Monday, October 16, 2017

Disney Marathon Training - Week Six

Cut back week over here this week. I think that is one of the reasons why I prefer longer marathon cycles. I love cut back weeks! I took full advantage, trust me!

Monday I did a strength and hip circuit workout. Nothing fancy but it felt really good after my long run last week.

Tuesday it was back on the track. Here is how it broke down:
1 mile warm up
400m x 10 (goal 1:52 - 1:44 1:44 1:41 1:42 1:47 1:49 1:49 1:45 1:49 1:49)
400m recoveries
6 miles total

It got super dark by the time I finished, and I didn't trust the boys lacrosse team for a cool down mile so I just skipped it.

Oh, story about that 1:41 split. I was doing my recovery lap and was just about to start my third rep. All of a sudden, out of no where, a pack of children appeared. Like literally, I have no idea where they all came from. They started running on the track. I felt like I was going to trample them! When I finished the rep, I saw an adult who was with them and asking if they were going to continue. He said no (they literally did one lap) and said to me "That must have been terrifying enough to see a pack a children". Yes, yes it was.

Wednesday morning I was going to run but it was raining and super dark. I figured I could move some workouts around so I didn't have to worry about it. I did get my strength workout in which felt great!

Thursday I got stuck in some terrible traffic after work. I was terrified I wasn't going to beat the sunset. Well, I did five miles with strides and actually made it! It felt so good too! It really is amazing how my body is responding to this training.

Friday. Friday was amazing. I went with a friend of mine to the Ring of Honor show in Pittsburgh. This has been a show I have wanted to go to for awhile but tickets are usually sold out by the time I get to it. NOT THIS TIME! Lucky for me, girls had a special entrance to these shows. I saw a sign for the meet and greet and got right in line to meet two of my favorites. Yes guys, I got to meet the Young Bucks!!!

They were the sweetest guys and even gave me a kiss on the cheek! The show itself was amazing and I don't think I stopped smiling the whole time. Such a great night!

Saturday morning I met Gretchen and Maddie for six easy miles. These ladies are running races next weekend and I was glad to get out and meet them for some easy miles. We met an adorable puppy who Maddie and I almost brought home.

After that hubs and I had a wedding to go to in West Virginia. Then we met up with some friends and capped off Cal U's homecoming!

Sunday was the Pittsburgh Penguins 6.6k race. I will recap this race later in the week. I had no real expectations going in. I know I am not trained for short distance speed right now. I did run a pretty consistent race, which I was really proud of.

Weekly Total: 22.8 miles
October Total: 49.8 miles
2017 Total: 878.9 miles

I leave for Disney on Saturday!! I am so excited to go on vacation! I plan on getting in all of my runs before we leave - including a long run after work one day. Gotta keep that focus going, we are almost half way through training!

Pittsburgh Running Bloggers add your weekly recap to the link up below!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tunes Tuesday - 10.10

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 can be found here. We hope that you will join us!

October is all about Halloween/Scary jams. You can join the link up at any point in the month. Join the fun!

So, this topic was a little hard for me. I wanted to think outside the box, but nothing was coming to me! Thank goodness for the internet for reminding me of some great tunes! Check out my picks below!

"Timewarp" - The Rocky Horror Picture Show

"Boogy Man" - The Nightmare Before Christmas

"Monster Mash" - Bobby Pickett

"Thriller" - Michael Jackson

"I'll Put A Spell On You" - Bette Midler

"Everybody" - Backstreet Boys (For the video)

"Ballroom Blitz" - Sweet

I hope these tunes get you in the mood for Halloween. I know I am putting the final touches on my costume! Make sure you all your Tunes Tuesday post to the link up below! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Disney Marathon Training - Week Five

This week was fun. I have finished my first month of training and it was time to see how I have progressed. The next few weeks are going to be a little crazy for me, but I know I have to make time for everything I enjoy.

Monday was an awesome strength workout. I don't know what it was exactly, but I was a hot mess when I was done. I love workouts like that!

