Friday, March 25, 2016


It's that time of the month again!  RUNFESSION FRIDAY.  
It's where I reveal my deepest darkest secrets.  
I'm linking up with Marcia for this one and it's always a ton of fun! 

The last two weeks have been hard.  I've had 5 full weeks of amazing marathon training.  I can see my body changing, I am developing muscles in places that I've never had before.  Then BAM! An ache in my upper quad has sidelined me.  I have only run a few times each week for the past two weeks.  I'm trying to be as conservative as I can - I have 11 weeks of training left.  I need to be healthy.  
It's strange really.  I don't have pain on a "pain-scale" when I run.  My upper left leg just feels weak.  The pain in my quad muscle is gone.  I am happy about that.  But,  imagine jumping on one leg and that leg feels weaker.  That's what I feel.  I start running with a bit of a limp until the leg gets warmed up.  A few hours after my runs,  I develop a fairly intense throbbing that is alleviated with Ibuprofen. Any runners out there have any advice or know exactly what it is?  

I have a million different emotions, but most of all... I RUNFESS:  I'm feeling horrible that I'm disappointing my coach and running friends.  All of my emotions aside,  I hate not meeting the demands of the program.  It is killing me!  I feel like I'm being smart and only pushing so far, but I can't seem to get this emotion out of my head. 

I RUNFESS... I've kind of been a crabby bitch the past few weeks.  

What's that expression:  If mama ain't got her run in... don't bother her???  My husband commented to me the other night that I was being a major "B."  He was right.  My mind is on running;  pretty much anytime I don't have to worry about other responsibilities.  Oh yeah... I have kids right??  All jokes aside,  if I wasn't so set on completing my first marathon, this injury setback may not be that big of a deal.  I would just take time off and everything would be ok. 

On a different note, as I type this my two hoodlums are running around spitting on each other for fun.  And commence..... deep breathing exercises.  Or maybe a strong beer.  Yeah.  That's it.  Breathing and Beer.  That'll do it.  I hope.

I RUNFESS:   I'm thinking about suing Target for having the damn Cadbury Milk Chocolate Mini Eggs.  Seriously, they should be illegal.   Sweet sweet creamy goodness all with a hard candy coating.  It's like magic in my mouth and I have a big mouth.  I need an intervention STAT!   I won't even begin to talk about Papa Murphy's.  That's a whole different day and an entirely different post!

I RUNFESS:  I've never actually been on a diet.  I'll just say that I've tried very hard to eat a bit healthier.  But you know what??  I could care less most days how I eat.  I know that I should.  But dammit... I don't care.  I work hard and I want to eat those Cadbury Eggs.  Someday, I'm hoping my brain will get the hint that I can't live on pizza everyday.  Ok, I'm lying 3 x per week.  ;)  

I won't even talk about that beer I have after work.  Just one.  That does the trick.  But honestly, most days I cannot WAIT to get home and have that one beer.   
The graphic below really made me laugh this week.  Sorry for the crude language.... well no I'm not sorry about that either.  WOAH!  I'm on fire today!

Writing this post has been great.  I feel so much better.  Thanks guys!   

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Grandma's Marathon Training Week 6: Complete

 Grandma's Marathon Training
Week 6: Complete

Well, there's no way to sugar coat this week.  It SUCKED!  Other than the awesome Hot Dash 10 Mile on Saturday, everything else was pretty much awful.

Week 5 of training I pushed myself hard in my workouts.   Unfortunately, I think that I injured my upper quad muscle during my sprints and tempo run.   Therefore, this week my training was next to nothing!  *sigh

I am feeling all sorts of emotions about it.   It's funny how your mind and body miss routine and OH LORD... how I miss routine.  I don't feel complete when I'm not running. 

I feel guilty for not running.  I feel guilty FOR running.  I feel guilty for sleeping in and not doing "other" workouts.  I feel totally pissed off that I'm the one that's injured and no-one else.  I realize that is completely ridiculous, I know others are dealing with injuries too.  Just emotion.  You know? 

I feel like I'm letting my girls down.  I feel like I'm letting my trainer down.  I feel like - "hey, it's ok... I have 90 days until Grandma's" - I'll be fine.  I try not to hold on to one emotion for too long or it drives me crazy.

Day ONE: 

I knew something was wrong when on Monday morning's run it took me a good 1/4 mile to warm up. I started with a bit of a limp or hitch in my step on my run and knew that something wasn't quite right.  It happened to be hill repeat day and during the uphill, my quad felt pretty good.  It really wasn't an awful run.  It was warm and a bit rainy - I will take anything besides snow! :)  I was happy with the end result of the run.  However, afterwards I was pretty sore the rest of the day.  Coach Susan ordered a few days off!


