Friday Favorites – Boston Marathon Edition

Friday Favorites | happyfitmama.com

What a week!

I think I spent the majority of my week reading Boston Marathon recaps on blogs, Instagram, Facebook or anywhere across the web. So many amazing stories of pluggers and pure grit!

Here’s a few of my favorites:

The Story of Sarah Sellers’ 2018 Boston Marathon

Are you curious about who finished second in the women’s race?  I think the whole world wants to know more about Sarah Sellers.  I find it so awesome that she refused to upgrade to first class on her flight home to Arizona. And that she had to be home by Wednesday for her shift at the hospital.

Bill Rodgers Wanted Yuki Kawauchi to Run Boston

We can thank Boston Bill for getting Yuki to run Boston. Did you know that Yuki holds MANY records like the most marathons world record for sub-2:20 marathons.  He’s at 79 and counting.

The Story Behind the One of the Last Runners on the Boston Marathon Course

Eighty five years old and her favorite post race recovery choice is a beer.  Is it no wonder she finished on Monday?  The picture of her from the Globe is simply amazing.  I want to be like Katherine when I’m 85.  #goals

Volunteers Brave Elements to Keep Boston Marathon Runners Hydrated

I can’t forget the volunteers because a race can’t happen without them.  I think the volunteers were even more heroic this year than ever.  Tying shoes for runners that couldn’t feel their fingers. Cheering to boost moral. Showing up to get it done.

An Unknown Woman Gave This Runner the Raincoat Off Her Back

Losing faith in the human race?  Spectate a marathon.  How cool is this?  I hope the two connect!

What are you loving this week?

Have you read a fav story about Boston this week?  Leave me the link!

Iron Supplements and Runners

Iron Supplements and Runners | happyfitmama.comThis is a sponsored post on behalf of MegaFood®.  As a MegaBlogger, I receive compensation and products. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

For many years, I didn’t believe in supplements.  I took a multivitamin and an occasional probiotic but that was it.  My aversion to supplements stemmed from a group run I did years ago with a very successful long distance runner who mentioned she didn’t take vitamins since they “only give you expensive pee”. That stuck in my brain. Plus, I thought I ate a well-rounded diet, exercised and took good care of my body.  My blood work from my yearly checkups always came back great.

Why would I need to add supplements?

My training isn’t usually a case of the too’s – too long, too hard, too much.  I was feeling great until I had this painful spot on my fibula last year that felt like it was a bruise but there was no sign of a bruise on my skin. I was shocked when I found out it was a stress fracture.

After several tests, I was diagnosed with Osteopenia at 39 years old.  I thought I did everything that’s supposed to build strong bones.

Iron Supplements and Runners | happyfitmama.com

My PCP was just as confused at the results and sent me to an Endocrinologist who recommended taking Vitamin D and Calcium supplements. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

For the past 6 months, an Endocrinologist has kept a close eye on me.  I get a round of blood work every few months to make sure I’m absorbing calcium properly and that my parathyroid hormone level is in a good range. She also started to watch my iron levels and suggested a supplement.  As a female runner, I’m in the lower range of what’s considered “acceptable” for iron levels.

MegaFood Blood Builder and Iron rich foods _ happyfitmama.com

Aside from incorporating plenty of iron-rich foods in my diet, I started taking an iron supplement called Blood Builder from MegaFood®, which delivers 26 mgs of gentle, effective FoodState® Iron per serving.  It’s clinically proven to increase iron levels and reduce fatigue without common gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea or constipation.*

Adverse and uncomfortable side effects tend to keep women from taking iron supplements. In a clinical study, MegaFood brought Blood Builder to 23 premenopausal women that saw improvements in every measure of iron status over an eight week period. Along with a decrease in the severity and frequency of fatigue, there were no reports of negative GI side effects related to the supplement*.

Sounds like a win to me!

MegaFood Blood Builder and Blood Builder Minis _ happyfitmama.com

There are also convenient Blood Builder Minis that can be taken twice a day.  Both are made with whole foods, like beets from Stahlbush® Island Farms and organic oranges from Uncle Matt’s Organic, folic acid, B12 for healthy red blood cell production, and Vitamin C to support iron absorption. Bonus – you can take either one on an empty stomach with no worries!

It can be challenging to get all the essential nutrients we need from diet alone. Dietary supplements help fill nutrition gaps and promote overall health and wellness.  Dietary supplements play an important role in good health, but they are meant as supplements to, not substitutes for, other healthy habits. You should always be reaching for healthy foods first before supplements.  Good sources of dietary iron are: spinach, dark chocolate (yess!!!!), quinoa, lentils, broccoli, legumes, pumpkin seeds, and beef.

