Category Archives: marathon training

Humid, Hot, Hilly, Happy – 4 on the 4th

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Hello my midweek holiday celebrating friends!  That was a tough one for me. my brain could not understand that it was Wednesday and not Saturday.  and that everyone was off from work. very difficult. we pulled through. the Wednesday wannabe Saturday was exacerbated by the fact that I ran a race. because races are always on the weekend. but this was a Wednesday. a Wednesday race was a first for me. what was also a first was running a 4 mile race. but now we are getting ahead of ourselves. let’s backtrack and talk about some workouts leading up to and through today. that’s a lot of running, so I’ll try to keep it brief. which shouldn’t be a problem because I quite honestly can’t remember much past yesterday anyway.
Workouts

Tuesday – 6.25 miles easy. truly, it was easy. I kept it just under 8 minute miles.  because I was running a race the next day. and because it was getting late in the day and it was really hot. my legs wanted to go more like 7:20-7:30ish pace, but we persevered and kept 8 near and dear.  trying to conserve as much energy as possible.
Wednesday – 1 mile w/u plus 4 mile race plus 6 mile recovery run = 11 miles for the day. 
I ran with my watch for the 6 mile recovery, but didn’t look at the pace, just ran comfortable and it was right around 7:45. good.
Today – 6 miles really easy. 8:20 pace easy plus 3 treadmill miles for 9 total in 73 minutes. My legs were really tired from yesterday. I put very little effort into this run and just let it be what it was. It was very pleasant, but also SUPER humid and hot at 5:30am when I left.  I needed to get about 10 miles.  instead of getting up when my alarm went off, I chose to lay in bed and not sleep but think about how much of a bad mood I would be in if I didn’t get my bum out of bed. It took about 10 minutes for me to firmly decide that a foul mooded mama was not in the best interest of anyone today and it was now or never.  at which point I only had time for 6 miles before I had to be back for the hubs to hit the gym. hence, the undesirable little 3 mile stint on the home mill.  It had to be done. I’ve got to sneak those miles in somewhere.  It’s not easy to get 50plus miles in a week.  for me. I feel like I’ve been running a TON and I just hit 36. not complaining. just think I should be able to add some honorary miles for feeling like I’ve been running more.
RACE


My crew. love them to death. 
This was a last minute race. my kind of race. I was told it was hilly. I already knew it would be hot and suffocatinlgy humid. none of those H’s failed to represent. although, I feel the hills were a little misrepresented. agreed, this was a very hilly 4 miler –  but we were not climbing everest. some expreienced looking runner tells me this is the hilliest race you’ll run and I think, good lord what have I gotten myself into. he obviously didn’t run the colchester half. that was hills. these were significant rollers, the whole time.   and one or two real hills.  enough to make it very challenging. but not killer.
Before we get into the race, let’s take a look at what happens behind the scenes for the lucky spouse that doesn’t get to race…hanging out with 3 little cherubs with sassy attitudes in hot temps…
no explanation


that didn’t happen for very long. he doesn’t like containment. 

little knuckleheads. 

post race crazies. heat was getting to them. and possibly the sugar from the free soda. that we let them have. 

GOALS FOR THE RACE
# 1Goal was to RUN MY BEST RUN

I would have been ecstatic with a 6:15 pace. I had no idea what that equated to for finish time, and I have no idea where that number came from. completely arbitrary. and very aggressive. I thought. for a hilly run. on a hot day. with high humidity. 

Aggressive pace or not, I knew I would have to hold back for the first couple miles because I always go out way too fast. and was capable of doing a 5:40s first mile and a sub 6 second mile then crashing. I didn’t want to crash. I wanted to run my BEST run that I had in me that day. and that was a smart run. and a run that was going to be good practice in mental strength. I truly wasn’t concerned with the outcome. I just wanted to run well, and strong. 

I was dripping sweat at the start. It was about 80 degrees and 80% humidity.  I did a 1 mile warmup. and waited about 10 minutes for the start. I LOVE seeing all the different people toeing the start line. 8 year old boy kept shoving me out of the way and two men in their 70’s were chatting up a storm next to me. behind me were a group of goofball high schoolers that would run sub 25 with ease. 

Horn blows.  Runners start cruising. 

holding back. staying in the low 6’s. I kept seeing 6:06, 6:04…slow it down a tad

I was in the front. with a pack of guys. no idea who was behind me. 

I LOVE these short, fast races. so hard from the start. so beneficial to the grand scheme of distance running. so mental. 

Miles 1 and 2, I felt like I was on cruise control. very comfortable in that pace. 

6:19, 6:12

 Hills started within the first 1/4 mile.  I didn’t let the hills psyche me out. I took them head on. 

Mile 3 was equally strong.  I felt good that I hadn’t wasted all of my energy in the first two.  but I almost blew it on this one. at the end of mile 3, you come back near the finish and EVERYONE is cheering. There were a lot of people. something about a lot of people cheering in a small race seems to give the runner some sort of magic ability to grow wings and just soar. effortless. I think I even saw fairy dust. maybe a unicorn.

5:54

5:54 is never effortless. for this girl. people are gone just as fast as they appear. crowds die and mile 3 is over. and you find yourself smack at the bottom of a hill after running a 5:54 mile. not cool. my legs felt like lead. I saw 6:40 on my watch and for a split second thought I blew my run. a split second later I got back in it and didnt care what my watch said. I was running. and I was going to bust out whatever I had left. pants peeing, dead leg running, gut it out pace.  one mile.  and more rollers.  I tried to start picking off the guys, which is tough when they are all running sub 6 minute miles. I didn’t know who was right behind me. and at this point, I didn’t want some girl taking my first place when I had worked for this position. 

6:25

Before I knew it, the finish was ahead and I could see 24:42 on the clock. I had no idea what my time was until that point, and I sprinted to get in under 25. done. 

24:59

1st female

17th overall out of 730 racing peeps

6:15 average pace

2nd girl was just over 2 minutes behind me. glad she wasn’t nipping at my heals.

I ran my run. I couldn’t have done it better. Happy I won, but happier I ran smart and strong. in heat, humidity and hills.


