Saturday, September 22, 2012

5K Charity Race re-cap...

I ran in the Fox and Hound 5K Charity Run for St. Jude's Children's Hospital this morning and I was ready. I've been running for a long time, so I knew I was physically in shape. However, I've never been one to time my distance- numbers and I don't really get along. This fall, I decided to keep track of where I run and I'm starting to time myself. I've got a lot to learn.
Although I've been running almost every day - it's always on the actual race day that I learn something and I learned a lot this morning.

It all started on Friday night. My surroundings were calm and cool and I was collected. I rested and I took nutrition advice from avid marathoners. However - I think I just need to learn for myself what food is right for me.

1. Food
 I was told to carb load a few days before the race - and to eat pasta the night before. Being someone from the 'fitness' world where I focused on body sculpting, I'm used to eating high protein, veggies, fiber, fruit and less unsaturated carbs. I'm used to 'carb' depleting before a Fitness show....but as runners we need to hydrate differently with carbs. 
I learned awhile back that heavy carbs, like pasta, make me feel bad. So, I will not eat pasta the night before a race anymore. I felt bloated and full and I was uncomfortable. I couldn't fall asleep when I wanted to. To my luck, I finally fell asleep at midnight. I woke up at 6:30 ready to roll. I still felt full but I knew I needed to hydrate so I kept it simple- I drank water,a six ounce shot of black coffee; I ate a small bowl of high fiber flakes with almond soy and a banana. I also had a glass of strawberry nuun. On my ride to Birkdale, I drank water.

Next time: Keep it simple with the carbs and stick with oats. Don't eat cereal or dairy. On the morning of the race, stick with fruit and nuts - as well as water. A shot of black coffee is fine. 

2. Clothes
I had my clothes ready on Friday night. Long black pants, compression sleeves for my shins, socks, sneakers, "SweatPink" tank top, and black pants. It was chilly Saturday morning and I had my race t-shirt on over my tank top. I also had on my new sneakers - with my "SweatPink" shoe laces. I was comfortable, until I started running.  Fortunately I was able to take my t-shirt off...but I couldn't take  my pants off. 

Next time: Wear shorts - or at least- knee length pants. 

3. Follow your instincts, not the crowd.
So here is the part I've been waiting to talk about. The race started out fine...and then when we got to a junction in the course, I had the instinct to take the left turn but everyone in front of me kept running straight. There wasn't a sign indicating the turn, and I was confused. I read the directions and I've run the course before so why did I let myself follow the crowd? I do not know - but I kept on running and moving forward. I was far off track. In some respects - I slowed  down a little bit only because I wanted to know where I needed to go. At this point I knew that my timing would be would be my distance. According to, I ran 4 miles. I did not time myself ....and I'm not even sure if we started on time. 

Next time: Follow your instincts...and bring a watch to clock my time. 

4. Ipod
I love music and I've been running with my ipod in hand since I started to run. It's a habit I need to I got hot during my run and had to take my t-shirt off. So I took my headset off and ran a short distance without the ipod on and it was awesome. 
Besides, I always search through songs when I have my ipod on. I hate running to slow music, or country music and even rock'n roll. I'm not saying I will never run with my ipod again, I just want to stop being so dependent on it.

Next time: No ipod. 

I felt great after the race. I went home, ate some food and decided to go to a yoga class to stretch out my muscles and relax. It was by far the best decision I made.

I'm now ready to prepare for the next 5K that's scheduled for October 14th. My new goals for the next three weeks are:

1. Run 3/4 miles at least three times a week.
2. Do yoga everyday.
3. Do a full body strength train routine 3 times a week.
4. Nix the pasta! 

