Thursday, December 30, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Wow- is this week flying by.   Here are my 3 things for this Thursday

1) Christmas decorations are all down and in their appropriate boxes. Now we just have to put all the boxes away.  That is the project for tomorrow.  But everything is down, tree and all.  Wow, does the house look so spacious.  I love the house all decorated but when everything comes down, I am always amazed at the amount of room that shows up.  How about you??

2) 1st official week of Marathon training.  The running so far, so good.  I have gotten 3 runs in, following my schedule 3,3,3,6.  So I have a long run of 6 miles to be completed sometime between tomorrow and Sunday.  I think that is doable!!! 

3) I did a little cross training.  Nothing to major but I got a few things in.  How do you in your cross training in?  I have a hard enough time fitting in my running so my weight workouts are thrown in all over the day.  Yesterday while I was cooking I did some squats,  my as while do that while you meat is browning.  Then during  a basement clean up, I stopped for few minutes and did some Ab V rotations , hammer curls and arm raises.  I know it isn't much but it is surely better than nothing.

Still pondering my New Years Resolutions- but I will let you know them soon.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two Tuesday

Yes- I am very excited to report that I have run 2 days in a row ; hence my Two Tuesday!!!  I feel committed having the schedule, knowing that I  "have to" get my runs in.    This week, with it still being Christmas vacation the kids are home from school.  All the kids being home make the running a little more difficult,  but with the advent of new Christmas toys I have managed to sneak in some time.   Today was a new box of Model Magic Presto Dots (a gift from my sister in law to my boys);  this kept my boys and my girls entertained long enough for my run.      I know I could get up early in the morning and run but since no one has to get up early I dont want to either. 

3 miles 28:02 .     Hope everyone is finding time to get there runs/ exercise in!!! 

Have a Terrific Tuesday!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Marathon Monday

As of today marathon training has offiicaly begun .   I am so excited!!   Excited but nervous.  Excited to have a plan in place but nervous as I know what is ahead.  This is Marathon number 3 for me-  hoping for much better results this time around ( no injury's and no 85 degree heat) . Kalamazoo Marathon,  May 8th!!!!!     3 quick miles in for today. 3 miles 28:22   It felt so nice to get on the treadmill - needed to run off some of the food that I have eaten in the last few days. Good thing Christmas is only one time a year,  because all that great delicious holiday food is way to tempting.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!  We had lots of fun in our house.   It has taken us almost 3 days to get every gift played with.  Lots and lots of family fun time. Looking forward to Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Run and CSN review

Well so far this week, 1 run in.  I know it is Wednesday and only one run.  This week is crazy.  3 miles so far.  I am hoping to get in a few more runs this week, so that I dont feel so guilty indulging in on the Christmas treats.  Marathon training starts officially next week!!!!!!!

A few weeks ago I was given the great honor of a Promotional Gift Certificate to the CSN store for $40.    How awesome is that??  Purchase what ever I want and then just write a review about it.  This may sound like an easy feat but holy moly over at the CSN store there are so many things to chose from .  This was a very very hard decision;  buy something for myself, my kids, my husband,  someone else??   Well I decided, the house and the family.    I purchased 2 things:

InStyle Geo Shower Curtain in Brown - S-4009 BRWN

This is 100% cotton so it can be machines washed.    I was so excited to pick this out.  We have had the same decorative shower curtian in our bathroom for the last 10 years,  so it was time for a change.  I  love it!!!  Went from a blue bathroom to a brown acented bathroom.  I changed everything while the kids were in school / husband was at work .  When they all came home they were said  "Wow, that looks great"

Milton Bradley Classic Scrabble Game - 4024S5

This I picked out because, ironically we own alot of games but not this one.  This game is being given to all the kids for Christmas-  what a great way for them to learn their letters and practice spelling words.  I foresee lots and lots of family fun time.

The shipping was very timely.  The items did arrive separately but that was no problem;  very fast shipping.   There is only a one negative issue-

Free Shipping  

On Just About Everything!

I found this statement to very untrue.  Unless I just was an exception to the rule.  I must of looked at about 20 or more different items before I made my decision on what to purchase. Every single item that I looked at did not offer free shipping.   With being given a gift certificate I wanted to get the most bang for my buck, After a while I just gave up the search of trying to find something with free shipping and picked out the 2 items that I did.  I had to pay shipping on both of those items. 

 Overall though,  I am very happy with my purchase and would consider shopping at the CSN store again in the future.  Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Few things Friday

First off -  I ran 4 four miles today.  Nothing super fancy, not super long but I ran 4 miles.    With that run it gave me a total of 9 miles this week ( 2, 3, 4).    Also, I have ran 9 miles that last 2 weeks in a row , with each week getting 3 runs.  So I am sloooowly getting back on track.    Official training starts back up in just 2 weeks!!!! 

Do you think it is easier to run outside in the winter or the summer?  There is this man that I have seen out running off and on since the very beginning of the shcool year.  I asked him if he is training for a race and he said "No, I am just running".  Yesterday while at the bus stop he came walking by ( not running I assume since the road was a slick ice rink)  I told him " I give you kuddos for being out here running!!"  He said  "I think this is alot harder than running in the summer heat."  I would agree-  that is why we bought a treadmill. So what do you think,  winter or summer ???

Today  of my kids start their Christmas vacation-  they are off for a while!!!  Oh man,  I don't have nearly everything done that I wanted to have done.    I am doing one more last trip out sometime this weekend- last minutes gifts and food for all next week including Christmas.  I do not want to step foot in a store at all next week!!!

Have a Fabulous Friday!!!!! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday part 2

Yippee- got the 3 mile run in.  Love looking at the snowy cold weather yet being nice and warm running on the treadmill.   3 miles of rolling hills.   

New Winner Wednesday and more

One of the winners never contacted me so the new winner of Chocolate #9 is
                                    please send me your address

Crazy weather going on here in MI.  It is mighty cold out.  The crazy part is that it isn't even officially winter yet-  I have a feeling this is going to be a long season.     High in the 20's today,  that is a heat wave compared to this past weekend.    The wind chills pushed us below 0.  We were visiting my parents this weekend,  which on a normal day is about a 3 hour drive.  Well, Sunday it took us almost 6 hours to make that drive.  Talk about being crazy.  We got veered off the freeway due to an accidnet , went to get on the freeway and a local policman said I wouldnt get back on because you will be veered off again due to a fatal accident 3 miles down. So we drove the back roads to get around all that.  We made our way back on the freeway to only be stopped by another accident.  This one, we should have been veered off the freeway for-  a semi truck was split into 3 pieces- with the cab of the truck in oncoming traffic.    After that crazy drive I was so happy that school was cancelled on Monday due to inclement weather.

As for the running-  last week I got 9 miles in.  That isnt super great but better than nothing.  Due to the sub zero weather here I am staying indoors.  Yesterday I ran 2 miles.  Since I was only planning on running 2 miles, I put the treadmill into rolling hill mode,  which gave me a nice workout.  Hopeing to get 3 miles in today-  we will have to see .

Trying to finish up all Christmas gifts,  food purchases, wrapping, etc... so that I can enjoy my kids Christmas vacation with them and not be stressed out.  I do not want to step foot into any store at all next week, as I know that they will be slammed packed.      Do you think I can do that?

Hope everyone has a Wonderful Wednesday!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Supplement Giveaway Winners

Thank you so much for entereing my giveaway!! 
The 3 winners are as follows (  drum roll please):

1) Peter Rabbit Organic Fruit Pouches - Bobbi

2) Chocolate #9 -  Jenna Z

3)  GU Products - E. Rostron

Please send me your addresses  so that you can receive your products. 

