Monday, January 22, 2018

Ready to Launch...or not

I have been running in Brooks Launch for over three years now. I don’t know why companies always feel the need to keep changing the make of shoes when the prior model works well. However I have been fortunate to be able to wear each new model that they come out with. I currently have three pairs of Launches, two pairs of the Launch 4s and one pair of the Launch 3s.  

It was just recently that I noticed that I have holes in my newest Brooks. I just bought these shoes in the beginning of Fall and I have not even been wearing them during every run since I have two other pair. I did not know these holes were even there until I didn’t wear black socks with them one day and saw the color of my sock poking out. 

I noticed that my other Brooks Launch 4s have major holes in them as well. Is it the shoe or maybe I need a wide width? I do not remember getting holes in the first few pairs that I had (Launch 1 and 2).  

I then looked at my Brooks 3 which are older than the 4s of course, and the hole is just starting. Could it be the company making a cheaper version of the shoe? I thought the shoe companies are supposed to change the shoes for the better when the newer models come out.   

I was not even thinking about posting about this but I was telling my friend about my problem and he said I should mention this and see if anyone else has had this problem with this particular shoe.  I know I put a lot of miles on my shoes but I still feel like they should be lasting longer than what they do. Is it time to try another brand?  I remember the days when I would run in the same shoe for 8 months straight without swapping out shoes between runs and never had holes in them. Now I am barely making it a few months and I am getting holes on both sides.  Maybe I need to go up a half a size? But I do not feel like these shoes feel tight on me.  Any suggestions?   

Has anyone else been running in Brooks Launch and have had this problem or is it just me? -L

We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Weekly Wrap...Jan 21

                                                           What a great week!

There was no school on Monday but I had to go in and prepare things for the new semester and the new students I would be meeting! It's like the first day of school all over again!

Tuesday we ended up getting out of school early due to snow. Wednesday we had a delayed start and Thursday and Friday were our only full days of school for the week.

I decided that this was the week I was going to get back to my Tuesday and Thursday runs. When I came home on Tuesday I decided I was going to try to connect my iFit again to my treadmill and bike. I had been having trouble with it lately.

I was unsuccessful with using the ifit for the treadmill so I did my run sans map. I was able to do part of a Central Park run that I had downloaded on there last year.  The pace was a little slower than I would have liked but that's okay since I hadn't run in a while. However, the incline started out at 0 and I was told to NEVER run on the treadmill with an incline at 0.  I was about to manually adjust it when it automatically increased.  The pace did increase a little bit and then the incline was all overt he place going from 0 to 4.5.  Yup, that is exactly how I remembered my REAL run in Central Park!

After the run I actually used the Bowflex and did several sets of leg lifts.  I was determined to get this ifit module working, so after much fussing with it, I got it working on the bike.  I chose to do one of the "Snowy" rides.  The ride said it was in Park City Utah.  The first thing I noticed is that it was NOT snowing.

The route actually started at a trailhead near a log cabin.  It was clearly a summer day, not a wintery snowy one like the description said.  I thought maybe that would change so I gave it a try. This route was DIFFICULT. The incline was at 20% the entire time. I kept turning the resistance down but the stinkin bike/computer kept turning it back up. It took all I had to keep pedaling. I did one mile before calling it quits on that route.

The thing with the iFit workout is that you don't get just one route. I chose to do the Snowy route but there are several routes included in that workout. They are all different scenes and different distances.  There were about 12 different routes in this one workout. You are suppose to be able to do them over the course of several days. I wanted to skip the Park City, Utah route since it was tough and clearly not a winter route.  I tried the Breckenridge, CO route (also on this same snowy workout) and although the title came up "Breckenridge, CO, it was the same route I had from Utah! I tried several other workouts and again, they were all the same exact route as the Utah one. Dang, I wanted the snowy route!

 I decided that if I wanted a snowy ride, I was going to have to ditch the ifit and turn my bike to face the window!

Thursday I did the same treadmill and Bowflex workout. I wanted to ride the bike too but I could not get the ifit to work at all so I just said forget it.

Saturday I did my first outside run of the year and it was just glorious!

I think this schedule of three runs a week will work for me through the spring!

And as far as running, that's a wrap! -M

We are linking up with Holly and Wendy for their Weekly Wrap!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Why I don't hate winter

Winter officially started on December 21, but to me from December 1 to January 2 is really just Christmas season.  After January 2 is when Winter really begins!  It's easier mentally if you think of it that way.

For the last several years our winters have been pretty mild. There is some cold weather in January, by February it warms up, and then BAM out of no where we usually get that one snow storm in March!

