A running survey!

Happy {almost} Independence Day, my fellow Americans! I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend and safely celebrating with family and friends. My dad is visiting this weekend so Dean is planning his tour of Naples over the next few days. On that note, any suggestions for babies and fireworks? Noise does NOT bother him in the least (yes, he can hear, LOL) but he is so used to Mitchell barking and super loud thunderstorms that it doesn’t scare him. I’m thinking we will hit up a beach a fair distance from where the fireworks are actually lit and hope for the best.

Now, for the topic of the day…

I saw this fun running survey on Heather’s blog yesterday and thought it would be a good pre-weekend, Friday post! I thought the questions were fun and I hope you do too :)

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?

Hmmm… Since I can run on the beach any ol’ day (at least when Kyle is watching Dean!), I’m going to say the mountains. Although running in the mountains is HARD work with the lower O2 levels.

2.  If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

Blech! Not a Gatorade fan… so plain. And by plain, I mean water ;)

3.  If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

Is that running store Lululemon? If so, then the Tracker Shorts fo sho! If not, probably shoes. You can never have too many pairs of running shoes!

4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?

These days I run when I have the time, but typically I am a planner. If I am training for a long race (13.1/26.2) I am definitely a training plan person. But if it is just for fun, I go for a minimum of 30 minute and then see how I feel.

5.  Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

Start downhill and end uphill. Weird? I like to feel DONE at the end of a cardio workout and finishing uphill does that to a gal ;)

6.  When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

BODYPUMP!!!!!!! And Spinning <– What I did for cardio while pregnant.

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7.  What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?

I typically either do loops or out and back runs. It really just depends where I’m running and what I’m feeling like that day.

8.  If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—>

… pair of really good shoes!

9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

Yes! Deer. Rabbits. Armadillo (nasty rodent-like things – sick!). Great Egret. And I’m always on the lookout for ‘gators… Eek!

10.  Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

Lost is a harsh word ;) I like to run while traveling which calls for exploring… I may not have known where I was at all times but I have always found my way back, haha!

11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?

French toast and big glass of OJ!

12.  Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?

I hateeee when my thighs rub together, so for any run longer than an hour (6-7 miles), I wear capris. For shorter jaunts, I wear shorts because I also hate being hot while running.

13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

Between 5-7 minutes I typically get over the “WHY AM I RUNNING RIGHT NOW??!” hump ;)

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?

My shorts or capris pocket.

15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?

I really enjoyed the Monster Dash Half a few years back. It was my first half marathon and real race (and my PR to date!) and while I wanted to die crossing the finish line, I was so proud of myself! It was before I got into blogging and before I knew runners saved their medals and talked about PRs, haha. I knew nothing until I found the blog world ;)

Becky Half-Marathon 1

16.  What type of run is your least favorite type of run?

Anything over 13.1 miles, LOL.

17.  What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?

The fact that I can FINALLY run again! I was cleared for exercise last week (even though I’ve been doing BODYPUMP since 2 weeks postpartum) but waited to run until the doctor said I was good to go. I haven’t run since Christmas so it feels amazing to stretch my legs again!

That and alone time. Both for me and for Kyle and Dean to have bonding time without me constantly eyeing them ;)

18.  When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?

Right now I leave from my front door. When I was training for the Chicago Marathon last summer, I would walk about 1.5 miles from my apartment to the CARA running groups… It was actually really nice to get that warm-up and cool-down on long run days.

19.  When running in daylight—>  are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?

An annoyance! But I wish I could wear them… They always fog up on me and slip down my nose which causes more anxiety and frustration for me than they’re worth.

20.  When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?

The fact that I need to get back home, LOL.

Are you getting out for a run this Independence Day weekend? What are your favorite shorts to wear on a run?

Tips for Beginning Runners

Hello, hello! I’m excited to have Nicole here on ONW for y’all this morning. I love Nicole’s realistic approach to life that she shares on her blog. She’s all about balance and fitting in health and fitness where she can and, as you know, that’s my kind of girl! She’s taking over while I am on mama duty… and I hope she knows she will be getting LOTS of little boy questions in the coming weeks and months since she is a mama to two sweet boys :)

Take it away, Nicole!

