My New Title, Half Marathon Runner

I can’t put into words how incredibly happy and proud I am of myself and my friends who ran in the Cincinnati Flying Pig events over the past weekend. I’ve been talking about running the Flying Pig since working at DocuStar and I finally completed this goal on Sunday May 5th. I ran 13.1 miles in 3 hours with my very best friend and cousin, Kat Ottopal. It feels like I’m now part of an elite club but of course that club has thousands upon thousands of members and even some that have run this race every year since inception, 15 years ago. 

If the shoe fits, wear the damn thing :)

If the shoe fits, wear the damn thing

The experience was like none other starting with the infamous Flying Pig Expo on Friday afternoon. Kat, Lisa (my health coach), Ryan (Lisa’s boyfriend) and I (Lisa and Ryan were in from Oregon) were checking out all that the expo had to offer plus we picked up our sponsor swag and bibs. Kat and I both had personal messages on our bibs and I had completely forgot what mine said, oopsy!

{Highlights from the Pig}

  • My husband, mom, dad, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew, aunt, uncle and other friends cheering us on. NOTHING can top the feeling of seeing your family as you run towards them. Especially when you need that little oomph of encouragement which I did when I saw CJ, Sarah and Henry right before the finish.
  • Hilarious signs from spectators including my favorite one that had an image of Ryan Gosling and it read, “Girl, you look hot in your tutu!” Of course I was wearing a tutu and I wore it the ENTIRE time. photo (48)
  • Text messages throughout the run from various friends and family. My mother-in-law actually sent me a text just as I was passing the start line, very good timing on her part!
  • Starting the race was COOL! The energy, the music, the crowds already cheering you on, the sunrise, the rainbow, my friends starting with me, being surrounded by other runners and the general sense of hope that this was going to be a great experience all hit me at once. I had goosebumps! I actually looked at my friend, Andrea, and told her that I had goosebumps and I was so pumped up.
  • Random little fun fact, I saw so many people from my high school at the Pig and four of us were running. Shout outs to Jordan Flay (who did the 3-way challenge), Amber Potter and my girl Andrea Gontkovsky – Good Job fellow Falcons! 
  • The spectators were incredible! It is a hard job to run the race but it is also a hard job to get around the outskirts of the course to cheer on the runners. I was so proud of Cincinnati and those that support the running community.
  • Seeing and running with the Sharonville Mommy Runners. I’m so excited to meet these moms and join them on their weekend runs, they were all so adorable and inspiring.
  • OWNING the hill, enough said!
  • Last but not least, my medal is pretty much bad ass and I wore it around the rest of that day and to dinner at the Moerlein Lager House, why not? I earned the thing!

Pig Ladies

Just like a fellow Pig runner warned me, I’m looking forward to running the half and working on beating my own time. The experience was so incredible that I honestly can’t wait to run the half marathon again next year! I was actually reminding Kat during the race (can’t remember which mile this was) that I really only wanted to run the Flying Pig 10K but she insisted we do the half, “I’m not doing anything less than the 1/2,” is a direct text message quote! I can’t thank Kat enough for pushing me and helping me to run and show that hill who was boss.

{Other Pics from the Expo}

Jesy pig expo2 Jesy pig expo1

486782_10103495826727031_601755659_nJesy pig expo4

Jesy pig expo3

New Parents Money Saving Tip: The Diaper Bag

See, he can't even carry the bag over his shoulder. Of course his shoulders are the size of two small planets, so that might be a factor.

In case you don’t know this already, babies are expensive.  Even before they peak their little cone-shaped head out of your wife’s who-ha they are costing you a fortune in new furniture for the nursery, clothes, diapers, doctor visits and ultrasounds.  Seriously, if you aren’t sitting in the delivery room thinking you might have just gotten “Madoffed” then something is wrong.

Today I  have something that will help elevate a chunk of that national debt that you seem to be compiling.  I was shocked to see how much the baby stores were charging for diaper bags.  They are astronomical!  And for what?  A bag!  Don’t believe me, look at some prices.

BuyBuy Baby:

Did you see any bags for less than $30?  Hell no.  As a matter of fact if you clicked on the link you probably found that most of the bags cost over $100!  Seriously?  It’s not like Louis Vuitton or Coach are making these bags, no it is Eddie Bauer and the like, or the B listers of bag making.

I like how BuyBuy Baby had a “bags for dad’s” section.  Although if you look closely none of the bags are manly at all, other than the backpacks.  Seriously, throwing some camouflage pattern on a diaper bag doesn’t make it manly, isn’t that right Vin Diesel? It just makes for a terrible movie.

But don’t worry I’m not just going to pick on BuyBuy Baby, let’s take a look at Babies R Us and see if they have any better options.

Babies R Us:

See, just more of the same.  Insanely over priced bags simply because it is a “baby bag”.  And again I hope you noticed the “bags for dad’s” section was a bunch of neutral colored (not pink) bags or bags with camo or some other “manly” design like guitars and such.  Are they marketing to men or 10-year-old boys?  Or do marketers think that’s what men are, 10-year-old boys?  Where is Frued when you need him?

The only other place that I thought to really look was Target.  And they were certainly better, but still over priced if you asked me.  So what did we go with?  What is this brilliant idea that saved us a ton of money?  Well, it took a combined effort from several sources but we decided to go off the grid for a diaper bag. We knew we wanted a backpack.  My brother-in-law, Matt, got a backpack and it is just so much easier and is the most manly looking of all the bag styles out there.  You can call them totes, messenger bags or even satchels if you are an Indiana Jones fan, but that doesn’t make them any more manly looking.  A backpack never slips off your shoulder when you are carrying a baby in a car seat and the ten million other items you always need when traveling with your baby.  And lastly the backpacks seemed to have the most room for everything.

Since we were sold on the idea of a backpack did we really have to get a “baby backpack”?  Hell no!  Thanks to Jesy’s cousin, Kat, we realized that any old backpack would do and that even some sports bags would work great since they always had multiple pockets for your sports equipment.

The winner! Coincidentally it's the Victory Backpack by Under Armour.

Being sold on the idea, Jesy and I went to the Prime Outlets in Monroe and hit up the Under Armour store for a backpack.  Eureka!  We found exactly what we were looking for and didn’t spend over $20!  The prices on the website are a little higher, but if you go to the outlet store you can find some damn good deals.  But not only was price a factor we got way more room in the Under Armour bag than we got with any of the leading backpacks that the baby stores were selling.

  • Typical baby backpack – 13.75 x 17 x 6.5
  • Under Armour bag – 18 x 12.75 x 9.25

So to all you soon to be, or new parents out there, don’t waste your money on a product that isn’t what you really NEED.  Take an Andrew Jackson and go up to Monroe and get something that you will really be happy with.  And while you are there you can see the progress on the new Giant Jesus, bonus!

And no I wasn’t paid by Under Armour, but I really feel like I should have been.

You’re welcome Under Armour, if you want to throw me some free merch I will not object.