Monday, June 24, 2013

Daily dose of adorable #puppylove #chocolatelab #labsofinstagram #Hunter #livingthedream

Meet Hunter, our 6 week & 2 day old chocolate lab that came home to his forever family on Saturday.  We are all over the moon in love with this little guy and so far he has fit in perfectly.  While the first few weeks may take some patience and of course our normal routines and schedules will change but this little friend is so worth it!

Originally when we found Hunter our plan was to pick him up on the way home from our family trip next weekend.  It was going to be a surprise for the little ones but little did we know our oldest learned to read and called us out when he read "Pick up Hunter" on our family calendar.  Well there went the surprise, except the family we got Hunter from was headed downtown to a Tigers game this past Saturday and wanted to know if we wanted them to bring Hunter.  Ok, operation surprise #2...This was going to be tricky because we needed someone to watch Hunter for the days we were out of town and had to come up with a way for the husband to sneak away from our oldest cake/ice cream birthday party.  Saturday, the husband snuck away and the grandparents and great grandparents kept the boys occupied enough that the kids did not even know the husband was missing.  As we were getting dinner out the oldest wanted to know where daddy was since he never misses a meal, I quickly replied "Oh daddy doesn't feel good, he will be downstairs when it's time for cake".  I got the kids fed, since I knew when Hunter arrived there would be no eating for them because of the excitement.  Perfect timing because just as they were finished with dinner the husband snuck around the corner with Hunter and surprised the boys.  I think more then anything they were confused and a bit shocked.  The oldest had been worried the husband was sick and now he was standing there with Hunter.  The middle son wanted to know why daddy had the puppy in his room the whole time. The littlest son, well he was just excited for "dog dog".  All 3 boys were very happy to have our newest family member home and they all have been so wonderful with him.

via Instagram

(The Husband coming around the corner to surprise the boys)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Simple Hydration Bottle Review

I saw the Simple Hydration bottle online several months ago, but it was winter and I do not run with liquids under 6 miles so I was not in a hurry to order.  However since Michigan has finally warmed up to 80+ degrees and nasty humidity I figured now was a good time to get one.  It shipped quickly and I received it only a few days after ordering.

Run #1: I barely made it 100 ft with the Simple Hydration Bottle tucked into my waistband.  It bounced and it felt like my pants were falling down.  I pulled it out of the waistband and hand carried it for 3 miles till I looped back to my car.  Now I normally hate carrying anything but this bottle was pretty comfy.  Now a hand carry is still not my 1st choice of hydration systems but this bottle would work in a pinch. 

(See perfect thumb spot and "molded" for a hand)

Why did it bounce? My first thought was my outfit choice, my Brooks PR Mesh Skorts do not have a drawstring waistband, and on a normal run when they aren't holding up 13 oz of water the waist band always feels "loose".  I did ask Simple Hydration on Twitter why it bounced and they responded quickly and just like I thought that they key was a drawstring.

Run #2: New outfit which included a pair of Oiselle Roga Shorts with a drawstring and I had an almost bounce free run. I say almost because the first mile there was a slight bounce when the bottle was heavy from ice and the full 13 oz of water it holds, but it wasn't enough to make me think the bottle would bounce out or my pants would fall down like Run #1.

(Awesome hydration system if your wardrobe has drawstrings)

Overall I would recommend the bottle if you are looking for a "Simple Hydration" option that does not need belts or packs.  I plan on using mine now on my shorter runs when I wear my shorts and do not carry much anyways.  I would probably even consider using it on longer runs if Brooks decides to perfect their PR Mesh Skort and add a drawstring.  I will be ordering another one soon for my husband who has started running and I know all of his shorts have drawstrings! Oh and if you like Simple Hydration on Facebook or follow them on Twitter keep your eyes pealed for awesome deals!! 

**Please note I purchased the Simple Hydration bottle with my own money and a coupon code.  The review and opinions are my own and I was no way influenced by the nice folks over at Simple Hydration

#puppylove #chocolatelab #labsofinstagram

via Instagram

I just love him! #puppylove #chocolatelab

via Instagram

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I hated running 26.2...SURE I'll sign up for a 50K!

I cannot say that I hated every minute of training and/or running the Bayshore Marathon in 2004 with Team in Training, but I can say there were more moments then not that I did not want to be doing it.  I did meet some wonderful people through the experience, raised money for Team in Training and finished a marathon (that was my only goal and 5 hours and 23 minutes after I started, I finished that marathon)

At the start-completely over dressed (b/c I was clueless about proper clothing for weather) 
The end - I did celebrate but had no desire to go through that again - EVER!
After completing Bayshore I ran a handful of half marathons but it was not until last year when I even thought about another full marathon.  I signed up for the Detroit Free Press Full Marathon, built my base, and started the Run Less Run Faster training program, only to bail in August and defer to the International Half Marathon.  The 15+ mile long runs and the high weekly mileage was just to much for me with 3 kids all under 5 and a husband working 50+ hours a week.

This is when you may be saying..."Um Jess you do know that a 50K is longer then a marathon right?" or "If you could not train for 26.2 how can you train for a 50K?"

Why I decided to run Woodstock 50K:

1. Terrain: It is a trail race, and to be honest I love the trails.  I feel at home on the trails.  I also feel a bit like a bad a*s, Katniss type character as I weave through branches, leaves, and switchbacks.  Plus, many trails here in MI are shaded, which for a girl who runs hot, is a blessing, it is much easier for me to handle 14 shaded miles in the trees then 14 miles in the sun on concrete.

2. Pace: I needed a break from the "Have to break 2/PR pressure" I was putting on myself with the half marathons.  It has been a long road and I still am 4.6 seconds short of the goal I started chasing a year and a half ago.  I am mentally exhausted, not defeated just needed to take a break and remember why I am running, to have fun, to challenge myself and be better then I was yesterday.  I knew that a 50K would take me back to my "just finish" goal and I am ok with that.  I have a pace goal in mind based on several training runs on the trail but I think it will be adjusted a few more times before race day.  Not to mention, I do not run fast in the summer, it is just fact, the humidity and heat takes it's toll, so why not chase a challenge that allows me to adjust for these things like a 50K.

3. GP Runners: This group has not only brought so many supportive people into my life, but also I am able squeeze in the majority of my runs before the family is finished with breakfast.  This helps with the guilt I felt every time I went out to run while attempting to train for the Detroit Full in 2012.  It is nice to have a group that meets consistently in the wee hours of the morning and on the weekends for long runs, but also a group full of pretty awesome people.

4. It's not a marathon: It's socially acceptable to take walk breaks (in fact most recommend walking up hills), eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or pick up a frozen burrito that's been cooking in tin foil at an aid station, or stop and change outfits and shoes 1/2 way through.  Honestly I do not feel any anxiety as I enter week 3, yes a bit nervous, but not the gut wrenching anxiety I felt last year when preparing for the full.  This may have something to do with the laid back "atmosphere" of a trail 50k or the 15 hour cut off time which even if something unforeseeable happens I can still walk it in that time.

Fun "selfies" I took during my 14 mile training run a few weeks ago (beginning, mile 7, mile 10 and done)
I'm not saying I will never run another road marathon, yes one day I would love to qualify for Boston, but right now, at this time in my life, this is where I am at and am happy.

What are you training for? What is your favorite distance to run/race?