Sunday, February 26, 2017

Grandma's Marathon Training - Week 3

Week 3 of Grandma's Marathon training is a wrap! 


28.6 miles
The Bachelor
Chapped Cheeks & Chaffing

It's hard to believe I've already completed three weeks of training for Grandma's.   In a little over three months,  this will be my finish line view.  It's beautiful!  This year,  I'm going to make sure I take a dip in Lake Superior at the finish line.  Last year, I had a change of clothes with me at the finish and didn't do it.  Silly me.  


I skipped the hills and just opted to run a bit longer with my friend.  The boys didn't have school so I had the luxury of not dropping them off.  That meant a bit more time to run and a longer shower.  It's the little things.  I even shaved my legs!  Lol

It was 51 degrees Monday morning, and clearly I dressed too warm.  By mile two, my shirt came off and I donned the sports bra.  This is something I would NEVER do during the daylight hours - but who's out of bed to see me running at 5 AM?   

I've learned to embrace the sports bra a tad the last year, even though it brings me out of my comfort zone.  I'm not by any means super happy with my mid-section,  but I figure what the hell!?!  If you care, don't look. 


This day threw me for a loop.  My training called for an easy run.  I guess I don't know why I thought that my plan was the plan for the day with 3 other women running with me.  Honestly, I could have stopped at any time, but this run quickly turned into a 6 mile progression tempo run.  Something I was not planning, but it sure did feel good!

Because I wasn't prepared for the speed of this workout,  I spent a good portion of the first three miles  sucking wind and trying to catch up so that I wasn't left in the dust.  The last three miles, I fell into a pretty good rhythm,  even though I sounded like a hyena with my breathing.  

I was pleasantly surprised that I ALMOST had negative splits.  Dang it!!  Had I been paying attention, I would have kicked it in just a tad the last mile!  

7 seconds is all I would have needed to get mile 6 less than mile 5.  Meh!  Next time.  Needless to say, I felt fantastic after this run!  Absolutely fantastic!  


Rest day!  No running today.  But about 15 minutes before the night kick-boxing class, I decided to give it a go.  I just love kick-boxing and an early morning seminar that I had on Thursday prevented me from attending my normal class.  I'm so happy I went. 

I'm too embarrassed to ask someone to take a picture of me at kick-boxing so I never have any selfies.  I'm going to have to get over that I think.  


Treadmill tempo run.  I rocked it out, but oh man - another toughy.  Wow!  I had 6 miles on plan, but only did 5 miles.  3 consecutive miles at 8:15/mile has been all I can muster.  I probably should slow my speed down a tad to accomplish more miles at tempo, but my training plan calls for this pace to be closer to achieve the 4 hr. finish.  I may need to modify a bit.  

Two intense work-outs in a 10 hour period made me feel pretty dang bad-ass.  We all can use a little bad-ass now and again can't we? 

I do love my treadmill miles though because it allows me the time to watch mindless, ridiculous TV... and that would be the Bachelor!  

For those of you that watch the Bachelor,  I do feel dumb for watching it - but I.can't.stop!  It's a sickness.  But..... really, Nick?!?!  Personally,  I don't think Nick has any brains at all.   He's a bit endearing with his cute goatee, but COME ON!  At 37, you can't be that dumb??  

At lease I'm working out when I watch a show that makes me more dumb.  Lol!  Not ashamed.  


Total rest.  Not even a push-up.  I did however, eat...   My mouth got a lot of exercise. 


Saturday's long run was frigid cold.  It was 7 degrees when I started and the wind chill was honestly brutal!  My lips and cheeks were so red and chapped when I got done.  I didn't wear a neck gator because I simply forgot what running in 7 degrees feels like.

Even with the wind and cold,  I was still able to run a great 11.25 miles at 8:48/mile!   I ran 7 miles with my running group and 4 miles solo.   I pass this bridge often, but it's always dark, so I took the opportunity to take a photo at about mile 10.  Actually, my phone was so cold, I couldn't see this picture because the screen was black.   It still took a pretty decent picture though.

My marathon pace is 9:09/mile, so anything faster than that for my long run makes me pretty dang happy!  I do have to figure out this chaffing thing though.  I have been chaffing in all sorts of weird places - especially after my long runs.

Here's to hoping everyone has a great week ahead!

I'm linking up once again for the Weekly Wrap with Holly and Tricia.  Be sure to check out more amazing blogs when you visit! 

