Thursday, December 15, 2016

26.2 with DONNA Training: 10 Week to go

Monday: Just as planned.
Planned: Easy 5 miles  Actual: 5 miles (9:14/mile)
Tuesday: Since I don't feel totally ready to reintroduce speed work, I decided to add in spin class. Being as it was only my second class and I'm still figuring out the levels thing, I got in a few running miles beforehand to ensure I got a good workout. My friend Sean was nice enough to join me for spin (mainly because I whined a lot that I'd never been to the class at the work gym and I wanted a buddy) and he made it even better by showing up in his "Check your rack shirt" (I love seeing them in person!). I got in a great sweat at spin and liked this class more than the first one I went to. Oh, I also went to CPR certification and that had to count for at least several hundred push-ups.
Planned: 5x1k  Actual: 3.25 miles (9:14/mile) and 45 min Spin Class (21 miles)

Wednesday: Decided to try out a nice yoga video to help recover from my double workouts only to find out that I picked out one that was almost entirely core work. Not exactly the relaxing stretch I hoped for, but useful none the less.
Planned: Rest  Actual: Yoga

Thursday: Ended up with just stretching and resting. I didn't plan to take so many days off prior to the half, but it probably didn't hurt.
Planned: Tempo 8 miles  Actual:
Friday: Travel day to South Carolina for a half marathon.
Planned: Easy 6 miles  Actual: Rest
Saturday: I signed up for this race many months ago with hopes that it could be a check-in during a marathon cycle. It still was, just with a different level of fitness than I hoped at this point. Full Recap to come.
Planned: Easy 5 miles  Actual: 13.1 miles (8:45/mile)

Sunday: Got in a walk down to the river and it was so beautiful. The low country is really growing on me.
Planned: Long 15 miles  Actual: Walk and long car ride (which is it's own form of yoga, right?)

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

26.2 with DONNA Training: 11 Weeks to go

Ok, so it's time to jump back into marathon training. I'm using the same 18 week training plan that I used for 26.2 with DONNA last year (Hanson's for those superfans at home), but I've been adjusting it to make sure that I'm healthy. Just so you don't think I am charging into week #8 of training with no regard for the previous 7 weeks, I have been consistently running at least 4 times per week at easy pace for several weeks, basically mimicking a base building phase. On top of that, I even went to my first spin class and though I was a little confused by the whole levels of resistance thing, I got in a solid sweat and rode no hands. So that completes my crosstraining for this training cycle.

Oh and by the way, I have a half marathon this week. Moving on.

Monday: No worse for the wear after my first spin class over the weekend. I enjoyed it and am excited to give it another shot. After trying any new activity, I always expect some sort of response from my body as it adjusts. My quads felt a little sluggish, but no soreness.
Planned: 6 miles easy  Actual: 5 miles easy (9:14/mile)
Tuesday: Not ready for any speed work just yet, but I am getting bored with easy runs, a sure sign that my fitness is slowly starting to return. This one felt like a little more work but it was probably because the humidity was way up due to GA finally getting rain. We've been in a severe drought and the metro hasn't had any rain in over 40 days. On top of that, wild fires are raging in north GA and the air quality has been very poor. But I was glad to pour out a little extra sweat in exchange for some rain.
Planned: 6x800s   Actual: 5 miles (9:14/mile)
Wednesday: I read this great recap from America Ferrera about training for and racing her first triathlon. She shares a lot about her inner dialogue and mantras that helped her through out the process and this quote in particular stuck me. Worth a read.

Planned: Rest   Actual: Rest
Thursday: I decided to toss in a few miles at not easy pace to begin testing how my calf reacted. It was nice to break out of easy running!
Planned: 5 Tempo   Actual: 5 miles (3 miles @8:40/mile)
Friday: Ah, life. I had every intention of getting in this workout, but life got in the way. It happens.
Planned: 5 Easy  Actual: Rest
Saturday: A big and exciting day! For years I've wanted to take the RRCA Coaching Certification Course but logistics always seemed to get in way, mainly that it's rarely is offered in Atlanta. But low in behold, back in March I was able to get into the Chattanooga class and it was finally. I woke up early to get their and time figuring I would squeeze in a run after class, but after sitting for 12 hours and so much learning, I was tired.  I did manage a small hotel room workout, a combo of several of my cross training workouts (something is better than nothing).
Planned: 6 Easy   Actual: Strength activities
Sunday: Woke up early to squeeze in a run before another great day of training. Pro Tip: Hotel gyms are not busy at 6am on a Sunday for some reason so you can have the place to yourself!
Planned: 10 Long   Actual: 3.5 miles (9:14/mile)
How was your week? How do you squeeze in workouts on the road?

