"Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Running, Running, Holidays!

It has been awhile since I posted last. A lot has happened in my training regiment. I have gone from mostly indoor running (indoor track), to getting outside more often. We got a HUGE snow storm a few weeks ago. It took them a long time to plow the sidewalks. Dumptrucks are still carrying snow out of the city. Snowbanks are taller thank most cars still. We have come to a point where Minnesotans will whine about every inch we get going forward, because there's so much, it's never going to melt. It just keeps piling up! So after the snowfall, most of my running was inside, while they cleaned up the sidewalks and streets. However, once they got them managed, it has warmed up enough that I have ventured outside more often than inside the past few weeks.

My mileage has started to climb with being outside. It's more manageable outside, compared to the dreadful dreadmill, I mean, treadmill. I've been getting more 6 mile runs outside. They are slower, because of the slippery places, yet still challenging because it's outside. I have been running along the river parkway more often. It is very hilly, and reminds me that I have room to improve. One Thursday morning, I went to St. Paul for our normal 12 mile loop; however, the trail wasn't plowed, so we ended up doing hill repeats, and the a short run to cap the morning off at 6 miles.

The St. Paul crew I've been running with completed our first 18 miler a couple weeks ago! That was a toughy! Between the snow-matted paths, icy patches, and just a long time running, my hips were very sore the next day. I attribute that to my feet hitting uneven terrain with all the snow on the sidewalks. Even with the sidewalks plowed, there are still patches of snow. We ran from the St. Paul Lifetime, to the River Parkway, to the greenway, to Lake Calhoun, to Lake Harriet, to Minnehaha Parkway, and back to the club. It wasn't fast by any means. But we it is worth celebrating that we finished, and felt great about the work we did! We are ahead of schedule in training for Boston. And I know the work I'm putting in is helping me get stronger. I have been intentional about hill training, and now I need to be intentional about speed work--but that requires a treadmill.

Speaking of hills. Jeremy and I went to State College, PA for Christmas to see family! We had such a great time! Our trip was jam-packed with Christmas festivities, a trip to Pittsburgh, girl time, seeing family friends, seeing youth group friends, a little bit of running, but mostly just enjoying family time. This is where my running went a bit off track. I did not run on Christmas Eve because it was too snowy! It had snowed about 2 1/2 inches Thursday night, so when I woke up to try and run it was still snowy and icy. After I got off work, it had continued snowing and we were up to about 4 inches. It was Christmas Eve, and needless to say, the sidewalks probably weren't on the top of the list. On Christmas morning, if I wanted to run, I had to get up at 3:45AM to squeeze it in before we hopped on our plane. My alarm went off at 3:45, and I just couldn't do it, after a late night celebrating Christmas with my family. So I stayed in bed until 4:40AM and skipped the run. Jason and I ran Sunday morning before heading to Pittsburgh. We ran a nice 5ish mile loop, and I ran around the neighborhood to top it off at 6 miles. The nice thing about State College, is anywhere you go, you'll run into rolling hills. Our loop had some rolling hills, and a nice size hill towards the end. I may regret that prior sentence as I go into this next part. Monday, I took the day off as I wasn't feeling the greatest. My throat was pretty sore, so I decided not to try and fight the 25 mph winds that day. But Tuesday, Tuesday was a different day. I got up, still with a sore throat, but Jason and I decided to brace the 22 mph winds, and go for a 5 mile run. I will say this run was the most difficult 5 mile run I can remember doing. Our course was hilly, the whole time. Constantly up and down. At one point, I remember climbing a hill thinking, "What goes up, must....keep going up!" Here's a glimpse of the largest hill I've ever run....

Unfortunately, the picture doesn't truly do the hill justice. This hill was long and steep. It didn't even feel like I was running up it. It was at the beginning of the run. The rest of the run consisted of climbing more hills. I think Jason took me running around the hilliest part of State College. He definitely made me work!!!

Now I'm back in Minnesota. And my running should get back on track.

Sidenote, my athlete profile has been added to the Fitsok page! Take a peaky: http://www.fitsok.com/index.php/site/athlete-profile/ It is an honor to be a part of a team and support a company like Fitsok!

See earlier blogs about Fitsok, and their amazing sock options! Friends, if you are looking for running sock options, let me know!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa Sok & Hill Repeat, Repeat, Times Three

I have been waiting and waiting for the arrival of my Fitsok package, and yesterday, it finally came in all its glory. As if I haven't been given enough already, with a singlet, multiple pairs of socks, Gu chomps, and a fitted Fitsok shirt. Yesterday added to my Fitsok love. The package came, including more winter running socks, two sweatbands, and my favorite item, Fitsok arm warmers!

There are so many reasons I love Fitsok. As a distance runner, socks matter, a great deal. People often use the phrase, "A happy wife is a happy life." I would venture to say "Happy feet is a happy runner". Truly, finding the right running sock can be quite the task. If the socks are too thin, your foot slides around in your shoe, and it can mess with your knee as your foot hits the pavement. But if your socks are too thick, your shoes can become too tight, as your feet swell from running. There is a fine line between too thin and too think. I have tried a few different brands of socks. I am a "Life-er" with Fitsok. My favorite race sock is the Fitsok F4. It has unique anatomical left/right foot fitting that provides an exact fit. They are breathable and moisture-wicking. And don't worry, they are labeled with an L/R so you know which sock goes on which foot. The F4 is my race sock of choice. However, when it comes to running outside in the winter tundra of Minnesota I go for the ISW. The ISW is made of Isolwool which provides a unique blend of temperature regulation and moisture control. Prior to wearing Fitsok, I would wear two pairs of socks, and they would end up rubbing, and causing blisters. With the ISW, it's all I need and it's perfect. A week ago, on an 11.5 mile run, I stepped in the middle of a giant puddle halfway through the run. I was concerned about blisters forming as I ran with wet socks the rest of the way. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I had no blisters from the run!

So yes, the socks are awesome, and comfortable, and everything a runner needs. But there are other cool things about Fitsok as well! They are headquartered in Minnesota! Being a Small Business Specialist, I am a big fan of supporting local companies. And although their products are spreading throughout the country, they are still based in Minnesota, and I value local companies. Also, they are one of the few sock companies to actually manufacture their socks in the United States. You don't have to worry about unfair labor laws, or people in third-world countries working in sweatshops. Their sock mill is in the US! People get paid to make the socks. So if I can't get you excited about socks, get excited about a local company, and their fair labor practices!

Okay, momentarily stepping off my sock box, I had a great run this morning. I have been running with a crew in St. Paul on Thursday mornings for the past few weeks. Typically we run a loop that ends up being 11.5 miles when all is said and done. However, after the snow-dump from this weekend, the trails were not plowed yet. There must not be many runners on the board for the City of St. Paul....(we should change that), because plowing the running trails doesn't seem to be a priority in relation to the roads, ha. So we ended up running hills this morning. The hill we tackled was about .40 miles up and .40 miles down. It was a steep hill. I am not one to be faithful with regular hill workouts, but I love to do them if I have someone else doing the work alongside me. So this morning we ran to the hill and went up and down the hill 6 times. Then we ventured to Minnehaha Falls to check out the beautiful scenery, ran a bit more, and then made our way back to the club. It was a nice 6.25 mile run, with about 3 miles of hills thrown in there. And obviously I was wearing Fitsok :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mr. Winter is Cramping My Style

I wish I could say that I love this snow...but truly, it is messing with my schedule. Not only did it affect multiple plans this weekend, but it is compromising my training schedule. Snow happens, I get that. But 18+ inches?! The plan was to do a 14-16 mile group run on Saturday with the folks in St. Paul. Friday night it was decided that nobody was going to be running outside. Some people decided to sleep in, some decided to run on the treadmill, while others decided to take group fitness classes for cross training. I fell among the group who decided to sleep in (and by sleep in, I mean 6:30AM). I got up, took a look outside and was disappointed to discover that I would not be running outside. But not only that, I would not be driving to St. Paul either. Needless to say, I did not do much of anything on Saturday. Could I have done the stairs in my building? Yes. Could I have done my TRX band? Yes. Could I have done P90X? Yes. Could I have done weight training with dumbbells? Yes. But, instead I decided to do nothing. Yes, nothing. I thought about all the things I could be doing, and still did nothing. My exercise for the day ended up being in trek through the knee-deep snowdrifts of Elliot Park to get to a friend's apartment to play Rook :) I think this was God's way of forcing me to slow down and take some mandatory rest. I don't know if I would have done so on my own accord.

Sunday I got to celebrate Christmas early with my brother. Since we won't be with my family on Christmas day, I got him his present early. We went to Run n Fun (my favorite store), and he got fitted for running shoes! He left with Brooks 'The Beast' shoe. So the obvious next step was to head over to the Lakeville Lifetime, and test them out! I ran a fast 3 miles, and then we went on to lift. We did a few of my exercises, and a few of Chad's. Needless to say, I am more than a little sore! I think I made up for my lack of movement on Saturday :)

Along with all this snow came the collapse of the metrodome. I am sad for the Vikings, but I am more sad that the MDRA will no longer be hosting running inside the dome on Tuesdays and Thursdays, until it's fixed. That is a bummer!

