Hobbled by Hobble Creek

I am off in Virginia this weekend! Since I’m on the road, I’m sharing some updates from my mom today! Enjoy🙂

Unfortunately, I have to say the Hobble Creek Half  lived up to its name! After 5 miles of pounding downhills,  I pretty much walked the rest of the course, feeling pretty down and somewhat crippled. (At mile 12, I did perk up enough to take this picture of this really nice horse and the scenery to try to take my mind off my aching shins and hamstring.)

2 Generations Running

img_5334But basically, since this race, my training (even with my innovative 28-day plan) has just not been smooth.

Despite everything, I did manage the first of my 20-mile long runs this Monday, which went surprisingly well. At first I was heartened by this. Then, during a yoga class that night, I finally began to take in the long view. By the morning, wisdom and common sense had won out and I changed my Baystate Registration from the Full to the Half Marathon. Maybe the yoga relaxed me enough to quiet my ego and let the rational person in me speak up. Either way, I’ve finally made my decision and made my peace with it.

It might seem odd that having the 20-miler go well would help me make my decision to switch, but it was the fact that for the first time in a long time, that run felt almost normal.   And the idea that I was just on the edge of getting that feeling  back – and the thought that if I was pushing just a bit too hard, a bit too soon, I would lose it again –  that made me switch.

It was finally time to admit that my earlier plan of running an enjoyable marathon on a familiar course, in nice fall weather had gone out the window. Now, I could only hope to hold on and not make any lingering injury worse.

Baystate Marathon 2015(Photo from last year’s Baystate where I ran the full and Nora ran the half).

And before the race, there would be another 5 weeks of anxiety filled training runs, stressing over every stretching session, and worrying about icing and taking (or not taking)  anti-inflammatories.

Or, I could stop all this worrying, ease back into my normal runs again, and if necessary  rest as much as I wanted in these last few weeks going into the half at Baystate  (Not looking to PR at this one!). And that just seemed more sensible. I also reminded myself that  my ultimate goal is to be running in my eighties and that means I need to practice  accepting disappointment, and recognizing when I have to tell my ego to take a hike. So I’ll be going into these last few weeks trying some new physical therapy, resting and walking, and hopefully that will get me back on track.

I’m disappointed, especially since I convinced Nora to sign up for the full – but at the same time, I know I’ve made the right decision.   And so this year, after running what I hope will be a pleasurable half -marathon, I will wander around Lowell, get two really great coffees and then head back to the finish line – to wait for my running partner!  And that will be a perfect day!🙂


Mystryde Boston: A Review

Hey friends, I’m back!

I mentioned before that I’ve been incorporating some new routines into my training for Baystate this time around, and one of those changes has been the Mystryde treadmill classes I’ve been attending. I figure some of you are probably a little curious about how a treadmill class works, so I figured I would share a review and some of the details of why I think these classes are so great.

Mystryde is Boston’s first treadmill studio and is located in the North End of Boston, about a 5 minute walk from the Haymarket station on the Orange line. For where I live and work, this makes it very convenient to get to, plus I love having an excuse now to walk through the North End because it’s probably the cutest part of Boston with all its Italian cafes and restaurants. The trick is to avoid the temptation to grab a cannoli or some gelato after one of the classes!

The studio itself is pretty small, and you could almost miss it, if not for the funny/motivational sandwich board they keep out in front.

img_1622Image courtesy of Mystryde’s Instagram page

Inside, there’s a waiting area where they sell some pretty cute merchandise with the Mystryde running man logo so you can represent your favorite treadmill studio on all your runs.

Ok, onto the best part now – the classes! There are 3 different ones which range from 45 minutes to an hour: Endurance, Stryde, and Power Stryde. Endurance focuses on building strength over longer intervals, and usually includes some pretty tough hill segments (I’m talking about 12% incline tough… Yikes!). According to one of the instructors I asked, Endurance most closely resembles a tempo run, while Stryde is a little bit more like a track workout, with more short, fast intervals. Power Stryde is basically boot camp meets running intervals. It is TOUGH! I am definitely one of those runners who tends to neglect strength work, so I love that Mystryde offers classes that combine the two. In the Power Stryde class I attended, everyone was partnered up so that while one person was running their intervals on the treadmill, the other was doing exercises on the floor. These included squats, push-ups, plank get-ups, crunches, and a bunch of other exhausting moves. I was a quivering puddle of sweat after this class, but I didn’t hate it.🙂 The setting also helps keep you going – they crank up the tunes and turn the lights down, so it feels like a party, albeit a sweaty, exhausting one!

