Half Marathon Training Week 10

This Way, Ya'll

Because, Why Not?
Things You See on Runs…

We are officially in the double digits. Part of me wants to say “we JUST hit week 10?” and part of me wants to say “Shit, we only have six weeks left!!!!!”

But really, there are only six weeks left until the half marathon!

Anyways.

I took this past week off running all together. My knee had been acting up and my legs were tired, I needed a break. In the end I skipped 2 runs which I’m telling myself will not make the difference between me finishing the half marathon or not. One was a 45 minute run and one was intervals.

Yesterday I headed back out and felt AWESOME! Well, until about an hour and thirty minutes in. Sure enough the knee pain came back.

Let’s back track a little bit.

After last Sunday’s run I was frustrated, tired, in tears & straight up having a meltdown because I’m female and well we do that sometimes. Monday & Tuesday I had bad days, I ate like crap & convinced myself I was done running. Yes I know I’m dramatic.

In all honesty, I had some stuff going on mentally that was not just running but having the knee hurting ONLY when I run was really throwing me off. Tuesday night I let it out on Facebook and those of you amazing people who responded made my night/Wednesday morning.

Wednesday my pity party was over and I dragged my butt out of bed at 5am for some Hip Hop Abs with Shaun T! I managed to do that again on Thursday and it felt awesome. It really did change how my day went. To be honest I probably won’t do it every day but I think it’s going to be built more into my routine. Not only was I up and ready to go, but I was with a lot of energy too! Friday I had a dentist appointment but rounded out the night Friday night with some Hip Hop. I’m really getting into it!

Saturday Long Run Day

Saturday Long Run Day

Now… about that run. I decided to order an IT Band Strap off of Amazon. That seemed to be where my pain was and I decided to see if it would make a difference after a week of resting.Saturday turned into a beautiful fall day which meant I didn’t need to plan to get up early for a run. 1pm rolled around and I was ready to go!

54 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze. I really would like to order up this weather for the half marathon. It was PERFECT.

The IT strap felt pretty good once I got it settled in and somewhere around an hour and thirty minutes in my run it seemed to adjust place a little bit and I stepped a little funny. At this exact point I was in a street close to the grass so I’m not sure if it was the unleveled street or what but all of the sudden the knee pain was back with full force.

I decided to keep pushing and as I got back up on the sidewalk it seemed to go away. It did slow me down a little bit and my last twenty minutes were a little slower. I did finish them though!

I’ll admit I stopped a few times. Once because that signed deserved a picture and the second time when my knee hurt. I stopped for about a minute and stretched a bit.

Overall I’m just going to see what happens and keep pushing. My knee is not getting worse and it doesn’t hurt unless I’m running. The strap seems to help so we’ll see how the next week goes.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen on a run?

#SundayRunday… My Knee Hurts Edition

Sunday Runday

Sunday Runday

Another Sunday run in the books! Since yesterday was race day, today’s run was “60 minute easy paced run”.

If you notice the picture, I made it 45 minutes.

I think I’m going to take a few forced rest days this week. My knee has been acting up on and off for the last week only when I am running. During the race yesterday I felt it a bit but was able to keep pushing through. I think adrenaline helped a lot more than I realized.

While my knee was going in and out of pain I decided it was better to stop a little early vs. keep pushing and let the pain get worse. Honestly as the night has gone on this is the first time my knee actually bugged me after my run.

Needless to say it still felt great to get out and stretch out a little bit after yesterday’s race. Time to look forward to week 8!

Waffles

Waffles

Oh and I had waffles for breakfast. Because it’s a weekend!

Have you ever had knee pain?

Popcorn Panic 2014

My Guy Orville Redenbacher

My Guy Orville Redenbacher

If you remember some old school tv commercials where the Orville Redenbacher is actually in his popcorn commercials he tells you that he is from Valparaiso, Indiana. I lived in Valpo for 6ish years and hands down one of my favorite weekends of the year is when the entire downtown shuts down for a day dedicated to Orville. The Popcorn Festival.

Every single year I do the walk with a friend. You have the option of a 5k walk or a 5 mile run. Every single year I say “some day I’ll stop being lazy and train to run this.”

I finally did it!

We truly could not have had better weather today. For the last few weeks our humidity has ranged from 90%-98% & Thursday we had our official “hottest day of the year” coming in at just over 90 degrees.

I really didn’t pay attention to the course map. I learned log ago that there are times where I’d rather just not know what’s ahead. In this case it was probably good because going into it I didn’t realize the first 2.5 miles are up hill. In turn that meant the second 2.5 miles were down hill (until the last quarter mile which somehow was back up hill).

