First word: Patience. It takes a whole lot of that. And a different mindset. Before kids I ran whenever, and wherever I wanted. I had the freedom to do anything. Then once we had our daughter things were different. My life revolved around her schedule, not mine. I knew that I wanted to continue to run so I did when I could. I didn’t post on social media back then about my runs so I don’t have any pictures of that. However, my biggest and strongest support system was my husband. He knew that I needed my runs most days and so he let me get out when our schedules permitted that. Prior to kids I was always a night time runner after work and on weekends later in the day. It wasn’t really until a few years ago that I started to wake up early and get my runs done before the kids were up, because that became an easier time. It helped a bit with mom guilt too. That guilt where you should be spending all your time with your kids and not doing anything else. Especially since i’m at work 5 days a week full time. However there’s been plenty of times where I’ve had to stop my run and get off treadmill for various kid related things (change diaper, wipe butts, snacks, get toy for them, etc). That’s when my mindset needed to change. It again was about them, not me. And sometimes runs got altered and I had to be ok with it.

Going back to when Lily was a year and a half and Braeden was the new baby I was running 3x per week and that meant two weekdays and one long run on the weekends. It really wasn’t enough but it was all that I could find the time and energy for at that point in my life. I ended up becoming injured after my first post baby marathon in late November 2015. I took some time off (weeks) and then was back to running and at that point I got up to running 5x per week. I ran two half marathons in 2016 and then decided to run another full marathon in 2017. Despite being in better shape and running way more than before I again was plagued with the dreaded IT Band Injury. I went to see a sports medicine doctor and he diagnosed me. WEAK GLUTES AND HIPS!!! I now see and hear about this so much more. As we get older we cannot just run and that’s it. We must do allllllllll the strength and core work. We must get back to the basics as we call it. That stuff will help ward off many injuries and can be done a few times per week in a short amount of time. Even at any point in the day.

So now that my kids are age 5 and age 6 and doing activities, and both of us working full time, it makes finding the time to run even more challenging. On most week days I have to get up early (5am) to get my run done because the kids now have week night activities and homework and we are super busy. Also, we transformed the basement into a fun area for both us and the kids. It makes working out much easier because they can be down there with me and enjoying themselves as well. It’s great having all the workout stuff at our house so that I can get my runs done early morning without having to leave the house. And that way my husband can go to the gym while I’m in the basement. It’s a good balance and it’s been working well for us.

On nicer days my kids have asked to go running with me. Or I will ask them. We won’t go long of course but it gets them out and about and I love having them with me. It literally WARMS my heart. I hope that they will still want to run with me when they get older and that it can be a family thing. They do come to all my races and again, mad props to my husband who has to watch them and keep them entertained while I’m out running my races. We all do need that special something in our life to make us better, stronger, and more confident. That is what running is for me.

So, to conclude: It has taken a whole lot of patience and a different mindset to be able to run all that I do, and balance the lifestyle of working full time and being there for my kids, and husband. Anyone can do it. You just need to figure out how it can work for you, be consistent and show up, even when days are bad or things don’t go your way. The effort you put forth in your every day will help you more than you could ever know. Remember, results don’t happen over night! Thanks again for reading my blog. I appreciate your support.

January Running Recap

What a better time than mid February to do a recap of my January Training LOL. I promise to be more timely on this in the future. I have been busy with trying to keep up with my other social sites.. Instagram and Twitter.  Anyway, after coming off a year of running over 2100 miles with 3 full marathons sprinkled in, my December was a light month to give me time to recover.

For January I ended up logging 164 miles.  I typically run 6 days per week with one day off from running. In the past I would truly take that one day off and not do any sort of activity at all.  However I was involved in a step challenge for January and so I was always doing something on my ‘off’ days to keep up. And I’ve carried over that habit into February- interesting how behavior changes in a challenge.

My weeks tend to have 2 speed work type runs and then the rest are ‘easy’ runs. Easy runs should be most of your weekly running and should be 1-2 minutes slower than race pace. I never used to believe that until I started working with a coach.  I love my easy run days. I don’t have to stress about intervals or any of that.. I just run.

