Tuesday, July 19, 2016

16 Miles!

Well, the mileage is ramping up.  Last Sunday Shelby and I ran 16 miles--the farthest I've ever run!  You know what?  It wasn't too terrible.  In fact, our last mile was our fastest, and overall we finished 48 seconds sooner than last week's 15 miler.  Damn, we're good!

I hear a lot about training burnout, but the novelty hasn't worn off for me yet.  I'm doing my best to stick to the plan and take care of myself while still doing interesting things to shake it up a little.  Like what?  I'm glad you asked.  Here are some of the ways I am preparing myself for the Akron Marathon:

1.  Track work

Wednesday Night Hell. . .er-- I mean Fun!
Wednesday is track night, and the members of TORN have been meeting to do a little speedwork in 90-degree weather.  Why?  Because we are awesome that way.

2.  Recovery-Wear

I love my compression socks!  I wear them after speed workouts and long runs.

3.  Protein

I like chocolate.

I've upped my protein, particularly after workouts.  Muscle Milk isn't the most delicious shake on Earth, but it was on sale at BJs, and it has only 130 calories per carton.  Sometimes I eat plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with Grape Nuts, but frankly, I look forward to this shake.

4.  Friends--Old and New

I still run with my TORN peeps, but I decided to branch out, and I recently joined the Canal Rats.  They meet around 5:30ish AM, which suits my schedule. The only problem is that they are MUCH FASTER than I am; however, for two weeks in a row, there has been a kind soul who waits for me at the turnaround point and runs back with me.  Today that kind soul pushed me to an 8:39 mile in the last mile, and I am grateful for it.  I have decided to label my Canal Rats days the tempo run.

Thankfully, not this kind of Canal Rat.  Yuck.
5.  New Challenges

Of course the marathon is new, but I'm also running two new races in August: The Burning River Relay (Leg 7, 15.6 miles in the dark!) and the Ragnar Trail Appalachians ultra relay (3 loops of 10 miles each in 24 hours).  Trail running is a different animal than road running, and I'm looking forward to these weekends to see what I can do.

If I say it enough, I should start believing it.
6.  Rest

I am doing my best to get to bed at a reasonable hour.  Since it is summer, I also get to incorporate my favorite form of recovery: naps! God, I love naps.

All in all, I still have about eight weeks to go before the Akron Marathon, but I feel that I have a lot of exciting stuff to do in the meantime.  Let's hope I can keep a positive attitude.

Until then, run happy, Peeps!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Product Review: SLS3 Compression Socks

Last Sunday I ran 15 miles on the Towpath--the longest distance I've ever run at one time.  I was very nervous about the distance, but it was a great run.  The weather was beautiful, and the company was even more beautiful:

I love my running Peeps!  
Although I like running by myself, I am so glad that Mandy, Shelby, and Jen came out with me.  They were able to keep the crazy away, and because we kept the pace slow, I didn't get into the silent, ugly period I usually have in the last two miles.  Thank you, Peeps!  You are MAH-velous.

After that run, I made sure to do lots of stretching in the parking lot and at home, and I drank a protein shake to help with recovery.  After a long shower, I pulled on a pair of compression socks and did Legs-up-the-Wall pose--my favorite form of recovery (that doesn't involve beer or ice cream).

I am new to compression-wear.  I own one other pair of compression socks and one pair of compression sleeves because now I am hooked!  I love the SLS3 Compression Socks.  I am a women's size 10, so I ordered the S/M and they fit perfectly--just the right amount of compression.  I am wearing them right now after my run, and my legs feel so good!

Butterflies make me happy. So do naps.

Not only that, the socks are super-cute.  I chose the black with purplish butterflies, and I really like them.  If I had to leave the house right now, I'd have no problem wearing these in public.  It's really hot here lately, but the socks don't feel too warm; on the contrary, the compression makes me feel much better after a sweaty run (and a shower).  I'm training for my first marathon, so I am putting a lot more miles on these legs than I ever have before, and I think the SLS3 Compression Socks really help with recovery.

Do you want to try compression wear?  You could check out the SLS3 webpage, OR you can go to Amazon and order them there for half price!!!

I haven't run in compression socks, but I did a trail run in calf sleeves.  I'm curious, Peeps.  How do you wear your compression wear--as recovery or during the run?  And why?

Next week the mileage goes up to 16, which is better than the 18 I had written down.  Shelby and Mandy, who have more experience than I do with marathon training, told me that 18 was too much of a jump in one week, so I will be smart and listen to them.  I admit that 16 miles make me less nervous than 18.

