Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So long July- looking back at the month

July Recap 

Aside from brutal temps, July was a pretty good month. I still only ran about twice a week (one long run on weekend, one normal run during week). I either woke up before dawn or went to the gym to get in the midweek run so I'm pretty pleased I was able to find alternatives so I don't get heat stroke

Onto the Breakdown 
Total Mileage:  121 miles. Literally the first time  I broke 100 miles since my ITBS injury in 2011. Wouldn't you know it that I get injured again? Coincidence?? I'm hoping so otherwise I will not be running over 100 miles ever.
*I have an appointment with a sports orthopedic on thursday to get an official diagnosis on my knee- hoping for some excellent news* 
August Mileage: Everything will be dependent on my knee, but I have 2 20 milers on the books so I'm shooting for 130 miles. 

Highest Mileage week: 31. All 31 miles came from my ultra relay. I was super busy that week and unfortunately was not able to get any runs in before I left for Washington, so i'm satisfied with this mileage for now. . 
August:still chasing the elusive 40 miles per week, its going to happen. 

Races Planned / Completed: 1/1. I generally don't race much in the summer. July's Northwest Passage Ultra relay was enough excitement to cover an entire summer's worth of races. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of recaps--- they're "ultra" long.

August: I still have state #31, Utah on the books for this upcoming friday- Legacy Midnight Run (seriously look at the website, it just screams FUN!), my first night half marathon. With each passing day my knee is feeling better, but I haven't made a final decision to go or pull the plug yet. Aside from that, I also plan to do the Tap n Run 4k (dress up in costumes, beer chugging at every K.... yes please) 

Accomplishments for July:
  • Survived another year and turned 28!
  • Another ULTRA relay under my belt- managed to bust out my half marathon leg in 1:44:08, so I'm anxious to see what will happen when I'm actually racing. 
  • Ran my longest run, 18 miles to date. 
  • Got a new job within my company--- I've known for a week but mum's been the word for awhile. Excited to finally be able to take it in. No more health coaching, hello account management. Since I won't be talking about health till I'm blue in the face on a daily basis, I'll probably be posting more on here about nutrition related topics to get my fix. 

Current Book: Night Circus. I actually saw this review on someone's blog (sorry I can't remember which one) and it was explained as a cross between Hunger Games, Water for Elephants, and some love movie (again can't remember) That was enough to get me interested. The writing style, detail, and imagination is FANTASTIC and its been hard for me to put it down.

And like all addicting books, they are turning it into a movie and it will be released sometime in 2013, can't wait. 

Current Excitements/ Obsessions:
- Potentially going to Utah this week for state #31
- Starting my new job, tentatively August 13. 
- Purchased and received my hydration vest- will make my long runs MUCH easier in this heat
- Getting my first 20 miler under my belt (more so scared vs excited, but will be excited when I completed it) 
- Track and Field Olympics airing this weekend :) 

Current Song:  "Whistle" by FloRida. Just makes me so happy
Current Goal
- Listen to my body more. I have to remember that even though I can get away with doing 20-30 mile weekly runs, I'm NOT superwoman. I need to do more preventative measures (foam roller, stretching, ICING) before my body breaks down
Current Dislikes: My knee rebelling on me. I just want to be able to run without pain, is that so much to ask?
Overall July was fabulous. I actually didn't run that much, but when I did, the runs were longer. I've had to go through a lot of transitions this month, but I believe they are all for the better. Can't wait to see what August brings into my life! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Recap- Beer, 18 miles, injury

Who doesn't like free beer?!?! If you answered "me"- I'm afraid I have some bad news- you're either an idiot or your taste buds are broken. 

My friend Stephen informed me that our local Whole Foods was having a free beer and food tasting Friday evening on behalf of Left Hand Brewery. Left Hand and I go way back to the East Nashville beer festival, so I was in
Large left hand = Left Hand Brewery 

I arrived at Whole Foods slightly before 6pm and we grabbed our seats and we're ready to go

Brochure with some of what left hand brews 
 Our food pairings with the beers they were matched up with can be seen below 2 photos:

I did like all the pairings, however the pimento cheese combined with the Good JuJu Ale was not my favorite. It's unfortunate because I was most looking forward to that one since it had ginger in it... I love ginger brews. 

