Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Seven

Week seven in complete, and it was a strong one! This week was a big game changer for me, and I feel more confident about my training than I have the previous weeks. Like always, I started the week with Body Fusion. I finally used heavier weights, but class was still a little easy for the newer classmates. I left wanting to sweat more, so hopefully things will ramp up again over the next few weeks.

Tuesday was 800 repeats day on the track. We all started together, but when Bob and Beth showed up, they broke us up and helped us work on the pace that best suited our marathon goals. Even after 6 repeats I felt comfortable with my pace, and wanted to do more. This workout was the key to figuring out how I need to refocus my track workouts. I’ve been too concerned with going as fast as I can rather than focus on a pace that will help my marathon time.

My Tuesday's

My Tuesday’s

Wednesday I headed out to Chippewa Lake and ran a new trail that I noticed on Sunday. Unfortunately the trail was only a half mile long, but it did have some beautiful views of the lake. Instead of running the same path back and forth, I packed up and went to Buckeye Woods where I finished the rest of my run on my favorite dirt trails.

Hidden gem of Chippewa Lake

Hidden gem of Chippewa Lake

Thursday and Friday I was off, but I had big plans for Saturday. I ran the Trail Monster 5k and 15k down in Wooster. I’ve been craving some trails lately, and since I knew I had 16 miles on the schedule, I decided to run both and finish up the last of my needed mileage after the races. I’ll have a recap later this week, but wow was it tough. I finished up the last miles on the road outside the park and felt pretty good. My legs welcomed an even, solid path to run and although the time on my feet was longer than last week, I felt good after my long run.

Sunday I did a short recovery run around the neighborhood. I ran the first mile with Darren and finished up the last mile plus on my own. My legs were incredibly sore and for the rest of the day I had some weird twinge in my right leg. I’m still tight/sore, but hoping after some more foam rolling and stretching, my body will be back to normal.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 6 Miles,1 mile w/u, 6×800 repeats(4:06,4:06,3:58,4:28,4:30,4:27)with 4×400 recovery, 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 3.6 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Trail Monster 5k/15k + 3.6 Miles

Sunday: 2 Miles

Total Miles: 28 Miles

This next week my weeknight schedule is finally back to normal so I don’t have to stress about moving around runs. I also want to focus on keeping my track workout at the same pace and increasing the amount of 800′s I run. And of course, I’ll have the pressure of the long run waiting over my head all week, 18 miles seems to be the most stressful for me.

 

How do you prepare for your long run? What distance training run makes you the most nervous?

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Six

This week was a little challenging, but it started off with some great news! Monday I had the opportunity to join Oiselle as one of their Flock members. Oiselle has been a company I admired for over the past year or so. Not only do they provide running clothing for women, but their team is comprised of runners from all over. The passion they have and share is absolutely amazing, and I’m so honored to be part of this team!

Capture

Anyway, back to training, I didn’t get all of my workouts in, but when I did, they were spot on. I started the week with Body Fusion. We had a bunch of new people in class so it was relatively easy and lighter than normal. Next week it’s time to step up the weights again!

Tuesday I was at the track. After last week’s failed attempt at mile repeats, I was a little nervous. I started out a little too quick, but I managed my first sub 7:30 mile in quite some time. I can tell my speed is getting quicker, I just have to work on keeping my times closer together.

Wednesday I went out to my favorite hill to work on some repeats. Each repeat is a half mile long, so I started with a warm up, attacked the hill six times, and followed it up with a mile cool down. The first three repeats I felt strong, at number four I could feel myself fading a bit. I had to dig deep for number five, but finished strong for my last one. This hill is one of my favorites because it winds up and around a development, the top is so far from the beginning, you can’t help but push yourself the entire time.

Hill repeats for dinner

Hill repeats for dinner

Thursday I had evening plans, but had full intention of running Friday before going out of town for the weekend. But then I was plagued with a horrible headache until Saturday afternoon that kept me from running.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 4.5 Miles, 1 Mile W/U, 3×1600(7:27, 7:36, 7:45), .5 Mile C/D

Wednesday: 5 Miles, 1 Mile W/U, 6x .5 Mile Hill Repeats, 1 Mile C/D

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Off

Sunday: 15 Miles

Total Miles: 24.5 Miles

Sunday was my scheduled long run for the weekend, and I was able to meet up with some MCRR members for a nice long run. I was a little unsure about the run because I only had four hours of sleep, and about a pound of deeply buttered  popcorn in my stomach. (Note to self, stay away from popcorn the night before a long run!)

