Thursday, November 29, 2012

Three Things Thursday

My daily routine has been royally messed up for a couple weeks now. First it was all the Thanksgiving hoopla. My hubby and kids had FIVE days off school/work. We had a nice long weekend that was unusually relaxing for us. I ran two races here and here. We put up most of our Christmas decorations. By Sunday night though, I was ready to get back to our weekly schedule. However, in the wee hours of Monday morning, I woke up with a horrible case of the flu. I thought I was going to die. Okay, I'm exaggerating... but really, it sucked. Two days later, Little Girl got it too.  Today, we seem to be back to normal and it's time to get my butt into the gym. I feel lazy, however, I did lose nearly 5 pounds with the "Flu Diet". Whew! Goodbye extra Thanksgiving weight!

I'm excited. I'm nervous. I just want to get it done with already. On Saturday, I teach my first Spinning class! And then I have 4 classes in my first week! I love Spinning almost as much as I love running, so I'm anxious to share that passion.  My health club is filled with talented, dedicated people. I've been lucky to find some pretty great role models there. I feel so grateful for the opportunity to become an instructor among them.

• Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for the Blogger Holiday Card Exchange, hosted by the great (Just) Trying Is For Little Girls.  I love getting and receiving Christmas cards!

• Are you challenging yourself over the holidays?  Sign up for the Jingle Bell Hell Dec. 8-16. It's a virtual race 1/3 marathon, but you can do a 5k if you prefer. The objective is to find the hilliest course that you can (aka. the hell) and conquer it. I'm putting together a Peoria run on Sat, Dec. 15. Afterward, we'll celebrate with hot cocoa and christmas cookies. So far, I've suckered persuaded 10 fellow Sole Sisters to join me.

• I love taking photos, but seriously need to improve my Instagram skills. Join me in the #HolidayADay Instagram Challenge for December. Follow me on Instagram here.

• Need a December challenge? Who wants to do a Holiday Squat-A-Thon with me?  Print, hang it on your fridge, and then check off the days until the New Year... and a firm booty!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

BRF Gifts for $10 or less

Every runner's Christmas wish list includes things like a new Garmin, jacket or shoes... but sometimes you need just a little something to stuff a stocking or tell a fellow runner how much you appreciate them... without breaking the bank.  Below you'll find a collection of runner gift ideas for $10 or less. Yes, it is possible!

(Best Running Friend)
$10 OR LESS!

Key Fob $8.99 ea at
Use coupon code RUNJESS to receive 2 key fobs for $15 (expires 12/9/12)

DIY Decal Kit now on sale for $3.00 per decal kit at
Let your imagination flow with these creative DIY decal kits. Choose anything you want - a coffee cup, wine glass, or journal to apply these cute decals. I personally love the runner girl decals on a coffee mug... and then add a little package of coffee or hot cocoa mix. Top it off with some ribbon and a personal note to that extra special touch.

BondiBand headband $8.00 ea at
Use coupon code FIVE to receive 5 for $25
Last year, I bought a bunch of these headbands (my favorites!) for my running friends. I wrapped them up in holiday tissue paper and stuffed inside a clear ornament. I attached an appreciation note with a colorful ribbon to make a cute little gift!

Aquaphor lip repair & healing ointment - typically $5 at your local pharmacy
Winter running can bring dry lips and skin, and Aquaphor is the best defense against the effects of cold and wind.

KeyChains $10.00 each at
Cute and classy reminders of one's favorite sport

Clip-on LED Light  $8.99 at
Always convenient to have an extra one of these lights in your car for when time gets tight and you find yourself running late... especially over the dark winter months. Run Essential!

Fun Socks! Leg Warmers!  $2.50-$7.00 at
For the fashionista on your list, you can never go wrong with a colorful pair of socks! My favorite place to find them is Target. They're cheap and typically stretchy enough to fit around big runner calves. Worried about function? In winter, I always wear a good pair of moisture-wicking socks first and then fashion knee-highs on top, and never have a problem. For extra warmth, how about a pair of leg warmers... Didn't you hear? The 80's are back in style!

iTunes Gift Card $10 at any store checkout
Most runners listen to music or podcasts at some point in their running career. You can never go wrong with an iTunes gift card so they can pick out some new tunes to rock their run.

GU Energy Gels, Chomps & Brew  $1.50-$2.00 each at any local sporting store
If you have a long distance runner on your list, chances are they use some sort of energy to fuel their run.  There make perfect stocking stuffers!

