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Showing posts from 2016

Merry Christmas, Our Holiday Recap and Giveaway!

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How did the holidays sneak up on us?! I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) or Happy Holidays. We have been busy with life: work, dance, gymnastics, school, family and running. But we managed to get in a little Christmas fun...

Fun at friends' Ugly Sweater Party

The Nutcracker with O on the coldest day in many years, temps of -20!


I got to volunteer at O's school party before winter break. It is always fun meeting her friends and seeing the kids interact. She has a great teacher this year who is so calm with her, I need lessons!

Pre Holiday CrossFit killer workout on Friday. O is loving CrossFit kids too. She even decided to "help" and I managed 30 push ups (although not too pretty) with her on my back, then she jumped on for the tank pushes to add her extra weight!


Woke up Christmas Eve for a great 10 mile run with friends before doing lots of cooking (and later eating!). We hosted our families for an evening of appetizers (vegan & GF mostly…

Fueling and UCAN Giveaway

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Yikes, has it really been almost 2 months since I posted?! I have so much to share but to ease back into blog fun and to celebrate the holidays I am doing a quick giveaway (and will share about my fun November and December adventures starting tomorrow).

Here's a little on my missing time: Disney, CIM, guiding a blind runner, back to marathon training, sub 6, holiday fun!  What have you been up too?

I can't believe Christmas is just 3 days away and marathon training is about to start full force again. Let's combine these two and I'm giving away a UCAN Gift Pack with a sampling of their great products.

2 packets UCAN Drink Mix (Orange & Cocoa)2 packets UCAN with Protein Drink Mix (Vanilla Cream)2 UCAN Snack Bars (Cinnamon, Chocolate)2 sticks UCAN Hydrate (Berry, Lemon-Lime)All products are naturally sweetened & gluten-free

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekly Meals and Workouts

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It has now been 3 weeks since the marathon and I am still in the let’s sleep in mode, maybe workout later mode, indulge a little (okay a lot) mode. Don’t get me wrong my workouts have happened I’m just more likely to sleep a little later and do less now without a race on the horizon. This week I need to get back to normal with a workout schedule and meal plan, especially with some travel ahead and the holidays coming.
Sunday Run 7-8 miles hoping for trails if not closed from rain and upper strength/core Monday Kickboxing Tuesday CrossFit and short run Wednesday Run with some short speed intervals and Pilates or Yoga Thursday CrossFit and Walk Friday Short run Saturday CrossFit and Run
I plan to start adding in a little harder runs this week instead of all easy running. I have 2 more months until training starts again but want to get back to a good base by then. This past week I went back to the doctor about the leg/knee and came away even more frustrated. The “knee specialist” turned out no…

Conflicted, thoughts of a runner

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Since the start of my running adventures I've set my goals on marathons, achieving certain times, paces, qualifying for Boston. The last few years have been rough ending with a mentally tough TCM that has really taken a toll on me. I keep thinking back to how relaxed I felt running the 50K in April and wonder if trails and ultra running is more my style (at least for awhile). Aside from the relaxed nature of trails I'm getting my butt kicked at the CrossFit gym again and loving the not so relaxed feel tough side of that!

Luckily with out a goal race in the near future I'm back out on the trails with a few easy runs the past couple weeks. The weather is perfect and colors are gorgeous.
On my last run we came face to face with this guy! Luckily he stopped and walked off into the woods watching us from a little further as we passed.
So much is running through my mind right now... Do I sign up for Chicago 2017 (I still have a guaranteed entry time)I'm already signed up for …

GoMacro Thrive Review and Giveaway!

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All runners know that post marathon week(s) are filled with the fight to keep eating healthy yet indulge a little. I try to carry healthy snacks wherever I go to avoid the munchies. Needing gluten free makes finding healthy foods quick even tougher. I have my go to foods but love finding new options with such variety. I think my only complaint is the carb to protein ratio which for each bar is 3 or 4:1. I prefer a snack more along the 2:1 carb to protein ratio. To help this I add a few extra nuts to the bars when I have them for a snack, problem solved!

