It’s my first race week of the Fall 2016 season! Rock n Roll Virginia Beach 5k, here I come.
I decided to do the 5k this year instead of pacing the half like I did in 2014 and 2015 because I wanted to get a good feeling of what I might need to work on with a month to go before my goal half marathon. With this being an actual goal race I’m tapering, taking things fairly easy and, to be honest, my biggest concern at the moment is that I might go crazy without nine workouts to do this week. I’m also mildly concerned about the weather, which is usually hot and humid, cooperating. It would be nice to have a cool morning with low humidity. I’d even take rain.
Heat and humidity aside, I’m planning on a successful under 21 minute race. I set my current 5k PR on an unfamiliar twisty course but that won’t be the case Sunday. I’m very comfortable with the route and have run each part of it multiple times. It is supposed to be windy, with headwind for the first 2k and again coming out of the last turn with roughly 320 meters to the Finish line. I’ll lean on my Unbeatable Mind training for that last 90-100 seconds and give the straightaway all I’ve got. Barring injury, course problems or natural disaster, I’m going to get out there, work hard, have fun and set a new PR!
No matter what happens at RnRVB my Fall 2016 training this summer has gone well. I’m really looking forward to my upcoming race schedule. Some cool weather will be welcome, too, so I get a good opportunity to see what I’ve accomplished by training in the hard to breathe air and heat.
What’s on your Fall 2016 calendar? Any PR goals?
Healthy eating is a challenge. There’s so much prepared food filled with sugar, fat and salt quickly and easily available that finding something good for you can be tough. Our busy schedules also make eating less nutritious food convenient and appealing. Luckily there is tons of good quality, good-for-you food available on the edges of the grocery store if you stick to them. There are also tons of benefits: less soreness, better sleep, longer life, lower risk of disease and more.
Here are four of my favorite tips for eating healthy!
Plan: Put together a meal plan for the week. With a plan in place you’re less likely to just go ahead and eat whatever. A plan increases your involvement in responsible choices and gives accountability. Having a healthy eating meal plan also helps make grocery shopping easier since you’ll know exactly what you need. Adios, impulse cookie purchases!
Prepare: Meal prep can be a long process but it’s worth it. Make big batches of meals and stick individual servings in the freezer or fridge. It will make healthy eating simple and save time during the busy week. I also chop up veggies and fruits to make good-for-me daytime snacks just as quick and accessible as something processed.
Skip It: With your meal plan ingredient grocery list in hand hit the store with a mission. Follow the edges of the store, grabbing the fresh things on your list and skipping the middle isles packed with processed, sugary foods. If you don’t buy it, it’s not in your house and you definitely can’t eat it!
Use 80/20: Enjoy yourself. We all need a treat now and then so go ahead and indulge a little bit. Using the 80% good, 20% not-so-good rule, satisfy that sweet tooth daily. If you hold out until you can’t take it anymore or are celebrating at the dessert buffet, you’re much more likely to overindulge.
What are your tricks for healthy eating?
The days are getting shorter as fall head in and I’m busy busy with training, working and, most importantly, getting East Coast Run Project going. We had out first group workout Saturday with another warm day, plenty of sun and a tasty team breakfast afterwards. It’s exciting to be launching the team because it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted it to stand for beyond successful athletes.
ECRP is focused on creating better athletes in any sport that requires running based movements. We are dedicated to improvement and building durable participants. Our team is filled with resilient, passionate runners who look forward to working hard every single day.
I’m writing blog posts, improving my photo skills for better Instagram pictures and continue to refine the Project’s mission every day. It’s hard work getting off the ground but I know it’s worth it. Building happy, healthy athletes that experience fewer injuries and have successful race days is the most rewarding experience I can ask for.
In addition to building East Coast Run Project this fall, I’ll be kicking off my fall race season with the Rock n Roll Virginia Beach 5k on Labor Day weekend. With a goal to PR at that distance I’m hoping this week’s cooler, less humid weather sticks around or makes a comeback Sunday morning. Next up after rocking through a solid 5k is pacing the 2:00 group at the Morgantown Thirteener. West Virginia will be my 21st state and with ‘mountainous’ terrain, the easy pace should make a solid last long run before my 10k race/taper the next week at Heart of Ghent 10k. Then, before I know it, I’ll be heading into the Wineglass Half Marathon to attempt a new half marathon PR.
Please give East Coast Run Project a follow on Twitter and Instagram!
While I was on my recent blog vacation, I acquired Lululemon’s Hotty Hot Short. After spending some time trying them out with different activities I’ve found them to be just right for lots of things. Here are the details!
Fabric: I was looking for something different with this pair of shorts. It’s been a hot, humid summer and with the dog days of August settling in I wanted a little more breathability. The loose fitting, four-way stretch fabric is great. They are very light and I barely noticed them, even when they were soaked in sweat. It’s not an easy fabric to damage with pins for a race number or a heavy cycle in the washer but I never put workout gear in the dryer and haven’t with these. [All of my selfie shorts attempts failed so here’s what worked].
