Friday, July 31, 2009

The Strangest Running Gear You Could Ever Imagine...

Who knew all the gear you'd have to have be a runner with children. In my case it's things like shoes, anti-chaffing stick, E-Gel, water, treadmill, sippy cup, jogging stroller, some kids dvd's (lately Veggie Tales: Jonah and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, a happy change from Max & Ruby's Easter Special that we've been watching since...well...Easter). You know, all things that make it somehow possible to sneak those runs in no matter what the kiddies happen to be throwing my way on any particular day. But yesterday, perhaps the strangest item ever made it into my running ensemble. Something I never in a million years would have guessed. Garland.

That's right. Garland. Gold, shiny, sparkly, weave around your Christmas Tree garland. Now let's just pause here for a sec before we continue to give you an opportunity to take a few guesses as to what exactly this garland had to do with my run. No...wait...even better. Let's actually stop here and see if any of you can figure it out. Leave your best guesses in the comments.

Maybe we should we have a prize to eh? Hmmm.... How about this? Whoever gets it right first I'll send a free E-Gel (I know. I'm really coughing up the big bucks here. What a giver!) I just got a box in the mail. I'll even let you pick your flavor.

Any guesses?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Secret No. 10: How to Win An Age Group Medal

What? You didn't know there were strategies for this? Well, let me let you in on a little surefire secret way to win an age group medal in your next race. Are you ready for this? I mean brace yourself. This is going to take some very calculated planning on your part. But I promise you, it can be done. In fact both my mom and I proved this to be true today. Ready for this ingenious strategy:

Only enter races with 3 or less people in your age group.

Shocking right. I mean who ever would have thought of that?

Seriously though, my mom and I have joked about this for awhile. Most races offer age groups awards 3 deep. If only we could enter a race with only 3 people in our age group we would actually win something. We even considered (as in the way you consider maybe one day taking a trip to the moon) starting our own race, where we only allow 3 people in each age group and charging the big bucks because that meant everybody who entered would either win 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

Well today, ladies and gents, our wildest dreams came true (fire up the shuttle baby). Because today both my mom and I went home from the Level Pebble 10K with age group medals. She came in first in her age group (out of 1) and I came in third (out of 3) in mine. And while yes, there is a part of me who wishes I would have beat at least ONE person in my age group, I'll still take that medal.

And before any of you reach out in the comments to slam me by saying something to the effect of "come on now Kelly, you know all you really won is a medal for participating," you should know this. I earned that medal gosh darn it. I huffed and puffed my way across that finish line and gave it all I had. If you've been around this blog for any length of time, then you probably know I am about a 10:30ish per mile type of runner. Well my friends, today I ran my 10K at the Level Pebble in 58:56 which puts me at a 9:30 min per mile pace and includes a 1st mile at 8:30.
I ran with the sun blazing down frying my face off and my eyes nearly squinted shut. I ran with tight calves almost the entire way which would turn to sore calves before I finished. I ran with sweat stinging my eyes when I mistakenly poured a cup of water down the front of me instead of the back (duh!). I ran on rocky, potholey, uneven, gravel roads carefully trying to avoid a misstep. I ran with little sleep because of a trip to Chicago the previous two days. I even ran right smack in the middle of a visit from my good ole reliable Aunt Flo.

And while I may not have beat even a single person in my age group at the race, I did beat millions of other American women my age that won't get up off the couch or out of bed because they're too tired, or they've got kids, or they don't have the time, or they just don't like it, or it's too hard to go run (be sure to read those excuses in your whiny voice) or whatever.

I don't run to win medals or to be the fastest in my age group. I run for me: for patience, discipline, health, and my own sanity. It's maybe the ONE thing that I do just for me (although I'd also argue I'm a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend because I do). And while I've had my own excuses from time to time, more often than not I still run and the only one I'm really running against is myself. Can I do a little better? Can I work a little harder? Can I run a little faster? (and ok maybe I do want to see if I can catch that one guy in front of me with the funny wobbling stride that makes him look like he is running far slower than I am, yet still he persists in remaining ahead of me). And today, I smoked myself, smashed my goal time by over a minute and ran far faster than ever before. So I'll take that bling and celebrate that today I won this:

'Til next time...

