Marathon Training Recap: Last 4 Weeks

After my half in Florida in January, I quickly realized that my marathon was just around the corner <- *cue mental freak-out* and my longest run was my only 13.1 miles. I know, I’m terrible and should never increase mileage so quickly, but I took my time and didn’t overly kill myself. I knew I wanted to feel strong, not exhausted at the end of it all. So, off I went for 17 miles.

2014-01-26 15.06.00

Mission accomplished! I was happy, but not dying at the end. I took my pace much slower than I probably could have, but again I wanted to be able to move afterwards. Laundry won’t do itself and my pup still needs potty breaks during the day.

Long story short: the first 5 were decent and fun. I had my girl with me, so my mood and spirit is always high with her. The next 12 were rough. I tried the Margarita Clif Shot Bloks and hated them – give me my Chocolate Outrage GUs all day long! The absolute worst part was reaching the top of a hill, seeing Uptown, and knowing that I had to turn around and run back the way I came [I did an out-and-back course for the 12]. But I knocked them all out and I’ve never felt as accomplished as I did when I returned home to a quite energetic girl, I might add.

2014-02-07 07.53.23

The next weekend I set my mind to complete 19 miles. Now, that’s an increase that makes sense! Once again, Sizz and I took off for our 5 mile loop that takes us through uptown before I dropped her off before heading back out for another 14 miles. I mapped out a course that was more of a loop with a smaller loop in the Southpark area. I love running down there and staring at all the crazy, obsessively large houses, but wish there was a better trail system in the city. I tried the Salted Caramel GU at mile 10 and all seemed to be going smoothly [I also took my favorite Chocolate Outrage GUs at miles 5 and 15]. And then it happened, I hit the wrong button when I went to restart my Garmin after stopping at a light and saved the run around 16 miles. I was so mad at myself that I wouldn’t see a new PDR happen again that weekend. I took my fury out in my last 3 miles and made up some time! Hey, whatever works, right!? At the very end, I was trying my darnedest to get to 19 miles so I was running laps around my building and freaking Sizz out since she could see me from the window. Run complete!

PicMonkey Collage

So, 19 wasn’t too shabby; it was time to conquer a 21 mile run the following weekend. I mapped out a course that was about 16.5 miles knowing that I may cut some corners and didn’t want to come up short after dropping my girl off after her 5 mile jaunt around town. It was incredibly overcast [yet, somehow my Garmin connected almost instantly], so I erred on the side of caution and started Runmeter on my phone. It may not always be the most accurate, but I sure wanted to see a new PDR [and not 2 separate screenshots]! The first 5 went smoothly, as always, and then I dropped Sizz off before continuing on my 16.5 mile out and back course. My Garmin lost signal around mile 7.5 and I could NOT figure out why I wasn’t keeping my pace up – I kept running and running and running. Well, it turns out I was – thankfully Runmeter was still tracking my time. I gave up on my Garmin and let it keep running, but continued to check my pace on my phone. I took another Salted Caramel GU and struggled to get my energy up again for the next 5 miles. I then took a Chocolate Outrage GU and was like a brand new woman again. Lesson Learned: stick with what works! I arrived back home and was slightly shocked when I checked out Runmeter; it was a shiny new PDR for me! Knowing I only had 4.5 miles more to go for race day was a sweet surprise and gave me the confidence that I can complete a marathon in 2 weeks time!

2014-02-08 19.40.56

This last weekend was a bit of doozy for me…I needed new shoes as mine were completely shot. Who knew that when they bend in half vertically that they are done…lessons learned everyday. After a trial run of 5 miles in the Mizuno Wave Rider 17, they just did NOT work for me. I went back to my favorite Run For Your Life and they hooked me up with some sweet Brooks PureFlow 3 that I loved the minute I put them on.  Now, time to break these babies in before completing a challenge that a year ago I never said I’d do: complete a marathon!

2013-11-16 08.27.06_Thunder Road


Would You Rather #2: Role Models & Odd Moments

Yes, I may be a bit eccentric when it comes to surveys, but I love reading and completing them! This may be OliveToRun’s 6th WWRRS survey, but I’m just jumping on the train a bit late so this is only my 2nd time linking up. Now, sit back and relax <- or laugh at my awesomeness. Either way, take your pick!


Would you rather…  run with one of your ancestors or your role models?

Role model – so we can chat away about life lessons and how to get what you want since they have accomplished some of my current goals, but I’d have to bring along my favorite running buddy!

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Would you rather… run a race that is a few hour drive but in a beautiful location or in your city with a short drive?

This is a challenge because I live in a place with lots of rolling hills that provide a solid challenge, but the thrill of running along a beach has always appealed to me. Hence, why my first half [and third] are occurring in Amelia Island. 2013-01-19 08.31.42

Would you rather… take an ice bath for a half hour or foam roll for a half hour?

