Monday, January 29, 2018

Last Week's Mileage

We had some great weather at the end of the week - I ran in shorts two days in a row.  Alas, it snowed again yesterday so back to the cold.  Such a crazy January here - temps all over the place from negative teens up to 50s.  That is quite a swing!

It was a pretty standard week for us.  My weekly mileage, which has been hovering around 25 for 3 months now, was enough to put me over the 100 mile mark for January.

Sunday January 21
0 miles
I'm going to be honest - I was slightly hungover all day this day.  We had a retirement party (because I guess we're old now) the night before and it was super fun so I had a little too much to drink.  The only physical activity I had was going bowling with my family.

Monday, January 22
3.3 miles, 30:00 (9:05 avg pace)
We got the kids to bed and my husband also wanted to run so he took the first turn on the treadmill.  I got dressed to head outside.  I was putting my shoes on when I realized it was sleeting outside.  Yeah - sleet + dark = no thanks.  I took my own turn on the dreadmill.  It was a struggle to get to 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 23
4.0 miles, 31:41 (7:55 avg pace)
Beat the bus!  Had just enough time to get this short run in after work before my daughter arrived home.  I strapped on the yaktrax to get a pretty snowy run in.

Wednesday, January 24
0 miles
A bit of a crazy day.  I am completely out of the habit of waking up early to run, instead relying on the "beat the bus" strategy.  I had to take my son to the doctor in the early afternoon for immunizations, then pick my daughter up from school and then some extra errands.  No running.

Thursday, January 25
6.2 miles, 49:43 (8:01 avg pace)
I got up early!  Even though I stayed up later than usual the night before!  It felt good to be back to the morning run, even though I was hearing some weird animal noises that were freaking me out.

Friday, January 26
6.2 miles, 46:21 (7:28 avg pace)
I left work a tad early so I could get a longer "beat the bus" run in.  I was pleased that I got in a 10K.

Saturday, January 27
3.47 miles, 26:24 (7:37 avg pace)
4.0 miles, 31:08 (7:47 avg pace)
7.47 miles total
My husband took our kids to the high school tennis courts since it was such a nice day out so I took the scenic route to the courts to watch them for a bit and then took the scenic route back home - thus the broken up run.  This run was hard for me.  Despite being warm, it was very windy.  And I have lost the ability to run a slower pace outside, which is something I will again have to get good at to survive another round of Hanson's marathon training (start date: Feb 11!!!!).

Weekly Total: 27.17 miles

Friday, January 26, 2018

Product Review: Sweat X Sport Detergent and Odor Spray

Product Review: Sweat X Sport Laundry Detergent and Extreme Odor Eliminator Spray

Disclaimer: I received a bottle of Sweat X Sport laundry detergent and a bottle of the Sweat X Extreme Odor Eliminator spray to review 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!

As much as I would love laundry to disappear from my life, it is one of the tasks that is in my to-do list. And I'm always behind, but I'll save that discussion for another day.

Obviously as a runner, I have a lot of sweat filled laundry to do, even more so in the winter. I haven't ever tried a sports-specific laundry soap but recently I took a winter jacket out of the closet, got about 2 minutes into my run and was so disgusted by how it smelled - like sweat had been baked into it.

Enter Sweat X.

This laundry detergent is specially formulated that is uniquely designed to remove "embedded foul odors" from fabrics. It is safe to use in High Efficiency (HE) machines, it is non-toxic and biodegradable. The 45 oz bottle covers 45 loads of laundry - a little goes a long way. The detergent removes odors from clothes instead of masking them with a fragrance. After I wash my clothes with this, they just smell like clean clothes - no perfumes, heavy fragrances, etc. And that gross running jacket? NO MORE SMELL!

My favorite feature of the laundry detergent is that independent testing has shown that it has "no dermal impact" aka it is is safe for sensitive skin, which my kids and I both have.

I also tried this out with my kids snow pants and winter jackets which smelled like wet dog. YAY! It worked.

In addition to the bottle of laundry detergent, I was also sent the Odor Eliminator Spray.

The spray is designed to remove odors from sporting equipment that cannot be washed in the washing machine - think football pads, hockey pads, RUNNING SHOES!!! I tackled my whole closet full of running shoes with a vengeance and based on the success found there, next hit up my kids snow boots. What is it about snow gear that absolutely attracts the grossest smells?!!? I sprayed the boots and shoes, let them dry overnight and then took a big whiff the next morning. Nothing. Meaning - no smell, no overpowering fragrance. Just neutral air.


