Monday, July 17, 2017

Recent Posts on the IMT DMM Blog

Hey all! I have been busy staying home with my kiddos this summer and recently added a few more posts to the IMT DMM blog. I do have a few ideas to write about here on my blog and hope to get those out soon, but in the meantime please enjoy my posts on the IMT DMM blog!

Des Moines Marathon Blog (to read my awesome articles!)

Hope you are all having a great summer. I look forward to tell you all about mine and my crazy mommy adventures very soon!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Training Plans: What, When and How

First off, thanks to all who entered to win free race entries and IMT DMM swag last month! Winners were notified and names are posted in the Rafflecopter gadget on my blog. If you didn’t win, no worries, a little birdie told me that we may be able to have another giveaway at the end of the summer… Keep checking this blog and following @mamagottarun and @IMTDMM on Twitter for more information over the next few months.
In the meantime, it is time to start thinking about, and pending on your current skill set and chosen distance, possibly even start straining! We are just a little over 4 months out from the big race weekend, so it’s time to get motivated.
I am not going to start a true “plan” until July, but this month I am increasing the distance of my runs, trying to keep as many as I can between 5-7 miles or more. I usually come up with my own training plan, which considers both my preparation up until I start it as well as my busy life schedule. Also, I usually try to run at least 15-20 miles per week total, running 3-4 times per week, while incorporating a long run every two weeks that increases by 2 miles every time. I try to hit the 20 or more mile mark at least twice before the big race. I will definitely post my plan in July when I put it together.
If you haven’t run a marathon or many half marathons, you might not know what works for you. The IMT DMM website has some wonderful plans that you can use for free! I have used some of them in the past and they worked well for me. I like how there are different options for the various skills and goals that you have for the distance you choose.
Whatever distance you choose, it is important to train. Even the best short distance runners likely need to work them selves up to longer distances if they hope to run the half or full marathon and not be injured or worse. I can’t express how important it is to give yourself plenty of training time. Training isn’t only for the body, it is for the mind too. If you brain is fighting your body when you hit mile 23, finishing can be very difficult.
My sweet training dry fit tee that came in the mail this week!
On a related note, the IMT DMM has some pretty cool training gear that I am excited to try out! You can browse through the different options in their online store.
I am curious to know what plans you all use. Do you have any great websites to share? Have you started training? When do you plan to start training? What distance are you training for? Do you have any training tips?
Comment below! And… as always, Happy Running!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Des Moines Marathon Free Race Entries Giveaway!

**This giveaway has ended and winners have been notified**

Oh my gosh ya'll- I am so excited!

As many of you know, I am a blogger for the IMT Des Moines Marathon. I am so pumped to announce that just like last year, the wonderful race organizer, Chris Burch, has agreed to give away 4 prizes on my blog! 

We will be giving away TWO RACE ENTRIES (full, half, 5 mile or 5K- your choice!) and TWO runner up prizes of IMT DMM swag! So, yes, that’s correct- FOUR PRIZES! This year the races are on October 14-15, 2017, so there is still plenty of time to start training for any of the distances!

Please see the Rafflecopter above and enter daily! The giveaway starts Monday, May 15th but hurry and come back often as the giveaway ends Monday, May 29th. Most of you should be fine, but if you have trouble seeing the Rafflecopter giveaway above from a mobile device, try 1.) scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking on "View Web Version" or, 2.) logging in from a PC or a non-mobile device.

This giveaway is particularly special to me because the IMTDMM was my very first marathon in 2014. I ran the I-35 Challenge in 2015, the half in 2016 and will be running the full marathon again this year, so I am really excited to offer these prizes and hopefully get to meet some of you on the start or finish line!

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During my first marathon, the IMT DMM in 2014.