Some of my speed work days were mile repeats.  I had 3 training days where I did 4 x 1 mile repeats, 5 x1 mile repeats, and then 3 x 2mile repeats. I love MILE repeats.  Because then you always get a short recovery. When you do more than 1 mile in a repeat it becomes tough!  But remember tough means stepping out of the comfort zone and growing.  The other 2 speedwork days were ladder workouts.  Those are tough but you start off at the top and go down- it makes the run go pretty fast!  My other ‘speedwork’ days were some long runs with fast finishes.   My long runs tend to be on Saturday unless I can’t fit them in and then I’ll swap Sunday and Saturday and make it work.  For my long runs in January I had 11 miles, 10 miles, 12 mile, and 9 miles.  Just prepping for my Run Disney Races in mid to late February.

To wrap this up I spent most of the month inside running on my treadmill during the week. I have to run early before work (between 5-6am and it’s dark, and cold) and I’ve become quite the scaredy-cat cat to run outside alone anymore as I get older.  I put my treadmill on an incline from 1-2.5% to mimic outside. I put it up to 2-2.5% on most of my easy runs.  By the time the weekend gets here I am itching to get outside.  Thankfully we have had pretty mild weather for January, as compared to other winters. Though one day I ran outside in monsoon like conditions😩.  I just couldn’t bear to run inside another day!

As always, if you are still reading to the end, thanks for stopping by and listening 🙂

Below are some of my photos from my January runs!

BibRave Brand Discount Codes

BibRave is a running community that connects runners with the best races. It’s the place to research races you’re considering signing up for, and a place to leave feedback on races you’ve completed. BibRave is also a way for races and running brands to connect with socially savvy runners – through our popular weekly Twitter chat, #BibChat, and our large ambassador network – BibRave Pros. The list below captures all of the current active BibRave partner brand discount codes. Use the codes below to receive discounts on products from our partner brands. Visit https://www.bibrave.com/ for more information and contact info@bibrave.com with any questions!

Buff- http://www.buffusa.com/bibrave – sign up for newsletter & get 15% off.

Built Barhttps://builtbar.com/ use code “BUILTNOW” for 20% off

Body Helixbodyhelix.com use code “BH15BR” for 15% off everything on the site (valid through 4/1/20)

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NOW® Foods – https://www.nowfoods.com/sports-nutrition use code NOWSPORTS20 for 20% off 

BibRave Race Discount Codes

BibRave is a running community that connects runners with the best races. It’s the place to research races you’re considering signing up for, and a place to leave feedback on races you’ve completed. BibRave is also a way for races and running brands to connect with socially savvy runners – through our popular weekly Twitter chat, #BibChat, and our large ambassador network – BibRave Pros. The list below captures all of the current active BibRave partner race discount codes. Use the codes below to receive discounts on registration for our partner races. Visit https://www.bibrave.com/ for more information and contact info@bibrave.com with any questions!

April 2020

4/4/2020 – Publix Savannah Women’s Half & 5K – Savannah, GA

RESCHEDULED TO 11/21/20

Use code “BIBRAVE” for 15% off 

4/4/2020 – Carmel Marathon – Carmel, IN
RESCHEDULED TO 6/14

Use code “BIBRAVE5” for $5 off

4/5/2020 – Hapalua Half – Waikiki Beach, HI

POSTPONED – TRYING TO RESCHEDULE

Use code “BIBHAPA10” for 10% off registration

4/5/2020 – Silicon Valley Half Marathon – San Jose, CA

POSTPONED – TRYING TO RESCHEDULE

Use code “BIBRAVE2020” for 10% off

4/11/2020 – IPA 10K – Sebastopol, CA

POSTPONED – TRYING TO RESCHEDULE

Use code “BRBEERRUN20” for 10% off 

4/11/2020 – Milwaukee Marathon – Milwaukee, WI

VIRTUAL RUN ONLY 

Use code “RUN15” is good for 15% off

4/11/2020 – Sacramento Giant Race – Sacramento, CA

VIRTUAL RUN ONLY 

 Use code “GIANTS2020” for $10 off all events

4/18/2020 – Blue Ridge Marathon – Roanoke, VA

VIRTUAL RUN ONLY 

Use code “BRMRAVE” to save 20% off the distance of your choice!

