Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My very last long run.

It's been a few days. Sunday I was supposed to get my last long run in. It was a beautiful day but my chest was bothering me and I had a rough cough all morning. We went to Panera for lunch and took Hudson with us.

I got chicken soup and the B Green smoothie. It made me feel so much better! I also didn't want anything too heavy in case I was going running that day. 

Since it was so nice out, we went to a few stores and decided to take Hudson to the dog park. It's been a while since I spent the day with my little family. 
He's pretty cute right? 
Anyways, long run. 
One of my friends was off of work on Monday so he rode along on his bike while I did my long run. 10 miles. It was nice to have a friend to talk too during my run. 
Through this training season, I can honestly say that I haven't over exerted myself too much. I really don't want to be injured for race day. This run was one of my fastest times at 12:49per mile avg. Last year I finished the half in 2:22:57 which was a 10:40 avg. I think once I don't have to run with my camelbak, I'll be faster. If Irun a 12:49 I don't really care. This is my first full marathon so I just want to cross the finish line. 

As far as tapering goes, I haven't been running much. I have still been going to CrossFit to get my workout in. Starting today, I've done lower weight. I don't know what tomorrow will bring but Friday and Saturday I'm defiantly resting.

We're officially 4 days away! Are you running? 
What are you running?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Getting Prepared for Race Day

For some of us, The Pittsburgh Marathon is about 7 days away.  If you're a weirdo like me, then you've already planned and prepared what's going in your race bag, what you'll eat, and what you'll need afterwards.  I've made a list of some essentials on race day.

•Braces(if needed)
•Long Sleeves(If needed)
•Fanny Pack
•Bib (Most important!!)

•Something for after the race
•Gels or whatever you use during the race
•Extra Water

In the gym bag
Change of clothing (everything!)
•Change of shoes
•Instant Ice packs
•Extra safty pins
•Foam roller
•Hair Gumbies (hair tie)
•Bobby pins
•First Aid Kit
•Toe nail clippers
•Baby wipes (if you're going out after, you'll understand)
•Body Spray
•Bio Freeze, Tigerbalm, ice hot
•Cell phone
•Cell phone and music chargers

A lot of things seem like common sense but when you're packing a bag right before race day, you're bound to be nervous. I'm the type of person that will forget something like bobby pins and then have a total mental breakdown the night before when I know very well that there is a Wal*Mart down the street from where I'm staying. 

Usually by the time I'm done running whoever is waiting for me is starving and wants to go eat so I try to pack enough things to keep me from smelling after the race where ever I go. 

I still haven't decided what I'm eating before the race but I did go to Panera before my run the other day. I got my pre race favorite of Chicken Sorrentina Pasta and classic salad with a black iced coffee. This might be my night before food option. 

Are you running Pittsburgh half or full?
What are you favorites to take with you? 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Importance of Rest

Tuesday, I accomplished my very last "long run" before the Pittsburgh Marathon. If you have been following me then you know that in 9 days I will be running my very first 26.2 mile marathon.
So I woke up, got ready and ate my breakfast. 
A Panera whole grain bagel, apple sauce, and a hard boiled egg. The egg wasn't fully cooked so I didn't get to eat it. So I I ate and finished getting ready for my run. 13.1 miles. I've learned that I have to go to a trail that takes me somewhere. If I go into a circle then I'll go back to my car and not do my run.

On this run I was feeling really good. I didn't want to push it because I'll do that on marathon day. I kept at my slow pace going through 3 towns, 2 school districts, 1 great run. I took roads that I have never been on before. I live exploring on my feet. By mile 10 though, I hit a wall. I was starving. I didn't take food with me since I didn't think I would be gone too long. My knees and calves hurt too. I was supposed to go to CrossFit later that day but didn't make it. When I got home I iced my legs and ate food. 

When I started my run it was raining. It wasn't hard so I tested out my new rain coat. It was hot. It felt like I was wearing a garbage bag. By the end, the sun came out. With in bring home for 15 minutes, I had a hail storm a loud burst of thunder. 

