Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More Marathons

When I crossed the finish line of TCM two weeks ago, I said out loud:

"THIS IS MY LAST MARATHON!"

I am not kidding when I say 10 minutes later, I was talking about how I plan on getting an earth shattering PR at Grandmas Marathon.  Keep in mind that I was not even out of the finish line area when I said "Next year when I do Twin Cities...."

So I guess I am not retiring and I am committing myself to two 26.2 mile journeys next year.  

Why?
  • Keeps me out of trouble and something to obsess about
  • I want to try to finish in the mid-pack and think I need more than once chance to accomplish it.
  • All the cool kids are doing it...you know who are you!
  • Chubby Hubby didn't file for divorce when I pitched the idea
  • I have a coupon!!  Seriously....how can I NOT do it when I am saving money?!?!?!
    subtle sharing of expo promotion!
I should have a lot to blog about in 2014! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Socks that Rock!

I had the opportunity to review the Experia Crew-Powered by THORLO Pads.   These are new to market as of October 1, 2013.  I was excited to try these because I am a huge fan of Thorlos products and their socks have been with me for over a decade and many many miles.


Interesting Fact:
There are pads of fat in your feet.  I guess I never thought about foot fat before, so this is news to me.  This foot fat degenerates as we age (I wish belly fat was the same way).  Once this fat is gone, it is gone for good.  Thorlos make a variety of padded socks for all sorts of different activities and they have been clinically tested to provide aching feet some protection.  You can read more about it HERE.


My Review

The Look:
No complaints from me as far as how they look.  I like the style and it makes it easy to identify in the sea of socks that my family of 5 produces.

The Feel:
It was love at first fit.  They were padded at the toes and the heels, yet thin and cool on the rest of the foot.  The sock fit at the perfect spot on my calf and the tube of the sock (is this the correct term?) was perfect weight.  It was not heavy enough to be too hot, but thick enough for cold weather.

The Performance:
It was pointed out to me that Experia offers the LEAST amount of foot protection from the line of Thorlos socks and is designed for people that are currently NOT feeling foot pain.  Well you could have fooled me!  I am still have intermittent foot pain that comes and goes when I run.  Since I have just finish a marathon, it has been a little more frequent.  The silly person that I am, I still run on it since there seems to be "nothing wrong" as per the doctor.  These socks provided some great cushion in the right spots.  I tested these socks on three different runs....foot pain was not piercing (which is a huge improvement).
The runs that I wore them on were wet cold days.  My ankles were warm and my feet stayed dry.  What gives these socks my second thumbs up an a spot on my official favorite things list is that the socks did not fall down or scrunch up around the ankles.  They stayed put!  I normally would not buy crew socks because they don't stay up.  I may have a new winter favorite!

The Investment:
These socks are not cheap.  But I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for.  These quality socks run from 14.99-20.99.  Expensive yes....however....I am going to note that I still have my very first pair of Thorlos from 2001 and I still use them.  In my opinion they are a runner's must have and worth every penny!

For more information and to purchase, please visit:

https://www.thorlo.com

Thank you Thorlos for the opportunity to test and review the Experia Crew.
Disclaimer:  I was provided one pair of Experia Crew socks free of charge, however, the test and review are my own.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Twin Cites Marthon-I am a Happy Girl!

I had a lot reasons to be fearful of this 26.2 quest:
  • My tight Achillies tendon.  Still is giving me a little trouble and I am trying to be cautious and not make a problem worse by ignoring it.  That and I have know 2 people that have snapped theirs this year and it is not a fun injury to recover.
  • My foot.  Still hurting even though there the doctor was not able to find anything wrong.
  • New shoes.  BRAND new shoes to run 26.2 miles.  The running store I went to looked at my training shoes and told me that my foot issue might be caused by these shoes.  So, I bought new ones.  Not smart.
  • The calendar took over when the kids' went back to school and Chubby Hubby went back to work.  The result was that and my training was put on the back burner.  Weekly runs were few are far between and my long runs were a joke.  I had two good ones....August 11th and September 20.  The rest I either cut short, walked, or skipped all together.
  • The weather was supposed to be cruddy.  I can't think of anything more fun than not being prepared for a marathon and being out in the cold, rainy weather for 5+ hours.
  • Kelli was not able to run it this year and had to make the hard decision not to come up for the race.  It kind of through me off because I didn't do any of my normal pre-marathon traditions.

Marathon day came anyway.  Though I had the fears and was sad that my marathon buddy was not going to be joining this year, I was EXCITED!  I was excited because I knew several people running including my friend that WAS a marathon virgin and my humbly speedy friend that hadn't done one since 2001. 
Is that an inhaler in your bra or are you just happy to see me?
Nervous, excited, fearful...I had a plan.  I was going to get to the finish no matter what and I didn't care about my time.  I was going to take a tour of the Twin Cities and take in the fall color while enjoying every minute of it!  My plan was to do 3 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking.  Dawn and I were going to run together and planned on having a very long fun conversation.

I am not sure what happened but I was on FIRE (for me).  Dawn and I ran together the first 11 miles and for most of it we were well in front of the 5 hour pacer.  That is UNHEARD with my running.  I felt awesome though when we were running I felt that I was too winded to have that fun, giggly conversation that my friend and I planned on having. 

At the water stop at mile 11, Dawn and I parted ways.  I let the speed demon go and I plugged into my headphones and just enjoyed the ride....er run.  I don't remember much.  Lots of course support, some really funny signs like this one (my personal favorite):
Mile 23 I saw Sarge and if I could have cried, I would have.  Not because I was in pain (though I was kind of was).  It was because I knew I was going to beat my time and that there was not a school bus chasing my ass.  Sarge ran with me until mile 26.  I should mention how bad ass she is, she ran along side me carrying a purse and wore jeans, fleece jacket, and clogs!  I personally would have died!
 
The last .2 were awesome....I saw my family and all the kids were screaming for me.  I crossed the finish and started bawling.  I hit a personal record!  5:24:36.  It was almost 20 minutes faster than my June marathon and 7 minutes faster than my 2006 record.  I couldn't have been more happy!
The smile says it all....time for a diet.
  
Done!  Note to self:  Do not take photos with photogenic marathoners!! 
No longer a virgin!  Celebrating an awesome finish to her first race.

Other items to note:
  • I beat the juggler!!  If you remember correctly, I got beat every other year by the dude that juggles while he runs.  It always made me mad and I always wanted to make him drop his balls, though running whilst juggling is impressive.
  • My kids told me that Chewbacca beat me.  Yes, there was a Chewbacca on the course and yes he crossed the finish line before me.


  • BUT....I kicked his ASS.....by 11 whole seconds.  
  • FYI, my shoes were awesome.
  • Did I mention I had a personal record?  Woo Hoo!!  For the record...I do mention that all the time in normal conversations.  I am THAT person.
After I crossed I told myself that this would be the last one.  Well, that thought lasted all of 10 minutes because I have committed myself to more adventures in 2014!  I am sure I have more to say but my lunchtime goes by too quick.

(please excuse the bad grammar and typos)