Capital Striders Happenings and RMC Podcast Interviews

The leaves on the trees have begun to change and radiate fall’s beauty thru it’s vibrant hues.  It’s this time of year that many runners revel in all the glory of the crisp air and sanctuary of the outdoors.  With much anticipation of training that will culminate towards fall marathons, trail runs and the community of runners enjoying this time of year together, I am happy to announce today’s blog post titled, Capital Strider’s Happenings and RMC Podcast Interviews.

RMC Podcast Interview with Capital Striders

Capital Striders representatives, Kristin Adkins, Amber Crews, and Jason Kenyon were all kind enough to take time out of their busy schedules organizing and hosting the upcoming fall trail races, Des Moines IMT Marathon Volunteer coordination, and the 100 mile November Challenge to let me ask them a few questions during a group interview.

Capital Striders is a running club group based in Des Moines, Iowa and is currently about 550 runners strong.  They offer a well-rounded amalgamation of various types of training runs, group runs and is heavily involved in the Des Moines area running community.  Listen to their interview thru the podcast link below that describes and talks more in details about some of their specific training runs thru out each week.

Upcoming Races and Fall Motivation

Amber Crews and Jason Kenyon tell us some of the race highlights of two of the upcoming trail races that the Capital Striders Club will host.

Fast approaching at the end of October (October 27th, to be exact) is the “To Grandmother’s House We Go” trail race.  Included here is a link for registration and race details.  The race distances of 5k, 10k and 15k offered are based on the 5k loop thru Brown’s Woods.  They even encourage and give prizes for those that are brave enough to come in costume and honor the Red Ridinghood them.

The other scenic trail race being held before the end of the year is the “Sycamore 8“.   This race travels along the Des Moines River and if you’re one of those cold weather runners, then mark your calendar for this year’s race to be held on December 1st.  Link for registration and race details here –

Along with the weekly offerings of speed work on a track, hill runs for strength, and Saturday group runs, the club offers some more informal trail runs which you can find out about location announcements by following the ‘Capital Striders’ Turkeys‘ Facebook page.

In addition to the weekly group offerings, there is also what’s called the ‘100 Miles in November Challenge‘ spearheaded by Kristin Adkins.  With a couple years under its belt, the 100 Miles in November Challenge has been proud to collaborate prize offerings with Fleet Feet Sport and Heartland Soles to award a pair of new runnings kicks.  Local Hy-Vee dieticians have also contributed runner’s swag in the past like a new Fitbit watch.  If only I lived 2 hours closer, I’d sure be taking advantage of this late fall motivational running group.

Runner’s at Heart

It’s always fun to hear about an individual’s specific reasons for running, their personal motivation or their proudest running moments.  Within the Ep. 8 – Capital Striders RMC Podcast episode, you’ll get to hear Amber tell you about her zen 50k in Portland memories and how she came to identify herself at a young age thru running, Jason’s Rocky Mountain Park experience and his downhill hail running PR, and Kristin’s battle with Mother Nature at last spring’s Boston Marathon and how she came to find her role with Capital Striders.

FREE Race Registration Giveaways Contest!!

Capital Striders was generous enough to give away 1 FREE race registration for each of the upcoming “To Grandmother’s House We Go” and “Sycamore 8” trail races.  If you’d like to enter the contest, here are the parameters;

  1. On Facebook and/or Twitter – “Like” both the Capital Striders and Runnermomcoach pages.
  2. Share this blog post thru Facebook and/or Twitter via the Runnermomcoach Facebook/Twitter page, on your personal Facebook/Twitter page.  This can be done by simply clicking on the SHARE button at the end of this post.
  3. Be the first to directly e-mail with screenshots of 1 and 2, along with which race you would like to receive FREE entry into by 10/25/18.
  4. Ready?…Get Set…GO!!!


26.2 Miles for You, and You, and You!!

Sunday is the big day!  On October 7th, 2018 (this Sunday), I will set out around 5:30 am to get to Grant Park in Chicago, IL in order to run the Chicago Marathon for the Girls on the Run Charity. I will run 26.2 miles for You, and you, and you!!

26.2 Dedicated Miles to My Donors!

As promised, I will run 1 mile for each of my exactly 26 donors and the .2 for my husband and family, who are always unconditional support to me.

Here is my 26.2 list of donors (in no particular order) and the miles I”m dedicating to each of you.