The next day, everything still hurt. As much as I wanted to go to CrossFit, I couldn't. I needed rest. My body needed a break. I took Wednesday off and made it for Thursday. 

If something hurts, just take the day off. I personally believe resting more is way more benifical than training like crazy. Your body needs rest! Rest, ice, compression, elevation. My favorite rest day equipment is my foam roller. If you don't have a foam roller and want one, most stores have them for less than $25. They really help roll out your legs and back. 

I can't believe that we are 9 days away from the marathon! Are you ready? 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Taper Time

So last week started our official taper for the Pittsburgh Marathon.  I'm terrible at tapering. The marathon is less than two weeks away and if you aren't familiar with tapering, then it's just basically going backwards in your training. You want to rest for the big run. For the half last year I didn't start my taper until about two weeks before. Some people hate it and some like it. I don't mind doing it. It's a break before the big race. So how am I tapering? Well, I'm still making it to CrossFit 3-4 times a week. My miles are becoming less. I'm starting to relax a little and I'm still figuring out how to fix pain. Right now, what hurts the most is the bottoms if my feet and the side of my right calf. I tried KT Tape for my feet yesterday and loved it! KT Tape is like athletic tape that you put on to ease pain. It gives you "how to" videos on YouTube. Scientifically, I don't know what it does but it really works! I'll most likely use it for race day. 
Since it was beautiful out I got 3 miles in at a nearby park. It packed with people walking and fishing. I had planned on doing much more but I had to dodge too many people. I went home and later met my sister at Panera. 
Adam is sick and I was pretty sure that I was getting his sickness so I got chicken soup and a med veggie Sandwhich with a black ice coffee. I have a planned long run this morning so I'm starting to try combos that I can eat before the race. I loved this combo. I was so full that I didn't eat my chips. That never happens! I also got a bagel to try before my run this morning. 
Before I was a training blogger for Panera, I went there frequently. I wouldn't have said yes to doing the training menu if I didn't actually believe in it. I can honestly say that it has been years since I've walked into a place and ordered fast food. One reason why I go to Panera is because their customer service is wonderful. My sister and I would go there in college to do our homework often and get our usual. I'm glad that I have a chance to try other things on their menu than a French onion soup with Greek Salad or a Sierra Turkey Sandwich. It is helping train and see what works with my body and what doesn't.  

How is the taper going?
Do you have any Panera favorites? 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We're All Newbies.

At some point in our lives, most of us (if you've raced) have been new. Your first race is really scary. I want to leave you with things I've seen, done, and heard of to do and don't on race day. 

1.) Don't try anything new: No new shoes, no new gels, no new breakfasts on race day, DO NOT TRY ANYTHING NEW! 

2.) Do your last long run with what you'll be wearing: Test your bra, underwear, shirt, shorts ( make sure they are on the right way) socks, shoes. If you're planning on wearing it, you want to know how it reacts with you long run. I will be contradicting myself here. Since I'm running for the Panera Training Menu, they'll be giving us a shirt that we have to wear. Unfortunately, they haven't given it to us so I can't test it. You want to know what's lose, what's tight, what is chaffing, you don't want to be 6 or 12 miles through and realize something is extremely uncomfortable. Also, make sure your shorts aren't on backwards or with the price tags still on them. (Yup, personal experience) 

3.) If this is your first race: You will fear being picked up by the buggie. If you don't know what that means; races are only a specific amount of time. If you can't finish, a cart picks you up and drops you off at the finish line. I thought that was going to happen to me last year and I feel like that's going to happen this year. I think everyone I talk too thinks that will happen on their first 1/2 or full marathon. Chances are, if you're running, you are able to walk but you probably aren't going to get picked up unless you walk the entire race. 

4.)No one cares how fast you are:  This race is for you. Whether it takes you 2 hours or 6, don't worry about your finish time. Your only goal is to cross the finish line with a smile. 

5.) Don't fear the taper:This is my biggest issue. I was planning on two 20 milers but I only got one in and now have to taper. Taper and know that you will get over the finish line. 

