Journey 2 a Million Giveaway Winner

If you’ve been hanging out with us here in our little corner of the interweb for a while, then you likely know we are big supporters of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and their annual September event, Journey 2 a Million. The event encourages folks all over the world to track and donate the miles they walk, run and/or bike throughout the month.

To support the event, we always create a team and give away prizes for most miles. This year’s winner is @Jeasmada93who racked up 130 miles for the team. Jenny, you are amazing, and we hope this little prize will show you how much we appreciate you and your miles!


Tank from Oiselle, Hat from Skirt Sports, and Wrap from Momentum Jewelry

Thanks to those that participated, and a BIG thanks to our prize partners, Momentum Jewelry, Oiselle, and Skirt Sports.

Until next year! <3<3

Take me back to Oiselle #birdcamp

I spent my big vacation this year with nearly dozens of women I’d never met before.

Sure, I’d chatted with a few fellow campers via social media and text. I’d even had the pleasure of meeting several Oiselle team members at recent races – like the New York City Marathon and Nike Women’s half. And I KNEW one of the ladies – the lovely Jen Bigham!

The first-ever team retreat, dubbed “bird camp” early in the planning process, was held by Oiselle, a small Seattle-based women’s running clothing company founded in 2007. The women who lead and run for the company shared their knowledge, home and dreams with 96 women from across North America.

Oiselle_-20Oiselle team at the Deschutes Twilight 5K. Pic by Thomas and Velo Photography 

We spent five days in Bend, Oregon, which sits at 3,623 feet near the Cascade mountains, about three hours southwest of Portland. Having never spent time in Oregon before, and having never attended an overnight camp as a kid, I had no clue what to expect.

I quickly fell in love with Bend and am already itching to go back.

We ran, (well duh) we hiked, we swam, we chatted, we ate, we drank, we raced, we meditated, we stretched. We experienced so much in such a few days.

Pro athletes Lauren Fleshman, Kate Grace, Stephanie Howe and (via skype) Kara Goucher shared advice, stories and fielded questions. They even hiked and worked out with us, along with the Oiselle’s CEO Sally Bergesen, team manager Kristin Metcalf and camp organizer/all around superwoman Sarah Lesko.

We talked about health, nutrition, training and goal setting. We spoke of our dreams – we admitted our challenges – and we leaned on each other for advice.

Oiselle_-17Stretching & meditating. Pic by Thomas and Velo Photography 

We hiked at nearby Smith Rock State Park and played in the picturesque town of Bend. We ate, we drank, and we floated in tubes on the Deschutes River.

For me, the experiences and the people made the trip.

I was finally able to meet Kelly in person after we’d first chatted online last fall. Hands down, she’s among my favorite people. We ran off, skipping a yoga session one afternoon and swam laps at a nearby outdoor pool.

camp11After the swim

It may not sound like much to others, but I loved our 3,200-meter workout. I hadn’t been in a pool in months and was thrilled to be able to hang in with Kelly for as long as I did. After more than a decade as a competitive swimmer, I loathe having to swim fast. (Been there, done that.) But its a whole different story when I want to do my best.

I’m also so thankful for my roommates Stacey and Suzie. I couldn’t have been with two more supportive, inspirational and fantastic women as you both.

stacsuzStacey, me and Suzie – a great trio!

And of course I loved spending time with my fun friends in our carpool van, dubbed the #vanbytheriver

camp1The Oiselle bird, drawn by me

camp2Decorating the van before our roadtrip

Oiselle_-31The whole gang: Front row (from left): Ashley, Kerry, Steph, Jessica. Back row: Becky, Kelly, me. Pic by  Thomas and Velo Photography

 I loved racing with such a large team at a smaller 5K race. We were literally about a fifth of the field of the evening 5K. I pushed myself a bit harder than I expected – especially since it was my second run of the day. I loved seen so many blue Oiselle singlets as I ran along the hilly course.

Even better was seeing a slew of ladies cheering one another on as I sprinted to the finish.

cheering birdsCheering birds! Pic by Kelly Burns Gallagher

DSC_3366Me, Kelly and Stacey at the 5K. Pic by Thomas and Velo Photography

Hiking with new friends at Smith Rock State Park was amazing. I love to hike, though I remain terrified of getting too close to the edge of a mountain and tumbling off a cliff. Smith Rock is stunning and I implore anyone in Bend to check it out.

camp5Stunning Smith Rock

camp12Up we go!

