Organic Runner Mom

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My first thoughts about the Boston Marathon 2016

The Boston Marathon 2016

The Boston Marathon 2016

The Boston Marathon 2016. First Thoughts.

My third Boston Marathon experience was exactly what I needed. I finally feel like I got a piece of myself back on Monday when I ran the Boston Marathon this year. Perhaps when I ran in 2014 I wasn’t really ready to actually RACE it again. I knew that I needed to go back and run again in 2014 to show myself that I could run and finish and be safe. It w as a part of my journey of emotional healing after 2013 but I never should have put pressure on myself to actually be going for time that year. I finished in 2014 but I missed my qualifying time and felt defeated and emotionally lost. The happiness that running and racing brought me was still missing. I felt broken.

This year I trained for the Boston Marathon race that I knew I could run. I felt like Stonyfield had given me a gift to be able to be a part of Team Stonyfield and to go back and run again.  I trained on my own as hard as I could and with all my heart. I ran when my body was tired and I pushed through runs and workouts that I hated and that were absolutely dreadful. I ran alone to work through my emotions and the mental tough parts that I let defeat me in 2014. This year not only was I physically stronger but mentally I felt strength, and courage and I also felt like over the past year I had rediscovered the joy of running and racing again. I knew that the race would be tough but I also new that I wanted to run it and to experience the BOSTON Spirit.

This year I also have been working hard on rediscovering a positive mindset and filling my life with positive experiences and spending time with people who inspire me, who challenge me, and who laugh with me until our bellies hurt.

Team Stonyfield. New Hampshire Strong

Team Stonyfield. New Hampshire Strong

I shared my Boston weekend with my family but also with two close and inspiring runner friends who have helped me to feel positive again. They are strong women who raise their kids with love and laughter and passion, who share their intense drive and also their tough moments with others helping us all to grow and to be inspired through their writing . They are two strong females who have surprised me with immediate friendship and kindness and laughter that has lifted me up. Thank you Sarah (My Team Stonyfield Teammate and fellow New Hampshire runner) and Natalie for sharing your Boston with me.

Run with Heart and Believe

Run with Heart and Believe

The Boston this weekend is a jumble of wild emotions that I am still processing in a good way and there is so much more to share including my race recap of some of the toughest miles I have run.

I earned every step of the marathon this year. It was very much about what happened during the race but also everything leading up to the race. I hope you will stick with me and head on back as I detail my Boston Marathon.

Did you or have you raced the Boston Marathon? Share your greatest memory. If not I’d love to hear your best race memory from any race.

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

 

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Running Injury Recovery tool: dr. cool Wraps Review and a Giveaway!

dr. cool wraps review. a great tool for handling a running injury.

dr. cool wraps review

dr. cool wraps review. Great for helping with a running injury

Check it out! I have something truly COOL to share with you today that can be a runners best friend when dealing with a running injury. Have you heard of dr. cool? dr.cool makes cooling apparel, compression/cold wraps and more. I was first introduced to dr. cool and their dr. cool wraps when I attended the Rise. Run. Retreat. in the fall. I received a dr.cool wrap as something new to check out and was intrigued by this great new recovery/compression gear. If you are a runner or athlete like me then injury is sadly no stranger. When injuries happen the question is always, how will I take care of my running injury to allow my body to recover.

mediuim dr. cool ice wraps

mediuim dr. cool ice wraps

This is where dr. cool wraps come into action. dr. cool wraps are made from an innovative fabric called Coolcore®. Take a peek at this video to see how Coolcore® works to stay cool to help you with injury and swelling by staying cool.

dr. cool wraps come in sizes small medium and large so as to be useful for wrapping different body parts ranging from the wrist, to your calf, to your back. Dr. Cool Recovery-On-The-Go Ice Wrap will provide you with ice therapy as well as compression. The fabric is flexible and can be worn during exercise as dry compression wraps or for applying cold during play or on the run. Not only are these wraps great for helping with injury but can be used for arthritis, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, and runner’s knee. I love that these wraps come in a variety of colors as well as being available for kids (perfect for boo-boos) and grown-ups alike. Also, dr. cool is a New Hampshire company!

Cooling and compression=great for injury recovery

Cooling and compression=great for injury recovery

I recently used my dr. cool wrap after the Eastern States 20 Miler which I raced as a part of my Boston Marathon preparation. I had been dealing with a calf adhesion leading into the race which bother me at mile 18 1/2 through the finish line. After the race my calf was in a tight not and very painful even to the touch. Thankfully I had remembered to wet my wrap and to put it into the freezer prior to the race so once I had showered i was able to apply my wrap which help alleviate the pain and also provided compression that was essential for extra sore legs. I was very happy that dr. cool Ambassador Sarah had introduced us to this great recovery/injury relief tool at the blogging retreat!

