Race Recap: Tulsa Run Challenge!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run race 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!
Check out my detailed review of the Tulsa Run (organization, swag, etc) on BibRave.com!

Ok, before we go in to the dirty deets about how race day went, here’s a little bit about the Tulsa Run!

The Tulsa Run has a 15k, 5k, and 2k distance as well as a 5K and 15K “Challenge” (which is what I did), so there is a race for every runner. The race takes place in downtown Tulsa and passes through iconic parts of Tulsa including Cherry Street, Woodward Park, Veterans Park, the Arkansas River, the Red Fork District, the old Route 66, and finishes in the historic Art Deco District! The Tulsa Run is the host of USA Track and Field 15k Masters Championships and is known for EPIC swag and post-race goodies!


So, this race sounded like a great tradition that I wanted to be a part of. It’s about 4 hours away from Dallas, so the drive wouldn’t be bad and I could just stay a night an experience a new place! I had never been to Tulsa before! I even recruited my dad to drive up with me and make a little mini-vacation of it.

So, we packed our bags and drove up on Friday afternoon, made it to Tulsa around 5:00 pm, and headed straight to the Cox Business Center for the expo. My first impression of Tulsa was that it was really unique! The expo was in a big, beautiful building, too. The city is so colorful and vibrant.

The expo was great – pretty big but not overwhelmingly huge. There were plenty of vendors to keep us occupied for a bout an hour. The local Fleet Feet had lots of cute “Run Tulsa” gear available for purchase as well (I wanted it all!). My dad decided to run the 15K (woohoo!!!) and was able to register at the expo. We picked up our packets which consisted of our bibs, a long sleeve tee for the 5K for me, and hoodies for both of us for the 15K. Hoodies?! The tee and hoodie are seriously  THE best and I’ve actually already worn them both! Bonus swag: FREE race photos after the run!!! That plus awesome hoodies… yeah, they have the “swag” part down pat!!!



We then made our way to the local Fleet Feet once I realized I forgot to pack a SPORTS BRA! What?! That’s just slightly important. I think it was a blessing in disguise, though, because I’d never actually been fitted for a sports bra (I know, I know…) so the gals at Fleet Feet Tulsa got me all set up and fitted into a nice Brooks sports bra. There was a little cycle shop next door that occupied my dad at this time (he’s an avid cyclist).


The hotel was just a few blocks away (Courtyard Marriott), so we parked and headed up to check out the room. It was pretty sweet! AND we could see volunteers setting up the Finish Line RIGHT outside the front door of the hotel. Yep, the location was PERFECT. We literally did not drive for the rest of our stay! We walked to the Italian place next door (first things first: FOOD!) – yes, literally next door, then walked to the start line in the morning!


That morning, race day, I woke up extra early (I slept AMAZING, by the way, better even than at home!) and looked at the weather – 33 degrees! That temperature does not even compute with this Texan. I asked my dad what to wear (he’s from Illinois so this weather is no biggie) and he suggested so many clothes! I was thinking I’d get hot in all that. I had to go outside and feel this temperature for myself.

I didn’t make it out the door. Nope, nope, nope! The sliding door of the hotel opened, I felt the cold wind, and ran back up to the room and put ALL my clothes on. A tank top, arm warmers, a long sleeve tee, a jacket, and a hoodie on top, tights on bottom, mittens AND gloves, an ear warmer, and long socks. Yep. All my clothes.


So, it was about 30 minutes before the 5K race start (7:50 am). My Dad was getting ready just to walk me down (we don’t start the 15K until 9:00 am) and I was putting on any finishing touches. The hotel was so close to the start line that I didn’t even head out the door until 7:35 am and had plenty of time (seriously!).

I’m glad my dad went down with me, because once I got outside, moving, and seeing what all the other runners were wearing, I realized I was way overdressed. I took off the hoodie and a layer of gloves for him to take back to the room. I wasn’t brave enough to strip anything else off, even though there were runners there in everything ranging from tights & hoodies to tank top & shorts.


