Monday, March 28, 2016

Weekly Roundup 3.21-3.27

Week 3 of 12

The week got off to a slow start.  My papa’s funeral was Monday and we were all exhausted.  Monday night was family BINGO night!  I won $10!

My mom stayed in New York a few extra days but my dad and I drove back Tuesday morning.  Cape Cod Rehab sponsored a Marathon Sports Mashpee Run Club on Tuesday night and I really wanted to get back for it.  It ended up we were back in time but I was drained.  There was no way I was up for seeing anyone or waiting to run until 6:30pm.  I did however feel like getting out and stretching my legs for a light run and I figured Georgie wouldn’t want to come because she had just spent 4 days at her day care.  She watched me get ready and as I was putting my sneakers on she whined and whined and whined so I ended up bringing her out for 2 miles!  The rest of the night… she barely moved… and that continued for about 3 days!

Wednesday I got to run with a coworker and friend Tiffany!  She’s training for a May marathon and had 6 on the schedule.  We brought Georgie for the first few miles and I was actually surprised at how well she did.  A little funny at the start but once she got in her groove and got used to the fact we had someone else running with us, she did great!

With rain in the forecast all day Friday and a 3-day Easter weekend coming, I took Georgie for her long run Thursday morning, took Friday completely off, ran a pretty hard Fartlek run on Saturday and a nice long run on Easter Sunday.

I wouldn’t recommend doing a speed workout the day before a long run but it just kind of worked out that way for me this week.

My Easter Sunday run was actually really, really good.  I waited until just after noon when the sun came out and passed a ton of other runners, walkers and bikers out on the roads.  I ran easy with no time goals in mind.  In fact I barely looked at my watch.  I stopped twice for photo ops and a water break.  I just really tried to enjoy myself out there on some of my favorite Falmouth roads by the beach.  I ended up running 7:51 pace so I was really happy with that and shortly after the run I was handed a mimosa while waiting for the Easter ham to be ready!

Other highlights:
·      I signed up for the Cape Cod Beer Race to the Pint!
·      Even bigger news—I signed up for the Miami Marathon!
·      I posted my 5th product review as a BibRave Pro.  You can check out my thoughts on the 2XU Compression Performance Run Sleeves & Racing VECTR Socks here:
·      I also posted my 6th product review as a BibRave Pro.  You can read all about the On Cloudsurfers here:
·      Alert the media: I carried my own water on a run…

Upcoming events:

·      8 weeks until the 7th Annual Piggy Trot!
·      9 weeks until the Buffalo Half Marathon!

Monday 3.21.16
Papa’s funeral
6,526 steps

Tuesday 3.22.16
Travel day
2.10 miles with G (17:36)
2 miles (15:55)
11,642 steps

Wednesday 3.23.16
6.22 miles with Tiff (51:16)<--G ran the first 2.25 ish miles with us!
15,307 steps

Thursday 3.24.16
3 miles with G (25:33)
Taught spin class. The playlist: Jumpin', Jumpin' Spin Playlist
Power Water
18,107 steps

Friday 3.25.16
7,028 steps

Saturday 3.26.16
0.8 miles with G (6:43)
4 miles w/3mi fartlek (28:18)<--6:39, 4:46, 6:46
13,482 steps

Sunday 3.27.16
Happy Easter!
8 miles (1:02:51)
23,263 steps

This week’s mileage: 26 miles
This week’s G mileage: 8 miles
March Totals: 80.25 miles
2016 Totals: 182.75 miles

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Growing Up & Carrying My Own Water

Disclaimer: I was recently sent an Orange Mud HydraQuiver to review 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!

I have a confession to make.   

I’m 30 years old.  I’ve been running since my sophomore year of high school.  I trained for 2 marathons, several half marathons and I’ve never carried my own water.

Ok, I lied. 

