Stepping up

Disclaimer: I received an Amazon gift card to  review and promote the FitnessBank Step Challenge with Des Linden as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

 

For the past month I have been in a step challenge on the Fitness Bank app, and the one and only Des Linden was part of it too. Having this challenge this month has been great.  Having everything cancelled was a quite a downer and this was a nice positive thing to force me to get outside and get some walking in, Rosie very much approved of that.

The Fitness Bank app was super easy to set up and use.  There are lots of other challenges to join in so if you are looking for something to help you get out and walk, join in. You do not need to sign up for an account to use the step tracker, if you want to, cool but it is not required.  You can also get your friends to join and set up some step challenges with them, nothing like a little friendly competition to get you motivated.

While I am no where close to winning this, as my steps have gone way down with less running, that is ok, I still enjoyed it, and it was nice to say I got to compete against Des Linden, cause that will never happen again.IMG_20200421_112150_674

Get Fast

I really haven’t done a personal post in a while, so I figured I would update you on what is going on in my running life right now.

So, no spring race, at all.  No OKC Memorial Marathon, it sucks, I’m sad, but I know and understand why.  I will get to OKC at some point, but will probably be in 2022.  So I took this past week off to rest, and starting tomorrow, I get back to training.  The next few months, I will be working on short speed, like training for a 5k or 10k (which I hope to maybe get in some summer races, shall see) and I will be adding in a second day of strength training.  For strength training I will be using the TTSL Daily from Constantly Varied Gear, you should check them out.  Great workouts and they have some awesome clothes too.  My very awesome coach is working with me through this very weird time and she will have me ready to race in the fall, when hopefully we can all race again.  Excited to go for a half PR at Smuttynose Rockfest Half in NH.

I hope to maybe, get in another trip this summer, since my March and April trips were both cancelled, I have some extra money so maybe in August I can add in another race and visit another state, again, I will only book this once I know for sure we can travel, so whenever that is.  I have been looking at flights and races in states I haven’t been to yet, cause man, I miss traveling.  I did find 2 races one in MN and one in OR, so we’ll see, that’s all I say now, we’ll see cause well, we just don’t know.

(I also do still have my job, I work from home now, I know I am very lucky for that)

Well I hope you are all staying safe and staying home, so we can flatten that curve and be able to race again.  I miss my races, I miss seeing my fellow runners in person and getting to read silly signs.  I hope to see you all in the fall, until then, stay home.

Another one gone

Disclaimer: I promoted Run Madtown  as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

As you know, we are losing a lot of races this year.  Looks like there will be no spring racing this year.  Run Madtown has had to cancel, if you were planning on running please check your email or their website for more info.

If you would like to know more about the race, to get some ideas for 2021, then check out my review from running it last year

https://runningformylife2015.wordpress.com/2019/05/28/run-madtown/

I hope you all are staying home and staying safe.  So that I can see you all racing in the fall

Looking for some goals?

Disclaimer: I received an Amazon gift card to  review and promote the FitnessBank Step Challenge with Des Linden as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Has your race been cancelled? Mine has, and I know that itching need for a goal. So I have a fun one for you.  Join the FitnessBank Step Challenge with Des Linden.  I mean, how often can you say you got to compete with one of the greatest marathoners.  It is really simple to join.  You just have to download the FitnessBank Step app

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you do not have to sign up for their banking part, just the step tracker.  Once you get it, just fill out all the info and make sure you connect to whatever you are using to track your steps 20200306_204022

once you have done that, you just need to find the challenge  and join up IMG_20200306_204613_889

Today is the first day of it. so get into the app soon and sign up.  We all need some goals and here is a fun way to have one

Handful Bra

Disclaimer: I received the Handful Bra to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

First off, I will start with this, I am a 34B in bras.  I know this will help with your decision in deciding to try this bra out yourself.

I got the Y back bra from Handful

Y-Back Bra

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also, a lovely purple color, my fave. My first thought when I opened the package was how very soft it was. It does come with removable pads, I do leave them in, my personal preference.

My biggest issues with sports bra is that they chafe me horribly right at the band line right below my breasts.  I had one bra rip me so bad I bled.  So I went in with this bra to give it real tests.  I wore it for multiple long runs and multiple long speed work outs, and you know what, no chaffing.  None what so ever.  Yes I did still use my squirrel nut butter with it, but even with that my other bras still cause chaffing.  I am so pleased with this bra, comfy, soft and no chaffing.  I am so happy with it that I plan in buying more and pretty much making it my go to bra for long runs and races.

If you would like to try them out, you can use code BIBRAVE20 for 20% off.