Mystryde Boston | 2 Generations RunningDuring the classes, the instructors tell you what level incline and speed to take your treadmill up to for each interval. Every treadmill comes with a pace card that explains what speed setting you should use if you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced. This makes it really easy for everyone to get in an awesome workout, according to their own specific experience level – without anyone being left in the dust, which can happen easily during a workout done on a track. So far, I’ve been using the intermediate paces, but hopefully I’ll graduate to advanced some day!😉

The instructors here are also totally friendly. I feel like some professionals in the fitness studio world can be a little full of themselves and not very approachable, but I’ve never felt that way at Mystryde. They’re always going to push you to give a workout your best, but they do it in a way that’s not intimidating. Just this past week, they also started offering group runs on Wednesday evenings at 6:30. I went, and we did a gorgeous 4-mile loop that came with just about the prettiest sunset I’ve ever seen.

Boston Mystryde Review

Mystryde Boston ReviewCan you even believe that? I’m so glad I went for the run with these ladies because that was one pretty epic view!

In terms of cost, the classes are a little expensive, but not any more so than what you’d typically expect to pay for studio fitness classes in a city. They offer a bunch of different packages to suit everyone’s individual goals and budget. They also tend to do a decent number of promotions – like donate a pair of used sneakers and get 15% off.

Overall, I really love these classes, and I know I’m going to be an even bigger fan come the winter and that first snowfall. If you’re a runner in the Boston area, I highly recommend checking them out! We’ll see what happens on October 16th, but I have a strong feeling attending these classes on a weekly basis is going to be a BIG help with my marathon goals.

Treadmills – yay or nay? Are you a fan of fitness studio classes? What running goals are you currently working towards?


Baystate Marathon Training: Week 4

Another week done and closer to Baystate!

I was feeling pretty excited about it, until Sunday’s 20-miler which kind of whipped my butt. I listen to the Runners World podcast, and they had comedian Liz Miele on this past week, talking about running. She has done a number of marathons, and in one part of her routine, she said anyone can run a marathon, “…you just have to find that right balance of hating yourself, and you will… it’s just an abusive amount of cardio and some unresolved family issues.”🙂 I don’t know about the family issues, but I was definitely feeling the self-hate at Mile 16 of 20.

But anyway, I’ll get to that. This week’s total mileage was 43, with 2 rest days.

Monday – Rest day following Sunday’s long run. I also ran 20 miles last week and I was pretty pleased with how decent I felt the next day.

Tuesday – Mystryde treadmill class. I covered just over 5 miles in 45 minutes, with lots of speedy intervals at sub-marathon pace and a decent amount of hill work. Doing hills in these classes is always my least favorite part. I will take an all-out sprint on a flat elevation over the awful slog of even maintaining a 10-minute mile on a 12% incline ANY DAY!

Wednesday – Mystryde was hosting their first ever “Stryde Squad”, which was an easy 4-mile loop around the North End of Boston. They invited all the students to come and run some easy miles with the instructors leading different pace groups. I had easy miles on the agenda, so this was perfect! I went a little early, dropped off my stuff in the studio and did 1 mile by myself before joining them.

Mystryde Boston ReviewThey had an awesome turn-out of 25 runners, and it was a really pretty loop in a part of Boston I’d never actually run before! This run should have been awesome. Friendly faces + easy miles = happy running. But I was having serious stomach issues. I kept expecting them to go away, but they didn’t, so the whole run, I was really just praying to be done. It had to have been something I ate during the day, but I have no idea what. That’s the issue I sometimes run into with afternoon runs. In the morning, all I’ll eat is some toast and coffee and I’m good to go, but if I run in the afternoon, I’ve eaten over the course of the day and sometimes, I don’t pay as much attention to the run I’ll be doing later on as I should.

