Sunday, January 31, 2016

Weekly Workout Recap #4

January 24 - 30

Join the link up each week and join in the fun! I'm hoping to hold myself more accountable to my training plan and I know that putting it out there each week is going to help me do that!

Sunday | Cross Train 
If you remember from last week, I had 16 miles on tap, but I was in the office for a total of 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday, so a long week to say the least. I was hoping to have gotten some mileage in on Saturday night, but I was ready to close my eyes when I got home at 8 pm, so that wasn't even worth trying.

I pulled myself out of bed on Sunday morning at 5 to get in some kind of mileage before heading back to the office at 7. Because some is better than zero, right? Right.

6.3 miles / 1:02:18 / 9:54 pace

Monday | Rest
After that marathon at work for the weekend I needed the rest day (mostly from work!) but you do what you gotta do. I was grateful to sleep in an extra hour and a half compared to Saturday and Sunday's shenanigans, and enjoy an easy Monday evening on my couch. Delightful.

I also meal prepped some lunches on Monday night - a determination to feel my best going into Surf City next weekend. As of Monday, it's no alcohol, no soda, and generally watching my biggest flaw: the baked goods. It's been hard, I won't lie, but Monday was a good start!

 Tuesday | 30 minutes aerobic
Because I couldn't make Thursday's FF group run, I went Tuesday to get some social mileage in. It was supposed to be easy and only 30 minutes but with a little doubt hovering from last week, I wanted to get in an extra bit of mileage, regardless of pace. Well I ended up running with one of the speedies (pretty sure he was taking it easy for me) BUT I chatted the whole way and wasn't out of breath or feeling it terribly, so that's a good sign too! Boom.

5.10 miles / 46:27 / 9:06 pace

Wednesday | Cross Train/Rest
Fleet Feet yoga. I was way excited for this class and ready to get my stretch on. I actually had a bit of pent up energy, so I went and ran some easy miles before heading out the door and being almost late to yoga instead. Whoops!

2 miles (19:15) + .3 cool down / Yoga 60:00 

Thursday | 30 minute race pace
As hard as I sleep after yoga on Wednesday nights, it's equally as hard to get my butt up on Thursday mornings! I took the luxury of sleeping in. It happens. I also knew that I had another 12-hour day ahead of me, as we were starting the team debate of choosing our student leaders for the summer, so I anticipated being on campus at least 12 hours (final answer: 11 hours, 30 minutes!).

Friday | Rest
Since I missed Thursday, I wanted to make sure I made it count on Friday. Up before the sun for some wonderfully charged miles on the treadmill before work. I only ran 3, but upped each quarter-mile, and then restarted with each mile. So each first-quarter was a 9:31 pace, then 9:05, 8:47, 8:12. Perfection.

3.0 miles / 26:43 / 8:54 pace

#runmatchy perfection.

Saturday | 13 aerobic
Friday night, pretty much as soon as I got home, we loaded up and made our way out to Phoenix (as I write). My college bestie, Tina, and her husband have finally officially adopted their cutie patootie twins (fostered them for 818 days) and Saturday was their big celebration party - so much love, so much fun! I'll have more to share on Monday! :) But if you want to read their adoption story, check it out here. I'm still crying.

BUT I had so much fun, I didn't get my miles... so it's a good thing I'm signed up for the inaugural Phoenix Women's Half Marathon (Tina's doing the 10K), this morning. I'm looking forward to running a half with zero expectations aside from having fun and making it a solid long run (that just happens to have a medal at the end). It feels like it's been awhile since I've gotten to run without a pace attached to me, so it'll be fun just having a fun, easy half marathon to do! More on that this week - but I'm excited!

And here in begins the crazy. Surf City is next weekend (if you're not registered yet, do so with code SCMJOHNSTON10 to save 10%) and that's the big half marathon goal race (so yes, you might think I'm a little crazy for running a half the weekend before, but I never said I was sane). The following weekend, I'm pacing the San Diego Mermaid Half (2:15) and then it's two weeks until Phoenix! Eep!

How was your week? Make sure you link up below!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Four Years Ago

I call January 29 my runnerversary. Four years ago, on a bitterly cold morning just south of Atlanta, Georgia, I ran my first half marathon at Callaway Gardens.

