Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Going the Distance | Under Armour HOVR Sonic Review

Disclaimer: I received Under Armour HOVR Sonic running shoes in exchange for my review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

When I find a good thing, I stick to it — that's true in both running and every day life — and I'm back to tell you about my experience with my latest running shoes!

As a BibRave Pro, I received Under Armour HOVR Sonic running shoes to review. If you have been following me for a while, you may remember that I reviewed HOVR Sonic shoes back in January, too. So what's the difference now?

HOVR Sonic in Graphite/Metallic Silver

These shoes are the "not connected" edition (meaning they do not pair with my smart phone), they are  in this fancy grey color that I love, and I have put mega miles on this same style of shoe over the past seven months.

I trained for and ran the Grandma's Marathon in my last pair of HOVR Sonic shoes and now I'm back for more in the HOVR Sonic as I train for my next race. After all that training time, I feel like I now know the "in's and out's" of this shoe.


These shoes have been through everything from speed work to long runs, treadmills to road running, stroller pushing and strength training. Through miles in the snow with Yaktrax strapped on this winter and now hot, humid miles on the road this summer, these shoes have been comfortable and gotten the job done.

As this pair of shoes not being connected to Under Armour's smart phone app, I haven't been disappointed as I found I rarely used the app with my earlier connected pair (my Garmin tracks all the data I need). The "not connected" edition is fine with me!


My Favorite Features of the HOVR Sonic:


Breathable Material

The soft knit upper dries fast and provides a breathable, compression-like fit that has kept me comfortable even on those extra hot, humid runs. I credit the breathability of this shoe as one of the reasons I had ZERO blisters or black toenails after the Grandma's Marathon in June! 26.2 miles and I walked away without even one hot spot or sore on either foot. Over ten marathons, that's a first for me.

Energy Return

The HOVR Sonic shoe weighs 8oz, which isn't the lightest shoe I have ran in, but the UA HOVR™ technology provides a ‘zero gravity feel’ to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact step after step. The UA HOVR™ foam makes these shoes feel like a lightweight shoe.

Neutral Fit

These are a great fit for runners who need a balance of flexibility and cushioning. As a neutral runner, the HOVR Sonic's fit feels natural for me.

Color

Can I just say I love this Graphite and Metallic Silver color scheme? The "Static Blue" color scheme looks really sharp, too. (Check the color options out on the Under Armour website!)


The HOVR Sonic running shoes (not connected edition) are available for $100 on the Under Armour website. I liked these shoes the HOVR Sonic shoe the first time I tried them back in January and now I appreciate them even more after putting them through the marathon training paces.

Though I am reluctant to retire my old pair as they are hitting that "mileage retirement age", I look forward to covering the miles in these new HOVR Sonics.

I've found a good thing in these shoes and I'm sticking to it!


What is a "must" for you when it comes to running shoes?

GF Marathon Training W3

Follow my journey as a I train for the Grand Forks Marathon coming up at the end of September. This is my 11th marathon but first time using Hansons Marathon Method for training!


SUNDAY:

W3D1 Easy Run 5.04 mi, 00:47 @ 09:14 pace with double stroller and my husband pushing our oldest in the single. They stuck with us for a few miles and then headed home.

MONDAY: 

W3D2 Speedwork 6.02 mi, 00:43 @ 07:10 avg pace, with 5 x 1k with 400m recovery with interval goal of 4:00-4:06. My intervals ended up at 3:52, 3:58, 3:56, 4:09, 4:07. Undershot the first 3 intervals and felt it in the last 2. Overall it went well as this was an evening workout. The temp was a comfy 75°F but I still tend to lose my “zing” in the evening.

TUESDAY: 

W3D3 Off

WEDNESDAY: 

W3D4 Tempo

THURSDAY

W3D5 Easy

FRIDAY:

W3D6 Easy

SATURDAY:

W3D7 Long Run

TOTAL MILEAGE: ?? miles


Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Need for Speed

This week has felt like a hurricane. Long days and late nights make for moody littles and a tired mama! Summer is so fun. Let me repeat. SO FUN.

In the northern Midwest, all things "fun" try to cram themselves into July. Swimming and ball and parades and vacation bible school and more parades and camping. So much fun, in fact, that July feels overwhelming.