Reflective Gear at
Protect your loved ones by making sure they have everything possible to be seen in the darkness of winter running. I love these LED reflective arm/leg bands for $4.99, reflective slap bracelets for only $2.49 or a 4-way LED light for $8.99.

Muscle Relief Cream - typically $8 at your local pharmacy
For the serious runner whose always training hard, a little muscle relief may come in handy. My favorite is Tylenol Extra Strength Pain Relieving Cream.

Rubber Silicon Training Bracelet $2.99 at
A quick and stylish reminder of the New Year's goal.

LockLaces $8 per pair at
Elastic shoelaces that require no tying (just slip on and go). Convenient for the busy runner... and essential for any triathlete!

Do you have any other suggestions? 
Good Luck with your holiday shopping! Remove financial stress from your holiday season... Remember, it's the thought that counts, not the extravagance of the gift.
Like these ideas? Send this page link to your family members...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Race Recap: FOLEPI River Trail Classic

Reunion with my Ragnar Ultra teammates!!
I just might have screamed when I saw Julie?!

My little 2 mile race felt so good yesterday {race recap here} that I left hungry for more. I love to run and really like the atmosphere of race events. And I honestly enjoy pushing myself... just how fast can I run and how far? So after blazing the Trot for Tots on Friday morning, I made a call to the FOLEPI River Trail Classic race director. Yes, I can still register on race morning and... it's only $12. Say what?!

The forecast for this morning was freezing.  Seriously... 20 degrees at the start.  I dug out the 'cold box' for my go-to pieces in the extreme cold... UA mock turtleneckUA leggings, North Face vest, Injinji NuWool toesocks, and my Nike gloves. (I provided links for these items because these are seriously my favorite cold items in case you're looking for some suggestions this winter.)

I arrived exactly one hour prior to race time, waited in a short line to register, pinned on my bib, tied the chip to my toe, and headed to the bus line. The course for the FOLEPI River Trail Classic was a 4 mile point-to-point on one of my favorite trails in East Peoria. School buses dropped runners off at a church, where we huddled in the warmth until it was race time. We shuffled out to the start line, and before I knew it, the pack was moving. No gun, no whistle... everyone just started running. I guess it's GO time.  I was chatting away and not ready with my Garmin, which didn't locate until we were a good 1/3 mile into the course. 

Me with my run buddy Deanna. We are literally neck and neck every race we run.
Yesterday, I beat her. Today, she beat me. Next year, she enters my age group!!

It started slow as there wasn't any organization at the start based on pace. I zigged and zagged thru the group and it became comfortable running pretty quickly.  I tried to hang with my Ragnar Chic-mate Julie as long as I could, but two miles in, she disappeared out of sight. I kept a steady exertion, setting targets in front of me and picking them off one by one. I loved running this race because I knew the course so darn well... every turn, every elevation change, the distance to each road crossing.  At the end, there were friends cheering me in... and lots of friends to cheer in behind me. Small local races are so much fun when you're an active part in the running community (although today there seemed to be quite a few new faces that I didn't recognize).

I started to chill up and made my way indoors to the great post-race food... pizza and sandwiches from Avanti's (one of my fav local restaurants!), along with bananas, oranges, soda and water. Did I mention this race was only $12?  I hung out for the random prize drawings and about half of the awards before the chills got the best of me. I had to get out of these now sweat-drenched clothes.

It was a Good Day of Running!!
4 miles in 33:54  (8:29 pace)
#173 out of 439 overall
#6 out of 37 division
Interesting tidbit... my division (F35-39) had the most runners out of every age group, women or men.

This is also a NEW PR for the 4 mile distance for me,
barely beating my 34:33 from this summer's Steamboat Classic.

Lots of races this holiday weekend...
Did you race? How did you do?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Race Recap: Trot for Tots

I always look forward to the Trot for Tots fun run on Black Friday in Peoria, IL. Feeling a little stuffed after Thanksgiving feast, it just feels good to wake up the next morning and get ready for a run. I bypass all the shopping nonsense and head downtown for a quick 2 mile run preceding the Christmas parade.

Peoria's Santa Claus Parade, celebrating its 125th year, is the longest running Christmas parade in the country. In previous years, the Trot for Tots race was the unofficial start of the parade, starting just 15 prior and running along the entire parade route. There were thousands of spectators lining the streets!!  This year unfortunately, the city pushed the race start to an earlier time. There were some people camped out in their parade spots, but not nearly the WOW factor of the past several years. In the bright side, RC Race Management assumed race operations, which provided easy registration, chip timing, online results and runner announcements at the finish.

