Highlights of Summer 2016

It's hard to keep up on a blog in summer when you live in a Northern paradise!
Days are long. Nights are short.
There is just so much to do and so little time.

Canoeing down the river and visiting "Annika Island"

Dancing above a waterfall!
Riding a bike with a basket, streamers, tiara helmet, and puppy dog costume!
Taco Tuesday. Wearing a winter hat and getting tacos from the best taco truck ever after swim lesson on the hottest day of summer.
Reading with Papa Tim Tim

The waterfall again.. BTW...This is the best ever swim treadmill ! My Mom's planning a triathlon comeback as soon as Isaac and I are water safe. She can just swim or water run in place for hours while Isaac and I splash around.

Waiting for fireworks on the 4th of July.
Sharing an old fashion Sundae at Donkers!
Swim lessons and the PEIF...When you swim at a college pool ...Look the part.

Keeping cool on a hot day!
Isaac and Cousin Ava after his baptism.
Rollerskating at Grandma and Grandpa's house!
Chilling at the Peter White Library
Isaac rocking the rocking chair!
Riding midnight the pony at Blueberry Fest!
Face painting!
Catching turtles at the waterfall!
Bike date for Mom and Dad!
Beach Date!
Worth my weight in harvested honey!
Isaac stirring things up
Visiting the trails at Forestville....doesn't everybody wear a dress.
Back to School night. Isaac causing trouble.
Knuckles and last minute advice before Annika's first kids race.
Rocky, rooty, slippery and a full mile.
End of summer picnic!

Race repot

Google Blogger ate my race report.  3 times. It has now taken me longer to write this race report then the actual race itself. 

I'll stick to bullet points and try to keep on point.
  • Results: 3:30:15. 6th AG/25OA female
  • Course Conditions: Concrete with a chance of asphalt. Scattered cobblestones mid morning and crowds at the finish.  
  • Do this course if: You love the Green Bay Packers or have an obsession with Lambeau field
  • Training Method: Hansons Advanced. Average 50mpw. 
  • Keys of plan: Longest run of 16 miles done on an every other week basis. Centers on cumulative fatigue. Speed work on 5k pace is super fun. I loved it. 
  • Is it for everybody? No. Some people love 20 mile runs. Do what you love. 
  • Best thing to remember about trying something new? It's only one race. If you are curious try it. What is to loose?
  • Common questions/comments regarding plan:
    •  "I heard you run a lot on that plan. Do you really need to run so much? I don't really like running that much". Life is short. If you don't like running  why run a marathon? Go to work. Be a good person. Those are the important things to do. Running is a hobby. 
    • But only 16 miles, aren't you scared you are going to die? I am scared my performance will be poor given my last marathon. In fact, my poor execution has caused me to have lost all confidence in racing a marathon. Poor performance has given me complete confidence that I will not die and indeed will live to blog about it. 
    • Do you know anybody who has trained this way? No, but I'm willing to try. There is no shame in trying ... but there is shame in training in a certain way  because you think other people think it is right. 

Prehab or Rehab?
Pre-Hab please. I used to get away with doing very little functional strength. Post c-section, nursing and ...being almost 40 put an end to those good times. I recommend  the book"Anatomy For Runners" (A gift to me from my Father in Law Bruce who holds the family marathon record).  It's not hard to do the exercises but it is hard to do them right. If you can work with a good physical therapist, it is helpful. My hiplfexors got really tired racing and were my limiting factor. I have work to do before the next go round especially since there will be more downhill running on the course. I have been told it is a 2 year process to reach top level performance in terms of mobility, stability, and balance post c-section so maybe I'm still on the up and up. My physical therapist suggested having my children play catch with me while I balance on one foot on the BOSU ball. Annika had no interest in catch with a weighted ball but did mention she'd be happy to throw water balloons to me. Tired hip-flexors, weak gluts and adductors are now sounding not so bad .

