Tuesday, December 28, 2010

RoadID Winner!!!

The RoadID provides various forms of ID to allow a person to decide where they want to wear their vital Identification. They encourage active people who participate in outdoor activities to wear ID and not take the chance of being unidentified in the event of an accident. It is far better to wear ID and never need it than to need ID and not have it.  So true, so true.

This really is such a great giveaway! Having mine has made me feel safer already! So...Random.org picked us a winner. Drumroll please...
S Club Mama

Shoot me an email and I'll get you all squared away with your new, personalized RoadID!  Congratulations!

And you all still have a chance to enter the Holiday Giveaway on RoadID's website for lots of amazing prizes!!!  Their deadline is 12/31/10 - you have a few more days for over $10,000 in prizes!

And don't worry my friends...I've got another super awesome giveaway to help start your new year off right... I'll keep you in suspense a few more days... : )

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm A Little Competitive

My husband often reminds me to 'take it down a notch...'  We love games in our house.  Board games, Card games, dominoes, video games.  And even though I love my kids sooooo much, I'm not about to let them win.  Sorry.  I physically can't let them.  And they know it.  If they beat me in a game they are jumping up and down and through the roof.  They know I don't hold back.  I figure I'm doing them a favor.  No one is just gonna let them win later in life.  No one is gonna say, 'you failed that test horribly but you get an A anyways.'  Who better to teach them these hard life lessons than their mom...

For Christmas half of the gifts everyone received were games.  The big hit?  

Micheal Jackson's Wii...

And who do you think almost all the high scores belong to?

Yes that would be me...  In your face kiddos.  Not about to let a 7 year old better me on Thriller...or Remember the Time...or Billie Jean.  Seriously, so fun - makes me realize more and more that I missed my calling as a back-up dancer...  : )

I'm giving the kids a few days to pull their act together and practice..and then...rematch.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their families, we still have one more week with the kids home.  We're having way too much fun - if you're up for a little dance off, come on over for a battle.

I've been a little out of the blog loop for the last week so I decided to extend the RoadID Giveaway through today!  So last chance to put in your entries to design and receive your own RoadID for free!  I'll pick a winner tonight...

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Four Food Groups

I was so good at Halloween.  Even better over Thanksgiving - I lost 2 pounds during that crazy weekend!  And now the week of Christmas.  Buddy the elf has me converted to the four food groups...although my four are of a different holiday variety:  cookies, gingerbread, chocolate and Dr. Pepper.  Literally, I'm not exaggerating.  I weighed in last night and I'm up two pounds...  Oh well, what are you gonna do...  I'm even putting off my long run til Monday!  It'll all come back together I'm sure.

I'll be back to my regular four food groups on Monday.  Those would be protein, fruits, veggies and Dr. Pepper.  3 out of 4, that's not bad... : )

How are you all doing with the holiday food traps? 

Are you staying strong, or are you a bit like me and just enjoying the season...even if it includes a few extra hundred calories every day....EEEKKK! 

What's your holiday treat that you just can't say no to?

Monday, December 20, 2010

RoadID Giveaway!!!!

Do you ever worry when you're out on a run?  What if something random happens?  What if those goofy teenagers actually run me off the road this time?  What if that mountain lion finally nabs me on the trail and someone finds me? What if I win the race, but ran so hard I pass out and now they don't know the name to engrave on the huge trophy? ;) 
The Road ID will solve all those dilemmas and then some.  I actually feel safer just having it on.  I really can't tell you how times my mom has said, 'What if something happens to you while you're out running for hours?'  Now she can rest a little easier..

So guess what?  You have a chance to win your very own!  You can customize yours with whatever information you choose and there's even a line to put your own mantra. 

Rules of the game/Ways to enter:

Be a follower of me, Racing Dawn

Like Road ID on Facebook

Follow @RoadID on Twitter

Enter the Road ID Holiday giveaway

Extra entry for every $5 donated to charity

Tell me what model/color of Road ID you would choose

Tell me a close encounter or time when your had a near miss out on the road, running or cycling.
There you have it!  Lots of ways to get those entries in!  Think of it as winning a Christmas gift for yourself!
I'll choose a winner on  Sunday, December 26th at 11:59. 

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Awesome iPhone Photography Skills...

Remember this picture I took from the race? 

Of course you do.  It's gorgeous, right?  Who wouldn't want their marathon start to look like that?

Well I loved it so much that I entered in a little competition on Facebook

You know the drill...the picture with the most 'likes' wins! 

So just for fun...if you wouldn't mind...click on over and my picture is a couple drags down.  You'll see it.

Thank you!  I'll let you know if, I mean when, I win!!!  : )

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ryders Eyewear, GU and RoadID Product Reviews!

Days before I left for Tuscon I received an awesome package in the mail.  The product I was looking forward to trying out the most were these...

I received a pair of Ryder's Eyewear!  I wore them the entire race and didn't even know it.  Meaning they're lighter than a feather.  When I've worn shades in the past I've had to keep wiping the bridge over my nose and readjusting positions.  I normally don't even wear shades during a race because they almost always end up on the top of my head. Without sounding all gushy, I really do love my Ryders shades.  They will now be a staple on sunny race days!

