Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon Race Recap

Wow, it’s been a month since I updated you guys on anything, basically right before I hopped on a plane to Detroit to run the Rock CF Rivers half marathon.  This is my second time running this race, the first time being in 2014. I absolutely LOVE this race. It’s not only for a cause near and dear to me, but overall, it’s just really well run and a total family affair, which I love.  So, here is my Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon Race Recap.

On Saturday, a team of 13 of us boarded a plane from Boston to Detroit, landed, grabbed a few rental cars, dropped our stuff at the hotel and headed to pick up our bibs before the expo closed.  It was super quick to check in, get our bib numbers, our race shirts (below in blue) and we met up with Emily, who created the event and runs the foundation Rock CF (in gray). She is this tiny, ridiculously amazing force of nature who sheds light and humor to everyone around her.  We talked with her for a while and then took a team picture with her and her nieces and nephew–aren’t they adorable?

team vertex

After buying Ashton and myself new Rock CF shirts, we went out for a quick, but yummy team dinner and got back to the hotel early so we could rest.  Here is my flat runner the night before.

rock cf outfit

I went to bed early and ended up getting up really early on race day and had plenty of time to have breakfast, get dressed and meet the Vertex team to head over to the race around 6:30 am.  I was a bit nervous because of the flight the day before and that fact that I spent most of that day not drinking any water, so I spent much of the morning hydrating.

We arrived at the race start and thankfully, was able to keep warm in the high school gym since it was FREEZING outside. We were able to mingle and get a team picture with Emily right before the race started and before everyone broke off.  This was the first year that there was not only a 5k and half marathon, but a half marathon relay, which was a really cool option for a few of our team members.

IMG_3598

I had resigned myself before even getting on the plane to the fact that I was likely not going to PR this race.  While I completed my training plan exactly as prescribed, I was just not feeling as strong as I had hoped I would.  Going into training my goal was to run in the 1:40’s, but I just knew I wasn’t able to do that for this race.  I was mostly okay with that and reminded myself that not every race can be a PR and that this is much more about supporting the cause than getting a PR.

My friend Lindsay and I decided we would run together and stay with the 1:55 pace group.  This felt really doable for me, with not such a hard effort on my part.  This was Lindsay’s first half, so I was excited to run and experience it with her.  This was also the first year of offering pacers, which I personally love!  Before the race started, we ran to the bathrooms and then we started to line up with the rest of the half marathoners.  It was COLD out, like 20 degrees cold and SO windy. I am glad I brought my gloves and hat because I could barely feel my fingers!

The gun went off and we crossed the starting line.  We were right next to our pacer for the first mile and a half and then I felt it….I had to pee.  Not like, oh, I can hold it until the race is over, a….holy shit, I need to find the quickest port a potty.  I definitely over-hydrated, something I have never done before while running. I have never once had to stop during any kind of run or race before to pee.

Thankfully there was a port a potty at mile 2, so I told my friend Lindsay to keep going and I would catch up with her.  I thought this would be a minute process.  There was one person in the stall and one in front of me waiting.  I was stopped for almost 6 minute…yes, you read that right SIX FREAKING MINUTES…DURING A RACE?!?  My anxiety level escalated at each second ticking by.  I was so frustrated but knew there was no way I could run and make it to the next port a potty, so I was stuck waiting.  When it was my turn, I peed in record time and was off and running.

To say I was annoyed is an understatement but I raced as fast as I could ahead, trying to catch up to the 1:55 pace group and my friend Lindsay again.  I knocked off a few miles in the low to mid 7’s and knew I needed to slow down.  At this point, I knew I wasn’t going to catch up to my friend, 6 minutes was just too long of a time to catch up.  I was also kicking myself for such a rookie mistake of trying to speed up really fast, because I definitely felt it in the latter half of the race. I end up having to walk through all of the water stops and walked for about 20 seconds five or six additional times because my calves were cramping so badly.  There were many times during the last part of the race where I wondered if  I was even going to make it in under two hours and I was devastated.  I know that 2 hours is a respectable time and that I wasn’t going to PR this race, but for some reason, the thought of running a 2+ hour half made me want to cry. Thankfully, I finished with a time that was respectable (to me.)

post race

final rock cf time

I don’t know if the almost 6 minutes I waited at the porta potty or the 2+minutes that I spent taking walking breaks would have equated to an end time 8 minutes faster, getting me that PR in the 1:40’s, but I definitely know that I would’ve done better than what I did if it wasn’t for the bathroom stop but I suppose, it doesn’t really matter because that isn’t what actually happened.  After the race, we waited for everyone to finish and took some team pics at the finish line with our medals.

