Saturday, November 28, 2009

Running/Marathon Scrapbook Supplies

I use to be a frequent (and obsessed!) scrapbooker before I had my children. Sadly, now that I have subjects to document, and now that I have taken up running in just as an obsessed fashion, I never get around to actually documenting our photos in albums. That doesn't mean that I don't take hundreds (literally!) of photos every month.

After I completed my first (and only to date) full marathon last year, I purchased some supplies to document my journey. And over a year later I still haven't completed a page for that album. I need to do this and it is on my list of 'things to do while we're couped up inside all winter long'.

Does anyone else create albums for their races?

It looks like in the past year, several more patterns and page accents have become available. If anyone is interested, I came across three pages of papers, stickers and page accents at Scrappinstuff.com: http://www.scrappinstuff.com/store/track-field-c-55

Ahhh ... Running Outside

Ahhhh ... I ran outside today for the first time (other than a race) in a long time. Since I'm usually muti-tasking with the kids on the TM or I'm wimpy and staying away from the cold Wisconsin weather, I haven't been outside running in awhile. I had six miles on tap today and we are still having unseasonably "warm" weather here in Wisconsin. Today was a high of 50 degrees.

Shortly after 3PM, I headed outside for my run around the neighborhood ... and it felt GREAT! I couldn't believe I was outside in running shorts and a long-sleeve t-shirt at the end of November1 I got to my first mile marker and was over 45 seconds ahead of my usual pace. I thoroughly enjoyed being outside today. We were feeling a bit "cooped up" this weekend, not having much planned. And I NEEDED to get out of the house today. I loved seeing how my neighborhood landscape changes through the seasons, with the leaves now fallen off of the trees. Things just look different. It seemed like a whole new route today. I loved smelling people burning firewood in their yards, families preparing early meals for the evening and the lovely smell of laundry tumbling around in my neighbors' homes. I had such a great time, I took a few extra turns on my way home and logged an extra mile.

I came home and got the mail and found a lovely package on my doorstep from Michele Bredice Craemer, the author of two of the children's books I spoke of recently. Coco Loves to Tri and Pellie Runs a Marathon. The books were addressed (and signed!) to Paige and Jackson and the kids were SO excited to get mail ... and such special mail at that. We read them before bedtime tonight. Tons more on that later.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Five Ways to Make Sure Mommy Gets Her Workout In

I have a husband, am a mommy to two wonderful children (almost two and six years old) seven days a week, work three ten-hour days each week, commute, and own and maintain our home. I have excuses, too! Here are the top five ways I make sure that I have my "me time" and fit my workouts in.

1. Change into your workout clothes after work or when you get up in the morning. Don't put on those comfy "after work" sweats. If you don't do your workout, and have to change, you'll feel guilty.

2. Get off the couch BEFORE you workout! Similar to #1, if I sit on the couch and veg in front of the tv after dinner, I tend not to want to get off the couch. I find that if I play with the kids, do family activities, clean up around the house or pay bills, that I have much more energy to do my evening workouts. AND, WE LOVE TV!! The best investment we've made is our DVR. I can set it to record all of my favorite programs and can watch them at my convenience. After dinner, I can play with the family, put the kids to bed, workout, shower and then catch up on my favorite programs while hubby works out. It works out great for watching all of my programming that he doesn't enjoy!

3. Multi-task. Set up a play area in your "home gym" for the kids. Or, take your children with you in the jogging stroller. Drop your child off at sports or class and run around the neighborhood until it's time to pick them up. You'll experience new neighborhood and landscapes in your area and may just discover a new, favorite route!

4. Make an appointment on your daily planner/calendar. Write your workouts down, how long/how far and when you'll do it. Set your alarm to get up early, if you have a busy evening planned.

5. Communicate with your spouse. If your spouse also works out regularly, set some sort of set "schedule". We all thrive off of routine. We put the kids to bed at 8:00 and 8:30. One of us typically works out at 8:00 PM and the other at 9:00 PM. Initially, evening workouts didn't seem appealing, but now it has become very routine and I begin to wonder what everyone else does while their kids are in bed?! If late evening workouts aren't for you, try alternating morning workouts with your spouse, while the other one gets everyone ready for school/daycare.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marathon Memories 'N More -- Medal Display

Awhile back, I posted about these really cool medal hangers for displaying your race medals. Now, I've also come across these VERY AFFORDABLE wooden versions. Check them out. I just love find this stuff -- especially when it's affordable.

