Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Trying to Stay Motivated While Dogging It!

Today, was track day!
It was a grueling work out. Coach says he's getting me ready for State #26 on January 10th:
First Light Half Marathon in Mobile, Alabama. Woo-Hoot!
After a 1 1/2 mile warm-up, and 6 strides, I was ready for my workout today. I had to do five 1000 meter repeats at 7:20-7:30 minute/mile pace.
After #3, I shouted to my Coach, "You know I hate you, right?"
He shouted back, "Best compliment! Thank You!"
I really do think the man has a sadistic side!
After every 1000 meters, I had a 200 meter jog recovery. The last set, I walked across the football field. Coach said, "What's that? You were supposed to run that last 200 meters!"
"I know, but I'm wiped out! I need to do more of these."
Maybe, I'm just not normal?

Coach laughed - he actually started to look human again! "What? You told me you hated me, but you want to do more of these?"
I shouldn't have died in that last set.
I should have had it in me to push out a measly 200 meter jog. I was even dogging it through my mile cool down - and I usually do a 1 1/2 mile cool down. I gotta do more of these.
It's not like I don't stretch, strengthen, or foam roll, either. 
Get this set up after Sunday's long run: 
You name it, I got it!
It's hard to stick to a stretching and foam rolling routine when your dogging it. So, how do I stay motivated to follow through with my recovery? Here it comes, helpful hint of the month: 
Runtastic Tabata Timer App. 

With this great little timer you can set your workout time, and a short rest time between sets (aka Tabata). It's a great way to push yourself through your stretches, foam rolling, or switching between jump rope, burpees, abs, and push-ups for strength. I've gone through a few timers, but this one, I love!
Maybe I needed to set the time with some short rests 
between each quarter mile cool down and push an extra 1/2 mile?

How do you stay motivated when you're dogging it?
What's your favorite recovery routine?
Train Smart Today

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I'm a 261 Fearless Ambassador!

It all started last month, when I went to my local Montclair Fleet Feet Special Speaker Meet-Up. I had heard of Katherine Switzer, and always thought she was pretty cool - but to hear her story, from her own lips was quite inspiring, and emotional.

Katherine Switzer is the woman behind 261Fearless.
Katherine was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. She entered as K. Switzer. Back in 1967, women were not allowed to race - but just like you and me, when someone says you can't, even if you say you can't, there's a part of you that wants to say,
And that's what makes Katherine's story so emotional - we can all connect to someone in our lives who told us we couldn't do something - even if that someone was ourselves! Instead of listening to those negative thoughts, Katherine was motivated by them: she was motivated to train, and she was motivated to run - even if it were illegal!
Her bib: #261!
While she was running, 
The race director found out, and tried to push her off the road!

Katherine's teammates helped to push him away. As you can see. the news media caught it all. Katherine knew she had to finish, for all women, everywhere - to prove:
You can learn more about Katherine's beautiful career as a runner HERE. Now, as she readies herself for the 50 year anniversary of when she ran Boston, Katherine has developed the non-profit organization, 261Fearless. 261 Fearless is a global community of women (walkers, joggers, runners, from the front or back of the pack), who have found strength, power, and fearlessness from putting one foot in front of the other. We are a community of supportive, and respectful women who want to take on their personal challenges through running or walking. This community embraces and respects our differences be they religion, ethnicity, language, body-type, or athletic ability by connecting through social media as @261Fearless, through closed social channels, and personally in our home communities, clubs, groups, and events. 
As a part of this community, 
you know, 
you are not alone. 
So, if you are a female runner, or want to be, come join me in the 261 Fearless Movement! If you are already a female runner, you know how empowering running can be, and how you can use that power to overcome obstacles, challenges, and set-backs in your lives. If you are thinking about joining us female runners, I encourage you to run with us. Running will empower you, and help you face other life challenges with a sense of strength, courage, and confidence.
Together we will run strong, 
we will run fearless ....
To learn how to join, Click HERE.
Want to sign up for the 261 NewsLetter? Click HERE.
Join the 261 Fearless Facebook Community! Click HERE.
Join us on Instagram! Click HERE!
Follow @261 Fearless on Twitter.
This month, 
We are helping each other prepare for running in the dark,
now that the days are shorter.
Check it out: 

I can't wait for you to join me!
Train Smart Today!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

You know Your a Runner When ....

When I was running in the Chicago Marathon, I passed a person who was on the "sideline" holding a very large cardboard sign. The sign read:
"I will never do what you are doing!"
I remember laughing so it must have been early in the race - there's no room for laughter in those last 6 miles!
There are those who run, 
and those who don't -
and as runners,
we don't understand why everyone doesn't love to run..

Maybe it's that runners have a different outlook on life. If you've ever been bitten by the marathon bug - you know, running becomes a lifestyle. You totally morph into someone driven to log an insane number of miles from week to week. And even though everyone has their own "Why", there are some things that we share. Hence the post.