That's me in lime green back there!
I trained for this race for about three months, running a bunch of 5Ks in Athens, having a longest run of about 10 miles, and being beyond excited when I nailed my 2:20 goal in a time of 2:19:52.

I trained with the first edition of Nike+ -- the one where you had a chip in the sole of your shoe? -- and Nike+ told me that my half marathon was 16 miles long. I did some math and came to the conclusion that maybe my longest run wasn't 10 miles, but like 8ish? Whew. Good thing I realized that after the race and not prior, as I probably would have had a meltdown.

I trained for this race entirely on my own. Long runs on Saturday mornings before football games, mid-week runs around the neighborhood with Molly. I learned how to run in cold weather (layers on layers on layers!) and learned that when I set my mind to acheiving something, I generally got it done.
Callaway Gardens scenery.
Here I am, four years later. This weekend I'll be running half marathon #40. I've learned plenty of lessons. I look back at my first training weekly updates and race recaps and laugh at the novice status of my training - but we all have to start somewhere, right? I'm training for full marathon #3, and little did I ever think I'd ever call myself marathoner because half marathoner was good enough.

I've taken my time from a 2:19:52 finish to a standing PR of 1:50:38. Not to say there haven't been any worse (plenty of those), but I've worked hard to cut that half hour off consistently. I've learened how to train smarter, fuel smarter, run smarter and am looking forward to cutting time to a new half marathon next weekend.

Running has brought me joy, sanity, frustration, and pride. I've helped others reach their goals either by pacing or running alongside friends who were looking for a PR. I've made some of the best girlfriends and connections thanks to those I share finish line photos with or miles of California coastline, running coast to coast and everywhere in between. I'm 9 states down on my dream to run a half marathon in all 50 states and am looking forward to another state or two this year.

I've even convinced Doug to run with me and while he likes the challenge of 5Ks enough, he's working on half marathon #4 himself - and says he's retiring after Surf City next weekend - but another fun thing to share with him on some weekends. I am so grateful.

Pretty much one of my favorite finish line photos ever.
Thank you, running, for all you've brought and added to my life. If you want, you can read my recap of that first race here!

When's your runnervesary? The date of your first race, or the date you laced up a pair of shoes for the first time?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

30 Days Until Phoenix!

There are 30 days until my next full marathon. I may or may not be freaking out a little. But only a little.

As it does with every major race and milestone, I’m at the point where every other day, I feel ready. And every other day is filled with a lot of self-doubt.

Have I done all the work I really should have? No.

But am I conditioned and in shape to make it work? Sure.

Can I try and squeeze in one more really good long run in? Probably.

Will I? Who knows.

{Photo credit: Phoenix Marathon}
I’ve got Surf City next weekend (February 7). Am gunning for a shiny new PR to kick off 2016 with a bang! The Saturday (February 13) following, I am pacing the 2:15 team at the Mermaid San Diego Half. If I have any opportunity to squeeze in more miles, it’s then, but then again, that’s two weeks out so would I be pushing it too closely?

The mental madness of not even pre-taper is cruel. 

I felt more prepared for LA last year than I do right now, though I think I am overall in better shape right now than I was even last spring. I'm much better mentally than I was last spring, as LA training just distracted me from job searching. 

I've made a commitment these next two weeks going into Surf City (again, PR at stake) to eat a little cleaner, no soda, no alcohol, and just be a little more cautious about what I am stuffing in my mouth. If I can hang with this for two weeks, I hope to be able to continue such a plan leading into Phoenix. It's not about losing weight (though that's certainly an added bonus), but so much about just feeling better about myself and feeling as best as I can. Time will only tell!

I'm anxious. I'm excited. I know tons of folks that are going to be there (#itsgoingdownatphx is happening once again, people, and I'm ridiculously excited about it), which always make for a fun race day and calms my nerves. 

30 days to go, friends. 30 days to make more of it count. Let's go.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: 2XU Hyoptik Mid-Rise Thermal Compression Tights

Disclaimer: I received a pair of 2XU HYOPTIK Mid-Rise Thermal Compression Tights to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews! 