Like all GoMacro products, Thrive are USDA-Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher, Gluten-Free certified, 100% Vegan, and soy-free. Thrive is currently available to purchase online and will become available to Whole Foods this month! GoMacro is offering 30% off to all my readers with code Thrive30 for online purchases Here

The Thrive Bars come in 6 flavors: Caramel Coconut, Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, Blueberry Lavende…

Reflecting on Marathon Training

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Now 8 days post the marathon that got away the emotions have settled and I have become much more rational. I've gone through everything from I'm done with marathons to when can I sign up for the next one and I need to race as soon as possible. Last Thursday I had a talk with coach Nichole and looked a little into training and running. Here are my thoughts on the past year and training...
The Good
I kept lower mileageI took rest days from running and high impact cardio workIncreased speedwork, tempo pace of long runs, Easy runs were just that...easy!I stopped being afraid of running slower on long runsStrength training at least 3x per week and good core workI started the marathon slower than goal paceThe hamstring gave me no issues!The Bad

I never really took a break since TCM last October. In the past year I ran TCM in October 2015, New Orleans in February, 50K in April and then right back to TCM last weekI started feeling pain in left leg early August but kept running with it fo…

Marathon #30...I made it to the start line

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After a rough September I was thrilled that I was able to bet to the start line of TCM but part of me was panicking inside with all the what ifs of missed training. My final "long run" of training went great, I headed out for 8 but met a friend with 1 mile left and ran 10, oops. I figured after missing my last 9 mile tempo I could handle this.

Two days before marathon day Nichole and I talked strategy and I was convinced to try a new approach instead of my crash and burn marathons of the past. Our plan was to start with 3:35 pacer and run 8:10s until mile 5-6 then creep down to 8:00 pace and slowly ease into 7:50s. My nutrition plan was in place, Nichole was meeting me around mile 12-13 with UCAN and we had high hopes for the day.

I spent Saturday working at the expo with UCAN, sharing this great product with other runners, chatting with friends and then relaxing. This was the coolest weekend we've had in months so clothing was a huge decision and debated for hours until…

The marathon the wasn't, then was...

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Sorry, the month of September brought a lot of frustration and craziness with back to school, work and wrong injury diagnoses. Over the next few days I'll fill in the missing details and end with a fun giveaway before getting back to regular writing...

I ended my posting by talking about my 20 miler, sore leg and icing. I skipped a couple key workouts due to pain but by weekend I typically felt fine again. Well I managed a 22 mile run with a little achiness but not terrible. This was a Saturday, I took Sunday off and walking around the State Fair.
I headed out for an easy run Monday (Labor Day) with friends and it hurt but I ran because I could (yep, stupid I know!) my gait wasn't too different. Come Tuesday, first day of school, I met friends for our annual school's back breakfast, volunteered at lunch and tried an afternoon tempo run. It all went downhill from there...

I was liming from the start, I was limping. I made it to the end of the block and decided to walk. Mayb…

Updates: The Good and Bad!

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The past few weeks I had a mild achy pain on my inner left calf, it would come and go. Some days it was bad, then it would be gone. I thought it was due to the Baker's cyst behind my left knee swelling more but who knows now. It was worse when I started running so I started with a walking warm up most days. Then it was fine. Until Saturday!

I ran a pretty comfortable 20 miles with mid miles at marathon pace, leg was a little sore but nothing more than from normal running. Afterwards I jumped in the car and drove to watch Matt finish a triathlon and walking after was sore and got worse as the day progressed. I sat around on a rainy Saturday with ice, walked in a compression sleeve and took ibuprofen. Th pain comes and goes and messes with my brain...is it a stress fracture? The pain can be pinpoint at times, but diffuse, and it gets better with running so I think probably not. Is it a tendon? Maybe, gets better when loose, ice helps. Related the cyst? Another possible cause, but it…

Running and Letting Go of Control

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It only seems appropriate that finally writing a post that has sat in my brain for months comes on the start of a new year for me. Today I celebrate another birthday and a new year that is starting with an interesting start. An unexpected trip to the ER last night with Matt meant an unexpected day off work. Don't worry, all is well, we are home and Matt's pain is somewhat better. And the ER visit may have an interesting opportunity in store for me.

