Boston Marathon: Check!

You know how they say you shouldn’t try anything new on race day? Well, living in the desert I had never really run in the rain before. A tiny sprinkle a couple of times but never REAL rain. But today I had no choice but to try something new on race day! 26.2 miles of rain/wind/cold to finish the Boston Marathon! It was amazing and I will write more later. But I’m so glad Stonyfield chose me for this! 

  

Boston Bound

I fly out for the Boston Marathon tomorrow. TOMORROW! Tomorrow I get the opportunity to go to Boston and run in the infamous Boston Marathon because Stonyfield (the official yogurt of the Boston Marathon!) hand-picked me from amongst many running-mom bloggers to be part of Team Stonyfield. I am incredibly grateful to them for this opportunity. Go buy as much Stonyfield yogurt as you can to thank them for me! :-)

Stonyfield Organic

Anyway… I have never been more nervous before a race in my life. Yes, my training was more sporadic than marathon training in the past, simply because when you are a mother there are more things that can pop up and surprise you. Don’t berate me for saying that… I’ve done the training multiple times as childless married person and now with a kid. Having the kid added a whole new wrench to the process! (And she’s a lovely little wrench!)

So even though my miles didn’t end up clocked the way I’d anticipated, I am as ready as I’ll ever be and need to do the ol’ trust in my training thing. There are some things that I’ve been using throughout my training that have worked really well for me, so they’re making the journey with me.

Generation UCAN

I heard about this Generation UCAN superstarch on various sites/blogs and finally decided to order a sample pack to try. I was super impressed about how it fueled me for a good long time with no spikes and crashes in energy. So after I went through my sample packets I ordered a canister of the Lemonade flavor, which was my favorite out of the packets. But now that I’m at the marathon, I’m really tired of it. I almost wish I had just ordered more packets and had a variety! And Meb drinks it… so this makes me part-Elite, right?

ucan-lemon-nutrition

Fitletic belt

I have 3 belts from Fitletic. Some of them are actually branded as iFitness, as it was before they changed their name. I referred a lot of my Team Challenge runners to them. And even though I already had a couple of their belts, I purchased another one for this race. One with built-in water bottles this time. Plus it has bib number toggles so I don’t have to deal with safety pins. Their belts don’t move around as much as others. You can’t wear a backpack hydration system in Boston and I did all my training on my own… so I’m used to carrying fluids and it makes me more comfortable to have them available on my schedule.

fitletic-hydration-16oz

Salt Stick

I had never tried electrolyte capsules before now. I had heard about them a lot… but in all these years I’d never used them. That was a mistake! I’m a salty sweater, something I’ve always known. But I feel A LOT better popping a Salt Stick cap every hour during a long run and one at the conclusion. It seems to keep some of my dizzy feelings at bay. My recovery has been really good after each long run, so maybe this had something to do with that!

sscaps

Neutrogena Naturals makeup remover towelettes

Neutrogena is doing a “Wipes for Water” campaign with their Naturals makeup remover wipes. Basically, the idea is that you are saving water by using a wipe. I don’t know about how all that works, because you are generating more waste with these too… but I do know these are going in my gear check bag for the finish line because they are extremely gentle on my facial skin and I will want to get a little cleaned up upon race conclusion!

Bani Band

I’ve been wearing a Bani Band headband on most of my runs for about a year now? I don’t know exactly how long… but it’s been a while. They don’t slide off my head. They are adjustable with a little clip that is kind of like a bra strap adjuster. They come in cute patterns and I just really like the ones that are about 1″ wide. I have a thinner one that I’ve never actually worn because my daughter claimed it as her own! I meant to order a new one for the race… but I’ve hardly had time to remember my own name! So old sparkly it is!

bani-band-silver

Update: Rain is in the forecast! I may have to wear a hat. Please don’t rain, please don’t rain, please don’t rain!

Fabletic capris

In the past, I was sooooo superstitious about my marathon training that once I decided on the pair of pants I was wearing in the race, I trained in them for every long run. No variation. This time around I basically decided I would probably be wearing capris because those should be comfortable in Boston, but wouldn’t be too hot on the warmer days I would get here in Vegas leading up to the race. And then I found Fabletics… and they have so many fun patterns and I love the way they fit and I have ended up with a lot of different pairs. So in a way I was doing the same thing where I trained in the same pants, but I had different pants! LOL So I’ll be wearing my camo Fabletics capris on course.

Longest #bostonmarathon training run done! Let’s taper! #shoeselfie #runselfie #teamstonyfield

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

And of course I’m glad there will be Stonyfield at the finish line… because that’s a great source of protein and my body will be needing that after 26.2 miles!

