NYC Marathon Training Week 5

So I decided to shake things up a bit this week and I told my coach that I no longer wanted to do a traditional training plan.  Having a plan and specific days to run was stressing me out and I wanted to return to a place where I was just doing strength training with her and I’d figure out the running on my own.

Maybe that’s a bad idea, maybe not but it’s what I need right now as I bring myself back to run fitness & how I need to get myself out the door.

So, that being said, what did I do last week?

Monday – Strength Training, 10 min Peloton Core workout & 25 minutes on the bike.

Tuesday – 2o minutes on the bike, 10 min Peloton Core, 10 min stretching

Wednesday – Strength Training, 20 minutes on the bike

Thursday – 3.25 miles on the tread + pre & post run stretching

Friday – Strength Training, 10 min core, 20 min Recovery Ride

Saturday – 6 miles at Lake Murray

Sunday – 90 minutes on the bike including my 500th ride!! and a 15 min ride PR.  Stretching

Last week was really ride heavy vs run heavy but that’s ok.  It’s what I needed. My desire to run is slowly coming back and I’m honoring that.

My hydration game is on point, I drank over 100 oz of water every day this week.  I am feeling good & am taking it day by day.

 

August Recap

I am all over this recap stuff this week.  I’ve written a bunch of posts and I’ve got loads of content coming for September so get ready to see a lot of me!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already September! Where did August go? Where did this whole year go for that matter?

Ok, let see what happened in August – I can barely remember because it went by so fast!

I started training for the NYC Marathon with a coach and then stopped training for the marathon with my coach.  I’m still planning to run the race, I’m just not sure how exactly I want to go about it.  I have to admit & I know I’ve said this before, I don’t love the actual training process, which is why in the past we have run so many races, because it’s more fun to me to run a race than to run a long training run.

In any case I ended August with 57.6 miles of running.  I ran one race, the Balboa Park 8 Miler which was a new to me race & distance.  We went up to the Bay Area to see my sister & BIL and took a road trip to Yosemite National Park where we camped for the weekend.

I started reading a booked called The Success Principles because it’s time to make some changes in my life & take charge of things again vs just complaining and hoping things will get better. I’m loving it so far, and really looking forward to implementing some of the steps in the book.

I finally started taking my hydration seriously.  I bought myself a Hydrojug and I have been doing my best to drink a minimum of 73 oz of water every day since I got it.  I have to say having a huge water bottle with all the water in it seems to be helping and I’m already noticing a difference.  My skin feels a little better, I haven’t been scratching nearly as much and I don’t feel nearly as bloated TMI maybe but it’s something that makes a difference to me.

Because we were traveling a lot I didn’t really get in a lot of Peloton workouts this month but I did still manage to do all my strength workouts. We currently don’t have any travel booked for September so I’ll be doing my best to do at least 30 minutes of cardio a day.

I had a decent amount of campaigns in August so I got to try or work with the following brands.

Balance Superfood Shots – these are yummy shots with 50% of your daily fruit & veggie allotment.  I really like the Foundation Blend.  Withings – I had the scale and now I have the blood pressure monitor which comes in handy because I have white coat syndrome which means my BP is always higher when I go to the actual dr. This allows me to measure my BP at home and then share with my dr.

Now for the food!  I partnered with Factor Foods, which is a super easy and simple way to get eat yummy chef-crafted meals.  I love their plant based meals & juices.  You can save $90 on your first 3 weeks but using my code RUNNYLEGS90.  I also partnered with Califia Farms to share how plant based milks & cold brews can be used to make yummy desserts!

I shared how I take my Sunbeam Go HeatTM USB Powered Heating Pad on trips with me and that my Garmin Enduro has an incredible breathwork activity that’s helping me to stay focused & relaxed.

August was jam-packed for me.  How was your August?

NYC Marathon Training Weeks 3 & 4

How is it already week 3?

We got back from our quick visit to the Bay Area and were planning for a  camping trip to Yosemite for the next weekend so I took my schedule and switched up some of the workout days.

