Winner!!! Spartan Race Giveaway

Good morning! And Happy Friday!

No better way to start the weekend than announcing a winner!

The winner of the Spartan race entry giveaway is:

DREW!!!

Congratulations!

Please email me at maureen@morunsmarathons.com for the details on how to get your entry!

For all of those who didn’t win, you can use this link to get 15% off of any entry fee!!

And now, the Spartan Race is officially on my bucket list as well :)

Have a great day!

New Goals, Old Goals, Goals Goals Goals

Don’t miss out on your last chance for a free entry into any Spartan Race in the country!! Enter here the inner beast in you will thank me :)

So while January is when everyone generally talks about goals, I think that all the cool kids know that the end of April is where it’s at ;)

I was thinking about in the craziness of last year I made some pretty bold goals… While I didn’t hit all of them, I got closer than I thought, here’s how things shook out:

Sub 2:00 Half Marathon – Killed it!  February at the A1A Fort Lauderdale Half

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1st Full Marathon – well… if by full marathon I meant 9 months of growing another human, rocked this one too.  Otherwise, not so much.

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Pull-Ups – yes I now know what Pull-ups are, Huggies make them, right ;)

Cook new recipes – this one I actually did really well with!  I love trying new recipes from different blogs, pinterest, and cook books.  I’m now all about recipes that have the word FAST, EASY, or CROCKPOT in them.  I don’t have the time I used to spend on this but I’m finding that it’s forcing me to be more creative!

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No more soda – I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy so I stopped drinking soda altogether, and haven’t started again, win!

Read more – I read more while I was on maternity leave but not at as much since I’m back to work.  My favorite recently is ‘What Alice Forgot’, I couldn’t get through it fast enough and was so sad when it was over.

De-clutter – eh… we moved into a new house a few weeks before Nolan was born.  While we did get rid of a lot before we moved, I still feel like the house is a constant clutter.  But I guess most new moms might feel the same way?

Spend smart – well.  We bought a house.  But I would overall say I’m doing pretty well with this one.  We rarely eat out anymore or buy anything we ‘want’ that isn’t a necessity.

Overall I thought I would’ve been much farther out from my goals, so I’m pleasantly surprised.  Looking at this as my comeback, I need some new goals, don’t you think?

Overall I’m thinking more about long-term goals these days, more bucket list items so to speak.  I have a few BIG goals that I didn’t at this time last year.

1 – I want to qualify for Boston.  I know that I have it in me if I can get my training together.  Often I struggle with having any confidence in myself but I’m confident that I can do this!

2 – I want to complete an Iron Man.  I started getting back into running by signing up for my first triathlon and I want to get back there.  Of course I will build up to it and first things first I need to dig my road bike out and get my trainer set up!

3 – 1:30 half marathon.  Again these are LONG TERM.  I don’t expect to go from a 1:57 to a 1:30 without a lot of work and time.

Overall I want to find the balance necessary to achieve these goals.  Right now, I’ve been back to work for 2 months and my days consist of waking up, getting the baby and myself ready, getting him to daycare and myself to work, work like crazy all day then pick him up, come home, make dinner, wash bottles and get some ready for the next day, take a shower and go to bed.  Because the weekdays go by like that, the weekends have been occupied by chores and attempting to clean the house during nap times, and getting in some quality time while Nolan is awake!  I need to figure out a way to get more out of my day because the way things are right now is not sustainable at all.  I need more running and more Nolan in my life and less working.  I know I’m biased but I don’t think anyone would say no to more of this face :)

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I think once I find that balance my best bet (and most realistic) is my first full marathon to be late spring or early summer of 2015.  I’d love to do the Utah Valley as my first, and training during the winter and spring would be best here in South Florida, don’t have to deal with any snow!

This post is kind of scattered but right now so am I.  I think getting back to blogging is going to help me get my groove back and get more organized with my goals, my fitness, everything… looking forward to what the future has in store :)

I need your help!  Working moms – how do you balance it all?  

Anyone re-evaluate your goals outside of the January ‘New Year’ timeframe?

Don’t call it a comeback…

… I’ve been here for years!  Fun fact – when Nolan was about 5 weeks – to about 3 and a half months or so he was extremely colicky and at 6pm every night on the dot he would just cry and cry and cry, and one of the few things that would semi-console him was to dance with him to L.L. Cool J – something which we will be sure to remind him of throughout his life I’m sure.

Don’t forget to enter the Spartan Race giveaway!!!

