Wednesday, August 28, 2013

3 things to kill your marathon training

I have become acutely aware of a few short comings recently that have derailed my training and put my running in a holding pattern.  If you want to actually complete your training program and find your self crossing the finish line at 26.2 then DON'T do the following:

1. Illness/injury:  Many athletes find their immune systems compromised during strenuous bouts of training and are accustomed to working through these times of runny noses and general malaise but more serious illness or physical injury can shave numerous workouts off your training schedule.  For me, I've been taking an elective dermatological medication that has left my muscles and joints extremely fatigued and achy.  In fact, I now describe myself as a 90 year old woman who needs an oil change.  I groan and creak every time I move so you can imagine what running feels like.  I was supposed to be finished with the regimen last week but on Monday I found out that I have 4 more weeks and I'm pretty devastated.
2. Time: This one seems obvious.  Runners and athletes know that training is a lifestyle and that several hours of their week will be devoted to their physical fitness.  But for marathon training you will need at least one LARGE block of time each week.  We're talking 3-4 hours in addition to the other 8-12 hours your spending on additional runs and cross training.  This has been a bigger issue for me than I though.  We've been traveling a lot lately and finding a 3-4 hour block of time in a new city to desert my family has been nearly impossible.  Not only do I feel guilty about it, I also don't really want to give up this much time during these precious memory making events.
3. Mental commitment: To drag your body through the rigors of pounding out  over 26 miles with nothing but your own 2 feet you have got to make sure your head is on straight.  There is entirely too much time to start talking yourself out of such a labored event and if you don't talk yourself out of it there will be plenty of other people along the way who will try.
This is the deal breaker for me lately.  I've simply started questioning my reasoning behind this quest lately.  I've given up short on too many long runs lately because my mind has simply won the fight.

When it comes down to it, I've failed at the most fundamental elements of training for a marathon.  I have realized this week that I need to take a break from full on marathon training.  This likely means I won't race the the full marathon on Oct 27th that I had planned but I think it's ok.  I am still running and enjoying my runs that are less than 10 miles long.  In fact I am beyond excited for the Claredon 10k I'll be running on Sept 28th (yep, this will be during one of our  family vacation times).
I am also having a lot of fun with several of the fitness classes I've started taking.  I know my condition is top form, but for now, I'm not in marathon form.  Maybe something will change over the next 7 weeks, but I'm not betting on it.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Happy Sunday and a Cocogo Winner & DEALS

I hope everyone is having a fun weekend.
The family and I have been at the horse races.  Let me tell you, those creatures are awesome.  I sure wish I could run as smoothly as they do!

In exciting news.  Debbie Goodman Harris was the winner of our Cocogo giveaway.  Congrats Debbie.  Check your email for more information.
For everyone else who entered but didn't win the freebies don't worry.
Cocogo is offering Running Shoes and Bugaboos the following discounts at their store
40COCOGO (40% off)
FRSH4COCOGO (free shipping)
COCOGOBOTTLE (free insulated bottle when you order two boxes - put the bottle also in shopping cart and the price comes off in checkout)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Favortes: BEER

It's been a while since I've had a Friday Favorite and I really have a few important favorites to share with you but this week is for fun.  I am usually more of a wine drinker but I recently saw Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat Seasonal on the shelves and wanted to give it a try.  All i can say is YUM!  It's like bitting into a refreshing, crisp, boozy apple!  Great with summer meals.

***Remember to drink responsibly.  My opinions are all my own and I was in no was compensated for this post.

6 Tips to prevent running boerdom

So often I hear from "non-runners" that they don't like to run because it's boring! I honestly have never understood this ad I've found running to be cathartic but as I was out today I got to thinking about boredom and how I keep it at bay during my runs.  Here are my tips:

1. Enjoy the quiet time: For me, having 3 small children at home means being surrounded by noise and chaos.  The time I get alone to run is an a mini vacation for me.  I relish the quiet time and enjoy hearing the sound of my own thoughts and breath again.

