Staying Healthy On Vacation-Back From Mexican Adventures!

Happy Thursday!  It’s been a bit longer than I had planned on being away from posting, but we were on vacation.  Our internet was so spotty, I couldn’t get anything to load.  It was the perfect time to put down the computer and just enjoy being with my family.

We headed out two weeks ago for an 11 day vacation at the Sunscape Sabor in Cozumel, Mexico.  Staying at all inclusive resorts can be both awesome and terrible in many ways.  On the bright side, you can pay for your trip up front and then spend very little during the rest of your vacation besides tips and excursions.  This is nice because you can easily budget for your trip without too many surprises.

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On the other hand, these resorts can be really hard on your health and wellness because it can be very easy to fall into a trap of eating too much, too often, and consuming a ton of calories in alcoholic drinks.  Meanwhile, there are sunny beaches and pools to lounge at and avoid activity.

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From my experience, there is an interesting mentality that occurs when people head to a buffet.  Even in a cheap hotel where the food is of relatively poor quality, people flock to the buffet and start piling tons of food they typically wouldn’t consume.  Did you ever notice that the eggs that sit in those containers are usually some sort of liquid egg substitute that doesn’t always even taste like eggs?  Sit back the next time you are in this situation and watch what happens.

Being mindful of what we ate at the buffet was key to a healthy vacation.  I’ve been continuing to eat mostly plant based foods and this actually made eating easier on this trip.  The quality of food at the resort wasn’t that great but they always had a ton of vegetable options.  I was able to make salads each afternoon for lunch and each evening I stuck to mostly veggie based options.  With a buffet this is surprisingly easy.

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This view certainly doesn’t hurt!

We had a really great time at our resort but we were also very aware of how we approached this vacation.  First of all, Rock and I both really enjoy exercise and try to make a point to get some activity in each day and also spend time being active with our family.  The first day we were there we went for a 7 mile run together.  There is a nice one way road along the resorts that allows you to safely exercise outside.  However, we weren’t used to the heat and humidity and struggled pretty badly for the last mile.

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Fortunately the Sunscape Sabor had an excellent small gym that had really nice quality cardio machines and a really beautiful yoga studio.  I was able to get an 8 mile run in most days during the girls hour long nap time.  Getting a daily sweat in really helped keep me feeling energetic, which is important when traveling with an infant and toddler.  When you stick to a normal activity routine, your body and mind feel better.

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So grateful for the Simple Hydration bottle on these hot vacations!

Finally, when it comes to alcoholic drinks, I try to be aware of what I am consuming.  While I do enjoy beers, I avoid drinking them too often because they are loaded in carbs that go right to your belly.  I also avoid fruity or creamy based drinks because these are basically like consuming multiple alcoholic milkshakes or juices.  I personally enjoy wine and this is a lower carb, lower calorie choice.

Other great options if you choose to drink on a vacation are mixed alcoholic drinks with a club soda or diet cola base and a light amount of alcohol.  Moderation is always key and it is always important to hydrate plenty throughout the day.  Aim to drink a big glass of water when you wake up and then with each meal.  Sparkling water is also an excellent and refreshing option to mix things up.

Also keep in mind that sleep is vital to staying healthy.  Budget for good sleeping time whether it be a siesta or going to bed at a reasonable hour.  Waking up ready for the day not only is important for health and wellness, but also makes your vacation more enjoyable.

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How do you like to stay healthy on your vacations?

Still Rocking The Treadmill & My Favorite Workouts

Well that was a long, but fun week!  Rock was out of town for work and I had the girls to myself.  We had some awesomely fun times and also some incredibly frustrating toddler moments.  I believe I referred to most days as a rollercoaster this past weekend.  There were some highs and some definite lows.

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This awesome gift was waiting on our porch Friday for the girls.  They spent the weekend watching cartoons in it.

I have actually found that being a mom of two has made me love parenting more than ever.  I’m surprisingly more patient than I was in the past.  And that is a good thing, because an infant and a toddler present all sorts of “interesting” challenges.

