Here comes the spring running duds

Little darling, it’s been a long, cold lonely winter.

Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here.

Aside from a shot of a favorite Beatles’ tunes, I can say with authority – Here Comes the Sun! Finally, that bright and shiny orb in the sky has returned. Of course we all know what that means…SHORTS AND RUNNING TANKS!

clothes1Some Oiselle spring14 faves: fresh green distance shorts and three friends tank and my beloved big O burnout tank in brill blue paired with my old rogas.

I might be getting a little bit ahead of myself, however, because while recent temps in Rochester surpassed the 80-degree mark on Sunday and Monday, today’s forecast includes a 50-degree downturn and my least favorite four-letter word.

SNOW

On April 15

Sigh. Mother Nature, stop it already. You’re drunk.

If your winter season was anything like mine in upstate New York, then you’re absolutely ready for some consistent springlike weather (read: average highs in the 50s.) You’re over subzero temps and running in snowdrifts.

And you’re definitely over strapping studs to your feet to keep from falling on the ice.

So what do you wear in this in between weather? (besides crooning my favorite Beatles’ ballad…)

Layers my friends. Lots and lots of layers.

And there are oh-so-many pieces to choose from with capris and shorts, shirts and tanks and arm warmers all in my arsenal.

Once the temps hit the 50s or higher, I typically start wearing running shorts or skirts. Depending on the heat, though, I may wear long-sleeves or short sleeves. It’s not quite warm enough for me to jump to the tanks, unless I’m rocking them under a long-sleeve tech shirt like I did on Saturday, which hovered in the 60s for most of the day.

That way, I can always peel off the top layer and tie it around my waist while I finish my run.

Gone are the knit caps. Gone are the gloves. It’s rare the arm warmers make it more than a mile since I overheat quickly.

I also tend to use some of my (many) race tech tees as an early spring outer layer, typically wearing some sort of tank underneath, just in case I judged incorrectly and overheat.

clothes4Meet my favorite long-sleeved tech tee from my first-ever marathon, the Philadelphia Marathon. I love the course map on the back and the weight of the tee.

Here are a few of my fave spring combos:

clothes3NYC Marathon tech tee with old capris – I wear this on cooler days.

clothes2Feeling hot, hot hot in Oiselle flyte tank with roga shorts!

 clothes5You can’t miss me in this old race shirt from the 2013 Haddonfield 5K. The brighter the better!

vicoiselleSometimes you just need to add a shot of color. A bright yellow Oiselle Feather Trials hoody is among my post-run faves.

There are SO many ways for me to mix and match my piles of clothes — and these pictures are just a mere few. I wanted to post a pic of ALL my running clothes, but hubs can never see that photographic evidence. My head would roll!

But I want to see what YOU wear when you run in the spring! Tweet me a picture via ScootaDoot and tell me about your favorite springtime running duds.

What are your favorite running tops and bottoms? Tell me in the comments!

That Thirty-ish Year Old Glow (You know you want it)

I spent most of my weekend sitting around like this:

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I’m not sure what happened, because I felt okay after the AC half last weekend. I had a couple of rest days and then ran four miles at the gym. Still feeling fine, I took my littles to the play gym and when I bent down to put my daughter’s shoe back on, a shot of pain went up my shin and I literally limped around for the rest of the afternoon. Compression and ice feel like old pals after spending all weekend together.

I don’t know what to think. I guess it’s still shin splints? I’ve never dealt with prolonged pain from running, so I have no clue how long it will take to heal. Boooo. Over the weekend, I was a bit sore in the mornings but once I got moving, I felt better. I haven’t done any cardio (I had planned on the elliptical but a busy weekend got in the way), but I’ve been fine during my strength workouts. I even did legs/butt on Saturday (my fave right now is the Malibooty routine by the Tone It Up Girls, mostly because it’s fun to say “Malibooty”). I’m going to try to run a short distance today-slow and steady- and see how it goes.

During one of my icing sessions, I received the following text from my best friend:

“Have you heard about the ‘toddler glow’?”

