Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Taking a RUNFIE doesn't mean your too into yourself!

I lean on my Instagram, Facebook and blogging community for support, friendship, laughs, advice; just about anything running related.  It's these men and women that continue to inspire me every day. Without the connections I have made via social media, somedays my workouts wouldn't get done.  Somedays, I often wonder if I would still be a "runner."  (my best running friends aside, who inspire me to bust my butt everyday as well)  wink, wink

It frustrates me when I hear comments from others who are being satirical about how they can't forget to post their workout on social media so that everyone can see.  Sometimes, I've even heard comments from veteran runners on social media sites saying things like why don't you JUST RUN and stop posting about it every single time on social media.   I've even heard things like " real runners don't need to post selfies. "  The list goes on and really.... I shouldn't be bothered by what everyone else thinks.  But sometimes, I just am!  I work hard.  I work VERY HARD.   

Why is it wrong to share with others?  Because I do sometimes care what people think of me... I post very little about my running on my personal Facebook page.  God forbid someone doesn't approve.  I do figure that if some of my friends want to be involved,  they will like my RUN gina RUN page or my Instagram account.

My point is: for me personally, taking selfies, i.e: RUNFIE'S doesn't mean I'm vain.  I enjoy the connection, the accountability, the support that these pictures do for me.   They connect me with other like-minded people from around the globe...people I otherwise wouldn't have met without social media.  I truly love my online community.   I'm not going to stop posting RUNFIE'S anytime soon.  Thank you to all of my online friends who do the same!  I've enjoyed getting to know just a small picture in your life and will continue to enjoy it everyday.  Continue to give me support. I will continue to show you mine!  

This picture above has been one of my highest likes and commented on posts from Instagram! :)

Until we "SEE" each other again!  RUNFIE ON!!  

Friday, April 24, 2015

You Might Be A Runner If......

The Granddad Half-Marathon is only a week away!

I am anxiously awaiting half marathon #2.  The race is next Saturday in my hometown of La Crosse, WI.  My first half-marathon last October I ran with a "pre-stress fracture," which ultimately lead me to REALLY injure myself.  Consequently, I was forced into taking 10 weeks off from my training.  I took a "doctor-ordered" much needed break to heal.   Currently, I am running much smarter and not pushing my limits quite as much.  Lesson learned. 

However, here are a few of my crazy obsessions the last few days: 

You MIGHT be a runner if you've checked the weather forecast 14 times in ONE day.  

You MIGHT be a runner if you've already planned your outfit for all of the weather conditions you MAY encounter race day.

You MIGHT be a runner if you've checked the event website 14 times in ONE day, just making sure you know ALL the details.

You MIGHT be a runner if you're stressing over your sleeping conditions the night before the race. * I have two small children that will be sharing my room race-day eve.  Lord help me!

You MIGHT be a runner if the ONLY day during the week you get to wear REAL clothes, you still wore comfy shoes so as to avoid any unnecessary blisters.

I am very excited for this race.  It will literally run one block from my childhood home and I know the course very well.  I have never run this particular race before, but the event course is a very familiar driving route for me.  My parents and some other family will be there to support me along the course and I couldn't be more excited about that.  

However, I have not registered yet.  I can register up to the night before at the race expo and that is what I plan to do.  The registration fee is $70, which in my opinion is a bit steep!  But it's only money and I love running, so I'll get over that.  However, 70% chance of thunderstorms that day is making me crazy.  

 This will be my mantra on race day

I have run in the rain before.  It's not ideal and yes you actually do feel like a bad-ass.  But, I'm not jazzed about having to run in the rain.  I am crossing my fingers that 7 days out the weather will change.  Here's to hoping. 

Do you think I'm crazy for not running if it's raining? 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Finish Lines

The Finish Line is Just the Beginning

 Running means different things to different people.  Every runner has their own personal journey.  They have the "why" behind the "reason" that they run.  For me there are a variety of reasons.  None resonate with me more than crossing that finish line.  

