Training Excitement

Training Excitement

“Disclaimer: I am promoting Run CRANDIC as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check to review find and write race reviews!”

How could marathon training be exciting? No – I am not drunk… and yes training for Run CRANDIC has been exciting.

You might have noticed my lack of blog posts, but it’s because I have been trying to keep up with all the excitement that is training for a marathon in my backyard.

I have run quite a few races, and yes there is a 50k just down the road. This is the first marathon in the corridor. Why does that matter? I can train the actual marathon course. This is huge to knowing where the hills are, what to expect with the terrain AND group training runs!!

I have never been apart of something like this. In full disclosure, I am on the planning committee for this event, so I may know more than I let on. However, back to the point – there is so much excitement for this event. Every weekend someone posts an option for a group run, and a handful of runners show up to encourage each other to accomplish their goal. It’s brought out something in my local running community I didn’t know existed.

See –  I have struggled for years to fit in, to find a group run I could actually be a part of. (No one runs 10  minute miles, ugh.) However, this has been different. If you want someone to run with you just ask, and they show up.

How can you be part of this? Well if you are running CRANDIC, make sure to join the FB chat group – Run CRANDIC Runners. Just ask about meeting up, and BAM!

I have run the entire course, the things I do…however the crazy part, because I asked – I had 3 others do this with me. The training excitement is fantastic!

photo cred: Michael Price

Are marathon training groups normal in your town? What if you don’t have a marathon?

Will I see you on race day? Registration is still open and you can save 10% on your race registration until April 25th – which is when registration closes!!  Don’t forget we could always use volunteers too!

Sip and have fun!


Corridor Running Shamrock Shuffle 2018

Race Recap – Corridor Running Shamrock Shuffle 2018

Saturday, March 10, Iowa City, IA. Sunny and a cool 30 ish degrees.

This is the only race Corridor Running hosts in Iowa City, so if I am around I always try to participate, whether it’s running or volunteering.

I arrived at College Green park just after 6:30 AM as I signed up to help with race day set up. Brrr, it was cold, but not as cold as last year. I checked in an asked where I was needed to help.

I am not sure I ever had an official job, but I set up tables, answered some questions, directed people where to go, and I took photos and updated the club’s social media accounts. (which you should follow: Instagram / twitter) A box of donuts magically appeared and I might have ate one.

In addition to the normal bib pick up, there were tables set up to buy club gear and a table for a new running store in the area, Heartland Soles.

Around 8:30 I ditched my coat and made it to the starting line. It was weird, I ran in my volunteer shirt and no sparkle skirt. Maybe it’s because I was out of practice… I hadn’t ran a race in over a month!

After some brief announcements the race started. There were 2 distances to run – a 3.17 km and a 6.34 km (which was an additional loop.) I was in for the double loop. The course is a tour of the north side neighborhood, complete with old brick streets. There is one major hill near the end of the loop… this of course is where the official race photographer was stationed. The last stretch of this course is also on a busy street.


I had a good first loop, and then the wheels came off and I slowed down for my second loop. So.. I got my phone out and started doing some IG stories and taking pictures. I got called out talking to my phone by some guy on his cool down lap, HA!

Before I knew it, I was at the finish line and a volunteer was removing the timing chip from my shoe. I had a Garmin time of  38:10. There were bananas and water set up near the finish line, but the post race party was at a bar a short walk away.

I stuck around the finish and race area for a while as I also volunteered to help tear down the event. Hey, a race doesn’t happen without the volunteers, so I am happy to give back! It really isn’t difficult either, just do the task your are assigned.

The clean up duties were simple and easy as most of them were already done by the time I got back to race headquarters. I did move some tables and put some boxes in my car.

I got the ok to head to the bar. The awards had already been given out and people had started to leave – it wasn’t as crowded as years past. I had pre-paid for the brunch and ordered a beer and sat down at the bar.

Fellow club member, Warren joined me as I ate my corned beef and egg stew and we solved all the world’s problems.

I will continue to support my club with this event. I also like that the race distance is something different. I have struggled in the past to fit in at the post race party, but I enjoyed having a moment to sit down and reflect – I need to be ok with that too.

If you ran don’t forget to add your review to and claim your results on Athlinks.

Run for the Thuringer!

Amana Freezer 5k – 2018 recap

The meat bag swag keeps me coming back!

