{Friday Fab 5-Easter Baskets for Runners, Run This Town, NYC Marathon, Apple Cheddar Chicken, }

Today’s post is later than usual due to a relaxing pancake breakfast made by the husband followed by some a.m. reading in bed with coffee.

{#1-Apple Cheddar Chicken}

Another great recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. I seriously love so many of her eats. From dinners to treats they are all delicious. Check her out if you haven’t!

{#2-Run This Town}
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I have had the opportunity to run in some great cities over the past few years. When planning upcoming trips one of the first things I plan is the routes I hope to run. I often struggle to find information on running routes in specific cities in advance and usually wish there was a resource I could use when planning my next vacation. I’ve decided to create my own resource, found under the Run This Town tab, that will highlight favorite running routes in specific cities. The posts about each city will include descriptions about sights on the run, terrain of routes, distances, where to park, and of course photos. Hopefully this will benefit other runners the next time they have a chance to travel

{#3-New York City Marathon}
20140418-092704.jpgI’ve always dreamed of one day running the NYC Marathon.  Don’t get too excited…I don’t have a surprise announcement about running this dream race.  This past week while grading papers I found Run For Your Life was on Netflix streaming along with other great running movies like Spirit of the Marathon.  Run For Your Life is a documentary about the NYC Marathon.  The documentary follows the race’s director from its first year with hardly any runners to the grand race it has become.  Of course watching the history and nostalgia of the race that runs through all five boroughs made me want to run it even more, so I decided to look up the race online and was really disappointed to see that they are changing how you can receive guaranteed entry.

The NYC Marathon is currently a lottery system unless you run for charity, qualify at specific local races, have run 15 consecutive NYC Marathons, or have applied for the lottery three years in a row and have not been accepted.  I had been counting on the last option as the charities require you to raise signficant dollars that I’m just not sure I could.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to count on that option as this is the last year they are guaranteeing entry for runners who were denied entry after applying to the lottery for three consecutive years.  Also ending next year is guaranteed entry for runners who have run the NYC Marathon the last 15 years or more in a row.  I’m bummed for those people, too.

Now I’m curious about what future entry options will look like (qualifying times like Boston?), or if it will solely rely on lottery entry and if you don’t ever get in, then you don’t get in.   The Houston Marathon has had a lottery system for a couple of years now, but also has a guaranteed option if you run a qualifying time that allows you to register before the lottery opens to other runners.  Since this is bucket list race for me and the race I plan on running for my New York state race, I will definitely be keeping an eye on this.  Some of you NY readers, do you know any other details?

{#4-My poor husband}

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I do this to my husband ALL the time!  Usually it goes something like I don’t want to pick where we eat, you pick.   Well, I don’t really want to eat there.  I’m not feeling there either.  And so on!

{#5-Happy Easter}

20140418-102905.jpg Have a runner in your life?  Want to send some Easter love their way?  Make a runner basket for them!  I filled this basket with some of my favorite running gear items.  You could go big or choose just a few items to include in their runner basket.  Starting from the top left items include-1. Runner’s World Magazine, 2. My Life On the Run by Bart Yasso, 3. Spirit of the Marathon DVD,  4. Bic Bands headband, 5. Body Glide, 6. Nuun, 7. GU, 8. Bearded Brothers bar, and 8. Pro Compression compression socks.

Happy weekend everyone!

 

{Friday Fab 5-La Crosse Edition}

Since La Crosse was recently names the number two best small town (70,000ish) to live in, and the fact that we are there all the time it is the focus this week. Over the past six days we have drove there and back 3 times. Why? Because La Crosse is just that awesome. What makes it so great? Well… Not in any special order. This week we…

{#1-planned to go to 4 Sisters}

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But they were closed for a holiday party. So instead of our annual tradition of wine, amazing tapas, and views if Riverside Park decked out in millions of holiday lights…

{#2-Good Eats at Buzzard Billy’s}

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We headed over to a yummy Cajun restaurant. Ever since going to New Orleans his summer I can’t get enough of the Cajun spice.

{#3-Jambalaya}

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I had delicious jambalaya. Buzzard Billy’s is located right beneath the amazing retro martini bar, The Starlite Lounge. Martinis and I are best matched for a weekend night, so we had to pass on those.

{#4-Rotary Lights}

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Then it was time to get bundles up and head over to the millions of lights, now LED, to round our our holiday tradition.