6.) Always use positive thoughts: That's what get your over the finish line. I'm not the best with this but you have to tell yourself you can do it. 

7.) Rest!!!: If something hurts, don't hurt it worse! Chances are, if you're reading my blog, you aren't going to win. TRUST ME. I'm one of the slowest people I know. Rest.Ice.Compression.Elevation. Don't run injured. Take care of yourself. It doesn't say you're weak or a big baby. It says you're smart and want to at least cross the finish line. I see so many people post that they couldn't race on race weekend because they were injured for something that could have been prevented. That's a huge waste of money  and I'm pretty cheap. When you take time to rest, you will come back stronger.
8.) You aren't going to sleep the night before: Nope. Try to start to go to sleep at 6pm because you will lay there for a couple hours just thinking. 

9.) Thank your spectators: If there's spouce, parent, friend that drove you or drove to watch you, thank them. They know you appreciate it but while you're running they are standing there. Usually they can't sit so they are standing the entire time. This also goes for the people stopping fourway traffic so they don't hit you. 

10.) Don't think too much and just have fun: After all the training you're going to say this is your last or one and only but chances are, you're going to cross the finish line and if you did it right, you'll be back. The pain is temporary but the feeling is forever. 

11.) You're going to have to pee: ALOT. Nerves, water, more nerves. This is not the time to say,"I'll hold it. I don't have to pee that bad." You do have to pee and you better wait in line because the wait for ports johns on the route is much longer! I usually go a good four times in an hour before a race. I basically come out of the porta potty and get back in line. With that, when you start you'll have to pee again. Hold that one. And don't think about it. It's not a real pee it's a nerve pee. It's goes away by mile 4. 

12.) Practice your "day before": This goes with food and rest. Some take a light run some rest completely. It's up to you. The most important thing to do is practice your food with a long run the next morning. This is where you realize that you're lactose intolerant and can't eat fettachini Alfredo before a long run. If you're lactose intolerant, you know what happens. If not, well, I'll be glad to tell you what find the nearest porta potty, bathroom, empty wooded area ASAP. if not...yikes. (you don't want to be that runner) 

***AND MY ABSOLUTE NUMBER 1 RULE IS: SLEEP IN YOUR RACE OUTFIT! If you've ever watched Full House then you know you're going to feel like Michelle on her first day of school and just wear your outfit to bed.  (It's okay to not sleep in your running shoes) Then you'll wake up just like Michelle and shout, "I'mmmm ready!"  I do this for a few reasons... Because you're going to be sleepy when you wake up. No one what's to have to think about what they're wearing. Also, you're going to be nervous. Chances are, you're going to be up a while thinking about what is going to happen the next day. You don't want to forget something or not be able to find it.  I sleep in everything other than my bib and shoes. I even keep my hair gumbie on my wrist so I know that I'll have one. 

I love running. I love the community more. I've never seen a community so supportive like the running community. I wish everyone could run just one race to see how great it is. If you're running Pittsburgh, just be comfortable and have fun. 

You know I've been doing the Panera Training Menu. I went on my rest day on Monday to refuel from the weekend. 
And I always forget to ask for the apple. I got the Chicken Tort with a Med Veggie Sandwhich.  I love that I'm working with Panera through the training program because Panera is the only "fast food" restaurant that I got too. It's great quality food and fuels your during training. If you haven't tried the training menu, I would suggest it. Let me know what your favorite item is! 

Do you have any helpful tips for anyone new to racing? 

I am open to any race questions. I've been new. Newer than old and TRUST ME, I've been through basically everything. Ask me on here, Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram. I don't care. Don't hold back. I want to help you and I'll do my best. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My first 20 miles ever!

