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Friday, May 15, 2015

2015 Door County Half Marathon Race Report

 During the first weekend of May, I was able to cross another race off of my bucket list.  I ran the 2015 Door County Half Marathon in Peninsula State Park.  I registered for this race last fall and have been anticipating it ever since.  We booked a room at Bay Breeze Resort in Ephraim last fall as well.  The room was about $80 and the rooms were super adorable, spacious and comfortable.  The hotel was located right outside of the Ephraim entrance to the state park.  There would be a shuttle in the morning from the hotel as well.  It ended up being perfect.

 
We checked into the hotel and drove to the library in Ephraim, where packet pick up was being held.  It was super quick and easy.  There was a very small race expo.  We were hoping to walk next door to Wilson's to grab some infamous ice cream.  But they were still closed for the season.  I thought that they would have least opened up for the 2,500 runners and spectators, but they hadn't.   We actually found out that most of the businesses are still technically closed for the season in Door County during the early parts of May.  Many of the restaurants and stores did open for Friday-Sunday for the race and would be closing up again until Memorial Day weekend.  We drove around the Lake Michigan coast, checking out Fish Creek and Egg Harbor on Friday evening.  We did some shopping in Fish Creek and enjoyed some sights down by the pier in Fish Creek.  We drove to Egg Harbor and had a nice plate of fettuccine alfredo and carb loaded with a basket of bread and stuffed shrimp.  Diner was great. 
 
We hadn't planned ahead for breakfast and there were only going to be breakfast burritos, muffins and potato pancakes available for purchase at the race.  So, we drop to Sister Bay to a Shopko Express to load up on bread, peanut butter, jelly - and mini donuts!  I wish we had planned better. 

 
We caught the 8:00 am bus from our hotel to the start line.  It worked out great.  They offered this service to many host hotels in the area.  Or runners could park and ride from the outdoor movie theater as well.  The race didn't start  until 10:00 am, so we were a little annoyed that we had to get their so early and sit around - especially since our hotel was right outside of the park.  But we figured that they must be getting the runners in their for some sort of logistical reason.  Everything was very well organized - I was amazed.  The bus drop off/loading zone was market very well by the different cities/resorts and buses would be running continuously after the race as well.
 
We walked to the beach and found a spot to enjoy our breakfast and chat.  It was an absolutely beautiful day an much warmer than they are use to that time of year in northern Wisconsin.  Apparently there were still ice caps on the lake at last year's event and runners were chilly.  We were able to sit around comfortably and enjoy the scenery pre-race. 
 
I made my usually 3-4 stops to the port-o-potty.  There were virtually no lines and they even had lines formed by orange cones.  Again, super organized and they were well prepared.
 
We sat around and got to know other runners.  It's always fun talking about races you've done, your training, chatting about Madison, Milwaukee, destination races.  Runners can go on forever.  I then was approached by Rebecca and her husband, who were running the half.  Rebecca was actually the woman that hired me for my very first couch to 5K coaching gig.  Soon, we were able to locate my friends Kerri and Leanne.  Leanne would be running and Kerri would be spectating.  They were both in one of my couch to 5K programs previously.  We also met up with our friends Brian and Leslie, who are making this an annual weekend getaway with friends.  They were running the 5K.
 
We walked a short jaunt down the path to the start line.  There were a lot of runners doing both events.  It was pretty astounding in such a quaint place.  Soon, we were off.
 
We were forewarned that cell phones and Garmins may not work in the park.  I couldn't locate a signal, so I didn't have my GPS turned on for the race.  I simply went on my time and the mile markers.

 
I was comfortable in short sleeves and the sun was breaking through the tree covered road.  The sites were breath taking.  We headed out on the road and I tried to set into a comfortable pace.  I was clocking well under 9 minute miles, but the 2:00 pace group continued to by right on my heels.  It was driving me absolutely crazy.  Finally, between miles 4-5 I let them pass me.  It was better for me mentally.  I swore they were going way faster than pace.  After they passed me, they were gone, and I never saw them again.  It was a little bit deflating.  But I was totally  uncomfortable and wasn't enjoying myself.  And that just isn't fun.  I'd rather feel good and enjoy the run, the race and this sport.  It just isn't worth it to me to try and keep up with the pace group.
 

