Training & Updates 1/28 – 2/3

Happy Friday Guys!

My second week of marathon training (first full week) was another good one! I was able to stick with my streak, again without it feeling like a lot of effort 🙌 I also was able to steal my boyfriend’s tablet to finally run my first Zwift run(s) on my treadmill! I didn’t realize how much visuals help make a run less boring until I started running facing my basement wall lol It felt SUPER weird and off to just have sound to distract me. Having Zwift’s visuals so I can look around the environment as well as seeing/competing against other runners, bikers, and AI walkers is SO MUCH better! There’s how my week went compared to my training plan:

Monday––3.20 miles / 9:33 pace
TuesdayEasy 2 (9:02-9:41)2.04 miles / 9:50 pace
Wednesday––2.00 miles / 9:37 pace
ThursdayEasy 32.00 miles / 10:59 pace
FridayEasy 33.00 miles / 10:00 pace
SaturdayEasy 33.03 miles / 9:22 pace
SundayEasy 44.07 miles / 9:20 pace
Total15 miles19.24 miles

So I didn’t realize I was actually going slower than planned until now. Somehow I got 10:02 in my head as the slowest pace 🤷‍♀️ (No idea what was up Thursday.. I want to say I logged the time wrong without realizing, but can’t seem to find any of my data from that run to fix it. Oh well!) Either way I’ll just have to pick up the pace from now on, but I am still happy I’ve been taking it easy as I get into running daily. I’ve never had much luck with treadmill running so the fact that my legs still feel good is a good indicator I’m doing something right! I’ve also been making sure to stretch and roll TONS as well. No matter how much I dislike stretching and rolling, I have to say at this point I would recommend suffering through it to anyone with any sort of leg issues. It’s insane how much of a difference it can make.

In other news, I’ve been crushing the step competition! Oh I also found the Adventure feature in the Challenge section of Fitbit and I LOVE it! If you don’t know about it/haven’t tried it out I’d definitely recommend! You choose a path to virtually walk through cool places (right now Yosemite seems to be the only one, but I’d assume they have more at different times) and when you hit certain points you get fun facts and BEAUTIFUL panoramas of the area! You can also do it in Race mode and race friends. Anyway, that was my week! Hope all your’s were good ones too!

Run Streak Day: 14

How do you survive treadmill running mentally and physically?

How’s your training plan going?

Training & Updates 1/21 – 1/27

This week was a really good week for many reasons! I broke my streak since I last posted but started another attempt on the 20th. I’m more hopeful this time since the week went by super smoothly, with none of my runs feeling forced. I feel like running daily might be going back to being more of a habit again!

I also finally got my own treadmill and it is now setup in the basement so I have almost no excuse not to run! I’m pumped to not have to go out to the gym anymore or deal with their schedule!

Here’s what my week looked like:

Monday – 6.83 miles / 8:51 pace

Tuesday – 3.12 miles / 9:20 pace

Wednesday – 4.86 miles / 9:17 pace

Thursday – 2.02 miles / 9:38 pace

Friday – 2.01 miles / 9:59 pace

Saturday – 3.40 miles / 8:02 pace

Sunday – 2.57 miles / 9:12 pace

Total – 25.81 miles

This week also marked the start of a new training plan!! I started marathon training the 26th for the Vermont City Marathon, as well as the Illinois Marathon! How are you training for two, you ask? The plan is actually set for Vermont, but Illinois is happening first, during training, so I plan to take it as an easy practice marathon. I’m hoping that while I won’t be in peak condition, the training beforehand will make it an easy enough time. Also my PR from my first marathon is so slow that I should also get easy PRs both times this way (if I can control myself in IL 😅)! I can’t wait!!

In other news:

My work started a step competition and being the only runner everyone expects me to win. Like to the point where my boss said I was the reason they were giving out a second and third prize. Not going to lie, I originally thought it would be kind of a cake walk as well, until my one co-worker, [the] IT Guy 👨‍💻, was CRUSHING it. I finally caught up to and passed him at the end of this week though! I then made the mistake of adding my mom and old track bud to the app so don’t be surprised when I start doing double sessions to CRUSH THE COMPETITION 👊 I’ll keep you updated so you can watch as a silly work competition slowly takes over and ruins my life 😂🤣😂

Lastly, I got a Koala Clip to try and really like it so far! I think I’ll go more into detail about it in a post about all phone pouches since I think I’ve tried almost all of them at this point!

Anyway, those are my updates for this week! Hope all your weeks are going swell as well!! 🏃‍♀️👋

Rhode Races Hangover Classic 5 Miler 2019

I have now run the Hangover Classic for two years and had two extremely fun, but insanely different experiences.. so different it was honestly hard to believe it was the same race!

