Friday, June 29, 2012

A Little Help Please

There are times I feel calm and ready for the marathon.  Then there are days like today when everytime I think about it I get butterflies in my stomach and I wonder what have I done! The closer it gets the more I think I will be in a constant state of wide eyed terrer.
It seemed so far away and such a safe thing to be doing back in March when I signed up. Now it is coming, and fast. 
My first marathon! 
I was going to wait until next week to do this post, but I have decided I can't wait!  The time is now.  I need to digest it all.  Write it down.  Think about it.  Sleep on it.  Get it in my head before all my head can do is panic!  This is where you come in, this is where I want your help.

I want your best tips! 

I know I have read a million tips on running a marathon. 

All I can think of is how excited and terrified I was for my first half marathon three years ago and halfway through I was swearing off the distance and cussing myself for getting talked into running 13.1 miles. I have of course ran three more since then and have another one, (maybe two) planned this year.  It is my favorite distance to race now.

This is twice the distance and I already have at least one more planned.  (maybe two). 

I don't want to be swearing off the race distance until at least mile 20. 

What do you wish you had known for your first marathon?
What did you do right for your first marathon?
What have you learned about marathon running?
The week before marathon tips.
The day or two afterwards tips.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  There were already four wildfires burning in the western part of the state when two got started Tuesday in the eastern part of the state.  One of the burned over 100,000 acres in 24 hours and the other burned almost 20,000 and about 60 houses.  \

I can't believe the sale of fireworks is even allowed when it is this dry.  Anyone who starts a fire with one should be burned at the stake.  None of the above fires were caused by fireworks, but it is almost the fourth of July and all kinds of idiots think they need to set of their own fireworks. 

I liked my Dad's idea when we were growing up of doing it over New Years instead. 

Don't get me wrong I don't hate fireworks, but I do hate fires.

2. I have a new fear about the marathon.  I am now worried about more fires starting and it having to be canceled due to either fire or smoky conditions. 

I would be so bummed!  10 days to go! No fireworks!

3.  My daughter insists on wearing long sleeves and jeans.  Even when it is 100 degrees outside.  She thinks short sleeves are silly.  Whatever, she will either figure it out or she won't!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Who wouldn't want orange socks?

1. I have become a HUGE fan of compression socks during training for my first marathon.  I love how good they feel during and after the long runs.  I even sleep in them sometimes although sometimes halfway through the night I take them off.  Most of the compression socks I have, all but one, are from PRO Compression.

I love them.  A coworker of mine whose husband went to a seminar last night on compression socks had all kinds of good things to say about them, including they can help improve your marathon time.  I'm hooked!
Marathon Orange
 Their sock of the month for June came out and I am in LOVE with the new color...ORANGE.

Normally their socks are $50, but you can order these for 40% off ($30) with the coupon code SOM610 when you check out, with free shipping.  (and who doesn't love scoring free shipping?)
The code is good until July 10 or till they are out of orange socks.

2. I saw a Rock and Roll Marathon semi headed down the interstate on Monday, probably coming from Seattle this weekend.  Headed to wherever the next stop is maybe.  That got me all excited since I am planning on a Rock and Roll Marathon/Half Marathon or two this fall.  As a part of Team Refuel I get free race bibs on a first come first serve basis.  I have two secured.

3. Chaffing, all the crazy humidity and sweating I did yesterday on my hot 10 mile long run caused my thighs to chafe.  OUCH!  The last two miles seemed really long and I kept trying to pull the shorts down to cover it but it was just beyond where the shorts wanted to be.  The sweaty shors kept making the chaffed area burn anyway.  I have never had this problem.  Probably because it is so rarely humid where I live in Montana.

I took a picture of it but could not bring myself to post it because it looks so gross, like I have a nasty rash or something.

Note to self:  Use Body Glide for the marathon whether or not I think I will need it. Chaffing burns!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Motivation Monday: Getting Healthy for Marathon

I started feeling a little cruddy last Thursday.  Sort of just an inkling and I hoped I was wrong.  Friday, I started feeling that tightness in my chest and by Saturday I was pretty sure I was going to be having a date with the Kleenex box soon.  Sure enough Saturday night I was so congested I woke up in the middle of the night laboring to breath.  Not in a I have to go to the hospital kind of way but  more work than normal and enought that it woke me up.

