Thursday, January 27, 2011

Can I get some baby abs to go please?

Make that minus the chub of course.

Just a random observation yesterday. Babies have rock hard abs. I mean seriously, have you seen the abs on your toddler? What grown adult person can do the kinds of things with their abs, even on a really hard workout day, that your kiddo does everyday. Repeatedly. They are unbelievable. Truly amazing. Just think about it for a second….SEE! I told you! (Not getting it yet? Read on. You will.)

So here’s what I propose: a strength training plan for your abdominals based on none other than your precious little darlings. The best part of this super fabulous plan: it won’t require any extra additional time from you whatsoever. You can just incorporate these exercises into your day wherever they fit best, much like your peanut does to you everyday. That plan, I think it’d look a little something like this:

Toddler 6 for a 6 Pack

1. Nope Kicks: Whenever somebody wants you to do something you are not particularly fond of doing, just lie down on your back and kick your legs repeatedly, up and down like scissors. For the full effect of this exercise, also turn your head from side to side and say “nope, nope, nope” repeatedly. Not required, but apparently part of the fun.

2. Board Resistance: Whenever somebody wants you to go somewhere you are not particularly fond of going, don’t move. Don’t say a word. Just contract every muscle in your body as tightly as you possibly can, arms remaining firmly planted to your sides. Think of yourself as a giant board. Not only is this an excellent exercise for toning practically your entire body, but you will also make yourself fairly difficult to move if that somebody, whom we’ll refer to from this point on as your “personal trainer,” tries to take you to said undesirable location by force. You are virtually impossible to be picked up in this position. Advanced: Repetitions. Once picked up, toss your head backwards and do the Spaghetti Noodle, relaxing every muscle in your body. Think, “I’m a noodle” as you do this to achieve the correct level of floppy noodleness. You will be extremely difficult to hold and as such most likely released by your personal trainer. Once released, immediately resume Board Resistance, because you are probably going to be picked up again. Repeat these repetitions until either you or your personal trainer wears out.

3. Stationary Running and/or Bicycle: For this move you’ll need your personal trainer to lift you up under the arms in front of them, your back to their stomach. Similar to the above exercise, this one will be most effective when you are being taken somewhere you don’t want to go. Once in the air, use your legs to run as fast as you can away from your personal trainer (on cross training days, use your imaginary bicycle instead). You won’t get away, but you’ll definitely be on your way to a stronger core.

4. Bedtime Modified V-Sits: At bedtime, when you are still plenty full of energy (or so you think), lie down on your back on your bed. Raise your legs together straight up in the air and flop them down on your bed as hard as you can so that they bounce a few times. Laugh wildly. Repeat until you fall asleep. Advanced: Also lift up your head and shoulders so you can watch your hilarious legs bounce.

5. Superman Tantrum: For those moments when you are REALLY mad (or you miss your nap), lie down face first on to the floor. Sob. Kick your feet. Flail your arms a little. When you get no response from your personal trainer, pause for a moment, then lift up your head. Hold your arms straight out in front of you, legs out straight behind you off the floor and check to make sure your personal trainer is still there. Once spotted, resume tantrum. Repeat until trainer gives in or you see that your sister has one of your toys.

6. The Squeeze (my personal favorite): When you see your personal trainer first thing in the morning, when they come back from having gone somewhere, or when that generally lovey dubby snuggly feeling hits you, run to your personal trainer with arms wide open. They will be forced to scoop you up in a bear hug. Hug them back and squeeze them as tightly as you can with both your arms and legs, contracting your stomach muscles in the process. Say something like, “I wuv you Mommy” (or in the case of my 2 year old “I ahh you Mommy”). This will probably be the exercise your personal trainer requests of you most often, but I’m pretty sure you’ll like it too.

Repeat this routine daily and that six pack will be yours in no time. And no. Don’t thank me. Thank Tiger Toddler.

 'Til next time...

P.S. From this post, I’ll give you one guess what kind of day I had yesterday. Need another hint. Exercise #6 was pretty much absent from the routine and the day ended with dinner at about 8, a glass of wine, and NO run. Let’s just say The Tiger won’t be missing any more naps any time soon as long as I can help it.

P.P.S. Did you get in on my super delicious Red Gold Tomato giveaway yet? What? You hadn’t heard? Click here for details.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Red Gold Tomatoes

Huh?  I know right? Who gives away tomatoes?

Apparently, me.

But I’ll admit, when I first got the email I was not entirely thrilled at the idea. Tomatoes? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I like tomatoes as much as the next guy and for runners, with Vitamins A, K, C and the antioxidant lycopene, it’s definitely something we want to include in our diets. For sure.

But really, who wants to win a can of tomatoes? Whoopidty doo.

Then I read on. Grown in Michigan (and a few other places too). You all know what a big fan of Michigan I am already (don’t make me get out some more Michigan Touristy Videos! I’ll do it. I swear). So I figured eh, sure. Let’s giveaway some tomatoes!

But then to my delight, let me show you folks what the good people over at Red Gold sent me:

2011-01-10 13.38.08

That’d be a Red Gold bag, key chain, magnet, chip clip/magnet (I love those. Weird. I know. I just love having them around to randomly close bags of things I’m not finished with and can’t ever seem to have enough of them), and also recipe cards with various tomatoey soups on them. But that’s not all (and I’m sure you guessed that if you noticed that tiny little Red Gold box corner peeking out on the right there you little detective you)!

I also received a six pack of the tomato variety: 

2011-01-10 13.39.10


22011-01-10 13.41.35 2011-01-10 13.41.24  2011-01-10 13.40.38  2011-01-10 13.41.02

2011-01-10 13.40.53

They were even thoughtful enough to NOT send me Go Lions! Ketchup (since it’s generally a sore subject around these parts at about this time of the year). But I’m still not done! I’ve saved the best for last. You see, I’ve got all these tomato products, but whatever will I do with them? Hmmm….

Well how about put them in a recipe or two from my handy dandy little new cook book:

2011-01-10 13.42.07

And guys, I gotta tell you. This is a terrific little cook book. Nothing super hard to make in it, quite a few healthy recipes, lots of pictures, plenty of tips. I love it! Let’s take a little looksie inside shall we?