You Know Your a Runner When You ....

* You promise yourself in the last few miles of a marathon that you will never ever make yourself run ever again if you just finish - and even your beaten down 22-mile conscience laughs in your face!
Chicago 2015: Keep chugging, girl ...
And keep making those ridiculous promises!
* Open your closet and have at least a dozen pair of running sneakers
* Open your closet, and can easily categorize these sneakers as:
  • First pair of marathon sneakers – will always have a special place, and never get donated
  • Retired faves that are good for knockin around, traveling to races, picking up race packets
  • New, new faves that you only wear for track days and long runs, but never if it looks like even a sprinkle of rain
  • New sneakers – not your favorite – okay to wear if it rains
  • Free and light support – there for recovery runs when legs, acchilles, and feet are feeling strong
  • Cushioned galore, and super supportive for recovery runs or days when you and your legs, acchiles, hammies, and feet need extra tender loving care
  • Retired and ready for donation
* Plan your Saturday nights, so you can make those early morning Sunday long runs
* Get antsy planning vacations, thinking when, and where you can squeeze in your runs
* Think of your strength training, stretching, foam rolling, and running routine as a part time job
* Will pee just about anywhere during a run, and think this is really okay.
* Carry a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, and massage stick with you wherever you go - car, work, bedside.
* Read Runner’s World Magazine from front to back.
* Have tried running "unplugged"
* Have at least one AC/DC song in your repertoire when preparing for a marathon ...

* Get teary-eyed at an expo when you spot elites like Kara Goucher, Shalane Flannagan, Meb Keflezighi, or Dickson Chumba
* Own several books on running: Strength training for runners, How to run faster, How to train like ..
* Still get that back to school sick to your stomach feeling on track days
* Have trained using a variety of techniques: speed at the track, on hills, slow runs, negative splits, strides, pick-ups, even the latest greatest "Chi Running"
* Buy Gu from Amazon in bulk
* Have so many race shirts, you enter races thinking who you can give the next shirt to
* Had to buy a wall plaque to hang all your race medals because they were getting out of control
* Planned 4 months of races for the next year, and it's still November
* Watch the weather channel before you go to bed, to make sure all's clear for tomorrow's run
* Know several Bill Rogers running quotes
* Think calf sleeves are actually cool looking
* Have people say, "Don't I know you?" and then they realize they don't know you, they just see you running all over!
* Know how far it is to certain neighbors houses, your local running store, different parks in your town - and for that matter the surrounding towns too -  and can easily answer how far it is to the corner grocer and back ... like about 5.45 miles!
* Are your stuck in traffic think, "I wish I could run this fast."
*Eat, sleep, drink, think running, and
Read this and get at least 98% of what I'm saying!

Train Smart Today!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2015 Recap

Yes, I cried when I crossed the finish line. 
I've only run two marathons. Last year, I ran the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon, and this past Sunday, I ran the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Like I told the man from Tokyo, who asked me at the finish, 
"How was your race?" 
Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon was painful. 
And when I asked him how his race went, he replied, 
"Same. It was painful." 
Then, we laughed and walked to the bag check together discussing our times. He was off a sub 3:30 by seconds. I was off my goal by one minute. Nonetheless, we were happy to finish. I told him I want to run all six world major marathons. He told me that he has the same goal. We laughed some more through our aches and pains. He told me that he was running Boston next. I laughed and told him I don't know why, but I am too! We shook hands, and hoped to meet up again on April 18th, 2016!
Frank Shorter has a quote:
"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. 
Your mind can't know what's coming."
I don't know why I would want to put my body through the grueling training, and agony of running another marathon, it's not even for the fact that I am Half-Crazed. 
4:30 AM october 11, 2015:
With NYC painful memories behind me,
I was ready for the Chicago Marathon
Still, I was terrified to run on Sunday. 
I was more afraid this marathon than last year in NYC. I know more about all the things that could go wrong during such a long race. Plus, I have few injuries - I have a few small hamstring tears, and my left achilles and calf are tighter than a wet knot in a strand of wool. Aside from that, I didn't want to let my Coach down. I've been training with Joel for 5 years. Joel has helped me finish 25 half marathons, and one marathon (now two). He knows me. He wanted me to go for a sub 3:30. I was afraid to push that much with the hamstring. I told him I'd go for an 8-minute mile pace, and hoped to come in 3:30. I didn't tell him but his goal pace for me, 3:27, was my secret wish time. Maybe Boston?