Since only 7 of us showed up (they didn't really advertise) we got TONS of refills. With more refills came the photo shoot with some of the free swag we got
and then the glasses came out...

Needless to say it was a great start to my weekend and Whole Foods is hosting New Belgium this Friday, Sweetwater the next--- sign me up!

Home by 8pm and went to bed early to rest up for my first 18 miler- longest run to date. 

I started my run at 5:15am and just kind of made the route up as I went. I was smart in the beginning to stay by some water fountains so I could use that as my water source- It wasn't until 7.2 miles in when I took my first gu that I needed to use the water from my fuel belt. ( I did order the Nathan Intensity women's hydration vest that Julia let me try on, should be here by Wed!) 
Shortly after my gu stop my right knee started to bother me. I kind of ignored it, but as time went on, the pain wouldn't go away. I kept pulling over to stretch my right IT band thinking that was what the knee pain was. Eventually it got to the point where I had to walk a lot of the steep hills (both up and down) because the pain was intolerable. 

At first I was discouraged I had to walk so much, but then I realized it was at least a good thing because I need to spend more time on my feet. More time = getting used to marathon distance, unfortunately that also means being outside while its continually heating up- aka SWEAT CITY

Mile 14.5- completely DRENCHED 

I did finish the run with the goal I created in my mind 18 miles in exactly 3 hours. I decided instead of stopping right at 18, I'd run to my actual car, therefore official time is 18.03 miles in 3 hr 11 sec.

As much as this run ended up sucking for me, it was actually a HUGE confident boost because I didn't stop my watch with all the walking I did and I still managed right at 9:59 pace. I anticipate going much faster in the marathon itself, so I'm anxious to see what I can do.

Now here on Monday the pain is completely different. I can say with 100% confidence this is not an IT band issue. I've been rolling it out and it band doesn't hurt at all. The pain no longer goes away- its intensified going either direction on the stairs as well as driving. I realized its the bending of the knee that really bothers me, so I've been walking almost with a stiff-legged limp---- its really sexy. Via some comments on facebook and researching, I think its medial synovial plica irritation. I'm in the process of seeing if my old roommate can do a plica snap test for verification (he's a PT)

For the time being all I can do is rest and ice, so I got a nice little set up at my desk to make that happen. 

This Friday evening I have a half marathon in Utah- I am waiting till Wednesday to see if the swelling and pain subsides, otherwise, looks like I'll be rescheduling state #31 :(

*fingers crossed*

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Northwest Passage Ragnar- Ultra Beast Mode Part 3 and final thoughts

After reading some of my fellow teammmate's recaps for last weekend, I kind of want to scratch everything I wrote and just make one post like they did. I'll do that for next relay, Bourbon Chase, in September. For their awesome coverage you can check out Rachelle's recap of relay HERE, Julia's HERE, and Ashley's HERE. I think they captured the spirit of the weekend perfectly.

My last leg was my shortest, two 3.1 legs to give me a nice distance of a 10k.

My last exchange- kicking off everyone's final legs 
Quick Recap

  • Happy to report, ZERO digestive issues on this run. I think the nerves were gone because it was my final leg, AND it was super short in comparison to the other two. 
  • First mile I did have some similar breathing issues that were mimicking the pericarditis I dealt with this past spring when I passed out. Luckily, it was not the same thing and after a mile it went away. 
  • Although my legs weren't "tired", I just could not open my stride for the life of me, it was as though my hip joints were super tight. 
  • Majority of this run (okay all of it except the last 400 m) was uphill, gross. 
  • I had passed the other ultra team "Risky Business" runner shortly into the 2nd 3.1 and their van was amazing at cheering for me. As an ultra runner you have a different color bib (green vs. traditional orange) so they kept getting out of their van and giving me high fives for being a fellow ultra team- if it wasn't for them, I would have walked.
  • oh wait, I finally did walk- only when they weren't around. I was so proud that I didn't walk my first 2 legs, but the hills were just too much for me. 
  • Stupid guy with the dragon tail passed me right before the final stretch- it really irked me, BUT he was only the 2nd person that passed me the entire weekend, so thats good news
  • As soon as I got up my final hill I turned it on and came into the exchange faster than my teammates expected- thats a hard feeling to digest when you're there and your teammate is not, especially bc you know they're there, just not at the exchange. 
  • I waited around for 3 min or so then Ashley came up and I gave her slap bracelet and I was officially DONE
  • 6.2 in 53:51; 8:40 pace. Ironic that my shortest leg was by far the slowest leg, but I guess since it was the last and I walked a ton, I'll take it :) 
It's such a relief being the first one finished. I laid down for Ashley's 10.2 mile run then volunteered to drive for Katy's, Rachelle's and Jill's leg so others could focus on running and not worry about driving. 

