An annoucement, an anniversary (a birthday) and a WINNER!

Remember the movie MY RUN narrated by academy award winner Billy Bob Thornton? It premiered in March and was screened in 500 theaters across the nation. I loved this film. Every second of it. I found it motivational, inspirational, and amazing. Terry Hitchcock reminds us of the obstacles we face every day – the marathons of life – and that we can overcome them with determination, self-confidence, belief in the extraordinary, and the will to succeed. Plus, Terry ran 75 marathons in 75 consecutive days. Simply amazing! I can only dream of running that far and for that long. Check out my full review if you haven’t already.
Did you miss this film in theaters? Get ready because Virgil Films and Entertainment announced it is coming to DVD on September 20, 2011!

A portion of DVD sales will go to programs that provide direct service to those affected by cancer through the Livestrong Foundation. ‘Be Somebody’s Hero’ today and pre-order your copy. Don’t forget to look for my name in the credits – I will be!
You can find more information and follow updates from MY RUN on Twitter and Facebook.  
Today is not only my birthday, but the anniversary of my first marathon ever! I have run four more since then and a marathon. I ran it with my friend Chrissy and the help of the MIT training program. I could not have done it without either one.  It was only two years ago:
Chrissy & Me finishing the Spirit of Columbus Half.
To this day, it has been the greatest experience and accomplishment of my adult life. I have not been the same person since I trained for and ran that race. 
It goes without saying, that I miss my mother more than anything today. She always made birthdays special for us. Thank each and every one of you – and Dad, Michael and Mollie – for making my day as special as it could be. You guys remind me everyday that I am not alone, even when it feels like it.
Dad, Michael, Me, Mollie & Mom on my birthday last year. (I never thought it would be our last as a family)
What better thing to do on my birthday than announce the CEP Compression Running Shorts giveaway winner?
Thank you to everyone who entered – I wish I could give you all shorts! I was thrilled with the number of entries and more importantly, the votes I received for Team Refuel. Thank you so much for supporting me! And, don’t forget, you can VOTE once a day for me until September 15th.
And the winner is, per the random number generator is…
Comment #88 (numbered from the first comment posted from 1 to 113) belongs to Laurieb27 from I Can Walk As Fast As You Can Run (which she really can, I’ve witnessed it!). 
Congratulations, Laurie! Please contact me to claim your prize and thank you for your votes!
Until the next mile marker, 