Thank you -

Thursday, December 9, 2010

3 things Thursday

                                               Enter my supplement giveaway

So here is my really exciting 3 things Thursday-  but for this time of year and for the motivation that I have been lacking lately here you go. 

1)  Monday ran 3 miles
2) Wednesday ran 3 miles
3)  Thursday ran 3 miles

There is my 3 things-  I know that is pretty lame,  but that is all I have .  3 runs in one week is huge right now   ( how sad is that)  Can I tell you how good I feel this week with having got the exercise back in-  AWESOME!!   

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday

                                                      Enter my supplement giveaway

Wow!!  What a wonderful week, and a wonderful Wednesday!!!  I have so much to say, sorry I may be rambling on.

1) First I want to give a great CONGRATULATIONS to my husbands Uncle John who just ran the Cal International Marathon in CA-  he PR'd beating lasts year time by 11 min.  Who Hooooo  way to go Uncle John!!!!

2)  I ran, I ran-  yes so far I have run twice this week!!   I know that isn't that exciting, but since I haven't  ran that much the last month, I am so excited that I have fit in 2 runs this week.  Two 3 mile runs-  nothing to crazy.  I was going to run farther today but then I decided , nope I want to stay injury free for this marathon ( that is only a mere 21 weeks away). Hope to get in at least 2 more runs before the week is over.   Do clothes make you feel motivated to run?  I put on my Chicago Marathon shirt from 10/10/10 and I instantly got a jolt of energy to run.    I want to thank my great friend B, who spoke great words of motivation to me yesterday.  Funny she called me to get motivation to get running again and she motivated me to go running.   Despite over a 1000 mile distance we are still motivating each other!! 

3) I think ( can I hope) that I have all my Christmas shopping done.  Man, I hope so.  Now it is just time to wrap wrap wrap. 

4) Snow, snow, snow.  It is just snowing away here.   Now comes lots of bonding time with me and the treadmill.  I know, I can go outside.  But I always have this crazy fear of falling on ice - really dont need a broken bone.  Plus with it getting light so late in the morning and dark so early in the evenings, I would just rather run indoors whenever I have the chance.  Don't get me wrong though, if we were to have an Indian Summer day ( which I doubt will happen) then I will head out doors. 

5)  Do you notice that when you eat healthy your body craves healthy food?  Ever since the marathon I havent' been eating super great.  I haven't been eating bad but just not super great ; with traveling and resting.  But this last week I have gotten everything back on track.  Weird, I can walk past the cookies and go straight for the salad.  Strange .  Every time I have a salad, I comment how much I love them ( which I would have never said in the past) .  Just had  post run snack of a banana with almond butter. 

6) Speaking of cookies-  oh my word.  We had a cookies swap at the MOPS meeting that I attend. We each made 20 bags of 3 cookies each and then brought them in to swap out.  So when all was said and done you would end up with about 5 dozen assorted cookies.  I did splurge and have a couple, they were to die for. So, instead of continuing the indulgence I packed the rest of them into the freezer to be taken out on Christmas weekend.    What a fun idea!!  Yummy!!!

7)  Don't forget to enter my Supplement giveaway!!!!  Also, if anyone has any healthy natural supplements that they use,  I would love to hear about / try them.     My family trys to get as "natural" as possible, so I have a hard time taking running supplements that have an ingredient list that is super long. 

Ok- I think that is enough wonderment for this Wednesday!!! 


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Supplement Review and Triple Giveaway

Supplement Review-

As you add high mileage runs to your training schedule you need to learn how to fuel yourself.   While training for the Chicago Marathon I experimented with this.  Most of the experimentation was due to the fact that some of the fueling supplements made my sick, caused headaches or just did not seem to work.    Some I bought for myself, and some were samples sent to me to try out.  Instead of having 5 different reviews I thought I would compare them side-by-side. 

  • Gu Energy Gel/ Chomps
  • Sport Beans
  • Clif Bloks
  • Chocolate #9
  • Peter Rabbits Organic Fruit Pouches


Gu energy gels come in about 10 flavors.  They are very convenient to carry, usually can fit in the pockets that are on all the running gear.      I have tried a few of the different flavors but unfortunately I just cannot stomach the gels.   I personally like the convenience of the chomps better.  Gu Chomps come in 5 different flavors; I can put one in my mouth and just continue running, unlike the gels where I have to stop.       I am not sure what it is in the product but every time I have tried the chomps, I get really bad headaches.  With that being said the only chomps that I have tried are ones that have caffeine in them.  Could that be the culprit for the headaches, I don’t know or is it something in the chomps themselves.  Chomps $2.20/ package   Gel $1.35/ gel pack


I love the convenience of this product.  You can grab one, you can grab a handful and just go.   I used sports beans a lot on many of my long runs.   Sports Beans come in 6 different flavors and a mixed bag.  The main issue I have with this supplement is it really wrecks me after I am done running.  It is crazy, during the run it supplements me awesome and then as soon as I stop running my body starts revolting, resulting in bathroom issues later.   $1.00/ package


These are very similar to the Gu Chomps but just made by a different company.  Not exactly sure what is different between the 2 companies but this one settles a lot better with me, no issues at all.  Cliff Shots are available in 9 different flavors.    $1.98/ package


 This company was so nice to send me an entire box to try out.  Per a recommendation of a fellow blogger ,  I was turned to Chocolate #9.  I was (and still am) on the hunt for natural supplements for endurance running.  Chocolate #9 only has 2 ingredients. Yes, only 2 ingredients- organic agaves and cocoa.  Chocolate #9 comes in a gel format very similar to that of GU.  This product is great, if and only if you are a chocolate lover.  Personally, for myself I was so excited that this product had natural ingredients but since the chocolate flavor is so strong I could only stomach it on indoor runs or those that were cooler outside.  If I ran outdoors on a very warm day, when it came time to fuel up I felt like I was sucking down brownie batter.  Which some of you many thoroughly enjoy ( as I do when I am baking) but not so much when I am in the middle of a long distance run.    Gel pack  $1.34 / piece


 This company was so nice to send my 3 different pouches (one of each flavor) to try out.  Wow, these are amazing.  There come in 3 flavors.   Straight up 100% fruit, the consistently reminds me a lot of really pureed up baby food (applesauce consistency) .  I really really liked this product.  I used it on a lot of my tread mill runs.  Unfortunately due to the size of the product I didn’t take it on any long runs.  Really that would be my only problem with this product, size.  I believe to become very marketable in the running (endurance sports) the size of the product would have to get smaller.    Pouches $1.99/ piece. 

Overall, I think fuel supplements are a personal preference.  As for myself, I am on the hunt for “natural fuel supplements” to help during my long runs.     All these products are fairly similar in price comparison.  If I only had these supplement to choose from this is how I would rank them
1)      Cliff Bloks
2)      Sports Beans
3)      Peter Rabbit Organic Fruit Pouches ( only due to the size)
4)      Chocolate #9
5)      Gu gel / chomps

As always, my reviews are based on my own observations.  My objective is value.   I may not always choose the best product due to price, but I am not looking for the cheapest product either.  I am not being compensated for my reviews and my allegiance is to you the reader not suppliers or manufactures.  If you have questions and/or comments I am always happy to hear from you.