Unofficial Race Time

Unofficial Race Time

My official time wound up being 42:21. One of the current trends around here is that everyone goes with the gun time. I started my watch immediately after crossing the start line and stopped it immediately after the finish. As I passed each mile marker I was almost exactly a minute behind the numbers they were calling out.

To be honest I didn’t know they went off of gun time for official time until I saw the results. I was a little bummed because a large group of walkers were towards the front and they had a very narrow start line.

If this is the case for future years I really think they need to go back to the “starting walkers 5 minutes later” situation they used to do. There was a lot of walkers who started way in front of the runners and there was no room to move forward until we got through the start line. In years past I’ve been a walker so I never really paid attention to my final time!

Somewhere around mile 3 my knee started acting up again. I told myself to keep pushing through it and by the end of the race I didn’t have any pain. Part of me is wondering if it is all related to hills. That seems to be when it starts to act up!

In the end I got 14th/55 in my age group. I was really happy with it! It is a fairly large race so while it felt good to finish it, it also felt good to completely crush my goal of 45 minutes. My average pace wound up being 8:16 a mile, WAY better than the 8:30 a mile I had set as a goal!

Post Race Hoopla

Post Race Hoopla

There was a lot to do after the race so I hung around and stretched for a bit (and stocked up on Cliff bars!). Awards were still another 45 minutes away so I decided to head out and figure out which streets were still open!

Did you race today?

Urban Xover C/D Sports Bra Review

Urban Xover C/D Sports Bra

Urban Xover C/D Sports Bra (Photo From Athleta)

I have been on the hunt for a good sports bra lately. Most of mine are cheap ones off the clearance rack and well not supportive. I don’t have a “ton to support” but at the same time I wanted to make sure that I was on track for not dealing with issues when our half marathon comes around.

Run, Eat, Repeat had an awesome blog recently on how to avoid sports bra chafing during a race. After reading her advice (and that of others) I decided to jump on the expensive sports bra bandwagon. I had some credit to use at the Athleta site (which I’m highly addicted to as you can see in my capri pants review) and figured now was the best time to start figuring out what I liked.

I decided to order the Urban Xover C/D Sports Bra from Moving Comfort.

My order from Athleta actually was delayed a little bit. While I had originally ordered back at the start of August they were out of stock. I had the option to cancel but I was in no hurry so I waited (patiently) for my sports bra to come.

I tested this out the other night and can I just say I got support where I didn’t even realize I NEEDED support! This sports bra was awesome! As I mentioned there’s not much to support but had no problems with the bra once it was on. Getting it on was a challenge but once I figured it out, I think we’re good.

One of the things I loved most about it was how it actually absorbed the sweat as well.I’m used to my sports bras easily being different colors by the time I finish a workout due to sweat. This one held up pretty well and had no problems.

When it comes to headphones, I am a runner who threads her headphones up through my sports bra. Usually they fit okay on the cheap sports bras that don’t sit tight to your skin. I was a little worried that this being as close & fitting as it was that I would have problems. There was no issues with my headphones rubbing in any way. Everything stayed in place.

I feel like it will be a great sports for the half & I will definitely keep it in my rotation. I may even order a second if I come across it. For now that just means laundry a few times a week.

Ladies, if you are questioning whether you should invest in a good sports bra, I would highly recommend this one or one like it. The price point of $46.00 (at the time of purchase) really almost scared me away. I’m used to paying between $5 and $10 for a sports bra. The comfort & support this bra gave me was well worth the money.

Bad Run, Good Run

Bad Run :(

Bad Run :(

I feel like this week has turned into a “bad cop, good cop” kind of week. The way my schedule works out for the week my two days to run this week were Tuesday & Wednesday (plus a race & another run this weekend). Last night’s run was so rough I couldn’t even convince myself to sit down and write about it.

Back track.

The run for Tuesday was 45 minutes steady pace. I decided to make my “steady pace” somewhere around 8:40/8:45 a mile. I did my new warmup routine, started out great. About 38 minutes in I started feeling a sharp pain in my knee. I thought it might be a “push through it” muscle pain so I went two more minutes. I was close to home & almost done I just wanted to finish.

My knee had other plans. It felt perfectly fine walking but was not having it running. I wound up pausing my watch and walking the last 5 minutes. I came home, stretched out and iced. In the end I was just frustrated. With a race this weekend I realllllly do not want to be dealing with knee pain!

Good Run!

Good Run!

Waking up today there was no swelling, no pain & I figured I’d see how the day plays out. I knew my second run was 4 minute/90 second intervals and I really didn’t want to miss out on my second run this week. Everything still felt good tonight so I decided to give it a shot and take it easy on the intervals. My goal pace during intervals was around 8:30 and 9:00 for the 90 second recovery.

