Friday Five 2.0 3/3 – Running Hacks

We turned a page in the calendar and suddenly its race month. We both have races this month with Travis first up on March 19th in New York City at the United Airlines Half Marathon and then we both run the Syracuse Half Marathon on March 26th. We’re looking forward to our races and publishing our first recaps of 2017!

But first, we’re talking Running Hacks on today’s Friday Five 2.0 hosted by Fairytales and Fitness and Running On Happy.

Track your shoe miles – You can do this as simply as writing the date of the first run in the shoes on the insole of the shoe. Other ways include using Garmin Connect, or using a device that clips right onto the shoe to track the miles on them.

Pick up last seasons model- Training for races can burn through running shoes quickly. To save money we tend to stick with the last season model of the shoes we wear. Right before the new model of the shoe comes out the last model will get heavily discounted. Sure, the color options might be a bit limited, but that’s definitely not a deal breaker. We always seem to get an e-mail from Road Runner Sports letting us know that a new model is coming and we can stock up while the sale is going on!


Deodorant is multi purpose!- In a pinch, deodorant makes a perfectly fine stand in for Body Glide! You can also use Vaseline or Aquaphor but deodorant is less messy!

Switch up lacing to fix shoe problems: This information was just given to me a couple weeks back. No matter how loose I’ve been tying my shoes they still felt tight on the tops of my feet. Another member of the Coterie suggested lacing my shoes differently. It was an instant fix! Here’s the full article with all of the info:


It’s interesting to learn new tricks that can either save money, or make running easier and/or more comfortable! Tell us: Whats your favorite running hack?



Friday Five 2.0 2/24 – Runfessions

Happy Friday everyone!

It’s been about a month since we have joined in on a Friday Five and we are excited to be back with you today. We’re linking with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0. This week’s Friday Five is all about Runfessions! . Here are our five confessions – running style!

I’m in a slump – big time!!! — I’ve had a hard time returning to a fitness/running/exercise routine following our vacation last month. Runs have been difficult, filled with problems, lacked energy and downright painful. I was able to demonstrate this visually yesterday with a photo comparison of his heart rates on two different runs – one good, the other bad. We hope to be rid of this problem soon. Jen had some difficulty getting back into the swing of things after two weeks of traveling as well.

The top is a normal heart rate chart on a previous 14-mile run. The bottom is how my runs have looked lately, including last nights 10-miler. Rough!

We’re brand snobs — We’re not trying to sound snobby but the truth is, the brands you wear matter. Personal preference has a lot to do with these choices but for Travis, its ASICS shoes and Thorlo socks on his feet, SLS3 compression sleeves, and a good mixture of Holloway, SLS3, Under Armour and Holloway for shorts and tops. He also uses NUUN to stay hydrated. These may not be your brands of choice, but for him, they work well and keep him running long miles (mostly) injury free.

Only one of us has a coach — Jen is the only one of us that has a coach. Jen uses Denny Krahe as her coach and has been with him for about 14 months now. It helps her stay accountable, gain focus and make sure she is progressing safely. Travis on the other hand designs his own training plans and workouts. Although he is still short of his next marathon goal by 12 seconds, he has successfully shaved over 20 minutes off of his marathon time in the last two seasons doing it his way. He says if he gets stuck, he’ll get a coach.

Zumba is back — Jen is back to enjoying Zumba classes after a 5 year absence. She says its been a nice change from her normal routine and looks forward to the classes every week.

Weather worries — Not going to lie, after the last few years of running the Syracuse Half Marathon in less than ideal weather  we’re a little nervous to see what mother nature is going to throw at us for 2017. 2016 brought an epic blizzard with terrible conditions and the year before was cold and snowy. We’ve been having a little bit of a warm up in Northern New York, but we know that doesn’t mean anything and winter most likely isn’t quite done with us yet. Here’s to hoping that the race Gods are kind to us this year… is 60 degrees and partly cloudy too much to ask for?

We’re holding out hope that March is much less eventful, even though we know that won’t be the case! Only 4 weeks til race weekend!


