"You must listen to your body. Run through annoyance but not through
pain." - George Sheehan

10. Finding the perfect non-chafing outfit

9. Feeling accomplished post-run

8. Mapping a new route and enjoying the exploration that comes with it

7. The sound of my Garmin ringing after each mile

6. Chatting with my friends and having many laughs

5. Hearing people say "You ran HOW MANY miles?" after a long Saturday run

4. Sweating

3.Guilt-free eating

2. Hills

Thankfully, as of today, I don't have to miss those things anymore! I have
officially been released to resume activity. If you know me, you know I am
elated with that news. I was tempted to run home from my appointment. It was  just a little over 30 miles, I feel like I could have done it. OK, maybe I'm
getting ahead of myself.
Now is the time when being patient and listening to my body is most
important. I have to gradually build back up the miles and not push myself too  hard. I have a really hard time doing both of those things, but I don't want to  re-injure myself. So for now, I'll be sticking to a walk/run schedule and  forcing myself to stay at a 10 minute per mile pace. In a couple of weeks I will  increase my miles and go from there; after all it's a 1/2 marathon that I'm  training for, not a sprint!
Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run for You,


"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” ~ La Rochefoucauld 

I have a HUGE fear that pertains to running. OK, I have two huge fears. One of them is running into snakes, which I have done on a few occasions. If you were with me during one of those times, you probably laughed, hard. The other fear is, are you ready? Having to go #2 out on a long run. Yes, I am afraid of my bowels. 

I know you've all heard stories about people who just drop their pants on the side of the road, do their business in the middle of a run, and get right back out there. Sorry folks, that just isn't the kind of gal I am. I want my business to be done in a barricade. It doesn't hurt to have a little Charmin either. The problem is, I am blessed with overactive bowels when I run. Listen people, I'm giving it to you straight! Yes, I get the "runner's trots." If you think I'm making this up, Google, it's a real thing, and real people are suffering from it right this very moment. Not me though, ha ha!

Anyway, this problem really stressed me out because almost every single training run I did was sans potty. Can you imagine being 10 miles away from a facility, in the middle of a field and hearing the grumble of your stomach? It's not an enjoyable time, especially when you have cows as an audience! 

My point? Nutrition before a run is VERY important. You have to make sure you're fueling your body properly so that it has enough "gas" (but hopefully not gas, gas) to get you through a long, exhausting run, without upsetting your stomach and giving you bowels of fury.

I obsess about what I eat a few days prior to a long run. No grease, no milkshakes (hello dairy overload), no Fiber One bars (trust me on this one). I try to make sure I'm eating easily digestible foods; salads, whole grains and then of course carbs on Friday evening.

My Saturday morning ritual is most important. I get up an hour and a half prior to having to leave the house. Generally, that puts my run about 2 hours after I eat my breakfast. When I first started training, I would eat a whole grain english muffin with about two tablespoons of peanut butter and a banana. Once we started running over 10 miles, I realized that it just wasn't enough fuel. Even with eating a Gu around mile 6, I was still starving and bonking around mile 8. Not to mention I burped banana the entire time. Not really pleasant for myself or my teammates! 

About half-way through training, I got up enough courage to try a new pre-run meal. I started eating a generous bowl of oatmeal with half of a sliced up banana. I also drink a cup of warm tea with a teaspoon of natural sugar. This combination works perfectly to fill me up and um, get things going prior to leaving the house. While in the car on the way to the course, I sip water and pop an Imodium, it does a bowel good. 

While out on the course, I find that alternating Gatorade and water every 3 miles; making sure the water stop coincides with my Gu, every 6 miles (every hour), kept my nausea at bay and kept me from feeling hungry or bonking. Each week I experimented with different forms of fuel to see which one worked best for me. My coaches really made it a point to tell us to find what worked well and then stick with it. 

Having never tried a Gu, Gel, Block, Bean, etc I was really nervous about them my first time. The first brand I tried was the Gu TriBerry and I wasn't a huge fan. The texture was much like vaseline and I felt like I was choking it down. The flavor was great though so I just stuck with them for a few weeks, instead of experimenting. Remember the 10 miles from "home base," stuck in a field with a bovine audience I was talking about from before? The culprit from that day was a TriBerry Gu. 

The great thing is that I realized what was causing my body to react in different ways, and I adjusted as needed. Right now I think I have a winning combination. I only eat Chocolate Outrage Gu's while out on the course, and I follow my pre-run rituals to a T. If you're just starting to train for an event, NOW is the time to experiment. Go to a running store and ask them for a bunch of different types of fuel and try them! I highly recommend Jelly Belly's Sport Beans with caffeine, as well. I like eating them before an evening run to give me that extra boost of energy that my children have sucked out of me all day. Of course, what works for me isn't necessarily what will work for you or your bowels, you know, if you have that problem!

Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run For You,

“I know how to do anything - I'm a Mom.” - Roseanne Barr
One of the things I think most mother's can agree on is that finding the time to exercise is almost as exhausting as the exercise itself.