The run benefits the Marines' Toys for Tots program. Because of this, we'll come back year after year regardless. The event is low key and simple. I like races like that. There is race morning registration and packet pickup, so everyone gathers in the lobby of the local Riverplex Recreation Center to chat and stay warm. It's a fun jovial atmosphere. As race time approaches, the large group walks through the parking lot to the start. With a quick 1-2-3, the police motorcycles and sirens lead the way and we're off.

I gave myself four days of rest (feels like longer) after last Sunday's marathon. My legs felt rested and I was ready to go this morning. We started the run against the wind and up a slow incline. I prefer to get the hard stuff out of the way early, makes for a good warmup!  I set my eyes on my friend Deanna (today's rabbit!) and focused on keeping up with her. About halfway through, I finally passed her. We made a turn onto Fulton St and it felt like we were in a wind tunnel.  It literally stood me upright! There were two guys in front of me that I tried to catch, for the sole purpose of drafting behind them.

As we exited downtown, there was female in front of me (I wondered, is she in my age group?). I set my sights on passing her next. And then darn it, my shoelace came untied! After a quick stop, I closed the gap on the "gal in the green jacket". The last stretch of the race was along the Illinois River. It was a (cold, windy) sunny day, and the river looked beautiful. I love running alongside water. I figured there was 1/4 mile left, so I kicked in a little speed and passed the green-jacketed girl, learning her name was Anna as she had quite a few cheerleaders at the end... I felt her footsteps and heard her breathing all the way down the final stretch. I was determined she would not beat me over the finish line. So the race was on... and I won - but not by much. Our official race times are exactly the same: 15:59.  Not bad for five days after a marathon!  And much better than last year, when I became the "elf who took a face plant in the middle of Main St". 

The best part of the race was getting together with my Sole Sisters to kick off the Christmas season... I love this group!
Reindeer Ears!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Voyage to Tulsa #Rt66run

A quick update after my exciting marathon weekend. I'm pretty sore today, which means I had a good run at the Route 66 Marathon. I can't wait to write the race recap for you, but I'll wait until the official race photos come out. (I was very smile happy for the photographers...) In the meantime, I'll share a little bit about our pre-race activities...

My friends Patty, Laura, and I set off for Tulsa, OK early Saturday morning in my mommy minivan. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much in one day... or enjoyed a long car ride. I couldn't believe how quickly 9 hours went by, despite numerous stops (Hey, we're hydrating the day before the marathon.)

Once in Tulsa, we went straight to the race expo at the Civic Center (after some creative navigating to get around the construction that had our exits closed. Grrr). I thought the expo was great! Lots of exhibitor booths (especially for a race this size), displays of old fashioned cars, live music... and our favorite, the free photo booths! We had so much fun being silly taking pictures.

And I always like running into new friends at the expo...
Peace out with Dave Mari.... and Jess meets Jess!!  :)

I liked the women's shirt and all the goodies that came inside the race bag. I love product samples! Plus I picked up some goodies for my little cheerleaders. 

Unfortunately, our trip had a little bump. Our downtown right-at-the-start-line hotel had a huge overbooking and we were misplaced at another hotel... 10 miles out of town, but with traffic and construction, it was a good 20 minute drive. Our room was comp'ed, but it was still a P.I.T.A. Once we finally got checked in, we had no energy to make a return trip to downtown for the VIP Party. Instead, we grabbed a quick cheap dinner at Mazzio's. I was in my pj's and snuggled in bed by 8:00pm. Ahhhh...

Race bibs laid out for the big race day in the morning!
It wasn't until about mile 9 of the race when someone yelled out my bib # did I realize how cool it was. In the Route 66 Marathon, I was running 26.5 miles (marathon+detour). Check out the last three digits on my bib...

Race recap to come soon!
In the meantime, put the Route 66 Marathon on your race calendar for next year... It's a GOOD one!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Marathon #3 Here I Come! #Rt66Run

Tomorrow I embark on a projected 9 hour road trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma to run my third full marathon. (Technically speaking, since I'm taking the detour to make it 26.5, it's the world's shortest ultra-marathon.)  A marathon is never a small feat, so of course I'm both nervous and excited. Thankfully, I have my two best run buddies, Patty and Laura, making the trip with me.  They too will be running 26.5 to earn this awesome bling...

