A Coach for Grandma’s?

A Coach for Grandma’s?

“Disclaimer: I received entry into Grandma’s Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”

With just less than 100 days until race day, I need to kick my butt in gear!

I have new shoes and I signed up for a coaching program that is exclusive for Grandma’s Marathon, runcoach.com. It’s also FREE!

Why do I need that? Well, for those that have been under a rock, I sprained my ankle and it’s like I am starting from scratch. In addition to some physical therapy, this training plan will get me to the starting line.

This program was really easy to get set up. I followed the prompts through the Grandma’s social media feed. I had to enter my information and some of my recent running times. It spit out a plan! It also syncs to my Garmin, so it knows what I have been doing.

Sadly, I have not been running the long distances yet, but I know what I need to be doing, so it’s time to start doing it!! I am ready to be back to what I know and love.

This will be my 5th Grandma’s marathon, and my 30th overall. I could tell you all about why I am returning to Duluth, but I have wrote about the train, the lake, the Great Grandma’s challenge, the pasta dinner, etc. However, I just need to get training!

There is still time to sign up for Grandma’s Marathon, use code BIBRAVE10 to save $10. This is for the marathon distance only. The only way to gain entry into the Garry Bjorklund half marathon is to run through the charity partner.


Already registered and looking for that kick in the pants, head to runcoach.com and set up your training plan.

Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Review

PRODUCT REVIEW – Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Hands Free Leash

“Disclaimer: I received the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”

Kona and I were ready to hit the mean streets of Iowa City once again. This time with a hands free leash.

HOWEVER – the Iowa winter just wont quit! The sidewalks have been covered in ice or snow, making a run with Kona not the best idea. Then throw in a sprained ankle and our running together has taken a back burner.

That has not stopped me from using the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner hands free leash. It’s also perfect for everyday dog walking. Especially in the frigid temps, when a gloved hand is almost too much for your standard leash.

The Stunt Runner consists of a belt that goes around your waist with a buckle. Then a leash with a bungee attaches to the belt.

From the walks alone, this had us purchasing the additional Stunt Runner Flexible Connector as we have two dogs. Kona is more of the runner, but Ace loves to go on walks too. This clip on addition to the Stunt Runner is perfect. It just clips to the D-ring on the belt.

These are my favorite features:

  • The Stitching – Made with quality using the same technique that can be found in firefighting gear. No glue is used!
  • The Buckles – The Duraflex buckle can handle 225 pounds of pull.
  • The Clip -The leash just clips onto our dog’s collar with ease. We have many standard leashes that the slider breaks making it hard to clip on the leash. This just snaps on with a tap, and is easy to remove.
  • The Bungee – This absorbs the shock of the pulling, that’s right Kona will pull.

More details can be found here – https://www.stuntpuppy.com/collections/leashes/products/stunt-runner?variant=12358184304738

I really can’t wait for spring to arrive and my ankle to heal. I know Kona would like for that to happen as well so we can hit the mean streets of Iowa City. Until then we will be taking Ace on all the walk, hands free.

(PS this leash makes picking up after your dog, easy as poo!)

Looking for more information, check out StuntPuppy.com or follow them on social media: Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Additional reviews: MattAndreaStephJessicaJenna 

Run Streak – OVER

That’s it – it’s over…no more run streak.

If you didn’t know I started my run streak the day before Thanksgiving in 2017. It was part of the Runner’s World holiday streak. I was to run a mile a day until New Years Day. I did that and just kept going.

I made it 455 days.

On February 22, 2019, .57 miles into my run, it happened.

It was like any other winter day in Iowa. CRAPPY! I had been running outside for the most part this winter. Running in snow, ice and negative temperatures.

This particular Wednesday, there was a fresh covering of snow, perhaps a couple inches. Everything was blindingly white.

It happened – I stepped down and landed on a ball or chunk of ice, my foot rolled. There were noises I thought I heard, and maybe there were really ripping sounds.