I borrowed a proof to show I actually wore them during the race!  You're not allowed to critique my race form...My quads were already weighted down with kettle balls, so whatever that my arms are crossing my body and it looks more like I'm getting my speedwalking on rather than running.

I also recieved quite the stash of GU products.  I choose to take the Chomps and Recovery drink with me for race day.  The Chomps were great.  I used cranberry apple during the race and they went down like gummy bears, meaning: extremely easy.  Unfortunately the recovery drink was left at the hotel by mistake so chocolate milk was my recovery drink on race day.  I will have many opportunities to try it out again, I love recovery drinks - they make the biggest difference.

I also just received another great product. It's called a Road ID - perhaps you've heard of it. If you haven't, go to their website and check it out.  I can't tell you how many times between my mom and husband they've said, 'What if something happened to you out on that long run?'  Now they have a little piece of mind. : )

It was easy to order.  I ordered the Wrist ID Elite sportband made out of rubberized band and wore that on race day too.  I was actually worried it would bother me while I ran but didn't even notice it.  Perfect.

This is my RoadID vacationing in Tuscon... : )  The good folks at RoadID even gave out a coupon number for all my friends:                  

This will get you $1 off your next purchase!  Good thru 1/4/11!

So thanks to Scott at Outside PR!!!  I love all my fun new products!  And all these reviews are my true opinion...of course. 

Any products that you can't live without? 

What saves you on race day?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Marathon #7 - Check

I know, beautiful, right?  It was a gorgeous morning.  I woke feeling great.  We had to be at the shuttle extremely early - too early.  We were shuttled up the course to the start at 5 a.m.  The race didn't start til 7:30...so we were lucky enough to sit on the bus til the gun went off if we wanted.  It was a chilly morning so I sat on the bus, half asleep til 7:15!  By the time I walked out my view was this sunrise...

I honestly felt great.  I felt well rested.  I thought this downhill course was going to be it.  My PR.  My sub-4.  As I've been looking at my Garmin stats it's all as plain as day where I went wrong.  Same ol' story.  Too fast, too soon.  I knew the course was a serious downhill in the first few miles but went went for it anyways.  Ran 8:00's and 8:30's through the first 6 miles, still at 9:00's at the halfway point.  At mile 19 I believe a cement truck pulled along side me and poured a gallon of cement in each of my quads.  Around 22 the heat started to get to me as well.  I had couple of starry moments but was aware enough to down some chomps, water and XOOD. 

Tuscon actually reminds me of Utah during the summer.  There were mountain ranges all around.  The course was scenic.  And it seemed that there was a water station every mile for the last 8 miles, which I was so thankful for.

Did you know Santa can run a 3:30 marathon?  Pretty good with that belly and suit, huh?

My official time was 4:30.  Yes, I was disappointed.  But I really did enjoy the race.  Other than the early hills killing my quads I felt so great.  I felt way better than last month's race.  I loved the warm weather even though that slowed me down at the end.  I finished the race with enough salt on my face to fill a salt shaker.  Yuck.  How bout those Ryders sunglasses though? 

When we made our way back to our hotel I found that they actually had a cold water spring!  There was ten of us in there up to our waists shivering.  Next best thing to an ice bath.  Brrrrr.

So the best thing about this race?  Meeting this chica...

Of course I'm sure you all know Emz.  She is even more amazing in real life than on her blog...if that's possible.  And those abs...they're rocks.  I wish I knew photoshop so I could fix myself up to look half way decent standing next to her!  I can't even use the excuse that I just ran a marathon cause she just did too.  We had the opportunity to meet up the night before for dinner with her cute family.  We literally laughed all night.  And yes, she sported the belt buckle.  Love it.  We clicked and had so much fun and she has got me convinced to come back to Phoenix next month for January's race.  This one she swears is truely flat.  I have yet to do an honestly flat race.  It could be the key to a PR.  I'm in closed meetings this week going over details, map comparisons and grilling race informants to make final decisions.  But it's looking like I'll be returning south for my next race.  Better start cutting out those white carbs and adding in 1000 sit-ups a night so as to be better prepared before our next meet-up...  : )

A few more details to come.  For now...the post just wouldn't be complete with a pic of a cactus.  : )

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cement Cinderblocks

Hmmm.  It wasn't a PR but I'll take it.  Just got back into town tonight...  I need one more day to process. One more day to figure out what the heck happened... : )  I survived. 

And I've also decided to become a snowbird.  I will soon be wintering in Tuscon.  So beautiful.

Currently searching the classifieds for a cane.  I'm having a slight problem walking down stairs.  The cement cinder blocks I mentioned?  Those would be my quads.  Race recap to come.

Friday, December 10, 2010

50 Things Friday

You have time to read about fifty different things that are on my mind today, right?  I'll see if I can condense it a bit for you...

