Monthly Archives: June 2011

Thumbs Up! Thursday

All-Thumbs-Up

Yipee!!!!  My first Thumbs Up! Thursday in my new blogging home!  I almost missed it, sorry for the delay!!  Welcome to my house warming party of sorts!  Hope everyone is having a fabulous week and a very (although late) Thumbs Up! Thursday

Just a quick little posting to give a shout out to all things Thumbs Up! worthy!  I have been reDUNKulously busy and consumed by the WordPress conversion, that I have had my Thumbs Up! blinders on and pretty sure I’ve missed out on many Thumbs Up! opportunities.  😦

TWO Thumbs Ups! to TWO of my friends who each had babies this week.  Congrats to you both, your little ones are precious!  I can’t wait to meet them in person.

New baby girl born yesterday

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And new baby boy born today

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And Thumbs Up! to my BRB “trail girl” Ashley who took FIRST OVERALL female at the Miles for Marines Trail Race 5K!!!!  You’re pretty much my freakin’ HERO!  Way to run until you (almost) PUKE!  Now quit sandbagging with those injuries and step up that distance LOL!

I give myself a Thumbs Up! for simplifying my life a little.  I transferred YMCA’s this week.  I was going to a very nice and fairly new YMCA but it was très inconvenient to get to.  So now I go to the dumpy OLD crusty YMCA downtown.  BUT it cuts a good hour off my trip time.  SAHWEET!!  The pool freaked me out a bit, pretty sure it was built in 1910, and it looks like that was the last time they cleaned the grout also.

So that’s all I’ve got….as your official blog warming gift to me….tell me what you deserve a Thumbs Up! for this week!!!

Don’t my my “How’s and Why’s of WordPress” post from earlier today!

How and Why I Converted to WordPress

Why did I make the change????  Peer pressure made me do it!  No, really….although bloggers are running in droves from Blogger to WordPress, I have been wanting and trying to do this for a long LONG time.  Almost all of the “big name” blog authors use WordPress and claim that it is far superior to Blogger.  I admire a couple WordPress blogs that have features that Blogger didn’t offer.  But after many many failed attempts at WordPress, I gave up.  I don’t deal well with change and once I get in a grove with one thing, its hard to learn to speak another language.

But after the great Blogger meltdown of 2011, and the quirky aftershocks that occurred, I made my mind up….I was MOVING!  I know there is the possibility that WordPress could have a bout of server PMS and implode too, but we’ve all been burned once by Blogger, why stick around to be burned again??  It was shortly after the Blogger outage, that I saw a tweet by Caratunk Girl that someone helped her make the conversion and was offering to help others…..for free!  I couldn’t resist, and Kevin at Ironman by Thirty has been my blog conversion savior….he.is.AWESOME (and incredibly patient with all my questions!)  And apparently he is kind hearted enough to extend the same offer to others in need of help, see {this} post for deets.

After I contacted Kevin and he got me all set up with my new WordPress digs, I got to work on my layout.  I hunkered down for an entire day and learned how to build my site and import all my old blog posts to my new site (seriously….it took me an entire day to MAKE myself figure out WordPress).  But once I learned to speak the WordPress language (Plugins and Widgets vs. Gadgets) I figured things out pretty quickly.

Once I got things semi situated, I started working on my blog domain name.  Along with converting to WordPress, I wanted to finally get my own domain name and ditch the blogspot.com attached to my domain name.  But DRATS!!!!  myreasontorun.com was already taken.  Too bad the TOOL that owns the site isn’t actually using it, they just hogged up the name and now I can’t use it.  Free it up dude if you’re not using it!!!!!!!  So I struggled and angsts over changing my blog name.  I finally decided on myreasontotri.com.

