Sunday, May 21, 2017

Weekly Wrap....May 21



This week went really fast, as I suspect the rest of the weeks will go from now till the end of the school year.

After being a little bummed last week because I wasn't able to reach my step goal as often as I liked, I went into this week very strong but then I fizzled out.  Here are some highlights!

Monday We had our photo shoot down at the park and then we did a loop around the island. I then came home and discovered a new 2 mile running route near my home! I had no problem getting  my steps in this day.
A fallen tree blocking the path.

Tuesday I went back to the island by myself  and was sad to see all the destruction from the storm earlier this month.  Got my goal steps in this day too.



Wednesday is where it started to go down hill. I did not run or walk but I did start to shave Baylee girl in preparation for her first swim.  Then Scott and I took a friend out to dinner (it was a buffet) so I felt miserable afterwards.


Thursday was Baylee's first swim of the season (sorry no photo) but I was taking video of her using her new raft! At this point though she was just excited to get swimming, she didn't want to be laying on a raft. By mid summer she'll be lounging and I won't be able to get her off!  I did hit my step goal this day.

Friday I got Runner mail from Wendy. Runner friends really are the best. They just get you! Thanks again Wendy!

Saturday was such a waste of day for me. Scott was away this weekend so Baylee and I slept in pretty late. Most of the day was spent playing with my new phone and talking to a friend for a very long time!

It wasn't till after 6:00 pm that Baylee and I decided to hit the fitness trail before heading to Wendy's for a Cranberry/Apple Chicken Salad and an organic Green Tea.


Now speaking of phones, I decided that now was a good time for me to get a new phone. I know my friends were probably sick of me asking them questions about their phones...lol.  As you may know, I am a huge fan of Blackberry. I'm on my 4th one! I HATE to get rid of it. It is the perfect size (fits right in my running pouch and my pockets), has a great camera, has an SD card (which many don't have), it's just SO easy to use AND I can blog on it (no app required).  The downfall is that some of the keys are starting to stick and one of my favorite apps (IG) does not work properly. Is this worth upgrading? I don't know, but I did.  I ended up getting the iphone because of its small size.  I did do a lot of research so I didn't go into this blindly, but you never know what something is really going to be like until you start using it for YOUR needs.   Now, I know that everything takes time to get use to but here are some things that I'm disappointed in so far.

-No LED notification for texts and emails

-No removable SD card (I knew this going in and was willing to compromise but not sure I want to anymore)

- I don't like all the clicking and screens that stay open. I like swiping up and swiping down to open and close screens.

-I can not blog from my phone anymore. This is HUGE and may be a deal breaker for me. Blogger no longer offers the Blogger app for iphone and I can't even blog from the Blogger home page (with no app) because it does not allow me to insert photos from my phone. There is an option to do so, but it does not work on iphone. I guess people use the "cloud" and Google pics but I'm not comfortable having all the pictures I take go directly to who knows where.

So now I spent all weekend doing more research on phones. My ideal phone would be less than 5.5 inches, be Android based, have an SD card and decent camera and now here's the downside, it has to be able to work on the Verizon network.  I've found a few that fit this description but they are not available for Verizon or they are not available in the USA.  There is a new Galaxy that came out this spring that fits the bill  as well as a NEW BLACKBERRY but right now neither are available in the USA, bummer!

I though the iphone would be a step up from my Blackberry but as it turns out, I think Blackberry was ahead of its time (Yes, I'll keep telling myself that).  As of right now, I'm using both phones.

Do you have my ideal phone or is it just a Unicorn out there somewhere? M

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Summer Running Inventory


The weather is getting significantly warmer here (92 the past few days) and it has brought to light that I need to take inventory of what I'll need for summer running!


I NEED some new shorts. I just don't seem to have enough. I have plenty of running skirts, but need just plain old shorts. I picked up these Avia ones with built in bloomers for less than $10. I'm not picky. I like that they are multi-color that way I can match a variety of tops with them.

I'd like to get some new tank tops. I'm gonna declare that the ones I have have "shrunk" over the years. I like mine to be loose and flowy in the belly area. No one wants their shirt sticking to their gut in this heat and humidity!