Friday, February 24, 2017

It's Runfession Time!

Yeah, Baby! 
It's RUNFESSION time and I have a few doozies! 

Make sure to check in with Marcia and her monthly link-up to 
hear all about our dirty little secrets. 

This post should start out with a disclaimer.   Read at your own risk.  *insert sarcastic smiley face. Gentlemen, if you're reading this - beware.


I smell like a dead animal after I run.   No sugar coating it.  I do.

My kids and husband have been teasing me lately.  "EWWW,  Mommy YOU SMELL...go take a shower!"  "Yucky!! Mommy, you smell like a dead animal."

I texted this photo to my husband this week with a smiley face.

Sometimes, I smell REALLY bad.   I can't help it, it's a fact.  I'm not sure if that's normal or not, but pretty much immediately after I get done with a run I head to the shower.  But, don't despair, within minutes, I'm back to smelling like fresh flowers and sunshine.


I had a very amusing conversation with some of my besties the other day about chaffing.  But, as you can imagine, it was not in an area of typical chaffing.  Unfortunately, my long run last Saturday left me with some surprisingly painful lady parts.  Why you ask?  I have no idea.   Had I known there was going to be so much discomfort, believe me I would have done something about it.

But, here ensues the hilarity of the conversation.  Imagine your lightning-fast fingers, texting back and forth, sarcastic remarks to your best friends - all while talking about how your lady parts are on fire.

And so.... the brain-child invention "Vagi-Glide" was magically invented.   I'm going to make millions!! Hands off ladies - this name is mine!  HA!  But, unfortunately, we discussed how the name of said brain-child invention really seemed more like it belonged in an adult entertainment industry than the running industry.

Alas, now I have to go back to working my day job.


And, now that you're thoroughly entertained by my chaffing and stupidity, I'll get a bit serious.  I runfess that I don't like doing my weekly training recaps.  It's become more of a chore for me and I like my blog posts to feel a bit more light-hearted.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE the link-ups with Tricia & Holly and that is why I continue to do my recaps.  But additionally, this training cycle I'm keeping an actual running journal.  There is something about actually using a pen and paper to write about my week that has me feeling good about my training.

I'm sure I'll still keep linking up, but it's not my most favorite subject to write about.


On another note, my husband is a wizard with website design, so he's designing me a NEW BLOG!  I'm super stoked about this and I can't wait for it to roll out! I'm hoping by April 1st it will be launched.

A few months ago, I decided to change the name of my blog from hanzelboyzmama to runningaroundtheboyz.   I have a bunch of reasons for the name change, but I feel the new name is more relevant to my life.  I'm a runner, a busy working mom, and I'm running around my boys constantly.  The name fits.

The only downside to this new blog is that I have to manually transfer all of my old blog posts.  For that reason, I think I'm only going to go out one year of posts.  I don't think anyone will miss the older posts.


It's been a pain to establish my new handle.  Just yesterday, I changed my Instagram handle from @hanzelboyzmama to @runningaroundtheboyz.  So, look for me there!  But, I hope it hasn't been too confusing?!

I noticed today that my first post with my new handle hasn't been getting near the engagement as it did with the previous name.   It's actually down about 50%.  I guess it will just take some time to be recognized again.  I have gotten a few comments already that people have noticed - that's good!

Also, Twitter is being a snot about the new name.  I can't change my Twitter handle because the new name is too long!  Crap.  Alas, my Twitter handle will remain the same.

That's all for now!

I'm bracing myself for this mysterious "so-called" crazy demon snowstorm we are supposed to get today.  Good bye Spring temps, you were wonderful while we had you!

And, no I don't want to build a snowman.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Grandma's Training - Week TWO - Recap

Week two of Grandma's Marathon went well this week! 

Here is the summary: 

30.7 miles
1 Kick-boxing class 
Cotton Candy Clouds


Every other week, I alternate between hills and sprints.  This week was sprints.  I hate sprints...but I love sprints.... I hate sprints....but I love sprints.   They hurt so good, and when they're over I feel like a total badass.  Especially when they go well!  

I had a great day on Monday.  I did seven 1/3 mile repeats - which was just under 600M for me.  I'm using the VDOT calculator from Jack Daniel's Run Smart Project.  It's here if you want it.  I just love it's simplicity!  I needed to have a 2:42 or less to be on target for a 4 hour marathon pace and I nailed my splits with a range of 2:27 - 2:36.  I didn't realize just how good I had done until I got home and compared with the chart.  Monday started out with a bang!  Yahoo!


