Friday, May 31, 2013

First Tri of the Season

How is your last day of May going? I can't believe that tomorrow is June 1st and that in two days we are going to be competing in our first triathlon of the season, hopefully.

After Cleveland, Mike and I have been recovering and shifting gears to focus on the last two months (really less than that now) of Musselman (70.3) training. While we had been training for Musselman at the same time as Cleveland, we did have a heavier focus on running.  Now we are focusing more on maintaining our running base and increasing our biking mileage.

These have been getting a lot of use

On Memorial Day, we set out for our longest ride yet: 40 miles. Normally it would have been an "off" day for us but since we had a busy weekend we had to make up our ride. I wish I carried a phone with me while we ride (bad I know) or at least a camera so I could have taken some pictures.  The route was pretty gorgeous and we were almost alone out on the roads because of the holiday.

We've continued to build up our biking mileage and did our longest mid-week ride yet on Wednesday: 28 miles.  This ride was a little bit scary because we were battling 20-21 mph winds.  That may not seem like a lot but when you are on your bike and it is mostly crosswind, you hold on to the hoods for dear life and hope you don't get blown over or blown into a car!

Speaking of scary rides, this weekend's weather is not looking very promising for the Keuka Lake triathlon.  Mike and I are doing the Intermediate distance and right now the weather prediction is thunderstorms, rain (70% chance) and high winds of ironically 20 mph.

Not looking that enjoyable

Right now my biggest worry is the race being canceled. Last year they emphasized that if there was ANY lightening that it would be canceled on the spot.  Since we are using this as a training race for Musselman, I would be pretty upset about this happening.  I also don't know if we would be able to find another race to do instead if this does happen, so think good thoughts about the weather for us!

And just like last year, we are going sans wetsuits.  We will probably be two of the five people who do so but we are strong swimmers and can handle it.  Our transitions will be faster than everyone else at least!

Swim leg of last year's sprint

Worst case, if the race does happen and the weather is horrible, we'll just go into it to have fun.  We know we can finish so that's all that matters! And another plus, my number probably won't be "666" again like it was last year!

Who else is racing this weekend?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cheering for Runners

A little over two years ago (I am a bad triathlete and I missed our two year running anniversary, it was on April 12th), you probably wouldn't have found us waking up at 5:45am to go cheer for someone running a marathon. 

But, on Sunday that's exactly what we did.

That's the back of my head (I may or may not have showered), cheering for Sheila!

We have gotten to know some amazing people through running, just one of the many things that has changed for the better in our life since we became triathletes, and we try as hard as possible to support them in their endeavors, as they do in ours.  

Just yesterday I was sitting with Amber, one of my greatest friends in this world - someone I wouldn't even know if it wasn't for running, and I was getting a little emotional thinking about who has come to support us during our races and how much it has meant.  While we didn't have people physically there at Cleveland, believe me some people would have been there if they could have, we had people cheering us on from all over the country.  Our Facebook pages were blowing up during the race, and after.

When Eric suggested the concept of "Sherpas for Shme", Shme is Sheila's nickname, we jumped at the opportunity.  At one week post-marathon for us, it was the perfect timing and the perfect inspiration.  

Sherpas for Shme was simple, Eric wanted as many people as possible to come cheer for Sheila at the Buffalo Marathon and keep it a surprise.

Mike and I made signs the night before, one personalized and one not, and planned out our cheering route for the day.  Side note - making the signs was a bit of an adventure since THREE of our markers died in the process, and we had to use a dry erase marker as a last resort. 

People LOVED the sign

On marathon morning, as we stood at mile 7.5/mile 11 (this was an out and back portion of the race) waiting for Sheila, our sign started to get recognition.  People smiled and it made me feel good that hopefully we were making a difference in someone's race. Mike also started to offer high fives and one person remarked that his was the first high five they had been offered!

Still a little sleepy, but ready to cheer!

Then, I saw her! Sheila was making her way toward us and we gave a loud cheer for her! She later said she liked the victory lap sign, and then noticed her personalized "Shme" sign.  She was pleasantly surprised that we were there.

After she came back, we quickly (and also went the wrong way a little bit) got to our next cheering spot.  Mike continued to offer high fives to runners, and the runners were loving it!

Mr. High Five guy, as he was called

We saw a few of the same runners at each location, and we started to get called out on it.  It was nice to know that not only did we help surprise Sheila but we also helped some other runners in the process.

