't have another race scheduled until Tower of Terror in October and I actually really like the change!  I know that Goofy Challenge training is going to be like nothing I have ever experienced so I'm enjoying the "down time" while I can :)

I know I owe you a #RunCMM recap - #bloggerfail.  I will get that up for you next week, I promise!!  Spoiler alert:  I got the time I was looking for :) Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Meet Me in St. Louis!

Disclaimer:  I am a Rock 'n' Blog Ambassador for this event but received a free registration through a previous promotion; as always, all opinions are 100% my own.

I am EXTREMELY excited to be staying on with the Rock 'n' Roll family as an ambassador for the Rungevity Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis Marathon & 1/2 Marathon presented by the Quinn Family Foundation!

Photo courtesy of the Competitor Group

I received a free registration to any continental US Rock 'n' Roll race through a promotion that I participated in during the #RnRNOLA weekend and after a lot of thought, I decided on St. Louis because it was relatively close to home and I had heard from DisBroad April that this was a great course (read her recap from last year's race here).  So needless to say when the opportunity knocked to be an ambassador for this race also, I was a very willing participant!!!

So you guys know the drill!  I REALLY want you to "Meet Me in St. Louis" on October 19th so I have a registration discount for you!

This discount is good for the full or half marathon and expires on October 12th at 11:59pm PST.  And please feel free to share with your friends - the more the merrier!!!  Please note though this discount only works for the St. Louis race.

Who's going to Meet Me in St. Louis???!!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

eMeals Giveaway Winner

Happy Friday y'all!

Sorry things have been quiet around here this week.  I have fondly titled this week as the week from you know where - we have had school field day, soccer games, dress rehearsal for recital, and we have a party tonight, party tomorrow night...

You get the drift.  

I promise I do have lots to share with you - just not a whole lot of time to put it down.  I will catch you all up next week but until then - I have a giveaway winner to announce!!!

The winner of a FREE 3-month eMeals subscription is:

Congratulations!  Check your email - I will be sending you more info!

Have a great weekend folks, I'll be back next week!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Them Bones, Them Bones

I have partnered with The American Recall Center to bring you this post but am not being compensated; all opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Did you know that May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention month??

As a healthcare provider, I am asked very frequently about ways to prevent osteoporosis and given that my own risk of developing osteoporosis at some point in my lifetime is about 50%, I figured I would share a few facts on osteoporosis and how you can try to prevent it.

*80% of Americans diagnosed with osteoporosis are women.  Women are at a higher risk for osteo because we have smaller, thinner bones then men and also because of the loss of estrogen when we go through "the change" (estrogen is a bone protector - go hormones!)

*1 in 2 women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis
*Caucasian women are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis
*A woman's risk of breaking her hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer.

The two major factors that affect your chances of getting osteoporosis are:
The amount of bone you have when you reach menopause
How fast you lost bone once you reach menopause.

So knowing that, NOW is the time for women to take action to help prevent osteoporosis later in life.  Here are a few things you can do:

*Get at LEAST 1000mg of calcium daily (1200mg if you are a women over the age of 50).  Food is  your best source - think dairy here.  There are also some green vegetables that have calcium.  If you are going to take a supplement, remember that calcium is best absorbed in increments of 500-600mg or less and to select one that contains vitamin D, as your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium.  
*Get regular, weight-bearing exercise and muscle-strengthening exercise.  Both are important for building and maintaining bone density.  This does not have to be high impact yo!
*Limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day
*Don't smoke!!
**As always, check with your healthcare provider before beginning taking any supplements or beginning an exercise regimen.

Obviously, I could go on and on about osteo but in the interest of keeping this can visit The American Recall Center's website and also the National Osteoporosis Foundation's website for more info!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Even Mikey Likes It - PLUS - A Giveaway!

I have received a free subscription to eMeals in exchange for my honest review; all thoughts, as always, are 100% my own.  

We have been enjoying our eMeals subscription since January and I have to say - as a working mom, not wondering what is for dinner saves me so much time each day and knowing that I'm giving my family healthy, tasty meals is just icing on the cake.