People are mean or ignorant or both

This week has been a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. I think I’ve experienced every emotion imaginable for one reason or another, and my mood has changed at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason. Lovely, I know. I’m sure my husband would agree too.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my mom this week and how much I miss her. There have been several times when I would have liked to call her to share my thoughts. My birthday is next Tuesday – yuck – and I really don’t feel like celebrating it without her. It makes me sad and uncomfortable. I am not a person who embraces change, let alone sudden and unwelcome change.
Strange as it is [I think], about the only thing that has gone right for me this week is running. It’s been awhile since I have said that! Running has brought me relief this week when nothing else could. It has kept me sane. I have, once again, found freedom when I lace up my shoes and hit the pavement. And speaking of shoes, I ran in the Minimus twice this week for a total of a little over two miles and I. Love. That. Shoe. I feel so free when I wear it. I can feel my legs and feet working in new and exciting ways, I feel at one with my body. I feel like I can run as I was meant to – without anything holding me back. 
I’m learning to let go of the pressure I put on myself to run for a certain amount of time, distance or speed. I am running for me again and that feels good. Every Mile Counts. Every step I take makes a difference, means something, molds me into a better human being makes me stronger. My friend and fellow blogger Jen at From Fat to Finish Line first got me thinking about this concept in her post about No Mile Left Behind (stay tuned for an inspiring guest post and check out Jen’s GIVEAWAY!). I wrote Jen – on a nine day running streak herself – to thank her for opening my eyes to this attitude of seizing the moment and making the most of it, no matter how small it is, and she replied, “I can’t tell you how many times I would be down on myself or beat myself up for ‘only’ running a mile or two… Every step is valuable!! Just ask someone who is wheel chair bound. Really.” And that got me thinking – every mile mattered to my mom. Every mile was important – even when it was “just” one or two. This week I haven’t been running fast or far, but I have had some of the best running since Pittsburgh!
Runner’s World delivered this quote by Ryan Hall to my mailbox:
I am thankful that there are different seasons in life and training. I have learned to embrace each season realizing how important it is to allow the body, mind and spirit to fully cycle through each. My current season of marathon training is my favorite. I love the simple life of training and going after a goal with everything I have.
Which got me thinking, maybe this season I have been going through has not been in vain. Maybe things really do happen for a reason and maybe I will come out a better person on the other side. Maybe I can help others get through loss and heartache and pain. My body, mind and soul were crying out for something I wasn’t giving them – maybe this period of half-hearted runs and painful steps is what my body resorted to when I wasn’t giving it much-needed rest and down-time. One day at a time and one mile at a time, that is all I will ask of it.
This week, though, my food choices have been out of control. I’ve been sad and down so I’ve been eating crap. You don’t want to hear what I am about to say. I have eaten McDonald’s for lunch this week one two three days in a row. What the…? YUCK! My body has let me know if hates me for it and has protested, “Why are you feeding me this crap when we just started feeling good running again?” I don’t have an answer to satisfy it. It’s embarrassing and the only reason I can think of is because I’m hurting. Three days? Really? Yeah, um……that does not make me feel good at all.   
Which (somehow) brings me to the “People are mean or ignorant or both” part. I’m sitting at my desk today when a potential customer walks in and asked me a question. Instead of yelling at him across my office, I went about getting up to great him when he said, “Oh, no, don’t get up, I can see you are very pregnant.” Devastation. I was speechless. I looked at him and said, “What?” He said, “I don’t want you to have to get up, I can see you are pregnant.” Again! So I said fighting tears that I could feel brimming in my eyes, “Oh, well, I’m not and how can I help you?” He said, “Really? You sure look it!” with a gigantic goofy smile on his face. Them he followed up with, “I wasn’t trying to be rude.” My only response? “That was very rude, sir.”
I ate McDonald’s for lunch again. That’s how that happened today. Seriously? And I could probably write you more than just a post on this subject alone – don’t ever say that to a woman. Not ever. Not for any reason. Don’t assume she is pregnant. Don’t ask her. Don’t comment about it. Don’t. Say. It. I realize this dude probably had no idea what he was talking about, thought he was being helpful, doesn’t have a filter – whatever you want to call it – and I will never see him again, but come on! Use some common sense and learn when to stop letting words come out of your mouth, people! This is one of the ways people like me get self-esteem issues in the first place.
I know I’m fat(er) than I was at this time last summer. I’m working on it. I don’t want to stay this way and I won’t. It took time to shed the pounds in the first place; it will take me time to do it again. I will work hard and I will succeed. Not eating McDonald’s of course, but I will get back on track little by little.
I am trying to let this be my only thought now although what that man said is trying very hard to not only be forefront in my brain, but the only thing in my brain. Think:
Judi said it best, “Good Lord…that’s wrong. I think you are simply beautiful.” And Sarah kept me laughing with, “Please punch him in the crotch for me! That’s awful! He probably doesn’t even know what pregnant looks like since no woman would touch that with a 10-foot pole!” And Mollie was the voice of reason with, “Don’t worry, he clearly isn’t educated and isn’t worth your time.” Thanks, girls. Once again, I have the best friends. 

What about you? Has anyone ever said something hurtful that really gets you down? What is your guilty food pleasure and how do you cope with eating it? What training seasons have you been through and do you appreciate it the good and the bad? Does each and every mile matter to you? Talk to me!

Until the next mile marker, 

In case you missed it:

Look for me!
Please consider voting for me to be a part of Team Refuel! You can do so once a day until September 15th HERE. Search for me by name – Sara Wyen. To learn more about chocolate milk as recovery fuel and what I plan to do with the grant money if I am selected, please visit THIS post. Thank you. I appreciate any votes that I receive and the time you take to think of me.
These could be yours!
Enter my GIVEAWAY for a pair of CEP Compression Shorts HERE. You get extra entries for voting for me too!

