Friday, my daughter and I decided to take off on an "Excellent Adventure." (In case you've never seen the movie Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, I'd recommend it...funny movie with historical facts tucked in.) Our adventure started out at SR Harris, a fabric warehouse where you can find nearly any kind of fabric you'd ever want. We chose the Burnsville location which is a little less "warehouse-feeling," but lots of variety and good prices. H chose a quilt kit to work on this summer and we found a couple of items D needed for some things he is working on in the garage. Sewing is an excellent skill for kids and teens to develop to be sure they can keep their clothing in good repair when they venture out on their own someday!
After fabric, we took off for Jordan, MN, and Minnesota's Largest Candy Store. If we thought we needed sturdy shoes to walk around the fabric warehouse, the candy store was WAY larger. We spend about an hour and a half wandering up and down the aisles and found quite a few yummy treats. Unfortunately, I was carrying our basket on the arm where my Garmin is and it didn't ready my steps. I know we took enough to burn off some candy!
We had a medium sized basket load of treats when we left the candy store including a few items that our family had asked for if we could find them. If an old favorite is still available, this store probably has it! When I saw the candy cigarettes, I had to get a box for Stephanie. There was a store (called the Little Store) on the next block from our house when we were little. They had a whole wall of candy behind the counter...probably a good plan for loss prevention. I remember candy cigarettes being .15 and we would buy them and play smoke. Currently, there is so much media attention about the tobacco companies marketing to children, I wonder what minty sticks with red tips and boxes with mock tobacco company labels was supposed to be??? Neither of us smoke, so we were not damaged by our play smoking :-) Incidentally, I did have to ask two second grade students not to play smoke baby carrots at lunch this spring, so perhaps kids don't need fun candy cigarettes to pick up on adult behaviors.
Some people like to use candy instead of Gu or Gatorade to fuel their long runs. I have used jelly beans successfully except that when it got hot, they melted into one big glob. Other people talk about using gummy bears or worms. My dentist said he hates carrying food on his long runs, so he brings a couple of dollars and stops at the gas station for a Snickers and a drink of water. Snickers is probably not a common candy to use for fueling, but that is why all runners should test their fuel on training runs. Never wait for race day to try something new.
While my running is slowly increasing, an Excellent Adventure was an awesome way to enjoy my daughter's company and explore some sights we've wanted to see. Hope you are all getting out running this weekend and find something new to explore. Happy running! Missee
This afternoon, my kids and I traded in our running shoes...
For these beautiful bowling shoes.
It was a cool and windy day here, so we decided to go to the local bowling alley for two games. It was a good activity to get us out of the house and have some laughs. You will notice that I am not posting our scores. :)
We were the only customers at the bowling alley on a Friday afternoon, but we had a blast!
Tomorrow morning will be my last long run before the race next weekend. The temperatures have been a bit cooler than an average June, but I have to admit that the cooler temps make for great running weather. Enjoy! -Stephanie
Today is National Selfie Day. It seems crazy now, but years ago, the thought of wasting film taking a picture of yourself with the hope it would turn out was absurd. Now people take selfies often. Kids on Snapchat take them all day. This week I was doing some heavy cleaning in our storage area and came out with a selfie-worthy find. My family was horrified. The 80's called; they want their glasses back!
These were my first pair of glasses. Why do I still have them? No ideas, but I'll be letting them go ASAP. After finding the glasses, I signed up for a gym so that I can have a variety of good options for exercise during this rehab phase back into running. I will be trying classes, elliptical trainers and lap swim. Stephanie and I were both lifeguards and swimming instructors years ago, but I haven't swum laps in years. I need to figure out when it's slow in the pool to dust off my skills. I found this little meme which sums up what you'll hear about my gym activity.
Once I am back on a normal running program, the physical therapist promised a set of maintenance exercises good for all runners to keep their hips and hamstrings happy. I will share those on the blog as a public service and a prayer that your hamstrings stay happy! In the meantime, the PT is intentional about keeping me running at least a little. My family says 'Thank You!' As whatever keeps Mom on the road is a gift to the family.
Hope you you are able to get out for a run today, the longest day of the year. Take some selfies and feel free to post one in our comments section! Happy running--Missee
In my years of running, I have learned a great deal from my mistakes and I'm sure there are more to come. Maybe someone else could benefit from some of my mistakes? Here are five of my running mistakes and what I have learned from each one.
Mistake #1. Dressing too warmly- This is a big one for me. I almost always wear clothes that are too warm for the outside temperature. I don't like to be cold, so I tend to put on more clothes than necessary and then I am hot and miserable. One time I read on a website that a runner should dress for 20 degrees warmer than it actually is outside. So if you are heading out for a run on a day that is 65 degrees.. dress for 85 degrees. Of course you need to take into account the weather conditions. If it is sunny, windy, or raining, you might need to adjust. If I start running and I am a little cold for the first few blocks, I probably wore the right apparel.