PS. Click here if you're interested in reading my Level Pebble review on Racevine.

PPS. I HAVE to pass this along. This is hilarious running song writing right here from our good friend B.o.B.: Baby's Got Track. It's about speedwork. Just go read it. It's funny and unlike me, it's short.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Get OFF me already baby fat!

I hit the wall. Months ago and I hit it hard.

My sweet baby girl #2, Miss Madelyn, is now 10 months and I am up to 14 miles on a long run (that would be up from the big zero, which is the exact number of miles I was running from about month 3 of my pregnancy to 6 weeks post partum). Initially I shed the baby weight (the way way too much baby weight) that I had happily collected while appeasing pretty much any and all of my pregnancy cravings (Captain Nemos ham & cheese with mushrooms and extra tomatoes subs, flaming hot cheetos, regular cheetos, a touch of ice cream and of course lots and lots of chocolate to name a few) and I shed it pretty quickly.

Then with 10 pounds left, the weight just wouldn't go no matter how many times I stepped back, looked at my watch and made conversation ending type statements, the remaining pounds just would NOT get the hint. No, it was clinging to me like a baby monkey on his mamma (yeah, I know I used this analogy already in a previous post, but I like it. For those of you who are not fans as much here's a couple of other ones: clinging like the sucker in my 3 year old's hair, the stain of baby carrot spit up on my favorite white shirt, or my nephew on his teacher in swimming lessons when she takes him to deep water), And I know what your going to say, "Kelly, all that running...I'm sure your just gaining muscle which weighs more than fat and that is why your not seeing any changes on the scale."

Thanks. THIS DOES NOT MAKE ME FEEL BETTER. I know it should and I did in fact, quit getting on the scale for a few weeks and yes, I did see changes in the way may clothes fit. But still, until I can get that tiny little screen to read what it said BEFORE I got pregnant I won't feel like I won the dreaded battle of the bulge. And yes, I know I'm whining only about ten pounds but keep in mind I AM WORKING MY TUSHY OFF!

Needless to say, it's been slightly frustrating. Until today that is. Today, we celebrate, because today I pulled that rotten dirty boogerface (to steal a word from my nephew) of a scale out and stepped on it. And today my friends, I am exactly 1/2 pound closer to being the woman I was BEFORE I had my darling little Miss! Yeehaw! The wall is official behind me now.

May you bust right through your own walls today too!

'Til next time...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Product Review: E-Gel Takes on the Champ (A.K.A. Gu)

Stop your gagging sounds if you are not a Gu fan already and just bear with me a sec. I'm really just trying to give you that long past promised product review on E-Gel and was trying to think of a catchy title or at least a title that would cause somebody to click on over here (if you're not impressed you can keep your insults on my lack of creativity to yourself because you did in fact click over here somehow. So what does that say about you Mr/Mrs Critical? Hmmm?)

Anyway to the review...

Background first: 14 miler on Saturday in the early AM on a pretty hilly course. I took two E-Gels one at mile 5 and one at mile 10 and 16 ounces of water with each as directed by packaging instructions (not all at once or anything). Here's what I found:

1. Taste-Yay or Nay?: Yay on one flavor anyway. Strawberry Vanilla Slam was a pleasant surprise. I do believe the exact words I said out loud to myself were "Oh WOW!" In fact, I'd say this flavor is about as equally yummy in my book as Vanilla Bean Gu and you all know about my dangerous love affair that we shall speak not of with Vanilla Bean Gu (let's just say: tv, couch, box of gu. You get the picture). The other two flavors I tried Cherry Bomb and Mountain Rush were a tad on the strong side for me, but the good news about that is they forced me to drink a lot of water which is a necessity when taking gels and something I'm not always the best at. (FYI: my least favorite of the three flavors I tried was Mountain Rush sort of a limey flavor that was not in the least exciting to me.) There's also a 4th flavor Tropical Blast which I haven't tried just yet. But since I like at least one of both Gu and E-Gel, I'll score it: Gu-1point, E-Gel-1point