2011-01-10 13.46.33 

Mmmmmmmm….Tortellini Vegetable Salad. Carb loading anyone?

So I tested out my products by making Southwestern Pasta Bake with the tomatoes and green chiles (mild) and Nacho soup with the original variety. Both super yummy recipes out of the cook book (which I can’t really find online otherwise I’d share them with you. Guess you’ll have to try to win the cookbook eh?).

With the diced tomatoes, I made my own version of Chicken Rice Soup which was sooooooo good. So good it was gone before I knew what happened. I’m going to post that recipe with you all tomorrow.  My husband asbolutely loved it.

And since I really wanted to try out this Tomato Basil Chicken recipe that I saw in the book too, I went and bought a can of Red Gold diced tomatoes with olive oil and garlic and made it.  My husband thought it was pretty good, but I thought it was absolutely delicious (sidenote: I actually bought the wrong rice and made it with an herbed long grain and wild rice and chicken broth instead of water. And ok, I also was supposed to use Italian tomatoes but my store didn’t carry them. That’d be the RunMom Screw Up but Surprisingly Still VERY Tasty Version).

As for the Mama Selita’s Jalepeno Ketchup. Well, to be honest we dipped burnt baked seasoned french fries in it, a new recipe I was trying that wasn’t supposed be, well, burnt. The ketchup was good, the fries, not so much. The ketchup was about the only thing that made some of the “less crispy” fries edible. So maybe not an entirely fair way to evaluate the product, but evaluated and approved nonetheless.

And the sloppy joe mix? Ok, on this I first have to admit, I hate sloppy joes. Seriously. I can remember my husband pretty early on in our marriage asking me “hey? How come you never make sloppy joes?” and my thought was, “My God. Who is this man that I’ve married? Who would ever choose to eat those on purpose?” It just seems to me a little more like something you’d eat in prison. You know, because your only other option was starving. But I wanted to give you all a fair assessment, so I decided I’d go ahead and try to choke one down, which I did. Actually, two. Still not going to be my go to meal, but at least it wasn’t my go get something else meal. And as far as sloppy joes are concerned that’s about the best you’re going to get in my book.

All that, PLUS look how you can recycle your Red Gold carrying case once you’re finished with it!

2011-01-13 20.16.31

What more could you possibly ask for from your tomato company hmmm???

So TWO of you very lucky readers will be randomly selected to win a Red Gold care package of your very own to enjoy. Here’s how you enter:


You must be a follower of this blog. If you’re not it’s too hard to find you. So head over there, to the right sidebar and sign up. It’ll take about two seconds. Once you do, leave me a comment so I know you belong here and you’ll get one entry automatically into the contest. SCORE!

Additional entries:

1. Follow Secrets of A Running Mom on Facebook

2. Follow me on Twitter

3. Tell somebody somehow somewhere about this contest. Blog, tweet, update your Facebook status, send an email, call your best friend, write a message to your neighbors in the snow, whatever you can think of that’ll help spread the word. You’ll score one entry for each method. So no you can not just tell 5 people you know. That’s all the same method. Word of mouth. That would only count for one. (Limit 5 entries)

4. Send me a recipe I can post on my blog for my soon to be created Runners’ Recipes section (or some other crafty name, that’s all I got off the top of my head at the moment). Email it to me at if it won’t fit in your comment. Bonus entry if your recipe uses Red Gold Tomatoes.

So that would be a maximum total of 10 entries per person. And don’t forget if you are ALREADY following me on Twitter and/or Facebook that counts too. Just leave me a comment to let me know all the ways you’ve entered (only one comment is necessary) no later than Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 11:59:59 PM. I’ll draw two winners and announce them the next day. Method of winner selection: hat, bowl, paper, teeny toddler and pre-schooler hands. You know the drill.

Best of luck!

'Til next time...

P.S. I almost forgot! On the send me a recipe method of entry, I’ll be sure to give you credit so include a name (just first or a made up alias will suffice) and if you’d like a link back to your blog or website, leave me that too :-).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Accidental Humor of RW

So the other day, I read quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever read in Runners’ World (not including, of course, the legendary humor of Mark Remy, mom tales from Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, and Marc Parent’s newbie chronicles. Those aside. Funniest. EVER.)  But here’s the thing: It so was NOT meant to be funny.

And before I go on, I feel absolutely obligated to issue this disclaimer: I do not in any way shape or form think that Seasonal Affective Disorder (a form of depression that is related to the changing of the seasons) or Depression, or any mental disorders of ANY kind for that matter are even in the slightest bit funny. They are serious. I have known people who have been faced with the challenges these disorders can bring and I assure you it is no laughing matter. It is difficult and it is often misunderstood. This post is not in any way a reflection on you if you or someone you love is struggling with this disorder. Furthermore, if as I go through what I’m about to go through and you’re answering yes in a not so funny way to most of the questions, I urge to talk to your doctor.

That being said, what this post is a reflection on is this fatally flawed RW quiz who’s author I suspect is certainly not a mom. In fact, it’s possible this author may not even know or have ever met a single mom. EVER. And if I’m wrong on this suspicion, and say maybe this quiz was written by a mom, then the only possible explanation for it is that all early mom memories have somehow been repressed. Because while this might be a fairly accurate quiz for some people. It is anything but for a mom with small kiddos, like me.
The quiz is called “Are you SAD?” Now, I usually don’t put much stock in quizzes and rarely take the time to go through one, but as I flipped through RW this one struck me for some reason. “Am I SAD?” I mean what exactly does that have to do with running that qualifies it to be in this running magazine? Why are they asking about my current emotional state and most importantly, wouldn’t I know if I was sad? Why would I need a quiz? Then I saw the rest of the article had to do with seasonal affective disorder and thought, “hmm…I’m related to somebody we sort of suspect has this. Maybe I AM sad and I just don’t know it.” So ok, RW I’ll take your quiz. Tell me. Am I sad?