This past year has been a lot about giving up having control of everything and learning that as a mom and runner I can't always be in control of my life and others.O made me start to realize this 6 1/2 years ago but I haven't been able to fully understand the need to let some control go until the day I dropped her off at kindergarten for the first time and knew I had minimal control over the day.
Over the past few years I have forced myself to do things that took away some control, like jumping on a plane (or a long car ride…

Friday 5: Things I'm loving right now!

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A little late on "Friday" but still we got this, right?! Over the past month I've been introduced to a few new things that I am loving and want to share...

1) UCAN Peach Passion Protein/SuperStarch Bars The latest bar from UCAN and again I'm in love! Each time they introduce a new bar, it is a new debate on my favorite. I still like the cinnamon for during run fuel but the new coffee and peach both have vegan protein too so perfect post run or afternoon snack. Have you tried any UCAN bars? I have a discount code to share, comment if interested.

2) FlipBelt I've said it many times but I hate wearing running belts! They bounce, move, slide up and are just annoying. I end up running long runs with a handheld and refueling. When I was asked to review this product I decided why not?! I wore this running Chicago RnR Half and it didn't move! It comes with 3 water bottles (1 10oz and 2 5oz) so I ran with the 5oz in back and my phone in front, plus ID and key and all st…

Rock n Roll Chicago Remix Challenge

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Sorry I left things abrupt with my pre-race posting and then nothing... We arrived in Chicago early on Friday and despite the instructions to rest my legs we walked all over! By the end of the day nearly 30,000 steps and over 12 miles! All without any attempt at a workout, oops! We hit the expo, picked up a new pair of ProCompression socks (that I wore for the 5K), had lunch, walked around and tried to relax. Dinner out at Frontera for Matt's birthday and then an early night to sleep.

We were staying just across the park from race start so I got up and ran an easy mile before lining up to race the 5K. The plan for race and see what was left for the half. It was hot even at 6:30 am. I made a point to line up a few rows back thinking this would prevent going out too fast. We were off and soon there were walkers! The first mile was on road then we turned on the Lakefront path before turning towards the finish...
The finish was just around the corner, road was less than ideal for a sp…

Back to Back Racing Strategy for RnR Chicago

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This coming weekend I am traveling to Chicago t run RnR half and 5K while celebrating Matt's 40th! I know after running Dopey and Looney in 2014 I said no more back to back races but as a Rock n Blog Ambassador I was given free entry to the races so why not?! Plus Nichole wants to continue to torture me and have me race a 5K!
We've gone back and forth over the race strategy, I wanted a fast half, she wanted both! Then we thought about the hamstring...

The weekend is about the run but also having fun and relaxing. I want a fast half but in the long run (haha...run) I want a fast marathon more! And then we looked ahead to the weather...

It is kind of sad that the Saturday weather with high of 82 is the better of the days for racing. Even though the 5K starts later (7:30) it should be cooler. The half will be hot and humid with no clouds, yuck! So I guess the strategy is still up in the air. The latest plan is the race the 5K and see what my legs have left on Sunday, race it if p…

TC Red, White Boom Half

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6 years ago when O was just over 5 months old we ran this for the first time, it was the first year they held the 4th of July race and we've gone back every year! I think the group is down to about 100 who have run every year. Once again we were up and read for an early start to the 4th! This year it was rough, after a long day of working outside we were exhausted and didn't sleep well.