I can remember the 2 times I had to.  TWO times.  The first was on a 14 miler during 2012 Chicago Marathon training.  It was scheduled for Falmouth Road Race weekend and the only time I could fit it in was on a Thursday morning—while everyone was working.  The second time was just last year training for Houston.  I had another 14 miler scheduled and I ran the middle 7 miles with a friend, Wendy.  I carried the water the 2 miles to her house then the 5 miles after our run.  It was horrible.  I had to carry it in my hands.

Every other long run over 10 miles—and I mean it—every other long run over 10 miles, my mom and/or dad has accompanied me on bike with my water.  I’m so spoiled.

BUT NOT NOW!  I turned 30 this month and it’s time to grow up!

Another awesome opportunity with BibRave led me to the Orange Mud HydraQuiver.  Some of the other pros test out the HydraQuiver Vest Pack last year and I’ve been curious ever since.  I feel like handheld water bottles are just annoying.  Hydration belts are just awkward and don’t sit on my hips right.  The HydraQuiver is a little backpack that carries a full size water bottle and features 2 pockets for things like fuel, chap stick, tissues and your cell phone.

The tracking on my Orange Mud shipment was originally scheduled to arrive March 17th, the day before my birthday, but there was a delay and it arrive on the 19th, the morning we left for New York.  Long story short my neighbors never got my mail so this poor little package sat outside for 4 days!  I was so thankful it was still there and nobody snagged it from my doorstep. 

Since I got back I’d been staring at my Orange Mud HydraQuiver counting down to this weekend’s long run.  I typically don’t use hydration or fuel on runs shorter than 10 miles but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to try it out!  I was actually pretty thankful I had water with me today as I had a glass of wine last night and did a pretty bad job of hydrating this morning.

With only 1 run down in the Orange Mud HydraQuiver, I am in love!  A little sloshing but hardly any bouncing.  There are still a few kinks I need to work out.  I need to play around with the different strap lengths and experiment with different amounts of water in the bottle.  I'm also curious to try it out in a tank top on a hot and humid day but I am excited for the freedom of running long without depending on my parents and fitting in runs around their schedule!

I still hope they will join me on some of my long runs but this also means if I run alone, they can dog sit!  :P

Stay tuned for a full review coming soon and many more runs with my Orange Mud HydraQuiver as I train for the Buffalo Half Marathon on 5/29/2016 and the Miami Marathon on 1/29/2017!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I signed up for the Miami Marathon!

What: The 15th Annual Miami Marathon

Where: Miami, FL

When: January 29, 2017

I did it!  I signed up for my 3rd marathon… the Miami Marathon!

Another marathon?

I swore the Houston Marathon would be my last full marathon.  Chicago’s goal was to complete the distance.  I was running Houston for time and unfortunately I fell short of my 3:30 goal—WAY short—so I signed up for another marathon for a chance to redeem myself. 

Now I know January is a LONG ways away but it’s nice to have Miami on the calendar to keep me motivated.  Training will begin in October and I plan to follow a similar plan as Houston.  I was feeling great through 19 miles and on pace for to run a 3:27 until my injury so I am confident that was the right plan for me.

[ICYMI Here’s my Houston Marathon Race Report:]

Why Miami?

Honestly, why not?!  Who wouldn’t want to go to Miami in January?   

Since I got back from Houston in January, I’ve been trying to find the perfect fall marathon. 

I’d been seriously looking at the Philadelphia Marathon and it took me about a month and a half to convince myself to sign up when registration opens on April 1st.  Then I found out my cousin moved his wedding from April 2017 to THAT WEEKEND!

I started to compile a list of potential races.  I actually considered entering the lottery for Chicago but then I stumbled upon the Miami Marathon in January and quickly texted my friend Kristen.  She lives in Miami and I haven’t been down there to visit since 2009.  Her first response was, “YESS!! Maybe I’ll do the half!.”  (I always say it—Running is contagious, my friends.)  I slept on it for two nights dreaming of palm trees.  Then the next day Miami by Will Smith came on SiriusXM Fly and I signed up.