There I was, I hadn’t slipped or fallen. I had just rolled my ankle. I have stepped wrong on many tree roots or giant rocks on trails before. This could have happened then too, not weather related.

There I was standing on the sidewalk, alongside Scott Blvd. I was close enough that I contemplated walking home.

Then I did what anyone would do, I turned to my IG stories and shared my problem with the world. I was in some pain.

Then I called Josh. He said he could be on his way to get me, about 4 miles across town. There was no place to sit. By the time Josh would be to me, I could be at home.

*I take my phone, roadID and my Aftershokz on every run. You just never know when you need these things. They are easy to bring with me and make safety easy.

I started moving back home. My watch said I had ran .57 miles, but I did do a warm up walk, so I was over a half mile from home. Luckily the snow was cushy, which also made it easy to drag my foot home.

I just wanted to get my shoe off. I was in my head and wanted to see what it physically looked like. I wanted to know it was going to be ok.

When I got home, I removed my shoe and then my sock. My ankle was a little larger than the other one. I got around to taking a shower, where the heat made it loosen up. Then I just sat in my recliner… now what?

I did keep checking the clock, counting down the time I had left to finish a mile for the run streak. I am stubborn and thought I would still be able to do it.

It was a long day, but after sitting around resting, icing, compressing and elevating I decided it was time to have it looked at. Never thought all my compression socks would be this handy. Also, snow in a cooler is the perfect icing strategy. The final straw was when it was elevated and would roll to the side, there was an extra sharp pain.

Josh was my knight in shining armor. He was in charge of walking the dogs for the day.

He also took me to the Urgent Care clinic, where there was maybe one seat open to wait in. I was more worried I would catch a cold or the flu from all the others waiting.

I hobbled into an exam room and was seen by a physician’s assistant. There was no actual verdict when I left. However, I had an x-ray on deck. I also declined a walking boot and crutches. The boot actually hurt worse to walk in. There was some concern I could have a fracture.

Josh then took me to the clinic with the x-ray machine. The joy of rolling your driving foot. This stop took maybe 10 minutes and we were on our way back home.

The sleeping was the worst. I couldn’t get my foot situated so that I was comfortable. When I finally got comfortable, it felt locked up and if I moved it, felt like it would snap. It was no fun, I think I crawled to the bathroom at one point.

When I woke up, it was really stiff. After the rough night of sleep. I was off to get a second opinion. I was also waiting for x-ray results.

I was hauled to UI Sports Med and the doctor was great. He confirmed there was no break as he saw the x-ray. He said I would probably feel good in 2 weeks, but if I felt better sooner I could “get back to running the shitty streets of Iowa City.” He recommended physical therapy and I agreed. He also said studies have proven that walking boots can hinder progress to the injury.

This happened on a Wednesday, the last day of my running streak. I didn’t do any activity on Thursday. It was the first time in forever I had done nothing. I eventually went to work for a few hours. Friday came and I again did no exercise, but was able to drive to work.

I haven’t taken 2 days off of exercise in 455 days. I strangely wasn’t too angry. I know I can start a new streak and I can use the break. My butt muscles haven’t been right in a long time.

On Saturday, I joined Josh at the gym. I walked on the flat indoor track. It was a slow start, but I managed to get rolling for one mile. Sunday I cranked out 4 walking miles – 4 miles!!! I have been walking now everyday since. I also picked up my weights and tried out the rowing machine!!!

I ventured to my first PT appointment on Tuesday. It was some basic stretching exercises. I was shocked at the price for each appointment. This is kinda when it all felt sad, I can’t afford to pay for this. I am fortunate to have a Josh. It’s frustrating, but I need to be healthy.

I have a pretty big schedule of races. I want to be able to do them. My first race is a 50k in April, there is a lot of trail and I need strong ankles. I know I can drop to the 25k if I am not ready.