When I started I felt ok, and we had a big group of about 12. Within the first mile we started to break apart, and the core group of 7 stayed together for the first twelve miles. We began our run at Buckeye Woods and headed down the inlet towards the back roads to Chippewa Lake. The views were absolutely beautiful, but unfortunately I left my phone in the car, so I couldn’t take any pictures.

We managed to make our way on the back roads and around the lake, it was relatively flat with a few rollings hills. We kept an easy pace and my legs felt great, but my stomach was not so happy. Between miles 6-9 I had some major cramping, and running was the last thing I wanted to do. I managed to make it through and we finished up back in the parking lot with 11 miles.

At this point, I refilled my water with ice and Nuun, and we stretched for a few moments before the last four of us went out for our remaining miles. We went back on the inlet for two miles and made our way back, finishing with a solid 15 miles for the day.

Sunday's group

Sunday’s group

This long run was rough. We started with an easy pace, but by mile 12/13, I was getting pretty worn down. We lucked out on weather, even though it was quite humid. We dodged the heat and storms with the occasional sprinkle which helped to cool us down.

My only two issues with this run was my stomach and how sore I felt after I finished. When I do my long runs on Sunday I need to focus more on what I eat all weekend and try to drink more water the day before.

Even though I didn’t get as many workouts in this week, every single workout was where it needed to be. I’ll be pumping up my mileage again this week and I have a trail race on Saturday. I’m only weeks away from my first 20 miler of the cycle, so hopefully my long runs will become a little easier each time. I’m now a third of the way done with training, and so far I feel like I’m on the right track.

Do you prefer track or hill workouts more? What do you do when a long run doesn’t go like you planned?

Twin Sizzler 5k/10k Recap

I started my 4th of July weekend by running the Twin Sizzler and this year I decided on the 5k and 10k. Because I was going to be adding additional miles in between races, I had a different approach than a normal race day.

I started with a half mile warm up and made my way to the start line for the 5k. Knowing I’d be doing a ton of miles that day, I didn’t want to go all out. I also knew the course wasn’t flat, so running a PR wasn’t on my radar.

We started on the square and headed South on 57. The first mile begins with a downhill, but then has a continual uphill that really makes  you work for it. I felt pretty comfortable with my pace, but the humidity was a bit deceiving so I felt warmer than I had expected. I grabbed a cup of water, took a sip and kept going.

Mile 1-8:52

After we hit the first mile marker, the field started to spread out. I could concentrate on my breathing and making sure I was staying at a decent pace. My second mile is usually my slowest, so I did everything I could to keep my pace quicker than the first mile. The course was relatively flat, and I still felt pretty good.

Mile 2-8:44

The last mile started on an incline, but quickly flattened out once we got onto South Court. We were shaded by the tree lined street, so I was able to pick up my pace and not feel like I was wasting too much energy. We made our way onto South Broadway and were met with the brick road. I always love running this street because it reminds me of Muskingum, but it’s not always the easiest to run on. Knowing we’d be finishing uphill, I tried to work on my speed here before I got to the finish.

Mile 3-8:34

I picked up my pace, focused on the finish and crossed the line with negative splits!

Last .06-8:10 pace

My only 5k image

Coming into the finish

5k Results

Official Time: 26:45

Age Group 25-29: 11/34

Female: 100/342

Overall: 273/659

I followed up the 10k with a mile and a half with Mo, an MCRR member. We took it easy, and tried to figure out how one races a 10k, and what pace you should be at. I still didn’t know how to race a 10k, but figured I’d take it around my half marathon pace and keep it easy for the additional miles I’d still have to run once I was finished.

We lined up for the 10k, and we were off. I tried to keep a conservative pace, but couldn’t help but speed up a bit by everyone else that was running by. The first mile was the same as the 5k’s, and this time I had my water so I didn’t stop for a drink.

Mile 1-9:20

I knew we continued on 57 for a bit, but when I saw the sign for Montville Township, I knew we were in for some major hills! We started going up, and I did everything I could from walking, luckily I saw Renee at the top of the hill and that helped to push me through.

