Monday Mentions…On a Tuesday (For good reason)

A good reason for me anyhow. Yesterday afternoon we lost power, and this morning it is still not back on. Thanks to a horrific, freaky windstorm. Seriously. A wind storm in November. Like it’s April or something.

I had to hang on to my little Dorothy & Toto. (Little A would not be happy I used this pic from way back…Shhhhh…don’t tell!)

Cookie

So, I had to postpone Monday Mentions, which is fine, except for the “Monday” in the title. Oh well.

I used to write Monday Mentions a while ago, and after discovering some new, awesome blogs in the last week, I wanted to bring it back this week. On Tuesday. (Okay I’m done whining about that. I promise.)

Moving on.

This week I wanted to Mention the following blogs that are worth checking out. Please do!!

blogsoftheweek

Blissful Britt.  She calls herself a “vegan with benefits”, which cracks me up. She has an awesome sense of humor, writes about healthy living (and chocolate!), and has a tab entitles, ‘What Id Sell in My Food Truck’.  She is worth the read!

The Harold Chronicles.  Another blogger that makes me laugh! On top of that, this self titled, ‘cantankerous old fart’ is a fast & competitive runner, with lots of running info & faces under his belt.

Delana R.A. Dameron. This lady runner doesn’t take any crap from anyone when it comes to her running, and I love that. Read “Big Girls do Run…Marathons.”  She is also a teacher and a writer and her journey is inspirational to follow. (Make sure you check out her writing tab!)

Marathon and a Sprint. First, what a great title! It IS all about the Marathon AND the Sprint. And I love, love, love this poem: ‘Twas the Night Before Race Day .

I Run in the Rain: (runcharlotte.wordpress.com). This lady’s on a journey from “Obese to Normal” and she looks great!!! She uses running to motivate, and isn’t planning on stopping for the winter. You go girl!

 

Anyone else having freaky weather this November?

 

Weekly Running Recap & A Shot of Beet Juice

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Is it Turkey week already? I don’t know if I should be happy, shocked, or worried…Time goes too fast!

 

I had a decent running week. Not horrible. Not great. But decent.

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 2.6 miles @9:36

Wednesday: 5 miles @9:41

Thursday: 2 miles – Run/Walk as I paced a new runner  (D!)

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 2.1 miles- Run/Walk with D (He’s doing great btw :-)

Sunday: 6 miles @9:30

Total Miles: 17.7

Funny how my fastest was my long run day…Maybe because it was my only outside day?  Hmmm…food for thought :)

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Remember how I almost died when I tried Beet Juice? Okay, not really, but it wasn’t pretty. Well this girl won’t give up so easily. I read that beet juice daily for a minimum of 6 days has positive effects on increasing stamina during workouts. Can’t hurt so I’m giving it a go.

It’s been going down a bit easier, although I’m not doing a full 8 oz. More like a double shot worth.

The aftertaste is what is still killing me, but I’m learning what foods I can have right after to rid the taste. Coffee-not so much. Cantaloupe –  worked like a charm.

 

Thursday is the big Turkey Trot day in downtown Cleveland.

Goal A: >49:30 (last year’s time)

Goal B: >47:39 (My 5-Mile PR)

Goal C:  Be able to eat as much pie as I want with dinner.

I honestly have no idea how this will go for me. This race always seems like a wild-card because of weather. We will see!

There’s still time to register: Check it out here!

 

Surely there are some of you out there running Turkey Trots this week~ tell me which ones!

 

Adding to the workout…

I tend to get in a running routine, but slack in other areas. While I’ve been struggling to bring my pace to where it needs to be I realized that I am lacking in strength training & cross training. When I was reaching my fastest I had been adamant about doing both.

Time to get back at it.

For the next two weeks, this is my every other day routine. I am also adding in stair walking for 10 minutes each day at work.

Of course, I’m working on slowly increasing my mileage as well. (With hopes of increasing pacing).

