13.1, 5, 10k, 10k, 10 miles, and 10k

Whoops, I seemed to have missed the last couple of weekend’s long runs. Here’s a brief recap:

1/23/16 – I did the Run Free virtual half-marathon in the PureConnect 4s.

2016-01-23 18.01.35

1/24 was a 5-mile recovery run, in the Kinvara 5.

1/25 – 1/29/16 I did another virtual challenge – 5 5ks in 5 days.

1/30/16 – 10k in Kinvara 5

2016-01-30 15.25.31

1/31/16 – 10k in Newton Distance IV

2/6/16 – 10 miles in PureFlow 1

2016-02-06 18.04.27

2/7/16 – 10k in Newton Fate

I haven’t had any foot or shoe issues lately!

And in other news, I’ve been selected as an Ambassador Captain for SkirtSports! I’ll be doing a separate post on that soon (with a nice little discount code), so stay tuned :)

The Friday Five – Running Shoes!!

If there’s one thing I can always talk about, it’s running shoes!

runningshoes-buymore

My number 1 is, and will always be the Brooks PureFlow 2. I don’t even want to think about how much money I’ve spent trying to find a replacement since they got discontinued.  I’ve gone through 5 pairs of the PF2, and even though the “newest” ones have right around 700 miles on them now, I STILL grab for them as my first choice. Because of that though, I will (usually) put them back and go with something else.

Decisions, decisions...

Decisions, decisions…

My other favorites can (and often do!) change depending on the workout (speed, easy, hills, distance), or on how my feet feel on that particular day.  As of right this very moment here’s my top 5:

Brooks PureFlow 2 <3

Brooks PureFlow 2. Best. Shoes. EVER! 


Newton Distance IV. I really do like these shoes and they're super comfy! The color is perfect too :)

Newton Distance IV. I really do like these shoes! They’re super comfy and the color is perfect too ;) I think the reason I don’t wear these more often is that I don’t want to “ruin” them! Haha!


New Balance Zante.  I thought these were going to be the new "go-to" shoe, but they are just a tad too narrow. Not from side to side or front to back, but from top to bottom (does that even make sense?). They were good for up to half marathon distance, but then caused blisters on the tops of my toes and I haven't worn them since. I'm still putting them in my top 5 though :)

New Balance Zante.
I thought these were going to be the new “go-to” shoe, but they are just a tad too narrow. Not from side to side or front to back, but from top to bottom (does that even make sense?). Instep maybe? They were good for half marathon distance, but at around 17 miles I got blisters on the tops of my toes and I haven’t worn them since. I’m still putting them in my top 5 though :)


 

Brooks PureFlow 1. I lucked into these shoes! The owner at my LRS knew I was desperately searching for PF2s, so when he found a pair of the originals he put them aside for me.  The day I got them (Tuesday) I ran my 2nd fastest 5k ever (27:01) and they felt perfect! Since then the right shoe has been bothering me a little like it's a tad too narrow. I think I just need to adjust the laces to get them "just right." I'm reserving a final opinion until after a few more wears, but they are definitely in the top 5!

Brooks PureFlow 1.
I lucked into these shoes! The owner at my LRS knew I was desperately searching for PF2s, so when he found a pair of the originals he put them aside for me. The day I got them (Tuesday) I ran my 2nd fastest 5k ever (27:01) and they felt perfect! Since then the right shoe has been bothering me a little like it’s a tad too narrow. I think I just need to adjust the laces to get them “just right.” I’m reserving a final opinion until after a few more wears, but they are definitely in the top 5!


 

Newton Fate. Another great pair of shoes that are good for half marathon distance. I don't think I've tried to wear these for any longer distances because they are just a little too loose. But again, I'm going to try re-lacing to see if I can get a better fit. These should actually be good for longer distances because they have a bit more cushioning in the forefoot area.

Newton Fate.
Another great pair of shoes that are good for half marathon distance. I don’t think I’ve tried to wear these for any longer distances because they are just a little too loose. But again, I’m going to try re-lacing to see if I can get a better fit. These should actually be good for longer distances because they have a bit more cushioning in the forefoot area.

 


I could easily open a used shoe business ;)

I could easily open a used shoe business ;)

Another rack full!