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It’s a Hard Knock Life being two.  I introduced Mary to “Annie.”

We survived the week and I was able to get in 49 miles too.  The week started off super cold, which made very appreciative to have the treadmill.  On Friday we were at 52 degrees and I would have loved getting a run in outside, but I have been enjoying my Netflix and watching Lucy swing while I hit the mill.  Treadmill workouts have been my jam lately.

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I love running outside, but am slightly freaked out by the idea of pushing 2 kids!

January has been really good to me as far as mileage goes, and I attribute some of that to some changes I have made in my eating.  I will touch upon that a bit more later this week.  But regardless of those changes, I have been loving my running and upping my mileage.  I’m considering some fall marathon options and am excited to be representing the Simple Hydration Running Team again this year!

I know a lot of people absolutely despise the treadmill.  It can be boring, and let’s be honest, running long distances isn’t exactly exciting to begin with.  However, there are a few things you can do to make the mill a bit more exciting, namely by implementing treadmill workouts.

Sometimes I like the treadmill because you can just zone out.  This isn’t always easy or wise when you are running outdoors.  You really should be constantly aware of your surroundings when you are outside.  On the mill, you can blast music or binge watch Netflix and not have to worry too much about what is going on around you.  Sometimes this can be a nice change.  Please note, this does not mean you have the freedom to be obnoxious at the gym!

I also like to do speed and HIIT \ workouts when I am on the treadmill.  Many people don’t realize that the treadmill can actually be a great tool for interval training, especially if you have difficulty finding or holding a goal pace for these workouts.  This can also help create a little variety and avoid numbing the brain.

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If you find that you are constantly watching the time on the monitor, these might be a great way for you to mix things up a bit.  My guess is that you will start to notice that you are so busy following your plan that you forget you are on the treadmill or how long you have been running.

These are also great ways to learn to mentally hold those faster paces.  You might hit your hardest pace and fear that you won’t make it, only to find that when the pace switches again, you recover well and really are capable of sustaining faster speeds.  This is great mental training for races or doing longer distances.

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The Pyramid Run:  This is one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  Start out with a short warm up at an easy pace.  After a few minutes start bumping up the pace every minute until you reach your hard pace.  You shouldn’t be running at 100% but should be to a point where it would be difficult to hold a conversation (about 75%).  Once you reach this point, hold that pace for one minute and then start bumping it back one minute at a time until you reach your starting pace.  Continue this pattern of building and falling back until you have reached your time or distance goal.

The Fall Back Run:  This is a great variation of the Pyramid Run.  Begin with a short warm up (around 5 minutes).  Then start building up as you would for your pyramid run.  Once you hit that difficult speed, fall right back to your starting pace.  I love this workout for anyone who is new to speed or HIIT workouts.  While it can be scary to push yourself at these harder speeds, it can feel less daunting knowing that once you hit that hard pace, you get to start back at the easy level.  Once again, continue these build up and fall backs until you reach your time or distance goal.

What are your favorite ways to make the treadmill more exciting?

The Marathon Will Change You

Happy Monday!  We just had a wonderful warmer weather weekend and it was fabulous.  We’ve been busy with projects going on in our house.  Our kitchen cabinets were being painted and it was so nice to be able to get out of our dusty house and enjoy some time with the whole family.

It’s amazing what a few coats of white paint can do to a kitchen.  Our whole house feels fresher and brighter!

As I was completing one of several nine mile runs on the treadmill this week, I was thinking about how this marathon of a project has changed our house and how the marathon itself can change you as a runner and as a person.  Marathon training season has officially kicked off for many and I thought I would share a few of the reasons why I feel the process can change you as both a runner and a person.

The Marathon teaches you mental grit.  I dare you to try completing an 18 week training plan or a 20 mile training run and not learn to be stronger and cope better in life.  While we generally start off a training cycle excited and enthusiastic, as the weeks go by, it takes some strong motivation to stay on track.

