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Monday, October 26, 2015

My Husband's Superpower: Chronicles of a Volunteer Coach



My kids are really lucky to have the dad they do.

Like most dads, my husband devotes his life to our family. He rushes home from work in order to have an hour of daylight to shoot hoops with our daughter in the driveway. He skips nights out with the guys so that he can read bedtime stories to our toddler. Years ago he "retired" from participation in men's basketball and softball leagues so he'd have more time to devote to our children's after school activities.

He is pretty selfless when it comes to our kids. He usually "plays down" the effort and dedication he gives to our family as "normal" or something that "all" dads do. I agree, he is mostly right, most dads do get actively involved in their children's lives. I can't think of many dad's I know who aren't putting their own children first.

But not all dads do what he does. Not to the extent that he does it. My husband is pretty much a superhero in my children's eyes, and I couldn't be more thankful for that.

But even superheros get criticized sometimes.

I have to admit that I do occastionally get frustrated with how involved he is in our children's athletic activities. My husband has volunteer coached most seasons of baseball, soccer, and basketball for our kids starting from when my oldest son was just 3 years old. I really do love that he is involved, but I am definitely envious of the parents that get to sit together on the sidelines and smile, recline in their pop-up seats, and cheer their child on, side-by-side.

I really haven't had that experience as a parent. I recognize that it is selfish of me to want my husband's companionship more than I want him to coach my kids sometimes. I argue that my selfishness is somewhat merited though, as I am rarely able to really watch my kids play; I have to chase around my other children, walk them to the potty, break up fights, and divvy out iPads and snacks during the games. This all while attempting to watch my other child play in his or her game.

But this is just one of the sacrifices our family makes so that my husband can volunteer coach.

When I get lost in my narcissism, I am often reminded why, in the end, I am really glad that he doesn't listen to me. I am reminded why I am thankful he is the man that he is.

This fall was the perfect example.

This season we decided to have our oldest two kids play soccer with a new league. It is different than other soccer leagues we have played with and we were really excited to have them experience a dedicated coach on a more organized team. I was secretly ecstatic to finally have our superhero sit beside me on the sidelines, and not with the kiddos on the bench. 

A week before soccer was to begin, we received emails from the league for both of our kid's teams stating that their was no coach for either one. OF COURSE I was disappointed. The emails asked if a parent volunteer could take on the task of coaching, otherwise, the teams might dissipate. Well, I knew my husband couldn't let that happen. We waited for a few days, but when no other parents stepped up, of course he did... and he volunteered to coach both teams. 

Fast forward a couple of months later and the season is near ending. Although soccer isn't the sport my husband knows best, he has devoted himself fully to coaching these teams. He has spent countless hours researching and planning for practices, from drills, to plays, to just fun exercises the kids can do. He has sent countless emails to parents, the league, and other coaches wanting to reschedule games. He set up an online snack sign-up webpage. He's planning an end of season party for each team. He drags soccer balls, equipment, and other items to every single game. He has rearranged his personal life and volunteered his free time so that our, and the other kids on the team, could play this season.

But you know what? He doesn't care at all. He has so much fun! 

My husband would never complain about volunteer coaching. He wouldn't complain about the parents that suggest, often under their breath, that the field he has chosen for practice is a little "bumpy" or that it is located too far from their own homes. He wouldn't complain that many parents just drop off their kids for practice, them perceiving practice time as a good time to run errands childfree while my husband provides them with convenient childcare services. He doesn't complain about the times when no parents sign up to bring snacks, so as not to disappoint the team, he scavenges our cupboards and fridge for enough snacks and drinks for the players after the game.

No he doesn't complain at all. In fact, if you asked him, he would definitely tell you how much he enjoys coaching. He would quickly go into a story about how our son, who has to try a little harder in sports than our daughter, actually scored a goal a few weeks ago- something we weren't sure was going to happen this season. He would definitely tell you about a really fun drill he led at practice with my 5-year-old daughter's team recently, when the girls giggled until they cried, as they crab-walked across the field and parents all snapped photos of their daughter's elated faces.

