Life Changes

Holy buckets, there is SO much I have not shared with you!!! First, I'm running again!!!! I can successfully, and comfortably, run a full 5k without issue! I only run, currently, once a week but have big sights on getting up to 10 miles in one run by fall!! Crazy how I ran a marathon last year and now I'm excited about completing 3.11 miles!

Second, we're planning a HUGE move! I will share more on this as things get closer to getting the keys to the new home!

Third, I'm creating a subscription based recipes section after a lot of people have requested me to write a book and share more of my creations. If you want more info, please go HERE.

Talk to you sooner than later, this time!

When a runner goes camping

A little over a week ago my dad asked if I wanted to go camping (in a big camper) Father's Day weekend. I immediately said yes!! Parameters: leave around noon Friday, pack light, and campfires. Planning ahead isn't necessary for a weekend getaway for me and I'm so thankful for that. I've missed out on a lot of camping trips (back when they did sleep in a tent) because of having work obligations. First, we had to find a camp site long enough for the equipment as we needed a 53' gravel pad to park on. It took a bit of learning how the reservation website worked, and there were only 2 spots available. Neither had electric hookups but since the camper had batteries we could bring the generator and recharge for an hour each day and be set. SCORE!

Second, I had to pack clothes in 4 days. I planned to wear shorts, so I packed sweats, a pair of jeans, a pair of capris, one running outfit, rain boots, and flip flops. I also packed my tiny shower bag which has a travel size 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner, body wash, exfoliating fash wash, and a loofah along with my shower flip flops (they have holes through out the soles for fast draining). I packed a tee and tank for each day, and a spare hoody just in case I spilled or got caught in a down pour. I always bring my own blanket and pillow, and since this was a camping trip my blanket for this trip was wool.

Third, I need to pack my food. I always bring 2 meal shakes per day, my greens, adapotgens, natural sports drink mix, Nuun, Target brand airborne, my Garuka bars, a GoGoSqueez, and homemade trail mix. I also brought some Zico chocolate coconut water, my homemade coffee concentrate, and some cold pasta salad I put together last minute.

Finally, it was time to go!

We made all dinners over the fire. Pro tip: bring a glove for grabbing hot things.

Our spread the first night. Check out the fancy tea cups! They may have contained wine. My dad had the genius idea of using the dry wood planks for serving the burgers, like the fancy restaurants!

 Nature in all its beauty was definitely the reason we  went camping.

    

It's a little snake!

I went for a run Sunday morning. It was a little humid out so I chose to run on the entrance/exit road instead of running through the park on the paved trail to make sure I had a good breeze on me.

  

I used this spickot the entire weekend, nice cold fresh water!

  

I use the Nike+ Running App for tracking, you don't need data enabled for the GPS to live-track your routes!

It was a great trip.

What did you do last weekend? Do you have any plans for a camping trip? What stories can you share about previous camping trips?

I ran a half-marathon. Again.

May 23rd, 2015. Stillwater, Minnesota. I dressed for what I thought the weather would be like. Note the patriotic colors. :)

The forecast was in the 60s and moving into the 80s, chances of spotty rain showers, which means humidity and clouds. It was an 8 am start time, and I had to drive about 40 minutes to my friends house so her mom was able to drop us off at the start. The start line drop off was race-illegal, the start location was not ideal for on-site parking or drop off, but we made it work by walking a block from where we were dropped off. Definitely better than the 10 minute yellow bus ride most other runners had to take. We waited in the port-o-pottie line for about 15 minutes, because there were 8 of them for everyone. Eight. Craziness.

You could get 3 people wide through that, it was a slow start.

The start line was also not close at all to the finish line, which isn't uncommon, but the weird part was that we ran mostly on a bike/paved trail. The cheer zones were when the trail crossed the road, which is also where the fuel/water stops were. It was a bit amusing, I'm assuming, for our cheerleaders finding where they would be able to see us, getting there, avoiding the road closure/traffic stop. But they were at each possible cheer zone, and it was amazing!

