Week 19: Marathon Training

So, I’m starting to feel more confident on my long runs. I can do this! 26.2 miles.

No problem.

(Right?)

[ week 19 / 11 weeks until 26.2 ]

Sunday – 12 miles, 1:51:45, 9:19 min/mile.

I was a little intimidated – twelve miles seems really far. Yes, I have done 13 before (half marathon) on a whim (right before I started training for this marathon) and with no training did it in 2 hours (brag moment) but still, this was my longest training run and it’s still a hefty distance. BUT! I did it! AND! It felt great! Today’s 12 miles seemed even better than last week’s 11… and best of all, nothing hurt! Yay yay yay!


Monday – Rest day!


Tuesday – 6 miles, 54:28, 9:04 min/mile.

2 miles easy, 2 miles of hills at 5K effort, 2 miles easy. Now I remember why I’ve been waking up at 5:00am every morning… I didn’t today and I paid for it. I went in the afternoon – it was hot but I survived. It felt good to get out there. I tried out my Aftershokz (review here) and ended up loving them despite my being skeptical.


Wednesday – 3.11 miles, 29:31, 9:29 min/mile.

3 easy miles. I went early, so it wasn’t too hot but it was incredibly humid. I felt tired/fatigued at the start but felt better afterwards.

Thursday – 5.01 miles, 45:47, 9:08 min/mile.

Oh, wee! It was really humid today. It was a sweat fest… even my knees were sweating. It was a good run, though. Nothing hurt and I took it easy!


Friday – 4 miles, 36:34, 9:08 min/mile.

Easy 4 miles. Went early again (I really learned my lesson on Tuesday’s 6 miler in the heat of the day).  I took it easy and it wasn’t too hot. Overall uneventful (which is a good thing) and just easy run.


Saturday – Rest day!


Total miles for the week (running only) – 31.1 (first 30 mile week!)

THANK YOU, THANK YOU to my super-mega-awesome coach, Andrew Simmons with Lifelong Endurance for all my workouts and for aiding in where I am now and where I will be on marathon day. I thank you for my newfound confidence in running long runs and just overall running abilities!

Did you race this weekend?

What is your favorite handheld water bottle (if any)?

Who is your favorite runner (pro, famous, friend, anyone)?

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Review: Pink Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones

Disclaimer: I received Pink Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!


Is music or your favorite podcast a must-have on runs? Do you like your volume up a little too loud? I personally LOVE jamming out while running. I wouldn’t run without my music. I blast my headphones so loud that the lady walking across the street gives me a strange glare. The downfall is that in doing this I’m unable to hear cars going by or people around me. This is why I opted in to try these headphones. Aftershokz put safety first while allowing you to still hear your music the way you want it. I was skeptical of this at first, but here are my thoughts after testing these bad boys for a few weeks.

My thoughts:

Aftershokz headphones are a completely innovative idea in that they allow you to listen to your music just the way you like it, yet allow for you to hear ambient sounds. The ability to hear what’s going on in your surroundings in extremely important for your safety while running, walking, biking, or really any activity. I live in the city and knew that blaring my old headphones wasn’t a smart idea, but I did it anyway.

My main concern was, will my music be loud enough? If I can still hear car horns and people yelling at me, how will my music possibly be loud enough? I just didn’t think it was going to happen considering the volume at which I enjoy my music. But hey, if it does work, I might just have an extremely essential piece of running gear on my hands!

My other concern was how big of a pain it would be to use Bluetooth. My dad is an avid runner and biker and just despises Bluetooth headphones because they need to be charged, connected, blah blah blah. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and I’m thinking they might be a pain.

Well, let me tell you guys. I LOVE the fact that these are wire-free. I still find myself fumbling around to find a cord which doesn’t exist! I didn’t realize how acclimated I had gotten to fumbling around with a cord! I am sincerely blown away at the liberating feeling of wire-free headphones. I know it sounds dramatic, but seriously – I don’t see myself going back to dealing with wires. Ever. Again.

So, to talk about the volume. As mentioned, I thought there was NO WAY these things would be close to loud enough for me. I’m that person that you can hear her headphones from the other room and think “she’ll go deaf!” I know it’s not a good thing, but I like my music loud. Well, these headphones are plenty loud for me. My music is loud but I can still hear my surroundings. It’s still so strange to me, but it really is possible and works. Aftershokz states that they use vibrations and your bone construction in order to make this happen.

“Transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them.”

As for setting up the Bluetooth, it’s super easy! You just turn them on and after the first time, it automatically pairs with your phone in a split second (I’m not super familiar with Bluetooth or using it so this made me happy). As for the charge. The charge! This thing continues to prove me wrong. It not only charges quickly, but lasts a long time. I did a full week of runs on one battery charge and it still had “medium battery” (it tells you the battery status: low, medium or high). The only reason I’m even charging it now is because I have a long run tomorrow and don’t want it to die in the middle (though I doubt it would).

I’ve also found the headphones to be comfortable and sweat-proof. They are also very durable and well-made. They have volume, pause, on/off buttons and a charge port without the headphones being bulky.

So, for the specifics. I mentioned it briefly, but the headphones work with your bone structure to deliver sound, rather than blasting in your ears. This is from their website:

“Bone conduction is a natural part of the hearing process—sound travels through our eardrums and bones simultaneously. We’ve taken the concept to the next level through development of a suite of proprietary audio technologies and design patents. The result: headphones that deliver unrivaled situational awareness and comfort.”

