Present

As I mentioned in my first post about the Historic Half, I was a little nervous about hitting my goal of a sub-2 hour time. A week out, I had my doubts and seriously considered pulling out of the race.

I hadn’t read my latest issue of Runner’s World so I decided to crack it open and try to find some inspiration.

I got to an article by Jonathan Beverly called “Today I Get to Run”. Beverly described a time when he was injured and unable to run. Up until that point, he had always taken his running very seriously and as a result, for granted. Once running was taken away from him, albeit temporarily, he realized what a gift it is to be able to run. Now, he is just thankful for each and every day his is able to run.

This was exactly what I needed. I decided that rather than being nervous about whether or not I would achieve my goal, I would look at the Historic Half as just another day in which I get to run. There is a quote in Kung Fu Panda where Oogway tells Po: “There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” Ok so maybe this wasn’t where this line originated but it still resonates with me. Each day a is a gift and running is like an extra special bonus. So what if I didn’t PR or break two hours in the half? I would still be out and running!

Taking the pressure of PRing off myself and just being grateful for the opportunity to run allowed me to relax. In the end, I was able to pull off a PR and I’m convinced it was because I adopted a mentality of gratitude.

Now I look at every day I get to run as a present and it has made running that much more enjoyable for me.

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Marine Corps Historic Half Recap

On January 1st this year, I gave myself 2 New Years’ goals: do 5 strict pull ups and run a sub-2 hour half marathon.

I had already signed up for the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg, Virginia so I decided to try my sub-2 hour attempt at that race.

My previous half PR was 2:10:01 (9:55/mile pace). In order to run a half in 1:59:59 or less, I would need to get my pace down to 9:09/mile or faster. I decided to use the Women’s Running plan that incorporated speed workouts and laid out specific paces for me to hit in order to get to a sub-2 hour half marathon time. I really enjoyed this plan and managed to stick to it for the most part (there were a few days that life had other plans for me that did not include running).

The Historic Half is mostly a downhill race. However, right around mile 10.5 runners arrive at Hospital Hill. This is a half mile segment that has a 100 foot climb in elevation. I was pretty nervous about this part of the race. Last time I ran up an incline of that magnitude, I ended up getting plantar fasciitis. Also, our area of Virginia is absolutely flat. I think pancakes have more elevation than we do here. So in order to prepare my body for this portion of the race, I did a lot of leg work at CrossFit and worked with a trainer to simulate running up hills.

Race day weekend arrived and I was feeling a little nervous about running a sub-2 time. The night before, I had some tightness/soreness in my left hip, which I knew would only get worse during the race. But I woke up on race morning and it wasn’t feeling so bad. I decided to trust in my training and if I didn’t achieve my goal, I could always sign up for another race later in the year.

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The gun went off and I started out strong. There was a lot of downhill at the beginning of the race. My friend Lauren had told me that I should keep an even effort throughout the race, which means keeping up the work on the downhill. I kept repeating the mantra of “even effort” through my head through the first 10 miles. I was feeling pretty good and my Garmin was telling me that I was well under my goal pace and averaging about an 8:20 mile pace. I was feeling great at this pace and I like I could do anything!

As I turned the corner at mile 10, I prepared myself for what I knew was coming: Hospital Hill. I kept repeating “even effort”. When I saw the hill, it actually looked less intimidating then I thought it would be. I am a firm believer that a body in motion stays in motion so I was determined not to walk the hill.I reminded myself that this was the Marine Corps half marathon – this hill was nothing compared to what Marines goes through! With all these thoughts going through my head, before I knew it, I had made it to the top!

I knew I hadn’t kept up my 9:09 pace while I was running up Hospital Hill. So once I reached the top, I had to refocus myself on getting back to my pre-hill pace. This was a little difficult, as I was pretty tired by this point. But I kept thinking “even effort, even effort, even effort”. I dug deep for the last 2 miles and got back on goal pace.

I hit the last quarter mile straight away to the finish line, dug down and pushed to the end. A race official was calling out that I was on track to finish at a 1:55 gun time. I was pretty tired but hearing that gave me a little boost and I pushed myself for one last surge. I crossed the finish line with a net time of 1:54:40.

I love this photo of me because I think it perfectly captures the disbelief that I had come in 5 minutes over my goal time.

After I received my medal from the Marines, I headed to the beer tent. It may have been cheep beer, but that was the best tasting beer I have ever had.