Wouldn't we all love to be in the sunny Caribbean during this time, but why not embrace what we have instead of hating it.  I Love Summer the most, but I've taken a new outlook on winter over the past few years and I've begun not to hate it!  Here's why...

1. When it does snow, it's so pretty and snowy runs make for a memorable run.  I love how my park looks like a winter wonderland after a freshly fallen snow and it's not every day that I get to experience that.  I have not had the pleasure of doing a snowy run in my park yet this year.

Runs that I remember doing in beautiful weather last February! Will we be so lucky to have that weather again this year?

2. As winter goes on, it's like a surprise. You never know what you are going to get. It could be 32 degrees one day and close to 60 the next.

3. I work at a school, so I still sit with anticipation when it snows or ices to see if we will have a delay, cancellation, or early dismissal. Our school is very good at keeping us safe. The slightest chance that there might be snow and we will delay.  You never grow too old to be excited about a delay!

4. I have to admit that winter days are the best days to accomplish very little and not feel guilty. Cuddling with pets, reading books, and browsing aimlessly on Pintrest are all perfectly fine to do during the winter.

5. And of course Winter is kind of like Christmas where you are anticipating the first signs of Spring. You know it's coming and you are very eager!

Monday, January 15, 2018

My Workout Space

I pretty much have a full functioning home gym at my house, yet for the past few years I have paid to go to a gym. Why?

I guess I needed that motivation and because I've been injured for so long I liked the fact that there was always a physical therapist on hand to check in with me or answer questions.

Then I just stopped going because I wasn't running longer distances and figured I could do whatever strength training I needed to do at home. Except I didn't do any.

I'm hoping that for 2018 I can be more dedicated to using my home gym.  I actually thought that "Showing where you work out" was a topic for TOTR so I prepared this little tour, but then when I went back to look at the topics, I guess I missed it. 

In our gym we have a Bow Flex Revolution that I can probably convert to do more workouts than I even know how to do. We've had this machine for many years but have definitely not taken advantage of it.

My favorite pieces of equipment are the Nordic Track treadmill and bike.  I like these because they are ifit compatible and every workout can potentially be an adventure!

As you can see, my screen on the treadmill is rather small (and the one on the bike is a little bigger but still small), So when I use the iFit maps, I link it to my ipad.  Also, behind this wall is a large screen TV I can also link it up to. Sometimes I will pull the bike out into the other room.

I have smaller pieces of equipment like hand weights, resistance bands, foam rollers, stability ball, etc but they seem to make their way to other rooms in the house.

You may notice that my walls are bare. Most home gyms I've seen are decorated with race medals, bibs, and other running paraphernalia. Mine is not. Scott said I should hang all my medals up to show them off but I already have them all hung up in my dressing room (where really nobody but me can see them, but that's okay). I go in my dressing room every single day and I like seeing them there. Honestly, I do not go into this workout room every day. -M

Do you go to a gym or do you have a workout space at home? If so, how is it decorated?

We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Weekly Wrap Jan 15.....While My Sister Sleeps

I'm excited to share something about my week this week. I finally did my first run of the year, but it was only a Saturday morning run on the treadmill so there was nothing too exciting about that.

However, I did start on something I wanted to do this year.  Previously in the post What Really Happened, I talked about things I wanted to do in 2017 and never did, and one of those things was for my sister and I to read the same books and discuss them. We did one last year but wanted to actually do more than that this year.  Well Monday I went to the library to get a book and by Friday I was finished with it.

The book I chose was While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky.  Actually, I ended up picking this book by random. I was looking for another book (by a different author) but it was not there. However, this book was on the same shelf and the title caught my eye. I rarely read the inside of the book to see what it is about, so I usually do judge a book my it's cover (and title).

Turns out, this book was about a RUNNER! Perfect I thought.

I don't want to give too much away about the book in case you might want to read it, but here is the short version of it and my own thoughts.

Of course the book is about two sisters, Robin and Molly. Robin is training for the NYC Marathon and hoping to come in the top 3 female. She is actually hoping to make it to the Olympics.  At only age 32, Robin has a heart attack during a run and collapses. A fellow runner finds her laying on the road and calls for an ambulance to the hospital.

I did not like the mother's attitude in this story. She of course blames the sister, Molly for not being with her sister during the run ( I guess she usually tags along and holds her water), and then the mother starts to blame the fellow runner (a complete stranger) for not running faster and helping Robin sooner.

The sister, Molly, is sort of a head case herself. While her sister is in the hospital, she has to pack up both their belongings (they live together) because the landlord is having construction done on their rental because he is selling it. He gives her a date that she has to be out by (she knew this even before her sister's accident). Yet when the accident happens, she thinks her landlord is being unreasonable for not extending his deadline once again (this is a small part of the story but it really bothered me that Molly would act that way).

