Friday, March 30, 2012

March's New to Me Cross Training

It's that time again, time to do a new cross training activity so I can still be active in Kim's New to you cross training challenge .

January was the bootcamp that is put on by a co-worker 4x week HERE
February was the Brazilian butt lift from the beach body series HERE

I've been having such positive results with bootcamp, that I decided for March to add in a circuit that I  normally have been too intimidated to do.... battling ropes.

This is definitely a WHOLE body workout. Its not often that I do activities that get the back muscles burning, but this does the trick.  You wouldn't think that doing 60 sec of this would get your tired... but it does. In below video I demonstrate alternating arms, as well as doing both arms while doing down into a squat (to really  incorporate leg work) Another move I just started doing but is not in the video is moving the ropes side to side to work the obliques. If you do try this out... be prepared for a burn and laughing at how pathetic it is that you can't do it for very long.... or maybe thats just me?!?!

Right now I do boot camp about 2x week and make sure to do at least one round of battling ropes. Starting next week I think I'll do 2 rounds and see if I have enough energy afterward. I am noticing a difference in getting definition in my back... which is something I've always wanted (score)

What kind of cross training have you been doing thats "new to you"?

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Creature of habit for races

 I had a few people ask about my  my outfit for New York---I'm actually extremely consistent with what makes the cut for races- headband, skirt, shorts, socks, shoes are ALWAYS the same and then its a toss up on who makes the cut for the tank top. 

Top to Bottom:
  • 13.1 Chica Band- Although I normally prefer patterns / sparkles, I  thought it was fitting to represent 13.1 since the race was called '13.1 New York' .Chica Bands has tons of patterns to choose from, AND they are  having a spring sale now where if you spend $30 you get a free spring band, Score. You can check out all designs HERE
Paint the Half Pink
up close of my band

  • My Half Fanatic tank. First off a big 'no no' for me is cotton tanks, as well as high necks because I get hot. Although the HF tank does have a higher neckline than I prefer, I knew for sure that I wanted to wear this for my 25th race- first time I wore it and i'm so glad I went with the men's shirt since I've been informed the women's lack of length in midriff can be annoying and ride up. Even though I've been a member of Half Fanatics for over a year, this is the first article of clothing I've bought /worn. All their gear can be found HERE
  • Different shades of blue argyle skirt-. Speaking from experience... not all skirts are the same. Due to being vertically GIFTED I really have to pay attention to not only the skirt length, but if it has built in shorts, how long are they?!?! Unfortunately what that translates into is a lot of clearance skirts out there just don't make the cut in the anti-chafe world for me. The skirt I wore is  the triathalon style from Although I'm not a fan of their prices, I constantly stalk their sale section and just stick to triathalon skirts--- they have nothing built in so I can wear my OWN compression shorts underneath and there is no worry on riding up. Currently their sale tri skirts are $25... GREAT deal--- see whats left HERE
  • I-fitness Race belt--- ALL last year I ran in a spibelt--- it was okay, but I had to wear it on my hip so it wouldn't bounce around.  I had to watch how much I put in there so it wouldn't get weighed down, which was annoying. When I got my I-fitness belt with race number holder in January, i said bye to the spibelt and safety pins and hello to my new non-slip/ water proof friend. I think the best feature about it is that I forget it's there... it seriously DOESN'T move (perfect for my heavier objects like my phone) 
Neoprene Single Pouch w/ Race Number Holder Black

  • Even though you can't see them, underneath EVERY skirt I ALWAYS wear Nike Combat Pro Core shorts.... i'll be honest, they're not real compression,(which i like bc then I don't feel like a little sausage) but they are so comfty and the perfect length, 5'', so they don't ride up. I really need to buy more because I've been using and abusing the same pair since Jan 2011. I will say its extremely hard to find 5"--- most everything is the butt huggers 2.5".... I prefer my butt to say INSIDE my shorts, thank you very much. 
Nike Pro Core Compression 5
  • Socks- I rotate between 2 brands (depends on what's clean) First is Thorlo's Experia- the grey is extra cushion and they come in fun colors 
  • Second is drymax- not as exciting looking, but perfect wicking material to keep my feet sweat free - both socks don't come cheap and can range from $10-$15 / pair, but well worth the extra money

