Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Attempted 16 miler

I wanted to go ahead and document how my attempt at a 16 miler went this past weekend.  As most of you saw, I didn't finish.  Instead of doing 16, we only did about 11.5.  So here's what happened.

First of all, I had been stalking the weather and it lied to me!  It indicated that it would rain Saturday night but that the rain would be done by 6am on Sunday.  We weren't starting our run until 7, so perfect.  I don't know why but it didn't even cross my mind that I should be prepared in case that wasn't true.

And of course, it rained the whole time we were running.  I had on new leggings that I hadn't tested before, and socks I had never worn in the rain.  I thankfully had stuck a visor in my hydration pack so I at least had that.  Sadly, the reason I stuck it in there was in case it was sunny later.

  

We were running on the Rock Creek Trail.  It's a beautiful trail that is hilly but we'd done it before and just walked up the uphills when needed.



So the first part of the plan was that we would meet up at 7 and run north on the trail.  That's 3.5 miles so it would be a total of 7 miles out and back.  One of my friends was running late so the two of us started and did a 10 minute warm up while waiting.

  


This was a pretty section with the Fall leaves. It was also pretty peaceful with not a lot of other people around.  And at this point, I was still hoping that the rain would end soon.  The northern end of the trail ends at Lake Needwood which was beautiful and a nice pick me up before we turned around to run the 3.5 miles back to the parking lot we had started at.



We then ran south on the trail.  The plan was to just go 30 minutes south and then turn around to come back because that's when one friend was going to have to leave us.  This section seemed to have more tree coverage which meant more leaves on the ground.  And they were slippery!



In addition to the slippery leaves, this section also had a lot of puddles covering the trail.  We tried to walk around them in the grass initially but that just resulted in our feet sinking into the mud.  So we eventually just started walking through them which resulted in cold, wet feet and soaked socks.



We did our 30 minutes out and back to the parking lot and this had us at around 11 miles.  So 11.5 including the warm up.  The initial plan had been that two of us would keep going at that point to finish up the extra 4.5 miles.  And usually, I think that would have been fine.  But the weather just had taken it's toll and I had no more mental fortitude to keep going.  My friend already had a blister on her foot and I felt several hot spots so I could tell I wasn't too far from blisters either.



So we called it a day.  Thanks for all the reassurances that one bad long run with missed mileage won't kill my training.  I definitely think it was the right decision given where we were mentally and with the wet socks.  But here are some things I've learned for the future.

Lessons learned:

1. Adjust for last minute weather changes if needed - I should have checked the weather again in the morning so I could change my outfit and even maybe change the route to one that would be less slippery.

2. Set yourself up for success with the route - it was a mistake to structure the route so that we went by the car again with only 4 miles to go.  I should have had our friend join us for the last 11 miles, not the first 11 miles.   That way, we wouldn't have been back at our car so close to the end.

3. Work on the mental game - I think I could have physically done 4 more miles.  I just didn't feel like I could mentally deal with the rain for longer.  It just didn't feel worth it.  Which is fine for one training run, but I've got to work on that for the future.

I will most likely not have any blog posts until I'm back from vacation!  I hope that you all have a great couple weeks and if you want a sneak peek at how things are going, follow me on Instagram.  I'm sure I'll have lots of photos to post there from the Avengers race at Disneyland and then from Hawaii.

Monday, November 6, 2017

WDW Marathon Training Week 9

It was a bit of a mixed week on the training front.  On the plus side, I got all my workouts in.  But on the negative side, this was the first time I didn't hit the mileage I was supposed to for my long run.  But here are the details.

Monday - Rest day with recovery yoga

Tuesday - 4 mile easy run after work, and this took me to my first 100 mile month ever!  That was an exciting milestone :)



Wednesday - strength training



Thursday - Speed work with a 15 minute warm up, and then 5 intervals of 3 minutes speed/2 minutes recovery.  I was also supposed to do a 15 minute cool down but only got in a 5 minute cool down since I was running a little late.



Friday - 30 minute pilates video from You Tube



Saturday - 60 minute easy run in the morning including breaking in new shoes.



I also got a sports massage today.  Mike had bought me a Groupon for the massage and it was amazing.  The woman seemed to be able to work magic and any pains I had before were pretty much gone afterward.

Sunday - 11.5 miles.  This was supposed to be 16 miles but it just didn't work out that day.  I'll talk more about this run later but I think the rain and slippery conditions just took a toll and we weren't able to get it done with those conditions.  I'm hoping that this doesn't derail things too much.