Also, check out reviews from my fellow pros

https://runnerdgirl.blogspot.com/2020/02/a-running-horror-story-tale-of-ultra.html

Review: Handful Bra

RAW Series

So I have mentioned this a few times in other blog posts, but never really talked about it, so I figured I would do a post today.  The RAW Series stands for Race Around Waltham, I did it in 2019 and I am signed up to do it again in 2020.

2019 requirement was to run/walk or volunteer a certain 6 races, they were…

JB Blastoff 5k
Moody St 5K
St Jude 5K
Prospect Bandit Run
Shopper’s Cafe 5K
Western Greenway 5K

I did complete all the races, and doing so, I got myself a sweet RAW Series vest and gloves.  We also had a party for all the finishers and food was provided, it was quite nice.  I enjoyed most of the races (I did not like the Prospect bandit run) and I walked the Western Greenway race as it was between Detroit and NYC.

For 2020, you have to run/walk or volunteer for at least 6 races (one of them HAS to be the Prospect Bandit run) ( boo to that) out of a list of 12.  Here is the list

  • Shifter’s 5K to benefit the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge – Saturday, April 4, 2020, www.Shifters5K.com
  • JB Blastoff to benefit Brain Cancer/local family – Saturday, April 25, 2020 Pending
  • Moody Street 5K to benefit Waltham public secondary schools – May 3, 2020, www.moodyst5K.com
  • Saint Jude School 5K Road Race and Family Fun Walk – St. Jude School to benefit the school – May TBD, http://saintjudewaltham.com
  • FitzGerald Elementary 4th Annual Fun Run/Walk – Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 6:00 pm  
  • Waltham YMCA – Five to Thrive – Waltham YMCA – July 25, 2020 at 9:00 am
  • Prospect Bandit Run  – Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 2:00 pm   www.rawseries.org  
  • Waltham Track Mile at Leary Field benefiting Waltham HS Track and XC  – Date TBD
  • Mighty Squirrel 4 Miler – Sunday, September 27, 2020
  • Shopper’s Cafe 5K Sponsored by Marathon Sports – September TBD                                 
  • Western Greenway 5K – October TBD
  • Piggy’s 5K to benefit the Paul Logue Charitable Trust – November TBD

I have already signed up for Shifter’s, I will not be able to do JB or Moody’s this year due to OKC Memorial Marathon so the next one for me will probably be St Jude.  Also, Lars is joining me in doing the series this year, his first race will be Moody St and I will be out there cheering him on.  I will most likely volunteer for the Prospect Bandit run, as I don’t want to race it again.  If you are local , you can easily sign up for the series, it is free, you just have to pay the race fees for each race you do.  You can go to https://www.rawseries.org/ and sign up there.  It’s a great way to check out Waltham and hang out with fellow runners.

Louisiana Half Mararthon

So I am a bit behind in getting this posted, but was quite busy last weekend, so here we go.

Louisiana was my 27th state and over all, quite enjoyed my visit.  First let me tell you about the race and how I did.

Race morning I was able to catch a lyft to the area easily and the weather was pretty great.  High 40s and while a bit breezey it wasn’t too bad.  Also a nice bright sunny day.  Before the race started I got to meet an online running friend, Linda, and it was so great to meet her in person.  We lined in the the coral together, but once we took off I went ahead as I was running the half and she was running the full.20200119_065526

Once I took off, I was hitting some good paces and other then mile 2 (and then mile 13) the race is incredibly flat.  You run through some really beautiful neighborhoods and run through the LSU campus which was really cool.  We even got to run around the football stadium.  The views when you run around the lakes is pretty spectacular and again, super flat.  Once you do the loop around, you get back on the route you started on so yes, the hill at mile 2 comes in at the end but it isn’t that bad and is really the only one.  At mile 11 the marathon runners go off in another direction while the half runners head towards the finish line.  At this point, I was still doing a pretty good clip and was on track to possibly get a pr, but around mile 12.5 I hit that wall and had to slow down.  But I finished at 2:13 which is just a minute off from my PR.  To say I am pleased with this time is an understatement, as I was not fully trained for this race.  SO I am feeling really good about my pr try later this year.

