Tag Archives: Marathon #4

Taking it Easy

3 Jun

Good morning and Happy Sunday! It’s a beautiful day here!

I think one of the reasons I haven’t been writing much is because I haven’t been running much. I still managed 71 miles in May, which is great considering I wasn’t really trying for that. A couple of 8 milers in there, plus a half marathon, certainly helped with that number!

So remember how I told you guys that I fell down the stairs? Something tells me that is what contributed to my sore shin – I think I may have hit my right shin with my left heel during the fall.

Last Monday Kevin and I ran 8 miles, then went out for a 5k loop the very next night.  A 5k loop that started with an 8:05 first mile, which left me incredibly sore afterwards (the rest of the run was slower – leaving us with a 9:12 average over the 3.1).

Ice, rest, yoga, more rest – my shin feels great today, especially since I haven’t run since Tuesday.

I’ve made the decision that between now and June 18th, when I start my Chicago training, will be easy, short runs, totally based around how my legs feel. That’s 16 days of simple, no stress, easy runs that should leave me feeling 100% healthy for the start of the 16 week Runner’s World program I told you guys I was following the other night.

We’ll be headed out for one of those easy runs later on tonight. I like this free and easy feeling between races, because as soon as June 18th rolls around I’m going to be all marathon business again!

I hope everyone’s having a fabulous weekend!

XOXO

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P.S. We’ll be back to regularly scheduled Sunday programming (aka Sweat to Street) next Sunday. I purchased one item yesterday that can be both sweat and street that I’m wicked excited about!

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AMAZING Memorial Day Weekend Recap

29 May

Hey everyone! Sorry for the unexpected 4 day blogging hiatus – I last minute decided to unplug for the weekend, and it was well worth it.

It all started Friday morning when I took my NASM Certified Personal Trainer Exam and I PASSED! Stay tuned for MUCH, MUCH more on that in the very near future.

Then, Friday night  I went out with someone who is going to be an integral part of my life going forward. Someone who I ran 8 miles with last weekend and had an amazing time (followed by an almost as amazing breakfast). Someone who I ran 8 miles with yesterday as well – and took great care of me as I suffered in the heat of the day. Someone who fit right in with my friends on Saturday night as if he’s known them as long as I have.

I know, I know, I’m being vague, but I’m not sure how much I want to divulge right now. Perhaps more later? We shall see.

Speaking of that party – more amazingness. Jess really is the hostess with the mostest, I am not joking. She threw a party for her hubby’s birthday Saturday night and it was a fantastic time. I sure do love these gals (and their boys, and all of their other friends/family that I got to meet!):

Girls

Thanks for the pic, Jo!

Things are really falling into place for me right now. I changed positions at my company – I’m still not sure how  I feel about staying there while I build up my fitness career, but this new position is WAY better than my old one. I have to think, trouble shoot, problem solve, and prioritize. All of that without having to answer phones, DOUBLE BONUS!

So, back to that 8 miles yesterday for a minute. OMG. That is all. It is way over average temperatures for this time of year right now – it was 83 during our run yesterday. Mostly in the sun. I am so not used to that!

It got me to thinking though – in the past couple of years it has been HOT in Chicago in October. How am I going to meet my goal if I run early morning’s all the time, not in the heat of the day? So, I decided it’s time to start heat acclimating. I’m going to run after work from now on, and get used to this weather!

Starting tonight…it’s going to be about 80 by the time I head out for my run. I’ve drank 75 oz. of water, 16 oz. of Nuun, and 11 oz. of Coconut Water throughout the day. I’d say I’m hydrated! Wish me luck!

I hope everyone had as amazing of a weekend as I did!

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Monday Love: Marathon Training Edition

19 Mar

HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE! Seriously, it was 72 here today. How can you NOT be in a good mood when it’s 72 in March?! All this great weather has me thinking about my next marathon (of course!) – Cox Rhode Races! Here’s what I’m loving so far into this marathon training:

1) Planlessness. Now I’m not going entirely planless – I’m going week by week, which makes me SO happy. Especially now that I’ve vowed to take a few days off of running until this calf heals.  Here’s what this week looks like:

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I’ll play the weekend by ear – depending on how my calf feels. Hopefully I’ll get a couple decent runs in and can get back to normal training next week.

2) Choosing my colors. Yeah, I’m ALREADY thinking of colors for this race. My shoes are white/black/silver/purple. Zensah compression sleeves come in purple – so I’m thinking black and purple this time.

