Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pre-Race in Eugene

I'm back from Eugene, Oregon. What a fun trip!  In case, you didn't hear, I scored a new marathon P.R.  But I'll save those details for another day. Today's post is about everything before the big race.

I spent pretty much all day on Friday traveling from Illinois to Oregon. I used the long flights to study the course map, prepare my mental game and conduct a proper race visualization. I tried to figure out where my rough spots would be, how I'd feel, and how to push forward. I memorized my mantras and locked down a fueling plan. By time I exited the plane, I was pumped up and ready to run.

I flew into Portland and was instantly in love with the scenery. It was so different from Illinois with rolling mountains (what we call hills in Illinois don't even compare!). Everything was in full bloom and so green compared to home. I felt like I stepped right into summertime and it was gorgeous. It was perfect weather for my entire stay - until the downpour rain on my return drive to the airport on Monday - but it's not a true northwest experience unless it rains, right?!

Kim from (Just) Trying is for Little Girls graciously hosted me for several nights of my Oregon visit. We hung out in Albany, an hour north of Eugene, for the first evening. My body was completely off kilter from the time zone change. I slept horrible and had eye problems throughout the night. Come morning, my left eye was beat red with a big white spot on the iris and incredibly sensitive to light. Kim and Alma navigated our trip to Eugene while I hid in the backseat trying to ice my eye with a water cup. Hilarious in hindsight and yet at the time, I wanted to cry...

Once in Eugene, we hit up Off the Waffle and VooDoo Doughnuts, which I'm told is a must-visit in Eugene. After years of working in bakeries and frying doughnuts, I'm not much of a morning-food kind of gal... so I stuck with my typical Luna bar and coffee. With 26.2 facing me the next day, I wanted to stick to my regular routine of food, avoid sweets, and that "heavy" feeling I get from overeating.

SHAKEOUT RUN on Pre's Trail
I watched all the Pre movies leading up to this trip to Eugene. The story of Steve Prefontaine touched me and I was excited to be on his hallowed ground... running in the footsteps of legends!!  It was not a letdown. The paths of Pre's Trail that wound through Alton Baker Park were absolutely gorgeous. Tucked away in the center of the city, these red-bark lined trails were surrounded with serene wilderness. I loved every step I took, but was careful not to run too fast or too long. I think we did about 3 miles. By far, this was the best part of my trip to Eugene!  If you are a runner and making your one and only trip to Eugene, I highly recommend Pre's Trail. Plus I got to meetup with Harmony, Megan, Traci and Amanda. It was so nice to meet you ladies - thanks for running with me!

After running in Pre's footsteps, we then ventured up the winding hill to visit Pre's Rock... the humble site where Steve Prefontaine was tragically killed. Nothing spectacular, but again, if you're a runner and relate to his story, then Pre's Rock is a must see in Eugene.

From there, we also caught some amazing views...

I don't like to eat a heavy dinner before raceday. Instead, I try to make lunch my carb meal. After our visit to Pre's Rock, we headed to Track Town Pizza, where I had the most delicious chicken pesto and artichoke pizza. Yummy!

I was saving my spending cash for this. I was determined to PR this marathon and thus was ready to buy a really cool piece of running apparel that had Eugene Marathon splashed all over it. Disappointment as soon as we walked in. The "store" was barren... very little left on Saturday afternoon. I eventually picked out a cotton t-shirt in one size too big and called it a day. Boo.

But we snapped some cool photos at the Track Town USA area...

I hurried over to the ProCompression booth because I needed the right size in my black compresssion socks. Sara aka Skinny Runner was sponsored by PC for the race, so I chatted it up with her for awhile.  We made quick work of the expo. It was smaller than I expected. The race shirts ran small, so of course mine didn't fit and there was nothing available bigger. I had to switch to a men's style. {sigh} I left the expo feeling a bit disappointed, tired and ready to put my legs up to rest.  Plus, my eye was still stinging like crazy.

Once at the hotel, I laid down for a much-needed nap. I grabbed a quick salad for dinner and then crawled back into bed before 8pm. I needed good sleep and prayed my eye would heal overnight. Sunday was a big day for me and I had to start framing my PR state-of-mind.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Marathon Goals - The Guessing Game

I wish I could be the type of runner who runs a race and says, "Whatever. I'll be happy if I just finish."

