A running survey!

Happy {almost} Independence Day, my fellow Americans! I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend and safely celebrating with family and friends. My dad is visiting this weekend so Dean is planning his tour of Naples over the next few days. On that note, any suggestions for babies and fireworks? Noise does NOT bother him in the least (yes, he can hear, LOL) but he is so used to Mitchell barking and super loud thunderstorms that it doesn’t scare him. I’m thinking we will hit up a beach a fair distance from where the fireworks are actually lit and hope for the best.

Now, for the topic of the day…

I saw this fun running survey on Heather’s blog yesterday and thought it would be a good pre-weekend, Friday post! I thought the questions were fun and I hope you do too :)

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?

Hmmm… Since I can run on the beach any ol’ day (at least when Kyle is watching Dean!), I’m going to say the mountains. Although running in the mountains is HARD work with the lower O2 levels.

2.  If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

Blech! Not a Gatorade fan… so plain. And by plain, I mean water ;)

3.  If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

Is that running store Lululemon? If so, then the Tracker Shorts fo sho! If not, probably shoes. You can never have too many pairs of running shoes!

4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?

These days I run when I have the time, but typically I am a planner. If I am training for a long race (13.1/26.2) I am definitely a training plan person. But if it is just for fun, I go for a minimum of 30 minute and then see how I feel.

5.  Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

Start downhill and end uphill. Weird? I like to feel DONE at the end of a cardio workout and finishing uphill does that to a gal ;)

6.  When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

BODYPUMP!!!!!!! And Spinning <– What I did for cardio while pregnant.

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7.  What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?

I typically either do loops or out and back runs. It really just depends where I’m running and what I’m feeling like that day.

8.  If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—>

… pair of really good shoes!

9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

Yes! Deer. Rabbits. Armadillo (nasty rodent-like things – sick!). Great Egret. And I’m always on the lookout for ‘gators… Eek!

10.  Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

Lost is a harsh word ;) I like to run while traveling which calls for exploring… I may not have known where I was at all times but I have always found my way back, haha!

11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?

French toast and big glass of OJ!

12.  Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?

I hateeee when my thighs rub together, so for any run longer than an hour (6-7 miles), I wear capris. For shorter jaunts, I wear shorts because I also hate being hot while running.

13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

Between 5-7 minutes I typically get over the “WHY AM I RUNNING RIGHT NOW??!” hump ;)

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?

My shorts or capris pocket.

15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?

I really enjoyed the Monster Dash Half a few years back. It was my first half marathon and real race (and my PR to date!) and while I wanted to die crossing the finish line, I was so proud of myself! It was before I got into blogging and before I knew runners saved their medals and talked about PRs, haha. I knew nothing until I found the blog world ;)

Becky Half-Marathon 1

16.  What type of run is your least favorite type of run?

Anything over 13.1 miles, LOL.

17.  What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?

The fact that I can FINALLY run again! I was cleared for exercise last week (even though I’ve been doing BODYPUMP since 2 weeks postpartum) but waited to run until the doctor said I was good to go. I haven’t run since Christmas so it feels amazing to stretch my legs again!

That and alone time. Both for me and for Kyle and Dean to have bonding time without me constantly eyeing them ;)

18.  When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?

Right now I leave from my front door. When I was training for the Chicago Marathon last summer, I would walk about 1.5 miles from my apartment to the CARA running groups… It was actually really nice to get that warm-up and cool-down on long run days.

19.  When running in daylight—>  are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?

An annoyance! But I wish I could wear them… They always fog up on me and slip down my nose which causes more anxiety and frustration for me than they’re worth.

20.  When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?

The fact that I need to get back home, LOL.

Are you getting out for a run this Independence Day weekend? What are your favorite shorts to wear on a run?

I did it!

I did it!

Yesterday I went on my first run since Christmas Day. My first run of 2015. My first run in Florida summer weather. My first postpartum run.


That’s a lotta firsts!

I survived, and to be quite honest, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. Granted, I set my expectations pretty darn low, but I’m in agreement with Colleen’s post, realistic expectations lead to happiness. And I’d much rather be happy than depressed about my first run ;)

My goal was 15 minutes. Once I made it to 15, my goal was 20. Once I made it to 20, I knew I’d need to hit 30 minutes to make it back home so 30 minutes it was. Postpartum running >>>>> Pregnant running, in my opinion.

