Friday Fête

Last Saturday we took off to San Diego. My daughter started to ask to go to a zoo in January… so I guess making her wait 5 months was long enough? She was so excited, but I think it made our trip easier. She’s not a fan of riding in the car for a long time, but we made it through this trip pretty well! She loved the zoo and the beach, Sea World was probably more “pretty good” in her book.

awesomea-on-the-beach.jpg

  • I think I bought my first pair of “athleisure” pants at an Athleta store in San Diego. And I’m ridiculously excited about them. And they’re not tights. Although, I saw A LOT of people in CA wearing patterned workout tights as regular everyday apparel. I can’t do that.
  • Also… seriously Athleta. OPEN A STORE IN LAS VEGAS! Or maybe not, I’d probably go there too often.
  • I need a new wardrobe though. The state of my closet is very very sad.
  • There was an earthquake here in NV today… I don’t think I felt it even if lots of people here did. Or if I did, I just chalked it up to the construction that is happening right next to my neighborhood.
  • Do you think it was part of GoPro’s original business plan to capture the final moments of people’s lives? It feels like we may see more and more of these.
  • I slowed down a lot during marathon training. I need to reclaim my Strava segment course records. I ran one of them today and I missed my old PR on it by a few seconds, but the new CR by about 15 seconds. Time to do work… for no real reason except that I feel like it.

Have a good Memorial Day weekend! Got any fun plans?

Friday Fête

Did you grow up in the 80’s and watch Jem? I did… I actually dressed up like Pizzazz from the Misfits (the villain girl band from the show?) for Halloween one year… that must have been 87ish? Anyway, my friends and I loved that show. I saw a link the other day to watch the trailer for the new Jem and the Holograms movie.  So I watched it… and it made me feel all creepy and sad inside. It’s not the Jem that I loved as a kid. Probably for the best… I’m sure that, like most things I liked as a kid, the original is pretty bad when viewed now.

I need to get my training back to consistency! I enjoyed having a couple of weeks off from running after the Boston Marathon. But after that my work ramped up and I have had to leave town for work every week for the past 4 weeks. I’m over that. It’s exhausting and it throws a kink into consistency with my training. When I started running again I felt clumsy, but this week I’ve had some good runs. This morning I was planning on going to hit a trail… but they’re doing some road re-paving on my street today and there are some guys walking around in circles in front of my house right now blowing debris everywhere. So I’m going to avoid stepping out in that for now. Today would be the day to have a Zero Runner!

Pivotal Living wearable

I was recently sent a Pivotal Living fitness tracker. I’ll post a full review after I use it for a bit, but I just wanted to tell you the really cool angle to this tracker. The band is free! Well, kind of. See, you sign up for a $12 one-year membership to the app and all your wearable-generated data and you get a complimentary device. And when you renew for another year, you get the new version of the device. This way you can always stay on top of the changing technology instead of feeling stuck with that device you just paid $100+ for one week before the new version was launched! So for the next little bit I’m wearing two fitness trackers, just to give it a test!

pivotal-living-garmin-vivofit.jpg

Recycle GU wrappers

Terracycle and GU Energy Labs have partnered to let athletes send in their empty endurance gel packets for recycling. Read more about gel wrapper recycling over on TheRUNiverse.com.

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Fabletics Brook Tee II

I just bought this tee from Fabletics in Dark Grey… it’s super soft, super comfy, and just all around awesome! I just wish the only two colors it came in weren’t super bright pink and super bring coral.

Brook Tee II   Fabletics

 

This post took entirely too long to write… mainly because of sifting through crap in my inbox and figuring out which is worth sharing a little. And surprisingly little made the cut.

Wearable Tech to Manage Pain?!

I work a desk job… I sit at a computer for a lot of hours each day. But since I telecommute, I can usually stand up and do some jumping jacks without anyone as a witness, or I can respond to emails on my laptop while using my FitDesk, or I can use the upstairs bathroom instead of the one on the same floor as my office. Little ways to get some extra movement in to my day. But the past few weeks I’ve been making a lot of drives to work on site, which means a lot of time sitting in the car. And I’m finding my hips getting tight and even a few sore spots. So I foam roll and roll on Yoga Tune-Up balls and do hip opening yoga poses.

