Monday, April 29, 2013

#BostonStrongGardiner

Brian @ Pavement Runner called upon runners worldwide to come together 1 week after the horrific events that took place at the Boston Marathon.


I had been wanting to do something, anything for Boston.  When I saw Brian's post, I knew that organizing #BostonStrongGardiner was exactly what I needed to do.  


photo courtesy of Harold Shaw


When Monday night came, I didn't know what to expect.  I was completely overwhelmed by the turnout.  We had over 70 people come out to show their support.  My family, the Rail Trail Girls came out with their families to run and Harold from Veteran Runnah.  I even had friends drive over an hour with their families to come and run.  It was an amazing turnout.


photo courtesy of Ward and Wade Boudreau

One of the runners who came out Monday night is a local sports columnist, Scott Martin.  I've been following him on twitter and I'm "friends" with him on DailyMile, but Monday night was the first time I met him in person.   After Monday's run, he had this to say about the experience.    I even had a phone interview with Ernie Clark, sports writer from the Bangor Daily.  

It's incredible to be part of a global movement to honor those who died or were injured due to the explosions.  Thank you, Brian, for putting together such a beautiful and meaningful event.





Sunday, April 28, 2013

We All Have Our Differences

As you are heading out of the door for your run, what are your essentials?

It's going to be different for everyone.  



We all have our own personal list of essentials when it comes to working out.  

Even Ward (aka Mr. Running With The Girls) and I have differences.  



Ward wears glasses and contacts, really depending on the activity or how his eyes are feeling.  

casual Ward - definitely not running Ward

But for running, he definitely prefers his contacts.  He's run 5 marathons in the past few years, and he always makes sure he wears his contacts for his races and training runs.  

Mr. & Mrs. Running With The Girls

While I don't wear contacts or glasses, I couldn't imagine wearing glasses when running.  It's already frustrating for me to run in sunglasses.  They are always moving around, fogging up.  
They are really just plain annoying.  

So, I asked Ward, what about contacts makes them so important to running?  Here's what he said:  



Not to mention - they make him feel more confident, faster, better at running.  I wouldn't want Ward to be without his contacts.  1800Contacts is an excellent site for making sure you are stocked up with the contacts you need.   They have a wide variety and have affordable rates.  We have purchased Ward's contacts from 1800Contacts previously.  The ordering process is easy and the shipping is speedy.


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. We were not required to give a positive post. All opinions expressed on the blog are 100% our own.




Sunday, April 21, 2013

Focusing on the Good Times

Last Sunday the Boudreau's and our friend, John, loaded up two cars and headed south for the Boston Marathon.  Once we got to Boston, our first stop was the Boston Marathon Expo.


Our proud 2013 Boston Runners here - Ward and our friend, John.  


And then I finally got to meet Lisa at Run Wiki!  She is just as beautiful in person as she is on her blog.  I wish we could have spent more time with her.  She was so incredibly sweet, ran a great race (BQ'ed again), and she and her husband made it home safely.  

And our husbands, Mr. Run Wiki and Mr. Running With The Girls got to talk a bit too.  I think I need to always refer to Ward as Mr. Running With The Girls.  I know he loves it!  

Then loaded up in the cars again, got a little lost but then made it safely to Ward and Wade's Aunt Judy and Uncle Pete's house.  By that point, Wade and I still had to run 16 miles, so we set out for our run.  After what seemed like the longest hill ever, Wade spotted a trail and we decided to explore.  



And we really liked what I saw.  I think it was the Whitinsville Water District, so we ran past two small reservoirs.  The trails were quite wide and well groomed, nothing technical at all.  A very nice change of pace and mostly down hill.  




Then the sun started to go down and we got cold, so we ran back to the house for a potty break and to add more layers.  Then we were off for more mileage.  This time we ran in town, past the brick mills and some really pretty homes.  We had a couple miles left in the run when Wade spotted a little gem.  




The track.  It was perfect timing, mostly for Wade, because he was able to leave me in the dust and get in some speed work, while I got in my own speed work.   



I didn't put in a lot of speed work, but I did throw in some surges and they felt great.  I was feeling rather tired after completing a 56 mile week.  That's one big week for me!  



For the rest of the night and Monday night, we did get to spend lots of time with family.  We don't see them a lot, but when we do, it's quite a bit of fun.  We are quite lucky to have such a loving family.  