Until then, run happy, Peeps!

SLS3 sent me these compression socks for review; all opinions are my own.  

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Race Recap: Cleveland YMCA Firecracker 10k

All runners know that Independence Day isn't complete without a Firecracker race.  I usually avoid those races because the weather is too hot, but the YMCA Firecracker 10k had a 7:30 start, and my friends were already running it and had offered to drive to Cleveland, so I thought, "What the heck? I'll give it a go."

Sheila and Shelby picked me up at 6:00 AM, and I had already risen at 4:00 AM, not only to fuel properly, but because I kept waking up in panic because I was CERTAIN that I had put my heart rate monitor in the washing machine.  Of course I didn't, but that didn't stop me from thinking I did. It was a comfort to ride instead of driving to Cleveland.

Sheila, Shelby, and I take our pre-race selfie.
I was a little worried about this race because of the epic fail I had when I ran the Hop for Hope around Easter.  This time I wore my heart monitor, and I discussed race strategy with Shelby.  She and I are capable of running the same pace when we want to (although Shelby is actually faster and more experienced than I am), and we reminded each other not to go out too fast, which is my classic mistake in most races.

Before the race but after the three of us took a quick running warmup, there was a group warm up set to music.  I was going to skip it, but Shelby joined in so I had to also, and it was fun.  We did some dynamic stretching to music, and then it was time to line up.  The race is small, there couldn't have been more than 250 people there, so there was plenty of time to hit the bathroom (a real bathroom inside the Galleria food court).

I tried to remain true to the plan Shelby and I had discussed, but by mile 2 Shelby was feeling her oats, and she left me in the dust.  I wanted to play it conservatively because I felt so hot.  Every so often I would pour water from my bottle over my head, and that helped a lot.  Nevertheless, I started to lose my grip around mile 5. . .somewhere I dropped a whole minute messing around.  Shelby also ran more slowly for mile 5, so we think there were a few hills there. I regrouped for the last mile, and--joy of joys--I found it in me to sprint to the finish line.  I love finishing with a kick.

Here is the lowdown of the race:

The Good:  The course was great!  I loved running around Cleveland in the morning, especially the stadium.  The small hills were nice; they were never too bad even in the heat, and there was always a downhill for every uphill.

A nice surprise was seeing Josh Cribbs at the race.  He stood at the corner before the finish line and high-fived every runner.  When I came back to his corner so I could cheer for other runners, I heard him yelling encouragement to everyone.  What a nice guy!

Of course, I couldn't pass up a chance at a selfie!

The Bad:  The course was short by at least 1/4 mile.  My Garmin said 5.91, and it was pretty consistent with other runners' watches.  That's a significant error.  I still liked the course, but it bothers me that I don't really have an accurate 10k time.

Back to More Good:  The after-party was great--lots of fresh fruit (not just bananas) and hot dogs!  I'm not going to turn down a hot dog at 8:30 in the morning.

Also, the goody bags actually had goodies in them!  Most races have resorted to stuffing the bags with advertisements, but these bags had cookies and pop and bracelets and stuff.

Even better was the shirt.  Normally I don't like cotton shirts for races, but this shirt was SuhWeet!

I wore it to the parade later.
Overall, I really liked this race. The price was right ($25!!!), and the event was well-run.  I hope the race directors fix the distance because I would love to run it again next year.  I would also like to know if I'll be able to place in my AG in a real 10k.

Congratulations to Shelby on her first place AG award!

And I got second place in our AG!
This Sunday I'll be running 15 miles to train for the Akron Marathon.  It will be my longest distance ever.  Will I melt down?  Will I make it?  Stay tuned to find out.  Until then, run happy, Peeps!

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Didja Miss Me?

I'm back, Peeps!

This has been the longest break I've ever taken from blogging (and writing in general).  The more days I let pass without writing, the harder it was to get back into the routine.  Hmmm. . .sounds like problems I've had with fitness routines, too!

I've been in Myrtle Beach and Florida for the past three weeks.  With all the chaos in my life, I decided to pack my bags (and my kids' bags, too), and run away from trouble (see what I did there?).  Just so nobody can accuse me of vagueposting, I'll give you a rundown on the chaos-part.  If you're not interested, just skip it.

The Trouble I Ran from:

1.  End of school year craziness (for both me and the kids)

2.  Adjusting to the Kabyle Chef's new schedule and how it plays into our lives

The wine will eventually help us adjust.

