Monday, December 20, 2010

2011 Race Plans

Hello lovelies!

I'm so sorry for my unplanned hiatus from this little blog over here but right around the time I ran the marathon, I got hit in the face with 5 papers all about the not-so-wonderful subjects I study like human trafficking and ethnic conflict. As Chloe said, I'm trying to learn about saving the world!

That being said, I did it! I ran my first marathon exactly 1 month ago tomorrow! And it was fantastic! My goal time was 4:00 and I came in at 4:08 which I was super excited about! I even managed a faster second half than first! And you know what? I can't wait to run another one! Unfortunately, I don't know when that will be because next semester I have a job, an internship and 4 classes that I'm taking so it's going to be pretty difficult to manage a full marathon training cycle in there! But of course, I plan to keep running, so my race plans for 2011 include:

New York City Half-Marathon - March 20, 2011
Cherry Blossom 10-miler - April 3, 2011 (Washington, DC)
BAA 5k - April 18, 2011 (Boston, MA) - Registration hasn't opened for this one yet, but I'm definitely running it!

I may run the Melbourne & Beaches Music Marathon 8k the week I'm in FL for the boyfriend's birthday but we'll see!

What are your race plans for 2011? Can anyone recommend a good East Coast Marathon around May-June that I could possibly think about running?

Happy Holidays!!
(And I promise I won't neglect this blog so much in the New Year!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Attention Garmin Owners!!

Well hey there, sweet readers!  Sorry our blog has been a waste of your reading space but Christy has been crazy busy at NYU trying to learn how to save the world, and I obviously haven't running as much lately due to pregnancy and hence haven't had much to say.  Not much going on in my running world, but Christy just finished her first marathon recently and did AMAZING!  Read her great race recap here!

Anyway, I personally had a quick question for all you lucky Garmin owners right now.  I am actually currently in the process of seriously deciding on one (not just wishfully pining as in times past) but I am stuck beyond belief!  I've heard so many mixed reviews and so many people love one and hate the other, only for someone else to feel the exact opposite, and all have legitimate reasons.  So what I want to know is 1) what model do you own? 2) what made you decide on said model? 3) what's one reason yours is better than other models? and 4) what are things you really don't like about your model?  At first I was stuck between the 305 and the 405 but now have been told the 310 and 410 are amazing (albeit EXPENSIVE), and the 110 might be just enough for what I need.  Ugh!  This is supposed to be getting easier, not harder!  Obviously I am desperate!  Please help!

And for those who are curious, yes I am trying to run through this pregnancy, though much slower and less than before, but haven't been so successful at being consistent.  And while the timing to get the Garmin might seem off as I'm hardly running and certainly not training for any big races, this is actually a really good time for me to invest in one for various reasons.  But I mean, come on, is there ever a BAD time to get a Garmin??

Thanks in advance, and I hope you're all running happy!
Merry pre-Christmas! (And Happy post- Hanukkah to any Jewish readers!) 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Greatest Excuse in the World

So running friends, marathon 2 will have to wait a little longer than anticipated.
Baby C coming May 4, 2011. :]

Monday, October 11, 2010

Marathon Monday!

This weekend, I finished my longest run yet. 18 miles. It was tough. It was, to date, the hardest physical exertion I've ever put my body through. At the end of it, I wanted to cry, but I was so ecstatic that I made it through that I just wanted to laugh. It was an unbelievable feeling and made me want one thing and one thing alone. To cross the finish line of the Philadelphia Marathon.

I am so amped for this race, it's not even funny. Fear is starting to turn into butterflies, the good kind, like you get when you have a first kiss, and I'm starting to up my training to a level that I've never quite hit before. With 6 weeks to go, this means, being very strict about my diet so as to ensure that I'm getting all of the right carbs, proteins, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, etc. It means waking up at 5:30am to get in a run when I know I won't have time later in the day. It means not skipping out on a workout and not taking anything for granted. It means listening to my body and it means focus and determination.

It means that it's officially go time.

Due to a summer injury and a few things that have happened along the way in my training cycle, I'm about 2 weeks from where I'd like to be in my training, but these things happen and I'm ok with it. So, this week I start speed work with Tempo Runs. I start running 5 days a week, instead of 4.

I also start midterms and papers.

It's not going to be easy and it's not going to be fun, but it's going to be awesome and I'm ready for it.

That said, Week 8 of my training brings:
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 4 miles easy (9:52 pace)
Wednesday: Tempo - 8 miles with 3 miles @ 8:30/mile
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: 9 miles with 7 miles @ MP (9:09/mile)
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: 20 miles

I'm ready for it. How is everyone else's training going?

And I'll keep plugging this, but anyone who is running the Philadelphia Marathon or Half-Marathon should let me know!!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Diva's Half-Marathon at Long Island: Race Report

*This is the same Race Report I posted on my personal blog so for those of you who follow both, my apologies for the dual posting!*

With 8 weeks until the Philadelphia Marathon, I finished my second Half-Marathon on Sunday, crossing the finish line in 2:00:53, a 50-second PR!

I had mixed feelings about this race. On the one hand, I ran a great race, but on the other hand, I felt terrible.

Let’s recap:

Saturday – I woke up and went for an easy 3 mile jog around my neighborhood before grabbing a quick bite to eat, quadruple checking that I had everything and headed to the train station to catch the train to Long Island. My best friend and former college roommate picked me up and we headed to the Race Expo to pick up my packet. The expo was…slightly depressing. The race directors had sent out so many e-mails promoting the expo and I wasn’t at all impressed. I was surprised that they had an expo at all for a Half-Marathon, but it was pretty lacking. The swag bag however was pretty awesome! On top of my race shirt (pink!) and a matching pink bag that said Diva’s Half-Marathon, I got tons of free samples, a coupon 5,000 miles on Spirit Airlines (hello boyfriend!), and a $500 gift card to Red Star! So I can get some running sunglasses!

We got back to my friend’s house and it was time to relax so we put on a movie that I brought (off my list, of course!) and watched the movie before another one of my old college roommates came over and we had a yummy pasta dinner and some pumpkin ice cream before I went to bed bright and early. 