I got a hydro-jug after I got back from the Bay Area and started increasing my water intake. I’m putting this out there because honestly I suck at getting in enough water.  Every year I start the year out and am like I’m going to drink more water but in January it’s always cooler and drinking cold or even room temp water doesn’t interest me. But I need to make some changes so I’m starting now in summer so it will hopefully be a habit by the time it gets cooler outside :).

I’m pretty proud of myself because with the exception of the time we were in Yosemite I have finished my 73 oz Hydro-Jug + a few Spindrift, every single day.  I find that I am craving water and while I know it’s still really early in my drink enough water journey, I already have noticed that my skin is feeling nicer.

So what did I do these last 2 weeks?

Week 3:

Monday – 60 minutes on the Peloton. 15 min ride to warm up, 30 min Sweat Steady ride with Jess King & 15 min low impact ride.  I did a little stretching too.

Tuesday – Strength Training + 30 mins on the Peloton.  I did 5 min warm up & cool down with Matt and a 20 min pop ride with Ally Love. I did a bunch of stretching yesterday too.  Drinking all the water was making me feel really tight and bloated so I stretched a lot!

Wednesday – It was ugly out! I hate gray days but these days are cooler so they are better for running.  It was pretty warm when I got to Lake Murray though but I did a nice 10k around the lake with a 1 mile cool-down walk afterwards

Thursday -Strength Training

Friday – I took Friday as a mostly rest day since we were driving up to Yosemite & a 7+ hour car ride is a long ride.  We did go for a 2ish mile hike around Glacier Point though.

Saturday – We did a short 2ish mile run around Tuolomne Meadows and then an 7ish mile hike to Cathedral Lakes.

Sunday – 6ish miles around Tenaya Lake and then a 5ish mile hike on the JMT/PCT following the lake from our campground.

Week 4: This week was tough, after a long drive back from Yosemite I was exhausted & honestly I struggled with run motivation this week and literally only got one run in.  I decided to drop run coaching with my coach and stick to just strength training and I’ll figure out how to run NYC on my own because forcing the runs isn’t really working.

Monday – Super long drive home from Yosemite

Tuesday – 30 minutes on the bike

Wednesday – Strength training

Thursday – 35 minutes on the bike

Friday – Strength training

Saturday – 6.33 miles running at the San Diego Harbor

Sunday – Rest Day

So, lots to think on as we are about 11 weeks until the race but honestly I’m good.  I’ll do my best to make it work and then we’ll go from there but st this time, running is just not bringing me the joy that it has in the past.

NYC Marathon Training Week 2

Week 2 of training went about how I expected based off how the last 7 months of running has gone. For whatever reason it seems like I have one great week of training and then one not so great week, which really makes it hard to get to a place of consistency.

After running the Balboa Park 8 Miler on Saturday, I was exhausted and actually took a nap that morning before we went out to get food.

I took Sunday completely off as my coach had on the schedule.  This isn’t my normal MO, I prefer to still do something like walk or hike but I didn’t do anything and I think that might have been part of my problem as the week started.

Monday my stomach was a little off and I just didn’t feel well so I didn’t eat a lot.  I had just a bowl of rice for lunch and then was probably starving which didn’t help the situation. I did eat dinner and felt a little better after a nap.  I did manage to get in my strength workout but didn’t bike.

Tuesday was a little better but I was not in the mood to run that afternoon.  It was hot and I had a headache when we left the house but Sean & I went down to the harbor and it was a lot cooler and I ended up having a really nice run.

Wednesday, I again didn’t feel really well, I don’t what my deal was this week but I ended up taking my rest day because I felt so bad.

Thursday, I did my strength workout and we went on a nice hike.

Friday, I ran 5 miles on the treadmill and it was a little brutal, I don’t enjoy running on the treadmill these days, I’ve transitioned into different shoes and they are not treadmill shoes so that makes a difference.  Plus I feel like my knee hurts everytime I use the tread so that doesn’t make me want to use it.

Saturday, we traveled up to the Bay Area to visit my sister and I didn’t have access to weights so I went for a short run with Sean.

Sunday, after a very very early flight home, I was super lazy and exhausted so I skipped my long run.

