Saturday, August 20, 2016

You are capable.

Another thunderstorm is rolling through today. I had to cancel a class early this morning. We will instead be logging the miles tomorrow morning. After finishing up my emotional words for my grandmother's funeral this morning, I decided to head downstairs to the treadmill for the five miles that I was supposed to log with the group.
I PUSHED start - and PUSHED myself - until I PUSHED stop.
When I pushed stop ... the treadmill read 40:57. I thought, "That is a number that this middle-of-the-pack runner is not capable of." But, obviously I am. I did that. I have never maxed out my treadmill. And this morning I did. Something came over me. I ran at 9 and 10 mph for the last third of a mile. I started at 7 mph and only went up from there every half mile. My slowest mile was 8:36. Outside, I typically am running a 10:00-10:30 these days. But, apparently I am capable of more.
I am capable. Me. This girl who couldn't run the mile in gym class. This girl who thought that those five miles was unconceivable just over a decade ago.
Sometimes it feels really good to be uncomfortable. You are capable of anything, too. All you need to do is press START.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Morning running fuel.

When I wake up early to tackle a long run, I tend to always turn to the same breakfast items.  I have cup of coffee while I start my morning.  And then I fuel with yogurt and a light English muffin with peanut butter.  I follow that with a glass of water.  I have gotten so efficient with my morning runs, that I don't even mess with the fork-splitting of the English muffin.  I just top it off with my huge dollop of peanut butter.  This combination of protein and carbs really fuels my workouts and I feel like I have a lot of energy to tackle the miles.

Rained out.

Due to funeral tomorrow's funeral arrangements for my grandmother, I moved this weekends classes around a bit.  This morning, my alarm was set for 4am, to meet my sweet (and determined!) client, Jenny for a run.  We are both running Lakefront Marathon in early October.  She traveled all the way from Poynette to run together at the early hour.  We met in the dark and had just missed the overnight rain.  There was a nice breeze and the air felt cool which was very much welcomed.  We headed out for ten(ish) miles around town and I showed her my city on foot.  On our way back, a scary looking cloud appeared out of nowhere.  Lightening and thunder boomed in the distance.  With two miles to go, we had to decide to seek shelter or run a little further to find cover.  We decided to book it up the Orfan Park hill and run closer to the west side of Sun Prairie.  As the rain started to pick up, the wind did too.  Our running shoes were quickly soaked and we found cover under a bank drive-through.  We avoided the lightening and missed our final mile home.  After deciding it wasn't the best idea to approach the stranger at the ATM for a ride to our vehicles, we called my husband to come get us.  This is the first time in eleven years that I have ever had to be rescued during my run.  Just another adventure to add to Jenny's marathon training log.  Last week she had to run twenty miles - on the treadmill.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tips for Running with a Jogging Stroller

Are you a mom on the move?  Here are several tips for running with a jogging stroller.

·         Focus on your posture and don’t arch your back.  Stand nice and tall like you would running by yourself.  

·         Try using one hand, both hands, or alternating hands until you find that you have a comfortable grip that is right for you.

·         Bend your elbows and try to keep your elbows level with your belly button.  Relax your shoulders.

·         When going up a hill, lean back; not forward.  Take short, choppy steps and shorten your stride.

·         Always use the safety strap on your stroller, especially when running downhill.  Keep a firm grip on your handle bar.

·         If your stroller has a front wheel lock, make sure that it is unlocked if you are making many turns.  This will allow the front wheel to swivel.  If you are running an easy out-and-back route, you may want to keep it locked.

·         You should be able to hold a conversation with your children or running partners.  If you cannot speak comfortably, slow down your pace.

·         When changing directions on your route, make sure that the sun isn’t in your child’s direction.  Adjust your stroller’s shade as needed.

·         Always keep an extra blanket, diaper, wipes, snacks and a drink on hand.  If giving your child a toy, make sure that it is tucked into the lap belt or affixed with links.

·         If your stroller doesn’t come with a caddy pouch, invest in one.  This will come in handy for storing your water bottle, sippy cups and securing your cell phone and keys safely.