And we’re off!!! The 5K started and I felt good! It was so cold I couldn’t really feel much, so it was nice to move. I felt energized by the cool, crisp air. Quite a change from recent Texas running. The start of the race was pretty bottle-necked as it was a large race, so I had no choice but to start off at about a 12:00 min/mile pace. I zigged and zagged until I could get to about 8:30 minutes a mile, then finally made it to where I could go my goal pace of lower 7:00’s. In order to PR I knew I needed to hold a 7:00 or sub-7:00 minute/mile pace, which I soon realized wasn’t happening due to a slow start and HILLS! Holy hills. I decided not to let this bother me and just ENJOY the race. I did the best with what I had and finished in 24:09. Definitely not my best but good enough to snag second in my age group! Woohoo! Now I was excited to have a fun run with my Dad.


How often does your Dad go to Tulsa with you and sign up for a 15K with you? I made the official decision that I would run the 15K easy with Dad. Forget about time, PR’s, numbers – just have fun! I knew it would be an experience I would never forget. He is an avid cyclist but hadn’t run in YEARS, so committing the 15K was a huge deal! I didn’t care how fast we went, I just wanted to spend time with my favorite person! I was beyond excited for the 15K with Dad.


We had plenty of time to meet up after the 5K, even go back up to the hotel and relax and eat a banana before the 15K started at 9:00 am. We even shedded a couple layers and the temperature was truly PERFECT running weather, which was nice because we were slightly worried it’d be miserably cold.

We ran the 15K and chatted it up, took photos, laughed, stopped for a potty break, and just enjoyed every. single. moment. It was fun hanging out with the back of the pack, too – people were dressed up in Halloween costumes, and it was just a cool crowd overall! Everyone was having fun. Don’t get me wrong – going for a PR and racing hard is fun in it’s own way, but the “front of the pack” vs. the “back of the pack” definitely has a different vibe and I’m glad that I know it can be fun to experience both! I am SO, so, so proud of my dad for running almost 10 miles having not run in probably 10 years!!! I knew he could do it, because he is in AMAZING shape, and never gives up, but I am seriously impressed. He’s only a “little” sore today 😉


My dad and I had a freakin’ blast running together and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We grabbed our HUGE finisher’s medals (nailing the swag again, Tulsa Run!), grabbed our boxed lunches and other post-race goodies, looked around for a bit then headed up to the room to eat, talk about how much fun we had, and call mom and tell her all about it. We’d already decided in the elevator back to the room that the Tulsa Run would be a new father-daughter tradition!


So! I snagged 2nd in my AG in the 5K and had a BLAST running with Dad on the 15K. Needless to say, it was an amazing time! We are looking forward to being back in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2018!

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Run Tulsa: RACE WEEK!

It’s time! This is the week leading up to the Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run 5K + 15K Challenge! Before I tell you alllllll about how race day went, let’s dig in to race week training!

Thank you to Lifelong Endurance for coaching me through this running journey of mine! I feel confident being in the hands of such a knowledgeable coach and never have a doubt that I’ll be prepared on race day, which is an amazing feeling. I truly owe this to having a coach and structured, consistent workouts. I couldn’t do it on my own!

And thank YOU for all of your support and encouragement through ALL of it!

Let’s dig in!

Monday

Plan: “Pre-Race”/2 mile warm up, 2 x (1 mile @ 7:45, 7:35, 3:00 rest), 4x (400m @ 7:15, 90 second rest), 2 mile cool down

Ran: 9.67 miles/1:29:06/9:13 min/mile

I plugged this workout into my watch for once, and it was AMAZING having it tell you what to do next! Doing these types of speed workouts by memory/calculating distance at the time can be tricky and it’s easy to lose track. It makes a huge difference and I can’t wait to utilize this function more!

My legs were really stiff during the warm up. I felt better throughout but didn’t really get in the groove until the 400 meter intervals and flew through those! My VO2 Max. was 52, and I checked out my new “race predictor” function and, wow! My watch really believes in me! I better get to work! 🙂

I’m looking forward to savoring every moment of tomorrow’s mid-week rest day!

The very generous prediction times from my Forerunner 935!

Tuesday

Rest!

Wednesday

Plan: 5 miles easy/48:45/9:45 min/mile

Ran: 5.0/49:24/9:53 min/mile

I was tired. All I wrote in my journal today: “Tired. Legs didn’t want to go.” I’m usually a little more wordy…

I was going slow, but this was intended to be an easy run so I just kept it easy and didn’t expect a certain “easy” pace from myself.

