We’ve Moved!

by Kelly and Sue

It’s our last post….on our OLD blog.

Come visit us at our NEW one at 2chixrun26.com!

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you there!


The Treadmill Track Workout and the Case of the Bruised Bladder

by Carolyn Keene ….or really just Sue

When you have an almost 11-year-old, you have lots of Nancy Drew books laying around your house.

Week #3 of marathon training

Monday: 5 miles outside in 45:48 (9:15+ GP). Another hot one. And there’s nothing like having to make a quick grocery store stop on the way home with soaking wet shorts. And of course, that is the time when you run into everyone you know.

Wednesday: This was supposed to be my first track workout. Embarrassingly, I have never done a track workout. Ever. (Unless you count when we were made to run the track for conditioning for high school gymnastics, when I thought as if I may possibly die right then and there). In order to actually achieve an effective track workout this week, she’s having me run this one on the treadmill. The temps this week in Ohio are in the low 90s with all kinds of heat advisories. Not going to find me arguing with that!

On the schedule:
5x800m @7-7:15 w/400m rest intervals
2.5M CD

Well, I won’t lie. This was definitely hard. Perhaps not as bad as I thought it would be though. I felt it in my breathing more than in my legs. My biggest worry? Face planting on the treadmill when running that fast. I will confess, I do occasionally often hang onto the treadmill with a hand here and there. Even though I am NOT supposed to be doing that, I did hold on with one finger every now and then. Totally psychological, I know.

My cheat sheet for when to change speeds on the treadmill. Who can run that fast and think at the same time? Apparently not me. I gotta say, when the treadmill is set on 8.5, a half mile goes by pretty darn fast.

So I did my 800s at 7:04 pace. 8 miles total in 1:12:52

At the risk of TMI, but I’m just curious, so I’ve got to throw this out there–I had blood in my urine right after this run, which eventually tapered off by the end of the day; but also momentarily freaked me out. Kelly googled it for me and apparently it’s not that uncommon? I guess what can happen, according to one article I read, is if your bladder is empty, it can bounce around during a strenuous run and thus cause bruising and bleeding? Of course there were other potential causes, but this one, to me, seemed the most logical given the circumstances. They suggested going into a run with a not completely empty bladder. Well, who wants to do that? Anyone had this happen to them, or even heard of it?

Thursday: 4 miles outside in 36:42 (9:15+ GP)

Saturday: 4 mile treadmill recovery run in 40:04 (10:00+ GP). Saturday and Sunday’s runs got swapped out this week due to schedules.

Sunday: Long run. I knew going into this one I’d be pretty much solo. 17 miles is a long time to be solo. Kelly was not yet 100%, and Ryan had the lame excuse of having to operate on someone. Really, Ryan? That’s the best you’ve got for me? Just kidding, of course.

The great news? Kelly’s knee was feeling decent, which, by the way, was probably what she wanted most for today, her birthday! We ran a few miles together, then for the rest I was on my own.

And I was soooo not disappointed by yet another, exceptionally humid long run. You’d think I’d be used to it by now. Trying to be consistent with my fueling and hydrating on these early long runs, so I can figure out precisely what works best for me–my coach says I need to have this down to a science. So, every run is a learning experience. It wasn’t the most spectacular, but I pushed through and got it done. What else could I ask for?

17 miles in 2:42:55 (9:30+ GP)

Next week: hill repeats, a tempo run, and the 20-miler. Should I cry now or later? Wait–I’m supposed to love running, right?

38 miles total for the week.

Marathon Training Week 1-Feeling It?

by Kelly

I planned carefully to make sure my Marine Corp Marathon training was going to get me to a marathon PR.

I was feeling it…I had my marathon training schedule picked out. Runners world -Your Best Marathon Plan. Five days a week of running, with one day of hill/speed work, one long run and three other days of running.

A week before training started I headed to Dr. G. (My sports medicine doctor) for a shot of cortisone to help relieve my sore and stiff runners knee. He gave me the shot and then advised me
to take a week off running and that five days a week was too much running for my problematic right knee. I adjusted my training schedule to four days and still felt confident.

Monday morning I did a 5 1/2 treadmill run with some intervals thrown in and I felt great! Tuesday a rest day and Wednesday headed out for a hill run with Ryan. It is a 5 miles of rolling hills that I have run a lot in the past, but hadn’t attempted since my calf/knee injury last year. 2 1/2 miles in and I was feeling great! Started on a downhill and felt something behind my knee really hurt..it stopped me in my tracks. Tried to continue with run but knew there was no way I could finish, so I hobbled home. Diagnosis (by my personal trainer) pulled hamstring. Took two days off and tried to do my 9 miles long run on Saturday and it hurt right away. I made it to a mile and stopped running and walked back to my car.

