Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To Garmin or not to Garmin

So I have become increasingly frustrated with my Nike + over the past couple of months.  It tends to stop in the middle of my run, fail to sync with the Nike website and not post my workouts to facebook like it is set up to do.  The last time it stopped on me was during the 5 mile race I did in Putnam, my home town.  It really got me off my game, having to stop running to try to figure out what the heck was wrong with it. 

I have been thinking about buying a Garmin Forerunner 110. 

It seems to have a lot of the bells and whistles that I am looking for and I have seen it for as low as $189.   I am looking at the model that has a heart rate strap with it.  I think that a heart rate monitor could be beneficial to my training.  It also has the capability to do interval training.  Now that I am following Jeff Galloway's Run Walk Run model I need a way to keep track of when I should run and when I should walk.  On his website he does sell a vibrating timer for this function for $19.99.

I am trying to weigh my options.  I don't want to spend $189 needlessly.  But I am also getting to the end of my rope with the buggy Nike+.  What do you all think about the Garmin?  I have seen mixed reviews about them.  I have heard some people say they die after a couple months.  Is this a good investment?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Quite a soggy weekend

Well, we survived Hurricane Irene.  On Saturday my husband and I had tickets to see Kenny Chesney at Gillette Stadium.  I had been watching the weather all week to see what Saturday would be like.  It went from a slight chance of rain to a definite down pour through out the week.  It clearly stated on our tickets Rain or Shine.  The Sunday performance was moved to Friday night.  The weather on Friday was gorgeous.  Man, why didn't I buy tickets for Sunday. Friday afternoon I stopped at Walmart to buy us ponchos.  I have been waiting for this concert since November.  I was not going to let a hurricane ruin it.  Walmart was a mad house.  Everyone was buying water and bread. 

We ended up going out to the casino on Friday night.  What a late night.  We left the casino at 11:30pm.  It should take us 45 minutes to get home.  There was an accident on the high way about 15 miles from our house.  We were stopped dead for about an hour or more.  I didn't get home until about 2am.  So much for my five mile run Saturday morning.  I was way too pooped when I got up at 8 to think about lacing up my running shoes.  And there was too much to do to get ready for the storm.  We brought in all of our deck furniture.  I cleaned the house, I had guessed that we would loose power on Sunday.  I got ready to go.  I was very excited to get to wear my pink cowboy hat.

At 2 pm we left for the concert.  I didn't know if we were going to make it.  It was raining so hard in spots on the highway I could hardly see 10 feet in front of us. 
The rain did get much heavier than this. I was too nervous at that point to take a pic though.

We finally got there.  Parking was a bear to say the least.  We got some food in us at Patriots Place and then headed into the concert.  Uncle Kracker was the opening band.  A nice surprise since both my husband and I were unaware that he would be playing that day.  There was a sparse crowd at that point.  I think everyone was still tailgating in the rain.  It rained off and on during the show. 

Billy Currington also played and was awesome.  Zack Brown band was great.  I really enjoyed hearing Toes live.  And Kenny Chesney rocked my world.  He played my husband and my wedding song, How Forever Feels and Eric and I danced together in the stands.  He and Uncle Kracker also sang Cowboy originally by Kid Rock.  This was the highlight of the show for my husband.  We battled traffic on the way home but overall it was a great night.
 I can never get these types of photos to come out that great. :-(

We weathered Irene out pretty well.  We lost power yesterday around 8am.  I am glad I got up early and made coffee before the power went out.   I am not a happy camper without coffee in the morning.  We spent the day lounging on the couch.  Me reading a book and my husband watching movies on his iPad.  Our power came back on at 5 this morning.  I am very happy that I got to make coffee and have a hot shower prior to work this morning. 

Overall it was a great weekend.  I am glad I got to spend so much quality time with my husband. I am very sad that my goals for a 5 mile run this weekend were washed away.  It always makes me feel lazy when I don't get my workouts in.  I am going to try to get back on track this week.  Only two more weeks until I start my 18 week half marathon training.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A shopping trip

I am going to be starting my 1/2 marathon training in a little over two weeks.  I will be starting to do many more miles a week than I have been putting in this summer.  Because of the increased mileage it is time for new shoes. I want to have enough time to break in the new shoes before January.  I went to my local running store yesterday with one of my best friends Amy.   This trip had may objectives to it.   1. Buy new running shoes 2. Ask the running store if they would be willing to sponsor the 5K my work is holding on October 1st.  3. Buy new socks.