After the run, Mike made brunch for my friend and me.  It was a delicious cheesy egg scramble with tater tots that I totally forgot to take a photo of.  And he had also recorded the NYC marathon coverage for me so I was able to watch it afterward while cuddling on the couch with Perry.  I almost cried when Shalane won, it was so emotional!  I'm glad I was able to watch it.


And after some errands, we went out to the Melting Pot for dinner with friends.  This was another deal through Groupon.  The food was amazing but there was so much of it!  I thought I might have to be rolled out of there.

So that was my week :)  I hope you all had a great week as well! 

Here's Coach Laura's plan for this upcoming week.

Monday - 4 mile easy run
Tuesday - strength training
Wednesday - 4 mile progressive run
Thursday - rest day
Friday - Rest day with flying to LA and Avengers Half Marathon expo
Saturday - 10k!
Sunday - Half Marathon!

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap.


https://hohoruns.blogspot.com/p/weekly-wrap.html

Friday, November 3, 2017

Friday Five - vacation fitness

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone had a good week.  It's Friday and that means it's time for the Friday Five link up hosted by Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness.  It's also a week until I leave for vacation!  So I figured I'd talk about 5 ways to stay fit on vacation.
Friday Five Linkup 2.0

1.  Races!  I don't combine all my vacations with races but it's nice when that works out :)  My plan for this particular vacation includes a stop in Disneyland to run the 10k and the half marathon for the Superheroes race weekend.

 
From my last Disney vacation race

2. Take advantage of the location you're in.  All vacation spots have something special about them.  It makes sense to combine the sights with activity whenever possible.  I know a lot of cities have running tours or cycling tours of the cities possible.  I'm going to be in Hawaii which is all about the ocean so I'm going to be sure to include some snorkeling and paddle boarding while I'm there.


The last time I went paddle boarding was on vacation in New Jersey

3.   And of course, a lot of vacation spots have natural beauty that can be explored on hikes . I've got several hikes bookmarked for while we're in Hawaii.  But whenever possible, using your own feet to see the area is a great way to combine sight seeing with fitness.

 
Glacier hiking in Iceland was definitely a workout!

4.  Take advantage of your hotel.  Most hotels these days have fitness centers available.  And many have pools.  I'll definitely be taking advantage of those.  But it's worth digging a bit deeper to see if they have other offerings too.  It turns out that the hotel we're staying at has complimentary fitness classes and I'm looking forward to some beach side yoga.

 
The view from poolside yoga I found at a Vegas hotel

5.  Relax!  Or course, vacation should include some relaxation too :)  And let's face it, fitness should include fitness for the soul as well as the body.  I'm planning on plenty of time to just relax by the water and re-center myself after a busy year.

So those are my plans for incorporating fitness into my vacation.  I find it always helps to incorporate it into the plans for the vacation from the beginning and to make it fun, and to include things you can't easily do at home!  It is a vacation after all :)



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

15 Mile Long Run

I thought I'd share more details about my long run as I've been putting more thought into planning them now that the distance is more than half marathon distance.


So this week was supposed to be 15 miles.  And it was the first week my running buddy was back in town after several weeks away for work!  This was going to be the longest run ever for both of us and I wanted to make it fun.  I also wanted to avoid a lot of prolonged uphill.  I love the Capital Crescent Trail that runs from Maryland to DC but hate that it is mostly uphill on the way back.  So I decided on a point to point, starting in Maryland and ending in downtown DC.



Of course this meant working out some logistics in advance.  I made brunch reservations in downtown DC to include Mike and another good friend of ours.  This gave us a nice end goal to work towards :)  It also meant that Mike would meet us downtown with the car and be able to drive us back to Maryland.  It still would have worked without a driver, we just would have had to take the metro back to Maryland and that would have made the trip a bit longer.


So my friend and I met bright and early in Bethesda.  There was some unforeseen construction which meant she had problems finding parking but it worked out and we started just a little bit later then planned.  This first part was a nice, paved trail that's very popular with runners and bicyclists in the area.  It's beautiful and pretty shady as well.  There were some rolling hills but it's a net downhill.  The trail also has water fountains every couple miles or so.


We hadn't seen each other in a while so we spent most of this time catching up while running.  I didn't even have to turn on my headphones until mile 9 or so!  Company really makes long runs much more enjoyable.  So we were on the trail for about 7 miles or so and then we hit Georgetown.  It became much more crowded at this point but we were also running by the river, which was nice.  There was also less shade.

