Tag Archives: Tuesdays on the Run

2015 Race Plans (Tuesdays on the Run)

13 Jan

On Tuesdays 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: 2015 Race Plans!

I’ve never been one to majorly plan out my races for the year all at once. I tend to sign up for a few and then do some research, and then sign up for a few more as I feel like it. So here’s what my race calendar looks like right now, but I’m sure it will change as things get more solidified.

January & February

  • Nothing…. Pennsylvania and the east is cold this time of year!

March

  • My husband and I go to Florida every year so I always look for a 5k or 10k that I can run one morning while we are there.  So I may end up running something, or I may not.
  • I may also run a local 5k towards the end of March or beginning of April.

April

  • Hershey 10k (4/11) – Maybe. I have a hotel room booked but am still on the fence about doing the actual race and will probably wait until February to register.  I do really enjoy this race though.
  • Asbury Park Half Marathon (4/18) – This will be my first New Jersey race!

May

  • Pittsburgh Half Marathon (5/3) – I love this race, so I always sign up when registration first opens! This will be my fourth year running it. 🙂 Race recaps: 2012, 2013, 2014.

June, July, August, September, October

  • Yet to be scheduled, but there will probably be a 5k in July and there is always potential for a Color Run or Mud Run during the summer months.
  • In September or October it would be nice to do a half marathon or two.

November

  • Rock n’ Roll Savannah Half Marathon (11/7) & Rock n’ Roll Savannah 5k (11/8) – I am so excited to travel to Savannah, GA for this race! My dad and I try to do a destination race every year and for 2015 this is what we picked! I’m also excited about a Half/5k Double weekend, and checking another state off the list!
  • I’ll probably run a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning – I love getting in a run before a day of relaxation and food!

December

  • I always end up running a local New Years Eve 5k so there is a high chance this will happen again.

So that’s my year in racing, so far!

My Favorite Race Distance (Tuesdays on the Run)

30 Sep

On Tuesdays 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: Favorite Race Distance 

This may come as no surprise but my favorite race distance is hands-down the Half Marathon.

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Runner’s World Half Marathon in 2013

I have run 15 of them and though I have had some hard moments during many races, I love the experience of training and eventually running them.

Disney Princess Half

My Second Half Marathon in 2011 @ Disney

My reasons for loving the half marathon distance are:

  • Training for them is a small time commitment – you can cross the finish line by simply running 30 minutes twice a week and working up to a 10 mile run on the weekends.  Marathon training tends to be MUCH more time consuming.
  • It is a longer race distance that is accessible to many people of all sizes, abilities and paces.  I love being around so many different runners during these races.
  • The pace you run for a half marathon is a slow enough pace that your lungs aren’t burning (if you aren’t competing at least, haha), but fast enough that you don’t feel like you are going at a snails pace.
  • Tons of options – half marathons are super common and easy to find. I live in the middle of central Pennsylvania and have run them in Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and of course Pennsylvania (though from this list I am realizing I need to venture into Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey :)).
    PittsburghHalfMarathon2014 (4)

    Bridges during the Pittsburgh Half Marathon

    HHHalf2

    The reservoir we ran around in Massachusetts during the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Weekend

  • Quick Recovery. I find that I am able to recover from my long runs during training and after the race itself within a day or two, no issues.
  • The Bling! Often, half marathons are the shortest distance that races give out medals (though I am seeing medals being offered at the 5k and 10k distances more and more).PA Grand Canyon Half 5hhhalfm-3
  • Crossing the finish – I’m not sure what it is, but crossing the finish line gives me a feeling of accomplishment that I just don’t feel after a 5k or 10k.

    WDWHalf09

    Goofy Challenge Half Marathon in 2013

And that is why I ❤ 13.1. 🙂

Color Runs and Obstacle Races (Tuesdays on the Run)

23 Sep
Tuesdays on the Run

On Tuesdays 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: Going Off-Road: Obstacle Runs, Color Runs, etc

Color Runs

I have been lucky enough to participate in four color runs – three via The Color Run (two in Philadelphia, one in central PA), and one through Color Me Rad (in Philadelphia). ColorRun (8)

I enjoyed all of them, and had a great time completing a 5k with groups of friends. I really think that color runs are a great way to get people moving that wouldn’t otherwise complete a 5k. They are all about having fun and enjoying yourself. I always giggle to myself when I see people with headphones and GPS watches on – these races are not a serious race. If you do one, don’t worry about time- just enjoy yourself! In fact, at the last one I did, my friend was recovering from knee surgery so we just walked the whole thing and had a ton of fun!  If you want to read about my experience at The Color Run in Philadelphia in 2012 or the Color Me Rad race in Philadelphia in 2013 feel free to click those links.

Obstacle Runs

I have also been lucky to experience both The Warrior Dash and the Dirty Girl Mud Run. Both are mud/obstacle courses that are approximately 5k long but they are totally different experiences. Dirty Girl Mud Run has a “girl power” kind of feel to it. Lots of women do it in groups (there are very few men that I saw on the course) and there is lots of pink. It is great for a first time obstacle course because a lot of the obstacles are really fun inflatable things – like a huge slide!  My race recap of the Dirty Girl Mud Run is here.dirtygirlmudrun4

 

The Warrior Dash is a little harder than the Dirty Girl Mud Run – the obstacles tend to be higher and more difficult. But in the realm of obstacle races I would bet the Warrior Dash is still much easier than the Spartan Race or Tough Mudder. However, for me, The Warrior Dash is about as difficult as I would get. My race recap of the Pennsylvania Warrior Dash in 2012 is here.Warrior Dash (4)

Overall, I think color and mud runs are a great way to have fun and have a race experience that will challenge you in ways different from road races. I totally recommend that if you haven’t checked out a color run or mud run that you do. There is definitely something for everyone!

 

 

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. 🙂

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.