They really like me!

I have found my mantra for 2011 and it fittingly involves cupcakes! Can it get any better? My mom found this when we were in Chicago for the marathon the day after our great cupcake hunt. I was conveniently not with her, so that she could sneak it back to Atlanta, and give it as part of my Christmas present. Awesome? I think so!

I have truly been blown away by the gifts my violin students gave me. Usually I get an assortment of sweets, and body products that I can’t use (oh how my overly sensitive skin drives me nuts!!). This year I got home-made breads, a gift bag of fresh fruit, a few bath products I can actually use, gift cards, and cash. I think my jaw dropped to the floor on several occasions on discovering how much the gift cards were. I channeled my best Sally Field voice and proclaimed “THEY LIKE ME! THEY REALLY, REALLY LIKE ME!!” Seriously, I was very flattered. So I got these:

For short run/walks to work on form. I love them already!

I also did some serious damage in Anthropologie thanks in part to a gift card for a student. It just makes me happy 🙂

Other favorites:

a hand-made hat from my dailymile secret santa

Martha Stewart’s Cookie cookbook. Uh oh, my family is figuring me out. That or they want me to make more cookies for them…

12 days of running Christmas

My Team in Training coach from Chicago passed this along, and I thought I would share

On the Twelfth Day of Training, my TEAM coach gave to me:

12 – BODY GLIDE STICKS. Body Glide is a chafing and blister prevention product. It is designed to prevent blisters and/or chafing in vulnerable areas, such as your feet, inner thighs, sports bra lines and underarms. This will be a friend during those long runs!

11 – RUNNING SHIRTS. Cotton is ROTTEN! Wearing moisture-wicking fabrics will wick the sweat away from your body, keeping you dry and warm.

10 –WATER JUGS. Despite the cold weather, you’ll still heat up and lose fluids through sweat. Cold air also has a drying effect, which can increase the risk of dehydration. Make sure you drink water or a sports drink before, during, and after your run.

9 – RIPE BANANAS. It contains needed potassium that you lose when you sweat. It helps regulate muscle contraction, and helps prevent leg cramps. And, some say they are safe to eat before a run because it is unlikely they will cause gastrointestinal issues.

8 – SAFETY TIPS. TNT shoe tags, RoadID, reflective vests, blinking lights, Run against traffic, and Stay Alert to what’s going on around you!

7 – DYNAMIC STRETCHES. Our TEAM favorites are high knees, butt kicks, toy soldiers and round the world squats! Yes, you feel a little silly but it gets the muscles ready for the run/walk!

6 – FUNDRAISING IDEAS. Our recommitment date will be here soon! Make sure you have started your fundraising! Some ideas include: Online Website, Donation Letters, Taking it to the Streets, Silent Auctions, Dress Down Days, Wine Tastings, Super Bowl Party…1-on-1 Strategy meeting with Kate! (if you haven’t done it…schedule it this week!)

5 – CHOCOLATE MILKS. Studies now show that chocolate milk aids the body in recovery, most importantly the muscles.

4 – BAGS OF ICE. Most injuries respond well to the “RICE” treatment: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Ice the trouble spot for ten minutes on, then ten minutes off, repeating as necessary. You should ice as soon as possible after you have been injured, and immediately after a run if you are running with an injury. Also, let COACH HEATHER know of any injuries or trouble spots!

3 – PAIRS OF SHOES. By now, you all realize how much a shoe can change your running/walking experience! Just remember to make sure that your shoes aren’t worn out and that you have the right model for your feet and running style. The wrong shoe can aggravate existing problems, causing pain in your feet, legs, knees or hips. Wearing shoes that have lost their cushioning may also lead to injury. Running shoes typically last around 300 miles!

2 – HAND-WARMING GLOVES. As much as 30% of your body heat escapes through your hands and feet. On cool days, wear running gloves that wick moisture away. Mittens are a better choice on colder days because your fingers will share their body heat. You can also tuck disposable heat packets into your mittens.

1 – A REASON TO GET OUT OF THE BED. We complete our events in honor/memory of people with blood cancers. It helps to remember our “Honored Heroes” on those cold Saturday mornings! (Also, remembering that you are not alone in this challenge…Your TEAMMATES are getting up to train too! We will worry if you are not at the GTS!!)