My biggest fear was that I would have forgotten how to run. Ha. Apparently it’s impossible to forget that sort of thing!

I’m not going to lie, I’m all sorts of sore today. My inner thighs. My butt. My hip muscles. But I’m not complaining! I’m happy to be back in the runnin’ game and cannot wait to get out again (and sweat in that bajillion percent humidity!) this week.

Now, I’m off to stretch my sore bod before teaching my first BODYPUMP class since Dean was born. Lotsa fitness firsts this weekend and I’m lovin ‘it!

Have you ever made a fitness comeback?

Tips for Beginning Runners

Hello, hello! I’m excited to have Nicole here on ONW for y’all this morning. I love Nicole’s realistic approach to life that she shares on her blog. She’s all about balance and fitting in health and fitness where she can and, as you know, that’s my kind of girl! She’s taking over while I am on mama duty… and I hope she knows she will be getting LOTS of little boy questions in the coming weeks and months since she is a mama to two sweet boys :)

Take it away, Nicole!

Hello Olives ‘n Wine readers!  My name is Nicole and I blog at A Midwest Life.  I am so excited to be guest posting while Becky is enjoying her sweet baby boy!  Little boys are so much fun :)

Nicole Midwest Life

Currently I am training for my first marathon!  While I have been running for quite a while I have never had the opportunity to run a marathon so I can’t wait to experience the race and see how I do running 26.2 miles :) .

While I ran sporadically during middle school and high school I didn’t really start running on a regular basis until the summer before my junior year in high school.  I played tennis and found that it was a great way to stay in shape while not playing tennis.  Running in the summer in southern Kansas is HOT.  August can be pretty brutal but I stuck with it and eventually worked my way up to running 4-5 miles on a regular basis.  By the time I went to college I was determined to not lose what I had worked so hard for and ran whenever I could before or after school and work. Not too long later I was pregnant with my first son and was unable to continue to run. After he was born I didn’t really work too hard at gaining my running fitness back since I knew I was going to be pregnant again soon! A year and a half later I had my second son and found myself basically starting over with running. It felt unfamiliar and was so difficult!

Finding myself back at square one with running I was reminded as to what it feels like to be a beginner again. It is easy for someone who has been running for a while to give suggestions but when running doesn’t even feel normal or familiar those suggestions don’t really apply, at least not for me :) .

Being new to running requires a whole new perspective and approach until you start feeling stronger. These are my favorite tips to follow when first starting to run.

Start slow. Set a goal to run for just a few minutes and walk a few minutes. Start with an even 50/50 such as three minutes running and then three minutes off and slowly work towards running longer and walking less. Maybe after awhile run 3 minutes and walk 2 minutes. Don’t focus too much on speed but on how running feels and how your body is responding to running.

Run with other beginners. A lot of runners will say running with someone faster than them is a huge benefit. When you are first starting out I would suggest finding other runners that are beginners as well. They will be more relatable and will be a better support system long term as they will be going through similar things at the same time. While finding a mentor with tons of experience is great it is also important to find and meet other runners. Just as though it is important to find experienced professionals in your field as mentors as well as others majoring in the same major in college it is important to find running mentors as well as runners you can relate with on a regular basis.

Get fitted for running shoes. Perhaps one of the most important things you can do is make sure you have good running shoes. This will help reduce aches and pains, as well as help maintain better form. Visiting a running store or a shoe store that has a treadmill so they can watch you run and then suggest shoes based on your form and feet is a great way to find the right running shoes for you.

Focus on mobility. Everyone hears about how important stretching is when exercising and running. However mobility is just as important. Mobility refers to your joint flexibility. When you stretch you are mainly focusing on stretching muscles, which is also important! However, maintaining a good range of motion in your joints helps reduce the risk of injury as well as may help improve your running speed! Here are two articles about mobility.

