Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Training Tuesday: Detroit Marathon T - 3 weeks!

Oh my word - less than 3 weeks to go and I'm going to be running THIS!

I have one more week of hard running and then it's taper time (although since I don't do well with an extended taper and I haven't been running 4-5 days per week, it won't be quite like a "normal" taper).  This past week went fairly well, with my 4th 20 miler completed.  I think when I trained for Grand Rapids a few years ago, I only did one 20 miler.  Hopefully, all the longer runs this time will pay off on October 19th.  I'm planning to run a couple hills this week to get ready for that bridge at mile 3 and tunnel going into mile 8.

Training this week included:

Monday 9/22/14 - STRENGTH in the form of a 40 minute tabata workout
Tuesday 9/23/14 - RUN 5 easy plus strides watchless in about 57 min (10:57 ave pace)
Wednesday 9/24/14 - STRENGTH 30 minutes
Thursday 9/25/14 - RUN 6 mile tempo in the dark in 1:01:25 (10:14 ave pace)
Friday 9/26/14 - REST
Saturday 9/27/14 - RUN 20 miles in 3:49:10 (11:27 ave pace)
Sunday 9/28/14 - REST and EATING ALL THE THINGS

I really need to work on those eating all the things days.  Just because I run 20 miles does not entitle me to stuff my face and drink all the beer.  The scale so rudely reminded me of that Monday morning.

Anyone who reads this running a fall marathon?  How has your training been going?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Race Recap: 2014 #womenruntheD Detroit Women's Half Marathon and 5k

The weekend of September 20th, I had the honor of representing Another Mother Runner at the Detroit Women's Half Marathon and 5k, plus I got the bonus of getting to run the race and spend some girl-time with one of my BRF's, Jenn.

Jenn and I arrived Friday night to set up for AMR and connect with the race organizers and fellow vendors.  We were lucky enough to get booth space next to fellow Michigan runner, Heather, of Michigan Runner Girl. It's always great to see a familiar and friendly face :)

Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, ON, Canada
After we finished setting up, we left Cobo Hall to the most beautiful sunset over the Ambassador Bridge.  It hit me that 1 month from the next day, I'd be running across that bridge during the Detroit Marathon.  EEEK!

Rooms are beautiful
We were fortunate enough to stay at the beautiful Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.  The hotel was just a short drive (once we figured out where we were going) from Cobo Hall and the expo.  If we didn't have stuff to transport, we could have walked it.  Our room was one of the newly renovated rooms in the lower tower.  Beautiful and comfy with a pretty view of the Detroit River, Canada, and Belle Isle (where we'd be running) out the window.

Aren't we cute?
Jenn and I decided dinner and drinks in the hotel lounge - Volt - was the way to go before turning in.  I'm bummed I couldn't get a room here for the marathon in a month.  It would have been super convenient for that race. 

We arrived back at Cobo early Saturday morning to put some finishing touches on our booth.  My favorite aspect to being an AMR Ambassador is connecting with the other runners.   So many told stories of this being their first 5k or Half Marathon.  This seems to be especially true at women's only races.  It's inspiring to see so many women, of every shape, size and ability, in varying stages of their running journeys.

Ready to Rock!
Jenn and I were both able to check out the expo throughout the day.  I loved our location - we were one of the first booths you would see on the way to the back of the room to get your packet and Heather was right next door.

Me and Heather!
Heather also contributes to the Another Mother Runner site.  This was her first experience representing her brand at an expo and she seemed to have a great weekend.

The expo was very well run and just the right length (open from 10 to 4).  There was a nice variety of vendors, although I would have liked to see more jewelry.  I would have bought a Detroit charm for my necklace if any had been available.  I was disappointed in options for meals; however.  There was one restaurant which was supposed to be open but it closed by 1 pm (I think).  I was the last person to get down there and get food and their offerings were very limited even at 12:30.  It was also the most expensive burger and fries I've ever had (about $14).  Not the race's fault, but an observation.  If you plan on attending this expo, you might want to think about eating somewhere else.

