Training: A Weekend of Racing

Training: A Weekend of Racing

Last week was a good week of running.  While not everything went as planned, I did leave the week feeling satisfied.  I saw so many family and friends which always beats running anyway.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: 8X400 followed by 8x200s (6:00 min)
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes+massage
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Adrenaline 5k (18:29) total miles 9
Sunday: Shamrock 13.1 (1:23.21) total miles 15


8X400 (400 jog in the middle) followed by 8X200 (200 jog in the middle)

The average pace of the workout was around 6 mins.  I’ve done much faster, and I was hoping to feel better.  It was snowing (as many of my workouts have been lately) but my body did not feel great either.  I was happy to be done with the workout.

Adrenaline Run (18:29) 6:00, 6:10, 5:47

After realizing I would need to be in town until Saturday, I decided I would run the Adrenaline Run. It’s sponsored and put on by my work and I’ve always wanted to run.  A few weeks ago, I thought it would be a great way to test my fitness since I would need to be in town anyway. I could leave for Shamrock afterward.  The race didn’t go as I hoped and while it is a fast time for me,  it wasn’t what I wanted. I had a chaotic few days beforehand between life as well as work.  I know I’m in “better shape” than 18:29 and hopefully it will come sooner.

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:23.21)

After the Adrenaline Run, I drove down to Va (about 300 miles) to run one of my favorite races of the year.  I didn’t have a plan for the race other than to have fun.  After a chaotic week, 5k, and driving, making a goal was hard. My primary goal was to have fun and run a healthy race.  I walked around before but didn’t do any extra warm up. I just started at a 6:30 pace and ran by feel.  Slowly I progressed and ran a negative split half which I was pleased about.

In all, it wasn’t the week I thought it would be.  I had hoped to have a fast 5k and see where the half went, but still a great weekend.  The Shamrock half is my third fast ever and the 2nd fastest in the last 2 years, so there are no complaints about that.  I had a great weekend with so many family and friends.

Posts of the week:
Not Every Run is Fun
Hiking the Mesquite Trail (Phoenix)
Dixie Mine Trail

Questions for you:
Have you done back to back races?
How far do your parents live from you?


Hiking Mesquite Trail in the White Tank Mountains

Hiking Mesquite Trail in the White Tank Mountains

The final hike, my husband and I did, was also in the White Tank Mountains on the Willow Canyon Trail.  It ended up being just about an 8.5 mile hike, with plenty of incredible views, and switchbacks.  There is a longer trail: Ford Canyon but we didn’t want to be out too late.  I would love to come back sometime!

We appreciated how well groomed the trail was, but wasn’t overly crowded.  It took us about 4 hours and we only saw a handful of people in that time.  We didn’t rush and stopped, took our time, and relaxed.  My guess is you could probably do the hike in about 3-4 if you were on a mission.

We started in a rock bed and headed upwards. The first mile started with a good amount of climbing but it leveled out.

Mesquite trail phoenix arizona

Just keep climbing…just keep climbing.

Mesquite trail phoenix arizona
Mesquite trail phoenix arizona

Mesquite trail phoenix arizona

We traced the canyon and a good amount of the 8.5-mile loop is not climbing but more flat with views.  That is definitely something I can appreciate.Mesquite trail phoenix arizona

Looking down at a dried up water bed.

Mesquite trail phoenix arizona

At the top of one of the peaks


One of my favorite photos of two side by side cacti.

cactus white tank mountains

It was another gorgeous hike outside of Phoenix and I am glad we made it out there.

We also hiked the Dixie Mine Trail and ate giant Cinnamon Buns at the Nicks Diner 2. 

Questions for you:

Do you like hiking?

Have you ever been to Phoenix?

Not Every Run is Fun

Not Every Run is Fun

When I first began my journey running, it felt hard.  Today, running still feels hard.

The meaning has changed and what was once difficult is now longer not, however, every training cycle presents itself with new challenges.

Not Every Run is Fun

Every new runner has asked:

Does running ever any easier?  

Do veteran runners always feel good running?

Do elites feel like they are cake walking every mile?

No, no, and also no

I love running, and for the most part, I’ve had a lot of great runs.  I have a running blog and work at a running store.  However, like anyone I’ve also had some terrible runs.  It’s not all the Instagram highlight and picture-perfect reel.  No one lives are!

There have been plenty of times I’ve woken up and thought, “nope, I’m not running today” and gone back to sleep.  This has been enhanced by the recent time change and daylight saving time.