On a final note, I'm ready to start training for a 10K. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kahne can rise to a Championship title

Who do you 'want' to win the Chase this season? 
My top pick is Kasey Kahne

Kahne finding out he won the pole in Martinsville, VA
My first race of the season and fourth in the media

Sitting on Jeff Gordon's pit box
Martinsville April 1st, 2012
After a complicated start to 2012, a Championship title would be an amazing accomplishment to wrap up the year.
Kahne was excited to start the season in a new ride, with a new sponsor, with new teammates and a new boss. He had waited a long time for this opportunity and it didn't start out so good. From the crashing in practice at Daytona, to the wreck in the Great American race -  to wreck after wreck in the following races.
 In Las Vegas, he won the pole and broke the fastest (speed) record. He finished that race in 19th position. In Bristol, he wrecked early in the race and had to finish 37th. In Martinsville, he won the pole then 256  laps in to the race his engine blew up and ended his day. He spent the rest of the race sitting in his teammates (Jeff Gordon's) pit box with hopes that one of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers would win the race, marking it their 200th victory (as a team). It didn't happen, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second and Ryan Newman finished first.

It wasn't until the Texas race  - the Saturday after Easter weekend that the No. 5 team turned things around. He started the Samsung Mobile 500 in fifth position and finished seventh. The next day, he flew to Rockingham, North Carolina to race in the Turner Motor Sports Rockwell Tools truck at the legendary NASCAR track we all know and love as "The Rock." Because he was not there to qualify the truck - he had to start the race in the rear of the field - and he won that race.
Victory for Kahne in Rockingham
North Carolina
That was the first time I was in victory circle for a race and it was his win. In a book I'm writing with a pre- title "Confessions of a writer," I'll tell you what being a part of that as a journalist was like.
From my point of view, that's when things turned around for Kahne. Maybe it was because of his off weekend (during Easter)  where he traveled to Ohio with his own team Kasey Kahne Racing to race in the dirt in the sprint cars.
Maybe it was because it was his 32nd birthday - whatever it was - his luck turned right around. He went on to finish in the top 10 three times after the Texas race. Then in Darlington he tied for the pole with a speed of 179.566 miles per hour and a lap time of 27.386 seconds with his teammate Jimmie Johnson. Greg Biffle from Roush-Fenway Racing locked in a faster time - breaking the HMS front line start up- knocking Kahne the second row for a  third position start. That's alright, we all know it's not where you start - it's where you finish. The timing and the stars seemed to be in line that weekend. Luck was lingering in the air. Someone on the HMS team had to win the 200th that night and Johnson did just that.

The next weekend in Charlotte, Kahne wrecked his car during the qualifying run for the All-Star Race - that meant he had to start last and he went on to finish ninth over-all. For the second Charlotte race, he won the Coca Cola 600. Luck continued for him after that - and his second win came in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where once again, the entire HMS team drove strong, hanging on to the top five spots. At one point - the teammates were in line in numerical  number (5, 24, 48, 88). It was obvious that an HMS driver would win and - Kahne took the checkered flag. It was his first victory in NH.

Post race interview at NH
first NH win - 2nd win of 2012
I believe Kahne can win the 2012 title because he showed me - and the NASCAR community he can outwit bad luck. He can hold hisself accountable when need be, and he controls his emotions. He is one of the biggest movers in standings. In April, he was 31st in points and moved to 11th before the Chase. After one race - he's moved from 11th to fifth. Now that he's off to NH,  also known as The Magic Mile, he's confident and motivated to win again - and if he did it would be considered a 'season sweep.' I'd consider it epic. On a lighter, more comical note, the infamous Red Rocks Cafe in Birkdale Village - a restaurant that he and many NASCAR drivers like to frequent and a place where the food and drinks are named after drivers and writers in the business, Kahne is named after the twin lobster entree. I believe a second win in NH is due and near. Realistically, his chances are strong, in 17 starts at the track in a Cup car, Kahne has started second four times and had seven top ten finishes including a win.

It's exciting to see all four Hendrick teammates in the Chase line-up especially since he said at the beginning of the year he told the media he'd like to see all four guys in it - and the teams delivered. With the kind of year these men have had - it would be poetic to see one of them hoist the Cup in Miami this November.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Final four weeks of 5K training

The next four weeks of my life are going to be hectic, and busy.

I like it that way.

I'm registered for two 5Ks thus far (a third is possible)...and the race that I've been training for all summer long is in four weeks.

