Alex’s Million Mile Team Kick-Off!

You know that us Chicks love to do good to feel good, and every September, we join super forces to help kids with with cancer keep fighting. Participating in Alex’s Million Mile event has become a tradition for us, and we’ve been ROCKSTARS in that we’ve raised almost $6000 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

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The great thing about Alex’s #Journey2aMilion event is that there are lost of ways to participate. We’ll be tracking all the miles we run, walk, and bike to count toward the worldwide goal of 1 million miles.  You should totally do it with us and join Team Scootadoot! It’s easy, free, and you’re already training for a race anyway, right? Why not “donate” those miles to a great cause? And bonus, donations are tax deductible!

SuperChicksAMMOn September 1st, we’ll be social media-ing our 1st Mile along with other participants around the world to kick off this years event. You’ll see us tweeting and Facebooking throughout the month, and there will be  prizes and giveaways at the end of the month, so

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The Top 5 Things I Learned from the Atlantic City Half Marathon

Because I had SO MUCH to say about my first half marathon experience, I had to break it up into two posts. Mainly because it wouldn’t be fair to push that much excitement on  you at once.

You’re welcome, eyeballs.

So here are the top 5 things I learned at the race.

  1. Runners also like to re-fuel.  A lot.

I came totally unprepared for the race as far a fuel goes. I’m not much of breakfast girl, and was relying on the advice Mer, Vic, and Cam as far as what was best. Because Cam is the sweetest, she gave me some of her stock; a packet of Gu and CLIF Shot Bloks packet to try out. On race day, I forgot to pack my Honey Stinger and Cam forgot all of her fuel, so I gave her back her Gu and stuck with the Bloks, which, for the record, tasted pretty yummy! By the time we reached the turn in the course, Mer had eaten her Gu and I was busting open the Bloks. At mile 9, we were looking for a station with some fuel because, as we all know, rungry is a very real thing, and it can make for grun-py runners. Perhaps we missed them, but one thing we didn’t see any Gu or fuel at the water/Gatorade stations. The lesson I learned here was to always remember to pack extra fuel. Because we really like, and need, our Gu and Bloks and stuff.

  1. A big, shiny medal is muy importante.

Since this was the very first pretty shiny medal I’ve ever earned, I was pretty stoked to get it no matter what. The fact that it was MASSIVE and BEJEWLED was even better! Everyone was oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over it because it was totally fabulous. Meri said she thought it was the best medal of the race series, and since she is a legacy runner for this race, I took her word for it. Back at her house, she pulled out her past AC medals and sure enough, this year’s was special. They kept it classy and simple and BIG. Thank you AC Race Series!

My first medal ever and it's soooo purdy!

My first medal ever and it’s soooo purdy!

Legacy Girl Mer's AC Half Medal Spread

Legacy Girl Mer’s AC Half Medal Spread

 

  1. It’s all about the intervals.

                As I mentioned, I really had no clue what I was doing. The furthest distance I had run at once was 10k. Yes, I was worried about this, but once again I knew I could rely on my girls to suggest the best plan of attack. Also? Sometimes ignorance is bliss. The initial plan was that Meri, Cam, and I would start together doing intervals of two minutes running and one minute walking. After a few miles, Meri planned to pull away to pursue the PR she wanted. We started off, and before long, I realized that this was going to be unlike any run I had been on yet. I was feeling so fantastic! I stuck with Meri and we stayed with the 2:1 run/walk interval until about mile 10, when we switched to walking for two and running for one. We played cat and mouse with some lovely people who were pursuing their 50 in 50 goal. We teased, and taunted, and toasted with them after the finish. Bonds on the course are quick to form!

New Friends!

New Friends!

Toward the end, we started bargaining with ourselves to run to different landmarks along the Boardwalk like “those apartments” or “that restaurant”. I wanted to run to a particularly tasty looking Gyro shop around mile 11 but we kept on, and averaged a pace of 13:14. I’ll take it for my first half!

  1. A great race partner makes ALLLLLLL the difference

We had our plan and all was set, but sometimes things don’t always work out the way we plan. We got separated from Cam, and I felt badly because I had promised her we’d stick together. Meridith reassured me many times that Cam would want us to run our own races, because she’s awesome like that and friends support each other’s goals. She found a new friend to finish the race with and we went out to escort them to the finish. And this is what I love about running; the love and support of one another is something rare and precious in today’s world, and it’s my favorite aspect of the running community.

