Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Easy runs aren't always easy

7 miles at recovery pace (8:15)

It actually became more of a progression run. My run started with a 9 mim/mile and gradually went down. I finished with an 8:03 mile.  Average pace: 8:15

Followed by stretching and 50 of each: squats, lunges, front/side/back leg swings, and calf raises

I headed out for my run around 8:15. I had about 80 minutes to run 7 miles, shower, and get ready before it was time to babysit.  Glad I got it in. 

My shin felt great running, but for some reason the second I stopped running it felt like it is going to snap again. Taking a step hurt. After icing right away and stretching it feels better. I don't get it. 

Easy runs should be easy, right? 

I guess that depends. It depends on many factors: hydration, rest days, sickness, mental state, your previous workout, weather conditions, and much more. 

Today's easy run felt easy for my legs but mentally it was tough. I wanted to quit. 

It was more humid than I had anticipated and I noticed my form falling apart throughout the run. I had to remind myself to keep my core tight, focus on my stride length and land on my midsoles. I also noticed my shoulders and arm form getting sloppy. Basically I was all over the place and it wasn't pretty. 

To keep myself moving I kept focusing on each mile and just making it through every mile. I love counting the miles accomplished rather than how many I have left. It keeps me mentally focused. I also kept repeating "you've got this" and "stay strong". I find when I talk to myself during runs it helps me finish feeling strong. 

Running mantras have always helped me finish a workout or a race. So much of running is mental and self talk can keep you mentally strong.  

Next time you feel your run falling apart try repeating a mantra. It should be short, use strong words, and be repeated. 

Running Mantras
Just run
Push yourself 
You are stronger than you think
Stay calm
Stay positive 
Hills are my friend
One mile at a time 
Think strong, be strong
Believe it, become it

Give one a try, or share one you use!

This afternoon I had to drop my husband off on the other side of town for a canoe trip. He was taking his xc team on a 5 mile trip down the river. After dropping him off I was going to head home, put Cole down, clean the house and make sure everything was packed. Unfortunately, Cole fell asleep in the car. 
Not a big deal right? Well for some reason once I get him out of the carseat he doesn't stay asleep for me. 
He thinks the 5 minute nap he took in the car is all he needs. Looks like nap time may be a battle today.  

Enjoy the rest of your day! 

How do you get through a tough workout?
Do you use a running mantra? Which one? 


Good Morning! I am happy to report that the little man slept all night and is still sleeping at 7 am!  I have a hard time sleeping in and was up at 6 am. For some reason I woke up super hungry this morning and just had to go make breakfast right away.  

Terrible picture but it tasted great. Whole grain waffles topped with peanut butter and 1/2 a banana.
And a bowl of frozen blue berries. Yum! I froze a big bag of berries after our trip to the blueberry farm and find myself snacking on them often. PS the Runner's World magazine I was reading yesterday had an article on blueberries. It states they are one of the best antioxidants out there and many other great benefits. 

I took yesterday off from running. I am currently icing and planning to head out for a run in a bit. I am hoping the pain is minimal and I am able to get a good run in. 

This evening we are going out of town until Sunday. That means it's time to start packing. I despise packing. I find that sitting down and creating a list helps make the process more bearable.  These days I have another little person to pack for and find that without a list I tend to forget things. 

Here's my packing list:

4 tops
Camis ( love wearing under shirts) 
2 long sleeve/ sweatshirts
2 shorts
1 Capri
1 jean
Underwear, bras, socks 
Swimsuit and cover up

Shampoo/ conditioner
Makeup bag
Face wash and creams 
Razor and soap 
Salt spray for hair 
Bug spray

Accessories as needed: scarfs, bracelets, running headbands 

1 pair of running shoes
Sports bra
Tank top
Running shorts

Chargers/ electronics:
Phone and charger
Garmin and charger
DVD player for the ride 

For Cole: 
I include much of the same and always remember special blankets/ stuffed animals for sleeping.

Baby shampoo is a must. 
Extra diapers and swim diapers. 
Small bag of favorite toys/books
Puddle jumper
Extra clothes! 
Lots of snacks 
Ergo carrier

I guess now that I made the list I better get packing! 

Have a great Wednesday 

How do you make packing more bearable?
Anything I am forgetting? I am sure their is! 
What are your weekend plans?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

5 years

Happy anniversary to my very best friend. 

It's hard for me believe that we have been married for 5 years. I cannot thank God enough for all the wonderful gifts he has provided us with. I feel so blessed to be able to share everyday with such a supportive, selfless, passionate, family-oriented, and hard-working man.  We have been blessed in so many ways and I feel so very lucky. I know that the future will not always be glorious and wonderful but their is no one else I'd rather spend my life with. 