Fit/Feel: With the looser fit through the legs, I doubt you’ll ever need the fabric’s four-way stretch but it’s nice to know it’s there. The wide waist band is great for keeping the shorts in place without leaving its pattern indented on your tummy. The Hotty Hot Shorts I purchased have a low, 2.5″, rise. The fabric’s looseness and built in liner make you feel secure and covered even if your shorts tan is shrinking a bit. If you’re taller there is a ‘long’ version available. The single zip pocket in the back is convenient and keeps its contents as dry as can be expected. The seam locations in these is different than some other Lulu shorts and I have no fear of the dreaded inner thigh chafe when rocking them. All in all, they fit great, stay in place even when wet and almost make you forget they’re there.
Functionality: With reflective details and a back pocket, the Hotty Hot Short is very versatile. I’ve spent time in the gym with them, on the track running hard and on an easy long run. For a longer run there aren’t enough pockets to hold gels so you’ll need a fuel belt or backpack. For just about anything else from hiking to yoga they’re a solid choice.
Price: At $58 (+ tax in most states) they come in right on target for Lululemon. It’s an investment I’ve found is worth it. The key to keeping these shorts long lasting is skipping the dryer and washing in cold water.
What do you look for in workout gear? What will you compromise on?
It’s been a few days since I’ve posted. My annual blog vacation just happened to coincide with the Summer Olympics and it wasn’t too hard to stay put in from of my TV watching all of the amazing athletes.
I like taking a short break from blogging once or twice a year to think about why I do it. Sometimes it can feel like a drag or something I ‘have’ to do, not something I enjoy doing for the fun of it. A blog vacation is a good chance to clear my head, figure out what’s next (if anything) and what I really want to focus my upcoming posts on. While I was a little distracted during this most recent one, I’m coming back from my summer blog vacation ready to share my training, race recaps and reviews and any other awesome running related fun I can think of.
Let me start with the Olympics! I love the spirit of the games, the variety of athletes and being exposed to new sports. Fencing was definitely not on my radar but I spent time watching and learning about it. Olympic weightlifting was incredible. The swimmers of Team USA were mind bogglingly awesome. And now that we’re on to track and field, the Olympic inspiration hits even closer to home. There are so many feel good stories. So many amazing athletes from diverse backgrounds and situations competing you can’t help but be inspired. Emma Coburn’s bronze, Allyson Felix‘s silver, Usain Bolt‘s gold. And this story about the final few finishers of the women’s marathon.
With all that inspiration, I’m coming back from my blog vacation ready to rock my fall goal races and tell you all about them!
Do you take a summer blog vacation? One at all? How much are you loving the Olympics?
I wrapped up my 8 weeks of base phase training last weekend, finishing July with an easy 13 miler for my second 50 mile week and a month total of 185 miles. It seems like a long time to go until my target fall race, the Wineglass Half Marathon, rolls around but I know my next two training segments will fly by. I have four week of prep followed by four weeks of peak training to look forward to and I’m excited to see what I can do this fall.
With base phase behind me I’m feeling solid about my fitness level. I did a good job of building up my weekly mileage without draining myself. Racing the 5ks I did during base phase helped me stay on track with weekly speed work and kept my confidence up while I logged some slower miles. Even though I ran both short and long intervals while continuing to spend time in the gym, my performance in each decreased slightly. It was likely a combination of my focus being on something else and the hot, humid weather.
Now that I’m out of base phase and into prep phase I’m excited to see what a more intense, fewer miles load can do for me. Hopefully some cooler weather will help, too. The eight weeks I have before my goal half marathon perfectly work out with the months. August is will be all prep phase and September all peak work. This first week of August week features a 14 mile long run, more time in the gym and harder interval work. Prep phase finishes with the Rock n Roll Virginia Beach 5k. It’s a goal race for me and I might push up some hard, fast interval work a week early to get ready for it. I’m confident the down week I have planned leading into race day will be all I need to feel fresh.
Do you have a base phase? How do you organize your training?
Another race recap on a Wednesday? Yup! This time the race wasn’t Tuesday night, however. It was Wednesday morning. J&A Racing’s Summer Series 5k takes place on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk at 8am Wednesday mornings all summer long.
In its inaugural year, the series is made up of 8 events. Registration is available the morning of the race for those who are waiting to see what the usually hot and humid Virginia Beach weather might dish out for $30 or in advance online for $25. There is garage parking at the race site with a discount for locals but the start is also easily accessible by walking, jogging or biking. Hotels abound and are also easy to get to.
Featuring an out and back course from 31st Street on the boardwalk, the Summer Series 5k is a great opportunity to see how your training is going. It’s very flat with at least one direction providing a tailwind. There’s a water stop and cheerleading at the halfway point with a nice wide coned off u-turn zone. Here Team FitNice is having some fun at the turnaround with Ryan from J&A. Erin in the lead, Heather and I picking up the back half with smiles on our faces. Boardwalk races can get crowded with people but they also usually take place on the weekend. Since this one is during the week, there’s much less traffic out there and there’s plenty of room to run.
Swag includes a beach towel, a massive medal, bananas, bottled waters and eucalyptus ice water soaked towels across the finish line. The back of your race number also features discounts to three tasty local restaurants for your post-race refueling pleasure.
Taking part in one of the Summer Series 5k events is a must do for those runners who visit between June and August. It’s a fabulous way to kick off the morning while enjoying the boardwalk before it gets too crowded.
Do you race on vacation? During the summer at all?