If you are curious, here is what I was supposed to do:

Day 1: Strength + 20-30 min ride
What I did: Strength Only
Day 2: 6 easy miles + stretching
What I did: 6 miles & I stretched
Day 3: Strength + walk/hike/easy bike
what I did: rest day and moved this to Day 4
Day 4: 5-7 miles easy + stretching
what I did: Day 3 workout + 4 mile hike
Day 5: Strength + 20-30 min ride
what I did: 5 miles + stretching (day 4 workout)
Day 6: 9 miles easy + stretching
what I did: 4 miles easy & stretching
Day 7: Rest day
what I did: took a second rest day.

So overall, week 2 was kind of a toss up, I did 2/3s of my work-outs, but it happens and we just move on.  Onward to week 3!

Marathon Training – 2021 NYC Marathon Week 1

Here we go my friends.  I haven’t officially trained for a marathon in many, many years.  In fact I would go so far as to say, maybe the last time I legit trained for a race, any race, but especially a marathon was back in 2014 when I ran the Rome Marathon.

Since I met Sean & moved to San Diego, we have spent every year running one race after another and haven’t really focused on actual training.  We have always just run  & then whatever happens happens.  Sometimes I’ve been in great shape, like when I PR’d the marathon by over 40 minutes at Mt. Hood the week after a 50k, other times, like Chicago 2019 I managed to get in under 5 hours with little to no training.

But this year, things are a little different.  I’ve run a fraction of what I normally run in a year & while I can still hold my own, my cardiovascular endurance isn’t really there right now.

So, that means I might have to actually train to get to the finish line. Say what?!? LOL

I have been working with Nicole from Heartnsole Running on strength training since March, it’s the one constant thing that I have actually done on a consistent basis this year.  We are adding in running now and will be taking it nice & easy.  Hopefully by not getting overwhelmed I’ll be able to start running again on a consistent basis.

I know myself and I know that too long of a training session and I will get bored so we have I believe 12 weeks until race day & just under 100 days.  I have no time goals at this point in time and just want to finish without having to walk the majority of the race.

I have run 30+ marathons, twice as many half marathons and about 15-20 ultras so a 12 week almost couch to marathon is not an issue for me, I ran Coldwater 52 miler one year with only 2 half marathons as my training so I know that 12 weeks is sufficient to get me a good base & ready to run.  If you are running your first marathon I think most plans are for around 16 weeks, which is what I did when I was first starting out.

Week 1:
Monday – Strength Training & 30 minutes on the Peloton
Actual – Strength Training + 5min warm up ride, 20 min main ride, 5min cool-down
Tuesday – 4 miles easy & 20 minutes on the Peloton
Actual – 4.01 miles + 5 min warm up ride, 20 min main ride
Wednesday – Strength Training & walk
Actual – Strength Training
Thursday – 5 miles easy + stretching &/or yoga
Actual – 5.02 miles + glute bootcamp with Sean
Friday – Strength Training + 30 minutes on the Peloton
Actual – Strength Training + 30 min ride
Saturday – 6 miles easy + foam roll/stretch
Actual – Balboa Park 8 miler + stretching
Sunday – Rest Day
Actual – I actually took the day off and rested outside cleaning the house

I normally wouldn’t track my training here but since I haven’t actually done much actual training in years I thought this might be a way to hold myself accountable and help me to actually get out the door.

Are you training for a fall marathon?  Which one & how’s your training going?

July 21 Recap

While June was an awesome month, July not quite so much.  This emotional roller coaster I’ve been on for the past year is continuing to derail me but I’ve made some decisions to start making some changes to get off this coaster so hopefully August will come with some clarity & peace.

July kicked off with the Crown City Classic 12k on July 3.  The first race back in San Diego since early 2020.  It was nice to see my Arete teammates & cheer them on.  I had a decent race considering how little I have been running.  It was about a minute slower per mile than last time I ran this race, but considering, I’m happy.

I tried a new pair of shoes for this and the San Diego Half that I ran later in the month.  I have really been liking New Balance lately and got a pair of the New Balance RC Elite 2 which I really like!  To me, they feel a little stiff as you are putting them on but once you stand up, they are like little clouds on your feet.

