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Friday Favorites- Marathon Edition!

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I thought I would put a Marathon spin on this week’s Friday favorites! The Boston Marathon is on Monday and I have tons of nervous energy right now. I am really excited, but I also feel butterflies in my stomach already. The weather looks close to perfect (50’s at the start, getting into the mid 60’s by finish), which is one less thing to worry about! My body feels good and I got a massage last night (incredible, highly recommend doing this before a race). I have three days until the race and I look forward to this weekend, which includes the Boston Marathon Expo, lots of rest and relaxation (and eating lots of carbs…).

Goals for the race: I would like to beat my time from Chicago in October, which was 3:20. I ran Boston last year in 3:28 (but I also started in the last corral and it really slowed me down in the first 4 miles). I know I have been injured during this training, but my overall fitness level is extremely high right now and I am feeling great at this moment (injuries are staying at bay… knock on wood). I must give credit to my chiropractor, acupuncturist and massage therapist who helped me get to my current state.

One thing that it helping me mentally is knowing that I will be doing an Ironman in August and the Marathon is at the end of swimming and biking all of those miles.  Of course this won’t be easy by ANY means, but with the Ironman in the near future, helps put things into perspective, for me at least! (if you are interested in tracking me, I have included that info at the bottom of this post!)

Here are some of my favorites for racing in a Marathon!

Fuel Belt Super Stretch Race Belt

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I struggled for a while to find the perfect waist belt, and I think I’ve finally found it! I don’t carry water on me during the marathon, but this belt is perfect for holding gels, and the little pouch fits an iPhone perfectly (plus additional gels). It sits comfortably on my hips and does not ride up or move around.

PowerBar Strawberry/Banana Blasts!

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Since starting my Ironman training, I have switched over to PowerBar products. PowerBar is a major Ironman sponsor and all of their fuel will be on the actual course. Better to be safe than sorry! I really like the Strawberry-Banana flavor… I actually look forward to eating them while running or biking:)

KT Tape

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I plan to wear KT tape on Monday, on many different areas (obliques, left foot, knees). had been reading about the benefits of KT Tape and knew I had to give it a try. It also helped that my Chiropractor reinforced the benefits of wearing the tape during the race (and every day for that matter). I really like the bright colors too!

Oiselle Arm Warmers

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Running a marathon is all about the layers! I have been training in Oiselle Lux Arm Warmers and I plan to wear these on race day. If it gets too warm, I can stuff them in my FuelBelt Super Stretch Belt (genius!). I love how soft these arm warmers are and they don’t slide down at all when running! I also love the thumbholes of course.

New Balance 890 V4’s

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My sneaker of choice for the Boston Marathon. I ran in 890 V3’s during Boston last year and Chicago in October. I tried at one point during training this year to go to something different, but I was missing my 890’s! I like how they are the perfect combination between a minimalist shoe and a standard cushioned running shoe.

EFS Ultragen Cappuccino Flavor Recovery Drink

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I have been drinking EFS Ultragen after my hard workouts recently and I love it! I plan to have my husband armed and ready with this stuff after I cross the finish line. Ultragen refuels exhausted muscles and restores energy levels quickly.. and it tastes really good (like melted coffee ice cream!)

If you have interest in tracking me on Monday :

My # is 11648

1. Download the Boston Marathon App! Available on the App Store, search Boston Marathon, you’ll be able to track me in real time.

2. Text 11648 to 345678. You will get text messages as I cross 4 different checkpoints along the course.

3. Go to baa.org on race day, and you can track my progress there as well!

Thank you for your support!!

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Thinking Out Loud Thursday! {#3}

Thursday’s are for thinking out loud!

Here are some thoughts that are on my mind this week!

The Boston Marathon is on Monday… holy S%$#!

After lots of ups and downs with training this winter, I am ready to go for Monday and I am feeling good! I always knew I would run this year, I just hoped that when it came to April 21st that my body would be ready. I am happy to say that it feels like it is ready and hopefully has what it takes to overcome 26.2 miles.

