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Dear Running: I do love you!

No matter how much I complain about running, I will always love it!  When I started running in 2005, I couldn’t run a mile.  Heck, I couldn’t run 5 minutes.  It took me years to get to where I am now (I ran mostly for fun and never paid attention to speed).  I focused more on endurance and can proudly say that I’ve run over 150 races ranging from ultra marathons, marathons, half marathons, and over shorter distances.

Why do I love to run?

• I know it sounds cliche, but I run because I can.  I am healthy with no medical condition that stops me from running.  Basically, I have no excuse.  I am the one with the excuses – too hot, too cold, too tired, or just lazy.  🙂  I’ve found that getting out there is hard but once I’m done with a run, I always feel GREAT.

• I like to see how much I can push myself.  I signed up for my first marathon in 2006.  With less than a year of running, a friend convinced me that I could run a marathon (glad I believed her).  I had NO idea what I was getting myself into and didn’t know the distance of a marathon.  I didn’t stop there, I’ve run a few more marathons and 2 ultra marathons.

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• The challenges.  Let’s mix them up.  Do a race one day and then another one the next day.  No big deal, right?  The most difficult one I have done is Goofy Challenge (half marathon on Saturday and marathon on Sunday).  Oh man, that was tough but definitely memorable.

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• I love buying running clothes.  Pretty much all of my tops and shorts are from Oiselle.  I always get excited when my order arrives and I wear it on my run.

• Let’s not forget the shoes!  Brooks shoes are the best!

• Support and encouragement from running friends.  I belong to several Facebook groups and my feed is always full of motivation and advice from friends.  Or sometimes I have a question about hydration, socks, gels, etc. and can count on someone to answer it for me.

What do you love most about running?

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

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Illinois Marathon Training Recap, Week 11

Illinois Marathon-2

Week #11, February 5-11

M OFF
T Ran 2.78
W Ran 6.51 miles
TH Did not run
F OFF
S Ran Did not run
S Ran 1.71 miles

Ugh!  What a week!  I won’t complain that it is too cold.  I will complain that all of this snow is ridiculous.

This was Monday evening.  Luckily it was a day off.

I had a little bit of trouble on Tuesday.  Still a lot of snow on the road.  I ran for a little over a mile and then just went to the local park where I ran a few loops to get in my 35 minutes of running.  

More snow Tuesday night/Wednesday so I knew I could not do my quality session (15 minutes warmup and cooldown, 4 x 4 minutes @ 10:45 with 400 m recovery, 3 x 3 minutes @ 10:02 with 400 m recovery) outside.  After school I went to the gym to get it done.

I love my gym

I skipped my run on Thursday because I wasn’t feeling good.  I have been coughing a lot lately and decided to rest and take it easy.  That evening I found out that school was closed on Friday because of – you guessed it – snow.

The top photo is at 7pm, middle at 11pm, and the bottom at 7:30 the next day.

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My sister and I went to the laundry and then did a few errands.  This is my view from the laundromat around 1pm.  

I had every intention of going on Saturday for a “quick and easy” 30 minutes.  How hard could it be right?  Nope.  I woke up with a headache and had it pretty much all day.  I even took some pain medicine but that didn’t help.  I had plans that evening with a friend to see a film “Tales of Mexico” downtown.  I almost cancelled but decided to go.  It was a great film and it was great being outside even if it was cold.

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Saturday night MORE SNOW!!!  I really dislike winter and snow.  Sunday morning I went to the gym to do my run but couldn’t do more than 2 miles.  I was frustrated with myself because I let the weather get to me.

I think this has been my WORST week of training.  Am I disappointed?  Absolutely.  But there’s nothing I can do about it.  Let’s hope this week is better.  Hopefully we are done with the snow too.  🙂

Total mileage for the week: 11.00
Total mileage for this training cycle: 194.39
Total mileage for the year: 115.60

How was YOUR week?  Any snow in your hometown?  Isn’t all of this snow simply ridiculous?

Link back to the host and let’s support other bloggers linking up as they train for a marathon,  half marathon, or any other event.

 

Detach Coconut+ Review

Disclaimer:  I received Detach Coconut Water 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!

I’m in week 11 of training for the Illinois Marathon.  This will be my 9th marathon and I am excited but at the same time also nervous.  Over the years while training for various races, I’ve tried various energy gels and hydration drinks.  Everyone is different so what works for one person may or may not work for others.

While running I always make sure to drink water.   I will admit that there are days in which all I’ve had to drink is coffee.  I know, not good.  I do love coffee though.  I was excited and looking forward to try Detach Coconut+.  I had never heard of it and am glad I tried it.

Detach-2Detach Coconut+ was founded with the need for an all-natural drink that helped the creators stay hydrated, focused and supported their training.  They also donate and support initiatives that share their core values, through a portion of the profits, such as Alzheimers Association, World Bicycle Relief, and Sonoma Pride.

Detach Coconut+ is a coconut water-based drink with only a subtle coconut flavor, improved electrolyte balance, low glycemic energy and a micro-protein blend (Beta-alanine, Citrulline and Theanine).  These are vital for the following reasons:

• Beta-alanine – commonly found in trace amounts of legumes and seaweed, has been shown to improve the muscles energy production at intensity and in some studies improving 800m times by ~10s for 1 time use and ~15s after cumulative use.