Hello Olives ‘n Wine readers!  My name is Nicole and I blog at A Midwest Life.  I am so excited to be guest posting while Becky is enjoying her sweet baby boy!  Little boys are so much fun :)

Nicole Midwest Life

Currently I am training for my first marathon!  While I have been running for quite a while I have never had the opportunity to run a marathon so I can’t wait to experience the race and see how I do running 26.2 miles :) .

While I ran sporadically during middle school and high school I didn’t really start running on a regular basis until the summer before my junior year in high school.  I played tennis and found that it was a great way to stay in shape while not playing tennis.  Running in the summer in southern Kansas is HOT.  August can be pretty brutal but I stuck with it and eventually worked my way up to running 4-5 miles on a regular basis.  By the time I went to college I was determined to not lose what I had worked so hard for and ran whenever I could before or after school and work. Not too long later I was pregnant with my first son and was unable to continue to run. After he was born I didn’t really work too hard at gaining my running fitness back since I knew I was going to be pregnant again soon! A year and a half later I had my second son and found myself basically starting over with running. It felt unfamiliar and was so difficult!

Finding myself back at square one with running I was reminded as to what it feels like to be a beginner again. It is easy for someone who has been running for a while to give suggestions but when running doesn’t even feel normal or familiar those suggestions don’t really apply, at least not for me :) .

Being new to running requires a whole new perspective and approach until you start feeling stronger. These are my favorite tips to follow when first starting to run.

Start slow. Set a goal to run for just a few minutes and walk a few minutes. Start with an even 50/50 such as three minutes running and then three minutes off and slowly work towards running longer and walking less. Maybe after awhile run 3 minutes and walk 2 minutes. Don’t focus too much on speed but on how running feels and how your body is responding to running.

Run with other beginners. A lot of runners will say running with someone faster than them is a huge benefit. When you are first starting out I would suggest finding other runners that are beginners as well. They will be more relatable and will be a better support system long term as they will be going through similar things at the same time. While finding a mentor with tons of experience is great it is also important to find and meet other runners. Just as though it is important to find experienced professionals in your field as mentors as well as others majoring in the same major in college it is important to find running mentors as well as runners you can relate with on a regular basis.

Get fitted for running shoes. Perhaps one of the most important things you can do is make sure you have good running shoes. This will help reduce aches and pains, as well as help maintain better form. Visiting a running store or a shoe store that has a treadmill so they can watch you run and then suggest shoes based on your form and feet is a great way to find the right running shoes for you.

Focus on mobility. Everyone hears about how important stretching is when exercising and running. However mobility is just as important. Mobility refers to your joint flexibility. When you stretch you are mainly focusing on stretching muscles, which is also important! However, maintaining a good range of motion in your joints helps reduce the risk of injury as well as may help improve your running speed! Here are two articles about mobility.

Have fun and don’t stress! Most importantly, don’t stress about being too slow! Even if you are the slowest runner in a race or in your group you are still benefiting your health in huge ways. And you are still running! It is easy to compare yourself to faster runners and feel like quitting. I will more than likely never win a race I run, and qualifying for the Boston Marathon is quite a reach for me would require a lot of hard work, and probably not likely. It used to stress me out when others would assume that because I enjoy running that I was automatically fast. Personally, I think I am fast, compared to where I started, but that doesn’t mean that I am considered fast compared to others. The beauty of running is that you can compete, run races, and join the running community without being exceptional or considered an elite runner. Elite runners run many of the same races everyone else does, just faster! Just remember to have fun and the only person you need to compare yourself to is you :) .

I am so excited to be running again after taking a few years off! Even though starting over has been difficult these tips have helped me get back into shape without getting injured or experiencing a lot of soreness or stiffness.

If you run, what helped you when you were first starting?

Long Beach Marathon – We’re Alive!

Helllooooooooooo!!! <– I’m quite delirious from dehydration at the moment so please excuse the incoherence of this post.

finishers

I just wanted to check in with you beauties and let you know that Kyle and I survived our half-marathon! Woohoo! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed that I didn’t do the full as I had originally planned but there’ll be more marathons in the future.