I felt so great after the Historic Half that I’ve already signed up for another half in November and few shorter races in between, including a beer mile later this month. I’m just hoping this summer isn’t too humid!

Revival

Well hello dear neglected blog…

It’s been a while. Almost a year in fact since my last post. During that time some major changes have happened.

The biggest change is that we moved to Virginia! My husband, animals and I were really sad to say goodbye to Rhode Island but we have found Virginia to be a lovely place. We moved right in the middle of August and boy was I shocked by the humidity here. The first few times I went running with high humidity I barely got 3 miles and I was drenched in sweat. This threw a serious kink into my marathon training that I had started in Rhode Island.

IMG_7667Speaking of marathon training… I am proud to say I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in October. While it didn’t go exactly as planned, I am so glad I decided to participate. I was extremely humbled to be running along with people dressed in full tactical gear and carrying US Flags. Coupled with running among the amazing sights of Washington, D.C., this was such a fun race. If you have an opportunity to participate, I highly recommend it.

After the marathon, I took a bit of a break from long distance running. I ran a couple of 5Ks in December and March. Somehow I managed to pull off age category awards at both of those races! I ran a personal best of 23:40 (7:38/mile pace) in March and took home second overall female and first in my age category.

In February I started training for the Marine Corps Historic Half. One of my 2017 New Year’s goals was to run a half marathon in under 2 hours (9:09/mile pace). I trained well and I averaged a sub-9 minute mile on most of my training runs. But I was a bit nervous since the Historic Half has a pretty major hill around mile 11. Our area in Virginia is VERY flat so I didn’t have much hill practice. I did do a lot of CrossFit and worked with a trainer on getting my legs used to working hard. Still, I was nervous it wouldn’t be enough to get me a sub-2 hour half time.

Well the Historic Half was this past Sunday and I am happy to say I nailed my goal and finished in 1:54:39. This was such an accomplishment for me and I am so proud of myself.

So what’s next?

About 20 minutes after finishing the Historic Half, I was already thinking about my next race. Yep, I’m a running junkie. I’m looking forward to pushing myself and seeing if I can get my half marathon time down to 1:45 and a sub-20 minute 5K. I’d also like to build some upper body strength and do 5 unassisted pull-ups.

This summer I’ll be training for a 10K in August, my first ever Beer Mile and then another half marathon in late fall. I have taken quite a liking to CrossFit as my go to cross training so I’ll be spending some more time in the gym as well trying to escape the heat and humidity that is starting to hit us now.

Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side Race Recap

Well this post is long overdue….

Back in April, I completed a race I had been looking forward to since it was announced in August of last year: the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side. I am definitely a Dark Side sympathizer so I knew I was going to participate in this event from the moment RunDisney announced it. And of course I had to do the Dark Side Challenge, running the 10k on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday.

The Hubby had to work so I coerced my friend Lauren to running it with me. It was really fun to have a girls’ weekend but more on that later.

We decided to fly down to Orlando on Friday. As you may know, the weather in Florida can fluctuate wildly, with thunderstorms being a regular occurrence. I got pretty panicked when all of the weather websites showed thunderstorms for Friday afternoon. I was really concerned I wouldn’t be able to get to the Expo in time to pick up my packet for the 10k on Saturday so I used RunDisney’s new Packet Pick-Up Service to pick up my race bib and shirts on the morning of the 10k. It was $39 for this “service” which I thought was pretty ridiculous but in my panic stricken mind, I felt this was better than potentially missing the 10k race.

We ended up making it into Orlando on time and after checking in to our hotel, we hit up the Expo right away. I admit that I get just as excited about the Expo as I do the running itself. Upon arrival, I went straight to the RunDisney merchandise booth and bought my “I did it!” Dark Side Challenge shirt. I was a little disappointed that the women’s shirts were bright pink – I mean I LOVE pink but this was the Dark Side Challenge and I think it was a little annoying how pink this shirt was. That being said, I’m still really glad I got one because it commemorates my achievement and I have one from the “Light Side” race weekend.

Then I introduced Lauren to the wonders of KT Tape. KT Tape always has a booth at RunDisney events and will tape one body part for free and then an additional body part for every roll of KT Tape you purchase. I swear by this stuff (stay tuned for future blog post!) so I bought a roll and Lauren picked up a couple as well. Afterwards, we walked around the expo floor for a bit but didn’t really find anything else we were interested in purchasing. It is important to note that RunDisney sells out of a lot of their items on day one of the Expo so the earlier you can go, the better. On the other hand if big crowds aren’t your thing, going to the Expo any other day is what I would recommend.