Hopefully I won’t have any injuries anytime soon but I will definitely keep this in my “tool-kit” in case of the need for compression or icing! In addition to icing/compression wraps they also offer instant cooling apparel and accessories.

dr. cool Wraps Giveaway

Now you can enter for your own chance to win 2 dr. cool ice and compression wraps. These will be great to have on hand should injury strike this racing season!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is the worst running injury or sports related injury that you have ever had?

Organic Runner Mom

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Friday Five: Boston Marathon Edition!

It’s finally here! It’s Boston Marathon weekend!

FRIDAY FIVE Boston Marathon

FRIDAY FIVE Boston Marathon

Tomorrow we will load up the car after I have obsessively compulsively packed and repacked my race gear several times in hopes that I don’t forget anything and we will head to Boston! I have to admit even though I have some heavy emotions that still wash over me sometimes, I am feeling nervous yet extremely excited. When I ran in 2013 I knew that I would have a good race. This year I have many of the same feelings. I am very happy looking back on my training from this marathon training cycle because I met my goal of following my training plan from Coach Denise as closely as possibly with only a few minor bumps (sinus infection, and calf adhesion) along the way. We were absolutely blessed in New Hampshire with gorgeous weather almost every weekend except for the one which sent us back into an arctic deep freeze. While the skiing season was not a winner here in New Hampshire it was perfect for anyone training for a spring marathon. I hardly had to layer up for my long runs and many of these days we were graced with sunshine. Not having to worry about freezing my tail off while running ,I was able to run my best and put 110% into each and every workout. The addition of bootcamp to this training cycle has me feeling new strength that I lacked in previous years. I did most of my running on my own this time by choice. I decided that in order to maximize the benefits of my long runs I would need to stay focused on my pacing through each and every mile. I love running with friends but sometimes the pacing goes out the window when we get caught up in conversation or sometimes it feels harder to hit paces especially with fast friends. With a goal of breaking 3:30 in my sights I knew that I needed to do a lot of hard work solo, and a lot of the work that I needed to do was mental.

Boston Marathon Finisher 2014

Boston Marathon Finisher 2014

Running Events, Race Expos and Running Friends

Now, the work is done and it’s time to celebrate running at one of the most awesome running events, the Boston Marathon! I have a lot of amazing things happening this weekend leading up to the race that I cannot wait for.

  • First of all I am so very excited to have some fun family time with my husband and kiddos in Boston and staying in a hotel which is always fun with the kids.
  • I am also so very excited about some of the many running friends that I will get to see this weekend including Sarah and Natalie. These two speedy ladies are such an inspiration to me and I can’t wait to run “with” them at this iconic race. Hopefully we can meet up at the Race Expo!
  • In addition to friends I will be attending an inspirational running meet-up with the 261 Fearless Ambassadors to meet with Kathrine Switzer the original Marathon Woman
  • I am also going to attend a Runners World Shake-Out Run and North Face event on Saturday evening.
  • Sunday will include brunch with #TEAMStonyfield (Sarah, Megan of Run Like a Mother, Mairead from Stonyfield and all of the other Stonyfield runners)

Inspiration for your Boston Marathon

My Personal Aid Station from Hyland’s Leg Cramps, the Official Cramp Relief Partner of the Boston Marathon

Hyland’s Leg Cramps, the Official Cramp Relief Partner of the Boston Marathon generously sent me my own “Personal Aid Station” to help me with my Boston Marathon. Take a peek at the cool running gear and products that they passed along to me.

Personal Aid Station from Hyland's Leg Cramps #HylandsFYFL

Personal Aid Station from Hyland’s Leg Cramps #HylandsFYFL

  • Hyland’s Leg Cramps Ointment and Hyland’s Leg Cramp Tablets to help relax foot and leg cramps (homeopathic and Made in the USA)
  • Headsweats Signature Baseball Cap
  • Feetures! Elite Light Cushion Socks
  • Mini Clif Bars, perfect bites to carry on a long run!
  • Polar Water Bottle for hydration!

All of this gear will come in handy on what is predicted to be a hot and sunny spring day for the Boston Marathon! Thank you Hyland’s Homeopathic!

Share your current racing inspiration with me. What would you have in your personal aid station for a big race day?

p.s. In case you missed it take a look at my marathon Monday race day outfit complete with a sweet #TEAMStonyfield race singlet and new Cascade Skirt from Skirt Sports!

Happy Boston Marathon Weekend!