After the expo ended, Jenn and I got back to our room and got ready for the Pasta Dinner at Coach Insignia.  While every other aspect of the race weekend was great, this one experience could have put a damper on things if I'd let it.  We each spent $20 for this dinner and there were numerous issues (no GF pasta - or much of any food left, no seating, a bitchy worker).  Some of the issues were restaurant-related and some were race-related.  I've addressed them both with Coach Insignia (whose social media presence and response was awesome) and the race directors.  That being said, I would NOT recommend purchasing tickets to the pasta dinner next year unless there is a way to sign up for specific food if you have dietary concerns.  IMO - a total waste of money since we had to go buy dinner again when we left since we had almost nothing to eat.

At least the view at Coach Insignia was pretty.
Race morning started very early - around 5am.  We had looked at the Sbux hours the day before and they didn't look like they'd be open, so we ordered room service for breakfast.  Expensive but worth it for the convenience.  After getting ready, we headed downstairs.  The race had shuttle busses set up with Detroit Party Coach for participants staying at the Ren-Cen.  Super convenient way to get to Belle Isle and not deal with parking.  My friends who drove over said parking was fine though.  Storms moved through the area Saturday night, so we were all a bit worried about the weather for Sunday morning.  Luckily, the rain moved out just before race-time.  The organizers delayed the start about 20 minutes to give all the people in line for the port-a-potties time to get into their start locations.  

The race had a wave start of sorts - 9 m/m pace and faster went off first, followed a few minutes later by us slower folks.  Then the 5k started after the half, again with a wave start such as the one for the half.  This was to help with congestion on the 2.5 loop course around Belle Isle.  I had never run on Belle Isle before, and it's a part of the Detroit Marathon course, so this was a great opportunity to check it out.  The support along the course was great and there were even a few musical performers.  A nice touch for such a small race (only about 1550 finishers between both the half and 5k).  There were also pacers but it seemed they weren't very organized as there were 3 different pacers all lined up together.  

I'm not going to recap my entire race experience.  If you want to read some of the details, you can check it out on DailyMile.  All in all, I was very happy with how I ran this half.  I went in to the race itself with pretty low expectations.  Training for a full marathon means slower paces most of the time, so I knew a PR was not in the cards (I'd need to run a 2:06 half for that).  I just wanted a solid run and a negative split and I got exactly that.  The bonus was I ran half number 13 as my 3rd fastest half.  Not too shabby.

The Detroit Women's Half Marathon was a very nice race to run with quite a few positives.

- Great course support and entertainment
- Free picture downloads (I hated my picture which is why you don't see it here)
- Personalized bibs if you registered early enough.
- A very pretty medal
- Excellent Michigan craft beer from Wolverine State Brewing Co. in Ann Arbor, poured by two very cool dudes.
- Pretty, cotton race shirt.  I've received so many tech shirts that I now like the nicer (read NOT unisex) buttery cotton shirts. A note to future participants - the shirts run VERY small.  I ended up with an XL and I normally wear a M.

Wolverine State Brewing Co.
I'm hoping to make it back again next year!

The best part of the weekend was the girl time with Jenn and her friend, Michelle, who we met up with later.  We all had great races and a very nice couple days to escape reality.

Finishers Bari, Jenn and Michelle! 
(Don't forget to go enter my giveaway if you haven't already!)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Save 2nd Base - a #giveaway for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 in 8 US women (about 12%) will develop breast cancer in her lifetime? (source)

When I think about my girlfriends, aunts, cousins, and sister, and think that of every 8 of us, 1 of us could be diagnosed, that's a very scary statistic.

So far, my family and I have been lucky.  For this I'm very thankful.  Unfortunately, I know too many friends and co-workers who have not. 

