Thursday, June 28, 2012

3 Things Thursday

Today Maine Mom on the Run turns one! It's hard to believe that I've been writing this blog for a full year, but it was just before the L.L. Bean 4th of July 10K last year that I wrote my first post. Thanks for reading! To reward you for being such loyal and supportive readers, I'm going to have a giveaway. Unfortunately for you, this weekend is absolutely crazy busy and I'm not going to get to it until next Thursday. I promise, it is worth waiting for. Sorry for the tease.

I gave myself an extra day of rest after the half marathon. My legs were still pretty achy Monday night so I used my foam roller like crazy. I had only previously used it on my IT bands, but I rolled out my hammies, quads, glutes, calves, and back on that thing. By Tuesday afternoon, I had no residual aches. I also discovered that this guy, called a "wonder tube," that we gave out as favors for Finn's birthday works wonders on your arches. Fabulous!

So all that means is that I waited until Wednesday to do my track workout which called for 1 mile warmup, 1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 200 with 200m rest between intervals, and ending with 1 mile cooldown. There was no way that I was going to remember all my paces for the various distances, so I just ran by feel. This is how I did (actual pace in red):

1200 @ 5:27 5:23
1000 @ 4:30 4:26
800 @ 3:34 3:26
600 @ 2:40 2:30
400 @ 1:45 1:32
200 @ :40  :38 (RLRF doesn't give a pace for 200m, but everything else is about a 55-second difference)

Less than 72 hours after my second half marathon I absolutely crushed my speed workout! The last three intervals felt so good. One, they are relatively short and quickly over, but I also felt in control of my form. Last year when doing speed training, I felt like I was lumbering down the track. But today and for the last 50m of the half marathon, I felt smooth, strong, and fast. Maybe if I saw a video of myself, my form would look horrible, but at least it felt good and my times were respectable.

How is it that I've never had this before? It's like chocolate frosting with a hint of nuttiness. I love hazelnuts. You know those bags of mixed nuts that you buy over the holidays? When I was little (well, I do it today too), I would pick out all the hazelnuts and eat them first. And I used to call them acorns because of the resemblance to the things that grow into oak trees minus the cap. Have you had Nutella? If you haven't, you're missing out...a jar full of yumminess that is good on whole grain bread or on ice cream. It is also Finn approved!

Zeke said he had a "happy" mustache.

Monday, June 25, 2012

KRRT Half Marathon {Race Recap}

Half marathon number two is in the books! While I'd like to say it was all roses and I PR'd (anything but), I did have a great time overall.

I woke up at 5:30 after a semi-restless night, dressed, ate my standard PB toast, and hurried Ian and the boys out to the car in their PJ's to get up to Augusta. I still needed to pick up my race packet and didn't know how parking would be, but it ended up being perfect timing.

Driving there, I realized that I was going to have to switch up my skirt. I was wearing my purple Target one, but it doesn't have pockets for my fuel. So I changed in the car into my ChocoFleurs Running Skirt with my new Tommie Copper compression shorts underneath. Yeah, I've never worn these shorts running, but in wearing them around the house since I got them in the mail, I knew they were going to perform fine. I got my bib and swag bag and met up with Jill, Jen, and Michelle. 

Jill, me, Michelle, Jen Photo courtesy Michelle Bouchard
We waited in the slowest moving port-o-potty lines ever. There were only two for over 200 people, but you'd think runners would be the fastest people to go #1 and #2... Anyway, we got to the starting line in time and said good luck to Michelle who was running the 5K to be done in time for her son's ju-jitsu tournament (which he about it here). After two misfires of the musket, the race director just had to shout go, and we were off.

Jen and and her friend Leslie were running up ahead and I kept them in my sights as we approached the trail head. It was definitely warming up quickly after some overnight rain with temps in the low seventies. I was trying to take it easy and not go out super quick like I mistakenly did in my first half, but was still running at close to an 8-minute mile pace. I was also concerned about overheating, but decided to wear my Camelbak so I wouldn't have to stop to walk through the aid stations or even wait until I got to one when I found myself thirsty. 

Mile one - 8:05

I'm feeling good. The one thing that was bothering me was my Camelbak. It felt heavy on my back and I was already beginning to wonder if it really was a good idea to wear it. Running with it at a training pace is much different than at race pace. It seemed to swing from side to side a bit on my back, but I couldn't be bothered to stop to adjust it. 

