Monday, November 19, 2012

Busy Runner + ShowerPill Review

So I disappeared for a week.  These past few weeks have been nonstop, and while I am not relieved of all my stress, things should be calming down in about a month.

First of all, I got the score I was hoping for on my GRE!!!!  I took the test last Tuesday and while it was really really hard, I was happy with my results.  I am finally on the last step of applying to grad school and that is my applications.  I have one month to get everything put together.  Along with school and the holiday shopping season at my job, my  life is crazy busy, but I will survive, I always do.

As for running, I started marathon training last week!!!  I am doing the Disney Marathon in January, so I am focusing less on biking and swimming and more on running.  This has been exciting, but also sad as I miss having my schedule full of cross training.  I am following my coach's training program which focuses less on high mileage and more on quality runs.  In other words, I am running fast, a lot.  Surprisingly, my body is holding up well.  I guess when they say don't add miles and speed at the same time, people really know what they are talking about.

My lack of high miles is working really well with my crazy busy schedule.  Today, I had a one hour run scheduled before my Chemistry class.  I went to the track for my run as I had 6x2 minutes at a very very hard pace on the schedule.  I had no idea what very very hard would mean, but I had fun with it.

I warmed up for 20 minutes then started my intervals.  The first 3-2 minute intervals were all at a sub-6 minute pace.  I NEVER see 5:xx so I was shocked!  After the 3rd interval, my stomach informed me that we were going too fast so I took a short walk break during my rest and slowed it down a bit for the last 3.  Those 3 were still 6:10 pace and below so I was ecstatic.  I love track workouts because you really can see progress so much easier.  Last summer, I did intervals at around 6:35 pace.  I only did 6 of these, so I did do them faster than normal, but I did feel as if I could do a few more keeping them with low 6's.

After my run, I was strapped for time.  I had class, so had to go home and change and get going.  Luckily, I was sent ShowerPill wipes to test out this past week, so I had an easy clean-up option.

The ShowerPill is a 9"x8" wipe that is described as an alcohol free athletic body wipe.  My first observation was the smell.  I hadn't read about them being alcohol-free yet so I was pleasantly surprised by their non-alcohol smell.

It was a strong, but not stinging smell, if that makes sense.  I wiped down my whole body and because the wipe was so big it lasted through everything.  The wipe started out pretty wet, so I would recommend starting with your stinkiest areas first.  I did my arms so I ended up with pretty wet arms, but they usually don't smell, so this may have been a waste.  By the time I finished wiping my body, the wipe was dry and I felt like all the salt was removed.

I have to admit, I am one of the stinkiest persons after a race that you will meet.  Because of this, I plan on throwing some ShowerPill wipes in my post-race bags so that I can feel fresh while I am waiting around.  I have used other brands of sports wipes before and the ShowerPill wipe is much bigger and gets the job done with just one wipe.  I also like how the wipes are individually wrapped so that you aren't drying out the rest of your wipes when not in use.

If you want to order your own ShowerPill wipes, they are having a Black Friday Sale on Amazon for my readers.  You all can Buy two (2) and get one (1) FREE. To get the free box, you must place 3 boxes in your shopping cart and enter the code SPFRIDAY to receive the 3rd box free.  The offer is valid 11/23-11/25. (Comparing the price of ShowerPill wipes with the other brand that I have tried, they are very similar, so this is a GREAT deal if this is something you need.)

I can't wait until Black Friday and will probably be adding a few boxes to my shopping cart as well. These are a great option for getting your workout in when you are incredibly busy.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!  I am doing a Turkey Trot on Thursday so will hopefully have a race report up by Friday.  Thanks for bearing with me through this crazy month.  I miss posting and reading everyone's blogs, but am barely getting done what I need to at this point.  

**I was not compensated for this post.  I was provided ShowerPill wipes to review on my blog.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mommy Bribes

Confession time:  I bribe my kids.  

I am in stress overload right now as I am in my final month of applying to grad school.  I have been prepping for this for three years now, but unfortunately I waited until the last minute to get everything done.

The school is my problem and I seem to have that under control.  My studying is going well and I really think I will get the grades I want in my classes and hopefully the score I want on my GRE.

Unfortunately, my house has taken a big hit on my lack of time.  My house has been a MESS for a few months.  I get the minimum done in order for us to survive like laundry, cooking, and dishes.  But when it comes to everything else, I have had to ignore the mess because of my other priorities.  

Well, luckily for my house, when I know I have something I have to get done that isn't fun, I tend to avoid it by doing something I have been putting off.  And this weekend, that happened to be cleaning my kids' playroom and bedroom.  I don't have a before picture for you, because it was BAD.  I have a 5 year old and a 7 year old with huge imaginations.  My playroom was overtaken by Zhu Zhu pets and Barbies.  

I first tried to "pay" my kids to do it themselves on Saturday morning.  I told them I would buy them something, and that something would depend on how well they cleaned.  My 7 year old got excited and got to work, but unfortunately she cleans as well as a 7 year old can clean.