He definitely has superpowers.

He seems to devote himself so much that I'm not even sure the other parents remember that he volunteered when no one else would. I hope they appreciate his sacrifice, patience and effort as much as their children do.

More than anything he or I, or anyone else thinks about the experience, it is the kids that matter most. He is proving to his kids, and the other kids on the team, how important they are to him. He might not be a professional soccer coach, but to our kids, he is a the best dad a kid could ask for. 

And they'd probably tell you he is the best coach too.

The other day my oldest son, who is in second grade, was playing in a game. The coach from the other team was definitely not a parent. He was hard core, serious, and a little scary. He had this deep, booming growl of a voice that made me cringe every time I heard him yell, and let me tell you, he yelled a lot. Usually, his yelling was not encouraging. It was criticism. 

One little boy on the other team who had done great during the game happened to fall down and get hurt. In obvious pain he limped toward the sideline, tears in his eyes. 

His coach pointed at him aggressively and huskily yelled, "Get back out there. Boys don't cry!" 

The boy looked at him, seemingly defeated, and hobbled back into the game. He limped off and on the rest of the time he was in, and didn't come out until his coach finally put in a sub for him several minutes later.

I felt pretty bad for that kid. Is that what he thinks coaches are like? Is that what his parents want him experiencing at 7 years old, on a recreational soccer team? Did that coach really just tell that kid that crying isn't okay- because, among other reasons- that he is a boy? It both infuriated and saddened me to watch that experience.

It is in those moments that I am reminded of why I shouldn't be so selfish.

Maybe my husband coaching isn't such a bad thing. In fact, it's most definitely a good thing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Did Someone Say Two Half Marathons In One Weekend? Yes Please!

Double the bibs and double the hardware.

I'm the kind of person who likes to set running goals in order to keep herself motivated and focused. I register for races early, tell the world my plans so that I have to hold myself accountable, and then I start training (posting on social media every step of the way). When that race is over, I set a new goal and repeat the process.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy running, a lot, but a runner is lying if they tell you that they have never been in a running rut. To keep things fresh, I like to set what I call a "big" race goal for myself each year. A few years ago I decided to run a half marathon. Last year I decided to run my first full marathon. This year I went "half" crazy and decided to run two half marathons- in ONE weekend! Yes, I accepted and completed the I-35 Challenge by running two races that are literally located in cities along Interstate 35, during the same weekend. It was a few days ago and it was just as amazing as it sounds.

For the last four months I have been training for this challenge the best I could. I searched and searched online, talked to some runners I know, but couldn't find a true "Two Halfs In One Weekend" training plan anywhere. After thinking about how I run and what it would take for me to be prepared to run back-to-back halfs, I came up with a training plan. I am proud to say that I came close to following it almost exactly, and it worked well in helping me to be prepared physically and mentally for the challenge. I felt totally ready.

Basically I ran about 25-35 miles per week varying the length of the runs from 5 to 8 miles most of the time. For the last several months (prior to this last month) I also ran two back-to-back longer-ish runs every other weekend, like two 8s, 9s, 10s or 11s. And then this last month I ran a few 8s and 10s, but focused more on shorter, much faster runs, as I really wanted to PR my first of the two races. I wasn't sure how sore I would be after running my heart out trying to PR, so my goal for the second half marathon was to just finish respectably.

The smile of a new PR!

The first of the two races was the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon, half marathon option.  My husband ran with me, it was his very first race ever- let alone his first half marathon! He is naturally faster than me so I knew he would push me and help me PR. We figured that we had to get about 8:45 average pace for me to PR. We actually blew that out of the water with an 8:35 pace, and finished in 1:52.22. My previous best was 1:55.49 back in the 2014; so I ended up shaving almost 3 1/2 minutes off my previous best. I was stoked!

After the dust settled we showered, we picked up the kiddos from my sister's house, drove along I-35 to Des Moines, picked up my IMT DMM race packet at the Iowa Events Center, checked into the hotel and got ready for round two the next morning.