2. Get lost in your mind: I like to let my thoughts wander a bit sometimes and reflect on recent interactions I've had, books I've read or even tv programs I've watched and then re-write parts of them or predict what's coming. I've also been known to lose mile to my thoughts just redesigning my house!

3. Solve a problem: It there is a conflict in my life I find that running, like nothing else, can help shed clarity on a solution.  Simply reviewing the situation and then visioning myself with the results I want lets my mind start working as I legs keep pumping.

4. Absorb your surroundings:  This one seems obvious but can pick me up like nothing else.  Since we are normally traveling at 60 mph on 4 wheels, settling down to a 8mph pace really lets you see whats around.  I like watching the deer frolic early in the morning if I'm outside or watching families from the window while they are maneuvering themselves through the parking lot when I'm on a treadmill.

5. Play a game: If I need a little more focus and am struggling I set a point at which to stop running or slow down.  It may be a lamppost or bush somewhere ahead or the end of a particular song in my playlist.  This helps me motor through the doldrums and I often find I can go beyond the arbitrary point that I've picked.  It's also a good way to do speed work.

6. Self visualization: Whether your running in a race, training for a competition or just running for your fitness it can be very helpful to see yourself at the end of this run with the results that you desire.  It may be blazing across the finish line, or in a cute bikini or it may just be visualization of the cool shower and big cup of coffee that you get to enjoy when the run is finished!  Athletes use this all the time to help accomplish their goals, I use it to start my salivary glands!

So the next time someone asks you how you keep from getting bored while running share this list with them.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Marathon training

I feel like I'm standing at the precipice.  To marathon or not? I'm 8 weeks out and based on my run this morning I think I really should throw in the towel on the 26 mile idea and stick with halfs and shorter.  BUT, the marathon I have been training for is perfect for me.  It's small, cheap and on the route that I run regularly.  There will not be a better opportunity to give a marathon a try than this one(ok there's always next year).  I'm taking a slightly different stand to my training for the marathon than I did for the 30k.  With this plan I'm running 4-5  days a week with 1 long run(10-20miles) 1 med run (5-7 miles) and the other running days are speed/interval work.  In the past I have just put as many miles under my treads as I possibly could.  This time I'm spending my energy differently. I am maintaining my high intenstity cross training sessions and the interval/speed work is new for me.  My hope with this plan has been self preserverence.  I was not in my best form during the 30k and I don't want that again.  BUT, here I am today having cut my long run short (really short, from 13 down to 5) just because I wasn't "feeling it".  Does this mean I don't have it in me for the a marathon?  I'm not sure.  I realize that mental preparedness is nearly as important as physical when it comes to endurance running but I'm not sure just how to effectively train this aspect.  Ideas anyone?

Don't forget about the Cocogo GIVEAWAY

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Arrggh, I need sleep!

Having twins is twice as nice but it's cam also be twice as challenging.  My girls are 2 1/2 now and are certainly behaving like it.  Honestly, the heinous term "terrible-twos" may've earned it's name honestly.  Over the past month they've not only taken their tantrums up a notch but they've also decided that sleeping is option and that nap-time is unnecessary (yes, I'm sure the lack of sleep is causing the tantrums and vice versa).  My eldest daughter went through this phase just as the twins were born and I was so hopeful that it was a result of having 2 new babies in the house at that time and that it would not be something to ever be endured again. Wrong!  Ok, I'll stop whining now, but honestly I'm so dogged tired with getting up at 4am and being on constant "mom"  patrol for 16 hours a day that I may just throw myself on the floor and start kicking in screaming too!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Product Review: COCOGO Hydration Drink + GIVEAWAY

I hope everyone is having a fun weekend.
The family and I have been at the horse races.  Let me tell you, those creatures are awesome.  I sure wish I could run as smoothly as they do!

In exciting news.  Debbie G. was the winner of our Cocogo giveaway.  Congrats Debbie.  Check your email for more information.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

GI distress

We're all friends here right?  If we weren't before, then we are now because I'm about to get a little too personal.