With as busy & hectic as my schedule can be, this workout is only about 20-25 minutes long. If I have time, I can  make it longer, but this is my minimum goal.

 workoutplan

Those Russian Twists work awesome on me for developing abs! Over the summer I spent less than two weeks doing them, when I suddenly realized I had ab cuts~ whoa. Exciting stuff. Remember this:

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You might have to look kind of hard to see them. Trust me, they’re there. Don’t see them? Look harder! (On second thought, never mind, quit looking. Just take my word for it)

Then stress & oreos (probably jelly beans more likely) took over and…you know the rest.

If you do nothing else- trust me- those Russian Twists work awesome- and fast!

 

Anyone have any killer workout moves they love? Favorite exercise?

Anyone have any suggestions for those hips? (I mean what the heck~ looks like I am walking around with saddlebags. I blame childbirth)

 

 

The day I tried Beet Juice.

Not Beetlejuice. BEET Juice.

beetlejuice

But before I go any further, can we all agree that Michael Keaton kicked ass as Beetlejuice? Even Alec Baldwin was pretty good~ but I think that was before the daughter-bashing and drug stuff.

Okay. Back to the topic. Beet juice. I have heard other athletes discussing beet juice benefits before. Good for you, gives you energy, blah, blah, blah. I’m always skeptical of the new “good for you” trend. However, when a couple bloggers I know to be skeptics as well tried beet juice, and it worked for them, I thought I should give it a go. It seems to give athletes more energy, taking longer for them to tire out.

When I try something new, I always have a process.

Step One.   RESEARCH THE HECK OUT OF BEET JUICE BENEFITS.

First, I checked with the pro himself, Dr. Oz.

Dr Oz

OOPS.

Then, because WebMD diagnosis all my health probs, I went there next.

Lastly, to get an athletes perspective, I checked out Training Peaks.

I won’t insult your intelligence by repeated what I read there. You guys can read. I think. Check out the sites, they have great info.

Step Two.  DISCUSS WITH RANDOM PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE DAY TO GAIN THEIR POINT OF VIEW. Or to just see if they think you are really crazy.

B: (Non-athlete, health nut, at work). I’ve never heard of that before, but I would try it if it’s that good for you.

J: (Non-athlete, non health guru). I would drink that. I love beets.

A: (On again, off again health guru) That sounds nasty. I’d rather eat guinea pig food.

Step Three. FIND WHERE TO BUY IT.

A quick Google search shows it available online, anywhere from $50 to $50 a bottle. Apparently some health food stores may have it. I didn’t want to wait for it by ordering it online, so I figured I would check out some area health food stores. And I was particularly interested in the $5 bottle. The Biotta brand.  Ain’t no beet juice worth $50.

Step Four. BUY IT.

I walk into this little health food store in Amish Country.(I live there. Amish Country, not the health food store.)  The man behind the counter, obviously excited to have a customer, asks if he can help me. While usually I shun human interaction in retail establishments, I ask him if he carries beet juice. He excitedly escorts me to the shelf. He tells me how he has regulars that buy it to lower their blood pressure. I tell him I am a runner. (Which oddly feels as if I am lying to the guy. Other people are ‘runners’. I just run.) He wants to talk marathons. I want to pay and leave.

Step Five. TAKE A PHOTO OF IT FOR NO REAL REASON AT ALL. SHARE WITH RANDOM FOLKS.

B: OMG You bought it! Tell me how it is!

A: Nasty.

wpid-20141115_112605.jpg I decided to give it a taste in the evenings. My plan is to drink an 8oz glass each morning, and an hour or two before I go running.

I give my mom a glass with a splash in it for her to try first.

We all stare at her as she tastes it.

She likes it.

Now, my turn. Even if it’s bad, I’ll pretend I am just taking medicine and get it over with. I can do it. I smell it. There is no way I can do it. My stomach is churning. I smell it again. I have no idea why I am torturing my nose with it.