1.  The few weeks leading up to this race have been the most different than all the other races this far.  I've completed the least amount of mileage ever in the last 3 weeks.  Looking at my running log (you know, the one that I only update in my mind) I wouldn't dare call me a marathoner.  This week I had my awesome 6 miler.  Last week I ran 3 easy miles on Wednesday and snowshoed 7 miles on Saturday.  The week before that I ran a total of 15 miles.   That's not a lot of miles my friends... 

2 - 19.  Stuff to pack, go to the store, do laundry....yada yada yada...

20.  There's this little tiny fiber in my right hamstring that has been quietly whispering to me, "Dawn...I'm here...Don't do anything crazy...."  Oh you mean crazy like run a marathon?  I'm not stressing out over it, but I'm just being aware.

21 - 36.  Find someone to watch kids while away, arrange car rides for weekend activities for kids, write out schedules for said someone that is watching kids...blah blah blah.

37.  I received the coolest Ryders sunglasses in the mail yesterday!  Get ready for some rockin' pics from the race wearing them.  They came just in the nick of time!

38 - 47.  Pick up daughter from ballet, get teenager ready for camp-out, go to basketball game tonight, pick-up two other kids from friend's house, make dinner...stuff, things, more stuff.

48.  Remember all that carbo loading that I did for the past two races?  It hasn't happened this go around.  I have got to get my head back in the game mentally here.  I have been drinking a ton of water this week but no big bread binges to speak of.  I'll have to try harder tomorrow.  There will definitely be some fun sifting through the results of this race.

49.  I really am excited to go.  The race course is supposed to be amazing and I really could use some color in my face.  Besides going for a run for a few hours this weekend, I will be catching some rays by the pool. :)

50.  This is race seven this weekend.  Or in my mind right now, it is my third marathon in six weeks.  At least I know why I might be so tired lately.  Better tie up those laces and get to it...  See you all on the other side!  of the weekend, that is...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Three Things Thursday - with a tune thrown in...

1.  I'm so excited for Arizona this weekend!  It's going to be 80 degrees.  A little warm for marathoning but I'll take it.  Hopefully I'll finish before it hits 70.  That's the goal anyways...  So this week I've been lathering up my legs...

I've been using tanning lotion in hopes to not scare the native Arizonians with my paleness.  I haven't ran in shorts for a couple months now.  The summer color fades so fast...

2.  Had a great 6 miler last night.  Love it when I have an awesome run before a race.  Good mojo...

3.  Please tell me you've been watching 'The Sing-Off'!!!  If you haven't you are missing out, big time.  I'm not sure how I can ever watch American Idol again.  These guys are amazing.  Voices like buttah. And I'm wondering why they're not already on the radio.  Here's who going to win....  Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tag, I'm It!

So I got double tagged this week!  Two friends wanted to do a little get to know you quiz, so I'm sharing my answers here.  Hopefully I don't bore you to death with my answers!

The first set come from Kerri...

1. What are you most excited about for the coming new year? What resolutions will you make and do you think you'll stick to 'em?

I'm really excited to hit my 12 in 12 mark in May.  I'm so excited and can't wait for the big party!!!  You'll all be there, right?

I actually have several resolutions for the new year but here's a few:
Be more patient, mostly with my kids...
Keep a cleaner house - seems near impossible most days, but I have to try harder...
Be more in tune with those around me to know how to be a better wife, mom, daughter, friend, person to them...
Cross train more days of the week...
Run an ultra event

And heck ya I'll stick to those resolutions!

2. When you go into a coffee shop, what do you order? (not necessarily coffee)

If I stop at a coffee shop I order hot cocoa with peppermint and extra whip cream.  Hmmm.

3. What was the first blog you followed? Do you still? And what is your favorite blog to read?

The first blog I followed was my friend Lindsay!  She is amazing and talked me into blogging when I told her about my running goal this year.  She's on a blog hiatus at the moment but I know she'll rejoin us in blogland soon!  Favorite blog - that's not a fair question.  I love all you guys!!! 

But maybe something fun to know, besides running blogs, I stalk interior design blogs!  I can't get enough...  it's my second favorite past time.  One of my faves is urbannestblog.com and then I go down their sidebar of other design blogs.  So fun.

4. Do you speak/read any other languages?

No languages.  Took french in high school.  Je m'appelle Dawn.  That's about all I got. 

5. This spin off of FB: If you and your mom/dad ended up in jail together and you could only say 4 words, what would they be?

There's Plan B, right?

6. What was your favorite show growing up? Can you sing the theme song? (I don't think Fresh Prince should count on this one.... everyone can sing that theme song)

Loved Cosby Show, Family Ties, Growing Pains when I was young...loved 90210 and Melrose Place in college!  Oh and Days of Our Lives and General Hospital too.  Should I stop now?

7. What is your most memorable race moment?

I've had lots of memorable ones.  I always think back to my first one because I hated it so much and thought I'd never do it again.  My PR at Top of Utah was pretty amazing this year.  Napa Valley and Muir Woods Marathon are the most memorable courses. Tougher than crap. but absolutely beautiful in a way only angels can sing as you run through the trails.  Am I going a bit overboard?  No.  Words can not express the scenery that I was able to run through.  I feel so blessed for all the races I've been able to do this year. 