Mile two - 8:02 (There was no mile marker, so I just averaged miles two and three)
Mile three - 8:03

Jen's husband, Ward, was cheering in downtown Hallowell, so I got a bit of a pick-me-up here before heading up the big hill, thankful we were getting it done near the beginning.

Mile four - 8:25

My legs were starting to feel a bit fatigued at this point...yeah, I know...I still have 10 miles to go. And it was flipping hot! I knew I was going to have to take in some fuel soon. I had lemon flavored PowerBar Energy Blasts for this race. I haven't experimented much with them, but so far hadn't had any issues with any on-the-go fuel, so I went with what I had on hand. And even though I had my Camelbak so I wouldn't have to walk, I did so I could refuel without choking and cool down a bit. It got me down a little mentally because it is so hard on my legs to get moving again after I slow down. I don't think I would ever be able to do the Galloway method of run/walk. A whole slew of people passed me, but I quickly caught back up to them over the next mile. 

Still smiling! Photo courtesy Stacy Chubbuck
Mile five - 8:56

It was at this point that I'd be looking for the mile markers, see them, and them pass them without hitting the split button on my watch, so the times from now on out are general times. Jill's husband, Wade, was manning the course with cold sponges, but saw him too late. We were close to the turn around so I told him I'd catch him on the way back. 

Mile six - 8:16

Finally! I reached the Hannaford parking lot in Gardiner, the turnaround point of the race. I was thankful that I was halfway done, but at the same time we usually start and end our rail trail runs at this location, so it was tough heading back out in the other direction. At least every step I took was one step closer to the finish line.

Mile seven - 8:56-ish

I reached Wade again and he handed me a wet sponge while trying to stop a wild Scout from running into traffic. Ahhh...I tried putting it under my hat, but I couldn't get it to stay on so I stuck it on my neck under my shirt. It wasn't very comfortable so I switched it to the front...a bright green ascot sticking out of my Team Tough Chik tank. It was great! Every so often I'd squeeze it a little to get some more of the cool goodness.

I did walk again to fuel, but not before I reached Stacy, who was our personal photographer for the day.
Can you spot the sponge? Photo courtesy Stacy Chubbuck

Mile eight - 10:00-ish (due to a semi-long walk break at the beginning)

Mile nine - 8:45 

And yet another walk break for more fuel. I was sweating more than I'm used to, so I wanted to make sure I could finish strong. I knew I wasn't going to PR, in different conditions I probably still could have, but I was trying to run on feel and run smart. I finished the last of my Energy Blasts and started running again before hitting the big hill down that leads to downtown Hallowell. A 5K to go, I've got this.

Mile ten - 10:14-ish

Wade and Stacy joined up with Ward and I got to switch out my sponge for two heavenly bright pink ones. One went on my neck and the other down the front of my shirt. These sponges were the best things ever! 

There was an water station right before heading back on the trail where I passed a woman I had been leapfrogging for the last few miles. She walked a bit to drink, wished me luck, but then I walked a tad on a last blip of a hill and she passed me back. I missed the mile markers from here to the finish. I knew there was one at mile eleven because there was a water station there on the way out, but it was gone on the way back. That was okay, though, because I was using the last 3.1 miles as my 5K for Running, Loving, Living's virtual race.

I was just cruising along, trying to keep a steady pace and keep that woman in my sights. I was secretly hoping I'd have enough kick to pass her at the end...something I have loved doing since high school - hold back just enough and then kick it into high gear. My legs were toast since about mile eight and my knees were starting to ache, but there was no way I was stopping now. 

Then I got to the parking lot and I saw the finish line. I saw Jen (who PR'd the course), with everyone else and shot off like a rocket. 

I've still got some speed in these ol' legs. Photo courtesy Stacy Chubbuck
It felt so good to run fast and really get my legs moving. It was surprising given how I had just been feeling. I guess I did leave a little too much in the tank...oops, just another one of those learning things to change for next time. I do remember thinking at several points in the race that I was breathing fairly easy, but I was afraid to really push it due to the heat. 

Last 3.1 miles - 27:15

Final time - 1:55:05, 8:47 pace
88 out of 175 overall, 35 out of 85 women, 17 out of 35 in AG (30-39)

A great race overall, despite slightly ugly race shirts and no medal at the end, but I was happy to run this race on such a beautiful day. My father is on the Board of Directors for the Kennebec River Rail Trail and I was happy to be supporting the organization who provides us with such a great place to run. And I got to see my personal cheering squad at the finish!

