Friday, August 31, 2012

I Cannot Believe August is Over Already!

I had HIGH hopes of August being a rockstar month. I really did. But my body had some other plans in store for me. I missed a few key days in the marathon training world. A week that called for 44 miles actually earned a whopping 11 miles. Do I regret taking those days off? Absolutely not! My body was screaming at me to stop and rest and I'm proud to say I listened (this time).

I eased back into the running after that recharge week and I'm happy to report that I'm feeling incredible. I've had some pretty fantastic runs this week.

Monday - 6 mile progression run at 4-dark o'thirty in the morning!
Tuesday - 6 mile hilly run on the "other" side of town - by my new workplace
Wednesday - 3.5 mile hilly-ish run on my road!  It's been a looooonnng time since I've run this route.  It felt incredible to be back on my road again.  I was still looking for those weirdos - but I had had my phone with me and was ready to call for help asap!

Thursday - 4 miles on the rail trail w/ Izzy in the jogger & Tucker "racing" me on his bike.

So far this week I've logged 19.5 miles!

That brings August to total of:  143 (down from 150 last month)

And that brings my 2012 total to:   993.35!  

Now - what do I have in store for this weekend & to kick off September?  A 22 miler on Saturday with a recovery run (not sure how long yet - 3? 4? miles) on Sunday.  But I am slightly worried about Saturday's run because being back to school means wearing some shoes that aren't running shoes or sandals - I thought I'd try to look more professional in these shoes.

Which gave me two small blisters. That's what I get for wearing Target shoes.  Ugh!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Last Dash Before School Starts Results

School has officially started here.  I started on Monday, with 2 professional days and then students started on Wednesday.  This now means I am the mom to a 4th grader!  Jeez, where has the time gone?

my nephew, Jackson, & Tucker before school 

and then the boys getting off the bus 

It seems like only yesterday my boy was heading off to kindergarten and I was pregnant with this little girl.

an oldie for sure 

But enough of this gushy stuff.  Last week, I posted about my incredible Tommie Copper compression shorts review and one of the possible entries was to run a virtual race to squeeze in a run (or many) before the start of school.  I know school has started already in many parts of the country, but believe it or not, there are a lot of schools that haven't even started in Maine!  

Four lovely ladies shared their post run pictures.    Thank you, ladies!

Jess - showing off the beautiful mist in the
 field after her 9 mile run 

Weez - with her post run glow and Gatorade!

Stacy - sweating it up in her basement
& rocking to some tunes (probably to block out the kids)  

Solana - after her Color Me Rad 5K 

I love to see the runners high.  It's contagious, isn't it?  Makes me want to head out for another run.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

If you want to know if you won......

After two days of working, I am exhausted!  My eyes are burning, my stomach is churning.  I'm a mess!  But the good news is that I've gotten in two solid 6 mile runs - 1 yesterday morning at the crack of dawn and then 1 this afternoon after school.  

Tomorrow is the first student day.  I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  I am so incredibly nervous right now.   And I'm beyond overwhelmed.  There is so much to learn, too much to do.  I know it will all come together.  It always does.  My way to deal with the stress of my new job is to make a list.  The list is getting longer and longer by the moment.  But it helps!

How do you deal with stress?  I drink lots of water, run, focus on eating healthy, run, make lists (and start to cross things off!!)  and then set some time aside to enjoy my kids.  Usually a good belly laugh with the kids is enough to help me feel centered again and ready to do more work.

I know you're not here to read about my stress right now - but are dying to see who won my Tommie Copper compression shorts giveaway!

Congratulations, Sarah!   Please check your email and get back to me.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Let's Call It A Recharge Week, Shall We?

Thank you all for the well wishes last week.  I had a horrible cold hit me like a ton a bricks and it really through me for a loop.  I had a fever for 6 days and sinus infection-like symptoms.  
at the zoo 

What a way to spend my last week of summer vacation.  Right?  I opted to just take an easy week in terms of running so I’d have some energy left for my kids.  Trust me, spending time with them and having summer fun was far more important than pushing my body.  Plus, I had immediate flash backs to the day when I thought it was smart to run a 10-mile road race with a temperature of 103F.  I didn’t want to end up in a vegetative state on the couch again.  

more zoo fun
I didn’t even feel too badly about taking the week off.  Really I didn’t!  