Now we both have toddlers, so I thought it might’ve been some new toy, but noooooo. Apparently, it’s a new makeup technique to make women look younger. Specifically, like a two year old. I mean, really. Really? REALLY?!

I researched this “toddler glow” and it seems that what you are supposed to do is wake up at 5am demanding to nurse in the big bed, ask for a cookie, break it into tiny pieces and rub the crumbs in your hair, and get someone to carry you everywhere. Unless you want to walk. Then you scream.

No, wait. That’s just how to be a toddler.

For the toddler glow, you are supposed to apply highlighter everywhere the sun hits, so you look like a a dewy JCrew model. Or like this girl:

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And I want to be like “Eff you, makeup industry. Stop telling me that I should look younger, younger, younger.” It’s so unfair. Just last week, Mer and I were texting about our day (like what we were doing right that second) and I told her I was researching botox. Which is insane, because I’m in my early thirties, and I’m pretty sure Mer fell out of her chair before typing “Whattttttt?!” But I’ve lived in Florida my whole life and I have these forehead wrinkles and the elevens between my brows and I don’t know. I guess maybe I want to look like a toddler? Or I should have been wearing sunglasses since I was one, at any rate. But really, what is next? Should I aspire to look like this?

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For the most part, I embrace my age. Sure, I miss having a perky booty and boobs that didn’t require a push-up bra (it’s crazy to me that there was a time when I could go out sans bra. Madness!). And as I’ve mentioned, I sure do miss that metabolism. But I love my life right now. All these years and choices and life has lead me to this time; with my husband and kids and so many wonderful things. But you know what? I am also a little bit vain and would like to get rid of the elevens.

Anyway, I am a girl who loves makeup and even though I think the name “Toddler Glow” sucks, I already sort of do this stuff.

My friends often ask me what I’m using on my skin. Just last week, my daughter’s dance teacher asked me if I’d recently had a chemical peel because my skin looked so great. (No, ma’am. My baby just started sleeping through the night. And I just got home from a girl’s weekend. I highly recommend it.) Here are some of my suggestions for glowing skin:

My arsenal of illuminating makeup.

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From left to right: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip in Miami Strip, YSL Touche Eclat, Clinique Airbrush Concealer (I AM OBSESSED.), Stila Illuminating Foundation (I mix this with bb cream and apply only where needed), Clinique Chubby Sitck Shadow in Bountiful Beige, Girl Meets Pearl by Benefit, Watt’s Up by Benefit.

I use some combination of these every day. The Clinique concealer is my absolute favorite. It makes me look like I’m Sleeping Beauty, waking from a 100 year nap.

I also recommend actual sleep. Little Dude started sleeping through the night three weeks ago (Yes, he’s 16 months. Yes, that’s a long time to go without sleep.) I feel like a new woman.

Drink your greens.

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It’s supposed to help. My skin has never looked as good as it does when I regularly drink something green.

Get laid. Be safe about it.

Exercise! Obviously.

photo 2-20

Take that, Toddler Glow.

Drink water.

Spend time with your friends. Laughing with your girlfriends is the best.

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Tell me your favorite makeup product. Any tips for youthful-looking skin? Or we can talk about shin splints. What should I do?

Guest post: My first 15K and my first runiversary

Next week will mark the first anniversary of when I decided to get serious about running. Before last April, I had never run more than 22.5 miles in a month. Starting with last April, I’ve run at least 50 miles every month.

In fact, I’ve run about 1,200 miles since I decided to become a runner last April. And I’ve run in 10 races. The last of those 10 races was at the end of March: the Spring Forward Distance Run 15K in Mendon Ponds Park, which I ran with Chick Vic and a few other members of our informal running group.

The course at Mendon Ponds Park varies depending on the distance of the race, but it’s always hilly. Very hilly. The kind of course where when you crest a hill, you frequently see a downhill followed immediately by another big uphill. You hear all sorts of comments about the hills when you’re racing. “I hate these hills.” “Don’t look.” “At least we get to go down the other side.”

I love it. I don’t know why, but I’ve discovered I love hilly races. Of my 10 races, three have been at Mendon Ponds Park, and at all three races the hills have been where I’ve tracked down and passed people.