The days have been long and nights have been ending after 10 pm, which has made waking up at 5:00 am not my favorite thing this week. I love quiet mornings to myself, as time to pray and enjoy the outdoors before life speeds up, but I need to get more disciplined with sleep.

What I'm LOVING about the Hansons Marathon Method so far: 
Weekly Speed & Tempo workouts.

What I'm NOT LOVING about the Hansons Marathon Method: 
Waking up early 6 days a week.



The speed work, tempo runs and specific goal paces in this training plan definitely keep the runs exciting and fun. Now the 6-days-a-week thing...

I used to run 6 days a week in my pre-marriage and pre-kids life, and I actually enjoy it, but I'm not sure this is maintainable right now. We'll see. I'm working on an earlier bedtime (9 pm) this weekend and I'll reassess in a week or two. Chalk that up as a #LIFEGOAL.

Until then, one day at a time, one workout at a time.

In other news, I went to my first chiropractic appointment in TWO YEARS! Oooh it was nice. I was way overdue for an adjustment and she did a mix of the Graston Technique and dry needling to my stiff left knee.

Baby was very fussy near the end. I made the mistake of releasing him from the carseat before the appointment. Once he tastes freedom, he is not happy to be buckled up again. Fussyness aside, I hope to go to the chiropractor once a month or at least every other month for adjustments - not the dry needling or Graston. Yet another #LIFEGOAL.

After the past two years of growing/birthing a baby, breastfeeding with subpar posture and running marathons, my body seemed to appreciate it and I count that as stewarding the body that God has blessed me with. I'm thankful to feel as great as I do - tired and all!


Thoughts on regular chiropractic care? Have you experienced "dry needling" before?

GF Marathon Training W2

Follow my journey as a I train for the Grand Forks Marathon coming up at the end of September. This is my 11th marathon but first time using Hansons Marathon Method for training!


SUNDAY:

W2D1 Easy Run 4.01 mi, 00:36 @ 08:58 pace with left knee feeling slightly stiff, possibly slightly swollen (feels "fluffy", the only word I can think of to describe). Pretty sure the tight calf/quad and IT band is to blame. I cut two miles off this run to recover extra from the wild week of camping and then will do Runner's Yoga tonight.

MONDAY: 

W2D2 Speedwork 6x800m with 400m recovery. 6.02 mi, 00:46 with interval goal pace at 3:15-3:20 min per 800. Getting out of bed this morning was a bugger! I have fallen out of practice for the 5:00 running... snoozed my alarm till 5:20 and got out there. The run went well and my knee didn't feel weird at all. Intervals were at a fine pace overall - 3:21, 3:20, 3:21, 3:17, 3:21, 3:21. Room for improvement, felt like a successful workout.

TUESDAY: 

W2D3 Off.

WEDNESDAY: 

W2D4 (Treadmill) Tempo Run 5 mi, 00:38 @ 07:32 pace because 5 am alarm went off and baby thought that meant nursing time. Ran inside instead this afternoon. Slower than 7:26 pace goal but I’m just glad this run got done today. Good enough.

THURSDAY

W2D5 Easy Run 5 mi, 00:46 @ 09:09 pace that I finally got outside for. Baby was up to nurse at 5 am but went back to sleep after. I feel tired and well baked... Three days of VBS done and baseball finished today. Summer life!

FRIDAY:

W2D6 Easy Run 6.01 mi, 00:55 @ 09:09 pace. Waking up early for this run felt HARD. I like mornings but a regular 5:00 am alarm (which I regularly snooze till 5:15) is wearing me out. I suppose the late nights aren't helping either... working towards a 9 pm bedtime tonight...

SATURDAY:

W2D7 Long Run 10 mi, 01:20 @ 07:58 pace with goal pace 8:00/Mile. Went well! I was able to beat the heat and we had so much fun making a 5k aid station with friends after!


TOTAL MILEAGE: 36.04 miles


Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Camping with Three

We're back home after a wild week of life and camping — our first camping trip with three kids! This time away was such a blessing. I love being with family, spending time outside in God's creation and Itasca State Park is my favorite place to camp.

On camping with the three kids... our 3-year-old and 5-year-old boys are a dream to camp with aside from occasional attitude probs. That's #reallife for ya. They are both crazy about s'mores, fishing, biking and Grandma & Grandpa's RV.