The marathon is an extraordinary event. I'm still mystified that I finished, let alone set a new PR. I'm also amazed at all the crazy thoughts that run through the head while running a marathon. The funny thing is that just like my sharing pain and marathon goals with the man from Tokyo - I'm sure you find that you too have the same thoughts while running - and I hope they make you laugh:

Starting Line:

  • OMG. I think I hafta pee again. What should I do? There a sewer plate over there. Maybe those 30 people or so standing around won't really mind? How am I gonna run 26.2 miles with a full bladder? Maybe it's good that it's full - like my extra source of water. Okay, stop worrying, it will all be reabsorbed by mile 16. But what if I pee on myself while I'm running? I drank all that Beet Juice. People will think I'm bleeding. Okay stop! You're getting out of control - it's just because you're cold and shivering.
  • Sssh, ssssh ssh. They're playing the National Anthem. Okay don't cry. Pray for our troops. Thank you God for our troops. Bless them and our country. Home of the Brave! Okay did I just shout that? Ech girl, you really gotta calm down.
  • Okay we're moving up! We're starting. Take off your throw away shirt. 
  • Hope I see those pace signs still at mile18!
  • Start the Garmin! No wait. We're stopping. Stop the Garmin. 
  • Okay go!
Mile 1-13.1:

  • Holy crap there's a ton of people! I hope no one steps on the back of my shoe.
  • OMG! Do I have cotton mouth? Am I really this nervous? Whatever you do don't spit out the gum!
  • Follow the blue line. Rebecca said to follow the blue line - it's exactly 26.2 - not a step more.
  • Oh boy. You gotta keep this pace up for 26 more miles!
  • I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this ......
  • I can run this! C'mon. I run my halves faster than this! I can at least do this for 13.1 miles!
  • God bless me, God bless me, God bless me, God bless me, God bless me .......
  • Just get to 13.1. Then start to worry.
  • Okay. Relax. Look at that guy up there. He looks so relaxed. I gotta be relaxed like him. Try running like him.
  • Yes! I am halfway there!
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
  • Just keep following the pacers and the blue line!
Mile 13.1-20:

  • Okay. Those pacers are too fast. I thought we were supposed to do 8 minute miles? They said 8 minutes to the end - a nice and easy pace. Where' the hell did they go?
  • Oh no. Maybe my Garmin is off. Oh, God. What pace am I going?
  • Does anyone know what pace we are doing?
    • Other racer: We are running about 7:47' mile pace, but I'm starting to fade.
  • Okay don't listen to him - just because he's fading doesn't mean you are fading!
  • Hey, what time are you going for?
    • Other racer: 3:30.
  • Okay. I think I'm on track. I don't think my Garmin is lying. Where the hell are those pacers?
  • Water, yes, I need water: OMG! What's this woman doing? "Hey, Sister, sister, sister - you gotta keep moving. Grab your water and keep moving!"
    • Other racer: Some people are clueless. There's a really annoying woman up there. She keeps cutting in and out.
    • Me: I know who you're talking about. White shirt?
    • Other racer: Yes!
  • Where'd everybody get those sponges? I missed them again? How come I never see the people giving out the sponges?
  • I'm so glad I didn't wear my name. Every time someone yells Beth, I want to turn and look. I hope this other Beth will either run ahead of me or drop back! This is so annoying. Remember to never, ever wear your name on your clothes! 
  • Okay the blue line is in the sun. To hell with the blue line. I'm staying on the shady side of the street!
  • Take a Gu. Don't swallow your gum. This is gross. Keep the gum.
  • Oh, no. I'm behind this guy blowing his nose, again. Ech. WTF? I don't want your snot on me!
  • Crap. I'm giving some time back. That was 8:09. C'mon girl! You trained for this.
  • Remember seeing Kathrine Switzer talk last monday? Her foundation is 261-Fearless. Run Fearlessly!
  • F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S, F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S, F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S, F-E-A-R-L-E-S-S .....
  • Okay God, You gotta keep me strong! Just please. Keep me strong!
  • John, Carry me through to the end. On the wings of angels!
  • Holy crap, that girl just passed me like I was standing still!
  • Where's the blue line?
  • Take another Gu. Don't swallow your gum!
Mile 21-26.2:
  • When will mile 22 get here? I've been running this mile forever!
  • Ech, I'm giving more time back! Oh no! Is this the wall
  • Take more Gu! My last Gu! 
  • Wow! I can't believe I didn't swallow my gum!
  • Mile 22: Yes! I'm back.
  • Oooh! Stretch dude - Ech poor man grabbed his hammy in pain! Oh God keep me strong. Don't let that happen to me!
  • Gatorade. I need Gatorade!
  • Oh noooo! Sorry mister. OMG! I just knocked his Gatorade out of his hand! And now it's all over him! 
  • Okay. Don't run in the sticky Gatorade. It will slow you down.
  • Where's that line? It's blue, right? Where'd that line go?
  • Holy crap, why is that guy stopping? He only has a few more mile. Just friggin shuffle if you gotta! Didn't he ever hear of that Australian guy, Cliff Young? Just shuffle!
  • If one more person yells only a couple more miles, I am going to lose it!
  • When will mile 24 come? I've been running way more than 1 mile. I don't think this course is marked right.
  • I promise. Just finish and you will never, ever hafta run again. I promise you. If I just finish, I'll never make myself run, ever, ever again!
  • Holy crap, more people are stopping! Why are they stopping? Just friggin' shuffle if you gotta!
  • I'm not stopping. It'll never end if I stop! There's no way, I'll stop! Kathrine Switzer said that she'd crawl to the finish if she had to - so will I - If I hafta!
  • Mile 25! There's Ron and Juliette!
    • Ron: Finish strong. It's just one more mile!
    • Juliette: Go Mommy! Gooooo!
    • Me: This is f@!cking hard!
  • 800 meters: Pretend your on the track with Coach Joel! It's just 100 meter strides, 8 times! Count to 25 for every meter!
  • Have I been counting for a quarter mile?
  • To hell with that line!
  • 400 meters! Is that Sweet Caroline playing in the background?
  • That person doesn't look as fit as me. Younger, yes - but not as fit. I worked harder. I gotta pass her. Kick it in! Pass her! Yes!
  • Keep that fast twitch going! The slow twitch is spent, but you got some fast twitch left.
  • Kick it in!
Holy, Lord! I did it!
I did it!
I finished!
2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Thank you Lord!
I want that medal!
110 minutes slower than Dickson Chumba's time! 
The closest I got to him was at breakfast, the next day! LOL!
Train Smart Today!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Anticipating the 2015 Chicago Marathon

