Friday, March 30, 2012

Re-FRESH Yourself

I am sure you all know that regular exercise has great health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, here are 7 amazing benefits of regular exercise:
  1. Exercise controls weight
  2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
  3. Exercise improves mood
  4. Exercise boosts energy
  5. Exercise promotes better sleep
  6. Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life
  7. Exercise can be fun
(for more details on these benefits visit the Mayo Clinic website)

Now, who can look poorly on any of those benefits?! The point is that you need to get out there, work hard and make exercise habit. Your health, your body, your relationships, your life...can only improve. 

Our Get Fresh Challenge is a great way to start making exercise habit in your life. Whether you haven't exercised in a while and are starting over, or have never exercised and are starting fresh or exercise on a regular basis but want to challenge yourself. We just want to see you out there and working it! 

We challenge you to work out every day for 30 straight days (all of April) for a minimum of 20 minutes. This is totally doable! Before the challenge starts we will be posting a list of workouts you can do in 20+ minutes to help make this challenge even more doable! So stay tuned.

Go HERE for more details and to sign up for the #getFRESH Challenge (and tell your friends!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Kicks

I have mixed feelings about new shoes. Call me sentimental but I have a hard time benching my old kicks that have helped me cross so many finish lines. After I had Mackenzie I was desperate to lose weight. I had hatched a plan to start training for a half-marathon, my first half-marathon. Justin surprised me one date night and took me to Portland Running Co to have my stride analyzed. With their help, I picked Saucony ProGrid Guide 3. They felt like heaven. I was excited to run. I had never felt so comfortable in a running shoe. I ran injury free my first half-marathon. 

my running pals

I got pregnant again. I stopped running. I fantasized about that first run back out there. Three weeks post baby #2, I wobbled down the block in my Sauconys. A few weeks later, I fist pumped at the 2 miles mark. I started training for a 10k. I ran the Cinco de Mayo 10k on Mother's day. Of course that led to training for a second half-marathon. I decided it was time to replace the Saucony. But being a girl of habit I called PRC to order the exact pair I had before. The same color would be fine too. Sadly, Saucony ProGrid Guide3 were no longer being made. WHAT??? Heartbreak. It wasn't that I looked so awesome in these shoes, it was that I knew they did the job. I knew they felt great on my feet. The sales lady sent me a pair of the newest Saucony ProGrid Guide4, that were supposed to feel similar to the 3s. They didn't. I tried to love them. I started training in them. Almost immediately a hole formed in the toe of the left shoe. I went back to wearing my original Saucony. I ran my second half in them. 
The second pair, that never quite cut it.
Last week, during my 8th week of training for my third half-marathon I knew it was time. My original-dear-to-me Saucony were toast. I have started to get minor aches and pains on my long runs, which is why I chose not to wear them for the Shamrock 15k. I made my way to PRC again. I brought my old shoes (both pairs) and running socks. I had done some research so I had an idea what I wanted. They brought out the style I was after (a slightly lighter shoe) and I hit the track. They told me my form had changed since I first began and I didn't need quite so much support from my shoe. I decided on Brooks Ravenna 3. Sadly, I didn't support our local business because I had a gift card to use at REI, so I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of these beauties. They should be at my doorstep today! And my ol' girls are now retired.
The new kicks

Advice for buying new shoes:
  • Go some place local (not the big box store) where they're trained to help find the right shoe for you. 
  • Bring what you have been running into the store
  • Don't feel pressured to buy something on the spot
  • Be honest about how things are feeling
  • If you are training for distance, do not buy simply on how something looks or what it matches...seriously.
  • If you buy them and don't love them (learn from me) bring them back!
  • If you've amped up the training, lost weight, or worked at changing your form, you probably need to upgrade your shoes. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Week 8 Training

Week Eight for Jess:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 4 miles easy + yoga
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday: 4 miles easy
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 4 miles easy
total: 12 miles

Week Seven for Jess:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2 miles easy + abs  Done!
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday: 6 miles tempo + abs Didn't happen!3 miles/9:15-all I had time for
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 8 miles long run DONE!
total: 16 miles  13 miles

Reflection on last week:
Welp, last week I blew it. I mean not really...but I must have not looked closely at my plan when I typed it up because I completely skipped a run that was scheduled for Friday. I did do yoga though! It seems that my training plan is starting 4 workouts a week instead of 3. I have grown so accustomed to only running 3 days, I didn't even notice! Also, on Thursday I had to rush home and didn't get the full 6 in. Oh well. Yesterday's 8 miler felt like running on anvils. I just couldn't find my rhythm. Maybe it was the 1 year old crying the entire time? My husband finally stopped and carried her the 3 remaining miles, while I pushed big sister. I guess the baby wasn't feelin' the 8 miler either. No matter how you slice it, last week was a tough one!I am glad that this week is a lighter load.