It's a feeling that no one can take away from you!  Only you cross that finish line!  And... suddenly as you cross that line the hardships and struggles that got you to that point are all washed away.   When I cross the finish line, I am overcome with so many different emotions!   I have laughed, I have cried, I have nearly thrown up, I have passed out -- does getting caught by a friends husband count right before I passed out?  Truth be told..... the emotions go crazy at the finish line.  But there is nothing better than the amazing joy that I feel after crossing that finish line.  The adrenaline rush is like no other.  The pain getting there, completely wiped away.  It is one of THE most satisfying journeys I have ever taken.  ( Aside from the obvious ones like having my children, my wedding etc. )

Here are a few more thoughts that cross my mind at the finish line:

1:  Where's my medal? Oh Medal? Where are you? I'm a bling-whore if you haven't already figured that out.  If there's not a medal on the race, chances are I'm probably not running it.  I know that sounds silly, or maybe not... but that shiny piece of medal hanging on that ribbon is SO worth the miles!!  I promise once you have one around your neck you'll definately want more!

2:  Water!  I want WATER!!  

3:  OMG!  I'm DONE..... that took FOREVER!

4:  I'm so TIRED!  

5:  Oh please lord.... tell me that I didn't wet my pants. AGAIN!!!  ( oh the joys of child birth)

5: When can I do this AGAIN!  

My point is, cross that finish line.  No matter your distance. No matter your pace.  Get your butt to that finish line.  I PROMISE you will not be disappointed.  

This post was inspired by a fellow bloggers message about the rewards we reap from running.  If you haven't visited Wendy's blog.... do so.  She's got great posts and inspiring messages. :)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hot Chocolate 15K - Minneapolis, MN April 18, 2015

I Finished!  15K  1:23:27

For my first race of the 2015 season, it couldn't have been a better day in Minneapolis!  The sun was shining; 57 degrees at the start.  It was a tad bit windy, but actually after I was running, I welcomed the wind to cool me off!  A good friend of mine and my partner-in-crime for my early morning 5 AM runs was my race partner for the day.  We usually run the same pace and races are much more fun when you have a friend by your side. 

Overall, I think the race was very well organized.  It operated smoothly and everyone was able to indulge in the chocolate goodies at the end.  I've heard of many races where the finisher perks were unavailable at the end of the race.  At first, I found it odd that the 5K races started at 8:00 and the 15K started at 8:50.  However...the only downside to that was that we needed to park a tad bit farther away from the race.  The 5K pool of runners was much larger than the 15K runners.  The advantage that we had as racers starting later was: no lines at the port potties, optimum picture opportunities, easy gear check and all together less people.  This filtered through at the end of the race too.  I'm not one for huge crowds and it was very nice to have many of the 5K finishes already on their way home when we crossed the finish line.  

Here's a pick of my friend and partner-in-crime Heather and I at the finish!  Did I mention the medals are AWESOME!!!  These medals were a new addition this year for the 15K finishers.  Being that I'm a "bling-whore" I absolutely LOVE IT!!  In case you can't see all it's beauty on the above picture, here it is!!!

Another great addition to my race day was this amazing sign that my Instagram friend Amanda and her daughter made for me!  I saw her at mile 8 - just when I needed that little extra boost of energy to get me to the end.  I've never had a sign made for me so this was extra special! It is going to hang on the wall next to my treadmill. It makes a nice memory for me!

Below is Amanda and I after the finish. Believe it or not... we had never met until yesterday.  We became friends and motivators for each other on Instagram.  She came down to the race just to see me and to meet me.  I felt like a million bucks!  Here's to hoping I can support her in a few short weeks at her marathon debut!  This just shows you how amazing the running community is.  Support can come from anyone and I am so thankful for the support I receive from my Instagram and Facebook Community.

This race is a MUST-DO for anyone in the Minneapolis area. It will for sure be added to the list of my favorites.