IMG_3600

IMG_3601

Quickly after this, we all piled into cars and ran back to the hotel to shower and get to the airport for our flights back home. It was a whirlwind trip that lasted less than 24 hours!

All in all, the Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon is a GREAT race for an even better cause.  I had a really fun time with some of my co-workers and I am happy that I had the opportunity to run it again and look forward to doing it in the future!

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Question of the day

Have you traveled by plane to a race before? If so, what race?

Did you watch the Boston Marathon on Monday? Thoughts?

 

 

The Weekly Wrap Up-Rock CF Half Marathon training Week 8

Hey friends–second week in a row where you are getting my first post on Tuesday–there is so much going on lately that I have to update you on, but that will have to wait until another post.  I have a busy day of meetings so let’s get right to it, shall we?  I just finished week 8 of my Rock CF Half marathon training plan, let’s see take a look in the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week of 2/15-2/21

Monday: 4 miles and I felt really good and strong!

monday

Tuesday: Strength training–full body circuit and added push ups with my feet on the bench, hard but felt awesome!

tues strength

Wednesday: Hill work–4 miles of 1/4m hill repeats!

wed hill

Thursday: I was travelling for work and had an early flight to NYC, so take was a rest day, but I still got in a few miles of walking!

Friday: I did my long run on Friday because Saturday was Ashton’s birthday party and I knew it was going to be a busy day.  7 miles while watching Grey’s Anatomy and part of Scandal.

fri 7 miles

Saturday: We had Ashton’s 4th birthday party and it WAS A BLAST!  There were almost 30 people there and I don’t think any of us stopped smiling the whole time.  It was a ninja turtle theme as you can see and it couldn’t have gone any better!

ash party

Sunday: It’s normally my rest day but I did 3 miles of walking on the treadmill during Ash’s nap and then it was so warm out that we took a family hike of almost 2 miles.  It was so nice to spend some time outside in the fresh air exploring!

hike

So,  there it is, the Weekly Wrap Up!  Sorry this was short and sweet but as you can se it was a pretty good week of training and in less than a month I will be in Detroit running this half marathon! EEK!

Have a great Tuesday!

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Question of the day

How is the weather in your area? Does it feel like Spring may be coming soon?

 

The Weekly Wrap Up-Rock CF Half Marathon training Week 7

Hey friends–you may be confused as this is posting on Tuesday, but with the holiday yesterday, I just didn’t get around to typing up last week’s recap until this morning since I was having so much fun yesterday getting my oil changed, tires rotated and doing my taxes (heavy sarcasm!)  So–since I just finished week 7 of my Rock CF Half marathon training plan, let’s see how it went in the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week of 2/8-2/14

Monday: It was a snow day for us, I was home with Ashton so I logged 4 miles during his nap!

mon

Tuesday: Strength–wasn’t feeling it when I got to the gym but pushed through and had a pretty good workout!

tues

Then, went to a 3 hour long meeting and one of my awesome work friends brought us all candy from her weekend trip to VT!  SCORE!

sugar

 

Wednesday: Speedwork–4 miles of 400m repeats! These are starting to feel a tiny bit easier.

wed speed work

In the evening, Robyn had a late night work staff meeting so I went out on a date with my favorite little man.  We had such a fun time!  He got a hair cut and then picked where we went out for dinner!  Score for all of us–he got ice cream, we got to spend time together and I didn’t have to cook!

wed date night

Thursday: Another strength training day, I didn’t snap a pic because I had an early morning meeting I was rushing to, but this pic was taken from my office right before I stepped into my meeting. I love the views from where we are on the Boston Harbor, even when its blistery cold out, its gorgeous!

thur office

Friday: Easy 2 miles and foam rolling

fri run

Saturday: I got up early to run my 10 miles before Ashton woke up because we had a busy day ahead of us. It was great because I killed two birds with one stone, got my run done and I was able to watch the new Grey’s Anatomy and then Scandal episodes and it was the perfect timing. I had about 2 mins left of Scandal when I hit 10 miles and then I cool downed and was done, all before 8 am!  I also wore my Altras for the entire run and I felt surprisingly good! I was a bit worried since I jumped from 4 miles right to 10 miles in the them but it worked out okay!