This new “all natural” sunscreen gives me a good look!

Thursday

Plan: 4 miles easy/39:00/9:45 min/mile

Ran: 4.0/38:03/9:30 min/mile

This run felt WAY better than yesterday!!! Which made me really happy, because yesterday was tough. And it’s race week!

I even took a half day at work today – I just needed the rest – mentally and physically. It made a world of difference. You know those days…

I was so excited to leave for Tulsa, Oklahoma TOMORROW!

Already packing all my favorites!

Friday

Plan: 3 miles easy + 3 x 100 meter strides

Ran: 3.15/30:41/9:44 min/mile

Travel day! I woke up EXTRA early so I could get this run in and make it to work for a couple hours. The run felt pretty good. Nothing spectacular but didn’t feel terrible. I was just excited that my next run would be the Tulsa 5K in Tulsa, OK! I was so ready to get out of town!

Saturday

Race Day!

This morning I ran the 5K and 15K in Tulsa, Oklahoma! Read all about it in my Race Recap! Read my full review of the race itself on Bibrave.com!

Sunday

Rest!

Today I slept in (until 8:00 am… basically a world record)! I unpacked, meal prepped, and did laundry! I always feel best when the fridge is full and I’m set up for the week!


How do you set yourself up for success? 

What makes you feel like you’re ready to take on a tough week?

Run Tulsa Countdown: 1 week!

One week until I attempt to race a 5K and 15K in the same morning!!! I’m excited and also wondering what I’ve signed up for (and why?!?) But that’s how racing goes, right? Just register way in advance, then worry about what you’ve gotten yourself into later 😉

HUMUNG-O THANK YOU to Lifelong Endurance for prepping me for race day! Without a coach, I can absolutely tell you I would not have been as consistent or pushed myself as hard. A coach can really make the difference when you want to unlock your potential. If you have any questions about having a running coach, comment below or feel free to contact LLE at http://lifelongendurance.com/contact/.

And thank YOU for your constant support!! It means the world! Let’s dig in to how this week went!

Monday

Plan: 6 miles easy/58:17/9:43 min/mile

Ran: 6.01/56:38/9:26 min/mile

The weather was gorgeous today! I had tight calves today but they loosened up and the run felt good and easy, as it should. It’s amazing what a rest day can do! I really needed it (yesterday was rest day).

Tuesday

Plan: 2 mile warm up, 12 x 1:00 @ 7:20-7:15 + 1:30 @ 8:30, 2 mile cool down/7.5 miles, 1:07:38/9:01 min/mile

Ran: 7.85/1:07:20/8:34 min/mile

I did not have ANY motivation today. I ate like crap and felt exhausted and terrible after work (I’m a morning person in general) but I FINALLY forced myself out the door and, what do ya know, I nailed it! I hit all my paces!

Wednesday

Plan: 5 miles easy/48:45/9:45 min/mile

Ran: 5.01/46:09/9:13 min/mile

A little faster than I planned on running, but still felt easy. I ran with a local running group, so I had some nice conversation and the miles flew by. AND!!! I got a NEW WATCH! The Garmin Forerunner 935. I was so excited to take my new toy out for a spin, and I loved it! A full review coming soon on the Forerunner 935! 🙂


Thursday

Plan: 4 miles easy/39:00/9:45 min/mile

Ran: 4.01/38:11/9:32 min/mile

My run felt OK – I had just eaten (another afternoon run), so I had a giant full belly, but I ran through it and it was a BEAUTIFUL day. I also made it to Kickboxing which felt GREAT. I need to do that more!


Friday

Plan: 5 miles/2 miles easy, 3 progression 8:00-7:35

Ran: 5.01/41:36/8:19 min/mile//splits: 9:28, 9:09, 8:00, 7:36, 7:21

This was a tough one, especially that last mile pushing for 7:35, but I did it! It was different than my speed workouts lately which have been some sort of interval with rest, but I enjoyed the challenge! Proud of those negative splits! I also enjoyed being able to see my VO2 Max. on my new gadget, which was 51 today.


