Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Favorites: KT Tape

As runners and folks with active lifestyles, we often put our bodies through the ringer! At times our muscles, ligaments, and tendons could use some pain relief and support. That is where this week's FRIDAY FAVORITE  comes into play. This week I am featuring KT Tape.

What is KT Tape?
Who is it for?
What does it do?

I have to be 100% upfront with you, I have only used KT Tape once... (Honestly, I have been extremely blessed to have a pretty injury-free running "career" thus far. My IT Band has flared up a bit before I found cross and strength training, but other than that I haven't really had any running related injuries. The one time I DID use KT Tape was when I stubbed my toe on a pool chair and needed some relief from the foot pain it caused - CLUMSY ME!) I do want to mention that although I do not personally use this (or at least haven't yet), I know there are LOTS of you out there that do. I am NOT a doctor or offering medical advice, but I know lots of folks in the running community swear by this tape!

KT Tape on my Foot
Please ignore the peeling toenail polish ;)

"So how can it be your favorite?", you may ask.

GREAT QUESTION. Well, because they are a company that sticks to their word (Get it?! I'm so punny...)!

You see, they had a contest on Instagram a couple months back. It was pretty simple to enter... Repost a picture, follow a couple accounts, and hashtag your post. Easy peasy, right?! The prize? A YEAR'S SUPPLY OF KT Tape! Well, you know I love me some giveaways, so I reposted the picture and sort of forgot about it.

Enter to win a 1 year supply of KT Tape

That was until my Instagram feed started BLOWING UP with congratulations! GUESS WHAT... I WAS ONE OF THE LUCKY WINNERS!!


Part of me thinks NO ONE ever wins these contests, yet another part of me thinks, if someone does, why can't it be me?! I mean Ryan and I DID win a free trip to Costa Rice from Dole through a contest we entered (All we had to do to enter that one? Submit your first name, last name and email address!), so you'd think I would believe my own advice that SOMEONE has to win so you might as well throw your name in the ring!

Anyway, the wonderful folks at KT Tape contacted me and I got to select 20 rolls. They had 10 colors in stock, so I figured I would pick 2 of every color - NO BRAINER!

20 rolls of KT Tape

As I mentioned, I haven't needed to use the KT Tape yet, so I still have rolls to share. I sent a few rolls to friends, but still have some duplicates. I wanted to share the wealth and have a fun GIVEAWAY (I believe I am blessed to bless others, so my gain is now YOUR gain)! You have the opportunity to win a FOUR PACK of KT Tape by entering the Rafflecopter below! The rolls up for grabs are RED, BLUE, BLACK, and BEIGE.

Red Blue Black Beige KT Tape

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter early and often (some of the entries are available DAILY). I did want to mention, this giveaway is NOT sponsored or affiliated with KT Tape in any way... I am just sharing my winnings with YOU! It will run through Thursday, September 25th at 11:59pm PST. I will contact the winner via email (using the email address listed through Rafflecopter). Also, the entires ARE verified, so please make sure you complete the task or I'll have to pick a new random winner.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Marathon Training

I started my SECOND round of Marathon Training on Monday!

Marathon Training

The first time around (which was training for my VERY FIRST FULL MARATHON, Santa Cruz's Surfer's Path Marathon that I ran in May), I used the Hal Higdon Novice 2 plan. I needed something that would work with the time frame I had available (a friend talked me into running the race with her, so I didn't totally have a full calendar to work with) and using the base I had already trained with. I found it online and would say I was definitely satisfied with the training and results (I stayed healthy and injury-free AND finished my first full marathon with a smile on my face - I'd say it was successful!).

Celebrate Your First Full Marathon
Somehow I still had the energy to JUMP FOR JOY
after finishing my first full marathon :)

The training plan worked fine (even though I would have loved to run the full a bit faster, but hey, there's always room for improvement, right?!), but for this attempt I knew I needed something a little different. Want to know why I needed a plan a bit more tailored specifically for me? Well, because I have TWO FULL MARATHONS on the schedule for this round of training, as well as I wanted to make sure the races I currently had on my calendar would be able to fit into my training.

I enlisted the help of a friend (and AWESOME coach), Krissy from Outrunning the Monorail. I originally asked her if she would work with me to create a plan while I trained for the Dopey Challenge (4 races in 4 days - 5K Thursday, 10K Friday, Half Marathon Saturday and Full Marathon Sunday). Her expertise became even more in demand when I realized I wanted to add the Phoenix Marathon to my race schedule AND try to go sub-4 hours at it!