A look back at the wedding. 

August 2, 2008

Amazing that I am still standing... I'll have to fill you guys in on the ceremony another time:) 

Benefits of Running

I started running in high school but it was very minimal. I would start and quit. It was a love hate relationship that went on for some time. Running is hard and I had a hard time loving it. I would often resort to the elliptical machine. It just seemed easier. 

With time I really began to love the challenge of running. I love so many things. The endorphins after a hard run, the hard work required, sweat and pain felt ironically good. I am sure many other runners out there would agree.  Shortly after ditching the "go to elliptical" I started hitting the pavement and haven't stopped. I love love love what a good run can do for me.

(Please don't think that I am saying using the elliptical is not hard or not a good workout. I actually love that we have an elliptical. It is much easier on the joints, a great way to get your heart rate up, and a total body workout. It is my go to cross-trainer too! I really think any form of working out is awesome. Whether it is going for a walk, swim, run, lifting weight, cross fit, team sports, etc. Find what you love and stick to it. For me it is running, and I'm sticking to it. )

During nap time today I got on the elliptical for a 70 minute session. I always make sure to have a magazine with me when I use the elliptical and a good show to distract me from boringness ( is that a real word?) I would much rather be outside running. However I use the treadmill and elliptical when necessary. Even though today was a run day I decided to cross train. My shin hurts pretty bad. I'm icing and stretching and trying to give the pounding a break. 

While i used the elliptical I read my "Runner's World" magazine and watched House Hunters. Runner's World had a great article titled Body of Evidence.  
You can tell it has been well read:) 

The article listed the following benefits of running:
(check out the full article at not sure how to link it on my IPad)
1. Grows cartilage 
2. Sharpens hearing
3. Saves your skin
4. Beats migraines 
5. Regenerates muscle
6. Eases anxiety 
7. Prevents cancer
8. Increases brainpower
9. Strengthens bones

Pretty neat, huh? I thought so. I find many other benefits too.

 After a run I feel like I can accomplish anything, I feel energized, and much more productive. For some reason I don't feel the same release after an elliptical session even if I am covered in sweat. A good circuit workout makes me feel strong and energized too but something about a good run makes me feel pretty incredible. 

Running is great workout, but their are so many other ways to workout. Find something you love and stick to it. Regardless of the workout you will find so many benefits associated with it. 

In other news...
 I have always wanted and ERGO baby carrier. I thought I'd wait until we have another child, but I can't pass up a great deal. At Marshall's I found of for $69 and ironically our hiking backpack broke last night. Of course I told the hubby it was a must for the hiking we are doing this weekend. 

Cole and I gave it a try! 

The we went down to the in-laws and Cole got a new pair of fireman boots that he won't take off now.

Dinner was pretty simple tonight. We just reheated chicken from last night, roasted broccoli, and a bag of Farro. 
Nothing fancy but it tasted pretty good. 


What is your favorite way to workout?
What is the biggest benefit you feel from it? 

Tangent Tuesday- cross training, anniversary, and more

Good morning! Cole is still battling his cold and came into our room at 11:30pm. Unfortunately between his restlessness and random cries, I didn't sleep the best.  We woke up at 6:30 and started the day with yogurt bowls.  
Topped with fresh blueberries, 1/2 a banana and some honey. Delicious. 

Tangent Tuesday

1. I have seen some other bloggers do tangent days and I always enjoy them so I thought I'd try it out today since I feel like I have a lot of random things to take about. 

2. I think today might be a cross training day.  My go to cross training workouts are biking, elliptical (because we have one), Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred, or a circuit workout I find on Pinterest or a blog. I typically equate 10 minutes of cross to 1 mile. Since I have 7 miles to run today ( takes me about an hour), if I cross train I plan on doing 70 minutes. I try to run 5 days a week, cross train 1 day, and rest 1 day. Some weeks I replace the cross training with an easy run which isn't the best. I need to work on letting my body recover and getting more cross-training in.  I also try to do 100 squats and lunges after each run to help strengthen my hips.  Three- four days a week I work on abs because a weak core causing everything else to fall apart. 

3. I totally forgot our 5 year anniversary is Friday. We decided not to get any gifts because of some home renovations we are saving up for. I feel that for 5 years I should still get him or make him something. Any ideas?? Time crunch time. I'd really wish I was creative with ideas. 

4. We are heading up to the Dells Wednesday night- Sunday with a some friends of ours. I can't wait! Paul Bunyans, Devil's Lake, mini golf, Safari, swimming and s'mores! 

