Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday Training Update

17 more days, y'all! Holy heck! I've had an achey foot, which is a little scary this close to race day, so I took it easy last week.
Thursday was hill repeats. We did about 3.5 miles, and the first mile was a warm up. The rest pretty much killed me!

On the bright side, I chose my costume for the Disney half marathon in January...

My daughter will be going as Russell..

So fun!
Friday I stuck to yoga, to stretch out my legs.

Saturday was my final long run. I wrote about it that night, so this is not news! 20 miles done, ugly miles, but....

What a beautiful word! Now I can take it easy!

Sunday I rested. I don't think I got more than 7000 steps that day. It was glorious. I did bail on my triathlon, which I now have to reschedule, possibly for June. It's a mission now!

Monday I met up with a new running buddy for 3 easy miles that became 4.5 easy miles!

Tuesday was track day, but since I'm tapering I took it easy. I also did a little yoga.

Wednesday I just walked to get my steps!

A pretty easy week, except for that pesky long run!

Do you enjoy tapering or does it make you crazy?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Planning Races During Marathon Training

I've been thinking about this for awhile and finally decided to write about it. I have struggled with this ever since I started running.
I'm a sucker for a race. If a friend contacts me and the medal is cool or the shirt is pretty, or even for no reason at all, I will sign up.
Seems like no big deal, right?
More than once, I have scheduled a half marathon on a weekend when I am supposed to be running 16, 18, or 20 miles.
No problem, just run the extra miles before or after, right? For some reason, I've never been able to do that!

When I decided to run NYC, I realized I'd have to take my training more seriously so I developed a system. I'm a planner, so I printed out my training plan and wrote the entire thing in my planner.

When a race comes up, I check my planner for that week and check my mileage. If it's close enough, I'll register. If I can safely swap weeks, I'll still register.

It can be so tempting to plan a race that's fun, like Hot Chocolate or a Mud Run, but I have to be so careful, especially now that I'm going to be training for my first ultra!

I have way more 20+ mile runs with this race, so I'll have to be extra careful not to plan an ill timed race. You have no idea how hard this will be for me!

Do you struggle with planning too many races?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

When a Long Run Goes Bad

Today was my final long run before taper begins for the Chicago Marathon. I had 20 miles on the schedule for today and I was determined to meet that mileage. The most I ran when training for NYC was 18, and I really wanted to hit 20 today.
I started my first miles with the pace group I coach. For some reason, the directions I printed for our route had some wrong turns in them and we ended up lost 3 times.

We cut the last portion out of the run and still ended up with 10.6 miles because of all the backtracking.

Which meant we ran past one of my favorite churches...

I always have to take a pic of that church! We also had an #almostdisney moment!

Besides those 3 wrong turns, this portion of the run was pretty awesome. I love running with my girls and we always have plenty to talk about during our long runs.
We parted ways and I headed for the Greenway to do my last 9.5 miles. I was planning on sticking to a 2:1 run/walk for the rest of my run. It was a little cooler on the Greenway, which was nice, and it's mostly flat. Of course on my way to the path, someone almost backed over me.
Who backs out of a parking lot without looking?

I start out on my run and after a couple of miles I see a familiar trio! We noticed each other at about the same time...

We gabbed for a few minutes, mostly about the hot cops all over Facebook, I'm not gonna lie, and then I started back out.
I was definitely feeling tired already, but I chugged along, sometimes doing a 2:1 and sometimes a 2:2.
At mile 13, a woman approached me asking for water. She had fallen and scraped the skin off of her palms and wanted to clean up a little. I basically poured most of my water on her hands and knees with 7 miles to go!

So now I have no water and nowhere ahead to refill, so at mile 14, I turned back early. I knew there was a water fountain back that way, and I could always double back at the end, right?

I hadn't been running since mile 13, since I didn't want to overheat, and now my left shoe is rubbing against my little toe. Honestly, this started back at mile 9 but now I was starting to lose my form. I decided it was best to keep walking, instead of risking injury for overcompensating that foot.
I finally reach the end of the trail, but I'm only at mile 18. ugh.

Shortly after I snapped this pic, I get the low battery signal. I'm not gonna lie, I threw up my hands in defeat and started to turn back. I was so mad and frustrated, and my foot really freaking hurt. I couldn't do it. Watch or no watch, proof or no proof, I was hitting that 20 mile mark. So I turned around and finished the last two miles.

I ordered Starbucks from my car, changed my clothes, (yes, I do this in the parking lot. I have one of those towels that hooks around you so you can change underneath) and limped over to Starbucks in my shiny new Oofo clogs.

That run sucked. The walking part sucked too. You know what didn't suck? Knowing that I stuck with it, finished, and now I'm in Tapertown. Oh, and that pumpkin cheesecake bar was freaking awesome.

So was my bath.

