Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hot, Hot, Hot Chocolate!

Well I've got some exciting news.

A surprise race has made it's way onto my 2017 running calendar and it's a first. My first race for BibRave and my first 15k: The Hot Chocolate 15k Minneapolis.

Every time I think of this race the "Hot Chocolate" song from the Polar Express comes to mind. If you haven't heard it yet, I highly encourage you to take a second to listen :)

Hot, Hot - Hey, We've got it! - Hot Chocolate!

The race swag is pretty amazing. Because, well, I love chocolate and one can never have too many cute hoodies. Plus with the "MinnHCBR" code when registering, you receive a bonus visor. Pretty cool. I mean hot! 


I received a free 7-week race plan when I registered which was great because... how do you train for a 15k? Not a 10k but not quite a half and definitely not a full.

The plan has been a great motivator for me to jump back into "training mode" again. I have missed those long runs!


Anywhoo, I'm really excited for this race and a trip to "the city". I hope my family can join me so we can check out Lego Land and visit a new church for Easter service while we're down there. It's quite a drive so we might as well make a vacation out of it!

My Workout Weekly Wrap: 02/20-02/26


MONDAY: 

3.22 mi, 00:30 @ 09:19 pace. Shaking out the legs after the Frozen Feat 10k and enjoying the remainder of our warm weather streak.

My Yaktrax broke a coil!

TUESDAY: 

4 mi, 00:38 @ 09:30 pace. Easy miles with the pup joining me for a couple.

WEDNESDAY: 

Runner's Yoga video (25:29) and 6 x 1:00 planks

THURSDAY

(Treadmill) 5 mi, 00:41 @ 08:07 pace. Tempo run while watching the tail end of "Finding Dory" with the kids.


FRIDAY:

Vinyasa Yoga Flow video (17:55)

SATURDAY:

8.11 mi, 01:07 @ 08:14 pace. Let the Hot Chocolate 15k training begin!


Sunday:

Rest day with the family! Church and waffles included, of course.

What is your ultimate FAVORITE distance to race?



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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Race Report: Frozen Feat 10k

After the weeks of all sorts of sick, I was feeling really frustrated. Frustrated by not being able to get as much done, by feeling so tired and headache-y and by not being able to keep up anymore.

Then I read this from the Jesus Calling devotional: "Thank Me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still"


"Being still" is something I struggle with but reading this changed my perspective. Rather than being frustrated by the influenza-ear infection/rupture-head cold-what-not, I changed my focus to seeking quietness and trust by resting in God.

While my cold didn't disappear and energy didn't return instantly, seeing the good in this "down time" took away much of my stress and frustration.

One of my goals was to feel healthy for the Frozen Feat 10k and that was accomplished! Maybe not 100% healthy, but so SO much better than before.

After picking up my husband from the airport on Friday, we were finally all together again as a family and it was awesome. He had been helping family in California for 10 days and we missed him a bunch.

The Frozen Feat race day was on Saturday and we made it a "family Valentine's Day" to make up for our time apart. The weather was a sunny 40°F (AMAZING!) and my husband, kiddos and my best friend all came to cheer me on.


Going into the race, I was hoping to beat my old PR of 46:40 (from 2012) but plans changed when I saw how icy the course was. I have absolutely no complaints about the weather and I will take icy roads over sub-zero temps any day!

I debated on wearing my YakTrax but chose not to because the course was a mix of ice and pavement. They help on the ice but the pavement really beats up those YakTrax coils!

After the gun start, I started out at a good pace but wavered throughout the race as we encountered many icy spots. Some were black ice spots and hard to see until it was too late, others were just icy puddles. Occasionally the huddle of runners I stuck with would jump off the path to run in a chunk of grass or in the snow. I had a few close calls but never completely lost footing. Thankfully.

As my husband said after the race, "What did you expect? It is the frozen feat!"... Touché.