Mr. 8-month-old enjoyed his first ever camping trip but he was much harder. Being such a busy crawler (he has been since 6 months!), he took any opportunity to eat rocks, sticks and anything else within reach. He spent most of his time in the stroller, packed along in the baby carrier or being just plain old carried by someone (mostly me).

Four days of camping was amazing but by the end I was pretty well exhausted. Being back home has been nice, especially since the baby can crawl on the floor freely here. Note to self: Bring the baby walker on camping trips with crawlers present.

Just a few of my favorite memories from the trip:


After a two week break from running, I started back at it this week and am easing into training for a fall marathon with the Hansons Marathon Method. This will be my 11th marathon but my first time using a Hansons plan. When I get a chance, I'm reading through the nuts and bolts of their approach and it's helped me to gain confidence in the plan and ramping up to running 6 days a week again (it's been a while).


My main focus for this first week back has been to hit the goal training paces. Especially running slow enough on easy days. Those "easy days" will be vital as active recovery through this plan. With the camping trip mixed into training, the "easy" runs were a bit more challenging than usual with the hills and double stroller added in. The coming week should be much more normal. Whatever normal is.

It was a great week and I'm enjoying trying something new. I'll be sharing more on Hansons Marathon Method and race goals in later posts :)

That's a wrap for now!



How did you celebrate Independence Day?

GF Marathon Training W1

Follow my journey as a I train for the Grand Forks Marathon coming up at the end of September. This is my 11th marathon but first time using Hansons Marathon Method for training!


SUNDAY:

W1D1 Easy 4.01 mi, 00:36 @ 09:05 pace to kick off training for my Fall marathon! I’m using the Hansons Marathon Method for the first time ever, so this training cycle will be a whole lotta newness for me. Goal this week: hit the training paces, especially on easy runs!

MONDAY: 

W1D2 “Easy” 4 mi, 00:43 @ 10:50 pace with the double stroller and E on this bike at the county park. We made the journey around the lake (and then some). When he needed a break, I ran intervals on the hills to keep moving. I am so proud he biked that far! Personally, I’m wiped and not feeling the greatest. Cold or allergies, not sure which?

TUESDAY: 

W1D3 Off.  In between packing, groceries, and what not, I fit in some foam rolling and stretching on my tight calves (especially left side) and hips.

WEDNESDAY: 

W1D4 Happy Independence Day! Tempo Run 5.01 mi, 00:37 @ 07:25 pace that was actually on pace! I want sure what to expect coming back after my break. Feeling recovered and ready to work on speed.

THURSDAY

W1D5 Easy Run 4.91 mi, 00:49 @ 09:58 pace with double jogging stroller to the Mississippi Headwaters and back to our camp site at Itasca State Park. Those hills really worked me over!

FRIDAY:

W1D6 Easy Run 6 mi, 00:57 @ 9:29 pace with my sister-in-law Danielle on the route to Douglas Lodge, out 4 miles and back.

SATURDAY:

W1D7 Easy Run 5.29 mi, 00:56 @ 10:31 pace with double jogging stroller to Headwaters and back again, this time with E riding his bike. We took some walk and water breaks but he made it the whole way! I was very proud of his first trip there on those hills and in the heat! This run was supposed to be my 8 mile "long run" but I cut it short. Those hot, hilly miles with the stroller were enough for me.

TOTAL MILEAGE: 29.22 miles


Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Styles for Miles | Mercury Mile Review

Disclaimer: I received 50% off my Mercury Mile box + a free styling fee in exchange for my review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Runners come in all shapes and sizes and about every style preference under the sun! So instead of trying to copy something your runner friend is wearing or taking the time to sift through racks of clothing to find something that appeals to your taste, what if there was an easier way?

WHAT IF you had your own personal stylist that picked out an outfit for you? Just your style, in your comfort zone or, if you're feeling adventurous, something new to break you out of your box?

I have personally never tried a styling concept like this before. As a BibRave Pro, I received a free Mercury Mile styling fee along with 50% off any products I chose to keep.

