36 Hours & Lots of Rambling

Last Run Before the Half

Last Run Before the Half

Am I being dramatic? I mean it’s no marathon, but it’s half of one right?

Eeks! This week has been crazy and I am so excited but we are officially 36 hours away from the half marathon.

OMG.

Four months of training.

Four months of long runs.

Four months of icing.

Four months of foam rolling.

Four months of counting down.

OMG

Maybe I am being dramatic.

My last run was this past Sunday. As for the month of October I’ve been focusing more on my long runs and spending my week doing a little bit of cross training here and there but mainly on resting. My IT band has been acting up still on my long runs and I’ve promised myself that after the half I’ll go see a doctor.

Runners... Avoiding Doctors

Runners… Avoiding Doctors

Anyways.

My run felt great. I’ve decided that if I stick around a 9:15/9:20 mile pace I should be okay to keep my knee going strong. The runs that I’ve been having more problems with are when I speed it up.

Going into the half I’ve said all along I do not want to set a time goal. In the back of my head I would love to finish somewhere around 2 hours but I WILL NOT be disappointed if I am over it.

It is my first half marathon and I want to enjoy the experience.

Plus I’m hoping it will result in me running another one in the future.

The training is done, I know that I can push through it, it is just a matter of getting to the start line now.

Oh plus there is an expo and that means free stuff right?

I’ll check back in on the other side of 13.1.

What Type of Runner Are You?

Super Runner?

Super Runner?

My running friends and I often have the discussion of the “creepy” people we run into on our runs. Sometimes they’re creepy, sometimes they’re insane & sometimes they have way too much energy.

I thought I’d break it down and see how many different types of runners we often see.

1. The Focused Runner
This person is the one who you inventively pass somewhere along your route. They stare straight ahead, don’t make eye contact and continue at their way too fast pace.

2. The Friendly Runner
This runner is the one who says hi to every single person they pass. There may even be a causal wave or a stop to pet the 3 dogs walking by.

3. The Bubbly Runner
Oh the bubbly runner. It is pretty much a guarantee that you will “run” into this person at the end of your run when you are gross, sweaty & had enough. They will tell you what an awesome job you are doing and to keep up the great work… oh and you look awesome. Let’s ignore the fact that they don’t have an ounce of sweat on their body. They might even bounce as they run past you. You know exactly who I’m talking about.

4. The Competitive Runner
This runner is the one who drives his/her friends crazy. They are obsessed with pace, PRs, and finding new races to “dominate”.

5. The Creeper
Okay chances are this person isn’t really a runner you see. They are the weird guy mowing their lawn in a skirt (I wish I was kidding), that truck you see driving by 3 times on your run or that person who is just staring at you when you run by.

So which one are you? Did we miss any?

Two Weeks to Go! Time to Taper!

Last Long Run

Last Long Run

I have been absent from the blog for the most part lately. Oops! I’ve been hanging out on Facebook but I have not been able to find time to sit down and blog.

Plus, I’ll be honest I don’t have a lot of running to talk about. More on that later.

We are two weeks from the half and I’m super excited but nerves are kicking in!

So why have I been MIA? Two main reasons.

1. About a month ago my husband and I decided to put our house up for sale. Huge decision and in the long run the right one but that has resulted in chaos, packing, cleaning & realtors starting from the time work ends to the time I go to bed.

I’ve been doing my runs that I can at lunch at work. It actually has worked out really well and I’m excited to try and keep motivated to run at lunch through winter.

2. With that being said I’ve only been doing 1-2 runs a week for this month. After Race for the Cure my knee has been hurting & I figured out that it’s my IT band. I’ve been trying to rest for the most part and spend time with my foam roller at night.

Last Sunday I celebrated my birthday with a piece of cake for breakfast and a 7.1 mile run. It felt so good to be out there that I was able to completely ignore the fact that my knee was shooting pains down my leg. Fun, right? I guess sometimes the freedom of a run just gets ya going!

I took the rest of the week off (rest days, driving me NUTS friends…. NUTS!) and have been spending my evenings with my foam roller. Not the same as a run. At all.

Today was my last “long” run before the half. 105 minutes. Nailed it!

I decided that I was better off pacing myself around 9:15-9:20. That really helped my legs hold up a little longer and energy wise I felt good.

Leave it to me to get cocky with myself and pick up the pace around 9.5 miles. My knee did pinch and started to hurt when I got around 8:55 pace. I decided I’m better off staying at 9:15!

I felt good overall, sore now but it felt like a good run. Two weeks to go. Time to taper!

Toledo Race for the Cure 2014

Toledo Race for the Cure

Toledo Race for the Cure

In 2003 I ran Race for the Cure in Northwest Ohio for the last time. It was my senior year of high school and I had ankle problems out the wazoo. Actually, I didn’t even finish the cross country season that year. I wound up having surgery to repair a tendon in my ankle in December and thus ended my running career.

Until 2014.