So we headed down to PR Running in Westborough, MA. http://www.myprrun.com I love this running store.  The staff are always so helpful and attentive.  We went on our lunch break so it was about noon when we got there.  It was pretty rocking in the store for a Thursday afternoon.  We got helped right away.  The woman who helped me in January get my current shoes which are New Balance 1064s helped me again this time.  I tried on a pair of the newest New Balance shoes but they have made the toe box much more narrow. 

I then tried on a pair of Saucony ProGrid Ride 4s.  I really liked them.  I took a run outside in the shoes and they felt great.  I have a problem with black toe nails.  I get a little nervous when my shoes are to tight in the toe box.  These shoes felt awesome. 

I also tired on a pair of Asics Gel-Nimbus 13 Limited Edition.  These shoes were so cute.  I wanted to buy them on the mere fact that I loved how they looked.  I wish that they fit me as well.  I found them to be too tight.  Even when I went up another half size the toe box was just a little too tight.  I ran in these ones as well.  

I ultimately decided to go with the Saucony ProGrid Ride 4.  I will be starting to use them next week or the week after on my short runs to start to break them in.  

I also bought my socks at the running store.  I really like Balega Lady Eduro 3 socks.  They have a tab on the back so that they do not fall down while I run.  I hate when socks do that because the bunch up in places and give me blisters.  They also have cushioning on the bottom which I like.  And venting on the top so that your feet don't get overly hot.  I got a pair of pink ones and blue ones.  If you buy them from Balega's website they are $10 but shipping costs another $10.  I got each pair at PR Running for $9.99 so it saved me $10 in shipping.  Now I have three pairs.  This will be great for my training since my training program only has me running three days a week. 

As for the store giving us a donation, that remains to be seen.  The owner was too busy to meet with us (which I figured since the store was so busy).  We left our packet and hung a race flyer up on their bulletin board.  I will keep my fingers crossed.  If anyone out there lives in the Worcester, MA area and is looking for a race to run on October 1st keep the BridgeFest in mind.  The money goes to a great cause.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Woes of an allergy sufferer

Ragweed is already out.  Bleh.  I have been waking up each morning for the past week and a half with a headache.  It doesn't make me want to get out of bed and go for a run. 

Last year I started seeing an allergist.  They did a scratch test and turns out I am allergic to anything that blooms, mold, dust mites, cats, and several kind of tree nuts.  I have been getting weekly allergy shots for over a year now.  Six shots to be exact.  I have progressed on all but the ragweed shot.  This is the one that keeps me going back weekly to the allergy clinic. 

They also have me taking Singular at night and Allegra in the morning.  I take a Claritin an hour before my appointment.  You would think that with all the antihistamine coursing through my body I wouldn't be bothered by headaches, stuffy nose, and itchy eyes but alas, I still am.  And it bums me out that my head hurts so much in the morning when I all I really want to be doing is running.

Hopefully it gets better soon.  I never thought I would be hoping for a frost but I kind of am.  I think it would help kill the ragweed and give me some relief. 

I start my 1/2 Marathon training on September 13th.  Lets hope my body cooperates by then. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Bitchy Runners: Chica Bands Review and Giveaway!

Yet another cool giveaway.

The Bitchy Runners: Chica Bands Review and Giveaway!: Marathon Training Week 16 - Day 2 The past week has been bad for workouts. Today we finally did a good three miles. Lots of sweat. Lots...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shut Up and Run's Subway Parfait review and giveaway

SUAR did a review of Subway's new parfait.  It looks like a good treat to go along with your favorite sandwich.  She doesn't recommend making a special trip for it though.  They are kind of small but only 160 calories and cost a $1.69. 

See her full review on her blog. She has some great pictures of the parfait. And enter to win a $10 Subway gift card. 