Tuesday was back out on the track. Since it is getting dark quick, I knew I would be racing the daylight. Here is how it broke down.

1 mile warmup
1200m x 3 (Goal 5:50 - 5:52 5:47 5:49)
400m recoveries
1 mile cool down
5 miles today

Such a great workout! It felt so much better than my last track workout. Plus, it went by so quickly. Is that even possible? I guess I am getting stronger!

Wednesday I ran four recovery miles in the morning. I got to enjoy a beautiful sunrise and just take my time. It was so nice!

Thursday I had a wicked headache from a storm that rolled through so I decided to get in a full on foam rolling session. Woof. It was something for sure.

Friday I got stuck in some terrible traffic after work and didn't bring any lights with me. So, I made the decision to skip my warm up and cool down miles of my tempo run and just do the tempo. I have decided my goal race pace is 9:00 (easy number to remember) so I attempted five miles at that pace.

What I got - 8:31 8:36 8:51 8:54 8:46 - 8:44 average.

It was a little fast, but felt SO GOOD! It was super humid and I was really proud of that.

Saturday I did a strength workout with some hip work as well. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and noticed a HUGE difference. I try to not focus on weight or huge changes during marathon training, but I couldn't help it. I decided to weigh myself and I am finally almost back to the weight I was before my eye problem started. I am stronger now than I was before and so proud of the work I have put in!

Left: June     Right: This week

I also went to IUP for the Cal vs IUP football game. It was SO HOT and Cal did not show up to play. It's alright because I had a blast with my friends. This might be my last football game until playoffs so I really wanted to have fun!

Sunday long run was a big one for me. It was my longest run since the middle of July. 13 miles. I started before the sun came up. Got rained on. Really focused on a comfortable pace. I finished with a 10:00/mile average which is almost perfect long run pace! It has been so long trying to find that pace for long runs. I was so thrilled! When I was finished a girl came up behind me and said "You can't be done. I have been pacing off of you!" Seriously, amazing feeling!

Weekly Total: 27 miles
October Total: 27 miles
2017 Total: 856 miles

Great week of training! I have a wedding on Saturday and a race on Sunday so this will be interesting.

I also wanted to take a second and thank everyone who has already donated to my Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation fundraiser! I have already met my goal but I want to keep it going! There is still plenty of time to donate. You can do so here! I have some fun things planned to raise some money so stay tuned!!

Pittsburgh Running Bloggers add your weekly recap to the link up below!

An InLinkz Link-up

How was your first week of October? Do you have a race coming up?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Disney Marathon Training - Week Four

The hot weather hung around for a lot of the week last week. I had to move around some workouts to continue to have a life outside of marathon training. Totally worth it and I love having a life/running balance.

Monday I did some strength and hip work. It's the usual Monday thing at this point. I can tell you my hips have loved this. Whenever I feel a little tight I just do the circuit and it just hits the spot!

Tuesday it was so hot I refused to do my track workout. I did five easy miles. I was COVERED in bugs when I finished. It was gross! I also tried out the Koala Clip that everyone has been talking about. I really liked it! It is a great option for carrying my phone on a run.

Wednesday hubs and I headed out after work for some easy miles. I did four and again, the humidity was crazy. Not as many bugs this time, but still enough to be annoying. Luckily it was the last super warm day this week so it made it bearable.

Thursday was finally a little cooler! I decided to hit the track for my speed work. Well, it was a total fail. I don't think I drank enough through the day and I just felt off. I only did half of my workout and called it quits. It ended up being three miles but I just hate that I didn't finish it. Looking back I should have just stuck it out, but when you are not feeling it - it is so hard to focus on paces.

Friday I did some much needed foam rolling and stretching. Dangle loves watching me foam roll. This is what she did the whole time. It was adorable.

Saturday I met up with Maddie for this weeks long run. I was suppose to run eight miles but we ended up with nine! Oh well. It was beautiful outside and we had a great time together.