I absolutely love the IMT DMM races. As I said, I have run both the full and the half, and both times have been an amazing experience for me. I blogged about some of my race experiences here and here and am excited to keep blogging about my training for my 2017 experience. Last year I posted several articles on the IMTDMM official blog that will help you understand why I love this race so much. Not only is it in my home state of Iowa so I always have family and friends to cheer me on as I run it, but last year my brother even ran the half with me- his very first half marathon. The medals, the course, the option of the I-35 Challenge (two races in one weekend), the amazing food venders, but more than anything the IMTDMM is the most supportive race I have ever run. So many incredble volunteers and spectators cheer on complete strangers as they run the course... the race director does an excellent job of making sure the whole package comes together wonderfully.

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After the I-35 Challenge in 2015.

Okay, so how do you enter to win these free race entries and awesome swag? It is so easy! On the top of this website there is a Rafflecopter. (Again, most of you should be fine, but if you have trouble seeing the Rafflecopter giveaway above from a mobile device, try 1.) scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking on "View Web Version" or, 2.) try logging in from a PC or a non-mobile device.) You simply complete a few easy tasks of your choice, such as visit the IMTDMM Facebook page, 'Like" us both and Tweet about the giveaway, as well as a few other options, and you're entered! Some of the entry options you can even complete daily, meaning that you can get even more entries into the drawing. 

When the drawing ends, Rafflecopter will randomly draw winners from the entries and then I will personally notify winners via email and tell them how they can collect their prizes. The Rafflecopter will run for two weeks and the only stipulation for winners is that they must use the free race entry themselves (no gifting it to someone else). If you have already registered, you will be reimbursed for your paid entry fee. Remember you can decide what race distance you want to enter (full, half, 5 mile or 5K). And that's it! 

Once again the giveaway ends May 29, 2017 and you can enter daily!

On your mark, get set, go! 

I will post again next week with more details about the race, such as price increase dates, the race weekend events, route maps and anything else I can pass along.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Recent @IMTDMM Posts and 2017 Miles Challenge

So as many of you know I am on a team once again this year contributing to a lovely group of 4 ladies all working together to reach a combined total of 2017 miles of running or active walking in 2017. My year was off to a rough start, but this month I challenged myself to run every single day of April. This goal has helped rekindle my love for running and helped my make up some of the miles of was letting my team down on earlier this year.

As of today I am at 53.53 miles this month alone, with nine days still to go! I am so proud of myself. I need to check in with the leader of our challenge (there are actually several teams working on reaching this goal together) and see where we are at. I think individual runners need about an average of 10-12 miles per week to make the miles happen for their teams and I am interested to see where my team is at.

Also, I'm back to blogging for the IMT Des Moines Marathon this year, with plans to run the full marathon in 2017. Although the race isn't until October, I will start training this summer and am working to get my body back to a place where training for a full marathon can begin.

Here our links to my recent posts on the IMT DMM blog:

One Foot Before the Other


Run Streak Going Strong!

Happy running!

Monday, March 27, 2017

When Downhill Running Isn't Good

I figure that it's about time for a running update. The last several posts on my blog this year have focused on nutrition and parenting, so now onto my running...

Oh, running. I love you. I hate you. I love you. I hate you. You make me feel great! You make me tired. And sore. You make me feel excited to do, but guilty to skip. Talk about blended emotions...

Last fall after I ran my last race, the IMT DMM half, I noticed that my urge to run went down hill a little. As a runner, down hill sounds great right?! Well not if "down hill"describes the running rut you are in.

To help overcome this I signed up to run 2017 miles in 2017 with a team of four ladies. January was weak. February was better! March has been weak. It is time to get my butt out of bed and get my miles in!

Last week I was invited to blog for the IMT DMM again and can I say how excited I am? More motivation to get out there and get running is exactly what I need these days. I also tentatively committed to running the IMT DMM full- am I crazy?!?! Probably. But getting out there and hitting the pavement only two times per week this winter is really starting to make me sad.

I just don't feel like myself when I don't run.

So here's to getting on a more regular running schedule as the spring weather warms up! I'll keep you posted!

During a short 3.2 mile run last week.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Yes I Wish I Had Six Arms

There are little moments in life that make you stop and think.