But... I'm not. It's one of the reasons I continue to enter races over and over. I have an internal drive to grow, to learn from each race experience, to get faster, to go longer... Call it competition if you will, but I'm only competing against myself (Unless you happen to be the person in front of me in the finishing chute, then I'm out to mow you down.)  

With each training cycle, I usually have a pretty good feel for my capabilities at the end. The Eugene Marathon on Sunday is my 'A' race this spring, which means I'm going for it. All out. No holds barred. Nothing left at the finish. Empty tank. Hopefully, it will be enough to bring home a new P.R.

I'm always comparing myself to where I was last spring (my marathon PR) - which in my heart, I was in my best shape... healthy, strong and at a training peak. Here's the components I mull over in determining my RACE GOAL...
{the ability to exert oneself and remain active for a long period of time, and the ability to resist, withstand and recover from fatigue}  I haven't completed as many 20+ long runs as I wanted in prep for Eugene. I'm not as overly confident in this area as I was last spring, especially since I kinda fell apart in the last 10k of Little Rock.  The earlier I push the pace, the less endurance I'll have. The closer I come to even splits, the better I'll perform late in the race.

{the magnitude of velocity in changing position or moving distance}  My happy pace is right at the 10 min/mile. Although in the past few months, my daily runs have been pushing that pace lower on a consistent basis. My original goal (back in Jan) was a 9:45 average pace at Eugene. I'm not sure if I'm quite there yet for 26.2 miles, but I am going to try and hold it below 10. Hopefully, it won't kick my booty in the late miles.

{the ability of a person to exert force using muscles}  This is one area of physical training that I feel like I'm stronger than ever before. I have welcomed hill work into my running this go-around. I cross-train in Spinning with a ridiculous amount of hills. And I've done strength training exercises for my arms, legs, and core several times a week. A complete 180 from where I was last year - when all I did was add up miles. Will it make a difference? Will it pay off?

{the mindset or set of assumptions within a person that creates a powerful incentive to adopt, accept or change behaviors, choices and actions}  To be honest, my mindset during training was off kilter. However, after some good runs lately, I'm suddenly optimistic. I have a lot going on this week with Little Girl's birthday, but when I leave Friday morning for Eugene, I will be solo and ready to focus solely on the marathon. I've got a long flight to the West Coast, and I plan to use it for race visualization to prep myself. It's hard to know where your head will go during a 26 mile run. My past experiences have given me a lot to learn from, but not a good prediction. I was determined and excited in Quad Cities, extremely focused during Wisconsin... lost, bored and ready to quit during Route 66 and Little Rock. (I won't lie - the hills broke my spirit in those last two). 

My goal is to P.R. no doubt. We'll find out if it's feesible come Sunday...


Marathon #1 - Quad Cities Marathon, Sept 2011
4:43:27  (10:49 pace)

Marathon #2 - Wisconsin Marathon, May 2012
4:18:56  (9:53 pace)

Marathon #3 - Route 66 Marathon, Nov 2012
4:40:31  (10:30 pace) 
*race included detour mileage

Marathon #4 - Little Rock Marathon, March 2013
4:36:51  (10:34 pace)

Marathon #5 - Eugene Marathon, April 2013
What will my time be????
It a GUESSING GAME... Anyone's call!

Leave a comment below with your guess to my FINISH TIME in the Eugene Marathon this Sunday. Whoever comes the closest to my official chip time will win a
$25 Amazon.com Gift Card!  
Must enter before the race start - 7:00 a.m. PST on 4/28/13. 
Entries after that date/time will be void from contest.
Winner announced Tuesday, April 30, 2013 on my Facebook page.

  P.S. If you want to track me on Sunday, the Eugene Marathon starts at 7:00 am PST.
My bib number is #3635. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Back to Bike Mode

I'm trying to get ahead of myself this week... and think beyond Sunday's marathon. I plan my year of training so that the hard work falls in winter, spring, and fall... leaving the bulk of summer to relax a bit. I stay active, but there's no serious training to stress me out. With the kids out of school, free time is limited. It's treasured time to spend lazy days by the pool and at the park with my family. As the kids have now grown into school age, I'm realizing more how precious each year can be... and how quickly they fly.  So... no matter what happens at the Eugene finish line this Sunday, it will be my last full marathon of the year. Don't worry, I'll still be racing a lot of shorter races, but the marathon training just sucks me dry and swallows me whole. I'm done for awhile.

