Saturday, September 29, 2012

As Ready As I'll Ever Be {this time}

In just over 12 hours I'll be toeing the line to the Maine Marathon, my first 26.2. Training is complete. I ran my last run yesterday, an "easy" 3 miles on the bike path in Brunswick. I say easy, though I still clocked 8:30 miles...I swear, I was trying to go slow...

And the weather? Cool and rainy. I'm fine with it. At least it won't be a million degrees.

My outfit is ready, including a new Chica Band that I picked up at the expo today. (upper right of photo below)

I love my race number, except when I look down at it while wearing it it says "666." That will allow me to say tomorrow, "Marathon, you are the devil!" Hopefully, it won't come to that. 

There was also some pretty great swag in the bag. I'll be saving those baked beans until after the race. 

I also picked up a couple stickers to put on my car...after I finish, obviously!

I'll see you again after the finish line!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Free Coffee, Anyone?

I love coffee, but sometimes a good cup is hard to find, especially if you don't want to make it yourself or spend a small fortune. One place that I think makes a great cup of joe is McDonald's. Ever since they started brewing Green Mountain Newman's Own Organic coffee, they are my go-to place on Saturday mornings before work.

There was a webcast earlier this week giving the story behind the partnership between McDonald's, Green Mountain Coffee, and Newman's Own. Nell Newman, daughter of the late philanthropist, Paul Newman, started the organic division of the Newman's Own brand in 1992 and was a part of the webcast. The webcast is available for viewing here.

This week until Saturday, September 29th, National Coffee Day, McDonald's is giving away free coffee. If you miss out this week,  you can get great coffee in ANY SIZE for only $1 throughout the year! 

There is even an opportunity to win free coffee for a year! Here's how to enter!

The three ways to enter:
1. Follow on Twitter @McD_Maine and tweet about it using hashtag #FreeCoffee4ME
2. Post a picture with a cup of McDonald's Newman's Own Organics coffee on Twitter or Facebook
3. Take a quick survey here

Good luck and enjoy some McDonald's Newman's Own Organics coffee!

Disclaimer: I was compensated in exhcange for this post, however all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Marathon Goals

My first marathon is less than four days away! Yikes! The carbo-loading and hydration routine is in full-force!

I had my last long run on Monday, a whopping 10.5 miles that I did in Brunswick on the Androscoggin River bike path in between dropping Zeke off at school and picking him up. Ian has that day off so he was watching Finn. The route is only 5.25 miles out-and-back so I did it twice. It was a cool 50 degrees and sunny. I was wearing my arm sleeves and capris for the first time this year, but was hot halfway through the first repeat and stripped them off (the sleeves, not the capris) when I got back to the car before heading off again. My Target tank that has a shelf bra felt like it was squeezing the life out of me and I seriously considered taking that off too and just running in my bra, but just dealt with it. I just used it as a mental-strengthening exercise to deal with the upcoming discomfort of 26.2 miles.

I finished with an overall pace of 8:44 (not counting the short break halfway to strip off clothing), slightly faster than my RLRF target marathon pace of 8:49. Which brings me to my goals for the marathon. I would be lying if I said I didn't have a time goal, but I'm trying to tell myself that what's most important in a first marathon is...

Goal #1 - Finish standing up.

I'm not saying that I'm not capable of running a 8:49 pace...maybe I am. But there were things about this training cycle that I could have done a lot better. So a more reasonable pace...

Goal #2 - Average a 10 minute mile pace or less.

I'm not running with my Camelbak, so I'll be fueling up at the water stops along the course. They don't match up perfectly with my desire to break it up into five five-mile chunks, but taking a short break at miles 5.5, 11.5, 16.6 and 21, should work out okay and make a 10:00 pace doable.

And most importantly...

Goal #3 - HAVE FUN!