Have you ever had a run go terribly wrong?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Staying Visible with the Stunt Puppy Dry Collar

I received this beautiful Stunt Puppy Go Dog GloDry Collar for the purposes of this review as a Bib Rave Pro (Ambassador). Check out to read and write race reviews!

With a blog name like mine, you have to know there are pups in my life! We are pretty active with our pups. We have to be, corgis have tons of energy and would lose their minds without some activity!

Add in the South Carolina heat and humidity and you have potential for some stinky, nasty dog collar situations!
When Stunt Puppy offered me this awesome dog collar to test out, I was immediately intrigued! A collar that is waterproof, stink proof, and visible at night? Shut the front door!
We walk our dogs a lot. This is probably an understatement! We trail hike, we walk early in the morning and late at night, and sometimes we run with them, as well. Anything to tire them out after they've been inactive all day.

This adjustable collar is just what we need! It adjusted easily to fit comfortably on Memphis and it withstands 225 pounds of pull, which is super important when you're uber social pup wants to meet the dog walking across the street.

It has 2 D Rings. Why 2? One for the leash and one for the tags! Genius! No more crazy jingling going on while you walk.

When you get muddy out on the trail, it cleans off easily as well.
I am in love, and Memphis is too!

He is so in love that he wanted me to show you this discount code so your pup can have one too!
Check out Stunt Puppy online, they have so many amazing products! There are some seriously cute patterned collars and they've just added a collar with your pup' s ID printed right on it!
They have amazing leashes as well, we love ours!

Which collar would you pick for your pup?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Run and Ride Carowinds Half Marathon

Time for day 2 of my Carowinds race weekend. Today's race began at 7, and since I already had my bib, I showed up at about 6:25 with just enough time to see my friends and hit the potty.

After the anthem and a moment of silence for those we lost on 9-11, I gave my jacket to the hubs and prepared to start the race. I set my watch for 2:1 intervals.
The pacer for the 3 hour half, which was my goal, said she was going to run the first miles faster so that she could take her time in the final miles. This really aggravates me because a pacer should maintain their pace from start to finish. So many people around me were really freaking out because they couldn't keep up in the beginning. She ruined more than a few people's races, I'm sure. It turns out that many of the pacers weren't pacing properly. The 2:15 pacer finished before my friend, who finished in 2:12 or so, and the 2:45 pacer had to walk the last several miles because he started too fast.
Ok, rant over.

Much of the race was the same as yesterday, and it's a double loop, so I took less pics today. After you leave the park, you run through the very hilly camping area. It was breezy and cool, but those hills. Holy heck.

We got to run through the Dino area twice which was nice, and I stopped for a pic during round 2.

Just before mile 9, these 3 were walking towards me and I got out my phone for a pic. Their handler offered to take a pic of all 4 of us.

This was when I started getting tired. I definitely slowed in the last miles, but kept ahead of the pacer. She did pass me at about this time, although she shouldn't have. I think she evened it out by the end, and finished just ahead of me. She probably finished in about 2:58 or 2:59.

The amazing lady on the left finished her 100th marathon this morning. She was about a half mile behind me, so I snapped this pic when I was at mile 12.5 ish.

The finish was fun, they announced my name and city, and Lissa and the hubs took some pics.

A nice enough race, but no official photos because there were no photographers anywhere!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Run and Ride Carowinds 5k

Today was part 1 of my crazy race weekend. I love when a race has multiple days and I couldn't pass up the scenery on this race.
This weekend was supposed to be my Yoga Certification weekend, which I delayed because Irma was coming to visit. She has since changed her mind and I'm trying not to be bitter.
But I digress.
Today's race was super important....

My 200th race!
Plus, check out that swag! Two shirts, a hat, buff, and magnet, all with a Charlie Brown theme. Which explains the pants...

Packet pick up was a breeze, and I ended up being way too early. I used the time to get in some steps.

The race began at 8:30 after the anthem played. I decided to keep it slow, around 14 minute miles, since the half marathon is tomorrow and both races are hilly. I set my intervals at 2:1 and stuck to it the whole time. Running in the Fall of way better than summer! When the timer buzzed I was always surprised instead of thankful!

The course started outside the park, behind the scenes, for the first mike at least. After that, we finally headed into the park.

We started in the main area of the park, where they are setting up for Scarowinds....

Through the water park, and finally to my favorite....

Once we left the dinosaurs, we were on our way back to the front of the park to finish.

A little reminder about race etiquette... After you finish, be sure to look for runners before crossing the race path. SO ANNOYING. I was just starting my sprint to the finish when someone crossed right in front of me. Slooooowly.
I had to stop short to avoid a collision. She didn't even have the decency to apologize. Ugh.

I finished, got my bling, and scored a bagel with cream cheese and some water. Final pace.... 13'16"
ooops.... so much for my 14 minute miles!

I hung around to watch my friend and her little finish the One Miler...

My friend, who ran the 5k, placing 4th in her AG, before running the mile!
Rock star!

All in all, a fun day! I look forward to tomorrow's long marathon.