Friday, December 26, 2014

DIY: Sparkly Pink Running Tiara

Does your inner princess long to bring some sparkly fancy to the running trail? Well, it is easier than you think. I am not Martha Stewart. I am perhaps the opposite of Martha Stewart. But with some tips from my buddy Jane, I am helping a whole posse of princesses sparkle on the trails of Reston. (And if I can do it, you can do it!)

You Will Need:

  • Foam Tiaras
  • Dimensional Fabric Paint

Foam Tiaras

My running buddy Jane guided me to the pink sparkle tiara by Creatology that is sold at Michaels. Inexplicably, this foam creation is comfortable for running (especially if worn on a hat or visor, although I ran Philly Half with just the tiara), and the stretchy cord makes it a custom fit.

Pink foam tiaras are sold at Michaels
individually (in-store) and
in packs of 6 (online & in-store)

If you aren't into pink, head over to Consumer Crafts where you can find some other sparkly colors:

Consumer Crafts also sells white, purple, gold, & silver tiaras

Dimensional Fabric Paint

It is key to select a color of dimensional fabric paint that will show up on your tiara. For the pink tiaras, silver glitter dimensional fabric paint by Tulip is gorgeous. I picked mine up at Michaels

Tulip Glitter Dimensional Fabric Paint in Silver

What To Do:

Shake the paint well. It comes out the tip like a pen, but can get globby if too much comes out at once. Plan ahead before you start writing on the tiara - there isn't much space on there! Short names fit on the top, but longer names need to go along the band on the bottom. I found it helpful to keep an orange wood stick nearby to smooth out globs. The paint goes on white, but dries to a glittery silver finish.

When you are done personalizing the tiara, put it someplace where it can dry for four hours undisturbed.

Tiaras laid out to dry.
Notice how "Kim" fits easily on the top;
"Shannon" required more space and creativity!

Final step - put on your tiara and practice running with your regal wave. Run Happy!

With Jane after the Nike Women's Half Marathon.
She introduced me to the sparkly pink tiara as running accessory!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Year in Review

I am looking back on 2014, as a runner and a blogger. I had successful years as both, although I had no goals. If you didn't set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based), can you really say you were a success? I think you can!

Why didn't I set goals? I'm not sure; maybe because so many parts of my life are already rigid and controlled and I want running and blogging to be fun. Instead I just focused on what felt right.

  • For running: I wanted to build to mid-distance racing
  • For blogging: I wanted to connect with people and share my journey


I built to mid-distance racing, and accomplished so much more:

A Pirate Run with =PR= Reston

WTP Takes on the Women's Distance Festival

MRTT Multi-Chapter picture from Mother's Day 4-Miler

I ran the Philly Half with Mary & Jane,
whom I met DURING the Nike Women's Half!

  • And something that wouldn't have occurred to me in a zillion years to make a goal at the beginning of the year - I became a running coach! Helping others achieve their goals (SMART or not) is incredibly rewarding to me.


I started blogging a year ago - December 27, 2013. I had applied to be a Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run Social Runner in 2013, which was kind of silly since I didn't even have a blog. I decided to create a blog and chronicle my training for Cherry Blossom even though I wasn't selected. Little did I imagine how fun it would be!
  • Today, I am on the cusp of  reaching 20,000 page views since my blog started. Crazy, right?
  • My friends have joked that when they run local races with me they feel like they are running with a celebrity because so many random people say hi to me or ask if I'm Kim.
  • I wasn't selected as a Cherry Blossom Social Runner in 2014, but I was selected to be part of the Cherry Blossom Blog Team. I'd count that as a win!

With Social Runners Megan & Lauren at the
Cherry Blossom Kick-off Party

Next Year

I'm undecided if I will set SMART goals for next year or just wing it again. Winging it worked out pretty well for me this year. I just might do it again.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

When Training Runs Meet the Holidays

Today was the 3rd week of the Potomac River Running Winter Training Program. Since it is our last run before Christmas we had a holiday-themed run and people brought the festive today! They also brought cookies, muffins, hot mulled cider and all sorts of goodies that we enjoyed post training run.

I ran with the 5k/10k runners again today. Last week my group ran 40 minutes using 3:2 run:walk intervals. This week we moved up to 50 minutes, same intervals. I'm very proud to see folks progressing and feeling more confident in their running abilities. Great job, =PR= runners! I'm proud of you.

Here are some fun photos from the day:

the festive group photo! 

Me & Phyllis. We are yoga buddies & running buddies!
(photo courtesy of Laura)

Me & Rebecca & the shoe tree. We are new running buddies!

Laura & Kathryn - their festive headwear
got lots of catcalls on the trail!
(photo courtesy of Laura)

Laura & me - selfie courtesy of Laura

Coach Mike, Natalie & Rachel  - FESTIVE!

Sallie as Tigger - more important than the holiday theme is
pre-testing a race costume (she put layers over Tigger for warmth).
Sallie has her first marathon next month & ran 20 miles today!!

And if this looks like fun...just wait until our Frozen-themed run next month! I'm already planning my Elsa outfit.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Run With Santa 5k Recap

Today Rick and I participated in an annual tradition, the Run With Santa 5k. Thanks to Tai Fung for hooking me up with his last PR Race Pass Code so I could run for free!