Week 8 for Katie:
Run # 1 - Run 3 miles
Run #2 - Run 4 miles
Run #3 - Run 5 miles

I have to be honest, this week is absolute chaos and I have no idea where I am going to fit in one run let alone three, but I am determined and I am also praying this week's weather is a bit nicer. Also, Jess is coming to town and we plan to get a run in together, yay!

Reflection on last week:
Run #1 - Run 3 miles - Done! Monday on the treadmill
Run #2 - Run 3.5 miles - Done! Wednesday on the treadmill
Run #3 - Run 4.5 miles - Ran 3.5 on Sunday instead
Extras: Did a Jillian Michaels workout video on Friday

This week started out really great and ended kind of crappy. I felt great during my runs on Monday and Wednesday and planned to do my longer run on Saturday but woke up feeling awful and nauseous. I waited throughout the day for it to go away so I could run but it never did. That was discouraging. On Sunday I felt much better and my husband and I took our daughter to the local pool to play. I decided I would run home from the pool after we were done. Perfect! It was 40 degrees and overcast and seemed like decent weather ti run in. Well, I don't know if it was because I had just gotten out of the pool or what but I was absolutely FREEZING my entire run. I didn't bring gloves because I didn't think I needed them and I could hardly move my hands they were so frozen. I swear I did not sweat the whole time. So 3.5 miles in when I was nearing my house, I called it quits. I felt so down on myself about it but I didn't know what else to do. Here's hoping I can at least stick to my miles this week.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Get FRESH Challenge

What is the Get FRESH Challenge?
A commitment to work it out everyday for 30 Days in April.

To start Spring off right, with a FRESH start! (and who are we kidding...bathing suit season promptly follows Spring)

  • Work out everyday of April (all 30 of them)
  • You must do some form of exercise every single day for the entire month
  • Exercise counts as being active for a minimum of 20 minutes and results in SWEAT!
  • In order for us to encourage you and know who is participating please sign up!
  • Add the Get FRESH badge to your blog or website (see below)
  • Tweet about it (using #getFRESH)
How do I sign up?
You can sign up using the form HERE

How do I add the badge to my blog/website?
Use the HTML code below to add our badge to your blog during the month of April. 

Copy the code above to add this badge to your blog!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Race Recap-Shamrock!

On Sunday I ran Portland's Shamrock run. It was a popular race, and the biggest running event I have ever attended (32,500 people total) Wowza!

Luckily for me, a co-worker had organized a team. This was helpful for lots of reasons...1. It saved me money. 2. Provided loads of encouragement and excitement leading up to the race. 3. She picked up everyone's race packet ahead of time. 4. I got to hear all about everyone's adventures yesterday at school. So fun!

Saturday night my mom (who was in town visiting), Justin, and I went through the course map. We picked a few spots they could sit and cheer and tried to think through all the logistics of getting me, them, and the littles to the race. We knew parking would be crazy, and so would traffic downtown.

I laid out all my goodies and put the finishing touches on my playlist. I was too excited/nervous to sleep soundly. I felt prepared but as I mentioned in posts before, this may not be the longest race I've run but it definitely was the hardest.
Ready to start this!

Sunday morning I was up, dressed, and ready to roll out the door by 6:50. I ate my usual peanut butter, banana, toast and a lil coffee. Justin and I headed out with the plan for my mom to bring the girls down after they woke up. The drive downtown didn't take too long and we got a great parking spot. Score! I visited the honey buckets and enjoyed people watching. I am not sure how I feel about running in a full blown costume. We saw men in tutus, large hats, spray painted hair, homemade shirts, and even a large-full-bodied four leaf clover costume! People are so creative...and brave.
Who says tutus and mesh shirts don't go together?

The masses.
I wasn't sure where to line up. I mean I knew how the starting line was supposed to be organized, I just didn't know where I fit into it. Until recently I have always been over a ten minute mile. With my new found speed I wasn't sure if I should go before or after the ten minute mile sign. I opted to stand after it. But that proved to be a bad decision. I guess I was nervous about starting out too fast and not having anything left for the hills. I am always surprised by how easy the first few miles of a race feel. Adrenaline is a powerful thing!