Friday, December 2, 2016

A Challenge for December

A classic practice that I fall into is that I often only run. I get in my daily mileage and that's it. I let myself off with the mentality of "well, I already put in X amount of time running. That should do it." I run often enough and tend to keep my mileage in a range that this method leaves me relatively 'fit', but probably not well balanced in terms of strength and flexibility, which are important for both injury prevention and achieving new goals.

So, in the spirit of running streaks that often go throughout the holidays, I've challenged myself to a cross training streak for the month of December. I've tried run streaks before and they really aren't my thing more because I need a day off from running though not necessarily a day off from being active. Also, I don't really need that much help getting myself out the door for a run, but I do need help conning shaming encouraging myself to cross train.
The goal of my month of cross training is to build a better base as I am building up my mileage, and maybe, just maybe, have one of these activities start to stick or become a habit. I've put together a calendar of activities and some of them are fairly small (high chance of success) while others will require a little more effort and planning. I've taken into account any travel I have planned for the month as to make those days achievable while on the road, and I've made some of the items quick activities to prove to myself that there is no excuse for not trying to work them into even the busiest of days. Also, I gave a bunch of the workouts nicknames to make it way funner.
I don't know about you, but when I need a good basic stretching plan,
 I always look to the Fencers.
I threw in the option of a weekly class. I've started trying out new things and I want to continue that. And by started I mean I went to two different exercise classes in the past 5 months, a 200% increase over previous efforts. Due to scheduling, classes can be flip flopped with another day if need be. I pulled a few basic plans to help guide me through stretching, yoga, foam rolling, and core workouts mainly so I focus and don't just sit around googling ideas last second.
So many options! And I was amused that she looks like she is in jeans.
If anyone wants to join me, please do! A challenge is always more fun with friends.
How often do you cross train? What is your favorite form of cross training?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Silver Comet Half Marathon Recap

Silver Comet Half Marathon, Mableton, GA
Field: Less than 1000 runners between the half and full marathons
Spectators: Not many along the trail but there were a few groups at various trailheads along the way and the volunteers were very friendly.
Start/Finish: Starts at the Mableton Amphitheater and finishes at the Floyd Rd Bike Depot.
Course: The first 1.5 miles are on rolling roads and the rest of the course is an out and back on the Silver Comet Trail, a paved rail to trail with 2% grade.
Schwag: Soft cotton t-shirt, medal, and free finisher's photo.
Other: The time limit for the half marathon is the same for the marathon (5.5 hours) so this is a great option for walkers. There is plenty of free parking at the start as well as a free shuttle to/from the finish for any spectators.
As I mentioned last week, build up to this race didn't go exactly as I hoped. Originally I had planned on this race as my goal for the fall to make me super strong and super fit and super crossed trained* setting up for perfect marathon training cycle where every step would feel like magic and I would smile through each mile like some mythical marathon goddess we all hope to be. Cue real life. *Crosstraining was never actually attempted

While many things about training for this race went well (successful integration of speedwork, improved tempo workouts, etc), a misstep moment on training run left me a bit of a nagging calf issue. Combine that with feeling overtired and small family crisis (thanks Hurricane Matthew), and you get a very light month leading into the race. Or as I like to think of it, nailing the taper element of the training cycle.

Going into race day I wasn't really sure what to expect from my body. My last double digit mileage run had been over a month before and my workouts since then had been variable due to everything that was going on. I went in with the goal of running a comfortable push effort (whatever pace that may be), knowing full well that depending how my calf was feeling, I might have to shut it down and turn it into one heck of a nature walk.

