Marathon education, racing as a drill and finding balance

My most recent race was just a drill. Not a full marathon but just enough to give myself a little tutoring. The more I study the marathon, the more I learn that marathoning is HARD. Fast marathoning is very, very hard. I used Grandma’s Marathon as a sort of pop quiz and passed. Not with flying colors, but I passed. Well, actually, I did try to wear “flying colors” because I didn’t want to be missed by my crew. I told my husband that I was dressing like a flare: loud socks, even louder shorts and a popping white top – not to be missed at my destination: mile 16. Wouldn’t have wanted to run the whole thing! Thankfully, I was not overlooked. My crew had me spotted here at mile 12 and then we reconvened at mile 16.20150623-161905-58745760.jpg

Lesson complete, but I finished with a boatload of homework.

Part of my assignment is to build my mileage and strength but the other part is to keep finding more balance.

The day before the marathon (my 16 miler) I enjoyed every minute of my run overlooking lake Superior.
20150623-153009-55809642.jpgThe part where the two pit bulls chased me, that was not so enjoyable. It did spark some muscle memory in me for how this girl can sprint and also that she should never ever leave home without her can of mace. Never. Ever! Anyway, since my injury, I’ve had several people close to me ask me, “Do you still enjoy running?” It’s a great question. And I do. I truly do. However, I find myself a bit tentative running sometimes, like I’m not sure what’s gonna blow next. And really, Sus, that’s no way to live. Nor run. So an element of the balancing act is to just enjoy what I do. A large part of what I do is RUN, and I’m focused on enjoying it.

Pretty sure running in Iowa is more enjoyable than ever.


Very recently too, I’ve gotten to connect with some AMAZING Iowa bloggers. I attended a blogger conference hosted by Bethany and Nick of Sawdust & Embryos and The Sawdust Maker. They organized a fantastic day of learning and teaching with nerdy blogger sessions led by various bloggers (i.e. Nick & Beth themselves + Iowa Girl Eat’s Kristin Porter (pictured with Beth below organizing the most important part: lunchtime) to name a few). So many lessons. So much fun!


Just a few days after the blogger conference, I joined a handful of the same Iowa bloggers on a sort of field trip.

Elementary school all over!

We toured one of my favorite local brands: Kalona Supernatural. Our guide was Phil (pictured above), who works as the farm liaison. The creamery works with 80 local Amish and Mennonite organic dairy farmers. They produce all sorts of tasty dairy products. Being flexitarian, we don’t drink a ton of milk. I buy milk a couple of times a month and usually it’s the Kalona Supernatural 1/2 gallon. That’s it. We savor every drop. There is most definitely a taste difference and it’s better. Other than the fact that the milk is organic one of the major differences that I learned which makes Kalona Supernatural products different is that they vat-pasteurize their milk. This means that instead of ultra-pasteurizing (how most milk is processed) where milk is heated to 210 deg. for 3 minutes, their milk is heated only to 145 deg. for 30 minutes. The lower temperature kills the potential bad stuff but doesn’t kill all of the good, necessary enzymes and nutrients. Interesting, huh? Oh and prior to our tour, I’d never tasted their whole milk chocolate milk. Wowzers, if you’re looking for a sweet treat, look no further. Humm? My new go-to recovery drink?? Anyway, it was fun to learn from some experts and this is a company that takes care of their people and takes pride in their products. Great stuff.


Finally, on the home-front, I’m extremely pumped about this new development. Our very own standing desk. It’s presently in use. I do a good deal of work on the computer. This baby is a lifesaver. Sitting is the devil. Especially sitting in a chair. It’s hard on your back, hips, glutes/butt, spine, pretty much everything important. It’s a simple thing but the time spent here can add up. It’s all a balancing act.

Have you ever worked using a standing desk?

Ever splurge on organic milk or do you drink it regularly?

Thoughts on chocolate milk as a recovery drink?

Please, someone talk me out of buying out my local grocery store’s entire stock of chocolate Kalona Supernatural milk!



4 thoughts on “Marathon education, racing as a drill and finding balance

  1. It’s important to have a standing desk if you are sitting down at work. I have one at work now that is motorized. Although oddy it’s my second week and I haven’t used it.

    We always buy organic milk. But certainly not as organic as the stuff you had.

    I wish I could learn to take myself out of a race. Too many marathons where I felt that I still had to finish them.

    • Nice! A motorized desk. Sweet. You’ll have to break it in and see how it treats you. Sounds great. And I know, I had to have a definite plan as to when to stop or else I knew I’d feel the need/urge to keep going. Helped to have friends waiting on me. Hope your training is going well!

  2. Since getting PSyndrome, I’d LOVE to have a standing desk. That’s a great idea just to stack them!

    As far as chocolate milk for a recovery drink, even the organic is LOADED with sugar. You know better . . .

    Just got back from a running camp with Zap Fitness in Blowing Rock (SO fun). I was bragging about you to them, and they’re on the look out for you at the trials. 😉

    At the running camp former marathon champion Kim Jones was the keynote speaker. She trained for two marathons a year with two children! You should check out her book Dandelion Growing Wild. It’s more about overcoming adversity than it is about running, but it will change your outlook on running forever!

    Keep being awesome!

    • Katie, that camp sounds super sweet. I’ll check out the book and look for the Zap runners. I love connecting with athletes from all over. I feel like I have a bunch of Pen-Pals because I’ve been in contact with several Trials runners whom I will eventually meet but have yet to. It’s strange.

      The desk project was something like $9 – cheap and totally worth it!

      And true about the sugar. I’ll have to save it for special occasions. Plus, our Hy-Vee doesn’t even carry it after all. Probably a very good thing.

      Hope your PSyndrome is improving. I am actually JUST getting back from having an MRI. Not a place I wanted to be but looking forward to having more answers and get this thing gone.
      Thanks, girl!!

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