These short runs are purely mental for me. right now. the pace is what it is and I push myself, but i want to feel strong and present and in control when I run.  you start out hard and finish hard. and strong. physically and mentally.  I lost my mental edge a bit these past few months. I’m going to get it back doing races like this. 

Lululemon speed skirt and cool racerback top. that speed skirt is my favorite skirt. they don’t carry it now. but you could probably find it for twice as much on eBay. 

and that’s my last minute race. onto the next one.
By the time we got home, I put Luke down for a nap and scootched out the door to finish up my miles for the day. before it got too hot. it was already in the 90’s. I really do love running in the heat. that is why I love fall marathons. you have a full summer of hot running and training and then ease into some nice fall weather. if all goes according to plan.
but the heat takes everything out of you. my body wanted to be doing this…
seriously. give me a binky and a bath and let me chill out on a giant stuffed animal.  wrapped in a towel. rough life. 
not moving a muscle.  at all.  But my kids wanted to be doing this…


running around like maniacs, slip and sliding all over the yard. they win. 
moving. a lot. and it was the 4th of July.  meaning we had a long day and a later night ahead of us. and we would be bad parents if we made the kids leave the partay that night before te fireworks.  we played. and played some more and hung out with friends and watched some fireworks. perfect ending to a hot, hectic, hilly, fantastic day. 
and I pay for the late night and early morning, today.
they chose to ambush me at the grocery store. 3 on 1. no fair. two of my three decided to have a little soliloquy of screaming throughout. delightful experience.  we quickly moved our way through the store, as to ensure that I did not choke my kids out in the cereal aisle. surprisingly, I remained calm despite the ear piercing notes coming from their sweet little mouths. oh, stare all you want. I really don’t mind. I ran this morning. and I might have perused lululemon this afternoon.  always a mood lifter.  especially with all of their fantastically bright and exciting new colors. nothing can shake me. I can’t hear you, little screamers. but it was slightly exhausting.
somehow I managed to come home with something for dinner. Go me. randomly throwing items in a cart works. we had chicken and a nice little tomato/white bean/scallion salad. yum.
tomorrow will be a different story. I’m pretty confident we will be back at the grocery store. hopefully fully rested and with our happy pants on.
How was everyone’s 4th?? 

Who got some running in?  Racing?  

How do you stay sharp in a race or a long run?  Mantras?  Mantras really work for me. love ’em.




56 Miles

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Workout
10 miles. in the hot hot sun. no technology. just me, myself, my lululemon flash colored cool racer back, a skirt and some elixirs. 
 
so serious. so contemplative. I’m probably thinking about that beautiful sidewalk chalk art behind me. lovely interpretation of a flower.


 
and lots of sweat.  90+ degrees and humid.  one intelligent thing I could have done was bring water with me. I didn’t. I was quite honestly so excited to run in the heat, and I am superwoman, so it should have been completely within my means to run waterless, but I couldnt hang.  I ran by my house at mile 7 and grabbed a water bottle. otherwise I would have been a puddle on the side of the road. I was a pacing dummy again. take it slow Katie, nice and easy today. hang in the 8’s.  Ok. I obviously can’t do that. I felt like i was, but pace ended up in the 7:40 range.
 
50 miles for the week



I am very happy to be able to run 50 miles in a week and feel great. nothing is hurting and I feel like I have done a good job easily building these miles up so that now that’s it’s go time to start putting this running to work, I’m feeling good. and strong. I take every first stride of every run with caution, almost expecting the worst to happen. for that run to be the one that puts me over. no more. I’m going to start expecting the best of every run. I’m going to bring a humble confidence into every run. I’m going to let every run unfold as it may. My heat loving attitude of today’s run was smashed by mile 3, when from then on I wanted to walk about 37 times. I quickly changed my mindset and realized this run was going to be a mental run. I could not, would not stop to walk.  Somewhere in the past two marathons, it became acceptable for me to take a short walk break, I’m talking 10 seconds, if it got hard. that infuriates me, to a point. that’s not me. I ran the Harrisburg marathon in November with more pain than I’ve ever run with – I DID NOT STOP ONCE. I was stronger. mentally. I need to get that back. mental strength gives you physical strength.  and there will be plenty of practice for mental strength this summer. it’s hot out there. and there are days when I just won’t want to be doing a 14 mile marathon pace run in the middle of an 18 miler. but it will happen. I will do it. and I’m looking forward to it.
 
I normally get out ASAP on Saturday mornings to run.  enter running hubs. he called dibs on the 3am – 12pm time slot today.  The nerve.  a little greedy if you ask me. 9 hours. He’s doing this little race called the Leadville 100 mile ultra trail run in approximately too soon to even comprehend. he had to get in a 45 to 50 mile run. in one shot. I struggle to do 50 miles in a week and am oh so concerned with over doing it. he pops out and does 46 in a single shot. no big deal. just another Saturday. so I had to take the high noon hot as heck hour of the day. it was actually more like high 2 o’clock by the time he got his 3 hot dogs, with the works, and pulled himself together. I felt bad for about 1/2 a second for leaving him with the kids, but it’s what we do. we are a running family. we run. we run hard and then we run harder keeping up with the kids.  he did 46, I did 10. fifty six total miles between the two of us. I contribute a little. I think my ten in the brutal conditions must be more like 57 or so in ideal conditions – doesn’t that sound about right?  I’m sure there is some mathematical equation to back me up. in that case, I actually worked harder than him.  not true. he definitely worked harder.
 
This little bundle didn’t get the memo that we were having a brutal little heat wave here in sunny CT.
 
 
 
 
sure, grab the wool sweater. you never know when a cold front will come through. he also didn’t get the memo that purple isn’t really his color. he can pull off a pink gingham like no other though. 
 
I guess if you run 46 miles, you can eat, a lot. you can eat, whatever the heck you want. and all hubs wanted was salty, sinful, saucy food. who am I to disagree about another night off from cooking. lips are sealed. so we had a little eastern inspired smorgasbord. little Chinese. little Thai. little seafood.  lotta indigestion. 
 