Mile 1 – Jennifer Burhans, Mile 2 – Flockhart Family, Mile 3 – Rick & Sue Enyart, Mile 4 – Dad & Phyllis Mick, Mile 5 – Suzie Johannes & Family, Mile 6 – Kathleen Elliott, Mile 7 – Sylvona & Chase Lang, Mile 8 – Allison Ray, Mile 9 – Lisa Flaherty, Mile 10 – Nancy Fox, Mile 11 – Aaron Henderson, Mile 12 – Briana Steffens, Mile 13 – Kathryn Davidson, Mile 14 – Shelley Hannah, Mile 15 – Lori Pleiness, Mile 16 – Darsha White, Mile 17 – Shiloh Jones, Mile 18 – Angie Amunson, Mile 19 – Cindy Bennett, Mile 20 – Angie Smith, Mile 21 – Heather Flatgard, Mile 22 – Rose Reiseck, Mile 23 – Vanessa Duerksen, Mile 24 – Lana Kelsey, Mile 25 – Nicole Miller, Mile 26 – Nancy Schmitt, Mile 26.2 – Joel, Vivian & Victoria & Golden Hammer Collision Center.

Great Thanks!!

It has enlightened me to receive all of your support thru out this charity journey.  You will have a lasting impact on not only myself, but to some young girl who may just be discovering who she is or who she’s to become.  Thanks to you for donating to me, but more importantly for your belief in humanity and in making a positive impact in the world!

Enjoying the Ride

J.Bo and I are looking forward to our experience and are hoping to make the best of it.  Life has thrown us a little curveball as Jen has been experiencing some back issues and it’s affected her running game a little bit.  But we’ve worked to raise the awareness for supporting young runners and specifically young girls thru our charity efforts and running for Girls on the Run.  And we’ve decided together, that just to ensure we are enjoying the experience itself, the camaraderie of the runners in Chicago, and each other that we won’t be at all time focused and may even choose to pause and walk a little here or there to stop and smell the roses along the way.

Post Race Re-cap next week along with a new podcast episode with Capital Striders representatives and even an opportunity to receive a FREE race registration for one of their upcoming fall trail races.  Stay tuned!…


New Boston Marathon Qualifying Standards

Hey Folks!  Have you heard about the new Boston Marathon Qualifying Standards for 2020?  I just received this e-mail from Runner’s World that included an article pertaining to the new standards, where the time cut-offs lie, and where a few of the time windows lie for entry if you run faster than your qualifying standard.

“Do you think the new qualifying standards are fair?”

The Runner’s World article written by Sarah Lorge Butler and published on September 27, 2018 asks the question, “Do you think the new qualifying standards are fair?”  You may even participate in an online poll to voice your opinion.

I think the reality of the qualifying standards is and always has been, that Boston continues to be quote “the holy grail for serious distance runners”, per Sarah Lorge Butler.  Read the article for yourself, but the cap of 30,000 registrants must be maintained regardless of the newfound speed of the general population of marathoners.  Read the article here – 

The limit to the number of registrants, part in due to the original necessity to limit because of the narrowness of the streets out in Hopkinton where the race starts, and the increasing popularity of the race and registrants, has evolved and progressed thru the years.

In fact, it was declared back in 1970 by the B.A.A. officials that “this is not a jogging race!”

“A runner must submit the certification of either the Long Distance Running chairman of the Amateur Athletics Union of his district or his college coach that he has trained sufficiently to finish the course in less than four hours. This is not a jogging race”

The history of the marathons exclusivity is somewhat fascinating in how it’s morphed and evolved.

My humble opinion on the fairness of this new standards is that Yes, I do believe it will eliminate the “grey area” on qualification times.  The modern era of running has also metamorphasized and evolved into faster runners, better science and knowledge on training, and an overall larger percentage of individuals in general that participate in the sport.  Thus if we want to maintain the prestige of Boston and its’ integrity, the field must be adapted.

What Can You Do to Get There?

My humble recommendations are to first train intentionally, if you are going after a B.Q. (Boston Qualifier time).  Pick your goal qualifying marathon to nail down your B.Q. time and be sure that it is certified so that the time you run even counts.  Also, make sure that it is within the window of time for you to submit towards whichever Boston Marathon race you want to participate in.  Typically, you qualify the year prior and then submit for entry for whatever age you will be on the day of your desired Boston Marathon.

There are many good and fast qualifying courses out there, but of course my favorites are the only two that I can speak towards where I was able to run qualifying times; Grandma’s Marathon and the Chicago Marathon.  But you can find qualifying marathons thru these links;

If you are indeed going to train intentionally, part of that training should include some goal marathon pace runs, speed work like the Yasso 800’s (which are also a great marathon time predictor workout), and strength and mobility work 2-3 times per week.