It just so happens that I will be working with MegaFood® this year as a MegaBlogger.  I’ve trusted their supplements for years for numerous reasons.  One is that they believe in using real whole foods that are non-GMO to make their vitamins.  And second, it’s a local company to me here in New Hampshire. I’m excited to share more about MegaFood® in the upcoming months!

I’m a believer in supplements now!

If you are concerned that your iron levels are low, please see your physician to get your serum ferritin levels checked.

Have you had your iron levels checked?

What supplements do you take regularly?

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The Pluggers

“She is the patron saint of the pluggers, the people who show up, on time, every day, and keep putting in the work, and who don’t have any expectation that anything will be handed to them.”

This is a quote from one of the many, many articles that have been pouring (no pun intended) in from Monday’s Boston marathon.

What.A.Race.

We had the race on at work but I wasn’t able to soak (there I go again!) it all in. We were warm inside but the torrential rains pelted the windows all day long.  It was a mess here in New Hampshire, an hour away from the finish line.  I couldn’t even begin to fathom waiting in the Athlete’s Village for over an hour before beginning to run.  Anyway, those pesky patients of mine didn’t let me watch the duration of the race.  However, I was able to keep one eye on the TV when Des took the lead.  And  I made everyone stop so we could observe history being made as Desi Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years. Everyone burst out in cheers and applause!

The pluggers – It describes this years race so well.  Just look at the top 6 finishers.

The winner – Des Linden.  She’s never won a major race.  She came in second place at Boston by a mere 2 seconds in 2011.  The other big names are flashier and got way more press than her. Honestly, I didn’t think she would win.  For years, she’s been plugging away and I think everyone expected her to be in the top 5 but not to be the overall winner. She was way overdue for a win for sure!

(Boston, MA, 04/16/18) United State's Des Linden wins the women's division of the 122nd Boston Marathon in Boston on Monday, April 16, 2018. Staff photo by Christopher Evans

Photo by Christopher Evans from Boston Herald

The everyday runners (although very speedy everyday runners) who placed 2nd – 5th – Sarah Sellers, Krista DuChene (who last ran Boston 13 years ago!), Rachel Hyland, and Jessica Chichester.  I had a friend who was near the finish line spectating and everyone was in shock seeing these everyday runners flying through in the top 10.  Who are these women?!?!  With no sponsors, they are essentially hobby runners. Did they expect to place so well on Monday?  Hell no.

This years race was all about the pluggers.

The volunteers who donate their time to make this race work.  From helping runners tie their shoes or put on fresh, dry gloves because their hands won’t work from being soaked to the bone.  To making sure everyone stayed safe on the course.

The spectators who came out to support the runners.  They showed up because the runners showed up.

The runners who wouldn’t let ridiculous winds and torrential rains stop them.  The people who do the work day in and day out for nothing more than the love of running.  They show up, do the work, and don’t expect accolades.

This years race also showed that you can be fierce competitors but we are ultimately, stronger together. The B.A.A provided some serious foreshadowing by making this years tagline, Together Forward.  By offering to help out Shalane and Molly at different points in the race, Des took her mind off how horrible she felt to pulling her fellow American competitors along on the course. In the end, it made her surge ahead of the pack.  Just another case of how much mental work running is.

And I can’t forget to mention the men’s winner.  Another plugger who had to get back to work as a school administrator even if he did just win the Boston Marathon. Lol!

The Pluggers | happyfitmama.com

I was so inspired yesterday that I pulled out my shirt from Boston 2015.  This shirt has been in my dresser drawer for three years.  I’ve come close to giving it away numerous times.  It held too many bad memories for me.  Side note: I bought the jacket from that year too.  I’ve never worn that either. I’m not sure why I reached for that shirt to wear on my run.  Maybe it was seeing Des plug away through the years to reach her goal.  Maybe it was seeing the tenacity and grit of every person on the course. I may not have finished Boston three years ago and I may never get back to Boston, but I know I can’t let that day ruin my dreams of reaching for goals in running.

The Pluggers | happyfitmama.com

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling this fire burning in my belly.  It happened in November when Shalane won NYC and now it’s happening again with Des’ win.  It’s not necessarily another marathon to get a BQ.  It could be to beat my 5k PR, to tackle a new distance, or to put BHAG out there for me to keep plugging away at.  All I know is that I want to keep showing up and getting it done.

Because ultimately, my goal, will become a reality.

“My advice: keep showing up.” – Des Linden, 2018 Boston Marathon Champion. 

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.

What was your favorite moment from the race?