So I have spent this week cross training on the elliptical, yoga, working out with my trainer, icing, doing a lot of rolling and feeling sorry for myself. I then realized that I can still do this .. I need to cross train hard and let my hamstring heal enough to have quality runs.


It might not be the way I wanted marathon training to start but my marathon PR is going to happen. I believe that these obstacles will make me stronger.


And I will. Has anyone else started out training for a race with an injury?

And the Heat Goes On

by Sue

Is it wrong that it’s barely July and I’m wishing for fall temperatures already?

Week #2 of marathon training


My running schedule is all out of whack this week. When you’re running five days a week, going out of town–even for a couple of days–can make it a challenge to fit all those runs in.

Monday: Here we go again with the tempo run. On the schedule today:
4M @8:00

My tempo splits: 8:06, 8:08, 8:14, 8:13

Over pace again. NOT ideal for a numbers-obsessed individual like myself; but considering that it felt like I was breathing through soup out there, I will take it. I slowed my WU and CD miles a little bit this time, and it really made a difference.

The Instagram filter so nicely removed the beet-red color of my face. And turned me into a mannequin. Or someone who is in need of a blood transfusion.

8 miles in 1:09:39

This humidity is doing NOTHING for my self-confidence.

Wednesday: Also known as Developing Mental Toughness Day. So, due to travel this weekend, my long run was scheduled for today. And I knew going in that it was going to have to be done on the treadmill. But really I’m ok with that. The treadmill and I are friends. I feel very comfortable on it. I just put on some Netflix and zoned. For a really, really long time.

Yep, 15 treadmill miles in 2:23:05 (9:30+ GP). Not my personal treadmill distance record, but pretty darn close.

Thursday: 5 recovery treadmill miles in 50:03 (10:00+ GP)

Friday: 5 treadmill miles in 46:17 (9:15+ GP)

Sunday: 4 easy treadmill miles in 38:11

I made this this week–a delicious, clean-eating, protein-packed recipe suggested by Amanda:

Clean Eating Cheesy Chicken Quinoa Vegetable Casserole

It was soooo good! Comfort food with none of the guilt. The picture doesn’t exactly do it justice. Or maybe I’m just a bad photographer. In the words of my 8-year-old….”it looks disgusting but it’s actually really good!”

The reason we traveled out of town this weekend was to celebrate my sister-in-law and brother-in-law’s 25th wedding anniversary.

Congrats Liz & Dave!

Some things are just worth rearranging the ol’ running schedule for. I really do say that in jest. But it’s easy for me to get so caught up in “the schedule” sometimes that I don’t always slow down and fully take in things like this. Because at the end of the day–training plan or no training plan–family is what matters most.

I will be spending the greater part of next week running off the approximately 10,000 calories I consumed in wedding cake. It was so pretty, and I should’ve taken a photo, but I was just too busy stuffing it in my face.

37 miles total for the week.

….and in With the Fast

by Sue

Marine Corps Marathon training has officially begun, and week number one is in the books!

Or, put another way, am I really doing this again??

New kicks to kick off the start of training!

The focus of my next seven weeks of training is speed work.

Yay! Finally!

I think.

Monday: 5 treadmill miles in 46:15 (9:15+ GP)

Wednesday: Tempo day. I gotta say, I was feeling a little nervous about this. I hadn’t run “fast” (for me) since I did a 5K Memorial Day weekend. And mind you, it was about 40 degrees that morning. I ran with gloves.

The purpose of incorporating tempo runs into your training (again referencing my favorite Runner’s World book), is to “….teach your body to run faster before fatiguing. How? They help you raise your lactate threshold pace, the speed you’re able to run at before lactic acid begins accumulating in your leg muscles more rapidly than they can recycle it into usable fuel. When this happens, your muscles begin to perform less efficiently. The higher you push your lactate threshold through appropriate training, the farther and faster you can run before tiring.”

My coach told me tempo should feel “comfortably hard”. Ummm….do those two words even go together? Anyway, the pace she set for me was slightly faster than my half marathon pace.

On the schedule:
2M warmup
4M @7:45
2M cool down

OK, seriously, how many more times can I use the heat and humidity excuse? Apparently another one, cause I’m going to use it again right here.

