Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Maintenance Miles: Week 8 Review

I didn't hit my 25 mile goal last week.  I knew that the chances of hitting it were slim because I had a minor planned surgery (removal of a benign intraductal papilloma in my breast) on Friday morning and had to be off through the weekend.  Which meant I had 4 running days to work with.  Add on top of that the fact that it was the week leading up to Christmas, I feel lucky that I got some decent miles in on those four days.

I have 14 miles to run before the end of the year to hit my 100 miles/month goal and 20.37 miles to get to an even 1700 miles for the year.  I feel this is more than doable, although I foresee a lot of treadmill time in the week ahead as the temperature is -3 right now.  Good thing I got some new running mittens for Christmas!

Monday Dec 18
5 miles, 39:32 (7:54 avg pace)

Tuesday Dec 19
4.01 miles, 28:35 (7:08 avg pace)

Wednesday Dec 20
7.01 miles, 55:28 (7:55 avg pace)

Thursday Dec 21
4.2 miles, 32:19 (7:42 avg pace)
This was my last "beat the bus" run of 2017 - aka where I race home from work and try to get in as many miles as I can before my daughter's bus drops her off from school.

Friday Dec 22

Saturday Dec 23

Sunday Dec 24

Weekly Total: 20.22 miles

Monday, December 18, 2017

Maintenance Miles Week 7 Review

Another 25 mile week.  This week, I calculated how far I would have to run on Sunday just to hit the minimum.  I so did not feel like running but got on the dreadmill after the kids were in bed to log the amount necessary to hit the goal.  I am pretty sure I sleep-ran that entire 2.1 miles.

In contrast, I had a glorious long run on Saturday afternoon.  The weather was great, I ran comfortably while listening to a podcast.  Now that we have snow/slush/ice, the trails that I usually run on are not clear so I am doing a lot more road/neighborhood running which is not my favorite, but better than the treadmill.

Monday Dec 11

Tuesday Dec 12
4.55 miles, 35:16 (7:45 avg pace)

Wednesday Dec 13
4.0 miles, 35:20 (8:50 avg pace)

Thursday Dec 14

Friday Dec 15
6.5 miles, 52:59 (8:09 avg pace)

Saturday Dec 16
8.1 miles, 1:02:02 (7:39 avg pace)

Sunday Dec 17
2.1 miles, 18:38 (8:52 avg pace)

Weekly Total: 25.25 miles

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2018 Race Calendar So Far...

*Disclaimer: I received free entry to Grandma's Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

My 2018 race calendar is amazing.  Period.  I am so so excited for the first half of next year.

This will be the third year in a row that I have participated in this event with lots of Oiselle women from WI and some neighboring states.  Teams of four women run a marathon - so we all run about a 10K - indoors.  This is always a fun time and fun to actually meet people in person!

Next: Oiselle's #PodiumProjectCHI 5/18/18 - 5/19/18
I'm running the Chicago Ragnar Relay with eleven other women as part of Oiselle's Podium Project!  SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  Details are still being worked out but I am very very excited about this. 

Saving the best for last....

Grandma's Marathon 6/16/18
Grandma's Marathon has been on my marathon bucket list so I'm excited to be able to run it in 2018 as a BibRave Pro*.  The race starts in Two Harbors, MN and ends in Duluth, MN.  Registration is currently open and you get an amazing full-zip fleece lined jacket if you register by 12/31/17.
I love races with a small-town feel and that was the most recurring comment when I asked about this race on our Oiselle Group Facebook page.  The course reportedly BEAUTIFUL.  I can't wait!

What races are you doing next year?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Maintenance Miles Week 6 Recap

I hit 25 miles by the skin of my teeth last week!

My toe is not broken.  I had it buddy taped for a few days and I still ran on it, as it was not causing me any pain.  It was purple for the whole week which looked pretty gross.  It feels totally fine now.

I was able to cross a lot of time consuming (non-running) activities off my list.  My daughter's play that she has been practicing for months occurred yesterday so no more practices/costume making!  I finally finished our holiday cards!  My holiday shopping is almost done, and all of the gifts were wrapped over the weekend.  All this to say is that time is finite - because I was doing a lot of these activities, I wasn't running as much.

We also got SNOW over the weekend!  Saturday I ran in the snow, which was fun.  Yesterday, I didn't run until after the kids were in bed, so I opted for the dreadmill.

I'm getting super bored with these maintenance miles and looking forward to actually following a plan with workouts.  I have to get planning when the return to that will be though!

Here is what I managed to squeak out last week:

Monday Dec 4
5.3 miles, 41:42 (7:52 avg pace)

Tuesday Dec 5
4 miles, 30:31 (7:37 avg pace)

Wednesday Dec 6

Thursday Dec 7

Friday Dec 8
6.2 miles, 49:03 (7:55)

Saturday Dec 9
6.2 miles, 48:00 (7:44)

Sunday Dec 10
3.42 miles, 30:00 (8:47)

Weekly Total: 25.12 miles

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Product Review: Luvo Healthy Meals

Product Review: Luvo Healthy Meals

Disclaimer:  I received 12 Luvo Healthy Meals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRavePro (ambassador) and check out to review, find and write race reviews.

Also, I am not a registered dietician or nutrition expert so feel free to add in/correct things if you are!

I'm not really into frozen entree meals but my curiosity was picqued when seeing positive review upon positive review of the Luvo meals from my fellow BibRavePros so I gave them a try.  I have been able to test 5 different meals to date so I thought I would provide an initial review given that my first few Instagram posts generated some questions and comments about the meals.