Quiz instructions: “IF YOU CAN ANSWER YES to three or more [emphasis mine] of these questions for the same season every year, you may be exhibiting signs of fall or winter seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and should consult your doctor. Talk or light therapy are common treatments. (And here’s where they should have added some sort of disclaimer of their own, something to the effect of: unless you’re a mom of small children. Then carry on with your day, this quiz does not apply.)
Now you tell me, SAD or Mom? Here’s the quiz:

1. Even though you’ve scaled back your mileage and aren’t burning as many calories, are you craving carbohydrates, especially sweets, like crazy? (Um…Does chocolate count? Or how ‘bout a big bowl of ice cream after chasing my toddler around all day, which btw happens everyday. My answer would be: YES)

2. Do you feel like you could sleep all day even though you’re getting a full eight hours at night? (To be fair, N/A would probably be the most accurate answer to this question since a full 8 hours is rarely an option for me, at least not uninterrupted by snoring, random kid noise or talking and on occasion a small foot in my face when someone’s had a bad dream. But N/A was not an option and even when I am so lucky as to score myself a full night, I repeat: I’ve chased around a toddler, a Tiger Toddler at that, ALL DAY. So YES RW, I would fully love to sleep the ENTIRE DAY. EVERY DAY. At least for awhile.  So I’m 2 for 2.)

3. Does your head feel a bit fuzzy? Are you struggling to concentrate? (This is the one that made me laugh right out loud. If I’d have been drinking something, I surely would’ve spit it out. Let’s see…

Yep. I' d say concetration is a tad on the difficult side. I believe that’d put me at 3 for 3 and I should already talk to my doctor. But just for the fun of it, let’s continue on shall we?)

4. The holidays were great, the family is great, work is great. Even so, do you feel bummed out? (My answer: nah…not so much. **PHEW** I can answer no to SOMETHING. 3 for 4. Maybe I’m making a comeback?)

But no. There’s only one more question. And it reads:

5. Typically you like running with others, but lately have you been making up excuses to not meet up with your friends? (Answer: HECK YEAH! Are you kidding me? It’s frickin’ cold outside right now and I’ve got a perfectly good treadmill in my basement.)

So with that last one I’m 4 for 5 and technically I’ve earned myself a little light therapy (read vacation someplace warm and sunny) and/or talk therapy, (which I’ll fully take if the talking can be done lying down on a couch…with my eyes closed and yes, I am fully capable of this. I once fell asleep telling the Little Miss a story and kept right on talking about what I was seeing in my dream. She woke me up because it didn’t sound like the story anymore and she was confused. So was I.)

So quick! Someone tell my husband before RW realizes the massive flaw in their quiz and issues a retraction. And while your telling him, Caribbean. Carribbean would be a good suggestion. Thanks from this apparently textbook SAD mom.


'Til next time...

P.S. I’m not entirely sure why I like that picture so much, since it isn’t exactly a flattering angle for me. I just do. It was yesterday, we were laying around reading books and taking pictures of ourselves with my camera phone. She was thrilled. Ahhh…mom moments.

P.P.S. Time to ask for a favor! My Aunt just launched a new business and wanted some runner feedback on one of her new items, the Sweat Blossom MP3 Arm Wallet. It’s a little home for your MP3 Player when you workout. Unfortunately, I don’t listen to music when I run or workout, so I don’t really feel like I can offer her solid feedback. Any thoughts or suggestions you could offer would be much appreciated! If you guys dig it, she’s willing to run a giveaway here too. So keep that in mind. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tiger Toddler’s 1st Trip to The Dungeon

Technically, it wasn’t her first trip. I used to take her down there all the time when she was a baby and I could put her in her bouncy seat while I ran. Then when she was a little bigger, I had one of those sit in activity table thingies that would keep her busy. But I also happen to have ginourmous children who are far taller than they really should be which makes those thingies completely irrelevant, safety gates a challenge to be conquered and cribs nothing more than a laughing matter at far too early of an age. Both of my daughters use their height against me to break free of my best attempts to keep them confined wherever. I’m not one to use this phrase really ever, but in this case it totally applies: It’s so not fair.

Furthermore, Tiger Toddler was just down there yesterday with RunDad for just a few minutes as he finished up his workout while I took the Little Miss to pre-school. In fact, that’s where I got the idea to brave The Dungeon with her in the first place.

(Probably should do a quick catch up here for those of you who might be joining us for the first time, The Dungeon = my basement. I do not actually own a dungeon nor does it even really look like a dungeon. It just sort of feels that way when I’m peeking out that teeny window next to my treadmill and it’s pretty and sunny out, but I’m stuck running inside with no one else to supervise my kiddos. Well, that and it does seem to be the place all freakishly large crickets in the area go to die. I’ve never been in a dungeon, but mass abnormally sized insect death seems sort of dungeonlike if you ask me. So I’m going with it. I also got attacked once by a spider down there while I was running, but that’s completely beside the point).

ANYWAY, let’s just say today was the first time I took The Tiger down there and she was big enough to complain. But I figured if my husband could take her down there for 10 minutes no objections, with just her little booster seat, sippy cup and a smidgen of Super Why, then I figured I could squeak out 20 minutes if I added a snack, and a couple of toys. Surely, this is a logical thought process right? (please insert your positive affirmation here).

Um…not so much.

Loaded with chocolate goldfish crackers (which really just makes them chocolate fish crackers I suppose then huh?), a sippy cup of water, and Boris and Delores Tyrannosaurus (anybody know them? Hint: “Once upon a time, there was a mom…” a million pretend dollars to the first person who gets it right. " ’Cause you know I’m a giver ;-) And no Ma, you can’t play. I know you know.)  we headed down to The Dungeon.

She squealed with delight and kicked her feet excitedly as I walked down the stairs. And when I strapped her in her seat with a little snack and turned on Handy Manny, she grinned and scrunched up her nose. Things were looking good, but looks can be deceiving. Here’s about how my 2 mile 20 minute run went and how Tiger Toddler passed the time:

Minutes 1-2: I’m so excited about Handy Manny in the basement. “Hee hee hee.” Oooo look a mirror! I’m going to wave to that cute baby. “Hee hee” She waved back. Grin. Giggle. Feet Kick. “Mmmmmmmm” I’ve got goldfish. (I think she ate all of one.)

Minute 3: And now I’m… “all done Mommy. All done mommy. MOMMYYYYYY. All done.” (oh no were not. You’ve got to be kidding me. 3 minutes? Eat some fish kid. Have a drink. We’re not going anywhere.)