Well, I haven't blogged much. I've been so busy getting my business, B3yond Nutrition, LLC, off the ground, working per diem as a clinical dietitian at Kessler Rehabilitation Center, and training for the Chicago Marathon.

Training for a marathon is like having a part time job. All of you who are reading this, and have trained for a marathon know what exactly I'm talking about. It's not just about the running - there are lots of moving parts. And, I'm not a spring chicken - which makes focussing in on those moving parts really important.

From the moment I get up in the morning, I'm planning my food, strength training and/or going for a run. Next, I gotta plan for what I've gotta do after my run. This includes stretching, foam rolling - and maybe an extra core workout. Planning continues throughout the day to even when I'm cleaning up after dinner. You gotta plan bedtime - and get in at least 7 hours - just so you can recover, and do it all over again the next day - but with even more miles!

It's been intense lately, and sorry Ron, I haven't been much fun to be around. I definitely feel like this guy (don't look like him, but just wait a few days!):

And I know I'm not just annoying to Ron. I gotta give a shout out to Ryan and Fedelma - they helped me push through that last 20+ miles two weeks ago. I was grunting, moaning, praying, counting - I had to be getting on their nerves 'cause I was definitely getting on my own nerves!
How many of you count when your miles get high 
or when track work out gets intense? 
What's up with that? 
Like how many times can you count to ten, or count five sets of four? 
Or whatever?
Well, the training is behind me. I'm just going to freak out on the inside for the next couple of days. Coach wanted me to run six miles yesterday. What the heck is six miles on a long run day?
I'm sorry Coach, I had to run more ....

 ... Shhh! Don't tell him, but I did 8.5 miles at tempo pace.
You just don't wanna see how crazy I can get!

And sad, but true ...

Yesterday, I cleaned the garage, weeded the garden beds in front of the house, cleaned and filled all the bird feeders, cleaned out three kitchen cabinets, a linen closet, and a storage room in my basement. 

Oddly, I was a tad surprised when my little heart jumped (for what I think was joy) when Coach said,

"Congratulations on getting into Boston! 
Training starts January One!"

Train Smart Today!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

State #25: Marquette, Michigan

I didn't know what to expect flying into Marquette. My first impression was:
OMG ... Is the ground crew really waving to us
as we taxi our way to the airport???
And, there was one car on the highway! Here, let's do a little comparison. I left from Newark International Airport in the AM. From the air you see, NYC, Port Newark, and the cranes for export shipping, and the New Jersey Turnpike, which is almost always packed with tractor trailers, straight trucks, SUVs, minivans, and cars, cars and more cars.
Buildings everywhere.
NYC in the distance.
Port Newark, with giant cranes for all the imports/exports
I landed in Marquette in the afternoon, where I saw this:
Marquette International Airport
Before I left New Jersey, I spoke with a few people, and they told me that I would love it in the Upper Peninsula - it's beautiful, it's quiet, and it's peaceful. I even met another runner on the plane, Theresa. Theresa told me that her friends were staying the week and vacationing here. (Theresa - I hope you did well in the marathon!). But after the stewardess traumatized us with stories of how they couldn't de-ice the plane last winter, and it was 40*F below zero with winds at 80 miles per hour ... I must admit, I was a little nervous when we went to pick up the rental car.