2. Energy- Feelin' it or Come on already, where is it? Feeling it. Not like, "hey I feel like the kiddos BOTH went to bed early, slept soundly the whole night through, I had an energy drink and am at mile 3 of my long run," but definitely more along the lines of "I'm no longer feeling like when I get to the top of the next hill I might just lay down and take a nap." It was a slight pick me up. But I will interject just for a moment that I never really know for sure if it's the gel or the thought that I am supposed to have energy that does the trick for me. I mean I feel a little more energetic with gu too (a little) but is it all just in my head? (not that I care, I know I need the stuff and I'll take any little reprieves from exhaustion I can get). I'm sure the longer the mileage, the more I'll be able to judge the effect on me energywise. I mean if I'm remembering correctly from my last marathon training, at 20+ miles, there ain't a whole lot of anything you're thinking away(like exhaustion or that little stitch on the side of your shirt that's sticking out and now causing a major wound rather than a minor irritaion). So since both have you feelin (or imagining) at least a little sumptum sumptum, let's score it: Gu-2points, E-Gel-2points.

3. Size - Too Big, Too Little or Just Right? - Too big in my book. E-gel is roughly twice the size of a gu packet. Now this is understandable because it's got a lot more packed in than gu, but still it's kind of a pain in the you know what to carry (although they do make little belts on their website you can carry them in.) Two E-gels took up most of the pouch I run with. I'm thinking I'll be needing two more for the marathon, and I'm not sure exactly if they're all going to fit. Plus there was a whole lot of unwanted pouch bouncing going around, but then again I also was carrying my phone, my keys, and some electrolyte strips (which I probably ought to do a review on for you too eh? more on that too come in future posts) So on this one, I'm going with score one point Gu. So Gu's moving ahead slightly here: Gu-3points, E-Gel 2-points.

4. Stomaching the Gel: No problem or Can't quite choke it down? - ok so this is slightly different than taste. You see there's always a point with me that no matter how much I like the taste of Gu (at least Vanilla Bean or Plain) I can no longer force myself to choke it down. Or if I can, It takes me a good 1/2 mile to finish that little packet. This usually comes at around mile 13 or so and is often time preceded with burping which is oh so attractive and enjoyable too I might add. With E-Gel this was not a problem at all (YAY!) and this is probably my biggest complaint with gels because they do me no good sitting in my pouch if I can't stomach them. And although I'm tempted to give E-Gel 2 points for this, we'll keep it simple: Gu-3 points, E-Gel-3points.

5. Substance: Am I getting what I need or Is something Missing? It's in there and then some my friends. This is what really got me wanting to give these a shot after a runner friend of mine from Runner's World recommended I do so. (THANK-YOU Gwayne!) Check out these comparison charts: Gu v E-Gel, E-Gel v Gu Roctane, E-Gel v Powerbar Gel, E-Gel v Hammer Gel, E-Gel v Clif Shot Gel, E-Gel v Clif Shot Bloks. Yeah...can you say, score one point E-Gel: Gu-3 points, E-Gel-4points.