Saturday, August 20, 2011

A subject most don't talk about in public

Why is it that when I set out for a run in the morning I can't use the bathroom before hand.  I really want to use it.  I would love to make sure that I get it out of the way so that I don't have that nagging feeling the entire way, will I or won't I have to go.  I think most of my anxiety pre-race revolves around number twos.  I wake up on race day and the entire time I am getting ready I try to tell my body that it needs to cooperate and go while I am at home. 

It doesn't seem to matter whether I eat breakfast and have a cup of coffee an hour before I head out or just have a light breakfast of  yogurt or not eat at all.  I can never seem to go before I set out for my morning run.   Then about two to three miles into my run my stomach starts to do that crampy uh-oh thing and I know it is not going to behave.  Some days I am able to walk for a couple of minutes and talk it back from the brink of danger.  And then some day like this morning, I have to cut my run short and head home so that there will be no embarrassing accidents. 

I run in my neighborhood which is largely residential.  There are no woods or secluded places to stop and use a bush.  There also aren't any bathrooms along my way.  I just have to grit my teeth and hope that I can make it home in time. 

I wish that I could say that I have figured out what foods cause this problem for me.  At first I thought it was because I was eating too much fiber or because the night before I had a cocktail.  I have cut alcohol completely out of my diet for the last two weeks and I have reduced my fiber intake the day before my runs with little success. 

I just hope that it is not like this for my half marathon in January.  I would hate to wait in the porta-potty lines or have an accident with 20,000 people watching.  Maybe I should invest in some depends. 

Does anyone else have these issues?  Am I the only one with these embarrassing problems?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Clymb Website

My friend Amy told me about an awesome website theclymb.com.  This site sells all sorts of gear for active people at low costs.  The sales only last days but they email you to tell you what deals they have going on.  You have to sign up with them but they don't ask for any really personal info and do not charge you to be a member.

I just picked up a GU sampler pack for $15. (The usually go for about $35)

I haven't tried a bunch of these flavors and I will be starting my Half Marathon training very soon. It looks like 6 packs of GU are going for about 4 to 6 dollars.  This sale is only on for another 20 hours.

And I just saw that they have Nirve bikes for sale for the next couple of days.  I am not familiar with this company but the bikes look decent.  I might jump on a bike if they start selling Trek or Specialized as I am in the market for one.  I am thinking about training for a triathlon next August. 

So thanks Amy for the good advice about theclymb.com.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bridge Fest 1st Annual 5K

I am looking for runners and donors for my work's first annual Bridge Fest. It is the first race that The Bridge of Central Massachusetts has run.  It is a 5k road race on October 1st in the city of Worcester, MA.  I am looking for runners to sign up and run.  The fee is $25 and you will get a cool t-shirt. All of the money goes to our company's health and wellness program.  We are a non-profit human services company that works with children, teens and adults with mental illness and adults with developmental disabilities.  


Join Us as we hold our First Annual BridgeFest on October 1, 2011. All proceeds will go towards our Health & Wellness Initiative at The Bridge.

DID YOU KNOW? On average, adults with a major mental illness have an average life expectancy of 20 years younger than those without mental illness. We are working to change that through activities such as smoking cessation, nutrition, and physical activities, but we need your help.

You can be a part of BridgeFest in a variety of ways. (1)Be a participant in our 5K (2) Support a walker/runner and make a donation.(3) Attend the Festival (4) Be a volunteer

Only participants that register as a runner will be officially timed. Medals will be awarded to the top male & female runners for each age category.

BridgeFest kicks off with a 5K run/walk and then continues into the day with arts & crafts, kids activities, pet activities and food.

For more information contact Christina Foley at 508-755-0333 or christinaf@thebridgecm.org


Mommy Miles: RazzyRoo Winner!!!

I won my first giveaway. I was so excited when I saw this yesterday. I think my husband thinks I am crazy for getting that excited over head bands. Sometimes it is just the little things in life.