Thursday I was supposed to get 20 miles in. A mile down the road I realized it wasn't going to happen. I couldn't even run back, I had to walk. The pain in my lung was so sharp that it hurt to touch. After falling asleep and it still no going away, I went to the grocery store to get some medicine. I skipped CrossFit that night but went Friday for Open Gym. Open gym is just a day where you can work on things that you need. I took it easy since I knew I would be doing my long run and I didn't want to over exert myself.  
So Saturday, we woke up and Hudson had a hair cut so we walked him through town to his groomer. This was his first hair cut ever. 
That was his before and after. I gave her strict orders of "Do what you have too but don't cut him like a poodle." When he came out we didn't recognize him. We weren't happy with it but I guess there isn't anything we could do. We officially have a poodle. They left his bushy tail. I can't wait for it to grow back.  Adam and I and planed that we would try a new trail in Greensburg, he would golf 9 holes and I would run 20 miles. They were close to each other so it was convenient. As he was changing one of our friends sent us a text and said to go from Connellsville to Ohiopyle and her and out other friend will meet us on the other side and take us back to our car. Adam changed again and since he said that he would ride along side me I promised he could golf the next day and I'd play caddie. 

My 20 mile run
I try to be positive but it was kind of awful. I knew Adam didn't want to be there and that kind of made it worse for me. I did the number 1 rule of what not to do on a long run or race day. Wear something new. I was pretty pumped that I had recently bought a pair of 4" tight running shorts from TJMaxx and want to try them out. Big mistake. They kept riding up for the first mile and a half. That's when Adam asked if the logo was supposed to be in the back. Well, that solved the riding up problem. There was no where to take my pants off to change so I did it out in the open when no one was coming. Then I had the worst calf cramp. Super frustrated that I'm at my first 2 miles and already having problems, I stopped my garmin, stretched and went for a new beginning. Adam wasn't a fan of following me because he was testing his new road bike. It's hard to go slow with a runner on those kind of bikes. He would go ahead and make sure I was still in sight. There was ALOT of walking. Every time I walked he would tell me to keep running so we could get there faster. My legs hurt, my lungs hurt and I was being a baby. Truthfully, I have a bad feeling that I'm going to get picked up by the cart. From mile 10-17 he was my motivator though. These were his favorite lines:
-Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming
-You're making the turn at the Blvd of the Allies. It's all down hill and you can almost see the finish line. Just a little bit more! 
-You got this!
-How are you feeling about that full ironman now?! (That ended in a big ol' two words starting with 'F' and ending in 'it') 

I told him that I hated this and I'm never doing a marathon again. His answer was that I'm going to cross the finish line and say how great it was a sign up for another one. Doubt, but we'll see. 

At mile 17 our friends were waiting for us cheering. I told them to hold on because I still had 3 more miles. I kept going, once again stopping a lot. I almost just gave up at 17 and went home but I finished it off. With my last .25 miles my friend Katrina ran it with me and told me how proud she was of me. That's a best friend. When I finished I yelled, "20 miles, done! I did it and I want beer!" 
Her and our other friend Daneille also brought us snacks and water for on the way home. I was too exhausted to eat. We had a little family game night with  pizza afterwards. 
We love Clue but they changed everything since we were kids. 

During and after my run, everything hurt. The balls of my feet the most though. I went to sleep around 1:30am because I couldn't sleep. I was back up by 3am stayed up watching Three's company until 5:30am. Needless to say, I'm exhausted. I sent my mom a text and asked if I could go to her house for an ice bath. Of course she said yes. 

After we woke up I promised Adam that I appreciated him following me so much that I would be his personal caddie today. I've never played golf and I don't plan on it. So we got everything ready and headed to my moms. 
After my ice bath and hot bath, I started my caddie duties. We walked 9 holes to strech our legs from yesterday. 
My handsome golfer. 
He let me pick the lucky game ball. Her name was Callie and we kept her the whole time! 

He has a bag boy so it wasn't that bad. The hills were rough but we made it. I really enjoyed myself though. I could handle 9 holes,18 probably not. I also learned a lot about golf.  After he finished, we went home and relaxed until our bike ride. 

This was my first treck out on my trek. I was really nervous since I had never riden my bike near other cars. For the most part we stayed on the trail. When we got to the next town, we rode on the roads a little. I got a little more comfortable but not too much. It takes practice, but 11 miles seemed pretty awesome after my 20 mile run yesterday. Half Ironman here I come! 

