Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

It seems as if I have spent a lot of time talking about things that I want to add to my running arsenal and not as much time mentioning the things that I already love.  So for fun I thought I would share a few of my new favorites that I have run (pardon the pun) across lately.  

One thing that I've noticed now that I'm starting to get into longer runs is that I am starting to get more friction blisters.  Admittedly, right now I am also in need of new running shoes, so that's adding to the issue.  Everyone I know has talked about Body Glide, but after not finding it at my local store, and seeing as when I decide I want something, I tend to be all Veruca Salt about it.  In other words, I want it now!  Imagine my surprise stumbling upon Gold Bond Friction Defense.  It had everything I was looking for, it is gentle for sensitive skin (hello, eczema) plus it helps reduce friction while soothing and moisturizing.  It also is not greasy and goes on smooth, no weird texture, no strong odors.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but I have been pleasantly surprised.  I absolutely love it.  I put it on now before every run, long or short and I have not had any new blisters appear since I started using it.  This will definitely be a permanent addition to my running stash.

The other newest find for me has been Gatorade Energy Chews.  This was yet another stumble upon until I could find something else.  Another surprise.  I had been looking for something to help with the drop in energy during my runs.  I am slightly texture adverse so I wasn't sure that the gels were right for me and so I found the Gatorade Energy Chews and decided to try them.  I have mainly stayed with Fruit Punch and I have really, really liked them.  The first time I tried them was for the Woolaroc Road Race and I did notice I didn't not have the energy drop.  I also finished five minutes under my time and joked about the Energy chews being responsible for the speed.  I also have used them on long runs and I used them on the 15k and I do think I see the merits of these for me.  

Of course, I should say that these are my opinions and thoughts on things that have worked for me.  Not endorsed at all.  I'm always excited to find new things and am so happy that I accidentally found both of these products that I just had to share.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tulsa Run 15k race recap

Today was sort of a litmus test for me. It was my longest race to date. Also, the largest in terms of runners participating.













I didn't decide to actually even sign up for this one until last Sunday. Can we say procrastination? I am so glad I did! Even if I froze my booty off for a bit. It was nice to participate in a 35th anniversary race.
One of my favorite signs along the way.  


This race was fun, not Color Run/Glow Run fun...but just pure no gimmicks fun.There were costumes ranging from Elmo and Mrs. Elmo in matching John Cena  Rise Above cancer shirts complete with matching arm bands and sweat bands. A little Snow White, four running Minnie's, several Wonder Women, Sonny and Cher. I actually paced myself off the Minnie's for awhile.


 Despite the cold people were all along the route cheering us on. Live bands along the route livened things up. Possibly my favorite part though was coming up to the finish line I heard my name over the PA by the announcer, let me tell you there's nothing like hearing your name called out like that to make you finish strong.  

I finished a little slower than what I hoped for. I was shooting for 1:39 and ended up at 1:41. But I did lower my pace time compared to my 10k time. My pace was 16 seconds faster per mile than my 10k. So I know I really shouldn't be too upset.  

What I am taking away from this race is that I like the longer runs. I catch my stride when some people might burn out. I also learned how to negotiate my biggest pack of runners yet and it wasn't nearly as chaotic as I expected it to be.I also got a new favorite long sleeve tech shirt out of the deal and a new medal to add to my wall.   Finally compression capri's amazing.

This will be a repeat next year for sure.

Friday, October 26, 2012

You will be mine!

Big news in the Princess Half Marathon world.  The 5th Anniversary medal was just revealed.  Actually, it was revealed two days ago, but that still constitutes as just, right?  

So in just barely under four months, this little beauty will be all mine.  

Isn't it beautiful? Five stones for each of the years the race has taken place.  Super blingy and all sorts of girly.  Cannot wait to have this around my neck and then add it to my medal wall when I get home.  

And just as an aside, how on earth is it getting so close?  Crazy.  I feel like time is flying.  But I can not wait.  I'm sure you haven't guessed that one yet.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Proud to Sweat Pink!

Check out the super special new badge I have on top of my sidebar.  Do you see it?  Isn't she pretty?  As of yesterday I became a Sweat Pink Ambassador through Fit Approach.  

What does that mean you might ask?  Sweat Pink Ambassadors live the Fit Approach mission every day; they sweat hard, play hard and inspire those around them to achieve their best selves.  This is truly what I try to do be the best Suzanne that I can be whether it's running, working, or family time.  I try to encourage those around me to do the same as well.  Most importantly I am striving to show my littles that they are capable of doing anything, that they are stronger than they know.  I am trying to instill in them a love of being active and of making better food choices, even if it's not always the fun one.   