Running shoes- Check. I got these Mizunos last summer and I wore them only for the 4th of July race and I think the Running of the Elves 5k ( cus they are red), and a few small runs. They have lots of life left. Plus, I got a new pair of Mizunos for Christmas that I only ran the NYC half in. I should be good on shoes. Besides, I have several other pairs that have lots of miles left in them. For some reason I am not very hard on shoes ( says my PT).


Flip belt and bottle- I will definitely be breaking out the flip belt and flip belt water bottle. I rarely carry water when I run but if it's going to be this hot, I'm going to need it. The best part is now I can carry it hands free!

I would like to invest in more sports bras but I'm having a hard time finding ones that actually snap in the back ( those are the only kind I'll buy). It's not worth dislocating a shoulder  trying to take off a sports bra after a hot and sticky run. Do you have any suggestions?

What are your summer running must haves? -M

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Our Running Photo Shoot

Even though I had plans to run a few 5k's and 10k's this Spring/Summer, I 'm actually only signed up for one race so far and that is the Monumental Mile in June.

The Monumental Mile is a Race honoring the veterans in our community and it will take place right before the 4th of July's Veterans Parade. For the last several years I drove my grandfather in the parade. I plan to do that again this year after the race.



On Monday, my running buddy Jason ( who you may remember from The 4th of July 5K, The Love Run, the Harvest Festival race, Running of the Elves, VA Beach Half, and other runs) and I got interviewed by the local media and then had a photo shoot to help promote this inaugural race.

I knew that we would be doing the photos, but I didn't know if they would be in color or black and white. I should have planned my wardrobe a few days in advance, but I didn't.  Since this was promoting a military based race, I thought I would wear my favorite Army t-shirt. Of course I should have laid my outfit out the night before because it was a half hour before the shoot and I could not find the shirt. O well. I decided to wear my colorful Fabletics capris just in case it was in color. I threw on a tank and called it done.

We met the reporter at the park and since both our grandfathers served in the military we talked about the significance of that. We then talked about the difference between training for races of various distances.

After that, it was time to shoot some pictures. I didn't realize that we would be doing some action shots.  As you may notice from the blog, I don't do running shots. I don't know how the rest of you do it. Is it a GoPro thing?

 The photographer picked out the perfect spot and we did several running passes so he could get some action shots.  Jason and I both agreed that it was kind of fun!  We then did a few other "still" poses and one with a "high five".
Here is a photo from the online version of the newspaper.  You can't tell because of the text banner running across the screen, but we are running. 

The reporter said it might be a while until the story ran in the newspaper because there were several other stories that need to run first. Turns out, it was on the front page of the newspaper the very next day (which was yesterday).  Have you ever helped to promote a race?  Did you do anything fun on Monday? -M


Monday, May 15, 2017

How Little races turn into BIG races...

I had a friend tell me one day that her very first race ever was a half marathon. I asked her why she didn't start out with a shorter distance race like a 5K and work her way up. She told me because 5K's were always on Saturdays and she had to work on Saturdays. The only days she had off were on Sundays and that was always when the "Big" races were.

Back then I thought it was odd that she jumped right into a half marathon without ever having run as much as a 5k race. However, as years went by and I've met more runners (and started this blog), I've realized that's the way a lot of people started out.

I on the other hand was much more cautious with my running journey. As you may recall, I had been running the Disney 5K races for several years (way before I started blogging). I ran these to be with my family and to just have fun. It was all the "racing" I ever desired to do because I didn't think I would be able to do anything further. As you may also recall, Disney only gave out the rubber medallions for the 5K races back then. The year my sister ran the Princess half marathon and earned the Princess medal ( a REAL medal), was the year I decided I wanted to earn a REAL Disney medal as well.

I could never run a half marathon, so the Princess race was totally out for me. I had a friend that did the Tower of Terror 13K as a relay race. Even though at the time I didn't know exactly how far a 6.5 K was, I knew it wasn't that far and thought I could run that far for a "real" Disney medal!  So that was my plan. Except, now that race no longer existed.