Product specifics:

Claim Deliver sound quality, comfort, and awareness
Size One size fits all
Weight Lightweight, 1.27oz.
Frequency response 20Hz~20KHz
Sensitivity 100 ± 3dB
Speaker type bone conduction transducers
Microphone -40dB ± 3dB
Bluetooth version v4.1
Compatible profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
Wireless range 33 ft (10m)
Battery rechargeable lithium ion
Continuous play 6 hours
Standby time 10 days
Charge in 1.5 hours
Warranty 2 year

Why Pink Aftershokz Trekz Titanium are special: Not only do they allow you to be more aware of your surroundings, but the PINK Trekz are helping to bring education and awareness to breast and ovarian cancer. For every unit sold on aftershokz.com from September 1–October 31, 2016, Aftershokz is donating 25% of the proceeds to @bebrightpink, a non-profit on a mission to promote awareness, and more importantly, life-saving action to women early in life. BONUS: Use code PINK at checkout to receive a free semi-hard storage case (valid for anyone ordering a pair of Bright Pink Trekz Titanium).

Pink Aftershokz Trekz Titanium release date: September 1st

Find Aftershokz here: http://aftershokz.com/

Pink Aftershokz: http://awarewithpink.aftershokz.com/

Bright Pink: https://www.brightpink.org/ 

Aftershokz blog: http://aftershokz.com/blogs/news/five-reasons-why-women-should-see-their-healthcare-provider-today

Too Hot to Handle 15K Recap

I recently ran the properly named “Too Hot to Handle” 15K race in Dallas, Texas. Fortunately, the run was early enough to beat some of the heat, and the amazing race volunteers were prepared to cool us off with ice-cold towels along the way. Overall, it was an amazing run and I will definitely be back for more next year. But let’s get in to the dirty deets, because, why not!

So, right off the bat I make a huge mistake. I arrive with what I think is “plenty of time.” Wrong. Little did I know, I’m parked 2 miles away from the start line (at least). Thinking I have time – too much time – I park, take my time lathering up in sunscreen, check in on my Watched Items list on eBay, send a few texts, enjoy my lemon Glukos gummies, tuck my car key away somewhere safe… then start leisurely walking in the direction in which I believe to be the way of the start line.

I’m walking for about five minutes when I realize I don’t see any other runners. Usually I just look for the group of runners, gravitate that direction, and all is good in the world. But I see bikers. I see long paths leading to more long paths. I see no runners. So, I do what my instincts tell me… I start running. I just run and run thinking, I’ll find the race eventually! I finally run (literally) into another runner! He had a “Too Hot to Handle” shirt on and I frantically run towards him. Hi! I’m following you! Do you know where the start line is?

He doesn’t know either. So we both run. 30 minutes went by and we finally, finally! start to see other runners. We had ran a big loop around them, but we found them. I just keep running across the start line. The 10K had started well over 20 minutes ago. Let’s do this!

So, at mile 1 I had already been sweating well over a mile ago (yes, you read that correctly). I had been running for 30+ minutes already – I don’t know the exact distance ran from my car to the start line, guessing about 2 or maybe 3 miles. But I just keep going. I was glad I had my energy gummies before the run and a gel in my handheld water bottle for later. This 15K just turned into a 20K.

Though I seemingly start off on a bad note, I am really OK. I start a little flustered because I really like to be on time. But I don’t mind the strange looks at the start line that say “why is she already sweaty?” or the fact that my time might not be my best. I just want to run. So, I got (more than) what I wanted.

The first 5-6 miles feel great – it’s  not even that hot and I just enjoy the scenery. The run is around White Rock Lake, which has beautiful paths and views. I am passing people since I started so late, which feels odd but also like a fun game – I just choose a person to catch up to, then continue doing that, basically the whole run.

IMG_8147

After those first 5-6 miles, the volunteers with the giant buckets of ice and towels were truly lifesavers. I stop a few times and just throw a towel over my neck. It feels amazing. My legs feel fine, I just start to get hot and fatigued with about 3 miles to go. I have no doubt that I can do it, though. I just take it one mile at a time. I just look for that next big, white mile marker sign. Then, I start to take it one water-stop at a time (there was one about every half mile!). Just make it to the next water-stop, I keep thinking to myself.

With a mile (two water-stops) to go, I use my Glukos gel. It tastes great – I love that these gels are more like water and less like frosting (consistency-wise). Its like getting a gulp of delicious, sweet, energizing water. It gets me through and I come up on mile 8 feeling great and ready to reach that 9 mile marker! After what seems like forever, another mile goes by and I pass mile 9 – the finish line is coming! I cross the finish line and head straight towards the Saucony booth that I notice has popsicles. Just what I need.

glukos

I cool off, take some pictures and have a few more lemon gummies with my blue push popsicle. I made it! Now for the 2-3 mile journey back to the car… where is it again?

Long story short, it takes me over an hour to get back to my car.  A grueling, hot hour. This 20K just turned into a 25K. I can feel my shoulders burning. I can barely run another step but I do anyway. Anything to get out of the heat (it’s about 100 degrees by this time). I run-walk back and just sat in my car. All I had the energy for was sitting. I have never been so happy to see a car. I don’t care that it’s 140 degrees inside. I just sit.

Needless to say, I am not the best at directions. I paid for it today… but it makes for a good story, right?