The mileage gets long and lonely.  We have to learn to stay the course and push through the difficult miles.  Your mind is a powerful tool, and it will grow in ways you never imagined.

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Grandma’s Marathon was horrible for me.  I almost quit and I had to walk the last few miles.  I learned so much at this race.

Running actually becomes easier.  Would you ever imagine that you would get to a point where 6 miles seems short and easy?  I have had so many runners marvel part way through training at how they suddenly think a 6 mile run is no longer a big deal.  These were the same people who were frightened by a 3 mile run just a few weeks ago.  At some point, 10 miles even starts to sound “short.”  It’s a great feeling to realize that the miles are becoming more doable both mentally and physically.

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You are going to chafe and stink, and disgust not only others, but likely yourself too.  Try running dozens of miles each week and not getting some nicks and scrapes along the way.  Gentleman, please make sure you tape up those nipples.  Ladies, embrace lathering the body glide in areas that rub.  But let me warn you that one day you will hop in the shower and sting in places you didn’t know had rubbed, regardless of the prep work.  It will cause some screams and perhaps a few profanities.

You are also going to sweat, a lot.  And you are going to come home a disgusting mess.  Winter running and spring allergies can cause lots of runny noses.  Things are going to get ugly.  Make sure you thank your family members for sticking around during these grosser days.

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So gross!

You will amaze yourself.  There will be difficult days. There are going to be days that you will question how you are ever going to finish 26.2 miles.  You are going to get frustrated and you will probably cry at some point.  The marathon is hard and the training is harder.  But you will grow as a person and a runner.  Nothing is more empowering than getting through a difficult run or crossing the finish line of 26.2 miles.  You will be forever changed!

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How has the marathon or the training process changed you?

Holiday Gift Guide: Running Products For Stockings

Keeping with my trend of reviewing running sunglasses, I thought I would share some of my favorite running products to stuff stockings .  Pick up a few of these for yourself or your favorite runner.  I believe these won’t disappoint.

Simple Hydration Bottles: ($19.99)

It’s no secret that I am a fan of this water bottle.  It sits perfectly  in the back of your shorts or sports bra.  No need to wear a hydration belt. There’s no bouncing around or chafing.  The name of this product says it all, simple!  You don’t have to worry about carrying hydration around.  It holds just enough fluid to get through almost any run.  Now the lids also come in a variety of colors and an improved lid.

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Yurbuds: (Starting at $14.99 on Amazon)

I have weird ears, because earbuds don’t stay in for me.  It is so frustrating and up until a few years ago, I had to wear old school over the noggin headphones.  Yep, I was that dork on the run!  I was at a North Face race and saw a Yurbuds booth and their promise that these won’t fall out.  I didn’t try them, but eventually decided to spring for a pair.  Do yourself a favor and get these if you have the same problem as me.  The sound quality is fantastic.  The fit is great and they will replace them if there are issues within the first year.

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Flipbelt: (Starting at $28.99)

I used to use a different type of belt, and while I loved it, we had some major chafing issues and had to break up.  Unlike other belts, this one stays in place and doesn’t bounce around, eliminating any potential rubbing.  It also has multiple pockets so you can carry your phone, fuel, ID, cash, and anything else you might need.  Even when I was pregnant, this remained comfortable on the run thanks to a nice amount of stretch.

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Body Glide: ($7.99 in stores)

Speaking of comfort, chafing is a given in the sport of running.  It happens and it hurts.  Nobody likes to hit the showers after their thighs have rubbed together for several miles.  Ouch!  Lather this on problem areas before your long run and spare yourself that painful singe after a run.

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Nuun Tablets: ($5.99 in stores)

I tore my calf at 20 weeks during my pregnancy in May.  A lack of electrolytes can lead to severe cramping and even muscle tears.  These delicious tablets are a wonderful way to recover after your run.  Hydrating never tasted so delicious and your muscles will thank you later.  I love the variety of flavors that are offered, including energy options, because sometimes long runs start at early o’clock.

