Winter 100 Challenge Check-in

The first month of the Winter 100 Challenge is nearly over and I want to check in with all of my participants to see how everyone is doing.

I am in unknown territory.  In the past, if I ran during the winter, it was sporadic and only short distances.  This year, I’m running consistently (usually 4 days a week) and one of those runs is a double digit mileage run.  I’m still getting used to how I need to dress for the dropping temperatures.  Although, we’ve had some random warm days this December here in MD which was nice.

On Sunday, I ran 12 miles.  When I headed out the door, it was about 30 degrees.  To me, that is cold.  I know a lot of you live in places that are even colder right now.  I don’t know how you do it! When I first stepped outside, that chill in the air made me want to run back inside, throw on my comfy yoga pants and sweatshirt and sit in front of the fire with my hot cup of coffee.  Unfortunately, I knew those miles wouldn’t run themselves so I forced myself to suck it up and hit the pavement.  No matter how the marathon goes on race day, I know I will be proud of myself for sticking with my training through the winter.

As of today, I have logged 66 miles since December 1st.  Zain has run 24 of those miles with me.  If my training goes as planned until the end of the month, I may even hit 100 before January 1st! Then I’ll have to work on making sure Zain gets in his miles :) .

How is the Winter 100 Challenge going for you? Have you encountered any obstacles in your training? Are you finding it difficult to get out to run/walk with the cooler temperatures?

When you’re having a hard time getting going this winter, just say to yourself: Garmin…Sparkly Soul…Go Sport ID…SparkleSkirts…Gu…Ryders Eyewear…Nuun.  That will help remind you of the prizes you have the chance to win if you log those 100 miles! :)

Happy Running!

(If you haven’t signed up for the challenge yet, you still can!)

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Sweet Fundraising

Sweet treats for a good cause

When hubby and I ran the Baltimore Marathon in October, we ran for Team Fight for The Ulman Cancer Fund.  It was a great experience and we were thrilled to raise money for their organization.  I am currently training for the Rock ‘n Roll USA Marathon with Team in Training for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I feel a tad guilty asking all the same people who just donated to my last charity run to donate to yet another one.  Therefore, I’m trying to be creative this time around.

My mom recently asked me if I’d do some baking for a couple holiday parties she was hosting.  She offered to pay me, but I refused because I would never charge my family for me to bake for them! Then I thought, hmm…it is a lot of baking and it would be a great way to raise money for TNT.  So I told her that instead of paying me, she could make a donation to TNT.  I told her she could decide the amount she donated.  And with that, I’m almost 50% to my goal!

She had holiday parties 2 weekends in a row.  Here are the yummy treats I made for her (which by the way, everyone loved!):

Christmas Cake Pops! All filled with red velvet cake

Christmas Trees

Santa Hats

Good old dark chocolate covered cake pops

Rich chocolate oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate chunks

Pepperment oreo truffles for party #1 (actually made with Trader Joe’s awesome Candy Cane Joe Joe’s)

Regular oreo truffles for party #2 (actually made with Trader Joe’s tasty Vanilla Bean Joe Joe’s)

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Topped with cream cheese buttercream frosting – simply amazing!

The best part about these cupcakes was that I cored them and filled the hole with frosting before topping with more frosting so when you bite into them, there’s a yummy surprise!

Obviously these pictures have nothing to do with running so I will leave you with one that sort of does – I’m wearing my snazzy hot pink compression socks post-long run in this picture :) .

Family picture on my parents’ Christmas Tree Farm

Have you ever run with a charity team? What were some creative things you did for fundraising?

 

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The lengths I go to in order to avoid the treadmill

I am very lucky to have a really nice treadmill located right in the comfort of my basement.  It has a hookup to play my iPhone/iPod through its speakers and there is a TV and DVD player in the room to keep me entertained.  Despite the distractions I can set up for myself, I have a really hard time running on it.  I lose my motivation quickly and find it so tempting to just step right off when my run isn’t going well.

In order to get through some of my tough runs, I need to get myself a few miles from my house so I have no choice but to run back if I want to stop! The treadmill taunts me with how easy it is to just stop when my run is feeling blah.

The weather yesterday sucked.  It was raining all day which meant I wasn’t going to run outside with Zain for my 5 mile hill run.  My backup plan was to run on the treadmill during his nap.  Well, naptime came and I discovered a million things I needed to do to get ready for our afternoon playdate at our house.  That meant no time for the good old dreadmill.