·         Remember, it is okay to stop if your child needs you.  Make sure that your child is comfortable and happy.  Then you will be happy, too.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Her Half Madison 2016 Race Report

Back in June (yes, another long overdue race report!), I ran the Her Half Madison.  This was the second year for this half marathon and 5K event for women.  I had wanted to participate in 2015, but I was pregnant and had just ran Grandma's Marathon the weekend prior up in Duluth.  We wouldn't want to push it, or anything??!!

I served as an ambassador for the spring leading up to the half marathon.  Ambassadors had to volunteer so many hours.  I volunteered at Capital City Triathlon doing body-marking earlier that month.  There was a social gathering the night before Her Half, which I volunteered at the registration table for.  There were hundreds of exciting ladies that evening.  I didn't participate in the party, but it was really fancy and looked like a lot of fun.  I was going to have a busy weekend of running and coaching and I wanted to spend the remainder of my Friday evening with my family.  I also volunteered at the registration table the following afternoon at the expo.  There were events all weekend for women that were on a girls weekend or wanted the whole "weekend experience" - shakeout run, yoga for runners and a lot of other informal social gatherings.  It seemed that most women came in pairs or small groups.
The morning of the race it was raining.  Dark and rainy.  But I was armed with my waterproof mascara.
I ate my English muffin with peanut butter and a yogurt and cup of coffee.  It was supposed to be warm and humid, so I wore a tank top and brought extra clothes to change in after if I was drench from rain - or sweat.
I headed out to Hilldale Mall, where the race was to start.  Parking was a breeze and the back lot was lined with port-o-potties - with absolutely no lines.  It was amazing.  After using them a few times, I was recognized from my blog after exiting a third time.  The gal from Chicago and I chatted a bit - and did an awkward and laughable post-potty handshake.
I consumed my energy chews and headed to the startline.  I met up with a client and her friend who was running her first half marathon (who I found out later smoked my time - you go girl!).  It was one big dance party at the startline and I recognized a lot of familiar faces. 
And we were off, heading through neighborhoods and onto a running path that heads towards the UW campus.  I was familiar with the route, because I had ran the course preview weeks prior with a client.  So I felt pretty confident about what layed ahead.
We headed up a few hills in Shorewood Hills and then past the UW clinical campus and around the campus area.  I saw some clients meandering their way through the route as well.  I kept drinking a lot of water and refueling my handheld.  It was humid, but at least the clouds were still covering the sky.

After heading up Observatory Drive, we headed back down and meandered onto Lakeshore Path by the Memorial Union.  The gravel was a little sloppy from the rain, but the view was spectacular.  Heading back to the clinical campus, the path turns into paved path.  And I enjoyed the flatter route.

We headed back to Shorewood Hills and up quite a few monsters.  Many of the ladies were walking.  I probably looked like I was walking, but I was slowly running forward, trying to lean back and stand talk and taking the shortest stride of my life.  Just one step at a time.  We headed through more of the neighborhood and past the golf course and then more homes.  As we approached mile 10ish, we were out on University Avenue and in the home stretch.  Just then, the sun came out.  Ugh.  It was hot and humid as heck.  I had some motivating songs on my ipod that sang encouraging words in my ears.  I needed it.  Even though I had taken gels at miles 4 and 8, I was feeling lethargic and hot.  There were some more inclines and the sun was beating down -hard.  I felt miserable.  But, I knew if I crossed under the University Avenue bridge, that there would be a little relief from the sun after that.  And some shade.  I just kept trudging forward.
There was a gal walking the last half mile and I motioned her to come along with me and pick up the pace.  The finish line was right around the corner.  She ran with me for a minute or two and then out of no where, she took off.  Later she thanked me.  We rounded around the mall parking lot and into the finish line.

I didn't get anywhere close to a PR or even near my 1:56-1:58 pre-baby times.  But, I am getting closer.  And I will get there again.  This was a really tough course and the humidity got me in the end.  I still was pretty amazed by my overall pace, under ten minute miles.