Apparently my knee just wanted the break yesterday because everything felt great today!

It was hands down one of the best and most relaxing runs I’ve had in awhile and a great way to setup for a 5 mile race this weekend.

How was your run today?

#SundayRunday, Labor Day, Hip Hop & Travel All in One!

#sundayrunday

Sunday Runday!

So I’m a day late on this Sunday Runday post but I spent the weekend out of town visiting family & was a little too busy to keep up with the blog for the weekend.

Sunday morning I hit up my old stomping grounds from high school cross country for my long morning run. For some reason all of the old routes I used to run felt like they should be a lot longer! I had a route mapped out in my head that I thought would get me a good 6-7 miles… It turns out it was about 3. Oops! I got a little creative and tried to beat the humidity by heading out early. The humidity got me (crazy hair, don’t care?) but I still had a pretty decent run. My original goal was to run for an hour and 45 minutes. As I neared the end of my route it was either run two hills or stop about 5 minutes early. I decided that I would slow it down there as my legs were feeling the end. I probably should’ve kept going but I felt really good with how it ended. I stayed right at a 9 minute pace (more like went out around 8:30 and was doing about 9:30 by the end) but felt really awesome to hit my longest run yet!

Everybody's Zooing It

Post Run Treat

If you have never visited Northwest Ohio or the Toledo Zoo I highly recommend fitting that into your next road trip across the midwest. Let’s be honest… the midwest doesn’t have a lot to see but the Toledo Zoo is hands down one of the best in the country. It’s not just me who thinks that, they recently were really voted the best in the country! Everybody’s zooing it!

We had some family time and spent the day at the zoo. If you ever get a chance to enjoy lunch in the animal cages (trust me, it’s clean) I highly recommend the caramel cookie ice cream bar. That thing was AMAZING! I only ate half but it was still pretty damn good!

Flatbread Anyone?

Flat bread anyone?

As if I didn’t eat enough at the zoo, we were also celebrating my mom’s birthday. Dinner was a treat and somewhere along the lines my 11 mile run made me a little hungry. I decided a flat bread with sweet peppers & onions sounded like a good idea. I can honestly say I didn’t expect it to be THAT big!

It was ALMOST as good as the ice cream bar.

In case you’re wondering I went well over my calories for the day… even with an 11 mile run.

For cross training last week I enjoyed a few rounds of Hip Hop Abs. I’m getting a lot more coordinated and Shaun T stopped laughing at me. Okay he wasn’t REALLY laughing at me but I figured he probably was if he saw me trying to keep up.

Time for a new week! 5 mile race this weekend!

How was your Labor Day weekend?

Bad Day = Good Run?

Runny Selfie.... Because I haven't in awhile.

Runny Selfie…. Because I haven’t in awhile.

I’ve established in the past that on the days where I have pretty bad days, they tend to make the best runs. Tonight was hands down no exception. It’s been a bad day. Okay it’s been a bad week. Last night I was out a little too late at a function & well I was pretty tired.

After today I knew I needed my run and was so glad that it was 25 minutes easy paced. A lot of times with the “Easy paced” runs I let my legs decide what is easy. For shorter runs an average pace for me is 8:40ish/mile & for longer runs its between 8:50 and 9:00/mile.

My legs felt the tension of my week and decided it was a good night for a fast paced 3 miles. It felt so amazing.

How was your day?

Oh Intervals… & Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt!

Intervals

Intervals

After a rough run on Sunday I did a lot of research and massive thanks to all of you who chimed in on Facebook with stretching ideas.

I focused more on the dynamic stretching before tonight’s run and I felt like it made a HUGE difference. My legs were still a little tight from the other day but I felt a lot better after stretching tonight. First time in two days I feel like I can move them. I also had been having a few pains in my Achilles and by not doing the regular stretches before running tonight I didn’t have any pain. You all saved me!

Anyways. Tonight’s run was intervals: 10 minute warmup, 4x 2 minutes fast & 1 minute jog. I was hoping by later evening I would beat the humidity. When I got back from my run it was still at 92%. I feel like there is no “beating the humidity” these days.

I’ve decided that all of these runs in the humid weather are going to really strengthen my lungs!

YASSO Goodies!

YASSO Goodies!

My other exciting moment of the day was the package that arrived! About a month ago I was one of the winners for a package from Yasso on the Run, Eat, Repeat blog. My awesome package came today and I’m excited about it! Not only does it involve frozen greek yogurt (um hi, I like any kind of ice cream) but there was also a new water bottle & lunch bag inside. I’m set!

What was the most exciting part of your day?