Happy Marathon News Monday!!!  Quotting Carrie Tollefson and her CTolleRun mantra, “GET AFTER IT!”

Girls on the Run – Chicago Marathon Update

Well, folks my apologies for the less than consistent blog posts so far this fall.  As most of you already know, I also coach middle school and high school cross country and we’ve had a weird first half of the season with meets getting canceled due to heat and then too much rain or ground saturation and having to scramble to find replacements or re-figure training plans, etc.  The coaching life is a fun and very rewarding one, but can also be quite intense at times. With that said, here finally is my Girls on the Run – Chicago Marathon Update.

Two Weeks Out

I peaked two weeks ago at 20 miles.  I like to typically do 22-23 or so, but since the marathon this time is focused more towards the charity and raising awareness and also checking off a bucket list item, I decided it wasn’t necessary to do the few extra miles.

Last week, I started a 3-week taper that put my long run at 15 miles.  It was such a huge reprieve to finally have cooler weather and I actually felt like I just kinda wanted to cruise for a couple more miles, but then that would defeat the taper wouldn’t it?!?

This week, I’ll continue as always running with the kids at practice as they work towards their own peak in training.  That means 3-4 days a week doing between 3 – 7 or 8 miles.  I don’t typically run with them on their quality or speed work days, since I”m running the clock and coaching.  So have been taking these couple of days off or only doing 3-4 miles with the middle school kids or on my own.  Needless to say, my own training has been a bit more unstructured this time and it’s been a little bit of nice change.

Along with this more un-structured approach, I’ll admit that I have not been as disciplined towards my own strength and mobility, stretching or core work.  I would say on average, I’ll help lead the kids thru what they’re doing at practice and end up doing all or part of their workout, but often times am kinda all over the place with this and again coaching thru out.   However, knock on wood, I’m not experiencing much soreness or tightness anywhere and am assuming the extra off days in between have been a little blessing in disguise for recovery.

Fundraising Deadline and Dedicating my Miles

The fundraising deadline for my charity efforts and donations is Thursday 9/27/18.  So many of you have donated and supported me and for this I’ve been very humbled and so grateful!  It’s not too late, if you’d still like the opportunity to help me pay it forward you can do so thru this link.

As of today, I have exactly 26 donors.  I will dedicate and run a mile for each of you during my 26.2 mile journey on October 6th.  If I end up being even more blessed with additional donors, then I’ll group your dedicated miles towards the end when I’m having to dig deep.  The extra incentive and purpose to run for you will be my motivation when my body and mind are tired.

My Bib number is #8877 and if you’d like to live track me during the marathon you can download the Bank of America Chicago Marathon App.

Race Day Goals

First and foremost, of course, to run for charity, raise awareness and check off a bucket list item with my running bestie.  Secondary, to run for fun and complete enjoyment.  No worrying about pace, no calculating miles and accumulated time in my head during the race, no obsessing over how I’m going to disperse what’s left in the tank and what’s left for course.

I’m determined to NOT forget my running shoes this time.  Remember this post –

My goodness!  Perhaps, I’ll even cross paths with another famous person in the running world again this time.  Last time I ran Chicago, I met Bart Yasso, dubbed the “Mayor of Running” by Runners World.

I’ll see if I can figure out how to do some live video over Instagram or Facebook.  I’m not as tech savvy with these sort of things yet, but wouldn’t that be fun.  Then you can experience some of it along with me.

Good Luck to All!

Happy Monday everyone!  Hopefully, you are all feeling crisper with this cooler weather and finding your legs spinning beneath you just a little smoother and quicker.   Good Luck to any of you who may also be running Chicago, or the Twin Cities Marathon which is also the same weekend.  Enjoy the remaining two weeks of your taper and on race day go get er done!!

Picture Taken on a run in Bever Park in the Fall of 2015




A Heartfelt Message with Respect to Mollie Tibbetts

Runners, I want to dedicate today’s post with utmost sincerity to the most recent Mollie Tibbetts Case.  Many of you may already be aware of the Iowa college-age girl who was abducted while out on a run in the countryside.  My heart goes out to all of her family, friends, and community for their loss.  Your loss is dire!   My hope is that other runner’s, or individuals, may at the very least take extra precautions and safeguards and perhaps “A Heartfelt Message with Respect to Mollie Tibbetts” for your own safety.