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What are your favorite products that you would like to see in your stocking or recommend for others to share the love?

 

Life Lately

Thank you so much for all of the well wishes on the news that we are expecting this fall.  We are really excited.  Mary is getting excited too.  She has added some new reading material to her bookshelf in preparation.

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This winter was a rough one for us weather wise.  We got hit by some big snow storms that really kept me from running outside.  In fairness, I could have sucked it up and gotten out there.  But as I mentioned, our rural roads did make winter running really difficult.  Despite that, and being pregnant, I was able to get in some pretty good mileage so far this year: January 132 miles, February 171 miles, and March 197 miles.  I am pretty happy with this for now.

 

April1.4I took the past week off from blogging because I picked up a lot of extra hours at work in anticipation of not being there for a little while this spring.  Between personal training, health coaching, and working the fitness desk, I logged a great 40 hour week.  I was exhausted by the end, but I really do enjoy what I have been doing and am grateful they allow me to split my time between jobs.

Speaking of which, we loaded the car on Friday and made the trek east to New York.  It was an adventurous ride with a toddler, but thanks to an Etch-A-Sketch and a new Kindle Fire, it wasn’t too terrible.  Am I the only parent who thinks Daniel Tiger is a miracle worker (until I get the theme song stuck in my head)?!

Mary and I got out on Saturday for a 9 mile run around Randall’s Island. She napped the entire time.  However, on Sunday she joined me for six miles around the island and stayed awake the entire time.  She loves pointing out and waving to all of the dogs and says hello to everyone she passes.  She seems to really enjoy it here!

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Sporting my Simple Hydration Run Team gear.  Mary likes to think she is on the team 😉

Sunday also marked the last day of ice at the rink in Central Park.  If you have followed me for awhile, you know that this is where Rock and I met almost 15 years ago.  We have worked there since then and it was really awesome to bring Mary to go skating.  The weather was absolutely perfect; sunny and 60 degrees.

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Tomorrow marks the beginning of classes in Central Park.  We are looking forward to Mary joining us in our adventures.  I think she is going to love it.

Congrats to all of the Shamrock Shufflers and anyone else who raced this weekend.   How did your races and weekends go?

Runner’s Amnesia

I recently heard the term “runner’s amnesia” and it has had me chuckling all week.  If you are a runner or have ever run, you most definitely have suffered a case of running amnesia.

The onset typically starts when you first begin.  Each day you struggle to breathe and push yourself through a workout.  The entire time you curse yourself for ever considering running.  You constantly remind yourself how much you hate this.  You swear that when you get home you are throwing your shoes away and never running again.

Somehow, by the time you wake up the next day, you seem to have forgotten about that run and you are at it again, cursing your way back through.  In fact, you might even go out the next day and see a cute running top or a shiny new pair of shoes and decide that you must get those for training, despite having just said you would never do it again.

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As a coach and a runner, the most common case of runner’s amnesia that I tend to see involves endurance races.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard about a runner crossing the line of a half marathon and swearing they will “never do that again” only to sign up a week later.  Even better is when they decide that “never again” meant they might as well tackle a full marathon while they are at it.

Years ago I proposed doing a marathon to my husband for the first time.  I told him it was a bucket list item that we should do.  His response was that he would train with me and run a portion, but not the full race.  Today we have done multiple marathons and together coached hundreds of half and full marathoners.  Funny how quickly things can change.

As a matter of fact, I remember the morning of my first (and supposedly only) marathon.  I was sitting eating a bagel and these strange words slipped out my mouth without me realizing what I was doing, “Next time we do this, we should……”  We both looked at each other and had a scary moment.  We both knew right then that there would be a next time.

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So what is runner’s amnesia?  I believe that it is this wonderfully sick mechanism in our brains that allows us to suffer our way through a difficult run or event.  It allows us to curse ourselves, our bodies, and our poor judgement.  We can even say we will never run again or never do a particular race again.  And at the time, all of this is absolutely fair.  We are miserable.  Our bodies hate us, our minds hate us.