Several minutes later, the family is bored of watching me ‘try’ to drink it. So I swig it. And I gag. I’m not gonna lie. It was kind of gross.

I wonder if it could be an acquired taste. Like Coffee. Beer.  Maybe if I keep trying it.

I convince my daughter to take a taste. She is unwilling, but she does. She literally gags and we think she might lose her lunch. She doesn’t.

It tastes a bit like dirt & grass.

But, if you like beets, you might like it.

I for one, am going to try to ‘acquire’ a taste for it.

Time will tell.

They say to drink a glass a day for 6 days and your stamina will be greatly improved. Plenty of time to get ready for the November 27 Turkey Trot in downtown Cleveland that I am registered for.  Who’s gonna be there?? 

 

Check out downtown Cleveland’s annual Turkey Trot here.

 

Anyone tried beet juice before? Love it? Hate it?

 

Which Turkey Trot are you running this year?

Runner’s Knee vs. Hamstring Pull

tired

Following my long-run Sunday my legs were tired. Well, Duh. They hurt. My long runs are probably shorter than most marathon runners “long run’s”, but still long for me. And a bit hilly.  So I didn’t think much of it when I hobbled to bed Sunday night barely able to walk.

Monday I woke up with an ache & soreness in the back of left knee. I have kept myself pretty well injury free since starting running a year ago, so I had a bit of a worry that the streak might be over.

As the day went on, it seemed to worsen. So, I walked with a bit of a limp.

Then I googled it.

“knee pain after running”

I know you are all rolling your eyes. Worst thing to do is turn to google when you have an ailment or injury.

But you know you do it too.

I was pretty sure this was NOT a hamstring pull as the source was directly behind left knee. Wasn’t running up & down the side, so I ruled out IT Band. But, the two most common diagnosis seemed to be: Hamstring pull or Runner’s Knee.

So, I did some further research.

Hamstring Pull

hs

According to WebMD‘s definition of a Hamstring:   It isn’t actually a single ”string.” It’s a group of three muscles that run along the back of your thigh. They allow you to bend your leg at the knee.

Additionally, WebMD goes on to say, “You’re likely to get a hamstring strain during exercise that involves a lot of running and jumping or sudden stopping and starting.” 

A hamstring pull can cause pain or discomfort in back of thigh or lower buttock. This part I knew. BUT, since it connects at the back of the knee, it is possible to have knee pain if the pull or tear (yikes!) was near that area.

A hamstring pull can also cause bruising.  (A quick run to the bathroom mirror and I am reassured I don’t have bruising).

The Mayo Clinic advises those with a pulled hamstring to:

1. REST

2. ICE

3. WRAP (Compression bandage)

4. IBUPROFEN as needed

If pain persists more than a couple of days, or if you cannot put weight on your leg at all: SEE A DOCTOR.

So, I figure, I MIGHT have a pulled hamstring…

Runner’s Knee

kn

Most runner’s have heard talk of “runner’s knee”. It is usually referred to in a generic sense. Slight knee ache? Must be Runner’s Knee. Weak knees today? Must have Runner’s Knee.  But what IS Runner’s Knee?

I found some interesting info on Competitor.com:

The most common running injury is not what you think it is.  Patellofemoral pain syndrome — otherwise known as anterior knee pain and runner’s knee — is the most common running injury, accounting for roughly 20 percent of all running injuries.”

The article goes on to say this can be caused by common sense things, such as improper running form, unsupportive shoes, and overuse. BUT, it can also be caused by weak hip muscles (of which I did NOT know).

This was a fantastic article for runners, with tons of info and I recommend it for everyone. Click here to read it in its entirety.

My conclusion:

Overall, it does appear that Runner’s Knee affects the anterior (front) part of the knee. Thus, I am ruling out Runner’s Knee in my case.

 

I really, really, really want to run a good 5k this weekend, so my plan is resting Monday and Tuesday.