These passing moments make you shake your head, take a deep breath, or maybe even count to ten. But they aren't profound. I am not referring to the big things, like the ones that make you ponder the meaning of life. I am talking about the small, daily moments that if I weren’t always considering blogging material, could go by without much contemplation.

Some of these underwhelming moments do make you feel a bit overwhelmed though.

You are, sadly, just one person, with one mind, one body and just two arms and two legs. Although the other day the nurse at the pediatrician’s office noted, while watching me chase after my three kiddos running down the hall, Don’t you wish you had six arms? I take comments pretty literal when I am stressed out and after she said it I briefly closed my eyes and actually pictured myself with 6 arms. Honestly I didn’t look too bad. I might get some stares, but the added value would be worth my vanity, hands down. 

All six of them.

Although you don’t have to have children to experience these moments, in my case, having my brood has definitely increased the frequency and intensity of them.

Like the other day while driving home from work when I noticed that my shirt was on inside out. All day long my best attempt at wearing something that didn’t scream MIDDLE AGED MOM HERE had been inside out. In meetings with colleagues… it was inside out. It was inside out while performing several lectures in front of about 50 of what I am sure were, like, totally non-judgmental college kids that, like, never make fun of their professors outside of the classroom. Smh.

Last night I had a moment too.

My youngest son, the five year old, refuses to wear socks and shoes. Well he will wear them, but keeping them on? Nope. That’s a different story. The kid drives me bananas. It could be 40 degrees outside and he is skipping around the cul-de-sac in a hooded winter coat, mittens and no socks or shoes. We always have an assortment of his socks and shoes on the floors of both vehicles because the second he gets strapped into his booster seat, he rips them off.

Well of course we were running behind. It was time to leave the house to bring my older son to basketball practice. I had just put my younger son's socks and shoes on him, but as soon as I returned from the kitchen after refilling a water bottle, he had, predictably, torn off his socks and shoes. Ugh. Did I mention I was in a huge hurry?  I, predictably, couldn’t find where he had put named socks, but I did find his shoes. In a hurried panic, I ripped off my socks and shoes, grabbed my sandals to wear instead, and put my own socks on his tiny feet.

They looked horrendous.

These were stretched out and faded athletic socks and were way too big for him, needing to be rolled down several times where my heel would have been. Luckily his high top tennis shoes covered most of the ridiculousness so I bribed him with a tube of Pringles potato chips and threatened him with the indefinite loss of his IPad, all while pleading for him to leave his shoes on over these socks during basketball practice.

Pipe dream.

He did leave both on during the drive to practice, but after just a few minutes of being there, ripped off his shoes. But to my humiliation he left the socks on. Was he just messing with me? Come on little man, if there is one time to disobey me and lose the socks- this is it!

Take the socks off too, I nervously screamed in my head as I watched him play with some kids on the bleachers a few rows down. Did I mention these were my oldest pair of running socks, likely not fresh, and had huge holes in the big toe areas of both of the socks?

Well he must have been doing his very best for once to be a good listener because he left those literally stinking socks on the rest of the time we were there.

Afterward we were walking with other parents across the parking lot back toward our car. I wasn’t sure if I should just hope other parents didn’t notice the socks, or if I should apologetically draw attention to them. I went with the latter and made some joke about how we were running behind earlier and I was too lazy to go upstairs before we left to get my son a fresh pair of socks out of his room.

A dad beside laughed… laughed a little too hard in fact.

I looked blankly at him. His older son was on the basketball team with mine and his younger son had also tagged along to practice.

He said, “Ya, I ended up having to give my kid (the younger son) a bath before we came here. We had spaghetti for supper and I was hoping to just wipe him off. But he gets it everywhere; he was covered (from his dramatic hand gestures I pictured a waterfall of spaghetti and meat sauce raining down on his son).”  “Apparently,” he added sarcastically, “it was my fault that I didn’t cut up his pasta for him.”

I smiled… smiled a little too big in fact.