This morning, in an effort to beat the winter blues, I huffed it to the lightrail to get to Lifetime this morning. I ran a little over 5 miles, and then rocked Bootcamp. Bootcamp was all legs today...I know I'm going to be loving that one tomorrow. I'm sure my legs with thank me for the work I've put them through, come Boston!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

One Dollar Dome Days and St. Paul Fanatics

"When you have the enthusiasm and passion, you end up figuring how to excel." Deena Kastor

On Tuesday evening I experienced my first one dollar dome day, and no, I'm not talking about hot dogs of any kind! On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, the dome is open for indoor running from 5-8pm, sponsored by the MDRA. It was so much better than running on a treadmill, or even an indoor track. 2 1/2 laps equals a mile. So after work I walked to the dome and pumped out 45 minutes. I was impressed with the people there. The people who show up are there to run, and I love it. There is focus, there is determination, there is sweat, there is passion, and I loved being a part of it. I can definitely see how having the dome as a running option as I train for Boston this winter will be a nice option! It'll be great for speed work, and it breaks up the indoor track and treadmill torture sessions.

This morning I had a great opportunity to go for an 11.5 mile run with a group of crazies in St. Paul. Every other Thursday I have to go to St. Paul for a business meeting. On those Thursdays I end up working out at the Lifetime in St. Paul, showering, and going to my meeting from there. That way I bypass the morning traffic. One week, after a treadmill run, I was stretching and heard a couple guys talking about Boston Qualifications, and decided to jump in on the convo. They introduced themselves, and invited me to run with their group. They run multiple times a day, but on Thursday's they run a loop from St. Paul, to the UofM and back, just under 12 miles. This was the first morning I joined them, AND WHAT A BLAST!!! We met at 5:00AM at Lifetime. It was a great morning! The windchill was about 0, but there was very little wind. I bundled with a few layers, and was ready to go. There were five other runners that I got to meet. All of them have run Boston, and have qualified to run next year as well. So they are my caliber runners, and couldn't be more happy to have expanded my running network. The time passed quickly, and I was surprised by how easy the run felt. We hit three large hills, which is great training for me, in preparation for Boston. I think this is a run I'm going to jump in on every Thursday morning!!! Great run, great people, great accomplishment. 11.5 miles and 5 new friends, all before 7:00AM! :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Piece of Work

Running is work, Plymetrics are work, and strength training is work. Put all three together, and that's a piece of something! I started my day yesterday at 5:00AM running 5 miles. I did 3 miles at a 7:38 pace, and completed the last 2 miles with .5 mile interval speed work. I don't know if the air wasn't flowing at Lifetime, or if I was just working up a storm, but I looked like I took a shower when I finished!

I had some time to clean up and run to the bathroom before I started Bootcamp at 6:00AM at Lifetime. This is the beginning of my second week in the Bootcamp class and I am LOVING it! We have moved into the power phase of training, which comprises mostly plyometrics and power movements. That means lots of running, lots of jumping, lots of hopping, and skipping. Sounds like schoolgirl moves--but don't knock it until you try it. I understand the bootcamp slogan now, "You don't do bootcamp, you survive it." When that hour was up, my body was done. I had a nice 8 hour recovery at work, before I received more madness!

One of my business clients got me in touch with the manager at Discover Strength, a personal training company in Plymouth. Yes, I'm a personal trainer, and train clients weekly; however, any trainer who likes to work hard will confess they love when another trainer gives them a beating. It's easy to pound a client to the ground, but it's difficult to hold yourself to those same intense standards. It can be done, but I find it enjoyable when I have someone else pushing me beyond what I thought I'd be able to do. Their philosophy of training is far different from what I typically do. Not that one way is better than the other, just very different. There personal training sessions only last 30 minutes (which was long enough!), and do not involve ANY cardio. When I train I like to do circuits where I keep my heart rate going between zones. I often go for lower weight and higher reps, to keep my cardio endurance challenging, even as I'm strength training. I go for this approach because I am a distance runner, and the cardio piece is crucial to me. But I also recognize that strictly strength training is beneficial to distance runners as it helps build lean muscles, and prevent injury. So as I walked into the doors of Discover Strength I had no idea what the session held for me. I only did 10 exercises. And I only did one set of each exercise. And I only did about 6-8 reps of any given exercise, if I even made it to 6!! They really focus on muscle failure. So oftentimes I would be eccentrically contracting my muscles for 2 seconds, isometrically holding for 1-2 seconds, and concentrically contracting my muscles for 10 seconds. I performed each rep to failure (i.e. until my arms or legs gave out)--hence the ABSOLUTE need for a trainer.

I left the studio with every muscle shaking. I waited a couple minutes in my car before I decided to drive. My body was completely exhausted, and I loved it! Even this morning as I'm typing this, I feel every body part I worked-Chest, Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders, Hamstrings, Calves, Glutes, Abs. I am aware of each muscle. Between running, plyometric bootcamp, and strength training, yesterday was a beautiful piece of work!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Trot 5K

It's been a while since posting a blog, so I figured it was high time for a new post. My commitment to my readers (if I have even have any readers), I promise to be more dedicated to my blogging. Even if I don't have any race reports, I will be posting new fitness tips, or training updates.

I am so thankful to have wonderful family in town for Thanksgiving week. Jeremy and I have his brother Jason, and his wife Lindsay in town from Tuesday-Sunday. The four of us are very close, so we LOVE having them here! In preparing for Thanksgiving, I originally wanted to do the Drumstick Dash 10k; however, my sister in-law hadn't been running much. So we decided on the Turkey Trot 5k. (We found out a couple weeks later that Lindsay is pregnant!) YAY! Absolutely a legitimate reason to bow out of the race. Well, the day before the race, Jason, Lindsay, and Jeremy went to register for the race....Lindsay decided not to run the race, given she hasn't been running very much. Jason decided not to run because it was supposed to be so cold, and Pennsylvania has been much warmer-his lungs weren't acclimated to the cold windchills. And Jeremy simply decided not to run. I was slightly bummed that it ended up not being a family affair. But don't fret, I got to run the 5k with two of my XC guys, Austin and DC!!!

I was definitely the weakest link of the three of us; however, we did run the race together as a fun run! Thank you DC and Austin for running my pace :) It's good for me to be the slow one! We made it an adventure! We ran from my apartment building to the start of the race, ran the 5k race, and then ran home (with our goodie bags, water bottles, and muscle milks in our hands, totaling a good 6 mile run! It was the coldest Thanksgiving Day in 25 yrs! The windchill was -6 degrees!!! It was a bitter chill. I wore 4 top layers, 2 pant layers, 2 pairs of gloves, a hat, and a face mask! I was bundled for sure!!! Movement in general required more effort than usual! There were icy patches along most of the course.

Here's a cute picture of us, post-6 mile run :) We all look like chubby kids with our layers

"Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission." *Neil Kendall

I will say, it's days like this that build solid character and lasting memories with great people :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

New November

"The beauty of running is its simplicity; the beauty of runners is that we all have a similar drive to improve. We are either trying to run a personal best, or toeing the line for the first time, which will snowball into a future of trying to run personal bests. We road racers are a tight community of mileage-happy, limit-pushing athletes."

~Deena Kastor (American record holder for the marathon, half-marathon, and numerous other road distances).

It truly is a beautiful thing to be "in-between" marathon training schedules. And although I'm not following a training plan right now, I am enjoying the mileage that I am able to determine. Last week I hammered a heavier mileage week, logging 8 miles on Monday, 6 miles on Tuesday, 5 miles on Wednesday, 10 miles on Thursday, and 5 miles on Friday. I would have loved the opportunity to run this weekend, as it was gorgeous out!

I had an even better opportunity to coach the Rams at the NCAA Division III, UMAC Conference Championship race in Ashland, WI. Our teams did well. It was chilly and windy along the shore, with a somewhat soggy course, but they bucked up, and gave it their best effort. Not super fast times, but many of the Rams ran the course faster than they had run it three weeks prior. I know that they are in shape. They are strong, and their mileage is going down, which means their bodies are finally recovering from the heavy load of work they've done over the months prior. We came in 3rd place (both men and women). I am so proud of my Pink Hotties (aka Lady Rams), who gave it their all. That was their last 6k course. From here on out they have the Fall Finale Race at St. John's University, which is a 5k course-practically a road race. Super fast, and super fun. From there, they'll head to Cedarville, OH to tackle the NCCAA National Championship. The ladies will be hoping to score their sixth national banner, and the men their fourth national banner!

This week is going to mean long hours (7:00AM-5:00PM) Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so I can get off early for intervals on Tuesday, and leave early for the race on Friday! In order to accomodate my 8 mile run this morning, I had to get up at 4:00AM. It wasn't pretty at 4:00AM, I didn't enjoy the beauty of the sunrise, because it wasn't up when I finished my run. But I did enjoy the stillness that the morning brings. I did enjoy the wonder of a new day, and a new month to be filled with adventures waiting to be had. Layered with two longsleeve shirts, a hat and gloves, I ran from Mensing, around Elliot Park, to Olie Park, over the Stonearch Bridge, across the 10th Street Bridge, through Seven Corners, past the Metrodome, and back to my building, for a solid 8 miles. My body and my feet are happy. My mind is satisfied from an hour of solid reflection.

My heart is pleased, that today, I had another opportunity to run.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Life After Chicago

I'm now two weeks past the Chicago Marathon. Filled with total joy (and glee), upon qualifying for the Boston Marathon, I have been able to relax a bit more in regards to my training. I signed up for the Boston Marathon at 9:00AM last Monday when registration opened. DC and I both got in! I was sad to discover my friend Tracy did not sign up in time. I learned quickly that the registration closed in a record-breaking 7 hours! I have never heard of a race closing that quickly.