The weather could be hot and humid.  (The average temperature at the start line from 2003-2007 was 63 degrees.)  It also has the potential to be in the 40s like last year.  The Miami Marathon course is fairly flat but it does feature some inclines as you travel over several bridges.  You also run a lot of the course along the water with what sounds like some incredible views.  There are 25,000 runners running both the full and half distances.
I came to realize I would never find the “perfect” race.  I just have to focus on training hard, trust the process and stop worrying about the things I cannot control.

Visit the Miami Marathon website for more information.  Registration is now open!  Who wants to run with me?!  :)


BibRave Pro Product Review: On Cloudsurfer

Disclaimer: I was recently sent a pair of On Cloudsurfers to review 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!

Run on clouds.

What the heck is On?

Until recently, I had never heard of the company On!  It’s been popping up here and there on a friend’s Instagram accounts lately and I even had to Google what it was when BibRave mentioned the product!

“On is a Swiss company that has reinvented the cushioning system for running shoes.”

Their unique CloudTec cushioning system allows you to land soft but then becomes firm to push off hard.  The “Speedboard” provides an efficient, rolling gait cycle so it feels like you are gliding along the roads.

I will admit when I first put the Cloudsurfer on my feet, I did not get that “OMG these are so comfortable” reaction like I have with other more high cushion shoes.  It wasn’t until my first run until I truly understood.  The shoe itself isn’t so high cushioned—it’s how the 13 clouds at the bottom of the shoe react and absorb the forces.

I am a natural forefoot striker so I am always looking for a shoe with more cushioning towards the toes.  One cool thing about On is that they moved the outsole away from the heel to promote more of a mid-foot strike.

The Cloudsurfer

On makes a number of different running shoes (Cloud, Cloudflyer, Cloudster, Cloudcruiser, Cloudracer, Cloudrunner) but select BibRave Pros got to try the $149.99 model, the Cloudsurfer that claims “I will unleash your speed.” 

The Cloudsurfer is a premium cushioned, neutral running shoe with a 7mm heel drop and is described as an “agile and responsive.”  It is very lightweight and the women’s version only weighs 8.5 oz.  I personally was used to the low heel drop but for others that may take some time to get used to.

The shoes fit snug but don’t squeeze by feet like some of the more narrow shoe brands I’ve tried like Mizuno and Nike.  The shoe is made of breathable mesh and don’t have any annoying seams to cause me blisters.  I mentioned in my last BibRave Pro 2XU review that I often get holes in the big toe area of socks.  Well, I’ve had this problem with running shoes too and I appreciate that the mesh on the Cloudsurfers appears durable and strong.  So far so good!

Despite the clouds, On produced a very stable shoe.  They weren’t as springy as I had expected but they do appear to propel you forward.

From the roads to the trails to the beach to the treadmill, I wore my On Cloudsurfers everywhere—speed work, semi-long run, Georgie runs, you name it!  Georgie even got to try them on! 

Other bonuses:
·      On has excellent customer service!  They are very active on social media and even went above and beyond by private messaging me my FedEx tracking numbers on Twitter when I tweeted that I was anxiously checking my mailbox all week.  On also set up a conference call with the BibRave Pros to introduce us to the company, review the technology and answer any questions.  Unfortunately it took place on Thursday night while I was teaching classes but I popped in for 5 minutes and learned a few cool things.

·      The first time running in my On Cloudsurfers, I noticed the tongue was super stiff.  I could feel it while I was running but a half mile later I didn’t notice it at all—not until the first half mile of my second run, and third run, and forth run…  Now I don’t notice it at all.  Just be patient and break the tongue in.
·      The laces are super long and skinny.  I usually double knot my shoe laces anyways but I sometimes triple knot these so they stay secure and I don’t trip on them.