4/23-25/2020 – Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon – Champaign, IL

POSTPONED – TRYING TO RESCHEDULE

Use code “2020BIBRAVEILLINOIS” for $10 off any event other than youth run

4/26/2020 – Delaware Marathon – Wilmington, DE

RESCHEDULED TO 8/2/20

Use code “DELAWARERAVE20” for 10% off

4/26/2020 – New Jersey Marathon – Oceanport, NJ

RESCHEDULED TO 11/15/20

Use code “20NJMBibRavefor $5 off registration

4/26/2020 – Ravenswood 5K – Chicago, IL 

POSTPONED – TRYING TO RESCHEDULE

Use code “RAVENSBR20” for a FREE trucker hat

May 2020

5/2/2020 – Cinco de Miler – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRCINCO20” for a FREE trucker hat

5/9/2020 – Fargo Marathon – Fargo, ND

RESCHEDULED TO 8/29/20

Use code “SAVE5” for $5 off

5/16/2020 – Harper’s Ferry Half Marathon – Harper’s Ferry, WV

Use code  “BIBRAVE5” good for $5 off

5/23/2020 – Soldier Field 10 Miler – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRSOLDIER20” for a FREE trucker hat

5/24/2020 – Vermont City Marathon – Burlington, VT

RESCHEDULED TO 10/25/20

Use code “BIBRAVE2010” for $10 off 

June 2020

6/6/2020 – San Jose Giant Race

Use code  “GIANTS2020” for $10 off all events

6/7/2020 – North Shore Half Classic – Highland Park, IL 

Use code “BRNSHALF20” for a FREE Chicago trucker hat

6/7/2020 – Run for the Zoo – Chicago, IL

Use code BIBRAVE for 10% off

6/13/2020 – The Governor’s Cup – Helena, MT

Use code “GCBIB20” good for 10% off 

6/13-14/2020 – Big-Foot Triathlon, Trail 10K & 5K – Lake Geneva, WI

Use code  “BRBF20” for a FREE trucker hat

6/20/2020 – Grandma’s Marathon – Deluth, MN

Use code “20RAVE20” for $10 off the full

6/26-28/2020 – Missoula Marathon – Missoula, MT

Use code “BibRave2020” for $5 off half/full entry

July 2020

7/12/2020 – Across the Bay 12K and 415K – San Francisco, CA

Use code “BIBRAVE2020” for 10% off

August 2020

8/22/2020 – Madison Mini-Marathon Half Marathon & 5K – Madison, WI

Use code “BIBRAVE10” for 10% off half & 5K

8/29-30/2020 – Santa Rosa Marathon – Santa Rosa, CA 

Use code “SAVE10” for 10% off 

September 2020

9/4-9/6/2020 – San Francisco Giant Race – San Francisco, CA

Use code  “GIANTS2020” for $10 off all events

9/12/2020 – Run Mag Mile 10K & 5K – Chicago, IL 

Use code “BRRMM20” for a FREE Chicago trucker hat

9/19/2020 – Air Force Marathon – Dayton, OH

Use code “AFMBR20” for 10% off March 2 – May 3

9/26/2020 – America First Ogden Marathon – Ogden, UT

Use code “RUNOGDEN2020” for $10 off the half or full

October 2020

10/3/2020 – Freedom’s Run – Shepherdstown, WV

Use code  “BIBRAVE5” good for $5 off

10/4/2020 – Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon & 5K – Hampton Beach, NH

Use code “SAVE10” for 10% off registration

10/4/2020 – Bucktown 5K – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRBT20” for a FREE Chicago trucker hat

