The Philly 10K 2015

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Time to recap The Philly 10K!

I got bright and early Sunday morning to drive into the city.  Prior to leaving, I applied some kt tape to my Achilles to help support it while I was running.  I’ve never used the tape before, so I wasn’t sure if it really worked or not, but I figured it was worth a try.

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Normally, I park in west Philly then take the subway down to Center City which works out amazingly well, and it’s cheaper than paying to park for several hours.  I met up at 13th & Pine with a bunch of the awesome City Fit Girls Run Crew and we snapped a pre-race photo on someone’s stoop (sorry!).

11231856_10204826135440870_8955243634672782362_nWe wandered to the race start area where I wished everyone good luck and made my way to what I thought was my corral.  I was supposed to line up in B, but somehow found myself in C.  It wasn’t a big deal, it just meant when we were sent off I was dodging and weaving a little more than I planned.

I felt pretty good at the start of the race.  It was cooler than last year, but still fairly humid so I just ran with what felt good on my playlist.  The first few miles flew by pretty quickly.  There were a lot of awesome people all along the route cheering for the runners and they added an extra water stop this year (very smart).  My goal for this race was to just run it solid with minimal pain.  I’m not a very good warm weather runner, so I was not aiming for any kind of PR with this race.  Whether it was the icing, the tape, a placebo, or what, I actually had significantly less pain than I had in any of my previous runs since tweaking the tendon.  In fact, I pretty much had no pain once I was really warmed up.  Consider me a kt tape convert!  The course this year was changed to exclude the awful stretch down Spring Garden Street (thank heavens!), and much of it was shaded.

philly10K2015courseWhen I was coming down the final stretch I could see the finish off in the distance.  I wasn’t paying attention to any tracking, so I had no idea we weren’t quite at the distance yet.  I got super excited to be almost done, then realized we had to turn LEFT.  So mean.  We ran around Washington Square to then come back to Pine Street where I managed to finish in 52:23!  A PR for the race by five seconds, but definitely not a distance PR.

philly10K2015splitsphilly10K2015resultsI probably could have pushed it a little harder, but I heard a LOT of runners were puking at the finish, so I’m glad I did not make myself one of them.  Two of my runner friends had volunteered at the finish area and I chatted briefly before heading to get water and make my way to the post-race party.  I grabbed my finisher’s print of the course, then b-lined for the custard.  Shake Shack partnered with Federal Donuts to make a special custard inspired by jelly donuts.

IMAG3552It was insanely delicious and I enjoyed every bite!  I then made my way to grab a nice session IPA by Philadelaphia Brewing which was a brilliant idea because 15 minutes later the beer line got insanely long.  I grabbed a free iced coffee from Saxby’s then chatted with various running friends about their race, including the lovely Janelle from Run With No Regrets!

IMAG3554Love my RUN215 singlet but the cut is NOT flattering for larger boobed ladies.  There was a bit of a dance party with other RUN215ers and then it was off to brunch at Devil’s Den (sidenote:  their breakfast bowl is AMAZING!).

IMAG3556All in all, a great race yet again!  I had a blast as always and then spent the rest of snoozing on the couch and icing my Achilles again.  I’m fairly sure I should be speeding up the recovery on that between the ice and the kt tape!  Hope everyone else had a fab weekend!

Philly Running Saturday

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My plan to get back into shape aggressively died pretty fast, but I’ll get to why a little later.

A few days ago through the RUN215 facebook group I was able to hop on and register for the free pop-up 5K with comedian Kevin Hart hosted by Nike+ Run Club.  There would be no bibs, no timers, just a bunch of people meeting up to run in the city they love with a dude who also loves this city.  I got to the Art Museum a little after 7:30am and checked in right away.  I got a t-shirt and a wristband and plenty of bottled water was being passed around.  It was a total party scene at the Art Museum with a DJ and members of Nike and various Philly area peeps as the Pacers for the race.