 
 
 
I can have about 3 bites of this kind of food and then I want to puke. it just doesn’t sit well. ever. good thing I picked up these beauties to wash it down. 
 
 
 
I blame it on my mom. she was texting me about this mud pie she made. ice cream. chocolate fudge. pie. what was I supposed to do. but get his and hers ice cream. we don’t share this with the kids. I hide it. I often have to hide a treat I am eating or very hurriedly stash it away if I hear those little footsteps coming, lest they snatch it from my hands in a screaming fit.  not pleasant for anyone involved.  I don’t give up chocolate easily.  It’s a rare rare occasion that ice cream is in the house – like 2x a year rare, but I was provoked. and the ice cream is actually still in the freezer. that greasy food did me in. for another night. or morning. whatever strikes my fancy. 
 
I pulled this book back out. 
 
 
 
 
I’m going to use this book’s plan as a training guide, as well as the assistance of my “coach”, who is a friend who happens to be REALLY fast and has offered to guide me as well. He ran a 2:40 marathon. He also ran a 3:17 marathon. When he was 11. normal. Between Pfitzinger and fast coach friend, I think I’ll be in good shape. I over analyze. over think things. to my detriment most of the time. I’m going to balance out what I read in this book with what I feel is appropriate for my running body.  that’s the plan. as of this moment in time. I’ve only briefly read through parts of this book. I want to get through the whole thing. but, I wanted to share something with you from the book that stuck out in terms of marathon training and performance…
 
“we designed the schedules to provide the optimal stimuli…that most determine marathoning success — endurance, lactate threshold and VO2max, in that order of importance. In the long run, so to speak, it’s the long runs and tempo runs that have the most relevance to your performance on marathon day, not how often you’ve churned out a set of half mile repeats

I get caught up in the half mile repeats and such. even mile repeats or 400’s. doesn’t take much speed to get me all amped up let’s run super fast all the time. Reading that made me feel good about my upcoming training because I was looking forward to and planning on more tempo work sprinkled in the long runs. 
 
What do you think about that little snippet in terms of marathon training?  For those marathoners out there who do speed work, do you put more training weight on speed work or long/tempo runs?  

For your reading pleasure, an OLD POST. Its hot out there.  read on. 

time for nighty night
10 early miles to start off a new week

Who’s running long this weekend?  Running short?  Racing in the heat?  do share
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday Fun Facts

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Workout

5 mile run. 15 min stair master. 10 min weight. bases covered.
 
I ran on the treadmill. and lived to tell about it. I had to go on a reconnaissance mission to find the treadmill. I knew I left it in the basement, but lost track of it. easy to do when it serves as a junk holder.
 
come out come out wherever you are, you rickety old treadmill.

I have to strategically place it so that when my head is bobbing up and down it doesn’t hit the drop cielings that aren’t there or get tangled in electrical wire. what I get for being a supermodel tall.
 
In theory, I was going to bust out my 10 mile run on this beast. Bachelorette Emily got me through the first 5 miles, then I just couldn’t hang anymore. the iPad couldn’t decide which way it wanted to be oriented and kept turning the screen horizontal and vertical. Emily kept kissing everyone and i just couldnt take it anymore. she also kept buffering instead of playing straight through. enough. ended at 5, hopped on stairmaster. for a hot second I started getting down on myself for not pushing through, being mentally tough or digging deep to crank out those last five miles. I let that hot second pass and remembered what I’ve learned about training. and about training right. and about how I work. I’m not technically training yet for my fall marathon. therefore, there is no need to wipe myself out, burn myself out or stress myself out about miles. I do my best. my best is always enough and it’s always what it needs to be at that moment. there will be plenty of time for digging deep, finding the fight, being mentally tough and cranking out countless miles on the treadmill. when it’s time to really train. right now, each day of running brings what it may, and the plan is that it generally brings feel good, stress free endorphins that give me some good base miles.
 
happy runner. 5 miles short.
 
I had no idea about training plans and training cycles before these spring marathons I ran. I ran my november marathon and was on fire to get prepped for an April marathon. I didn’t stop. I didn’t break. I thought if I am running and working out anyway, I might as well make it count and make it tough. all the time. not so. you make it count by taking a break. taking time off. taking it easy so that you can take it hard when it’s time to start the 12, 14, 18 week training. it gives the training a purpose and a beginning and an end. it also gives the break time purpose; a beginning and an end.
 
My break time is nearing its end. and I will be ready to train hard and dig deep because I have kept this time off very stress free and perfect. for me. no burn out this time. famous last words.
 
Let’s chat about some Fun Facts Wednesday.
First, I should note there is nothing necessarily fun about these facts. reader be warned. It just sounds better than facts Wednesday. on with it.
 
1. The only reason I had to dig out the treadmill was because I chose not to get up early and run outside. my bad. will I ever learn. I would have been just as tired at this moment if I got up 45 minutes earlier and got my run in as if I slept the extra 45. that is a fact.
 
2. This box came yesterday from vitacost.
 
 
and that is about how I felt by the end of today. slightly beat up. if you consider the end of the day 4pm. by 7:30, I was near comatose. I kindly said to my oldest that my day had expired about 2 hours ago, and it would be safer to deal with the father of the house. Luke was out to get me today. I think we had 6 outfit changes by 9am between all the kids. I’m going to start dressing them in plastic wrap. I’m full of practical solutions like that.
 
3. In that box, among other things, was this protein powder.
 
 
My favorite protein powder is this plant fusion, but it gets pricey. I like optimum nutrition products, so I do half a scoop of each. with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. it is mighty tasty. actually satisfies a sweet tooth. sometimes.
 
4. I will never turn down a trip to sweet frog froyo. #1 because very good friends of ours own it. friends in high places. #2 because it’s frozen yogurt. nuff said.
 
 
I rarely get my own when I take the kids because I do not have that many hands to handle that much yogurt and that many kids. instead I make Luke’s how I want it and steal from him. maybe that’s why he’s mean to me sometimes. he’s dealing it’s some pent up froyo aggression. Grammy joined us today. we love gammy. and an extra set of hands.
 
