Garmin Forerunner: Beginner or Advanced Runner, Is It For You?

GPS watch
We’ve been getting quite a few questions lately about our Garmin Forerunner 10 watches so we thought we would share a little bit of info with you so you can determine if this watch would fit your needs!

Let's Talk About Your Running Route....This is what I've encountered!

What do you look for in a running route? I hate running on roads with cars, stopping at red lights, and worrying about whether or not the sidewalks are even and if I will trip.  Because of these facts, there are two running routes that have slowly become my favorites.

Island Park
(picture from state park website)
One of my favorite routes to run is a place called Island Park. This is literally an island surrounded by the river on all sides.  There is a nice path, half paved, half gravel around the soccer fields and then a path that continues in a wooded area.  This is one place that I make sure I have a partner with me when I run. I just don’t like the fact that it is so secluded.  After this weekend’s run at Island Park, I now have another reason to not run there alone.

 I met my parents at Island Park around 7pm.  No worries here as it was still completely day light!  We did two laps around the entire island ( including the wooded trail). My GPS watch hadn’t hit my mileage goal yet so I continued to walk on the path near the soccer fields. My dad walked with me until my watch registered a 5K. As we said our good byes, I told him I was going to continue the path around the soccer field ( I needed to get in another mile for the Boston Remembrance Run that was closing out tonight).  The path around the soccer fields is pretty open and it was still light out so I felt comfortable doing the lap alone (and there were other cars in the parking area, so I knew there were still people in the park somewhere) My dad walked back to the car, and I continued down the path.  When I got to the curve in the path, I remember saying “O My God” outloud!  I just stood there, I didn’t know what to do.  There was a deer in my path.  I figured that it was more afraid of me than I was of it. (Isn’t that usually the saying?) I figured as soon as it spotted me that it would run away. That was clearly not the case. That deer was literally staring me down.  I thought about just continuing on my way, but I was afraid that if I ran past it, that it would follow after me.  I decided to take a step up on the grass near the soccer field ( away from the deer) and at that time the deer hissed/snorted and went up on its hind legs. Yes, I was a frightened now! It pranced over to the side of the wooded area but did not go in the woods. It still had its eyes on me. I took a little short cut through the soccer fields and ran back to my car.  I figured I could do another lap but modify the route a little. I grabbed my phone just in case I saw anymore deer I could take a picture. By the time I got back up on the path my GPS watch had gone dead. I used this as a sign that it was time for me to just go home.  I went home and did my last .78 miles on the treadmill!  

I’ve told this deer story to a few people this weekend and it still shocks me each time I tell it. It was not an “Ahh, I saw( from a far) a beautiful deer along my run”  it was a “OMG, I have encountered a deer”.  And that is just one more reason why no one should run alone!

The Rail Trail
(Picture from Rails to Trails website)
My other favorite route is a rail trail which is a running/biking trail through a farming community.  The positives of this trail are that it is completely flat, and no worries of cars, red lights, or crooked sidewalks.  It’s a popular trail, so I feel comfortable even when I have to run it by myself. The downside is that a lot of the trail is open field so there is little shade in most areas, and there are no water stops.  I use to worry about wild animals coming out on the trail, but so far I’ve only had to dodge bunnies, chipmunks, the occasional cat, and once had to jump over a gardener snake.  If I hadn’t been running at such a good pace, that snake may have flipped me out but I didn’t see it until I was practically on top of it so I just jumped over and kept going.  There are beautiful signs of nature along this trail too. I’ve seen the sunset a few times from this trail and this is also the trail were we saw the calf being born!


Do you have a favorite running route? If so, what makes the route your favorite?


My Great Finds: Summer Running Clothes

Earlier this week I saw a television commercial for $15 compression pants at Old Navy. It never crossed my mind to look at Old Navy for workout/running clothes, but I was intrigued. Since the weather has been getting hotter and hotter here, I needed to get some cooler running outfits. So on one of my rest days this week, I decided to stop by Old Navy and check out what they had.   

I was pleased with the selection. For every pair of shorts or pants, there were a variety of shirts in similar colors that matched.  ( I do like my running clothes to  match so I look somewhat put together).  They had longer tanks, blousy tanks, cropped tanks and sports bras.

I normally am not a huge fan of Old Navy Clothing but because they were having such good sales, I thought I would give them a try.  Here is what I decided on.

A cropped top regularly $16.50 for $8

Light weight running  shorts ( with built in bloomers) regularly $15 for $10

3 pair of Compression sock on sale for $3.90 each.