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IMAG3520A little after 8:30 everyone was off and running for an out and back on West River Drive.  Even though the weather was cooler, wearing a black tank in full sun was probably not the best idea.  I started out fairly comfortable and even though this wasn’t a timed race, I felt really upbeat and just ran what felt good.  I saw Kevin coming back and man, he’s a lot faster than I thought he would be.  Granted there were some locals totally kicking his ass, but I was still impressed.  At the turnaround they had plenty of water and everyone was cheering everyone on both sides of the course.  It was a feel-good Philly running moment for sure!  The end of the race takes you up the famous “Rocky steps” of the Art Museum which I was not anticipating at all.  Kevin was high fiving everyone at the top as they passed by which was really cool.  I did put Strava on and was happy to see I actually had negative splits until the end of the race.

Screenshot_2015-08-29-08-57-50Pretty solid.  After the race there was a ton of food and all runners got a free sweat towel.  I stuck around to cheer the last finishers coming up the steps with a crowd of pacers, including RUN215’s own Jon Lyons.

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IMAG3533This was a totally fun “race” and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it.

After the run, I took the Subway to Philadelphia Runner to pick up my RUN215 race singlet, then made my way down to Head House Square for the Bibs & Beers Party for the Philly 10K to get my race bib and tee.

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I love the displays they set up for this race.  Bib and shirt received, I strolled back to the subway to head back to my car.  It was a great morning to wander around the city!  I got a lot of good swag to add to my running gear.

IMAG3542For the last few hours, though, I’ve been doing a bit of this…

IMAG3545Yeah…  So a couple weeks ago during soccer, I must have aggravated my Achilles tendon while backpeddling.  There wasn’t a moment where I felt it, but the next day it was sore and has been nagging me on and off ever since.  Other than the last Midsummer 5K and a short run in my neighborhood, I haven’t done anything in the past week and a half.  I decided to bag starting an intensive gym program until it feels better.  I unfortunately don’t have the ability to really take full time off, so I am hoping I can rehab it and just do a combo of ice, NSAIDs, and some KT tape.  We’ll see.  The good news is I’ve maintained my weight so that’s a good thing.

I’m off to go cheer the Union down in Chester, but wanted to post since it seemed life took me away from the blog for a good bit!  Cheers!

Prepping for Fall

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I swear I still care about this blog!  Summer time always gets away from you when you have a lot going on and I consider that a good thing. However, it’s about a month out from the start of fall soccer, and a week out from the start of my 14-week half marathon training plan.  That means it’s time to get a little more focused and back on track.  2015 so far has been a big improvement in my running and soccer.  I’ve started scoring occasional goals (yay!) and have been doing very well at keeping good paces for all of the road races I have done.  But, as the weather starts to cool, I am hoping to again set a few new PRs before the year is up.

For accountability purposes, I donned a sports bra and some shorts, stepped on my Fitbit Aria, and snapped a pic.  I have NO idea what the spots on the mirror are from, I think I need to get some heavy duty solvents to get them off because regular cleaning supplies don’t work for crap!  So sorry about that!

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My Body Stats as of 09Aug15:
Height – 5’9″
Weight – 150lbs (it said 149.6lbs but today I was 150.2, so we’ll just say 150)
Body Fat:  29.8%
Waist:  28.5″
Hips: 36ish”
Thighs:  22″

Current Running PRs:
5K – 22:21
5 Mile – 36:55
10K – 49:25
Half Marathon:  1:46:34

Weight-wise, I’m fairly okay staying here or moving a bit downward, being somewhere in the 140s I think is reasonable for my height and body type.  I’m mostly concerned with my body fat %.  While that’s probably not an accurate number up there, I don’t think it’s too far out from where I probably am.

