Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Kicks

Sort of on a whim, Jake and I went to the running store yesterday. My current running shoes aren't worn out, but I realized that they'll be pushing it in a month when I get to my marathon and I don't really want to run in borderline shoes that day. I don't keep track of the mileage on my shoes, so I'm just roughly figuring weekly mileage and I usually get new shoes around 300 miles, then use the "old" pair for crosstraining at the gym. I like new running shoes. So... shoe shopping!

We have 2 major running stores in this area and I live less than 10 minutes from each one (dangerous). I think I bought my last pair of shoes at Run On! so this time we went to Luke's Locker. I told the guy that I'm mostly happy with my shoes, and my only complaint is that the tips of my toes have been hurting lately. His immediate suggestion was that I may not be tightening my laces properly (tight enough) and my foot is sliding forward in the shoe. That could definitely be it, because I don't tie them the way he showed me. He did the usual sizing (I measure a 7 but wear an 8 in running shoes, and am borderline for having a wide foot so it may just depend on the brand or style) but he spent a lot of time watching me walk and run. He even got a second opinion. His final conclusion was that I'm "pretty neutral" and only very mildly overpronate on one side... and I probably do not need to be in the supportive Brooks Adrenaline I've been wearing for over a year. I tried a couple of brands (Asics and Mizuno) and felt most comfortable in the Asics. He didn't even want me to try a new pair of Adrenalines for comparison. I think it was another Brooks shoe, but he had me try one more shoe that was even more neutral. I honestly noticed it less than the Asics shoe, but I didn't know if that was just because there was less support or because it was a better shoe for me. I also don't want to switch things up too terribly much with only a few long runs to go, so we agreed to go with the more neutral Asics 2170, and possibly work toward something even more neutral in my next shoe when I'm not at the end of marathon training.

So, these are my new kicks:
Since they're not wide, I finally got non-blue shoes!!! I love the gray and bright pink. LOVE.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rock n Roll Dallas Race Report

This race began as my goal race for a sub-2 attempt. When I decided to train for my first marathon, I put my sub-2 goal on the back burner. I've learned that increasing mileage and speed at the same time doesn't work out well. In the past week or so I've done tons of calculations (my pace apps on my phone are probably in my top 5 used apps list) and had mostly decided that I'd be happy with anything that made this my 2nd fastest half marathon. That really gives a lot of leeway because I've crashed and burned a lot in my previous 6 half marathons. But then the day before the race, Robin and I agreed to try and run together for a goal of 2:06, which would be a PR for both of us. It was in the 60's at the start and 70's by the finish. In short, too hot for much of a PR, if any PR at all. I haven't run in weather this warm this spring, outside of maybe a couple of afternoon 4-milers.

We started in corral 6, and were off not long after the official start. Jake made it just in time to take the camera from me.

It was very difficult to pace for the first few miles. My Garmin was giving me erroneous data, like paces in the 6's, so I had to rely on mile splits and total time at each mile marker. At about 2.5 miles, Robin admitted that today wasn't her day. We'd agreed to part ways if one of us was "on" and one wasn't, so I kept on. I put in my earbuds and started my 5k playlist (no variety, but all of my current favorite songs, and I zone out anyway, so it's not like it really mattered). I looked at the elevation chart. I knew it was pretty much all uphill for 8 miles, then downhill the last 5. I guess it's like childbirth and you forget what that's like. I'm sure cumulatively it took it's toll on my legs, but it didn't feel awful. I think I hit every other water station to refill my handheld bottle. I started with water, refilled with water, then Gatorade (I never do Gatorade, but I missed the water tables and my bottle was empty so I figured it was a better option than dehydrating- I also took salt at this stop), then water two more times. I really focused on hydrating because it was hot and I was sweating a lot. Around mile 10 or 11, I took beer from somebody just hoping it would be cold. It wasn't. I finished it anyway. It was around the 10 mile mark that I knew I might be able to squeek out a narrow PR if I pushed hard, but the heat and sun was really tiring me, so I eased up on the pace and took walk breaks at every half mile. That really helped and I was able to pick up the pace and push hard through the finish chute. My time was 2 hours 12 minutes and 17 seconds.

