Resolution Run 5k (19:44)

Resolution Run 5k (19:44)

I decided to make a quick trip down to my hometown area in Virginia for the New Year.  I’ve done the New Years Resolution Run before, and even when the Hair of the Dog was at Oceanfront.  A few years ago, I ran my second fastest 5k ever (18:22) while wearing a dress. I haven’t run the race since and I knew I’m not in the same shape.

My dad, husband, and I arrived at the race around 9 am and warmed up. It was unseasonably hot and humid (70 degrees!), as well as very windy. It wasn’t a fast day for racing, but I was happy it wasn’t pouring rain or 5 degrees like last year.

I warmed up around the lake loop of Mount Trashmore.  I didn’t feel good and just felt stiff.  Around the lake, you could easily feel the wind.  There was a tough headwind as well as a tailwind, depending on the direction.

At 9:50, I arrived at the start line and talked with several local friends.  By the time I knew it, we were off. The path is narrow, and I tried not to bump anyone or run through the puddles. By about half a mile, it spread out. I found myself as third place women.  I hit the first mile in 6:15 and my body hurt. I questioned how on earth I would survive two more miles, and we hadn’t even hit the headwind.

Between mile 1 and 2, I made my way into first women.  The others were close behind.  I hit the halfway, and we did a 180. I nearly slipped in a puddle but luckily caught myself.  As we turned around, the headwind came, and it was tough.  The second mile is usually the hardest mile anyway, but with a headwind, it’s 10X worse.  I was passed by a woman and found myself back in second.  I hit mile 2 in 6:30 which was slower than my personal 5k miles.

Around mile 2, we changed directions again, and got a tailwind. Thank goodness.  I just focused on getting to the end. My mind was blank, weaving around people not running the race as well as going the opposite direction. I passed the first place women and told myself I needed to go.  My legs didn’t have any speed, but I kept powering.  At the third mile marker, we hit the headwind again.  Running the last .1 into the wind was one of the hardest race finishes I’ve had in a while. It felt like I was standing still and the finish wasn’t getting any closer.

I crossed in 19:44, and as the first place women.  I was happy with my effort in the weather and not feeling the greatest.  It’s always nice to see friends from back home as well.

resolution run mount trashmore

Thanks Gene for the photo

I’m looking forward to getting back into 5k and shorter fitness shape, something that alluded me during the fall.  For those who asked, Mount Trashmore doesn’t smell, it’s a giant park. You would never guess the mountain is actually made of trash.  If you’re ever in the area, it’s a great park to run. 

Questions for you:

Did you race on New Years?

Would you rather race in torrential rain or 30 mph headwind? 

Don’t Just Survive Running in Winter Months…Enjoy Them.

Don’t Just Survive Running in Winter Months…Enjoy Them.

In the summer, there are an abundance of articles about how to survive summer running, and in the winter there are plenty of articles of “how to survive winter running”.

Both of those arguments imply we are only surviving the summer and winter months.  They imply we aren’t supposed to enjoy running during that time…just survive.

While winter can be frigid and summer can be scorching, the reality is every season has their positive and negatives. Parts of Spring and Fall are either rainy, cold, too hot, or something else to complain about. So for argument’s sake, we will say about three months of the year are good running months are actually decent to run.  You can pick any weather to complain about.

That logic leads me back to the beginning.Don't Just Survive Running in Winter Months...Enjoy Them.

How do you survive and even enjoy running in the winter months?

It’s something I’m battling right now.  I’m not a cold weather person.  Ironically, I went to college where it could be -30 in January. Why I chose to do that, I don’t know but I also don’t regret it.  This year, I’ve enjoyed most of my runs and enjoy the feeling of getting out there (even if out there is to the treadmill).

Here are a couple of tips to enjoy running during colder months:

Run Indoors:

If it’s too cold, run inside. This could mean purchasing a gym membership or treadmill. There is no shame in running indoors when it’s too cold, dangerous or miserable.  I wrote about it recently, but a treadmill is a tool. It’s not bad, embarrassing, or shameful.

Layer Up:

If you are running outside layer up.  There are countless pieces of running apparel to keep you warm.  People who train successfully through the winter months, wear appropriate clothing.