Sunday, Race Day – My alarm went off at 5:45 and I got dressed, grabbed a quick bite and headed out to the race. It was cold outside. It was about 40 degrees and it didn’t see like it was ever going to warm up. The 5k started at about 7:45 while I was stretching and we lined up shortly after. I lined up in the 8:01 – 9:00 corral but then they started telling everyone to move up and push forward so I actually started the race in the 6:01-7:00 corral which is not at all my pace but they were pushing everyone up so I didn’t have much of a choice. The gun went off and off we went. The race had about 3,000 women and the start tunnel was extremely narrow so I was practically walking through to the start line, but the group quickly spread out. I was running fast and I felt like it, but I was feeling pretty good. Miles 1 and 2 came up a lot sooner than I expected. Between Miles 2 and 3, I started to worry that I would crash early if I kept up the pace I was at, but I was still cold and anxious to warm up so I didn’t want to slow down. At Mile 3, I was at just over 24:00 and knew I had to slow down. I stopped off at the Porter Potty because I really had to pee and was able to get into a regular pace after that.

When we hit Mile 4, the wind started picking up. I wasn’t running against the wind, but it started to feel really cold. At Mile 5, my knee started bothering me but I saw my mom at the mile marker so that was exciting! Miles 5-8 were brutal. I was so cold and my muscles were tightening up. I was wearing capri length pants and a t-shirt and I thought I would be fine with that. The forecast had called for high 50s in the morning and it was definitely much colder than that. I had been taking Power Bar Energy Blasts through the race (my go-to fuel) and they weren’t sitting right with me. I started feeling really sick to my stomach and at Mile 7 I had to stop off and use the Porter Potty again. When I got back into the race, I was still cold but feeling much better. I was definitely running slow though and I could feel it. When I hit Mile 8, I saw my mom again and knew I wanted the race to be over. I thought to myself, I run 5 miles every Tuesday and Thursday and this is why, so that when I get to this point in the race, the last 5 seems easy. So I started to pick up the pace. By Mile 10, I was hurting again but feeling good. I knew at this point that I could finish and I knew I was close to the threshold of finishing in the same time I finished my last Half and that was not going to happen. I was going to PR no matter what. The last few miles had local high school cheerleaders at each mile cheering the runners along which was pretty cute. Just before Mile 12, they were passing out hot pink feather boas and tiaras. In the true cheesy spirit of the race, I donned my crown and my boa and I started to (excuse my French) haul ass. 

Eying the finish line just after Mile 12!

I ran to that finish line like I had never run before and as soon as that line came into view, I sprinted like I was running for my life. As I crossed the finish line, I threw my arms up and nearly collapsed into one of the fire fighters that was handing out red roses and champagne. I proudly took my rose, my champagne and my 10 pound medal (it felt that heavy after the race!) and went over to where my mom, and three of my very closest friends were waiting for me at the finish line.

I felt pretty awful after the race but, at the same time, I felt great – how can you not feel great after that kind of accomplishment? When I ran Katie Lynch back in May, I had to stop and walk a few times and this time, I never did that. When I was at my lowest point in the race, I looked around and saw everyone around me walking and I was not going to do that. So I kept running. I had to stop twice but I never stopped running because I felt like I mentally could not continue to run. 

It was a tough race since I never quite warmed up and my lesson learned is to bundle up for Philadelphia no matter what the forecast says so that if I need to throw away layers I can, but if I want them, I have them.

Now, I have 7 weeks to go until Philadelphia and I’m feeling pretty good. I have a lot of work ahead of me and my training is going to take on a new, more rigorous shape next week but I know I can handle it and I’m ready for whatever the elements throw at me. I had a great recovery run yesterday I have an 18 mile run planned for this weekend. I’ll be testing out some new fuel options and gearing up for the 3 hardest weeks of training before I start to taper down for the race. 

I want to thank all of you for your support because you guys have been amazing. Thanks for following along and thanks for your words of encouragement. Keep ‘em coming because they keep me going!

If any of you are running Philadelphia, or if you know anyone running Philadelphia, drop me a note! I’d love to organize a Meet-Up the afternoon before the race!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Featured Runner: Cynthia from Balls in the Air

Well after having not one featured runner in the month of September, we're finally {hopefully} back into the swing of consistent things!  This week we have Cynthia from Balls in the Air, and you'll be blown away by some of here crazy running stories.  And does she have a story as to how she met her husband!  Man!  Anyway, hope you enjoy today's feature and without further ado...

Meet Cynthia.
{pictured above at the Island Girl 10K}
1. What inspired you to start running in the first place? Back in the 80’s, I took aerobics classes and felt I couldn’t push myself anymore. So, I started teaching them. Once again, I reached a level where I didn’t feel I was getting anything out of it. So, I turned to running. Since then, I’ve never felt bored; twenty-some years later, I still feel that I can push myself more.

2. What is your most memorable running moment? Meeting my husband. We were racing a winter half-marathon in Peterborough, Ontario. I got really dehydrated (yes, in 20 below temperatures, you can still dehydrate) and sick; my arms were having muscle spasms. My husband saw that I was in agony and offered to massage my arms. Three months later, we were living together; five years later, we got married….

3. What piece of running gear will you never run without? Shoes. I think. There is a huge revolution moving towards Vibrams/Barefoot/minimalist running. I think it’s great but it’s not for me; I’m far too conservative. However, I have suggested to my husband that he try it and he seems to like it. I guess there will be more to follow on that next summer.

4. Any upcoming races? I always have a race in mind – sometimes, many. Right now, I’m gearing up for Road2Hope, the November marathon in Hamilton, Ontario. I’m really nervous about it as it is my first in almost 20 years (19, to be exact).

5. What is your *dream* race or distance? I love the 10 mile distance and race. During my training for Hamilton, I realized that there is a need for more 25 to 35 K races. For me, who trains to race and races to train, they would be great to help me gear up for the marathon distance. Are there any Ontario race directors out there reading this?

6. Have you ever run for charity? If so, what charity? No, that takes a whole new level of commitment. Between family and work, I feel that I am stretched a lot with my own running goals. To raise money for someone or something requires a lot more work. That being said, though, I started my own running event, Kids Running for Kids, for SickKids in Toronto. This was the first year and I hope that it will grow into something bigger next year.

7. What advice would you give for someone who is thinking about taking up running? Set a goal. That can be time, distance or a race. We are a goal-driven society and running is no exception to it. Goals give focus and a reason to stick to the plan. It’s important to keep in mind that goals will change as your own fitness level does and life interferes. That’s okay. Just always look at the big picture; what do you really want to get out of this thing called running?

