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!

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2017 Recap

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

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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 .

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

That’s a Wrap

Recap 2017 Miles in November

I really don’t know where to start… No one knows this, but I was hesitant to put this on again, mostly because I wasn’t sure if I would have the time to give it the proper attention. I also like to secure prizes or rewards for you all, and that takes some work on my part too.

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Pic cred: Sheryl

I then remembered why I do this, why it was started. It really isn’t about the prizes, but instead, getting your butt out the door and logging extra miles during a busy holiday season. I used this challenge to get moving, it was my lowest mileage month in a long time, but thanks to this group, I got out there and ran 100 miles!

First – I can’t say it enough, thank you! Running can be hard to describe to people who do not partake, however, tell them you found something that motivates and inspires, and suddenly we have people stepping out the door just to walk to the end of the street, get out of bed, and personally push me to host this. Also a HUGE thank you to the sponsors and companies that work with me on this. If you see one of the, let em know you are appreciative too.

Second – Friendship! I was introduced to a new to me local running group. I was also introduced to many new faces. I have a lot of people that “live in my phone,” and while we may never meet in person. It’s great to know I have expanded my friends.

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photo courtesy of Ara 

Third – Prizes, I will be in contact about getting these to you.

  • run CRANDIC entry – Monty B (column AO)
  • Aftershokz Trez Titanium headphones – Nicole Vanderlinden (column U)
  • Dunkin Donuts $100 Gift Card – Roy G (column BX)
  • Run/Medal sign – Cindy McCarthy (column CV)

Fourth – Congrats! I know there were struggles along the way, health issues, and just plain life that might have got in the way. However, you pushed yourself to work on a goal. You also might have learned a very important lesson (many runners suck at) listen to your body, no injury is worth it, and live to run another day.

If you have any questions about sponsors, prizes, or this group, please ask me. If you have any complaints, that department opens tomorrow… I kid…but feel free to reach out to me.

What is next? While I can not maintain the group beyond one month, or keep up with another spreadsheet. I encourage you all to post your monthly mileage, a selfie, or motivation in the FB group; this group is open all year round.

Housekeeping – I have contacted those who have asked for a head band or key chain, however there were a few that I have no contact information for. If you are reading this and would still like one, please let me know. 

 

Training with Heart

Garmin Forerunner® 935 – Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received a Garmin Forerunner 935 Multisport GPS Watch from Garmin 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… a new watch!!!

Ok, so you might know I have a nice watch. However, to use the heart rate monitor, I have to strap this black piece around my chest. While this might be the most accurate way to get a heart rate reading…. have you ever done this? As a woman, this is just not the most comfortable with a sports bra, and leads to some chaffing.

The Garmin Forerunner 935 Multisport GPS Watch has a heart rate monitor that reads on your wrist. It’s reading your heart rate all the time you are wearing the watch. Now…why is this important to me? Many stats provided by the watch and the Garmin Connect app are based on heart rate. I will now have access to more accurate statistics to improve my running or general health.

Before I get into all the stats, this watch can either be simple or very detailed. It provides the basics – time, pace, distance. It’s also simple to use, the buttons on the watch make navigating through watch screens user friendly.

However, I would assume based on the price point, a user would be purchasing this for all the bells and whistles. They can be overwhelming, so I will give you my version of how I use the watch to get the most out of it – including watching my heart rate.

When I received the watch, I powered it on and put it on the charger. I read through the information book that was provided and proceeded to sync it to my phone with the Garmin Connect App.  The watch also syncs via bluetooth to your phone to get notifications or accept phone calls.

When it was charged enough, I put this on my wrist. I couldn’t get over how light weight it is. This has a huge screen, but is less bulky feeling than my other watch. The silicone band is also a lot more forgiving and almost stretchy.

The watch itself provides a lot of information, but syncing it to the app allows for even more detailed information, and will sync to Strava. Are you overwhelmed yet?

On the main screen of my watch, I push the down button and it displays my heart rate the past four hours.  If I tap on the button on the other side it will give me an average over the past 7 days.

The next scroll down screen is my training status, which I believe is not possible without my heart rate. Tapping on the button on the other side I can see my VO2 max, how long it will take me to recover based on my last workout, my training load the last 7 days, and a race predictor.

The next screen has my daily steps. If I push to get more information I can see my steps and distance over the last 7 days.

This is just the information at your wrist. When running, I have time, distance and pace displayed. I can easily switch to my heart rate too. I used this tool when running a big hill at the Madison Half Marathon, to know if I could give more heading to the finish. I have worn this watch for at least 3 races.

If you look at the Garmin Connect app you can get more detailed information. Anaerobic and aerobic training effect, your stress level, how much sleep you get and how many calories you have burned. These have screens and go in depth too.

No matter what activity you choose (run, walk, treadmill, triathlon, bike, swim – heck you can even add more using the app) more accurate stats are all based on the heart rate and the effort you are giving.