The perk for me is to be involved with an awesome community that strives for the same goals that I do, we are not all runners but we are all athletes in our respective ways.  I can continue to learn and grow in my fitness journey with a group of supportive sisters behind me.  

I am so honored and excited to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador!  


Monday, October 22, 2012

And so it begins...

This calendar reminder popped up for me today. Tomorrow is the day that I "officially" start my training for the Princess Half! I am using Run Disney guru (and Olympian) Jeff Galloway's "finish upright" training plan.

I initially downloaded the plan to increase my time but at the time I allowed myself to get intimidated by a 16 mile run.

I will say now I'm not quite as intimidated but figured I haven't done a half yet so I will continue to work on the mechanics and hope the speed comes along with it!

I will also admit I do have a time goal i mind already. After my 15k on Saturday I will have a better idea as to whether I'm overestimating or underestimating my ability.

Here I go! The Princess Half is finally getting close.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Well, that's a first

I swallowed my first bug. At least the first bug that I was actually aware of swallowing. Yep, super fun.    Not a pleasant experience but not nearly as bad as I thought.  I'm not willingly going to try to repeat it again though.  But for now, I will chalk this up to a running rite of passage.

Friday, October 19, 2012

What makes a runner?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I have to admit, sometimes I feel a bit silly chronicling my journey as a newbie runner. Even as recently as this past Saturday while lined up at the start for the Woolaroc Road Race I felt like a sham. I had my running shorts on, my new nano, my Asics, my long sleeve dri fit on but I felt so out of place. It's kind of insidious how those thoughts creep in. I'm plugging along and wham insecurity creeps in. "You are not a runner yet, you aren't fast enough...you don't train hard enough, you don't push yourself hard enough". I'm sure you get the idea. But then I go and beat my goal and I think "ha! take that". Yes, I do have these internal conversations quite often. Here's what I'm learning, running is as much mental as it is physical. I am only competing against myself not against anyone else. When I begin to hesitate in thinking I am a runner, I realize there really is only one prerequisite to carry that designation. I am a runner, because I run. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter how fast, a mile is still a mile. It doesn't matter if I might do run, walk intervals every once in awhile. It doesn't matter what gear I have or don't have. I get out there at least three times a week and I run. I run because I enjoy it and because it has changed me. That alone makes me a runner.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Everybody's doing it!

Wicked Wallies that is...at least in my house. Two weeks ago I decided to take part in Girls Gone Sporty Wicked Wallies Challenge.

I thought it would be a fun and quick way to add another level to my quest to get fit. It has not disappointed...I actually look forward to doing it first thing in the morning and I can see myself continuing with the wall squats even after the challenge is over. I even have done it while visiting my sister. So easy to do no matter where you are...if there is a wall there is a way to get it done.

Initially, I have been doing it on an empty wall in my bedroom closet. The past two days I have been off with my littles for fall break and so I moved out to the living room. By doing this it has raised the interest of my daughter and our black lab.

My daughter wanted to try and the pup decided it was a great time to give me some love.
It's been a fun way to sneak some extra core exercises in and as an added bonus my littles get to see me trying to be fit in what could be seem as a rather unconventional and to them a seemingly fun way. Bonus!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Excuses...Excuses

Since I've been in a bit of a short run rut, I've been looking for motivation to get out there and just run.

This is exactly what I needed.



Such a great reminder.  Even if I don't want to run, the results (mood, energy, overall well being) are undeniable.





Saturday, October 13, 2012

Woolaroc Road Race 8k Race Recap

I have grown up around Woolaroc most of my life.  It's always a great reminder to me of Oklahoma.  The history that is here, the beauty of the grounds, the animals, the legends of Frank Phillips and his infamous poker games and the dastardly bank robbers that would hide out in the rock formations in the hills.

When my husband and I got married we actually considered having at least the reception there but opted against it mainly because of the distance from our church but the location wasn't easily accessible for everyone.

That being said I have heard people talking about the Woolaroc Road Race for awhile.  I never thought that I would actually run it though.  Quite frankly didn't want to run it.  Why would I not run a race in a spot that I loved?  Simple, hills and lots of them.  I don't like hills.  They intimidate me but I do realize I have to run them to get better at them.  Why did I end up running the road race?  The Oilman's Challenge, a nifty little medal that I can get after completing a local 5k, 8k and 10k from August 2012 through March of 2013.  So I caved.  I was a little nervous because I have slacked off on running this week, also none of my running friends were going to be me with me.  Oh yeah, and have I mentioned I don't like hills?  This was a perfect opportunity to see how it will be when I run the Princess Half solo (with thousands of new friends).