Julia rounded us out and then we all came in together with a finish of 30 hr 3 min. The neat part was we finished RIGHT behind Risky Business ultra team and they were mixed (3 guys, 3 girls) AND they started 45 min before us, so timewise we beat them, booyah!

We did it!!

Can't tell in the photo, but our ribbon says 'ultra' on it

Sunshine at the finish- did not see a lick of it during any of my rainy runs

My final thoughts: 

As you could tell from part 1 and part 2, I was having some less than desirable digestive issues. We're runners, it happens. To give you an idea of how 'uncomfortable' things were for me, between the hours of 7am friday morning, and 5am sat morning (22 hours) I went to the "bathroom" 12 times- and I don't mean just a quick tinkle.  I've done a lot of relays, so I'm very much aware that the nerves / excitement of everything automatically makes my trips to bathroom that much more frequent, but this was a bit ridiculous.

I don't share this information with you to be gross or to scare you away from doing an ultra relay. I tell you this because at the end of the day, everything isn't happy go lucky. Running an ultra is HARD- its not something you can prepare for. The miles are one thing, but the lack of sleep, your van always being on, limited food choices, lack of stretching, and each run being over an hour adds a whole new dimension to the difficulty. With that being said, it is an  ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY amazing experience and all the bad stuff you have to deal with is FAR OUT-WEIGHED by the good. The friendships and memories made are priceless and I cannot wait for more adventures ahead.

On my schedule I have 2 regular relays coming up, Bourbon Chase & Ragnar Tennessee, but after that, I think i'll stick to ultras from this point moving forward :) 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Northwest Passage Ragnar- Ultra Beast Mode Part 2

 After my first run, Part 1, I had been in and out of the port-o-potty ALL DAY LONG. Gross, maybe- but thats how a lot of us were. I'm not sure if its nerves / stress, my newly arrived period, or the fact that I was drinking nuun and zip fizz all day long, but something was off. What does nuun and zip fizz have to do with anything?!?! They both contain sugar alcohols which get absorbed differently in your system. Its not necessarily a bad thing, but too much can cause intestinal discomfort for some people... i'm one of the "lucky" ones that is considered 'some people'. (found out the hard way how awful cliff and luna bars are for me before a half marathon--- all the jostling around, wowzas)

Regardless of the reason, I was queasy all day long and getting to the point that my butt was in pain... yup I said it, pain in the butthole. I wasn't the only one on the team, so maybe its an ultra thing?!? Maybe it made me run faster than I normally would?!
That's pretty much how I felt, minus the running in tightie whities. You know who did run in tightie whities... my favorite team on the entire course, "Risky Business" (who also was an ultra team!!)

They all ran in their "costco special" pink and white striped shirts for EVERY leg with tightie whities underneath. (chafe city) My obsession was Mark on the far left-- some cat calls may have been made and I know our runner Katy ran with him / behind him/ slapped him (guess we think alike). All in the fun of the Ragnar spirit!!

Run 2- 11.7 miles
Since the time where we were required to wear night gear was going to be in the middle of my run, I had to put it on despite it being light outside.I don't mind the head lamp, but my vest is super annoying. I need to just break down and buy one of these bad boys since they don't move around

Stretching before run (not far from port o potties)- muscles still feeling great at this point

Since I'm the beginning of the rotation again, I had to wait for Julia to finish her super long leg, just shy of 18 miles. She was feeling great during her run and told us to just go to the exchange, but that made it more difficult to gauge when she would come in. Unfortunately I went to the hand off too early and I started to get the rumbles AND have to pee. Being a 'team player', I didn't want to risk going to bathroom and have her come in with no one to hand off to, so I tried to push it out of mind.

