Things I’m Loving Lately – Marathon Training Kickoff Edition

Yep, that’s right. Marathon training is officially underway. Not that I’m really doing anything wildly different this week. This week I’m running 23-25 miles, which has become my norm. Next week, however I’ll start (gradually) upping the miles. I guess I’m ready?

Not only is marathon training back, but so is the ridiculous heat, humidity, and daily thunderstorms. For a few months I was actually managing to do my long runs at night after the kids were in bed (and I kind of liked it), but with thunderstorms rolling in anywhere between 4-9pm, I decided I need to commit to morning running again.

idontlikeit

Why is sooooo hard to get up??

There are a few perks to marathon training. Mainly, it’s a good excuse to buy new things. It helps that it was just my birthday so I can say things like “I’m buying these for myself, for my birthday.” Even though everyone knows that I would probably buy them anyways. It’s just fun to have an excuse.

So here a few recent buys that I have been worth buying (none of these links are affiliated, click away)…

1. Amphipod Hydraform Handheld In-Touch (20oz)

HydraformHandheldInTouch

So, this isn’t new. I bought it back in February and it was love at first run. I have never really been one to run with a water bottle, but it now goes with me on every run. Even the 3 milers. It’s very light and cozy in my hand and it holds my phone (I’m actually able to use my phone without taking it out as well). When it’s super dark outside I reverse my phone and use it as a flashlight. Basically, it’s great. I haven’t decided if I’ll use it on longer runs or on race day, but I will use it on runs up to about 13 miles.

2. Nike Breeze Tanks

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I finally found the PERFECT shirt for running in Florida! I probably could run with just my sports bra on, but I like having something to absorb my sweat (it dries fast) and protect me from those stupid gnats that are everywhere (if only I could find something that kept them from flying into my mouth). The material is so lightweight and bonus, it’s long.

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If the shirts weren’t $35, I would probably have one in every color. Instead, I’m slowly adding them to my collection.

3. Salted Carmel Gu

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Don’t get me wrong, Gu is still disgusting and makes me gag, but this is the most tolerable flavor I’ve ever eaten. Maybe it’s the salt? I just realized it’s a winter flavor, and salted watermelon is their summer flavor. I can’t decide if that sounds gross or not.

4. Elta MD Sports Sunscreen

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My dermatologist probably makes a fortune off of selling this stuff, but I have to give him credit because it’s pretty great. It doesn’t make my skin breakout (and I have SUPER sensitive skin), it doesn’t smell too disgusting, it’s not sticky, and it doesn’t sting if it you’re a moron (like me) and it accidentally gets in your eyes. I also now use this on all of my kids – including Mr. Sensitive Baby Skin himself.

Oh, and I make my ginger husband use it so he doesn’t burst into flames the minute he walks out of the house.

5. Ridiculously Bright Colored Clothes

I’m all about the neon.

I'm obnoxious. #wooendorphins

I’m obnoxious and I know it.

6. Fitness Blender workouts

I’ve been wanting to add an extra strength/HIIT workout to my schedule — but I don’t have time (nor do I want to wake up early) to go to the gym, so I’ve been doing these Fitness Blender workouts from home. Here’s one that kicked my ass and only took 20 minutes….

I love that they visually include the countdown clock and have a pretty broad variety of workouts (which also list the calorie burn range). Maybe I’m the last person on Earth to discover these workouts, but if I’m not, check them out!

7. This book.

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Ok, so it has nothing to do with marathon training, except it’s been keeping me up because I can’t put it down. If you want to read something and think, “Wow, she’s batshit crazy and we need to be best friends.” Then this book is for you.

8. Cute kids and a supportive husband

So, I’m pretty lucky (and nobody even paid me to say that). My husband may not understand my crazy hobbies, but he’s my biggest fan and cheerleader. I could not fathom training for these marathons (or writing this blog) without his support.

He seems really excited about this for some reason.

And as always, the cute kids help too. Especially, when they pretend to like each other.

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WHICH IS ALWAYS (ha).

Anything running (or non-running really) that you’re loving lately?

Marathon Complaining/Rambling

Oh man. I am so not prepared for marathon training this summer. Or well, summer in general.

summer

Why do I live in Florida again?

I’ve been pretty consistent about doing 8-12 mile long runs for the past two months, and hitting between 20-25 miles a week, so it’s not about the miles. It’s about the damn humidity.

Could tonight have been more beautiful? #nope #orlando #nofilter #seenonmyrun

Awwww, so pretty. Looks are deceiving.

For example, I woke up relatively early on Sunday. I was out of my 10-miler around 7am, and about a mile into it the negative thoughts came pouring into my brain. Just one right after another – as the humidity sucked out all of my energy. Seriously, ALL OF IT. I really wanted to quit. I really wanted to run faster. I hated seeing my pace and knowing that I wasn’t going to be making it home anytime soon. Instead of listening to my inner voice, I just kept going.  And somehow, I finished.

I never sweat. This humidity made me sweat like a beast. You're welcome.

You can’t tell I’m sweating in this picture, but I think this is the most I’ve ever sweat in my life. 

But seriously. Why did I sign up to run not one, but TWO fall marathons?? WHHHHHYYYYYYY?

How am I going to survive 16, 18, and 20+ miles in weather like this? (and yes, I will wake up earlier to get it done, but the humidity? Regardless of the sun, it will still be there) I am, obviously, a glutton for punishment.

So in other words, “Let the marathon complaining begin!!”

I AM creeping closer to finalizing a training plan. I’m just a tiny bit worried that it’s not realistic.

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Can you even read this?

I had to rearrange some of my long runs due to a few social events (where I will be drinking a lot of alcohol), so there are a few weeks in there that look crazy.