8. What advice would you give to a first-time marathoner? That’s funny because, even though I have run 5, I feel like a first timer after being off for 19 years. I think the best advice is to respect the distance. This means that to run the marathon successfully, whether it is just finishing or running within a certain time, you have to be prepared to work hard for it: plan your training, eat to run, rest and mentally get ready for the big day.

9. What's one thing you don't like about running? Laundry, especially in the winter time. I pulled out my tights and layers for the first time last night and am already moaning the laundry season.

10. What is your favorite form of cross-training, if any? Cycling – it helps maintain my cardio without putting stress on my body. After long runs, cycling takes away the aches and pains. And, I can cycle on my windtrainer on days that I can’t get out for a run.

11. Tell me about your very first race. It was the Pointe de Pointe in Toronto, Canada and it was a disaster. I had no idea what to do – except run. I went out way too fast but finished respectfully. However, my quads were killing me for the next few days. Despite this, I was hooked on road-racing.

12. How do you get yourself out the door on the days that you hate running? I tell my boys, 4 and 9, that I need to get out for a run. They keep reminding me that I need to get out and try to coerce me to take them. In better weather, I do – almost always – as one bikes and the other sits in the jogger. Now, it’s dark, wet and rainy so, while they want to tag along, I leave them at home.

Me and my boys playing in Lake Ontario (yuck!) after The Chocolate Race.
13. What running shoes do you swear by? I love my Asics but I’m also wear Saucony now. With a marathon on the horizon, I want to have two pairs to train in so that my foot muscles don’t get use to just one position; this seems to help them feel better after my long runs and tempos. In the next two weeks, I’ll decide which pair is my marathon shoe.

14. Have you had any running injuries that sidelined you for a period of time? If so, what did you do to recover? Years ago, just over 20, I tore my groin. Initially, I pulled it running in sub-twenty temperatures but I didn’t take enough time for it to heal. Two weeks later, I raced in that same sub-20 weather and tore it. That was the most painful thing I’ve ever gone through; okay, childbirth may have been worse but that was short and sweet. My groin tear lasted for two months. I ran in the pool (boring), cycled and got on the stairmaster everyday to keep my cardio up. Once I was able to run again, I found that I hadn’t lost that much conditioning.

15. What are five of your favorite songs from your running playlist? I don’t run with an iPod so I don’t have a playlist. I’ve been thinking about picking a small one up to get me through the end of my marathon training but finding music and making a playlist would just be too much work right now. I’m busy enough with my real job. Besides, I hate earphones. I suppose I could always go wireless, though. Oh, yes, the playlist again.

Waterfront 8K in Burlington

16. If there was one running accomplishment that you wish you could achieve with no possibility of failing, what would it be? Running Boston. Actually, I have qualified – a couple of times – but I’ve never gone, and I don’t regret not going because the timing just wasn’t right. Now, almost 50, I’d really like to go in the next year or two and take my family with me. Who knows if my boys will ever get a chance to see Mom run the Boston Marathon again?

Thanks so much, Cynthia!  You are truly an inspiration of someone who really makes time for her sport. 

Okay so I think it's about time to revamp {again} the system of how we choose featured runners.  I do appreciate everyone nominating bloggers who they are particularly fond of, but sometimes people forget to do so, and we have 2-3 people in the running for one particular week.  Not sure if this is the best way.  So perhaps if you would like to be featured, just leave a comment once again nominating some running bloggers of whom you are a fan, and you and all those you nominate will be put into a list that we will continue to choose from week after week.  People can and will be added to this list as time goes on, but you can't be on the list twice.  I think is the best way to get a big variety of runners from whom we can all draw inspiration and hear some awesome stories we never would have heard otherwise.  So what do you think?  Good idea?  Or am I going nuts?

Regardless, hope you enjoyed our feature and good luck for next week!  Maybe YOU will be chosen next!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The next featured runner!

I know, I know.

We haven't had a featured runner up here in a loooong time, and for that I take full responsibility.  Life has been bunches of crazy, and this poor blog has been one of the things I let fall to the wayside.  Thanks to Christy for being so faithful with her Marathon Mondays, otherwise this blog would be a ghost town!!

Anyway, for the next featured runner, since it has been way too long since there's been one and since you all have nominated fellow bloggers, I decided this time that I would just utilize and enter all of our followers and choose one that way.  Well out of our 68 followers, came up with no. 18 which is...

Cynthia O'H from Balls in the Air!!

Congrats, Cynthia!  Email me {Chloe} at chlooeee[at]gmail[dot]com to get you set up to be featured!  Excited to start doing these again!

{Oh, and for those of you who are interested, here's a brief race recap of my recent half marathon from my real-life blog.  Sorry I never got around to posting on up here! Bad, bad blogger.}

Monday, September 27, 2010

Marathon Monday

Hey everyone! I hope you've all had a wonderful week training!

I...did not. I only ran twice this week and only for about 3 miles each. I missed my 18-mile long run and all of my workouts. I was at the UN from 6am to sometimes 10pm every day last week and had class and school work and my body was not in any shape for an 18-mile run this week, so last night, in place of my 18, I did a 5k on the treadmill and then swan a couple of laps.

But my schedule is definitely calming down this week and I'll definitely be training this week since I'm running my Half-Marathon on Sunday!!

So since this week is Race Week, I'll be training but taking it easy so that I'm fresh for Sunday!

The plan is as follows:
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: X-Train
Thursday: 8 miles
Friday: Time Trial
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Half-Marathon!
Depending on how my race goes, I may try and throw in an easy 5 miles on Sunday after my race just to increase my mileage for the week so that I'm on track for the race since I'm slightly behind =/ We'll see how I feel though!

I'm now officially 2 months away from my Marathon and feeling pretty good, although as this month draws to a close and I reach the half-way point of my training, my goals for the next two months leading up to Race Day which I'll be incorporating into my schedule next week are:

  • Start running 5 days per week
  • Run no less tan 32 miles in any given week leading up to Race Day
  • Incorporate at minimum 2 cross and strength training workouts per week
I've got a lot of work ahead of me, but it's definitely going to pay off! I'm just 2 months away from crossing #1 off of my 25 Before 25 list and I can't wait!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Marathon Monday!

Sometimes you just have to let anger be the fuel for your run.