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

 

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Life is never linear. A peek into my PTSD

Stronger

Stronger

PTSD

Life as I have learned is never linear. Even though time has passed since the 2013 Boston Marathon I still have PTSD and I need to talk about it and recognize the feelings that go along with it. This is hard for a perfectionist, a planner, a type-A, someone who likes to have their ducks all in a row, and an emotional being. When these feelings are triggered I need to own them, to experience them, to rationalize them and to accept them. This week is one filled with excitement as I prepare to run my 3rd Boston Marathon but then there are the emotions and unexpected curveballs that still can come at any time. If you have been reading my blog for a long time you have probably guessed that I am emotional being. I generally try to present myself here on the blog in an upbeat and positive fashion but some days life is just not like that and that’s ok. I have learned through life and therapy that we need to allow ourselves to recognize and accept our emotions so as not to fall to pieces and to crumble.

This week I am feeling extra emotionally charged. First of all my body is experiencing effects of the marathon taper. Taper can have real effects on your body and mind that you need to be ready for. The reduction in the number of miles that you run can actually make you feel more tired, you may feel grumpy, depressed and even anxious. These feelings compounded with the fact that I still do have PTSD from the 2013 bombing is making me especially vulnerable and out of sorts. I am due to check in with the therapist that I saw for a year after the 2013 Boston Marathon but this won’t happen until after the marathon so for now it is helpful to write my feelings down (I hope you don’t mind). My feelings are real and feel vibrant.

I am so excited to run my best race on April 18th. I have worked so hard to accomplish my goals. This excites me beyond words and I can almost relive the feelings of sheer joy in finishing what felt like a perfect race on April 15th 2013. But then in the opposite corner of my mind are the feelings of fear and anxiety and terror. The PTSD is still there. I fear being in the crowds at the expo. Too many people and faces that I don’t recognize. My kids will be with us this year and honestly I would be 100% happy if they were not standing on the sidelines of the marathon as I run by. Extreme mother bear instinct and the desire to protect them is in high gear. I can still vividly hear in my head the horrifying sounds of the bomb blasts echoing through the streets and the eerie silence and confused faces in the aftermath. The phone call to my mom who verified that yes people had been hurt, and that I should stay where I was until Jesse found me. I remember the feelings of being completely alone and stranded on the streets of Boston as I waited for my husband to somehow find me as the sirens wailed and the streets emptied of people. 3 hours I sat fearful waiting for his face to find me and take me out of Boston and away from Boston. Far far away.

What happened in 2013 was out of my control, it was unpredictable and sometimes that is just how it is. I will do this. I will run Boston and I will continue to grow, to learn, and to heal.

Thank you for listening and for cheering me on. We all need a cheerleader in our life sometimes. . .

#BostonStrong

#BostonStrong

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

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Final Boston Marathon Training Update–The Taper

Final Boston Marathon Training Update- The Taper

Final Boston Marathon Training Update- The Taper

Boston Marathon Taper. The Last Long Run.

One week to go. Next Monday morning I will be getting dressed and ready to get on the bus to the Athlete’s Village for the Boston Marathon with my teammate Sarah (#teamstonyfield).  The last time Sarah and I rode the school bus together we had just finished an amazing day racing at the Eastern States 20 Miler. I can’t wait! All of the hard work is complete and this last week of the taper will be all about getting rest, eating plenty, sleeping a lot and only a little bit of running to keep my legs feeling tunes up and ready to go.

12 Miles to go . . .

This weekend I have had a minor sore throat which I am chalking up to allergies. Even though it has been cold the grass is actually turning green (yes) and the trees are starting to bud (no! an allergy sufferers worst nightmare) There is no time to get sick now. I have been getting extra sleep and loading up on my allergy meds in hopes of chasing it away. Today was the last long run on the training schedule until my next training schedule begins for this summers big race the Timberman Ironman 70.3.

Perfect New Hampshire running weather!

Perfect New Hampshire running weather!

For the long run it was a 12 miler with 6 miles at 8:30-8:45 min/mile pace and 6 at marathon goal pace. I decided to do my long run in the afternoon to give the temperature a chance to warm up and got the gift of a perfect afternoon for a run! I have been running a lot near my home as the convenience of heading out the door eliminates unnecessary drive time and time away from home. I have been loving the out and back runs from my house because they offer many of the challenges that you might find on a marathon course, rolling hills, flats, nice downhills and of course some monster hills. Since there is an almost mile long hill near the end of my run I decided to run the miles 5-12 at marathon pace so as not to fret over pacing on the monster hill on the way back home.

Hopefully my legs will feel as strong as good on Marathon Monday because here is my pacing from the run today:

12 miler. Last long run before the Boston Marathon.

12 miler. Last long run before the Boston Marathon.