 

The after party is great, tons of beer, tons of food to try, and you get 6 stickers to use for food.  Also, they have free coffee, YES FREE COFFEE big win in my eyes there.  I had some corn salad, Jambalaya and pork and grits, all delicious.  They also have live music and plenty of space to hang out and relax.  I did got back to the finish line to watch Linda finish and it was so great.  I really enjoyed the day and race and I would HIGHLY recommend this race, especially if you are going for a PR or BQ, this is the race for it.  They also have free race photos, and I always love that.race_4476_photo_69130146

Baton Rouge is a fairly big city so you will either need a car or lyft or Uber to get around, but once your are downtown you can easily walk around.  There are lots of places to eat and things to do.  I finally got to try Crawfish Etouffee and I loved it 20200119_145502

Overall, I really enjoyed myself and had a great time in the city and at the race.  I would tell anyone to visit Baton Rouge and run this race you will have a great time.

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2020 Races

Oh yes, it’s time for the list of 2020 races.  I will do my best to keep this updated through out the year.  And if you live in any of the areas I will be in, let me know, I always love to meet up with people.

 

5/17 – Harpoon 5 Miler Virtual Run – Waltham, MA

6/6 – Shifter’s 5k – Waltham, MA

10/4 – Smuttynose Rockfest Half – Hampton Beach, NH

10/17 –  Urban Bourbon Half – Louisville, KY

The End is Nigh

It’s that time, we are at the end of the year, heck we are at the end of a decade.  It’s been an interesting 10 years, got married, got divorced, took up running, found an amazing guy, moved closer to Boston, ran in 26 states. Not a bad 10 years, not always easy, but overall, it’s been pretty great.  I am not here to go into detail about the past 10 years, we would be be here a while.  But let’s go over 2019, and then go over my goals for 2020.

The start of 2019 was me getting over my very injury riddled 2018, it started off well with an awesome half in Charleston, SC (state 21) where I was able to run the whole thing, no walking, totally unexpected.  I also decided to join a local race series, Race around Waltham (RAW Series) and I ran a few local 5ks in the spring and fall.  I also finally got to run the  Harpoon 5 miler and set a 5 mile PR (my only PR for the year but hey I got one) In May I traveled to Madison, WI (state 22) to run Run Madtown Half, which was a lot of fun and I ran my best half marathon in years, no PR but a vast improvement over what I did all of 2018.

In the Spring I had made the decision that my fall goal would be a full marathon, and picked the Detroit Free Press TCF Bank marathon to be it.  Then we got some bad news, Lars’ mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, and I just knew I had to do something, so I talked with my very awesome coach, and we agreed that I could handle also running, the NYC Marathon, so I signed up that, and I raised money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

In June, I accomplished a big goal, and finished off the East Coast, as I ran the Baltimore 10 Miler in Maryland (state 23) and The Sallie Mae 5k in Wilmington, DE (state 24) Then in July, I flew out to Davenport, IA (state 25) and ran the Bix 7, which was super hilly but very fun.  After that trip, it was time to buckle down for Marathon training.

I trained hard for Detroit and was more then ready, but then on race day, my stomach was just not having it, and I just blew up, it happens, still sucks, I’m still a bit disappointed, but I know I can’t control everything and marathons will do that to you, that is why they are so hard, but that also got my state 26 and I am now over half way to my goal of running in all 50 states.

Then it was onto NYC, and I decided to race it, even if I had just run a marathon 2 weeks before, and hey, I did soooooooo much better then I did in Detroit, and it made me like marathons again and know that I can do so much better.  I also finally got to meet my coach in person so that was a nice added bonus.  My last race for 2019 was the Donohue’s Turkey trot, just had some fun there and I always enjoy that race, hope to do it again in 2020.

And to finish with something more important, I raised $5215 for The V Foundation, and with a great combo of radiation and drugs, Lars’ mom is doing really well and we hope she will be around for a good long time = )

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My sorta MIL Holly

Now…onto 2020, cause I’ve got goals….to crush

For the big goal, running a race in all 50 states, I would like to check off at least, 4 states in 2020.  So far I have Louisiana in January and Oklahoma in April.  If I can get 5 states, even better, but I would like to be at 30 states by the end of 2020.  I do have some non running travel in 2020 as I will be heading to Texas to see my cousin Garret get married and I am pumped about that, but that does use some of my travel budget so I do have to factor that in.  20191208_161329

PRs, 2020 will be about PRs, I want to set at least 2 PRs this year, no matter the distance, 5k, 10k, full, half, whatever, I want at least 2 this year.  2019 was a great rebuild year, and I have been injury free, due to my keeping up with strength training, so I am ready to crush some times in 2020.  I am going to keep with my coach and stick with my strength training and make sure I continue to listen to my body, overall I am feeling really good and I know I can do this.