Since we both had an early start that morning and I was going to be getting up REALLY early the next day, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing in our hotel room. I always set out my running outfit and gear the night before any race so all I have to do is roll out of bed and into my outfit. This was especially helpful since I had to be up at 2:45am for the 10k race the next day. Lauren is smarter than I am and decided to only do the half marathon so she got to sleep in.


At 2:45am on Saturday, I rolled out of bed and stumbled into my clothes. When the RunDisney website/event guide tell you to be on the bus to the Start Line by 4am, they mean it. The lines for the buses get really long (see below) so if you don’t like rushing to your corral, get on the bus early! I made it on one of the first buses because I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to pick up my race bib and drop my bag at the gEAR check. Depending on which hotel you stay at on the Disney property, the buses usually have runners to the starting area within 10-15 minutes. I used that time to sneak in a quick nap.

The Packet Pick-Up Service I signed up for worked as planned. I was able to conveniently pick up my race bib, pre-purchased pin and shirts without a problem at the runner’s village. I didn’t really feel that this service was anything special and I wouldn’t do it again, especially for $39. But in all fairness, it did give me peace of mind in getting to Orlando.

It didn’t take me very long to pin my bib on and drop my bag so I a made one last bathroom stop before heading to my corral. A word of advice: wait to use the porta-potties after the runner’s village. There were massive lines for the porta-potties in the runner’s village but once you get past the runner’s only checkpoint, there are WAY more bathrooms and the lines are very short. There are even a few bathrooms by the corrals so don’t waste your time in the runner’s village lines!

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As I mentioned in my previous post about RunDisney challenges, taking it easy on the 10k is the best strategy for surviving the weekend. It was tough, but I managed to hold myself back and keep a steady jogging pace (11 min/mile). I did decide to stop at on of the picture stops, the Emperor’s Chair, for a picture moment. The nice thing about picture stops is that Disney has an additional cast member available to take a picture of you with your cell phone and I took advantage of this option.The picture stop was a nice little break and after I got my photo I was off jogging again.

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My photos always tend to be awkward…

Other than being a little humid, the 10k was pretty uneventful for me. I picked up my finisher’s medal – in the awesome shape of a tie-fighter – and made a bee line to the bus back to our hotel. Since it was only about 7am by that time, I took a quick shower and then promptly fell back asleep for about 2 hours while Lauren read a friend’s law school paper.

After I woke up, we both decided that we should do a little bit of walking but nothing too strenuous in preparation for the half marathon. We decided that we would have lunch at the Rainforest Cafe at Disney Springs and bum around that area for the afternoon. It was a lot of fun and a relaxing was to shake out our legs.

The half marathon start time was 5am, a half hour earlier than the 10k and 5k, so we hit the hay around 8pm for our 3:00am wake up call. The hotel buses picked us up and had us to the starting area by 4:15am.

Lauren is faster than I am so she was in corral B while I was in corral C. Because she is nice, Lauren moved back to the C corral so we could run together.

For about the first 5 miles, the course was the same route as the 10k, which is pretty typical for a RunDisney event weekend. Once we started getting out onto main roads, there were screens up playing parts of the Star Wars films. I really enjoyed this entertainment as it helped distract me from the pain that had started to creep into my right knee.

Before we left for Orlando, I told Lauren that my goal was a sub-two hour time. I had been doing pretty well, thanks to Lauren pacing me. But in the parking lot of Animal Kingdom, around mile nine, the annoying little pain in my right knee that had been tolerable up until then turned into a sharp, stabbing pain that I could no longer muscle through. I walked through the water stop, ready to cry as I thought for sure that I wouldn’t be able to run the rest of the way. Lauren, bless her heart, stayed with me and assured me that if we needed to walk it was ok.

Some part of my brain dug down deep and told me I still had something left. I saw a speed limit sign about 50 yards away. I said to Lauren, “Let’s walk to that sign and then I will try running again.”

When we reached the sign, I began to trot. To my amazement my knee felt better. I increased my tempo to a run and still felt good. I don’t know if it was a second wind or adrenaline but somehow I managed to run the last 4 miles of the race. We finished with a time of 2 hours and 10 minutes – almost exactly the same time I had at the Light Side half marathon.

While I didn’t make my goal time, I am pretty proud of the time I did get given my mechanical issues and running in a brand new environment.