The best family in the world! Photo courtesy Stacy Chubbuck

Friday, June 22, 2012

Taper? What taper?

Yeah, so...I'm running my second half marathon on Sunday. The end of June seemed to come SO fast. I mean, seriously? Funny how I'm feeling like it's no big deal...or I'm just not nervous at all about it. I am really looking forward to this race and I feel very ready. My training runs over the last two weeks have been nothing short of fantastic and I feel strong and ready to go. 

The one issue I'm going to face is the heat. I am in no way acclimated yet and seem to fall apart quickly when I'm hot. I mean I would get hot during our zero-degree runs this past winter. I'll have to see. I still have in my mind the hot races I did last summer (L.L. Bean 10K, Old Port 5K, and Beach to Beacon) and how horrible I felt, but I also have to remember that I was still pretty much a summer-running newbie then and am a much more fit runner, both physically and mentally, now. 

While I would like to say I'm going to PR (sub-1:52), I'm not really setting any time expectations given the weather, but I'm going to run by feel and give it my best. I do plan on wearing my Camelbak to have water available at all times, one thing I think would have helped me perform better at Race the Runways. During that race, stopping to drink at water stations really took a toll on my legs and I had to force myself to just make it to the next aid station to get me through that race...I let my mind get the better of me and went into survival mode even though I knew I was capable of more.

And a taper? It really hasn't happened. Marathon training is not even through two weeks and I don't want to screw up the schedule more than I have to. Probably at this stage, it's not going to matter all that much and maybe tapering would have been smart. It's not like the training runs have shredded my legs or anything, and I'll have a full two days of rest (with the exception of working). We'll have to see how it goes on Sunday! I have been carbo-loading, taking in electrolytes, and hydrating like it's my job. So I haven't lost anything for Jess's Lose a Half Marathon Challenge, but that isn't my main focus right now. I have started tracking calories using with what I normally eat and then can see where I need to make changes in my diet. 

Well, I'm off to put my feet up before heading to work, but I'll leave you with a pic of the boys. We joined up with Jen and Stacy and their kids at Peacock Beach yesterday. We used to go there all the time when I was little! I can surely see us spending a lot of time there this summer.

Riding the "boat" (photo courtesy Jen Boudreau)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Three for Thursday

1. I've joined Running, Loving, Living's Virtual Run. Toni always puts together an incredible event with awesome race sponsors. You can choose to run a 5K, 10K, or both and by sharing the event and various other tasks, you are entered to win some really great prizes.

I ran a 10K this morning as my last run before Sunday's half marathon. I was going to do six miles anyway - 1 mile easy, 4 miles @ MP (marathon pace = 8:49), 1 mile easy , so adding the .2 wasn't a big deal.

My splits - 
Mile 1 - 9:13
Mile 2 - 9:00 (close to pace, but this was uphill)
Mile 3 - 8:48 (PERFECT!)
Mile 4 - 8:38 (better than perfect)
Mile 5 - 8:50 (close enough to perfect)
Mile 6 - 9:45
Extra .3 - 2:14 (yes, .3 - I estimated where .2 would be)
Total time - 56:59

So even though this was a "race" I didn't want to push it too hard because of Sunday, but I am very happy with the results. It was a sweat-fest being over 70-degrees at 6 AM and I was so thirsty that I could barely wait for my Nuun tablet to dissolve before chugging it.

I think I will use the last 3.1 miles of Sunday's half marathon for the virtual 5K...that's allowed, right? The Welcome to Summer Virtual run runs through the 25th, so there is still time to head over there to register. You can click on the logo below or on my sidebar.

2. I've also joined Jess's Marathon Weight Loss Challenge over at Run with Jess. Over the course of the next thirteen weeks, the participants are encouraged to help hold each other accountable with healthy eating and exercise with the hopes of losing 26.2 pounds. And you don't have to lose the full 26.6, any goal is welcome. I don't have that much to lose, so I've entered the Lose a Half Marathon Challenge in the hopes that I can drop these last 10 pounds to get back to my high school/college weight. While it could be difficult to lose weight during marathon training, I hope that being more conscious of my eating (caloric intake and cutting out the junk) will make the difference. Some say that for every pound lost, you gain two seconds per mile in speed. While there would be a point where losing too much would start slowing you down, I'm at the upper end of a healthy weight and BMI and 10 pounds would be ideal. That 20 seconds per mile could be the difference between running a 4:00 marathon and a 3:50. Jess will be giving out prizes over the course of the challenge so click on the button below to join! Registration runs through June 25th.

