10 Things I’m Not FALLing For

You know I mean business if I’m willing to end the title of a post with a preposition and just leave it like that. ;-)

Hello Autumn - cherierunsthis.com

Anyhooo, Happy First Day of Autumn! I’m so not a summer person and quite thankful that it’s gone for three whole seasons now. I also don’t care for the term “fall.” I think “autumn” sounds so much more, well, autumnal. But for the sake of this post and being catchy and all with the title, I’ll go with fall.

Being that it is autumn fall, it got me thinking. There are so many things I think about when someone says “fall” and it’s another reason I never use it to name this season. I think of the other falls first–falling down, falling apart, falling behind, falling in love (psshhh. whatev.), and falling for something. None of these sound good to me. {{The falling in love thing is still questionable at this point.}}

10 Things I'm Not Falling For - cherierunsthis.com

So while my mind was a’wandering as it’s been known to do lately, I thought of 10 Things I’m Not FALLing For. When in doubt, blog it out.

1. FACEBOOK

Perfect Facebook Life someecards

I’m just not that into you any more and had to deactivate my account. Moreso, I’m just not into the “perfect” lives those on my wall have been portraying. See, FB is different. I know these people in real life and I know it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I know they are stone cold busted. Their “fake” happy lives were starting to make me feel like mine was lesser somehow. Like a good girl, I kept on scrolling, rolling my eyes, and clicked on something else for the moment, LIKE, LIKE, whatever… Then, I’d come back to my wall and it was more fluff from someone else. I couldn’t handle it. I’m a realist. I’m truthful if to a fault. If it’s a good day you know it; if it’s a bad day, you know it. No fluff. No fake. No fantasy. If your husband/fiancé/boyfriend, children, house(s), cars, jobs, bank accounts, Pinterest creations are really that perfect ALL OF THE TIME, then kudos. But I couldn’t handle it anymore and I’m not FALLing for it. Twitter keeps it real. See me there if you need me.

2. ANYTHING THAT IS UNAPPETIZING TO ME

Impressing other people

I posted this picture somewhere a long time ago and then I found it again the other night. I read it about 637 times to myself. I end up doing sooooo many things that are important to someone else. Whether it be out of fear, guilt, not wanting to let anyone down, or doing it because I think I HAVE to–so much is done that is unappetizing to me. Nope. I’m not FALLing for it anymore. I reposted it on Instagram and from the response, it seems like a lot of you won’t be either. Good for us!

3. SCIATICA WILL SET ME BACK  FOUR YEARS

Weightloss, it's a journey. - Cherie Runs This

As I blogged about most recently, I’ve been diagnosed with a bitchin’ case of sciatica in my right leg. It is BLOODY TORTURE, y’all. My leg has been in pain since July. Not a day goes by that it doesn’t hurt. I had to take off time from the gym (doctor’s orders). I waited until that time had passed, attempted the gym for two days, and realized that was a bad, bad idea. Upper body, lower body–due to the kinetic chain, it’s all connected. I have trouble standing longer than three minutes at a time, walking is not great, and lying down is when it hurts the most. I’m going NUTS with missing the gym and I haven’t run in three months. I’ve told myself that I’m going to look like I did four years ago. (I know, I know—I should talk sweeter to myself, but again, I’m just being real.) I’m convinced that without the gym Fat Cherie will make a comeback. But NO. I worked TOO HARD to get where I am and I will not listen to my negative talk. I will not allow myself to believe that a little time off from the gym will undo my transformation. I’ve come a long way and I’m not FALLing for that.

4. I WILL HAVE TO SETTLE

Man with Cat_

Dating is a nightmare. Yes, every time I say I’m trying online dating, I get like, 19 people message me and say, “Ohhhh I met my husband/wife/fiancé/boyfriend/girlfriend/lover” online!!” Let me not try to be snarky here, but, umm, — THAT’S GREAT FOR YOU. I know you’re just trying to share your experience with me and all, but it’s not helping, thanks. I’m not having such luck. I’m just about over it. You see that picture? That’s a real life picture of a potential suitor. Well, he tried to be a suitor of mine. I can’t say the rest are much better. The dating world has changed soooo much since 2004 (the last time I dated) and I can’t say it’s for the better. Actually, it’s awful. At this rate, I’d rather just stay single for a very long time until someone wows me. At present time, there has been no wowing. Not the good wows anyhow. I did tell myself that I would have to settle and adopt 10 cats (I know where I could get the first one), but nawww, I’m good. I’m not FALLing for that.

5. “JUNK” FOODS WITH ADDED PROTEIN

Cheerios Protein Box

Can we just stop it with the adding of extra protein to junk foods so we’ll think we’re getting something really special? They’re EVERYwhere. With this cereal for instance you could have two servings of it, get almost the same amount of protein for less calories. You’re being duped, people. But if you want to be duped, cheers. Do your thing. I’m not FALLing for it, though.

6. I NEED TO RUN/WORK OUT IN THE MORNING TO MAKE MY DAY BETTER

morning workouts

You know what makes my mornings awesome? SLEEP. And all those, “Workout in the mornings before your brain knows what you’re doing” memes irk the sh*t out of me. My brain always knows what it’s doing. It would know pretty dang well that I was working out too early if I dropped a dumbbell on my skull because I was sleepy. If I’m Team Evening Work-Outer, can’t I just do what works best for me and my schedule and keep it that way? Why do you need to make me think that I need to do what you’re doing? I like post-work workouts. They de-stress me. I’m awake. I’m alert. And I get to sleep in. This works for me. You trying to convince me otherwise, does not and I’m not FALLing for it. Tried it, didn’t like it, NEXT.

