Thursday, February 11, 2016

Race Recap: Nuun Year Dash 2016

My first "race" of 2016 was on Monday. It was a virtual race, the Nuun Year Dash, and I found out about it through Nuun Hydrations social media channels, as well as through FitFam, who some of my Oiselle teammates have been trying to get me to join for quite a while. (Ok, everyone, I have signed up).
I signed up for the 10K, knowing I would have a weekday in the time range where I could just run 6 miles, or a long run where I could call my "middle 6" the race. As mentioned previously, this week ended up falling into my down week, so I used my 6 miles on Monday to extend slightly into 6.2 and that was my virtual race.

It was pretty cold out, but I was trying to make sure that I got chances to run outside since I knew we were expecting snow later, and I hate trying to fight the slipping and sliding that comes along with a snow day.
So I headed out. Because I am not racing officially (I don't really count virtual races, it was more of a training run), I knew I was going to need to take it fairly easy. Last week was a pretty rough one on my legs as far as mileage went and paces. I pretty much ran easy 0% of the time. I don't count the long run as easy for a few reasons.
1. Its a long run. Those are always hard.
2. I ran THIS even 15s per mile faster than my easy run pace.

Here was my route. I ran the 6.2 miles in 8:14 average, which again, I am happy with considering all of the things that I have going on.
Nailed it!

Speaking of nailed it, results were posted yesterday. I was a big winner.
I interpret this as "the most average of all averages and people that are average." BOOM. :)

Have you run a virtual race?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Review & giveaway! SLS3 Running Belt

The following post is a sponsored post. I received no compensation for this review, only product, and as usual, all opinions are my own.

An opportunity for a running product blog review came to me by way of my friend Karen. Karen is not a blogger, but knows that I am, and knows that I am more than willing to try new things. So she passed along an invitation that she received, and as a result, I was given an SLS3 dual pocket running belt. I received the one in the blue color, and I was looking forward to really testing it out, both wearing it for speed work and a long run.
Now I have tried two different running belts in the past (not to be named here), and I have had different issues with them in the past. You occasionally have the bounce that comes with a belt, or it might ride up or slip down, or you could not be able to fit all of the things in it that you need for a long run. 

With the dual pocket design of the SLS3 belt, I definitely did not have to worry about finding a home for my iphone in one pocket (for music), and plenty of gels in the other. Now, I only ran 12 miles this past weekend, so I only needed one gel, but I tested it out, and I was able to fit 8 gels along with my iphone. And I could put 6 of them in one pocket, which was relief after I lost two on the course in Indianapolis. 
The blue? That is the zippers on the pocket. ALL of that is pocket. And I know it looks pretty narrow, but the way that the pocket itself rolls up keeps it small and you can just kind of unfold the belt to make more room in it if you need to hold six gels.

First up was a track workout. I didn't have any gels with me, but I wanted to make sure that I had the opportunity to try it more than once, and I was only going to have one long run that I wasn't doing on the treadmill, because of trying to work things around with J's weekend work schedule at this time of year. So I wore it for a 10 minute warmup, a fartlek ladder, and a 10 minute cooldown.
The big thing to keep in mind relating to this was that I kept my phone in the running belt  for the duration of this run. It stayed in its place and rested on my hip throughout the run. One of the biggest complaints that I have with other products is the bounce when I keep my phone in the belt. I had no trouble with the belt stay in place, slipping down, etc. I consider the first run I had with it successful.

Later that weekend, I stuffed it full of gels (even though I only needed one for a 12 miler) and my phone in the second pocket. This allowed me to test the expansion of the belt, along with the ease of the zipper while on the move. I spent a little bit of time playing with the zipper prior to heading out for my run, just to make sure I was feeling comfortable (runners do this kind of thing), and then headed out. 6 miles in, I continued running, unzipped one of the pockets, and pulled the gel out and re-zipped the pocket with no trouble. Success!

Overall, I really enjoyed this belt, and felt like it would be a good investment for someone who has lots of things that they want to carry (keys, phone, credit card, ID, gels, etc) but does not what any bouncing when the pocket gets more full.