No working out.  I will say the sleeping in was amazing!

Day FOUR:  

Stopped at the gym for some weights - and silly me HAD to jump on the treadmill.  God for bid I give myself a bit more time to recover.  3 easy miles on the mill.  Leg felt about the same post run as after Monday's workout.

Day FIVE: 

Another rest day.

Day SIX: 

RACE DAY! Wahoo!  I was supposed to have 15 miles on plan today - with 10 miles being race miles and 5 miles for the marathon miles.  I decided a few days prior that I'd just run the race instead.  The race was so much fun! I've already recapped on the blog - here's the link if you want to read all about it! :) 

Long and short of it - I busted out after 3 slow miles.  I just couldn't take it anymore, so I took off and paced about 8:20's the last 7 miles.  It felt awesome! 

Today as I write this I'm nursing general leg soreness, which is OK.   I feel my quad... more sore walking up steps which I find sort of weird.  It was cold and damp on the run, so my muscles are sore pretty much all over.  I've popped quite a few Ibuprofen already today to ease the discomfort and I'm contemplating my week 7 of training.  My heart says just run and run slow - maybe take out sprints and tempo and just run.  My head is telling me different.  What do I do?  I don't want to injure myself into a difficult recovery.  I feel like this quad "pain-in-my-ass" will go away fairly quickly if I just rest.  Maybe a week?   But it will kill me.

How was everyone else's week?  I'm linking with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!  Follow along and comment!  We love to hear from you!

Hot Dash, Hot Swag, Hot Dish - Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a race entry into the Hot Dash 10 Mile 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.

This weekend, I ran the Twin Cities Hot Dash 10 mile!
It was fantastic! Very cold, but fantastic!

Make sure to check out my review on BibRave!  While you're your latest race too! 

1:27:06  - 8:37/mile

Saturday morning, I woke up rested.  I looked out the window and my mouth dropped.  I guess living in Minnesota, I shouldn't be surprised to see a fresh layer of snow on the ground.  I already knew that it was going to be a chilly 28 degrees and the snow didn't make it any easier.  

The hour drive into Minneapolis was treacherous to say the least.  I basically "white-knuckled" it as I passed accident after accident.  I swung by to pick up some fellow bibrave pros that I met for the first time.  We instantly hit it off and had a great race together!  

Parking to the race was a bit of a hassle.  Traffic was hardly moving into the parking ramp, but on the bright side, we were able to stay in the warm car until just about start.   We cut it close.  Of course, I HAD to do my pre-race pee... and luckily the race organizers had ample porta-potties.  I waited only about 2 minutes which was great!  

I've had a nagging quad pain for the last week or so, which has caused me to take some time off of running this week.  I was worried that it would effect my race, so initially, I started out slow for the first 2-3 miles.  Once I realized my leg didn't hurt during the run, I almost effortlessly picked up the pace and starting doing 8:20's.   The only negative to the race start was the bottle-neck of the first few miles.  Faster runners are weaving to pass slower runners.  Due to my late arrival to the race, I was unable to start at my proper corral so I had to weave quite a bit for the first 2 miles.   

As I write this race recap however, my quad is sore and has a bit of a throb.  What the heck is going on? I still think that it's from the week before when I pushed so hard during my sprints.

The course was very flat until about mile 7.5 when the bridge with the hill came up.  The good part about the hill is that it has a downhill right after.  Yahoo!  Can't beat that.  The view over the Mississippi is fantastic too, but you have to be all the way to the right if you'd like to really see the view. :) 

I loved the post-race party because of the Minnesota Lumberjack theme.  I made sure to bring my beard with me for the funny pictures at the end.  We were treated to hotdish that was HOT and tasty at that end as well.  This was in addition to the usual post-race fare of bananas and chips.  I also liked that we all got a 20 oz. water bottle! 

Hot Dish - with Cornflakes! Can't beat a hot dish with corn flakes! :)

We made sure to make our way to the Hot Dash banner and get all the fun props for our photos! I did bring my own beard with for effect.  HA!

This course was not a course PR for me, but I do think I could have done it had I not been so cautious about my leg to begin with.  My official time was 1:27:06.  8:37/mile.  That deserves a celebration as I was fairly close to negative splits and really put the pedal to the medal the last 4 miles especially!  Yahoo!!