Anyway, on race day I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and went through my standard race morning routine: go to the bathroom, eat breakfast, get dressed, drive to course. The race was at 8 a.m., and I got to Mendon Ponds Park at 7 a.m. and took the shuttle to the starting area. Around 7:30 I ran into Vic and Ray and we made our way to the starting area, where we found Mark.

This was my first 15K, so I was guaranteed a PR. But I was planning to use it as a test for my upcoming half marathon, where I want a big PR. So my goal for Spring Forward was under 1:20. I planned to try to do about 8:30 miles all the way through and then see if I could pick it up even more the last mile or so.

Vic was getting over a cold, so I knew she wouldn’t be interested in trying to go really fast. Ray was doing the race as the first 9 miles of a 16-mile training day, so he didn’t want to push it either. Mark said he’d try to stick with me but warned that he was working through some discomfort and might need to back off at some point.

With our plans in place (Mark and I running together, Vic and Ray running together, and Bill starting up front en route to second place in his age group), we settled into our spots to wait for the start.

The weather was really nice for a race, which was lucky for us considering that it snowed later that day. In the morning, it was cold but not frigid. There was no rain, no sun and little wind.

Mark and I started off with an 8:14 mile and then clicked off back-to-back 8:22 miles. We were a little bit faster than we needed to be for 1:20, but I felt good. We were able to hold a conversation, so the effort wasn’t tiring us too much. Unfortunately, the hills weren’t helping Mark’s injury. On a hill just past the 5K point, Mark told me he’d see me at the finish and slowed down.

Running on my own now, I maintained a sub-8:30 pace for the next two miles (8:27 and 8:23) while enjoying the scenery. The rolling hills in the middle of country and park space make for a beautiful course, and it was nice to just take it all in.

FF1Picturesque but hilly course (Photo by Fleet Feet Rochester)

I slowed up a bit in miles 6 and 7 (8:45 and 8:49), but that didn’t bother me. I was feeling strong and I knew I still had a kick left in me. I had no concerns about hitting my 1:20 goal. I sped up a bit to 8:32 in mile 8 and then again for an 8:13 in mile 9.

In races, I don’t really care where I finish in relation to the other runners. I’m competing against myself, and I know I’m not going to place in my age group. But the other runners can be useful props as the race goes on, especially at the end.

Over the last couple miles of the race, an older runner and I had been trading places back and forth a few times. I’d generally catch him on the uphills and he’d catch me on the flats. As we made the turn toward the finish line, I decided there was nothing more important than staying ahead of him. I kicked into as close to a sprint as I could manage at that point and I could hear him pushing to catch me.

I held him off and as I approached the line I saw that the clock hadn’t hit 1:19 yet (my official chip time was 1:18:47). I took a few seconds to celebrate my personal victory, then I walked back along the finishing stretch so that I could cheer in Vic, Mark and Ray. Mark came in around 1:23 with Vic and Ray a couple minutes later. It wasn’t the fastest any of them could run, but they were all happy with their times given their personal circumstances for the day.

And really, that’s what every race is all about: Running the best race you can given whatever you’re dealing with that day.

For me, this race was huge for two reasons.

First, as I mentioned earlier, it was a test run for the Flower City Half Marathon on April 27. Flower City is a hillier course than my first half marathon, so while I know I’m faster than when I ran 1:58:38 in September, I wasn’t sure how fast I should try to go at Flower City. My time at Spring Forward, and how good I felt after the race, gave me the confidence to decide that I’m going to run with the 1:50 pacer at Flower City.

Second, this was my first race since my marathon DNF in mid-February. After how badly that race went, it was nice to set a goal, follow a plan and have everything work out perfectly. It’s been nearly two months since my DNF and I still think about it almost every day. I don’t think I’ll be able to let go of it completely until I finish a marathon, but this was a nice step forward.

And it was a nice cap to my first year of running. Despite the marathon setback, I did more in the past year than I ever thought I could. I can’t wait to find out what I’m capable of doing in my second year of running, and beyond.

Ben is a husband, father, runner and editor in Rochester, NY. He can be found on Twitter at @bjacobsroch.