Have fun and don’t stress! Most importantly, don’t stress about being too slow! Even if you are the slowest runner in a race or in your group you are still benefiting your health in huge ways. And you are still running! It is easy to compare yourself to faster runners and feel like quitting. I will more than likely never win a race I run, and qualifying for the Boston Marathon is quite a reach for me would require a lot of hard work, and probably not likely. It used to stress me out when others would assume that because I enjoy running that I was automatically fast. Personally, I think I am fast, compared to where I started, but that doesn’t mean that I am considered fast compared to others. The beauty of running is that you can compete, run races, and join the running community without being exceptional or considered an elite runner. Elite runners run many of the same races everyone else does, just faster! Just remember to have fun and the only person you need to compare yourself to is you :) .

I am so excited to be running again after taking a few years off! Even though starting over has been difficult these tips have helped me get back into shape without getting injured or experiencing a lot of soreness or stiffness.

If you run, what helped you when you were first starting?

The Ditka Dash – Race Recap

I never thought these words would come out of my mouth during marathon training (more to come on my training tomorrow), but I am happy to report that I was able to run a 5k yesterday – whoop!

ditka kkb

Going into the race I was nervous. I hadn’t run over 1-2 miles in a few weeks and had no clue how my knee would react. Thankfully, I was able to finish… It wasn’t a great time but the fact that I didn’t have to stop due to a crazy amount of pain was a win in my book! I am also happy that the race was only a 5k – I don’t think my knee could have taken much more than that.

Anyways, enough talk about my old man knee – onto the The Ditka Dash 2014!

ditka corral

Kyle and I headed to Soldier Field on Friday afternoon to pick up our race packets. Shockingly enough, this packet pick-up was the most organized and quicket pick-up I’ve ever experienced. Way to go, Ditka volunteers! We each got 2 t-shirts, aviators and a mustache for the run :)

ditka pick-up

On Saturday, our race heat didn’t start until 10am (the organizers had 3 different heats because there were so many people running), so we met up with our friends pre-race and found our spot in the corral.

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To everyone’s delight, Ditka himself was at the start line… smoking a cigar, nonetheless ;)

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Since the race was a fun race, there was no official clock… Thank goodness for cell phone timers for those of us Type A runners who need to know how long we’ve run.

ditka mustache selfie

(I look like my father in this selfie – yikes! Yes, he has a mustache.)

I stuck with Kyle for the first “mile” (mile is in parenthesis because I do not think the mile markers were correct in the least, haha!) until he wanted to walk for a few seconds. I knew there was no way my knee would allow me to stop running and then start again so I told him I’d see him at the finish line and kept chugging along.

Thanks to Allison’s advice, I tried my best to keep my strides shorter than normal and I think it really helped keep the pain in my knee to a minimum. Thanks girly!

ditka time

I finished in under 30 minutes, wahoo! And although I know I’ve run faster than this in previous 5k’s, I’ve yet to record it. Sooooo, I’m calling this a PR and my next race I’m going to blow it out of the water ;)

Also, there’s no telling if the race was actually the correct distance, haha! I know the mile markers were off so who knows if it was exactly 3.1 miles or slightly longer.

ditka friends

Either way, it was a blast and great to do a fun run with some Chicago friends!

What was the last fun run you participated in? Did you run the Ditka Dash? If not, you should next year! It was a ton of fun AND on the lakefront!

Marathon Training – Weeks 10-12

Six weeks left (and only 5 more long runs) until go time!

All I have to say is THANK GOODNESS! I’m quickly losing my love for running and each run takes a serious motivational speech to get me out the door. Yup, I give myself motivational speeches and bribes to get myself to run. The bribes mainly consist of food and mimosas and allowing myself to buy copious amounts of Spark but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do ;)

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I only have two more “scary” long runs before the big day – an 18-miler next weekend and then a 20-miler 2 weekends after that. I can do it…

Thankfully, Kyle has my back (I warned him when I first started training that I would want to quit every freakin’ day starting in September) and every time I say that I’m done, no marathon for me, he tells me too bad you’re going to run it. This typically results in a lot of whining and glaring, but he’s right, I’m going to run it whether I like it or not ;)

And then no more marathons for me EVER again. It’s not the running, it’s more of the time commitment that’s a killer. All of you that have run more than one marathon are my heroes.

I’ve noticed a few things over the past few weeks that I think come with the marathon training territory.

