Whirlwind Weekend

This weekend has been insanely busy but really great. I took Friday off and ran 12 miles, it was my furthest run yet. I did much better fueling than I did on my ten mile run and feel fairly confident that I found something that will work for my Half. This run was around a local park that allowed me to access water fountains so I was able to refill my fuel belt. I needed the extra water and will keep this in mind as my distance increases.


This month might not have been my highest mileage month but I am proud of my progress.

On Saturday and Sunday, I was lucky to be able to attend the Florida Democratic Convention.


I learned a lot and always enjoy being surrounded by other political junkies. It was held at Disneyworld’s Contemporary Hotel and Conference Center. Parking was limited which forced those not staying at the hotel to park at the transportation center and take the monorail to the hotel. On Saturday, I inadvertently got on the one monorail that only goes to Epcot. I had to get off that monorail and board the next monorail which went back to where I started. Finally, I found the right monorail but I had sadly missed Alan Grayson and the newly founded Florida Progressive Caucus meeting. I need to pay more attention to where I am going. (I was able to find my car after only one loop of the parking lot on Saturday. I think I came out ahead.)



So minus that one snafu, everything else went smoothly and I feel re-energized to hit the ground running for the upcoming year plus of campaigning.

The Convention was over by the afternoon, so I was able to come back home and practice more with my new camera by chasing my cats around until they do something cute.

Cat in drawer

(Please ignore my laundry on floor. Also, Alia is judging you.)

J went to see Guns N’Roses at the Amway Arena on Friday. He broke out this old t-shirt for it. I wish I could have gone but had to get up so early to go to the convention.


Did you have a good weekend?

Half Marathon Training Week 12 In Review

You can follow my previous weeks training and current DVD rotation on my Workouts page.

Sunday: Yoga 60 Minutes

Monday: 30 Day Shred Level One 20 Minutes

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 3.03 Miles

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: A 5K That Was Not 3.1 Miles 2.35 Miles

Thoughts:The rain derailed my running this week. I felt pretty unmotivated last week in general because of some work stress but feel that the slower week was beneficial. This week, I am feeling renewed and ready to stay strong for the next few weeks leading to my first Half. Even though my 5K on Saturday wasn’t , I was on pace for a PR and was faster than my training plan calls for to run a 2:45 Half. Even though time is not important to me, I am in it to finish, it still feels good to be on the right track.

Some of you may remember how much I disliked the picture on the cover of Steve Jobs biography Steve Jobs.The picture bothers me. It is creepy and the eyes follow you like in a horror movie. (I of course am deeply sorry for Steve Jobs’ family and their loss but I could not resist sharing the two pictures below.)



J actually sent me this picture below. It is of Frank Gorshin who was the The Riddler in the original TV Batman. I cannot believe that this pose is a common one for book covers.

Frank Gorsin Steve Jobs Similar Picture

I would like to put it on official internet record that if I ever am on the cover of a book (not sure why I would be but lets pretend), I will find a way to pose that is not obnoxious.

How has your training gone this week?

Anything silly bothering you that you would like to get off your chest?

Fitness Friday Blog Hop
Congrats to Becca who won a copy of The Swiss Cheese Theory Of Life. Please email your address to DinaRuns@Gmail.Com.

TV You Should Be Watching



Once Upon A Time is a show that integrates fairy tales with the present day. It starts with Emma Swan, who was orphaned a as a baby and is now working as a bail bondsman. She is fierce, tough, and beautiful. Emma is surprised by the ten year old son she gave up for adoption who tells her a fantastical tale of Storybrooke, Maine where all the residents are characters from fairy tales but they do not know it. Emma is there only hope.

I loved every second of the pilot. The story set-up was clear, the ensemble cast was strong,and the costumes and make-up were stunning. I have high hopes for Once Upon A Time and hope that future weeks are as strong.



Homeland is full of current events (War on Terror) and spying coupled with a returned POW and an intelligence officer who has some sort of mental disorder. It is fast-paced and exciting. Definitely a must see!

There is one contestant on the X Factor who confuses me. I do not think that Chris Rene

Am I missing something here? The judges have gushed about Chris from day one and even Simon was singing his praises last night.

What are your must watch shows?

Who is your favorite on the X Factor?

A 5K That Was Not 3.1 Miles

On Saturday, I ran the inaugural Margarita Run 5K Urban Run & 1 Mile Walk. This is a small local race which is for a great cause, benefitting Haines City Main Street, and close to my house. It was interesting running at 5PM but the weather was perfect. (What do most people eat when they race later in the day? I had breakfast but lunch was a difficult one. I ended up eating breakfast foods for lunch and hoped my stomach would be fine.)

Haines City has a great downtown area that is really on an upswing. I love seeing all the local businesses that are opening.

Downtown Haines City

They had a cute mini expo in Railroad Park. I loved that a local Mexican restaurant, La Fiesta Mexicana, sold nachos and tacos. It went well with the margaritas.