I got up and attempted my 8 mile run Sunday morning anyway. During the first mile I stopped several times just to try and get in enough oxygen and finally hacked up a big mucus plug.  I breathed a lot easier after that and slogged through 4 more miles, but I decided 8 would be crazy.

I went to a brunch at my aunts house and a cup of tea at my parent's house finally was back home around 10:30 and crashed for about 4 hours.  I woke up and wallowed around on the couch for awhile feeling sorry for myself and then went back to bed around 8:30.

I feel alot better this morning and thankfully this is not a workday. 

Thankfully I still have 13 days to get to feeling back to my normal self before I am toeing the line of my first ever marathon. Since I am in taper mode I am not too concerned about lost miles at this point.  My long run today was planned for 10 miles. I went out and with the help of some Advil Congestion relief I got it done and felt pretty good doing it.  Although I was ready to cut it short if I felt like I needed to.

Stupid, maybe.  I have to admit it felt better than sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself.  I was a hot sweaty mess once I got done. I didn't get going until after 8:30 and it was starting to get warm out.  It is supposed to get up to 100 today. 

There was some intermittant cloud cover, but I am trying to embrace the heat.  Since the marathon in Missoula could be warm I am thinking it would be better to get acclimated than to try and avoid it.  Although I would rather avoid it.

I am thinking a nap my be in order again today :)

Yesterday my son walked up to me and said "hey Mom I was wondering what this was" and held up a tick for my inspection.

I told him it was a tick and the best thing to do was to flush it down the toilet.  "Huh" he said "This is the second one I have found on me today"  I asked what he had done with the first one and he told me he had "gave it a flick".  He was apparently sitting in the living room and felt it crawling on his head.

Instead of freaking myself out I choose to believe the one he brought me was the same one he had found earlier.  I did give him and my daughter the once over just to double check.  I have to admit I was too sick yesterday to really care much about it though.

I don't want to be one of those moms that freak out about those things anyway, it just teaches your kids to be freaker outers.  Unless it is a spider and then it is okay to freak out.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Some days I feel like I have all these great ideas for blog posts and then I sit down to write one and I can't think of anything to write.  Boo.

It is hot and dry here in Montana as is most of the west apparently as Colorado and Utah have some bad sounding wildfires going on, as well as Arizona, Wyoming, North Carolina, and New Mexico.  I learned a couple years ago about InciWeb which is a great tool for tracking wildfires. It shows perimeter maps, the latest news releases, contact info among other things. 

I guess I mention it now since my husband just went to check out a fire call.  He is on our local volunteer fire department. Which pretty much if you live here you are volunteered. 

I am sitting here watching the smoke on the horizon and hate the helpless feeling of not knowing what is going on, but I hate to bother him on the phone very much either if he is on the fire line.  It looks like a small fire so hopefully he will be home soon.

I got up early this morning and did a 6.5 mile run. I wanted to do seven but I was running a little late to get my Bountiful Basket.  I had to pick it up at 7 am.   Big score as there were cherries in it!

I feel like I have a chest cold coming on. 

Really. This is what I feel like right now.  (Side note.  If I look really weird in this photo it is because I used PicMonkey and tried out the erase wrinkles, airbrushing, add mascara, blush, teeth whiten and eye brighten special effects, it hardly even looks like me anymore! Strangely it makes me head look like it was cut and pasted on also.)

14 days before my first marathon and I have felt for the last two days that I have something trying to settle into my chest and make itself at home.  I am NOT happy about this development and am throwing everything I have at it.  This is not the time to be getting a cold. 

Not that I have ever had much say in when I get a cold.  I got a horrible one when I was 38 weeks pregnant with my daughter.  My whole family was sick and I coughed so much Avery decided she better get out and she was born ten days early. 

As a side note, I came across this picture and had to share. 

not my tongue!  Source
Black hairy tongue! 