Run streaking – it kept me going and moving. Sure, even I thought at one time it’s a good way to get injured, but now I am thinking it’s also a good way to keep healthy. My injury could have happened to anyone, doing any physical activity in any weather conditions. I am thankful I was so active before this injury that I can pop right back to activity – days after it happened.

I haven’t given up, I may be down, but I am not out. I can start a new streak.

Can’t Keep Me Away

Back to Madison

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Run Madtown Conquer the Capital 19.3 Challenge to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

That’s right, I am going back to Madison, WI. You just can’t keep me away.

I have wrote a lot about running in Madison. I think I have mentioned that I have probably ran more races there than in Iowa City.


I will be back in town at the end of May for the Run Madtown events. I will be running the 10k on Saturday night, then turn around to run the half marathon on Sunday morning. This is called the Conquer the Capital 19.3 challenge. I will continue this challenge in November for the Conquer the Capital half and half challenge – more on that later, I just like all the events all the time.

If you want to join me use code “RAVENSAVE” for 10% off (excludes kid’s race).http://www.madisonmarathon.org/  

Reminder there is a price increase MARCH 1st!!!

Filling the Calendar

I have a race on the calendar!!!

2019 has been a strange year for running already. I have only ran one race, it is almost March. I didn’t have anything on the calendar for a long time.

Then the ball started rolling and I somehow have many races on my running calendar.

April  13 – Hawkeye 50k

May 25 – Run Madtown 10k

May 26 – Run Madtown 13.1

June 22 – Grandma’s Marathon

June 29 – Run 4 Troops Marathon

August 17 – Madison Mini Marathon

October 20 – Des Moines Marathon

November 10 – Madison Marathon 13.1

EEEKKKK – I need to step up my game. I do not have a training plan picked out and I ran 11 miles as my last long run. Time is ticking away!

What I do have on my side – experience. I have run all these events before. I keep going back, but I know they are all great events.


What is on your 2019 race calendar?

Double the meat!

Amana Freezer 5k – Race Recap

I know it’s been forever since I last wrote a blog post, I know that you have all missed me. I also know it’s been a nice break. However, here I am with a race recap of the Amana Freezer 5k.

This is the infamous meat bag event, instead of the standard race t-shirt, participants can opt to get a bag of goods from the Amana shops. This is why I come back year after year.

The 2019 event was scheduled to take place January 26th with Winterfest, but the weather had other plans. The forecast had windchill temps well below zero, so the race was postponed to February 9th. Winterfest activities still happened in January. I also understand postponing for the sake of the volunteers.

Saturday, February 9th was a cold, sunny day. The race wouldn’t start until 10 AM, and temps topped around 10 degrees, but there was still a windchill. The other part of the equation, we had just had some ice and winter weather pass through.

I arrived to the Amanas early, I had to get my meat bag and I wanted to check the course out. I am familiar with the route as I have run this event 5-6… I don’t know how many years.

The roads from Iowa City to Amana were fine, but once I was on the race course, it was a skating rink. I even stopped my car and got out to check. I was amazed the event was still going to happen.

After a stop at the local convenience store, I made my way to packet pickup. It was in a new, smaller location this year. A wood shop of some sort, but it was warm and picking up my things was easy. I was shown to a list of names with bib numbers, then proceeded to get my bib, meat bag and timing chip.

I went back to my car to finish getting ready and open the meat bag. This year the contents included a coupon to a chiropractor, some Bio Freeze, race flyers, a package with 2 smoked pork chops, a pfefferwurst and I was lucky enough to get 2 tickets to the Millstream Brewery!

I had all my layers, my ice spikes, my bib and I was ready, but the race was still 10 minutes or more out, so I went and ran a half mile to literally warm up. A key to winter running is not standing around, but keep moving and I didn’t want to stand around at the start line.

I made my way to the starting area and I would say with the postponement of the race, there was a nice crowd, but probably a little smaller than previous years. I chatted with some people I knew and told them the course was covered in ice and all the sudden everyone was moving forward. I didn’t hear a gun or a “go.” There was no sound system and I was near the back.

