Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Holding Myself Accountable + Giveaway

I admit it.  I'm a number junkie.  When I'm running, I'm constantly running numbers  through my head "my pace is...",  "I have xxx more laps to do", "wow, my VO2Max is 167", "If I run xxx today, then I have xxx more to run this week to meet my goal."  

We're all guilty.  But it's a healthy kind of obsession.  I think so anyway.  To be honest, I'm getting older, and my memory isn't like it was.  I totally blame it on the kids.  They are memory suckers.  

I still love them to pieces though!  

I've tried many a recording methods - notebook, websites, apps, and now a personalized running log custom made just for me by journalMENU!!!   I've got to say, I'm a huge fan of tracking my running with this running journal!    This is what Erica came up just for me from my blog.... my logo and purple....and a shoe print.  Perfect!  

A quick glance at the book - brings out many great highlights:  

Along with a half marathon and marathon training plan as well.   I like them because they are great starting places.  And if you are interested in upping your 5k training plan after completing a Couch to 5k program - this 5k plan rocks!  

And SMART goals!  The best way to set goals and stick to them! I love SMART goals!  

For the additional numbers in your fitness life!  Mark your progress! 

Plus SO MUCH MORE!  I can't show you all of the bells and whistles!  I want you to want to buy one of these fabulous running journals for yourself and your friends.  

I love the weekly journal parts....sometimes I'm horrible at tracking my food.  Sometimes I'm great at it.  Then there are times my track workout recordings go all over the place.  Oops!   

But I wanted to track my progress.  :)  

My journalMENU has offered one of my awesome readers .... that would be YOU...the chance to win your own journalMENU.  That is super generous and I cannot wait to see who wins and which menu they choose!  

Giveaway begins tonight (5/26/15) and ends 6/5/15.  Good luck!!!!

disclaimer: I was provided a journalMENU as part of a review.  I was not required to post a positive review.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Drumroll please..... Spartan Winner!

My apologies for doing this so late in the day!  I seriously meant to choose a winner this morning!  

Here you go.......  

The winner is:  

Congrats Brandi!  Please email me at runningwiththegirls AT gmail.com to claim your Spartan code!  

If you didn't win....there is still time to use the discount code MEMORIAL for up to $40 off your Spartan registration within the continental US.    

Happy Memorial Day everyone!  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spartan - Flash Giveaway & Discount Code

One of the best races I've done was the Spartan at Fenway.  This race and course challenged me in ways I could never imagine.  But when all was said and done, I felt badass.  I would LOVE to do another Spartan.  And I will, just not this year.    

But, for those of you, I have one excellent deal for you!

That's right!  Up to $40 on your next (or first) Spartan race.  Use the code MEMORIAL good through 5/27/15.  The code will only work one time for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) Spartan Race in the continental US.  

But today - I have a FLASH Giveaway today for free entry to any US Spartan race.  Comment below with which Spartan race you would like to do.  Entries will close tonight 5/24/15.  I will announce the winner tomorrow morning.  Good luck!!!  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Thankful Tuesday

Life seriously got a bit overwhelming the past couple of weeks, and sadly the blogging had to take a little break.  National Board exam, National Board portfolio, and Praxis II Mathematics.  I know how to pile it on and pile it on to monumental craziness.  

Crazy?  Yes.  Add that to training for 2 marathons, taper crazies, Tucker in soccer and track, Izzy and her dance recital.  I'm in need of a HUGE break.  Today actually felt a little boring only having to get Tucker from track.  

I have a lot in store for you...a couple of giveaways and my recap of Maine Coast Marathon.  Trust me.  They are coming.  Stay tuned!  

But let me get this off my chest!  I was a special education teacher for over 14 years.  I've proctored many standardized tests.  Sadly, yesterday I experienced the worst testing experience ever.  I went to a local community college to take the Praxis II for my teaching certification (meaning - I have to pass this test).  I've been studying for this test forever and I seriously knew my stuff (aside from a few calculus problems).  When I arrived at the testing center, immediately I felt the building begin to shake and the testing proctor said "oh great, they brought in the rumblers today"...I turned around and looked out the window and right outside the window was a construction scene... lots of activity, lots of noise (beeping, buzzing, slamming, you name it) and the building was shaking.  Oh awesome.  The lady walked me into the room where I was to take my test.  Of course she walked me over to the computer directly in front of the window (with the great visual distraction of a crane lifting heavy things over and over again).  I mentioned the distraction and she offered me headphones.  The noise was not the major distraction!  So...I sat through 2.5 hours of a test....struggled to stay focused and never finished the damn test.  I still had a few questions left when time was up.   (Also - I had to use the bathroom during this test and the proctor didn't know how to pause my time....so I lost time there too).  For such a highstakes test, the testing atmosphere sucked.  Needless to say, after I wiped away my tears, I was on the phone to Praxis letting them know the situation and requesting a retake (at their cost).  I still haven't heard back from them.  Ugh.  Fingers crossed they respond tomorrow - or I'll be calling again!   Okay, vent over!!!!  I like to keep my blog positive - but real as well.   

