enjoying every second of life and running


Mental Tricks


Tuesday (1/17):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 44:46, 8:58 Pace)

Yoga 25 Mins

Wednesday (1/18):


Thursday (1/19):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 43:46, 8:46 Pace)

Friday (1/20):


Saturday (1/21):

12 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:42:05, 8:31 Pace)

Sunday (1/22):

3.5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% Incline, 30:05, 8:36 Pace)

9.6 Miles Bike Easy (Trainer, 40:03, 14.38 mph)

Total Running Miles: 25.5

Monday (1/23):

Yoga 45 Mins

8.3 Miles Bike Easy (Trainer, 40:02, 12.44 mph)

Tuesday (1/24):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 43:12, 8:39 Pace)

Wednesday (1/25):

3.5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 30:25, 8:42 Pace)

Thursday (1/26):

10.1 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:23:07, 8:13 Pace)

Friday (1/27):

6.05 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 52:07, 8:37 Pace)

Yoga 25 Mins

Saturday (1/28):

7 Miles Easy w/Pick Ups (Treadmill, 59:03, 8:27 Pace)

Yoga 25 Mins

Sunday (1/29):

21 Miles Long (Treadmill, Boston Course, -3% Incline – +6% Incline, 2:56:54, 8:26 Pace)

Total Running Miles: 53.65

Last week of training didn’t go off as planned. I’ve had some strange leg flutter/pain that has caused weakness on my left side. I backed off my running, iced and eased back into things. The ghost-like symptoms have seemed to subside, but I will keep up with icing and stretching to try and stay in front of it.

My training in general is lighter than last year based on my recovering fitness and work/life schedule. I’m not expecting to set any new land speed records at the Boston Marathon and I am just hopeful to feel strong and have a good race experience.

With every marathon training cycle I’ve noticed that I have a mental check list to feel prepared for an upcoming race. One of those checkpoints is running a long run and feeling like I have a marathon in my legs and could finish the whole thing. That came to me on Sunday’s run. I felt strong enough to see the whole thing through. Now I have to focus on improving my speed with tempo and lactate threshold workouts. However, if my body doesn’t feel fit enough for it then I may have to settle with just getting the miles in and completing the race than setting a new PR.

While running my 21 miler I was thinking about the mental tricks I play to make a run feel shorter. For instance, when I have a mid-week long run of 14 miles or so it can be exhausting to think about after a long day at work. So I will tell myself that it’s 2 – 7 milers. 7 miles out and back is all and somehow it sounds better in my mind. Even if I’m on the treadmill I just envision the run taking place outside and turning around at the 7 mile mark to “head back home” and somehow the treadmill run feels better.

When it came to 21 miles on the treadmill this Sunday I noticed that I have mental tricks to pass the time that stares me in the face. I broke the run up mentally in the following way:

Mile 7 – First hour of running down, less than 2 hours to go! 33% Done!

Mile 8 – First Hammer Gel, yum!

Mile 10.5 – Half way!!

Mile 14 – 2 Hours done, less than 1 hour to go! 66% Done!

Mile 15 – Second Hammer Gel, yum!

Mile 18 – Less than 5K to go!!

Mile 21 – All done!! Bam!!

What mental tricks do you have for long or challenging runs?


Cha Cha Cha Chia

Rob and I love to read books on our iPad and I’ve just finished Dean Karnazes‘ book “Run!”. It’s a MUST read for runners. Dean has such a conversational writing style and the insane adventures he gets into are so inspiring. The man is a machine. We were able to see him speak at Illinois State University October 2010.

We were also fortune to get to meet him at the 2011 Chicago Marathon Expo. He was so kind and engaging, really wanting to get to know everyone that came to see him. He had just a calm and happy demeanor, like talking to a friend instead of meeting a celebrity. In the short time speaking with him and having him sign our bibs you could see how he is in the moment and cherishes every interaction.