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Sometimes I think I don’t get enough sleep.  Actually a lot of times.  

I have always been one of those people that doesn’t require a lot of sleep. I can stay up late and wake up early, no problem. I typically get on average 6-6.5 hours of sleep during the work week, and I tend to function well with this amount of sleep. Often I wake at 5:00 AM to get my morning training session done, and I’m going to be at 10:30/11:00 PM every night. I know getting more sleep would most likely benefit me and my performance, but it’s so hard to fit everything in! If anyone has ideas on how to get more sleep as a triathlete, please share!

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I gave up Facebook for Lent.

And it’s not the first time I’ve done this. I am not super religious, but I was raised Catholic and I always like to give something up for Lent. Giving up Facebook these last few years has really benefited my soul. I found that whenever I was on Facebook, I started to get feelings of jealousy, felt sorry for myself, compared myself to others, and worried about people whom I don’t even associate with anymore. I plan to go back to Facebook after Easter, but hopefully in ‘small doses’ Giving it up was really hard at first (for like a week) but now I don’t even miss it!

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I need new spring clothes.

Well to be honest, I probably don’t need new clothes, I just really want them! I have always been a girl who loves to shop! I really want to go through my closet and do a wardrobe overhaul. Now I just need the money to go on a shopping spree… 🙂

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I am loving this quote:

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One year.

April 15, 2013, a date that will be forever ingrained in my memory. I will never forget that day from start to finish.

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My alarm went off bright and early that morning and I was ready to run my very first marathon. My bags were packed and ready to go, and I had butterflies in my stomach. I had raised over $5,000 for the Melanoma Foundation of New England and I could not wait to run 26.2 miles in honor of my grandmother (and many others who had lost their fight). I trained my butt off all winter long and felt prepared for what was going to be the best (and longest) race of my lifetime. I grew up in the Boston area, and crazy enough, I had never once watched the Boston Marathon. All of this was going to be new to me and I could not wait to experience it!

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The Boston Marathon starts in Hopkinton, a historic little town and goes 26.2 miles all the way into the city of Boston. During the ENTIRE 26.2 miles, the crowds are absolutely incredible… I had always heard about the crowds and the cheering, but I was simply blown away. The crowds helped carry me through each of the towns: Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Heartbreak Hill and then cruising down Boylston Street towards the finish. Throughout the entire race I remember thinking over and over again ‘this is amazing.’

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When I turned onto Boylston Street I started to cry… I could not believe I was about to finish my first marathon. I held my hands up in the air running that last tenth of a mile, beaming with joy and excitement! 3:28:32 was my final time and I was pumped. I needed 3:35 to qualify and I knew I beat this goal time by several minutes.

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After crossing the finish line, I received my medal, Mylar blanket and food, grabbed my belongings and went off to meet my husband Todd and my mom. We decided we would meet at the designated ‘family meeting area.’ I thank my lucky stars every day that we decided to meet in this very spot (and not on Boylston street). Once I laid eyes on Todd and my mom, I felt so proud and I knew they were proud of me too.

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We stood there and took some photos to capture the moment, and that is when it all happened… While in the middle of taking a few pictures with me and my medal we heard a loud ‘boom’ that I can’t even describe into words. I have never experienced an earthquake, but the ground shook as if it was one. Initially we all thought it was a gas explosion or maybe a plane?… we were wrong. Fear really set in when the second explosion went off and we knew something wasn’t right. The air started to smell like sulfur, we started to hear sirens. At this location, we were a few blocks away from Boylston St. and could not see what was happening at the finish line. Everyone was trying to use their cell phones, but nothing was working.. mass confusion. Todd’s friend got through to his cell phone and told us he thought ‘bombs went off.’ From then on I think I ‘blacked out’… Maybe it was because I had just ran a marathon and was extremely tired at that point, but I honestly draw a blank when it comes to that moment searching for a taxi cab. While walking to find a cab, what I do remember is seeing ambulances literally everywhere, speeding down streets with sirens on… such an unsettling feeling. Once we got in the cab, we heard the radio mention terrorism and I just could not believe what I was hearing. Could this be happening in my city?!