It started like this: I created my "Runner Profile" on the Mercury Mile website and they asked me specific questions to get a better picture of my style and what kind of runner I am. Beginner or Advanced? Trails or road? 5ks or ultras? More modest or showing some skin? They also requested my social media profiles (IG & Pinterest) to give my stylist more insight into what I would like.


After completing my Runner Profile, I put in a request for my first Mercury Mile box and selected a date for the box to ship. That just so happened to be my 31st birthday week as well! I put in my order and four days later (including a Sunday) the box was on my doorstep!


As I explored my Mercury Mile box, what really caught my attention was the personalized note from my stylist, Helen, and the highlights of what she picked out for me.


What's In My Box?

  1. ASICS Performance Cool Tank in Corralicious
  2. Saucony Gait Tank in White
  3. Adidas How We Do 3/4 Tights
  4. Brooks Distance Short Sleeve in Race Pink/Track
  5. ASICS Cool 3.5 Short
  6. A free sample of SweatX Sportswear Detergent


Stylist Helen really rocked these picks and I asked my IG friends for feedback on my new Mercury Mile outfits. There was a strong lean towards keeping everything, and you didn't have to tell me twice! Happy birthday to me! (Mercury Mile totally saved my husband haven't to get me a birthday present ;) 


If you do decide to return something from your Mercury Mile box, it's as easy as pie. At the bottom of my box they included a ready-to-mail bag that you simply put the return items in and send in the mail the next day! It's a breeze.

My final thoughts on Mercury Mile are: it's AWESOME! A huge plus, in my opinion, is that it is NOT a monthly subscription box. Your boxes come only per your request and there is no pressure to request more boxes. The skill of their stylists and quality customer service will keep you coming back for more.

I could go on and on about how much I like each of the items Helen picked for me but I'll spare you. If you want more outfit-specific deets, just ask in the comments ;)

Use "BibRave10" for $10 off your Mercury Mile styling fee! 


Meet up with us for #BibChat at 8 pm CT on July 10th to talk style and have a chance to win a Mercury Mile prize!

Weekly Wrap: No Running, Week 2

No running again. That makes for a very uneventful Weekly Wrap but I'm holding fast to the Hansons Marathon Method advice:
"A planned break most certainly can prevent a forced break due to injury or overtraining... The bottom line is to refrain from running for these two weeks to let your body completely recover before getting out and pounding the pavement again." (Hansons Marathon Method, p242)

MONDAY: 

I haven't ran in over a week but somehow still find myself tired by the end of the day! Trying to fit everything fun into these short summer months.

TUESDAY: 

Time outside with the boys in the morning, Tee Ball and McMillan's Strength in Stride Stability A routine in the afternoon.

WEDNESDAY: 

Bible study and a trip to the pool that afternoon.

THURSDAY

Teeny Ball & Tee Ball making for a hot afternoon in the sun followed by the big boys fishing with dad that night while baby, the dog and I went out for a walk.

FRIDAY:

The boys and I went out for a walk with the dog, two littles in the stroller and biggest on his bike.

SATURDAY:

.

SUNDAY:

My first post-Grandma's Marathon run is planned for today. Let's make it happen!

TOTAL MILEAGE: ? miles


What is a staple item to your running style?

Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Refreshing Flavors of Summer | Gatorade Endurance

Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance Energy Gels and Endurance Formula to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

While I'm riding the recovery train after Grandma's Marathon last Saturday, we're spending as much time as possible outside enjoying the drastic change in temperature (remember what a crazy cold, long winter it was?!).  Hello, 87°F, I think I love you.

Timed perfectly with this hot summer weather, as a BibRave Pro, I received the Gatorade Endurance Thirst Quencher Powder and Endurance Energy Gel in two tasty new flavors; Watermelon and Mango!


I received these products in my taper week for the race and, while it was too late to use them as fueling during the race, I did test the Energy Gel on a taper run and pre-hydrated for the race with the Thirst Quencher Powder.

In the past, I haven't been crazy about sports drink flavors but I will say I'm liking this new watermelon formula! The Thirst Quencher Powder's watermelon flavor isn't overwhelmingly sweet, which I like, and is designed for longer, more intense workouts with added sodium and potassium to help you push it to the limit.

To mix up a bottle, I simply added two scoops of the powder to my water and shook it. Then it was ready to go! One canister of watermelon contains 32 oz which makes approximately 38 servings.