Mile 2-9:43

We kept going past the second mile marker and turned onto Lexington. I knew there was another hill, but wasn’t sure how big. At this point we had been running uphill for about a mile, and my legs were starting to crumble. We continued through the development, winding on the roads and continued to go uphill. Once we hit the third mile marker, we finally had a downhill.

Mile 3-9:47

By this point my legs were toast, so I stopped to stretch them. I slowed by pace down, but they were still in pain. I took a sport bean around this time, hoping I’d get some energy, but really looked at keeping a decent pace.

I was more focused on how many miles I had run for the day, rather than what mile I was running for the race. I was sitting between 8-9 miles and with all the hills, it felt like I had run about 11-12 by this point.

Mile 4-10:19

I made it to mile 4 and I think it was around this point that I saw Christy. Seeing her helped to motivate me, but my legs were hurting worse now. We had smaller rolling hills, but by this point, my knee and arch started to ache a bit. I stopped to stretch some more and slowed my pace.

photo 3(4)

Mile 5-11:14

By now I was counting down the miles until I was done, my legs were in a ton of pain, and I just wanted to sit down and stretch for about 10 minutes. But I kept going, slow and steady, knowing that the last mile would be the same as the 5k.

Mile 6-10:15

We made our way onto South Court and I could feel my legs getting lighter. I finally had some flat ground and I could pick up my pace. We got to the brick road, and I did what I could to keep my pace from slowing down. I braced myself for the final hill and made my way to the finish.

Last .25-10:29 pace

Final push!

Final push!

10k Results

Official Time: 1:03:13

Age Group 25-29: 18/24

Female: 101/142

Overall: 233/290

I finished up the day with an additional two miles around town and the final mile in my development. I managed to get 14 for the day, but my legs were incredibly beat up.

Overall, I’m glad I ran both the 5k and the 10k. After the 10k, the 5k felt easy, and although I didn’t push myself too hard in the 5k, I was able to negative split and focus on my pacing.

As for the 10k, it was hard, and a lot hillier than I had expected. When you have an elevation chart like this, it’s not hard to see why my legs were so sore.

Hills, hills, and hills

Hills, hills, and hills

The Twin Sizzler has become one of my new favorite traditions in town, and I plan to run it every year I can. Except next year, I think I’ll stick with just the 5k.

photo 1(1)

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Five

What an interesting week. This week didn’t necessarily go as planned, but in the end, I made the right decisions for training. I intended to have another high mileage week, but needed to cut back as a prevention. My body was tight and sore for every run this week, so I added in some extra rest days to recover. My biggest focus is staying injury free so I listened to the warning signs and played it safe.

I started the week with Body Fusion, and I felt great. We used heavier weights and I could feel myself getting stronger with each rep. Yoga was on point as well, and it really helped to clear my mind. I may have even become a little emotional towards the end.

Tuesday went downhill quickly. I went up to the track, but even as I started my warm up, which was a 10 minute pace, I was falling apart. I figured I’d play it by ear, and try not to push myself too much due to the heat. Well, I barely got one mile repeat in before I threw in the towel. I struggled and could feel myself fading fast. So I did a mile cool down, and decided I’d push my speed work to Thursday. I spent all night beating myself up about the workout, but in the end, I know my body was still tired and partially dehydrated from Sunday. Even though my mile pace wasn’t horrible, I don’t think I would have benefited from overdoing it in the heat.

Wednesday was a rest day, which my body gratefully took advantage of. Then Thursday I did an easy shakeout run before Friday’s race. I ran part of the neighborhood and part on the trail. My pace was probably quicker than I wanted the night before a race, but I tried to keep it light and easy.

Friday was the Twin Sizzler 5k and 10k.  Yep, you read that right, I ran both the 5k and 10k. I’ll have my recap later this week, but it was also my long run, so I added on 5 miles in between and after the races. I ran a half mile warm up, ran the 5k, ran 1.5 miles around town with Mo, ran the 10k, ran 2 miles around town, and finished up the last mile in my development for a total of 14 miles. This was definitely a tough run because the later it got, the hotter it was and I was struggling. My legs were tight for about 12 of the 14 miles and my knees and arch starting hurting towards the end. It wasn’t pretty, but I got it done.

Red, white, blue and happy post 14 miles!

14 red, white, and blue miles!