I have been maintaining easy mileage and comfortable paces the past two weeks. I will be hitting it hard (most likely the treadmill), come December/January, as my true training begins. As for now, I am simply maintaining 5-6 miles a day, a mid-week run of about 8 miles, and a longer run (and by longer, I don't mean that long), of 8-12 miles. I have found joy in running just to run. And if it turns out that I end up not being able to get out of bed a couple times a week-no big deal! It's nice to have some of that pressure removed. I typically don't do as much strength training in the heat of marathon training, simply because so much time is consumed by running. However, now that it's technically off-season for a couple months, I'm jumping back on the bandwagon. And for the record, yes I've been doing plyometrics and bear crawls (that's for you NCU Rams!) But BOY AM I SORE!!!!!!!!!!

For now, I'm enjoying to cool weather running, the low pressure that comes with being off-season, and ramping up my lifting schedule.

My next event is the Turkey Trot 5k, with my husband, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law. Should be a good time. I tried to get them to do a 10k, but they didn't want to. So instead, we are going to run to the start line, run the 5k, and run home. All in all, it should be about 5.5 miles :) We'll earn the bird for sure!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicago Marathon 10/10/10 The Date to Motivate

I made my way out to Chicago, Friday morning. I arrived at the condo I was staying at and found myself enjoying the solitude before the madness that the weekend would bring. Early evening, DC, Jeff, Austin, and Catherine (my XC runners), made their way to the condo. We brought their stuff up, allowed them to scope out the digs, and check out the view. We met up with David, and caught the tail end of the expo Friday night. We got there at about 7:30, knowing the expo closed at 8:00pm. I dashed for my bib and chip, darted to get my shirt, and ran to the pacing table to get my pace tattoo, and then searched for remaining food samples. I knew 30 minutes was not going to be enough time to take in everything that makes up the expo. We decided to go again on Saturday, to fully experience the Chicago Marathon Mecca! Jeremy flew in Friday night, and we went to bed shortly thereafter.

Saturday morning I got up and did an easy 2 mile run, just loosening things up before race day. Then Jeremy and I went to the expo to go down aisle by aisle. I found my name on the wall of runners, and was honored to see my name surrounded by people that would be soon facing the monster we were all up against the next day. We scurried around for our free samples, and took advantage of everything we could. Finally, the expo tuckered us out, and we went home. We stopped at Whole Foods to get some grocery items, including a fabulous sauce for our gluten-free pasta! It was great!!! After a hearty meal, and a day full of carb-loading, I was in bed by 9:00pm, but I was wide awake, fearing the next day. I continually checked the weather reports, only to find that the temperature was continuing to rise. I was so angry that days prior it had been nice and cool, and for race day we were going to experience a heat wave. However, the beauty of the beast, is that there are so many uncontrollable factors, and that's why I'm drawn to the marathon. So I tried to let go of the weather so I could get some sleep.

I woke up at 4:30AM to get my breakfast in, which consisted of rice cakes with peanut butter and banana slices on top. Jeremy and I left the condo by 5:30AM to make it towards the start line. We made a quick Starbucks stop, and got to the start line by 6:30AM. We sat on the curb until I got antsy and had to head towards the porta-potties in the seeded corral area. With tears rolling down my face as I walked away from Jeremy, I made my way to the lines. While waiting to take the final pre-race dump, I met a girl named Jordan, from Austin, TX. We realized that we were both in the same corral and were both shooting for the same time. While in line, we decided that we'd run together, because we were both hoping to qualify for Boston. We made it to the front of our corral and sat nervously on the pavement, talking about our running experiences, previous races, and summer training. Given that she was from Austin, TX the weather wasn't a concern for her at all. I, on the otherhand, was thoroughly disappointed that at 7:00AM it was 62 degrees. That meant it was going to get warm, and it was going to get warm fast. Finally, the race began. We crossed the start line just over three minutes after the horn blew. Even though this was my third time running the Chicago Marathon, the number of spectators AND runners still amazed me. The first 7 miles of the race flew by. I don't even remember running. It felt effortless. At the half marathon mark I saw Jeremy. I was still feeling good. It's amazing how just seeing his face gave me energy. I knew he was praying for me. I didn't see him the rest of the race. He went to a couple other places, but never saw me. At about mile 15, the heat was really getting to me. Jordan was feeling strong, so I told her to keep going, but my pace was slowing down quite a bit. I saw DC, Austin, Jeff, and Catherine at numerous points throughout the course. They were so awesome! So loud. So encouraging. Very much what I needed! I also saw Angela and Joy a couple times during the race. They too, were loud, and fabulous. Mile 19 felt like the longest mile of the race. However, I saw my Runnin Rams, and they gave me so much energy as they ran the sidewalks cheering me on. Their faces said it all--they knew I could do it. They believed I could do it. It came to a point where I had to stop looking at them because I thought I was going to burst into tears. I was so emotional, just from hearing them cheer and encourage me. The last 6.2 miles were brutal. At one point, I almost threw the dream of qualifying for Boston out the window. It was just too hot. I had to take mini walk breaks through every water station through mile 23 1/2. Just before mile 25, I saw my runners one last time. They continued to run on the side of the course, and ran with me for what seemed like a while. These guys are the reason I kept going at the end. I couldn't let them see me walk. After they drove hours to see me run, I needed to run, at least while they were in sight. And then I realized what they already knew--I was going to do it. I was going to qualify! I knew I could run 1.2 miles without stopping. And I did. The final 800m was rough--there is an incline that seems to be placed so cruelly. But I charged it, got over it, turned the corner, and saw the finish line and the jumbotron. With as much as I had left, I picked it up, and ran to the finish. I crossed the line, and knew that I had done it.

I burst into the tears as I walked passed the volunteers congratulating me. They asked if I was okay, if I needed medical attention, and I said, "No, I'm just so happy." One older guy gave me a huge hug (he didn't care about the sweat and nasty odor coming from my body), and congratulated me on such an accomplishment. My medal was hung around my neck, and I was wrapped in the finishers wrap. I was given a bottle of water, and I made the long walk to the runner re-unite area. I still couldn't believe it. I had done it. I had qualified for Boston. I was going to
Boston with DC!

The day finally came, and went. Faster than I would have liked; however, you wouldn't have caught me saying that during the marathon. At the end of the race, it was 86 degrees. And it felt like it! Here are some things I thought about this weekend:

1. God honored my faithfulness.
2. I'm stronger than I've allowed myself to believe.
3. The pain of discipline truly is less than the pain of regret--far less.
4. My husband loves me a ton, and really believes in me.
5. My family and the Runnin Rams are encouraging machines!!!
6. I like lemon-lime endurance gatorade much better than the blue powerade at TCM.
7. God is faithful. So was I. But there is no correlation between the two-God is ALWAYS faithful.
8. Fitsok is the best brand of sock I've ever raced it. (No blisters or missing toenails).
9. I have a lot of people who love me and believe in me.
10. When I'm weak, Christ makes me strong.
11. I still love running, even after these conditions.
12. I'm running the Boston Marathon.

My finishing time: 3:39:07 for 26.2 miles.
A new PR, a Boston Qualifier, a renewed mental toughness, and an understanding that God is who He says He is.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Just when I thought sponsorships were done for me, I managed to score another one. A good friend and running mentor, Tom Tisell, who is also sponsored by Fitsok suggested that I contact the president of this company and inquire about a sponsorship. I questioned whether it would be worth my time. Tom has won numerous marathons--Minneapolis Marathon, Stillwater Marathon. I am nowhere near his caliber. I took a look at their website (www.fitsok.com) and checked out the other sponsored athletes, one of them being Willie Tibbets, someone I see at almost every race I do, and she beats me every time. Their sponsored athletes are good, I just didn't think I stood a chance. Tom encouraged me to apply. I sent my running resume to the president, and he explained that they were looking for "running ambassadors" moreso than winners. They wanted people who were involved in the running communities, that could be positive role models to others. He loved my involvement in coaching, personal training, and picking up running only 6 years ago.

I learned a lot about Fitsok that makes me even more proud to bear their name. Fitsok is sold nationwide; however, their corporate office is in Minnesota. Given that I am a business banker by day, to be sponsored by a local company is just fantastic. Secondly, they are the ONLY sock company that actually makes their socks in the United States, thus paying their employees fairly. They abide by fair labor laws, and that makes me happy! Third, the president of the company is a graduate from Northwestern College, and is a man after God's heart. It is cool to be a part of an organization where Christ is the focus of their business.

The Fitsok brand was started by the rep for Brooks, which means I will now be getting 40% of Brooks shoes. Looks like I will be switching over. In addition to discounted shoes, I will be getting free socks, free entries to particular races, arm warmers, and free Gus/Chomps. They also want my friends and family to know the product. So all my friends, family, athletes, etc. are eligible for socks 50% off!

I am blessed to be a part of this organization, and a part of their racing team. I'll be running on Sunday (10/10/10) in the Fitsok Tank (on the left).

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Psychology of Fear and Pain in Racing

Dictionary.com defines Psychology as "1. the science of the mind or of mental states and processes. 2. The sum or characteristics of the mental states and processes of a person or class of persons, or of the mental states and processes involved in a field of activity." Fears, doubts, and anxieties are byproducts of mental training, just as lactic acid is a byproduct of physical training. It just happens.

I was thinking about my first race--and truly, I can't remember it. I wish I could remember whether it was a road race, or a XC race. I think the reason I can't remember my first race is because there was no pressure, no standards by which to gauge my performance. It was simply accomplished for the sheer joy of the sport. I do remember my first marathon though--Twin Cities 2007--the hot year. I remember crossing the line, and my friend Trey, coming up to me and saying, "Bree, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry." I asked him why he was sorry, and he said because it was a terrible first marathon experience in those temperatures. My approach was different--if the experience was that bad, it could only get better from there, right?! That conversation is another blog, but from that point my heart and passion for marathons ignited.