Mirage II-1

Purple Calf Sleeves

Asics Core Singlet – I think this is the right color, I’m going to order it and hope it all matches! I love these singlets – I have 3 and they’re super comfy!

Core Singlet Purple

3) Massages. I finally got my post marathon massage tonight. Hurts. so. good. My incredibly terrible post RnR NOLA sunburn was one reason I put it off for so long. My massage therapist told me my calf is “cranky”, then loaded me up with Biofreeze and sent me home with instructions to hydrate extra, ice, and take Advil if necessary. Yikes, I did a good job this time.

4) Running my first “home-turf” marathon. This one is particularly exciting because none of my family or hometown close friends have been there when I’ve run a marathon. Now, I know a whole bunch of people who are coming to spectate and have lunch post-race. It’s going to be an amazing time! (Not to mention people like Coachy, Jess and her hubby, Jo and M, and many more who are also going to be there to run and spectate!)

5) I think I’ve *finally* found shorts. It’s times like this I’m not so grateful for my thighs (most of the time I love them – I know they’re super strong and powerful) but when it comes to buying shorts – no thigh love there. I have to have something that comes down at least mid-thigh (and I have pretty long legs), otherwise I chafe – Bad. So something with a 6” or so inseam is what I need – but I’m picky and I want spandex, not loose. Which limits my choices…but I’ve narrowed it down to:

Nike Tech Tight Shorts

Nike Shorts

The North Face Women’s GTD Short Tight 7"

North Face

Moving Comfort Women’s 7 1/2" Compression Short Moving Comfort

Yup, three choices. Oh, did I mention they have to have pockets? It’s a requirement, which makes my choices even slimmer. And yes, I realize they all pretty much look the same.

That’s why I’m hoping someone else has one of these and can give me some insight? Anyone have any experience with any of these three shorts? If so, what are your thoughts?

6) New (old) music. I finally offloaded my iTunes library from my old desktop computer onto my external hard drive – I know one thing: there’s 2000 something songs. What’s in there? I have no idea. I can’t wait to explore it and makes tons of new fun training and racing playlists!

What are you loving this Monday? Do you have any shorts advice for me? Fave running song? Anything? Talk to me!

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Planning to be Planless

8 Mar

Makes sense, right? I am going into Marathon #4 without a written training plan.

Are you thinking I’m crazy yet?

Here’s the thing – every time I write a training plan, it changes. Then it changes again. And then – well it changes some more.

Then I stress.

And I freak out.

And I panic.

Why do I do this to myself?

I am an extremely organized person. I love lists.  My closet is sorted by skirts, pants, blouses, sweaters.  I have folders for every piece of outstanding work I need to do on my desk at work, stacked in alphabetical order..

Maybe over the top but it makes me happy and comfortable.

Marathon #4 is where I am going to step out of my comfort zone.  Not just by not having a written plan, but also by increasing my run quantity.

Here’s how it’s going to go down:

  1. Run as much as I can while listening ever so closely to my body. At least one long run per week (of course). I’d like to work in some tempo and speedwork too, but I’m going to wait until April to start that. Right now, I’m going to ramp back up while my legs continue to heal. I run 4 days a week right now. If I can bump that to 5, and maybe even 6, I will. But it all depends on how the legs feel. (This is entirely experimental)
  2. Do yoga once a week – NO EXCUSES.  I am going for my sub 4:30 in Providence – I’m so close now, I’m confident I can do it. But I have to keep my hips open, and the rest of my legs and core strong.
  3. Begin strength training again – my entire body, not just my upper body and core. Again, with all this running I’m going to need to keep my legs strong. I’m going to try to strength train twice a week, at least.

I know this sounds crazy, and it sounds like a lot. But I’m going to move into it slowly and carefully. I’m also going to make sure I have a pull back week or two thrown in for good measure, and that I taper fully before the race.

Wish me luck!

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Marathon #4–Cox Rhode Races

7 Mar

Now that Rock N Roll New Orleans is behind me (already!) it’s time to start thinking about Marathon #4 – Cox Rhode Races.

As you all know, I am a blogging ambassador for the Cox Rhode Races, which will take place May 5th and 6th this year. I’m not quite ready to get into training for it yet, but I do want to tell you why you should run this race!

