Sunday, November 29, 2015

Subaru Classic Half Marathon

Happy (late) Thanksgiving!

For the first time, I did a race Thanksgiving day morning and it was AWESOME.  I got my running buddy to do it with me and it was her first half marathon race!  Started out about 66 degrees and we were chilly waiting for the kick off.  No rain either even though the picture looks threatening. 

We started off feeling really great together but she's a faster runner than I am so I knew we'd separate at some point.  We ran into some fellow Galloway runners and stuck with them for about 3 miles before I had to back off and slow down if I wanted to last the whole time.  I have to say I felt freaking amazing the whole race until the very end.  At mile 10 I was a little worried thinking you still have a 5k to go.. but next thing I knew I was at mile 11 and then mile 12.  It went by so fast.  The last mile was in a neighborhood and it was TORTURE.  They had us crossing paths with people ahead of us twice so mentally it was frustrating.  I could see on my Garmin where I was in the race but visually in the neighborhood it felt like it took FOREVER to get out of there.  On top of that, the finish was around a corner that you don't know is there until your on top of it so I wasn't really able to kick it into gear until I could see how far I had to go.  I personally think it's better when it's a straight shot so you can really judge how hard to push it.  

My watch was off track with the mile markers the entire time.  So my watch said that we were finished right at the time we crossed the 13 mile marker.  So I stopped my watch at 13.1 because my watch it usually pretty accurate with mileage.  When I look at my past half marathons, this time is spot on... The Marine Corps half a month ago was much more difficult mentally and physically and I finished that in 2:48.  OK, I need to quit comparing!!

I got to wear my Pro compression socks for the first time and I think they did help!  I wore them from about 11-330 and my legs felt better after I took them off. 

I felt good even though my dang fanny pack kept riding up!!  Where do I find one that doesn't?! 

So then I made the waist band so tight that I looked like a marsh mellow being held my a rubber band... hahah

I love the colorful turkey medal!  And that's a rap for 13.1 #6 :)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Running Views

Ok, my lack of consistency lately is driving me crazy.  But with a crazy work week it's hard to get motivation to be active!  It's especially hard when I'm getting my 10,000 steps before I even get home from work - thank goodness I at least got that.

Monday night I did a super light run/walk in the neighborhood for about 3 miles.  I wasn't super focused but I did enjoy stopping for some pictures.  I don't love living in Florida but I have to say, my parents neighborhood has some pretty fantastic views.  Here's a peak into my Monday run:

I did actually force myself outside this morning for a longer run -- my first in about a month.  I went nice and easy for six miles but still faster than my pace group that I normally run with.  

I haven't hooked my garmin up to the Connect app in a while and I just realized they completely changed the layout.  Just when I figure out the old one!  I'm horrible with technology changes so it's going to be a while before I can figure out all the information I want to know from this.  Sheesh! It's kind of sad if the bar graph on bottom is saying I've only ran 8 times in the past 30 days.  Oh well, onward and upward.  This week will be different!  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hump Day Check In and the Inevitable

I'm LOVING and HATING the time change at different times of the day... I LOVE the change first thing in the morning when the sun is coming up on my run:

And I HATE when I'm walking to my car after work at 5:30pm and it's dark out.  That ensures I will be getting nothing done in the evening and will be in bed by 8:30pm...

As far as my workouts go this week here's my standings!
Monday:  4 miles -- because of time constraint before I needed to be home and in the shower I was only able to get 3 miles in.  But I'm happy with that! 

Tuesday:  strength training -- I went easy and just did some weights in my apartment instead of going to the gym.  I didn't do any legs, just upper body

Wednesday:  sprints -- I'm still learning how to make the most of my sprints but this morning I got up too late to go to the gym so I just went outside and went back and forth between sprinting 0.1 mile and 0.15 mile.  It kicked my butt!  That means I wasn't able to do it for very long but it's a start! 