I downed a bottle of really cold water, got an ice cold towel for my neck, a package of pretzels, and chocolate milk before finding Jake. We hadn't made plans for where to meet, so I headed toward the beer garden and the letter "O" where we meet last year. Found him! We got my beer and headed for the truck. Last year I remember hurting and feeling so stiff after finishing and the car felt miles away. I'm pleased with my time, but even more pleased at how much better my recovery is a year after my first half marathon. I was able to eat lunch on the way home, get a short nap before Nana brought the kids home, and I feel great. I'm not sore and I'm not exhausted.

I went back out for a short run in the evening while the boys rode bikes and Lauren ran with me. It was slow, but it brought my mileage for the day up to 16.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

GlitzBandz Giveaway Winner

Charisma is the lucky winner of her choice of GlitzBandz! Please get in touch with me and I'll let you know how to get your GlitzBandz! Thank you to everyone who entered my first giveaway and to Emily at GlitzBandz for the opportunity. Please check out her site if you need a headband.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I've Been Published!

Last night I was reading the new Train Like a Mother book in bed when I came upon a page with a question I was very familiar with. The book authors posted a survey online as they were writing the book and asked readers to participate, so I did. One of my responses was picked. I'm pretty sure another response was chosen too, but my good cough syrup had kicked in by the time I got deeper into the book and I can't remember which question it was or where in the book I read it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rock n Roll Dallas Expo

I made a quick trip down to the expo this afternoon to pick up my race bib and related swag for this weekend's half marathon. I finally figured out t-shirt sizing for RnR and ordered a size that will fit- I'm always disappointed when I order a women's small and it's skin tight. I like my tees loose, so I got a women's large. Perfect.

I resisted the temptation to buy all of the pretty things that caught my eye and instead focused on what I needed. I love my ininji toe socks. I started running in them at the end of last summer and they seem to greatly reduce the number of blisters I get on my toes. I can only find solid white or black at my local running stores, and I bought a pair of purple stripes at the RnR St. Louis expo, so I wanted to get a couple more pairs of those. They didn't have the purple stripes, but they had the lighterweight version (which I haven't tried yet but figured would be perfect for the hot summer to come) in a bright pink so I bought 2 pairs. I've been using some sunglasses I bought at Target awhile back but don't love, mostly because they're polarized and my iphone screen looks funny when I look at it through the lenses. I found another pair at the expo. They're regularly $60 online, but they were $29 at the expo and they gave me a code to use online if I decide I love them and want to order another pair for the expo price. They're super lightweight, won't fog, and I think the shape looks better on my face. These are the style I got: Marathon Translucent Frames. The last thing I bought was a super soft longsleeve tee that was marked down at the Sports Authority booth. It reminded me of an Asics ad I loved when I saw awhile back:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

13, 15, 17, ___... What's next?

20!!! My first 20 mile training run, that is. I started recruiting running partners last weekend after my 17 miler.

We met at the park and ran the New Years Double course. Fiona, Robin, Alicia, Sharon, and Lesley all started with me. The first 6.xx mile loop felt great. Since we started at 6am it was dark and I had to keep turning on the light to check my pace on my Garmin. I'm a horrible pacer and at least in the short term, 9:30 and 12:30 can feel the same to me. Too bad 9:30 is not my long run pace. I bought the double pouch iFitness belt on Friday because I always have trouble getting my Spibelt to balance just right after I access my fuel (I always carry my phone when I run). Anyway, I carried my Honey Stinger waffles with me in the new belt so I could eat them at each hour. I ate the first one at 60 minutes with no problem. At the end of our first loop I refilled my handheld bottle at the car. Fiona had to leave. Three of us had to use the bathroom but we ended up at different park bathrooms so we never met back up with Alicia and Sharon (although they continued on to run Sharon's first 15 miler together). Robin left us at 10. The second loop still felt good and I was comfortably holding pace. Libby joined us before we got back to the cars. I ate another waffle at the 2 hour mark. We refilled handheld bottles again at the end of the second loop, now at 13.xx miles. Lesley ran a bit longer but had to leave around 15 miles. It worked out perfectly that Libby is in taper and also wanted to sleep a bit later, so she was my sole 3rd loop partner. I dropped my pace just a little bit, but overall still felt good. At 17 miles Libby gave me a high five for the distance PR to come! At the farthest point on our turnaround I was getting low on water and thought I'd have to get water from somebody's water hose in the yard. Thankfully the park water fountains were on. It was in the upper 60's with 80-something% humidity... Not ideal weather, but good to have a long run with that kind of weather to practice in. I managed to eat at least half of my last waffle. I struggled, but I wanted to err on the side of extra fuel vs not enough. After 18 miles I took a 1 minute walk break at every half mile instead of every mile. It made the last little bit feel mentally easier. With probably less than a quarter mile back to the cars, my watch beeped for 20 miles. I got another high five from Libby and we walked back to the cars.