9:41 min/mile
23/178 age group
102/818 gender
I ran into quite a few clients running the 5K and they all had a similar experience with the heat and humidity.  Everyone agreed that it was an awesome, empowering event regardless.

As a Got Chocolate Milk ambassador, I thoroughly enjoyed refueling with my chocolate milk while I stretched in the grass.  The medal and race shirt were pretty sweet if you ask me - and another bonus to an amazing event.  The Her Madison events are perfect for new and experienced runners.  The weekend experience is empowering and the vibe the whole weekend is amazing.
She liked my pretty, sparkly medal, too.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

An introduction to energy gels and chews

Energy gels and chews for endurance athletes are available in many different flavors and are manufactured by several companies.  You may need to try several brands and flavors to figure out what will fuel your runs best - and which ones won’t bother your stomach.  Just like with your properly fit running shoes, it may take some trial-and-error to figure out what works best for you.  Fortunately, energy gels and chews have a much nicer price point (at $1-$3 per pack) than your latest pair of shoes.

I would suggest trying nutrition on some of your early training runs, totaling 8-10 miles total, taking in one packet mid-run.  I enjoy sipping on a gel or consuming chews over an entire mile, then following that up with several drinks of water.  I store all of my nutrition in my handheld water bottle, but there are also hydration packs and waist packs that work great for this purpose.

It’s best to come up with a plan during your long training runs and then stick to that plan during your race.  I prefer eating a packet of chews pre-race at the start line.  Then I consume only gels, water and sports drink during the race itself.  For races (a marathon, for example), I consume a packet at miles 5, 10, 15, 20 and then keep an extra in case I need it later on.  Gels are a pudding-like consistency and don’t always go down the easiest the first time you try them.  But, if you find it difficult to chew before or during a race, this may be your go-to option.

Some of my favorite energy gel flavors include:  orange creamsicle, salted caramel, salted watermelon, mint chocolate, and coffee varieties.  I tend to have a hard time stomaching berry flavors.  They are too sweet for my taste buds.  My favorite energy gels are made by Honey Stinger and the consistency of these gels is exactly like honey.  Plain gels also are available, for those that find the other flavors to sweet or sour.  I like the consistency of Gu gels versus Power Bar.
Chews and chomps are similar to a gummy bear or fruit snack.  They vary in shape and size.  If you prefer to chew your food and don’t like running on an “empty stomach”, then this may be the best option for you.

Let's talk weightloss.

Well after several months, I'm not only back to my pre-baby weight ... I've surpassed my wedding day weight (September 2013).  I've lost 31 pounds since December.  I've struggled with my weight on and off for years.  But my weight most comfortably sits at 155-160 pounds.  At 156.6 pounds, I am at my lowest weight in several years - excluding an unhealthy year while I went through my divorce in 2011.  My weight dropped just below 150 pounds at that time, when I was struggling with eating three meals a day and staying on a normal schedule while I adjusted to my new life.  That weight and that lifestyle were just not sustainable for me.
156 pounds.  Some people may be shocked by that number. Some of you may be alarmed if you stepped on the scale and saw that number flashing back at you.  Not me, I'm proud.  Not necessarily of the number - but what I did to get there.  Weight looks differently on everyone.  Yet, I still cringe a little and can't believe I'm posting this publicly.  But I honestly want you to know that I'm just like you.  I've worked so hard for that number.  I've been 190 pounds several times in my life.  I've also been 140 pounds (pre-running).  I've put in so many miles and I've trained so hard.  I've also had to make difficult choices.
I've enjoyed a couple bowls of ice cream, indulged in an extra dinner portion here and there, but I've also been logging extra miles and making healthier choices throughout the day.  Sometimes when I plan on three miles, I've decided to head back out for another loop or a couple more miles so that I CAN enjoy that extra treat.  I take the kids or the dog out for an extra walk and I've been trying to complete more strength and core exercises on my own.  It all adds up.  I don't feel deprived with this lifestyle.  But, I can't just run and move my body - that's the easy part for me.  I need to make health-conscious decisions about what I put in my mouth, too.  I can easily consume every single calorie I burn on a three hour training run if I'm not careful.  For me, I need portion-control.  And I need to keep a food journal.   And I need accountability.  This blog is great for that!
I've made some good choices in order to see that number go down and see obvious changes in my body.  I've been stepping on the scale a little less frequently lately, but have been noticing significant changes in how my clothes fit and how I feel.  When I do decide to check in with the scale, I've been totally overjoyed by what it reflects.  I'm looking forward to doing some of my own back-to-school shopping with a gift card to my favorite store this fall.  I can't wait to buy some pants that I feel comfortable in (and hopefully a smaller size).
If you are interested in getting started and working together to achieve your goals, I will help hold you accountable!  For only $1 per day, you will receive a full run/walk schedule, core exercises, weekly private weigh-ins, online/virtual accountability and monthly group run/walks.  Interested participants may register for Weightloss for Runners (and Walkers) which will be held September 1-30.  If the timing isn't right for you, I am also offering an eight week weightloss session in October-November, targeting an optional turkey trot.  Winners from both sessions will receive their session fee refunded.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What to eat before running class