  • Which shoes?  Hoka Clifton 1. Weight 6.3 ounces in size 6.5. I know this to be true because I verified the weight on my kitchen scale. Hah! My Mom was a home-ec teacher.  Why not Clifton 2's? The Clifton 1's fit me better and they are on sale at Left Lane Sports for $64.95. Excuse me while I order 20 pairs. Oh and full disclosure, I tried the Clifton 2's and felt a shearing/burning discomfort on my forefeet. Turns out it was the start of hand foot mouth disease/virus.Yeah it was a family affair. Did I mention if you want to train like a mother... You need kleenex and coffee 
  • Shoes are so controversial these days. People are on a crusade. You must pick a Koollaid to drink. Seriously there is so much passion about it. Maximalist vs minimalist? Whichever you choose some passionate runner will attempt to sway you. Once again refer to "Anatomy For Runners" and make your now call.  If you base it on the research...There are pros and cons to both. Which is one  reason why I don't understand the passion. So be like me. Purchase a quiver and use choose appropriately for what your goal for the day is. It's cost per mile in the end anyway.  I tend to wear a lower profile, lower drop shoe while running on the treadmill and while pushing my 2 children and practically a toy box in a double Chariot...I think not! Give me a well cushioned Hoka Bondi B please!
Nutrition: Cupcakes ...Hey it was my birthday!
  • Course 5 GU's. Sips gatorade. Sips water every aid station. I was hungry the entire race. I have been hungry in every race I have raced since Isaac was born. I was thirsty in the last few miles. It was 70's by the finish which was warmer than what I trained in (40 degrees for most outdoor runs, probably low 60's in my basement on the treadmill)
  • Stomach Conditions: None.
  • My guess is that my hydration and nutrition requirements are skewed due to nursing. Yeah my child is old enough not to nurse but the new pediatric guidelines encourage continuing to age 2 and Isaac has a cow milk allergy. I think a whole lot of information regarding these needs will come out in the next few years. I executed the best for what I thought my body needed. 
  • Off course nutrition: I did not restrict in terms of leaving out food groups or calories of any kind. Although, I do say we rarely eat out or eat processed foods. I tried to be mindful during the  training cycle to refuel within 15 minutes post workout. There is a whole lot of science coming out on why that is important, especially for women. 
I paddled my own canoe in terms of racing and training strategies so I decided to keep it real with metrics.
  • Garmin 630 with advanced run dynamics and HR. 
    • The watch is slick. Although mine was purchased with a REI dividend vs paper money. I'm not sure you need all the bells and whistles but I like to trend things. I like trending the metrics provided but honestly I'm not sure what they all mean or what to do about them. The ability to read texts off your watch is pretty great for a Mom. I don't spend a lot of time checking texts while running but I like to know that a souse/school/babysitter/or grandparent isn't texting me in need of something for my kids while I am jogging along. 
  • Lactate Threshold testing in early February identifying running paces and optimal HR
    • I participated in a study at our local college so this data was free to me. I found it extremely helpful to identify that  my lactate threshold running is at a heart rate of 176. They also had me run a 5k on a 200m track at 21 minutes. This was helpful as I had pretty heavy legs from nordic skiing and would have estimated my time slower for the amount of effort. This gave me the confidence to pick a 21 minutes for my pace when doing work on 5k pace vs going off a race time from 3 years ago, or trying to make an adjustment for a 5k time done with a stroller, off road, etcetera. 

  • Did you love it? Yes in every way. The racing, the training. Each run, every run. Even that 16.84 mile treadmill run done at 5:15 a.m. during a March blizzard (Netflixs rocks) Not lying I did. It's a privilege  to get to race and train when it isn't your job. I am thankful for it. My job is my family. That is the performance eval I'm most concerned about. 
  • Thing you liked least about racing?....Finding 7:40-7:42 on my watch for the first 16 miles and constantly having to slow down to not waste energy needed for late in the race. I either need to figure out a better way to meter out my efforts or figure out a way to just run 7:40 vs 8:00 min/miles for the entire race. I think stronger hip flexors would help as they gave me trouble in the last 6 miles.
Climatic Finish:
  • If you love the Packers you need to do this race. I confess the Packers are meaningless to me. Sorry, but I thought the Super Bowl of 2016 was the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Seriously, you can't get that much drama and passion in a movie. In case you didn't see it, you can stream it via YouTube commercial free. I digress. 
  • The finish leads into Lambeau stadium for a lap around the inside before heading out to the finish. You enter and exit the stadium via a dark tunnel. The bleachers are filled with cheering fans which is pretty rad if your work is done and you want to soak up the glory and savor the moment. My work was not done. I gave up a little time a few miles back slowing to 8:10-8:30 for a few miles because I was worried if I forced the pace my tired hip flexors might cramp and "wreck my day". At mile 24, I picked it up and was confident I could hold take up the ante and not fall apart by mile 25 I felt confident I could run my hardest for the next 1.2 miles and not cramp up leaving me to walk a 20 min/mile into the finish. The 1/2 marathon and marathon courses merged at this point. It was super crowded. I do not begrudge people walking, wearing head phones or walking 3 abreast even but I'm not going to let go of my goal for them either.  In that moment it was every coach I ever had as a girl growing up in my head saying "You go now " I ran like the anchor leg of the mile relay, like I was carrying the baton for my team and I couldn't let them down by slowing down for all the walkers. I was screaming left and weaving and just thinking don't fall down. Do not fall down. Somehow I didn't. It seemed like forever walking through the finish coral and I was happy to find my family, fresh from the waterpark and ready for root beer. 