It was a really good run. The weather was hotter and more humid than my other long runs, yet I felt the best. Maybe I have my nutrition and hydration figured out. My final time for the 20 was 4:02:56. That includes the 1 minute walk breaks at each mile marker and the 2 extras at 18.5 and 19.5. A few friends have thrown some support my way for a 5 hour marathon- if the weather is good. It sure would be nice if that were the case, since I don't have a friend to pace me, and the slowest pacer for the marathon is 5 hours. We'll see how it goes and race day weather falls, but that may be an option.

If you haven't entered my giveaway for your choice of a GlitzBandz headband, please check out my review/giveaway here: GlitzBandz Giveaway - Entries accepted until midnight on Saturday.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm All In

I read a post on Facebook that today was the last day to register for the OKC Marathon and have your name printed on your bib. I can't really explain why that convinced me to go and officially register for the marathon, but it did. My husband asked, "Do you even save your race bibs?" No. No, I don't. But there will be pictures of the race bib and me wearing the bib. So, it should have my name on it. And who knows, maybe I will save this one.
So, I'm all in. I've finished one 20 mile run, I'm feeling healthy, and it's time to push my chips toward the middle. My first 26.2 in OKC on April 29, 2012.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

GlitzBandz Review *AND* Giveaway!!!

A few weekends ago I was running 15 miles with my friends Libby & Shannon when we started talking about headbands. Shannon recommended I check out GlitzBandz, so when I got home I liked the Facebook page and looked at some of the options. There were several that I liked, so I was going to think about what colors/prints I wanted before ordering. Well just a couple days later, there was a post on Facebook from GlitzBandz asking for bloggers to review a GlitzBandz and do a giveaway. I emailed immediately and Emily got right back to me.

I got to choose my favorite GlitzBandz for the review. I chose "sparkle polka dot black" which is 7/8" wide. GlitzBandz is a no-slip headband that comes in 19" (fits most youth) or 20" (fits most adults). There are tons of colors and designs to choose from between the GlitzBandz website and the GlitzBandz Facebook page. Emily also takes special orders if you need a different size or want a design she doesn't yet have. I received my GlitzBandz 2 days later, just in time for a 5k where I was trying to set a new PR.

GlitzBandz sparkle polka dot black

Self picture from above before the 5k

Self picture profile before the 5k
I love that this GlitzBandz has just a little bit of sparkle (only the colorful polka dots sparkle, not the black background) and incorporates lots of color, so it matches all of my running clothes. It felt secure at home, so I felt like we were off to a good start. My 5 year old daughter was watching me get ready and said, "I think you're gonna be prettier than all the other girls." The GlitzBandz stayed perfectly in place during the 5k and I got my PR. I'm not sure Emily is ready to promise you a PR if you wear GlitzBandz, but I'm telling you, feeling cute is half the battle! After the 5k we went to my nephew's first soccer game. The wind picked up to 15-20mph and not once did I have to pull hair out of my face.

This is my first product review. I've read lots of reviews on running blogs and thought, "Do they really like that product or are they just being nice because it was given to them?" Here's my answer to "Does she really like GlitzBandz, or is she just being nice because it was given to her?"
I now own FIVE GlitzBandz.. black sparkle dot, hot pink glitter, navy, purple floral, and peacock!

After wearing the black sparkle dot GlitzBandz that one day, I ordered 3 more! Why 3? Because each GlitzBandz is a very reasonable $10, but when you buy 2, the 3rd is only $5! I was also pleased that shipping was only a couple dollars. I'm an ER nurse and can't/don't want my hair in my face (you don't even want to know what I do in a day's work, but let's just say I don't want my hair in it!). We have to wear navy at one job, so I thought I'd go pretty neutral in design/color. The GlitzBandz stays in place for my entire 12 hour shift, and trust me, if I barely have time to go to the bathroom, I don't have time to fix my hair at work. On a side note, if you want to look younger, you might try GlitzBandz. I had 2 patients ask my age/if I was still in nursing school! It was a lucky week for me, because I donated to my friend who is doing Team in Training and won her drawing for... a GlitzBandz! That's how I got the peacock print. I wore that one on my 17 miler last weekend.