I held back from spraying my stinky kids with the stuff. :)

My fellow BibRave Pros had some other great uses for this spray - The seats in your cars, dog beds, and furniture.

Overall, I have been Xtremely pleased with these Sweat X products. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself there!)

The code BibRave15 gets you 15% off at their website and right now I noticed that products ship free through January 31. The products are also available on Amazon.

You can read the reviews from other BibRave Pros on the Sweat X products at the links below:

Amy W-
Kevin -
Jenn -
Randy -
Vanessa -

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Turn the Beat Around

Last week started out with a monster rest day as I was still feeling ill and then ended on a high note.  I finished my course of antibiotics and definitely started feeling better.  FINALLY.  I do still have a lot of phlegm that I am dealing with which is annoying, but nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I was happy to manage to hit the 25 mile mark this week despite all self-discipline going out the window.  The early days of this week were SQUEEZING runs in where I could which is a strategy that worked but I don't enjoy.  Also, I am not going to be able to rely so much on that once marathon training starts.  Part of me is like, "I should enjoy this down time and not worry about it" and the other part of me know that it is hard to get back into habits once they totally break down.

In other news, I found out that I am a Balega ambassador for the second year in a row!  I liked this ambassador program last year and I love Balega socks so I decided to apply again.  Very excited to represent again!
And now it's time for the mileage breakdown:

Sunday January 14
0 miles Rest Day

Monday, January 15
3.15 miles, 25:17 (8:02 avg pace)
After weeks of very cold weather with no snow, it snowed this day!  I strapped on my Yaktrax and headed out.  I think it is so fun to run in a snowfall...and pretty!

Tuesday, January 16
4.01 miles, 29:13 (7:18 avg pace)

Wednesday, January 17
0 miles

Thursday, January 18
4.01 miles, 30:39 (7:39 avg pace)

Friday, January 19
6.6 miles, 50:59 (7:43 avg pace)
My kids didn't have school so they were at my husband's aunt's house, which meant that I had a good 2 hours after work before they were going to be home.  I definitely took advantage.

Saturday, January 20
7.43 miles, 1:00:20 (8:08 avg pace)
In early February, I am again doing the Indoor Marathon Relay at the Petitt National Ice Center here in Milwaukee.  Our Oiselle WI leader organized a few practices beforehand and this was one of them.  My Garmin does not work on the indoor track so I usually try to count laps.  Unfortunately, I forgot to start counting laps because I was talking to some other women while doing some easy running as a warm up.  Luckily I was wearing my HOVR Under Armour running shoes which track distance on their own.  The beginning of the data is a little ugly because I was wearing them to do some demo videos for the relay and then some start and stopping so my first "mile" in them is 12:05 avg pace.  However, after I started running "for real" I was actually running pretty quickly, even managing a sub-7 mile.  I tried doing 1 fast lap followed by 2 rest laps since I haven't done any formal speed workouts in a LOOOONG time.

Weekly Total: 25.19 miles

Monday, January 15, 2018

More of the Same

I can't even explain last week.  It was not a good one by any stretch.  Three members of my household were cycling through illness, and one of them was me.  I left work on Wednesday morning, after my colleagues were like WHY are you here, and, after some hours of rotting on my couch, threw in the towel and went to the doctor.  She prescribed me some antibiotics for a sinus infection which immediately started wrecking havoc on my digestive system.

I started a new drug cocktail, that slowly but surely kept me alive through the weekend.  Every 12 hours I was taking Mucinex DM with my antibiotic and then every 4 hours I was taking Tylenol. 

I am on day 15 of this superbug and finally...FINALLY I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.  I am looking forward to having a healthy day of 2018 maybe this week.  We will see.

Until then, pass the tissues.

My goal last week was to complete the lululemon 40|80 Strava challenge.  I went on one fantastic long run mid-week because I was working from home and the weather was in the 50s.  I didn't feel that great at the start but I ended up taking a meandering route and keeping a consistent pace that still felt easy and what do you know.  I ended up back home with a 9 mile run.  I completed the challenge with Saturday's run and took yesterday completely off.  I took a two hour nap.  Drank lots of tea.  We changed out of our pajamas to go to church, got home, and changed back into our pajamas.  We made cookies, did paraffin hand spas and watched a movie.  And then I went to bed early.   Total #restdaybrags

Sunday January 7
5.35 miles, 40:42 (7:37 avg pace)

Monday, January 8
0 miles
I took the day off thinking a day of rest would help me kick the crud.  It didn't work.

