Wednesday, December 7, 2016

If I Could Be Like That

I've been trying to put together some sort of a race schedule for 2017. It's been really hard! I am already signed up for the Princess Half and I know I have to run Rock 'n' Roll DC again (save $15 on the half or full with promo code RUNSTEFF2016) but I'm struggling with the rest!

Usually I have my entire race schedule picked out by now. I know I do not want to run a fall marathon because I am going to run the Disney Marathon in 2018. Spring and summer are hard with weddings, pre planned trips and I just can't make a decision! There is another factor going in to my indecisiveness.

I think 2016 spoiled me. Having a year without a goal made signing up for races easy. Since time didn't matter, I could run whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I ran nine half marathons in 2016. Almost double my lifetime total! Only four of them were sub-2, well, one was two hours on the dot.

In the same respect, I think 2016 also set me back a little. Don't get me wrong, I had an incredible year! I traveled to a bunch of new places, made some amazing friends and creating memories I will hold forever. But coming off a great 2015 racing year I feel like I threw that all away.

I busted my butt for 16 weeks in the summer of 2015 to set not once but three PRs in four weeks (half marathon twice and a 6.6k). Luckily when I registered for Princess I could use my half PR as my proof of time. Guess what ladies and gentlemen, that's all gone now.

As I'm trying to decide on a spring race, none of my fall 2015 races will be accepted for proof of time. Longer races won't care about my 5k PR I set in June. I would have to use a 1:56 I ran in Chicago.

I'm sure this sounds like a totally superficial problem, but it really isn't to me. I know I am a better runner than that. I've proved it. I'm kicking myself that I didn't realize it the entire year and didn't give one race a little harder of a try.

But that is in the past. I need to focus my energy to get back to where I was. After two weeks off of running to take care of some nagging aches and pains, I'm back to training. I have a training plan and it is going to kick my butt. I'm a bundle of nerves over this, but mostly excited.

The goal for 2017 is to build the base I need to have a really great race in Disney in 2018. Plus finding myself again in the process. I need to see if I really am a sub-1:50 half marathoner or content with being a two hour one. There is so much searching to be done, and a ton of miles to get it done.

First things first, I need to finish my spring race schedule.

How do you feel looking back on 2016? Anything you wish you did differently?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Five Things Friday - 12.2

It's December. Really, IT'S DECEMBER! It really hit me after Las Vegas that 2016 was coming to an end. While 2016 was a different type of year for me, running wise, 2017 is back to business as usual.

I'm in the process of finishing my first half of 2017 race schedule but for sure my goal race is the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February. I am so pumped to get back in to racing shape and seeing what I can do.

Training for Princess officially starts on Tuesday!! LIKE TUESDAY THE 6TH! I'm mildly freaking out and overly excited.

Anyway, this edition of Five Things Friday I'm sharing my December goals. I always promise to be nothing but honest with you guys. Putting these goals out is holding me to all of it!

1. About 90 miles - I have a training plan that is super intense. It's four days a week and has a lot of tempo work. The first month has about 90 miles in it and I plan on hitting every workout.

2. Continue Strength Training - I've been keeping up on my Runners Connect strength training plan. I really do enjoy the workouts. They seem simple but will totally break a sweat. They helped me so much during my running break.

3. Cross Training Once A Week - The pool is shut down until the end of January so the nameless bike and I will be together at least once a week. I really enjoy adding biking to my routine and it can only help.

4. Roll After Every Workout - EVERY WORKOUT! I can't let my glute tighten up again so rolling it is. It's not an option anymore.

5. Hit The Pavement - I hate cold weather running. True statement. I usually take February off since I have ran a January marathon for the past three years. December will be my building to cold weather running. The only reason I will not run outside is if the weather is bad. That's it. I will run outside!

I can't believe it's already time to start training again, and for real! It's been so long and I'm ready!

What are your December goals? Any tips for winter running? 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gifts For Runners: Over $150

Let's face is, runners are incredibly difficult to shop for. We get it, we are sorry. Last week I shared with you some of my best gifts for runners under $60, and earlier this week gifts from $61 - $150. Today, the gloves are off. Here are some of my favorite gifts for runners over $150.

1. Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Global Tour Pass - So the runner in your life loves to travel and run all the races. Rock 'n' Roll has you covered. The Global Tour Pass gives your favorite runner the ability to run every race RnR offers that year, any distance. For one flat fee you don't have to worry about race registrations. No paying fees for each race, and it is super simple to register for races. I loved having one and cannot imagine not having it.

2. Garmin 230/235 - I am going to tell you why the 230 is the watch for me then you can decide. Most Garmin's offer the same features. The reason why I like the 230 is because it is run and bike focused and I can upload my workouts to my watch. I no longer have to write my workouts on my arm or constantly focus on what I needed to run. It tells me. It also has bluetooth built in so I don't have to plug my watch in to upload the data. The difference between the 230 and 235 is the added heart rate monitor build in to the watch. No more chest strap. If you are alright with the price tag, buy it. It is worth it 100%.

Plus, it can give you weekly/monthly totals and tells you if you hit a PR!
3. Mile 22 Bags - If you have noticed your favorite runner has a bunch of bibs laying around, why not re-purpose them? Mile 22 will take your bibs and make an awesome bag out of them! This way your favorite runners can carry their favorite bibs with them. They have a variety of bags to pick from, really something for everyone. If you are interested in getting one, you can use promo code "10thrive" for 10% off at checkout on all products except the cross body bag and gift cards. They have a gift card promotion right now where you buy a $25 gift card and they add $5 on! This is good until 1/1/17.

