Monday, September 23, 2013

Run or Dye - Green Bay

My son and I ran the Run or Dye this weekend and got covered in color! Color runs are all the rage these days.... there's The Color Run, Run or Dye, Color Me Rad, and many more. I had an absolute blast last year in Milwaukee doing The Color Run with my friend Catherine - and ever since, Brady has been wanting to do a color run. I was pretty excited when they announced that Run or Dye was coming to Green Bay this year - it's a much closer drive for us than Milwaukee! We got a great deal by registering early and Brady didn't even mind getting up early and leaving the house at 6:00 a.m. so we could arrive in Green Bay early enough to pick up our packets before the run.Yes, my kid is awesome.

The atmosphere was fun and right off the bat we had a positive experience at the store/merch booth. Brady loves wearing rubber bracelets and we wanted to buy some from the run - they have the best saying "You haven't lived until you've dyed running!". We go to get a six pack and the girl tells us they sold out the day before when they had packet pick-up (we live an hour away from GB so we did same day packet pick-up right before the run). I let her know how bummed we were and she immediately insisted upon giving us the bracelets off her own wrists - she had one of each color. I thought that was really sweet of her and decided to buy a tank top because of that, lol.

We lined up early and enjoyed the emcee and music. One thing that was different from last year's experience at The Color Run was that Run or Dye gives away a TON of free stuff. They threw out all sorts of things to the crowd, both before the run and at the after party. Bracelets, dye packets, tutus, fish net gloves, rainbow hair, t-shirts and tank tops. We managed to snag another bracelet. Here's a Vine I posted of everyone lined up at the start... I apologize for the Miley:

According to Endomondo the course was a little short - 3.01 instead of 3.1 - but that really depends on the accuracy of my app. They handed out bottles of water on the course which was odd for me, because I had to carry that bottle for the rest of my run - I prefer cups during the run and bottles for after, but I suppose it was just more convenient for them as it didn't seem like they had all that many volunteers. When I ran (okay, mostly walked) The Color Run last year the volunteers squirted us with color out of what looked like big ketchup bottles. The volunteers at Run or Dye just threw handfuls of dye at us. It did a better job of getting us covered in color but in my opinion it was more hazardous. The first color station was green, which is my son's current favorite color. I made sure to let them know as we were running by so they could get him good - when suddenly I felt a huge handful hit me right in the face. I know the colored corn starch is safe, but it still doesn't feel good to get it in your eyes and up your nose. I wore sunglasses but she got me on the left side of my face so it went behind my shades and by the time I got home I had to take out my contacts because my eyes were really red and irritated. My nose bothered me the worst though - I felt like I was breathing in corn starch the rest of the day! I know I'm being whiny about it but at the time I was really good-natured and just shrugged it off, honest.

What was strange about the course is that the first three color stations (green, blue and yellow) were really close together... and then there was a long part with just running before we hit the last station. At The Color Run they were evenly spaced. The bummer part about the last color station was that it was pale pink. The color didn't really show up at all! They should have saved a really bright color for last. A hot pink or deep purple would have been awesome. Luckily, at the after party they handed out many different color dye packets so people had a chance to turn all different colors.

I can tell I haven't really been running because Brady had to push me to take less walk breaks - normally when we run together I have to push HIM to keep running. We finished in 32 minutes which I was happy with, all things considered. We stayed at the after party for a little while, but left after the first big dye throw. I was glad I had Brady cover his nose and mouth before the throw... no matter how fun the experience is, that stuff is not fun to breathe in. The colors used for Run or Dye seemed much darker/brighter than the colors used in The Color Run last year... here's a link to my post from last year if you want to see pictures. I'm not sure if The Color Run has changed since last year, but I will find out in about a week because some co-workers are doing The Color Run (they announced they were coming to Green Bay right after I had already registered for Run or Dye).


Here's our after pic! We definitely ended up with a ton of green... but my back had a ton of pink and purple on it.  It was a fun time - the emcees had great personalities and did a good job of engaging the crowd. I was nitpicking throughout this post about the things I liked better about each color run - but honestly, they were both a fun time and I would recommend either one. I'm thinking I might be done with color runs for a while though... I'm a nerd and I just prefer to stay clean (even though I vow to do a mud run in 2014!). I'm hoping a cleaner run will come to Green Bay next year.... The Bubble Run, perhaps? A Foam 5K? I love the fun runs and they're a great thing to do as a family. I think the best part about getting into running is being able to involve my son as well. 