In All Honesty…

I’ll admit, I used to be the purist runner.  It was so freeing and liberating to just head out the door without a specific plan, destination or route.  My runs were a way for me to escape to a blank canvas where I was the only one who could paint on it.

I NEVER ran with a phone, because it was MY time.  I often wouldn’t communicate with my family members where I was going to run or when exactly I’d be back.  Even, back in my college days of running, I would take off by myself without even telling anyone I was going to go for a run.  I now look back and realize how completely DUMB I was.  I was irresponsible and selfish!  Don’t be like I was and please take this message of caution to heart.

Run Safe & Run Smart!

Perhaps things change a bit after you have kids or realize that you have a responsibility to your loved ones.  Or, perhaps like me, you have come to the realization that there is absolutely no excuse to not take advantage of all the various tools for safety our there.  There are so many convenient resources of the modern day at our fingertips to keep you safe and for your our own well being.

Here is my checklist for you runner’s to consider;

  1. Take your phone with you!!  If you’re an iPhone user, turn on your location services and use Find My Friends or a Life 360 app. so you can be tracked by your family members.  Not to mention you’ll have it with you should you need to call for help.
  2. Let someone know you’re going for a run.  I told my own college daughter just the other day, that even if her roommate isn’t around that she should still leave a note.  Heaven forbid something would happen to her, but if it did at least authorities and us family members would then know that she had gone on a run or the nature of her absence.
  3. Route your run.  Use or upload your Garmin or GPS watch analytics to log your routes or create new ones.  Let your friends or family members know where you like to run or the general routes you take.
  4. Run during daylight hours or at least on well-lit streets.
  5. Run with a partner or running buddy – this could include a dog.
  6.  Run with pepper spray or a whistle to ward off unwanted people, strangers, or animals.
  7. NEVER run with earbuds in both ears or music too loud that you couldn’t hear someone coming up behind you.
  8. If God forbid you feel you are being followed, immediately get your phone in your hand and emergency numbers pulled up.  Or pepper spray un-locked and prepped.  Bee-line to the closest house, business, or public area and forget about any miles or workout you had initially intended on.  Safety first and always heir on the side of caution!
  9. Also, God forbid you are attacked, but you MUST do everything in your will to fight off your attacker.  Empower yourself and try your best not to be a deer in headlights and freeze.  One thing I learned back in my martial arts days of self-defense was, if you’re attacked from behind, lower your center of gravity as close to the ground as possible while maintaining your feet stance.  It is much harder for an attacker to move you if they also have to lift your weight.
  10. Don’t take your safety for granted!

Equip Yourself with the Right Gear

I’ve included a link here to some of the safety equipment or gear that I’ve used or currently use.  You do NOT need justification to purchase something that’s going to keep you safe.  There should be NO excuses!

Products & Gear for Running Safely


The First Day to Greatness

It’s been over a week since I’ve written a blog post.  I’ve been busy!  Last week was filled with coaching and organizing a cross country camp for 52 of my 7-12 athletes.  It’s a full week which includes not just running, but PiYo (pilates / yoga) for runners, guest speakers from D1 college athletes, H20 Hunger Games (running in disguise.  insert evil laugh), cross training bike rides, outdoor movies and camping, trail running, swimming (cryotherapy), and clinic discussions (this year on GRIT).  However, this morning is the first official day of our fall cross country season.  It’s the First Day to Greatness!!

Have Faith in the Process

I’m reminded every time this time of year, how important it is to teach young runners to have patience with themselves.  So many are just learning to run and I mean this literally.  We have to teach them to be able to jog continuously for 100 meters.  One step in front of the other.  Then we set the next goal of 200 meters, then to a quarter mile, then so on an so forth until eventually being able to race a full 2 miles (for middle schoolers) or 5k (for high schoolers).

This process can be somewhat difficult to realize for young runners.  “Patience Grasshopper” is what I joke and tell some of them.  It’s so easy to compare yourself to other runners who seem faster or more fit and let it be the demon in the attic that is telling you that you aren’t a good runner.  This is hogwash!  In the seven years that I’ve been coaching now, I can’t reassure you enough by telling you how many times I’ve seen a new incoming 7th grade runner just stick with it by focusing on putting one foot in front of the other.  The short term goal at some point ends up turning into more of a long term goal and the kids come back out, year after year.  Before you know it, we’re reminiscing at their graduation parties and looking back at pictures of them in jerseys that they swam in because they were so little at the time.  

