Winter Update

I have been MIA for a while – a LONG while – but I’m determined to be back with a vengeance! I ended up falling while out on a run by myself (technically, I wasn’t alone, but my parent’s Jack Russell wasn’t super helpful during the situation) and had to stumble the 0.8 miles back home on a busted up knee that was bleeding profusely, and a seriously sprained ankle. WARNING: the following images are not for the faint of heart.

nasty knees20130918_204431

My knee was bleeding so much I had to take off my dirty sock and use it as a band-aid to keep the blood from pooling in my shoe. And as you can see on the right, my ankle ballooned up rather nicely.

So, needless to say, I was out of commission on the running front for a while. Ten weeks to be exact. At this point, I have crazy nasty scars on my knee, and the Mederma doesn’t seem to be doing much, and my ankle is still a little swollen and hurts when I touch it. But I can put weight on everything just fine.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon is coming up faster than I expected. I can’t remember if I blogged about the drama involved with registration, so if this is a repeat, I am ever so sorry. But actually I kind of like repeating myself. I wanted to register for the Glass Slipper Challenge, cause hey, 3 medals for 2 runs sounds pretty good to me! It ended up being pretty pricey and I couldn’t afford the fees when sign ups went live. A few days later after I was paid, it was already sold out. Bummer! But it’s ok. I registered for the Enchanted 10k with two of my old friends from high school.

On Friday, I received an email from a travel agent I had contacted back in May/June (and promptly forgot about) saying a space had opened up for the Challenge! The only caveat was I had to book my hotel in her room block – which gave me the choice of 3 Disney hotels for less than their normal rate. I was sold. Even better – Disney will refund my original 10k registration fee so I’m not out that money! It was kismet. However; that means I’ve got to be in tip top shape by the end of February to make it through 19.3 mi in about 24-26 hours. Also, we decided to run the Enchanted 10k as The Incredibles and I’m going to make a Sofia the First costume for the Princess Half. SO EXCITED.

And so I re-start my half marathon training – again. I had been hesitant to run since there is still some swelling and pain in my ankle, but I’ve been able to walk fine for about a month. This morning I did a very slow 3 mi because 1) I’m out of shape, 2) it’s so cold it hurt my lungs, and 3) I don’t want to do anything to crazy and risk another injury. I’m planning on wearing an ankle brace or wrap for the time being on my bad ankle, just to keep it from rolling over again, which is how I’ve gotten all 5 (or is it 6 now?) ankle sprains I’ve had.

Today’s run: 3.04 mi in 34:37 for an average pace of 11:23. I know that sounds bad, but 11 is my target pace for the half. I took a lot of long walk breaks to deal with the painful cold air and to make sure my joints were feeling alright, and they were. My goal is 4 runs a week (three to be between 3-5 mi with one long run on either Saturday or Sunday to increase mileage).

Watch out Orlando, I’m coming for you – and your little medals too!


Half Training: 4 mi Run

Saturday morning was my first group run with theFleet Feet beginner half marathon training program. They had pacing groups ranging from sub-9 up to 13:00 min/mi. I was on the fence about which group to join since I 10/mi is my goal, but I also don’t want to get in over my head and struggle or get injured. I ended up with the 11:00 min group, which was a great decision. My group was myself, our group mentor, and one other woman. The 10:30 group on the other hand had around 15 people.

We ran 4 miles from the store, through Meredith College, around the NC Art Museum and back. As you may know if you’ve read prior posts, I’ve always done run/walk intervals in my runs. Towards the end of my time improvement group there was only 1 or 2 breaks, but still, my endurance has never been great on longer runs. With such a small group, it’s hard to drop back and take a break without being noticed, so I really tried to keep the pace and run the whole four miles. And I did. I ran the whole four miles without stopping. I know it may not sound like much, but for me that’s a huge accomplishment.

The final tally was 4.03 miles in 45:43. With all the hills around the Art Museum, the pace did slow a bit, but pretty darn close to 11:00/mi the whole run. Overall it was a wonderful experience and I’m so excited about the next 11 weeks of training with this group

average pace

Week of 8/19/13 Summary

Monday: Arm and abs circuits from Summer Workout Schedule. Walked 1.5 miles.

Tuesday: Ran 3.03 miles in 29:56. Arms and legs circuits from Summer Workout Schedule.

Wednesday: Walked 1.5 miles.

Thursday: Walked 1.5 miles.

Friday: Rest.

Saturday: Ran 4.03 miles in 45:43. No walk breaks!

Sunday: Rest.

Ellie Summer Collections Review

I know I’ve posted a few rants about Ellie but I still look forward to their new collections each month, and generally love the pieces I get. I skipped a few collections this summer: Coral Crush because I hated everything, only one piece from Cosmic Love because the visible seaming offended me, and Summer Splendor had half repeats from prior collections. I do love the capris I purchased from Cosmic Love (returned the baffling Ultraviolet Tank because the random back piece had no apparent purpose) and finally the Bon Voyage collection has been superb!

Since I’m finally going to be running again, I can finally do a review of the pieces I received and how they’ve held up. Today I paired the Cosmic Capri with the Ibiza Loop Tank.

front view

I was happy that Ellie listened to customer complaints and started putting removable pads in all their tanks with built in shelf bras; however for running, I figured they still wouldn’t have enough support for me, so I wore a regular sports bra under the tank without any pads. Definitely no complaints about the level of support with both the built in and a regular sports bra.