Coming to the finish with a new friend. (Photo Credit: Ken Shelton Photography)

Coming to the finish with a new friend. (Photo Credit: Ken Shelton Photography)

It’s been said on Scootadoot many times that Meridith is the best cheerleader and race coach. Seriously, folks, if you have an opportunity to run with this girl, do it. She knew exactly what to do when to do it, what to say and when to say it. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating if I said we might have been having the most fun of anyone out there. I NEVER thought running could be fun, but with the right partners it always is.

  1. You can do anything with the right attitude.

My only goal for this race was to finish. The clock didn’t matter, I just wanted my first medal. Much more importantly, I wanted to have a great time with friends I don’t get to see nearly enough. The race was really just an activity we would be doing together. Together is what’s important. And fun. Fun is important, too.

That being said, I was curious to find out how I would do at the race. I promised myself, and all of you, that I wouldn’t half ass this race. Even though I didn’t train like I meant to, I was determined to push myself as much as was safe and, of course, fun. I don’t ever get to run with friends so that alone made the race infinitely more fun, and Meri and I laughed and danced and got many compliments on our costumes, which always helps. Before I knew it, the race was ending. Our time of 2:55:15 felt like an hour. I grabbed Meri’s hand to cross the finish together, and it was honestly one of the best feelings of my life.

 

Aaaaaand we're done! (Photo Credit, Ken Shelton Photography)

Aaaaaand we’re done! (Photo Credit, Ken Shelton Photography)

Once reunited, we collected our costume contest prizes, said goodbye to to friends (Bye, Bonnie!) , and left to stuff our faces at the Melting Pot in full costume. Because runger, omg.

Our winnings! Goooo Peaches!

Our winnings! Goooo Peaches!

Bye, Bonnie! Until next time!

Bye, Bonnie! Until next time!

Mmmmmm, chocolate.

Mmmmmm, chocolate.

This was the best race ever. At least, until the next one I get to run with this wonderful friends in this fantastic community we call running.

Speedy, happy miles of smiles to all! <3

It’s Lemon Month! Time to Run, Walk, Ride.

A few days ago, my friend challenged me to log some miles for ALS. I’ve already done the ice bucket thing; most of my friends and family have. Isn’t the power of social media amazing? To date, the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness has helped to raise $100 million and counting, and raised our collective consciousness about a disease that affects so many people, including a few of my friends. As with any internet thing, there are naysayers, but as someone with the inside scoop on charity workings (my husband serves as board president of a local nonprofit), raising awareness for your cause works. The proof is in the dollars- see that big figure up there? You never know who might be watching, who has funds to give, who has been personally affected or knows someone who has, and suddenly- they care. They want to make a difference. They want to give their money. And maybe it’s a one-time thing, or maybe they can afford a recurring donation, but either way- awareness matters.

Back to my friend’s running challenge- well, I had to decline. This month is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and all of my miles belong to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. That’s right, it’s time once again to log one million miles for childhood cancer, and this year, we can run, walk, or ride our way through September. Check out this video:

We participated in the inaugural Million Mile Run last year, and were thrilled that so many of our friends joined us. If you would like to join Team Scoot A Doot this year, we would LOVE to have you! Fundraising is encouraged but not mandatory- what we really want you to do is log your miles with us and make some noise on social media. Let’s paint the month yellow for childhood cancer awareness!

BUT WAIT. There’s more! If you join our team, here are some things you can look forward to:

#onwednesdayswewearyellow Mean Girls wear pink, but Nice Girls (and guys) wear yellow. Show us your yellow every Wednesday on Instagram and Facebook, and help me prove that it really does look good on everyone. Team members will be entered into a random prize drawing at the end of the month, for every Wednesday they participate. (That’s one prize but four chances to enter! Time to start planning your outfits.)

We love our team so much that we have two other prize opportunities!

One prize for the most miles logged by the end of the month. Now, some of us our in marathon training season, and some of us are cyclists…who will win? Start moving, post your miles, and let’s find out!

The other reward is for our top fundraiser. Raising money isn’t a requirement for our team, but every dollar raised will help fund more research, and one day, hopefully, a cure.

We have a few other surprises in store for our team, and of course we’ll be posting lemony goodness all month long, in the form of recipes, outfit ideas, and more.

Let’s get this party started! Join Team Scoot A Doot for #alexsmillionmile and give us a shout on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Start running, walking, or riding and let’s make a difference together. The #journey2amillion starts today!

http://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1117658

Already joined our team? THANK YOU! Are you walking, biking, or riding? Do you love yellow as much as I do?

Chick Chat: Advice for Beginners

Every January, treadmills and tracks see a new flurry of activity. One has to arrive earlier than usual to find a space at yoga. There’s a line for the weight lifting equipment at the gym.