Minute 4-6: Hmmm…these fish in the bowl feel kind of funny. I can wiggle them around with my fingers. Oh look one hopped right out of the bowl. Oh look what else I can do! “Wook Mommy! Wook” picking up handfuls, stretching her arm out and dropping them from as high as she could reach onto the tray table. (Whatever floats your boat there Tiger and keeps you occupied.)

Minute 7: Hmmm…what could be more fun than dropping them? OH 2011-01-19 10.09.49YES! Throwing them! I wonder if I can hit Mommy on the treadmill. She’s  pretty far away, but I’m going to grunt and give it my best shot! (Now, I’m not thrilled about this mess, but frankly I don’t care. I’m far too invested in the run now and I know it’ll buy me some more time. I’ll pick them up later. Besides she can’t actually hit me. Can she?).

Minute 8: I’m out of fish to throw. THIS MAKES ME FURIOUS! What else do I got. AH HA! Goodbye Boris and Delores! (And about this time Handy Manny ends. Great. Just friggin’ great.)

Minute 9: Wait. What happened to Handy Manny? Sobbing. “All done Mommy. All done!” (insert encouraging mom pep talk that toddler doesn’t buy here. Probably should have shut it down at this point. But did I? NOPE.)

Minute 10: Thanks for the pep talk Ma. Have a cup. (chucks it).

Minute 11: “Oh man.” I want that cup back. “Dwink! Dwink! DWINK! PEEEEEEES!” Squirming and tears.

Minute 12: The theme song to Oso comes on. There is silence. Tiger looks at me and grins and I’m pretty sure now I’m going to get to finish this run after all. (Who knew? The Special Agent truly IS O So Special.)

Minutes 13-18: Sweet delicious silence…with no squirming or flying objects (mostly because there’s none left). And I’m quite possibly floating at the thought of having this run almost complete which means both naptime AND the evening will be free. **WISTFUL SIGH**

Minute 19: She snaps out of her momentary televised distraction and remembers she’s confined to a seat and it’s not mealtime. And she’s NOT. HAVING. THAT. Complaining resumes. I sing. She’s not amused.

Minute 20: But I’m done. It’s finished. From the looks of it, I didn’t win. In fact, I got my a$$ kicked. But I don’t care. I so did win.

2011-01-19 10.07.51


It might not look too awful bad, but you should know that I could not get all the fishies in the shot with my cell phone camera. There are plenty of them outside of the screen to the right of my TM way over by that golf bag and more in front of her. Swear. Turns out she’s got quite an arm. There’s also a dino missing from the shot over there on the right too. So I’m thinking it’s best to run downstairs without her for now, lest I get nailed with something from the Cretaceous period.

And the funniest part of all this? I’m still seriously thinking about resurrecting the jogging stroller this spring once the snow melts. Think she’ll be game?

'Til next time...


P.S. Those little booster seats are awesome! Portable, dishwasher safe, and they don’t take up a lot of room like a high chair. Highly highly recommended! Eventually, you can lose the tray too and just sit them right at the table with it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

And the Sporty Girl Winner is…

Since I made you read on forever last night before you got to find out who the coaching winners were, I’ll get straight on to it tonight. The winner of the $50 gift voucher from Sporty Girl Jewelry is:




Congratulations Staci from ! Pick something sweet and wear it proudly! Send me an email at and I’ll send you all the details.

And don’t forget, you can still order yourself something and get a 10% off discount by using the code BLOG10. I’m not exactly sure when that expires, so just get on it ASAP if you were thinking about purchasing something, before the opportunity slips away forever and your left sobbing in your highly technical t-shirt with no hand stamped personalized jewlery around your neck ;-)

I think Ann was also considering giving all you fabulous readers a discount at her HipMom Jewelry website too. So go do a little perusing, I’ll check on that and post the discount code on FB and Twitter if we’ve got one. (And if you’re not on FB or Twitter but you still want that code, just send me an email and I’ll get it to you.)

Thanks for all your entries! Have a great night! Another giveaway’s coming this week!

'Til next time...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Coaching Giveaway Winners

Ok. So first off, (yes, I am going to make you wait for it) I just have to say, that this contest has thoroughly humbled me.

I can NOT believe the company I’m in here. Seriously. You’re all a bunch of super mamas out there and most of you don’t even realize it! As a matter of fact, can we just get one thing straight right here right now?

It’s not easy to be mom. Period. If all you did was your very best to raise your children, my hat would be off to you. I know the kind of self sacrificing you’re doing day in and day out, sometimes giving all you got to give and then somehow STILL finding a way to give more. I know you are even if the little people you love most (and sometimes the big ones too) don’t get it.

But then, you take it upon yourself to run too. And I’m sorry, but no matter how far or how fast you’re going THAT on top of everything you do already as a mom is BAD ASS (yep. I didn’t even disguise this time. I want to make sure we are perfectly clear.) Always remember that and NEVER let anybody tell you otherwise. Got it?

Ok. Now that that’s off my chest, let’s get on with the winners! And I’m sorry to say, I couldn’t exactly hold my end of the bargain. Since you all are so Bad ASS, I couldn’t decide which entries I liked the best. Really.

Every time I got one, all I could think is “OH! I SO want to coach her!” for whatever reason. Even the Newbies, were pretty Bad ASS themselves, coming back from major injuries, breaks due to kids and with major running goals. And so I must admit, RunDad was totally right.

My husband told me way back when I first brought up the idea of coaching that THIS was going to be my biggest challenge. I’d just want to coach everybody for free all the time. And he’s totally right. I completely do.

There’s only one problem with this. I have all these coaching expenses that I PROMISED my husband I wouldn’t be sucking out of the family budget for (books, classes, insurance, etc.) So as much as I would just  absolutely love to have each and every one of you as a client free of charge, and I am so thoroughly tempted to do so. I’ve got to save some room for at least a few paying clients so I can keep operating because I can only handle so many at once if I am going to do this job right and give you all my very best. Sad smile

BUT you all have my solemn promise! Since I now know that so many of you are interested, I WILL run more coaching giveaways in the future. Count on that.