Anyway I feel like I am making a comeback but it certainly doesn’t come easy.  I was able to hop on the treadmill this weekend and got in a whopping 2 miles, a little shorty run that I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m sore from.  I was lucky enough to be able to run until I was about 6 months pregnant and then I had to switch to walking so it’s been a solid 9  months of no running.  All those articles that describe how long it takes to lose your fitness?  Yup I’m pretty sure I’m at that ‘completely lost it’ side of that spectrum.  But that’s ok, it’ll be really great to look back and see how far I’ve come!

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Don’t mind the dust on the treadmill.  It’ll be gone shortly That is kind of symobolic, no?  I’m picking myself up and brushing the dust off because I sure do feel dusty when it comes to running.

The rest of the weekend was spent in the pool with this little guy.

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He absolutely loved every second of it and is a total water baby!

I also cooked a real meal on Saturday,

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If there’s bacon in it that means it’s paleo which means it’s healthy, right? #notafoodblogger

I am trying to cook more real food lately, the amount of Easter chocolate I’ve consumed is beyond crazy.  To the point where I have dreams about Reese’s eggs, no joke.

So that was my weekend.  A little running, a little swimming, a little cooking.  Just the way a weekend should be :)

What was the funnest thing about your weekend?

Anyone else need a chocolate/sugar detox like me?

If it Doesn’t Challenge You, It Sure as Hell Won’t Change You – Spartan Race GIVEAWAY!

Have you ever heard that when little kids sometimes act out or perform poorly in school it’s because they are bored and need more challenging material to learn? Well, it doesn’t really go away as we get any older.  Studies show that continuing to challenge ourselves will help to keep us happy and healthy.  If you’re not challenging yourself mentally and physically chances are you won’t be at your best.

The running community embraces challenge continually and it is truly a mental sport as much as it is physical.  For some, though, the traditional road race just isn’t enough.  This is where Reebok’s Spartan Race comes in.

Spartan Race is an obstacle based race designed to get  you out of your comfort zone in a fun and exciting way.  It was designed by 8 ultra athletes for those who wanted a challenge beyond road races, trail races, tough mudders, and the like.

There are 3 different distances: the Sprint (3+ miles, 15+obstacles), the Super (8+ miles, 20+ obstacles), and for the really crazy, the Beast (12+ miles and 25+ obstacles).

The folks over there at Spartan Race really know how to plan an event and they have some really exciting weekends planned!  You can check out www.spartanrace.com to see all of the events (all over the country!)

For those on the east coast, there is a Sprint Spartan in Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA on September 20, 2014.  Those who dominate this event have a chance to win entry into a Super Spartan!

We all know how addicting endurance events can be, and the Spartan Race is no different.  If you truly want to challenge yourself and push your body and mind to the limit, they are having a Trifecta Weekend in Hawaii (!!!) August 16th and 17th where they will have Sprint, Super, and Beast races and if you complete all 3 you will earn the highly coveted Trifecta medal and become part of the Elite Trifecta tribe.  Think Disney’s Dopey or Runner’s World Hat Trick on crack.  Seriously these races are no joke.

Are you signed up yet?  No matter where you are or what your fitness level is, there is a Spartan Race to fit your needs and get your grit out.

Now, for the most exciting part?  I have one FREE entry into any Spartan Race to give away to one of you lucky ducks!  It will be good for any open heat in any 2014 race in the continental U.S.  To enter, leave a comment telling me what challenge in your life you are most proud of overcoming.  Also if you spread the word on twitter, facebook, or instagram leave another comment letting me know for an additional entry by Thursday, May 1st.  I’ll pick a random winner on Friday, May 2nd!

Good luck!  And do something to challenge yourself today, your body and mind will thank you :)

What a Difference A Year Makes

So I began writing this post during the first week of the year.  I was getting pumped up to resume blogging and resume running.  Then, a few days passed and and then weeks and I still hadn’t started running again either, so it felt kind of strange to publish this, but here I go.  I’m so excited to be back and get back into the swing of things, with running, and with this blog.  On the blog front I have a TON of exciting giveaways planned over the next few weeks so stay tuned!

Funny how many times I can disappear into oblivion with this whole blog thing.  Funny how busy you can be and how much you can throw into one year.  Last year at this time, I was just returning from New Jersey where I spent the holidays with my family, the last year that they would own my childhood home.  I was right in the midst of training for a half marathon and getting ready to start a part time MBA program.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a thing for even numbers, and because of that, I’ve always favored even numbered years.  Weird, yes I know but we all have those silly things about us, don’t pretend you don’t.  I was born in an even year, and therefore all of my ‘big life events’ for my early life (graduations, sweet 16, etc) happened in even numbered years.  When I played high school soft ball my number was even and in some classes in school we’d be assigned a number for the year and because of where my last name fell in with my other classmates, that number was always even, too.

