Monday, April 16, 2018

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training - Week 10?

I lost a week of training so I think this is week 10. I didn't lose a week due to injury, I checked a major item off my bucket list. I went to Wrestlemania in New Orleans! It was an amazing experience that I cannot recommend enough. I still can't believe I was there.

We got back on Tuesday and I knew it was time to buckle down. We are getting really close to race day!

Wednesday the weather was finally nice so I ran five miles after work. I can't say it felt good, but I did it. Hey, have to start back somewhere!

Thursday Jessie and I went to 3 Minute Fitness before trivia. We sucked at trivia but had a really great workout. I'm really thankful for my ClassPass to have the flexibility to take advantage of classes when they fit in my schedule.

Friday I went out to run again after work. When I parked I noticed Carrie was right behind me! We ran five miles together and had a blast. My eyes watered so hard because my allergies are flaring up. We saw a ton of dogs and sweated so hard. It was a lot of fun!

Saturday I went with Jessie and Gretchen to the ProBike and Run Pittsburgh Marathon course preview run. It wasn't exactly the course and we didn't follow the route for the changes in the course so it really was just nice to get 11.6 miles in with friends.

Carrie and I went to barre Sunday morning and we were going to run but my allergies did not like all of the head up and down movement from barre. She ran, I went home to try to breathe. Even so, I had a pretty good training week!

Weekly Total: 21.6 miles
April Total: 26.7 miles
2018 Total: 228.1 miles

Next week is my peak week. I have already figured out what days my runs will be according to weather. I also booked my cross training classes as well. I am ready to give this week all I have!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training - Week Seven

So much happened in the last week! I knew it was going to be a higher mileage week for me but I was ready. I also know my body really well. To be able to pull off a higher mileage week I needed to adjust my training. It's all about finding what is best for you.

Monday I went to interval class and got my butt kicked. It was my first day at work with my glasses and I felt terrible. I'm still glad I went but it was rough. When I got home I had a super sweet surprise from the Pittsburgh Marathon, Dick's Sporting Goods and Brooks Running. I got the Pittsburgh Marathon edition of the Brooks Launch 5! Way better design than last year and the shoe itself is a great update from the year before. While I won't be running in them, they are a great everyday shoe for me!

Tuesday was fun. First of all, thank you to everyone who texted, tweeted, insta-tagged me about the Saucony Kinvara special edition. I was lucky enough to snag a pair! They should be here soon!! Since I run in the Kinvara I did not see a reason to miss out on two of my favorite things.

I also did a progression four miler on the treadmill after work. It felt really good. I am really starting to feel like myself again.

After my run I headed over to meet some of my friends to celebrate Jessie's birthday! It was so much fun! The laughs were so needed.

Wednesday I went back to interval class and it was leg day. Boy, did I feel that for sure! It has been really nice to have the ClassPass and get to enjoy these classes. I have a ton of credits right now so I have no problem visiting the same studio multiple times in a month!

Thursday was a truly incredible day. I went with Carrie and her family to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and we were able to provide lunch to some of the staff and families in cardiac ICU that day. We got to talk to some of the families, meet Carrie's nurses and surgeon and just experience what this amazing place does for people. I am so grateful for everything Children's has done for Carrie, so getting to give back for a little bit was truly amazing. It really put fundraising for Children's in to perspective.

When I got home I ran a couple miles just to shake out my legs. I just ran with a smile on my face. It was a great day.

Friday I was sore, it was snowing and windy and Jessie wanted to go run. Alright, let's do it. Well folks, lesson learned. Don't ever let Jessie pick a route she has only ever driven. We did hills on hills on hills in some sort of windy wintry mix. While we hit some pretty solid paces, the beginning was ROUGH! We ran a little over eight miles and had some fun when it was all said and done.

Saturday was Just A Short Run. My 26th half marathon. Now I'm not going to do a recap on this race because I didn't race. It was a long run for me. Maddie and I will be running Cleveland together as she tackles her first full. We had a great time. Gretchen even joined us for some miles as well! With warm up and add on, I ran 15 miles.