The run itself wasn't the greatest, to be honest. I had prepared to the best that I could according to the elevation they had posted on the race website, but they changed the posted course on the website on race week. The original race started in a neighborhood and followed roads the entire way, which is easy to train for if you're able to replicate (or run the actual course). The actual race was on a bike trail, which isn't as easy to replicate DAYS before the race.

A downside to having a tree lined trail, is the lack of a breeze. Since this day was cloudy, it held the humidity in, and the trees kept the breeze from giving us any sort of break. My girlfriend started to overheat pretty quickly, so this was difficulty number 1. At about mile 3 I was at max for the heat so I ditched my shirt, thankfully friend's mom happened to be right there so I handed it off to her. Friend apologized profusely for slowing us down, and told me to keep running, but since I told her we would walk the entire thing if we had to because I didn't sign up to do the race alone and she had zero reason to be alone. It was a run for fun, not for time, and I was going to stick by her side unless she decided to leave the race early. She said she would have felt terribly for a long time if she quit, so we ran/walk for random periods of time when she felt up to it.

This trail is beautiful, well paved, tons of miles to take on, and there is an unpaved portion for horses which makes it even more majestic. The trail is also hilly, and not the every once in a while big hills, it was filled with the small frequent hills. There was a hill at least twice a mile. My girl friend had sciata issues going into the race (she never told me it was for at least a month before hand, probably knowing I would've told her to stop training), and those little hills put her in a lot of pain. I went into the race with tight shins, and those little hills flared my shin splints. Welcome difficulty number 2.

When we started the road portion of the race, there were a few big hills, which are expected in Stillwater (if you know the area, you know they're actually called bluffs), but after the first 8 or so miles having a lot of hills my shins were SHOT. Welcome the stupidity that I tell myself: ignore the pain and push on.

We slowly ran the last mile, most of it was down hill. I kept checking my Nike+ Running app, and told her the time we were coming up on. We finished the race at 3 hours, give or take a few seconds. When I told her at the 13 mile mark that if she walked the last few feet that she would surpass the 3 hour mark, she gave me the look of disgust and pushed through it.

Not the best, nor the worst, finish line photo.

While it wasn't the prettiest of runs, it was a beautiful scenery, and I'm so glad I stuck with my girlfriend to finish the race together, since we started this adventure together. She's taking the rest of the summer off, except a few fun 5ks, while I start marathon training officially on Monday.

The Birdtown 8k - There will be hills

Last year was The Birdtown's inaugural event, I ran the 8k last year and felt it was a good race for the weekend before my half-marathon on 5/23/15. When I registered for this year's: I forgot about the hills. I forgot how too-fast I ran. I remembered feeling good afterwards.

I wasn't mentally prepared for this race, my sleep was lacking because one of our cats decided a lot lately that he wants everyone to walk up at 5am, and since I rarely have a reason to be up that early, I do not go to bed earlier enough to get a lot of sleep. We left about 15 minutes later than I really wanted to, but I was the reason for that because I didn't have my bag packed the night before like I usually do.

I forgot that the main road to get to the parking area would be blocked for the half-marathon and 4k that started before the 8k, and that the typical road to take as an alternate was completely shut-down for all of the distances. We had to park 5 blocks further away than I would have liked, so we had to walk that much further to get to the start. We arrived at the start line 1 minute before the gun went off.  One Minute.

The weather was okay, the temperature was in the 60s, there was some wind, but the humidity was higher than it should be in May in Minnesota. I was deciding the final 2 miles if I should run without a shirt, as I usually would run with only a sports bra for a top in that kind of weather, but since that required exertion I decided to just think about it instead of act upon it.

Thankfully, I did run this event last year, so I remembered how many potholes and uneven the pavement would be for a majority of the course. I also remembered how little vehicle traffic there would be so I could run on the road for portions that the sidewalk was not comfortable, and run on the sidewalk when the roads wear really uncomfortable. This was MAJORLY beneficial.

Since we arrived one minute before the gun went off, I didn't get to use the port-o-potty before the race like my body is accustomed to, so I had to pee immediately. I didn't see a single port-o-potty until mile 3, which was mentally tough fighting my bladder on all of the hills before getting to 'go.' But once I was relieved, my mood lightened, until I remembered the final hill.