5. The pond next to our house has a family of muskrats.  A few days ago 4 babies were born. As much as I dislike rats, I find them kinda cute. 

6. I always spend too much $$ on my classroom. This year our school theme is "rock n roll" and I've already spent more than anticipated. 

7. I have been trying to drink a cup of warm lemon water every morning. When I do it consistently I feel so much better.  The chiropractor told me it's one small way to rid my body of toxins 

8. I have and extreme weakness for ice cream, soft serve, or frozen yogurt. I think the past 3 days I've had some. 

9.  Chris made peanut butter blondes Sunday night. I really wish he wouldn't have. They are just to addicting. I think it's obvious my eating hasn't been the best. 

I think I need to send the rest over to the in-laws.

10. I have not blow dried my hair for over a month and a half. This is big for me. I normally feel the need to blow dry my hair everyday. I kinda don't miss it at all. It's a win-win - extra time and healthier hair. 
11. Love the sunglasses above. I love my aviators but needed/wanted sunglasses for running. I don't really love the look of "real running sunglasses" so I gave these Oakley Overtime sunglasses. They are great for running and just everyday wear. 

I hope that you have a wonderful Tuesday. I will report back with my workout.  


1. What is your favorite "treat"?
2. What's your favorite way to cross train?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lovely Weather

It isn't often that we get 70 degree weather in July. I love having the windows open and being able to sit outside.  I would be a happy living in a climate where the temps ranged from 50-75F year round. That won't be happening anytime soon so I will enjoy while its here.
I spent a good 30-40 minutes this morning stretching and icing while playing with Cole and reading books. I felt much better afterwards and decided to head out for 5 easy miles. I was planning on running an 8:15 pace but stayed on the slower side and kept an 8:25 pace. I felt great running but the second I came home my shin felt like it was going to snap. I iced and stretched while playing in the sandbox with Cole. 

I find that compression makes my hip and shins feel so much better so I threw on my compression socks and shorts.

We spent most of the morning playing outside.  Cole kept busy collecting falling walnuts and throwing them in the river. I did squats, lunges, and hip strengthens in the backyard while he played. I plan on doing 15 minutes of abs tonight during the Bachelorette. 

Tonight Chris grilled chicken breast and sautéed spinach while I cut up sweet potato fries. It was a great dinner!
After dinner we wanted to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.  We decided to head out for a hike at a local forest preserve. On our drive we passed a our favorite soft-serve stop and decided it was a must. 

We did our usual 2.5 mile loop at Silver Springs. I love family walks.  I find that they really give us a chance to talk and stay connected. 

As for now. I am icing and watching the Bachelorette.  During our walk my shin really started to bother me. I have 7 miles on the schedule tomorrow. We will see how I feel in the morning. 

What is your favorite way to unwind after a busy day? I love summer walks but during the school year I normally run after Cole goes to bed. 

2 weeks

Good Morning! Our day started off much earlier than I would have liked. Cole was up at 5 this morning. He seems to be coming down with a summer cold.  Poor boy. We watched some cartoons and enjoyed a warm bowl of oatmeal.

It is only 50 degrees this morning. This fall weather is perfect for running but it looks the waterpark won't happen today.

I have a 5 mile recovery run on the schedule for today at an 8:15 pace. After yesterday's 14 miler I am a bit tight. I am currently stretching and icing. My left hip is in need of a good stretch and my calf is pretty tight. I will see how I feel around 8 am. I may opt for a bike ride or use the ellipitcal today.

Last night was so beautiful we took 2 mile walk with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. One of my favorite ways to end a great day is with an evening walk.  Cole also spend some time playing T-ball.


It's hard for me to believe that summer vacation will be over in 2 weeks. I want to make sure I make the most of the next 2 weeks and fill them with all the things that I won't have time for once I go back to work.

The "to accomplish" list:
1. Go to the Dells for the weekend
2. A day trip to Lake Geneva
3. Canoe trip
4. A hiking trip at Devil's Lake or Starved Rock.

We will see how much we really can accomplish. Life will get crazy come August 12th with school starting back up and the official start of Cross Country.

Have a wonderful day! I will report back with my workout this afternoon.

Tell me...
What are you running today?
What's your favorite breakfast?
Any bachelorette viewers out there? I am pretty excited for tonight!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

14 Miles. Done.

Happy Sunday!  Chris took his team to the next town to run 12 miles at 6 am.  So this morning it was just me and Cole. 

He would be back by 9 and then I would be out for my 14 miler.  I fueled up with a big bowl of oatmeal and coffee. 