I took a sleeve of Shot Blocks before the race and then a Honey Stingers energy gel at mile 5 and again at mile 10.  I carried my handheld water bottle and refilled it once late in the race.  I also took a cup of sports drink at every aid station.  The water stations were every mile to mile and a half.  I couldn't believe how much support was out on the course.  It was very comforting to see volunteers and water and sports drink soft often. 

I knew that the course would be hilly, but I was really concerned about all the inclines up.  It was the downhills that did me in.  I would fly down them and then when I had to run on a flat surface or up hill (around mile five especially) it was super difficult and my legs were sore.  I was feeling really sluggish from miles 4-8.  My husband had been way ahead of me.  We didn't even start together.  But, while I was drinking my sports drink at mile 8, he was standing there waiting for me.  I was astounded.  After asking him what he was doing, he just told me that it wasn't this day and he wasn't feeling it.  He had done some walking.  It was hotter than we were use to running in lately and that also was slowing us down.  We ran together for about a mile or so and then I got in a nice comfortable pace and trotted on.  I pushed forward as we zigzagged back to the startline. 

 
 
The entire course was on road or wide, paved path.  I found it very difficult to know where I was for this race.  Since everything was in the forest or along the lake, there wasn't much for landmarks.  I just kept looking at my watch and mile markers to know how much to push myself.  My pace increased considerably the last few miles.  There was wonderful crowd support down a drastic downhill throughout all of mile ten.  It was great and super motivating.  I could hear the startline, but couldn't see it as I rounded around the bend of the lake.  And there it was.  The clock read 2:02 and I knew I had sped up a lot those past few miles, and actually didn't finish far behind that 2:00 pace group that deflated my run earlier on.  I was still about 3-4 minutes off of my typical half marathon pace.  Hubby finished about 15-17 minutes off of his typical pace.  It was a tough race filled with beautiful scenery and was one of the best organized events I've participated in.

 
2:01:22 Finish
9:16 min/mile
10K  at 56:41
513/1540 finishers
43/179 age group
217/933 women

 
After finding friends - and each other - we walked over to the finisher's tent for some cookies, chocolate milk and fresh fruit.  We then took the shuttle back to our hotel, cleaned up and headed to Egg Harbor to enjoy some Mexican Food outdoors. 
 

 
We ended up staying in Door County from Friday-Sunday and had plenty to do and really enjoyed some down time relaxing and catching up with each other and with friends.  On our drive home Sunday, we stopped in Green Bay to do a tour of Lambeau Field.  It was a memorable way to end a fantastic weekend.


Book #7 of 2015 - Baby Proof by Emily Griffin

This non-reader actually enjoyed a nightly reading session in 2014.  After being challenged by my daughter to read a Fault in Our Stars with her, followed by a viewing of the movie, I became hooked.  I read seven books from July-December in 2014 and am looking forward to reading twelve books in 2015.  I'm enjoying sharing my daughter's passion and carving out a different kind of "me time" after my workouts are complete.  Reading has relaxed me and is also helping me sleep better.
 
 
Book #7 of 2015:  Baby Proof by Emily Griffin

I absolutely adored this book!  This storyline follows Claudia through tough points during her marriage as she and her both grow and change.  She and her husband had always decided that they would not have children - not following their friends' timeline of dating, marriage and then parenthood.  However, her husband now has second-thoughts and Claudia wasn't changing her mind.  Weather you are a parent or not, you will enjoy reading of Claudia's struggles - with what she wants, what she really wants and what she really doesn't want out of life.  The journey to discovering yourself - your true self - in this thirty-something adulthood.  This book also kept me laughing at night, while getting to know Claudia, her stubborn attitude and following her through her awkward dating experiences.

Do you have a book that I should add to my reading list in 2015?