My chip time was 2 seconds slower than last year, even though I did take walking breaks, I also stopped to use the port-o-potty this year, so I did run it faster. What was I thinking? I probably wasn't, but I still felt good mentally. Until 4 hours later when I sat through my brother's college commencement for 2.5 straight hours, my shins started feeling very tight.

Birdtown Results

My shins hurt a lot last night when I finally returned home, and was getting more difficult to walk up the stairs. I slept with my Zensah Calf-Sleeves on for compression, and turned on heated mattress cover to keep the muscles warm. I woke up and they felt healed! I spent an hour in heated yoga this morning, and my brain and body are all sorts of happy now!

Side note: I realized I ran 85.5 miles in April, my highest mileage month to date. WOO HOO!

Next week is the half-marathon, I'm hoping to keep this peacefulness my brain is currently in through the next 7 days. :)

Happy Sunday!

March Assisted Long Run (ASL)

I participated in my first group assisted long run last Saturday morning, March 14.  It was a cooler March day, which means I had to wear long-sleeves, fleece-lined pants, and an ear band.  I've been running since 2007, and participated in organized races since 2011.  The fact that it's 2015 and I'm just now joining group runs might show you a trend: I incorporate something "new" into my running every 4 years.  This may or may not be as effective as the elected officials' who are in office 4-years or longer. ;-) An assisted long run (ASL) has at least one water stop, and, if you're lucky, fuel.  This particular group I am now part of has both on their ASL's, which are held once a month.  If you're in the Twin Cities area, you may have heard of Mill City Running.  This is an amazing place for all things running, and they have weekly runs, various in type and distance.  I love going in there just to window shop, and now that I'm running with them it gives me even more opportunities to browse the beautiful selection of gear.

Back to this ASL: since this was my first group run, I was not familiar with their route.  They did a route preview in-store just before heading out, and there were many people that were 'elected' as pacers.  It was a large turn-out, too.

For my training, I only needed to run 6 miles, but they had a 22 miler laid out if someone wanted/needed to go that distance.  It was a lollipop route, which means it looks like a lollipop!

Here are some of the photos I took along the way, since this was a new route for me, and I adore it!  I plan on running along here many days to come, with or without the running group!

Do/have you run with a group?

Week 2 training accomplished, & today I finished a tough run

March 1st was the first day of training for the Stillwater Half Marathon, which will be a little hilly course.  Day 1 of each week is "strength and stretch," as I'm following the Hal Higdon Intermediate Half-Marathon training plan.  Since the race is on a Saturday (woohoo!), Day 1 of each week is a Sunday!  Yoga is my stretch and strength regimen, I attend a class each Sunday morning.  This ensures I won't be doing the same moves each week, and it gets me out of the house doing something my mind and body need. I've followed the training plan really well, so far.  I have even managed to add in some strength training to more than just the days it suggests.  I want to be overall strong, not just for running.  I only do 20 minutes of full-body strength 3 days each week, max, in addition to my yoga practice.  Typically I'll do strength M-W, as the rest days are falling on Thurdsay and/or Friday each week.  I leave Saturdays for long runs, only, as well as only do Yoga on Sundays.  It has worked out well for me, so far.

Today was my first TOUGH run.  I know it's going to happen more than once during training, but I really needed to talk myself through it.  First my shin was acting up, so I stopped and readjusted my shoes.  That fixed it.  Next, my music sucked; it's the same music from 1.5 years ago when I ran my first half, so it's just old to me at this point.  So, I flipped on iTunes Radio and picked the first one.  That worked for 1.5 miles, then I just ran "silent."  I also had issues with my route, I ended up just taking corners randomly, crossing my fingers the sporadic new route would be long enough to get my 3.5 miles in that were scheduled.  That really did end up being the best medicine, and I will need to remember to just run in silence on my next tough run.  My route did end 3.5 miles, exactly, too.

It truly is a head game.

What have you done to get through a tough run?

