Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Beach to Beacon Race Recap

I don't know how many times I have run this race.  A lot.  How about that?   It's only the biggest road race in Maine with the nearly 6500 runners in the small town of Cape Elizabeth.   I seriously have a love/hate relationship with it.

source B2B  

I love the course.  The views are amazing.  The fans are pretty great too!  The finish ends at my mom's favorite lighthouse of all times.  

I've been praying for rain for this race for years.   It's probably never going to happen.  But I can keep trying, right?   It's usually a hot and humid day.  This year, it wasn't as hot, but it was definitely rather humid.   BUT there was actually a breeze a few times along the course.  So, I am guessing that's a plus?  

Anyway.  What do I not like about this race?   The craziness in getting to the start.  That's probably the only thing that drives me crazy.  Leaving the house by 5:30 to get to the SMCC shuttle site by 6:30 can cause some headaches in my house, mostly because the other two runners in my house hate getting up early.  If it were up to me, I'd be up and out of the house by 5 am!  

We choose the shuttle that is closest to the finish for a couple of reasons.  A.  I hate waiting in line for a shuttle (and trust me, they are SOOO long).  We've done that a few times and probably never will do it again.  and B. We usually have more miles we have to do that day anyway, so why not add some on just after running a 10k?  Makes sense, right?  

Ward & Wade photo courtesy of Game Face Media

This year, we added some more Boudreau's to the race.  It was Tucker (my son) and Jackson's (my nephew) first year running the race.   I'm super proud of both of these boys.  Their longest training run was 5 miles prior to the race.   

Tucker! photo cred Game Face Media

They actually completed a total of 8.5 miles that day because, like I said above, we run back to the car.  Which was a small tid-bit of information I let them know the week of the race.  Which, obviously went over as well as a fart in a car.  So, you can imaging the amount of whining my kiddo do the entire way back to the car about why can't we just wait in the shuttle line?  Poor kid.  But seriously... when I was 13, I cannot say I was physically capable of completing a 10k.  Heck, I didn't even know what a 10k was!  And then to do 8.5 miles in a day.  Both of the boys rock!  

photo by Game Face Media

Then of course, we have the guy who runs the race in the lighthouse.   I jokingly told the boys they HAD to beat the man in the lighthouse.  When they finished, I asked them if they did.  They hadn't seen him... which doesn't surprise me because the course is crowded.  After a quick search, I found out they had beaten him by 7 minutes!  Way to go boys!

photo courtesy of Maine Running Photos

For me, I had 12 miles planned that day.  The "race" was to run it fast-ish, anything sub marathon pace.... a couple of recovery and then finish off with some "fast miles".  I set off trying to keep my pace in the 8:00-8:10 pace.  No where near 10K pr pace... but I wasn't "racing" per se.  About 1.5ish miles into the race, I spotted a friend of ours and saddled up beside him.  Last year he cruised by me like I was standing still, so I thought my time running with Mark would be limited this year.  

At one point, I told him I was done and he told me I wasn't.  So, I stuck with him for the rest of the race.  Averaging an 8:08 pace in 50:29.  Faster than last year.  Nearly 40 sec slower than my course PR.  Not too shabby.  Thank you, Mark for pushing me!

sorry Mark, not the greatest photo of you or I... but proof we ran together!!!!

I didn't take any before/after photos... because I thought there would be more of me on the course.  But oh well!  I have that one above by Maine Running Photos in my newest Spandits shorts (that I picked up at the expo!) (Use SPANDITSLOVE for 10% off and tell them Jen B sent you! and then this is the pic above from the Photo Booth with Ward.  I love that one, so it's all good!  

In all, this year was maybe the best weather I can remember.  I'm still holding out for a raining race.  Maybe next year?   I didn't hate this year, that's for sure.  And I'm super happy 3/4th of my little family ran it.  I cannot wait until all 4 of us do!  Now, will I do it again next year?   Sure thing!  If I can type fast enough that random morning in March for registration!   

Monday, August 22, 2016

What A Weekend! And a chance to win $300 worth of prAna

With a week left of summer before we head back to school, I feel this crazy amount of pressure to squeeze in all kinds of summer fun!  