In addition to the hip trouble spots, my shoulders are chronically knotted up and I have pain in my wrist from using a mouse all day lately. I feel a little bit like a mess some days!

cur-app

So when I heard about the new Cur device, I was really interested. I want to get my hands on one of these… basically it’s a small TENS device, it sends a small current into the muscle to release pain. It’s useful for people with chronic pain, desk jockeys who develop cricks and creaks from being too stationary, or from active individuals who develop cricks and creaks from being active. (Wait a minute… how is this fair? We get problems from moving and NOT moving!) Maybe it’s just that it’s good for people who are aging… and we’re all aging!

I got to ask the CEO, Shaun Rahimi,  a few questions via email about it:

1. How long would the sensor/pads last?
Two weeks.

2. Is it possible for the consumer to mess this up and place it in a way that is harmful?
Cur’s biosensing technology is designed to measure your body and provide accurate settings that can lead to clinically effective results. That said, it’s designed for places below the head, meaning it’s not designed for migraines — just chronic pain like the hips you referred to, low back, etc.

3. Are there any pains that this wouldn’t be usable for?
Migraines/anything above the shoulders

4. Does it communicate with a smartphone? Or is there some other mechanism that controls it? And how does it work if you don’t have wires looped all over you?  
Cur has wireless and smartphone connectivity and a mobile app that allows people to build their own customized treatments for different reasons like rehab, massage, neuroscience, pain and even training for a marathon.

5. How much will this cost?
$299 retail, however for the first 30 days (May 13 – June 13) it will sell for $149!

6. How do people get it?
Cur.me

I also shared the full press release about it over on TheRUNiverse.com. I’m a geek… I’d love to get my hands on one. Or get this on my hands and upper back for some pain relief!

Disclaimer: Why do I feel like I need to write a disclaimer because I wrote a post about a product that I haven’t tried and just find interesting? Because that’s the state of the blogosphere now. Le sigh…

Do you do “athleisure”?

I’m sure you’ve heard the jokes/stories/truths about women wearing yoga pants all the time.

  • It’s a joke: we’re all too sloppy to care anymore.
  • It’s a reality: we like to be comfortable.
  • It’s a spark: a whole new category of clothing called “athleisure” has moved forward due to this.

Just to preface… I don’t wear yoga pants around all the time. I’m not sure if I even own yoga pants. I mean, I have several pairs of athletic capris. Some have a tendency to ride down if I run in them, so they have been relegated to the “yoga wear” designation but I don’t think they’re actually called “yoga pants”. And I definitely would never wear any of those pants for anything other than a workout. While I’m just as much of a fan of being comfortable as anyone else, I am NOT comfortable in skin-tight pants in everyday situations. There is a part of me that would still much rather disappear into baggy clothes. That’s why I dislike skinny jeans and I’m happy every time I hear a story that says they’ve reached their end.

But I also don’t want to look like a hobo or like I’m stuck in a 90’s fashion rut either. My high school and college years were comfortable though…

Girls in baggy 90's clothing - jeans and plaid

But the recent athleisure trend is seemingly everywhere. I receive catalogs in the mail, I receive marketing emails, I see online ads. And I start to think I need these items. And I can easily rack up $1000 of imaginary purchases in the matter of minutes while flipping through their sites/catalogs.

Jogger pants are just a different name for sweat pants. Something that was the ultimate in sloppy wear when I was younger. As in, this is what you wore when you were home sick. In the winter. And nobody would see you. But now we’ve added a few pockets, embellishments and VOILA! it’s completely fashionable. Take the Coaster Pant from Athleta.

Athleta Coaster Pant

Athleta Coaster Pant

Looks casual enough, but still pretty cute. But then in their blog, they take it to the next level and claim you can wear joggers to work (or on a date)!

Athleta Coaster Pant for Work?

Athleta Coaster Pant for Work?

I’m pretty sure I’d feel wrong if I wore those pants into the office (the times that I actually do go into the office.) It’s a cute look… but if I feel sloppy, I don’t feel good about myself.