After the run I met some friends for the Cal vs Slippery Rock football game. It was a great game with some awesome company. Thanks to my friends at The Rock for hooking me up for the game. It was awesome seeing everyone again!

Sunday I did the strength workout I should have done on Saturday. I moved some workouts around so I could just focus on having fun on Saturday.

Weekly Total: 21 miles
September Total: 104 miles
2017 Total: 829 miles

I have a really tough week of training coming up. Plus, me and my friends are going to watch more football on Saturday! It all comes with balance. That will be my focus for the next few weeks. I've finished my first month of marathon training!!

I also wanted to announce I have decided to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon for charity in 2018!! I am running for the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation in honor of my BRF Carrie! You can read more about Carrie's story and donate here! This is something I have wanted to do for a really long time. I am so honored to be able to do it now!

Pittsburgh Running Bloggers add your weekly recap to the link up below!

An InLinkz Link-up

How did September end for you? What are you looking forward to in October?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Zelus Olympus Insoles Review

In the past year or two I have fully embraced the powers of insoles. My everyday shoes especially must have some extra support in them. Now that I am adding in a lot more cross training, I knew I needed to find the right insoles to not only support me but not add a ton of weight to my lighter shoes. I was really excited when the folks at Zelus reached out to me to test one of their insoles.

First off, let’s take a step back and talk about why you should consider wearing insoles in your shoes.

Insoles are the best way to take some extra impact off of your feet and shoes. Zelus insoles are created a little differently than most insoles. They have a patented SmartCell Cushioning Technology, which is the best anti-fatigue, impact-absorbing technology in your shoes that will keep your feet feeling amazing! I have really seen the positive effects of wearing insoles in my everyday shoes. My feet don’t feel as swollen or tired. It has been a little change that has made such a difference.

Those are the SmartCells right there!

Zelus is new in the insoles game. Have you heard of Fastech Labs before? They have been making insoles since 1985. When Fastech heard about SmartCells they vowed to make the best prefabbed insoles the world has seen. What they did was make some updates to the already successful insoles by working with top medical professionals and some of the best athletes on the planet. So, if Zelus insoles are good enough for all of them, why not me?

I received the Olympus insoles. These are full length, triple layer cushioned insoles that have some really great arch support. The first thing I noticed when I took them out of the packaging was the heel cup. It was very defined and I was intrigued. The heel cup was deep and super cushioned. I knew these would be very good for my lightweight shoes for sure.

Look at that heel cup!!

They slid right in my shoes, no need to cut them. I was also concerned that the SmartCells would not lay flat in the shoe since they are a lot different from most of the insoles I have ever used. Nope. No problem at all.

Perfect fit!

I first used the Olympus insoles in my lightweight running shoes. I wanted to get a true feel for them. I took them out for a three mile run and loved the way they fit. It was the little extra in my arch that I didn’t know I was missing. Since they are a little thicker than my normal insoles, I noticed a little bit more space was being taken up. This is totally normal and something I forgot about. I have used them a bunch more times in these same shoes.

Such a great arch.

I then put the Olympus insoles in my cross trainers. This is where I was really excited to test these out. My cross trainers are just so light and I knew I needed something in them. THESE INSOLES WERE THE ANSWER! The extra space taken up was not an issue at all. Everything fit perfectly. Since I am doing a lot more jumping and such with my cross training I can feel the difference in the responsiveness of the insoles. My legs don’t feel as tired when I’m done and my arches are so grateful for the support.

The Zelus Olympus insoles currently are living in my cross trainers and that is where they will stay. I love them paired with these shoes. I am really convinced you guys will too. The great folks at Zelus want you to try the new kids on the block as well. You can try out your own pair of Zelus insoles using promo code STEFFZEAL17 for 10% off for the first 20 people so you can Feel The Zeal.

Disclaimer: This is a paid post sponsored by Zelus. I was provided a pair of Zelus Olympus insoles from Zelus to review. All opinions are my own.