Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekly Miles- March 23-29

Happy Monday!
I need to keep myself accountable and posting my weekly mileage tends to help with that.  I don't mind slacking off, but I don't like to admit that I've done it!

This past week I ran 3 times for a total of about 7 miles.  The sad part is that I think it is more consistent than I have been in quite some time.  As much as I am trying to convince my body to get back in the groove of piling on the mileage, I need to get both my brain and body used to running consistently.  With the whole moving/wedding planning/house shopping/job searching thing going on I have to work harder to make the time to run.  I always feel better after I do though!

Here is a breakdown of my runs last week:
3/23 - Yoga (throwing it in there because it's my favorite cross-training)
3/24 - 2.5 miles around school campus
3/35 - nothing. ate cake
3/26 - 2.5 miles around school campus
3/27 - rest
3/28 - 2 miles on the track doing speed work
3/29 - rest

Lessons learned: once again I went too far in my first outing in my zero drop shoes and my shins hurt.  Luckily I wore my Zensah calf sleeves and don't have pain in the rest of my leg.  Someday I might learn to ease into these things!

My running/yoga buddy isn't feeling well so I might be on my own this week.  But I am heading to Florida for Easter so I am hoping for this week to fly by!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Big Big News!

Have you ever found out information via social media that you really wish someone had been considerate enough to tell you more personally? I know I have and I think it is (unfortunately) becoming more and more common.  My friend’s cousin and the cousin’s husband were living with her and she found out via Facebook that they were moving overseas.  Maybe I am the only one obsessed with this manners thing…but it just doesn’t seem right!

That said. I think I finally have all my ducks in a row, so I can finally make the announcement that I am moving to Orlando at the start of May!  My fiancĂ© is living there currently and we have started house shopping.  I could not be more excited to spend a few years living in a real town, near races, and with TONS of running clubs and activities.  Not to mention lack of winter, which is totally a win in my book.

I am going to miss the cute little house I live in now and I am going to miss my running buddy, friends and coworkers.  I will miss driving on roads that are never slowed down with traffic.  I will miss my weekend trips to the mountains.  But I am so excited for the opportunities that the next phase of my life will hold!

I am also going to admit that I have no idea how to make friends! I have been hanging out with work and school friends for the last eight years! Hopefully running clubs will be the answer to that problem  :)

SO! For those who have lived/do live near the Orlando area…I need recommendations! Where do I run? What do I need to eat? What places do the locals go?  Any other advice is obviously welcome! I am an over planner by nature…totally surprising for a runner right?

If I can make it through this move without all my hair turning grey I will count it as a success!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Zensah Ultra Compression Sleeves Review

Disclaimer: I received Zensah Compression Sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Two bits of info to set the stage: 
  • My calves are awful. They will cramp up for no reason at all. I wake up with Charlie Horses more often than I would like and the pain tends to last the entire day.
  • This is my first ever experience with compression socks/sleeves/etc.

Having shared those two things, I imagine it is pretty obvious that I was super excited when I was told that we were going to be trying out Zensah Ultra Compression Sleeves!

To start with, ordering was a breeze. This chart is available on the website and I was able to quickly measure my calf and get it all sorted out.

With my luck I was, of course, on the dividing line between medium and large. I decided I would prefer a little extra squeeze and went with the mediums. When I got the sleeves in the mail I immediately knew I made the right choice. They are like a bear hug for my legs without being so tight I lose feeling below my knees. The most difficult part of ordering these sleeves was actually picking a color! I love anything neon and these are available in a great variety. I finally chose neon pink…because you can always use more pink!
Patience is not one of my stronger virtues – so as soon as I saw the Zensah box on my doorstep I ripped it open and put the sleeves on immediately. This is probably one of the moments I should be glad I live alone since they were over my black tights and paired with a lovely floral print pencil skirt. Not one of my better fashion moments, but my legs were immediately grateful.

A common mistake I made while training for the Space Coast Marathon last fall was believing that I was doing enough to recover just because I was taking a day off of running. What I often fail to account for is the amount of time I spend on my feet stressing the same muscles. Last year that resulted in a calf strain that derailed my training for a while, so now I am looking for recovery options that do not involve staying off my feet. Like many people I have a job that does not stop just because I ran a lot the past weekend and what is best for your body is often not a viable option. As much as I love my foam roller I have realized that I need to do more. This weekend was a fantastic opportunity to try out these sleeves on my overworked and exhausted calves.
Saturday I was on my feet for most of the twelve hours I spent volunteering for a conference at our barn (while wearing Toms because I do not plan ahead lol). Sunday was spent sitting in a car, standing behind a college fair table, and then sitting in the car again. All for a grand total of eleven hours. I won’t lie, my legs wanted to fall off on Saturday night already. By the time I got home Sunday I was done in. I pulled on the compression sleeves while I reheated some dinner and felt so much better immediately. It’s almost like the muscles breathe a sigh of relief because the sleeves are holding them in and doing some of the work for them.