 
Yes, that is a bride and groom paddle boarding in their wedding attire!

We continued on by the river and passed the Kennedy Center.  We did get a little lost at one point and ended up trudging through some grass to try to find out way again.  I think this was one of the 17 minute splits we had.  Once we found our way, we went down Hains Point, which is a little peninsula.  This is still by the river and we meant to go the whole way around the peninsula but the pavement became a bit dodgy so we turned back early.


Then we found ourselves at the Jefferson Memorial and this ended up being a good time for a bathroom break.  We had to circle the building a bit to find the entrance to the bathroom so I think this was another 17+ minute split.  Once that was taken care of, we continued onto the national mall to run past the Smithsonian Museums, to the Capitol building, and back down the other side of the mall to the Washington Monument.  This section was on a dirt/and gravel type surface and the softer surface definitely felt good at this point.



After going past the Washington Monument, we turned north to go up 17th street.  This sadly meant that we were ending our run with some uphill sections but it was ok because it was leading us to brunch.  We went up the street for several blocks, turned right eventually to get to 14th street, and then going downhill for a couple blocks got us to the restaurant.  And I hit 15 miles right when I reached the block the restaurant was on!  Mike and our other friend were already seated and had big glasses of cold water ready for us :)  Mike had also brought us Shower Pills and clothes to change into so we were more comfortable during brunch as well.


So that was our 15 miler!  It was fun and definitely made the time seem to go by faster when there was so much to see.

Pros:  Varied surfaces felt good on our feet, interesting sights, mostly downhill or flat, shade for much of it, water fountains and bathrooms, easy to adjust mileage by doing more or less of the Mall.

Cons:  Logistics of working out a point to point run.

Monday, October 30, 2017

WDW Marathon Training - Week 8

Last week seemed to fly by!  The weekend definitely did.  And here we are back at work again.  But before starting the work week, I wanted to go ahead and update you on my training for the week.  It went ok.  I ended up skipping a run and the rest was kind of heavily shifted toward the end of the week, but I was happy with the way the workouts I did ended up going.

Monday - rest day with recovery yoga

Tuesday - Strength training



Wednesday - Unplanned rest day - I skipped my run this day with a bit of foot pain :(

Thursday - 45 minute progression run with 30 minutes easy and 15 minutes at a harder pace.



Friday - Unplanned rest day - I didn't get my strength training in but moved it to Sunday

Saturday - 15 mile long run!



I did not recover as well as I did last weekend.  I felt tired and sore and a bit head-achey the rest of the day and ended up skipping a Halloween party we had planned to go to.

Sunday - 60 minute easy run.  My back still hurt a bit but it actually felt better after the easy run.  My right knee and my left achilles were a bit sore after the run but they felt better after some icing.



I also did some foam rolling and a pilates video from you tube in the evening to make up for the strength training I skipped on Friday. I definitely feel the pilates in my core today!

So that was my week :)  Here's Coach Laura's plan for this upcoming week.

Monday - rest day with recovery yoga
Tuesday - 4 mile easy run
Wednesday - strength training
Thursday - 55 minutes to include 25 minutes speed work
Friday - strength training 
Saturday - 60 minute easy run
Sunday - 16 mile long run

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap.



https://hohoruns.blogspot.com/p/weekly-wrap.html

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Five - October Birch Box

It's Friday!  For some reason, this week has crept by.  But now it's almost time for the weekend and that means it's also time for the Friday Five link up hosted by Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness.  I haven't participated in a couple weeks and I definitely miss it.  I'm going to talk about my birch box for October.

Friday Five Linkup 2.0

I did an August birch box review as well.  As I explained in that post, a friend gave me a gift of a 6 months subscription to birch box.  Birch box is a monthly subscription box that allows people "to easily and efficiently try, learn about, and purchase beauty products online. They combined monthly deliveries of personalized samples with original editorial and an exciting ecommerce shop."



So what was in this month's box?



1.  Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Hydro Gel - OMG, this stuff is like magic!  It feels so good on my skin.  It's cooling and refreshing but goes on light.  It doesn't feel heavy at all, which was surprising for something with this much moisturizing power.

2.  Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner - I was excited to see this since I was out of eyeliner and needed to find a new one to buy anyway.  I like liquid eyeliner but hate that it's often so hard to put on.  This one is actually a pen instead of a brush so it's easier to apply and it dries really quick so it's much harder to smudge.