So that was our weekend full of fitness. It was a quick weekend and I'm ready for a rest day tomorrow. 

Everyone knows that I'm blogging for the Panera Training Menu. I had my new favorite You Pick Two this week. 
The Chicken Sorrentina and Classic Salad with Greek dressing. It fuled me for my weekend workouts and kept me full. If you haven't tried it, I would recommend it. That's becoming my favorite combo. 

How was your weekend. 
We're down to 3 weeks. Hows training? 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Goals and disappointments.

This all started yesterday morning. I went to CrossFit and the workout wasn't that tough but I still got sharp pains in my right lung. This happened last year when I was running too. Then, around 3:30pm I got a migraine so awful that I laid down to go to sleep. I drink 1/2 gallon of water or more a day so I knew I wasn't dehydrated.  I had plans to go running with my friend from work so I wanted my headache to go away ASAP. I fell asleep and when I woke back up it was still there. My chest was tight all day but I took my inhaler and went anyway. When we got back my head ache was still there and it was still hard to breathe. I honestly just ignored it because wheather I run 1 mile or 15 I still feel like crap usually when I'm done. Two miles with Katrina didn't give me a reason to use my inhaler again since I used it not even an hour before. So we had dinner, and some wine and hung out for a whole before she went home. I went to bed but I couldn't sleep. I woke up this morning and my chest was still bothering me but I ignored it. 

Well, I've been planning for a while to get my 20 mile run in today. I woke up, ate breakfast and started to get my stuff together for my run. I did my breathing treatment that I always do before I go on my long runs. I sent my family members a text of what I was wearing just in case I went missing. (I get a little paranoid when I'm out alone)  Just after a mile I had to walk back. A MILE! I was in pain, frustrated, and annoyed. It's these runs that I have to tell myself don't always happen and I can do it. As much as I tried to keep going, I couldn't. 20 miles wouldn't happen today. I went home with sharp pains in my right lung. I couldn't move from my couch for a couple hours. When I finally got off of the couch I went upstairs and fell asleep for two hours. Two days in a row I've fallen asleep. I don't know what's wrong but my chest didn't feel right. When I woke up it felt like something was sitting on my chest. I've googled this so many times that Google is ready to answer back and tell me that he doesn't have an answer. 

I'm very muscusy when I run. I spit and blow my nose a lot.(Sorry if you are eating while reading this) I don't know if it's my allergies but that's what happens. I've talked to my pulmonary doctor about this pain but he tells me that it's a bronchospasm. When I went for chest X-rays, they found a black spot on my lung but nothing came back on my CT scan. The doctor said that by mile 4 it should go away. The problem is getting to mile 4. 
Here's what happens: I get an extremely sharp pain on my lower lung in my right side, just under my rib cage. I've tried everything from not eating dairy, nut butters, anything that might give me an allergic reaction. It hasn't helped. 

So if anyone reading this is a doctor and wants to tell me what's wrong..go for it! 

This was me all ready for my run. 
This is my breathing treatment. I've done this twice today and my inhaler once. I still feel yucky. 
These ended up being my last resort. I still feel awful and I missed CrossFit today. I hate when that happens but I an make the days up. I need to take care of me. So when Adam got home we went to Panera so I could get dinner because I didn't  feel like cooking. 
Not too fun. Just chicken noodle soup. I started to feel sick after I took mucinex without food. ( Don't try that at home) I will make it to CrossFit tomorrow. It's open gym to practice so I don't have to do anything too intense. I love going to CrossFit and hate when I don't feel well enought to go so I'm doing whatever I can to make it there so I can go on my long run this weekend since it's going to be nice out. I love that Panera always has a variety to always go with what you're hungry for. 

What keeps you from your favorite workouts or runs? 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Running to relieve stress

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!  Last werk was a little rough. Somethings happened over the week and I can't stop thinking about them. It's nothing that I want to get into on here but it was pretty rough. I promised a friend we would go for a run this morning before I went to the Pirates game so I stuck with it. 
When I woke up this, morning this was the the first picture on my Pinterest that I saw. (I hate those icons that say someone pinned my pin) this was up when I opened my ap. I needed this quote this morning. 