AND…Luckily I woke up this morning (Tuesday) with very little discomfort in the knee. Almost back to normal.

zebra

So I was probably just a bit sore as we all would be after a tough workout. No big.
But, since I had already done all that research- ok, googling- I figured I’d share a bit with y’all.
Oh! One more! Check out Runner’s World fantastic article about knee pain in runner’s.  Check it out here.
Have a great day folks~ stay healthy!

 

 

 

 

Long Run Sunday

Fall is a beautiful time to run.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics on my Sunday long run for fear of my phone battery dying.

I did complete 8.3 miles. It was tough. Then easy. Then tough.

For some reason, it started out badly. I think I just had a hard time getting in the ‘mood’.  I had no idea how I was going to complete 8 miles when the first two miles felt awful. Then, even though the times don’t  necessarily reflect it, the middle of the run felt great.  At mile 6, I hit a wall and my legs felt trashed. Somehow I pushed on. (Mile 4 had a significant hill and Mile 7 I was dying.)

Distance Pace Elapsed Time
1.0 mi 09:05 min/mi 00:09:04
2.0 mi 09:44 min/mi 00:09:40
3.0 mi 09:26 min/mi 00:09:20
4.0 mi 10:46 min/mi 00:10:41
5.0 mi 09:42 min/mi 00:09:29
6.0 mi 09:57 min/mi 00:09:48
7.0 mi 11:06 min/mi 00:11:02
8.0 mi 09:35 min/mi 00:09:32
8.3 mi 09:21 min/mi 00:02:32

Total time: 1:21:48

This is me after dying. I look angry…lol

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Long runs are almost more mental than physical, no?

On a side note: This is not my house but I totally wish it was.

Still looking forward to the Monster Dash this coming Sunday in Akron.. It will be my 5kiversary.

Officially I have to beat last year. 29:58.  Unofficially, I want to beat 27 minutes. My PR currently sits at 27:01. I have been a slow-poke lately so hopefully a miracle can happen.

The rest of this week will probably include:

Mon: Circuit Train-  rest my tired legs

Tues: off- Traveling to son’s big soccer game :-)

Wed: 3.1 – let’s see what I can do. Strength Train.

Thurs: Speedwork. 3 Miles.

Fri: Circuit/Strength Train

Sat: 3-4 miles possibly

Sun: Monster Dash 5K.  Evening 5 miles to make  for a total of 8.

 

Do you ever have trouble ‘getting in the mood’ for your long run?  Or any run for that matter?  Tricks of the trade? Share! :)

Safety, hard-work and upcoming races.

I’ve been busy.

But, I’ve been running. Somehow I’ve done pretty well at fitting it in my schedule.

Sunday I ran a beautiful 8-miles. It was a long-run for me, and I was exhausted after, but felt wonderful. And Monday I was not even sore. :)  A quick two miles yesterday and body core workout.  Got to keep limber.

I ran a new route, due to some…well, safety issues at my previous running spot. Will explain.

Some pretty views:

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The weather was beautiful, cool & crisp, yet I heated up pretty quickly. #sweatinlikeabeast

I ended up doing it at about a  9:50 pace or so.

So. About that safety thing. One evening last week I parked my truck at a nearby parking lot near a local trail. It was daylight. On a main road. Although not that frequently traveled, at least one car goes by every minute and some truck traffic. When I returned from my 30-minute run, I noticed something odd about my truck. No glare or reflection on the driver’s side window. As I neared, I realized the window had been shattered. And my purse, that had been hiding under the seat, gone.

As I reached in to unlock the door (thief must have crawled into the window), the truck alarm went off. Should this not have gone off when the window was shattered??

Needless to say, I am not running there anymore. After speaking to the Sheriff, and some other people who passed by on the trail while we were there, it is not the safest of places. One lady even mentioned she has seen a creepy  man walking around before. So I will be exploring other areas.

Just another reminder for us to be safe while running! Running trails? Carry pepper spray and make sure someone knows where you are!