IMG_8200

Anyway, I am so glad I had my Glukos gummies and gel to get me through. I did feel like they give me a bit of mental clarity on exhausting runs such as this one. It’s also nice to just have something in my belly other than water on a long run.

I’ve also recently found out that the Glukos gels are amazing (AMAZING!) when you freeze them overnight before using them. Talk about the BEST boost while running. I wish I had known this for that 15K (25K)! Now that I’ve been freezing the gels, they really do make a huge difference. On a long, hot run – a delicious, icy sip of this stuff is just perfect. Again, I love that the consistency is water-like vs. frosting-like so you don’t get a sticky mouth or weird aftertaste at all. That thick consistency is the last thing I want in this heat. I crave liquid. Lately I also like to have some gummies after a lengthy or hot run to help me keep going throughout the day and recover.

Though exhausting, this is a run I will never forget. If you’re interested in the event itself, please read my review on BibRave.com here, and remember to review your races, too! This helps your fellow runners choose their next race! Also, let me know if you try the Glukos gels (you must try freezing them!), how you like them, and what your favorite flavor is! My favorite right now is the fruit punch. If you’ve learned anything else, let it be to know your race area before arriving the morning of!

 

 

How to Prepare & Pack for a Run-cation!

Are you eying that out-of-town race that looks like tons of fun, but you’re not sure where to begin? Though it may seem intimidating, traveling for a race can be a lot of fun and surprisingly affordable with proper preparation. I, for example, will be traveling from Dallas, Texas to run the Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas Marathon in a few months. So far I have spent less than $500 – including registration fees, flight, and hotel. Now all I need is food and play money for the trip! With planning, a traveling race can be a fun, affordable experience.

Planning for an out-of-town race:

  1. Figure out if the race/run will work for you. Will the timing work for you? Will you be able to get off of work or school? Make sure the location will work for you as well. Do a quick search for flights and hotels to get a general idea and make sure accommodations are within your price range (some destination spots are more expensive than others). Consider the time of year, the weather, and if you will be traveling solo or with friends or family.
  2. Register for your run! If you’re planning on an out-of-town race, register (way) ahead of time. You don’t want to travel hundreds of miles and not be able to run! I recommend registering as soon as you know you’re available and able to commit to the run. Those registration fees creep up the closer it gets to the time of the event. For example, register a few months in advance and pay $125 vs. $185 a few weeks before race day. Also, look for race promo codes – many run bloggers/ambassadors have race promo codes that will get you a discount.
  3. Look for flights and hotel/night-stay accommodations. Flights tend to be more affordable if tickets are purchased well in advance. I personally booked my flight to Las Vegas right after registering for my marathon. Also, the expense is taken care of so you don’t have to worry about it right before the big trip. This is your best bet – if you find a reasonably prices plane ticket, scoop it up early. Same with the hotels, especially if it’s a big race, because rooms will fill up fast. Some registrations will include Hotel sponsors with discounted rates for runners – be sure to look for those. Some hotels will even include perks like free meals and/or bar drinks! If you are traveling with others, considering splitting the cost and sharing rooms. This is a huge money saver (I’ll be sharing my room with 3 other girls, making it super affordable!).
  4. Train! Now that you’ve got registration, flight, and stay taken care of you can breathe, relax, and RUN! Train for your run and don’t worry about a thing!
  5. Pack! It’s time to race! Pack your bags, make sure you have everything you need and have fun. This is when your pro-activity will really pay off. You already have everything lined up and ready to go. You don’t have to worry about the flight or hotel on top of race jitters.

So, what to pack? Packing for a race-cation is different than a vacation. Less bikinis and more compression socks. I recommend packing what you usually use during your runs. Just because it’s a special race, doesn’t mean you need tons of special new clothes or running gear. In fact, if you are going to get new gear – get it well before the race so you can get used to it first. You don’t want to use anything too new or unknown – you may not end up liking it, or it may not fit or work properly. This rings true not only for workout gear/clothes, but for food and gels/supplements.

Top 5 packed running essentials:

  1. Running clothes. Lots (and lots!) of running clothes. Extra socks. Note weather or not you will be doing laundry. If not, bring extra! My vacation (“run-cation”) bags consist of 80% running clothes, and 20% “real people” clothes. And that’s OK. Your shoes and socks may even need their own bag. Bring at least one back-up pair of running shoes. This is, after all, the most essential piece of running gear! Don’t forget the little things, like compression socks if you use them or cool-weather gear. Having one rain-proof jacket or Pancho is also a good idea.
  2. Water supply. Whatever your preference is for water supply while running, bring that and perhaps an extra. For example, I will be bringing my hydration pack as well as a few handheld water bottles. I pack these in their own plastic bag to keep them clean and store then away from anything sharp or abrasive.
  3. Gadgets. Bring your GPS watch, heart rate monitor, whatever gadgets you use. Also don’t forget to bring the appropriate chargers!
  4. Energy! Bring your gels! I bring all my Glukos energy gels, gummies, and protein. This one is extremely important because if you are used to one supplement, you don’t want to risk not using it or having to use something different or new once you get to your destination. The goal is to use what your used to. You don’t want anything new on race day that might upset your tummy! So, this one is a must.
  5. A garbage bag. I know this one is simple and weird. But along with bring a runner comes lots (and lots!) of dirty clothes. I always bring a large plastic bag to throw dirty (sweaty) clothes in. This keeps them separate from your clean clothes and also allows you to just toss them in the laundry once you get home. Not to mention the stench that it will detain! You’d be surprised at how much this little item can make a difference. So, go on – take that trip you’ve been thinking about! Investing in travel is investing in yourself, and I guarantee you will not regret it. I hope you have a wonderful run-cation!