And although I won’t be wearing them anytime soon in this heat, I did get those compression pants for $15 that were regularly  $22.94.

My mom even got a really great running outfit as well.

When I was finished at Old Navy I continued to find great deals next door at Burlington. 

Here I found a purple New Balance top regularly priced at $23 for only $6.99.

Nike dry fit shorts regularly priced at $42 for only $14.99.


It may surprise you to know that I don’t really care for shopping and even more surprising that I don’t like shopping for clothes. But overall I feel I’ve had a successful shopping trip and am very pleased with my purchases.

Does the change in weather have you shopping for different running clothes?

Building upper body strength by using a rock wall

 I wanted to do another activity besides running since it's been so hot out lately. My friends are really big into rock climbing and are members at a local rock climbing gym. I thought I'd give it a try. I've only done it one other time and it wasn't at a gym. I didn't know what to expect. I remember last time that I was having trouble grabbing onto the rocks because my hands were so sweaty. My friend reassured me that when you go to a rock climbing gym they have chalk to help with that.

We'll be Rockin'

We’ll be Rockin’ at Virginia Beach over Labor Day weekend!
We are all signed up for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon series!  I will be running the entire half marathon again this year and Meranda and mom will be running the half marathon relay. This will be great practice for the Disney half marathon in February.

My thoughts on Spirit Of The Marathon II

Tonight I went to the screening of Spirit of the Marathon II ( Rome).  Before I give you my thoughts on the movie, here is some background in case you hadn’t read up on the film.  The film documented the journey of seven runners in the Rome Marathon.

1.       A pizzeria owner and  

2.       his cousin both from Italy

3.       A mother from Italy

4.       A young man from Ukraine who is trying to qualify for the London Olympics

5.       A young  lady from Rowanda

6.       A former teacher and coach from New Jersey

7.       A lady from California that set out to do 52 marathons in 52 weeks.

I liked that Instead of seeing movie previews in the beginning, our knowledge of marathon trivia was tested.  How young was the youngest marathon runner? How old was the oldest marathon runner? What was the fastest marathon time? What was the slowest marathon time? ….etc.  Of course I don’t remember any of the answers although I do remember that the slowest time was made by a guy wearing a full scuba gear outfit. I’m not really sure why someone would want to run in that.

I enjoyed seeing Jeff Galloway talk at the start of the film, but he wasn’t a main part of it ( I didn’t think that he would be) But he was wearing his Run Disney hat!!

I learned a lot about the history of the marathon like how woman were not allowed to compete and the distance for a marathon wasn’t always 26.2 miles.

I appreciate that we got to follow the journey of non-English speaking folks, but I didn’t particularly like all the sub headings.  Your mind wants to watch what is going on in the film, but your eyes needed to read what the people were saying.  If you didn’t pay close attention you could miss something. More than 50% of the film was sub headings.

It was nice to see that these runners are just as nervous and get race day jitters like everyone else. Some were running their first marathon and some had ran multiple marathons before this one.

Even these athletes struggled. One runner, who ran multiple marathons before this one, got to mile 20 and couldn’t complete it.

I really enjoyed the parts were the Americans were telling their stories. ( probably because I could understand what they were saying and didn’t have to read the words on the screen)

The lady from California set out to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Her dad would call her after every race and ask if she made it and she would say “no, not this time”.  Her father was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.  Two weeks after his death, she ran her next race and that is when she qualified!  She now runs to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.

The teacher /coach from New Jersey had a loss in his life as well. He lost his oldest son to a drug addiction.  He tells his story about how running helps him in his personal life as well.

This movie showed how people from different parts of the world run for different reason and what completing a marathon means to them.  Some are running to raise awareness  for a cause or help raise money, some are running for personal achievement, some are running for their health, and some are running just because they can!

                                                                   Why do you run?

I did not see Spirit of the Marathon (Chicago) but I am hoping to be able to see it at sometime.

If you saw either of the Spirit of the Marathon movies, what did you think of them?

10K to Disney!

Ever since I decided that I wanted to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I knew I needed to have a 10K time to submit if I didn’t want to be put in the last corral.  I’ve done plenty of smaller races, 5k, 7K, and 8K, but never a 10K. The only 10k I knew about was the Wicked 10K in VA Beach, so I planned to run that in October and submit that time to Disney.   I figured that would give me all summer to work my way up to that distance. 