Here is the fun part, a TRIPLE Giveaway!!! Yes, there will be 3 winners
 1)      Peter Rabbit Organics has so graciously offered to giveaway an assorted 10 pack of their fruit pouches.   (Open to U.S. Residents only)
        2) Chocolate #9, I was given such a large supply that I am graciously giving away 7 pouches
       3)GU products.  I have a supply that I would like to share.   A Tri Berry Gel, A Strawberry Banana Gel   and a Orange Gu Chomp

In order to enter the contest you must, in separate entries, do one or more of the following.  Each entry will equal one chance of winning.  Up to 8 chances per person.  This giveaway will end on Sunday Dec 12th at 8pm Eastern Time

1)      Become a follower of my page
2)      Join Christas Fitness Challenge on Facebook
3)      Like Peter Rabbit Organics on Facebook
4)      Like Chocolate #9 on facebook
5)      Like Gu on Facebook
6)      Like Clif Bar on facebook
7)      Announce my give a away on your page /facebook/ twitter
8)      Add me to your blogroll

Friday, December 3, 2010


Where have I been?????  I was gone over the Thanksgiving Holiday; took an extended vacation and went up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 

No running to be heard of !!! BLAH I  say I have been on a running sabbatical since the marathon.  But starting next week I am back at her- printed the training schedule  I am sooo ready to return.  Trying to take the rest of this week and get as many holiday things done so that I can enjoy the holiday and not feel guilty squeezing in my runs.   

I had a request from some of the Fitness Challengers in the MOPS (mothers of Preschoolers) group that I am in, for my running play list.  So I thought I would share it with you.  What music do you listen to? 

It may not be the best music to listen to on a daily basis but the songs do have good "running beats"  Most top 40 stuff. 

Here was my last marathon play list:
Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
One Time- Justin Bieber
So What - Pink
Teenage Dream - Katy perry
Whatca Say - Jason DeRulo
Your love is my Drug-  Keisha
Baby- Justin Bieber
Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
Single Ladies - Beyonce
When I grow up- Pussy cat dolls
Party in the USA -Hannah Montana
Ridin Solo-  Jason DeRulo
Tik Tok - Kesha
Carry out - Timbaland
LoveGame  - Lady Gaga
Rock that Body - Black eyed peas
Sexyback - Justin Timberlake
California Girls- Katy Perry
Cant be tamed - Miley Cyrus
Down - Jay Sean
I know you want me - Pitbull
In my head - Jason DeRulo
Sexy Chick- David Guetta
Whatya want from me-  Adam Lambert
Paparazzi- Lady Gaga
Cooler than me - Micheal Posner
Do you remember - Jay Sean
Give you hell - American Rejects
Meet in the middle- Timbaland
Poker Face - Lady Gaga
U smile - Justin Bieber
I like it - Enrique
Bust your windows -Glee
I gotta feeling - Black eyed peas
Lovestoned - Justin Timberlake
OMG - Usher
Telephone - Beyonce / Lady Gaga
We belong to to music - Timbaland
Hotel Room Service - Pitbull
If I had you - Adam Lambert
Rude boy - Rihanna
Eenie Meenie - Justin Bieber
Fireflies - Owl City
If we ever meet again- Timbaland
Boots and Boys -Keha
Sweet Caroline (Glee)
Nothin on you - BoB
Just the way you are -Bruno Mars
Love the way you lie - Eminem

 Sorry, dropped the ball  on my giveaway before the holiday-  BUT I do have one coming up early next week (PROMISE!) 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Running Skirts Review

The wonderful people at Running Skirt let me try out some of their gear.  I originally thought that I was just trying out a skirt, but was pleasantly surprised when an entire outfit arrived: skirt, shirt and bra.  Wow!!   

I had the great opportunity to try out an Ultra Swift Skirt (hot pink), Strappy Sports Bra (Polka Dot) and a Performance Mesh Tank (Black). 

1) Fit According to Size-   The skirt I was on the fence on what size to order, so I left it up to Running in pants/shorts/etc.. I wear a 6 but was very hesitant to order the skirt because it was a 4-6 (size 2 according to there sizes) and I was afraid it would be to small.  They sent me a size 3.  Since this is my first skirt I am not exactly sure how it is supposed to feel.  But it fits perfect around the hips but is a little loose in the waist.    In both the Strappy Sports Bra and Performance Mesh Tank I received a Medium and they fit accordingly. 

2) Material - All 3 of these items are made of 90% Polyester and 10% Spandex.  They all need to be washed in cold water and line dried.  The bra has extra inserts inside the cup area, not sure of the material of those.

3 )Chafing-  The shirt and the bras  have  no issues in this department.  The skirt, I have noticed in fairly low mileage runs (anything less than 5) I am fine, but as soon as I cross over the 5 mile mark I start to get rubbing /chaffing in the insides of my thighs.  Now, with that being said I don’t know if it is the skirt or just skirts in general as this is the first skirt that I have ever tried.

4) Clothing Riding up or falling down - Again, the shirt and bra I have no issue . The skirt I kept thinking was falling down (even though it really wasn’t it). Since it is tighter around the hips and looser around the waist as I would run it would give me the sensation that it was falling down. But after I got used to that, it felt fine. 

5) Ability to get off after strenuous workout - Absolutely no problems in this area

6) Price Comparability-   The Strappy Sports Bra retails for $29; compared to other competitive running stores Running seems to be on the cheaper end.  That is incredible as it is such a cute sports bra.    The Performance Mesh Tank retails for $34, which is very comparable to other stores that sell the same type of product.   The Running skirts retails for $48;  I had to look around at other stores for running skirts as this is my first running skirt.  By looking around I can tell the price is very comparable to other brands with similar products. 

 7) Accessory Capable-  The bra nor the shirt have any accessory capabilities. The skirt, ahh had 3 gear pockets, one on each side of your hips and one in the back of the skirt. Since I didn’t wear the skirt much over 5 miles I didn’t have to test out much of the pockets but LOVE idea of gear pockets.   The skirt does not have any key pockets. 

8) Compared to favorite item of mine-   Well for the skirt, I have nothing to compare to. But I will say it fits nice and is comfortable, just not for anything over 5 miles (at least on me).   The shirt I would rank up near the top, it too is my only true tank shirt (I have razor back shirts but this is the only tank shirt).  The bra is really nice, another one that could probably be worn itself (still not that kind of girl).  I would bump the bra up to the number 2nd spot out of the six that I have. 

Overall very satisfied with all these products.  The only downfall is in the fact that I have to line dry all the items.  Also, as I mentioned the bra has extra inserts, every time I wash the bra the inserts flip in half, so I have to reach in between the seams and flip them back over.    But that is minor issue.   

Just wanted to thank Running, for giving me this fantastic opportunity.   

Disclaimer : I was not paid to review these items, this is just my opinion. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fun Friday

Well, no more running this week.  What a crazy busy week.  But I did run 8 miles this week, so I guess that is better than nothing.   If I can count "running " at the bus stop with my boys, then I have ran alot. While waiting for the bus,  we have been running  from the bus stop to the next drive way and back,  .  My boys LOVE it!!  Today they said   "Mom, can we do that running thing again?"  Of course,  you dont have to twist my arm.

I received my Allied Steel Medal Hanger from Chasing Atlanta today!!  Now the big decision,  where do I put it?? As soon as it is up and all my medals are hanging I will take a picture and post it. 

Keep an eye out this upcoming week for some great reviews along with a giveaway!!

 I found out today that I get to review a product from the CSN store.   How fun!!!  The tough part is going to be,  what do I review?  They have so many choices-  Kids Backpacks, household products, toys, exercise equipment, etc...  Do I  review a product for myself or with Christmas coming be  nice and review a product for my husband or kids.  Stay tuned and in the near future you will find out my choice and see a  review. 

Have a fantastic Friday!!!   Best of luck to all those  racing this weekend!!! 


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wonder Wednesday

So one month ago today I was blazing the streets of Chicago.  Blazing, as in running in 85 degrees for 26.2 miles. What have I done since then...............ran a big whopping 20 miles in 30 days.  How sad is that?