• Citrulline – commonly found in melons is a known vasodilator, improving Nitric Oxide levels in the body.  This opens up your blood vessels and improves blood flow.

• Theanine – commonly found in many teas especially white and green teas. Theanine is also known as a neurotropic as it impacts feelings of positivity and focus.

In addition each bottle only has 60 calories and NO “fake” sweeteners which leave a nasty aftertaste.

It is recommended to take 1 bottle 30 minutes before a workout and 1 bottle during exercise.  I drank one bottle while on a long run (90 minutes).  It was a cold day but had no trouble finishing my run.  I enjoyed the citrus flavor and couldn’t really taste the coconut.  Actually I could only taste the lemon flavor which I liked.

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I also used it to make a smoothie to rehydrate and have some protein and carbs.  I used Detach, Orgain Protein Powder, and a banana.  I realized later that I should have added hemp or chia seeds for additional protein.

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In conclusion, Detach Coconut+ tastes great and provides an organic and alternative way to stay hydrated.  In addition, it is gluten free and certified paleo.

Would you like to try Detach Coconut+?  You can order it from Amazon or from the Detach Coconut+ website.  In addition, you can sign up for their newsletter to get information on coupons, promotions and giveaway opportunities.

Random Thoughts Thursday 6

Random Thoughts Thursday

Hard to believe it is Thursday already.  The week definitely goes by fast!  I am not complaining.  Wednesday was a half day at school and while I’d rather have my kids for the rest of the afternoon instead of being in meetings, yesterday was actually pretty good.  The 2nd grade team met and we were able to cross things off our to do list.  That is always a wonderful feeling!  Now let me tell you about my random thoughts.

Do you watch “This is Us”?  I feel like I am missing out on it.  My Facebook feed is always full of posts from friends commenting about it.  Do you watch it?  Am I really missing out on it?

I will admit that I watched Sunday’s game just for the commercials.  This year I don’t think they were that good.  I think the one I did like was the one from Budweiser.  I am not a big fan of Justin Timberlake but did like his performance.

I cannot stop watching the SNL Revolutionary War skit.  Have you seen it?  Haha.  It is pretty funny!

I haven’t had much luck finding a house to buy.  Why is it so complicated?  I’ve been looking since November and while I’ve seen some nice ones, a few are out of my price range.  There were 2 houses that I was ready to buy and put in an offer.  Unfortunately they were not accepted.  I truly believe that things happen for a reason and I have to believe that those two were not meant to be for me.  My house is still out there and I just to continue to be patient.

I am over the snow.  Ugh!  I dislike winter and snow more than ever.  Is it selfish to say that with that much snow it will affect my runs?  I am enjoying my runs outside but now have to be even more conscious and careful because I don’t want to fall.  Yesterday I went to the treadmill and it wasn’t so bad but for sure I’d rather be outside.  We are expecting more snow today and Friday.  

• And with the snow comes a snow day.  I found out a few hours ago that there is no school on Friday.  I just looked outside and it is already coming down.  No bueno.  I was really hoping for it to be a mild winter (I remember last year in February we had temperature in the 80s) this year.  With this day off now I can finally finish grading my math tests from last week.  🙂

What are some of your random thoughts today?

Illinois Marathon Training Recap, Week 10

Illinois Marathon-2

Week #10, January 29-February 4

M Ran 3.89 miles
T OFF
W Ran 3.02 miles
TH Ran 5.32 miles
F OFF
S Ran 10.00 miles
S Ran 2.80 miles

This week’s marathon training began on Monday with 3.89 miles.  It was windy and no matter which way I went, the wind was in my face.  I was very cold after my run.

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Wednesday was the end of the month and I ended January with 86.50 miles.  Dang!  My goal is to run 1,200 miles this year and was hoping to do 100 each month.  I missed it by 14.50 miles.  

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February began with a bang!  I was unsure on whether to run in the morning or after work.  I did get up to run and am glad I did.  It was about 10 degrees colder after work.  My workout was to run 1.5 mile warmup, 8×2 intervals at 10:02 pace with 1 minute recovery, then 1.5 cooldown.  Fun but tiring.  And I nailed each interval!  It was also so cool to be out there seeing the moon.

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I knew snow was is the forecast for Sunday so I asked my coach to switch my long run from Sunday to Saturday.  I am so glad I did.  I did wait till 1pm for it to get warmer.  It was 39 degrees by the time I finished my run.  It was cloudy, dreary, and windy.  Somehow I found the energy and motivation to push through the wind.  I was rewarded with tailwind the last 4 miles and those were my fastest miles.

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It started to snow Saturday night and by Sunday morning there was about 2-3 inches on the ground.  With my tired legs from yesterday and the snow, it was tough.  I was happy it was 35 minutes of easy running.  We are supposed to get more snow this week and I am not looking forward to it all.

Total mileage for the week: 25.03
Total mileage for this training cycle: 183.39
Total mileage for the year: 104.60

How was YOUR week?  Any snow in your hometown?  Did you watch the Super Bowl?

Link back to the host and let’s support other bloggers linking up as they train for a marathon,  half marathon, or any other event.