I have been finding that I have a little more speed in my legs these days (woohoo!). I know that I have a great race in me I just need to keep my focus and not get sucked into the adrenaline and energy at the beginning of the race and go out too fast. This run was encouraging and now all that is left to do is to enjoy the experience and to run my own race! This weekend will be an incredible experience with a ton of fun stuff happening. If you want to follow marathon weekend fun I will be sharing a lot on my instagram so make sure that you are following my FEED  for all of the Boston Marathon running fun and celebration!

12 Miler done!

12 Miler done!

Track me on Boston Marathon Monday . . .

And . . . If you want to follow my race on Marathon Monday at the Boston Marathon you can register for Boston Marathon live updates here. My BIB Number is : 30666 . There will be live tracking during the race so I’d love to have you following along!

Last long run before the Boston Marathon completed with a smile!

Last long run before the Boston Marathon completed with a smile!

Thank you for reading along and supporting my training this far for the Boston Marathon! I can’t wait to tell you all about my race once it is done!!!

What is your favorite thing about training for a race? Do you enjoy the taper or does it make you crazy?

And now I’ll just leave you with this sweet cow kiss from Patty Pie the Organic Cow who watched me as I ran by on my long run!

A Kiss from Patty Pie the organic cow. Seen on my run.

A Kiss from Patty Pie the organic cow. Seen on my run.

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

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Tips for running in the wind

Best tips for running in the wind!

Best tips for running in the wind!

Running in the wind.

Yesterday I completed my last long run before the Boston Marathon. I had 14 miles on the schedule with the last 6 miles to be run at marathon goal pace. Piece of cake right? This distance was much shorter then some of my longest training runs so did I need to worry? Typically the answer would be no but I woke and checked Weather Bug dismayed to see a weather alert. It was going to be partly cloud with 50 mile per hour wind gusts. Say what?!? Not only would the wind gusts drop the temperatures significantly into the single digits but the win speed was definitely going to affect my pacing. Rather than to pull the covers back over my head and to go back to sleep I decided to tough it out and get out there. P.R.’s are not made by taking the easy way out.

The weather has been so great this training cycle that I haven’t had to do much layering up but today would require winter running gear to stay warm and to block some of the wind. I wore three layers on top including a windbreaker, a neck warmer that could be pulled up over my face and ears, wind-blocker gloves a hat, and long running tights with compression socks underneath. I could have used thicker tights as my legs were pretty cold as I ran and I tend to get hive like welts on my skin on super cold days (allergy to the cold?).

This run was definitely one that builds character. It was not easy. I was running an out and back and sadly the headwind was on the second part of my run. I didn’t mind the tailwind too much during the first seven miles however the wind gusts felt like they might knock me over at times and brought and almost frostbite chill to my cheeks. The temperature felt like 6 degrees! Brrrr! I am hoping Mother Nature just needed to get this weather out of her system before marathon Monday! I ran through our little village and got to my turn around point dreading the wind on the return home. It wasn’t the miles that I feared but the wind gusts that were causing the flags throughout town to stand stiffly out straight in the wrong direction. Today there would be no other runners to run behind as wind-block. I hadn’t been this uncomfortable on a run in a long time. The wind gusts made me feel as though I was running backwards and the cold was plainly “Nasty.” I felt discouraged and contemplated ways to catch a ride home with a friend who lived nearby.

Frozen after a crazy windy 14 miler.

Frozen after a crazy windy 14 miler.

I pushed through the negativity, and did my best to drop the pace whenever possible. I knew I needed to get the work done.  I continued on my way and decided that  even if I didn’t hit my pacing my training cycle had been great and this would be my last long run until I would make my way to the starting line in Hopkinton. I focused on form and pushing through the wind. The miles slowly ticked down until I reached the last big half mile hill before the last mile. Knowing I was in the last stretch I pushed onward and dropped the pace for my last mile to between 7:05-7:30. I was so happy to be home. I was exhausted. Running in a stiff wind and the cold can really zap your energy. I was so happy to be done with this run and to get into a hot shower.

Now, only 2 weeks to go until the Boston Marathon! EEK!!!!!!

Tips for running in the wind

Running in the wind got me thinking about tips for running in the wind as this is something that every runner will deal with.

Here are my best tips for running in the wind:

  • Add an extra layer. Running in the wind will drop the temperature so you may need that extra layer to stay warm.
  • Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Even though the wind may cause you to feel cooler and less sweaty you will still be losing fluids. Don’t get tricked into thinking that you don’t need to drink as much.
  • Running in the wind will cause you to expend more energy so make sure that you are well rested otherwise it might make more sense to head indoors and to hop on the treadmill.
  • Lean into the wind a little bit. You will waste less energy.
  • Take turns running behind a friend to take a break from the extra effort needed when running into the wind. This is what cyclists do when they are drafting!
  • If you can try to run in the headwind first and take advantage of the tailwind on the way home.