6. Cost: Fair enough or for cryin' out loud I'm not looking to go bankrupt on running!? Fair enough I think. You can get E-Gel either at some running stores or online. I bought a couple at my (semi) local running store to give them a try first and I honestly can't remember what I paid at the store (that would probably have something to do with a 3 year old who was pretty sure she needed to get her hot little hands on every item in the store and also get fitted for her own pair of running shoes, "but I need some runnin' shoes mamma!") I can tell you however, that I just paid $21.94 including shipping for a box of 16 ($1.37 each) and the last time I bought Gu at the store it was $32 (and some change I think) with a 10% discount for a box of 24 ($1.33 each). Before we score a point for Gu you should also know, you get points for your online E-Gel orders that are applied as a discount. Upgrade your "club crank" membership (it's free to be a member of their site), and you get a bigger discount on your products and pay a flat rate shipping fee which I noticed would have been a buck cheaper on my order. It's only $8.95 to upgrade (although I can't quite figure out how to do this. If anybody else figures it out let me know) and I'm thinking for me that it is probably worth it.
Furthermore they've got a buddy referral program, when your friends order and sign up with your referral number, 10% of their order is translated into "crank points" and a discount for you. They advertise, with 10 referrals you "Eat Free". You know me, put those two words in a sentence and there's almost nothing sweeter :-) (my referral number btw if anyone's interested is 369768 or you can just click here if you want to oh so generously thank me for testing out, reviewing and bringing this product to your attention by ordering a little some for yourself and scoring me a few "crank points" in the process). So we've got to award this point to E-Gel for the innovative idea of rewarding runners for something they already do anyway for free most of the time, which is share beneficial products with each other. That puts us at Gu-3points, E-Gel-5points.

BONUS ROUND: Cha-Ching! As if eating for free was not enough to make my day, E-Gel takes it a step further and lets it's own runners get in on some of the advertising dollars. If you have a website (what do you know? I think I do) and it's about sports (Running Moms, you don't get much more sportier than that do you?) and you put a link over to their website, then they will reward you with cash if people click over and order. So all you running bloggers out there might just want to go check that out. And don't be surprised if you see a little something new in my sidebar soon :-) So for that we must give E-Gel one more point which brings the grand total to: Gu-3 points, E-Gel-6 points.

I'm so sorry about this Vanilla Bean Gu, but I'm afraid our relationship is about to come to an end. You see we're just not going anywhere and E-Gel understands me better. Don't worry there's someone out there for you, but with all my heavy sweating (really, it's just sick and wrong) that person just can not be me. It's the best thing for the both of us. I promise. There's always late night news on the couch though ;-)

Now what to do with that box of gu I just bought?
'Til next time...
PS. For more info about properly consuming water with gels click here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Faster Than a Speeding Mosquito

Yes, I am at least that fast.

While here in the great state of MI (at least my neck of the woods anyhow) we've been relatively absent of the nasty little pests (which by the way I just looked up what would happen if mosquitoes were eradicated thinking perhaps the little buggers had some good reason for being that I was unaware of, but no the answer was lame. You can read it here. I was looking for something more along the lines of total collapse of planet. Then and only then might my sheer annoyance be appeased. But I digress...) Absent of mosquitoes that is until July 4th.

And yes, I remember the exact date of their arrival because at our highly anticipated 4th of July BBQ at my parents (seriously my daughter has been talking about fireworks since the snow melted) at which we were fortunate enough to have out of town family in town for, the little devils came out in full force. We were literally attacked by an angry army of mosquitoes. By the next morning when my 3 year old crawled into bed with us, she was nothing but a frantic mess of bites, blood and scratching. "I can't stop itching mamma" she cried. Those suckers nailed her hard. Poor baby :-(

Unfortunately, they've stuck around since and seem to just now ever so slightly be dwindling a tad in their numbers. So what does this have to do with running? So glad you asked.

You see most of my runs are on the treadmill, even my longish runs. It's just far more convenient for me. But finally, this past weekend I headed outdoors for a 14 miler (which was sweet by the way, OH and I do finally have that E-Gel Review for all of you who've been following along and even those of you who haven't, but I'm probably going to save it for tomorrow since I just ran and the stink is becoming overwhelming. In fact, I'm not even sure I'll finish this post. Cough cough. Gag gag. Really, I reek right now and I KNOW you wanted to know that. I mean how can you adequately assess my ramblings if you don't in fact know what I smell like? Oops...wandering again. Sorry!)