At mile three my husband "popped" into the race and ran along side me for a minute. It caught me off guard and made me smile. I love having my people there supporting me! The first few miles were tricky, running around walkers, speed walkers, joggers...people in general! I also was SUPER annoyed that so many people were crossing the street in front of the runners. Lame.
 Taking pictures and running is a little tricky.
Mile 3 we started climbing up Broadway. I have a few mantras that go through my head when I run. I didn't try and think these up. They just are there. I find myself repeating them over and over. They soothe my mind and get my head straight. When I run hills, my mind is often chanting, "dig". As in dig deep, or keep diggin', or dig in. We crossed over the highway, the course flattened for a moment and then the real climb began. I didn't stop at the water tables, my head was in the zone and I just wanted to keep going, keeping digging.

At about forty-five minutes I ate a few jelly beans, successfully I might add. It started to sleet. I didn't mind. By this point I was hot and the cool rain felt good. I reached the Charter House restaurant, and knew from my training runs that the climb was over. I started smiling. I cheered an athlete in a wheel chair. He had pushed himself up almost 6 miles of hills. His eyes were focused straight down, and it gave me new meaning for my mantra "dig". My eyes filled with tears. People are strong. People amaze me.

I reached Capital Highway and turned the corner. Sweet relief. Downhill! My next mantra marched through my head, "fly". I am not a fast runner. I don't know if I'll ever be. But it feels good to let go, let your feet turn over faster and faster, relieve those muscles that are tight and burning. After about two miles of downhill though, I was ready to be done. My joints hurt from the pounding. My thoughts turned back to "dig". I knew I was going to finish strong, without walking, with a PR, with a smile! I passed a man being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher. His eyes were open but he was pale and looked disoriented. A lady crossed the street in front of me, causing me to shuffle step to not slam into her. I could see the spectators packed against the gates along the final stretch. Cheering. I got teary eyed, I always do. I saw my mom waving frantically. I heard Mackenzie's little voice calling to me. Addie saw me and clapped. Best. Feeling. Ever!
There's me waving!
I crossed the finish mats and made my way to my fan club. We hugged and took pictures. I wasn't feeling much like salmon chowder or beer. Instead we walked around, stretched, and then headed back to the car. We had plans to meet up with family for brunch. The post-race let down was remedied by a huge plate of eggs benedict and country potatoes! Overall the Shamrock 15K was a great race!

Shamrock's 15k time:1:31 Pace: 9:50
August's 15k time: 1:39 Pace: 10:38

My fan club!   

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 7 Training

Week Seven for Jess:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2 miles easy + abs
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday: 6 miles tempo + abs (warm, 4 miles @ 10, cool)
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 8 miles long run
total: 16 miles

Week Six for Jess:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2 miles easy + abs DONE!
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday: 4 miles tempo + abs DONE!
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 9.3 aka SHAMROCK!!! DONE!(recap coming tomorrow)
total: 15.3 miles

This week was one of those weeks where everything went according to plan. That is always a reason for celebration! Weather has been bizarre here. Rain/snow/sun/wind. No thanks!But I didn't let that stop me from getting my mileage in. Tuesday's run was at the gym and Thursdays was in the rain, up hill, powering out my last run before the big race. I can't wait to recap the Shamrock, it was a blast and went better than I could have hoped. Hope you had a great week too!


Week 7 for Katie:
Run #1 - Run 3 miles
Run #2 - Run 3.5 miles
Run #3 - Run 4.5 miles

Reflection on Week 6:
"Okay, since week 5 didn't exactly happen for me (see below), week 6 is going to be pretty weak. I feel like I am falling way behind Jess at this point in time, but I am trying to be smart. Therefore, I plan to start this week out slow with a 2 or 2.5 miler (depending on how the hammy feels) and increasing to 3.5 and then 4.5 throughout the week. I know I am taking a step backwards here but if this week goes well, then I plan to increase my miles a bit quicker after this. I need to be icing my hamstring daily as I remember what a huge difference this made with my hammy last time."

I took it easy this week and tried to just listen to my body. My runs were as follows:
Monday - Ran 2 miles (treadmill)
Wednesday - Ran 3 miles (treadmill)
Friday - Hiked 2.5 miles 
Saturday - Ran 3.5 miles

The hike was really nice because it was mostly uphill and it was a time to get out with my family! I feel happy with this week even though I did not run as far as I had hoped. I know as the weather starts to turn more "Springy" that my motivation to run will increase. 2 months until the half marathon!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eating, Breathing, Running...

The title is misleading. It makes it sound like I am designing a hardcore bumper sticker. But in reality this described what I was doing (not very successfully) on my long run Sunday. 

