Thursday, February 28, 2013

my running favorites

Hi hi! The inspiration for this post came from my friend Emily, who said "hey, you should write a post on your favorite running things." So in between her own running and baking endeavors, she managed to give me a great blog post topic. She's totally on her A-game.

I always enjoy reading about what my bloggy friends consider necessities and can get some really great ideas on things that I would have never been clued in on. Then there are the other items that I've heard of, but am on the fence about and would appreciate more opinions on.

Here's my list of my 5 6 favorite running items, to have and to hold forever and ever amen.

1. Vanilla Bean Gu

This stuff taste like pudding. It's hard to suck it out of the tiny opening fast enough, since all I would really like to do is dive headfirst into a punch bowl of the stuff. Chocolate is a great flavor, too, but I find that the vanilla is easier going down on my long runs. I haven't had any stomach issues with Gu, which totally depends on the person. I have two on any 16+ mile run, although I don't have a specific science to it. Some people know they need to have 1/2 of a gel every 3.25 miles, which I give them kudos for because that's a hell of a lot to keep track of when you're already focused on your run.

2. Nike smartphone gloves

My brother got these for me for my birthday this year, and I have worn them on every singly outdoor run since. The thumbs are magic and let you work a Smartphone screen, and there's a little key pocket for you know, your house or car key. There has been a couple really cold days when they don't do the best job of keeping my fingers warm, but they never make my hands sweaty, which I dig. Note: my cold in the Pacific Northwest is probably much different your cold in, say, Chicago or New York. These would probably not be the gloves for you. 

3. Headband

 Yes, it really is just a regular ol' headband, but I wear it as often as those gloves. Actually more, because this lucky piece goes with me on the treadmill and gets to soak up even more sweat. It's wide enough that it covers my "wings" and bangs, and if one of those goes loose I just tuck it in the band and keep trucking. The fabric is lightweight (Polyester and Spandex) and 100% washable.

4. Luna bars

I have a special spot in my purse for one of these, because I always seem to need one. There have been countless times when I get off work and want to go on my planned run, but am so hungry that I just want to scrap it and get into some dinner. However, one of these does a great job of curbing my appetite while not making me feel sick to my stomach once I start running. I've eaten one while running, little bits at a time, and it was a great energy booster. I scored this box of 15 at our local Grocery Outlet for a mere six dollars, but they can get waaay pricier.

5. Nike Sportwatch

I've done a review on this before, and I still love it. I've never had a Garmin so I can't compare it to that, but it truly does a good job of tracking my runs. I like that I can go online and compare my difference runs and get into the specifics of each one to see if I'm making progress. It's also cool because I can see what the elevation of each run is like, and compare it with my pace. I would get it all over again.

6. Hoodies 

There is just something about a loose hoodie that makes me want to workout. It's warm, it has a hood, it has pockets for my endless amount of can do no wrong. I wear one of these pretty much every time I run outside. They're made out of plain Jane cotton which is so dang comfy, even if there is no wicking involved. They're not too tight to wear I feel restricted, but they're not loose enough that I feel like they're getting in the way. The sleeves go past by wrists and are a little worked out, which is nice when I want to tuck my hands in. The yellow is form American Apparel and the right is Gap, and I think I'll have them forever. 

So there they be - my absolute running essentials!

Do you have any of these items? If so, how often do you use it?

Do you use Gu or another energy gel/blocks? If not, is there a reason why?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hanson Brothers Marathon Training :: Monday Marathoning 2.25.13

Week Four, done and done! This past week was super windy and chilly, so I ended up doing two runs on the treadmill at mis parentals house. As slow as those runs feel, is so nice to have that option.

I'm also realizing that it's probably due time for me to buck up the bucks for new shoes. My left toes are starting to slam into the front and I've noticed my muscles being increasingly sore, which I would like to blame on my current shoes. They've been around since I started training for my last marathon, so about 10 months ago. Any suggestions on what I should get? I've been looking at the new Mizuno Wave Rider's or the Brooks Pure Flows. With the price difference it should be an easy decision, but I want to go test them out before I commit.

Monday: 11 miles at 7:47 pace for a total time of 1:27. I beat my previous 10K and 5K times, which felt nice.
Tuesday: Track time! 1.5 miles w/u, six 800's with one lap jog between each, 1.5 mile c/d. \
Thursday: 6 miles at marathon pace; I averaged 8:08/mile.
 Friday: Treadmill time! 6 miles in 50 minutes
Saturday: 8 miles outside, 8:44/mile pace.
Sunday: More treadmill time! 6 miles in 50 minutes

 Here's what to expect this week:

What tips and tricks do you have to make treadmill time fly by?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

thoughtsday :: 2.21.13

I love the fact that it's Thursday, when technically it should be Wednesday. Thanks again, George (Washington) and Abraham (Lincoln).