Week 18: Marathon Training

Well, it’s official – the “long runs” are getting long. I still have lots of time until the big day… but have been wondering things. Lots of things. Like:

How early should I get to the start line?

Will I be able to get a good spot near my pace group?

Will it be crowded the whole way? Will my pace be determined by the sea of humans?

Will I be able to sleep the night before?

What will I eat before I race?

Will I be able to do anything when it over? Besides lay on my back?

What pace will I aim to keep?

Will I run with my hydration pack? Or will aid stations suffice?

Will I remember to pack everything I need?

And if you’re just tuning in… I’m doing the RnR Las Vegas Marathon and this will be my first ever full marathon. Also, my first ever traveling race (Dallas to Las Vegas).

Anyway, I just remind myself that I have an AMAZING coach, Andrew Simmons with Lifelong Endurance, and I know he will guide me through all of these questions (and more). The one’s that have answers anyway. As for the others, well – no point in wondering “what if…” Everything will be fine. I just still can’t believe it’s actually happening!

As I tick away the weeks it’s an odd feeling – I truly am enjoying the training process and although I can’t wait until race day, it will be bittersweet when it’s over. I will have officially run a marathon, but my days “training for my first marathon” will be over! I’ll just need a new challenge! I may already have one in mind…

OK enough wondering and speculating. Let’s get into the real stuff! Training…

[ week 18 / 12 weeks until 26.2 ]

Sunday – Long run. 11 miles, 1:42:56, 9:21 min/mile.

I died. It was hot. Even though I went early. I ran the entire 11 miles on the same street (which was exactly one mile long both ways, so kind of a nice way of mentally counting down) because it was COMPLETELY shaded. I kept thinking I’d branch out and run towards the park or another direction, but the shade was just too nice to give up. It was like playing a game of “The Floor is Lava,” except anything outside of this street was lava. Figuratively and literally (sort of).

This was mostly a mentally challenging run. The last two miles I felt fatigue in my upper body (weird), but I did it! 11 miles. Afterwards I showered, ploppped down on the bed, then couldn’t get up. I think I was dehydrated, perhaps a bit of heat exhaustion – I had a headache and just felt poopy afterwards. I told myself that I really need to make it a point to drink lots of water the day before my long run. Really, all the time. In this heat, staying hydrated is a constant battle.


Monday – No run. Strength training.

Today I did a Gold’s Fit class, it was a great workout:


Tuesday – Tempo run. 6 miles, 53:43, 8:53 min/mile.

It wasn’t too hot today (YAY!)! I did 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ 8:30 pace, 3:00 min break (walk), 2 miles @ 8:30 pace, 1 mile easy. 8:30 min/mile felt fast today. I felt sluggish but I pushed through and that last slow, easy mile felt GREAT.


Wednesday – Easy run. 3.01 miles, 30:29, 10:08 min/mile.

I really took it easy on this one. I need to be better about taking easy runs easy. My body was tired from the long run then strength training the next day so it felt good just to take it slow. I felt great after this run.


Thursday – Sad face.

I woke up and was glad I only had 3 miles scheduled – I was tired. Even so, I woke up promptly at 5:00 am and got ready to go – stretched, got my water ready, turned my jams on and started my run. Ow. My right knee hurt right off the bat. I ran/walked/stretched for about a mile to see if it would “shake out.” I felt like I was running funny to compensate and the discomfort continued so I decided to call it. Any time I’m running odd to compensate for something, I’ve found that it does more harm than good. Then something on the other side starts hurting, then its a real downward spiral from there. So, I text Coach and he said just walk home, ice and take it easy. As frustrating as it is to call off a run, especially while already mid-run, I did what was best for my body and took a rest day.


(New shoes make everything better, right?)

Friday – Aerobic easy run. 5.1 miles, 44:27, 8:43 min/mile.

1 mile easy, 5K @ 5k effort, 1 mile easy. So, I woke up and started to think, I should probably just run around in my jammies and see if it’s even worth getting ready. If my knee hurts I can just go back to sleep. WAIT! That’s not setting myself up for success! I got my tush up out of bed, got my running clothes on, got my water read, tunes on, and got outside. What do you know! My knee was just fine! I killed my run and felt great! When nothings hurts – especially when you expect it to – now THAT is the best feeling in the world. I was glad that I set myself up for success and learned a lesson from that. Set yourself up to SUCCEED (no matter what!). This applies not only to running, but to life!


(Did you check out the new BibRave podcast?! Exciting stuff! Really great running-related information!)

Saturday – Rest day!

Total miles this week (running only) – 25.16

What is something running has taught you about life?

Have you ever had any major mishaps before/during a race?

What is your favorite piece of running gear?

 

 

 

Week 17: Marathon Training

Ok, the weeks are going by incredibly fast! I can’t believe I’m already on week 17!

Training is becoming more and more a routine and a part of me each day. At first, it was a very noticeable change from just working out willy-nilly whenever I wanted to. And since this is my first time actually training for a run, training for a marathon was a HUGE change! I’ve noticed, especially lately, that now its really become a huge part of my life. Even my friends and family know it’s a part of me and that I’m in bed by 9:30 on Saturday nights.