In the interest of #bloggingwithintegrity, I will tell you that my family has not 100% loved each dinner I have made from our clean-eating plan, but there have been several that they have asked me to make again, and I thought I'd share one of them with you because not only was it super easy, but I had to amend the recipe slightly because I forgot to take the meat out of the freezer (yeah, cuz no one has ever done that before, ahem) and it still turned out delicious.

This recipe originally calls for you to cook the rice, meat, and vegetable mixture, then stuff the peppers and place in your slow cooker and cook for 6 hours.  BUT, as previously mentioned, I forgot to take the meat out of the freezer to thaw it the day before so I could have everything cooked and ready to put in the slow cooker that morning.  So when I got home from work, I cooked and assembled the peppers and placed them in the oven for about 30 minutes.  

I used my rice cooker to prepare 3/4 cup of brown rice while in my skillet I browned 1lb of ground round, and then instead of using pre-chopped onions and bell peppers I used what I already had at home and added it to the skillet along with a clove of minced garlic and a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and seasonings.  Once my rice was cooked I added it to the skillet to mix with the meat mixture and then stuffed my peppers and placed them in the oven.

I did all of this while Sam worked on her homework and Morgan occupied herself with a puzzle, so when Mr. Smith Summary got home I got to play the wonderful housewife role and had a healthy, clean-eating, delicious dinner waiting on him.

And to answer your question - yes, everyone LOVED this dish.  I had to hide one of the last peppers to save for my lunch the next day!

eMeals is super easy to use and they have 11 meal plans to chose from.  And, if you click here and use the code DINNER15, you can save 15% on your subscription!

AND, my friends at eMeals are giving one of my lucky readers a FREE 3 month subscription!!!  Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Help Your Child Surf the Web Ad Free

I'm thrilled to be partnering with Bing for this post; all opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that Samantha is about to graduate from kindergarten.  She reads her own books now and can do her homework without mommy or daddy reading the directions.  It just amazes me that my "little girl" is now a big girl that can read and operate a computer.  Yes, a computer!  Imagine how shocked I was when we went to an open house at the school to find my child routinely has computer time and is more computer literate than I was at her age!

But then sunk in all the concerns/worries that come along with navigating the internet.  We have a computer at home and the last thing I want is for Samantha to be on there for educational purposes and it turns out to be anything but.  For that reason we have yet to allow her to use the home computer but I was still worried about her computer use at school - until I found out about Bing in the Classroom.

 If you are not familiar with Bing, it is an online search engine similar to Google or Yahoo.  The special thing about Bing in the Classroom is that it removes ads and blocks searches from being used for advertising - #addfreesearch - and it's the first search engine to be tailored to the educational environment.  They use strict filters for adult content and enhanced privacy protection - I absolutely LOVE the steps they are taking to ensure our kids can use the internet for educational purposes without being subject to inappropriate content.
Bing is also enhancing our children's education by donating Microsoft Surface tablets to schools with their Bing Rewards program.  Visit their website to sign up for free and start earning points towards a free tablet for your child's school!

It's very simple to do - just sign in and use Bing for your internet searches and you will earn rewards points that can be donated to the school.  I love to see companies giving to our kids like this and I hope to get my family on board with the program so we can try to earn tablets for Samantha's school.

What do you think about Bing in the Classroom?  Are you going to sign up for Bing Rewards?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I've Been Pixie Dusted

My email inbox was filled with pixie dust yesterday as I received the most awesome, coveted invitation!

According to the Disney Social Media Moms website:
"Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, is an invitation only conference for social media minded moms and dads. This professional conference takes place each spring at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida.
The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was created as one of the first family-friendly conferences where social media savvy moms and dads can network, learn, and share knowledge of social media while experiencing the magic of Disney with their families. Our goal is to provide an intimate experience packed with access to industry leaders and opportunities to network with peers."
This year's annual conference was held at the Disneyland Resort in California and I enjoyed following along on social media with all the updates! I remember sitting at home last year and watching updates from my friends who attended the On the Road conferences last year.  Each summer the Disney Social Media Moms conference takes their show on the road to one of three different cities, and I was lucky enough to snag an invite to their Philadelphia conference next month!  Several of the DisBroads were also invited to Philadelphia and two were invited to the conference in Phoenix; the third city this year is Chicago.
I could not be more excited - or wait, could I?  I found out last night that the featured speaker at the Philadelphia conference is Debi Silber, founder of!  This working mom has not only contributed to several publications but she also manages her own line of healthy bars - I cannot wait to learn more from this amazing woman!
Guess I need a plane ticket huh??  Anyone else going to the City of Brotherly Love next month with me?  Or if you have been to a Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On the Road before, leave this first-timer some tips!

