Sunday, August 30, 2015

Marathon Training Week 10

I'm a pretty big fan of cutback weeks. I hit my mileage this week, and had a couple of good runs.

Even though my pace hasn't been where I want it to be (I'm still blaming summer weather and the hills around here), some of the hills that I run all the time haven't felt as steep lately. I'm not saying that the hills aren't tough, but I feel like I'm finally feeling stronger.


Monday: Cross training. My lazy yoga game is still going strong. One hour of yoga, followed by some headstand practice where I didn't fall right and tweaked my neck. It was better after a few days, but it definitely put a damper on some of my runs.

Tuesday: 5 miles. My neck was sore from my yoga wipe out and my legs were sore from my long run. I mostly just wanted to stop the entire time. 5 miles @ 10:04

Wednesday: 5 miles. I felt way better for this run. My neck and legs felt a lot better, and it was a little cooler out. I'm so ready for fall to get here. 5.06 miles @ 9:21

Thursday: 5 miles. Remember when I was insanely tired last week? I made it until later in the week this time, but it caught up to me again. I may have actually napped for a little while this time. Tom insists that I was asleep at one point, but I didn't feel like I did.


Friday: Rest day. I decided to get Thursday's run in on Friday. It didn't feel amazing, but it was faster than earlier in the week. There was a noticeable difference as the soreness from my long run subsided. 5.03 miles @ 9:10

Saturday: 8 mile pace run. This run made me a little nervous. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to hit a goal pace (9:00) since I haven't been very speedy lately. It ended up being a really good run, and a nice boost of confidence. 8 miles @ 8:52


Sunday: 13 miles. You know you're marathon training when you say, "I only have 13 miles today." Only. I guess it's all relative! This run definitely felt short compared to last weekend's 18 miles, It was a pretty uneventful run overall, though I could have done without the humidity. 13 miles @ 10:18


Miles this week: 36.09

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sometimes, Running Means Being Uncomfortable

My Fitbit and I are taking some time apart. Ok, so the battery died the last time we were at the lake house, and I didn't have my charger with me. And then I just never bothered to charge it when we got home.

Let's be honest, I'm marathon training, I really don't need to worry about if I'm getting enough activity during the day.

I got a new RunnerBox (I subscribe on my own) the other day - it was so jam-packed that it didn't all fit in the box!


They always have a good quote inside.


And holy cow  - check out all these goodies!


I haven't broken into anything yet, though I did give the little massager (is it just me or does it look like a sheriff's star?) a test run.

Buddy was in charge of cleaning out a peanut butter jar for me.


I think it's safe to say he enjoyed himself!


His tongue doesn't quite reach all the way to the bottom, despite his best efforts.


Tom built a fire pit on Friday.


Naturally we had to try it out.


I've had a few easy 5 milers this week that have gotten progressively faster as my body has recovered from last weekend's long run. Today's run was supposed to be an 8 mile goal pace run. I was actually a little nervous about this run because my pace has not been where I want it to be lately.

I was in the middle of putting this run off until this evening when I decided to just get it done. This was after I had 3 cups of coffee and 2 english muffins. I downed a GU right before I headed out the door just for good measure. Apparently, stuffing myself was the way to go, because my run went surprisingly well.

The mantra for the run was "get comfortable with being uncomfortable." The marathon isn't going to be easy, but that's part of the challenge of running it!

I wanted to hit around a 9:00 pace for my 8 miles, and I ended up running an 8:52 average! I really needed a great run like this for a confidence boost, and I was really excited when I got home.


I have a "short" 13 miles on the plan for tomorrow - I'm kind of a big fan of this cutback week.

How has your running been lately? Are you training for anything?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Who Needs an Oven?

Our neighbor gave us an enormous zucchini squash yesterday.


I shredded the entire thing (by hand) and it took forever. Part of it became really delicious zucchini fritters/pancakes that we ate with dinner last night, and the rest was destined to become zucchini bread.


Now, right now you may be thinking, "But don't you not have an oven?" You would be right. We don't have an oven right now, but we are creative. Tom wrapped a couple of bricks with foil, and put a cookie sheet on top of them on the grill. After the "oven" was preheated, we put the loaf pans on top of the cookie sheet and kept an eye on the temperature.

And you know what? It totally worked!


There's something about Tuesdays that make me really not want to go out and run. Mondays I have off from running and then when Tuesday rolls around and I'm still a little sore from my long run, and I could very easily just not run. I can always run tomorrow, right?

I did manage to drag myself out the door around 5:30 (pm, for sure!) for 5 miles. I am definitely not fully recovered from the hills of my long run, and it was still pretty hot out, so I was slower than I wanted to be. I'm still considering it a win since I didn't want to run at all and wanted to quit early, but I didn't.

Do you have any creative cooking stories?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Marathon Training Week 9

Sometimes it's nice to remember that training plans aren't set in stone, and that it isn't the end of the world to miss a workout. Sometimes it's even a good idea to take an extra rest day.

I'm not thrilled with my paces from this week, but I keep reminding myself that I'm running further than I ever have before. It isn't really likely that I can increase both speed and distance at the same time.

Everything I have read says that you shouldn't have a time goal for a first marathon, that your only goal should be to enjoy it and finish strong. Of course, that is my A goal, but you know I can't help but think about what time I would like to finish by.

So, how did this week go? It started off a little sore, but ended strong. Check it out (the bold is what my training plan called for):

Monday: Cross Training. I was really sore (especially my quads) and tired from my long run on Sunday. An hour of yoga helped stretch things out and kept me from laying on the couch and letting everything seize up.


