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?


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?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I didn't run today

I was exhausted from the minute my alarm went off this morning. And I'm not talking the normal level of tired that I feel when my alarm goes off, this was a crazy, extreme level of tired.

I even tried to nap this afternoon (it didn't work), which I never do unless I'm sick.

The thing is, I'm not sick, but I have been bad about going to bed at a reasonable hour. And, oh yeah, I'm training for a marathon, so maybe I should be better about getting a decent amount of sleep.

It feels really weird to take an unplanned rest day when I'm not injured, but I decided it was better to miss a 5 mile easy run than to risk missing a more important run later in the week. Wasn't that responsible of me?

So now I'm off to eat some Chinese food and get myself to bed early.

I'll just leave this here.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Marathon Training Week 8

Monday: Cross Training. I almost didn't do anything because I taught extra classes on Monday (I'm teaching preschool gymnastics classes) and I was really tired, but I convinced myself to do a quick 30 minutes of yoga. I have actually noticed a bit more flexibility since I started consistently doing yoga. Go figure.

Tuesday: 4 miles. I turned my watch display to distance, and ran by feel. It was a good run overall. 4.05 miles @ 9:17 pace.

Wednesday: 8 miles. This run was a lesson/reminder that food is fuel and if you try to run 8 miles without eating enough throughout the day, it won't go well. While my pace ended up being decent, I just felt like I was dragging the entire run. 8.11 miles @ 9:16 pace.

Thursday: 4 miles. Tom decided to run 5k, so we ran the first mile and a half together. There's something about having that second pair of shoes hitting the pavement that makes a run feel easier. I was feeling good and pushed the pace a bit on the way home (we both ran out and back). 4 miles @ 8:52 pace.

Friday: Rest day. Indeed. We went to a bar near our house to watch some preseason football. I had more beer than I should have and stayed up way later than I should have.

Saturday: 8 miles. I was thisclose to not running at all, but I got my new hydration pack and wanted to try it out before my 17 miler on Sunday. It was not a good run, but I felt better when I got home, and I was glad that I made myself get out the door. 4 miles @ 9:43 pace.

Sunday: 17 miles. I was up at 5 and out the door a little after 6. I was super impressed with myself. I'm not so good at getting out the door early in the morning. My new hydration pack worked out nicely, I like it a lot better than the waist belt - less bouncing! I somehow managed to run an even hillier course than last weekend, 1762 feet of elevation according to my watch. I'm hoping all these hills give me super powers. 17 miles @ 10:51 pace.

Miles this week: 37.16

Sunday, August 16, 2015

17 Miles and A New Hydration Pack

Did you know that there is nothing on tv at 5 am? It's all infomercials. I was up early this morning to get my long run in before it got too hot out and had very limited tv options.

I started watching The Walking Dead until I realized that watching zombies before I went for a run outside in the mostly dark was probably not the best life choice. I found some I Love Lucy episodes to watch while I drank my coffee instead. It was super dark out, and I didn't want to start out in the total darkness. I had to look up when sunrise was going to be, and the sky had lightened up a bit by the time I was out the door.

I know I say this after every long run, but 17 miles is far you guys! I took my new hydration pack (it's a TETON Sports Trailrunner 2.0) for a spin, and I like it way better than my fuel belt that I have been running with. It's easier to take sips of water, and I don't feel the weight of the water as much as I do with the belt. The best part is that it was less than $24 from Amazon (depending on color choice).

I've given up on worrying about the pace of my long runs. I can't seem to find anywhere near the house that isn't insanely hilly. This week was even worse than last week - over 1700 feet of elevation. I can't help but walk on some of the steeper sections - it's usually faster to walk than to try to run up them, and walking is not good for my long run morale. I like to be able to keep my legs moving.

Every once in a while I get caught up in all the blogs and social media and start to feel like it's no big thing to wake up at 5am to run 17 miles. Doesn't everyone do that, and don't they do it faster than me?

No, they don't. And even if I'm not the fastest (I'm not), it's still a really cool and very hard thing I'm doing, no matter how run of the mill social media makes it seem.

I ran 17 miles today, and that's the most I've ever run at one time - how cool is that? :)

This post contains affiliate links

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sriracha on Everything!