Let’s look at Fabletics, Kate Hudson’s line of athletic apparel. I’m in love with all the capris I have bought from them and I recently placed an order for some shirts. They’re introducing more things that can carry over into the athleisure realm. Or at least, they say they can… “Loungewear for all day, every day.”

It’s a totally cute shirt! I could see wearing that to a barre class or a Surfset class, with a bra underneath! But I just don’t see wearing that out and about in my daily life. And I live somewhere that is really hot! There are people who actually wear bikini tops to the grocery store at times and I’m totally embarrassed for them when I see them.

I guess that’s part of the problem… it’s hot here in Vegas from May to October. And I don’t want to wear lots of layers or clothing that is heavy. I don’t want my clothes to cling either. I’d much rather wear something baggy, lightweight and easy to pull on. But I also don’t want to feel like I’m a slob when I run to the store or when I pick my daughter up from school.

Eddie Bauer has some great looking activewear lately, but they also have some examples of putting things together into an athleisure look.

I think it’s cute… I can guarantee I’m not going to wear a scarf with my athletic capris. It’s just sooooooo not me. I made the mistake of buying a scarf a while back. I look okay in it, but I’m really uncomfortable in it. I feel like I’m pretending or playing dress up.

But I really want to figure out how to incorporate more comfortable clothing into my life and not wear denim so much, but still feel like myself. I’m such a mess when it comes to fashion!

Would you wear joggers or leggings into an office? Do you wear them out and about for daily tasks? Have you ever scrapped your entire wardrobe and rebuilt?

Friday Fête

I have 10 days of vacation to use before June 30 or else I lose them. That means I need to take quite a few Fridays off before then. So this morning I took the time for myself for this:

Trails on the outskirts of Las Vegas

Try to not get lost… they look like they all come back together, but they don’t!

Trails on the outskirts of Las Vegas - big rocky hill

Climb me…

I received some new trail shoes: Montrail FluidFlex ST (disclosure: freebie shoes for the purpose of blog review/social media) and while I had run on an easy trail in them before Boston, I was excited to get out on new terrain. They were really comfortable and I was glad I had the traction on these trails full of loose rocks and uneven slopes. They have a 4mm drop, are lightweight and they retail for $95… I’m looking forward to putting in more miles on the trails now that I’m not marathon training for a while. *

montrail-fluidflex-st.jpg

And just because today I am taking vacation, that doesn’t mean I’m free from checking my work email or talking to my boss. I seem to recall once upon a time I could actually take a day off… but the past few months that vibe has changed A LOT in my job.

And in true Friday fashion… here are a bunch of things that have graced my inbox this week that have caught my eye.

Aquasana Filter Water Bottle (Kickstarter)

This Aquasana water bottle is made of glass and has a super-high-tech filter. I don’t think I’d carry it running, but it seems like a good traveling bottle – one to take with you past security into the airport and fill up out of the drinking fountains. Or to keep in the car and then fill up at parks for the kiddo… park drinking fountains always seem a little iffy to me!

Aquasana Filter Water Bottle

Hidrate Water Bottle

Did you know there could be so much innovation in water bottles? This Hidrate bottle communicates with an app to make sure you’re drinking the right amount throughout the day. And it’s kind of like a work of art!

Hidrate water bottle and app

JournalMENU Winner

Congratulations to Amy who won the training journal giveaway. For those of you who are interested in getting your own JournalMENU journal, you can get 15% off by visiting this page by May 20! They have journals for a wide range of things available, so check it out! (No, I don’t get commission from this… it’s just a nice thing they have offered!)

jillwillrun-journalmenu-discount

Red’s Burrito Bowls

I received some coupons to get free Red’s Burrito Bowls and I was excited to try them. I found them at a local Fresh and Easy store, where unfortunately they don’t take manufacturer coupons. (I could get into a whole other rant about this!) So I just bought them anyway… and I really like them. Super easy when I need a fast lunch and they’re non-GMO, have a good amount of protein in them and are one of the better tasting microwave meals I’ve tried! BTW – Red is not the owner, Red is the owner’s dog. I’m pretty sure Jade the Boxer would approve.