Saturday, January 27, 2018 – 10 am.

Unless you are new to the blog, you know this is one of my favorite Iowa winter races. I have run it a hand full of times, the swag is one of the reasons I return. Instead of another shirt, participants can choose a meat bag from the Amana stores, or you can opt for no swag.

I made sure to register online before the price increase and to get a guaranteed meat bag. I believe the cost was around $25. I am probably going to say meat bag as many times as necessary in this post, so let your inner 12 year old keep chuckling.

Josh was also able to make the race this year, and he was able to register on the day of the event, and still choose a shirt or meat bag.

There are no changes from last year for this event. The race day packet pick up happens in an old appliance factory building. There is a bathroom in this location, and they had port-o-potties outside the door. Again this year the visitor center restrooms were locked. There is plenty of free parking around town.

We grabbed our bib and meat bag, then chit chatted with everyone – Oh yeah, another reason this is a great event, all the area runners come out of hibernation. 

WHAT’S IN THE BAG? The 2018 edition included thuringer – which is like summer sausage, a package of swiss cheese and a package that contained 2 smoked pork chops. My bag also had a ticket for a post run Millstream beer. Josh’s bag did not have one.

We finalized the gear we would be running in and did a warm up run to Casey’s and used their restroom, then ran back in time for the 10 am race start.

There was no National Anthem, in fact people were just kind of standing around and then people were moving. It’s small town Iowa racing at it’s finest…. just go!

A photographer snapped shots as we all ran over the start mat. The course was the same out and back, on paved surfaces. Well that is what I thought until we did the turnaround loop in Middle Amana. It’s a tiny little place and they must have went to a chip and seal, creating a loose gravel running surface. There is also a short hill here.


Can you see me?

Ok, I am getting ahead of myself. I haven’t raced a 5k in what felt like years… so I didn’t know what to expect, but one thing seems always certain, I start way too fast. I just went, and then I saw my friend Mark ahead and I thought I could catch him. Well, the watched beeped at the first mile and said 8:30… NOPE! I wasn’t going to maintain that, and let Mark go and backed it down…but reflecting on it… dang, an 8:30 mile, pretty good for me!

I made it to that loop in Middle Amana and the front runners were on there way back. I cheered on my friends, and kept moving forward.

It seemed like forever to run that final stretch back into Amana, but I made it back to the timing mat, crossed the finish line, ripped the chip off my own shoe and found Josh. I did check my watch real quick and I had run another sub 30, with 28:11.

The timing company had race printouts if you wanted to get one, but we decided to walk back the race course a little bit and cheer on those still running. It was a nice winter day, the sun was out and it wasn’t too frigid.

When it was time we made it back to the building where you picked up your packet, for the post race treats and awards.

There was all kinds of baked goods, bagels, bananas, clementines, hot chocolate and bottled water. There was also plenty for everyone!

The post race awards always crack me up. For whatever reason, no one is listening and everyone is talking so you can not hear anything. The lady brings a bull horn and everything.

There were a lot of speedy people this year. I did not place – hey my AG of 30-39 is very competitive. I always joke I should have ran in college, I would have won many small town 5ks in my AG. I did cheer for all the winners, they received medals.

Then it was time for the random raffle prizes. I had my fingers crossed, but I did not win anything. Well, or did I? The prizes concluded and my friends were all standing around discussing the fact there was no bag of bird see raffled off. Funny… the lady got back on the bull horn and said “We have bird seed to giveaway!” I crossed my fingers, but I didn’t win….oh wait, it’s get’s better… the person I was talking to about this – won. Congrats Michael on your bird seed win!

It was time to move on, Josh had to get to some sporting event. I wasn’t leaving without cashing in my beer ticket. We walked over to the Millstream Brewery where I got a barrel aged brew, whoa! It was a strong one!

When at the brewery we chatted with some more friends. As I said, this race is great people come out from hibernation and you get to catch up, find out where you will see them next, what they are training for.

I could have stayed all day, but we had to get back to the big city.

I think I write the same thing every year, but I will always run this race if it fits in my schedule. A $25 price tag for a meat bag and some camaraderie, what more could you ask for in the middle of winter in Iowa.

As always add your review to and claim your results on

Grandma’s or Bust!