What are your best tips for running in the wind? Please share them here.

Run like the wind!

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

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Eastern States 20 Miler Race Recap

The Eastern States 20 Miler

The Eastern States 20 Miler Race Recap

The Eastern States 20 Miler Race Recap

This weekend I ran the Eastern States 20 Miler as my last long training run before the Boston Marathon.  The last time I ran this race was in 2013 prior to the Boston Marathon. I was much happier to run t this time because I had an awesome friend to spend the weekend with. Sarah from Run Far Girl  and I, both running for Team Stonyfield at the 2016 Boston Marathon had both planned to run this race as a part of our training. Sarah was kind enough to invite me to stay with her in Wells, Maine at her family beach house (same location as the Rise. Run. Retreat). It was so great to be able to hang out with another runner, blogger and mom. We had a blast sharing parenting stories, running stories and talking about blogging too of course.

At the beach in Wells

At the beach in Wells

We got up early on race morning so that we could head to Kittery, Maine to pick up our race bibs and to catch the bus to the start. I was happy that Sarah is like me and likes to get to races early. We may have left the house a tad early as they hadn’t even started handing out race numbers when we got to the high school gym however it was kind of nice to have some time to relax and take in the race day atmosphere. This will be kind of like marathon Monday too where there is a lot of hurry up and wait time taking the buses and then hanging out in the Athlete’s Village. We were a little punchy and joked around and shared more stories and enjoyed a little local “celebrity” when we were recognized for our blogs. Pretty cool to know that my little blog might be helping to inspire another runner!

Race outfit: Skirt Sports, Crazy Compression, Garmin, the Northface, Hoka One One Clifton 2

Race outfit: Skirt Sports, Crazy Compression, Garmin, the Northface, Hoka One One Clifton 2

While we waited we got to meet Rick and Dick Hoyt. Another member of Team Hoyt would be pushing Rick during the race which was inspiring to see. Rick and Dick Hoyt have raced over 100 races together as father and son and according to their website:

“2013 was going to be Dick and Rick’s last Boston Marathon together, but they were not able to finish due to the bombings. They vowed to be back in 2014 to finish “Boston Strong” with all the other runners, which they did; stopping many times along the 26.2 distance to take photos and shake hands of the many well wishers, and finishing with several of the runners from their Hoyt Foundation Boston Marathon team.”

Team Hoyt will also be in Boston at the marathon this year along with many who run for Team Hoyt. During the race I ended up running much of the course with Team Hoyt member Chris Russell who also has a Podcast called, “Run, Run, Live.”

Team Hoyt at the Eastern States 20 Miler

Team Hoyt at the Eastern States 20 Miler

After all of the waiting we headed outside to check our gear bags and to make a final determination about what to wear. The weather was gorgeous! It was sunny, in the mid 40’s with some wind which became a bit of a tail wind as we raced. Sarah convinced me to ditch my long-sleeve shirt in favor of my tank and arm sleeves. This was a great decision except for the fact that I forgot sunscreen and am now featuring a reverse farmer’s tan (tan on my shoulders to just above my bicep, nice!). We jogged to the starting line just to get the legs moving a bit and lined up to run in the sea of people.

Organic Runner Mom and Run Far Girl getting ready to run the Eastern States 20 Miler

Organic Runner Mom and Run Far Girl getting ready to run the Eastern States 20 Miler

The race start was a little disorganized. The runners all lined up and then we were told that we would need to file through a narrow set of cones in order to step across the timing mat. Sarah and I said our good lucks to each other and got ready to run knowing we most likely wouldn’t be running together. There was a quiet ready, set go, and then we were off. I started my watch a little early which was slightly annoying as we ran as each mile ticked off a little early on my watch . . .oh well. When we got running I was surprised because my calf that had been acting up all of the previous week didn’t bother me at all. Chiropractic adjustment and some days of rest had definitely helped.

This race course is great because it is mostly flat running through Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts right along the spectacular Seacoast. I have been doing most of my running near my house which is incredibly hilly so running here was a treat! When we started out I felt great, relaxed breathing, rested legs, so I tried to control my pace around 8:00 min/mile pace. There were so many strong runners on the course and I ended up connecting with Chris from Team Hoyt who was running a similar pace. We ran together for several miles and chatted which made the miles pass more quickly after awhile we separated and I spent a long time running in a small group who were training for Boston and other spring marathons. The pace was so even and it was easy to just get in a rhythm and run. I kept reminding myself to keep my body and breathing relaxed and focused on other runners who seemed relaxed. I also thought about the race as 4 5 milers as this was a good way to break up the distance. My pacing was definitely faster than planned (not sure that this was a good idea and hoping I can replicate this run in Boston). My race pace was comfortably below 8:00 minute/mile pace, something I had never run before for 20 miles.