As we headed down I drank my usual UCAN cinnamon and vanilla mixture about 30 min prior then stood in the long line for the bathrooms! It was s quite start since it is residential and so early, but we were off. A new course from previous years. I started out where I wanted to be but quickly realized I had nothing! I wanted to find a comfy spot and go back to sleep. My body was tired, my breathing tough and despite cooler temps I was warm.

My initial goal was 7:30 pace but after a few miles I decided to just aim for sub 8s. For some reason this race has always been tough for me, even the years I…

July Goals

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June Accomplishments Completed MET course so interesting, now just to complete the exam! No races! I stuck with this, a big change from the Jen of 2-3 years ago racing weekly. Weekly yoga/pilates! Finally!  190.5 miles! Biggest month this year O finished kindergarten! I now have a big 1st grader minus 2 more teeth O and I got to cheer on Maggie after watching her at the gym!
July Goals Back to sub 1:40 at half Walk at lunch 1-2 days per week Focus on Metabolic Efficient eating Pass ME certification exam! Get out on my bike! It hasn’t been off trainer since my cash Finish the house projects! New deck and landscaping in the works. Celebrate Matt’s 40th in Chicago. 1 dinner reservation made, half marathon and what else do we need to do there? Start figuring out winter vacation (yes already!). Any suggestion of good warm weather gluten free friendly resorts? 1st July run in gloves! This is crazy!
What did you accomplish in June? What are your July goals?

Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday

Metabolic Efficiency

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Last Friday I spent my day at a Metabolic Efficiency Certification Course and learned so much. It was so much fun to connect and share ideas and experiences with dieticians, PTs and medical providers from all over the U.S. I went into this thinking I’d personally benefit and would use it for my runners but left with ideas on how to implement the idea of metabolic efficient eating with my patients as well. I also came away considering a new career path in sports nutrition and spent Friday night researching only to discover the $ and time it would take without a lot of job opportunities. Ugh, I hope this isn’t my midlife crisis!
With all the buzz lately on fad diets I’m sure people are thinking this is the same but honestly it makes sense for nearly everyone. We are in a society of fast, quick foods, we grab processed junk on the go and expect or bodies to stay healthy. I was a carb addict for many years, living on bread, cereal and pasta along with sugar! Once I was diagnosed with cel…

Friday Five...Running and Life

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Summer break is here, so here's a bit of our life and a little running right now...

1- A new family of bunnies. They have made home under our playset and the kids are so intrigued by them. Such an unplanned lesson in science, animals and talking about how to just let them be! The neighborhood girls spent a morning looking for mom, they think they found her a couple houses away.

2- My new Garmin has the fun features or race predictions! I'd be thrilled to run these times I'm pretty sure Garmin has a a little more faith in my running speed than I do!
3- Another hair donation! With dance done for the year it was time for a cut. She wanted to donate again and was fine with the extra length she'd have to lose. Now just hoping it is long enough for a bun by competition season!
4- Today I am excited to learn! Attending the Metabolic Efficiency Certification for Medical Professionals. I can't wait to learn ways to help myself and others be better athletes and healthier overall…

Summer Run Training & Nathan Giveaway

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The heat is here and summer running is in full swing with temps of 90+ last week and humidity making the run tough. I am more of a summer runner than cold winter girl but this was rough! The only positive of cooler running is jacket pockets for my phone and UCAN bar! I've tried just about every belt out there and have complaints about them all! So I was excited to try the Nathan Hipster. I'm even more hapy to say that it stayed put, nice and low on my hips just like I have to wear my belts. Even on my hot, sweaty 12 miler this weekend no chafing at all.


Some wildlife sightings on my run... The turtles have been out like crazy lately. What wildlife have you seen lately?
I've also gotten back to "real" speedwork and it is actually fun! Thanks Nichole :) I'm excited to see how this training cycle goes. I'm finally running paces I haven't been able to hit in years. My leg is almost to full strength, still a little residual after racing that hilly 5K on Mo…