Valentine's Day.  Easy 5.3 mile run.  I was a tad sore, and this is my easy day, so I took it easy. 


Ahhhhh! Rest - blissful rest.  Well, not really.  I didn't run, but I've been sleeping pretty lousy lately.  I fall asleep fast, sleep for about 4 hours and then wake up about 5-6 times from 2 am - 5 am.  What is going on?  Thankfully, I fall back asleep, but I am awake and it's disruptive.  BOO!


It was supposed to be my tempo day, but my running group was disbanded for the day, so I ran with a friend instead of doing tempo.  Got a fantastic 6.5 miles in at an easy pace.  

I also did something different today!   I decided to go to kick-boxing class before work!  I've been having trouble getting kick-boxing in, and I love it and miss it, so I had to get creative.  It was my very first "two-a-day" and it was super fun!  I got myself showered, brought a change of clothes and some make-up and I literally got my BUTT KICKED!  

I had 30 minutes from the end of the class to freshen up and get to work.  I made it no problem and I think this may start to be my regular! 




Here is where the cotton candy clouds fit in.  Can you believe it?  They are just gorgeous!  Long run - DONE.  13.3 glorious miles!

There is something indescribable and beautiful about running.  It's easy to lose yourself in the moment.  I love to breathe in the air and listen to the sound of my feet!  It's a true beauty only a runner will know! 

This week, I'm linking again with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!  Grab your coffee and stay awhile! 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Grandma's Marathon Training - Weekly Recap - Week ONE!

It's hard to believe that I'm already one week into my marathon training! 
I am so looking forward to Grandma's Marathon.  It's my 2nd marathon, and the 2nd time I will run this race.  I definitely have something to prove!

My weekly recap looks something like this:  

28.2 miles
One tempo run with the grim reaper
A new do
Messy peanut butter fingers

For this training plan,  I have made a conscientious effort to tailor a plan specifically for my needs and my needs only.  I also cut back running from 5 days a week to 4,  so that I can allow myself enough rest and reduce stress on my body.  Last year, 7 weeks in, I suffered a major set back that put me out of training for almost 8 weeks.   I am going to try do to everything I can so that doesn't happen again! 


Well, I guess my training started off with a bang.   Go big or go home!  I was ready.  Hill repeats.  0.7 mile repeats in about 6:20 or 9:02 per mile.  I'm pretty happy with this because my marathon pace for a sub 4:00:00 hr marathon is 9:09.  Throw in the crazy hills and I feel like I pushed myself just right.  I was going to complete 5 repeats, but for some reason everyone in my town decided to drive the hill at 5:20 in the morning, so my safety was questioned as the sidewalks were mega icy.  I was running on the road and with a blind corner, I was happy to call it a day with 4 repeats.  


6 easy miles.  No pace expectation for this run, but I did feel sluggish.  9:30/mile completes day 2 of training. 


Rest.  It's important for me this training cycle to not run more than 2 days in a row.  So there you have it.  Wednesday's are for rest and rest is what I took.  Sweet baby Jesus - it was glorious! 


I may have died a thousand deaths during this run - but still felt a tad badass when I was done.   I'm pretty sure I blacked out at least once AND saw the Grim Reaper! 

Ok, so I always did have a flare for the dramatic.  No, I did not black out, but it sure felt like I was going to! 

It was -11 with windchill that morning, so I opted for my tempo run on "Milly."  I TOTALLY stole this nickname from Kim - go check out her blog - she rocks!  The name is just so catchy, I find myself saying it a lot, so it's kinda stuck!  Thanks Kim! 

My plan was 1 mile w/u, 4 miles 8:15/mile, 1 mile c/d.  I have to admit I cut out one mile tempo.  I hit 3 solid miles at 8:15 and thought I was dying, so I cut it short.   My mental game needs some work - but that's a lot of the reason why we train right?!?   All in all, I got in a solid 5 miles and felt great after I regained consciousness.  HA! 


Is supposed to be my kick-boxing day, but I can't bring my 5-year old anymore due to liability issues, so I'm really missing it and I'm floundering a bit for what to do for cross-training when I have my little with me all day.  Hmmm.. suggestions are appreciated! 