Thursday – Evening speed workout with Heartbreak Hill Running Club. These guys were written up in the most recent issue of Runners World, and I’m proud to be a new member of the group! I jogged over to the South End after work and met up with them for the workout. This one was on the shorter side, but still fun. We jogged a mile over to the Fens, did some drills, and then did 3 x 300 gradually accelerating from 10k pace, followed by 3 x 150. While we were doing our cool-down drills, there were some little kids playing near us. That wouldn’t be too alarming, apart from the fact that this kid had to be 4-5 years old, and started trying to hit us with a stick as we ran past! Not really a good idea for a little kid to jump in the middle of a pack of runners. First, everyone tried to play with the kid, but he wasn’t really having it and literally just wanted to hit people with it. Eventually, someone got pissed and grabbed the stick away from him, but there were NO parents in sight. Weird, right? Anyway, between the warm-ups and cool-down, my total mileage for the day was 6.5.

Friday – I had an 8-miler scheduled, but I ended up really needing this rest day. 3 days in a row getting home late after doing workouts in Boston, really wiped me out. There was no way I was waking up early to get these miles done in the morning, and when a friend texted me about meeting to catch up in the evening, I couldn’t say no. I love running in Boston, but I think I do need to be more selective about the evening workouts I do, because I was feeling kind of burnt out.

Saturday – What a beautiful day for a run! Temps were feeling a little bit cooler, like fall is just around the corner. I did an easy 6 miles after sleeping in, and it just felt like the most relaxing thing ever. I came home, drank more coffee and foam-rolled (I’m usually pretty awful about making the time for that).

Sunday – My last 20-miler, THANK GOD!!! So last week’s 20 miles was very split up, which I think helped it be easier. I ran 6 miles by myself early in the morning, then got on the subway to go a few stops to meet my friends. I probably had a 20 minute break there, if not slightly more. Then, I ran the 4 miles to the start of the race with them. Those miles went by pretty fast with all the conversation. Then, we probably had another 30 minutes or so before the start of the race, which was the last 10 miles of my run. I think it was good having the race push me to run those last 10 harder, but with all the breaks, I was probably feeling better than in a standard, non-stop 20-miler like today’s.

This one, I did all on my own, with no significant breaks and it felt hard. I also felt like I covered all of the greater Boston area.

img_1623Medford -> Somerville -> Cambridge -> Allston -> Boston. So that’s what 20 miles looks like! I wanted to do some of the miles along the Charles because the miles always seem to pass by faster there, and with 20 miles on the agenda, it just made more sense to run there rather than taking the subway in!

I felt pretty good on this run probably right up until around Mile 15, at which point I wanted to be done. It was like all of a sudden, I remembered how freaking painful marathons are and how badly everything hurts at the end. Suddenly, I was feeling less excited for October 16th, and actually scared. At this point, I took a little walk break and ate the piece of long run cake I had brought with me (the one I made doesn’t have the frosting) and just tried to reset, mentally and physically.

Long Run CakeAfter that, I was on my way again. My pace wasn’t really where I wanted it to be, but maybe that was the humidity? I’m not sure, but part of me is wondering whether I should reassess my goal pace for race day or just go for it. If it ends up being an unseasonably warm day, I will 100% need to dial back because there is no way I’m having a repeat of Delaware.

I timed my run just right, so that I hit 20 miles outside Boston Public Market. I was slightly embarrassed about the sweaty, disgusting state I was in, but that didn’t stop me from heading in and getting a smoothie and a breakfast sandwich.🙂 I was literally STARVING by this point.

So there it is! Another week down. This coming week is a travel week for me, so the mileage will be going WAY down, which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing, though it is always harder to get back in the swing of things afterwards.

How was your weekend? Have you ever heard of comedian Liz Miele? From the clips I heard, I think she is worth checking out if you’re a fan of stand-up!

 


Baystate Marathon Training: Week 3

Hello again!

After last week’s week of blah, I’m happy to report things are back on track! I think this might all just be the name of the game with marathon training. Sometimes, you have workouts and weeks that are just so horrible you can’t imagine ever being able to run 26.2 miles in a row and at a relatively fast pace. But then, you turn around and have some good workouts and go back to feeling optimistic again.🙂

This week was really high mileage for me, but I’m happy to report my legs are feeling good! Come to think of it, this was probably the most miles I’ve EVER hit in a week! In my last training cycle, I was supposed to peak with a 50 mile week, but I think I cut a run short and came in at 49 miles. This time, I actually did it!! 50 miles!!!! I haven’t had any weird shin pain this time around like I did when I was training for Delaware, and I’m wondering if that’s because I have been wearing my Saucony Kinvaras for training this time around instead of the Asics Gel-Electro?