Saturday I took as a rest day because my legs were in rough shape. Sunday I had planned to do an easy run, but ended up having a little too much fun from the wine party we hosted Saturday evening. Instead I spent the day on the deck, enjoying summer and time with my better half.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 3 Miles, 1 Mile W/U, 1×1600 (8:11), 1 Mile C/D

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 3 Miles

Friday: Twin Sizzler 5k/10k + 5 Miles

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 20 Miles

This week was rough, and I struggled with the heat. I thought I was hydrating enough, but apparently I’m not. Looks like I need to increase my intake of water and Nuun every day. I also need to work on adjusting with the heat. I’m ok for the first half of my long runs, but that changes quickly.

This week was supposed to be my cut back week, but I’ll be changing that since I had low mileage last week. I need to make sure I hit my mile repeats at the track this week, and I’ll be adding in a hill workout, because after Friday’s 10k, it’s clear I’m not doing enough hills!

Columbia Station Half Marathon Recap

Sunday I ran the Columbia Station Half Marathon. I had my eye on this race over the past couple years, but never had the chance to run it. Well, I finally did, and it was quite the experience. The race started at 8am, and was relatively close so I didn’t have to drive far, but by the time I got there, it was already starting to get a little too warm for my liking.

There was a small turnout, and the start had both the half marathon runners and the half marathon skaters. We lined up, had a quick talk about the race and then we were off. The first two miles I was focusing on find a good pace. I knew it was much hotter than it had been, so I had to go slower than normal. I decided to stick between a 9:30-9:40 pace, hoping that I wouldn’t be pushing myself too hard later on in the race.

We made our way on West River Road and had a few rolling hills. There was some shade, so I tried to take advantage of it the best I could. Still early in the race, the group was close together, but somewhat spread out. I wasn’t familiar with this area so the views helped to distract me from the heat.

Mile 1-9:24
Mile 2-9:41

We hit our first water stop after mile 2 and I passed on filling up. I still had plenty of water and wasn’t too thirsty yet. I did take a salt tab though, because I knew that staying hydrated would be key.

I was still feeling pretty good, but I was starting to warm up. By mile three we had turned on a few other country roads, I really had no idea where I was, but luckily the course was well marked. Runners were starting to spread out by this point, but I had a few behind me, and a few ahead of me. I was running alone, but at least had people in sight.

By mile 4 the heat was starting to rise and shade was hard to find. I kept drinking water and poured some on my back and head. Luckily a few kids were out with squirt guns, which at this point felt amazing!

Water stops were spread out nicely, every mile and a half to two miles depending on if they had enough space next to the road. I stopped at mile 4 to fill up and took some sport beans to re-energize. I didn’t lose too much time and felt like I was right on track.

Mile 3-9:37
Mile 4-9:34

I was still feeling ok, but with a few rolling hills, but legs started to become a little tired.  I knew this past week was a lot for my legs and I started to worry it was too much. I was still drinking water at every mile, but I started to drink it every half mile too.

I came up to another water stop at mile 6 and stopped for a bit. I refilled my water bottle, stretched, took some Gatorade and a salt tab. I could feel myself start to wear down, but made a new focus of getting to mile 7.5, the point where I would reach 100 miles for the month of June.

Mile 5-9:41
Mile 6-11:08

I kept chugging away, but I could tell the others around me were starting to slow as well. Shade was no longer an option, and the sun was starting to beat down bad. We made our way through a neighborhood and then back onto the country roads.

I made it to mile 7.5 and had a small celebratory moment, it was enough to keep me going until mile 8 were I walked for a short moment to eat some sport beans, stretch and re-focus on my pace. By this point I was starting to wear down a lot, and I couldn’t get enough water. I may have even questioned why I was running a few times because I felt like I was moving in slow motion.

Mile 7-10:30
Mile 8-10:13

Right before mile 9 we had another water stop. I refilled my bottle again and stretched a bit. I was now into a run/jog/shuffle/walk mode. I started to count down the miles, but they weren’t going quick enough. We also started to pick up more rolling hills which sucked the energy right out of me.

Luckily with the water stop, I was able to regroup with about 5 other runners. Our paces varied and some of us would walk the steeper hills, while others would run, but it was nice to have at least one other person within 10 feet of me.