We got home that night and I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I didn’t want to eat and I just wanted to be alone. I remember not crying until a few days after the marathon. I think I was in shock for a few days. I remember walking around and doing errands feeling like my head was in a cloud, feeling so out of it. After a couple days I was home alone and just started crying hysterically. All of these crazy emotions were going on through my body. I wanted to feel joy and accomplishment, but I felt so much anger, so much guilt. Why was I so lucky? Why couldn’t I have helped people who were injured? Here I was, perfectly fine, and so many people were in hospitals fighting for their lives. Then there were the roughly 5,7000 people who didn’t even get to finish. This made me feel even more guilty because I got to cross the finish line and they didn’t. I couldn’t be happy and I didn’t feel proud for a LONG time.

Today we remember the lives that were lost. We remember the heroic volunteers, first responders and random bystanders who risked their lives to help others. Please take a moment today to think of all that was lost on that day. And while so much was lost, we all stand STRONG together, one year later, stronger than ever before.

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I look forward to April 21st, six days from now, when we take our race back.  I love this quote from an article in Runner’s World today by Mark Remy:

Finally, when the time comes, we’ll join the stream of runners walking to the starting corrals. We’ll hear announcements, the National Anthem.

Moments before the start, we’ll look skyward, glance around, maybe close our eyes. Some of us might pray. Others may cry, or take a deep breath. We’ll hear the gun.

And then, like white blood cells rushing together to the site of an infection, we will run to Boylston Street.

BOSTON STRONG.

 

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IMMT Training Recap {Week 19}

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I love riding on country roads

The Stats:

1 Week until the Boston Marathon! (yikes!)
19 Weeks until IMMT
Total Training hours last week: 12:30

It’s hard to believe that one week from this very moment I will be running the Boston Marathon. It’s been an interesting several weeks of training. I have dealt with a foot injury, missed several weeks of running, swam and biked (a lot) but I’m happy to report I’m feeling really good and I am confident that adrenaline (and passion) will get me through 26.2 miles. I realize now that I am not a runner, I’m a triathlete, and I hope this is what carries me to the finish line. I know I am capable of running this race and I really want to be a part of it with the entire city of Boston. Tomorrow (on the anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon) I plan to write a post with a recap of last year, since I was not blogging at this time one year ago.

I am now in my ‘taper’ as of today, but last week there were some serious sweat sessions. This weekend I got out on my bike for almost four hours and it was fantastic! I had not taken my triathlon bike outside yet and I forgot how good it feels to be in aero (outside!).

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About to start my ride!

Besides a little mishap in the beginning, I had a fantastic outdoor ride. Apparently, I forgot how to clip out of my Speedplay clipless pedals at a traffic light (oops…) A pothole got the best of me, and it wasn’t pretty… more embarrassing than anything! It was a controlled fall into a curb, but still hurt like a b*tch! But at least everything improved from there! I was able to stop at my parents’ house (3 miles into my ride) and clean my wound… it was interesting riding with blood dripping down my leg (sorry for the nasty image) and then continued on my merry way:)

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After battling with a pothole

Here is what last week looked like:

Monday
Swim: 3,000 yds @ Master’s practice
(Distance sets)

Tuesday
Bike: Zone 2
Duration: 01:20:00 (with intervals)
Run: Duration: 35:00
Z1 T Run (1st mile Z2)

Wednesday
Swim: Distance: 3000 yds (stroke and sprint intervals)
Bike: Zone R Duration: 40:00

Thursday
Bike: Zone 2 Duration: 01:05:00
(Tempo Ride)
Run: Zone 2
Duration: 01:00:00 with interval sets thrown in:
3 X (1 mile @ Z1, 1 mile @ Z2)

Friday
Swim: 3,000 yds @ Master’s practice
Run: Zone R Duration: 31:00 

Saturday
Bike Zone 2
Duration: 03:40:00
Distance: 64 miles, Z1/Z2 ride

It was so great to get OUTSIDE on my bike on Saturday! I set out on my favorite 56 mile loop course (and added some miles at the end to get my full scheduled time on the bike). The course is compiled of lots of rolling hills through apple orchards and country towns. My total climbing elevation was 4,100 ft! Holy quadriceps!

