Jul 22, 2014

11 Fitness Items I CANNOT Live Without!

I saw this on Hungry Runner Girl's blog and I wanted to share the top 11 things that I cannot live without! I couldn't narrow it down to 10 so I have 11! When I prepare for a long training run or travel for a race, these are the things that would send me into a mad panic if I forgot to bring them along with me!

Here is my list of fitness items that I am incredibly thankful for and have learned to love!

1) Garmin Forerunner 620-This is my favorite Garmin by far and the top item that I just cannot live without! It provides so much running data and I just love it! I love the Live Track option and the fact that the data automatically uploads to Garmin Connect.

2) GU Energy Gel-My favorite flavors are Jet Blackberry and Salted Caramel. The energy kick that this gel gives me during a race or a long run is amazing. The Salted Caramel flavor tastes just like candy so it's like a treat while I am out on my runs. You have to try it if you have not already! They just released a new flavor, Salted Watermelon, that I am dying to try!

3) Foam Roller-This thing has saved my life! If you don't have one, please go and buy one and start using it! After being injured so many times, I became religious about using my foam roller. I use it after all of my runs and it has made a huge difference! I can now run 20 miles and have no soreness the next day. I like the extra firm one because it really hurts so good!
4) The Stick-This is the best for sore legs. I even have the travel sized version that fits inside my bag. I never leave home without it and I even take it to work with and secretly use it at my desk. It is also the best thing to have on hand for relays when you are cramped inside of a van overnight.

5) 20 oz. Amphipod Hand-Held Water Bottle- I have been trying to kick the hydration belt lately because it is just so much easier to just carry my hand-held. I can't be without my water so I have yet to master running a race using the course supplied hydration. I can go pretty far on this bottle without having to refill it and the outside pocket works perfect for holding my Chapstick.

6) Fitletic Ultimate II Running Belt (with Bib Holder and Fuel Slots)- I love that the front pocket is just the perfect size for my phone and the belt has slots to hold my GU's. The bib holder is great since I don't have to worry about forgetting safety pins on race day.
7) Body Glide-I learned a valuable lesson after my first marathon. I had some serious chaffing issues and I could feel my skin burning in the end of that race. Lesson learned and I never had that problem again since using Body Glide.
8) Nike Tempo Shorts-These are the most comfortable shorts that I have ever worn. I have tried other brands but my heart belongs to my tempo shorts which would explain why I have over 25 pairs of them!
9) Compression Socks- I wear both Pro Compression and CEP. I love them both. I wear them for all of my runs and they help me recover faster and improve my circulation. I have terrible tans lines from them but it's totally worth it to me!
10) KT Tape Pro- This tape has saved me when I have aches and pains and when I have been injured. I love this stuff! I only wear the Stealth Beige color though so I don't have to worry about matching it up with all of my clothes. I like the Pro version because it sticks better and is waterproof.
11) Nike Sun Visor-I cannot wear sunglasses when I run because I feel like I can't see. Weird..I know. I never run without my visor because it keeps the sun out of my eyes and the sweat off of my face.

What are your favorite fitness items that you cannot live without?  
Please share in the comments below.

Jul 21, 2014

Weekly Recap: 7/14-7/20

Last week was a very challenging one for me and I ended up feeling really tired come Monday. I planned to tone down the pace on a couple of my runs so that I felt ready take on my long 20 mile run. I wanted to make sure that I had gas in the tank to finish my run strong.

Monday: I was pretty tired Monday morning so I decided to take a complete rest day. I did zero running and zero strength training. I pretty much came home from work, ate dinner and laid on my bed and watched TV. I really needed it and I am glad I allowed myself to take a little break.

Tuesday: 7 Mile Tempo Run@7:59 avg. pace

Wednesday: 5 Miles Easy@9:31/This run almost didn't happen because I was feeling really tired when I got home from work. I had an easy 5 on the schedule so I figured I would just do it even it was not a great one. In the end I was glad I stuck with the plan and got it done.

Thursday: Rest Day with strength training and meet by met my plank goal of 5 minutes! I think I am going to keep going to see how much longer I can hold one. I am sure it won't get much better because I shake pretty bad in the end.

Friday: 20.07 Miles@8:53 avg pace/I ran Miles 1-7@MGP plus 30-60 seconds and Miles 8-20 @MGP plus 15-30 seconds. I actually felt good throughout this entire run but I am sure that the 63 degree weather played a big role in it!