Saturday

Plan: Long run! 8 miles/4 easy, 4 hard

Ran: 8.01/1:12:32/9:04 min/mile//splits: 9:55, 9:48, 9:30, 9:50, 8:48, 8:32, 8:00, 8:06

This one felt good. I ran around the lake and started early, 6:00 am, so it was dark, quiet, and there was a nice breeze next to the water. And I was DONE before 7:30 am! It was great to see run friends and have the rest of the day to get stuff done!


Sunday

REST!

I meal prepped so that I have fresh, healthy food ready to go for the entire week (part of training!) and truly enjoyed the REST (also part of training!)!!


If you want to run Tulsa with me, code BIBRAVETR gets you $5 off!

If a 15K isn’t your thing, or you want an early-November race, there’s also the DAV 5K in Tulsa the next weekend, November 4th! Code SAVE5 gets you $5 off. This race is in honor of those who served and raises awareness of the issues our ill and injured veterans face every day. If I could stay in Tulsa for a week, I’d register for this one without a doubt!

There you have it! Now I just cruise through this week and on Friday, head to Tulsa, OK with my dad! He is going to bike around Tulsa (he’s an avid cyclist) while I run. Neither of us have been to Tulsa before, so it’ll be a nice little getaway!

Happy running!

Run Tulsa Countdown: 2 weeks!

Well! There’s no time to dilly-dally (my favorite activity besides running)! I raced the Portland Marathon Half last weekend, and now I have two weeks until the Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run Challenge 5K + 15K!

I am so glad I have Lifelong Endurance to guide me through this training to help me preform my very best on race day! THANK you!

Monday

Plan: 4 miles easy/38:51/9:43 min/mile

Ran: 4.01/41:11/10:17 min/mile

Last run in Portland before heading home to Dallas! The city was calm after a busy weekend. Friendly faces still made an appearance around the streets and two people even cheered me on with a “good job!” This has NEVER happened in Dallas. Not once. It was nice.

I ran slow. My legs were stiff from yesterday’s race but I just took it easy and listened to my body and it did feel good to get the legs moving.


Tuesday

Plan: Hills!/2 mile warm up, 8 x :45 @ 5K effort hills + 2:15 easy, 2 mile cool down/7 miles/1:03:07/9:01 min/mile

Ran: 7.02 miles/1:05:18/9:18 min/mile

I was wondering how the heck my legs were even going to work today after racing on Sunday, running yesterday, and waking up at 4:00 am to catch a flight to Dallas today. I got to town, got home, unpacked, and headed for the hills. Literally. This was my first EVER actual hill workout, too! I was really slow to warm up but felt strong on my sprints. I was definitely wiped out after this one.


Wednesday

Plan: 5 miles easy/48:45/9:45 min/mile

Ran:  5.02 miles/45:25/9:02 min/mile

The weather was GORGEOUS! My legs felt almost back to “normal” since Sunday’s race. My left leg is still stiff, but it felt good to get out there!


Thursday

Plan: 4 miles easy/39:00/9:45 min/mile + Cross-training

Ran: 4.01/38:10/9:32 min/mile + Spin class

I felt soooooo sloooow to start! I seriously didn’t think I was going to make it! I had a serious case of cement legs. But I did (eventually) warm up, got into the groove and felt good afterwards as always!


Friday

Plan: Speed work!/2 mile warm up, 5 x 1000m @ goal 5K pace + 2:00 easy, 2 mile cool down/7 miles/1:04:45/9:15 min/mile

Ran: 8.10/1:12:59/9:01 min/mile

This was the TOUGHEST RUN EVER. I wasn’t sure I could do it! But I DID! I didn’t quite hit my goal 5K paces, which I set at 7:00-7:05 (I plugged my workout into my Garmin fort he first time!) but I was really proud of just getting into the low 7’s especially with how much I’ve been asking of my legs lately.


Saturday

Plan: Long run!/9 miles, last 5K progression/1:27:45/9:45 min/mile

Ran: 9.01/1:26:08/9:34 min/mile

This run felt good. It was nice to have a “short” long run for a change, especially since I’ve been non-stop since Portland and after yesterday’s tough speed work session. I brought it home with the last 3 miles in the 8:00’s and it felt good!