Grandma’s or BUST

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

That’s right, I am headed back to Duluth! If we are getting technical it’s my sixth time to Duluth. I took a family vacation as a kid in 1993, I ran the half marathon in 2014, and then the first Great Grandma’s challenge in 2015, the black flagged 2016 marathon, and the almost as hot 2017 marathon.

2018 is the year for perfect weather, you heard it here first!

Why am I returning?

  1. I want to eat at Grandma’s Saloon and Grill. In all these years I have not done that, and it’s located at the finish line.
  2. I am going to run the 5k on Friday night too. I will be in town for packet pickup, might as well do the Great Grandma’s challenge again.
  3. The lake – Lake Superior! I have never jumped in post marathon – GASP! My first half was cold, the 2015 marathon was rain, the 2016 marathon I had to find my husband in the medical tent, and in 2017 I met my friends at the beer tent.
  4. It’s a great event. I feel this needs no blurb, great events keep people coming back.
  5. The medal! GM Medal Reveal FB 2018

I feel those are my top 5 reasons to get back. I hope to cross all those things off the list.

What has you returning to a race? Why would you travel to something year after year?

Winter Running

I have not been on a treadmill for close to a year, I have been braving the elements and running outdoors. If you dress appropriately, it can be done!

Winter in Iowa can be anything, this past month windchill temperatures have been 20 degrees F below zero, then there will be a warm up near 30 degrees. In the past I have used 10 degrees as my guide to hit the “dreadmill.” For some reason this year, I have been embracing my badass and braving the elements.

While I am no expert any anything, I do have some tips and tricks: (you might have seen some on FB or IG)

  • Do not stand around outdoors. Get moving once you are outside.
  • Gear:

Base layer – I make sure to have a wicking material against my body to grab the sweat – yes – you will sweat… you want that sweat off your body.

Socks – I do fine with Zensah socks, but wool is a great option. It allows your feet to breathe while keeping them warm.

More layers, and all of them. I make sure my sweaty  (wicking) layer is not exposed to the elements, by adding another shirt, and I tuck it in, reducing chance of skin exposure. I have many pants, sometimes I’ll wear fleece lined or add wind pants. I wear a pullover on the top as it allows me to move easier than a coat.

Accessories: I wear a my SPIbelt to hold my phone, I wear at the small of my back to keep it warm, under a pullover. I add a BUFF®️ and my AfterShokz are always under my hat. I have my trusty Pearl Izumi gloves, and will add mittens on top. I try to never forget glasses to protect my eyes too (keep them from your face to allow air to move around the lens)

  • Stay moving. The moment you stop, glasses will fog as the air stops moving around the lens. Also by moving, your muscles stay warm.
  • When you are done, get that sweaty layer off! That will make you cold.
  • Immediately hop into a hot shower or sauna.
  • Brag to all your friends that you are a badass, and the weather has nothing on you!

Once you are wearing the appropriate gear, and you get moving, you wont be cold.

For me it’s about acclimation, the first few runs are bad, but once I am used to an extreme temperature I am fine, when it starts changing back and forth is when I have a problem. See you outside!

Half Marathon #48

Triple D Half Marathon – Race Recap

On Saturday, January 13, 2018 I hopped into my car and made the drive to Durango, IA. It was a cloudy day and temps near the 10 am start were “feels like -6 F.”

Ok rewind…. yes, that is the temperature and yes I was going to run 13.1 miles in it. I should also let you know that I have been running in this cold and am acclimated to it. I think my last run indoors was almost a year ago.

Gear: Orange Mud vest pack 1, XX21 France 2, Spibelt, Pearl Izumi gloves, BUFF(R) ThermoNet, Garmin Forerunner 935, Zensah compression socks, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Craft Storm pants, Adidas boy shorts, UA Horizon trail shoes, B1G hat, Champion sports bra, Danksin tank, Lululemon t-shirt, Nike thermal turtleneck, Orange Mud pullover.

The event is small, but hosts quite a few events. There is a bike event and poker ride that starts earlier in the day. Along with the half marathon at 10 am, you could run a marathon or 50k. A 5k was on the schedule 15 minutes after the longer running events. If there were snow on the ground, cross country skiing was encouraged.

I still needed to register, and reading the website I knew that it was possible on race day. I parked, for free and easily in a gravel lot close to the start/finish and the bar that was hosting the event.

