BattleFrog Race Series Coupon Code

28 Aug

Happy Thursday!

I just wanted to share a coupon code I received via email from the BattleFrog Race Series. If you use the code “FROGMAN” you’ll get 50% off! Yes, FIFTY PERCENT. What an awesome deal! It’s so great I wish I could do the races with you (unfortunately the timing doesn’t work for me).

They have events in Pittsburgh and Miami this year and other additional locations in 2015.

A brief explanation of their races:

If you’re not familiar with BattleFrog, we’re relatively new to the obstacle course racing world, but have been quickly gaining a good following as we put on our first few events. The race series was designed and founded by Navy SEALs, but our events are built for the entire family. We offer courses that are 15k and 5k in length, each with a myriad of obstacles for racers to overcome, and younger racers can take part in our Tadpole events as well.

If you end up taking advantage of this offer and attending one of their events please let me know how it goes! I love the idea of an obstacle course series that appeals to multiple audiences!

For more information check out the BattleFrog website, facebook and twitter.

I received no compensation for this post, and receive no compensation if you register using the promo code written above. I was contacted with the promo code and wanted to share it!

Cross Training (Tuesdays on the Run)

26 Aug
Tuesdays on the Run

Every Tuesday I am joining a link up with MCM Mamma Runs, Run the Great Wide Somewhere and My No Guilt Life. You can find out more about the link up here.

This weeks topic: Cross Training!

While running is definitely my favorite way to break a sweat I love trying out other forms of cross training!  Here’s what I’ve tried and what I think:

BodyPump – As you will soon see many of my current cross training favs are programs released by Les Mills. The gym I go to focuses on Les Mills classes so that is what I have the most access to. I joined my gym exactly a year ago (tomorrow will be a year!) because I was looking for a way to do strength training without having to go into a weight room clueless. According to the website, BodyPump ” the original LES MILLS™ barbell class, will sculpt, tone and strengthen your entire body, fast!” The class is one hour long and consists of music tracks that lead you through a warm up, a song targeting each major muscle group (squats, chest, back, triceps, lunges, biceps, shoulders, core) and a cool down. I love it because it works your entire body. I have found that I have gained strength that can not only be measured by putting more weight on my bar but I can also see through changes in my arms, back, chest and legs.  I try to do BodyPump 2 to 3 times a week, and tend to cut it out of my routine the week before a race since the leg tracks can be pretty fatiguing. More information about BodyPump is available on the Les Mills site here.

1167184_10151830075448767_1428470799_oSpinning/RPM – I still remember my first spinning class a little under 2 years ago. It was a charity event that my boss talked me and some friends into attending since his wife was teaching the class. I was SO scared. I had no idea how to adjust a spinning bike to work for my body, how to change resistance, or even how to stand up on a bike. The first class was tough – it was different exercise than I had ever experienced – but I was hooked. I did spinning for about a year and now do RPM (the Les Mills indoor cycling program) since that is what my gym offers. I find that Spinning/RPM really helps build my leg strength and stamina without having a lot of impact on my joints – I get enough of that with running.  I try to do RPM 1 to 2 times a week, depending on if I am training for a race or not.

BodyAttack – If I have a cross training obsession right now it is probably BodyAttack. BodyAttack is a Les Mills class that is “sports inspired.” It is an hour long and includes running, jumping, lunges, burpees. upper body work, and core work to name a few. I love the high intensity of this class and I always leave with a huge endorphin rush! I try to take BodyAttack once a week (it is too intense to take more than that with my running). More information about BodyAttack is available on the Les Mills site here.

Yoga/BodyFlow – I have tried out many different types of Yoga depending on what I am feeling at any current time. For a while I was doing hot yoga that was pretty intense, but I did it multiple times a week. This was about a year and a half ago. Then I sort of fell off the wagon and started to take lunch time yoga at work to stretch out mid-week. Unfortunately my work schedule got in the way of really enjoying the class so now I am occasionally taking BodyFlow classes (the Les Mills class that is inspired by Yoga) or doing Yoga DVDs at home. I love how relaxed yoga can make me feel – and hot yoga I think is a great way to relax your muscles and your mind. Unfortunately at this time in my life I find it very difficult to commit to regular classes. I do try to fit it in every now and then and have been trying to work it in more as my mileage has increased due to marathon training.

Kickboxing – For about a year I attended a kickboxing class through work until the program was discontinued. I loved the feeling of power I had as we practiced punching and kicking. It was really fun and a really unique way of cross training that I definitely miss.

Zumba/Sh’Bam – I had a pretty intense Zumba obsession about a year ago due to the easy access to classes through work over lunch time. I really enjoyed sweating in a completely fun and carefree way. I have even attended Zumbathons – 2-3 hour events of Zumba-ing! It really is a lot of fun. Since joining my gym I have attended Sh’Bam (the Les Mills cardio dance class) about once a week on and off. I find its a really fun way to burn some calories and have some fun. :)

Others – I have also tried out CXWORX and BodyCombat (both Les Mills programs) but not frequently enough to talk about the benefits I experienced.