As we drove closer to the town, we started to see what everyone was talking about. The town was adorable. There were some very beautiful buildings, and it sat on the edge of Lake Superior.
Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan 
In fact, this was our view at dinner, in a restaurant across from Lake Superior. It was beautiful, but it was also very hot! After the Rock 'n Roll Chicago Half Marathon, I was hoping for a cool race day - especially since the half started at 9am! Later I found out from the locals that race day was the hottest day of the year so far . . . . .yeay!
Race Day, September 5, 2015!
We had to meet at Northern Michigan University, and take a bus to the race. Ron drove to the start of the 5K - he's keeping true to his promise to run a 5K whenever it's paired with my half marathons!
Next, I drove over to the buses. 
On the bus, I met a young lady, Tiffany! She was adorable. She came to Marquette to visit with her grandparents, and she decided to run the half. This would be her second half marathon. She was a little nervous, and I told her that even though this was my 27th half, I was nervous too. I told her why I wanted to run, and how I really like to place 1, 2 , or 3 in my age group, to honor my late husband. I can't believe the attack on the WTC was 14 years ago this coming Friday. Tiffany then shared that she served in the United States Armed Forces as an LPN. We found out that we both work in hospitals, too! We were meant to sit together! Tiffany, I am positive that you will get that RN certification ... you can do all things! :D
The race started with two young girls singing the National Anthem. 
They sounded beautiful!
At the start, I found out that it was a pretty fast course, about 6 miles of a steady downhill. Once we got closer to town, about mile 10, with a few small rolling hills, and ended with a steady incline. I fantasized about having a PR, but when we started, the sun felt really warm and I was worried. The first three miles flew by, and then we were on that steady downhill in a shaded park, which was much cooler. I thought for sure I would PR. I was booking: 7:23, 7:30, I even had a 7:14 in there! 
Woo Hoo!
PR, here I come!
Then, I remembered what that person said at the start: Once you hit mile 10 it levels out, with some rolling, small hills. I was good, still holding 7:25 pace at mile 10 - but the heat started to get to me. At mile 10, there was no more shade, and seemed as if the sun was beating down on the road, and right back at the runner's faces. The sun started to take it's toll on me. I wished I'd worn my sunglasses. I started to get a nasty headache. In mile 11, I began to fall apart. It just got worse through mile 12. I was barely clearing a sub 8:00 mile pace. I wondered: 
How could I ever run a sub 8 minute marathon pace in the 
Chicago Marathon, if I couldn't even finish 
this half at a sub 8 minute pace?
Then someone shouted, "You're almost there,
It's just straight up the hill."
Something you never want to hear at the end of a race ...the finish is straight up that hill!
This hill wasn't very steep, but it was a slow steady torture. I wanted to cry. There went my dreams of getting a PR. All I though was there had to be someone else in my age group killing it right now - and I worked so hard for this run. Every week strength training, speed work, tempo runs, long runs, negative splits, stretching, foam rolling - you name it, I do it! Forget the nutrition - I'm studying Kreb's cycle intermediates and trying to figure out how to get my muscles to produce lots of energy, while working less. The finish line and tented area seemed like one big mirage in the desert. I kept counting to 10, and yes, I must have said my mantra, "I can do all things through Christ who makes me strong", about 1 zillion times. 
Finally ...
I crossed the finish line!
After two waters and some shade, I stood in line to get my results. I was not disappointed.  I clenched my fist tightly and quietly shouted, "YES!" For a moment, I was Serena Williams - hey, I can dream!
First Place Age Group Win!
Let the celebrations begin! 
Thank you Blackrocks Brewery - you smell like pine and serve great wine beer!

 And the Jazz Fest was awesome!

Congratulations to everyone who finished!
You are all winners!
Train Smart Today!

 Sharing a little Marquette:


Black Flies too! Got my leg in this pic! LOL!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Hills of St John

I took vacation to one of the beautiful 
United States Virgin Islands:
St John. 

Before I left, I trained on the track with my my Coach . After my work out, he gave me my homework for the week. The week's runs were based on my travel, and the point I'm at in my training for the Chicago Marathon Training. There were two 5 mile runs and a 10 mile run over the course of four days. I questioned Coach, "Really, only 10 miles for my long run?" Coach said that it was vacation, and promised it would all work out for the marathon. Between you and me, I thought I was getting away with one.