Monday I went for a 2.25 mile run then went to a 75 minute warm flow class. I slept in the sleeves again that night and felt amazing the next morning. Tuesday night was a 5 mile trail run and the first time I tested out my sleeves while running. It felt so good. My legs didn’t get tired (despite having not run that far since November and tackling some crazy trails!). The only downside was that they got covered in mud so I couldn’t sleep in them!

For the sake of comparison, I ran my 10k on the 14th without the sleeves and, despite the less intense hills and footing, I noticed my legs being more tight and sore than they had been for my run on Tuesday.
Overall: I am sold on compression sleeves and in love with Zensah! I am planning on ordering more of these sleeves in many many more colors! I would highly recommend trying the Zensah Ultra Compression Sleeves if you want a good tight squeeze to help with shin splints or calf pain!

Check out other BibRavePro reviews:
Angie @ Angie Runs
Danielle @ Live, Run, Grow

For more information about Zensah, check out their website and social media- Zensah.comTwitter @Zensah Instagram @Zensah Facebook – Zensah

ALSO: use BIBCHAT20 for 20% off your order until March 31st!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Shamrocking in the rain! A 10k recap

Saturday march 14th I ran the Shamrock ‘n’ Roll 10k in Whispering Pines, NC.  This is my more personal recap of the race; to see a slightly more technical review check out my write up on BibRave here.

The morning of the race was super soggy and felt pretty chilly. The actual temperature was around 50, but the rain and occasional breeze made it pretty gross.   However, it was my running buddy’s first 10k and the farthest she had ever run, so I was still excited to be there!
We started out the morning with a whole lot of coffee. Probably not my best plan but it worked out alright and I am just not good at mornings without it.  We also stopped along the way for bagels from Dunkin' Donuts.  As good as cream cheese sounded I wasn’t willing to tempt fate that much so I kept it plain.

I was the weirdo with my phone in a Ziplock bag to keep it dry, so I have no pictures from the day.  I simply went through way too many phones last year and wasn’t willing to take that chance for a few selfies.

I think the turnout for the race was probably low compared to the registration thanks to the nasty weather.  There were just over 100 10k finishers.  We were not going for speed so we stuck with walking back and forth to the starting line to get warmed up.  The perks of the small crowd being that we didn’t have to jostle into a corral.

The 5k started out a few minutes ahead of us and the courses split, so we only passed a few from the back of the pack after we started.  The roads were blocked off so it was never a problem to find open running space.  The turns were all well marked and there were volunteers to provide direction; they were also great and enthusiastic cheerers.  One man was dressed up and had music playing from his car.  He took the time to give us both high fives as we went by.  I have probably said it before, but I am going to say it again: volunteers can make or break the entire race experience.  A little enthusiasm is life changing.

 After the race, my friend and I decided we probably could have run faster but we opted to take it easy and do some house shopping along the way.  We were running through very cute neighborhoods near a lake (or maybe 2 lakes? My sense of direction is less than stellar) and the houses were beautiful.  We were very aware that our training for this race was very much sub-par so we were in no hurry and were happy to finish in an hour and fourteen minutes.  I knew we had the right strategy when my running buddy told me she was actually having fun and didn't hate me for talking her into doing the 10k instead of the 5k!  We looked like drowned rats and I couldn't feel my fingers...but I also couldn't stop smiling.

Finishing the race feeling good and not completely burnt out was exactly what I needed.  Oddly enough it always seems to be the runs in the rain that make me want to run more.  As much as I was struggling with motivation to run before this weekend, I am feeling so much better.  It was a small local race without many bells and whistles, but it made me remember what it feels like to love running...and I couldn't ask for anything more!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

February Resolution Check in and March Goals

February was far from perfect, but far better than January!
I read 5 books (so 6/50 for the year)
I ran 5.7 miles (ugh. So about 6.8/1000 for the year)
I did yoga almost every day! Big win!
My blogging was not up to par. I need internet at my house. Badly.

March I will continue on the same year long goals, but I will also be going soda free for the entire month. It's a habit that I pick up and kick repeatedly and now it's time to kick it again.

With the weather improving this month (hopefully) I should be able to ramp up soon. I have a 10k on the 14th that I'll suffer through and hope it kick starts my running urges. I was tough on myself over my lack of running until I realized that it is something I do to relax and decompress. If going to run is something I am stressing over, that totally defeats the purpose. I am not less of a runner because I don't brave icy back roads I won't even drive on. I am preserving my happy place and keeping it happy.

In the meantime, I am digging hot yoga because it's a workout and you are guaranteed to be warm for a few hours!

Happy Thursday!