Posted by: runsinthefamily | February 26, 2011

Chili Bowl 5k and update

Marathon training is coming to a close!  The Shamrock marathon is 3 weeks from tomorrow.  We have been having some crazy weather – 10 days ago we had temps in the 60s and all our snow melted – then yesterday we had another huge snow storm, with easily 10 inches of snow, and Monday it’s supposed to be near 60 and thunderstorms ( and hopefully all the snow will melt).


Last weekend I ran the Chili Bowl 5k.  I did this same race last year, it is usually the first race of the season around here, and a fun one to do.   This year the temperature wasn’t too cold, around 35°, but incredibly windy!  At one point I felt like I would be blown off my feet.  And somehow we were against the wind most of the way – it seemed to turn around all the downtown buildings, so if we had it at our back it was only briefly ( too bad, it would have helped!).

First mile was 7:35- not very fast, I knew I started too far back in the pack.  But surprisingly I wasn’t tired at all – just felt like I was pushing it a bit.  Next mile – 15:35 – okay, must have slowed a bit – and finally, finish time of 23:22, 4th in AG.  I’m happy with the last mile.1, because it includes a big hill, and the part where I felt like I was being blown off my feet!  So slower than last year by about 30+seconds, and unfortunately out of the prizes, would have liked to get 3rd to get another chili bowl to take home!

The next day I did a 20 miler outside, the weather was perfect, around 32°, and it was great to run it outside after so  many treadmill long runs.  I did an eight mile loop so I could stop by the house for gatorade, then 2 6 mile loops.  It worked perfectly.  I wasn’t very fast, I think it averaged out to be about 10 minute pace, but I was happy to have it done.

I had planned on another 20 miler today, but had to run it on the treadmill after all the snow we had yesterday ~ the streets are still horrible around here.  I made it to 12 and stopped – for some reason I was chaffing really badly ( and this was after using bodyglide too!) and started altering my stride, which made my left heel start to hurt- which led to stopping early.  So now, what to do?  I have only done 2 20s, but lots of 16 milers.  I was going to do 16 next weekend.  Should I do the 20 miler instead?  I should be able to run outside no matter what I do.

Posted by: runsinthefamily | February 15, 2011

“My Life on the Run” by Bart Yasso review

I finally finished reading this!  Twice actually.  Bart Yasso,  the Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World, is a very interesting guy!  This book is about his life, how he got into running, a bit about how he got the job at Runner’s World, but mostly, about the many adventures he has been on.  He has the best job in the world – he gets to travel and run for his job!

My favorite chapter is the one about the time Bart ran the Badwater Ultra- a 146 mile ultra through Death Valley, ending up Mount Whitney.  At the time Bart ran in 1989, the race had only 6 entrants including Bart.  It is a crazy race – the runners have to have a crew following them, and can only wear their shoes for a few hours before they start to melt on the hot asphalt.

Another favorite chapter is about Bart and his wife, Laura, getting married and running in Italy.  And a non-running chapter- about Bart bicycling across America – makes me wish I could do that!  Bart has done so many amazing races, and met so many people.  This book is a great read to find out about all the “bucket list” races and adventures he has done.  I didn’t know he has lyme disease – and that makes for some interesting adventures too.  I would recommend this book to anyone – newbie runner or long time pro.  It’s a great read.

Less than 5 weeks now till the Shamrock marathon!  And the weather has finally gotten better here in Northeast Ohio.  I am running the Chili Bowl 5k on Saturday, so my long run  – 20 miles- is switching to Sunday for this week.   Only a few more weeks until Taper time!  Have a great week everyone!

Posted by: runsinthefamily | February 9, 2011

Wow! It’s been a while…

since my last post!  A lot has happened since then!  I’ve been running 50 mile+ weeks,  I have run 1 20 miler, a couple 16 milers, and this past weekend I cut my planned 20 miler short, running 11 on Saturday, and then came back with 9 at MP ( marathon pace) on Sunday.

I picked up some new shoes:

Womens Brooks Launch Running Shoe



Don’t they look awesome?  They felt wonderful at the running store – the Brooks Launch.  Here is what RRS says about them:

Women’s BROOKS® LAUNCH :: With an incredibly flexible outsole and seamless transition, the lightweight women’s Brooks® Launch will get you from start to finish, whether you’re doing a tempo run or a race. Add to that the lower-profile midsole and minimal upper, and it’s 1,2,3……blast off! 7.5 ounces

Minimal: Great for foot strengthening, speed workouts, and racing. Perfect training tool for Stability+, Stability, Neutral+ or Neutral runners.