As I predicted, I did not get many of my training runs in last week. Out of what should have been a 32 mile week, I had a 16 mile week. And I am perfectly ok with this. I knew I wasn't going to have time. I needed to catch up on my school work and that took priority. So I did what I could. I ran 6 miles on Thursday and switched my plan 16-mile SLR (Sunday Long Run) for an easy 10 miles.

Here's where the anger kicks in. There's a guy who I've seen running in Central Park lately (on the pavement, in the bike and/or runner lanes, no less) who likes to run the park while kicking a soccer ball around. He also likes to kick it up right behind your feet and then just as it hits the back of your heels, he kicks it out from underneath you. Well, Sunday, I accidentally kicked his ball away and the asshole, if you'll excuse my language, had the nerve to go off on me! I was SO pissed and I was trying to shake it off and I just couldn't. I immediately resigned to the fact that this run was going to suck.

And then I realized that I was running fast. Faster than usual and I could feel the power in my legs and I could feel the anger just fueling me. I still wanted to shake things off but I kept running. And then I had a guy on a bicycle in the RUNNERS' LANE ring his stupid bell at me just as he was about to hit me. I got pissed. And I just kept letting things get to me and I let them fuel my run, but I turned the anger into positive fuel so I wasn't angry while I ran, I was just fueled. Does that make sense? And you know what? I went on a 10 mile run without any fuel (no GUs, Energy Blasts, etc.) and I think that's what did it for me. The best part? Lance Armstrong coming in my ears at the end of my workout to say that I've reached a new personal best for my fastest mile recorded on my Nike+. 8:05. And that felt awesome.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I want to be this angry on all of my runs. To be honest, if I ever see soccer ball man again, I probably will punch him in the face, but it was an important lesson learned on how to transform that negative energy that had me thinking this was going to be an awful run, into positive energy. And that's what this blog (and marathon training) is all about, right? Lessons learned?

On that note, here's my training plan for the week:
Monday: Rest Day (although I was on my feet all day)
Tuesday: 5 mile run (this will be tricky to squeeze in)
Wednesday: Cross-Training (so will this)
Thursday: 1 mile Time Trial (may have to switch Tuesday and Thursday...)
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 4 miles
Sunday: 18 miles
Total Miles Planned: 28
*That doesn't seem right...may have to look at my schedule again...maybe the Time Trial is next week before the Half? We'll see!*
Anyway, this week will be tough again, but I will get all of my workouts in. I'm volunteering at the United Nations HQ in New York for the General Assembly/Millennium Development Goal Summit and I'm up at 4am every day this week to be at the UN. It's tough and I'm off to bed right now at the early hour of 8:30, but it's an awesome opportunity and I met 2 1/2 presidents today because of it! (Half because I only stood next to one of them and didn't converse with him (= )

Happy Running everyone!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Here Goes Nothing...

Hey running friends!
Sorry I've been a bad co-blogger,
and sorry there hasn't been a featured runner in while!
Let's just say, things got a little crazy.
Because that's what you're supposed to say
when you're busy, right?

Anyway, for those of you who don't follow my
{on which I actually talked about running today}
this Sunday, I am running my first-ever half marathon!
But, sad to say, I'm not excited about it.

I didn't train as well or nearly as much as I should have,
and thus, my odds of reaching the oh-so-coveted
sub-2 hour half marathon
seem pretty slim.
And my pride is already hurting
for my inevitable 2+ hour time.
Dumb, no?
I haven't even run the race, yet I'm already resigned.

Oh well, my pride could use a little humbling.
Pray for me!  I'll let you know my eventual time as soon as I know!

Any long runs/races going on for you this weekend?
Do share!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Marathon Monday!

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you've all had a great weekend and that everyone is getting in some great runs in prep for upcoming races! It seems like everyone is racing these days...I guess it's that season!

I had a great training week last week and managed to run my furthest run yet: 15 miles! And it felt great! In the middle of all this, I've started grad school and have met tons of runners in my program, including my Advisor who will be running his 10th NYC Marathon this November! How exciting is that?!

In other exciting news, I started running in Central Park and have finally after a bout of 2 months in a running rut, been able to finish my runs at an average sub-9 pace! I've also been able to run non-stop! I ran 15 miles on Sunday non-stop (well, I stopped to pee, but not because I felt like I couldn't keep going!) I absolutely adore running in Central Park! It is the most incredible run I've ever been on! The only thing I don't like about it is that it takes me about half an hour to get there from my apartment because the NYC subways suuuuuuuuuck!

So it's raining in New York this week and my schedule of reading and work to do in preparation for each class is absolutely overwhelming! I have no idea how/when I'm going to fit in my weekday workouts! On top of all that, I started a new job today and am even more busy than I expected to be! How do you all manage to run during busy weeks? Before you all jump on the: "I run in the morning!" kick...realize that it takes me half an hour to get to Central Park and half an hour to get back, so a 6 mile run, which takes me about an hour to run and stretch actually equals 2 hours! And then showering, getting ready etc, we're looking at close to 3 hours and waking up at 5am and getting on the subway is just not in the cards! So if any of you have any suggestions, they would be much appreciated!

In the mean time, I'll be trying my absolute hardest to fit this training into my schedule this week:
Monday: Rest Day! (Much-Needed!)
Tuesday: 6 mile run
Wednesday: Cross-Training
Thursday: 5 mile run
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 5 mile run
Sunday: 16 mile run
Total Miles Planned: 32

I'm at that point in my training now where every run is further than I've ever run before and I love it!

Happy Running everyone!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Marathon Monday!

Hey guys! Christy here! I'm so sorry I haven't been keeping up with my duties as a co-blogger here at Confessions...there have been quite a few things going on in my life, including the fact that I sold my computer and was computer-less until today!

So every Monday I write a post on my blog called Marathon Monday where I talk about what's going on with me and my training for the Philadelphia Marathon. I write about everything from diet and nutrition to maximizing rest days to posting my planned workouts for the week. I've decided it's time to stop boring my non-running readers with my Marathon Monday posts and move them over to here!

Since it's getting late and I have school tomorrow (yikes! i start grad school tomorrow!) so I'm just going to post my training plan for this week and leave you all with a link to my post from a previous Marathon Monday!

Monday:  Rest Day
Tuesday: 7 mile run
Wednesday: Elliptical Hill Workout
Thursday: 6 mile run
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 6 mile
Sunday: 5k race with 2 mile warm-up and 1 mile cool-down
Total Planned: 25

My training plan has no long run this week which is good because I think I'll need the recovery time while still getting in the same mileage. And speaking of recovery, here's a Marathon Monday post I did awhile back about recovering from a run!