After the race we went home and got ready to drive up to Bishop so we could hike White Mountain & then hit up Death Valley NPS so Sean could do an hour or so of training in the heat.

White Mountain – well – it’s a very easy hike outside the altitude – the part that makes it the most challenging is the drive to the trail head.  16 miles of super sharp, rocky trail.  My friend Catra told us to drive very carefully because a lot of people get flats which made me quite nervous because my new Crosstrek has run-flat tires which are expensive to replace LOL.  So each way it took us over 90 min to get to/from the trailhead to the main road.

The nice things about White Mountain are 1) you don’t need a permit, 2) it’s a pretty easy trail to actually hike outside the elevation & 3) because of the crazy drive there weren’t too many people there.

Cons: It is a really long drive & there is a potential to get a flat so make sure you have a spare, etc. because there is minimal cell service.  It’s also beautiful but there is a lot of cover so you are exposed the whole time unlike when we went to San Gorgonio and were in the forest a good portion of the time.

I did not go to the summit. I went up to about 13,000ish feet and then decided I was done.  I’m not sure why I quit, maybe it was the slight headache I had, maybe it was that I’m not in my best physical or mental shape right now, I don’t actually know, but I was done and after a few minutes of pouting I turned around and headed back while Sean went to the top.

The next day we went to Death Valley so Sean could 1) get an idea of the course and 2) so he could do a run in the heat as prep for Badwater 135.

Back home again, we hit up Cowles Mountain for a few hikes the next week, I went to Phoenix for work and I decided that I wasn’t going to crew Sean at Badwater.

I ran the San Diego Half Marathon, which is normally in March, while Sean was gone and had a fun time even though it was really hot out!

Now for my July stats:

Running – I did 2 races, the 12k and the half and this was a good portion of the running I did last month.  I think I came in at around 40ish miles for the month?

Peloton – I biked more last month than I ran – 29 rides for 122 miles including a 2021 PR in Kendall’s Gwen Stefani ride.

Strength – I probably say this every month but it’s really the only thing I’m consistent on right now.  I think I missed 2 days due to work because it is really hard to do anything on the days when I’m getting up super early & am on all day long.

Campaigns – I probably have never shared why I do a lot of ads on here and on my IG, but I honestly love trying new things and sharing with you all.  Some things are more athlete driven, others are food related, because I love food and some are for things that I just want to try.  I do get paid to post about some products, others it’s just a product exchange, but I do try my best to share my personal thoughts but also keep in mind that just because something doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else.

So that being said in July I shared posts about Silk Oat Milk, which is super yummy!! Ultima Replenisher’s new Mocktini flavors.  I gave away some products from Sideaway Foods, I also gave away a super cool Rumpl x All Trails blanket.  I shared Oofos Woodland Camo sandals that are perfect for post run/hike.  And the FlexTemp™️ Hot & Cold Joint Wrap from Sunbeam.

I’ve got a few new projects coming up in August and we have a few trips planned which will be really nice.  Also, NYC Marathon training kicks off.

How was your July?

Team Wilpers Bike Fitting – My Experience

If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably heard me talking about how my Peloton, which I love so much, has been giving me some problems this year. I got my bike on May 27, 2020 & took my first ride that same day, without cleats because I ordered the wrong size, oops.

I, then spent the summer & fall crushing it on the bike, going after PRs, hitting milestones that were huge to me like 10 miles in a 30 min ride, 5 miles in 15 minutes, etc. 2020 was a good year on the bike. Then it’s almost as if a switch flipped in 2021 and I was working hard, but not seeing results.

I was pushing myself but yet I didn’t feel like I was getting any power on the bike, like I could only get high cadence sitting straight up moving my arms like I was running. And my body was feeling it too, shin splint type pain, which I haven’t had since I was in high school & I’ve worked really hard to stay away from as a runner. My left knee which had been bothering me off and on seemed to hurt more too when I would bike. I was frustrated and demoralized. The bike I loved was hurting & depressing me.

So I tried moving my settings, I watched the FaceBook bike fitting video that Christine has on her page, I moved my seat up, then down, back then forward. I changed my cleats, all the way forward, all the way back and nothing really worked 100%.