Last weekend we went to the big city Green Bay.

In case you are not familiar with Green Bay it's home of the Green Bay Packers and home of the Tundra Bay Lodge ...the best hotel ever.It has a water park inside, a lion in the lobby, bunk beds in your room, and get this...the best part ever loud music from a wedding reception blaring next to your room at bedtime. Rock on!

Really it is hard to compete with.

Speaking of competing...It was also the weekend of the Green Bay Marathon.
Did I mention that? My Mom was running a marathon. I actually had some concept of how far a marathon was because my class talked about it. We talked about how it was further than going to Ishpeming on a school bus for a field trip. We talked about  how long the school bus ride was. After that discussion, we said a prayer. Good thinking right? Reason #1542 to send your child to Catholic school.

I made a sign for my Mom at the expo. I wanted to illustrate economy of motion so I left the arms off of the runner.
Our hotel was on the first mile of the marathon course. My Mom knew just where to look for us and she knew she better not show up early. We all know what happened at her last marathon when she went out at 7min/mile instead of 8 min/miles. 
Here they come and there she is. She wore a red head band just so I could spot her. She wasn't even too far ahead of schedule ;) 
After all that pre race chatter  regarding conserving energy and running the tangents Mama ran off course in the first mile of the race to give me a hug. Her goal was to run 8min/miles for 26.2 miles and she did...sort of. Officially her time was 3:30.15 which is 8:02, but she didn't run the tangents  ran off course an extra 0.1 mile so she ran an average of 7:59 for 26.3 miles. Truth is the marathon is a tricky beast. If a runner can take 8 minutes off his/her time while running less total weekly miles, train and execute on race day while sleep is sub optimal, have a year of consistent injury free running post c-section and while nursing a baby then it qualifies as success. She really needs to write her own race report. Why keep secrets?

Seriously...It would be cheesy.

One Year Of I Man

It really seems like only yesterday Isaac came screaming into this world. 
He looks like a sweet little peanut and he is for the most part..but don't for one minute be fooled into thinking he is just this chill little guy willing to be in my shadow.

He's a handful and a half. My Mom was thinking when she checked into the hospital wearing over sized running shoes and recovery compression sock because let's face it, it's not like any mom ever stops running.

 Isaac wants to do everything I do. People call the carrier Isaac is strapped into an Ergo...We all know it's a restraint to keep Isaac from attempting to do things suitable only for those  age 4 and up
 Once in a while I do help him out with age appropriate activities such as flying airplanes
 Sometimes my Mom just admits defeat and gives into Isaac's way.
Poor Mom I am certain she was betting that the rock would be too uncomfortable for Isaac to crawl on. She thought she could fasten him back up and look like a normal responsible Mom who had some degree of control over her children. Look at Isaac's grin. Think again Mother. 

 Speaking of control...look who has a hold of the reins here? Any questions.
Isaac is a get away boy. He might have better luck getting away if he didn't shriek with joy upon every attempt to get away. Pretty much .. it's baby jail around here.

No Isaac . Post run cappuccino is not for babies.

 Isaac fusses when My Mom runs on the treadmill
 Because he wants to be on the treadmill
 Note the sign indicating that running on the treadmill is the easiest part of my Mom's day.  My Mom claims she is am union employee and for every 12 hour shift she gets 2x15 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch break. She says she saves them all up for 60 minutes of running. She's entitles . It's union law. If we don't like it we can file a grievance.
 Isaac thinks he is entitled the lego table in my classroom.

 My Dad's, Brother's and Grandpa's birthdays are all within one week.
 We threw a party and called it a boy bash.

 My Mom only got Isaac one present. It was his very own cake. A smash cake.
Happy Birthday Isaac we love you. However, as your big sister Annika, I am a little jealous you got to smash your cake and eat it too.