3.  Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye - I was excited to see this in the box too since I have awful under eye circles and am always looking for possible solutions.  I've been trying this but it's too soon to know whether it will make a difference in the circles or not.

4.  Lavanila Healthy Fragrance Vanilla Coconut Eau de Parfum - I'm not too into perfumes.  This one does smell good but it's a bit on the sweet side.  It might just end up making me hungry if I wear it!


5.  Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick - I like the color and the texture feel pretty good too.  It's not too heavy and it doesn't dry out my lips at all.

This box also came with a couple extras so it's more than 5.  I haven't tried the Davines smoothing shampoo or conditioner yet but I'm saving them for vacation :) They're less than 3 ounces and so perfect for traveling.

As you can see, I'm really happy with this month's birch box.  I didn't even bother reviewing the September box because there wasn't much in there that I was interested in.  It had a lot of scents, which I don't even use that much.  It also had a lipstick sample that barely even showed up on me.  Hopefully the rest of the boxes are more like this month's.

Monday, October 23, 2017

WDW Marathon Training - Week 7

I hope everyone had a great week!  Mine seemed to fly by last week but went well for the most part.  I felt pretty good after the half marathon the weekend before, though I did take an extra rest day to help with recovery.  I had planned to ass in that strength training somewhere else in the week but never actually got to it.  However, I think the extra rest was needed so I'm happy with how the week went.

Monday - rest day and traveling back to DC

Tuesday - rest day and recovery yoga instead of strength training

Wednesday - 45 minute easy run in the neighborhood.  I ran after work but didn't realize how quickly it got dark in the evening.  I'm going to need to use the headlamp in the evenings as well.

 

Thursday - Speed work at the gym - 15 minute warm up, 4 x 3 minutes running/2 minutes recovery, 10 minutes cool down.  I enjoyed this one and was pretty happy with how it went.

 

Friday - strength training


Saturday - 14 mile long run.  My longest run ever!  I did a 7 mile loop in my neighborhood, stopped back home to refill my water bottle and get rid of my jacket, and then did another 7 mile loop.


And I felt surprisingly good the rest of the day!  We had brunch afterward and that definitely helped :)

 
  Sunday - 60 minute easy run in the morning before we headed to the Renaissance Fair to meet up with some friends.  


I'm really happy with how good I felt on Sunday after the long run the day before and the 60 minutes Sunday.  I had no problem with the extra walking around the fair in the afternoon.  Also, the cooler weather in the morning really helped with being able to keep my heart rate in zone 2.


So that was my week.  I hope everyone else had a good week as well :)  Here's Coach Laura's plan for this upcoming week.

Monday - rest day with recovery yoga
Tuesday - 45 minute easy run
Wednesday - strength training
Thursday - 45 minutes to include 15 minute tempo run
Friday - strength training 
Saturday - 15 mile long run
Sunday - 60 minute easy run

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap.


https://hohoruns.blogspot.com/p/weekly-wrap.html

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Half Marathon

I ran the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Half Marathon this past weekend.  It was a combination between a race weekend and a reunion with old friends that I had grown up with.  These are people who are my oldest friends and who have known me longer than anyone except for family.  So clearly that makes for an intense weekend!

It started out with flying into Columbus Friday morning.  My parents also live in Columbus so my dad picked me up at the airport and also joined me for the expo.  The expo was at the convention center downtown and really well organized.  Pre-race communication had also been great so I knew exactly where to go and where to park.  There was plenty of parking in the convention center garages for $5.

  


We were there Friday before 5pm so the crowds were minimal and I didn't have to wait in line at all to pick up my bib.  But they had separate lines for bib pickup for full and half marathoners.  You just had to show your license and that was it.  Once you had your bib, there was a separate section to pick up the shirt and clear plastic bag. There was also a booklet that had race information and a write up about each of the patient champions.  More on that later.



Those lines were in an upstairs balcony section so separated out from the rest of the expo, which I'm sure is handy if you just want to get your stuff and go.  We did wander around the expo a bit since there was some stuff I wanted to look for.  I ended up getting a couple headbands and some body glide.  My dad ended up finding some shoes that he wanted on sale.  It was all very well organized and not too crowded at all.  After we finished up at the expo, we went and checked in to my downtown hotel.  Another great thing about this race is that there are a lot of hotels in the area around the race start within a 2 mile radius.  My hotel was a little more than a mile away.  Apparently hotel rooms were in short supply this year because of other things going on in the city at the same time so the race even added an option for a limited number of racers to be able to do race morning bib pick up.   The rest of Friday was filled with spending some time with friends and finding a restaurant for dinner.