Mommy Miles: RazzyRoo Winner!!!: "The winner of the RazzyRoo giveaway is mburt1029 Congrats!!! Please email me (ken_chas@hotmail.com) so that I can get your information a..."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

22nd Annual Deary Memorial 5 Mile Road Race

Yesterday morning I ran a five mile race in my home town of Putnam CT.  The weather was pretty nice for a race, maybe a little warm for my liking.  I think it was about 73 degrees at 9am when the race was scheduled to start.  The race started and ended at a pub in town called J.D Coopers.  Parking was quite a challenge as the turn out for the festivities was large.  Once I parked I headed to the check in table.  They were also having a walk, a 15 mile bike ride and a 30 mile bike ride at the same time.  I think there was also a 1 mile kid's race the same day.  I have to say they were pretty organized for having so much going on at the same time.  The walkers started at 8am.  The 15 mile bikers started at 8:30am and the 30 mile bikers started at 8:45am.  Then us runners started around 9:05am. 

When I signed up for the race it stated that it was chip timed.  When I got my race bib there was no chip.  There was a tab on the bottom that said not to remove until the end of the race. Eh, another manually timed race.  My race last week was the same deal.  I kind of like the races that use chips.  I like to know what my split times are. 

I lined up in the back when it was time.  I know that I am not a fast runner and I don't want to get trampled.  They sang the national anthem and then used a starting pistol to get us all off.  I haven't been to a single race yet that actually used a starting pistol.  Granted, this is my first year doing any races and I have only done five so far. 

I knew as soon as we started going that this was not going to be a great race for me.  I was not feeling great from the get go.  I was already tired and kinda winded.  It was then that I realized I forgot to take my Allegra this morning and I have already seen that the rag weed is out.  Damn.  I had hoped that since I run part of this course 4 times a week that this would be a breeze.

I got to mile one with no walking.  Yay for me.  I did walk through the water stop.  I am not able to drink while jogging.  It just gets all over me and makes me gag.  This is about when my Nike + sensor died.  I like to track my miles.  Now I would not be able to.  Right after mile two was a hill in the center of town.  Never had it looked so steep to me as when I needed to run up it.  I had to walk right after the hill to catch my breath.  This is when one of the gentleman who was directing traffic for us runners shouted "Oh come on, you can go faster than that.  You aren't even running."  Seriously, that is not very encouraging.  I shouted back "I have asthma and I need to catch my breath."  He appoligized and came and patted me on the back. Yuck, I was super sweaty. 

On to mile three, I started my run, walk, run to get through the rest of this race.  I was feeling kind of miserable.  I have to run right by my house and I was thinking how easy it would be to just quite and get a nice cold drink and shower.  I toughed it out.  My mother-in-law is here from Ohio this weekend and she was waiting to see me run by.  I felt a little better after having some words of encouragement from her.  Only 1.5 miles to go.  I do this part of the run almost every day.  I tried to remember the Runner's World article on mantras but all I could think of was the shower and cup of coffee that were waiting for me at home. 

At mile four, there was a 20 something year old kid laying on the side of the road with two cops with him.  He looked to be having some sort of heat emergency.  I guess I was better off then that guy.  The next several volunteers that I passed kept me going with hoots and encouraging words.  I know that I was one of the last runners to finish.  I sneaked a look behind me to see only three people.  When I finally got to the finish the anouncer acutally called out my number and name as I went over the finish line.  I handed my tab from my bib to a volunteer.  And they gave me a cup of water and a gatorade.  59 minutes was my unofficial finishing time.  So around a 12 minute mile. 

I really need to get cracking on training for my half in January.  I don't want to feel this miserable while running.
I did all this for a T-shirt.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Running Skorts

The newest fad in woman's running apparel is the running skort.  A woman clad in a running skort was featured on the cover of last month's Runner's World.

Runner's World has tag lined these women as Fastinistas, a play on the ever so popular term Fashionista.  While I am not against looking nice while a run, this is not my main focus during my work outs.  I brought up the article with my husband one night over dinner.  I told him how I didn't understand the woman that pick out skorts, shirts, socks and even sneakers that match every morning for their runs.  I generally dress for comfort.  I am a fan of pink so many of my running clothes are pink and I guess that I in some since match when I go out for a run in the morning.  But it is not a conscious effort on my part that makes it happen.  My shoes never change when I wear a different color.  My socks don't always match my outfit. (Heck my socks don't always match each other.)  I told my husband I didn't think I liked the new skort fad.