However, by the next morning, our brains have somehow erased most of those terrible memories or somehow recharged them so that we can laugh about how we stumbled across the finish line or threw up into our shoes.  Suddenly we are amused by our terrible experience.  Less than 24 hours later we think, “It wasn’t that bad!”  We start contemplating our next event or planning a revenge.

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While it might be a safety mechanism in our brains that allows us to erase terrible, horrible memories, it also is that strange mechanism that makes us runners totally weird.  It allows us to forget just enough to get back out there and keep going again and again.

What is your best case of runner’s amnesia?  Were you ever unable to not completely forget a bad run or race?

Back On The Team

Happy Monday!  We had a wild weekend full of lots of work and family time.  Super Bowl Sunday is always a favorite for me because, like most runners, I love food!  Pizza, dips, wings…I want it all.  Mary, on the other hand, was a bigger fan of the Puppy Bowl.

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This past week was another full one at the gym.  I had been putting in plenty of extra hours on the fitness floor, working with new training and health coaching clients.  It was great,  but I am really looking forward to a slower upcoming week.

I of course also managed to get in lots of mileage this past week, mostly on the treadmill.  Actually, it was exclusively on the treadmill.

On Friday I received exciting news that I was accepted back onto the Simple Hydration Running Team for 2017.  I am so excited to be a part of this great group once again.  I really love the Simple Hydration bottle and truly believe that it’s founder, Brian Hock, is a great business leader.  He has done so much for the running community and takes great care of his team of runners.

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I also love that Mary has discovered this bottle and enjoys using it!

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I’m also excited to be on the team again this year with Elle of A Fast Paced Life.  We got the chance to meet briefly in Central Park last spring while Mary ran wildly around in the grass.  It was so fun hanging out with a fellow team member and blogger and I am looking forward to another fun year with her and potential race meet ups.  If you haven’t already, stop by her blog and give it a like!  I love reading about her running adventures and enjoy living vicariously through all of her races.

I plan on being back much more this week with some running tips, healthy living ideas, and life adventures.

How was your weekend?  What was your favorite part of the Super Bowl?

A Marathon Weekend-Relay and Charity Style

Happy Monday!  Sometimes I feel like I wait for Monday to come so that I can breathe a sigh of relief and relax a bit.  This weekend was awesome, busy, and with just a touch of down time.

Two weekends ago I did my first long run of my Boston Marathon training.  I woke up to 15 degrees and a surprise coating of 4 inches of snow that arrived overnight.  I check the weather pretty religiously and knew nothing of the incoming snow.  I packed up my bags and headed into town where the roads are generally better.

My drive was laced with a few profanities and I quickly realized that the plows were in no rush to clean this up on a Saturday morning.  I slipped and slid all over the place.  These roads often lack much of a shoulder, making snowy runs both difficult and dangerous.

I set off on my usual long run route but found that the path I usually use isn’t plowed during the winter.  This turned the rest of my run into a bizarre mathematical equation of running up and down random streets and counting tenths of miles to get myself back on track.  It was miserable.

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When I returned home, the backs of my knees ached.  I was headed toward an injury far too early into marathon training.

I spent all week going into work early to get my runs in before my shift started.  However, I wasn’t sure what to do about the 14 miles on my upcoming weekend plan.  The YMCA that I work for was putting on a charity Exercise-athon and one option piqued my interest.  One of our locations was doing a century bike ride and treadmill marathon.  You could go it alone or create a relay team.

I signed up for the event knowing that I was guaranteed a treadmill, it would be fun, and my money was going to a good cause.  When Rock heard what I was doing, he offered to run the remaining 12.2 and form a relay team with me.

I woke up bright and early and drove over to Traverse City on my own.  I arrived to find out there were only two teams signed up and the other team never showed.  The Y has a fantastic triathlon training program and their coaches got me set up on an awesome SportsArt treadmill that counted down from 26.2 and allowed me to run without having to restart the machine.