Wish me luck… I’m terrified!

Freak Out: Commence Now

So…. these past few months have been really really trying for me at work. Lots of big projects and changes have kept my brain capacity and stress level at max. And last Friday was kind of the culmination of it all. Big project launched and the next few weeks will be monitor/maintenance/upkeep but the stress should be greatly diminished. So now that my brain has a little space for something else to take center stage…

OH MY! I AM RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON WITH TEAM STONYFIELD IN ONE WEEK!!!!!

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This is the point where I start to over-think the event:

  • Uh… what am I going to wear?*
  • What’s the weather looking like now? How about now? And now?
  • What am I going to eat?
  • How do I get around Boston?
  • I’m going to miss my baby!
  • Will the kiddo be mad at me for being gone so long?
  • I totally got this.
  • What am I doing? I can’t do this!
  • This is the biggest and best opportunity EVAH!
  • What was I thinking?
  • Seriously… what should I wear?
  • Am I going to be cold?
  • Oh… is it going to be humid? I don’t deal with humidity, I live in the desert!
  • Boston is 3 hours different from my time zone. Oh noes!

I love my cute shirt from Run Far Girl that is at the top of this post and I’m totally going to wear that on my flight home the day after the race! If you want to get your hands on one of those you can do so through her shop, and any purchases of blue/yellow (Boston colors) gear on the shop through April 20 gets 20% donated to Girls on the Run.

I know I’m going to feel guilty for being gone.

The panic is real people…

*I do have a tank to wear from Stonyfield… it is super cute. And I’ve been training in Fabletics capris assuming I’d wear them. But I question if I should wear a shirt under my tank or if arm warmers will be sufficient.

My #teamstonyfield jersey just arrived!!! #bostonmarathon #AwesomeA

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

Clif Organic Energy Food

So… a little while back I was sent some pouches of the latest and greatest(?) from Clif – their Organic Energy Food pouches.

clif-energy-food.jpg

The ingredient list impressed me… nice simple food ingredients. The flavors intrigued me… the fruit ones sounded decent enough and well… Pizza Margherita is definitely unique and deserves some kind of attention, right?

Let’s get to the fruit ones first, okay? I thought those were great. They tasted wonderful, they went down easily and they stayed down. The problem is the size of the pouch. It’s actually convenient so you can carry it and sip on it a little bit while running without worrying about it getting all over as much as a gel pouch might. But… it’s just big. And the cap is big. And the whole thing makes for a bulky bit of cargo. And it would be really annoying to try to haul multiple packs in a waist belt. (And seeing as how I’m running Boston soon and no back packs are allowed on course, I had to stick with a waist pack.)

This was consumed on my run today, I REALLY liked it! @clifbarcompany #organicenergyfood

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

So onto the other flavors… I admit, I was both excited and terrified to try these. The positive: they contain nice ingredients.

Now for the negatives… The pouch is even bigger than the fruit flavors. They contain a lot of fat which could be harder to digest, provided you get them down. Which I didn’t. On two separate long runs I took one of the savory flavors with me. On each occasion I tried them around the 15-mile mark. Each time I got one sip (bite) and promptly spat it into the rocks.

Soooooooo baaaaaaaaaad…….

I’m sorry Clif. I love you, I think you’re swell and I like many of your products. My daughter thinks your Clif Kids Zfruit+Veggie are candy. But these Clif Organic Energy Food pouches… I can’t even! (That’s what they say these days right? “I can’t even!”)

Apparently NPR can’t even either.

 

It’s a Hard Taper

ta·per 1. diminish or reduce 2. the training phase right before a long distance event, such as a marathon, when a runner starts to cut back on his or her mileage.

I ran a grand total of 2 times last week. 10 measly miles. Wait! No…. it was only 9 miles. During the taper you are supposed to cut back on your mileage, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be 60 to 0 (or 45 to 9, as it may have been) in one week… it’s usually a little more gradual than that.

I had thought I was going to run about 28-30 miles last week, but life got in the way. I don’t talk about the specifics of where I work on my site, but in my day job I work (more than*) full-time as a “Director of Web Services” and we are supposed to be launching a new site this week. So last week was filled with tons of calls and meetings to get ready for this week. I worked early in the morning to get tasks done before my daughter woke up and I was testing things on my iPhone and iPad while playing with her in the evenings. Combined with the fact that I was just exhausted all week, I only made it out to run twice during the work week.