8. What's the coldest you've ever run in and what did you wear?

18 degrees.  I wore running pants with sweats over them.  Two long sleeve shirts with a fleece sweatshirt over it.  Scarf.  Beanie with my hair down.  Gloves.  Socks and Sneakers.  Got home and took a shower for a half hour just to get rid of the chill.

If you could live in any home on a television series, which one would it be?
How bout in a movie?  I would love Meg Ryan's apartment in 'You've Got Mail'.  But it wouldn't fit my family...

Really just about anything that Candice Olsen designed on HGTV would be fine with me.

What’s the habit you’re proudest of breaking?

I'm in a constant battle of trying to kick the soda habit.  I do so good and am so proud but it doesn't take much to get me back on the Dr. Pepper bottle.  Still working on it.  When I do kick it, that will be the proudest!

Okay, now onto my friend with the same name, Dawn...instantly loved this girl... : )

Where do you go for advice?

My husband.  He's the sane one in the house.  My mom is a close second!

What’s your favorite Web site?

It seems I spend a lot of time on marathonguide.com lately.  Always reading marathon reviews and checking calendars to see what races I want to do next.  And of course checking all my blog friends out there!

Name five songs to which you know all the lyrics.

Dang, only five... I listen to music all the time.  And when I find a song I love, it goes on repeat mode.  Let's see, how bout...

1. Empire State of Mind - Jay Z & Alicia Keys
2. Paul Revere - Beatie Boys
3. California Love - Tupac
4. Hypnotize - BIG
5. Ice, Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice, yeah I said it - you know you know every word too. : )

Really, just about all R&B songs, all rap songs (minus the swear words), most pop songs.  Go ahead, quiz me...  I can do all the dance moves from all the vidoes too.  What.

What do you bring to running? A lot of people ask why you love running, or what do you get from running, but I think it’s interesting to talk about what we each bring to the sport.

I think I bring positive energy.  I love running.  I love how it makes me feel.  And I want others to feel that way too.  So hopefully what I bring to the sport is more people that enjoy it and love it as much as I do.  It's such a healthy addiction that crosses into other aspects of your life in positive ways.  I want others to experience it too.   A little sarcasm and humor I'd like to think I add in my own special way.

Since I’ve had trouble sleeping lately, what do you do if you can’t sleep? Count sheep? Toss and Turn? Get up and do something?

I watch movies til I can't sleep.  Love 'On Demand'.  Love to watch movies that I've already watched a zillion times, then I don't feel bad dozing off before it's over. 

So there you have it.  A few little tidbits about me.  I hope it didn't bore you to tears...  I'm tagging some more of you...  Anne, MissZippy, Laurie and Alma.  Here's your questions!

1.  What's your favorite race and why?  What's your dream race?
2.  What's your favorite running tip?
3.  Which reality show is your guilty pleasure?
4.  What is your power song, the song that takes your running to another level?
5.  What is your secret to balance in your life? 
6.  What are you most looking forward to in the new year?

Have fun with it!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Training Tip Tuesday

I've been looking ahead to my race schedule in the coming months and I've once again had a hard time deciding.  In January I found a race here in Utah that peaked my interest.  The marathon is actually a SNOWSHOE marathon!  I thought how amazing.  I'm in.  I'm doing it. 

So with the decision made up in my mind last week I thought maybe I should try snowshoeing first.  Good idea, right?  My friend Julie said she'd go with me, so I went to the local ski shop and rented some gear.  We decided to do the same trail I ran back in October, you remember, the one with the mountain lion tracks.

The section of the trail we did is 7 miles round trip.  We thought we'd kick this out in about 2 1/2 hours.  I honestly went in thinking we'd hike up to the top and then be able to somewhat run down.  Hmmm.  I always have been known to be a little overly optimistic...

The trail was absolutely beautiful.  We felt like we were making pretty good time, but the switchbacks seemed never-ending.  On our way up we ran into a gentlemen that was on his way down the trail...smoking a cigar.  Nothing like being out in nature, exercising, breathing fresh air...oops, i mean inhaling a big ol' stogie.  Seriously. 

Anyways, back to the beautiful trail.  We had a big storm earlier in the week so there was lots of fresh snow up the canyon.  We crossed some small bridges over small little streams.

The first hour I was still thinking, heck ya - I'm totally going to do that snowshoe marathon.  So fun.  Little did I know ( I didn't wear my Garmin dangit ) I had only gone 2 miles in the first hour.  We did see a few other hikers up there and they had YAK tracks on their shoes.  I'd never seem them before but they're now on my Christmas list.  They are basically just spikes that strap on to the bottom of your shoes to run through ice and snow.  My snowshoes were a little bulky for me.  I wish I had some that were a little narrower.  But that's why you rent first, right?