Brady and I made a Vine after the run but he got mad because I was sneaky and kissed him on the cheek at the end of it. He wanted to have a re-do with just him so here's that Vine:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Getting Back On The Fitness Train

My fitness train derailed and I desperately need to get it back on track. Aside from the runs that I've registered for, I haven't done any running at all. Or much else in the way of being active. I've really caught up on some reading, but that doesn't keep me in shape so I guess it's nothing to brag about.

Brady and I have the Run or Dye this weekend, and it's the last run I've registered for this year. There are a few I'm thinking about doing yet (the Fall Frolic in October, for example) but I think there's a chance I may be done with 5K's for 2013.

Don't panic! Just because I'm done with registering for 5K's this year does NOT mean I am done with running or staying active. We have our awesome treadmill in the house and the fall TV season is starting so I will be logging a lot of miles on that bad boy while watching my shows. I may not always run those miles, but even a brisk walking pace will make me sweat when I keep it up for an hour-long show. I want to start utilizing my Fitbit again and work harder on hitting those 10,000 steps/day. I want to work on my cardiovascular fitness so I can get my dang breathing under control when I run - because I'm going to OWN some 5K's next year.

I also found my next GPS watch and I need to work hard on my fitness before I can allow myself to buy it... but check out this video:

The Forerunner 620 is too much watch for me... but that 220? It WILL be mine. I'm so excited about it I can hardly contain it. It has everything I want in a watch, and more that I hadn't thought of. This is the techie-nerd side of me coming out but I can't help it. Who knows? Janae, also known as The Hungry Runner Girl recently mentioned that she'll be doing a review and giveaway soon so maybe I'll be lucky enough to win one! ;) Either way, that watch is totally in my future.

I'm confident that I can get back into fitness because I have an excellent challenge coming up next month to help me stay on track. Jess from the awesome blog Run With Jess came up with a Virtual Ride to fight breast cancer! As readers probably know, my mom is a 2X breast cancer survivor so when Jess posted about this back in August I immediately knew I was going to do it. I ordered a medal and just received it in the mail - and it would be pretty awful to have this beautiful medal without EARNING it, so I have many things holding me accountable here which is exactly what I need to keep me on course. The challenge is to bike 50K in the month of October. That's 31 miles. You can do a mile a day, or you can do all 31 in a single day, or any other variation that suits you - as long as you finish it in the month of October. Here's a link to learn more about it - doesn't it sound fun? When you finish you can be entered into a drawing for prizes - bonus! I'm excited to do this to honor my mom. If any of you readers are interested in doing this with me, please leave a comment - I would love to hear from you!

What I keep telling myself lately is that it is okay to get off track... as long as you don't let it derail you completely. I'm not going to let myself get depressed about the fact that I haven't been running. If I haven't felt like running lately, maybe it just means I need to do a different activity for a while. Bike rides or long walks with Brady are things I can do that will keep me active and healthy. I will get back in the running groove when I'm ready - I know this because even though running is never "easy" for me, I love how it makes me feel. In the mean time I will just focus on activities I feel excited about, like this upcoming virtual ride and taking walks with Brady so we can check out the leaves changing colors. What do you guys do to get motivated after a slump?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Losing my Mojo

In case you haven't noticed from my lack of posts - I've lost my running mojo. I don't even know why really! After the Electric Run and around my birthday (August 7th) I just kind of... stopped running. I still participated in a run I signed up for on August 17th, and I just participated in a fun run last night - but other than that, nothing. Needless to say, since I haven't been running in a while last night was quite the challenge. Who am I kidding? Running is always a challenge for me. I do want to start trying to get into a routine again though - I really think I'll love running in the fall. Here's hoping!

For those of you wondering, I returned the TomTom Runner. It definitely had potential - I loved the look of it and the fast GPS - but I wasn't willing to wait around for the software updates for it to be the watch I wanted. I want to know lap pace, how fast I am each mile. I want a detailed website for the info (the TomTom website leaves a lot to be desired at the moment). I can't have the signal drop out when I'm running my favorite route by my house. I'm thinking of trying a Forerunner 10 next (the purple has been calling my name) but not sure when/if I'll get one. My online friend Cynthia (shout out, hey girl!) got a Forerunner recently so I'm waiting to hear her thoughts on it. Please feel free to share thoughts/opinions in the comments!