David, who I met back when I ran Rock n Roll San Jose, happened to be at the exchange cheering on one of his friends, so we chatted for awhile which took my mind off my uncomfortable feeling for a bit... just a bit.

Julia came through looking strong and then I was off.

  • Just like leg 1, first mile was okay, then BAM - "excuse me, where is the bathroom????!?!!!" 
  • Mile 2 I booked it trying to gain some ground so there was no one behind me because I seriously thought about jumping into a ditch to pee, it was that bad. 
  • The first 3 miles of my route was pretty bland in regards to scenery- bunch of cornfields and gray skies, guess it didn't matter since I didn't run with my phone anyway. 
  • Van stopped around 3.5 to supply me with water. Due to both of my legs being changed / lengthened the week of Ragnar, the actual mileage wasn't posted at the top of page like normal. I had to look at elevation map and kind of guess what my mileage would be, 11.7 looked about right. I couldn't remember if first part of run was longer or shorter than 2nd, so I told my van that if my first leg was longer, I wanted water right before the exchange to take my gu, and if the leg was shorter, I wanted it after the exchange. 
  • In my mind as I'm running I realized that my 2nd leg is indeed longer, and was only confirmed when I saw the 1 mile to go sign. Unfortunately I saw my van right before the exchange, so I quickly took my gu and washed it down with their provided water. I was told I was over 1/2 way and had 5.5 miles to go.
  • As I was going through the exchange 2 ladies "unaware" of their surroundings wouldn't get out of the way, so I was kind of bitchy and pushed her out of way since I couldn't run around her. Who stands in the middle of a chute anyway?!?! Her own fault. 
  • Next mile I spent catching up to good old dragon tail (i saw him on the last part of all 3 legs), then breezed right by him. 
  • I look at my watch and realize that the mileage is lower than it should be... crap. My vanmates must have mixed up my legs and thought my first leg was longer than 2nd, when infact it was the other way around. In their defense: all 3 legs that were changed were reprinted on inserts and could easily just be switched around. 
  • I spent about 2 miles on a beautiful gravel travel with woods to my right and gently rolling hills (my favorite) which was at least a nice change of scenery. My bathroom issue resurfaced so I picked up the pace a bit to create some distance between me and the men behind me. I figured the woods would be the perfect place to relieve myself- unfortunately I decided against it. 
  • Saw my van again shortly before mile 8, grabbed some water, and was disheartened when Katy and Rachelle said I had 2 - 2.5 miles left. For whatever reason I didn't speak up and say that it was more like 3.5 - 4, and just said I would see them at the exchange. 
  • The last part of my run was DIFFICULT. My energy was zapped, I had to go to bathroom, there was no one in front of me to try to catch, and the winding road just seemed never ending. I kept hoping I read the map wrong and it wasn't 11.7, maybe 11.5... 11?!?!
  • Every time I saw a blinking ragnar sign I kept hoping it was the "one mile to go sign", and every time it wasn't, I just got more and more discouraged.
  • Finally, when I did get to it, I got HAWKED by some guy (the only person that has passed me so far in the relay) and that was enough motivation to at least keep going. 
  • I get to the exchange, hand off to Ashley, beeline to the bathroom (pretty standard routine) 
Although I felt like crap the entire run, my time wasn't too affected- 11.7 miles, 8:09 pace. I finished in just enough time that night hadn't really hit yet- seemed as soon as I was finished the darkness came. The first go round I LOVED running and everything was all happy go lucky, this run, I was counting down the minutes until I would be finished, I hate that. 

I attempted to sleep for a bit and then when we got to a major exchange I had a little melt down with my butt- sorry for the graphics, but it was a huge issue for me. I didn't know what was wrong and I was starting to walk funny. Finally Jill said I should get some vaseline from the med tent and she went and got it for me (ended up being bacitracin, which was probably a better choice) 

After I applied that I went to bed and actually did sleep for a bit (wahoo) before my last run. 

Mile 1: 7:30
Mile 2: 7:10
Mile 3: 8:00
Mile 4: 8:31
Mile 5: 8:07
Mile 6: 8:12
Mile 7: 7:51
Mile 8: 8:17
Mile 9: 8:27
Mile 10: 8:40
Mile 11: 8:47
          .7 8:32

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Northwest Passage Ragnar- Ultra Beast Mode Part 1

Little back story before I go into the recap....