Tuesday: 5 miles. Tuesday was a day of complete physical exhaustion. I didn't get to bed at a reasonable time on Monday, and I was still trying to play catch up from the early wake up call and long run on Sunday. I attempted to nap and went to bed early.

Wednesday: 8 miles. The extra rest day and my new shoes helped me feel good and I may have pushed it a little harder than I should have. I ran by feel, but definitely stressed out my quads on the hills. 8.04 miles @ 9:21 pace.


Thursday: 5 miles. I made myself go slow for this run. Hurting my quads even more didn't seem like the best plan. Felt pretty good (if slow) and did 20 minutes of yoga when I got home. 5.04 miles @ 10:04 pace.

Friday: Rest day. I debated making up Tuesday's skipped miles, but decided I was better off going into the weekend well rested. A little yoga probably wouldn't have hurt, but I didn't even do that.

Saturday: 8 miles. This run just felt slow. The pace wasn't terrible, but no matter how hard I pushed, the pace just wouldn't improve. The knowledge that I had 18 miles on the plan for Sunday stopped me from doing anything stupid, so I just trudged my way along. A quick 10 minutes of yoga when I got home and some headstand practice went a lot better than my run. 8.03 miles @ 9:49 pace.

Sunday: 18 miles. I was up at 5am and out the door a little after 6 with my hydration pack stuffed with gels, my sunglasses, my iPod and my phone. I felt strong for this whole run (except for mile 17 for some reason). While I won't be shouting my pace from the rooftops (just on the internet), I've never run 18 miles before, so that's impressive on its own! 18 miles @ 10:52 pace.

Miles this week: 39.11


Next week is a cutback week, so I'm looking forward to having a little more time to recover and get ready for my first 20 miler, which is coming up in a couple weeks.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Running Math and Headstands

Long run days are all about me whining. 5am is early! 18 miles is far! I'm so hungry!

I was up dark and early for my 18 miler today. The morning started off as most mornings do: with coffee and an english muffin. It was actually a little cooler out, but check out that humidity!
.

I felt good for most of this run, and I was pretty sure that it was flatter than the areas I have been running lately. As an added bonus, I ran near a park/campground and had bathroom access. It's the little things. 

I took a couple of Huma gels (mangoes and strawberries) and a GU (strawberry kiwi - not my favorite) with me in my hydration pack, and I really liked the Huma gels - they weren't that sickly sweet that some gels have. I don't usually take fuel all at once, I take small amounts over the course of a mile or so.

Due to running math (which is almost always wrong), I had to run past the house to hit my mileage. Then I didn't turn back when I should have, so I walked a half a mile after I made it to 18 miles.

I did my usual collapse on the floor/ground when I got home.


And I learned that the area I ran was decidedly not flat.



I sat out in the yard with Buddy for a bit while I cooled down.


This wasn't today, but I've been paying upside down a lot lately. I'm trying to get a bit of a backbend going, but it's harder than all those yogis on instagram make it look! ;)


Is it hilly or flat where you live?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I'm Cut Off and Exciting News

I'm declaring myself cut off from buying any more running stuff for a while. I went a little crazy when I started making money again, and I had no summer running gear. I'm officially well stocked with all manner of gear/clothes/shoes, and now I need to knock it off.

I went to the closest running store the other day (which, fortunately for my bank account is 40 minutes away) to pick up some new fuel options to try out for my long runs, and accidentally-on-purpose tried on some shoes.

Long story short - I bought new shoes.


They are Saucony Zealot ISOs - my first Saucony shoe. They're SO comfortable! The upper just hugs your foot and pretty much feels like you're wearing slippers. The guy at the store said they are very similar to PureFlows, but they are a little sturdier and will withstand a lot more mileage (PureFlows are only expected to last 250-300 miles).

I took them on my 8 miles on Wednesday and for another 5 on Thursday, and I am really liking them so far! They are a nice balance of cushion and support, and man are they comfortable!

I also picked up a bunch of new fuel to try out. I have definitely not been taking in enough calories during my long runs. 


In other exciting news, I found out I was accepted as a FitFluential Ambassador today! 


FitFluential is a super inspiring community of people who are passionate about fitness, food, health and wellness. The community includes everyone from experts to weekend warriors. There are so many people I "know" on social media and blogs who are FitFluential ambassadors and I can't wait to work with FitFluential and hopefully do some inspiring of my own. :)

What's your go-to fuel for long runs/race?

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This post contains affiliate links

Friday, August 21, 2015

Bulu Box Review and Discount Code

Disclaimer: I received a free box from Bulu Box to review as part of my relationship with FitApproach and SweatPink. All opinions are my own. 

You guys know how much I love trying out new products, so I was excited to get a chance to try out Bulu Box this month!


Bulu Box is a monthly subscription box with a focus on health and nutrition. You can choose between an original box or a weight loss box. Each box comes with 4-5 samples so you can try new products without having to risk wasting money on full-sized products that you end up not liking.

If you decide you like something from your box, you can head on over to the Bulu Box website to order full sized products. You can also review products from your box to earn reward points to use toward your purchase of full-sized products!

My box came with a nice mix of things, from gummy vitamins and running fuel, to instant coffee and an omega 3 supplement.


I like that they include a list of what comes in your box, and even include the price of the full-sized product as well.


It is a smaller box than some other subscription boxes out there, but it's also priced accordingly. Bulu Box is only $10 a month!

If you want to try Bulu Box out for yourself, you can use the code SWEATPINK for 50% off a 3-month subscription

Have you tried Bulu Box? What subscription boxes have you tried?

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