Last night was the Runnin' for 'Rissa glow run - it was to honor a sweet girl that passed away after a long battle with cystic fibrosis. This was the second annual run but the first time I participated - last year they did a color run.

I caved into peer pressure and wore the shirt they provided for the run (which I normally never do) and I will NOT do it again. It wasn't breathable at all, and obviously not moisture wicking - by the end of the run I was a sweaty HOT mess. Yuck. My mom participated in the walk/run as well - she runs at the beginning and the end and walks the rest. :) Here we are before the run.

Brady ran ahead with his friends and actually finished the run before me this time! Whenever he runs with me my time is always so much slower - but apparently his friends give him the proper motivation to get his butt in gear. He had a total blast and was running around before AND after the run too.

Here are my Endomondo stats from the run. I question the accuracy because dude - check out that second mile. I know I was trying hard but I really don't think my pace was that good! It sure felt AWESOME to hear the Endomondo lady say that though. I basically want a more accurate version of Endomondo in watch form... can I get that somewhere? :)


Despite the fact that I haven't been running, my time was still better than it had been when I started my running journey earlier this year. Yes, I'm still taking walk breaks so I'm really not that impressive - but I'm improving, and I'll get there someday. I'll share one more picture - it's a sweaty picture, but I'm not shy! Here's my Brady and me after the run... his isn't all sweat, I also let him pour water on his head afterwards. It was really warm despite the late hour! Couldn't have asked for better weather for the event.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Still Torn About The TomTom Runner

I got a chance to take the TomTom out on another run yesterday... the best part? PETE actually came on the run with me! I'm not making this up! He wanted to get more sleep so we started about 1 1/2 hours after I wanted to - but he learned pretty quick that he shouldn't have done that because it was hot and we ran in full sun which sucks. I much prefer the cooler early morning runs. Unfortunately I have no photographic evidence that Pete ran with me because I think he would have been angry if I had taken a picture of him breathing heavy and sweating profusely... so yeah, just avoided it.

Now I'm not the most coordinated person so I didn't spend my entire (short) run looking at the watch, but I'm happy to report that it didn't drop signal this time - at least, not for any significant length of time. Here is the watch results vs. Endomondo:

 So there you have it - still a distance difference but not as huge as the first time I used the watch. I know that watches are supposed to be more accurate because they use GPS satellites vs. cell towers - but I've used Endomondo in multiple 5Ks and it has always been accurate? For the Wolverine 5K it was a perfect 3.1... at the Electric Run last week Endomondo said it was 3.09. It measured the Ella run as longer but everyone stated it was longer than a 5K and someone had a map on MapMyRun that stated it was longer as well. I know I'm not fast so the watch is probably more accurate but I don't want to give up Endomondo. I like the lady telling me "one mile in 9 minutes blah blah seconds" and I like how the app shows my pace for each mile. The TomTom doesn't let you set up intervals (although it's rumored that we will be able to in a future update).

I've been leaning towards returning it but I'm still on the fence. Honestly, I'm going to carry my phone on my runs no matter what. I'm klutzy and I don't want to end up in a ditch with a broken ankle and no phone. So why do I need the expensive watch?  I decided I needed to try it out with my treadmill to see the accelerometer feature.

I haven't been on my treadmill in ages - what for, when it's so nice outside? But I live in Wisconsin so I NEED that treadmill, because this girl won't run in the snow. I always feel like I'm running faster than what the treadmill says I am so that bugs me, lol. I set the treadmill on an incline of 2 and set the speed at 5mph. Which is a 12 minute mile... yet feels at least as fast as I run outside and I run around a 10 minute mile on average outside so UGH I just don't understaaaand lol.

Why such a short run? Well, I have a clear holder on my treadmill to hold my iPad and I kinda banged into it while adjusting the volume, which made it hit a button and stop my workout. That totally pissed me off and I decided I was over it for today. Since it shut off my workout I don't have a screen shot of the treadmill screen - but if I had the treadmill set at 5mph that's a 12 minute/mile pace, correct? So why is my TomTom Runner saying I was running an almost 9 minute/mile pace? Is it just THAT inaccurate? Does my treadmill need to be calibrated? Is it a combination of both? I wouldn't know the first thing about calibrating a treadmill so if you do, please share. The watch has a feature at the end of the treadmill workout to calibrate it to the "known" distance, but I'm not sure where the treadmill was at so I left it as is. I know the last time I checked the distance on the treadmill, it was less than the watch. Looks like this first attempt was a bust and I should probably attempt it again.

