53 Degrees in December…. What?!

5 Miler Sunday

5 Miler Sunday

Most days lately I’m layering up and trying to convince myself I’ll warm up when I get outside.

I had a nice surprise today, 53 degrees on December 14th…. IN THE MIDWEST!

If I could order up perfect running weather year round, this is what it would be. It felt so good to just get up and going. I stupidly thought I would need gloves and even threw on an extra layer for wind. Who was I kidding?

I Felt The Need for a Selfie

I Felt The Need for a Selfie

Way over dressed!

By the end my sleeves were rolled up and I had my gloves tucked away.

I even got to wear my favorite Old Navy Compression Capris today! I’ve missed running in capris. Jacket is from New Balance (Similar).

I’m fighting off a cold/cough but couldn’t resist running in this weather. I really had no plans other than to destress my mind so 5 miles is what happened. I was at 4.9 when I got to the end so I added an extra loop around the block to hit 5. Do you ever do that?

What is your ideal running weather?

 

Two Weeks Before Christmas – Workouts of The Week

T25

T25 Workout

Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through the house, lots of creatures were stirring….

Just kidding.

Kind of.

That’s about where my sanity is right now!

We have had a crazy few weeks and things are about to get a little more crazy. I might be a little MIA for a few days in actually logging workouts, but pretty soon life will settle down. I’m trying my hardest to continue them through these next few weeks!

This week I started T25 Beta.

I can honestly say I LOVE IT! I thought I would be so incredibly sore but I think Alpha did an amazing job preparing you for what was to come. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I do so far.

If anyone is considering the program, I highly recommend it. There were days in Alpha I highly questioned how I would make it, but it really prepared me for Beta and is a great start to my day.

Wednesday Lunch Run

Wednesday Lunch Run

Wednesday I went for a “lunch run”. I had planned on going Thursday as well but woke up fighting off a cold. With 30 degree weather I decided it probably wasn’t the best idea.

I forgot my gloves on Wednesday so I came back with very numb hands. It was 34 degrees outside but the “feels like” was only 24.

Anyone else ready for summer or warmer running weather back?

Cold Hands

Cold Hands

Another fun hobby I recently picked up is recreational volleyball. It’s safe to say I won’t be joining any Olympic teams anytime soon but it’s a lot of fun and a nice “mommy’s night out”.

Now it’s time to undo all of the hard work this week at our company Christmas party!

Just kidding. Kind of.

What did you do this week?

Good Day For A Long Run

Since the half marathon I haven’t been doing a ton of running. This week was my first week back to a regular schedule and I can’t wait to keep moving forward with it. Not gonna lie, I’ve missed them!

I Miss My Long Runs

I Miss My Long Runs

I decided to just go out and see how I felt and how far I could go. My knee has been feeling a lot better lately and I wanted to see if it was just because I haven’t been doing long runs or if it was actually getting stronger.

7 Miles On Saturday

7 Miles On Saturday

7.18 miles & no knee pain! It felt amazing. I felt great just running and seeing how fast my pace would hold up. For the most part I stayed around an 8:30 pace. It was a VERY windy day out. Despite being 40 degrees it felt very much like 27 at some points!

I will never understand how regardless of what direction I’m running, I’m running directly into the wind. There were a few breaks in the wind here and there but for the most part it was pretty windy.

One thing I missed most about longer runs was the chance to clear my head. We’ve had a lot of crazy going on lately and it was exactly the push I needed for things to clear up. Thanks running.

Do you enjoy long runs? What is the best part about a long run for you?

Jingle Jog

Jingle Jog Outfit

Jingle Jog Outfit

Tonight was officially my last “race” of 2014! So incredibly crazy. My friend and I participated at a Jingle Jog at our local university. It was not timed, no numbers but a fun run where you can choose to run 1, 2 or 3 miles. I decided to go for the full 3.1 so I could top off my 5k’s for the year!

The run started at 5pm, which here means it was already dark out. While we had fun antlers they didn’t really stay on for more than 10 seconds so we carried them instead.

I ran the first lap (mile) with my friend and then she told me to go on ahead of her. Even if it was fun and not timed I wanted to try and stay at a lower split for the last two miles and I was pretty happy with how it ended.

Splits

Splits

After the race they served hot chocolate, cookies & peppermints. My kind of finish line :)

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

All and all it was a fun run. I was sad that we signed up two days too late to get the t-shirts because they were cute long sleeved ones. Oh well, not like I NEEDED another shirt for my collection.

What is your favorite post race treat?