Would I recommend the On Cloudsurfer?  Sure!  They are staying in my shoe rotation as I train for the Buffalo Half Marathon and I’d love to hear what you think.

Join us on Twitter for #BibChat every Tuesday night at 9pm EST!

Happy running!

Friday, March 25, 2016

I signed up for the Cape Cod Beer Race to the Pint!

What: Cape Cod Beer Race to the Pint

Where: Hyannis, MA

When: April 23, 2016

A Saturday afternoon 10k on the Cape that starts and finishes at a brewery? 

Sign me up!

In its first annual race, the Cape Cod Beer Race to the Pint offers a 5k and a 10k race with free beer (or wine!) for all runners of age.  The post race party features food from Not Your Average Joes, food trucks and a fun, local band—57 Heavy.

I’m actually pretty excited for its 4pm start time and to race the 10k distance.  (The last 10k I ran was the Tufts 10k for Women in 2014.)  For me the race falls about a month before the Buffalo Half Marathon and on a weekend I was supposed to run 6 miles for my long run.  It will be a good test of my fitness and the post-race party should be a good time.

For more information & to join me on April 23rd, click here:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Balance & Stability Training for Golfers

I don't always blog about running!  Below is a blog post I wrote for the Mashpee Fitness Center. To see the original, visit the Mashpee Fitness blog.

Balance is the ability to maintain center of gravity when external forces are placed on it. 

Stability is the ability of any system to remain unchanged or aligned in the presence of change or outside forces. 

In golf, one must have good balance to maintain posture while moving through the golf swing and remain stable on uneven surfaces or even in windy situations.  The golf swing is a complex movement pattern combining mobility and stability.  It requires the ankles, hips and spine to be mobile while your feet, knees and pelvis must be stable.  You can create stability by combining balance, strength, and muscle endurance. 

As a Certified Burdenko Method instructor, we learn the six essential qualities of life and sport are balance, coordination, flexibility, endurance, speed and strength.  We must start at the bottom of the pyramid and master balance, coordination and flexibility before moving on to developing endurance, speed and strength.  While many people feel that balance and stability training is more appropriate for a senior exercise program, it is very important to work on balance to maintain postural alignment and control while developing power in younger athletes.

Why is balance so important in golf?

Just like Burdenko, balance is the first fundamental in golf.  You must maintain posture throughout your swing while at the same time generating speed/power and stretching/contracting adjacent segments.  You a need to be able to load on the back leg before transitioning into the downswing.  Better balance means better control of the club which means better accuracy.  Maintaining balance and posture throughout the entire swing will also help with consistency.  Isn’t that what we all strive for?

You must also consider the surfaces you are playing on.  Golf courses are typically not flat!  You may be hitting on a hill, one foot in a bunker, or even strange foot positions to avoid trees or other obstacles.  It’s important to stay on your feet and practicing your balance can help.

How do you test balance?

We test balance with TPI’s Single Leg Balance Test.  According to TPI, “It highlights any ankle mobility or proprioceptive imbalance from left to right as well as overall stability in the core.”

Do not attempt this test without a Certified TPI Professional.  The Single Leg Balance Test begins by standing with your arms by your sides.  Lift one leg to 90 degrees so that your thigh is parallel to the ground.  When you’re stable and feel balanced, close your eyes.  How long can you maintain balance?  Any movement or repositioning of the leg/foot would be considered a loss of balance.   

The PGA Tour standard is at least 25 seconds on each foot with your eyes closed.

What can I do to improve my balance?

There are a variety of exercises you can do to improve your balance.  Balance starts to decline when we reach a certain age so it’s important to keep working on your balance every day.

Here are 3 balance exercises to try:

1.  Half Roll Tandem Stance
-Begin by standing with both feet on a half roll with one foot in front of the other.
-Maintain balance as long as you can then repeat with the leg in front.
-You can also challenge yourself by closing your eyes.