I didn't take any pictures prerace as it was the week before the time change and it was so dark that I was just happy I didn't fall in a port-o-john. Prerace I did my usual standing around, trying not to burn calories, and half heartedly stretching because other people were doing it.
While there were no pace groups for the race (it's a very small race), there were pace signs at the start, and I figured the 2 hour group was as good a place as any to start. The course is on roads for the first 1.5 miles before turning onto a paved rails to trails path for the remainder of the race. I decided to tuck in around the 2 hr group for the road portion and see what happened.
Most of the race was pretty uneventful, but here's a short recap of how it went:
  • By the time we got on the trail, I was kind of 'done' with the people that started around the 2 hour sign. No offense to them, but they were super chatting and their conversation topics didn't do anything for me, so I went on about my merry way.
  • In an effort to 'use the aid on the course,' I ran without my handheld only to find the first water stop was well over 3 miles into the race. Thank heavens it wasn't hot because my well tapered self would have suffered.
  • Though the pre-race instructions were a little confusing talking about different aid stations for marathoners and half marathoners (even though it was the same course), volunteers were happy to giving water to whomever needed it.
  • I found a nice group of people to tuck in behind for the second half of the race who were talking about the Kyle Pease Foundation, a group I've always wanted to run with and was happy to learn more about it.
  • No major pains or issues during the race, but I definitely was feeling my lack of fitness in the later miles.
So overall, the race went well. I got to enjoy a few hours of fresh air and fall leaves without any body parts falling off or feeling more injured by the end of it. My time was about 1.5 minutes faster than the half marathon I ran the same weekend last year before starting marathon training and that training cycle went well. Sure, I'd like to have thrown down a faster time and felt 'more ready' to begin marathon training, but it is what it is and it's all a learning process.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Update: Running, life, and Monster

Greetings! Yes, it has been a while. I have many things to update you all on, plans to reveal, and Monster photos to share (I know why you all come here).
Mia Monster was a witch for the 11th year in a row.
So let's start where we last left off. It was late September and I was in peak half marathon training but I was beginning to feel frequently tired and a bit run down. I down shifted my training to allow for more recovery time, but was also feeling tweaky as well. I began to worry that I was experiencing a little over training and perhaps flirting with injury, so I drastically slowed things down. As much as I wanted to run a good half marathon at Silver Comet (and teach it a lesson from the first time I ran it), my big running goal for the year is the full marathon at 26.2 with DONNA, so I put the breaks of half marathon training to ensure I would start marathon training in good health. Got to keep the eyes on the prize. And for added excitement, Hurricane Matthew hit my family's house in South Carolina, and I spent a lot of time driving back and forth to help them out with all the damage (everyone is ok, the house, not so much). So I replaced weekly long runs with weekly long drives.
Fall is the best.
I did still run the Silver Comet half marathon. I used it for a check in on my fitness and to see how my body felt after a long run. I was greatly helped out during the race by a nice cool morning. Coming off a month of light running, I would have paid dearly if it was a hot day. I will write up a recap on the race, but basically, I completed the race without much excitement (good or bad).
 In recovering from the race, I had a bit of an odd moment with one calf. While I wasn't feeling any sort of pain, I was unable to point my toes on one leg (other leg could point just fine). In thinking through things, I determined that the 'odd' step I took during a 10 miler in September that caused me to take a few days off at the time, probably did more damage than I realized. My best guess is that I hyperextended my soleus and have made sure to pay extra attention to my footfalls and running surfaces since then. This may mean my running will be reliant on the treadmill for a while to allow for a flat surface.
Shirts came in! Thanks to everyone who supported them.
I love seeing pictures of folks wearing them!
Since the half, I've run a 5k (ugh, yes, my least favorite of the distances, but when your friend is race director, you run and support them) and have eased myself back into regular training. So far so good. Right now I'm not making any goals for 26.2 with DONNA until I see how my body responds to added intensity. So the plan is, to keep building up slowly and safely as my body allows. Goal #1 is to be able to run the marathon. Once I know that it is likely, other goals will develop.
Recovery yoga was once again interrupted by a needy, napping hound.
So sorry again for the radio silence. It's hard to make a few easy runs per week and road trips to SC sound interesting. It's exciting to catch up on all of your races and training. I've read several first marathon recaps and they are always so inspiring!

How has your fall been? What is the highlight so far? Catch me up!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday 5: 5 favorites from the week

It's time for some Friday fun.

