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…)

DYI Installing a Reclaimed Wood Panel Wall

DYI Installing a Reclaimed Wood Panel Wall

Create a Wow! moment in any room by installing a reclaimed wood panel wall.

This is so easy and the impact is unbelievable.  You will love it!

What you will need (not all of these are necessary, but make the job a breeze)

  • dark brown paint
  • paint tape
  • paint roller
  • drop clothes
  • reclaimed wood
  • stud finder
  • pencil
  • battery operated brad gun
  • 1 1/2″ brads
  • level
  • miter saw
  • saw table
  • safety glasses

6 Easy Steps to DYI a Reclaimed Wood Wall

 

Step 1: Prep your wall and paint a dark brown for your base.

We selected a dark brown paint and honestly I feel we should have gone darker.  Select a VERY dark brown or even go with black for your base. (more…)

Marathon Training While Traveling for Business

Marathon Training While Traveling for Business

All is good; and then you get the call.  Pack your bags you’re leaving town.  UGH! The dreadful business trip, but wait, I have a 16 mile training run scheduled this week . . .

Two events occurred almost simultaneously Monday.  After much deliberation I decided to commit to running the Flying Pig Marathon in May.  Only 16 weeks out and coming off a holiday season full of gluttony, I have to start training NOW!

And then the call came.  As I am mentally preparing for the rigorous schedule ahead I receive a call that I need to fly to corporate . . .  tomorrow.  Do I scrap this idea of running a spring marathon?  Do I put off training a week and start next week?

Live with no excuses and travel with no regret. 

(more…)

Stick to Your Resolutions with Purposeful Enthusiasm

Stick to Your Resolutions with Purposeful Enthusiasm

Two weeks into the new year and most of us will fall into one of these three groups

1.  Beast mode on.  Crushing your goal.

2.  Awesome goal set, but “squirrel” aren’t the NFL playoffs on tonight.

3.  Definitely going to be a better you in 2019, but searching for the perfect goal.

Group 1 congrats.  Stick to it you badass! 

The rest of us can use some Purposeful Enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm is the one ingredient that will generate success more than any other.

The concern is the confusion between rah-rah rowdiness, which is what most of us consider enthusiasm and real purposeful enthusiasm.

“Energy without purpose is just noise” LT

Life-changing resolutions mandate purposeful enthusiasm.  What in the world is that?  It’s easier than I am making it sound.  There are just 3 simple components:

1.  BELIEF – belief in your goal.  Is it real or pie-in-the-sky?  Belief in yourself.  You are enough!  Belief in the future.  If you believe you best days are ahead of you; they are.

2.  VISION – what does winning look like for you?  What will it mean to you if you hit your target?  How will you feel when you accomplish your goal? What will it mean to your family?

3.  GRATITUDE – “gratitude is the unyielding fuel for courage” Forrest Performance Group.  When you look at your goal as an opportunity, not an obligation you will be supercharged into action.  Appreciating what you already have opens the door for abundance.  

 This New Year’s resolution stuff is tough.  If you haven’t started yet, or are beginning to lose focus try applying some enthusiasm. You can do this!

Success is going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm” Winston Churchill

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.

What’s On My Reading List; Measure What Matters.

What’s On My Reading List; Measure What Matters.

Variety improves the things that we do too often, but it rules the things that we don’t do often enough. -Daniel Gilbert

My reading list is much like my running play list.  I like to mix it up.  A little American history,  running stories, motivation,business, self help, and some good science fiction.  As the quote above indicates, by reading a variety it improves the experience by keeping it fresh.

Here’s a review on a more recent read.

Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x GrowthMeasure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth by John Doerr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The case studies in this book are a fun read, especially in the audio book version which has each person related to the specific case study read their portion. The variety in voices kept the book entertaining.

Where the book lacked
was in providing detail. It is very vague and although the case studies were from companies that achieved great growth it doesn’t necessarily explain how the OKR’s caused the growth. Would My Fitness Pal really not been so successful without an OKR ? Impossible to say from reading this book.

If you are a “techie” and would be interested in hearing case studies from Silicon Valley then you would enjoy this book. If you want details on goal setting and measuring what matters then I recommend finding a different book.

Every book has a lesson or two.  This one had quite a lot of great quotes because of all of the influencers used to illustrate the purpose.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

“Leaders must get across the why as well as the what. Their people need more than milestones for motivation. They are thirsting for meaning, to understand how their goals relate to the mission.” 

“There are so many people working so hard and achieving so little. —Andy Grove” 

“When people help choose a course of action, they are more likely to see it through.” 

What shall I read during Week 4 of Chicago Marathon training?