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Standing Workers Just Want to Sit Down

I thought this was interesting… we hear a lot about how bad sitting is (I share a lot of those stories. I want to stand at my desk more!) but I frequently hear from friends who do a lot on their feet when I share those how they would love to sit down more during work. I received a pitch from Futuro who is doing a giveaway for a vacation, gift card, compression gear, about how workers that stand a lot end up so fatigued they often don’t do other exercise. This isn’t the athletic compression gear I would normally lean toward, but I hadn’t thought that if I do actually stand more at my desk that I might need compression gear for that! Sounds like standing while working and sitting while working are just like anything else… best in moderation!

futuro-standing-workers

*Did you catch that? My “for a while” statement? I really want to run another marathon and I’m already plotting out where the next one should be. I just don’t want to train for one through the summer months in Las Vegas!

All the Workouts I Dream About

I’m tired today. I ran a brutal marathon last night… in my sleep.

  • the weather was awful in this race. It was cold and rainy…
  • then we ran through a 5 mile segment that had suddenly turned to snow and dropped about a foot of snow in this stretch that we had to shuffle through.
  • There were tunnels that were pitch black because there was no power to illuminate them. All the runners were shuffling along dragging their hands along a wall to keep some kind of an idea as to where they were.
  • Further the rains were even harder and roads were flooded. We had to run an underpass that was flooded. There was a gate and a race volunteer instructed us we could stick to the race course and swim the underpass or cut a mile off and go through her gate, but we’d take a penalty. There was a line of us there waiting to take the penalty, but she was all scattered and rude and would only let one runner through the gate at a time while she searched through her notebook to check off with a pencil the runners who would be penalized while balancing her umbrella.
  • We got through the gate and ran up a huge hill, only to have strong gusts of wind once cresting the summit literally blow runners off their feet.
  • I keep saying “We” in this… I was running with a group of gals I had no idea who they were, but I think we just banded together because we were all in this same situation.

I was over 6 hours into this race and not near the finish yet when my alarm finally went off, saving me from this hellish experience that was leaving me to question, “Why did they not cancel the race?” My husband said I was tossing and turning all night long.

Irony… considering I was planning on posting about ALL THE WORKOUTS I wish I had time to do. Just thinking about that after the horrible midnight marathon exhausted me further! BUT in a perfect world, these are some of the workouts I would love to have time to do… you know, in my dreams. ;-)

Running

I want to run 4 days a week. I usually make time to do that. I would love to have at least an hour for that each day, except for one day that needs to be long run day.

jillwillrun-windy-day.jpg

Zero Runner

So…. I haven’t actually tried the Octane Zero Runner. But I have decided this NEEDS to be my life. I have been meaning to incorporate more cross-training, but there’s the whole specificity of sport thing too… This looks perfect because it’s a way to keep building endurance and cardio health without the pounding! Plus, it’s quiet so I could do it in the early morning hours or late hours when the kid is asleep and I can’t go out to run due to heat/no backup parent/etc. Acquiring one of these machines is high on my to-do list. I wonder if they would give me a discount if I promised to blog/Tweet/Facebook/Pin/Instagram/Medium about it. (Wait… I just did blog about it for free! And I’m serious about this!)

zero-runner-facebook-pic

Barre

I think doing a barre workout 4 or 5 days a week would be good for isolating and toning all those little muscles that are so important for balance. And I really like these workouts, they make me bust a sweat and they make me sore, letting me know they’re working areas that I neglect otherwise.

The studio at Las Vegas Pure Barre. This was an amazing class.

The studio at Las Vegas Pure Barre. This was an amazing class.

Surfset Classes

Easily the most fun I’ve had in a group fitness class. Also, not exactly the thing that one would do at home. The surfboard is big and not the most home-friendly option and I don’t think the class would be as much fun if you were coaching yourself through it. But these were fun classes and killer core workouts.

surfset-las-vegas.jpg

Yoga

Every day… every single day… I’d love to do some yoga each day. I did a daily practice in February and it was hard to fit in, some days it was literally just 5 minutes. But it also greatly improved how I felt; physically and mentally. Yesterday I did 20 minutes of yoga after my run and it was great, except for the moment that I lay down for savasana and heard “Mommy…. I need to go POTTY!!!!!!” from my daughter’s bedroom. I have a subscription to Fitstar Yoga, it’s really convenient to be able to get a variety of practices in as long as I have the time!

fitstar-yoga

Strength Training

I have friends who have shown amazing gains and improvements by incorporating strength training. I have ZERO desire to do one of those “stand on a stage in a sparkly bikini flexing my muscles” competitions (Trust me, it would be a very bad choice for me to embark on that path with my eating disorder history.) but it would be cool to be able to knock out a few chin-ups/pull-ups. So maybe 2 days a week of this?