By the time we got three quarters of the way up, the tracks on the trail ended.  Meaning we were the first ones to get that high up on the trail!  Sweet - fresh, un-touched powder.  Well, that is until we saw these...

Those would be moose hoof prints!  Who knew that moose needed a trail to find their way around...  And then a little farther on we saw these...

Those look familiar.  Seems our good friend, the neighborly mountain lion, was still hanging around - playing a little cat and moose.  Luckily we never saw them but with the fresh tracks they couldn't have been too far off!

We finally made it to the top of the trail, otherwise known as Elephant Rock.  It usually is a gorgeous view, but we've had a few bad air quality days, so an inversion mucked up the view a bit.  Still happy to make it up to top!

There was no running to be had in my snowshoes unfortunately.  In my short experience of snowshoeing, I'm hoping that they make smaller versions of what I was using.  Surely you have to be able to run in them.  I checked the finishing times of the marathon from last year's race and the winner finished in 5 hours!  With the pace I was moving at I'd finish in about 10.  Not sure I love snowshoeing enough to go for 10 hours straight.

So training tip for today?  Make sure to test everything before race day.  You need to test what kind of nutrition you're going to intake, how often you're going to drink water, how fast your pace is going to be, and how to run in snowshoes... : )

I still haven't ruled out the race.  I'm going to try another retailer and see some other gear and test it out.  It really would be amazing to do a marathon in the snow, especially here in Utah.  It is the best snow on Earth, ya know.  Just have to make sure I can get it finished in under 7 hours preferably.  Or else make sure there's restaurants on the course for a mid race meal...maybe a Texas Roadhouse or Chili's would suffice.

Winter scenery just doesn't get too much better than this.  Hope you're enjoying your winter season of running too!

Resonate's Running Necklace Winner!

What a great giveaway!  I'm so happy that you all loved these necklaces so much!  Unfortunately we can only have one winner.

After putting all the entries in my handy Excel spreadsheet and throwing the numbers in Random.org, our big winner this time is....

#4 - Marcia at Running Off At The Mouth!

Congratulations friend!  Email me and I'll put you in touch with the ladies at Resonate to order the necklace of your choice!  So fun!

I've still got one more giveaway before Christmas, so be sure to check back!  It's a fun one!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Just a Quick Reminder...

Don't forget to enter the Resonate's Necklace Giveaway!  You have til tonight to get your entries in for a cute necklace!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  Bring on the holidays!  How do like the makeover?  Pretty cute, right.  Shout out to my marketing guy for hooking me up.  Now I just gotta work on getting my Christmas tree decorated.  It's not official til your tree is up, right?

2.  My running has gone to the crapper this week.  Either I haven't made it to the gym or when I have, I've been dragging big time.  Tired, no steam, can't complete the mileage I need to get each day.  I'm not sick, no injuries.  I don't know.  Maybe I need to cross train for the rest of the week.  My marathon is a week from Saturday and I don't want to go in tired.  Hmmm....

3.  Today is going to be one of those days.  One of those days where there's not enough hours.  One of those days when I'm reminded that I have 5 kids, a new job, holiday parties, stuff, things, obligations, blah, blah, and blah.  I have something scheduled for every hour of this day and starting at about 3:30 it triples and at 5:00 it quadruples...  Here we go...  Game on!

Speaking of holidays...this week's giveaway would make a great gift!  Don't forget to enter...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Running Necklace Giveaway!

I know, can you stand it?  I have another giveaway!  I'm channeling my inner Oprah for you all...

I came across these darling pendant necklaces made by Resonates on Etsy.  I've been chatting with the ladies there and we are working on a pendant of my own that will include the 12 marathons that I'm running this year.  Of course I have to wait til May to get mine done, so we'll know all the races to include, but for you...we are giving one away right now!  Debbie and Susie have been so kind to offer up a necklace of your choice!  There are many choices to pick from on Resonates Etsy store or you can also custom order a pendant with the name of the race and date of your choice!  How cool is that?

I also love this one...

So perfect!  Make sure to check out their complete selection, they have holiday ones too!

So you probably already know the rules, but here we go...

1.  Become a follower of my blog, or tell me that you already are!

2.  Like 'Racing Dawn' on facebook.

3.  Check Resonate's Etsy store and tell me what you might pick if you win or what race you would like to see on your pendant.

4.  Like 'Resonate' on facebook and leave a message on their wall that I sent you!

I know, I make it so easy.  : )  Good luck!  I'll pick a winner on Monday, December 6, 2010 at 11:59 p.m by Random.org.


Alright friends, by entering all your entries onto a fresh Excel spreadsheet with assigned numbers and by Random.org, drumroll please...

Our winner is POSH PETALS!!!!  Yay Amber!  Email me and I will schedule you for your free eyelash extensions!

Now, if you are disappointed you didn't win I have a special offer just for you that entered!  A full set of eyelashes for $75!!!  That's an extra ten bucks off of my holiday special!  Call, email or text me and I'll get you in before your holiday parties or pictures! 