The medal was a great addition to the race as last year the race didn't have one!  It's pretty cute!  Does it sound bad that I would have liked it bigger???  Can't EVER have your race bling too big!  It's not huge, but it's a medal.  I bet next year it will be bigger!!  I do really LOVE the race shirt we got!  It's fantastic! The logo on the back is super cute and the size is just right.  I will definately be wearing it again for sure!

Overall, I am very happy with how this race turned out.  Obviously, it could have been warmer outside, but it is still March in Minnesota and that means snow and cold.  I would highly recommend this race to anyone who wants a nice distance in March!

Friday, March 18, 2016

GOT RECOVERY? GET - 2XU Compression Sleeves and Socks!

Disclaimer:  I received compression calf sleeves and racing vectr socks from 2xu  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. 

The opportunity to test out these two products couldn't have come at a better time.  I am currently finishing week - 6 of a twenty week marathon training program and it is intense!  The picture above is capturing my 400 m. sprints.  Man, they were very difficult because I pushed hard, but my 2XU sleeves and vectr socks performed awesome! 

When these products came in the mail,  I "may" have channeled my inner Tom Cruise and slid across the floor like he did in "Risky Business."  Ssshh... don't tell anyone. :)  I was so excited, I immediately put them on and started my first feel test!  They have a great amount of compression and are easy to put on. 

If you're anything like me, compression was a word that was not in my vocabulary.  Honestly, I thought that the "knee - high" socks were just a stylish running fad that added to the whole outfit while running.  It wasn't until about 6 months ago that I found out that compression really does aid in performance and recovery.   I previously have had the opportunity to test out compression socks and that's when I was hooked on the recovery benefits of compression!  

Naturally, when I was given the opportunity to test out compression calf sleeves and compression racing socks from 2xu, I was excited!  I have a pair of their compression pants that I absolutely LOVE and couldn't wait to add to my collection of gear from a great company! 

As an added bonus, we got to pick out our color.   I'm kind of a "girly-girl", so of course I picked pink!   Ha, girly-girl yes.... with a bit of tenacious bad-ass molded in too!

I am an avid runner and log between 30-40 miles per week.  I have found that I am finding the most benefit with these calf sleeves for recovery.   In the picture below, I am multi-tasking!  I am reading stories with my little,  but also enjoying some relaxing recovery with compression in the process!  I love the way I feel after I take off the sleeves particularly.  That may sound funny, but it really does feel like my calves were just at the spa after a fantastic pedicure!

It is also not uncommon for me to come home from a long day at work and put on the sleeves just for added support and recovery.   

Post - work day compression!
In addition to the calf sleeves, I am absolutely loving the vectr racing socks!  They hug my heel and don't slip ever when I'm running.  There is added compression through the body of the sock and they feel great!  I have never had an issue with chaffing or movement and I wear them constantly.  I can't keep them off my feet.  I need more for sure.  I am a life-long lover of these socks.  They are moderately priced at $19.95, but in my opinion totally worth the money!  Use CODE:  TRAIN15 for 15% off any purchase!

  • X:LOCK Compression Technology to optimize footstrike and push off, while also preventing abrasion injuries
  • Dry mesh panels for ventilation and moisture management
  • X:BLEND fiber formula: NYLON
  • Linked toe + anti-blister technology
  • Propulsion pad that cushions forefoot impact
  • Antimicrobial fabric

    All in all, I am very happy with my both of these products.  2xu have hit a home-run with recovery products!  Go check them out here.  

    As always, make sure to review your favorite race on BibRave.  Don't forget!  This Tuesday, March 22nd, 8 pm CST - Twitter Chat!!  We will be discussing all things running and 2XU is our sponsor. If you participate, you could WIN some great gear from 2xu!!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

In Sickness & In Health: Grandma's Marathon Training Week 5

Grandma's Marathon Training
Week 5 Complete!!

It's hard to believe that it's been 5 full weeks of marathon training!  It's been a crazy week.  The sickness bug hit our house hard so my training was all over the map.  

Day ONE:  My 6 year old woke me up a bit earlier than my 4:45 am alarm due to a 104 degree fever.  I quickly went into panic mode because I realized that I wasn't going to be able to meet the girls at 5 am for sprints.   Obviously, William is priority, so when he asked that I lay with him it was a no-brainer.  BUT, that hiccup in my training had me getting creative with my sprint training.  

My husband suggested that I get my run in after work, so I did just that.  I worked my tail off.  And... in my opinion, 400 m. sprints at 6 pm is not fun.  I was very pleased with my sprints.  All total,  I did 10 and averaged 6:45/mile times.   My street was the back drop and I worked my ass off.  