Oiselle_-59Hiking Misery Ridge Trail at Smith Rock. Pic by Thomas and Velo Photography 

camp10Near the summit with Kate

camphikeLoved the views (but not the snake!)

Also LOVED relaxing as we floated on tubes on the crystal clear Deschutes River. If I could do that every week, life would be perfect.

camp7With Jill and Kelly in Oiselle Rizzo before tubing

Much of what I loved about the experience was meeting so many incredible women, who find a way to balance work, their relationships, motherhood and running. These women reminded me that it’s good to dream big, and that it is possible to balance it all.

camp8With Lauren at the closing party

At a midweek session, Lauren spoke of goal-setting, and reminded us that it’s ok to let a dream go and focus on reality. But she also stressed the importance of setting meaningful goals – ones that mean something to YOU personally over an obvious goal, like running a best time or a specific distance.

“The best gift you can give yourself is to disregard what other people see as success and name it for yourself,” Lauren said. “You have to set your own definition for success.”

She couldn’t be more right.

Teamcheer~Oiselle_-2Team cheer Pic by Thomas and Velo Photography 

Have you ever been to Oregon? A sports team camp (as a kid or an adult?) Where’s your favorite hiking spot? And fellow birds – what was your favorite part of camp? Tell me in the comments!

Back to reality after #birdcamp

You may already know I spent last week on the west coast – first in California visiting a few wonderful friends – then in Oregon for Oiselle team camp.

I had planned to create a big, long post for today sharing photos of my adventures, but I ran out of time — so instead you’ll get a few fun pics and a teaser. You’ll get the full post next week – or you can check out my work blog post.

ccBeachcombing at crystal cove in the OC

cc2Celebrating life with two of my loves – Linz and Kelly

camp18at Mt. Hood with Kelly!

camps6One of my fave pics from #birdcamp, hiking with the pros (Lauren and Kate)

camp4LOTS of birds before a 5k race

Catching up:

You may recall that last week Bec asked me to take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Welp – I did it Monday with a few colleagues. Click HERE to watch the video:

iceFrom left, Neeti, Sarah and I get doused

And speaking of work:

In January – just before my last trip west – I was interviewed on a local murder case for the true crime show Snapped, which airs weekly on the Oxygen channel.

You may recall Rose Chase, an Ontario County woman convicted of killing her husband in 2012, hiding, then dismembering and burning his body and lying about his whereabouts for six months.

rose chase 2Rose Chase at her sentencing in January; Photo by Tina MacIntyre-Yee of the Democrat and Chronicle

Long story short – her story will be on Snapped Sunday night. And I’ll be on it. Check out the promo video HERE:

Tell me about your fave spot on the west coast. Have you done the Ice Bucket Challenge? Do you watch true crime shows like Snapped?

Scoot a Doot’s blogaversary (and a giveaway)

What a year our first has been!

The Scoot a Doot chicks have known each other for years – decades, even – and last winter came together to share our love of fitness, friendship and life.


We’ve shared the joys of our children, including two handsome newborn sons.  We’ve also shared the loss of one beloved family dog, and the addition of several new fur friends.

We’ve celebrated new beginnings, such as new jobs, new relationships and new challenges and goals. We also shared how sometimes we fell short.

Together, with many of you, we raised more than $2,000 to fight childhood cancer as Team Scoot a Doot logged more than 1,750 miles last September for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s Million Mile Run.


Together we watched the unthinkable unfold in Boston last April, as bombings abruptly ended the 117th running of the nation’s oldest marathon.

Together, we encouraged each other to do our best, even on days when we felt our worst.

The good, the bad, the unfiltered. We are blessed to share our lives with you, our readers and friends.

As a thank you for reading, we want to share a few special treats for our anniversary giveaway.

Giveaway 1:


We adore PocketFuel and have a great working relationship with them within our first year of blogging. When we reached out to them about joining in on our blogaversary giveaway they were eager to join forces!

In addition to the ten packets of PocketFuel we’ve also got an awesome pink tech t-shirt (large), compliments of .

