Monday, September 21, 2015

WIne and Dine Half Marathon training - week 11

Last week started out ok with the training but did not end well.  I hope this week goes better.  But here's how it went.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - Body pump for 45 minutes at the gym since it's an "express" class plus 15 minutes on the elliptical to round out the hour.

Wednesday - Running at the track.  It did not go well, which is disappointing after last week went so well at the track.  I had been congested all day so had a hard time with my breathing.

Thursday - Running at the gym

Friday - Body pump with my favorite instructor and for a full hour, which I prefer.

We also went to the Alabama Shakes concert that evening and really enjoyed the performance.

Saturday - And this is where things really go down hill.  I got up early, got ready to go run, and was making one last stop in the bathroom.  As I sat down, I heard something go pop in my knee.  There wasn't a lot of pain but it just felt weird and there was some swelling.  So I decided to play it safe, skip the run, and spend some time icing my knee.

Sunday - There was still some swelling in my knee so again skipped going out on a run.  I iced it again and did some foam rolling since I wondered if my tight quads were part of the problem.  I did go to the Renaissance Fair with some friends and the walking actually seemed to make my knee feel better.

The swelling in the knee seems to have gone so I think I'll give it some more icing and foam rolling today and as long as everything feels ok tomorrow, I'll go back to my workout routine.  The plan is for body pump on Tuesday, a run on Wednesday, and then leaving for vacation on Thursday!  That was the main reason I didn't want to push it with my knee, I didn't want to risk injury the week before leaving on a vacation.

I hope everyone else had a good weekend.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Five - Running Songs

Yay Friday!  1 week from today and we'll be in Florida at Universal Studios and then hopping on a cruise for a week.  I'm excited but will have to spend much of this week packing and cleaning.  In the meantime, it's time for the Friday Five link up with Cynthia, Mar and Courtney.  This week's theme is music so I'm going to talk about 5 songs on my running playlist that are really working for me.

1.  Shut Up and Dance With Me by Walk the Moon

2. Talking Body by Tove Lo

3.  The Show Goes On by Lupe Fiasco

4. Best Day of My Life by American Authors

5. Pandora!  Ok, not a song but when I've been working out at the gym and have WiFi, I've been listening to Pandora and really enjoying the new music that's not on my usual playlist.

And just for fun, kitty photo :)

Speaking of music, we're heading to see Alabama Shakes in concert tonight.  It's at Merriweather Post, so an outdoor venue and it looks like it should be a nice evening for an outdoor concert.  I hope all of you have a great weekend ahead of you!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Wine and Dine Half Marathon training - week 10

I can't believe it's already week 10 of Wine and Dine training!  This training plan is more gradual that the one I used for the Rock and Roll Half so the mileage isn't that high yet but I'm feeling good about where I'm at.  Especially since there's around 6-7 weeks left before the race.  This week went pretty well, with one unplanned rest day but I still got all my runs in.

Monday- Rest day

Tuesday - Body Pump plus 15 minutes on the elliptical

Wednesday - Speed work on the track.  It was one 1600 plus two 800's.  And I think this is the first time that I've ever seen an average minutes per mile that began with a 9!  I was very excited about this.  I'm hoping that it means as the weather gets cooler, I'll continue to see some improvements in speed.

Thursday - 42 minutes on the treadmill.

Friday - Rest day

Saturday - I had 8 miles planned and I was doing the Diva Dash obstacle 5k with a friend.  So we woke up early, did 4.5 miles before the race (plus a half mile walk back to her house), and then drove to the race for another 3.1 miles.  It rained through the whole 5k so we were wet and muddy afterward, but it was still fun.  I'll put up a recap later this week.

Sunday - Rest Day (unplanned) - I had hoped to do some strength training or yoga today but I was just wiped after volunteering at the Parks Half Marathon in the morning.  It was fun volunteering, and I loved my job of handing out the medals to the finishers, but we were also on our feet for 4 hours straight. As an aside, how cool are these medals!  They were wine stoppers as well as medals.

All in all, not a bad week.  The plan for this week is going to look pretty similar with Body Pump on Tuesday, time at the track on Wednesday, the treadmill on Thursday, Body Pump on Friday, 9 miles on Saturday on the Capital Crescent Trail, and then heading to the Renaissance Fair on Sunday.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Five - things from the internet

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope that everyone had a great week :) And of course, since it's Friday, it's time for the Friday Five link up with Courtney, Mar and Cynthia.  Today, I'm sharing 5 interesting things I've seen recently from various places online.

1. Body Positivity - I loved this blog post from Mirna Valerio (aka Fat Girl Running) where she talks about how ridiculous it is when people concern troll and gasp about "promoting obesity."  I believe in living a healthy lifestyle but I believe what that means is different for everyone, and you also can't tell how healthy or not someone is just be looking at them.  I especially love the last bit where she states "I am making a pledge to myself of love, respect and honor for the sacred space that my body is. It is MY temple. Not yours."