Giveaway Winners ...


I was recently given the opportunity to review several products for active families.  You can read all about my fabulous experiences at the link below.  Please visit their websites below and start shopping.

 

One winner was chose at random to receive the following items.  Random.org chose ……..

 

Ion Designs Reflective Gear
Company Website:  HERE
RDM Review:  HERE
Winner:  Jamie Longson HERE

Road Noise Running Vest
Company Website:  HERE
RDM Review:  HERE
Winner:  Katie M HERE

 

Congratulations!!!  Please email me at ( runningdivamom at yahoo dot com ) with your name, email and mailing address.  And, I will get you your prize!

 

Thank you for following my journey!!

 

[If you would like YOUR product, event or website featured on Running Diva Mom, please email me at ( runningdivamom at yahoo dot com ) ]

10K Running Group - Second Session - Starts Thurs, May 28!

10K Running Group - Second Session - Starts Thurs, May 28!

Register: https://eventbrite.com/event/16911304166/

This running group is designed to take runners from the 5K to the 10K in twelve weeks. This is the second session - final six weeks.



We will meet together once each week on Thursdays at 6:45 pm - 7:45 pm. Parks/locations will rotate in Sun Prairie, Deforest and on Madison's Eastside. Second session starts on Thursday, May 28 at Sheehan Park in Sun Prairie (across from library). Must be able to run/walk 50 mins at first class.

This non-competitive running group is geared towards women of all paces and abilities. Everyone will run/walk at their own pace and an out-and-back route will be planned, so that the entire group can stick together. This is a very encouraging and fun atmosphere and is perfect for runners that have run a handful of 5K races.

We will be training for the DMB Freedom Run 10K on Saturday, July 4 in Deforest. This race is optional and is not included with your session registration.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Numbers

I look at these numbers and they bring a smile to my face.  I can see where my passion aligned with my motivation and my schedule.  I can see where life and weather may have gotten in the way.  I can see where I was driven and pushed myself beyond my expectations and enjoyed each step of the journey.  Those high mileage months also reflect where I've been the most balanced, had the most energy, and felt the happiest.  Running sets the tone for my day.  For my life.
 
 
I will never take running for granted.  I appreciate it each and every day.  I am thankful that I have found something to be so passionate about.  Something that has allowed me to find myself.  The real me.  Something that has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone, learn to believe in myself and push myself.  And when I surpass my limits, I find another barrier, and keep pushing forward.  One foot in front of the other.  I will never be the fastest runner out there on the road.  I just put a lot of heart and dedication into my miles ... and my life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ion Designs Reflective Transfers Review & Giveaway

If you are looking for a unique way to be seen and reflect (pun intended!) your personality, you need to check out the reflective transfers from Ion Designs.  These iron-on transfers come in several different sizes and can be applied to any article of clothing you are wearing.  They aren't only great for adults who are active.  They are also a great option for your kids who are playing outside at dusk or riding their bike around the neighborhood.
 
 
The directions were super easy to follow.  I simply choose an article of clothing, then placed the iron-on transfer face down.  I applied my iron at medium setting (no steam) and ran the iron over the transfer for approximately twenty seconds.  I let the transfer cool for thirty additional seconds and then slowly pulled the film away.  It looked like it shrunk/bunched up considerable, so I was worried I had done something wrong.  However, it peeled away super easy and looked perfect when done.  Think of the most perfect temporary tattoo with your kiddos.  I can never seem to get those things to work properly!  But, this iron-on transfer worked with easy.  I then massaged the transfer with the iron again, as the directions suggested, for an additional twenty seconds. 
 
 
 
 
 
When I've done iron-on transfers or letters for support crew shirts, I've struggled with shadows on the shirts or really stiff "stickers".  These iron-ons are extremely flexible and aren't annoying to wear.  They stickers are super visible at dusk and dark.  The runner girl is fun way to be seen and safe during your unlit runs.
 
