team uniform:




customized :)





2018 training, week 5

We are a little over a month in to official training, I’m not sick, I’m not suffering from allergies, I don’t have to transport my daughter to or from college, I am actually free to engage in all the activities that will make me a more well rounded (and hopefully better) runner. YAY

I had been lookin at making some day shifts in my schedule and this weekend I put them and those other activities I frequently miss into play.

Maybe I should have eased into it more. Maybe I’m being too soft on myself: my hamstrings and glutes are a bit sore (not injured) and yesterday I felt like I had cement feet.

The soreness is good, it means I hit the muscles I was going for, those are muscle groups I NEEDED to work. I’m stretching and foam rolling through this, but I haven’t run yet. . . my guess is once I get going it won’t be too bad because our mileage is still low but I anticipate a deep-sleep nap Saturday afternoon!

I missed my run yesterday morning and instead of trying to cram more into today I’ve decided to accept this as a miss. Making up a run always brings me a certain amount of stress, but now that I’ve gotten “legit” with the other training I think it would be too much on my body with not enough recovery.

About an hour after I wrote this post I was pulled to help another team, I’m enjoying what I’m doing but have been keeping late hours, long story short I missed both of my weekday runs, and strength training. On the positive side I’ll have fresh legs on Saturday AND I know I’ll be better next week. :)


ONE. HUNDRED. DAYS. and I will have run my second chicago Marathon.


Seriously, it’s a lot but then again it isn’t. Saturday we run 8 miles and it’s going to be a hot one (thunder storms on Sunday). I’m going to continue my quest for hydration and prepare to have fun. If I need to fall back to a slower pace group then so be it.

but a hundred days…

optimism and the happy runner

It came as no surprise to me that I am not the only runner who does not like running with someone who is complaining.  My personal pet peeve are the injury or discomfort complaints / her’s (in that moment) was the weather complaints.  As much as you can kinda zone out while taking on longer runs for me complaints are one of those things that are hard to tune out. . . complaints and other annoying sounds (people dragging their feet is HIGH on my list).  I do my best to find something positive about every run, I embrace my motto “I get to run today” and early into every run and during rough spots I like to touch my heart as a reminder that I am alive and healthy.

It’s hot this weekend, temperature indexes are touching on a hundred and the humidity is far from ideal.  Yesterday I learned that my new pace group agrees with my quest for optimism: we don’t complain about the weather while we are running.  When the run is over . . . “OMG IT’S MUGGY!!!” and today on Sunday – i’t still muggy!  Tomorrow morning when I get up to run, it will still be muggy.  So my plan of action today it to ensure that I am well hydrated and throwing in a couple glasses of nuun for good measure.  As for my optimism, we should thank less than ideal weather conditions, when race day comes we have no choice but to run in the conditions we have been given.  Chicago weather is temperamental at best.

Speaking of nuun: I was in Target and found (4) different nuun flavors!  #score! My favorite flavor is “strawberry lemonade”.  There seems to be split amongst runners if they like nuun or not, the flavor is more subtle.  It has less sugar and I like the fact that I can make it on the fly and don’t need to keep bottles of it around.  I know that Gatorade comes in powder but I’ve never seen it in the store.

IMG_2082 2

In anticipation of another summer of Saturday’s spent by the lake where shade is not a given a breezes are a blessing, I’ve decided to give sunglasses a shot.  I already wear a hat/visor and sunscreen but there is a lot of glare.  To be honest I don’t usually wear sunglasses because they make my face hot and I am concerned about a raccoon tan line; but hopefully the sunblock and visor will help with that and a year or so from now I won’t have any extra “character line” when I smize  :)

Week 2 of training is in the books!  I did all four of my training runs, my achy back is back to normal and I’m looking forward to week 3!



foam rolling (and other recovery tools)

 Tower of Sorrow & Release

A few weeks ago I attended a foam rolling workshop at Fleet Feet.  And yes, foam rolling is just as simple as one would guess; but there are some techniques that will help you get the most from this recovery tool.  I’ll get into the techniques I use; but what I wanted to address first is what we have all read and heard before, foam rolling helps!

Because this was a free workshop being offered quickly one Sunday morning before the store opened, the demonstration was kept brief and limited to a single leg.  Honestly I felt fine going in, training had just begun so really there wasn’t anything I needed to work on.  The workshop ended and I continued with my Sunday, later that afternoon as I was fidgeting with my legs while standing I felt slight muscle tightness in the non-worked leg while the other (that I worked during the demonstration) felt PERFECTLY FINE.  I almost encourage every runner to give this (work one leg only) a shot once to see the measurable difference between foam rolling or no.  The results may help you in finding the time to incorporate foam rolling into your training regime.

Ok, the take-aways and technique:

  • Some foam rolling is better than no foam rolling.
  • You can start bottom up (calf to hips) or top down, it really is a matter of preference.  I work bottom up.
  • You don’t need as much movement as you may think: find a tight spot and hold it there, relaxing until it loosens up.
  • Don’t try to roll your whole muscle at once; you will get better results if you find the tight spots and work on them vs rolling over them.
  • Between muscle groups stand up don’t just roll to the next one and kinda shake it off before going to the next group.
  • Foam rolling is for muscles, not bones, avoid your knees.
  • CALVES: start at the base of the larger round muscle (my muscular anatomy knowledge is lacking) slowly roll vertically until you feel a tight spot, hold, do a few ankle rotations, rotate your leg/body left to right and if you really want to get in there rest your other leg on top while doing these steps.
    (If you get super tight calves while away from your foam roller, your opposite shin can work to get in there too.)
  • HAMSTRINGS: these are a basic as you think, just remember to rotate your leg left and right, don’t forget to roll all the way up to your buttock.  To get some extra pressure there I elevate my body with my arms in a reversed plank position.
  • INNER THIGH: it looks a little crazy and maybe too personal, but try to roll this one out a bit.
  • QUADS: get in a plank position (don’t roll on your knee) and roll up until you find a tight spot, rest, raise your flexed foot so that your leg is at an angle then return it to straight, rotate your body side to side.  Depending on how your position your body you can add or reduce the pressure.
  • OUTER THIGH / IT BAND: now we are on a sensitive subject, for me and a lot of other runners.  Start at the top, just below the hip bone, with your body slightly facing the floor.  Support your body with your other leg, this area is sensitive and while there may be some discomfort in the release, you don’t want to actually hurt yourself.  Work towards your knee.
  • BUTTOCK: this is a very large and powerful muscle group and while a foam roller may feel soothing it probably isn’t going to really get in there, so I use my lacrosse ball which feels like the elbow of a masseuse.  While supporting your body with your arms and the other leg, sit on the ball and roll around until your find a tight spot.  Check the lower, central and top of your butt for tightness and as always don’t forget lateral movements.

I always work in this order.  Keep in mind that you want to work the muscles to release the tightness / you do not want to agitate an injury.  Speaking of, I AM NOT A DOCTOR or medical professional: this is my regimen but you should always listen to your body and/or a professional first.

Rubz ballFEET:  not a foam roller but a big part of my regular recovery is this awesome hard rubber ball with nubbies on it by Rubz, it’s a little larger than a golf ball and I use it on the bottom of my feet to work on tight spots, roll my arches and heels. I have experienced Plantar Fasciitis and this has been wonderful in helping with that discomfort.  I also have a bunion on my right foot and this gets into the base of it and leaves my feet feeling much MUCH better!
(good after wearing heels too – best impulse buy ever!)