Bill calls me a “marketer’s dream.” Jamie, my brother, recently called me a “gear head”, and just one item shy of a “running nerd” (ha!) when we went to the expo for the Maine Marathon.   He said the only thing keeping me from going “full-on running nerd” was the fact that I was wearing jeans…  Ah well, I suppose they are right – I do look a little high maintenance with my (quickly becoming) trademark pink Camelbak mini-mule, iPod, Garmin 405, and Nike women’s running hat.  🙂  But that day I was just wearing sneaks – I mean, come on, they’re comfortable!!

One thing I think I am is a dreamer.  And a happy consumer, so far, of Hammer Nutrition products, anyway.  You all know I love the Endurolytes, and I know a few of them have tried them out and liked them too.  I’ve also been eating their energy bars – the chocolate chip ones, anyway.  Well, once you order something from them online, they send you a whole bunch of samples  (the  Endurolyte canisters have done very well by me, too!)  Sunday night, I ordered a bottle of their Phytomax pills.

Bill’s reaction “oh My God! You’ll try anything someone recommends!”  Well, yes, I suppose so.  These pills are part of their dietary supplements. If you don’t eat as many servings of vegetables as you know you should, they are supposed to supplement that.  I have been making a concerted effort to eat better and to eat more veggies since I started all this running agian this past year, but truth be told, I know I’m not eating enough of them, and I do like to indulge in my sweets.  (Oreos, anyone??!!)  I can’t get fresh, locally grown veggies around here in the wintertime, so I’m hoping this will help. I’ll let you all know what I think after I’ve been taking them for a while.  I like the fact that a lot of their products are natural.

When I made the order, they decided to send along a sample of their Whey protein mix, which I am excited to give a try.  Otherwise, my options are limited to EAS and Designer Whey (and Designer Whey definitely tastes better, where the chocolate is concerned, but it’s more expensive.)

About me being a dreamer, I was thinking tonight of some races I might want to do next year (even though I still have one or two this year.)  I was born in the Lehigh Valley area and my grandma is buried not too far away.  I was thinking that next year when I go down to pay my respects to her, I might try to go at the same time as the Lehigh Valley half-marathon. It used to be called the Runner’s World Half-Marathon, since that is very close to where its headquarters are located. 

Every year when I go back to visit her grave, I feel like no bad things can come to Bill and I on our trip, like she somehow knows I’m coming and makes sure we’re safe. I can’t think of a way to have a stronger run, with her being so close by, in both the literal and metaphysical sense.  (Did I just use metaphysical in a sentence?  Well, I guess there’s a new one for ya.)   That would likely be a race where realistically, I’d end up in the back of the pack but that’s alright with me.  If any of you have ever been to that area of the country, it is just absolutely gorgeous at the beginning of May. The humidity hasn’t made its appearance yet, the dogwoods and azaleas are blooming, the earth is really, really green, and the landscape is just amazing. (Oh yeah and it’s also near Amish country.)   I think I could train for that and maybe not have to do all of it by running in snow, but then again, I do live near Boston.

Also, I’d really like to run the Utica Boilermaker next year, although I wouldn’t finish at the same time as my brother, who can do it in something like 63 minutes or so. It’s a 15K, so I’d likely do it somewhere in the mid-80s to 90 minutes, although it is in July and it’s hot and humid that time of year.  Did I mention that’s the area where I was raised? I could just stay at home with my mom and her animals. It’s one of those races where there is a waiting list (if you can believe it) for volunteers!  And oh yeah, Kenyans or Ethiopians usually win it so that tells you what the field is like.

I know a few of you, Chris, Alissa, and Jill, are planning on doing P.F. Chang’s in January – which I would love to do if we could afford the trip, but that would mean I’d have to run a lot of miles IN THE SNOW and then run in heat, without acclimitisation.  I think it’s the snow part I dread! (I know it is!) But believe me, that would be FUN!

When was I thinking of all this, you ask? While I was on the bike again tonight, I’m slowly tapering back upward. Keeping it on a resistance level lower than I used to do, I could still feel the burn in my legs, that tells me I’m not back up completely, but I suppose that’s my body’s way of saying, “hey you’re still recovering from a marathon, you know?!”

Happy Running (and tapering to a few of you)!