Back to the 14 miler. So it was outside at 6AMish on one of my favorite (and hilly b/c I must also make sure I get credit for THAT) trails. 6AMish happens to either still be part of Mosquito happy hour or their just weren't enough silly fools out late at night to suffice the little blood suckers because the moment I stepped out of the car I was swarmed despite my mom (and running partner) claiming she hadn't noticed any. Maybe they weren't listening or perhaps they were being defiant, but either way I was soon looking like a crazy woman smacking myself repeatedly. Now my always prepared boyscout of a father (he thankfully bikes along to make sure no creepy dudes mess with us, make sure we stay hydrated, and of course do all the hard math-ie. you will turn here at 12.8 miles and wind up finishing at exactly your car) happened to bring bug spray. But I wasn't too keen on sniffing deet while running, so I passed and opted instead for the natural bite prevention method - RUNNING FAST.

Ok so maybe I didn't have to run that fast but in my neighborhood 10:30ish miles seems to do the trick. Not a single sucker caught me the whole run despite the fact that mosquitoes are attracted to sweat (seriously they are. You can look it up). And while I may never win a race or even an age group award for that matter, one thing is for darn certain I will NOT be contracting West Nile Virus on a run because those little SOBs can't keep up (that's right little bug, I said it. What? Stay up a little too late drinking? Blood's not the best pre-race carb loading? Come on. Listen just because your the size of a penny and not even remotely close to my age group doesn't give you even a tiny fragment of an excuse. You've got wings for crying out loud and no hills to contend with. Gimme a break.) No bites. Nada. And that my friends was something to celebrate. Well, that and the kick booty run, felt good, strong, good pace for me, right on schedule, and only a teensy bit sore the next day.

Moving on...Now I present to you
pondered in the heat of tonight's 6 mile run on the treadmill which happens to be located next to the stationary bike. Without further ado:

Why is the treadmill called a treadmill and a stationary bike a stationary bike? Couldn't it have been a stationary run and/or a treadbike or treadwheel? Did it have something to do with copyright laws? Is it a which came first kind of thing? Did it take people a longer time to latch on to what a "treadmill" was opposed to a "stationary bike" which is pretty self descriptive?

Ok so that's like 5 questions, but still, something to think about...

'Til next time...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Bad Case of Dead Legs SQUASHED

I've been hiding. I mean I know this happens to the best of us. At least I think so, I don't really personally know too many professional runners (although I follow some on twitter, so maybe that counts?). But I apparently don't handle it so well.

Despite the fact that I was just getting over a cold, there were only 4 days separating my long runs, and I ran a tempo run turned speed workout the day before, I still didn't handle the dead legs very well :-(

You see Sunday was supposed to be my 14 mile long run, but fearing it was not going to happen because of no one to watch the babies coupled with the fact that I was a little punch jumpy b/c I had only run twice in about a week, I decided to run it on Saturday night instead. Bad move. Bad bad move. From the moment I stepped on the treadmill, it was just not happening. My legs were HEAVY. I might as well have had two toddlers attached to them looking for a pony ride (which is an excellent workout by the way). I just couldn't get them moving. But you know me, I'm not warmed up until at least 3 or 4 miles, so I just kept telling myself to get to 4. I did, but still felt like I was not in any way shape or form loosened up. Ugh.

So then I moved on to trying to motivate myself (or more like just get through the run) with things like, at 5 miles I can take an E-Gel (which is the product I was supposed to review for you all btw, but I'm thinking this may not have been a very fair assessment. Still I'll give it a shot in a few), at 6 I'll turn on the fans. Once I get past 7, I can FINALLY go to the bathroom (NOTE TO THE RUNNING WORLD HERE: Am I the only person who has COMPLETELY underestimated the amount of water you are supposed to take with gels? Seriously, for Gu it's like 24-32 ounces per hour. For EGel it's 16 ounces per packet. I was drinking like one 16 ounce bottle every 2 hours, unless it was REALLY hot. No wonder I had stomach trouble. Needless to say perhaps, while my stomach problems may be solved. I have a whole new issue I'm working out...bladder training)

I ended up running 9 1/2 miles and stopping for a potty break. This was perhaps the worst mistake of the run because whatever teeny tiny minuscule of loosenupedness (that's the scientific term in case you're wondering) I had achieved quickly disappeared the minute I reached the top of the stairs from my basement. By the time I got back to the treadmill (all of 1 minute later, I'm quick with the stops man...think Bayshore 1/2 Mary & the lying), I was tighter than the lid on a pickle jar (or hot fudge jar in my case) when your pregnant and in desperate need of filling a craving. I gave it a worthy effort, but I was toast.