So thank-you all for your entries. Many of you have inspired me and it’s been super fun getting a little peek into the lives of some of my readers (who probably already know way more than they ever wanted to about me Smile with tongue out).

And without further ado….

In the Newbie Category, as chosen by my 2 year old, who was fully thrilled to select her first winner I might add, the winner is:


who just recently started running within the last couple of months and is having a little battle with her head when she heads out the door. We’re gonna win that battle and fully move her from Newbie to Bad Ass.

In the Bad Ass Mama category, as chosen by The Little Miss, the winner is:


She had a 12 year break, but has been running for the last 3 years solid now including 5 half marathons. She’s looking to smash her half PR this year and move on to the Full Marathon in 2012. You can follow her adventures at

And the randomly selected winner, again by The Little Miss (Tiger Toddler was on to something else), is…


I would like to tell you more about Cathy, but I haven’t heard back from her yet tonight and I don’t want to go telling other people’s business without their permission. But I do normally post a link to the public blogs of our winners so I’ll go ahead and do that and then you can read more about her and her fabulous running goals there.  She’s at

So those are our winners this time around. Congratulations! If none of those three happen to be you, I’m so sorry about that, keep your eyes peeled for the next coaching giveaway or if you need a coach now, hop on over to my site, I’d be happy to work with you!


P.S. Still a little bit of time to get in on the Sporty Girl $50 gift voucher giveaway, if you haven’t already. But HURRY!!! That giveaway ends tonight. Click here for details.

P.P.S. If you do intend to head over to my coaching site, don’t forget, it’s buy one month get your second month free for all my blog readers to thank-you for reading! Enter the discount code: SOARM at checkout. (fyi: will be valid one per client, but don’t worry I’ll send you other discount codes once you’re a client :-)

FOR THE RECORD: I will not be blogging about my coaching clients, free or otherwise. Unless of course the story is super funny and/or tremendously beneficial to running mamas. Then and only then, will I make sure to get express written permission from my client to share their story. But primarily, material on this blog will come from me, myself, and I…and those unfortunate enough to be related to me in some way. While each and every story is true to the best of my knowledge, I will always change the names and disguise the characters to protect the innocent. (Unless of course, if they just give me their picture to post thus revealing their identity or something like that.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hey, whatever happened to RunSis?

And the rest of The Crew for that matter. Because I know, you’ve had sleepless nights wondering what they’ve been up to now haven’t you? So here’s a little update. And for those of you who’ve joined us fairly recently (we love having you btw) and have no idea what I’m talking about, feel free to take a peek over in the right side bar. I’ve added a list of the “cast of characters” so you can catch up quickly. But I’ll weave a bit in here too, in case you’re eyes are too tired for a busy day of chasing the kiddos to look to the right or you just generally aren’t in the mood for a little scroll down bloggy lane.

RunSis: Let’s see, when last we left my little sis she was training for the USAF Marathon with her husband and I. Then **POOF** she vanished into thin air and you’ve all heard not a word about her since (she’s mortally offended btw that no one has asked about her mysterious disappearance. I told if her if she’d write that guest post I’ve been bugging her to write you’d all fully appreciate her wit and humor far more than when I do my best to retell it and then you’d all never let her out of your sight again. Not sure if she’s buying it though.)

Right about that last long run pre-marathon, she and I were on the phone trying to work out arrangements for who’d run when and who’d watch who’s kids. When RunSis all the sudden tells me she probably wasn’t going to do that long run after all. I’m sorry what? You don’t just train religiously for your first marathon to bow out of the very last long run. Unless maybe you’re some sort of crack head. And even then, I’m thinking no. Even a crack head would not just randomly for no apparent reason opt out of their last major workout before running a marathon. There could be only one reason for this sudden drastic change to her training plan and I asked her as much.

“What?! Are you pregnant?” Her pause before answering was all I needed to hear. RunSis’ new baby will be arriving sometime in May. The marathon is TBA. BUT it will get run. Count on that.

RunDad – My Hubz. Well, he gets hit hard at work November and December and by hard I’m talking like catch a line drive with your forehead hard. Every waking minute is spent working, either out on the job or home stuck in front of the computer. Running was not so much. Now he’s back at it though PLUS Power 90X. Go RunDad!

RunNana – My Mom was unhappily dealing with a nagging foot and took some time off to nurse it. Now she’s planning her race schedule and revving back up again, possibly making a running partner out of a walking buddy. The bug bites again.

Mobile Mile Marker – When it snows here, we lose our trails. They are not maintained and actually are blocked off in the winter. So my Pop’s been stuck inside, except, that is, for when he’s been outside plowing driveways for people (most of them) pro-bono. (Awww….what a nice guy).  But he’s taken a big plunge and ordered himself a trainer so he can ride indoors probably because he’s committed to the Willow Duathlon Relay with me again. We do after all have a title to defend Smile

MuffinMan – My brother-in-law (RunSis’ husband) is the only one who survived the holidays. He took something of a break after the Mackinac 1/2 Marathon, but he’s been moving on steadily ever since. Plans include a Half IronMan in the early summer and the Full late fall. IronMuffinMan. Good luck!

The Spazz – My neighbor finished her first marathon this fall! She was however injured when she ran it and as could probably be expected was not fully satisfied with her finishing time. She hadn’t quite decided what she was going to do this year when last we chatted, but I have a feeling she’ll be destroying her marathon time in the near future.

The Kenyan – My brother-in-law who jumped into the Indy Marathon training with me in the very last month of training in 2009...and survived had some indication that Disney 2011 might be on his plate, but since that’s come and gone already and we were both at a the same birthday party that weekend, I think it’s safe to say that just wasn’t to be his race this year. But I’m thinking it’s about time for another one for him. We’ll see.

My Brother-in-law- My other running brother-in-law, had planned on another Detroit Marathon, but got side tracked with injury. He’s recovered I do believe, but no immediate racing plans that I’m aware of.