 
5. I am on my own personal running streak, day 8. this does not jive with my self made rule of not running more than 3 days in a row to prevent injury. my schedule just got a little wonky and before I knew it, I had more than 3 days of running under my belt. I will admit, my shins are feeling the tiniest bit of tightness, but nothing to worry about. I have also not stretched or rolled in at least 4 weeks. naughty runner. I’m over stretching. foam rolling, on the other hand is just a smart thing to do. I couldn’t do it for awhile because of my elbow/arm situation. but now I have no excuse. gotta get back on that roller.
 
6. My little entrepreneur had her first lemonade stand of the season.
 
her “stind”. In her world, she hears and “i” in “stand”. fine by me.
 
she has big plans. she’s already scoping out neighbors’ yards for the most prime lemonade selling location. she made $2. and gammy supplied the lemonade. no overhead. $2 profit. I didn’t charge rent. she and her bro and sis drank most of that half gallon of lemonade. yuck.
 
7. Situations like this do not phase me in the least.
 
 
pink bink. nakey boy. playing in the dirt. by the recycling bin. have at it my little friend. you’re only 2 once. and mama is too tired to fight the please don’t play in the dirt by the garbage fight. that’s what baths are for.
 
8. My lunch today.
 
flatout wrap. avocado, spicy brown, egg whites, tomatoes, pickles. more mustard. s&p. yum.
 
I don’t know why I love it so much. I think because it’s really just a vehicle to get an avocado into my belly. and flatout wraps are pretty amazing. and I’m easily impressed by many things. I’m totally one of those people that will eat something just because it’s healthy. like quinoa. I try my best to like it and find ways to make it that will make me eat it. I don’t like avocados unless they are wrapped up with lots of mustard and other things. or in guac. but I crave them. daily. and this little wrap tastes so delicious with my little avocado tucked nicely inside.
 
9. These ended up in my pantry.
 
 
and didn’t stay there for very long. might be my all time favorite. maybe because it brings me back to my childhood. a lovely chocolate treat.
 
10. I want my own chickens. we go through about half a dozen eggs daily.
 
 
I want to grow my own. eggs. but chickens probably wouldn’t survive luke. or me. so I will keep buying those little suckers. Anna wanted to know how the egg got like that, all put back together and perfect after the chicken was hatched. so innocent. I told her that was the chicken. she had no words.
 
11. I was going to stop at ten, but thought I could make this more obnoxiously long and wanted to share this with you – I was introduced to this non meat, meat and have been on a hunt for it at whole foods since. I finally found it. In the non meat, meat section – right by the tofurky and smart dogs. of course.
 
 
I like to try out non meat, meats, but only ones that are not soy based. I really liked these. I had tried this other non chicken, chicken one and it was so gross. it was made with mycoprotein or something. this has the protein derived from vital wheat gluten. no idea what that is.
 
 

Can anyone fill me in on vital wheat gluten? Stead clear or ok in moderation? I will of coursebe consulting the almighty google to see what juicy info I can come up with on this food substance called vital wheat gluten.
 
I’ll let you go now and move on with your night. after a few questions.

Do you have a favorite non meat, meat that is not soy based protein that you can share with me?

Charleston chew or gag on a spoon? It is a particular kind of candy.

Tell me a fun fact about your day. please.
 
 
 

Irresistible Rain

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Workout – RUN.  7 miles.  YES!!!!!  you read that right.  I just couldn’t resist this weather…

rain

what a beautiful day.  somehow, I managed to NOT run all week in the unbelievably beautifully gorgeous wonderful amazing April weather.  but the cold rain hits and I just cave.  I couldn’t stand it anymore.  into the rain I went. 

I’ve been such a good ‘rester’ lately, I deserved this run.  I’ve been craving a good run all week.  and all week I resisted (aside from the little track workout)  today, I had to give into the craving.  I had to give into what my body was telling me to do.  I especially like it when it says to me, go for it Katie, run, enjoy, be happy.  I oblige.  happy to.  It’s like when you have a food craving, they say it’s because your body is telling you it needs whatever nutrition that food can give you.  whether that is true or not, I do not know.  but go with me for a second…so I feel like after resting from running for so long and then this week I have this need to run that I can’t get rid of, it’s like my body is telling me to just run.  I am really good at over thinking and analyzing things, when sometimes it’s just better to step back, relax and go with with what your mind/body is ‘telling’ you to do, even when the logical, over thinking side is telling you to think twice.  think twice and listen to your body sometimes.  mine was ready for a little go at running on the roads today.  it was fantastic.  puddles, wind, soppy wet shoes and all.   

no, my right leg did not feel 100%

no, I did not feel fast or super strong

no, my shin did not hurt while I was running.  happy day.  and it didn’t hurt after.  and it still doesn’t hurt.  super happy day.

yes, my knee was a little angry

yes, my right leg was SUPER tight from my tush to my ankle.  all the way down the back

yes, I have an appointment for a massage tomorrow and that’s one reason I felt comfortable running today.

yes, it’s possible that I have an ear to ear grin that I ran 7 miles, didn’t feel great, but didn’t have a pity party that I didn’t feel perfect or run super fast.  I’m working with what I’ve got right now.  I’ve got my whole life quite a few years ahead of me to hone in on my running skills.

I didn’t really have a plan for this run.  I’m totally out of my element with running.  I’m not sure which way is up lately when I put my sneaks on.  which would be these as of late, even at the gym, mizuno wave rider 15’s…

mizuno

this is a totally random picture I found on my phone.  looks like anna really likes my shoes too.

they are the most supportive shoes I own and I am planning on wearing them for the marathon next weekend.  which is another reason I wanted to get out today.  I wanted to get another run in with them before we team up for the long one.

