Saturday, December 20, 2014

Workout Recap - Week 51

Sunday, December 14th – 5 mile run with the hubby, Foam Rolled & Stretched


Monday, December 15th –  5 mile (easy pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched


Tuesday, December 16th –  Strength Training (abs, back, arms and legs), Foam Rolled & Stretched 

Wednesday, December 17th –  5 mile (tempo pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched 


Thursday, December 18th – REST DAY, Foam Rolled & Stretched
Friday, December 19th – 6 mile (long run pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched [OOPS... Didn't look at the calendar before I went out... This one was SUPPOSED to be a 4-miler...]


Saturday, December 20th – 18 mile (long run pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched


This week could be summed up in 1 word - adapt.

Normally my long run is on Friday, but this week I had to switch it up. Friday morning we had to go to the Riverside Court House to see our best friends finalize the adoption of their fourth child! We couldn't have been more thrilled to celebrate this day with them (but I knew I wasn't going to be able to get in 18 miles along with the celebrations, so I swapped it with my Saturday run).

Proof that I am not ALWAYS wearing running clothes ;)

Also, like I mentioned last week, Ryan has been doing some long runs on Sundays, so instead of my standard rest day, I end up logging some mileage with him. Sunday he had 10 miles on the schedule, but had to listen to his body and we finished with 5. With that being said though, I haven't technically had a rest day in a couple weeks, so Thursday I finally made myself STOP! My legs had been tired and with a long run coming up I wanted to give them a day to recover. Although I tend to "feel" lazy on rest days, it was MUCH NEEDED! [PS Talking about recovery, have you entered my GIVEAWAY for a Moji Mini Massager yet?!]

How were your workouts this past week?  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Final Tempo Training Run of 2014

Some things are worth celebrating. Heck, who am I kidding?! MOST THINGS ARE WORTH CELEBRATING!! We need to enjoy the little things, right?!

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Today marked my FINAL tempo training run of 2014. I will be starting to taper for the Dopey Challenge in the next few days (don't get me wrong, I still have an 18-miler this weekend and a half marathon next weekend) and the majority of the runs for the rest of the year are at my long run pace, so this was my last "fast" training run.

The weather man called for rain today, but thankfully it was done by the time I was off work and was still able to do my run outside (I'm not afraid of the rain, see my post about my soggy 16-miler on Friday for proof, but for my tempo runs I really would like to have secure footing when going faster).

I wore my new Brooks tights that I got over the weekend for today's run since it was a little on the chilly side due to the rain. They worked PERFECTLY! At first I wasn't sure how I would like them (especially since I'm not used to running in tights) because they have a higher waist, but they stayed put and "held in the belly". They pair GREAT with my PRO Compression Low Trainers.


Anyway, back to the run. It went much better than expected. My legs are TIRED and a bit sore (I could tell this morning when I got out of bed that the squats I did during yesterday's strength training workout were effecting them) and figured it would be a pretty painful run. [Even with my recovery tips, the soreness was still lingering around a bit...]

I'm not sure about you, but I have a difficult time starting off slow on my runs... I mean it is probably the fresh legs, the excitement of running, and the lack of maturity (I just started my running journey in 2012), but I always tend to go out WAY TOO FAST! Today I told myself I wanted negative splits (meaning each mile is faster than the one before) and so I had to consciously watch my pace that first mile or so.

WHOOOO HOOOO!! I was able to keep my negative splits the WHOLE run! Mile 1 - 7:49. Mile 2 - 7:41. Mile 3 - 7:33. Mile 4 - 7:20. Mile 5 - 7:12. And can we just celebrate THAT too?! Not only was I able to get faster throughout the run, did you see the time per mile?! I MEAN HELLO?! I just started running less than 3 years ago and I am able to run under 8 minute miles for more than a quarter mile! THAT IS HUGE (at least for a Pokey Pete like me!)! I would have NEVER imagined those times even 6 months ago!


Oh yeah, and since I LOVE Christmas, seeing the decorations on my run just make me smile a bit more ;) [I am thinking that maybe one of these next few days I will do my run in the evening to see all the lights twinkling, especially now that I have my AWESOME jacket from Brooks.]

The TOY-O-MATIC was CRUSHING an elf! OH NO!

Santa?! I KNOW HIM!