1. Everything hurts. Always. Not the “painful I need to see a doctor” kind of hurt, just the “my entire body is worn out and needs a rest” kinda hurt. I think it’s normal but I’m ready to take a break from running come October 13th!

2. I’m realllyyyy tired. I’m fairly certain that I could sleep for 12+ hours/per night at this point. Running 30+ miles/week really takes it out of you! I’ve been trying to let myself sleep more and fit in my running where it works best. On that note, I should probably get my iron checked again just to make sure that’s not a contributing factor to my sleepiness.

3. Hanger is real. I’ve been getting better at containing my hunger by eating larger meals and more protein, but when the hunger ninja strikes, it isn’t pretty. I always carry snacks with me (I’m think I may be reverting back to my toddler years, ha!) in case my stomach starts growling.

Okay, now for the last 3 weeks of running…

Week 10 called for 15 miles. It also fell on my Vegas weekend. I knew in advance that those 15 miles were not going to happen on a Saturday morning in Vegas so I moved them to Thursday afternoon. I was super nervous – 15 miles was going to be the most I had ever run at one time, but the weather turned out to be perfect (slight breeze, 70 and sunny) so I was excited to try it out. I ran along the lakefront to take advantage of the frequent drinking fountains and I managed to complete my run at my training pace. This run definitely left me feeling like I could easily (it’s all relative…) conquer the marathon!

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Week 11 was a completely different story. I had 16 miles on the agenda and it was hot and humid in Chicago that Saturday morning. The run sucked. There’s no other way to describe it. Thankfully, it didn’t just suck for me and our running leaders said multiple times to not let this run make us discouraged about our training. It shouldn’t be (fingers crossed!) that hot or humid come October in Chicago. Regardless, I finished the 16 miles, had some good conversations along the way and am more than happy that the marathon is in the fall ;)

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Week 12 definitely required some pep talkin’ for myself. It was only 12 miles (again, it’s all relative at this point!) so I decided to run it by myself. It didn’t happen Saturday morning or Sunday morning, so this morning (the Monday morning of Labor Day) I made myself crawl out of bed at 5am. That was painful… Okay, painful isn’t the right word but I just didn’t want to gooooo (whiny voice). Not surprising, once I was out getting my run on, the 12 miles felt great! Yes, it was really humid and my knees kind of hurt but it was really peaceful and I felt accomplished at the end. Anddddd… now I’m getting ready to go to brunch with my friend. It will involve mimosas (part of my personal bribe) and then I’m getting a massage as 12:30. #treatyoself

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Did you miss my previous marathon training recaps? Find them here!

Do you ever bribe yourself in order to get a workout in? Fellow marathon trainers, what tricks do you use to stay motivated through the last few weeks?

A few running questions…

Today I have a few questions for all you marathoners and half-marathoners and non-racing runners out there. I still plan on posting my 3-week marathon training updates to let y’all know how training is going, but I have a few questions I’d like to get your perspective on before my next update!