Are you totally grossed out now?  I am.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  It's getting hot out there. It is supposed to get up to 100 degrees on Monday.  Bleh.  I bet about a week from now I will start obsessively tracking Missoula's weather for the marathon.  Not that it will make a difference, but at least I can mentally prepare.  I have been reading on running in the heat and working to get heat acclimated. 

I could have run at 5 this morning and avoided the heat, but I elected to wait until 7:30 to run and then spent an hour pulling weeds out of my weedpatch garden.  It was not hot by any means but it was warmer than it has been.

1.1  Race picture from Saturday

2. Yesterday I go to assist in the baby making process.  The surgery center where I work started doing intro-fertilization last year.  I have mostly avoided it because I am an orthopedic surgery kind of nurse.  Bones, joints, things like that.  Yesterday it was finally my turn to help with oocyte retrievals.  Everything they do is on a screen so you can see what is going on.  I saw a lot of potential babies yesterday (eggs)  get harvested. 

 I am not going to go into the ethics of it all, but it was really neat to see.  Good luck to all the hopeful mommies.  I was blessed with getting to babies very easily.

  3.  I am starting to think about the marathon A LOT.  Things like
  • what kind of time goals do I want to have
  • how much will I hate taper
  • should I bring my own water since I am so used to running with some
  • how many gels/chomps/chews etc am I going to need, should I bring extra
  • will I be able to sleep the night before
  • is it going to be too hot
  • what should I listen to? Podcasts, nothing, music, audio book, or a big combination.
  • Which socks/skirt/shoes should I wear.  The shirt and bra are easy (Team Beef/Handful)
and on and on.

I am trying to not worry about the things I will have no control over and instead take care of the things I can.

I keep wanting to get packed, but maybe it is still a bit early for that.  I just don't want to forget anything critical!

I think I should worry less and start making a list and checking it twice!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Random Tuesday Tidbits

 My Great Aunt Ginny gave me some flower bulbs about four years ago and I planted them around the house.  Shortly after that my husband decided to put weed matting and gravel down all around the house.  I wrote the bulbs off and goners.

This spring two tulip plants came up and one of them bloomed and then three Lily plants came up and they just bloomed this week.  Here are the yellow.

and the orange.
There is one more left to bloom and I think it will be orange.  I hope to find out soon! Now I want to plant more.  They are so pretty and make me happy.

 This little tree is an apple tree my cousin gave me when they moved to Wyoming.  My husband made fun of me for planting it because he was sure it was dead when I planted it.  Looks like it is making a pretty amazing comeback!
Maybe in another couple of years I can pick apples off of it.  If the deer leave it alone long enough.

  • Saw a big green snake on my run yesterday.  It was a good thing there were no vehicles coming because I did a pretty neat side jump to avoid stepping on it.
  • A semi forgot he was passing me on the interstate last week and MERGED while I was right beside it.  Luckily there was a big shoulder for me to move over onto.
  • My husband cut our hay Saturday while I was busy racing.  It looks like a sad hay crop compared to last years bumper crop.  
  • Costco had the best peaches this week.  I can't seem to eat enough of them.  YUM
What is one random thing in your life right now

Monday, June 18, 2012

Heart and Sole 10k Race Recap

This is the second time I have done this 10k, it was my first 10k last year and it left me feeling a little humbled.  I went into it this year with a little more strategy..I think...

My plan was to not do the first mile too fast and die halfway through.  It is really hard since the course has a downhill start and everyone takes off just as fast as they can.  I felt like everyone was flying by me, and worried I was going too slow. 

Mile 1 was 6:50.  Last year it was 6:38, so definitely improvement there, as far as not going out too fast. It was still a little faster than I wanted.  My goal pace for the race was 7:10.

Mile 2 is harder than the first mile since it introduces some pretty good hills.  Okay really just one good hill and a couple smaller ones.  Time 7:24 and was wondering at this point if I was going to be hating the race later since I was feeling tired. 

