Organic Runner Mom is a place to find inspiration for all of your adventures. I share my stories about racing, training adventures life as a mom, and more. You will also find organic recipes, training tips, and we will set goals together!
This year I was able to attend two days of Rise. Run. Retreat. in Woodstock, Vermont. This annual running retreat is the vision of Sarah Canney, Run Far Girl, blogger, runner, mom, and national snowshoe team member. Part of Sarah’s mission is to bring in speakers who will inspire and motivate retreat attendees.
This year one of the speakers that Sarah invited to speak was Christen Shefshunas, Confidence Coach and Motivational Speaker. Coach Christen has worked with athletes at the Olympic, Collegiate, and Professional Level. She inspires athletes to find and embrace their full potential through Confidence Coaching. Coach Christen was herself a successful collegiate swimmer and then later Head Swimming Coach at the University of Miami.
Coach Christen spoke about her experiences working with both collegiate and Olympic level athletes. She talked about athletes who struggled with confidence when it came time to get on the starting blocks. Those athletes talked themselves into being second best or failing to swim their potential because they allowed their inner monologue to override and control their talent. We all know how easy it is to allow your mind and what you tell yourself to take over and to affect athletic (and life) performance.
Learn a little about #confidencecoaching and how it can help your #running performance!
My biggest takeaway from Coach Christen’s Talk was this acronym: W.O.L.F. The W stands for WAKE UP. This means to acknowledge your thoughts both negative and positive. The O is for OWN IT. Own your thinking no matter what-if you tell yourself “I’m afraid I will fail” then you need to own that. the L is for LOOSEN. This means to find a way to loosen up. This can be done through breathing, by clenching your fists and releasing, whatever works for you to loosen. The F is for FLIP IT and Focus on Your Truth. This means to flip your thinking onto something more positive.
When we get to the starting line as runners all different things can run through your mind. By using W.O.L.F. you are able to create confidence by creating a shift in your mindset. This can also work during a race too as it did for me at the Wallis Sands Half Marathon. I used the ‘F’ to Flip my thinking when all of my thoughts began to turn negative and I was able to pull myself out of that thinking. I challenge you to try this method of building your confidence and seeing what happens.
Coach Christen also gave us each some of her “Confidence Nuggets” which are bracelets that each have one gold nugget which represents confidence in yourself for having what you consider to be a success. Each bracelet has a different meaning. Mine is “I am strength!”
What mantras or self-talk do you use to stay confident and strong?
This weekend I headed down to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for a fun race weekend with my ex sister-in-law Kelly.
Downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire
We planned to head down early so that we could check out Portsmouth and to hit the outlets in Kittery, Maine. We got to Portsmouth on Saturday and headed to Runner’s Alley for race bib pick-up.
It was nice to see that this race was going without the race bag in the interest of trying to reduce waste. At pick-up we got our race numbers and a great lightweight hoodie instead of your typical race t-shirt.
After picking up our bibs we wandered around Portsmouth for awhile and did some shopping at the great boutiques. the weather was actually really nice too so we were able to eat lunch outside at a restaurant which was awesome. I had a delicious Chicken Caesar Salad. After lunch we headed up to Kittery, Maine which isn’t too far away and did a bit more shopping including at the Lululemon outlet (yes!!!!) where they were having some incredible sales on sports bras and tank tops. I definitely picked up some goodies there. After shopping we headed to the Hilton Garden Inn right in downtown Portsmouth to check in. The hotel was really nice.
We went to dinner at Tuscan Kitchen for a nice Italian meal where I had Burrata to start and then a delicious fresh made pasta with Bolognese sauce. For dessert I had the most amazing warm espresso chocolate cake. My goal for dinner was to get in a lot of calories and I think I succeeded!
Flat Runner. Ready to rock my Skirt Sports!
We got to bed fairly early as the race started at 8:00. In the morning I had my usual pre-race oatmeal and part of a banana just enough not to upset my stomach. Then we headed to the race start at Wallis Sands Beach in Rye, NH which was only 15 minutes away.
Runner Moms at the Starting Line
Even though there were a lot of runners at the race venue it seemed pretty low key which was nice. I went out for a nice short warm-up run and did a dynamic warm-up to get my legs moving. I was feeling a little stiff. Kelly wasn’t planning to run with me so when it was time to start we said good luck and got our own positions at the starting line.