Friday Five 2.0 1/13 – Dream Winter Vacations

Happy happy Friday! Is it just me or do the last few weeks/days leading up to a vacation seem to take forever to pass? That’s where we are right now. A week from tomorrow we’ll be headed to Punta Cana for a week of relaxing in the sun. There’s still a million things to do between now and then but there’s light at the end of the tunnel!

This week’s Friday Five is all about vacations! We live in a winter climate (although looking out the window and seeing grass in January, it seems a bit strange) so it’s fun to daydream about all the warm places to visit during the cold months. Here are five places we’d love to visit in the winter!

  1. Lake Placid, NY- This is one of our favorite places to visit. Neither of us ski or snowboard but Lake Placid offers a lot more than that. For those that do ski or snowboard there’s Whiteface mountain. There’s also a bobsled and luge experience, ice skating on the Olympic Oval, dog sled rides on Mirror Lake and an adorable downtown.dsc01307
  2. Hawaii- This one is pretty high on my bucket list of vacations. I’m not even sure where I’d want to begin. Maybe just island hop for a week?
  3. The Dominican- This obviously makes our list. Punta Cana looks gorgeous and the weather is shaping up to be perfect. We’re staying at an all inclusive resort but have some off site activities planned like zip-lining and snorkeling.
  4. Disney- Winter and spring seem to be the best time to visit Disney. You don’t have to deal with the Florida summer heat and park crowds are a little thinner. Almost all of our Disney trips have been during winter months and the temperature has been perfect!img_1763
  5. Alaska- I think this was one we mentioned the last time we talked about vacations. Travis lived in Denali for a summer when he was in college and always talks about what a great experience it was and is dying to get back sometime soon.senior-year-photos-024

Tell us, what’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?

We’re linking with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0


Friday Five 2.0 1/6 — 2017 Goals

It’s that time of year again! Along with just about everyone, we’ve set some goals that we’d like to accomplish in the upcoming year.


Jen: for the most part I’ve decided on making general goals rather than specifics.

  1. Read More: reading is one of my favorite things to do and yet I never seem to find the time. My goal is to read at least one chapter of a book each night before bed. I’m starting off the year with Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I’ve started a running list of books that I’d like to read on Good Reads, so I’ll happily take any suggestions you might have!
  2. Consistency: I’d like to do everything that I can to avoid injury again this year. So one of my goals (this actually might be my main goal for the year) is to be consistent- consistent with running, consistent with cross training and consistent with prehab and everything else that can keep my hip happy.
  3. PR in the half marathon and 5K distances: I’ve been working towards a 2:30 half for a while now and I’d like to keep chipping time off towards hitting that time. I’d also like to finally hit a sub-30 5K at some point this year!
  4. Fundraise $3,000 for Autism Speaks. Ok, this one is specific. I’d like to double what I was able to fundraise through Team Up! last year. In addition to our Piece By Piece 5K in June which is the main fundraising event for the both of us, I’ve got a few fun ideas in the works. I’m currently planning a paint and sip class as a fundraiser and am in contact with a local Zumba instructor about doing something with her as well.  Autism is a cause very close to our hearts so it is very important to me to raise as much as I can and bring as much awareness as I
  5. Run a full marathon: This is a carry over goal from last year. My hip injury prevented me from running Chicago last fall, so hopefully this is the year!



  1. Run 2,000 Miles: This is by far my toughest goal this year. I ran 1,916 miles in 2016 but I am having surgery this March and will out of commission for a minimum of 8 weeks. My mileage before and after surgery will have to be high.
  2. Increase Our Charity 5k Participation to 150 People: For that last two years we have had 131 and 132 participants. I would like to hit the 150 mark this year!
  3. Finish House Projects: Owning a home means a never ending to do list. This year one of my goals is to at least get semi caught up on some of the projects that have been sitting on the back burner- like staining the decks and the new fence.
  4. Grow My YouTube Channel: A while back I posted a series of YouTube videos on the Garmin VivoActive HR. I really enjoyed doing the videos and it’s something I’d like to explore a little further this year.
  5. Run a Sub 3:15 Marathon: I’m not sure if this one will be possible given that I’m having surgery, but I’d like to PR at the marathon distance. I’ll need to take 12 seconds off to hit 3:15, so we’ll see if I can make it happen!img_0150



We’re linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0!


