Friday, May 30, 2014

Speaking of the Weather...

It was 34 degrees yesterday morning when I went for my run. 34 degrees Fahrenheit on May 29th. Two degrees above freezing. To be honest, I'm not complaining. Hate me if you will, but I'd rather run in this weather any day than 70-80 degrees. I keep saying to myself that Mother Nature really likes me and is helping me have a kick-butt training cycle with the cool temps, but then I think she might be just tricking me and will slam us with a 50-degree increase on the day of the KRRT Half Marathon. Ha ha, no heat acclimation for you. 

A long sleeve shirt and capris at the end of May.
Speaking of yesterday's run...six miles with four at tempo (8:02 pace). I ended up doing all of them on the track, with the exception of the first half mile of tempo pace. I did this for two reasons. One, I wasn't feeling like finishing at the top of the big hill at the end of the fast pace to get back to my house at exactly six miles. Two, I am super close to 100 miles for the month, and going long on the track meant I'd be .44 closer to 100.

Not from yesterday as it was so foggy you could barely see the track.

Speaking of 100 miles...I've only 4.34 miles to go to hit it. I was thinking on my run yesterday how every step was already adding to my monthly personal distance record of 89.1 miles set in July 2012. I know it's not really a big deal. It's just a number, just like 5 or 39 or 74, but it's nice and round and one of those marks I've wanted to hit. I've got five miles on the schedule for Saturday, so I've got this in the bag.
Speaking of Saturday...I have so much to get done to get ready for Finn's party. Like clean the house. If you saw the current state of my house (yikes!), then you might be freaking out a little too. I might have to pull one of those throw all the clutter in boxes, throw the boxes in a room, close the door and not let anyone into that room and deal with the boxes later. Funny thing, I already have more boxes of clutter than I can count stacked in our attic.

Apparently it's not later yet.

Speaking of Finn's party...we are going with a Super Mario theme. The boys and I started working on coin block piƱata and planned out the cake. Sunday looks like it is going to be a great day weather wise - sunny and in the high-60s.

Source

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week in Review and a Mid-Week Long Run

After a big mileage week ending with over 31 miles, I was happy to have a drop back week. I typically run 15-20 miles per week - fairly low miles and the only other times I've gone over 30 miles in a week was the two times I ran a marathon! My body seems to be handling the rise in mileage fine, but it's good to have lower mileage weeks to recover.

Tuesday - 5 easy miles, 9:10 average pace

Relaxing by the river

Wednesday - off

Thursday - 6 easy miles, 9:12 average pace

Really loving these shoes.

Friday - off

Saturday - off

Sunday - off

Monday - off

Yup, that's a lot of off days. It wasn't supposed to be that way. There was a 13-mile long run scheduled for Sunday, but I didn't get motivated to get out and go and spent the day with the family before heading to work. Monday we had an all-day yard sale, so there was no opportunity to do it then either. 

My super handsome yard salers.

That meant I needed to do it today and try and squeeze it in while Finn was in preschool. Of course this means that this week will be up there in mileage, but my next long run will be on Monday due to Finn's birthday party on Sunday.

Since I had four full days off of running, I figured I'd make today's long run into a progression run, meaning I'd progressively drop the pace to end fast on the last miles when my legs were the most tired. Honestly, I wasn't really planning on doing it that way, but it kind-of just happened and I figured I'd go with it halfway through, making sure to keep the effort easy so I don't sabotage my other runs this week.

It was drizzling and in the low 50s, pretty much ideal for me. I was really comfortable in capris and a short-sleeve shirt. A hat was key to keep the water out of my face. I wasn't necessarily looking forward to this run since I was doing it on the bike path that is only 5.63 miles round-trip and I'd have to do the out-and-back more than twice to reach 13 miles. I ran into my friend, Wayne, who is a 7-plus-foot Jamaican guy that I used to work with just as I was getting to the start. I hadn't seen him in a while, but it was raining, he just finished his run, and I was on a time crunch so we didn't talk much. He's been dying to run the Beach to Beacon and has never gotten it. I told him I'm just spectating this year, but would be on the lookout for anyone wanting to transfer their bib. Let me know if you or someone you know don't want to or can't run the B2B, I've got someone that would love to. So that gave me a topic of thought for those first miles. 

Miles 1-3: 9:26, 9:26, 9:12

I was starting to get into a rhythm and my pace started to drop, but was still running consistently. When I got back to the parking lot I just turned around without giving myself time to think about stopping and ending the run there. 