sat 10 miler

We ran a bunch of errands in prep for Ashton’s birthday party (eek!) next Saturday and then stopped by so Ash could meet his buddy Pete the Cat!

pete the cat

Sunday: Rest day!  Since it was Valentine’s Day we got up, lounged around for a bit, then went to our favorite bagel place for breakfast and drove into Boston for our annual V-day tradition of getting some yummy hot cocoa and treats at Burdick’s.  It was -13 when we arrived, so we were more than ready for something warm to drink!

burdicks

Robyn and I both got the single source Guatemalan dark chocolate hot cocoa. Robyn also got a slice of orange chocolate hazelnut cake, while Ashton got a regular dark chocolate hot cocoa and a chocolate macaroon.  It was delicious as usual and I love being able to share our holiday traditions with Ashton. After that, we came home, had lunch and Ashton went down for a nap. I was supposed to have a hair appointment but when I arrived, they were closed!!!  To say I was annoyed was a bit of an understatement. So I went home and we spent the rest of the day playing games and hanging out!

So,  there it is, the Weekly Wrap Up!  Overall, another solid week of training and a great long run!!

Have a great Tuesday! I am travelling for work later this week, so it’s up in the air if I will be posting later this week…if not, have a great week!

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Question of the day

What is your next race?  What is your goal race in 2016?

The Weekly Wrap Up-Rock CF Half Marathon training Week 6

Hey friends–how are you all doing??  I am sitting at home working as we are in the middle of a snow storm and everything was cancelled today (except my work.)  So, Ashton is quietly playing at his imagination table right now with stickers while I take a quick break from work to type this post up.  I just finished week 6 of my Rock CF Half marathon training plan, so let’s see how it went in the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week of 2/1-2/7

Monday: I logged 4 miles in my Altras.  It was almost 50 degrees out and I felt overdressed in capris and long sleeve half zip–what is going on with this weather? Isn’t this scene gorgeous??  There is no filter on this baby, just pure awesomeness!

monday am run

Tuesday: Tuesday is always my strength day so I did my usual full body circuit and was pleased I went up in weights for biceps and while it was very challenging, I did all three sets without failure. I definitely feel like I’m getting stronger.

tues weight training

Wednesday: I had a hill workout on the schedule.  I warmed up for a mile then did 2 miles of 1/4 mile hill repeats at a 7% incline and a 6.0 pace.  Then a mile cool down.  These hill workouts still kick my butt, but I keep telling myself they are speed work in disguise.  The first few hills always feel manageable and by the last few, I am toast and am watching the mileage closely so I can stop as soon as I’m able to.  I have been telling myself a lot when it hurts that I can do hard things and tell myself that over and over again.  I was so tired after the workout and had an early morning meeting that I failed to take a workout pic, but I did get a pic of my Starbucks run!

wed

My usual barista wasn’t there, so I was Sara with an “h” for the day!

Thursday: I was back at it with strength training.  I really love the full body lifting circuit I have been doing, but pretty soon I am going to need to switch it up since I am not struggling with it like I was in the beginning and have to keep increasing my weights. I know that is a good thing, but I also know I can find other moves that engage the same body parts in different ways, which will help me continue to gain strength.

thurs strength

Friday: I drove into the office early like usual and it took me my normal 1 hour and 15 mins.  I got my two “easy” miles in and foam rolled and was feeling really good.

fri run

I quickly showered and got ready for work and was in my office ready to get my workday started and when I looked out the window, there was a full-fledged blizzard going on outside.  By 8 am no one was in the office, so, I emailed my boss telling him I was going to head home and work from there, packed everything back up and drove back home, which took almost 3 hours!  How did it go from 50+ degrees on Monday to this on Friday morning?

fri snow

P.S. there was NO snow at all on the ground when I left in the morning. This was all in the matter of a few hours. I’m telling you, the weather here is NUTS!

Saturday: This was a step back week in my training plan, so I was happy that I only had to do 6 miles.  I didn’t have to get up early and was able to easily get this run in during Ashton’s nap. I watched Jane the Virgin again and the run flew by and I was feeling good.

sat 6 miler

Sunday: My day of rest.  We slept in, ate pancakes for breakfast, went to the grocery store, I read for a bit, we all napped, then woke up and played lots of board games and ate dinner while watching the Super Bowl.  It was a pretty awesome day all around.