My splits for the tempo miles:

I couldn’t quite hold onto it those last two tempo miles–actually I wasn’t even close–which felt like one giant fail because I couldn’t hit my paces. I really think, no–I KNOW–I could’ve if it hadn’t been so ridiculously humid. I felt horrible, like I was in a fog the last four miles. And in hindsight, I ran the warmup and cool down miles way too fast. Lesson learned. Again.

8 miles in 1:06:34

I came home 3 lbs. lighter than when I left in the morning. It was that kind of a run.

Thursday: 5 treadmill miles in 46:14 (9:15+ GP)

Saturday: Long run–a very humid but doable 13 miles in 2:02:07 (9:30+ GP) on the trail with Kelly and Ryan.

Sunday: 4 recovery treadmill miles in 40:04 (10:00+ GP)

My new during-the-week go-to meal:

Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken from theleangreenbean.com. One whole chicken, 5 minutes to throw together seasonings and olive oil to make a paste, 5 hours to cook. Crazy simple and delicious. 4 out of 4 satisfied customers at my house.

And with that I leave you, so that I can go start obsessing over tomorrow morning’s tempo run.

35 miles total for the week.

Out With the Slow….

by Sue

So this past week concluded my month of “slowing-it-down”. It took a lot of adjusting to, but now that we’ve gotten to know each other, I have a feeling I’m going to miss it.

Last week was also a drop-back week for me–way less miles than I’ve been used to running lately and a long run that didn’t really seem long.

All fine and good til I realized I’m staring down a 20-miler exactly four weeks from now.

Yep. OK, then. Wow.

Perhaps I’m beginning to see the reasoning behind my slow-it-down month. And it’s making itself very clear to me….in the form of the aforementioned 20-miler four weeks from now.

Last week’s runs went like this (I’m finally up-to-date!):

Monday: Hill repeat day. A 1-mile warm-up followed by 8 hill repeats and a cool-down for the remainder, for a total of 8 miles. Goal pace 9:00-9:15. And so, the hills and I meet again. This time, Kelly found me a nice hill in her neighborhood. The HRs went well I thought. As fine as they could go for 85ish degrees and full sun. I was definitely working for them, which was fine, as that was the whole point of this workout.

A breakdown of the numbers:

Average pace: 9:30ish, if I was lucky. But good considering the conditions.

Water stops: 3

Periods during which I thought it quite probable that I was going to throw up: one, prolonged.

Times I wanted to quit: not quantifiable.

Times I thought of calling Kelly to see if there was a key to her house stashed somewhere so that I could go inside and lay down on her kitchen floor: 37

8 hill repeats on an already hilly route was HARD. Probably the hardest run I’ve had in quite some time. Still trying to work through my hill hatred. Am I the only one who has hill issues?

8 miles in 1:16:20

Wednesday: 5 treadmill miles in 45:10 (9:00-9:15 GP)

Thursday: 5 treadmill miles in 45:13 (9:00-9:15 GP)

Saturday: Met Kelly on the trail. 8 miles in 1:14:21 (9:30 GP–ended up under). It’s a good day when 8 miles feels like nothing.

Sunday: 5 recovery miles in 50:04 (10:00 GP)

In keeping with the theme of the last couple of posts (i.e. running in insane heat and humidity), Kelly and I had read about the benefits of drinking a slushie-type beverage prior to running in these types of conditions in order to preemptively bring down body temperature. And then I just saw this in last month’s Runner’s World:


OK, so I actually made them on a random afternoon and not prior to a hot run, but oh well.

I thought they were pretty good. Definitely not super-sweet by any means, which probably explains why my children did not particularly care for them:) I’d make them again though, next time maybe with strawberries or raspberries.

And….there’s nothing like seeing THIS on your Facebook news feed for a little motivation:

Marine Corps Marathon 2013, here we come!

31 miles total for the week.

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

by Sue

I wonder how many blog posts I could title with a Sex and the City quote and somehow make them running related?

So this was actually the week before last. Obviously, I am behind.

Monday: On the schedule was 9 miles (goal pace 9:00-9:15); the last mile 8×30 second strides.

Holy. Humidity. The kind where you feel like you’re breathing in water. And it’s only June. That is the scary part. Should’ve paced it closer to 9:15 for the first eight, as I was SUFFERING through those strides, when I was supposed to be focusing on my form. At that point I was thinking, screw the form, I just need to be DONE. And the fact that I was dizzy at the end was not exactly a good sign. Finished in 1:20:01.

In hindsight, I really ought to have dialed my pace WAY back due to the humidity–like to 9:30-plus if I needed to, as I should have done on this particular day, and as I was advised to do when faced with these conditions next time around. But I have a tendency to look at my goal paces on my plan and think I must hit them at all costs, not really taking anything else into consideration. Lesson learned, right?

