Monday, March 30, 2015

Miles for Maria Training Week #5

I took a little more time off this week than I originally intended. I wanted to take two days off after the publix half regardless of how I felt to give my legs time to rest. I'm probably being too conservative after the whole shin thing, but it's better than taking weeks off again. Later in the week, things just came up, but I'll ramp things back up next week.
Monday: Once again, Mondays and I are not getting along.
Actual: Rest
Pothole vs tire. Pothole won. As a bonus, it bent the rim as well. Boooooo.
Tuesday: Bah,Tuesday.
Actual: Foam rolling and rest.

Wednesday: Legs felt fine and it was nice to give them a gentle run and good stretch.
Actual: 3.1 miles (9:16/mile)

Thursday: The Jayhawk and I joined in on a group run sponsored by Phidippides (Jeff Galloway's running store). It met at one of Atlanta's newer breweries, Orpheus Brewing, which is located right on the edge of Piedmont park and just around the corner from Phidippides. The route looped through the park landing back at the brewery in time for the evening tasting. Originally it was supposed to be 3 miles, but the leader admitted he made the route from the store, so we ended up a bit short. It was a perfect night for a run and a great night to sip beer on a patio. A good time was had by all.
Actual: 2.5 miles (9:00/mile)

Friday: I had planned to run again today to make up for yesterday's short run, but I got stuck late at work and by the time I left, I was just done with the week. Instead I went out for pizza with the Jayhawk and had a beer.
Actual: Rest

Saturday: One of those days where you are just slow to get moving all day.
Actual: 3.1 miles (9:16/mile)
Such a pretty day in the city!
Sunday: The weather was stunning. The kind of day you dream about all summer (60 with a light breeze, not a cloud in sight). The Jayhawk invited me to join him on an easy long run, so I thought heading back down to Piedmont Park would be a great way to spend the afternoon.
Actual: 6 miles (10:43/mile)
Scenes from the park.
Gotta stretch.
How was your week? Do your local stores have group runs?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Miles for Maria Training Week #4

Monday: Mondays and I are not getting along these days.
Actual: Rest

Tuesday: The Jayhawk and I headed to the Midtown location of Big Peach Running Company to meet up with fellow RunDONNA Ambassador Katie and take part in their St. Paddy's Day group run. It was one of the first warm days of the year (almost 80!) but the air still felt light and spring-like (I fear those days are numbered). It was a beautiful night and a fun tour of midtown and GA tech area, a nice change from our usual running spots. The run was sponsored by Mizuno and I decided to demo the Wave Rider 18s during the run while the Jayhawk tried out the Wave Hitogami 2 (we both loved them). As an added bonus, there was ice cold beer at the finish. Nothing better than a few fun miles, good company, and cold beer.
Actual: 3.4 miles (10:00/mile pace)

Wednesday: I arrived home from work to find that a water main broke in our neighborhood and our water was turned off (at least we weren't part of the neighborhood that lost power as well due to the sinkhole created by the water main break which caused a transformer box thing to fall into the sinkhole. Oh the drama). Any who, this meant I had no water to hydrate with pre/post run and more importantly no way to shower. Cue unhappy face. I decided it was a good reason to focus on core work and yoga for the night. (Note: I did drive to the store later to buy water for the Monster to drink/drool all over the floor. Didn't want you thinking I was totally negligent.)
Actual: Yoga and core work

Thursday: The water was back on by the time I woke up and that was probably the highlight of my day. Oh and the Monster received her second BarkBox (a birthday gift from my parents as she is their original grandchild, human or canine) and it is Island Paradise themed. For some reason, it totally cracks me up to give the dog a squeaky message in a bottle.
Actual: 3.1 miles (9:06/mile) and core work
Old dog, new toys.
Friday: Yay Friday.
Actual: Rest

Saturday: Stopped by the Georgia Publix Marathon to pick up my bib for Sunday's race. Due to a poor map, I ended up parking about 10 blocks away (it was in a new location this year), so I was less than festive when I arrived. To be honest, I'm not usually into Expos, but this one was rather uneventful. I enjoyed some Powerice to cool off after my long walk, but that was about it.
Actual: 2 miles walking around downtown and getting a slight sunburn. booo.