Self exams and early detection are key!
1. Buy a T-shirt. This year as part of my fundraising, I've designed and am selling t-shirts to promote self exams and early detection (yep, that's it above). If you would like to support the campaign and purchase a t-shirt, please go here. 100% of proceeds from sales will go directly to the foundation. The campaign goes through October 7th, 2016, so don't delay! If t-shirts aren't your thing, you can donate directly to the foundation. Instead of receiving a snappy t-shirt, you will get a big boost to your karma. As always, all proceeds will do directly to 26.2 with DONNA to fund research and help with critical patient needs.
2. Yoga with goats. Apparently now there are retreats you can go on where you do yoga with goats. As cute as that sounds, I'm not sure how relaxed I would be if one pooped on my mat in the middle of my downward dogging. This would be a yoga session filled with giggles and distractions.

3. The Appalachian Trail record. I'm sure you've all heard that Scott Jurek's Appalachian Trail record has already been broken. In addition to the impressive time Karl Meltzer threw down, I love that Jurek was on hand to help pace him through it. The trail running community is really that great. Also, for amusement, check out what Karl ate while accomplishing it. Safe to say he and Scott have very different diets!
4. Scientists are ultrarunners. I found this article amusing on the numbers of 'hard core' scientists in ultrarunning. I'm not a physicist, but yes, scientists are used to being patient and working hard at something for little or no reward (experiments don't always go as planned and there is a lot of repeating).
5. Birthday wishes. The Jayhawk and I have decided we want this for our yard for our annual birthdaypalooza. Not sure we will actually get it and to be honest, I'm not sure our yard it even big enough to hold it, but a girl can dream.
Yes, that is an inflatable Irish Pub you can get for your yard. (source)
Learn anything fun this week? What was your favorite article from the week?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Silver Comet Half Training Week #12

Monday: Feeling back to my normal self this week. As hard as it is to take time off or lighten the mileage during the meat of a training cycle, it was the right move. It was reassuring to have a few days of easy miles help restore my range of motion while still getting to get my sweat on a bit. It really kept the angst at bay and I'm sure the Jayhawk appreciated it.
Planned: Easy 5 miles   Actual: 5 miles (9:14/mile)
Tuesday: First strength workout of the cycle since I missed last week's and it was a good one! During my last marathon training cycle, I found that these longer speed workouts (or strength workouts as Hansons calls them) really were incredibly beneficial. Not only did I get the physical benefit of the longer repeats, but mentally it did a lot to challenge myself about what paces I thought were possible.
Planned: 4x1.5 miles   Actual: 8 miles (4x1.5 @ 8:00/mile)
I had a NUUN disaster in my gym bag.
Shout out to the awesome folks at NUUN for reaching out to me with condolences.
Wednesday: I was noticeably overtired Tuesday night after my strength workout (read: I got absolutely nothing done unless you count keeping the couch company), so it was nice to follow it up with a rest day and little extra time for life stuff.
Planned: Rest   Actual: Rest and light yoga
Yeah, I just sit around the living room like this.
Thursday: This workout went well and I even felt like I had some bounce left in my legs at the end. Definitely not tapped out. It's possible that it was all because I was extra motivated to get to Free Queso day at Moe's. It had only been on my calendar for weeks.
Planned: Tempo 5 miles   Actual: 7 miles (5@8:13/mile)
Isn't it beautiful?!
Friday: Oh, Friday! Good to see you again.
Planned: Easy 5 miles   Actual: 5 miles (9:14/mile)
Saturday: When we left the house for our morning runs (separately of course, we know what works best for us), the Jayhawk and I were greeted with not oppressive heat! I dare not use the word cool, but I will say there was a small break in the humidity and boy did that make a difference in my run (see pace below). Fall, don't tease me. I'm ready to go steady with you.
Planned: Easy 6 miles   Actual: 6 miles (8:39/mile)
Monkey time. Let's just say my pull-up count is a bit embarrassing.
Sunday: Tagged along with the Jayhawk as he headed out to Silver Comet Trail for his long bike ride to get in some miles on the course (it's the location of my upcoming half). It was a humid one as the clouds were rolling in, but hopefully things cool down a bit before race day. The Jayhawk's goal was to ride for 2-2.5 hours, so I knew I'd have some bonus time. Didn't run the extra point one because you don't need to run the full distance in training, right? The Jayhawk got in 30 miles on the bike and we returned home to make a nice big brunch as the rain rolled in. Timing is key.
Planned: Long run 12 miles   Actual: 13 miles (8:52/mile)
The Jayhawk in action. It's no wonder I keep him around. For the record, I made coffee.