So that is a lot of gibberish to explain that I didn’t really expect much going into 2013.  I was getting into the groove at my job here in Florida and was excited to be back to running and starting school, but I didn’t expect it to be so monumental.  But life has a funny way of making the unexpected happen.  After being engaged for a while, we decided it was time to get married finally in a small wedding with our family and closest friends over Thanksgiving.  We were able to begin putting those plans together and book our favorite restaurant.  At the same time we had been getting frustrated with our living situation.  We were lucky to be rental a beautiful house, but weren’t able to fix things without going through the landlord and didn’t like paying rent and getting nothing in return when the message we were seeing every where was now is the time to buy!!  We were sucked in and started looking around our area for houses to see if we would be able to make anything work.  On top of all of this, the day after my half marathon, I found out that I was pregnant!

What began as an ordinary year quickly became absolutely insane.  The home buying process got extremely complicated and filled with hiccups and took until the end of September for us to close and move into our home.  Then on October 22, we welcomed Nolan, the sweetest and most precious gift I could ever ask for.

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Then, just 5 short weeks later, we celebrated Thanksgiving with our family and got married that weekend!

wedding getting ready wedding black and white

Overall I’d say that last year was just a tad busy.  I was lucky enough to stay home from work for 4 months, and returned in the beginning of March.  It’s not an ideal situation but we do what we have to, right?

So with all of this, what about running?  Well, I was a pretty lucky girl this Christmas:

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Jeff got me a treadmill! And my first steps (I was just trying it out, no I don’t normally run in glasses!):

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Now the tricky part is finding time to use it.  I was able to get a pretty good routine down when I was home on maternity leave, but now that I am working again it is a bit harder.  Little man is not excelling in the sleep department yet so nap time has been a scramble to do chores around the house or shower.  But you can’t really get mad at this face :)

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Nolan is the sweetest, happiest, and funniest boy you can imagine.  He is always smiling and his laugh is absolutely infectious.  He just turned 6 months old this week and we have so much fun together!

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And one more just because :)

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Well there you have it, a few of the things that have been keeping me busy and away from the blog world.  But I’ve found that it really keeps me motivated and I’m so excited to get back to running!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday America, thanks for being so cool.  I hope that you get everything that you want and have the best birthday ever.

It has been busy busy busy around here.  Since I am on the bench from running, I have been trying to become friends with the elliptical and doing more strength training.  I have done a few new workouts that leave my arms and legs like jello for days afterward so I think I am on track.  After a calf workout this week I have perfected the zombie walk like none other.  If the Walking Dead needs a pregnant extra I am all over that.  Today I was signed up for a 5K but of course cannot run it, so I gave my bib away.  I have to admit, when I glanced at my clock at 5:30 this morning I was a little thankful for being able to go back to sleep.

Since 2013 is such a big year, we have been switching gears between baby, house, and wedding almost daily.  We got some bad news on the house we were trying to buy and are now back at square one.  I think I could write about 5 posts with everything I’ve learned and have hated about this house buying process over the past 3 months but I’m trying to stay positive and believe that everything happened for a reason :)  It is hard to stay down when there is so much GOOD happening!  I am almost 24 weeks pregnant and still feeling really great, aside from not being able to run.

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Last week, I also got a very exciting package in the mail!!

photo-1photo-2 Chobani ftw!

I cannot tell you how excited this made me.  Chobani is awesome, I love the yogurt and the company.  I am trying to eat more yogurt instead of swedish fish and chocolate so that this baby does not come into the world high on sugar.  In addition to snacks I also love to bake with it!  The flavors are great in cakes and pancakes, and I use the plain all the time in place of sour cream or mayo in a lot of recipes.

I have off from work today and tomorrow (thanks again, America, I owe you one) and need it more than ever.  I have big plans of relaxing, giving in and buying some maternity clothes since squeezing into my old clothes is getting a bit extreme, baking some cupcakes, and keeping this girl sane while the neighborhood goes nuts with fireworks.

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She’s so serious, right?  I finally joined Instagram (@morunsmarathons).  I have zero friends and have posted about 4 pictures.  I think I’m a little out of my element but it’s fun anyway.

That’s it for now, hopefully you all have long weekends too and get to do something fun!

The Low Impact Sentence

Happy first Saturday of summer!