I used to work at a gym, so I’m familiar with the whole “January Joiner” thing. A new year provides a perfect opportunity for a new beginning. A new attitude. New goals. New shoes. (Okay, that last one might just be me.)

However, the whole concept of a “January Joiner” is that these individuals will be done by February, and I hate that that’s a thing. Why can’t we encourage others to be fit? Active? Their healthiest, best self? We were all beginners once, right?

Two of our Scoot chicks are getting back into the swing of running things, and what better way to celebrate them- and other runners either returning to the sport after a hiatus or those who are dipping their toes in the running pond for the first time- than with some Chick chatter. We want to help you make the best start on your running journey; whether you are running for general fitness or adding miles for a race goal. Our advice:

CAM:

I haven’t clocked any miles since Wine and Dine, so it’s like I’m a newbie. I’d have to say the 2 min work/1 min rest routine is helping me immensely. It’s not so daunting when you have a guaranteed rest. There are awesome apps for phones that keep track of your time, and of course, there’s those fancy schmancy time-pieces that everyone’s sporting nowadays. I use HIIT Interval training timer. Also, get a buddy. I’m far less likely to slack if I know someone’s expecting me. Or even better, if someone’s picking me up!

MER:

When you begin (or begin again) I think it’s really easy to compare. Comparing yourself to other runners or to the runner that you once were – whether it be your high school self, your pre-injury self, or your twenty pounds ago self. My advice would be to treat yourself kindly. Use positive words and remind yourself that you are doing the best that you can within this given moment. When you’re running consistently, it’s very easy to forget just how difficult it is at the beginning of things.

Be consistent. But also be forgiving. If you have a bad day or a bad run, acknowledge it and then let it go. Don’t carry it with you.Try not to let it turn into a bad week or a bad month.

When I first started running, I was heavily reliant on my friends. I’d ask them to meet me at the park. It kept me motivated and they never minded going my pace (which was always slower than theirs). Now I’m more of a solo runner for many training runs but I still check in on the daily mile and chat with friends.

VIC:

Any journey begins with a step. It sounds cheesy, yes, but it’s also true.

Anytime anyone asks me about starting to run, I suggest they start with a run-walk. Run for a minute, walk for five. Run for two minutes , walk for five. Run for three minutes, walk for five. You get the idea!

Soon enough, you will be running without wanting – or needing – to stop and walk! I did this when I first got back into running. I’d actually count light poles on my route. I’d run past 2 light poles, then walk for two more. Then repeat. And again.

For me, the break was enough to look forward to, to get me through “the tough part.” And by distracting myself to look for and count light poles, it went by in a flash!

BROOKE:

I’m a big fan of small goals; they can add up to Big Things. Start with 20-30 minutes of running, 2-3 days a week. Once that is routine and comfortable for you, you can up the time, number of days and/or switch to a mileage goal. And don’t forget to celebrate your achievements!

Missing a day is just that. Missing a day. We all do it- hell, I did it last week. Don’t be too hard on yourself, just get back on track tomorrow.

Find your fit people. I’ve been lucky to find a regular crew to run with each week. We motivate each other and we laugh a lot too.

Happy running, everyone!

Any new runners out there? How’s it going? Experienced runners, please add your best advice in the comments!

A Day of Thanks

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Victoria

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Yes, I love food. That’s a given. But really, what I love so much about the holiday is that it’s all about family.

As a child, we always went to my aunt and uncle’s house for the day, along with my grandparents and others in my extended family. After J and I married, we alternated spending Thanksgiving between J’s family and mine. We all contributed to the meal, and ate together – brothers, sisters, parents and cousins. And after the meal, we’d all go for a long walk.

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Walking by the barn one snowy Thanksgiving weekend

(And may I say, my in-laws are incredible cooks, so each holiday meal tops the last. That goes for table settings and decorations as well.)

Last year, we headed off to Maine for the week, where we hiked all over Mt. Desert Island and dined like royalty. We had a blast, and plan to return for another holiday week in Bar Harbor another year.

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Hiking with my family in Acadia National Park last Thanksgiving. Photo credit: (Uncle) Kreg Ulery

Thanksgiving to me is about spending time with loved ones. No matter the location, no matter the meal, no matter the activity, it’s about being thankful for what we have and one another.

Jessica

It’s the most wonderful tiiiiime of the year!

I adore Thanksgiving. I grew up celebrating it (and every other holiday) with my raucous extended family and I’ve carried that feeling with me through the years even though we’re all spread out now. Wah. The great news is that Mister Jess’s family is local, so we often spend the day with them. We’ll be doing that again this year, and I fully anticipate enjoying everything I love about this holiday: good food, great company, lots of thanks and lots of laughter. What’s not to love?!