By Friday I felt good enough to try out a 4 mile run.  After not running since Sunday, my body was telling me to go fast.  I knew that wasn’t a good idea, so I brought Izzy along to keep my pace in check.  After the run, I felt fantastic!    Don’t you just love it when a run makes you feel better than you felt prior to the run?  I love endorphins.  

post 4 miler - sweat fest

I felt so awesome, I cranked out 7 miles on the treadmill on Saturday morning before my shift at the gym.  The pace felt great and I felt so happy.   I’m back!  

after my 7 miler!  
I did get in some planking/ push up/ and wall sits in.  But not on those days I felt so crummy.  I just couldn’t.  I did notice that after taking a few days off, my endurance increased drastically. I went from a 1:30 plank to a 2:00 plank and a 1:37 wall sit to a 2:03 wall sit.  My push ups increased but only by 1 (29 to 30).    

Sunday was supposed to be a biking day for the husband and I.  We had planned on taking the ferry out to a beautiful island and biking around.  But, the gorgeous weather told us that we should just scrap it and spend the day at the cottage on the water.  Another great choice - especially since today was my first day back to school!  I even planked and did my push ups at the cottage and then I completed my wall sit when I got home last night.  Results:  2:10 plank, 37 push ups, 2:30 wall sit.  

End result - taking a recharge week was exactly what I needed.  

Have you ever taken a recharge week?  

How’s your challenge progress going?  I've got to note that (unprovoked), Ward complimented me on my abs yesterday.  He said even through my shirt he could tell.  Now, that is what planking does for you!  Those few words gave me all of the motivation in the world to keep going.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sharing Some Sprigs Love Again

In my haste yesterday morning, I posted the winner of my Sprigs Banjees giveaway:

But I forgot to share the second part (I'm blaming the fever and hazy head).

For those of you who did not win, Sprigs and I would like to offer a sort of consolation prize.  I have a coupon code here RunningWithTheGirls20 (not case-sensitive) for 10% off orders up to $29.99 and 20% off an order over $29.99.  The code is valid from now until 11:59 PM EDT Friday, September 14th.

I hope the code works for me, because I've been checking out some other fun things Sprigs has to offer.

So far, here's my shopping list.

Organic Infinity Scarf

Aspen Wrap Cardigan

Crochet Hooded Coverup

Lightweight Beanie (with ponytail hole - not that I need it right now!) 

Do you think Ward will notice if they just appear here? I'm pretty sure I can sneak them in the house.  Right?

What are you going to buy?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Bit of a Kink in the Marathon Training Plan (and a winner too)

This is my last week of summer and week #11 of marathon training and guess what - I have a fever.  Yep.  I know how to live it up.  Today is day 4 of said fever and I'm not impressed.  It's not a high fever at all - it's hovering in the 100F range - but my entire body is weak, I have green snot, my head is completely stuffed up.  You get the picture.  I hate this!

I am the picture of beauty in the morning

This summer cold can suck it.  Really, at this point, I don't care about the marathon training.  Well, I do, but it's my last week of summer.   My kid's last week with me to have fun and I'm sick.  Poor guys.  

Marathon training was going awesome until Sunday.  I went out for a 5 mile recovery run and about a mile into it, I wasn't feel very good.  So I turned around at the 1.5 mile mark.  When I paused to turn around, I thought my heart was going to burst.  Hmm....that's not a good sign.  I trudged along at a who knows/who really cares pace until I saw Shoe Junkie Seth and his little boy walking along the trail.  I stopped a moment to talk to them and then decided to do a walk/jog back to the car.  That was the hardest 3 miles I've had in a long time.

Later that day I was feeling rather hot and dizzy, so I went through the medicine basket and found the thermometer and took my temperature.  102F!  Oh jeez.  That kind of temperature is definitely going to put a kink into things.  

When I told Ward, his response was - "no running until it's gone."  I said "fine, then I'll bike".  His response "no".  I hate it when he's right.  I'm not going to mess with this fever.  Last time I ignored a fever, I ended up on some rather heavy drugs laying on the couch for a week with pneumonia.