So my 14 miler became a 10 miler. And I was not happy. I took Sunday off...then Monday...then Tuesday...And needed something to snap out of it. I almost wrote you all a desperate plea for help, but instead, I opted for a 1st thing in the morning run today one I couldn't punk out of with some lame excuse. And just like that (snap your fingers here) I was back. It was an excellent (although sort of drunk looking 5 miler. I am not real coordinated nor apparently can I run or walk a straight line first thing in the morning). As a matter of fact, it felt so good and the kiddos got to bed early tonight that I went right ahead and did my speed work out for the week this evening. And so therefore am now back on track and caught up with my schedule.

And here's what I've learned: Sometimes the runs are good. Sometimes the runs are bad. But none of it matters as long as you just keep running. (profound I know ;-)

May you always keep on runnin' :-)

'Til next time...

PS. YIKES! Almost forgot my E-Gel review. Sorry it's not going to be quite so thorough b/c my run sucked (and I probably should mention, for some weird reason my stomach got upset during mile 1 before I ever took any so I can't accurately evaluate the effect on E-Gel this time). I can however tell you this much: they are bigger than Gu, quite a bit, but there's more packed in and you can take them less often than Gu. Here's a comparison chart. (you can compare other gels too on their site) The taste is much stronger than Gu which is probably a good thing (at least for me) because I noticed it forced me to drink more water. Not a bad taste or anything (although I still think vanilla bean Gu is pretty much untouchable), just a stronger taste. I also really like the idea of less water needed than Gu since I wasn't drinking enough anyway. So all and all, I'm leaning towards replacing Gu (shocker right) but I want to give it another go before I say for sure. Plus I just bought a whole stinkin' box of Gu (which was $32 by the way and E-Gel is a little cheaper if you join their club. They've also got an affiliate program where you can "eat for free" which is pretty cool in my book too). I'll let you know how it goes on the stomach after my next long run this weekend.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ode to my husband...

Well sort of...since I don't really know what an Ode is or how to write one. Well ok, I kind of do. I mean I did graduate with a degree that kind of had to do with writing. I'm just really not creative enough tonight because this office is currently posing as a sauna it's so freakin' hot in here. (WHY? WHY? Why must my upstairs be 30 degrees hotter than the lower level? I promise you in one the course of 10 minutes, I can be downstairs with a sweatshirt on covered with a blanket shivering and then sitting upstairs at my computer in a tank top and shorts typing and dripping sweat. It makes no sense.) I can just feel the heat making my brain a little slooooooooow.

But I do want to give credit where credit is due. In fact, sorely over due. So tonight I write about The Superhero (author's note: I would actually prefer to use the words "The Stud" but since I am well aware of a fellow running mamma who affectionately refers to her husband in her own blog as The Stud, I'm pretty sure that would be a petty form of plagarism. Plus I am not looking to start some sort of Stud War. So instead I've solicited all my friends on Facebook and Twitter and Superhero is what we've come up with. Thanks Erskien!) That would be his picture up there on the left and I would happen to be married to him and I know what you're thinking..."yeah, yeah, blah, blah...he's your husband and therefore you are unduly biased." But hold onto your jelly donuts for just a second folks. Give me one paragraph (or maybe two. It is rare that I am not longwinded despite my best efforts) to state my case.