How was your week? Do you ever team up with your spouse/roommate/random stranger to get workouts in?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Silver Comet Half Training Week #11

Monday: My left calf and hamstring were feeling better after a day of rest, but I still had a lot of tightness in my foot after Saturday's misstep (I stepped down hard on uneven sidewalk mid-run). Decided one more day of rest wouldn't kill me and stuck to yoga for the day.
Planned: Easy 5 miles Actual: Light yoga
Tuesday: Was sad to miss the first strength workout of the training cycle as they were my favorites during last marathon training, but I wanted to give the foot/ankle a few easy miles before challenging it.
Planned: 6x1 mile  Actual: 5 miles (9:14/mile)
Loving the new lawn art in our area.
Wednesday: Felt a little residual tightness in my foot after Tuesday's run. Nothing that concerned me too much, but definitely something to keep an eye on before it progresses.
Planned: Rest Actual: Rest
Thursday: Shifted workouts around to have one more day of easy miles. While the foot/ankle are feeling much better, I did still have some tightness after Tuesday's workout and would like to see less before starting speed and pace workouts again.
Planned: 5 miles Tempo  Actual: 5 miles (9:14/mile)
Thanks for reminding me I need a shower, Monster. Real subtle.
Friday: Decided to give a pace work a try. My foot/ankle were feeling a lot better with only some stiffness while running. Didn't really effect me at all during the run and post run I didn't see any issues. A few rest days seem to have done the trick!
Planned: Easy 6 miles  Actual:7 miles (5@8:13/mile)
Matchy matchy for the second time in a week. Not sure what's up with that.
Saturday: Woke up feeling good and made up some easy miles. Still feeling a little tightness going uphill, but that make sense given how the injury came about.
Planned: Easy 5 miles  Actual: 6 miles (9:14/mile)
Sunday: A surprise family visit threw my day off a bit, but I managed to squeeze in a workout later that evening (in some impressive humidity). Ran (quite literally) into the Jayhawk at the end of my run and we finished the last 0.5 mile together.
Planned: 10 miles long run  Actual: 5.5 miles (9:11/mile)
Awesome new tiny library in our neighborhood.
All and all a little less mileage than I hoped for the week, but I am proud of myself for actually respecting my body and not just trying to run through the tightness I was feeling. It's never enjoyable to skip workouts, especially ones of importance, but I try to remind myself of my bigger goals.

How was your week? Do you ever take time off for tightness or soreness?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Silver Comet Half Training Week #10

Monday: Didn't feel too boring today. Had lots of things to think about and the time passed fairly quickly.
Planned: Easy 6 miles  Actual: 6 miles (9:14/mile)
Tuesday: Did I mention that I like the longer speed repeats? This was technically the last speed workout as next week it shifts to strength workouts (repeats all 1 mile or more with total at pace distance around 6 miles). I've enjoyed speed work this round and am happy to report that I seem to have come out of it uninjured. I definitely took a conservative approach to pace, but my goal was to complete all the workouts as in the past I've stopped speed work due to hitches and tightness. It was confidence building and I am ready to be a little more aggressive next time.
Planned: 4x1200   Actual: 5.75 miles (4x1200 @7:53/mile)
Wednesday: And rest I did.
Planned: Rest   Actual: Rest
Thursday: Ah, tempo day. The pace felt a lot more comfortable this week which can only mean that next week this workout probably gets changed up. I enjoy that aspect of this plan. Every time I get comfortable or use to a part of it, it changes it up to keep it interesting. Great for my workout ADD.
Planned: 4 miles Tempo   Actual: 6 miles (4 @8:13/mile)

Friday: Finally.
Planned: Easy 5 miles   Actual: 5 miles (9:14/mile)