Okay, that sounds pretty good, right?  So I walked around the house in them last night, and they didn’t feel like they needed to be “broken in” so I took them to the indoor track tonight to try them for a few miles.  I ran all of 5 laps ( 12 to a mile!) and even though the shoes felt wonderful, they seemed to be causing my right hamstring to feel “tweaked”.  (no better way to describe it).  I immediately stopped and walked to a corner to stretch, then changed back to my normal shoes.  I finished the mile, and my leg felt better, but the hamstring was still “there”.  ( do you know what I mean?  The muscle/injury/whatever isn’t really painful, but you can just feel it.  And it doesn’t feel right.)  So I shut it down and came home.  And promptly did all my hip strengthening and core and ab exercises I have been neglecting!  After using the foam roller and stretching, I think I am better.  Lesson learned – keep doing my exercises, and maybe slow down on trying the new shoes until I’m sure my hammy is back to normal.

I also have a book review still coming!  I’ve finished Bart Yasso’s book, My Life on the Run, and really, it’s great.  His book is full of his many experiences as RW’s Running Ambassador, and his many adventures are any runner’s bucket list.  I’ll try to say more this weekend.

So, since last week I missed my 20 miler, I am thinking of doing it this weekend ( I was alternating weekends between 16 and 20 miles).  It will work out great if my leg is truly better, because I really would like to do the Chili Bowl 5k next Saturday, and then I’ll do 16 next Sunday.  The weather is supposed to finally get better too!  Yay for warmer temperatures!  ( it was 15 here today!)

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Posted by: runsinthefamily | January 27, 2011

Kids running…

Coach Jay Johnson (blog/website here)  has an interesting post up right now;   The Kids are Alright.  He talks about kids and running – and if you read not just his post but the comments from various coaches and parents, it gets really interesting.  What is too much, too soon when it comes to kids and running?  How do you promote running?  Can we ever catch up to the Kenyans, who run from place to place, as a mode of transportation?

Coach Jay starts off by talking about his two year old daughter, who right now thinks of running as play.  It seems to me this is the best way to introduce running to kids.  I remember loving to run fast when playing freeze tag when I was little!  I think that is one reason soccer appeals to little kids – all the quick bursts of energy involved, and the competition of running to beat someone else to kick the ball.  With kids though, there is so much variation – you really have to take into account the child, how much physical activity they do, (and Coach Jay rightly points out kids do so much less now, because of tv and video games) and their temperament – whether they are competitive, wanting to beat everyone, who more social, wanting to just play with friends.

The reason Coach Jay brought up the topic is a few questions he received about a girl named Alana Hadley, who as a 13 year old is running super fast, and people are wondering if her training is too much for someone that age.  Running Times did an article about her ( click on her name to see) and asked coaches around the country, including Coach Jay, what they thought.   He in turn asked coaches he knows, and basically, the answer came back that “it depends!”  Coach Jay goes on to give a few guidelines to think about.

As a former youth runner myself, and now the mom of kids who run, I think the main point of the post, that “it depends on the child” is so true!  My parents didn’t push me to run, I asked to because my Dad was doing races and I wanted to also.  Even though I know there were races I wasn’t really “trained” for, I had fun and discovered on my own that if I ran a bit more, I could do better!  Even then, I didn’t run every day until high school.

With our kids, my husband and I emphasized physical activity – we want them to be active.  Running, swimming, baseball, whatever!  Our oldest took up swimming, the next one ran, did swimming, basketball, and soccer,  the third one did everything but ended up running also, and now the youngest does running and swimming and playing around.  Seeing their mom run, they all know running is something they can do their whole lives if they want to.  Mostly I am happy they like exercising so much!

Do you have kids who want to be like you and run?  Do you encourage it as a family activity?  I remember our family all running races together when I was little, does anyone else do that?

Posted by: runsinthefamily | January 26, 2011

Challenges for the new year

I got through my first 20 this past Saturday, whew!  2 more 20s to go, and this week is “only” a 16 miler, yay! ( I alternate 16 and 20 now, until taper.)

