Thursday, February 26, 2015

Three Things Thursday

1.  The Hay's in the Barn!!

It's race week.  More specifically race day is TOMORROW.  GULP.  I've been fighting some major taper crazies the past couple of weeks.  I am reliving Ogden in my mind over and over.  Training so very hard for a race where I mentally just fell apart.  I don't want that to happen again.  The thought leaves me a bit terrified.  But at this point The Hay's in the Barn!  I've done everything I can.  I trained smart.  16 weeks and I didn't miss a single run.  NOT ONE.  23 Barbell Strength classes were taken in an attempt to make me stronger physically.  7 Yoga classes were taken in an attempt to make me stronger mentally and physically.  I didn't start those until the last 6 weeks.

But yet I am still sick with nervousness.

I do not want to fail.

I know that running a marathon at any pace is not considered a failure.  But for me, I need a PR.  This will be my fourth marathon.  Since my first (my current PR) I've ran one for fun and I've run one in an attempt to PR.  For 16 weeks I've put my heart and soul into this training. I don't want it to be for nothing.

So here it is, I'm throwing them out there ABC goals:

A.  Run a 4:15 or better.  This is what I've trained for.  Training has gone very well.

B.  Just beat 4:21:19.  Anything better is a PR.  I'll take a PR.

C.  Just don't have a heart attack and finish.  Enjoy a couple days away with my husband.

The bottom line is that I won't be happy with anything less than a B.  If I don't PR then I don't know that I will ever attempt a PR at this distance ever again.

That's the thing with the 26.2 distance, it's painful.  SO. INCREDIBLY. painful.  When they say if it doesn't hurt then you aren't doing it right, they are on to something.  But the bigger challenge is that when it does start to hurt, as I know it will, I need the mental strength to push on and not give up.

2.  My Strategy

I have bought my favorite Roctane Gu's.  Ogden I made the mistake of sucking down un-caffeinated gels.  I lacked energy for sure.

I will run with my favorite caffeinated Nuun.  I also feel like these give me great energy.

I will wear my cute red outfit.  Because if I look good, I'll feel good.

I will not go out too fast.  Another mistake made at Ogden.

I will give it my all on race day.

I will NOT give up.

I will leave NOTHING in the tank.

3.  What's next?

Regardless of what happens in Phoenix starting next week I'm pulling my eats together.  These past couple of weeks I've been so hungry all the time.  I'm reading The Power of Habit.  Already I'm thinking about ways that I can change my relationship with food.  I have continued to go to my Weight Watcher meetings on Monday's, however I've been steadily gaining rather than losing this past month.  I've put back on 5 lbs of the 18 that I lost at the end of last year.  So I need to pull it together and drop 15 lbs.  I also purchased 21 day fix after being inspired by Fancy Nancy.  Hopefully it will arrive early next week.  I would like to think that I will document my 21 day experience here on the blog.  Might be a fun challenge for me.


Wish me luck!

I'm off to barf now.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monday Brain Dump { 2.9.2015 }

This weekend was the last BIG long run before taper.  I had made plans for Jerm (that's the husband) and I to join up with my running buddies from the week before again.  We would run 14 miles with them along the roads, a gentle downhill was planned, which should be good training for Phoenix (I hope).  Then just Jerm and I would head out and back on the parkway for another 6-8 miles.

See I wanted to log 22 miles.  It was mental for me.  In MY crazy head to finish and say, "Well, you only have to squeeze out another 4 miles on race day." Sounds a whole lot more accomplish-able than another SIX miles.  Jerm did NOT want to run more than the 20 on schedule.  He didn't run long last week since he was out of town for work.  But he's awesome and just dug deep and ran the 22.