With spring slowly arriving, I'm anxious to get back on the bike. While training for my first triathlon last year, I absolutely fell in love with cycling. I bought a new road bike, and we've lived happily ever after. Well, except for those couple flat tires...
Me and the purple Royal Majesty at her first race!

I initially wanted to tackle a century ride (100 mile bike) this year... Door County Century to be exact. However, it falls on my hubby's work weekend, so those eager plans were quickly laid to rest. I was bumming and on the hunt for a bike event that fit my calling. So when the event coordinators at Venus de Miles contacted me, I was thrilled!! I had heard lengthy stories about this event from my friend Amanda, who rode the inaugural IL ride in 2012.

Venus de Miles is a women's only event, offering the option of a 25 or 61 mile ride. You can be a serious hardcore cyclist, or a recreational biker out for an enjoyable morning ride. The cycling event is hosted in Lake County, just north of Chicago, on Sunday, July 28, 2013.  Check your calendar, dust off that bike, and join me for a special bike ride amongst amazing women. I'm going for 61 miles.... how about you?!

Besides a good time with the girls, 
here's what's included in the Venus de Miles registration...
→ A Venus de Miles t-shirt (It's a women's race... the shirt is actually neat looking!)
→ A re-energizing, post-ride gourmet lunch
→ Complimentary spa services provided by Tricoci Beauty University (facials, manis, pedis, O-MY!)
→ Complimentary massage services provided by NuVie Skin and Wellness
→ Opportunity to test Trek Women bikes
→ Vendor’s expo with unique gear and treats
→ Beer provided by Goose Island Beer (Say YUM! You had me at beer...)
→ Wine provided by 
Terlato Wines (Did someone say WINE?!)
→ Cocktails provided by North Shore Distillery
→ Meet several of the Greenhouse Scholars, to whom the race benefits
→ Enjoy gourmet ice cream, provided by Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (Hello?! My favorite treat!)
→ A fully supported ride experience complete with medical, mechanical, and over 100 volunteers

Check out this video montage from the 2012 event...

Proud to represent central Illinois as a 2013 Venus de Miles Ambassador

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekend Wrap

Heading into marathon week, I've taken great precision with this past week. The focus I've lacked during this training cycle suddenly seems to have arrived. Better late than never.

I've been fairly diligent about eating well and drinking water this past week, resulting in the disappearance of five pounds. I'm still about 10 pounds heavier right now than my marathon PR last spring. I can really feel the difference that extra weight brings. Let's be honest, the less weight my feet/legs have to carry, the better. It just hurts less... and I go faster. So... if I can scrap a few more pounds before the big day, that's a good thing.

I had my final double-digit run today. I actually reverted back to following the plan... 10 miles at 9:44 pace was the dictated task.
Actual: 10.3 miles at a 9:36 pace.
Woah! That felt amazing! It was exactly the confidence run I needed heading into marathon week. Best of all, it didn't feel overly labored... although I still can not imagine holding that pace for another 16 miles!

Several people have asked me what my workout plan would entail for the week leading up to the marathon. So I'm sharing this week's plan below...
Mon - Easy Run, Spin + Core Strength (teach)
Tues - Spin (teach)
Wed - Run short tempo
Thur - Rest / Little Girl's 5th Birthday!
Fri - Rest / Travel Day
Sat - 2-3 mile shakeout run in Eugene (details below)
Sun - Eugene Marathon... 26.2 baby!

I'd love to meet you!  Join me Saturday, April 27th at 10:00am for a shake-out run (or walk) on the famous Pre's Trail in Alton Baker Park. Entrance is located off Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd near Autzen Stadium. Afterward, we'll be hitting Track Town Pizza for lunch. I'll be at the race expo in the afternoon.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tasks of the Taper

With ten days to go before my 'A' race of the spring, I'm keeping myself focused and trying to make the best of these remaining days.  Here's how I'm occupying the taper for marathon #5...

On Monday, I completed my last long run. It was tricky timing to squeeze it in during my daughter's preschool.  I managed nearly 14 miles at a 9:50 pace. That's fairly good for me, especially for my first run back after the flu.  The satisfaction I felt over the run was quickly squashed by the tragedy of Boston shortly thereafter. This one really hit me... I mean shook me to the core, but I refuse to let it take anything away from my next race. Instead, I hope to channel it for strength.