One of the BQ ladies on the RW Marathon Race Training forum, FitFirmFast, see her blog here,  has a post on her blog about a recent article in Running Times.  Did any of you see it?  I did, and read it with interest.  The article, New Year, New Challenges in the Jan/Feb issue, ( can’t find the article online, but here tells about it)  lists 5 major goals/challenges to think about doing this year.

1.Run Your Fastest mile of the last 5 years

2. Run a 100 mile week

3. Run every day of the year

4.Do 60 pushups

5. Improve your hamstring flexibility by 20 degrees.

Which would you choose?  I actually think it would be great to try all of them, but the one I really want to do the most is the first one, run my fastest mile of the last 5 years.  Actually, since my times have been slow lately,  I think I can do it!  So that is my goal for this summer and early fall, ( well, okay, it may take me all the way to October to do it.  I need those cross-country speedwork sessions Coach E has us do!).  So come back on say, October 15th to see how I did!

I am actually close to working on number 3 right now, my last day off was January 5th!  I am debating whether to take today off or not, my legs are still tired from the 20 miler on Saturday.  However I might also just go out and run for a super easy 3 miles!  What do you think?  What would be the least amount I could run and still count it towards my mini-streak?

Have a great day!  I am reading My Life on the Run by Bart Yasso, book review coming soon!

Posted by: runsinthefamily | January 20, 2011

Peppermint bliss…


Hmmm, what did I have tonight?  Way too many of these!  DS#2 had a bunch to help him with his finals ( do you all know about this?  Apparently peppermint candy/gum helps with test taking) and there they were, sitting on the dining room table.  I totally channeled Janae and ate a bunch.  How many?  Oooh – well, I’m not sure!  Good thing finals are over!

On to running…. marathon training is going pretty good considering it is winter!  I had a great 16 miler on my birthday, finally!  I dread the long runs, I feel so much more confident about anything 10 miles or under.  So I was really happy to feel strong the whole way, especially the last mile.  I have a 20 miler on tap for this Saturday, hopefully it will go as well as last week!

I’m also getting excited about the marathon:

although we discovered this week that we won’t be able to leave for Virginia Beach on the Friday of marathon weekend!  DD#2’s school has a St. Patrick’s day show every year, every class has a song and dance number.  It is usually on a Thursday night, and then they have the next day off, but this year, with the actual St. Pat’s day being a Thursday, they decided to move the show to Friday the 18th instead!  So we will be leaving bright and early Saturday morning to make it in time for the expo!  Only 57 more days to go!


I went with my daughter and brother to see the Hood-to-Coast movie last night!  Hood-to-Coast is a relay race in Oregon, from the starting point on Mount Hood, 197 miles to the ocean.  I really didn’t know anything about it except the name before we went to the movie.  Each team has 12 people, in two vans, and they take turns running sections of the race – most sections are between 3 and 6 miles, and with 36 sections, each person basically runs 3 times in a 24 hour period. 

The movie followed some of the teams, and parts of it were actually really sad.  One of the teams, Heart and Sole, had a runner who, the year before, had a heart attack on her leg of the race, despite being a long time marathoner and Hood to Coast (HTC) participant!  She had gradually started running again, with the intent on participating again.  We met her doctor, who was against it at first, then gradually gave her guidelines to follow, and her teammates, who were with her the year before when she had the heart attack on the course.  It was very emotional seeing both her determination to come back and her teammates’ emotions about both years. 

Another team that was followed, the R. Bowe team, was made up of a family who had just lost their son/brother/husband to a heart attack only two months before the race.  They decided to participate anyway, and recruited college teammates of the son to help out with some of the relay legs.  It was once again difficult and sad to see the emotions of the brother, father, mother, and wife as they prepared for and ran their relay legs.    My heart just went out to them- but they were very proud to be running it in memory of Ryan.

There was also some comic relief!  There was a team featuring two newbie runners, who just signed up with their team on a whim, and trained by eating and drinking beer!  Not knowing what they were in for, it was hysterical to see their reactions on finding out how far and how hilly some of their legs were.  After the movie was an interview with one of the newbie runners, and they showed her reactions to what she thought before the race, and after – very, very funny.

Another funny team was called the Dead Jocks.  This team was made up of a bunch of old-timers who had run the relay for years, including one guy who had run it every single year since the beginning.  They needed to place in the top 6 in their age group to have an automatic entry into the following year, instead of having to go through a lottery system to get in.  Since the one team member had run it every year, they didn’t want to let him down by not getting in the next year!  Although we followed the team throughout the race, I don’t think we ever actually found out how they placed.  It would have been nice to know that!