Sunday: Georgia Publix Half Marathon! It was rainy, but you know I like rainy and hilly half marathons.
Actual: 13.1 miles (Recap to come)

How was your week? Are you a big Expo person?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Miles for Maria Training Week #3

I realized that I never actually explained what my next event is all about! Miles for Maria is a timed event on a 0.65 mile loop course with 1,3,6,12, and 24 hour options (there are several waves for the 1, 3, and 6 hour events depending when you want to start). It benefits epilepsy research as the namesake of the race and daughter of the race director battles the disease. 5 year old Maria not only attends the race, but has been know to log a little trail time with the runners. I've never done a timed event, so I thought this would be a good one to try. It is close to home, well aided, for a good cause, and on an easy trail.

Monday: Time change death march. That is all.
Actual: Rest

Tuesday: You know that point in recovery when you finally feel strong again during a workout? This was that day. While I haven't been in pain or struggling in my runs, I haven't felt strong or aggressive. But today was different! I felt strong through the whole thing even though the pace doesn't really show it. It may have helped a bit that I was rather frustrated when I left work (nothing like a little anger to fuel your run).
Actual: 4 miles (9:11/mile pace)
Happiness is....Strawberry ice cream with thin mints.
Wednesday: Turns out yesterday's run wasn't a fluke and I felt solid again today on the treadmill. Yay!
Actual: 3.1 miles (8:59/mile pace)

Thursday: And now for another test, running 3 days in a row.
Actual: 3.1 miles (9:00/mile pace)
Practice for being in the van together. The team that planks together, breaks a few ribs (kidding).
Friday: If you saw my instagram post today you already know that I'm heading up to Maine in July for the Down East Sunrise Trail Relay! Not only am I pumped to head to the homeland, but my usual relay squad (this is our 4th, read about our first, Ragnar Upstate NY here) is reuniting for some hijinks! The relay is 102-ish miles and they allow teams of 4 or 8, so we will be putting together 2 teams of 4. Two of our 6 pack ran it last year and will be returning with their team. The other three of us (two ladies and a dude) are currently team "Three's Company" and we are in search of our Mr. Roper if anyone is interested in joining us! And one of our 6pack is becoming a new dad soon, so he gets an out (This is only ok because it means I am becoming an Aunt in case I haven't mentioned it 4,000 times). Anyways, I am wicked pumped. More to come on this one.
Actual: Rest
Not on the relay route, but me enjoying the homeland. 
Saturday: Rainy and chilly. I felt tight so I kept it to 4 miles.
Actual: 4 miles (9:08/mile)
Sunday: Spring has sprung and it was lovely out. Lovely I tell you. In another two weeks it will be way to warm, but today was lovely. My pace on the other hand, was not so lovely. It was all the heck all over the place. Sure, it averaged out to look good, but it wasn't consistent. All part of the process of getting back in the grove.
Actual: 6.2 miles (8:40/mile)
Blooming. Lots of blooming.
Next weekend is the Georgia Publix Half Marathon. I am still deciding on a goal for this race as my fitness is 'in process' and it is a rather hilly course. Trying not to be too ambitious because I don't want to risk injury and I have bigger goals later this year.

How was your week? Have you ever run a relay?

**Don't forget to enter my Esprit de She March Madness giveaway!**

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

February Recap

Miles: 76.91 (getting better!)


High point: All of DONNA weekend.

Not so Highpoint: Not getting to run the race I had hoped at DONNA. Don't get me wrong, I am so happy I was healthy enough to participate and has a wonderful weekend, but I still want to race this course one year. I'll be back!

New Item for February: I did pretty well this month. I ran with several new running buddies, interviewed an Olympian (a major first), and ran in a rather obnoxious costume!