Eastern States 20 Miler

Eastern States 20 Miler

Before the race I had loaded up on oatmeal with a banana and two fried eggs for breakfast, followed by cream cheese on a bagel about an hour before the race. Before the race started I had one Clif Organic Energy pouch (Banana, Mango Coconut). During the race I fueled with water and gatorade that was provided on the course and I took 3 GU packets, Jet Blackberry with Caffeine. I definitely lost a lot of salt during the race (I looked like a salt lick when we finished!) and probably should have consumed one more GU and/or an endurolyte. With the wind and the sun and a temp close to 50 I definitely lost more fluids than expected during the run.

Feeling strong, positive and "relaxed"

Feeling strong, positive and “relaxed”

According to official race timing I ran the first half in 1:19.21 with an average pace of 7:57. I was obviously more tired for  the second ten miles but was able to manage to finish in 2:39.07 with an average pace of 7:58 minutes/mile. I am super excited about this finish time!

Here is a peek at my splits from my Garmin Vivoactive from the Eastern states 20 Miler

Here is a peek at my splits from my Garmin Vivoactive from the Eastern states 20 Miler

The second half of the race went smoothly. Chris from Team Hoyt caught back up to me and I ran near him for the remaining 5 miles of the race focusing on keeping strong splits. I had one minor bump in the road when my right calf seized up at around mile 18.5 (nooooo!) I worked through it for the remainder of the mile and was able to drop my splits back down for the last mile. Words of encouragement from Chris to keep pushing onward helped inspire me to run strong. I felt exhausted at the finish but also proud of my finish time as it was my fastest 20 miler ever.I was surprised too to discover that I had finished 29/207 in the women’s open division!

Here is my final time on my watch, the split time varies a bit . . .

Here is my final time on my watch, the split time varies a bit . . .

I was so happy to find Sarah at the finish! She had run an amazing run with negative splits the second half and an incredible 16 place finish with a time of 2:33.15!!!

Organic Runner Mom and Run Far Girl at the finish!

Organic Runner Mom and Run Far Girl at the finish!

What a spectacular day! Sarah and I are both so excited to be running for Team Stonyfield at the Boston Marathon! We are both feeling encouraged by the way we ran on Saturday. The Eastern States 20 Miler is a fantastic race if you are training for a spring marathon. the runners are all very focused and the course is gorgeous! Now there are 3 weeks to go until the Boston Marathon. My training will be dialing back a little bit as we are now heading into the taper. My legs are tired but feel better after a 50 minute base run yesterday which helped to clear out the lactic acid. Over the next three weeks I am going to be focusing a lot on getting adequate rest, fueling my body well and taking care of any aches and pains. I may schedule another chiropractic visit and hope to get at least one massage before race day. I can’t believe the big day is coming up so quickly. I have put my heart and sole into training this cycle and am ready to run Boston again!

Boston Marathon Runner Passport!

Boston Marathon Runner Passport!

What do you eat before a distance race? What do you think about and focus on when you are running a distance race?

Happy Running!

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

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Boston Marathon Training Update. Less than 1 month to go!

My latest Boston Marathon training update

Boston Marathon Training Update

Boston Marathon Training Update

So my latest Boston Marathon training update has a little twist this week. My training has been on hold this week. I’ve taken some extra rest and recovery as a precaution due to extreme tightness in my right calf and piroformis at the end of last week. Last week I attempted Yasso 800’s. My attitude going into the run was less than upbeat. The sky was gray and drizzly and the wind was whipping. I dutifully suited up to run and laced up my shoes. I warmed up but my legs felt tight. I should have spent a little longer stretching and getting my muscles ready. I hit the first three Yasso’s hard and fast. Each 800 meters (or 1/2 mile) 3:19. It felt good to go fast but my legs felt tight. On the fourth one my calf seized up about a quarter of a mile in so I quickly slowed to a jog and then a walk. I stopped, let my breathing and heart rate slow down and attempted to stretch everything out but I couldn’t get the tightness to release. Feeling frustrated I called it quits and jogged home. This was the first workout in this training cycle that I have had to bail on.

Active recovery is key!

Active recovery is key!

When I got back to the house I checked in with my coach who said not to worry too much but to focus on the end game of getting to the line at the Boston Marathon. Rather than becoming bogged down by feeling too negative about things I quickly went and took a hot shower and then got out my Enso roller to attempt to roll out my calf muscle and hip flexors. I also grabbed my RUBZ ball  (tools for active recovery) which is excellent for working on loosening your piroformis (and dealing with issues with Plantar Fasciitis too). I took Saturday off and enjoyed a day out with my kids. We included a trip to the pool. It felt good to be resting my legs. We also did some extra fun stuff this week including dyeing our Easter eggs!