I’ll provide a full update later this week but overall, I think I did pretty darn good for not training since moving to Chicago almost two months ago and having my last “long” run with Katie a month ago at HLS!

THANK YOU to everyone who tweeted and texted during the race, especially to Carly for sending me a photo of wine around Mile 6! I loved looking down at my phone and seeing words of encouragement. Trust me, when you hit a wall at Mile 11, anything and everything helps :)

biscoff

Oh, and the best part of the race? Finding these in my finisher’s goodie bag. Hells yes.

Now, I’m off to eat my body weight in nachos and steak (gotta refill my iron stores!) and guacamole and enjoy a beer or five… This girl is hungry!

Did you race today? Are you enjoying a Sunday Funday? If so, have a drink for me!

Marathon Training – Week 8 Recap

I’m almost halfway through my marathon training!

This means that in 9 short weeks, I will be running 26.2 miles. Please send help. And, if you place a wheelchair with an oxygen tank and a gallon-sized margarita with my name on it at the finish line, I’ll love you forever.

lake 1

This week’s training went fairly well for me. I was able to fit in all of my scheduled runs for the first time in almost a month!

Week 8 Fitness Schedule

  • Sunday: 90-minute walk around Lake Michigan in Milwaukee
  • Monday: 3-mile run
  • Tuesday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Wednesday:Yoga Sculpt
  • Thursday: 6-mile run
  • Friday: 3-mile run
  • Saturday: 11-mile run in Chicago!! (This was supposed to be 13.1 but I’ll get to that in a minute…)

I can feel some of my stress starting to ease. Note the key word here… some.

When I visited my doctor last week due to my stress-induced hair loss issues she told me – excuse my her French… that I need to “chill the f*$! out.” She’s cool and just says it how it is which I really appreciate in the medical profession. Anyways, all of this stress is causing major issues with my hair (obviously) and my exercise-induced asthma (not good when you’re trying to train for a marathon) and it is starting to give me anxiety.

Stress can cause a variety of responses from your body, one of which is chest pain. Yep, I’m having issues with that now too. Obviously, I don’t deal well with multiple stressful situations occurring at the same time!

Even though mine is solely being driven by my asthma and stress/anxiety (trust me, I’ve had every test and scan in the book performed – I’m as “healthy as a horse” according to the lab technician…) – is terrifying and should be taken seriously. Needless to say, I am taking her word to heart and trying to reduce the amount of stress in my life as much as possible.

lake 2

My job is thankfully not stressful but after Friday, I won’t have any job to worry about. This should mean that I’ll be able to fit in another hour or two of sleep each day which is desperately needed at this point.

I also made some time to bake last night, I am getting a massage this afternoon after work and I have quite a few “goodbye” happy hours and dinners planned with girlfriends this week – all of which are huge stress relievers!

So, what does all of this talk of stress relief have to do with my marathon training? When my doctor told me I need to calm down and chill out, she also talked to me about running. Remember how I was having those really bad training weeks a few weeks ago? She told me that my body is so emotionally stressed/drained/exhausted at this point that adding in the physical stress of marathon training is too much for it at the moment.

Ugh… not what I wanted to hear.

Her advice was to continue training but to stop when I feel like I should stop and to not go one step farther. If running 15 miles per week was the only stress I was putting on my body, I would be fine but since I have the added stresses of moving, packing, finding a new job, etc. – I need to focus on one thing at a time.

lake 3

This brings me back to my 13.1 mile run that turned into an 11-miler on Saturday. Kyle and I headed down to Lake Michigan bright and early on Saturday morning so I could fit in a good 2-hour run before 9am. I started off well and tried to run at a slow-for-me pace. I was happy to see multiple Chicago Marathon running groups along the lake and also happily took advantage of their water/Gatorade booths. I figured that since I’m also training for a marathon, they’d be okay with me drinking a few ounces of their water ;)

running group

Anyways, the first 5 miles of my run were awesome… and then I turned around.

Hellooooo, Windy City! I was wondering where the wind was for those first few miles and apparently, it was at my back. No wonder my pace seemed quick while I thought I was running slow! The next 5 miles were not rough but they weren’t great either. And then I hit mile 10.