Training for the Williams Route 66 Marathon has not gone as I had hoped. First, I was derailed nearly a month with a toe injury. Now I've come down with a head/chest cold on race week. Needless to say, this won't be a PR attempt. I like to be an optimist, a dreamer, but it's just not in the cards right now. When I ran Wisconsin this past spring, I was in great shape and ready to kill the mary. My 4:18:56 PR will surely stand until Eugene 2013.

I'm a person who likes to run against the clock. I like to compete with my myself... or whomever happens to be running next to me. It's just my nature. I certainly don't "fun run" very well during races. So I've been a little perplexed on exactly how to approach this marathon. I got outside today for an easy 4 miles. It felt good to get the legs moving, heart pumping and sweat dripping once again. (I took 3 days off to rest my sick, exhausted body after Disney)  As always, the run focused my priorities and helped me to think clearly. Running has always been the best version of "me-time" this momma could ever ask for.

My goal for Sunday is to finish somewhere between my first and my second marathon times. That gives me a window of 4:18 to 4:43. I will be happy if it's under 4:30, which would be a 10:17 average pace. Normally, I'd say I can do that, but this course doesn't look to be the easiest. There are hills, the worst being at the the end, so I'm told. I took some time today to "visually run" the course by mapping it out on MapMyRun. I got to watch the hills unfold... and prayed for strength. This may be my most challenging run yet.

Will you be at the Route 66 Marathon on Sunday?
Look for me... and please please come say hello if you see me.  I'd love to meet you!

We'll be huddled near the gear check area... 
waiting until the last minute to shed my sweatshirt.

I should be at the race expo around 3-5 pm Saturday afternoon

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Ever since the flight home on Tuesday, I've thought of nothing else but my next race... The Route 66 Marathon on Sunday in Tulsa, OK. The taper flew by (thank you Disney trip); however, now I'm feeling unprepared. I came home from Florida with a head/chest cold (which is better today). I've been doing more resting than running this week. Physically, that might be good for me, but it sure messes with my mental preparation for 26.2 ... or in this case 26.5.

My bedroom floor is a mess as I try to piece together an outfit...
Geesh, I can't even decide on a color!

which has me stalking the Tulsa weather forecast...
My guess is that the 8:00 am start time will be somewhere in the low 40's?

I realized today that I failed to write blog recaps for two races this year... the incredible Ragnar Chicago Ultra Relay (June) and the Monster Dash 10k (October). What do you think? Should I voyage back in time and write it? Will you read it? Do you care? My OCD nature feels compelled to fill the holes. I'm just like that...

I joined a holiday weight loss challenge two weeks ago (Halloween-to-Christmas time frame).  The first week, I lost 3 pounds. Then I went to Disney World and gained the 3 back. Ah, the roller coaster of weight loss. My eating habits have been trashed this fall by our hectic schedules. It is time to refocus. I've got absolutely no wiggle room going into the holidays... literally. Last spring, I was at my lowest weight in years and got rid of my loose clothes. So things are tight and I can't go naked all winter, right?!

My ultimate goal is to lose 30 before the Eugene Marathon (OR) in April. I'm considering hosting another Weight Loss Challenge starting January 2 - bigger and better than the fall one. Anyone interested?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Race Recap: Disney Wine & Dine

Runners rave and rave about Disney races. Of course, I was intrigued. So there was never any doubt to where I'd be checking off Florida in my Race All 50 quest. My little kiddos were approaching the perfect age for Disney, so after penny-pinching all year, we finally pulled the trigger on our family's first (and most likely only) trip to Disney World.

This is where I made my first mistake. I booked my trip through the Walt Disney website... but evidently you're suppose to register through Disney Sports in order to receive a race discount, the gift item (a cool rolling suitcase) and proper placement at host hotels. We had booked the new Art of Animation resort, which was nice, but had no transportation to the race expo, kids race or the half marathon start/finish lines. So we spent a good deal of extra money on taxis, which was the only other option. I was rather disappointed with how complicated Disney accommodations were. Pretty sure just renting a car would have been easier during our stay in Orlando.

Our Disney vacation was busy and quite frankly, exhausting. I can only be on top of my game for so many days in a row. That was evident on Saturday morning when we showed up for the Disney Kids Races... without my kids race bibs. Ugh! Thankfully, my hubby taxi-ed back to the hotel and returned in time for the start. My kids had a blast dancing with the warmup DJ. The race was over in a flash (They only ran 200 meters). Everyone was a winner. The girls got a big Mickey Mouse medal and that was that.
Hey parents, if you insist on running side by side your kid, line up in the back, ok? Little kids can't see around you. It's kinda like an adult with a double jogging stroller lining up at the start of a 5K. 