3.  Death of my grandmother

4.  Death of my kids' beloved godmother, Beebah

We love you, Beebah.

5.  The anniversary of my father's death

I love you and miss you, Dad.

6.  Prince's death (It counts.  Believe me.)

What I Ran to:

1.  My best friend who lives in Myrtle Beach.  I hadn't seen her for two years. She and her husband own a fabulous restaurant in North Myrtle Beach called Martini.  They have the best happy hour ever--check it out!

This is my soulmate.

We made Grammy hit the dab.

2.  My mother, who lives in Venice, FL

3.  My sister, my three nieces, and my nephew, who drove in from Orlando

My sister won the trophy at our Cheeseburger in Paradise contest.

4.  My brother, sister-in-law, and my two nieces who live in Naples, FL

Ben holds his newborn cousin.


We got our wands from Ollivanders, of course.

The only fixed goal on my schedule was Universal Studios.  As I am a driven person, it was highly unusual for me to take a vacation with no real plans in mind.  This was really good for me.

Those of you who know me know that I am very good at expressing rage (shut up) and joy and all of the emotions between those two.  I am NOT good at expressing grief or sadness; I tend to hold it all in and push through whatever is going on in my life.  I don't want that to be the example for my kids, so we had a talk about grief and missing those we love.  I explained about how I deal with sorrow, and I told them that however they choose to deal with it is the right way.

Then I ran.  I ran so far away.  (Bonus points to the peeps who are old enough to get this.)

Oh, and I literally ran. I didn't think I'd be able to stick to my schedule, but except for a few runs, I pretty much nailed my training.  The bonus was the workout room at my mom's clubhouse; it was TRICKED OUT, Peeps.  Because of the heat, I tended to run a few miles on the treadmill, do some kettle bell, run again, more strength training on those incredible machines, run again. . . well, you get the picture.

The part of the training that I epically failed was the eating.  And drinking.  I have gained some weight, Peeps, but I know how to take care of that now.  The interesting thing is that I'm not panicked about it.  I know that I can get back to where I need to be; I just have to stick to it.  And I will.

This has been a vacation of healing for me.  I was able to spend time with the people I love, and I was able to let go of my control a little bit.

But now I'm back, and I'm fierce.  I've got goals to crush, and I can't do that by sitting on my dupa.

Well, I can sit on my dupa if I'm wearing BondiBand recovery socks.

This post was supposed to be a short jump back into writing, but look what I've done!  And I haven't even described my training during vacation!  I will spare you this time, but stay tuned for my next post.

Just one last thing:  you know my signature running look ALWAYS involves a Bondiband headband. I LURRVVV them!  If you would like to order your own headbands, you can get a discount by using my code: TroubleRun.

We are a Bondiband bunch of Turtles!

This one says, "Training with a hangover."

I would love to race my husband.  I'd beat him without even trying.

Until then, run happy, Peeps!

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Run away from Snapping Turtles!

Today ends week 1 of marathon training.  I feel pretty successful with my runs this week.

On Monday, instead of doing yoga, I wheedled The Kabyle Chef into walking/running three miles with me.  We definitely did more walking than running because The Chef has not been taking his daily walk/runs on the treadmill lately as he has switched to a mostly evening schedule.  He was feeling the pain, so I hope he realizes that he has to get back on the horse. . . so to speak.

This was before.  He wasn't so happy after.  He's cute though, right?

Shelby and I finished the week with twelve miles on the Towpath.  Twelve sweaty, humid, muggy, and sometimes rainy miles.  The first nine miles were almost effortless; we chatted so much that we didn't feel any sort of discomfort.  Then, at mile 9 it kicked in.  Suddenly we were very quiet. . .too quiet.  Shelby likes to run ahead of me in the last miles; she calls it "smelling the barn" (Horse people are weird).  I think this is a great challenge for me because my energy tends to lag big time in the last miles.  Luckily for me, Shelby knows what I'm thinking when I stop talking, and she turned to me in the last mile and shouted back, "This is not one of those runs where you think about running a marathon later."  Thank you.  That was EXACTLY what I was thinking, as in, "How in the HELL will I run 14.2 MORE MILES on marathon day?"  So, I listened to the boss and stopped thinking about it.  Instead I thought about ginger beer.


A nice breeze in the last miles as it started to cool down a bit.

A huge snapping turtle.