We hit mile 10 right before a big decline, and it was nice to have some momentum, however, what goes down, must come up. We turned back onto West River, and were greeted with multiple hills.

Mile 9-11:59
Mile 10-11:04

By this point, I was just focused on getting myself to the finish line. The heat was getting to me a lot more than before, and I was starting to feel miserable. We continued on the rolling hills, walking the uphill and taking advantage of the down hill. My energy level was extremely low, so I took more sport beans hoping that would help.

I continued along and stopped at the last water stop. I refilled my bottle again, and dumped a bunch of water on me to cool down. By this point, I was drenched in water and sweat and looking like a hot mess. I knew I was going to make it to the finish, it was just a matter of how quickly I could get there, and by this point, quick was the opposite of what I was doing.

Mile 11-11:33
Mile 12-12:06

We made it to the last mile and all I could think about was the finish. I kept going, but would slow down for the last of the hills. It wasn’t until the last 500 feet that I saw the finish was uphill. I knew I wouldn’t be able to spring it, so I took whatever energy I had left and gave it my all.

Mile 13-11:56
Last .15-10:41 pace

I finished, grabbed my medals and headed straight to the car. I originally planned on running three more miles, but my stomach wasn’t going to let me. Overall this race was ok. The sun and heat was horrible, but I couldn’t control that. The last 8am start was a little rough, but that’s what you get for the end of June in Ohio. The water stops were great, and the sheriff’s department did a great job of constantly driving the course to make sure that all the runners were ok.

My performance had nothing to do with the race support, the heat hit me hard halfway through and I am not a heat runner at all, it tears me apart. My legs were also pretty tired from the week of running, so I was running on borrowed time. I’m glad I got to experience the race and complete half marathon number 18!

Half marathon number 18!

Half marathon number 18!

Official Results:

Time: 2:19:54

Age Group 25-29: 1/1

Female: 12/17

Overall: 32/43

2014 First Half Goals

We’re halfway through 2014 and it’s time to check up on my goals for this year.

Running:

  • Break 2:00 in the half marathon…..Cleveland Half, 1:58!
  • Break 24:30 in the 5k…getting closer
  • Raise $1,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation….$300 so far
  • Volunteer for a race…Did some volunteer work for Medina Half, but haven’t done day of race volunteer work yet
  • PR in all distances…PR in 5k, 15k, 10 Miler, Half Marathon-check! Still missing 10k and marathon
  • Run at least 6 half marathons….4 done!
  • Run 600 miles…currently sitting at 435

Personal:

  • Try at least 15 new recipes…I think I’m at 2 or 3 so far, lots of work to do
  • Plan a vacation for somewhere new
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weigh…yes!
  • Read at least 10 books…2 for 10
  • Donate 1/4 of my clothes…the box is ready and full!
  • Try something completely out of my element
  • Bike at least 20 miles a month
  • Get back into yoga….done!

Blogging:

  • Own my own domain….masherruns.com
  • Blog at least 3 times a week….almost every single week
  • Update the blog layout….updated when I bought the domain
  • Use a blog calendar…working wonders planning things ahead

Still some work to do to meet all my goals, but I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far. I’m excited to see how many I can cross off in the next 6 months!

 

What goals have you accomplished this year? What goal do you want to accomplish before 2015?

June Rewind

Here we are, half way through 2014, and the month of June is gone. I plan on doing a first half of 2014 recap, but I wanted to make sure I touched on June first, as it was a big month of running for me. Here’s the number for June!

Miles run: 106

Races run: 3 (Park 2 Park Half Marathon, Flirt with Dirt Trail 10k, Columbia Station Half Marathon)

Miles biked: 0

Favorite Workout: 6/10 – Track Tuesday-Mile Repeats

Books read: The Runner’s High

June was the month of running. I spent 18 of 30 days hitting the roads/trails/paths and it couldn’t have gone better! I hit my first 30 mile week and after a long time of training, I finally hit my 100 mile month! I never thought it would happen, but I feel stronger than ever and know that my hard work is paying off!

I also managed to run three races this month, two half marathons and a trail 10k. I worked on pacing, and hit my goal time perfectly in Park 2 Park. But I also struggled through some heat at Columbia Station. I even had a chance to break in my new trail shoes at the Flirt with Dirt 10k, and fell in love with trail running.