Haines City Mini 5K Expo

We started running through an arch of balloons. (I took this picture after they unhooked one end of the arch.)


This course had a lot of hills (for Florida). It even took us on a dirt path and over some railroad tracks. The course sadly was not 3.1 miles.


At the two mile mark, I heard one of the volunteers yell that there was only a half a mile left. I looked at my Garmin and knew I could not have a half mile left because I cannot run that fast. The sad thing is that I would have had a PR if I maintained my average pace for the remained of the 5K.

At least there was a band.

Haines City 5K Band

Have you ever had a race go wrong?

Is it crazy that I will probably run this race again next year?

Please take a minute to enter my giveaway of The Swiss Cheese Theory Of Life.

The Swiss Cheese Theory Of Life



The Swiss Cheese Theory Of Life is a self-help book for people who normally would not be interested in self-help books. It uses the adorable metaphor of cheese (Swiss mainly, holes and all) to teach the reader practical life lessons about letting go of regret and positive thinking.

The set-up of the book is unique in that each chapter deals with a particular concept, such as perfectionism, and it outlines ways to identify if you are falling prey to this issue. It then utilizes quotes and cartoons plus the addition of real world examples from the authors therapy practices. It makes each concept easy to understand and provides lots of different ways in which you can make the improvements and identify ways you may be falling victim to that particular issue.

Concepts that stood out to me on personal level:

  • Being unable to go back.
  • Letting the past stay in the past.
  • Focusing on things that you cannot change is a pointless pursuit.
  • The chapter on positive thinking really struck a nerve. It is something that I struggle with.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Swiss Cheese Theory Of Life by Judith A. Belmont, MS and Lora Shor, LSW and took away a lot of lessons.

I have one copy of the book to giveaway. To win, please leave a comment on one time you turned a negative situation into a positive. For extra entries which you can do one each day, please share inspirational quotes or posters that helped you through a difficult time or your favorite cheese.  I will pick the winner via Random.Org on October 28th.

I was given a copy of the book to review and one for the giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Finally Friday

This week has had its ups and downs.

I got into a fender bender yesterday getting lunch.

Car Accident

Luckily, no one was hurt and there was minimal damage to both cars.

I did have a crazy experience with a pepper. As I was chopping vegetables for a salad last night, I found this.

Pepper with smiley face

Cheesy as it sounds, it kind of made me feel better.

Running the 2011 Margarita Run tomorrow, I will spend much of today and tomorrow making sure I stay hydrated. Luckily, the weather is starting to cool here (cool for Florida), so doing a race at 5PM should be bearable.

I was recently sent Crystal Light Pure to try. I decided to do a taste test at work to see if some of my soda/energy drink addicted coworkers would drink more water drinking Crystal Light Pure. The response was positive and one person even begged me for a few more samples.

Crystal Light Pure 3

A few facts about Crystal Light Pure from the company:

Contains Truvia

No artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives

Colored with natural ingredients

They come in individual packets which you dump into a water bottle.

I was also sent some hydration tips from Molly Kimball, RD. As someone who carries water with me everywhere I go, I found these tips helpful.

1. Keep a Tally – This is a great one. My water bottle comes with notches on it, to indicate how many ounces of fluid I have consumed. The best place I have found is from SparkPeople and I have a SparkPeople application on my phone.


2. Don’t Forget About Food – Eating a well-rounded diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables, helps us stay hydrated.

3. Watch the Caffeine – I would also add here to watch the sugary drinks. Working in my office, I see coworkers who only drink coffee and then switch to soda/energy drinks into the afternoon. Drinking water is so important that switching out a few of those caffeine filled sugar drinks would make a huge difference in how hydrated they are and how they feel.

 How do you stay hydrated through the day?

I was sent a free sample of Crystal Light Pure from Kraft Foods. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for my opinion.

Love At First Bark: How Saving A Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself



Julie Klam takes the stories of dogs she rescued and gives us glimpses into the life that occurred around them. We learn about her marriage, which hints at some strain in the opening but is clearly full of love. The adventures she shares with her husband over rescuing dogs, is funny and often touching. It brings them together but it also drives him a little nuts. The relationship feels very real.

We meet a pit-bull who is abandoned in NYC and the lengths Julie goes through to get her placed. This story was particularly touching as someone who grew up with pit-bulls and the experience that J and I had this year with our very own pit-bull rescue. We also live in an area where stray pit-bulls are put to sleep by animal control if they catch them. With the economy in the state it is and having such limited funds, it is difficult to find places that are willing to take these dogs. Luckily, J came to the rescue and was able to place the sweet dog we found into a forever home. This experience really allowed me to understand why the author is so enthusiastic about recues, the feeling when you know you saved a dog from certain death, is an amazing one.

The author learned how brave she was when chasing a puppy with a pickle jar on her head through the swamps of New Orleans and how much she would rather rescue dogs in NYC. She learns through one rescue named Clemmie, who had a pooping problem, that sometimes all you can do is make someone happy and comfortable at the end. That even if you cannot solve every problem, just trying and offering what you can, can be good enough.