Holiday Gift Guide for A New Runner

Holiday Gift Guide For a New Runner It’s that time of the year, the gift guides are everywhere of what you should and shouldn’t buy. Are you shopping for a new runner? A new runner looking for ideas? Instead of the typical “what to buy for any runner” gift guide, I thought I’d break it down to some things I’ve found helpful over the last year as I returned to running & had to rebuild my stash of everything.

Warmer Clothes

Chances are if your favorite runner started running again earlier this year they don’t have a good stash of warm clothes. The tank tops and short shorts have been put away in exchange for a few hundred layers of clothes.

My favorite top is my new Nike Element top that my husband bought me for my birthday. It’s thin enough that on a fall day felt great but has been awesome as an extra layer now that it is getting cold. You can’t go wrong with compression pants or fleece lined pants either!

With the cold air lately, they would probably appreciate a pair of running gloves or fleece headband!

Race Entry Fee

Race’s get expensive. Really fast. Chances are if your new runner is signing up for races left and right they are adding up in cost. Sneak in and find out any races that your runner might be thinking about signing up for & surprise them with the entry fee or having them be signed up!

iTunes Gift Card

Lots of running means lots of music, audio book or podcast listening. Music can get expensive so an iTunes gift card might be an easy way out but something your runner would truly appreciate.

Gift Card to a Local Running Shop (If You Have Them)

We have a few local running shops and when I can I choose to support them in buying my shoes. Shoes are extremely expensive and depending on how often your runner is running they need to be replaced every 6 months or so.

Running Jewelry

Is your new runner extremely proud of what they’ve accomplished this year? For a lot of people it takes a lot to get started running & it is definitely something to celebrate! There are some awesome people who sell lots of jewelry on Etsy but I would highly recommend checking out BamaRy Stamped Necklaces as well. Lots of cool stuff & ways to support your runner. Just saying, I wouldn’t complain if one showed up in my stocking.

A Way to Display Their Accomplishments

Not sold on jewelry but want to help your beginner runner share their accomplishments? There are some awesome race bib holders on Etsy! A few of my favorites are the bib holders with medals, bib holders with ways to display a PR (personal record) & the bib holders with quotes.

Running Belt

Depending on where your runner is doing their workouts, there is probably a dilemma of where to hold their keys, their water, their phone, etc. There are some awesome running belts out there and I’ve had my eye on a FlipBelt for awhile.

Running Watch

Phones die, apps don’t work, signals die…. sometimes runners get frustrated with the iPhone apps. They’re awesome for starting out and a great way to track milage. As your beginner runner is becoming more of a seroius runner they might secretly have their eye on one of many Garmin Watches. Track miles, times & sync with Garmin connect. You’ll instantly be their favorite gift giver.

What is your favorite gift you’ve gotten as a runner? Any other ideas to add to our list?

(Un)Officially Winter Lunch Run

Lunch Run

Lunch Run

With winter in just about full swing, I need to get my butt in gear for a winter running routine. Chances are my best run times will be during the week which means lunch time runs. I’m completely okay with that, it makes for a nice break in the day and forces me to take that break!

Today was a brisk 25 degrees (21 according to the sign I passed!) so it was time to layer up and head out.

I’m still trying to figure out what is right to wear for winter and what is not.

My mom gave me a cool gortex jacket to try out so I wore that along with my Nike Element top that I wore for my half marathon. I have a very old under armor top & fleece lined pants (we’re talking 15 years old here) and decided to wear those with it. I was a few layers too heavy. Next time I’ll try something different.

What are your favorite winter running clothes? I’m always looking for something new to try!

Smoke The Turkey 5k

IMG_8405.JPG 13 years ago, also known as the summer before my sophomore year of high school one of my friends approached me about joining the cross country team. In order to compete at our city championships we needed 5 members and they were a few short. I decided to give it a try.

In my three years on the team I made it through about 2.5 seasons. Between ankle injuries and other problems I wasn’t the most successful member of the team by far. My high school pr was 28:10 and I achieved it on my very first race my sophomore year.

My friend went on to run marathons while I went on to other things. She took a break for the last few years and started back up this summer. I started back up this year too. I noticed our hometown had a “smoke the turkey” race on thanksgiving. It’s one of the only weeks of the year were both in town so I emailed her and we signed up! Our first race together in 12 years!

It was a really fun and really well organized race! I think it is safe to say that I “smoked my pr” that I set at race for the cure earlier this year!

My time was 24:32 and was 40 seconds faster than my pr! I was shocked! I even pulled off negative splits. They were as follows:

IMG_8403.PNG

I was super excited with the results and had a lot of fun. I did run into one issue. In the cold weather my phone decided it didn’t want to work so it died before the race :( my first time in a long time running without music!