I'm running a Marathon - WHOA

On February 5, 2015, I made a life-changing decision.  It effects more than just my life, which makes it slightly more exciting/anxious.  I decided, and registered, to run my first marathon.  Twenty-two point six miles.  Consecutively.  In one morning. I made the decision at a Charity information session, this will be the first year Childrensmn.org will have a fundraising running team, and I am very excited to be one of their Superstars. "About Children's Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health systems in the United States and the only health system in Minnesota to provide care exclusively to children, from before birth through young adulthood. An independent and not-for-profit system since 1924, Children's serves kids throughout the Upper Midwest at two free-standing hospitals, 12 primary and specialty-care clinics and six rehabilitation sites. Children's maintains its longstanding commitment to the community to improve children's health by providing high-quality, family-centered pediatric services and advancing those efforts through research and education. An award-winning health system, Children's is regularly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top children's hospital and by The Leapfrog Group for quality and efficiency."

What a fantastic organization to partner up with on this LIFE CHANGING journey!!  My fundraising page: https://secure.qgiv.com/event/account/72706/.

October 4, 2015 is the day!!  The Twin Cities Medtronic Marathon is the event.  It has been rated in the Top 10 popular races for multiple years, and there are many reasons why.  I ran the 10 mile event last year, it shares part of the marathon course, and it has an amazing volunteer support team, extensive crowd support along the majority of the course, and the scenery along the route is spectacular!!  The fall leaves, the fall air, the river, the old brick homes, and the rolling bluffs (read: this is NOT a FLAT course) are beautiful!!!

Please, share your tips, stories of first races, and if you've ran, or will be running, this event!!!

2015 Race - Finally registered for one!!

Happy Tuesday!!! I usually have 5 races I've registered for by this time of year, but considering how drastically my life has changed in the last year, race registration is going to be a LOT different.

So what did I choose for my first race of 2015???

The Hot Chocolate 15K!! (http://www.hotchocolate15k.com)  This will be my first Hot Chocolate Race, and I'm excited!!!

I'll be running in Minneapolis, but they have 14 other cities you can run in!

Next week is the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon lottery entry, and I'll be throwing my hat in that ring.  It would be a phenomenal deal if I was able to run that, and then I'm also considering running the Medtronic Marathon in October.  Those are my only plans so far this year, a lot different than the past two years.  I have my reasons for not running several races that I have in the past, but a lot of it has to do with now owning my own business.

Have you ever ran a CHOCOLATE race before??

IsaBodyChallenge update - TransformationTuesday

Hey! Happy #TransformationTuesday!!I just started my third IsaBodyChallenge, and wanted to share my progress! I started in May, wanting to get rid of the sluggishness, to stop living off coffee & red bull, and to start living ACTIVELY. Here's my before and current, with progress pictures:

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/532/56066027/files/2015/01/img_5694.jpg Now, I'm waking up at 5am with energy to get my workout done right away, with out the need for coffee or red bull, and I have so much energy to get through the day!! Honestly, I didn't workout that much. I am excited to see the changes now that I'm working out at least 15 minutes everyday!!!

What transformation have you gone through, without knowing how much you were going to change?

Medtronic Weekend, Part 2: All the Running

Last month I wrote about planning and packing for this crazy weekend of running 3 races, and attending a 3 day seminar. Read that here. The TC Loony Challenge comprises of 2 races, in one weekend. A 10k at 7:30am Saturday, 5k at 9:00am Saturday, and a 10 mile at 7:00am Sunday. My training was the schedule for a half-marathon, even though my longest mileage was that of race day, I felt it was the best idea considering I would be running 19.3 miles between two days. I made the last 4 weekends look like this: 6.2 miles (10k) on Saturday, and at least 6.2 miles on Sunday. I increased the Sunday mileage each week, with my last weekend having a 6.2 mile run followed by a 3.1 mile walk on Saturday, and a 10 mile run on Sunday. Knowing my legs could handle the mileage, I knew I would be fine.

The forecast was looking pretty good: 50s. AWESOME!