Then we had visitors on Saturday morning and I didn’t want to traipse all over them before dawn. Sunday I set my alarm for 4 am to go run before #AwesomeA woke up to see what the Easter Bunny had left behind; but I must have just turned that alarm off and went back to sleep because around 6 my husband poked me and said, “You didn’t go run.”

Ooops…

This week holds more stress. Our new site is supposed to launch on Friday, but when you work with a team of people and several of these people have failed to get things to you by deadlines… you gotta make it work somehow, especially when you’ve basically been told “You have no choice in this launch, it doesn’t matter if you have to work all hours of the day and night to make it happen, it will happen.” And we combine that with the fact that I am essentially a single parent from January until May because my husband works stupid-long hours… it’s a challenge. My heart races just thinking about it.

But on the flipside, I really want the site to launch by the end of this week, so I have the weekend and early days next week for follow-up troubleshooting. Because I definitely don’t want to carry that into Boston with me for the marathon.

AAAAAAAGH!!!

So while I try to pace my brain and wish that all of my meditation attempts had stuck, I’m going to leave you with the joy of a two-year-old experiencing Easter.

“How ’bout eggs?” #AwesomeA

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

*When you telecommute and live in your work, it’s so easy to just do that “one last task” at odd hours. And with our world of convenient technology, it’s sadly gotten to a point that instead of making life easier, it’s making it so I feel more betrothed to the job. You will work the standard 8-5 (or 7-4 as in my case) PLUS you’ll respond to emails/texts/calls around the clock.

JVC Sport Headphones

If you’ve read my site or social media for any amount of time, you’ve probably picked up that I take issue with runners blocking out the world as they run. And if you haven’t picked up on that… I HATE when people have headphones on and cannot hear the world around them. I have run past people and had them get startled as I passed them because they never heard me coming. I have had runners I coached not even hear me come up behind them, run next to them and start talking to them because they were looking straight down and had on headphones to drown out the world. That’s dangerous… don’t do that!

So when I was given the opportunity to check out a new pair of sport headphones from JVC that have features that help runners listen to their tunes but still be aware of the world, I had to jump on that.

jvc-sport.jpg

JVC HA-ETR40 features:

  • A soft, rotating rubber hook that holds them securely in place and
    can be adjusted to get the perfect fit;
  • Waterproof and washable;
  • Two sets of earpieces — conventional that seal out ambient noise (in three sizes) and “open type” (also in three sizes) that allow ambient sounds to be heard so runners can hear the sound of approaching vehicles, etc.;
  • Two-piece cord — Use the short cord if you wear your phone/music player on your arm, and so avoid the hassle of excess cord; use the extension if you carry your phone in your hand or pocket;
  • One-button microphone and remote control

Waterproof and washable are super cool. A remote/microphone is a fantastic feature. Two piece cord so you can have a shorter line when wearing your device on your arm is swell. But I want to focus on the different earpieces…

jvc-sport-buds.jpg

I was curious how well the different earpieces would actually work. So I took all the little parts and pieces into my backyard. There is a fairly big road construction project happening just over the wall from my house (will be sooooooo nice when that is done!) and my backyard is fairly noisy right now. It scares my dog.

I put the conventional buds in place, popped them in my ear and turned on music. Sure enough, I didn’t hear much construction noise. So… they’re great at blocking out ambient noise. Then I switched to the open buds, they have little divots around them. And I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I could hear the offending construction noise.

Hanging out in the backyard = don’t want to hear that construction ambiance

Going on a run = necessary to hear the worldly traffic ambiance

Honestly, I was pretty impressed and I’m glad to have these JVC sport headphones as another headphone option in my arsenal of recommendations. Great sound and safety options!

jvc-sport-wearing.jpg

You can snag a pair for about $35. They come in two color options: red/black and gray/black.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

I Pity Da Fool!

  • I feel totally ready for the Boston Marathon. Marathons are easy!
  • I love Linkin Park’s music.
  • I really dislike broccoli.
  • It’s amazing how well rested I feel.
  • I handle stress really well.
  • I want another baby.
  • Skirts are totally my comfort zone.
  • I’m totally glam.
  • I love makeup.
  • I am the go-to-gal for hair advice.
  • I ran today.
  • I have really crappy employees. They never save my bacon!
  • Being a mom is super easy. I was born for this job.
  • Transformers is a totally awesome movie franchise.
  • I think my next big thing will be a figure competition.
  • The Tonight Show sucks. Jimmy Fallon doesn’t rock.
  • Vampires are so cool. I loved when they were everywhere.
  • Swings are so much fun. Wheeee……..
  • I have too much free time.

PS…. I pity ‘da fool that believes this list! Happy April Fools Day!

i-pity-da-fool

Let the Madness Begin

It’s….. time…. to…. TAPER!!!!