Miles 4-8: 9:07, 9:03, 9:05, 9:00, 9:01

Once I got to this point I think I started thinking about running a marathon and how comfortable I was feeling running eight miles in a sub-4 marathon pace. Yes, I know a marathon is much farther that eight miles, but I've also not been doing a lot of running further than that and I just was feeling good. I completely was caught off-guard when my watch beeped at mile nine and I saw that I ran it in 8:42. It was like I hit cruise control and my legs just kinda went with it. My breathing was still unlabored and I was feeling relaxed. This is where I considered slowing down as this was about 40 seconds faster than long run pace, but I'm still over three weeks until the KRRT half and figured this would be a good time to run a bit faster when my legs were getting tired. I ended up keeping up this pace through miles 10 and 11 (8:43, 8:41). I had to start doing fuzzy runner's math at this point to figure out how much extra I'd have to tack on when I turned around at the parking lot a second time to reach 13 miles. I also was torn between keeping up the pace to the end or slowing down for a cool down. I like finishing runs strong. Mile 12 was 8:59, so I guess I slowed a bit. With one mile to go I was either just stuck on auto-pilot, running out of time before preschool was over, or excited about having such an awesome run that my last mile was the fastest of the 13 at 8:40. 

Happy and veiny...and wet.

I've got to get up early to do my runs the rest of this week due the husband's work schedule and a school field trip, but I've now just over 10 miles to go to hit 100 miles for the month!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Three Things Thursday: All Things Running

1. It's exactly one month until the KRRT Half Marathon. It's been two years since I ran a half and it was at this event. If everything goes to plan, meaning Mother Nature doesn't decide to have a hot flash that day, I'll be coming away with a shiny new PR. I've been hitting all my paces in training and am in a good place mentally. The only thing that sucks the life out of me is the heat.

KRRT Half Marathon 2012 in perhaps the only shade on the course.

2. I've been toying with the idea of running a marathon sooner rather than later. Just for kicks I entered in my hopeful finishing time for the upcoming half into the Smartcoach program and when I scrolled down to see what it had my estimated marathon finish time as, I nearly fainted, cried, and pooped my pants.

Hee hee...I'm not telling you!

3. I'm on pace for my first ever 100 mile month! I didn't even hit the 100 mile mark when training for either of my two marathons. I'm coming up on a pretty crazy week with Memorial Day, a yard sale, Finn's birthday, a field trip for Finn's preschool, and his actual party including an epic cake. Let's see if I can fit it all in - I'll need to go running to keep my sanity!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Week in Review and the Sugarloaf Marathon

Last week was incredible in terms of running. Well actually, it was great all around!

Tuesday - 8 miles at 9:07 average pace


Wednesday - off

Thursday - 6 miles w/ 4 mile tempo {8:01, 8:02, 7:51, 7:56}


Friday - off

Saturday - off

Sunday - 14.2 miles 

Coordinated head to toe!
Monday - off
Weekly total = 28.2 miles

Sunday was the Sugarloaf Marathon that starts in Eustis, Maine, goes past the Sugarloaf ski resort to finish in Kingfield. Last year I ran the 15K which is the last 9.3 miles of the marathon course. You can read my recap of that race here. This year I opted not to race as my friend Stacy was running her second marathon, having completed her first on this course last year. My other running gals, Jen and Jill, were also on the support crew for Stacy as well as on the cheer squad for their running husbands, who happen to be twin brothers. 

I headed up on Saturday evening, catching a ride with Jen and Ward and stayed at the Sugarloaf Hotel with Jill and Wade. 


I played the part of the 5th wheel this weekend. We hit up the hot tub and since we weren't racing in the morning, Jen and I decided to class it up and enjoy a Mike's Hardest Strawberry Margarita straight from the can. After a fairly restless night on the floor in my sleeping bag, we got up and got ready to go. It was about 10 miles to the start and a perfect day for a marathon.

Race morning - overcast, 40s at the start and a light tailwind
The starting line!



Everyone kicked some serious butt and it was PR's all around! Both Ward and Wade PR'd and BQ'd. 

Mile 3
Stacy had amazing 12 minute PR. I am super proud of her. This girl was even running up the hills in the last miles of the race. She was motivated to get to that finish!

Powering up a hill at mile 22.

She also had her husband, Scott and three little munchkins to provide her with food and water for the entire course and her sweet kids ran with her to the finish.


The finish is in sight!

And now I have caught the marathon bug again. And so does Jen, who swore she wasn't running another until she turns 40. I'm really going to focus on continuing to form a solid base for the rest of this year and hopefully get my sub-4 marathon at Sugarloaf in 2015!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Janji: Run for Another {Product Review}

Promise: a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. An oath, pledge, vow, or commitment. 