All-You-Can-Eat Oatmeal

This past weekend, while visiting Meri in NJ and spectating while several of my Scoot chicks and other friends ran the Atlantic City April Fools Half Marathon, there was a lot of eating out while I was in NJ. Which was fabulous (Oh Pop Shop, you own a piece of my heart now)!

But for breakfast, we tended to get down in Meri’s kitchen. There were waffles. There was coffee. And there was oatmeal.

We decided to do an oatmeal buffet on Saturday morning, which in this case meant a really good base (or two) and a whole bunch of toppings.

I think Meri and I have both shared our love of Whipped Banana Oatmeal from Kath Eats before on here. It’s worth talking about again. This recipe reignited my love of oatmeal. It’s hearty and filling and sweet and just darn good.

Mer adding the magic ingredient

Mer adding the magic ingredient

So, for our Oatmealstravaganza, this stuff was just a given. It’s the perfect base for whatever toppings you love.

Perfection!

Perfection!

For my contribution, I decided to go with Zucchini Bread Oatmeal from Oh She Glows. This is a vegan recipe, and while we didn’t make it vegan last weekend (we used regular organic milk instead of non-dairy milk), I have and it’s fantastic.

Breakfast Veggies!

Breakfast Veggies!

The Zucchini Bread oatmeal is a little more strongly flavored (lots of cinnamon and nutmeg), so it doesn’t lend itself as well to some toppings, but we found some that worked quite well.

The All-You-Can-Eat Oatmeal Buffet

The All-You-Can-Eat Oatmeal Buffet

Once the oatmeal was done, we grabbed everything but this kitchen sink to throw on top: Caramel Bits, peanut butter chips (my new favorite), almond butter, nutella, fresh fruit.

Oatmeal, chick style

Oatmeal, chick style

As you can see, we all went for different bases and toppings. And we all went back from seconds. It was a truly a delicious start to our Saturday!

Do you oatmeal? Tell us about your favorite bases and toppings!

 

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things…

Girls in Oiselle tanks and white satin sashes,
Taffy that sticks to my teeth, not eyelashes (because that would be weird),
Frigid cold air that does not feel like Spring,
These are a few of my favorite things!

(Okay, not the weather. Florida native here. I had a minor freakout last Sunday morning when Mer told me it was 28 degrees on the boardwalk in Atlantic City.)

It was a wonderful weekend of running and even more laughter, and now I’m home to my most favorite people and a mountain of laundry to fold. (Not a favorite, if you are taking notes.)

Since the AC half was already covered by Mer and Vic, I only want to tell you a tiny bit about my experience, and also share some other things I’m loving right this second:

First, the AC half. I know you are Meridith’s, but if she were willing to share you, we could be sister-wives. (Did I just imply that Mer is married to a race? I guess I did. I’m really tired, you guys.) I only ran once last week because of my shin pain, so I think rest, plus KT Tape, plus the oh-so-forgiving boardwalk helped me achieve a pretty sweet time for this race- I finished in 2 hours, 7 seconds, which is 11 minutes faster than my Princess 2014 time. (Still not a PR for me, blah blah blah. I get so tired of saying that. I get so tired of thinking it. But we runners love to focus on the numbers. Anyway, now that I’m thatclose to a sub-2, I am more than confident that a personal best will happen this fall.) Of course, if I hadn’t been texting my friends while running, I probably could’ve shaved off 8 seconds- but, no regrets.

The best part of this race was seeing our dear friend Anne finish her first half-marathon. The thing about a half-marathon, and running in general, really, is that no one can help you do it. You have to put in the time. You have to do the work. But when you finish? The accomplishment is all yours. Seeing a friend triumph like this is so powerful; for me, it feels as good as it does when I achieve my own goals. I’m lucky to have been there when a few friends crossed that half-marathon finish line for the first time, and the emotional impact hasn’t diminished. I guess I’m a marshmallow. Congrats, Anne!

While in NJ, we went to Target. As one does. Vic and I found these super cheap hoodies on clearance in the men’s section. This kept me so warm, post-race. Bonus- we were matchies.