Here are some good articles about safety while running:

Running Safety Tips for Everyone from the RRCA

Tips for Women’s Running Safety

Be safe!

On a lighter note, I’ve been working hard the last couple weeks to rebuild mileage. I am looking forward to the Monster Dash 5k at the end of the month as that was my inaugural 5k last year after I started running! Check it out here & register! My goal is to beat 27 minutes, but we will see. I’m definitely doing the Cleveland Turkey Trot 5-Miler again too. That’s a big one! Find more info on that race here.

Our bodies will only do what we train them to do.

 

Does anyone have any safety tips to share?

Any upcoming races?

Taking it easy this fall winter or working hard? ;)

 

 

Running Ambassadorships Gone Wrong & The Demise of FoamFest 5k

I thought it would be cool to be an ambassador for one ‘official’ race.

So, of course when I received my discount code for the Foam Fest 5k, I was pretty excited.  I had intentions to get that code out there WAY more than I did. I guess I wasn’t that great of an ambassador anyhow…

But, I was still planning on doing the race, and still even talking it up. I had friends and family committed to going. Marked my calendar for July 19th.

A few days before I decided to go to website for official details and register. Yes, I am a last-minute registering kind of gal. I hate registering early with the possibility  of not being able to make it for some reason. At the website, when I click on “Cleveland, Ohio” for info on that race- I’m directed to a notice where it states that the SoCal race is cancelled due to “logistics” and while NO refunds will given, they are working on rescheduling the run. I keep getting the SoCal notice, so I figure something is wrong with the website and I’ll come back later.

Then I see it on the news. Cleveland FoamFest cancelled due to “logistics”. Huh??  And no refunds will be given. Of course. It’s not like people were traveling in (many were!) or made special arrangements to attend this. What if they can’t make it on the ‘rescheduled date’? Something seemed fishy right off the bat.

While people were in an uproar, and media got wind, the truth comes out.

FoamFest filed bankruptcy and is shutting their doors.

Now, I don’t know too much about the behind-the-scenes stuff at races. BUT, this was one of the most expensive races I’ve seen- up to $90 week of race, plus $10 parking fee, PLUS a fee to check a bag.  And, hundreds (may thousands between Ohio & California) paid these prices. Where is the money? I know the obstacles made this a pricey event to put on…but still.  ???

With the cancellation out there, I was quite embarrassed that I had been an ‘ambassador’. I stayed fairly quite about it. Until now.

The company has since issued an apologize and a closing statement.

“Dear 5k Foam Fest Friends, Our organization has spent years and an incredible amount of money perfecting this great event for the runners we admire so much. However, due to limited resources we are sad to announce that the 5k Foam Fest is cancelling all future events and will no longer be in business as of July 17th, 2014. After tireless efforts to find a way to help us finish out our season; we simply can’t continue to move forward.”

The race in my town was scheduled for July 19th, just 2 days later.

You mean to tell me up until that point, they didn’t know they were going to have to cancel?

Of course they did.

Yet they waited to inform everyone until a couple days before the race.

What a bummer.

It did look like a fun race~ Life in Pink ran it this summer and wrote a great recap on it if you want to check it out!

But, we trudge on. I found another race to run and it was one of the best I’ve ever ran.

So all is good.

 

Race Recap: Friday Night Lights, Mentor, Ohio

friday-night-lights-2

One of my favorite races ever. Ever.  In my whole….1 year of racing.

I enjoyed every aspect of it, especially after the debacle of my Aurora Fun Run 5k a week prior.

10 reasons this was a great race:

1. Organized & Easy to register at event.

2. It was at night!

3. Great music.

4. Regular old bib-chip timing. (You don’t know how much you love it until you do races without it)

5. Ample food & drink.

6. Easy parking.

7. Great nearby donut shop. (Very important- I need pre-race coffee & donut)

8. Awesome t-shirt.

9. Cool light-up gadgets to wear during run.

10. Flat course, through high school track, roads, and bike path.

And my lack of training still brought me in only 7 seconds slower than my PR!