 Last cheering spot around mile 22

Having people cheering for you at races can make a HUGE difference.  Until this year we haven't had many people come to our races, and we are used to doing them "alone" (yes we are always there together, but we can't really support each other while we are racing).  However, it also feels good when people are there showing us that what we do matters.

I guess my point is this: take a break from what you want to do every once in awhile and go support people who are pursuing their goals and dreams.  It's worth it!  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Giveaway Winners

I didn't hear back from three of the giveaway winners, so here are the new winners of the last prizes:

Gen2 Aspaeris Pivot Shorts  - Suzanne
$50 Tommie Copper Gift Card - Isaac
$35 Road ID Gift Card - Lisa N.

Email me at fromcouchtoironwoman@gmail.com so I can get your information. If I don't hear back from the winners by Sunday, May 26th I will pick new winners again on Monday, May 27th.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Thoughts of a Marathoner

Before I start this post, just a reminder that three prizes are still unclaimed from my giveaway! Check out the post to see if you won. If they are still unclaimed by tonight, I will pick new winners tomorrow. Don't miss out!

Three days after my second marathon, and Mike's first marathon finish, I ran! It was only two miles, but they felt good and faster than I probably should have gone.  Yesterday, Mike participated in the Corporate Challenge with his co-workers.  I decided not to participate since we wouldn't be racing and my company does not pay its employees' entry fees, but Mike's does.

Walking with one of his co-workers

It was a fun time and I enjoyed cheering on the runners/walkers and our friends.  The storm after the race was a bit of a downer, but we didn't get too wet. 

My personal Facebook friends have probably realized this about me, but I experience post-race depression often.  I don't really experience it with 5Ks or 10Ks, unless it is an amazing race, but I do with most everything else. I have a hard time accepting that the training, the race, the fun times are truly over.

 Pure bliss

Which is why I usually end up registering us for a race immediately after.  However, this time I didn't get to do that because we are already registered for Musselman (70.3) in July and our next marathon in October, the MDI Marathon.  

I know that I announced on the blog that I will attempt to run an ultra this year, but that is going to have to wait.  There are a few reasons but the main ones are that Mike doesn't have any PTO left, hotels in NYC in November can be ridiculous and I want to run a marathon in early 2014. 

I don't know if I will always want to be a two-marathon-a-year kind of runner, but while I can do it, I want to do it. 2014 is going to be the year of the Ironman so I wasn't sure if a second marathon would be a good idea.  However, if we do one early enough then I think we would have enough time to recover before seriously starting Ironman training.

Right now the top contenders are:

The Bermuda Marathon - January 19, 2014

This one just looks like fun, and who wouldn't want to go to Bermuda?

ING Miami Marathon - February 2, 2014

Our friends Amber and Greg are running the half and would be there to support us, which would make a huge difference during the second half of the race.

Albany Marathon - March 1, 2014?

Flat and fast and right before my birthday, and this would give us some extra down time before starting to train after MDI. 

As happy as I was with the outcome of Sunday's marathon, I still know that I can do better.  I'm not sure if the MDI marathon will be the marathon to try to PR, though.  It is my hometown marathon, we are running with friends and it is HILLY!  I want to just enjoy the experience and not have to worry about PRing, at least that is my thought process for now.

To some I may be "obsessed", and yea I probably am a little bit but there are worse things to be obsessed with, but to me I just know I am capable of so much more.  I enjoy putting in the work, which if you think about it is the main part anyway - the race is just the celebration.

Now we just have to decide which marathon to run in early 2014!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cleveland Marathon Race Recap

Redemption. It is pretty sweet!

Let me start at the beginning, though.  On Friday night we got the last minute stuff taken care of, you know like boarding Bernie, packing (some of that happened Saturday morning too, it's typical), eating some more carbs, etc.  Saturday we woke up, ran our last 2 miles of our training, finished packing and drove to Cleveland.

 We arrived!

We got to the Expo sometime in the afternoon and picked up our stuff.  We walked around a bit and I finally bought some Body Glide (it helped a lot on race day).  We left after a little while and went to our hotel to check in and relax before dinner.  We went to dinner at Pizzazz, not in downtown Cleveland, and it was great!

 Of course I had to wear my "race" rundies!