Thursday:  5k
Friday: strength training
Saturday:  8 miles 
Sunday:  Rest

I'll spare you the pictures and details but I'm 99% sure I have a big toenail that's working it's way off.  I've never had this happen before and it has to be from running because I never dropped anything on it.  Now it's black and blue and more sensitive than it has been.  It's taking FOREVER to fall off!!  This has been going on for at least 4 months or so but just recently turned blue.  I'm a bit of a perfectionist/control freak so knowing this is the inevitable but not knowing when it's finally going to happen is KILLING me!  I need it done and over with NOW. But I guess I just have to let nature take it's course....

Happy Hump Day!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Life Lately and This Week's Goals

I touched on being quite busy recently so here's what's going on:

My apartment's all out of whack since I'm moving soon.  I hate having my things all over the place so this is definitely my number one source of distraction and stress right now! (By the way, on the TV is How to Get Away with Murder marathon on Netflix and I'm addicted haha!) 

We've had some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets lately - this one is from Friday night when we were out on the lawn watching Clayton Anderson play.  So fun! 

I've officially signed up for the Thanksgiving Day half marathon and Donna half marathon in February!  This means I need to keep kicking my butt into gear.  There's no falling off or I'm just going to disappoint myself.  I need to decide how important this running thing is because I can either continue to do what I've been doing and stay the same or I can step up my training and try to make some improvements.  

I'd like to make some improvements so here are my goals for this week 11/2-11/8 --
Monday:  4 miles
Tuesday:  strength training
Wednesday:  sprints
Thursday:  5k
Friday: strength training
Saturday:  8 miles 
Sunday:  Rest

I've never really done serious track workouts or sprints so I'm just going to plan out a few distances I want to try and do it.  If you have any suggestions for track workouts, let me know!  

And last but not least I leave you with current mood: 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Recap of Evergreen Pumpkin 5k

I had so much fun with this race!  I got one of my friends at work to do it with me that I haven't run with before and it turned into a great time.  We carpooled downtown to the cemetery and it was a little spooky first thing in the morning!  But there were lots of costumed people and they lined the streets with pumpkins so it was really cute.  Thanks to my friend, we dressed up as bank robbers and the outfits turned out so well.

The temperature was pretty perfect at the start but it did warm up very quickly, especially when you're wearing long sleeves, a beanie, and gloves.... haha!

 We did a walk run 45 sec running, 30 sec walking and we both agreed our pace was perfect.  I felt a little sluggish since I had just run a 5k on Saturday, also.  I usually take a day off in between running so my body was aching a little!

**NOTE: I did NOT wear the mask and gloves the whole time (so annoying) but when we saw cameras up ahead I put my gear on

Total time was 37:33 -- only 1 minute off of a PR time.  We have already planned our next race - a 5k in December :)  

Happy Halloween 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I Swear I'm Alive!

I've been so out of the loop lately with lots of changes going on!  Work has been kicking my butt and it's really all I can do to find the energy to go for a run.  On top of that, I'm moving next month so most of my free time is spent planning and packing.  But I need to get back into the groove and I'm slowly catching up on reading my Bloglovin feed so I figured I need to write a post myself.

I had been waiting for an email about pictures for the Jax Marine Corps Half but never got one so I did some digging last night and found a few!  I'm too cheap to buy the pictures, haha, so I just have messy screen shots to show:

The first two pictures are definitely towards the beginning/middle when I was feeling pretty darn good.  I thought this was going to be one of my best races ever.  Sadly, it went downhill at the end. 

The picture below is right at the end when it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other.  I wanted to give up and you can feel the defeat on my face.  

And finally at the finish line.  I was so disappointed and so relieved for it to be done and over with.  This was followed by the extremely slow crawl to my car while whining to my dad on the phone, haha! 

I'm not sure there was anything specific I could have done better to prevent the leg/hip cramps.  I want to research more into electrolytes and salt usage while running to see if that could potentially help.  In addition, I'm trying to stretch my hips as frequently as possible.  