Last Friday, I took the kids to Funtown/Splashtown.   We picked the perfect day for our trip, it was warm but not overly hot and I'm thinking everyone had fun.  

wheel pose while the kids are on the rides?  of course!
Izzy tried out driving for the first time.  She took this responsibility quite serious.  
scraping is definitely a workout....  a #weirdworkout for sure.  I'm so sore!

We've been wanting to paint the house all summer long.  So waiting until the last week of summer to start the process seems completely logical.  Right?  

In my opinion, we seriously have until November to finish this project anyway.  And it's weird... the entire time I felt like I was being watched.  I kept hearing this Michael Jackson song over and over again in my head.  Yep.  Mallie is always watching me.  She wants to be with her people!  

Of course, it only made sense to run on the treadmill, in red, white and blue while watching the Men's Olympic Marathon.   And you would have thought I was watching football or something.  I was totally in it.  Cheering when Rupp and Meb were in the front of the pack....   screaming NO! when Meb was on the side of the road.  All. Completely. Normal.  

After some more paining and scraping we headed off to the cottage for some tubing fun.  This time behind the jet skis... which was a huge favorite for my girl.  

The view from the cottage is quite amazing.  We spied a sailboat out there after dinner.

Tell me, do you think scraping and paint the house is a workout?  It may be a #weirdworkout, but to me, I think it is!  

I invite you to share you own #weirdworkout.  There are 6 ways to play and 10 people will win!   The  contest runs from August 15 – 31st, 2016

Ten winners will swing away with some awesome Organic Fuel swag, a two-month supply of Organic Fuel and $300 in credit to use on!  Enter HERE!

After entering the contest, print also help yourself and print off  a coupon for Organic Fuel.

bridge jumping a workout? sure!
I sure love my prAna clothing.  I might be addicted.   This summer I've been in love with my prAna swim top.  So cute and flattering.   When I go back to school, I'll be living in my Kara jeans once again... and I've added a couple more colors to my collection!  I'm so excited to wear them again! 
Enjoy 15% off the Fall Line at prAna with code PFS16RWTG, which expires 10/31/16.  

A portion of this post is in partnership with FitApproach, prAna and Organic Valley.  As always, all opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.   

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

SKINS DNAmic Compression product review {+giveaway}

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by SKINS through my partnership with Fit Approach. While I received a pair of SKINS for this review, I did not receive any additional compensation. As always, all opinions are my own.

It just seems like yesterday summer began.... and now it's nearly over!    Where does the time go?  Oh that's right.  I spent my summer studying for the Praxis, coaching summer track, having fun with the kids, and marathon training.   Summer always flies by... but no problem.  There will be many more summers to come and enjoy!   (at least that's what I'm telling myself while inside I have a meltdown about having to get my classroom ready for another year!)  

This busy crazy momma has put a lot of miles on her feet and legs this summer in preparation for marathons 7 & 8 and I've been super excited to put SKINS to the test with my training, with running, strength, recovery, you name it.  SKINS has been amazing.  

So, the big question here is what makes SKINS BioAcceleration Technology so special?   It is scientifically proven to increase muscular strength and endurance and to decrease recovery time.  While is why it makes SKINS Gradient Compression the ideal choice in compression tights for any sporting activity or daily activity if you are in recovery mode.  

Trust me.  I'm a compression gear junky.  I love the idea of compression on my overtired legs and body to aid in recovery.   What I like about SKINS DNAmic gear is that it's not overly tight, so tight that it hurts.    There is compression but there is also some "give" so you are trying to pry them off 5 minutes into a workout!   

I feel that the best compression products out there are the ones that are the most versatile.  SKINS has nailed it.  I can stretch, relax, workout and recover in them and feel 100% comfortable.  

My legs were super gracious for these for our 9+ hour drive while heading out on vacation.   SKINS has offered one of my readers a pair of SKINS DNAmic capris!  Are you ready????   