We ended the night with epsom salt baths and some more relaxing before going to bed.  We had set the alarm for 4:45am and I actually slept pretty well, except when some party people were making noise in the room next to ours.

The morning of the race, we woke up pretty easily and got ready.  We checked the weather and it was already 65 degrees outside so I didn't need my throw away shirt.

We had to check out of our hotel before the race (but they were nice and let us use the fitness area's showers after the race) and then we walked the .5 miles to the start at the Cleveland Browns Stadium.

 Yep, still dark outside

Runners were already hanging around and we decided to sit in the seats of the stadium for a little while.  We then went to the bathrooms, yay for no port-a-potties, and while in line some girls asked me to take their photo.  I guess one of them was nervous, it was her first 10K, and I said, "by the time you realize what you are doing, it will be over".  One of her friends asked which distance I was running and after I said the full she told her friend, "she's running quadruple what you are and she's trying to comfort you!"

We then went down to the start area, although there were only three seeded corrals the start wasn't too bad and what I expected it to be like from doing Rock 'n' Roll Chicago and Around the Bay.  You basically just shuffle to the start line and starting running right before you cross the line.  Mike and I went to our respective areas and then we were off and running the marathon.

 Making my way to the start of my second marathon

I crossed the start line approximately 6 minutes after the start and I held myself back.  There was a slight incline at the beginning, I truly can't call anything on this course a hill, but it wasn't too bad.  Since the marathon and the half marathon runners do the first part together the course was a bit crowded but nothing I haven't experienced before.

I felt like there weren't many marathoners because I was surrounded by a sea of red bibs, the half had red and the full had blue bibs.

I took the first couple of miles easy, and told myself to slow down a few times.  I was entertained by some of the people near me: a guy running with a boom box, people in super man costumes, people complaining about the "hills", a guy's shirt that said, "one day your life will flash before your eyes, make sure it's worth watching", etc. 

I crossed the 10K mat, and thought about my family and friends that I was updating, in 1:01:11 at 9:51 pace.

The first half of the marathon was perfect weather, not too hot, cloudy and there was a nice breeze. We also had amazing crowd support.  Around 8-9 miles I saw a group of people signing songs and I signed "applause" to them as I ran by.  It was also at this point that a girl running near me said, "I wish we knew what mile we were at" and I told her that she was at 9.4 miles.

Around mile 10 my right hip started to bother me, so I took the time to thank people who have supported me in this journey.  I actually had to tell myself to slow down during these miles because while I was thinking of them, I sped up.

At about mile 12, we were crossing over the highway and I saw a girl sitting on the sidelines who was overheated.  It was still cloudy at this point, but the clouds were thinning out.  I also knew that soon the half marathoners were going to head toward the finish, and I was going to have to keep on going.

We rounded a few corners and the signs for the half marathon and marathon had us going in different directions, they headed back to the stadium to finish their race and we headed out for the second part of the course.  As we parted ways I immediately noticed how few marathoners there were compared to half marathoners.

I crossed the half marathon point in 2:09:24 at 9:53 pace.  I had held pretty consistent paces up to this point, although my watch probably jumped a little bit during the end of the first half because my watch said I did 26.4 miles which ended up being frustrating later on.

This is when the "second" race began.  Almost as soon as I split with the half marathoners the clouds disappeared and the sun was there to stay.  I slowed a little bit, but I wasn't worried yet.  However, at mile 15 I had my one moment of doubt that I would finish the race when I almost threw up when I was trying to open my third (and final) energy gel.

My hands were so sweaty that I had to open my energy gels with my teeth, and for some reason this didn't sit well with me at this point.  I was really hot and I ended up getting the gel all over my hands so I had to stop for a second.  I wasn't thinking clearly and I didn't know what I should do with the energy gel.  Then reason stepped in and I wiped it on my shorts, I took very little of this energy gel because I couldn't stomach it.

I got to the water stop, which was right ahead and took some water and dumped some on myself to cool down.  I got myself going again and actually continued running without walking through mile 18.

 Not sure where exactly this was, but second half for sure

At some point between miles 16-18, runners ran in both directions and I saw some of the faster marathoners.  This section of the race was really hot and on open road without any shade.  This woman ran up to me and said, "what were we thinking?" and fist bumped me as she went on by (we played tag a lot during the last part of the marathon and I later heard her tell someone else she hadn't run a marathon in 15 years!!).