Happy Running!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Review: The Tytenz Go Belt


It came! It came! It came!

Remember how I ordered a running belt the other day (for which I only paid $2.24.  GOLDEN)?  Well it came today, just in time for my 10 miler tomorrow, and so far and I already love it!  I didn't get a choice of color because I bought it via, and they ended up shipping me black.  Disappointing when I realized I could have gotten pink, but I realized black will blend in better with my running shorts and won't be as LOOK-AT-ME as something neon-colored.  Ha.

Alright, so I probably shouldn't be posting a review until after I actually run with the thing {unless you count trotting/bouncing around my apartment while singing along to The Killers}, but I just couldn't resist.  This thing is awesome!  Here's a picture of it on me [don't mind the jean shorts.]

So first I tried it with some gels and my phone.  Not bad.  It didn't weigh me down or bounce or slide. Granted it was jean material, but again, bear with me on the lack-of-actual-usage-part.  Then I decided to stick my trusty iPod touch in there, and dreams of running armbands free starting swirling in my head.  This is also when The Killers sing-a-long commenced.

And that lumpy thing you see to the right?  Heh, that's my phone.  The one major qualm I have with the belt is that one pocket it WAY smaller than the other one.  So my phone sticks out awkwardly through the super stretchy fabric.  We'll see if it makes a difference in the bounce-age.

...but running arm-band free seems like a dream come true.  Can't wait to try it out tomorrow!

Oh ps. other exciting news!  There's a big half-marathon going on this Sunday not to far from us, so Josiah and I are hitting up the expo tomorrow (I going fully armed with birthday money) and we're going to stay to see John Bingham interview Frank Shorter, Jim Ryun and Greg Meyer.  Is it bad that I'm most excited about seeing John Bingham? LOL.  Should be fun!

Happy long weekend everyone!
What long runs or races do you have going on?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Running Buys/Random Running Rambles

So I just ordered a GO Belt from Amazon and I'm pretty excited about it!  I would post a picture, but the picture is being funny, so here's the link if you want to see it.  What's really cool about it is that I received $20 worth of promotion codes for being part of the Gatorade online review board, so I only paid $2.24 for it to be shipped! :]  Good deal, no?

What has your experience been with running belts?  I really needed something for my phone and gels/chews, although I must say I've been getting pretty creative with creating carrying systems as of late!  But I'm kind of hesitant to have something around my waist, despite ALL the reviews saying it doesn't bounce at all, and you don't feel it, etc.  I'm probably going to end up looking like the biggest loser [not the one from the tv show, ha] but whatever.  Sometimes I feel like the "better" I get at running {I say better very loosely}, the more crap I have to carry around.  What's up with that?  I should be downsizing as I get better, not accumulating!  Oy vey.

In other news, my parents gave me some money for my birthday{in addition to a pretty cute Lilly Pulitzer shirt and PSYCH season 4 on dvd.  They're awesome}, and I'm thinking I'm gonna put it towards getting a skirt.  Now to decide which one to get!  The princess ones are super cute AND 50% off right now, buut maybe I want a legit one?  You know, the one with the two running girls in the corner?  Ugh, I don't know.  I'm the worst decision maker ever.  But I'd like to decide soon, seeing as I'd like to have it for the half-marathon, which, by the way, is in

19 days.

Holy Moses.  Am I ready?  That would be a no.  Will I be ready?  I will certainly try!  I ran 9 miles this past weekend and while I was tired, I felt like I was able to stay pretty consistent with my pace, but said pace was slightly slower than my hoped-for race pace, and I felt like I was really pushing myself at the end.  Blast.  And I still have to add four point one more miles. 

Anyway, who's ready for some fall-running?  I must suffer from short-term memory loss after training for that first marathon in the winter and being *miserable, but after this nasty summer, I can't wait for some crisp fall running.   I also can't wait for some winter running, when I get to cross finish lines in the snow

Yep, definitely short-term memory loss.

{ps. don't forget to check out Katye's feature today and tell her how awesome she is!}

Featured Runner: Katye from Long Legs on the Loose

For our featured runner this week, we have Katye from Long Legs on the Loose.  I'm sure many of you already read her blog, but if not, now is a good time to start!  She's an awesome girl who started running just for charity and wears some seriously awesome outfits, as well as having some seriously long legs!  Enjoy her'll just love her!

Meet Katye.
{pictured above at her first marathon}

1.  What inspired you to start running in the first place?
Cancer. I was never a runner. I played soccer and did cheerleading but my movement of choice was always dance. Loved the way it let me express myself and clear my mind. But as of late, I was getting injured over and over and the doctor basically told me I was destroying my feet and ankles and if I wanted to stop breaking my toes and feet and spraining my ankles, I needed to not dance so much. Ugh! But I knew it was true and I knew I needed something to fill the hole. But I didn't know what that was until I got a purple pamphlet in the mail. And thew it away. And for some reason I picked it back up and checked it out. It was for Team in Training and before I knew it I had signed me and my dad (who was pub hopping in Ireland and had no idea at the time) up to run the Disney Half Marathon in January 2010 with a goal of raising $7,000. The rest is history =)

2.  What is your most memorable running moment?
Okay this one is so very hard. Its a very hard toss up between my first marathon and my first half. It might be a tie. The Disney Half was the first race over 5k I had ever run and at the time, I had only been running for 6 months. The stamina and endurance I acquired over those 6 months AMAZED me. How could I have made it from barely being able to make it thru 2 miles to finishing a half marathon? I was over the moon. The marathon was a bit different. Because of an IT injury, I really hadn't been able to train the way I wanted to. As a matter of fact, my longest run before my marathon was 14 miles. Yep that's it. Although I did run/walk a 16 miler. But needless to say I was nervous. But I did it and felt amazing! I loved every second of it. Never hit the wall. And as soon as I finished I was so overwhelmed. I burst into tears. The emotions I went through during that 4 hours and 19 minutes was amazing and I learned so much in those 26.2 miles.

3.  What piece of running gear will you never run without?
Running skirt. And not just a running skirt...a running skirt! Most comfortable thing I have ever run in and now I can't stand running in shorts. I also LOVE my compression socks, hand held, Ipod, and my dearest Gracie (my garmin).