Brooke
I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. Gathering around a table to share food and conversation with my family fills me with warm fuzzies. It’s the perfect place and time to feel connected to my most important people.On Thanksgiving morning, my mom would make pumpkin pancakes and then we’d watch the parade on tv- something I do with my own kids now.
Getting ready to watch the Macy's parade on my middle baby's first Thanksgiving.

Getting ready to watch the Macy’s parade on my middle baby’s first Thanksgiving.

As a child, it was my job to make and set out place cards at our dinner table. My grandma would hand me a stack of cards and a fancy pen and send me to work. Now that my girls are old enough, I’m continuing the tradition. Last year, the girls and I made turkey place cards out of wine corks.

Last Thanksgiving, less than two weeks before Little Dude arrived!

Last Thanksgiving, less than two weeks before Little Dude arrived!

In the past we’ve hosted Thanksgiving, but last year, I was close to giving birth, and this year, our dining room has become a playroom for the kids. We’ll go to my in-laws to eat, but we’ll bring our Thanksgiving tablecloth- a tradition we began three years ago. We started with a white tablecloth, and each year, using fabric markers, we add a drawing, or turkey handprints for the kids (to see how they’ve grown) and a sentence about something for which we’re grateful.

My husband soothing our oldest girl on her first Thanksgiving- she was a little peanut at one month old! (She slept 7 hours straight that night. The longest stretch she would sleep until after she turned one. Yawn.)

My husband soothing our oldest girl on her first Thanksgiving- she was a little peanut at one month old!

I always make dessert. I’ve been planning my pie menu for weeks- can’t have just one, we need options!

Meridith

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays although when I was younger it was difficult for me to pinpoint exactly why. I don’t really like turkey (I’m more of a sides type of girl). We never had a set house we went to – usually my cousins hosted it or my family did, depending on the year and the circumstances.

When I married Jay and started a family of my own, my in-laws began to host the holiday with great regularity and invite my parents each year to join in the festivities, too.

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Thanksgivings of days gone by.

Since I’ve grown up and gained perspective, I’ve realized why it’s my favorite; Thanksgiving is about being grateful for what we have and furthermore, for helping those in need. Being that we don’t host Thanksgiving, our free holiday turkey from the grocery store is donated, along with other canned goods and non-perishable items. A holiday with the sole intention of being with family and helping other families? That is my kind of holiday!

Additionally, we celebrate Hanukkah so we’ll be partying it up Thanksgivukkah style!

Cam

My Thanksgiving traditions are pretty typical.  My large, Italian family gathers, we each bring a dish…I usually bring cookies, and we eat too much food and drink too much wine and laugh way too loudly..  And trust me when I say, in my family, food is no joke.

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I mean, we have lasagna as a side dish.  For the last couple years, I’ve began the day of gluttony with the Claremont Turkey Trot.  Running the 5k first thing in the morning makes me feel less guilty about the large quantities of calories I’m about to ingest.

Sensing a theme here?

Sensing a theme here?

This year, however, I will not be running.  I will be participating is a special Thanksgiving R.I.P.P.E.D. class at T3 Fitness. Because I really, really love food and wine!

Bec

I have always loved Thanksgiving, both the day itself and the idea of a day to give thanks. My oldest memories are of going to my grandmother’s house. My Grampa, a truly wonderful man that I am thankful to have known, used to pay me if I could find lumps in the mashed potatoes. A nickle a lump, and he always made good on it.

As I got older, and our family grew, my mom started hosting Thanksgiving, I loved helping out with the prep. My specialty was mashed butternut squash with so much butter and brown sugar that my teeth, and my arteries, ache just thinking about it. We always wound up with extra people at our house, and it was always a special day.

My first Thanksgiving on my own was a hot mess. I had no idea how to coordinate it so everything was ready at the same time. My gravy was beyond gross. We lived in North Carolina at the time, where my husband was stationed, and anyone we knew that couldn’t go home for the holiday came to our place. So while the meal was not winning any prizes, we gave people a place to go, and that was something special. My years in the South gave me a love of Southern Cornbread Dressing and Sweet Potato Casserole.

I’ve hosted all but one Thanksgiving since we moved back to Massachusetts thirteen years ago. My cooking skills have improved, my menu has gotten bigger and more varied, and my guest list changes yearly, but the feeling of being surrounded by friends and family has been my constant. We’ve had years without Pumpkin Pie. We’ve had years where the pies outnumbered the guests (10 to 8). We’ve had years with snow, and rain, and sleet. But every year, I’ve had a day filled with good food and good people whom I love dearly.

For all the things I have in my life, on this day, and every day, I am truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!