No one gets toned from a Shake Weight

Image found via NiaShanks.com

Hooping

I have a hula hoop and I am good at spinning it around my waist and hips… I can do that for a long time. It would be fun to figure out how to actually do tricks, like spinning it up and down my body and along my arms artfully. Then again, I’m very ungraceful so this is probably a pretty laughable proposition, but one I’d like to do purely for the fun of it. And to get to the point of doing tricks, you probably need to keep trying consistently, huh?

Image via LoleWomen.com

Image via LoleWomen.com

But incorporating all of these workouts means lots of two-a-days… which means more minutes and hours dedicated to working out. And all these workouts is going to lead to an increased need to shower. I always thought people were joking when they said on teh interwebs they had a hard time fitting in a shower once they had kids. But it really does get harder! Yesterday I took a shower after my run and as I was getting out of the shower I had a little girl run into the bathroom crying, but then she started laughing when she saw me and she said, “You have no clothes on!” Then she remembered she was upset and started to cry again and said, “Put your clothes on! I need you downstairs!”

Oh… and the sleep issue. I’m already sleep deprived a good majority of the time. I consistently get about 6.5 hours of sleep (sometimes fragmented when I have to go soothe a 2-year-old who is awake and saying, “I’m scared of the ladybugs!”) each night. And I would think that if I’m getting in this many workouts, I’d probably need more recovery time. A couple more hours of sleep… maybe a nap every now and then. Doesn’t a nap sound glorious? I’m so jealous of people who have kids that nap. The only way I could get my kid to nap is to strap her to me the first year of her life or to go on a drive around town at nap time. But if she would take a nap, maybe I could take a nap!

And there are other things that I haven’t explored as much but sound great. Pilates, PiYo, Orange Theory Fitness, SoulCycle (I don’t think these are even in Vegas yet)…

Are you like me, do you hear about all the different workouts out there and want to try them all? 

Protein Up! with Silk Soymilk

Throughout marathon training I had a real problem with runger. I just felt hungry all… the… time! I thought it was due to the big miles I was running, and that probably contributed. But I’m still feeling pretty ravenous and I haven’t run since the race. My body needs fuel to heal and rebuild all the little microtearing that happens from running a marathon, but also to just function in daily life. And here’s what I’m realizing… I’m still skimping on protein! I need to increase that more, it will help me feel fuller and more satisfied.

I used to be really good about making meals that were “balanced” and contained a wide variety of food groups and nutrients. And then I got busier. Life happens! Work obligations, being a mom, taking care of a household… And with time limited I got in the habit of shoveling a bowl of cereal in my face each morning. Cereal is great, but just making a simple switch from an almond/cashew milk to soy milk on my cereal each morning I’m introducing more protein with hardly any effort.

Silk Soymilk has 8 grams of plant-protein per serving, the same as dairy milk! Since it comes from plants, there is no cholesterol and it is low in saturated fat. Plus it just tastes good!

For my upcoming half marathon training, I’m going to try to get back into the habit of consuming more smoothies to get a range of nutrients from fruits & veggies and to increase my protein intake. While I usually like yogurt in them, I do prefer a plant-based “milk” for the liquid. Soy milk is awesome for boosting the protein and creaminess factor in a smoothie.

But smoothies do take a little more time to make, so that’s why just incorporating it in simple ways will make a difference too. Topping my cereal with Soymilk is a fast and effortless change and I feel like every second counts these days, especially in the mornings! I’m trying to re-bank some of the sleep I lost over the past several months! (Wishful thinking!)