After the kids' race, we went straight to Hollywood Studios to spend the day. I failed to squeeze in an afternoon nap before my race. (mistake #? I've lost count...) By time Saturday evening arrived, I had been on my feet walking the Disney properties and standing in lines for four full days. This is not proper pre-race prep. Do as I say, not as I do. I was mortified at how tired and sore my body was from this vacation (Really? I run 35 miles a week and all this walking is kicking my butt?!?!)

Look who I found in corral A...
 It's Dave Mari!
I arrived at the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon start (ESPN Wide World of Sports) shortly before 8:00 pm. The lines to get photos with Mickey and Minnie Mouse were so long, and quite frankly, I was sick of standing in lines so I skipped it. I checked my bags, grabbed a banana and granola bar from the concession stand, and found myself a spot in the grass to relax and chat up fellow runners. There was a fun DJ pumping up the crowd, but I was quickly bored and impatient, waiting two hours for the race to start.

Finally, the call to corrals was made. I lined up in corral A, where everyone was sitting down on the road. Can you feel the excitement?  Thankfully, once the race started, I woke up.  With a countdown and bang of fireworks at 10 pm sharp, we were finally off and running!
Starting Gun Fireworks - again stealing your photo Dave!

I was extremely happy with how smooth our corral started off. There was little to no crowding; everyone around me seemed to be running a similar pace down the wide highway. (Although one woman did soar pass me cursing other runners for their placement in corral A. WTH?) We turned the first corner and headed to Animal Kingdom.

By time I hit the mile 2 marker, I had already stopped twice. One for a photo with Goofy. One for the porta-potty. First bathroom stop in a race ever. I repeatedly told myself to slow down and run a comfortable pace. This race was meant to be training run, the taper before my full marathon. I certainly didn't want to blow up and cause need for recovery.

I enjoyed miles 3-5 in Animal Kingdom. My family had spent a full day there and in hindsight, it was probably my favorite day of Disney. I thoroughly enjoyed running through the nature setting at night. Throughout the course, there weren't many spectators, but the abundance of lights, floats, characters and music were a real treat. I stopped whenever I felt the urge and just forgot about the clock.

Miles 6-8 were a lonely stretch along the highway as we made our way to Hollywood Studios. While somewhat quiet, I enjoyed this time too. Shortly before mile 9, we entered Hollywood Studios. This theme park was lit up so lovely in the evening. My favorite was running down Sunset Boulevard and the Spectacle of Dancing Lights. I almost stopped in awe of this section. As I came through, some street sweeper yelled out to me, "Welcome to New York!"

By mile 11, we were headed to Epcot Center via a boardwalk area along water. I felt myself slowing down and didn't really care much. I was tired and just about done. I don't remember a whole lot of the last few miles except Epcot was busy with spectators. I got a lot of "Go Minnie!" cheers, which were much appreciated. In the final stretch, we ran through a cool laser beam section, zig zagging over our heads. As I approached the finish line, I even got a high five from Mickey Mouse himself.

Official Chip Time  2:10:11
Overall  #2184 out of 11,599
Sex  #975 out of 7666
F35-39  #177 out of 1283
I purposely did not wear a watch for this race, so no splits.

Overall, I enjoyed my Disney run. The course was extremely neat and different, although I can do without all the frills and fuss before/after a race. It's just not my style. At 12:20 in the morning, I glanced at the lines to enter the post party (we had to re-enter Epcot and pass through a bag check) I said, "Screw it." Instead, I hailed a cab to take me to a hot shower and a warm bed. The next morning, I was back up touring Magical Kingdom with the family...


I'm back from my Disney vacation, so it's time to announce some winners!

The ING NYC Marathon did not go as planned, thus this promotion kinda fell flat on its face. A few readers still participated; however, your photos were attacked on the ING Runners Nation Facebook wall by angry people. I'm so sorry that people feel the need to write such harsh words to someone they've never even met. I believe we can support runners and victims at the same time. There was no need to pick sides in this catastrophe. The Mayor eventually cancelled the marathon. Many runners who had traveled long distances and trained hard months were disappointed... so they ran anyway. See #marathonmyway on Twitter.  ING has donated over $500,000 to the recovery efforts and thousands of runners volunteered on marathon weekend in recovery efforts.
Lindsay Barnes
Amanda Fritz
Jennifer Ralston
Brandy Childers
Samantha Golden
Jenelle Glover
Winners, please e-mail your shipping address to
All prize packs vary slightly, so it will be a surprise when it arrives! :)