When it comes to energy gels, most runners seem to either love 'em or hate 'em. Personally I'm a fan of gels on the run because I don't have to chew them. The thick consistency of many gels isn't my favorite but find the right flavor and I can handle it.

So here's the deal. The Gatorade Endurance Energy Gels in mango are much lighter than any gels I have used in my training. The texture is light, the flavor is refreshing and each 1.3 oz gel packs 80 calories. If gels haven't agreed with you in the past, I would recommend giving these a try. You may be pleasantly surprised!


Though it's tempting to lace up my shoes and head out for a run, I'm going to take one more week off of running. Dare I say I actually miss running after just a week off? I know it's important for me to take some time off, especially being only 7 months postpartum, and to get back on the strength training train.

Once mid-July rolls around, I will start training for my 11th marathon, the Grand Forks Marathon. The Gatorade Endurance products will be extremely helpful for training through the summer heat!

The Gatorade Endurance New Flavor Pack retails for $52.99 on Gatorade.com with free shipping on all purchases over $50. Check it out :)


Weekly Wrap: No Running Week 1


MONDAY: 

My legs are feeling great except for going downstairs. The hills at Grandma's shocked my legs a little. I'm such a flat-lander!

TUESDAY: 

I have no plans of running this week but staying active with the kids has helped to loosen up stiff muscles.

WEDNESDAY: 

Bible study, pool time and stretching that night.

THURSDAY

Hot, hot, hot! Teeny ball and tee ball had us all sweating. I'm getting back into the swing of strength training with McMillan's Strength in Stride routine, in the air conditioning of our house of course ;)

FRIDAY:

We went on a nature walk with friends at a nearby state park that morning before the day really heated up again.

SATURDAY:

Stretching and strength planned

SUNDAY:

Off

TOTAL MILEAGE: 0.00 miles


How do you fuel during training and racing? Gels - love 'em or hate 'em?

Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Race Report: Grandma's Marathon 2018

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Grandma's Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

After taking a baby break from marathons for 2017, I returned to the distance this past weekend for #10. Grandma's Marathon is one that graces many bucket lists, mine included, and though I'm officially checking it off now, I can't wait to go back!

Here's how the marathon weekend went down:

Friday, June 15: Travel Day

My mom came to our house around 10 am to bring our older boys, 3 & 5 years old, to swimming lessons and watch them for the weekend. After saying our goodbyes, my husband, our 7-month-old baby, and I took off at 11:00 am for the 5 hour drive to Carlton, MN.

I opted to have my race packet mailed to our house to save some traveling stress. The $25 was well worth it. Whether we had three kids with or only one, this made our travels more leisurely and we would be able to go directly to the hotel.

After a road construction detour, a food stop and then one more stop to nurse the baby, our road trip took 6 hours total. Baby C is not our best carseat traveler but he did pretty well on the way down, provided I sat in the back to keep him company.

To Grandma's Marathon we go!

After arriving at our hotel, we made sandwiches with groceries we had picked up along the way and had a quiet evening. In all the busyness of the day I forgot to do a shakeout run when we got there. We travelled all the way there for the race... and I forgot to shakeout run? Apparently bouncing the baby to sleep was enough of a "shake out" for me.

Baby fell asleep around 7:30 pm and we just chilled that evening. 8:30 bedtime was a goal to make up for the early rise the next morning. Of course that didn't happen though. I must have finally been sleeping around 10 pm and then baby was up to nurse at 2 am. And 3 am. Our children have special sensors that alert them when mom is about to run a marathon. This isn't the first time I've gotten 4 hours of sleep before a race! ;)


Saturday, June 16: Race Day

3:45 AM - My alarm went off and the mix of adrenaline and nerves made me fly out of bed. The lack of sleep didn't seem to bother me much at the moment. I feel like your body gets used to the irregular sleep of baby years.

While my husband and baby were still sleeping, I got dressed and grabbed some continental breakfast - a bagel with pb and banana. I don't feel like eating much on a race morning but I force it down because I'll need it later. The breakfast area was very quiet as the half marathoners were already gone and maybe the marathoners were just waking up? The quiet made me a little nervous. Missing the shuttle was one of my main worries that day.