Weekly Total: 28.9 miles
March Total: 87.1 miles
2018 Total: 201.4 miles

March was really a breakthrough month for me. I have really been focusing on finding a balance between work, running, cross training and a social life. I would say I have done a pretty good job. We are also leaving for vacation on Thursday so this weeks training will be a little different.

Only five weeks to go!

How many miles did you run in March? Have you ever done a race as a training run?

Monday, March 26, 2018

If The Shoe Fits....

Probably one of the questions I get asked the most when it comes to running is about shoes. I get it, there are a lot. I see on the internet quite often people asking "What is the best running shoe?" Well, I am here to tell you to NEVER ASK THAT QUESTION AGAIN!

Running shoes are subjective. They are all different because runners are all different. Some runners need stability, some need cushion. Some swear by one brand and some are all over the board. What works for me probably won't work for you. Shoes are the most important part of running and should be given more consideration than asking a random group of people on the internet.

I get asked a lot about people starting to run and what is the first thing they should be doing. I really think they are confused when I tell them to go to a running store and get fitted. Even seasoned runners should be getting a gait analysis done every so often. A variety of things can change your gait. When my husband lost a bunch of weight, he no longer had any pronation. Plus, shoes change. You don't know what you might love now if you don't get as many options as possible.

When you go to the running store, wear clothes you can run in - because you will be running. Be straight forward with the associate helping you. Often times, they can tell so don't think you are pulling a fast one. For example, my right foot (that I have had two stress fractures in) has a different foot strike from behind than my left. If you would watch me run you would think I am a pronator, which I also thought for a while. Well, where my foot strikes in very far on the outside - which changes the shoe completely. When I tell people about my injury history it makes sense.

Please trust the associate when they measure you that they are telling you the size you should be wearing in running shoes. No one cares your shoe size. Ladies, if you have to wear men's shoes it really isn't a big deal. I wear a 7 in dress shoes and an 8 in running shoes. Just how it is. You should have a thumb nails amount of space from the end of your big toe to the end of the shoe.

When you are trying on shoes please be open to all brands and styles. I know your friend wears on brand and loves them, but that might not work great for you. Also, looks and color don't matter. If they are comfy and you feel great in them but the pink is not your thing, get over it and wear the shoe. I had eight of the same exact color Saucony Ride because it was the one in stock.

The other thing about running shoes is they have a lifespan. You will probably only get 300-500 miles out of a pair of running shoes. Please keep track of this number. As your shoes break down your body will tell you it is time to change them. Mine is always in my hip/IT band. If you are getting weird pains at like 120 miles, it might not be the shoes and you might want to take some rest days.

The other really big question I get is , well can't I just go to a sporting goods store? Well, you could, but often times they do not have the ability to do proper fittings. Pittsburgh has a ton of running stores to go to. Mojo, Pro Bike and Run, Fleet Feet, New Balance, Up and Running - just to name a few.

I am begging you, please do not ever ask the "What is the best running shoe" question. It is super simple to go and find it out on your own!

There are only a few days left to use promo code RUBELDSGPM18 for $10 the Pittsburgh Marathon/Half Marathon/Relay. Promo code expires March 31, 2018!

Friday, March 23, 2018

My First Month With ClassPass

Let me start this post with this is not in any way a sponsored post. This is my truthful experience with ClassPass. As you all know from following my journey I started taking barre class in November to help with some missing pieces in my running. I held my barre membership until the end of February, but I knew with some travel plans coming up and getting back in to training I was not going to be able to make enough classes to make the membership worth it.

My friend Gretchen told me about ClassPass. She has been using it for a little while now and raved about it. I thought this might be the solution I was looking for. Plus, the barre studio I like uses ClassPass so it was a win-win.

I used a referral code (mine is in all of the links) for my first month of ClassPass and it gave me 20 credits for free. Most classes are four credits so that was five classes in a month. Ummm, yeah. What did I have to lose!