Last fall after an excellent blogger meetup that Julia organized here in Nashville, the idea was thrown out for an all blogger relay. I love traveling for races, so I picked up the ball and ran with it sending out emails, making blog posts about it, and not long after we had a pretty full team set up. We picked the Colorado Ragnar Relay as our race of choice since it would be its inaugural year- despite the challenging elevations (some legs upwards of 14,000 ft), we thought it would be beautiful and a great area to sight see afterward.

Shortly into the new year  Ragnar changed the dates from July 27-28 (this upcoming weekend) to Sept 7-8. Due to so many conflicts in people's schedule, over half the girls couldn't do this new date so we temporarily dismantled. Then the awesome Rachelle emailed Ragnar letting them know how she felt (in a nice manner) about changing the dates of a relay without notice and they offered us a free entry to Northwest Passage since it was 1 week earlier than previous Ragnar, hoping that would work for us.

After several emails to the group, looks like the date still didn't work for most, so we decided to just do it ultra style.Even though I was signed up to do my first ultra in may, I hadn't run one yet so technically this was a big step for ALL of us, but we were each up for a new challenge.

I completed my first Ultra relay, Reach the Beach Massachusetts, back in May and learned quite a few things about ultras, so I definitely felt more prepared. I switched my position to be runner 1 vs runner 3 so I could finish earlier (best decision EVER)

Our start time was 9:15am, so we had planned to leave around 7:15 to allow time to drive to Blaine (aka the Canadian border) and check in with enough time to stretch etc before gun time.
Shirt:  we paid a company to make shirts, however they accidently made them for skinny midgits, so we last minute went to walmart, picked up some cheap shirts, then cut out all the lettering on the made shirts and ironed them to our pink or yellow shirts... brilliant
Skirt: Francis over at Active Bands made our skirts for us, a whopping $10. They were sheer so you had to wear spandex underneath, but super adorable with the ruffles and we got TONS of compliments. She can make whatever color combo you're looking for, so I'd HIGHLY recommend her for future races 

Naturally being in the Pacific Northwest, you would expect cooler temps and some rain... boy the weather did not disappoint. When we arrived at Blaine it was FREEZING (50s) and POURING rain with occasional wind. I actually don't mind running in cold or rain, but standing around in it, not so much. 

Trying to have fun in the rain
guess rain doesn't show up on camera

At start line- temporarily took off all our coats and ponchos for quick photo

This was my first time ever being the lead off leg, so I didn't really know what to do other than just stand directly below the arch so I wouldn't get rained on--- 

The Race:
1st leg: 13.1 miles 

The Highlights:
  • Not going to lie, I felt like a bad ass that my first run was a half marathon. I purposely switched to runner 1 so I could have my first run be the longest and each run get progressively shorter. 
  • Despite the downpour the E-N-T-I-R-E  run, I loved this route because it was relatively flat and the temps were easy on my lungs, thus allowing me to go faster than I intended. 
  • Mile 1 I just kept focus on not trying to mimic someone else's pace, run my own so I don't die. 
  • Mile 2-4 I thought I was going to shit my pants... yup true story. As soon as my watch beeped I was done with the first mile I got KILLER cramps. There were 3 of us who were all late on getting our periods (its a team of ladies, its bound to happen) so that is exactly the type of cramps I was getting... only it was making up for lost time. (sure enough after the race, I had a red visitor, AWESOME) 
  • Due to the fact that I had such a long run, I decided to just "run it out" vs. stopping. Apparently it worked because once mile 5 hit, they were gone. 
  • Right about that time I was closing in on  mr. red shoes who I had been running 50 ft behind the entire race. He was getting support from his van and he shouted to them he thought I was going to pass him. I wanted to let him know I was doing an ultra so I wasn't in a rush to pick up my speed-- good thing I didn't say that because within 30 sec he was in my dust (after a "good job" congratulated to him of course) 
  • My vanmates were still back at the start line trying to decorate as much as they could, despite the rain, so it was shortly after I passed red shoes that they pulled over---- in a normal race I would be dying without water for over 5 miles... with the weather we were currently experiencing, it was PERFECT. 
  • I told them to stop a little before the first exchange that I had to run through so I could wash down my gu and that I would be good to go for a few miles
  • Ran through the first exchange, told them I was "ultra" when they were calling out our number, and reveled in the "holy craps" and cheers I got from surrounding teams. Totally re-energizing. 
  • Not a lot happened on the back half of my run. I passed a LOT of people, one guy tried to hang with me once I caught him and said good job.... since he was running on heavy feet and the sound was annoying, I sped up so I wouldn't have to hear him. 
  • Saw my van once more around mile 11ish, got some water and told them I would see them at the exchange. 
  • With 1 mile left I had my eye on 2 guys. Guy in blue seriously looked back about every min or so to check the distance b/n us, how annoying. The 2nd guy was wearing a orange dragon tail. I passed dragon tail RIGHT as I handed off to Ashley- guy in blue got away. 
  • 2 great compliments happened when I finished: 
    • Red shoes came up to me and laughed saying I forgot to stop at the last exchange and how he thought it was badass when he saw me keep running
    • blue shirt guy said I motivated him to pick it up in the last mile because he didn't want to get passed by a girl in a skirt. Then after that his teammates told him I was ultra and he shouted to them "way to make me feel even worse about myself"- classic
  • Overall I was pleased with the run- aside from the digestive issue (which would be a problem throughout the day--- you've been warned) I thought it went pretty well. 
13.1 miles in 1:44:08; 7:56 pace. Since my first leg was exactly a half marathon, I'm counting it toward my 50 state quest... BOOM I just save $600 by making that decision :)