While breast cancer is largely related to genetics, there are some things you can do to reduce your chances - or at least catch it early.
  1. Limit alcohol, don't smoke and control your weight.  
  2. Be physically active.
  3. Breast feed.
  4. Limit the duration of hormone therapy.
  5. Reduce exposure to radiation and environmental toxins.
  6. Take advantage of early detection examinations - most insurance companies cover regular physicals and mammograms.  I just had mine and am blessed to have received a clean bill of health!  If they don't, there may be agencies in your area which will cover them for uninsured women.  You just have to do your research.
  7. Know your own breasts.  Take note of any visible changes.  Do breast self-exams.  If you have any suspicion that something seems "off" - see your doctor.  (source, source)
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and my friend, Paul, at Suddora, has developed a line of Breast Cancer Awareness sweatbands and headbands, with a portion of sales going to Brides Against Breast Cancer.  He sent me enough sets for 3 giveaways but if you would love to support a great cause, head over to Suddora and pick up some extras.

Want to win?  Enter through Rafflecopter below - mandatory entry is to leave a comment listing 1 thing you will do to help save 2nd base in yourself or someone you love.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to residents of the United States or those with a USPS mailing address.  Suddora Sports provided me with 3 sets of headbands and sweatbands to give away.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday : blerg

I should have expected this 1.4 pound gain due to fun girls weekend & the pulled pork I made for dinner the other night.

I'm sure some is water but not all of it.

I hate how much the number on that little machine can affect me. I know I'm relatively healthy, my labs are all perfect, my "skinny" jeans fit again, but the thought of being that close to 150 when I really feel I should be in the 130s is do effing frustrating.

Look at the picture. Other than the drop right away when I started eating paleo-ish, I've really made no real change in the past 3-4 months. Blerg.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Training Tuesday: Detroit Marathon 1 month to go!

It occurred to me as I was running Sunday's half marathon that my full was 4 weeks from that day.  GULP!  I'm definitely feeling confident one second and completely panicked the next, which sounds about right for marathon training.

This week went pretty well.  I wish I could say my foot feels fine all the time but it doesn't.  I'm just dealing with it and accepting it is going to hurt to run.  It is what it is.

Monday 9-15-14 BIKE 11 miles in 44 minutes (14.8 mph) - I put the bike back on the basement trainer and I can really tell I've lost all my biking mojo.  Guess that's what running does :)

Tuesday 9-16-14 RUN 4 miles plus 4 strides (ave 10:43 pace) And "easy peasy" run as I titled in on DM.

Wednesday 9-17-14 Just 30 min of stretching and rolling mostly.

Thursday 9-18-14 RUN 6 mile with 4 at tempo.  "Couldn't hit the prescribed tempo paces but I averaged a 9:59 pace, so I'll take it.

Friday 9-19-14 Zip.Zilch.Zero. - Drove to Detroit to set up for the Detroit Women's Expo, so if carrying boxes and lifting suitcases counts, then a did a tiny bit.

Saturday 9-20-14 Again, a big, fat zero.  But, I was on my feet for a lot of the expo so there's that.

Sunday 9-21-14 RUN 13.1 miles in 1:77:44 (10:30 pace).  I ran a beautiful negative split and had a great time at the race.  This was half number 13 and ended up being my 3rd fastest.  Not too shabby for a training run.  Full race report will be coming!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Motivation Monday: #womenruntheD goals crushed!

This past weekend I ran the Detroit Women's Half Marathon and represented Another Mother Runner at the race expo.  It was a fantastic time and I promise a full race recap when I catch my breath.

I set 5 goals for race weekend - in no particular order:

"Meet as many women as possible at the race Expotique.  One of my favorite parts of this ambassador gig is getting to connect with other runners, especially women who are running their first 5k or half marathon." - Done!  I can't even count how many women talked about this race being their first 5k or first half.  The great thing about women's races is seeing how many different ages, shapes and abilities show up.  It's very inspiring.  Jenn and I stayed until we saw some of the last girls come in on the half.  Major props to them!

"Be the sales girl with the mostest :)  Yes, I'm selling merchandise for Another Mother Runner so if you are coming to the expo, please find Jenn and I in booth 12 and shop your little heart out!" - We definitely tried!  Jury is still out on this one. 

"Treat Sunday's half marathon as a training run.  I did a great job of this at the Bridge Run 10 miler last weekend and I'm hoping to repeat again on Sunday.  The goal is a negative split, which is very tough for me, but I have a plan and I'm going to stick to it." - BOOM!  