Saturday: Rest Day with strength training with the focus on my arms and core. My legs felt great coming off of the 20 miles so I wanted to rest them. I was tired and took a three hour afternoon nap which I never do. It felt kind of nice!

Sunday: 6.03 Miles@9:32 avg pace/Ran the first 5 miles with my other half and the last mile alone. I also did my squats since today will be a rest day from running.

Total Miles: 38.10

Week three of the Summer Run Challenge complete and I hit my goal for the week.  I am at 110 miles for the month of July which is really close to my goal of 150 miles! Ventura is just seven weeks away and before you know it, it will be race day! I am looking forward to my birthday race and hoping for good weather.

How was your week? Did you run any races?

Jul 14, 2014

Weekly Recap: July 7-July 13

The heat has been horrible and one of my daily chores is to look at the 7-day forecast so I can plan my long run around it. My goal for the week was to get 35 miles in and I exceeded my goal! Here is a recap of my training for the week.

Monday: 8 Miles @9:09 avg pace/I took a vacation day from work on Monday and swore that I was going to get up early and run but it did not happen. I slept in an extra hour and by then it was 80 plus degrees. The good news is that I still got my run in but on the treadmill. I knew that I needed to take this one easy because I ran 15 miles the day before.

Tuesday: Rest Day from running but I did so some arm and core work. I also did some foam rolling and used my Stick because my quads were a tad bit sore. The rest day did me some good.

Wednesday: 7 Mile Tempo@7:54/I wanted to quit the entire time on this run. I was tired and it was tough. I kept telling myself to be strong and keeping pushing and I guess it worked because I finished it as planned.

Thursday: Rest Day from running but did some squats and core work.

Friday: 18 Miles@8:41 avg pace/I was up and out that door by 5:45 am. The forecast said it was going to be 62 and overcast and it was about 64 degrees when I stepped out the door. This run was a lot better than last week but I was pretty tired for the rest of the day.

Saturday: Rest Day from running but did my strength training and lots of foam rolling. I did a 4:30 plank too!

Sunday: 7 miles @8:54 avg pace/This run was not so great. My legs were sore and tired and I just wasn't feeling it. I wasn't able to get my pace under 9:00 until the last two miles of the run and I was so happy it was over!

Total Miles: 40/This was a good week for me. I am not a high mileage runner so this is pretty much where I max out.

The Summer Run Challenge is keeping me accountable because once I throw my goal out there for the week I am determined to meet it! I hope the weather is better to me next week because these long runs are getting more and more challenging in the heat. I am not sure how I will survive 20 mile runs in this heat!

What is the most miles you have ever ran in a week? 
I want to say that I have ran up to 42 miles once.

Jul 10, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. My goal for July is to run 150 miles so I signed up for The Bigfoot Challenge over at http://www.teamigotyaback.com/#cac5. I saw it on Instagram and decided to try it since it is already in line with the mileage I had planned for the month of July. I hope I can do it but as we all know that sometimes life gets in the way and we have to make changes in our running schedule. I don't follow the recommended running schedule because it does not work with my schedule but the mileage I have planned will meet the goal if I can stick with it. Wish me luck!

2. I am thinking about running the Cypress 5K again this year. I ran it last year and got the worst side ache so that is all that keeps playing in my head. I am going to wait until the last minute to sign up to make sure I am ready for it. 5K's are short but oh so painful! If I run it, my goal will be to break 23 minutes (22:59) and I am not sure if I am capable of that right now.

3. This is kind of a sad thought but it has been on my mind for the past few days. I was driving to meet my carpool on Tuesday morning and I saw something in the road. I assumed it was a dead animal and sure enough it was. I decided to change lanes to avoid hitting the dead dog and when I made the lane change, I noticed a small white dog laying in the dummy lane who was still alive. I presume that he was waiting there for his buddy that had just got hit by a car. It was just really sad and just makes me realize how darn faithful dogs are. I did not stop because it was really dark where the dog was at and I did not want to scare him and make him run into traffic because of me. I drove past the same spot after work because I wanted to make sure that he did not get hit too. He was not there so I was relieved to know that perhaps someone rescued him or he made it to safety. This just makes me love my fur babies that much more!

Today is my Friday since I have the day off tomorrow so have a great weekend everyone!