I also tried out a place called “Stretch Zone” in Plano and it was amazing! I really NEEDED a good stretch. These long legs didn’t even want to move certain directions. I need to do this more. As many runners are, I am terrible about stretching. FYI if you are in the Dallas/Plano area, this place is brand new and your first session is free! I LOVED it and definitely recommend it. If you happen to be so kind and mention my name I will also get another free session. Worth looking in to for the great price of free!


Sunday

Rest day!
How do you plan your race schedule for the year?

Do you have races you do every year, or change it up?

Race Recap: Portland Marathon Half!

Hello, Portland!

This was my first time to Portland. In fact, my first time ever to the Pacific North West area, which was one of the reasons I chose this race. Ever since I started really getting into running about two years ago, I’ve decided that my favorite thing ever (ever, ever!) is to run in new places.

So, I loved Portland. I’ll just start with that. The sense of community is amazing, and this definitely showed during the race as well. Friendly faces, kind volunteers, just an overall “nice” vibe. Even my Uber driver on race day was so nice and chatty that we took a wrong turn (I didn’t mind the extra time in the warm car)!

Which brings me to race day. I could blab on about the entire trip – biking around Waterfront Loop, eating about a million delicious food items, my awesome thrift shop find (boots!), the ease of public transportation… BUT! Let’s stick to it… 🙂

 

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So, I woke up at 4:00 am on race day. I know that, to a normal person, this sounds far from an enjoyable hobby, but I love early mornings (once I have my coffee!). So I have my coffee, scroll Instagram, slowly get ready (I like giving myself plenty of time to dilly-dally, which is my actual profession). I had already “scheduled” an Uber driver to pick me up at 5:30 so that I could get downtown before the recommended arrival time, 6:00 am. The Uber driver was extremely friendly and had the car nice and warm. It was 40-50 degrees at this point, which is FREEZING for this Texan.

Pre-race, in my ill-fitting “throw-away” jacket! All smiles!

I brought a “throw-away” jacket to wear and toss when I warmed up, and I’m glad I did. I had lots of spare time and wasn’t miserable. I even hung out in an AWESOME running shop (called “Foot Traffic”) that was so incredibly kind enough to open extra early for people like me who like warmth, an actual restroom, and browsing running gear.

So, the time came to get to our corrals – I was in corral “A” (the first corral, closest to the front). I’m not sure how they assigned corrals and I’m really not sure how I ended up with the speedsters, but I was happy to start towards the front! I warmed up a bit, just skipped around and kind of pretended to know what I was doing compared to the speedsters. I noticed a woman with only a tank and shorts on who was practically hyperventilating she was so cold, so I gave her my throw-away jacket. I felt fine and was just ready to start at this point! Hooray for adrenaline! I put on my tunes, secured my mittens, had a little chat with the fellow next to me, and waited for my time to cross the Start line!

Excited for the race to start!

The race scenery was great and there were lots of people cheering – not the entire way, but a good portion of the Start and Finish and some spots in between. You had the option to personalize your Bib, so everyone was shouting your name and it was awesome!!! It took a few people to shout “Go, Jenna!” before I realized they weren’t all mind readers… oh yeah, my name is on my Bib… 🙂

There were a few unique bands along the way, pirates, and lots to look at. I heard the course changed and, in previous years, you went over an amazing bridge, so I did miss out on that but I truly enjoyed the course. Time flew. I will forever remember every view, friendly face, and pirate I encountered.


I started off thinking I’d aim for an 8:20 minute mile average for the course of the run. So I started with that. But with the cool weather and the adrenaline, I felt great! I didn’t want to burn out, though, so I stayed close to 8:10-8:20 for quite a while. Soon enough, I was about half-way and felt great. It felt easy! Training under the scorching Texas sun is paying off?! So I stepped it up a bit and aimed for 8:00/mile. Then I continued to feel great – just gliding through, each mile passing before I knew it – so I stepped it up to sub-8.


That last mile, I passed many struggling runners who may have started too quickly. So THIS is what negative splits should feel like! This was my first time to really “get” the whole – “start easy, have fuel in the tank for later” thing. I DID have fuel in the tank and really stepped it up at the end. The last tenth of a mile I sprinted past two guys!. It felt AMAZING. This run felt like the definition of finishing strong. I ran MY race. I focused on MY pace and didn’t let anyone effect that. There were times when people around me were going a lot faster than I was, and I just stayed calm. There were also times when people around me slowed down to a pace that was not to my potential, but I did not let that slow me down.