And, of course, because we like to spoil you all, we picked up some things to go along with this giveaway! A Sparkle Athletic visor, frame and Cinderella picture, and Scoot a Doot t-shirt (x-large).

But wait, there’s more!

Giveaway 2:


image from

We picked up these Oiselle Podium PJs (medium) because they are super comfy and way cute.

Giveaway 3:


image from

Are you ready to run? These Swirlgear shorts (large) are perfect for warm weather running.

So what do you have to do to enter? Simple! Click on the pics below to get to the Rafflecopters for each giveaway. Cool? Cool.


Click to enter giveaway #1


Click to enter giveaway #2


Click to enter giveaway #3

These three giveaways end February 23, 2014 and we’ll announce the winners next Monday! Thanks again for a terrific year and we’ll see you real soon.

What have you done that you’re proud of this past year?

The 2013 NYC Marathon

Ten days ago I ran through the five boroughs of New York City.

I still can’t believe it. I am a New York City Marathoner.

I wrote about my experience last week for work. I don’t want to create a carbon copy post for y’all, so I am sharing a tweaked version.

I arrived in Manhattan bright and early Friday morning and I was a disorganized and anxious mess. Normally, I’m quite organized and plan far ahead for my trips.

I forgot what airport I was flying into. I forgot to call my friend to tell her what time I’d be arriving at her apartment. I forgot my umbrella. (Oh, and I needed it. It poured. POURED.) I forgot band-aids and some other needed gear.

But alas, as the weekend progressed, I checked tasks off my to-do list.

– Go to the race expo and collect race bib without spending too much money. Check.

– Visit several NYC-based friends, hydrate and carb load. Check.

– Stay off feet and avoid walking miles at a time. Nope. Didn’t follow that rule.

vicexpo1I got my bib!

I was thrilled to meet some fellow Oiselle runners at the team brunch Saturday morning. Many of the women were running Sunday and others were local and planned to volunteer at a water stop late in the race. It was so nice to meet ladies I’ve been chatting with online for months. What an amazing group of women! I can’t wait to reunite with them.


Oiselle runners all excited for tomorrow’s race (pic from chief bird Sally)

My quads felt pretty tight the day before the race as I had walked about 5 miles on Friday. I logged another 3 miles Saturday. I stretched as much as possible. I sat in front of a diorama of a forest in the Natural History Museum to meditate for about an hour and then I read in a nearby park, ogling the stunning fall foliage.


Beauty on Manhattan’s Upper West Side


Stunning sky while dining OUTSIDE in November in NYC

As Saturday went on, I grew more and more anxious. A knot had formed in my chest, at times making it difficult to breathe. I was worried. I was nervous. I repeatedly questioned myself and my training. I wondered why I wanted to run such a difficult course with even more challenging logistics to get to the starting area. What was I thinking?!

I wondered how my leg would hold up, considering I had fallen down the stairs the previous week. I even considered a last-minute deferral. I quickly rejected that idea when I thought of all the months of training and all of the people who supported me day after day, run after run.

I knew adrenaline would see me through the race. I knew I would finish. But I wanted more. I wanted to run my best.

I slept fitfully the night before the marathon. It came in waves, the longest being about 2 hours. I actually got more sleep than I expected but was still wide awake when the alarm sounded at 4 am.

I rose, ate, dressed, chatted with my friend Kyle who was kind enough to come to Manhattan for the weekend to cheer me on.


I am excited to be awake. Kyle? notsomuch

I cabbed it over to the New York Public Library in mid-town where I caught a bus to the starting area in Staten Island, on the Varazzano Bridge. Runners have to make their way there before dawn. I arrived around 6 a.m.

About 3 1/2 hours later, I was finally running.

I had brought along many disposable layers and looked as though I was bundled up for a blizzard. I shed most layers just before I started running, though I quickly exchanged my hideous oversized sweatshirt for a running jacket that smacked me in the face after someone failed to toss it over the bus I was standing near.

I chatted with several other runners as we all tried to calm our nerves. One man was running his 5th NYC Marathon and had clearly over-caffeinated. He was a wealth of knowledge and advice, which he gladly shared with us first-timers.

Once the starting cannon (YES!) sounded – and scared the stuffing out of me – I was off running over the bridge. I didn’t want to start off too fast, so I kept reeling my legs back in.