10/16-18/2020 – Detroit Free Press/TCF Marathon – Detroit, MI

Use code “BIBRAVEDET20” for 10% off

10/16-18/2020 – IMT Des Moines Marathon – Des Moines, IA

Use code “BIBRAVE20” good for $10 off

10/17/2020 – Garmin Kansas City Marathon – Kansas City, MO

Use code “BIBRAVE2020KCM” good for 15% off 5K/10K/Half/Full 

10/17/2020 – Urban Bourbon Half Marathon presented by Jim Beam – Louisville, KY

Use code “BOURBONRAVE2020” for 10% off

10/18/2020 – The East Bay 510K – Oakland, CA

Use code “BIBRAVE2020” for 10% off

10/24/2020 – Pumpkins in the Park 5K – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRPP20” for a FREE Chicago trucker hat

10/31/2020 – HalloWine Run Half Marathon & 10K – Geyserville, CA

Use code “HEALDSBR10” for 10% off registration 

November 2020

11/8/2020 – Honor Run Half Marathon – Florence, KY

Use code “HRBIBRAVE15” good for $15 off any event

11/26/2020 – North Shore Turkey Trot – Highland Park, IL

Use code  “BRNSTT20” for a FREE Chicago trucker hat

December 2020

12/5/2020 – Savannah Bridge Run – Savannah, GA

Use code “BIBRAVE2020” for 15% off

12/20/2020 – Mount Dora Half Marathon – Mount Dora, FL

Use code “BIBRAVE” for 10% off

Yep, you read that right!

As I mentioned in my first ever blog post that I have run the Boston Marathon twice and it was back in 2005 and 2008. Back then I was in the 18-34 age bracket and I needed to run a qualified marathon in 3 hours and 40 minutes in order to qualify and be able to run THE BOSTON MARATHON! Back then it was different though.  You could run that time and sign up in January and just get in!  You read that right too.  Sign ups I believe were in January so you had the whole prior year to qualify and as I mentioned there was no cut off time and NO ONE WAS TURNED AWAY for missing a cut off.  Completely different ball game from how it is now.

It’s an experience that I think every marathoner should have. I think it’s probably the only marathon where you have spectators lined up across the ENTIRE RACE. I don’t think there was really ever a stretch of the race that there weren’t spectators. It’s a holiday there so it’s really the main focus of the day along with opening day.

So let’s bring us now to the present time.  I got back in to the marathon distance in 2015 when I was 37 and back then in the 35-39 age bracket you needed a 3 hour 40 minute marathon.  I missed qualifying in my 2015 marathon and in my 2017 marathon attempt.  Running was just not the same after having two children and trying to balance training with working full time and family life.  However, I don’t like to give up and so in 2018 I turned 40 (GASP!) and I was then in the 40-44 age bracket which needed a 3:45 marathon. I ran the Lehigh Valley Marathon in September but fell short and finished in 3:51.  After that race, and after the September registration for the 2019 Boston Marathon they moved the times AGAIN so the 40-44 age bracket got moved back to 3:40. Which is why I feel like I’m going to forever chase the 3:40 time. I hate to say it but I feel like by the time I’m 45 it will move again 🤣.

Last year I ran 3 marathons. Two of those I was trying again to qualify for Boston. The first attempt was in April at the New Jersey Marathon. I was in the right shape but my knee became a problem in the race and then it got in my head. I finished in 3:42. Not good enough. I figured I’d try again in October at the Atlantic City Marathon. I was sick prior to the race and still not feeling well race day. I finished in 4:03. I was so disappointed but then remembered that ANY day you cross the finish like YOU WIN!

I am not sure yet what marathon I will do this year to try for that BQ. Right now I’m enjoying just running and running shorter distance races.

If made it to the end thank you so much for reading. Anyone out there chasing that BQ please know you are not alone ☺️

 

So many times in my life I’ve thought about starting a blog but never really did anything about it.  Probably rings a bell for most but maybe it wasn’t a blog. Maybe it was something else that we’ve wanted to do but never brought it to fruition.  And I’d like to say it’s normal and we all have these issues 🙂 The main reason I’m actually doing something about it is I wanted to apply to be a Bibrave Ambassador for 2020. One of the questions in the application was asking for my blog address.  Wow, scratching my head…. don’t have one.  All I had was Instagram, where I post occasionally, maybe 1-3x per week, mostly running related stuff with some kid stuff mixed in.