Mile 3 was pretty flat and I passed quite a few people that had started out too fast, but still was not really feeling the race.  Guessing all this marathon training has left me with tired legs..(ready for taper)! Time 7:20  Still behind goal pace :(

Mile 4 started another uphill portion and here is where I started feeling better, all the hills I run on were paying off as I passed another couple of people..including the girl who beat me by two seconds in a 5 mile race last month.  HA! Time 7:17

Mile 5 I felt pretty good here, the pace felt good and I continued to pick off another couple of people.  As soon as I passed someone I moved my eyes to the next person and reeled them in. It feels so much better to pass than be passed :)  7:07

Mile 6  We run up 4 levels of a parking garage.  Okay it might only be 3 but at this point in the race it feels like 10.  I was feeling good though and passed chicked three guys in the garage.  Then we come out run through a tunnel and hallelujah it is downhill the rest of the way. Time 7:18.  I really thought this mile would be faster, but I guess all that uphill in the garage killed me more than I thought.

The last .24 was at 6.08 pace and I got passed by two 

Official time and garmin time 44:43 which average to a 7:09 pace for 6.24 miles measured on the Garmin or a 7:11 for 6.2 race distance miles.

I was thrilled to see a girl who always blows my socks off is now one age group up and I won't have her in my age group again until my birthday in November.  :) 

I was first in my age group and 9th female overall.  Last year I was 2nd in my age group and 9th female overall.  Funny. and last year I was about 37 secomds slower.  It also felt better this year.

They had popscicles, bagels, oranges, bananas, lots of water and even beer at the finish line.  There was also a health fair going on and lots with peanut butter sandwiches from Wheat Montana, Pop Chips, and yes even hot off the grill bites of steak.

I hung around after the race and helped at the Montana Beef Council booth passing out spice rubs, recipes and samples of grilled flank steak. 

They had an awards ceremony only for the top finishers in the 5k and 10k, age group awards are supposed to be mailed out this week. 

Overall a pretty great race.  Well organized, very well supported lots of volunteers and they had about 3,000 enter this year, which is a record for the race.  I give it a two thumbs up.

I also give a two thumbs up to my last LONG run before my first marathon :)  22 miles this morning in 3:18.  Feels so good to have it done.  I waited until almost 7 this morning to get running so that I could run in about the same weather I will be running in  (hopefully) in Missoula.  High fifties and sixties.

It didn't feel too bad.  I did come home and down two large glasses of ice water.  Nuun is great and all but I was craving water!

How was your weekend?  Did you race?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Vega Energizing Smoothie Review

I was given the opportunity recently to try out Vega Energizing Smoothies.  They come in 5 flavors and contain

10g of Protein, 5g fiber, 1g omega 3 AND 2 servings of veggies per serving.
They are alkaline-forming, free from dairy, gluten and soy, and contains no added sugar, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.

That all sounds pretty good to me! All you have to do is add water.

Choc-a-lot..favorite by far.  I should have saved this one for last instead of drinking it first.
I mixed this one with coconut water and WOWZA it was amazing good.  Hands down the best Vega smoothie I have ever had.  Think Almond Joy bar in a smoothie.

This flavor had the most calories at 105, mixed with 1 cup coconut water adds about another 45 calories.  A really yummy treat for only 150 calories.

Vanilla-Almondilla, this was my second favorite flavor.  Pretty yummy, although I mixed with milk and ice cubes which if you are really trying to be vegan it defeats the purpose I know.  As I am a member of Team Beef, I am not worried about it obviously.

Tropical Tango, not my favorite but I knew it wouldn't be.  I am not a fan of tropical flavored things in general.  I wish I would have thought to mix it with orange juice, but I didn't.  I mixed with just water and meh.  I never finished that one..the kids wouldn't drink it either.

Bodacious Berry, I added frozen strawberries and blueberries to...YUM  My kids approved of this one and I had to fight them off.

Oh Natural, I tried the plain last.  I have to be honest I was a little afraid I would really hate it and found it a lot sweeter than I expected. I was pleasantly surprised.  I think it would make a great smoothie base. Color is a little unappetizing.  My kids wouldn't even try this one.

There is a warning on the label that consumption of flax seeds may cause temporary gas and bloating.  I didn't notice anything crazy with bloating.

Things I love:

  • Mixes up easily
  • 2 servings of veggies in each serving
  • 28% of daily fiber
  • 22% of daily protein
Would I recommend them?

The chocolate and almond vanilla flavors a heart beat!