To my left, I saw a beautiful view of Manhattan’s skyline. I told myself I’d be there soon. I moved forward among the masses, even encountering and chatting with a few folks I met while waiting in Staten Island.

I felt the bridge move with each stride as it carried only runners from Staten Island to Brooklyn. I shed my top layer.


Runners on the Varazzano bridge. Pic by NYC Marathon

Around the second mile, I realized something was off with my right foot, so pulled to the side, took off my shoe, adjusted my sock, retied and ran.

If something was wrong, I wanted to fix it early on.

The next few miles were uneventful. I tried to stick as close as I could to a 10-minute-mile pace. I didn’t want to go too fast, even though I felt strong. I knew I would pay for it later if I started out with a sprint.

Around the 5K point, much of the crowd had thinned out. I saw some runners I recognized – a few ladies running for Every Mother Counts, an organization that supports safe pregnancies and childbirth for mothers worldwide. Among the women was supermodel Christy Turlington Burns, who was clothed by Oiselle, the same label I run for! Such a small world! I grunted a hello to the ladies – we had chatted earlier while waiting in our corral – and ran along. Several miles later, we greeted each other again. The group came up from behind me and cheered for me as they zipped past.

That’s one thing about runners – we motivate each other to do our best. We cheer for each other when we need it most.

The miles ticked by.

I waved to firefighters, police officers and cheering fans.

I smiled as I ran. That knot in my chest was long gone. It was just me and the road.

I reached the half at 2:08, the same time the winner crossed the finish line. I was thrilled with my pace, which to me seemed only possible because of the incredible crowd support.

I crossed the Queensboro Bridge, leaving Queens for Manhattan. I was loathing this part because I knew it was hilly and the crowds wouldn’t be nearby. You could hear runners’ feet slap the pavement and cars whiz overhead on the upper deck.

A faint buzz grew louder. I ran down the bridge ramp to the crowd, and nearly tripped as an overzealous runner cut me off. The volume was deafening as they welcomed us to Manhattan. I was grinning ear to ear.

We turned onto First Avenue and headed north for five miles. Around mile 18, several teammates screamed my name. I turned my head and waved, thrilled to have support when I needed it most.

I ran through the Bronx and back south toward Central Park. I was on pace and moving forward.

I slowed down on Fifth Avenue around mile 22, not far from Central Park. Those last four miles were the death of me.

I wanted to stop and walk. Badly.

A short time later, I saw several more teammates, all ladies I met the previous day at brunch. They screamed my name and told me I could finish, exactly the words I needed to hear. I picked up the pace and moved forward.

The park was on my right as I struggled uphill. The hills were small, but with 23 miles behind me they felt mountainous.

I passed two runners guiding a disabled runner along the course. He stopped to walk. They grabbed his hands and told him he was a star. The trio warmed my heart.

I turned into the park – where I unknowingly ran past my training partner for the second time. Two miles to go.

I’m not going to lie, those last two miles were the hardest. They were hilly and I only wanted to walk. I knew if I stopped, I wouldn’t start again.

I paused for water one last time, and only started running because someone shouted words of encouragement. I didn’t know that person. I didn’t turn my head to see who yelled, but I will forever be grateful that he (or she) cheered for a complete stranger at the moment I needed it most.


That last stretch along Central Park South. Pic by NYC Marathon

I pushed to the end, running past a screaming Kyle near mile 26 and rounding the bend at Columbus Circle into Central Park.

I sprinted uphill to the finish, grinning ear to ear. I did it – and with a personal best time of 4:26:04.



More than 50,000 people ran the 26.2 mile course on Nov. 3 and I was smack dab in the middle as finisher 26,594. I couldn’t be more proud.


One last shot after 26.2

Have you ever run a big-city race or marathon? Were you the kind soul who cheered me on? (thank you!) What’s your l0ngest race distance? Tell me in the comments!


I’ve been chasing my best half-marathon time for nearly two years. Finally, last weekend I smashed through the barrier.

Let me tell you, it was well worth the wait.

I actually never intended to race the Rochester half marathon last weekend. I has planned to use the course as a 13-mile training run as I prepare to run the NYC Marathon in November.