Just One Run 5k RecapI was a big fan of the Asics for 2 years, but I have to say, I love the cushioning of the Kinvaras, and I think they’re keeping my feet happier with higher mileage than the Asics which erred on the minimalist side of things.

But anyways! Onto the training recap.🙂

Monday – 5 miles ez. I ran long on Saturday, and rested on Sunday, so this felt very manageable. I averaged 10:01/mile, right where I want to be with my recovery runs. Part of me really wanted to run faster, but I knew I was planning my harder workout for the next morning, so I reined myself in.

Tuesday – 6 miles on the treadmill, with 4 at sub-marathon pace (roughly 8:35/mile). I’ve been doing a lot of research on different marathon training methods, and one thing I came across was that you don’t want to just train at your goal marathon pace. Because the marathon is so long, it will recruit all your different muscle fibers and training at different speeds will help with your endurance, even if you aren’t planning to run that pace on race day. I started out with an easy mile to warm up, then went into the fast miles. This was tough, I’m not going to lie, especially doing it first thing in the morning. I just tried to focus on each individual mile, and then before I knew it, it was time for my cool-down mile.

Wednesday – 4 miles ez. Nothing super exciting about this run.

Thursday – Another early morning workout. This time it was 10 miles, with the goal of 7 miles at marathon pace. I had plans to celebrate a coworker’s birthday after work, so I knew I was just going to have to wake up bright and early to squeeze all the miles in. Sadly, the days are clearly getting shorter, as it was still pitch black out when I woke up. To be on the safe side, I decided to do the first 3 miles of this run on the treadmill at the gym. I did the first 2 miles easy, and then launched into it. The first goal pace mile on the treadmill was obviously pretty easy since I just set the treadmill to 8:45/mile and didn’t have to worry about slowing down! The other ones were a little trickier, but I think my body is getting better at finding this pace. Mile 4 – 8:58 (I think I was adjusting to the transition from treadmill to road), Mile 5 – 8:47, Mile 6 – 8:46, Mile 7 – 8:44, Mile 8 – 8:47, Mile 9 – 8:44, and Mile 10 was a cool-down. At first, I felt like I was really having a hard time finding this consistent pace, but by the end, it was actually easier. And I felt pretty bada$$ getting all these miles in before work!

Friday – Well-earned rest day.🙂

Saturday – Steady pace 5-miler on the treadmill at the gym followed by some arms/core work. I took the first mile of this run very easy, but for the last 4, I kept it at around 9:05/mile, approximately 20 seconds slower than goal pace. I wanted my legs to be a little fatigued going into tomorrow’s 20-miler to help simulate what they’ll be feeling at the end of the marathon. For my previous marathons, I almost always rested or ran very easy the day before my long run. But I also hit the wall pretty hard on those, so I’m mixing things up a little this time.

Sunday – The first 20-miler of the training cycle (I have a second one next weekend)! Earlier in the week, I had discovered a 10-mile trail race not too far from my apartment (the Fellsfest Trail Race) , and decided that it would be a good way to tick off some of the miles. I also talked a couple of my coworkers into doing it with me (they’re training for the Chicago Marathon!). The race didn’t start until 9 am, which gave me a good span of time to get in 10 miles before. I woke up bright and early to have my pre-run coffee and toast, then headed out to knock off 6 miles on my regular loop. I took those miles nice and easy, running around a 10 minute mile. Once I finished those up, I hopped on the subway for a couple stops to meet my friends at the train station. The race actually had a shuttle to take runners to the start from there, but we ran to add an additional 4 miles. It felt awesome to finally have some company and I hardly felt like I had run 10 miles when we got to the start!

After a little waiting around, it was time for the race to start! My plan was to run this pretty much by effort since I knew my pace was going to be slower on the trails. This race also had FAR more hills than the 6 miles I did earlier in the morning. This elevation profile pretty much says it all.

Fellsfest Trail RunThe course was a 2-loop 5 mile route, which was a blessing and a curse because I knew when the worst hills were coming, but it was also nice knowing when I was almost at the end (I wasn’t trusting the mile readings on my GPS watch with all the trees). I finished in 1:31, good for a 9:10 average pace, which actually isn’t too far off my marathon goal pace considering the hills and the rocky terrain. Overall, I was very pleased with how I ran this race. While I was definitely tired and ready to be done running at the end, I didn’t feel like I really hit the wall and I stayed in a pretty positive mindset throughout. Maybe that was because I was so focused on looking at the ground to make sure I didn’t trip, but whatever, I’ll take it.🙂 I was also passing a decent number of people on the 2nd loop, which was pretty exciting because I’m guessing most of them didn’t have 15 miles under their belts for the day.