2.  Heart Health for Runners - Speaking of being healthy, here is an interesting article about improving heart health for runners, because running alone isn't necessarily going to do it.  

3.  No more stretching after running (?) - Sigh.  There is so much conflicting information out there on so many things and it seems new research is always casting doubt on things I thought were established.  Apparently there is now research out there saying it's better not to stretch right after a long run and instead wait for an hour or two?  I'll probably keep stretching right after my run for now since it works for me but it was interesting to see this new information.

4.  Caffeine and running - I love this blog post on Tina Muir's site where she has a guest writer who talks about managing her caffeine intake in order to improve her running (and life).  It's really interesting, and I like that it's not just about cutting it out completely but instead managing it in a measured way.

5. Taking care of your calves - And since my calves are sore today, I thought I'd share this article from Runner's World about taking care of your calves and some strength training exercises to help. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead of them!  I'm running the Shape Diva Dash tomorrow which is a 5k obstacle race.  Fingers crossed that the rain holds off until the afternoon. And Sunday Mike and I are both volunteering at the finish line of the Parks Half Marathon so hopefully they have a rain free morning as well :)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Road Runner Sports Adventure Run

As I mentioned in my training re-cap, last Thursday I participated in an Adventure Run at the Road Runner Sports store in Rockville.  You guys, this was so much fun! There are a lot of details but I'll do my best to recap the evening.

First of all, what is an adventure run?  Here is the description from the website: 

Rockville Road Runner Sports Adventure Run is a fun, 60-minute scavenger run filled with hundreds of friends, giveaways, raffle prizes, and music. It’s awesome.  The idea is you run to fun checkpoints near your Rockville Road Runner Sports store to grab as many free raffle tickets as you can. The more checkpoints you get to, the more chances you’ll have to win over $3,000 in gift certificates and prizes. Did we mention it’s FREE?

Now, logistics.  It is the first Thursday of the month and the running starts at 6:30 but the registering, sign in, and sponsor booths start at 5:30. There is no parking at the store.  I had my husband drop me off and pick me up so I'm not sure how smooth or not the parking was but no one seemed to be complaining. It was at a nearby parking garage and it was still free.  Speaking of free, the whole event is free!  That's right, no need to pay for anything if you don't want to.

We got there around 5:45 and there weren't a lot of people there yet.  We had registered in advance (I highly recommend this as it gets you more raffle tickets and the map emailed to you at 6:30) so we went inside to pick up our stuff.  They had a list with the names of people who had pre-registered so we got checked off the list and handed a ziplock bag with raffle tickets.  We also got extra raffle tickets for dressing in theme.  It was the 80's for this month so I pulled out the leg warmers and rocked the side ponytail :) If you wore an Adventure Run shirt, all your raffle tickets are doubled.  I might have to do this next time.

Next, we went outside to check out the sponsor tents.  Asics and Zensah were there and they were even letting people try using their products during the run.  You just had to leave them your license or some other form of collateral.  There was also a bakery with delicious bread samples, some honey stinger samples, another food company with some granola samples, a company with foam rollers and sticks that you could try out, etc.  Each tent you stopped at got you more raffle tickets.

So at 6:30, the map was revealed.  The map was pretty hard to read but they listed the stops with addresses as well as how far they were and how many tickets you got at that stop.

In addition, you were emailed a link to the map if you registered in advance.  This map was interactive on your smart phone and really helpful.  It was also announced that there was a secret stop which wasn't on the map.  You could check the store's facebook page for the secret stop to get those additional raffle tickets.

If you weren't familiar with the area, they also had 2 runners serving as guides and you could just follow them.  We weren't sure what pace they were going to be running at and we were reasonably familiar with the area so we decided to hack it on our own.

The stops ranged from right across the street to a mile away.  We decided on a rough course that was a loop where we could hit some stops on the way out and some on the way back.  We went to the first stop, right across the street, which was Qdoba.  The "challenge" there was to try one of their chips and salsa.  Challenge accepted!  We did that, got our ticket, and were on our way.  Next time, I think I would save the closer ones for last since this one was super crowded.

Next, we went one strip mall down and hit a bakery that was one of the stops.  After that, we ran several blocks (I think we hit the 1 mile mark during this run portion) to a Sport and Health.  The challenge here was running up 3 flights of stairs and pushing a heavy sleigh out and back on their balcony and then running back down the stairs.  Ugh.  But we did it!

After that, we hit the secret spot.  It was a little hard to find since it wasn't on the map but it was in a park and we found the Asics rep there.  We had to tell him two of the Asics models that had been available for trying and we got more raffle tickets.