I love the finish line tote. It's adorable!
4. Race Themed Vacation - Who doesn't love going on vacation? How about you surprise your favorite runner with a race-cation? This could be a weekend trip you have always talked about going on that just happens to include a race. What about organizing a trip with all of the running friends? Running retreats are huge right now. Book one! It's an incredibly unexpected gift that anyone would love.

5. Gym Membership - Now this can be taken a few different ways. Make sure your favorite runner already goes to a gym before you tackle this. Maybe your favorite runner has been talking about trying classes or maybe swimming. Go for it! It would mean a lot to not have to pay every month for it. Plus, cross training is super important and you never know who you will meet while working out.

I hope these posts have helped make shopping for us runners a little easier. Sorry we are so difficult!

What was the best running related gift you ever received? 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Gifts For Runners: $61 - $150

Let's face it, runners are incredibly difficult to shop for. We get it, and we are sorry. Last week I shared with you a few of my gift ideas for under $60 (with a few promo codes that are still good!), but let's say you want to spend a little more money on your favorite runner. Here is a few gift ideas for runners up to $150!

1. Running Store Gift Card: Your local running store can do so much for the runner in your life. Besides shoes, there are so many goodies you can explore. It's good for a runner to have their gait looked at every so often, and your local running store is the best place for that to happen. I would recommend a gift card of at least $100.

2. New Balance Heat Tight: Winter is coming, and it is terrible. A ton of big races require winter training and winter running clothes are clutch. These New Balance Heat Tights are really neat. They have a fleece layer inside of them but aren't bulky. They have reflective touches and a zipper down the bottom to easily take them on and off. Oh, and a drawstring! These pants are $89.99 and totally worth it. They can be used on their own or as a top layer. You can thank me later.

2. Mizuno Breath Thermal Jacket: You need to keep your favorite runner warm and dry, and a Mizuno Breath Thermal Jacket is perfect. It is light and reflective and even has a hood and thumb holes! Breath Thermal is an awesome material that uses your body heat to generate heat. The colors are great and the fit is very true to size. It's $110 and a great deal for everything you get.

3. Running Shoes: Here is what you do. Go right now and find your favorite runners shoes. You can take a picture of them and the size (on the tongue) and take it to your local running store. Buy said shoes. You will win the holidays. I promise. Yes, it is that easy.

4. Race Entry: Your favorite runner has been thinking about a race. You know you have heard all about the plans. There are a ton of reasons why registration has not been purchased. Take the hint and do it for them! Race entries are a great gift! If you are thinking about registering for some Rock 'n' Roll races (Arizona, NOLA, DC, Nashville, Mexico City or Dallas) I can save you $15 on the half or full marathon registration. Use promo code RUNSTEFF2016. Also, if you sign up for a full marathon with Rock 'n' Roll you get a finishers jacket! Really cool!

5. Race VIP Experience: I have been lucky to do two race VIP experiences and they have both been fantastic. Most VIP experiences include a separate bag check, private bathrooms, food, drinks and a post race massage. Some include other perks too, each one is different. If your favorite runner has already registered for a race, add it on! It is really easy and very much worth it.

6. Massage: If your favorite runner is like me, we kinda overlook some recovery methods. Massage is a great way to release some tension and work out some of the kinks. I would recommend you go to a local day spa rather than a chain for this. It is much better to support a local business that genuinely wants to help you.

7. Roll Recovery R8: Now, this is a wildcard gift. The Roll Recovery R8 is an intense product. If your favorite runner complains of IT Band problems, this is what you buy. The R8 gets in to the places most rollers miss and provides a different type of relief.  The Roll Recovery website has tons of videos on the best way to use your new R8. You are also supporting a small business, which is a great feature as well.

8. Custom Training Plan: You registered your favorite runner for the race they have been talking about running. Why not get them a training plan custom made for them and their goal race? A running coach can be a long term commitment, but working with a certified coach to create a custom plan is a great way to figure out if you want to continue a relationship. I can recommend my girls Toni and Christine from Relentless Runners. These two truly want to see you succeed. They have Cyber Monday deal for 30% off monthly one-on-one coaching! If you aren't ready to start your coaching yet, or you are buying for your favorite runner, just let them know. They will start it whenever you are ready!

9. Garmin Forerunner 25: If your favorite runner is looking for a basic GPS watch, this is it. The Forerunner 25 can track distance and pace along with setting up your intervals. It is a great price point and will get the job done.

10. Nathan VaporAires Hydration Vest: If the runner in your life is complaining about hydration (or lack there of) during runs, this is the gift. Not only does the vest hold two liters of water, but it has tons pockets that can hold ALL THE THINGS! Let's be honest, pockets make everything better.

I hope these gift ideas are helpful! I have one more post coming for those wanting to spend a bit more. Look out for it later this week!

What is your favorite runners gift within this price range?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Week That Was: 11/21 - 11/27

This post is pretty simple this week.

Monday I had my massage and it got the knot out of my glute (cue fireworks and confetti).

I made the smart decision to rest from there. My knee was really sore after the massage and I was crazy busy. I said going in to it I would rather rest and be ready for training then push it and not be ready to give this training everything I had.

I did accomplish a lot this week. I did four strength training's. Dangle even helped.

I finished my training plan for Princess!

I also got to meet LB for lunch on Black Friday!

So that was my week. Zero running but enough to keep me busy. I want to do a few easy miles next week, just so I don't shock my system right in to training. Nothing crazy. Probably under 10.

Don't forget to check out my Gifts For Runners Under $60 and I will have a few more gift guides coming next week!

How did you stay active this holiday weekend? Any good Black Friday deals?