A spectator at this point was yelling, "power!" and then "power to the runners!" as we ran by her.  All I was thinking about at this point was whether I would beat my time at Around the Bay 30K, which would be the next distance to update my friends and family.  I had started walking a little bit but I pushed to the 30K.

I crossed the mat in 3:11:26 at 10:17 pace, only 16 seconds slower than my ATB time.

Right before the 30K mark, I had been passed by the 4:25 pace group which was slightly sad since I know I can run that time.

 Still smiling

Miles 19-20ish brought some relief because there was some shade in the park we were running through.  Right before an overpass type bridge there was a guy on the sidelines holding a sign, I don't know what it said but it caused a guy in front of me to yell, "one and done!"  The guy holding the sign said, "well at least you can say you did it".  I laughed to myself because I wondered if the guy would change his mind after he crossed the finish line and want to do another marathon.

My pace had slowed a bit and I started to do some math in my head, I'm not sure why but for some reason I used 20 minute miles as the worst case scenario (it never got to that my slowest mile was 13:44).  It wasn't until around 23-24 miles that I knew I would get sub-5.

Since I ditched my last energy gel, I did start taking Powerade at the last few water stops.  I knew it wasn't as many calories but it was better than nothing and replacing some of my lost electrolytes.

I thought about something someone said, not to be a wuss in the second half, and I tried to push myself.  I also knew that in the heat I had to be careful, we haven't trained much in the heat yet and I don't tolerate it well.

I forget when it was but on one of the roads we had a little "turn around", basically we just ran around a cone and headed back down the road. At this point we were running back to downtown Cleveland.

I had been walking a bit, but I tried to run further each time.  I was still doing math, somewhat accurately, and figured if I could keep up what I was doing I would finish around 4:45.  I passed some of the same spectators we had seen the first time we were on the road and kept on running.

I had been dumping water on myself and running through the spray hoses and I was completely soaked, but it definitely helped!

As I neared 25 miles, I went through the last water stop.  Right after that I ran by a car that had Macklemore's "Can't Hold Us" playing.  The guy told me I looked strong and I could see the corner that you had to round to head back to the stadium in the distance.  I walked briefly one more time and then ran to the corner.

At this point there were more spectators so I knew I wouldn't walk again, and I let them carry me to the finish.  I heard people cheering, saw runners with medals and heard "The Harlem Shake" being played.  This pumped me up and I kept passing people to the finish.

 Focused on that finish line

I turned the corner, and I was constantly looking for Mike on the sidelines, and saw the finish line.  I pushed it as best I could and then crossed the finish line of my second marathon!

 Happier finish than the first time

At the finish line, smiling AND floating!

I had accomplished my two goals: to PR and to get my sub-5 hour marathon!  My official finish time was 4:46:58 at 10:57 pace.

 Marathoner x 2

As I got my medal, some water and had my photo taken, I still hadn't seen Mike.  I was getting nervous, not because I thought he hadn't finished but I just wanted to see him, and then there he was with a medal around his neck!

I found out that about a half an hour before I finished the race, that Mike had finally gotten his redemption.  He became a marathoner and ran a strong race with a finishing time of 4:18:55 at 9:53 pace.  The second half was tougher for him, as it was for all of us, but he pushed through and finished!

Out on the course

 Around mile 20

Realization of what he just accomplished

Marathoner!!!

After going over to hug him, I had to walk a little more to get out.  A photographer asked if I wanted my photo taken at the official finisher photo area and Mike wanted to come back in to get his photo taken with me.  This was the one aspect of the race that frustrated me.  They wouldn't let Mike back in because he had already left the area, and although I understand it was for security reasons I was really upset we couldn't get a photo at the finish together (we didn't have supporters with us and didn't bring our phones or camera to the race start).

After sitting in the shade for a while, we made our walk back to the hotel.  We had to stop one time to sit down in the shade on the way, but we made it eventually.  We showered, drove to Erie to stop to eat and then drove the rest of the way home.

 I love my new medal

 Welcome to the club, Mike!

I am extremely proud of us and how we handled this second marathon.  The first half was perfect and I know we could have both run faster if the conditions had stayed the same.  We will definitely continue to improve and since we are already registered for the MDI Marathon in October, this wasn't close to being our last marathon.