The night before I was setting out my stuff.  It was supposed to hit 60 degrees!  In February!!  In UTAH!!!  Unheard of.  I decided it would be a good day to test out my race outfit.  Not that it really needed testing however, it's all stuff I wear on a regular basis (just new colors).  Here's the plan:

Lululemon Pace Setter Skirt (red plaid)
Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank (red)
ProCompression Marathon Socks (red)
The Orange Mud HydraQuiver (hot pink, yeah it doesn't match)
Mizuno Wave Rider 17 (purple)

I love running races in a skirt and the Pace Setter is definitely my favorite.  I've done RunningSkirts Athletic Skirt before and while they're super comfy I just don't love how they fit me.  Although they do have a TON of really fun fabrics to choose from.  I pretty much exclusively run in the Cool Racerback tanks from Lulu. I LOVE that they are long and offer good compression to keep the tummy in tight.

I also plan to get some face stickers or tattoos to represent my alma mater, University of Utah while we're down there.  ASU is in the Pac12 with us.  So that will be fun I'm sure.

I found out however the night before that it was supposed to rain!  Rain and 60 degrees.  So as I prepped the night before I threw some capris and fresh socks in a bag to keep in the car. If I was wet and freezing after 14 miles I would at least have the opportunity to change before the next 8.  Alas, we got up to blue skies!  While I ran with my rain jacket around my waist for those 14 miles, which kind of sucked. I was happy to dump it at the car before we headed out for the last 8.

          Jordan River, UT 

          Wasatch Mountain Range, UT 

We had a really late start thanks to a member of the group whom apparently is notoriously late.  Wouldn't have been so bad if we didn't have to run so far that day. It was a long day of babysitting for our kids unfortunately.  But it was BEAUTIFUL!  We felt downright hot at points.  I wasn't prepared with BodyGlide in my normal chafe spots so that kind of sucked.  But the weather was perfect.  (minus the 20 mph wind, THAT sucked)

22 miles DONE.  Followed by a patty melt, onion rings and a diet coke.  I was starving and had zero self control.

My face covered in sweaty saltiness!!

Followed by chafing thanks to my HR strap.  And on the inside of my arms.  And a little bit of sun burn.  Who'd have thought in FEBRUARY!?!

The rest of the day I did NOTHING.  Sat on the couch and pretty much didn't move.  Watched SEVERAL episodes of State of Affairs (one of my newest favorite shows).  SO. GOOD.

I was in bed by 10pm and then slept for 10+ hours.  I will NOT miss the pure exhaustion that follows 20 milers.  Sunday morning I woke up at 9am feeling refreshed.  After my last 20 miler I hit up yoga the next morning and felt amazing.  I pulled the same party trick this week.

Thank you to Lifetime Fitness for AWESOME yoga classes.  I absolutely plan to add more days of yoga to the week when I'm done with this marathon.

For now, that's a wrap for the hard stuff.  My last two miles of that 22 were at 10:07 and 10:05.  That's barely 10 seconds off of marathon race pace.  I feel so good about where I'm at training wise.  And I'm not popping ibuprofen at mile 15 this cycle either.  I can feel the twinge in the right hip but nothing crazy.  I'm proud of myself that I've stuck with the 2 day a week strength training this cycle.  I'm really hoping that will pay off!


Do you do yoga?  Do you have a favorite type of class?

What hydration pack/belt do you use?  And why?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Let's Talk Earphones

Earphones are one of a runners best or worst piece of equipment.  I would venture to say that most runners run with music.  I'm not even going to dip my toe into the topic of safety related issues.  So I'll say that right up front.

I am a LOVER of my iPod.  I spend tons of time working on playlists.  Downloading books to run to (my current obsession on the long run).  This past weekend I was even working on my Mile 20 playlist.  My plan being to switch over to this list when I'm running the BMO Phoenix Marathon at the end of this month AT ... wait for it ... Mile 20!  With all that being said headphones are important.  I have at this very moment FOUR different kinds of ear buds residing in my purse.  Another pair in my gym bag that goes to and from work with me every day as well.

What do you consider when looking to purchase ear phones?

