1/2 Marathon Training in Cold Weather

1/2 Marathon Training in Cold Weather

Baby it’s cold outside and you are training for a 1/2 marathon in this cold weather.  Brrr!  For me, the worse the weather the more I feel like a badass.  In fact, this winter is no exception.  It’s been frigid!  Stay indoors and get those miles in on a treadmill, but if you prefer the outdoors here are some tips to make your outdoor training miles more bearable.

Cold Weather Running Tips
Protect your skin

Not just your exposed skin, all of your skin.  My first layer is always moisturizer.  Lubriderm all over, heavy lotion on my face, and Burt’s Bees on my lips.  It’s very windy where I train and I find that this first layer keeps the wind from cutting through to my bones. (more…)

Why You Should Run Your Next 1/2 Marathon With a Pace Group

Why You Should Run Your Next 1/2 Marathon With a Pace Group

Currently, my training is focused on my next event; Martian Invasion of Races 1/2 Marathon.  The big day is April 13th in Dearborn, Michigan.  The most thrilling part is that for the 5th time I will be running a 1/2 marathon with a pace group.  Why this event? For me, I do well with big goals to keep me on track with my training.  This one sits perfectly on the calendar to force winter runs.  Other reasons to run this race: the course is stellar, the earthlings are fun to run with, and the costumes are out of this world.

Why You Should Run Your Next 1/2 Marathon With a Pace Group
Run even splits

A huge benefit of running with a pace group is that pacers will run even splits. This will optimize performance for distance runs and help you run a better race overall.  To make this work for you it is crucial that you select wisely.  For instance, if you choose a pace group that is too fast, you may burn out too soon in the race and risk not finishing. (more…)

6 Keys to Staying Hydrated

6 Keys to Staying Hydrated

                                 Hydrate

                                 Nutrate

                        Poop

                                 Run

In the summer, planning out your run the day before is just as crucial as logging those miles.  I am a Weather Channel app addict.  Extreme amazement at how often they get it wrong.  It still helps to have some sort of expectation as to the elements.  The next two weeks are gonna be scorchers here in Chicagoland.  With training runs of 16, 17 and 2 10 milers during the extreme heat I’ve gotta plan on getting up as early as possible to get some relief from the blistering heat and have a strategy for hydration.

If you are planning a long run, walk, or hike here are some tips to stay hydrated.
  1. Hydrate before you go.  This takes some planning so you don’t have to “go” when you go, but if you start hydrated it’s easier to maintain hydration.
  2. Choose a course that provides water.  Many public parks have drinking fountains throughout.  I am lucky enough to live near one that even has fountains for my furry running companion.  Gotta keep pups hydrated too.
  3. Carry a water bottle.  Not the most convenient because it gets tiresome carrying the bottle around.  It’s funny how heavy a water bottle can begin to feel when you start to get fatigued.
  4. Drive ahead and leave bottles on your path.  Not the safest most secure method, but if you are very familiar with your territory this plan can work for you.
  5. Wear a water bottle belt.  The sloshing around may be uncomfortable, but it is handier than carrying that bottle around.  I found that strapping the belt around my hips was much more comfortable than around my waste.  It also doesn’t put as much pressure on your bladder if you take in too much liquid.
  6. Wear a hydration pack.  A new favorite of mine.  My husband was careful to select one for me that couldn’t get over-packed and become too heavy, the Camelbak Rogue is a game changer.  Comfortable and able to store GU, keys and a cell phone it allows you to take frequent small sips and stay refreshed.
Happy running.  Stay safe and hydrated.
My 2018 Chicago Marathon training schedule.
 

The Difference Between Won’t and Can’t; Raising Kids Today

“The scholars who research happiness suggest that more money stops making people happier at a family income of around seventy-five thousand dollars a year. After that, what economists call “diminishing marginal returns” sets in. If your family makes seventy-five thousand and your neighbor makes a hundred thousand, that extra twenty-five thousand a year means that your neighbor can drive a nicer car and go out to eat slightly more often. But it doesn’t make your neighbor happier than you, or better equipped to do the thousands of small and large things that make for being a good parent.”  ~    Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

I find that as a leader I am more often wanting growth and development for people more than they want it themselves.  For instance, I want so badly for them to want more, be more, do more, and to have more. What I have found is, when I run into an individual that is working on self development I get a little overboard with excitement.  Like the case with the 4 Hour Body.  When a friend was excited about reading it I bought it and read it in one day.  So, when a colleague mentioned he was reading David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell I downloaded it immediately on Audible.  Reading the reviews and doing a little research on the book I found that it was a perfect fit for discussing in a reading group on LinkedIn. If you would like to join in on the discussion click here Art Van Reading Group.  The group is open to everybody.  We only ask that you don’t just visit; you participate!