I got in shape, dared myself to run a 5k and decided it would be Race for the Cure.

Little did I know it would be my 7th 5k of 2014 and it would also be my PR… by 40 seconds!

I love Race for the Cure for a number of reasons. First and foremost it brings awareness to breast cancer. I know a number of people who have fought breast cancer over the years. Despite the drama surrounding the sponsors & Susan G. Komen I continue to do the race to support those fighting the fight.

Breaking Out the Pink Pants

Breaking Out the Pink Pants

I broke out the pink pants one more time this year and we headed downtown.

My mom and I walk the race every year and this was my sons “third” year at the race. (I was 16 weeks pregnant with him one year!). This year I decided to make it my last race before the Half Marathon.

There were about 1700 runners and somewhere around 18,000 walkers. It was insane and I LOVE it! Downtown Toledo pretty much shuts down for the morning.

At the start of the race there was more weaving in and out of runners than I expected. I knew there would be some but a number of us actually got pushed up onto sidewalks because people were trying to fight their way to the front. My first half mile I was averaging around an 11 minute mile.

Needless to say that made my finish time even more surprising!

Toledo has an Olympic medalist from the 2012 Olympics, Erik Kynard. They noted at the beginning of the race he was there with his family. With that many people I didn’t expect to see him. Somewhere around mile 2 there was a guy weaving in and out of the runners, giving high fives and encouraging people to keep going… it was him! Pretty cool to say you got a high five from an Olympic silver medalist. :)

Anyways.

I finished the race and looked down at my watch and 100% shocked myself. I finished in 25:11!!!

Final Time

Final Time

I was shocked. I doubled back and walked the rest of the race with my mom and we headed over to celebrate with a few friends.

In the end I placed 6th out of 97 in my age group. Again, shocked! Never would I have thought to be possible 10 months ago.

It was a good day for a PR. Oh, and Pink Panther was there.

Pink Panther!

Pink Panther!

Then Plans Change…

Sunday Fail Run Day

Sunday Fail Run Day

My whole week was planned out. Sunday was my typical long run day… I was going to do a 30 minute jog Monday, run Wednesday & Thursday at lunch. Rest Friday/Saturday, race Sunday.

My knee had other plans.

I switched up what wrap I was using on my knee before my long run in an attempt to kind of take care of things instead of just the IT band strap. I definitely should’ve stuck with the IT band strap. Somewhere around an hour into my run my knee gave out completely.

I tried walking.

That didn’t work.

I tried running.

That REALLY didn’t work.

Eventually my husband picked me up and I was in tears the rest of the way home and had a very sore knee.

30 Minute Lunch Run

30 Minute Lunch Run

I decided to take some time and rest this week. Overall my knee has felt better and there has been lots of ice involved. Today I went for my lunch time run and decided to do the 30 minute run.

My knee made it almost the whole way through without acting up. It did get a little sore towards the very end but I in turn have convinced myself my 5k this weekend will be fine.

Luckily we’re on a few “easy weeks” for the half marathon training. I’m hoping to just rest up and let whatever needs to rest take care of itself.

Salted Caramel Gu

Salted Caramel Gu

Oh and whoever said that Salted Caramel GU was the best…. uhhh not so sure about that. I’ll run with it though. I just bought an 8 pack. It kind of makes me want a Salted Caramel Mocha from Starbucks though…

Do What Ya Gotta Do… Lunchtime Running!

Tuesday Run

Tuesday Run

Do you ever have those moments in life where once you have it all together, you decide to change it up? Welcome to my life this month! We made some pretty big life decisions in the last week and a half and while they are awesome and will be great moving forward my evenings have been sucked away!

With the half being only 5 and half weeks away, there is no time to miss out on runs. I decided to take my lunch hours twice this week to get my miles in. Yes, it does mean 4-5 loops around the area I work at and yes it does get boring. In this instance ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

Tuesday’s run was our interval run for the week. Actually it was my interval run for last week because I didn’t realize my workouts for this week didn’t sync to my watch. ooops! So I did 4 minutes with 1:30 recovery 5 times. (Instead of 6 minutes with 2 minutes recovery 4 times). It wasn’t a bad run and I just missed the 5 mile mark.

Fartleck Run

Thursday Fartlek Run

Today’s run was a 45 minute “fartlek run”. I used to hate these in cross country but ran with it anyways. Ha, get it? Ran with it?

Okay it’s late and I shouldn’t be blogging.

Anyways. I’ve really decided I like the lunch time runs. Now that fall is here (as much as we all hate to admit it) a 60 degree day means I can actually run at 11:30 where as two weeks ago it would’ve been 90 degrees and 100% humidity.

If nothing else it was a good excuse to walk away from my desk and clear my mind.

Tomorrow it’s hip hop day! For now… look at how yummy my salad looked today!

Mmmmm

Mmmmm

Do you ever run during work? How do you feel about being gross when you get back to your desk?

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.