CEP Compression: [So Excited] My Review & GIVEAWAY!

I think I am in love with CEP Compression Socks…..

CEP Compression – The Intelligent Sportswear
I know, I know, call me behind on the times. I have been running for a few years now, but have not tried any compression wear until now. I’ve thought about –even dreamed about it – but just haven’t been able to afford it, honestly. So, when CEP Compression contacted me and asked if I would be interesting in reviewing their products – I literally squealed with excitement!
CEP sent me a pair of Running Compression Socks and I got to choose the color so, of course, I chose pink! After all, all the cool kids are doing it. I couldn’t wait for them to arrive and I opened the box immediately. My first thought? H-O-T. I was hoping to try them out on Saturday for my long run, but wasn’t sure how I felt about wearing “knee socks” in 80+ degree heat. My second thought? S-M-A-L-L. They were sized according to the circumference of my calf, which is how I ordered them, but I was skeptical.
Nevertheless, I was still excited to give them a try and when Saturday morning rolled around, I jumped out of bed to get for a group run with MIT. Note to self: DO NOT try to put Compression anything on for the first time when you are running late. It doesn’t work very well. Second note to self: Read the directions before getting frustrated and running out the door barefoot! Whew. It was a chore, but once I got the socks on properly, I was ready to go.
Why yes, this picture does make my thighs look huge and they are one of the smaller parts of me. And yes, those are a shiny new pair of New Balance Minimus shoes.    
Rockin’ the CEP Pink!

I ran just about nine miles in my compression socks on Saturday. And it was awesome. Did I mention these socks make me feel like a professional I know what I am doing I am doing?

I LOVED them, and I really don’t want to go back to wearing normal socks on my long any runs.
What I love:
  • They are breathable and manage moisture well – my feet and legs were actually among the cooler parts of my body on Saturday.
  • The socks are made from 85% polyamid and 15% spandex and are extremely lightweight. I did not feel like I was wearing knee socks.
  • The feeling of being, well, compressed – it’s almost like I can feel my muscles absorbing oxygen-rich blood and using the nutrients to their full potential. My legs actually felt great on Saturday – it is my endurance that is suffering a little bit.  
  • My legs felt less sore on Sunday (this was the longest distance I have run in several weeks), and I felt completely recovered from my workout in no time. Can I just wear these socks all of the time?
  • I think they may have actually helped me knee remain stable without prohibiting the movement of the muscles (which is the only way my knee will get stronger). While I had some knee pain for the first few miles on Saturday, I experienced NO KNEE PAIN on Sunday. Not even while going up/down the stairs!
  • They look awesome!   

What I don’t love as much:

  • The price. They are $59.95 online and while that price impacts my budget, it is worth it for how well I felt. According to CEP, they last about 6 months if taken care of properly (gentle cycle on the washer, cold water, sport wash and line dry). I would totally reinvest in a pair!
So, what makes CEP Compression different from other compression products? According to CEP, their compression products are medically tuned for maximum performance. By measuring the calf circumference to ensure proper fit, CEP also ensures proper compression, allowing for effective blood flow. The compression on the calf is lower to effectively target the arteries and allow proper blood flow back to the heart and the compression at the ankle penetrates deep veins to push blood back to the heart. Plus, CEP Compression Socks are anatomically correct to perfectly fit your left and right foot – made a big difference for me! 
Other compression socks just aren’t designed this way, allowing blood to pool at the ankles and not make it back to the heart as effectively. For more information about the technology behind CEP Compression, I found the website very interesting.
And there are still more benefits to wearing compression gear:
  • Improved blood circulation and overall leg health.
  • Reduce vibration (thus, shin splints) to increase oxygen and promote healing. 
  • Increases oxygento optimize muscles and remove lactic acid.
  • Increases blood flow to increase warmth in the muscles. 