I did a quick search about what to wear for running in different temperatures and found a ton of great charts. An example chart is posted below.
Mistake #2. Not eating on long runs. If you are training for a longer race, especially marathons, you will need to learn how to eat while running. I have used Gu for all of my marathons. I have a tough time eating while I am running but I know that if I don't, I will not have energy later in the race.
Mistake #3. Wearing something to a race or for a long run that you haven't worn before. Yes, I have done this and always regretted it. You never know which clothing items will cause chafing, ride up while running, or just not feel right. Try out new running clothes for shorter runs first.
4. Wearing shoes that are worn out- Running shoes are expensive. However, keeping your feet happy with good shoes will help you in many ways. I wear my running shoes for about four months before getting new shoes. You will need to figure out how long you can wear your shoes based on how many miles you are running. Your running shoes should NEVER have an anniversary. Keep your feet happy!
5. Not following a training program. For my first marathon, I didn't know that I should follow a marathon training program. I have to admit that I did very little right while training for my first marathon. I ran my first marathon in 5 hours and 20 minutes. My second marathon, about 8 years later, was completed in 4 hours and 9 minutes. Need I say more? I learned that I needed to find a training program and follow it. Isn't is amazing what being prepared can do? (I like Hal Higdon's training programs. You can find his website here.)
Do you have any running mistakes that others could learn from? If so, please feel free to comment below.
Today is the first day of summer! Wishing you a many happy summer runs! -Stephanie
It rained...we ran...and we had fun! The Sunnybrook Stomp was held on Friday evening in Wadena, MN. The race was scheduled to start at 6:30 pm and the rain started at about 6:00 pm. It was just rain... no thunder or lightening. Once you decided that you will be getting wet, it was really not a big problem. It was a steady rain shower without wind and the temperature was high enough so that we were not cold.
My family of four and my mom all participated in the 5K race. Here we are before and after our run.
We had a blast! It was a fun race with a kazoo band around mile 2.5 and plenty of enthusiasm from the race organizers. In addition to a fun time, we ended up with great race shirts and prizes.
For winning my age group, I got $10 in Wadena Chamber Bucks (money to be spent at a Wadena business). I redeemed my Chamber Bucks that very evening at The Fresh Freeze, an awesome burger and ice cream shop in town.
They also had random drawings for prizes. I was lucky to be drawn for car coasters. These cute ceramic coasters go in your car's cup holders. They are absorbent so that your on-the-go drinks don't leave rings in your cup holders. Awesome!
If your weekend included a race, I hope it went well and you had fun since fun is why we keep running. Happy Running! -Stephanie
Volunteer! When it became clear that running the half this weekend was not wise, I talked my daughter into volunteering at a marathon water stop. Here we are, cups filled and ready for action:
It was an enjoyable morning. We had to be to our post at Mile 7 by 6:30 am to fill water cups. We were done in plenty of time to get excited to see the wheelchair athletes followed by the elites. They came by us with about 35:00 on the clock!!! Most elites have special water bottles, so we could just cheer for a while.
Once the regular runners started coming by, it was constant for about an hour. I have heard to try to make eye contact with water volunteers. It was helpful for the runners and me when they made eye contact or pointed at me to say, "I'm coming for your water." I was amazed at how many people said thank you to us volunteers. Many people even made jokes with us.
From the perspective of the volunteers, consider wearing your name in large print on your shirt or hat. We wanted to cheer for you each by name! Depending on how you are feeling, wave, nod or somehow acknowledge our cheers. It makes us cheer louder! Thank us if you can. It was definitely our pleasure to be there, but a quick thank you feels good.
The Grandmas Marathon organizers said it takes about 6,000 volunteers to make the day happen. In addition to the positive vibes from the runners, we were rewarded with tshirts, socks, drink tickets for the after party, lapel pins, decals, and a baggie of coupons. Wow, did we feel valuable! Maybe that is part of how they have been able to recruit an army of workers for the past 41 years.
Consider being a race volunteer sometime. This was a large event, but races of all sizes need minions of worker bees to make the event successful. H and I had an awesome morning together. Hopefully the runners had as much fun as us. Here are photos of H pretending to run the marathon and D in the 5K last night. He has also been injured, but was able to make a comeback to place 12th of over 1,800 finishers. I'm a proud mama;-)
Care to Comment? Have you ever been a race volunteer? Did you participate in any of the Grandmas Marathon events?
Happy Friday! Where has this week gone? Due to some plans for the weekend, I ended up running my long run yesterday morning. It was a long ten miles with one water stop at about the five mile mark. During this run, I tried to push the pace a bit. When I finished, I saw that my pace was an 8:57 average per mile. I hoped for better, but that will have to do. I did, however, noticed that my last mile was well faster than the 8:57 average. Do you think I was tired of running and ready to finish? I do!
