Running and Traveling

I am back from my Alaskan cruise! Actually I’ve been back for over two weeks but have been busy with our new house and planning my next trip :D Ok, no excuses. I will do a separate post on Alaska but for now, I wanted to talk about running while on vacation/traveling. It is really one of my all-time favorite things to do and I think it really is the best way to see a new city and explore where you are. If you really love to run then I guarantee running in a new place will make you love running even more. One good thing about traveling with Phil is that he is the only person I know who will run with me during our travels and it is kind of important to me to be with someone who shares this love. Here are some tips for running while traveling:

  1. Map out a route before you go: Do some research on where you will be staying and map out a running route, especially if you will be in an unfamiliar place. That way you won’t stress about where to run and you can also plan out how far you want to go.
  2. Look for nearby trails or parks: This makes planning out your run easier because you will already have a paved route and I guarantee you will see locals running in these areas.
  3. Research and contact local running clubs/stores. Often times, and especially in larger cities, local clubs and running stores will have scheduled group runs. This is a great way to meet locals and see the town.
  4. Look for a race: Do some research and see if there is a race going on during the time you are in town.
  5. Try to run with someone. If not, bring a phone. This will not only help if you get lost but in case you run into any sort of trouble.
  6. Run an out and back. I usually plan a route that starts and ends at wherever I am staying. That way, you won’t have to worry about how you will get back to the hotel from your run. However, sometimes it’s fun to end your run at a local coffee shop or bakery too if it isn’t too far from your hotel.
  7. Always bring your I.D. and cash. Just in case. On the same note, don’t run with too many valuables.
  8. Be aware of your surroundings. Always be alert, especially in unfamiliar territory. Try not to run with earphones or run with the volume low.
  9. ENJOY/EXPLORE where you are!! It is the best.

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Does anyone run on vacation/travel?

Where was your favorite place to run?

Share some tips!

Great News and Miami!

I have some great news.

NO STRESS FRACTURE!! I am so relieved. SO relieved that I ran every single day while I was in Miami over the weekend. In the flaming heat and humidity. On the sand. It was the best.

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According to my doc, I have the beginnings of mild shin splints, which is what I thought but ALWAYS better safe than sorry. It is never, ever a good idea to run with a stress fracture. At least now I know that I can still run but I just have to take it easy for a little bit. Whew.

Other great news: I found a store that still had my Wave Rider 16s!!! I found a pair at RUN by Foot Locker. This is one store that I have never set foot in but pass on a regular basis. To be honest, I just didn’t think they would have a good selection of running shoes but I was wrong. They also have a very knowledgeable staff so I will definitely be going back there for my running shoe needs. I thought that the staff was more knowledgeable than these “specialty” running stores throughout the city. Good job, RUN.

Look at these beauties:

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I have been to Miami too many times to count and am always excited to go back because of this ONE restaurant: Puerto Sagua. It is the best Cuban food in the city. If you go to Miami, you must try it. Reasonably priced, big portions, and yummy. Another amazing place to try is Yardbird. Hands down some of the best fried chicken. The place is super cute and everything we got was delicious. My faves were the fried chicken and waffles and the fried green tomatoes. Not a very healthy weekend ha!

Chicken n’ Waffles:

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And now I am back to the daily grind- at least I can run!

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Anyone ever been to Miami? Favorite places to eat?

Who has had a stress fracture?

 

Another 5K

Are 5Ks my new favorite distance?!? Maybe but probably not. I still love putting my body through 23 mile runs in the grueling heat every summer so that I may put myself through 26.2 grueling miles every fall. The things we do for love. Sigh.

I podiumed in my second 5K race- 2nd place in my age group. I also PRed with a 22:29 (ish) – I forgot to stop my Garmin. I was hitting around 7:16s until mile 3. Then came a mini bridge and my pace slowed to around 7:30. Other than two mini bridges, the entire course was flat. I love flat races.

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my plaque and messy hair/sweaty outfit.

3 reasons why I am starting to love 5Ks:

  1. GREAT for speed work: If you are tired of running laps around the track, doing pick-ups/intervals every week, switch it up and just run 3 miles..fast.
  2. Perfect way to gauge progress: Running a few 5Ks before a big race is a great way to see how your pace has improved. The distance is short enough to not interfere with longer runs/get injured but long enough to be challenging at a hard effort.
  3. More races! There are wayyy more 5Ks than longer distance races. You can find a race almost every weekend and often during the week as well.

In other news, I went to the doctor for my posterior shin splints to make sure I don’t have a stress fracture. Even though I’m glad I raced that 5K, was probably not the best idea :( I will hear on Thursday.

Other other news/impt questions: Has anyone ran in the Brooks Glycerin 12s yet????

 

It’s that time again…

KT TAPE. I wrote about this before and how much I love it. I have posterior shin splints AGAIN. I think my legs/feet are trying to tell me something: time for new shoes. My last pair of Mizunos were in JANUARY before the NJ Half. I definitely think it’s time. I am still obsessed with my Wave Rider 16s and am sad I can’t pick them up at my local running store anymore. I have been thinking of switching to Sauconys because they are pretty similar to the Mizunos. I’ll keep you posted.