If you have been running for any amount of time, you’ve probably had a time when running felt stale.

It’s boring; there isn’t anything to look forward too, and you’ve lost all of your motivation.  You’ve had several runs you’ve struggled getting through, and it just seems like…ugh why bother.  This happened to me, around this time last year.  I didn’t go through my big burnout until last April. However, I began to feel stale around March.  I firmly believe if I had taken a couple of weeks off last March, I probably wouldn’t have taken four months off in April.

Could have, would have, should have, but I have no regrets.

The truth is, running never really gets much easier.  Every runner new or old struggled with getting out of the door at some point.

Here are a few ideas that can change your mindset and motivation:

Often times, change is the key to breaking out of a rut. 

Find a Running Partner:

Run by anyone you see, but just don’t approach someone because that could get awkward.  But seriously, change up who you are running with. Thinking out loud, it makes the run feel entirely different!  Even running on the same route with someone new makes the run fly by.  Even listening to a new podcast makes it feel like you’re running with someone.

Run different mileage:

Ideas include:

  • Decrease your distance
  • Run two short runs versus one longer run.
  • If you were training for a longer race, train for a shorter run.
  • Add cross training or find a new class

Change where you run
A change of scenery can be a good thing.  Personally, racing in a different location each week keeps me from getting bored. Try running on the trails, different neighborhoods, or even the treadmill.  Sometimes catching up on trashy TV and running on the treadmill is what I want to do.  I wrote a post about not hating the treadmill!  With a rest day, race, running with someone, and workout, I normally only run the same route 1-2X per week.  It keeps things interesting.

Most importantly!

When all else fails and running is just not going well, take a break.  There is plenty more to life than running.  Even if you’re an elite runner, you still probably enjoy a few things outside of moving your feet.

A break never hurts and can help you come back stronger.  At the end of the day, it’s just running.

Question for you: How do you break out of a rut?

Dixie Mine Trail

Dixie Mine Trail

While in Phoenix, my husband and I went on several hikes.  The first hike was with my brother, Matt, to the Dixie Mine.  The trail itself is relatively easy, and about a 4.5 mile out and back.  To be honest, the hardest part is finding the mine, and it takes a little bit to realize where the actual mine is.

When we went, we actually hiked right by the turn-off to the mine, but once we doubled back we found it. We looked at the side of the mountain and saw: “that looks out of place” and went in that direction.  After reading reviews, it looks like finding the mine is actually a challenge for many.

We parked at the front and walked about 1/2 of a mile to the trailhead.  At first, I thought it would be all paved and I wasn’t complaining about that.

dixie mine trail phoenix

We easily made it to the trailhead and began hiking towards the mine.

dixie mine trail phoenix

dixie mine trail phoenix

The terrain didn’t change too much as we hiked.  There were a few small inclines and declines here and there but nothing rigorous.  At the intersection, we made a left and found the mine.  It was tucked behind trees, but we found it.

dixie mine trail phoenix

dixie mine trail phoenix

dixie mine trail phoenix

Afterward, we climbed a small hill which led us to the top of the mine.  It has a huge covering on it, and it’s impossible to figure out how deep the actual mine is.

dixie mine trail phoenix

In all, it was a nice 4.5-mile hike.  We saw plenty of people, all ages, as well as a few dogs.

I enjoyed hiking in Arizona and you read more about hikes we’ve done here.

Questions for you:
Do you like hiking?
Have you ever gone to an old mine?




Another week of running down.  This week was quiet.  While I did run, I didn’t race, and just relaxed. In fact, looking at Instagram you might not think I ran much at all.  Ha because we all know that is Instagram is real life.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 3X1 mile (6:15)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: 10 miles with Shae
Sunday:  14 miles with fast finish


As I mentioned, last week was quiet and uneventful which is what I needed.   We got another storm Wednesday afternoon.  I was glad I ran early in the morning because, by mid-afternoon, the roads were worse and more dangerous than I have ever seen them.

3X1 Mile Workout (6:15)

It wasn’t my fastest workout, but with the wind and rain (which turned to snow later), I’m happy with it.

14 Miles with last fast finish

It was my longest run since the Phoenix half marathon, and I’m happy with it.  I haven’t done a fast finish run in a while, and I progressed into 6:40s for the final 5 miles.

Other than that, not too much exciting in my running world last week.  Boring weeks are never bad though.

Posts of the week:

Meal Planning for Two
Hoka One One Mach Shoe Review
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler

Questions for you:
Did you get any snow from the storm?
How was your training?