For starters, there was the knee surgery two Fridays ago. Ollie had a torn meniscus and some arthritis because of chondromalacia that needed to be cleaned up under the knee cap. (Ok I don't know exactly what all that means, but I can tell you that it was causing a great deal of pain) Unfortunately for him the tear has been nagging at him for quite some time. It happened back in May on his 2nd attempt at running after a pretty nice hiatus in preparation for the Chicago Marathon. After suffering through for a month and half, the doc finally got in there and took care of some things. Since then, The Superhero, has been biking because he is still planning on Chicago and since he can't exactly get to running again just yet, he's using the bike to get his cardio up to snuff and strengthen some of those leg muscles in the mean time. But by biking I don't mean a casual little coast through the gorgeous park trails I like to run on, nor do I mean of the motorized variety. No, this dude, just this morning, pedalled himself 30 miles, at an average of 15 mph on a hilly course. Um...not too bad for a guy I've only seen on a bike once in the 7 years we've been married and then, you know, the whole KNEE SURGERY thing. Oh and did I mention he's been doing this (although varying distances and speeds) 5 days a week since the surgery and getting up at 4AM to get it done before work? So there's that.

Secondly, he's recently had a promotion at work (at which btw he is kicking some major A double S at) so he's had a bit of extra work to do as of late getting used to the new territory and all. Then, right in the middle it last week, he also had to turn into Mr. Mom with me being sick. There were dishes, housecleaning, taking care of the kiddos and the whole sha-bang. And even since I've been back on my feet, The Superhero has continued to lend a hand in the most appreciated of ways (emptying the dishwasher in the morning, making Miss M her morning bottle, taking Chloe for her late night trip to the bathroom, etc. While these may seem like little things to some of you, for me, every time The Superhero takes on one of these seemingly minor tasks it's like a breath of fresh air after you've been running on a sidewalk in some urban downtown area next to the get to work morning rush and you've been sucking on other words I LOVE IT! The fresh air part I mean, not the sucking on fumes)

So that my friends is why I have devoted this blog post this evening to The Superhero. And I hope you will all join me for just a brief second or two and leave him a comment about his Awesomeness as he will surely stumble across this post at some time or another and be pleasantly surprised (and perhaps say a load of my laundry will neatly wind up cleaned and folded in my can dream right?).

On another note, I've got some big stuff coming for you in upcoming major announcement and a running product review that could be revolutionary (at least for me) and I promise to hold nothing back in my critique. You'll be getting the good, bad and ugly (and no, nobody has sent me free running products to review on the sheer hope that it might possibly end up in a runfastmommy blog post. Not yet anyway, ;-) The gu post I made just recently has earned me some new friends and we've been chatting a bit about electrolyte replacement and well...the rest you'll have to hear following the field test on my 14miler Sunday. See the lengths I go to for you all...I'm sacrificing my very own long run with possibly disastrous consequences to test out a product for you (well that and I figure it's better to try this stuff out now than on a 20 miler but that's beside the point.) It's for you. I do it all for you! Stay tuned for the results...

'Til next time...

PS. Don't forget about the free tech shirts they're giving away at Racevine. If you can review 10 races (marathons, 1/2s, or tris) send me an email at and I'll forward you the contact info to get a shirt. I just heard my shirt is on the way soon. YAY! How I love free stuff! Oh and here's two more of my reviews if you want to check them out to get an idea of what you need to do: Detroit Free Press Marathon, Martian 1/2 Marathon

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Stroke of Genius or A Grave Mistake...

I'll have to tell you which officially tomorrow. Or rather my absence here should clue you in. You see there's no use trying to hide it anymore or speak positively my way out of it. I was sick and possibly still am. My 3 year old picked up a virus of some sort (shocking I know...a 3 year old with a cold) of the snotty sniffly sneezing hacking variety last Monday. Shortly thereafter I noticed my fingers were hurting and silly me, I thought I had been typing way too much.