What I did do was get a new do!  What runner doesn't like to be pampered every now and again.  Let's be honest - my ponytail holder gets a LOT of action during the week.  Wearing my hair down is few and far between.  She made me feel glamorous!

On another funny note, my 5 year old watches my 7 year old get on the bus on Friday mornings.  He sits at the window, usually stepping on the sill while he watches.  Ms. OCD - clean freak, came into the living room to notice that he had written his name on the windows with his greasy peanut butter fingers.  My first instinct was to get upset, but I remained calm and actually laughed when I told him his printing looked great.  However, I quickly followed it up with a "please go wash your hands, and we don't write on the windows."  He thought he was quite the character that's for sure! 

You have to look close, but you can see his name written on the window! That stinker!


Oh what a glorious long run day!  It was absolutely fantastic outside.  39 degrees meant I could run in UNLINED pants!  In February!  I completed 11.4 miles at 9:08/mile and that was right on target with my marathon pace! 

There really isn't anything like perfect running temperatures and a great long run to start your weekend.  One other thing I was happy about was that my heart rate stayed comfortable in Zone 4 at 155-160 bpm.  

My little also had his 7th birthday party with friends today.  We went to a local bowling alley that had pizza, bowling and arcade games and everyone had a blast!  How is my baby 7 already??  Right now he's slightly obsessed with Minecraft! :) 

I'm not a particularly religious person, but Sunday's are my "holy-days."  I don't mean this as a dig on religion AT ALL, but I choose to do absolutely NOTHING on Sunday except relax and spend it with my family.  I'm looking forward to sleeping in until 6 and spending it with my boys!  I know... I'm an animal - but 6 am is sleeping in at my house.  :) 

I'm once again linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!  Grab and chair and a glass of wine, read, and stay while! 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Helpful Tips For When Your Run Gets TOUGH

As runners, we've all experienced the run we'll never forget.  
We've also all experienced the run we'd like to forget.   

How we handle the tough runs 
can make or break us as runners.

The light in the picture above was exactly as you see it.  It was 7:30 am and 7 degrees on this dreary and blustery Minnesota morning.  I was approaching mile 10 of my long run and was willing my legs to finish.

Throughout the entire run, thoughts of quitting swirled in my brain.  I wrestled with calling it a day.  It was bitterly cold.  It was ferociously windy.  My legs were toast.

But, somehow,  I remembered that I had the strength to finish this run.  I could do it.

Thankfully, I did finish this run and I'm not going to lie... It was TOUGH.

Here's what I do to get me through the tough runs.


The squirrels and bunnies have probably heard me talking to myself.  Sometimes even yelling at myself.  "Just a little further, Gina."  "You got this Gina. "  "Only a few more miles, Gina."  Seriously, give yourself a pep talk.   Only YOU know what motivates you.  You are your biggest cheerleader.  Don't be shy - give it a try.  I bet you'll be surprised at just how motivating you can be!


Sometimes when the going gets tough, I need to focus my energy on small goals.    I tell myself, just finish this next mile, or even this next block.  More often than not, I am able to keep myself afloat just by compartmentalizing the task ahead.


So often, we are so focused on what is in front of us, we fail to look around us when we run.   I often look straight forward or toward the ground.  Consequently,  I miss all the beauty around me.  I've found that if I focus my attention on the sights and sounds of my run,  I often forget that I'm actually running.  My breathing becomes more controlled and my mind focuses on the beauty around me rather than the pounding of my feet against the pavement.  

Take a moment, smell the roses as they say, and take it all in.  I know you'll forget about the pain, if even for a second. 


Breath in and out slowly through your nose.  When I take the time to slowly inhale and exhale through my nose, the run feels easier.   I make sure to try and fill my diaphragm as much as possible. When we are running, our body uses all the available oxygen it has to fuel our muscles.  If we don't bring in adequate oxygen while we are running,  it is easier to fatigue - which then makes the run that much harder.  Focused breathing centers my thoughts so I can concentrate that much more on my running.  


Now, this only works if you know ahead of time you're facing a tough run.  But, friends really do make everything better.  Misery loves company.   If you have a great friend by your side, runs seem easier.  Besides, a friend is more fun to complain to than the bunnies and the squirrels. 

Tweet: How do YOU handle tough runs? Here are my tips for when the going gets TOUGH! @hanzelboyzmama #runner #bibchat

Thursday, February 2, 2017

What's UP With The Groundhog Anyway??

