Saturday, June 30, 2012

Running Naked

There was a time I would turn around and go home if I forgot my beloved Garmin.  But I have found that I've been so focused on what the Garmin says for a pace, that I'm not listening to my body.  I tried my first "naked" run earlier this week and I loved it!  So, I did it again later on in the week.  Again, loved it.  Today, I went out for an easy, recovery 3 miles with the husband on the rail trail and left the Garmin at home again.  Yes, folks.  3 days without the Garmin.  It feels so liberating! 

I don't need it for mileage because I did run on the rail trail and it is well marked for mileage (every 1/4 mile), so I'm good there.  I admit, I do glance at the clock on the car dash just before walking away from the car and I check out the time again when I return, but that's it.  No minute to minute obsession of my pace.  

Tucker was at swim lessons at the time, so it was just Ward, Izzy, Pepper, and myself.

Ward wanted to run a little further, so he ran home from the rail trail today (an additional 3.5 miles).  Good thing he did because he found my cell phone about a half mile from the house on the side of the road.  I know you are all curious as to how my cell phone got there. When I returned from the run, I was looking through my bag and the car for my phone.  It was no where. Ugh!  Since we don't have a landline, this is my only phone.  I grabbed Ward's and started calling it and doing the walk around the house/yard/search.  Nothing.  I kept calling and calling and then someone answered it - Ward!  My hero!  I must have put my phone on the top of the car before we left and then just drove off.  Despite some additional scratches, it's all good and I didn't have to make any emergency trips  to the cell phone store. 

How was your Saturday?  Do you run naked?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Missing My Girls

This morning I set out for my first solo long run in what seems like ages.  I've been quite spoiled to have an outstanding group of women to do long runs with for the past year or so.  While schedules sometimes get crazy, I've usually managed to have at least one running buddy. 

Due to the LL Bean 10K taking place this Wedensday and a scheduled 15 miler long run for the weekend, I had a conflict of interest going on.  I need to stay on track with marathon training (especially since I kind of threw the plan out last week prepping for the half marathon) yet I ant to do well on Wednesday.

Some people can bounce back from a long run and perform well, but not me.  Part of me wanted to keep my long run on Sunday just so I could have a running buddy or two, but a bigger part of me was positive that my body wouldn't be recovered for the 10k. 

It was a very humid but cool 58F when I set out this morning.  It was absolutely perfect running weather.  I chose to go to my fave route - the rail trail - because it's paved, I know the route like the back of my hand, and I knew I'd see some familiar faces to at least break up the run and I could at least say hi.  I know the rail trail is only 13 miles and I was doing 15, so I settled for adding on a little out and back on the trail at the end.  Boring - yes, but safe and predictable.   

This pic if from about mile 9.  I had gotten a text from Stacy (about beach plans - SUPER important, which meant I HAD to stop) - which meant perfect time for a water/fuel break.  Just after this picture, the clouds broke loose and I had a nice, cool rain for the remaining 6 miles.  The rain was quite welcome and felt glorious. 

I finished this run and I'm quite impressed with myself.  It wasn't my favorite run but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. 

Of course, after the short little rain session, the sky brightened up and we had a perfect beach day waiting for us.  It's really a tough life to have to recover by the water with incredible friends while the kids play in the water.   

this little girl was 100% wiped out after tons of fun

and this one didn't want to leave, of course!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Do You Do With Your Bib #s?

Do you keep your bib numbers?  I haven't always kept them, but once I caught the racing bug, I started keeping them (after writing the date, time and place on the bib).    Once I started keeping them, Ward started keeping his.  Next thing you know, we had a huge collection of bib numbers, race pictures, ribbons, and medals.


At first I thought keeping two bulletin boards would be enough.  Nope.  If we were going to accommodate the never-stopping collections, the one bulletin board per person was going to grow to several bulletin boards or begin to cover an entire wall.  Who knows, it could turn into an entire room.   We do have a nice sized house, but we definitely don't have the space to dedicate a room to our running  collection.  Not yet anyway.  Maybe once the kids are gone.