Man, I thought, those are the little moments. 

Thank you, I needed that.

Just another one of those moments.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Yes. My kids bother me (and that doesn't make me a horrible person).

I'm human and I have faults. Lots of them. This is why I can admit that there are some things about my kids that bother me. Yes, my beautiful, wonderful, amazing children drive me crazy and really, truly bother me a lot on occasion. 

Usually what gets to me are the little annoying things that I just, for the life of me, cannot understand why they do them. Some of these things gross me out. Some make me spit out my coffee in bouts of laughter. Some make me scream and yell like a toddler throwing a tantrum.  Some of these things I just ignore because if I let on that I have feelings attached to whatever they are doing, my too-smart-for-their-own-good monsters get some twisted satisfaction in knowing that they messed with me.

What could I possibly be talking about? Honestly, I am not even sure where to start.

Finding an unflushed toilet. With poop in it. With no toilet paper in it.
Ugh. So this one is just disgusting. If you don't believe that this happens, or you think your kids always wipe after pooping, they have been blinding you with an uncanny ability to remember to flush. My kids aren't as smart as yours. They never flush. On a near daily basis I have to say, "Get over here. Let me check your butt," and at least one child comes running over who needs to be inspected, then usually wiped. My kids are 5, 6, and 8 years old. Wasn't this supposed to stop after diapers?! I'm gagging a little right now.

Undies strategically hidden under a child's bed.
Usually not totally unrelated to the the example above ^^, but sometimes a stand alone issue: hidden, dirty undies. And they're not always just hidden in a desolate corner under the bad. We must always be on the lookout. Dirty, worn, stinky, stained, hard-as-a-rock undies can be hidden in the back corner of a closet, in a toy box, or any other place kids think we parents will never, ever in our entire lifetime look. I think I was smart enough to at least throw away the undies if I had an accident when I was over the age of 5. What is happening to kids these days, have they no sense of reality?! Shame?! Fear?!

Finding tissues stuffed back into a Kleenex box.
Umm... yuck? What all did they stuff back into that box? How clean were their hands when they stuffed that glob of tissues back in? How many of the tissues did they touch? Sometimes I'd rather rub my nose raw with a cheap paper towel than use a super-soft, lotion infused name-brand tissue that has been stuffed back into the box by my kids. Sometimes I don't care and use it anyway. Probably why I have bronchitis right now.

*Loud sound* upstairs. Me: "What was that?" Three voices in quick unison yell down: "Nothing!"
Can't I have anything nice?! My mom is literally smiling right now as she reads this because I am certain she said this phrase to my siblings and I at least 3 million times while I was growing up. But now I get it. I have a complete, unwavering understanding of why she said it. IT'S TRUE! Guess what, I can't have anything nice. Nope. Not for another 13 years, when my last kid will hopefully move out and go to college. On second thought I'll probably start getting grandkids from my oldest child by then so never mind.  I will never have anything nice again. My house will from this day forward always be filled with sticky, gooey, broken, ripped, glued-back-together, Sharpie-marker stained items. Sigh.

"I'm bored."
Hey, me too, but I don't have someone to constantly give me super fun, creative activities to occupy my mind all the time. I'm not saying I don't play with my kids or give them ideas, but when I have offered my kid 15 ideas in the space of one hour I am usually literally out of any more ideas for awhile. Especially when to most suggestions I hear, "No, I don't want to do that." I'm bored may be the straw that breaks my back. My 6-year-old daughter is by far my child who is in constant need of attention and action. Love her more than my own life, but come on. Mama needs you to just grab a string cheese out of the fridge, take your markers and coloring book to your room, and STOP ASKING ME TO ENTERTAIN YOU!

Whew. That felt good to get out. 

I think this list could probably go on for days, but I'll just stop right here for now. 

Being a mom is a rewarding, challenging, disgusting, never-ending task that I wouldn't change for the world. I love my kids... they do drive me a little crazy though. 

Alright, gotta go. Someone forgot to flush. 

I'm bored.