I have to give a giant thank you to Lauren. I don’t think I would have finished with such a good time or even had the strength to continue running if it had not been for her encouragement and smiling face.

Overall, I had a fun time at this race. The course was covered with everything Dark Side and my inner nerd was in heaven. I was definitely not alone in my love for the Dark Side and I think RunDisney will continue with the race in the years to come. Having done other RunDisney events, it seems they get better with time, so Dark Side weekend is going to be spectacular in the years to come.

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So there you have it: the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend – The Dark Side race recap. I highly recommend it for any Star Wars fans out there.

But alas, I am going to be taking a break from RunDisney. I have loved each race I have participated in. However, since I am no longer living in Southern California, this makes the already expensive events even more financially burdensome. Plus it is time for me to branch out and try some other running events. I already have the Marine Corps Marathon on my calendar and I’m looking to add some other local races as well.

Podcasts for Running


Like many runners, I like to have something to listen to while I’m running. While there is great debate about whether this is safe (and which I won’t get into here), I find that listening to something distracts me and ultimately adds to the joy of running for me.

When I first started running, I enjoyed listening to music. My eclectic compilation of heart pounding tunes helped push me through many miles. But after a while, I began to get tired of listening to the same music over and over. I have tried Pandora and I cannot tell you the frustration I feel when I enter Led Zeppelin as a station and suddenly I start hearing all Pink Floyd songs. Don’t get me wrong, Pink Floyd is great if you want to relax and mellow out, but when I want something to get my adrenaline going, Pink Floyd is not it.

My friend and fellow nerd, Marcie, recommended I tried podcasts. Specifically, she recommended, Serial. So I began to listen to what I have deemed “The Gateway Podcast” (because it’s addicting and leads to more podcasts) and I immediately became hooked. I found that the miles would fly by as I listened to Sarah Koenig delve into the story of Hae Min Lee, Adnan Syed and the uncertainty surrounding Hae’s murder. Seriously, if you enjoy true crime, this podcast is great.
Once I finished listening to the first season of Serial, I knew I would be listening to more podcasts during my runs. Here are some of my favorites to get me through my miles:

 

The Black Tapes
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The Black Tapes is one of the top rated podcasts. Done in the same reporting style as Serial, The Black Tapes follows reporter Alex Reagan on her foray into the paranormal. More specifically, the podcast focuses the mysterious “Black Tapes” collected by paranormal skeptic Dr. Richard Strand, who himself is a mysterious character. As Alex delves deeper and deeper into the Black Tapes and Dr. Strand’s life, she finds herself left with even more questions.

Full disclosure, I didn’t realize this podcast was a docudrama when I first starting listening and I got reallyfreaked out. I’m mean, the creators of Black Tapes even made real Twitter accounts for both Alex and Strand! Ok so I was pretty gullible on this one. However, that being said, once I figured out that this podcast was in fact fictional, I couldn’t stop listening. Currently in its second season, The Black Tapes promises to keep you on the edge of your seat, or in my case, distracted enough to get through those longer runs.

 

Lore
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Lore is an absolutely amazing podcast. In each episode, narrator and producer Aaron Mahnke explores dark pieces of folklore, some of which has influence everyday practices that we take for granted. Mahnke’s perfect narration (his voice is divine) contributes to the allure of this fascinating and sometimes haunting podcast. Typically about 30 minutes in length with episodes uploaded each week, I usually save this podcast for some of my shorter, speed workouts.

 

The Marathon Show
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The Marathon Show is a podcast about <gasp> marathons (and sometimes half marathons). They do a lot of race recaps as well as provide running tips. There is something fun about listening to a show about running while I’m out getting my miles in. While the sound quality is sometimes a bit off, this show has definitely given me motivation while I’m out pounding the pavement. Some of my favorite episodes are about the runDisney races and any episode in which shoes are discussed (priorities, right?).

 

I could go on about the many podcasts I listen to but that would be a pretty long post. I’ll post about more shows as I go along and as I find new ones I enjoy.

Do you have a favorite podcast to listen to while running?

Special Delivery

Today the mailman was my best friend. Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out on Blue-Ray today! I have waited for months for this day to come. Unfortunately, due to our moving situation in this past winter, we were unable to see Force Awakens more than once in theaters. If you think once is enough, you should know that I saw The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King three times in IMAX, so yeah… My excitement about this was pretty high. It took a lot of self control for me to not watch it until my husband came home from work, but somehow I managed to get through it.