What this run did teach me though is that giving up or taking a day off just because a "wrench" was thrown into my plans isn't an option during training.  I got it done and I'm happy I did.

On another note, I got an amazing gift from Wendy at  The bracelet says "you got this" and it's motivation for my marathon.  I absolutely LOVE wearing it.  Thank you so much Wendy!! If it weren't for social media, we never would have met and become virtual friends and running buddies!

Day TWO:  This run came quick.  Less than 12 hours after my crazy evening sprints I woke up for what I thought was going to be an "easy" 5 miler.  8:50's wasn't slow by any means, so it was a tough morning.  I overdressed for sure as it was 55 degrees at 5 am.  Believe me!  I am NOT complaining about the amazing March weather we are having, but I forget how to dress when it gets warm again.

Day THREE:  Tempo run with hills.  My trainer loves to give us extra challenges.  The instructions were the hilliest route maintaining 8:30's or better.  I am extremely happy with my splits!  Again, I ran my butt off, and I almost hit negative splits!  Just so close!  My total time was 8:22/miles because we had a slower warm-up.  But, I think the total 5 miles of tempo would have been about 8:15's so that makes me extremely happy!

Day FOUR:  By Thursday, I was starting to feel less-than-stellar.  My son was sick for three days in a row and it had started to effect me.  And, my legs were TOAST!   I pushed my body slightly beyond limits the first three days.  Because I didn't have the energy to run on day 4, I decided an arm day was in order.  I headed to the gym to get some weights in.  Believe it or not, I was nauseous at the end.   My body was screaming for a break so I knew that Friday would be absolute rest.

But, before I left.... the obligatory mirror - gym - selfie took over and I just love this progress.

Day FIVE:  If you could have a crime scene for puke, you should have seen my son's room.  I've been lucky.  I have a 6 and 4 year old and really have never had to clean up much vomit that didn't hit a bucket or the toilet.  My luck ended.  Bed, pillows, comforter, sheets, floor, clothes, rugs... OH LORD!  This day was spent, washing and washing and washing.  In between, snuggles and naps and rest.  I kept both boys home and we just hung out and tried to get better.

On another totally CRAZY note:  A very intoxicated man drove into my neighbors house!!

He drove approximately 65 mph into the house when he couldn't make the corner.  He fled the scene but was caught minutes later.  Apparently, he had already hit and run another woman and was fleeing the scene.  THANK GOODNESS there were no kids in the way.  Every single child in the neighborhood was playing outside.  The owner of the home was just in his garage when the guy hit is house!!

People are crazy!  He deserves to be in jail a long time!!

Day SIX:  11 miles on plan today.  I told myself that if my head were in the clouds like the day before, I wouldn't go.  Alarm rang at 5:00 am.  I laid in bed for 5 minutes with my phone in my hand contemplating texting the girls to tell them I was out.

I remembered an article about when you should and should not run when you're sick.  Anything above the neck is OK, anything below it's recommended not to run.  Since my sickness was cough and cold I thought..... WWSD.  " What - Would - Susan - DO?"

Consequently, I jumped out of bed and got it done!  8:45 per mile on a gorgeous morning! Can't beat it!  The picture above is my post-run selfie.  The sun was amazing as it rose in the sky!  I was happy to be alive and happy to have pushed through!

Thankfully, everyone in our house is on the mend and we can get back to our regular routine and smiles!


28.6 miles
4.2 hours
3123 calories
4 runs

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!  Check out their great blogs and other great blogs in the process!

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Merino Wool Buff - Find Out Why YOU Need It!

Disclaimer:  I received a Merino Wool Buff from Buff_USA 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 newest running accessory obsession is absolutely the Merino Wool Buff!  It is multi-functional, sporty, and cute all at the same time.   Best of all:  it performs tremendously!  

Living in Minnesota brings different weather challenges.   For most of the winter, it is bitterly cold with sometimes ferocious wind.  But, then there are weeks like the last week.  The morning run is a bit windy, but after a few miles the wind and temperatures feel amazing.  Spring is in the air!  You feel excited to be alive and running in such an awesome state as Minnesota!  

I have been very pleased with the functionality of my new merino wool buff.  In the picture below, I demonstrate some of the ways that I have been wearing it.   It wicks sweat and is not too bulky or heavy.  I hardly even notice it when I run.  It has been on several types of runs too; from tempo, to long and short runs. 

I wear this Buff proudly, and the best part is.... it's not just for sport.   I have worn it as a scarf as well!  Doesn't it look great with my purple coat?  PS:  I "may" have requested the eggplant color just for this purpose.  