Promise is what Dave and Mike showed when they came up with their idea of a starting a running apparel company that could literally help the world be a better place. Their company, Janji (which means "promise" in Malay), raises funds and awareness for the global food and water crisis. 

Janji's high-performance running clothing helps many countries - Bangladesh, Haiti, Kenya, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania, and the United Sates. Each country is represented in each collection through use of color and style. Every purchase provides various organizations with funds that are spent on medicine, nutrient rich crops, food or clean water for the people of that country.

For example, the Rwanda Flag Long-Sleeve tee provides three days of nutritional medicine for a malnourished child through MANA's Ready to Use Therapeutic Food.



The shirt itself is constructed of a polyester/spandex blend with wicking technology. It has a soft feel, much like a regular tee-shirt and is great for those chilly early morning runs and even has the highly-coveted thumb holes. The graphic design is inspired by the Rwandan flag and the Janji logo on the back is reflective for added safety.

The Rwanda Running Shorts also provide a malnourished child three days of nutritional medicine. The blue, yellow and green represents the bright color blocks of the Rwandan flag. 



The shorts are 100% moisture-wicking polyester with a 2.75" inseam with built-in underwear. While I'm most often found in a running skirt with one of the reasons being to cover my thicker hips and thighs, I was unsure how I would feel in shorts that were this short.

Please excuse my white and pink legs -
it has been a cold spring in Maine and they rarely see the sun!

After a couple of runs in them, I feel quite comfortable and they do not ride up or bunch. I've even worn them on a 12-mile run in the pouring rain and they dried very quickly. The wide waistband is comfortable with a drawstring and a rear pocket with a zipper closure.

On the right in my Janji shorts after a rainy 12-miler with the girls.
(Photo courtesy Running With The Girls)

By supporting Janji, we as runners are making a promise to help those less fortunate on a day-to-day basis, just by running in their high-performance apparel. In a very individualized sport we have the opportunity to work together as a community. We can run for another.

Janji has generously offered a 25% off all items in the Rwanda Collection just for you! Enter MMOTR for the discount through May 20, 2014.

For more information about Janji, it's mission or clothing line, please visit runjanji.com.

Disclosure: I was provided with the Janji apparel described above for the purpose of a review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tommie Copper Performance Compression Leggings {Product Review}

Let me tell you about my magic pants. I call them such, because they honest to goodness perform magic on my legs. 

I've been a fan of the Tommie Copper product line for a couple of years now and use my Tommie Copper gear on a regular basis. You can find my other Tommie Copper reviews in the Product Reviews tab below my blog header or by clicking here. Hands down, my favorite TC product is the Performance Compression Leggings.

Stock photo from tommiecopper.com

These leggings are a part of Tommie Copper's Performance line, meaning they are perfect to wear during activities such as running or yoga, as well as to wear during the recovery phase. The fabric is really smooth and incapsulated with copper and zinc to provide anti-odor properties, as well as UPF 50+ protection against the sun's harmful rays.

So why do I love these leggings so much?

The fabric is just thick enough to keep me warm enough as the only layer I wore on cold winter runs with temperatures as low as the teens.  They aren't lined, so they could also be used as a base layer for someone who doesn't run as hot as I do. They also keep me cool in warmer weather and are great at wicking away moisture. They are constructed with flat-lock stitching that doesn't rub or chafe.

The wide waist band is super comfortable and doesn't dig in at all. There is even a pocket that holds my running fuel secure, but is really easy to access. The pocket is also handy to carry my cell phone around when I'm wearing the leggings for recovery.



They are the perfect length and provide just the right amount of compression to my full leg - my hips, my glutes, my hamstrings and quads, my knees, and my calves - all at the same time. This gives me the best feeling for my legs and provides incredible relief for my varicose veins that are the worst around my inner knees and calves. I am most self-conscious about my legs because of my veins, but these leggings hold everything where it should be and make my legs look amazing.


Now let me tell you my most recent example of why I call them my magic pants.

Last weekend I ran a 5-mile trail race on a rainy day. The trails were slick with mud and it was a very difficult course with a lot of ups and downs on the hills and had me dodging tree roots, rocks, and navigating narrow log bridges. I worked my legs hard and ran fast enough for a 2+ minute personal record and an age group win. Immediately following the race I had to go to work. Literally, I raced home, washed off the mud, threw on my Tommie Copper leggings (under my jeans) and raced to work getting there with one minute to spare. Then I worked where I stood on a concrete floor for 8.5 hours. When I got home, the only thing that hurt was my feet...obviously not covered by the leggings. 