Next half marathon = Thanksgiving Day Subaru Classic! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jax Marine Corps Half Marathon Recap

A few days later I finally have a moment to recap my most recent 13.1 mile trek.  I was completely mentally not prepared for this race at all.  My confidence was lacking since I had just gotten back from NW Pacific and hadn't run at all the week following my return.  I began hoping for rain or some other reason that the race couldn't go on so that I wouldn't have to feel like a failure for not going.  But I finally decided to go all in and change my mentality and prepare for this thing.

So I stocked up on music.  Made a kick ass playlist.  Got all my gear out including my Garmin, HR monitor, Gymboss, waistband, frozen water bottle (which I ended up forgetting), body glide and baseball cap.  The weather here in Jacksonville has been a little iffy lately.  One day it's chilly enough for a sweatshirt and then days like today I'm sweating walking to my car after work.  I had prepared shorts and a tank top the night before:

When I woke up I looked at the weather and saw that it was in the 60's and cloudy.  Thinking of the weather and the fact that I didn't love the way I looked in the chosen outfit I went for capris instead.  And it was a great decision - no chafing :) 

I'll save the boring details but will say I was able to meet up with my Galloway training group to run with them and it was AWESOME.  I LOVE my girls and we had fun running together.  

I felt GREAT (like amazing) when we started.  I thought I was going to have the best race of my life - my breathing was perfect, mentally I was feeling strong and confident, and my body felt good. Then we got to mile 7/8 and we were on the road and it was a pretty steep slant up to the middle of the road and it started a cramp in my right hip.  It got to the point where I seriously thought I needed to take it easy because this is it - the thing that will hold me back from being amazing today.  Just when I thought it was the end of my perfect race it kind of went away...  But then it came back around mile 10 in both hips.  Mentally and cardiovascularly I thought I could run a full; but my body was screaming for me to slow down.  I pulled my weight with the group all the way up to the last mile.  And they slowly started to creep ahead of me.  By the last 0.1 miles I had to walk and it felt like FOREVER.  I was pumping my arms so fast and I was moving so slowly.  I was in so much pain I wanted to cry and give up.  But I was doing so well I had to finish strong.  And I was able to run hobble my way through the finish line at 2:48.  

I'm actually pretty happy with my time.  When I completely hit a wall at the virtual half marathon a few weeks ago I had to walk quite a bit and finished in 3:02.  So I'm VERY happy with the outcome.  I'm even happier that I finished right behind the group.  

I took a few days off because I was so incredibly sore.  Tonight I got out and ran a 5k and hit a recent PR!  My ultimate PR was about 2 minutes faster during my college days so I'm excited that I'm getting closer and closer to that time!  36:34 is the new time to beat. 

Happy Hump Day!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Jax Marine Corps Playlist

One of the best parts about preparing for a half marathon is creating the playlist.  Last night I took about an hour to get all the motivating songs I could find and I think I created a masterpiece!  I'll warn you, some of them can be very inappropriate but they all have a good beat and great motivation.

Of course, once I realized I had 51 songs I had to delete one to make it even, haha.  Everything went great this morning except a couple minor issues including I didn't realize my iPod was playing the whole way leading up to the race so the battery was only at 50% when we started.  Right when I needed it the most at mile 11 the battery died.  HORRIBLE feeling.  I'll never make that mistake again!  Full race recap to come soon!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Help Wanted: Serious Motivation

I'm a pretty serious creature of habit.  I enjoy routine but also randomly get urges to make a big change.  Overall, I have a daily routine I like to stay on track with and when I get too far off... sometimes I have a hard time coming back...

I got two runs in and quote a lot of walks on my vacation last week but I have been utterly immobile this week other than working.  That's right, ZERO workouts, ZERO runs, ZERO walks.  I've been getting into bed around 800pm and sleeping later than normal.  HELP.  

What worries me most is I'm supposed to run my fifth half marathon this Saturday and I really don't know how I'm going to do.  What I'm hoping is that my body needs recovery and relaxation after the time changes and traveling it experienced last week.  Maybe if I continue laying low I will fully recover my body just in time to do amazingly well in the race... :)  Or, worst comes to worst, I can walk it to finish.  