Approaching this topic, the psychology of fear and pain in racing, as a college grad with a degree in psychology, was spurred on by a recent article in Endurance News (generated by Hammer Nutrition). My greatest challenge in racing (and training, for that matter), has always been fear. Fear of uncertainty and pain. Uncertainty of my abilities, my training, my fitness, my ability to complete the task at hand. Yet at the same time I am drawn to the uncertainty and mystery curious of the outcome--which is why I come back to the start line, again and again. And the fear of pain. We are conditioned to avoid pain and pursue pleasure. It will hurt--but how much, and can I tolerate it? What I've learned through racing is that as I get more comfortable with the uncomfortableness of racing--it empowers me to keep on pursuing racing to better myself as an individual, and as an athlete.

The article distinguished the difference between training and racing. They gave this analogy: "Training is like a rehearsal; while racing is akin to performance. In rehearsal, we stop and start, repeat certain sections, break things down into smaller, simpler increments. We practice drills and conduct interval sessions. We pause to rest and examine, then repeat. However, in races and performances we strive for uninterrupted continuity and perfection while in the presence of others."

The road to the start line is similar to that of a death march. A part of me will die on that day-the part that doubts I'm able to do it. As I approach the start line of the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10, a part of me will die again. The part that is unsure of whether I can do it. I will do it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Final Countdown

I have begun the final countdown to my third running of the Chicago Marathon. Race date is 10/10/10. How do you forget a date like that?! The countdown has become official, because I have successfully logged my last 20 mile run! Through my training I have completed two 20 mile runs, one 22 mile run, and a few 18-19 mile runs. It feels really nice to have the last 20 miler completed. My "long" run next weekend is 13 miles. That is most definitely doable!

As mentioned in previous posts, Jeremy has been my biggest supporter during these long runs. When I'm with him, I don't need music, I don't need anything. I know I can complete the task at hand when he's there. My anxiety goes away during the runs, and I maintain my confidence and strength, as he encourages me, and passes me powerade and sport beans!

I started my 20 mile run yesterday at 8:00AM. For those of you who know me, this is sleeping in for me! I usually like to start my runs around 5:00AM! But due to the cooler weather, I knew it wouldn't be terrible to start later. We hopped on the greenway (bike path) and ran all the way (past St. Louis Park), into Hopkins, and then turned around and came back. The greenway is great for many reasons. One, it's completely flat, which makes for a somewhat comfortable run. Two, you don't have to deal with traffic, and stopping at stoplights. Third, there are actual lanes (for bikers and runners), to ensure no accidents occur on the path!

I finished the run in 2 hours and 37 minutes, and held an average pace of 7:52/mile. Again, I think that time could be slower due to all the underpasses on the greenway (my garmin loses satelite reception). Regardless, I am VERY happy with that time. If I can maintain an 8:00/mile pace at Chicago I will be pleased.

As of right now I am spending a lot of time trying to prepare mentally! I feel like the Lord has really blessed my training this season. I have had no injuries, no flare-ups with my knee. I have had a mental toughness that I don't remember having before. I don't feel like God has given me as many sermon ideas, as I've experienced in past training seasons; however, I do believe that I have been able to experience His presence, and His peace while running. And I am incredibly thankful for that! My prayer is that as I run, God would be exaulted in my body. That my discipline, my heart, my passion, and my worship would bring Him great joy!

Last year the Chicago Marathon was the only thing holding me back from getting married. This year, the marathon is the only thing holding me back from my 1 year anniversary cruise!!!

Bring on 10/10/10!!! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

City of the Lakes 25K Race Recap

I don't even know where to start in regards to a recap for this race. There is so much to say. The weather conditions for this race couldn't have been more ideal. It was mid 50's at the start of the race with a windspeed of about 2-3 mph. Jeremy and I got to the start of the course at about 7:00AM (race started at 8:00AM). I like to get there early just to make sure I'm ready to go. We waited around for quite a bit, and then I hopped in line for the portapotties in preparation for the race. I saw two guys that I recognized from the Bootcamp class at Lifetime that I had been a part of. I also met the men's XC coach for Minnetonka High School. We both acknowledged that when coaching, your own personal training program is somewhat sacrificed for the sake of your runners. Although it can mess with you mentally, the joy of coaching and being around student athletes is FAR worth it! My parents got there at about 7:40. It was so nice to have them cheering me on.

I was ready to run a 25k (aka 15.5 miles). I approached the front of the start line, wanting to get a head start on the pack of 1,200 runners. As I looked around, two minutes before the gun went off, I realized there were mostly men around me. There were very few ladies up near the line. But I decided to be bold and stay up front. The gun went off and we were off. The course was a figure eight, two and a half times around Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun. I knew this course. I ran this race last year, and Jeremy and I had run these lakes last weekend as a part of my 22 mile run. What I forgot was that when we ran the weekend before, we ran on the path alongside the lakes; however, the race was actually on the parkway (the roads next to the lakes). The parkway is far hillier than the actual path. Regardless I felt strong. I ran the first mile a lot faster than I had planned to run. I wanted to stay in control, and not exhaust my legs too quickly. I ended up running 7:21 my first mile. Jeremy found me on his bike just after the one mile and cautioned me to slow down. He knew if I tried to keep that pace I'd crash and burn at some point. And I took his advice.

I saw my parents numerous times along the course, and they cheered loud and gave me high fives, it was great! They were often near large hills, so seeing their faces got me up those hills each time. My dad is known to run alongside me for parts of the race, and it ALWAYS makes me smile. As always, my biggest fan (my husband) was on his bike ready to support me a large portion of the course. I cannot express the overwhelming comfort I experience when my best friend is on his bike alongside me. I could hear the gentle whisper of his wheels rotating amidst the soft slapping of shoes hitting the pavement. One of my XC runners, DC, was also there cheering me on. He is by far the loudest fan I had, and it was much appreciated. I could here him cheering from a distance. I even had another runner turn around and say, "Who's Bree? You have quite the fan club, that's awesome!" Two co-workers, Dana and Mary, were also there cheering me on! It was so great to have their smiling faces there, reminding me that I was capable of doing the task at hand. I also had a good friend, runner, and former client, Sarah, there cheering me on. With such a big smile on her face, I couldn't help but smile and waive back! I was so blessed to have so many people supporting me.

For most of the race, there was a girl near me who appeared my age. She'd pull ahead, until we got to the hills, that's where I'd take her. Once we got over the hills we'd often be side by side, or she'd pull slightly ahead. I knew I wanted to keep pace with her, because she was in my age bracket :)

At the Half Marathon split, I crossed the line at 1:41:08, which is a new half PR for me! At that point I was slightly in front of my competition. I don't know how much further she was behind, and I was too afraid to look back, in fear that she was right behind me. At mile 14 it started getting really tough. I had a sideache like I have never experienced before. It wasn't just on one side--it was on BOTH! I often thought about stopping to stretch it out. But two thoughts crossed my mind.
1. "The pain of discipline is FAR LESS than the pain of regret."
2. You've got 1 1/2 miles left, do you SERIOUSLY want to walk now, when you've come this far.

I slowed my pace (not by choice), sucked it up, and kept running. I finally hit mile 15, and knew the end was right around the bend. As I hit the straightaway towards the finish, I picked it up, and gave what I had left. I could see my Dad, Mom, Jeremy, DC, Mary, and Dana. They were all cheering for me.

Before I share my results I want to share my results from last year. Last year was my first year running this race, and I did it in 2:07:50. There is always more pressure when you do a race for the second time. My goal was to beat my time from last year. Realistically I was hoping for 2:05:something.

Time: 2:00:22
Age Place: 16/65
Female Place: 53/246
Overall: 53/653 (actually finishers)

I did it! I shaved over 7 minutes off my time from last year. Not only did I beat my time from last year, but I beat my goal of 2:05. I came close to breaking the 2 hour mark. I am very pleased with my time. AND, final accomplishment.....I beat the girl in my age bracket! Many goals were accomplished at this race!

I did not feel the strongest physically, but what I am very happy with is that I felt EXTREMELY mentally strong. The mental strength is what I will need for Chicago Marathon.

I am ready for Chicago--10/10/10.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Road of Determination-->10/10/10

This past Sunday marked the longest training run I will do before the Chicago Marathon. On Sunday morning I ran 22 miles, again, with Jeremy on my side. I don't think anyone has more belief in my abilities than Jeremy. I get anxiety and usually struggle to fall asleep the night before a long run. I actually allowed myself (and Jeremy) to sleep in, and started my run shortly after 6:30AM, as opposed to 5:00AM--the usual. It was so beautiful. The temperature was about 51 degrees. It didn't start warming up much until around 9:00ish, and I was nearing the finish by then. This was the best I've felt on a training run. I ran confidently, and comfortably for the first 20 miles.

Our journey took us down the greenway (bike path), which I did not realize started so close to home! We jumped on the greenway near the metrodome, and ran all the way to St. Louis Park. From there we turned around and headed to Lake Calhoun. We circled Calhoun, and then made our way to Lake Harriet and around. Then back to finish Calhoun and get back on the greenway to head home! The cooler temps helped immensely. I believe the cool weather even tricked me into feeling as if I didn't need liquids. Turns out, that's not true.

There were so many people out doing their runs. Big packs of runners, individuals, and friends, chatting their way, step by step. On our way back, we saw a biker who was laying on the pavement, with a bunch of friends surrounding him. He looked unconscious. I'm not sure what happened, and wasn't sure what to do. I didn't think it was appropriate to stop, given he had so many people around him, and I could hear the ambulance buzzing, so I knew help was on its way. So we continued on our path, but it definitely gave me a prayer focus as we passed the incident.