Thanks to everyone for entering - I'm sure I'll do this giveaway again.  : ) 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Wintery Monday!

Just a few glimpses of my backyard this morning...  I woke up early to head out to the gym and since all roads were still covered with several inches of snow I quickly settled back into my warm bed.  It's still November but a nice snow storm sure makes it feel like the Christmas season!  I'll try to make it to the gym tonight. : )

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break.  We had an amazing week filled with food, family and fun.  We had two big Thanksgiving dinners!  So great.  Working on my turkey noodle soup for dinner tonight.  It's the perfect day for soup and rolls.  Mmmm. 

I'm sure a lot of you did local Turkey Trots - it was 12 degrees here on Thanksgiving morning so I opted for the gym instead.  Did anyone go to their gym on Thanksgiving morning?  Holey moley it was like someone said it was the last day ever to go to a gym.  Every machine was in use.  A bit like New Year's Day at the gym.  Everyone gearing up to get their eat on.  ; )

It's officially December in my books.  I'm once again tapering.  It really is an odd feeling to go from recovery week immediately into a taper week.  I'm pretty sure I don't have it down quite right.  I ran 11 miles on Saturday followed by a killer training session with my trainer.  I'm super sore today.  We only did a 30 minute session, but everything was 60 second sprints - tricep dips, deadlifts, bosu push-ups, squats, burpees, sit-ups, and sprints on the stairs.  I'm tellin ya, I'm still hurting today.  Love it!

I've got a crazy week coming up, which I'm sure I'll say every Monday this month, but I will definitely get my miles in. 

Tomorrow morning I'll have the winner for my eyelash giveaway!  You still have today to enter!!! 
Don't be shy - I promise you'll love them! 

And a new giveaway tomorrow - a perfect gift for any runner!  
So fun!

On my to-do list this week...update the blog once again - falling leaves is sooo last season.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Training Tip Tunesday

I have had this song on repeat for the last week. I love it. I'm sure it's going to get old pretty soon, but for now it's putting a little extra kick in my step. While you're watching...check out her awesome lashes. : )

And while we're talking about Rihanna, notice her new red hair...does that remind you of someone?

Uhhh, yeah, I was all over the red hair just a month ago.  If I only knew that I should have added a little more neon red I would have been right in fashion for the winter season.

And today's training tip is really a race day tip...

When running a long distance race, let's say a marathon, even the Rock n Roll San Antonio Marathon, around mile 13 the volunteers start handing out things besides water and sports drink.  Be alert.  Be smart.  If someone hands you something on a large tongue depressor - it's petroleum jelly, not GU.  I had witnessed first hand someone grabbing the stick, looked at it, took a taste, gave it a funny look, shrugged his shoulders and ate the rest!!!!  Haha!  He was a few people up from me so he couldn't hear me giggling from behind him and I couldn't stop him.  That is classic.  Please people, vaseline will not give you the carbs you need to get you through a race. : )

Be safe in your holiday travels this week!  We have a blizzard warning here in affect til tomorrow morning - everyone to stay off the roads and bunker down for the night.  I'll be sure to take pics to share!

And don't forget my giveaway here!  Happy running...

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Giveaway Time!

One of the questions I get asked a lot is, "How can you afford all these races?"  Well honestly we can't.  So earlier in the Spring I started looking for ways I could earn extra money to pay for races and other running odds and ends.  I had a friend that introduced me to eyelash extensions.  I went to a training class, practiced for many hours, tested and certified.  So now I am a certified eyelash extension professional.  You can take a look at my website to get all the details of how it works.  It's been really great and I've been working on building my clientele list.  Here's a few endorsements I've received so far...

"Dawn is the best out there.  With my beautiful eyelash extensions you'd never know I'd been up all night with my twins.  Oh and my nanny has them too cause she's really the one up at night..."

"With my eyelash extensions it's so much easier to wave them bye-bye to that idiot Tony and say hello to all the other hot dudes out there that think I'm super hot."

"Because of Dawn and my amazing eyelash extensions I sold 180,000 albums this week."

Ok, so maybe I don't live in LA and I don't have celebrity clients - but I have done dozens and dozens of lash sets and they turn out as good as all these.  They're super fun and perfect for all those holiday parties and family pictures this winter season.  My favorite thing about them is that I can just get up and go to the gym, the grocery store, carpool or wherever and I look like I'm ready for the day without a lick of make-up.  Huge time saver and they look better than mascara!  So the good news...

I'm giving away a free of set eyelash extensions! 

A full set usually costs $100!  The bad news...you have to live near me to get them put on.  Or if you're doing a race or live in an area I'm doing an upcoming race at, I can bring my supplies and apply them there!

Here's the rules...Leave a comment for each entry.


1.  Become a follower of Racing Dawn or tell me that you already are.

2.  'Like' Eyelash Candy on Facebook.

Extra entries:

3.  Post this giveaway on your blog, post it on your facebook wall, tweet it, make an airline ticket and tell me you're on your way...entry for each.