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Little Liebster Q&A

Big thanks to Mindy at Road Runner Girl who nominated me for the Liebster Award!!  This is my second time to be nominated (see here for my first time) and seeing as how I love Mindy's blog, I was totally honored by her nomination!  Her questions are completely different though from my first nomination so I thought, why not?  Plus I love a little Q&A so here you go!

1. Why did you start blogging?
I actually started blogging almost 4 years ago (CRAZY) after my first miscarriage while I was waiting around to find out if we had gotten pregnant again.

2. What was your first post?
Here!  Gosh I was so original back then - LOL.  

3. What is your favorite time of the year and why?
I love fall - I love the cooler temperatures and the leaves turning colors!  Fall in Tennessee is absolutely beautiful :)

4. Why and how did you start running?
I actually ran my first 5K the day after I found out I was pregnant with the first baby I miscarried.  After two miscarriages though I kinda gave up on exercise altogether until after Morgan was born.  I began running again when I returned to work from maternity leave and my work buddy was starting Couch 2 5K and wanted someone to do it with her and our ultimate goal quickly became to train for the 2013 Disney Marathon - the rest, as they say, is history!

5. What is your biggest accomplishment?
I may have a doctorate degree but hands down my biggest accomplishment is my girls!

6. What is your favorite book?
"To Kill a Mockingbird" - SO glad they made us read that my freshman year of high school.

7. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
My self image - I never seem to be happy with myself.  If everyone else loves me the way that I am, why can't I?

8. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
You mean, besides Disney??  Seriously, I've never been overseas, I would love to go to Paris or the Mediterranean.

9. What do you do when you are stressed?
Before I would say eat but now when I get stressed I try to get active - if I'm at work, I'll go outside and go for a walk.

10. Do you prefer warm or cold weather when running?
Uhm...both??  I honestly love the temperature to be in the low 50s, that's about near perfect running weather!

And now I'm going to break the rules a bit; since I have been nominated previously, I'd like to see YOUR answers to some of these questions!!!  Leave me a comment and answer your favorite question from above; I can't wait to learn more about you!  And thank again to Mindy for my nomination!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Marathon Prep - Step 1: Get a Physical

So, it's been almost two weeks since I signed up for Goofy's race and a half challenge in January.  My training plan from my coach will not begin until September but now that #RunCMM is over, I will work on maintaining through the summer using a plan from Coach Krissy.  I am happy with this for several reasons - I don't want to do a bunch of races all willy nilly without purpose, for both my health and my wallet.  It also gets bloody hot in the South in the summer so it will be nice to be working from a more scaled-down schedule.  I will keep up my runs and also continue to incorporate bootcamp classes in because, quite honestly, I am really enjoying the variety.  They say it's the spice of life and I think that's really true.

In the meantime, one big thing that I did to get ready for my upcoming marathon was to get a physical.  Consider this your public service announcement folks - if you are taking on any sort of new physical activity, or even increasing your current physical activity, you need to get checked out by a doctor.

(psst - DisBroads, I'm looking at you here)

Nothing breaks my heart more than hearing these stories of people that die during a race, and these deaths are usually caused by unknown pre-existing cardiac conditions.  Plus, as an adult, it's a good idea to get yourself a physical at least once a year just for your general well-being.  Do you go to the dentist on a regular basis?  Get your eyes checked?  Same rules apply to the rest of your body yo!

My doctor performed routine lab work and some additional cardiac tests and so far everything has come back normal and I have the green light to continue my current exercise routine.

Best part of all of this?  Most insurance companies do not require you to pay a copay for an office visit for a physical - all the more reason to call today for an appointment!

Dislaimer:  I am not an MD, nor do I play one on the internet.  This post reflects my personal experiences and opinions and may not apply to all.