Here are some things that are rocking my world this week:

1. Lettuce prep: It's the small things, no? This is actually a semi-weekly occurrence, but I realized last night how nice it is to have fresh romaine on the spot. Romaine that you didn't pay an arm for by buying the pre-shredded bag that costs double a head for half the food. Romaine that stays crisp and green longer than yo mama. (Yeah, I don't know. My husband remembers his very first Google search being "your mama jokes." That must be on the brain.)

It's so nice to have quick and easy access to a healthy meal. If I'm feeling especially motivated, I'll prep a bunch of veggies and beans to toss in whenever I feel like I need to amp up my nutrients for that day. If I'm feeling unmotivated, I'll buy the stuff in the bag and call it a day.

2. Plastic tumblers: I don't know why it took me so long to jump on the bandwagon and get one of these suckers, but I am so glad I did. I drink a ton more water (seriously, like one ton) with this vs. the standard water bottle I used before. I guess the screwing off of the lid was just toooooo much work?

More water = better runs. Hallelujah.

3. A new blog for my reader, Pumps and Iron: I'm a sucker for quick-ish, at-home workouts that I can do with just this here body. Nicole has some great workouts that focus on full body circuits to just abs or arms. I've been trying to incorporate more ab and upper body workouts into my daily routine, since I am w-e-a-k. I appreciate her workout and photo layouts, as well as the fresh and clean graphic design of her blog.

I did this workout both last night and this morning, and my obliques and upper arms are feeling it today. Which is probably a really bad sign, considering this was not an arm workout:

Do you strength train? I need to get into a more consistent routine with this. I start it, keep up the habit for a couple weeks, and then put it on the back burner.

Are you good at hydrating? How do you ensure you get enough water throughout the day?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hanson Brothers Marathon Training :: Monday Marathoning 2.18.13

I wrapped up my third week of training using the Hanson Brothers plan, and feel surprisingly great. I say surprisingly because I have been running more than I ever have, which means my legs took awhile to adjust to the increased mileage. There were definitely some sore, heavy leg days days, when I ran the lower end of the mileage or took a rest day and switched my training days around.

The flexibility aspect is what I've learned to love about this plan. 4 days out of the week, you have a range of miles to run. While I've ran the peak number of miles most days, as mentioned above there were a couple days where I just knew I shouldn't push it and ran the least amount of miles.

That being said, I also enjoy pushing myself because I know it will make me a stronger runner. Thankfully, I've grown to recognize where the "push" line lies, and when to skip a run altogether due to a variety of physical factors. Getting injured/sick is something nobody's got time for.

Monday: You can see there that I wasn't feeling it. I had started battling a cold/allergy thing, the temperature was cold, it was just a bad bag of cold juju. So I stopped, and honestly didn't regret it.
Tuesday: Track time! 1.5 miles w/u, six 800's with one lap jog between each, 1.5 mile c/d. It felt great. Thursday: General aerobic run; 8:21 average pace.
Friday: General aerobic run at marathon pace; 8:08/mile. From the looks of my watch I was settling in at around 7:30/mile, so I'm unsure how my average pace came out that much higher than I had thought. Whatevs.
Saturday: Unplanned rest day due to living it up in Friendtown. I'll push my planned runs back a day and will most likely skip Wednesday rest day this week.
Sunday: 6.5 unexpectedly speedy miles at 7:44 pace. I had expected it to be a doozy, since my allergies decided to flare up, but I felt strong (albeit sniffly) the entire time.

Here's what to expect this week:

I already have that 11-miler out of the way today, and it was great. I held a 7:47 pace the entire time, and felt like I could have gone longer. I'm hoping this is a sign that my body has adjusted to the higher mileage.

Are you good at listening to your body? There are still days when I want to get out there and just DO IT, despite my aching shins. Resting and not veering off a plan can be tough stuff, especially when you want to stay 100% dedicated.

weekend happenings :: 2.18.13

3-day weekends are the best. There's always that feeling I get on Saturdays, the semi-panicky one that lets me know I only have somuchtime to get everything done before Monday hits (even when everything = lazing on the couch reading about lactic threshold).