And as for the Little Miss and Tiger Toddler? Well, you hear about them all the time. So there’s really no need for an update. I will tell you that I heard the first swear word out of Little Miss’ mouth today. She was doing a puzzle on RunDad’s IPAD and some song was playing. I don’t even know what the song was. What I do know is that there’s a line in the song that goes something like, “I was so d%$n lost…”. She sang it.  Now, she has no idea what it was that she sang that I was unhappy about. In fact, she’s pretty sure it was the word, “frisco”. (The song said something about San Fransisco too I think. Or else she’s just entirely mispronouncing something. Or maybe there singing about a Denny’s sandwich? I have no idea).

I refused to tell her what the word was. I just figured there was no sense in bringing it back up. Maybe she sang it dan, or man, or pan or something. I didn’t want to highlight just in case she didn’t have it entirely correct. I just took that sucker straight back to my husband and he deleted the song. Hopefully, I’m in the clear. If, however, she tells me tomorrow morning she couldn’t put her shoes on cause they’re so you know what lost, then I got a problem on my hands.

Stupid rock songs.  Really. You’re either lost or you’re not. The expletives are not necessary for us to get the picture no matter how angry and frustrated you might be. 

On the other hand, it might be kind of entertaining if she gets angry and starts saying, “Frisco it!” Wonder how long I could keep her from using real cuss words by substituting made up ones? Hmmm….

'Til next time...

P.S. For an update on my running plans, click on the calendar. Feel free to leave a fall marathon suggestion for me in the comments, cause I literally have no idea right now.

P.P.S. ONLY ONE MORE DAY!! One more day to get in on the online coaching giveaway. I’ve got some Bad A$$ Mama entries. But NEWBIES!! COME ON!! Where are you? If you enter right now, you’ve got a 1 in 4 chance of winning 3 months of FREE online coaching. FOUR. And just FYI: If you haven’t entered because you don’t know what to say, don’t worry about it! Just enter. I am most likely just going to pick the category winners randomly as well because I am far too indecisive to pick a favorite (I have no idea why I thought I’d be capable of that in the first place. I’m a mom. I love you all equally. You’re each special to me in your own way. I could never choose one over the other and I certainly don’t have favoritesWinking smile ) So GO. Go now and enter Newbies and Bad A$$es alike and don’t miss out on your chance to make good on your resolution or crush your new year’s goal. Click here for details.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tonight’s giveaway is…

Um…not gonna happen. At least not yet anyway. As I sat down to write it tonight, I realized it’s going to be entirely stupid unless I roll up my sleeves and really put these products to the (taste) test. And to do so, I’m going to need to get cooking which further means I’ve got to get to the grocery store. (NOOOOOOOOOO!!!)

So I apologize to those of you who came over here tonight expecting that giveaway. It’s coming I swear! I just want to make sure I do this right and you guys get a very thorough review so you know if it’s something you want to be in the running for. So bear with me here please. I’ll get it up asap.

In the meantime, how about that little Grin & Giggle from Liz at Running with a Baby on Board eh? Although it really is in no way going to make you grin…or giggle. What it probably is going to make you do is cry. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.) But it’s definitely a mom worthy share so take a peek. I’ll make you laugh (or at least try to) when it’s over.


And just a few things today I’m glad I didn’t miss from my little darlings.

From the Little Miss (4yrs):

“Do bees sting other bees?”

“I’m glad mosquitoes eat my blood. I just wish they didn’t give you one of those bites.” Me: “Now honey, why would you be glad they eat your blood?” Little Miss: “Because mommy, if they eat enough of my blood then it would be all gone and when I get a boo boo I won’t bleed or need a band aid.”

Following her bath, “Mommy, you know, running makes my hair dry faster.” Me: “Why is that honey?” Little Miss: “From all the wind!”

And from the adventures of Tiger Toddler:

First there was a minor assault at our house this morning.  Tiger Toddler was attacked by my 4 year old’s red dress-up wig (she’s been both Ariel & Strawberry shortcake for Halloween in case your wondering). After trying to escape from the wig’s evil clutches to no avail, she burst into tears and came running as best she could with this giant wig attached to her shoe over to me sobbing “halp! halp! halp!” I freed her. She declined to press charges, but a restraining order is not out of the question.

And for the record, Strawberry Shortcake is constantly pronounced “Stawberry Wortcake” at my house by the Tiger.

Alphabet: …Cute R S T U V…

On seeing the picture of me & The Little Miss next to the giant nutcracker at Christmas time: “Knee cracker! Knee cracker!” He must have looked particularly tough.

But my favorite, today was the “Cute Baby Cheezit” (cute baby Jesus) she saw. We might need to work on enunciation just a little don’t ya think? (Better than what my daughter used to call a popsicle though. I’ll give you hint, the end of the word was sicle, and the first part was a male rooster. “I wuuuuuuuuv …sicles! She’d yell. Really. )

And of course, watching the two of them play together at their little kitchen “making dinner” while I was making dinner, that just melted my heart.

We only get each one of them when they’re little once. Don’t miss it. Even on the roughest of days when it really doesn’t feel like it, we are so blessed.

'Til next time...

P.S. Run Like a Mother posted a HUGE list of all women’s races. It’s the only place I’ve seen anything of the sort, so if you’re interest in a race without the fellas, check it out here.

P.P.S. Anyone else notice that cheeseburger count slide up a tad? I got my run in tonight as planned. Woohoo!! Lookout 2011. Here. I. Come.

P.P.P.S. Gonna = not a word. We all knew that right? But according to spell check, one of my options to change it to (since I of course used it anyway)was goanna. What the crack? Somebody please tell me what goanna means so I don’t have to go look it up. And you probably need to use it in a sentence too if I’m going to believe you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Grins & Giggles: My favorite kid on television

Oh my word. I’m laughing my head off right now. I’ve always loved that ETrade baby, but the folks over there have seriously out done themselves this time. Seriously. 

The next 30 seconds will make your day…


Told ya! There’s another version of it too  which is also good, but I like that first one better. You can be the judge:


Thanks to RunDad for making me stop what I was doing and watch it. If you’ve got something that’ll make us grin or giggle, send it to me at and I’ll send a little link love back your way or at least a shoutout. Whatever you prefer!

Happy Sunday!

'Til next time...

P.S. Note to Liz: Yours is still coming! Promise! I’ve got yours in a special folder on my email. I was just afraid if I didn’t get this one up asap I’d forget and it’d be lost forever.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The 53 Week Year

At least I hope it’s only 53 weeks, because I may lose my mind if it’s any longer. Seriously.