I once again scaled Terwiliger in preparation for this week's Shamrock 15k. I am nervous for this run. It will be the hardest course I've ran (elevation gain) and it also is a bit of a jump in my mileage (2 more miles than my longest run this season).
Shamrock Elevation Guide
I brought along a pack of Sport Jelly Bean because I am trying to decide if I want to use any sort of fuel for Sunday. It is only 9.3, but those hills are gonna wipe me...

Anyways, I learned that running up a hill, chewing jelly beans, while laboring to breath is a bad idea for two reasons. 1. chocking hazard and 2. breathing hazard. (insert Blondy joke here)

Other things I learned/decided on this training run:
  • I will run this race with a playlist versus a random Pandora station 
  • I will not be wearing the event shirt for this race, instead I'll sport an 'ol green Nike (St. Paddy Day love)
  • I will be running in a different pair of running shoes than normal. (I'll explain later)
  • I will not wear a jacket, even if it is raining, but I will wear a cap to keep the rain outta my face. 
  • I am hoping to still beat my September 15k time, even though this course is harder.
  • I like training on hills
  • That last 3.1, downhill, is going to feel like heaven.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Week 6 Training

Week Six for Jess:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2 miles easy + abs
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday: 4 miles tempo + abs (warm, 2 miles @ 10, cool)
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 9.3 aka SHAMROCK!!!
total: 15.3 miles

Week Five for Jess:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2 miles easy + abs DONE!
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday:7 miles(5.3 instead)+ abs(cut it short and skipped the abs...slacker)
Friday: 2 miles + abs with Maggie DONE! but we speed walked and again no abs!
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 8 miles + abs 6.5 miles Short on time, so I shortened it.
total: 19 miles 14 miles instead

Reflection on this last week:
I wish it had gone more to plan, but I simply did not have the time to get it all done. It made me realize that I am usually in a hurry when I am running, what I mean is I am rushing to something as soon as I am done. This makes abs, long runs, or anything extra impossible. I need to figure out a better way to plan. However, I think it would involve an extra hour in the day and I am not sure I have the power to make such decisions. Aw, well...I actually didn't feel too bad about the shortened week. This next week's race will make up for it!


Week 6 for Katie:
Okay, since week 5 didn't exactly happen for me (see below), week 6 is going to be pretty weak. I feel like I am falling way behind Jess at this point in time, but I am trying to be smart. Therefore, I plan to start this week out slow with a 2 or 2.5 miler (depending on how the hammy feels) and increasing to 3.5 and then 4.5 throughout the week. I know I am taking a step backwards here but if this week goes well, then I plan to increase my miles a bit quicker after this. I need to be icing my hamstring daily as I remember what a huge difference this made with my hammy last time. 

Reflection on last week:
"I have a bit of traveling this week, but still plan to run three times this week. A 3 miler, a 4 miler and a 6 miler. Six! Whoa. I also really need to find a good leg strengthening workout. I need to strengthen my hamstrings and glutes like nobodies business. If you have tips, let me know!"

Well last week went nothing as planned, as mentioned here, my hamstring just would not have it. I enjoyed a couple walks and using the gym at the hotel when I was out of town. I set up a little interval routine and got in some strength and cardio. It was great and it makes me realize what a huge difference having a gym membership would make to my training. It's just not in the cards right now. While I am feeling frustrated with my training and my weak hamstring, I am also feeling like there is plenty of time to train and that I will get my miles up there in time for the half. Hopefully this is not me being too confident. Time will tell! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

If Leaving the House Wasn't Hard Enough

I hurried home from work yesterday, only to turn right around and head back out the door for a run. I felt BIG mommy guilt waving bye to this lil' mug. Break my heart!

I was contemplating the balance of motherhood/working life/social life/oh-don't-forget-the-husband-too/health, when I screeched to a halt. A car zoomed through a stop sign looking the other direction, not even seeing me, the runner, about to step across the road.Sheesh!

I plotted along, now much more aware of my surroundings, high school track kids running past me, cars whizzing by, hurrying to get home. 
Then it happened again. This time I approached the drive way of a store. I was cautious as I got closer, slowing down to see if a car was coming, once again a car came barreling passed the sidewalk with it's front end half way into traffic before it stopped and checked directions. I sarcastically waved a big thanks and went behind it. I saw two  more drivers texting as they drove in a 35 mile per hour zone. I was keenly aware of how dangerous this running thing is with drivers only half paying attention. 