I decided right before I hit the pavement that I wanted to have an easy warmup mile and a couple miles to push it a bit with easier miles in between.  So it was a little all over the place, but I was happy with it.

splits

I was happy with the warmup, mile 2 felt good, mile 3 was nice and easy, mile 4 included a little wind, puddle jumping and car dodging.  then I just wanted to keep it steady for a few.  good stuff.

rolling hills.

run

 

(ps, while on garmin connect, I peeked at my gansett splits.  and almost vomited.  big mistake.  you will never know)

I think today’s run would have been completely 100% rainbows and butterflies (not butterflies, I don’t like butterflies, maybe tulips or orchids, I like those) and I would have had splits like this girl if I was wearing these two snazzy items…

lulu jacket

Hi lululemon.  will you be my friend?

lulu top

 

While we are on the topic of things that will make me happy and things that I think I need, here are a couple more

toms

here’s why I need these.  i wear flip flops a lot.  and I’m starting to think that they are really bad for your feet, legs, etc.  this may be a completely ridiculous justification to purchase a new pair of shoes.  but this is the one I am using to possibly purchase these this week.  for my feet.  my body is telling me that my feet are not happy and they need these.  I must listen.

and these…Hudsons…they are on sale…I will not say for how much…

hudson 

and here is why I need these…I don’t wear jeans enough and my body is telling me that it is because a lot of the jeans that I own are too tight and my legs and hips want more comfortable fitting jeans.  the only way to do that is to buy designer fitting jeans.  I should listen to the bod.  true.

other things that made me happy this weekend…

this adorable little guy got a haircut…and he just gets cuter.  didn’t think it was possible. 

luke haircut

and now we are sending him off to marine bootcamp.  he’s got the cut.  he’s ready.  he’s pretty tough and strong.

and these little ladies…all smiles

girls

they were loving each other at the moment.  then it’s possible that the big one was choking the little one the next moment.  not for sure though.

it was one of those Sundays where my husband and I looked at each other and kept saying, wow, this is just a really nice day with the family.  it flowed almost seamlessly.  I guess that’s kind of a rare thing with three little kids and schedules and training for races and birthday parties and busy weekend plans.  but everything jived today.  and it was pleasant.  there is light and the end of the crazy tunnel of really small children not sleeping very well and flying in all different directions at all times.  really good days, within good days.  

another happy note for Sunday – I found a lentil I like.  edit: I do not like lentils or ever plan on liking lentils but am one of those people that won’t give up on a food that is really good for you that I can make more palatable with a lot of salt and other seasonings as well as hiding it in another food like quinoa.  or chocolate.  there must be a lentil chocolate recipe that is to die for somewhere out there.  I need it.

lentils

anyway, I found a lentil that I did not destroy while trying to cook it.  it did not turn to mush.  it was not crunchy after it had been boiling for 25 minutes.  I daresay it cooked perfectly.  and it looked nice and rustic too.  thank you bob’s red mill for making a lentil that I could salt and pepper up and toss with quinoa and hopefully chocolate someday.

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What a great Sunday.  I was really starting to get down that I have not been running.  and just when I needed it, I had a good run.  put a little pep in my step.  a little hip hip in my hooray.  a little assurance that my leg won’t have to be amputated below the knee.  yet.  a little confidence for another marathon next weekend.  a little bit of endorphins that this endorphin lacking, elliptacling, stairmastering, resting mama needed.  a little hope that all hope is not lost in the world.  good things happen and little families of five have fabulously fantastic Sunday afternoons.  and the children are going back to school tomorrow.  that helps too.

Give me YOUR weekend recap?!?

Races?

Long runs?

Injuries healing?

Lentils cooking properly? 

How do you feel about flip flops?  I wish I could wear them all year ‘round.  generally if it is above 30 degrees, they are on my feet.

Let’s Take Care of Business

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#1 Item of Business:

Workout Business

I think I have quite a few days of workouts to record here.  where do I begin…

Thursday night Family Track workout

There was a lot of this going on…

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and not a lot of running.  but we made it to the track.

Much of what I expected.  I just did 2 miles.  really not even worth it, but it was my last run in my 20’s.  farewell.  It was more of a let’s see how the legs are feeling kind of track run.  they weren’t feeling so hot.  not because I ran a marathon 4 days before, but because something is just really tight in my right leg.  much better today.  but solidified that I will not be running much at all until the next marathon.  surprise.

1/2 mile warmup, 1 mile @ 6:23 (cruising, didn’t feel like I was pushing it) (but it was only 1 mile), 1/2 mile c/d.  big time.  I’m pulling reverse psychology on marathon training – called don’t run at all for 4 weeks leading up to a marathon and have big expectations.  solid training.

some mild not dramatic at all self talk following the little unnecessary, not useful for anything track run:

oh good God in heaven, my leg is broken, that hurt so bad, I’m never going to run again

there’s nothing wrong with your legs, katie, you are 100% fine, it’s just a little numb feeling and you should definitely run 10 miles in this 75 degree weather

oh dear Lord my leg hurts from my glute to my big toe and it will surely need to be amputated.  maybe I could be an elite amputee runner.  that could work.

I pulled myself back down to earth and am preparing to run with a decent amount of leg discomfort on Saturday.  marathons do hurt.   it is a fact.  I will not say pain because certain unnamed people (mom and nana) will get upset if I say I am going to run with pain.

 Side note business…

I’m trying to keep out of my conscious that it’s been one month since I called it on extensive amounts of running.  I think I could count on one hand the # of runs I have done, none of which have exceeded in miles the # of fingers I have on one hand.  I have 5 fingers on my hand.  I don’t have a freakishly odd number of fingers on my hands.  they’re normal.  that’s not a lot of running.  staying positive.  making smart choices.  riding the line between taking it easy and preserving my running body- and overdoing it and killing my running body.  I don’t want that.  I’m really taking it easy, and that’s not necessarily by choice but by the fact that my right leg will eat me alive if I push it through a run before another marathon

Friday Workout 

I put my taper hat on and called it a complete rest day.  I am technically tapering.  how did we get to one week before a marathon again???  I am SO EXCITED to run this marathon.  more on that in uno momento.

Saturday Workout

In the new cool racerback.  another item of clothing everyone should experience.  along with a pair of designer jeans and lululemon wunder unders.  complete wardrobe right there. 

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Pretty decent cross training at the gym

1 hour elliptical – I wanted to push it a little bit so I did level 20 alternated with level 16 intervals – alternating forward and backward motion.  fun.