Like they say: Try training for a marathon and it not change your life.

I beginning to know the meaning behind this. The challenge is an amazing thing. Mentally as well as physically.

So, this week I’m finally getting back in the groove of being back in Texas and have been waking up at the crack of dawn (actually, before the crack of dawn) to get my runs in before the sun starts cooking. Early runs have been a bit frantic trying to squeeze them in before work, but it’s been completely worth it – 90 degrees vs. 100+ (yes, it’s still 90 degrees first thing in the morning in Texas).

[ week 17 / 13 weeks until 26.2 ]

Sunday – 8 miles, 1:10:56, 8:53 min/mile.

Today I tried to beat the heat but woke up a little late. I went around 7:30am and it was already 90+ degrees. It wasn’t too bad, though. I was thankful for my hydration pack (the Orange Mud Endurance Pack) and that nothing hurt. The last two miles were tough. The heat really started getting to me – but all was great afterwards.

I also learned a trick from the amazing Runny Legs that you can freeze your Glukos gels, and they are AMAZING. The perfect pick me up for a longer run!


Monday – Rest day (no run).

I did a personal training session at my gym and learned a ton of great strengthening/weight training workouts I can now do on my own. Before today, gym equipment was pretty foreign to me – I mean, I did some weight training in High School track and that’s about it. I’m a cardio feign. Now I feel confident going in and utilizing the machines in order to get the most out of them and build a little more strength in my legs as well as upper body. Strength training is very important and useful for runners!

I also learned from the fancy machine that the trainers have, that I have 13% body fat, my BMI is 20, and all my other numbers are good (not sure what the others were).


Tuesday – 6 miles, 54:01, 9:00 min/mile.

Early morning tempo run! I had a great run today! I actually get super pumped for tempo runs (I’m a crazy person, I know) so I was ready to go! It was also nice going early and not being cooked by the sun. I just had fun with it and jammed out. It felt good.

I also did a Gold’s Fit class later in the evening and we did a lot of arms. Nothing too crazy, though. I wasn’t overly sore afterwards. It was a great class, though, as always. I love the camaraderie, the feeling of working out with friends, and the slight competitive edge to the class. I’m a lone wolf when it comes to running, so it’s nice to do some workouts with other actual people.


Wednesday –  3 miles, 29:00, 9:39 min/mile.

It was really tough to wake up early for my run this morning and I almost didn’t (half-asleep thinking I can do it later…) but then I just imagined how HOT it would be later, and promptly popped out of bed. I’m glad I went early because it was still unbelievably hot. But it’s always better when the sun isn’t beating down.

I also did a lunch time bike ride – my legs were actually a little fatigued from Gold’s Fit yesterday (and the training session on Monday), but I hadn’t done a spin class in a long time so it felt great and I was really feeling the energy of the class. It was fun yet challenging. Just perfect.


Thursday – 5 miles, 47:34, 9:30 min/mile.

Nice run today, it was hard to get up early again (as always), but I was glad to get it done early. Also still hot (again) but better than the afternoon. The last two tenths of mile really got to me, though. I felt like I could just lay down in the middle oft he sidewalk and just take a nap right then and there. But I did it and I felt great afterwards.


Friday – 4 miles, 37:51, 9:27 min/mile.

2 easy miles, 2 @ 8:30 pace. All I can say is I was glad tomorrow would be rest day. I was so tired today – I started my run at about 11 minutes per mile, which is unusual for me because I like to start fast (I usually have to pace myself at the start). I finally woke up and felt like I was going a more “normal” pace. The last mile was especially tough, though. Even though it was 6:00am, it was HOT. and there was NO breeze. I think my body was more than ready for rest day after this run.


Saturday – Rest day!

A much needed rest day. I think it was the perfect amount of time, though, as I woke up feeling great and ready to go for my long run on Sunday.

Total miles for the week (running only) – 26

HUGE shout-out to my coach, Andrew Simmons for prescribing all of these workouts AND for being there for me no matter what! No matter if it’s a running question, or a life question. I don’t know where I’d be without him. Coaches can be beneficial for runners of all ages and stages, and with goals ranging from completing a 5K to winning an Iron Man. If you have any questions about coaching, please reach out to one of us!

I hope you all had an amazing week and start off this week strong!

Do you weight train?

What weight/strength training exercises are your favorite or do you see as most important?

Do you like any specific workout classes?

Week 16: Marathon Training

So, I’m back in Texas and still getting back into the swing of things and missing the cool Colorado weather. Even so, it’s always good to be home (though that’s hard to say as sweat is dripping down my face from walking to the mailbox and back).

The fact that I’ll be running 26.2 miles is getting real.

It’s happening.

In 14 weeks. Less than 100 days. That’s a long time, though, right? I have plenty of time!

I got this.

Right?

I’m truly enjoying the training and the challenge. I still worry, though. I mean are people… human beings… even supposed to run that far? People seem to survive. So. There’s that.

