Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Princess Half Marathon Training Recap and Goals

Today is the day!! We are leaving for Disney today and I have so many emotions. I'm so excited for the trip and what we have planned, and I am so ready to show what I have worked for hard for. The best way to see how you have gotten somewhere is to look back at the work you have done. So, here is my training recap from the last 12 weeks.

Total miles: 316.7 miles.
Average miles per week: 27 miles.
Longest run: 15 miles.
Pairs of shoes: Four - retired a pair of Hoka One One Clifton 2 and Saucony Ride 9.
Road blocks: Stomach bug around Christmas and sinus issues a couple weeks ago.
New cross training: Strength training 2-3 times a week from Runners Connect.
Hardest workout: 2 x 3 mile repeats.
Most enjoyable workout: 14 x 400s.
Injuries: NONE!

I think the one thing I will truly take away from this training is the confidence I have built. I have said this so many times, but I didn't think I would be able to get back to this point. Two injuries in two years makes you reevaluate your journey. The greatest thing I ever did for my running was take a break from racing in 2016.

When I had decided on a training plan, I knew it would push me. Guess what, I needed it. I have never done a serious training only running four days a week. This training pushed me to paces I never thought I would train at. Quickly, I started noticing a difference.

I'm not going to say everything was easy, because it wasn't. It was hard a lot of the time, but incredibly enjoyable. Once I really started noticing my stamina coming back and paces pick up I felt like myself again. I felt like someone I haven't known in quite some time.

I made myself a few promises. The biggest being I would run outside in the cold as long as the sun was out. I stuck to this! Did it suck? Yep, sure did, but I grew from it. I know I can run 12 miles on a treadmill, but running 12 miles in under 20 degree weather makes the fight that much stronger.

As the race is getting closer, and my rambling continues, I just can't believe how far I have come. I ran more miles in three separate weeks than I did in the entire month of February 2016. My average long run pace is about 8:45 which is faster than I ever averaged long runs. The best thing about all of this, I found the passion again. The passion for racing and getting better, not just running all the races.

So, let's talk about goals.

I have three goals for this race. They are very straight forward.

1. Sub 1:50
2. Finish with a smile on my face.
3. 1:45 - the pace I have been training at.

I know, these are in some sort of crazy order. This is the order of importance to me.

I want that sub 1:50 so bad. I need a better time to submit for the Disney Marathon. Point blank. I have been training for a 1:45 (8:00/pace) but that is a far reached goal. If I hit it, great! If not, I won't be heart broken. No matter what I need to remember where I started from and how wonderful this journey has been. That's why I will finish with a smile on my face.

From my PR race in October 2015.

My friend Nathan said to me once, "The race is your victory lap" and I never forgot that, It is to show off the amazing work that has been put in. I plan on rocking that victory lap and moving forward in my journey!

I'm linking up with Annmarie, Nicole and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tunes Tuesday - 2.21

Welcome to the Tunes Tuesday link up! I co-host this link up with Kim from KookyRunner and Janelle from Run With No Regrets. If you are new to the link up, all of the information you need to know can be found here. We hope that you will join us!

This weeks topic is pump up music. That music that really gets your heart pumping. When you hear the first beat of that song, you know you are ready to crush it. For me, I go to two of my favorite 90's songs. "Another Night" by Real McCoy and "All That She Wants" by Ace of Base.

I hope that my two pump up jams can help pump you up as well! If you have your own Tunes Tuesday post, make sure you add it to the link up below!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Princess Half Marathon Training - Week 11

Week two of taper brought some of the most beautiful weather I have ever seen in Pennsylvania in February. I can't even believe it. It was really nice to be able to feel what outside warmer temps feel like. I have really been embracing this taper and I think my body is thanking me for it.

Monday rest day included some non-weighted core work. I did some planks, crunches and squats. Nothing crazy. I didn't want to feel terrible. I also did a lot of rolling, which felt AMAZING!

Tuesday it was suppose to be around 45 degrees and I was super excited. When I left work I checked my bag to see what clothing options I brought, and I realized I forgot pants.

::face palm::

Lucky for me Kelsey was heading out to run later in the day so I decided to meet up with her. This was also my last HMP workout of this training.

2 mile warm up (with Kelsey)
4 x 1 mile @ HMP (7:50, 7:55, 7:51, 7:46)
60 second recovery
1 mile cool down (with Kelsey)

This was the first time I ran HMP miles and felt like I could do it again. It was amazing. It was so nice, after 11 weeks and almost 300 miles, to finally see what I have been working towards. I'm glad I could get this workout in.