 

If you’re wanting to know how a certain shoe fits, or if you’re looking for a shoe recommendation I can probably help you out – Lol!  But keep in mind that certain shoes are made for certain foot types. I have really high arches, run on my forefoot, and only mildly pronate. And I prefer light-weight, but not the “barefoot” feel with my shoes. For these reasons I wear “performance neutral” shoes. I probably wouldn’t be of much help to someone who heel strikes and is looking for an ultra-cushiony stability shoe. But I’d be happy to try!

Semi organized :)

How many pairs of running shoes do you have?

(Today’s post was inspired by my friend Judy, and is linked to the “Friday Five” by Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run.)

Last Week’s Training and (more) New Shoes

Happy Tuesday! Here’s how last week finished out:

July 6 - 12, 2015

July 6 – 12, 2015

I failed on my 18-miler Saturday. I procrastinated too long and didn’t get out the door until after 10am. It was already 90 degrees! I made it about 5 miles before my head started pounding and my stomach began cramping up (and not my usual tummy issues), so I figured it best if I head back home. Then, instead of finishing up on the treadmill, I opted for some retail therapy at Road Runner Sports ;)

They didn’t have 2 of the shoes I wanted to try on (PureConnect and PureGrit), but they did have the PureFlow 4 which I’m happy to report are WAY better than the 3s and about as close to the 2s as I’ll probably ever get! However, I didn’t get them (yet). This will probably sound stupid but I didn’t care for the color choice they had there! And actually, after checking online I don’t really care for ANY of the color choices :(

After trying on about 5 or 6 different shoes, this is what I had it narrowed down to:

Newton Distance IV and Brooks PureFlow 4

Newton Distance IV and Brooks PureFlow 4

I sigh every time I look at those PF 4s! If only they were black, instead of blue…

And so I ended up with another pair of Newtons instead. Those are the Distance IV and they are really light and comfortable. And bright yellow!! Yay!

I didn’t end up buying them from the store though. They had a problem with my VIP status and while the manager was on the phone with headquarters I looked up the shoes on Running Warehouse. They were over $30 cheaper! So what could have been close to $200 (I also had some socks picked out) only cost me $130. That means I still have a little extra money, and Hmmm, tomorrow is Prime Day on Amazon. I wonder if those PF 4s will be on any kind of special? ;)

 

3 More Sleeps til Marathon!

I don’t know why WP hates me so much. I haven’t been able to log into my blog for over 2 weeks. Luckily, when I just went in to approve a comment I was able to get in. Whatever…

So, Saturday is the big day! I received the final instructions for race day from the RD (who, by the way, is quite hilarious!) which you can see HERE. Seriously, read it. It’s funny :)

My shoe choice is narrowed down to either the Brooks Launch 2 or the Brooks PureFlow 2 (yes, I pulled the last pair from retirement – they still feel good and are my absolute favorite shoes EVER).  I’m about 97% sure the PF2s are going to win.

2015-06-07 11.27.52

Still working on the outfit also. I have the sports bra narrowed down to 2 (VS or Champion – I’ll spare the details/pics ;)), the shorts down to 3 (Brooks, Nike, and Champion), shirt down to 2. But hey, I know which socks I’m wearing!

Best socks ever!

Best socks ever!

I’ll be wearing the Camelbak vest so I’m leaning towards the bright yellow tank – a girl’s gotta somewhat match right? I’m considering wearing an older Garmin (either the 305 or 210) because of the battery. The 15 is supposed to be 8 hours, but I don’t think so. It almost died at 4 on a long run.

I’m going to skip wearing a visor and do a bandana instead. That way I can wet it and put it back on if needed. It’s supposed to be a scorcher on Saturday – 90 degrees at 7am! The sunblock is already packed in the vest, as are a few Pocketfuel almond butter/gels, and the Gymboss timer (I’m going to use the :30/:30 run/walk intervals).

As for goals, I really just want to finish – upright and pain-free. I do kind of have a time goal in mind even though that’s probably stupid considering the weather, and the fact that it’s a partial trail run with a monster hill (Mount Cuckoo) that I’ll have to tackle either 2 or 4 times! But I’ll put it out there anyways. 4:59:59.

I’m sure there’s more I want to say, but my brain is in a fog right now! So, if I don’t check back in before the marathon, I’ll definitely post afterwards!

Any last minute tips or advice? Please feel free to share!!

 

Marathon Training – Weeks 14 and 15

I can honestly say that I’m ready for the marathon!! Especially after Saturday’s 22(.81) mile long run!