  • I over-pronate, so I need a stability shoe. I've been in the saucony guides for about a year now. Honestly it gets the job done, I don't have any issues anymore, I just wish they weren't as boxy and a little lighter. There is something about the newest version, 5s, that I HATE when I'm doing training runs- sore calves, bothered arches, just feel 'heavy'. The weird part is that I'm not bothered at all during races, and thats where it counts, so I guess I won't be switching to a diff shoe for my halfs anytime soon. 

So thats my go-to gear for every.single.race.... seriously, aside from the tank top, it doesn't vary from there.

Do you have any race outfits MUSTS each time?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The most difficult shoes to track down EVER

Honestly, when I saw the Asics gel noosas a few months back I just thought to myself- those are fun, but I wasn't dying to have them. That changed when a few weeks ago I was having a conversation about how I would love to have them and it was pointed out that to wear shoes 'that loud' you have to be fast or else you look silly. So I asked, 'how fast?' and was informed that at least running a 1:45--- plus it would be good to have something to really push for.

I'm pretty motivated when it comes to challenges, however I didn't necessarily think 1:45 was realistic for me, however it was nice to have a long term goal to aim for so I could be occupied a little while (sad to admit, but just running half marathons over and over can get boring at times)

So if you haven't heard, this weekend I ran the 13.1 New York race and earned my shoes with a time of 1:43:30- recap here.

My flight landed at 9:15 am on sunday morning back in Nashville and after some laundry / cleaning I was out the door to pick up my prize ---- I wanted them BAD

In a 2 hour time frame I went to the following stores:
Academy Sports
Off Broadway Shoes
Sports Season
Dicks Sporting Goods
Shoe Carnival
Finish Line
Rack Room Shoes

11 stores and NO SUCH LUCK --- seriously?!?!

Then I went online for 1.5 hours and searched the online version of the stores I went to and were just out of my size- after that, hit up Amazon, Asics website, ebay, zappos, any type of running store you could imagine, I researched.

All yielded the same results--- my asics were either OUT OF STOCK, or they didn't have have my size :(  Seriously?!?! I finally decide to only get something I really want by having to earn it, and now I can't find them anywhere.

Monday I call around to some of the further away (different part of nashville stores) no luck. Fleet Feet, no luck, BUT they gave me the number to another Fleet Feet in Murfreesboro which is about 30-40 min away. I call them and HALLELUJAH!!! (they are in stock AND have my size)

Yesterday after work I spent 2 hour round trip (got to love Nashville rush hour traffic) but they are mine and it just so happens that today is workout Wednesday.....
Before anyone asks- no I haven't ran in them yet, but will be testing them out today or tomorrow. Regardless if they work out for me to run in or not, they are just a constant reminder to me how I can accomplish something "far fetched" if I put my mind to it!

Do you ever use material things to reward / motivate yourself to obtain a goal?
Normally I dont, but it worked this time, so I guess I need to find something bigger and better for my next conquest  (sub 1:40, but don't worry, I'm not going to kill myself anytime soon to reach that)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

13.1 NY (race recap)

State #25---- HALFWAY DONE---- WOOT! 
Flushing Meadows Park- Queens NY

Believe it or not I have NEVER been to the great Empire State. Majority of the people I talked to, highly recommended the New York 1/2 Marathon since you get to run throughout the city and kill two birds with one stone. My girlfriend Heidi who wanted to come across from St. Louis had a conflict that weekend, so we decided to meet up the weekend after and do this race instead. 

We lucked out immensely since one of our best girlfriends, Toya, from high school happens to live in Brooklyn- translation, free lodging with complimentary tour guiding. For those that perhaps are looking at traveling to New York for a race, HIGHLY recommend looking at what transportation would be to the race --- if we had not had Toya her and her husband drive us to the park in Queens and did the public transportation instead, it would have been close to a 2 hour commute each way.... yikes!