A few friends mentioned getting a bike fitting. I was hoping to wait to go visit the Peloton Store, but waiting until vaccination day was a long way off. And while they are great in the store, I’m sure, are they experienced bike fitters? I’m thinking probably not so when multiple friends mentioned Team Wilpers, I finally got online and started doing some research. One thing I noticed was that every review I read was overwhelmingly positive. I have yet to see a review that had anything negative in it.

So after a day of waffling, I decided to pull the trigger. The website was super easy to navigate, I clicked the button to schedule a fitting. I picked any available fitter and then was able to pick a day & time that fit with my schedule. The fitter bios are listed on the reservation page so if you know that you want a specific person, male/female, the same fitter as a friend, you can pick that person but I didn’t know any of them and was more concerned with being able to pick a time that worked for me seeing as it appeared that the majority of the fitters were on the east coast & I’m obviously on the west. So I picked my day & time, paid my $149 fee and then waited until it was time to have my fitting.

The Team Wilpers team was super good about sending reminder messages, especially since you can cancel & get a refund as long as you do so outside 24 hours of your scheduled appointment. They sent at least 2-3 emails the week of my appointment.

From what I’ve read, it was recommended to have a space where the fitter could see you on the floor & of course on your bike so I spent a little time getting camera angles correct and then set up a mat & had my allen wrench for the cleats ready too. I took photos of my original settings as well so I knew where I was starting.

/2021/05/202A4BF3-F8C0-4A1E-A3C8-25C115488B10.jpg”>

 

My appointment was with Anthony Costa, who has been bike fitting since 2014. He was super nice & was cool when my zoom sound wouldn’t work & I had to switch over to my phone.

My appointment started out with a quick overview of what my issues on the bike were & then a short assessment off the bike. Anthony had me lay down, do a few stability exercises like side plank with a leg lift, glute bridge, leg lifts. We did a few other exercises standing up, like a one leg squat. He explained that the fittings are specific to each of us, because we are all different. This isn’t a cookie cutter fitting. The process however was the same as I had previously read.

After that I moved my camera to show the bike and we started working on the cleats. One thing that he mentioned was that the Peloton bike is super narrow so the positioning of the cleats can really make a difference. So all that time when I was moving my cleats up and down, I actually should have been moving them from side to side. We determined where my cleats should be, I tightened them up and then hopped on the bike. First thing I noticed was that my knees felt like they were tracking normally & I didn’t notice the pain in the inner side of knee like I normally do. I did notice a discomfort in the front of the knee though like under the patella and I mentioned that, which resulted in moving the bike seat height up just a tinsy bit.

My seat was actually not too far off what it should be, I only had to do 2 small adjustments to it. We made the seat a little higher than what I had previously and then pushed the seat back one notch.

Then he watched me ride some more and asked about my grip on the handle bars. I normally start off nice & light and then by the end of rides I’m handing on for dear life with super tight shoulders up by my ears LOL. So we moved the handle bars down 2 notches, then another notch & then another. During that time, Anthony was telling me that he could tell that my shoulders were physically dropping.

Throughout the entire process, he explained why we were making the changes and what the purpose of them was, which I found really cool.

But I still had a little bit of knee pain so??? Well with everything we did, Anthony mentioned that it was possible to have a little residual pain so I chalked it up to that and we said good-bye.

The next day I got an email with all the details of our appointment along with a few tips/tricks. He had told me during the appointment that it could take a few rides to really feel the difference and if I still was having pain a week or so later to send him a message and we could discuss further.

So it’s been a week and how do I feel?

First ride post fitting felt Amazing! It was an exciting ride too because it was my 400th ride. My shoulders were down, my core was activated. I was on a high so I rode really well.

I did a bunch of rides on Sunday, I decided to start the find your power zones program so after a low impact ride, I did the first 2 PZ classes & a cool down. I could feel minor twinges in my right shin, but it wasn’t anything too bad. The knee wasn’t really a problem.