My favorite workout this month was some mile repeats on the track. After some surprisingly quick mile repeats the week before, I wasn’t sure I could do it again. But, I was able to hit three mile repeats all under a 7:45 pace. I haven’t been able to run consecutive 7 minute miles since college and it felt great to see my speed coming back!

My downfalls came with catching up on my book, and getting miles on my bike. Hopefully I can get both of those done in July.

Besides for running, we managed to make it to the Tim McGraw concert and had a blast (even on a Sunday night). I was also able to take advantage of Ladies Night on the Square, one of the town events that is featured once a month during the summer. With very few tied up weekends, I’m hoping to explore our city more and take advantage of all those long summer nights.

So there we have it. June was mostly running, with a little bit of local fun thrown in. July will be full of running (not surprising) and celebrating my second favorite holiday! I’m hoping to get a few races in, and stay above the 100 mile mileage mark for a second month!

 

What was your favorite thing from June? What plans do you have for July?

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Four

How is it week four already? I can’t believe how quickly these weeks are passing, which means summer is flying by too! We’re a month in, and I already feel better than I did for Akron and Columbus. This week was huge for me and a great way to see just how far I’ve come.

I started Monday with Body Fusion, where I was one of two people in class due to the crazy weather. I almost didn’t go, but made it through the storm and was so glad I did. The instructor even noticed how much I’ve toned since January.

Tuesday was track day, and I was almost certain I was going to get rained out. Luckily the weather was a complete 180 from work and we had sunny skies, dry track and 85 degrees. I attempted my first ladder workout in probably 6 years, and as hard as it was, I actually enjoyed it. I worked on staying under an 8 minute pace, and was on point every time. Next ladder workout I’ll focus on quicker times for the shorter distances.

Wednesday I ran my recovery run with Elayna and Ella. We originally had about 4 miles planned, but ended up taking the long way to the lake, which definitely didn’t disappoint with views. It was hot and our pace was slower, but my legs felt fresh and it was nice to catch up. I even tried convincing Elayna to run her first half marathon this fall, so we’ll see what happens.

This city.

This city.

Thursday I ran with Second Sole, and it was a hot one. I was planning to keep it easy, but started out a bit too quick. Guess that happens when you’re stuck behind 20 year old guys who run a 5/6 minute pace. We ended up going from the store to Roscoe and back. The rolling hills at Roscoe beat me up a bit, but I ended up with an 8:50 average pace, not bad considering I’d already run 11 miles in the past two days.

Friday was my rest day, and Saturday I did a short shakeout run. I managed a little over a mile and I was already feeling drained. Sunday I ran the Columbia Station Half Marathon, recap to come later this week. I had originally planned to run about 3 miles post race, but my stomach had other plans. With an 8am race start, I was also pretty dehydrated once I crossed the finish line.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 5.5 Miles, 1 Mile W/U, Ladder-800(3:48), 1200(5:54), 1600(7:54), 1200(5:54), 800(3:57), 1 Mile C/D

Wednesday: 6 Miles

Thursday: 4.4 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 1 Mile

Sunday: Columbia Station Half Marathon

Total Miles: 30 Miles

This week was tough on my legs, but I was able to reach two big milestones. This was probably the first time I’ve ever run 30 miles in one week. I also hit 100 miles for the month, which is something I’ve been hoping to do for quite some time. Thankfully I haven’t had any injuries, and I’ve been playing a lot of attention to my body to make sure I can handle the increase in mileage.

I’ve been focusing on getting more sleep, doubling the amount of water I’m drinking, stretching after every run, and easing myself back into ice baths.

Perfect summer recovery

Perfect summer recovery

This next week will be interesting. The holiday weekend throws me off a little bit, but I’ve got a 5k and 10k scheduled for Friday. They’ll be hot and humid, and most likely slow because I’ll be turning it into my long run. I’m not expecting a PR, mostly, because I won’t be trying for one, but I’m excited to try both races this year instead of just one. Then I’ll have all weekend to enjoy the holiday!

 

What’s your highest mileage in a week, a month? Will you be running a 4th of July race?

Friday Faves

It’s hard to believe that another month is almost over. Time to take a look at this months favorite things!

AllTrails – I found this website when I started looking for local trails, then I discovered the app for my phone. You can search by location, or specific needs like biking or dog friendly. I’ve found a ton of new trails I can’t wait to explore, and now I have no excuse for not having enough trail runs this summer!

