randomthoughtrunning

Running 13, 13.1's in 2013 and the thoughts along the way!

Tough Mudder Motivation

Sure hope this holds true for tomorrow…Gunstock Here I come!

“It is easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is best from the top.”

-Arnold Bennett, British novelist and playwright

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Photo taken at 8:28 by www.nuvisionactionimage.com

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Thinkin’ on Thursdays

Heat Wave! 90 degree temps are predicted for this lovely Thursday here in Boston, and while it was a short week I am still feeling like the weekend is a ways off. Here is what I am thinking…

No Half on Sunday, what am I going to do with myself? Oh I know…Compete in Tough Mudder Boston on Saturday! While I am excited for this event (first time participating in something like this!) I am a little anxious to see what it is all about. One thing I am happy about is the 90 degree temps will make the “Artic Enema” feel refreshing! 

Looking forward to a post race mudder event out and about, after 5 weeks I can finally enjoy a Saturday night with a few drinks. 

Speaking of drinks, my husband made a great coconut rum drink last weekend (I told you I was thinking rum for my drink of choice last week!) It was delicious, basically a Pina Colada on the rocks and thought I would share: Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice, Sprite, and Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum (You could use Malibu, Parrot Bay, etc., but we are Kenny Chesney fans and wanted to try out his new rum):

 1 1/2 oz. Blue Chair Bay Coconut
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
2 oz. lemon-lime soda

Have you noticed I added the Facebook feature to my blog? While I am very slow with muddling through new technology, I am attempting to build up the Facebook side of my blog…I promise to add more to the page. Click here: www.facebook.com/Randomthoughtrunning to like my page!

Hoping to have some Sunday Funday drinks with my brother who just finished his first week of his first “real world” job. Looking forward to hearing about his adventures, heck maybe he will even pick up tab? : ) 

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I Tried It…

Every once in a while I thought it would be fun to share some of the running, fitness, health “things” I try out…I don’t like to veer too far off from the things that work well for me, but every now and then I am willing to try something new…who knows it might really work for me!

One thing with running so many races is the samples I get at each race, I usually steer clear of them, but I figured with the amount I have paid in race fees, I will collect my freebies!

stinger

Honey Stinger Energy Gel

Recently, I got a Honey Stinger Energy Gel in a race bag and decided to give it a whirl…it was AWFUL. I have running friends who swear by the Stingers, so I was surprised on how much I didn’t like it. I got the Strawberry flavor and just couldn’t stand it. It had a fake honey taste and just couldn’t wash it a way with a gulp of water. As I mentioned, some of my running friends swear by Stingers, but I will stick with my Chocolate GU.

clymb

theclymb.com

I found this website during one of my searches for Kinvara 2’s and am happy I stumbled upon it. theclymb.com has daily offers on all sorts of outdoor equipment, biking, hiking, running, you name it and they will probably have an offer at some point. It is all name brands and the best part is the prices can be reduced up to 70% off! While I have been doing a lot of window shopping, I have not placed my first order…I am in the market for some new sunglasses so I have been keeping a close eye on the offers. Each day there are different deals and there is usually a time limit of a day  You do need to become a “member” to look at items, but its as simple as entering your email and creating a password. If you are someone who loves to buy “gear” The Clymb is a must to add to your online shopping list! Sign up here:https://www.theclymb.com/preview

racerag

My Race Ragz

This one I tried a while ago, but worth sharing. When starting my 13, 13.1 challenge I wanted to create a running tank that I could wear at all of my races. I have tried various t-shirt companies in the past, but I have found many of them expensive and not that great of quality. After doing a little searching, I found myraceragz.com. They were great! I was able to customize my running tank with tons of options. There were lots of stock photos, colors, and text. I had fun making it and was very happy with the way it turned out. When designing the shirt, you are able to move things around and see what it will actually look like on the shirt. My only complaint was the size of the shirt ran big, but it actually worked out as I was able to wear it over my cold weather gear and in the upcoming warmer months, it will be a light breezy tank. If you are looking for a one of a kind race shirt, be sure to check them out!