A few weeks back, I was given the opportunity to check out 2XU's thermal compression tights. Now, bear in mind that I live in Southern California so "cold" is all relative, BUT we've had enough cold days that I feel like I can provide a general statement to how thermal these thermal leggings are. I know tons of my fellow ambassadors who live in legit cold (re: back east) have been wearing these as base layers and are raving about how warm they are. 

Stand out, get noticed, and stay warm. HYOPTIK reflective logos help you stay visible when training in low light conditions.

These tights are my first 2XU product and when I first got them, I was expecting them to be a little bulky, given the "thermal" concept, but they're actually quite lightweight, thinner than I'd expected, but soft and almost silky. They have a great feel and despite their thinness, are quite warm! It's magic... or science... or both. 

A soft brushed thermal inner layer helps retain warmth in cold climates. With coverage over the knee, powerful compression support and protect upper leg muscles to help prevent soreness and fatigue and long term overuse injuries. HYPOTIK THERMAL Compression helps you battle the cold and dark for outdoor training in winter.

Now again, my "winter" is all relative, but I had a few chances to take them out for some runs to see these thermal and compression layers for myself. 

Never mind that clear blue sky, it was COLD!
My only struggle with these tights is that they are seemingly tight. I know, I know, compression y'all, but for a girl who regularly fits a medium easily, I struggled (picture me wrestling myself on the floor) with getting these on the first few times. They are tight. I can't recommend sizing up, however, as that may compromise the compression effect that they are supposed (and do) to provide. Compression is great for blood flow, warming up your muscles faster, and muscle recovery, so I wouldn't want you to get a pair too tight that that effect is lessened. But fair warning, you might struggle a little bit until you get that 'fit' after a few wears. 

I also wore them to pace the San Diego Holiday Half (it was a mightly blustery day in San Diego, promise!). They're great for long runs (again, especially with the compression feature) or long runs, as I've discovered and then you're not fighting with short lines riding up every few miles. They were comfortable, soft, and caused no issues whatsoever. 

These babies aren't cheap, however, so if you're investing in a pair of tights, do your research! The 3/4 length tights are $99.99 and the full-length are $139.99. I probably wouldn't buy these for myself - again, I'm missing that whole real 'winter' concept - but if you're in legit winter-burdened cold-climate areas, these may totally be worth the investment for you! I've only had them a few weeks now, so I can't speak to durability or material integrity, but for what I have experienced, they're worth the dime to keep you warm!

You can check out a few Pros' other reviews too:
Jessica - Fun Size Athlete
Heather - Heather Runs 13.1
Mark - Daddy Did You Win
Abbie - Miles of Abbie
Jen - Jen Runs Fast

Don't forget about the 2XU sponsored #BibChat at 8 PM CST on January 26!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Weekly Workout Recap #3

January 17 - 23

Join the link up each week and join in the fun! I'm hoping to hold myself more accountable to my training plan and I know that putting it out there each week is going to help me do that!

Sunday | Cross Train 
Since I missed that long run on Saturday thanks to a late flight into Dallas, I wanted to get my miles in on Sunday morning before our second day of business began. The goal was 13, but early on I knew that'd be a stretch (partially a mental battle, partially due to time). I got in 4.5 and called it a wash. Oh well.

I spent a little time on Sunday afternoon reflecting - have I mentioned how much I love my Believe Training Journal? - and putting this week's plan down on paper. I was ready to let last week go, acknowledge the fact that bad weeks are okay (and normal!) and that it really lets you appreicate those kick-ass weeks/days/runs even more. While I obviously wanted to bounce back this week and kick total ass, I needed to be realistic at the same time and just let whatever happens... happen.

Monday | Rest
I got back from Dallas late on Sunday night, and since we had Monday off from work for the MLK holiday, I wanted to take full advantage and SLEEP! I don't do much for sleeping in, but I had a massage to look forward to, so that made it okay. Doug and I headed over to Massage Envy for our massages, and then I stayed out for a much-needed mani/pedi and then the not-so-fun part of a dentist appointment. Day-off productivity at its best.

A good mani makes everything better, right?
 Tuesday | 90 minutes aerobic
I bounced up on Tuesday morning at 4:45, ready to get to work, like I'd found an all-new sense of energy. I was in the gym and on the treadmill at 5. My plan, to avoid total treadmill burnout, was to run 5-ish there and then go home, grab the pup, and knock out 3-ish more which would be close to 90 minutes' worth of time and the pup would be happy to get out.