1) Scenery – The race starts and ends in Downtown Providence – the start and finish line are at the same place. At Mile 2 the Half and the Full Marathoners split from each other. I don’t know if this is new this year – but the full marathon starts at 7:30 and the half at 8, soooo it looks like even though the course splits, the full and half runners don’t run together. The half marathon continues through the East Side of Providence – out and back you will run down Blackstone Boulevard, which is lined with trees and is gorgeous in the spring – there are also MANY spectators along this part of the course to keep you amped up. Miles 9-11 bring you through Blackstone Park, where you will have some gorgeous waterfront views.

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Mile 9 (of the half)

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Mile 10 (of the half)

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The full marathon heads over the Henderson Bridge and into East Providence right before Mile 3.

Henderson Bridge

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From here you’ll run on and off the East Bay Bike path, by two golf courses, and through Haines Memorial Park. I run the East Bay Bike path often and can attest to it’s beauty. More often than not when you are on the bike path you can see the water. There is a big bridge crossing at Mile 24 – I don’t know how that feels, because I haven’t run the full yet, but I can tell you what it looks like and that’s beautiful. You can see a lot of water as well as a lot of the city on that crossing!

Iway Bridge

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The last couple of miles of the race (both the half and the full) bring you through India Point Park (more beautiful water views AND amazing spectators), up South Water Street, and back into Downtown.

2) Spectators – The crowds for this race are absolutely amazing. There were so many spectators last year – I only ran the half, so I don’t know how many people venture to the other side of the bridge (it is Rhode Island after all 😉 ) to spectate the marathon. The areas are densely populated, and there’s plenty of parks and areas to spectate from, so my guess would be great crowds on the full marathon side too! One thing I do know is that once you are back Downtown, you cannot miss the energy coming from the finish line – it’s truly incredible.

(I have a really great finish picture – once I find it and scan it I’ll share with you, you can see the crowd and everything!)

3) Race Organization – Almost everything about this race is organized. The only thing I don’t like is the lack of true corrals  – just designated “pace places” (I don’t really know what else to call them?). Packet pick up is a breeze. Getting to the race is a breeze. After the race? You get funneled right through from the finish to your medal, a space blanket, water, then on to the food. Everything is right there – quick and easy to find, readily accessible for all athletes.

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See –”Pace place”

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4) The beer. Yes, that’s important. I’ve been offered some pretty terrible post-race beer options. Not to mention that most of them are from the “big-wig” brewers. Here in Rhody we do it up right with Narragansett, a local micro-brew. Still not my #1 choice, but as you can see from last year’s beer garden pic, I wasn’t terribly concerned. Winking smile

Gansett

5) The medal. Duh. Check this bad boy out:

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And of course it is also going to be my “two-year race-iversary” so that makes it important no matter what!

Have I convinced you that you want to run this race yet? **

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** Disclaimer: As a Cox Rhode Races Blogging Ambassador, my race fees have been waived in exchange for posts such as this one. However, I was not asked to write a post “selling” this race, I really do just LOVE IT THAT MUCH. **

The Great 2012 Fuel Experiment

16 Feb

For so long I’ve been battling nausea on my long runs and races and I couldn’t figure out why. Now that I’ve taken my marathon training to the next level – with New Orleans less than 3 weeks away, and Cox Rhode Races in May (which you will be hearing a lot more about in the coming weeks) I knew I had to figure something out quick.

A few weeks ago I mentioned this to my friend Jen. She is also a runner, and she works at REI, so she’s knowledgeable in all things run-fuel related.

She asked me what I was taking during my runs; I told her GU. I had discovered on my own that there are certain flavors of GU that I can’t take, such as Strawberry-Banana, Vanilla Bean, and Roctane Pomegranate Blueberry. I told her all of this and she recommended some new to me products.

These products also fall in line with my wanting to eat more natural food.

I took her advice and tried the following:

Honey Stinger Chews – in Pink Lemonade, Orange Blossom, and Pomegranate Passion Fruit.

I really like these chews. I’ve tried GU Chomps and Clif Shot Bloks in the past. Both of those were too big for me to chew, and got stuck in my teeth. The Shot Bloks also left me with a gooey feeling in my throat. The Honey Stingers are small, don’t get stuck in your teeth, and are really tasty. Plus they’re USDA Certified Organic.

Jelly Belly Sport Beans – in Assorted. The flavors included in this package are berry, fruit punch, lemon lime, and orange.

I like the Sport Beans because they’re easy to chew (they’re just like a standard jelly bean) and they’re juicy. They don’t dry your mouth out or make you feel super thirsty. They are also made with natural flavoring and natural colors.