One week at a time…

[ week 16 / 14 weeks until 26.2 ]

Sunday – Rest day! I did my long run (10 miles) in Colorado for obvious reasons – beautiful cool weather, breathtaking scenery, not forcing myself to do a long run on zero sleep after driving home to Texas, etc. I had a beautiful, amazing long run and felt extremely accomplished! (deets here)

Monday – I had another rest day scheduled! You know, I’m just now realizing as I write this that it was probably so that I had a day off after my long run. Which I already had yesterday (oops). So, my schedule is a bit out of wack because of one switch-a-roo. I don’t usually switch runs because of this, but things happen. Sometimes you’re just in the mountains and want to run.

I thought about doing a cycling class or some strength training but my body was just telling me to just take the rest day for what it is. With all the runs and hikes last week, I think I just needed that extra day. Rest is part of training, too.

Tuesday – Easy 3 miles. 3.25 miles, 28:44, 8:50 min/mile.

HOT run. Welcome back to Texas! It was 100 degrees. Like, the actual temperature. I took it nice and easy and sweated profusely.

Also did a Gold’s Fit class – it was nice to see my workout buddies and to get some strength training in since I didn’t last week due to traveling. It was a TOUGH class. We did a full body workout – burpees, dumbells, weighted balls, and rowing machines were some of the things involved.

Wednesday – 3 easy miles, 26:54, 8:58 min/mile.

Really had to drag myself out there today, but I did it. With how busy I was this week with catching up on work, workouts, and life – I was pretty drained. Wouldn’t change it for the world, but drained nonetheless. So I got out there and it felt good once I did (as usual). Oh, besides the part when I almost got backed into by a car. Who backs out of their driveway at such speeds?! Luckily I never assume someone sees me and can dodge out of the way pretty quickly.

I must mention that I’ve been working hard to keep the injuries away (strength training, chiro visits, stretching, etc), and it’s done the body good because I feel great on my runs lately – no aches or pains! (KNOCK ON WOOD!)

Thursday – Tempo run. 6 miles, 54:01, 9:00 min/mile.

Today I had an extra long day at work – a long day of moving boxes in a building with no A/C. I didn’t have time to run in the morning, so I had another HOT evening run. If there was one word to sum up this day it was: hot.

I’m always excited for tempo runs, though. (Am I crazy?) I was excited to get out there and just jam out and run. I’m reading in my journal that “it was nice, I was excited for a tempo run but now I’M EXHAUSTED,” as the letters trail off into nothing. So, all-around great but tiring run (and day!).

Friday – Easy 4 miles, 36:34, 9:09 min/mile.

HOT! SERIOUSLY! This time I seriously take back any other time I ever said a run was “HOT.” THIS ONE WAS. I almost wasn’t sure I could do it. It was my own fault because I went at 5:00pm, so the sun had been cooking Dallas, Texas all day long. But! I didn’t have time to go in the morning. If I have to be at work at 6:00am, I won’t go in the morning because I don’t run in the dark due to safety issues and the fact that I don’t have the proper gear for that. But mostly because running in the dark is scary in the city. So I just don’t do it.

The first 2 miles were actually OK, then the last two miles were pretty much unbearable. I had to stop and just wipe off sweat, catch some shade, and remind myself tomorrow’s rest day! a few times.

As I always say, “But, I did it!

Saturday – Rest day! Ready for Sunday RUNday!

So, not an oober-exciting week, but I’ve been working extremely hard and am proud of myself for getting through it. I had a huge project at work and managed to balance training with a lot of life things this week.

Thanks to my coach, Andrew Simmons for all his hard work in creating all of these workouts and for always being there for support and advise. Please feel free to contact him or myself if you have ANY questions about coaching, what it’s like to have a coach, if a coach could be helpful for you… anything!

I hope you all had an amazing week of training, resting, vacationing, or whatever it is that you do!

How many rest days do you have per week?

If you could participate in the Olympics, which sport would you do (if you could pick ANY!)?

What motivates you on days you “just can’t?”

Week 15: Marathon Training

Whew! It’s been a crazy few weeks! I’m going to make this one pretty short and sweet as well, as it’s ten thirty PM and I need to wake up early for my long run!

Last week I was in Colorado and had some AMAZING runs. In fact, every morning I woke up at 6:00am – no alarm clock – and just popped out of bed eager to get out and run! It was nice and cool and the views were amazing. The hills were a different story… but I managed.

If you’re wondering about elevation, I was at about 9,000 ft. where I was running and I didn’t feel like the elevation affected my runs too much. I did feel winded on the first few hikes, though. Rather than the elevation change, I found the inclination change (up-hill) to be the most challenging.

Thanks to my coach, Andrew Simmons for all of my workouts!

[ week 15 / 15 weeks until 26.2 ]

Sunday – Long run in the mountains! 9 miles, 1:25:31, 9:30 min/mile.

Though the last few miles of this run took some mental strength, I really enjoyed this run. I ran as my dad biked (circles around me) and he showed me some great spots to run. The miles flew by… except for the up-hill parts. Up-hill, I was working hard yet doing about 10-12 min miles. Downhill I was doing 7-8 min miles. So, the run wasn’t easy but was just perfect thanks to the scenery.

Also, at this point the front of my shins and the little muscles in my ankles were sore from all the hiking and going up and down hill (which I’m not used to, living in a flat city). But once I warmed up they felt fine.


Monday – 3 easy miles, 28:39, 9:33 min/mile.

Legs even more sore today in weird spots from all the incline. Felt better after about a mile. Also did an 8 mile hike after this run. Enjoyed both thoroughly! Even saw a deer on this run!


Tuesday – 3 easy miles, 27:00, 9:00 min/mile.