And the other scenery isn't anything to scoff at either ;) We are BEYOND BLESSED to live where most people want to come and vacation! I hope I never take the beauty and majesty around me for granted (if I do, feel free to kick me in the shin, deal?).


Do you celebrate your achievements?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Recovery (and a Moji Massager GIVEAWAY)

I have been starting to get together a list of my races from this past year for an end-of-the-year type recap post. I just counted and with the half marathon I have at the end of the month I will have completed TWENTY races this calendar year! Now don't get me wrong, that in no way competes with some folks (i.e. Dani from Weight Of My Shoulders who just finished 52 races in 2014), but for someone who started running in 2012, I would say that is still pretty great!

The more I run, the more I realize how important RECOVERY is for me and my body. This is ESPECIALLY crucial when adding longer training runs and increasing weekly mileage (like I am currently doing for the upcoming Dopey Challenge in less than a month and for the Phoenix Marathon in February). 

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I figured I would share a few things that I have found to work for me. Sharing is caring, right?! (Remember, I am NOT a doctor and this is NOT medical advice, just what works best for my body and maybe in turn you will find something that works for you.)

Hydrating: Thankfully I love water. I gave up pop a while back (actually it was January 23, 2012) and for the most part stick with good ol' H2O as my drink of choice. Water is used to maintain your body's proper temperature, remove waste, lubricate joints, and keeping a healthy blood flow (among other things). Because you sweat during your runs or workouts (and can I be honest for a second?! I sweat A LOT), you need to replenish that lost liquid to keep your body functioning at its peak.

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Wearing Compression Gear: My go-to company is PRO Compression (sure.... I am an ambassador for them.... but that is because their stuff WORKS). I wear compression socks during my long runs, as well as after difficult workouts. The compression gear keeps the blood and fluids flowing properly to support your muscles and tendons so you can recover quicker. 

PS If you didn't know, PRO Compression is having an END OF THE YEAR SALE! EVERYTHING is 42% OFF! Use code "2014" (DON'T DELAY, THE CODE EXPIRES ON FRIDAY!) on your order NOW!


Foam Rolling & Stretching: I did a post dedicated to this topic a while back. Feel free to check it out here if you haven't already (there are videos and descriptions of some of the rolling techniques which work best for me). I try to do this every evening. Normally Ryan and I are watching some sort of Michigan or Detroit sports at night before going to bed. While we are vegging out a bit, it is the perfect time for me to pull out the foam rollers. (My go-to roller is the M80 Roller because it is extremely firm and gets a deeper massage, but I will use my Trigger Point Grid Roller on my back because it has more cushion and is nicer on my spine.)


Lately I have been trying out a NEW product I was sent by the AMAZING folks at Moji. I received the Moji 360 Massager and would give it 2 thumbs up (and lots of happy muscles)! As you can see in the picture above, I have "The Stick". I will normally use that for my calves so I can get a deeper massage than I get with a roller, as well as have the hubby use it on me in areas I can't seem to work out myself (i.e. the outside of my booty, etc). I have been using the Moji 360 Massager in place of my stick for a while now and really like it! 


The Moji 360 Massager has rotating stainless steel spheres that smoothly roll over whatever muscles you are massaging. You are able to control the intensity of the massage by the amount of pressure you use (not to mention the continuous gripping surface allows you to hold on to it whatever way is most comfortable for you). I also appreciate that is is a manageable size and can fit in your gym bag.

I've been using it on my calves, quads, IT band, and just about anywhere I can rub it! [It'd be GREAT if we could all afford sports massages on a weekly basis, but until I find a money tree that is NOT a possibility, so self massaging will have to do.]



The MARVELOUS Moji Magicians (okay, maybe they aren't magicians, but I really like alliteration and the massager is sort of magical in how it helps with sore muscles) also sent me a Moji 360 Mini Massager to give away so YOU can recover faster too!



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I'm not sure if you are on Santa's naughty or nice list this year, but just in case you didn't make his cut, you can try your luck at winning a Moji 360 Mini Massager for yourself. Make sure to enter the GIVEAWAY below!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter early and often (some of the entries are available DAILY). The giveaway will run through Tuesday, December 23rd at 11:59pm PST. I will contact the winner via email (using the email address listed through Rafflecopter). Also, the entries ARE verified, so please make sure you complete the task or I'll have to pick a new random winner.