Haven't found a headband that works for you yet? Haven't ever tried one? Here's your chance to WIN a GlitzBandz OF YOUR CHOICE! I will choose a winner using on Sunday, March 25th. You will earn one entry for each of these that you do (up to 4 entries). Please leave me a comment for each one that you do. The deadline for entries will be midnight (central time) on Saturday, March 24th.

1- Become a follower of this blog. (If you already are, just let me know)
2- Go to GlitzBandz on Facebook. Like them, tell them Kristi at Half Virgin sent you, AND which GlitzBandz is your favorite. (If you already "like" them, just do the other 2 parts)
3- Go to GlitzBandz, click on the pink button that says "join email list" and sign up to receive emails regarding specials or new ribbons. (If you've already signed up for emails, just let me know)
4- Tell *me* which GlitzBandz you would choose if you win and where you would wear it.

Good luck!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Feel the Need For... Fuel!

After the nutrition fail I experienced during my 17 mile run last weekend, I decided I needed to research proper fueling and come up with a plan. I still have time to work this out before the marathon.
On I found an article called "4 Steps to Perfect Marathon Fueling". It gives a series of formulas to determine how many calories you should consume during the marathon.

1- Determine running calorie expenditure per mile
0.63 x body weight in pounds (for me 0.63 x 130 = 81.9)

2- Determine goal race pace, or how many miles per hour you'll cover
My marathon has a 6 hour cutoff. Based on the comfort level of my 17 mile run, I think I may be able to run faster, but that's not my goal and I'm not pressuring myself to do so. So, I'll just take the cutoff numbers of 13:44 pace/mile, which is 4.37 miles per hour.

3- Calculate hourly expenditure based on goal race pace
goal race pace in mph x the figure from step 1 (for me 4.37mph x 81.9 = 357.903)

4- Determine hourly calorie replacement
Research shows runners can physically absorb 30% of what they expend, so 0.3 x figure from step 3
(for me 0.3 x 357.903 = 107.3709)

The article recommends starting calorie replacement after the initial 60-90 minutes. This would be a little over 3 Honey Stinger waffles if I stick with that fuel. I could also do 3 waffles plus some Honey Stinger chews.

This is something for me to practice on my 20 miler next weekend.

Do you have trouble fueling on long runs? What kind of fuel do you like? How much and how frequently?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Prayers for 17 Mile Weather Answered

I've been sweating the forecasted rain for today all week. Because of Jake's work schedule, I really needed to get my 17 miler today. I went to bed last night with the plan to meet Shannon & Robin at White Rock at 6am, unless it was just a complete downpour. It was bone dry and the radar looked like maybe some light rain, worst case scenario.

I wore my black Brooks running skirt (pretty sure this will be my marathon skirt because it's so comfortable it feels like I'm not wearing anything) and my favorite Lululemon gray/black longsleeve top- I was comfortable in both during the entire run. The temperature was between 45 and 50, but cloudy the entire time.

We did 2 loops around the lake, which would have been a total of 18 miles. The plan was to walk/run or just walk the last mile. The first loop was great and I was feeling strong. We stopped at our cars to refill handheld bottles and I ate a Honey Stinger waffle. I have a really tough time eating when I run and I thought I'd try the waffles for fuel since they taste good but are pretty bland. It went down well and I think I'll do it again for future runs, but more frequently. Robin turned back around at mile 11.5 because she had 14 on her schedule. I started to feel nauseous around mile 15. I thought sucking on a Honey Stinger chew might help. It seemed to make the nausea worse, so I spit it out. We made it to 17 before the nausea got any worse. I kept thinking I was going to be sick, but never did. At about 17.3 miles I was sitting in the grass trying to recover for the rest of the walk or run back to the cars when a Dallas police officer asked Shannon if I was ok, then offered to take us back to our cars. I was so grateful. At that point, I knew it would be a long haul to go that extra .7 mile. Once back to the cars, I put on a sweatshirt and turned the heat on in my car full blast. I was freezing and couldn't stop shaking. I decided I was capable of driving and just wanted to be home. I made it to Richardson before I finally got sick. That actually made me feel better and I thought I would be ok. Once home I took a hot bath. As I got out of the bath I got really dizzy and felt sick. Jake took my blood pressure and the top number was only 80. I knew I needed fluids and didn't think I could drink any, so he called his mom to stay with the kids and I went in for IV fluids. I felt a lot better after the fluids and have been able to drink/eat since getting home.