Some people get a little case of “Taper Madness” in the weeks leading up to the marathon. Mileage is reduced and people start to get antsy, thinking if they cram in one more hard workout or throw in new classes to fill their time they’ll get to the start line better/stronger/faster… I’ve felt that too. But not this time. (Okay, one day into it… but still, bear with me here!) I’m sooooooo ready to taper. Get the legs feeling fresh? Yes please! Maybe sleep a little more? Hallelujah! Watch more The Walking Dead? WOO HOO, I’m addicted! (I’m also kind of sad that I’m so behind on this show… I totally would have been watching Talking Dead all this time too! But alas, I just started watching it this year.)

Taper Madness is sounding more like Taper Bliss.

Another kind of madness is going on around the country… March Madness. Are you into college basketball? I’m…. not. In fact, I’ve gotten more and more anti-college sports the longer I’ve been married. But I get it, it’s “a thing”. But a kind of tournament I can get behind here is from Skin Authority… they’re showing off some of their products that represent offense/defense. My favorite defense is their Sunscreen Moisturizer. They’re doing a tournament from April 1 to April 6 where a product will represent each team in the Final Four… and multiple people can win one of the products and the grand prize winner will win them all.

SkinAuthority-SunscreenMoisturizer-MedRectangle

Figuring out my schedule this week may lead to madness… I’m already super confused with my daughter’s spring break this week. Spring Break means there is no school. But we could pay more $$$ to send her to “Spring Camp” this week… but I have no clue if she’s supposed to be in uniform or if the extended care hours come into play this week or not. It’s all so confusing! I took her into school when camp started today, not in a uniform, and a bunch of kids were there already; so I assume extended care is still in effect? Which is good because I need my work hours, especially over these next couple weeks!

Oh… and another madness that may get me is 2-year-old madness. Parenting a kid who is 2.5 is an interesting kind of hell/heaven. That kid can break down at a moment’s notice and be screaming, and you can be filled with stress and anxiety about what caused this yet filled with so much love for this little screaming tornado at the same time. Honestly… I don’t understand how people have more kids because as fantastic as she is… every time she has one of these meltdowns I’m like “Sterilization? Sign me up!” But then she calms down, stops crying and says “I no want water in my eyes.” and I’m instantly filled with a warm rosy glow… that still says “Sterilization? Sure… let’s do that but let me play with this kid for a little while.”

Friday Fete

Yesterday I drove to Utah for work, a nearly 200 mile drive each way. My kid woke up exactly 30 minutes before my alarm was set to go off, so I was up at 3:30 trying to calm her down. Then it was pointless going back to sleep, so I just got ready and then I started my drive. And realized when it was too late to turn around if I was still going to make my 8:30 AM meeting… I forgot my wallet. And suddenly I felt so vulnerable. No license, no credit cards… Fortunately my mommy works with me (for a little longer until she retires this summer – Boo for me and everyone at work, Yay for her!) and she was able to help me out. I had meetings, I was a guest lecturer and I drove home still in time to pick #AwesomeA up from school… but we couldn’t go directly to a park. I was in dress clothes and my work shoes had been munching up my Achilles tendon all day. I needed to go home and bandage those up!

Some random thoughts floating through my head as I drove…

I love peanut M&M’s… I mean, I REALLY love them. I lived 34 years of my life thinking “Peanut M&M’s… they’re tasty enough to eat a couple sometimes.” And then for the past 2.5 years my thinking became “Peanut M&M’s are the best thing in the whole world. I NEED them now!” I wonder if having a kid had something to do with my addiction surge? Like the way some mothers use wine to make it through?

peanut-m-m

I recently finished the book All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood. It was well-written, easy to read… but I’m starting to think that maybe I shouldn’t read any books that have anything to do with parenting.

  • One, it made me really nervous about the teen years (and my kid is two! I have a way to go here!)
  • Two, it made me discredit the book when I read the teen year info. What do you mean they can’t think about future ramifications of their actions?! That’s all I thought about when I was a teen!
  • Three, it made my resentment toward my husband increase. It discusses how most men say they split childcare duties 50/50 with their wives but research shows that it’s actually more weighted to women doing the work. (Like 60/40 or something, I don’t recall the exact numbers.) And all I could think was “Who are these men doing 40% of the childcare?!” Because… the vast load of childcare falls to me in my household and I frequently look at it as a 95/5 split! Maybe 90/10 if I’m having a pleasant day!