Marathon Memories 'N More:

They offer: Natural Oak, Golden Mahogany, and Dark Walnut

Five sizes and affordable prices:
02 pegs, 08" x 3 3/4" -- (13.1 & 26.2 Headings only) $24.95
04 pegs, 13 1/2" x 3 3/4" $34.95
10 pegs, 21 3/4" x 4 1/2" $49.95
21 pegs, 21 3/4" x 5 1/2" $64.95
50 pegs, 26 1/2" x 5 1/2" $79.95

They currently offer 17 headings, or you can get your customized saying for only $10.00!!

Specialized: Mom's and Dad's Medals Running: Marathon, Half-Marathon, 26.2, 13.1, 13.1 26.2, Running, Running America Multi-sports: Triathlon, Duathlon, Swim Bike Run Individual Sports: Bicycling, Gymnastics, Swimming, Running Team Sports: Bicycling, Wrestling, Soccer, Gymnastics, Swimming, Running

Cool Running-Themed Cookie Cutters

So, since I had the holidays on-the-brain, and my family is obsessed with watching "Cake Boss", I was trying to think of some fun baking ideas for the family to do for the holidays. In searching for some unique holiday cookie cutters, I came across these awesome running themed cookie cutters at Copper Gifts: http://www.coppergifts.com/

I may just have to splurge and get the family some of these!! The kids would have a blast. Can you just imagine how awesome these would be, for gift-giving for your favorite runner? Cookie gift baskets for marathons; JELLO jigglers for the kids; Rice Crispy treats; fun PB&J-shaped sandwiches for race day. I have so many cool ideas right now!!!

Burn the calories; Feel no guilt

Found this on another running blog -- It made me chuckle.

I'm planning on putting in an few extra miles this week on the treadmill, so that I don't have guilt over that extra serving of pie and mashed potatoes on Turkey Day.

Here's what's on tap:

Sunday - 6 mi (check!)
Monday - 7 mi (check!)
Tuesday - 4 mi
Wednesday - Off
Thursday - 6 mi
Friday - 6 mi
Saturday - 6 mi

Total for Turkey week: 35 mi

See Mom Run, by Kara Douglass Thom

See Mom Run, by Kara Douglass Thom
Kara wrote this fabulous book before she had children, strangely enough. One of her friends (a man) told her about how his daughter took his marathon medal to show and tell and bragged about him, even though he was in the back of the pack. One day during yoga (so much for focusing!) the idea for a children's book around this idea came together for Kara. When she asked her publisher about it (he and his wife run, too) he was very interested in the project. Timing was such that the book came out literally two weeks before Kara had her twins.
Even though she read a lot to her children, she didn't bring that book out much until she started training for a marathon in 2006, after her third daughter was eighteen months old and her twins were three years old. They had read it a few times that summer and she didn't think they would understand that "mommy wrote that book". As the marathon approached, Kara started to feel a little weepy about it -- This was her first big event since having children; managing the marathon training; and the mothering wasn' teasy and she was proud of herself for getting through it. She was as nervous as heck, not knowing if she'd be able to finish the 26.2 mile race.
That night, as the craziness of bedtime was just getting started (and all she could think of was, "I'm running in a marathin inthe morning, shouldn't I be in bed myself?"), her daughter, McKenna, picked up "See Mom Run" and asked her if they could read it. It was just what Kara needed to squash her fears and reaffirm that all the hard work was worth it. And, especially, that her little girls seemed to get what was going on. And yes, she cried!

Kara Douglass Thom Website: http://www.karathom.com/

Follow Kara on her blog: http://mamasweat.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Product Review: Kashi Granola

I was craving Granola the other day and added it to my grocery list. When I got to the store, I had no clue that there were so many granola options out there -- OMG! Since I'm a big Kashi fan, I decided to put a few of their granola products in my cart. And, I'm so glad I did. This stuff is just awesome!