My first race is next Saturday on September 22, 2012. It's hosted by Fox and Hound, the 5K Charity Run benefiting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. It's located in my favorite spot, Birkdale Village.
The 3.1 miles will be run around the 'village' twice before shooting down Lindholm Drive for the final leg.  I do not have a goal time for this race, actually, I just want to see how long it will take me. This is the practice 5K.
I ran the route for practice this morning and it was a bit tough, more so than the last time I ran it. I was tired, very tired. So exhausted that I should have taken the morning off from working out to prevent injury.

To run from my house to Birkdale Village and back is 4.62 (or so) miles. Catawba Avenue is a really busy street and to cross it can be dangerous. Then you have to trudge along on the grassy way so you don't get hit by a car. It can wreak havoc on your ankles, shins and knees.
I've been nursing sore shins and calves for the past week - since my last run to Birkdale. I didn't stop running, I've been out there running every day- plus I've kept up with my weight lifting schedule. Now, I just need to get to a yoga class everyday and I'll be fine.

On Sunday, the 23rd day of September is the Rambling Rose Triathlon. I am not ready to participate, but I will certainly be there - cheering on the participants and learning.

The second 5K I'm contemplating on doing is on September 29, 2012. I do not have all the details of this race, all I know is that it's in the Peninsula in Cornelius. I've run there plenty of times, except I've never measured my distance or timed my pace. This would be a great training experience for me. I also know this race would be benefiting a Bone Marrow Foundation.

The final 5K is the Kahne Five 5K in Charlotte on October 14th - hosted by the Kasey Kahne Foundation. This will be my third time running it, and this time, there's a new route. Apparently, he chose a less 'hilly' route. In the past we left Bank of America Stadium (aka Carolina Panthers football field) and after running a few hills we ended at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This year, we start at NHoF and end there. I foolishly joked  with Kasey (via twitter, so I'm hoping he didn't read it and I don't have to be accountable, just kidding) that I would beat his time this year - a little overzealous of me, I know. He is able to run 3.1 miles in 20 minutes. But I need some incentive, it'll be a tough weekend. I write about NASCAR and that is the weekend they are racing in Charlotte. The race is Saturday night and I usually leave the media center around 2 AM on a race night. I can't complain though - the guys racing the 5K all go to bed late the night before because they too are at the track. Forty-three guys are racing 500 miles on a two mile oval  with steep turns in a 3,400 pound car that gets to be around 100 degrees or more -for four hours. All the while wearing a lot of protective gear that weighs a lot.
I've been tired running that 5K before and I wasn't as strong of a runner as I am now, so this year, I just hope to finish the race in less than 30 minutes- if not 20. That's my goal and I'm sticking to it.
* For fans (and non-race fans) who want to participate in this 5K, please sign up at:

 Here is my 7 day training  schedule

Week One:

Saturday 745/8 AM- 3.1 mile run at Birkdale Village; done!

Sunday - 11:30 Long, slow deep yoga - done
An afternoon of rest and relaxation while watching racing and football

Monday- One mile -morning- run in the neighborhood - done!
Evening- weights - upper body strength train - done
1 hour yoga - done

Long run - 3 miles -done
Leg routine (strength) - done
**tried squats on a biso ball and loved it!*
At home 'yoga stretch' - done

Wednesday - 7:30 AM run in Birkdale - (1.75 miles) done
9:45 Hot Yoga with Kim Z - done!

Thursday- Morning run in Birkdale

Friday- OFF Rest, and prepare for Saturday!
Pick up race packet at Fleet Feet

Saturday-  8 AM 5K Charity Run in Birkdale! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

30 Days of Abs - Day 10 - Russian Twists

Today's AB Challenge: Russian twists.

This is done with props so get out a ball - or a dumbbell and sit on the floor.

Easy way to do it is keep both feet planted on the ground and twist to the right, and then to the left.

Challenge yourself by lifting both feet at least two inches in the air, and twist to the right and then to the left!

Do it three times for 15 sets.