One day I set out to organize our collection.  It took forever.  And apparently we never took the safety pins off of the bib #s either, so I ended up with quite a stash of those.  I will never be without a safety pin, ever.

only a small fraction of the safety pin collection

After some consolidation, I decided I was going to make each of us racing books.  Very simple idea and you don't need much at all.

What you need: 
- book ring fasteners (1 in)
- scissors
- scrapbook paper
- scrapbooking stickers
- creativity 

Lucky for me, we had all of these things here already.  Yes, even the creativity. 

After I got my bib #s onto the rings, I cut two pieces of scrapbook paper to the size of my largest bib #.  One for the front and one for the back.    

I could have just left it with just the plain scrapbook paper.  But I had some chipboard letters that I haven't used yet (because I used to scrapbook and really need to get working on poor Izzy's scrapbook. Tucker has a good 5 to 6 years covered and Izzy has 4 or 5 months covered.  I am a slacker mom.).  

The finished product!  Easy peasy.   

And I have an incredible place to store my medals, thanks to Carrie at Maine Mom on the Run.  Yes, I am sharing my medal rack (for the time being) with Ward (to the left) and the kids (center).  Someday, I will have so many medals they will have to have move out or get their own rack!  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kennebec River Rail Trail Half Recap

Running With The Girls

This is what I found on the kitchen counter, sitting beside my fuel stash,  on race morning.  My husband is the sweetest, ever.  

Jill, Carrie, Michelle, and myself pre-race
photo courtesy of Michelle @ Average Girl Doing Average Things

Yesterday was my sixth half marathon and my second KRRT half marathon.  Jill and I were at the start bright and early and ready to rock.  I have issues.  Apparently, in my mind, it made perfect sense to pick Jill up at 6:30 (with the race starting at 7:30) for a 10 mile drive AND we had already picked up our bib #s the night before.  Jill knows me well and we waiting for me when I came around the corner. 

When we got there, we finally got to meet Michelle from Average Girl Doing Average Things, a local blogger and fellow Tough Chik.  It was great to finally meet her in person.  I can't wait until we can meet again. 

Eventually we headed over the starting line to get ready to run.  The race was supposed to start off with the firing of a musket, but after two misfires, the race director shouted go and we were off. 

I felt great, so I went with it.  For about two seconds I was ahead of my running pal, Leslie.  Then she passed me like I was standing still, holding her iPhone up every so often to take pictures.  Now that's talent, people.   I tried like hell to keep her pace, but I lost her in no time.  Mile 1 split - 7:34.  Mistake #1.   

Eventually I evened out the pace and felt great for the first 8ish miles.  I got to see Ward and my kids, then Wade and my niece and nephew, Stacy and her daughter, and then my dad at the turn-around.  The husbands also had a great plan in place - they went out the night before and bought ice and sponges so they could offer us the relief of something icy cool on the run.  They are THAT good.   I had love and support every few miles. Perfect. I know. Of course I'm smiling. 

photos courtesy of Stacy Chubbuck

Just after I saw Stacy for the second time, I ate my favorite GU, peanut butter.  Within seconds, I felt sick to my stomach. (GU = Mistake #2)  I wasn't sure if I was going to throw up or poop my pants.  My rocking pace came to a halt.  To be sure, I made a pit stop in the woods.  I tried and tried, but I could only pee.  I guess that was good.  Side note:  I had passed a few port-a-potties at this point and the next one wasn't for another 4 miles.  To be honest, I know this trail very well and I am fairly confident that I know where the "good spots" are to go and relieve myself.  TMI, I know. 

The pee stop helped a bit and I was able to trudge along for the next couple of miles until I came out of the wooded section and into the cute little town of Hallowell.  I was praying that Ward was going to be where he said he was going to be, with those glorious sponges.  When I saw him and the rest of the incredible support crew, I thought I was going to burst into tears and tell them to just take me away.  Somehow I held back the tears and instead of showing gratitude for their generosity, I blurted out some swears about crapping my pants.  Classy, I know. 

photos courtesy of Stacy Chubbuck

I really wanted to eat that sponge.  I was so cold and felt heavenly.  The quick refresher helped me surge through survive the next 2 miles.   The plan was for me to hand off my camelbak to Ward at this point, but I didn't dare to do it.  I needed that water and quite frankly, I was surprised I had any left. 