I was in the first wave of runners since I was hoping to finish sub 1:45 pace. The start was a low key countdown and then we were off. The temperature was perfect-mid fifties and overcast. It felt so good to be moving. My first mile was too fast: 7:22 but I felt so good. I kept telling myself to back off the pace and settle down but i was not being disciplined and kept clipping along at fast paces. Miles 2-8: 7:34, 7:30, 7:31, 7:42, 7:49, 7:46, 7:36. I was running with a couple of other women and trying to maintain pace with them while still running my own race. I had my first GU at around mile 5 right before a water stop. It made my belly gurgle a bit but I was happy for the calorie and caffeine boost. This course is relatively flat and starts along the coast line then runs through neighborhoods and back to the coast again. I was enjoying the lack of hills on the course (even though hills are my strength).
Read about @organicrunmom’s latest #halfmarathon at the Wallis Sands Half Marathon #racerecap #running
Around mile 9 I could feel my legs starting to feel a bit heavy from running the faster paces. I took another GU and began trying to flip my thinking to the positive as negativity was creeping in. I remembered what Confidence Coach Coach_Christen, had said at Rise. Run. Retreat. about turning your thinking around and worked hard to get rid of any negative thoughts. I decided at this point to not focus on my watch but to focus rather on how I was feeling. Focusing on the numbers was only going to serve to make me feel stressed about slowing down. Miles 9-13: 8:17, 7:57, 8:16, 8:24, 8:10. The last mile seemed long but I worked very hard to pick it up as much as I could as we came back around by the ocean and into the finish.
Woohoo! Half Marathon Finisher in 1:42.41
I ended up crossing the finish line in 1:42.41. I was pleased with my finished time as I had wanted to run sub 1:45. While this was not a PR for me I am very proud of my finish time as this is the fastest half marathon that I have run in a long time.
Finisher’s Medal at the Wallis Sands Half Marathon
I finished 7th in my age group, ages 40-44 out of 99 women in my age group. Now I am hungry for more. I know that I can run faster if I run a smarter race. Next time I race I need to try to run even splits at the beginning and to try to negative split the second half. I definitely got a bit excited about racing and couldn’t stop myself from going too fast at the beginning. Does this ever happen to you?
Wallis Sands Half Marathon Finishers
Kelly finished too, proud of finishing as she hasn’t been training too much. She just enjoyed herself and the day and being out there by the ocean. It began to rain just as the race was finishing up. Perfect timing! I started to get very cold and had to take off all of my wet running gear and to bundle up.
Exhausted but starving. Runners brunch refuel.
After the race we headed back into Portsmouth where we had a delicious brunch and enjoyed relaxing in the restaurant. We also checked out a few more of the cute shops. Then we finished off the day back in Hanover with a delicious dinner at local restaurant Market Table and then some gelato.
Overall this was a fantastic mini race-cation that would be fun to do again next year!
What was your last race accomplishment? What races do you have planned coming up?
If you are like me then you are always looking for a little more inspiration. I took a brief hiatus from twitter but now am getting back into it and am finding great sources of inspiration and women runners that you should check out. Take a peek at my list and please share your favorites in the comments.
Stephanie Bruce @Steph_Rothstein I had the privilege of meeting Hoka One One Elite Runner Stephanie Bruce last year at Rise. Run. Retreat. Not only is she a speedy runner but she is also a big proponent of body positivity and positive body image. She is an elite runner and also a mom.
Des Linden @des_linden Des Linden is the winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon. She finished fifth at this years Boston Marathon. She may be small in stature but is a fierce competitor. Des runs for Brooks and will inspire you with her candor about her training and racing.
Gabriele Grunewald @gg_runs Pro Runner Gabriele Grunewald is a pro middle distance runner but also a cancer survivor and warrior. She founded Brave Like Gabe to raise awareness and raise money for rare cancer research. Through her foundation she encourages others to move their bodies especially cancer survivors.
Are you a #twitter fan and a #runner? Check out these awesome runners to follow on twitter! @des_linden @gg_runs @Steph_Rothstein @SarahCanney @RunToTheFinish #runchat
Sarah Canney @SarahCanney. Founder of Rise. Run. Retreat. and Run Far Girl. Mother of 3 Sarah posts inspiring content about runners, her training for mountain runs and snowshoe races. She also shares content about her recovery from an eating disorder and body image.
Amanda Brooks @RunToTheFinish Amanda shares a ton of great curate content from her website Run To The Finish. She also details her own journey with running and racing after having had knee surgery. She offers great running tips and advice.