It’s surprisingly a bit cooler than it has been down here, it’s not yet 90 and we’re already past 10am :)  I’m enjoying another class-less Saturday while I am on a short break from my MBA classes.  The fact that I’m not training for anything and having no classes, sleeping after 8 is quite the treat.  I’m taking full advantage since the next break from school I will have a month old newborn on my hands!

Speaking of training and newborns, I went to the doctor this week and asked her about the soreness I was getting from my running.  She explained that it’s completely normal as our joints get extremely loose during pregnancy which will help with delivery, but not so much with high impact cardio like the running I was doing.  While some women don’t experience this problem with soreness, she advised that I should limit myself to low impact cardio for the rest of my pregnancy to avoid doing damage to my hips that could be more problematic in the long-term.  I am not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed.

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Jingo was pretty disappointed for me too.  Although secretly she was happy since she doesn’t like when I leave her to go run.  Running has felt really great up to this point, it was just the after that wasn’t so fun.  Of course though it is all for the greater good and I don’t want to do anything to put my health or my baby’s at risk for any issues down the road.

So what now?  What does this low impact sentence mean for me?  I still have quite a few options to get my sweat on:

  • Speed Walking – Maybe I can visualize myself running here
  • Elliptical – Most boring piece of exercise equipment known to man, but it does make me sweat quite nicely
  • Stair mill – See elliptical.
  • Swimming – Probably the best full body low impact workout out there, excellent for the joints and will bring me back to my triathlon training days
  • Classes/videos – having an instructor and others around can distract you from the fact that you’re not out there pounding the pavement
  • Stationary bike – harness your inner Lance Armstrong, without the EPO abuse and tendency to lie about it.

So all is not lost, and I have already been doing my best to get comfortable with the elliptical.  It takes a bit more mental strength and motivation to do these things but exercise is still so important to continue during pregnancy both for me and the baby!

Have a great Saturday, don’t forget to enter Marcia’s Designer Whey Giveaway!

Self imposed running break

Happy Saturday folks!

I know that summer’s finally making it’s way to the rest of the country but it’s been here for quite awhile.  It hits 80 before 6am and by 10 it’s well over 90 with humidity that feels like purgatory over 100.  So needless to say, running is definitely confined to the treadmill.  Two Sundays ago I ran outside and only made it 2 and a half miles before calling it quits.  There’s not enough water in the world to make that ok.  

I’m still trying to stay active and I ran that same week on the treadmill, but afterwards was more sore than running has ever made me feel.  It was unusual because I have been taking it easy on speed and mileage while being consistent with strength training so I decided that running through the entire pregnancy just might not be in the cards for me.  It’s not fun to think about but not everyone can do it, everyone’s bodies are different.   So I gave myself a week off from running and until I see my doctor will stick to the elliptical and maybe swimming.  In other news, at 21 weeks I finally look pregnant and not just like I’ve been stuffing my face with pizzas.

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Even if I’m not running today I am still living in my Oiselle rogas.  They are my absolute favorite running shorts EVER.  I need to keep myself away from their site right now so as to not buy one of everything.  It’s really a problem.

I found an interesting article today that seems to be fitting for right now on the durability of distance runners found here.  Even though I don’t think I’m really injured right now, in my short amount of training that I’ve had, I feel like I am pretty prone to injury.  The article makes interesting points that the being able to maintain an injury free status should be considered just as much talent as PRs and races.  “Durability is the most underrated component of distance running talent.”  It gave 5 steps to become injury resistant:

  1. Train the overall athlete – running should never be the ONLY exercise you do!
  2. Injury Risk Evaluation – get evaluated by someone that really knows running as a sport.
  3. Develop and Execute your Rehab Program – don’t wait to get injured to be doing rehab exercises!  Know your body and the areas that need to be worked the most.  This was my favorite part of the article – don’t come up with too many exercises that you HAVE to do, you won’t do them.  I always read a ton of different workouts on blogs and in magazines and have grand plans to go to the gym and do them all, all at once.  But that just isn’t realistic and you know what?  I wind up doing none of them. Just like you need to create realistic running plans, you need realistic non-running plans.
  4. Smart Training – you shouldn’t be doing 110% hard workouts every time.  There are times to push and times to maintain, again, KNOW your body.  Easier said than done but as soon as you get to know your own limits, you’ll be able to decide when to push those limits and when to stay within them.