3. I received an email about Mizuno's Mezamashii Run Project. In the hopes of creating "brilliant" run experiences, Mizuno is giving away thousands (yes, thousands) of their shoes throughout the rest of the year. Fingers are crossed that I get accepted, I'd love to try out Mizuno's. Anyone can apply, just head on over to the Mizuno website by clicking the image below.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday

So I was all ready to write a "Three for Thursday" post, sat down at the computer, and then realized it is only Wednesday. Oops. Guess I'll save that for tomorrow! Instead, I'll give you the boys' rendition of downward-facing dog.

Finn has pretty good form...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Track Tuesday: 800m Repeats

I made it through week one of my amended marathon training plan! Amended, because my long run was turned into a 5K pushing the double stroller. You can read the recap here, if you haven't already. 

It seemed like we got a lot accomplished yesterday. We got grocery shopping done, got my car an oil change and tire rotation, Ian got the lawn mowed, and I finally changed the light bulb in one of our outside lights and completely replaced the light fixture next to our side door. The boys were very helpful, too. Finn was the passer of the tools and Zeke wanted to learn all about how to replace the light and hook up the wires and went about "fixing" the old fixture while I installed the new one. Finn also watered all the plants and Zeke "washed" my car while Finn jumped in the muddy puddles. 

After a somewhat good night sleep, I woke up before my alarm to head to the track for today's workout. I was all by myself for the first week after school let out. Even the older gentleman who walks in the morning was packing up his walker as I arrived. It was in the mid-fifties and very muggy, so it felt like it was a lot warmer. On the schedule - 1 mile warm up, 4 x 800m @ 3:34 w/ 2:00 rest intervals, 1 mile cool down. Here is how my intervals went:

#1 - 3:26 (oops, I always have a tendency to go too fast on the first one)
#2 - 3:28 (ack! I seriously felt slower on this one)
#3 - 3:25 (alright, who switched my legs for speedy robot ones?)
#4 - 3:28 (maybe I need to race another 5K and adjust my target paces)

Killed it! I'm contemplating shortening my run on Thursday (7 miles w/ 5 @ marathon pace) due to my next half marathon on Sunday. I'm feeling so good at this point and optimistic that I can improve my time, I don't want to mess it up. What do you think?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sea Dogs Father's Day 5K {Race Recap}

Yesterday I had the most fun ever running a race. I got to run with my family. For several months, Ian and I had planned on running the Father's Day 5K in Portland. I did the Mother's Day 5K last year and it worked out that this race would be good timing for his debut and first race in twenty years (geez...we are old). Since we'd be running together there was a problem of figuring out what to do with the boys, so I decided that is would be a great time to run with the stroller and we could run as a family. Not only would we be able to give Ian support every step of the way, but it was a perfect opportunity to put together Team McEneaney uniforms! 

Team McEneaney uniforms
First up was the Kids Fun Run that Zeke was running. We got there just in the nick of time to pin on his bib and as he and Ian were heading to the start the siren went off. I had intended on running with him, but it worked out that Ian got in a little warm up before the 5K. I'm not sure the distance of the fun run, but it was 3/4 around the track, headed into the baseball stadium and around the outfield to finish at home plate. It must have been nearly a half a mile and Zeke ran the whole thing!

Headed to the start
Rounding the curve
Very focused

Just finished!

Congrats from Slugger the Sea Dog

We had about thirty minutes to kill before the start of the 5K, so we just milled about near the starting line. Soon it was time to line up and we headed to the back of the pack since we were running with a stroller. 

My cargo
There were quite a few runners with strollers as this is a family-friendly event, and with over 1300 runners, the packed street makes for some tight maneuvers at times. We passed another woman pushing a double (the only other double I saw) and gave her a shout-out, "Double strollers unite!" Because of the congestion, our first mile was a 10:45. 

Mile two has a gradual uphill, but wasn't that bad. I let Ian set the pace and we passed some more people. Now a steady downhill, a water station that we skipped, and the start of mile three. Second mile = 10:30. 