I go about this several ways... 
1) I love watching movies about running. I watched Spirit of the Marathon before my first marathon and it totally moved me. Since I'm running Eugene this time, I borrowed a pile of movies from a friend about Steve Prefontaine. He was a legendary runner from Oregon who championed the sport into a new era. Unfortunately, he was killed in a car accident (1975) at the height of his prime, but still today many of America's long distance-running records belong to him. The movies are both inspiring and entertaining.

2) Go back in time and read my past marathon race recaps: Quad Cities, Wisconsin, Route 66, Little Rock.  I learn a lot about myself and I find it helpful preparation to read these past endeavors of  26.2.
Marathons #1 thru #4... Quad CitiesWisconsinRoute 66Little Rock
I hope to add a 5th big smile to this lineup real soon!

When I selected Eugene for my spring race, it was because of the PR-worthy course that it presents. I wanted to beat my PR - specifically to get under 4:15. Unfortunately, my training hasn't gone as planned. {sigh} So I can't go into Eugene expecting a killer time without the required training. I'm trying to better evaluate my present fitness/endurance level to find a reasonable goal. Today, I did a round of 800m intervals to get an idea of where I stand with the Yasso 800 test.  More to come on my goal...

Time ran away from me this spring. Shockingly, I haven't had the time to come up with a cute new outfit. With comfort and functionality key in a marathon run, I'm pulling out an old reliable... 
• SkirtSports skirt (with storage pockets on the shorts underneath). This is one of their older GymGirl Ultra skirts. Since then, they changed the shorts underneath and they don't fit me the same anymore. So I really treasure their "old" version.
• Black tank top - added my moniker on the back, thanks to RunnerDecals. So if you run up from behind (and pass me), you'll know it's me!
• ProCompression socks - these are a must on long runs to baby my calf muscles.

Now that we are 10 days out, the weather stalking may now commense. I find myself checking it several times a day, not that it ever changes (or is right).

I don't normally run with music, but I do come prepared. I hide a little ipod shuffle under my race shirt - loaded with about 20 of my go-to "dig-deep" songs. I usually plug in between miles 21-25 when I start to struggle.

After months of preparation, I'm still turmoiled over a very girly problem... what shoes to wear for the big day?? I've trained in many different kind over this training cycle. Honestly, none of them are perfect. Yes, I have my favorites (that make me feel light and fast), but they're not enough cushioning for the long haul. So each day, I continue to run in a different shoe and try to weed them out...

Running an out-of-town race with extensive travel is not always easy. I like to be well prepared so little-to-none goes wrong. I'm double-checking my reservations, making plans with other runners, and lining up babysitters for needed days. I also visited the Eugene website today and read through all the race details of packet pickup, policies, etc. Most races are the same, but every once in awhile, one will surprise me... and with a marathon, I don't like surprises. I set up my runner tracking and found out my bib number - elated with an odd number #3635

I'm not sure why, but I always feel the need to be pimped up for big races... new haircut, perfectly polished nails and just overall personal primping. However, I always do this 10-14 days before the race. This is important - just in case you cut a toenail too short, there is time to heal before raceday. I baby my hardworked feet by rolling them on my massage ball and soaking them in epsom salt.  I like to drop in a little lavender for a relaxing smell. In the week leading up to the race, I try to get extra sleep. For me, that means a pre-10pm bedtime.

After all this, I have my daughter's birthday party to pull off... the night before I leave. She is so so excited, and I am so so emotional over by baby turning five. {deep breathe}  I got this.

I'd love to meet you!  Join me Saturday, April 27th at 10:00am for a shake-out run (or walk) on the famous Pre's Trail in Alton Baker Park. Entrance is located off Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd near Autzen Stadium. Afterward, we'll be hitting Track Town Pizza for lunch. I'll be at the race expo in the afternoon. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Finish Line 4.15.13

I awoke on Monday, April 15 with a renewed spirit... and ended the day with exhausted heartache.

I began the day with vigor. After the flu had overtaken me for several days, I was back to good health. I had worked feveriously the day before to complete our taxes - a huge job that I dread each year, thus always taking it right up to the deadline. Now it was time for me to get back on track with "the marathon". I needed one solid long run before I could faithfully commit to "the taper" phase of my training.

