Thursday, July 18, 2013


Hi everyone!  It is Ragnar Eve!  I am so excited I can barely contain myself!!  My team and I are leaving this afternoon (in just a few hours) to head up to Bellingham.  Hopefully we get some sleep tonight because we have an early AM check in at the start line, 6:30.  I have managed to cram all most of my stuff in to 1 bag, with the exception of my blanket and pillow. 

My bag with my blanket (GO DUCKS!) and PillowPet (it's my daughter's)
The inside of my bag.  Notice the 2 gallon bags to hold each set of clothes
So, my bags are packed and I am now just waiting.  While I wait I think I'll make a play list (or two).  I will need all of the encouragement and motivation that I can get!  Most likely we will not get too much sleep so to combat the crazies I have packed Red Bull as well (sugar free of course).

And for added sustenance I will be providing deli meat and bananas.  My darling husband went to the store to get those for me while I went for a run the other night. 

He bought enough to feed a small army, or a van of 6 hungry Ragnarians!!  As a team we decided we would split up the food we needed and each contribute something different.  I also got some Powerbars for myself. 

So here I am, waiting to leave for an awesome adventure!  I have every intention of posting a post-Ragnar update so hopefully I can recall every awesome moment!!  I will be bringing my camera along and will always have my phone on at the very least there will be those!

Until next time!

Red Kisses,



Friday, July 12, 2013

Garmin Forerunner 310XT Unboxing

Hi everyone!

 I was so excited when my new Garmin Forerunner arrived in the mail a few days ago! I already have owned 1 but it just didn't have all of the functionality I was looking for, so it was time to upgrade.  I ordered my 310XT from Amazon and splurged on the 2 day shipping (I really needed wanted it immediately!). I opened the box Amazon shipped it in and it was a decent size box
Very nicely packaged but I couldn't wait to rip into it!  It was killing me to open it slowly and take pictures!

Upon opening the Forerunner box, I pulled out each little baggie as well as the instruction manuals.  The box contains the Forerunner 310XT, a charging clip, a USB ANT stick (more about this later), instruction manuals (in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Russian) and several power adapters for countries outside of the U.S.  I chose to buy the version without the heart rate monitor.  I know myself and would never use it so I saved myself about $20. 
After opening each appropriate baggie (I only needed the power adapter for the US and the English manual) I turned my device on and went through the steps of setting it up.  It took me all of 5 minutes to do this.  It asked me the language I wanted to use, whether I wanted 12 hour format or 24, Standard or Metric measure, my age, gender, height and weight.  There may have been a few more questions but these were the important ones that I remember.  The battery came charged to 41% and it is always recommended to fully charge prior to first use.  After set up, the manual instructs the user to install the ANT stick driver software and pair the stick and the device. 
This ANT stick is pretty awesome!  What it does is allow the watch to wirelessly transmit data to your computer!  It is the size of a wireless mouse USB stick but does so much!  I am very excited about this feature!  I use Daily Mile and it has the functionality to sync with Garmin devices.  It is very nice not to need a USB cord to get the data from my watch.  I always had a difficult time with my Forerunner 210 but that is because of the charging clip.  More about that later on in the post.

Once I paired my watch with the ANT stick I put the watch on the charger.  I knew that I wanted to use it in the next hour so I wanted to get it as charged as possible.  With that, let's talk about the charging clip.  This is definitely an upgrade from the charging clip on the 210.  The 310 charging clip has 2 connector points and the 210 had 4.  You would think that more is better but not in this case.  I ALWAYS struggled with the 4 connectors.  It was very hard to get the clip lined up with the connectors on the watch.  It would take me 5-10 minutes at times to line it up perfectly.  And it would only charge/transfer data if the connectors touched just so.  Irritating.  So I was very skeptical about the new one.  But the first time I placed the connectors together, it worked!!!  I was so excited and already was happy about my purchase! 

I let the Forerunner charge for about 30-45 minutes and in that time it charged to 84% and I decided it was good enough!  I was out the door!  I was out the door so fast that I hadn't bothered to read the instructions on how the watch worked!  HAHA.  Luckily I am an IT nerd and after fiddling with it for a bit determined how to set my intervals (3/:30) and how to start and stop the timer.  My old watch showed the intervals times, distance and pace but this shows each of those on different screens.  I was stuck on the intervals times for half of my run until I figured out to view the pace and distance!  But I think that helped.  I think I was running faster because I was focusing on time rather than pace. 

I don't have a detailed review at this time, since I have only used it once.  But I can say that it was very easy to start and stop and I really like that there's a backlight.  I will use that during my night run in Ragnar next weekend.  This watch is designed for Triathlon participants and to be honest I will most likely never use the swimming or biking function.  However, most reviews I have read about this watch I have heard good things about it with the bike function.  Please note that the GPS will not work in the water, for obvious reasons.  But during a Tri, you know your distance and just need to record time. 

That's all I have about it at this time.  If you have questions, please comment and I'll do my best to answer!

Red Kisses,


Monday, July 8, 2013

Less than 2 weeks until Ragnar!!!!

