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My favorite race

Parker5k I hate 5Ks.

I know they are a rite of passage for many runners. A 5K is a reasonable and respectable goal to work towards. Crossing the finish line is an accomplishment, both for former "non-runners," and those who have been running since birth.

While I appreciate the triumph of completing a 5K, it's not my preferred race. I attribute this to not being particularly good at them, thus I prefer triathlons and longer distance races. I'm a terrible sprinter, and I have yet to determine how to best pace myself for the 3.1 miles. [Ed. note: She's nuts, she'd beat the pants off the rest of us.]

Yet, for the past five years (even before I was a runner), my favorite race is a particular 5K I participate in each summer. It's usually the only 5K I do all year.

There are no timing chips attached to my shoes. The starting and finish lines are spray painted in the grass. The starting gun works every other year. But I wouldn't have it any other way.




Weekend Roundup 8/18

PB050035 I’m starting my weekend off with Happy Hour with Kelly – watch out, Harrisburg!

I’m heading to Pittsburgh Friday for my little sister‘s 30th birthday. I got her a bunch of cute gifts I can’t wait to share with her. Meanwhile, we’ll do our usual sister activities: relax, gym, shopping, food. Only this time we’re amping up our dinner choice from takeout pizza and Lebanese fare to Nakama Japanese Steakhouse. Can’t wait.

A few days remain to win tickets to check out the area’s all-female roller derby team. The Sports ‘Burger has donated a 4-pack of tickets to Sunday’s bout against the River City Roller Girls. Enter here now.

In case you missed it:

What are you doing this weekend?


What’s My Age Again?

Blink 182 1 The crowd was loud with anticipation. We were waiting for what seemed like hours … teens, tweens, couples, unsuspecting Moms and Dads accompanying their kids, who were decked out in checkered Vans and "old school" band t-shirts. There might have been a praying mantis lurking around the stage, too.

My friends and I were in the 8th row for the Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance  concert – and that wasn't close enough. We did everything we could think of to get as close as possible to the stage without being kicked out through the first couple sets. Finally, at 9:30 p.m., the opening notes of "Feeling This" blared through the speakers.

There's something special about seeing your all time favorite band live. I was in my early teens when I started listening to Blink. I don't want to sound completely cliche here, but as they grew as a band (and into their other bands, like +44 and AVA), I grew with them. It's one of those fantastic experiences, where you can grow and change together – and still identify with their music. 


CATEGORIES: Hershey, Music

Let the fantasy begin … It’s football season

image from With a mere 23 days left until the kickoff of the 2011 NFL season, there is surely a lot for football fans to talk about.

Eagles’ fans are chomping at the bit to see the revamped defense take the field and waiting to see if Michael Vick will pick up where he left off from last year. On paper, the Eagles look like a Super Bowl bound team, but we’ve all read that book before.

Steelers’ fans are hoping that the hangover from the Super Bowl loss (HA!) won’t linger and leave them with only the filming of The Dark Knight Rises and Hines Ward’s Dancing with the Stars title to brag about this season.

But in barrooms across the country, one of the biggest topics of sports conversation for the next few weeks will certainly be fantasy football. The emergence of fantasy football has really broadened the audience for a lot of NFL games.



Introducing … Jeff!

It’s a dude! As the expansion continues, I’m pleased to introduce Jeff Cavanaugh, the latest contributor to the team.

I met Jeff earlier this year because he stalks news conferences, but you may recognize him as the guitarist from the first Happy Hour, where he offered to play out of the sheer kindness of his heart.

Like the rest of my weekly contributors, Jeff isn’t from here, and he is an Eagles fan. Sigh. [Ed. note: Next contributor's only requirement is to bleed black and gold, like me.] He’ll be covering some live music, some sports and adding an overall male perspective to things.

I’ll let Jeff tell you more about himself:


CATEGORIES: Music, Sports

Giveaway: Harrisburg Area Roller Derby

image from **Congrats to Zane, winner of this week’s giveaway!**

This week’s giveaway is a little something different. The guys at Daddy’s Sugar Ball and The Sports ‘Burger are offering an opportunity for one lucky reader to see and experience the world of roller derby, right here in the Harrisburg area.

The Sports ‘Burger, which is the authority on all our local sports teams, covers Harrisburg Area Roller Derby, or H.A.R.D. – team name “Nuclear Knockouts” – and their bouts via Merry Chaos. You can follow her coverage here.

(If you want a primer on the sport, I highly recommend Whip It. For more detailed explanation of the sport, read H.A.R.D.’s “What is Derby?“)

The Sports ‘Burger is giving away a 4-pack of tickets to this weekend’s home bout at Olympic Skating Center in Enola. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; skating starts at 6 p.m.

To enter to win 4 tickets to see the Nuclear Knockouts take on the River City Roller Girls this Sunday, Aug. 21, please leave a comment below:

For extra entries (you must leave a separate comment for each extra entry in order for each to count), you can:

Enter early and often – I’ll select a winner at random on Friday.

CATEGORIES: Giveaway, Harrisburg, Sports

Summer Clearance Must-Haves

The temps are dropping, the breeze is feeling a bit cooler, and we're closing in on Labor Day. Fall is creeping up on us, and the evidence is in the mall, as sweaters and jeans begin popping up on front window displays.