I learned some things on this training run. That's what training runs are for, right? Gotta practice for race day... My legs aren't nearly as sore or tired as they were after 15 miles- hooray for that. I think a combination of 3 things contributed to me getting sick-
1- Not a good enough breakfast. I usually eat cold cereal with a banana or peanut butter on a bagel. I skipped those and just ate a banana.
2- Not nearly enough calories during the run. I ate one Honey Stinger waffle at 160 calories.
3- I was still having Raynaud's episodes as of last weekend so I followed my doctor's recommendations and increased my Procardia to 20mg. I felt dizzy for the first couple of days, but have felt normal for the past few days. I can't help but associate a blood pressure of 80 with increasing the dosage of the blood pressure medication I'm taking. I'll probably ask my doctor whether to drop back down to 10mg or just stop taking it altogether.

I'm doing some research on proper marathon fueling for my gender/size/pace and will come up with a new plan before my 20 miler next weekend.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Allen Eagle 5k Race Report- With New & Improved PR!

This 5k is a tradition for me, which is why I took a major stepback week in marathon training to do it. This was the 4th annual run, and I started doing it the 2nd year. I wasn't running before then, and I wasn't racing when I did it in 2010.

In 2010, I was 11th of 29 in my age group and 300th of 514 overall, with a time of 35:19.
Lame, but only picture of this post. My sister-in-law, husband, and me on race day. This was before I knew how uncool it was to wear cotton. And your race shirt. And yoga pants. All on race day.
In 2011, I was 5th of 44 in my age group and 149th of 554 overall, with a time of 27:56.

In 2012... Keep reading... it's not like I'm going to give away the good stuff in the 6th sentence. Seriously.

I went into this race wanting to try and PR. I have done almost no speedwork, so I certainly wasn't expecting the PR, but I wanted to try. The weather was perfect this morning, mid to upper 40's with only slight wind. I think of this course as pretty flat, but there are a few slight inclines (but also declines).. neither of which I felt played a role in my pace. The biggest hinderance to a PR are the many turns and *MANY* kids.

I started the race toward the front, but I probably should have been a little closer. This race benefits the school district so lots of kids run. It seems the way kids who are not runners by sport run a race is to sprint like hell, then come to almost a complete stop right in front of somebody, and walk like they have no place to go. As soon as the race started I thought I was going to be screwed by my position. I can look back at parts of the race and see where I lost seconds. This was one spot. Thankfully, it thinned pretty quickly and I was able to get my pace in the low 8's. There was still way too much dodging and weaving for position, but I could hold my pace as I tried to find empty road. First mile 8:22 pace, exactly where I wanted to be. Not too fast, and a good solid start to a PR.

In the second mile I saw the lead men coming back toward the start/finish. They were close. I turned before I saw a lead woman. This mile felt good and was my fastest at 8:17.

I was getting tired in the third mile. I was breathing hard and my chest hurt. I actually had to pull over to the grass on the south side of the high school because I thought I was going to puke. After a few seconds of dry heaving, I decided it wasn't going to happen and I needed to get back to running. Again, lost some time here. When I returned to running, I just couldn't get the speed back. Pace dropped to 8:56 in this mile.

Partially because of the winding path and partially because of dodging other runners/walkers, I ran 3.21. My last 0.21 came in at 8:24. I really gave it all I had at the end. I managed an 11 second PR, finishing in 27:18. I placed 7th of 59 in my age group and 163rd of 872 overall. I'm happy with that!

I used some new running gear today that I'm super excited about. I don't think I can say what it is yet, and hence no pics from the race, because my first product review and GIVEAWAY is coming up within a couple weeks! Did I mention I'm excited?