2010 has not ended for me. Oh no.

I am still working my you know what off to try to bring it to a close. Now, I don’t know exactly what kind of psycho leaves major projects undone until the last two weeks of the year, which also happen to be the busiest two weeks of the year for many, myself included. But apparently, I am that psycho.

I guess in my own self defense, as far as why I’m not finished goes, I do have children and as such, there is PLENTY for me to do November-Decemberish even without extra added projects to just get ready for those last two weeks and the holidays they encompass.

Somehow, I sorta of figured with the actual preparations for the holidays themselves out of the way, I’d have more time to finish some of the random things I had set to accomplish before the new year began, mainly establishing my coaching site and training system among other things, but what I did not expect was one sick kid after another over here and a little under the weather time for moi too.

Finally just today, I got all the Christmas decor down and the playroom sort of consolidated (read there are officially places for everything now, but you’d never guess that based on the absolute disaster I have in multiple rooms. General rule of thumb at my house: things will have to get much much worse and not in anyway resemble that I am cleaning before they start to look better. I don’t know why. It just is that way. Apparently, we operate by the Law of Opposites here. Things get messier to get cleaner. I tell my kids not to eat something and they do. I change a diaper that once I get off I realize it didn’t even really seem wet and the minute the new one’s on, Tiger Toddler poops. And The Little Miss stays up late for some special occasion so I assume that she’ll sleep in early, but she almost always wakes up even earlier. Such is the life in a house with small children I suppose…But where in the world was I going with this?Ahh yes. Things left undone.)

So ultimately all this mumbo jumbo about finishing last year’s undone tasks means, sadly, I have not been running. **GASP** I know I know.

And the worst part of all this? I was doing sooooooo good. After I officially decided to take it semi-easy and keep the runs 3-5 miles 3-5 days a week through the holidays, I actually did pretty dang good at sticking to it. You'd all have been so proud!

But now, now I just feel out of sorts. I’ve had all these things hanging over my head and I figured ok, let me just work ridiculously hard and sleep like I’ve got a newborn (ok maybe that’s stretching it just a bit, but sleep’s been not so much lately) and I’ll get everything done and I’ll get back to it.

Only one problem. The giant list of all the stuff I still needed to get done that I made the beginning of this week is not really getting smaller.  In fact, it seems to be getting bigger (see. law of opposites.) Somehow I’m adding to that list of things “to do” faster than I’m crossing off the things I’ve done.  And THAT, my friends is ridiculously frustrating, particularly with no runs to clear my head.

But what I’ve come to realize this week is that while breaks are not always bad, in fact sometimes they’re good, great, even necessary, somewhere on my massive list I’ve got to grab the pen and write me. Because really, nobody else is going to do it. End of story.

So tonight ladies, I’m putting me on the list. 2010 ends this weekend as is, everything done or not. Monday…I run.

'Til next time...

P.S. Did you enter my giveaways yet? I’ve got a $50 gift card up for grabs from Sporty Girl Jewelry and 3 months of online running coaching with your name written all over it. And let me just say, odds are looking pretty good in that first category for the coaching giveaway right now. Pretty. Darn. Good. Might want to get in it if you were toying around with the idea.

P.P.S. Just got another sumptin’ sumptin’ in the mail today, I can’t wait to tell you all about it. It’s perfect to kick off the new year…sort of…in kind of a strange way. Actually, it’s far cooler than I expected it to be. Look for that review (and psst…giveaway) next week, (along with my racing schedule which will mean I have a training plan and thus I AM RUNNING AGAIN!!)

P.P.P.S. And I know what you really want to know.  Don’t think you’re getting by me. You want to know is that a prop I made up to back up my story or is that my real actual list from earlier this week? (Prop shmop. That’s the real deal.) I also know that you are trying to make out what my list says. Aren’t you? (Go on admit it.) I FURTHER know that what you are trying hardest to decipher is what’s been crossed out. (Yes, I am that good.) Winking smile

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sporty Girl Jewelry Review & Giveaway

