A Day in the Life

I wanted to do something a little different today. I know lots of bloggers do the "Day in the Life" posts a few times a year and although Lacey has done a few about being a Flight Attendant, I've never done one.  Yesterday was my sweet girl's birthday. She is 10! Yes this makes me so sad but I am also so grateful that we have had her for 10 years.  I admit this post is probably more just for me as a way to commemorate this time.  Although some days are full of playing in the park, swimming, long walks,  vet visits, shopping with mama, and play dates with Belle, this post just shows an ordinary day with Baylee.
This is exactly how our days starts. Some days she actually lays her whole body on my pillow and wraps her neck around my head, She sure is a cuddly dog, which makes it hard to want to get out of bed some days.

There are days when I still have to feed her by hand.  This has been a thing since her brother passed back in August. I don't know if it's just a way for her to make sure I am spending time with her or what.
Now here comes the sad part. This is the look I get when I leave for the gym or for work.
                       And then she rushes to the window so she can see me leave the driveway.

                 On days that I work, Lacey takes Baylee to play with Belle. They have great fun.

yellow lab

                                                  And Pappy spoils her with Busy Bones!

yellow lab
When I am done with what I need to do, I pick her up and drive her back to our home. She likes when we spend some time outside on the porch together. She loves just sitting beside my rocking chair. Notice how she sits with her paws crossed? She does this all the time when she lays down.

yellow lab
Here she is again laying pretty with her little paws crossed.
yellow lab
After some play time and round two of eating, it's time for relaxing and belly rubs! 
She recently got a new dog bed but eventually she always ends up on the furniture with us. And that's okay!

yellow lab in bathroom

When you have a Labrador you quickly learn that you have very little time to yourself.  She knows when it's shower time and she will sit in front of the tub until I am finished. if for some strange reason I am able to sneak in the shower with out her knowing, she quickly comes running up the steps and pushes open the door as soon as she hears the water start running.

sleepy yellow lab
While I'm getting ready for bed, Baylee is already making herself comfortable in my spot. She even carries her little puppy bear ( I can't decide which it is yet) to bed with her. I of course slide in beside her and let myself be uncomfortable for an hour or so until she decides to roll over or lay at the end of the bed like a normal dog.
Having Baylee in our lives is such a joy and I could only hope to have her for another 10 years! -M
What is your pet like?

How to use your Holiday Playlist

Last week we talked about some memorable every day ordinary training runs. I mentioned that one of my favorites was doing a training run while we were finishing up the #RunChatHunt. What made that run special was that while we were out running and searching for Christmas items, we were listening to Christmas music on our ipods.

Each year our local radio station starts playing non-stop Christmas music from Black Friday till Christmas. Last year, it started earlier than Black Friday, and this year, it started on November 16th! I like Christmas music but just out of respect for the Thanksgiving holiday, I think the music needs to wait till after Thanksgiving.
Lacey stopping during our run (last year) to take a picture for the #RunChatHunt.

In any case, we will be participating in the #RunChatHunt again this season and we will no doubt be listening to Christmas music while we do it.  That's not the only time I want to listen to Christmas music though. I thought it might be fun to create an "up beat" Christmas music playlist for some of my runs on the trail.

Here are some upbeat Christmas favorites!

1. All I want for Christmas is you - Mariah Carey

2. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays - N'sync

3. Santa Clause is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen

4. Rockin Around the Christmas Tree  -Brenda Lee ( This song always reminds me of the movie Home Alone, as does the song Run Run Rudolph. Both are sure to be on the running playlist).

5. Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve

Honorable Mentions

Although not really meant to be a Christmas song, I'll be adding Seasons of Love (525,600 minutes) from the Musical Rent.  It just seems so fitting this time of year. 
Random Trivia Fact:  Seeing Rent on Broadway was one of the first dates Scott took me on.

And although not all that up beat, I'll be adding Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon. That is my absolute favorite Christmas song.

If you want to participate in the #RunChatHunt sponsored by RunChat, it started on Nov 26 and ends Jan 1. For more information go to TheRunChat.com

Happy Holidays Folks! 

P.S  If you signed up for the Holiday Card swap you should have received your secret blogger. If you did not, please let us know. 