My current coaching tactics have me thinking that teaching kids how to draw themselves into the present mindset and to just focus on controlling what they can control.  If they can master this then, not only might they achieve what we refer to as “the zone”, but more so the bi-product of success can be achieved.

How Do You Define Success?

This can be a tricky question.  We’re teaching young runners to define their character and themselves thru the process with attitude and effort, and to take on the identity of being a “distance runner”.  A “distance runner” that tells themselves, “I do hard things”!  A runner who can look themselves in the mirror afterwards and be proud of the reflection of someone who has given their best.

In the same token, there is a definite real tangible goal that we strive towards.  We want personal improvement and PR’s (personal records).  We want them as a team to strive for top placement at each meet.  We hope that our end goal is qualifying and getting to the State meet.  We hope that the bi-product of all their combined hard work and effort and daily “controlling what you can control” mindsets, will get them to “the deck” (top placement at the State Meet).

Between these two personal short term and long term goals, and our team short term and long term goals, we will achieve greatness.  The runners will find success in themselves and a process and effort put towards something bigger than just themselves.  This is SUCCESS!!  And today was the first step on our way and First Day to Greatness!!

Holy Mother Runners from Iowa

Do you get paid to run?  Are you endorsed by running shoe companies to wear their shoes while running fast, with the hopes that it’ll influence watchers to go out and buy XYZ shoe brand so they can be fast too?  Do you get to include daily naps and massage and a dietician into your lives so that you can run and train all day every day at maximum ability? Do you have a nanny that comes and keeps watch over the children so that you can go log miles?  For the vast majority of you, this is NOT our reality or running way of life.  Today’s Holy Mother Runners from Iowa blog post features two “real” women from the Midwest and how they have kept running in their lives despite work, families, and the day to day chaos so many of us keep as a barometer of normalcy.  It may find you just as motivated if not more to put that next race on the calendar, once you hear how relatable and real these “mother runners” from Iowa are.

Response to the Holy “Mother Runner” Campaign

Last week after posting a contest for my Holy “Mother Runner” campaign, two local Moms won an RMC t-shirt and guest feature for my RMC podcast.  Ironically both mother’s who have daughters that run cross country at the school I coach at.  Their daughter’s have both participated in the program as 7th and 8th graders and will be entering their third year this coming fall season as incoming Freshman.

Holy “Mother Runner” Campaign

Iowa “Mother Runner” Suzie Johannes

Suzie has two teenage children both heavily involved and active in sports and activities.  She herself is a child physical therapist and has a service-oriented career.  I believe she may also assist her husband at times with his custom home building endeavors.  Needless to say Suzie lives a busy life but still tries her best to live an active life of fitness as well.

Suzie strives to teach her kids that being active and setting goals for themselves should be fun.  And to do what you can thru the process towards those goals so that you can “look back with no regrets”.  As a mom who understands the importance of the journey, she says she does all she can to offer support but let her kids somewhat define what that support looks like.  She offers to take splits for them during their races, and of course emphasizes the lifestyle of eating well, and helps them with the at home physical self-care that’s necessary to prevent injury.

First Time “Half”er Tami Flockhart

Tami had running seeds planted at an early age with her involvement in track and field as an short and middle distance track runner.  Since then, she’s continually defining her running life and returned to it after a bet with her husband that he’d take dance lessons.  Tami has recently trained and completed her first ever half marathon.  She chose to run the Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon as her first and says she may choose to do another this fall.

Tami also attests to the difficulty of how to manage work, kids, life and yet have enough ambition to complete long runs on the weekends.  She inspires for her daughter to follow suit and turn it into a life sport.   And of course takes the opportunities with her daughter to teach life lessons from her participation in the sport and thru the empathy of being a distance runner herself.

RMC Podcast Interviews

The three of us sat down and recorded the informal style podcast.  It felt like a casual chat about their own running and kids, or just a down to earth heart to heart from Coach to parents.

What I appreciated most, and hope that you will as well, is Tami and Suzie’s candid real runner mom balance and perspectives.  Sometimes these “real” stories motivate us more since we can relate and realize our fight to fit our own goals and running identities into our lives, are successfully shared amongst so many.  If you’ve ever asked yourself…How do they do it?  Can you do it too?



Holy “Mother Runner” – Deena Kastor

Last week I started a blog post campaign called the Holy “Mother Runner” Campaign.  My intent to starting this focused campaign is to introduce and highlight some of my favorite professional “Mother Runners” (a few that have inspired me over the years), as well as empower those of you out there that have figured out ways to incorporate running into your post-childbearing mother runner lives.