As the day wound down and the evening rolled in, several factors started to make me second guess my decision to run another half the next day. I started to get a horrendous cold and sore throat with a fever, aches and chills. I couldn't sleep because I was nervous my alarm wouldn't go off and I was sharing a bed with several kiddos- one of which was a 3-year-old that insisted on kicking me in the head all night. My cortisone shot from my torn rotator cuff (surgery planned for this December, yuck) still hadn't kicked in, and after running as fast as I could earlier in the day, my shoulder hurt- a lot. And to top it all off, I weirdly locked us out of our hotel room with my race gear inside earlier in the day and it took several hotel staff and a bent hanger to get us back in the room. Oh and how could I forget that it was only 30 degrees outside on the morning of the race? Icing on the cake was how sore my body was when I woke up from after the Kansas City marathon the day before. My legs literally felt like tree trunks.

It never crossed my mind NOT to do the challenge, but I definitely dreaded getting up that morning. This was the very first time I had ever woken up race morning not super pumped to run. Before the race started, standing out in the freezing temps with aches and chills, legs and feet screaming with soreness, I definitely didn't feel much excitement. But that did change, as my inspiration to stay on course was my little brother. He had agreed to run the IMT DMM leg of the I-35 Challenge with me, even though he had never run a race of any distance before.

When I looked over at my brother at the starting line, standing beside me, chatting with complete strangers, laughing, cracking jokes, jumping around to keep warm, things started to change for me. He was just the most excited I had seen him in, well, maybe ever. THAT changed something in my mind. I decided not to worry about my pace, the distance, my aches... I decided to just run with him. He was so very excited just to be running his very first race, ever, and I remember that wonderful feeling.

After a few miles I no longer noticed the aches and pains or the freezing cold; I only noticed how awesome it was to run and cheer my brother on along the route. Honestly, I lost track of the miles most of the time and just ran. I didn't worry about anything- I just ran.

I ended up having so much fun and getting so much enjoyment out of it.

Both races complete!

Eventually, we got to the end. And I DID IT! I ran TWO HALF MARATHONS IN ONE WEEKEND! It was incredible. I am so glad I did it. What an accomplishment!

You know what? We did pretty good too. I still finished in the top 25% of all women with our 2:06 time. Not too shabby for the girl always picked last in gym class.

Since training, Tweeting and blogging for the IMT DMM blog, I have met many runners online that were doing the I-35 Challenge too. Some ran one full and one half, some ran two halfs like me, and some "full" crazy ones even ran two fulls in one weekend.

I have to say that I am inspired.

I think.. I think... that I could challenge myself to run even more next year. I mean, I ran my two halfs this weekend with a torn rotator cuff and a really awful cold, sore throat and cough- among other obstacles... just think of what else I can do?!

I am sensing a new goal for 2016 coming on... :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

IMT DMM Recap: A Chilly Start to an Incredible Finish


My lil brother and I before the chilly start Sunday.

This past weekend my hard work over the last several months came to fruition when I crossed the finish line of the IMT DMM half marathon. Last year I completed the full marathon in Des Moines and immediately knew that I wanted to come back again. This year, however, the IMT DMM half marathon was my goal, as it was the second half marathon I ran this weekend. Yep, that's right: two halfs in one weekend. Finishing the IMT DMM half meant that I completed the I-35 Challenge by running the Waddell & Reed Kansas City half marathon on Saturday and the IMT DMM half marathon on Sunday.

Around mile 9.

This year I took a different approach to the race. Since I had planned to PR on Saturday in Kansas City during that half (which I did, 1:52:22, IN THE TOP 8% OF ALL WOMEN! Yay!), I decided that I just wanted to leisurely run on Sunday and serve as a support system for my brother who ran with me, to complete his very first half marathon. I am so glad I kept with my plan because it felt absolutely amazing to cheer my brother on, push him forward and support him as he ran his first half.

I will admit that this was difficult initially. I had never run a half without the goal of running my fastest and pushing myself as hard as I could, so the first few miles I kept finding myself running too fast too early on for our collective pace, and I was automatically setting my brain to competition mode. Around mile 4 or 5 my lil bro started to need some pacing adjustments and moral support so I quickly switched gears and put on my cheerleading shoes. After I let him set our pace I started to actually enjoy myself more than I thought possible (while running a distance race, that is!).