We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5

Race week outfits

This time of year many Disney runners are working on (or finished with) their race day outfits.  Afterall, that is one of the things that makes Disney races so unique.  In the past we have never gone with a full out costume but we do add some Disney touches to our race outfit.

I have to admit that even though I have been thinking about our race attire for several months now, I haven't actually started putting them together. I have the ideas in my head though. I have one skirt bought and that's all. My sister and I will be both running so that's double the outfits. 

Unlike myself, my friend Heather knew exactly what she wanted as her race outfits for the Dopey Challenge.  She knew I enjoyed designing outfits so she consulted with me and I created a little something for her.

I made the design and she printed it on four different shirts ( one for each day of the Dopey Challenge).   Each Race she completes will have a check mark in that box. So essential each day's shirt will look the same but will have more checked boxes off.  She even printed up skirts to match the theme of each race. The 5K is of course "Pluto" themed so a Pluto skirt seemed perfect!

I absolutely love what she did. Isn't she clever?

Okay, I suppose I need to go work on our outfits now.

Do you have you outfit planned for your next "themed" race?

Holiday Giveaway

Thank you for checking us out today and seeing what we have to giveaway for the annual Giveaway hop hosted by Runaway Bridal Planner. We are also linking up with the Tuesdays on the Run gals for their holiday gift guide!

We thought long and hard about what we wanted to give away to our readers.  We wanted to let you pamper yourself yet still have it be fitness related.

What we came up with was a Gift Package from Aurorae!

Aurorae is a lifestyle brand focused around yoga and wellness. It was founded by a yoga student who is also a cancer survivor. Aurora is currently doing a site wide giveaway called Aurorae's Gratitude Giveaway where they are giving away a plethora of yoga and wellness products.  We are helping spread the word by giving away just a few of those products here on our blog!

So, what will be in your gift package from Aurorae?

First off, you can't comfortably practice yoga with out a great mat!

I have found these mats to be thicker and of better quality than most other yoga mats. (Winner of the giveaway will get one yoga mat)

Of course you will need a Yoga tote bag for your mat and other fitness accessories. This bag is quite large and would make a great "carry on" for your next Race-cation!

One of my favorite items in this giveaway is the Aurorae microfiber towel!  Whether you are going to use it for yoga, swimming, bathing, or a day at the beach, this will probably be the softest towel you own. Since it's microfiber it would be great to put over your car seat to absorb the sweat from a long run or hot workout!  This is an extra large towel (32"x68")  and can be used as a pool or beach blanket. Don't ever under estimate the power of a great big soft towel!

The last item you will receive in your giveaway package is a  Pledge Candle from Aurorae Spa. These are 100% soy candles and come in a variety of scents.  You probably can't read all the labels on these candles so I will give you an example of some of the scents: Candy Cane, Sugar Cookie, Chocolate, Pine, Ocean, Tropical, and Cinnamon are just a few.   I was sent the Pumpkin Pie candle and festively burned it on Halloween!   (Winner will get one candle in their gift package)

So there you have it, the Aurorae gift package. Please use the rafflecopter below to enter this giveaway. Be sure to check out the Aurorae page to enter their Gratitude Giveaway that is going on till the end of the month.   Winner will be announced on our Facebook page on Wednesday December 8th so please do connect with us on Facebook! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out all the other Giveaways going on from these great bloggers below:

Holiday Card Swap 2015

If you are reading this post, then that means you are a blogging friend of ours. We'd love for you to increase your circle of blogging friends this Holiday season and that is why we are hosting another Holiday Card Swap. We hosted this for the first time last year and were overjoyed  at how many people wanted to join us! Bloggers really are great!

Whether you are a long time blogging buddy or someone we just connected with this year, we'd love for you to join us again.   Here's how it will work.

When ordinary runs turn into memories

We have several (non-race) runs that have become memorable for us such as running along side Niagara Falls, running on the beach, or even running the jogging path at Disney. But what about those every day nothing special training runs that you do in your own town, have any of them ever been memorable for you?

I was thinking about this the other day because I was comparing this marathon training cycle to last year's cycle and it actually put a smile to my face.  There was one training run that I will never forget. In fact, it makes me smile when I think about it.  It was December and the trail was covered in snow.