{#5-Never get sick of these light}

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Each year they add in some changes. With all LED lights the colors are so vivid now. They also collect food and monetary donations for local food pantries. Other than your donation, the lights are no cost to viewers.

Oh, I did run this week continuing my Runner's World streak. Check out my Instagram feed for more run streak photos!

Happy Weekend!

{Motivation Monday-Holiday Running Mix}

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My RunKeeper was acting weird last night, AND I know I DID NOT run or swim across the lake last night!

I love the holidays-the lights, the movies, the music, the everything! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to run to Christmas music while enjoying the lights in people’s yards, the festive parks, and to de-stress from the holidays. The first snow usually occurs during the holiday season and provides a change in scenery for the same routes.

To brighten your next run, I’ve created a holiday run mix to put some festive energy into your upcoming miles. The first and last couple of songs are just a bit slower beat than the others to let your properly warm up and cool down between the main part of your run. If you are participating in Runner’s World run streak (Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day), then this mix will likely help you complete a run everyday between now and New Year’s Day. If you hate holiday music, then bah humbug to you! Remember even a mile a day can help relieve holiday stress and put some extra spirit in your holiday cheer!
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Happy Monday!

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{Friday Fab 5-Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce, Turkey Trots, Ugly Sweater 5k…}

{#1-Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce and Sage}
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A new recipe I tried last week that was different, but really good. Perhaps not the healthiest, but not the worst either.

{#2-Rotary Lights 5k now Ugly Sweater 5k}
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Ryan and I are all signed up for one of our favorite Christmas traditions. See my post about previous year’s Rotary Lights 5k for more info. Now to find an ugly sweater for me and the husband…insert evil laugh!

{#3-UW-L Turkey Trot}
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This weekend will be my 7th Turkey Trot. Can’t wait.

{#4-Festival Foods 5 Mile}
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New on my racing calendar is the Thanksgiving Day 5 miler. I’ve always wanted to race on the actual turkey day, and Thursday I will make my debut!

{#5-Relaxin’ with a Runner’s World}
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Made time to do some reading about running this week. I heart Runner’s World.

Anybody else have holiday races coming up?

Happy Weekend!

{Motivation Monday-Winter Running/What to Wear}

if its too cold not a runner
With the weather officially cool in the midwest it is important to dress the part else you may not actually get out the door or last very long once you are out there. Getting out the door is the hardest part. I always tell myself-Go at least a mile. If you want to come back after that, then do so. I’ve never came back yet.

I know from numerous outdoor runs throughout the winter that dressing appropriately helps ensure you have a successful and comfortable run. I love running outside throughout the winter although I was not always big on this. Years ago I didn’t dress appropriately and therefore never went more than a few miles outdoors in the winter. Miles on the treadmill and around an indoor 2OO meter track only hold a person’s interest for so long. After training for my first marathon mostly on a treadmill for the first two months I knew I couldn’t keep doing that forever. It was then that I began to reevaluate winter running outdoors. If I ever wanted to run more than five miles outside, then I’d have to change my attire.
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Modern technology in running attire has made it possible to wear minimal layers and still stay warm. The first mile is always a warming up time and one should expect to be chilled to cold. Once the body warms up though you will be thankful for the lighter layers not holding you down and causing you to get cold from sweat. So how do I dress for winter weather…well, it is extremely individual. As I’ve gotten more experienced as a runner, I’ve found I need fewer layers to stay warm. I find no matter how often I run outdoors in races versus long slower runs, etc I still struggle with exactly what to wear on a run, but I follow these general guidelines for dress:

55 or above=shorts (either Nike Tempo or Lululemon Speed Short) or running skirt (love C9 from Target) and a t-shirt or tank top

45-55=capris (love Nike and love,love Lululemon), t-shirt, and a lightweight long sleeve shirt (love Run Swiftly-Lululemon) that may or may not stay on. Arm warmers are great!