Thank to everyone who supported us, cheered us on and believed in us!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fundraising Giveaway Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and donated to Project R12! We didn't get close to our fundraising goal, but every amount helps and you can still donate, here, if you wish.

Now for the winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
   
Gen2 Aspaeris Pivot Shorts - Sarah S.
$50 Tommie Copper Gift Card - Amy C.
Malya Rosa Headband - Teresa D.
$35 Road ID Gift Card - Bethany P. 
4-Pack of Nuun - Meghan

Please email me at fromcouchtoironwoman@gmail.com to get your information so you can get your prize!

If I don't hear back from the winners by May 22nd, new winners will be picked on May 23rd.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spoiler Alert

Marathoner x 2

Newest member of the marathon club!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

For Mike

Dear Mike,

In the final days leading up to the Cleveland Marathon I am more excited for you than I am for myself.  I already had my opportunity to cross the finish line after running 26.2 miles, and yes, while it did not go the way that I had planned I was still able to call myself a marathoner in the end.

This time, it is all about you.

I have people who I will be dedicating my miles to on Sunday, friends, family, myself and others that I do not even know but the most important person on that list is you.

I wish that I was fast enough to be able to run the entire 26.2 miles with you, because I know that it is going to be an amazing experience for you.  Yes, as with all races, there will be challenges and hurdles that you will have to cross, but I know you can do it.

You are stronger now than you were 7 months ago.  I have seen you run 20-21 miles, and in the end you look like you could just keep on going.  You HAVE 26.2 miles in you, and you are going to conquer it.

I often ask you what you think about while you run, and you tell me nothing.  I hope that during the hard times of the marathon that you think of yourself and all of the hard work that you have put into your training.

We woke up early, we went out in the snow and ice and ran mile upon mile.  You did a duathlon and then crushed your half marathon PR the next day.  If that doesn't classify you as a stronger runner, then I don't know what does.

You are my inspiration.  You are the reason that I continue to do this, and the reason that I want to improve. 

If you could only do one more thing for me, I would want it to be this:

Go out there and kick that marathon's ASS!

I love you!

Jamie

Monday, May 13, 2013

May Book Club: Devoted

The middle of the month means one thing, it's book club time!

For the month of May we read the book, Devoted: The Story of a Father's Love for His Son by Dick Hoyt.


The book starts out with a brief description of how Dick and Rick Hoyt, affectionately called "Team Hoyt", became an internet sensation. What Dick Hoyt saw was a video of himself and his son, a spastic quadriplegic, finishing their Hawaii Ironman (Kona) set to music.

That video was viewed by millions of people, and in turn thousands of people have contacted the Hoyts telling them what an inspiration they are to them and so many other people.

Dick Hoyt married at a young age and the Hoyts were expecting their first baby shortly after getting married.  What was to follow, however, no one expected.  Rick Hoyt was born a spastic quadriplegic after complications during birth; his umbilical cord had been wrapped around his neck which caused him to lose oxygen for too long.

Back when Rick was born, there was not a lot of understanding of disabled individuals and the Hoyts were told to forget about him and move on with their lives.  Neither Dick nor Rick's mom, Judy, wanted to do that and instead they brought him home.  Eventually Dick and Judy had two more sons and they continued to fight for acceptance and equality for their first-born son, Rick.

The story goes on to describe their struggles with getting Rick into school, and how eventually with the help of a TIC (Tufts Interactive Communicator) developed by Tufts University and the passing of new laws he was finally able to attend school. 

Dick and Rick Hoyt's running and triathlon life started when Rick attended a basketball game with his classmates and gym teacher.  At the basketball game, an announcement was made about a charity run for a basketball player who had become paralyzed after colliding with another player.  Rick wanted to run the race.

And the rest, as they say, was history.

Dick and Rick ran that race, with some resistance from the other runners and race coordinators, and they didn't come in last.  They came in second to last.

After that moment Dick and Rick practiced and raced as much as they could.  They raced almost every weekend and eventually they ran a full marathon.  Dick and Rick even participated in the Boston Marathon, unfortunately as bandits at first, numerous times.

They didn't stop there, eventually Dick and Rick started doing triathlons.  They even did a few Ironman races, although Dick didn't finish their first attempt at Kona because he drank too much Gatorade before the race.