CEP Compression kindly sent me a pair of Women’s Running Compression Shorts to giveaway to one lucky follower!
They are black and a SIZE III.

Please see additional sizing information HERE.

Want these beauties to be YOUR’S?

Please leave me a separate comment for each entry to increase your chances of winning.

Become a follower of my blog or let me know that you already are. (+1)
Visit CEP Compression and let me know what product(s) you would like to try in a comment. (+1)
Extra Entries:
LIKE CEP Compression on Facebook HERE (+1)
Follow me on Twitter @wordstorunby (+1)
Follow CEP Compression on Twitter @CEPCOMPRESSION (+1)
Tweet about this giveaway and include @wordstorunby and @CEPCOMPRESSION in your tweet (+2)
Post about this giveaway to your blog. (+2)
Extra Extra Entries:
VOTE for me to earn a spot on Chocolate Milk’s Team Refuel HERE (Search for me by name- Sara Wyen) and leave me a comment each time that you do. (+1 entry per day that you vote
You have through Monday 08/29/2011 to enter (and vote!) and I will announce the winner on my blog shortly after then.
Until the next mile maker,
Please note: CEP provided me with these products to try and giveaway in exchange for my review.  I was not compensated in any other manner and the content of this review is purely my own opinion.

Dream Big, Set a Goal & Go For It!

Let’s travel back in time, shall we? Remember these posts? Remember when I checked off one goal for the year and then apparently stopped working on them?

Well, I do!

My 2011 Goals:

  1. Run the Pittsburgh Marathon in May. Check! On May 15th, I became a Marathoner!
  2. Lose the last 50 pounds the healthy way.
  3. Be at my goal weight of 150 pounds by this summer.
  4. Be a committed, reliable, inspiring, encouraging, and helpful Pace Coach to the 13-minute per mile pace group and help newer runners achieve their dreams of running a half marathon or marathon.
  5. Obtain my ACSM Personal Training Certification by April 2011.

At least the first one was a good one? I want to be inspired again, to reach my goals and feel the sweet success of achieving something great. I want to say Yes! Did that, now what’s next?

I have been working on a goal/vision board to keep me motivated. And, I recently entered the Goal Board Contest to win a pair of glam gloves by RB!
Here’s my board:
Sorry the picture is not very clear!

It keeps me motivated because when I start to get those negative thoughts in my head (I can’t; I’m too fat; I’m too slow; It’s too hard; etc.) I can remember what I did before and know that I can achieve great things! I have pictures on it from my first half marathon and my first full, as well as my bib from Pittsburgh.
As you can see, my Mother is a huge inspiration to me. It keeps me going to know that my mom would never want me to quite running. When I see her picture, especially her smiling and waving at the Finish Line after her first 5K, I want to run every day because she no longer can. There are several pictures of her on my board, including one of her holding me when I was only days old and a picture of her, me and Bart Yasso. That was a great day for us. We both got to meet our running hero.

And, of course, the Lucky 13’s keep me motivated when I want to give up! I have never found such loving, supportive, caring and encouraging friends as I have in the running community. I am thankful every day that I have each and every one of them in my life. They have been right by my side – through thick and thin, no questions asked – and I know I can always turn to them for advice, guidance, tough love and support – or just plain fun! They are my rock(s?).
I want to update my goals too. Things are hard right now, no doubt, and I have some pretty big things on the horizon. I need to slow down, take time to myself to figure things out, but I don’t have to give up. I may not reach these goals in 2011, but I will reach them. Maybe even before I am 30 years old! Here are my updated goals (in no particular order):

