Inspire!

This Sunday, a bunch of ladies from the running club, my best friend, myself and many other women, will be running in the Perfect 10 Miler!  A quote from their site: “The Perfect 10 is an all women’s 10 miler and 5K that women come from all over the nation to celebrate
who they are inside and out.”  I love that and I’m so excited for this race!  A chance to spend time with some wonderful, inspiring women doing something we love and having fun!

I’m also very excited for another reason…my daughter will be running the Daughter Dash the day before.  “Here’s a chance for the young ladies in your life to share your love of running. It’s a fun, non competitive 1 mile walk or run for girls between the ages of 5 – 13.”  This will be Hannah’s second race and I love that she gets so excited to be like her mommy.  I love that I can inspire her and influence her to have healthy habits.  Does she run all the time?  No, and I don’t expect her to.  She has fun with this and that’s how I want it to stay.  I don’t want her to hate running like I did in high school.  If I can inspire just one person with my running, I’m thrilled that that person is my daughter!

Be on the lookout for a recap of this weekend! 🙂

Practicing last year for her first kid race.

Practicing last year for her first kid race.

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At her first kid race (she’s not nervous…she’s cold 😉 ).

Picture that she drew of me a few weeks at school <3

Picture that she drew of me a few weeks at school ❤

Fueling Your Run

I’m slightly obsessed when it comes to food and running.  Not just food before or after a run, either…but fueling during and thinking the day before a long run, “how is this going to make me feel while I run tomorrow?”  I used to think about it a lot more than I do these days but I really need to get back to how I used to fuel my body.  I used to have so many healthy things in the fridge and pantry, and I still do, but it’s just easier to reach for the not-so-healthy stuff.

I have some races coming up in October.  I’ll be doing the Perfect 10 Miler; a race for women that I’m pretty excited about because, like Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia, a large number of women from Southern Ocean Ladies Running Club will be running it.  The week after, I will be doing the Hershey Half Marathon.

With two more big races coming up very soon, I’ve been trying to get back to eating healthy and trying out different fueling techniques while I run.  When I started training for my first half marathon at the beginning of January, I read a ton of articles on nutrition and different ways to fuel your body during a long run.  I found things that worked well but I don’t know that I ever found the one perfect thing for me.

I started out using Clif Shot Bloks.  They were very tasty but big and sticky and hard to deal with while running.  I tried some different gels but my taste buds were shocked by the salty flavor…and my stomach didn’t like them much, either.  Don’t remember exactly which ones I got but they were gross.  Then, I started using Honey Stinger pink lemonade chews.  YUM!  They are smaller than the Clif Shot Bloks, a little less sticky and so yummy.  They worked very well for me!

My BRF had also given me one of her Clif Shot Energy Gels in mocha (+ caffeine).  I was nervous to try it because I hadn’t liked other gels and I wasn’t sure how my stomach would do with the caffeine.  I enjoyed it very much and it worked very well and this was now my go-to fuel.  That is, until I started training for Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia, my second half.  What had been working for me for quite some time was now upsetting my stomach so it was back to the Honey Stinger chews.  I wasn’t too upset because these things are delicious.  It’s like eating candy while I run!  I also branched out to a new flavor.  Their pomegranate chews are very yummy, as well.

I’m not completely satisfied though.  I’m always looking for that product to make my runs feel a bit better.  One of the girls in the running club recently started working with Shaklee.  I had heard about them a tiny bit from the president of our running club because she uses some of their products but I hadn’t really checked them out.  Kim starting her business with them was the push I needed to finally look into them more and try some products.  I ordered the Energy chews and Performance sports drink in orange.

I waited anxiously for my opportunity to try the products out for a run!  That opportunity came when I was running the Cape May Winery 5K put on by Good Day for a Run.  I brought two Energy chews along with me, intending to eat them both 20 minutes before the race.  I got caught up in all of the excitement of race morning though and I forgot to eat them.

It turned out o.k., though.  I started out way too fast and after the first mile, I felt like I didn’t have much left in me and I thought I might need to walk some.  I was disappointed because I had yet to do a 5K in under 30 minutes and I wanted this to be the one!  Then, I remembered I had the chews so I decided to eat one.  After pushing through the next mile, I felt like the chew really kicked in and gave me the boost I needed to finish the last mile of the race…under 30 minutes…28:22!!!

The sky on the way to the vineyard. Running has really made me appreciate nature's beauty more!

The sky on the way to the vineyard. Running has really made me appreciate nature’s beauty more!

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Smile of a girl who finally ran a 5K under 30 min. :)

Smile of a girl who finally ran a 5K under 30 min. 🙂

I needed fuel after my PR ;)

I needed fuel after my PR 😉

The Tuesday following the 5K, I was running in the morning with my BRF.  I was tired and didn’t know if I even wanted to go.  I ate two chews, and by the time we were off and running, I felt more energized!  I have since also used them on a 10 mile run.  I ate one about 15 minutes before the run and one halfway through.  I also brought along the Performance sports drink on this run.  Ten miles was tough because it had been awhile since I had run 10 straight miles and I probably could have used one more chew but I am happy with the way the two products are working for me!  They don’t upset my stomach, they taste great and they seem to be doing what they are meant to do.