Lucky for you, SLS3 is giving me the opportunity to offer one of you the chance to win one of these belts for yourself! Please enter the rafflecopter giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't win, and you are still interested in trying this running belt for yourself, you should check out the SLS3 amazon store where they are offering the dual pocket belt for the special price of $12.90 (that is 57% off the retail price of $29.90 and trust me, is worth EITHER price!)

Do you where a belt when you run to hold all of your gear?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Recipe 2 of 12

So because I am working on checking a few items off of my goals for the year listing, I am really working to make sure that I am trying new stuff all of time. As you may remember, I am working to try and cook 12 new recipes in 2016, and already last week (first week of February) I tackled another.

Last Thursday I made a new recipe that I had pulled off the internet when I found it looking for different chicken recipes on the Cooking Light website.

I made this recipe with no modifications. I just used Busch Light beer because we have lots in the fridge, and we don't really drink it. At all. So I figured it would probably be the best choice even if it was not as flavorful as some beers I could have chosen.

I got the chicken cooking first in a pan.
The pieces were a bit thick, so I got them browned up and then put them in the oven on a pizza pan, figuring that way I  could ensure that they were cooked through. While the chicken was cooking, I got all of my sauce ingredients set up.
I used liquid aminos instead of soy sauce, but that is what I always do.

I reduced the sauce while the chicken was cooking through in the oven, and then was able to get the chicken into the pan while I worked on a few side dishes.
When  you have a two year old, you sometimes make concessions in your vegetable selections and cross your fingers that you have a better shot the next day (as you serve a starchy vegetable and a starch as side dishes - bread and mashed potatoes).
Regardless, this meal turned out  awesome, and I am super pumped to make it again. Even Addie liked the chicken! Given a little bit more prep time (meaning - I hope I get home from work a smidge earlier next time) I think I would like to roast some brussels sprouts to go with this.

Let me know if you try this recipe!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Training Recap: Week of February 1

Yeah... So I am approximately 11 weeks out from the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, which is obviously my "A" race for spring. I have pretty much been working toward it since Indianapolis, but I have only recently started to actually put in the work that is needed to achieve my goals.
So anyway, let's take a look at last week's training!

Monday: 8 miles with 4x30s strides AT THE LAKE, 8.57 total miles
Tuesday: 7 miles, convo pace, full body strength workout
Wednesday: 8.83 miles - fartlek ladder
Thursday: 7 miles - this run was supposed to be easy paced, but unfortunately I completely failed on that and ended up averaging approx 30s per mile faster than I was supposed to.
Friday: 50 minutes, elliptical
Saturday: 12 miles convo pace
Sunday: off

43.40 running miles.
1 day xt
1 strength training

Another week of nailing it?

This week is a down week for me, which might be a little weird, because I have been in the mood to RUN ALL THE MILES for several weeks now. But considering my easy run was at approximately 8:15 pace this past week, I really need to take a step back and do the runs that I am SUPPOSED to do, instead of all the miles.

Wish me luck!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Five: XIV

All right. I have managed to survive this week. It was definitely up there in the hardest weeks EVER, but it is Friday, and I am here. Thank goodness.

So how about a little Friday Five?
1. It has been a really long week. In the office and at home, but I am happy to have been able to get through all of the things that I did this week. It certainly was not an easy week by any stretch of the imagination, and let's be honest, no one likes to be in a situation where they feel stressed out a lot. But I know that I will end up stronger for it. PLEASE?!?

2. Addie and Rapunzel have been hanging out this week. They are obviously best friends.

3. I am trying to plan something special for J's birthday this year. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and drop the ball, and I do not want that to happen this year. More to come.

4. I have had 4 runs already this week, and I am feel tired. I am pretty grateful (who AM I?) that today I am going to spend my lunch time on the elliptical rather than on the treadmill or pounding the pavement. Every once in a while you need a reprieve. Today, I need one.