I have a few favorite ways that I like to wear my buff.  For me, with my climate,  I have gotten the most use out of my buff as a neck and face gaitor.  I pull it way up over my nose for the chilly runs and then it easily folds down to cover just my neck if I get too hot.  I also have a lot of hair, so I like it as a headband as well.  I bunch it up....throw it on and go!  

Another great feature of the Buff is it's ease for washing!  Once out of the wash, I don't dry it.  I lay it flat and it dries in no time!  If you have more questions about different ways you can wear your buff, just check out the video below!  I love mine so much that I am looking into a few different colors!  They even have tie-die!  How cool is that?  Right now on the Buff website, they are offering FREE shipping with any $40 order.  Hurry, you won't want to miss it!

Make sure to check out our #bibchat on Twitter this Tuesday, March 15th,  8pm CST.   The chat is sponsored by Buff_USA and BibRave.  We will discuss how awesome this product really is and throw in some running chatter as well! You won't want to miss it! 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

PR's and Boosted Confidence

Grandma's Marathon Training 
Week 4 Complete! 

This week was a great week.  It took 4 weeks to feel like I've gotten in the swing of this marathon training, but I think I've got it!  I'm actually really enjoying the different types of runs that I'm doing each week.  It breaks up the monotany of the everday run.  I can feel myself getting stronger too!

This week was made better by a few unexpected PR's and a little confidence booster in the gym. 

Day One:  Hills!  Oh... how I love hills.  In our neighborhood, just right out my front door we have a doozy.  It's torture!  We started with a 3 mile warmup and then 2 miles of hill repeats.  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?  Well, I sounded like a barking hyena when I was done.   But, I felt like a superhero.  Great start to my Monday.

Day Two:  A beautiful, fresh, but ever-so-annoying light layer of snow fell the night before.  This made for a very slow recovery run.   I barely got in 5 miles before I needed to cruise to the shower.  This run felt fantastic though.  I barely broke a sweat and I gave my legs the much needed rest that they needed.

Day Three:  Is this winter every going to end?  It was a bitterly cold 6 degrees. Which, intially really pissed me off.  I knew day three means tempo run.  The past three weeks have a been difficult tempo runs for me.  

Goal pace for this run was 8:30's for a sustained 4-5 miles.  We did a two mile comfortable warm-up and then started out pretty fast at 7:50's.  I had a bit of trouble keeping up with the group.  I just was a few steps behind.  But, suprisingly, I PR'd the 10K distance.   At 5AM, a PR?  Wow!!   Made my Wednesday great that's for sure.  And, because it was so damn cold, I got a pretty cool after photo too!

Day Four:  Today is the day that I do strength training.  But, because I have a little extra time in the morning, I can get some cardio in too.  The weather was snowy and windy out, so I went to the gym and got on the treadmill for 5 easy miles.  I put on my headphones and binged watched a few episodes of Fuller House.  Yup, I WAS that kid.  I never missed an episode of Full House in the 90's. 

The best part about my day were my gym selfies.  Yes, I AM that girl and YES, I do make sure no one is looking when I take them.; at least I try.  It's hard to document your progress without photos. I'm not sure why I'm so self-conscious about taking them at the weights.  I did capture a few flex photos and I couldn't believe my eyes.

I am seeing definition in areas I never believed. My calf muscles are coming along nicely.  Thank you sprints and hills -- maybe you aren't as much of a demon as I originally thought.

Question?  Do YOU take flex selfies?  Should I be embarrassed?  

Rest Day was Friday - I met up with my sister for a day of shopping and it was fabulous.

Day Six:  14 miles.  Due to scheduling conflicts, this run was solo.  I was a bit nervous because I have never run that far before on my own.  I dropped my boys at the inlaws for a few hours and set out on my journey.  BTW - orange honey stingers - ROCK.MY.SOCKS.OFF!!!  They are the best flavor ever!   

This run felt effortless.  I was mentally prepared for a 2 hour run and I just went with it.  At mile 12, I came to the top of a very steep hill, looked at my watch and realized I was on pace to PR my half marathon pace.  I couldn't  believe it. So naturally, I went for it and on a training run I pulled off a 1:53:35 half split.  WAHOO!! I finished the 14 miles at 8:40/mile and really coudn't be happier.  

My goal marathon finish time is sub 4:00:00.  I'm on my way.  The next coming weeks will sure tell the story! :)  

As always, I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.  Make sure to visit other blogs and share the love! These link-ups are so fun!