The RMC Podcast

If you follow my social media accounts you may have seen the contest and post to follow last week’s blog post, which was to highlight the first three “mother runners” out there to comment by highlighting your stories thru a podcast interview on my RMC Podcast on iTunes (a link can be found on the right of this page) as well as reward you with an RMC T-shirt.

I couldn’t believe how immediate the response was by two fellow “mother runners”, Tami Flockhart and Suzie Johannes.  These two women are both Iowa locals and have successfully passed the running bug onto their daughters, who participate in our school’s cross country program.

So, stay tuned for their podcast interview later this week and get to hear each of their personal running stories and journeys with running.

“Mother Runner” – Deena Kastor

The feature “Mother Runner” in today’s blog post is Deena Kastor.  I have been a huge fan of hers since she won the Bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, the first in over 20 years.  To sweeten her likeness, she is also an 8 time champion in cross country.

What’s super cool about Deena now though, and pertinent to this campaign, is that she not only had her child in 2011 but has been able to return to the marathoning and half marathon community.  Before we get to her post-baby accomplishments, let’s talk about some impressive performances from her past decade’s highlights reel.

In 2008 Deena won the US Olympic marathon trials.  This specific race was strategically symphonic with an underdog turn-over for her after chasing down Magdalena Lewy Boulet during the last 10 miles.  Watching this takedown happen and evolve via live coverage put goosebumps on my arms.  Go, Go, American women distance runners!!

She has placed consistently in the Top 10 professional women’s field over the past decade in races such as the LA marathon (3rd – 2013), World Championship Marathon (9th – 2013),  and NYC Half Marathon (2nd – 2010).  But the creme de la creme in my current opinion was her return after having her daughter Piper Bloom.  Not only had she returned to running successfully after having a child, but also entered the ‘masters’ division and found a new balance for herself both as a mother, runner, motivator and author.

Here is a link direct from with her Bio and Stats –

Kastor as a Master

Kastor has been running post-baby now for seven years and has been throwing down ‘masters’ division records in both the half-marathon and full marathon distance.  There is hope for us running Mom’s after all!

Her record times range from 1:09:39 for the half, which she ran at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia and a blazing 2:27:47 for the full marathon which she nailed at the 2015 Chicago Marathon.   Her Chicago masters marathon record was faster than the previous record by almost a full minute.

Not only has she been lighting up the half marathon and marathon distance at the Masters level, but she has figured out a new balance for herself as mom/athlete.  She’s implemented the power of positive mindset into life and as proof of going beyond, she’s even written a book called “Let Your Mind Run”

“That’s what this entire book is about,” she said. “It’s about pushing your limits and figuring out a way to mentally to get through physical struggles so you can condition yourself more positively, more optimistically.”

This book is next on my iPhones notes list of “Books to Read”.  I can’t wait to be recharged by what lies within the pages as I’ve always been a believer of positive mindset and the limitless power that embracing this mindset can offer.

Obviously too with being a top-dog runner mom she had to figure out what new realistic goals to set for herself., wrote a flattering article on Deena Kastor explaining just this – ‘RRW: At 45, A Rejuvenated Deena Kastor Ready To Ride The Hills At Boston Marathon’.

Kastor was nearly 39 years-old at the time, and had to totally reinvent the way she lived and trained to find a new balance.  She had to stop trying to mimic the training she did as a 29 year-old, reduce her mileage and the number of runs she did every week, and lower some of her training intensity.  She successfully re-booted her marathon career, taking third at the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon in 2013, ninth at the IAAF World Championships in August of the same year (as a 40 year-old), and tenth at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2014.


Kastor Kickstarts the “Mother Runner” Campaign

Next blog post will hopefully include details on my Iowa Runner Mom friends Tami and Suzie.  After that, you can look forward to posts including mother runners Paula Radcliff, Kara Goucher, Gwen Jorgensen.

If you would like to recommend or nominate another mother for inclusion or highlighting within this campaign, please comment or e-mail me thru the Comment/Contact tab at the top of this webpage.  And as always, please help me pay it forward to other “mother runners” out there by sharing and liking this post.  Power to all you runners out there and especially you “Mother Runners”!  😀

Hy-Vee’s Hydration Message

The other day I went to grab groceries and on my way out noticed the Hy-Vee health magazine called “Balance” sitting within a wire rack next to the exit doors.  I like to grab this magazine from time to time.  I often find new healthy recipes in it or descriptions of some new health-related products.  This July issue had a specific wellness article and ‘Hydration Message‘ called “Water Works”.  I wanted to highlight a recipe out of it for you and re-iterate a few of the great hydration game reminders the article point out that are pertinent to us runners.