Now there are windbreakers, long sleeves, insulated tops, built in windbreaker leggings and just about anything you can imagine. Google can provide you with ideal layering techniques. Since I’m always ten jackets ahead of people, I prefer to wear more layers. What works for you, doesn’t work for everyone.  It might be trial and error for figuring out the right amount of layers for different temperatures.

Running is lifelong:

One run is not going to make or break you. If you are truly sick of winter running, don’t force yourself to run through the winter. Find alternatives that aren’t going to miserable.  Get a gym membership and try new workouts and cross trianing  Cross training will only make you stronger, plus help burnout.

Finally, as a public service announcement: don’t try and run fast on ice (run indoors if it’s icy). No run is worth falling and hurting yourself on ice.  I would know since I slipped and fell in a parking lot in college.   I ended up breaking my arm.

Questions for you:

How do you enjoy winter running?

What are your favorite pieces winter gear? 

Base Building Week 6: Bonus Rest Days

Base Building Week 6: Bonus Rest Days

Last week started off well, but the day after Christmas I woke up not feeling the best. No big deal and after a couple of unanticipated rest days, I was able to feel a lot better. Funny how rest works?

Monday: 10 miles to the top of Caledonia
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes with my father in law
Wednesday: 20-minute walk
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: 12X400s Averaging 6:10 pace with 400 jog in between
Sunday: Easy

Thoughts:

Last week, I had hoped to run 2 workouts and have a solid training week but my body needed the rest.  I’ve posted a dozen times, but it’s important to listen your body. It wouldn’t have been quality runs so there wasn’t a point.  Resting isn’t something that bothers me anymore, if you need it…you need it and life moves on.

Monday was my favorite run. My husband and I ran to the top of Caledonia State Park in central PA.  Then ran back down.  It was beautiful and already had a lot of snow.  It was about 1000 elevation gain in total.

On Sunday, I planned to run but I woke up after minimal sleep and felt like garbage. After already taking 2 rest days off, I thought I made sense to add a third and make it a down week. A run on Sunday wouldn’t have been productive anyway.

Workout: 12x400s averaging 6:10 pace with 400 jog in between

I was debating between week 3 of my lonely 5ks but because I plan to run a 5k on New Years Day, 400s seemed like a better option. The weather on Saturday was perfect and I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Posts from the Week:

Fitbit Ionic Review

2018 in Running

Next Week:

I’m looking forward to doing a local 5k on New Years Day as well as getting back into training. January is a busy month for me, thankfully, because with the cold and lack of sunlight, it’s typically one of my least favorite.

Questions for you:

How were your Holidays?

Do you have any New Years plans?

Base Building Week 5: Good.

Base Building Week 5: Good.

Training in December can be difficult but that’s why I choose not to stress about running. I run, I do workouts, but do I stress with extra rest days, shorter runs, or trying something different? No.

A few years ago,  I trained for a winter marathon and while rewarding, it was tough for me to balance family, live, and 20 mile long runs.

Anyway, training last week was good.  I seem to use the word “good” in place of uneventful, but training was boring.  I did what I needed, and trekked along.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 3X1 mile (6:30, 6:30, 6:30) Total miles 10
Thursday: 30-minute walk (nothing strenuous)
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Lonely 5k Week 2: 19:57.3 Total miles 10
Sunday: Long Run

Thoughts:

Like usual, the easy runs were easy. There was nothing exciting or eventful.

Wednesdays Workout: 3X1 mile (6:30, 6:30, 6:30) with 90 seconds rest.

This run felt harder than it should have and I was not as fast as I would have liked.  My legs just didn’t have it and I was tired.  I was proud of my effort and consistency but past that, I was ready to move on from the workout. 

Lonely 5k Week 2: 19:57.3

Last week, I ran a 20:00.3 and was 3 seconds faster this week. It was much windier but no rain.  I am someone who thrives on racing and just having a hard effort each week. I find I am the most confident and I’ve been in the best shape when that happens. Unfortunately, this time of year and through January, there aren’t a lot of races (basically none) in NJ.  Last week, when my race was canceled due to weather, I decided to run my own.  I don’t know how long I’ll continue the trend but it’s been fun the last 2 weeks.