40-45=capris, t-shirt, and a medium weight long sleeve shirt

35-40=pants or running tights (Road Runner Sports has awesome tights), t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, and a headband

25-35=running tights, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, and light jacket OR
t-shirt and heavy/warm jacket or shirt, hat and gloves

15-25=thermal/thicker running tights (love my Nike thermal tights), t-shirt, thermal/thicker long sleeve shirt, jacket (love Lulu again), hat, and gloves

-15-15=thin running tights with running pants over top, t-shirt, thermal long sleeve, jacket, hat, and gloves/mittens

If it is much below zero, I generally run inside or don’t run. A great website I’ve used to decide how to dress is from Runner’s World-What to Wear.
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Last year I trained for the Rock n’ Roll Arizona Marathon throughout the Wisconsin winter doing all my runs outside except for my speed work sessions. It is impossible to run fast on slippery and snowy roads and sidewalks, so I brought that workout to the gym on a treadmill. All of my other runs were done outside. My first 20 miler came two days after we got 20 inches of snow and had school cancelled for two days in a row. I still went out dressed appropriately, ran at a slower pace, and put one foot in front of the other. The wipeout that had me sliding on my belly only deterred me for a couple of blocks. Had I worn my Yaktraxs that wouldn’t have happened.
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This year I will be wearing my Yaktraxs fo show. My ankle is still recovering. I only wear heels a few times a week. When I wear them I can feel my ankle hurting although it is not a hurt hurting. It still swells after days on my feet, heel wearing, or after long runs. I am just so grateful it doesn’t really bother me while running.

During the winter months don’t be afraid or frustrated that your pace is slower. Running on snow and ice is similar to running on a beach; your muscles work much harder to maintain your balance. Running a slower pace on a harder terrain can still mean faster on an easier terrain. Take my PR in Arizona as proof. Those of you who live in Cali or elsewhere without snow, ice, and sleet-well just be glad. I will hate you all in February.
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Better yet, let winter be your maintenance miles. Stay in shape and enjoy the holiday treats without the guilt. Run to holiday tunes (a future post coming on that) and the holiday lights. Run for fun. Find a turkey trot or jingle bell run to motivate you.

When dressed appropriately you can run all winter long and enjoy it.

Happy Monday!

{Friday Fab 5}

The week flew by with these fun things happening…

{#1-Carving pumpkins for date night}

Elf sat like this all on his own!  Best cat ever!

Elf sat like this all on his own! Best cat ever!

{#2-Roasting Pumpkin Seeds}
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I had never had roasted pumpkin seeds before this week so we made two kinds both with coconut oil-salted garlic and cinnamon.

{#3-Trying out my new fuel belt}
Honky Tonk Half Marathon 2
It did some moving, but that was more from my outfit than anything. I love how flat it sits on my hips and how roomy the pocket it. They thought of some great storage ideas here.

{#4-Tips for Running in a Costume}

I like this costume!  (news.cincinnati.com)

I like this costume! (news.cincinnati.com)


I’m so jealous of anybody that gets to do a Halloween race. I’ve always wanted to, but it just won’t work this year with cross country.

{#5-and the big news!}
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My husband, with no prompting, begging, or mentioning it from me, is running a marathon with me this spring. I’m still shocked. I honestly did not expect this day to come, yet in a way I did. Lets hope our training together goes well.

Happy Weekend!

{Monday Motivation…err, Tuesday Motivation-Go Big!}

This weekend at the Big Cottonwood Marathon I came face to face with someone who has been an inspiration to me over the past few months-Nadia Ruiz. I love her story and her approach to life. I also love how her running inspired her parents and siblings to become more active and turn their health around. Maybe she can be an inspiration for you to push yourself to reach goals that are challenging-something she is all about.

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You can read more about Nadia who is featured in this month’s, well really October’s, Runner’s World because of her accomplishment of running 100 marathons by the age of 28. She was set to be the put in the Guiness Book of World Records for the most marathons by the youngest female…until just before she did it someone beat her to it. She is now known as the youngest Latina to run 100 marathons. Simply put…WOW! Big Cottonwood was her 103rd marathon and its theme-Go Big was perfect for her story. Of course when we passed by each other near the port a potty, I said a meager “hi” and that was the extent of our conversation. Oh, well! It was still cool to see her.

Nadia’s message isn’t just for running. After all it really doesn’t matter if your passion is Cross Fit, yoga, running, or some other great sport. The point is to set high goals and go for them. Let no one tell you that you can’t. I believe more and more that setting these difficult goals make us grow both as people and in our relationships. Setting and reaching difficult goals in life provides a satisfaction incomparable to other achievements and makes us into the people we are supposed to be.

Who are you supposed to be and what are you waiting for? Go Big!

Happy Monday…err, Tuesday!