How/Where to Buy
You can purchase Luvo meals from their website and they get shipped to your doorstep in a dry-ice packed styrofoam cooler.  You really cannot get more convenient than that.  I came home from work one day and voila - 12 lunches were ready to go in my freezer.

Alternatively, there is a link on the website where to find the meals in store.  I liked the online option because I didn't have to worry about whether the exact meals I was interested in were available at stores in my area.

Nutritional Content
This is the area that I think sets Luvo apart from competitors.  The brand follows the "3-2-None" approach which reflects the right balance of protein, whole grain and veggies, not too much sodium or added sugar and no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.  Each Luvo meal that I have tried to date has been between 230-330 calories.  Several of their entrees are Vegetarian, Vegan, or Gluten Free.

One thing that has turned me off of frozen entree meals in the past is how much sodium they contain.  The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2300 mg of sodium daily, with an ideal limit of 1500 mg daily.  If you divide that by 3 meals, that means you have about 500 mg (ideally) and no more than 766 mg of sodium per meal to work with.  The Luvo meals that I have tried to date have averaged 400 mg sodium. (I compared the sodium content to another well-known frozen entree brand and the Luvo meal had 1/3 of the total sodium of the other brand's meal!)

Here are the nutrition labels for my favorite two meals thus far:

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Mighty Masala & Greens

The brand partners with two organizations, Why Hunger and A Sense of Home.

Each entree is priced at $5.99 - $6.99.  (If you use the code BIBCHAT at checkout, you can save 10% off your online order.)

These meals all are easy to make in the microwave, which makes them super easy to pack for lunches during the work week. (Our office has a microwave.)  I typically take leftovers in my lunch for work however, there are usually 1-2 days a week where the leftovers don't stretch to my two kids AND myself and then I'm usually buying my lunch.  It has been more cost-effective (and easier) for me to grab one of these out of my freezer on those days.

One of my friends asked me how full these make me feel.  Lunch is my biggest meal of the day.  The amount of food that I eat is something my coworkers like to make fun of.  So, one of the Luvo meals by itself would not cut it for all of my lunch, but I very rarely only eat one thing for lunch.  I usually pack fruit, leftover roasted veggies, and/or cheese and crackers as supplements to my Luvo meal.

Ok, let's get down to "How do these taste?"  I have been keeping a grading chart at my desk.

Two of the five that I have tried have received an "A":
I will be buying these again!

The following two entrees received an A/B grade:

The last of the five that I tried, Thai-Style Green Curry Chicken, I didn't care for.

The meals that I have left to try are:
Chicken Chile Verde
Tandoori-Inspired Spiced Chicken
So Cal Kale & Beans
Hawaiian Un-fried Rice
Great Karma Coconut Curry

What do you usually eat for lunch?  Have you tried Luvo meals before?

Monday, December 4, 2017

Maintenance Miles Week 5 Recap

Another week, another 25 miles.  I'm grateful for the consistency these days.

I started this week strong and then took two rest days in a row mid-week.  I struggled with sleep last week and this was entirely self-imposed because I got sucked into reading a huge novel and stayed up way too late reading, and then sometimes had trouble sleeping because I was thinking about the book.

SO.  The good news is that I still hit 25 miles and I finished the book Sunday morning. 

The bad news is that I might have broken my toe this morning.  From dropping the heaviest, largest bar of soap I have ever seen on it.   I know.  This story is so embarrassing.

Let's just get to recapping the week, shall we?

Monday Nov 27
5 miles, 37:47 (7:33 avg pace)

Tuesday Nov 28
5 miles, 40:50 (8:09 avg pace)

Wednesday Nov 29

Thursday Nov 30

Friday Dec 1
4.15 miles, 30:53 (7:27)

Saturday Dec 2
It was 50 degrees and sunny so I broke out the shorts!  LOVE IT!
8.01 miles, 1:00:54 (7:37)

Sunday Dec 3
3.25 miles, 24:21 (7:29).  My 4 year old got a headlamp for his birthday so I tested it out on the run.  I really loved it!  I may be borrowing more of it in the future!

Weekly Total: 25.40 miles

Friday, December 1, 2017

November 2017 Mileage Count

Happy December!

My monthly mileage total for November ended up being 106.45 miles, JUST surpassing my October mileage so it wasn't the lowest month of the year.

Not only did I clear my 100 mile goal for the month, but November 2017 mileage was 26.2% higher than November 2016 mileage, and 34.2% higher than November 2015 mileage.

That brings my annual mileage to 1593.63! 

My goal for December remains at 100 miles.  I am upping the ante ever so slightly to hopefully get 106.37 miles so that my 2017 mileage will be an even 1700 miles.

How did your November go?

Product Review: Boco Gear 360 Visor Part 2

Product Review: BibRave Boco Gear 360° Visor

Disclaimer:  I received a Boco Gear 360° Visor to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRavePro (ambassador) and check out to review, find and write race reviews.

I have already raved about some of the features of this visor on a previous post.   Let us continue, shall we?

Here are some 360° views of the visor to better see the elastic band and wicking sweatband that I love so much. It is cool that all aspects of the visor (including the band that goes around your head) are able to be customized.  The black underside of the visor also works to reduce glare.  As someone who gets a headache pretty instantaneously without sun protection for my eyes, I love this feature!

I have saved my favorite feature of the Boco 360° Visor for last.  {Drumroll} 


For real.  My visor gets grimy with all the sweat and then, true confession time, sometimes for my post-work runs, I don't always remove my makeup before I run (gross, I know).  I love knowing I can just throw it in the wash and it will not get ruined.  

You can shop Boco Gear 360° Visors at this link.