Back then the Disney 10K races did not exist, so my only hope of earning that "real" Disney medal was to run the Princess Half Marathon, so I started training!

My first REAL race that I ran for time (and received a REAL medal for), was the Monster Mile.  The race was literally only one mile and the field was a mix of adults and kids, and adults running with their kids.  As we began I remember getting passed by all these little runners. This was so long ago so I don't remember all the details but I think I may have walked a few seconds at the half way point.  I ended up finishing in 10 minutes flat. I was neither excited nor disappointed because I had no idea what an average time for a one mile race was.

I then went on to race a 5K where I was pretty proud of my effort seeing it was my first time "racing" a 5K and it was a pretty hilly course.

Don't think I went right to a 10K then. Oh no! I raced a 7K and then a few months later I ran an 8K before running my first 10K (which was a trail race and not a good course for my first one). I ended up PR-ing at my second 10K by 12 minutes!

After the 10K, I still couldn't commit to a half marathon, so I ran a half marathon relay (and loved it)!

In typical Meranda  fashion you would think that I would have done a 10 miler race before running the half marathon, but according to my records, I didn't.  I guess after having proved to myself I could run the half of the half, I was ready for the real thing!

Please note: I did do longer training runs for my half marathon, the races listed are just the distances I raced during that time.

So that is how my running journey started with baby steps and took me to where I could run a full marathon.  Did you run smaller distances and work your way up or did you just go out for the "Big Race"  as your first one? -M



We'll be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Weekly Wrap...May 14: How do the steps work?

The middle of May already and I can honestly say I have only done one run. My last run was May 1st during the tornado warning. Which I don't understand because the weather is gorgeous now and you would think I would be out enjoying it, but I just wasn't.



For some reason I've been more tired when I come home from work lately and going for a run seems like too much of a hassle.  I've even been behind on blogging because my eyes have just been too tired in the evenings too.

I have been walking though here and there in an effort to get my 10,000 steps in and to tell you the truth, I've been failing miserably on that one.  The only day I got my 10,000 steps in was last Tuesday because we did a Wellness Walk at work (We have a really great track that I should take advantage of using more often). We were required to do at least 4 laps. Most people did their required 4 laps and then left. I was determined to get my 10,000 steps in so I did 12 laps! We got a raffle ticket for every 4 laps we did so I got three tickets but I didn't end up winning anything. But hey, I got my steps in and that's all I really wanted out of it.

Because I am having such a hard time getting these 10,000 steps in, I even adjusted my goal and decided I would be happy if I did a 5K each day. I'm not sure how many steps that would be but I know I would only have to log 3.1 miles but half the time I couldn't even do that!

This got me thinking...Even if I did only do 3.1 miles a day instead of 10,000 steps, what is that doing for me? Is it making me any fitter? Slimmer? I'm I going to fit in my pants better? Probably not. There is a reason that we strive for 10,000 steps daily. I am assuming when you've reached the 10,000 steps you are burning the allotted amount of calories for weight loss?


This also got me thinking...Who picked the magical number of "10,000 Steps"?   And how can that work for everybody?   Someone who is 100 pounds won't be burning the same number of calories as someone who is 200 pounds and someone who is 200 pounds won't burn as many calories as someone who is 300 pounds, etc. etc.   So maybe for my weight, my magic number is NOT 10,000 steps. Perhaps I can get away with doing less and still make a difference? I don't know.



For those of you who are step counters can you weigh in on these thoughts?  -M

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!

Friday, May 12, 2017

5 Mother-Daughter Get-Aways

It's always hard to come up with a perfect gift for mom (or anyone for that matter).  Since most people already have the things they need, I've often found it better to focus on an experience other than an item.

I've taken quite a few trips with my mom, some of them were quick trips and some were longer vacations.  I could go on and on with all the things that we do but I thought maybe these trips would appeal to those looking for some girls only trips. Although it may be too late to plan something like this for mother's day this year, you could keep it for an idea for next year or for when you want a trip with mom, a sister or a girl friend any other time.

                                       Here are 5 great Mother-Daughter Getaways.