Sunday morning came and things were not looking good.  I woke up sick and didn't want to run.  My husband had to get some car stuff done so I told him to go and I was going to "help" the kids clean their playroom.  

Well my small break to help them turned into an entire day of cleaning and neurotic Robin came to work.  We cleaned those rooms inside and out.  We threw out 3 bags of garbage (junk toys), packed up one huge box of toys that are too nice to throw away, and 2 bags of stuffed animals that I can't bear to get rid of but my kids don't use.

I pulled out the mattress to vacuum under, I dusted every last corner, and Bridget, my oldest was right alongside of me the whole time.  FINALLY, my kids are useful in cleaning!  And, the best part, they appreciated it.

Gabbie is in love with her "made up" bed.  She told me it was beautiful and that I am the best bed maker ever.  (No, I don't regularly make their beds, bad mommy, I know!)

Bridget loves the order of her playroom and has plans to make labels for the toy bins so that they remember where things go.  

5 days later, and everything still looks good as new.  This mommy is a semi-relaxed one who is proud of herself for taking time to be a Mom this weekend and not just the studying crazy-lady that my kids are unfortunately getting used to.

And my kids got their bribe...

And they have been busy enjoying their new playroom and keeping it clean.  

And I am back to work, for at least a few more days.  5 days until the GRE!  And training FINALLY goes back to normal next week.  Marathon training, here I come!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Brooks Silver Bullet Jacket Review

Last year I wrote a post on my winter running gear that I loved, and now I am back with what I have added this year that is keeping me warm.

The one item that is a new staple in my wardrobe this year is the Brooks Silver Bullet Jacket.

I fell in love with this jacket when I first read about it last year.  Brooks describes this jacket as a super-lightweight run jacket that packs a big punch with a high tech aluminum membrane so you can stay warm without adding extra layers.  The aluminum liner traps your heat in the jacket keeping you warm.

Lightweight and warm, I was sold.  When I received my Silver Bullet Jacket last winter, I was a little hesitant to believe that it would be warm.  It was VERY thin.  I didn't see how this jacket was going to keep me warm.  Well, if you heard about our winter year, we barely had one.  It was a warm winter, and I could barely wear my new jacket because it kept me too warm!

Depending on the temperature, I have layered thermal shirts under my jacket, and I have worn just my sports bra.  I have found that the Silver Bullet Jacket is great for cold weather bike rides as it blocks the wind, keeps me warm, and isn't bulky at all.  The jacket is also water resistant, so it has been a nice jacket for rainy runs.

The jacket is semi-fitted so is pretty flattering.  I normally wear a size medium in tops, but ordered the Large in my jacket and it fits perfect.  I think the medium wouldn't lay as flat.

A nice feature of the jacket is the added cuffs to the arms that traps your heat in even more and the flip-over mitts for even colder mornings when you forget your gloves.

So if you are looking to add a light-weight WARM jacket to your winter running gear, I highly recommend the Brooks Silver Bullet Jacket.  There are many new colors this winter and you will be surprised at how often you will wear this jacket.

**I was not compensated for this post.  I am a member of the Brooks ID team and do receive some running gear to train in.  My opinions are all my own.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Racing Too Much

Yesterday the Pumpkinman Triathlon opened up registration for 2013.

And today Vermont City Marathon's 25th Anniversary registration opened.

I love love LOVE these races.  I have run Vermont the past four years.  Pumpkinman was one of the best races I have ever participated in.  So, why are these registration dates making me sad?  I for sure am not running Vermont this year, and Pumpkinman is a big maybe. I think registration will close before I will know if I can do it.

When I hired my coach this year, one thing she pointed out was that I race too much.  This was not something I wanted to hear, because I love racing.  But, I hired a coach because I wanted to get better at my sport.  My improvement has been slower than it could have been these past few years, partly because of all the marathons I ran.  18 marathons in five years.  That is a lot of racing and not a lot of recovery!  I have chosen to race less this year in order to hopefully hit some big goals in the races that I do participate in.  I have chosen my big races for next year and Vermont will not work no matter what, so that is a no for me.

The second thing that is frustrating is, how far in advance you have to register for races.  Pumpkinman will close early in the summer, too early to know if I will be recovered enough from Lake Placid to participate in it.  Year after year, I let the Marine Corp Marathon and Chicago Marathon go, because I can't decide in February if that is what I want to do in the fall.  I will probably never run those races because I am just too indecisive to make a decision within the small registration window.

As for racing shorter distances, I still am undecided on how many races I will fit in.  I have a handful of races that I love doing, but mentally I haven't learned to just run a race.  I toe each starting line with a PR in my eyes.  I plan on keeping my eye on my goals this year and will sit on the sidelines as I watch everyone around me racing.  I will also learn to be a spectator.  I may not be running Vermont this year, but I plan on being there cheering for my husband and friends.

Have you found that racing too much slows you down?  How many big races do you participate in in one year?