This is where things got way out of my league of comfort.  Kevin pretty much handled the whole redirecting and pointing things in the right place.  I doubt I could have ever figured that one out!!!!  It was a little scary to start seeing my new WordPress blog take the place of my old blog.  But as of right now, I don’t think any of my traffic has suffered.  I do feel a little naked without my Google Friends Connect/Follow button (but I hear there is a plugin for that for WordPress)

I have spent the last couple of days tying up loose ends such as tracking down and changing links that still have my old blog name and address attached to them (my Facebook page, twitter account, Blogger profile, etc) I also had to update any logos I had (favicon, Facebook logo, etc).  I added my new blog to Windows Live Writer for writing and publishing.  (If you don’t use Live Writer, I highly suggest using it, the WordPress dashboard is quite bulky just like Blogger!!!!!!)  One thing I have yet to change is my Twitter handle.  It remains as @MyReasontoRun.  I’m not sure why I am afraid to change it….but I am.

So, what are my thoughts about WordPress bloggin so far?  I’m liking the commenting format, being able to reply directly to someone else’s comment and the fact that it notifies them of the replies.  I like a couple of the plugins and widgets that aren’t available (or at least I couldn’t find) on Blogger.  I did notice a small influx of spam comments the day after I went live.  But I installed some sort of spam detector and it stopped.  Anytime I got hung up on trying to figure out how to do something, WordPress help desk had the answer (the favicon was a booger to figure out!)

I’m still not 100% happy with my layout.  My brother told me it looks more “bloggy” than my old one, in which he thought this was a good thing.  But I want my blog to look crisper and cleaner, more snappy and professional, less cutesy blogger….know what I mean???  Maybe I need new pics, take down some of my logos and buttons, different colors???  So bear with me, hopefully my blog won’t look like a schizophrenic with an identity crisis while I’m getting settled in.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions….like I said, I am open to (constructive) criticism.  

Be back shortly for a short Thumbs Up! Thursday posting!

Movin’ on UP!

Put your seat belt on kids…..mama has moved to WordPress! Hopefully this will be a smooth transition. I did notice that my Google Reader was clogged with about 2 weeks worth of my posts being reposted last night. Sorry bout that!

I decided to go with myreasontotri.com. I struggled with the name. What if I don’t stick with triathlons, I’m primarily a runner, etc, etc. But, lets be honest, triathlon is in my blood now…..its as much a part of my identity as running.

I redirected all the traffic to this new site, hopefully I won’t loose any of you precious readers in the shuffle. And I apologize in advance if my new site makes a couple identity crisis face lifts. I’m not 100% happy with the layout yet, more tweaking to be done! I’m open to constructive criticism or advice on how to make my new pad more enjoyable!

Thanks for continuing to follow my journey!

Balance????

A couple weeks ago, I chose to stay at home and race Tri Latta. Because I raced, I missed out a beach trip with Haley, my parents, and little brother.

I missed this:

and this:

and this:

While I did have a good time at the race, I regret missing out on that unique time with my family.

I was supposed to race this weekend. But I chose NOT to miss out on family fun again this weekend. Instead we did this:

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I took a big FAT DNS this weekend. Although that stings a little, I don’t regret it. I wasn’t really excited about this race, so it was an easy choice to make once my husband started giving me a little guilt trip about spending too much time on training/racing and not enough time doing “fun” stuff.

The life of an endurance athlete can be a lonely one, especially when your family or friends do not participate in the same hobbies as you are don’t quite understand the obsession. I am struggling with finding a balance between training and racing, and having a social life and spending time with family. Its difficult to plan weekend activities when training takes up HUGE chunks of time. I could easily spend 4 hours (including prep and travel time) away from home in one day for a long bike ride.

How do you balance it all? How do you get proper training in and still have time for real life?

What’s in a Name?

Yahhh, I’m pretty much obsessed and consumed by the great WordPress migration.  Its been pretty painless….so far.  I’m not sure what clicked this time, I’ve tried and failed multiple times at the conversion, but I’m actually getting it this time around.