“During just one hour of exercise your body can lose more than a quart of water.  Drink before signs of thirst appear, and hydrate before, during and after workouts.” – American Council on Exercise

Hydration Marathon

One of the things I tell my cross country team is this – you can’t wait until you feel thirsty to hydrate properly!  Hydration thru the summer months is a marathon and you have to pace yourself for the long haul.  So many of the kids come to practice having just barely rolled out of bed.  Needless to say, most do not take the extra time to get up even earlier than necessary (they are out of school after all) before they need to get to our “optional” summer practices and focus on hydrating.  So, what I tell them to do is focus on the 24-hour pre-hydration game.

However, we also want to remember not to be so obsessive about drinking water that we become hyponatremic.  I talked a little bit about this in a previous blog post called Starting the ‘Running in Heat’ Round Table Discussion.

If we eat a well-rounded diet, that includes some sodium, potassium and other electrolytes than this shouldn’t be much of an issue.  Here even is a fun recipe from the Hy-Vee July periodical that includes a yummy cool and refreshing electrolyte popsicle.  Thanks, Hy-Vee!!

Hydration Pre-Game Strategies

First strategy I talk thru with the kids on my team are a nice simple math problem.  Divide your weight in half and that’s an approximate baseline for how many ounces a day you should consume of water.  Simple and easy right?!

100 pound runner / 2 = 50 oz. H20

Then I have them look at a visual or either their own water bottle or a standard size bottled water, which is just over 16 oz.  So, we know that in this instance a 100 pound runner would need to consume at least 6-7 bottles of commercially bottled water thru out the day.  Double check your own water bottle and see how many ounces it is.

BUT – Hold the phone!!  This does NOT include the sweat that is happening during their ‘beast mode’ cross country practices in the mornings.  So,…make that at least 7-8 and perhaps a nice post-run snack of banana and peanut butter for protein, carb, potassium and sodium replacement.  Done!!

My 26 oz. water bottle helps keep my ‘Hydration Game’ strong!


Many, like mine (pictured below) are even larger than store bought water which makes hydrating a less daunting task if you only have to tell yourself to get thru 1 before lunch, 1 thru out the afternoon and maybe (depending on your weight) another to sit on thru the evening.

Fun Fact & Kudos America!!

According to the Beverage Marketing Corp. which Hy-Vee cited on page 63 of their free store magazine,

“Bottled Water is now the top drink in the country.  Americans downed an average 39 gallons of it in 2016, surpassing soda.  “

That’s some real “HYDROPOWER!”

SO…set yourself up to have a great run tomorrow and go fill up your glass or water bottle and get drinking!

P.S. Next blog post I’ll share a new campaign idea that will hopefully enable and empower all of you amazing “mother runners” out there.   Stay tuned!…
















How I Handled Recovery After Running My 1/2 Marathon

After my 1/2 marathon attempt in Cedar Falls on June 24th, my husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by taking a trip to the island of Aruba.  It was very much an intentional choice to schedule our celebratory get-away until immediately following the race.  I’ll tell you today ‘How I Handled Recovery After Running My 1/2 Marathon’.

Why We Chose to Wait Until A Month and a Half After Our Anniversary to Celebrate

This is pretty cut and dry really.  When I decide to train for a specific 1/2 or full marathon I hold nothing back and put all my cherries in one basket.  What I mean is, I follow a training plan to a ‘T’, I stop any consumption of alcohol (I like to indulge in the occasional glass of wine), and I eat 90% of the time very purposefully and intentionally (meaning no french fries, which is a favorite along with limiting refined or overly processed foods and sugars).

Our Anniversary happened to be May 2nd and we wanted to honor our marriage by going someplace we’d both never been to.  Aruba was the perfect choice for us and we have many great memories from our time there.  However, had we gone ahead and gone on vacation while I was in the midst of training I would’ve been confronted with not being able to truly kick back and enjoy the entire vacation like I would’ve wanted.  Which, I didn’t feel was fair to my husband.

Furthermore, we’ve both agreed that me running alone in unfamiliar territory is not smart and potentially unsafe.  Often times my husband will ride his bike along next to me on long tempo runs or for portions of a long run during marathon training but we weren’t willing to pay to transport his bike on the plane to Aruba.