I'm looking forward to wearing my long-planned pink and orange outfit and my can't long run without Tommie Copper shorts and Mizuno Wave Precision 13s. I'm looking forward to running a part of the race with Jen who will be out there to support both Jill and I as we tackle our first 26.2. I'm looking forward to seeing my husband and boys cheering me on. I'm looking forward to finally running a marathon, something that has been on my bucket list since 1993.

Any last-minute words of wisdom from seasoned marathoners?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tapering and Element Winner!

The marathon in eleven days away and I am smack-dab in the middle of tapering my running back...perhaps too much. Life seems to have gotten in the way or I'm just really losing steam in the running department, but my runs have been lacking a bit. I'm not sure how the marathon is going to pan out, but I have to admit that I've missed a few key runs. Will this come back to bite me at miles 20+? I'm going to have to just gut it out, but really isn't that a huge part of what the marathon is about? It's too late now to make it up.

I also apologize that I didn't post the winner of my Element Caffeinated Water giveaway yesterday. So here is the announcement today...

Congratulations is in order for the amazing...

Jen blogs over at Running With The Girls and just happens to be one of my good running friends. She's currently in training for her second marathon, Mount Desert Island in October. Please contact me at mainemomontherun {at} gmail {dot} com and you'll be hydrating and energizing yourself in a healthy way!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Marathon Outfit {Take 2}

Thanks for all your input regarding my marathon outfit, in particular my homemade skirt. While I love the skirt, I think it will be better suited for a shorter distance race. Also, I was not totally sold on how the skirt looked with my shirt. 

I present to you my new and improved marathon outfit!

Still wearing the same shoes - 
Mizuno Wave Precision 13
And keeping the shirt -
YMX Elemental Flower Racerback Tank

But now I'll be wearing this over my Tommie Copper compression shorts -

Pink Blossom Running Skirt

It matches perfectly, has pockets for my fuel, and doesn't spin when I run! Once I saw it, I knew it was the one...much like my wedding dress and my husband!

Only two and a half weeks left! Eeek!!!

And now for a little cuteness...

Zeke had his first day of preschool on Monday. Here he is, all ready to go.

Finn really wanted to go too...

Oh, and have you entered my Element Caffeinated Water giveaway?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Element Caffeinated Water Review {and Giveaway}

Have you ever experienced the mid-afternoon slump, when you still have hours to go in your day and all you want to do is take a nap? I sure do. When the time comes for me to go to work in the late afternoon after waking up at dark o' clock in the morning to run, getting the husband off to work on time, and taking care of two energetic boys all day, I'm feeling sluggish.

Enter Element Caffeinated Water.

How does Element help me?
  • It's purified water with no taste that keeps me hydrated.
  • Each 16.9 oz. bottle contains 50 mg of caffeine from green coffee beans, which is equivalent to a small coffee.
  • It contains purified theanine from green tea leaves that has been said to enhance focus and concentration.
I drank Element most often on my drive to work when I felt the most tired. Not only did it help me up my daily water intake, but the small jolt of caffeine helped get over my strong desire to pull-over to the side of the road to nap. And if you suffer from a case of "mommy brain" like me, anything that helps me think straight is more than welcome.

This is also a great product for athletes. I would sometimes drink Element first thing before my morning training runs. According to this article in Runner's World, caffeine is shown to increase endurance, reaction time, and speed, as well as enhance recovery.

While some may think caffeine causes dehydration, the same article mentioned that you would have to drink 550 mg worth of caffeine (equal to 5 large cups of coffee or 11 bottles of Element) before experiencing a diuretic effect.

But, unlike coffee and other energy drinks, Element contains zero sugar and zero calories, making it the perfect go-to beverage for a pick-me-up.

For more information on Element, I encourage you to visit their website at

Element is available in stores throughout the northeastern United States and for my local readers, Element will now be available in Hannaford supermarkets this month. For those in other locations, you can buy Element on Amazon with free shipping!

Would you like a chance to try Element for yourself? 

The generous folks at Element have offered a 24-pack of 16.9 oz. bottles to one lucky Maine Mom on the Run reader. That's 405.6 ounces (over 3 gallons!) of hydration that will motivate you and help you concentrate!