Wowsers. I walked for about 1 minute after Mile 9 and then for 1 minute after Mile 10 and by that time I knew I was out of energy and oxygen. I ran for 10 more minutes to make it to a little over 11 miles and then decided to stop per my doctor’s instructions.

To be honest, I wasn’t even the slightest bit bummed that I didn’t make it to 13.1 – I hadn’t had a long run in over 3 weeks and this was my longest run in my training so far so I was pretty proud!

Kyle was somewhere close by walking and enjoying the views with Mitchell so I texted him “need water now” and he quickly found me and gave me a big bottle of H2O :)

My overall thoughts about the run?

  • I ran too quickly – My average pace was 9:50 minutes/mile. I need to slow it down to at least 11 minutes/mile on my next long run.
  • I drank too much water/Gatorade at the Chicago Marathon stations. I must say, however, that I am glad I can experiment with this before my actual race day!
  • I loved running a new route and having new scenery to gaze at and enjoy. Lake Michigan reminds me of an ocean, at least in the summer months! Plus there is some amazing people watching in Chicago ;)
  • Sorry Minneapolis runners but Chicago runners are SO much more friendly and social than they are here in Minnesota! I probably had around 15 runners introduce themselves to me and ask me what event I was training for – I also had quite a few comments regarding the brightness and awesomeness of my shoes.
  • Compression socks/sleeves are the best recovery gear ever. Amazing.

compression socks

I can confidently say that I am happy with where I am at in my training program and that I know I’ll be able to do this, even if there is some walking involved!

If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

How do you deal with stress? Do you have any tips or ideas of things I can do to de-stress and chill out?

Marathon Training – Week 7 Recap

You guys.

run

I’ve been a huge slacker on the training lately. Like completely skipping my long runs kind of slacking. I don’t know what it is (well, actually I do know and that whole explanation is coming on Friday…) but I have just not had the motivation to run.

Yeah, yeah… I’ve heard it all before.

Just put on your shoes and get out the door.

Once you get past the first few miles, it’ll feel so much better.

But guess what, I just haven’t wanted to run and that’s that. And guess what again, I’m okay with it.

:: life ::

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I have a lot of stress in my life right now so I’m taking the time to give myself and my body what it needs. One of those things is sleep.

I am the type of person that needs A LOT of sleep in normal situations (we’re talking 9-10 hours per night…). Imagine how much sleep my body craves during stressful times.

I also tend to lose my appetite when I am anxious or have a lot of stress in my life so I haven’t been eating the healthiest.

lunch

Sadly, lunches like the above – however tasty and appetite-inducing as they might be – don’t really fuel me for long runs and they have to stop.

Last week my workout schedule was something like this:

  • Sunday: Hill walkin’ in San Francisco
  • Monday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Tuesday: 3-mile run
  • Wednesday: 6-mile run
  • Thursday: 3-mile run
  • Friday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Saturday: 3-mile run

On a positive note, I am actually getting some running into my routine but not the long distances that I need to be. I think my travel schedule is partially to blame. I have been out-of-town the past two weekends and will be traveling again this weekend. I’m heading to Chicago again on Friday so I am bound and determined to head down to Lake Michigan bright and early Saturday morning for a 13.1-mile run!

Just do it.

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I am a very dedicated person. When I put my mind to something, I will make it happen and this marathon training slump is going to get kicked in the behind starting today!

Last night, I set out my running clothes so they were ready to go. My bright shoes were anxiously awaiting a quick, 3-miles in the morning. I prepared healthy meal options that will nourish and fuel my body throughout the week.

I am ready to go.

Marathon training, schmarathon training… I’ve got this.

motivation quotes

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If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

How do you get through training slumps? Do you want to come running with me in Chicago this weekend? I rarely say this but I think I could use a running partner.