I ran nearly 14 miles, simultaneous to the running of the Boston Marathon. Once home, I flipped on the highlight reel from the women's race. With marathon thoughts reeling in my own mind, I was moved by the running of these incredible ladies. In fact, I cried... tears of joy, tears of pride for people I didn't even know. I was so moved by the feat of endurance that these runners had completed. The Marathon Finish Line is a coveted, near magical place.

So imagine my surprise when my mom called to tell me to turn on the news. I watched in shock, in horror, to see the ultimate Marathon Finish Line being destroyed with terror.  To take an event that celebrates LIFE and turn it into tragedy is just pure evil. I've become so frustrated and distraught with the destructive nature of our world. It's not just these big catastrophes, but the daily hatred and meanness I see in our communities. It's elevated to such a level that scares me. How do we explain this to our children? Where are we safe?  Will it ever stop?  I never classified myself as an overly religious person, but I've been turning to prayer a lot these days. I feel confused in this world... and for the first time, I feel truly lost for real answers.

Wear A Race Shirt
To show solidarity and strength for Boston, there is a wide spread movement to wear a race shirt today... anyone you got. As soon as I got up, I browsed through my drawers trying to decide which one to wear. Eventually, I landed on my Air Force Marathon shirt. Big Girl has been deeply interested and moved by these events too - asking lots of questions and needing lots of hugs. So this morning, she eagerly wore her own race shirt to school.

Virtual Run - Runners United to Remember
As runners, we are naturally drawn to the pavement when controversy or tragedy hits. It's just how we deal with life's ups and downs.  RunJunkees were quick to put together a virtual run to both honor the victims and display unity in the running community.  The Facebook event can be found here with more details. There is no cost for this virtual race - just print out the race bib (found here) and run or walk.  I will be running this naked - just me and my prayers for whatever distance I feel.

Go the extra mile.
Let's make this world a better place!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Race Recap: Bels Race For Your Heart 10K

On Saturday, I woke up ready for a rest day... but rest, I did not.  Instead, I gradually pulled myself out of bed and made my way to the small community of Washington, IL. Bels Second Chance - Race For Your Heart was a local race, but still a 20 minute drive for me. The 9:00am start was later than normal, but it fit my mood perfectly that day.

I had registered for this 10K race for two reasons... 1) We never get local 10k races around here and I love the distance.  2) I wanted to support the cause of a young local girl who had gone through numerous heart transplant surgeries. Read the full story here. Having two little girls of my own, the story touched me.

Initially, the 6.2 mile distance was planned to be the end of a 20-miler that day. Due to bad planning and overworked legs, I decided to forego the long run and just be happy with a 10k race. I arrived about 20 minutes before the start, met up with some of my Sole Sisters and then strolled to the start. I just love the ease of small local races.
Dang, I'm short...
The weather was deceiving. It was warm temps, but the fierce wind made it chilly. I should know better, but I left my jacket on. As we lined up, I made a last minute decision to pin my bib on my capris. A quarter mile into the race, I was already tying my jacket around my waist. Duh.

It felt difficult to get going in the beginning. I can't even express how tired my legs felt from the triple-workout I did the day before. Somehow, I kept the first three miles at a respectable clip and quite consistent: 9:15, 9:14, 9:20.

The course exited the tight city neighborhoods and we ventured out onto country roads. It was wide open fields, so when we turned at mile 3, the wind nearly knocked me over. It was a battle to keep moving forward, especially with the nice rollers in the backhalf. By now, runners were pretty spread out. I felt practically alone, so I kept my eyes focused on a couple ahead... just follow them. Keep them in sight. My legs hurt and my pace slowed. Honestly, I just wanted to be done. By mile 5, I was so freakin' happy to have given up on the notion of a "long run" today.  So rarely is my last mile my slowest... 9:42, 9:26, 9:46.

Photos courtesy of race management

There was a nice little social gathering inside - food spread, live band and results. I was curious about my official time since I once again forgot to stop the watch.

I love races that have instant results onsite!

A 58:33 is a solid run for me, however, my 10k PR is over 4 minutes faster than that.  Rarely, like never, do I place in races, so I had to stick around to claim my 2nd place age group award! Yeah baby! I love when the competition doesn't show up... hee, hee.