Ho-Ly-Crap!  Did I just type that?  Is it really less than 2 weeks until my first Ragnar?  I have been planning this with my team since November of last year!  Nerves are starting to kick in.  I picked up the rest of my race essentials in the last few days.  Bought a new Garmin Forerunner 310XT (I'll do an unboxing/review later), a new pair of Brooks Adrenaline GT 13 shoes, some Nuun tablets (in Strawberry lemonade flavor) and a tail light.  Running is an expensive hobby/sport!  Oh wait!  I also forgot that I got a new sports bra, a new running top and two pairs of running shorts. Wow. My bank account is probably crying right about now. 

There is just one thing that seems to be missing.....a Ragnar running tutu.  Yes, I will be making my self at least 1 running tutu for Ragnar and it will be orange and white.  It's quite possible that I will make two.  One that's primarily orange and one primarily white.  I love running tutus.  I made my first one prior to my first virtual half marathon back in January.  They're cute and give me the little extra "umph" that I need during long runs.

I did a test mile in my new shoes today, just to see how they felt.  It was nice.  I bought insoles that go in the bottom of the shoes because I overpronate so badly.  I had previously run in Asics but they cause serious blisters during runs longer that 7 miles. Those puppies are painful!  I had tried everything, including duct tape.  Which I can say with conviction, does not work!  I'm looking forward to taking my shoes out for a longer run tomorrow. 

So I'm preparing myself for packing.  I have researched a lot of good advice when it comes to packing for Ragnar.  The first of which is to put all changes of clothes in individual Ziploc bags with a fabric softener sheet.  That way each running outfit is easy to grab and you can put your stinky clothes.  What a great idea!  And my van mates will definitely appreciate it, I just hope that they all do the same!  Our van will have baby wipes for a quick wipe down after each leg but stinky clothes in a bad will fester.  Along with my clothes I will be packing a blanket and neck pillow.  Hopefully I'll be able to sleep sometime during Ragnar.  I have a hard time sleeping in cars and it'll be especially difficult because we are using my vehicle.  Which means that other people on my team will be driving my car.  I'll be honest, it makes me a little nervous.  Don't know why I didn't think of that before I offered it up but it's too late now! 

On top of my clothes and "such" I am responsible for brining sunscreen, bananas, deli meat and bagged ice.  Hope everything fits in my car!!  My husband is one of our team's volunteers but he won't be up there until Saturday.  Can't count on him to carry anything for us. 

Well, nerves are making me ramble on so I am going to sign off for now and say goodbye.  I will be getting my new watch in the mail in the next couple of days and I'll post an unboxing entry.

Red Kisses,


Monday, July 1, 2013

First Heat Wave of the Season

Let's talk about running in the hot weather.....we have received our first heat wave of the season and running has been tough!  Actually any activity has been miserable in this heat!  All I want to do is lie around on my couch and watch TV!!  But because Ragnar is less than 3 weeks away, I have a lot of prep to do still.  Yesterday I went on a 3 mile walk with my mom, in the pinnacle of the heat.  Ooh!  I don't think I have ever sweat so much in my life AND I got a sunburn on my shoulders!  I wore my Camelback during my walk so that I get used to the weight and feel of it.  When I got home from the walk I decided that I should run as well.  However, the weather was still much too hot so I had to use the ol' Dreadmill.  Blah.  But a couple miles on the treadmill are better than no miles.  So I completed 2 miles on the treadmill before I felt like I was going to completely melt.  I could not force myself to run any further.  I am just not used to running in inclement weather!!  Sad, right?  Ha!

Typically when I run I need to consume a lot of water!  And during the summer it is amplified.  I am glad that I have a Camelback and will use that instead of a hydration belt from now on.  I would love to get a Geigerrig bag though!  Those are pressurized and will spray water in your mouth, a running friend or on your face.  I would love one but they are pricey.  The smallest one is over $100.  And while we're talking about running gear that I want...I would love a new running watch.  I currently have a Garmin 210 and it works but it doesn't have as many features as I would like.  Such as pace.  I typically run intervals with my watch and the 210 only displays the pace for the interval and not overall. So I'll be going along at my faster than usual pace, thinking I'm doing really well.  Then I get to my walk interval and the pace changes.  I would prefer a watch that keeps track of overall pace so that I know whether or not to increase or decrease my speed.  I would also like a new pair of shoes.  These are not necessary but I want them!  I need to go back to my running store and be re-fit.  I am sick of the Asics and am thinking of switching to Brooks or Nike. 

First world problems right?  I have more running clothes than work clothes at this point.  And I'm ok with that!  I am on the road to a healthier me and I'm happy.  So here I sit, waiting until it cools off a bit so I can get on the treadmill.  Gotta get those miles in before Ragnar!!

Red Kisses,


Friday, June 21, 2013

Oops....I did it again

I fell into a funk. I cannot seem to find it within me to get back in to the routine of running!  It's incredibly important that I do!  I have a half marathon to prepare for next month as well as Ragnar Relay- Northwest Passage.  I'm nervous about what will happen if I can't force myself back into the swing of it.  I know that my body can run about 10 miles just from muscle memory but then I begin to hit a wall.  I drag and I will end up injured. 