At mile 20 I really started to struggle. I'm not sure if it was because I ran out of powerade, but my body really started cramping, I just struggled with those last 2 miles. But soon enough, we were back on campus, and the 22 mile run was over! It took me 2 hours, and 57 minutes, which equates to an 8:04/pace. I actually think I ran faster--my watch went a little crazy with all the bridges on the greenway.

When we got home, I enjoyed a nice chocolate smoothie and iced my knees for about 10 minutes (no ice bath this time, folks)!

Now I have the City of the Lakes 25k on Sunday--15.5 miles. This will be an accurate assessment of how I'm going to do at Chicago. I have a lot of mental toughness when Jeremy is by my side--we'll see how it goes on Sunday when he's NOT by my side. The one thing I know is this: When I'm weak, it is HE that makes me strong!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Run, Skip, and a Hop

This weekend's run was far better than the weekend prior. Only having to do 13 miles, was much more of a mental relief than anything else. It was warm and sticky, but definitely manageable.

After the 13 miler, I thought I'd tackle some plyometrics (aka lots of jumping). I have been making my XC runners do a lot of plyos this season, so I figured I should be doing them as well. I gave my body about 2 hours to recover from my 13 mile run and then jumped (literally) into an hour Plyometrics X (P90X) routine. It was jumping, squating, squating and jumping, twisting, and more jumping. Did I say there was a lot of jumping required? It was a toughy, but felt so great when I finished.

It is now Monday afternoon, and I am STILL SORE from the Plyometrics. But I understand the benefits of jumping in regards to running, and building strength and power. I am going to try and do the plyometrics routine once a week. And I plan on doing the entire P90X routine after my marathon.

10/10/10-->On my mind :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Body Shocker

This weekend marked the first of three 20 mile runs mapped out in my marathon training program. I was extremely optimistic about this run, given the 19 miler had gone so well, the weekend prior. However, a new set of conditions presented themselves, leading to a more challenging run.

This was my first long run, downtown Minneapolis. I wasn't sure which way to venture, so early in the morning, and still be dark. I had to start my run at 5:00AM so I could finish before taking my athletes to athletic retreat. It was hot and humid, and I always seem to struggle in those conditions. Suited with my purple powerade in my fuel belt, and Pomegranate Blueberry chews on me, I ran. And I ran. And I ran. There were many stops where I wondered if it was worth it. I was sad that Jeremy wasn't by my side, telling me to keep going, and to stay strong. I could feel the salt from my body, covering my skin. But I finished the run!!! And I celebrate because I finished that run!

I immediately got back to my room to do some stretching, knowing that a little sorenes would soon ensue--which is only normal. I then proceeded to take my first ice bath. I know they are extremely good for recovery, but I haven't been an athlete who took advantage of this information. Because I knew I had a busy weekend ahead, I figured an ice bath may be to my advantage. I jumped in the tub of cold water, and poured the big container of ice over my legs. I could only muster about 5 minutes in the tub, before I needed out. A warm shower then became much appreciated. After my shower, I took off for Wisconsin, with the Runnin Rams for a weekend of running and conditioning :)

When we got to camp, the ladies did an easy 3 mile run (chalking up my mileage to 23 miles for the day). Later on in the afternoon/evening, I started getting a sore throat. I went to bed that night, having a difficult time swallowing. I then woke up feeling like my head was not attached to my body, and a stuffy nose to go along with it all.

Needless to say, as much as I understand how valuable ice baths are to recovery, I don't know that my body was prepared to go from extreme humidity, to extreme cold, and right back out to extreme humidity. I'm thinking that's what got me sick. I don't think I'm completely opposed to the ice bath, but I do think the next time I take one, I won't go right back outside in the humidity. Lesson learned.

Still battling the cold. But I have stalked up on tissues, Theraflu (my drug of choice), and throat drops.

But the beautiful part of all the madness is that the XC season is full swing. It is such a joy to get to see the Runnin Rams, twice a day! They truly bring such great joy to my heart! I think a fair statement would be that they bring immense joy to my heart, and Trey and I bring immense pain to their bodies, at least during pre-season :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

19 Miles & Feeling Good

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I become much of a spazz (for lack of a better adjective), when it comes to my long runs. For some reason, I am overcome by anxiety and fear over my long runs. Usually a day or two before a long run I begin to question whether I am capable and/or prepared for the work ahead. I wonder if I will have to walk, or if I will have the determination to finish. At the end of a run, I am always satisfied that I finish. Sometimes I am disappointed with the rest breaks, but always content with completion.

My long run last weekend was a 19 miler. I was hoping to get it out of the way on Saturday morning. I got up at 5:00AM hoping to get an early start and get it over with. Although the temps were cooler than days prior, the humidity was still high from the storm Friday night (100% humidity, per weather.com). Disappointed with the humidity level, I decided it would be best to hold off until Sunday morning before church.

Saturday night, Jeremy and I slept (if that's what you want to call it), on an air mattress, for the last night in our Maple Grove home. I tossed and turned, and froze. When my alarm went off at 5:00AM, both Jeremy and I were both eager to get up, as we hadn't slept much anyway.

I am so grateful for Jeremy, and his willingness to accompany me on my long runs. His presence brings peace to my spirit as I pound the pavement. We were out the door by 5:20AM. It was cool and the humidity levels were way down. I could not have prayed for a more glorious morning! I decided I was going to take a slower pace, but focus on staying in control and being steady along the run. Turns out that was a fantastic plan. We hit the stoplights at the perfect time--we did not have to stop. I wasn't even craving fluids for most of the journey. The temps were lower, so I wasn't sweating as much. Jeremy was content and soothing as he encouraged me, and continually checked in with me. He stayed with my for 14 of my 19 mile journey, until he had to go back to get things ready for church. After he left me, I had come so far, I knew I had 5 more miles in me. I knew I could do the last 5 without stopping...and I did!

As mentioned, my pace was much slower than usual (an average 8:04/mile pace). But I felt strong, both physically and mentally. I am convinced that three contributing factors influenced this run: 1. The Lord being my strength and reminding me of His ever-present help in my weakness. 2. My faithful husband who never fails to believe in my abilities, even when I lack the confidence. 3. The cool temps and low humidity, allowing my body to stay cooler than normal.

It is runs like this one that remind me why 4 months of training is worth it. When I finish a run that I am proud of, I build my confidnece for the next one! 19 miles has never felt so good!

Thank you Lord. May my running, my training, and my discipline make You smile. Thank you Jeremy--You reflect the beauty of the Lord.

Friday, August 6, 2010

You Know You're Training for a Marathon When......

I had a couple thoughts in regards to marathon training. Here they are.

You know you are training for a marathon when:

1. You go through a pair of shoes in less than 3 months.
2. A bathroom stop on the side of a dirt road doesn't seem like a big deal.
3. You've tried every flavor of sportbeans, gels, cliff shots, and luna moons available.
4. You go to bed early, just so you can start your run early the next morning to beat the heat.
5. You know the words to every song on your ipod---even if you have a gazillion loaded.
6. You've almost been hit by a car when they decided that stop signs were optional at 5:00AM.
7. You plan your meals in advance to ensure proper fueling for long run days.
8. You beg your spouse/friend to bike alongside you, because their company is FAR better than any song or audiobook on the trusted ipod.
9. You can't sign up for any more races, because your long run days have exceeded the half marathon distance.
10. A 12 mile run day feels like a recovery day!

Those are just a few of them! I set out for my 12 mile run this morning, with Jeremy by my side (on bike). This was an enjoyable run at a comfortable 7:45/mile pace. 12 miles seemed so comfortable after doing 17 miles last weekend. Next weekend I have a lovely 19 miler to look forward to. The nice thing about the run next weekend is we will officially be Minneapolis residence, and I will have the beautiful lakes (Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Harriet, and Nokomis) to look forward to! New scenery, and mostly flat terrain! I'm ready for that new adventure!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Husband Really is the Best

So the title of this blog really does hold true. I don't know many men who would wake up on a Saturday morning at 5:45AM, to help their wives accomplish a 17 mile run! But mine did!

I knew the poison that was in store for today.....17 miles. 17 miles of road, rolling hills, humidity, and sweat pouring down, well, everywhere. I always get apprehensive about my long runs. I start to question myself: What if I can't do it? Do I have a enough water? What if I pass out on the side of the road? What if I don't have enough to fuel my body?

So this morning, Jeremy biked alongside me, as I pounded the pavement. He got up and started his coffee, while I ran my first 5 miles. The first 5 miles were no big deal. By the time I made it back to the house, Jeremy was waiting in the street with his bike, ready to go. He had green powerade zero in my fuel belt, on his back. And he had orange powerade zero in his fuel belt on the handle bars of his bike. And off we went! The next 5 miles still weren't too bad.

I had my helper passing me powerade, and jolly ranchers! I didn't have any sport beans, or chews to keep me going. We didn't really have much of anything-other than the jolly ranchers, and boy did those help! The run didn't feel too tough until about 12-13 miles into it. Then it started feeling like work. But I knew I'd make it.

I am very thankful for my husband, who puts up with my crazy tactics, and even joins in! That run would not have been nearly as enjoyable without him by my side. I don't think there's anyone else I'd rather spend over two hours running with!