Have you tried Vega Energizing Smoothies?  If so what did you think?

They also are running a new sweepstakes right now
that you can easily enter.

Whether it’s running on a favorite trail, paddle boarding at sunrise, or getting down dog, we all have activities that invigorate and energize us.
Simply upload your photo entry at and encourage others to vote for your photo – the more votes you get, the more likely you are to win.
There are over 100 prizes worth $30,000 including a Yoga and Surf Retreat to Xinalani Retreat in Puerto, Vallarta and Gaiam Yoga Products.
Prizes are awarded just for voting as well! Contest runs June 1 through August 31, 2012. #GetEnergized

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. I had several comments on Tuesday's post from people who liked running in Camelbacks which made me want to try it out.

I remembered awhile back (maybe last summer)  that my Osprey hiking day pack had a Camelback water thingy in it that is removable from the pack itself.  So I finally went and dug it out of the basement to try it out. It is nice and small and holds 70oz of fluid..awesome.  Too big if it were a water bottle in my hand or belt but not bad for a back pack.

Once I got all straps adjusted just right and got used to the sound of sloshing water I didn't mind it.  I think for long runs it just may be the key.  PLUS I can easily put my gels, chapstick, toilet paper, cell phone and anything else I might need in it for a 20 mile run.

This way I won't have to worry so much about being able to drop off water or loop back by my house to refill my water bottle.

I was a little worried that maybe I should have put some Body Glide on my neck and shoulders, but I had no problems, although I will try to remember when I do a run longer than 8 miles with it.  I don't think I will use it for runs shorter than 12? miles, but this was just a test run.

Totally cheesy are welcome.
 Since 1 was kind of long the next two will be short..

2.  Gum.  I sat in it TWICE yesterday.  The kids are no longer allowed to eat gum.  I spent half an hour getting gum off of the skirt in the previous picture.  Irritating, maddening and of course no body claimed the gum.

3. The muscles in my left hip area all cramped up yesterday while I was running.  Boo.
I had to stop and walk for awhile to get it worked out and then ran the rest of the way home at an easy pace and cut my run short.  I was going to run 10 yesterday and instead ran 8.

Amazing how fast you can go from having perfect workouts to crappy ones.  I had awesome ones all weekend and Monday and BAM.

I was impressed I cut the run short and listened to my body.  I think it wants to taper too.

1 more week till taper.

1 more long run

23 close

so exciting and so scary!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Because I love being a part of Team Beef Montana

If you read my blog very much you know that I am a part of Team Beef Montana.  They sponsor some of my race fees for the year and are also sponsoring my Hood to Coast Relay Team.  In return I get to be an ambassador to promote the beef industry positively.  This is easy since I grew up on a family cattle ranch in Montana and still live near it.

I have a deep love for rural America and the hard working farmers and ranchers that work year round and during busy times of the year may hardly get any sleep at all to make sure the crops get in, the hay out up or the new calves are born safely.   They are extremely dependent on the fickleness of mother nature, droughts, floods, grasshoppers, fires, etc, but year after year they toil on so we can all continue to eat and enjoy and bounty of the harvest.

They often get a bad rap about being bad environmentalists and factory farming etc.  Sure there are bad eggs in everything in life, but nobody cares more about the land than the people have to work on it. Why wouldn't you if your living depended on it

Here are some fun facts about cattlemen:

      Approximately 85 percent of U.S. grazing lands are unsuitable for producing crops. Grazing animals on this land more than doubles the area that can be used to produce food. Cattle serve a valuable role in the ecosystem by converting the forages humans cannot consume into a nutrient-dense food.

     A combination of livestock and wildlife management on grazing lands has resulted in better species
survival than when these activities are practiced separately.

 In the Eastern and Central United States, wildlife is almost entirely dependent on ranch, farm
and other private lands; so, ranchers play an important role in the survival of native species.

   A California-based study (Conservation Biology, Summer 2005) shows cattle grazing plays an
important role in maintaining the wetland habitat necessary for some endangered species.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2 Tidbits for Tuesday

1. I recently purchased this water bottle and was regretting the purchase as it was really hard to drink out of and I kept stopping and taking the lid off every time I wanted a good drink.  I could swear I was following the directions that came with it and everything.  It said to bite and pull to get a drink.  I was! I was biting and pulling and squeezing and staying thirsty and frustrated.
Apparently not far enough, I finally went to their website to complain and saw this picture.