1.  This is probably a no -brainer but how about a weekend at a Spa?  As you know, we went to the Hershey spa last month and it was a great mother - daughter experience.  Do you have a great spa near you?


2. Is your mom a history buff? If so,  she may enjoy touring the Newport Mansions. These Mansions sit along the coastline of Rhode Island and they are chalk full of history from the days of the Kennedys, Rockafellers, and Carnegies.  The Mansions are fully furnished as they were in years pasts and hold lots of interesting stories from  that time period. Today many of them are used for weddings and other high profile events. Some have been the backdrop for some famous movies.  We did this trip as a double mother daughter trip as we went with our mom and our nana.


3. My mom and I like to do cruises with just the two of us.  This is a great option for us as it does not require a lot of planning and because we are with in driving distance to many ports (advantage of living on the East Coast), we can cut out flying (which you know I hate to do). This allows us to keep expenses down and we can pack as much as we want!


4. Make a weekend out of a Dinner Theater or a Murder Mystery Weekend.  I use to go to a Murder Mystery weekend every year that was an all inclusive resort. The room, the meals, the entertainment, activities, and snacks, for the entire weekend were included. These can be so much fun!


5. You didn't think I'd leave Disney off this list did you? Whether your mom is a runner or not, The Princess Half marathon weekend is the perfect girls only get away.  If Disney is not your thing, perhaps participating in another girl themed race like the Diva Run!




Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I've earned it but now it annoys me.

The very first race medal I ever received was from the Royal Family 5K at Disney World. I guess back then it was actually called a “Medallion” because it wasn’t made of metal. It was plastic  but it was colorful and it was cute so I didn’t mind.

Even though I was so excited to have done my very first 5K, I didn’t really display my medal/ medallion. I think I hung it in my closet.  In my mind, I wasn’t going to display it until I had a collection. And to me, a collection meant having three.  

I don’t think I ever did end up making my display of my three Disney Medallions because I ended up graduating from only running 5Ks before I had earned all three.



With that being said, when I ran Mickey’s Holiday 5K this past November, I was presented with a HUGE metal Medal! This was the first run Disney race at WDW that gave the new and improved medals for the 5k instead of the plastic ones.  I knew ahead of time that they would not be plastic and I was super excited.

Well, I recently hung the 5K medal along with my Wine n Dine half Marathon medal and my NYC half marathon medal ( I know I’ve procrastinated on this task), and I still can’t get over how HUGE this 5K medal is.  I mean it’s a really nice medal for the price you pay to run a Disney 5K, but the more I looked at it the more irritated I became.  This medal is larger than most of my longer distance races and I didn’t put that much effort into running it.  I don’t feel like I’ve really “earned” a medal of this magnitude. For a 5k, does anyone really?  For those people whom this was the first 5K, I understand that completing a 5K is a HUGE deal and the medal is fitting. I’m not taking that away from anyone. But come on, it’s pretty much the same size as my marathon medal that took blood, sweat, and tears to earn! I’m just sayin.



Another thing I finally did was print out my certificate for my NYC Half. I was so excited when they became available because I’ve made it a habit to print certificates for any races that I run that are a half marathon or longer (and including my TOT 10 Miler).  I also went back through and printed a few from my Disney races in 2015. Thank goodness I already had them downloaded on my computer because I do not think they are available to print anymore and I think this is because Disney no longer uses Marathon foto and I’ll tell you why.  

The Wine n Dine Half Marathon was the first marathon I’ve run since Disney photo pass took over doing the official race photos (instead of using Marathon Foto like they have done in the past). Also that race is the first race where the Disney race certificates are MUCH different, and they are now more difficult to download and print.  I just can’t seem to print it out like a normal certificate. It’s mis-shapen and all wonky.  Also, Disney also has the 5K certificate available to print (if you are able) which was also something they have not don’t in the past when using Marathon foto.
Has anyone else tried to print their certificate?  

I should feel lucky to have earned such a huge medal for a 5K and the certificate thing is only a small annoyance but I would like to keep up my tradition of printing my certificates so that does kind of annoy me. 


Do you have any annoyances from a recent race?    M