  1. Hydration – This is a tricky one for me. Obviously I want to be hydrated for my long runs (and in general), but I don’t want to be over-hydrated and have to stop for bathroom breaks every few miles. Currently, I am drinking TONS of water the two days leading up to my long runs, typically Thursday and Friday. Since I am hydrated going into my long run, I drink 30ish ounces of Spark and water an hour before my run. I also drink 2-3 ounces of water at the water stations every 2-3 miles. I haven’t had to take any breaks yet (knock on wood) but know that they will be needed once my long runs are 3+ hours. So here are my questions – How much fluid do you intake prior to a long run? How much do you drink while on your run? What are your best tips for bathroom breaks while running? (And no, peeing my pants is NOT an option – I’m not that hardcore!)
  2. Chafing – I thought I was doing so well with this common running issue until my 12-miler on Saturday. I wear capris while running so my legs aren’t the issue… It’s the girls. #ifyaknowwhatimean I didn’t notice the issue until my post-run shower. The water didn’t feel great, so I knew something was up. Lo and behold, under both there was a little chaffing. It’s still not super painful (I honestly don’t notice it) but I do know that if it continues each week, it’s going to become an issue. Question – Do I need a tighter sports bra/top? A looser sports bra? Should I buy the anti-chaffing wax cream? Too bad I can’t run topless like men can… That would totally solve the chaffing issue although it might cause other issues ;)
  3. Post-Run Rituals – Training-to-date, my post-run ritual is a little like this. Stop running –> Chug water –> Walk home while eating some carbs –> Shower –> Eat my 3rd breakfast –> Nap. If I don’t get a nap, I’m pretty crabby and cannot function, but I established that yesterday. Is there anything I should be adding post-run to boost my recovery time? (I’ve been taking my AdvoCare Performance Elite supplements post-run as well and they have been helping.) Do I need to foam roll immediately after walking home? Should I throw on compression socks post-shower? What have you done that has helped your long-run recovery?
  4. Long Run Eve Rituals – Can you tell that I like to have a schedule when it comes to EVERYTHING?! #typeAprobs I honestly haven’t had much of a ritual for my Friday nights so far in my training. I’ve gone out with friends, not eaten the best foods for marathon training, and have had one too many cocktails. Starting this week though, my Friday night rituals are beginning! Here’s my plan: Drink A LOT of water, eat Whole Food’s organic, whole wheat pasta + chicken breast for dinner, get at least 8 hours of sleep (which means being in bed by 8:45pm), and avoiding alcohol. Other things I like to do on Friday evenings pre-long run is to have my running outfit and shoes set out to make the early morning easier, have my marathon bag with fuel and running goodies ready to go and have all of my pre-run supplements and breakfast set out in the kitchen. Question – What do you typically do to prep yourself the night before a long run?

run ecard wine earned

Phew – LOTS of questions! I’m sure I’ll have more as my training progresses, so I appreciate your help with my newbie marathoner questions ;)

Oh, and also I have an update on my #sexyscab from my graceful fall a week and a half ago. First of all, it’s going to turn into a pretty mean scar so if anyone asks, it’s my marathon tattoo! Every time I look at it in the future, I can think, “Dang, I’m pretty bada$$. I ran a freakin’ marathon!” And I didn’t have to pay anyone for the tattoo ;) #positivethinking

Secondly, it was still pretty sore and swollen last weekend. Since we were in Madison and Kyle’s family is full of doctors, I had his uncle take a look. Apparently I have a hematoma (same thing that Mitchell had in his ear earlier this year!) where I fell. It’s nothing to be worried about – a hematoma is basically a pool of blood outside of your blood vessels and with time your body will reabsorb the blood, and I only need to head to the doctor if it gets red and streaky. Those are signs of infection.

Running is such a dainty sport. #saidnoRUNNERever

So, if you could, help me out and answer one of my bajillion questions above. Thanks in advance!

What’s in my marathon bag?

As a runner, I’m always interested in what other runners carry with them during race training.

Training for a marathon – or any long-distance race, is all about trial and error. It is about finding out what works for your body and what you need in order to have a successful run. Now that I’m on Week 5 of training (woohoo!) I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do pre- and post-run in order to feel my best.

My CARA running group meets at a local running store downtown on Saturday mornings, so I have the ability to leave my marathon bag (aka – whatever lulu bag is hanging out in the apartment, hehe!) at the store while running. This was a huge win for me since I walk to my training runs on the weekends. There is NO way I could carry all of this stuff with me on my 10+ mile runs. #runnerprobs

So, what’s in my marathon training bag?

Marathon - Whatsinmybag

1. Visor or hat – I absolutely cannot wear sunglasses while running. They fog up and slide down my sweaty face and are a huge annoyance for me. Enter my trusty visor! This not only keeps the sun out of my eyes, it also shades my money maker from UV rays ;)

2. O2Gold – This stuff is aptly named because it is liquid gold. Seriously. I pop 2 of these an hour before my run begins (basically as soon as I wake up) and they have powered me through each run so far. I currently have an email out to the doctors on the AdvoCare Medical Board to see if I can take O2Gold more than once per day. Once my runs get longer (18+ miles), I’d like to take this an hour before go time and then about 60-90 minutes to push me through the end.

3. Kleenex – I always need a Kleenex post-run. Who’s with me? I don’t know what it is, but my nose goes into high gear once I’m done working out. If anyone has a cure for this, send it my way!