Now its time to choose a domain name.  myreasontorun.com is taken!!!!  Oh, the horror!  here is a list of suggested alternatives from DreamHost:

hurryforareason

runforaaim

sprintforareason

scamperforareason – my personal favorite

runforanintention

hopforareason

runforanincentive

Really??????

I want to stay as close to my original blog name as possible.  Here is a list of more suitable possibilities

A~runforareason

B~myreasontorunswimandbike

C~myreasontotri

D~myreasontorunis

Which name do you like????? Any of the above? Other suggestion?????

Also, what feed reader do you use?  I’ve always used my Google Reader. 

Thumbs Up! Thursday

All-Thumbs-Up

Busy, Busy, BUSY today!!!! Thumbs Up! Thursday will be a short one today kids!! But thanks for stopping by blog friends old and new!

I have spent the majority of my day off working on my new WordPress home. Yes, I have succumb to the mass blogger exodus and migrating over to WP. Hopefully it will be a seamless process and I won’t loose too many followers in the process. Here is a sneak peak of what I’m up to. It won’t look drastically different. But I do LOVE the comment reply back feature and a few other minor upgrades. Thumbs Up! to me for finally figuring out WP! And HUGE Thumbs Up! to Kevin @ Ironman By 30 for helping me with this process!!! Hopefully I will have it up and running next week.

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I love a good giveaway, and I especially LOVE when I win one!!!! Grateful Mama hosted a Reflect Sports giveaway and I won! I chose a tube of the Hoo Ha Ride Glide. I couldn’t resist, with a name like that! For real though, I have yet to find a chamois cream that keep my…ahem….hoo ha happy. Full review to come! Thanks and Thumbs Up! Sugar Magnolia and Reflect Sports!

CONGRATS to all the Nuun Hood to Coast ladies for making the relay team. A couple of my bloggy buddies made the list!!!!! Thumbs Up! to my Grrrrrls!!! I’m super jealous….but excited for all of you!!!!!! And if Nuun needs a 7th alternate…I could totally make myself available!!!!!!

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Ok, I know I’m super short on Thumbs Ups! today, but I’ve got to get back to the grindstone. Lots of reviews and maybe some giveaways coming up soon. Yipee!!!

What’s been going on in your AWESOME world that deserves a Thumbs Up!???

A Very Merry Triathlon-y Birthday!

I totally forgot to post a BIRTHDAY recap….well mostly because I FORGOT most of my birthday celebrations. Blame it on too much Magic Hat #9 and Fat Tire. Whoops!

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I eluded to the birthday cookout (aka meat fest at the vegetarian’s house!) in yesterday’s post. Filled with fun, booze, friends, swimming and plenty of cake! Thank you to all the family and friends who came and I dearly missed the ones that couldn’t be there! And mucho gracias to everyone who was busy in the kitchen, manning the grill and helping clean up while I ran my mouth, sat on my behind, and gorged on spirits and birthday cake!

So what does a budding triathlete get for her birthday??? Well a bunch of multisport gear! WooooHooo!!!! Forgive my appearance, this was a pool party after all, complete with pool hair and bathing suit.

Some of my birthday loot includes the following:

Cool “Biker Chick” jersey! Notice the sign in the background….classic!

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Sign reads: “Alcohol!, I only drink to make YOU more interesting”

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Official race pictures!!!!

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The Complete Triathlon Book (which I’m exchanging for Triathlete’s Training Bible)

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And Sneaky husband put a Performance Bike gift certificate into the purse (I picked out)

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Also HUGE thank you to those who donated to my Facebook birthday wish!!!!! Lesley at Racing it Off, running buddy and blogger Ashley at Adventures of Running Mom, JSRDF foundation members, Michele, Karen and Susan all made my REAL birthday wish possible, thanks you guys!!!!

And thank you to all the birthday wishes here on my blog. I’m not sure how you could have forgotten, I only bugged you guys about it for 2 weeks LOL!