I think I was smiling the whole way. Every once in a while I'd tell Ian that he was looking great and about how much longer we had to go and what to expect with the course ahead, but for the most part I just let him do his thing and was along for the journey. There were a few people lining the street at this point and one spectator shouted, "Oh a twin, you get extra points for that!" It took a second to realize he was referring to me pushing the double stroller and I gave a fist pump in the air. As we were about to turn into the stadium another woman gave more words of encouragement and was impressed about racing with a stroller. Honestly, I felt a little bad. This race wasn't about me, it was about my husband and I didn't want to be in the limelight. Ian took the lead as the course got a little narrow and soon we were at the finish. 

Ian's stats - 32:12, 10:22 pace, 893 out of 1358 overall, 566 out of 722 males, 67 out of 80 in AG (35-40)
My stats - 32:14, 10:24 pace, 895 out of 1358 overall, 338 out of 635 females, 50 out 89 in AG (35-40)

It was a great experience and I am so proud of my husband. And I've got him to commit to at least one race a year. I can not wait!

Friday, June 15, 2012

I Found Some Speed.

This morning was marathon training day #2 with a tempo run on the schedule. Technically, it was supposed to be yesterday, but I did a little flip-flop of my run and cross-training day (which was really strength training carrying 50 pound bags of sand across the yard to the boys new sandbox). My tempo run was to be two miles easy pace (9:32), two miles short tempo (7:57), two miles easy - six miles total. That being said, I have never hit my tempo paces (I've come close), but the hills around here make it near to impossible. However, I was ready to really push myself. 

Mile 1 - 9:30 (excellent!)

Then just past the 1 1/2 mile mark another runner was coming toward me on the other side of the road. I said good morning and we exchanged waves. Then I realized he had turned around and I could hear him coming up behind me. It just so happened that that was his typical turn-around point. We were running pretty much the same pace, so we chatted a bit. I forgot to hit the split button on my watch at mile 2 and we were just talking away and I realized I went right past my turnaround point, the three mile mark...over half a mile past it! Oops! I said good-bye and headed back in hopes of salvaging this tempo run. I didn't hit the split button until I got back to my 3 mile marker, since at the time I had no idea how much I had run past it until I could map it out afterward. 3.27 miles in 29:54 (9:09 pace). I really picked up the pace at this point wanting to hit a sub-eight and get one tempo mile correct before I needed to go easy again! Imagine my surprise when I got to the next mile marker and my watch said 7:27! Never ever in my life have I run that fast on the road on hills (granted this was the least hilly of the route), but still!

I did stop to walk a bit, probably less than 200 meters, just to give myself a break and I didn't want to push too hard knowing I was going to be running at least a mile further than scheduled. 

My last two miles were 8:46 and 9:34. I ended up running a total of 7.27 miles in 1:05:13 (8:58 pace).

When I got back we had smoothies and I added some Spirulina Pacifica powder to our typical recipe: low-fat strawberry yogurt, banana, frozen blueberries, low-fat milk, and flax seed oil. 

It was delicious and the boys actually finished theirs before Ian and I did!

We are headed to Portland later to pick up our race packets for the Sea Dogs Father's Day 5K. Zeke has been "practicing" for his kid's run run the last couple of days - so cute. I'm really looking forward to running this race as a family, even though I'll be pushing 60 pounds of boys in the stroller. I put together matching outfits for the four of us, I can't wait! 

Oh, and please excuse the look of my blog for the next couple of days. I've been working on giving it an update for it's upcoming blogiversary. I hope everyone has a great weekend! I know all my teacher friends and family are excited for the first few days of summer break!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Spirulina and BioAstin Ongoing Review

It's now been nearly two weeks since I started taking Spirulina and BioAstin from Nutrex Hawaii and have nothing but good things to say about these two products. While more positive effects from the suppliments may become apparent over greater amount of time, so far I do feel as if I have more energy. 

My last long run of fourteen miles, which was the furthest distance I have ever run, was hugely successful. I felt amazing and strong and very positive! Maybe it is a combination of just getting generally stronger and in better shape, but I think these two products have helped. I even went on to work that evening (restaurant server) and never had any soreness that day or the next. Even after my speed workout of mile repeats on Tuesday, I felt great and experienced less fatigue. I am sold on these products! 

I'm usually wary of taking suppliments, but these use natural ingredients and are easy to take. Also, the fact that they are a product of the USA and from a company that uses environmentally-sound growing practices gets two thumbs up from me. 