Tuesday, January 9
4.11 miles, 31:20 (7:38 avg pace)

Wednesday, January 10
0 miles
Finally went to the doctor, started antibiotics

Thursday, January 11
9 miles, 1:11:59 (8:00 avg pace)
This was a great run.  I wasn't worried about getting back home in time for anything, I just plugged in my podcast and kept putting one foot in front of the other, stopping to expel some phlegm and shoot some snot rockets every so often.

Friday, January 12
3.2 miles, 24:50 (7:46 avg pace)
I did this as dinner was in our pressure cooker.  I just wanted to chip away at the remaining miles I needed for the Strava challenge.  It was so cold outside, I just kept telling myself "An easy can do an easy 5k."

Saturday, January 13
5.21 miles, 40:27 (7:46 avg pace)
I needed an 8K to complete the challenge so that is what I set out to do.  This run was a bit miserable, but it did feel good to get out for a bit.

Weekly Total: 26.87 miles

I had wanted to start building up weekly mileage in January, but at this point, I feel like the best decision would be to get healthy and strong before I have to start marathon training in mid-February for Grandma's Marathon.  I am really getting excited to put in some hard work again!

Monday, January 8, 2018

First Few Miles of 2018

I started to feel a little off on New Years Eve and haven't really rebounded.  Sinus issues, sore throat, the usual upper respiratory virus here.  Argh.  Today is day 8 of symptoms that appear to be worsening.  ARGH.

Additionally, like the rest of the country, Wisconsin had a long cold spell that, thankfully, ended yesterday.  I joined the Lululemon 4080 challenge on Strava and for that sole reason, I still tried to run outside. (Treadmill miles do not count for the challenge.) Thankfully, all I had to deal with were cold temperatures - no ice or snow.  And honestly, it didn't feel that awful at all.  I ran during the "hottest" part of the day usually and covered every inch of skin.  I usually cannot breathe through gaiters very well, but I am in love with the Buff Thermonet I purchased and may have to purchase a few more.

As I have mentioned a few times, I am starting to get bored without an actual plan to follow so I am going to follow the Stride Into the Gu Year plan for the next 5 weeks.  I have used these another mother runner plans before while I was in between marathon/half-marathon plans and I like them because they get me to do more strength work than I usually do (which is none).  Day 1 of marathon training will be Sunday February 11 so starting yesterday, I began counting Sundays as my Day 1 for weekly mileage.  Thus, this week's recap is a little short because it only contains 6 days.

I also have a new pair of running shoes!  I am testing the Under Armour HOVR shoe through BibRave Pro.

Monday, January 1
0 miles
I took the day off because I felt sick after feeling a sore throat take over the night before. Also it was freezing cold.  Little did I know that both of those things would continue for the entire week.

Tuesday, January 2
5 miles, 38:41 (7:53 avg pace)
This was my kids last day of winter break and so they were at my in-law's house which means that they do not get home until later and thus, I was able to log a whole 5 miles after work.

Wednesday, January 3
0 miles
Still not feeling great so took another day off.

Thursday, January 4
6.2 miles, 46:23 (7:29 avg pace)
I wanted to get a few faster miles in as I have a relay coming up on February 10 so I tried pushing the pace during the middle of this "runch". 

Friday, January 5
5 miles, 36:29 (7:17 avg pace)
I have no excuse as to why this was faster than usual. 

Saturday, January 6
7.1 miles, 54:14 (7:38 avg pace)
I was grateful to get a long-ish run in, although had to move the gaiter a lot to clear snot and phlegm. 

Six Day Total = 23.3 miles

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017: A Running Year in Review

2017 has come to a close and it was a great one.   I didn't set any big annual goals in 2017 and I kind of liked it that way.  Instead, I set goals for chunks of time. 

In the beginning of the year, my goal was a marathon PR, shooting for a 3:15.  Nailed it.
For the summer, I wanted to have fun, and try some new things.  I tried a trail race and a duathlon.  Both were fun. 
For the fall, I wanted to PR in the half-marathon.  Nailed it. 
For the remainder of the year, I wanted to keep my monthly mileage above 100. 
When I realized in early December that I could end my mileage on a nice, even number of 1700, that became my annual mileage goal.

I ran PRs in the marathon, half-marathon and 10K this year.  I definitely set out to do the marathon/half-marathon PRs and ended up with a 10K PR simply because I hadn't run a 10K since 2004. 