20 minutes speed intervals on stairmaster.

Leg strength training – seated leg abductors (great for IT band issues), seated leg press, squats with shoulder work, planks.

#2 Item of Business:

30th Bday Business

Recap in pictures.  because I’m pretty sick of talking about myself, my birthday and all other things going on.  I was treated like a queen. as it should have been.

Birthday eve cupcakes from the madre

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I took a little nibble pre pic.  couldn’t wait.

approximately 3 hours later

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   possibly three of the most wonderful things all together in one package

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only to possibly be trumped by these that came on my birthday.  that came to me for free.  doesn’t get better.

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These will get an entire post of their own.  but I love them.  thank you mizuno.  you are awesome.  and comfortable.  and make my feet happy in every level of stability.

I couldn’t decide which to put on first.  so I wore one on each foot around the house. 

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mizuno musha to the left.  mizuno wave precision 12 to the right.  fab.

more flowers…

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birthday rocks.  everyone needs birthday rocks. 

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according to my children it’s because it would be ‘sad if I didn’t have anything to open on my birthday’.  thoughtful.

because my girls were so generous and gave me precious rocks from the yard that are now sitting on my nightstand, as naturally that’s the only place for them – I in turn took them for a little bday girls day to the salon to get their haircut for the first time and to get their nails done.  I guess salon Katie in the bathroom wasn’t good enough for them. 

to finish off the bday, dinner with the hubs and a trip to lululemon to spend the bday money appropriately and quickly before it got spent on something like food or gas.  fashionable athletic wear is far more important.

here’s my only dinner pic.  it’s a dark picture.  I wore the target shirt.  that was not ugly at all.  hangin’ with my peach kicker in a jar.  it was super tasty.  no pictures of food.  it was super tasty too.  

bday dinner

the peach kicker had peppers in it.  that’s a first for me.  drinking an adult beverage with a vegetable in it.  I’m 30 now.  I can do adult things like that.  another first for me was entering “age 30” on the cardio machines at the gym.  honesty is the best policy.

#3 Item of Business

Running Talk

I’M EXCITED TO RUN A MARATHON IN LESS THAN A WEEK.  really excited.

While I have put ZERO pressure on myself to achieve a certain outcome, I still have tucked away in my mind an adjusted and possibly tangible, but possibly tough to reach goal.  one that will still make me work.  but one that I’m holding onto loosely because I’m not letting this race be my new goal race.  this is my fun race.  and this is my race that I want to love running.  but one that I know will be hard…. 

because my last long run (not including gansett marathon) was in February

because I have taken a huge break from running in this past month

because my right leg still does not feel great.  or near great.

but one that I will be mentally prepared for….

because I am going to remember the training that I have done

because I’m going to tell myself that I am more than capable of achieving what I want to do

because I am going to be confident in my running abilities aside from the speedwork and tempo runs and track work and long runs that I did or did not do.  I have an ability to run.  and I am going to hold onto what I know I can do.

because I know it’s going to hurt.  I know my threshold and I know when the hurt is making me a better, stronger runner and when the hurt is truly a potential injury.  sometimes it’s a fine line and I’m learning how to ride it because I’m not convinced I’m truly injured.  I’d like to get completely off the line and just be a stronger runner.  a work in progress.  balancing work and rest.  I’m in that phase of training where I had upped my miles quite a bit and upped the stress on my body with speedwork and my body is responding and trying to adapt to this stress.

According to The Runner’s Body by Runner’s World, when running and training – there are three stages your body can go through:

1. Alarm

2. Adaptation

3. Exhuastion

Running places a stress on your body and induces an alarm reaction.  this can go either way – lead you to adapt, become a stronger runner.  If the stimulus is too much, it can lead to injury and bodily breakdown.  If the stimulus is too little, you won’t see improvements.  Certain things that determine which way your body goes are Volume (duration, frequency), Intensity and Recovery.  The right interaction of these things determine how your body adapts.  very interesting.

Your body moves into the ADAPTATION phase.

If you put too much stress on your body, you move into the EXHAUSTION phase.  which can be managed by understanding and changing the volume, intensity and very importantly recovery (and rest)

I’m learning how to REST.  I probably came close to the exhaustion phase.  not in the sense that I was physically exhausted, but like I said – walking the line between becoming a stronger runner and getting really injured.  when things start to go wrong, it’s really important to REST.  it gives your body a change.  and a new way to adapt.

It’s very hard for me to rest.  it’s becoming harder to not run.  but I want to run for a long time.  not just the next time I want to go out for a nice 10 mile jog.  patience.

So I’m excited to run this marathon.  with no pressure.  in hot nashville weather.  with my little girls at the finish line and my little sister running the half.  listening to country music all the way.  fantastic.

Tell me about the races this weekend?!?  Who did what?

What is your favorite type of flower?

Cupcakes or brownies?  you must pick one of the two.  no other options.

Hair Evolution and CARBS!!!

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Workout – the resting continues today.  surprise.  Yesterday, however, reunited me with my track.  we had a nice run.  My love for the track grows – even when I’m doing a tempo run and running lap after lap.  I did 16 laps total.  Here’s a pic of the workout – because I’m still technologically disabled, I have to take a picture of the screen.  very cool.

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You can completely ignore that first split.  I did not run a 4:48 mile (but don’t put it past me).  lies.  I was jogging to the track when my girlfriend that I was meeting drove by me – I hitched a ride and did my warm up at the track instead.  but forgot to stop the garmin in the car.  oops.  speedy.  The split 2 is the warmup, then I did the tempo miles, splits 3 – 6.  This is where I get confused.  I did 12 laps for the tempo, which I thought would be 3 miles.  But my garmin beeped that I hit a mile before I finished the fourth lap.  I think the gps was just off – but that left me with an extra little .23 at the end.  then the cooldown, 2 laps. 