2010-12-29 15.33.31 That’s right. Back to back giveaway posts. Who’s rocking the 2011 so far baby? (That’s not a rhetorical question btw. You all should be yelling back: WE ARE!!).
So we’re following up yesterday’s coaching giveaway with a Sporty Girl Jewelry gift card valued at 50 schmackaroos (that’s fancy talk for dollars).
Not familiar with Sporty Girl Jewelry? Well let me fill you in a tad before we unwrap that chic looking box and I show you what was inside.
As if being a mamma of 3, running 5Ks with her 11 year old son, coaching her junior high school aged daughter’s volleyball team, forming her own adult volleyball team, training for her 2nd half marathon, toying around with the idea of entering the tri world and running her own business for the last 7 years (Hip Mom Jewelry) was not enough, running mamma extraordinare, Ann decided she “wanted to start making styles that were sport inspired but they didn't seem to fit with the Hip Mom model” thus Sporty Girl was born and launched this past fall.
“I wanted to take fitness related jewelry to higher level of style while seeking to encourage and empower women,” Ann says. And that she has. I can not even begin to tell you the high quality piece Ann sent me to review. In fact, I won’t. Let me show you.2010-12-29 15.35.03 That’d be a hand stamped sterling silver pendant, hammered, for a unique touch, on a 16 inch black rubber cord that I selected and she FULLY delivered. It came packaged as you saw in that photo above and inside the box was a neat little brown pouch to keep it in. It’s just gorgeous.
Ok stop squinting now. I know you need a closer look at which slogan I had her put on it, so let me give you a close up…2010-12-29 15.34.56 Now, she can custom design one for you or you can choose from the many sweet models she already has available like I did with “eat pray run repeat.”
Side note on my logo selection: I never see movies unless they’re animated. The only books I ever seem to read are about running or politics. I had no idea that there was a book now made into a movie called Eat Pray Love (no matter what super mega star was the lead). I fully assumed that Ann had somehow ironically just peered into my soul and made this piece up just for me. I eat (alot). I run (alot). And I pray while I run. Then I do it all over again.  (I suppose to be fair it should probably also say things like change poopy diapers, pick cheerios out of toddler’s nose, make funny characters out of hands and feet to entertain the 4 year old while we wait around FOREVER at the doctors, etc, etc. which I also do alot. Then again, that’d be a mighty big necklace).  It’s these four simple things that keep me going as a mom, especially on those particularly tough and exhausting days.
Like Ann says, “It's hard to make it all work, but I give it my best shot. I feel best about myself when I feel strong in mind and body.” And the necklace she created for me is a reminder of just exactly that. What I need to do, to get it all done and keep this family up and running (no pun intended).
So let’s take Ann up on her offer and score one of you fabulous readers a $50 gift voucher shall we? One winner will randomly be chosen (by my 4 year old, old school style: bowl, slips of paper, and her tiny little hand). The deadline to enter will be January 15th, 2011 and the winner will be announced on January 16th.
How to enter:
1.) You must be a follower of this blog. (WHAT?!! You mean you’re not already. I’m in shock. I need a minute to compose myself….Ok, I’m good. Over to the right sidebar for you please.)
2.) You must “like” Sporty Girl Jewelry on Facebook. You can find them right here if you haven’t already.
Once you’re a follower of SOARM (that’s me) and you’ve given Sporty Girl the thumbs up on FB, leave me a comment to let me know you want in on the giveaway and I’ll be sure to write your name on one of the little slips of paper. Wait…what’s that? You’d like more than one slip of paper in the bowl with your name on it? Can’t say I blame you. $50 to spend on whatever I want at Sporty Girl? Yep. I totally would too. So here’s how you can better your chances and score some additional entries:
1. Head over to the Sporty Girl Website here. Have a little looksie and tell me what you think you’d order if you won our giveaway. (one entry)
2. Become a follower of Sporty Girl’s blog here. (one entry)
3. “Like” Secrets of a Running Mom on Facebook. (one entry)
4. Follow me on Twitter. (one entry)
5. Spread the word about our little contest (FB, Twitter, Email, Dailymile, Word of Mouth, Message written to your neighbor in the snow, whatever. Be creative and let me know what you’ve done) (one entry for each method, limit 5).
Do as many or as few as you like, but let me know what you did in the comments. Only one comment is necessary, so you don’t have to spend all night verbally abusing captcha’s. (I realize they’re a pain, but I’d rather avoid Spam City in my comments so they’re sticking around for awhile).
If you have any questions, let me know. Good luck to you all! And tonight I’m going to leave you with the words of Ann:
“I love fashion and believe that just because we are athletes we don't have to be relegated to boring shorts & t-shirts.”
Well said there mamma. Well said. (SHOOT!! I just spilled my water all over my boring shorts & t-shirt. Ok, not really…it’s actually boring shorts and a turtle neck. What? I got cold. Don’t judge my at home writing attire! ;-)
'Til next time...
P.S. I know when you head over to Ann's site to check everything out you're just going to adore her stuff. If you can't wait until the contest is over and you've got to order something up now, use the coupon code: BLOG10 at checkout and you'll get 10% off your entire order. Thanks Ann!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year New Giveaway!

Happy New Year Everybody! Welcome to 2011! A year to set new goals and watch them come smashing down! Am I right or what?

Have you set any running goals for 2011 yet? I'd love to tell you I have, but I've been working all day on my new website and this giveaway for you all to try to get it in under the wire on Jan 1st. (which I see now in the corner I in fact did not do. CRAP! Sorry guys, looks like I just missed it) So I'll be spending most of tomorrow picking races and figuring out what it is exactly I want to accomplish. Well, that and celebrating RunDad's birthday. (Banana cake with chocolate frosting. No one tell!)

And this giveaway is from me!!! Now, I wish I could give you all an ipod or a sleek new running skirt to get you on your way this new year, but I just don't have the spare cash to get that done for the...oh look!...there's 300 of you now. Woo hoo!!! Welcome! It's so nice to have you all join us!

But what I can give away that might be of value to my running friends is my newly acquired coaching services. As many of you know, I took the RRCA Coaching Certification Class back in September. Well, finally folks, I'm pleased to report, my site is up and running and I'm ready to go.  So who needs a coach?

I'm going to give away 3 months of online coaching to 3 people (because I like the number 3 :-). One winner I'll select randomly from all the entries and then I'm going to select my favorite two entries from the following two categories:

1. Newbies: You are brand spanking new to running. You've never run a day in your adult life OR you are just coming back to running now from a year or more off of running. No previous running superstars here either (ie. I used to run marathons all the time, in fact I pretty much qualified for Boston every time I ran but I just had a baby 3 months ago and now finally I'm ready to get going again). Running superstars may defer to category 2. Sorta.

2. Bad A$$ Mamas: You are not new to running. Whatever your pace, your running habits, the miles you log, you've laced 'em up more than a time or two. But now, 2011, this is the year you are going to raise the bar and run a little further or a little faster. You've got a goal in mind (ie. your first race, your first 5K, 10K, Half or Full).
(Note to reader: If you're not really sure which category you fall in but still want to enter, just go ahead and send me your entry and I'll enter you where appropriate)

So how do you enter? First, choose your category. You can only enter one (although entering one gets you two shots at winning as you'll be entered in the random drawing too.) Next, either leave me a comment or send me an email at (email is actually preferred for this contest) and tell me which category and why it is you want to win 3 months of online coaching services. Be totally serious and tell me your story or come up with something creative and make me laugh. I'll select my favorite two responses (one from each category) to win. Deadline for entry is January 14th, 2011. I'll announce the winner on the January 15th.

If you just can't wait that long to score yourself a new coach, my new coaching website is feel free to check out. And since many of you have been with me from the beginning, and most of you through the big decision where I took a leap of faith to become a coach, I feel sort of obligated to give you all a discount. This promo code will only be available here to all my fabulously funny readers. It's buy one month of online coaching, get your second month free. Just enter SOARM (what else?) at checkout and it will be applied automatically.

Love to hear your big running goals in the comments if you care to share!

'Til next time...

P.S. Let's see goals to set, review post to write, Bday to celebrate...what was that other thing? OH YEAH! ANOTHER GIVEAWAY. But that's not 'til Monday. You're not going to want to miss it though. See you then!