Check out these stats!  I've never finished ranked so high in my AG or pulled off a negative split like that.  

"Enjoy my girl's weekend!  I'm bringing one of my BRFs and Fred Relay teammate, Jenn, along for the ride and we are both very much looking forward to some girl time." - Most definitely!  I mean, seriously, where else are you going to climb on a stripper pole but on the shuttle bus heading back to your hotel after running a great half and pounding 2 yummy beers?

"Have fun!!" - Done and Done :)  so much fun that re-entry to reality is going to be a bit tough today.

How was your weekend?  What goals did you crush?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five For Friday: @DETwomenshalf goals!

This weekend I'm heading to Detroit to represent Another Mother Runner as a race ambassador at the Detroit Women's Half Marathon and 5k!  I haven't written about race goals in awhile, so I figured I do that today.
Detroit Women’s Half Marathon and 5k
Here go 5 goals as I Run the D this weekend!

  1. Enjoy my girl's weekend!  I'm bringing one of my BRFs and Fred Relay teammate, Jenn, along for the ride and we are both very much looking forward to some girl time.
  2. Meet as many women as possible at the race Expotique.  One of my favorite parts of this ambassador gig is getting to connect with other runners, especially women who are running their first 5k or half marathon.
  3. Be the sales girl with the mostest :)  Yes, I'm selling merchandise for Another Mother Runner so if you are coming to the expo, please find Jenn and I in booth 12 and shop your little heart out! 
  4. Treat Sunday's half marathon as a training run.  I did a great job of this at the Bridge Run 10 miler last weekend and I'm hoping to repeat again on Sunday.  The goal is a negative split, which is very tough for me, but I have a plan and I'm going to stick to it.
  5. HAVE FUN!!!
Are you running or racing this weekend?  What are your goals?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weigh-in Wednesday: photos don't lie

Late last week, I posted to IG about a great non-scale victory. I got back into this favorite pair of Silver jeans and I have to admit, I was feeling pretty skinny.

Even my butt looked smaller :)

But then race photos came out from Sunday's Bridge Run.

Not flattering AT.ALL.  Sure, I'm smiling but I saw the picture and all that confidence from 3 days earlier was gone.  Friends kept finding this one and tagging me on FB.  Oh the joys of social media.

At least you can see how pretty the setting was.  This is around mile 6 in Riverside Park.  I was still hanging with the pacers.

Looks like I was happy to finally pull away from the pacers at mile 8.  This picture is a bit better, too.

I decided to just have fun in this race.  That shows on my face.  Also, I'm a dork and need to not pose for the photographers.  (That dude in the jacket owes me big for being his rabbit.  Maybe he was just checking out my ass for 10 miles.)

Another not-so-flattering picture from the finish line.  Obviously I'm glad to be done (and it's cool that both of my feet are off the ground).  

So, if photos don't lie, which picture should I believe?  The skinny selfie?  The fat hanging over the fuel belt?  The strong runner at the finish?  I really don't know anymore.  As for the weigh-in this week - I'm up .6 pounds.  Better than the 3 pounds I was up just 2 days ago.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Training Tuesday: Detroit Marathon week 16

Week 16 was a pretty decent week.  I managed to get in 4 runs this week and came within 3 minutes of my 10 mile PR on Sunday at the Bridge Run.

I struggled a bit to hit paces this week but for the most part, I made it.  I did not get enough strength work but on at least a few days I did my Kinetic Revolution workouts.  I need a kick in the ass to get the tabata going again.

I don't really feel like listing everything out this week so basically I had 4 runs: 7 miles at 10:43, 6 mile tempo at 10:15 ave (tempo miles were around 9:45), 6 miles easy at 10:59, and the 10 mile race at 10:24.  Rest day on Saturday and strength work on Tues and Thurs.

This coming weekend I'm running the Detroit Women's Half and working the expo for Another Mother Runner.  I can't wait!

What's on your plate for this week?