Did you hear that?! I ran almost 23 miles!!! And it didn’t suck!!

Switching my long runs to Saturday, and using :30/:30 run/walk intervals have made all the difference. And I also bought a(nother) new pair of shoes just for long runs – the Brooks Launch 2. They have just enough forefoot cushion, and the arch support is perfect! I bought them on Friday and wore them Saturday. No break-in period needed. No blisters. They are awesome! So that means I have the shoe choice narrowed down to either the Launch or the Newton Fates.

Brooks Launch 2

Brooks Launch 2

Newton Fate

Newton Fate

My husband bought me the Camelbak marathon vest as an early birthday present because I was worried about how to carry fuel/water, etc…  I’ve tried different fuel belts but none of them have worked out (I have no hips). The vest was wonderful! No chafing, plenty of storage pockets, adjustable. I only filled it halfway because I was worried about carrying an extra 6-7 pounds (it holds 70 ounces), so there was some sloshing that took a little while to get used to, but overall it was comfortable and I highly recommend it!

Still smiling at mile 22 :)

Still smiling at mile 22 :)

Another early birthday present I received was a Gymboss timer (thanks Natalie!!!) and it worked out perfect also. It was very easy to set up, and when the timer ran out I only had to push 2 buttons to restart it. I clipped it onto the shoulder of the vest so that I could hear it over my music, and it was plenty loud enough.

And here’s how the last 2 weeks of training went:

Week 16. Only ran 4 days and still got in 30 miles!

Week 15. Only ran 4 days and still got in 30 miles!

Week 14

I really don’t mean to go 2 weeks between postings. I think time just gets away from me. I will try to do better :) Have a great week everyone!

Shoe Search Continues…

Let me get the whining right out of the way…

The shoes are no good. Yes, they fit perfect and are very comfortable. Until I ran in them. Instead of trying to explain what it is about them, let me just say that I’m back to searching for an everyday, light-weight, minimal yet cushion-y running shoe. In the meantime I’ll be trying to eek a few more miles out of my old PF2s, and alternating with the Newtons and the Ghosts.

I might be a wee bit OCD with running shoes.

And there's at least 6 pairs not shown here!

       And this isn’t even all of them!

Ahem, anyways… Today’s run was an easy 5k. Well, other than the shoes it was an “easy” 5k ;) I did the same intervals as yesterday, but upped the pace a little bit to finish in under 30 minutes.

2015-01-17 14.46.55

Tomorrow I’m going to slow it down and shoot for 10 miles. Instead of listening to music, I’m either going to finish up season 7 of Doctor Who or listen to an audio book.

I joined Kindle Unlimited on Amazon last night, and the book I started listening to (Pines by Blake Crouch) is really good so far! I was trying to read (listen to) Odd Thomas, but it’s so slow-going that it puts me to sleep. Definitely not the case with Pines!

This morning’s weigh in was 117.4 and here’s what I ate:

  • Breakfast: 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • Lunch: Chipotle Black beans w/roasted red peppers and scallions, Minute brand Whole Grain Medley, and Red Hot Blues (yes, I eat this almost every day)
  • Dinner: Whole wheat sandwich thin with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a Nature’s Promise Chipotle Black Bean veggie burger, homemade potato wedges (recipe HERE) and BBQ sauce.
2015-01-17 21.00.15

Homemade potato wedges seasoned with Masa Harina, garlic powder, onion powder, Hot Mexican chili powder, and Hungarian paprika. Delicious!

Xxxs and Oods, Laura

Run Streak Ruined, Concussion, and New Shoes

Yesterday morning when I took Lucy for her walk I slipped and fell on the ice, and in doing so I cracked my head against the curb. I didn’t really think much about it at the time- I was more embarrassed about someone seeing me. I got right back up and continued on with my day…

After being at work for a couple hours my head started to hurt, I was dizzy, nauseous, and couldn’t focus on what I was doing. Long story short, my husband came and took me to the emergency room. 6 hours, several tests and a cat-scan later I was released after being advised there was no bleeding or swelling, so it’s “just” a concussion.

Here's an attractive look, right?!

Here’s an attractive look, right?!

I’m feeling okay today – just a headache and still a bit dizzy, but other than that I’m good. I’m more upset about ruining my running streak. And to top things off my new shoes came today, but I’m not “allowed” to run for 72 hours which equals Thursday. Ugh!