So where am I at right now? Well, I'm going to Green Bay today and I had wanted to make my decision on the watch by now so I could return it if necessary (I live about an hour away so I don't go there that often). However, I might have to hang onto it for a while... I still don't know. Should I try running with a different app and the watch? I've always been meaning to try Runkeeper. Does someone want to come over and calibrate our treadmill? LOL I just want to know what the most accurate numbers are! I have a feeling I will never know and I'll just give up in frustration because I'm too dumb to figure all of this out.

Any suggestions, thoughts, opinions?? PLEASE share! Help, lol!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

First Run w/the TomTom Runner - Uh Oh...

I attempted my first run with my new GPS watch this morning and came home disappointed. Everything was great for the first half mile, but when I turned onto a different street it continued to record time but not distance. I thought GPS satellites were awesome, and the only time it couldn't get a signal was when it's in a tunnel or something? When I reached the end of the street it started recording distance again but by then it said my pace was ridiculously slow - don't get me wrong, I'm slow, but not THAT slow. So why did this happen? I'm hoping it's a fluke, I'm going to go for another run on Thursday I think and I'll take the same route so we'll see what happens then.

This is the road where it didn't record distance on the way down, but it did on the way back... hmm.

As you can see, there are a lot of trees on both sides of the road once you get farther down there but that really shouldn't affect GPS satellites, right? I did run my trusty Endomondo app as well - proven to be accurate because I've used it in multiple 5K runs. Here are the final results:

My adorable watch says I only went 2.31 miles. I beg to differ.

I stopped the app at 3.1 on purpose and walked the last little bit to the house. I was SO close to getting it in under 30 minutes (yes, still taking a few short walk breaks too). The watch and app are off by 5 seconds but that's because I started Endomondo first, shoved my phone into my Flipbelt and then started the watch. I will try to start them at the exact same time on my next attempt.

I'm really hoping this was a one-time thing because I'll be bummed out if I have to return the watch. I will let you know how things go after my next attempt! If anyone has a logical explanation for this feel free to share as I'm still new to using running tech.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Electric Run - Madison

Yesterday was a long but fantastic day. We got on the road early to do some shopping and visiting before arriving in Madison for the Electric Run, which was 3 hours away from us. Pete bought me my birthday present early (my b-day is Wednesday) and I'm pretty excited about it...

On the offchance that you didn't see my post from the other day - this is the TomTom Runner! I decided to try it over the Forerunner 10 because it still tracks pace/distance when you're on a treadmill, plus it's prettier and my Polar H7 heartrate monitor will connect with it too. I haven't had a chance to take it out of the packaging yet, but when I try it out I will let you know what I think!

At the halfway point of our trip we stopped to visit Pete's brother and finally see his apartment. We grabbed lunch at a fancy Italian bistro that made me feel like we were not classy enough to be there, lol. I ate half a ham panini  - no pasta for me so close to the run!

I should probably mention the BEST part of the whole thing - the night before the run Pete decided to register and do it with us! I was so excited because we've never done a run as a family before. It was pretty great to share something I enjoy so much. Here are some pictures of us before the run:

We arrived in Madison at 6:00, just in time for the beginning of the packet pick-up. That was the most disappointing part of the day - they did not have all of the shirt sizes available due to a shipping error. I was thrilled that they had women's cut shirts but they said ALL shirts ran a size small so I had ordered an XL. They didn't have them available so they said they could give me a unisex Large or I could put my name on a list to have the women's XL mailed to me. I decided to just take the unisex large... I figured I can have someone cut the sleeves and stuff and make it into a cute workout shirt. Pete ordered an XXL - both because they said the shirts ran a size small and because he has really broad shoulders so sometimes XL shirts are short on him - and they didn't have those on hand either. Pete put his name on the list to have a shirt mailed to him. For what we paid for this run I thought it was pretty bogus. We also got glow sunglasses and an LED bracelet to wear during the run.

Right away we ran into my dear friend Amandalynn, her husband Alan, and their son Dmitri. I had planned on getting a hold of them after we got our packets but small world, we crossed each others' paths first! Amandalynn is an amazing photographer and friend that I met online when I was pregnant with Brady. We were in an online community for mothers due in March 2005. We met up numerous times the first few years after we had the kids but the last time I saw her was over three years ago so it was great to see her now. The boys quickly became reaccquainted and ran off to play while the adults chatted.