However, this is deliciousness worth a few extra minutes:

  • orange juice
  • banana
  • ​Silk Soymilk
  • blueberries
  • yogurt and/or plant-based protein powder
  • optional add-ins: spinach, any fruit you can think of, carrots, chia seeds, oats

And it’s easy to sip while sitting at a desk… or maybe if you’re commuting to work or school… or just sitting on the couch and watching TV!

Whether you’re already a fan of Silk Soymilk or looking to try it, I encourage you to visit silk.com/lovesoymilk for a coupon to save on your next purchase.

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Serial Racing

If you’ve been in the running/racing community long enough, you’ve heard about the special breed of runners that does a ton of races throughout the year. The people who race every weekend or even multiple times in the same weekend. And I’m going to be honest… whenever I have heard of these people I always think what a great adventure that must be and then I wonder “How do they manage that?” And when I think manage, I am literally thinking about the logistics… from finances and organization and traveling.  I suppose I should think about how they physically manage the accomplishment, but since I’m a tightwad I always think of the monetary side first.

Thus the book Serial Racing: Planning For And Affording A Lifetime Of Endurance Events intrigued me. (Disclosure: sent to me for free to review.) I have no aspirations to do this kind of endeavor at this point in my life, but this book helped me realize and appreciate all the effort that it takes to do something of this nature.

serial-racing-book-cover

The author, Andrea Herrmann, is speaking from experience here. She completed the 10 Moon/Sun level in the Half Fanatics club… doing 52 half marathons in 365 days… TWICE and wrote this book after doing so to share the knowledge she’s acquired on the subject.

She dives into information on how to make sure you are saving money on your race registrations (early registrations are key… which means planning your calendar out in advance is key!), tricks to get free flights, saving money on accommodations, how to find a variety of races and generally how to keep your self organized when you are doing this many events.

So what if you have zero interest in doing as many events as the author? Well… if you’re doing one race a month or so (something I know a lot of people can easily do locally) there are tips in here for you too. There is one that I don’t want to giveaway (you’ll have to check out the book) that has to do on saving money on an Active Advantage membership that I want to look into further.

The other really cool thing is the author volunteers with Medals4Mettle, a nonprofit that collects earned donated finishers medals and presents them to individuals battling cancer and other illness. A portion of the book proceeds are used to fund medal presentations.

medals4mettle

The book is available in paperback and kindle format on Amazon. Definitely check it out if you want to find ways to keep your racing habit in check or figure out how to take it up to a new level!

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

What’s Next and Journaling Training

So…. the Boston Marathon was kind of my big THING this year. And as with anything you do in life, people always want to know what’s coming up next.

  • Get married, people want to know when you’ll have a kid
  • Have a kid, people want to know when you’ll have another
  • Run a big race, people ask when the next one is
  • Read all the way to the end of the post for a giveaway

First up on the agenda… is to rest. I haven’t run since the race a week ago. I have the itch to run… but I promised myself I would take at least two weeks off from running after the marathon. And even though I came through the race remarkably unscathed, I do have a toenail that is sore. At race finish I had a sore toe and the top 1/3 of the toenail came off a couple of days after the race and I thought I was all set. But another toenail on the other foot is getting blacker and has some pain. So I’ll give it another week to chill out.

toenail-turning-black.jpg

Look! Giant picture of my foot!

 

After a week off from any kind of specific exercise (I did a lot of stretching and foam rolling this past week, just because I felt like I “should” do it but there was no targeting of any areas that were in need) I feel the need to have a little more structure. And as I mentioned before, I’d like to do a lot more Barre3 workouts. I would LOVE to go to studio classes, but all of the barre studios are a good drive from my house, so it’s not like I can truly run out to do it on my lunch hour… unless I want to do a “lunch 2 hours.” :-) So Barre3 online and DVDs are what it will need to be.

Barre3-Runners-Workout

I have a couple of half marathons I’m already registered for, one in August and one in September. I have seen ads for a great race that is in July and I get tempted to sign up for it each time I see one… but I haven’t yet.  I also have my eye on a Ragnar Relay in the fall… or maybe two. If I get trigger-happy, I may just join a team of random strangers for the Vegas Ragnar once more… it’s kind of an adventure to do that!