BEST OF LUCK TO ALL WHO ENTER!! 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Brooks PureProject Package - #RunHappy

OMGeeeeeeeee! [FYI - When I say OMG, I always mean OH MY GOODNESS (or sometimes OH MY GRACIOUS!)] I still CANNOT believe it... I got a Direct Message from Brooks the other day and it made my DAY WEEK MONTH!


If you don't know, I just about LIVE in their shoes (especially while training for the Dopey Challenge in less than a month and the Phoenix Marathon at the end of February)!

These are just SOME of my running shoes and I already count 6 pairs of Brooks in the mix ;)

I was figuring it would be a package of maybe some socks or a couple stickers, but BOY WAS I WRONG (which, honestly, NEVER happens ;))! We came home from walking the pup at the beach yesterday afternoon to a BIG box at the front door...

Can I just GEEK out for a quick moment?! I mean I LOVE BROOKS! And I can't even believe that they would pick little ol' me to send something to! Sure, I try and tag #RunHappy in my posts if I am sporting (and photoing) my Brooks shoes, but I would have NEVER imagined this amazing company would notice the little people ;)

Anyway, back to the gift... WHAT'S IN THE BOX (in that creepy Seven voice...)?!

I was still stunned this box appeared on my door step!

Christmas came early this year, boys and girls!

A card from Brooks with MY NAME on it?!
OH #ShutYourFace!

Walt isn't easily impressed, but this package got his heart pumpin'

The card was sooooo sweet (and even came with a few RunHappy stickers)! 

Sometimes it is the little details - like red and green shoe laces to tie the package up - can you say CUTE?! 


The first thing I noticed - everything was in a super cute bag. If you know me, you know I love me a reusable bags (or fifty) - whether it is the book bag type or the grocery bag - gotta try and save the planet one plastic bag at a time!


I opened up the bag and there were a few different packages inside. The first one was the smallest. I quickly ripped into the wrapping paper and pulled out a PureProject Beannie. It is a slouchy fit with reflective features and extremely soft. I couldn't get it on my head fast enough (hence why Ryan doesn't have any pictures of just the hat).

The next package included an AMAZING jacket. It is the Women's PureProject Shelter Jacket. I know it was love at first sight when I pulled it out. Living in SoCal, we don't often get to use thick coats, so this is PERFECT. And I didn't even realize how awesome it was until Ryan took a picture of it with the flash on the camera - IT'S REFLECTIVE!

The reflective lines show in the flash (or in the glow of car headlights).

The site gives a few of the features of the jacket:

Source

The next package was a pair of Women's PureProject Seamless Tights. Let's be honest... I am pretty self conscious. I have never really been a tights or leggings type gal. I guess I figured I couldn't pull them off. Lately I have been trying to rock them (I actually wore some banging tights on this morning's run), so you can say these came at the perfect time.


The Brooks website shares more about why these tights should be in your wardrobe:

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The gifts just kept on coming! Next up was a fantastic water bottle. I always try to have a reusable bottle with me. This one is made of glass and has a wooden top - talk about AWESOMESAUCE!

You know it is already filled with water and in the fridge!

I was so excited I just had to go try everything on. I think they fit PERFECTLY! I can't wait to take the gear out on a test run soon. I am sure that I will love each and every piece! (Not to mention the waterproof jacket will help if we have more rain like we did earlier this week for my soggy sixteen miles.)

The Brooks elves must have told Santa I was an extra good girl this year!

And the good folks at Brooks didn't even realize it, but not only did they send ME gifts, they sent Walt the Wiener Dog an afternoon of excitement! He LOVES to destroy boxes but normally we don't let him because it turns into a huge mess. We figured we would give him a little joy and let him go to town on the FedEx box the gifts came in... He doesn't eat the cardboard, just shreds it (silly dog).

The shredding machine at work!




So a HUGE thank you, not only from me, but from my doggy to Brooks! I honestly spent the rest of the afternoon saying things like "Ryan, that was so nice", "How awesome is this?!", "I still can't believe they sent me all these goodies", etc. I am still stunned in the generosity from Brooks!