My favorite is the Kashi Cocoa Beach granola. It is a sweet treat that includes seven whole grain clusters infused with natural cocoa and mixed with coconut and crunchy almonds. It's like going on a mini vacation. Yum, yum. I loved it alone or mixed in some fat-free vanilla yogurt.

I also tried the Mountain Medley variety. It's like trail mix, but better! Again, there are toasted seven whole grain clusters, mixed with a bit of honey and maple, yummy plump cranberries and raisins, almonds and pecans, sunflower seeds and yummy coconut flakes. This stuff was awesome in yogurt, but I liked it even better by the spoonful.

With about 220 calories per half of cup and about 7 grams of each fiber and protein. These have been a great way to satisfy my sweet-tooth cravings for an evening snack that will also fill me up. I also don't feel the least bit guilty about it. My only regret is that I didn't try this stuff sooner!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Treadmill Pace -- How Fast?

I'm curious just how fast others are pushing themselves on the treadmill? When I first started running a few years back, I was only running at 6.0 MPH. Overtime, I've sped things up a bit. I always start at 6.6 MPH and work my way up to "sprinting" at around 7.5 - 8.0 MPH the last 1/2 mile (regardless of the distance). I end up running a 5K in about 27-something minutes. But, my recent 5K PR is 24:46.

I don't do an incline and I don't change my "terrain". I feel like I push myself so much harder on the treadmill, than I do outside though. But, I feel like I'm flying on that thing.

I'm curious, how fast you're running on the treadmill?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I am thankful for running.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am obviously thankful for my family, friends and my health. But, I am also thankful for running. It's more than just the physical benefits that have made me fall in love with it.

Here are the top five reasons I am thankful for running:

1. I run for me. I am teaching my children that it is ok to do something for yourself and that an active and healthy lifestyle. Running has also taught ME that it is ok to do something for myself.

2. Cool couple. It has given my husband and I a common interest. I honestly don't know what we had in common before we took up this hobby/routine? Whether we are running together, in a race together or cheering one another on, I think that it has brought us closer in so many ways. We love sharing our goals, training plans and race reports.

3. We're tourists. It has given our family a reason to travel around the country and in the Midwest. We have given our children so many more experiences than they would have had otherwise. We've scheduled destination races and then found local activities and landmarks, that incorporate the whole family.

4. Bring it on. Running has encouraged me to take on challenges and embrace them. It has made me realize that I really can do almost anything, if put my mind to it. I was always shy as a kid and didn't take on sports or other activies, for fear of embarrassment and failure. I love that when you're running in a 5K, you are surrounded by runners young and old and people of all shapes and sizes and experience. It's so cool to be running in the same event as professionals. Where else can you do that?

5. Social-networking. Running has been a great key in social-networking. I've reconnected with old friends, met new ones, discovered new companies and organizations and have created this lovely, little blog. It has also helped me inspire friends and family in some way.

What are the top five reasons YOU are thankful for running/exercise?

Unique Find for Active Little Girls: Go Go Sports Girls Dolls

I came across these really cool dolls for active little girls in my new SHAPE magazine. GO GO SPORTS GIRLS. Check out: http://www.gogosportsgirls.com/

There is even a running doll, named Ella. I mean, how cool is this?

Here is Ella's little bio:
Ella lovest to run fast! Before running, she always puts on sunscreen and stretches. Ella drinks plenty of water and between races will have a healthy snack, like a banana. When she is not running, Ella likes riding her bike and writing in her journal. Ella likes to dream big and go for it!

There are also dolls for golf, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, dance, softball, swimming, and basketball. Check out all of the girls at: http://www.gogosportsgirls.com/thegirls.html

The founder also supports the Girls on the Run program ... that I love oh, so very much. She created these dolls, that was positive for girls, were portioned properly, and send a postive message about a healthy and active lifestyle (physically, mentally, emotionally) -- through sports. She also gained inspiration from her young daughter. She also is donating a portion of the proceeds to organizations that share her mission.