What should I try next? I am thinking of taking a Zumba class at my gym, yes I have tried Zumba before, but the classes at the JCC (If you don’t know about my love for the “J”, you can find it here) are packed, and while I have no rhythm it might be a fun way to spend an hour and worse case scenario I entertain all the other members while stumbling through the dance moves.

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9 down…4 to go! Run to Remember Recap

runtorem

I did it! I ran 5 half marathons in a row! Looking back I can’t believe I have spent every Sunday of the last 5 weeks at a half marathon, but I did and I must say I do feel a little relief to have a break from the strict routine of the week leading up to each race. This past weekend I ran the Run to Remember in my home city of Boston! Here is the recap…

First, it was just so great to run a race 20 minutes from my house, while it has been great to run in different areas, running in my own backyard was great! The Run to Remember is run each year to honor police officers that have fallen in the line of duty, as you can imagine this year took on an extra special meaning. A special recognition to the victims of the marathon bombing and MIT officer, Sean Collier started off the race.  Security was heightened but for the most part I did not notice any extra delays or uncomfortable level of police presence.

This race was the first half marathon I ever ran 6 years ago, hard to believe the amount of miles I have completed since then, so I knew what I was in for as far as the course. It is a great out and back flat course that takes you along the Charles River and through downtown Boston.

The weather was cold and rainy starting out with temps in the 40’s, climbing to about 50 during the race. It was not the temperatures you would expect for late May, but it sure beat sweltering temps as this race has been known for in years past. I finally remembered to wear a throw away shirt (an old long sleeve shirt, that I toss off along the course and not worry about getting it back) which came in very handy. I finally felt warm around mile 7 and tossed it off.

It was very crowded, and a very slow start, there were many points during the course that got very narrow which forced all runners to slow to a crawl, which was a little frustrating, but I just tried to enjoy the run and not worry about time. I did run this race with a running friend, and it was great to have company along the run. It was amazing how much faster this race went by because I was running with someone. My friend is slightly faster than me, which kept me pushing my pace. We made up for a lot of time on the 2nd half of the race, but still I came in 12 seconds short of the under 2 hour mark. I was bummed, but looking back at what I did to make up time, I didn’t let it get the best of me. My husband also reminded me, that I just ran my 5th half marathon in a row and it was my 2nd fastest since I started this challenge…not bad.

My husband did come along to cheer me on, which was great, but unfortunately with the massive crowds, it was tough for him to see me finish, which is always a let down. I still appreciate the support and we were able to go to one of my favorite brunch spots after, Tavern on the Square, which I enjoyed a big Bloody Mary!

postrace

This race had a lot to look at along the course, and I think one of the most special pieces of the race was the half mile stretch of the course which Police Officers from all over Massachusetts stood outside their cruisers and high fived all the runners…very special.

Overall a fun race, and I can put #9 in the books, on to the Castle Awards Half in Seekonk, MA in 3 weeks, in the mean time bring on the Tough Mudder next weekend!

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Thinkin’ on Thursdays

T-minus 48 hours until a LOOOONG weekend, can’t wait! The weather is not looking great, but a long weekend is a long weekend. Here is what I am thinking this Thursday…

Final race of the May half marathon madness this weekend, did I really do it? Am I really about to run my fifth half marathon in a row. Where did the last 5 weeks go? Looking forward to staying right here in Boston for the Run to Remember, its going to be special on many levels, can’t wait!

No big plans post race, but hope to get a little grilling in and a lot of post race refreshments! I am thinking Rum drinks to be the drink of choice.

While I get a 2 week “break” from halfs after this weekend, I will be participating in the Tough Mudder Boston next weekend…I just watched the video of some of the obstacles…oh boy this is going to be interesting. 