Something I did learn through this training cycle is that I should really keep a better log of what I’m doing on each day and each week. Pay attention to the meals that I’m eating the night before a long run and see if there are any patterns between the rough days and what I eat or if it’s just random dumb luck. There are a lot of online logs… but I definitely wouldn’t want to use a public forum for this kind of information. There are runners out there who are comfortable sharing all of the bad details, the boring details, the pointless details with anyone who happens to look online… I’m not one of those runners!

So I’m going to try a paper log for the next few months. I received a great one from Journal Menu and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how many nice little details have gone into this planner. I got to choose my own photo that wrapped around the covers, so I used a photo I took in Hawaii on a trail a few years ago.

journal-menu.jpg

There is more inside than just blank spots to write down your information. There are a few sample training plans for 5K, half marathon and marathon.

journal-menu-half-marathon.jpg

Fortunately, these only take up about 6 pages, so if you aren’t interested in those it’s not like you’re losing a ton of usable space. There are pages for you to write out your plans for races.

journal-menu-race-planning.jpg

And also to write a review of the race:

journal-menu-race-review.jpg

The bulk of the pages are designed to be used for tracking the day-in-day-out training. It’s nice because it gives you cues on various things that you could be recording to look for patterns to success/disappointment in your training that you may not remember on your own:

journal-menu-weekly.jpg

And I like that there is a little motivational quote at the top of each page too! I’m going to give it a try and I’ll let you know how I like a paper option!

If you would like to get your own journal, I’ve got a giveaway for one! And it doesn’t have to be a running journal… take a look at the Journal Menu site, they have a TON of options for personalized journaling.

Giveaway closes on May 5 and all entries must be registered through the Rafflecopter widget. Winner must be in the US. Winner will be chosen randomly and will be emailed. Contact information will be passed over to Journal Menu for prize redemption.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Boston Marathon 2015 Recap – Numero Dos

Read: Recap Numero Uno

Rain started to fall a little as we made the 45 minute drive to Hopkinton. It was just a sprinkle and stopped by the time we were there.

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But the Athletes’ Village was kind of soggy. There was a big tent set up with bagels, bananas, water, coffee and Gatorade. People could spread bags, or whatever items they had, on the ground to sit, but most of the people were in line for the potties. And many had already run out of TP! You’d think with how detail-oriented everything was with this race, they wouldn’t be out of that!

We found teammate Angela there and hit the potty line. And it wasn’t long before they announced it was time for our wave and corrals to start heading toward the start line. Volunteers checked every bib to make sure you were in the right corral, no jumping ahead like I’ve seen in other races. I’m glad for that.

It’s nearly a one mile walk from the Village to the start line. Along the way in this shuffle I ditched my sweatpants, but kept the jacket. It was also during this walk when the rain started to fall more steadily.

The start was rather sudden, we kept shuffling forward as they released corrals and all the sudden – RUN! – it was ON as everyone realized they were at the start line.

Rachel and I had decided to start out the race running together and keep evaluating how we went along and how we felt. Both of us had kind of lonely training with many miles on our own and we each appreciated the company. I can’t imagine that you’d ever run alone in Boston, there are so many people, but it’s nice to have someone in particular that you’re checking in with throughout the miles.

The first miles are all downhill; over and over I’ve heard the biggest mistake runners make in this race is going out too fast for those early miles. I was very aware our pace wasn’t exactly where I wanted it to be, a little fast, but not too bad. And it felt so good. Oh… and there are so many people, it’s hard to not be swept along in the crowd. Despite the rain, despite the wind, despite the cold… I was having so much fun.

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There’s really no way to get how much this area loves the race until you’re there. I’ve heard stories of the crowd support many times, yet it still blew me away. Even in the rain, people lined the streets. For 26.2 miles you have people screaming and cheering for you. They set up tents in their yards, have music blasting, people playing various musical instruments (drums, a fife, cowbell…) and you can get aid between all the official aid stations. Residents hand out water, Gatorade, Twizzlers, oranges… I can’t believe how much pride they have for this race. The aid stations were very consistent: every mile with Gatorade Endurance and then water. The volunteers all smiled and cheered for us, even as they had to stand in the rain and cold.

Rachel and I decided that at the halfway point she would dig her phone out and we’d take a picture. Both of us had our phones in plastic bags tucked firmly away so they didn’t get soggy. Everything else was soggy, must protect the electronics!