Race start was at 9am, so we were able to sleep in a little till 6:30, got ready, ate my traditional Larabar and were out the door shortly after 7am. Luckily Jarrett (Toya's husband)knew exactly where to go- Flushing Meadows Park (if you've seen the first Men In Black movie, the footage where they are stopping the bug from trying to leave earth is shot here)

T & J walk with Heidi and I to the start line, then we depart ways and promise to touch base after race so we can leave.
Heidi and I at the start line 

Throwing up my "25" with my hands

We seriously have an hour to kill so after walking right up to a port o potty (no lines) we go off to stretch and talk. I can only stretch for so long, so after 30 min or so I just stopped and people watched. The 5k started at 8:30 and once all the runners had dissipated from the area, we part ways and go into our pace range...
There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I would break 1:50--- that was a given. My ultimate goal, which didn't seem realistic to me, was to run at least a 1:45:59 so I could earn my sweet asics I've been eyeing. Although I don't feel 'bad' before the race, I don't feel great either- I'm not limber, I'm starting to get hungry (WHY did I eat my lara bar 2 hours before racing??) and my confidence just wasn't as high as it was before Austin. Guess we'll see how this goes....

So for those who saw on facebook, I got a freakin 7 min PR... 7 minutes--- totally unexpected going into the race. The mixture of excitement causing my mind to be a blur + the fact that we ran in a park so I saw the same sights a few times, makes it extremely difficult to recap the race. So since there wasn't anything negative to report on (aside from the fact that 9am is a late race start) I figured I'd give you 20 things I liked about the race... tried to stretch it to 25 since its my 25th state... but coming up with another 5 things is more work than my brain wants me to do.

20 Reasons this race was A.W.E.S.O.M.E
The 'race' itself
1. The size--- only 5,000 people so aside from the first mile being a little crowded, it was extremely easy to navigate and go around people. No Austin repeats here
2. The terrain- there were a few mild hills here and there, but otherwise it was fairly flat and easy
3. The weather- NY in March can be extremely 'iffy'. Weather was pristine- high 50s, sunny, slight breeze. I didn't really sweat that much and NO SALT on my face (generally get 'salt face' when its really hot out)
4. Spring time races are gorgeous- lots of blooming trees and flowers to look at (ok so maybe the photo below doesn't include "blooming trees" but there were some, I promise) 

 5. Aide stations- they  were plentiful, AND they had blue powerade... huge upgrade from normal crappy lemon lime gatorade, ugh. 
6. Spectators- the parts that were heavily filled with spectators definitely helped me go faster, but what was surprising was how much it motivated me when we were going by a baseball game or soccer game (there were tons since this was a park) and having the players on the sidelines cheer us on. Pleasant surprise on how that kept my pace up. 

The mental game
7.  I wasn't too sure how fast I should go out to ensure enough energy was conserved since it worked in Austin for a faster time, SO the first mile I took easy.  First mile was slowest mile of the race-- GREAT booster for confidence that as the miles clicked by, my pace was getting faster. Lesson learned for next time, still don't push it, but know that my 'easy pace' is faster than what I gave myself credit for.
8. I finally found my groove. Although I PRed last month, the race was HARD. All I could think about in Austin was PR, PR, PR... i had to consistently remind myself to NOT go too fast.... it was mentally exhausting. This race I amped up my music loud, and just kind of checked out from the race itself and just RAN. (so much better this way)

9. When I hit mile 7 at 56 min, I knew I would most likely get in the 1:45s, so I told myself... new goal... ride it out and see how fast I can go without overdoing it
10. Mile 9 was my favorite- right then and there I knew this was going to be a big PR--- I started smiling like a little school girl and told myself... its only 4 more miles, you've GOT this.