 
 
 
Ion Designs reflective transfers are offered in so many different shapes, sizes and designs.  Check out their website for the assortment they offer online.  They offer everything from funny running and cycling slogans to hockey to butterflies.  They also Halloween themed transfers to use while trick-or-treating.  Prices tend to range from $10.00 - $12.00.  Please note that prices reflected are Canadian dollars.

 


******************************

One lucky winner will win
an assortment of Reflective Transfers from
Ion Designs
(US ONLY - shipped from US)

PLEASE LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY!!!

1 – Become a follower of my blog or already are?!  LEAVE ME A COMMENT

2 – Follow Running Diva Mom on Facebook HERE.  LEAVE ME A COMMENT

3 – Visit the Ion Designs website HERE and tell me what you think is fabulous.  LEAVE ME A COMMENT

4 – Become a fan of Ion Designs on Facebook HERE (and let them know Running Diva Mom sent you!).  LEAVE ME A COMMENT

5 – Post about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or Twitter (@RunningDivaMom @iondesigns1 #RunningDivaMom) account. LEAVE ME A COMMENT FOR EACH.

Enter now though May 7.

[If you would like YOUR product or website featured on Running Diva Mom, please email me at ( runningdivamom at yahoo dot com ) ]
 
[I frequently review products for active families and am not paid for my reviews.  I do receive free products to review.]

Road Noise Vest with Speakers Review & Giveaway

Road Noise and I have been working together to feature their reflective vest with (get this! ...) built in speakers!!  Even though we are getting a little more daylight right now, many of us still need to get up to workout either super early before our family wakes up or after they are in bed.  Reflective gear, vests and lights are very important to make yourself visible. You can't assume that others out on the road can see you, just because you can see them.  And if you are running with headphones, like me, it is even more crucial that you are aware of your surroundings and traffic.
 
 
I thought that these reflective vests were a brilliant idea, because they incorporate so many needs in one product.  The reflective vest is super light and airy and very easy to put over your running gear.  It has heavy-duty Velcro on either side.  There are reflective straps and embellishments on both the front and back of the vest.  With my curve body-type I don't know if they short cut of the vest was the most flattering on me (especially with all of my layers).  Most of the runs where I need to be visible, are during the colder months, when it's darker during my runs.  And then I am obviously wearing more layers, too.  I found that it fit better now that the weather has gotten warmer and my layers are minimal.
 
I sometimes get sick of my cord and headphones dangling and bouncing around while I run.  I simply plugged in my iPhone to the cord that was built into the pocket, secured it in the pocket and I was ready to rock my run ... without cords and without headphones.  The small, light speakers are located in each shoulder of the vest.  The sound was great, too.  Unbelievably so.  It also requires no batteries!!


 
The vest is available in lime green, black and hot pink.  I loved the hot pink color - as always.  The vest comes in four different sizes as well.  Unfortunately, I went with a medium, but perhaps I should have tried a large to avoid the uncomfortable fit mentioned earlier.  Perhaps the large would have fit better when I'm wearing more layers.  That would be something to think about when placing your order.  Try and figure out what time of year you will be using the vest most, and what you will be wearing underneath it.  Because, I often wear and wind-proof jacket as well.


 
The vest retails for only $55 and is a great option to help runners stay safe, visible and still enjoy their running tunes.  I have always wanted to use tunes while I lead my couch to 5K running groups.  This is now a great option, that allows me to do so.  The vest gives you the music, while also allowing you to hold a conversation with your running buddies.
 
It would be nice if there was an extra pocket (perhaps in the back) to store a gel or two.


 


My phone was already cracked from a previous accident and the running vest holds your phone securely.  No more holding it in your hand and risking another cracked screen.  It took me awhile to figure out that there were two layers to the pocket.  At first I thought that the pocket would better fit an ipod or small flip phone.  But, I soon discovered that there was another layer, that my iPhone could easily slide into for SECURE placement.
 


******************************

One lucky winner will win a
Road Noise Vest
(US ONLY)

PLEASE LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY!!!