Me and T of Racing With Babes before the MAC Half in May
4.  Any upcoming races?
Yes! I have a the Philly Half Sept. 19th and the following weekend I am headed to Washington to run the You Go Girl Half with a bunch of WONDERFUL bloggers! In November I am coaching my TNTers on course at the Nike Women's Marathon. But I'm most excited to conquer the Goofy Challenge in January and BOSTON in April!

5.  What is your *dream* race or distance?
Dublin Marathon! I still have family in Ireland that I have never met so I would love to make a vacation of it.

6.  Have you ever run for charity? If so, what charity?
I am the DEFINITION of Charity runner =) So far I have raised $26,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team In Training this year and am about to jump in to raising hopefully another $5,000 for Athletes Serving Athletes ( before Boston. ASA is a charity started by one of my dad's friends that matches disabled athletes with able bodied athletes to run and tri together. Its a WONDERFUL organization and I am so excited to serve them!

7.  What advice would you give for someone who is thinking about taking up running
Only do it if you enjoy it. Don't force yourself to run to loose weight. You will miss so much! Take it one step at a time, literally! Take your time, find a training program, weather your goal is to run a mile or 100 miles, a safe plan is a must! And just enjoy it. Pace and times are great but sometimes you just have to run to feel alive.

8.  What advice would you give to a first-time marathoner?
Stick. To. Schedule. Do not up those miles too fast! I learned the hard way. And keep your head up. There are some really hard times in training and running the marathon. But I PROMISE you it is so worth it! The feeling you will have at the end it unlike any other. Just always remember you are capable of so much more than you initially realize. Just let your body do its thing =) But also remember, the marathon is as, if not more, mental than it is physical!

9.  What's one thing you don't like about running?
The fact that my stomach doesn't love it nearly as much as the rest of me does. Enough information.

10.  What is your favorite form of cross-training, if any?
Right now I am doing P90X and it is kicking my butt! I STRONGLY believe you need strength and core training to be a better runner. So much of running has nothing to do with your legs. I also really like the Cybex Arc Trainer. Similar motion to running with less impact...but still super hard!

11.  Tell me about your very first race.
It was a local 5K that is held at my college. I signed up on a whim. It was actually a great first race. Small enough not to be too intimidating but big enough to give a the feel for the race atmosphere. Also, it ran around our campus and alot of the pretty surrounding neighborhoods so I was familiar with the area. It was hilly and difficult but I ran the entire thing and I was really proud of myself!

Blogger Meet Up after my 1:47 Half PR in Chicago!
12.  How do you get yourself out the door on the days that you hate running?
Tall Mom Mel once gave me the best advice ever. "You will ALWAYS regret the run you skip, but you will NEVER regret a run". But most powerfully, I make myself remember how many people would give anything to be in my spot. There are so many sick and disabled people out there suffering and going through so much who would do anything to be able to go out there and run. God has blessed me with a body that can run. Who knows how long that will last? Things can change in an instant. So I run because I can!

13.  What running shoes do you swear by?
Bad question for me. I work in a running store and have 16 pairs of running shoes! AHH!!! But for the most part I rotate between my Mizuno Riders, my Newton Gravities, and my Brooks Launch. Love them all!
Have you had any running injuries that sidelined you for a period of time? If so, what did you do to recover?
Yep. I never had pain running but while in marathon training I was about 5 miles into a run when this pain shot up through my knee up through my hip. It stopped me in my tracks and I could barely put any weight on it. Bending it and stretching it ached so bad. And I was 2 miles away from my car. I limped my way back and cried for the first time running. I soon found out it was ITBS. With alot of icing, stretching, foam rolling (best thing ever!), and ughhhh resting I got myself back on track but it was so hard. I felt hopeless and thought I would never make it to my marathon. But I did what I was supposed to and thank goodness I have been pain free ever since!

14.  What are five of your favorite songs from your running playlist?
iYiYi-Cody Simpson (total tween crap but I LOVED it. The beat it awesome!)
Pirate Song- Flogging Molly (my speed song!)
Anything Ke$sha and Lady GaGa
There, There Katie- I swear this song was written for me. Its more of a "I really need the inspiration right now" song!
If I had You- Adam Lambert (I can't stand him! But its catchy)
I Like it-Enrique baby!

I have a ton of LOVE it songs too hard to pick so I put 6 =)

With Kara and Adam Goucher! Kara is one of my all time role models with running and life! I have met her twice and gotten to bibs signed by her, San Diego and Chicago! She is such a sweetheart!
15.  If there was one running accomplishment that you wish you could achieve with no possibility of failing, what would it be?
To keep enjoying running and remember why I started. I don't want it to become a chore and if it does, I'm down. I have an ultimate goal of raising $50K for charity through running and I'm well on my way!

Thanks, Katye!  You made for one great feature this week, and you have some awesome stories!

Mmkay, anyone want to be featured next?

You know the drill.

Leave a comment.
Nominate some running bloggers who you think are awesome.
You and all those you nominate will be eligible.

As always, next runner will be chosen randomly.

Happy Running!

PS.  Loved your answer's from Friday's post
There was some awesome running going on! 
Any highlights/horror stories to share?

Friday, August 27, 2010


Let's hear from you all today...
what's on the weekend agenda for running/fitness?
Long runs?

Do share!

9 miler for me tomorrow!
Day off + my birthday on Sunday!

Happy Running!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Featured Runner: Tiina from One Crazy Penguin

Whew! What a week!  Sorry that this blog has kind of taken the backburner as of late, but with Christy having moved to Manhattan and getting ready to start school and I having been away all last week, it's been a little difficult to get some good running in, much less write about it here!

Anyway, hopefully we'll have some more posts for you later on in the week, but for now, we have Tiina from One Crazy Penguin as our featured runner this week!  {Sorry this wasn't posted last week...see above for our excuse, LOL.}  Tiina is one awesome girl and you'll just love her and her blog.  I love her story of how she just decided to randomly run a marathon without hardly running before...sounds familiar, haha. 

Meet Tiina.

1.  What inspired you to start running in the first place?
I played Varsity Basketball for Washington University and originally began running in order to get in better shape for season. I wasn’t expecting to keep running once season started, but I found that I really fell in love with the uninterrupted quiet time that running allowed me. Eventually I graduated and basketball has slowly faded from my life, but running is here to stay.