The story also describes the other milestones in their lives, such as Rick graduating from the Boston University with a degree in Special Education and biking and running across the country to raise money for the Hoyt Fund. 

Dick and Rick Hoyt have been inspiring others for years and their love for each other is evident.  They truly show that with hardwork and dedication that anyone can do whatever they put their minds to, which is what their motto, "yes, you can", is all about.

 

This past Boston Marathon was supposed to be Dick and Rick's last run, pun intended, at their "hometown" marathon.  However, because of what happened they were only able to get to mile 25 this year and have decided that they will run it again next year to honor the victims and survivors. 

Here are some other book club members' reviews:


Some discussion questions:

What is something that you thought you weren't capable of doing, but then proved yourself wrong?

Have you ever fought for yourself or others in the face of adversity?

Dick Hoyt was asked if he ever would have run a race without Rick, and he said no even though he probably would have run the races faster.  Would you have done the same, why or why not? 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fundraising Giveaway for Project R12

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Mike and I are running the Cleveland Marathon for a purpose, to raise money for Project R12's SafeHouse in Sala, Uganda.




The marathon is only 8 days away and over the last week I have been in contact with some of my favorite companies to set up an amazing marathon fundraising giveaway for all of you!  I would love to get closer to our goal of raising $2,620 for Project R12, therefore, my hope is that most of you will donate to our efforts.  However, it is not mandatory for you to donate to enter the giveaway, but you will get extra entries if you do!

If you donate $10, the minimum amount Crowdrise accepts, then you can get 2 extra entries.  If you donate any amount above $10, you get the 2 entries for the $10 and then 2 more entries for the amount above $10.  To keep it fair for those who cannot/do not want to donate and to help spread the word I have added the option to tweet about the giveaway everyday for a total of 2 entries each day.

If you don't want to enter the giveaway, but really all of the prizes are amazing so you should enter, you can still donate on our fundraising page, here.

Thank you to all who have already donated, and to those who I hope will donate!

Now on to the wonderful items included in the giveaway:

Gen2 Aspaeris Pivot Shorts

I think most of you know how much I adore pivot shorts, I wore them today during our last long run of this training cycle, and one of you could win a pair of Gen2 shorts of your own! I own five pairs, four Gen1 and a pair of Gen2, and I can attest that they are amazing.

Wearing my Gen1 during our last half marathon

Even if you don't win a pair of shorts, you can still purchase any of their items for 40% off until the end of May using the discount code, SPRING, at checkout (you need to log in to their site to use the code).

$50 Tommie Copper Gift Card

Tommie Copper makes a variety of products ranging from calf sleeves (love them!), shirts, gloves, tights, etc.  They have a bunch of fun new colors and if you win this item you will have $50 to spend on anything that your little heart desires.  Personally, I love my calf sleeves, knee sleeves, tights and half finger gloves (for interpreting soreness).  Mike also has a pair of the men's shorts and he loves those too!

Finishing up my first marathon wearing TC calf sleeves

Malya Rosa Headband

Recently one of my Reach the Beach teammates, Stephanie, contacted me about trying out one of her headbands for her new company Malya Rosa.  The headbands are great for working out, running or even work attire.  The ribbons that Malya Rosa uses are cute, fun and can be coordinated with any outfit. 
I wore mine to work the other day

Malya Rosa also gives back by donating 5% of every purchase to Dress for Success and The Girl Effect. One person will have the opportunity to win one headband of their choice.

$35 Road ID Gift Card

For my birthday last month, my friend Crystal asked me if I wanted a Road ID.  Since I never run with a phone, even when I am not running with Mike, I thought it would be a good idea to have one!  Road ID has plenty of options to chose from to accommodate any athlete, and then your family and friends don't have to worry about you as much while you are out working up a sweat! If you win this item you will get a $35 gift card that will help pay for your own Road ID.

 My Road ID

4-Pack of Nuun

Again, I think it is easy for anyone to see that I love Nuun! I have tried almost all of the flavors and I have loved most of them (I'm not big on orange)!  Mike and I turn to Nuun when we need to hydrate and replenish our electrolytes, but we don't want any extra sugar.  We even turned my mom into a Nuun lover!  The winner of this item will be able to pick a 4-pack of their choice, personally I would go with a 4-pack of one of their new flavors: cherry limeade, lemonade or watermelon. Yum! 