Build Flexibility into Your Marathon Training Plan

Build Flexibility into Your Marathon Training Plan

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

A training schedule to prepare for a marathon is a must, but you must build in flexibility both in your plan and in your mindset.  Things are going to happen.  Life is going to happen over the course of the months you will spend training.  If your schedule is too rigid it can cause frustration or worse, cause you to give up.

My 2018 schedule is loaded with
flexibility.  Sundays and Wednesdays can easily be switched around if weather happens, or family events on the weekend.  Strength day is ambiguous intentionally to add fun.  I love group fitness so I go to a class on strength day. Two days have “or” built in so that the routine can fit the mood of the day.

“The measure of a person’s strength is not his muscular power or strength, but it is his flexibility and adaptability.” ― Debasish Mridha

That’s the flexibility in the schedule itself.  Your willingness to adapt is crucial to keeping a positive mindset when things go awry in your training.  There will be rain.  There will be business trips.  There will be social events.  You can avoid the feeling of defeat and frustration by making a few adjustments to your plan.  Here are some examples:

  • Find an indoor track
  • Use a treadmill
  • Simply skip a day
  • Shuffle your training schedule
  • Get up earlier
  • Use the hotel stairwell for a great workout
  • Break away from the family fun and swim some laps
  • Find a YouTube cardio/no equipment video
Your marathon success has everything to do with your planning AND how well you can modify along the way.
What’s on My Reading List; Born to Run

What’s on My Reading List; Born to Run

Running is a great sport to give a whirl because you literally do not need a thing to get started.  Zero start up cost.  You don’t like it; no worries, you’re not out a thing.

If you do like it and stick with it, unlike other sports that require a ton of expensive equipment, you can maintain a very low budget.  One way I keep costs low is by not worrying if my running
shoes are the latest and the greatest.  By purchasing last year’s model instead of the newest release I save a ton of dough.

My normal run essentials are: Burt’s Bees lip balm, Maui Jim sunglasses, toasted marshmallow GU, and a great play list.  A very eclectic great playlist.  I love to run to music.  Black Eyed Peas, Led Zepplin, Bruno Mars . . . and then I met this book.  Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  On long runs it’s my new fave.  It gives me the motivation I need to get the miles in.  I figure if they can run hundreds of miles then I can certainly get in 13.

A great friend gave me a great tip, use the speed feature on audible.com.  Putting this story at 1.25 x speed is the perfect tempo to run to.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never SeenBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very inspiring story. I loved listening to it while out for a run.
Just a few of my favorite quotes…
“You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.”
“If you don’t have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain’t getting them.”
“Suffering is humbling. It pays to know how to get your butt kicked.”
“There was some kind of connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love running.”

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Training for the 2018 Chicago Marathon

Training for the 2018 Chicago Marathon

Chances of getting drawn were slim to none I thought.  It was November 30th and the last day to enter the lottery for the 2018 Chicago Marathon.  “I’ll never get drawn anyway” I remember thinking as I completed the on-line registration.

The very next day I got fired.  My very first thought as I stared at my boss as he delivered the message was “shit, now I’m not even going to live in Chicago.  I’m going to get drawn for sure now”. 

Not that you need to live in the area of the event, but it does make it more convenient, much less expensive, and you don’t have to burn vacation days to do it.

Fast forward, and here we are, day 1 of official training.  I like to do my training in reverse of most conventional training schedules and start with the long day.  This way instead of dreading
the impending doom of the long run I “eat the frog” and get it done first.  The whole rest of the week is a piece of cake.  Leading up to this week I started piling on miles to prepare for a 1/2 marathon in April and continued getting in one 13 miler per week since then.  Last month was a record month for me logging 148 miles, something I’ve never done before.

Here’s this week’s plan
Sunday – 13 miles Check. Done!
Monday – Shred class at Lifetime Fitness
Tuesday – 5 miles
Wednesday – 10 miles
Thursday – 5 miles
Friday – 5 miles
Saturday – 5 miles or cross train depending on how the legs feel

Entire schedule

What’s on my reading list: Shoe Dog

What’s on my reading list: Shoe Dog

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKEShoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of my all time favorites! I listened to it on Audible during my commutes. Sometimes I would sit in my car in my driveway and just keep listening. I found the history, geography and world culture lessons given through the lens of someone sharing their life story absolutely fascinating.
In January 2008, I saw the movie The Bucket List and crazy as it sounds, as a non-runner put “run a marathon” on my list. I’ve been running in a different brand ever since, but now that I have read this story I am going to the running store to pick up some Nike’s immediately.
Thank you Phil Knight for your contributions and thank you for sharing your story.

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