Now for the fun part – you can customize the watch to use it how you like. You can add widgets, you can change the watch face, and you can change the watch band. Basically you can make this personalized to how you want to use it.

Having this watch has made me more aware of my overall health, because I can “train with heart.” I know if I don’t get enough sleep and if I am too stressed in addition to knowing when I should maybe take some rest days. I can learn to #beatyesterday.

Also, I can’t forget to mention the battery life…this thing lasts forever!!! I have my phone notifications come through and on average run about 30 miles a week and it will go a week before it needs charged. It charges up really quick with the cable provided. In fact fellow pro Lisa ran 50 miles with this watch.

 

I would also like to note, my heart rate was picked up, while wearing it on top of my pullover.

If you need more than what I was able to provide, check out what the BibRave Pros had to say as we all used the watch differently. FrankMeridithVanessaLindseyEmilyBrenda – Ryan – Casey – Heather – Mark –

Keep up to date with all things Garmin by checking out their website, following along on twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

100 Miles – Week 4 update

This is it, the last week of 100 Miles in November.  I can not believe how fast this month goes by. Hope you are all close to reaching the goals you set forth at the beginning.

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There was some discussion about not meeting the 100 miles. That is totally fine…everyone has a different goal. I really hope you learn that you can fail at something but still feel accomplished, because you tried and did your best. It’s not failure, it’s just learning and living life. Michael said it best “the real purpose of this group was really just to give us all a goal to chase in a tough holiday month.”

There is one last weekly prize, and congrats go to Terry V (CK) for winning the BibRave Trucker hat.

This is where I tell you a little more about BibRave. I have been with BR since April of 2014. They are a race review website, think Yelp – but for runners. If you ran a race and want to tell everyone about it, leave a review. If you are looking to run a race, but can’t decide, search Bibrave.com for some thoughts from past participants.

I am also involved as a BibRave Pro. We are ambassadors for Bibrave, in exchange for our race reviews we are given opportunity to run races and even test out some cool products. The program opens up periodically throughout the year, so keep an eye out if you want to apply.

With that… I hope you log all your miles, I will be drawing the grand prize winners this weekend – Dec 2nd – if I remember correctly!!

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Once again, thank you for joining!

 

 

2017-week 3

100 Miles in November – Week 3 Update

How is it the week of Thanksgiving already? Time flies when you are having fun. Will this week derail your goal?

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The daily posts of photos and workout accomplishments are great, thank you for allowing me to share them.

This week for keeping up to date with mileage there were 2 more Corridor Running shirts awarded. Congrats to Kevin L (K) and Mark D. (AR)

I will have one more BibRave trucker as a prize next week – keep moving!

Reminder for those who have logged at least 100 miles you are eligible for a chance to win one of the grand prizes: $100 Dunkin Donuts gift card, Aftershokz Trekz Titanium, medal rack, or entry into the CRANDIC marathon.

Area happenings:

  • November 23 – Run Turkey Run, Cedar Rapids, IA. 8AM, near Franklin Middle School. Bring anon perishable food item. FREE
  • November 23 – Legend of the Fall, Iowa City, IA. 8AM, trail run. Entry Fee – I will be at this event
  • November 24 – Outdoor Buster 5k/10k run. 15 mi bike ride. Sac & Fox Trail, Cedar Rapids, IA. 10 am Sign up here – FREE!

 

Halfway to 100

November 15th…

(technically it’s the 16th)

Anyway, it’s halfway to 💯 miles. Are you on track?

Congrats 🎉 to Kelly J (BL) who ran 51 miles the first half of the month. She will be celebrating with her gift certificate to the Iowa River Power CO / Flannigan’s. Thank you Matt for gifting this as a prize and good luck achieving your 100 miles too!!

Make sure to hit up the IRP for Sunday Brunch 🍳 or Flannigan’s to enjoy a cold beer 🍻 while you watch the game. Maybe you run 🏃‍♀️by this restaurant on the path that runs along the river front dining? Either way, check it out…let me know what you eat.

Seriously I can’t believe the month is halfway over.🤦🏻‍♀️

This brings me to slowly working on getting the headbands sent out. Please fill out the follow up response form if you want me to contact you to get a headband, no cost…just a little something extra.  I also am allowing you to snag a key chain too, so if you selected no to a headband and want a key chain – send me a message📬 (FB, twitter, fax, carrier pigeon)

If you haven’t heard from me regarding this, please me patient.

Ok…. keep up with the miles,  hopefully Thanksgiving 🦃doesn’t derail you. If you missed it on FB there is a FREE social run in Cedar Rapids on Thanksgiving, the Run Turkey Run. It will be at 8am at the Franklin Middle School, and you are asked to bring a non perishable item to donate. Follow Corridor Running for moreinformation.