While I was training, my average run day was so stressful for me. The only way to get in a run was to do it in the evenings after my husband got home, or hit the treadmill at 5 am before he left. Being a mom is a full-time job,* add in a 30 to 40 mile training week and you've got yourself two jobs.

Generally, I found that running in the evenings fit into my schedule the best. Of course, that meant forfeiting dining with my family - which was not always a bad thing! I spent all day playing with the kids, cleaning, playing, driving from play date to grocery store, and cleaning some more. Oh and add in diaper changes, fighting with my oldest about anything and everything and then having dinner on the table so that when my husband walked through the door I could give him a quick peck on the cheek, give him the run-down on the days activities (he's in time-out, she's fussy and GOOD LUCK WITH THEM!) and run out the door.

Exhausted yet? I am!

Mothering is my number one priority. I take care of them in every capacity to make sure that my runs are that much easier. I can't leave the house knowing my son is upset, or that my daughter has her head stuck between the stair rails. I have to make sure everything at home is calm (as much as I can) so that I can fully focus on ME while I'm out there sweating and unwinding. However, mothering is EXHAUSTING. Most days it takes all I have to get myself out the door in the evenings. As much as my brain needs the escape my body is saying "Go directly to bed. Do not pass go. Do not fold another load of laundry. DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT make me run tonight!"

Getting myself out the door is as much of a chore as it is to bathe a kid who hates water. I know it has to be done but I dread it. Having this boot on has been absolutely horrible for me. I miss running in every capacity but with summer in full force I am also *slightly* thankful. Yes, you read that correctly, I am thankful for a broken foot. Summer adds a new level of insanity to my already hectic life. We go to the pool, extra play dates, museum tours, vacations, cook-outs, so on and so forth. I still have the cleaning and the cooking and the playing to do as well. Mix that all in with heat and humidity and it's all I can do to stay awake past 7 pm most nights!

I can't wait to get back out there and run, especially to start training again. I miss my regimen and scheduled time for myself. For now, I am just enjoying being a mother. I love dedicating all of my time to the kids and making memories with them. My kids exhaust me, but they are the ones who give me fuel to run. After all, most days they are the ones who chase me out the door and help me accomplish my goals. OK, I may be running out the door away from them but that's besides the point.

*This is where I bow down to the working mother. I have more respect for you ladies than you will ever know. I know my job is exhausting, but I can't fathom working outside of the home, inside of the home and adding running into my schedule. You are all my heroes, truly.
Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run for You,
Don't get so stuck in your ways that you can't change. ~ Sam Walton
I will fully admit I judged bikers. (Please, bikers refrain from throwing your helmets in my general direction.)

I used to scoff at people on the recumbent bikes at the gym while I was pounding along on the treadmill. I'd look over, glaring, and thinking to myself "How lazy are those people? They aren't doing ANYTHING sitting there pedaling those machines. They look like recliners with rotating leg relaxers. Look at them reading their books, this isn't a library!"

Yes, that was me until now.

This past Saturday I decided to finally go try out the recumbent bike (even though I felt I was totally wasting my time). I figured if I wanted to continue shoving food into my pie hole with no regards to calories I'd want to burn a few, lest I gain back all of the weight I recently lost.

I strutted into the YMCA. No really, my boot makes me strut. I mounted (?) the recumbent bike, jammed my feet into the pedal stirrups (OK, I really need to Google bike terminology) and scrolled through the programs to pick something similar to what I did on the treadmill. I saw a hill workout and naturally chose that one. Of course, if I do hills on the bike it MUST keep me in shape to run hills when the time comes for me to get back out there. I do naive really well.

I decided to do 30 minutes to start. I started pedaling and opened up my book. Hey, if everyone else can do it, why can't I? The first 5 minutes went pretty well. I felt like I had a pretty good pace and I was enjoying my book. Then the first incline came. I kept pedaling around the same pace, but concentrating on my book wasn't as easy. Suddenly my legs were on FIRE. I felt pain in places I had never experienced before while running.

Another increase in the incline and I reached for the resistance button quickly turning it DOWN. I looked at the time and I had only been on the bike for EIGHT MINUTES. EIGHT! I had to put my book down and really focus at this point. My boot kept slamming into the side of the machine and I had sweat pouring off of me.

By the time I hit another incline I resolved to the fact that I wasn't finishing 30 minutes on this thing. I was on a ride from HELL and wasn't even moving. I finished 15 whole minutes on that bike and couldn't dismount (haha) fast enough. I honestly couldn't believe what a workout I got in just 15 minutes from a machine that looked like something out of a La-Z-Boy catalog.

If you're like me and have a total comfort zone with running, I challenge you to try something new. Branching out, though not because I wanted to, has given me a new respect for another sport. Cross-training is not something I ever thought was important while training. I figured I should stick with the sport I was training for. However, I now see that other forms of exercise are not only good to work out different body parts, it's a very humbling experience.

So bikers, my sincerest apologies for mocking you. I will be walking around in shame, with the proverbial tail between my very, very sore legs for weeks to come.

Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run For You,