Thanks Jeremy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Long Road

On Friday morning I rolled out of bed at 5:00AM to prepare for my 16 mile run. This is my longest run so far this season. Prior to stumbling out the door, I chowed down on some food, just to get some carbs in me. I fastened my fuel belt full of Lemon Lime Powerade, and hit the road.

The first 8 miles of the run felt good. Even at mile 10, I was still feeling comfortable. Around mile 13, the humidity and heat started bothering me. At mile 14, I finally decided to make a quick stop at the local Byerly's to refill my belt with water. It was hot, and my body was craving fluids. After the water stop, my body felt a lot better, and I knew this run was going to be manageable.

My husband had a very important day on Friday, and I was determined to get home to pray with him before he had to leave the house. I knew what time he had to leave, and I knew I was within a five minute window, before he hopped in his car. Let me tell you, my last two miles of the run were my fastest miles! At a time when my body should be most tired, and ferocious energy swept over me--I had to get home.

I threw myself through the doors, to find my husband standing and waiting in the living room--he was literally waiting for me to walk in the door.

I was so happy I got to pray for him before he left!

After he left, I had a thought: If only I could have that kind of motivation on all my other long runs! I'd have a great finish every time! Next weekend holds a 17 miler in store for me, along with a VERY VERY busy weekend. Update to follow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Racking Up the Mileage

It looks like I won't be doing another race in the near future, due to the fact that all my long runs on the weekends will now be over 13 miles!

This past weekend I had my last low mileage "long run" of 10 miles. Next weekend I do a 15 miler, and then it fluctuates between 12-20 miles over the next couple months. I am very pleased with how this season is panning out (minus the Red White and Boom Half Marathon). I have my eye on the prize, and the prize is a BQ (Boston Qualifier). So far, everything is lining up to run a great race at the Chicago Marathon! I am injury-free and feeling strong! I'm running 6 days a week, and gaining speed again.

Saturday morning I got up at 5:30AM to hammer my 10 miler, but was unpleasantly greeted with 90% humidity. So I decided on a 5 miler, and promised myself to do the 10 miler on Sunday morning, hoping Saturday night's storm would squash the humidity. Unfortunately, Sunday morning at 5:30AM, the humidity was up to 93%. However, I pounded it out, and it felt good! This morning (Monday), I ran an 8 miler at a 7:34 average pace. I felt extremely good about being able to run an 8 miler at that pace, after doing a 10 miler the day before!

Things are shaping up very nicely for me! I have conserved energy, run smart, and stayed focused! Ready for Chicago on 10/10/10!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kombucha Tea

It's been a while since I wrote blog. But I'm back! I just finished my first batch of Kombucha Tea! One of my great girlfriends, Suzie, has been drinking Kombucha Tea since her aunt introduced her to it. She told me about it when she first got her mushroom. Then a few months ago, the Celiac Disease Foundation mentioned the benefits of Kombucha Tea for individuals with Celiac because it helps with digestion, and keeping the digestive track healthy! Kombucha mushrooms reproduce every week, so I finally got one of Suzie's baby mushrooms.

What a process it is to prepare Kombucha Tea!!! I had great instruction from Suzie, and her sister, Stephanee. I went to Target to buy a large glass container, and cheese cloth from Home Depot. To make the tea, you boil a large pot of water, then add a bunch of tea bags and let steep. After allowing the tea to brew and steep, sugar is added, and then you wait. The tea has to cool down, and become room temperature before adding the mushroom. Once the tea has cooled down, the mushroom can be added, the cheese cloth put over the top, and then it has to sit for 7 days.

The tea begins to ferment over the 7 days. I watched the many phases of the mushroom over the 7 days. It was so interesting to see it gradually produce a baby mushroom on the top. After the 7 days, which was today, I poured the drink into glass pitchers, and they are now stored in my fridge, and I have a new batch starting. My new batch is a Vanilla Caramel Black Tea :)

I am still learning about Kombucha and all the benefits associated from the tea. What I do understand so far is the mushroom is a probiotic "living organism" which creates a healthy bacteria that aids in intestinal health.

Here are some of the reported benefits:
# Acts as a gentle laxative, helping avoid constipation.
# Aids in the relief of arthritis.
# Cleanses the colon and gall bladder.
# Aids in healthy digestion
# Relieves colitis and stomach cramps.
# Helps stop non-infectious diarrhea.
# Relieves bronchitis and asthma.
# Clears up Candida yeast infections.
# Regulates the appetite and reduces fat.
# Aids with stress and insomnia.
# Improves eyesight, cataracts and floaters.
# Relieves headaches including migraines.
# Helps reduces the alcoholic's craving for alcohol.
# Clears acne, psoriasis and other skin problems.
# Thickens hair and strengthens fingernails.

I am giving the tea a try, and will report the health benefits as I experience them! As it stands now...it sure tastes good :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Red White and Boom Bombed.

After my third half marathon this season (Minneapolis, June 6, Grandmas, June 19, and now this one, July 4), I learned some valuable life lessons. One of them being this: Don't fall asleep on a boat in 92 degree weather...it leads to heat exhaustion.

Jeremy and I had a wonderful trip in Lake City with my parents! We spent Friday and Saturday on Lake Pepin, enjoying the sun and the water. Saturday was a scorcher of a day. I had downed two bottles of water before hitting the boat. We got on the lake around 9AM, and did some waterskiing and tubing, which was so much fun! After my arms felt like noodles, I happily peeled my wetsuit off, lathered the sunscreen, and fell asleep in the sun. After about 5 hours on the boat we got off to start making an early dinner before the drive home, in preparation for race day. As we were walking up to the car I started feeling extremely light-headed. I chugged some water once we got back to my parents condo, but it was too late. Heat exhaustion had set in. I didn't think it was a big deal, I thought I would be fine once I got more water in me. We had a nice dinner, and we were soon on the road home. My head was pounding and I slept more on the car ride home. We got home around 7pm, and I showered and crawled into bed, hoping the morning would bring the strength I needed to complete the task.

I woke up at 4:30AM, to a swoldering 79 degrees, with 80% humidity. I cringed as I checked the hour by hour forecast. My faithful husband and I took off for the start around 5:10. We met up with Trey, and made it towards the start line! I was very happy to see my friend Grace, prior to the start. Trey and I made it close to the front. I was still shaky, and told Jeremy, who stood by on his bike, that I may not finish the race.

About 1.5 miles into the race it started raining. This was a welcomed addition to the race; however, about 3.5 miles into the race the downpour began. I could hear peoples shoes squeaking with water as they trampled the pothole-invested course. The inaugural Red White and Boom Half Marathon took an unfamiliar path through the NE Minneapolis neighborhood. Many steps were deceiving as puddles filled potholes, and you never knew whether your foot was hitting the pavement or a hole. The course had large puddles most of the way. From the start of the race I knew I did not feel strong, and I wondered if I would finish. But I found a quote in my mom's magazine that lingered in my heart:

"The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret."

That thought wouldn't go away.

I made it to the hilly neighborhood, prior to the Demming Heights Hill. At the bottom of the hill I saw Cal, an old friend from school, and Steele Fitness. As I approached Demming Heights, I wasn't sure what was left. I started making my way up, and knew I needed help. Towards the top of the hill, my good friends Andrea and Mary were there....cheering me on. I couldn't believe that they came to cheer in the pouring rain! I was uncomfortable, feeling light-headed, and questioning my previous races. But then I saw them, and knew I had to tough it out. At the top of the hill, Austin called out my name from behind, and then kept going. He looked so strong, and it made me so excited for his XC season in the fall.

The tail end of the course made its way along Boom Island, and along the muddy path leading back to St. Anthony Main. The last mile went by quick. It was my training territory, the place the Runnin Rams mark as their 6 mile loop. I knew I was home.

I finished:
Time: 1:45:11
Overall Place: 229/2375
Gender Place: 56/1321
Age Group Place: 7/168

Looks like I wasn't the only one who had a bad race.....

A tough time to cope with after a 1:41:23 finish at Grandma's Half two weeks ago. However, even after a disappointing finish the quote still rings true: "The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret."

This was a tough training run, and there will be more to come, and redemption will be received.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gary Bjorkland Half Marathon (aka Grandma's)

Alright folks.....here's a race pic :)

The weekend festivities began on Friday, October 18th. Jeremy and I got up at 6:00AM to get a light run hammered out prior to our road trip to Duluth. After a nice run, and a quick shower, our friends Trey and Patrick came over, and the four of us took off for Duluth. We visited the marathon expo, got our bib numbers and chips, and took advantage of the free food! Jeremy made a nice sock purchase--and we were race ready.

We checked into the hotel, grabbed some grub, and made our way back to the boat to cheer on Patrick, who was running his debute 5k race!!! It was so fun to cheer him on in his first running endeavor. We also met up with Dave Mowers, and two new friends, Eric and Rachel who were prepping for their first marathon. We had dinner, and went back to the hotel to crash for the night.

Saturday morning--Trey, Jeremy, and I got up at 3:45AM (yeah, gross, you're telling me), and fueled our bodies, and hopped on the bus to the start line. Race conditions were not perfect, but far better than last year! At 6:30AM it was a hopeful 64 degrees, with a 15mph windspeed. Much better compared to last years 78 degree start! The trouble with the wind was that the course is pretty much a straight shot, so we had the wind working against us for most of the race. However, as I mentioned before--far happier with these conditions! I felt strong and in control of this race. I wasn't sure how I would do at this race, given I had never completed the half marathon. I arrived with a mission....my mission was to beat my time from the Minneapolis Half Marathon, two weeks prior. My time from Mpls was 1:44:40. How did I fare at Grandma's you ask? 1:41:23 (average pace: 7:45/mile). I'll take that!