  1. Run the Pittsburgh Marathon in May. Check! On May 15th, I became a Marathoner!
  2. Run the Goofy Challenge in January 2012! 39.3 miles in 2 days to honor my mother!  
  3. Lose the last 50 pounds the healthy way.
  4. Reach my goal weight of 150 pounds.
  5. Be a committed, reliable, inspiring, encouraging, and helpful Pace Coach to the 13-minute per mile pace group and help newer runners achieve their dreams of running a half marathon or marathon.
  6. Inspire someone every day.
  7. Obtain my RRCA Coaching Certification.
  8. Work on making my relationship with my husband the best it has ever been.
 What about you? What are some of your goals? If you haven’t entered the contest, tell me about your goals in the comments! 
Look for my photo!
And, please consider voting for me to be a part of Team Refuel! You can do so once a day until September 15th HERE. I am on Page 5. To learn more about chocolate milk as recovery fuel and what I plan to do with the grant money if I am selected, please visit THIS post. Thank you. I appreciate any votes that I receive and the time you take to think of me.
Until the next mile marker, 

Refuel with Chocolate Milk and Vote for Me Too!

As runners and athletes, we know that it is important to fuel our bodies to for peak performance. We also know that it is important to refuel our bodies after our energy has been depleted after a long or hard run. In fact, it is important to replenish our muscles stored within 30 minutes of a workout.

After a workout, hydration is the main goal because a significant amount of water is lost through perspiration and not getting enough fluids can lead to fatigue, dizziness and headaches. In addition to hydration with fluids (I prefer water) your body also needs replenished with a carb-rich snack or meal that does demand the high-calorie and high-sugar counts found in many sports drinks. The key is to replace both carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during a workout and while whole grains, fruits and veggies are the best options, sometimes a drink or recovery smoothie is a perfectly good, inexpensive and quick fix.
Due to its carbohydrate to protein ration (about 3:1 or 4:1), Chocolate Milk has been found to be one of the best post-workout options to refuel muscles. It provides an optimal balance of carbs and protein and is recommended to help you refuel both after strength and cardio training. It also provides fluids and electrolytes to rehydrate and help replenish what’s lost in sweat. Choose low-fat Chocolate Milk to avoid excess sugar and fat consumption and drink no less than eight ounces to properly refuel. 
Do you refuel with chocolate milk? I love a tall glass of ice-cold chocolate milk after a hard run and it is my go-to staple for recovery and a quick snack when I am pressed for time. I especially enjoy it when Chocolate Milk is available at Finish Lines – it is the first thing I look for and it is not there, I rarely drink anything else besides water until I get home! 

The elite athletes, coaches and trainers of Team Refuel at Chocolate Milk know low-fat chocolate milk is nature’s premium recovery drink – a delicious and effective way to refuel your body after a hard workout. And they are looking to expand the Team with not only professional athletes, but everyday athletes like me!
I want to be a part of Team Refuel so I submitted my application and was selected to be in the contest this month! Each month, the five individual athletes who win the most votes will be invited to join the team.
I want to be one of those athletes. Please check out my submission HERE and vote for me! Search for me by name – Sara Wyen – my photo looks like this:

 You can vote once a day until September 15, when the winners will be selected, but I would appreciate any vote(s) you are able to cast.

If I am one of the winners, I will be invited to join Team Refuel and each receive a $250 grant. If I won the Refuel Grant, I would use the money to continue to train and run races – including Disney’s Goofy in January 2012. I will need A LOT of Chocolate Milk to take my training to the next level and accomplish my goal of running 39.3 miles in two days! With Chocolate Milk, I know I can take my training to he next level and inspire others to do the same.
These babies will be for you, Mom!
I am planning to run The Goofy in Orlando, Florida in January 2012 with some of my running buddies and if I win, I will be using the grant money to fund my training for the 39.3 mile race over the course of two days in the happiest place on Earth! This race is special to me because, as you may or may not know, my mother loved Disney and she would be ecstatic to know my sister and I are running the Disney races. Some of my happiest memories with her are from our family vacations to Disney World. I want to run the Goofy in her memory. She would be so thrilled. 
She made me a scrapbook of the last family trip we took to Disney in 2006 and this note is included on the last page:

We were supposed to go to Disney World the week after the Pittsburgh Marathon, but we did not go due to my mother’s sudden passing. I want to train as a part of Team Refuel to go to Disney World and run The Goofy in her memory. So please vote for me!
And thank you! 🙂
Until the next mile marker,