Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Two more training runs...

Last week, we went on our FIRST family vacation since Oliver was born (2/2011!) that didn't involve visiting at least one set of grandparents. We booked our flight one day when we had ten inches of snow falling… and I almost convinced Ben to stay a few more days. 

 We were down in Singer Island, FL and it was wonderful. The boys were angels on the flight - Miles slept both ways and Oliver was hanging out watching tv and eating (thanks, JetBlue!). It was 5 hours door-to-door thanks to a flight out of our local airport and despite a snafu at the rental car place. (Not surprisingly, only one employee works the midnight shift.)

I managed to sneak away for a nice long run one day. I was planning on going around Lake Worth (see map below), but when I got going I mapped it and realized that it would be about 14 miles. Oops. I guess it didn't seem that long driving around it? So I did an out-and-back that ended up being a little over 9 1/2 miles. I definitely walked the last bit to cool down and it helped me not feel as stiff or sore the next morning. 

The weather was beautiful although local Floridians claimed it was downright arctic. I ran in shorts, tshirt, hat and sunglasses. It was a perfect 65 degrees. Having traveled over 1,000 miles since its last use, my Garmin decided not to kick in until about mile 5. Awesome. I also left my iPod at home. Thank you, Pitbull Pandora station for keeping me company!

A nice long run in the sun! 

Happy, chunky baby soaking up the sunshine!

Just a giant sandbox...

This past Sunday, I managed to sneak out for an afternoon run with two friends who have a 4 month old and a 5 month old, so they know how treasured "me" time is!
We did a few really cold, snowy miles but they went by really quickly between the conversation and watching our step on the not-so-shoveled sidewalks. 

Up next - a long run (probably single stroller in tow) on Super Bowl Sunday before Ben goes to the big game. 

Go Broncos!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Newbie essentials

As I set out onto week 2 of our half marathon training, I find myself back in the "newbie" saddle trying to remember all of the necessities I relied on during previous trainings. Obviously this time around with two boys there are some others - but those will be discussed in a future post. Here are my top four items to consider purchasing as you transition from a casual runner to training for 13.1! 

First, and most importantly: BODY GLIDE. 
This is vital, especially for those larger chested women or those of us who are nursing. I put it around where my sports bra rubs (front, center, bottom) as well as under my arm pits because that's where chaffing is most likely to happen. When it gets raw and red (then scabby) it's pretty painful. Rub it on just like deodorant. Super easy. I've heard of people using it on their feet but never needed to myself - or never found the desire/need to. Not yet at least. 

 Secondly: gu/blocks. 
I picked up a bunch of these today at Sports Authority (had an Xmas exchange). I remembered that buying these were slightly intimidating last time, so I'm planning on bringing these to a long run to let the mommas try 'em out. The Gu energy gel is like a thin, frosting consistency - and you really have to like the flavor. Lemon and vanilla were my favorite - not sure about the chocolate… some of these have caffeine (20 mg) but I'll be avoiding those. The Gu chomps (similar to Shot Blocks) are gummies and they're BIG. I used to cut them up into quarters before putting them into a small ziploc bag.  The energy gel says "15 before every 45" along with hydration, although I always had it 5-6 miles into a run over 10 miles. I've used Swedish fish, candy corn, pretzels, gummy bears - whatever is lying around the house that would give me an extra burst of energy an hour into a run!

Third: hydration/fuel belt. 
I have a pretty pink and grey one but can't find a picture of it online. I haven't needed to use this as I've had the stroller (with all of its compartments and pockets…) but this is great to hold water/Gatorade (obviously!), fuel (shot blocks/gu) and keys/phone. Many of them have a few smaller bottles around the belt, I happen to like the way one bottle at the back feels. For some reason, it keeps me focused on my posture as I run. 

Lastly (for now): sleeves. 
These are probably the most intense appearing items but one of the most practical. Think about starting off a run in a long-sleeved shirt and warming up as you run. What do you do with the shirt? Tie it around your waist? Talk about annoying as you run. Sleeves achieve the same thing as a ls shirt without the bulk. Just slip 'em into your shorts (one end) and you barely notice them as you run. I've been known to roll them down (or up!) half way in transition. 

Any other must-haves I'm forgetting? 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

7 (yes, SEVEN!) mile run

Somehow (!) we managed a seven mile run this morning, although we were only aiming for 5-6. 

I met up with five awesome mommas (three with strollers) at Greenwich Point and we rocked our first group run. It was a general consensus that we each ran way farther than we intended, or than we would have alone. This is an example of when the "mob mentality" can be beneficial. 

My GPS watch ran out of batteries about a half mile into the run… fantastic… so, without iPod or pace monitor - we ran. We chatted and we ran. A firm believer in a good song to ramp up the running, it's sometimes nice to take a break from tuning out. As moms, we share some common experiences and it was really refreshing to talk about things that other friends might consider TMI (hence why I will not reference them here).  I didn't take any pictures, although I should have snapped one of the group before we each headed our own ways… here are some photos of the same route two years ago (Christmas trees and all) - it's definitely an old faithful.

Here's the training plan I'll be using: 
 I've found it best to do a three up/one back plan for long runs so I build but have light weeks to recover. That's what worked last time (even though that was two (gasp!) years ago. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Am I crazy?

Needing motivation to run for distance (plus lose those last 5lbs!), I signed up for the Greenwich Half Marathon on April 6th. Yes, that's TWELVE weeks away and I am eleven weeks post baby. Nuts. (Interested? Click here!)

Why? you might ask… I did it because I've been feeling great. I did a 4 mile run with the boys a few weeks ago - a 6 miler on the treadmill and a few kick @$$ tempo treadmill runs. Not going for a PR (although it would be nice, Mere….), just trying to get back into it.

The BEST part about it is that I ::somehow:: roped no less than six other moms into doing it with me! Not only will group runs be more fun but we'll have each other to motivate, pose questions to, and support each other as we go through this. Many of the moms will be running with strollers, so it's really important that we find stroller-friendly routes that aren't too repetitive (loops - yuck!).  There are six or seven of us going tomorrow, and four will be with stroller - although I think I'm the only one stuck with a double. After week 3 or 4, I'll be leaving one (if not both!) boys at home.

Most of the moms have done some races in the past (5Ks, 10Ks, Turkey Trots even a few halves and full marathons!) so I have a feeling it'll be an awesome group to run with. Friends are inviting friends, it should be super fun.

We're doing our first run tomorrow at Greenwich Point tomorrow morning, and this is where the race is come April. It looks like a fantastic course - most importantly flat! I think we'll try to run the majority of it towards the end of our training to familiarize ourselves with the roads and turns.

We're going to use an adjusted version of Hal Higdon's Novice 2 Training Plan. Speaking only for myself, I can only commit to running 2x/week especially through March when I'm back at work. We're also doing long runs on Sundays, not Saturdays. I'll post the updated version of our plan once I finalize it.

Off to get a good night's sleep (hopefully, c'mon Miles!) and rock 5-6 miles in the a.m.