Saturday: Switch up Saturday and Sunday workouts so the Jayhawk and I could have our long efforts on the same day. To be honest, I knew this one was going to be a struggle from the start. I was feeling sluggish having run Friday's run about 14 hours early and it was a day where I never really hit my stride. On top of that, I took a funny step at one point where the sidewalk was uneven (my toes landed on a square significantly higher than the rest of my foot) leading to noticeable discomfort in my ankle and Achilles. I didn't think too much of it at the time, but it was causing tightness by the next day. The Jayhawk and I enjoyed an afternoon at Creature Comforts Brewery and there was almost a hint of fall in the air.
Planned: Easy 5 miles   Actual: 10 miles (9:24/mile)
Sunday: Woke to find tightness all up my left side (foot, calf, and hamstring). Decided one day off wouldn't kill me. Got in a bit of yard work for exercise.
Planned: 12 miles Long run  Actual: Rest

How was your week? Did you do anything fun for the long weekend?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Silver Comet Half Training Week #9

Monday: Easy miles tend to be some of the harder miles mentally on this program. With speed and tempo workouts, you always have something to focus on (the next repeat or keeping good form), but easy miles don't provide a challenge physically (as by design). I find they become important not just for getting your body used to higher mileage, but also in training your brain to stay calm and be patient.
Planned: 5 miles Easy Actual: 5 miles (9:15/mile)
Tuesday: When training for 26.2 with DONNA last winter, I really enjoyed the longer speed and strength repeat workouts, so I was excited to have 1k repeats on tap for today.
Planned: 5x1k Actual: 5.75 miles (4x1k @ 7:53/mile, 1k @7:47/mile)
What? Sometimes I need a post-it during speed work.

Wednesday: This made me giggle.
Planned: Rest  Actual: Rest!

A photo posted by Late Show with Stephen Colbert (@colbertlateshow) on
Thursday: It didn't feel as comfortable as I hoped, but I got it done. Trying to keep the overall goal in mind.
Planned: 4 miles Tempo  Actual: 6 miles (4@8:13/mile)
Friday: What's more mentally challenging than easy miles on the treadmill on a Monday? Easy miles on the treadmill on a Friday afterwork at the work gym. I was bored, but I thought about how we were having homemade pizza for dinner.
Planned: 6 miles Easy Actual: 5 miles (9:14/mile)
Hot off the grill.
Saturday: It was humid, but the joy of running outside made it worth it.
Planned: 5 miles Easy  Actual: 6 miles (9:01/mile)

Sunday: Didn't have a lot of bounce in the legs today, so I decided to incorporate more hills. That makes sense, right?  It turned out to be a nice run where I worked hard on the hills and kept a pretty consistent tempo throughout. It felt good to get in a long effort.
Planned: 10 miles long run Actual: 10 miles (9:30/mile)
Monster was getting in her squirrel repeats.
How was your week? Do you enjoy easy runs or find them challenging?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

26.2 with DONNA Discount Code 2017

For any of you that have been stopping by this little corner of the world for a while, it should be no surprise that I am heading back to Jacksonville in February for the 10th anniversary of 26.2 with DONNA. This will be my 4th running of the marathon and, in all honesty, it holds a special place in my heart. I love the course, I love the fans, I love the volunteers, and of course, I love the cause.
For those of you who are not familiar with the race, 26.2 with DONNA is the only marathon in the U.S. dedicated to breast cancer research, awareness, and care. The race is in Jacksonville with the full and half courses weaving through the beautiful beach communities. All proceeds from the race go towards ground breaking breast cancer research and critical patient needs. While fundraising is not a requirement to run the race, it is encouraged. Any full or half marathon runner who raises $1,000 receives free race registration through the Fundraiser Experience. If you would like to support the foundation, please go here.
To celebrate reaching my fundraising goal last year, the Jayhawk raced in a tutu.
Being as it's the big 10 year anniversary of the race, there are a few special changes this year. First, they've added an Inaugural Anniversary 10k on Saturday. The 10k will start prior to the 5k on Saturday morning, so you can pick one or run both!
Which brings me to the second change: The Booby Trap Challenge. Runners who want a little something extra on race weekend can run the 5k, 10k, and either half or full marathon to complete the Inaugural DONNA Booby Trap Challenge. In addition to all the perks of the individual races, challenges finishers will receive the challenge medal, the challenge beach towel (for when you are recovering from all those miles at the beach), and a special 10th Anniversary medal.