Who are your favorite women runners to follow on twitter?
First of all, it snowed today. What the %$#@? It’s mid-May and feels like it may never warm up.
In other news I have been working hard to get my life together as a single Mom and have been doing new things. It is empowering! Last week I grilled hamburgers, using my grill for the first time ever by myself. This may not seem like a big deal but to me it is another hurdle in this new life of mine to overcome.
New car with a silly girl making faces!
My second big milestone was buying a new car all by myself. I have been thinking about trading in my car now for awhile but have been scared to go to the dealership. Yesterday I finally bit the bullet went in and grabbed the bull by the horns and negotiated a deal for a new car. Go me! I can’t believe I did it! I am so excited. In case you are wondering I am now a proud Subaru owner and enjoying that new car smell!
New ambassador gear from Headsweats. Purchase using my dniscount code: runnermom25 for 25% off your purchase!
Even though I am training for a half marathon my running has kind of been all over the place this last week just due to some things going on in life. Instead of an hour run solo this Sunday I got to enjoy run/walking a trail 5K with my kids on Mother’s Day. Their first ever 5K! There may have been some grumbling along the way but they both did it and both finished 4th in their age group. I am hoping that they will want to try again at some point but we’ll see, hahah!
The Dirty 5k on Mother’s Day
This week I am tapering . . . well not really but taking it pretty easy with running since the Wallis Sands Half Marathon is on Sunday. Leading up to race day i’ll be getting in some short runs including some running as a helper at Sarah Canney‘s (Run Far Girl) Rise, Run, Retreat happening in Woodstock, Vermont. I’ll be helping out and joining in the fun on Thursday and Friday and then on Saturday, my ex sister-in-law Kelly and I will be heading down to Portsmouth, NH to get ready for race day. Packet pick-up is at Runner’s Alley so I may acquire some new running gear . . . we’ll see. We are also going to hit up the outlets in Kittery, Maine as they are close by and even have a Lululemon outlet.
As far as Goals go for race day my goals are simple. The number one goal is always to finish smiling and happy about my race performance. I am not putting too much pressure on myself for a time goal as it has been awhile since I raced. In the fall I ran a 1:45 and change at the CHaD Hero Half Marathon. That time was run on a very hilly course. The Wallis Sands Marathon is a mostly flat course so I am hoping to better my time from the fall. As far as by how much? We will see. I hope to run even splits for the first half and then work towards negative splits for the second half. I am excited to run and just have a fun time!
Discover how Organic Runner Mom is finding more independence and her goals for her next #halfmarathon
As of today the weather for race day looks like it will be 48 degrees in the morning with a high of 62 and partly sunny. Right now those look to be pretty ideal conditions for running. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the weather hold though because we have been having so much rain (and snow!) that it is hard to imagine that it won’t be raining. I am waiting to plan my race day outfit for a few more days.
What races do you have coming up? What are some things that you have accomplished that you were scared to do?
*Disclaimer: I was sent a pair of the New Balance 890 V7 Running Shoes for my review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
My first thought upon taking the New Balance 890 V7 Running shoe out of the box was, “Wow! This shoe is so light!” I have used this shoe for runs up to 6-8 miles, for base runs, tempo, and threshold runs.
New Balance 890 Running Shoe Review
The New Balance 890 v7 is a women’s neutral cushioned running shoe. It features a 6mm drop. The midsole is made of New Balance’s signature REVlite which keeps this shoe very light. The shoe weighs 5.6 ounces. The New Balance 890 V7 comes in both standard and wide widths. This shoe retails for $119.99.
Running Shoe Review
While being super light this shoe offers nice support and fits snugly around the instep. The tongue is anchored by a pair of lightweight stretchy bands that anchor the tongue.
New Balance 890 V7 Knit upper
This helps to provide a nice fit for my narrower foot. The stretchy heel cups nicely and holds my narrow heel in place with each foot-strike.
Perfect for tempo runs
I love the aesthetics of this shoe. It has a knit upper without much extra rubber on the outsole. This is also what makes the shoe so light. It comes in several pleasing color combinations including Crystal with Dark Agave & Bleached Lime Glo which was the color combo of the pair that I received.
New Balance Running Shoe Review.
While this shoe offers nice support for short runs including tempo and threshold runs I think that I would prefer a more highly cushioned shoe for my longer runs such as the Fresh Foam 1080. This shoe is perfect for half marathon training on my shorter run days. The New Balance 890 V7 is perfect for road running. It is so light you will feel like you are flying!