Marathon Training – Week 6 Recap

Week 6 was not all puppies and roses and sunsets on the beach. Not that running ever is any of those things for me but – for some reason – this week was especially not pretty.

new shoes

Except for my Asics. They are really pretty, obviously ;)

Training was hard last week. Really hard. So hard that I actually contemplated calling it quits and not even buying a plane ticket to LA to get to the actual marathon in October. I rationalized that yes, I’d be losing the $120 registration fee but I’d be saving $500+ on a plane ticket plus hotel fare. Makes sense, right?

My shorter runs during the week were fine, typically 3-7 miles are no big deal for me, but then came my long weekend run on Saturday. I was dreading it all week.

I think the self-defeating dread began when I thought I had 11 miles but then realized that I actually had 12 miles to run. Trust me, one additional mile is no big deal when you’re running 10+ miles per run but this realization just really annoyed me.

Ugh… a whole extra mile? Seriously??!

Then came Saturday and the thunder storm and humidity that gave me an “excuse” to not finish my 12 miles that morning. I thought my body wasn’t feeling it but actually, I think I just didn’t want to do it. Plain and simple.

I had the “I’ll do it tomorrow” attitude. <– Procrastination doesn’t work for me, if I procrastinate, it doesn’t get done! Hence my morning workout routine…

So, Sunday came and I woke up hoping for a less humid running experience… That wasn’t in the cards. I’m in the Midwest in July, it will ALWAYS be humid here, I should know this by now! I also didn’t sleep well on Saturday night but thought I could quickly crank out 12 miles and be done with it.

Who was I kidding? I can barely function at a desk job with limited sleep, let alone function while putting physical stress on my body!

8.5 miles

I ended up stopping at 8.5 miles after walking for ALL of mile 6 and not having the least bit of motivation to run. It felt like failure but now I realize that it was my body shouting: “HEY, idiot! I’m tired, why are you not giving me the rest and the hydration I need?”

Learning from the week: Get an abundance of sleep the night before a long run. It will give me a positive, “I can take on the world” attitude and get me through a mentally-straining run.

While I was down in the dumps about my crappy running weekend on Sunday night, I came across this post from Theodora. In it she discusses a few mental tweaks she is making to enjoy – rather than dread – her marathon training this summer.

I am going to take her advice and specifically focus on two of her recommendations: getting rid of my negative thoughts (AKA – not even showing up to the marathon and thinking that I can’t do it…) and realizing that some (or a lot, let’s be honest here…) of my training journey is just going to suck. Once I accept this, I think I will be able to enjoy it! As much as you can enjoy running 15+ miles at one time that is ;)

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I have no splits for you this week. I have no great, inspiring, motivating, marathon-training advice (unless you count Theodora’s post above…).

I just have the hope that – after my much-needed rest week this week – next week will be better. And it better be, I have 13.1 miles to get after, darn it!

If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

Have you ever accomplished something you thought to be impossible? How do you get through tough physical activities?

A Runner’s Ultimate Strength Building Workout

Happy Thursday!

I’m guest posting for Heather over at Fit ‘n’ Cookies today!

5 miles

Head on over to get some marathon training tips as well as a fun strength building workout :)

Marathon Training – Week 5 Recap

Holy moly – How am I already done with Week 5 of my marathon training??! After this week, I’ll be 1/3 of the way done! Unfortunately this 1/3 of my training included most of my easy runs so it is only going to become more difficult from here on out…

7 mile pace

On that note, how did Week 5 go?

Even though it was a holiday week, I fit in all of my runs and felt amazing after each one! Week 5 was a lower mileage week – I built up miles in weeks 3 and 4 (9 and 10 miles, respectively) so this week was about recovery.

I was supposed to run:

  • Tuesday: 3 miles
  • Wednesday: 5 miles
  • Thursday: 3 miles
  • Saturday: 7 miles

I followed the Tuesday/Wednesday schedule but ended up running 4 miles on Thursday (the 4th of July) and 7 miles on Friday morning rather than on Saturday.

I had plans to go out on Friday night (Pedal Pub <– remember that fun??!) and I knew an early morning run wasn’t going to happen on Saturday so I planned ahead. It also felt glorious to have 3 full days off of running over the weekend!