Nutrex Hawaii Farm

You can read more about Spirulina and BioAstin in my initial product review here. Be sure to visit the Nutrex Hawaii website at for more information and to get your hands on these and other incredible products. Your body will thank you! 

Disclosure: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Training Day #1

One run down, forty-one to go! Today is the day that marathon training plan begins. Technically, it was yesterday, but Monday is a rest day. We did go down to the island yesterday, so I did walk two miles to and from the cottage pushing the boys in the stroller. This weekend seemed like we were constantly on the go! 

On Sunday, Jen, Jill, and I hit the rail trail for a 14-miler which was a personal distance record for me (of course I will be hitting a PDR nearly every week now). It was a great run and I felt super strong, relaxed, and confident even though we were running in the low nines for every mile. Well, with the exception of the couple of times we walked to hydrate and fuel. But even with the breaks we ended up with an overall pace of 9:43! We rocked it! This will be my last long run before the Rail Trail Half on the 24th as I'll be running a 5K with the family next weekend. I am feeling very optimistic for the half and despite it being (slightly) hillier and will most certainly be a lot warmer, I think I will be able to run a smarter race and have the mental strength that was missing at my first half. Plus, I am very familiar with the course seeing as we run there nearly every weekend!

So back to marathon training! Tuesday's are my speed workouts so I went to the track for the first time since winter. As excited as I have been to start the plan, I have to admit I was dreading the first workout. Mile repeats...ugh. Suck it up, buttercup. And I did. This is how it went - 

One mile warmup
3 x 1600 @ 7:24 pace w/ 1:00 RI
One mile cooldown

So...I already screwed it up. I took 2:30 of rest between intervals. But you know what, it was my first speed workout in months. This is what my times looked like:

Repeat #1 - 7:15 (uh, oops...way too fast)
Repeat #2 - 7:29 (I felt more relaxed...too relaxed)
Repeat #3 - 7:26 (2 seconds off pace...I'd call that a success)

The Run Less, Run Faster program I'm following specifically mentions to keep the interval times within a few seconds of each other. Since I haven't done speedwork in a while, I'm not going to beat myself up on this one. But hey, if you average the intervals, it equals 7:24! Score!

Anyway, run one is in the books. 

And now for a dose of cuteness provided by Finn.

Last week he fell asleep eating his peanut butter sandwich.

Today he has kept himself busy doing puzzles on the Kindle as I wrote this post.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Just Another Day

Nothing too exciting today to report. I ran my five-mile loop this morning. I went the front way (or what I call the front way) that gives me a long gradual hill and a steep downhill. It's definitely challenging both ways. I felt good and strong. I was pushing it a little, but know I had a lot more to give. I really don't feel warmed up now until about three or four miles in, that's just when I got to the top of the big hill and finally became accustomed to breathing hard and dealing with the "discomfort" of running. It's not really a discomfort, but I think any of you runners know what I'm talking about. It's just at that time that I start to move in auto-pilot. I ended up posting my second fastest time on this route at 42:54, an 8:35 pace, so I was/am excited with how relatively easy it felt and the outcome. 

One more long run this Sunday, though I'm not sure the distance we have planned yet, but I imagine it will be the last one in double digits before the Rail Trail Half Marathon on the 24th. The week before on Father's Day is technically the first long run on marathon training, but Ian and I will be running in the Sea Dog's 5K in Portland. It is Ian's first race! Zeke is also registered for the fun run and is super excited about that. Then come the logistics of both Ian and I running...what to do with the kids. So - in lieu of a long run and tacking on mileage after the 5K, I think I'm going to run with the double stroller. It's kind-of making me tired thinking about it. I've only run with them a couple of times, but I think with the pace we are planning on and the relative flatness of the course, I'll be okay. I think it would be great to do it as a family too. The one hiccup with this plan is that you are only allowed in the stadium where the finish is if you are I'll have to put on my speed-walker pants when we get there to keep up with Ian's plan to finish strong. If it's anything like the Mother's Day 5K, it is so congested with people, you can't really run fast at the end anyway.

And now for just a little cuteness before your weekend begins. 