Back in the room, I pumped a bottle for baby and only got 4 oz! (Thanks to the last feeding at 3 am?) Hopefully that would be a enough for him until I was back around noon. Now that he can eat oatmeal I'm not as worried about him getting hungry while I'm gone.

5:00 AM - We stayed in Carlton because the hotel was much more $$ friendly, with two nights being the same price as ONE night in the Proctor hotel. The only downside was that my husband and our little one had to be out the door to drop me off at the shuttle. We loaded into the van and drove the 17 miles to Proctor in the fog. The day was forecasted to be a stormy one.

While in the van, I scribbled wrote 1 Timothy 6:17b on my hand to keep focused in this race: "Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment." Marathons are (mostly) fun and, sure I did sign myself up for this, but the unknowns still make me nervous. This verse reassured me that, no matter what the case, God would meet all of my needs. May I run for His glory!


5:40 AM - After hugs and goodbye kisses, I went into the AmericInn and the buses pulled up shortly after. I hopped on a "fancy" bus with cushiony, nice seats and chatted for the 20-30 minute drive to the starting line with a high school cross country coach from Iowa. The visiting was great, made the time fly by and somewhat relaxed the nerves.

6:45 AM - We pulled up to the car dealership where all of the marathon starting line business was taking place. There was a huge amount of porta potties (or so I thought), loads of buses and runners, and balloons marking the starting corral. After unloading I walked with a runner named Kelcey, mom of 3 kiddos from the Twin Cities, and then checked my extra gear bag. That's where my biggest mistake of the day happened...

I had one Razz CLIF SHOT Energy Gel in my sports bra and the rest of them were in my (already checked) gear bag. I got so carried away in conversation that I forgot to grab two more from my bag. There were 26.2 miles to cover and I was only carrying 100 calories on me! Yep, that's a problem. Of course I didn't realize this until I was waiting in the porta potty line and there wasn't any time to try to find my bag. My stomach turned into one huge knot. 

Meanwhile, amongst my gel drama, I ran into fellow runner/mom of 3 boys/homeschooling mom Danielle. I love being able to meet IG friends in person! (By the way, she ran a smoking fast 2:53 that day. WOW!)


7:15 AM - The porta potty line was pretty lengthy and we were getting antsy to line up in the corrals. Finally I made my way through the line and hurried to my pace group while keeping an eye out for my fellow BibRave Pros. I wasn't able to find Jenn and Angie but Amy S and I did run into each other while lining up! (And she ran a 2:59 for the day! So many speedy runners.)

Jenn & Angie | Amy S & me

Being 7 months postpartum, I wasn't sure what to expect in this race and decided to start conservatively. The 3:35 pace group would keep me from going out too fast and blowing up halfway through.


7:45 AM - Actually, a couple minutes after, the train sounded the start of the race! I took off just ahead of the 3:35 group and ran at whatever felt comfortable.

Physically I felt really good but mentally I was unfocused. I kept thinking, "When am I going to blow up in this race?" With it being marathon #10, the pattern seems to be that I do well in the first 20 miles but eventually blow up and need to take a walk break. (Basically, I'm struggling with negative splits.)

After mentally wrestling that negative outlook, I decided it's just best to brainwash myself: "I'm NOT going to blow up. I'm NOT going to blow up!"

Mile 1 - 8:02
Mile 2 - 7:49
Mile 3 - 7:48
Mile 4 - 7:52
Mile 5 - 7:47
Mile 6 - 7:47 - Took my one and only gel
Mile 7 - 7:48
Mile 8 - 7:51
Mile 9 - 7:59
Mile 10 - 7:38

Aside from a slight side stitch at mile 3 (maybe nerves?), the first 10 miles went by smoothly. I stuck with a pack of runners and enjoyed our strides being in rhythm. Training alone makes running in a herd feel like a special occasion. I miss the magic of a running group!

I zoned out for those early miles and enjoyed running through the cool mist coming off the lake. This part of the run was lined with trees and occasionally a peek at Lake Superior, though it was hard to see much in all the fog. This morning was absolutely perfect for a run. A nice, super long run.

Finding fuel before bonking was a concern so I prayed rather than wasting more time worrying. I know there are more important things going on in this world than a marathon, but I figured at worst, God could simply ignore my prayer. I would rather err on the side of praying too much. So I prayed. Lord, I have a whole lot of miles to cover and I need calories. Please allow something to pop up before I crash! Then I ran some more.