Well, there it is, the Weekly Wrap Up!  Overall, another solid week of training!!

Have a great Monday and I will see you later this week!

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Question of the day

How was your week? What was the high/low?

The Weekly Wrap Up-Rock CF Half Marathon training Week 5

Hey friends–happy 1st day of February!  One month into the new year, it went by quick, am I right?  It doesn’t really feel like February with the temps in the 50’s today, but I will take it!  I just checked my mileage log and I logged 79 miles last month (which is a lot for me as of late!)  I am looking forward to seeing how this month shakes out as my training continues to increase!

So, last week I spent Monday-Thursday in a work summit which meant very early mornings and even later nights, so I am really happy that I managed to work out every morning like usual–it was a miracle really! HA!  I just finished week 5 of my Rock CF half marathon training, so let’s see how it went with the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week of 1/25-1/31

Monday: I had 4 miles on the books, I only made it 2. It was a terrible run, I stopped and stretched but nothing helped loosen my calves. At 2 miles, I threw in the towel. There is no use hurting myself or beating myself up over it…some runs are good, some aren’t.  This clearly wasn’t a good one.

mon run

 

Tuesday: I did a full body strength training circuit and managed to lift between 5 and 10 lbs heavier than usual on certain body parts which made me really happy, I’m hoping that all the strength training I am incorporating not only makes me stronger and able to lift heavier, but makes me a stronger runner too!

tues strength

 

Wednesday: Speed work day-total of 5 miles.  I warmed up for 1/2 a mile, then did 7x400m at a 7:30 pace with 400m of slow running recovery in between each set and did a mile cool down.  During the recovery a few times I had to stop and quickly stretch out my calves, but overall I felt pretty good. It does surprise me though at how I used to be able to do repeats at this speed and it felt a heck of a lot easier than it does right now, but I’m getting there, baby steps right?

5 mile speed work wed

Thursday: After a really late night out at work that included too much dancing and a few drinks (which is very unusual for me) I was happy that I made it to the gym in the morning. I was exhausted but once I got going with my strength training circuit I felt a million times better. I did a full body circuit and then foam rolled my calves and IT bands.

thus strenth training

Friday:  I think the week of being away at a work summit took its toll on me because when I woke up in the morning, I felt like I was going to vomit I was so tired.  By the time I made it into work, I was still super tired, but not so sick so I did my “easy” 2 miles and foam rolled in prep for my long run on Saturday.  I did both miles in my Altras and felt pretty good!

friday run

Saturday: I had 10 miles on my training plan (my longest run since 2014.)  I was up at 5 am and needed to get my miles in before a super busy day with my boys, so I quickly got dressed and grabbed my water and Nuun and headed downstairs to get it done!  I had saved up a few episodes of  Jane the Virgin (don’t judge, I love that show) and watched the last 2 episodes so I was all caught up.  I ran the first 3 miles with my Altras and they felt great. I really wanted to keep going in them but played it smart and switched my shoes out to finish the last 7 miles.  I ate a piece of an orange around mile 5 and then at every mile took another slice or two throughout the rest of my run.  I really was unprepared with fuel for this run, but I actually felt fine with the Nuun and the orange, so I went with it.

All in all, I surprisingly felt great, maybe it was my body repaying me for my terrible run on Monday?? I was anticipating this to be much harder, but it looks like I just had a great running day!  I did the 10 miles at a 9:24 pace, which felt very comfortable for me and then did a short .3 mile walking cool down.

sat 10 miler

I finished up my run, had some breakfast, showered and did my hair before Ashton woke up, which was perfect timing!  We had a really busy day ahead of us with hair cuts, birthday parties, friends coming over the house, etc so I was really happy I got my run out of the way early so I didn’t have it hanging over my head all day.  Plus, this was a huge confidence booster for me as 10 miles just felt so long to me since it had been so long since I ran that long.  I have three 10 milers and one 12 miler on the books for this training cycle so I was happy this one went so well!

Sunday: A day of rest!!!  Robyn tweaked his back late Saturday night 🙁 so he was down for the count for the day, which meant Ashton and I went grocery shopping, cooked, cleaned and did laundry while he rested. It was actually a perfect day (minus Robyn’s back) and we all napped, played games and generally just relaxed, which was much needed!

