Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Books # 8-13 of 2015

So I was still busy reading this summer.  Since April, I have read five more books.  I slowed way down on my reading once the weather warmed up.  But, now that I'm a commuter by bus a few days a week, I am able to get some extra minutes of reading in each day.  I'm also getting back into my routine of reading for 15-30 minutes before bed.  Even being 26 weeks pregnant, I am sleeping pretty amazing.  Reading really helps me turn my mind off and slow me down and eventually drift off to sleep.
It appears that many of the books I read this summer were movies I've seen or have an interest in seeing.  I love comparing the book to the movie and the movie to the book.  I love getting inside of the character's heads inside of the book and learning details that you don't see or hear on film.  A Scattered Life is something I picked up for dirt cheap in the bargain bin at the book store.  A couple of these were also great gifts I received for Mother's Day and my birthday.  Otherwise, I tend to borrow my books from our local library.  I'm looking forward to reading many more books this fall as the nights turn longer and cooler.
Books 8-13 of 2015 ....

A Scattered Life by Karen McQuestion

The Dog Year by Ann Garvin

Max - a major motion picture
Paper Towns by John Green

American Wife by Taya Kyle
Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Personalized Running Journal by Journal Menu Review & Giveaway

I was contacted by Journal Menu to review a PERSONALIZED running journal and training log.  I love personalization, lists and data.  So, this really intrigued me.  Previously, I always just wrote my mileage on my calendar and added up my miles at the end of each month.  I also tried an online running log for years, but that simply caused more work.  I would write down my mileage on the calendar and then upload and post weeks worth of data into an online training log. 
First, Journal Menu designed a custom cover based on my online presence and Running Diva Mom theme.  You can customize backgrounds, upload images and logos, personalize with your favorite quote or phrase.  Whatever you need to motivate you and identify with your workout and your goals, you can do it.
These journals are offered for different types of activities:  running, yoga, triathlon, general fitness, and just regular day planners.  They already have tons of great themes available online if you decide not to customize a journal for yourself.  These would make great gifts and stocking stuffers for the athlete in your life, too.
Whether your goal is to run or walk your first 5K or train for you 20th marathon, this log will help hold you accountable.  I still keep a paper calendar and this training log is right up my alley.  I love been able to flip through pages and pages of handwritten notes and detail. 
The running log features a great log to track your goals and your progress with each thing you aim to achieve.  There are also sections for weightloss and tracking your body measurements, if you trying to follow a weightloss program as well.
There are also some great tips on stretching and foam rollers - on how to target specific areas of your body.  There are specific training logs for 5K, half marathon and marathon training/programs.
You can write your own journal entries summarizing races you have completed and what you did or didn't like about the course, race day, weather and brag about all of your accomplishments from that event.
The training log itself is filled with motivational quotes and each day outlines what you ate and drank throughout the day, daily weather, your run type and pace.  This is a great way to see how your diet and your environment affect your workout - at a quick glance.
The last portion of the journal includes some great resources:  pace charts, qualifying times for specific distances/races, and of course - personal records for each distance you run.
As a running coach, I can see a lot of new runners getting easily motivated by logging all of their data in the personalized running journal.  These training logs would be easy to jot notes down at your bedside or in your gym bag.  I can also see some very serious runners loving having all of their running history in one place (not just in their head or on the back of race bibs).  I look forward to using my journal more next year, when I have more events and mileage on my agenda.  This will really motivate me in 2016 after our daughter arrives.
One lucky winner will win a
Personalized Running Journal
by Journal Menu
1 – Become a follower of my blog or already are?!  LEAVE ME A COMMENT
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3 – Visit the Journal Menu website HERE and tell me what you think is fabulous.  LEAVE ME A COMMENT
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5 – Post about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or Twitter (@RunningDivaMom @JournalMENU  #RunningDivaMom) account. LEAVE ME A COMMENT FOR EACH.
Enter now though Thursday, October 1

[If you would like YOUR product or website featured on Running Diva Mom, please email me at ( runningdivamom at yahoo dot com ) ]
[I frequently review products for active families and am not paid for my reviews.  I do receive free products to review.]

Saucony Ride

New runners often ask me which brand of running shoe is "the best". I always tell them that they should go get fit at a local running store and an associate will watch their footstrike and recommend several options for them in DIFFERENT brands.

For the past few years, I have been a faithful
Saucony runner. I switched from the Mirage to the Ride about a year ago and my feet are the happiest they've been over the past ten years. I ran in Brooks Running for years and have also tried ASICS, Zoot and other miscellaneous brands of running shoes. But, my feet have felt the most supported, cushioned and ache-free in the Saucony Ride.

 What brand/model of running shoe do you wear to help you log all of those miles??