How to enter:
SKINS DNAmic contest will run from 8/16/16 - 8/20/16 (midnight, EST).
  • Enter through rafflecopter below.
  • 1 winner will be selected using rafflecopter.
  • Open to Residents of the US only 18 years of age or older.  
  • Winner must have a valid email address.
  • Winner will be notified via email and/or blog post and will have 24 hours to claim prize.  If original winner does not claim prize within 24 hours, an alternate winner(s) will be selected.
  • All winning entries will be verified. 
  • If a winning entry cannot be verified as completed, a new winner will be drawn.  
  • Prize package will be mailed out by SKINS.  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Run More, Stink Less

I'm seriously not sure how I manage to work during the school year!  My days are packed full everyday in the summer.  This appointment.  That appointment.  Tires. Doctors. Registrations.  Pets.    Then there's track for the kids and my marathon training!Add in the beach time and other fun things... and summer is packed!  

It's not wonder I wash 2-3 loads of super stinky laundry each day!   We're always moving.  Always on the go.  Always sweating.  Not to mention I have a teenager.... so he just naturally has a funk.  
I've been super appreciative of being able to test out Win Detergent over the past few weeks!  

Win Detergent comes in two different scents.  The Blue Bottle is my favorite.  The smell is amazing.   It's light and fresh.  The Green Bottle is the dye free, fragrance free version made especially for people with sensitive skin. 

I still love how it takes out the stink, but I do love some fresh smells with my laundry! These laundry detergents were seriously put to the test.  Meaning, I found a huge pile of super smelly teenager clothes pilled up in Tucker's room. 

Another great quality about Win is that it is tough on the smells but gentle on the fabric and keeps your athletic clothing going.  I don't want my Spandits to get ruined by any detergent!   

Win is available on Amazon.  Use EVERYWIN for $1 off when you purchase your first bottle on Amazon!    This brings your price down to $9.95 for a 32 oz, 21 load bottle of Win.  That's a great deal!!!    

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Win Detergent for free from Win Detergent as coordinated by Outdoor PR in consideration for review publication.   As always, all opinions I express on my blog are 100% my own.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

That time I ran Mount Washington

Wait!  What?  I haven't done my Mt. Washington Road Race recap?  I'm seriously slacking.  BIG TIME!   It's not that I am avoiding the race recap.  Not at all.  Life has been crazy!  

photo credit Stephanie Lull, fellow Maine Track Club rockstar

Way back in February, I did it.  I put my name in the lottery again for the Mt. Washington Road Race.  I survived the first year, so I thought I would put in more training this time and perform way better.  Makes sense, right?   Last year I was in the midst of marathon training and only did a few weeks of hill work... but I had the endurance piece going for me.  This year, I pushed the incline training but wasn't training for a marathon, so my furthest distance was about 13 miles this time around.  Sadly, I didn't get selected in the regular lottery.  BUT, I'm a Maine Track Club member, and Maine Track Club gets a few bibs to lottery off.  Which the Maine Track Club deal, if I get selected, I have to provide a volunteer.... insert Ward.  The best husband around.  

My last day of school was Friday, the 17th of June and race day was Saturday, the 18th! (and I had been sick all week... like gross green phlegm cold ickiness) It's frowned upon to miss the last day of school, but let's be honest, there wasn't a whole lot going on that day anyway.  Finishing up grading, staff meeting, clean up my room..... then at 2:00 pm I was free!  Well, free to go home, finish packing and head out to Mt. Washington.   But it wasn't that simple.  I had received news that day that if I didn't pass my Praxis, I was going to be unemployed.  Insert tears.  Uncontrollable tears.  I was in the midst of a meltdown and considered not even going to the race.  Why should I?  I came home and seriously fell into Ward's arms and cried a big ugly cry.  It was awful.  I was a mess.  Ward reminded me how strong I was and how certain he was that I would pass that test and assured me that he supported me 100%.  No matter what.  I'm a lucky lady.  That's for sure.  So, I hugged the kids and sent them to my inlaws house... and off we went.  

Ward and I headed off to the White Mountains.  We checked in at the base of Mt. Washington, where I scored big time with a fabulous race shirt and a cozy hoodie (which I did purchase... I couldn't resist!).     Then we headed off to Mr. Pizza, where we ate last year.   

This year, I absolutely fell in love with the homemade chips.  AMAZING!  They almost made me forget that my career was falling apart.  Almost.  Then I met up with my ride down the mountain, Amanda and Ted.  I met Amanda on the Facebook page that arranges rides down... and she a rockstar!  Totally crushed her race!  