So, there you have it my friends, the Weekly Wrap Up!  Overall, it was a good week of training, I’m feelings stronger and hoping this week is just as good!

Have a great Monday–I will see you later this week!

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Question of the day

How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

The Weekly Wrap Up-Rock CF Half Marathon training Week 4

Happy Monday my friends!  How did everyone fare with the storm this weekend?  Thankfully, we didn’t get hit badly (which is very unusual) so I am really happy!  We probably got 6-8 inches, but for those of us in MA/New England, is really just a dusting. All the roads were plowed down to the pavement and it was a breeze getting into work this morning!

So, as most people were still waking up and/or getting ready to go to work, I was sitting down to type up this post and I couldn’t believe how quickly time was flying by–I just finished week 4 of my Rock CF half marathon training, so let’s see how it went with the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week of 1/18-1/24

Monday: I hit the streets early and since it was a holiday for most people (not for me), and it was ridiculously quiet. I passed one runner at about mile 2 of my run, and that was it.  Usually I pass 15-20 runners, but I guess with the snow and the holiday, people were sleeping in.  It was actually a really peaceful run. It wasn’t as easy navigating the docks and planks as usual but it was dark and quiet and nice.

monday run in snow

Tuesday: My body was pretty sore in the morning but I pushed through and did my full body strength training circuit workout but didn’t do as many leg exercises as usual to give my lower half a little break. Once I got moving and warm, I felt good.  Afterwards I foam rolled. Nothing exciting about this workout.

Wednesday: Hills-total of 4 miles.  1 mile warm up at 8:57 pace, 2 miles of 1/4 mile hill repeats at 7% incline at a 6.0 pace, 1 mile cool down at a variable pace (8:30-8:57)

wed hill

Robyn had his quarterly work meeting so that means he doesn’t get home until late, so I got to take advantage of the one on one time with Ashton and we went out for dinner at his favorite place and of course, followed dinner with some ice cream. He has sitting on my lap and we were doing some drawing and then he asked to take a pic, but each time I snapped it, he would make a funny face–I just love this kid, he is so goofy and fun loving. We were laughing so hard in between takes and he kept saying, “I’ll be serious Mama, I will, I promise!”

wed night w ash

Thursday: Strength training again. I did a full body circuit including legs and felt pretty good, but I need to write down a more focused plan for my strength training days and may even pull out some strength videos and write down the moves.  I am feeling a bit stale in this area right now. Afterwards I did some much needed foam rolling.

thurs strength

Friday: I like Fridays because they are my easy day.  I had 2 miles on the schedule and a lot of foam rolling. I wore my Altras for the entire run and they felt pretty good!

fri run

Saturday: Ashton woke up uncharacteristically early (7:00 a.m.), which means I was up too.  He had a play date at 9 with is old daycare provider (she is amazing and we keep in close contact with her), so we played for a bit and then dropped him off of her house for a few hours so he could play with her family.  We went home and I decided to get in my long run in the morning instead of waiting until the afternoon. I much prefer to run in the morning vs. the afternoon, that’s for sure!  I put on the new episode of Arrow and got started.  I wore my Altras for the first 2.5 miles and then switched them out and felt pretty good.

sat 8 miler

This has been my longest run since running Boston in 2014 so I was unsure on how I would feel, but I felt really good, thankfully!

Sunday: My day of rest.  We got up, ate a lazy breakfast, played, went grocery shopping and I did laundry and packed as I will be gone most of the week for our annual Sales and Marketing conference. Since we didn’t get slammed with snow and it was fairly good temperature wise (30 degrees) we took Ashton outside for some sledding.

ashton sledding

And of course, some ninja training!

So, there you have it my friends, the Weekly Wrap Up!  Overall, it was a good week of training with my longest “long” run in a very long time, a great weekend with my boys…and now I am off this week for a work training!

Have a great Monday–I hope to see you later this week!

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Question of the day

How was your weather this weekend? Get in any good runs?

 

2015 run stats and Run the Year 2016

Hi friends–happy Wednesday!  How’s the week going so far?  Did anyone else get snow last night?  Is Old Man Winter here to stay?  We shall see!

