Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Chicago - Am I ready?

Have I have seriously been slacking off on my training for my upcoming half? Between the record rainfall, record high temperatures, vacation, and working on becoming a social butterfly, I feel as though I haven't dedicated as much energy to training for this race as I did my first half last year. It may very well be that I'm less intimidated by the distance having done it before.

I did a 10 mile training run Saturday which will be my longest run before the race. I plan to do a 7 mile run long this week. I'm still pretty sore after the 10 miler. I ran errands after my workout and attended an event later that night, so that might be attributing to my lethargy. I did get one fun errand taken care of, shopping for new running shoes! I visited Fleet Feet Sports Chicago where I bought my last pair of shoes two years ago. I love this place because they really take their time to help you find the right fit. I love my Brooks Ravenna, but at two years old, I thought it was time to replace them. I was open to going with a new brand and tried out a pair Mizuno and New Balance. I hated them. I was glad I went after my run when my feet were a bit achy. When I ran on the in-store treadmill I could immediately feel where there was not enough cushion for my feet. So what did I end up with? Another pair of Brooks Ravenna. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!



I got the Ravenna 2 which is supposed to have a bit more arch support than my old version. Good for me, because I have flat feet and overpronate. Oh, and I get the men's version because I have ginormous feet (a women's size 11). I fitted for a half size smaller. I've lost around 40 pounds since I bought these shoes two years ago. I had a feeling that would happen, I've noticed I no longer need wide fit in dress shoes either since my weight loss.

Hopefully my 7 mile run will go better, with less soreness. I'll feel a little better about being prepared for the race based on how easy this run is for me! I think Bosley likes my new shoes.



Saturday, July 30, 2011

New Stuff: Nike+ SportWatch GPS powered by TomTom


I upgraded my Nike+ sports kit. I liked my using the Nike+ system with my iPod, but two things factored into the switch. 1) my obsession with GPSs, and 2) I ruined the receiver on my iPod with salt water while at the beach on vacation. My iPod still plays music (thankfully), but it no longer recognizes the Nike+ receiver.

I've taken this baby on a few spins since it arrived earlier this week. I love it. I love the idea of having increased accuracy in tracking my runs since it uses GPS. The other really nice feature is that if it ever does lose signal, it continues tracking using the shoe sensor, the same way Nike+ tracks using the iPod. I'm still learning the bells and whistles, but the functionality seems pretty straight forward and user-friendly, right out of the box. One thing I learned, you can only pause workouts for 30 minutes. I did a 10 mile run Saturday, but took a 40 minute break halfway while waiting on my running buddies to loop back from an additional 3 miles. It automatically ended my workout, so I had to start tracking a new run. It ended up recording two, 5 mile runs. No biggie, but nice to know. I'm looking forward to using it during the half in two weeks (scary).



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Running on Vacation


I took a break from work and headed to Destin, Florida for a week. Being a beach bum is definitely the life for me! I've been to Destin once before and already knew what my daily routine would be, wake up, head to the beach, enjoy the sun and surf, head to dinner, and repeat. But this visit, I wanted to incorporate running into my routine. Taking a truly leisurely vacation, with no agenda or schedule, made waking up early to workout pretty enjoyable. The temperature hit nearly 90 degrees each day by 8am, so I got going about 7am most days. The first day, I ran on the beach. I ran in my shoes on the flattest part closest to the shoreline. It was pure torture! I knew running on the sand would be challenging, but I didn't consider the sun reflecting off the the water would make me that much hotter. Plus, wearing shoes was a mistake. I was paranoid about stepping on something sharp like a jagged seashell, but the beach ended up being pretty clear. By the end of the run my shoes and socks were soaked. Running on the beach was not an enjoyable experience for me. After that, I decided to stick to the road! Here's the nice asphalt trail near the house we were staying in.


It was very well populated with runners, walkers, and bikers getting their cardio in for the day. Here's the view of our lovely vacation home from the trail. The house was AMAZING! It had an elevator that we made sure to make use of it every chance we got.


I got in a total of 10 miles for the week. Not too shabby for being on vacation. I wasn't able to incorporate a long run as part of my half training (3 weeks to go). So I have to get back on the ball this week and try to get in a 10 mile run before the race. Chicago has really been affected by the heat, so it's been challenging to get in even shorter runs. The recent rain has cooled things down again. Hopefully this cool down will last through race day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Running Skirt, Finally!

I've been scouring the Internets for an inexpensive running skirt for a while now. Some skirts are too long, some are too short, but all are too expensive in my opinion! Seriously, the average price for skirts I like is around $50. Fifty dollars, really? For what, less fabric than my long running tights? Ridiculous. I've had luck with Target's Champion workout gear. I was in my local Target last weekend and look what treasure I found, a running skirt!




With cute little shorts underneath. They have a key pocket, and most exciting was the price, a mere $17.99! Which explained why there were only 5 pair left, only one being in my size! I took my skirt on a two mile spin with the dogster this a.m. They are super comfortable with a flat waistband for wearing a running belt, and nice and breezy for the 100 degree weather we're having.




My next test run will be using Body Glide. I keep hearing rave things about it. The shorter my shorts get to accommodate the heat, the more excited I am about trying this out. More to come on the subject.

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