On Tuesday, I did the FTP warm up & a 20 min FTP test, as I did the test, the pain in my shin got worse & worse. I felt minor twinges in my knee but nothing major. The shin pain last into Wednesday.

Today, I did the next 30 min ride in the series & was almost in tears by the end with sharp pain on the outside of both knees that got worse as the ride went on. I can still feel minor shin pain 30 mins later as I write this. So I’ve reached out to Anthony to get some tips on how I should tweak things so that I can ride pain free, which is ultimately my goal.

I want to have power & be faster/stronger but pain free is more important. So that being said I have to think that since the majority of people have nothing but positive things to say about their fittings that I’m a random case.

Which is not surprising as I do tend to get the weird issues that no one else has.

Do I think that getting fitted it worth it? It is expensive but I definitely learned a lot, I think that if I had a normal body (not the overly flexible one that I have that can compensate by using the wrong muscles) that the results would have made a huge difference.

I think I personally need to make more tweaks to get to the right spot which may or may not be where strong, powerful & pain-free cycling align. So time will tell. I’ll update this post when I have heard back & made additional tweaks.

5/21: UPDATE 1: I spoke with Anthony and he suggested that I do the following things.  First I redid my cleats.  I removed all the screws, set them where we determined they should go and tightened them up.  He mentioned that maybe they weren’t as tight as they should be and got moved when I un-clipped. Second,  I raised my seat by 2 clicks.  I did the next ride in the Discover Your Power Zones program, it was a 20 min recovery ride.  I didn’t feel the knee pain today but can still feel the shin on and off the  bike. I’ll give it another week at these settings and then update this post again.

Update 2: I should have updated a while ago, but I forgot.  It took me about 4-5 weeks to settle into my new settings.  When I mentioned this to Anthony he mentioned that it can take him a few extra weeks to settle in as well.  For now, I feel like I’m doing better on the bike, not back to 2020 speeds yet but I have been dealing with a lot of stress this year and that is definitely playing a role in how I’m riding the bike these days.

Mar 2021 Check-In

I think I’ll try to do these every month to give you a little recap on what I’ve been up to.  March started out great and then I struggled as the month went on.  Without any races on the schedule yet, my relationship with running has been complicated.  I like to run, but I really like it when I’m training for something & have lots of races on the schedule.

Again, I started April off in a funk – we are soooo close to being able to be get vaccinated and then hopefully able to move forward with some actual plans.  This whole year I’ve struggled with nothing to look forward to, to not having a real goal and just in general.  I have tried to keep myself busy, but a slight issue with my knee that just keeps getting worse has cut my running & biking down a little more.  Fortunately I have a dr. appt on Tuesday to get that looked at.

So what did I accomplish in March.

Strength Training: I started working with a trainer for strength training after my issue with my back last month & I have consistently done strength training all but one day of my plan.  That’s a huge thing for me, I have rarely if ever done a consistent strength plan.

As we move into April, I’ll  be upping the weights and doing some new to me exercises so that’s exciting.

Running: I was doing so good with running at the beginning of the month, hitting all my workouts, running hills, etc. then I started to get some shin & knee issues and I started not enjoying it as much.  I’ll say it again miss having races to train for & run.  There’s nothing like being out there on course with other people and running in beautiful places.

I think I ended the month at 55 miles running which isn’t a lot but better than nothing.  I did do a fun survey about race swag that I’ll be posting next week that was exciting.  I really enjoyed hearing about what people think.

Peloton: I was slightly down on my bike rides for March, I think I ended the month at around 167 miles which is a bit down from the 191 I did in February.  Part of that was because I actually followed my plan and did one complete rest day a week so I didn’t add on the extra sessions like I have been.

I am struggling with the fit of my bike, I moved the seat down, but now I am getting shin pain when I ride at higher than 40 resistance.  I need to get fitted for my bike because this is getting ridiculous & I’m getting really frustrated and then don’t enjoy riding.

Hiking: We went out every weekend this month & did at least a few miles.  We got to play in the snow, be out on the PCT a few times, go to Mt. Laguna Meadows for the first time in a while & climbed Cuyamaca Peak for the most beautiful of views, with no fog/smog for the first time!!