I don’t recall the last time I raced a 5k, heck the last time I raced was Dec 1st. The conditions would call for some slow times, but I was feeling like I needed a sub 30. I also had my ice spikes, which give me a little confidence, but they really need to be rotated as I have worn them down.

I trotted along and when I came to the one mile marker, I noticed the leader had not yet come back from the turn around in East Amana, so I knew it was really going to be a slower day. Then as I thought that, I saw him.

I ran in places that had a little snow for some extra traction and I was amazed at everyone running with no visible ice traction. Even the leader had nothing, unless he had screw shoes – which could have been the case for many.

I looped around East Amana, said thanks to the one volunteer and ran by the cows, yep it’s a stereotypical Iowa race. On my way back to the finish I noticed a lot more people taking it slower than usual, these are the smart runners…. the ice was no joke. Once you would find a decent place in the road – this would be a place with some sand or air pockets under the ice, that place would disappear.

I rounded the last corner to see Tim cheering people in, I gave him a high five with my non gloved hands as I was randomly overdressed. Then I saw the finishing clock and felt good about my effort. I finished near 28 minutes – Garmin time of 28:37.

Once I crossed the finishing mat, I bent over and removed my timing chip, then reset my watch to go for a little cool down and cheer people in.

I saw Lois and Jen crushing the race! The sun was really showing off the glare of the ice at this point. Still amazed that I don’t recall one slip, fall or broken bone. I had made it about a half mile out, so I thought I would come back… and I ran back to the brewery.

When the race coincides with Winterfest the brewery is packed, so I thought I would grab a drink and then come back to the awards and raffle. There was no line at the brewery, I cashed in a ticket for the Schokolade – which is a chocolate stout. It is stout season y’all!

Then I went back to my car and took off a sweaty layer, poured the beer in a coffee mug, and made my way to the awards. The firefighters were selling their chili in the Winterfest mugs outside the building too.

I was just in time for the awards. There was still a lot of post race food available too, so I grabbed a half of a bagel to enjoy with my stout. I listened to the awards and the overall winner won in a time just under 18 minutes, that is still super fast in my book – CONGRATS!!  I placed like 52nd out of 157 finishers, and wasn’t close in my age group since it’s a 9 year span, and I am at the slower end of the spectrum. I don’t really care about winning, I was happy to be back out running at races.

The awards ended and it was time for the raffle. I have won before, I think it was some wine or tickets to the theater or something, so I had my fingers crossed. There are running store gift certificates, grocery store baskets and usually bird seed from the feed mill. Well this year had those things, but no bird seed…which had the older population a little upset. LOL

I left with an apple and made my way back to the brewery to cash in my second ticket. There was no line again. I ran into another runner and we chatted for a bit. I asked for a cream soda and was on my way. Millstream also makes a root beer.

This isn’t some big time race, it’s just a great small community event that usually kicks off the running year. I will always try to run this, not only for the meat bag, but to see the running community.

What happened in 2018?

Then, just like that it’s 2019. I have no idea what happened to 2018. This is just a sign that I am old and time goes by faster and faster. Anyway, I always like to recap my year, believe it or not, I will go back and read these.

The year started off with one goal, run and walk 2018 miles in 2018. I paid to be a apart of this challenge a couple years back (2015.) I got a medal and an online community. I wasn’t interested in that for the cost, so I was doing this challenge on my own. I would track each intentional walk and run with my Garmin and load it to Strava.

I also started the year as am ambassador for BibRave, Zensah and Aftershokz. I was in my first year as Vice President of Corridor Running.

Other than that, I would run some races and see where things took me.


I ran a new to me race, the Triple D. I enjoy running on the Heritage Trail near Dubuque, plus a half marathon in Iowa in the winter. I ended the month with a tradition like any other, the Amana Freezer run.


Helped my club with their first race of the year, and for fun it started snowing an hour before the race, making it live up to it’s name – Freezefest. I also went skiing for the first time in about 10 years.