Another awesome find for our little active girls !!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Unique Holiday Gifts for Your Little Ones

While making my holiday Wish List on Amazon.com, I came across these really awesome kids running and triathlon related children's books. I thought these were fabulous gift ideas for my children; just another way to share our passion and our healthy and active lifestyle with them. I think it's great!

CoCo Loves To Tri by Michele Bredice Craemer

Run, Dad, Run! by Dulcibella Blackett

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sick Mommy + No Running = Ick Mommy

Well, after we recovered from Jackson's bought with the H1N1, both kids ended up coming home with colds last week. They seemed better on Saturday for my race, and I was able to enjoy the 5K with my sister, followed by a nice "girly afternoon" alone with Paige at Red Robin and the Kid's Expo.

Then on Sunday I woke up sneezing and could NOT stop. Then the body aches started. I basically didn't get off of the couch on Sunday. Both kids were still hacking up a storm and running warm. I had 9 mi planned for Sunday, but decided to take the day off.

Monday, Paige had off of school for Parent/Teacher conferences and we had a doctor's appointment for her. I still felt crummy and decided not to push myself and took another day off of the treadmill. I ended up taking Jackson to the doctor in the evening, too. And, he has a double ear infection and pink eye in both eyes. So, he had to stay home on Tuesday, too.

So, I stayed home with him today and we just cuddled and played on the computer and watched tv and I still didn't run. I still feel crummy and decided that this one time that I'm just going to listen to my body and not push it. I'm still on target for reaching my 1,200 mile year-end goal. But, I'm still feeling guilty.

I'm feeling icky and bloated. Why do you not crave celery and carrots when you're sick? I've purposely not kept junk food in the house lately, so I'm turning to any "comfort food" I can find in the pantry: sugary cereal, leftover Halloween candy (that is stuff I don't even like!), etc.

I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow and get back into routine with life, diet and exercise.

These last few days has made me realize just how much exercise has become apart of our routine and how much I crave the running and the sweating.

Back to the treadmill on Wednesday.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New 5K PR -- 24:46

The 5K race results are up ... and in my favor!! My new 5K PR is 24:46!!!

24:46 clock time
pace: 7:59 min/mile
43/364 overall
12/255 gender

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Race Report: Dane County Girls on the Run 5K

In September, Jason completed Ford Ironman Wisconsin. My sixteen-year-old sister, Kelsey came along with the rest of the family to cheer him on. She had seen me race before, but Ironman is something different. She was inspired enough to ask me to do a race with her in the future. So, of course I took her up on it. And I found out that on November 14, that Girls on the Run for Dane County was hosting the Innaugural 5K in Waunakee, WI (just a few miles from my home). I just love GOTR. The organization promotes getting girls outdoors and build self-confidence through running. It's just so awesome to see these little girls train, make friends and build self esteem, while having the drive to have their little legs compete in a 3.1 mile race! So very cool. Paige did one of their one mile races earlier this year and has also competed in other kids races. I only hope that she will have enough interest to get involved in this organization. I figured that this race was a good "starting race" for Kelsey. Not intimidating at all.

The week of the race, there was a chance for rain in the forecast. But, on race day, it ended up being perfect. at 10:00 AM it was round 50 degrees and the sun was trying to peek through the clouds. It was a perfect morning for a race. Kelsey and I grabbed our bib numbers, my parents took over watching my children and we snapped a few fun photos pre-race and then headed to the start line.

Since this was the first year for this event, I wasn't sure what to expect. But, the turnout was awesome. There were so many little girls and young women competing and then there was also a reasonable amount of seasoned runners competing.
The 5k race looped through neighborhoods in Waunakee, which included two large inclines and hills. I couldn't believe that these little girls could compete on such a hilly course, but they did. I even got passed by a few that were at the front of the pack. It was so cool to see that. The course was a portion of an annual 10 mile race that I like to compete in, so I was really familiar with it. As I approached the finish line, there was a little boy in front of me that was flying the last 1/10 mile. I tried to catch him and someone yelled "Get her!". He sprinted the last few steps and beat me. I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face and patted him on the back with a "good job".