Problem solved.  I now like this water bottle a lot better, but still wish it had a normal cap on it like the smaller bottles I have from them that I use for my hydration belt.   I hate running with something in my hands, but I have been trying to avoid using my hip belt since it seems to irritate my hip and I hate wearing it up higher.

2. I am having trouble commiting to a race this weekend.  Originally I didn't plan on doing it as I thought it was two weeks before the marathon, but it is three and I feel pretty safe with that.  Now I just can't decide if I should do the 5k or the 10k.

 I am leaning towards the 10k starts at 9am and the 5k starts at 8:30.  I think this is a little backwards and they should start the 10k at 8 so we can get done before it starts to get hot.  So I have been delaying registering until closer to race day so I can decide which race I will do based on the weather forecast.

I have until Friday to decide.  I was leaning toward 5k, but now looking at this,

 I am leaning back towards the 10k.  Plus if I do the 10k I won't feel like I have to do more miles later or earlier in the day, just a warm up and cool down mile or two.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Motivation Monday: New Music

The two most recent additions to my iPod playlists.

Back in Time by Pitbull from the Men in Black III soundtrack.  I think this is a great motivating and get moving song.  If I elect to do the 10k this weekend it will be one of the songs I will be using to keep me moving.

and this one by Eric Church, Springsteen is just a great cruising long run song.  One of my favorite songs right now.

I am thinking they will both be on my marathon playlist in 26 days and 16 hours.

I did my long run today and decided to do 16 but ended up only doing 14.2 since I had told my grandma I would be there at 9 to get the kids.  I guess I should have got my butt out the door just a little earlier.  I am not going to worry about the other 1.8 miles too much.

Next week will be my last long run...YAY!

Yesterday I did 8x 800s  on a rather hilly terrain

I went by effort rather than time.  You can tell where the hills were biggest!  I felt great though and was surprised at how good I felt today after yesterday.

Tomorrow will be a rest day.

What have you added to your running playlist recently?
What is your favorite marathon running song?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What was I thinking?

I made a new header for my blog using PicMonkey, not really sure why it won't go all the way across the screen not matter what I do or what kinds of photos I use, probably has something to do with the template design?  I don't know.  I am not all that tech savvy and am tired of fussing with it.

Ugh.  I am a liar.  I know I wanted to believe it.  I wrote earlier that I only had one long run to go and then taper....I have two.  2 more.  I don't want to.  I know it is all mental, but here I have been going along believing all week that all I have left is one more long run.  It seemed so easy to get it done and start the taper. 

Taper!  That word is starting to seem a little magical.  Like it is never going to get here.  Like a mirage on the horizon playing with my head. 

 I am thinking of just doing 16 miles this week and then 22 next week for my last two long runs.  I am not really following a set plan.  I am loosely following a SmartCoach plan from Runners World on my iPad, but modifying it to fit around my life, work, kids, etc. 

I think I got a week off somewhere because I did 23 miles last week and was supposed to do 16...oops, my bad. 

I got up and ran early this morning in the rain.  It felt so good and the air smelled so sweet.  I was going to do a tempo run, but could see my Garmin was on the "hanging by a thread" end of the battery life so I decided to go for progressive till it died and then just push the pace after that.

~I knew I should have plugged it in last night!~

It died 3.44 miles in to the run.  I ran a little farther and then turned around for a total of about 7 miles.  I was nice to not be watching the Garmin the whole time  and just enjoy the rain and the sweet air.

I had to drive an HOUR just to get my Bountiful Basket today because I was in such a hurry to order on Monday I clicked the wrong site and didn't notice until I received my confirmation receipt in my email.

~I should have paid more attention!~

Really it was a pretty good day
  • BBQ at a friends house
  • early morning run
  • awesome 18 minute HIIT workout
  • quiet time now while the kids are with their Dad
  • got a great Bountiful Basket and a nice quiet drive with a good book on tape
I stole my own Instagram photo just so this post wouldn't be pictureless.  Lazy I know, but check out the sweat shining on my forehead here after my 18 minute HIIT workout. 