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I love makeup. A lot. My favorite fun thing right now is this blue mascara from Butter London. I think there are a few other colors- I know there is purple and I’m definitely planning to buy that one. With this, I do a neutral face, and then coat my lashes in blue. It’s very noticeable in the sun and less so indoors and I just love it.

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How excited am I that OVERALLS are in style? Well, I’ll be honest. I’ve been waiting for this moment since 1999. Last Spring, I bought some short-alls because it was way too hot for long ones, but these Madewell overalls made their way into my closet recently and they are the best. More tapered than your 90s overall and I think you are supposed to wear them with cute flats or heels or booties and not birkenstocks (but those are back too, and you can’t see me right now but I’m wearing my EXCITED FACE.)

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I just finished taking another class on Conscious Discipline at my church and I cannot say enough good things about it. We’ve been working on implementing CD in our home for the past few years and it has helped all of us. Without getting too much into it, because this is a running blog, not a parenting blog, and I’m certainly not an expert- CD teaches emotional and social intelligence. You can read more here and here.

This book has finger plays, songs and games to increase your connection to your child- and their connections with each other. I’ve taught the girls a few things that they now do regularly with their brother and us, and we’ve also developed a goodbye ritual that the girls enjoy.

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One more book- The girls and I are currently reading Ramona the Brave. Last summer, we read the first two books in the series, in which Ramona is in preschool and then kindergarten, and now that my oldest will be a first grader soon, we decided to start the next book. I LOVE RAMONA. She’s so sassy and misunderstood and delightful. We still laugh about her singing the “dawnzer” song in kindergarten…you know, the dawnzer lee light.

BABIES. I’ve had more than a few friends have babies recently- three of them in the past three days! My instagram and Facebook feeds are filled with sweet, squishy newborn faces. Thank you, new mamas, for sharing your babies with me. I love seeing them!

Lastly, I love that I’m going to see my chicks in less than three weeks. DC, here we come! I hope you have enough cheese.

Talky! Do you text during races? How do I break myself of this habit? Best thing you’ve bought at Target recently? Overalls are amazing, right? What are you reading? By the way, The Sound of Music is always on my list of favorite things.

2014 Atlantic City April Fools half

We came, we ran and we were crowned, sashes and all. It was a true Scoot a Doot invasion of Atlantic City!

I had an incredible time Sunday at the Atlantic City April Fools Half Marathon and even came away with an unexpected prize – a new PR.

I’d been flirting with the idea of running this race for ages, as Meri has run it for three straight years and repeatedly raved about her experiences. So when she suggested a Scoot girls’ weekend centered around the half, I quickly agreed, registered and ultimately booked a flight.

Race morning, we arrived at the host casino Revel, which is at the far north end of the Atlantic City boardwalk. We were able to zip through the casino bathrooms and drop our bags at gear check without even waiting in any lines.

AC2The chicks and friends in a pre-race #SuperSelfie (Clockwise from midnight:Bec, Cam, Heather, Meri, me, Anne and Brooke)

As you may recall from last week’s Chick Chat, I had absolutely no race plan. But since the course was flat as a pancake, I decided to chase down that PR.

I went for it. And because I was a woman on a mission – I did it.

I lined up with Brooke as we decided to start off together. Once the race began, we both sprinted off, starting a wee bit too fast. We were excited, and a bit chilly, and we bolted. B and I had agreed to run our own races and to push it, so off I went.

That first mile was around an 8:30 min pace, which I knew I couldn’t sustain. So I pulled back to around 8:40-8:45, where I stayed for most of the race.

Much of those first three miles for me were focused on my surroundings and running along the boardwalk. I spotted the hotel where I’d stayed for a beach weekend back in the 90s and the spot where I went for a good friend’s bachelorette party a few years back.

And of course I spent many miles of the race thinking about the board game Monopoly. Park Place, Connecticut and Baltic avenues. Each road sign brought waves of childhood board game memories.

But I was overwhelmed with the need for a bathroom early in the race. So as I increased my speed, I also scanned the horizon for a well-placed bush or portajohn.

