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Chicago Marathon Prep

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"Feet don't fail me now, take me to the finish line..."
Wise words from Lana Del Ray and I sit here obsessing about Chicago Marathon and full of taper energy. It's almost like the pregnant mom nesting (which I can't say I ever experienced!). Good thing I run marathons more than I'm pregnant, maybe my house will actually get organized.

As a marathon veteran I will be the first to say that the nerves, excitement, mixed emotions and craziness of taper don't get any better with experience. So what can one do to relax (a little) pre race. Here are a few suggestions...
Focus your energy on something else: read, bake (but don't carb load too much), have a family outing.Focus on healthy eating, increasing healthy carbs and hydration.Look back over your training and look at the highlights and runs that will help push you through the tough spots.Visualize the race and the finish you want.Plan for race day: nutrition, clothes, post race fun, etc.Look at logistics o…

1 month

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Well let's see if I can do this again...my blog ate my entire post!! I'm back for a little update and looking ahead. 1 month until my 33rd marathon. I am returning to the site of my 3rd marathon and first sub 4 (I managed a 75 minute PR!). I am not expecting anything as spectacular as that but hoping for a great race and maybe even a small PR. 
Training has been going well (almost hate to say it aloud!). I have been focusing on slowing down my easy and long runs allowing me to focus on harder speed and hill workouts. I've even raced a couple shorter races in this cycle and managed a couple PRs there! I haven't been forced to take time off (knock on wood!) and am up to 5-6 days of running a week.
I went into this training with a better strength base but have decreased that intensity over the past month. Rest days are being taken advantage of, no hard cross training but using these as yoga or pilates days and getting in a long walk with the dogs or an easy bike.

Nutriti…

Strive 5K

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Sorry, playing catch up on the blog this week. Some big things ahead as I turn 39 tomorrow, yikes! Struggling with this one and not motivated to write other than the many posts that happened in my head...Back to the point of why I'm here.

A couple weeks ago I signed up for a 5K, yikes! You all know how much I hate those. Nichole encouraged me to shake things up a bit and try racing something short. After the other race in July I figured why not. O also wanted to run so with plenty of warning she knew not to try to run with me!

I headed out for a 2 mile warm up then met up with her to start, she wanted to line up with me, I had her on the outer edge not to block faster runners but seeing others who had lined up in front I knew we'd be fine. My goals were to 1) don't go out too fast 2) keep pace around 7:00 3) negative split 4) win!
So what did I accomplish...A sub 7:00 pace, not entirely a negative split as I went out too fast! but I did finish 2nd behind one guy and 1st wo…

Friday Five: Marathon Training Thoughts

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Just about 10 weeks out from Chicago Marathon that is still undecided whether it will be an A race or not and filled with the typical training ups and downs. I have handed over control of my training to Nichole and am focusing my energy or writing plans for others while she controls mine! Even trying something new with some 5K races, eek!

1- Struggle: Last Saturday was a struggle. Friday morning the long run fell apart. Had planned to run that day but overslept (so did my training buddy!). Got in my hills that day then sat at the beach, didn't eat great and had a few glasses of wine plus stayed up later than I should. Saturday I struggled from the first few miles but I did it. I am often asked if after all these years I have bad runs and yes I do! I'm not afraid so say I struggled, thought about quitting and had many doubts!

2- Nutrition As I am increasing mileage it s time to focus on better nutrition. My post marathon indulging lasted longer than it should have, oops! Too many…

Weekly Menu Planning with BFree

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We are in a week of minimal activities as dance intensives are auditions are over for now and due to the results O has chosen to give up team gymnastics due to scheduling conflicts so no gymnastics either this week. Perfect time to get focused on meal planning and better eating again. O also informed us a week ago that she was becoming a vegetarian for a week, this has changed to her being vegetarian forever. I am thrilled, Matt indifferent. We have been have her give input on meals as well and she seems very excited to not eat meat. Much different than when I became vegetarian (the first time) and my mom took me to the doctor who told her how unhealthy it was and I was forced to eat meat or not be in sports! What?! I’m glad things are changing.
My training mileage and intensity is increasing so I find myself hungry! I had to explain hangry to O on Friday after staying at the beach through lunch Friday! The UCAN Coffee Bar I ate at 10am and the almonds I snacked on the 4 hours we we…

Mental Training as a Runner

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No matter how hard I physically train I have managed to mentally defeat myself at the worst times. Any runner knows that running is not all physical and the mental side of running is huge, for me at least 50% of a run is mental.
In the beginning running was only fun (okay not always fun). I had no real goals other than get out and run, finish a race, go a little further. In these days I'm sure I still had a mental side but it was easier to accept that it didn't go well and I could back off. Then I overtrained, ran daily, became injured and kept missing my goals, I focused soley on physical training and I kept falling short. Next phase I became a mom, running was again something I did. I enjoyed the time for me, getting out and training when others said I never would. I also benefited from the postpartum speed with a year and half of amazing running that came pretty easy, knocking of PRs at every distance. A hamstring injury, full time job, lack of good training and I was not w…

Starting To Race Again

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This past Saturday was a local 3.7 mile race, it runs 1 loop around a lake giving it the weird distance. I have run this 2 or 3 times in the past, most recently 4 years ago when I finished 2nd in my AG with a time of 28:00. I rarely race anything under a half marathon. Let's be honest, I hate the feeling of pushing so hard you hurt! I'd rather suffer to a little less extent for a longer time!

Earlier in the week the weather was perfect for running, 60s and cloudy, but come Saturday the heat wave returned, hot humid ad heat index reaching 100+, yuck! Friday evening Cooper startled when someone came to the door and used my foot/ankle as a launching pad resulting in multiple scratches and a deeper cut right on the top of my foot where my laces hit! I had no idea if this would cause me pain to run.

We got there with a little time to spare, I took an easy warm up run to adjust the laces to not rub then met up with some MRTT friends. We complained about the heat and got ready to run…