It’s safe to say that a 5k goes by a lot quicker than a half marathon!

Happy Thanksgiving friends! Time for that extra slice of pie!

Sunday Runday Heatwave

Sunday Runday Heatwave

Sunday Runday Heatwave

Sunday has very much become a “run day” for me. Regardless of weather (hopefully) and what I’m training for it seems like I’ve always been able to count on a Sunday run (give or take a few weekends here or there…. like next weekend).

At the moment I’m running when I can. My knee is still acting up (yes I know, doctor visit more than likely coming) & with dark mornings & dark nights it is hard to coordinate schedules other than lunch time. These past two weeks have been a mix of snow and ice here in the midwest making that even more difficult.

We had a random heatwave this weekend and a few hour break from the 90% chance of rain all weekend so I headed out the door with no real plan & my running shoes.

It. Felt. AMAZING!

Those who know me well know that I’m a pace watcher. I constantly am paying attention to how fast or slow I’m going. During our lunch run two weeks ago it felt so good not to watch what I was doing that I decided to do it again. I didn’t check my watch once on my run.

True signs that I’m terrible at judging how fast or slow I’m going, I was pretty convinced I was around a 9:30 mile.

I was wrong.

I decided to rock my blue Old Navy Active Compression Leggings with my Old Navy Active Half Zip Pullover. (Did I mention I have an Old Navy problem?) I wore my Tie Dye Seamless Tank under it but found that I was really too over dressed. As gross as it looked outside, it felt so good once I got moving!

Speaking of clothes (since I haven’t mentioned them in awhile) Did anyone see the Brooks Adreneline GTS 15‘s came out this week? I’m so torn on what to do with my shoes! Part of me wants to try a new type to see if my knee will get better but part of me loves my Adreneline GTS 14‘s! What would you do?

How was your Sunday Runday?

Baby It’s Cold Outside…. T25 & Other Ramblings

Treadmill Selfies

Treadmill Selfies

It is officially winter here in the Midwest. Okay, I guess it’s not TECHNICALLY winter but damn does it feel like it!

After last week’s freezing cold run I really tried to convince myself to run outside this weekend. Mother Nature had other plans and it snowed all day Sunday. As hardcore as I am, I really didn’t think 15 degrees would be a good idea. I remembered that a family member had a treadmill in their basement so I called them up & headed over.

I did a 4 mile run in just under 40  minutes, while I wasn’t going for time or speed I just figured I’d see how I felt.

I forgot how bored I get on treadmills! I did watch almost an entire episode of Madam Secretary. Has anyone else watched that? So good!

While I haven’t been running a ton, I’ve been working hard to complete T25. I just finished week 3 this morning and am feeling pretty good about it. The first week, every muscle I had was sore but now things are starting to feel a little better and I’m getting into the routine. If anyone is looking for a good winter supplement to their running I highly recommend it! I’m working muscles that I really didn’t ever use running.

We have a heatwave coming this weekend. There are rumors that we might see 50 degrees again! I’m looking forward to a run somewhere in there.

What do you watch/listen to while you’re on a treadmill?

 

Lunch Time Run & Freezing Cold Weather – I’m Back!

Freezing Cold Run

Freezing Cold Run

In my head I planned on taking 3 full weeks off after my first half marathon. I learned a lot of things from my first half marathon and one of those was “rest” when you are injured. I’ve been fighting a knee injury on and off since the end of August. Rest seemed to help to an extent but never seemed to solve the problem.

With nothing major coming up in the next few months I’m going to enjoy some shorter runs and just working my miles back up as my knee allows.

Last week I started the T25 program from Beach Body and I am loving it! It has not once aggravated my knee and I’m finding that I’m working so many more muscles. I’m hoping to continue to incorporate running alongside the program for the rest of the 10 week program.I also joined an inter-mural volleyball team for the winter so that is adding a whole new level of fun. As someone who has not played since Junior High gym class… I have a lot to learn! Any tips?

Today a friend and I headed out on our lunch hour for a fun run. I couldn’t tell you the last time I actually had someone to run with so it felt awesome not to be alone with my music and just be able to run.

It's Cold

It’s Cold

The downside, well…. winter has officially hit the Midwest. After snow on Halloween we had one last burst of fall but I think it is safe to say it’s officially cold. On the other hand, it did give me an excuse to break out my new Old Navy Compression Leggings (in Victorian Blue of course). They were so warm!

My knee felt pretty good for the run and no soreness afterwards! I’m looking forward to some more lunch runs and just relaxing for a bit. I have two more races this year but I will be enjoying them and not necessarily going for time on either.

It felt so great to be back running!