So today, I want to talk number.  I like numbers, metrics, stats.  They can help ground you in what is happening–and I use them almost daily at work to make important business decisions.  However, while numbers are important, they don’t always tell you the entire story.  For example, Daily Mile sends out this great end of year wrap up on your miles, number of runs, etc.. Do, here are my 2015 run stats:

2015 running summary

I like seeing the conciseness of this report, total miles, workouts, mileage by month, its simple and straight to the point, but what is this REALLY telling me other than numbers?  This didn’t show that I participated in two separate 8 and 12-week fitness challenges that focused on heavy strength training and little (non running) cardio that made me a lot stronger than I have been in years.  It also didn’t show that this is the first year since I started running in 2010, I didn’t end up in PT for injuries.  Is that because I was a lot stronger? Because I didn’t run as many miles? Some other reason? I don’t know, but again…numbers only tell part of the story. HOWEVER—they are a great start for bench marking.

I actually didn’t think my miles would be too high this year. First, I didn’t sign up to run a race until the end of September.  If I’m not signed up for a race, I’m not following a training plan, which means I am just going out for leisurely runs with not much focus.  There is nothing wrong with this, it actually was a nice change of pace for me for a while, especially when work was crazy. Just being able to go for a run, however short or long I wanted to, was great for my sanity.  However, for me, it doesn’t lend itself to racking up signficant milege.  Again, this was fine since I wasn’t training for anything and had no need to hit a certain weekly mileage.

I had also made a conscious decision to decrease the number of days I was running because my body just wasn’t handling the running stress well in 2014 (I have seriously terrible calves.) I also decided to spend more of 2015 focusing on building strength since I was no longer teaching my beloved Group Power classes.  I loved the two strength challenges I did, it pushed my limits in a different way than running does and I felt stronger and more confident.  That counts for something, right?  

So, I wasn’t at all surprised that my mileage wasn’t as high as in some other years.  However, I have some new goals for 2016….

My awesome fellow toddler Mama, reading, running, and all around awesome friend Christen asked if I would be interested in running the year with her (and a few other Moms.) Since I wanted a running goal (and some races) to log more miles this year, I said, sure, why not.  So we signed up for Run the Year 2016, came up with our team name 2016 Child Free Miles (#2016CFM) and are logging our miles.

My main goal with this challenge is to run 1,000 miles in 2016. As much as I’d love to run 2,016 miles on my own, my body just doesn’t allow that kind of mileage, so I think 1,000 is more doable–but who knows if this is feasible. It works out to about 3 miles a day, but I can’t run everyday, so we will see how this all plays out. I’m training for a half marathon in March so getting my mileage in now is pretty easy…I just follow the plan!  I am signed up for an 8-10 mile adventure race in August and I have my eyes on a few other races throughout the year.  If they fit into our family schedule, I would like to do them…but all of that is up in the air.

I think it’s good to have goals, but I am also not going to beat myself up about them.  I was TERRIBLE at balancing work, fitness and family last year (and that is a major focus of mine this year that comes ahead of anything else I am doing) so we will see how the pieces fall–wish me luck! 🙂

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Question of the day

Anyone else doing the Run the Year challenge? Other fitness goals? Life goals?

The Weekly Wrap Up-Rock CF Half Marathon training Week 1

Hey friends, how are you doing? How was the weekend?  Today is my first day back to work in over 2 weeks and boy, it was hard to get up when the alarm went off this morning!  Not having to wake up to an alarm clock everyday was kinda amazing!  Anyways, like I said in my last post, I am bringing back the weekly wrap up posts since I am training for a half marathon now and I will have something more to talk about! I just finished week 1 of my Roch CF half marathon training, so let’s see how it went up with the Weekly Wrap Up, shall we?

Week of 12/28-1/3

Monday: I kicked off day 1 of my half marathon training with 4 miles.  It felt great and I took it at a very comfortable pace.

monday day 1 training

Tuesday: I was supposed to lift but I was up at 3:30 am with a terrible migraine and felt all around like junk, so I took an unplanned rest day.  It’s funny, but just a few years ago, I would have pushed through and worked out anyways (hello, I ran 17 miles with the stomach flu–STUPID!) but I know now to be kind to my body, and that is what I did. I took an hour nap in the afternoon and was feeling a bit better by the evening.