The wonderful part about today though is , my 3 year old took a nap and I got on the treadmill.  5 miles 47:21.
I needed that so much.    I have realized that I need a schedule- can't wait until the end of December for the "true" marathon training to start. I need it to start NOW.    5 miles has never felt so good.

Short and sweet for today,  have a wonderful Wednesday!!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Marvelous Monday part 2

So I did- I got my run in!!!!!!!!!!!! Why I thought it would be easier to do with all 4 kids home vs just 1 kid home, I do not know; but I got it done  3 miles in 28:40.    Not the fastest-  but I ran!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, who would of have known that running would help pop my ear.  It isn't all the way popped but almost...  it was popping while I ran, craziness!!! .    Man, how I missed running, even if it was on the treadmill.  I got on the treadmill, got it up to speed and let loose.  Wow, it was like I was sinking into a nice hot bath,  it felt so good.  

Until tomorrow.  

Marvelous Mileage Monday

Well no run thus far today ( hoping my son will take a nap so that I get on the treadmill, but that is not looking so good). May just have to wait until later this evening, but I ssoooooooooo need to run. 

As I mentioned in a previous post- Mileage Mondays are the time to let me know what miles that your children have completed for the past week.  My kids have been so excited to see other kids interested in the mileage club- there still is time ( actually no cut off), the more the merrier!!    Join in the fun and sign your kids up for the Virtual Mileage Club.

Have a Marvelous Monday!!! 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Several Things Sunday

 So I thought since I have been MIA for the last few days I would start the week off with a bit of catch up.

1)  Well, the cold seems to be going away- YIPPEE. My ear is still plugged but not as bad as it was before, so I am thinking that some day soon ( I can cross my fingers) that it will be totally unplugged and I will finally be able to hear and smell correctly

2) No running at all this week.  Holy Moly cant really remember the last time that I could say that.  I did do a little cross training this week, started back up with a small ab routine.  Also, hopefully it counts but I have been raking and raking our yard.  I love having trees but this time of the year really sucks.  I have been taking advantage of the  nice weather we are having and raked the leaves out to the street ( we have leaf pickup every few weeks).  So I raked for 2 hours today and then mowed the lawn for the last time-  does that count as a fitness workout?  I am going back to the running tomorrow-  so excited!!!!!

3)  I can not believe but I actually won a give away this week.  How much fun!!!  Not only did I win one, I won a Allied Steel Medal Hangar, SWEET from Chasing Atlanta.  The one that I won says "Believe"-   that is so appropriate.  I tell so many people "You can run a 5K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon ( of whatever they have in mind),  all you have to do is Believe."   Cant wait to get it and hang my medals up!!!

4)  Well, Courtneys 100 day Challenge is slowly coming to an end (at the beginning of December), wow cant believe that is so close already.    I had 4 goals
  • Complete the Chicago Marathon in a time of 4:48 (or less) - FAILED ( well I finished, but not in my goal time, so I guess I will give my self a pass but need to run another one to redeem myself)
  •  Run 1000 miles this year.  I don't know; this one is going to be hard as I have been sick for the last few weeks .  I will try my hardest to see how close I can get
  •  Get as many people interested in fitness/running  as possible.   This one I think I am succeeding in and LOVE it. 
  •  PR at the Park 2 Park Half Marathon-  PASSED way above my goal time
But now with this fun event coming to an end (soon) I have joined and new challenge, the 2 will overlap for a week or so. This one is called the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge -  over at Run To the Finish    The goal of this one is to keep us motivated over the holidays-  oh man this should be interesting.  I do not need the holiday food yielding me a weight gain, I have worked way to hard .    Go on over and join in the fun!!!!

5)   Weird thing going on-  Halloween was a week ago and there is TONS ( 4 kids worth) of candy in my house.  Normally, oh  I would be stealing my kids candy. But I have absolutely no craving for any of it.  I have had 1 piece of candy and that is it.  Not sure why-  but I guess that is good thing. 

6)  Last but definitely not least.  This was a sad week for me, as my great friend B   (whom I did all my Chicago Training with)  moved away.    Her husband got a job in his dream state, Colorado.    So many tears were shed this week as she moved 1130 miles away ( but no one is counting).  I will surely miss her.  I have to say, she was one loved lady in this town;  she had a Goodbye dinner where over 30 women showed up. How awesome is that!!!!!    I am very happy for her family as they begin a new chapter in their journey of life.    Some day though, I hope we meet on the road, lace up our shoes and go for a run together again. 

Have a wonderful weekend and I will catch up with you tomorrow. 


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wonder Wednesday??

The wonder is- Where have I been??  It is Wednesday, last post Friday.   Well, I have been no where, except still not feeling well.  BLAH BLAH BLAH.   No running-  this is driving me nuts.

The doctor said the infection is all gone but now my  Eustachian tubes are plugged.  Basically, it feels like I am either stuck up in an airplane or under water and cant get my ears to pop.  The plugged ears are making my head congested still, which is causing me to not be to smell.  So very frustrating.  

I am not asking very much, I just want to be able to hear properly, smell properly and RUN!!  Now no one is telling me I cant run.  But my head hurts and I am just so dang tired ( the medicine that they have me on makes me tired, well any medicine makes me tired).     I feel like a slob.  Maybe I should just push through the pain and run,  will it make me feel better????   At least the blessing is that I am in between training schedules. 

I promise I will be posting more soon-  hopefully about all the fantastic miles that I will be clearing!! 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nuun Giveaway Winners

Still no running due to ear ache.  But I thought before the Halloween festivites this weekend take over I would announce the winners of Nuun!!!!

2 Winners are.........................................................




Please email me your addresses so that I can send you are great Nuun!!!

Have a Wonderful Halloween Weekend!!! Try not to eat to much candy,  or at least the amount that you can run off ( I must remember my own advice)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thoughtless Thursday

So, I did get my "run on yesterday", a quick 3 mile run.  It felt ssooooo  nice!!!
Today no running going on, nor any thoughts, as my head cold/sinus infection went into my ear.  My ear drum popped last night, so today I am in quite a bit of pain.   ARG!!!!!!!

 I want to get better,  I want to run (but not with ear pain)!!!!

Hope you can have a Thankful Thursday.  One more day to enter my Nuun giveaway. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wonder Wednesday

                                         Enter my Nuun Giveaway
                                        Enter your kids the Mileage Club

In honor of Halloween this week,  I was Wondering what everyone is wearing for costumes.  We told our kids that we were not buying any costumes this year (only because we have a HUGE bin full of dress up clothes).  We told them that they needed to either, Reuse, Re purpose or make there costume. 

So this is what they came up with

Thomas the train (3 year old)-  I think, he may still change his mind
Buzz Lightyear (4 year old)
Queen of Hearts ( 7 year old)
Marathon Runner ( 9 year old)-  This one,  brought me to tears.  She sat in her room and made a huge list of different options of what she could be. Then she came to me and said "I want to be a marathon runner like you".  Wow!! 

 Per everyone's great advice yesterday on my sickness, I tried the allergy and Netti pot option.  My head is not nearly as congested as yesterday.  Not sure which one is taking away the pressure, but I think I will use both options again today.   Plus, my husband said "You haven't been running, your body doesn't know what to do".  So I guess, I should listen to my body and get my Run On!!!! 