Legs still feeling sore in the same spots, better after I got going on my run, but made going up-hill a real struggle today. Also, note to self and others, if running and hiking all day long : REAPPLY SUNSCREEN! Luckily, my burns turn into tans by morning, but it’s still not fun!


Wednesday – 3 miles, 27:43, 9:14 min/mile.

So, slow up-hill (10-12 min/miles) and fast down-hill  (7-8 min/miles) seems to be a reoccurring theme. These short runs have been just lovely. Great views as I can’t mention enough, and SO COOL! I ended some runs completely sweat-less! That’s just unheard of back in the Texas heat.


Thursday – 6 miles, 56:06, 9:21 min/mile.

This run was TOUGH. I did 2:00 hard (8:40-8:15/min. pace), 3:00 easy for 6 miles. What made it difficult, though, is the hills. There were a few times I thought, I just can’t go up any more! It was frustrating at times not having a choice. You have to go-hill up to get to the down-hill parts! Flat was not an option. I wrote in my journal that “there were times my GPS stopped/paused while I was going up-hill I was going so slow. But I did it. And the views were, of course ,totally worth it.”

Also went on a 7-mile hike afterwards – the elevation gain wasn’t too intense and it was really nice. Felt great and really enjoyed the lakes and creeks.


Friday – 4.24 miles, 1 mile easy (8:50 min/mile), 3.24 miles at “easy” 5K pace (8:08 min/mile)

So, I did a mile warm-up because I was supposed to run 4 miles today.

I did 3.2 miles at 5K pace because, I did a 5k! We had to leave Saturday morning, but did the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon 5K on Friday night. I didn’t go too crazy because I didn’t want to hurt myself or anything, but I did 3.24 miles in 26:19 (8:08 pace). I saw someone drop their keys while running so I ran back to get them which may be why the distance is a little more than 3.1. I just signed up for the “fun run” because it was $5 cheaper, but if I had been timed I would’ve placed in my age group! It was a really great run, well organized, and everyone was really kind and encouraging. I will admit, I must be pretty OK at running up-hill because that’s when I’d swoop in and pass people. For a review of the race itself, check out my BibRave review here!


Saturday – 10 “easy” miles! 1:37:22, 9:44 min/mile.

Another long run in the mountains! We left Colorado this morning so I woke up super early to get this run in. Technically, Saturdays are my “off” days so I was scheduled to do this run on Sunday, but 1. I wanted to do as many runs in beautiful, cool Colorado as possible and 2. we’d be driving all night and I wanted to have a rest day before I got back to “real life.” So, I switched Saturday and Sunday.

So, I was out the door by 6:30am and it was chilly! I wore a jacket and shorts (I knew it’d warm up a bit). The run was AMAZING, especially for the first 5-6 miles. After that, I really had to dig deep to finish those last miles. Especially with all the up-hill. It was actually “better than expected,” as I wrote in my log, and I felt great for having done it!


I hope you all had an amazing week and are killing it this week, too!

Where is your favorite place to run?

How often do you travel for runs?

What sport will you be keeping up with in this year’s Olympics?

THE Smoothie Recipe!

If you’re a runner, swimmer, weightlifter, or athlete of any kind you may already know the importance of protein consumption during training. Even non-athletes should be getting 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight as a bare minimum (according to the American Dietetic Association). This ratio goes up to 1+ gram per pound depending on your physical activity. In saying this – you need to eat protein.

I started my marathon training continuing to eat what I normally do. When I took a moment and listed off the things I ate in a day, I realized I wasn’t eating much protein at all. Lately, I have started using protein powder to supplement and I can definitely tell a difference – not only in my recovery but also in my energy levels. Recovering was taking every bit of energy I had. Now I feel like I have energy and am ready to take on the next workout.

Of course, it’s important to include protein-rich foods in your diet such as eggs, nuts, and fish (my personal favorites). Protein powder, though, is an excellent way to get a quick dose of protein right after a workout, on the go, and as a supplement to make sure you’re getting your daily intake.

Protein powder usually comes in different flavors (such as chocolate and vanilla) and can be ingested in many different ways. There are many different brands and kinds – I personally use and love Glukos protein powder because it’s all natural and while it has 21 grams of protein, it only has 3 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fat (many other protein powder brands out there are loaded with sugar).

There’s always the easy, foolproof way of ingesting protein powder which is just tossing a scoop in water, mix (or shake), and enjoy! Sometimes it’s nice to change it up, though, so I wanted to share my absolute favorite way to enjoy protein. I make this almost daily and always feel incredilby rejuvenated afterwards. (Seriously).

“The Smoothie” (using Glukos Chocolate protein powder)

  • yogurt (strawberry Greek yogurt)
  • frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1 scoop peanut or almond butter
  • chia seeds (note – this will change the consistency of the smoothie)
  • tablespoon of honey (raw, unrefined)
  • Glukos Protein Powder (Chocolate)
  • Coconut milk (or milk of choice)
  • half handful of Spinach leaves
  • Small scoop of Coconut oil (extra virgin, unrefined)

I know it looks like a lot – and it is – but I fit all of this in a small blender cup. If you have everything handy it doesn’t take much time. If you need to make it quick and simple, though, leave out a few things:

Just the basics (“The Smoothie,” edited):

  • yogurt (strawberry Greek yogurt)
  • frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
  • 1 whole banana
  • Glukos Protein Powder (Chocolate)
  • Coconut milk (or milk of choice

Note: This recipe is also delicious with Vanilla protein – I just find myself reaching for Chocolate more often! Cheers to all the Chocolate lovers!