This was only my second time at the event, but once again the IMT DMM did not disappoint. The route for the half quickly split from the full marathoners and took us to what would be the end of the full marathon route. I absolutely loved this because I could reminisce over memories I had had at different mile markers from last year. I remembered the place around mile 19 that I saw my family and children cheering me on. In fact, my brother came to cheer me on last year and that is what had inspired him to run this year.

I saw the spot, near mile 22, when I hit a serious wall but then had seen my favorite sign, "For all the girls picked last in gym class" and I recalled how those words got me through the slump. I remember that long bridge around mile 23 or 24 and how I cried like a little baby while on it, thinking about how I had almost finished a marathon, something I trained so hard for last year. I saw mile 25 where my husband been standing while he had cheered his loudest to help me push through that last difficult mile...

I have chills and tears of nostalgia just thinking about it.

I love the IMT DMM for so many reasons (and it's not only because they always have the coolest participant shirts!). First and foremost, Iowa has the best people. Just like last year, the spectators and volunteers were once again amazing. I love the route because you are closer to the spectators than in other races I've done so they can give you high fives, tissues, power poster punches, and can read your name on your bib and cheer you on personally. This is definitely the most supportive group of strangers I have ever experienced in a race.

Oh and I love the race route; you travel through both urban and rural areas and other than a few small hills early on, it is a pretty flat route (I know, I know, it's Iowa, right?). I joked above, but I do love the shirts too. If you are a runner, you probably have several race shirts sitting around your house that don't get much use. The IMT DMM tech long-sleeved shirt will not be one of those. I LOVED my shirt last year and was so pumped to get the same style in a different color this year. As far as participant shirts go, they are really, really nice.

I also wanted so say how nice the expo at the Iowa Events Center is and how plentiful the race packets are. So many races don't actually put anything in your race packets anymore- but not the IMT DMM! Mine was overflowing with goodies and samples of lotions, vitamins, snacks, discounts, and more... and that's just the actual race packet. There was a virtual race packet, full of great deals and discounts, emailed out to us too.

The medals are just fine. Heavy and solid with large colorful neck straps, but they probably aren't the reason you run this race. But EVERYTHING else is. Even the food after the race is awesome. In addition to all the free food and drinks for the athletes, Jimmy Johns was walking around giving out free subs to spectators! As a mom with three young kiddos there cheering her on, free food was a nice distraction for them.

Just before the finish line.

So if you are wondering how we did... Not bad! My brother and I finished at the exact same time and it felt amazing to cross the finish line with him, knowing just how hard he had pushed himself those last 3 miles to get there. We finished in 2:06.14 (9:39 pace) which was very respectable for my brother's very first half marathon. Our overall place was 2067 of 5380 all half marathoners. Even though I wasn't concerned about placing or my finish results this time, I did place 183/487, or still in the top 25% for my division (age 30-34). All in all we did a great job!


MapMyRun Splits


We did it!

So the big question is... Will I run it again next year? I'd definitely like too! I am even, and I might regret typing this out loud, considering accepting the I-35 challenge again next year... but possibly running both full marathons???? Yikes, I don't know. That is a lot of training and a lot of dedication, so I will have to get back to you on that one. I was just so surprised by how much fun running two halfs in one weekend was... Not sure if I'd feel that way after two fulls though...

Our amazing support team!

There are a few Thank You's that need to go out. My husband, who not ran the Waddell and Reed Half with me and is the reason I PR's on Saturday, but who then hauled our kids to Iowa that same afternoon (when he probably would have preferred an ice bath) and helped me get ready for my race the next day. My sister and her family, my parents and my brother and his girlfriend too. It is truly incredible to look at these pictures and see how many people came to cheer us on.

I also have some pretty supportive fans on Facebook and friends in my life that inspire and motivate me to run, and to write about my running on Mamagottarun.