Rob is in the middle of reading “Born to Run” and has mentioned on multiple occasions that I need to pick it up next. In the book they highlight the power of the Chia seed. Chia seeds are apparently a superfood that can offer up great health benefits to everyone, especially runners. For a seed, it’s super rich in Omega 3s and protein. One ounce can contain 9% of one’s daily protein intake (for a 2,000 cal diet), 13% of healthy fats, and 42% of one’s daily fiber, plus it also packs a punch of vitamins. Details about the seed can be found here.

Since it’s a seed still in its natural state and not some man-made potion I’m interested in giving it a try and adding it to our diet. I’ve ordered two pounds of the stuff and it sounds like it can be steeped to make tea, baked into breads, and added to smoothies. I have started research on chia seed recipes in anticipation of it arriving on my doorstep. If you have any chia seed recipes to share, please let me know! 🙂 Once I get some time trying the seed out I will post thoughts on incorporating it into drinks and foods.

What running related books are you reading at the moment? Anything to recommend?



Core Energy

adidas has the 2012 Boston Marathon gear available starting today! The color is called “core energy”. In running, I love bold colors so this is perfect. I’ve already placed my purchase of the jacket and the 1/2 zip fleece.

adidas Women’s 2012 Boston Marathon Jacket

I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up getting two like I did last year. You know, backup for a Boston Marathon jacket emergency. 😉 I think I bought two of everything last year, so why not do the same this time around. 😉


Heads Up


Thursday (12/29):

5 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 44:12, 8:41 Pace)

Friday (12/30):

9 Miles General Aerobic (Treadmill, 1:13:34, 8:11 Pace)

Saturday (12/31):

15 Miles Long w/ 8 Miles @ MGP (Treadmill, 2:01:32, 8:07 Pace)

Sunday (1/1):


Weekly Mileage Total: 53.1 Miles

Monday (1/2):

5 Miles Hill (Treadmill, 2-5% Incline, 44:06, 8:50 Pace)

Tuesday (1/3):


Wednesday (1/4):

14 Miles Long (Treadmill, 0-.5% Incline, 1:58:59, 8:30 Pace)

Thursday (1/5):

9 Miles General Aerobic (Treadmill, 1:14:27, 8:17 Pace)

Friday (1/6):

11 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 1:38:24, 8:57 Pace)

Saturday (1/7):

5 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 45:39, 9:08 Pace)

Sunday (1/8):

18 Miles Long (Treamdill, Boston Marathon Course, -3% – 5.5% Incline, 2:33:52, 8:33 Pace)

Weekly Mileage Total: 62 Miles

Monday (1/9):

7 Miles Bike Easy (Trainer, 29:46, 14.11 mph)

Upper body weights

Tuesday (1/10):

9 Miles LT w/ 5 Miles @ HMRP (Treadmill, 1:10:22, 7:50 Pace)

Wednesday (1/11):

Yoga 45 Mins

Thursday (1/12):

14 Miles Med-Long (Treadmill, 1:59:27, 8:32 Pace)

Friday (1/13):

7 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:01:27, 8:47 Pace)

Saturday (1/14):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 43:46, 8:46 Pace)

Sunday (1/15):

10 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:25:44, 8:35 Pace)

Monday (1/16):

18 Miles Long (Treadmill, 2:33:47, 8:33 Pace)

Weekly Mileage Total: 63

Wow I haven’t posted in a while, sorry about that! Rob and I have been super busy with work and house projects. There hasn’t been a lot of noteworthy items with my training, just plugging away at the miles. Central Illinois has some unseasonably great weather, then mixed in with a couple days of snow and freezing temps. All of the climate changes have been hard on my sinuses and I felt down for the count most of this weekend. I tried to run while on sinus meds, but it really whacked me out so I ended up doing my long run on Monday instead. The run went well and I can’t believe Boston is now 12 weeks out! Plus I will have a couple half marathons before that. I can’t wait for 2012 racing season to kick off!


A Fresh Year

I’m already in love with 2012 and it’s just begun. I love the idea of a fresh start. A year in running can bring so much perspective and this is the perfect time of year with no races to come up with a game plan of how to approach the upcoming year.

