Sunday, February 22, 2015

Marathon Training Week #2 & the Snowy Weekend

The biggest thing that happened in my week!!!

I knew I picked a good race. I mean, come on! The Meb Zone! This allows you to get a high five from this champion! That's some epic motivation!

Anyway, here was week 2's schedule:

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdayTotal Miles
8 Miles
5 Miles
5 Miles
REST16 Miles
10 Miles
28 Miles

So...I was supposed to do 16 on Saturday, but we had some major snow, which goes on my list of "Things I Hate Most." But it gave me the excuse to stock up...

...and eat gluten filled pepperoni rolls topped with ranch.

Anyway, snow on a long run day is really frustrating. I have way less motivation and would much rather spend it in bed all day.

But, I forced myself on the treadmill, which I really only do because I have sympathy for the drivers that frequent the roads I run. Think of it from their perspective when roads are bad. They see a runner coming at them and they have to literally steer clear of you. One wrong move and they can lose control, hurting themselves or even hitting you.

Anyway, I stayed inside on Saturday and pieced together a 10 miler while watching Bruce Almighty.

My plan was to switch out Saturday's run for Sunday's and vice versa. I thought that maybe I would be able to hit the road due to improved temperatures on Sunday. Unfortunately, there was still a decent bit of snow, some of which was not cleared from the shoulders of some of the roads. So I was chained to the treadmill again. Only this time, I forced myself to do all 16 miles in one session. I did give myself the option of breaking it up, but I knew if I had, I would have exhausted myself even more.

The show Bones kept me pretty entertained and I made sure to give myself some really challenging inclines. It kept the miles moving pretty steady. I finished in 2:35:13. Not bad for being stuck indoors, if you ask me!

So this week should be pretty packed full of excitement and anxiety. I was supposed to get some test results from a doctor's appointment on Friday, but they weren't available, so I should be getting them tomorrow or Tuesday (fingers crossed for NO surgeries in 2015!). I am also seeing Ralphie May on Wednesday, which is super exciting! It will really help break up the madness of our busy lives.

So tell me...

What are you looking forward to doing this week?

Were you chained to a treadmill this weekend? How do you make a long run bareable? Do you break it up, watch a movie, etc?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Marathon Training: Week 1 & Valentine's Day!

Happy Sunday, all! I have just completed week 1 of 16 for the Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon.

Here was the proposed schedule:

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdayTotal Miles
10 Miles
5 Miles
5 Miles
45 Min Bike
REST18 Miles38 Miles

As you may notice, Thursday is crossed out and that is because I failed at life that day. I have become very overwhelmed with work, school, and I also had a doctor's appointment sneak up on me. I just about had a mental breakdown. So I decided to rest on both Thursday and Friday and abstain from school work for a couple of days.

Other than Thursday, I had a great week! Sunday rounded out my first 30 mile weekend. So I planned to take it easy the next day because I was experiencing some knee pain I have never had before. I wanted to be proactive, take it easy, and not injure myself so early in the game. I resumed running on Tuesday without an issue. Peter and I both ran on Tuesday and Wednesday out by my parents. He and I both are sick of doing road runs every night though. We favor the canal as it is easier on our joints, but with the recent snow we've had, the canal was out of the question. That and it's not quite light enough till we finish. It's really scary running on the canal in the dark, even with a light.

Fast forward to Saturday. I had an 18 miler planned and in all honesty, I wasn't feeling it. I stalled and didn't want to brave the 20 degree weather. Yet, I thought it was way too early in my training to be giving up on a long run. So I put on my cold gear and headed out. This time, sans Camelbak. I've enjoyed bringing it on my runs, but I have come to learn that the water will freeze in the tubes when it is 20 degrees out. Bringing it on Saturday would have been pointless.

So, like the "good" runner that I am, I brought neither water or food, just my cell and my iPod. I thought I was going to end up bailing before I reached my goal, so I told Peter to keep his phone on him. Yet, once I started running, I quickly changed my tune. I felt REALLY good.

My route was just an out and back from my house, to the canal and back. It was a perfect mixture of brutal hills on the pavement and flat, cushioned trail on the canal. I now prefer doing a mix between the two on my long runs. Doing on or the other is either too boring, too repetitive, too challenging, and then some. So incorporating both seems to have been quite beneficial. I have neglected hill training for some time and need it back. The Disney World Half really proved that. I will not make the same mistake for this marathon.

Anyway, when I arrived home from my 18 mile adventure, I was greeted with a dark chocolate bar with espresso beans, and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers!

I never got a picture of the chocolate because after you've run 18 miles, chocolate and caffeine couldn't be a better treat!

That evening, I got prettied up so we could get take out from the Outback. Yeah...nothing worth getting glammed up for, but I wanted to look good for my husband. :)

It was a lovely first Valentine's Day as a married couple for us. Very relaxed. Honestly, my favorite Valentine's Day to date! I think take out and chocolate is all you need! And a good run :)

So tell me...