If you are a runner I'm fairly confident you've experienced your share of tummy troubles.  Since there are volumes of articles and books dedicated to the runner's gastrointestinal workings(here's one article from Runner's World) and the extensive amount of porta-potties you'll find at any race
I think it's safe to assume that a high percentage of has experience with this topic.  I am no exception.  Recently I've been fairly fortunate and haven't dealt too much with the tummy twisting but today breaks my, ahem, streak!
Generally I know that any run longer than 10 miles has the propensity to send me trotting off to the bathroom. But my GI response to these longer runs is so unpredictable it's not something I plan on.  Like I said, recently I've been very fortunate and I assumed that my body had gotten used to the general brutality of running and that I had found a good diet/fueling combination.  So this leaves me wondering what happened today. I have my suspicions about potential culprits but since my GI doesn't actually speak to me to confirm my predictions I'm just  going to have to hope for the best next time.
For any of you who are wondering what might be causing my distress (and perhaps some of your own) here is what I think went wrong today.
1. Irregularity: I have been traveling and have not been as "regular" as normal which is odd for me and I think it explains the frequency and, ahem, volume of today's episodes.
2. Hydration/Fuel during the run:  Due to the high temps and humidity I went through roughly 24ozs of NUUN and water during today's 2 hour expedition.  I also fueled with a combination of Honey Bee Stinger chews and dried apricots.  It's the dried apricots that I think are the culprit here.  I have been experimenting with them successfully lately but dried fruit is certainly known to have some laxative properties about them.
3. Post run fuel: I drank 20ozs of Click Mocha Espresso protein shake within 30 mins of finishing the run.  This shouldn't be a problem since it's designed as exercise supplement, but this is the 3rd time I've tried it and it has given me some mild cramps on my previous attempts. (REVIEW &  GIVEAWAY COMING SOON FOR THIS PRODUCT)

So what's a runner to do?  My advice; hydrate well before, during and after you runs. Stay away from fatty foods as wells as foods that you know cause you bloating or gaseous-ness.  I certainly don't have the answer and I honestly believe each day and each body is different.  But I suppose being a little more vigilant about what goes in will help what comes out!

It's Sunday and I'm in love!

So by now I'm sure you've heard of ModCloth, a totally awesome, vintage inspired clothing shop.  But guess what?  They are growing and becoming even cooler with their Home Decor Collection.  I am absolutely in LOVE with everything on the site.  I wish my budget was unlimited and my children were less, um, sticky so I could justify re-decorating my entire house with ModCloth goodies.  But I think I might just have to settle for a couple fun pieces of art for the walls.  I am really liking these sketch prints of the body (ok kinda quirky but why not?)  This circle frame is also really fun.
So head on over to ModCloth and get yourself something cute and remember that if you spend $50 you can get free shipping right now.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

So far behind.....

We are back in the steamy heat of Central Texas now and I feel like I've got a mountain of stuff to do.  I am waaaaay behind on reviews here for the blog and have a couple fun giveaways to get going as well.  So stay tuned for some good stuff that's coming in the next week.
In the meantime, we have a winner for the Cuppow lids giveaway:Alyssa (an email will be coming your way shortly).  

And a big THANK YOU for everyone who entered.

Hope everyone is able to lace up this weekend and get some miles under their treads.  I'm planning on a 12 miler tomorrow morning but am a little nervous about the heat.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, August 2, 2013


I have not put on a pair of running shoes or a stitch of dri-fit in a week! This has been unexpected. I knew running would be more challenging while visiting my family but I thought I'd get a little time. As it  turns out, the twins have taken this moment to boycott sleep....either At nap time or night time. This has pretty much meant 24 hour mom duty. My husband finally joins us tomorrow and hopefully having another adult around will help me feel like I can steal a couple hours for training. This was supposed to be an important week for marathon training but looks like we'll need to revisit & revise.

How has your summer been?

Don't forget about the Cuppow giveaway going on now.