I figured I was getting away with something because I thought,  'Heck, I'm by the ocean. I'm at sea level. These runs are going to be so relaxing! On flat land, next to the ocean.' Yeah, I was just a tad off ...
Looking up the first hill I faced every morning
.... this was from the midpoint
This is looking down the other half that I just ran up.
After that first five miles, I thought that I would never survive the long run. Some of these hills were not only exhausting to climb, but they were scary to run down - if you can call what I was doing "running". 
Thank goodness no cars were coming!
I tried to psyche myself up after that first 5 miles. I wondered how could I ever do 10 miles, let alone another 5?
I guess this is where it's good to be half-crazed. 
No normal person would go on vacation and run these hills. Heck, the cars and taxis had a rough enough time getting up and down these hills!
Views and more views
My only source of inspiration: beautiful views. Oh yeah, and I kept telling myself that if I could make it to the top of the next hill, there would be a nice breeze. LOL!
This was so hard to run down!
My phone really didn't do a good job at capturing
all the beauty I enjoyed on these torturous runs
Ran right into the water running down one of the streets in
Chocolate Hole
I didn't quite finish my 10 mile run. I ran about 9.75 miles. I was completely exhausted. When I got back to my hotel room, it looked as if I took my sneakers and dipped them into the pool - that's how much I was sweating during the run! My socks were completely drenched. I felt fortunate that I didn't get blisters! So yeah, besides it being beyond hilly, it was like 85-90*F.
The Sunset Cruise was a welcome and relaxing event that I enjoyed later that day:

How's your summer training going?
Train Smart Today!

Monday, August 3, 2015

All 'Bout that Bass!

If you've read my blog, run with me, or hang with me you know at couple of things:
  • I have a proximal hamstring tear
  • I have Crohn's Disease that I regularly deny, until I can't stop crapping, and have a mouth full of canker sores.
  • I train hard, so I can heal my hammy and prevent future injuries
  • I love talking about food, nutrition, training, and running
Me at our local Fleet Feet Marathon Training Kick-off Meeting
giving a talk on General Nutrition
Lately, I've been doing everything - from eating and drinking certain foods, to training, foam rolling and stretching - to gain strength and heal my hamstring.
Did you know that strength training can help you recover 80% faster?
For my aching hammy, the first thing I did was to get a diagnosis. I live outside of Manhattan, so of course I went to the best - Dr Metzl at HSS in NYC. He told me I gotta build my bass - and now, yup, you guessed it ...
I'm all about that bass,
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble

Sorry Meghan Trainor, I love your song, but I got Crohn's, I'm a runner, and train like crazy so
Yeah it's pretty clear, I am less than a size two
But I can shake it, shake it 
like I'm supposed to!

'Cause now that I do Dr Metzl's Iron Strength Workout for Runners ...
I got that boom boom that runners love to race,
You know - 
All the right junk,
in all the right place!

And while we're on the subject - take a look at some of my friends, co- runners, and co-bloggers pictures - these ain't no Photoshop, these guys are real. Some come bigger, some come smaller, but
Every inch of 'em is perfect
From the bottom to the top!

Yeah my momma she told me don't worry about your size. 
She says, exercise for a l'il more booty to just run right
And sorry thin still ain't no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll!
but I'll tell you what I'm into 
So I can go 'head and run along:

How 'bout some Squats, Jump Squats, and Goblet Squats? Hip Heists, Lunges, and Jump Lunges? Try some Single Leg Deadlifts, and Good Mornings? And don't think for a minute that this is no "trouble", but
I'm bringing booty back!
Bringing the Elvis Face back apparently too!
Because you know I'm all about that bass,
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass

Train Smart Today!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rock'nRoll Chicago Half Marathon: Recap of State #24

I was so nervous all last week. 
Last Sunday's long run wiped me out. I kept worrying, "What if I get like that during the race?" There were heat advisories on the Rock'nRoll website. There were heat advisories on my phone. Ech!

I was off to a good start: Pre-race highlights included Michelle at the Expo. I always order a large and give it to Ron, but since he's running in the 5K's now, he gets his own shirt. So, even though I ordered a large for Ron, I exchanged it to a small for me. I went to five different areas before I met Michelle, who knew how to make the exhange. It was lovely meeting you!
Thank you for helping me with my shirt!
It also didn't help that Ron ran (as promised) the 5K the day before the half, and looked like he was going to pass out at the finish. His face was cherry red. At the finish, he grabbed a water bottle, didn't speak - he just kept walking. I just followed thinking that he was gonna pass out! He finally stopped and sat down under a shade tree. Then he turned to me and said, "You're going to have trouble tomorrow!"
Well if I weren't nervous before - I sure as heck was nervous now!
That's Ron in the red shirt.
Sort of "Run/Walking"
To add insult to injury, I kept showing Ron pictures of Meb at the start of the 5k! Okay, so I love Meb. I look at all his Runner's World secrets to a better stride, faster pace, etc, etc. You can imagine how star struck I was when he was just two feet away!
More Meb!
I have more - but there just about all the same ... he-hee! I even tweeted @RunMeb, and he favorited my tweet! If you follow Meb on Twitter, you'll notice his tag line, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Ron was getting tired of me talking about Meb, so I tried to be quiet and let him continue telling me how miserably hot the race was. I kept thinking of Meb's tag line, to keep my panicky feelings at bay. Somehow, we moved to the celebratory beer garden - and Ron started to feel much better. LOL!