2.  What is your most memorable running moment?
There are so many good ones to pick from, but I have to go with the Lewis and Clark in 2008. Hurricane Ike decided to hit the morning of race day. My friend who was running with me and I had to *literally* swim from our car to the start line because some of the parking lots had flooded. In the end, they cut the race short by 3 miles because the course was under about 6 feet of water. Definitely not my easiest race, but absolutely my most memorable. It was like something out a movie with the torrential downpours, cold temperature, massive winds, and flooding. Finishing that race in those conditions is one of my proudest moments. Crossing the finish line at my one and only marathon didn't suck either though :p

3. What piece of running gear will you never run without?
Hands down my Garmin (named Huey!). I’m a numbers person. I get giddy every time I come home and get to pour over my numbers. I can’t help myself!

4. Any upcoming races?
I’m running the Lewis and Clark Half Marathon in October in St. Louis, the Hot Chocolate 15K in November in Chicago, and the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February in Orlando. Don’t laugh, but my friend and I are already planning our outfits for the Princess Half! Woohoo pink tutus!

5. What is your *dream* race or distance?
The Goofy Challenge. It’s the Disney Half Marathon on Saturday followed by the Full Marathon on Sunday. I think it would be a fun challenge....or at least a challenge. Plus, the medal is too cool!

6. What advice would you give for someone who is thinking about taking up running?
Find a running buddy or running group. Running solo for so long was a mistake that I made. I only recently discovered the social aspect of running and it has made me fall in love with the sport all over again. Miles tend to fly by a little bit faster with friends. It’s also a good way to meet new people and make new friends. Plus, it’s a lot harder to skip out on a run when someone is waiting for you!

7. What advice would you give to a first-time marathoner?
Up until race day the marathon is only about one thing: training. If you put the miles in during training, your body and mind will be ready. On race day it switches though. On race day it’s all about heart. If you hold back at all, the marathon will beat you. But, if you commit heart and soul to running on race day, you will rock that marathon and cross the finish line with a smile on your face.

8. What's one thing you don't like about running?
Is it bad that I can’t think of anything for this question?

9. What is your favorite form of cross-training, if any?
Everyone is shocked when I don’t say basketball since I played for so long, but my favorite is actually soccer. I started playing in an indoor league about eight months ago and our games are always a highlight of my week. As much as I love running, it’s enjoyable to be able to use running in a big picture way….like beating someone to the ball and scoring the winning goal! :)

10. Tell me about your very first race.
About six months after I picked up running, a good friend of mine invited me to join her for the St. Louis Half Marathon. Basketball season had just ended and I was in great shape so I figured, “Why not?” I had no idea of what to expect, had no race plan (didn’t know I needed one…), had barely trained, and winged the entire thing. I was aiming to finish sub 3 hours, but with a couple of miles to go I had the 2:10 pacer in my sights. I couldn’t quite stay with her so I ended with a time of 2:12:11. It’s still my PR. I’m aiming to beat it sometime soon though and go sub 2:10. The second I crossed the finish line I knew I was hooked on racing.

11. How do you get yourself out the door on the days that you hate running?
It normally doesn’t take much. Most of the time it just takes reminding myself that it would be a shame to break away from my training schedule after sticking to it for so long. Guilt works wonders. If I have to, I bribe myself….perhaps a new pair of shorts or a nap or a scoop of ice cream. When that doesn’t work I call a friend to meet me to work out. It’s pretty easy to say no to myself, but I won’t back out if someone is waiting for me.

12. What running shoes do you swear by?
Saucony Triumph 7. They fit like a glove, are light weight, and have just the right amount of cushioning. It’s like a hug for your feet. I tried to stray away once and it ended badly. I’ve learned my lesson and won’t be switching anytime in the near future. Though, I’ve recently been bit by the barefoot running bug and bought a pair of Vibrams. Although a bit strange at first, I really enjoy running in these shoes and now I use them on most of my shorter runs.

13. If there was one running accomplishment that you wish you could achieve with no possibility of failing, what would it be?
My dream is to qualify for and run Boston. If I ever complete that I think I could happily hang up my distance running shoes and stick to half marathons or less for the rest of my life. It seems like a pretty lofty goal though so…..*Fingers crossed

Thanks, Tiina!  We loved featuring you! :]

Alright, now is the time where you tell us who should be featured next!  Leave some blog links for some awesome running bloggers that would make for a great feature, and you and all those you nominate will be eligible.  We'll announce the next runner sometime on Thursday or Friday.

Happy Running!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Training Plans

Hey guys! Christy here! Congrats again to Allie for winning our awesome giveaway! And thanks to all of you for entering!

The response that Chloe and I have gotten from starting this blog is both overwhelming and exciting! So thank you all for following along and I hope that this blog will create a great community for all of the bloggers who run/runners who blog to be part of!

So, if you read my About Me section, you know that I'm currently training for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 21! On any given day, my attitude toward the marathon fluctuates from Why am I doing this? to I'm going to absolutely ROCK this race! I think the biggest part of training for a marathon is knowing that you're ready for it which means logging in all of the miles and training runs, speed work and endurance work that will make you feel like running 26.2 miles is a feat you can absolutely accomplish.

But how does a newbie runner choose a training plan? I spend months reading through Pfitzer, Hal Higdon, Runners' World, blogs, etc. trying to find a training plan that would work for me. What I finally realized was that a training plan has to be what you're comfortable with, so I'm creating my own training plan. I'm modeling it on the plan I used for my first Half back in May (Fitness Magazine's) and I've taken different components from plans I've found in Runners' World and on blogs to formulate a plan that I think is going to work best for me! This may not be the most advisable method of training for some people, but for me, it's working out really well and I'm excited to continue logging the miles that are going to bring me to conquering 26.2!

My question to all of you is: How do you feel about training plans? Do you use one? Or do you just wing it? Do you like being told to run a certain amount of miles each day? Or do you just run based on what you did before?

Oh and next week's Featured Runner is Tina from One Crazy Penguin! Thanks everyone for your nominations! Tina, be sure to e-mail us at ChloeandChristy[@]gmail[.]com and we'll get you a list of questions and feature you next week!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

And the award goes to...

Well, after 165 PLUS entries (plus=some people failed to follow the "separate comments" rule coughcough), we finally are able to announce the winner!  [Chloë here: major props to Christy for sifting through your endless entries to make the final entries list, especially with those who failed to comment separately...that was a ton of work.  She's awesome and you better thank her!] Thanks again so much to all who entered.  You guys either 1) think that we and our new blog are awesome or 2) just really want free stuff.  Let's all hope it's the first.