 That's right, it was covered in snow but I came to run and that's what I did.  I did 22 miles that day.
 I started when it was day light and ended in the dark. During that run I took in the beauty of the winter wonderland I was running through, lost one of my running gloves, almost chipped a tooth on a Honey Stinger Waffle that was frozen, made an emergency pit stop at Sheetz, and almost got bit in the ankle by a Jack Russell dog that decided to run along side of me between my feet for about half a mile. I was so glad to be done with that run but now looking back I can say I thoroughly enjoyed that 4 hours on the trail all by myself. In that time I only saw one other person. It was like 30 degrees so yea, why would anybody else want to be out there?   If you're interested, you can read more about that run HERE.

Another ordinary training run that turned into a fun memory was when my sister and I combined a virtual race with a scavenger hunt.  This was another December run (2013). We had both signed up for the Reindeer Racer virtual 5k through U.S Road Runners. We got dressed up in festive running gear and did a 5k around town. What made it special is that while we were finishing up the Holiday Scavenger hunt sponsored by #RunChat, it started to snow.  There was something special about running through town while it snowed, taking pictures of Christmas ornaments and admiring Christmas lights all while listening to Christmas music!  It was a totally festive run. You can read more about that run HERE.

One last ordinary training run that I will never forget happened in June, 2013.  I was getting miles in for the Boston Remembrance run. I was running with my dad and we did a portion of our run through a wooded path on the Island park where we would usually go to run or ride bike. When we finished the run we walked back to the parking lot and each went our separate ways to go home. Before I got in my car to go home I re-calculated my miles and noticed I was a little off and needed to get a little more in to complete the virtual race.  Because I was by myself now I didn't want to run on the wooded path, so I just stayed on the inner trail around the soccer fields. I only got half way around the path and right in the middle of it was a large deer. I was shocked! I thought the deer would be frightened of me and run away. Instead, it went back up on its hind legs and snorted at me. Yes, I was terrified!  I talked about this run for months. This is one I won't ever forget either. You can read more about that particularly scary run HERE.

What memories have you made on an ordinary training run? -M

Why I'm holding myself back from the group

I have only ran with a running group one time. It was several years ago and I was invited by a new running friend (who has since moved out of state). I was training for my first half marathon so I thought going to the group was a great idea. Now this was several years ago and I don't remember all the details but I think we only ran 4 miles that day. It was a challenging course (lots of hills and we came to a road block when there was a stream in the middle of the road and the bridge was down), but I was proud of myself that I could keep up with the group. Everyone was so friendly and they even had refreshments when we all met back at the park afterwards.

I always meant to go back to this running group except for the fact that it wasn't located in my town and later that summer my running friend who invited me moved. Okay, maybe those aren't good excuses but they worked at the time!

Over the years I would read (on blogs) about people running with their running group and all the fun they would have. I would comment that I needed to find a group to run with, that was my mission.

It just so happened that over the past year I had found a local group that I was invited to be a part of. I had gone to one or two of their events but never ran with them because of the pesky injury. Then a few weeks ago I was invited to the group to participate in a Mizuno shoe demonstration with the Mizuno rep. You all know how much I love my Mizunos, so I definitely wanted to show up for that. I had planned on meeting up with the group early that Saturday morning, but it ended up that I was very tired on Friday night and the thought of getting up to be at the running group earlier than I would even have to get up for work did not appeal to me at the time.  

Recently I was invited to a second local running group. I had wanted to try this one out too but just hadn't made it there yet. Then it occurred to me. I knew why I wasn't pushing myself to go to these groups.

You may agree that marathon training is a very personal thing. Everyone does it differently.  This training cycle, I am even doing things differently than I did last time. I am not running nearly as much as I did last year, but I am making each run count.  I enjoy running by myself. I like running at my own pace. I don't want to feel like I am holding other people back, nor do I want to feel obligated to run at a slower pace.  My long runs are on Saturdays so that prevents me from running with the Saturday morning group. After the long run on Saturday, I don't feel like running with the Sunday group either. Perhaps if I were training for the Goofy Challenge again this would be more appealing! I do my short run during the week and then  go to physical therapy on the other days, so perhaps I really wouldn't have time to do a group run anyway.

I know so many people love being a part of a running group because of the motivation and inspiration. As I sit here and type this post I think that I may give it a try AFTER the marathon. That way I don't have to get all caught up with worrying about pace and mileage. I can just go for  fun and stay fit for my next smaller race. -M

Are you a part of a group?