Hart of Dixie – This has been my latest Netflix addiction, even though it’s a few years old. I went through season one and two in an embarrassingly quick amount of time, and liked it better than I thought. I’m still waiting on season three to be uploaded, but once it does, I’ll be unreachable for a few days.

Oiselle Stride Shorts – I used to wear spandex in HS and college, but after I graduated, I didn’t feel I was in shape enough for them. I finally bit the bullet and purchased the Stride Shorts and fell in love! They fit perfectly, hide sweat and they have a built in pocket. These are my new go to shorts for track days.

stride short with zip pocket

Sport Beans Protein Recovery Crisps – Jelly Belly has done it again. I discovered the recovery crisps last year, but had trouble finding them in stores. Now that I’m able to find them closer, I can’t help but buy a few bags at a time. These are perfect for post run hunger, especially when I have to drive home from a race. Plus they’re not heavy on the stomach, and gluten free/peanut free for those who follow a certain diet. Chocolate is by far the favorite flavor, in my opinion.

Nuun of the Month – Watermelon is the perfect summer flavor. It’s fun, refreshing and has a bunch of flavor. This was a limited flavor last year, but looks to back for the long haul. Right now all orders from Nuun ship for free through Sunday, June 29th. Be sure to stock up now!

Watermelon

 

What are your favorite things? What’s your summer drink of choice?

Flirt With Dirt 10k Recap

Saturday I ran the Flirt with Dirt 10k, my second trail 10k, and my first real trail race of the year. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I can count on one hand the number of 10k’s I’ve run, so I’m still not sure how to race them. I also wasn’t sure what to expect with the course condition, due to all of the rain we’ve been having.

The race started at 9am, so I had plenty of time to get up, stretch, eat something and head over to the race. The weather was cooler than I had expected, but it was still pretty humid. There was a good turnout, and I hoped my lack of trail racing knowledge didn’t stick out too much.

We lined up and were off, all trying to get on the trail at the same time. We started out on single track and it was pretty crowded. I knew my pace would  be slower than a regular race, but I found myself at about 10:30, and was quite surprised with how fast I thought I was going.

We made our way around mud, sticks, curving trails, and some slight inclines. I took the first mile easy, because I didn’t want to wear myself down and end up falling behind. Luckily I ended up behind a couple who were the exact pace that I felt comfortable with. I stayed with them for about the first two miles and I think they really helped to push me.

Looking fast

Looking fast

After the two mile mark we hit a giant down hill, but I was cautious so I wouldn’t trip or fall over anything. We ended up at a water stop, but I passed since I had my hand held. We made a loop and ventured on the same hill we just just come down. Slowly I made my way up the entire hill until I was “running” slower than I could walk, so I started to walk up the hill, just like everyone else.

Once the hill became more gradual than steep, I started to run again. The gradual elevation continued from mile three to mile four and I could tell my legs were getting tired. I took a sport bean at mile 4 and with the almost level ground, I started to pick up my pace a bit.

Look of determination

Look of determination

We started to spread out more, and our trail started to widen up. I was able to pick up my speed, but still stayed above a 10:15 pace. By this point I really focused on my breathing and making sure that every time I took a step I wasn’t going to trip.

We came up around another pond and you could hear the music in the background. I knew I had a little over a mile to go and focused on getting through the last of the trails. My body was started to become sore, but I rallied through and made my way to the finish and enjoyed every step along the way!

I quickly met up with Jeanne after the finish and we went out to the roads to finish up four more miles for our long run. We made it back just in time to get a group shot of all the MCRR members who ran the 10k.

MCRR 10k runners

MCRR 10k runners

I really enjoyed this race, and plan to do more trail races this year when I can. To me there was a huge difference in trail races versus road races. My pace was much slower than a normal road race, but the terrain was much more difficult, I think I spent the entire time staring at the ground to make sure I wouldn’t fall. Instead of pavement, we ran through dirt, lots of mud, gravel, grass, and on bridges. Sticks, branches and rocks were always on the path, which means you’re moving all over the place. My body was definitely beat up after the race, but it was worth it!

Race keepers

Race keepers

Results:

Official Time: 1:07:34

Age Group 25-29: 4/11

Gender: 31/86

Overall: 109/187