How was your Valentine's Day? Single? Dating? Married?

Though running can be a stress reliever, when have you been so stressed, that running or working out is out of the schedule? Did you ever regret your decision to skip a workout due to stress?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bio Skin Giveaway (OVER) & the Beginning of my 41 Week Adventure

To celebrate the beginning of my 41 week running journey (I'll explain), I am doing a great giveaway! The awesome people at Bio Skin have given me the opportunity to share a $20 off coupon to one of my readers! Trust me, I'm jealous of you!

BioSkin provides top of the line compression clothing that will help with any aches or pains and prevent them from starting. I have a pair of the compression calf sleeves myself and they are awesome post-run!

Check out their website for more! And continue reading to find out how you can win $20 off!!!

So as I said, I am in the beginning of a crazy 41 week running journey.

It will take me through 2 marathons, 3 half marathons, 1 relay race, and end with the ultimate achievement: AN ULTRA-MARATHON!

This will be the most challenging schedule I have ever taken on as a runner. Though the training officially started yesterday, I have been doing what I will call "pre-training." It started in November when I randomly started upping my mileage as a "just in case I wanna do a marathon" situation. Since then, I have already done two 20 mile runs, one which was this past Saturday.

Now, the marathon I decided to do, the Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon, isn't until May 31st. Yesterday would have given me 16 weeks of training prior to that date. At this point, I have already done about 16 weeks of decent marathon training without having one planned. With that said, I decided I wouldn't waste my training and that I would take on a marathon a little sooner. 

Today, I randomly decided to sign up for the Queen City Marathon in Cumberland, MD. It's close and it's a fairly flat or steady elevated course. I will not be running this at race pace as I am more concerned with getting a great time in San Diego. I will use this as one of my long runs, a prequel to the big day.

I must say, this decision has really amped me up! I have a little less than 2 months before I am back in the marathon seat! It's been almost a year since I have participated in my 1st and only official marathon. Despite my intentions of keeping this marathon easy and relaxed, I think I will still manage to PR. My 20 milers have been great and were just seconds apart in pace. I am just in beast mode right now!

I'll have more on my training schedule as I get through each week. I am also starting some detoxing this week (I've gained some weight...oops!) and will keep you informed on that! So sit tight! Things are about to get crazy!


Answer one or all of the following questions with your name and email. One lucky reader will be randomly drawn to win!
  • Have you ever used a race as a training run for another race?
  • What upcoming marathons are you planning to participate in?
  • What is your favorite type of athletic wear?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Home Gym Makeover!

I have been busier than ever (I say this a lot now, don't I?). I decided to take another college class and it has absorbed most of my time after work. I am no geek, so I have to really put a lot of  effort into studying every single page of this World History book.

On top of school, I have had a project at home I've been working on. I have been working on transforming our old office/workout room into a gym. Since our roommate moved out, we were able to use his old bedroom as our office. This transition left the "gym" room a complete mess. It turned into a storage space for everything we didn't know what to do with. I finally got sick of it.

After talking about transforming it for weeks, I finally went out last weekend and bought painting supplies. That followed with a online shopping spree to get new stuff for our new gym room.

Here's the room before when it was an office/workout space.

Here's the room prior to painting.

Here's the room now.

The television that will replace our living room TV came today. Once that is mounted, the old TV will then be mounted to this wall in the gym room.

Just for perspective, here's what it looked like before.

 I also am looking to purchase a rug that will go in the craft corner.

I am waiting for another movie poster to arrive (Run, Fat Boy, Run) to fix to the wall. For now, I have a Forrest Gump poster. "Run, Forrest, run!!!

I have an additional medal wrack to nail up. That will serve as Peter's own personal rack from his races. But here's mine!

I am totally amped about this room. It is everything I wanted it to be and then some. I hate working out indoors, but when I have to, this will be a lot more tolerable! It's so bright and organized! The room before was very dull and had too much going on in it.

Aside from all of that, I am still running. I haven't been doing my best time-wise though. My pace has suddenly been a lot slower than what I would have hoped. I am trying not to get discouraged since after the month of January, I will be in training mode up until the end of November. This is like my only "break". I actually skipped tonight and biked instead of running on Tuesday. So I've only run twice this week.

I still have every intention on getting a 17 miler in this weekend, but again, not trying to get discouraged if my mileage is a bit on the low side. Marathon training starts the second week of February. Then ultra-marathon training starts the second week of June. I will definitely be earning back lost mileage.

Anyway, until my class is over in March, I may be MIA! But thank you for sticking with me!

PS! I have a giveaway coming up! Stay tuned!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Race Recap: The Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2015

I am an emotional runner. Here I am, near tears as I approach the finish of my first marathon.