How to stay healthy when you only have 5 minutes

So the Friday 5 topic this week is 5 ways to stay healthy through the holidays. Well instead of telling you to sign up for a turkey trot or to take it easy on the desserts, we decided to share ways to maintain your health in 5 minutes or less! Everyone is so busy during the holidays but yet people are always on social media. For this reason we decided to share 5 social media sites that give great healthy living/eating tips. The best part is that it will only take you 5 minutes (or less) to scroll through and learn something new. You won't have to worry about scrolling through a ton of selfies or pictures of kids and dogs (yup even I'm guilty of posting pictures of my dog)  or even people trying to sell you shakes and wraps (you know what I mean, right) to get to some real legitimate healthy tips!

So here goes....

1. GTP Fitness:  This Instagram account is run by a personal trainer and is full of great healthy eating  tips and good things to know about your body's joints and ligaments.  No fluff or selfies here! Just good healthy tips. Here is a sampling of what you will find on this IG account. Go ahead, take 5 minutes and scroll through.
Although this account is still active with great tips, I know this person posts more on their Facebook page. I just haven't been able to find it yet. I will get back to you once I do.
2. girls._.sports  is another great Instagram account full of tips for women athletes.  Right now she is sharing some great tips for runners. Next month she will start adding some tips for other sports.  If you love running (which I am sure you do), you should add her to your IG feed.  Here is just a sampling of what you will find on her page in 5 minutes or less!
3. eat_drink_shrink   Take 5 minutes and scroll through this great site. It's jam packed with more healthy tips about food and which foods help with which parts of our body.  Here is a sample of what you'll find.
4. LiveLightMD Follow this account for high protein, low calorie meals you can make in 5 minutes.
5. Fitnessrunningtips  You are never too old, too good, or too fast to learn a few more running tips, right?  Go ahead and take 5 minutes and add this Instagram page to your account.
So the next time you only have 5 minutes to spare and you are flipping through your phone, perhaps you will come across one (or more) of these accounts and you will learn a healthy tip that you will be able to put into action later in the day (or week)!
Tell us, is there an account that you follow that you actually learn some good tips from?
We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5.

What I've been missing on my short runs

In addition to my long runs on the weekend, I do one short run during the week.  That run usually occurs on Wednesdays.  This past Wednesday I went to the gym and then planned to do a short run afterwards. I was a bit excited for this run because I was actually going to run in town like I use to. To make things even better the weather was BEAUTIFUL. It was a Wednesday evening in November and it was HOT!
This is the park across from the gym where I started my run.

I left my car parked at the gym and started right from there. I started running down the Main street. Boy it felt so good to run on the sidewalk. Because I do so much trail running, I hadn't ran on the sidewalks in such a long time. It reminded me of all the "good" runs I use to have.  My plan was to run downtown and across the big bridge and down to the park (big decline), do two laps around the park, and then run back up over the bridge (big incline), through town, and back to my car which was parked at the gym.  

I felt so good running on the sidewalk that I ran the entire first mile without my intervals. About a mile and a half into the run I worried that I might not make it back into town before it got too dark.  There are street lights in town and over the bridge, but not at the park. I was worried that I might not have gaged my time correctly since the whole time change thing last week. For this reason I only decided to do 3.1 miles. As I came back into town I ran the last mile in its entirety as well.  Even though it was only 3.1 miles, it was a great mid week run!

THEN..... the next day my calves hurt like crazy! I only did 3.1 miles, how could this be?  This was my first run since my 18 miler the weekend before and I don't remember my calves hurting that bad even then.  Then I realized, I bet it was the darn incline up over the bridge that I ran twice.  All my training runs have been on flat surfaces. Yes, I know I am doing myself a dis-service by only training on flat land and not doing hill work.  I guess I will have to work on that. 

I was able to stretch my left calf out at the gym on Friday afternoon, but just couldn't get rid of the tightness in my right one.  For that reason, I ended up skipping my long run on Saturday!  I know, I can't believe it either. I have been so faithful to my training plan.  I justified this by reminding myself that I DID do 18 miles last Saturday and that it was okay to skip a run if I feel I might do more harm then good. Besides, I'm really not proving anything going out there and doing another 10 miles just for the sake of getting miles in, right?   -M

Why this is a very special 5k.