It's been very hard to want to post the good parts of last weekend and Monday, but I thought it was necessary.  We need to remember to celebrate the good in our lives and live each moment to it's fullest. Spending time with friends and family always makes the top of my list of positives in my life.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

#BostonStrongGardiner

My blogging friend at Pavement Runner has started a global event for #BostonStrong runs to take place in cities globally.  Knowing my city and many surrounding towns had many runners who ran the Boston Marathon this past Monday and many of those runners had family members at the race - the Boudreau family included, I knew I had to organize a run/walk for our city.


This gathering is not just a run.  It's a community gathering for runners and walkers alike to join together in remembrance of the Boston Marathon tragedy, to honor those who lost their lives, those who lost loved ones, those who suffered from injuries, those who are still fighting for their lives, the first responders, the B.A.A., the city of Boston, and all runners and walkers.

Join us for #BostonStrongGardiner
Where: Kennebec River Rail Trail, Hannafor Parking lot, Gardiner
When: Monday, April 22, 2013 - 6:00 pm start
Who: Anyone who wants: Runners, Walkers, Dogs, Strollers. This is a family friendly event.
Why: A tribute from our town to Boston.
Distance: You choose.

If you'd like to wear blue and/or yellow, feel free to do so, but it's not required. I look forward to seeing
you there!   

If you cannot join us that night, please run virtually wherever you are.  

And to see a complete list of the #BostonStrong runs (and walks) - please go to Pavement Runner's blog.

Friday, April 19, 2013

My Kona Kase Review





I recently had the opportunity to review Kona Kase.  If you haven't heard about Kona Kase before, you are really missing out.  Kona Kase was developed by two athletes - John and Taylor - who were tired of eating the same old, same old, and wanted to find fun, new, healthy nutrition to athletes all over the world.

source

I am always looking for new snacks and foods to try out while training.  To be honest, where I live, we don't have a great variety of sporting stores to go to and get those foods.  My most favorite running store is 25 miles away, which isn't too far, but they are still a smaller store and do not have a huge variety of fuels to try.  



I love getting packages in the mail and when they are packed with yummy, healthy fuels I can try out on my long runs, I am a very happy girl.  Needless to say, when my Kona Kase came, I was beyond excited.  I was actually on my way out to take Tucker to get his cast on, so I grabbed a few items from the box, tossed them in my purse, and away we went.  While we waited, I shared some of the of the TCHO chocolates with Tucker while I inhaled the Earnest Eats bar.  Were were quite pleased with the goodies we were eating and couldn't wait to come home and try out some more.  

My box was packed with 8 different healthy snacks - Earnest Eats Bar, Perfect Foods Bar, Wild Squirrel Nut Butter, BRUBAR, Clif Crunch Bar, TCHO Chocolates, SunCups, and Clif Shot Bloks.  To get more information about the delicious goodies in my Kona Kase, you can go here to read about them.  


Needless to say, the goodies in my box are no longer here.  They have all been eaten and enjoyed, thoroughly.  I will say, my most favorite bar was the Perfect Foods Bar.  





A few facts about Kona Kase - 
- it only costs $15/month
- there are multi-month discounts 
- always free shipping
- all kases ship on the 15th of the month 
- no commitment 


For 50% off your first purchase, use the code BOUDREAU when checking out.  Which means, your 1st box will only cost you $7.50!  Now that’s a deal!  Just so you know, I have already gone ahead and signed up.   I cannot wait until my box comes.  

Feel free to swing by Kona Kase on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and show them some love and tell them that I sent you!  








Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Our Boston Experience

What started out as a celebratory kind of day, quickly changed to the kind of day where you hold your family closer than you have ever done before and not let go kind of day.

Ward and our friend, John
Monday I was one of the thousands of spectators who had a front seat view of the home stretch of the beloved Boston Marathon.  I was there with my kids and brother-in-law.  We were there to cheer on my husband and all of our friends running Boston.

we brought chairs along and they were perfect for the kids


We got to see the elites go flying by, looking like the running rockstars they are and our amazing troops who make me proud to be an American.  Then we saw Ward and cheered like hell!  He looked freaking fabulous and strong.  I am one proud wife and my kids are in awe of their daddy.  As soon as he ran past us, we grabbed our chairs, the kids, and Wade and I were off to meet Ward at our predetermined meeting spot.




Luckily we were about 4/10ths of a mile away, boarding the T, when the explosions happened.  I had heard some rather loud noises as we were about to get on the T, but thought of them up as other transits arriving or departing.  Within a few minutes and just moments after posting this picture of my daughter on facebook, I saw the first mention of explosions.