5.17 (49:59) on treadmill + 2.75 (29:18) with Molly. Not the full 90 minutes, but the 8ish I was gunning for and I ran out of time otherwise.

7.92 miles / 1:19:28

Wednesday | Cross Train/Rest
Finally got Jacky to come to Fleet Feet yoga with me! She wanted to run a few beforehand, so I agreed so long as they were easy. Just under 3 miles and a good hour-long stretch to get my Wednesday on.

2.87 miles / 26:09 (9:06 pace) + 1 hour yoga. 

Thursday | 40 minute race pace
Lately I've been battling some nasty headaches (I'm partially blaming lots of computer time this week at work and me not wearing my glasses as I should) and Thursday night was no exception. I popped some aspirin as soon as I got home and closed my eyes for 20 minutes, hoping it'd subside and I could hop over to FF's group run... to no avail. I was not feeling it and really needed a night on the couch. Meh.

Friday | Rest
Last day of work for the week! Oh wait... I'm working 12 hour days on both Saturday and Sunday, so I took this rest day very happily to gear up for the long weekend ahead!

After work on Friday, I headed to my mom's Soroptimist chapter's paint party fundraiser! I've done one paint party before, but this one came with dinner and a wine bar -- because wine totally makes you paint better, right? Check out my work!

Saturday | 16 aerobic
Up and at work at 7 am on Saturday, out the office door at 7:20 pm makes for a long day. I was hoping to get part 1 of this long run in on Saturday night, but I was nearly asleep on the couch eating my dinner, so I knew this was out. Do what you can, right? 16 might be unrealistic. While that makes me nervous, as I want to get some good mileage in before Phoenix, I know that I have endurance and am conditioned to make it work. We'll just see what I can do in the next few weeks!

Overall, this week was better than last. I'm still not super satisifed with what I got done, but had a great couple of runs and am looking forward to the up and up. Surf City is also only two weeks away, so I'm WAY excited about seeing my work come into play and hopefully earn myself a new PR along the beach. (Side note: prices go up January 31! Register with code SCMJOHNSTON10 and save 10% before it's too late!)

Ready for more work. We're headed to Phoenix next weekend for the Lyons' twins adoption party (!), so I've got a long run to get in there that might come in the form of a race, because why not at least earn a medal if you're going to run long, right?

How was your week? Make sure you link up below!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Weekly Workout Recap #2

January 10 - 16

Join the link up each week and join in the fun! I'm hoping to hold myself more accountable to my training plan and I know that putting it out there each week is going to help me do that!

Sunday | Cross Train 
I'm seriously considering moving my Sundays to rest days and making Monday cross-training days instead. After a super awesome long run at Citrus (and then some) on Saturday, I really just wanted to sleep in on Sunday. And then we had a super awesome last day at BTRR at Disneyland. So... walking (a lot) for cross training counts, right?

Monday | Rest
Monday was the first day of classes of the winter quarter back on campus and that meant the start of a long day. This turned into a rest day too, though I wasn't excited about it.

Tuesday | 80 minutes aerobic
AKA. the worst run ever. You can read more about that here and find out why I only lasted 15 minutes of the 80. AKA excuses, and a more-than-defeating-and-confidence-crushing kinda day. But at least my #runmatchy was on point.

Wednesday | Cross Train/Rest
Back to yoga at Fleet Feet! After Tuesday's confidence-crusher, I really wanted to do nothing more than curl up on the couch under my blanket and just hang out in my PJs. I felt super bloated and crampy and gross, so yoga was the last thing on my want-to-do list. Doug pushed me out the door, got me to go, and as usual... you never regret the workout you got done.

One hour of super awesome runner stretches + yoga = done.

Thursday | 45 minute race pace
After falling so flat on Tuesday (notice a theme this week?), I finally got it together on Thursday and wanted to make up for it. Sandy met up with me at Fleet Feet's group run that night. I was scheduled for 45 minutes at race pace and knew I could certainly handle that. Sandy's always been the speedier one, so I was really excited to hang on with her the entire way, hit a perfect 8:30 average pace, and crushed the last mile in an 8:06. Boom. Confidence (mostly) re-acquired. Thanks Sandy!

