Getting It Together

Sunday I busted out 12.75 miles. It was my first long run since Labor Day and I was kind of dreading it. Sort of like that first workout after a long hiatus; I knew this run probably wasn’t going to be the best I’ve ever had.

It went well overall and I even tried some new energy chews from Nutrilite.


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I really enjoyed the flavor of these guys. Last year for Savannah I trained primarily with fruity supplements on my long runs. This year I want to gag when I taste those flavors. Heck, I actually did gag on my 18 miler a few weeks ago when I attempted a Gu.

I’m really digging the citrus flavors in my sport beans and these chews are really good, too. They’re not sticky like the Clif Block Shots and they’re small enough to manage to chew while I’m running. 2 servings come in a pouch, so that makes it easy for me instead of carrying 4 packs of another brand. Try them out!

So, the chews helped me out on my run and so did the fall-like temperatures. It was somewhere in the 60s Sunday morning and a little damp from overnight rain – perfect running conditions. I even ran a new route for the first 6.5 miles which helped break up the monotony long runs have plagued me with this summer.

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Pretty pleased with the overall time considering my extreme lack of running over the past 2 weeks due to my upper respiratory infection and chest congestion. Can you tell when I hit the big hill near home?

I’ve also managed to change jobs right in the thickness of marathon training and recovering from being sick so.. I just have a lot going on right now.

I did manage to run tonight. Only 2 miles with Owen. Seriously though, I’m just glad I ran. I almost said forget it..which I’ve been doing too often lately during the week.

Even going for 2 miles means I went and I can get used to running 3-4x/week again. I know there’s not much left of training but I feel like I have so much time to make up for. Obviously, I’m not going to get those 2-3 weeks back. I’ll just have to make the best of the situation and run with the training I’ve got under my belt and anything I can gain over the next 40 days.

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When you break it down, I have:

18 miles this weekend
10 miles next weekend with Dawn
20 miles on October 6th with Tyna

then it’s taper time!

13 miles, 10 miles, then it’s the Marathon!

How is it so soon, already? Knowing myself, I don’t what to look back on this training cycle and have regrets.

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I know I can’t help getting sick, especially with a respiratory illness, but from here on out I’ve got to stick with my weekday runs. Just running long runs on the weekend isn’t going to make for a happy marathon day no matter the goal.

There, it’s on the internet so I have to follow through, right? Winking smile

 

Have you been struggling or embracing your workout plans lately?

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Stronger, Better, Faster, Then A Really Hot Run

Rewind! Still catching up from the past week of running. This is a pretty loaded post so stick with it! All my cheering for the Olympic gymnasts and swimmers this past week has infiltrated into my normal life. Carrying on..

Last Saturday’s run was fun! I took my sport beans with me again on a 12.5 mile run. My schedule called for 12 miles at a 9-9:15min/mi pace, but it felt too good to slow down around mile 8. After that I just wanted to punch them out.

For those people who like numbers:

saturday 12.5mile splits

I did pretty well staying on/around pace like I said, until mile 9, then I hit a flat part of my route and was ready to feel the wind in my face.

Or the bugs getting stuck to my sweaty skin.

Either way I was ready to kick it up and I did for the last 3.5 miles.

Afterwards I got ready for the day and spent it with Brandon and my parents, who were visiting us from Indiana!

My mom took all our pictures from the day, but after we visited the farmers market and lunch, we took Owen to the park and lake to swim.

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“Let me in!!”

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Finding a good throwing stick..

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I’m free!!!

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Fetch…

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Guys, I’m really hot.

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Family picture before heading home to doggie ice cream and fro-yo!

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My parents enjoying seeing Owen swim despite it being 2398423 degrees outside. Afterwards, we pretty much spent the rest of the day watching the Olympics.. nothing better!

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I spy a compression sleeve.

Tuesday’s run this week went great! I know it sounds like I have great runs all the time, but trust me, I don’t. This one just felt particularly awesome because it was my first time doing this workout and I really surprised myself with how well I was able to execute it.

The workout:
10-20 minute warm-up
3 x 1600m (3 min. RI)
10 minute cool-down

(1600m = 1 mile)

I woke up to this weather:

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Glorious! My coolest summer run yet this year!

Here are the splits:
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You’ll notice I got really fancy after having this Garmin for 7 full months and figured out what the “lap” button was for.

Splits 3, 5, and 7 were my mile repeats with the 3 min rest interval in between plus a warm-up and cool-down. (Was that a run on sentence?)  Super fun!!

Remember how I said last week my legs were KILLING me after my Tuesday speedwork sesh? I think my body did some major damage repairs because I feel REALLY strong this week. I  didn’t experience anywhere near the pain this week as I did last week.

I love it when I can see (feel) progress!

I finished up my workouts for my step-down week with 10 miles as my long run before I begin building again. I always feel so refreshed after these weeks. They help keep me motivated for the weeks to come where I’m running half marathons every weekend + some.