I volunteered and ran the Corridor Running Shamrock Shuffle. It was also time that training for the first ever Crandic Marathon was ramping up. I joined some appreciation runs and received a race entry to the Chocoholic Frolic, which allowed me to run both events they offered. That was an interesting run.


I am looking through blog posts for this recap and it appears I didn’t test any products through BibRave until April. I also volunteered at the Hawkeye 25k/50k it was a miserable day, cold and rainy. Then the most excitement for this month was the Crandic Marathon. Crandic was my 25th marathon.


The year was moving fast at this point. The local market I was a part of was going to be present at a local race, so I doubled up on the fun and sold headbands and ran the 10k. Then I decided that I would start trail Tuesdays, which lead me to find a short little trail in my area. I ended the month with the trio of races in Madison. I was also introduced to the running program at the area prison, that was a humbling experience.


This was a busy month! It was the last year for the Dam to Dam in Des Moines, so Josh and I went over and ran the rainy event. Since then another company purchased the race and will host a similar event. From there I risked my life and ran the Keota 10k, but won the female race! I made the annual trek to Grandma’s and ran the challenge. Then turned around and ran another marathon the next week, Run 4 Troops. I even gave kayaking a try!


After helping at the 33rd Fifth Seasons Race, Josh and I took a summer vacation. We ended up in Canada, which had me attempting my longest race to date a 56K, however if you read the review, you know how that turned out. When we returned we discovered a West Liberty race, so we gave it a try. I also ran the Solon Beef Days 5k.


This is the month my blog photo storage became full, LOL! I had to learn to be creative as I still have a free site. I learned all about embedding google photos. I then convinced my sister to allow my niece to run a race, so they joined me in Durant. After that it was a trip to Chicago to represent the Hawks at the B1G 10k, where I became Bill Murray’s BFF. Then to end the month I ran the stupid Backpocket race, lol.


Football season was here, so that meant choosing race events to fit that schedule. The month began with helping the club with the NewBo run. I only ended up running one race, the PCTR 30k. I did, however start running with Kona and she ran her first virtual 5k.


Kona was going to try to PR her 5k and try another virtual 5k. I traveled to MPLS to cheer a friend at the Twin Cities marathon and the club had 3 races! I was going to run my first ever Des Moines marathon, and I am glad I did! Then for fun a week later I ran the inaugural Hawkeye fallout 50k. If that wasn’t enough the next day I attempted a 5k at the IMCC.


The 6th year of 100 miles in November! I still can’t believe this keeps going, and it’s all because of the great people that participate. I also completed half marathon #50 in Madison. I also ran the Legend of the Fall for the xth time, keeping the tradition alive. The month ended with a fun trip to Texas to participate in the first ever influencer day at The Running Event.


The month started with my first ever race in Texas. Then it continued on as I got to test all the fun products I received at The Running Event. Then there was the Ugly “Sweat”er Run, which raised over $1,300 for Shelter house. I also woke up in the middle of the night to run on a treadmill beside a guy who ended up running 150 miles on a treadmill in 48 hours. It ended with a road trip to Florida.

2018 – According to Strava, I completed 2024 miles in 2018. I was pleased with this result. I only ran 12 miles of this on a treadmill. However, I am not going to be doing this for 2019. I have over 1700 running and the rest was walking.

I hit one year in my run streak!

What is in store for 2019?

This is the question I can not answer, and it’s driving me nuts. I need a challenge, I need a project. I don’t make resolutions. I have toyed with the idea of running a 50 miler.

Things for certain: I am a BibRave Pro (this will be the start of my 6th year, just call me Grandma BibRave!) I am am Aftershokz ambassador. I am the Co-Vice President for Corridor Running. I am registered for the Amana Freezer 5k, I plan to register for the Run Madtown events, and I won entry into Run 4 Troops (but still waiting on entry code.)

There are many possibilities of things to do, most of which require money. Heck, you need an employee – I am also interested in work too. I guess I will just see what happens.