1 – Become a follower of my blog or already are?!  LEAVE ME A COMMENT

2 – Follow Running Diva Mom on Facebook HERE.  LEAVE ME A COMMENT
 
3 – Visit the Road Noise website HERE and tell me what you think is fabulous.  LEAVE ME A COMMENT

4 – Become a fan of Road Noise on Facebook HERE (and let them know Running Diva Mom sent you!).  LEAVE ME A COMMENT

5 – Post about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or Twitter (@RunningDivaMom @RoadNoiseSports #RunningDivaMom) account. LEAVE ME A COMMENT FOR EACH.

Enter now though May 7.

[If you would like YOUR product or website featured on Running Diva Mom, please email me at ( runningdivamom at yahoo dot com ) ]
 
[I frequently review products for active families and am not paid for my reviews.  I do receive free products to review.]

20 miles - this never gets old!

Sunday was BEAUTIFUL!  And with beautiful weather, comes memorable runs!!  This kids were on a date with their aunt, so my husband and I opted to run about 15-18 miles around town.  We left the house once the kids departed and did some looping through neighborhoods. 
 
The temperatures quickly got higher than expected and I was going through water like crazy.  We stopped three times to use the restroom and fill up our water bottles.  I always love the gas station over near Buck n Honey's in Sun Prairie, because they always let me fill up with ice from the soda fountain.  It really helps cool me down.  I was grateful that I decided to wear my hair up and no Bondi Band, as I could feel the sun beating down on my face and forehead. 
 
The battery on my watch was super low at the start (darn it!).  The battery was dying for the first several miles, but it somehow lasted until mile 11.  After that, we just used my husband's watch and found it mentally refreshing not to be looking at my mileage and time every 2-3 minutes.
 
 
At mile sixteen, we arrived back home.  I could tell that my husband wanted to be done, but I urged him to go back out for an even twenty.  We enjoyed some Powerade Zero.  He had some pretzels and I enjoyed a couple of small oranges.  It was just what we needed to get another burst of energy.  We agreed to head out on a path along the highway that was approximately 2 miles out and back - and to take it slow.  I quickly changed into a tank top, as my technical tee was soaked and my shoulders were warm.  I felt so much better after I changed and we headed back out.  We took eat easy and ran separately on this less than desirable out-and-back loop.  But, we did it.
 
We arrived back home, clocking in over 3:32 and twenty miles.  It was a really slow - but smart - afternoon of running.  After all, we didn't start our run until 11:30 am and ran through that warmest part of the day.  We rested, fueled, hydrated and ran at a slow and consistent pace.
 
Running double digit miles never gets old.  Running double digit miles - with a TWO in front of it - will always, always, always still amaze me.  I still can't believe that my feet are able to do that.  That my legs are able to do that.  That my body is able to do that. That my mind is able to do that.  That I am able to do that.  It's an amazing accomplishment that YOU are choosing to do.  And you are choosing to do for yourself.   No one is making you do it.  And no one can do it for you.
 
20 miles - this never gets old!
 


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Parkinson's Half Marathon 2015 Race Report

Saturday was a gorgeous day, as I ran the Parkinson's Half Marathon in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin.  This was my second consecutive year running it and hubby's third.  We love running on the Glacial Drumlin State Trail for our longer training runs.  The route is super flat, scenic and it's easy to get lost mentally while you are pounding out the miles on the crushed gravel trail. 
 
The packet pick up was made even easier this year, since it was held close to our home, at the Fleet Feet location in Sun Prairie.  We woke up at 6:00 am and left around 7:15 for the 8:00 am start time.   They were once again offering shuttle services, but we were able to park pretty close in the business park.  When we arrived at the start line, we were immediately greeted by many familiar faces.  I just love local races - for this very reason.  I positioned myself in the semi-long port-o-potty line about 20 minutes before the race was supposed to start.  I was able to get to the startline just before the National Anthem was being played.  Soon we were off ....
 
We jetted down the main drag in Cottage Grove and the first 1.5 miles through neighborhoods.  The route avoids the large hill at the trailhead.  The entire race is pretty flat until you have to jet up that incline at the very end of the race.
 