7. IF YOU STILL LOOK CUTE AT THE END OF YOUR WORKOUT…

if you still look cute at the end of your workout

Cannot stand this mentality. Or the ones about wearing make up to the gym. I usually have make up on when I go to the gym (again, I go after work). So after I work out, and I do work out hard enough, thank you, my make up is still on. And yeah, I guess I pretty much look the same as when I went into the gym. My face doesn’t sweat much–don’t hate! But my back is gross & sweaty. Anyhow–this meme isn’t valid; it’s poppycock. Maybe others should look within themselves to find out why it matters so much to them. I WORK–non-sweaty face, still flawlessly applied make up, hair in place and all. I’m not FALLing for this.

8. I HAVE A GIRLFRIEND, BUT IT’S COMPLICATED.

side chick

It’s not even about being cute, but you get the picture. Again with the dating thing–I’m awfully tired of the “Well, I have a girlfriend but we’re not really together” or “Yeah, I’m seeing somebody but we’re about to break up” or “I do have a girlfriend but it’s complicated.” I don’t want to be the side chick; I want to be the only chick. Until you are single-single, please go away. Let’s say we end up dating and you do break up with your girlfriend. Then, my old side chick position is now available. Now what? I’m not FALLing for it.

9. I’M ALWAYS GOING TO STRUGGLE WITH MONEY

The Rock quotes

Most of you know my story–you know what made me go on this weight loss journey. You may remember my mother saying four words to me with her very last breath before she passed away in June 2009. “Save money, lose weight.” Looked me straight in the eyes when she said it, I promised her I would, and she closed her eyes. You can see I made good on the lose weight thing. But ummm, that money tho. Not awesome–and getting separated and being on my own with a sh*t ton of bills didn’t help. I moved back home to Pennsylvania a few months ago to start life anew and right now I’m temping–and that position could end any day. Yeah, so bills galore, no savings, no secure career, living paycheck to paycheck and feeling like I am just treading water and could drown at any moment. FABULOUS. This could completely push me over the edge; I try not to let it, but most days I’m right there. But I have to believe it won’t always be like this, right? I promised Mommy, right? I will not always have to struggle like this. I’m not FALLing for the doubt that takes over my mind at times telling me I will.

10. MY OWN SELF DOUBT

side eye nene

I’ve struggled with self doubt/self esteem issues for like, everrrr. I jokingly said to somebody that I lost 85 pounds but didn’t gain one ounce of self esteem. Sadly it’s true. Just when I think I’m feeling okay about myself, confident, looking all right, etc, I’ll get one of these side eye looks from someone and *poof* it’s all gone. At first, I’ll think, “Oh she’s just jealous. She’s a hater. I look fine.” But then, it all gets turned around in my head, “Well, maybe you do look a mess. You gained weight. Did you get dressed in the dark this morning, Cherie?” Ugh. Always, always a work in progress, but I must work on not FALLing for what my self-doubt voices like to tell me. They’re liars. They’re probably summer people, who work out in the morning, look sweatastic afterwards, brag about their lives on FB, have tons of money and eat protein laden cereals. ;-)

Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes & other scrumptiousness!

While I’m down (not out–NEVER out!) with the sciatica, I’m making sure to stay on point with my food.

You see these little “inspirational” posters all over Pinterest:

abs are made in the kitchen
{My boobs would look like that, too, if I held them up–just saying.}

I’m a believer. I’m not able to go all H.A.M. in the gym at the moment, but I can at least make sure that I’m not slumped over on the couch with a bucket of KFC and Ben & Jerry’s eating my emotions, haha.

I’ve been making all kinds of scrumptious goodies to make sure I’m getting a great mix of my proteins, complex carbs & the rest of the good stuff.

One was Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes. I promised I’d blog my recipe so here it is:

Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes -- Cherie Runs This

1 egg
3 tbsp. egg whites
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup oats
1/2 cup sweet potato puree

I blended it all together in my Nutribullet and made pancakes in a skillet like you normally would! Since people love to know EXACTLY which brands I used, let me see if I can remember–Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Whey, Horizon Organic Skim Milk, 2% cottage cheese, and organic sweet potato puree. That’s about as specific as I can get or it even matters. Do your own thing and get creative! :) {I’m sooooo not a recipe/food blogger, can you tell?! Haha, I’m like, oh, just use whatever…Haa.}

Here are some pics of other things I’ve made recently. And haha, nope. No recipes for those–I either just Googled (Google is your friend and will respond faster than I usually get a chance to) it, adapted it on my own, or made it up as I went. That’s the fun of it!

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast -- Cherie Runs This
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast encrusted with Crushed Almonds

Clean Eating Ground Beef and Red Quinoa Stuffed Peppers -- Cherie Runs This
Grass-fed Ground Beef & Red Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Almond Crusted Crispy Chicken Nuggets -- Cherie Runs This
Almond Crusted Crispy Chicken Nuggets

Indian Spiced & Greek Yogurt Chicken Bites with Red Quinoa -- Cherie Runs This
Indian Spiced & Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Bites with Red Quinoa

Hard Boiled Egg, Plain Greek Yogurt & Berries snack
Hard Boiled Egg with Plain Greek Yogurt & Berries snack

Big zucchini -- Cherie Runs This
Received a crazy huge zucchini from a coworker and…

Clean Eating Zucchini Muffins -- Cherie Runs This

Made Clean Eating Zucchini Muffins, pasta & sliced up extra to save

Shrimp & Broccoli Stir Fry with Old Bay
Shrimp & Broccoli Stir Fry with Old Bay

Omelette -- Cherie Runs This
Omelette with Spinach, Tomato, Mushrooms, & Ham

Mozarella Stuffed Turkey Meatball Bites -- Cherie Runs This
Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatball Bites

So yes, I’ve clearly been cooking and eating. I think eating healthy can be delicious. I don’t feel deprived and feel like my body is happier with these choices! And yes, it is happy with the occasional piece(s) of dark chocolate. Or a cookie. Definitely the cookie. Haa. BALANCE! ;-)

If it’s not one thing, it’s sciatica.