There’s an abundance of articles floating all over the place these days with tips for running in the heat….so I won’t reiterate, as most of them seem pretty obvious to me. As I have learned, the bottom line is that when running in extreme heat and humidity, it really is just a matter of adjusting your goals and expectations as far as pace. SLOW IT DOWN. Jeff Galloway suggests that on long runs in the heat, you should be running at least two minutes per mile slower than you would have normally run that same distance. “You’ll get the same endurance from the long run running slowly, as you would when running faster”. Not the first time I’ve heard this!

Wednesday: 8 treadmill miles in 1:12:16 (9:00-9:15 pace)

Thursday: 6 treadmill miles in 54:18 (9:00-9:15 pace)

Saturday: Long run on the trail with Kelly and Ryan. 14 miles in 2:11:24.

It was overcast, but felt every bit as hot and humid as Monday’s run. Yet….for some reason this was an awesome run for me. I was just under my goal pace of 9:30. I fueled, I hydrated, and despite the less than desirable conditions, I finished strong and felt like I could have gone further at the end. Very happy with this one.

Sunday: 5 recovery treadmill miles in 50:04 (10:00 pace)

Lots of words today, not very many photos. So I will leave you with this randomness:

Now that’s a happy nappy. Girl loves dog. Dog loves girl.

42 miles total for the week.

The ABCs of Us

by both of us

So Kristin tagged us in the Old School Blogging–Alphabet Style. Everything you ever wanted to know about us and more. Here goes:

by Sue

A. Attached or Single? Married for almost 15 (wait, what?) years now.



….and now.

(At the 2012 Chicago Half Marathon)

B. Best Friend See above. But there is so much to be said for my closest female friendships. They are invaluable. I don’t know what I would do without Kelly.

C. Cake or Pie? Cake. But only for the frosting. And it must be REAL frosting.

D. Day of the Week? Saturday. After the long run is done, of course.

E. Essential Item? My iPhone. I will not lie. Sad, but true.

F. Favorite Color? Blue and pink. Does that mean it’s really purple?

G. Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms? Both.

H. Hometown? Bowling Green, Ohio. Small college town in northwest Ohio.

I. Favorite Indulgence? Red wine.

J. January or July? I love a good snowstorm, but July wins.

K. Kids? 2 girls, ages 10 and 8.

Just in case you hadn’t seen the one million photos I’ve posted of them.

L. Life Isn’t Complete Without? My family, friends, dogs, and running.

M. Marriage Date? January 9, 1999. In the aftermath of a snowstorm. The police showed up during the ceremony at the church because there was a homeless person who walked in and threatened to set himself on fire. True story. Fortunately I didn’t find this out until after the fact.

N. Number of Brothers/Sisters? One younger sister who is the best aunt ever.

O. Oranges or Apples? Apples. Honey crisp.

P. Phobias? Crickets. I know. Irrational and Ridiculous. But a fact, nonetheless.

Q. Favorite Quote?


R. Reasons to Smile? I have so many, I can’t even begin. And that’s a good place to be.

S. Season of Choice? Fall. Hands down. I love the clean slate of a new school year. And there’s nothing like some pumpkins and a giant pot of mums on my front porch.

T. Tag 5 People See below in Kelly’s post.

U. Unknown Fact About Me I love to knit. And I am a yarn hoarder.

V. Favorite Vegetable Have you noticed that I cannot give just one answer? In no order of importance: Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, avocado, tomatoes, fresh sweet peas, arugula….the list goes on and on.

W. Worst Habit? Procrastination. Pretty sure that explains why this took so long to get posted.

X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound.

Y. Your Favorite Food? Tiramisu. Baked brie. Cream cheese frosting. Are you picking up on the common denominator here?

Z. Zodiac Sign? Libra.

by Kelly

A. Attached or Single? Married for 16 years to Clark (aka Ryan Hall). We dated for 7 years before that. Yes, we are dressed alike.


B. Best Friend? Of course the one above; but I am also blessed with amazing girlfriends including Sue. She is my one confidant and is always there for me.

C. Cake or Pie? Pie-Black raspberry or strawberry.

D. Day of Choice? Saturday

E. Essential Item? Make-up-My grandma lived to 95 and I never saw her without makeup so I come by it honestly.

F. Favorite Color? Pink

G. Gummy Bears or Worms? Bears or worms as long as they are sour.

H. Hometown? Worthington, Ohio (a suburb of Columbus), but I was born in Lawton, Oklahoma

I. Favorite Indulgence? Pepperoni Pizza and an ice cold beer.

J. January or July? July-both of our birthdays and a lot of days and nights at the lake.

K. Kids? None of my own, but I am lucky to have friends that share their kids with me. We do have 3 amazing Godchildren that I love spoiling.