Back to taping. I really do think it helps. There is no scientific evidence and some believe it might just be a placebo effect but I’LL TAKE IT. As long as it doesn’t hurt you, why not try it? Advocates of taping say that taping helps improve blood circulation in/around the affected area, thus alleviating the pain. I taped my ankle/shins for my morning run (10 pick ups at faster than 10k pace with warm up/cool down) and felt pretty good. My (very) short term goal is to get through this 5k I am racing tomorrow. I want to PR or try and place again haaaa. I joke but I would be so happy and amazed if I could.

In case anyone is wondering where I learned how to tape, this is the video I used for my shin splints. I’ve followed the other KT videos in the past and they’ve all worked! Also if you are wondering (because I am SURE you are) what my taping looks like right now, here it is (I had to wear a pant suit today to cover up the hot pink)- you’re welcome:

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Has anyone tried taping before? Tell me your story!!

Coaching and Heart Rate Zones

So I recently started working with a coach. I figured that since my anemia fiasco, I should start my training fresh because I really have NO idea where my running is at right now. I’ve always wanted to try working with one because I’ve tried so many of those online training plans and nothing seems to have worked (of course, this may also have been because I had no red blood cells). My marathon goal (again) is to hit sub 4:00. I know, this is not very fast but for ME it has been something I haven’t yet accomplished. I’ve only just started with coaching so obvi I have not yet seen the benefits but in due time, I hope to see changes.

One thing that my coach has me focusing on is pacing and heart rate zones. I’ll have to admit, I’ve never trained by HR before. Since my Garmin HR strap seems to be half broken or something, my HR zones have been set by my recent race paces and I am learning to run by feel. Yesterday’s workout consisted of 5x8mins in each of these zones:

  • Zone 1: very comfortable pace
  • Low Zone 2: able to hold convo
  • High Zone 2: still able to hold convo but a bit harder
  • Low Zone 3: low end 10k pace (can’t hold convo w/o stopping)
  • High Zone 3: high end of 10k pace

At first I thought it was easy but this workout is actually kind of challenging, especially because you are forced to start a bit slow. I was having a super hard time getting myself to run too so I turned Spotify to the Notorious B.I.G. station. Yes, guilty.

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Who uses a coach?? How do you like it??

What do you do to motivate yourself to run??

 

Summer…in May.

Ok, people. What is up with this weather?! This past weekend I ran in almost 90 deg heat and thought I was going to pass out. My workout consisted of 6 pick-ups at about 10k pace. I was sweating buckets. Now, if you remember last summer, I suffered terribly during my runs. It was so hot and muggy, like, everyday. Let’s not repeat that, please. Ok, maybe the anemia thing had something to do with it too BUT as a reminder (really, to myself), here are some tips for hot weather running:

  1. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE. Do not just hydrate during your run.  Most people forget to hydrate before/after their runs, especially if it’s going to be more than an hour. If possible, throw some electrolytes in there (like Nuun, my fave).
  2. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, sweat-wicking clothing. Please girls, leave all that cute tight stuff at home. You won’t be so cute anymore passed out on the road.
  3. Do not run when the sun is at it’s peak. Run either early morning or in the evening. Avoid 12-3 pm. If I have a longish run scheduled, I will usually start my run at 6 am or after 5 pm. Do not make excuses- there is always time.
  4. Pre-cool before a run. Ice your neck, core, or forehead for 10-15 minutes before a run or eat/drink something ice cold. This will bring your body temperature down and prolong the amount of time running before your body temp hits that peak. I have never done this but have thought about it every single time I run sooo that sort of counts, right?
  5. Focus on effort, not pace. You will run slower in the heat. I guarantee it. Focus instead on maintaining a similar effort. If you try to maintain the same pace in the heat, your body will just get tired faster and not be able to complete the workout. Or you will just feel like crap the whole time and probably the next day. All this means is that when your chilly fall race arrives, you will be much faster!
  6. Hit the ‘mill. As much as I hate this thing, sometimes it is just necessary. Better to run on this than not run at all!

Of course everyone has their own way of dealing but these tips are what come to mind and based on experience, it does work (minus that cooling thing which I will try this summer). Feel free to add some more tips in the comments below!!

Who is ready/excited for running in excruciating heat?! Not me.

haha

There’s a first time for everything…

I have exciting news, people: Red blood cells (and the stuff that makes them, i.e. iron) are VERY important!! Esp if you plan on running a gazillion miles a year (jay kay. more like a few thousand).

My almost-normal levels of iron/red blood cells have made me stronger over the past few weeks. In fact, I even placed 2nd woman overall in a 5k this past Saturday. It was my first time placing EVER and I am really excited about it. I even won a trophy! Tip: Enter a local race where there is no cash prize so you have better odds of winning something ha! I don’t race 5Ks often because I am a long-distance runner at heart but I decided to test my limits this weekend to see where my running stands right now. I finished around 23:40 (about 7:37 pace), so not super fast but I guess fast enough in a small field. I am annoyed because I forgot to stop my Garmin and there was no chip timing, so I am basing this on the clock time when I crossed the finish. I felt pretty good the entire time and tried to really keep my pace steady. I think I def could have gone faster but I am pretty awful at pacing myself in 5Ks.

Photo: Just placed in my first race-2nd woman overall!!!! #running #springraces

Sometimes it just takes one good run. I’m ready for fall marathon season.

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Tell me something that motivates you for the race season!

Anyone race this weekend?