My long run of the week went fairly well. It was hot and humid so my pace gradually decreased the further I got into my run. This is when it would be nice to know how to pace myself and start out slower ;)

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I finished at 9:16 average pace and although I was super sweaty, it felt great to have that run complete on Friday morning!

post run

Check out that post-run, sweaty bathroom shot in my condo’s lobby. I tend to get snotty need a tissue ASAP after running and the lobby was the closest place to grab a Kleenex after my run!

Since I’m a good way though my training, I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned throughout my first 5 weeks.

  1. I get ridiculously tired after long runs. I’m talking the kind of tired where I have just enough energy to shower and shove food down my muzzle before I need to pass out for an hour… or three. I’ve always been a napper but this is extreme for me. I am hoping that once I start fueling during my runs this exhaustion will subside. Do any other runners run into this problem after their long runs??! (no pun intended!)
  2. I feel much more in shape for this training than I did for my half-marathon training 2 years ago. Maybe I now know what to expect or maybe I am just that much more in shape – only time will tell ;)
  3. Yoga is a life-saver. No joke y’all, if it weren’t for yoga I’d be curled up in a stiff ball on the floor unable to move. Real attractive… While I think 3x/week is probably too much most weeks, 2x seems like the perfect amount to stretch out my hips and legs. I sleep so much better after I get in a yoga class on my rest day!
  4. I hate foam rolling. I don’t care how good it is for you and your muscles. It hurts like a B%&#*!!!! Not my thang. I am going to give it a few more chances but if I feel like I am breaking my legs in two and/or like I’m giving birth to a child, I’m quitting. I’d rather do soothing yoga than cause extreme pain to my body with a foam roller.

5 miles

I have a few more – let’s call them “embarrassing” – learnings that I’ve experienced the past few weeks. Don’t worry, I’m going to share them along with my fabulously humiliating stories with you midway through my training – I’m sure I’ll have a few more to add to the list then as well!

If you’re new to ONW or missed my earlier posts, check out my previous weeks’ marathon training recaps!

What are some things you’ve learned from running? Any good tips on how to not collapse into a ball once I’m done with a long run?

Marathon Training – Week 3 Recap

Let me start with saying THANK YOU for all of your awesome tips and ideas for my running questions last week! I am going to do a recap post for all of my questions in a week or two so be on the lookout for some running tips and tricks!

Week 3 is complete!! Only 15 or so left to go ;)

I have two exciting accomplishments to share with you this week!

My first big accomplishment was my 3-mile run last Tuesday. I know what you’re thinking… what’s so big about a 3-miler when you’re going to have to run 26.2 miles in a few, short months??! Well, I ran these 3 miles at the fastest pace that I have EVER run!

Check out these splits – and ignore Mile 2, I accidentally dropped my phone so that timing is slightly off.

photo (1)

After finishing my 3 miles in 24:32, I have decided that I need to set a new goal for myself. Run a 5k with a sub 24 minute time! I am not sure if I’ll actually register for a 5k this summer but I will definitely get out and do one myself to try to meet my goal :)

My second proud accomplishment of the week was my long, 9-mile run on Saturday. In addition to it being the longest run I have been on since 2011, it was also hot and humid on Saturday morning so, needless to say, I was expecting a complete disaster of a run.

photo (2)

To my shock and awe, I completed my 9 miles at an average of a 9:10 pace for a total time of 82:30! This time even included jumping over downed trees from the Minnesota hurricane and walking for about about a minute to deal with a major Gatorade fail.

9 mile collage

About this fail… I thought I would try to use Gatorade as a fuel/hydrating solution during my long, training runs. Well, after running for about 3 miles I realized that this was not going to work. First of all, carrying the bottle was annoying. It was big and sloshy and heavy and made my hand hurt. Second, have you ever tasted warm Gatorade? Gag me with a spoon! (Do tweens still say this??!) I literally spit out the first warm sip that I took and bee-lined to the closest garbage can to dispose of my heavy, nappy-tasting beverage.

Thankfully, Honey Stinger sent me a big package of their products yesterday so I am going to give them a try on my long run this Saturday!

honey stinger

A few other fabulous highlights from my long run this week include NO side cramping, NO need to walk (except for the Gatorade issue…) and NO shoulder blade pain! I was also shocked when I saw my pace for my first few miles – I thought that I had been running slow at the beginning!