I celebrated with a BBQ Cheeseburger & fries. I know, I know. I’m eating better now I promise. At least most of the time.

The stats:

WHAT: Friday Night Lights

WHERE: Mentor, Ohio

DISTANCE: 3.1 Miles

TERRAIN: Pavement/Track

TIME: 27:08

Official results here.

This was a competitive looking run- everyone looked pretty serious, in-shape and for a minute I thought I was way out of my league. But I held my own. I came in 15th out of 38 in my AG. And it motivated me to get more consistent with my running! If I can do that after several weeks of lackluster running & nutrition, what can I do if I get it together?!?!?!

Definitely will calendar this one for next year!

 

 

Race Recap: Aurora Fun Run 5k and 1 Mile

Boy am I behind in my blog updates. Damn maternity leave.

So last minute I was looking for a 4th of July race. The only one I found in my neck of the woods, was the Aurora Fun Run in my hometown of….. you guessed it- Aurora, Ohio.

I saw they were doing a 1 mile race at 8:00 and a 5k at 8:30. I decided to do both, and see how quickly I could do a 1 mile in a timed race. I wasn’t worried about my time too much for the 5k, but just happy to have another bib for the ‘bib wall’.  I was pretty excited to do a last-minute race AND try my hand at a 1-miler for speed.

Let’s just say my excitement faded very quickly.

And since my mom always says, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, I will have to keep this very brief. Yeah right. We all know how difficult that is for me…

I’ve been pretty blessed and enjoyed every race I’ve ran until this point. So, they can’t all be winners. No big.

Here are the two main problems I encountered:

1. Unorganized. Horribly. I found what I thought was the registration table. Waited in line. Only to be told that on the OTHER side of the lot was the table to pick up the forms for same day registration. I had to fill that out and bring it back, wait in line at this table, and get my bib. Again, no big. I did just that, and went back to table. There were two lines formed at that table, so I hopped in one. Once it was my turn, the lady says, “this is the line for pre-registered only. You need to be in the other line. Since the two lady’s was right there side by side, I was hoping that one could just hand the other the form. But no. I had to go get back in line. Again.

Once I made it to the correct lady, she handed me my ‘goods’, and then told me on the other side of the Gazebo is where I needed to pick up my timing chip. Huh? What a hassle. No signs, no direction. Four different table visits. Four lines.

My computer chip was a shoe tag~ I had not had one of those prior so I had no idea how to attach it. And, no one was forthcoming to help. I somehow managed to do look at other shoes and figure it out.

2. Many, Many rude people.  Maybe I’ve been living in a nice, quiet country town too long…but I have always enjoyed the kindness and camaraderie of runners at race events. Even the large events in downtown Cleveland- people are always supporting & friendly.  I did encounter a couple friends while there~ but other than that, I have never been pushed, shoved, stepped on, elbowed, hollered at, more in my life and I heard NOT ONE apology or ‘excuse me’ the entire event. Hmph.

The course was okay, winding through residential neighborhoods.  I might have been a little aggravated at the people to enjoy it a whole lot.

Some photo’s for fun:

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But anyway, here are the stats:

WHAT: Aurora Fun Run 1 Mile                                       WHAT: Aurora Fun Run 5k

WHERE: Aurora, Ohio                                                    WHERE: Aurora, Ohio

DISTANCE: 1 Mile                                                           DISTANCE:  5k

TERRAIN: Pavement                                                       TIME: 29:09

TIME: 7:52 - 1st Place in Age Group!!! :)

Results posted HERE.

Best part was learning I placed first in my AG for the one miler. My goal was to come in under 8 minutes. I think I actually did a little better than the time listed- at least by a few seconds, but it was not chip timed so there may be some room for error.

My next race was much more enjoyable. I might get around to that recap sometime in 2014. We will see.

 

Anyone have any sucky race stories?

 

 

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