The key to cross training is to find something you enjoy doing. That will keep you going back for more. :)

Wineglass Marathon Training (Week 11)

22 Aug

Week 11! This week felt much better than last week, maybe partially since I had to push my 16 miler to last friday and took the entire weekend off since we had company. That gave me more rest days than normal!

Saturday – Rest day

Sunday – Rest day

Monday – 4 Miles of speedwork – more 1200s, I am really hating 1200s. haha

Tuesday – BodyPump*

Wednesday – 10 miles at marathon pace. It took some planning to have the time to run for 2 hours after work on a week day but I did it and it was so worth it! I did this one on the treadmill because of some unpredictable weather and enjoyed watching The Hunger Games while I ran. It made the time fly by! I practiced my race day strategy (since this was a race pace run) of taking a 1 minute walk break every mile and taking in fuel every 45 minutes. It worked well!

Thursday – BodyAttack* + BodyPump

Friday – I’m hoping to fit in some P90x Yoga or possibly a BodyFlow* class after work. If not this will be a rest day.

Total Miles: 14 – however, technically last weeks 16 miler would count to this week which would make it 30. ;)

*Links for more information: BodyPump, BodyAttack, BodyFlow

This weekend will be a cut back in mileage which is nice. I’ll probably feel like I have a TON of free time, haha. I’ve got 12 miles planned for tomorrow and on Sunday I’m hoping to do my BodyPump + RPM combo since I skipped RPM on wednesday to save my legs for the pace run.

Have a great weekend!!!

PA Grand Canyon Half Marathon (Race Recap)

20 Aug

On July 26th I ran the PA Grand Canyon Half Marathon in Wellsboro, PA. This was the inaugural year for the half marathon and the second year they did the full marathon (the half marathon was on saturday, the full on sunday).

My dad and I drove to Wellsboro after work on Friday, since their packet pickup went pretty late. I was grateful not to have to take a day off of work! Packet pickup was a breeze since this was a smaller race. We got a nice unisex tech shirt and our bibs. They also had a small selection of Gus and other running gear in case you needed anything last minute. We stayed at the Penn Wells Hotel in downtown Wellsboro. The location was great – really close to the school where packet pick up and the race shuttles were – and parking was super convenient since they have their own lot. The hotel is an older hotel that has a Victorian feel. It has a lot of character but don’t stay there expecting a Marriott. :)

We walked around downtown looking for dinner and eventually walked into a local Italian place thanks to Yelp recommendations. I got my typical Cesar salad and Pasta (stuffed shells, yum). And also had a beer… because that counts as additional carbs. Right? Right. :) It didn’t seem to cause any issues with my performance the next day, I  just made sure to be good and hydrated and drank plenty of water with it.

After dinner we went back to the hotel and I set out my race day outfit.

PA Grand Canyon Half 1 (1)I also loved the two digit bib number. How often does that happen?!

Saturday morning we woke up early – like Disney race early – to get ready and head to the school where they were running shuttles to the PA Grand Canyon, where the race was. It was about a 35 minute drive, so the Race Director recommended getting on as early of a shuttle as you could (they started running at 4:15 with the last one leaving at 5:45). I think we caught a shuttle around 4:45. Crazy early. But it was really nice to just drive the short distance to the school and then have someone handle the driving to the race course. :)

Once we got to the canyon it was still dark and we had plenty of time to go to the rest room multiple times, stretch, eat last minute gels, etc. They had an emcee there to entertain us and the overall atmosphere was really relaxed. It reminded me of how I have always imagined a trail race would be. Basic start and finish line with a banner, small, relaxed atmosphere.  I think if I did this race again I would take a beach towel or something to sit/lay on while waiting. The bag check was on the honor system though- there was an area to leave it right by the start/finish line so you can literally drop any “throwaway clothes” off at the bag check 5 minutes before the race starts. No need to actually throw them away. :)

I took this photo of the canyon after the sun came up. Gorgeous right?

PA Grand Canyon Half 2

At 7am sharp the race started and it took maybe 30 seconds for me to cross the start. From the very beginning I loved the race course. It was so wonderful being out and close to nature. Here’s a blurry photo to give you an idea of the course.PA Grand Canyon Half 3

Most of the course was packed gravel roads which was a different running surface than I was used to be it was totally fine to run on. Pacing wise, I tried to stick to my marathon goal pace to see how it felt. I took a 1 minute walk break at every mile marker (I’m planning to do the same for the Wineglass Marathon) and walked to take gus and go through the water stops.

I just took in the sights and sounds of nature and smiled literally for the first 9 miles. I was loving it. Around mile 5 there was a pro photographer taking photos of runners at an overlook. I liked the photo so much I bought it.PA Grand Canyon Half 4

What other race could provide such an awesome view? :) My pace was good, I was loving the course, and enjoying the amount of runners around me – I was able to run “alone” but there was always someone a little bit in front and behind me so I never felt really alone. It was perfection.