Rachel and Jill at the 13.1 mile point of the Boston Marathon

My new running buddy for life, Rachel!

The Wellesley College Scream Tunnel is amazing and loud, you can’t help but smile as you run through their noise and signs. Going into this I wanted to record this section, but with the rain I didn’t get any my phone out. And even with the rain there were a lot of girls out there… thanks ladies, for braving the cold/wet/wind to cheer us on!

Heartbreak Hill has the reputation, but really there is a series of hills leading up to Heartbreak. It’s just once you top Heartbreak, the real climbs are finally over that everybody looks forward to! It’s not that it is super steep either, it’s more a lot of climbs in a row and the fact that they come so late in the race after you’ve been running downhill. But I conserved energy and felt really strong at this point still.

Rachel and I took some walk breaks on the hills, making agreements on where to start and stop our breaks. “Start at the umbrella and end at that tent?” She tried to encourage me to go on ahead, but I told her she was stuck with me. I was having too much fun having a pal on course, someone to share all the amazing energy with me, I wasn’t about to ditch her.

My friend Terri’s apartment is actually right on the race course, so I got to wave to her. She had some things to offer me if I needed them; a jacket, new hat, gloves… But I was feeling okay and nothing added to me at this point could change how soggy I felt. So I waved at her and we pressed on. She said that most people she knows say they don’t remember the race from beyond her place cause it’s so late in the race, but I’m pleased to say I do. I felt FANTASTIC!

I remembered signs at the expo saying “Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston”, and in the final mile as I saw the course turning right I knew we must be at that moment. I wanted to just charge ahead full speed, it was so exciting knowing I was going to finish another marathon after a long hiatus, and not just any marathon… The Boston Marathon!

Rachel and I promised to cross together and that we wouldn’t mess up each other’s finish. She had a friend charge ahead of her at the last minute once and I had a friend cover my face in the finish as she outstretched her arms. We grabbed hands briefly for a moment and then crossed that blue line. It was also so great to have someone who I could immediately turn to and share in the moment of victory… the “Holy crap we just ran the Boston Marathon!” moment.

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This was my best feeling marathon ever! I had a dopey smile on my face most of the race, I never felt my form slip, my energy was consistent… It was simply amazing. The rain seriously worried me, but it didn’t pose a problem during the run.

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The finish area was great, the volunteers put the medal around each finishers’ neck and treated each of us like we were special. Then volunteers put the heatsheets on each of us, helping to guide our arms in, pulling the hood up, and fastening the Velcro closure for us. (BTW – the heatsheets were WAY better than a simple mylar blanket, which I couldn’t have held on to at that point as my hands were frozen.) We were handed a bag of snacks and volunteers were passing out bananas, even offering to peel them for us.

It was just as we approached the finish line the rain started to fall harder. I went to the gear check area to pick up my bag and it seemed so far away. I had dry clothes in my gear bag, but no way to get dry. I ducked into the women’s changing tent and pulled off my wet top layers and put on a new shirt/sweatshirt on top of my wet skin. I don’t know if that actually improved how I felt or not, I was shivering pretty hard. I didn’t really want to sit down on the wet ground to pull off my soggy shoes and walk through all the puddles in flip-flops, so I kept my soggy shoes on.

Then I had to walk just as far to get to the family meetup area where Terri was waiting for me. I eventually found Terri and we boarded the T to get back to her place. (Marathon runners ride the T for free on Marathon Monday, good thing… my hands wouldn’t function to find my money.) I’d have to say the finish area was the hardest part of the race for me, and I think that was mainly due to the weather.

I had an amazing time, I would love to get the opportunity to do Boston again in better weather. But I’m so grateful to my sponsor, Stonyfield, for getting me there. This was the experience of a lifetime and just what this mom needed to recharge. I guess I recharge by completely draining my physical reservoir and letting my mental/emotional reservoir refill at the same time. These past several months have been difficult for me, but this weekend has brought me back to life!

And since my phone was ensconced in layers of plastic baggie to protect it from the rain, I didn’t get many pictures on race day. So here’s a bunch of pictures of some of the things I received from the race packet:

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