 

I feel good. Really good.

yellow and daisy
{Yeah, my mirror’s not dirty. They’re paint spots, okay? Haa.}

Well, except for a diagnosis of sciatica this past Tuesday.

Sweet baby goodness gracious, does that sh*t hurt. Sciatica stems from something else, and in my case, it’s stemming from the herniated lumbar disc. Yes, that same injury from June 2009. As I mentioned in my last post, or did I–I can’t remember, I reinjured it on the 4th of July when I bent over to pick up a VHS tape. Haha, lovely. For the past month, my right leg has been increasingly bothering me to the point of tears. As I sat at my desk on Tuesday breaking down in tears over the pain, I finally went to the doctor. Well, urgent care. I am currently a temp at my job, so I don’t have benefits or insurance and quite frankly let it get so bad because I knew I had no way to pay for a doctor, a medical bill, or meds. I thought it would just go away. Hahahahahaha.

injured

No dice. In my attempts of ferociously getting back to the gym and to my “normal” self, I probably aggravated the leg more. Soooo…I’ve had to take 7-10 days off from my happy place, rest my leg, stretch, and foam roll.

foam rolling

Foam rolling is the devil, by the way.

But yes, yes. Except for this, and it too shall pass (I HOPE), I’m doing very well.

Aside from this little week and a half (again, I’m hoping) only, I’m back to my usual gym sessions,

gym selfie

gym selfie twoo
{Check out that sweat! Heck yeah!}

Eating clean,

fork to mouth

clean eats groceries

And yeah, having some treats. You’ll all know I say I’m not a health-bot and like to eat 80% clean & 20%…well, this. Haa.

annies

Now, excuse my while I go deal with the Devil foam roller…;-) I’ve dealt with way bigger things than sciatica, so this will not beat me!

 

 

If you click your heels together enough times, it’ll work.

Long time no type! I assure y’all yinz (I guess I better bring back my Pittsburghese!) that I didn’t fall off the Duquesne Incline, into one of the rivers off one of the many bridges, choke on a Primanti Bros. sandwich, or die from a heart attack upon meeting Big Ben (I didn’t find him yet. YET.) since relocating back to Pittsburgh. I simply have been busy from this move!

Yes, too busy to blog. I know–a hush just fell over the crowd of fellow bloggers amongst me. Probably from the same bloggers that manage to blog errrryday, sometimes twice a day, no matter what. I love my blogging, and my readers, but sheesh, I was busy living and didn’t get a chance to sit down and compose something, okay??!!  #sorrynotsorry  Yup, I just hashtagged that mid paragraph. Whatev.

But I did miss you and my blog! I was keeping busy on the Twitter and my FB page though. Okay, ummm. That’s a lie. I wasn’t posting too much on there either. I was on Instagram a wee bit more than those two. But now that I’m getting more settled, I should become more regular everywhere again!

Moving to Pittsburgh

Oh–and you did know I moved, right?

pittsburgh marathon pre race in garage
The last time I was home before I moved was for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. See the smile on my face? It’s only like that when I’m here!

Unless you have never visited my blog before (HELLO by the way! Where’ve you been?!) or never heard me go on ad nauseum about my city, you may not know that I am Pittsburgh obsessed. Always have been. I have wanted to move back here since I left. Bugged the heck out of my poor estranged husband about it, too. Well, once we got separated and decided to divorce, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I got back here to where my heart is. It took me a few months to get my ducks in a row, but I finally moved back at the end of May.

tarheel11_

I said peace out to the lovely Chapel Hill, NC. (It was a nice town and all, but it never, never felt like HOME to me.)

Cherie and Tracy

Said goodbye to my bestest friend Tracy (The best part about North Carolina was this chick.)

Durham Uhaul

Stopped at a sketch Durham UHAUL (seriously nervous because I think the guy that hooked up the trailer to my Xterra wasn’t an employee; I think he just walked up off the street corner looking for a tip and proceed to hook up my sh*t), got a trailer and then I was off!

The drive normally takes me 9 hours, but pulling all that stuff in the trailer, driving at night (I’m like Velma–I can’t see well at all), in the fog and the rain, with Mack trucks zooming past me on each side…it took me 12. Once I got here, I was the happiest chick ever. It was like the Steelers won the Super Bowl or something. So happy. SOOOOOO HAPPY. I never want to go back to North Carolina again. Or move anywhere out of this area again. There seriously is no place like home.

wizard of oz quotes

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”

Hart family reunion 2014
Daddy, my sisters and I at our 72nd Hart Family Reunion earlier this month.

me and daddy at the bar..
Me and Daddy at our local bar. Just Pepsi for him. He doesn’t enjoy brewskis like I do.

Once I got back here, I moved in temporarily with my father and my oldest sister. This coming Saturday I am planning to fully move out of their house and into my own house that I’m renting! Hooray for independence again! I am very grateful for both of my sisters and my father for helping me with the move and transition to getting back on my feet and on my own again!

kim and cherie

In the little time I’ve been here, I made sure to:

See my other best friend (that’s her sneaking behind me) a lot before she up and left me to move to Austin. Boooooooo. Not booing Austin; I’m booing her moving now that I’m finally back here!

#run wall
I love this runner’s wall of mine!

before and after dresser

Decorate and do a lot of DIY’s projects for my house.

gym scowl face

Go to the gym. (Not as much as oh-so-necessary, but I’m getting there now that I’m getting settled!)

And of course, take some much needed time to enjoy my surroundings, dress down, dress up and just be comfortable with me and my new (old) life.

bridgewater, pa
Out for a stroll in Bridgewater.

comfy
Taking myself to the bar for a drink and to watch the Pirates game. Yup, just like this.

hippy chick
I think I was headed to Walmart on a sunshiny day. Feeling the hippy chick look.