  • Do they stay in your ears when you sweat?
  • Sound quality?
  • Do you want wired or wireless?
  • Do you need controls on the cord?
  • Are they cute?
  • Are they comfortable?
  • How much do they cost?
I carry so many ear phones because they kind of all serve a different purpose.  NONE of these were given to me.  I paid my hard earned money for them all so you can trust what I say isn't influenced in any way.

Bose Sound True

I don't run with these.  Simply put they don't stay in my ears.  However, I include them in my list because these are HANDS DOWN the best sound quality I've ever experienced in an ear bud.  They are pricey but you get what you pay for.  I'm on my second pair.  They accepted a trade in when the wires started to expose on my first pair, however they still worked fine.  I would strongly recommend these for the listener looking for premium sound quality for times when you aren't working out.  Retail - $116.95.

Skull Candy

I have lots of friends that love these.  I think they're okay.  They can fill the "cute" requirement if you're into that.  They come in tons of fun colors.  They are moderately comfortable.  With moderate sound quality.  I use them mostly just when talking on my phone.  They are a good back up for the gym, generally don't fall out, but sometimes it can happen.  But they are very affordable and for the cost I think you get a really decent ear bud.  Retail - $19.99

YurBud Inspire (made for women)

As far as a corded earphone goes these are the way to go, hands down.  I've been running with them for 3+ years now and they never, NEVER fall out.  The sound quality is second best to the Bose at a fraction of the cost.  You can sweat like a filthy animal and they won't fall out.  They are SUPER comfortable.  They have the whole lock in technology and it works.  The only downside to these is that you really do have to be very careful with the rubber bits (seen in purple above) that go in your ear.  They are lost EASILY.  I've lost them, my husband has lost them, my dad has lost them, my friend has lost them.  But, with that known just get something to keep them in and be careful when you're taking them off to put away.  But if you DO lose them the company is AWESOME and you can buy replacements for $10.  I LOVE that they have ones specially made for women's smaller ears.  They really do make a big difference in comfort.  You can also opt for over ear, in ear, with controls on the cord or without.  Basic ear bud without cord controls (what I have) Retail - $19.99

Jaybird Bluebuds X

These babies are what I currently run with 100% of the time.  They are an investment.  I can honestly say that I would have never gotten these had my husband not stumbled on a KILLER deal, we paid about half price.  BUT with that said, having run with them for over a year now I WOULD drop full price money on these.  They are that great.  I wouldn't have thought the wireless would make that big of a difference.  But until you go wireless you just don't know what you're missing.  No more untangling cords from under your layers when you get warm and drop layers mid run.  No more catching the cord on something YANKING them out of your ears, causing serious pain.  The charge is good for about 8 hours of battery (tested true).  You can see a display on your iPod (at least my iPod touch does) that shows you how much battery you have on the earphones.  I charge mine once a week the night before a long run, then run with them the rest of the week for my short runs on the same charge.  They don't fall out due to that patented hooky thing (very technical talk here).  Sound quality is decent (not as good as Bose).  I love the wireless feature.  I hook them in and power them up.  Away I go.  Plus the controls lay flat against my head, I can change volume, skip songs, stop music all together just from a one finger press of a button against my head.  And yes, they are comfortable.  You can even collect up the slack cord (fit them to your head one time) so there is NO slack at all.  They come with different size ear buds and "hooky things", plus a nice carry case that holds the earphones and charge cord as well.  And I've had no skipping issues or connection issues with the Bluetooth.  You obviously would need a Bluetooth device to pair them with.  I can't say enough good things about these earphones.  Retail - $169.95

There you have it.  The Jaybirds are my first choice.  If you don't want to invest in wireless at this time then the Yurbuds are for sure my second choice.  I've also seen that Yurbuds has come out with some wireless ones at a $99.99 price point.  I've heard people complain about the weight of them but I can't speak for them myself.


Do you run with earphones?  Which is your favorite?

Do you have any song recommendations for my Mile 20 list?