A final thank you to the IMT DMM blog for allowing me to post training updates these last three months, and for helping me to connect with so many fellow Iowa, Kansas, KC and I-35 Challenge runners on Twitter. It was awesome talking with some of you in person and even more of you online these last few months!

What a fun weekend. I'm a little sad it's over, but that only means that it's time to start planning for my next running adventure.

Here's to next year- who's with me? Comment below!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The I-35 Challenge Is Just a Few Days Away!

I am getting so pumped for this weekend! It's finally here! This Saturday and Sunday I am completing the I-35 Challenge, by running one half marathon (13.1 miles) on both days (26.2) total. I have run a marathon before, but I think it will be a different experience running two significant distances on back-to-back days.

I was so lucky to have the support of friends and family as I worked to accomplish this goal. Not only has my husband Josh watched the kids while I trained, but I have watched the kids for him as he trained too... Yes that's right! He will be running the Kansas City half marathon leg of the I-35 Challenge on Saturday morning with me. I am so proud of him- this is his first half marathon and he has worked so hard to get his practice runs in. He has improved his pace, his endurance, and he is ready to go.

I am also proud of my brother Nick who will be running the Des Moines leg of the I-35 Challenge with me the following day, on Sunday. This is his first half marathon. He has been battling injury and has a busy travel/work schedule but has continued to push through and train and he feels ready and is confident he will finish. 

It is exciting to think that I will be running alongside family when I run these races. Normally I run alone in races. Other than the few times when my husband and I have been kid-free for a day or two and run a few casual miles around the neighborhood I have never run with him. And I have never run with my brother before at all. I am excited to feel the encouragement from them and the accomplishment of doing this together. I am a little nervous because I feel like both of these guys are faster than me and I hope it doesn't throw off my pacing. Hopefully it will be a motivator to keep pushing so I can PR on Saturday. My goal is to average 8:40s on Saturday and 9:00 is fine for Sunday.

Well, wish me luck! If you want to follow me while I run (or anyone else you know is running in either of these races) you can do so at: 



I can't speak for the KC marathon/half marathon, but when I ran the IMT DMM last year it was incredible. The beautiful route, the amazingly supportive spectators, the energy... I knew immediately afterward the IMT DMM event would be something I would run again. This time I am running the half, but I anticipate just as much enjoyment.

Wish me luck! Connect with me on Twitter @mamagottarun so we can say hello!

I'd love to hear what you loved most about your previous half and full marathons. The spectators? A memorable sign? A route? A race packet goodie? Comment below.

Crossing the IMT DMM
finish line last year.

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Husband's Superpower: Chronicles of a Volunteer Coach


My kids are really lucky to have the dad they do.

Like most dads, my husband devotes his life to our family. He rushes home from work in order to have an hour of daylight to shoot hoops with our daughter in the driveway. He skips nights out with the guys so that he can read bedtime stories to our toddler. Years ago he "retired" from participation in men's basketball and softball leagues so he'd have more time to devote to our children's after school activities.

He is pretty selfless when it comes to our kids. He usually "plays down" the effort and dedication he gives to our family as "normal" or something that "all" dads do. I agree, he is mostly right, most dads do get actively involved in their children's lives. I can't think of many dad's I know who aren't putting their own children first.

But not all dads do what he does. Not to the extent that he does it. My husband is pretty much a superhero in my children's eyes, and I couldn't be more thankful for that.

But even superheros get criticized sometimes.

I have to admit that I do occastionally get frustrated with how involved he is in our children's athletic activities. My husband has volunteer coached most seasons of baseball, soccer, and basketball for our kids starting from when my oldest son was just 3 years old. I really do love that he is involved, but I am definitely envious of the parents that get to sit together on the sidelines and smile, recline in their pop-up seats, and cheer their child on, side-by-side.

I really haven't had that experience as a parent. I recognize that it is selfish of me to want my husband's companionship more than I want him to coach my kids sometimes. I argue that my selfishness is somewhat merited though, as I am rarely able to really watch my kids play; I have to chase around my other children, walk them to the potty, break up fights, and divvy out iPads and snacks during the games. This all while attempting to watch my other child play in his or her game.