Yes, you can go home again. Cheers to new beginnings. :-)

13.1 Reasons Why The Pittsburgh Half Marathon is My Favorite

Two weeks ago today, I ran my second Pittsburgh Half Marathon. Now, it didn’t take running it a second time to realize that it could very well be my favorite, but it did definitely cement it as such. It also didn’t take two weeks to come up with 13.1 reasons; I knew those during the race. Heck, I have lots more than that! But, I’ve just been a wee bit busy since I returned home to NC, but I’ll chat about that in a later post!

13.1 Reasons Why the Pittsburgh Half Marathon is My Favorite

So, are y’all yinz ready for my 13.1 reasons? I have no particular order; just rambled them off making mental notes. Sit dahn, grab a hoagie from the Iggle, warsh it dahn with an IC Light, and we’ll get started, n’at.

1. The views.

pittsburgh marathon pre race morning

pittsburgh marathon pre race ballpark

pittsburgh marathon morning pre race

Would you just look at that?! Take in the beauty of my city. I took these the morning before the race as we stood in a parking garage. Day, night, from any venue, it doesn’t matter–it’s pure gorgeousness.

2. The people.

pittsburgh marathon pre race 2

Pittsburghers are a friendly bunch. And highly excited and proud of what goes on in their city. We are no fair weather fans of anything. When we cheer for something, we are all in. (You get used to cheering when you’re in the home of the SIX TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS, the PITTSBURGH STEELERS.) ;-) My sister saw them talking about the marathon on the local news and said, “Wow, all of Pittsburgh is really into this race!!” That’s right, sis. The crowd support during this race is amazing. Beyond any other race I’ve witnessed before! Now, if you don’t understand Pittsburghese, you may not know what they’re shouting. But keep running; it’s all good.

3. My family.

pittsburgh marathon sister race posters

Usually when I run in a race, there is no one there to greet me at the finish line. My family knows I run, but driving nine hours to see me cross a line is not high priority. So I get there, run the race, take a selfie, and then go home. No one is at the finish line to receive a sweaty hug from me or offer me a big, “Way to go!” Except for when I run in this race. It’s super easy for my kin to get there to be supportive in person versus over the phone. Normally, one of my sisters is there to greet me–this time both sisters were there!

4. My hometown.

kendrews

When I go home to Pittsburgh, I also go home to the suburbs in my hometown in Beaver County. This is where I’m happiest and get to visit all my old stomping grounds and see old friends that I only get to see through the likes of Facebook now. Down to earth people I’ve known since the early 80s, fantastically cheap dive bars, my goodness I love it.

5. The Bridges.

pittsburgh marathon on bridge

I used to be deathly afraid of bridges. If my mother were alive she would gladly chime in about how I’d scream in the car and flip out like I was having a breakdown every time we drove over one. BREAK. DOWN. And this was quite often because it’s pretty doggone difficult to drive anywhere in Western PA without crossing a bridge. Now, I love them. Don’t know when it happened, but I get overly excited to cross five of them during the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. Beautiful, bright golden yellow works of art!

6. The food.

Nope. You’ll find no picture here. Pretty much everything I ate while I was at home for the race was inhaled before I even had the thought, “Ohh let me Instagram this.” But it was all good. Ok, well, not good-for-you good, but hella tasty good. And I don’t even mean Primanti Bros. I’m one of the weird Pittsburghers who doesn’t like fries on her sammich. I want those delectable pieces of golden deliciousness to have a spot on my plate all by themselves. So umm, yeah, when I move back there I’m going to have to step up my gym game. Seriously!

7. The course.

pittsburgh marathon morgan apartments north shore

I’ve seen some amazing sites of the city from the driver’s seat of my SUV. But somehow, but foot, you see it in a whole different way. There are so many off-the-beaten-path, intricate parts of the many neighborhoods of Pittsburgh that I’d never get to see unless I were running past them. And especially at the turtle-like pace I run, I really get to slow down and see it all. Haa. Now this picture of these apartments doesn’t showcase anything that is tucked away, but it is a complex that I stare at every time I come home. Usually it’s from the other side of the river, but during the race, I was like, “Hey!! That’s Morgan at North Shore!! I want to live there someday. OMG, I need a picture!”

8. The post-race.

pittsburgh marathon post race smiley cookie_

I love the moment I finish this race because I know seconds after it, I’m going to have something delicious in my mouth. Normally, that would be a beer. But with the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, it’s the Smiley Cookie. Yes I can just go to Eat ‘n Park and get a cookie after the race, but running 13.1 miles and earning one is cooler to me.

9. Meeting IRL people.

Of the thousands of people I talk to via my social media channels, it super rare to ever get to chat with one of them in person. At this race, I’m bound to meet someone–this year I met two! My buddy David from Facebook and my buddy Janice from Twitter!! It’s so cool, when someone comes up to you and asks, “Cherie??” I’m like, “Wow! Somebody knows who the heck I am and spotted me in this crowd. That’s crazy!!” It was fabulous seeing them sans little avatar form! And of course poo poo on me for not getting any pics. Grrrr.

10. Black and Yellow/Gold

I Run You Run Can I Have Your Number tank top

I love seeing a sea of my team’s colors all over the doggone place! It’s like we’re dressed up in our very best spirited outfits heading to a Steelers, Pens or Pirates game, but running a few miles first. I can’t help but jammin’ to Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” on my iPod as I run–it’s errrrywhere! Coming from Chapel Hill, in which I see nothing but Carolina Blue/Tar Heel everything all the time, it’s so nice to see my hometown colors for a change!!