I think it's safe to say we like it

Again, there is no purchase (donation) necessary to enter/win, but any donations are greatly appreciated.  The giveaway will remain open until midnight on May 20th and the five winners will be announced later that day.  

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below for your chance to win one of these amazing items!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Life Lately

It is the end of the 10th week of the quarter at the college where I work, which if you aren't familiar with the quarter system that is the last week before final exams.  This year is a little bit different than normal, however, because it is the LAST quarter ever before we change to semesters in the fall (not including the summer, but summers are always a little different).

I have been a member of  the community where I work for 10 years, either as a student or an employee, and all I've known is the quarter system.  It is going to be a weird change in the fall and it is definitely going to take some time to get used to, 15 weeks is going to feel like it is dragging compared to 10 weeks!

The end of spring quarter also brings the beginning of a month long break for me, I am only a 10-month employee which has pros and cons.  After our marathon on May 19th (so soon!), I will have a week of vacation and then I will work the last four days of May before I am off the entire month of June.

Summer is always an enjoyable time for us because I only work one month, typically July as I am again this year, and we can plan some fun adventures.

Yesterday we solidified some plans for the end of June by registering for this:


Technically we didn't register ourselves, our friend Greg registered us because I was in class interpreting and Mike was busy at work.  It took FOREVER to get our confirmations that we were actually in, but we are! Our friends Amber, Greg, Crystal and Joe are also going to be running the 10K.

Mike and I made plans to visit Crystal and Joe, originally to spectate the B.A.A. 10K as Crystal raced, but we changed our minds and wanted to race too.  The 10K is already sold-out, it sold-out in record time in just 13 hours. 

I don't think I ever announced on the blog our other fun summer plans: 

Made by Crystal

Mike and I are going to continue our reputation as relay lovers by running with four other people during the 100 on 100 Heart of Vermont 100 mile relay in August.  Our teammates include Crystal, her husband Joe and their friends Janell and Aaron. I can't wait! We're also planning on going kayaking the day after the relay, which should be a lot of fun. 

Other than that Mike and I have just been finishing up our last few weeks of marathon training, we have our last "long run" (8 miles is not long to me anymore) this weekend and then we are only one week out from the Cleveland marathon.  

I'm excited about all of our fun races and trips that we have planned this summer!

What have you been up to lately? What are you looking forward to?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Summer is Here

We have gone from winter right into summer here in Rochester, which unfortunately meant that we skipped my favorite running weather (50 degree temps if you wanted to know). 

 Bernie enjoying the weather

Since our busy weekend of racing last weekend, Mike and I have been up to a few things. Unfortunately, the Monday right after Flower City we got a stomach bug that caused us to both come home from work early.  We basically slept the day away and then because we were so weak on Tuesday, we didn't go into work that day either.

Luckily we are in taper mode for the Cleveland Marathon so this wasn't that big of a deal, and better that it happened this week and not in a few weeks! My runs haven't felt that great since Flower City, but I'm hoping that I will feel better this week. 

After recovering, this weekend was full of fun summer activities! We met up with our friend Jess for a 12 mile run yesterday morning, which went alright as I mentioned before, and then we got dressed up for a Derby Day party. 

Mike in his element

 Me and my new friend, Bethany

Our friends Eric and Sheila host an annual party on the day of the Kentucky Derby and everyone gets dressed up.  I opted to forgo the hat, but I did wear a dress which never happens. 

 Mike and Eric at the OTB

 The betting group

We even made a trip to OTB and placed a few bets, I don't think anyone at the party won any money though!

Oh yea, check out my tan lines (or sunburn lines)

After going to bed early because of all the sun we got, we were up and ready for a 35 mile ride this morning.  The route was extremely hilly, there was almost a 900 foot elevation gain, but it was gorgeous out there today!  I enjoyed seeing some horses, cows and I especially liked seeing "Ziggy's Farm" toward the end of the ride. 

We ended the ride and quickly got ready to go to our friend Greg's daughter's kid's tri.  It was so cute!  I loved seeing all the kids swimming, biking and running their hearts out.  We brought our cow bell so that we could cheer for everyone.

 The transition area

This weekend was really fun, but exhausting.  We only have two more weeks until our next marathon and I can't wait! We're just going to try to enjoy the taper and the summer-like weather!

How is the weather where you are? Did you go to a Derby Day party?