I’m also seriously considering making that Thursday “Crosstrain” a Yoga class. Not that I’ve ever been to yoga, nor do I know it there is an actual class close to me, but as I was stretching last night I realized that this is now me….

Stretching

And even then, it’s painful. We’ll see if I actually follow through with this though. In theory it sounds like a good idea. I think I need someone to force me to go with them (anyone looking for a Thursday night yoga buddy?).

And finally, I leave you with this…

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This moment last all of 10 seconds. So glad I captured it. <3 <3 <3

Do you sweat like a beast? Yoga – yes or no?

Why I’m Running for RMHC

I have a post written about stuff going on lately, but after a less than stellar night of sleep (three guesses on why) and having all kinds of internal rage this morning about stupid, meaningless things –  I didn’t feel like posting something that sounded so chipper and upbeat. I then considered raging on here – because, who doesn’t love a good rage?

Instead, I decided to get sucked into watching videos from the charity I am running for in October. It started with this one… and it made me SO excited to run for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) in Chicago.

Then,YouTube sucked me in. I started watching videos about the families. I also started reading about them.

I pulled out the tissues.

I had a good cry.

And I gave myself a reality check and stopped feeling sorry for myself.

The reason I picked this charity is because what it does for families. 7 millions children and families. Yes, 7 MILLION.

In a time of crisis, this charity is there, ready and willing to help in any way they can. They provide shelter, food, and comfort to families when they need it most – without charge. Can we all agree that the last thing you ever need to worry about when you are dealing with a severe illness or prolonged hospital stay is where you’re going to sleep and what you’re going to eat?

The Ronald McDonald houses become homes. The strangers who work there and other who are living there  become family. They help people – kids and adults together – realize that they are NEVER alone and there is always a shoulder to cry on and person to vent to (and with).

I can only pray that we will never have to be a RMHC family, but I will do all that I can to  raise money for this amazing organization.

So, if you too are having a first world problems kind of Monday – check out these families. Considering their circumstances, they are so full of hope and determination – and gratefulness and love.

http://youtu.be/UM9CW__eRJE

It’s organizations like this that assure me there really are GOOD people out there. This is really such a fantastic charity. If you look up the  stats, you can see that 90% of the money donated goes towards intended programs and it is highly ranked for both accountability and transparency. That was also VERY important to me. I didn’t want to raise money for an organization if it was going to end up in someone else’s pockets.

And if you feel so inspired, considering donating to RMHC. Whether it’s through my campaign, somebody else’s campaign, or direct, I don’t really care. It’s all about the kids, man. OR you too could run Chicago!! 26.2 miles is NOTHING compared to what these families have, are, and will continue to go through.

Are you with me on the Crappy Monday Train? Have you ever considered running for charity??

PS – If you wanted to feel good about buying McDonald’s Happy Meals - restaurants donate a penny from every Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meal purchase to support RMHC programs and services. Yes, it’ just a penny, and yes it’s McDonald’s, but it can still help you rationalize it.

Base Building

Well, it’s official. I’m registered for the Chicago Marathon!!

Chicago

I guess I need to start working on my fundraising, huh? I’m hoping to do a BIG giveaway. I’m working on it — so stay tuned. In the meantime, if feel compelled to donate my fundraising cause, check out my page.

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I haven’t made any progress on picking a training plan since, I last posted about training — so I’m doing great there too, with the exception of having 4-5 running coaches that I need to get in touch with. Lol. I have moved from the “pre-planning planing phase” into the “planning phase” aka — I’m working on building my base.

“Since you’re already running half marathons, don’t you already have a base?” <–asked by my imaginary friends

Wellll, not exactly.

I’ve found that after running continuously for a few years, that for the last 6 months I’ve been able to get away with running 10-15 miles a week (sometimes less) – and still successfully race. I don’t necessary think this is the BEST strategy, although I do think pairing it with crossing-training/strength training HAS helped me avoid injury and get back into postpartum shape. However, there’s no way I can just jump into marathon training this summer keeping up this schedule. Especially because I DON’T plan on doing a 20-week marathon training schedule. Because I was so burned out last time, I’m aiming for 14 weeks.

So my plan? From now until the first weekend in July (when training officially will kick off!), I want to slowly build my mileage until I’m running between 20-25 miles per week. I’m now averaging about 10-15 miles and I’m not going to lie, I’m STRUGGLING to get in those miles (stupid time change).

I kicked off my pre-training training by running 10 miles today.

Let the base building begin! #chimarathon

It was probably the easiest run I’ve done in months. There was no pressure to race. There was little wind and while it was a little humid, I went early enough that it didn’t matter. This is shocking, but I barely even looked at my Garmin! I really needed a run like that to clear my thoughts, reset my brain, and just love the long run. It’s a great way to start off because in about 5 months from now I’m going to need a reminder on why I LOVE the long run.

Now that I’ve kicked it off, the biggest challenge will be sticking with it. Hitting at least 20 miles a week means at least 3 days of running… which I have not been doing, because… excuses. So my first hurdle is getting out there and logging those miles.

Basically, I need to do this…

getoffyourass

The next hurdle will be actually enjoying those miles AND keeping up with my strength training. I’d like to squeeze in two strength workouts a week, but is that too much?

The third challenge will actually be training for this marathon. Running a 10-miler by myself on Sunday morning? No big deal. Full-blown training while working, taking care of three kids, and trying (key word) to maintain a clean house AND my sanity? Yeah, that’s a different story.

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I’ll report back…

Do you build a base or just jump right in? Be honest, do you think I’m insane? I can do this, right? Let the running rambling begin!!