11. I can’t get lost.

pittsburgh marathon pre race 1

Sometimes when I run a race, I have this overwhelming fear that I’m going to get lost and be stranded somewhere in a town where I have no idea how to get back to the finish line, my car, or home, period. I have so such feelings of nervousness in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.

12. The Hills.

pittsburgh marathon on bridge 2

Granted, I haven’t tackled the beast that is the full Pittsburgh Marathon, but the Half has some decent hills that aren’t too shabby. Yes, I like running hills so that is definitely a plus to running this race! So you’re probably like, “Why are you showing us a picture of flat bridge when you’re talking about hills, Cherie?” Well, let me just say–this bridge, and all of them, may “look” flat, but when you’re running over it, it’s a whole different ball game. This wasn’t flat–none of them were! They all have a lovely incline to them. So those + the regular hills o’ Pittsburgh add to a nice burn in your buns. Love it.

13.1 My smile + happiness.

pittsburgh marathon pre race

Sometimes I don’t see them as much down in North Carolina. As one my friends said to me, “Cherie, you don’t have any sad Facebook posts when you’re up here; they’re all happy!” Haha, I had to laugh at that. I was like, “You know what? You’re right.” I’m in a general good mood when I’m in Pittsburgh. Thank goodness for the Pittsburgh Marathon. Lately, it’s been the one time every year I know I’ll be able to make a trip back home for a racecation and to see my family and friends.

One. Time. Every. Year.

I had to think about that. It does not make me happy to only make it up to Pittsburgh once a year. I miss my family on all the major holidays, my dad is getting older and I don’t see him enough, and this genuine smile is seen way too infrequently in the mirror.

I simply need to move back STAT. And there’s not enough space on this blog for me to list all the reasons why. But stay tuned for all that in another post!

2 Races in 2 Weeks – Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh & Tar Heel 10 Miler Recap!

I know the last time I wrote, which yes, seemed like ages ago (oops!), I was all in a tizzy over whether or not I’d be able to run all of my races that were quickly approaching. Well, so far, so good. I have two under my SpiBelt, and only one more to go! I will say, after this crazy trifecta of races in a one month period concludes next Sunday with my half marathon in Pittsburgh, I’m taking a ‘lil running break! I need weights back in my life FOR REAL. Looking at pictures of myself is apparent enough of that! I want my sexy back. And my muscular physique that was so nicely forming….Sigh.

Anyhow, off back to the races.

First, I had the Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon on April 13. I had planned to run it with my Fleet Feet group I had been training with since January. Unfortunately, I backed off on training a lot with them because I was made a mentor for my YMCA running group. The Y group was training for a 4 miler race, so I never ended up running the mileage I should have been running to train for the half. Oops. Yes, yes, I could have gone out on my own after working with them to make up the miles, but, well, you see…what had happened was….

I just didn’t. And the one time I did is when I was going all Rambo up a big hill and pulled my calf muscle. So yeah. You know the rest.

I still wanted the show to go on regardless of whether I had to run it alone or not. I get into my zone, don the iPod and do my thing—so running alone is never a BFD. But just then, one of my college bffs who lives nearby by said she’d run it with me! Oh joy! Girl time and someone to keep me company. Especially being that it wasn’t just any girl. The awesome thing about running with someone you’ve known for a little over 15 years is that you don’t have to make small talk and when you don’t feel like talking and just want to run, you can do that and no one feels weird about the awkward silence because it’s not awkward at all!

Rock n Roll Raleigh Expo sign

Our first plan of action was to get to the expo and pick up our packets. That was no problem. Jamie had never been to Raleigh and I had only been there a few times, but somehow we worked it out.

runner balloon man

It was all fun and games maneuvering through the expo and getting our bibs.

Rock n Roll Raleigh Expo Sizzlefish Booth

I even managed to meet Rob from Sizzlefish! You know I looooove me some Sizzlefish!

Brooks Running Mechanical Shoe

The roughest part, and I have a scar on my leg to prove it, was riding the Brooks Running mechanical shoe. Yes, think “bull,” but replace it with a big shoe!! Tons of fun, but ooooh golly. Thank goodness there are no pictures of me on it, but I did snag one of Jamie!

The next morning we woke up before the roosters so we could make the trek back Raleigh and secure a parking spot.

pre race morning in traffic

Here we are sitting in traffic. Haha, apparently everyone had the same idea.

 Rock n Roll Raleigh

We took some pics before it all began.

3…2…1… it was time to run! My thoughts immediately as I began went something like:

“Hmm, I hope Raleigh isn’t as hilly as Chapel Hill.”
“Damn, Raleigh is hilly. It may be more hilly than Chapel Hill.”
“Ohh, goodness, Jamie’s probably thinking she could walk faster than I run.”
“Have we even run a mile yet?”
“Beer. I just want beer. I must run to get the beer.”

cold beer Rock n Roll Raleigh

“Eff this time crap. I care less about my time than I normally do. We need to walk for a minute!”

“Ohhhh, not another hill!!!”
“Wow, yeah, I probably should not have skipped those long training runs.”
“Is there a water station anywhere around here?”

Running Keeps Me Sexy - Rock n Roll Raleigh

“Oh that’s an inspirational poster. Let’s stop and take a pic. Or just stop. I don’t feel sexy, though.”
“I think my skirt is riding up. Uh-oh. I apologize to the people’s eyes behind me.”
“FOR REAL. Can a girl get some water, yo?”

After I stopped being all whiny and letting my mind go into a zillion places, I got more into the run and decided it was happening and I was just going to have to go with it. I knew I was going to be way off finishing it in 2:45 or even 3 hours, so I just decided to take in the sights of Raleigh.

Rock n Roll Raleigh

But seriously, those hills tho.

nike gps longest run

We finished.