I chatted with a friend briefly during the first mile, but then said that I had to break-off and try to catch up to my Hubby.  I was losing sight of him.  Usually he slows down at the end and I speed up - but I never did reach him this time.  He was feeling great on Saturday and I am really proud of him.
 
 
My miles were clicking off at or under 9:00 min/miles.  This was much faster than my training pace recently.  I passed some friends that were aiming for a 9:00 min/mile pace and to finish sub 2:00.  I wasn't sure how much longer I'd be able to keep up my pace, but I was going to try.  This out and back route is awesome - especially when you know so many other runners out there.  I saw several faster runners as we approached the seven mile marker to turn around, including my husband.  Lots of high fives and big smiles were exchanged.  On my way back, I passed Jen just after the turnaround and encouraged several friends on the way back to the trailhead. 
 
I carried my handheld water bottle with me and ran out.  I added a cup from a water station during the second half.  I downed a gel at mile 5 and again at mile 10.  I started with a stick of gum and alternated two more pieces after each gel.  I took Gatorade from the first couple of water stations, but then I found that I asked for Gatorade two more times, and the volunteers still handed me water.  My husband said that he had the same experience over and over - but, he unfortunately carried no water with him and only one gel.  The volunteers and spectators were still great. I guess I just have to be better at communicating and pointing to the volunteers.  We both felt that there weren't enough water stations mid-race.  I didn't time them out myself, because I was carrying water.  But they seemed more sporadic. 
 
Around mile 10, I was starting to get warm and soon the tree cover opened up and the sun was beating down.  It was warm as heck for mid-April.  After experiencing heat exhaustion on this trail last summer, I was starting to get worried in the back of my mind.  I kept drinking.
 
I turned on some good tunes and got my footwork and my breathing in a constant rhythm, knowing that the big hill would be approaching in the last 1/2 mile.  I approached the hill, leaned back and shortened my stride.  I passed several runners that were struggling and kicked it into gear as I approached the top.  I knew that the hill came back down and that I could speed into the finish line.  Spectators were cheering as I passed 2, 3, 4, 5 runners at the top of the hill.  With a burst of energy, I raced down the gravel path to the finish line and stopped my watch.
 
My watch stated 1:58:33, but I had accidentally started it at the first timing mat, not at the start line.  My actually finishing time ended up being 1:58:26.
 
My typical race during the past three years tends to be 1:57-1:58.  I don't know if I will ever reach my PR of 1:51 again.  I was fifteen pounds lighter after going through my divorce four years ago and I just don't know if that's a manageable weight for me, since I wasn't fueling my body correctly either.

 
The technical shirts were long sleeve this year.  We were hoping for more short sleeves, but these will do for next fall.  They were nice and light.  The finisher's medals were really unique for 2015 and were engraved wooden medals.  They were a nice addition to our display of race medals.








 
1:58:26
9:06 min/mile
138/336 overall
12/34 age group (30-34F)
53/185 women

Friday, April 17, 2015

Giveaway Winners ....

I was recently given the opportunity to review several products for active families.  You can read all about my fabulous experiences at the link below.  Please visit their websites below and start shopping.

 

One winner was chose at random to receive the following items.  Random.org chose ……..

 

Fit Snack
Company Website:  HERE
RDM Review:  HERE
Winner:  Running in Boise HERE

Honest Fizz and Honest Tea
Company Website:  HERE
RDM Review:  HERE
Winner:  Kristen HERE
 
HB Tune Hand Band
Company Website:  HERE
RDM Review:  HERE
Winner:  Tracey Runs the World HERE

 

Congratulations!!!  Please email me at ( runningdivamom at yahoo dot com ) with your name, email and mailing address.  And, I will get you your prize!

 

Thank you for following my journey!!