But it was interesting how modern parenting has changed. Compared to my grandmother’s time, when women didn’t work as much to now… parents actually spend more time one-on-one with their kids. We live in a world where we can’t just say “Go outside to play and don’t come back until it’s dark.” like was possible in the past. So now we stress ourselves out with making sure that we’re super employees and super parents, thus we’re not having any fun despite thinking our children are our greatest joys. (And yeah… #AwesomeA is pretty much the best thing in my life… while also the hardest thing in my life!)

The author did a TED talk, if you’d rather just spare 18 minutes on the subject as opposed to the whole book:

I also read The Girl on the Train. At least in that book I didn’t find myself comparing my domestic life to the ones in the book. But I’ve decided I’m tired of book reviews saying “It’s the next Gone Girl!” No… it’s not. There is only one of those and that’s the way it should be. It was a good book, but I think that led me to think it would be more explosive than it was thus leaving the book to feel a little like a let down. But if I hadn’t been given that pre-conceived expectation, I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed the book a lot more.

I’m ready to taper. Next week… my taper starts. I don’t think I’ll even have any taper madness. I’m just looking forward to it! I’m going to throw a taper party. No I’m not… I don’t throw parties. But I’m going to be relieved! This tweet made me feel better about my current level of exhaustion:

Balance: Is this a real thing?

what-is-balance

This month Stonyfield wanted those of us on Team Stonyfield to talk about how we balance everything as we train for the Boston Marathon. And I gotta say… some days I feel like the whole idea of having balance in your life is a myth. Like a unicorn.*

There are days where I feel like the wheels are turning and I’ve got it all going smoothly.

  • Get up early and run 8 miles before work. CHECK
  • Shower and eat. CHECK
  • Get the kid dressed with no battles. CHECK
  • Food in the kid. CHECK
  • Productive day of work. CHECK
  • Take the kid to a park and have a lot of fun. CHECK
  • Make dinner that the kid eats cheerfully. CHECK
  • Give the kid a bath and get her in jammies with smiles. CHECK
  • Bed time with hugs and kisses and stories and cuddles. CHECK
  • Make the kid her lunch for the following day. CHECK
  • Husband is home in time to watch The Walking Dead on Netflix with me. CHECK

But then we have days that feel more like this:

  • Get up super early to run, as I’m on my way out the door I hear a wail, “Mommy…. I need you.” Soothe the kid, get her back to sleep and go run half my planned distance.
  • Get home, kid is waking up and crying. Go into her room and she is happy until I tell her she needs to get her uniform on, then we have a meltdown.
  • Kid is finally dressed, take her downstairs to get breakfast and she refuses everything. Instead she just wants to watch videos on the iPad, which isn’t allowed before school.
  • Strap the kid into her carseat so husband can drive her to school, go back inside and realize I am a good 45 minutes late for work, still gross from my run and haven’t eaten. Grab something simple to nosh and sit at my desk. Go take a shower when my co-workers are usually going on break.
  • Every project at work decides to take a left-turn on direction. Months of work is kind of thrown aside like it was nothing. Finish the work day feeling like I want to scream.
  • Pick the kid up from school. Go play at a park, but the park I take her to is the wrong one so she’s not happy.
  • Kid doesn’t eat anything for dinner.
  • Kid won’t read stories. Jammies are all wrong. The blankets are all wrong in her bed. There are no happy faces when the kid goes to sleep, an hour past bedtime.
  • Husband strolls in from work about 10 minutes after the battles have subsided, getting to miss it all.
  • I go to bed annoyed at everything then toss/turn all night long.

So is the simple fact that I get up each day and do it all again and hope for scenario number one “balance”? I guess so…  I just need to keep in mind that when there are the frustrating moments, “it is what it is” and “this too shall pass” and “days are long but years are short.” Are there other cliches that are applicable? Because I certainly don’t ever feel like I’ve got a balance going, I feel like I’m just careening through the days, mostly out of control.

It’s been an adventure training for the Boston Marathon, that’s for sure. I’m thrilled that I get this opportunity (Thank you Stonyfield… every day, Thank you so much!), but I have decided that I am not going to do anymore races that are out of town in the months of January-May as long as my husband is still in public accounting.

*Speaking of unicorns… my daughter started saying yesterday she wanted to “go to the unicorns” and she almost cried this morning when she asked if she could go to the unicorns instead of school. So I promised her a “unicorn adventure” after school… trying to figure that all out while I work. Wish me luck!

Oh… and while searching for unicorn stuff online for this “unicorn adventure” I stumbled upon this picture and it reminded me of when my daughter turned me into a potato and then I laughed! So… the fact that I can still laugh, that’s balance?

unitato