The post-race party was also fantastic, and such a great way to celebrate being done with my 20 miles. They had 4 different breweries sampling their beer and even hard cider! I have to say, I really prefer a hard cider after a run to a beer. They even let you have as many as you want! There was also pizza (delicious), larabars, Suji water, Bai, and Muscle Milk. It was just what I needed.🙂

And in case you’re wondering, this is what my legs look like at the end of a 10-mile trail race –

FellsfestMy poor sneakers aren’t looking so fresh these days!😦

And that sums up my first 50-mile week! Bring on Week 4!

What’s the longest trail run you’ve done? Do you like breaking up long runs or prefer to get it all done in one straight shot?

 

 

 


Baystate Marathon Training: Week 2

Happy Labor Day!

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend! I for one, felt like I was due for a day off and fully plan on soaking in the extra time to myself today.🙂

So last week, I touched on my first real/full week of training for Baystate. I’m not starting from scratch, but it’s the beginning of my focused training plan for Baystate since I signed up for this race pretty last minute (not exactly advisable for the marathon distance but oh well). After being pretty stoked with Week 1, I’d have to sum up Week 2 in one word (or syllable for that matter):

Meh.

There was really nothing too great about this week, apart from Saturday’s long run. Frankly, it didn’t even include much running.

Monday: Rest day after Sunday’s successful 15-miler.

Tuesday: 5 miles nice and easy. By my Garmin, the average pace on this was right around 10 min/mile. Right where I want to be for those recovery miles. I was happy I got this run in during the morning because that afternoon, I flew to Charlotte for a work trip.

Wednesday: No running. In an ordinary week, this would have been a prime day for a hard effort, but my coworkers and I were up and working by 8 and basically worked straight through till bedtime. Part of our trip was touring a venue that we’ll be putting on a race at in the coming months and it entailed driving 4-wheelers around the trails to plan the course. This was my first time 4-wheeling and I discovered that I’m pretty horrendous at it. I tend to be nervous biking on nice, paved roads. Well, throw me in the woods on some uneven trails, with plenty of trees and ditches, and I get even more nervous, which in turn leads to panic. End result? Me on the ground, with a sore butt and a 4-wheeler on top of me. I walked away with only a few minor bumps and bruises so despite it being pretty embarrassing, I guess I’ll call that a victory (sort of).

Thursday: After hitting some horrendous traffic driving to the airport to catch our flight back, my coworker and I sprinted through the Charlotte airport. So, I guess that was my speedwork for the week.😉

Friday: I was thinking I would run an easy 6-miler in the morning before heading home for the long weekend. As soon as I started running though, I felt slow and sluggish. Both of my calves felt tight with knots. I got progressively more grumpy about it as I ran and decided to call it just after 3 miles. I think my body just had not reset from all the traveling.

Saturday: I did my long run on Saturday this past weekend since I was volunteering with our running club on Sunday at a trail race. After reading up some on specificity in marathon training (this just refers to the idea that you should tailor your training workouts to match your race day goals), I decided I wanted to aim for negative splits and to do the last 5 miles at goal marathon pace. After Friday’s fail of a run, I didn’t know what to expect from my legs.

My mom and I set out at around 8 am after a quick breakfast of half a sweet potato warmed up with some maple syrup (I’m trying to experiment a bit with my fueling techniques). We did the first 5 together at a nice, comfortable pace. From there, we split up since we were aiming for different distances. I went out to tackle the next 13 miles, but I broke it down into chunks, each with specific pace goals. For miles 6-10, I focused on keeping my splits at 9:30/mile. For the most part, I was dead on with this. For miles 10-13, I worked on gradually increasing the pace so that the goal pace miles wouldn’t feel like too much of a shock to my body. I was around 9 – 9:15/mile for these 3 miles. Then, I finally got to the race pace miles. By the time I hit these, I really felt like I had almost finished the run. Even though I still had 5 miles to go, it was the last “chunk”, which made it seem much more manageable. Unfortunately, I hadn’t timed it quite right, and I hit some killer hills in Mile 14, so that split was not quite where I wanted it to be. Apart from that though, I did pretty good. I had a few that were 8:55/mile (a little slow), a couple that were right on, and then for my last mile, I ran an 8:33! Negative split success!!! This run gave me a lot more confidence after Friday, and I feel ready to dive into Week 3 now. I won’t be traveling at all for the next 3 weeks or so, so that will give me some time to really start focusing on ramping up the mileage. I’m pretty excited.🙂

Happy Labor Day!