I ran a 6:29, 6:30, 6:22. To be honest, I thought it would just be a few seconds slower than last week but I found another gear and passed my time from last week. I visualized myself outkicking me ha.  Anyway, I am pleased with a faster time on a harder day. 

Long Run: 14 miles averaging 8:21 pace with a faster finish

I’ve started wearing my GPS watch more on long runs to get a good idea of pace. I had planned to run between 10-12 but do some marathon paced work (around 7:15 for me), but opted for a solid long run with my husband. He asked if I wanted to run but “it needed to be between 8:15-8:30 pace).  That’s not a pace that ever feels easy to me during trianing.  It felt comfortable enough to chat, but I knew I was working harder. We ran the last 3 around 8 minutes. I felt good about it.

Next week between Christmas and New Years, I’ll be traveling a lot to see family. My training will roughly stay the same (or as close as what happens).

Posts from the Week:

Treadmills are Ok.

Matcha Collagen Latte

Questions for you:

Do you train through the Holidays?

Do you like racing or no?

Why use compression sleeves or socks?

Why use compression sleeves or socks?

Many people have asked, if “compression socks or sleeves really work”?

The short answer is yes and no.

Before the running boom, compression socks were used by diabetics and airplane pilots.  Now, you can’t go to a race without seeing runners of all abilities wearing them (myself included!).Why use compression running

So if “everyone” is wearing them, there must benefits, right?

Most of the benefits in studies have been mental versus fitness gain.  Running is 80% mental anyway. Personally, while wearing compression my legs feel better during and after runs.

So what are some benefits of Compression? 

Recover Faster:

Compression promotes blood flow and in turn accelerates the removal of metabolic waste.  In short, it encourages blood flow with oxygen and nutrients to muscles faster.  As someone who deals a lot of with calve tightness, I’ve found that compression helps to speed up recovery after a hard workout or race. 

Stabilize:

If you’ve ever had issues with needing stabilization (for instance a rolled ankle), compression can help stabilize tendons and ligaments.  A few years ago, when I rolled my ankle, I used the CEP compression ankle sleeve. 

What to Keep in Mind:

There are a few things to keep in mind though, and not every compression sock brand is the same.  Some are just glorified tube socks.  The average quality set of compression sleeves cost about $40, while the average sock is about $60.  I personally have had the most success with CEP compression (they aren’t paying me to tell you that).

Socks or Sleeves?

If you aren’t having foot pain and issues, I highly recommend the sleeves versus socks. It can be tough to get a perfect fit between a calf size and foot size. For instance, my feet don’t match up because my calves are size 3 and my feet are women’s size 10-11!  Plus with the sleeves, you can use your own socks or if you feel like you need a pair of compression socks, purchase the right foot size. 

Look for Medical Grade:

You want to look for a brand that uses “Medical Grade Compression.” Medical Grade Compression is designed to promote and target blood flow. Typically colors are more boring and aren’t on sale every 10 minutes.

Medical grade compression comes in several different levels of compression:

  • Mild (8-15 mmHg)
  • Medium (15-20 mmHg)
  • Firm (20-30 mmHg)
  • X-Firm (30-40 mmHg)

Most runners don’t need anything more than medium or firm.

Get Measured:

The last thing to remember is to get measured. If you need a size 11 and are wearing a size IV, then you probably won’t feel much of the benefit. You want to measure the widest part of your calve.  Keep in mind to measure both, as many people’s calves (and feet) are two different sizes. Compression socks should fit snug. They should be tight enough to leave small impressions from the fabric, but they shouldn’t ever be painful.  The first time you put a pair on, it should challenge you.

Finally, When to Wear Them:

There are no rules about when to wear compression socks. Many runners like myself, wear them while running to increase circulation. Others use compression after a workout or run. If you are having shin and calve issues, wear them during a run or workout, as well as after.  (Don’t wear them 24-7 though, your feet need time to breath). If you’re using them for recovery, use them post run.  The beauty is, you can experiment is figure out when feels the best to you.

underarmour killington 25k

Question for you: Do you wear compression?  Socks or sleeves?

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