Hoka One One Mach

Hoka One One Mach

The Hoka One One Mach is a brand new model from Hoka One One. It is basically the replacement for the discontinued Hoka One One Clayton 2. So if you’re looking for the closest thing to the Hoka One One Clayton, then the Mach is your best bet.  It’s the first model I’ve run in.  I have run in both the Hoka One One Clifton as well as the Bondi.

My apologies, but I took photos when I first got the shoe and lost them.  I realized I had lost “clean photos” of the shoe, so you’ll have to deal with them with over 100 miles of mud and dirt.  At least, you know I run in them.  😉

hoka one one mach shoe review

While I work in a running store, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no perfect running shoe.  Not everything works for everyone, and Hoka is not paying me to write about their shoes.  Here is a stock photo for good measure. hoka one one mach shoe review

Weight: Men’s size 9: 7.7oz Women’s size 8: 6.5oz

Drop: 5mm

It always seems to surprise people that most Hoka Shoes are a 4-5mm drop.  It’s like running on a flatter elevated platform.

The Fit:

The Hoka One One Mach is one of the wider Hoka models.  It has a full knit upper.  The knit upper means it’s seamless and allows feet to spread out as appropriate.  As I’ve mentioned in many reviews, but more shoe companies are going towards a seamless upper.  It accommodates wider feet including bunions.

Knit uppers are more seamless and a more flexible fit.  Personally, I prefer seamless and knit uppers because they fit my foot much better.


I like the ride a lot.  While I never ran in the Hoka Clayton, I do know it’s the most similar and meant to replace it.  It’s lighter and more firm than any other Hoka model.

Why is that?

The Mach uses a new material from Hoka named: ProFly.

ProFly makes the heel firmer in the forefoot but softer in the heal.  It’s designed to role you forward and the difference also helps protect the feet, especially if you are more likely to heel strike. According to Hoka, the Profly is more durable and resilient.  I found it to be the springiest and most “fast” of any Hoka shoe I’ve run in so far.

hoka one one mach shoe review


I’ve logged just over 100 miles in the Mach and like it a lot.  I wasn’t sure how much I would but new shoes are always fun to try (if they are appropriate for your foot).  I haven’t had any issues, or blisters, which is essential as well.  I’ll keep the Hoka One One Mach is my rotation until the cushion is gone.

Current Shoe Rotation:

Daily runs: Hoka One One Mach, Brooks Glycerin, Saucony Triumph ISO 4
Workouts: Nike Zoom fly, Altra Escalante
Races: Saucony Type A or Endorphin

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?
Do you prefer more or less cushion?

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (24:30)

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (24:30)

This is my third year running and also my slowest time yet!  The wind played a role, and I think my body caught up to me after trying to assimilate back into the real world from vacation.

I woke up on Sunday feeling exhausted.  I had gotten a deep tissue massage a few days prior, and while my legs had recovered well my half PR, I don’t think they did from the massage.

My in-laws, husband, and I got to the race around 9 am.  I did and quick warmup, realized how windy it was, and made it to the start.  By the time I knew it, we were off.

The first mile got out extremely slow.  It loops around the park and you go back under the start line before heading to down the canal.  My husband and a pack of four men was shortly ahead, followed by me.  My byline of racing lately is always chasing someone but never running with anyone.  I hit the first mile in 6:13 and wasn’t all that pleased.  I knew I was sore and it was windy but it’s always hard not to compare to what you have run before.

During the second mile, my husband and the lead pack separated.  I found myself running with another male chasing them down.  The towpath is on soft dirt/gravel and runs along the canal.  It was windy but not headwind or tailwind.  It was a crosswind where I somewhat worried I would be blown into the canal.  I hit the second mile in 6:08.

We made a 180 during mile 3 and headed back the way we came.  I enjoy mile 3 of the race because you see everyone else running and seeing other racers always motivates me.  I hit the third mile in 6:08.

The last mile was just trucking back to the start.  I felt better than the start but not great by any means.  I separated myself and was running alone.  I could see the finish and I saw my husband had pulled away and was going to win which was motivating.

I finished in 24:30 and it’s my slowest time yet, but the wind was definitely a factor.  This is only the second time both my husband and I have won a race together.  There are plenty of grilled cheeses and tomato soup at the end of the race (instead of the traditional banana), which makes it more fun.

grilled cheese and tomato soup 4 miler sick

Questions for you:

Have you done a unique race recently?

Where is the best grilled cheese you’ve gotten?

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