And of course, in classic Jen style, I was not subtle when I read the news.  I made a loud gasp that obviously attracted most of the passengers around me and when Ward asked me what had happened, I said what I read.  Immediately everyone around us grew silent as they scoured their phones texting, calling and searching the internet for more answers.  One by one more people came forth with information.  There was quite a bit of tension in our car on the T.  I'd say most of the passengers had just left the marathon - either as spectators or runners - from looking around.

Then a few minutes later, Izzy, our 4 year old, was playing with the helium balloon someone had given to her while we watched the marathon.  And of course, she popped that balloon.  That loud bang definitely started a large majority of the people sitting in that car.  I quickly responded, "it's okay, it was just a balloon".  Some people around us laughed it off, but some were definitely not impressed.  I really wanted to take Izzy and just hide under a seat at that point.   Talk about not good timing for a balloon to burst.

I am thankful for cell phones yesterday.  My facebook and texts were flooded with messaged from loved ones checking on our safety and I was able to let them all know we were safe and were on our way out of Boston.  We were able to check on friends that were at the marathon and know they were safe.  We did have a bit of a scare when we weren't able to find our friend Sarah and her husband, who was spectating the race where the 2nd explosion went off.  Luckily, she had left that spot 10 minutes prior to the explosion and she and her husband are safe (and home with their little boy).

It is my job to protect my children.  I don't know what I would have done if we were still on Boyston when the explosions took place.  Would I have thrown them to the ground and covered them?  Would I have grabbed them and ran like hell in the opposite direction?   There are too many what ifs floating around in my head today and I hope to hell that I can get them out of my head sooner rather than later.  I've never been so close to a horrific event and to have my family so close just breaks my heart.

But what breaks my heart even more are the deaths and serious injuries that have resulted from someones hateful actions.


Ward and many of our friends, qualified for Boston again, and you know what?  They are running it again and we will be there to cheer them on.   And I too am going to work harder to get that BQ.  Some sick jerk is not going to force us into hibernation.  No way, no how.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Favorites



Saucony Kinvara 4s
Last week I had a nice surprise waiting for me when I got home from school. 




Of course, like any blogging runner, I had to rip the box open, put them on and head out for a run immediately.  I did make a minor error with this and didn’t wear high enough socks, so around mile 4, I had the beginnings of some blisters, but they weren’t major. I wear men’s shoes due to my super wide feet.  The only drawback is that men’s shoes are a bit higher on my Achilles and I’ll get weird rubbing if I don’t wear high enough socks.  Lesson learned. 



ProCompression Trainer Socks
Ward had been asking for some low compression socks and since he’s running Boston on Monday, I thought I should be nice and get him some socks.  While I was at it, I ordered myself some purple ones. 



They are incredible!  They are just a tad higher than no-show socks, but that’s completely okay with me.  These socks have the same padding as the marathon socks but not the height.  Obviously. 




They also look kick butt with the sleeves.  I think this is going to be my new signature look.  If you are looking for some great deals for ProCompression socks right now, they have 40% and free shipping all marathon socks with the code BLG13.   In addition, ProCompression has another code for April – SOMF4 for their color of the month socks – which are all baby blue and purple socks.  



Boston Marathon
The excitement is building for sure.  I know so many people running this epic race on Monday.  This is not my year to run.  I’ve got quite a bit of work to do to earn the privilege to run this race, and when the time comes, you’ll all know.  This year is Ward, Mr. Running With the Girls’s 2nd year running the marathon.  I’ll be a spectator again this year, along with my kids, brother-in-law, and friend Sarah and her family.  I’ve got the BAA app downloaded to my phone and I also have all of the runners I’m following stalking bib #s added in on the ATT Athlete Alert.  



And so I can keep up with all of the following, tweeting, and facebooking while hanging out in Boston, I bought an external charger for my iPhone.  





What have been your favorites lately?    Share the love. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

For those of you running Sugarloaf.....

As I was running yesterday with the birds chirping, smell of spring, blue skies, and perfect temperatures - I started thinking about Sugarloaf, which is a little over 5 weeks away.  My mind wandered to the what the weather will be like.



Will it be like today?  Yes please!

Will it be hot like last year?  Soaring into the high 80s.  Oh god no!

Then it dawned on me. 
Why was I even thinking about the weather? 

It's a marathon.  
I'm running it.   
It's going to rain.  
It's going to pour.  



So there you have it.  You don't have to weather watch for Sugarloaf my dear fellow runners.  You will have a rainy day whether or not you are running the 15k or the full marathon - just dress for rain. 



Monday, April 8, 2013

When was your #Bestrun?