First a look back at 2011 and the things I loved and things I’ve learned.

Learn) My digestion issues are not to be ignored or taken lightly.

During races I was getting waves of pain that send me running to the bathroom. Gluten has not been my friend. The Chicago Spring Marathon was my ultimate breaking point that showed me I had to take a look at my nutrition. I’ve not been officially diagnosed with celiac disease, but have noticed that omitting gluten has helped my stomach troubles. Now when I even slide on a meal and eat something with gluten I notice within hours, without even having to run a race to find out.

Love) I’m forever changed by the Boston Marathon.

There really is nothing like the Boston Marathon and racing it my first time was an amazing memory that I will cherish forever. I cannot wait to go back in 2012 and experience it again now knowing what to expect. I love the time with Rob in Boston running, going to a Red Sox game, and checking out the historic restaurants and sites. In 2012 we plan to run the 5K the day prior to the race. At 2011 Boston I enjoyed getting to have lunch with Alaina and spend some time seeing the town with her. I was also lucky to have met Natalie while we waited for the bus to Hopkington. Natalie made the wait in athletes village an enjoyable experience and felt like I was hanging out with someone I had known forever.

Learn/Love) Cheering a Marathon is hard on my heart.

Don’t get me wrong, I love cheering on other runners, especially Rob and Drew. At the Illinois Marathon I shouted so loud at Rob and announced to everyone on the street that my husband was coming that everyone else cheered for him too. 🙂 I had just done Boston two weeks prior and since I’m not used to the hills it really worked my legs. Still it was hard to watch everyone in the marathon doing something I wanted to be doing as well. Even if I had the slowest race ever, I could have been out there being a part of the event. 2012 my plan is to race it even after Boston, even if my legs are toast, my heart needs it.

Learn) Numbers are tools and do not define me.

In 2011 I put too much pressure on myself regarding numbers, past PRs, training goal pace, weight, etc. None of the emphasis I put on those numbers helped me, if anything it hurt me. Between my stomach and my piriformis recovery I never gave myself a mental break for not being where I expected to be numbers-wise. I need to use numbers as tools to building my training, but not to beat myself up for not breaking a course time or PR for myself. I won’t be able to control the injuries or adversities I may face in training. Instead I will use the numbers for training and keep my worries on the things I can control and that is consistent training, nutrition, flexibility, strength, and recovery.

I will still share my stats, but knowing it’s one piece of a bigger picture.

For instance December my mileage is coming back to a training level with 210.2 Miles making my end of year running miles total 2,389.1 Miles. More than last year, but only by 100 miles. I lost 8 weeks of training from my injury recovery. I do love seeing that I ran 335 hours in 2011, almost averaging an hour a day in running alone. That just makes me smile because being active is just such an essential part of being healthy and preventing disease. I’m proud and happy to be moving.

Love) I love the wolfpack of course!

Love) I love sharing the love of running.

I love how running is infectious and so many people at our work and in our community have taken up the sport. It’s so accessible and there is always new ways to learn and grow. I love hearing about others accomplishments and it keeps me inspired to keep going. I’ve got to have some fun runs with my friends, finish a half marathon hand in hand with Rob, go to yoga class with Rob and our friends, go shopping and meet up with friends at major race events and post celebrations.

Plus I love getting to meet people that I’ve chatted with through running blogs. And it’s been really fun to run into people at expos at the race event with “Are you FlyRunner?”. It’s the best feeling to have someone introduce themselves and get to thank them in person for reading my posts and keeping in touch. I love hearing about other people’s races. I get just as excited meeting a fellow blog reader or poster like I’m meeting a professional athlete like Kara Goucher, so be prepared for me to a bit nerdy if we meet in person. The running community is full of some of the coolest people and getting to meet people because of blogging is such a bonus!

So for 2012 I wish all of us loads of healthy exercise hours, opportunities to be challenged and push to another level (in ways that may not be measured by a number), to have lots of smiles and to make others smile too. 

♥ Happy New Year! ♥