Rock n Roll Raleigh post race

I think Jamie could have ridden a snail’s back and finished faster than I did, so I thank her for running it with me! I’m glad I went a lot slower than normal because I wasn’t experiencing crazy soreness/pain the next day and was in great condition for the next race 13 days later—The Tar Heel 10 Miler.

(My heart and prayers go out to the families of the two individuals that passed away during the Rock ‘n Roll race.)

**************

welcome to chapel hill

So the Tar Heel 10 Miler was yesterday. I felt pretty great and was soooooo happy that it was a shorter race! Ten IS perfect. Not too much—not too little—like Goldilock’s porridge, a 10 miler race is just right.

ymca running group

This is the race that the group I’ve been mentoring has been training for, but they were running the 4 miler option that was offered. We met up at 6 am on UNC’s campus to take a group picture. I don’t know where the picture is that has me in it, but this is a shot of them after they finished their race. Good job, ladies and gents!!!

tarheel 10 miler pre race

Here I am pre-race! All smiles!

tarheel ten miler start

They had to line up at a different location than the 10 milers, so we said our good-byes and I headed over to my area.

slow runners corral

Yup, haha, looks just about right! Again, I run like a turtle making its way through a sea of peanut butter, but I still run!

tarheel 10 miler morning

As we started, I felt a lot better in this race than I did in the Rock ‘n Roll. My legs felt strong, and I knew that I only had 10 to do instead of 13.1 and that somehow made it easier. (When I became someone that would put the word “ONLY” in front of 10 when referring to mileage, I just don’t know.) I simply had a countdown in my head and marked of the miles in my mind as I went along—and they were going must faster than I realized. I was even going faster. I looked at my Polar and Nike+ GPS and was way ahead of the game. I had tons of time to spare. I wasn’t trying to, but I was on target to beat last year’s time—

Oh look. Here’s Laurel Hill.

Eff you, Laurel Hill.

As I stated last year, this beast of a hill comes a little after mile 8 of this 10 mile race. And it’s like no hill I’ve ever seen in my life. The hill has its own split! Well, I told myself if I ran the entire race, I could walk up Laurel Hill. And walk I did. I power walked, but it still took me a little over 11 minutes to climb it.

I had spotted some great inspiration as I was making my way up.

tarheel 10 miler laurel hill

After that, there was less than a mile to go and I ran toward the finish line into UNC’s football stadium.

tarheel 10 miler

tarheel 10 miler medal

Tarheel 10 milers results 4.26.14

I crossed the line, collected my medal and of course took a selfie. Race number two out of three was complete!

post race beer

In true Cherie fashion, I took myself to my favorite bar/restaurant and had a little post-race treat.

Ahhhh, so worth it! Cheers and I’ll see you at the finish line of the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in six days!!!

Register, I said. It’ll be fun, I said.

Register for three races in a row I said. It’ll be fun I said.

Now, as I’m exactly two weeks out from the first of the three races, this doesn’t appear to have been the most fabulous of my decisions.

I did this last year, but instead, only had two races scheduled back-to-back. Though I somehow miraculously pulled both off well, I apparently didn’t learn from the happy trigger finger I have when pressing “REGISTER” so quickly.

The main difference was last year, I didn’t really train, had been focusing more on weight lifting and decided to just go out and wing it. <<< Not advised. But it somehow worked and I was a happy ‘lil runner after both the Tar Heel 10 Miler and the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.

tarheel ten miler april 2013 cherie runs this_

pittsburgh half marathon may 2013_

These are the races:

♦ Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon, April 13
♦ Tar Heel 10 Miler, April 26
♦ Pittsburgh Half Marathon, May 4

I had no full intention on registering for the RnR. But, I was given a complimentary entry to my local Fleet Feet’s half marathon training program and my fellow runners were using that race as the goal for which to train. They were running it and for once I thought, “Oh joy! I’ll actually have people I know running the race with me! Sure, I’ll register, too!” So register I did.

The Tar Heel 10 Miler was so full of awesome last year, I knew I wanted to run it again. And I believe I look quite fashionable in Carolina Blue, but whatever. But at one point, I did think that if I had to skip a race, it’d be this one. Then, I became a mentor for my YMCA’s running group, and they are training for this race, soooooo again, I knew the show must go on. Dagnabbit.

The Pittsburgh Half Marathon–miss it? NON-NEGOTIABLE. One, it’s in Pittsburgh. Two, I’m Pittsburgh-crazy. Three, the crowd support is like no other. Dare I miss the chance to combine my two loves of running and Pittsburgh while donning black and yellow in my hometown? Hahahahaha. Please. Don’t make me choke on my Iron City and Primanti Bros. sandwich while laughing at that one.

I can’t help that these three were all scheduled so closely together. But I could make sure I gave myself adequate training, cross trained the heck out of my body, and ate right. All three I was doing like a champ. And then, about a month ago, I was doing some hill repeats and *POP* my right calf felt some kind of way. I don’t know what I did–No, I didn’t go to the doctor; I’m still paying for my stress fracture doctor bills from spring of 2011!!!–so I iced it, compressed it, rested it. It felt better. It continues to feel better until I get about 15 seconds into a light jog and then, *BAM* it happens all over again.

If I have to walk these races, so be it. THERE IS NO SHAME IN WALKING.

No time for Walken

I can’t stand this race poster!!! Yeah, it’s a fun play on words and all, but if you need to walk, WALK. There is no time for an injury!!

Soooooo…I’m praying to the gods of good running that I make it to the finish line of all three. Yinz know I don’t much care about PRs anyway. And may I have the good sense next year to not be in this same predicament.

But you know I will… ;-)

 

 

More Time. More Connecting. Verizon Gives You More Everything!

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Verizon Wireless.

I’m not the most tech savvy gal. I still don’t know how to program a VCR and thank goodness there’s not much need for such thing. But I have a few simple pieces of technology and though I don’t know how they work necessarily, I know how to work them. Does that make sense? Good.