After you sign up I highly recommend downloading the ClassPass app. The app will let you set what time you are looking for your class to start and the distance from where you are. I usually set mine for after work. You can book classes up to a week in advance, so if you know you are going to have a crazy day at work, don't try to book a class!

I love the different classes you can take on ClassPass. I went to barre, yoga, spinning and an interval class twice. It was great. I loved being able to just pop in a yoga class when I needed some extra stretching. I also really liked trying different things I don't think I normally would have. I went to CycleBar and boy, that was an experience for sure. I can run half marathons and fell better than I did after that!

The really great thing is none of the studios pressured you to join. I would check in and say, "Hey, I'm Steff I'm here for a class on my ClassPass" and that was it. Each studio was very welcoming and explained very well how to have the best class. I cannot stress how awesome this was.

I have heard in some places that it can be hard to book classes on ClassPass but I have not run in to that problem yet. I am really good with booking classes ahead of time, but I did book one a day in advance and had zero issues.

When I got to class yesterday I was checking my app and got a notification that my 20 credit plan was now a 30 credit plan! That's 10 more credits and two more classes a month. From what I saw they also updated it to be able to go to the same place as many times as you want a month. Guys, this plan is only $30 a month! I'm not kidding. Think about how much you are spending on one workout class a month when you can explore so many different places at a fraction of the cost!

So, if you are interested you can use my referral link and get your first month free for 30 credits. Like seriously, that's it. You never know what classes you might find that you really enjoy! I have really taken a liking to the interval class I've been taking. I know you will love it too!

Have you tried ClassPass? What has been your experience? 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training - Week Five

This was the first week in awhile that I felt in control. While things at work were a little crazy, I was super focused on not letting it get in to my non-work life. I think I did a pretty great job.

After the half, I took Monday to rest. I was still super sore and needed the time.

Tuesday I jumped on the treadmill for my speed work. I only made it half way through my 400s because my hip was really bothering me. It takes me a lot longer to recover anymore, and I know this. I should have just taken another rest day. Live and learn.

Wednesday I went to get fitted for my glasses. It was almost one year ago (actually, Thursday marks one year) that my eye condition started. I found out that my right eye (the problem eye) had some trauma from the condition and needs some help. My left eye is great. It's really sad to know in a year I went from perfect vision to needing glasses so quickly. But, I'm glad to have talked to the eye doctor and she went over a game plan to try and help me with this process. I also did some barre work when I got home. Oh my abs....

Thursday Maddie, Jessie and I went to Orange Theory. I have never been before and Jessie and I did the team work together. It was interesting but not for me. Especially for the price. I don't discredit anyone who does it, I just don't see the fit in my training.

We also went to trivia after and WON! First place! It was a blast!

Friday I rested. I was so tired and hubs made dinner. It was so nice to just relax a little bit.

Saturday I hit the treadmill for a fun workout.
1 mile warm up
200m x 4 with 200m recoveries
3 miles at 30 seconds over goal pace
200m x 4 with 200m recoveries
1 mile cool down
7 miles total.

I loved this workout and so glad I could do it. It felt really good! Plus, I went to yoga after (yay ClassPass!) and really stretched out.

Then I hung out with some friends for St. Patrick's Day. SO MUCH FUN! I cannot stress how imperative it is to do things outside of running during training.

Sunday Jessie and I ran eight miles and a pretty perfect long run pace. We chatted, saw some dogs and she taught me about Rowing. I love these long runs. They help me break out of my head for a little bit and just hand out with a friend.

Weekly Total: 18.3 miles
March Total: 47 miles
2018 Total: 161.3 miles

I have some fun things coming up in the next few weeks. This time of year is always my favorite. Race season is super close and wrestling is great. It's almost Wrestlemania and our next trip! I cannot wait!!!

You can still save $10 on the Pittsburgh Marathon/Half/Relay by using promo code RUBELDSGPM10. Hurry! The code is only good until March 31, 2018!