 

[If you would like YOUR product, event or website featured on Running Diva Mom, please email me at ( runningdivamom at yahoo dot com ) ]

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Details of a 40 mile weekend

This past weekend was an amazing opportunity to run - and run for myself.  On Friday, I started leading a new couch to 5K class for mothers.  In between that session, raindrops, sunshine and hail - I ended up running four times.  I found it to be a really productive day at home, with my business and pounding out miles on the pavement.  I coached one class, ran twice by myself and ran once with my husband before dinner - logging a total of twelve miles on Friday.  It was nice to get a few projects in here and there and then follow the tasks up with a few miles.  I didn't feel like I was devoting two hours to running, but I surely had. 
 
 
Saturday, hubby and I headed out for a sunny eight miler in the morning.  The sun felt warm and it felt great to sweat again.  I did start to over heat, as I over dressed.  I even filled back up on water before we headed home.  It was a great way to start our day.  We followed it up with a trip to Wisconsin Dells for people watching, shopping, mini golf and treating ourselves to dinner.

 
Sunday, we slept in (kid-free weekend), enjoyed coffee hour at home and then headed out for a late-morning run.  We were hoping for fifteen miles.  The first half felt pretty good and I felt in the groove of things.  At mile twelve, we were headed home for the last three miles and the wind was horrendous.  I don't know if I have run in such miserable wind before.  I ran ahead and then came back to my husband several times, before he admitted that he had just had enough.  I told him I was going to refuel at home and then head back out.  That's exactly what I did.  Thank goodness the wind was better during my last five miles.  I wanted to conquer the twenty mile distance because I was still feeling pretty good.  I put on my "easy listening" play list, so that I could just enjoy the next 50+ minutes (as much as one can!) and set a nice, slow pace. 
 
I ended up back at home after a total of 3:28:50 and twenty more miles to my belt.

 
This may have been my highest mileage ever in one weekend.  I did a good amount of stretching afterwards and hubby and I enjoyed a nice evening walk around our neighborhood, to keep our legs moving.  I always crave citrus at the end of my long runs.  So, I enjoyed fresh pineapple and some tasty oranges when I returned home.  I followed that up with a vanilla protein shake with a filling banana for extra froth. 
 
I thought I would be sore come Monday morning, but legs felt great.  I even got out with Little Dude for 1.5 miles on Monday evening.


Fear of missing out

When I started running ten years ago, I became passionate about the sport.  And  then I became passionate about racing.  It's all I thought about and all I talked about (other than my kids!).  I looked up monthly race schedules and traveled all over the Midwest to fill up my time with racing.  I planned family vacations alongside half marathons and enjoyed every minute.  And if a popular event was local - I just HAD to register.  If I wasn't running the iconic Crazylegs Classic or the Madison Half Marathon, I was missing out.  I had to be at every start line, participate in every running event, network with other runners, cross every finish line.  I wasn't a true runner if I wasn't out there participating in everything running outlet that was offered - especially if they were local.
 
 
It wasn't until I was chatting with some other runners recently, that I realized things have really changed for me.  I was asked what I was training for.  This?  No.  That?  Um, no.  Well, you must be running this?  Nope.  I listed off only two half marathons and a full marathon that I'm registered for this summer.  That's it.  For some, that may seem like a lot.  But, for me that is pretty sparse.  Yet, I'm still running all of the time.  And I'm enjoying it.  I'm just not racing quite so much.  I find I'm focusing more on longer-distance events and filling my weekends up with training instead of racing.
 
I've realized over the past year or two that being a runner doesn't necessarily mean that you need to have a rigid race schedule.  I get just as much enjoyment out of running for myself, by myself or with those close to me.  I am currently coaching six classes per week and help other individuals start or continue their journey through my training programs.  I've been putting in plenty of solo miles (40 miles this past weekend!) or am enjoying running dates with my husband.  I love mixing it up with different routes and trails and discovering new parts of my town.  Starting and ending at a new restaurant or chic coffee shop are also great perks and motivators.
 
I'm over this "fear of missing out" attitude that I have identified with for way for so long.  I'm not missing out on anything.
 
After all, it's the journey and the training that develops you and makes you a dedicated runner - it's not just that shiny medal around your neck.