Since I know how to work them, work them I most certainly do–and often. Between my Galaxy Note 3 Smart Phone (that I WON on Twitter! Woo hoo!), and my new Jawbone UP and Sol Republic headphones (both compliments of FitFluential–thank you!) I am steady using one of these devices at all times of the day and night.

I love being connected to everything and everyone. Between random calls and text messages from my family, friends, boss and coworkers and all of the social media tweets, alerts, updates, messages, statuses, likes, favorites, comments, etc. all day–my phone isn’t quiet or unused for even the tiniest period of time. Haa, you won’t likely find me going “off the grid” for very long. But with all of this “connecting,” comes increased usage. A LOT of increased usage.

I found myself having MORE of everything else except more money and more phone data to keep up! A change was going to be in order for me to continue connecting to my liking. As I was on Verizon’s site investigating my options, I found the answer.

MORE EVERYTHING!

More Everything

Like an answer to my technological (and financial) prayers, I took a look at this new More Everything plan and realized that I would be getting MORE for less if I made the switch. I increased my data package and now I’m paying less than I did before because I always, like clockwork, went over every month. That’s not happening now! I can scroll, search, respond, text, call to my heart’s delight. And my wallet’s–the wallet is happier.

Sol Republic Ear Phones

Now I’m not at all worried that I’m spending too much time while I’m plugged in, be-bopping along listening to my Sol Republic ear phones. I use these for every work out. Whether running, lifting, or just listening to music while trying to avoid small talk (sorry not sorry–ear phones in = conversation ceased) these baby’s stay in and don’t fall out!

They have FreeFlex technology, offer a universal fit (check out all the different size buds in the pic!), and stay in your ears. They also feature:

♥ Single button microphone and music control
♥ Are sweat and water resistant
♥ Have a powerful i5 sound engine
♥ Are lightweight and keep a low profile
♥ Come with a carrying case

They are definitely the clearest earphones I’ve ever had! After I take them off (or sometimes leave them in case I’m still not ready for conversation) it’s usually time to plug in my Jawbone UP to check out my movement stats!

Jawbone Up Package

Jawbone Up on Wrist

I’d been seeing these on the wrists of fellow gym-goers and passerbys but didn’t really know what it was. When I received mine, I took a look at the little instruction book pictured and right away thought, “This goes with my phone…I’m going to look into a different phone plan…I’m going to need more.” (again, thank goodness More Everything came into my life!

Jawbone Up Screenshot Activity

Jawbone Up Screenshot Sleep

Jawbone Up Tips

I plug it in to my phone first thing in the morning, last thing at night and several times during the day and receive several reports such as movement, sleep, tips and can keep a food journal in it, too. The Jawbone UP definitely helps to keep you accountable and thinking about what you’re eating, how much sleep you’re getting and how much activity–or lack of it! Though I’m not plugged in for very long, it’s good to know I have the necessary data available and don’t have to worry about hurrying off of it.

These days all of your extra little bits of technology are somehow tied into your phone. While it once drove me crazy thinking, “On. Off. Hurry up. Use the phone. Get off the phone. Plug in. Unplug. Search really fast. Make sure you’re signed off. Repeat,” I no longer feel so uptight about it. I can leisurely listen to my music, track my stats, and talk to all of you lovely people throughout the day with worrying now. Verizon gave me More Everything for sure, and a lot LESS STRESS!!! :-)

Verizon More Everything Plan

Hydrate with a PowerICE Bar! Review and Giveaway!

And the WINNER is:
Congratulations to Dawn! You’re the lucky winner, ma’am! DM or email me your contact info and I’ll get you hooked up with your two boxes of PowerICE Bars!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered!!!!
powericewinner
*************************
Spring is just about here which means the hot weather will be fast approaching. Now, maybe you already have hot weather, or maybe you’re in some frigid part of the country and you’re rolling your eyes about the heat because you can only see a Polar Vortex outside your window.

Here in Chapel Thrill Hill, NC, it was 73° today and that’s about 23° hotter than the hottest I like it when I run.

hot weather running

Give me a cold day any time!

But since I can’t do anything about the on-its-way heat, now I can at least do something to stay cool and refreshed. Thankfully for runners within eyesight of me, it has nothing to do with less clothing. ;-)

power ice bars

May I introduce to you PowerICE Bars! I already had an ice pop/slushie/cold, icy treat addiction and these have now added to it. Seriously, the other day at work I saw a little girl holding an unopened Popsicle in her hands and I wanted to grab it and make a run for it. But she looked faster than I am, so…

I took a look at my newly received box of goodies and checked out the info:

PowerICE is an innovative, great-tasting, frozen, and hydrating ice bar designed to enhance the performance of athletes by cooling the core body temperature while replenishing electrolytes. You can take PowerICE before, during or after a workout and feel the difference.

♦ Frozen Electrolytes
♦ Caffeine Free
♦ Only 30 Calories per Ice Bar
♦ No High Fructose Corn Syrup
♦ Gluten Free & Kosher
♦ 100% Daily Value of Vitamin C
♦ 8 grams natural sugar

How happy I was that I didn’t snag the little girl’s Popsicle. These were much better!

I decided to give one of these pops a try after my long run the other day. I would have tested it out before the run, but even though it looked like these ingredients would be right up my alley, I wanted to make sure nothing wonky would happen to my stomach while I was out there.

power ice bars lime kicker

As soon as I got back into my apartment, I tore open a Lime Kicker. Mmmmph. It was lime-a-licious! So cold, so icy–it was delicious! There was no weird aftertaste and it was a delicate lime flavor–not too weak, not too *POW* make your mouth pucker–just right. I dug it. And at 30 calories, I was ready to have another. I didn’t, but I sure was ready. I let the electrolytes do their thing and I cooled down.