This is not EXACTLY the snapping turtle we saw.  I was afraid to stop and take his picture because he was telling me he would bite my toes off if I did stop.
As a Bondi Band Ambassador, I was lucky enough to receive my first pair of compression socks.  I'm wearing them now to recover.  The first time I tried them on, I was in heaven!

It's like a thousand fingers massaging my legs!  And they are animal print!
I love these socks.  I wear them after my intervals, tempos runs, and long runs.  I already knew I love Bondi Band headbands, but now that I know I love compression wear, I may be their best customer.  If you want to purchase any Bondi Band products, use my code (TroubleRun) to get a 10% discount.  Check out the cool designs on the compression socks--argyle! pirates!

My real challenge starts next week, Peeps.  I'm going down South to visit the family, and I've got to keep up the training. Will I survive the heat and humidity?  I know I can do short runs in that kind of weather; I'm worried about my long runs.  We shall see.

Until then, run happy, Peeps!

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Run away from Cicadas

The cicadas are back!

Ugly little suckers.  Noisy, too.
My son is terrified of cicadas.  He won't walk down the driveway without screaming like a baby.  So, I've got that going for me.  I've often said that the sound of the cicadas is what serial killers hear before shaving their heads and climbing a bell-tower to shoot everyone.  Not that I've ever thought about this.

I am off antibiotics, so it's time to get my head back into the game.  My next race is in August, Leg 7 of Burning River, which is about 15 miles.  The next weekend I have Ragnar Trail Relay in West Virginia, where I will run 30 miles.  During this time, I will be training for the Akron Marathon at the end of September.  It will be my first marathon.

Those of you who know me know that I am not comfortable asking for favors or showing that I need something.  This has been a very vulnerable time for me (3 family deaths!  2 in one week!), so last week I broke down and told Shelby that I needed her to run the Akron Marathon with me.  I never say I need anyone or anything, so she was a bit shocked, I think.  I'm so lucky to have her as my friend.  Who else will listen to my bullshit?

This is EXACTLY how I look when I beg Shelby to run my first marathon with me.

Bedford Reservation.  Beautiful!

On a completely unrelated note, I am now a Bondi Band ambassador, Peeps.  I love Bondi Bands because they are the only band that keeps sweat wicked away from my eyes.  I sweat A LOT.  You can see in the picture above that Shelby and I are both  sporting Bondi Bands.  If you ever decide to order any of their products, use my code (TroubleRun) to get 10% off.

This is my first official week of training for the marathon.  I have finally cobbled together a program based off of about three different books and a webpage.  My prep will basically consist of three different types of runs: the tempo run, the long run, and intervals.  I will also have easy runs in there to help ramp up mileage. The part I couldn't figure out was how to safely ramp up the mileage while making it fit my lifestyle, which is why I had to consult so many charts.  Then I printed out a blank calendar and wrote those miles into the days when I intend to run.

Today I started with a 3 mile hike at Adam Run with the kids.  We saw two salamanders.

Say hello to my leetle friend!

One thing I like about my plan is that some of the runs are shorter than what I'm used to.  This will allow me to add in strength training after a run. Normally I devote separate days to yoga and lifting, but now I can add it in on short-run days.

I'm excited to train for my first marathon.  Will I feel this way in four weeks?  Who knows?  Right now my first challenge will be to run in Florida.  I am not a fan of heat and humidity, but I'm sure it will make me a stronger runner.

What are you training for, Peeps?  I hope that you are able to run happy this week!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Getting Over It

The Sunday of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon I ran in this:

This is EXACTLY how the race looked.
This past Sunday I ran in beautiful weather.  The sun was shining, but it wasn't too hot.  I even saw these guys who wanted to know what the heck Shelby and I were doing:

I couldn't get the shot I wanted, while both deer were less than 2 feet away.  Still, pretty cool!

I'm not bitter, though.  I'm not.

I am getting over my bronchitis, but I am still not 100%.  I've had a few runs, but I haven't pushed myself in running or lifting.  Tomorrow that may change.  Believe it or not, I miss my intervals and my tempo run.  I don't miss lifting.  Blech.

This is EXACTLY how I look when I'm not bitter and I don't miss lifting.

Also, because I'm old and stupid, I've forgotten which marathon book I had decided to buy, so I had to order them all at the library again so I can figure it out.  Marathon training starts soon, Peeps!

I have some more to write, but I need to process a little bit before I get to what I really want to write about this year.  May is a crazy month, what with the Cleveland race and the end of the school year.  I'm trying to get out of my head, but life isn't making it easy for me.

Is May this crazy for you?

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