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Had to go to the theater with my brothers to relive our childhood.

I was assisted with the passage of time from my other exciting mail delivery: my May issue of Runner’s World. I may be old fashioned but I love holding a physical magazine in my hands and reading through it. I think it is my way to disconnect for a while and read about something I love. Another great issue once again.img_6015

Anyways, the Hubby finally arrived home and I gave him approximately 60 seconds to get himself together to watch The Force Awakens. I even stopped in the middle of folding laundry to watch (see photo below).

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Leo wondering what all the fuss is about

While Force Awakens isn’t my favorite of the Star Wars, that award goes to The Empire Strikes Back, I still think it was very well done. I actually cried in the theater because I liked it so much – mostly because it was so much better than Episodes I, II and III. I’ll save my specific praises and criticisms for another place and time, but I will say that I really enjoyed that more female characters were included in this Episode.

In the meantime, I leave you with this image. Dark Side ’til I die!img_5855-1

41st Marine Corps Marathon

As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of my goals is to run a full marathon. Well, I am officially on my way to accomplishing that goal.

I found out on Thursday that I got into the 41st Marine Corps Marathon!

I am so excited and honored that I get to participate in the this amazing event. I’m also nervous – 26.2 miles is a long way!

According to my countdown app, I have 211 days, just over 30 weeks, until race day. Based on my research, that is plenty of time to train, especially since I already have a solid running foundation. I have decided to go with Hal Higdon’s Marathon Training Guide – Novice 2 training program and I’ll start the program on June 26th. In the meantime,I have a couple half marathons planned so I’ll be increasing my mileage and focusing on speed work.

I’m really looking forward to training and pushing myself to new limits this summer.

Star Wars Half Marathon

I am obsessed with Star Wars. I turned into a runner because of Star Wars – I wanted to run the Star Wars Half Marathon. And that is exactly what I did in January 2016.

This was one of the most fun events I’ve been to. The Husband couldn’t join me in California due to work, so my Mom went with me to Disneyland. I think part of the reason this event was so fun was because my Mom hasn’t been to Disneyland in years and it was really fun to hang out with her and hear some of her stories about what Disneyland was like when she was a kid now that I can appreciate them. It was also a blast showing her all the new rides, especially California Adventure.

Back to running… I decided participate in the Rebel Challenge, running the 1ok race on Saturday morning and the half marathon on Sunday morning. One of the fun parts about running a Disney race is all the costuming. People go all out with their outfits for these races – The Ma-Leia (men dressed as Princess Leia) was an especially popular outfit this year. I keep my race day outfits pretty simple but I was pretty stoked about my shirts I wore for each day. If you can’t tell, I’m partial to the Dark Side.

If you are considering running a RunDisney challenge (10k followed by a half marathon), my advice is to take it easy on the 10k. Try to get all your pictures with characters in on this day. Your body will thank you. II’m not much for taking pictures with characters simply because the lines are soooooo long. But Star Wars did have some really fun characters along the way: Boba Fett, Chewbacca, Storm Troopers and BB-8. I am obsessed with Storm Troopers, so I did take a pic with them during the 10k because the line wasn’t too long. I took it super easy though and ran at about 2 minutes slower than my usual 10k race pace. It was a good way for me to stay loose and earn a pretty sweet X-wing medal.

Because I took it easy on the 10k, I felt really good (or at least as good as you can feel getting up at 3:30am) on the morning of the half marathon. The route was Disney does a really great job of making sure there is entertainment along the race route. Because the course goes out onto the streets of Anaheim, they bring in local high school marching bands and cheerleaders to cheer on participants. During the Star Wars Half Marathon, a bunch of fans showed up in costumes and lined the route. I’m talking everything from storm troopers to Ewoks to the many faces of Padmé Amidala. As a fan, this was a major highlight! At one point I think there was an entire mile of Storm Troopers and I had to stop and take a selfie.

My new boyfriend! J/k

This was such a fun course and I felt completely energized by the crowd. I beat my previous half marathon time (Disneyland Half Marathon 9/6/15), finishing in 2:10:04. It was such an amazing feeling to see my mom in the stands right behind the finish line. I shed a few salty tears as I went over to hug her (I’m sure she was excited to have her disgustingly sweaty daughter almost collapse into her arms).


Since I love Star Wars so much, when Disney announced they would be holding a Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side weekend at DisneyWorld, I of course had to sign up. I can’t wait for this event in April. Be on the lookout for lots of updates on my Twitter and Instagram accounts @thenerdlyrunner.