I set a new PR, by about 2 minutes. 24:52 according to my watch. The race wasn't chip timed, and the results aren't posted yet. But I am setting my new PR according to my watch time (unless, or course, the results posted are in my favor!!). The 5K I ran earlier this year was cut short, since the lead bike took a wrong turn and it had been early in 2008 when I ran my previous 5K. I was super happy with my time. Sub-25:00 was my goal ... and I did it!!

Kelsey ended up crossing the finish line in 29:05. I was so proud of her for crossing that finish line and doing it well!! Here we are in our Bondi Bands!!
And, here I am with my biggest, little cheerleaders: Jackson (almost 2) and Paige (almost 6). What a great race experience I had today. A great way to end my 2009 racing season.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

2010 Racing Schedule

So, I've already been working on my 2010 racing schedule; have you? Am I nuts ... or obsessed?? I think I'mjust trying to stay motivated. I need something on my calendar to keep me motivated and stick to some sort of training program.

I'm only currently signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I'm waiting until we complete our holiday shopping, before I go charging away with race entry fees!!

Jason will also be doing the (one or two) full marathon(s) with me next year, as well as several other races, including sprint triathlons and a half Ironman in July.

3/7/2010 - Disney Princess Half Marathon (Orlando, FL)

4/24/2010 - Crazylegs Classic - 4.97 mile run (Madison, WI)

5/30/2010 - Madison Marathon (Madison, WI)

7/?/2010 - Diva Dash (Girls on The Run) 5K (Madison, WI)

7/24/2010 - Waunafest 10 miler (Waunakee, WI)

8/1/2010 - Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon (Chicago, IL)

8/21/2010 - Madison Mini (Half) Marathon (Madison, WI)

September/October 2010 - Full Marathon TBD

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Race Report: Tyranena Beer Run -- Half Marathon

This Saturday, Jason and I competed in my fifth half marathon of the year and his second. We ran in the Tyranena Beer Run. They called it the "half barrel" route. They also offered a "1/6 barrel" route at the event. The race took place in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

Registration was closed, as the race had met it's 1,500 participant cap. My mom's family is from this small town, so we dropped the kids off with my parents at my grandparent's home and got on our way to the race. We had to park down the street, because the event parking lot was full over an hour before the race. So, we had to park and walk (not far).
I was happy to be racing with Jason again. This was only the second time we had the chance to race together this racing season.

I snagged myself one of these cute ringer-tee's, in my goody bag. Not a technical tee that I'll use for a workout, but at least it was something a little different from the standard white racing t-shirt.

Due to the expected weather for the season, this race starts later than all other races I've competed in. The 1/2 marathon didn't start until 11:30 and the 1/6 marathon didn't start until 12:30. Last year it was very cold and drizzly, I'm told. This year the weather was close to 70 degrees!! It was an awesome November day for racing.

Before the race, I had a breakfast of waffles and yogurt. I also had a banana and a bag of Sports Beans before the race. Unfortunately, I don't think I consumed enough that morning, because I felt famished from mile 1 to mile 13. I just don't think I was ready to race so late in the morning, when I was already for lunch. I really should have planned better.
My dad took this picture around mile 2 and I was already feeling like crap. Just an off day, I guess.

The pre-race email had said that the course was hilly, but that they didn't have an elevation map. I had no clue what was in store for me. In the first half of the course, there were so many hills, and other points of elevation that seemed like hills/mountains, just because I was sick of hills at that point! The second half of the course was relatively flat, so I really welcomed that. A lot of the second half was on the Glacial Drumlin State Trail, which was nice and scenic, but I think that the crushed gravel made me slip a little and I was constantly adjusting my groove.
I never got into a rhythm during this race. I downed a pack of Sports Beans again and a gel, but never felt a rush from either of them. There were four water and Gaterade stations. I feel they should've had more aid stations and more volunteers. I never stop and walk at water stations, but was forced to walk all four times, because I was waiting for them to pour the water/Gaterade. At the last water station, they even ran out of cups. I heard that runners were grabbing used cups from the ground and garbage and filling them up or using their hands. People were really thirsty, because the heat was rising and we had all tackled those huge hills earlier on.
There were so many points on the course that I felt like quitting, but didn't. Once, I even wondered if I was coming down with something, as Jackson had H1N1 earlier that week.