The finish line was great – I grabbed my medal, took a photo, then walked on down to the goodies – a long sleeve tech-tee, and some really sentimental and unique items which I loved including a pendant, commemorative coin, a seedling (so cool!) and a pretty rose! I just loved everything! Including the donuts, bananas, yogurt, and about a million other snacks. 😉

I learned so much during this race. I learned that saving some fuel for the last stretch is AMAZING and totally worth it. I learned to run MY OWN race – focus on myself and focus on enjoying my surroundings. I learned that running in cool temperatures is SPECTACULAR. I learned that I love Portland and I love running.


Finishing this race strong gave me a new confidence. I am more determined than ever to work hard and push towards my goals. I PROVED to MYSELF that I can be the runner that I want to be.

As for statistics and numbers, my official finish time was 1:45:16 which was good for 87th overall, 20th overall Woman, and 6th in my age group! I am happy just to run a strong race, but extremely happy with the numbers (for a pretty large race!) as well.


Thank you, Portland.

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AND!

Thank YOU for all of your support and, of course, Lifelong Endurance for setting me up for success. It’s amazing what can happen when you trust the process and put in the WORK!

Review: Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel (60L)

Disclaimer: I received an Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel 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!

For videos showing how versatile this duffel is: http://shop.eaglecreek.com/cargo-hauler-duffel-60l-m/d/1527

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From the Eagle Creek website:

  • ULTRA-LIGHT (You can’t tell by the picture, but the 60L weighs only 1 lb 12 oz!)
  • Made with an extra-durable, water-repellent coated Bi-Tech™ Armor Lite fabric: a fusion of technology that merges max abrasion-resistance with ultra-light carry
  • Bartack reinforcement on all high stress points for maximum schlepping
  • Carry by its removable backpack straps, padded top haul handles, or side grab handle
  • U-shaped lid for easy access to main compartment
  • Sizeable easy-access zippered end pockets for gear organization
  • Six heavy-duty lash points for attaching this bag to a roof rack
  • #10 lockable zippers with storm flap shield zipper from rain
  • Bottom is foam padded to help protect contents against impact

For a visual of about how big this size (60L/Medium) is:

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So, my thoughts!

This duffel is a great size! Big enough to take traveling and fit everything you need for a short getaway, yet small enough to take as a carry-on bag. Needless to say, the ability to carry it as a BACKPACK is AMAZING. Plus the backpack straps are legit and comfy. Not just straps for the heck of calling it versatile. It’s functional. It works. Having the option to carry it as a duffel is nice, too!

The bad itself is EXTREMELY lightweight. When I got it in the mail I thought they must have forgotten to put the item in the box! Plus, it packs into itself into about the size of a shoe box, which is nice for storage.

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All the different compartments are PERFECT – especially for runners/people carrying items like shoes, gadgets, and stinky/sweaty clothes. This would also be great for hiking since it’s durable, waterproof, and easy to carry. It will definitely be traveling with me to Colorado next summer!
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It was PERFECT for my race in Portland – just a few day’s stay. I loved the compartments for my running shoes and comfy shoes (oofos!) and it was just so easy. I’d much rather carry this than deal with a rolly-suitcase! It is definitely coming with me to the Tulsa run in a few weeks and BCS Marathon in December! Both weekend trips, so it’ll be perfect!

Half Marathon Training: Race week and a Healthy Heart!

Where to even begin! As I write this, I’ve already run the Portland Marathon Half and I have so much to tell you! But first, let’s cover week 9 of training – RACE WEEK! 

Again I want to thank Lifelong Endurance for being there every step of the way in prepping me for the “big day!”

Before I get too excited and start covering race day, let’s dig in and see how the week leading up went!

Monday

Plan: 6 miles easy/58:17/9:43 min/mile

Ran: 6.02/57:26/9:33 min/mile

I found out my heart is healthy today! At my most recent annual exam, my doctor heard a heart murmur. She said it was probably “normal” but recommended I get an Ultrasound to be sure. I was really (really, really) nervous. I mean your heart is kind of a big deal. So, today was the day! And the heart specialist said my heart is 100% healthy, strong, and normal! (This is called a “functioning heart murmur” – murmur just means sound, so my sound was very audible to my doctor)

SO! I mention this because it effected my mood greatly! Seriously. HELL YES to a healthy heart!!! I was beyond excited and thankful for my health. It is interesting how sometimes we take our basic health for granted until something “scary” happens before we truly appreciate it.