When to eat:
·        Make sure that you eat something light to eat 60-90 minutes before class.
·        Avoid having dinner before an evening class.
·        Have a good mix of carbohydrates and protein.
·        A protein shake may make your stomach “sloshy”.
·        If you are a regular coffee drinker, feel free to have coffee early enough before morning classes.  Allow your body enough time to digest.
·        Don’t try any new foods before a run or race.
What to eat:
·        Morning classes:
o   Protein bar
o   Yogurt with nuts/granola
o   Toast or English muffin with peanut butter
o   Cereal (avoid high fiber varieties)
o   Oatmeal
·        Evening classes:
o   Cheese/pretzels and crackers
o   Protein bar
o   Yogurt with banana

Running Class Checklist

What to bring:
·        Watch or smartphone with running app
·        Water (two bottles for during and after your workout)
·        Towel (to wipe face or place on carseat after your workout)
·        Sunscreen
·        Bug Spray
·        Energy gels/nutrition/gum (if running longer than one hour)
·        A positive attitude!
What to wear
·        Properly fit running shoes
·        Wicking socks
·        Wicking clothing
·        Sports bra
·        Hat/visor, headband, hairties

Run it off ... Weightloss for runners (and walkers) - September session

Run it off ... Weightloss for runners (and walkers) - September session
September 1-30, 2016
--> Would you like a little motivation to get your workouts in regularly? 
--> Do you need accountability to achieve your weightloss goals? 
--> Would you like to lose another ten pounds? 
--> Are you having trouble committing to or attending a Running Diva Mom class? 

Run it off ... Weightloss for runners (and walkers)
September 1-30, 2016

•Thirty day calendar with run/walk training program and core workouts to be completed on your own
•Weekly private individual weigh-ins virtually with your coach
•Weekly group fitness check-ins with your coach
•Weightloss tips, motivation and recipes each week
•Private Facebook group for motivation
•Group run/walk + core work on Sunday, September 11, 8:00-9:00 am at Orfan Park
•Winner of the weightloss challenge will have their session fee refunded!

If you would rather walk than run, you are more than welcome to participate!

If you would like to avoid the Eventbrite fee, please email me at runningdivamom@yahoo.com to pay by cash or check.

An eight week session will also be scheduled for October-November, targeting a turkey trot event in November.

Run it Off - Weightloss for Runners (and walkers) - Oct/Nov

Run it off ... Weightloss for runners (and walkers)
October 1 - November 30, 2016
LOSE 10-20 lbs by the holidays!!!

--> Would you like a little motivation to get your workouts in regularly? 
--> Do you need accountability to achieve your weightloss goals? 
--> Would you like to lose another ten-twenty pounds before the holidays? 
--> Are you having trouble committing to or attending a Running Diva Mom class? 

Run it off ... Weightloss for runners (and walkers)
October 1 - November 30, 2016
LOSE 10-20 lbs by the holidays!!!