This weekend I participated in a 5k. Proceeds from most races usually benefit some type of cause/disease which is great. This race was special to me because it was a benefit for my cousin and others who are battling Lyme disease.

 Lyme disease is one that sometimes does not get diagnosed right away which can cause even more problems. Early detection is the key. My cousin was a very active athletic woman finishing up her Master’s Degree at the University of Tennessee when she began getting symptoms. Due to misdiagnosis (very common) she now has Chronic (late stage) Lyme disease and she is only in her mid 20s. She has 3 of the 5 co-infections that come along with chronic Lyme disease that causes fatigue, suppressed immune system, depression, GI problems, and neurological disorders are just a few that have been causing her health to deteriorate greatly.  

Me and my three cousins.

For us runners that love being out in nature we have to be extra careful to take precautions. When out on a trail remain in the center in order to minimize your exposure to any wood piles or fallen logs where ticks live. Ticks cannot fly, they crawl, an interesting fact I was not aware of, so be sure to never sit on the ground.  Make sure you always check yourself thoroughly after being outside in any wooded area. Wearing light colored clothing also helps.  There is even tick repellent clothing you can wear. 
I didn’t have any goals in mind for this race other than just to run the race and support my cousin. My other two cousins were there (her brothers) to show their support as well. Before the race started I noticed that it was a fairly small race, so I may have a chance to place in my age group. Of course I started off way too fast like I always do, but especially in 5ks. I feel like you kind of have to because if you don’t, the race is over before you know it.  I started off running with a few fast guys and one lady. I could see the leader way up there but there was no way of catching him. Soon enough he was out of site.  So yes, a 6:55 is way too fast for my first mile!   I eventually got in my groove and found a pace I was comfortable at. It was an out and back course through a park so you got to see the other runners. I saw my cousins who were cheering for me and high fiving while I passed them. It gave me the motivation to keep going at my current pace. 

I never look at the course map, because I always figure there is going to be someone in front of me and I will just follow them.  And that was the case at this race as well. Just follow the crowd. Since it was a smaller race people were dispersed further apart but there were volunteers guiding you which way to go since there were several paths along the park. There was one lady that passed me, but I knew she was not in my age group, so I wasn’t worried about it. I followed her into the finish line and we both congratulated each other. While waiting for others to finish I was told that the leader of the pack, who would have probably won it (who also won the local half marathon the prior week), went off course and came in from another direction and got disqualified. He was not happy. Apparently he said there was no one there to tell him what direction to go at one of the turns. That is why it is so important to read the course map, at least for those that think they may be the leader of the pack and will not have anyone in front of them to follow. Guess us average runners never have to worry about that! 

After the race they had some door prizes to hand out then it was on to the awards. My name was called for first place in my age group. I was 6th place overall. Both my cousins placed in their age group as well. It was great to be able to take part of this event and share it with the family you love. 

Have you ever done a certain race to specifically support the cause? 
Have you ever veered off course during a race?  -L

*We'll be linking this post up with the gals from Tuesday's on the Run.

Don't do as I do (5 Common Runnning Mistakes)

I wanted to mention some other things about my 18 mile run this past weekend but I didn't want to make the initial post longer than it already was, so here goes!

1. Even though I said I was feeling good, the run was NOT easy. My injury did not return but my legs felt heavy and tired and tight.  After I had reached 13.1 miles, I stopped twice to bend over and kind of stretch out.  It even took too much effort for me to bend over.

2. I did NOT bring enough water with me on the run. This usually isn't an issue because I usually have Scott riding his bike next to me with a large water bottle. I don't know what I was thinking only carrying my little hand held one that probably only holds 8-10 ounces. When I take this on long runs I usually run out of water by mile 9. When I saw I was getting low I REALLY tried to conserve. I thought there was a water fountain at the rest station where the restrooms were but suprisingly there was not. I'm pretty sure my water supply was depleted by mile 14. At one point I saw a man power washing a building. Had I known he didn't have cleaning solution in his sprayer I would have asked him to fill up my bottle. #RunnersWillDoAnything.

3. I did not stretch when I was done with the 18 miles. I ran right to the port o potty at the end of the trail. Second order of business was getting a bottle of water out of my trunk. I am SO glad that I remembered I had a case of water in there.