I walked in, wrote a check and in return I received a bib, unisex cotton t-shirt, 2 stickers and 2 Hammer gels. I used the indoor bathroom before returning to my car.

Back to my car I continued adding all my layers. The key to winter running is wearing the proper layers, but to still be able to move. Also, I didn’t want to stand outside any longer than necessary, this is where I get cold, I need to be moving and I am fine.

At 9:45 I made my way to the start area for announcements, and of course we had to wait. I tried to walk around or run in place, I could feel my toes getting cold… I knew I just needed to get moving.

Announcements were made about the event. The entry fee went to maintain and create new trails in the area. I also assumed it went to the user fee too. There was mention of the turnaround spots too, the half and full were out and backs. I was glad I was not running the 50k, it was the marathon course, but when you came across the marathon finish, you went out and back the other direction to make up the distance.

We were reminded to make sure our bibs were visible when we finished as there was no chip timing.  Then it was time to run.

All that standing around, my toes were cold, well it was getting to the point where I couldn’t feel them. It took a mile or so until I was comfortable with the temperature and could feel them again.

The race did not have a lot of participants. Maybe 50 people, I am not good with guessing crowd size. The runners thinned out fast. I fell into my pace and could just see the guy ahead of me.

I mentioned this is a self supported event. This should not be overlooked. Bring everything you need, no matter what distance. There is NO ONE on the course, no spectators, no volunteers, no law enforcement, no mile markers….NO ONE! Which is also just fine, it’s a flat, crushed limestone trail and this is advertised. The one thing you want to make sure is your hydration doesn’t freeze. * I did this by adding electrolyte to my water.

After mile 3 ish I could see a chair lift, and as I got closer, I could see I was running at the base of Sundown Mountain, which is a ski “resort.” Yes, you can ski in Iowa. All these runs on this trail and I just realized this.

Just before the half way point, I started seeing people coming back. It was nice to see some humans. I made the turn around and made sure to drink and eat some Nutter Butter bites.

During this race I thought of the first half as adding miles and the last half it was a countdown of how many miles I had left. I looked forward to seeing the ski resort again, and then I knew it was just a few more to go.

I listen to music when I run races, usually on shuffle. Just when I needed it one of my favorite running songs came on. Eminem’s “Til I Collapse” and all the sudden I was passing the guy I had been trailing… “Music is like magic, there’s a certain feeling you get….”

That song got me pumped so after passing that guy, I came upon another guy…it feels to pass guys, lol. I made sure he was ok and was going to keep going…but he asked me what mile we were at, then we chatted for a bit. I thought I was ahead of him and out of no where we were running together again. This didn’t last long and I pulled ahead..woohoo!

I crossed the finish line with a Garmin time of 2:21 and a distance of 13.1. I claimed my finisher medal, which is a cool hand cut design of the logo and doubles as a bottle opener.

I walked the 50 feet or so to my car to get a change of clothes. The key to staying warm is to get that sweaty layer off. I talked to the RD about the post race awards and raffle. He said they were waiting for everyone to finish, but I think he meant the half distance. There were still some longer distance runners out on the course.

I wanted to stay for the raffle as I heard there were skiing passes, but I needed to get on the road as I was going to an Iowa wrestling meet and it was supposed to snow.

I grabbed some post race pizza. Usually I hate pizza after a run, for my pace it’s been sitting there and tastes like cardboard…. however the bar provides HOT, FRESH pizzas, it was delicious!! I also had a bottle of G2. There was water available, and I am not sure if beer would have been provided too.

As luck would have it the awards started while I was still eating and then it was time for the raffle. I did win!! Ok, with the amount of prizes and the number of people present it would have been weird if I didn’t. However, I won some Hammer gels…. I took them, but I shared them with someone who would appreciate them.

It was getting close to 1 pm, so I departed and made the trek back to Iowa City.

I really like the Heritage Trail, so I like the opportunity to run on it when I can. It’s also nice to have a longer distance event in the middle of winter in Iowa, those are very rare. However, I paid $60….. yes, it was race day and I did get a shirt and stuff, but there is no chip timing and no course support. I am sure I will be back though, just need to sign up earlier.

If you ran don’t forget to write a review at or claim your results at Athlinks.

2017 Recap

You know you’re old when you find yourself saying “That year went fast!”