Here's my training schedule:

Yes, I am high tech like that.   I'm thinking this week is a wash.  If the fever goes away, I'll probably have a few easy, random runs - just to get back into it.  Then just shift this week to next week.  I don't want to miss out on the 20+ (I was hoping for 22) miler.

What I really want is for this illness to be gone for Sunday.  Ward and I have planned a fun day to take the ferry out to Isleboro with our bikes and to bike around there for the day without the kids.   This is our belated anniversary date.  Please go away cold/fever!!!!

On a positive note... Congratulations goes out to:

As my winner for the Sprigs Banjees!  Carrie is one of my running buddies and blogs over at Maine Mom on the Run.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tommie Copper & The Last Dash Before School Starts Virtual Race

Ward and I both received some shorts from Tommie Copper to try out.  Initially I was a little nervous that I wasn't going to be able to tell the difference between our pairs. As you can see, I don't have to be concerned at all.

Ward's shorts = orange Tommie Copper writing on waistband
and Jen's shorts = white Tommie Copper on quad.  

These shorts have quickly turned into my GO TO shorts. I really wear them ALL of the time.

I wear them after a run - under my skirt!  See, I am still trying to fit in wearing running clothing whenever possible.  

Loving them while running!  

Even great for ice baths.

Yes - this is how I do ice baths in the summer! 

And I've been known to sleep in them too.  
(nope, no pictures of that!)

Have I convinced you how much I love my Tommie Copper shorts yet?

I have had IT band issues as well as weak glutes, so after a long run or speed workouts, I turn to my Tommie Copper shorts for relief.

I've been wearing my Tommie Copper shorts for all of my long runs. I've had no chaffing at all and the shorts stay in place. I also like how they have a high waist so I don't have the mommy belly issue.  I am going to be wearing them when I take on the MDI Marathon on October 14th.

Ward's thoughts on his Tommie Copper shorts.
"I need more than one pair because I want to wear them all of the time.  These shorts feel great under my running shorts and really make a difference.  I had tweaked my quad before the Bond Brook Trail Race.  Fortunately these shorts came and I got to try them out.  The shorts definitely made a difference."  

Do you see the Tommie Coppers sneaking a peak under his shorts?  

how cute - we're twins
we are THAT kind of couple

Now, here's your chance to win your very own pair of Tommie Copper Compression shorts.

And because I head back to school in a week - to a new job (eeekkk!!!)  - I'm going to squeeze in a final virtual run I'm going to name the LAST DASH BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS VIRTUAL RUN!    Go ahead, lace up your running shoes for any distance, take an action shot or a post run pic and email it to me for bonus points.  I'll post your pictures next week on the blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  Ward and I were each sent a pair of Tommie Copper Compression Shorts for the purpose of a review.  We were not obligated to write a positive review and were not compensated.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Very Inspirational Blogger Award

I was recently tagged by TriMOEngr over at Climbing Those Hills for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  Thanks, girl!

Here are the guidelines that go along with this award -
- display the award logo somewhere on your blog
- link back to the blog who nominated you
- state 7 things about yourself
- nominate 15 (or less) other bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs
- notify those bloggers that they have been nominated and of the award's requirements 

7 (random) Things About Myself

1.  Reason #1 why I need to stay away from Target.  Tucker and I just polished off this bag.  I hope he ate at least half of the bag.

2.  Izzy still takes a bath in the sink.  In my defense, it's a very deep sink.  Plus she's still happy in it.  

3.  I am VERY nervous about starting a new job.

4.  Two days ago we came home with a cat from my dad's house.  I am quite nervous about this cat.  He was actually my mom's cat (who passed away nearly 6 years ago).  My dad is going to be traveling a lot and didn't want to leave the cat at home for long periods of time.  Plus, our cat disappeared a couple of months ago, which meant Tucker was missing a kitty buddy big time.  We've always been an indoor/outdoor kind of cat family, but this not this cat.  I can't bear to have something happen to it, especially since he was my mom's cat.

welcome to your new home, Rocky!  

5.  This year I spectated Beach to Beacon.  I have to say, I had far more fun as a spectator than a runner.  Did I want to run?  Nope.  Not at all.  It was incredibly hot that day and tons of runners got sick.   Plus I got to see my girls running!