I think I ended up with about 30 miles of hiking for the month.  I’m contemplating a long hike over the summer.  I would love to be able to go to Chamonix & do the Tour du Monte Blanc but that won’t be happening this year so maybe TRT or Wonderland Trail?  I have to think on that  but I’d love to go to a really cool spot and just hang out in the wilderness for a few days.

Kitchen Update: We finally got the new tile backsplash up and it looks incredible.  We have one step left to do & that’s seal it up but I’m really excited with how awesome it looks.  Next up, do the tiling behind the stove & put up the hood.

Campaigns: I announced a really exciting collaboration with Garmin Outdoors as one of their newest ambassadors.  I’m testing and using the new Enduro watch which gets up to 80 hours (with solar) of GPS/HR for long distance runs, hikes.  It’s pretty amazing!

I shared more about why I love the Sunbeam GoHeat portable heating pad.  Sean has ‘borrowed’ it and literally uses it every day!

I started using and shared a great vegan Omega 3 supplement from iwi.  I’ll have a blog post up next week to share more about it.

I shared a new product from Luna bar, their new prebiotic bars in two super yummy flavors, Wild Cherry & Zesty Tangerine.

Lots of fun stuff coming up in April including a few reviews, some new to me products, Earth Day, a giveaway & a running challenge that I’m excited to share with you guys.

We’ll be eligible to get the vaccine on Apr 15 so I’m looking forward to that as well.  I am hoping that we can get out on some different trails this month, maybe plan a trip or two and I’ll be looking at my relationship with running to see what I really want out of it (well outside of races coming back;)).

What were you up to in March?  And what are you looking forward to in April?

How Breathe Right Nasal Strips are changing my workouts

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Breathe Right

I’ve been endurance running for a little over 10 years now and I’ve been struggling with allergies for about as many years. The last few years it’s been so bad and I feel like I’m sniffling all the time. Especially when I’m running – and that makes me feel a little uncomfortable these days when you don’t want to appear sick when around others. I have seen Breathe Right® nasal strips and I think I’ve even gotten a sample at a race or two over the years but I honestly never thought that they would help me.

When my friends at Babbleboxx reached out to me about partnering with Breathe Right I was definitely intrigued because my allergies have been driving me crazy lately and I was interested to see if they would help me to be able to breathe better, especially while I’m exercising.

Well spoiler alert…they are amazing.  The first time I tried a Breathe Right nasal strip out, I had been inside most of the day and I distinctly remembering that I had been sniffling all day. I put a nasal strip on and BAM, I could breathe easier and with less sniffling! I was shocked, I remember telling my husband how incredible it was.

So I starting wearing Breathe Right while running, biking and during yoga/strength training and I can definitely tell a big difference. I don’t feel like I’m sniffling every 2 seconds because of congestion and I can actually breathe out of my nose. Even as I write this, I’m still shocked at how amazing it is. As someone who has suffered with allergies and nasal congestion for about a 1/3 of my life, this is groundbreaking for me.

In order for them to work well, you have to make sure that your skin is really clean and dry. Don’t make the mistake I did and put sunscreen on your nose and then try to put the strip on, it won’t stick, LOL.

The package with the strip in it is nice because it gives you tips on where to put the strip on your nose, it needs to be positioned properly so that it works.  The tabs should be right above the flaring part of your nostrils, and then you just press down! I know I could tell a difference immediately.

Have you ever tried Breathe Right nasal strips?

Click here to get samples, coupons and more information.

 

#StayAtHome Virtual Races

It’s been months now since our last in person race, the Los Angeles Marathon on March 8.  I never actually recapped that race, maybe I’ll do it soon.  In any case since that time, like everyone else, we’ve had all of our races cancelled for the year.

So what does a serial racer do?  Sign up for a bunch of virtual races, that’s what!

So what races have I done or signed up for?

The Hot Chocolate 15k/5k became a virtual run so I ran my 5k virtually on the treadmill back in March.  They sent our entire kit to us in the mail so it was just like if we had been there, except no bowl of chocolate at the end ;).  Although I have a feeling it’s not vegan so it’s probably for the best LOL.