The final section was through another wooded section and I was thankful for some of the shade it offered.  I swear it felt like it was 100 degrees.  I continued to sip from my camelbak.   Knowing this course inside and out, helped quite a bit because I knew when to throw whatever I had left into high gear (which wasn't a whole lot but better than nothing) and get to that finish line.   
photos courtesy of Stacy Chubbuck

Mile 1 - 7:35 ---what was I thinking??? 
Mile 2 - 7:53 - much better
Mile 3 - 7:52 - still on track
Mile 4 -  8:13 - not horrible
Mile 5 - 8:08 - getting better
Mile 6 - 7:59 - now that's perfect
Mile 7 - 8:04 - still good
Mile 8 - 8:26 - PB GU episode
Mile 9 - 8:41 - potty break
Mile 10 - 8:32 - is it ever going to end?
Mile 11 - 8:28- I think I'm going to die
Mile 12 - 9:00 - screw it
Mile 13 - 8:31 - okay, I can suck it up, it's only a mile

Final time - 1:47:55 (8:15 pace).  Not my best, not my worst. 
Part of this race was dedicated to Toni's Running, Loving, Living Virtual 5k/10k - I think this race qualifies for both, don't you agree?

I just wish there was a medal for this race.  I know, I know.  There wasn't one last year either and I shouldn't expect one, but it IS a half marathon.  That's quite an accomplishment.  I'd love it if the KRRT designed the medal to be something similar to the sticker they had in our goodie bags (hint, hint). 

I definitely learned some lessons during this race. 
- don't think I can hang with the fast girl or start off slower/close to my ideal pace
- GU in general on race day is not my friend.  Stick to Honey Stingers, Shot Bloks and Sport Beans
- try my best to not swear at the people who love me and are there supporting me

Half Marathon #6 down.  Next scheduled race - LL Bean 4th of July 10k and then nothing (scheduled at least) until MDI Marathon October 14th. 

I also love that I got to see these fine ladies once during the race, since it is an out & back race.  All three did a might fine job and I am proud to call them my friends. 

photos courtesy of Stacy Chubbuck

And a race wouldn't be a race without the support from some adorable cuties.  Apparently Scoutie was hot too so she took part in the sponging as well.  And Addie, well, she is just too adorable!  Izzy was there too, cheering me on, but didn't pose for Stacy. 

photos courtesy of Stacy Chubbuck

Finally, I need to say thank you (for the millionth time) to my fellow Rail Trail Chick, Stacy, who chose to not run yesterday's race but still made it out on the course to be our official photographer.  Without her I'd have zero pictures because apparently my sitting both cameras beside the sponges yesterday morning wasn't enough of a hint for my husband.  But in his defense, he (and Wade) did an awesome job keeping us cool with the ice water and sponges.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bulu Box Review

The other day, I came home to this fun box of goodies.   Who doesn't like to receive goodies in the mail?  

It is actually the contents of a Bulu Box.  Have you heard of this service before?  Upon receiving my box of goodies, I did some searching on their website an came up with this information.  

They have some great products available that you can try out before spending a lot of money on larger quantities or be introduced to new products that you never thought you'd try.  

Here's a close up of my goodies:

Life = Omega 3 Wild Norwegian Fish Oil
I love the way fish oil supplements make me feel.  I only wish I received more than just a sample of this one.   I am guessing I need to buy some.  See, the sample worked.

Vitamin D3 

Oh yes, my doctor keeps telling me I need for vitamin D and I've been awful at taking it.  Here's my chance.  

Cellucor - Weight Loss High-Def Fat Targeting & Sculpting Agent

Do you think it will go straight to my mommy belly?  That thing is just getting to be annoying.  

revhoney energy

It looks like lip gloss, but surprisingly it's filled with honey and freeze dried peaches.  I haven't tried it yet but seems quite interesting.  

night food - cookies and cream bar

This one I couldn't wait to dig into and yes I did.  I loved it.  It's only 150 calories and makes for a quick snack before bed rather than the sleeve of oreos and huge glass of milk or the bag of chips I've been eyeing up.  