4. Sunscreen – Before leaving my apartment, I lather up my arms/chest/back with SPF 55+. I carry a sunscreen stick with me for my nose, chin and cheeks though. And, as much as I’d like to apply it to my forehead, I don’t because it runs into my eyes and burns something awful when I start sweating! I figure my visor covers my forehead so it’s protected from the evil UV ;)

5. Spark – I carry A LOT of Spark with me on my marathon training days (Well, I carry a lot with me always but we’re talking running today!) I drink one with my O2Gold before running and then I always drink one post-run as well. I never go to bed as early as I’d like on Friday nights and I need that extra boost of energy to get my legs home after a run. Also, I have a few extra in my bag to share with fellow runners. I gave one to a girl last week – she loved it and now everyone is curious about Spark and it’s magical energy powers!

6. Chapstick – My lips get crazy chapped and/or burnt while running. I think it’s a combination of sweating, breathing hard and the sun. I found this Blistex stick that has an SPF 30 – great for keeping my lips moisturized and NOT burnt while running.

7. Sunglasses – Like I mentioned above, I don’t wear these while running, but I do wear them pre- and post-run. They’re prescription and – believe it or not, I actually like being able to see while walking to and from running ;) Plus, they hide my ugly post-run, red from sweat eyes on my way home, haha!

8. AdvoBar – I’m not sure about other runners, but I am one hangry runner post-run. Like I need food NOW or there will be a price to pay. Since I can’t have a hot egg and cheese sandwich ready for me as soon as my run slows to a halt, I have been throwing an AdvoBar into my bag to tide me over until I can shove a copious amount of brunch into my trap eat breakfast. It has only whole ingredients as well as 5g fiber and 5g protein so it definitely does the trick for my hangry, health-conscious self.

9. Inhaler – Thankfully I’ve not had to use this yet, but it’s there if I need it. I don’t have really bad asthma (just exercise-induced), it just tends to pop up on super hot and humid days.

Depending on the week, other items might make an appearance – small towel on hot and humid days, deodorant/body spray if I’m meeting up with friends post-run and gum. Also, I do carry a form of ID and a dollar or two ON me while running – you  never know when you’re going to need to buy water and to be safe, an ID is always necessary.

If you’re a runner, what do you have to have with you on training runs? What about on race day? If you’re not a runner, what’s always in your gym bag? 

Marathon Training – Week 8 Recap

I’m almost halfway through my marathon training!

This means that in 9 short weeks, I will be running 26.2 miles. Please send help. And, if you place a wheelchair with an oxygen tank and a gallon-sized margarita with my name on it at the finish line, I’ll love you forever.

lake 1

This week’s training went fairly well for me. I was able to fit in all of my scheduled runs for the first time in almost a month!

Week 8 Fitness Schedule

  • Sunday: 90-minute walk around Lake Michigan in Milwaukee
  • Monday: 3-mile run
  • Tuesday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Wednesday:Yoga Sculpt
  • Thursday: 6-mile run
  • Friday: 3-mile run
  • Saturday: 11-mile run in Chicago!! (This was supposed to be 13.1 but I’ll get to that in a minute…)

I can feel some of my stress starting to ease. Note the key word here… some.

When I visited my doctor last week due to my stress-induced hair loss issues she told me – excuse my her French… that I need to “chill the f*$! out.” She’s cool and just says it how it is which I really appreciate in the medical profession. Anyways, all of this stress is causing major issues with my hair (obviously) and my exercise-induced asthma (not good when you’re trying to train for a marathon) and it is starting to give me anxiety.

Stress can cause a variety of responses from your body, one of which is chest pain. Yep, I’m having issues with that now too. Obviously, I don’t deal well with multiple stressful situations occurring at the same time!

Even though mine is solely being driven by my asthma and stress/anxiety (trust me, I’ve had every test and scan in the book performed – I’m as “healthy as a horse” according to the lab technician…) – is terrifying and should be taken seriously. Needless to say, I am taking her word to heart and trying to reduce the amount of stress in my life as much as possible.

lake 2

My job is thankfully not stressful but after Friday, I won’t have any job to worry about. This should mean that I’ll be able to fit in another hour or two of sleep each day which is desperately needed at this point.