Shoe Review: KEEN Mercer Lace CNX

As runners, we rightly focus on the shoes we use to pound the pavement. But what about afterward... when you're chasing the kids around the playground? Running errands around town? Shopping the mall? An evening stroll with your spouse?  It's just as important then to give proper care and support for your hardworking feet. Personally, I don't like my "running shoes" for everyday wear. Not only do my feet crave a change, I just don't want the extra wear on my runners. When I'm not logging miles, I like a lighter, more casual shoe.

Enter the KEEN Mercer Lace CNX...

I discovered these shoes at OnlineShoes.com and was instantly drawn to the design and bright color. When my Mercer Lace CNX shoes arrived, I couldn't wait to wear them around town. However, I didn't read the "Fit Tip" close enough on OnlineShoes.com, and they were a bit roomy on me. These shoes run a 1/2 size on the big side. While I normally wear a size 9 in running shoes, I needed the 8.5 in these Women's KEEN Shoes.  I never mind going down a size, and KEEN was great about sending me a new pair.

Once I had the right size, I quickly fell in love with the Mercer Lace CNX. They are lightweight and comfortable on my feet. I found the midfoot support to be perfect for my natural arch and just enough cushioning in the rubber sole without weighing my foot down.

As described by KEEN Shoes...
"The essential KEEN fit and protection lightened up to make every step a natural connection. The Mercer Lace CNX is a low profile, sporty everyday shoe that is at home in a small outdoor town or strolling the city streets. It features a proprietary, lightweight PU midsole, allowing the foot to move naturally. Multi-directional flex grooves on the sole enable more natural motion, and an integrated, contoured arch and metatarsal ridge provide underfoot support."

Always in a hurry, I'm easily annoyed with laces, so I was delighted with the built-in elastic shoelaces, making it easy to slide the shoes on and off. The shoelaces are adjustable to secure the fit that you find comfortable. When traveling, I found this convenient as I like to prop my feet up on the dash (as hubby drives), but they were quick to slide back on for rest stops.

I recently wore them on our 5 hour drive to Wisconsin and received compliments at every single stop. No joke. We stopped to buy my mom some Easter flowers and I was waiting in the checkout line. The lady from the service counter called out, "Hey you with the cute shoes, come on over here." All the ladies at the counter gathered around to ask about my brightly colored shoes. One lady made such a funny comment (that you'll only hear in Wisconsin)... "If you fall face first in a snow bank, they'll surely be able to spot you!"

The official color of my shoes is Barberry. I describe them as a dark raspberry, but my parents call them red. Whatever the label, these shoes are hot and everyone notices them! The Mercer Lace CNX also come in black, khaki brown and green. The colored fabric is a mixture of mesh and suede, making them durable, yet extremely breathable and comfortable.

Looking for less shoe with more support for summer? My next mission is to find a good supportive pair of flip flops. I'll be checking out the Women's KEEN Sandal collection. There are so many styles and colors to pick from.

What are your GO-TO SHOES 
when you're not running??

These shoes were provided to me by OnlineShoes.com and KEEN Shoes, but the opinions expressed are 100% Jess. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wrap on the Week

I haven't blogged much this week. It's been Spring Break for our house. The kiddos went to Grandma's house, so I should have all the free time in the world, right?! Instead this week seems to have closed in on me. A long to-do list that barely got touched... and no long run. What?!  I have no idea what happened, but the hours and days just disappeared. {sigh} Ever have that feeling?

I had such a deep disappointment sitting in my gut when I went to bed last night. Eugene Marathon is only three weeks off and I missed skipped my chance for a final big run before the taper. I woke up today with a sense that I HAD to run. Seriously, I had less than 30 miles on the week... and I'm suppose to be marathon training?  Thankfully, it was a gorgeous Sunday morning, so I didn't wrestle too hard with the decision to lace up.

Once again, I left the Garmin at home. I needed a run free of expectations, beeps and something telling me I wasn't doing it good enough. Sure, I like to know my pace at the end of the run, but it can also have a negative effect on my morale. After racing a 10K yesterday morning, my legs felt sluggish. I knew whatever pace I ran would not be satisfactory to my overzealous self.  This is about me-vs-me... and all my little flaws. So instead of a disappointing run, I came home with a big exhausted smile and a 7.1 mile total (I map it afterward). I don't need a watch to tell me it was a good run.