I really liked the film, and learned a lot about the race and the teamwork it requires.  It sounds like a lot of fun!  We didn’t really learn about the times or places of the teams – I would have especially liked to know about the Dead Jocks and how they placed.  We did also follow one elite team, but the coverage of their team was minimal – a little more on them would have been nice.  Still, it was fun to see a running movie, and there were some people in our theater who had actually run the race, and to hear their comments was so funny! 

Oh, and about my title – before the movie was live? commentary from RW’s Bart Yasso, and he made some remarks about being all dressed up in a suit for the movie premiere, and how other runners would say they didn’t recognize him without his running clothes on!  He said if somebody overheard that out in public, they would think he was a porn star or something!  Bart, you are a funny guy.  Lose the weird green glasses next time!

Posted by: runsinthefamily | January 10, 2011

sixteen and birthday week!

Sunday I ran 16 on the treadmill.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounds, although I was definitely counting down the miles at the end.  It’s nice having water, food, and a bathroom right there if I need it!  I did take a minute or so break after 1 hour to drink and eat part of my peanut butter and honey sandwich, ( it seems better in my stomach than gels) and then after that a break after another 45 minutes, then finally one after another 30 minutes – then I made it to the end.  I kept the pace very easy – 9:49-10 minute pace, ( I varied it a bit) – and the result is that I’m not sore at all today!

I ran a nice and easy 4 miles recovery run tonight, and while my legs were definitely tired, they really felt pretty good.   The rest of this week will probably have about 6 miles each day, although I would like Wednesday to be 8 miles, but time may prevent that this week.  Tuesday, Thursday and Friday will be with the high school team, and their finals start on Friday, so they should be some wacky runs!  Wednesday I have an appointment with Dr. Tim Keyes, for some ART,  which should help with the tightness that even the foam roller hasn’t been able to work out ( or else I’m just a wimp when it comes to my ITband!).   DS#2 had an appointment with him today, and he did a fantastic job working on DS’s knees, which have been giving him problems this winter.

Tomorrow night DD#1 and I are going to see the Hood-to-Coast movie!  IF you haven’t heard of it, check out the website here.  I have always heard about this relay, so it will be neat to see what it is like.

Then,  Saturday is my birthday!  And another 16 miler!  ( and probably on the treadmill, since we are supposed to get more snow).

Have a great week everyone!

Edited to add:  Does anyone know how to insert a video?  I tried to insert the info for the movie trailer, but it isn’t working.  I was able to insert a youtube video before, so I’m not sure what I am doing wrong!

Posted by: runsinthefamily | January 5, 2011

Newly discovered links

I’ve found some great blogs/websites lately that I wanted to share! 

First, from Recover Your Stride’s blog, this awesome website with lot’s of foam roller and stretching videos – and they are on Facebook too! Check this out :

( and here they are on Facebook)  :!/pages/Athletes-Treating-Athletes/284135590080

Also just found, although I have since noticed his blog on other people’s blog rolls –

He has some great reviews of shoes and equipment. 

Finally, from a post on Letsrun  I found a new blog from a high school boy – which if he keeps posting should be interesting to all the highschoolers out there!  Here’s his blog:

Do you have any great blogs or websites you would like to share?  Tell me in a comment and I’ll add them to my ever-increasing list!  Thanks!

Posted by: runsinthefamily | January 2, 2011

Trying for the Light

Today was a better run.  I was still a bit sore and tired from the 14 miles on Friday, and it was brrrr- cold today! 25° and windy – but the sun was shining.  I wasn’t fast, and my legs still felt stiff, but compared to Friday, things were definitely looking up.

That is what I hope 2011 will bring for me – at Mass today Fr. Tom gave a homily on being a child of the light rather than one of darkness – basically, on being a happy, a positive influence on the world around you, instead of giving in to pessimism, darkness, and fears.  This year was definitely one of darkness for me, family problems, injuries, and then my Dad’s stroke – and especially lately, I’ve let the negative forces in my life influence me way too much.  It seemed that just when life could not get any worse, well, it did.

It is time to turn my face towards the sun, and begin again.    I’m going to try my best to see the glass as half full, not half empty, and to try to mitigate as much as possible the darkness that still surrounds me.   Hopefully running can help with that.

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