4. This training cycle I have been very conscientious of fueling properly after a run. I make sure that I get enough liquids and protein. Well, it just didn't happen after the 18 miles. I had one clif block right when I got back to my car and that was it for a few hours. I was done with my run by 2:30pm but had to run errands (I could barely get through the grocery store. I only needed 2 items but got a cart so I could have something to lean on). I did have about half a bag of chex mix but didn't have anything substantial till 5:30pm.   Not quite how I should have refueled after such a long run.

5. When I got home I jumped right in the shower and then started preparing dinner for my guests that would be coming. I should have spent this time relaxing, icing, foam rolling, or putting my legs and feet in my calf massager. Nope, none of this happened!

18 miles was my longest training run this cycle and the recovery for it was a #Fail. I know this is partially why my injury keeps coming back. I KNOW I need to do better. It's just sometimes life gets in the way but I know that can't be an excuse when you are taking marathon training as seriously as I have been.
So tell me, what is your best recovery tip? -M

We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5!

Sweat Inc

I'll be the first to admit that I don't watch a lot of television shows but when my sister told me about this new Shark Tank style show hosted by Jillian Michaels I was intrigued. I certainly do like Shark Tank!

The show is called Sweat inc and it is a combination of Shark Tank, Chopped, and The Biggest Loser.

The show starts off with three contestants/entrepreneurs. They have all invented some type of fitness product/business.  The ones that were featured on the episode I watched were:

Jump life trampoline workout $28 per class

Omni Ball $60

Core Sticks $1195

Each entrepreneur pitches his/her product to Jillian and her team of judges. They are looking for the person who has the best product suited for the masses which yields the best weight loss results.   The first round was based on ease of use. Jillian thought the Core Sticks were too complicated  and she didn't like the high price point so she had no problem with "Chopping" that product from the competition.   Jillian is just as tough on this program as she was on The Biggest Loser.

So now there are two entrepreneurs left. Here is where they really put the products to the test. They set up two group studies. Half the people are learning to workout with the Omni Balls and the other half are learning to workout with the Jump life trampoline. Then they switch. Once both groups learn how to use each product there is an "open gym" where they go pick which product they like better. It ended up being about half and half but the scale was ever so slightly tipped to the Omni Balls.

The last thing the entrepreneurs were judged on was the effectiveness of the product.  Each entrepreneur had a guy and a girl train with them for a specific period of time. Then at the end of the time frame they had to weigh in and calculate percentage of body weight loss. In the end, The inventor of the Omni Balls won the competition.  

I really liked the Jump Life and I could see that taking off as a class at a gym.  I could tell Jillian really liked the idea too except that the entrepreneur behind the product did not have good management skills. Jillian wanted her to market some children's class and to contact some mommy bloggers and she kept making up excuses why she hadn't done it.  I liked her product but lost a bit of respect for her once she kept putting off the tasks that Jillian gave her.      

Have you seen this program?     If so, what do you think of it?

All pictures are from Google Images.                                                                                                                      

The Advantage of Running the Day AFTER Halloween!

Earlier this month I signed up to participate in another Gone For A Run Virtual Race, the Faster Than Boo 10k.  I'm sure you've heard of it by now, right?  I have been pretty busy lately maintaining my higher mileage for my upcoming 50k, that I have been neglecting shorter runs and speed work. Since Halloween was this weekend, I knew I needed to get my virtual run in. Lately when I have been going out for runs, I don't anticipate going as long as I do, so I don't properly hydrate and fuel the way I should. So this run I knew that I had to get at least 6.2 miles in and was going to continue to run if it felt good. I made sure I took water and a few gummy bears with me.