Tonight I ran my weekend long run of 10 miles. I’m going to visit my younger cousins this weekend so I want to spend all my time with them instead of on unfamiliar roads.

Tonight’s Splits:

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Two words; Heat. Kills.

It was about 85 degrees during my run but thankfully there are water fountains along the way. No sport beans though. I had to walk a couple of minutes during mile 7 and 9. I normally don’t walk but the heat just really got to me.

When I got home a chugged a PowerAde, took a shower, and refueled with the best recovery drink ever…

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Chocolate Milk!! They may be for kids but I look like one, so it works.

Ok time to pack, eat dinner, and go to sleep.

Don’t forget to set your DVR’s to record the Track and Field Olympics starting tomorrow! The women’s marathon is this Sunday so check it out! (Go Kara!!)

What keeps you motivated for your long runs?
Have you had any cooler temps this week?
What do you eat/drink for recovery?

Pretty Perfect Week

As far as I’m concerned, this past week was pretty freakin’ amazing.

Did I ever show you my new Brooks Ravenna 2 running shoes?

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Love them more so than the Ghost 4’s or Adrenaline’s. Highly recommend them.

I ran Monday for 4 miles (furthest since the marathon) without ANY pain the next day. I’ve never really had pain during my runs since I began running again in January, but the day after is always my tell-tale sign of my progress, so it was encouraging to be pain-free the following day.

I have a new routine when I run starting with a dynamic warm-up my PT taught me. (Here is one similar from Runner’s World.) This helps warm up my muscles before they have to do so much work.

After I run, now I do a series of static stretches, shower, foam roll, and ice my hip for 15-20 minutes. Then I normally pull on my compression socks to help speed recovery.

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I also normally sleep in them, I just love the way compression feels!

So far, this routine has really worked for me and I’m loving how it’s enabling me to run again.

Ever since I began PT I’ve been making gains, but 2 weeks ago when I started going twice/week I feel like I’ve really gained traction. When Justin (my PT) pinpointed my pain last week from the treadmill, and during manual manipulation, that was my last run on the thing. Since then I’ve run outside and haven’t had any pain.

Huge milestone for me.

Huge confidence booster.

Wednesday I ran 4.83 miles and it felt amazing. It was a little late after I got out of work so the majority of the run was in the dark, but I have my trusty nightlife running shirts to make me be seen.

That run was the most fun I’d had since the marathon with running. I felt so strong and free to be running so far. I also had no pain the following day.

Thursday I went to PT and we did more strengthening exercises. I’m working on balancing exercises too to recruit and strengthen my accessory muscles that support my powerhouse muscles when I run.

Justin told me it’s time to try running two days in a row now since we’re 4 weeks out from the NYC Half Marathon. Up to this point I’ve been running every other day. My instructions: I was to run 2 days in a row over the weekend, with the first day being the longest of the two runs. Saturday I pulled out a 6-miler on a beautiful 60 degree, sunny day. So perfect.

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The dreaded mile two. I always make up for my zealous mile 1 start.

That run felt great and I had a little pain last night, but nothing like I used to have. I iced twice last night and felt fine this morning.

Today, I ran 2 miles in the snow! It was my first run ever in the snow and it was actually really fun. It had been raining all day so when it turned to snow I thought this would be my best chance of the day to get a run in.

Before my run today:

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After my run today:

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My first run in my new running jacket, too! Fleet Feet had a winter blowout sale on Friday and I snatched this beauty up. I love it!

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Very good at keeping me dry.

Speaking of all this running gear, I got a new foam roller!

I knew I wouldn’t be able to bring my first foam roller with me to NYC..

It’s a bit..huge and wouldn’t fit in my carry-on luggage.

So I was on a mission to find a travel-friendly foam roller and have had this one in mind since fall. The Grid.

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There are different textures on this foam roller vs. my original foam roller which I was skeptical about. The squares are supposed to feel like fingers, the longer ridges are tubular feeling, and the flat feel more palm-like.photo (34)

As you can see, it’s hollow, so I can stuff socks and other running stuff inside and still have room for other necessities in my luggage. It’s also only 18” long.

So far I love it. I can actually tell a difference in the amount of pressure and it gives me a little deeper of a massage when I use the fingertip areas to get into those really tight areas that need worked out.

This upcoming week is my 6th week of physical therapy and is supposed to be my last. I may stretch it out another week or two and I’ll definitely come back after the half marathon in case I have any pain so he can work that out for me.

I cannot recommend a good physical therapist enough! I was definitely skeptical after not seeing any major progress for the first 2-3 weeks but then it’s like it all clicked for me. My PT is also a runner, so he gets it.

In less than a month, I’ll be running the NYC Half. I really believe I will be able to run it. Maybe I’ll have to run/walk it and that’s fine if I do, but I’m getting pretty excited about the possibility of running the entire thing.

Did you know there will be members of the USA Olympic Marathon team running this race? I SO hope to see Kara Goucher and Desiree Davila. Two of my role models. 20-something’s are still allowed to have role models, right?

Here’s to another positive week ahead!