The main goals for my fall prepping and then maintenance are to return to two things (while still running and playing soccer, obviously):  better eating habits and building strength at the gym.  It’s so easy to get off-track in the summer time, and while my fitness level has been decent, I don’t think it’s at its peak.  As much as SELF is kind of a fluffy magazine, they do have some pretty decent recipes to try.  I had a good bit of success with their Drop 10 programs, and they somewhat rehashed a lot of recipes into their Best Bodies Challenge plan.  This week I revisited a few of my favorite recipes, like the ones from Day 1.

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IMAG3428I swapped chickpeas for the green beans in the lunch recipe.

IMAG3435The Mega Greens Smoothie is still one of my all-time favorites to make.  And I’m a huge fan of this simple tuna waldorf salad that I will probably start bulk-making for lunches during the week,

IMAG3437Today is a bit all over the place, but I’ll have time before a double header soccer match to prep for tomorrow.  I am in the process of trying to find a few other recipes (pinned a TON) that are simple, not too unhealthy, and easy to make ahead of time.  It’s nice to get back into prepping my own meals, honestly.

For the workout, I did a bit of googling and came across this plan I am BEYOND excited to implement!  It’s a 5 month “off-season” soccer conditioning plan, but I don’t see a reason to not use it as a year-round workout.  I’m starting month 1 day 1 today and even was a dork enough to make my own print-out logs for the workout.  I’m going to have to modify the medicine ball workout day a little bit as I can’t really toss one at my gym, but I’m eager to see how this pays off in terms of strength building, speed, and overall endurance during a game.  I picked up a speed ladder and some cones to incorporate in the running drills days.

Between this plan, better eating, and my usual glutton of running/soccer, I’m really hoping to see some significant changes in my body composition and performance.  I’m going to “weigh in” twice a week, once on Sundays with a pic as above, then again on Wednesdays.  No pic for Wednesdays, but that will be my mid-week check in to make sure I’m not flying off the rails if things get busy.

And I promise, promise! to recap my Spartan Super and the Rock the Canyon races soon!  I just wanted to get this going before I get distracted again!  :)

Review – Tiux Compression Socks

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A little over a month ago, I received an opportunity to try out a pair of compression socks (color of my choice) from Tiux.  When approached for any review, I like to scope out their website for a feel of the company and if this is something I would be genuinely interested in, not just because it is free.  I’ve been utilizing compression socks for a lot of my longer distance races, so right away that grabbed my interest.  Tiux is a small, startup company based out Vancouver, Canada that strives to provide quality compression socks at a much lower price than what is available through other retailers in the market.  You can get full details through their About section right here.  I liked their attitude and agreed to do the review.  Next up was selecting a color.

Tiux are unisex socks like most other compression companies and come in three color options currently.  Being a lover of bright colors, and blue, I opted for the neon yellow/blue/black pair.  They shipped extremely quickly and I have to say the packaging was quite appealing.  Here are the specs from their website if you do not feel like clicking over yet:

  • Wide top band for comfort.
  • Calf support and stabilization.
  • Achilles tendon protection to prevent blistering and irritation.
  • “Y” heel for contoured perfect fit.
  • Padded footbed provides cushion and shock absorption.
  • Seamless toe for maximum comfort.
  • Constructed with premium technical fabrics for superior moisture management and breathability.
  • 200 thread count for ultimate durability,comfort and fit.
  • Left and right anatomical design.

IMG_20150709_000546The thing that is a pain in the ass about compression socks is getting them on.  They’re made to be tight, and so pulling them over your feet and up your leg can often be a whole process in and of itself.  These socks were much different.  Even though they fit nice and snug, I wasn’t huffing and puffing trying to get them on as I have with my Nike pairs.  The foot of the sock is also more cushioned which is wonderful.  I loved them instantly and made a note to wear them for my upcoming double race weekend at the end of the month.  These socks also feel very soft compared to other ones I own.

Tiux In Action

I knew I wanted to run the first half marathon of the PA Grand Canyon Rock the Canyon challenge harder than the second day and sported these socks (which perfectly matched my outfit, yay!).