Mile 11 - 7:54
Mile 12 - 7:47
Mile 13 - 7:44
Mile 15 - 7:54 - BANANA!

Does God answer even our silliest prayers? Sure He does. Sometimes He even sends bananas. I was SO thankful to see a lady holding a tray full of banana chunks by the aid stations. As I ran by, I yelled, "You're a lifesaver!" before shoving the piece in my mouth and running on. Maybe I was a little dramatic but she did save me from a miserable run.

Mile 17 - 8:05
Mile 18 - 7:58
Mile 19 - 7:56
Mile 20 - 8:18
Mile 21 - 8:30

By now we were running through parts of Duluth and I loved to see all the spectators! Grandma's has a perfect mix of quiet, breathtaking scenery and then loud, fan-filled city running. I ran the entire time up to this point and my hips and legs were cramping. To get my mind off of the discomfort, I decided to walk at aid stations and up any hills if need be. That gave me a little recovery time, as my cramping muscles were relieved by the downhills.

Mile 22 - 9:31
Mile 23 - 9:38 - Just a 5k left, come on!
Mile 24 - 8:50
Mile 25 - 8:29
Mile 26 - 7:45

The gradual decline in the last couple miles of the course seemed to revive my legs and I was wobbly but feeling ready to kick it. It's funny how long the last 1.2 miles of a marathon can feel! The final "chute" seemed to last forever and turn too many times as I was trying to finish strong.

For the last sprint to the finish line's balloon arches, I ran as fast as I could while hoping I wouldn't trip over my own legs. Wouldn't that be embarrassing in front of all those people?!



3:32:17 was my official crossing time and it felt great. Honestly I felt a little emotional and held back tears while a woman put my medal on. It was a mix of gratefulness, hormones, pure joy and exhaustion. All of it.

This wasn't my best or my worst finish time but it was definitely the best I could do that day. And technically was a new "7 months postpartum PR" ;)


I hobbled around the finish area long enough to pick up some potato chips, a CLIF bar and orange juice. They had a nice variety of foods including strawberries and some other things I can't remember, but my appetite isn't the greatest immediately after a marathon.


After grabbing my bag and stretching while calling my husband, I was on the search for the return shuttle. It took a little maneuvering to figure out where the shuttle pick up was located so I followed the herd and visited with a runner from Madison, Wisconsin as we made our way. The shuttles and volunteers at Grandma's were very helpful! They made race day logistics so smooth. Finding parking in all the craziness of that day would have been rough.


My shuttle went to the Proctor AmericInn where my husband and our baby were waiting for me. Last year's race was ridiculously hot, so I heard, but this year I actually felt cold after the race. I didn't complain - I'll take racing the cold any day over the heat and humidity.

After getting back to the room, I took a hot shower and we had some time to relax while baby napped. Then we headed to the Streetcar Kitchen & Pub to celebrate an early Father's Day. I highly recommend their fish tacos and cheesecake.


So about the 3:32:17. Along with running somewhere between 3:30-4:00, my "secret other goal" was to beat my 7 months postpartum time from 2013. Marathon #6 (2013) was 7 months 9 days after the birth of our first son and marathon #10 (this one) was exactly 7 months 9 days after the birth of our third son!. How's that for crazy!

Five years older, two more kids, could I still run faster? I beat the 3:37:37 finish time by five minutes and that felt awesome. Maybe my 30's will be even faster than my 20's! In this blessed yet exhausting rollercoaster of pregnancy and babies, I feel like I have stalled out in the 3:30's - 3:20's range. Eventually I hope to break through that rut into the 3:15-ish range. Some day! As for now, I'm thankful and treasuring these times with my little, little ones :)

2013 & 2018, 7 months 9 days postpartum

That's the end of my race weekend ramblings. Thank you to my husband and our littlest for joining me on this "race-cation" and helping with race day transportation. Thank you to my parents for watching our older boys and for our neighbors who even watched our kids for my last long run. Thank you, BibRave, for making it possible for me to run Grandma's. Most importantly, thank You, Lord, allowing all of the details to fall into place!