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two Things Tuesday

                                        Enter my Nuun Giveaway until 10/29
                                     Join in the Virtual Mileage Club from now until June 3rd

Two Things Tuesday
1)  RUNNING:  So I have been running. Not very much, but I did manage to get 3 runs in last week.  My first week after the Chicago Marathon was REST.  Then last week I couldnt take it anymore, so I laced the shoes back up.  Three 3 miles runs-  for a big whopping total of 9 miles.   Wow, I cant even remember the last time that I ran only 9 miles in one week.   
  • Thursday  3 miles on the Treadmill.  1st run after the marathon.  It felt so nice,  like I had met a long lost friend.  I started off at a nice 6.0mph and by the end I cranked it all the way up to 8.0mph ( I have never ran that fast before)   3 miles 29:02
  • Friday  3 miles on the Treadmill.  Took the plunge this day and signed up for the Kalamazoo Marathon.Very uneventful run,  but it felt so nice. Started off at 6.0mph again but bumped my speed up at faster increments all the way up to 8.0mph.  3 miles 28:32
  • Sunday  3 more miles, but this was oustside. It was BEAUTIFUL here in Michigan, a crazy 70 degree day for October. It was a nice run!!   I was wondering while running, how did I run in the summer heat, becasue for some reason 70 seemed so warm.   I  managed to  pick up my pace 3 miles 27: 23

So I progressively got faster throughout the week.  I still feel kind of blah though. I am inbetween training programs.  Trying to get motivated to run without a "written schedule".  Need to have something concrete between now and then.   How do you stay motivated in between schedules? I am signed up for my next Marathon  but the "True Training" doesn't start until the week of New  Years.

2)  SICKNESS:  I am soooo tired of having a cold.  All of my kids have had runny noses and coughs for what seems like forever (probably over a month now).  I fought most of the cold off before the marathon, got an ear infection and a cough the week of the marathon.  That was fun running 26.2 miles with that ( but I managed). But now,  my head is so stuffy.  I can breath out of my nose , it isnt running, but I can not smell anything.  Not sure if it a sinus infection or what.  They say  many marathon runners get sick shortly after running a marathon because there wear their immune systems down. Well, I guess I did that.!!!!  What do you do in your house to ward off sickness?  With 6 people in the house (3 that are school) it seems like there is always something in the air at house.

Have a Terrific Tuesday!!!! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mileage Monday

                                              Enter my Nuun Giveaway

On Friday, I talked about my kids Mileage Club that we are doing.  This weekend we had a big family discussion about it.  Myself, my husband and all the kids decided that we want to have a Virtual Mileage Club. 
We want all the kids up and moving!!!  This is for my kids, your kids, all of our kids.

We will have Mileage Mondays-  on Mondays send me the total miles that your children accumulated (walking and/or running) during the past week.   I will keep an "running tab" on all of our kids miles.  This Club will run from now until June 3rd ( my kids last day of school).  After that, I will total the miles and send your child their "Shoe Award".   To make it a little more exciting, we thought we would put a little competition into it.  We will have a WINNER in each age bracket , for the child who completed the most miles during the 2010-2011 school year.   The winner will be sent a prize ( still yet to be determined)

Age Brackets  1-2 , 3-5,  6-8,  9-11, 12-14 ,15-18   (age at the end of the school year)

Send me your kids name (or at least what you want me to refer to them as) and their age. 

I know that the weather is going to start turning for most of us, but hopefully this will keeps us all motivated to get ourselves and our kids moving.

Tell you friends and join in the fun and become a member of our Virtual Mileage Club

Any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hydration Review and Give a Way

While training for the Chicago Marathon I was experimenting with different hydration options; trying to find the best one.   Some I bought for myself, and some were samples sent to me to try out.  Instead of having 3 different reviews I thought I would compare them side-by-side. 

Gatorade G2 (purchased myself)      $.19 per serving
Nathan Catalyst Effervescent Tablets (sent to me)   $.17 per serving
Nuun Effervescent Tablets (sent to me)     $.19 per serving


Up until the training of this marathon I always used Gatorade.  Matter of fact, we use Gatorade all the time in our house.   A 51 oz powder container is a staple item in our pantry.   Gatorade comes in a multitude of flavors.  Some I like, and some I don’t (that is a personal preference).  They do sell the individual packets that can be dropped into your sports bottles.   These are in powdered form (shake for maximum results).  Each packet makes two 8oz servings, perfect for a standard 16oz bottle.   In every 16oz bottle (two servings) there is 10g carbs /10 g sugar and 40 calories.   This is great for a day at the beach, or any other active event where you would want supplemented hydration.  This is why Gatorade is a staple in our house.  Our family’s summer of fun, generally revolve around outdoor physical activity.  There are a couple disadvantages to using Gatorade during long running/training events.  The individual serving powder packet is kind of complicated to use while racing.  I have to be very accurate (while all sweaty) to get all the powder into the water bottle without it dumping all over the ground or myself).  The carbs and sugar make supplementing your run with other products tricky.  It couples your fuel and hydration in one product.  If you need more or less hydration you have to adjust your solid supplements on the fly.  Not an ideal situation. 

Nathan Catalyst Effervescent Tablets:

I originally contacted Nathan Sports to try out there sport laundry detergent. Watch for my laundry detergent showdown, in the future.  This company also sent me a bunch of hydration mix samples, with water bottle.   Nathan’s hydration tabs come in 3 different flavors; Orange, pomegranate-blueberry and Lemon Lime.  To my knowledge these are the only flavors available.  In reality, flavor doesn’t matter, but I will always take more options if I can get them.  The drink mix is in tablet form.  It is packaged in a plastic tube with 16 tabs per tube.  This is the best way to package drink mix.  Each tablet makes three 8oz servings.  For maximum results they are to be mixed with 24 oz of water.  For me, this was an issue.  I have no water bottles that are 24 oz, only 16oz (and I have a lot of water bottles).  All you have to do is drop the product into water and it dissolves on its own.  No shaking, no mixing, no mess.   All 3 flavors had a very fizzy taste to them.   This was something that I was not used to, nor did I really enjoy.  This is a personal preference.  If you like fizzy, flavored water this is your drink.  The lemon lime and orange reminded me a lot of the Gatorade flavors, beside the fizzy part.   I really liked the taste of the Pomegranate- Blueberry but it made me thirsty after I drank it.  In my book this is not a good thing when I am trying to hydrate.  I was kind of bummed because the taste was that good.   Nathan tablets have less than 1 gram of carbs and sugar per serving and 0 calories.  The water bottle Nathan sent me was a Quick draw hand held cultch water bottle (22oz).  When this product arrived I was to far into my training to experiment with carrying a water bottle.   When I do a water bottle review in the future I will defiantly include it.  I’m looking forward to trying it out.  I have one question?  Why have a 22oz water bottle for a tablet that mixes with 24oz?  I know it is only 2oz, but why would you make them different?   Their web site said to mix with 22oz.  On the package it said 24oz.  Interesting.   It can’t image it makes a difference, just an observation.   This is a good electrolyte hydration mix.  It can be used with your solid supplements with no effect.  Flavor is good.  I don’t like the fizz, but it may be what you have been looking for.  I would like to see the tablet size reduced to 1 or 2 servings.  Three servings is hassle for me.

Nuun Effervescent Tablets:

This company sent me 6 different flavors. This drink mix is in tablet form, and is packaged in a plastic tube with 12 tablets per tube.  They also included three 16oz water bottles.  I will include them in my future water bottle review.  I will say the quality is above average.  The 7 flavors include:  Kona Cola, Banananunn, Orange Ginger, Tri-Berry, Lemon-Lime and Citrus Fruit.  The serving size per tablet is two 8oz servings, which yields on standard 16oz water bottle.  You can drop the product into the water and it dissolves on its own (I love this).  Just like Nathan, no shaking, no mixing, and no mess.  In contrast Nuun tabs have no fizz.  I really enjoy the variety of the product flavors.  My personal favorite flavor is the Orange Ginger.  My 7-year-old daughter fell in love with Nuun.  She is a water connoisseur.  She drinks A LOT of water.  She asked, “Can I try this product out?”   I said,” absolutely.”  For the last 5 weeks of soccer practice and games, she made sure she had her Nuun.  She tried most of the flavors, but her favorite was Kona Cola.  Unusual, since she doesn’t like cola flavored soda.  I have to say this is our new sport drink.  Today we headed off to 2 soccer games with 3 Nuun bottles; Kona Cola (7yr old daughter), Tir- Berry ( 4 yr old son), Banannnun (myself).    What I love about this product is that there are no carbs or sugars.  Nuun goal is to hydrate only.  It is your personal preference on what to use for energy (gels, bars, candy, etc.).  They are purely hydration, with the perfect balance of electrolytes.   I really like this, as I am having issues finding the perfect energy supplements. 