L. Life isn’t compete without? My family, friends, two precious mutts.. and running!

M. Marriage Date? November 8, 1997

N. Number of brothers and sisters? One wonderful older brother.

O. Oranges or Apples? Apples, preferably Granny Smith

P. Phobias? A fear of heights that I am trying to conquer.

Q. Quotes?


R. Reasons to Smile? Countless-family, friends, dogs, running, being healthy…

S. Season of Choice? Fall-cool running weather, and our anniversary which always includes a great trip. (Last year it was Shanghai)

T. Tag five People? Teresa, Sandee, Brian & Nicole, Jen

U. Unknown fact about me? I climbed Mt. Rainier two years ago with Clark led by RMI guides. It was the a huge accomplishment for me especially because of my fear of heights.


V. Vegetable? Asparagus

W. Worst Habit? Clutter-You wouldn’t see it if you walked in my house, but it is there in closets and drawers. I am working on purging.

X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound but my memories of them are bittersweet.

Y. Your Favorite Food? Sushi

Z. Zodiac Sign? Cancer

A Letter to the G2 Thief

by Sue

Dear Random-dude-on-bike-who-stole-our-strategically-placed-G2-while-we-were-running-long-in-heat-and-95% humidity,

Thanks. Thanks so much. Appreciate that.

We actually passed you and gave you a friendly wave and a smile, just like we do everyone. In return, you gave us a smirk. Because we think at that point, you had a pretty darn good idea who it belonged to.

You were not overexerting yourself in horrificly hot weather conditions by running 14 miles. You did not appear that you were desperate for a drink. Nor did you appear to be homeless, down on your luck, or otherwise confused as to the actual ownership of said drinks. We would’ve totally, and without judgement, given you a pass, if for one moment any of those seemed to have been the case.

Nope. You looked to be about 25 and riding your grandma’s bike. Why did it look like it was your grandma’s bike? Because it had a giant basket in the front which, coincidentally, now contained our bottles of G2.

How considerate of you, though, when riffling through our cooler bag, to leave us our bottles of water. Had you not, we probably would’ve really struggled to finish our training run. At least there was that. So we guess we should be thanking you?

So….we sincerely hope you enjoyed those ice-cold electrolyte-replenishing refreshments today. Cause we sure wouldn’t want YOUR electrolytes to be out of whack. Hope they got you through your tough day of taking what doesn’t belong to you.

Most sincerely,

So, this actually happened to us this weekend, and it was NOT the first time! I mean really, who does this? Has anyone else experienced a situation like this??

After my rant to my husband, he came up with his idea of the perfect solution for us.

Yep, that cooler used to be turquoise. Now it’s in full camoflage spray paint.

And….it comes with special camo netting to cover it. The man thinks of everything.

Ain’t nobody gonna mess with his lady’s hydration.

What a girl wants..What a girl needs

by Kelly
Saturday – 10 miles – trail
Monday – 3 miles – bike trail

The night before (and morning of) a long run or race are somewhat stressful for me. This is mostly because I have convinced myself that I need certain items to have a successful run and if I don’t have any one of them, the run won’t go well. Therefore I obsessively check and double check that all these items are ready for me. Ridiculous, yes, but it is the truth. From head to toe these are the items I need to have to feel good starting out a run.

-Non-slip headband- Sweaty Bands were the first brand that I used that actually stayed on my head. They really are amazing and have gotten me through a lot a runs without having to worry that they might fall out.

At the Cap City Expo I purchased the cutest sparkly headband from Heads Up Bands to match my running top. It was also equally effective at staying on my head during 13.1 miles.


-Oakley Drizzle Sunglasses- How I was ever able to run with any other brand of sunglasses is beyond me. I am sad on cloudy days when I can’t wear them. They are so comfortable I forget I have them on.


-Extra Polar Ice or Winter fresh gum. Helps me from feeling that my mouth is too dry during runs. Without it I feel like I am going to dehydrate.

-IPod Nano – Even when I run with friends, I still clip it on. I might need some extra motivation to push through a hard part of run and a good song can help me block out any negative thoughts running through my head.

-Pro Compression Low Trainers-I was having trouble with tendonitis in my left foot. I purchased these socks after reading a blog post by Skinny Runner and within a week my tendonitis was gone. Coincidence, maybe but I won’t run in anything else now.

Does anyone else have items you can’t have a good run without?