I feel like I was just telling you about running a marathon a month, and that was over a whole year ago. 2017 came and went, and while I didn’t have any huge goals, I guess I accomplished a few things.

  1. I ran 100 miles per month, so I have now done that for 2 years!!
  2. I ran in a new state – Michigan
  3. I completed 32 races (I think?)
  4. I ran 1700 ish miles.
  5. I joined the Zensah Ambassador Team
  6. I have a total of 161 BibRave reviews
  7. I joined the Shokz star program with Aftershokz

January – The year started in Florida, wahoo!! I really need to find out how to be a snowbird. Before a not so great Outback bowl, I ran the Spring Hill Half Marathon, only to return to Key West weeks later for another half marathon, I am still dreaming about the key lime pie. I came back to Iowa for the Amana Freezer race, it’s a must run.


February– The weather was all over the place for February, I volunteered and ran the Freezefest 5k in Iowa where temps topped 50 degrees. Then a week or so later headed to Chicago for a 10k with freezing temps!!


March – The weather stayed really cold for March, but I was able to help with the Shamrock Shuffle and run the inaugural 6.34 km.

April – This was a big race month for me. I ran the Easter Egg Scramble in Davenport. I was gifted an entry to the Hawkeye 50k – and it was unseasonably HOT, I managed a good fall and found a friend to chat with during those miles. I then ran the Illinois Marathon a couple weeks later with my BRF Heather!! I wasn’t done with April, I closed out the month with a half marathon as part of the Drake Relays– where is was cool and rainy. I guess I remember the weather.


May – I love to race… so I started May with the Ganzo’s 5k and the Red Shoe half marathon, just a week after the last half, and 2 weeks from my last marathon. I then added some 10ks to the month with the Bear Stampede and Madison Twilight event.


June – I started the month off with a 5k in Blue Grass, where my niece ran her first ever mile race and kicked butt!! Then it was time to focus on Grandma’s Marathon – my 3rd one there, will it ever be cool again? I rounded out the month running a marathon relay with Josh on our 10th wedding anniversary. We then took some time off and ventured to run a trail or 2 in NE Iowa, which lead us to the Interact 5k .


July – I started the month helping with the Fifth Season Race and presenting at the expo – I still make and sell my headbands. We then traveled to Chicago for the Big Ten 10k, which is always a fun event to represent the Hawkeyes and meet all my Chicago friends.


August – I ran a hometown race to start the month, then listened to the RunIowa podcast with fellow Corridor member about a race in a quarry, so of course I had to run that too! Then it was time to bring back the crazy, 2 races in one day- the Madison Mini and the Dam Backpocket 7 miler – which is always on the warmest day of the year.

September – This month brings football, so I was able to squeeze in some races between tailgating. NewBo was Labor day weekend as well as Run With Carl. and then I ran 2 races in the same weekend – The Pleasant Creek 30k and  then my 45th half marathon, The North Face ECS.


October – This month put me on the road with a 10k in New Lenox, IL to kick things off. Then I put on my volunteer hat and worked the starting area for the Chicago Marathon. After that Josh an I hit the road to Detroit, for my first ever race in Michigan. Then I went to Louisville for maybe, one of the most fun post race parties ever at the Urban Bourbon. This race even had me experimenting with cooking with bourbon.


November – For the first time ever, I switched from a full marathon to a half marathon at the Madison Marathon. I also couldn’t resist the event as the Hawkeyes unsuccessfully played a football game the day before. I wrapped up the month with one of my favorite “turkey trots.”

December – I ran 0 races – GASP! I did however jump on board to organize a fun run in Iowa City. Then I went to my first ever trip to New York for the Pinstripe bowl and I made sure to run in Central Park.


Looking ahead to 2018, I already have some things on my agenda:

  1. Log 2018 miles – running and walking
  2. Run CRANDIC – I plan to run this, I am also part of the committee putting this event on. I love the new challenge
  3. I am the new co Vice President for Corridor Running
  4. I will be running Grandma’s Marathon (& 5k)
  5. I have returned to BibRave as a Pro and a regional Captain. I have been with them since April 2014.

I hope to add more things for 2018, I really love running all the races, so in a way the goal is to find a way to be able to do that again.

I really don’t set goals, but rather what is the next challenge. Do you set goals?

If you want to follow me into the new year, I am on Twitter, Instagram , Bibrave, and Strava, oh and recently Athlinks.