6.   Since Tucker has a new Kindle Fire, I have kind of made him let Izzy play with his old iTouch.  Is that really bad?  It keeps her happy and hands off of the Kindle.  So I'm thinking it's okay.

7.  This summer I flew through the 50 Shades series and then I read Bared To You (a very similar type of book).  I've looked at other books but nothing is catching my eye.  Do you have any suggestions?  I always go through a withdrawal period after I read a series of books.  The last time I got into a book was the Twilight series when I was pregnant with Izzy.  Oh wait, that's not true.  I did enjoy the Hunger Games series as well.  Okay, yes, I do have a problem.  I love reading jr high leveled books.

Okay - now for my taggees.  I know the rules said 15 (or less).  I'm sticking with the or less on this one.  Especially since I just tagged a bunch of bloggers last week!  

1.   Amy at Running Escapades
2.  Carrie at Maine Mom on The Run 
3.  Kierston at CandyFit
4.  Jess at Run With Jess 
5.  Amy at Juice Boxes and Crayolas 
6.  Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem

Friday, August 17, 2012

Banjees Review + Giveaway

Since a majority of my runs are on the Kennebec River Rail Trail, I usually drive there. That leads me one issue - where do I put my keys? Some of my running apparel has those little pockets, but most of them do not.  That is where the Sprigs Banjees comes in handy.

I chose the Big Banjees - because I have been wanting something that would carry my cell phone as well as my keys. There are a couple of "shady" spots along the trail that do make me a bit nervous. Having my phone with me does make a difference in those situations.  I'd rather be safe.

I've been wearing my Banjees for a couple of weeks now on my shorter to medium runs and I am really enjoying it.

First off, it's cotton. At first, I wasn't sure if I'd like that, but after several very sweaty runs, I've decided that my Banjees is perfect for wiping the sweat away from my eyes. There is nothing worse stinging sweat pouring into my eyes during and after a run. Yuck. Banjees came to the rescue for me.

Of course I chose the purple Big Banjees.  We all know I love purple!

I've really liked the challenge of seeing what else I can get into my Banjees.

yes - I actually got all of this in my Banjees on a run - it really does hold quite a bit!

Another great use I have found is bringing my Banjees with me when working around the yard or the garden.  I like to have my phone with me, but again, don't always have a pocket to hold it in.

I've tried putting my phone under the strap to my bra or tank - but it really just looks weird and the phone gets sweaty.  So I brought  along my Banjees with me in the garden.  Success!

Overall - Banjees gets 2 Thumbs Up!

Now, do you want a chance to win your own Sprigs Banjees?   The generous folks at Sprigs has offered one of my readers the chance to win your own Sprigs Banjees.

Disclaimer:  Sprigs provided me with a Banjees to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the Banjees.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wounded Warrior's Project Race Report

Last Friday I had one of those excellent runs.  It was a slight drizzle, which was a very welcome break from the gross humid weather we've been having.  I woke up just ready to get outside for a run.  You've had one of those runs, I know it.   The rain brought the temperature down drastically and everything just seemed to click.

It was during that 4-miler that I decided I was going to dedicate that run to Suz & Allan's Wounded Warrior's Project.

Ward should really be ready at the door for me every time I get home from a run.  That's his job, right?

Thank you, Suz & Allan for doing an incredible job raising money for the Wounded Warrior's Project.  I think it's a fantastic organization.  I have many service members in my family and I would hope that there would be support for them if they were in need.

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful for:

Rainy Days

Not only is the rain watering my garden for me, it also provided me with the time to pack up the remainders of my classroom materials that were piled up in the hallway.  Now they are ready to go to school.  Maybe later on today if the rain lets up.  Maybe. 

Super Cuts

I've been extremely lucky (or maybe they are always slow) - but I noticed that there were zero cars in front of Super Cuts as I was leaving Target.  I took it as a sign to head in there for my back-to-school hair cut.  

Tucker was with me as well - so he got one too.  I do love a new hair cut. 

Running Buddies

This four-legged girl has provided me with some great company this summer.  I look forward to many more runs with her.  

this is one happy girl after one of our runs last week

Happy Thursday to everyone.  What are you thankful for?