I'm trying something new this week.  TOLT - Thinking Out Loud Thursdays.  
Catchy isn't it?!

First of all, this meme ROCKS my socks off.  If you haven't watched Game Of Thrones, your missing out.  


What's UP with the groundhog anyway? 

Apparently, our trusty Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today.  Really?!?!  And, who can even pronounce Pun-xsu-taw-ney??  What even does it even mean to see his shadow?  Let me break it down for you.  If the groundhog comes out of his hole and sees his shadow, we see 6 more weeks of winter.  If he doesn't see his shadow, we get an early spring.  

Hey Phil!  Does that apply to Minnesota?  It's gross here today.  The temperature -1.   Couldn't you just lie and say for all Minnesotans there will be an early Spring?   We could all use a little good news lately and you didn't deliver today.  Shame on you. 

In addition, 

Whats UP with the t-shirt Not Running Sucks?! 

I had already resigned myself to the treadmill this morning due to the windchill.  I just couldn't get up the strength to meet my running friends for a frigid run in the blustery negative temps.  My treadmill had even piled up some boxes the last few weeks from different projects, so my husband made a special effort to get it cleaned off for my morning run.  

Newsflash:  My alarm rang and I turned it OFF.  I slept until 6:30 and it felt magnificent.  Amazing. Stupendous.  Now I feel guilty.  Very guilty.  So, not running sucks - or it doesn't?  Bleh - that's the mood of the day.  

What's UP with waiting for a parking spot? 

OMG!  This is absolutely crazy to me.  Today on the radio, the hosts were talking about the statistic that the average American spends 4 days of the year waiting for parking spots?   Really?? I actually gasped out loud when I heard this.  Of course,  I'm not sure of the validity of this statement... but are you kidding me? 

Seriously, I've seen people wait for a closer parking spot literally 3 spots away from an open one?  You have two legs. For most people they work just fine.  USE THEM.  Get off your butt and walk.  Not to mention, you'll be walking around the store you're going into, so the few extra steps won't kill you.  

Maybe this is just the runner talking?  Yes, I'd be lying if I said I've never waited for a closer parking spot... but it's been ages since I've done that.  Tip:  park farther away; less likelihood of your car getting dinged and you'll burn a few more calories! 

What's UP with the millions of small toys my children have? 

I have to admit, my husband and I keep a pretty clean house.  At any time, it's likely to be pretty picked up.  No, it's not perfect and my kids make huge messes.  However, we both make an effort to clean up regularly.  

Anyhoo, lets talk about the millions of small toys my boys have!  Holy crap - where do they come from?  We are not buying them, yet they pile up like ants on breadcrumbs.  They are everywhere!  We have an entire drawer in our kitchen devoted to the small crap they bring home.  I spend countless minutes cleaning up the small stuff.  And, god for bid, I try to throw any of it out?  WOW!   Hell hath no fury like a 7-year old without his random bouncy ball.   

And, on that note.....

What's UP with the POUNDS of scrap paper my kids bring home? 

This is NO JOKE.  Every single day, my kids bring home at least 5 papers each.  Most days, it's more.  99% of it goes into the recycling.  I can't help but think, how wasteful?  My husband is an environmentalist so we try very hard to be conscious of our uses.  Why do they use so much paper?  Coloring pages half done, cut up sheets of paper, homework, scraps of I-don't-know-whats. 

I do believe that the school has them using scrap paper so kudos to them, but it does seem wasteful.  But again,  I can't tell you how many times my kids have gone back into the recycling to pull out that 'I-don't-know-what' and plead to me about it's importance.  I begrudgingly let them keep it until they are not looking and I throw it away again.   #mommyisintrouble

What's UP with healthy eating being so hard? 

Oh Dori, you get me! 

If you've been reading my blog for a while now, you know that marathon training starts on Monday.  EEK!  One thing I'm trying to work on is my nutrition.  I truly am horrible with my eating habits.  But why is it so hard?  How can I get over the urge to not want to shove my face with all-things-bad?  It's a struggle and I fight it daily.  I may have this working out thing down,  but the healthy eating is out in left field and I'm scrambling to catch the ball.  

Wow! That felt very therapeutic.  I did feel like I was bitching a bit so thanks for listening. 

Today, I'm linking up with Amanda for the first time for her TOLT link up!   Thanks Amanda!