In the marathon, my PR went from 3:25:50 (2015) to 3:11:09.
In the half-marathon, my PR went from 1:29:14 (2016) to 1:28:35.
In the 10K, my PR went from 52:08 (2004) to 41:59.

I ran eight races in 2017.

January: Icebreaker Marathon Relay
I always enjoy this relay and 2017's race was no exception.

May:  Cellcom Green Bay Marathon
4th in my age group
8th female finisher
60th overall finisher

June: BigFoot Trail Run 10K
1st female
1st age group
6th overall

July: Pewaukee Duathlon
11th female
3nd age group

July: Big 10K
18th female
4th age group
107th overall

July: Race for the Bacon 5K
2nd female
1st age group
3rd overall

September: Briggs and Als 8K
6th female
1st age group
53th overall

October: PNC Milwaukee Marathon Half Marathon
2nd female
1st age group
17th overall

Thank you to Athlinks for all of this data!

Official 2017 mileage count:  1,700

Mileage for 2017 was 40.9% higher than 2016 total mileage.  I was happy with the amount, and credit using Hanson's Marathon Method plans for my marathon and half-marathon training.

Here is my mileage chart: 
The purple line is my 2017 mileage.  The black dashed line is my 100 miles/month goal that I set at the last quarter of the year to hold myself accountable during the months where I typically run out of steam.

I retired 3 pairs of shoes this year!  I said goodbye to my Saucony ISO, my Mizuno Sayonaras and my Adidas Energy Boost 3s. 

I will be carrying 3 pairs of shoes into 2017 with me : Adidas Ultraboost, Hoka Clifton 3s, Adidas Supernova.  I am loving all 3 of these shoes.  For all purposes, my Asics GTs are done, but I am using them as my Yaktrax shoes for the winter.

I renewed my Oiselle Volee team membership this year.  I also was a Bib Rave Pro, Balega Impi, and Momentum Jewelry ambassador.  I loved all of these and through BibRave Pro got to test out some really fun stuff.

Best Prizes
I won some fun race awards this year!  I won a massage for the trail race (which I gifted to my friend Erica since I don't live in Chicago).  Pewaukee Duathlon sent me a water bottle for an age group award.  I won a COOLER FULL OF BACON and a $25 Performance Running Outfitters gift card at the Race for the Bacon.  2017 was the first year I actually won prize money!  I took home $400 from my 2nd place finish/1st Wisconsin resident finish in the Milwaukee Marathon Half Marathon.

Biggest Takeaway
Consistency pays off.  I took two full weeks off from running in 2017; one after my marathon and one after my half-marathon.  Outside of that, I was running at least 5 days a week, often 6.  I had zero injuries.  I also finally learned not to run fast on every single run and to have more easy runs than not (thank you Hanson's Marathon Method).  I look forward to building on this in 2018!

Maintenance Miles Week 9 Review

I didn't hit my 25 mile goal last week.  We had a cold spell (negative temps that felt even more negative) so I was stuck on the treadmill for a lot of runs.  Because of this, I just was gunning for the 20.37 miles I needed for 1700 annual. 

Monday Dec 25

Tuesday Dec 26
4.0 treadmill miles, 35:13 (8:48 avg pace)

Wednesday Dec 27
4.5 miles, 35:45 (7:56 avg pace)
I told myself that if the outdoor temperature was positive today, I would run outside. It was 6 degrees so I brought stuff to work to run during the day. (My colleagues thought I was nuts.) It ended up being a pretty nice run!

Thursday Dec 28
3.3 miles, 26:17 (7:58 avg pac)
It was 10 degrees and snowing so I again ventured outside.  I used my yaktrax but it was still difficult to find my footing.  I made it 3.3 but it felt like 10.

Friday Dec 29
Back to negative temps.  Husband came home from work sick so I was on the 'mill after my house was in bed.
3.5 treadmill miles, 31:19 (8:57 avg pace)

Saturday Dec 30
3.3 treadmill miles, 30:00 (9:05 avg pace)
Ugh.  I really did not want to run.  I had starting drinking wine while cooking dinner.  My contacts were bothering me so I put my glasses on.  The kids went to bed and then I was thinking, "I could chip away at the 5.07 miles I have left to get to 1700".  So I hopped on the 'mill with my glasses and a big water botttle of Nuun. 

Sunday Dec 31
1.77 treadmill miles, 15:46 (8:54 avg pace)
We had our last holiday celebration with family this day so I planned on getting the exact minimum in before church.  YAY!

Weekly Total: 20.37 miles