We all got up early and headed out to Woolaroc the amazing thing was being there so early we got to see a ton of the animals roaming free, mostly deer and buffalo.  Seeing the animals out in plain view got me so excited to be able to run around Woolaroc that I almost forgot the hills.  Almost...



The beauty of the run today was just spectacular.  The fall hues are waking up, lots of green still on the ground, crisp but humid air and a slight rain for a few minutes.  I found myself in awe of the surroundings and just how stinking pretty Woolaroc is, and also realized that I need to visit more often with my family.  While most of the animals disappeared while we were running (they were conveniently being fed at that time) there were still some animals in their homes that actually ran along their enclosures with us.  Pretty cool.  

I did find myself distracted by my surroundings and was not so focused on my pace and intervals.  I just was there.   The only downside (other than the hill that might replace my nemesis hill) was that I had to stop not quite half way and fix my chip.  I didn't quite get it right and it was almost off. So I lost a  little bit of time there but couldn't help that.  I'm trying not to focus on the what ifs because I really did better than I had planned and even clocked my fastest non treadmill mile today.  I will also say that I can see that my incline work on the treadmill has paid off as I did actually run the hills.

 I had a goal in my head of 55 minutes (roughly based on my recent 10:34-11'ish pace I seem to be stuck at lately) and I finished around 50:24 (give or take a second or two).  I finally broke my pace up a bit.  Despite having the unplanned stop I'm pretty pleased with that time.

All in all it was a great race, a beautiful morning and I so can't wait to do it again next year.








Thursday, October 11, 2012

Run anyway...

Ever have an off week? Where as much as you love to run and know how much better things are after a run, you just don't want to do it? 

That's been me this week. I just can't quite get there. So many excuses, I have to go to the bank...I have a headache...I'm tired...I don't want to just run a half hour...I have an 8k on Saturday and I have a "bonus" run that I can sneak in on Sunday.

Here's what I've learned this week I can always come up with excuses, justifications, whatever but when I don't want to run is when I need it the most.

So from here on out when I don't want to run...I will run anyway. No matter what and I will feel so much better because I did.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tutu Excited

Pardon the cheesy pun, but my tutu has officially been ordered and paid for.  I am so stinking excited and I can't wait to show it to you when I get it.

It is perfect!  Had every element I was looking for...even if I didn't know what that was until I saw this tutu.  Of course, I should fess up I found it on a Google image search and was part of a four year old birthday party theme.

My husband would say that is a perfect choice for me ;)  The age, not necessarily the character.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Gear Envy: Shoe Edition

One thing I'm learning is the more I run, the more gear I hear about and the more things I want to get as things go forward.  So I thought I would share what I am eyeing for the future.  LOL



First off new shoes.  I love my Asics, but they are over six months now and are starting to feel heavy.  When my shoes stop being comfy or feel heavy I start shoe obsessing.  I am an overpronator even though I have a high arch and generally like stability, but now I am trying to find something that provides stability and is lightweight.  Bonus points for a good color combo.

Here are the ones that I am considering for my next go round.  One by word of mouth and the others just from my own research.

The first Nike LunarGlide:  One of our good friends in Philly recommended these shoes the last time we were there.  Love the color combo
 Next up the ones that I've been looking at without the recommendation.

The Mizuno Wave Inspire

The Brooks Pure Connect:




And finally the Asics Gel Phoenix, as I mentioned I love my Asics Gel's that I have right now so these might be a safe bet too.







Are you noticing a color trend?  hmm...think I'm leaning to grey and purple.  At this point though the Lunarglide and the Wave Inspire are in the forefront.  I don't think I could go wrong with any of them.  Who knew picking my running shoe would take so much time and research.  I'm also even more impressed that I can say I overpronate and actually know what I'm talking about.  






Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ack!

I have been so Princess Half focused that my first marathon relay is looming a little over a month away!

I was worried about it when we initially signed up for the relay because outside of one 10k I hadn't much past 3 miles on a consistent basis. I was also bold enough to volunteer for two legs if necessary. That really scared me.

I suppose I have been so focused on the half and increasing my distance that I had inadvertently been preparing for the relay. I also am so much more confident in my abilities and if for some reason I have to run two legs, I know that I would be able to do that without too much fear.

So here comes the mini countdown to my relay.  Just 44 days away.