That was my education of the morning.  It was great.  I am on a 5 week break right now from my MBA program so it’s really nice to be able to read fun things on a Saturday morning when I’d normally be in class.  The rest of this Saturday will be lots of cleaning and relaxing and praying that our 100 year old air conditioner doesn’t break down again for the 20th time in this heat.

And because what’s a Saturday without a little inspiration, I leave you with some pinterest goodness:

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Charity Miles

Happy Friday!

This week really flew by.  Having Monday off of work/school was a huge plus and we were able to go to the movies and see Iron Man 3.  I really liked it, but I’m pretty easy when it comes to liking movies.  Other than that it was a pretty low key and much needed relaxing weekend.

Exercise wise it was a very low week.  I did strength training on Tuesday & Thursday but no cardio all week…. oops.  Normally I do Wednesday and Friday… today we decided to sleep in and it was wonderful.  Wednesday there was something a little more important than the gym, I had an ultrasound and found out that we are having a BOY!!  So exciting and it feels that much more real now.  It’s crazy how fast everything is going!  Now comes the fun things like finding a name :)

Luckily there is still plenty of time :)

During the week, I found out some really exciting news that connects my love of running with a great cause!  Have you heard of Charity Miles?  It is an app for your phone that uses the phone’s GPS to track your running distance.  Even more exciting is that you can choose different charities to support, and 25cents for every mile ran/walked is donated to that charity.  Pretty cool, right!  Even more exciting is one of the charities that was recently added.  It’s called She’s the First, and one of my roommates from college founded it and has made it a huge success.  The mission of the organization is to provide girls around the world the opportunity to be the first in their families to get an education and graduate high school.  These girls don’t have the same luxuries they do…. even so far as school being considered a luxury, and not a right.  It really is inspiring seeing how much change can happen with a small group of people passionate about making it happen!  So you should all download CharityMiles right now and get running!  Getting those hot and sweaty miles in as the weather starts to really heat up will feel that much better knowing that it is for an amazing cause :)

Have a great weekend!  Make sure you leave time to be jealous of me, I will be in an MBA statistics class from 8-5 on Saturday since we didn’t have class on Monday for the holiday.

Oops… Busy Bee makes for an Unintended Hiatus

Well well well.  Looks like I have a blog?

I really did not mean to just stop posting.  Life got in the way.  At the beginning of the year, I said I thought 2013 would be a big year.  When I said that, I don’t think I realized just how big it would be.

When I last left off, I had just finished my first goal race of the year and got myself a nice new half PR.  Every since then, it’s been a whirlwind.  Around the holidays, we had talked about having a small wedding during this year’s holidays and we started toying with Thanksgiving weekend.  It will just be something small so not too much planning, but getting everything set up took some time.  We have a location and a date, and still more to come.  Shortly after my race, we also started looking around the area for houses to buy.  We’re currently renting and it’s just depressing to be giving all of our money away every month and not having anything to show for it.  We found one we loved, but it was overpriced and the seller just would not budge.  Luckily we found another one that we loved even more, and are in the process of making it work.  Key words being process.  It’s been quite the headache but in the end it will all be worth it.

Why go through 2 major life events at the same time when you can have 3?  The week after the race, we found out the biggest news of all:

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I am currently 18 weeks pregnant we’ll be finding out THIS WEEK if we will be having a little boy or girl October 26th this year :)  So far everything has been going great and I’m happy that we will hopefully be moved into a new house well before then.

So what does this mean for exercising?  Well, I’m still not giving up the dream of a marathon before I turn 30, but it will just be on a bit of a different timeline than I had initially thought.  I am still running, but I’m not signed up or training for the Utah Valley Marathon this June.  My running has been isolated to the treadmill and because I’m not exactly looking to work on my speed right now, mileage has gone way down because I just don’t have the time and I’m taking advantage of the fact that I can skip a run if I’d rather sleep in. Hopefully though as long as it’s still feeling good, I’ll continue to run for as long as I can.

2013.  Undeniably a big year.  And as much as I fell in love with blogging when I started getting into it last year, I found myself caring about the wrong things.  I started this to keep myself motivated and accountable, and yet I was reading other blogs and comparing myself to them far too much.  Comparing the running, the racing, the responses to their writing.  It wasn’t me and I didn’t like it.  So I let myself fade away.  On one hand I needed a break to sort out all of the big life events!  On the other hand I made the mistake of changing my expectations and feeling defeated that those new expectations for this blog weren’t being met.  Silly, right?  I think so too.  Well, I’m back, and I’m sticking to me.  Even if not one soul reads along.

Exciting things lie ahead and ready to enjoy every one of them :)