So here are the stats:
Time: 1:41:23
Divison Place: 90/1890
Sex Place: 122/3324

This race left me feeling very encouraged! I have another half marathon in two weeks (the Red White and Boom Half Marathon, on July 4th). This is going to be a tough course. Not looking to PR, just chalking it up as an extremely challenging training run through NE Minneapolis.

After our race, Trey, Jeremy, and I went back to the hotel to shower, and then made it back to the race to cheer on Eric and Rachel, as they completed their first marathon! Between Jeremy, Trey, Patrick, Dave, Rachel, Eric, and myself, we covered every race offered this past weekend in Duluth (minus the Whippersnapper for lil kids).

However, this blog cannot come to an end without mentioning the incredible effort exuded by my buff husband! Jeremy has done his road races a little backwards.....his first road race was the Chicago Marathon, following the Turkey Trot 5k, and now this half marathon! ;) Prior to the race, I had asked Jeremy what I thought he was looking at for a finishing time. He mentioned 2:15ish. To be honest, in my head, I was leading more towards 2:20ish for him. He pulled out some incredible mental toughness and physical strength, and finished with a fabulous 1:59:38!!! That is a 9:08/mile average for 13.1 miles! He blew it out of the water! WOWZERS!!!!!!!! I couldn't be more proud of his accomplishment. If you see my husband, be sure to tip your hat to him and say, "well done sir." What's next for him, you may be wondering? Me too :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Haven't Much to Say as of Late........

To my faithful blog readers, if there are any out there (other than my charming husband), I apologize for my absence in blogging. To be quite honest, I haven't had much to report. It is tough to beat the bird story, and I haven't had a race lately. I do however, have the Gary Bjorkland (aka Grandma's) Half Marathon coming up this weekend! I am very much looking forward to this half, as my husband, and friends Trey and Dave will be running as well. One of my co-workers, Shannon, will be running as well, and this will be her first half marathon. I'm convinced she'll be hooked after this.

My training bud, Trey, and I, scoped out the Red White and Boom Course on Sunday. WOWZERS. I'm going to be honest and say that is the most difficult looking course I have seen. There are multiple ginormous hills on that half marathon course. There is one hill in particular, in a neighborhood called Demming Heights. Demming Heights?! Doesn't that just sound like someone's about to get slaughtered (or at least someone's legs)? It will be fine, and we will all finish. However, I am anticipating my slowest half marathon time. I'm simply chalking it up as a tough training run--only further preparing me for Chicago, come October.

My mileage has looked good this week. Since the bird attack on Saturday, I pushed my long run back to Sunday. I hammered out a 13 miler that felt good. Monday I ran a comfortable 5 miler; however, it was evident that my legs were dead tired from Sunday still. Tuesday I ran a little over 5 miles on the indoor track at Lifetime, because it was raining like crazy. After the lovely track run (please note the lack of enthusiasm towards an indoor run), I suited up and did five down and back laps in the pool. I thought I was doing pretty good, until I realized that it's not an olympic size pool! I'll celebrate my mini-victories I guess. After the swim, I changed back into my sweaty running clothes and pounded out 15 minutes on the bike. I guess you could say I did my own triathlon on Tuesday--only very out of order! Then to top off my fabulous Tuesday, that evening Jeremy and I went and did some rock climbing and bouldering at the Lifetime Fitness in Plymouth! That was a great upper body challenge. I didn't stay on the wall long, but it was a nice change of pace in regards to strength training. Looking forward to going again! Wednesday I was back on the road, doing a quick 5 miler. Today (Thursday), you would have thought the pavement was on fire! I ran 6 miles, and held an average 7:27 pace. It's been a while since I've done that. Maple Grove doesn't allow for fast times given there is virtually no flat terrain. What doesn't kill me will make me stronger I guess.

We hit the road tomorrow at 8AM for Duluth. The race starts at 6:30AM on Saturday morning. Should be a great day for a run along the shore :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Alfred Hitchcock's "Birds" Takes Over Maple Grove!

What a story I have for you folks today! So my husband Jeremy and I are running the Bjorkland Half Marathon (aka Grandma's up in Duluth, MN) next Saturday (June 19th). We have been training. Some days better than others. Well one day, Jeremy went for a run, and he came home telling me as he was running around the lake, a black bird dove at him, and attacked his head. I did not believe him. Well, maybe I believed him, but I thought maybe he had fabricated the story a bit. He then goes on another run, this time the other way around the lake. He spots the tree, and the bird, and once again the bird comes diving at his head. This time he swatted it away, so it didn't attack him. He comes home, and tells me the story. Now this seems odd for lovely Maple Grove. Is there really a psycho, Alfred Hitchcock bird in Maple Grove?! Or does my husband just want to get out of his run?! Finally, Jeremy, Becky Paulson, and myself decide to take Brodie for a walk around the lake. As we get to the infamous killer bird zone, I'm wondering if we're going to get attacked or wondering if Jeremy's going to tell the story again. As we near the bend, where the bird sits atop a tree, we see not one, but TWO hand written signs reading the following:

"Beware, black bird diving at peoples heads. At your own risk!"

How funny is that? Someone who lives near the lake took it upon themselves to warn fellow runners/walkers/rollerbladers/bikers that there is a crazy bird diving at people. The three of us cautiously walked through the danger zone, flinching at any bird we saw in a tree or in the sky. I am happy to report we made it through, without a bird attacking any of us.

But the story is not over. Yesterday, I decided to go for a run around the lake. Knowing full well I would put myself in the danger zone, I made a decision ahead of time. If the signs were still there, I would turn around and run a different path. If the signs WEREN'T there, maybe someone took it upon themselves to shoot the bird, in order to protect their fellow Maple Grovians. As I came upon the bird's hiding place. My entire focus was on the tree I suspected the bird was hiding in. To my surprise, there were no signs, and I could see no bird. Happily, I passed the tree, feeling safe, feeling strong, and ready to let my guard down, and enjoy the rest of my run.

Not more than 3 seconds after I passed the tree, Alfred Hitchcock's bird came diving down (from behind, so I did not even see it coming), and attacked my head! Literally, the bird's beak pecked my ponytail! Needless to say, I screamed bloody murder. Now mind you, this was at 6:30AM on a Saturday morning, I'm sure the surrounding neighbors thought I was being attacked, BUT I WAS!!!

Moral of the story: If you live in Maple Grove, and enjoy running around Rice Lake--BEWARE OF ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S BLACK BIRD. It will dive at your head!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Relentless Pursuit

Last night I had a wonderful workout with my buddy and training partner, Trey. It's always a joy when you're sweating profusely, working hard, and you have someone next to you doing the same. Trey and I have had some good runs and some bad runs. Some non-stop runs, and some "stop and poop" runs. I appreciate his friendship, his insight, and his encouragement along all our routes. His passion for running and coaching only encourages me to want to be better.

I had the opportunity to connect with Tom Tisell yesterday, the 2nd consecutive winner of the Minneapolis Marathon (pretty good considering this race has only been in existence for 2 years!) It's pretty encouraging to talk with a man who can hold a 6:01/mile pace for 26.2 miles! I asked him his secret, and he said he doesn't do much hill work, but he tries to get a tempo run in once or twice a week. His daily mileage consists of running to and from work. 8 miles to work, 8 miles home. 16 miles a day! WOWZERS! After we talked, I was very energized, and very motivated to get in a tough workout!!

Last night the poison consisted of 5 miles of speed work, and 1 mile of hills (on a treadmill). Let me tell you, that is an easy way to exhaust yourself! I left the gym reminded that I am in a pursuit to become who God created me to be.

I am in pursuit. I am in a relentless pursuit. A pursuit to discover who God created me to be. I need to learn who this person is who God keeps insisting I already am. Although I do not find my identity in running alone, I do find that this integral part of my spiritual walk teaches me deep truths about myself and about God.

As I think about the rabbis in the day of Jesus, they chose their disciples based on the fact that they believed their students could become like them. And Jesus took twelve ordinary men, because he believed they could become like him! What a weighty idea for the church to follow after. As I think about this whole idea, they didn't choose Jesus, but he chose them, and told them to follow him. To think, that Jesus didn't get frustrated with their shortcomings, but rather their greatness; and the lack of faith they had in who God had created them to be.......So I am in this relentless pursuit of chasing after God and earnestly trying to receive heavenly eyes that see me, and others, as he does.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Minneapolis Half Marathon

Well it finally came, and went. And quickly I am happy to report. The Minneapolis Half Marathon, and my opportunity to strike back after last year.

Here are the stats:
~Chip time: 1:44:40 (which is an 8:00/min pace)
~Division place: 6/221 (very pleased with this)
~Sex place: 63/2206 (overall female finishers)

An 8:00 min/mile pace seems slower for me, but I guess when I take into consideration the water stations, the slow start, and the rolling hills of the W. River Parkway, that's about right for me.

There were times that got felt exhausted, especially up those hills. Each time I started to cramp up for start to feel extreme fatigue, I'd pray for someone/something. It's amazing how your own phyiscal pain can temporarily disappear when you take your eyes off yourself, and focus on someone else. Thank you Jesus!

I had so many wonderful friends out there supporting: My husband at the start, Paul Dunning and his girlfriend, Andrea Erickson and Shannon Westlake, Sarah Johnson and Kris Ann, Sara Hale (Ryan's wife), even one of my business clients, Barbara, made an appearance on the Stone Arch Bridge. And who can forget, my most faithful personal training client, Kent Wheelock, who followed me (on bike) for almost the entire race, cheering me on, and making me laugh. My branch manager, Ryan, also ran the race. I am so proud of his accomplishment!!!