If you like to try out new things, like I do, I think the Bulu Box would be a fun thing to try out.   

 I was sent the Bulu Box free of charge for review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Spicy Slaw

It's summer (yay!) and I've been craving a sweet and savory kind of cole slaw for a few days now.  I love the fresh, crispness of a just made slaw and I find it incredibly filling.  Yesterday when I was at the grocery store I grabbed one of my favorite pre-shredded slaw mixes - with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and red cabbage.   

But what I forgot to get was my favorite dressing.   Desperate to figure something out with what I had on hand, I whipped together a quick little dressing that really pleased me.  It was light, sweet, hot.  Perfect.  

My secret ingredient.  Actually, this "find" is turning into my secret ingredient in quite a few items lately.  I don't know what I did without this jar of hotness before.  

And since the kids didn't want any and Ward was at work, I was sure to enjoy every last bit of it at dinner tonight.  Yes.  It was that good.  

quite satisfying and I didn't have to share at all

Spicy Slaw Recipe
  • 1 Bag of pre-shredded slaw mix (or if you really want to, shred up you favorite mixture) 
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 c olive oil
  • 1/8 c brown sugar
  • couple of dabs (or more) of hot chili sauce 
Mix up wet ingredients with sugar and pour over the slaw mix.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MDI Marathon Training Week 1

One week down for marathon training.  I bet you won't be surprised when I tell you I altered the plan already.

Week #1's plan called for -
Monday - rest/yoga
Tuesday - easy 4-5 miles
Wednesday - 5-7 mile tempo
Thursday - rest
Friday - 5-6 miles temp
Saturday - easy 3-4 miles
Sunday - 12 miles
Total:  25-29 miles

What I actually did:

I set out thinking I'm going to follow a plan, then I go and register for races and it throws off my plan.  Yes, I could still stick with the plans but when I pay for a race, I want to do well.  I know my body and I know I need to rest/recover, so I give myself permission to do so.  And while I didn't exactly stick to the plan, I still ended up with more mileage than I was supposed to.  I had added more distance into the shorter runs so I could make my long run shorter on Sunday.  

Now I'm officially in taper mode and I'm going to follow the plan I followed the week prior to my (shocking) half marathon PR from Race the Runways in April.  Which means, I'm not going to be following the marathon plan again this week...and my mileage will be down.  We'll see if my plan works.  

My goal for Sunday's KRRT 1/2 is to have a person best for the course.  Last year's time was 1:49:09.  
I am not shooting for a 1/2 PR (1:44:04) - this course is far different than Race The Runways.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Winning Kind of Day at the Gym

I've been working part time at the gym for a little over a month now and I am loving it.   Win!

When I run at the gym, I get to stare at myself in this mirror & admire my muscles and
critique my form or watch TV (which is to the side of the mirror) .  At least I have options.

I got there bright and early so I could squeeze in a run before the gym "officially" opened.   My plan called for 3-4 miles today and I was able to get in 4 miles.  Win!

After my run, I drank a Premier Protein drink.   I actually won a selection of Premier Protein bars and drinks on twitter a little while ago.  The shipment came earlier this week and I'm just starting to try them out.  I chose the vanilla today.  Yum!  A fabulous win here.  I sure hope the chocolate drink and bars I got are just as yummy.  

And then I ate the Coconut Cream Pie Larabar which I won (a 16 bar variety pack) from Angela at Happy Fit Mama.  I did bring along the Blueberry Muffin because I just couldn't decide which one I wanted.  Maybe the Blueberry Muffin will win tomorrow.  

I did bring my Body Wrench along for a field trip today.  I wanted to roll out my glutes, calves, and hamstrings and do some ab work.  Thank you Body Wrench for helping me with those and being so darn portable.  I didn't win the Body Wrench, but I definitely feel like a winner for getting the opportunity to receive it for a review.  

I did some weights as well - focusing on my back, shoulders, arms.   Sorry, no picture of this.  I feel weird asking one of the members to take a picture of me lifting and I haven't figured out how to hold the camera and lift at the same time.  Maybe I need to bring the tripod with me.  Weight workout = another win.  