I kept forgetting to pack another with me to have after my workouts at the gym. That was my only concern with them. I’d have to have them at home because I don’t have anything insulated enough to keep them in frozen form while I’m gymming it.

But I can keep a couple at the office!

power ice bars orange_

I could say that I walk around a lot in my profession, which is true, and that I would need one after some of my walks, also true. But in this case I just wanted to eat an ice pop. And I did need to try the Orange Blast for review purposes, of course ;-) Just like the Lime Kicker PowerICE Bar, this one was equally yummy. I just usually have a hinkering for lime over orange so that would probably be my go-to flavor.

I’m going to have to keep some of these on hand. If the summer is as hot as the winter has been cold, I’m going to need a lot of cooling down!

How about you? Would you like to try a box each of these ice pops? If you said yes, you’re in luck! I have one box of Lime Kicker PowerICE Bars and a box of Orange Blast up for grabs in a giveaway!

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:

♦ Comment below and tell me which flavor you’d be most excited to try. (One entry per person allowed.)

*******************************************

This giveaway is open to United States residents Sunday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 19, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time!!! The winner will be announced sometime Thursday, March 20. I will use random.org to select a winner and will contact him/her. The winner’s information will be forwarded to PowerICE and they will ship him/her the two boxes of bars! I’ll just need your complete name and address if selected as the winner.

Good luck to you!

*I was sent two boxes of PowerICE Bars in exchange for a product review and hosting this giveaway for all of you! All opinions are truthful and my own.

St. Patrick’s Day Gifts for Runners

Gifts for runners for St. Patrick’s Day? What? You didn’t know that was a thing?

Okay, maybe it’s not a thing. But if we can have “Great Valentine’s Day Gifts for Runners!” or “Christmas Gifts for Runners!” posts floating out there, I surely can add St. Patrick’s Day to the mix.

St Patricks Day Cherie Runs This

It’s one of my favorite holidays. I’m not Irish, but I love all things Irish (and masquerading as Irish). Especially the accent. Hellooooo, hotness. And I rather enjoy partaking in the consumption of Bailey’s Irish Crème in my coffee (just a half tablespoon!), potatoes and beer. I’m also quite partial to the color green, leprechauns and the Irish band The Corrs. Okay, okay–all these things do not make an Irish aficionado out of me, clearrrrrly. But I’m fun and this post is fun so just humor me and I won’t make any bad jokes about how I’m Black Irish. ;-) Sorry.

St. Patrick's Day Gifts for Runners

You only have two weeks from today, so here are my picks for St. Patrick’s Day Gifts for Runners to get you started:

Polar Heart Rate Monitor St. Patrick's Day green

1. Polar Heart Rate Monitor

Look at this gorgeously vibrant green FT4 Polar HRM! I am a huge fan of my red, pink and white Polars already, but unless I find this one at the end of the rainbow, I won’t be greedy and buy another. But it would definitely be on my list if I were in the market again!!

Pro Compression Shamrock St. Patrick's Day socks

2. Pro Compression Marathon Shamrock Compression Socks

I am a big believer in the benefits I get from my compression socks. The huggin’ and a-squeezin’ makes my calves feel amazing after my runs. If I know I’m going for a long run, I make sure to wear them during as well. These are sure to spruce up your St. Patrick’s Day race attire and keep your legs feeling oh-so-good.

P.S. My blogger buddy Pavement Runner has a code of “PR40″ that you can use on your order to save 40% off! Just type it in when you order and save some green!

Running Skirts Compression Socks St. Patrick's Day green

3. Running Skirts RunLove Clover Compression Socks

I happen to own these ones and loooove them. If you want more color and don’t mind a heart instead of a shamrock design (and want something a little more girly) here ya go!

The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon, Virginia Beach, VA

4. The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon

By now you may have registered for a St. Patrick’s Day themed race, but if not, how about this one?! I’ve heard so many great things about it and it looks like irresistible Irish fun. It’s on March 16 and in Virginia Beach, VA. If it’s local for you, awesome. If not, racecations make great gifts! As of today, there are still spots open!

Arrow Be Free Knicker Athleta St. Patricks Day green

5. Athleta’s Arrow Be Free Knicker in Catalina Green

I like bright capris. The brighter the better. Add fun patterns and designs and I’m all in. These green crops from Athleta rock and would be the perfect pair for a St. Patrick’s Day race or just running around trying to catch a leprechaun.

Sparkly Soul Headband in Gold

6. Sparkly Soul Headbands

First of all, they don’t slip. So if you know someone who’s always saying, “Uhhh, no headbands work. They always move around and slip off my head!”, get them one of these. Again, they don’t slip! My top picks for St. Patrick’s Day are green, gold and white, but there are tons of colors from which to choose!

Energy Bits Coupon Code

7. EnergyBits

If you know someone who is doing his or her darndest to get in quick, on-the-go protein naturally without downing powdered shakes before and after a workout, or is just looking for more energy period, EnergyBits are where it’s at!! And they’re green. There’s so much more to love about them, but that’s good enough reason for this post!

Rogue Irish Beer St Patrick Day

8. Rogue Irish Style Lager

It’s beer. I need not say any more than that. Cheers.

Irish I Was Kenyan Shirt for Runners St. Patricks Day

9. Café Press Irish I Was Kenyan T-shirt

Okay, so it’s not sweat-wicking, being 100% cotton and all, but it’s just too darn awesome not to be worn if you’re a runner and love St. Patrick’s Day. I saw it on my blogger buddy Pittsburgh Runner‘s Twitter page long ago and have wanted it ever since. She looks awesomely Irish-Runnerish in it, and you can too!

10. ♣ You tell me! There are so many fantastic items I could have listed, but these were just my top picks. What would be on YOUR list? ♣