I even gave myself a 10 second countdown to walking at the top of the last hill, around mile 11. I have NEVER walked during the race, and gave in on Saturday. Unfortunately, the small break backfired and I felt like my hips locked up when I started again. The last 2 miles were really tough. I was never so happy to hear the even over the horizon, and the music over the loud speakers. I knew I was getting close.
I had hoped to set a new PR, under 1:55:59, or at least hit my second goal of going sub-two hours. Unfortunately, neither goals were met on race day, although I wasn't too far off.

My chip time was 2:04:35.

overall place: 459 out of 865
division place: 47 out of 131 (22-29 F)
gender place: 153 out of 419
time: 2:04:35
pace: 9:31

Everyone I heard from was about 5-6 minutes off of their goal or expected finish time. So, I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. When I met up with Jason after the race, I just put my head on his shoulder. He must've known how upset I was, because he just said, "That was one tough course". He set a new PR, but was about 4-5 minutes slower than what he was hoping (after all of his Ironman training this season). He finished about 10 minutes ahead of me, and I think he was beginning to wonder where I was on the course.

We stood at the finish line, after we finished, to watch some of our friends to come in. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the event tent, the line was so incredibly long, that we didn't get to redeem our vouchers for free beer or the really yummy looking lasagna.

Despite my time and bad attitude, it was a beautiful day for running and racing and I really am glad I did it. It was nice that many relatives were handy to cheer us on and my grandparents got to see me race for the very first time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Looking for 26.2 miles to run in the Midwest

So, Jason and I are eager to set the major points of our racing schedule for next year. We would like to run one or two full marathons together in 2010. We're located in Wisconsin and I've already done Chicago. I'm hoping for something MUCH smaller (less crowded) than Chicago, but just as epic. Any suggestions? We're hoping to make a long weekend out of it, while the kids are at grandma and grandpa's. So, it would also be great to find somewhere with other points of interest that we can check out while we're there. May or June 0f 2010, IN THE MIDWEST, is our first target.

The President is in Town!!

This is very unrelated, but President Obama is in town!! My son and I just watched his plane fly over our neighborhood. This is the first time in almost 60 years that a standing President has visited the Mad City. Madison, Wisconsin is going a bit crazy right now. Big excitement for a small town girl.

Continuous Live Coverage on WKOW:

Goals for Tyranena Beer Run (Half Marathon)

So, Saturday is my fifth and last half marathon of the 2009 racing season. And, Jason and I are doing it together. I believe this is only our second time racing together this season.

We're both doing the Tyranena Beer Run (half marathon route) in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Ironically, I don't drink beer (have never even managed to down a can of beer in my lifetime). So, I guess he'll be getting my beer tickets after that race!!

Tyranena Beer Run:

My half marathon PR is 1:55:59. I'm trying not to set high goals for myself, but would at least like to set a new personal record, no matter what that number may be. I would be absolutely ecstactic going sub 1:56 again.

I'm a little nervous, because being the multi-tasking mom that I am ... I have done most of training inside on the treadmill, while I'm home with my kids. I can't even remember the last time I ran outside, or did hills. However, I believe that running 12 miles on the treadmill has really pushed me mentally. And, I believe that I set a much faster pace on the treadmill and manually increase my mileage more-and-more over my training runs.

This is my first time doing this race and November is seasonably chilly here in Wisconsin. I believe it may have even flurried last year for this race?! Surprisingly, Saturday's forcast is now 62 degrees!! I can only pray that the forcast doesn't change, that the sun comes out, and that my entire family is healthy, come Saturday morning!!

The little guy was hit with H1N1 this week, and I'm just hoping that the rest of us don't get it by the weekend. Jackson appears to be on the up-side of things and the fever is already gone today. He is in much better spirits this morning.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Update: Year to Date Mileage

Goal for 2009: 1,200 Mi (204.5 Mi and Nine weeks to go!!!)

2009 (to date): 995.5 Mi
November (to date): 6 Mi

October: 115.3 Mi

September: 75.5 Mi

August: 67.0 Mi

July: 104.6 Mi

June: 94.3 Mi