I am going to contribute these wins to a new technique I tried… I’m calling it lion breathing. If you are a yogi, you’ll likely be familiar with this breathing method. Every 1.5 miles or so, I would take in a deep breath and then strongly exhale (loudly like a lion or a hiss) all of the air from my lungs through my mouth. I’d do this about 5 times per set. Yes, I got some odd looks but I think this really helped to get oxygen into my lungs and muscles and get the carbon dioxide out!

Seriously y’all, this breathing technique felt awesome and I did not care in the least that those I ran by thought that I was strange.

My goal this week is to find Yurbuds and get fitted for new running shoes by the time my long run comes around on Saturday. I’ll be up to 10 miles this week and am still excited to continue to build my mileage!

If you’re new to ONW, check out my previous marathon training recaps!

How do you breath during your long runs? Warm Gatorade, have you tried it?

Marathon Training – Week 2 Recap

**Before I get into my marathon update, I have a BIG announcement! Remember my Muesli Fusion Banana-Chocolate Truffles? They’ve been chosen as a finalist in a recipe contest! I’d love for your support and for your vote for my truffles on Facebook :) Thanks a bunch!**

Week #2 down – Only 16 more to go! ;)

runner 2

This week’s 5 miles was a low-mileage week compared to my previous two weeks of 7ish miles. I finished my run in 44 minutes which is an 8:50 pace. Although I didn’t feel the best, it was one of my faster paces recently. Win!

Here are my splits – Mile 4 was much slower because I had to stop and wait for traffic. Dang cars ;)

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The one major thing I realized this week was that I have no choice but to get my nutrition habits under control if I want to have a successful marathon training. I don’t necessarily eat unhealthy but often I eat too much which makes my body feel less than ideal and definitely not up to par for a marathon training plan!

This week, I am going to focus on eating what my body is wanting but nothing more. I don’t need seconds (or thirds when it comes to cookies!) most of the time and I also need to increase my intake of water during the week.

Sadly, I’m also going to have to cut back on my Friday night wine fests. Two, three, okay you got me – four glasses of wine don’t make for a pleasant early Saturday morning run! With a 9-miler on the schedule for this coming Saturday, I am limiting myself to 2 glasses of vino on Friday night along with LOTS of water.

While running, I come up with lots of questions and I wish I had an experienced marathoner next to me to annoy with a new question every few minutes ;) My next best option is to ask you all! I have lots of questions this week and I’d love your help/advice if you have any!

  1. Sweat. I hate how it drips down my face and inevitably ends up in my eyes. Runners – What do you do about sweat? Do you carry a towel with you or do you just let it drip down your face? I know it won’t be as hot or humid in Long Beach come October as it is in Minneapolis right now but I guarantee you that I will still sweat while running 26.2 miles!
  2. Water. How do you hydrate on your runs? Do you carry a disposable water bottle with you and drink an ounce (or a specific amount) every mile? I don’t know when/how I should be hydrating on my longer runs… I don’t want to get dehydrated but I also don’t want to get water-logged. Help!
  3. Arm/Shoulder Pain. This hasn’t been an issue yet but I remember near the end of my half in 2011, my arms/shoulders were uncomfortable and sore. Do you run with your arms over your head for a few minutes (I’ve seen runners do this…)? What other tips do you have for avoiding this annoying issue?
  4. Fuel. When should I start bringing/consuming fuel on my runs? I have heard of the 90 minute rule… once my runs get longer than 90 minutes, I should start fueling. Do you abide by this? And if this is the case, do you fuel at the 45 minute mark?
  5. Music. Do you listen to music? I don’t for my shorter runs but I need it for my longer ones. What headphones do you use? Ear buds are out of the question for me, they don’t stay in my ears for more than 2.3 seconds. #soannoying I have been using some that hook over my ears but those still fall out every once in a while. Do you have any brand/model recommendations for headphones?

Wish me luck on my long run this Saturday – it’ll be my longest distance since 2011!

Can you help me out with any of my questions above? Do you know of any other runner problems I’m missing that I need answers to?

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