As I logged my run into Daily Mile, I realized it was a pretty good week after all....
6 Runs for 35 miles
5 Spinning classes (45 min each)
2 Core Strength sessions (30 min each)
1 Strength Training class (45 min)

Really, it's no wonder my body was telling me to rest. I've been trying to stay in tune with my body during this training cycle - especially since I've added more cross-training due to instructing at the gym. Plus I'm still nursing this darn peroneal tendon. It has not fared well for my mental psyche.

I find this quote from the great marathoner herself repeating in my head...
"Keep varying the program.
Your body will tell you what to do."
~ Joan Benoit Samuelson

How is your training going? 
Do you adjust your training based on how you're feeling? 
Do you think it affects your race day performance?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

#JellyBean Prize Winners

The 3rd annual Jelly Bean virtual race was indeed another smashing success. Thank you to all who participated... over 1000 people! The purpose of my virtual races is all about fun and motivation. I love to see runners uniting together for a run. I love springtime (although the jury is still out on that one). I love the encouragement to step outside our comfort zones with a variety of events... perhaps it was your first 5k, maybe a challenge to get all three runs done, or a push to dust off the bike after a long winter rest. Whatever the race accomplished for you, I'm glad you played along... and hope you enjoyed a jelly bean (or handful) afterward.

I want to first acknowledge the 28 participants who achieved ROCKSTAR status by completing all four events and reporting them... GREAT JOB!
Alicia Burrill   •   Allison Milancewich   •   Amanda Carey   •   Becky Butler
Christine Viota   •   Genie Dietz   •   Jacky Camós      Janet Look
Jason Kriess   •   Jill Weiner   •   Joel Coovert   •   Kallin Anderson
Kim Demary   •   Kyria W.   •   Laura Gay   •   Laura Harms
Lindsay Barnes   •   Lisa Jones   •   Lisa Ngai   •   Lula Carter
Megan Kinney   •   Nancy Capen   •   Pedro Castro   •   Ramona Hasan
Sarah Blissett   •   Suzanne Westenhofer   •   Valerie Butler   •   Victoria Butler

I decided to do a surprise prize drawing amongst these top athletes alone.
The winner of my Grand Prize Pack is... JILL WEINER
It will be a surprise when it arrives - a variety of my favorite things!

Throughout the race, participants have been sharing their photos on my Facebook wall. Click HERE to scroll through and view their pictures. Feel free to post your snapshots as well. I love to see the #JellyBean in action!

Please click on the company names below to patronize their websites.
Winners - No need to contact me. I have your addresses for shipment. 
Should I need a size selection, I'll email you for that information.
Thank you!
 *** WINNERS ***
Carmen Castro
Gigi Becker
Lauren Seserko
Jen Ressler
You've won a NON-SLIP HEADBAND courtesy of BAMR Bands

*** WINNERS ***
Dianne Hollister
Amanda Farmer
Sherry Winkle
Cassie Zell

You've won a PACK OF PERFORMANCE SOCKS from Fitsok

*** WINNERS ***
Tiffany Margolis
Cathie Bradich

You've won a $20 GIFT CARD from Gone For A Run

*** WINNERS ***
Katie DuBois
SarahJeanne Olson

You've won a RAINBOW OF ELASTIC SHOELACES from LockLaces

*** WINNERS ***
Jaclyn Webb
Lori Bonilla

You've won a RUN HAPPY TEE from Milestone Sports Jewelry & Apparel

*** WINNER ***
Erika Soloj

You've won a NUUN PRIZE PACK from Nuun Hydration

*** WINNERS ***
Eric Voita
Erica Agran
Stacey Kirk

You've won a RACER PHOTO FRAME from Racer Frames

*** WINNERS ***
Amy Nelson
Jen McElroy

You've won a $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE from Running Chics

*** WINNERS ***
Danielle Cook
Christina Paul

You've won a RUNNER DRINK TUMBLER from RunnerDecals
Jenna Shaw
You've won a RUNNER CHICK TEE from RunnerDecals

*** WINNER ***
Laura Gay

You've won the Triathlon for Every Woman BOOK from SwimBikeMom

*** WINNERS ***
Lula Carter

You've won a STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLE from ZOOMA Women's Race Series
Suzanne Westenhoger
You've won a RUNNING HAT from ZOOMA Women's Race Series