My only disappointment on the day was that I ran 9.48 miles.  I need lessons on how to cut the course so that I am as close to the mileage as possible.  My Garmin clocked me at the same finish time, but with my mileage it was 8:48 / mile.  Hot Chocolate Ram Racing has me at 8:58/mile.  I realize that to most people this is peanuts of a difference.  I attribute some of the extra mileage to dodging runners at the start of the race - it was crowded the first 1 1/2 miles.  I feel like I could have been placed one corral up as well and that would have made a slight difference.

This race inspired the start of my season. I cannot WAIT for the next one.  In two weeks I will be completing my 2nd half-marathon in La Crosse Wisconsin.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Embracing the Beauty of Spring

There IS something to say about the "quiet" of an early Spring morning. 
My alarm rang as usual this Monday morning at 4:45 AM - my Garmin Vivosmart ( which I love) actually startled me awake.  I was excited about my run.  It would be the first one in months where I didn't have to dress from head to toe to keep out the frigid Minnesota winter temperatures.   My outfit was perfect for the weather... and I think that is why I had such a fantastic run this morning. 
At 5 AM in Spring, birds are just starting about their morning, the air is crisp and traffic is minimal. The streets were still damp from the rain the night before which made my Mizunos crunch with every step on the fresh sand of the road.   I say the "quiet" of the morning because even though there were outside sounds - in the darkness your senses are alert to the beauty that is an early Spring morning.  I had no distractions of city noises; no dogs barking, cars rumbling, kids playing.... just my breath, my footsteps and the beautiful natural sounds of Spring.
My run felt natural, pure and effortless. I embraced this feeling and loved every moment of this run.  That doesn't always happen.  Some runs are struggles.  Today started out absolutely beautiful.  It felt so great, I even pushed pace this morning and had the fastest run I've had in a very long time.  Even at 5AM! 
If you haven't experienced the calm and quiet of a morning run in darkness it is a MUST try. 
Have a fantastic Monday!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Morning Runs! I call them "Ass-Early"

I have been running for about 4 years now.  
But, I didn't get serious about my running until I got serious about my training.   I have a very busy life.  No, I don't think that it's any busier than any other mom that's for sure.  However, through a lot of trial and error - I embrace the term "Ass-Early."

At first, I undoubtedly rolled my eyes and laughed at my running friends who got up every morning before the sun, before most were out of bed, even before the birds were chirping!  They were crazy.  Out of their mind.  They had to have a problem.... who would WANT to get up that early, and especially to run??  WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??

As a mom, I wasn't doing much for myself. We all know how demanding motherhood is and then when you factor in work, food, house and all the other incidentals there's barely time to breath. Then  you fall over from exhaustion and start it all over the next day.   Don't even talk about that husband.  What husband? 

I have always had aspirations of doing a marathon, but thought well... lets just see if I can complete a half marathon first.  So, in April 2014, I called those crazy girls who got up in total darkness and asked if I could tag along for a morning sweat session.  And... the rest is history!

I love the picture above because at 4:45 AM when my alarm goes off, I often question what expression I will shout out first!  This truly is a great start to my day.  I meet the best running partners a girl could ask for at 5 AM - in ALL weather conditions.  Ok.... maybe not ALL - fresh heavy snow makes me nervous so my bed wins on snowy days.  And super frigid temps too.  Here in Minnesota we get MANY below zero days and when the wind chill approaches -10 degrees - we usually run indoors.  Although we have been known to run with wind and -8 degrees.   

My point is:  "Ass-Early" is amazing.  
I get my run in before the sun is up, before my family is up, before the birds are even up on most days and I start my day feeling GREAT!  Even after I have a terrible run, or a run where I'm feeling like it will never end.... it always gets me on the right foot moving forward for the rest of my day! 

Yes, my friends will tell you I DO complain.  Some of it for real. Some of it for "show."  There are days where I need to force myself out of bed and down the stairs out the door.  Not every run is a great run, but you'll never know if you don't try!   I encourage you to try an "ass-early" run.  I know you wont regret it!!

Since my training began... I'm still dreaming of my marathon goal.  
I am hoping I'll finish my first in October of this year.  I completed my first half marathon on October 30, 2014.  My next is one month away and I can't wait!