Mile 1: 7:35
Mile 2: 7:39
Mile 3: 7:49
Mile 4: 7:55
Mile 5: 7:54
Mile 6: 8:06
Mile 7: 7:51
Mile 8: 8:07
Mile 9: 8:04
Mile 10: 7:58
Mile 11: 7:58
Mile 12: 8:14
Mile 13: 8:23 (yikes, losing my steam)
Mile .1 : 7:47

After the run, as you guessed it, I made a beeline for the bathroom where I was greeted by my 'visitor'. Due to cold temps my legs felt great, and the only soreness I had was in my shoulders and arms- that's a first. 

Everyone's first run went great. Julia had the Killer leg-- 18 freakin miles... thats more miles that what some people do the entire ragnar relay. 

Also for everyone's first run we maybe stopped twice during the run- we all were pretty low maintenance and spent the majority of the time stalking Chuck Bass at the exchanges. So maybe it was just myself and Katy that was a little obsessed with this guy who looked JUST LIKE Chuck Bass. 
Apparently Katy heard him speak and he wasn't British, so we ruled out the notion that it would actually be the real deal. When watching the show I don't even think he's that good looking-- however "our" Ed Westwick, screamed sex appeal (maybe it was the tattoos??) Another bonus was that apparently all the good looking guys decided to run Ragnar Northwest Passage--- there was eye candy everywhere which made the standing around much more enjoyable. 

Next up- "night run" 11.7 miles... 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday---we rocked it

Just got back into town yesterday, so at some point this week I'll get my recaps up

In the mean time, Team Ultra Beast Mode......

 ......took 3rd in the Women's Ultra Division (booya)

And I'm proud to say that this Ultra was easier on my legs than last time. (on my digestive system, WHOLE different story)

details to come

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--- All Fueled up!

Fueled and Ready for Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage Ultra Style this weekend. 
(no more repeats of falling apart on the last leg like last time)

Yay for 60 degree running temps and low humidity- whoop whoop!!!

Full reports to come on our adventures when I get back next week :) 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Go Shorty, if your burfday!

First and foremost:

Today I'm 28! Uneventful age, but hoping there is more to bring than 27 did. Even though I love beer, I'm not big into partying for my birthday (especially because its on a Monday, boo), but I did enjoy my weekend and all the thoughtful messages I've received so far today.

Although I'm meeting up with a few friends after work for drinks and food, the R.E.A.L. celebration will be this weekend in Seattle when we finish our Ultra Relay with these ladies.