After dinner, Ward and I headed toward our motel.  Which wasn't the best place ever... but at least we had a place to sleep.  I kinda slacked in the department of finding a room... so we ended up at a place where I hopefully will never sleep again.  

After an okay night of sleep, Ward and I made out oatmeal and headed off to the base of Mt. Washington.  Way earlier this year.  (we learned our lesson last year!)

This line seriously took no time to get through... the volunteers organizing the drivers up the mountain and those who were parking were freaking rockstars.  I don't know how they do it, but they are amazing!  

Yup.....  running all the way up there.  Ward convinced me to sit (and relax) in the car for a half hour.  It drove me insane.  I wanted so badly to get out and walk around and to visit with Kelley and Sarah at the Spandits tent.  But I sat and tried to relax.  Didn't happen.  Finally, I got out (peed in the woods... because those freaking potty lines were so long!)... and walked around a bit. We made our way to the Spandits tent and I checked out the new Vinyasa dress (yes.... I have to own that one!) and a hot looking orange tiger print the ladies had in a headband (now I own it in the boardie!).  And just chit-chatted with the ladies.  I love them.  

With 5 minutes to start, I had to pee again (so I ducked in the woods again) and then made a beeline to the starting line.  I looked down at the best Momentum bracelet for the day "You Got This".  Yup, I sure do!   

Then the "cannon" went off and the runners were off.  For the only downhill part of the entire race.  Yep.  There's a slight downhill.  Don't get too excited.  It's only a couple of minutes of that... and then it's 100% uphill.  

The race was going well until about mile 3.  That's when I hit the wall.  I was having a hard time breathing.  I kept spitting up green stuff... and I drank my entire water bottle.  I filled that sucker up at the water stop... and slogged my way through the rest of the mountain.  It was hot.  I was overdressed.   There was a ton of walking.... and some running.... lots of swearing at myself.  More coughing up and spitting out green stuff.... and just praying to get to the top. 

By mile 6 I knew I wasn't going to PR, so I stopped for a selfie with the sign.  Because why not?   But then I made it.  I made it to the top of Mount Washington in 1:59:59.  Barely squeeked in under the 2 hour mark.  Just a tad slower than last year.  I was disappointed in my performance big time.  

Last year I conquered my fear of heights by running Mount Washington.  This time, I actually stopped to take in the beauty of that mountain.  It is amazing and gorgeous.   I seriously need to get the kids there. 

I didn't have Ward up there to take a pic of me, so it was selfie timer time!  And after that, I looked for my ride down.  It took a bit... but finally I found her.  We chilled for a bit and then headed down the mountain when they opened up the auto-road again.  It was quite warm... and we had to pull over a few times to cool off the brakes.  Lots of people did as well.  I don't remember anyone pulling over last year to cool off brakes.  That's just an indication that it was a tad bit warmer than last year as well.  

When we got to the bottom, I climbed into the car and used a Shower Pill to freshen up... and changed into some better smelling clothes... like race shirt!

PS.... I'm not naked here.  Just my foot is.  Just my pile of gross sweaty clothing.  Full of the Guns 'N Roses shirt, Altra One 2.5's, Spandits, ProCompression lows, and Headsweats sparkly black headband.  All of my faves.  

I ran the Rockpile.  I love it!  Cool shirt.  I love that it's cotton.  I feel like I can wear it all of the time and it is so comfy!  And I knew to size up this year!  Last years never fit right, which is sad.  

And then I spotted my favorite volunteer.  The best turkey carcass handler ever.  That was his "job" at the race.  He would take the turkey carcasses back to the truck when they were done and then bring out a full turkey to the carver.  I'm so proud of him.  

Last year we didn't stick around for the meal.  We totally missed out.  The meal it amazing.  This year it was a turkey dinner, rolls, cranberry sauce, squash.  Delicious.  

Would I do this race again?  I would love to.  Even if your performance stinks, the race crew do an amazing job.  The medals, the fleece blanket, the meal.... and the views.  It's all pretty awesome.  Who knows, maybe next year Ward will decide he wants to do it and I'll be his volunteer.   If you've ever considered doing the Mount Washington Road Race, I suggest you do it.  It's a race to remember for sure.