2018

It was so cold that most of the polar plunges in my area got cancelled due to safety and I needed a new New Year’s tradition. I stumbled upon the Hangover Classic, a 5 miler in the local waterside park, and figured I’d give it a try.. maybe host my own polar plunge in the park’s water if it wasn’t enough of a challenge 😜 My friend and I arrived at the race that morning to realize it would DEFINITELY be enough of a challenge. It was -6°F and I had literally every layer of Winter running gear I owned on and could still feel the cold. The short walk from the car to the start line had us rethinking our life choices. During the race, the course was an icy, snowy, windy battleground and my butt went numb even though I was wearing the tights I’ve always worn for Winter activities without issue. It was AMAZING the after race venue had a fireplace and I feel like I sat in front of it for an hour trying to get warm again.

2019

This year couldn’t have been much different from last. I woke up and had to check the weather app twice and then go outside to check for myself before I was convinced I could leave the house prepared to race in just shorts and a singlet. The walk from my car to the start line was so pleasant I stopped to take pictures! There were also a noticeable amount more people this year, not just a few other crazies who also didn’t fully think things through like last year. I picked up my bib and shirt and headed to the start line to stretch. I was missing my friend  this year so I decided to give my Aftershokz a try and listen to the Training for Ultra podcast during the race. It was really nice! Between the beautiful waterside views, my podcast, and the lack of wind (it felt like literally none compared to last year), the race FLEW by. I wasn’t trying to PR or anything, just wanted to run with other people, so I was really happy with my 8:02 average pace. That was a lot faster than I had been running in training on the treadmill lately. I also checked results to find I got 3rd in AG so that was neat. One year soon (maybe next!) I’ll have to actually train for this race because I love the local beer can trophies they make each year!

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2018 vs 2019

Overall I really like that it’s a 5 miler instead of the usual 5k. I love Colt State Park and even though it’s always on the windier side because it’s on the water, it more than makes up for it in views and flatness! If you’re in Rhode Island for the 1st I would definitely think about giving this race a go because it’s an awesome time no matter the weather!

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One more comparison shot because it was so crazy! 👍👍

2019 Goals

I know we are already 13 days into 2019 but here are some of my main goals for the 352 remaining days 😜

2019k in 2019 – Because a mileage goal seems like a fun challenge!

Run Streak – I’ve just always wanted to. Also more consistent running is always helpful. The streak to beat is 33 days, but the end goal is to keep it going forever like some of you crazies!

Full PR – This should be a relatively easy PR since my first (and only) full so far went pretty poorly. Really this goal is just finish another marathon with little to no walking and feel good.

50k PR – Same as my full PR. I was injured and maybe shouldn’t have even run my first 50k, but here we are with a nice easy PR to beat if I can just run another 50k.

Distance PR – Yes I am one of those people who think all the ultras sound really, really cool. 50k is the distance to beat!

Half PR – This will be harder since I love and seem to do decent at halves. But since my last half PR is from just a bit of marathon training, I’m hoping if I can manage an entire actual half training cycle and more consistent mileage it won’t be too hard to PR in either.

Strava CRs – They are silly but contests are my shit. Also this will make me check out some new running routes because I know there are tons of awesome places near me that I don’t know about!

I have a bunch of other little goals/goals for eventually, but I won’t bore you with ALL of those. Just figured I’d write a few down here so now I HAVE to do them 😝

Zwift Virtual Running Product Review

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

If you’re a highly competitive person who sometimes needs to run on a treadmill (or cycle indoors) then you need to try Zwift. I originally didn’t think much of it but figured I’d give it a shot since nothing could possibly make treadmill running worse.

Zwift is an app (for running and biking) that allows you to hook up to your indoor equipment and run virtually with others using it. You need a phone or tablet to view your adventure and either can hook up to a Bluetooth treadmill or their footpod for reading your pace. You can then see your avatar running along with others in a virtual world full of interesting scenery! (I ran through volcanoes one run!)

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My avatar resting after my run 👍

You’d think avatars on a screen would be completely different than real people on the roads, nope, my brain went straight into race mode and I upped my speed to pass anyone I could see just like on road runs/races 😅 It was CRAZY motivating and highly entertaining for me. I hadn’t cared to run so fast on a treadmill in FOREVER (or ever, I’m not sure)! It’s also helpful on the other end, where while it keeps you entertained, it takes actual action to increase your speed, so you can’t pick it up without noticing and ruin a planned slower run/interval.

I ran two different types of runs with Zwift: a 5K race (kinda free for all mode where you just go run) and then a workout with intervals. The race was really neat and brought runners I “know” from all over the world together, but the workout was what really kind of blew my mind. I am someone who SUCKS at staying on pace for workouts so doing one on a treadmill where your pace is set for you is AMAZING. I still had to manually change the speed by pushing buttons, but that was easy enough and then I got to just run without thinking. It also alerts you when to change speeds and what you should set it to! I honestly will probably be running more workouts than necessary on a treadmill with Zwift now that I know how magical it is.