This being said, I was so overjoyed and relieved that it took everything I had not to just sprint around like a freakin’ maniac during this run! I ran extra happy today – my run felt good, and it was a warm yet gorgeous day.

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Beautiful, happy day!

Tuesday

Plan: “Pre-race!”/2 miles easy, 2 x 1 mile @ 7:45, 7:35, 3:00 rest, 4 x 400m @ 7:15, 90 sec rest, 2 miles easy/7.5 miles/1:07:38/9:01 min/mile

Ran: 7.5 miles/1:05:26/8:43 min/mile

It was POURING rain. But I do ANYTHING to avoid treadmills (have only used a dreadmill maybe 5 times in my life) and I don’t make excuses. So I got out there! I was worried about doing a speed workout in the rain, but I nailed all my paces!!! Happy runner right here! In fact, in contrast to yesterday, today was one of “those” days – dropping things all day, just nothing going my way. But I didn’t let the rain bring me down. In fact I felt pretty bad ass for getting out there and working hard.

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Right before the downpour – you can see the clouds rolling in!

Wednesday

Race week rest day!

Thursday

Plan: 4 easy miles/39:00/9:45 min/mile + Crosstraining

Ran: 4.01/38:00/9:28 min/mile + Spin class

This run felt good! I was so excited today because my next run would be in PORTLAND! I was starting to pack all my running gear and getting excited for really my first race in such cool weather! Excited to travel to my race destination TOMORROW!

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Hope I remember to pack all the things!

Friday

Rest + travel! Flew from Dallas to Portland today! The weather in Portland was perfect – highs in the 60’s, lows in the 40’s! Great for running and pretty COLD for this Texan!

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Portland, here I come!

Saturday

Plan: 3 miles easy/29:15/9:45 min/mile + 3 x 100m strides

Ran: 3.2 miles/30:52/9:39 min/mile

This run was in PORTLAND! It was only 54 degrees and I really enjoyed exploring the city. There’s nothing better than running in a new place! There were people, shops, and restaurants everywhere and a friendly vibe. I really enjoy this city. Tomorrow is race day!

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So many pointy trees!

Sunday

RACE DAY! Stay tuned for a race recap!!!

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Sneak peak: fun times in Portland!

What are your race day rituals or “pre” race day rituals? Certain meals, workouts, routines?

Review: Project Pink OOFOS

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Women’s OOahh Sport Project Pink Sandal 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!

Recovery. You hear it all the time but don’t want to believe it – it’s the most important part of training. You run hard, you rest hard. Even though somehow the rest part can be harder for some of us than the run part, it’s 100% absolutely and completely necessary.

So, what can help us recover better? Footwear. Just like it’s the most important part of your running getup, it can really make or break your recovery too. As runners, our feet and legs need as much TLC as possible. So, I was intrigued by these “oofos” that runners and athletes alike seem to rave about.

OOFOS? What is an “oofo?”

There are a few different styles of OOFOS, but I tried the Women’s OOahh Sport Project Pink Sandal, and will be reviewing this style. I opted for the slides because of their ease of getting on/off and likelihood of fitting my long, skinny feet – but they do also offer a thong and clog style.

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From the OOFOS website, “Our most popular shoe soothes and reinvigorates your feet after a workout, so you’ll be ready to do it again tomorrow. With patented OOfoam technology, the OOahh Sport absorbs impact, cradles your arches and allows you to move naturally. Your feet will know the difference.”

  • OOfoam: Absorbs 37% more shock than other materials
  • Reduces stress on sore feet, knees and lower back
  • Cradles your arches
  • Biomechanically designed footbed allows natural motion
  • Soft, conforming toe post eliminates toe chafing
  • Shower/beach-ready; moisture resistant; doesn’t retain smell
  • Durable OOfoam holds its cushion
  • Machine washable
  • So light they float

$10 of the proceeds from any of their Project Pink Sandals go towards breast cancer research. Read all about their charitable giving efforts here: https://www.oofos.com/pages/lets-make-a-difference.