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The run was rough.  It was hot and sweaty and there were no televisions in front of these particular machines.  I stared at a brick wall the entire time.

At one point a gentleman finally turned on a powerful fan and that made a huge difference.  But the damage was done.  After 10 miles, I was sweating like crazy.

I was motivated by the sounds of the cyclists behind me and their coach coaxing them on.  I kept reminding myself that regardless of how hard this run got, it was much easier than the slippery disaster I had the week before.

It took me two hours, but I managed to push through.  It felt great.  I was a sweaty mess as Rock passed Mary off to me and he hopped on to complete our challenge.

I had great plans to take a sweaty selfie and thought about it during the second half of my run.  But when I finished and saw my family, I completely forgot.  Major bummer because I was representing in my Simple Hydration Run Team gear.  I honestly made it through my run thanks to my Simple Hydration bottle.  

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To my delight, Mary took over my water bottle in the locker room and started using it on her own.  It was the cutest thing and I am so glad she likes it as much as I do.  I honestly think this will be perfect to take for her on trips and long stroller rides.  Thanks Simple Hydration!

Rock finished and we were gifted some awesome running socks for finishing as the first team.  That’s right….we won!  Top 1 of 1 teams!  #stillwinners

The rest of the day was awesome with family naps and a splurge dinner at a local restaurant.

The only downside was when I went to shower in the evening and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  I looked like a human roadmap!  All of the sweating during my run had caused major chafing everywhere.  A word of advice for anyone ever considering a relay in a warm room, always wear tightly fitted clothing!relay3

Have you ever done a relay?  How about a treadmill relay or indoor race?

Oh What A Year- 2016 By The Numbers

This year started out with lots of fun and visitors.  Between family time and work, I am just now getting a chance to sit down and do my mileage for the year.  2016 was an adventure filled and joyous one for our entire family.  It was my first full year as a mom spent learning to balance that with Sarah “The Runner.”  Talk about a great lesson in keeping everything going.    Here is a quick recap of my year.

January 198 miles:

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My year began with the honor of becoming a part of the Simple Hydration Run Team.  I have been using this bottle for a fear years now, thanks to founder Brian Hock.  I applied to join the team and am so happy that I was chosen.  I love this bottle and adore the group of runners within this team.  I have learned a lot from all of them this past year.

February 207 miles:

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My brother got married in Aruba and we enjoyed some time playing on the beach and splashing in the pool with our 6 month old.  Rock and I both started our marathon training for the Run For The Red Poconos Marathon.  I do remember a particularly difficult 16 miler that was finished entirely on grit.

March 235 miles:

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We were lucky enough to escape the cold yet again and join my parents for a week in Florida.  Our family has visited the same place for over 20 years and each year is just as fun as the last.  It is so fun to show our daughter the places I loved as a little girl.  Rock and I also got in a very hot 18 miler together along the beach.

April 247 miles:

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We packed up and headed to NYC for the spring for work.  It was a nice way to switch up the training.  Typically I would do my long runs weaving all over the city, but with a baby at home with a sitter, I ended up spending most of my runs doing loops of hilly Central Park.   This ended up being a very wise decision because the Poconos Marathon wasn’t the entirely downhill race that it is often touted to be.

May 155 miles:

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The Poconos Marathon was pretty epic for me.  Just about 9 months after Mary was born, I toed the line for my return to the marathon.  I trained both wisely and hard, and felt great.  Not only did I qualify for Boston but I also had over an 8 minute marathon PR!

June 157 miles:

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Grandma’s Marathon was meant to be my backup race to qualify for Boston.  Good thing I got that covered the month before, because the weather conditions and an overtrained body had me breaking down before I reached the halfway point.  It was a very humbling experience.

July 156 miles:

I love summer and we had a great one this year.  We traveled to Wisconsin for hockey camp and also ran the Cherry Festival 15k where I placed in my age group.  That was a big one for me as I have done pretty well in years past but never managed to get that age group finish.