And I also totally forgot to announce the winner of the GoTein Giveaway. DUHHH, beer totally blew a hole in my short term memory apparently. But Lesley at Racing it Off is the big winner!!! Email me with your info Lesley!

Its All About CHOICES

Seriously……

I never thought my food choices would be a hot topic of conversation.  I suppose anything that is not the norm creates curiosity, questions, and criticism.  Since I stopped eating meat nearly 2 months ago, I have been asked about a BAJILLION times “why?” “what do you eat?” “when are you going to eat meat again?” “do you feel sick?” But the one question that really befuddles me is So, you CAN’T each such and such?” 

At my birthday cookout last weekend, my family and friends were chowing down on burgers, hot dogs, wings etc, while I enjoyed a bean enchilada.  Not a very cookout-y choice I suppose, but I didn’t want another veggie burger.  Several people seemed to think I was feeling left out because I wasn’t partaking in the meat fest.  I was asked on at least 6 different occasions “so you CAN’T eat this or CAN’T eat that?”  Well, I CAN eat whatever I want.  If I wanted to eat a hamburger, I would.  But I don’t WANT to.  But if I eat a hot wing or a piece of fish, the vegetarian police aren’t going to pop out behind a tree and arrest me.  

Being a vegetarian, for me, is about making a choice not to eat meat.  I am not held to any kind of code or restriction that is not self imposed.  My choice to be a vegetarian is of my own free will.  I am not a vegetarian ambassador and do not hold myself to the standard of a label.  And if one day I choose to eat meat….I will.

Also, I choose to eat things that aren’t necessarily considered vegetarian.  There are lots of foods out there that are vegetarian pit-falls, and if I happen to eat something that is not totally vegetarian, I don’t beat myself up over it.  Check out No Meat Athlete’s list of things you thought were vegetarian friendly.  I still love a good smore!  Alas, marshmallows are maid with gelatin…an animal byproduct (but there are vegan marshmallows).  I still take gel cap medicines, also made with gelatin (but they do make vegetarian capsules).  Some beers and wines are not vegetarian because they are filtered with isinglass, a fish byproduct.  And I’m pretty sure the tortillas I enjoy at the semi authentic Mexican restaurant are made with lard.  So, at this point….yes, I do eat some animal byproducts, I try to substitute for a vegetarian alternative, but I do not eat meat.

I am also confused by why some people just can’t accept that I choose not to eat meat.  Its like I am from an alien plant or speak an ancient language to them.  They just can’t wrap their minds around eliminating meat from my diet.  In their minds, the idea of living without meat seems absolutely ludicrous….and impossible.  And no matter what I say, or how I explain it, they just can’t accept it and continue to try to lure me back to their meat eating ways.  I accept that people will continue to eat and enjoy meat, I don’t give them a hard time about it, so why can’t some people accept my choice to not eat meat?

To those who are not vegetarian: What questions do you have about people who choose not to eat meat or animal byproducts?   

To those who are vegetarian: What question do you have the most difficultly answering about your food choices?  Where do you draw your vegetarian line as to what you will and won’t eat? 

Shine ON!!!

The fine folks at FlashBrite sent me some of their reflective stick on patches to review a couple months ago. It took me a while to get to this review (so sorry for that FlashBrite!!!). Back when I first received the patches, I was still a day runner and did not need them. But now, in the throes of summer, I am a running vampire…..I do not run during the light of day…..PERIOD! I don’t do much riding in the dark, but I do ride at dawn and think these could still be beneficial when the sun isn’t fully out.

I am very safety conscious while out on the roads. I want to see and be seen while running and riding. I don’t listen to music (so I can hear my surroundings), I wear bright clothes, a flashy button thing, and even wear a headlamp. So the FlashBrite patches are right up my alley!

FlashBrite patches are made with adhesive 3M material, much like a sticker. Simply peel and stick. According to the website, this adhesive material is strong enough to withstand several washings. But for a more permanent fixture, you should sew it on.