Long run Sunday training update

Long run Sunday training update

Sunday was a new day. Thankfully my long run was only 14 with the first 8 at and 8:45-9:00 pace which felt easy. My calf felt ok and loosened as I ran. The last 6 miles called for me to drop my pace to 8:05-8:10 pace. Dropping the pace felt easy and I ran the remainder of the run between 7:29-8:05 pace except for the incredible, monster hill that I have to run each time I run this route. After the run I made sure to stretch and get to the shower quickly.  My calf still felt tight and my pirofomris was in a giant knot. I had my husband use our Brookstone Percussion Massager to see if we could get my piroformis to release. Thankfully after a while it seemed to relax.

14 mile training run complete

14 mile training run complete

On Monday my calf was still feeling tight so I checked in with my coach again. She suggested additional rest and a trip to the Chiropractor. I have taken several days off from running this week and have been rolling and stretching. I visited the chiropractor on Wednesday. He confirmed the my pelvis is out of alignment again (this was a major issue with my back and piroformis last year)  which I had been feeling in my piroformis and my right hip. He did some gentle adjustments and sent me on my way feeling looser and lighter.

I am feeling extra nervous about running at this point as I don’t want to end up with a muscle strain or pull so I have been more than happy to take a bit of extra rest this week. On Saturday I will be running (not racing) the Eastern States 20 Miler as a training run for Boston. Hopefully my body will cooperate and my calf won’t tighten up too much. I plan to run the first 10-14 miles at a moderate pace and then hit the last miles at marathon pace. I am looking forward to the weekend too because I will be hanging out with Sarah from Run Far Girl for a little pre-race rest and relaxation tomorrow night at the beach in Wells (where we enjoyed the Rise. Run. Retreat). We are both running the Boston Marathon for Team Stonyfield. It will be great to catch up about training and blogging and just to hang out!

Wondering what the weather will be on marathon Monday. We are back to snow again here in Northern NH!

Wondering what the weather will be on marathon Monday. We are back to snow again here in Northern NH!

We are definitely getting into the home stretch of Boston Marathon training. I am very excited to race and being smart about my training (keeping my fingers crossed) that my body stays in one piece for marathon Monday. I think that next week a massage may be in order as a part of my active recovery!

What difficulties have your run into recently during training? Are you currently dealing with an injury? What are your best strategies for managing an injury or possible injury?

Happy Running!

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

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Packing for a Marathon. 5 Marathon Race Day Essentials.

What will you pack for your marathon? 5 essentials.

5 Essentials to Pack For a Marathon

5 Essentials to Pack For a Marathon

It’s almost time for your marathon and you need to get your bags packed and ready to go for race day. Of course you will need your favorite running clothes and your running shoes but what other essential items should go in your bag? Experience racing marathons has helped me to refine what I bring in my bag for the big race in order to be 100% prepared. Figuring out what you will need during those 26.2 miles will be something that you will figure out as you train. You should “practice” your runs using the gear and essentials that you will want on race day.

  1. Body Glide, Vaseline, Aquaphor, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste . . . really any of these will do. Running long distances can mean one thing, CHAFING! Even if you have worn your marathon day gear on long training runs chafing can always rear its ugly head and when it does it can mean miles of excruciating torture and may necessitate grabbing a glob of vaseline of the cardboard from a volunteer at an aid station just to get some relief. Be sure to apply one of these lubricants to any and all areas of skin that can become problematic during the run and you will be much happier!
  2. Compression socks or sleeves. I like to wear mine while I run a marathon but they can also be an essential tool if you spend tool long on your feet at the marathon expo (this is a no-no!). Your legs will also be screaming for them the day after the race as you hobble around and attempt to climb flights of stairs. Compression socks can aid in post marathon recovery.
  3. Sunscreen. I have learned me lesson to remember sunscreen after too many sunburns. The key is to find a sunscreen that is waterproof and sweatproof (if you are like me you will be sweating a ton!). Also, look for sunscreen that will not make your eyes sting in case sweat causes it to get in your eyes. Another strategy for preventing this is to wear a visor or hat and to skip applying sunscreen to your forehead.
  4. Fuelbelt, Flipbelt, Fitletic Hydration belt or some method for carrying fuel. This essential gear is completely personal. During long training runs I carry a Nathan Hydration pack which is not allowed at some marathons so I like to carry my gels and other fuel in my Skirt Sports pockets and any addition fuel in a Flip Belt which fits close to the body. You will want to practice wearing your fuel carrier during training to make sure that it is comfortable and fits without riding up.
  5. GPS watch. I have come to love wearing a GPS watch during a marathon. You can use the watch to check your pacing, to check your mileage . . . essentially your watch will become a best friend during marathon training. I feel naked without mine when I run even if I don’t look at it at every mile.