I was at an event this week and got to try these No Bake Healthy Thumbprint cookies, thinking of making a batch this weekend, think people will notice the healthiness of them? Thanks Whole Foods: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/no-bake-thumbprint-cookies

Try to take a minute to remember what Memorial Day is all about this weekend, very special and we are lucky to have such brave Service People!

Happy Memorial Day!

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Running Freedom

“Running gives freedom. When you run you can determine your own tempo. You can choose your own course and think whatever you want.”

-Nina Kuscik

runaway

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When you gotta go…

porta1

I write this post for those that might be too scared to ask or embarrassed to admit that the bathroom is a major challenge when training for a road race. While there are those shy people out there, there are plenty of people who are not afraid to ask…When do I go to the bathroom?? When I worked in a fitness center, clients would ask for bathroom advice when training for a road race, When should I go to the bathroom? What should I do if I have to go during my run? Should I carry TP with me? At first I was embarrassed to talk them through dealing with bathroom troubles, I am personal trainier, not Gastroenterologist, but then reliezed bathroom troubles can be one of the biggest barriers when long distance running.

My first two marathons came with major bathroom troubles, I knew where every Starbucks was in Boston, and I think every Barista knew me as the girl who never bought coffee but held up the bathroom line. As soon as I would wake up on Saturdays for my long run, I would start to think about the bathroom, I got anxious, my stomach would be in knots, and I genuinely was not looking forward to my run. I would get out on the road anyways and within 3 miles not feel so great and need to make a pit stop. It was frustrating, but I pushed through the training. I ate the same things before each run and stuck to “tummy” friendly foods, but still without fail every Saturday would require a non-coffee trip to Starbucks.

Fast forward to training for Chicago last summer and my current Half Marathon challenge, I can say that my bathroom troubles haven gone away…for the most part. I am still a human and my body is still going to have days where it just is in a funk, but for the most part the bathroom stress no longer exists. Here are some tips if you are a bathroom bound runner:

  • Don’t think about it! When you wake up for a long run or race just let your body determine what you need. I think my bathroom troubles were much more in my head, than actual physical issues. I had one bad experience of being out on a run “stranded” if you will, and ever since, I was so nervous to expereince that again, it got the best of me.
  • Use shorter training runs to practice what to eat pre-run. Find foods that provide you with energy but are “tummy” friendly. Here are few (note everyone is different, so do what works for YOU!): Slice of white bread with tablespoon of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of plain cherrios with 1/4 cup of milk, banana w/peanut butter, 1/2 a cliff bar. The list could go on, but try to avoid high fiber and sugary foods. Again there is much more I could add here, but bottom line: simple foods are better.
  • Don’t be afraid to say you gotta go! If you run with a group or training partner and you do get hit with the urge to go, listen to your body. Your running pals are not going to judge you for using the restroom. We have all been there and as the classic children’s book says…Everyone Poops. But seriously, don’t try to ignore it, just go!
  • Be ready on race day to stand in bathroom lines. Learn to love port-a-jons. Its almost a gurantee that if you got to go pre-race, you are going to be standing in a long line for a non-flushing toilet. It may be gross, but once you get over your fear of the port-a-jon, you will be good to go (no pun intended). I actually cycle through the line twice if it is a long line, you can always step out of the line if you no longer feel you have to go, but I would rather be 100% feeling good, than waiting in line as the start time gets closer and closer.
  • If peeing is your problem, practice your fluid in take, this was another mistake of mine early on. I was so nervous about being dehydrated that I would chug two bottles of water before a run and then sip water every 10 minutes while I was running. While there is a very fine balance of too little or too much drinking, practice, practice, practice!

While the tips may seem pretty straightforward, I really wanted to post this to make those that are self conscious feel better. Sure it might be a little awkward, but once you get over the fear of the bathroom, your running experience becomes so much better, take it from someone who has been there.

