Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yippee kai yay mother runners…

My husband read my last post and is not happy.

First thing he said when got home from work a few minutes ago is, “we need to talk.” Apparently after reading my post (at work? Awwwww….I’m telling!), he has decided he does not approve of the way his character is being cast. He’s more than just some supporting role. He is more than just the guy who took the picture at the bowling alley.

He wants a lead role in this blog gosh darn it! Although, he’s not entirely sure where he’d like me to take his character, dashing and debonair, James Bondlike if you will, or perhaps more rugged and masculine like a Die Hard John McClain or a terrorist fighting Jack Bauer? But one thing’s for certain either way, he deserves more screen… time.

(Yes. I’m serious. These are the kind of discussions we have around my house.)

I didn’t know quite how to break it to him that we’re more Everybody Loves Raymond than Bourne Identity around these parts and I’m not entirely sure THAT is the kind of male lead he was looking to play (no offense to Ray Romano, or anyone related to Ray Romano, or anyone who knows or is a fan of Ray Romano or knows a fan of Ray Romano for that matter. I like him too, but again, just don’t think that’s the kind of sweep you off your feet male lead he’s looking to play.)

But I did tell him, “I’m SO blogging this.” So I think for the time being we’re good considering he’s now been the ENTIRE focus of a post. But I’m sure the pride and novelty of being so will eventually wear off. So I’m thinking a new nickname might be just what the doctor ordered. You know, something more than just RunDad (which, by the way, I personally, being the bestower of said nickname, think is excellent and not in anyway lacking). Something dashing, debonair, rugged and masculine all rolled up into one. So  it is to you I come, my loyal blog readers full of wit and wisdom… got any ideas?

'Til next time...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guess what I did this weekend?

And just so we don’t ruin this for all the folks following along on FB, I’m going to stall a bit here with the serious hope that FB doesn’t screw this up like the last time I wanted to entice you all to read a little further, but FB instead hopped down a paragraph and told you all the good stuff right in the little snippet. (Get it right FB! Get. It. Right!) Besides this will give all the rest of you time to formulate your guess. Got one yet? Ok enough already, probably stalled long enough by now.  This weekend I was…

Bear Training…


You know, since I’ll be running in Marquette and all, thought I better get in some practice. :-)

Just kidding! I’m actually at the bowling alley. Why they have two fake bears in the doorway and what exactly that has to do with strikes and spares, or in my case, gutter balls (seriously, I bowled a 71…with bumpers. But hey, you gotta admit, it takes some serious talent to entirely miss all pins without having a gutter at your disposal!) I have no idea. But they were there and RunDad seized the opportunity to snap a picture for all of you (he’s so thoughtful). 

'Til next time...

P.S. Yeah, I know! I’m a dork, but we’ve covered that already. Remember? Right here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Giveaway winners

So impressed with all you mamas and your big 2012 goals!!! Marathons, halfs, first races, loads of miles, a mud run and for 3 of you-jumping right back into running after the birth of your babies (congratulations Erin, Colleen and Karien!!!).

I loved reading your goals! So inspiring! And for 10 of you, those goals have earned you a running mama bumper/window sticker (btw when you put them on your car window, they are completely invisible from inside. Pretty sweet!)

Those winners (in no particular order) are:

Cat B


Yo Momma





Jen M

Rachel Stout


If one of the above listed names happens to be you AND you entered my giveaway. Send me an email at and I’ll send you all the details. If that’s not you, but you still really want one, you’ve got two options: A) You can buy one here for $5 (no shipping, yay!) or B) You can just stay tuned for the next giveaway.

Best wishes for a successful 2012 everybody! And congratulations to the winners!

'Til next time...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

But you could get hurt running!!!

I am a dork.

Of this I am well aware. But hey, admitting it’s the first step right so at least I’ve come that far Winking smile

In the five or so years that I’ve really been into long distance running, I can honestly not think of a time I’ve had a running related injury. Prior to my rebirth as a runner, especially all through high school when I was a sprinter, I had lots of knee trouble, but that actually seems to have rectified itself since I started running longer. Maybe it was finally finding the right shoe or the right orthotic. Or maybe, just maybe, I finally was able to strengthen those chicken leg quads of mine enough to pull that knee cap where it’s supposed to go. I don’t really know for sure, but I can tell you it doesn’t hurt anymore which is just fine by me.

Now, before you toss out that lucky girl card, you should know this: In that same 5 year time frame, I HAVE had to take time off running for NON-Running related injuries. Injuries that were caused by things like some fluke water bottle flying out of the refrigerator when I opened the door and landing on my big toe in just the right place in just the right way so that I seriously thought I broke it. Or opening my car door into my upper thigh causing a massive contusion . You know, things like that (apparently, I have problems opening doors.)