Wednesday I had planned on running with the Mojo Wednesday night group, but it started snowing! The group run was in the dark and I am too close to this race to risk it. I ended up just hanging out at the shop and chatting with the girls. It was fun!

Thursday was a taper rest day. Full blown rest and stuff my face day. It was awesome. Hubs wasn't home so Dangle and I fell asleep super early.

Friday I had about 45 minutes between my jobs, so I fit in four easy miles. I was shocked when I looked at my watch at the end and my pace was 8:49. I had a really emotional moment at that point. This pace was my "easy pace" when I was training for my first half in 2012. It has not felt easy since then. Running is such a funny thing. The highs are high and the lows can be low, but we keep coming back for more.

Saturday was beautiful. I slept in (7:30!!) and woke up to amazing sunshine!! It was suppose to be close to 55 and I needed to get out. Kelsey was going out too so we met up. I had some MP miles on tap, so I ran those before she got there (8:17, 8:30, 8:40 - and yes I know they were all fast) and then we did five miles together. I love that we can run some of these miles together, and I know it's helping Kelsey too.

I had a work meeting at 6am on Sunday, so when it was finished (since Sunday is my only day off until vacation) I had to do some laundry and get some things ready. I got out about mid morning and ran eight more miles. There were so many people out and I did so much weaving, but I don't even care because I was thrilled people were out enjoying the nice day! My pace was around 8:43 which is amazing. I am a much better warm weather runner, and this pace felt effortless. I did wear the wrong socks (my PRO Compression Elites) and they are a little thicker and my feet were not happy with the swelling. Everything is fine now, just a little concerning lol.

Weekly Total: 27.2 miles
February Total: 85.4 miles
2017 Total: 220 miles

I have a few recovery miles before we leave for Florida! I just can't believe the race is already almost here! To follow along on our adventure, make sure you follow me on Twitter and Instagram! I am so ready to go!!

Please tell me how you enjoyed this beautiful weather? I want to know!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Roll Out!

You have started your training and you have started to notice things are a little tight. The greatest tool you can have as a running is a foam roller. They help in so many different aspects of training, especially keeping your muscles loose and fresh.

There are are so many different types of foam rollers. At one point, I owned five. Right now I have three that I use almost daily. They each have different functions and really help my recovery. Below are each of the rollers I use and a little video on how I use them.

The Stick I use for my IT Band. I have a terrible IT Band and The Stick has really helped get in there. I also use it for my shoulders and neck.

Trigger Point roller is my all purpose roller. I use this for my lower body. Trigger Point is just one type of foam roller. I like it because it is very firm and has different intensities on one roller.

Roll Recovery R3 is a foot roller. Since I have a history with stress fractures I love having a specific foot roller. I also use the R3 for my Achilles and sometimes my glutes.

I always roll after I run. I take note during a run if something feels tight. I will focus on that area a little more when I roll. I will roll each area for 10-15 seconds and move to the next one. Once I'm done I will drink a lot of water, just like after a massage. You are breaking up a lot of stuff when you roll, and you need to flush it out.

Training doesn't have to hurt. If you incorporated rolling early in to your training, it will stick with you. Make sure you find the right foam roller for you by heading to your local running store. They can help explain the benefits of each for your specific issue.

Remember, you can use promo code RUBEL17 and save $10 on your registration for the Pittsburgh Half or Full Marathon!

Im linking up with Annmarie, Nicole and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

What is your favorite type of foam roller? Do you incorporate rolling regularly in your training?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tunes Tuesday - 2.14

Welcome to the Tunes Tuesday link up! I co-host this link up with Kim from KookyRunner and Janelle from Run With No Regrets. If you are new to the link up, all of the information you need to know can be found here. We hope that you will join us!

Happy Valentine's Day! This weeks topic for Tunes Tuesday is random music. I wanted to share with you two current WWE themes that I love having on my running playlist. I actually listened to both of these themes for a mile each during Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis. They make me get in the zone and I understand why the superstars use them to get pumped up! They are "Glorious Domination" and "Sky's The Limit".

Good luck getting either of these two songs out of your head! They are so catchy and are such a great addition to my running playlist.

Do you have a Tunes Tuesday post for the link up? Add it below!