Half Marathon Training Week 7

Invervals & Ice Buckets

Invervals & Ice Buckets

Normally I post every run and comment on overall cross training by the end of the week. To be honest this week was my first ‘off’ week in training. With a crazy schedule this week I knew my only run options for the week were Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday.

Tuesday I did my interval run instead of the 45 minute run. This week we are fighting some insane humidity in the Midwest. We have been at least at 90% humidity since Sunday & it has made the running (or desire to) a little rough!

From the very start of my interval run, something felt off. I kept my intervals more around an 8:00 pace instead of the 7:45 I was doing last week. I blamed it on the humidity but as well get to later it really was not that at all.

I was challenged by a good friend for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Needless to say I very much enjoyed it in the heat/humidity we had that day!

After a walk to dry off with my little man, something truly felt off. By about 10pm I was not feeling good at all and it turned out I had a stomach bug. That threw the rest of my week off & explained why I was struggling so bad through intervals!

I wound up skipping my 45 minute run. This is the first run that I have skipped throughout the last 7 weeks. I was frustrated but with scheduling & rain storms there was no possible way I was going to get it. I finally had to convince myself that at the end of the day I will not turn around and say “I couldn’t do a half at my best because I skipped one 45 minute run.”

Stylin

Stylin

For cross training this week I have been heavily enjoying Hip Hop Abs. I am getting up there with the coordination and really feeling like it’s been a good workout. I’ve tried a few different ones so I’ve started to settle into which ones I like and which ones I’m not as much of a fan of.

I won’t lie, it is making me want to try Insanity for a workout this winter…. yikes!

Friday night I was completely styling with my awesome new Zensah Compression Socks. They are so incredibly comfy and I don’t care that I’m rocking out in a whole lot of mismatched clothes with them!

Sunday Runday

Sunday Runday

The last run this week was our long run. This is where things get crazy. I decided to do a mix of last weeks run and this weeks run. Instead of doing the 1:55 run (somewhere around 12-13 miles) I decided it was better to take another week around 10 miles so I could not be too far into my distance this far out from the half. I believe my training plan is build around a 10:30-11:00 mile and at the time we chose it did not think that I would even be close to the 9 minute mile time that I am at. My goal today was to get around an hour and 40 minutes and hopefully 11 miles.

All weekend I have been staring at the weather channel and officially have been banned from having it on my phone. This morning I wokeup and it told me this:

93% Humidity @ 6am

93% Humidity @ 6am

I knew I needed to get moving when at 6am we were already up there in the humidity!

Here is where the struggle came in again. I’m fighting with my quads and hamstrings the last two weeks. They have not felt good at all partway into my long run and today they cramped up pretty bad. I stopped to stretch for a bit and tried to figure out why they would be causing this many problems.

I felt a little worse after stretching so decided to stop around an hour and 32 minutes. I still managed 10 miles but had a much slower pace today and was kind of frustrated with myself.

After an ice bath when I got home I reached out to a few running friends for help. Both of the ones I talked to suggested no stretching before the run & lots of rolling. After today I know my roller and I will be best friends this week. The stretching thing was news to me.

So I’m reaching out to my 3 (if I’m lucky?!) followers, do you stretch before you run or just after you run? Will my legs love me 1000 times more if I don’t stretch first?

Week 7 in the Books

Week 7 in the Books

Just Another #SundayRunday 10 Miler

#SundayRunday - 10 Mile Run

#SundayRunday

In the last 8 days I’ve run 31.44 miles. It amazes me that I’ve been able to push myself to do that. I know, I know some people run that in two days but for now I’m pretty happy with myself! I actually saw this quote posted today on Facebook & it is so true.

“What seems impossible today will one day become your warm-up.”

I finally got my butt up and moving on a weekend morning to get my long run in. I was glad I did because leaving at 7:20am it was still incredibly humid. It felt good though to get up and moving. I did make the mistake of going for a 2-3 mile walk last night in flip flops. My hamstrings kind of hated me.

I decided to try out a different type of route today. In my mind it was perfect & going to be just the right length. While it was just the right length, it definitely was not thought out very well. I managed to hit 7 hills (down and up counts as one) along the way. Needless to say my hamstrings kind of hate me right now.

On the upside, I dropped 10 seconds off my mile time from last week. This weeks fuel was back to the GU Gel. I did try a different flavor of it and instead of a second shot along the way I tried the GU Chomps Energy Chews. I really liked the taste of the chomps but I didn’t feel the energy burst. To be fair I did not eat the whole pack and I think instead of one at a time I’ll try two next week. They settled MUCH better in my stomach than the Jelly Belly Sports Beans.

Gu Chomps & GU Energy Gel

Gu Chomps & Gel

Week six is officially in the books! How was your run on this beautiful #SundayRunday?