Well, yesterday afternoon, I had another one. On my way down to the basement to workout, I decided to take with me the big giant box of ornaments I had just taken off the tree and wrapped up to put away in storage til they get called for duty next year. Now, that box was not tremendously heavy or anything but it was big and I really couldn’t see below me. No problem. I walk down those stairs every day pretty much. But in my anxiousness to go get that workout in before the Tiger and the Peanut woke from their naps (yep! Two sleeping at once! See! You’d be excited too), I missed a few steps. I thought I was on the last one and so I took a step forward rather than down and well, that’s exactly where I went. Down.

I fell. Now, don’t panic. I didn’t break anything (not even an ornament, at least I don’t think so) and it was only a few steps. I mostly broke my fall with that ornament box and my knees, although my knees seemed to bounce back fairly quickly. But I also somehow manage to catch my left foot on a step, which sort of bent it backwards and twisted it. Something my left ankle did NOT appreciate.

So yeah, I opted for the bike yesterday instead of a run. Today, my ankle is still a little sore and puffy and although highly tempted to just suck it up and go run, I thought perhaps I should play it safe and so the bike it was again today.

But why am I telling you all this? What’s the moral of this extraordinarily clumsy story? (Other than let somebody else carry the big boxes downstairs?) It’s this: Yes, sometimes people get hurt running, but so do people get hurt in a million different ways in the course of daily life. You might as well be fit doing something you enjoy in the process. So I  think the next time somebody tells  you some version of,“Running’s not good for you,” you should feel free to reply with something to the effect of, “Yeah I know! And do you know what else isn’t good for you? Christmas ornaments! (Or water bottles, or car doors, or whatever random bizarro non-running related cause of injury you’ve dealt with  which I would love to hear in the comments by the way so that I know I’m not the only silly fool injuring herself in absurd ways).

And on another note, who votes my husband carries the Christmas tree downstairs?

'Til next time...

P.S. Remember those running mama bumper/window stickers I gave away a while back? I’m giving some away again!!! If you missed it, that post is here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The ferocious bears of the Marquette Marathon

So if you missed that last post, you missed that I’m currently really stoked about the Marquette Marathon or at least I was until my mom mentioned that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where Marquette is located, happens to not only be the home of the marathon I’m looking to run this fall, but also to…wait for it…bears. Suddenly, I’m a little less stoked right?. But that story you can read here (and also check out the giveaway I’m running while you’re there.)

THIS post is the update on the whole will I get mauled by a bear while running 26.2 question which, generally speaking, is not the sort of marathon I’m looking to run.

First, the email I sent to the race director:

This is probably the silliest marathon question you're going to get, but at least maybe you'll get a a good chuckle :-) I was all set to register for your race today, but then I spoke to my mom. She used to camp frequently in the UP as a kid and she said I ought to be worried about bears. Now, I fully realize you are not responsible for the behavior of any ornery wildlife, but honestly, do you think I need to be concerned at all about this?
Thanks for your time!
Kelly Collins

P.S. If you get this question again today, or you've had it already, it's probably my mom :-)”

Her reply:

“OK.. I'll admit.. I did laugh out loud when I read your email.... No, you are safe... bears will not be an issue.. I have lived in Marquette for 19 years and I saw a bear cub.. once... in a tree in a neighborhood.... the entire town shut down and went out to take pictures... they ended up darting the cub and taking him about 50 miles west of here to some state land.... so, no worries... You will not need to carry your dart gun... : )   I know that there are MANY areas of the UP that do have spectacular wildlife...bear, wolves, moose etc... and we are blessed to live in such an untouched area, but Marquette is the largest "city"  ( and I use that term loosely) in the UP and is populated.... you will run along some beautiful trails ( paved bike path)  that goes around the entire city, but not thru the woods and remote areas.  I hope to see you soon in the beautiful Upper Peninsula..
Happy New Year.. : O )
Nancy Bailey
Race Director, RSF M2”

Of course, you all know I had to ask if she minded my blogging her reply to which she responded, “feel free” and “perhaps we can gain you a few more runners if we dispelled the 'wild animal' myth. Hahahaha.”
So there you have it. Beasts of the wild shall not prevent you from PRing in Marquette should you choose to race there. I even checked the fine print on the waiver for mention of bears just to be certain she wasn’t pulling a fast one on me (no, I didn’t).

Ultimately, you know what this means right? I’m totally in. Registered last night.  I’m now well into the “who can I suck into running this with me phase” which, for the record, is the period to right after registration just before you actually start training and then the race suddenly becomes a little less than all sunshine and roses. But just a little Winking smile

So…who’s with me? (That’s right. I’m talking to you RunSis!)

'Til next time...

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Races: Fire, Bears, and a Big House + Giveaway

Happy New Year! Here’s to reaching big running goals and making good on all those last minute resolutions in 2012!