I find it fitting that my mom sent me a cookie bouquet to work considering I had this bad boy stuck in my head all morning- Cookie Monster's version of Call me Maybe... "you've got cookie, share it maybe"- apologize in advance if you get it stuck it in your head :)

and yes I will be sharing. 
. Much needed rest day today after yesterday's hot and humid 15 miler, then 1 more run before leaving for Washington!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Beast Mode Ultra Relay- Meet my team!

Wow I can't believe its almost here! One week from TODAY I will be running in my second ultra relay, Northwest Passage Ragnar Relay. This go round my team comprises of all ladies, something I've never done before. Jill and Katy I've ran on other relays with before, Ashley is my weekend LR partner, and I've met Julia and Rachelle way back when the Las Vegas Ragnar took place. To sum it all up, there are no strangers on this trip!

Runner one- yours truly. Originally I was running lowest mileage leg with 28 miles, but they just changed it and now I'm at 31. Good news is my longest leg is the first, THANK GOODNESS bc I was D.E.A.D last ultra by the end.  

Runner 2- Ashley R- 30 miles- her first relay EVER-- so excited to share this experience with her. 

Runner 3- Katy- 31 miles - second ultra relay with this lady (and to think before May, I had never met her in my life) 

Runner 4- Rachelle -38 miles- absolute speed demon. After reading all her recaps from races, I'm beyond thrilled to watch her in action 

Runner 5- Jill- 29 miles Captain. 2nd time running a Ragnar with her. Most organized individual I know, which is so beneficial when running relays 

Runner 6- Julia- 42 miles- complete badass training for her first 50 miler. Probably the nicest individual you will ever meet. 

Aside from spending a few days with these lovely ladies, I'm looking forward to being able to visit Washington for the first time ever, and probably most importantly, get away from the swampy temperatures and potentially run fast.... its about time 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tangent Tuesday- Trying new things

I noticed lately I had been trying new things (foods, activities, habits etc) so I figured I'd share what the latest and greatest is for me!

1. It didn't take long to get peer pressured to make it official, so I registered yesterday for my Utah Race Legacy Midnight Run- August 03. I've never ran a half marathon at night so I'm super pumped about the better temps and seeing a sea of glow sticks and flashing lights! Who can forget about wearing my uber sexy head lamp?!?

2. I registered for paypal last month (yes, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY behind the times) but aside from paying Jill for a pair of shorts, I didn't realize how AMAZING it is to leverage your money... aka being able to purchase a flight when you see a deal vs. waiting till next pay check. Luckily I played it smart and I set my account to only allowing me a $400 limit. This is going to make things so much easier with logistics of travel, I'm surprised no one has pressured me into doing this way earlier. 

3. Not sure what is going on with my back, but something is definitely array in my lower right part of my back. I keep thinking I need to get better about getting massages, and luckily an awesome living social deal came in my email yesterday

Swe-Thai Massage
This modality combines soft-tissue therapies with Thai style techniques and stretches for maximum results. Paired with the long, soothing strokes of a Swedish massage, the body's lymph system is both stimulated and then cleared of unhealthy toxins that can get built up in the muscles. By beginning and ending with Swedish techniques, it creates a relaxing atmosphere to encourage deeper healing and relief.

I think the only massage I've had is just a normal one, super stoked to see if this helps alleviate some built up tension and gets me all squared away! 

4. I'm pretty sure I ate 2,000 calories worth of Guacomole on saturday- and to think that when I first moved to Nashville I couldn't stand the stuff... now its recently become a secret indulgence of mine that I just can't seem to get enough of! 

5. I have a new sweet obsession- fruit pizza. Don't let the word 'fruit' trick you into thinking its healthy- sugar cookie base + cream cheese mixed w/ sugar and vanilla extract + top with as much fruit as you want... heavenly 

I'd be interested to health it up a little bit (but not too much) by adding greek yogurt as the base next time. Also we are in the works of making a naughty version with whipped creme vodka... yum!