What do you think of my long run plan?  Smart?  Not so smart?  Should I just buck up, quit whining,  and do a 20 this week?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Procompression Socks Review and a 2 for the price of 1 coupon code

With all the long runs I have been putting in lately training for my first marathon and all these crazy new PDR (17, 18, 19, and 21, 22, 23 miles) I have been taking a closer look at compression socks/sleeves.

Eric at Procompression was awesome enough to send me a pair of their compression socks for runners. I was boring a chose black.  In my defense, they will match most of my running skirts this way :)

First impression:  When I pulled them out of the packaging I was impressed.  They are well constructed and made of really nice material and aren't too thick.  They have held up really well to multiple washings.

 Right after I got these in the mail I noticed that they were a Schwaggle deal also and I ordered the baby blue and yellow.   I have since also purchased two white pairs and  I am still thinking pretty hard about getting the lime green and purple.

Here is what they say about them:
Experience maximum benefit with the Marathon full-length, graduated compression sock. Compression technology helps improve blood flow, resulting in better, more consistent performance with less fatigue and faster, more efficient recovery. In addition to improving vascular performance, Marathon compression socks provide support to critical muscles and tendons, helping reduce inflammation and soreness.

Put it all together for the perfect sock for endurance, recovery and travel.

mmHg 22-26
  • Full-length, graduated compression design for maximum blood flow
  • Non-slip design, even after hours on your feet
  • Lightweight construction for incredible feel
  • Blended materials provide maximum comfort and support
  • Moisture control keeps you dry during your biggest efforts
  • Made in USA
I love that they are made in the good ol US of A.

I do my long runs in them and then leave them on for recovery. I feel no discomfort or annoyance from them the entire time.  I never have to adjust them or pull them up more, they stay in place really well.  They also aren't so tight that they annoy me. They feel really good on.

I ran 7 miles the day after my 21 mile run and while I was a little slower than usual my calves were not sore or tight at all.

Even two out of three of the ladies on their way to the Olympics wears compression socks while running a marathon.  

I have also worn them all day at work while on my feet all day and I thought they felt really great then too. What I think feels best in them is just kicking back with my ipad and relaxing :)

I have done every long run in these since the middle of March and plan to run my first marathon in them.  I wear them for races and recovery. 

To get your own ProCompression socks with a great 2 for the price of 1 offer off use the coupon code  "FD21"  The code will expire June 10th so hurry!

I was given 1 pair of these socks free ($50 value) to review, the other four pairs I purchased because I love them so much.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day

We all have our reasons for running and if you are like me, you can think of hundreds of reasons why you run, but it can all be summed up with the all encompassing

I love running.

Injuries can happen and ruin weeks of hard training or it can all come together for a magnificent PR.
and of course everything in between.  People who don't run might not understand, but that's okay.  I dont get other sports like golf and baseball. 

Running is more than just one foot in front of the other,
more than the sense of pride in a new personal best or new personal distance record,
more than the stress it relieves

It can also be as a social activity or some much needed alone time.
It is time to refresh the soul and push to new limits.
It makes me a better mommy and a happier wife.

It makes me feel so happy to be out running with the sun kissing my skin early in the morning, watching the sun come up.

I'm competitive. I love running fast and racing.  I want to see how much faster I can go and how many people I can pass.  I love running fast.

Here are some wild flowers I saw on a run I did last week that left me recharged.

Yes, I think running is even about taking time to enjoy the scenery too.
Check out these wild roses I found.

From the National Running Day web site:

"National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. Wherever we are and whomever we’re with, we run — fast or slow, alone or with others, all over town or just around the block. It is a coast-to-coast celebration of a sport and activity that’s simple, inexpensive and fun. It’s the perfect way for longtime runners to reaffirm their love of running and for beginners to kick off a lifetime and life-changing commitment."

So, Running, in case you didn't already know, here is a reaffirmation...

I love you, I really do.
Let's have another exciting and EPIC year together!

What sport do you not "get"?