As luck would have it, I found out about a local 10K on June 8th.  Since Disney Princess registration opened a few days later I thought it was perfect timing.  I did my first 10K training run earlier that week ( in the rain) and clocked myself at 1:09. That time was good enough for me so I signed myself up for the 10K trail run.  Before I signed up, I wanted to see this trail I would be running on, so I took a bike ride around it.  It definitely was not like the trails I normally run. It was very narrow, it was very wooded, and was very muddy. But I thought I could do it. If it was a hot day, it would definitely be a much cooler run because of all the shade.  Later I found out that the trail I rode bike on was only the 5K.  I found a map for the 10K route and my mom and I went back on Friday to check it out. Fortunately the race director was at the park while we were there and he showed me where the race would start.  I was shocked when I saw the bank we had to climb up just to get to the start. We literally had to give each other a hand getting up that dirt incline.  The arrows were already spray painted on the route, so we just followed that ( we walked the route).  In addition to muddy and narrow paths, there were, rocks and tree limbs to avoid, and slippery wooden planks and boardwalks to contend with. Not to mention lots of inclines and declines.   After seeing this race route I was starting to get hesitant. It didn’t look like something I was ready to endure at this point.  To me, this looked more like an extreme trail run.  To make matters worse it was suppose to rain on race day.  I can only imagine even more mud and me wiping out as I run down one of the inclines.

A few pics of the course
Well, race day came and I decided I would go through with. When we got to the park there were many more participants than I was expecting for a local race. Half were doing the 5K and half the 10K and we all started at the same place and time.  Before we even got to the start line, the girl right behind me wipeout and fell on her bottom on the wooden planks.  That made me even more cautious on this run.
This is not me, but I wanted to show one of the inclines along the course.
(Photo courtesy of Robert Stoudt)
The race started and after the first kilometer and a half, runners started to spread out a little more. I was surprised that the trail was not as muddy as is it was the day before.  I was glad because I debated over what shoes to wear. I didn’t want to wear my good running shoes because I didn’t want them to get muddy, but I didn’t want  to wear any of my other ones because I  wanted the comfort that my good ones provided since I would be running on different terrain.  I’m glad I chose my good shoes.   Since I did  a time of 1:09 on a flat trail, I was hoping to do this trail run in about 1:15. I was taking into consideration the terrain and how cautious I would need to be on this run.   I really ran at my own pace and at some parts of the trail I felt like I was the only one running.  I didn’t stop at either of the hydration stops. It wasn’t that hot out and I figured I did this distance before without stopping, so I could do it again.  It really ended up being not that bad of a run. I ended up finishing with a time of 1:06. Since this was my first official 10K, I was pleased. I probably won’t send this time to Disney right away. I have a feeling that I might be able to beat this time once I can race on level terrain ( maybe at the Wicked 10K?)
Me crossing the finish line.

 Have you ever felt hesitant about a race you've already signed up for?

*EDIT: Since this race I was able to run a road race and I got my 10K time down to under an hour. That is the time I submitted to Disney for Corral placement.

The Cinderella Pact: A Great Summer Read!


image from
One day I went to my local library to get a new book to read. I naturally head to the “S” isle to look for a Danielle Steel novel.   I browse through the shelf; “Sisters” read it, “Granny Dan” read it, “Full Circle” read it, “The House on Hope Street” read it.  There wasn’t much on the shelf that I hadn’t read so I browsed a little further down the shelf.   Being a Disney lover there was one title that jumped out at me,“The Cinderella Pact” by Sarah Strohmeyer.   I admit that I am one the does judge a book by its cover.  I don’t read the back cover because I want to be surprised at what happens.  This book had a glittery blue cover and a sparkly shoe on it, so this is the one I picked!

I don’t want to give too much of the story away but here is the short and sweet of it.  The protagonist, Nola Delvin, is an over weight woman who creates an alter ego through her written words. Her thin, stylish, British alter ego becomes very popular.  So popular that she is offered movie deals, TV appearance, and live interviews.  Nola needs to find away to pull this off without revealing that she is the overweight diva behind the words of the thin young lady she's created!

If reading isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Lifetime has produce a movie based on this same novel called “Lying to be perfect”

photo from

 What books are on your summer reading list?

Run For The Dream: Williamsburg VA, June 2013

williamsburg, Virginia
On Saturday June 1, I ran the Run For The Dream 8K with both of my parents. When I woke up that morning it had to be 90 degrees outside already. It was so hot! Prior to the race we had got e-mails and FB updates from the Event Director Kelly letting us know of the heat and that this may not be a race that we would PR in.