And then the day before the weekend came, and the forecast turned COLD: Highs in the 30s, with race time temps in the 20s and feel like temps in the teens! AAAAGHH! I had to completely repack my race bag, adding sweat pants and sweat shirts to keep me warm before and after running, and adding a jacket to wear during the first few miles of each race.

Good thing I have enough clothes to accommodate that kind of need. ;-)

My races were good, I kept about a 10:00/mile time both days. My legs were not impressed with the hills, which I didn't incorporate enough of during training, but really weren't happy with the temps. My 10k was just over 1 hour, my 5k was just over 30 minutes, and my 10 mile was just under 1:40. I'm very happy considering the feat I just accomplished.

If you've never experienced a race during the Medtronic weekend, whether as a runner or as a fan, I highly recommend it!! The views along each route are beautiful, it's during the fall leaf change which brings amazing colors to the landscape. The historic houses, the views of the river, and the final leg which over looks the state Capital are AWEsome! I would have taken photos, but with the temps being so low this year it would have killed my battery. :-(

The entire distance, of all of the races, are lined with fans showing their support! It's phenomenal the turnout, especially for how cold it was this year. There are people who had a keg setup, mobile fire-pits, blankets, chairs, signs, hot dog stand, and the police and medical support, along with the volunteers, were cheering the runners on. This was amazing for me, it truly is my favorite part.

Medtronic weekend is the first weekend in October each year, and registration is currently open for the TC Loony Challenge, along with the other challenges. The registration for the individual races is not yet open. Whether you come to run, or just to cheer and tour the cities, you'll be blown away. Here's the website: Medtronic Weekend Hopefully I see you next year!!

Checking in!

The last time I am that bloated and inflamed. Sorry for the long delay in posts, summer has been CRAZY BUSY!!

Ive been up to: increasing my lean muscle!!!

This has increased my per mile pace running, and given me an excuse to buy smaller clothes since my visceral fat has been depleting.

Wooo hoooo!!!

This coming weekend I'm running in the TC Loony Challenege   Stay tuned for the recap!!

Is anyone going to be participating in any of the Medtronic weekend festivities/races??

#runthisyear half way point

I joined the #runthisyear 2014 challenge and I have a goal of running over 300 miles this year. As of this moment, I'm just over 160 miles. Yay!!!I would like to thank my new protein powder for making me a faster runner, helping me recovering faster, and for pure bliss post run. I've recently had to go up in sports bra size to accommodate my larger obliques so I can breathe and function better in the rib cage area. :/ Not sure how I feel about that.

Where are you on your 2014 goals? What is new in your world that has helped your end game?

How the @thebirdtown 8K was inspirational

I heard about The Birdtown Half Marathon at the beginning of May, a little late in the year for me to comfortably sign up for a half marathon even though I knew I was capable of a successful race.After looking at their website (thebirdtown.com), I learned they had two smaller distances I could run: an 8k and an 4k. These distances seemed very random to me, but didn't put a second thought into it and I registered for the 8k. An 8k is 4.97 miles, thank you Google. About the race, from the website: "This is the inaugural year of The Birdtown Half Marathon and we couldn't be more excited! Our route will run the roads of Robbinsdale, MN through wooded parkways and around beautiful Minnesota lakes." The mayor of Robbinsdale made a promise that if 400 people registered for the race, he would run in a kilt. Not only did they hit that mark, they passed it and had to cap the number of runners to 650 and CLOSE registration for the 8k as it reached the 200 registration mark. "Proceeds from The Birdtown Half Marathon will go to the Heart of Robbinsdale Community Foundation. Founded in 2007, the Heart of Robbinsdale Community Foundation was created with the mission of supporting and enriching the quality of life in Robbinsdale, Minnesota."