I really like the color, pattern, and fabric of the Ibiza Loop Tank. It’s very soft and really comfy. I like that it’s not skin tight in my stomach area, but is still fitted. Not sure if it’s clear from that picture, but there’s a light stripe in the material and it’s pieced together so they’re at different angles. One complaint: you can see where the bra inserts go and the fabric is lighter/thinner in between, so you can see a difference right in the middle of the top.

I’ve been wearing the Cosmic Capris regularly around the house as lounge wear, and I’ve loved them. They have a criss-cross (surplice?) waistband that’s really comfortable, and I love the pattern at the back of the leg. Please excuse the lack of a back view picture – the one I took was horrible and I can’t bear to put the sweaty clothes back on to take a new picture.

Now, how did they do on a 3 mile run today? The verdict: just okay. I had to pull the shirt down a few times and the pants up. Since the waistband isn’t super tight, it did slide down a few times. Luckily, as the shirt wasn’t too tight, it only rode up a little bit, and not all up to my armpits like some tighter ones have before. I noticed a fun trend: the faster I ran, the more my clothes moved out of pace. For example, during an 8 min mile, I had 3 adjustments; during a 10 min mile only 1.

I think the Cosmic Capris will be relegated back to lounge wear or gym/lower impact activities. The tank is definitely staying in my running rotation and I may even try it with the padded inserts and no extra bra, but I’m not overly optimistic about the comfort level of that. I think it’s really cute though and might get worn out and about without the extra bra.

Summer Break Is Over

I took a break from running, and really any type of physical exercise, for July and August. I could give a list of (really bad) reasons, but mainly I just didn’t want to. And also, oh my word has it been hot down in NC!

But my summer vacation is over. This week I start a beginner half marathon training program, sponsored by my local Raleigh Fleet Feet store. I’m really excited to meet a whole new group of runners and get back into some group runs. While I registered for the program a while back, I just got my training schedule this week – and it’s pretty damn intimidating to see the lengths of those runs. But still, I know it’ll be great.

Since we’re going to be doing some longer runs, my coaches are requiring everyone to have hydration with them on each run. I don’t think I could use those water bottles that you strap to your hand, so I guess that leaves me with the water bottle belts. Anyone have any experience/recommendations for what kind to look for?

Week of 6/24/13 Summary

Really attempted to get back to a regular workout schedule this week. My 5 day vacation really hurt my routine, and I haven’t done any of my body weight circuit workouts since the first week of June (Yikes!). I ran a couple times last week, and once or twice the week before, but I’m really trying to get back to 3-4 solid runs a week.

Monday: arms and abs circuit from Summer Workout

Tuesday: arms and legs circuits from Summer Workout

Wednesday: legs circuit from Summer Workout

Thursday: Esprit de She 10k – finished in 1:10:52 (scheduled to run 4 mi)

Friday: Arms and abs workouts from Summer Workout


Esprit de She 10k Recap

Last night I ran in the inaugural Esprit de She 5k/10k in Cary, NC. Athleta sponsored this race series which includes running and cycling races as well as duathlon and triathlons. I liked the idea of a race that was all about “power to the she” and “the spirit of her,” plus it started at the lake I used to walk my dog around when I was a kid, so there was the nostalgia factor going for it as well.


One of the girls from Fit-tastic, Jenny, told me she was running the 10k, and while I expressed some hesitation about jumping up to 10k from 5, she said if she could do it, so could I, and so I did. I met up with her and some other women she knew and we all started together. I stayed with Jenny for the first mile or two. She had decided to do run/walk intervals of 4:1 for the entire race. I normally end up gassed at the end so I decided I’d start out on intervals with her. I left her and switched to 5:1 intervals around 1.5 mile mark, and tried to stick to that for the duration.

I hadn’t properly trained for the race. I’d mainly been running 3 miles, and hadn’t run in a week before the race. I’ve never run more than 4.5 miles. I knew I’d be dead without the intervals, but 4:1 felt too slow to me. I had a goal of 1 hour in my head, but I’d be happy as long as I finished in less than 1 hour 15.

I did pretty well for the first 3-4 miles. I paced myself well with the intervals and didn’t feel as gassed as I normally do at the end of a 5k when I passed the 3 mi mark. Then, around 4.5 miles I hit a wall. I was struggling but told myself I’d take a walk break at the water stop. I told myself to go 1 more minute. But my legs slowed to a walk against my will. I should also mention that it was about 88 degrees with a heat index of 100, no wind, lots of humidity. I was dripping sweat before we even started running (completely invalidating my shirt, which said “I don’t sweat, I sparkle”). Anyways, since I hadn’t run this far before, I was trying to listen to my body, especially with the heat, and didn’t know how hard to push myself. I took a long walk break in the middle and was down to 2:1 intervals (if that) afterwards.

Once I got to the 5 mile mark, I was determined to finish off strong. Surprisingly, I could. Once I rounded the corner before the finish line I was actually running as opposed to the shuffle/jog I had been doing. It was amazing to feel that I still had the energy to finish after all that.

According to Runkeeper my time was 1:11:17 and the official chip time was 1:10:52. I met my goal and now I have my eye on that 1:00:00 time for the next (cooler) race!

The course wasn’t great, as the 10k runners did the 5k course twice. There were some big hills, and only 4 water stops. I will say that the spectators along the course were fantastic! They had people ever 1/2 mile cheering you on. Not just the usual “good job!” etc but people dressed in togas and Wonder Woman costumes saying “wow, you were just here a minute ago. you go, sparkle!” I had a lot of people call me “sparkle” thanks to my shirt. But it was great to have people sort of personally acknowledge you along the way. I think I’d do the race again next year, but maybe not in the end of June due to the extreme heat.