What I am looking forward to in March: The theme for March is endurance! Getting back in a rhythm, logging more miles, and reclaiming my endurance. Not glamorous, but definitely needed.

Don't forget about my Esprit de She Jersey Giveaway!

How was your February? What are you most looking forward to in March?

Friday, March 6, 2015

March Madness Giveaway with Espirit de She

I'm sure some of you have noticed that new logo over on the sidebar and I am happy to announce that I've been named an Ambassador for the Esprit de She series! Woot. What's also exciting? This means good stuff for you!
For those of you not familiar with the Esprit de She racing series, it's a national series of running, triathlon, duathlon, and cycling events for women aimed at creating a social fitness event that is fun. You may remember that I ran the 5k at the Atlanta event last November in Piedmont Park. Not only is the race a fun time, but the after party is a blast with plenty of things to do and eat. Even though I would love to have you all join me at the Esprit de She event in Atlanta, I realize that not all of you live close by. Have no fear! There are Esprit de She events across the country including Chicago, California, Arizona and Texas, just to name a few! Check for the one closest to you and plan a fun and healthy girls night out!
To celebrate this exciting news (and the hope that spring may one day arrive), I am hosting a little March Madness giveaway! Everyone who registers for any Esprit de She event in the month of March using my referral code will be entered to win a custom Esprit de She Moxie Cycling Jersey. And the best part? I will pick 3 winners, so your odds are pretty good! Not only is the jersey super cute and flattering (I've wanted one of their jerseys for months), but they are incredibly functional made with wicking fabrics and back snack pockets (priorities). I am a little bummed I am already registered (and not eligible).
Here is fellow Ambassador Kelly modeling one!

How to win cool free stuff:

1. Register for any Esprit de She event from now until March 31st using my referral code: EDS052
2. Leave a blog post comment letting me know that you registered with my code.
3. I will pick 3 lucky winners to get a Moxie Cycling Jersey!


Only applies to registrations between now and March 31st. You must use my referral code when you register (they will be confirming registrations and referrals). You must let me know that you registered to be entered (I don't have the power to look up who has used my code, sorry).

So what are you waiting for?  Grab a few friends and have a fun ladies night at the Esprit de She event in your area!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