But this is just one of the sacrifices our family makes so that my husband can volunteer coach.

When I get lost in my narcissism, I am often reminded why, in the end, I am really glad that he doesn't listen to me. I am reminded why I am thankful he is the man that he is.

This fall was the perfect example.

This season we decided to have our oldest two kids play soccer with a new league. It is different than other soccer leagues we have played with and we were really excited to have them experience a dedicated coach on a more organized team. I was secretly ecstatic to finally have our superhero sit beside me on the sidelines, and not with the kiddos on the bench. 

A week before soccer was to begin, we received emails from the league for both of our kid's teams stating that their was no coach for either one. OF COURSE I was disappointed. The emails asked if a parent volunteer could take on the task of coaching, otherwise, the teams might dissipate. Well, I knew my husband couldn't let that happen. We waited for a few days, but when no other parents stepped up, of course he did... and he volunteered to coach both teams. 

Fast forward a couple of months later and the season is near ending. Although soccer isn't the sport my husband knows best, he has devoted himself fully to coaching these teams. He has spent countless hours researching and planning for practices, from drills, to plays, to just fun exercises the kids can do. He has sent countless emails to parents, the league, and other coaches wanting to reschedule games. He set up an online snack sign-up webpage. He's planning an end of season party for each team. He drags soccer balls, equipment, and other items to every single game. He has rearranged his personal life and volunteered his free time so that our, and the other kids on the team, could play this season.

But you know what? He doesn't care at all. He has so much fun! 

My husband would never complain about volunteer coaching. He wouldn't complain about the parents that suggest, often under their breath, that the field he has chosen for practice is a little "bumpy" or that it is located too far from their own homes. He wouldn't complain that many parents just drop off their kids for practice, them perceiving practice time as a good time to run errands childfree while my husband provides them with convenient childcare services. He doesn't complain about the times when no parents sign up to bring snacks, so as not to disappoint the team, he scavenges our cupboards and fridge for enough snacks and drinks for the players after the game.

No he doesn't complain at all. In fact, if you asked him, he would definitely tell you how much he enjoys coaching. He would quickly go into a story about how our son, who has to try a little harder in sports than our daughter, actually scored a goal a few weeks ago- something we weren't sure was going to happen this season. He would definitely tell you about a really fun drill he led at practice with my 5-year-old daughter's team recently, when the girls giggled until they cried, as they crab-walked across the field and parents all snapped photos of their daughter's elated faces.

He definitely has superpowers.

He seems to devote himself so much that I'm not even sure the other parents remember that he volunteered when no one else would. I hope they appreciate his sacrifice, patience and effort as much as their children do.

More than anything he or I, or anyone else thinks about the experience, it is the kids that matter most. He is proving to his kids, and the other kids on the team, how important they are to him. He might not be a professional soccer coach, but to our kids, he is a the best dad a kid could ask for. 

And they'd probably tell you he is the best coach too.

The other day my oldest son, who is in second grade, was playing in a game. The coach from the other team was definitely not a parent. He was hard core, serious, and a little scary. He had this deep, booming growl of a voice that made me cringe every time I heard him yell, and let me tell you, he yelled a lot. Usually, his yelling was not encouraging. It was criticism. 

One little boy on the other team who had done great during the game happened to fall down and get hurt. In obvious pain he limped toward the sideline, tears in his eyes. 

His coach pointed at him aggressively and huskily yelled, "Get back out there. Boys don't cry!" 

The boy looked at him, seemingly defeated, and hobbled back into the game. He limped off and on the rest of the time he was in, and didn't come out until his coach finally put in a sub for him several minutes later.

I felt pretty bad for that kid. Is that what he thinks coaches are like? Is that what his parents want him experiencing at 7 years old, on a recreational soccer team? Did that coach really just tell that kid that crying isn't okay- because, among other reasons- that he is a boy? It both infuriated and saddened me to watch that experience.

It is in those moments that I am reminded of why I shouldn't be so selfish.

Maybe my husband coaching isn't such a bad thing. In fact, it's most definitely a good thing.