But wait, there's more. In addition to the 10k and the Booby Trap Challenge, 26.2 with DONNA has teamed up with the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic to offer the Treasured Chest Challenge. To complete this challenge, runners will finish either the half, full, or Booby Trap Challenge at 26.2 with DONNA and the half at Gasparilla the following weekend. In one week, you'll go from Boobs to Booty.

And now the reason most of you are reading this post: the discount code! Use code VIPElisabeth17 when you register for the half or full marathon to save a few extra bucks!

Yep, I know that's a lot to think about. It took me a while to figure out exactly what combination of races I wanted to run. So many races, so little time.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday 5

A few things to start out your weekend on the right note.
I'm linking up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for a little Friday Five and Angela for High Five Friday.

1. This article on Lauren Fleshman. Not only is she an impressive runner and business woman, she is an inspirational human being. Go read it. I'll just wait.
She is fun and inspirational to follow on social media (source)

2. This podcast with Sally McRae. Another inspiring woman, Sally is an ultrarunner and all around fierce lady when it comes to training. This interview looks into the life and mind of a professional ultrarunner. It took place on the eve of Western States, a major goal race for Sally which didn't go as planned. Her very honest race recap is also worth a read.
Her instagram is very much worth a follow (source)
3. This article on what Tour de France riders eat. I love food, hill work outs, and endurance sports, so this article was right up my alley. I wonder if I could get a team vehicle to follow me around during my next marathon and hand me snacks?
Cancellara is one of my favorites on the tour. Source.
4. This write up on Betty Lindberg. A fellow member of the Atlanta Track Club, Betty recently set a world record at the age of 91. The Jayhawk and I ran into her on the Peachtree course (almost literally to be honest) and I saw her again last week at the 4 miler. She is pretty much the embodiment of #lifegoals. It's a great quick read.

5. This Song. Since it's Friday, I'll leave you with a bit of (completely unrunning related) whimsy.

What or who inspired you this week? Tell me one happy thing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Silver Comet Half Training Week #3

Y'all. This week. I don't know if my chi is off, or it's the phase of the moon, or what, but it just seemed like one thing after another. In the end, we are no worse for the wear and I got in all my miles, but it was eventful. So let's start at the beginning. It's a very good place to start.