26.2 with DONNA Marathon Recap

26.2 with DONNA National Marathon to FinishBreast Cancer, Jacksonville Beach, FL
Field: ~5,000 between the full, half, and relay.
Spectators: Excellent! One of my favorite parts of this race is the beach neighborhoods and the crowds that line them. They basically throw a block party for you to run through!
Start/Finish: Start at TPC Sawgrass and finish at the Mayo clinic
Course: Point to point course including 2 miles on the beach (1 mile for the half)
Schwag: Longsleve tech shirt and sun catcher medal.
Other: Between the cause, the survivors, the people running in honor of love ones, the number of times spectators thank you for running, this is truly a special event. I've never seen a community rally around a race quite like this one.
With some of the fabulous Ambassador team and Donna at the finish!
After what was already an exciting weekend between the shake out run, the 5k, and a fun chat with Joan Beniot Samuelson, marathon day finally arrived! How much more exciting can it get?! Going in, I knew I was undertrained after some time off for my shins, so I decided to approach the race differently than any of my previous marathons. Instead of worrying about pace, goal time, or any of that on the race course, I went in to race day with new goals: smile, soak up the course, relax, remember why I was there and who I was running to honor.
As I mentioned in my Friday Five post, I changed up a few things on race day (I never seem to follow that 'nothing new on race day' rule). Before I even made it to JAX, I decided to make some of these changes. In thinking about my abbreviated training, and my desire to enjoy the day, I settled on a 'goal-time' of something around 4:30 (I know I just said I didn't want to worry about goal times, but stay with me for a minute). I did this for a few reasons: 1. to see if I could team up with any of the other Ambassadors who might be running at that pace, and 2. to see if I could find a pace group to run with to take anything thought of pacing off my hands. I really wanted to run with a pace group or buddy because I didn't trust myself to take it slow enough and I was worried I might end up with some ugly last miles if I wasn't careful.
As luck would have it, my '4:30 time goal' allowed me to do both those things as fellow Ambassador Holly was shooting for around that time and there was a solid 4:30 pace group. (Holly was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30(!) and February was the 5 year anniversary of when she started chemo. When a survivor says to you mid-marathon "This is nothing compared to chemo" you get a new perspective about what 'hard' means during a race). So there I was the week of the race with a new race day buddy (who I had never met IRL but seemed really nice on facebook) and a pace group to join/run with, when I had never finished a race with the same pace group that I had started with. Two new items for race day.
At mile 7 on the beach with my new running buddy Holly!
And then there were three. One thing I had completely forgot about the pace groups at 26.2 with DONNA was that they all use the Galloway method. Having no real experience with the Galloway method, I wasn't sure how it would go. I knew I could keep up the run pace (which would be faster than the 4:30 splits to make up for the walking), but I was worried about being patient enough to walk during the first few miles of a marathon. I don't like walking during races (except occssionally at aid stations so I actually get the water in my mouth), so the Galloway method presents a huge mental challenge for me. It requires a lot of trust in both the method and in the pacers. Given my history of abandoning pace groups after a few miles (see Chickamauga 2013, DONNA 2014, Chickamauga 2014 just to name a few), I was nervous if I could stick to it.
 Scenes from the course.
Race day arrived and I was pumped. The weather was spot on (high 30s at the start, low 50s at the finish), my outfit was festive, and I was participating in Naked wrist running for the first time in a marathon (Yep, no garmin!). I met up with some of the Ambassador team at the start for some pre-race fun comparing our rad throw aways (we have way too much fun together), visited the more than ample port-a-johns (seriously, so many!), and made my way to the start with Holly to find the 4:30 pace group. Along the way I ran into Amy (who you might remember from a recent training run) and chatted for a bit. Note: she went on to rock a 5 minute PR in the half.
With fellow Ambassador Krissy at the start in 2014 and 2015. Almost identical poses.
The first 5ish miles of the course make your way up A1A before turning into the beach communities. During this time, I focused on getting in the rhythm of the Galloway method, taking a few photos, and deciding whether or not to drop my cardigan (you may laugh but in addition to being stylish, it was so much easier to take off than a sweatshirt). It was also during these miles that we passed Jeff and Barb Galloway. Always unique to run by Galloway while using his method! Around mile 6 the course goes on to the beach. To say the day was anything less than stunning would be a lie. The temps were spot on and the sky was cloudless. No worries of severe rain this year! Once again, I had no real issues with running on the beach but stayed aware when getting on and off (you go through a little soft sand before reaching the ramp).
Striking a pose on the beach around mile 7. Yeah, it's an ugly course.
At mile 8 we exited the beach and began the trek through the beach neighborhoods. Last year, I totally didn't like the neighborhoods from miles12-16ish for no really good reason other than I lost my mojo while in them. This year, I loved them. I don't know if it was the shade, or the fact I wasn't expecting to like them, but they were great and I actually gained momentum while running through them. Miles 16-20 bring you through the commercial/residential parts of the beach neighborhoods, and there is much fun to be had. Costumes, streamers, lots of cheering and decorations, festive and inebriated fans. It has it all. In fact, I was having so much fun, I stopped for a beer around mile 18 (oops, another new race day item)! It was fabulously cold and though the pacers assured me I would regret it, I never did. At mile 20, I passed the free mammogram station (didn't stop again this year).
 They are free!
The last 5k of the course is the most challenging. It is highway-ish miles leading you from the beach neighborhoods to the Mayo Clinic, which may not sound attractive, but it has a purpose. The beach is where Donna was first inspired to start the race and the Mayo clinic is where she was treated and the main race beneficiary. It brings it all full circle. You can see the top of the Mayo Clinic for much of that 5k and knowing the work they are doing there, and that patients are sitting in their beds listening to the finish line excitement and gaining hope, it's inspiring. It was here that I started to move away from the pace group. I was ready to finish, celebrate with my friends, and cheer on my fellow runners. The only hill on the course is at mile 25 with the enthusiastic zeta girls cheering you on, the sounds of the finish line in the distance, and the giant Mayo sign directing you in, you can't help but push to the finish.
I crossed the finish line in 4:26:20, not my best nor my worst marathon time, but perhaps my most inspired.
I joined my fellow Ambassadors at the finish line. We stayed until it closed cheering on the runners, handing out high fives, taking pictures, celebrating PRs, and soaking in the day. It was the most fun I've had on a marathon day and I felt honored to be apart of an excellent team.
 Cheering on our fellow runners at the finish!
With some of the team at a pre-race reception.