Next, we ran back up to the main road and to our last stop, Chick Fil A.  We hit the 2 mile mark somewhere during the run to the restaurant.  We had to look a bit to find the person with the raffle tickets here but once we found them, we had to drink a shot of their frosty lemonade.  They also had water we could refill our bottles with, which was nice.  And then we headed back to the store.

We got back to the store at 7:25 which was good timing since everyone had to be back by 7:30 for the raffle. We ran 2.9 miles in the hour but there were obviously lots of stops, not only for the raffle tickets but also for traffic since these were some heavily traveled roads.

Hot and sweaty but happy to be in the air condition!  Once we were back in the store, they had more water for us and everyone got busy separating their raffle tickets to put in the bin.

This portion of the evening felt long to me.  It's weird to complain that they gave out so many raffle prizes, but it took around an hour so it was around 8:30 when they were done with the raffles.  Sadly, neither I nor my friend won anything.  There were a couple people who won 2 or 3 prizes.  Having the Adventure Run shirt definitely helps since that doubles your tickets.  Also, there is a special raffle for people who bought something in the store before the run so that would also help your chances of winning something.    

All in all, this was a really run event and pretty well organized.  My friend and I both left saying we wanted to do this again.  The last one for this year is in October and I got an email saying that you need a light to participate in that one.  That makes sense since it will probable be dark and safety comes first.

This is the first time I've done this type of scavenger hunt.  I was a bit nervous at first since I really didn't know what to expect but I wouldn't hesitate to do something like this in the future.  Have you ever done a scavenger hunt type run?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Training - week 9

I hope everyone had a great week and a fun labor day holiday!  Mike and I went up to New Jersey for the holiday to spend some time with family.  And I have a new niece that was born in May that we met for the first time. Overall, it was a wonderful weekend filled with fun family time.

My weekly update is going up a day late since we just got back from New Jersey yesterday and I was exhausted.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - body pump plus 15 minutes in the elliptical - this body pump class is an express class so it's only 45 minutes.  So I like to round out the hour with some time on the elliptical. 

Wednesday - 40 minutes on the elliptical - we had some scheduling issues so I didn't get to the track or the gym but I tried to push hard for the time I was on the elliptical.

Thursday - 60 minute adventure run with Road Runner Sports - this was a ton of fun!  I should have a full review up later this week but it was basically a 60 minute event and you were given a map with a number of checkpoints.  You had to try to make it to as many checkpoints as possible, finish a little challenge, and then you got raffle tickets.  So the more checkpoints you make it to, the more raffle tickets you get.

Friday - body pump

Saturday - rest day and the day we drove up to New Jersey.

Sunday - 3 mile run plus standup paddle boarding.  The SUP was a lot of fun and I think everyone really enjoyed it.  It was a 90 minute class so the first 15-20 minutes was more of a class format and then we were able to really get into the paddling.  We also spent some time walking along the boardwalk in the evening.

So that was my week.  It went pretty well and the weekend was great since it was full of family and fun.  I hope you all had a great weekend as well.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Five - Fall races

It's crazy to me that it's already Labor Day weekend!  Sadly, that means the Summer is almost over but it also means that it's time for the Friday 5 link up with Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar.  The theme for this week is Fall races.  I love talking about races so I'm particularly excited for this week's theme :)  So here are some races I'm looking forward to this Fall.

1.  The Diva Dash 5k - This is one is next weekend and I'm pretty excited for it.  Not only is it my first woman focused race, but it's also my first obstacle race.  The friend I'm doing it with has done this race several years in a row and has convinced me to do it with her this year.  She's made it sound amazing so I'm looking forward to it in spite of my nerves about the obstacles.

2.  The Parks Half Marathon - I'm not running this one but am volunteering.  It should be fun because my volunteer assignment is to give out the medals (actually wine stoppers) after the race and Mike is also volunteering with me.I'm looking forward to cheering for all the finishers.

3.  The Marine Corps 10k - I'm nowhere ready for a full marathon but I'm excited to be able to participate in the Marine Corps Marathon weekend by doing the 10k.  I've heard great things about this event and really loved cheering on marathon runners last year.  We'll cheer them on from the finish line this year after finishing the 10k.

One of the photos from spectating at last year's MCM

4. The Jingle Jungle 5k - I'm doing this 5k at Disney World with Mike and both my parents.  I'm really looking forward to this being a family event. 

5.  The Wine and Dine Half Marathon - This is my goal race for the Fall.  The 5k will be in the morning and then that night, I'll be doing this half marathon on my own.  I'm looking forward to it as my 2nd Disney race and my 3rd half marathon.

My Vanellope costume from my last Disney race

So those are my Fall races and I'm really looking forward to all of them for different reasons.  I'm also looking forward to the cooler weather in Fall!  Do you have any Fall races you're excited about?