11. The sheer excitement of getting done with the race and sharing my time with J and my parents is what kept me motivated. There were so many times I was giddy that if there was someone videoing me, they would probably think I was crazy since I was laughing and talking to myself... kept me going though.
12. I started to pretend like I was doing a relay and counting off my kills--- especially the males. Ladies, there is nothing like passing a guy (and making sure he doesn't re-catch you) wearing a skirt.... LOVE some of their remarks :)
13. The last mile, although it sucked and seemed to be much longer than a mile, was sheer bliss. I was smiling the whole way knowing I KILLED IT! I gradually just kept picking it up, so there wasn't a huge difference in my 'kick', but  it was great to know that I pushed myself, but more importantly, I didn't over do it.

After the Race
14. Food was okay, could have done a little more, but glad it wasn't overbearing- cups filled with gatorade (so i took 2) plus 1 bottle of water. I don't like bagels after I run, and apparently didn't see the egg rolls, so the only other thing I grabbed was a banana :( BUT Heidi gave me her egg roll when she finished and it was HEAVEN
15. Called J to let him know I earned my shoes--- unbeknownst to him, he's helped me a lot with breaking down some mental barriers I've been battling when it comes to running. It was good to hear the "i'm proud of you" from someone outside my parents.
16. Speaking of parents- had to call them separately since they were doing their own errands... the sound of shock in their voices followed by 'congrats' was definitely worth getting giddy over earlier in the race.
17. There was an option to stand in line to find out your official time before it was posted online--- you know I took full advantage (wish more races did this)
18. Entertainment was decent as I waited for T & J to come back to park and for Heidi to finish

Who doesn't love men with Disco ball heads dancing around

HAD to get my photo with them 

19. Loved the bling (and the center 13.1 moves!)

20. Enough Said. 

This race will forever be held near and dear to my heart--- not because I got a huge.freakin.PR  BUT because it marked a huge milestone in my journey and now I'm officially halfway through the states. It's been such a humbling and insightful quest thus far- I've learned so much about running, but also about myself and my hang backs (this will be a whole different post on that)

our weak attempt at holdin gup the world

For now I'm extremely pleased that I surpassed a goal I didn't think was in my near future, and cannot wait to see what the rest of the year holds for me.

Official time 1:43:30

Naturally as I go to copy my splits from my Garmin,the lovely watch decided it wanted to pretend like it was brand new and restart all the way back to day 1 giving me a tutorial and asking my gender, dob etc. Why is it that the past 2 races are my best races and I can't retrieve splits! Needless to say, all my data is officially lost :(

I do remember mile 1 was 8:14 and mile 6 was 8:12 because I  stopped for a gu and extra water. These were my only miles in the 8s. My last mile was 7:38 and my last .17 was 6:56. In between there were a lot of 7:50s and 7:49s. That's the best I got. Kim R-  believe me when I say that I was pretty consistent, you'd have been proud :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Semi-wordless Wednesday - New York

Tomorrow leave for my 25th state- NEW YORK... can't believe my jouney is just about 1/2 way over.

The New York City 1/2 was last weekend, so I won't actually be running in the city, but instead in Flushing Meadows Park... and I'm okay with that


I'll definitely be running sub 1:50, no excuses... my ultimate goal is to earn my Asics gel noosas
aka 1:45:59--- we'll see what happens

Regardless of the race itself, I'll have fun exploring the city, getting on the Good Morning America, and hanging out with some old time highschool gals :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Frustration = Faster Splits

Do you ever have too many  goals for yourself when it comes to your fitness?? I don't think its a bad thing to have too many goals, but sometimes they conflict with eachother and you have to choose what takes priority. 
I have 4 fitness-related goals that I want for myself and what will help  get me there:

I want to be fast. (speedwork / hill work )
I want to be stronger. (weight training / bootcamp maybe some hill work )
I want to be able to build up mileage base so I can run a marathon (MORE miles)
I want to trim down and tone up (weight training / boot camp... nutrition, obviously )

Me being the stubborn individual that I am, have been trying to do all 4, while still racing, but yet none of the areas gets enough attention to be GREAT, just enough to get by. When I took a minute to really think about what I want deep down, its to be fast--- however my actions are not congruent with my ultimate goal 

Let me explain.....
I've been going to bootcamp more to get stronger and  toned, but then my mileage suffers and I end up running only 2-3x week. I've been adding longer mileage on the weekend, but then I'm so sore I have to take more days off, thus again running 2-3x week. Because I'm only running 2-3x week I want my runs to be longer, so therefore I don't focus on 'speed work' --- ultimately how am I going to get faster if I don't do speedwork?!?!? DUH LISA.