I did this  Faster than Boo 10K race the day after Halloween.
For all the days I didn't bring anything with me and wish I would have, this could have been the day.  As I was running I noticed there was so much candy left along the side walks in town.  There were smarties,  laffy taffy,  and bubble gum. Doesn't a runner love the sugar?  I continued on my way and it wasn't until I saw a Frozen theme pack of gummies that stopped me in my tracks! After all, it wasn't open, and I have been training with gummies, why not? I decided to eat them half way through my run and felt just fine. Towards the end of my run I found a pack of pretzels. Between the sweetness of GUs and Gatorade I consume during my long runs, sometimes I crave the saltiness of something such a pretzels, so I picked those up too!  I had reached the 6.2 mark but had a bit further to go to make it home. I ended up with a total of 8 miles and a few snacks.
 I wanted to tell my sister about my run, but I thought the first thing she would say would be, Gross, you picked up candy on the street and ate it? So I just kept it to myself,  until we were discussing our runs that evening and I ended up telling her. She thought it was hilarious! I just tried to think of it as a scenerio.  If you were out for a long run and you didn't have anything else and that was your only option, would you?  I'm sure people have picked up things along races to use such as sweatshirts and gloves (I've done that too). I suppose food is a little different since we consume it. Are you a risk taker and would try that? Or would you say no way José and keep moving along? We are all runner and have our on quirks, right?  
And just in case you hadn't seen the awesome swag from Gone for a Run....
I love this Halloween tank and wanted to wear it for the class spin class I taught on Saturday but silly me ended up forgetting about it.  Next year I guess!
Have you ever picked up something during a run to use or eat?  Don't judge!   -L

The Running Experiment

I was on my own for my long run this weekend. I did 13.1 miles last weekend and was debating weather I wanted to go back down to only doing 10 miles or ramp it up and do 15 miles.  I decided to just see how I was feeling during the run and then make that decision.
Some very dusty Mizunos after many miles on the trail.

Earlier in the morning I was listening to The John Tesh Radio show and he was doing a segment on pets. I was intrigued. I usually like listening to John Tesh, he's pretty smart!   Anyway, Once I got to the trail I thought I would continue listening to the radio on my ipod instead of my normal running playlist.   Well, between all the talking of the radio show and the commercials, I felt like I was running slower.  I really do think that I need constant music to keep me going. I don't really know if it makes me run faster or if it just makes me FEEL faster because the music is fast.   So, at mile 3.1 I had had enough of the radio and switched my ipod back over to my running playlist. I wanted to see if the music made me run faster or if it was all in my head. I made sure to watch my time as I approached the next 3.1 miles.  Sure enough I did a negative split at the 10K mark. It wasn't by much, but it was faster than the first 3.1 miles so I guess I proved my case. For now anyway!

At this point I decided to go ahead and just run the 15 miles. The next experiment I was going to try was stopping at the restroom along the trail. I was not in any dire need at this point but I still thought it might be good for me to start building in that extra time into my training because I know I will not be able to get through all 26.2 miles on race day without making that dreaded stop.  But as it turned out by the time I approached the restroom stop I was too much in a groove to stop.

The trail I usually run on is an 18 mile trail. It's 9 miles up and 9 miles back. My plan for the 15 miler was to do 7.5 up and then turn around and do the 7.5 back.  It was a beautiful day out, the weather was gorgeous so I thought I might as well run up to the 8 mile mark and turn around and then that way I would finish a mile earlier. I like running a little further on the way up so I finish a bit earlier on the way back.

Now in my mind I was thinking If I'm going to run 8 miles, I might as well run 9 miles and just finish up the trail.  I debated about this tactic for a few minutes. It was a perfect day weather wise to get a long run of 18 miles in.  It would be great to get this long run over with while I'm in the mood but on the other hand, I didn't want to get greedy with my mileage. Going from 13.1 one week to 18 the next week is a significant jump. I didn't want to risk bringing my injury back.

But then it happened. In my mind it was only one more mile up and one more mile back than I was running anyway, so I decided to give the 18 miles a try.  This is awful to say but I truly thought that my pain would come back and I would have to walk a lot of it anyway.  But thankfully the pain stayed away.

I kept thinking to myself just get through the planned 15 miles and if you have to walk the last three, you can.  But when I completed the planned 15, I couldn't just give up and walk.  I had to respect the last 3 miles and give it just as much effort as I did the first 15.  Of course my pace was slower those last 3 miles but the overall pace was still under where I want to be for marathon weekend to make my goal.

With that being said, I realize that I do need to adjust my goal for marathon weekend. I think it's possible that I will be able to run the 26 miles with in my time goal but it's that dang .2 that's going to put me over. Now I know why everyone says it's the .2 that kills ya!

 Have you done any experiments during your run? What are your best tips for getting through high mileage without tired legs? -M