And there it was, just before the third mile marker. I ran down a ramp and off the boardwalk and hopped into a portajohn attached to a construction site. A quick in and out and I returned to the boards, sprinting to try to reclaim my lost place in the race.

I spotted Brooke as I ran and caught her. We chatted a bit and she told me that I looked strong and to keep going. Thanks for the vote of encouragement, B. It’s exactly what I needed to hear.

The first 4.5 miles of the out-and-back course were on the boardwalk. What a view! And yes, there was an occasional breeze.

We veered left and off the boards at Washington Avenue and spent the next few miles on Atlantic Avenue. Because of the nature of the course, runners heading south could watch the race leaders zip by as they headed back toward the finish.

I was closing in on mile six as my Oiselle teammate Hollie zipped by, dueling for the top women’s spot with another woman. I screamed out her name and yelled “Fly Birdie!” as we exchanged a mid-race high-five.

AC3Hollie and me after the race. She placed second overall with a PR of 1:23:23

I passed the iconic historical landmark Lucy the Elephant  as I ran south and soon reached the halfway mark and turnaround while still on that 8:45 pace. Once I started running north I spotted a slew of friendly faces, many of whom shouted out to me as I pushed through a nasty side-stitch that developed on the return leg.

I slowed a bit to 9-minute-miles for miles 9 through 12. I focused on my breathing and pacing with an awesome lady who told me she was running her first half and trying to keep pace with me. How fortunate!

I took off on mile 12, just near Caesar’s Palace. A drunk passerby said something about Botox or blow jobs, I really couldn’t tell which but it made me laugh and motivated me to move faster. I picked it up knowing that I was about to beat my best time, set last year in Rochester.

I nearly hurled after I crossed the finish line, a sign that I truly left it all on the course. (I didn’t, for the record.) My official time was 1:57:25, an 8:57 pace. I’m thrilled!

AC1My shiny new medal on the Atlantic City boardwalk

I had a fabulous time at this race, which is a super-fast course. We really couldn’t have had better race weather. And I had a wonderful time with the Scoot chicks and friends for a long overdue massive girls’ weekend. I cannot wait until the next one.

AC4Three bestie birds, all decked out in our matching feather trials hoodies.

Have you ever run a race on a boardwalk or along the beach? Where do you go on your girls’ weekends? What’s your beach of choice?

On the Boardwalk, Out in the Sun

A half marathon with a dash of pageantry, Starbucks, and shenanigans. This is the Atlantic City April Fools Half Marathon, in pictures.

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Miss Demeanor, Miss Chief, Miss Print, Miss Behavin', Miss Fit, Miss Creant, Miss Placed

Hands on hips, smiles on lips. Miss Demeanor, Miss Chief, Miss Print, Miss Behavin’, Miss Fit, Miss Creant, Miss Placed (not pictured – Miss Ing)

Anne and Bec

Anne and Bec

Vic and Brooke show off their pageant waves.

Vic and Brooke show off their pageant waves.

"Oh, we have to run? We thought we were here just to look pretty."

“Oh, we have to run? We thought we were here just to look pretty.”

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And they're off!

And they’re off!

Selfies were texted.

Selfies were texted.

Who loves running? THIS GIRL.

Who loves running? THIS GIRL.

Blue skies! #blessed

Blue skies! #blessed

Meanwhile... in Starbucks and Shenanigans news, Bec and Jess were chatting.

Meanwhile… in Starbucks and Shenanigans news, Bec and Jess (Miss Ing) were chatting.

Mer bringing it back to the old school.

Mer bringing it back to the old school.

Cam putting the "fool" in April Fools.

Cam putting the “fool” in April Fools.

Anne finishing strong! (And then she ate 47 oranges.)

Anne finishing strong!

In true Atlantic City fashion, Cam's crowning was VERY dramatic.

In true Atlantic City fashion, Cam’s crowning was VERY dramatic.

Cam and Jess have an "in person" Chick Chat.

Cam and Jess have an “in person” Chick Chat.

There would be more words with this post, however... wine.

There would be more words with this post, however… wine.

What did YOU do this weekend? Did you win a crown? What would your pageant name be?