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Taking a Break

Working part-time in an office atmosphere, it is difficult for me to sit at a desk all day.  Luckily I only work 2.5 days per week.  On the days that I take a break for lunch, I make sure that I eat at my desk while I'm working.  I then head outside for my 20-30 minute walk break.  Taking that short time away from the computer and connecting with the outdoors really helps break up my day and reset my afternoon.
I am very fortunate that I have access to several walking paths and trails around my office.  I try to switch up my routes to include sun, shade, hills and beautiful scenery.  Views of Lake Mendota, the shade of the Lakeshore path and inclines in every direction up Bascom Hill make the University of Wisconsin Campus a wonderful place to take a break during my day.
I make sure that I wear my walking shoes to work, so that I don't forget them at home.  I also keep hair ties in my desk, along with things to freshen up - like deodorant, wet wipes, paper towel and perfume.
I really feel that break in the day makes me a better employee for my remaining hours at the office.  I look forward to the time to myself and counting those extra steps on my Vivo Fit is a bonus, too.

25 Weeks Pregnant - 6 miles with the Pup

Well, week number 25 is here.  Only 15 weeks or less to go until the little one is here.  I enjoyed a short family run on Saturday and then took the past two days off of running.  Even though we walked a lot (over 25,000 steps on Sunday), while spectating Ironman Wisconsin.  My back was aching a lot from walking on Sunday and I opted not to get my short evening run in and rest.
Someone is exhausted - this time it isn't me!
September is my favorite month of the year.  I love the change of seasons, the routines that set in and the beauty of life this time of year.  The cooler weather is always welcome, however things are warming up here again.  We have a gorgeous forecast this week.  I headed out for a few miles with the pup this morning.  I was expecting 2-3 miles on our usual route.  But, after my pretty typical painful 1-2 miles, I felt great after 25 minutes.  I don't know what it is about this baby, but .... my LEGS!  My calves are seriously on fire for the first 20-30 minutes of a run.  After that, I'm my normal self again and in my running zone.  I just have to keep reminding myself of that - every single time I head out the door.  The pup and I did a few loops around the neighborhood, he had to stop and pee about um-teen times and we stopped to get him water twice.  It was a really relaxing - and really exhilarating six miles when all was said and done.  I actually could have kept going this morning, but I am also coaching this evening. 

Not a shabby six miles

He has a love/hate relationship with running, too.
I recently loaded a few of my favorite Imagine Dragons tunes onto my ipod and those tunes really kept me pumped during the last couple of miles.  I will be posting a playlist soon.
I just registered hubby and I up for a race this fall.  I felt like I needed something on my calendar to keep me going.  I didn't want to spend money on a 5K and I didn't want to spend excessive fees for a very slow half marathon (not knowing how I'll feel later this fall).  So, I registered us for the Fall 15K (9 is miles) in Madison next month.  It will be a great way to keep me motivated and it will keep hubby refresh his legs after running Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee in a few weeks.  The best part is that this race is only $15 and fits perfectly with our budget, too.  I've run this race a few times prior.  Parts of it are pretty with the changing of the fall colors and other parts are kind of boring.  But, it will be nice to get out of our neighborhood and race (or something close to racing!).
25 weeks pregnant with #3

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Ten Year Running Anniversary

This week marks my ten year running anniversary.  I can hardly believe it.  I can hardly believe that I have been running that long.  I can hardly believe that there were 25 years of my life that I didn't run.  And hated it.  I can't believe that I was once that shy and intimated little girl that shied away from sports and extra curricular activities.  Now I run marathons.  Anything is possible if you choose to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new.  You can change your life.  And the lives of others, too.
Ten years ago I had a one-and-a-half year old daughter and since then I have been blessed to have one more child and another on the way.  I've been divorced.  I am happily remarried.  I have moved three times in the past five years.  But, running has always been a constant in my life.  It is my therapy.  I have eventually found balance in all areas of my life.  I don't always put myself first on my list of priorities for the day.  But taking a little time for myself usually rates towards the top of the list.  It is important to me - and to my family.  It has always made me a better mom.  And I never regret a run or taking some time for myself (as much mom guilt as I may have sometimes).
Over the past ten years, my new found love of running has inspired me to:

I have completed dozens and dozens of 5Ks
Raced a handful of 10Ks + other mid-distance races
Finished ~50 half marathons
Crossed the finish line of 10 full marathons
Purchased 30-40 pairs of running shoes
Ran ~10,000 miles
Encouraged my husband to start his own running journey
Finished 5Ks with both of my children
Started my blog, Running Diva Mom, six years ago
Started my own business two-and-a-half years ago
Coached more than 600 runners (primarily women and children) to their first 5K and beyond
Provided me with leadership skills
Appeared in two commercials for an athletic store
Appeared in a half dozen local and national magazine publications; wrote several articles on running and parenting
Hosted an annual womens running retreat
Became more comfortable with public speaking
It goes without saying that running has completely changed my life.  I initially started to gain a healthier lifestyle, to lose a little weight and to make some time for myself.  But running has given me so much more.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Running Thoughts at 23 and 24 weeks Pregnant

 Last week marked the 23 mile mark during my pregnancy.  Only seventeen weeks to go!  Only.