The event was put together almost better than some of the BIG races I've participated in. Check out these pre/post-race area maps:

20140521-145251-53571267.jpg Those arrows are fantastic for someone like me!! Here's the photos I took during the race: Not the greatest, and not that many, though. 20140521-150129-54089837.jpg Starting area was next to this beautiful lake. 20140521-150131-54091167.jpgThe last stretch had a view of North Memorial Health Center, the main sponsor for this event, and where my grandma spent many years as a Registered Nurse in the Operating Room. 20140521-145250-53570912.jpg It holds a few memories for me, visiting grandma at work, and eating lunch with her sometimes after my special doctor visits at the clinic across the street from the Hospital. 20140521-150130-54090504.jpg I still have two pairs of her work scrub pants, they're SO COMFORTABLE. Back to the race... It was a beautiful day: mostly sunny, temps expected to be in the 50s at the finish line, slight breeze. I made a rookie mistake of wearing my finisher shirt during the race, thinking it would keep the wind at bay, not knowing what it would actually help/hinder during my race since I didn't even bother trying it on before hand. There was a small issue with the chip time mats, so the start was delayed. I didn't pay attention to the time that ticked by, I had my music on and zoned out to everything other than the morning run I was about to take on. I was feeling pretty stoked, after-all this was two days after my 12.2 HILLY run (that post here), and I had a deep tissue sports massage just the day before. I was expecting to be in some sort of pain, but I wasn't. At all. It was a little odd, especially since the massage therapist told me to expect to be in pain and if I wasn't in pain then I needed to come in every week to release the muscle tightness which we shall refer to as my entire back. Once the timing system was working, we counted down from 10 and were off. I didn't study the race route, I rarely do, so I just kept up with a few of the people in front of me. We shall refer to them as the only people in front of me, I was in the front part of the corral. We followed a street through the cute part of Robbinsdale toward the bike path; along the way we had a few inclines, followed by some declines. I laughed to myself, probably out-loud, since I am once again running hills on a route I really should have looked into but didn't. We followed a sidewalk into the residential neighborhood, and there were spectators! After the residential neighborhood, we followed the Parkway to the finish line, and the last stretch had a wonderful decline. The pace felt good throughout the race, I was struggling a little bit but just attributed that to my 12.2 miler 48 hours prior without even looking at what my current pace actually was. I just figured it was just going to be a difficult 10:00/mile pace for me to work through, and had to tell myself at least once during each mile that I could, and would, run this to the end. This wasn't a completely closed course, it was mostly monitored by course marshalls, and we stayed inside our orange cones. There were police officers at busy intersections to ensure safety, and some even cheered the runners on. I will be running this event again. The finisher shirt didn't breathe as well as I would have liked it to, by the end of the race I was close to over heating. Thankfully I was well hydrated. My results: 20140521-153258-55978897.jpg WHAT?! Even though I heard the Nike+ Running app tell me I was doing pretty good for pace, I couldn't believe it when I saw the time clock read in the 40s as I approached it! How inspiring I feel every time I think of that, and really believe I will speed up more often knowing how good I felt going that fast for that long! By the mile: 1 mile 9'01" 2 mile 8'59" (fastest) 3 mile 9'06" 4 mile 9'31" I am amazed, ecstatic, inspired, motivated.

Have you had one of these races? What was your mantra to get yourself through something that felt so difficult and ended up be so rewarding?

9 hour day, 12 mile run, hills, hills, hills

HAPPY THURSDAY!I started a different shift at work Tuesday night, 10pm-7:30am. I will only work 4 of these each week, which means a 3 day weekend! Today is my Friday, so #allthesleep and #allthefood shall be mine.

After I got home from work this morning, I knew I needed to get in my 12 miler I had been planning on all week. After a little dazed meandering around the house, I got geared up, figured out where I was going to run, and headed out.

I chose a new location, since I didn't want to do laps in my neighborhood. I chose a county park 10 minutes from my house, I knew I could get all of my miles in and the scenery would be rejuvinating. I am running 12 miles, and I don't want to get bored with my surroundings, afterall.

I couldn't find a map with mileage of the trails, so I just set my sights on a path a started running. I knew I'd have to swap out 2 water bottles between miles 4 and 6, so I kept that in mind while the miles went by. There were a few hills, but I took them with stride. I made a 4.1 mile loop back to the Jeep, swapped the bottles, made a stop at the nearby port-o-potty, and the headed down a new path.

I am usually a fan of hills, but there were so many Hills.