If you’re experiencing a crappy run, are you more likely to call it quits or do you try to gut it out?

 


PINK Trekz Titanium Headphones Review

Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Trekz Titanium for 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! Thank you!

Hello Friends!

Remember how I mentioned the Aftershokz headphones I’d been using in my Things I’m Loving Lately [Running Edition] post? As promised, I’m back to give you the complete low-down on this awesome new piece of gear.

Trekz Titanium Headphones ReviewLet me first start by saying that I have ALWAYS been a runner with headphones. I love making playlists and listening to music when I run. I always just used to use the headphones that came with my iPhone. Yes, they sometimes slipped out of my ears on particularly sweaty runs, and yes – I’d occasionally get the cord caught in my fuel belt, but I made do.

More important than the practical problems with running with these headphones, are the safety concerns. I always made sure to keep my music fairly low so that I could pick up on the sounds of cars driving near me and other runners and bicyclists, but even so, it’s a little risky. Especially with all the scary stuff that’s been happening for female runners lately (if you haven’t heard on the news, Runners World published an article detailing a slew of attacks that you can catch up on here).

Enter the Trekz Titanium wireless headphones from Aftershokz.

Trekz Titanium Headphones

I received a pair of these to test out as part of my ambassadorship with Bibrave, and so far, I’m a big fan. Here’s a quick overview on how they actually work:

  • They connect to your phone through Bluetooth (no cord, yay!). I had no issues connecting my headphones and have yet to experience any issues pairing the devices.
  • They don’t actually go in your ears, which is why they are a safer alternative to typical headphones! The transducers sit on your cheekbones, just outside your ears. This photo from Aftershokz shows how they are meant to be worn –

Pink Trekz Titanium Headphones

  • The volume and power buttons sit on the right side, behind your ear. It’s taken me a few times wearing them to get used to remembering where to go to adjust the volume, but that’s because I’m just so used to my old headphones.
  • You really can hear your music perfectly, while ALSO picking up on all the noises of your surroundings. I wore these on a long run I did on Sunday with a running buddy and was able to carry on a conversation, while having the comfort of my music for the  challenging parts of the run where there wasn’t much talking going on.
  • A full charge of these headphones is supposed to last around 6 hours. So far, I’ve probably used them for a cumulative total of 4 hours and haven’t experienced any battery issues.
  • I thought they would bounce around on my head and annoy me, but they didn’t. Once I had them on properly, they really didn’t move around much at all. They are also sweat-resistant so they didn’t slip around even on my sweatiest runs. See? I’m all smiles using them on last Saturday’s run.🙂

Trekz Titanium Headphones

  • The Trekz Titanium headphones are priced at $129.99. Yes, that might seem expensive, but I did a little research, and that is actually quite reasonable for wireless Bluetooth headphones. Many pairs run for closer to $200.

So all of that would be enough to make these headphones a pretty sweet piece of gear, but there’s MORE! I received a limited edition pair of PINK Trekz Titanium. That’s because Aftershokz has partnered with the non-profit organization Bright Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month and will be donating 25% (!!!) of their proceeds from the sales of Pink Trekz Titanium headphones to Bright Pink from September 1st – October 31st. Not only that, but anytime the hashtag #AwareWithPink is used on social media platforms, Aftershokz will donate an additional 25 cents to Bright Pink.

All in all, I’m really impressed. Both with the quality of the product, and with the partnership with Bright Pink (Aftershokz released this blog post detailing the reasons behind the campaign that I definitely recommend checking out!). 25% is a HUGE portion of proceeds to be donating, and I think it’s just fantastic that Aftershokz is going above and beyond like this.