Before announcing the winner though,
let's look over one more time what the prizes are:

First, Christy's new favorite running item,
a Nathan Handheld Quick Draw Plus.

And second, Chloë's new favorite running item,
a Bondi Band of your choosing.

Getting excited? We are too! So to not drag this out any longer than necessary, we are happy to announce that the winner of the Quickdraw Plus and the headband is:

Congratulations, Allie!  Be sure to email Chloë at chlooeee[at]gmail[dot]com and let her know which Bondi Band you'd like, as well an address where we can send you your winnings!

Thanks again to all who entered! 
Be on the lookout for a brand new post from Christy tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Featured Runner: Melissa from Life by Melissa

Wow, do you guys love free stuff or WHAT146 153 entries for the giveaway and we don't even announce the winner for two more days till tomorrow!  (this post is a little late...oops)  Thank you though, so much, for the awesome feedback you've all given.  It's definitely a great encouragement to know we didn't make a huge mistake!  Can't wait to pick a winner on Thursday!

Anyway, today is an exciting day for we have our very first featured runner on confessions on conquering 26.2!  For the first official move of featured runners, we have Melissa from Life by Melissa.  This lady's got a super cute blog, some super cute kids, and is super cute herself!  You'll love her, her answers, and her blog.  Enjoy!

Meet Melissa.

1.  What inspired you to start running in the first place? My friend Jennifer who did Weight Watchers while I was doing Weight Watchers had started doing the Couch to 5K program and encouraged me to start. I started running in August of last year and now in this year's August heat I'm thinking that I was an idiot.

2.  What is your most memorable running moment? My most memorable moment by far was finishing my first 5K.

3.  What piece of running gear will you never run without? my Brooks Adrenaline shoes! And although I can't say "never", I HATE running without my ipod!

4.  Any upcoming races? Race for the Cure 5K on September 18, Tyler Half (my first!) on October 10, and another half on November 8th.

5.  What is your *dream* race or distance? I think it might be 13.1!

6.  Have you ever run for charity? If so, what charity? No, but I am seriously thinking about doing the Rock N Roll Half in New Orleans in 2011 for the American Cancer Society.

7.  What advice would you give for someone who is thinking about taking up running? DO IT!! Don't be scared! You can go from less than 0.1 miles at a time to a 5K in 8 weeks. It is totally possible! Also, when you decide to start, find a race about 10 weeks out (5K) and go ahead and sign up and then tell people you are going to run it. Then, when you feel like quitting, you will think twice about it.

8.  What's one thing you don't like about running? The unscheduled potty breaks.

9.  What is your favorite form of cross-training, if any? walking with co-workers and just catching up with their lives

10.  Tell me about your very first race. My first race was a 5K in my hometown when I finished the Couch to 5K program last October. I had walked the same distance the year before and we were the last one to finish. In my defense, I had my two kids with me (stroller and bike). My goal was an average pace of 10:00 or less and I was just under that. The most memorable thing was the first mile which I finished in 8:30...WAY too fast! :)

11.  How do you get yourself out the door on the days that you hate running? guilt myself into it. lol. Actually, that's where having a date with a running buddy helps. You feel like you can't back out.

12.  What running shoes do you swear by? Brooks Adrenaline

13.  Have you had any running injuries that sidelined you for a period of time? If so, what did you do to recover? Just a few knee issues that lasted around a week.

14.  What are five of your favorite songs from your running playlist? ***Disclaimer*** I'm a dork! Womanizer by Britney, Runaway Train by Soul Asylum, Watching Airplanes by Gary Allan (I can still hear my little boy singing this a few years ago!), Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, and Another One Bites the Dust by Queen.

15.  If there was one running accomplishment that you wish you could achieve with no possibility of failing, what would it be? A marathon of course! However, with a full time job, an elected office, charity work, two kids, and a husband that I occasionally cook for, that time needed isn't really possible right now.

Thanks, Melissa!  You made for a great feature, and it was an honor to have you as the first featured runner of the new blog!

Alright, who's next?

You (well, most of you) know the drill.  Nominate some fellow running bloggers {as long as they've never been featured} who you think would make for a great featured runner, and you and all those you nominate will be eligible.  We'll announce the next runner on Friday.  Or maybe Thursday.  Cuz' after all, Thursday is when we announce the giveaway winner.  Are you excited?!  I know I am.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Blog Launch Giveaway!

Welcome to Confessions on Conquering 26.2! This blog will be a hands on, no holding back chronicle of Chloës journey to Marathon #2 and Christy's to Marathon #1! In honor of launching our blog, we're excited to host a giveaway featuring our newly discovered must-have items to have on a run!

Chloë's- My new favorite running item is definitely my Bondi Band!  What I love about them is not only how much hair they keep off your forehead, but how fun they are!  I'm a sucker for slogans, so you can imagine my trouble in deciding on getting only one!(...not including the one I bought for my husband!)  This is the one I have now...

(in purple!)

...which has resulted in some pretty funny comments!  My favorite one was "He's not a fair running coach!  He ran on water!" Haha...but other than being a great conversation starter, it really does keep the sweat out of your eyes, your hair out of your face and makes one a happy runner all around!  I can't wait to buy me some more!

Christy's - My new running must-have is the Nathan Handheld Quickdraw Plus! I just bought it and can't run without it! I didn't want to run with a hydration belt for my shorter runs, and I heard great reviews about this! After testing it out at the store, I had to buy it and now, I'm hooked! The idea of carrying a water bottle in your hand, was a little weird to me, but I love how it straps around your hand so you can still stretch your hand and it won't fall! And the shape of the bottle kind of molds to your hand so it's not awkward to carry at all! I also love the pocket for storing my Energy Blasts, keys, cash or anything else you need!
To win the Nathan Handheld Quickdraw Plus and any Bondi Band of your choosing from Chloë and Christy,
all you have to do is:

1) Become a follower of Confessions on Conquering 26.2 [mandatory]
2) Leave a comment telling us what your new favorite running item is!
3) Check out the Bondi Band website and tell us which one you would get if you won!
4) Check out and tell us what Nathan Sports item you would want to start toting!
5) Spread the news!  Post on your blog, Twitter, and what-have-you and get the word out!

{Seperate comment for each, please!}

That's all! Winners will be drawn randomly and announced on 8/12!

Good luck!