In terms of alcohol consumption for athletes, well…I could get on a lengthy soap box of the detrimental and overall systematic effects of alcohol on our bodies and the effects of detraining it has on athletes.  Perhaps this will be my next Coaches Corner Friday blog post, but in a nutshell, it’s simply no good.  And it just seemed unrealistic for me to expect that I wouldn’t want to indulge in a glass of wine or a cocktail while on vaca.

The effects of alcohol on athletic performance vary depending on quantity, demographics, and type of exercise, making it difficult to determine specific recommendations. From an athletic performance standpoint, the acute use of alcohol can influence motor skills, hydration status, aerobic performance, as well as aspects of the recovery process. –

*Let me add here that my soapbox rant on alcohol and it’s effects on athletic performance is directed towards anyone reading this who wants to get the best out of themselves in terms of athletic performance.  Or anyone who is under age or a minor, since we all know you should NOT be partaking if you are not yet a legal adult!  As for you adults out there, take my own opinions on this matter with a grain of salt and make your own opinions according to what your individual athlete or non-athlete body “needs”.

Passive Recovery vs. Active Recovery

It is generally recommended by some sources and thru a general understanding of exercise science that we should allow our bodies anywhere from 5-7 days recovery after a half marathon for recovery and up to two weeks after a full marathon.

Here is a very helpful and straightforward set of guidelines to follow for recovery post race.

Also, here is another article from Runner’s World regarding the difference of passive recovery and active recovery.

While in Aruba, we chose to completely go into ‘veg’ mode the first day and laid around on the beach under an umbrella.  How can you not be inspired to just relax when your senses are hearing the sound of waves, feeling a constant ocean breeze, seeing aqua blue ocean, and feeling fine white sand beneath your feet?!

We did take several daily walks along the beach in the sand and surf, which was quite refreshing on my legs and feet.  The sand and its ripples were like a massage underneath my feet and tired arches.  The cool water was like a heavenly form of cryotherapy.  The beaches in Aruba literally stretch for miles between resorts and just walking felt very therapeutic.

Not the Norm, but it’s ok!

It felt quite weird and yet a little liberating to not have to wake up and start the day before sunrise to log miles, or think about what kind of workout I needed to get in for the day.  No structured meal planning, or constant efforts of trying to push dense calories of protein and carbohydrates into my body.

Instead, we shared Margherita pizzas, sipped on Sangria while listening to live music on the beach piers, and just planned the day by asking ourselves what we felt like doing that day.

I was plenty entertained and distracted by our off-road Jeep excursions to some National Aruba parks and offroad trails, exploring more native and locally secluded beaches, observing and watching sea turtle nests to hatch (one of my ultimate all-time favorite animals) and even saw herds of wild goats milling about the island.  Rest and recovery wasn’t as hard as it sometimes can be and it wasn’t until Day 4 that I really became antsy.

What Now?…

So, now I am stepping into full coaching XC mode and running with the team.  We have morning practices every day thru out the entire summer.  It can be like corraling cats some days and the mileage that I personally log while trying to keep track of everyone can vary on such a broad spectrum.  But this is a beautiful freedom to have and I have so much fun running with the kids.  It is such a great reminder of how innocent running can be and how to run FREE for the rest of the summer.

Coincidentally, I’ll step back into more training and mileage build-up on the same day that our official XC season starts which is August 6th this year.  Since my running ‘bestie’ and I are running for the GOTR charity and hoping to raise enough money to run in this fall’s Chicago Marathon, we will build our mileage together.  It’ll probably be much less structured training since our main goal is just to run the marathon for charity and we aren’t time focused.  Here is a quick YouTube video I made as an educator of what I’m trying to do for the GOTR charity.  I’ve also attached a link to a previous blog post which talks about what exactly GOTR (Girls on the Run) is and how you can donate to my cause.

You can also find a link to my Girls on the Run Charity Donation page on the top right of the screen.  I have already been humbled and blessed with a few contributions and donations and consider it a direct support to me and my running endeavors as much as I hope my contributors and donation sponsors feel they’re paying it forward to a GREAT cause.  In fact, I wished there would’ve been something like this available to me as a young girl.

Regardless, thank you in advance if you choose the time to click on the following links and check it out or even make a donation.  It is a good feeling to know you can contribute positively into this world which seems to harbour so much negativity where we go.

Peace out my friends and Happy Fourth of July!!

What is GOTR and What Does it Have To Do With Me?