Bonus Challenge: Do another two or more ab exercises
Sit-up twists
or- one of your own choices!

Have fun!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Sunday football fun-day! Week 1

Football season started today and I for one am excited! If you had visited my house today, you would have thunk you walked into a sports bar. Except I was alone all day. 

This is my attempt to write about my opinions on the games I watched today.
Disclaimer: I am not a football journalist! This is my blog, my personal opinion and my personal perspective.

Sure, I'll mix facts with opinion but if you're looking for a statistical,  play-by-play, re-cap of the game, I suggested you check your favorite football teams website. 

I have no shame to admit that I am a life-long New England Patriots fan. I grew up in New Hampshire, lived in Boston from 2002 until 2008 and I will forever be a Bostonian sports fan. 
I had the privilege to meet some of the players in July when they were guests at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Lenox 301. 
Joey Logano, driver No. 20 for Home Depot
hangs out with three members of the NE Patriots
July 2012
Photo credit: Genevieve

But- I barely know anything about any other teams. I couldn't tell you who the quarter back is for ..Miami, or the Jets or even the Steelers. I decided that this season, I'm going to learn and get to know other teams. I've got the NFL Ticket on Direct TV and I won't let it go to waste. 
I do want to eventually play fantasy football. So this season, the  promise I 'force' myself is to learn as much as possible and join a Fantasy League in 2013! 

So, without further ado, here's my Sunday football fun-day re-cap.

Patriots 34  v. Titans 13

New England Patriots traveled to Nashville for the season opening game to face off with Tennessee Titans. 
I missed the kick-off, shame on me. But it was obvious from the minute I turned the TV on,  the Patriots were the dominate team. Even after Brady was hit in the face and had to nurse a bloody nose, he was able to focus (as usual) and lead the team to victory.
They had a stellar game and the team looked solid. It was the Patriots that I know and love, and I was not disappointed or bored. 
Rob Gronkowski scored a touchdown for the team in the second quarter. When he went to the throw the football down for celebration, it fell out of his hand, hit his leg and flew in the other direction. He looked at his empty hand surprised. The referees had to watch the catch and review the play for the opponent had tackled Gronk, but not in time. He caught the football with both hands, had both feet in the end zone and the touchdown was legal.
Today's win marks the ninth straight season-opening win for the Patriots, and it's the current longest streak in the NFL. The Patriots have a habit of making records, to date, they are at three Super Bowl wins. 

 Panthers 10 v. Tampa 16

I live in Charlotte's metro-county, so it's fitting that I give my new home team some love and attention. They are not a threat to the Patriots, for one they aren't playing each other this year. Unless of course they make it to the Super Bowl and after today's snooze fest, I don't foresee the team making it to the biggest game of the year. I could be wrong..but the Panthers have a lot of work to do. That is for sure. Cam Newton better step-it up! 
The Carolina Panthers flew south to Tampa to play against the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay had the first touch down, leaving the Panthers at zero for the first half. In the third quarter, Newton through a touchdown pass. 
It was all the Panthers had for the day. 

Seahawks 16 v. Cardinals 20

With the NFL ticket, I got to watch two games at once and the Seahawks were on my laptop while the Panthers were on television. 
I decided to pull for Seattle. Call me crazy, but I love the Seahawks colors and they had on cool new uniforms. Plus, I can't wait to visit Seattle, Washington where two of my favorite bloggers (Jess and Cheryl) live. 
Cardinals played host to the Seahawks and they were determined to win the season-home opener in their house. 
Today's game was not easy to watch, especially since I had to refresh my laptop several times. 
Aside that, the teams scored three points in the first half. 
By the fourth quarter, Seattle had hope for they were ahead 16-13. Unfortunately,  Arizona had a touchdown that bumped up their score to 20. 
 In the final 59 seconds, Seahawks had a chance to score the final touchdown, but the Cardinals didn't let that happen. It was a nail-biting intense minute that lasted longer then a minute. We all know 59 seconds left of play time in football, usually means another 5 minutes before either team actually score.

