{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 7}

and in the snow, ice, and slush!

and in the snow, ice, and slush!

Let me preface this post with what an awesome week of miles I had.  I’m excited to see my miles increasing, and to be feeling as in shape as I do.

Tuesday-4 miles (Sarah)



Even though most weeks in January I was a few miles under my weekly mileage goal on my training plan, I’m really feeling strong going into February. Today’s 4 mile run felt so easy and effortless. Yoga on Sunday definitely helped stretch out some tight muscles. Running through snowy and icy miles throughout the winter has also helped build endurance for runs where I get some sections of bare road like tonight.

Wednesday-4 miles
Wednesday was four easy miles. Ryan had parent-teacher conferences two nights this week and reffed baseketball a different night, so he didn’t get many miles in during the week. We both planned to hit the weekend up for miles.

Friday-5 romantic miles…err something like that (both of us)


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After an easy five miles and a little romantic sunset, we came home and got ourselves ready for a night out and dueling pianos with friends. I’ve been to dueling pianos in Minneapolis several times, once in Austin (amazing!), and a couple other smaller places, but never locally. They were good, and dueling pianos is always a great time.

Saturday-7 snowy miles (both of us)
After enjoying myself perhaps a bit too much the night before it was amazing that I ran seven miles on Saturday. Once I got myself out the door, the miles flew by. Ryan and I had so much to talk about, the snow was falling lightly, and we just enjoyed the run. We talked about how we love to run in freshly falling snow. It surprisingly isn’t all that slippery, has such a silent beauty, and there is a rhythmic relaxation to the sound of your own crunching feet hitting the ground. Even though I didn’t feel the greatest earlier in the day, sometimes you just have to do something!

Sunday-14 miles (both of us) Ryan’s longest run ever!
To fuel up for today’s run we went to brunch. I had whole grain blueberry banana pancakes, apple chicken sausages, and egg beaters. The pancakes were amazing! I forgot how much I love fruit and pancakes together. This was the perfect pre-run fuel.

Despite fueling properly pre-run, I have to honestly say I was not looking forward to my run. The weather was sunny and probably the warmest its been this year (24 degrees), so I’m not sure exactly what my funk was. I am just really getting sick of running in the snow. The night before it was all silent and peaceful. I knew today the snow would be packy, slippery, slushy, and hard to run in. I was exactly right.

My foot has also been bothering me all weekend. I have no idea what is going on with it, and the pain isn’t intense, so I did what any runner does…and ran through it. We’ll find out if that was a good idea Monday morning I’m sure. Again, not all things I do are advice for others.

To make this long run seem less daunting, Ryan’s longest EVER, we broke it into two halves. The first seven miles were decent. The snow and slush was annoying, but there was some open road. Ryan and I chatted some of the time, while other parts we were silent. I think he was afraid to poke the bear-that was me :(.. Luckily I snapped out of it after a few miles. For part of the first seven miles I wasn’t sure if I’d finish as my foot was sore.

Halfway through our run, we stopped at the house to grab a drink, a GU, and for Ryan to apply some Body Glide to his foot. He had a hot spot started, and we wanted to prevent it from becoming a full on blister. Then we were back on the road. I brought my music with for the second half. Music is so motivating to me and makes my runs significantly more fun, feel easier, and go quicker. Ryan still refuses music for reasons I still don’t completely understand, but everyone trains differently. Some runs and races I don’t use it, but most of the time I enjoy my runs more with music. I made sure to belt parts of every chorus out so Ryan would know what song was playing at all times. I’m sure he loved it!

We both took GU’s at mile 10 to prevent the long run hangry experience we had with our 12 mile long run two weeks ago. Properly fueling before and during the run made these miles so much more enjoyable. Enjoying runs also builds confidence that you can complete the entire 26.2 distance. Ryan and I both felt great on our run. When asked about his training so far, Ryan says he feels strong, in shape, and confident about the marathon distance.  I feel like the 14 miles was not a challenge, and that I could have easily ran 20 with some more open road. Now I’m sure I just jinxed my next 20 miler.  I am fairly superstitious when it comes to running.
My foot is still sore, so we will see what develops from that. Hopefully I’ll have nothing to report back. If I do, I blame Ryan and his heel incident as I’ve NEVER had a foot problem before. I know there is no way the heeled wedges I wore to work followed by stilettos I wore Friday night to dueling pianos have anything to do with the pain (17 hours in heels). I wear heels often so I’m seriously doubting it, but who knows. I’m optimistic it will be back to normal in a day or two!


Post-run hydration-Fruit Punch Nuun for me, Grape Nuun for Ryan.

Ryan’s Tip of the Week-Train with a partner who is reliable and encourages you to complete your workouts. Train with someone who doesn’t make excuses for why not to do a workout. If you don’t have someone to train with, then find someone who shares a common goal or interest of running to discuss your training and workouts. Hearing about another person’s training can both reassure and motivate you in your own training.

Unfortunately, Ryan’s advice this week also applies to me. I wasn’t very encouraging before our long run. I actually suggested multiple alternatives to running our long run even though I didn’t really want to skip the run (much).  Once I get going, I’m all lovin’ every minute of it.  It is just the getting going part that gets me sometimes.  Ryan helped ME a lot to get my butt out the door. I’ll work harder next week to not whine and complain before our long run. It should be noted that during the long run I was completely supportive. 😉

Sarah’s Tip of the Week-Make a playlist of songs you like, that are upbeat, and that motivate you to push yourself and complete those miles. Music is one of my biggest motivators. Having the right songs on my playlist can make or break a longer run. I change up my playlists every month or two to incorporate new songs and so I don’t get bored. Some songs make it a year on my playlist while others only last a month or two. Once a song loses its mojo, its gone. This keeps my playlists new and exciting all year round. My current long run playlist is below!  Don’t judge!
Screenshot 2014-02-16 20.36.09
Screenshot 2014-02-16 20.36.35

Week 7 Total Miles-
Ryan-26 miles
Sarah-34 miles

Happy Training!