With Zwift allowing me to enjoy a treadmill run now, I finally ordered myself a treadmill the other day. I’m excited to have no excuse on days with extreme New England weather when it’s dangerous to run outside and I can’t get to the gym. I’m glad I found Zwift to add to my 2019 training arsenal and think it will be a big help making the year amazing!

2018 Review

I now realize that 2018 was still a good year, just a very different year. Last last year (or 2017 as some might call it) I ran almost exclusively halves so it was a year of constantly chasing and coming close to my PR. This year I only ran 1 real half and it was a planned easy race. When I first started looking back at 2018, it freaked me out I had no shiny new PRs to show for it and I kind of felt like I didn’t accomplish anything. Upon further review, 2018 just had a different structure than normal with lots of different types of races and accomplishments.

Stats

15 races overall

4 obstacle course races

2 mountain races

My first Spartan Trifecta!

My first 50K (distance PR)

3 Ragnar

3 new states (VT, NJ, OR)

While my road races weren’t the best, I am really happy to look back and see how much I’ve improved strength-wise. Past me would have never imagined being able to actually do the obstacles I did at the Spartan races. I also ran up Mount Killington TWICE! I didn’t have the best time running at them, but I also worked on fueling and endurance during multiple stage and ultra events. Even though 2018 wasn’t the best year for my running, this was at least due to a clear issue with training consistency, which gives me hope that with that fixed 2019 will be an insanely awesome year!!

Race List

  1. Hangover Classic 5 Miler
  2. Rhode Races Newport “Half”
  3. Rhode Races Providence “Full”
  4. Spartan Sprint MA
  5. Covered Bridges Half
  6. Ragnar PA
  7. Tough Mudder 5 Miler MA
  8. Foam Glow 5K
  9. Spartan Super MA
  10. Under Armor Killington 25K
  11. Spartan Beast Killington
  12. Ragarn ADK
  13. Ragnar Wawayanda Lake
  14. Reebok Boston 10K for Women
  15. Silver Falls 50K

AfterShokz Trekz Air & #GiveGoodVibes

Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz Trekz Air and Trekz Titanium to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

The only downside I’ve found to Aftershokz is that other people don’t know how awesome they are, so they don’t know they can still talk to me! 😂😭

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They also are comfy to just wear around your neck!

I never use to use headphones while running or really life in general. I don’t know if my ears are a weird shaped or what, but almost all earbuds fall out of or hurt my ears. I love that I don’t have to worry about this factor at all with Aftershokz since they just sit on the side of your head. It also allows them to still be comfy when wearing ear warmers or a hat as they aren’t being shoved into your ears. I was able to wear them comfortably on a run with an ear warmer headband, a face mask (pulled up), and head lamp.

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You couldn’t even tell I was wearing them

I also really don’t like being unaware of my surroundings (while running and overall). This is definitely part of the reason I never really used to wear headphones. Even my gaming headset is one I purchased specifically because it allows you to hear outside noises. But since I also don’t like blasting my music through speakers so everyone around me has to listen with me, I pretty much only listened to music in my car. I love that Aftershokz allow me to hear what’s going on around me (on my run, at work, while doing chores) just like playing music through speakers, without everyone else hearing it too! When I gifted a pair to my mom she couldn’t believe how you didn’t hear them at all if you aren’t the one wearing them with how clearly you do when you are the wearer. They are also SUPER light and really well shaped so you don’t really feel them and get more of the effect of feeling like you’re just listening to speakers.

I’m also very impressed with the battery life and even more impressed with the charge time. I think I’ve only had to charge them once or twice, but can’t even remember the exact amount with how quickly they charge. That’s an important factor in gear choice for me because I am forgetful and can’t have high maintenance gear, but also HATE when I can’t use what I had planned.

I have now given a pair of Trekz Titaniums to both my mom and boyfriend as gifts because I really feel like Aftershokz are a product for everyone. I originally gifted both sets for during physical activity, but both of them told me they also love using them in their offices at work to be sure they don’t miss visitors’ knocking as well. I feel better that my mom now can hear her surroundings when she goes for walks by herself. And I love that my boyfriend can have his music motivation when running with me but can also still talk with me without having to leave one earbud out.

I even tried wearing mine to my first race of the year! It was great to get to listen to my podcast during the spectator-less sections of the race, but then cheer and be cheered during the more populated parts. Like I stated at the beginning, the only issue was some people thought I had regular headphones on and didn’t talk to me when they seemed like they wanted to. Oh and one guy shout-talked to me “so I could hear”. 😂

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New Year’s Race!!

Here are the links to both if you want to check them out for yourself!

Trekz Air

Trekz Titanium