Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What I do if I'm not running

Since my half marathon I've been taking a few more rest days and non running days than I had been. I don't think it's bad to take a small break after a big experience. And don't worry I have a plan for future running/racing that I'm starting on Monday, but more on that later.

So, what do I do when I'm not sticking to a training plan for a specific race? Well, I'm still running, but only 3 or 4 times a week. I'm taking 2 full rest days. And I've been doing strength workouts 2-3 times a week.

I've been a fan of Beachbody workouts for awhile now and my 2 favorites are piyo and 21 day fix. Lately I've been into the 21 day fix workouts.

Monday I did the upper fix

Today I did the Pilates fix

I love them because it's difficult while doing them but not enough to kill me. BUT I wake up the next day and I know I got a great workout from how sore specific areas are.

I know I've been needing to do more strength training for a long time now but I put it off cause I honestly don't love it. But during the half marathon around mile 10 I noticed my body feeling weak and my form getting worse and I'm pretty sure it's because my core wasn't strong enough to keep me upright for that distance at that pace! Uh oh!

Lesson learned.

The hard way, of course.

What do you do for strength training?

Do you enjoy it?

Let me know what you think about adding strength to a running plan!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Race Recap: Shamrock Shuffle half marathon Harmony, PA



Ok, so I'm a little excited that I have competed in my first ever half marathon. I've never even run further than 11 miles so this was quite the accomplishment!

It was a local race, only about 15 minutes from my town, in Harmony, PA. They had options for the half, 5k, and a 1 mile race, or you could sign up for 2 races or all 3.

I decided on the shamrock shuffle half marathon a couple months ago and started a training plan for the distance!

I put in anywhere from 20-30 miles a week and did some speed work, hills, and long runs.

Fast forward to a week or so before the race and looking more into the course and details for the day. Everywhere I turned there was a warning that there is a crazy hard hill after mile 6. That this would be the hilliest course in the tri-state area. I thought, ok, I train on a lot of hills, and I've done hill workouts. Also, I live in western PA, its so so hilly everywhere here. how hard could it be?! This was a mistake, I totally underestimated this hill. I've learned my lesson.

OK, race day!

I had my outfit all ready!

Like my skirt? I made it, NBD

Picked up my BRF and headed to the start line.

I also made my BRF Hattie's skirt

We started and I thought, oh no, we went out too fast! My plan was 9-9:05 pace and I was seeing 8 on my watch.

Can you see where the hill was?!?!?!
968' of elevation gain.

Finally the finish line! But my watch said 12.75 miles?!?!?!?!
Half Marathon finishers!!

All in all, it was a fun race but def a challenge. I don't think I'd do it again just because it was so brutal.

My final time was 1:54:53
4th place in my age group
My watch said it was only 12.75 miles and a few other people commented that theirs said it was short too. This really bums me out. I want to brag about 13.1, but I don't think I actually earned that. I pushed it hard and I'm certain if there was that additional .35 miles I still would've finished under 2 hours which was my goal!

After the race I ate a lot of food, took an Epsom salt bath, foam rolled, and was just generally lazy!  I can't wait to pick out another race, I am thinking about focusing more on 10k's cause I really liked racing that distance.

How was your St, Patrick's Day?
Did you race this weekend?
Ever have a race measure shorter/longer than advertised?!?!?!

Monday, March 6, 2017

10 ways to Balance training with real life

10 ways to balance training/running with real life (in no particular order):

1. Write out your schedule! Like old school in a planner, on your calendar, anywhere! Write down your training plan, work schedule, appointments, date night etc. etc.

2. Be Flexible! Things can be moved around. Seriously. If you can't get a certain workout done due to time constraints well, just reschedule it. Switch around your workouts!

3. If you get off track or miss a workout DON'T QUIT! Get up the next day and pick up where you left off. Come on, be a little forgiving with yourself!

4. Ask for help when you need it! My husband will help by getting things set out for dinner while I'm running, or changing the laundry. Whatever I really need, I ask and he never seems to mind at all! One morning he even made me breakfast in bed just cause he thought I deserved it!

My hubby makes a GREAT breakfast!
5.If you need rest. REST! I see a lot of people on social media taking "rest days" yet they're still doing all sorts of workouts. Great, if you just need a break from running try a bike ride do yoga. But, if you need a REST DAY like for real, take it. Listen to your body and let it recover!

I skipped a run day to just go out with friends to eat and bowl and I am so glad I did!
6. Don't feel guilty if you have to reassess and modify your plan. Working full time, other responsibilities, relationships, and doing super high mileage may not all work for you. Maybe you're happiest with only 3-4 running days. Great! Just cause you aren't doing 50+ miles a week doesn't mean you aren't doing a great job!!

7. Fuel your body right! Eat healthy meals and make sure you are fueling your body with enough food for your activity level. But don't go overboard! Eat a treat when you need it and enjoy it!

8. Stay hydrated! This one is the one I notice the most. If I don't drink enough water, I feel it. I try to have a bog water bottle with me at all times and refill it throughout the day.

MMM Hydration!

9. Give yourself a goal. When you have a goal race, or a goal time, or distance. It makes it easier to keep going!

10. Most importantly, Figure out your priorities. If running isn't as important as your family, don't treat it like it is. Once you know your priorities, it'll be easier to figure out your schedule and actually stick with it!!

Ok, I guess this is really just a list for me. But, I hope it maybe at least helps someone in some way!

What is your biggest piece of advice for someone trying to balance it all?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

What do I listen to while running?

I think I may have mentioned this before but, I typically do not listen to anything while I am running. I tend to run with a buddy and/or in the evening. So, for safety and social reasons I do not listen to anything.

That being said, lately I've been on my treadmill a bit and I also had a few days of solo running. I decided to try out a few podcasts while on the treadmill.

I really love The Ali on the Run Show. I found out about her podcast through her blog
She has done interviews with a lot of interesting and experienced people in the running community as well as a fun and sweet interview with her husband! Fun to listen too, fairly long, 45-50ish minutes which is great for a run!

Image result for ali on the run show

I also love to laugh and so I really enjoy Anna Faris is Unqualified. They're her interviews with various funny and interesting celebrities. Good for a laugh! I promise you that!
Image result for anna faris podcast

I've also listened to a few episodes of Kelly Roberts of Run, Selfie, Repeat. They're a little on the shorter side 30 minutes or less. So, maybe a short run or during strength training. I like going to Kelly when I need some motivation.
Image result for run selfie repeat podcast

Ok, so, those are what I am listening to now with podcasts, but, I have also made a new running playlist!

SarahRunsAgain-Running Jams
24K Magic-Bruno Mars
Closer- The Chainsmokers(ft.Halsey)
On Top of The World- Imagine Dragons
Downtown- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Lose Yourself- Eminem
Help I'm Alive- Metric
All Time Low- Jon Bellion
Paris- The Chainsmokers
Knock Knock- Mac Miller

I hope you like maybe even 1 of my suggestions for what to listen to while running!