But I couldn’t find my training partner at the start of Sunday morning’s race. I lost another in the crowd near the toilets. Fortunately, I ran into colleague and friend Ben, who had trained for six months to run his first-ever half marathon.

We agreed to at least to start the course together. I told him I’d drop back if I felt like I was pushing too hard.

That was my plan, anyway. But it never happened!

We set off at a decent clip. Our first mile was around a 9:15 minute pace. I assume our second was the same. I stopped looking at my watch for a few miles and just ran.

Ben and I chatted for much those first 5 miles – about his training, his family, my family, the supportive online running community and racing strategies. When I looked at my watch again, I saw we’d just finished our fifth mile at a 8:50 minute pace. And our sixth, seventh, AND eighth!

The miles were ticking by. We both felt fantastic!

We pushed each other along as we ran. Ben brought a handheld water bottle with him and I grabbed liquid at each water stop, took a swig and sprinted to catch Ben.

I sure didn’t want to let Ben down on his inaugural race, so I matched his pace. My lungs were clear, my legs felt strong. Onward!

Around mile 10, with a 5K to go, I realized that not only was I going to set a personal best time, we were on track to break the two-hour mark. This milestone was a long time coming for me, as I’d aimed for and missed it more than once over the last two years.

My dearest friends have witnessed this – more than once, my bid for a sub-2 half ended closer to the 2:05 or 2:10 mark because I started out too fast.

But not Sunday.

We zipped past runners along the river path. We enjoyed the view of Rochester’s skyline from the University of Rochester’s river campus. We cursed the slight ramp that led us up to the Ford Street bridge.

That last mile flew by. As we ran down South Plymouth Avenue, the wind pushed us backward. I grunted. Ben grinned.

“Let’s finish this thing,” he said to me as we approached Frontier Field. We stepped up our pace and sprinted in to the finish.

As we crossed, I could see the clock had a number that began with a “1.” Success!

km 092213 marathon sptsVic at the finish (photo by colleague Kris Murante)

I finished in 1:58:45 – my personal best half-marathon time by exactly FIVE minutes. That previous PR, set in October 2011 in Toronto, needed to come down.

Hey, if its going to happen…why not go big?

I wholeheartedly believe that Ben and I were meant to run together Sunday morning. We tripped into one another at the start. We fell into a steady pace easily and at times, ran in sync, our feet slapping the pavement in perfect rhythm.

Congratulations to us both! I can’t wait to see what our next race brings.

Everyone loves a PR! Tell me about yours in the comments!

Flying high

I am thrilled and honored to announce that I’m part of the flock.

That’s right, I learned last week that I will be part of the 2013-14 Oiselle running team. And I couldn’t be more excited to be amongst this group of inspiring and amazing women.

Meri actually introduced me to the brand earlier this year when she surprised me with an Oiselle 50/50 tee. It was love at first wear. (Thanks again darling!)


Oiselle is a Seattle-based running apparel company founded BY women and FOR women. The clothes are cute, comfy and fit wonderfully! (hello Winona tank and game day shorts, I am talking to you!)

When I started penning a wish list last spring, I came across Oiselle’s Voleé Team, a group of 150 women who run for the company. I looked to see who might be near me and met Jen, who lived around the corner from me until last month.

Jen’s talented, down-to-earth and an all-around amazing person. (Plus, she’s got the darn cutest 3-year-old on the planet! Hi Currie!) Like everyone I’ve met on the team, she’s also incredibly humble. (Jen’s on the elite team – Haute Voleé, which means “high flyer” in French.)

I love the brand and the women behind the brand. They are strong, inspiring, fierce, beautiful and incredible.

I am so honored to be calling Jen, my new(ish) friend Hollie and all of the other amazing women of Oiselle my teammates and sisters.

Plans are in the works to meet up with a few birds in the coming months. (Who else is running the New York City Marathon this fall? Rochester Marathon? Let me know!)

Thank you to the entire Oiselle team, for believing in me and welcoming me with open arms as one of 250 on the Oiselle Voleé team. I can’t wait for the day I race in my Oiselle singlet. Maybe I’ll be able to inspire others as the past team members have touched me.

Until then, Head Up, Wings Out.

Do you have any Oiselle apparel? What’s on your wish list? Tell us in the comments!