2.  Half Roll Leg Swings
-Begin by standing with one foot on a half roll.
-Swing your leg forwards and backwards.
-Keep your back straight and add in your arms swinging opposite arm/leg.
-You can also challenge yourself by closing your eyes.

3.  Single Leg Stance with Torso Turns
-Begin in golf posture.
-Cross your arms and lift one leg off the ground.
-Practice maintaining balance and lower body stability while rotating your torso side to side. Remember: slow and controlled!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Weekly Roundup 3.14-3.20

Week 2 of 12

Well this week sucked.  Ok not the whole week… but I am stuck on Friday, March 18th.

Good thing I have my Garmin so I can remember how my week began.  I went pretty hard on Monday.  It was a grey day, kind of rainy so I stayed inside for my progression run.  I really tried to push myself this week—then went home and cooled down around the block a few times with Georgie.

Tuesday we celebrated my birthday in spin!  My class made me feel really special.  :)

Wednesday my legs were tired and heavy and I struggled big time with my Fartlek run.

Then there was Friday.  I woke up with a kind of neutral feeling about turning 30.  I love birthdays but this was not one I was looking forward to.  My mom woke me up with an early phone call with the news that my papa passed away that morning.  He was the funniest man I’ve ever known.  He always knew how to lighten up a room.  I loved the way he laughed at his own jokes—and often to the point that he could not stop laughing.  I will miss him so much.   

The next few days felt like everything was moving fast around me while I was stuck in slow motion.  My mom told me to continue with my day celebrating on Friday like I was planning but really how could I?

I’m thankful my coworkers surprised me on Thursday with treats, cards and presents.  I’m also happy I was able to bring Georgie back to the beach Friday morning for a nice 3.5 mile run by the water then I stopped at the Daily Brew for my favorite breakfast sandwich and smoothie.  From there, it was panic and stress of having to pack up and head out to New York the next morning with some lasagna and cake in between.  Thank you Johnny & Laura for stopping by for dinner and surprising me with my first top ever from Lululemon!  And another big thank you to everyone at work who covered for me while I was away.

Saturday we drove all day.  It was either wake up super early to run long before the drive or squeeze in a quick run when we got there.  I thought it would be nice to run around Goat Island with my dad but once we got to our hotel I just wanted to get it over with so I ran 3 miles with him around the hotel in the Niagara Falls ghetto then I continued on for 3 miles on my own.  I was a mile short of my goal this week but who really cares.  I didn’t.

I spent Saturday night going through old photo albums and reminiscing with all my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandma.  Sunday my parents and I walked around the Falls in the morning before heading to the wake from 2-8pm.  It was hard but I have a big family and we all got through.  You can’t beat tailgating in the parking lot of the funeral parlor while saying cheers to Frankie!  We knew he would have been right out there with us.

Upcoming events:

·      9 weeks until the 7th Annual Piggy Trot!
·      10 weeks until the Buffalo Half Marathon!

Monday 3.14.16
5 miles treadmill progression (37:03)<--7.5, 7.8, 8.0, 8.4. 8.8 mph
1.48 miles with G (13:03)
18,287 steps

Tuesday 3.15.16
Taught spin class. The playlist: Jenny from the Block Birthday Spin Playlist
10 push ups
11,011 steps

Wednesday 3.16.16
4.25 miles w/2mi fartlek (32:17)<--7:11, 7:03
20,054 steps

Thursday 3.17.16
Taught spin class. The playlist: Jenny from the Block Birthday Spin Playlist
Power Water
13,496 steps

Friday 3.18.16
My Birthday!
3.5 ish miles with G (27:18)
13,730 steps

Saturday 3.19.16
Travel day
3 miles with daddo (29:56)
3 miles (22:01)
15,924 steps

Sunday 3.20.16
Papa’s wake
10,174 steps

This week’s mileage: 22 miles
This week’s G mileage: 6.75 miles
March Totals: 54.25 miles
2016 Totals: 156.75 miles