But THEN. There's that glorious feeling I get on Saturdays of a 3-day weekend that make me want to kiss Abe and George for their dedication to our country...and providing me a whole extra to do absolutely nothing (sometimes something. See previous note on that).

Friday afternoon I drove an hour south to Olympia to visit one of my very favorite people in the world that I met in college. She's been globe-trotting around the world since we graduated, so it's nice to finally have her near me. We did a lot of talking combined with a lot of eating combined with some walking around and it was the best.

Quick interjection: this was hands down thee best burrito I've ever had. And it was 100% vegan, with a chipotle aioli. Check them out: Quality Burrito

Sunday: My sister is in a band called Zebra Mirrors, and they had their first show in over 3 months. They introduced their new band mates and their new songs, which I completely fell in love with. They will be recording their next album in April with a guy I went to high school with at his studio in Seattle

 That's all for now! I'll see you back here later for a marathon training update, dun dun dun.

What was a big highlight of your weekend?

What meal do you recall that you could eat over and over again?

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Hey, guys! Happy Valentine's to you! Typically, I'm not a very lovey-dovey person, but this year I decided to get into the spirit a little bit more by making cookies for mi familia and...well, that's it. I liked the idea of giving out cookies, because it meant that we got to drop them off around town to the recipients. House calls are awesome, maybe because I just love surprises and chatting with people I don't get to see all to often.

However, a piece of house call advice: If you are going to invest some time into dropping off cookies around your hood, make sure you do this during a time that you know your target will be awake. Bless my Nana's heart for her going to bed at six o' clock in the evening. She is a busy woman, that is no doubt, and it was my mistake to overshoot her bedtime by an hour.

Also, when you walk into an assisted living home and say that you're there "to see Nana," be more specific. Chances are there will be more than one Nana, unless your Nana is the Queen Bee in a beehive, which sounds awesome, like Nana would get her own fortress in said home.

Onto the thoughts:

1. Coffee. I gave it up for a bit, and yesterday I realized how super crazy fantastic it makes me feel and that a fool be the girl who wants to give that up. What's not foolish is trying not to spend a ton of moola on the stuff, which is why I try to make it at home.

I have a Bialetti esspresso maker, which works wonders, but the taste it always a bit off to me. I've also been using almond milk, which I realized does NOT taste good with coffee. I think it's gotta be soy, which I keep forgetting to get from the store. While I'm there, maybe I'll also invest in some sugar-free syrup flavors.

2.  Cars. We need to buy a new one, since mine decided to bite the dust a couple months ago. It's been fairly easy to share one between the Hus and I, but I'm thinking that will all change when I go visit an out-of-town friend this week. Stranded City.

We're looking at either the Toyota Rav4, a Honda CR-V, or a Honda Fit. Something that can accommodate a (future) family while not guzzling too much gas.

3. Instagram! (Sorry, that should have started with a "C"...Cinstragram it is.) I'm sorta in love with this app. I love visually connecting with people instead of just reading what's going on, which is probably why I've severely neglected Facebook. I also like that you can search certain hashtags, likes "vegan" or "funfrogjump" and BAM, you have someone new to follow to stay inspired (or just waste away 4 hours).

I've started following 10x as many people as are following me, which I'm cool with. Stalker City.

I want to know! 

Do you make your own coffee at home? How so?

Any car recommendations?

What are your thoughts on Instagram?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

views from a run

Today was a speed work sort of day, which could have been worse. Conditions were warmish, windy, crisp, and colorful and my six 800's were done and over before I even thought about hiking up my sleeves to get to work.

On my cool-down jog home I realized that I had accidentally opened up my camera and taken random pictures, featuring ye olde grand city de Bremerton. Some turned out pretty sweet looking, so I thought I would give them a share.

100% raw, unfiltered, unedited Bremerton.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Marathoning :: 2.11.13

Today, I am beat. It was supposed to be a 0-6 mile dayer, and I ran two. Those two miles makes me realize how much my legs would rather be laying on the couch, as they were quickly turning into jell-o. So that was humbling.

At least I got to come home and make Valentine's, because seeing hearts will definitely help you put on your rose-colored world glasses and make believe all is well.

Here was my last week of training:

I took Friday off to have a much (un)needed Target shopping experience with la hermana, so I doubled up by two 6-milers and ran 12 on Saturday. It was a great run, which is weird because I listened to podcasts the entire time. I'm normally a strictly music girl, but Joy and Tracy kept my entertained all across Bremerton.

Here's what's in store for this week:

What is your magic formula for reviving sore legs/muscles?

Enjoy your Monday evening!