6. After my post about being sponsored by Nuun to do the Muddy Buddy I mentioned how I've been wanting to try the Kona Kola Nuun since I have an affinity toward coca cola. Unfortunately I can't find a retailer around me that carries that flavor, and I don't want to buy a case of it online if I don't like the taste. The most thought Elizabeth @ Running for Bling saw my post and picked me up some at her race expo and I got it in the mail today

Although in a beer glass, it really is the Nuun

Taste wise I LOVED it. I was a bit disappointed that it didn't seem as fizzy as the other flavors, and it took twice as long to dissolve as normal, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sending it my way Elizabeth :) 

7. New summer season favorite- mix of grapefruit and ginger, delicious

8. I have a much more scenic view at the new pool in my apartment... not to mention a hot tub which I have been taking full advantage of lately. I think I should win a bad ass award for going in the outdoor hot tub when it was 106 out to stretch... just saying

9.  I have grown to like oatmeal in our cafe for breakfast. Seems silly I know that this would be 'new', but it wasn't  until this fall that I tried oatmeal for the first time ever. I've finally perfected my ratio of sweetness / crunchiness/ protein goodness and enjoy it 1-2x week outside of my traditional protein smoothie
Blackberries, shaved almonds, coconut, cinnamon. I fill cup up 1/2 way, add those ingredients, then put more oatmeal on top and repeat.... equally as good in the middle as it is on the top :) 

10. I finally got things kicked off for our work running group. One of the guys used to run it but got bogged down with increased workload and runs fell off for the last year or so. Through the grapevine he heard I was interested in taking over, so I got everything organized and we are doing are first group runs this week. It's nerdy that I'm excited about it, but I've already received an influx of email responses from individuals I haven't even met yet around the office, so 2 birds with one stone: networking and getting my runs in :) 

Anything new going on in your life?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Motivational Monday

Lately with the temps consistently reaching the triple digits, I don't have much motivation to run. Despite being in 'marathon training', I haven't even broke 30 miles / week yet, pathetic I know.  If it weren't for being diligent about at least getting in the long runs to stay on track, I probably wouldn't run at all.
Bear reacting to heat at Omaho Zoo source 

I don't know if this is just me, but my runs have been s-l-o-w lately... only they don't necessarily feel slow. Normally I can do midweek runs anywhere b/n 7:45 - 8:30 pace depending on what I want out of the runs... lately anything below 9:00 min / miles feels like a chore.  I know, I know you take it easy in hotter temps, but it does take a toll on my mentality and it has me question on if I will be able to reach my goal of sub 4 for my first marathon.

So I decided that although a sub 4 would be awesome, I won't have the proper training to push the pace on some of my runs to make this happen, so just finishing is good enough for me. Since I know I am perfectly capable of finishing, it's time that I come out of this whole "no races for the summer" business and knock out some states!!

I already had the Ultra Northwest Passage Ragnar in my schedule for july 19-20, but after that zilch until my marathon, and my next half  is not until Oct 13 in Delaware, yikes.

Lucky for me, Kim is all about racing the states and in a matter of 6 hours I had thrown out a potential back to back, she got blessing from her family, received confirmation from one of the race directors that there is indeed a medal, and we got our flights booked. We are super efficient at making decisions when it comes to racing.

First up we have Iowa with the Seawall to Seawall 1/2 marathon in Clear Lake Iowa. What's in Clear Lake beside lakes? Apparently the plane crash site of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper-- feels kind of morbid to visit that, so it will be immediately on the road once the race is over.

Second race / state is Nebraska  with the Logan View Raider 1/2 marathon in Hooper, NE. Population size is only 830, and not a thing to do while we're there... I think we can create our own fun.


 If I can find a reasonably priced flight to Salt Lake City, then I will be adding last minute to my schedule the Legacy Midnight Run (1/2 mary) in somewheresville Utah with Kim and L. I always wanted to do a night half marathon, so I've been diligently stalking flights in hopes to make this happen last minute. 

 I'm excited to add some more races to my schedule to keep me motivated and accountable. I updated my upcoming race schedule page on my tab bar  HERE 

At a glance, here are my next few months of important races:
July 19-20 - Ragnar Northwest Passage (WA)
August 3-Potentially Utah (state #29)   Legacy Midnight Run 
September 1-Iowa (State #30)   Clear Lake 1/2 
September 2 Nebraska (State #31)  Logan View Raider 1/2 
September 15 AirForce MARATHON
Sept 28-29 Bourbon Chase Relay
October 13- Run for the Buds 1/2 (DE)
October 14-  Seaside 1/2 (NJ) 

I'm a lucky gal as all these races are with fellow runners, so let me know if you care to join in on the fun or have any other suggestion :)