Ron celebrating!
His hottest 5K now a distant memory!
The heat really was exhausting. To make matters worse, my stomach decided to misbehave. The last thing I wanted was to be dehydrated on a race day with a heat advisory in effect! Wiped out from the heat, Ron and I went back to the hotel and passed out. Isn't napping one of life's underappreciated luxuries?

When we finally were able to get ourselves moving again, we decided to explore Chicago. Chicago is a really pretty city. A little smaller than NYC, but a bit bigger than Boston. Lots of great brewpubs with craft beers (shout out to Goose Island) and tons of restaurants. There's great shopping along the Magnificent Mile, and lots of new, shiny buildings - like the Trump International Hotel & Tower. 

Trump International Hotel & Tower
Everywhere you turn, there's another statue or sculpture. The last time we were here, we ate along the waterfront and enjoyed some of the beauty of Lake Michigan. Based on these past two visits, Ron and I have a good idea of what we would like to do when we come back in October - when I run the marathon! Hopefully, it will be much cooler.

Before we headed back to our hotel, we went to Whole Foods, and picked up breakfast foods for my pre-race meal: Yogurt, granola, chia, flax, beet juice, and Kevita (a probiotic drink). While we were in Whole Foods, it poured rain,  which brought the temperature down a bit - not a lot, but a bit! I kept praying!
Race Day:
Coffee made, Yogurt and granola mixed with seeds, Kevita sipped, Road ID - check, Garmin - DEAD! What? 
Yup - my Garmin was dead! 
No charge, no response. I know me - I'll go out too fast if I don't keep looking at my pace - yes I'm obsessed with my Garmin - especially during the first 6 miles of my halves. Ron saw panic written all over my face, and said, "Don't worry I will have your watch charged before you start your race." I wan't sure he was telling me the truth or just trying to stop my hands from shaking! I had to believe what he said.
Next freak out: tummy problems! 
I was off to a great start!
Next freak out: Long shuttle lines, with the possibility of more tummy melt downs.
Ron had my Garmin charging on a battery in one hand, while his other hand was hailing a taxi. I felt like a cheater not taking the shuttle over, but as Ron put it, "What if your stomach decides to blow up, again?" He was right. 
We hopped in the cab and started for the "Start"
Somewhere between the taxi and Corral #4, Ron figured out how to reboot the Garmin, and get the charge up to 42%, which I thought was plenty for the race. My hands started to shake a little less, and I kept repeating Meb's Twitter Tagline. It would be my mantra for the race.
Last freak out: 
My Garmin still had no satellite connection! 
I really do love/hate my Garmin!
Anyone else in with me on this one?
Next, Our National Anthem, and some announcements. I remember the announcer said something about having fun, not to expect a PR in this heat, and told us to smile. 
I forced a smile. 
The announcer called Corral #1, then #2. OMG! The announcer said that Meb's running in this race, too! Super WOW!  Corral #3 was called. I finally got a satellite connection. Mantra still being mantra'd, and there I was, at the start of Corral #4 ...
Boom - We were off. 
Mile #1: 7:37, Mile #2: 7:24 - Ech too fast. You'd think I'd listen? Mile #3: 6:50. Then, more watch trouble - it was telling me I was in mile 4, and running a 9'mile pace. No wonder the next two miles were also in the 7's. The heat was starting to get worse. I saw Ron on one of the streets. Nice iced coffee, dude, I'm dying here!
Mile 5: What? 43 minutes? I blew it, I'll never place in my age group. Oh the yelling in my head:
Why don't you just walk?
You're awful!
Look, another over 50 y.o. woman is passing you!
You just S*@CK
All that training: squats, jump squats, lunges - and for what?
 You run like a turtle!
I wasn't running fast - it's was just the Garmin - it's all screwed up.
Oh I blew it
Wait, girl, just shut up for a minute!
Mantra, Mantra: I can do all things ....
Think, you were in Corral #4. 
That time is from the VERY start -when Corral #1 went out.
Mantra - mantra: Through Christ ...
The heat really started to add up its effects on me and everyone around me. At one point, we were all running in dead silence. Everyone focussed on just finishing. No one was talking, there wasn't even anyone around cheering- just hot, heat, and the sound of sneakers hitting blacktop. It was very eerie. 
Then, I noticed a tall man. 
He was lumbering along. He had to be at least 6 feet tall. I thought, 'He looks like he's running so slowly - how come I can't catch him?' So, I did - and I decided to hang with him. I asked him what pace he was going for - he said he was going for 7:30, but he guessed we were only running 8'/mile. My screwed up Garmin said the same. "C'mon, dude," I yelled, "I'm gonna try to hang with you." For the next four miles, we ran side by side - he'd fall back, I'd fall back - we would yell, "C'mon." I needed all the help I could get running this one home. At mile ten, there were some DJ's along the roadside. The Rock'nRoll music helped. I tried to pick up my pace. I lost my friend, turned a corner, and saw a bridge - or rather a small hill to climb. 
Mantra, Mantra: Who strengthens me!
Then a woman passed me. The bridge seemed impossible to climb. The woman who passed me stopped. Inspired by Cliff Young, I yelled, "Don't stop. C'mon. Even if you gotta shuffle - keep running!" She started running, again. I looked at her and said, "Only stop if you're over 50!" We laughed, and pressed on! 
Mantra, Mantra, Mantra!
Finish strong, girl.
Finish strong!
Mile #12: The 7:45 minute pacer started to pass me. No way! No way! The thoughts through my head started:
Hang Half Crazed. 
Kick it out! 
You trained for this. 
It's okay if you throw up at the finish. 
Just don't let this chic pass you!
Mile #13: Stride, baby stride. You only got about 200 meters. So, you puke - big deal. I dug deep. Tried to shave off as much time as possible - and crossed the finish line!
State #24 completed!
No Puke!
The water bottles were so amazingly cold. I poured 1/2 of the water all over my body. I saw Ron walking outside the gated area, he looked so cool and dry! Aagh, the shoe was on the other foot!
Just then, I thought of the friend I made on the course. 
I turned around and looked for the big guy I was trying to hang with. I spotted him, ran up to him and gave him a huge hug. He was screaming, "You're like a little mighty mouse, a little mighty mouse!" He took out his cell phone and snapped a selfie of us. It was great hanging with you, Michael - I'm glad we met! I hope you look up Half-Crazed Runner and send me that photo! I'd love to get a copy!
Next stop ...
The Beer Garden!
 ... an awful celebratory beer!
I did have a lot to celebrate!
Overall time 1:44.
Not my best, but better than my other two really hot halves in
Maine and Texas.
Best of all:
First place age group!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
Train Smart Today! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Chicago Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon

I'm in, and I'm off to run my 26th Half-Marathon, 
My 24th state:
Chicago Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon: July 19th. 
Yeah, I was a little bummed because I thought this was state #25, but then I realized I ran in DC (For those of you not familiar with the US - DC stands for District of Columbia. it's where the US Capital is located.)
Next half, I will be halfway finished with all 50 states! 
Let's hear it for Half-Crazed!
And so far, I've only suffered two proximal hamstring strains! Speaking of which, my arse is killing me today. And you gotta see how many squats and lunges, jump squats and jump lunges, split squats and burpees I'm doing each week! It all probably contributed to my exhaustion yesterday on my long run. I finished with an average 8:45' mile pace - but that was my "pushing it".

I think I was so tired because I hardly ate anything on Friday, and Saturday, and I worked my but off getting my son's party together to finally celebrate his graduation from high school. I prepared a ton of food, Ron made BBQ chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, and we had tons of watermelon and homemade desserts from Grandma and Auntie! So being tired from the party and running later in the morning heat left me absolutely spent. It was the first time that I stopped before my last mile to yell at myself, and try to psyche myself up to finish. I had to count to ten, over and over, just to get through the last mile. Then after the last mile, I threw my hands up in the air, and screamed, "I'm done (some expletives), I'm finally done!" It was a relief to know I was done with my long run.

I hate running in the heat.
Yesterday, my head was pounding, I was hungry, thirsty, cranky! Usually running through the local park, I stop to sip water from the fountain - it just didn't seem to be enough yesterday! Even my one Gu ration wasn't enough. It was the first time ever that I ran a training run and wished for another Gu! Gu to me is a gross, but necessary evil.
The celebration party was well worth it though.
My son, his friends, and all the family had such a great time. I know Johnny had fun because at one point during the party, he was lifting me in the air and threatening to do power cleans with me:
Pre-Press Threat!
How was your weekend?
Are you struggling through any long runs this summer?
Anyone going to Chicago Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon next weekend?
Ever have someone use you as a human barbell?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

When I'm not running ...

I usually run about 28-30 miles per week. Sometimes I run at 6 AM, and sometimes at 6PM - it's whenever I get some free time. In between, I'm just running around like crazy either
Developing my Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness business: B3yond Nutrition
Providing lots of talks on Sports Nutrition, 
Managing SCAN's Linked In website (Sport Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition), 
Blogging for SCAN, 
Volunteering as an Ambassador for NJ EatRight, and 
Working per diem as a clinical nutritionist for Kessler Rehabilitation Hospital.

In between all of this, I'm enjoying my family! Lot's of joy this past month since my son recently graduated high school. Here are some of my favorite moments: 
Pre-Prom Party 2015
Pre-Prom Family Pic
Bond, James Bond!
LOL! Blue suit and all!

Such a cute couple!
My Own Little Clark Kent!
2015 Graduation
Aww! Love this pic! 
My Niece won best attendee award!
Look how cute she is!
The head is hysterical!
Family at Graduation 2015!
Proud Momma!
What have you been up to besides running and training?
Train Smart Today!