20140515-200614.jpg

One of the paths lead me to this swamp that had a set of docks strung together to make a bridge. HillBHP This part was such a TOUGH effort for my legs, those docks were on floats!!

and then more HILLS. This one had one of those yellow caution signs at the top because of the decline. SteepHillBHP

I successfully kept up my pace, despite the pain shooting through my legs after the dock and hills. After 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 58 seconds, I completed 12.2 miles!!! In my cooler that I had packed, was a shaker bottle of what I am going to call a "Super Protein Shake." I drank it after I spent 5 minutes with my feet up the side of my Jeep. 20140515-202314.jpg The shake was delicious, gave me the recovery fuel I needed, and didn't have a bad belly side effect afterwards (I never realized until now that belly bloat after protein is NOT normal).

Tomorrow I'm going to get my first massage, ever. And it's going to be a sports massage. Perfect planning this week. HAVE A GREAT FRIDAY!

<3 Emily

#RunThisYear update 4/29

Hello!I think I'm getting over my cabin fever, the snow has finally melted (last week), and I'm getting more mileage in each week. The whole funk has passed, and now I'm ready to share some relatable, and more-like-babbling, posts! Here's a quick pic of my mileage as of late. Hopefully I will get in a run tomorrow, since the winter type weather is leaving us tomorrow morning. (UGH!!) springmileage I also want to share a finisher shirt I received in the mail for a challenge I'm completing in October. It's for the Loony Challenge during the Medtronic Marathon weekend. It's from Brooks, I'm stoked for all of it! BrooksLoonyChallengeZip

#RunThisYear log and ab challenge

Happy belated valentines day!!Saturday, February 8, I ran a pretty miserable 3.75 miles. I was in a bad mood before the run, and just couldn't get out of it. The weather was cold, there were cars along my entire route (which means I had to breathe in their emissions), and my headphones were annoying the whole run. But at least I ran!

My mileage isn't up to what I want it to be, seeing as I want to achieve at least 300 miles this year, but I know once winter leaves us I will be running more frequently.

Yesterday I started a 14 day ab challenge, my coworker needed a buddy to keep her in check and I love doing abs. Here's the challenge, which I found on Pinterest: 20140215-154849.jpg

Today I'm planning a 14 hour nap after my abs challenge, so run day will happen tomorrow when the temps are supposedly going to be warmer outdoors.

I also saw this photo, and really am tempted to take this action someday. 20140215-154936.jpg

Someday.

Week 4.5 Mileage #RunThisYear

Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, Polar Vortex, Minnesota Winter. Whatever you want to call it, it's frigid and windy outside most of January, every year.  I base my runs upon the forecast, and due to the straight-line winds lately I had to post-pone my scheduled Saturday run to today.  Wednesday.

Hump Day.

Here's what today looked like:

Image

See that 10 day forecast?  Welcome to Minnesnowta.  I hate winter, I've lived in Minnesota 99.5% of my life, and the only reason I am still here is because I love our summers.  They're 100 degrees warmer.  Literally!

Since it's so warm outside (insert sarcasm during any point of this post), I was ready to run!  I was almost bouncing off the walls I was so excited it wasn't freaky windy out so I could run.

Here's what a section of today's route looked like:

Image

That's a snow drift cause by the 40+mph winds over the last few weeks, in addition to the snow that's blessed our area of the world.

The machinery that clears the snow leaves about an inch or so of snow, so I'll be wearing YakTrax XTR on my runs until about March or April.  Here's some photos from the YakTrax website: Image

I like to think of it as removable cleats for running in snow. Here's a profile of the Steel. Image I am so freaking excited to have these, now I'll hopefully be able to conquer more runs than just one each week. I also equipped myself with a new pair of running tights, they have a wind guard on the thighs so I don't cry in wind chill biting pain.  I have a pair from Nike, they're on sale RIGHT NOW.

Cheers to getting gear to keep on running!  I think it keeps me more sane than avoiding a treadmill.  We don't own a treadmill and I would much prefer to never own one, nature is such a stress reliever in addition to pounding out some miles.