Injini Toesocks
I made the mistake of not wearing my Injinji socks in humid Florida, and for that, I ended my race with a little blister between the toes. Lesson learned. If you missed my review or want more information on Injinji toesocks, click here.
Jackie H. Ashley
Alyssa Neiers
Nicole Earls
Winners, please e-mail your shipping address to me at

Make your workout JAM with these never-fall-out earphones! Specially made for women, Yurbuds are now available in six colors at your local Target store. Check out my in-depth review of them here.
Ramza Gangloff
Please e-mail your shipping address to me at

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Vote for Running

Duh, of course I voted!
It's election day in the United States. I find it slightly humorous that everyone is posting reminders to vote all over the social medium networks. How on earth could you NOT already know this?  Unless of course you've been living under a very big rock for the past couple months.  My personal opinion is that if you can't even remember election day, then perhaps your vote should just remain silent anyway. To me, it's comparable to forgetting Christmas. It is that important... and not just every four years for the presidential election, but the local and state elections in other years as well. I'm proud to say I have never missed an election since I turned the rightful age of 18.

Besides running, politics is another passion of mine. I actually have a Political Science degree. Yup, I wasted spent four years of college studying policy and government, several internships at the Wisconsin State Capitol and aboard numerous campaigns... just to realize I would never want to make a "life" out of it.  I have great respect for candidates, most who run with a vision to make a difference, to do good for their communities. It is no small feat to put yourself (and family) out there, vulnerable, just to let the public chew you up. Politics has become a nasty complicated world, even more so with the rise of social media. I have never been more relieved to have election day arrive... the negative and abrasive words will finally stop, right?  Similar to the whole NYC Marathon chaos this past week, I'm so exhausted and disappointed with the venom that is in people's words.

My polling place
With a frustrated heart but clear mind, I laced up my running shoes this morning and headed to my polling place. It took exactly 3.5 miles to reach the building (passing two other polling places along the way).  It was the busiest I've ever seen this little building at mid-morning. (An elderly man informed me it is was because the rain was coming... lol)  I checked in and had about 20 people in front of me. There were no open seats to sit, so I stepped back outside... and ran down the street to blow some time. I snuck back in and was called shortly. Unlike the hoards of elderly people, I breezed through the digital voting within minutes... and back out the door for my run home.  By now, the rain had started, so I took the most direct route home. It was chilly and the rain was bordering on sleet so it kind of hurt my cheeks.
6.8 miles in 1:04
+ 1 American Vote

I just hope the end results will be quick and decisive.  Hubby and I usually sit up all night watching election returns. But this year, we really need some zzzzz's for our early morning flight to Orlando.  Disney World, here we come!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Yurbuds Review & Giveaway

I rarely run with music outside. Partially for safety reasons, but mostly because I like the silence of the run. I like to focus on my form, my breathing and the scenery around me. One of the main reasons running appeals to this mother is the quiet serene moments that I find in my running shoes.

However, when I step inside for a workout... I need music!! The treadmill is an absolute bore for me. I simply can't describe how much I loathe thee dreadmill, and yet it is my lifesaver when schedules are tight or weather is bad. Likewise with indoor cycling, Spinning or boxing. I love to pump the music - loud. In my basement, I can do just that on my own. But when I hit the gym, I need a good pair of earphones.

Recently, I had the opportunity to try Yurbuds sport earphones. The Yurbuds Inspire line was specially designed for women. With soft silicone tips (that are washable), they provide a comfortable natural fit in the ear. With a TwistLock feature, the earphones deliver on the promise to "never fall out".

It was important to turn the silicone tips in the proper direction before fitting in the ear. With a quick twist into place, the Yurbuds earphones never moved while I ran. In fact, I had to twist with a tug to get them out when I was finished.

Yurbuds are now conveniently available at Target stores or online in six different colors. They retail for $29.99.

I found the sound quality of Yurbuds completely satisfactory as well. I think anyone would be pleased with a purchase of Yurbuds Inspire earphones... so if you need a good pair, add them to your Christmas list this year!

... Or enter the giveaway below to win a Yurbuds PRIZE PACK, which includes a pink pair of Yurbuds, sweat towel, Sweaty Bands headband and a playlist from Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae. (Winner will be announced on November 15, 2012)

a Rafflecopter giveaway