Registered for the Phoenix Marathon

Seeing as the Phoenix Marathon isn't until the end of February, I have a ways to go (6 MONTHS of training calendars to be exact), but I KNOW I can do this! I work much better with a plan and a goal in mind (I'm sure you can tell by now that I am pretty self-motivated). My hope for this round of training is: A. to stay injury-free, B. to never lose the LOVE of running, and C. to CRUSH my goals!

Training Calendars for a Marathon
Personalized training calendars from September thru
February... WOWSER!

I'm sure there will be PLENTY of updates between now and my FINAL race on the schedule (currently I have 11 13 [yes, since I started training on Monday I have added 2 more races... whoopsy] races before Phoenix - HA!), but of course I had to commemorate the BEGINNING of this next journey!

How many races do you currently have planned between now and February? 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Color Me Rad PICS

A couple weeks ago I posted my recap for the Color Me Rad 5K that Ryan, Rachyl, Lisa and I ran. I keep forgetting to post the "official" pictures though. Until now that is (thank you for the reminder email Awesome Sauce Photos ;)).

There weren't too many photographers on the course, so I am surprised with the number of photos we actually got!

Oh yeah, and don't forget about the pictures we grabbed in front of the #RAD balloons, thanks to SmartCar!

Apparently THUMBS UP is my thing... huh?! I think I need a new pose ;) Any ideas?

Do you ever buy "fun run" photos? 

Speed Demon

Okay, so I know I may not be SPEEDY compared to lots of other runners out there, but I am speedier than I WAS, and THAT is what matters!!

The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday

This morning I had a tempo run on the calendar. 6 miles at 8:06 pace. Well, I have to say, when I first saw the pace I LAUGHED OUT-LOUD! Sure, I might be able to keep that pace for a mile (or go slightly faster during speed workouts if I am doing short distances like 800 meter repeats), but I "knew" I couldn't keep that pace for SIX miles.

We have been having a heat wave in Southern California for the last few days (in the triple digits... so bad that local bears are trying to cool off in neighborhood POOLS). Since we don't have A/C (haven't needed it in the 6+ years of living in Oceanside), we ended up sleeping on the floor in front of the box fan last night. I knew when I woke up at 4:45am and saw 80* and 80% humidity it would make for an EXTRA TOUGH tempo run.

My thoughts when I started, "As long as I can get my first mile at my tempo pace I will be happy... I mean, it's a goal to work towards, right?! I am sure when the temperatures drop and the humidity leaves I will speed up... Well, hopefully anyway...".

So, with my not so positive attitude I took off. I normally run my first mile too fast (darn you fresh legs and not being able to pace myself), which is what I did this morning. The first mile took 7:45. I looked at my Garmin and figured I wouldn't be able to keep it up, but at least one of the six miles would be at my tempo pace...

Even with the heat, humidity, lack of decent sleep, I WAS ABLE TO KEEP ALL SIX MILES UNDER 8:00 MILES! I was beside myself!! Sure, some of them I barely squeaked by (7:57 and 7:56), but I DID IT!

Yes, I have to run before the sun comes up to try to beat the heat...
And get the car back home before hubby needs it to go surf and to work :)

I was THRILLED to say the least. Especially because I have a goal to run my Turkey Trot 5-Miler on Thanksgiving under 40 minutes (which I thought was pushing it, but this morning my first 5 miles took 39:30) and I was nervous to even say the goal out loud, thinking there would be no way I would be able to hit it.

I wanted to make sure I got a picture (wasn't sure how the one in the dark
would turn out), so took one under one of the lamps in our condo complex when I got home...
I think the Shwings really helped me FLY!

This is terrible, I know, since I am ALL FOR POSITIVE THINKING, but I was totally expecting to be disappointed with today's run and tell Krissy I needed to reevaluate my goals... SHOOT DOGGY, MAYBE I JUST NEED TO BELIEVE IN MYSELF A LITTLE MORE!!

She believed she could so she DID

Do you give yourself enough credit? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Catching Up

This past week was a whirlwind! I wasn't able to blog as much as I would have liked, so I thought I'd do a quick fly-by of what has been going on lately.


Fall weekends often revolve around FOOTBALL. This weekend was no different. We are blessed to be able to go cheer on our friends' son on Friday nights (WHO DOESN'T LOVE FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS?!), so we went to Escondido High School to cheer on the San Marcos Knights (FYI: they WON). And then of course we have to watch our Michigan Wolverines on Saturdays and our Detroit Lions on Sundays.