I also made some time to bake last night, I am getting a massage this afternoon after work and I have quite a few “goodbye” happy hours and dinners planned with girlfriends this week – all of which are huge stress relievers!

So, what does all of this talk of stress relief have to do with my marathon training? When my doctor told me I need to calm down and chill out, she also talked to me about running. Remember how I was having those really bad training weeks a few weeks ago? She told me that my body is so emotionally stressed/drained/exhausted at this point that adding in the physical stress of marathon training is too much for it at the moment.

Ugh… not what I wanted to hear.

Her advice was to continue training but to stop when I feel like I should stop and to not go one step farther. If running 15 miles per week was the only stress I was putting on my body, I would be fine but since I have the added stresses of moving, packing, finding a new job, etc. – I need to focus on one thing at a time.

lake 3

This brings me back to my 13.1 mile run that turned into an 11-miler on Saturday. Kyle and I headed down to Lake Michigan bright and early on Saturday morning so I could fit in a good 2-hour run before 9am. I started off well and tried to run at a slow-for-me pace. I was happy to see multiple Chicago Marathon running groups along the lake and also happily took advantage of their water/Gatorade booths. I figured that since I’m also training for a marathon, they’d be okay with me drinking a few ounces of their water ;)

running group

Anyways, the first 5 miles of my run were awesome… and then I turned around.

Hellooooo, Windy City! I was wondering where the wind was for those first few miles and apparently, it was at my back. No wonder my pace seemed quick while I thought I was running slow! The next 5 miles were not rough but they weren’t great either. And then I hit mile 10.

Wowsers. I walked for about 1 minute after Mile 9 and then for 1 minute after Mile 10 and by that time I knew I was out of energy and oxygen. I ran for 10 more minutes to make it to a little over 11 miles and then decided to stop per my doctor’s instructions.

To be honest, I wasn’t even the slightest bit bummed that I didn’t make it to 13.1 – I hadn’t had a long run in over 3 weeks and this was my longest run in my training so far so I was pretty proud!

Kyle was somewhere close by walking and enjoying the views with Mitchell so I texted him “need water now” and he quickly found me and gave me a big bottle of H2O :)

My overall thoughts about the run?

  • I ran too quickly – My average pace was 9:50 minutes/mile. I need to slow it down to at least 11 minutes/mile on my next long run.
  • I drank too much water/Gatorade at the Chicago Marathon stations. I must say, however, that I am glad I can experiment with this before my actual race day!
  • I loved running a new route and having new scenery to gaze at and enjoy. Lake Michigan reminds me of an ocean, at least in the summer months! Plus there is some amazing people watching in Chicago ;)
  • Sorry Minneapolis runners but Chicago runners are SO much more friendly and social than they are here in Minnesota! I probably had around 15 runners introduce themselves to me and ask me what event I was training for – I also had quite a few comments regarding the brightness and awesomeness of my shoes.
  • Compression socks/sleeves are the best recovery gear ever. Amazing.

compression socks

I can confidently say that I am happy with where I am at in my training program and that I know I’ll be able to do this, even if there is some walking involved!

If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

How do you deal with stress? Do you have any tips or ideas of things I can do to de-stress and chill out?

Marathon Training – Week 7 Recap

You guys.


I’ve been a huge slacker on the training lately. Like completely skipping my long runs kind of slacking. I don’t know what it is (well, actually I do know and that whole explanation is coming on Friday…) but I have just not had the motivation to run.

Yeah, yeah… I’ve heard it all before.

Just put on your shoes and get out the door.

Once you get past the first few miles, it’ll feel so much better.

But guess what, I just haven’t wanted to run and that’s that. And guess what again, I’m okay with it.

:: life ::

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I have a lot of stress in my life right now so I’m taking the time to give myself and my body what it needs. One of those things is sleep.

I am the type of person that needs A LOT of sleep in normal situations (we’re talking 9-10 hours per night…). Imagine how much sleep my body craves during stressful times.

I also tend to lose my appetite when I am anxious or have a lot of stress in my life so I haven’t been eating the healthiest.