Wednesday: I had to wake up a bit earlier than I wanted to so that I could squeeze in my run.  One the plan was a short warm up, 4×400 at a 7:30 pace with 45 seconds of rest in between each set  and a short cool down for a total of 3 miles.

wed speedwork

Then, I quickly showered and got dressed in workout clothes again because I was meeting my friend Michelle at her CrossFit box for their “Bring a Friend” workout.  I haven’t done CrossFit in a few years and man did it make me miss it.  We did a warm up of a bunch of exercises then were told we were doing a partner workout that started with 10 minutes of rowing, switching out partners every 500m, then we went to the next station that was 21 wall balls, 15 box jumps, 9 Burpees.  Each person had to complete the full set before the next person could go. It was as many rounds as possible (AMRAP.) I was the first to go, which kinda sucked because I had to do the whole thing through 3 times. Let me tell you, it doesn’t sound too bad, but I was DYING at the end (in the best way possible.)  When we were done, we did the cool down challenge (3 rounds of 10–75 lb weighted front hold barbell step ups.  Then Michelle wanted a sweaty team pic! 🙂

cross fit

I had such a great time and was so happy Michelle invited me to join her! I really love CrossFit, it just doesn’t work into my schedule right now. Someday when I have a job closer to home, I am definitely joining her box, CrossFit workouts are really my kind of workouts, I love the intensity and I felt like I was home when I walked in there.

After we said our goodbyes, I went home to clean up again and then I had an appointment for an hour sports massage.  This was pure bliss!  I haven’t had a massage in far too long and boy did I need it. My IT bands and calves were SO tight and my awesome masseuse kept asking if I was okay because I told her to go really hard, even through the sweating and tight fists I was making.  It wasn’t meant to be a relaxing massage, I needed her to work out the knots in my body and that is exactly what she did.  I have a feeling I am going to go for a few more appointments through his half marathon training cycle.

Thursday: It was supposed to be a lifting day, but I woke up again with a terrible headache (more on these headaches later) but I just didn’t have it in me to lift, so I did a Pure Barre video and some ab work. Something is better than nothing, right?

Friday: According to my plan, I had to do 2 easy miles, so once Ashton went down for his nap, I did 2(.2) very easy miles on the treadmill while watching Rosewood on Hulu and then did some light yoga.

fri run

Afterwards, I got on my foam roller for the first time in MONTHS. What is that saying again, hurt so good?  Um, that is debatable right now, but it’s what I need to do! I am just thankful my massage helped loosen me up a little otherwise there would have been many more tears (yes, there were some tears!)

Saturday: We woke up, took Ashton to soccer and then ran around until lunch time. Once Ashton went down for his nap, I had to get in my long run of 6 miles.  I jumped on the treadmill and banged out 6.3 miles while watching the last episode of this season’s Arrow on Hulu (anyone else watch it—OMG!) and then ran upstairs to shower quickly and blow dry my hair before it was time for him to get up.

sat long run

I really try to not spend any of the time I could be spending with Ashton running/training, so I try to maximize his naps as best I can.  When my long runs start getting longer, I won’t be able to do it all in an hour or so, and that means I will have to wake up early and get them done, so I am going to enjoy this while it lasts!

Sunday: A day of rest. We went grocery shopping, did laundry, cleaned the house, got our lunches prepped for the week, you know, fun, domestic stuff.

So, there you have it folks, the Weekly Wrap Up!  All in all, it was a decent week, both my strength training days were hijacked, but life happens, I am trying to just go with it and not be such a control freak (let’s see how it goes, no promises!)  I’m hoping you will see me much more regularly around here. Until then I hope you all have a great week ahead of you!

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Question of the day

How was your weekend? What are you training for? What are your 2016 fitness goals?

Happy New Year and my Rock CF Half Marathon Plan

Hey friends–HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  I cannot believe it is 2016–I swear last year FLEW by! I’m hoping 2016 doesn’t go by in the blink of an eye.  There are so many things I am looking forward to in 2016…some fun races, some fun travel plans, Ashton’s 4th birthday and I am sure there will be much, much more!

Since it’s the first day of 2016 and many of us, myself included, are kicking off the new year with fitness on our minds, I figured I would share with you my Rock CF Half Marathon Plan.

I am heading back to Detroit in March to run my second Rock CF Half Marathon so I sat down last week and thought through what I wanted my training plan to be and this is loosely what I came up with. It allows me to run, strength train and get some yoga and stretching in, so it seemed realistic for me.  Any of my running coach friends, feel free to weigh in if something doesn’t look right!