That’s it! A super easy recipe for mixing up the way you enjoy your protein powder. If you try it, let me know how delicious it was! Enjoy!

I started my marathon training continuing to eat what I normally do. When I took a moment and listed off the things I ate in a day, I realized I wasn’t eating much protein at all. Lately, I have started using protein powder to supplement and I can definitely tell a difference – not only in my recovery but in my energy levels. Recovery was taking every bit of energy I had. Now I feel like I have energy and am ready to take on my next workout.

Of course, it’s important to include protein-rich foods in your diet such as eggs, nuts, and fish (my personal favorites). Protein powder, though, is an excellent way to get a quick dose of protein right after a workout, on the go, and as a supplement to make sure you’re getting your daily intake.

Protein powder usually comes in different flavors (such as chocolate and vanilla) and can be ingested in many different ways. There are many different brands and kinds – I personally use and love Glukos protein powder because it’s all natural and while it has 21 grams of protein, it only has 3 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fat (many other protein powder brands out there are loaded with sugar).

There’s always the fool-proof, quick and easy way which is just tossing a scoop in water, mix (or shake), and enjoy! Sometimes it’s nice to mix it up, though, so I wanted to share my personal favorite way to enjoy protein. I make this almost daily and always feel amazingly rejuvenated afterwards. (Seriously).

Smoothie (using Glukos Chocolate protein powder)

  • yogurt (strawberry Greek yogurt)
  • frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1 scoop peanut or almond butter
  • chia seeds (note – this will change the consistency of the smoothie)
  • tablespoon of honey (raw, unrefined)
  • Glukos Protein Powder (Chocolate)
  • Coconut milk (or milk of choice)
  • half handful of Spinach leaves
  • Small scoop of Coconut oil (extra virgin, unrefined)


I know it looks like a lot – and it is – but I fit all of this in a small blender cup. If you have everything handy it doesn’t take much time. If you need to make it quick and simple, though, leave out a few things:

Just the basics (Smoothie, edited):

  • yogurt (strawberry Greek yogurt)
  • frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
  • 1 whole banana
  • Glukos Protein Powder (Chocolate)
  • Coconut milk (or milk of choice

Note: This recipe is also delicious with Vanilla protein – I just find myself reaching for Chocolate more often! Cheers to all the Chocolate lovers!

That’s it! A super easy recipe for mixing up the way you enjoy your protein powder. If you try it, let me know how delicious it was! Enjoy!

Review: Orange Mud Endurance Pack

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Endurance Pack to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

To see full details on the Orange Mud Endurance Pack, check out the Orange Mud website!

Let’s get right in to the deets:

The Orange Mud Endurance Pack:

Cost $134.95
Use Mountain biking, Running, Hiking
Weight 9.5oz.
Bladder Hydra-pack 2L
Dimensions 10″ wide x 13″tall
Volume 6L (storage space)
Storage 3 compartments + shoulder storage + front storage, both sides
Material Abrasion resistant, tough stretch fabric
Other Male and Female friendly (straps adjust to fit curves)

Comes in three colors – Orange, Grey, and Green

So, I’ve been testing the Orange Mud endurance pack for about a month now and it continues to impress me. I’ve tested it while running (long runs up to 10 miles so far) and while hiking (up to 4-5 hour hikes). It’s incredibly easy to use – easy to strap on, cinch up, clean, fill, and use. The tube is long so that it can also be used while biking. If you’re like me and won’t be using it for biking, you can cut the tube to make it shorter/personalize the length. I have not done so yet as I feel as though I shan’t be trusted with scissors around a $100+ dollar item.

The Orange Mud Endurance Pack is lightweight and easy to run with, yet does have plenty of storage for hiking or long runs. The chest straps have two cinch-up front pockets (each side) and two velcro closure pockets (each side). The pockets are perfect for gels and EVEN (as I just discovered) phones. Any phone. I have an iPhone 6S Plus and it fits perfectly in the cinch-up front pocket. I love putting it there on runs and hikes because its secure, won’t fall out, yet I can easily grab it if I need to change the music or snap a photo.

There is also a good amount of storage in the back – the material is stretchy, so it’s not bulky but you can fit almost anything in there! I easily stored a full-size sunscreen spray bottle in the back zip compartment while on a hike (with room to spare). You could easily fit a wallet, cell phone, sun screen, sunglasses, and probably even a pair of flip flops or something larger in the back zipper. It holds 6L of storage space.

Brand new Orange Mud Endurance Pack!:IMG_8273

My new necessity:IMG_8633

Close-up of pocket (the one I put my iPhone 6S Plus in) – just cinch up and it’s secure:IMG_8655

Front-view:IMG_8658

Stays secure while running:IMG_8713

Front view of the “spout” where you drink out of:File_000-1

I have front straps  adjusted to fit curves (though minimal) and I tuck tube under:File_004

As I continue to use the Orange Mud Endurance pack, I will think of any updates, tips, and/or tricks and add them here! For now, that’s all I have and I hope I’ve helped someone in their search for a hydration pack! I think that Orange Mud is a very genuine company and has very thoughtful designs. Bottom line, I would definitely recommend this product.