The last encounter was a gal pulling out of her driveway. She plowed back, passed the side walk where I stood still waiting, and then stopped as her bumper approached the road. She saw me standing alongside her car, and her mouth opened to a perfect O. I smiled a tight smile and was about to go around when I saw her roll down her window. 
"I am SO sorry" she cried out. I could tell she was a little shaken, she thought she had almost hit me. Lucky for her I had almost been hit several times today so I was ready. 
"I was distracted and didn't see you!" She smiled while she said this. I am not sure she smiled, was the fact she was distracted suppose to make me feel better?

The rest of the run was uneventful but I can home all wound up. 
Seriously, if leaving my littles isn't hard enough, now I am worried I am gonna be run over by crazy drivers!

Lesson for me: Don't be one of those drivers!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Change of Plans

Okay, so I had great intentions to continue my half marathon training this week but the pain in my left hamstring is, quite honestly, scaring me. I have decided that I am going to take this week off from running and focus on some cross-training and strengthening. I am glad we started our training early because I feel like there is some wiggle room to allow for me to nurse my hammy a bit. I am bummed because I do not want to lose my momentum with running, but I need to be smart. I will be traveling later this week and plan to take full advantage of the hotel fitness center for some non-running exercises.

Stay tunned to see how my week went! 

Happy and healthy running to you all,


Monday, March 5, 2012

Week 5 Training

Week Five for Jess:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2 miles easy + abs
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday: 7 miles tempo + abs (warm, 5 miles @ 10, cool)
Friday: 2 miles + abs with Maggie  
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 8 miles + abs(hopefully on the Shamrock course...which means HILLS)
total: 19 miles

Week Four for Jess
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 3 miles easy DONE(2.6 with Mags)
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday: 3 miles easy SKIPPED (did it Friday)
Friday: 3 miles easy DONE (but I biffed it HARD)  
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 4 miles DONE! with the hubs!
total: 10 miles
Reflection for Week Four:
This week was okay. I thought I'd enjoy a week of taking it easy...but I felt sluggish and guilty. Silly, I know. But let's just say I am ready for my BIG week this week. I skipped a week of training and moved up the miles because I wanted to get in 8 before the Shamrock. Hopefully that 8 doesn't kill me. I am hoping that it gives me some insight into what my pacing should be for the race.  Also, did you notice something new? Yes, I am making my ab work public. I am feeling a bit soft and thought it would give me accountability if I blogged it. So there ya go, I will be doing abs this week! 
Happy Trails!

Hi friends, hope everyone had a great week running or walking or getting out and about. This week started with snow and winter and ended in spring and sunshine. No complaints! I am hoping the Spring decides to stick around. Anyway, let's get on with what I am going to run this week! I have a bit of traveling this week, but still plan to run three times this week. A 3 miler, a 4 miler and a 6 miler. Six! Whoa. I also really need to find a good leg strengthening workout. I need to strengthen my hamstrings and glutes like nobodies business. If you have tips, let me know!

Reflection on last week:
"Okay, let's talk runs again. I want to run 3.5, 4, 5.5 and an easy 2 somewhere in there. I will throw in my strength routine I talk about below and an added bonus would be a workout video but I am not going to stress over it. The ground is currently covered in snow so that does not bode well for running, but I will make it happen one way or another."

This week was pretty good. I didn't feel great this week, felt as though I was getting sick (but I didn't) and my hamstring was really bothering me, but I felt motivated to get my runs in. I managed to run 2 miles on Monday, had a sore throat and busy schedule Tuesday and Wednesday so took it easy and ran two days in a row on Thursday and Friday running 4 miles and 3.5 miles (all this on a treadmill...darn snow!). After my Friday run, my left hamstring and glute muscles were THROBBING! So I decided to take it a bit easy and skip my long 5.5 mile run this week. I was bummed to not get the miles in but considering the fact that it's now Sunday and I am still hurting, I know it was a good call. I just need to give it a little TLC and extra attention and hopefully I can get this 6 miler done at the end of this coming week. 


Friday, March 2, 2012

Running Distracted

Today I learned a valuable lesson. Running + Distraction = Pain. Running often is my outlet to decompress. I can clear my head, let the worries melt away. However, it's a fine line between running it off, and running distracted.

I was puttering along, thinking about how stressed I was. My mind was so jumbled. Thoughts were whizzing through my head. I couldn't find my stride. My feet were heavy. Suddenly, once again, I was airborne. Last time this happened I was in front of the library, at the foot of a few homeless people. This afternoon, my flight was in front of the high school, right after school got out. The witnesses, parents waiting to pick up their kids. Embarrassing. Painful.
The poor babysitter had to take this picture

After all the gravel was picked out
Lesson learned.