I don't have anything terribly exciting for you today, so instead you're getting a bit of a photo dump. We have major house projects in the works - there are architects and kitchen layout people involved. Right now though, it's a lot of waiting. Things will get extra crazy around here soon.

Buddy is still working on being outside by himself. Sometimes he's ok with it, and sometimes he acts like we're torturing him. He's still terrible at fetch.

My computer sucks. It spent about an hour and a half like this yesterday.

One day soon it will be replaced. You hear that computer? Replaced!

Buddy is still cute. And he still sleeps in strange ways.

This new sriracha seasoning is delicious. We have been putting it on just about everything lately. A little goes a long way, but it's really good.

I had some more of what I refer to as "energy pop rocks" from my RunnerBox. I have zero idea if it did anything because I definitely didn't eat enough this afternoon and I was dragging on my run. Mostly I think they're fun. And they make me want pop rocks.

This is how I keep my shoes right now - I only have a few running shoes...and ok, that's not even all of them. But some of them are trail shoes, and some are road shoes, and some I race in...

We're still not really unpacking since we're going to start work on the house soon. No point in unpacking just to box things up again to get them out of the construction zone.

In other exciting news: Tiny (one of my very best friends) is coming to visit in 3 weeks!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Marathon Training Week 7

These weeks keep flying by! Apparently there are less than 9 weeks until Steamtown - I've got a lot of running to do between now and then!

I messed with my plan a bit this week, since I missed last week's long run. This week was supposed to be a cut back week, but I clearly didn't need one.

Monday: Cross training. I did yoga again this week! I've really been liking my new yoga app, and it's getting me to do some extra stretching. I especially like that there are time options ranging from 5 minutes to 60 minutes. Handy little app.

Tuesday: 4 miles. This run was my breaking point with the heat. I just felt awful and realized how dumb it was for me to run in the heat when I didn't have to. In happier news, I actually did 15 minutes of yoga when I got home to stretch out. 4.01 miles @ 9:29 pace

Wednesday: 6 miles. I waited until it cooled off a bit before I went out for this run. I was feeling good, and pushed the pace a little bit. It felt good to go faster! Hit up some yoga when I got home again. I know stretching is good for me, I'm just really bad about it. 6.01 miles @ 8:44 pace

Thursday: 4 miles. Set my watch to distance and ran by feel for this run. I felt good! I was also pleasantly surprised by my pace when I got home. 4.01 miles @ 8:55 pace

Friday: Rest day. I honestly can't even remember what I did on Friday, but I know I didn't run. Gold star for my short term memory!

Saturday: Rest day. Nope. I added this run since I didn't need a cut back week. I waited until too late in the morning and I really should have just waited until evening, but I didn't. It was hot by the time I got home, and I wasn't happy. 6.01 miles @ 9:26 pace

Sunday: 13 miles. I decided to run last week's 15 miles instead of 13. I was up bright and early and actually managed to get myself out the door by 7:20, which is impressive for me. Mornings and I are still not friends. I ran in an area that I have only driven before, and I never realized how hilly it was. Seriously, look at the elevation:

I'm not crazy about the pace, but given the hills I'm ok with it.

I just sat down in the front yard when I got home. It seemed as good a place as any.

I'm definitely feeling the hills this evening, but at least I feel like I'm back on track with my training plan. I may pick a different route for my long run next weekend. 15.02 miles @ 11:03 pace

Miles this week: 35.06

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Killed It.

Check it out: I did yoga again today, and I waited to run until it was a reasonable temperature out. 

I absolutely killed my run today! 

Go figure. 

I didn't look at my pace at all, though I did check the time every few miles. I was pushing myself a bit because I was feeling good (for the first time in a few weeks), and I was pleasantly surprised by my 8:44 average pace. Check out my splits! 

1. 9:42
2. 8:54
3. 8:57
4. 8:46
5. 8:18
6. 7:45

I was pretty happy when I got home.

Buddy helped me stretch.

And then he took over my yoga mat. I'm not sure what pose he was going for, but I think his form could use a little work.

Since I pushed a little harder than I probably should have on my run, I spent some quality time with my new socks. Hopefully they will keep my legs from hating me tomorrow.

Fingers crossed!
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