Mile 1 - 7:10
Mile 2 - 7:20
Mile 3 - 7:32
Mile 4 - 7:46
Mile 5 - 7:35
Mile 6 - 7:49
Mile .26 - 1:50

I crossed the finish at 47:02 with soaked shoes but no wipe-outs! I couldn't hit that PR goal but the finish time was fine with me with the course conditions and my health struggles lately.

I tell you what, it just felt good to FEEL GOOD again!

This handsome guy and the rest of the cheering gang were waiting for me at the finish. P.S. My new XX2i France2 sunglasses rocked during this run! They kept the wind and the sun out of my eyes. A review will be coming in the future :)


The Frozen Feat had lots of great race swag. Each participant received a medal and a 3/4 sleeve jersey-style t-shirt. For placing 3rd Female, I received a cute Frozen Feat coffee mug, plaque and a $10 Scheels gift card.


Around 260 runners showed up for the 5k and 10k and the Frozen Feat organizers put on a great race. February's weather is unpredictable in these parts and we couldn't have asked for a better day!

My Workout Weekly Wrap: 02/13-02/19


02/13 MON: 4 mi, 00:33 @ 08:16 pace Enjoying the warm weather and country roads at my parents' place!

02/14 TUES: Happy Valentine's Day! I did a little stretching and took the kids to the library for story time and crafts. We made Valentine's and had a blast!

Roses from my Valentine

02/15 WED: 3.1 mi, 00:26 @ 08:23 pace. Fighting a head cold but the weather was too gorgeous to miss out on.


02/16 THURS: 2 mi, 00:19 @ 09:30 pace. Easy couple miles before the 10k on Saturday. That head cold is giving me trouble but a run felt nice.

02/17 FRI: Driving day! My hubs had been back in CA for a funeral and family business for 10 days. We drove to the airport and were so glad to pick him up again!

02/18 SAT: Frozen Feat 10k: 6.26 mi, 00:47 @ 07:30 pace.

02/19 SUN: Rest.

Do you race over the winter?



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

Friday, February 10, 2017

Hands-Free Running for Hands-Full Runners | Stunt Puppy Review

Disclaimer: I received this Stunt Puppy leash 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!

There are days when I peacefully run solo and others when I am in the wonderful company of my kids in the jogger and our now 10-year-old Border Collie, Saul.

When I'm out with the whole crew, I get the occasional comment of "You sure have your hands full!" While the kids and dog are usually well-behaved, between pushing the jogger and holding the dog's leash, my hands are quite literally "full".

Running with Saul on his old leash was complicated. It would end up wrapped around his leg, the stroller or who knows what else. Needless to say, he really didn't like wearing his leash.

Little did I know there was a hands-free solution!


As a BibRave Pro, I received the Stunt Runner hands-free leash by Stunt Puppy. This leash is designed specifically for runners and their faithful four-legged running partners!


The belt easily buckled around my waist and adjusts from 28" to 49" (and they can whip up a custom size, if need be!). The kids were excited to help me prep for the first test run.


The flexible connector piece that connects you and your dog stretches from 35" to 51" and the black metal D-ring on the waist belt slides to the preferred running position. These design details allow for your and your dog's stride to feel natural and unhindered.

Saul hardly notices it's there!

A video posted by Amy W (@creativeaim87) on
The Stunt Runner's simple, lightweight design certainly didn't slow us down. We are both very pleased with the freedom of running with a hands-free leash. I can't wait to try it out with the dog and the kids in the jogging stroller this summer!


Stunt Puppy designed this leash specifically with runners in mind and it shows. I was also very impressed by Stunt Puppy's damage repair policy. If your pup chews the buckles on your Stunt Puppy leash, they will replace them for $2 to cover shipping. Now that's a deal... because we all know puppies (and sometimes even old dogs) chew everything!

The Stunt Runner is available in orange (our favorite!), black, blue, red and silver and proudly made in the USA. Even better, they're a Minnesota company! Maybe I'm a little biased :) Woop woop, Minnesota!