The Laws of Attraction

The Laws of Attraction (you draw to you what you think about) were at work when I listened to Malcolm discuss how happiness can increase when income increases, but only to a certain point.  At that point any additional income is meaningless to your overall happiness and in fact can make matters more difficult for you.  In the case of parenting the difficulty comes in having to explain to your children why we won’t do something versus why we can’t do something.

Can’t is Easier.

Can’t is easy for both parties.  The deliverer of the message simply cannot do what is requested and is not faced with having to make a decision at all.  They only have to explain that it can’t be done.  The receiver just has to understand that can’t is can’t.  Disappointing, but there is no bad guy.

Won’t Travels a Much Slipperier Slope.

Won’t involves decision making and influence.  The requested party must decide and then be able to defend the decision.  It also requires the discipline necessary to stick to your guns.  The requester must be open minded and able to accept no for an answer.  Not so easy for young ears who want what they want when they want it.

Here’s an example from my own experience.

I was confronted with this on Sunday night.  We were shopping for school pants for my son.  He has blown through the knees in all of his and while struggling to get him into anything but athletic wear my daughter asked for a pair of Converse.  If we couldn’t purchase the shoes I could have explained to her that we simply can’t buy the shoes.  It would have been honest and easily understood.  Disappointing, but end of story. Instead, I was faced with having to explain to her why we won’t buy the Converse.  Not as easy to do and not as easily understood.  In fact, I must have blown it because the Converse matter came up the next day.

How do you balance working parent guilt with not spoiling your children?  Comment below.

Farmers Market Delight; Swiss Chard

I love living in Michigan for a couple of reasons.  I love the full scope of having four seasons.  The color changes in the fall, the sparkles of fresh white snow, the excitement of spring finally coming after the wonder of winter wears out its welcome, and then there’s summer. We treated the family to an amazing spring break vacation to Jamaica this year. Our son wanted the family to relocate and make this our permanent residence, but our daughter had a pretty good argument against it. She argued, “but where would you go on vacations if you lived here?”  I love her logic. I think that Michiganders can appreciate the summer more. It’s short here and the second reason I love living here is the long summer nights. When friends visit they always marvel, “Wait.  It can’t be 10:00.  It’s still light.”  

Another love of mine is the Farmers Market (really, I am a sucker for any roadside stand).  This weekend I picked up some beautiful Swiss chard and prepared it tonight.  (Check out the link for all of the awesome health bennies). Here’s the recipe:

1 bunch Swiss chard
1 garlic clove 
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup raisins
Salt 
Pepper

Wash the Swiss chard very well or it will be sandy.  Cut off the thick stems and discard and then chop the leaves. 
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet
Add the garlic and cook 1 minute
Add the Swiss chard and chicken stock
Season with salt and pepper
Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes
Add the raisins and cook on low until the Swiss chard is very tender

Note: Swiss chard will cook down to about 1/4 it’s original size. 2 cups uncooked will be about 1/2 cup after cooked. 

What To Do With Frozen Lobster Claws

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!  We had our celebration a day early and while grocery shopping I came across frozen Lobster Claws.  I bought them thinking I could just Google directions on how to serve them.  No luck.  If you see them, buy them.  They are so yummy and here’s how to prepare them.  It took me two tries to perfect this.

Previously Frozen Lobster Claws (with arms)
  1. Defrost completely
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Bundle claws together and wrap in aluminum foil
  4. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes
  5. Shells should be pink when they come out
  6. Enjoy!

…then drink Shakeology for breakfast the next 7 days :).

p.s. Where to buy lobster claws?  Most grocery stores have them in the frozen section.  I found mine and Costco.  They have them with the frozen seafood, but if you’re lucky, you’ll find some that they have already thawed in the refrigerated seafood section.  Less time for you and they cost less, added bonus!

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