5.06 miles, 43:01, 8:30 pace average (spot on race pace!)

Finally got to run with this lady!
Friday | Rest
I had a late flight out to Dallas, so I was super grateful for a rest day to sleep in a little bit and then get home from work, put up my feet for a few minutes, and then get out to the airport on time. Thank goodness for living 10 minutes away from the front door of the terminal!

Saturday | 13 race pace
After getting to the hotel at 2:45 am on Saturday morning, I was not about to pull myself out of bed at 6 to get my long run in before our business started. Spoiler: I already knew I was in for it today (Sunday), so I made some good food choices instead and enjoyed an extra rest day in sorority business meetings.

And that's how I roll. We'll see how this long run goes today on a hotel treadmill. :) 

Overall, a rough week. I know these rough weeks make you appreciate the good ones all the more, but for as stellar as last week was, this was a bit of a jab in the confidence pocket. Ready for a comeback next week. 3 weeks until Surf City! (Register with code SCMJOHNSTON10 to save 10% and join me on the beach!) 

How was your week? Make sure you link up below!

Friday, January 15, 2016

It Isn't Always Pretty

Tuesday night I got home from work and was supposed to head out for an 80 minute aerobic (re: easy) run. I had nailed my 70 minutes the Tuesday before, so I figured 80 minutes was a walk in the park and it wouldn't be hard. It'd been a long day at work, and I should have gotten my run in before the sun was up, but whatever, life happens.

I got to the gym at the apartment complex and ready to go. The fans were on high, so I tried getting them to shut off. The janky remote wasn't doing anything, so I figured that I'd deal with the cold until I'd warmed up, and then I'd appreciate it. TV wouldn't turn on, so I tried to watch some Friends episdoes on my phone. I was so defeated already (from fans and a TV!) that I covered up the treadmill screen in the hopes that I'd forget how far I need to go. Wrong. 16 minutes in, I was over it. Done.

I went home and called it quits.

There are lot of things that I can attribute - the gym was super cold, the TV wasn't working, it was that time of the month, long day at work... but let's be real. Mentally, I just wasn't there. I looked for any reason to call it quits and just be done with it. So I was.

After the baller week I had had the week before, I went in with a lot of confidence and this run (or lack there of) just totally knocked me off that confidence wagon for the rest of the week. Yoga on Wednesday felt like a "I have to go..." rather that an "I get to go..." (no regrets though, that felt amazing!). Doug practically pushed me out the door to go.

So when I got to last night's run at Fleet Feet, I was really wanting to knock it out of the park. 45 minutes at race pace (8;30 pace) seemed totally do-able and I really wanted to make it count - and especially make up for Tuesday's craptastic treadmill defeat. Sandy joined me and helped push me a bit for 5 miles at exactly an 8:30 pace overall, and crushed the last mile in 8:06. Boom. 

Carlee wrote a few weeks back about having a positive outlook on your fitness, and sometimes it's just that. You need to go in with the positive attitude to make the workout work! I just told someone the other day too that sometimes these bad runs keep you humble - the bad runs make you appreciate the good ones even more! An awesome week followed by a bad week reminds me that I'm only human and I can only do so much. And then it's upwards and onwards to the next week and ready to kill the next workouts.

But as my friend Meb says...
don't give up. 

How do you move past those bad runs?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Big Thunder Ranch

Ever since Doug and I got our passes for Disneyland in August, we've been saying that we need to spend time venturing through attractions, restaurants, and stores we've never been in or on. We're so used to getting to spend one day in the parks a year, that we'd hustle from ride to ride and never take the time to take it all in. The beauty of having a pass - you can spend all day in stores on Main Street and not feel like you wasted your day or cash!

And even more so, since the announcement of Star Wars Land in September, we wanted to get to the attractions that would be closing temporarily (re: like upwards of two years!) and especially the one that would be closing forever: Big Thunder Ranch, including the petting zoo, BBQ and the Jamboree.