2015-01-13 13.46.06

So that’s it from this end. Lucy and I are spending the day in bed watching season 7 of Doctor Who.

XXXs and Oods, Laura

New Shoes! #writeandrun31 Day 9

I mentioned yesterday that I’m on the hunt to find a new pair of PureFlow 2s and guess what?! Yep, I found some today! I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of checking the “Big Kids” sizes before now because not only was I able to get them in this awesome bright yellow color, but they were crazy cheap too! They should be here Monday or Tuesday, so I’ll report back once I get them on my greedy little feet! I can’t wait!!

And I LOVE the color!Today’s run was 3.5 miles of Level 5 Hills. I took it nice and easy, finishing in 38:33 (11mm pace – 5.5mph).

2015-01-09 16.15.58

I’m loving the new Garmin so far! It’s very easy to use, and if I sit for too long, it “tells” me to “Move!” This would be the perfect watch if only it had Bluetooth. Since it doesn’t, I have to plug it into the computer to upload everything. Not that big of a deal :) The step count is a bit higher than what the Fitbit shows, but the calorie count matches. So I’m not sure which is more accurate, but they are close enough that I don’t really think it matters. In other words, bye-bye Fitbit.

That’s about it for today. Here’s what I ate:

  • Breakfast: Muesli with walnuts & non-dairy chocolate chips with 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Lunch: Refried beans with roasted red peppers and scallions with my homemade chipotle sauce, and one of those Minute brand microwaveable cups of Whole Grain Medley (brown rice, barley and quinoa)
  • Dinner: Pueblo Pie with salsa, guacamole, and pretzel shells

And this morning’s weigh-in was 115.8

Meatless Monday – Fiesta Corn (and a C25k update!)

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. I took it easy on Saturday-  caught up on my DVR’d shows from the week, and then spent a few hours in the kitchen, making a couple of my regular recipes (Black Bean and Sriracha Pasta, and BBQ Black Bean and Quinoa burgers), and testing out a couple new ones. One was just “meh,” but the other, a side dish I’m calling Fiesta Corn, came out really good!

2014-11-16 18.50.13

Fiesta Corn

  • 4 cups corn (I used a combination of sweet white and sweet yellow, frozen but thawed)
  • 1 Tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 4 oz diced green chilies
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat Vegenaise
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash extra spicy seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Melt 1/2 the Tbsp of Earth Balance in a large skillet then saute the corn until it starts to brown. Then pour the corn into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt the other 1/2 Tbsp of Earth Balance and saute the onion, garlic, and jalapeno until it all starts to brown. Then add it to the bowl of corn.
  4. Add the roasted red peppers, green chilies, Vegenaise, and spices. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour into PAM-sprayed (or parchment lined) baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes.
  6. Serve!

I portioned this into 4 servings with the following nutritional info:

Fiesta Corn Recipe   SparkRecipes

My running is also going really well! This last week was Week 5 of C25k:

  • Day 1 (Wednesday 11/12/14): 3.25 miles in 31:08
  • Day 2 (Thursday 11/13/14): 3.33 miles in 31:00
  • Day 3 (Friday 11/14/14): 3.37 miles in 30:00

And for my long run yesterday I did all 3 days of week 5 consecutively, and then added a couple minutes at the end to hit 10 miles (1:36:49). All running this week was done via treadmill, in Brooks PureFlow 2.

I’m happy to report that I’m back down to 117.8 as of this morning! I have been adamant about tracking everything that goes into my mouth for about 2 weeks now, and it’s definitely been helping! I was going back and forth between My Fitness Pal and SparkPeople, but have once again decided that SparkPeople works best for me, especially since all my “regular” foods are already saved there.

And that’s about it from this end. Have a great week everyone!

 

Week 8 HM Training Recap

This week didn’t start out so great – I missed my easy/recovery run on Monday, and was home sick on Tuesday. I did get in 7.5 miles with Lucy those 2 days though. The rest of the week went as planned, and my long run today was great! No tummy issues, and the weather outside was perfect- about 79 degrees, overcast, and no humidity :)

Naturally, my training log is at work, so here’s a screen-shot of my Daily Mile log:

 

week8hmtrainingrecap

 

And from today’s run:

Pretty good time considering I did 2:1 intervals :)

My virtual training buddy, Tammy, didn’t have such a great long run. Maybe you could stop by her page and give a little encouragement? She’s been doing such a fantastic job with her training, and I’m so proud of her!