So, if you’re interested in getting involved or purchasing yourself an awesome new pair of headphones, the pink Trekz Titanium go on sale tomorrow (September 1st)! Purchase a pair before October 31st to have that 25% go to Bright Pink. Additionally, because Aftershokz is so awesome, they are partnering with Bibrave to offer customers a free small storage case with the purchase of the Pink Titanium Trekz. Add the item to your cart, and then use code PINK at checkout.

Do you run with headphones? Have you ever experienced issues with them falling out or getting tangled?


Baystate Marathon Training Weekly Recap

Happy Monday everyone!

This past week has been filled with lots of running and Baystate preparation! Obviously, I’ve been doing plenty of running this summer, but my decision to sign up to do the full marathon at Baystate with my mom in October was a recent one. The week before last, I was in Utah and while I ran the Hobble Creek Half, it was not exactly a consistent week of running by any means.

That means that it was really only this past week that my official training begun. I’m pretty stoked with how it went – 41.5 miles for the week! For a lot of runners, this wouldn’t seem like very high mileage but my schedule has been so strange this summer with travel that it’s been very hard for me to find the time to get 25 miles done in a week, so I’m pretty proud of this. Here’s how it broke down:

Monday – 3 easy miles. I was still recovering from Saturday’s half marathon, so I made sure to keep this VERY easy – 9:48/mile average pace. I think it helped shake out my legs too because I felt pretty solid the next day.

Tuesday – 7 miles, 4 at goal marathon pace. The goal pace I am aiming for this time around is an 8:45, which works out to just over a 3:49 marathon. I’m hoping this is not too ambitious given the shorter window I have to train. I did a pretty good job with these splits, running 8:42, 8:42, 8:52, and an 8:47. I felt like I had to keep double-checking my pace on my watch though. I’m going to have to practice hitting this pace a lot because right now, my body doesn’t really know what it’s supposed to feel like.

As a sidenote, I recently heard about a study that looked at the fastest finishers of the Boston Marathon by age group. The study analyzed the training paces of the finishers and found that those who were fastest in their age groups had the widest disparity in their training paces, meaning their easy runs were VERY easy, but then on their hard days, they really brought the speed. This just reconfirmed to me that this is something I need to continue to work on. I need to give myself permission to run at a pace that seems almost insanely slow on my easy/recovery days, while continuing to push on those days when I want to hit that marathon pace or do speed work.

Wednesday – Rest day.🙂

Thursday – Mystryde Endurance class (If you’re curious about these classes, you can check out the descriptions of them here). I covered 6.5 miles of grueling hills and intervals. Most of the intervals I was doing were around 7:24-7:30/mile, but I even had a few sprints thrown in there in the 6:40 range! It feels kind of scary to run that fast on a treadmill, but I didn’t fly off so no harm done.😉

Mystryde Boston | 2 Generations RunningFriday – 4 miles super easy on the treadmill at the gym. Friday’s weather felt like Florida had decided to send a little taste of their climate – so hot and humid and disgusting. It was still hot out when I got home from work in the evening, so easy miles on the treadmill it was. In keeping with my new plan, I kept these miles SUPER slow – all over 10 min/mile. It was kind of fun! I watched repeats of The Real Housewives of the OC while I ran (this is Guilty Pleasure #2 to The Bachelor/Bachelorette).

Saturday – Originally, I was thinking I’d only do 3 miles. But then, I realized that if I went only a couple miles further, I could break 40 miles for the week, which was too exciting to pass up. I got out pretty early in the morning and managed a pretty comfortable 6-miler, at 9:28 min/mile average. I paused for a squinty selfie along the way.🙂

Trekz Titanium HeadphonesSunday: Long run day! I did 15 miles total, 12 on challenging (and crazy hilly) trails with a work friend, and then I finished up with 3 miles on the treadmill. I decided to simulate the whole running fast on tired legs idea, and pushed the 3 treadmill miles starting at around 8:40/mile and finishing at 8:05/mile. It’s crazy, but those 3 treadmill miles felt SO MUCH easier than the 12 miles I did on the trails, where my average pace was 12:38/mile. LOL. Trails will always slow you down, and all the elevation gain just made it that much worse. Still, it was fun to get a change of scenery and tick off the miles with a friend. We got some pretty nice views too.🙂

Photo Aug 28, 1 07 23 PMI’ll be traveling on Tuesday of this week again, though it will be a quick trip so I’m hoping it doesn’t screw things up too much as I head into my second week.

Hope you all have a great week!