Overall I love this shoe especially when I am out for shorter training runs. I am considering whether or not I will wear this shoe for my upcoming Half Marathon.
Have you ever run in New Balance Running Shoes? What do you look for in a running shoe?
Last week my workouts were pretty uneventful. I ran long on Monday and then had a few easy runs during the week. No CrossFit for me last week but that’s ok as my body welcomed the break. I had a migraine in the middle of the week so took my easy running to the treadmill in hopes of the migraine disappearing. Sometimes exercise helps when a migraine hits.
Piper as Puck
My mom came up for a visit from Thursday-Sunday morning so I took some time off from running. We kept ourselves very busy. The kids had Shakespeare Day at School. Piper took on the role of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Brock was Macbeth. I am so impressed with all of the kids who performed and by Piper and Brock who had many lines to memorize and perform.
Brock as Macbeth
I am so proud of my kids for all of their hard work and hope that they will get into other dramatic performances soon as they both did an incredible job. After seeing their performances my mom and I spent Saturday doing house projects as well as enjoying some time shopping together and finished off our time together with a fantastic dinner at one of our local restaurants.
Trail running Sunday
On Sunday afternoon I joined my friend Bridget at her house for a long run. She has tons of trails and dirt roads to run on near her house so we were easily able to find a loop that took us just over two hours. We ran for 2:20 and finished a total of 13 miles with 1626 Feet of elevation gain for the run.
Woah Elevation Gain
Even though our paces weren’t fast this run challenged us and was great training for the upcoming Wallis Sands Half Marathon which is happening in less than two weeks. The Wallis Sands Half Marathon course is mostly flat so my legs will be excited after all of these super hilly runs. I am looking forward to testing my fitness soon!
Then just a quick reminder about your health. I had a mammogram scare last fall which turned out to be a benign cyst. I had a follow up ultrasound today which was all clear. Be sure to go and get yourself check out at your yearly mammogram. It is so important to stay on top of your health!
What was your best workout this week? How long was your longest run?
organic runner mom
I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down.
Lately I’ve been having to spend a lot of my time running alone rather than running in a group. I miss the carefree days before I had kids when I used to run with a group 2-3 times a week but lately scheduling has necessitated mostly running alone. This is also true because I am still somewhat new to the area and haven’t yet found many friends to run with. There are positives to both running solo and running in a group. Which do you prefer?
Run your pace. When you run alone it is easy to focus on running your own pace instead of getting caught up in running faster or slower than you had planned. This is especially important if you are training for a race and trying to run a prescribed workout.
Focus on your form. When you run by yourself you can really think about your running form without the distraction of others around.
Focus on your breathing. Another great thing to focus on when you are running solo is your breathing.
Complete your workout as prescribed. This can be harder to do in a group when everyone runs different paces.
Enjoy time alone.
Schedule your run when it is convenient for you. Group running times are not always convenient. When you run by yourself you can run whenever the time is suitable for you.
Think Time. When you run by yourself this can be a great time to focus on your own thoughts
Running in a Group
Challenge each other. In our area there are group track night runs as well as meet-ups to mountain run, as well as regular Saturday runs. Doing these workouts with a group rather than by yourself can be highly motivating and will make you a stronger runner.
Don’t worry about your pace. This is true when you are out for group fun runs when the focus is not on the pace but rather on running and enjoying.
Explore new places. It is safer to explore new running routes when you are with a group.
Motivate each other to go farther, faster, and to achieve new goals.
Pick up your pace. Running with others is a good way to challenge your pace and when doing workouts together you can push each other to achieve new paces.
Build your community and be social. Group runs are a great way to meet new members of the running community and to make new friends.
Accountability. If you run in a group you are accountable for showing up and for participating with the plan for the run for the day.
Which do you prefer? Running Alone or Running in a Group?
I can hardly believe it is May! Spring is so slow to come here in New Hampshire. We have been having a ton of rain which is good for the flowers and greening everything up but on many days it is a cold rain. We are still having temperatures in the 30’s in the mornings. I am ready to ditch my long running tights and layers in favor of running skirts and tank tops. I am ready to run with the sun warming my face. I did get out for a great long run yesterday in the sun although it was in the 40’s. I did get a little bit of pink color in my cheeks which was nice.