Foam roll. No way will you see me in an ice bath for any longer than necessary; plus I’m more of a fan of chilled baths for 10 minutes and skipping the whole ice cube touching my body thing. [Source]

Would you rather… have a black toe nail pulled off or have your entire back chaffed from running and be forced to shower for a hour straight?

Given the number of times I have pulled a black toenail off [both accidentally and on purpose], I’d have to go that route again. Funny story…it’s happening again!


Would you rather… spend an extra $100 a month given to you on running/fitness or save it?

On one hand, I could argue to spend it, but my common sense side says I really should save it. Can I split it 50/50?


Would you rather… be known for running the fastest marathon or running the longest distance at one time?

I may never be the fastest runner on the course [I am not known for my speed], rather I strive to conquer new distances all the time.


Would you rather… have your medal handed to you by Kara Goucher or Shalane Flanagan?

Kara Goucher, hands down.


Would you rather… lick someone else’s armpit after a marathon, or lick their foot after a marathon?

If I’m like everyone else, I know my feet are nasty after a run <- honesty counts, right? So, I’d go for the armpit, hands down.
Hair > popped blisters <- am I right?


Treat Yourself Tuesday #1: Nails + Vino

Although I’ve had every intention to actually document my treats over the last few weeks and join the link up with Becky of Olives ‘n’ Wine, it just hasn’t happened [and doesn’t help when my treats occur Tuesday night and I’m just too tired to blog about them]. So for the first time…here we go!


Saturday has been long deemed ‘long-run Saturday’ for me since, well, August. My second half marathon is just over 5 weeks away and the dates are looming closer, but my goals seem farther out of reach.

Anita DeFrantz quote

So, after a dismal run [I couldn’t didn’t want to complete the last 0.8 miles of my planned run <- yes, it was that bad], I decided to treat myself to a mani/pedi afternoon at my favorite salon. They provide complementary wine and great service, so what’s not to love!?! It was time to say farewell to the summer colors and actually embrace fall [sad, but true] for my toes. I went with clear on my nails after a month of gel, so they are back to plain jane for the time being.

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Afterwards, Nick and Sizzle headed my way and all three of us wandered over to one of the wine bars of uptown, Threes. Choices are amazing!! I loved the option to create my own flight, but let’s face it…sometimes I want someone else to chose for me. Our waiter had a great recommendation consisting of an un-oaked and oaked chardonnay, followed by a sauvignon blanc.

2013-10-05 19.41.58 The flavors were distinct and light, which I loved on the warm, Indian Summer night. It was the perfect way to wine down after a not-so-great run!

Hope you all enjoy your Tuesday and do something to Treat Yourself – you deserve it!

Does Massage Therapy Really Help?

Last night month [sorry, I’ve been a tad busy], I treated Nick to an hour long massage since I had a few extra months prepaid on my membership. As I was lying on the table with a woman releasing all the knots in my shoulders and stretching my hips, flexors, and quads, I started thinking about the benefits of massage therapy as a runner and athlete. There must be something good for you, other than the complete relaxation at the end, right? So, this leads me to these facts:

  • There are 640 muscles in the human body.
  • There are 5 million touch receptors on your skin alone.
  • A 60 minute massage is similar to 7-8 hours of sleep [so I guess I’m needing more sleep when I come out feeling exhausted, but ready to go when I’m fully rested].
  • At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, massage therapy was offered as a core medical service for the first time [Athletes need it too!].
  • Massage stimulates the production of endorphins [Bring them ON!].

[Sorry, I can never get this scene out of my head when anyone mentions endorphins.]

Sources & more facts: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Now, no massage beats the many I enjoyed in Thailand last year. On the beach, waves crashing on the shore, a warm breeze = complete bliss.

However, I am now back to receiving massages regularly and am starting to see a difference in my recovery times after a long run. I am now not completely dead after running 10+ miles, but can easily jump in the car and drive for 6-7 hours with no problem <- post stretch and shower, of course! I’m ready for my foam roller at the end of it all, but I’ve improved my stamina dramatically and with the aid of massage therapy, I’m back up and moving again in no time [normally, the next day I’m lifting weights or running].

I know everyone’s experience and idea is different in the realm of massage therapy, but for me – it works. Massage + yoga = a happier me [and a happier life]!

Off the Grid

I took a chance this weekend and decided to go off the grid from the blog world, but not my phone, email, and camera – I just can’t leave it ALL behind. But the important piece I realized was that I missed sharing everything going on, so in that spirit – here’s a weekend recap in images:

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[They’re here! They’re here!]2013-08-24 11.50.12[Long, slow run but it’s done!]2013-08-24 19.55.22[Saturday night sunset on Lake Norman]
2013-08-25 09.30.21 [Sunday morning post cleaning]
2013-08-25 11.59.02[Treat for Nick]
2013-08-25 12.05.46 [Juice from the Market]
2013-08-25 13.15.58[Finally found it at Healthy Home Market]
2013-08-25 15.15.44[Lunch at Carolina Ale House]
2013-08-25 18.00.39[Dog park time for Sizzle]