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After the 64 mile bike ride, I took off on a 35 minute run. I felt amazing getting off the bike. It was as if I didn’t even ride prior to running (the best feeling!). I attribute this to training hard and properly all winter long AND improving my nutrition. I drank Power Bar Perform the entire time on the bike (while fueling with gels) and I had endless energy on the run. Woo hoo!

ride 3

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Run: Zone 2 T Run
Duration: 00:35:00
Distance: 5 miles (a few mile splits were 6:30, 6:40!)

Sunday
Bike Zone R
Duration: 00:50:00

Recovery Run
Duration: 20:00

 

How was your training week last week?
Ever have an embarrassing fall on your bike?

 

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siggi’s yogurt: my favorite snack + giveaway!

Instead of talking about five of my favorite things this Friday, I thought I would highlight one of my MOST favorite things: siggi’s yogurt!

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I have been meaning to post for a while now about how I am part of the siggi’s Culture Club! After being obsessed with siggi’s yogurt for a few years now, I applied to be part of their ‘Culture Club.’ I wanted to be an advocate for their delicious and healthy yogurt! My goal is to spread the goodness of the siggi’s product and message:

“simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar.”

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Yogurt used to give me a stomach ache…all the time. For years I stopped eating it because it was too sweet. I wanted the greek yogurt for the protein content, but the added sugar and syrups were not what I loved. When I came across siggi’s all of that changed.  I realized that it wasn’t the yogurt that was making me feel sick, it was all of the sugar in the yogurt!

siggi’s yogurt is skyr Icelandic-style strained yogurt. It is very similar to Greek yogurt, but has a creamier texture (think pudding-like) and has very few ingredients. It also has a lot of protein (14 grams per container!).  Since the yogurt does not have a ton of sugar, it’s a little tart, which I love!

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Here is a little tidbit about Siggi’s from their website:

What is skyr?
Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland. It is made by incubating skim milk with live active cultures. The whey, the water naturally found in milk, is then strained away to make for a much thicker, creamier, concentrated yogurt. To make just one cup of skyr, with all that water going out, you need 3-4 times the amount of milk required to make a regular cup of yogurt. As a result of this process, skyr contains 2-3 times the protein count of standard yogurt.

What separates siggi’s?
At siggi’s, we make delicious yogurt products with not a lot of sugar and simple ingredients… Our products don’t contain any of those dreadful artificial sweeteners. We only use milk from farmers who do not use growth hormones such as rBGH.

Thanks to siggi’s healthy ingredients, low sugar and high protein content, it’s perfect for an afternoon snack, a post-run recovery fuel or a late night treat before bed. It is honestly the most satisfying yogurt on the planet.

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Here are some toppingsI like to add to my siggi’s:

  • Chopped Walnuts (for Omega-3’s)
  • Purely Elizabeth Granola
  • Chia Seeds
  • Rolled Oats

Siggi’s has many flavors but my favorites are: Blueberry, Peach and Strawberry.

As part of the siggi’s Culture Club, I am givings away coupons for two free siggi’s yogurts. If you are interested in receiving these coupons please let me know and I will randomly select!  To find out if siggi’s is sold near where you live, check out the store locator on their website! Please do this before entering the giveaway:)

If you would like to find out more information about siggi’s, it can be found here.

*As being part of the culture club, siggi’s asked that I spread the message of their delicious yogurt, all of the these opinions are my own*

Have a lovely weekend!