Well I got it in.  14 miles.  I wish I could say they were glorious, but that wasn't the case today.  Well I take that back, the first half felt great, but the second half was hard and I had to stay in it mentally.  I love to finish my runs feeling strong and great. I think the "not so good runs" really help me become stronger mentally and make appreciate the great runs. 

Cole helped me get ready and was extra cuddly today.  It will be so hard to go back to work in a few weeks.
 Chris, since he is helping me now by "coaching" me, set me out on a 14 mile run @ an 8:30 pace.  The route he told me to run was so hilly.  I swear this hill looks bigger in real life. 

 I think I climbed over 10 climbs.  My hip wasn't happy.  I had to pass my street at mile 12.  I almost quit and went home.  But I dropped my pace and finsihed.  Glad it's done.

First mile, feel great. So happy to be out running.

How my run went down:

Mile 1: 9:23  Why oh Why does our lane have a .5 mile hill.  Every run starts so slow.

Mile 2: 8:21 I feel good.  Glad to be running.  So thankful I get to do what I love

Mile 3: 8:06  I've got this.  My day off yesterday has my legs feeling great.  Minimal shin pain.

Mile 4: 8:17 Two hills.  I can do this.

Mile 5: 8:05  Glad those hills are over, I know their are more to come.

Mile 6: 8:13  Another long gradual hill. 

Mile 7: 8:22 Limestone path feels good, the winds are starting to pick up.  Let's stop and take a picture.

Mile 8: 8:06 Why can't the wind always be at my back.  I see another hill.

Mile 9: 8:30.  That was hard.

Mile 10: 8:20 Why is my pace all over the place today?

Mile 11: 8:38.  I hate this hill over the bridge. 

Mile 12:  MY HIP! ouch.  Do I stop? My house is right there?

Mile 13:  9:04 slow it down and suck it up!

Mile 14:  8:43 FINISH strong.  Walk home.   It's Done!

So I typically am really good at keeping good negitive splits.  Today was not the case.   I was all over the place. 

I plan on stretching, foam rolling, stretching, stretching, and keeping this hip and shin feeling good! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday! 

What are you running today?

It's the perfect running weather, get out there!

Blueberry Picking

Happy Saturday! I'm excited to write my first post :)

This will be place for me to track my running, give advice, and provide motivation.  But I will also share tidbits of my everyday life.  My first post will be just that, me living my life. 

 We started our morning off by sleeping in til 7:30! Cole has been waking up between 5:45-6:15 every morning so it felt great.

Chris typically has practice every morning from 6-9 or10. It was nice to have him home this morning.  After a lazy morning and breakfast we got ready and headed out to a blueberry farm.

I cannot believe how cool it has been. It is only 68 today. I love this cooler weather.  Cole was loving picking blueberries for the first half hour but then decided sticks are more fun. He is such a boy.

So onto running..

I am currently training for the 2013 Chicago Marathon.  However, since having Cole I have been having hip/sciatica issues.  I have been doing lunges, squats, bridges, and leg lifts to help strengthen my hips but it's been a battle. 

I spent the past 6 weeks coaching endurance camp 3 times a week with beginning runners; ages 10-13.  I absolutely loved the 24 kids I worked with.   They were so motivated and so eager to get up and run.

Although, I think running at a different pace has been causing pain in my shins.  Three weeks ago I had an MRI because the pain in my right shin hurt to even walk. The MRI showed a lot of stress but the doctor said it was severe shin splits.  I was asked to come back for another MRI because my left shin showed what looked like a stress fracture. Odd. My right shin hurts not the left. I've been taking more rest days and stretching, icing and wearing compression. I'm a bit nervous of the 14 miler this weekend. We will see how it goes. I'll recap the run later.

Last Sunday (July 21st) I ran the Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon. I was nervous but used KT tape and wore my compression socks.   It went better than I thought, but I am still having pain. 
(official time:1:37:05)

This was my sister-in-law's first half marathon and she totally rocked it!  PS she has lost over 100lbs and is such a motivation.  So proud of her! 

My sister also ran.  This was her 2nd half marathon, and she PRed by a good 10 minutes.  It was a great Sunday morning. 

Chris ran too.  He brought a group of his high school runners to run their first half.  These girls and boys amaze me.  Chris ran with his top girl and she ran a 1:27!!  Amazing!

This past Friday:  
Chris took his team to run the Cross Country State course in Peoria for a night run. All schools in IL are invited to bring their runners to run. One of his girls was 1 second off from the First Place State time. For the 3 mile course she ran a 16:51. Crazy, huh?  His runners amaze me.

 The girls took 1st and boys 2nd. Great start to the season!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful rest of their Saturday!  I'll be back to recap my run:)