This has never been uncommon for me. The above picture was just the first time my emotions were caught. Yet,the Walt Disney World Half Marathon defined a new form of emotional running for me. In fact, I think there were moments that as I choked back my emotions, I laughed at the same time.

So, without further ado, ere is my recap of one of the best/emotional races for me, The Walt Disney World Half Marathon!

Friday, January 9th.

Due to time constraints and my work schedule, Peter and I hopped on our flight on Florida around 10am on Friday morning. Upon arriving in Florida in the afternoon, we went straight to the expo without skipping a beat. The expo was held at ESPN's World Wide Sports Arena, right near all the Disney Parks.

It was mandatory that I got my picture with Donald.

I immediately obtained my bib and shirt from some very helpful volunteers. They answered questions for me that I hadn't even asked. I was already impressed!

Once I obtained my packet, we went to the expo itself. This place was PACKED with people.

We didn't stick around because we almost literally just stepped off the plane. We also hadn't had lunch just yet and had to hit the sheets early since I had an early wake up call.

Side note, our hotel had a SWEET view...and the bathroom wasn't too shabby either.

The following morning, my alarm went off at 2:30 am. I think the last time I saw 2:30am was when I was going to bed, not waking up!

Because I was not sure what the weather looked like for the day and we had already experienced chilly temps the day before, I settled on this outfit for the run.

Not gonna lie, the shorts didn't seem like enough once we got outside because it was FREEZING. Though my phone said it was in the 40s, the "real feel" was in the 30s. Not the Florida weather I was expecting at all.

Once we arrived to Epcot, Peter and I huddled in a merchandise tent with other cold runners. We stood by the pins that you could buy for the distance you ran. It's what I looked at for nearly an hour as I tried to ignore how cold I was. Once 5am rolled around, I had to journey back out, exposed to the cold once more.

The journey to the start line was much longer than I thought it would be. I imagined we would walk several yards and find our corrals. No, it was not that simple. It felt like a half mile, at least! In the freezing cold at that! It must have been some time walking because as soon as I got to where the corral were located, that's when the National Anthem began. That was my queue to run to my corral.

 It was crazy being that close to the front.

You were in the midst of all the firework action, which I was NOT expecting at all.

Anyway, when the fireworks went off for corral B runners, I instantly choked up. "Fireworks?! For me!?!!!!" Though, I must say, that was the most action you got in the first leg of the race. There were some guys dancing on stilts, but I had my sights set on running through the Disney parks.

Enter the Magic Kingdom.

After passing various stops to get your picture taken, I had arrived at the center of all that is Disney. As Cinderella's castle came into view and I saw all the twinkling Christmas lights still decked on its towers, my heart leaped into my throat. I had not seen this castle in almost 10 years and never in my life had I seen it decorated like this. This is where "emotional runner Lindsey" comes in. Queue the quick tears and the biggest smile I think I have ever had.

Just above the entrance, there was Elisa and Anna. I wanted to shout to them the lyrics to "Let It Go" but ultimately, I held it in.

Really bad picture of me near the castle!
As I ran through the Magic Kingdom, the memories of previous visits flooded back. I found Splash Mountain (which was CLOSED for renovations on our trip! Whaa!?) and the Dwarf's Mine Cart Coaster. Unfortunately, I didn't pick out too much because it was still dark and also, I was just REALLY over-stimulated.

Through out the race, they had frequent water stops, which I actually avoided. I have been taught that it is OKAY to walk at a water stop. I would grab my drink and typically get as far off to the side as possible. In this race, I couldn't do that. I had one runner hit me and another yell at me for stopping. It was the only bad thing I could mention from this race. I have never been able to drink out of a swishing cup of water while running. I normally choke or end up pouring water all over myself. So after two failed water stops, I didn't use them.

Epcot was the last leg of the race. At this point, I really started to feel pooped. I know I wasn't performing my best, even without having my Garmin (which I forgot that morning). I started feeling really sluggish and hills were killing me. I think it boiled down to lack of sleep, the fact that I had only been in Florida for less than like...17 hours, and that I didn't have breakfast that morning.

I almost wished I had stopped at various picture points to catch my breath, but at this point, I had run past the majority. I did manage to get one in though...

And despite my sluggishness, I managed to keep a smile on until the end...

The medal was pretty awesome...

Second to my first marathon medal, this one follows as being one of my favorites.

So my stats...

Overall Place: 1309/22081
Division Place:  59/1697
Gender Place: 275/12379
Chip Time: 1:52:25

I will, without a doubt, be doing this race again. Maybe not next year, but I intend on going back 3 years from now. By then, I want to do the Dopey or the Goofy Challenge and I will have Peter do it with me!

Definitely a 10 and fully recommended by Freckles :)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Honeymoon is Over!

I am back from Florida and cannot wait to share with you the race recap from the Walt Disney World Half Marathon! But drinks, running, wreath orders, homework, and house cleaning has impaired me from getting it together! It's coming though! Expect it very soon!