Friday Five 8/5: Let the Games Begin

Good morning and welcome back to the Tale of 2 Halfs. Today we are concluding our drive to Michigan and are looking forward to some relaxation over the next week. After arriving tonight, you can bet that we will be watching the opening ceremonies of the Rio Olympics. With the world’s eyes set on Rio, we thought we would share five things we are most excited to watch. 

1. Michael Phelps: What an amazing athlete! Phelps is younger than Travis, and we have been watching him for over 16 years. We appreciate his success for Team USA, but more significantly, we recognize that he is in fact an imperfect human being. He has been down, in trouble with the law and retired from the sport. He was selected by Team USA to carry the US flag in the opening ceremonies, a tremendous honor for the greatest Olympian of all time.

2. The Marathon: What kind of Olympic fans would we be without watching  the signature event of the modern Olympics. There are numerous storyline of interest – including the suspicions of Kenyan athletes drug use, the last Olympics for Meb Keflezighi and also the emergence of Galen Rupp on the men’s side. With Amy, Shalane  and Desi representing the American women hopefully we can pick up a medal.

3. Beach Volleyball: A favorite for Jen, this Olympics marks the end for Kerri Walsh-Jennings. A three-time World Champion and undefeated in the Olympics, having never lost a game in 2004, 2008 or 2012 with former partner Misty May. A fun sport, with a great location on the famous Copacabana Beach.

4. Utter Domination: Some times you have an individual or team come along that is leaps and bounds (Olympic humor!!) above the competition. We look forward to the USA dominating in Basketball, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Gymnastics, Women’s Volleyball, and Women’s  Water Polo with outstanding individual performances from Ashton Eaton, Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky to name a few. This year’s women’s team is crazy good!

5. Different Sports: The great part about the Olympics is the coverage of “other” sports that we may only get to watch every four years. Personally my list of different sports I love watching include all thing Archery and Shooting, Rowing and Canoeing, Track Cycling and BMX. With good medal chances in all except Canoeing, these events should be fun to watch.

We hope you take time to support Team USA as they Go for Gold and represent the very best of the United States athletically. These athletes have trained for years, decades for some, and have earned the right to be called an an Olympian. Best of luck to all!

Friday Five 6/10: Favorite Things from a Bad Week

Good morning and welcome back to the Tale of 2 Halfs! We’re linking up with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar for today’s Friday Five! The idea for today’s post is “Favorites” – and with such a horrible week in the news throughout the nation, especially Orlando, we decided to share five good things that happened this week.

1. Nashville, here I come!: For Mother’s day, I decided the best thing to get Jen would be some time away to recharge her batteries, doing something on her bucket list. So, after conspiring with her younger sister, we have finally booked her trip to Nashville for a few weeks from now. Sometimes the best thing to get a loving mother is some time away.

2. Olympic Medal Design Unveiled: I love the Olympics. I have for a long as I can remember. I don’t just watch the fan favorites, I watch as much as possible. I don’t like the monetization that they have become since the 90’s and long for the days of the 1980 Miracle on Ice when America rallied behind what all considered “more than just a game.” If they ever return to the United States, you can bet I will be attending. So I was excited to see the 2016 Summer Olympic medals design unveiled this week.


3. A Return to Training: It was back to training this week and after a few weeks of being off completely, it felt good. Although sometimes difficult with our busy schedules, running allows us an chance to work on ourselves in a way only we can understand. Now it’s time to focus our energies into the 2016 Chicago Marathon.

4. The Return of Summer: After a week of rain and high temperatures only reaching the 50’s, it’s been nice to get back to the beautiful weather upstate New York has to offer this time of year. It doesn’t take much to be happy, so take your kids to the park, spend some time outside and enjoy the long days this time of year has to offer!

5. Favorite Cover by Christina Grimmie: I watch YouTube daily and discovered a talented young singer many years ago, just like millions of others who subscribed to her channel. Her death this week was horrific. I wanted to conclude by linking to my favorite cover of hers. I hope you listen. May she rest in peace.


For every single person who has tragically had to cry for the loss of their loved one this week, Jen and I would just like to say that we are truly sorry.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

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