To summarize:


-         Multitude of flavors
-         Powder mix
-         Tear away pouches
-         40 calories, 10g carb/ 10 g sugar. 
-         Still a great choice for general physical activities. 
-         Still a staple in my house.
-         Hard to use with other supplements.  


-         3 flavors
-         Tablets
-         Water proof container,
-         0 calories, less than 1g carb/ sugar
-         servings per tablet too large
-         Fizzy taste
-         Easy to use with supplements


-         6 flavors
-         Tablets
-         Water proof container, 
-         0 calories, 0 carbs/sugar
-         No fizz, great taste
-         Easy to use with supplements

After reviewing all these products if I had to rank them in order of personal preference
1)      Nuun
2)      Gatorade
3)      Nathan

As always, my reviews are based on my own observations.  My objective is value.   I may not always choose the best product due to price, but I am not looking for the cheapest product either.  I am not being compensated for my reviews and my allegiance is to you the reader not suppliers or manufactures.  If you have questions and/or comments I am always happy to hear from you.

---Give Away---

Nuun was nice enough to offer my readers some of their tablets.  2 people will win 3 tubes of Nuun tablets (that is 36 tablets) in their most popular flavors: Tri-Berry, Lemon Lime, and Citrus Fruit.  In order to enter the contest you must, in separate entries, do one or more of the following.  Each entry will equal one chance of winning.  Up to 5 chances per person.  Qualifying entries must be listed in comment section of this post.  This give away will end Friday Oct 29th at 6pm. 

1)      Become a follower of my page or let me know that you are a follower
2)      Join Christas Fitness Challenge on Facebook   or let me know you are already a member
3)      Like Nuun on Facebook
4)      Announce my give a away on your page /facebook/ twitter
5)      Add me to your blogroll

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fantastic Friday

That is what I tell my kids every Friday as they get on the bus "Have a Fantastic Friday".    (I have a litte phrase for each day)

This not really a post about me but about my kids.  For the past few years they have had Mileage Club at their school .  Mileage Club was done during recess, the kids would run the track and get a stick/ bracelet/ whatever every time they came around to keep track of how far they ran.   For every 5 miles they ran they would get a shoe tag that they could lace into there shoes laces  and then at the end of the year they would get a 'Shoe Award" showing them the exact mileage that they ran during the school year.   How awesome is that!!!

Unfortunately, this year, due to lack of parent involvement they are not having the Mileage Club.  My girls are really bummed.  I told them "Just because you aren't having it at school,  it  doesn't mean we cant do it ourselves".  So we started our own Mileage club this past Wednesday.  My 9 year asked "Do you think I an run a marathon before the school year is out, if you add up all my miles?"  I told her I think you can do it and probably way more".  She is so excited!!!!  So far in the last 2 days she has ran 2.5 miles (  umm it is October, school doesn't get out until June, the rate she is going she could have an Ultra in her future).       We are charting the mileage on the wall.  

I am sure that all of my kids will be racking up the miles as the year goes on-  I will keep you  updated. 
My girls are 9 and 7 and my boys are 4 and 3.    I cant wait to see how many miles we can all clear between now and the first week in June!!!  I may have to add a few miles for myself  today. 

Have a Fantastic Friday!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I just couldn't take it anymore!!!!!!  REST REST REST,  a week of rest. 

I got my 4 year old on the bus, then quickly went and dropped something off at the library.   During my quick drive to the library I saw people running.  AHHHHH They had perfect form.  They looked like they were just flowing down the road.   I decided no more rest.  I know I have a cold, I know I just ran Chicago 1.5 weeks ago. But I cant take it.   I looked in my rear view mirror and my 3 year old son was asleep in his car seat.  WHAT , can I get a run in this afternoon?? I ever so gently picked him up out of his car seat and laid him down in his bed.  (he didn't even move).     I then changed clothes ( I don't think I have ever changed into my running clothes so fast).

OH,  it was like I met a long lost friend.  Me and the treadmill  meet again.  It was weird at first having no specified  mileage to run,   so I just ran.  Started off slow and then at the end of my 3 mile journey cranked her up.    I didn't realize until I got off the treadmill how badly I needed that run!!!!  It felt so nice.

I am officially signed up for the Kalamazoo Marathon.  Let the countdown begin.

I wanted to share a sign someone said they saw during their  Marathon (right around the 20 mile mark)-  I am defiantly going to have to remember this one -  In every WALL there is a window-  Open it!!!  
How awesome is that.  Open the window , don't hit the wall!!  LOVE IT

Hope everyone has a great day.
** I originally posted this message yesterday and called it Wonderful Wednesday,  as I was laying in bed last night it dawned on me, wait a minute it isnt Wednesday, it is Thursday.  Maybe it is the lack of running**

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New training??

Now that the Chicago Marathon is over,  I must move on.  I must move on the to the next race and a new training schedule.   The Kalamazoo Marathon May 8th (hoping for 55 and cloudy), I can dream right.   Most training schedules are about 18 weeks long,  so that puts the start of my training around New Years Day.  What a great way to start of the new year!?!?  New year, new plan, new marathon.  That's right,  this is Kalamazoo's 1st Marathon,  how fun is that.  Kalamazoo( the town right next to where I live), is hosting its first marathon. They have had half marathons for 30 years but this is the first full,  with both a half marathon and 5K that day.   I also just read that Erika over at Chasing my Monkeys 1 mile at a time,  is running this marathon too,  maybe we can have a bloggy meet up!!! 

For my last 2 marathons I have used Hal Higdons Novice Supreme schedule (30 weeks long),  this year I am just looking for a 18 week program.  Now Hal Higdons programs are great,  they have taken me through 4 half marathons and like I said 2 full marathons!!.   But I am feeling like I need more or something different.  Do I just up to Hal Higdons Intermediate program   or do I do a different training program all together?   I am reaching out to you,  any advice would be greatly appreciated.    I dont have any more time than I had with the other training programs but I feel as though I need more,  I dont know what it is that I need-  longer runs, less runs, more runs, etc.....

Between now and the start of the training I have a couple goals
   1)  Complete my 1000 mile trek for 2010, if I did the math right I need to avg about 24 mile per week for this to happen.  (we will see?!?!)
   2)  Work alot on my core strength and upper body.  I figure my legs can take care of themselves with running  but the rest of me can get stronger.  
  3)  Include some speed training.  Now with the weather starting to get cold and the chance of snow really any day ( no did I just say that, ahhhh), most of my winter runs will be inside.  So this will be done on a treadmill.  Any plans that anyone follows for this would be great too?

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday.  My body I think is finally revolting and attacking me full on with this cold that I held at bay during the end of the marathon training.  It is like is it saying 'Ha you are done running, you took a break, you aren't running this out of you anymore'.  I really hate when Mommy is sick, because their is no rest for her!!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Long Overdue Chicago Marathon Recap (beware it is lengthy)!!!!

Wow, it has all come to and end.  The Chicago Marathon is over.  The training time flew by (some days seemed longer than others).  26.2 miles were cleared on Sunday (10/10/10). 