My options then became a) skip the run or b) run in the rain/dark/cold/wind when hubby got home.  I went with option b.  Now when I say “rain/dark/cold/wind,” I mean pouring cold rain, complete darkness, 45 degree (felt like 38 degree) weather, with some strong winds for good measure.  The temperature actually wasn’t bad, but the rain and wind made it feel worse.

When hubby walked in the door, he told me he had good news – the rain was dying down.  When I set foot outside I was immediately on my way to being soaking wet.  He must have been lying.  So cruel.

This run needed to be 5 miles of the hilliest route I could run.  I pretty much just ran up and down 2 of the biggest hills closest to my house.  I didn’t want to venture too far away because the area near my house is well-lit and these hills are no joke so I thought they would do just fine.  One hill is long and gradual and the other is long and steep.  The mix of the 2 seemed to give my legs s good workout.  I didn’t want to risk wearing my Garmin so I wore a regular old Timex watch and ran for 52 minutes.  I would map out my run to see my exact mileage, but I lost track of the number of times I ran the hills.

There were huge puddles, water rushing down the sidewalks, more puddles, gross worms all over the sidewalks that I gave up trying to avoid stepping on.  Seriously, I don’t mind running in the rain, but the one thing I hate about it is the worms on the sidewalks.  I’m pretty sure I looked like a lunatic to every car that passed by while I ran.  I really didn’t care.  I got my hills done.

Do you see how soaked I am? No, you can’t really tell, but I swear I was :-)

Would the treadmill have been a more sane option? Yes.  I could have varied the incline to make it a hill run.  However, for me, I just don’t get the same satisfaction out of running on the treadmill that I do running outside.  I want to see that hill in front of me and conquer it.

I know as winter creeps in, I’ll end up on the treadmill out of necessity, but for now, I’m clinging to my runs outside.

Check out how awesome my hair looks!

Do you avoid or embrace the treadmill?

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It takes a mile

When it’s cold outside, it takes me a mile, sometimes a mile and half to feel comfortable with the chill in the air.  I spend that first mile wondering if I dressed appropriately or if maybe I’d be better off going home and getting on the treadmill.  I know that the treadmill is not a good option because most likely I will get bored and press that tempting little red stop button before I reach my intended mileage.

Once I hit a mile and half, I’m feel like I’m the perfect temperature and I actually begin to enjoy the cold air.  I kind of like seeing my breath in the air in front of me.  I like that I don’t feel like I’m dripping in sweat.  However, I don’t like that instead of sweat, it’s my nose that drips.  Gross, I know.

It also takes a mile for my body to warm up and get into the rhythm of my run.  That’s true regardless of the season.  The first mile is always the hardest for me.  I spend most of that first mile wondering how on earth I’ve run 3 half marathons and 2 full marathons.  I wonder why I signed up for a 3rd marathon.  I wonder how I could possibly ever have dreams of running an ultramarathon someday (by someday, I mean years from now).

Shortly after my trusty Garmin gives me the beeping sound that signals I reached a mile, I settle into my run and slowly I start to feel better and better.  The reality that I’ve completed 5 long distance races sets in and I remind myself that I can do this.

I had a particularly challenging run this morning.  I have run 10 miles every single weekend since the Baltimore Marathon.  All of those runs have gone well.  Most of them have been great.  I guess I was due for a bad run today because I sure had one.  I had a busy day yesterday where I barely got a chance to sit down.  I didn’t drink enough water and I didn’t eat enough.  I definitely paid for that today.  Next week will be better!

My long run today wraps up week 1 of marathon #3 training.  My 3 runs this past week all went fairly well.  The most fun one was my 4 mile hill run with Zain (I need a sarcasm font).  I ran up and down the meanest hill I know – a quarter of a mile long – 4 times while pushing Zain in the stroller.  Then I moved onto a short steep grassy hill where I parked Zain at the top and then I ran up and down the hill 10 times.  Zain found that to be hilarious and enjoyed telling me “Hiiiii!” every time I got to the top.  It was tough, but the run actually went by really quickly because I was focused on getting the hills in and not on my mileage or pace.

Enjoying some craisins and water while parked at the top of the hill watching mommy run. He’s got it easy.

Today, I was supposed to finish the week with a 9 mile run, but I don’t like odd numbers so I had to go with a 10 mile run instead even though it was tough.