I've been eyeballing a certain LOVELY pair of Asics gel noosa for quite some time now, and I was kindly informed that in order to 'pull these off' I need to earn them- aka pull a fast time for a half marathon race... wasn't sure if I was ready to announce the time, but its now or never- 1:45:59 = 8:08/pace

Whew, feel better getting that off my chest. Everywhere you look for them, the standard price is $120, but I just so happened to check out Academy Sports this weekend and as you can see, $20 cheaper, SCORE!

AFTER I run my half in the 1:45s, however long that may take, I need to have my gait tested to see if Asics will work for my stride- the gel noosas are a racing shoe, so probably could only use for speed work or shorter runs, but hey, I'll look good doing it. 

Yesterday I had a lot of built up frustration that I needed to release. I started out with my usual 5 mile route after work-  a minute or two into the run I was 'feeling it' so I decided to pick up the pace and do mile repeats with 30 sec of walking in between (ok so maybe some of them turned into 45 sec walking)

Mile 1: 6:56
Mile 2: 7:10
Mile 3: 7:08
Mile 4: 6:52

.30 mile walking / getting my breathing  straight type of cool down. 

By breaking my run into 4 parts, it was much easier to stay focused and concentrate on 1 mile at a time.
Aside from feeling accomplished for finally doing speedwork, I have to say that even thought it was completely last minute, it was successful. Realistically, I think I would have to WORK REALLY HARD to pull these times off again, I guess it shows what you can accomplish when you're pissed off ;)

During my 'cool down', I had  a fellow runner that I had passed during my last mile, catch back up to me and walked with me for a minute. He asked if Adidas was one of my sponsors--- (nevermind the fact that I was wearing Nike shorts and Saucony shoes) apparently running relatively fast, drenched in sweat, and looking focused warrants "looking bad ass enough to have a sponsor"
So.... Adidas, if you come across my blog... I'll gladly have you as my sponsor!!!

 My goal is to try to do speedwork once a week, however, with the weather now sticking around to the 80s and daylights savings time making it hotter later in the day, I don't forsee many mile repeats as my speed work. Bring on the shorter distances!

Do you do speedwork?
I am so bad at it. In the last 1.5 years, excluding yesterday,  I have done 5 speed work sessions. 1 was suicide drills with some co-workers, 1 day of 400 repeats, and 3 treadmill runs where I did 30 sec bursts of all out max effort (12.0mph) The last run I vomitted on, so haven't picked that back up.

What is your preferred way to get it done?
Since I don't do it often, guess I can't really have a preferred? I know it would motivate me more if someone was doing it with me for accountability purposes, AND I would really like to start going to a track

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shrinking waist, alcohol, and hookah

The past few weekends I've been doing obnoxiously "long for me" runs, so this weekend I decided to keep it easy with 9 miles.... I love how I don't consider 9 miles that long anymore! Although the weather was gorgeous.... I got burnt AGAIN, and had to have assistance with rubbing aloe on my back.
I feel like AFTER a shower it exaccerbates the burn

After my self portrait photo, I noticed my middle is slowly shrinking.... so I know it doesn't necessarily look small in the close up below photo

However in comparison to the last time I wore this shirt, Oct 2 for San Jose RnR 1/2, I'd say there is a HUGE difference--- thank you russian twists and spider man planks! 