My biggest issue is the lack of a running partner.  The person I ran with all last summer has been training for full marathons and I am not interested in that right now.  And I know if I don't have someone to run with consistently then I won't do it.  I love running but I get bored when I'm alone. 

So.....if anyone has any advice on how to fall back in love with the routine, please share!!  Or if you live in my area and want to run with me a few evenings a week, let me know!

Red Kisses,


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Tragedy

Hi all.  I needed a day to digest the immense tragedy that occurred yesterday at the Boston Marathon.  I am deeply saddened and equally disgusted by what took place.  I am a runner.  My sport is a peaceful one.  When we "compete" we are racing against ourselves, it is an internal race.  We run for many different reasons, be it fitness, spirituality, weight loss and sometimes just for the love of it.  This does not mean that we are a weak community of people.  We are STRONG!  We can run distances most people don't dream of running and still smile when we're done!  I am touched by the number of runners that have come together in unity over Boston.  There is a movement happening on social media to wear a race shirt today (here) whether it be to work or if you go for a run.  I unfortunately was not able to wear one to work but I am wearing blue in honor of those that lost their lives or were injured. 

This is all I am going to say about this.  As many times that we see disgusting tragedy we also catch a glimpse at the humanity that is still out there, alive and well inside many.  This is not a time to lose hope in the world but pick ourselves up and stand up tall and strong again.


Blue Kisses,


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Brief Hiatus!

So sorry that I have been gone for so long.  I took a brief hiatus from running.  I'm not sure why I did....I just wasn't feeling it.  But my first run after time off was wonderful!  It made me realize how much I missed it.  In the last two days I have signed up for 5 runs and they are all virtual.  I will give details about them below.

The first race I signed up for is put on by Moms Run This Town.  They are a national running club and I belong to the Kitsap chapter.  This race is their Summer Virtual (the Winter Runnerland was the Winter Virtual they put on) and is called Running Mad.  I registered for the paid version ($11 for early registration!) with which comes a die cast medal that is Alice in Wonderland themed.  It is SUPER cute!  There are three distances that a runner can register for 10/6 (or 5k), 6 2/10 (or 10k) and the final distance is 12 11/10 (or half marathon).  Here is a picture:

Adorable isn't it!  I am looking forward to it.  This race is to be run anytime in the month of July and results are reported on the Moms Run This Town website.  It is important to know that you do not need to be a member of Moms Run This Town (but if you want to be, it's FREE to join and so much fun) to register and run in this virtual race and you don't have to be a mom either!  For more information on this run go to and click on the Summer Virtual link.

The second, third and fourth race I signed up for is put on by Nerd Herd Running and it *gasp* lives up to it's nerdy name!  This is a series of virtuals, with the option of running one race, two or all three.  Each race has a medal that corresponds with it and are shaped like a piece of pie.  If you register for all three races you receive a bonus 4th medal to complete the circle.  The cost for all 3 races is $65 or $25 per race individually.

The first race in this series is called May the 4th (Be With You).  This is a 5K race to be run anytime between April 28 and May 4.  It is (obviously) Star Wars themed.

The second in this series is called Happy Birthday Harry Potter.  This is a 10K race to be run anytime between July 28 and August 3.  However, Harry Potter's actual birthday is July 31 so why not run it that day?

The third and final run in this series is called Banned Books Week.  This is a Half Marathon race to be run anytime during September 22 and September 28.  This race celebrates the right to read!  Did you know that several classics have been banned in schools, book stores and libraries?  Classics like Of Mice and Men, The Lord of the Flies, The Color Purple, The Grapes of Wrath and To Kill a Mockingbird.  These are several of my all time favorite books and have often been the target of censorship.

For more information on these races or to register please visit
There is also a pretty awesome YouTube video that shows the medals that come with each race you register here.

The fifth race that I registered for is also the first in a series of 6 but they can't be registered for in bulk.  Only the 1st in the series is open for registration.  Staying true to my geekdom this race is an homage to the TV show LOST.  I am a huge fan!  I found this race through a Facebook group I am a part of called Virtual Runs.  Each race in this series will be titled after a Dharma station on the LOST island.  The first is called Station 1- Hydra 4K (this is 2.5 miles).  There is no specified date that this needs to take place but the organizer recommends completing within a month of registering.  The organizer also indicated that race #2 in the series would open shortly after registration for #1 closes (however, there is no date listed).  The cost of each race will be $20 each.  I wish there was a discount for those of us that plan to sign up for all but Joe (the organizer) did state there would be a special gift for those that do.

Break down of the races in this series are:

Station 1-Hydra 4K
Station 2- Arrow 8K
Station 3- Swan 15K
Station 4- Flame 16K
Station 5- Pearl 23K
Station 6- Orchid 42K

It is indicated on the website that if you are not able to run a full marathon (or any of the longer distances) at one time, it CAN be broken down in to smaller runs and then combined. 

Here is the medal for Station 1.   
For more info about this race please visit

So it looks like I will have a few different virtual runs this summer to go along with my organized races!

Anyone interested in running with me or if you need help getting started with running send me a message.  Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.  You can find the links to follow me at the top of my blog.

Red Kisses,