What gear do you need for seasons? Are there any items/tips that you've picked up as a runner to keep your (in)sanity? What is the worst part of where you live and why do you choose to still live there?

Week 3 Mileage: #RunThisYear #stupidsnow edition

It's the time of year for roller-coaster temperatures here in Minnesota. Today's high was 37 degrees Farenheit, Tuesday's high will be 2 degrees Farenheit, and Friday's high will be 27 degrees Farenheit. Planning outdoor runs is essential, for me at least. I like to run on Sunny days, especially if it's below 20 degrees. Due to today's warm temperature, I ran today instead of yesterday (my weekly scheduled Saturday). I am so glad I did because that warm weather is not something to waste! There were a lot cleaner roads, as well, since the sun had some time melting the snow and the snowplows had opportunities to move the snow. Today I planned to run over 6 miles, so I wore my FuelBelt loaded with only 2 bottles instead of the 4 it holds and 1/2 pack of PROBAR Bolt.

I wore my Head Sweats Performance Visor supporting RunChat along with these neat Earmuff Headphones. My ears were warm and my sweat was not dripping down my face!

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The 6.26 miles weren't entirely easy, I did run on snow, slush, and the in-between stuff that looks like snow but has the consistency of sand. After the first 1/2 mile I decided to adjust my route from the usual sidewalks to low-traffic roads. I did this to avoid the sidewalks because they weren't yet plowed/shoveled and didn't want to get hurt. As you can see from these photos, the roads were a lot better. 20140119-172010.jpg What seasonal gear do you have? I think I need Yaktraks, opinions please! Are there any conditions you prefer to run in? Tell me about a time you stepped in a puddle.

2014 Goal: #RunThisYear

I don't set resolutions, I set goals. Why? Because of the literal meaning of each word. Weird, I know. I take things literally, rarely figuratively.Let's visit The Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Resolution: res·o·lu·tion noun \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən\ 1: the act or process of resolving: as a : the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones b : the act of answering : solving c : the act of determining d : the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance e : the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents f (1) : the division of a prosodic element into its component parts (2) : the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable g : the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum 2: the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation) 3a : something that is resolved b : firmness of resolve 4: a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group 5: the point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out 6a : the process or capability of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object, closely adjacent optical images, or sources of light b : a measure of the sharpness of an image or of the fineness with which a device (as a video display, printer, or scanner) can produce or record such an image usually expressed as the total number or density of pixels in the image

Goal: goal noun \ˈgōl, chiefly Northern especially in 1b & 3a also ˈgül\ 1a : the terminal point of a race b : an area to be reached safely in children's games 2: the end toward which effort is directed : aim 3a : an area or object toward which players in various games attempt to advance a ball or puck and usually through or into which it must go to score points b : the act or action of causing a ball or puck to go through or into such a goal c : the score resulting from such an act

Not only is Goal shorter to define, it's much more of a concrete way to set yourself up for accomplishment.

My 2014 Goal: Run 300+ miles. I joined the Run This Year 2014 group, and you can sign up HERE! They have training ideas, giveaways, and monthly mileage reports for those that log them on the website. It's FREE! They also have twitter chats, so make sure you Follow Run This Year on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and join in the conversation!

I plan to accomplishment my goal of 300+ miles by running at least 5 miles each week, plus finish all of the races I've signed up for. It doesn't look like a lofty/difficult task, which is why I'm more than eager to tackle it. If it seemed harder, it wouldn't be a realistic goal and would set me up for failure. I've also set a date with myself to run every Saturday, there's a repeat, weekly appointment, and 2 'alerts,' in my Google Calendar to get my shoes on the pavement. I'm tracking these miles three ways: The Run This Year Mileage Log, Nike+ Running iPhone app, and my 2014 Minnesota Distance Running Association Race Calender/Guide. There's a log for each month's training miles, and a master log for race miles.

I'm very excited for this, and hope to write you each week to check in and let you know how I'm doing with this goal.

-What do you use to keep track of your miles? -Is there any words you prefer versus their often used thesaurus synonym? -What areas in life are you nerdy?