August 146 miles:

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My mileage plummeted a bit this summer as I crammed before getting my ACE Health Coach Certification and then moved from Chicago to Michigan.  We spent a better part of that month making multiple trips to move furniture and then painting every room in the house.

September 174 miles:

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Back to the grindstone at just the perfect time as I received confirmation that I was going to be running the 2017 Boston Marathon!

October 163 miles:

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Fall running is the absolute best.  I managed to get in a few long runs during the week again.  I also started a new job as a Health Coach and Personal Trainer at the local YMCA!

November 176 miles:

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We had great weather this fall and it helped  create a pretty solid base for my running.  At our annual Turkey Trot I had a 10k PR and 3rd place age group finish.  Then I ate way too much food!

December 168 miles:

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I may not love winter running but I love everything about the holidays.  We had a wonderful month of family time and snuggles and I started my Boston Marathon training.

Total miles: 2182

It was a very blessed year.  Thank you for following along, commenting, and sharing your stories.  A very special thank you to Simple Hydration and Legend Compression for bringing me onto their teams!

What was your best memory of 2016?

 

Winter Running Safety

The other day I was driving down a busy four lane road with Rock and he shouted, “Look out!”  I was carefully watching the cars in front of me and for the life of me couldn’t tell what he was talking about.  “Runner,” he shouted.  Right there in the road was a guy running against traffic in a white jacket.  I couldn’t see him and I am the first to slow down and move over for any runner.

I am always happy to see other people out enjoying the activity I love the most.  But there were several offenses being committed and I felt this was a perfect time to discuss running safely for the winter.

Pick a safe spot.  The area where this gentleman was running is a local favorite.  There are sidewalks galore heading into the downtown area.  But we have received an unprecedented amount of snow very early into this winter (as in 30 inches and counting).  The sidewalks have not been plowed yet in this particular area.  While this is the main drag, there are SO many side streets that are far less traveled and much safer to run on.  It might mean making a bit of a detour, but when the safety of your life is involved, changing up your route is a must.

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Had this gentleman just moved over one street, he could have reached the same destination and run in the road without putting his life in jeopardy.

Make light a Christmas tree and go bright.  Wear the brightest colors you have.  Throw on a vibrant running vest.  Deck yourself with lights.  Fa la la la!

When you wear neutral colors in the winter, you blend into the snow.  Even worse, the sun reflecting on the snow is blinding for drivers.  Don’t assume that people will see you.  Make it your business to be seen.  Wear a bright jacket.  Pick out a running vest that has reflectors.  Running stores have all sorts of great lights that clip to shoes, jackets, gloves and hats.

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Bright and lights!

Stay warm.  When the temps get frigid we can put ourselves in very dangerous situations.  My best rule to run by is to ensure that your head, hands, and feet are nice and toasty.  Find a nice comfortable hat that covers your ears.  Pick out a pair of cozy running mittens.  While gloves are great, having your fingers together helps keep your hands much warmer.  Find a pair of winter sweat wicking socks.  I am a huge fan of Smart Wool.  They make great socks for all sorts of winter athletes.

Keep in mind that running tights actually keep you warmer than running pants.  The material is meant to make your cold runs more comfortable and streamlined.  I know, I know, most of us don’t love wearing tights.  But once you get past that first awkward feeling, you will wonder why you didn’t convert sooner.  That goes for you too, gentlemen!

Stay hydrated.  Just because it is cold out, doesn’t mean that you no longer need hydration.  Make sure you drink plenty before you leave.  If you are training for long distances, have a game plan for how you will hydrate.  Many parks turn off their water fountains in the winter, making it difficult to get water along the way.

SimpleHydration

What I would give to be running with this on the beach right now!

This is the time of year that I love using my Simple Hydration bottle.  Because it sits up against my body and under my jacket, my body keeps the bottle warm enough to avoid freezing the water!

How do you like to stay safe in the winter when you run?