Amanda at Miss Zippy posed this question today - when was your best recent run?

My #bestrun was today.  After a weekend of chilly and windy weather, today was a great treat with sunny skies, minimal wind and temps around 60F.  Perfect.

I had some steam to blow off today, so I changed my week's schedule about 1/4 of a mile into the run, and decided that today was going to be my tempo run and not the easy 8 miles my plan called for.   Actually, I was quite surprised my legs wanted to move that fast considering the mileage I've been putting on them with the plan.    It's such a great feeling to surprise myself with a fast(er) run when I hadn't been planning on one or didn't think I'd have it in me.

And I got to rock my new Best Mode shirt from Carissa & Kyle at Fit2Flex.  Perfect weather, new fun shirt.  



When was your #bestrun?  Link up on Miss Zippy's page or share on Twitter!  


Saturday, April 6, 2013

5 (or more) by the 5th



Laura at Mommy Run Fast has an ongoing Virtual Race Series.  The requirements are quite simple - run (at least) 5 miles by the 5th of the month and submit your entry.  There are some great prizes as well.  Since I run almost everyday, I knew this would be the perfect virtual series for me.  However, the Hanson Marathon plan I'm using rarely has any runs that are 5 miles.  Thursday's plan called for 10 miles, 6 @ speed.  I also planned on running another virtual race on Thursday, so I thought I'd put them together and have awesome, virtual race day.


My friend Amy has a co-worker, Jeanne, who is fighting against breast cancer.  Amy and her friends organized a virtual race to raise funds to support Jeanne.  I hate cancer more than anything so it took me a half a second to sign up for the race.  The runners even got some awesome shirts, so now I have a kick ass shirt too.  

Thursday's 10 miles had to be split into two runs, due to kid schedules and dinner, so I made the most of the time I had. I decided to do my speed 6 miles first (didn't want dinner in my tummy for the speed part).  Then after dinner, I finished up with 4 recovery miles.  And I wore that kick ass shirt for both runs.  Needless to say, it was a bit stinky when all was said and done.  



Then Ward told me to hand it over when he was on his way out for his 12 miler that night.   Not only did we look awesome when running - we both ran for Jeanne.  While we have never met her, we want you to know that you are one strong woman.  
  



Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring, Is that Really You?

Since Wednesday, we're been blessed with blue skies, temperatures 40F and higher.  This means lots of smiles and great running weather.

After being so sick, I've decided to get back into my marathon plan a lot more slowly.  And I'm going to listen to my body.   I don't need anymore setbacks.

Wednesday, my first day back to running (again), I went out for 3.5 miles.  It was gorgeous and sunny. Perfect!  I wanted to run further, faster, but knew it wasn't the best idea.

Tucker's parent teacher conference was Thursday, so I thought it would be perfect to run from home to his school and just meet he and Ward there.  And I was right.  After taking off quite a bit of time from running, I just about sprinted to his school with a 7:47 average pace for 3.3 miles, and I took a extra loop along the river.




Friday, after Tucker had his cast put on, I was able to get out for a 4 mile run, without long sleeves!  Yes - I got to wear a t-shirt on my run (and capris).  It was perfect!  

Saturday was my long run day.  Since this week was kind of a wash in terms of marathon training, I didn't know if I was going to be able to actually complete the 15 miler.  So I chose my route carefully to keep myself sort of close to home so I could call it quits and head back early or I could just call Ward.  However, the run was just perfect.  I completed 15.4 miles at a 9 min average pace. My goal pace.  Awesome.  A great confidence builder.  


After the run, I wanted to just stay outside and enjoy the weather.  I also had to get Tucker out of the house.  He's been on the couch for days.  And Izzy's been begging to go to a playground - so off to the playground we went!  



Best decision ever.  Tucker got some fresh air and was moving around, swinging and climbing.  Izzy had a blast.  And I got to lay on the black pavement and get some sun.  I call it a perfect day.  

Sunday, another perfect sunny day.  The planned called for 8 miles.  But I was exhausted.  I was thinking if I completed 4 to 6 miles, I'd be happy.  But about 1.5 miles into the run I felt dizzy, so I called it quits and headed home.  Today wasn't my day for a run.  I'll try again tomorrow.  

Not exactly the 55 miles my Hanson plan called for - but I completed 29 miles this week.   But I'd rather be healthy and stronger.  I was able to stay on track with the plan up until the awful fever hit, so I'm not too worried about the marathon.  I still got in some key speed/strength workouts and I got in my long runs.  And I still have 7 more weeks until Sugarloaf.  No sweat!