Saturday morning I got up and had a 60 minute easy run on my schedule.  My dad decided to join me for part of it so it ended up being a walk for part of it but it was nice to have the time to catch up with him.

Saturday evening was carb loading with other friends that were running the race.  Most of us were running the half but one friend was doing his first full.



And then back to the hotel for an early night.  The race started at 7:30 and corrals opened at 6.  The race had sent out multiple emails about getting there early if you were driving, and there was an option for pre-paying for your parking spot.  Since I was just planning to go on foot from the hotel, I didn't have to leave so early.  And, my friend doing the full marathon had an apartment right by the start line so we were all gathering at his place.  I left the hotel room around 6:30 and had a nice little warm up to get down to his apartment.



We stayed there until we heard the national anthem and then we all went downstairs to go to our respective corrals.

  


There were only 4 corrals so each one was pretty big, given that there were around 18,000 people registered between the two races.  It was really convenient to have had our friend's apartment to gather up at because I'm sure it would have been hard to find everyone otherwise.  And it minimized the amount of time we had to wait outside.  I think we were only there for about 5 minutes until our corral started moving up.  One of my friends and I were planning on running together for a bit and a couple other friends were in our corral as well.

It was a weird weather day.  We'd been getting emails from the race for days about the potential for hot and humid weather.  I had chosen to go with capris and a tank top.  According to my Garmin, the race started out 68 degrees and 94 percent humidity but then got super windy with the threat of rain and lightning.

  


Back to the patient champions I mentioned earlier.  One of the amazing things about this race is that the children's hospital is very involved.  So every mile has a specific patient champion.  And this patient and their family are actually on that mile cheering and giving out high fives.  It was so inspirational.  The mile also has signs with fun facts about that particular patient as well.  So you really get a view into the people you're helping by participating in the race.  And mile 11 is called the Angel Mile because it's dedicated to patients at the children's hospital that are no longer with us.  Their families are at that mile cheering for the runners and encouraging us.  That was amazing, and it really helps to keep the race in perspective.  After all, how can you feel bad about the pain you might be experiencing at mile 11 from something that you chose to do when compared to what these kids and their families are going through?  All I could feel was gratitude that I was able to take part in this race and contribute to such a wonderful institution.


The half course itself was fine.  It had some rolling hills and a small out and back portion but was otherwise a loop.  It started and ended downtown among the sky scrapers but went through a pretty residential area in the middle, as well as by a local college.  We also went right by the children's hospital itself.  It was a nice enough course but the people were what made it special.  There was a good amount of course support, a lot of water stops, and amazing volunteers.  Another great thing about the race is that it's walker friendly.  They even had specific pace groups from a local walking club.  The 1/2 Marathon course was open until Noon, requiring a pace of at least 18:20 per mile. The Marathon course was open until 2 p.m., requiring a pace of at least 13:44 per mile.



As far as my race itself, it went ok.  Like I mentioned, I started out with a friend and we were going at about race pace for about the first 4 or 5 miles.  We separated around then and it was a bit of a battle going forward.  I just kept getting slower.  I think I started at race pace and ended at marathon long run pace!  But I didn't have time goals for this one, it's part of marathon training and I was doing it for fun.  I gave all the high fives, enjoyed all the signs, and thanked as many people as I could.  The conditions kept changing as far as the weather and I alternated between hot and cold depending on the wind.  I think around mile 9 and 10 the wind was really strong and we were fighting it to keep moving forward.  At the water stop around mile 12, I saw that the conditions sign had been changed from yellow to red.  I asked a volunteer about it and she said it's because there was lightning in the area.  Well, how's that for incentive!  My pace picked up for the last mile (mile 13 was more than 2 minutes faster than mile 12) and I was able to finish strong at least.  I did hear that some of the back of the pack marathoners were diverted to the half course because of the threat of lightning.  I felt bad for those individuals after putting in all that training for the full.

 



I met up with my dad and we walked back to the hotel, so, a bit more than a mile again.  I'm happy to say that I felt good after the race.  Obviously I had some soreness but by the next morning, I felt like I was almost back to normal!



So that's my recap of the Columbus Half Marathon.  It was a great race and I would highly recommend it to anyone.  It was really well organized, well supported, and the involvement of the children's hospital really put it over the top.  And I was able to finish it off with meeting my brother and his new fiance for post-race tacos and mimosas.  The place even had 3 options for vegan taco fillings, yum!