Temporary closures include:
- Disneyland Railroad
- Rivers of America and attractions (Mark Twain, Colombia, Fantasmic!, Tom Sawyer Island and the canoes)

{ source }
Big Thunder Ranch has an all-you-can-eat BBQ restaurant that we've walked by dozens of times, inhaling all the smells of chicken, ribs, sausage and cornbread, but it wasn't until the last weekend that we decided we had to go. Well, so did the rest of the world. Thankfully, Jacky had the wherewithall to tell me to make sure I made a reservation so on the way to karaoke on Saturday night, I was desperately trying to make a reservation - there it was! A lunch time (1:40) reservation, perfect for Jacky, Doug and I to get in and get (Doug's and my) first and last visit to BTR. By the time I logged into my account... the time was gone! Thankfully, through a call to the super awesome folks at Dining, we got a dinner reservation for Sunday night, 7:20. Mmmm.... all you can eats BBQ.

{ source | I was too hungry to focus on taking my own photos!} 
They let us know that due to the popularity of the restaurant that day (duh!), they were about 20 minutes behind on reservation times and sure enough, we were seated exactly at 7:40. Starving at this point, we were just excited to eat. Lucky enough for us though, we got to catch the LAST show of Miss Chris and Texas Tumbleweed - and they invited the entire cast from the entire restaurant, even the past Miss Chrises and Tex-es... many who were already in tears about the closing of their restaurant! Heartbreaking and touching all at once! So it was pretty cool to see their last-ever show at BTR.

But... on to the food. All-you-can-eat included drinks, the meats (the important part, you know) and sides: beans, coleslaw, corn, and cornbread, and drinks. At $26 a person, that's not much to scoff at. The bucket 'o meat included chicken, ribs and sausage, some of the best I've had, honestly.

{ source }
The cornbread was fantasticall sweet, the corn wheels delicious - I couldn't have enough of anything! Except coleslaw, but I don't like that outside of Disneyland either.

We were also warned early on that desserts take about 20-25 minutes to process, and that at that point in the day, they were out of 2 of their 3 dessert choices! Since we were about to order 2 of the 3, that left us with one easy decision: the s'mores bake. Heaven on a plate. She told us there were six left, so we were pretty lucky to get in on this one.

Okay, so I took this one! 
We literally got the last s'mores bake ever at Big Thunder Ranch. Lucky us. That ish is delicious and luckily, there's still some in my fridge. :)

So, that was it - stuffed to the gills, I was super happy we finally got in on Big Thunder Ranch and all it offered. Earlier in the day, Doug and I also hopped on board for a ride around the Rivers of America on Mark Twain (we had done Columbia on Thanksgiving) and called it a success for getting to everything that was temporarily closing - minus the canoes!

Mark Twain.
Adios, Big Thunder Ranch! You can check out artistic renderings of what the Rivers of America will look like here - much of an overhaul to the side and Disneyland Railroad will be elevated on a tressel over the waters in the future, too. I can't wait!

Are you excited about the new Star Wars Land? 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Weekly Workout Recap #1

In an effort to hold myself accountable to my training plans - especially as I dive into more fulls this year - I'm starting a weekly workout recap roundup, so if you're just trying to hold yourself to your plans and goals too, please join along! I'll be here every Sunday!

While I've been "in training" for awhile, my focus on the Phoenix Marathon began this week. I'll be increasing my mileage and am really trying to live up to one of my goals for the year - cross training, strength training and even being better about stretching and foam rolling. Week 1in the books, let's see how I did!

Sunday | Cross Train 
After Saturday's 12-miler at an 8:26 pace, I decided to go for the rest day on Sunday. We spent the day packing up Christmas (sad face) and getting ready to head back to work on Monday (double sad face). A much needed super easy Sunday.

Monday | Rest
Since I skipped my cross-training sesh on Sunday, I headed to the gym Monday after work with Doug. He ran a bit and I focused on getting a good sweat on the stationary bike and learning some weight machines. I've pestered him for forever on teaching me so I won't be so intimdated by weights (machines or free weights, for that matter), so it was nice to finally learn some.
Cycle: 40 minutes, 9 miles
Weights: 10 minutes

Tuesday | 70 minutes aerobic
I'm really proud that I actuall hauled my butt out of bed to do this at 5:15 on  Tuesday morning. We had happy hour plans with friends who were heading back to Texas that night, so I got up and got to work. Boom! Just over 7 miles at a 9:45 average page - it's crazy to me that that pace used to be such a comfortable race pace and now is more an aerobic pace. Progress, kids!