4.  Tell me where you would show off your eyelashes!

The winner will be picked on Monday, November 29th, 2010 at 11:59 pm by random.org.

And fellas don't be afraid to enter and suprise your special someone with a super fun gift! : )

For all you that want to book your appointments now, I'm also running a holiday special now through New Year's.  $15 off a full set and $5 off a fill.  Book now to get in before your holiday parties!

And I promise I won't make you look like this...

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Decision Has Been Made...

I'm off to Arizona for my December race.  Yay!  The warm weather will be wonderful!  The big reason I choose this one...check it here.  I'm not going to lie.  I'm looking for a PR here people.  I need a good strong race before the holidays hit.  I think it's going to take a serious downhill course to give me what I'm looking for.  This race also gives me an extra week to rest/train.  The logistics of Death Valley Trail Marathon was a just a little more than I wanted to deal with this month.  Also the trail/race course can change the day of the race because of weather conditions.  Well and of course I want to have a first hand witness of Emz's belt buckle...  : )

So now we're just deciding who is going with me!  My husband, maybe my mom, maybe just by myself.  I don't know.  December is a hard month to travel - too many festivities going on!  Now on to find a hotel reservartion...

And I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week!  I've been meaning to put my Gratitude List together all month and the time just slips by.  Next week will be my week of gratitude. 

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

San Antonio - Part II

Now I knew that San Antonio had to be more than the race course that RNR showed me.  So before we left town we decided to go see The Alamo and do a quick tour of some of the historical sights as well as visit The Riverwalk.

I wish we would have gone there at night and see it all lit up but it really was pretty to stroll down the walkway and see all the different restaurants as well as the pretty gardens.

We didn't go on a riverboat cruise but it looked fun.

Don't forget The Alamo.  It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be.  I was suprised how short the surrounding walls were.  Crazy enough, I love history so much more now that I'm older, compared to those high school years.  It was interesting to have a reminder course on Davie Crockett, John Bowie and the battle at The Alamo.

We visited a couple of the missions in San Antonio.  I know it's far away in the pic but it was beautiful to see. This one is Mission San Jose, closed for renovations.

This is Mission Conception.  I believe they said it was the smallest and one of the last built.  Everytime I heard the tour guide say Mission Conception all I could think of was Sister Encarnation from Nacho Libre.  So silly.  And I had the tune...'I am a singing at the party...'
We did buy some souvenirs for our kids.  Some T-shirts for the boys and jewelry for the girls.  I really wanted to buy a some Nacho Libre masks but the hubby talked me out of it...

My boys would have probably taken wrestling to a level that I don't need in my house.  So, instead, I can just tell them, 'Go...go read some books.'  : )

With that, adios, San Antonio.

So what did this race teach me?  A couple things that I can think of right now.  First off, I'm a tree-hugger.  I will no longer deny it.  I love trail running, scenic race courses and nature.  I don't mind carrying my own water bottle and I want to save the planet.  I even have some old tie-dyed Grateful Dead tees stacked in my closet somewhere.  I don't mind having to run longer on a gorgeous course.  The race directors said RNR SA was flat and fast.  Nothing could have been further from the truth for me.  I learned that I don't love running along freeway frontage roads, along railroad tracks and old worn out residential areas.   And apparently flat does not equal fast for me.  One thing I'm a little unsure about is whether or not having two races so close together played a role in my poor performance.  I felt I was ready for this race but everytime I tried to speed up there was just nothing there.  Hmmm.

Up next...  I'm not sure.  So here's what the choices are for December.  In three weeks I can do RNR Las Vegas - pretty sure that's not going to happen, Death Valley Trail Marathon, or California Internation Marathon (I missed the registration deadline for CIM, so for a mere $300 I can still register - so basically that's out.)  And then the week after that there is the Tuscon, AZ Marathon.  It's really coming down to Death Valley Trail Marathon the first week of December or Tuscon the second week of December.  I'm thinking I'd like the extra week to rest/prepare/train.  We'll see, I've got to decide in the next couple of days before they sell out those races too!  Any opinions out there on which one I should do?  Or maybe one that I should take into consideration for December?  I'm open for suggestions...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Marathon #6 - Check

Prepare yourselves.  With much council and thought, I've decided not to sugarcoat.  You want the truth, right?  Sorry ahead of time to the people of San Antonio...

My husband travels for work and so one of the reasons I choose this race was so I could travel with him during a work appointment and fit a race in.  This was one of the biggest redeeming qualities of this weekend.  We arrived in San Antonio Saturday afternoon and had to make a mad dash to get to the Expo at the Alamodome before they shut down.  Looks like we made it.  That Expo was crazy busy with people everywhere.  I wasn't much for crowd surfing, so I didn't look too close at all the boothes. 

Before I go any further I have to say that this race took a little more coordinating than the others because I got a weekend away with my husband for this race!  We left our five kids behind with my mom and sister!  I can't thank them enough!  

Back to business...