Running in the Cold

As I have mentioned on my About Me page, I am a recent transplant from Southern California to New England. My husband and I moved across the country in the middle of December. I went from a low of about 60 degrees to sub-zero weather almost overnight. Yes, it was quite a shock.

I can only spend so much time on the treadmill before I start to go crazy, so I knew I needed to prepare myself for some outdoor running. Thankfully, I prepared myself for winter running by making sure my closet was stocked with weather appropriate clothing. Below is my list of must haves for winter.*

Fleece lined tights

These type of tights have been absolutely amazing. The soft lining keeps your legs warm while also providing sweat wicking technology. Although I have a few different brands of these pants, my favorite tight is the Lululemon Speed IV Brushed Tight. I am preferential to a wide waist band and these tights keep everything held in the right place while I’m out there pounding the pavement (or snow). These tights also have a TON of pockets so I can comfortably carry my phone, keys, gels for those longer runs and almost anything else I may need on the go.

Fleece lined pull over

Once again the fleece lined wins. I usually wear mine over a tech shirt. You definitely want something that will breath.

 

Fleece lined tights and pull over

Tech Shirt

Moisture wicking material that will pull moisture away from your body is a must during the winter months. This will allow you to stay warm and dry. I find that a long sleeve tech shirt for my base layer works really well at both.

Face shield

When it is really cold and/or windy, I like to wear a face mask over my mouth and nose. I cannot say enough good things about my Buff neck tube. My brother-in-law got this for me for Christmas and it is amazing. The fabric is super breathable and can be used in all weather conditions including hot dust storms. To top it off, it can be worn 13 different ways, such as a headband, beanie or sweatband.

 

Buff neck tube in action

Hat or ear warmer

I almost always wear some sort of headband when I run to keep the hair off my face. During really cold runs, I opt for a running beanie, again with sweat wicking material. Slightly less cold runs, I go for an ear warmer. Both keep the hair off my face and ears/head sufficiently warm.

Gloves

When I say gloves, I don’t mean the kind you use to go out and have a snowball fight with. Sweat wicking gloves designed for outdoor workouts work well at keeping your hands warm and dry (although the dry part isn’t guaranteed if you decide to start making a snowman instead of running). I almost always bring my gloves with me since I tend to be on the cold side. Running gloves are pretty light so it’s easy to shove them in a pocket, down a bra or in your waistband if you start to get warm.

Thick moisture wicking socks

These are especially important if you are going to be running in the rain or snow. A lot of runners will recommend wool socks designed especially for runners. I do just fine with a polyester blend, but to each their own.



Thankfully, this winter was relatively mild for New England. I’m sure if we had moved to the Midwest, I would have need much warmer clothing and spent a good deal more time on the treadmill. This past week we have been experiencing temperatures in the mid 50s and 60s and I think it is safe to say that spring is here. I am definitely looking forward to getting back into shorts and tank tops!

 

*Note: All products and opinions described are my own personal preference. I do not represent any of the brands discussed above. 

2016 Goals

I’ve talked a lot about my 2015 goal and accomplishment in my first two posts. For 2016 I wanted another running goal. With my current half marathon time at 2:10:43, I decided this year I would aim for a sub two hour time. It means increasing my pace to 9:09 per mile. Totally doable.

I started adding some speed and hill workouts to my routine. I prefer the treadmill for these workouts because it forces me to run consistently at a specific speed and I can easily program hill intervals. It is also still pretty cold and windy here so the gym has been a nice getaway from the cold.

When I’m doing a treadmill workout, I always make sure to program the speed a couple notches faster than my goal pace since the treadmill does not mimics road running perfectly. Most people will tell you to add a 1-3% incline to mimic road running, but even with an incline adjustment, the treadmill belt moves itself so your leg muscles never get the full effect of propelling you forward. You can read more about the treadmill vs. road debate here. But even though the treadmill doesn’t perfectly mimic the road, it doesn’t mean that treadmill running isn’t beneficial. It just means you need to work a bit harder to get the desired effect.

Currently I am rocking about a 9:30 pace which would put me at the 2:04:00 mark. I have several half marathon’s planned this year so I have several chances to check off this year’s goal.

And…. I already have my 2017 goal: run full marathon. More on that later. But for right now I’ll just say I’ve been bit by the running bug and I can’t go back!

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One of my first 5ks