Then one day while I was running and my running shorts (which I think are too short anyway) kept riding up I started to think maybe a running skort would fix the problem.  Most have compression shorts and then a skirt on top.  I have to admit I have an ass.  It is mostly toned but I am not flat back there.  Most shorts ride up the back and I am left feeling like my cheeks are showing.

So I broke down a couple of weeks ago and picked up a skort at the Reebok outlet.  I have run in it a couple of time since I bought it.  It is in the rotation with the rest of my shorts.  I find that it doesn't ride up as much as my running shorts.  Sure the shorts ride up a little but there is the skirt part that covers my rear so the world can't see my cheeks.  I then had to admit to my husband that I broke down and bought the skort.  He looked confused when I told him.  "Didn't we just talk about your disdain for them?" He asked.  I admitted that I am not doing this for fashion but modesty.

All in all I am happy with the purchase of a running skort.  While I am still not a "Fastinista"  the skort adds a level of comfort in the knowledge that my cheeks are not on full view for my neighborhood during my morning run. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Bitchy Runners: iFitness Belt Giveaway!

The Bitchy Runners: iFitness Belt Giveaway!: "I'm so excited for our first giveaway I might pee my pants! Hailey at iFitness Inc. sent me the 12oz Hydration Belt to try out and review...."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

St. James School 5K

I ran the St. James School 5K this morning.  Well it was billed as a 5K but it was more like 3.5 miles.  It was not super sunny when the race started but it was pretty humid, yuck.  This is a new race for me (well they are all new races for me, I only started running races this past January).  It takes place in Danielson, CT.  Registration opened at 7:30am and the race started at 8:30am.  Me being me (I hate being late to anything) I got there promptly at 7:40am.  I didn't want to be the first to arrive and seem over eager.  Check in was quick and painless.  I did note at the time that there was not chip attached to the race bib that they gave me.  Hmm.... how in heaven's name are they going to track our time I thought to myself.  Now I have 50 minutes to kill.  I dumped the goodie bag, which contained a race t-shirt, fliers for some upcoming local races and a few coupons into my car. 
My Bib

Now seemed a good time to find a bathroom.  In effort to stay hydrated for a race I drink plenty of water the night before.  This does have me getting up a couple times during the night but as long as I stay hydrated I am cool with it.  The first restrooms I see are two porta-potties right as you enter the gate for the school.  Although not my favorite, I am not too squeamish to use a porta-potty when nature calls and options seem slim.  These were the most disgusting porta-potties I have ever seen.  The first one that I went into someone had pooped on the seat.  I promptly moved on to the next one.  This one was not very clean but the seat was at least poo free. 

Business taken care of I set to stretching and talking to a few of my fellow racers.  I found out from one of the ladies that there are nice flushing toilets in the school that we are allowed to use. Duh!  I met an older gentleman while we were lining up for the race that said he has a goal of running a race in every town in CT.  What a goal!  He has 36 towns left.  He told me that the town he works in, Sterling, CT doesn't have a race but that he and his friend were going to see about planning one.  I thought that was pretty awesome. 

I started the race in the middle of the pack.  I was going a nice steady pace of about a 10 minute mile.  The course is fairly flat.  I ran the first km but had to stop and walk for a minute a little after that.  The heat and humidity were getting to me.  Having MS, I have to be extra careful in the heat.  Heat seems to bring a whole bunch of my symptoms like blurred vision and fatigue back.  I continued the race with a run walk run pacing, running for 5 minutes and walking for 1 minute.  I finished with an unofficial time of 38 minutes, about an average of an11 minute mile.  Not my best but clearly not my worse.

I am a little disappointed that I had to walk some of the way.  I generally can run a whole 5K without having to walk.  The heat has gotten to me.  I forget sometimes that I have a disease that in some is very debilitating.  I should feel lucky that right now it is only causing me to add a minute to miles. 