So I got up and got ready to meet my friend. I was in a hurry and I forgot my inhaler but told myself that I wasn't taking my phone or garmin. I just needed a day to run without technology. I left my house and walked to his. We told each other that we only wanted to go a mile or two.  Half way through we decided to do our usual 3 mile run. It was so nice to go without my watch or phone. I could have used my inhaler but I finished without it. We got to chit chat and listen to our breathing. My favorite ones are the ones that I don't have to worry about how I'm doing. I can just go and get back when I am ready.

With less than 30 days until the marathon, I stopped at Panera yesterday after a tough CrossFit work out. I got a whole grain bagel, fruit and coffee.  I'll take my own peanut butter next time because i love peanut butter. Are you eating Panera while you train?

Here's the winner to last weeks giveaway for the Spartan Race: Greg Pochron please email me at to claim your entry!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Food for thought

We're officially at less than 30 days from the marathon!  With that being said, my diet is going change just a little.  I go out to eat at least once a weekend and splurge a little on what I eat. No more of that. So here's an idea of what my diet is going to look like:

What I love:(but wont be eating)

  • Beer (boooo)
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate
  • Cheez-its
  • Burgers and fries
  • Excessive amounts of bread
  • Fried fish sandwhiches (during lent)
Those aren't that bad but I over do it a little. So here's an idea of what my diet will look like in my last few weeks of training:
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables 
  • Lactose free cottage cheese
  • Salmon
  • Grilled Chicken 
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa 
  • Greek yogurt
  • Chick peas
  • Turkey
With the long miles coming I need to get a little more protein in and eat more. I'm the person that forgets to eat when their busy. I also drink a half gallon jug of water a day so im pretty hydrated.  

So that's a look at my upcoming meal list. I try to keep it pretty clean and cut out the extra sugar that I don't need.

I'm still working with the Panera Bread Training menu.  I ate dinner there last night to fuel up befor my crossfit class this morning.  All Saturday workouts are rough son I like to fuel up the day before.  I got the Spinach Power Salad and Macaroni and Cheese. 

It kept me full all night until this mornings work out. Here's what the workout looked like: 

 5 Rounds for time
400m run
30 ab mat sit ups
15 deadlifts

My asthma is killing after that work out so I'm taking it easy for the rest  of the day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

10 Wheezy Miles

I held myself accountable and posted on my blog and social media that I was going to get 10 miles in and I did. It wasn't as fast as I wanted but I did it. Today's weather was too beautiful to pass up.

I got to test out my new knee brace because it seems that when I get to mile 5 or 6 it feels awful and makes it hard to keep going. I also got a new pair of shoes that were on sale the other day. 
These are my first pair of Soucny's. I've always been a Brooks fan, but these were a pretty big win. 

Here's an update on my asthma. It sucks. Haha I'm not making excuses but with how bad our winter was mixed with how bad this spring is, it's getting hard to train. I'm trying to not let it hold me back but I got to mile 5 and need my inhaler break. I wheeze at CrossFit and I wheeze when I run but today wasn't the best day. Once I took my inhaler I did better on my run but it was still hard to breathe. Last year I could run 13.1 miles at a pace of 10:40. This year I'm lucky to do it at a pace of 12:00. It get extremely frustrating but I keep telling myself the more runs I get in the better it will get. 
This long run was faster than my last long run but on that run I didn't need my inhaler. I'm not going to let myself get down on this run because other than needing my inhaler half way through, it was a comfortable run. 

My chest still hurts and it's hard to breathe but I'll do a breathing treatment before I go to bed. Hudson likes to help with those.  

We put my camelbak on him. Cutest.Dog.Ever 

Have a great Workout Wednesday! 

If you haven't enter my contest yet for a free Spartan Race ENTER HERE!
winner will be announced Sunday.