The Winter 100 Challenge kicked off this week and I now have 170 participants sign up! You guys seriously inspire me.  I cannot wait to see how many miles you log as this challenge progresses. How did your week of running go?

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It takes a mile

When it’s cold outside, it takes me a mile, sometimes a mile and half to feel comfortable with the chill in the air.  I spend that first mile wondering if I dressed appropriately or if maybe I’d be better off going home and getting on the treadmill.  I know that the treadmill is not a good option because most likely I will get bored and press that tempting little red stop button before I reach my intended mileage.

Once I hit a mile and half, I’m feel like I’m the perfect temperature and I actually begin to enjoy the cold air.  I kind of like seeing my breath in the air in front of me.  I like that I don’t feel like I’m dripping in sweat.  However, I don’t like that instead of sweat, it’s my nose that drips.  Gross, I know.

It also takes a mile for my body to warm up and get into the rhythm of my run.  That’s true regardless of the season.  The first mile is always the hardest for me.  I spend most of that first mile wondering how on earth I’ve run 3 half marathons and 2 full marathons.  I wonder why I signed up for a 3rd marathon.  I wonder how I could possibly ever have dreams of running an ultramarathon someday (by someday, I mean years from now).

Shortly after my trusty Garmin gives me the beeping sound that signals I reached a mile, I settle into my run and slowly I start to feel better and better.  The reality that I’ve completed 5 long distance races sets in and I remind myself that I can do this.

I had a particularly challenging run this morning.  I have run 10 miles every single weekend since the Baltimore Marathon.  All of those runs have gone well.  Most of them have been great.  I guess I was due for a bad run today because I sure had one.  I had a busy day yesterday where I barely got a chance to sit down.  I didn’t drink enough water and I didn’t eat enough.  I definitely paid for that today.  Next week will be better!

My long run today wraps up week 1 of marathon #3 training.  My 3 runs this past week all went fairly well.  The most fun one was my 4 mile hill run with Zain (I need a sarcasm font).  I ran up and down the meanest hill I know – a quarter of a mile long – 4 times while pushing Zain in the stroller.  Then I moved onto a short steep grassy hill where I parked Zain at the top and then I ran up and down the hill 10 times.  Zain found that to be hilarious and enjoyed telling me “Hiiiii!” every time I got to the top.  It was tough, but the run actually went by really quickly because I was focused on getting the hills in and not on my mileage or pace.

Today, I was supposed to finish the week with a 9 mile run, but I don’t like odd numbers so I had to go with a 10 mile run instead even though it was tough.

The Winter 100 Challenge kicked off this week and I now have 170 participants sign up! You guys seriously inspire me.  I cannot wait to see how many miles you log as this challenge progresses. How did your week of running go?

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The Winter 100 Challenge starts today!

The weather here in Maryland was a total tease in the past week.  The temperatures were in the mid-60s some days and it sure didn’t feel like Winter was approaching.  Today, it’s cold again which is a reminder of why I need this challenge to stay motivated!

If you haven’t signed up for Winter 100 Challenge yet, you can still do so.  There is actually no deadline to sign up; as long as you can provide the documentation of your mileage from December, January and February, you can sign up anytime.  So far we have 144 people signed up for the challenge!! I am amazed by the response to the challenge and I’m ecstatic that so many of you want to stay motivated to keep moving this Winter.

In case you missed my latest announcement about the challenge – you can now win a Garmin Forerunner 210!!! I am thrilled to be able to give away a Garmin watch and so thankful to the folks at Garmin who made it happen.  I use a Garmin Forerunner 110 and cannot live without it.  The 210 looks amazing and one lucky participant who logs at least 100 miles will win one!

Just a reminder to review the rules and requirements on the challenge post so you make sure you understand what to do.  A few people have asked me if walking counts; the answer is yes, it does.  While I originally intended for this to be a running challenge, I do understand that some people are battling injuries or other issues that may keep them from running.  Therefore, walking counts; however, biking and elliptical miles do not.  You need to log these miles with your feet on the ground (or treadmill).

If you have any questions as the challenge goes on, feel free to e-mail/tweet/Facebook me anytime!

Don’t forget you can also earn an extra entry into the prize drawing if you donate to my Team in Training fundraiser! (A donation is not a requirement.)

Good luck!!!

I’m going to kick off the challenge today with an easy 4 mile run.  How are you starting the Winter 100 Challenge?

 

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