Team 2015 Miles in 2015 September Update

Team 2015 Miles so far!

Another month has passed and we are crushing our miles! All three of us gals are still working hard and trying even harder to accomplish our goals. September was a good month for us overall and as long as we keep logging in miles and trying our best, we will collectively reach our 2015 miles. The good thing about a challenge like this is when one team member has a lower month than expected (like I did in February, for example) there are still two other team members to pass the baton to. 

We have come a long way since we decided to take this challenge. The idea for this challenge came from a website called RunTheEdge. There were several options of how to create a team, and although we started modeling the Triple Threat option, where we all strive to reach the same split number of miles, we may end up modeling the Three Musketeers, where the miles don't have to be split evenly, and we work as a team and support each other with what we can offer. The key is we all keep getting something in each month.

I'll go first. I have really rocked my miles these last three months, giving our team a little flexibility in the end if we need it. This month I actually met my goal for the year, but that doesn't mean I'll be slowing down at all. Last year I ran just under 1000 miles so my goal this year is to get over 1000 miles in. That still means that I would have to do an average of about 100 miles or slightly more per month for the rest of the year, so we will see what happens. That is a lot of running, and with my big challenge of two halfs in one weekend almost over, I will have to see how I do once my training is over and I am back to leisurely running. 

My September Miles.

Next, our rock of stability, Brandi. As usual, even in injury, this girl gets her miles in. Here is her September recap:
Only 117.85 miles to go. Yep, I said only. J 
I remember barely being able to run a block without struggling. Now if I was asked to run 10 miles, I would without questions. Whether you can run a block or 20 miles you are moving. I agree 100% that exercise is good for the body and soul. The joy I get from exercising now is overwhelming.  I’ve been helping another runner train for her first race, and I got goose bumps when we finished our last run together. She did fabulous! It’s amazing what people can accomplish if they commit and push themselves to the best of their ability. I have been able to witness this in many people this summer and I’m feel honored to be able to help them.
 September was a tough but wonderful month.  My husband and I spent our 9th wedding anniversary in the UP of Michigan. Unfortunately GPS didn’t work anywhere so I didn’t log any miles for over a week and my knee is still letting me know it’s not 100% yet.  
Lake of the Clouds

Team member Kate had a strong finish in September and was just a few walks short of her goal. She promises to have a blog post for you at the end of October. I love that Kate is on our team because the demands of this challenge are something that she hadn't regularly committed to before. And now, TEN MONTHS later she is STILL committed and working on her miles. It's easier for Brandi and I to do this challenge, regular walking and running was part of our everyday lives before the challenge. For Kate it was not, but NOW it IS! Good for you Kate! You are making a healthy life habit, and we are so proud of you.

So that's our team, our miles and our goals. We'll be back next month with another recap.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Less Than Two Weeks To Go!

 

How's your last few weeks of training going? Tapering your longer runs? Working on your quickening your pace during shorter runs? Those two techniques have been my main focal points this last week and my plan for the last few.

From when I started training nine weeks ago I have knocked about a full minute off of my pace during 4-5 miles runs. I am running in the low to mid 8:00s right now (even hitting the upper 7:00s a few times!), but started in the low to mid 9:00s in June.

My goal is to PR one of the I-35 Challenge halfs, which would mean I need to keep my splits at about 8:40-:44 minute average each. I really feel like I am on track to beat my current fastest half time of about 1:55. I guess only time will tell.

I am glad the weather has gotten a little cooler in Kansas City this week and it should stay that way for the next few weeks here. I imagine Iowa weather is cooling off as well. I remember feeling quite chilled at the start of the IMT DMM last year and running in the cold these last few weeks before should help that not be an issue again this year. You Iowa folks have weather that is just a shade cooler than us in KC, even though we are only three hours to the south of you.

What are your race goals for the IMT DMM or the I-35 Challenge? How are your last few weeks of training going? I'd love to hear about it. Comment below! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @mamagottarun so we can connect and say hello in Des Moines in a few weeks!

Happy training!

*Also posted on the IMT DMM blog.