But then the elbows began to ache and although I did start on my own itty bitty weightlifting regiment, I figured even if I had been lifting improperly I hadn't done enough to make my elbows hurt (seriously, I'm only doing like 3 exercises with the lightest weights you can imagine...if you've ever seen these twigs I've got for arms, you'd understand why). Soon enough those aches spread all throughout the body especially into a wicked headache that came along with a fever and snot...loads and loads of snot enough to power a small aircraft. That is if a small aircraft could be powered by snot (see I told you I work out the world's problems on the treadmill. Our energy crisis is solved. SNOT IS THE ANSWER! We just have to figure out how to harness it's power and I will be the richest woman on the planet because mine is STILL never ending. And just think, you can say you knew me back when).

So anyhow...It hit worst for me Friday and yes, sadly Saturday (although I sucked it up and went for hot dogs and fireworks with the fam and a roll of toilet paper in my purse because I was out of kleenex). Sunday I spent comatosed (literally I slept until 1:30PM, then took a nap at 3 and was in bed by 9:30). I don't know...What do you say? Think I needed it? I swear it takes moms longer to get better because it's so rare that we just get to go sleep it off like that. I had a 101 degree fever on Friday and Saturday but was still running ragged taking care of the kiddos. So thankful hubby kept the girlies occupied while I rested AND cleaned the house at the same time. He better look out though, now I know he's been sandbagging ;-) While all this sleeping did wonders for the achiness, headache, and fever, still the snot remains. As it did today. So I was faced with a dilemma, in the form of my 12 mile long run that had not yet been done and was supposed to be run on Saturday. What to do? Nobly brave the congestion and tackle the run risking a possible lapse into sickville or give it another day or so to clear up risking falling behind in my marathon training program?

I chose to give it a go and go I did. I once wrote on this blog that I almost never want to go run. I always like it by about mile 4, I love the way I feel when I'm done, I love what it does for me (yada yada I could go on here), but I almost never want to put those shoes on and go. There are a few exceptions to this rule such as when I've had an extremely frustrating day or when I've had a forced absence such as when I was pregnant or because I've been sick. Today was one of those days. By 2.5-3 miles I was loosened up (which is early for me) and thinking I'd push it just a little on those middle miles, which I did. And surprisingly found that I was handling it quite well (a 12 mile run has a way of working the snot right out of you, let's just leave at that and be glad you weren't running with me or anywhere in my vicinity). As a matter of fact, I ran that last mile at just below 9 minutes, finishing the whole run in just barely over 2 hours. YIPEE for me!

Let me put this in perspective for those of you who haven't been following along. I ran my 1/2 marathon at 2:14 (something, I don't remember exactly although it's posted over there in the left corner so you can go look if you just must know the exact time) and let me tell you that was absolutely all I had in me that day. So had I run that same 1/2 today I'm thinking I just might have wupped myself (if I could in fact run against myself). Although I will admit that 1/2 course was "slightly rolling" and my treadmill is absent of all hills, but let's not think about that right now and just revel for a minute in the success of my long run....ahhh...there....doesn't that feel good?

Now tomorrow will tell...have I done too much or is this just the kick in the pants I needed? We shall see my friends...we shall see.

May your hidden water bottle not get stolen :-)

'Til next time...

PS. One more thing about this stinkin' cold. I promise you I got it for one reason only. I ran out of Vital Fruits. I haven't been sick in a year and a half since I started taking this stuff. Me...the girl who would pretty much spend half the winter in bed with some illness or another. But no, Chloe starts snifflin' and sneezing at about the exact time I take the last drink. I was just thrilled. Lesson learned. I will ALWAYS have this stuff on hand ESPECIALLY from now until October 11th (that would be the big Chicago Marathon). You can bet your booty on that. And yes, I'm affiliated with this company now. That would be my website if you click on Vital Fruits. And if you further click on testimony, that would be me Kelly from Detroit, talking about when I started taking it when I was pregnant. I'm all about being upfront and honest (as brutal as it may be). But I'm sure I didn't have to tell you all that did I? Ok product plug over. Back to your regularly scheduled programming :-)