So, now that we have the specs. How do I like them?


They are COOOOMFY. They aren’t like running shoes, where they are responsive and bouncy. These ABSORB the energy from your legs and just allow you to walk around like you’re on a bed of clouds. They cradle your arch – imagine a rubbery ball of (amazing) goo with a bump around your arch area. That’s what these are.


I also love that they are lightweight and durable. They will never loose their “gooeyness” (that’s a real word) AND not only are they water-proof/shower-friendly, you can just toss them in the washing machine! I can see why people love them. They are a lifetime investment in comfort and recovery.

Have you tried oofos? What are your thoughts?

Half Marathon Training: Week 8

The week after my races and the week leading up to the Portland Marathon!

It’s been an incredible journey so far and I can’t wait to see where it takes me! Thank you, Lifelong Endurance, for being there every step of the way.

Let’s dig in!

Monday

Plan: 4 miles easy/4.0/38:15/9:43 min/mile

Ran: 4.02/38:24/9:33 min/mile

I had a run scheduled today?! After the run-filled weekend, I quite honestly assumed I would have today off! BUT! I was surprisingly excited to see that I got to run today. All day, I couldn’t wait to get out there! Am I even a sane person? Probably not :)!

It is amazing what our bodies are capable of. Yesterday during the half marathon, I thought, I’m not running for a WEEK AFTER THIS! OR EVER! But today, I couldn’t wait! It’s like after this past weekend’s races, I’m more determined than ever.

My run felt OK. I even caught myself having to slow down! AND I stretched and foam rolled AND did an ice bath afterwards! Monday motivation at its finest!

Excited to be running for Run Texas!


Tuesday

Plan: 4 miles easy/39:00/9:45 min/mile

Ran: 4.10/41:03/10:00 min/mile

I did an early morning run. My legs felt tired but I felt OK. A 10 minute mile was just my easy pace this AM! So I went with my body. It felt good to get out there before the sun (even though it was still hot!)

Wednesday

Plan: 5 easy/5.0/48:45/9:45 min/mile

Ran: 5.01/48:32/9:42 min/mile

Slow is about all I could manage right now so I’m glad I had more easy miles! I’m not feeling terrible and the run didn’t feel hard, I’m just tired. Like I need a nap. BUT I am super excited and pumped to be running for Run Texas so I have a fire in me! Ready to work hard and do what it takes.

Stepping up my game with a headlamp that will hopefully allow me to SEE!


Thursday

Plan: 6 easy miles/6.0/58:30/9:45 min/mile

Ran: 6.20/1:00:58/9:49 min/mile

Woke up TIRED.. I was this close to skipping my run and making an excuse. But once I got out there, it felt surprisingly good! I just took it easy and got it done!

Throwback Thursday – ready for cooler temps!


Friday

Plan: Speed work!/7.5 miles: 2 miles easy, 15 x 1:00 @ 7:20-7:15, 1:00 @ 8:30, 2 miles easy

Ran: 7.51/1:04:46/8:38 min/mile mile splits: 9:39, 9:30, 7:38, 7:43, 7:46, 8:09, 9:26, 9:42

Tough run but manageable! It was only 72 degrees!!! It seriously reminded me of Christmas! (you know you’re a Texan when…!) The 15 intervals were intimidating, but I just kept telling myself I could do it. And I did! I’m excited for cooler temps!

Probably time to learn how to enter this stuff into that fancy gadget.


Saturday

Plan: Long run!/10 miles easy/1:37:30/9:45 min/mile

Ran: 10.1/1:38:11/9:43 min/mile

It was a nice, cool morning!!! It was amazing. It felt nice and easy. I was tired afterwards. Not really physically, but mentally. Just wanted to lay my head down and take a nap! So, I ate my Saturday tacos and went home and laid down! Ready for rest day tomorrow!

Results from last weekend’s 5K! Happy with my 2nd ever 5K race!


Sunday

Rest day! Enjoying every second and excited for taper week! I leave for Portland (PDX marathon) this Friday!!!

We know how to relax. Lot’s off food was involved as well.


Total miles for the week: 36.9

Total miles for September: 178.6 (287.4K)

How often do you implement cross training into your running? Strength training?