Tea Party

I’ve been doing really well on my 2014 resolution to drink more water, although I’ve liberally counted  herbal tea and flavored water toward the daily intake goal.

This herbal tea is a particular favorite right now, especially with a squeeze of lemon.

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Mighty Leaf teas come in cool, silky pouches. You can also buy snazzy tea chests for entertaining. Nine_Unit_Presentation_Book.a.detail

 

Inspired to make your own version? Here’s a recipe for lemon basil and ginger iced tea.

Indoor Camping

While I would never consider real camping (The dirt! The bugs! The pitifully low thread counts of the linens!), MGM (6) and I spent a considerable amount of time checking out these kids’ indoor tents at The Land of Nod.

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And now for the Cadillac of play tents:

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Which would be great with this sleeping bag:

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P.S. This stuffed pig from Land of Nod is killing me. Adorable!

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P.P.S. They also have the most charming blog.

One More Thing, #19

Yesterday I posted a picture of an inspirational t shirt I bought from Fellow Flowers.

Yet I neglected to mention this: They also had shirts in kid sizes.

To be more specific, girl sizes.

I bought this for Trixie:

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I usually don’t get too worked up with stuff like this (Hear me roar!), but something happened over the weekend that really brought this message home.

I had just finished running nearly 20 miles of races over two days and headed back to my hotel for a much-needed shower and an obligatory nap.

When I got there, I discovered that the resort was also hosting a “modeling competition.”

There were hundreds of coltish, teenaged (Pre-teen? I can’t even tell anymore) waifs tottering about in shoes that they had no business wearing.

And I felt sad.

The dichotomy of going from one event that was so empowering to one that seemed to be the polar opposite was hard to handle.

I’m going to make Trixie wear this shirt until it’s in tatters.

Because I Get To

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Check out the bling! 

This is the end result of the races I did this weekend.

Conditions were great for the 10k on Saturday. The course was quick, interesting, and I felt strong.

Sunday, well, Sunday was a slightly different story.

The humidity was almost 100%, temps were in the 70s at the start and this was the first time I’d done back-to-back races.

By Mile 2, I was dripping sweat.

By Mile 4 – about a third of the way done – I started bargaining with myself.

My hip was tight. I was wearing the wrong clothes. I had new shoes that were untested. I had run too fast yesterday. I started too fast today. I hadn’t trained enough in the last month.

Conversation in my head: Just go to one more water stop and then you can run and walk. Now this is something I’ve never done, but I was giving it serious consideration.

And then something else happened.

All I could think is this: I run because I get to.

I saw this phrase recently and it really resonated with me. Suddenly it also seemed to follow me everywhere.

At the Running Expo two days prior, I bought this shirt:

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(It’s from Fellow Flowers, and if you aren’t feeling particularly authentic, perhaps you are filled with strength, gratitude, courage, hope, or just feeling worthy. Check them out).

I thought about my Dad, who inspired my love of running and would have loved to be there.

I run because I get to.

And then I ran past a group of spectators who were more than happy to give me high fives. My energy surged.

I run because I get to.

And then – get your tissues – I ran past a group of children in wheelchairs, cheering on the runners.

I run because I get to.

Suddenly, 13.1 miles didn’t seem so far.

I run because I get to.

My time was far, far from a personal best: 2:07:31.

I was #1207 out of 19,294 finishers.

But I did it, and it was awesome.

I run because I get to.

Chapped Lips

Lip balms have been mysteriously disappearing around Fancy Pants Ranch as of late.

I suspect the timing and events are largely due to MGM’s recent discovery that mint-favored Chapstick is both therapeutic and delicious. I went to use one of the lonely remaining ones on my nightstand the other day, and there were definitely some bites taken out of the stick. Ick.

Trixie has a fairly large stash of Lip Smackers – one of my all-time faves, even now – but no one can ever seem to locate one when they’re needed.

Hands down, I think Aveda Lip Saver is the best lip balm on the market. The texture is just right – not too sticky or waxy – and a thick layer will stay on all night while you slumber. It’s $8.50 a pop, so definitely not a Chapstick-level bargain, but I think the quality is worth the price.

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However, Naturopathica’s Honey Vanilla lip balm is close contender:

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For the price, it’s hard to beat Yes to Carrot’s lip balms in grapefruit, pomegranate or blueberry. Regular price is only $2.99 but their website has them listed for less than $2. Worth stocking up if your kids use them as snacks like mine do.

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On the other end of the price spectrum is Aerin’s Rose Lip Conditioner. At $28, you really need to hide this one from the kiddos. It definitely feels luxurious, though.

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Want to try your hand at making your own lip balm? Here’s a guide.

P.S. I spent waaaay too much time on the Lip Smackers site while researching this post. It’s awesome!

Workout Bling

I like cute workout clothes, but honestly, the most important qualities in exercise attire for me are to not be itchy/chafe-y and to not stink. (See this for the backstory on the second quality).

But there’s always room for a little sparkle.

These headbands came on the scene several years ago and now are ubiquitous at many of the races I’ve done.

Sweaty Bands promise not to slip during your workout, and overall I’d say they live up to that hype. They also come in dozens of cute designs, including some glittery ones that are particularly suited for Race Day.

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I also purchase running shoes by function, not style, but these are really cute:

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Running in the Happiest Place on Earth

Today and tomorrow, I’m running in the Glass Slipper Challenge, back-to-back races (10K on Saturday and half marathon – 13.1 miles – on Sunday) that are part of the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

Both events are at Walt Disney World and are part of the Run Disney race series. These two races will be my seventh and eighth Run Disney events, respectively. Since I already ran the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in January, I’ll also (hopefully) get a special Coast-to-Coast medal for running races in California (Disneyland) and Florida (Walt Disney World) in the same calendar year. (Why do I do this? Well, I am a huge, shameless sucker for bling and love a challenge).

The first race I ever participated in was the 2006 Walt Disney World Marathon. I’d always wanted to run a marathon, but never had the time or confidence to train.

In June 2005 I finished my OBGYN residency and moved from Colorado to Texas to start my fellowship. Before leaving Denver, I’d been running a lot with my friend W, who first invited me to run a half marathon with her.

Even though I’d been a runner since my high school cross country days, the longest distance I’d ever completed was eight miles. But W and I started running together several times a week, and the miles would fly by. Soon we were able to churn out nine miles, then ten, then twelve. We ended up finishing two half marathons before I moved.

Fast forward to Texas, July 2005: I was awed when a new acquaintance casually mentioned that she’d done the Disney Marathon four times. She highly recommended it for a newbie, as there is a lot of support along the course and plenty of novelty to keep your (fatigued) spirits up.

I signed up the next day. 

The Disney Marathon takes place every January, usually on the second Sunday. It winds through four of the WDW theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Disney characters line the course and many runners stop for a photo op with Mickey, Goofy or a favorite Princess or Villain.

My goals for my first marathon were fairly straightforward:

  1. Finish the race
  2. Finish the race without humiliating myself in some way
  3. Just keep running

And I did it! I was so happy. I finished in 4:24:24, which isn’t setting any world records but was plenty fine with me.

Since then I’ve done the Disney Marathon two more times, plus four other marathons and about 15 half marathons. I like to always be training for something, because I really need that tangible goal to look forward to. And did I mention how much I love the bling?

Friends, please keep me in your thoughts and mentally send best wishes for fresh legs, fast feet and good races this weekend!