The boys love watching the bumblebees collecting nectar in the rhododendron bush outside our living room window. Finn's excitement was so cute when he did it last year, I made him a bee costume for Halloween. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day

While my calves are still feeling tight from Sunday's run - seriously, still? - I wanted to get out and run today and take part in National Running Day. Honestly, I've been running in minimal shoes for over a year and never have I had such calf strain. We only did 11 miles (ha, only). So what is going on? Why would the treadmill make such a difference? I don't really know. Then as I was procrastinating getting ready for my run this morning, I was reading this blog post by Amylee at Run My Guts Out. I often will read her posts right before going out in the morning since I have an email subscription to her blog and they are always in my inbox first thing. She's smoking fast (just paced herself to a 3:29 in the Ogden Marathon) and gives me the motivation to finally get out the door. If you haven't read her blog, go do it...right after finishing this. Anyway today's post was about how she ran her 3:29 - what she did right and what she would have done differently. One mistake she mentioned was going on a 20-mile run on the treadmill and how it messed up her body and is still recovering from the injuries incurred by it. Do we really run so differently on the treadmill? I must have since my legs have never felt like I have a peg leg during/after running before. Oh well. I do feel like I am on the mend, but my run today was a little uncomfortable on the downhills. Yes, back to the run and National Running Day.

Still without a plan for this last week (I'll be so happy to be back on track next week), I knew I wanted to take it easy so I went for an easy run on the least hilly route I have near my house - a 3.4 scenic route across the bridge to Edgecomb and back. 

Hills? What hills?

The tide was way out when I crossed - a crazy change to all the flooding in the area over the last few days. Driving to Topsham to pick up Zeke from school yesterday, the bike path along the Androscoggin was completely flooded. It would be perfect for triathlon training - bike down the path, jump in the water for a swim, then run when you get to the other side. It's got to be pretty deep, the concrete benches that are there are completely underwater, at least they won't float away.

Ramble much? Focus... National Running Day. It's a day to celebrate leading a healthy and fit life. While I do have many reasons for running - to be a better mom, wife, and friend and to be a better me - it really comes down to one simple reason:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One Week Until Marathon Training!

So are you tired of my talking about marathon training yet? And I haven't even started! But it's my blog and that's what I'll be up to until the end of September, so you'll just have to deal with it. Just kidding, I just hope not to bore you to death. Oh, and I've updated my training plan to better mesh with my long run gals' marathon training plans, the races that I'm participating in from now until the marathon, and the fact that I don't feel ready to do a 20-miler four weeks into the plan. If you're interested, there is a tab at the top of this page where I've posted my plan. I'm hoping it will help me stay accountable!

I had planned on running today, but my calves are feeling really sore after our eleven miles on the  treadmill on Sunday. I also had a very busy night at work that night where I must have walked an additional few miles (should wear a pedometer)! I decided to take an additional rest day and run tomorrow which just happens to be National Running Day.

You may have seen the latest blog award being passed around, the One Lovely Blog Award.

I was nominated not once, but three times by three awesome ladies.

Really feeling the Maine love! It's a "pay it forward" award to recognize and spread the word about other blogs you enjoy. These are the rules:
  • Post the award logo and and picture on your blog and link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Tell seven things about yourself. 
  • Nominate up to 15 additional bloggers who you think deserve the award.
  • Post a comment on the blog of each nominee to tell them him/her that they have been nominated.

My seven things:
  1. I am addicted to candy...anything fruity. Jelly beans, Starburst, Twizzlers, Fruit Slices, gummy bears, Skittles, you name it. I can't buy any because I will most likely eat the whole bag in one sitting.
  2. I am a terrible housekeeper. If you are coming over, please give me at least a week notice.
  3. My favorite color is blue. I guess that is a good thing since I'm the only girl in the house (with the exception of our oldest dog). I have found myself being drawn more to pink and purple in my wardrobe to balance it out.
  4. Maine Mom on the Run turns one this month! I think it is a good time for some sort of giveaway or celebration!
  5. I was Laura Ingalls Wilder for Halloween one year and read all of the Little House books more than once...or twice. I also had all of the Anne of Green Gables books, too.
  6. Even though it has been a part of my training plans the past year, I've have only done cross training once...ever. That stops next week, when I WILL be doing something twice a week.
  7. I really want to cut my hair off. I was thinking I'd wait until after the marathon which is a couple of weeks before my birthday. The last time I cut my hair was on my birthday...two years ago.
I nominate:

Amanda @ Miss Zippy
Tonia @ Racing with Babes
Erin @ See Mom Run Far
Jen @ Miles, Muscles and Mommyhood
Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem
Danielle @ Ooh Breathe, Just Breathe
Beth @ Shut Up and Run

I apologize if you've already been nominated or don't feel like playing along, I just really wanted to let you know I really love reading your blog and find you entertaining and inspirational.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Nutrex-Hawaii Chat and Initial Product Review

Marathon training starts next week and one of my greatest concerns is finding out how my body will endure the higher mileage and still have the energy to keep up with everything and everyone else in my life. Getting up early has been a bit easier lately since Finn has been sleeping through the night (I just jinxed myself, didn't I), but it is still sometimes a struggle to get through the day after a tough workout with two young and energetic boys and then spend the evenings at work to only get home late and try to spend time with the hubby before crashing in bed and starting it all over a few hours later. Phew, that sentence made me tired. I was taking vitamins when I was still nursing, but haven't as of late. Given the timing of our meals, I think it would be beneficial to least it wouldn't hurt. 

I was recently asked to conduct a review along with several of my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors for Nutrex-Hawaii's Spirulina Pacifica and BioAstin. So what are they and what do they do?

Spirulina is a naturally found blue-green algae that contains high levels of beta-carotene, Omega-6 fatty acids, B vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. It is shown to offer huge health benefits by supporting cardiovascular, eye, and brain health and boost the immune system and energy levels. As a runner who needs vision correction and suffers from a bad case of "mommy brain," I am excited to find out how Spirulina can help me. 

Another awesome fact of Spirulina Pacifica is that one serving contains the same levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. What?!? Sign me up! I already know I don't have enough fruits and veggies in my diet (though I know I really should), but check out these stats:
  • 3100% more beta-carotene than carrots
  • 5500% more iron than spinach
  • 375% more protein than tofu
  • 31 times more antioxidants than blueberries
I was sent two forms of Spirulina Pacifica to review - tablets and powder. The serving size of the tablets is 6 per day. It sounds like a lot, but they are small and easy to swallow and don't have a bad aftertaste that I have experienced with vitamins in the past. The powder can be used in smoothies or sprinkled on food and one teaspoon is all you need. Easy peasy! 

BioAstin Natural Astaxanthin is a strong antioxidant extracted from Haematococcus microalgae. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory without the side effects of that sometimes occur in other prescription anti-inflammatory medicines. Through clinical trials, BioAstin has shown to help with rheumatoid arthritis (I don't have arthritis yet, but have huge knuckles that ache on occasion), carpal tunnel syndrome (uh, hello...blogger here, I type a lot and use a computer at work), joint and muscle soreness after exercise (my knees and ankles ache and compression doesn't always alleviate all discomfort), and inflammation of the skin from UV exposure (I run in the sun). It also has the following benefits:
  • supports immune functions
  • eye health
  • brain health
  • cardiovascular health
  • supports the central nervous system
Nutrex-Hawaii sent me BioAstin gel capsules for review. One capsule is the daily serving and should be taken with food. Results are usually seen within two to six weeks.

How can you learn more about Spirulina Pacifica and BioAstin? Visit Nutrex-Hawaii's website here.

Disclosure: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All opinions are my own.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Today is Not the Day.

It's hard to believe that it is already June! Now the year is really going to fly. It always seems to once warm weather and summer arrives. June is going to be a huge month! Number one reason? Marathon training officially begins! While, in all honesty, I've been working toward this for the past year since I started running again, there is just something about looking at a fresh training plan with no days crossed off that gets me a little excited. I'm a list person and I love crossing things off to see what I've accomplished. Sometimes I'll even write something on a list after I've done it, just so I can cross it off.

Back to marathon training. It does seem a little strange that it's finally here. It was back in high school (circa 1993-94) when I first contemplated doing a marathon. That was when I was mainly a sprinter/hurdler and though I ran cross-country, I rarely ran any distance over three miles. But a marathon was put on my bucket list as a challenge I'd like to tackle and planned to do before I turned thirty, and I really had no comprehension as to what it would take to get there. Thirty came and went with no thoughts of a marathon on my mind, then came two kids. Finally last year I figured it was as good a time as any to get running again and get this marathon crossed off my list.

But over this past year of running, my attitude has changed. I'm not just running to complete a marathon. Running has now become a part of my life and is not something I do just for the goal of one race. It is something that I hope to do as long as I'm able.