•Eight week calendar with run/walk training program and core workouts to be completed on your own
•Weekly private individual weigh-ins virtually with your coach
•Weekly group fitness check-ins with your coach
•Weightloss tips, motivation and recipes each week
•Private Facebook group for motivation
•Group run/walk + core work on Sunday, October 16, 8:00-9:00 am at Upper Yahara River Trail, Deforest
•Group run/walk + core work on Saturday, November 12, 8:00-9:00 am at Orfan Park, Sun Prairie
•Winner of the weightloss challenge will have their session fee refunded!

Motivation to train for Thanksgiving Turkey Trot (optional)

If you would rather walk than run, you are more than welcome to participate!

If you would like to avoid the Eventbrite fee, please email me at runningdivamom@yahoo.com to pay by cash or check.

Without a stroller.

During a recent couch to 5k running class, we had a part break and bend on our B.O.B. jogging stroller.  The piece was so broken, that the front wheel fell off - with my precious cargo inside.  My running partners and I couldn't get the wheel to go back on and I had to run the rest of our route with only the rear two wheels in tact.  Mini Diva stayed sleeping the entire time.  But mommy got an upper body workout while we ran the way back to the park.
When we got home, I realized how panicked I was.  I felt paralyzed.  I guess I didn't realize what an outlet our new jogging stroller was for me.  It helped me getting in my miles.  I wasn't restricted to running when someone was home to watch Mini Diva.  I wasn't stuck on the treadmill.  I was able to run all of miles with my little one along for the ride if I wanted to.  And hubby and I could actually run together when we wanted to - because of this stroller.  Until now.
I borrowed a stroller from a client and was so grateful for the use of it during that time.  It helped me get in my runs and hold classes during the week without our B.O.B.  But I still couldn't wait to run with our stroller that we loved so much.
We stopped by Babies R Us in torrential downpour (Can we say, desperate??!!) to see if they could help us out with our warranty.  But we were directed to work directly with the manufacturer.  The warranty said that it wouldn't cover this and that and the other thing ... which made me even more panicked and irritable.  We had spent a small fortunate on this stroller and splurged because we wanted something reliable that could tackle the mileage we're use to.  And now we were without it.
After heading home and getting some information off of the stroller, making sure that our stroller was registered correctly, and making a phone call during their business hours ... we were sent the replacement piece without a hassle.  And it arrived within a week.  After hubby put the stroller back together we were headed back out on the road. 
I was so pleased with our experience working with B.O.B. customer service.  And we are so thrilled with our Revolution jogging stroller.  It has been a great investment for our family.

Future Bondi Band Ambassador?

Future Bondi Band Ambassador?


Sometimes all you need is a staycation.  This week, I chose to take a week off of work to enjoy some quality time at home.  Summer is sadly coming to a close and I want to savor every last minute of it.  I took the time off to enjoy life and those around me - and a few miles.  After a very busy summer of activities for the kids and a crazy coaching schedule, this is exactly what we needed.
I even reluctantly took two days off of running this week.  After a fourty mile weekend, I took the last two days off to enjoy the kids, get the house in order, eat a couple bowls of ice cream and sit on the couch and take in the Olympics.  I even headed to bed both nights before 10:00.  I enjoyed it, but I also felt lazy.
Life is all about balance.  This lifestyle is what you make it.  Sometimes you need to go full-speed-ahead and cram in the miles.  Go-go-go ... that's typically my attitude and my speed.  But, sometimes you need to listen to your body and rest.  I felt rested this morning.  And enjoyed not getting up to the alarm.  My body awoke naturally.  And I was ready to move again.
This morning Mini Diva and I logged six miles on the road.  She slept for 5.75 miles of it. 
We were both pretty happy about our miles together this morning.  Don't forget that life is about balance.