Some non running goals (yes NON RUNNING) My big goal for 2020, is to stop biting my nails, I know, I know gross but it is something I have done for a long as I can remember.  I do it when I am nervous and bored more so with the bored so I am trying to find things that will keep me from resorting to the nails in my mouth.  I have already started, I have gone 2 weeks with no nail biting, so far so good.  I have scheduled a manicure so I can give myself another reason to not bite by having some pretty nails.  I will say the big reason I finally wanted to do this is seeing people with the awesome Sarah Marie Design nails wraps, I want to use them, so here I am, trying my best to stop a really bad habit.

Another goal is to take more walks with Lars and Rosie, Lars and I used to walk once a week almost every week and we just kind of stopped, I would like to start this back up.  It will be good for him and Rosie and will get us outside some more.

Last one, stay in my budget, not something I am all that good with, I did improve in 2019 and would like to continue that momentum in 2020.

 

Overall, 2019 was a pretty good year, it had it’s ups and downs, like every year does.  I am excited to end this decade and get into a new one.  I will end my 30s in the new one, and hopefully get to travel to some very cool new places.  I see a lot of great things coming and I can’t wait to do them all.

New York City Marathon

I know it has been a few weeks since this happened, but I have been relaxing, 2 marathons in 2 weeks requires lots of rest.  Monday I get back into running so I figured it was time for my recap.IMG_20191102_172003_502

Lars and I took the train to NYC, and let me tell you, I highly recommend it.  It does take about 3.5 hours, but the views are really nice and it was a very relaxing commute.  Once we got into the city, we got our metro passes and dropped our luggage at the hotel and headed over to the expo.  I was expecting masses of people and just general nuttiness but it was pretty smooth and easy.  Got in, got my bib and shirt, got to explore the expo and take some pics.  Overall really well run and pain free expo to get through.  That night, Team V had our pasta dinner and it was delicious and fun to meet fellow teammates.  After that, back to the hotel to get prepped and get to sleep.

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Race morning, I selected the bus from midtown to get to Staten Island.  This is probably the only thing I would change.  Mind you, I was in the final corral, so there was no need for me to rush there, as I was only taking off at 11am.  But the buses take a while, mainly cause you sit on the bridge for a long time and that is just really not the most pleasant thing.  If I do the race again, I might pick the ferry option.

Once I got to Staten Island, I went through security, got to my village, and sat down to eat and stretch out.  I got lucky and met a fellow Bibrave Pro, Linda, so I had someone to chat with, as we were in the same corral and wave.  They have plenty of announcements so you know when you are needed to go.  Also plenty of portopotties, a bit of a line, but I only waited about 5 minutes so that wasn’t bad.  After that, I got out of my sweats and got into my corral, it was time to start running.  WARNING:  As you are about to take off, they will shoot off a cannon and HOLY HELL IT IS LOUD. It will scare the crap out of you, be prepared for that.

Once you take off you are going up hill, as the bridge is a giant hill so for the first mile, you are all uphill, the second mile, all downhill.  Do know, because of the bridge, there are no water stops until mile 3.  After the bridge you are in Brooklyn, and get ready for the crowds (a theme to this race) as the people are out in force, cheering you on.  Brooklyn and Queens are fairly flat, with plenty of people out with great signs and lots of cheers.  Once you hit mile 15, you are at the Queensborough Bridge and that, well that is hell.  It is mostly uphill and so so so so quiet, everyone warns you about this part and everything you hear is true, it sucks.  Once you are off the bridge, you are in Manhattan on First Ave and ALL THE PEOPLE are back.  Get ready for more cheering and signs and just all around party atmosphere, it is so great and I saw Lars at mile 17.5 NYC Marathon 222

After that, you cross another bridge (not as bad) and get into the Bronx, plenty of people there too still pretty flat as well.  The back into Manhattan and you are now heading for Central Park, and HILLS yes HILLS at the ending miles of a marathon AWESOME.  But the people in central park get you through it.  And when you cross that finish line it is all worth it.

For after the race I chose the Poncho option (Lars can hold my stuff) so the fellow poncho zombies and I headed in that direction.  Do know there is a lot of walking after this race, so be prepared for that.  I got my poncho and even had a volunteer to help me put it on.  After that, I got out and went to find Lars, which was easy to do with all the maps they give you.  Found him and he had coffee for me, cause he knows and then we went back to the hotel.

 

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he’s cute even when he poses with my medal

I loved this race, and for me personally, I didn’t hit numbers, but I ran the whole thing and shaved almost 30 minutes from my time in Detroit.  This race got me to love the marathon distance again and remind myself that I can do it.  I am very excited for what 2020 will bring and after 2 weeks of rest, I am ready to get back out there and run.

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