So. I finally sat down and finished planning out my 2012 races last night (barring any last minute, “hey, what the heck? might as well!” entries of course). Want to know my super strategic strategy for selecting which races to put on the calendar? It’s simple. Whatever races I lose sleep over, I’m in. For real.

It happened twice in December as I tossed around which races I’d throw my hat in. Two races I lay in bed late at night thinking about, Big House Big Heart and The Warrior Dash.

Big House Big Heart is a race I’ve wanted to run for a long time. It’s probably one of if not THE largest 5/10Ks in Michigan (except maybe the Turkey Trot in Detroit on Thanksgiving). It’s in Ann Arbor, home of the Wolverines, and ends in U of M stadium. Probably not a PR race because there’s so many people, but still a must do for Michigan runners, at least once (unless maybe you’re a Spartan and for you there’s no hope anyway ;-).

Sadly, once, has never come for me. Something always gets in the way and that something is usually another fall race, either my local 5K (can’t miss that!) or the marathon I’ve chosen to run for the year. If not a race than it’s something silly, like you know, the birth of one of my children. But this year, this year folks I think it’s going to happen. The race has been moved to the spring and having just given birth a couple of months ago, I’m certainly NOT pregnant, nor will I be marathon ready in just a few short months. So I’m in!

Then there’s the Warrior Dash.  It’s a 5K + well, um…some obstacles. Beer, mud, things to climb, barbed wire, really now, what’s NOT to get excited about? Oh and did I mention the fire? You know I have to run this one just for the story if nothing more. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to hear stories of this extraordinarily uncoordinated clumsy mama jumping over pits of fire while wearing a Viking helmet?

But I’ve been on the fence about what my BIG year end goal should be. Another marathon? A PR in the half perhaps? Try to make the rounds at some local 5Ks? Switch over and try my hand at trail running? (that one makes my husband laugh hysterically btw. He doesn’t see me navigating the uneven terrain and hoping over stray branches well. It’s that whole uncoordinated thing. HA! Wait ‘til he sees me at the Warrior Dash).

So I’ve been mulling around this and that, until last night. Last night, I found it! The Marquette Marathon. I was literally up until 2:30AM because of this bad boy. I read every word of that website. Mapquested to see how far from home it was. Gave my pitch to my husband (he’s always got to be on board or it’s just no fun for any of us). Looked up and read every review I could find. Counted the weeks on the calendar to see if training would be doable. Then I lay in bed FOR HOURS thinking about what it’d be like to run there and what sort of training plan I’d put together to make it happen. And when I peeked over at the clock and it read FAR too late for woman who’d probably be up at 6AM to feed a hungry baby, yet I was STILL wide awake, I knew THAT was THE race for this year.

But not so fast.

Then, I talked to my mom this morning. My mom who used to camp frequently in the UP as a kid (that’d be pronounced U.P. For you non-Michiganders who just read that “up”. We’re talking Upper Peninsula of Michigan here). Our conversation went something like this:

RunNana: “Don’t you have to worry about bears there?”

Me: “Bears? What?! No.”

RunNana: “Listen, I’ve dealt with bears camping and trust me you don’t ever want to do that!”

Me (confidently): “It’s Marquette! That’s a pretty big city.” (then a little less confidently) “Isn’t it?”

RunNana: “It’s still the UP. I don’t know Kelly. I’m gonna send that race director a message.”

Me: '”No. Don’t do that! I’m sure it’s fine.”

15 minutes later, I sent the race director a message. Then I did a Google search to make sure that nobody got mauled in the two years they’ve been putting the race on. So far so good. Still waiting on the race director, though.

Ahhh…yes, ladies and gents. It’s gonna be a fun year…with lots of good stories to tell!

So how about some free stuff to get the year started off right! I will randomly select 10 winners to receive a running mama bumper/window sticker of their choice, which can be viewed here.

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment either here or on this post on Facebook with your big running goal for the year. Or if you don’t want to share your goal (because I know those can be private), just tell us one of the races you’re going to run.

Want to double your chances? Tell some people on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, email, whatever about this contest and/or blog. Just let me know in your comment that you did and I’ll enter you into the drawing twice. ***Please note: you can not enter this contest anonymously. Use your real name, a screen name or some made up batch of numbers, but I must have some way to identify you as the winner or your entry doesn’t count.

All comments must be received no later than Monday, January 16th, 2012 at 11:59:59 PM. I (or one of my little peeps) will select the winners at random from a big bowl (or perhaps a running shoe box since I’m sorely in need of a new pair) and announce the winners the next day.

Best of luck! And I’ll get back to you on the bears!

 'Til next time...

P.S. Need a coach to help you hit your running goals? I just posted my winter coaching specials online here.

P.P.S. Want to see the rest of my 2012 running plans? Here’s my racing calendar.