Okay, maybe I'll be sore the next day? Well, I wore the leggings to bed and don't judge me, but I wore them the next day too. Thank goodness for those anti-odor properties! That afternoon I went to my other job, working in a busy restaurant (still wearing the leggings, this time with a running skirt over the top), for a 5-hour shift in which I probably walked a total of 4+ miles. Again at the end of the day, the only thing that ached were my feet - thank goodness for a husband that will give me foot massages. 

I wore them to bed one last night to ward off any swelling from being on my feet fully expecting to be sore the next day. The second day after a hard running effort is always the worst! I really can't believe it myself, but I experienced zero, and I mean zero muscle soreness as a result of working my legs so hard over the weekend. Not in my glutes, not in my hamstrings, not in my quads. Nowhere! My legs felt as fresh as if I had taken a week off. Magic. I am truly amazed and a believer in these leggings. I really want to get another pair so I can wear them every day! Did I mention that they come in an awesome bright pink! 

Stock photo from tommiecopper.com

I need them and so do you!

If you have any questions regarding my experience with the Tommie Copper Performance Compression Leggings or any of the Tommie Copper line, feel free to leave a comment or email me at mainemomontherun {at} gmail {dot} com. For more information about this product or the other Tommie Copper products visit tommiecopper.com. There's going to be some really awesome things to come out in the Spring Line, so check back often! 

Disclosure: I was provided a pair of Performance Compression Leggings for the purpose of this review. I promise you that my opinions are absolutely, positively 100% my own.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week in Review, Screen Free Week and a Relaxing Mother's Day

Let's start off with my daily running log - 

Tuesday - 6 mi of speed work, 1 mi WU, 3x1 mile w/ 800m RI {7:29, 7:28, 7:34}, 1 mi CD


Wednesday - off

Thursday - 5 mi easy, 9:25 pace


Friday - off

Saturday - The Murph 5-Mile Trail Race, 47:46, 9:34 pace, AG win (30-39) and 4th female 

Race Recap HERE

Sunday - off

Monday - {morning} 2 mi run/walk with Finn and Ian (Finn ran .5 mile, I carried him the rest of the way), {afternoon} 3 mi easy, 9:00 pace


Last week, the elementary schools promoted a "screen-free week" in which they challenged the kids to cut back on time they spent watching TV or playing video games. There were nightly activities planned throughout the week for the kids to participate in. On Tuesday we went to a Dahlov Ipcar story walk and played on the playground at Zeke's school. Ian took the boys to a bike safety night on Wednesday. On Thursday we headed to the Maine Maritime Museum (which happens to be exactly a mile from our house...of course I know this because I am a runner.) 




Ian took them to the YMCA on Friday night for some activities. At first you'd think we were going to be torturing Zeke the whole week, but he ended up having a great time and survived with limited screen time.

Mother's day was wonderful, even though I had to work in the afternoon/evening. The boys gave me their homemade gifts including sweet cards, a clay thumbprint necklace from Zeke and a drawing in a popsicle stick and button frame by Finn. We headed over to my parent's house for breakfast and enjoyed various berry pancakes made by my father, Ian and my brother. It was nice to have the boys hang out with their cousins for a little while. Other than that it was pretty uneventful and relaxing as I recovered from the trail race the day before. I hope all you moms had a relaxing day, too!

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Murph 5-Mile Trail Race {Race Recap}

The Murph 5-Mile Trail Race is run on the Whiskeag Trail here in Bath, Maine. It is run in memory of Lieutenant Michael Murphy, a Navy Seal who was killed in action during the War in Afghanistan. He was the first member of the U.S. Navy since Vietnam to receive the Medal of Honor. In addition to many dedications in his honor, a Naval destroyer, The USS Michael Murphy was built at Bath Iron Works between 2002 and 2010.

I picked up my bib and waited for the last shuttle to take me to the starting line. It was raining pretty hard and I wanted to stay dry as long as possible. I saw a work friend, Tiffany, at the start and we were both surprised to see each other as we didn't know the other was running. Before long the announcements were made and we were off. 

The race started on a paved road and up a hill before turning into dirt and then to the trail head. I started a little faster than usual, but I wanted to take advantage of the easier terrain knowing that I'd slow down considerably later because of it. With the exception of a couple of spots, most of the trail was very technical. I knew some of the areas were running next to great views, but there was no way that I could look up from where I was placing my feet or I would have for certain done a face plant. I had to even plan ahead when I could even glance at my watch. Most of the beginning miles were on single track. 

The Murph 5-Mile race course

I followed close behind one girl for the first mile or so, but she dropped off pace on a hill and I passed. Then I was behind another girl (green shirt) for quite some time. I felt more comfortable seeing where she was running and following her feet than being the one keeping the pace. It seemed to take forever to get to mile two, there was a lot of mud, roots, rocks, and narrow log bridges to navigate. 