My darling track, you did me good again.  I haven’t really run since Friday, and that was a measly couple miles.  Just as soon as the anxiety really starts settling in that my legs will not know what to do and will completely disintegrate when I hit the starting line from doing no significant running for 3 weeks, I have a good run.  good enough to get me through until Saturday.  A very tiny, short, little run.  but a good run.  I started out faster, like a 5:40 pace and was very comfortable.  but I wanted to keep this run more like a tempo so I forced myself to slow it down.  and I had 12 laps to do.  I was comfortable the entire time.  I didn’t feel like I was working hard.  my breathing wasn’t strained or heavy.  I had plenty of energy left at the end (pushed it for the last lap) and my legs didn’t get tired or start burning.  Big mental boost.  from a short 4 mile run.  that’s all I need.

Everything was very tight on my warmup jog, but nothing hurt during the run.  I iced and rolled and stretched last night.  My shins don’t hurt today, but my entire right leg is just a bit ‘off’.  little bit of knee pain, nothing major. I think everything is just really tight.  I’m going to continue to ice and roll and stretch.  This might not be the smartest thing, but I think I’m going to stay off my running legs tomorrow and not do the shake out run.  complete rest.  strap on my compression shorts and socks and settle in.

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Happy day for Katie, I had a hair appointment on the agenda to bring me closer to blonde.  Lets take a look at how my hair has evolved in the past 5 months.

I got a box of brown color, that was more like black and went to town…

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I’m so cool.  no worries, I was parked during my photo session.

 

Got sick of that and wanted my not natural blonde back…to the hairdresser I go…

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Now we are getting there….

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I get a partial highlight or foil, whatever you want to call it, and like to keep the bottom layers my natural color.  or something close.  I have no clue what my natural color is.  it saves time and $. 

The hairdresser is so great for not only hair color but learning fun new things from magazines like Women’s Health.  here’s what I found and I will share it with you because everyone likes to learn new things about women’s health.  don’t we now. 

(the red effect is a special effect just for you.  it’s actually the lamp behind my foiled head)

This peaked my interest because it’s about FOAM ROLLING.  I have become very intimate with my foam roller.  it works well.  there’s some 411 I didn’t know about why foam rolling is good…read on and learn why you, too, should foam roll.  get rid of those adhesions and loosen up!

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BALANCE

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I honed in on ‘prevent injuries and increase your agility and quickness’.  Start balancing!  I liked this because I actually do a lot of my strength exercises in a way that challenges my balance, or in a proprioceptively enriched environment.  big words.  That’s one thing that my brain held on to from the two weeks I actually spent studying my personal trainer certification materials.  I will work my back muscles standing on one leg in a stork stance, with my chest parallel to the floor.  Or bicep curls on a bosu trainer.  Lots of good exercises out there to improve your balance.  get to it.

SHIRT

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totally random, but I thought that purple shirt front and center was really cute.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s from American Eagle and only costs an arm, instead of being Michael Kors or something and costing my firstborn child.  steals and deals.

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And now I am spending the next 48 hours carb loading.  I hate that.  I know a lot of runners love the permission a marathon gives to ‘eat anything’.  I really don’t enjoy it.  It’s really just another thing to stress me out before a race.  How much, when, am I eating the right kinds, and I getting enough???  Too much.  I’m very much a creature of habit with what I eat, and it doesn’t really include a truck load of carbohydrates.  Nevermind that I eat two bagels and I’m hungry 30 minutes later.    I eat more than I normally do in the days leading up to a marathon, but not a ton more.  I generally just replace most of my protein with carbohydrates.  

Here are some carb loading tips: (read full RW article HERE)

1. You should aim to get 4-5grams of carbs per pound of body weight

That would put me between 550-650 grams of carbs a day.  I’ve never hit that amount for any marathon.  that’s a lot of food. 

2. According to The Runner’s Body, two keys to successful carb loading are amount (as mentioned above) and timing of intake. 

It used to be thought that depleting your carbohydrate stores by not eating many carbs for a few days and then go carb heavy to fill it back up right before the race was the way to go.  Now it is suggested to continue to eat normally as you effectively deplete your stores by the pre-race training and taper activities and then consume high carb foods 2 or 3 days before while doing less training.  This will effectively ‘fill your stores’

3. Back to the RW article – at the point of carb loading 2-3 days pre-race, you should be getting 85-95% of your calories from carbs. 

“It’s important to keep in mind that you’re most likely not eating many more calories per day than you were during the thick of your training—it’s just that more of those calories are coming from carbs.”

That’s what I like to keep in mind while I’m fueling up for a race.  Replace what I usually eat with higher carb foods

4. It is common to put on a few pounds if you carb load correctly.

“If you step on the scale while you’re carbo-loading, be prepared to see a number that’s at least four pounds more than your usual weight. The extra pounds mean you get a gold star for carbo-loading properly. “With every gram of stored carbohydrate, you store an extra three grams of water,” says Katz. That means your body will be hydrated and fueled as you start the race, ensuring you cross the finish feeling strong.”

Whenever I do it, I end up losing a pound or two or staying the same.  I’m clearly doing something wrong, but I’m stuffing my face with bread and quinoa and bagels and pasta.  I’ve heard of this way of dieting called calorie cycling.  While dieting is not on my radar, I’m thinking that changing my diet while I carb load might be having that kind of effect on my body.  It seems like it kicks my metabolism into high gear.  who knows.  all speculation.  but I’m hungry.  all the time when I carb up. 

5. Suggestion of how to prepare for carb – loading and race fueling – from the same article we’ve been talking about here

Perfect Timing
What to do before race day to ensure your tank is full
6 WEEKS BEFORE: Practice loading
Two or three days prior to your longest run, start eating more carbs and less fat and
protein. “You’ll get a sense of what foods agree and disagree with your stomach,” says Katz.
1 WEEK BEFORE: Make a plan
“A plan is especially important if you’re traveling to a race,” says Ryan. Pack plenty of snacks, like sports bars, pretzels, and crackers. Check menus online and make restaurant reservations.
2 OR 3 DAYS BEFORE: Switch to carbs
From now through your race, 85 to 95 percent of your diet should be carbs. Eat after taper runs. “That is when muscles are primed to store glycogen,” says Rapoport.
NIGHT BEFORE: Don’t stuff yourself
Dinner should be relatively small but carb-heavy. Eat on the early side so you have lots of time to digest.
“You want to wake up race day hungry—not full from the night before,” says Ryan.
RACE MORNING: Have breakfast
Three hours before the start, eat 150 grams of carbs, like a bagel and yogurt or sports drink and oatmeal, says Ryan. Early race? “Get up at 3 a.m., eat, and go back to bed,” she says.