So how did the new stuff go?

1. New Running buddy Holly. She rocked and I would totally team up with her again. I give her a thumbs up if you ever find yourself in Washington State in need a cheerful and positive running accomplice.
2. Running Naked wrist and relying completely on Pacers: It went perfectly for this race. That said, any other race would have different pacers and therefore a different experience. Also, if it was a goal race, I would have trouble giving up my garmin (it's a crutch even if I don't look at it much).
3. The Galloway Method. I absolutely see it's purpose. I don't plan on doing it during every race, but it is a great option when training might not be optimal, or physically running the whole time might not be best. Major plus: It was probably one of the easiest marathon recoveries I've ever had which surprised me giving my training issues.
4. Mid-Race Beer. While both carb containing and cold, it will probably not become my go to fuel during goal races. However, it was downright refreshing and festive. Remains a future fueling option. :)
Have you ever run a marathon with no real time goal? Do you use the Galloway Method?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Miles for Maria Training Week #1

With just 7 weeks until my first timed race, the 6 hour option at Miles for Maria, my focus is on developing endurance. I felt really good after the 32+ mile RunDONNA weekend and had no issues with recovery. I did end up taking a full week off, but that was mostly due to a head cold late in the week.  I'm holding back on developing any goals for the 6 hour until I get an idea of what my body is up for now that I am moving back into a regular training rhythm again.

Monday:  Yep. It's cookie time at our house.
Actual: Rest

Tuesday: Back at it. Trying to keep the pace a little lighter as I recover from 26.2 with DONNA and just work on moving back into a regular training schedule.
Actual: 3.1 miles running (9:16/mile pace)

Wednesday: Snow day! I took advantage of a rare 'snow day' in Atlanta to get in a midday run. I also managed some strength training (squats, lunges, and some upper body work) and foam rolling.
Actual: 4 miles running (9:27/mile pace)
Don't blink, or you may miss the snow in Atlanta.
Thursday: Some residual congestion from my post-marathon head cold was really bothering me. I decide to take an extra day off to see if it would help it clear. Happy to say I am breathing more normally now.
Actual: Rest

Friday: We went to Mellowmushroom for pizza and I was looking forward to it all day. And it was Friday. So basically, it was an awesome day.
Actual: Rest

Saturday: My goal for the weekend was to get in back to back runs and have one of them around 8-10 miles. I join the Jayhawk for an easy shake out 10k (he has a goal race next weekend). The weather was so lovely, that I headed back out for a hilly 3 miler by myself. I definitely have some work to do to get some of my strength back, but I'm making progress.
Actual: 6.2 miles (11min/mile pace); 3 miles (9:03 min/mile pace)

Sunday: I joined up with one of my regular running groups for a very soggy 6 miler. The forecast originally had the rain coming in around noon, but just for fun it surprised us and started right when we started running. Nothing like 38 and raining to wake you up! I forgot to wear my garmin, so I estimated the total time (others had us on spot of mileage). Legs felt good and made for a good strength and endurance building weekend.
Actual: 6 miles (probably 10 min/mile) and some foam rolling.

How was your week? Anyone race or run some place new?
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