Sunday (October 10th)- MARATHON DAY!!!!     I was awake and ready.  I still wasn’t feeling wonderful as I was fighting the cold that the rest of my family has.  Earlier in the week my ear started hurting so I was on Augmentan   (I didn’t need to attempt a 26.2 mile race with an ear ache).    I was really on the fence about how much to eat before the race.  I had to leave my hotel so early, stand in the corrals for a while and then run for 26.2 miles.   I decided on a bagel with peanut butter and a banana., drank some water and had some Nunn before I headed out.   Headed out of my hotel (Palmer House Hilton) at about 5:40a.  I had plans to meet my friend B at her hotel (Hilton on Michigan) at 6a.   Wow, even on the ½ mile walk from my hotel to hers there were people everywhere.  I saw all the wheelchair racers getting to the start line, what an awe-inspiriting site to see.      I met up the B, and we talked about how we weren’t feeling the best and how the weather was not going to be ideal.  She and I began to strategize; ‘we will start out with the 4:30 group, and just adjust accordingly (how funny that sounds now, I surely adjusted).  After going to the bathroom a couple times at the hotel we headed out to join everyone in the corrals.  45,000 runners are a lot of people to work your way through.  We made our through the gates, and began our duck and weave process to get up to the 4:30 pace group.  Phew, we made it.  It was about 7:10 by the time we got to exactly where we wanted to be.    I was looking around and right next to me was Dan Herman (one of the other diary writers).  I don’t think we could have started the race off that close to each other if we planned it.  It was so nice to start the race off with my friend B to my left and my fellow diary writer Dan to my right.    

The National Anthem always sends chills down by back.  When that song was played there was absolute silence in the corrals, very surreal.  I didn’t hear the starting gun go off, but the people started moving forward.    It took me 15:20 to clear the start line (not to bad considering the amount of runners).  We are off and running. 

Mile 1 - The first mile always chokes me up, and can only smile.  The fan support right here (well and everywhere) is insane.  People are yelling, banging cowbells, you name it.  I love looking up at the bridge and seeing people 3 to 4 deep.    When the race started the 4:30 pace group was right behind me.  I wanted to make sure that I could keep them in my sights (did not want to start to fast).    B and I were commenting that we could smell all the bakeries making cookies. 

Mile 2- First aid station, grabbed some Gatorade.   I didn’t really want that, but then I saw the water farther down the line.  Had a quick swig of water.  I knew my parents would be around here somewhere.  That is the fun part about this marathon, spectators.  Holy molly there is a lot of them.  I spotted my parents, I ran right in front them and was so excited to see them. 

Mile 3 - First 5K, I was holding great.  Actually, I was running a little faster than I wanted to (31:15).  Made the comment to B that we better start slowing down so we don’t die at the end (ha ha, funny to say that now).    Now, the 4-mile trek north bound. 

Mile 4-6 - Still running strong, I was starting to have the urge to go the bathroom (maybe it had something to do with the zillion people that I kept seeing peeling off to do the same).  I didn’t want to stop here because the lines for the port potties were really long, nor was I up for a tree stop.   Earlier when I met B at the hotel, she and others were putting their names on the font of their shirts.  I decided to join in and it turned out to be the best idea.  All the way spectators are yelling your name.  What a boost.  At the aid station at mile six I lost B (wasn’t sure if she was in front or behind me), so I had to continue on without her.  Bummer.    10K mark and still doing well, 1:01

Mile 7- 8 My Bladder was really full now.  Port potties line was nill at mile 8.  I was in and out.  Wow, the Boys town neighborhood is so much fun.  Loud music, cheerleaders- awesome!!! 

Mile 9- 12 - I was starting not to feel well.   Come on, really, this is only the first half of the race.  I had give myself a pep talk; “it’s just getting hot out (the conditions are not ideal) just go for it and do what you can”.  I had taken some sports beans and chomps up to this point and was cruising along.   There were some wonderful spectators on the left that had bags of oranges, yummy, grabbed one of those.  That gave me a little rejuvenation.  The shade felt very nice through down town.  The heat radiating off the buildings was hot but the shade felt nice.  

Mile 13 - Saw my parents again, my eyes were scanning and scanning.  There they were.  They asked me how I was doing.  I said, “Doing ok, just starting to get hot”.  At this point in the race, I think it was about 69.  I had fallen a little off my time but my outside goal (4:48) was still obtainable.  I was holding about a 10:50 pace.  I knew, after running this marathon last year that the back half was going to be rough.  Not much shade in my future.  The marathon alert level at the point was up to yellow. Conditions were deteriorating.  This is a slippery slope.  The longer you are on the course the worse it gets.  The worse it gets the longer it takes.

Mile 14 - Entering into the Charity Block party.  Wow, what festive area.   I knew that my friend S (the one that cried and took pictures during my 20 mile run) and family were going to be there.  She saw me and was jumping up and down with such excitement.  I asked her if she had seen B, she said,  “Yes, she is not that far in front of you”.   I was so excited she was still in the race.  I was starting to get frustrated though.  I know that B could dig really deep and I had a feeling she was going to blow me out of the water.  I had to keep going.  Being a Diary Writer was a huge force in keeping me alive in the race.  I have to finish my journey.   

Miles 15-17 These miles were rough, very sunny! My stomach was flipping over, and I was feeling really nauseous.  I never did get sick but no matter what I was taking (water, Gatorade, sports beans, etc…) were not settling well.   I was hoping to see my parents around mile 16 but missed them totally.  I knew they were there and that was enough.  

Mile 18 –20  My body was getting very stiff.  It was starting to hurt to run (not a good thing when you are in a race).  Not a muscle hurt, a whole body hurt.  I saw someone in front of me throw up on the course, not something you want to see when you aren’t feeling well yourself.   I was walking at this point, I felt bad, guilty, sick, depressed, and you name it.  It is hard for words to describe unless you have experienced it yourself.  “I CANT KEEP WALKING”. “This is the Chicago Marathon I need to run”.   It became a mental race at this point,  just complete it (I knew my goal time was way out of the window, since the 5:00 pace group had passed me).  At this point my new goal was to at least beat last years time.   At the corner of Halstead and 18th (I think) I saw a bank sign with the temperature on it, 89 degrees.  I was running, walking, whatever, and  I was doing it in 89 degrees.  Finish was the only thing on my mind.    

Mile 21 - Right before the entrance into China town I saw the alert level was up to Red.  Oh man, there is only one more level to go.  As much as I was in pain, and not really enjoying getting beat by the heat, I wanted to finish.  I know it sounds weird to say that I didn’t feel good; I was really tired (I could of just laid right there in the middle of the road and went to sleep).  I wont let the course beat me. I WANTED TO FINISH THIS RACE. 

Mile 22-23 I saw that there were bananas left at the aid stations (last year there were none left).  I had half of a banana and threw the other half on the ground.  As good as a banana sounded, it didn’t taste very good (at least at the moment).     I was drinking so much water but I couldn’t quench my thirst.  I knew that I was getting very dehydrated.  I had 4 miles to go, only 4miles.   One more big turn, and straight down Michigan Avenue.  I was getting really really slow but kept putting one foot in front of the other. 

Mile 24 - I made the turn onto Michigan Ave.    There were signs on the side of the road that said “DIG DEEP”, and I started laughing.  I had dug so deep up until that point that if I dug any deeper I would be in China.  They’re where crazy amounts of spectators throughout the course, but the energy level is starting to pick back up. I swear I could see the crowds at the finish line.  I was running a little but sadly walking more. 