We had a blogger dinner planned with Tricia, Leah, Crystal, and Adam at an Italian restaurant right in San Antonio.  It was so fun to meet new friends but I wished we could have spent a little more time together because I didn't get to chat with everyone... make sure to check their race recaps too!  Tricia actually got to interview Meb at the Sony booth during the Expo and finished her very first marathon.  So cool.  Hopefully I'll see them at a race in the future!

During dinner I had one of those killer headaches that make you feel like you're going to throw- up.  I know, yuck.  So I didn't even really eat my dinner and took it back to the hotel.  A few hours later and after some doses of tylenol & advil, I felt a ton better - and I was starving.  So we ordered room service and I had a decent carb dinner - club sandwich and fries.  Yeah, I know, not the greatest, but I made do...

Race morning - I got ready on time, arrived at the runner drop off on time and found my corral #.  I was supposed to be in 12 but while at the Expo I visited the Pace Booth and they moved me up to 7 for a 4 hour finish pace group.

Here's the view looking ahead to the start line.  All the hotels downtown had their balconies filled with spectators. Fun.


View from behind me.  And the corrals actually wrapped around to the left for another block or two.  30,000 people is a lot.

I thought I felt pretty good that morning.  I did everything the same as I always do.  They staggered the race to help have a smooth start to the race.  However I did feel quite claustrophobic running so close to so many.  It seemed to me that this is what an open water swim in a Ironman race would feel like.  I probably got hit and bumped into over a dozen times.  I'd lift my arm to look at my watch and get hit.  I'd move a half inch to the left and get bumped.  The person to the side of me would check their watch and I'd get bumped.  And then not even a mile in we come to a set of train tracks...

Yes, that is a moving train blocking me and a thousand of my new BFF's trying to run a race.  Had to chill for a couple minutes wondering if this was a sign of things to come.

After the train passed and we started up again, I soon realized that the corral start was just about all for nothing.  Except that I learned that they did hold back at least half of the racers at the start line when they got word of the unscheduled train.  But so hard to run with thousands of people stacked up.

So onto the race.  My legs had no juice.  Even from the beginning.  The goal was 8:45's and 9:00's the first half.  If still feeling strong, continue with the same pace through the teen miles and give myself a little leeway of some 10's and 11's for the final 6 miles if necessary.  But truly I was hoping for a 4:00 to 4:10 finish time.  

I could not kick out faster than a 9:30 during the first 6 miles and by 10 miles I was at 10:00's.  My breathing was good, no pulled muscles, just no steam in my legs.  It was not good to feel that way so early on - the mental kicked in or off I should say.  

And note to RNR SA - the course was ugly.  Here's where the non-sugarcoating begins.  We were running along freeway frontage roads, under free overpasses and what I am sure is parts of town that I would not want to hang out on any given day.  We ran by the Alamo - that lasted all of 30 seconds  - and then off to more sad neighborhoods and  non-pretty scenery.  I tried to go to my happy place several times...

Only two weeks ago I was running through the gorgeous greenery of Napa and now I was out in middle of flat ugly.  Yes I was spoiled in Napa but I really was regretting not having done more research on San Antonio.  I figured it was a Rock n Roll race and that it would be perfect, I mean I did pay a grip of money, so it should be pretty near amazing and 30,000 others signed up too, so I wasn't alone.  

But to be honest, you want me to be honest, right?  I would not tell anyone to go do this race.  Is that so sad to say?  Am I going to be struck down by the RNR higher ups?  Probably not.  But it really made me not ever want to do a RNR again.  They were well staffed with great volunteers, water was there in plenty.  They advertised over 70 bands - I'm pretty sure I only saw a band every other mile.  That would make 13 bands plus the bands at the start and the finish.  And did I mention the finish was a huge ginormous cement parking lot.  So congratulations, you just finished running 26.2 miles, pull up a piece of asphalt and rest that tired body.  Seriously.

Calling it quits for the day on my soft piece of pavement.  I even wore my Red Rock Relay shirt to bring me good luck.  That couldn't even save me.

As we made our way back to our car there were lines of beer cans and bananas as far as the eye could see.  Didn't help the scenery...

We get back to our car and find this on it.

A nice little orange warning sticker over the driver's side.  I guess we missed that No Parking sign somehow.  I'm pretty sure it was supposed to read: 'Unless it is the weekend of the RNR SA'.

My husband subscribed to the text updates to know how I was doing along the course.  When I got back to the hotel we got the text that I had just come across the finish line.  Thanks for the update - an hour and a half late.

I finished with an unofficial time of 4:47 but on the website we can have a recalculated time because of the train.  So officially probably a 4:44 or 4:45.  Is that crazy or what?

After a quick ice bath, a shower, and a quick nap we went out to dinner with my cute cousin Kelli and her husband Alex and their kids.  She ran the half marathon, which was her first big race!  So proud of her.  She will back me up on the hard race day and the not so lovely race course.

So, luckily we were able to salvage the weekend.  I will have San Antonio Part II post later this week.  For now I'll leave you with this little ditty from our afternoon on the Riverwalk.  Love it!  Make sure to notice the guy on the violin - he was the best!