It's been an amazing journey that I am so thankful for! Grandma's Marathon. Seriously. You need to get there. This race may rise to #1 on my favorites list!

Check out my official Grandma's Marathon review on BibRave.com and my results on Athlinks. Make sure to add your recent race results to Athlinks, too!



Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Save Those Toes | KT Tape Blister Prevention

Disclaimer: I received KT Tape Blister Prevention Tape & Patch to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Race week is upon us and I'm in the process of packing! While there are so many different aspects to covering the marathon distance, I want to talk about one "feeture" that is essential to running. (In advance, please excuse the feet pictures - this is just part of life as a runner!)


Out of all the marathons I have ran, a common theme of most race-related injuries has been feet. Even when following all of the rules (i.e. wear the same shoes and socks you train in, trim toenails pre-race), a blister, hot spot or even a black toenail can come out of nowhere. There is something about long miles and hot, sweaty feet that don't mix.

Personally my "trouble area" is my middle toe on the right foot only. It's crazy. I have no idea why but this is my rebel toe! I have used hockey tape as a protective layer when a painful blister has developed but it really didn't stick the best or breath. Likely because it's made for taping hockey sticks and not toes :)

Runner's Feet. Don't judge!

Going in to Grandma's Marathon on Saturday, I have had minimal blister issues in training (above picture was my only one, after a hot 20-miler) but I know that race day may have other plans. Instead of packing my hockey tape solution, I am putting KT Tape's Blister Products to use. As a BibRave Pro, I received a pack of the Blister Prevention Tape and the Blister Treatment Patches.

I have used the Blister Prevention Tape on my toe and also tried it on my heel for some extra testing. This has been a handy tool for me because I know where my "trouble area" is and now I can prevent blisters from forming. The tape is thin, flexible and made of breathable fabric which makes it ideal for sport usage and every day life uses as well. I taped my 5-year-old's heels so his rollerblades would stop rubbing them and it worked like a charm!


The key to this tape is to make sure your skin is dry before applying the tape! When used properly, it can stay on for up to 2 days.


The second KT Tape blister product is the Blister Treatment Patch. This is for those days when a surprise blister pops out of nowhere or when you forget to use prevention tape on a trouble area. Whoops. These patches are a 100% waterproof seal that protects your blisters for up to 7 days. I applied a patch to my heal for testing purposes and, WOW, they stick on well!

To keep a healing blister from further injury the treatment patches are a great product. I like that they are waterproof so my kids can leave them on while in the swimming pool. With all of their running around, roller blading and biking, they have had more blisters than me lately (even with marathon training and all)!


These KT Tape Blister Products are $9.99 each for either 30 prevention strips or 8 treatment patches. Overall I think these are handy products to keep in the running bag on the go or medicine cabinet at home. Take 30% off KT Tape products with discount code "BIBRAVE30" and stop by #BibChat at 8 pm CT on June 19th for a chance to win!

Do you have any feet issues or trouble areas? What solutions have worked (or not)?


#Gmas18 Training W16 Recap

Follow along the 16-week journey as I train for my 10th 26.2, the Grandma’s Marathon coming up on June 16, 2018. I look forward to running with fellow BibRave Pros Angie, Amy and Jenn!

MONDAY: 

Off

TUESDAY: 

4.36 mi, 00:37 @ 08:35 pace with strides (10 x 25 sec) to kick off race week!?!!?!!!! Nervous. Excited. Nervous. Excited.

WEDNESDAY: 

(Treadmill) Easy Effort 3.1 mi, 00:30 @ 09:40 pace for Global Running Day, celebrated on the treadmill because I chose sleep this morning. It’s taper time, so I’ll let it fly ;)

THURSDAY

Tempo Run 6.01 mi, 00:48 @ 08:00 avg pace feeling good but didn’t hit the paces I was supposed to. The plan said around 7:00/mile for 20-30 minutes but I ran 7:47, 7:47, 7:39, 7:48. Honestly I felt distracted. The shorts I wore that morning were riding up and it drove me nuts!!! Note to self: save those for treadmill runs only ;)

FRIDAY:

Travel day & a shake out run planned

SATURDAY:

RACE DAY >>> Recap coming next week!


SUNDAY:

Off

TOTAL MILEAGE: 33.68 miles




Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.