Mile 25 - 26  Not much farther ,  I can do this.  I knew at this point I could crawl the rest of the way in and beat my time from last year.  A 5:15 pacer passed me and one of the other runners asked him if he was on mark.  We both got evil eyes ( I am guessing that was a no).  Not that that is supposed to comfort me, but to know that the pacers even fall off time made me feel a little better.    My parents said that they would be at mile 25 ¾.  I was scanning and scanning but at the same time I was just focused on the big screen that was the corner of Roosevelt and Michigan (knowing that all I had to do was make that final little hill and then run the last 2).   My dad jumped out onto the course (he said he had been yelling my name but I didn’t hear him).  He was so excited to see me.  He gave me 2 thumbs up and said, “You’ve got this, you are going to finish”.  Wow, parents!!!   I was so spent at this point, it hurt to move, but my Dad and Mom were so proud of me despite my horrible time.  This gave me the motivation I needed for the last 2.    I dug really deep and ran through the finish!!!!!

26.2 miles.  -  I said that I wanted to give it everything that I had.  Well, I did do that.  Was it the race that I wanted?   No!!!  Did I finish knowing that I did what I could despite the circumstances?   Yes!!!  I came through the finish line and almost passed out (the lady in front me dropped right at my feet).  I walked for a little bit, got my medal and then my body started revolting.  I walked over to the curb and sat down.  Of course, they don’t want you sit here.  The workers said, “You cant sit here, you need to get up and stretch”.   I could hear the lady, but I just let her keep saying it until she made it all the way down to me.  I told her, “if I stand up I am going to pass out or throw up on you”.  I was done!!!  One of the incredible volunteers went and got me some water and a bagel. They said,” You need to eat and get fuel in your body”.   I tried; I drank some water and ate one bite of bagel.  Sat there for a few minutes and then got up and started to walk down towards the meet and greet area.  Somewhere in there,  I got my picture taken (I don’t really remember that).  I was getting really dizzy and light headed.  I noticed some wheel chairs not that far from where I was.  I walked over to them, grabbed the side of one, scorched to my knees and stopped for a few minutes.  This was crazy.  I had never ever experienced anything like this before.   One of the medical personal came over to me and asked if I was ok.  I said “NO”.  They had me get in the wheel chair and they took me right to the Balbo Medical Tent.  This was defiantly not the end of the race that I dreaming of.  They took my blood pressure and it was way low.  They piled all kinds of ice all over me, under my neck, on my forehead, etc…  They lifted my feet up trying to get the blood pressure back up to rest of my body.  They wanted me to drink, but I couldn’t do it.  I knew I had to, but I just couldn’t stomach the water.  So, since I was feeling sick they ended up giving me an IV in order to get fluids back in me.    The coolness of the IV and the piles of ice finally cooled my body off so then I got freezing cold.  How funny is that, 80 some degrees, 5 hours of sweating and now I am freezing.  So, I went from ice packs to warming blankets.   After about 30 minutes I was good to go. 

After a quick shower (not much extra rest time, because of the medical tent intervention) we headed out for a Celebration dinner at Smith and Wollensky’s .   The body is an amazing thing.  I was just in the medical tent and now I’m off for a night on the town.  I wore my medal out to dinner, feeling very proud that I finished.  A little old man came up to me and asked if I had won the race.  I laughed and said,  “No I didn’t win the race but I won the battle, I finished!!!!”

As a diary writer we are supposed to be inspiriting and not scaring you away from running (this or any other marathons).  So, after this was all done I hade time to think about what happened, what went wrong?   This run was so frustrating for me (as most of training went well, especially my 20 mile run).    I am very frustrated but not defeated!!!!  Here are my conclusions of what happened.    I had been fighting a cold and then an earache.  I did not know (until we started researching) that prescription medicine can throw off your sodium /potassium levels, especially when exercising.  That could have been an issue: Problem 1.   Due to traveling in for the race, did I hydrate correctly, eat correctly, and sleep properly?  Probably not:  Problem 2.  Then the one factor that none of us could control, the weather!!!   I just read in Runners World Magazine, the ideal temperature for a marathon is 50.  For every 10 degrees of increase you lose 3% of your overall time.  Well, since the temperature was 65 to start off with, we were all ready in the negative.  The weather station said on Monday, that it officially got to 84 (but like I said I think it was hotter down town).  So if that were case I would already be about 10% off my overall time: Problem 3.  Did I train hard enough; have enough long runs, train in adverse conditions?   Problem 4.           

My husband stayed home with all of our kids, because we figured that it would just be easier than trekking them all over town (we did that last year and they were miserable).    Of course last year it was 35 and this year it was in the 80’s.  My family tracked me through the tracking system.  That was nice.  I will admit, that when I got home and saw my husband I cried.  This was not the finish to my marathon journey that I wanted!!!
I did improve my time from last year (6:05), so I have to look at the positives.  Neither year has been the best, last year I was coming off an IT Band injury and this year well, heat.    Maybe my next Marathon will be in ideal conditions.  Yes, I am going to do this again.   I have to see what I can really achieve.  I know that I have more; I believe that I can do better.

As for my friend B, she finished 15 minutes in front of me.  She too, along with most of the people running, took a beating from the heat.  She ran a few miles with Dan (one of the dairy writers), after she lost me at mile 6.  Then she lost him at another water station too.   I want to extend a HUGE thank you to her for trusting me (and others) when we told her that she could become a marathon runner!!! You did it.   On a sad note for me, this was our last run together as B and her family are moving to Colorado.  Maybe someday we will get to lace up our shoes and run together again!!! 

I am going to leave with something that Dan Herman sent in email to me and B

Marathoning is a strange thing.  After spending so much time preparing for it, we are left with "this".  Some elation for surviving, some sadness that it is over.  Plenty of questions as to what is next. 

Wow, if  you made it this far in my post- Thank you,  it is so hard trying to summarize what you experience in a marathon.  !!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I finished...... that is all I can say

Just wanted to let everyone know I finished.  No where near my goal times,  very disappointing.  Lets just say-  65 degrees at the beginning and 85 + degrees for the last 13 miles.    It was BRUTAL!!!

I will come back with more details soon,  but I did finish!!  In a not so glorious 5:41. BLAH!!  But I finished  and got my medal. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

  My mind is just a flutter in anticipation for Sunday.  Today was my last run, 2 miles,  it seemed really wierd to just go run 2 miles .  That was it, marathon training (for this marathon that is) is over-  479.8 miles.  Is that enough?  I think so!!!  I know that lots of people run many more miles than that but I followed the training program.  I am ready!!! 

You know what I love, is seeing other people running while driving through town.  What I love even more is when my kids spot them.  Yesterday I was out doing errands and my 4 yr old son just yells out ' Mom, mom there's is runner'.   How cool is that?!

Lots of people have posted their goals for their marathons. I am some what heistate, why I am not sure , but here it goes. 

1) 4:48  I announced way back when this training started,  that is 11 min/ mile.  But I have not ran that speed all training.  Funny how you set your  intial goals and then you get faster throughout. 

2)  4:34  This is the pace that I kept for my 20 mile run ( but we took our dilly dally time through all our water stations), so I am thinking I have faster in me

3) 4:30 This is holding a 10:18  min /mile.  (This is the pace group that I am starting with, basically my starting spot amongst 45,000 runners)  I would be super happy!! 

4) 4:22 This is holding a 10 min/ mile ( I would be ecstatic!!! )

5)  anything faster than that I would be flipping over jumping for joy.

Last year I ran this marathon, coming off of an IT band injury.  No running for the 6 weeks prior to the race.   Not fulfilling all the training,  yet I still finished in the allotted time 6:05.  Not the prettiest time by any means but I finished, and that was all my goal was.    This year though, I am going out for vengeance,  I want to give it all I have.