Course Record! 

While I didn't set a 5k PR (personal record) today, I did set a CR (course record) and demonstrate some great improvements over my past 3 years of running. I keep my race stats in a fancy excel spreadsheet because I am a total geek and proud of it. I've gotten faster on this course each year:

Average paces improved each year!
13:35 (2012), 12:06 (2013), 11:30 (2014)

I've also gotten quite good at running negative splits, or running the second half of the race faster than the first. Today continued that trend:

Negative splits for the Run With Santa 5k

It is always encouraging to see data demonstrating clear progress. All of my hard work is paying off and showing up in my geeky statistics.

Cold Weather Gear

The weather today was chilly, right around freezing but with a wind chill that dropped the "real feel" at least ten degrees. I got to test out my new Nike Hyperwarm Compression Hoodie and Mizuno Breath Thermo gloves and socks. They were all great, and I have to comment on the impressive technology in the gloves and socks. When they get wet (i.e., from perspiration), they get warm. I have circulation issues and often have cold toes and fingers. I'm pretty impressed with the Breath Thermo products, which kept my extremities comfortable during the race.

Having the right gear can keep you
comfortable in the cold

Shout-outs for First-time 5k Runners

There were several first-time 5k runners that I want to recognize! 

Tanvi (far left) ran her first 5k today!
She ran with me yesterday on a PR training run
& later decided to run the race for benchmarking!
Way to go Tanvi!!
(photo courtesy of Laurentina Photography)

Rachel, Kristen, and Kelsey
Rachel & Kristen ran their first 5k today!
(Kelsey and dad Kirk are old pros)
Kristen went to high school with Rick (my husband)
We are proud of you guys!
(photo courtesy of Kristen)

Lilly, mini-me to speedy Lisa, ran her first 5k today!
She and her mom ran stride for stride and rocked it!
Nice run Lilly!
(photo courtesy of Potomac River Running)

Fun Photos

This is a fun race with lots of costumes. Below is a collection of photos from today showcasing some of my friends and some of the fun!

Santa and his elves: Coach Mike, Natalie, Sallie, Rachel
(photo courtesy of Sallie)

Beth, Alison, Leah, Seanan, me (clockwise from left)
Herndon/Reston Moms Run This Town

My hubby Rick closing in on the finish line
(photo courtesy of Potomac River Running)

Coach Mike - is he Santa? Is he the Flash? Either way, he is fast!
(photo courtesy of Potomac River Running)

Amy, Tina, and Angela always bring the festive to PR Races!
(photo courtesy of Potomac River Running)

Reston Runners BFFs: Lynn, Roz, Vee, Laurie, Susan
I'm sorry I missed you ladies!
(photo courtesy of Lynn)

me, Laura, Jamie, little Shannon pre-race
(photo courtesy of Laurentina Photography)

Tanvi, Viji, me, Laura, Jamie, Erika post-race
(photo courtesy of Laurentina Photography)

Great fun was had by all racers today. I have to give special thanks to little Shannon for running with me today. We pushed each other and found our strong today. Thanks for the motivation and a great run Shannon!

Shannon, Laurie (who I did not know was next to me!) & me
crossing the finish line triumphantly!
(photo courtesy of Potomac River Running)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

My Coaching Kickoff!

Potomac River Running's Winter Training Program kicked off this week, and I made my coaching debut. I have been nicknamed "Glinda the Good Witch" and I'm going to "run" with that moniker.

You've always had the power, my dear.
You just had to learn it for yourself.

We held a "Gear Up" party on Wednesday night to introduce the program and get folks up to speed. It was educational and fun, with sessions on nutrition, shoes, foam rolling, and a fashion show on winter running gear. There were some nice raffles at the end of the night and I was pleased to see several of my friends win cool prizes.

Today (Saturday) we held our first run. There are three programs currently meeting on Saturday mornings - marathon, half marathon/ten-mile, and 5k/10k. I'm helping Coach Jodi out with 5k/10k until the Cherry Blossom program begins on January 31. I arrived early and helped set up the water cooler and greet some of the early arrivals. The store filled up quickly with eager runners and there was lots of catching up as folks made some last minute gear and nutrition purchases. Coach Meghan gave an overview of the program and shared key information before we headed out for an informal run.

Coach Sarah introduces herself
(can you spot Coach Mike's disembodied head in the Tifosi mirror?)

Panoramic shot of the whole crew prior to the run
photo courtesy of Laurentina Photography

The distance runners ran between 2 and 8 miles, while the 5k/10k runners ran for 40 minutes. I ran with the mid-level 5k/10k group and we ran 2:1 run:walk intervals, covering 3 miles in 40 minutes. Afterwards we congregated at the coolers, answering questions, planning for tomorrow's "Run With Santa 5k," and generally joking around. Laura made some great photo collages to capture the fun:

photo collage courtesy of Laurentina Photography

photo courtesy of Laurentina Photography

photo collage courtesy of Laurentina Photography

I can already tell it is going to be another fun training season!