*All opinions are my own. I’ve not been paid or compensated in any way for any products mentioned in this post. They are simply favorites of mine I’d recommend to other runners.

{Friday Fab 5…Be Your Own Valentine, Dueling Pianos, Pearl Street Brewery, Tree Love, and Picky Bars}

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this holiday because it focuses too much on needing a special someone to be happy when we really should all…
{#1-Love Ourselves First}

This Valentine’s Day be your OWN valentine. Love yourself first! Do something sweet for yourself. Take yourself somewhere you’d love. Enjoy something special this vday Friday for YOU!

{#2-Pearl Street Brewery}

I’ve always loved their Downtown Brown, and now I love their Pale Ale, too. Ryan and I had a dinner and drink date after our trail run Sunday where we enjoyed some local brew.

{#3-Tree Love}

Remember how I love trees?! Well this is one I run by often. Pair it with a winter sunset and you’ve got some great natural beauty.

{#4-Picky Bars}

I’m loving Picky Bars lately. They are a great afternoon/pre-run fuel. Smooth Caffeinator was awesome!

{#5-Dueling Pianos}

This is what our Valentine’s Day evening has in store for us. Good friends, dueling pianos, and fun!

Happy Weekend! XOXO

{Glow in the Deke 5k}

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So last week I got this postcard pictured above in the mail. I had sort of forgotten all about this 5k race I did last October with some of my best friends. This 5k is not about competition, rather it is about having fun. The race is at night hence the the Glow in the Deke title. The race had been going on for several year, but last year they changed it up completely. Last year we got really cool technical tees with a big star on it that glowed in the dark just for registering. The star on the front glowed surprisingly very bright. Add glow sticks and jewelry and you’ve got yourself a good time.
GlowintheDeke Group
But wait, there is more! The race started and finished at UW-La Crosse. From there the course took runners and walkers through the scenic marsh trails of La Crosse which were lit up with glowing lights to illuminate the way. If you did the race then you too got a peak at my favorite tree all decked out in lights and paper lanterns.

Us by my favorite tree!

Us by my favorite tree!

After the race there was a band, food, and beer for those interested in celebrating after their hard work. The best part of this race though is the money raised goes towards the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse. The race had both runners and walkers and is perfect for people of all ages. Kids love the glow stuff; adults like the chance to exercise have a beer (responsibly of course). What a perfect way to be a role model for your children in how to lead a healthy active life and support your community by getting out there with them. The race was well ran, organized, and very family friendly. It was a win-win race.
We didn't want to be rude and let the beer go to waste.

We didn’t want to be rude and let the beer go to waste.

Next years date per the postcard is Saturday, October 12. Mark your calendars. It sounds like race organizers are going to make this years Glow in the Deke even more fun. Check out www.glowinthedeke.com for more information.
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{Friday Fab 5}

{#1-GU Chomps}
Last week on my long run I brought these along to try because I knew I wouldn’t need much fuel for the run. If I didn’t like them, then I’d survive. I liked them and they did their job of providing energy to my muscles to keep powering my run. If you feel like you need to chew something in order to feel energy, then the GU Chomps would work well for you. I am so used to the GU gels that chewing while running felt like extra work. I find sometimes it is the little things that annoy me when running most, so I try to avoid them at all costs. They were tasty, handy, and effective for those interested.


{#2-Sweaty Bands}
In honor of Memorial Day, my favorite headband company was offering 20% off last week. I took advantage of this deal knowing hoping summer running is upon us. These bands hold hair back, stay in place, and are super cute.


{#3-State Track}
Last weekend was state track at UW-L and several runners from our high school ran. It was fun to watch them perform and think about how far they’ve come since being in middle school track and cross country. Watching high school races always reminds me of how and why I fell in love with the sport of running in the first place. Such amazing memories!


{#4-More Trees}
As I mentioned last week, I love trees. This is my favorite tree-yes, you read that right! I used to run, walk,and sit by this tree in college often. I first saw it at a high school cross country meet and keep coming back to it.


Yesterday was my last day as a teacher at the school I’ve been teaching at for the past six years. I got a job at a new school starting in the fall. Even though I am looking forward to the opportunities at the new job, I never anticipated how hard it would be to leave my old job. I made some great friends and memories while teaching and coaching there. Lets just say there were some tears. Ok, quite a few. I pretty much skipped my run last night to cry, talk to my husband about the change, and cry some more. I know running would have made me feel better, but even I don’t always follow the advice I give. I’m going to miss everyone so much!


Happy Weekend!

{Friday Fab 5}

This rainy weather is making me mad! Here is what made me happy this week!

{#1-Lake Love}

Ry and I drove along Lake Michigan while in Racine for The Color Run and stopped to see a lighthouse on the drive.

{#2-Devil’s Lake}

Speaking of lakes, Ry and I will be running the Dances With Dirt Half Trail Marathon in July at Devil’s Lake. Our first trail race for both of us!

{#3-Tree Love}

I’m obsessed with taking pics of trees! This was one I stopped to take while on a run!

{#4-Historic Third Ward}

The third ward is one of my favorite places to walk around in Milwaukee. We spent part of Saturday here after eating lunch at my loves place…duh-Ryan Braun’s Graffito.


For my birthday we went out for a simple dinner at our favorite Mexican place in the area. You know you’re a runner when one of the first things you think of on your birthday is how it will change your age groups when running races. I have one more year in my current age division!

Happy Weekend!