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Disclaimer: This contest will run from September 9th to Sunday, September 16th at midnight EST. One winner will be chosen at random and will be announced on this blog on Monday, September 17th. The winner will have 72 hours to claim your prize, otherwise another thirsty winner will be chosen. All entries will be verified prior to the drawing. Element sent me six bottles for review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Marathon Outfit

So I've been planning my outfit for the marathon for quite some time. I knew as soon as I won the YMX tank a few months ago, I wanted to wear it for this special day. At the time, I was also intent on wearing a sparkle skirt. After sewing one for the L.L. Bean 10K in July, I was confident that I would create one for the marathon. Yesterday, I made this little number.

I tried it out on my treadmill tempo run this morning. The run was not great. I was supposed to run 8 miles at marathon pace (8:49), but made it two whole miles before feeling terrible. Then I ran/walked for another 1.75 miles. #runfail 

Back to the skirt. I'm not totally sold. I plan on wearing my Tommie Copper compression shorts underneath, but the skirt kind-of spins around as I run and I have a feeling I would be annoyed over 26.2 miles. Also, I'm thinking the pattern color is a bit too much with my shirt and shoes. 

What do you think? Should I just go with the compression shorts (black) and go sans skirt? Make another one in a different fabric in a solid color? HELP!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

MIA {it's my husband's fault}

Okay, so it really isn't his fault that I've been missing from bloggy-land for the past week, but Ian being on vacation left me with little motivation to be spending my time blogging. Sorry, it's not you, it's me. 

Well, today is his first day back to work, so here I am with a short recap of last week. 

Running - 
Big surprise, this got thrown off too, but I did get in speed work on the treadmill, a successful tempo run, and a solo 15-mile long run (it was supposed to be 20, but that's another story). Only 25 days until the marathon and I'm really not feeling ready. I'll be able to do it, but...oh, I don't know. It will be fine. Right?

Fun family stuff - 
After watching an episode of Curious George, Zeke had been on a bowling kick. He's never been and was begging us to go. We made the trek to Spare Time in Brunswick and I loved seeing his eyes light up when we walked in the door to the rows upon rows of lanes. We picked up our shoes and decided one game is all we would make it through with a two- and four-year-old playing big-ball bowling. And by the way, bowling is pretty expensive. $30 for four people for one game. Holy moley. Was it always that expensive? I haven't been in years. The boys were so cute. Of course we had up the bumpers to prevent frustration, but the boys did amazing. 

After a couple of assisted bowls, the boys were adamant to "do it myself." So even without the assistance on one of those ramp aiming thingies, our two little boys carried 6-pound bowling balls that were bigger than themselves down the lane and let it go. They must have the record of the longest amount of time it takes for the ball to reach the pins, but the ball made it every time. Finn scored a 65 and Zeke a 66. Pretty awesome. Ian won, but unjustly using the bumpers for a strike and spare.

We also went for hike with the dogs on Dodge Point in Newcastle. The poor dogs have been neglected over the past year and haven't gone anywhere. It was due time. The parking lot was full so we had to keep our unruly beasts (the dogs, not the kids) on leash. Not ideal, but we had a great time. The hike is pretty easy, but with two Labs that never walk on leashes and two boys with short legs, the near two mile walk took some time. Finn made it almost all the way to the halfway point down to the beach before demanding us carry him, but not before I got this super cute picture of the boys walking hand-in-hand ahead of us. 

The dogs got to swim for sticks ...

And the boys explored the shore and found a horseshoe crab ...

We enjoyed another beautiful day in Maine.

Sorry for the grainy pictures...I REALLY need a new camera.

The rest of our vacation was spent at home and planning the next adventure for our family that kept Ian and I up talking into the wee hours of the night. I'll let you know what that is eventually. 

I've got a review and giveaway coming up this week to help you stay awake and hydrated, so stay tuned!