Monday, September 15, 2014

LMCU Bridge Run 10 Miler #racereport

On Sunday I ran a great, local 10 mile race as a training run for the Detroit Marathon. Now, before you say, "But Bari can't run races as training runs!" let me assure you that this time I did! I know - crazy talk!

This really is a fun course, crossing the Grand River a few times and passing several historical sites and museums during the 10 mile run. If you are relatively close to Grand Rapids, MI, I suggest you put this one on your radar for 2015.

No mile by mile recap for this race, but some overall impressions.

  • Pacers can help you control your enthusiasm.  I knew I was in no shape to run a PR at this race (my PR is 1:40:56 at this same race 2 years ago) so attempting to do so would have been very risky and stupid.  Being reminded that the goal for this run was TRAINING and not a race influenced my decision to line up with the 11 m/m pacers.  I decided I would stick to them like glue for the first 8 miles and then if I felt good, push the pace for the last 2.  This worked great, with paces of 10:43, 10:36, 10:52, 11:00, 11:02, 10:53, 10:45 and 10:44 for the first 8 and then 10:11 and 9:31 (but run in 7 something because my Garmin measured short) for the last 2 miles.
  • Pacers may not run how you would like to run.  Look at my splits.  They were clearly running MUCH faster than an 11 m/m pace for the first 3 miles.  This was fine for me since I'm capable of those paces, but a lot of people dropped from this group by the 2nd aide station.  I would have preferred to start slower and speed up for a negative split.  I know now what to ask at the Detroit Women's Half next weekend.
  • Running with friends is fun but not necessary.  I started with some friends but we all had different goals and paces.  This was fine and I just got lost in my music and the pretty riverside scenery.

  • Non-traditional bling is fun from time to time.  This is the first year the Bridge Run has offered a medal to all participants and at first, I was disappointed to see it was a key chain, but now I think it's kind of cool and it's hanging on a chain from my bling rack.  The shirt turned out really nice too.  It's a soft, cotton t-shirt and a little bit fitted. The color is pretty and I have enough tech shirts, so being ticked that it was cotton when I got to packet pickup was silly.
  • Being only about 3 minutes off of PR pace when you weren't even trying to run fast is frustrating.
  • Small races in my area mean I can run fairly well and still suck in the rankings. I finished 57/71 in my Age Group.  372/476 females and 658/788 overall.  I really prefer to be in the top 50% and today I wasn't even close.  I know I'm in a really fast age group, but this is ridiculous. 
  • I showed a lot of growth as a runner on Sunday.  I had a guy on my 6 the ENTIRE race.  He lined up with the pace group and when I made my move at mile 8 to take off, he matched me and stayed right on my ass.  If I tried to surge, he surged too.  If I pulled back, so did he.  It was really pissing me off.  With .1 left to go and in the finishing shoot, I slowed up and let him pass me.  Beating this a-hole and getting hurt in the process was not the point today.  I hope in some way that maybe I was his rabbit to a huge PR.  A thank you at the finish would have been nice though.
What would you have done in that situation?  Kick his ass at the finish (which I think I was capable of doing) or let him go?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#WIAW and a Weigh In

It's that time of the week again where I say I'm not going to stress about the scale. Usually I'm lying to myself & I hate the number I see. Today wasn't so bad.

In fact, it was pretty darn good. I've tried to get back to a bit more paleo and a bit less "ish" this week. It seems to have helped because I'm down 3.4 pounds. Now, if I could just keep this going that would be great.

Now for the "what I ate" part of today's post.  I finally found something bread-like that's fast and makes great sandwiches.  While killing time searching on Pinterest, I stumbled upon this recipe for a 1 minute muffin. Now, I'm all about the 1 minute mug cake and cookie recipes because HELLO! A dessert in 1 minute - no brainer.  But, I'd never thought to try and make an individual bread.  These actually turned out really good.
This first one was made using the original recipe and almond flour.  I do not have "golden flax meal" so I used regular and my baking powder is not aluminum free (who knew there was such a thing???).  They turned out fine.  This one baked up very fluffy and I was able to slice it into 4 thin rounds and toast them in the toaster.  Incredible BLAT sandwich!  The one drawback to this recipe? One ramakin of bread is over 300 calories.  OUCH.  Yes, when it's paleo it's not supposed to matter, but still.  300 Freaking Calories!