Then I met some pretty cool people.  Yes, in the gym I work at in the small town of Farmingdale, Maine, in walks a  WWE Superstar  and a WWE Diva .  I guess you never know who you'll meet.  

Brodus Clay

I am not a wrestling fan at all and had no idea who these fine folks were.  I wouldn't have even known that they were part of the WWE if Naomi hadn't told me when she came in and asked for a day pass.  


No, this is not what Naomi wore during her workout.   She was definitely hot stuff during her workout and after it.  Both were really nice and super easy to talk to.  I was telling them how impressed I was with what they were lifting and their workout (like they've never heard that before, I know, I'm SOOO original) and I told them I was "only" a runner.  Naomi was so sweet and said that I looked good.  I'm going to take that as a huge compliment, especially from a diva like her!  (hence, another win)  Pretty gosh darn cool, huh?

How was your Saturday?  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Let Summer Begin

No more school for Tucker or myself!  Yippee!

We had to start summer off on the right foot - so the kids and I headed over to our favorite little swimming spot to stake our claim.

This is our little Peacock Beach.  It's on Pleasant Pond in Richmond.  We love it there because it's only 5 minutes from the house, 3 minutes from Izzy's daycare, and usually has a great little beach for the kids and a nice grassy area for the moms to hang out on while the kids are splashing around and having an awesome time.

Unfortunately, with all of the rain we had in the past couple of weeks, our little beach was not there.  

It was a bit lonely there today because normally I'm there with my girls and their families.   I'm hoping they will join me next week when the temps hit 90s!  (that's hot for Maine)

My view for most of the summer!  

Happy Summer everyone!  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

(just about) Wordless Wednesday

last day of school

what I'm wearing under my "school" clothes

yes - I do wear running clothes everywhere

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm Going to Own It

Marathon #2 - MDI Marathon - is just under 18 weeks away, which for me, means Marathon Training has begun!  

Good thing I only have 2.5 more days of school and then I'm officially in summer mode.  I won't be taking the entire summer off from school.  I will be teaching summer school (part time) and I will be preparing myself for my new program in my new classroom.  Not to mention, I'll be spending tons of time with the family at the beach, cottage, parks and other fun adventures. 

Back to the marathon training.  I've decided that I'm going to follow a modified version Train Like a Mother's Own It Marathon Plan.  Have you had the chance to read TLAM?  If you haven't, you have to get it.  I love Dimity and Sarah's humor throughout the entire book.  

There you have it - in B&W, I am trying to convince myself that I can BQ (someday).  I feel that if I up my game (big time) and train really hard, I can do it.  But I'm also giving myself permission to not qualify at MDI.  I AM going to be running up a mountain.   And it is ONLY going to be my 2nd marathon.  AND I do need to remind you all that marathon #1's time was 4:15.  So, you will see, I have quite a bit of time to take off of my marathon time and I will.  Even if it takes me 5 years.  (or more)

Why can't I just make it easy and simply follow a plan?  That wouldn't be me, now would it?  You see, I have this summer full of races I want to do.  I just don't want to just do them either.  I want to do my best.  I know my body and I know I need to give myself some easier days prior to a race and I need to give my body some rest time...which means switching things up a bit.  I will follow this plan as closely as possible.  I am also coordinating with the girls and their long runs as they are gearing up for their 1st marathon at the Maine Marathon on September 30th!  My plan is to continue to do my long runs with them and then add on mileage when I need to.  Then on their big marathon day, I'm hoping to bike the route and be their support girl.  

My summer races bucket list includes:
  • Rail Trail 1/2 Marathon - June 24th
  • LL Bean 10K - 4th of July
  • Bond Brook 5k Trail Series - starts July 12 through mid September 
& there may be a Wilton Blueberry Festival 10k in the mix as well and the Old Hallowell Day 5K...Oh I know I could keep adding to the list so easily right now!!!  But I won't.  I need to limit myself because I found out last summer that these races do throw off marathon training. 

So, welcome to Jen's marathon training, which officially begins today.  Well, I guess it doesn't really start today because today's a rest day.  I guess it starts tomorrow with a 6 mile tempo run.   

What marathon plans do you use?  or do you just make up your own plan?  