So, with that I’d like to give some background on where I’ve been and where I’m at now so that it can shed some light on who I am.  I grew up in a small town right outside of the Northeast Philadelphia area. I had an awesome childhood and I loved growing up in the 80’s and 90’s… think freaky freezy gloves, care bears, lots of hairspray, perms, teased bangs, hyper color shirts, Q102, the clip that held your shirt on the side (OMG), charm necklaces, SLAM books and the list can go on.  I grew up going to dance as a young kid but then moved on to gymnastics for a year or two. One day at practice I fell off the beam and I broke my ankle. At that point my gymnastics career was over.  It has ALWAYS been my favorite sport ever, and still is to this day. I also figured skated and played softball much of my childhood.

As for running, I guess I’ve been running now since I was in my teens. My dad used to run often and would ask me to come along. We’d run along this parkway and it would lead us to the local middle school. Once we got there he’d tell me that he was going then run around the track. Back then I thought the man was bat shit crazy as we had just run a mile or two to get there.  Wasn’t that enough considering we still had to run home? Not for him! I sat and waited while he ran in circles round and around that track and off we went for home. Now, I completely get it, but back then, hell no!

I then started running on my own sometime in my junior and senior year of college. I enjoyed the time alone with my thoughts. After college I started working full time and one of the guys I worked with asked if I wanted to run the Broad Street Run with him. He said it was 10 miles. I said, WHAT?! I had only run maybe 3-3.5 miles at a clip. After much thought, I decided to take on that challenge.  I knew I just need to get to around 75% of the race distance in practice and that last 25% of the race would be run with grit, heart or whatever else because my legs would be dead at that point.  Well, I finished the race, and I loved EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of it.  The rush I got from running further than I ever had, and then those finish line feels.. WOW!  Talk about an amazing feeling.  I went on to do that same race again the following year and continued to run every single day.  In 2003 that same friend asked me if I wanted to sign up for this fundraising program. It was called Train to End Stroke and done through the American Stroke Association. We had to raise $5,000 and then we went to Hawaii to run the Kona marathon.  I had always wanted to go to Hawaii, and my grandfather had died of a stroke so I thought I was a sign that I had to do this! I ended up raising the funds and having an awesome time at my first marathon.  Back then to fund raise I sent out typed letters to friends, family and clients in the MAIL! They sent back CHECKS in the mail to me 🙂 This was 2003; definitely a different time in the world.  The one thing that happened in Hawaii for me, other than loving running the marathon distance, was meeting another girl who had run THE Boston Marathon.  For me, it was a pivotal moment in my life and it became my new found goal. Don’t judge me but before I had met this girl wearing this Boston hat, I had never even heard of this race before. I know, crazy right?  I went on to run another marathon that fall, the Philadelphia Marathon.  I missed qualifying by 1 whole minute. So close! I ran the Philadelphia Marathon the following year in 2004 and qualified by running a 3:39:43. Back then you signed up sometime in January for the marathon.  They did not need to turn anyone away or have a 2 week sign up period where you would find if your time was even enough to get you in.  I also went back in 2008 by qualifying again at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2006.  Also, back then you could use your time for TWO YEARS, meaning I deferred from going in 2007 and went in 2008. So much has changed 💛💙.

I ended up running a total of 13 marathons from 2003-2009.  I ran my 14th marathon in 2010 and ended up quitting at mile 18.  I don’t count that as a marathon I’ve done, would you?  That was a rough time for me, to get past that mentally.  I then went on to get married and took a long break from long distance running (5 years). We had our two kids and then I finally got the marathon bug back and ran the Philadelphia Marathon again in 2015 in hopes of qualifying again for the Boston Marathon.  Much of this blog will talk about that and how still 4 years later I’m still trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon and how much everything has changed now that I’m a married, working full time mom of two small kids.  I am sure that there are plenty of you that can relate to where I’m at right now and so I thought starting a blog could not only help myself but others as well.