They sent us our whole kit with bib, medal, goodie bag sweatshirt & some treats.  I was signed up for the 5k & ended up running a PR race on the treadmill.

Next up was the Aravaipa Strong run in mid April.  I decided to just go for the half marathon & managed to pull out a nice sub 2 half!  It was hard but I did it!!

Then I did the Hood to Coast Movement 10k that started on May 1. I didn’t go too hard on this one but knocked it out the first day as soon as I woke up so it was fun. Photo from the first time we visited Mount Hood ;).

The biggest race/challenge that I signed up for was the Great Virtual Race Across Tennesse 1000k.  Put on by the Laz of the infamous Barkley race.  Around 20,000 runners signed up for this one!!  It started on May 1 and continues until August 31.  I’m on the back end, after 2 months of incredible miles (May: 184 & June: 191) my body needed a break in July.  I think I’m about 150 miles from the finish.

At the end of May, Sean & I did the Aravaipa/Run Steep Get High Limitless Challenge where you pick an mountain that you want to climb to & then go as fast as you can to get there.  We were super lucky having a Nordictrack Incline Treadmill because it goes to 40% incline!  Sean was the overall winner with just over 150,000 ft!!! I was the female & I think overall indoor winner of the Everest level (29,029 ft).  It was a blast and we had such a good time doing this challenge.

You can still sign up for this one as people had such a good time with it that they opened it up for a second summer session.  I will say this was probably the most fun of all the challenges, probably because it was different.

I also signed up for some of the Aravaipa Insomniac Series virtuals in June & July.  In June I did the Hypnosis Dawnbreaker Challenge where I did 5 races over 7 days for a total of 128k!!  I’ve never run that many miles in a week before so it was tough!  I honestly wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish it but I pulled it out & finished the whole thing!

We also did the 100 miles to Auburn run in June to help support the Western States 100 organization.  It was fun and we got a cool buckle for finishing 100 miles.  It was one of those challenges that you can complete over the full month, not necessarily in one run.

In July, I signed up for the Aravaipa Stunner Dawnbreaker challenge as well but when it came time to actually run last week, I was burnt out and not at all excited about it.  I ended up only running one of the 4 races, the 12k & taking the majority of the week to recover from all the miles I’ve done the last 2 months.

I’ve signed up for a few other virtual races for the coming months.

July: The Running is Not  Cancelled 461 mile race from the start of the Sean O’Brien 100k to the start of the Lake Sonoma 50 mile – this one goes until early October so I can keep my mileage & motivation up.

Wharf to Wharf 6 miler to be able to run virtually with my Arete teammates.

August: The SeaWheeze Half Marathon – Aug 15 – 23 which I did last year and would have been running in person. For the first time they have a 10k as well!  This one is always fun!

September: The Santa Monica Classic on Sept 13.  I’m an ambassador for the Los Angeles Marathon so if you sign up for this one or their other races, you can save 10% using JENNY2021.  This one is going to be really fun & unique because it’s going to be a live virtual race where we can all run together virtually on the LA Marathon & Santa Monica Classic Facebook pages. I’m super excited because I’ve never run the Santa Monica Classic before because I’m always in Tahoe for Tahoe 200 the same weekend.

The Head Up, Heart Forward 10 miler with my Arete Teammates on September 19.

The Big Surreal Virtual Challenge from the Big Sur Marathon.  This one looks really fun.  You can choose to run 1 to 5 events (5k, 12k, 11 miler, 21 miler & marathon) from Sept 1 – 30 and the more you run, the more swag you get. The medal you get corresponds to the longest race you finish as well.

I don’t have anything picked out for October or November yet, but I’m sure something will come up ;).  Maybe we’ll do the NYC Marathon virtual since we were supposed to race it this year.

Of all the virtual races, my favorite are the ones where there is a specific distance (typically a shorter distance) or time that you have to finish in. Like the Limitless Challenge, that was a lot of fun & I would do another climbing challenge. I’m also really excited about the Santa Monica Classic because it is going to be streamed live & that’s super cool.

Are you running virtual races?  And if so which ones have been your favorite? What would you recommend?