Use the code BIBRAVE217 for 20% off your Stunt Puppy purchase through 3/15!

Join us for #BibChat with Stunt Puppy on Twitter on Tuesday, FEB 14 at 8PM CST and you will have a chance to win your own Stunt Runner Leash!


My Workout Weekly Wrap: 02/06-02/12


02/06 MON: 3.25 mi, 00:34 @ 10:29 pace. Morning run with Saul to break in the fresh snow.


02/07 TUES: (Treadmill) 5 mi, 00:41 @ 08:11 pace. Fartleks, 2:00 with 1:00 jog.

02/08 WED: Vinyasa Yoga (17:55) and 6 x 1:00 planks.

02/09 THURS: (Treadmill) 5 mi, 00:42 @ 08:24 pace. 

02/10 FRI: Yoga

02/11 SAT: 7 mi, 01:01 @ 08:40 pace. Today was a beautiful 30 degrees, making for a gorgeous run. I hope next weekend's 10k can be like this!

02/12 SUN: Rest.

Who is your go-to running partner? Are you a dog person?



Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Somewhat Valentine's 10k Plans

I'm making my way back to "healthy" again and, compared to last week, I'm feeling like a spring chicken.

Last week was a surprise. We resumed normal life, played outside and I was back slowly running again, but then I took a turn for the worse with bronchitis and a ruptured ear drum (from a mystery ear infection). The kids and my husband stayed healthy at least and after a round of antibiotics, I should be good now too. Good riddance!

Who taught him to stick out his tongue?! #toddlertude

Before the second wind of my sick week, I did sign up for the Frozen Feat 10k - I must have been feeling pretty good that day! A neighboring town has an outdoor 10k and we're going to make a "family affair" out of the day - running the race and then out for a post-Valentine's lunch date after.

Yes, a 10k in the middle of February in North Dakota... The weather will definitely be a surprise. Like Russian roulette for runners? Maybe it will be a beautiful 30 degrees or it will be a nasty blizzard day!

My goal for this race is to not be sick

I had hope of running hard when I first signed up but now I just want to feel good again. Being sick is very humbling and it reminds me to thank God for the gift of health. I miss feeling good and need to remember not to take the healthy days for granted!


In spite of the somewhat downer week, BibRave did send me a "welcome package" that included super flashy BibRave gear and a Runnerbox. The kids helped me dig through all of the surprises and of course they thought everything belonged to them.

Our favorite treats were the Unreal candy cup and the Elevate pouch from Shine Organics. I did share the pouch with the kids but no one touches mama's chocolate!


Don't forget to join us for Legend Compression #BibChat tomorrow night at 8PM CST! It's a great time to chat with the running community and you will have a chance to win some Legend Compression for yourself as well - like an early Valentine's gift :) 


My Workout Weekly Wrap: 01/30-02/05


01/30 MON: 3.2 mi, 00:30 @ 09:22 pace. Farthest run since my battle with the flu. Feels nice to be back again!

01/31 TUES: The littles and I went out on a winter adventure in the fresh layer of snow, followed by Runner's Yoga (25:29) that evening.

02/01 WED: (Treadmill) 5 mi, 00:41 @ 08:14 pace. 1 mile x 800m jog intervals. I was feeling much better today and worked in a little speedwork.


02/02 THURS: ...The sick has returned.

02/03 FRI: My ear drum ruptured last night and I finally went in to the doctor today. He said last week was likely influenza, now I'm just dealing with the bronchitis leftovers and who knows when that ear infection started. Let the antibiotics begin!

02/04 SAT: We took E skating while W stayed back with Grandma. So much fun! I'm still wiped but the antibiotics seem to be working fast.

02/05 SUN: Rest.

Do you have any special plans for Valentine's? Any races?
Have you tried Runenrbox before?



Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.