I have two more half marathons in the near future: Bjorkland Half Marathon (aka Grandma's up in Duluth, MN) on June 19th, and the Twin Cities Red White & Boom Half Marathon (in Minneapolis, MN) on July 4th. This is going to be a great season!

Keep on keepin on. Dare to do something you never thought possible! "Believe you can. Know you will!"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Owning the Road, Conquering Fear

Today I wrestled a huge fear of mine, and I won. The Minneapolis Half Marathon is rapidly approaching (this Sunday). As I've been doing easy runs this week, I've been trying to mentally prepare for the race as much as I can. I have studied the course map. I know the turns and at what miles they take place. I know the elevation increases. I know where it peaks, and where it dips. I know when I can push, and when I need to ease up and conserve energy. However, the one part of the race that has been plaguing my mind is the end of the half marathon course. There is a hill that begins at mile 12.30, and ends at mile 13.1. That is almost a mile of a straight incline. It is a beast of a hill. I remember it well from last year. I remember Jeremy and Stephanie on their bikes, riding alongside me, cheering me on. I remember them telling me I could do it. I remember crying and yelling back at them, "No I can't, I'm weak, and not cardiovascularly prepared for this!" (Having had a torn meniscus earlier in the year, I was not cardiovascularly prepared, it had been a true statement). I remember walking up the hill and crying. Knowing full well, that the finish line was right around the corner, yet not being about to muster the physical strength or mental toughness to continue running.

This year, I know the hill. I know it because I have walked it. And I know it because tonight I ran it. My friend Lacey Peterson and I went on an adventure tonight. I needed to conquer the W. River Parkway. I needed to run up and down the hill, and let myself be reminded that it is doable. And it was. Tonight I owned the W. River Parkway. Tonight I ran up and down the hills, and laughed when I finished; tickled by the fact that earlier in the day, I had knots in my stomach, thinking about the poison for the evening.

Not only did I own the road, but I conquered the fear. God felt so near to me throughout this run. It was almost as if He was whispering to me as he did to Peter, "You of little faith; why did you doubt?" I will tackle these very hills on Sunday, only this time it will be after running 12 miles (not 3 miles, like today), but I know my God is mighty to save, and when I'm weak, it is He that makes me strong.

May this be an encouragement to anyone reading today: Own the road (wherever that road leads you), conquer fear.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

National Running Day

Happy National Running Day, my fellow crazies! I hope you get out and enjoy a nice run, even if it's brief.

I had the pleasure of being woken up by the pounding of rain slamming against our roof. There went my opportunity for an outdoor morning run. It was so loud I decided to get up and high-tail it to the gym to get my run accomplished. Today's poison consisted of 5 x 1 mile repeats of speed work on the treadmill. I started at a speed of 8.0, and increased by .1 every .1 of a mile. (i.e. 8.0 for .10 mile, 8.1 through .20 mile, 8.3 through .30 mile, 8.4 through .40 mile, 8.5 through .50 mile, etc to one mile). I did this 5 times, for 5 miles. It wasn't bad, other than I was sweating profusely. As I ran, I contemplated I why I do this to myself.....it would be easy to just run 5 miles at a comfortable pace, not pushing any boundaries. Here's what I came up with. I run because it reminds me there is always more to learn. I run because I am reminded that I am weak. I run because I feel the presence of God's spirit in me as I push beyond what I thought I was capable of. I run because I am not content with who I am, but am constantly striving for the person I aspire to become.

After my interval run, I nervously made my way to the pool to embarrass myself, by swimming 5 down and back laps. I am not a good swimmer. My form is not pretty, and by the time I make it down and back once, I usually need a breather. I am a work in progress, but I love the challenge of the swim. It's great for cross training, and reminds me that I have much to improve upon, and much to learn.

Happy National Running Day folks!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Preparing for the Process.....

It's the week leading up to the Minneapolis Half Marathon (Sunday, June 6th at 7:00AM). http://teamortho.us/2009113029/Minneapolis-Marathon-Course-Map.html I've logged the miles. I've done some speed work and hill work. I have been injury free, minus the dumbell falling on the top of the foot, which left nothing more than a large bruise (praise God). I ran this half marathon last year with my good friend Suzie Finger and Keith Erickson. Last year was a baaaad race for me. Last season I had torn my meniscus and strained my ACL. When it came time for the race, my injuries were healed, but my cardiovascular endurance was virtually non-existent.

I am nearing the time for the race again. I have no excuses. My time last year was 1:47:49. The anxiety of hoping to beat last year's time, and questioning if I will beat that time is plaguing my mind. There are no stoplights to take a breather at during a race, the time doesn't stop for me to get a drink of water.

I have the hunger and the desire to have an amazing race. This week is all about getting enough zzzzz's, getting enough nutrients, chugging water, and visualizing an awesome race. I am preparing mentally to PR on this half marathon. I am determined.

"To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality." ~Anita Roddick

I have passion.....and I believe.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sometimes it's in ya. Sometimes ya gotta decide to get it....

Today was one of those days where I got up with plenty of time to get my run done before church. I got up at 6:00AM, and didn't have to be at church until 10AM. I woke up so hungry this morning, wanting to eat everything in sight. Most likely from my 13 miler yesterday. And I just couldn't get myself out the door. I thought of every excuse in the book to keep myself from going for a run....which is odd for me.

So I promised myself that I would go to Lifetime after church, and run, since I knew it would be hot, humid, and windy. And so I did.

I'm going to be awesome. My treadmill run, which I typically despise, was quite pleasant. I ran at a comfortable pace between 7.8-8.5, increasing and decreasing by .1 every minute. Getting to an 8.5 pace is about a 7:04 pace, and surprisingly it felt good for me! I felt very accomplished on that 5 mile treadmill run. I could have run longer, but I wanted to get my lift done as well. The best part was....my husband was doing his run on the treadmill next to me, and he looked strong too!

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get up and go for a run. All this to say, sometimes it's in you, and sometimes you gotta decide to get it in you.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Two Shakes, Ends n Pieces, Kiwis & Sponsorships

My Saturday morning started at 5:10AM. I set my alarm for 5:30AM; however, I was awake at 5:00AM, and decided ten minutes later I might as well just get up and get some fuel in my body before the 13 miler.

I left around 6:05AM, and embarked on my 13.1 mile run. It's amazing how hot it can be, even early in the morning. I busted out the Nathan water belt, which helped significantly. My past few 13 mile runs I had been doing without water. Let's be honest, that's just dumb!

After finishing the run, I showered and happily enjoyed my HERBALIFE chocolate peanut butter meal replacement smoothie on my way to train Kent for his final session! I met Kent's girlfriend, Sue, and trained them both outdoors today....it was a scorcher!

When I got home I busted out a Strawberry Mango smoothie for myself and Jeremy, and high-tailed it to Deanna's pool to lounge for a couple hours--well deserved time.

Jeremy and I took a trip to Trader Joes, and they had the famous Fiberful Ends n Pieces!!! Now for anyone who knows me well, you would know that Ends n Pieces are my favorite treat from TJs! They are literally the scraps from the fiberful fruit leather bars that they make. However, because they are the scraps, they are so cheap! Literally, the best steal in the store! I stocked up on 4 bags! It has been at least 3 yrs since I have seen them in ANY TJs store. This made my heart extremely happy. We also left with 15 kiwis, which are currently being dehydrated. Once they're done, it'll taste like fruit rollups.

All in all, today couldn't have been better. Still waiting to hear back on the City Blendz Nutrition sponsorship. I also applied for a Nuun sponsorship http://www.nuun.com/ These tablets are great for electrolyte replacement without all the sugar. If the Nuun and City Blendz Nutrition sponsorships go through, I will be a Raw Indulgence, Nuun, AND City Blendz branded lady.

I'm doing well with this blogging; however, very unsure if anyone is reading.....oh well. I'm enjoying the discipline ;)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Delicious & Nutritious!

As of late, training seems to be very exciting. This week specifically has been very intentional. I am hoping to commit to one speed/hill workout a week, one longer midweek run, and one run on the weekend. I believe these will be the key ingredients to my training success.

I also have many new things brewing.....I was informed yesterday that I received corporate sponsorship from Raw Indulgence!!!! Check them out here: http://www.rawindulgence.com/
They are gluten-free, vegan, wheat, corn, soy, trans-fat, cholesterol, and refined sugar free!!! None of that junk! It is the purest bar on the market. This is very exciting because most gluten-free options are just plain gross! But RAW REVOLUTION BARS ARE INCREDIBLE. Flavors include: Tropical mango, Chocolate chip cookie dough, Raspberry & chocolate, Spirulina & cashew, Coconut & agave nectar, Chocolate & coconut, Hazelnut & chocolate, Raisin & chocolate!!! Try one today :) It'll make your tummy smile! Quality products from a quality company.

Secondly, a potential sponsorship with City Blendz Nutrition could be in the works. I have not received official confirmation; however, if this goes through, I will be representing (and therefore blogging about the company). City Blendz Nutrition Cafe is located in the skyway, downtown Minneapolis. They make delicious and nutritious meal replacement smoothies that aid in weight loss, weight maintenance, or weight gain--pick your goal. Check their website out here: http://mycityblendz.com/ Their ingredients include Herbalife products, which you will learn about in great detail in a future blog! I am a HUGE fan of City Blendz Nutrition and Herbalife (as I am a Licensed Herbalife Distributor), and I hope to be able to represent such a fine company with phenomenal products. You can't go wrong with delicious and nutritious!

All for now folks :)