I made pulled chicken in the crockpot for dinner and decided to try the bread again, this time using the alternate recipe with coconut flour.  These don't pack quite the calorie punch - "only" 195 calories but that still seemed really high to me.  Also, they didn't rise as much with the coconut flour and had a bit sweeter of a taste.  Still good but I think the almond flour ones tasted better.  I think in the future, I'll stick with the almond flour recipe and just save 1/2 the bun for another meal.  

So, is it worth it to make a bread that is going to add 300 calories to your day? I'm not sure, but actually eating a real sandwich was kind of a treat :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Training Tuesday: Detroit Marathon week 15

I had a pretty decent week, with the beginning starting rocky but an incredible long run on Saturday.  The good definitely provided redemption for the past couple weeks of crappy runs.

Monday 9/1/14 RUN - 7 miles (5 easy, 2 medium) - I wussed out and used a friend's TM because I was sick of the humidity. This wasn't a great run (averaged 11:07) but I got through it.

Tuesday 9/2/14 STRENGTH-ish - Saw my chiro for a very sore ankle and he diagnosed more glute/hip issues.  It's crazy how something that doesn't even hurt results in pain somewhere else.  I now have a bunch of exercises I can't really do right and I spend time doing those instead of the TABATA I was supposed to do.

Wednesday 9/3/14 RUN - 7 miles (averaged 11:07 again - at least I'm consistent???). This was supposed to be a progressive and it sorta was but then it wasn't.

Thursday 9/4/14 STRENGTH - stretching, rolling and a few pushups.  I"ve started doing Kintetic Revolution 30 day challenge based on a friend's recommendation.  It takes a lot longer than I wish it did, but hopefully it will start fixing some of my strength and flexibility issues.

Friday 9/5/14 STRETCHING more KR.

Saturday 9/6/14 RUN I crushed my 16 mile run with a 10:58 average pace.  Switched my intervals to 5 min run/:30 walk and it was perfect.  Helped the weather cooperated, too.

Sunday 9/7/14 WALK and STRETCH - I've loved my Sunday morning active recovery walks.  No watch, just a meandering walk to sbux and home.

This coming week's schedule is a little goofy because I'm running a 10 mile race on Sunday.  I need to make an effort to get more actual strength training in, too, instead of just KR.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Motivation Monday: Keep Moving Forward

I saw this on FB this weekend and it really spoke to me.

Keep moving forward, even if your path isn't clearly marked.

You'll find your way.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Weigh-in Wednesday: #WIAW too much "ish"

My diet has been less paleo and more paleo-ish lately.  I've reintroduced some grains but have stayed primarily gluten free.  Seems I can't even have rice flour or corn without gaining weight.  Thanks to this lax eating, I gained 2 pounds this week.  I also was sick as a dog for eating my hamburger on a real bun the other night.  

Lesson learned.

I did make a very healthy dinner last night.  Roasted chicken (I took the skin off to eat it), steamed veggies and a plain sweet potato.  I also had a glass of wine and a salad (the dressing wasn't paleo - Olive Garden Italian has cheese in it and "bad" oil but it was what I had that wasn't cream-based).
What isn't pictured is what I had AFTER dinner.  2 more glasses of wine, a GF brownie and a small scoop of ice cream.  Celebrating the first day of senior year for my kids shouldn't include me I guess because even though I tried to be healthier, it was still cheating.  Now I have half a pan of brownies and a container of ice cream taunting me.

Brownies and ice cream are my Kryptonite.  What's yours?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Motivation Monday: a goal reached!

Last month, I missed hitting 100 miles for the month by 3 measly miles.

This month I crushed it.  

Now excuse me while I continue to veg out this holiday weekend because the 20 miler on Saturday to get me there was BRUTAL.

I hope you all have a safe and fun Labor Day!

Happy New Year 2020

It looks like my M.O. is to open this blog when I get the notification the domain name renewed. LOL oh well. I hope everyone is having a n...