Sara Rock CF half plan

Training started this week, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the next couple of weeks bring! I’ll also be bringing back the weekly workout recaps to keep me accountable!

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Question of the day

What did you do for New Years Eve?

What are you most looking forward to in 2016?

 

SKORA PHASE Shoes {Product Review}

A while back I posted on social media a picture of a new pair of SKORA PHASE shoes I bought and I had lots of questions from readers and friends about my beautiful new shoes and whether I liked them, etc.
skora phase

I wanted to do a review a while ago, but posting lately has been light given the craziness at work and summer, vacations, etc. so while I am home with a sick, napping Ashton, it was the perfect time to actually write my review. Also, I’ve been wearing these shoes now 3x a week for 3 months, so I feel extra confident in the review I am about to deliver because we are far past the honeymoon phase of a new shoe and they are still exceeding my expectations.

First, a little background on SKORA.  SKORA Running is a running shoe company based in Seattle and they have been around since 2012. They make minimalist zero drop running shoes known for their anatomical fit–a foot-like design with negative flare and a curved platform, that provides runners the opportunity to run “natural.” SKORA calls it  “Run Real” –and if you are interested (it’s pretty cool) you can read more about it here.

I happened across these shoes accidentally, but I am SO glad I did.  I was in the market for a great minimalist shoe that I could use while lifting since I was using an older pair of running shoes and just wasn’t feeling the ground contact like I wanted to while squatting.  The SKORA PHASE shoes popped up in a marketing email to me and it was love at first sight.  I mean, these shoes are GORGEOUS. The colors are amazing and I started reading up on them.

“PHASE is constructed using the latest lamination techniques, with a minimal single-layer mesh upper and laminated reflective details. With an asymmetric lacing system and unique IBR outsole, PHASE provides maximum performance with minimum weight and interference. Zero-drop, 11mm stack height.PHASE is built on our revolutionary IBR (Injection Blown Rubber) platform. R02 pushes the boundaries of material technology. IBR offers better abrasion resistance, grip and compression-set than injected EVA with lower density and weight than rubber. This provides a runner with incredible ground feel and running comfort in an amazingly durable, flexible and lightweight complete package.”

Some Key Features:

– 5.8 oz / 163 g
– REALFIT™ last
– Airmesh upper
– Laminated reflective overlays (no-sew)
– Asymmetrical lacing
– Anti-slip microfiber heelpad
– No-tongue design
– Reflective details
– IBR (Injected Blown Rubber) outsole
– Rubber toe bumper
– Zero-drop construction
– Stitch-down construction
– 11mm Forefoot/heel stack height
– 3mm removable Antimicrobial insole

When these shoes arrived, I ripped open the box and the online pictures didn’t do these beauties justice, they are just so bright and GORGEOUS! I love bright colored shoes and these are the best looking workout shoes I have ever owned (those silver stripes are reflective)! I immediately put them on and modeled them for Ashton and Robyn.

skora phase 2

First thing first, these shoes are LIGHT–the lightest shoes I have probably ever held with the exception of flip flops.  They are flexible and when they are on, you really feel that your feet are connecting with the ground.  I love the laces and the gripping on the heel is awesome, especially when I am squatting on the gym floor. I really felt like I was barefoot while wearing them.

The one negative to my shoes (and this is totally my own fault) is that when I ordered them, I ordered them in my running shoe size and they are definitely too big for me, but I just couldn’t bear to part with them once they arrived so I sucked it up and tied them a bit tighter–live and learn right?  These shoes have an extra wide toe box which I really like as well as an airmesh upper that let’s the shoes breathe, meaning no sweaty, smelling shoes post workout. You can also remove the insole to gain more volume by approx. ½ size–something I didn’t need, but would be helpful if you needed the extra space.

For me, this shoe was exactly what I was looking for in a lifting shoe and I have loved them.  The let me get deep into my squats while feeling the ground and I have found they have helped my form a ton because of this. They are super comfortable and mimic being barefoot.  They are designed perfectly for a natural feel and while I don’t use them for running, I can bet they are pretty awesome for all those minimalist runners out there that want something super lightweight–maybe even a racing flat!  I think that I may try a bit of running in them when I order my next pair and see how I do.

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Question of the day

Anyone else out there wear SKORA or other minimalist shoes?  Thoughts? Questions?