5. It is the 5th of February already, and I have no idea how it got to be this date. Seriously. How the hell did this happen? I started something new on Feb 1, I will post a picture of it soon, but it is a journaling exercise that will hopefully help me to achieve one of my goals (do more for ME). I am working hard to be a better person...

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Monday run - new location

I have been trying pretty hard to get posts written in advance in general. I have been doing pretty well with that, but every once in a while, you want to be able to write a more timely update. Something that is happening more in the minute.

So today I want to talk about my run from Monday, because although I ran from the office, and ran in Blue Ash, which is where I have worked for 5.5 years, and where I lived for 4 ish years, I have never run in this place. I have not ever run over to this particular park or even driven in this park and gone for a run or walk. In fact, I think I have only been to this park one time ever, for a cookout with my employer (I THINK).

So anyway, the park is called Sharon Woods. I did not really have anything in particular as far as workouts goes on the schedule, just 8 miles with 4x30s strides. Convo pace.

So Charlie had mentioned to me earlier that he had done this exact run earlier that morning, and knew that I was in the middle of a struggle fest in all senses of the word. I just was having all of the issues happening, which was not a great way to start out the week. I don't want to go into them, but suffice to say, I needed a distracting run.

So that is not what the lake looks right now, it is after all, January, but it was still beautiful. It is three miles around and it is just over 2 miles to get there, so I was going to end around 7.7 miles to run to the lake, around it, and back. PERFECT.

So the other part that he mentioned to me that I managed to forget about until I got there? HILLS. He did tell me, I did have advance warning. But dammit. I was not expecting QUITE so many!
There you go, the hill profile from strava. Nailed it?

So here are my splits.
Mile 1: 8:14
Mile 2: 8:07
Mile 3: 8:22
Mile 4: 8:31
Mile 5: 8:33
Mile 6: 8:26
Mile 7: 8:11
Mile 8: 7:41

Strides after that, for an average pace of 8:12. Yeah... I flew on the strides. It was a good run and I was really glad to be reminded of where to run.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I am focused on SAVING

As I mentioned one day last week (I cannot remember what day, I think it was Wednesday?) I am coming up with a list of things that I am working to save my money for. One of my unmentioned goals of the year is to be better about spending. Be more deliberate when I spend money, and really work for what I want. I mean, it is not as though I am hurting for money, but it cannot hurt to work harder and try more to spend appropriately, right?

There are reasons for this, of course, to model good things to Addie is the most important. To help to show her that we work hard and save our money in order to get the things we want. I am tempted to start the "allowance" process with her already, even at two. Does anyone have experience with that, by the way? Thoughts or suggestions?

So here is my "saving" list for the year.

1. This is the highest thing on the list as of now. It is a biggie, but an important one. Build my personal savings account up to $3000. Now, that does not seem like a ton, but I really want to get there. And I am more than willing to really really take my time and do this. However long it takes while still allowing myself to purchase these OTHER items around it.

2. Aero tights. I have been lusting after these since they were released in the fall. My runlove partner as well as one of my Ragnar teammates both seem to LOVE them.
I want this color too.

3. Stride shorts mini - printed. I have not seen the printed ones released on the Oiselle website yet, but I have seen a picture on facebook from a few different of the elite teammates. But here are the non-print shorts.
4. My NASM personal training study materials. I mentioned in my goals post that I had made progress, and I have decided that this is where I am going to start with all of my certifications. But the materials and exam are not super cheap, so I am saving.

5. More Oiselle. The holepunch lux sweatshirt specifically. I saw this on Lauren Fleshman on twitter and immediately thought... I MUST HAVE THAT.
This might be the first thing I purchase because I know ALL of my teammates want this, and I do NOT want to miss out. The fit of this one is a little different, so I am struggling to decide what size I need to purchase. I have been following any and all posts on this on our team facebook page, because I think a lot of ladies are feeling similarly.

6. A tablet for Addison. I just think this is a good idea for car rides and dinners out. With input from Karen (who purchased one for her three year old son for Christmas) I am leaning toward the Kindle fire. This may be a bday gift for her.