I am currently training hard for the upcoming Wallis Sands Half Marathon on May 19th in Rye, New Hampshire. I have been able to consistently do most workouts and have been loving the long runs. It always feels good to get some solid miles under your belt. During the week my coach often has me do Threshold Runs where the pace is around a 10K pace for a portion of the run. I know that these runs are necessary but for some reason they intimidate me. Do you have any running workouts that intimidate you? Picking up the pace is challenging but I know it is making me a faster runner and I will be happy for those workouts when race day arrives. I have been doing most of my training near my house which is mostly very hilly. This makes the runs where I have to pick up the pace a lot harder but I know on race day I will reap the rewards especially on a mostly flat race course.
Since it is May it is time for some new tunes to get you going on your run. This months playlist has a bit of a country feel to it. For some reason I have been on a real country kick lately so bear with me if this is not for you. I never thought I’d be a country music girl but it seems to be what fits my mood.
What songs have been getting you going lately for your running and workouts?
So my week is a little off. Since I now have the kids solo every other weekend since the divorce it means that I need to juggle the days of my workouts. But that’s all part of being a mom anyways. It’s always a juggling act with busy schedules. Let’s take a quick peek at how my half marathon training is going! The Wallis Sands Half Marathon is coming up on May 19th!
Monday-CrossFit small group training session. We worked on Power Cleans and Front Squats. Then we did an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) for 15′ of cal bike, dumbell snatch, and reverse lunges with dumbells. We finished off with a 7 minute AMRAP of push-ups to failure and 15 sit-ups.
Wednesday-50 Minute run with 6X30′ Uphill Intervals with 3 minutes rest in between. I ran 5.52 miles around Hanover and found a nice little hill for my hill sprints. I always love uphill intervals as they are a good way to build strength and to get some quickness in your legs.
Time for some uphill intervals
Thursday-Yoga. 60′ Hatha Flow class. Always good for the stretching!
Saturday-Threshold Run. This was a 55 minute run that I did on the treadmill as it was in the 40’s and raining out and the kids were home. I warmed up for 15 minutes then did 3X8′ at threshold pace (comfortably hard, approx. 10k pace), 4:00 easy recovery. Then easy to finish. I definitely prefer doing this workout outside!
Treadmill Threshold Run
Sunday-Day off. Kids were at home all day so I switched my long run to Monday
Monday-Endurance Run with Fast Finish. 1:50 for the run for a total of 12.4 miles. 10 min gradual warm up. In the last 30 minutes begin to drop the pace so that the last 15 minutes are at goal pace with the last 3 minutes at best sustainable pace. This run was challenging with 1332 Feet of elevation gain over the course. The fast finish was tough because of the hills that come at the end of the run but I worked hard to push the pace.
Embracing the sun on the long run.
How was your last week of workouts? What was your favorite workout? What was your hardest workout?
As I sit here I can feel my body begin to tense up. It starts in my lower back moving up and out into my hands. Before I know it I am holding my breath or breathing in short breaths. My shoulders raise up to what feels like my ears.
This is anxiety.
I am working hard on not allowing anxiety to take over. It sneaks up on me sometimes. I recently returned from a trip to see my family and my friends from way way back. A place where I feel fully supported and wrapped around. It is not lonely there. In fact being where I grew up fills me up with energy and happiness and the anxiety fades away.
I am home again now though and still adjusting to my new normal of this year post divorce. It sometimes feels empty and lonely and that’s when the anxiety creeps up. I feel totally out of equilibrium. I have been here in Hanover, New Hampshire for awhile but not long enough it seems, to have developed a rhythm. The people still feel newer, the connections aren’t as deep. I know this all takes time. The feelings of loneliness and anxiety are linked together.
The first thing I am doing to combat these feelings of anxiety is to remind myself to breathe. When I feel the tension start up, I remind myself to take several long, deep breaths. I cue myself to lower my shoulders. Sometimes I close my eyes as I am breathing. Slowly the anxiety fades back to grey but somehow it still lingers.
This year I have begun taking yoga again. Yoga class is a good place to practice deep breathing and also a place where I can find meditation. Stretching out deeply and breathing can help to bring a sense of calm and peace even if only during class.
I am thankful for all of the good that I have in my life. Now I just need to be able to let go of the anxiety that follows me. I need to learn to embrace being on my own and focus on my inner strength rather than to allow the anxiety to control me. I need to continue to learn to breathe more deeply and to take things one day at a time.