Aside from working on whittling down my middle, I've also been working on strengthening my legs to make runs easier. Translation- wall sits and lunges.... lunges and wall sits.  Saturday's run didn't feel particularly fast, but my below splits make me happy because faster numbers are coming easier :)

Total Mileage 9.1
Overall Time: 1:15:08
Mile 1- 8:10
Mile 2- 8:40
Mile 3- 8:34
Mile 4- 8:40
Mile 5- 8:10
Mile 6- 8:18
Mile 7- 8:10
Mile 8- 8:50
Mile 9- 7:43
Mile.1- 7:18

After my run I showered up and met up with J for a few beers and appetizers before our 5:30 tour of the Corsair Distillery downtown. For those who are familiar with the Yazoo Brewery, Corsair distillery took over their old building, Marathon Motor Works.

If you're ever been on any type of tour for a brewery, there are similarities such as fancy equipment and a tour guide trying to be funny while enlightening us on the process of how their product is made

But what was different about this tour was at the end we got to try a bunch of different alcohols they make instead of beer
All 7 of the alcohols we sampled

Close up of the 'blues brother esque' labels that all their products have, regardless of type of alcohol.

Pouring the liquor 

Hibiscus flavored absynth 

Needless to say I was feeling pretty good so we ventured to one of my fave downtown hole in the wall restaurants- Past Perfect

I was too busy stuffing my face and drinking beer to snap a photo of their DELICIOUS warm cheese artichoke and spinach dip with pita bread. However I did get one of my flavorful veggie hummus wrap (quite a few  vegetarian options here, which was nice to see since I was starving and was worried about finding something that would satisfy my hunger)
Picture doesn't do it justice - spicy hummus, greens, broccoli, red onions, and cilantro ranch dressing with salt and vinegar chips

After dinner and beers, we decided to do hookah downtown..

I've been to Bebo's probably about 10x since I've lived in Nashville- the ambiance is less than stellar (blue lighting with hardcore dance rap playing loudly), however its located in the heart of 2nd avenue, so it makes for GREAT people watching. After splitting a hookah with J, his friends that later joined us, plus another 2 beers, we called it an evening. 

Initially I had wanted to get in a run on sunday to burn off all those extra calories, but the fact that it was upwards of 70 degrees and my sunburn was still sore, I didn't want to get any more sun (never thought I'd say that in March). Sunday was spent being lazy, cleaning, and a little shopping all mixed in.

Did you do anything exciting this weekend?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quality Girl Time

For those that have been following awhile, I used to have a partner in crime with my 50 states quest- Becca, otherwise known as "B"
Before we knew we'd be starting out 50 state journey-- my state #1 Women's 1/2 marathon Sept /2010

Our last state together- Phoenix AZ, state #23 for me

B got injured in Phoenix and was sentenced to crutches for 6 weeks to allow time for her stress fracture to heal. Even though she is now off the crutches (hooray), she's still not able to run for 8 weeks--- therefore we have to find other things to do together. 

Thursday night she came over and we made dinner. Although B didn't give up meat like I did, she does try to limit it as much as possible, so I decided to attempt to recreate the "Beans and Greens" I had last week at the Wild Cow vegetarian restaurant in East Nashville:

Since I like to put my spin on things (or using what ingredients I have so I don't need to go to the store) - I used black beans instead of pinto beans, cooked up a TON more Kale, and used up my 2nd spaghetti squash. This time with the squash I rubbed the inside with brown sugar, pepper, and a mango infused balsamic glaze to complement the sweetness of the squash- YUM

Obviously the photo of my version doesn't look as good, but it was scrumptous 

I'm happy to report she now shares my new found affinity for sauteed kale and spaghetti squash!

Friday we decided to check out a relatively new nail place  in our area, The Nail Bar, to get a pedicure. I used to get pedicures every few weeks, then last year when I moved to a different part of town, I just never bothered to find a new place 

Everyone that was getting a manicure sat at an actual bar

Whereas us pedi girls got ultra comfortable high end vibrating / massaging chairs

And lets not forget the most important thing...

She had merlot, and I chardonnay. Apparently they also let you bring in your own drinks...  You KNOW i'll be back :)

Perfect way to end our girls time was to head to one of our local fave hang outs for beer and good food... Drakes!

Do you ever do non running activities with your running friends?