After Maine Coast Marathon, I took my week off from running.  I just returned to running on Sunday and it feels incredible.  No tired legs.  Not a lot of speed, but that will come back.  I hope!!!  Just getting outside and running feels incredible!  

My running this week - 4 miles on Sunday and 4 miles on Monday.  I took today off and did some yoga and strength.  I'm participating in the Instagram challenge #loveyourhips by @brittanysuel and @lora_hogan.  It's been a ton of fun and I love yoga challenges!  

The rest of the week will be some low miles before I start to do some hill work need week!  Time to gear up for Mount Washington Road Race!  Gulp!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Move It Monday #TaperCrazies

Did somebody tell me running marathons 3 weeks apart was a good idea?  Right now I've got the serious taper crazies!!!

You see, the husband is the more experienced marathoner in the house.  2 times he had a rather unsuccessful Boston Marathon and then has gone on to run Sugarloaf and has gotten PR's.    So when he gives me advice about what to do between marathons, I listen.  I'm not happy about it, but I am listening.   He is forcing me to let my body completely recover from Boston, where it took an absolute beating.  It hurt worse after that marathon than any other marathon I've done.  And he knew it.  I do like a voice of reason.  Sometimes.

I am love with these socks!  I am seriously thinking about wearing them Sunday!  

Because I was so achy last week, I decided to see a Sports Doctor/Physical Therapist.  I felt my Plantar Fasciitis rearing it's ugly head and my butt muscle pull was angry too.  In addition to a tight calf.  I thought I was falling apart.  I know I'm not, but I thought I was!  Dr. Pickle gave me great advice with stretching - some stretches I've never done before for the butt muscle pull - which he said is really a sciatic issue and reminded me to roll my feet on ice.  Then he tried dry needling on my calf.  I've never tried anything like this before - but I'm definitely sold.  Within minutes, my tight calf was feeling normal again!  Dry needling is the absolute best.  I need to get back to see him again post marathon so I can recover for Mount Washington!  

I think I'll wear my black visor this time?  

Yesterday I was planning on going out for 6 miles.  Not because I had to, but because I wanted to.  "Coach" said no.  So, I grabbed my things and said I was going to yoga instead - because if I stayed at home, I was probably going to lose it.

lots of chilling with this girl in my new Freeport Yoga tank!

Thankfully I love yoga and thankfully Freeport Yoga had a morning session of Yin Yoga.  It all worked out.  I gave my body a great chance to do some deep stretching and it felt amazing.   I do plan on getting in some miles this week.  "Coach" said it's okay.

And thank goodness Mallie is cute, that is all I have to say about her right now!
Naughty puppy and taper crazies do not mix well!

We will see this recovery/taper/non-running thing works out for me on Sunday!   I know all of the training came before Boston.  But my head is completely messing with me.  I am feeling like I've gained 20 pounds and I feel like I am no where near ready.  Not to mention, the weather is playing games with me to.  One minute the forecast is 60s and rain, then it's 68 and hot, then its 65 and thunderstorms.  I need to stop looking at the forecast.  I know it.  But I won't.  Why do I do this to myself?

So, dear people in my life, I am sorry.  I have a case of the taper crazies.  I will do my best to keep my cool.  At least I'll try!  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fit Friday

4 days post Boston and I'm feeling mostly normal.  My quads seriously took a beating when the cold finally got to me about midway.  I remember feeling the pounding of my quads going down the hills and thinking "oh man, this is going to hurt for a very long time".  And, they do.  But it's still worth it! I freaking ran Boston.  

While we're talking marathons - I have Maine Coast Marathon in 15 days!  This is the one I had been training for!  My last "long run" was supposed to be the weekend of Boston anyway.   We will see how I do running 2 marathons within 3 weeks of each other.  