 

I had mentioned the other day about the idea of using fat as fuel.  All of this chitter chatter obviously has nothing to do with that form of fueling.  That takes time and training.  Carb loading is the most well known way to fuel for a long race, and is what I am relying on to get me through this upcoming 26.2.  yeehaw.  I am still planning on exploring the fat for fuel ideas and sharing what I find with you lovelies.  In theory, it makes sense to me and I am planning on implementing it in future training.

 

Now I have to go eat an entire chocolate cake and thirty minutes later I will consume a large cheese danish.  totally healthy and appropriate way to “load up”, wouldn’t you agree?  I kid.  It’s bagels and cereal for this girl.  and some clean eating quinoa.  good times packing it in.

 

What are your thoughts on carb loading?  Any tips?

Do you color your hair, or are you lucky enough to still be au natural?

What’s going on this weekend?  Races, long runs, vacations? 

 

Happy Thursday!!!!

I’m Compressed and the Weather

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Workout – so far, it’s a repeat of yesterday.  tough one.  I have a track date planned for tonight.  glory.  My track and I have some catching up to do.  But I’m pretty sure we won’t be alone.  I’m thinking it’s going to be a short and sweet little tempo run.  5 miles total.  including 1 mile warmup and cooldown.  I’ll keep you posted on the actuality of what happens at the sweet little track.  I want to wear the Brooks that I am planning on running the race in, but to be nice to my shins, I feel like I should sport the Mizuno Waverider 15’s for some extra support.  Then I feel like the track is pretty supportive and cushiony and like running on a cloud (because I have indeed done that before and I know what it’s like) and don’t need a ton of extra support from the sneaks.  I’m telling you – big decisions are happening this week, high stress.  much is at stake here.  what IS a girl to do???

Let’s talk about other important pre-race ‘things’ – like the weather.  Weather.com has obviously been on the top of my list of websites visited this week.  You better believe I have been stalking it since April 5th when I could view the 10 day forecast, and praying that rain stays far away.  as well as snow, sleet, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunami’s and anything of the like.  weather is unpredictable.  I don’t want any of it in Narragansett this weekend.  except for mild 60’s and partly cloudy.  looks like I get what I want.  Looking mighty fine in the weather department. 

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Saturday the 14th.  mostly cloudy and 63.  beautiful.

 

Another pre-race week activity is thinking about all the things I need but don’t have that might be superbeneficial during and after the marathon.

#1 Item – Compression shorts.  I love my compression calf sleeves.  I’ve heard a lot about the benefits of compression shorts for recovery.  I have never worn them.  this is the race to try them out.  I grabbed a pair at the running store – to my surprise they were much cheaper there than at my favorite online running apparel store, runningwarehouse.com.  I got home and put them on.

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CW-X Womens Pro Short.  I’m a pro.

And I will be sporting this sexiness for the next 3 days.   I think I might even sleep in them.  I LOVE them.  If you’ve been reading my blog for more than 5 minutes, you know that I LOVE a lot of things running and non running related.  and I do.  This is the great thing about running – all of the great running ‘support’ items there are, like compression apparel.  and cute skirts.  and great sneakers.  these are shorts are phenomenal.  so comfortable.  so compressed.  However, I was not happy when the sales dude said, sorry miss, we don’t have a medium, which is what you need, why don’t you just try a large because the small definitely won’t fit.  ok sales dude.  I’ll take the small then, and show you that they fit.  they fit.  perfectly.  thank you.  I’ll take the small and you can keep your mouth shut mr. ‘large and in charge’ sales dude.

#2 Item – Socks.  A good pair of socks are pretty key to having a comfortable and successful running experience.  I love the Experia socks.  there goes the ‘L’ word again.  so much love around here.  But, they are pretty thick socks.  and I had mentioned that I think the seam was bothering my little pinky toe when I ran in my new sneaks.  The other running socks I have are too thin.  So I picked up these little babies.

 

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Balega Womens Enduro 4

They feel like the perfect in between thickness – not too thick, not too thin – for this little goldilocks runner.  must be perfect.

#3 Item – Fuel.  I talked about fueling a little bit yesterday.  I can tolerate the sport beans, but can only do one per race because they are such a pain in the butt to chew and run and store in a pocket.  not to mention they get sticky and gross by the end of the race.  a mess.  I saw the watermelon flavor and had to have them.  I love anything watermelon flavor.  I still plan on mainly relying on the Gatorade and water on the course, but like to have my ‘back up’ fuel in the pockets 

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I also saw those honey stinger chews.  I wanted to try them out.  I usually take some sort of gu or energy something or other about 30 minutes before the start.  I am planning on taking these.  unless they taste like crap, then I will throw down some of the sport beans.

#4 Item – Headband.  I always wear a headband and generally wear a braid for the longer runs/races.  I have a couple of bic bands, but I don’t want to wear either of them for this run.  I saw this pretty little one when I was getting my shorts and I liked it.  it has joined the plethora of running apparel in my closet and I think it will be very happy there. 

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Sweaty Bands  (the big nose shot is complementary)

It is just like the bic bands that I have.  It’s sort of felty on the other side and does not budge.  wonderful.  and the colors are bright and fun.

 

Weather forecast is good.  Compressing is underway.  I’ve been slacking in doing the stretching, icing, rolling exercises, but will be spending some quality time with the massage stick and ice bag tonight after my run.

Less than 3 Days.

And WHO IS RUNNING BOSTON ON MONDAY?!?!  How is your tapering going?  How are the nerves doing??

Very exciting.  That race is not really on my radar yet.  I’m excited to do NYCM in the fall.  That will be my big city race.  Maybe one day I will do Boston.  maybe.

Do you like to wear your hair a particular way for a race?  I like the braid because it keeps everything pulled back and not flopping around.  I don’t need flopping while I’m running.