The T-shirt From the Race.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

MS Mud Run

I have discovered today that several states (none of which are in New England) do Mud Runs to benefit MS.  I have been wanting to do a race with obstacles and that encourages (well and forces) you to get dirty.  I missed the Warrior Dash that was here in the New England area a couple months ago. 

How great is it that a race could encompass two of my desires all in one. To raise money for the National MS Society and to be a muddy obstacle course that will test my athletic abilities.  I only wish that the Connecticut or Massachusetts chapters would get on board so that I wouldn't have to drag my Husband half way across the country to watch me run.  I have already made one of our vacations all about going to Disney so that I can run in the January half marathon.  He already rolled his eyes at me when I said I wanted to go to Baltimore to run in the Run For Your Lives 5k.  So clearly the answer is that one of the New England Chapters of the National MS Society need to start a Mud Run.

Here are a couple of the sites I found today.




Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mommy Miles: RazzyRoo Giveaway!!!

Check out this cool giveaway!

Mommy Miles: RazzyRoo Giveaway!!!: "I told you that I got a few head bands from RazzyRoo!!! I've tried them out and I LOVE them!!!! If you haven't checked out their website, ..."

Run Walk Run

I started Jeff Galloway's Run Walk Run program this May.  I have mixed feelings about this program.  I kind of feel like I am cheating.  On one hand it has been awesome for the summer heat to mix in walk breaks during my long runs.  On the other hand I sort of feel ashamed that I have to walk at all.

In his program the amount you walk depends on how what your goal pace for a mile is.  I can run about a ten minute mile. (This probably seems really slow to some but hey I am glad that I can even get out there and do it.)  So the program has me run for 2 minutes 30 seconds and then take a minute walk break.  There are days when I feel like the 2 1/2 minutes will never be up and there are days when I am amazed that it has already gone by. 

I started this program because I was plagued with injury when I started training for my half marathon last January.  I had problems with my left knee.  I was in a car accident when I was 18 and had to have surgery on that knee because of it.  Now I am wearing a knee brace when I run.  I had problems with my right ankle.  I bought different shoes and the problem seemed to go away.  Blisters on my feet have plagued me anytime I run more than 5 miles at a time.  I have experimented with many different types of socks.  And the biggest issue I faced was once my mileage got over 8 miles I had Piriformis syndrome.  This is when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated by the piriformis muscle. I had an awful pain that went from my bum to the back of my left foot.  Stretching alleviated the pain but stopping every 3 miles in a 13 mile race to stretch it was annoying.  I really wanted to see if Jeff Galloway's method would make all of these issues go away.

Jeff's theory is that by putting walk breaks into your running routine early and often the muscles used for running will not tire as quickly.  You will have more energy and stamina to run longer and farther.  It seems to be working.  I am no longer stopping every 3 miles to stretch my piriformis muscle and although I am still wearing the knee brace, my knee is not hurting. 

But I still can not get over the thought that I am some how cheating at running.  There is a couple that run just about the same route that I do in the mornings and I always seem to be at one of the walk breaks when they pass me.  I always wonder if they think that I am weak or throwing in the towel when they see me stop to walk on the 5 mile loop that we run.  I guess that I have to just be grateful that I can get my butt out the door at 5:30am and I am doing something good for my body. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I am new to this whole concept of blogging

but I thought I would give it a shot.

I just started running last year.  But have fallen in love with it.  I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2006.  Soon after the diagnosis I decided I had to become as healthy as possible. I ate better and exercised more.

After a relapse in 2010 I decided to kick my cardio up a notch and start running. I had read some articles that said that exercise caused your body to release natural anti-inflammatories.  Since my immune system attacks my central nervous system and they use anti-inflammatories to treat my flare ups I thought it might help to increase my cardio.  My neurologist tended to agree.   I set my sights on the Disney 2011 Half Marathon and started training. 

I have never trained so hard in my life.  I battled some overuse injuries but came out on top.  I finished the Disney 2011 Half Marathon in 2:38:44 along with two of my best friends.  It was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.  I got a little choked up when I crossed the finish line.

I am going to be running the Disney 2012 Half again in January.  I have convinced a couple of my friends who are new to running to join.  I am very excited to train and share this adventure with them.