I'm finally feeling pregnant and we had some cooler temps near the end of August.  It was blissful outdoors and the lovely weather encouraged me to get out a little bit more.  In fact, my mileage was super consistent and I was able to get some longer runs in, including that half marathon I ran in Madison last weekend.  I rounded out the week with 35 miles.  35 miles at 23 weeks pregnant - I couldn't believe it.  I felt like I had my groove back.  My slow groove.

With Labor Day weekend, the heat and humidity came back.  It was pretty brutal.  I didn't get too many miles in this past weekend.  I did spend a lot of quality time with a family and tried to walk the dog and get out for some sunset runs in the evening.  Those seem to be some of my favorite short runs lately.

Today marks week 24 and only sixteen weeks to go.  The weeks just keep ticking along.  Our baby girl is the size of a cantaloupe.  I've been waiting to get that alert in my inbox for the past several months.  My little cantaloupe is moving around like crazy.  She's super active.  However, I don't feel her when I'm running.  It's still my calves that tighten up and mess with my mental toughness.  The baby bump is not getting in my way at all.  Little Diva and Little Dude have been spending a lot of time talking to their little sister and laying their heads on my tummy.  They both were tickled pink when they finally were able to feel her react to their voices this past weekend.  Those were some precious moments for all of us.

Photos courtesy of Little Diva

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Another Half Marathon while Pregnant

Well, September is here.  I am a little sad and a little excited.  I had an amazing summer with my family and a lot of time with the kids.  We knocked quite a bit off of our bucket list and experienced a lot of new things together, too. 
With the kids back in school only one day, I've already been able to tackle several things on my to do list.  I look forward to getting the house in order and the nursery ready for our baby girl in December.
I also look forward to running more than a couple of miles here and there for myself.  I was coaching 7-8 classes per week this summer.  My coaching is now winding-down for the year, as I only have one class in session right now, along with several virtual and individual coaching clients.  This is going to be a nice way to phase things out when our little girl arrives and running conditions get cold and icy outdoors.  I'm looking forward to having some more me time and developing a consistent running routine for myself again.  The weather has been really warm and humid in Wisconsin this summer and I'm also looking forward to the beautiful weather that September and October bring with it.  This is my favorite time of year to run.  Since running my last full marathon in June (at almost 13 weeks pregnant), my running has been really consistent during my pregnancy - but my mileage hasn't been as significant obviously.  I ran a couple of 10(ish) mile runs this summer, but everything else has been 2-6 miles since the marathon.
This past Sunday, my husband and I were sick of running circles around our neighborhood.  BORING!  So, we headed down to Machinery Row, near the Monona Terrace in Madison.  We loaded up the cooler and parked the car near the lake.  He is training for the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee in October and I am just training for me.  He always likes to hang with me, but I insisted that he go on ahead.  I wasn't sure what kind of pace I'd be able to hold up and how many potty breaks I would need.  So we agreed to meet up in two and a half hours after we each completed our own out-and-back route on the Capitol City Trail.
I again had excruciating pain in my calves during the first two miles.  This has been a problem for me during most of my pregnancy, which is probably why most of runs are around the 5K distance.  If I push past it and through the pain, it goes away.  This is what happened to me again.  By mile two, the pain was gone and I was consistently running around an 11:20 min/mile.  I sometimes wonder if it has to do with the leg cramps that I always get at night while I sleep (Charlie horses). 
I stopped at a hotel to use the restroom and at the campground along the train on the way out and the way back to use the restroom.  I really do forget that I'm pregnant while I'm running.  Other than the urge to use the bathroom.  I don't feel my belly bouncing up and down or feel all that heavy.  My pace is slower than usual, but I don't really need to take walk breaks.  And I didn't. 
I took a gel at mile five and again at mile ten.  I listened to my tunes as I ran along the lake and left busy downtown Madison on the Capitol City Path and headed into a more rural area and countryside.  I was passed by tons of cyclists out enjoying the beautiful Sunday morning.  I also encountered a few other (female) runners out on the path.
When I returned to the lake I was almost at mile 12 when my husband snuck up behind me as he finished his run.  He was approaching 15 miles.  My goal was to only do 10 miles that day, but I was already approaching 12.  I figured that this may be one of the last times I could accomplish the half marathon distance during my pregnancy, so I gave my husband my key fob out of my handheld water bottle.  And, I told him that I would be continuing on for another mile, to finish with 13.1 miles.  And that's what I did.  I ran past the car, out a half mile and finished with the final half mile at the marathon mommy minivan. 
I did it.  Baby girl and I completed another half marathon at almost 23 weeks pregnant.
I also reached an all time high on my Vivo Fit for the number of steps I walked/ran for the day.  I received it for my birthday in July.  I am super proud of moving close to 40,000 steps in one day - while pregnant.  The only thing is, now it just ups my average daily goal.  Goals are good, though.