Monday: Ah, Mondays. Mid-day I was feeling super flushed, my face was tingling and red. Come to find out, I was allergic to my new face moisturizer and it was essentially burning my skin. Spent the day looking like a tomato and sweating during my run didn't help. No exactly the burn I was hoping to feel after a work out.
Planned: Rest  Actual: 3.25 miles (9:15/mile)
Tuesday: The day itself was pretty uneventful and I ran at the gym while the Jayhawk biked. On the way home, we stopped to pick up the kid's new bike, only to find that it wouldn't fit in the car. After a lengthy shopping period, she had finally picked out a new cruiser over the weekend (a true test of everyone's patience), but when we went to get it, we realized a cruiser couldn't go on the bike rack (no top tube, awkward down tubes) and because the handle bars were so wide, we couldn't get it in the car. So I ended up riding it home 4 miles in rush hour traffic. The ride itself wouldn't be bad on my own bike, but this was a heavy cruiser with limited gears (thank heavens I talked her into the gears) on a hilly route. In addition, I am a solid 9-10 inches taller than the intended rider, so it was silly at best when I got out of the saddle on the hills. Definitely not something you would plan for a bike commute as there was very little maneuver ability in traffic. I sweated a 100x more than I did on my easy run. Luckily I caught the Jayhawk at a red light and he gave me a few sips of water (no water bottle holders on the cruiser). The bike and I made it home safely to the excited child. Adding this to my application for Step Mom of the year.
Planned: Easy 4  Actual: 4 miles (9:13/mile) and a 4 mile bike ride
Wednesday: Awoke to find my car had died. Almost went back in the house and stole the child's cruiser for a second ride, but the Jayhawk hadn't pulled out of the driveway yet and was able to shuttle me along to work. Sadly, it was the big-die-need-a-new-car kind because it is so old. We had already planned on replacing it in the next year. It was just a wee bit earlier than planned. Not stressful at all. Ug.
Planned: Rest  Actual: Rest
Thursday: An uneventful day in the homeland. No skin burning, harrowing rides through traffic, or major mechanical malfunctions.
Planned: Easy 4  Actual: 4 miles (9:14/mile)
Friday: Finally.
Planned: Easy 4  Actual: 4 miles (9:15/mile)
Pre-race with Kristen. Still a little red faced from that whole allergy thing (see Monday).
Saturday: The Decatur 4 miler! The Atlanta Track Club offers several no frills races during the year (chip timed, no t-shirt, bagels and Gatorade at the end). The races are free to members ($10 for non-members) and a great way to check in on fitness, get together with friends, and race! I met up with several friends and got in a nice hilly run through my usual terrain. For added fun, I ran home 3 miles to shake it out (the Jayhawk had dropped me off at the start, see car troubles above). The miles helped me get out all the excess energy before car shopping the rest of the day.
Planned: Easy 4  Actual: 7 miles (4@8:32/mile; 3@ 9:22/mile)
Post-race with Frank from Run50plus. (his photo)
I have no idea how he doesn't look sweaty and I look like I've been swimming. It was humid.
Sunday: The illusive triple workout day. Started the morning with a family walk with Jayhawk and the Monster. The Jayhawk is progressing nicely with his PT and he was encouraged to walk (he has been cycling heavily) more to prep his ankle for running. After I dropped those two off, I headed out for 4 easy miles to shake out the legs. To top it off, I went to a Pink Barre class my friend Amanda was hosting as a fundraiser for the NYC Marathon. I had never gone to a barre class before and I really enjoyed this class. It was specifically focused for runners and the instructor would point out how different movements and exercises would strengthen different aspects of the running stride (ex: pushing-off). I was surprised how tough the class was in a good way. It really emphasized to me some weaknesses and led to some tired muscles for the rest of the day. It was a great no-impact strength and cross training workout and I plan on trying it out again!
Planned: Easy 5  Actual: 4.15 miles (9:16/mile); 1.8 mile walk; Pink Barre for Runners
One member is a barefoot runner.
How was your week? Do you ever feel like whole weeks the world is off?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Silver Comet Half Training Week #2

Monday: Peachtree Road Race! We took a totally different approach to the race this year due to the Jayhawk's ankle woes, and it was one of the more amusing trips down Peachtree I've had. Full recap of PTRR #7 to come!
Planned: Rest  Actual: 6.2 miles plus a bonus 2 mile walk to the car

Tuesday: My ankles felt a little sore from Sunday's Rage down Peachtree. Given that the course is open to traffic (i.e. we run on the sidewalks), there were several moments of bombing across intersections in order to make the light in time (obviously with runner safety always in mind). No injuries to report, but a day of rest and some runs with even footing will fix it right up.
Planned: Easy 2  Actual: 3.1 miles (9:15/mile)
Gratuitous Monster celebrating the 4th photo.

Wednesday: Uh, as seen in our yard while grilling out. First we had the hawk incident a few weeks ago, and now we have copulating flies. It's the wild animal kingdom out in our yard.
Planned: Rest  Actual: Rest

Thursday: Kept it on the treadmill because I still felt a little tweaky in the ankles.
Planned: Easy 3   Actual: 3.1 miles (9:15/mile)
Friday: I ran after work in the heat. I know, I know. But trust me, I took slow, carried water and was more than willing to let myself catch a quick break in the shade if needed. It had been a long week, both in life and with everything that is happening in our country, and really wanted to get in a run. It's my thinking time and some of the only minutes I get to myself.
Planned: Easy 3  Actual: 3.65 miles (9:35/mile)

Saturday: Pretty much the same route as Friday, but with a heat index about 15 degrees lower. It's amazing how much more manageable that makes it. Treated myself to a couple hours of yard work afterwards.
Planned: Easy 3  Actual: 3.75 miles (9:13/mile)
Sunday: It was a little overcast and it made the heat so much less oppressive. The humidity was still high leading to heavy sweating, but it felt a lot more comfortable than the previous two days. Starting to get back in the swing of things and incorporate more hills.
Planned: Easy 4  Actual: 5 miles (9:11/mile)

How was your week? Did you do anything special for the 4th of July?
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