Pretty soon the announcer was saying that we should line up - about an hour before our actual start time. We were just standing around chatting anyway so we didn't mind... the time went by quickly and it was fun to people watch. Some people got so wacky and creative with their ensembles! We were towards the front so I turned around and took a picture of the crowd behind me:

As you can see, it was still fairly light out so I was starting to worry that we'd be doing the run when it wasn't truly dark enough to enjoy all of the glow stuff - luckily, right when the run started it began to get dark quickly. I took a few Vine clips, but the one I did DURING the run somehow erased before I had a chance to post it. Bummer. Here is a picture that was posted on the Electric Run facebook page of my favorite part of the course (source: @leashy004):

The course was definitely the strangest I had ever been on... we ran on both pavement and dirt, and there were some decent hills as well. Some areas were really narrow and there were a few moments where we were forced to walk because we couldn't get around the people in front of us. Pete had not practiced or trained to run and hasn't run in years - but unlike me he was very athletic growing up. I still figured he would fare better than me because he always brags that he can "run like a deer", LOL. We kept a slow but steady pace with Brady and ran the first mile and a half until Pete said to go on ahead without him. At this point I was ready for a little walk break too, I just didn't want to be the one to break down first. I was ready to go before Pete and Brady and I started back up again, but Pete caught up to us at the only water station which was around the end of mile two. Brady decided he was going to chug his entire full glass of cold water and then keep running - he quickly discovered that was a bad move. He got a nasty stomach cramp and we walked a lot of the last mile because of it. Our first two miles were around 11 minutes and our last was 13 1/2. The last little bit of the run Brady gave it his all and we had around an 8:33 pace - I think all of the volunteers cheering him on helped! The volunteers on the course were almost all nice and really encouraging, giving high fives and kind words.

By the end of the run Pete was basically drenched in sweat - it was an eye opener for him about just how out of shape he was. ;) He really enjoyed himself though and said he would definitely do it again, which made me veryvery happy! I can't see him doing early morning runs though... but hopefully I can talk him into another night run! I think I may even be able to get him to go on a practice run with me, at least once. Progress is good, people!

At the end of the run they had cups of water and mini cans of Rockstar Recovery, as well as little granola bars. They also had beer/soda and food for sale at ridiculously inflated prices. Brady had a $6.50 cheeseburger, and Pete had a $6.50 chicken sandwich and a $3.50 bottle of water. I stuck with the goodies they handed out.

Here's a bad quality yet still cool picture of Brady and me after the run. I look thin in the picture so I kind of want to frame it, hahaha. They had a DJ and dance party after but we only stuck around for a bit of it because we still had a three hour drive home ahead of us. They threw out tons of glow sticks and batons but we weren't able to get any. Despite Brady's stomach cramping we all had a really fun time. Pete was thrilled with the number of people he passed up (haha) and the fact that he finished in under 40 minutes. This was a fun run so they didn't time us, but I ran Endomondo and we finished in 36:35. Again, it was really hard for me to walk with Brady when I knew I still had it in me to run - but I know I'll get my chance to give it my all at the Aurora run in a few weeks!

For those of you that want to see if this run comes near you, check out Aside from the shirt fiasco it was a fun time!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Quick Share - Proud Mom Moment

They are finally putting pictures up from the Packers 5K - not going to share any of me because I only found one and I'm kind of in the background so... yeah. They did however post a cool action shot of my son which I'm going to share - and the best part is they offer them free to download! No purchasing the picture, or scamming it with all of the copyright stuff over the top. Sweet!

His shirt actually has tailgating Lego dudes wearing Packers jerseys, complete with brats on the grill and red Solo cups. How cute is that? I love that my son enjoys doing 5K's with me and I hope he continues being my running buddy for years to come.

Tomorrow we are road tripping it to Madison for another fun run - The Electric Run! I have been having what I think are shin splints (my right shin has been bothering me for almost two weeks now) but hopefully it won't bother me too much tomorrow. Either way, I'm going to run as much as I can (or as much as Brady is willing) and have a blast, because who doesn't love glow in the dark stuff? If anyone else is going to this run please give me a shout, I'd love to hear from you!