Sadly, lunches like the above – however tasty and appetite-inducing as they might be – don’t really fuel me for long runs and they have to stop.

Last week my workout schedule was something like this:

  • Sunday: Hill walkin’ in San Francisco
  • Monday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Tuesday: 3-mile run
  • Wednesday: 6-mile run
  • Thursday: 3-mile run
  • Friday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Saturday: 3-mile run

On a positive note, I am actually getting some running into my routine but not the long distances that I need to be. I think my travel schedule is partially to blame. I have been out-of-town the past two weekends and will be traveling again this weekend. I’m heading to Chicago again on Friday so I am bound and determined to head down to Lake Michigan bright and early Saturday morning for a 13.1-mile run!

Just do it.

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I am a very dedicated person. When I put my mind to something, I will make it happen and this marathon training slump is going to get kicked in the behind starting today!

Last night, I set out my running clothes so they were ready to go. My bright shoes were anxiously awaiting a quick, 3-miles in the morning. I prepared healthy meal options that will nourish and fuel my body throughout the week.

I am ready to go.

Marathon training, schmarathon training… I’ve got this.

motivation quotes

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If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

How do you get through training slumps? Do you want to come running with me in Chicago this weekend? I rarely say this but I think I could use a running partner.

Marathon Training – Week 6 Recap

Week 6 was not all puppies and roses and sunsets on the beach. Not that running ever is any of those things for me but – for some reason – this week was especially not pretty.

new shoes

Except for my Asics. They are really pretty, obviously ;)

Training was hard last week. Really hard. So hard that I actually contemplated calling it quits and not even buying a plane ticket to LA to get to the actual marathon in October. I rationalized that yes, I’d be losing the $120 registration fee but I’d be saving $500+ on a plane ticket plus hotel fare. Makes sense, right?

My shorter runs during the week were fine, typically 3-7 miles are no big deal for me, but then came my long weekend run on Saturday. I was dreading it all week.

I think the self-defeating dread began when I thought I had 11 miles but then realized that I actually had 12 miles to run. Trust me, one additional mile is no big deal when you’re running 10+ miles per run but this realization just really annoyed me.

Ugh… a whole extra mile? Seriously??!

Then came Saturday and the thunder storm and humidity that gave me an “excuse” to not finish my 12 miles that morning. I thought my body wasn’t feeling it but actually, I think I just didn’t want to do it. Plain and simple.

I had the “I’ll do it tomorrow” attitude. <– Procrastination doesn’t work for me, if I procrastinate, it doesn’t get done! Hence my morning workout routine…

So, Sunday came and I woke up hoping for a less humid running experience… That wasn’t in the cards. I’m in the Midwest in July, it will ALWAYS be humid here, I should know this by now! I also didn’t sleep well on Saturday night but thought I could quickly crank out 12 miles and be done with it.

Who was I kidding? I can barely function at a desk job with limited sleep, let alone function while putting physical stress on my body!

8.5 miles

I ended up stopping at 8.5 miles after walking for ALL of mile 6 and not having the least bit of motivation to run. It felt like failure but now I realize that it was my body shouting: “HEY, idiot! I’m tired, why are you not giving me the rest and the hydration I need?”

Learning from the week: Get an abundance of sleep the night before a long run. It will give me a positive, “I can take on the world” attitude and get me through a mentally-straining run.

While I was down in the dumps about my crappy running weekend on Sunday night, I came across this post from Theodora. In it she discusses a few mental tweaks she is making to enjoy – rather than dread – her marathon training this summer.

I am going to take her advice and specifically focus on two of her recommendations: getting rid of my negative thoughts (AKA – not even showing up to the marathon and thinking that I can’t do it…) and realizing that some (or a lot, let’s be honest here…) of my training journey is just going to suck. Once I accept this, I think I will be able to enjoy it! As much as you can enjoy running 15+ miles at one time that is ;)

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I have no splits for you this week. I have no great, inspiring, motivating, marathon-training advice (unless you count Theodora’s post above…).

I just have the hope that – after my much-needed rest week this week – next week will be better. And it better be, I have 13.1 miles to get after, darn it!

If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

Have you ever accomplished something you thought to be impossible? How do you get through tough physical activities?

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