At mile 10 or so things started to go down hill. First up? Chafing. awesome. I have never had issues with my legs chafing in a race before, but I just purchased a new tube of body glide and for some reason it didn’t seem to work as well as the previous one. It hurt really really bad. I have never stopped at a med stop before but I had to this time – he gave me some “surgical lubricant” that sort of worked – but it stung putting it on and by the end of the race it had worn off again. It was SO frustrating to feel good but have my skin hurt so bad that I had to slow to a walk/waddle. So frustrating. Lesson learned. I bought a new tube of a different anti-chafe product the day after I got home from the race.

Around mile 11 the course gets a bit tough. It is pretty much up hill. PA Grand Canyon Half Elevation

One thing to keep in mind with my Garmin data is that because this course is really out in the middle of no where the Garmin doesn’t do the best job calculating. I think my final “distance” was 13.6 or something. So take the elevation chart for what it is – a general look at the elevation but not exact.

The hills felt steep and they just felt like they kep going from mile 11 til the very end. To be honest I don’t remember the downhill that’s shown around 12.5. I just remember feeling so mentally defeated – I’d get up what I thought was the hill, only to turn the corner and see another uphill. It was very tiring.  I give anyone who was able to run up those hills a lot of credit.

Looking at my pacing I really did stick to my marathon pace until mile 10, so for that I am pretty happy. But my pace for the last three miles was not good at all. Final Time was 3:22:13. Not a time I am proud of or I hoped I would end in given how great I felt in the beginning of this race.

However, I would do this race again, hands down. I love the relaxed feel of it, the small size and the scenery can’t be beat. Next time I’ll just make sure to use more Body Glide. :)PA Grand Canyon Half 5

 

Running Fuel (Tuesdays on the Run)

19 Aug
Tuesdays on the Run

Every Tuesday I am joining a link up with MCM Mamma Runs, Run the Great Wide Somewhere and My No Guilt Life. You can find out more about the link up here.

This weeks topic: Fueling for a run!!

Over the 3 years that I have been running half marathons I have found a fueling regimen that works very well for me. It involves being conscious of my diet in the days leading up to a long run or race, what I eat before and during a run/race and what I eat to recover afterwards. Some parts of the process I feel I have down to a science at this point, where as others I think I am still figuring out.

Pre-Run

In the days leading up to a long run or race I will be very conscientious of my water intake – I make sure to drink a ton of it! I’ll also sometimes add Nuun to the water to boost the electrolytes. I also make sure to up my carb intake some. I have found that carb-loading really helps my performance.

Before a long run or race I will eat a simple breakfast of granola and almond/soy milk. Early on, I tried the whole peanut butter/bread/banana thing and found that the peanut butter was too heavy in my stomach and the banana…well it caused some gastrointestinal issues ifyouknowwhatImean. Granola and almond or soy milk has served me well! I try to eat at least an hour before the run. I also sip a little bit of water but not too much.

If I am feeling a little sluggish, going on a really long training run (12 miles or more), or am doing a race I also eat a pack of Sport Beans 30-40 minutes before I run. SportBeans (source)

The little bit of caffeine and sugar really helps me to get moving.

During the Run

During a run I follow a very strict 45 minute fueling rule. This is something I started using when my runs hit more than 7 miles for the first time and has worked well for me.  If I am planning to run for longer than an hour and a half, every 45 minutes starting at 45 minutes into the run I take some kind of fuel. Typically I’ll stick to Gus. I am LOVING the Chocolate Outrage flavor right now, but also try to mix it up and currently have Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter and Mint Chocolate in the rotation. I’ll usually have a few different flavors over the course of a run to keep things interesting.GuChocolateOutrage (source)

During marathon training, I have also added Swedish Fish to my running fuel.

SwedishFish (source)

During the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2013 I got really tired of eating Gus by the end of the race. I was looking for something with a slightly different texture and flavor and saw these as a popular choice so I gave them a shot and am so happy I did. So every other time that I fuel during marathon training and the race itself I have 6-10 swedish fish – this gives me about 60-100 calories (a Gu is 100).

I take the Gus or Swedish fish when I see a water stop coming up so that 1) I can drink some water immediately after eating it and 2) I can throw the wrapper in the provided garbage. On training runs I make sure to take a few sips of water after I eat them as well. I have found this to be very important for me.

Post-Run

Post-run is where I tend to struggle to be honest. I have yet to figure out the best thing to eat to aid in my recovery. After my 15 and 16 miler I immediately sat down and drank 16 ounces of chocolate milk. This has seemed to help with soreness and stiffness. Other than that I try to drink water throughout the rest of the day. I do get pretty hungry a few hours after and will eat whatever I can find, but honestly I don’t have any specific go-tos. I tend to just eat what my body craves and until I feel satisfied.

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