In a recent post on my blog, Fashionista in Training, I reminded readers to get out and grab up some "end of summer" sale items. But it's not as easy as grabbing anything on the clearance rank – you need to shop wisely and know what to stock up on and what to leave on the rack.

Here are the best items to grab while they're cheap:

  • image from Shorts. Unless you're planning on some drastic weight change, you'll be wearing these again next summer. Think simple: khaki, white, black, and denim in the length you find yourself most comfortable wearing. I especially recommend white, because after a season of wearing them they can start to look dingy if not properly cared for.
  • Bathing suits. Once again, unless you're planning on changing sizes, a bikini is a bikini year after year. A one-piece is a one-piece since the beginning of bathing suits. Avoid trendy patterns like animals, plaids, anchors, etc. as those may not be the thing to be wearing next year. Instead, stick with stripes, solids and simple embellishments. Also, who knows what the status of those monokinis will be next year. Save those for another time.
  • image from Solid tanks and tees. Think about it: all year long you layer tank tops, tee shirts and long-sleeves. These are the first things to wear out in your closet, especially those white camis. Grab up some end of summer savings on solid tanks and tees and know you made a good choice. Last year I grabbed three of the same shirt at Body Central in different colors (black, white and gray) and it was on the best purchases I've made. Try places like Kohls, Old Navy, and JCPenney for the best deals.
  • Upcoming trends. Keep in mind that around the northeast we are well-known to have those 'Indian Summers' where we all think it's nice and cool, time to get out our sweaters … OH WAIT JUST KIDDING IT'S 80 IN OCTOBER. As you're skimming the sales racks, keep an eye out for things that you can use to transition into fall and that you can have ready when Indian Summer arrives.
  • image from Sundresses. Hear me out: dresses are great for fall. Take your favorite summer flowered dress, pair it with a great pair of boots, tights and a sweater, and you have a whole new look. Wear it over a turtle neck this winter and you have a year-round piece. I can't wait to wear my favorite striped dress with a crazy clashing scarf and boots in just a few short weeks. Look for fall hues like mustard, earth tones, dusky pinks, etc. that you already have items to match with at home.

Things to avoid: Those items you've been coveting all summer hoping for them to come down in price. Most of the time, these are trendy items that you're not going to get much use out of the following year.

If there's one thing that you really really want, I can't stop you, but just take into consideration whether or not you think you'll even want to wear it next year. Last summer, I made the mistake of picking up a dress that I adored, but since only have worn once because it's just not stylish anymore.



Turns out you can go home again

The older I get, the stranger it is to return to my hometown of Wilkes-Barre.

Most of my friends have moved elsewhere. Once-familiar restaurants now boast new names and I haven't been to half of the new bars downtown. My childhood bedroom, walls once painted pink and adorned with Hanson and Lifer posters, is now a guest bedroom decorated with bright yellows and sunflowers.

Aside from major holidays, my friends and I are rarely in town simultaneously. However, there is one weekend every August in which we all return to participate in a memorial 5K (you'll hear more about that next week).

283993_558433094045_60401077_31476716_211968_nI'll admit that every time we're about to reunite, I'm a bit apprehensive, as it's now been seven years since high school graduation. Significant others come and go, but the same core group has remained. And yet, there's always that nagging feeling – will things be different?

Arriving home Friday, I headed downtown to Rodano's to meet everyone.

I was instantly relieved as I was warmly greeted by all and handed a cocktail. Even as time passes, there will always be people from your past you can depend on.

While we're all busy with jobs, hobbies and our lives, it's comforting to know that when we get together, the conversation never halts, the jokes always flow and the recaps never end.


CATEGORIES: Uncategorized

Introducing … Tierney!

Hey weekenders, many of you may already know Tierney Pomone from her Fashionista in Training blog or her active presence at micropubs and among Harrisburg's Twitterati.

Tierney will be joining the team periodically to share her fashion insights and provide tips and tricks on staying fashion-forward in an area, well … let's just say Harrisburg isn't exactly known for its fashion community. Expect her to have smart advice that doesn't pander to designers, but shows how regular, everyday people can scout out classic and statement pieces and always look put-together.

Let's hear from Tierney in her own words:


CATEGORIES: Uncategorized

Weekend Roundup 8/11

IMG_3959 What a week already. My goodness.

Last night, we had a surprise going away party for one of my longest and best friends at Flinchy’s. It was a perfect night for deck weather and hanging with the girls sipping down tall Stoli O and clubs.

Tonight, we’re joining coworkers for a Senators game (it’s Thirsty Thursday!). Looks like we may get to see Andy’s friend, Adam Fox, play tonight!

Saturday, we’re hosting our annual backyard shindig for close friends and family. By Sunday, we’ll recover with make-your-own Bloody Marys at Overtime (I’ll have a full review in next week’s column).

Time still remains to enter to win a Felicita Resort gift card. Do it now!

Meanwhile, Brittany daytrips to Manayunk, while Kelly heads home to the W-B (you’ll read about that tomorrow). Intern Ashleigh reviewed Arepa City, and soon we’ll introduce the first male voice for Stay tuned.

Plus, enjoy the remaining days of summer at Sand Trap Bar & Grill (more on that in tomorrow’s “Out with Sara” column in The Patriot-News), and What is on your Life List?

Your compilation of weekend events is after the jump.


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