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday because this work week has kicked my ass. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Back on the East Coast!

All of last week I was thoroughly enjoying being in the Pacific Northwest.  Great time with family, great time outdoors, awesome exploring, and amazing running views!  Here's the short and sweet run down --

We stayed in Eugene, Oregon where they have a bike/walking trail that goes something like 35 miles long!  I was too excited to get on there but it was extremely underused and went through some rough parts of town so thankfully my parents were walking behind me to keep me safe :) 

Another picture of the trail.  I LOVED the different scenery than I'm used to in Florida!  I went out for only about 3 miles but it quenched my desire to get out there and run.  

We did lots of hiking and exploring -- cross training?  I think so 

I was definitely huffing and puffing getting back up from the waterfall! 

Then we stayed at Cannon beach in Oregon for a couple nights.  I ran out 2 miles into town and then ran back to the hotel on the beach -- AMAZING!!

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My New Favorite Thing

       -Here's a hint-

A few long runs ago my shoes were too tight/short and my one toe was throbbing for hours after we finished.  That day I thought it might help if I laid on my back and put my feet up to make it stop pulsing and it didn't really work for the pulsing but I kind of thought it felt amazing overall.  Since I had only done it once I completely forgot about it until my run on Tuesday (4 miles in the morning).  When I got back I felt super light headed so I laid on my back and put my legs up so I wouldn't faint.  Not only did it help me not faint, it reminded me of the bliss of having my legs up after a run.  All factors leading to my new favorite thing to do :) After I did it a couple times I googled it to see if it was a real thing and saw a few bloggers chatting about it but no real evidence that it's a real thing runners do.  Don't knock it til you try it!

This morning we did 6 miles downtown and "ran the bridges".  I had heard of this bridge running but never really had an opportunity so I was kind of excited to be able to say, "yea, this weekend we're running the bridges.."  Must be a Jacksonville thing.  It's partly on the riverside walk and two of the bridges in Jacksonville - Main street bridge and the Acosta bridge.  It was pretty awesome running along the water so early in the morning and the bridges were beautiful all lit up!

Approaching our first bridge!  This one was short and not too difficult.  The second bridge was much longer and took quite a bit more effort.  But man was the reward excellent being able to feel the breeze at the top of the bridge and run downhill - bliss.  Around the second bridge it started sprinkling and that helped keep us pretty cool but by the time we finished it was downright raining and cold.  I'll take cold over hot any day, though!

First bridge again and only other picture I got.  Pretty!  My friend was joking that Florida is so flat we don't run hills to train we run bridges.  

I'm trying to start planning my runs in Oregon next week!  I need a 14 mile and 8 mile run planned BEFORE I go or it will never happen.. haha.  

Happy running!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Marathon High Virtual Half Marathon

I completed my fourth half marathon and first virtual race this weekend!  The Galloway group that I train with is a sponsor for the Marathon High running program for high school students.  Naturally, all of us signed up for the virtual half and even though our training called for 12 miles we did 13.1 on Saturday.

On the left is my friend from my running group.  We made a pact when we first started back in July that we would stick together and she definitely stuck it out with me on Saturday and I'm so thankful! It was so difficult to complete I think I just utterly ran out of fuel.  I was so exhausted finishing up but as soon as I got home, ate a little, and relaxed I felt perfect.  

Pretty fun bling!  And it makes it even more special that one of the Marathon High high schoolers designed the medal himself.  Certainly not my best race, maybe even my worst but it was a feel good race and I'm glad I did it with my running group :) 

On an unrelated note, I'm currently addicted to Smart Water -- well, I have been for a while now.  I love that it has Magnesium (known to help with my frequent migraines, I take a Magnesium supplement every day so I figure it can't hurt to get some extra through water) and that it has electrolytes in it.  Plus, you can't deny the great taste.  My grocery right now is 50 cents off each bottle and 10 cents off per gallon when you buy ten = I'm buying 10 water bottles every few days to stock up.  Crazy water lady :) Not to mention, I have more water than food... hmm... 

Happy running this week!