Nature Attacks

My first run in double digits since April! I was supposed to run 6 miles this week and 11 miles next week, but I’ll be out-of-town and won’t have time for 11, so I’m flipping this week and next week’s long runs.

B had to work yesterday (and today) so I got up with him at 5am, ate some breakfast (2 waffles with natural peanut butter), let it digest, planned my route, and by then the sun was just about up. Off I went!

The first 2 miles were actually kind of brutal. Getting used to the humidity (it was still 77F and 82% humidity at 6:00am) and getting my legs warmed up. I run in the afternoons for a reason! Once I got past 2 miles though, I was smooth sailin’.

Mile 1: 9’08”/mi
Mile 2: 9’23”/mi
Mile 3: 9’05”/mi

I didn’t run in the park since it was so early, instead I ran on the city sidewalks toward Guilford College. I was thinking it would be a longer distance than it really was but it was only 3.5 miles to the college, so I ended up going a lot further than I thought I would have to. No big deal though, still safe and had sidewalks.

Once I got to the college I was pretty thirsty. I ran around the campus looking for outdoor water fountains and found none. Drag. I brought money with me in case I needed to stop at any convenience stores along the way, but I decided to wait.

I finally got to my turn-around point (passing several streets that would have taken me home much faster) and got attacked by a cicada. I saw it just as I was about to step over it and that’s when it decided to fly up and greet me. On my face, on my shoulder, and in my hair. Luckily there was a biker less than 100 yards away who got to witness my freak-out. Awesome.

On the way back home I realized if I kept going I was going to have to run for another mile once I actually got there. No thanks. I decided to run around the college campus again until I was closer to 5.5 miles.

I brought along some Orange Clif Block Shots and wanted to try them out again. I used them during my half marathon but they gave me major GI issues. I only ate one during this run and am glad I did. I could feel my stomach getting unhappy and decided not to eat anymore. I will be visiting Off ‘N Running this week or next to find another fuel source to experiment with before 12 miles in 2 weeks.

Mile 4: 9’12”
Mile 5: 9’13”

Nature must love me. As I was approaching a trashcan on campus, something was inside and started thrashing around when I got closer, jumped out right beside me as I squealed, and ran in the opposite direction. It was a squirrel. I think if I don’t have a heart attack from running, nature will give me one.

That was about enough adventure as I could stand and I still found no bubblers (water fountains).  I headed back for an uneventful but hot run home. I was actually getting pretty used to the heat at this point and didn’t find it too hot. Surprising.

Mile 6: 9’12”
Mile 7: 8’54”
Mile 8: 8’58”
Mile 9: 8’50”
Mile 10: 8’50”
Mile 11: 8’43”

I knew I was going to need some water or sports drink when I got home. We didn’t have any sports drinks and my bananas were too ripe to eat. I decided to finish my run at the gas station by our apartment and get some Powerade and a banana. I got there and they had no bananas, so I just got two 32oz Powerades. It totally hit the spot and I walked the 0.5 mile home pretty pleased that I was finished running and it wasn’t even 8am!

I attempted an ice bath after the run, but without the ice. I had the tub start filling up with cold water and I got in before it was full so the shock wouldn’t be so bad. It wasn’t that bad and actually, I don’t think it was cold enough. I’ll have to add a bowl of ice next time. It was great to cool me down though! After a shower I foam rolled for 20 minutes and started chores.

I can say that I’m not near as sore as I thought I would be for the day after. I did get a lot of rest yesterday though. I probably slept for 2-3 hours that afternoon and still went to bed at 10:30pm. That could have had to do with only 6.5 hours of sleep the night before, too. I ate well the rest of the day and made sure I had the calories, so I’ve got to figure out a way to help with the fatigue. I know it’s part of it, but I can’t imagine how it will be after a 20 mile run, much less after the marathon!

I’m a lot better today though and am heading to the gym for cross-training day as soon as laundry finishes up! I made some Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins this morning, and am excited for B to get home and try them out!

My {Life} Running Soundtrack

As most of you prepare for your long run this weekend, I thought I’d share my current music playlist I am running to these days..

I love the beat and energy from songs you’d normally hear while out dancing or on the radio. Country and rock just don’t work for me. Gotta have a fast tempo for feet to match!

A lot of these songs were popular when I was still in college, so I’ve kept them around because I love them.

P.S. I don’t like “explicit” versions of the songs I listen to, so the only one you’ll see is #1.

Here are a few of my favorites right now (play no attention to the actual videos) :

Whip My Hair– Willow Smith

Cheers – Rhianna

I’m the Best – Nicki Minaj

Wait –Chris Brown

I Can Transform Ya – Chris Brown (all-time favorite running song!)

Body Language – Jesse McCartney, T-Pain

Whatcha Say – Jason Derulo

Drop It Low – Easter Dean ft. Chris Brown (this video is ridiculous, ha)

My runs aren’t complete without hearing each of these at least once!

Feel free to share any good running/workout songs with me, too. I’m always looking for variety!