For me golf.  Never even been a little interested and just about die of boredom if forced to watch it.

Did you reaffirm your love of running?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Motivation Monday: Beating the Heat.

My kids spent the night at my grandmother's house last night so I had the luxury of getting up at 4:30 this morning and heading out on my run at 5 am.  It is supposed to get up to 90 degrees today so I was really motivated to get my butt out the door and get it done.

Although I do have to confess it would have felt pretty good to sleep in also since I felt like I hardly slept a wink last night.  However I am a heat wimp, so I bounded out of bed before the alarm even went off!

The sun came out about 12 minutes into my run.  I love getting out before the sun is up.  The moon was also big and full in the sky this morning, which partly explained why I slept to crappy last night.  I never seem to sleep good during a full moon. 
It was about 60 degrees when I got done running and despite the slight breeze was getting pretty warm.  (I know there are people out there running in hotter weather, but it is all relative)  I feel like a salt lick.

After today's long run I only have ONE MORE long run and I will be in Taper Land! How far did I go today?

It mostly went pretty well except for the emergency pit stop at mile 12, luckily I was running back by the house by then.  My guts had been a little cranky since about mile 6.  I was so happy to see my house.  I don't think I would have made it much farther.  The situation was dire!

I fueled at miles 3, 8, 13.5, and 19.  I drank a lot of water.  Maybe a little too much at the end as my belly was feeling sloshy towards the end.
I got home and had to jump into the car to go get the kids from my grandma.  I needed to be home by 10 so I could order my Bountiful Basket.  My grandma's sister was there visiting so I get got busy chatting and next thing I knew I had 15 minutes to make the 15 drive home and I hadn't even gathered up the kids stuff yet.
We got home at 10:03 and by the time I got logged in there was only one local site left.  I hurried and entered my info and success!  I got my basket and a flat of strawberries!  Woohoo.  Then I took a closer look at the receipt and saw that I had selected the WRONG site.  Now instead of driving a half hour to get my basket I have to drive an HOUR. 

Bummer.  Big bummer.  That will make me late for a BBQ I am supposed to be at.  Can you say huge FAIL!

I managed to chafe my armpits a couple weeks ago, so I made a sound investment on some Body Glide and would have to say it was well worth it.   What a fabulous product.  Sweat really burns on chafed skin.

What is motivating you today?
I would have to say beating the heat and knowing I only have one more long run before my first marathon. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012


 I had a pretty crappy run on Wednesday, so I was a little cautious but optimistic about my run on Friday.  I decided to do my favorite run.  It starts at my Grandma's house which my kids love, since they love to hang with my Grandma.

I started pretty slow and easy and took a lot of pictures of the wildflowers in bloom and this old granary.  It has always kind of freaked me out a little although it has never been in use in my lifetime.
 The grain trucks would have to BACK up that long wooden ramp.  I started driving that kind of truck when I was 13, except all I ever hauled was big round bales. The thought of backing up that ramp gives me the shivers.  Do you see how far it is down if you get a wheel off the edge? 

There were so many wild flowers blooming, including this pretty little daisy.

I kept the first 6 miles pretty slow which was easy since most of the way was slightly uphill.  Here is a collage of pictures I took on the way out.
I decided to push it on the way back and see how the legs were feeling.  I kept the pace 10-20 seconds under goal marathon pace for the way back and felt GREAT! It felt like my reset button

I felt so redeemed after the crappy long run this week.  Hip is feeling good, legs feel good and next time I will wear sunscreen.  I might have got a bit of a sunburn on my arms and shoulders.  At least I had sunscreen on my face!

Then I took the kids to the park in town for a playdate.  Overall a great day.

This morning I got up and started running before the sun came up and was suprised by how much get up and go my legs had.  My warm up miles lately have been 9:20ish pace.  This morning it was 8:30ish so I threw in some intervals.

400s x 6 at 6:10 pace
800s x 2 at 6:40 pace
400s x 2 at 6:25 pace

and a cooldown.  Felt great, loved watching the sun come up and felt AWESOME.  Even though I wanted to keep running I called it a day a 7 miles.  So hopefully my long run this week will go a lot smoother than the last.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!