After my run, I rewarded myself with a nice, cold bottle of Diet Coke. I will refer to this as my "breakfast soda" since I opened it around 8:30 am. :)
On Saturday, thousands of runners will compete in Grandma's Marathon in Duluth. I have competed in that race for the past two years, but did not enter this year. Good luck to all who will be competing in this beautiful marathon. It is an amazing experience. Enjoy!
My family is entered into a 5K this weekend. Watch for a race recap. Our goals are to have fun and get some exercise.
Happy Running and Good Luck to Grandma's Marathon Participants! -Stephanie
I am back from vacation. For most of the 17 years of our weekly lake vacation, we have gone in late July or early August. Once we returned, we always felt like summer was winding down. I generally had to dash off to the school nutrition convention the next week and back to work the week after. This year was the complete opposite. My husband actually had to finish up a half-day at school on the day we left. We literally left work to our vacation. Now we are back home with the whole summer yet to go! I wonder if the summer will feel longer?
To be transparent, I do get another week's vacation in July when I will be attending running camp. Wow, a running camp for grown-ups? No--I get to do running camp with D's high school team. We will be traveling to Wyoming to run at altitude for a week. And, maybe best of all, we will be stopping at Mt. Rushmore on the way out. I have wanted to go see "the heads" for a long time! I will be helping with some of the meals and errands, but mostly free to explore the area and join the team on runs. I'm already a little afraid for the 11 miler on the last day that climbs I believe 4,000 feet--but mostly excited to spend the week with D and helping the younger runners get their legs under them by encouraging them on their workouts. Be assured of some awesome photos to the blog that week.
In the meantime, I am continuing to rehab this stubborn hamstring. It's a huge bummer not to be running, but mostly I'm missing out on my social time with friends. Sometimes people ask why I run so far (could be 4 miles or 14, it's all far if you don't run). I always say it's because we need that much time to chat! Yesterday, I was sad about my limited prescribed workout for today. Wednesday is my day to run with my friend Deb. Here is my text and her response:
I would have completely understood if she had taken a pass on this crazy little run-walk adventure. A real friend will not only give up her regular run, but dislike yours with you! Charlie did come with us and was reluctant for a while until he got the hang of listening for the beeps from my watch. He really likes Deb, so I think he would rather just have her attention instead.
I tried one other adventure this week. It is perhaps the opposite of getting more exercise. I baked bread. I used the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Bread mix. I ordered it directly from their website after my mother-in-law told me how easy it was to make. It does take a long time, but it is not labor intensive. The total time was about 2 1/2 hours, but each step maybe took about 5-10 minutes of hand-on work and then more waiting. Here is my finished product. It turned out very nice. With a whole household of GF folks, I don't have to worry too much about overeating :-)
This bread looks and tastes more like regular wheat bread than most of the frozen products we've been purchasing. I will definitely try making this again!
Hope you are keeping cool with your running this summer and can find a running friend willing to enjoy or even dislike your runs with you! Missee
Hello! I hope your summer running is going well! Summer brings changes to my running. I drink more water and change my running wardrobe. Here are a few items that I need for a good summer run.
1. Sunblock. I put on sunblock first thing in the morning so it has a chance to soak in before I head out the door for a run. I also keep this basket of sunblock (and bug spray) by the back door so that my family remembers to use it.
2. A hat or a visor. Wearing a hat or visor keeps sun out of your eyes and off of your face. It is a must for me in the summer!
3. Running Sunglasses. These are a must! I do not spend a lot of money of running sunglasses because I tend to get sunblock on them or they get scratched. I like sunglasses made specifically for running because they are designed to not slip down a sweaty nose.
4. My ALL TIME FAVORITE shorts from Road Runner Sports. You can find the link here. I love these shorts because I like having two zipper pockets along with a velcro pocket in the back. I also think they are very reasonably priced. Right now the full price shorts are $34.99 and some less popular colors are on sale for $24.99. (There is an additional discount if you are a VIP member of Road Runner Sports.) I recently purchased a pair of black shorts for my running friend as a birthday gift and one pair in a maroon color for myself (on sale). With a black tank, some of the colors offered at the sale price look nice.
5. Running t-shirts or tanks. I like the ones from Old Navy. I recently purchased this one in black. Although I am 5'7", I like to purchase shirts from Old Navy and Gap in Tall sizes. It gives me additional length so that my shirt does not ride up at all while running.
6. Body Glide Anti-Chafe Balm. In the summer months, it is not uncommon to have some chafing. I often often experience chafing under my arm where a tank may rub. A little of this balm before running can make a big difference.
Happy Summer Running! -Stephanie
Care of Comment?
Do you have any recommendations for summer running gear or apparel?
Our first blog giveaway is complete. We had two entries and two WINNERS!
Thank you to Marree and Sandie for entering. You will each receive your visor and iTunes gift card this week. Thank you for supporting us and our blog!
Happy Running! -Stephanie & Missee
Missee and Stephanie are two Minnesota sisters and moms who love to run. We are not experts in running, parenting or anything else, but we do have years of experiences that may be helpful or entertaining to others.