Our view of the San Marcos Knights' Varsity game at Escondido High
Source: KatLouHod's Instagram

With our families living back in Michigan, we tend to miss some gatherings and special occasions. One of those was my cousin Ashley's wedding on Saturday. Thankfully my dad now has an iPhone and is getting the hang of sending me pictures! I LOVE feeling like we are still included in the celebration!

Yep, my dad took a SELFIE with my mom and his mom! PERFECTION! 

My brother dancing with my grandma. MELTS MY HEART!

Oh yeah, I know I mentioned that Wednesday was my birthday, but Saturday was Ryan's!! (Our birthday's are 3 days apart, but he is technically a year older than me. We were in the same grade, but it was because the cut-off dates for kindergarten were different in Ohio than in Michigan, so he was an old kindergartner, while I was a young one.)

The many faces of my birthday guy!

For his birthday we decided to take a bike ride down to the beach and grab some Hawaiian shaved ice (he is like a big hummingbird - he loves him some sugar water). We have been having a heat wave in Southern California the last few days (hopefully it will break SOON), so I couldn't turn down the tasty, cool, and refreshing treat.

Taking a quick break while we waited for the shaved ice shack to open.
What a rough life we have, huh?! 

Found some shade on the curb of a nearby house ;)

On Wednesday of last week we went to the AT&T store to look into upgrading our phones (with the release of the iPhone 6's, we figured we could at least upgrade to the iPhone 5's which would be a HUGE step for us). We were told the prices would drop on the 5's soon and they suggested we come back in later. So yesterday we made an appointment and hit up the AT&T store again. We looked at our options and decided we would both go with the iPhone 5S with 32 GB of space. Unfortunately the AT&T store by us didn't have any of the 32 GB phones left, so we had to go to a different one. We spent a good 2 hours there (dealing with all the upgrade options, transferring data over, etc), but in the end I think it was DEFINITELY WORTH IT!

My old phone was a hand-me-down, hand-me-down that was originally
my father-in-law's, then my hubby's, so this was a BIG step up for me ;)
And YES, we closed down the store... 

Yesterday morning Ryan and I were able to get in one of his longest runs in many months - a 13 miler! We started around 6:30am because we knew it would get hot. We didn't beat the heat (we may have had to ring out the sweat from our shirts before getting into the car), but the scenery is hard to be mad at ;)

My parents sent us both Target gift cards for our birthdays, so you know we had to head over and spend them (they were burning a whole in our pockets). Hubby went WELL over the gift card amount, but I figured we'd just consider it his birthday gift since we normally don't get each other anything. I was able to pick up a tank top (thought I could wear it running or just around town), a scarf (it reminded me of Minnie Mouse and of course it was on sale for $5 from $20), and some cute note cards and postcards (I can NEVER have enough!).

And how could I forget all of the FREE food we got because it was our birthdays?! Veggie Grill, Noodles & Company, Native Foods Cafe, Rubio's, Menchie's, and a few more we haven't used yet ;)

This is from our Noodles & Co dinner after church Saturday night. YUM!

That's a little piece of our weekend... We have been some busy, busy beavers! Hopefully things will start to slow down a bit soon! I am just stoked I get to do it all with my best friend along for the journey!

How was your weekend? 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Workout Recap - Week 37

Sunday, September 7th – 5 mile run, PiYo (Drench), Foam Rolled & Stretched

Monday, September 8th –  6 mile run, 8 mile bike ride (commuting to the office), PiYo (Drench), Foam Rolled & Stretched

Tuesday, September 9th –  Strength Training (abs, back, arms and legs), PiYo (Core), Foam Rolled & Stretched

Wednesday, September 10th– 6 mile run, 4 mile run with the hubby, PiYo (Buns), Foam Rolled & Stretched

Thursday, September 11th PiYo (Sculpt), Foam Rolled & Stretched

Friday, September 12th – 10 mile run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Saturday, September 13th – 8 mile bike ride with the hubby, PiYo (Drench), Foam Rolled & Stretched

Even with 2 birthdays (mine was Wednesday and hubby's was yesterday) I still got in 31 miles of running, 16 miles of biking, and 6 days of PiYo! I think I will count that as a SUCCESSFUL week - wouldn't you?! 

I have to say, I am TOTALLY looking forward to Fall temps, but I think they are at least a few weeks out... Tomorrow's high is 97* and I don't think we are supposed to start cooling down until mid-week (and by cooling down I mean 80's, not "fall" weather quite yet)... I just keep telling myself that running in the heat and humidity HAS TO BE making me a stronger runner, right?! 

How were your workouts this past week?