Runnersworld posted a great article with more details around the nutrition side of this topic, check it out here: http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-runners/how-can-i-avoid-midrun-bathroom-breaks

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8 down…5 to go! River Run Half Recap

race8

Another race in the books! This one almost didn’t happen thanks to a major flat tire as I was about to leave for Newburyport, but thankfully my husband was home and we did a quick car swap! I can’t believe I really only have 1 more race in this 5 week stretch! On to the recap of this past weekends race…

I was fortunate enough to have ANOTHER great weather day, while it was a little on the warm side, the sun was out, there was a breeze and enough shady spots to give runners a break from the sun. I got an extra surprise by not only my best friend coming out to support, but my brother came out to cheer me on. It was nice boost and just what I needed!

jillnick

The River Run was a small race with just over 300 runners and relay option as well. The relay threw me for a loop as far as pacing with people flying by me in which I had to keep reminding myself they were only running 3 miles, not the full! Because of the small race the support was a little on the weak side…most water stations (there were only 3) had only one volunteer at them. It wasn’t a huge deal, but with the warmer temps, people were definitely wanting a little more support as far as water. There was no gatorade along the course, which again with the warmer temps would have been nice, but with the small race I guess the goal was to keep everything low key. The course was a great flat course with only 1 hill and alot of good scenery. The course was open, which was fine but there was also a huge bike event going on and another smaller race, which made for busy streets and alot of traffic.  Runners were friendly and I was asked several times about by shirt and my 13, 13.1’s goal…it was nice to chat with others along the course and because the races are beginning to blend together I was telling everyone this was my 7th race, when really it was my 8th, such a nice bonus when I finally realized it!

Back at the start/ finish area runners were given 2 beer tickets, 2 slices of pizza and a cup of chili. I didn’t cash in on any of these treats but a nice way to welcome the runners back. Before the race, the Portajon line was out of control…there were only 4 Portajons and WHOLE lot of runners needing to go.

porta2

I finished the day by going out to a post race lunch with my friend and brother and enjoying a Margarita and some nachos at Agave in downtown Newburyport. Overall a nice race and looking forward to running in my hometown for a great cause this coming weekend…Run to Remember here I come!

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Spinach Smoothie Success!

Just wanted to share that I was successful in finding and trying a spinach smoothie. Never thought I would be drinking a nasty color green smoothie, but it was delicious. I am someone who has trouble eating or drinking things that looks a  little “off”. Can’t eat fish because the thought of eating something so ugly, just makes me loose my appetite…and don’t even get me started on shrimp…but anyways I gave the Spinach Smoothie a try thanks to Cooking Light and it gets two big thumbs up from me!

spinach

Adapted from Cooking Light:

3 -4 Cups Spinach

1/2 a Kiwi Chopped (I recommend freezing them before, to get the smoothie nice and cold)

1 ripe Banana

3/4 c non-fat plain Greek Yogurt

1-1.5 cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

1 tbsp Agave Nectar

Blend all together and Enjoy!

 

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Thinkin’ on Thursdays

Its Thursday, and after alot of stretching and elliptical workouts, I am starting to feel back to “normal” motivation levels. Here is what I am thinking…

#4 of the half marathon madness this weekend. Heading to Newburyport, MA for River Run Half.  The body feels ok, but I am really going to try to take it easy for this race. This is my last half of this stretch that I will run solo. Can’t wait to have a running buddy for Run to Remember next weekend. 

Is Memorial Day really next weekend? 80 degree weather today here in Boston, makes that feel a little more possible. 

After reading a few What I ate Wednesday posts yesterday, I am inspired to bring the smoothie back into my breakfast menu. Looking for a good spinach smoothie recipe, any ideas??

So I posted everyday this week, and feel I can definitely keep up a more consistent posting schedule. Hope you enjoy!

Attempting to use my green thumb again this weekend by starting a small vegetable garden. I will be attempting to plant some tomato, zucchini, and pepper plants. Fingers crossed!

Enjoy your weekend!

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