Those were the three games  I focused on the most today.  I tried to pay attention to the Steelers versus Broncos game. The biggest news of day was that my biggest rival, Peyton Manning is now wearing orange and playing quarterback for the Denver, Colorado Broncos. Sure we've known this all summer long, but today was the day the fans 'felt' the change the most. I personally don't care in the least bit where, or who Manning plays for.

Next week:
NASCAR will be starting their 'play off' season also known as "The Chase." I'll be watching that for sure.
I'll highlight Michael Waltrip drivers for my column "Drivers to Watch" on Skirts and Scuffs, which you can read on Friday. 
The boys will be practicing in Chicagoland, Illinois on Friday at 1 and 4 PM. Qualifying will be on Saturday at 1:30 
The race is scheduled for September 16th at 1 PM and can be seen on ESPN.

Sunday is also the Patriots home-opening game and they'll host the Arizona Cardinals. The game will air on Fox at 1 PM.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

30 Days of ABS: Days 4 and 5

Today marks the 5th day of your 30 Days of Abs challenge. Yesterday, I did not post a blog but I'm curious, did you stick with it? Did you do an abdominal exercise? I did.

I went to a Hot Power Yoga class where my teacher made us do some seriously tough ab exercises slowly, while keeping the integrity of yoga. So, that's today's challenge!

Lay down! Put your feet up in the your arms by your side.
Now, put your left leg down but DO NOT touch the floor! Let your leg hoover over the floor by two inches!
Put your arms behind your head.
Now, reach up and try to touch your (right)  knee! Do not move fast!
Do this six times.
Put your right leg down,  the same way your left leg is and lift your left leg.  Repeat what you did on the right side.

After one set, DO NOT put your feet down. Lift your legs in the air and rest for five breaths.

Now, keep your legs up and lift your torso, try to reach your feet. Hold it for one breath. Do this this six times. When your done, drop and rest for a count of two breaths.

Now... Lift your your shoulders off the floor.and lift your legs from the floor, pick your arms up too and let them hoover for a count of five breaths.

Tell me, how did you do?

Monday, September 03, 2012

30 Days of Abs- Day 3 Sit-up twists!

It's Labor Day! Most of you are probably taking the day off from working out. Who can blame you?

If you do want to get your ab exercise in, here's a fun sit-up with a twist.

Do your sit-up but once up, twist to the right and let your left elbow touch your right knee.
Lay down.
Sit-up- twist to the left and let your right elbow touch your left knee.

Do this set for 15 reps.

After one set, turn over and do a plank.

Now, repeat this set two more times.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

30 Days of ABs- Day 2: SIT-UP!

Not only is it a Sunday, it's Labor Day weekend! You're probably sleeping in, relaxing, or going to the beach.
The last thing on your mind is working out. But it's Day two of the Ab Challenge what do you do?

Play calming music.

Find a spot on your floor, and lay down. Stretch your arms above your head. Stretch and hold. Breath in, breath out. Slowly. Inhale. Exhale.  Then put your hands behind your neck. Put your feet on the floor, your knees will be bent.

Slowly - SIT UP! Do this 15 times for three different sets!

When your done, lay there still and inhale...exhale. Close your eyes. Inhale. Exhale.

And then, PLANK!

When your done...go out and enjoy your day!

Other ways to have fun with doing sit-ups, challenge your friends. If you're at a party, this could be a cool drinking game. Play a song, do some sit-ups and the one that does the least has to drink!

If your watching sports of any kind (football, baseball, racing, golf, etc) see how many sit-ups you can do during commercial breaks.

HAVE FUN and BE SAFE this weekend!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

30 Days of Abs-Day 1

Today is September 1st - and the first day of my 30 Days of Abs Challenge! I know, it's a holiday weekend but I will be nice. Today - sometime - anytime - do this one ab/core exercise for as long as you can and tell me how you did! Ready?


Just 'plank' it baby! 

If you are hosting -or at a party, you can turn it into a drinking game with your friends too! 

Whoever drops first has to drink!

Have fun friends - be safe and enjoy your Saturday!