Teaching her early.  Rehydrating after our long run this morning.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sunday Runday

Today was definitely Sunday Runday.  Some people may rest on the weekend; take a couple days away from the gym.  But I use the extra time to consume a lot of mileage.  Especially the weekends when I don't have my older two children.  Friday, I logged fourteen miles between my long run and a stroller class.  Saturday consisted of coaching 5K and 1 mile events at a local race.  And this morning consisted of coaching two morning classes, followed by my own personal miles with my tunes.
Half Marathon training started this morning for seven lucky women.  We didn't have our full group this morning, due to summer travel plans.  But we had our eye on the prize and big hearts out on the running path this morning.  Class started at 7:00 am.  We logged about four miles by 8:00.
I followed that up with the 10K running group at 8:15.  Two of the women are participating in both groups (some of my craziness may have rubbed off on them!?) and they logged the second run with us, too.  Five more miles done for the morning with a fabulous group of women.  It's so much fun watching runners conquer a distance they didn't know they were capable of.
After that, I followed with two more loops around the park and trail - for an additional eleven miles on my own.  I finally returned home around 11:45 full of sweat and a salty smile.  Twenty miles conquered this morning.  Thirty-nine for the weekend.
While I was gone, hubby ran seven miles with Baby Diva in the jogging stroller.  They ran to and from a friend's home for coffee this morning.  See - I'm not the only one planning my day and my miles.  It takes a whole lot of planning, understanding, conversations at home and a desire to stick to the plan.  Miles don't just happen.  You need to make them happen.

Miles make mommy happy

Even Baby Diva knows that miles make mommy happy.  Mommy's miles bring her smiles, too.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sun Prairie Couch to 5K Classes - Fall 2016

Sun Prairie Couch to 5K Classes - Fall 2016
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
(Final Running Diva Mom classes of 2016.  Classes will resume spring 2017.)

This program slowly and painlessly prepares your mind and body to run a 5K race in a supportive community environment. We’ll start off alternating between walking and running small distances, and slowly build up endurance over the course of nine weeks, so you’re ready to run 5 kilometers - or 30 minutes non-stop for the Haunted Hustle 5K Race on Saturday, October 29.

Moms on the Move Stroller Class
(Running Class + Core/Stretching at the park)
Starts Tuesday, August 30, 9:00-10:00 am, Sun Prairie Dream Park
Register now

Couples Couch to 5K
(Children welcome in jogging strollers)
Starts Thursday, September 1, 6:00-6:45 pm, park locations rotate
Register now

Ladies Couch to 5K
Starts Thursday, September 1, 7:00-7:45 pm, park locations rotate
Register now

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My biggest supporter.

Some days I just feel so thankful.  For my life.  And for my husband.  Just like everyone else, every day isn't perfect.  But we really do try to bring out the best in each other and support each other in the best way that we know how.  I feel so grateful that I have found someone who understands me, learns more about me, and keeps cheering me on to do more.  When we wrote our vows three years ago - much of our words touched on supporting on each other, encouraging each other and believing in both of our dreams.
When we first met at the end of 2011, he knew what my life entailed ... two kids, running, coaching ... and more running and coaching.  And over the past 3.5 years, my hobby and business has grown into something wonderful and often very consuming of our time.  Not just my time - our time.  Our time together.  As much as I try to schedule my long runs and coaching around my parental schedule with my older two children, classes and running sessions often infringe on our "alone time" or our time with our youngest.  I put a lot of time and thought into when classes and runs are scheduled.  It's a juggling act - on both of our parts.
He has fully embraced my lifestyle and it has become his lifestyle.  Not everyone would "get" what I'm doing.  Would understand it.  Or want to be a part of it all.  He didn't run when I met him.  And now he's run several marathons and runs right along side me.  He usually participates or helps out in someway during my classes.  Whether he is happily watching our daughter at the playground, running with her in a stroller, helping navigate a practice run of a race course or helping to coordinate post-run parties - he's often there. 
When I was on maternity leave earlier this year, we decided that I would only lead one or two classes per week.  Once spring came, clients were returning and asking for more.  I often said "no" to things that I couldn't or shouldn't commit to.  But, he encouraged me to embrace many of the opportunities that were coming my way.  Because it's important to my clients.  And it's important to me.  Now, I am often coaching 6-8 times per week - on top of working part-time and transporting kids to their activities.  Some days, I don't know how I do it. 
But, I know that it couldn't all be done if I didn't have his support and encouragement.  To follow my dreams.  And to help others follow theirs.