What are some ways that you fuel before or during a run/race?

If you missed my recap of Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia, check it out here!

Race Weekend: Part One

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I keep walking away from my laptop.  I keep going back-and-forth with this entry.  Write it?  Don’t?  What do I say?  I’ve decided that the best for me is to just sit here and type away and just let it all flow through my fingertips.

This will be my second half marathon.  I’ve run a few 5k’s, a half relay with my best friend, Evette, a 5 miler, a 10k and a half.  For my first 5k, I was a little bit nervous but it was more excited nerves.  By the time I got to my first half marathon, I had the 5k’s and the 10k under my running belt and I felt like I had learned from them and had trained hard for the half and I was ready.  I was excited the night before and the morning of but when people asked if I was nervous, I didn’t really feel that I was.  I was prepared, I had a time in mind, but I was there to run the race and just do the best I could.  The excitement increased to a bit of nerves at the starting line but I was ready to go!

Fast forward to now and the half I will be running in 2 days.  I was super excited for this race!  We’ve driven into Philly a couple times and when I became a runner and we drove past the Schuylkill River, I said to my husband, “that would be so pretty to run around!”  Then, the opportunity presented itself when I saw the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half.  I asked my best friend, Evette, to run it with me and it will be her first half.  Training was going great and I was getting stronger and faster and I was confident that I could run it faster than my first half!  Then, I injured my toe and my foot has been all messed up.

I am back to running but I haven’t gone far and I’m certainly not as fast as I was.  Do I think this will be a good race?  No.  I have decided that I need to just go into it knowing that it won’t be my best though and just enjoy the experience and be there for my bestie and the 40+ women from the running club I belong to that are running it…that’s right…over 40 of us!  If I have to walk most of it then so be it.  It will be fun just being there with everyone!

The nerves really crept up on me this morning though!  I decided to run 3 miles this morning.  The plan called for me to rest but I haven’t run much in my new shoes and I felt like I needed to get in another short run to see how everything was going.  I woke up this morning and I was a bundle of nerves!  I went to eat a piece of toast with some Pocket Fuel Coconut Cherry Almond Butter.  After a couple bites, I looked at my husband and said, “I think I’m gonna be sick!”  He asked why and I told him I’m that I’m so nervous and he said, “you’ll do great!”  I wish I had his confidence in me.

Tomorrow will be fun shopping at the Expo and having dinner with Evette.  I don’t know what Sunday morning will bring.  I hope that I will be excited and I can keep all of the bad thoughts away and enjoy myself.  I’m actually sitting here wondering if I should even wear my Garmin.  My pace getting slower has become a big mental thing for me and I’m constantly looking at it.  Should I just go on feeling for this one?

Best Runner Friend

I first saw the term Best Runner Friend (BRF) in the book, Train Like a Mother, by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea.  It is a term I have come to understand and use fondly for someone.

I started out running alone and it was, well, lonely!  I didn’t mind it too much at first.  It was a chance to be alone with my thoughts and, although I love my 3 children more than anything, it was time just for me!  I would head out when the hubby was home to hold down the fort for 2, 3, 4 miles.

Then, it started getting a bit colder, harder to get myself out there, and lonelier.  I would run on the local trail and see people running together.  I had read about running clubs here and there…it was time to seek one out!

One night, I looked up local running clubs and came upon Southern Ocean Ladies Running Club. Women, mothers, different levels and paces, all coming together for the love of the run…perfect!  I then tracked them down on Facebook and joined in on a group run – a run that occurred right after Superstorm Sandy.  The ladies were collecting items for the victims and then going on a run to “replace” Beauty and the Beach, a race that had to be cancelled due to the storm.  All of these women amaze me, inspire me, encourage me and I have come to appreciate the camaraderie of so many of them!  I met who would eventually become my BRF on this particular group run…and who has become more than that since!
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Eventually, Jenna and I started training for our first half marathon.  It’s hard not to get close to someone you’re meeting early in the morning when it’s 11 degrees, still dark, raining, snowing and you’re running together 3-4 times a week!  When you’re running mile after mile, it’s hard not to talk about your families, friends, other interests, your aches and pains, or the fact you have to pee!  It’s hard not to laugh hysterically when the wind is gusting at you and you feel like you’re moving backwards instead of forward or your BRF’s watch beeps at mile 11 before yours so you finish up and then you can barely walk towards each other due to leg muscles not cooperating and laughing so hard.  When you’ve been running together for a month and a half, it’s hard not to celebrate your first double-digit long-run together!  When you’ve been through all of this and more, it’s hard not to consider your BRF to be more than that to each other!

Jenna pushes my limits.  She takes me out of my comfort zone.  She crosses every finish line before me and I couldn’t be happier to cheer behind her or to see her smiling face when I cross that finish line right behind her and we celebrate the awesome job we’ve done!

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