Hammer Gel – in Montana Huckleberry and Raspberry.

These are delicious! It’s like eating a packet of jam. I bought the orange flavor as well but haven’t tried it yet. These are gluten free and vegan friendly, as well all natural.

None of these fuels bother my stomach, and I have not had a bout of nausea since using them. Looks like no more GU for me!

Marathon Training - I've eaten way more of this stuff lately than I care to!

I’ve also begun fueling every 45 minutes on any run 10 miles or longer. Someone told me this once, and I can’t remember who or I’d give her credit right now! It also says it on the package of most run fuels! Smile with tongue outEver since starting this I’ve never bonked or hit the wall in any of my long runs.

What do you guys use to fuel your long runs and races?

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Juice and Smoothies for Health

1 Feb

I love juice and I love smoothies. I also love being healthy. But really, who doesn’t? No one likes to be sick.

As a marathon runner I have to pay special attention to all of the signs when I feel like I’m getting sick. Any type of illness could put a damper on my training.

After fighting and fighting with a head cold, and finally visiting the doc last week, I realized what I should be doing.

I should be taking in more vitamins the natural way – through fruits and vegetables. But I can’t just sit and eat apples and bananas and handfuls of spinach all day, now can I?

Enter – Juice. And smoothies. I’ve been drinking my fruits and veggies every day for the past week – I kicked the cold, and I feel great!

I don’t know if the juice/smoothies and kicking the cold really go hand in hand, or if it was more of a coincidence – but what harm can eating drinking more fruits and veggies do?

Here are a couple of my favorite recipes for you to try! If you try them, I’d love to know what you think.

Sam’s Protein Smoothie (1 serving)

I drink this every day for breakfast.  I also use it as a recovery beverage after a hard workout, if I’m home.

Ingredients

  • 1 Scoop Protein Powder of your choice (I use Unflavored GNC Pro Performance 100% Whey Protein – it has no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, and no preservatives).
  • 1 cup frozen fruit (Pineapple and cherry are my two favorites).
  • 1 cup orange juice or milk (I use the oj – it gives it a nice fruity flavor. I buy OJ that’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D, so I don’t worry that it’s lacking essential vitamins. I just don’t like the milkshakey texture it has when made with milk).
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (Chobani for me, of course).
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach

Place all ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth.

Green Smoothie

Looking for antioxidants? Try this:

Blueberry Immunity Booster (Approximately 2-3 16 oz. servings)

 (Here’s a great article on the health benefits of Blueberries)

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 apple or pear
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach

How you prepare this one is entirely up to you. I don’t own a juicer – so this comes out pretty pulpy. For this recipe I don’t mind – since it’s just like drinking juice with the pulp in it.

Either way – combine all the ingredients and either grind up in the blender until combined, or process all the ingredients through your juicer (If you use a juicer – either refrigerate, serve over ice, or blend with crushed ice before drinking.)

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Coachy’s Carrot Juice (Approximately 3-4 16 oz. servings)

This recipe comes from Coachy. You definitely want to use a juicer for this recipe or somehow strain/press it after the ingredients are chopped up and blended. I drank it chunky and it was very, uh, fibrous. Winking smile

Ingredients

  • 2 apples
  • A pile of carrots (Coachy’s words, verbatim. I think I used about 6 large carrots)
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • Shredded ginger (to taste)

Combine all the ingredients and either grind up in the blender until combined, or process all the ingredients through your juicer. Don’t forget my warning above. Smile with tongue out2012-01-24_18-42-36_628

Chunky carrot “juice”

Coachy’s Carrot Juice Smoothie (One serving)

Okay so the smoothie is actually my recipe, but I didn’t have a creative name for it. Since the base of the recipe is Coachy’s Carrot Juice, we’ll let him have some of the credit. Winking smile

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop Protein Powder of your choice
  • 1 cup Coachy’s Carrot Juice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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I have been trying to drink at least a glass of one of the juices (the ones that are not my daily smoothie) every day. If not more. Especially now – I just ran my 18 miler and my 20 miler is this weekend. That’s a lot of time outside, on your feet, in the elements, running your body into the ground. Best be prepared, right? After New Orleans, I’ll be recovering for a couple of weeks, and then jumping right back into training for Cox Rhode Races. There’s only 9 full weeks between Rock N Roll New Orleans and Cox Rhode Races. No time to be unhealthy!

I hope you’ll give some of my recipes a try, and let me know what you think!

Do you have any juice recipes you’d like to share?

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