Just after reaching 2.5 miles we came out of that section of the woods and onto the road. I had passed green shirt girl and another guy I had been following and again took advantage of the flat and wide area to pick up the pace again. We turned and ran along the edge of a horse pasture and back into the woods. I was now following behind yellow shirt guy and followed him for the remainder of the race. 

I wondered if I was bothering him my trailing behind, but he was running at a comfortably hard pace and any faster I was sure I'd fall down. At one point he turned his ankle and said I could pass as he was slightly falling off pace, but I felt fine running at his speed and we hadn't slowed by much. He told me that there was a big hill right before we came out of the woods at mile 4.25. I thanked him for the warning and was glad he told me about it and I could focus on catching my breath before getting to it. It was really steep! After the hill we ran on the dirt roads of a cemetery, through some trees and headed down a hill to the finish area at the athletic fields. I remember him saying something like, "we are almost there, but I don't want you to pass me," and I laughed. I really don't think he wanted to be 'chicked' by the girl in a pink skirt. I was thinking I would almost feel bad if I did pass him, I felt that he helped me keep a good pace throughout the second half when I was the most tired. We raced to the finish, me one step behind. It was a bit narrow and there wasn't a great place to pass so I gave him the win. ;-) I have to say this was one of my favorite parts, we were flying. My Garmin stats show that we were moving at a 5:45 pace for the last tenth of a mile.

Yellow shirt guy and I congratulated each other on a great race and I waited to see Tiffany finish. I only saw a couple of women waiting around at the finish, so I was pretty sure I was in the top-10 women. 

Tiffany and me 

Tiffany and I headed up the hill to the American Legion hall for the awards and BBQ they had for the racers. The awards started a bit late, but once they posted the results, I knew I had to stick around.


My stats:
47:46, 9:34 pace = 2 minute 11 second PR
21st out of 94 overall
4th out of 48 women
1st out of 12 in age group (30-39)

My Garmin measured the course short at 4.86 miles, but looking at the tangents on the map it recorded, all of the tight turns and switchbacks were cut off slightly resulting in a shorter distance than I actually ran. 

I don't know how they stayed relatively clean!

I would highly recommend this race. I love supporting the races held in my city, not to mention they are convenient to get to! There was support staff through the entire course, even deep in the woods. They would tell us if a slippery or tricky part was coming up or just offer encouragement. I made sure to thank every one I passed. Even though it is incredibly difficult to run fast, the course was a lot of fun and a great challenge. Perhaps if I actually ran on trails more often than twice in the last two decades, I could run faster. The free BBQ was amazing at the end with burgers, hot dogs, homemade potato salad, a fresh garden salad, chips, soda, and BEER! Gotta love free beer! The entry fee is low at only $20 for early registration. A race shirt was extra and there were only a bowling coupon, pencil and peanuts in the reusable swag bag, but for such a low race fee, I don't have any complaints about this. I don't race for the free stuff and I already have a drawer full of race shirts. The dog tag awards are a nice touch, something special, and fitting for a race run in memory of one of America's military heroes. I'm pretty sure I'll be scheduling this into my race lineup next year...I've got to defend my title, right?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Week in Review and I'm racing this weekend.

I ended April on a good note and started May strong. My April total was a monthly high of 64 miles, the highest since last October!

A recap of last week:

Tuesday - 5 easy miles, 9:04 average pace



Wednesday - off

Thursday - 6 miles in torrential downpour, middle 4 at 8:06 --> 8:00, 8:10, 8:04, 8:15 actual


Friday - off

Saturday - off

Sunday - 12 miles on the Rail Trail with the girls (Stacy's birthday!), 10:17 average pace, also in heavy rain

Really wish I remembered my visor.

This weekend Jen and Jill will be heading to Ragnar: Cape Cod, Stacy is tapering for the Sugarloaf Marathon, and I'll be running a trail race! 

The Murph is a 5 mile race on the Whiskeag Trail here in Bath. My work schedule changed Saturday so now I have time to run my second trail race since high school cross-country. 

My current dilemma is figuring out what shoes to wear! I might pull out my old Mizuno Wave Precision 13s out of retirement for this one. They are what I wore when I did a trail race with the girls in October 2012. But they are pretty old (they were my first pair of Mizunos) and the soles are quite worn with 300+ miles. My other option would be my older pair of Sayonaras. They only have a little over 200 miles on them, but the uppers are so riddled with holes, I never wear them anymore. I'm just wondering how they will be as a trail shoe. What do you think?