Have you ever gotten a surprise gift that made your day week month?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Workout Recap - Week 50

Sunday, December 7th – 8 mile run with the hubby, Foam Rolled & Stretched


Monday, December 8th –  5 mile (easy pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched


Tuesday, December 9th –  Strength Training (abs, back, arms and legs)

Wednesday, December 10th –  5 mile (tempo pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched 


Thursday, December 11th – 19.5 mile bike ride, Foam Rolled & Stretched



Friday, December 12th – 16 mile (long run pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched


Saturday, December 13th – 6 mile (long run pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched


A pretty busy week! 40 miles run, 19.5 miles biked (cross training) and a strength training day!

Sunday is NORMALLY my "Rest Day" - but when the hubby is training and has his "long runs" on Sunday, you simply CANNOT turn down a run with your love! Thankfully (for me) his pace is slower than mine, so I feel like it isn't as insane as running every day at a crazy speed. (Not to mention, I am training for Dopey in LESS THAN A MONTH and I will be running 4 days back-to-back-to-back-to-back, so adding in an extra day of slower running can't be too terrible... right?!)

How were your workouts this past week?  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Soggy Sixteen

You down with PPP? Yeah, you know me. You down with PPP? From all the homeys! 
[PPP = Positive Peer Pressure and YES I made it up!]

This morning I had 16 miles on the training calendar. I didn't look at the weather until yesterday when I noticed the STORMS were a-comin'... Apparently it's the Pineapple Express, crazy weather heading our way from Hawaii. Anyway, I wasn't sure how I felt about doing 16 miles on the treadmill so decided I would wait to see how the weather was when I woke up.

Well played Mother Nature... well played!

I looked at the hourly forecast and saw it was supposed to let up around 10 and stop around noon. I posted that my run seemed like it would turn into an afternoon run and that's when the PPP started (and got me out into the elements a little earlier than I was expecting). 

First I got a text from Shelby.


Then @skylerwallace posted on my Instagram picture of the weather. [If you didn't know, he and his FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC wife are SPEED DEMONS, so when they say something you listen ;)]


And finally PavementRunner tagged me in a tweet.


Alright, alright, I hear ya! I am putting on my "weather proof" jacket and heading out the door. 

While I was walking Walt around the building

When I had tried to take Walt out to go to the bathroom before I went on my run (which consisted of me coaxing him out of the house and dragging him around our building) I noticed that although it was raining and windy, it wasn't too chilly. Shorts, a t-shirt and my jacket it was.

By mile 1 I was drenched through to my core. By mile 3 I had to take my SPIbelt off and hide it in my pocket (my jacket was just a little too short and all of the rain run-off was soaking the belt and the contents inside... including my phone). By mile 4 I had to hide over an overpass and put my watch in my jacket pocket because the rain was coming in my sleeves. By mile 8 I stopped under another overpass to eat a couple Clif Shot Bloks and take a couple pictures. By mile 10 the rain had started to let up a bit. By mile 11 I had to cross the Red Sea (okay, it wasn't that bad, but the water was up to the middle of my shins). By mile 12 the rain had all but stopped. By mile 14 all I wanted was WATER, yet couldn't find a working drinking fountain. By mile 16 I was home and the sun was starting to poke through the clouds.

My shorts were soaked about .25 mile in...
 
You can see the water pouring out of the hole in the street

Taking a little shelter while having some fuel

The tumble weeds are HUGE!

The riverbed overfloweth... 
 
I should have taken a video of my crossing but I was worried I might lose my phone

The sky started to open once I got down to the harbor -
HALLELUJAH 

My time wasn't great, but it was supposed to be at my long run pace (which is 9:42/mile) and it is all about getting in the mileage. Also, I had to be careful with my footing in some spots (the pavement is slippery when you haven't had rain in forever) and had to navigate raging rapids in other parts. All-in-all I will take it as a successful training run!

Average pace turned out to be about 9:50/mile

Now I've said it once, I'll say it a thousand times. I live in Southern California where we pay a HIGH Sunshine Tax. For me and my home, the price we pay to live in the 70* sun is VERY worth it. (I also realize that most other runners run in MUCH WORSE conditions than I have, so I need to be MUCH MORE GRATEFUL for the weather I am blessed to run in on a daily basis.) Obviously we are in a terrible drought right now so any rain we can get is much appreciated. Although I may not welcome the rain EVERY day, it did make for a super fun run (and like Shelby mentioned, it did make me feel pretty BA)! And hopefully one that will only make me stronger!

Do you run in the rain?