I know a few folks who are taking on the 39.3 Maine Coast Challenge!  That's just crazy to me!  But I am sure they will rock it!  I've booked the room - so Carrie and I can sleep a little longer race morning, rather than get up at 3am for the drive.  

If you want to track me - download the Racejoy App and track away.  I am a bit nervous that this will completely kill my battery.  I'll follow all of the suggestions to preserve the battery, but I still think it will drain it before I finish.  Oh well.  I'll make sure I have my charger at the finish.  

Last night, I decided I should take care of my body and head to my friend, Kristy's yogalates class.  It's a little more upbeat than the traditional yoga, but it's a great stretch and gets you moving again.  Absolutely the best decision!  

And because I am an exercise addict and need to move - I decided to bike for 30 minutes yesterday, while I started reading Carla and Roni's book.  Already I am in love with it!  If you haven't picked it up yet - do it!  

I have a tendency to overdo things and get injured.  That is why I've decided to not run at least until Sunday.

Which is the last day to run the Gone For A Run Virtual 10k.  Did you register?  I hope so, because it's sold out!  I seriously love the tank and the magnet!  The medal is rather awesome as well.  Even if I don't run the entire distance, I'll walk the rest to make up the difference.  I love the name of this race - Log Off, Shut Down, Go Run.  I find myself too wrapped up in social media and this is a great reminder to just shut it down and get outside and enjoy life.  Thank you Gone for A Run!  

Have you ever tried SOS Rehydrate?  I reviewed it here.  I cannot get enough of this stuff!  I had to stop and visit at the expo as well - so I could stock up some more.   I seriously should be an ambassador for SOS - that's how much I love it!  

And just in case you forgot or missed it - there is still time to register for my Spring into Fitness 5k!  There are low entries and at this point every single person is guaranteed a prize!  The $20 donation goes directly to my fundraising efforts for Maine Cancer Foundation.  

Happy Friday to everyone!!!!  I hope you make the best of it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I'm a Boston Marathoner! {my recap}

It still seems quite surreal.  But the pain is real.  The fact that I still cannot walk down the stairs at my house without going sideways or backwards - is my lingering reminder that only 2 days ago I RAN THE FREAKING BOSTON MARATHON!  

This race has been on my list for year.  I thought I still had a couple more years until it would finally be MY TIME to toe the line.  Somehow I stumbled across a contest on Instagram a few weeks ago and thought "what the heck, I have nothing to lose."  So I entered. And somehow I was selected!   Immediately, I started obsessing about my race outfit.  I knew it was going to consist of ProCompression, Spandits, Headsweats, and Skechers, but didn't know which combination it was going to be!  

This year there were 3 Boudreau's running Boston!  Myself, my husband, and my brother-in-law.  We joked about it "now it will rain for sure" because I was running it.   

Sunday morning we made our annual trip to Boston.  First stop - the expo and bib pickup!  Of course, I was beaming!  My FIRST Boston!  

Afterwards, we made the trek to Aunt Judy and Uncle Pete's where we got to hang out with family - our annual family gathering.  Over the past 4 years, this has become a tradition that we all look forward to!  

I had been weather watching since 10 days prior.  The weather changed from sunny, to party cloudy and mid 50's, then to rain and 50's.  Rain & 50's, no big deal.  Two of my past marathons were rain and 50's.  I could handle that.   

Uncle Pete dropped the three of us off at the shuttle at South Street (which somehow we never knew existed before, but this was fabulous!)  In prior years we had to leave at the butt crack of dawn to do the drop off because the Hopkinton streets were closed down at 7am.  But with this shuttle drop off, we didn't even leave the house until 7:30 and we still got to Athlete's Village with tons of time to spare.  Next year I'll definitely be dropping Ward and Wade off at South Street.  

Ward and Wade both qualified, with some rather great times, so they were in wave 1.  I, on the other hand, had a super high bib # as I did not have a qualifying time, so I was in wave 4, corral 8.  Which meant that I had almost an hour by myself after they left to run.   Basically, after they left, I spent my time drinking water, waiting in the porta-potty lines.  Then I would pee and get to the end of another line.  They were crazy long and I have a ton of anxiety regarding peeing before a race and not being hydrated enough.  This strategy seemed to work.  Sorta.  While I was wearing my purple fuzzy robe, I was still freezing.  I never warmed up and was visibly shaking while waiting in the lines.   I wasn't the only one.  Looking around, I saw many runners shaking.  Thankfully it wasn't raining, quite yet.  