Wednesday | Cross Train/Rest
My local Fleet Feet does free yoga for runners on Wednesday nights, just a $5 donation recommended. I've been saying forever that I'd like to go, but have always come up with a reason not to. I've always hated the yoga classes I've been to in the past, so I was a little nervous about this one... but I loved it! Casual, easy going and really just felt like the best stretch ever. Success. I think I'll be there every week!

Thursday | 40 minute race pace
Couldn't get my butt up this time, so went and got it in after work before we headed out for dinner. I hit a 9:17 warm up mile (!) and 3 miles at an 8:34 pace and while I was trying to cool down, I hit the emergency stop button on the treadmill for the second time that night so I gave up from there. 37 minutes done, 4.25 miles in the bag!

Friday | Rest
Happily! Hooray for Fridays and hooray for Fridays being rest days. I had a long day at work to get ready for the start of the new quarter on Monday, so I was grateful I didn't need to squeeze my workout in before heading to the office earlier than normal. Man, I love rest days.

Saturday | 16 aerobic
So this really turned into 16 race pace, as I really kinda wanted to see what I was made of. I paced the Citrus Heritage Half 2:00 group. I wanted to hit a 2:00 race on this course anyway to demolish my course PR from last year, and at the last minute got pulled on as a pacer on Thursday, so had to hold myself to that 2:00 goal! Success. Right in at 2:00. Race recap tomorrow!

Then I came home, changed shoes and clothes and added a few layers and took Molly out for three more. She wasn't feeling in and my stomach wasn't either, so it turned into more of a walk-run than a run-walk like we normally do, but 3.5 more miles done and 16.7 on the day.

I'm pleased with this week's effort and more pleased with (most of) the long run yesterday. I'm stoked that I'm regularly holding down a sub-2 half and am looking forward to see how I can put that into play in a full in just seven weeks! Eep!

How was your week? Make sure you link up below!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Faves #10: 2016 Kickstart

Can you believe we're a full week into 2016? Crazy talk. I'm super excited that I've got tons of really awesome things coming up that get me PUMPED for this year. Big things happening, people! Some of them benefit you, too, so get excited! 

1. First race of the year tomorrow! 

January 9
I ran this race in both 2014 and 2015 and want to keep my legacy status! It's a favorite local race with an amazing production. As of yesterday, I'm also now pacing the 2:00 group, so that's awesome because that'll be a course PR for me! They're supposed to announce today if they're keeping the planned/certified course or if they're going to alter it because of all the rain we've gotten this week (because so much of it runs through trails/orange groves, you could be a muddy hot mess by the end). I like mud, and I like oranges, so I sure hope they're able to keep it as planned! Fingers crossed. 

2. Bib Rave
I am way super excited to announce that I'm an ambassador for Bib Rave for this year! I put this out on Twitter after Thanksgiving, but now that I've got my swag, it's official. What is a Bib Rave ambassador and better yet, what's Bib Rave? Bib rave is a site for you to share all your race reviews and experiences - the good, the bad and the ugly. 

- We help support and promote and help spread the word about this running resource to the wider running community.
- Test, experiment, and review various running and fitness related products and describe my experience to my social media and blog networks. 
- Run races as a BibRave Pro, reporting back on all aspects of the race - before, during, and after the event. 
- Participate in #BibChat - a super fast-paced weekly Twitter chat about all things running and racing. 
- Support my BibRave Pro teammates in any way I can, especially through our BRP community Facebook page, on their blogs and social media channels, and in real life! 

3. Pro Compression 
And if that weren't enough, I'm also super stoked to say that I've been chosen to be part of the amaaaaaazing Pro Compression ambassador team for 2016! I don't represent brands that I don't know about or don't care for, but I've been running in PC socks for nearly three years and can't say enough about them. Not only are they a brand that I love, but a brand that works. 

And - yes, this is where you win - I've got some cash-saving things for you too! Use code PRO16 to save 40% off your Pro Compression order. This code's only good through February 28, so you better act QUICK and get your socks soon! While you're at it, sign up for the email list and get a chance to earn $100 towards more socks! And that way you don't miss out on the Sock of the Month announcement! 

A super fun way to get my 2016 started and I'm looking forward to more fun! Despite being back at work and back to the grind, this has been a pretty sweet way to start my year!

How was your first full week of the new year?