Happy Running!!!  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Remember to Take Care of Your Feet + Giveaway

Update (6/20/12)
I completely forgot to post the winners - but rest assured, I did email them and they already confirmed what they would like.  
Congrats to:
Carrie @ Maine Mom on The Run
Jill @ One Tough Cookie and a Beer 
Meredith @Dare You To 

Runners need happy feet.   I think the nail polish really adds the happy touch on my feet because we know they definitely are not pretty!  

Needing happy feet means sometimes we need to take extra measures to take care of them.  Profoot could be the perfect place for you to turn for your foot needs.   I was contacted by Profoot a bit ago to try out some of their products.  I was happy to do so and Izzy, of course, was pleased to be my little model for the photo shoot.  

First up - The 2 oz Miracle orthotics

These are great!  I cut them to size.  Trust me, this is easy because all you had to do is cut along the lines.  They are incredibly thin and easy to fit in just about any shoe.  

Next up, Plantar Fasiitis Inserts

I do not suffer from PF (thank goodness for that!) but from time to time, I do experience some achiness in the heel area.  My solution to that was to add these little pads to the shoes.   Just by adding in this little bit of padding, the achiness disappeared.  That was just too easy.  

Next up, Moleskin

A few months ago, I was wearing the Brooks Pure Connect (Mens) and they were still too narrow for my feet.  It took me a few weeks of a horrible rubbing sensation going on on what used to be my little toe for me to finally convince myself they weren't the shoe for me and to return them.   The next shoe, the Asics Fuji was much better but from time to time, they rubbed the same spot as well!  Needless to say, those shoes have been returned.  Unfortunately, I'm still left with a disgusting toe that has been rubbed for months and now it has a weird looking callus on it.  Profoot came to the rescue with it's moleskin.  

Do you see the ugly toe?  This is after the Callus Blaster (see below) - blasted away the most horrid looking callus.   

These little pieces of soft heaven wrap around my trouble spots and help out.    I did try them out with my ugly toe and the Asics that were rubbing the heck out of them.  Unfortunately, the moleskin didn't stay in place and I still had some rubbing.  Determined to see if the moleskin would work with normal, everyday wear, I tried it out at school and they worked like a charm.  

Next up, Callus Blaster

First of all, I love the name.  If you had gross feet like me and crazy calluses too, I bet you'd love it too. 

Nasty feet coming your way.....

To be honest with you, Ward said the callus remover wasn't going to be enough and that I was going to need a belt sander.  Yes, that's how gross my feet were.  I love the support, Ward.  Really, I do.  

But I proved him wrong.  In 1 week - I Callus Blaster turned this grossness into this....and it was easy.  Only 3 minutes a night.  I rubbed the Callus Blaster on my horrid areas, waited 3 minutes, hobbled over to the sink and washed the goo off with some soap and water, then dried it off.  And on the plus side, my fingers were nice and smooth too.   Just an added bonus.  There were feeling a little rough from all from all of the gardening I've been doing lately anyway. much better.  

Three days later & my feet are still nice and smooth.  

And last but not least, Goodnight Bunion

We all know I have bunions.  Only once in a while they do bother me, like if I'm wearing some shoes that are a little too narrow or when the mileage starts to drastically increase with marathon training.  I've tried yoga toes before and the worked okay, but these really straighten out my toes.  Better yet, they don't feel uncomfortable at all.  The only downside is that it is impossible to hobble around with them on, so either you have to make sure you are staying in bed for the night or you just have to take them off if you decide to get up and get something/anything.  

gorgeous, huh?

They definitely are not pretty, but they do the job.  The directions say to wear them to bed, and I've only done that a couple of times.  Usually I'm tearing them off by midnight, which means I've had them on my feet for nearly 3 hours, which is a good (enough) chunk of time.  

Profoot has much more to offer on their site.  The prices are reasonable and the products are perfect if you have ailments with your feet or just want to pamper them.  

Are you ready for the giveaway part?  Of course you are.  ProFoot has offered three of my readers a chance to win one of the following - the Moleskin, Plantar Faciitis, or the Miracle.  3 winners, 3 different prizes.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note: ProFoot provided me with these products for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review in any way and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.