Finally, wave four was called and we started the slow, meandering trek to the starting line.  I made one last pee stop and strongly considered just running in my robe.  But then the rain started.  And it wasn't a warm rain.   

After what seemed like forever, we were finally off.  And by off, I mean it was a very slow crawl of a start.  I did see a state police officer I talk to at my gym quite often, who was there at the starting line, working with his bomb dog, so I shouted to him and then finally the pace picked up.  A little.  The first 5k was rather slow and hard to find a comfortable pace.  I'm not used to being in such crowded races like this and found this a little frustrating.  I had it in my head that I was going to PR.  

Finally the crowd started to space out and I found my pace.  I felt great.  The rain was light but the wind was head on.  My fueling started at mile 2 with 1 shotblok.  The plan was to take a shotblok for each mile.  This strategy has been successful with training and previous marathons.  So that's what I did.  I had my music loud to block out the crowd.  I wanted to be in the zone and not let the crowd excite me so much that I pushed too hard.  My previous PR was 3:56, a 9:01 pace.  This training cycle had been solid and in my head, I felt that I could definitely PR in Boston.   

up to the half - I was on target!  

What I didn't account for was that between miles 13 and 16, my lungs started feeling heavy and it was hard to breath.  It wasn't an asthma-hard-to-breath.  It was I'm too friggin cold, I cannot breath.  Then my legs became lead and I couldn't move them anymore.  I also knew I was off because I seriously for the life of me, could not remember when I had fueled last or when I took water.   It took me a little bit long, but then I reached for my phone and texted Ward.  

Apparently I wasn't really coherent when I texted him.  And I didn't go to the medical tent either.
Oops.  I didn't have time to.  We had to get to the commute train right then or we would have to wait another hour.  

I knew he was done because I had been tracking him with texts and saw he finished with a 3:06.  Shortly after that text, he called.  He asked if I was okay.  I said "so far.  I am going to finish.  It's just going to take a lot longer".  He said "just have fun now".  And with that, I was no longer beating myself up, I took out the other earbud, stuffed them into my shirt, and just soaked up the crowd.  The excitement of Boston.  The BEST crowd I've ever experienced in my life.  I made it my goal to high five every kid I could or wanted to high five me.  I walked when I wanted.  

Then Carrie texted me to go!  I let her know I was done racing but wasn't going to stop.  She gave me some sweet words of encouragement.   I maybe cried a lot at this point.  I was feeling bad for myself. But I was going to finish.  

I did it!  & very teary eyed.  

As I said, the crowd was amazing. Having only run 3 other marathons - all in Maine.  I've never had a crowd like this before!   

As I neared the last little piece before turning onto Boylston, I became very emotional.  From that moment, I started crying and cried that entire final stretch.   And when I reached the finish line - I had accomplished my first Boston.  I was am a Boston Marathon finisher.  My time:  4:23.  The slowest marathon I have ever run and the hardest conditions I've ever run in; but by far, the best course and crowd I've ever experienced.  But then I got this text....

Within in minutes of me finishing, Carrie sent me the feed from when I crossed the finish line.  How awesome is that?    It took me all of 30 seconds to find our meeting spot.  Jill, Wade, Tucker and Jackson were there waiting for me.  Ward was out looking for me.  Thankfully they had my dry clothing, but there was no time to put them on at that moment.  We had a commuter train to catch!  So I hobbled as fast as I could while Wade called Ward and told him to move fast toward the T station.  Finally, below ground, I changed out of my wet clothes under my awesome Boston Marathon warming blanket thing.  And Jill is the best because she bought me some super cute (and dry) pants to put on too.  

Finally wearing the scarf Carrie made for me
and the best marathon jacket ever!  

My Facebook feed was flooded with an overwhelming amount of congratulations!   The love I felt from my family, friends, and students made me feel like an absolute rockstar.   I love them all.  

Nothing like legs up the wall, admiring my ProCompression socks and medal.

I will be back to Boston.  I will run it again.   I'm hoping I'll qualify for 2017, when I'll be 40.  Yes.  I cannot wait to be 40.  But then I can stop aging from there.  Some people stop at 29.  I'm stopping at 40.  Sounds good to me!

the perfect spot for my newest sticker - next to my Sugarloaf one!

But next year I'll be returning to Boston as a spectator, as Ward and Wade both have kick ass qualifying times.  I absolutely love this race and cannot wait to spectate next year and have another family reunion!