Edited to add:  I came across this from RunHaven, a review of the Bluebuds, she says it better than me.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weekend Round Up {2.2.2015}

The theme this week was kind of a keep you head down and get it done kind of approach.  My husband was out of town all week for work and so it was just me and 4 kiddos.  As if that wasn't enough to force me to dig deep (think car pool 5 days versus 2) I then woke up with the distinct beginnings of a cold Friday morning.

The Workouts:

Monday - 5m Easy | 10:28 avg pace.  This run felt AWESOME.  I couldn't believe I felt so good coming off a 20 milers over the weekend.  My legs felt fresh though.

Tuesday - Barbell Strength Class - I didn't push as hard as I could have.  I made up for that on Thursday.

Wednesday - 8m Easy | 10:26 avg pace.  This was my last midweek longer run.  As I went to change for my run I found out that I had forgotten to pack my SOCKS.  I debated about asking a co-worker for a loaner pair.  But really there wasn't anyone that I could do that with.  I broke down and made a mad dash to the closest running store I could think of.  I wasn't prepared to risk blisters to run without socks.  And it NEVER crossed my mind not to run.  It caused me to stay quite a bit later to finish up but I was glad I did.  After the stress of the no sock situation the run was just okay.

      Salt Lake Running Company to the rescue.

Thursday - Barbell Strength Class - I pushed harder.  Took my squats deeper.  Tried not to give up when the instructor said we were close to the end and all I wanted to do was give up.

Friday - 5m Easy | 10:26 avg pace - This is when I started to get my cold.  The run was fine.  Legs felt strong.  But overall I was a little tired.

Saturday - 12m LSD | 11:24 avg pace - Husband was out of town so I reached out to one of my Daily Mile running buddies.  I was nervous to run with a group I had never run with before.  I knew they run a little bit slower than I would normally which for me was far better than trying to keep up with a speedier group.  I arrived right on time and started to get my hear situated.  See when Jerm and I run together we throw our earphones in and don't talk for hours.  I put my earphones in but never turned my music on.  I ended up running with my DM friends sister much of the time.  I made a very conscious effort to match pace with whomever was next to me.  Although towards the end she made several references to how fast I was (I'm not) and I actually fear that I won't be invited to go again.  Which actually makes me really sad because I had such a good time.

     Rose Canyon, UT  Deer seen on the run.

I felt really miserable afterwards due to the cold.  Spent most of the rest of the day on the couch watching "State of Affairs".

                                     Really just wanted to feel better.

Sunday - Rest.  I had planned to go to Yoga again but I just couldn't bring myself to do that with the cold.  The thought of hanging my head upside down didn't sound like much fun.  Not that I rested instead.  Went grocery shopping with 3 of my 4 kids.

Then Super Bowl party at my parents.  Which leads me to ...


Bad.  The week started out well.  I stuck to my plan, even making a big crockpot of Beef Lentil soup (for just me).  Then I got sick Friday and it just went downhill from there.  At that point I felt like crap and just wanted something easy.  Taco Bell for dinner (I'd been craving it for weeks).  Which left my belly not feeling so good on the long run Saturday.  Then pizza Saturday.  And lots of chips and dips on Sunday.

I need to pull it together.  I know this.  It could have been much worse on Sunday. I didn't eat as much as I could have, the only think saving me was less of an appetite than I've had lately.  If I'm not careful I'm going to gain all the weight back that I lost at the end of last year.

The Plan:

Lunches - Ham for sandwiches.  Salad stuff. Although salad just doesn't even sound good right now.

Monday - Steak and Veggies
Tuesday - Taco Soup (gym night)
Wednesday - Dinner at my parents
Thursday - Left over soup (gym night)
Friday - Eat out (I'm thinking Panda Express, simply because this works REALLY well for the long run the next morning)
Saturday - Chicken Enchilada Casserole and Salad
Sunday - Family dinner


What do you do when you're lacking motivation to get back on a healthy meal wagon?

Do you like to run with new people?