I’m still having trouble finding where I want to permanently fix my patches. Here are some of the options I came up with:

Give my bike a touch of “hard core” skull action!

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Intimidate people with my skull and cross bone shoes as I pass them on a my bike. Argh, I’m a biking pirate!!!!!!

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Flower power on my hat!

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How about all over??!!

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Headlights??!!……..Ahem…..not so much!

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Where would YOU put your patches????

FlashBrite is also concerned about the safety of our pets. They were kind enough to send Rhett a sample product too! Awww….Rhett’s first product review! Made of soft materials with velcro ends, Rhett barely noticed they were on.

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“Mom…why do you do this to me???”

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But, alas….Rhett would prefer to sleep in and not go run with me at 5 a.m., so I took over his reflectors and made wrist bands out of them! I tried putting them around my ankles too, but my ankles are too big 😦

“You go run, I will stay in my bed!”

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Dog ankle band used as human wrist band…..I’m so innovative!

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I feel like one giant reflective blob bouncing down the road….no WAY someone could miss me!! At just $3.99 per pack, its an inexpensive way to help make you more visible! Thanks for helping keep me safe out on the roads FlashBrite! Go check them out and get your shine on too!!!!!!

FlashBrite get the LB 5 Parachute Jacket seal of approval!!!!

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*******Disclaimer: I was given this product for free by FlashBrite, the opinions are strictly my own, I was not compensated in any other way for this review!

Thumbs Up! Thursday

All-Thumbs-Up

Happy Thursday everyone!!!! Welcome to Thumbs Up! Thursday, a day that is simply not celebrated enough, the gateway to the weekend, and they day I give a Thumbs Up! to all the awesomeness in my world and the world around me!

I received two exciting tidbits of Thumbs Up! worthy news yesterday. First, I am now a part of the BlogHer Network. I’m sure most of you know about or are a part of BlogHer, but for those not familiar it’s a blog publishing network that will help bring more exposure to my little corner of the interwebz. It will also mean that I can make a couple extra coins by having ad space on my blog. I’ve just got to read the fine print and get my little bloggy set up and I will be good to go. Any of you other bloggers in the BlogHer network?? What do you think about it???

The second (and most exciting!!!) morsel of awesomeness I received yesterday was that I was chosen to be a part of the FitFluential Ambassador team!!!!!!! Two VERY enthusiastic Thumbs Up!!!!!!

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I really can’t believe I was chosen, but SOOOO freakin’ excited that I was! I can’t wait to see what opportunities are waiting for the Ambassadors! I am in some pretty good company with some other running/fitness bloggers you may know: Blonde Ponytail, 5 Miles Past Empty, Run to the Finish, Making Good Choices, Run Faster Mommy, MCM, Long Legs on the Loose, and 55 other talented bloggers! YAY!!!!

Haley is doing new things every day. Here’s a short video of her doing some things that we didn’t know when or if she would ever do. What seems like everyday normal 3 year old activities are miracles to us. She amazes us every day! Thumbs Up! to you Haley!!!!

Just in case you forgot…..MY BIRTHDAY is Sunday, Thumbs Up! to everyone who has wished me an early birthday!

I will be consuming MASS quantities of cupcakes and/or cake!!! And maybe a beer or 10

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And, Thumbs Up! to that other secondary holiday this weekend too, Father’s Day. (I kid, Father’s Day is equally important as my birthday and OF COURSE I will share my day with the two dads in my life!!!)

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Tri #3 in just 10 days! Thumbs Up! for a busy race season for me! To say I’m exhausted is an understatement. NO RACING in July (hmmm, famous last words!)

Marathon training starts in just 1 month…YIKES!!! I need Thumbs Ups! to encourage me for my 1st marathon!

Soooooo, what’s been going on in your world that deserves a Thumbs Up!?

Have a very Thumbs Upsy Thursday!!!!!

Don’t forget to enter my GOtein GIVEAWAY….ends SUNDAY!!!!