Anyone who is seriously into running could probably relate to some of Robins thoughts and secret feelings. I am certainly not into running as much as Robin is but I could relate to some of the running references.  However, I was a little disappointed the author did not let the reader have a stronger connection with Robin. Besides some thoughts on her running, we didn't really get to know Robin as a person (It would have been nice to have some flashbacks of her life up until that point).  I have been known to get very emotional while reading some of my favorite books, but during this one I felt like I was not as invested in Robin and whether she recovered from her accident or not.

If you decided to read this book (which is not a bad read for a runner), I would warn that it kind of drags on in the beginning but does become more interesting at the half way point.

Do you think you will read this book? What other fiction books have you read about runners? -M

We will be linking up with Wendy and Holly for their weekly wrap!

Friday, January 12, 2018

What I sometimes do.....

I can't believe it's Friday already! I love how fast this week went. Did it go by fast for you too?

I am also glad that this cold snap, polar vortex, or whatever you want to call it has passed. Two weeks of that stuff and I will officially call that our winter! I'm glad it's gone and we are back to our normal temps.

However, I will say that I am glad my downtime was during the cold weather. I have taken a month off from running and basically all workouts and I don't even feel guilty about it and this is why...

Sometimes you just want to sleep in instead of run long on the weekends. 

Sometimes you want to come home from work and watch Judge Judy instead of lace up and go run before it gets dark. 

Sometimes you want to curl up with a good book (I'm certainly intrigued with one now. I picked it at random and it ended up being about a runner).

Sometimes you just want to spend your free moments with family, and that's alright! 

And of course after doing All This ^ for a month sometimes you can't wait to get back outside and run your favorite routes! 

I think I needed a month of comfort and downtime because now I'm ready to be motivated again. The weather here was beautiful this week and I'm hoping we see some more if it for next week when I head to the trails again! -M

Monday, January 8, 2018

A Frosty decision

Every February our community hosts an Ice Festival. During this weekend the downtown is filled with ice sculptures and artists, there is a chocolate tour, there are games at the park, and there is a polar plunge, and frosty 5K.


I have seen the ice sculptures before and they are pretty cool (literally) and some of them even light up. I wanted to buy tickets for the chocolate tour last year, but then honestly just got too lazy to go. I did go to the polar plunge a few years back (not to participate but to take photos for the newspaper) and quite frankly I don't understand why anyone would want to do that. I'm sure it probably benefits some cause, but I'd rather just donate a check than take the plunge!  This year I thought I would take part in the Frosty 5K.

I've never done this race before because quite honestly, the name never appealed to me. I mean come on, who wants to run a FROSTY 5K?  But as I looked through my training logs from the past few February's I noticed that the weather has not been that bad. I did many of runs in just a short sleeve shirt.  So why not sign up? 

Now here is what is irritating me.  I first decided I would consider running this back in December. I saw all the details (so I thought) on the Official race web page.   Donuts and hot chocolate at the start, a nice course, turkey subs at the finish, and discounts to all the runners for the other festival activities that day. Sounded like a great race!

However, I noticed that all the race info was still from 2017 and there was no place to register for the 2018 race. I did a little investigating on my own and still could not find an update page to register for the race. Seeing that it is a local race, I thought perhaps registration for 2018 has not yet opened. Maybe they would open it after the new year? Yes, I know that is unlikely that race registration would only be open for one month, but that was the only logical explanation I could come up with as to why I could not find it.

I went back to the website on January 1st and 2nd and it still had not been updated.  I found a contact email for someone in the Rotary club who was sponsoring the race and asked where I could find an updated registration form.  He promptly sent me a link the next day.  The 2017 registration form was linked through  (which most of our local races are) and this new one for 2018 was linked through a different site I had never heard of and quite frankly would have never been able to find had he not sent me the link.  When I opened the link to register I noticed that I not only missed the first price increase, but the second price increase as well.  This frustrates me because I hate paying more than I have to for a local 5K.  What angers me is not the fact that I forgot to sign or or that I missed it, its that the information/registration was not on the proper page.  If they were going to change the registration page, then they should have put that new registration link on the old race web page so people would know where to find it.  Even if you just do a random google search for this race, the 2017 page still comes up.

I guess no use in complaining about this now. I still haven't decided if I want to pay that much for a local 5K or not but I guess I don't have to be in an hurry to decide since the price is the highest it is going to be now (besides on race day).  I'll see how many runs I get to do between now and February!

Any cool runs or festivals near you in Febraury? -M

We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.