Now that I have shared my top 5 essential items to bring in your marathon bag with you I’d love to hear your must-haves! Please share your ideas with a comment below!

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

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Boston Marathon Training Update. 23 miles.

Boston Marathon Training Update

Boston Marathon Training Update

23 miles.

I ran 23 miles on Sunday. My coach gave me a timed run for my long run on Sunday. I was given 3:15 to run anywhere between 8:20-9:15 pace. I love running long runs that are planned like this because the end goal is the time and not the distance. If you are planning for 20 miles and having a horrible run each mile can seem endless and you can feel like hitting the pace that you need is sheer torture. I find that long runs by time take the pressure off and allow me to perform how I am feeling in the moment.

Last week I took an additional day off as my legs were feeling tight and “fried” from the previous week of hard training. I knew that if I didn’t take an extra day to recover then my long run would be a disaster. I am so glad I took the rest because by Sunday morning my legs felt fresh and ready to go. As an additional bonus the weather on Sunday was picture perfect for running a long distance, high 40’s with only light wind. Now if only we could order up that weather for the Boston Marathon! I figure I need to be prepared for anything! With the weird winter we’ve had it will probably either be snowing or blazing hot. As long as I continue to conquer my miles and get each run done then I should be good to go on race day!

I woke up late on Sunday, the time change threw us off. It was nice to sleep in and have a big breakfast before my run. I started my run around 10:30 which was actually great since we will be running around that time on Marathon Monday.  I dutifully packed my hydration pack with my usual Clif Shots with caffeine and Clif Organic Fuel (banana, mango, coconut, yum!), water, and a hydration flask filled with Skratch Labs Raspberry Hydration Mix. I kissed my kids goodbye and headed out the door. Lately I have been favoring out and back runs from my house for my long runs. I have been running alone which has been amazing mental training for working through the tough parts of a run. The roads from my house offer a ton of hills and are perfect practice for Boston. Also, either way you go the run begins with some downhill and we all know that Boston is a downhill course!.

This run was like magic. The miles just ticked off and I was very comfortable with an average pace of 8:29 with some quicker miles during different points. I allowed myself to just feel the run and worked on keeping my body loose. I am thankful that I have been doing Bootcamp since this fall. The additional strength gained from bootcamp keeps me moving through the tougher miles because I know I have the strength and I remind myself of it. I was super psyched when I reached the turnaround point and I was already at 11.5 miles. This would definitely be my longest training run and if I could match my pacing on the way home then i would be well on track for Boston. It warmed up as I ran and I definitely needed everything in my pack to keep my energy up and also to stay hydrated.

11.5 Miles. Halfway there.

11.5 Miles. Halfway there.

I was surprised at how well I felt on the run home. I always play mental games with myself when I run and break the mileage into chunks. Every time a mile ticks of on my Garmin rather than to think of it as 5 miles to go, I think oh, “4.99 miles to go or less than 5 miles to go,” this makes the distances seem more manageable. Before I knew it I was closing in on our farm which meant I had 3 miles to go and one set of monster hills to tackle. These hills are a good test of will. Even though my legs were fatiguing at this point I never let myself quit on these hills and walk. I slogged on because I wanted to push for 23 miles. Once I made it to the top of the hill by the local organic dairy farm I knew that I was in the home stretch. With one mile to go and 23 miles in reach I picked up the pace for the last mile. And wouldn’t you know it, I just squeaked in–23.o1 miles in 3:15.

This run was a huge confidence boost for me and it also makes running 26.2 miles way less scary. I was feeling so good on my run last weekend I probably could have pushed on for the final 5K to run the whole marathon distance! This weekend my coach has me backing off in distance. I am excited because my long run is only 14 miles! Hopefully it will feel like a breeze. Now the countdown is on for sure! Only 32 days left until race day to log miles and to do the hard work. I have one big long run left (I think . . . I never know what my coach will throw at me) where I will be running the Eastern States 20 miler  along with Sarah who is also a part of #TeamStonyfield and who blogs at Run Far Girl.

The excitement is beginning to build.

Here is a peek at my training over the past two weeks.

Training for the Boston Marathon

Training for the Boston Marathon

Today I’ll be running Yasso 800’s again! Hopefully they will go as well as last time!

What was your longest training run? How did it feel? What helped you to run further and faster?

Organic Runner Mom

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

Proud member of Team Stonyfield for the 2016 Boston Marathon

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