I really like Julie Klam, she is funny, tells great stories, and is very likeable. For animal lovers who like to peer into the lives of others, you will enjoy Love At First Bark: How Saving A Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself as much as I did.

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.

Have you ever done any animal rescue?

Do you have any cute dog stories?

Half Marathon Training Week 11 In Review

You can follow my previous weeks training and current DVD rotation on my Workouts page.

Sunday: 30 Minutes Elliptical. 15 minutes Upper Body.

Monday: 10.05 Miles! (This is my personal distance record and I am still thrilled about this run.)

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 2.41 Miles

Thursday: 30 Day Shred Level 1

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4.26 Miles

Thoughts: I feel really great mentally about getting over the double digit run hump. Lately, my strength training has gone out the window and I am starting to notice a difference in my level of strength. I need be more consistent but am having a hard time spending 40 to 60 minutes on a full body routine. Starting the 30 Day Shred again seemed like a good idea because it is short and I always see results.

My training plan calls for a 5K to access time goals. Ultimately, my goal is to finish the Half but I love to run 5K’s and this one is almost too good to be true.

The 2011 Margarita Run – 5K Urban Run & 1 Mile Walk.

Why is this race so perfect?

It’s near my house. (I normally drive upwards of an hour to race in Orlando.)

The race starts at 5:00 PM (It is late and close enough that J can actually attend and still get his studying done.)

It is for a really great cause.

Plus there is the promise of Margarita’s.

Do you have any upcoming fun races? Is it just me, or are small local races super fun?

The winner of the Eeyore Track Pants from OldGlory is Khourt from Life As A Convert. Send me an email to DinaRuns@Gmail.com with your address and size. Thanks to all who entered, I really enjoyed reading about your favorite fall foods.

Childless By Choice

I am 30 years-old, married, and I have no children.



There are many times when people ask me about my childless status. A few of the most common are as follows.

1. Every time I am at the Endocrinologist.

Doctor: “Do you have kids?”

Me: “No.”

Doctor: “ Do you want kids?”

Me: “Unsure.”

I have no idea what my current reproductive status has to do with my thyroid.

2. Coworkers.

I do not feel I should have to explain to people I work with that even if I wanted children, which I am on the fence about, it would not make sense to have any when my husband is a fulltime student. That seems like it would be a bad idea to me.

3. Random Acquaintances.

These can be the worst, especially if they have young children or are trying to get pregnant, because they are in the bubble that everyone loves babies and of course your ovaries are crying out for them.

So my answers to all those curious people are as follows:

1. Being childless is a valid choice. It does not make someone a bad person, lonely, strange, or unfulfilled. It is wonderful that your choice to have children is a happy one for you. Yay, you can get a prize but I like my life too.

2. It is not your business when we are going to have kids. J and I might reconsider the kids issue when he is done with school and it would be more feasible. It is a conversation for a few years up the line. I have never asked you why you decided to have children or why you would want four of them, please show me the same courtesy.

I do sometimes get a pang of oh my goodness that baby is so cute I want one but I feel that way about expensive shoes and electronics too. It does not mean I should rush out and buy them.

In the book, Two Is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice, they conducted a survey of childless women. The main reason the women gave for not wanting children is that they simply love their life as it is.

A common theme, and one I have personally experienced, is that when women say they are not interested in having children, they are told they will grow out of it or that their maternal instinct will kick in eventually. That they will change their minds. It is sexist to assume that we are unable to trust women with knowing themselves enough to make this decision. As if the sole purpose of women is to procreate and without fulfilling this biological imperative, we will shrivel up and die a lonely death.

I would suspect that women who choose not to get married, or postpone marriage until later in life, get the same type of speeches from the same types. I wonder what life choice that men make garners so much scrutiny from strangers?

Are you childless by choice?

Do strangers ever ask you questions that are very personal? How do you handle it?

Childless and Loving It

Why I’m Childfree

Ten Miles And A Garmin Fail

1. I ran my first double digit run! 10.05 miles to be exact and it was wonderful. I have five weeks left until my first Half Marathon and I needed to break the double digit barrier to feel more prepared for this race.

Family Guy Exercise


2. I have no idea how to use my Garmin. For the previously mentioned double digit run, I chose a course, uploaded it to the watch, and expected it to somewhat direct me where to go to follow that course. That is not what happened. I ended up doing my own thing and ignored what my Garmin was doing. Lesson learned, read your manual, and do not assume you know what you are doing.

3. My days off allowed me to catch up on TV. I finally watched Revenge and I am hooked. The show is like a delectable piece of gossip. Lots of soapy fun.



Do you assume you can use electronics, skip reading the owners manual, and get frustrated when it does not work?

What is your favorite new show of the fall season?

If you have not had a chance to enter, I am giving away a really cute pair of track pants from OldGlory. Leave a comment on Fall Food to enter.