IMAG3314During the race, my legs felt good.  It was fairly cool on the mountain, so I didn’t have much to worry about overheating with higher socks.  Since other socks can have a thinner foot, I’ll often get a blister here or there after a long run.  This definitely did not happen.  My feet were cool, comfortable, not sweaty, and blister free!

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pagrandhalfsat02Comfort, look, and fit are all on point with these socks.  And at the price of $35 with free shipping, I have to say these are probably one of the best options out there.  I do believe wearing these on Saturday during the half marathon helped me tackle the hills and aided in my recovery to then go back out on Sunday and run the race all over again.  Even though it wasn’t my fastest half marathon (HILLS!!), any gear that helps me finish with a smile on my face is tops in my book.

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FB_IMG_1437835688811I highly recommend checking out Tiux.  They are extremely friendly and quick to respond to any questions you may have about their product.  Not only do they offer free shipping for your order, but exchanges also come with free shipping.  It’s a win-win situation to try these out.

Many thanks to Steven at Tiux for reaching out and letting my try a great running product!  I’m looking forward to sporting them throughout my upcoming training for the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November!

Stuff and Soccer and Stuff

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runs29junto5jul2015Maybe there is a way to put in other workouts to Strava, but not all of those days were actually rest days.  Regardless, here’s last week’s breakdown of workouts.

Monday – 4.95ish miles, overall pace 9:00/mile.  It was hot and soupy, but I was happy to get it done.

run29jun15Tuesday – Indoor co-ed soccer, 40 min.  We crushed the other team 6-2, was good to get a solid win in the books.

Wednesday – Co-ed soccer, 40 min.  Didn’t win but got nice and sweaty, had a few good stops but one guy pretty much raked his cleat down my ankle forcing me to sit out the last 4 min or so.  Boo.  I was worried it might impact my Thursday run.

Thursday – Thirsty Thursday with Conshy Run Club!  My friend Megh paced me and her husband Jared for the first two miles, then Jared and I went another mile before turning back.  We pushed to negative splits after Mile 2 and it worked out well!  6 miles at 9:13/mile overall.

run02jul15Friday – Actual rest day.  We had the day off of work and just were lazy around the house.  It was nice to have some downtime.

Saturday – Got out for a negative split 5K around the neighborhood before we had dinner and went to see fireworks.

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Sunday – Two hours of soccer drills and shooting practice.  Dan had a gift card for Adidas online and had no intention of using it.  I fell in love with the Micoach Smart Ball and had to have it.  So, Dan let me use his gift card to order the ball which made it significantly cheaper and more of a realistic purchase.  The ball is for training to take certain type of kicks on goal whether they be around or over the wall, knuckle balls, or just power shots.  I’m going to try use more of the tutorials and get a full review up here, but just wanted to share how much I love the thing already!

This Week

I’m not sure if it was a hangover from how awesome the Women’s National Team did in the World Cup final (CARLI LLOYD FOR PRESIDENT), or practicing with the Smart Ball, but last night I filled in on a friend’s co-ed team and scored!

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Okay, so it wasn’t that level of awesome, but I managed to get a good run up the outside on the right and one touched a ground ball to the opposite corner.  We lost the game, but I am feeling much more confident in making runs to create scoring chances in my games now.  I have a double-header tonight, and one game tomorrow.  I’m going to try (emphasis on the try) to score once in each game.  90% sure it won’t happen, but a girl can dream.  :)

Since the beginning of the week is quite soccer heavy, the rest of the week includes a 5K race, a Spartan Race, and a 10ish miler on Sunday if I don’t die during the Super.  I’m pretty sure my arms will be jell-o from all the burpees I anticipate having to do.

Also, following the double half marathon, my workout focus is going to shift a little.  I did some googling and came across a six-month training plan specifically designed for soccer athletes.  It involves running drills, strength training, speedwork, etc.  I’m really excited to start putting it into practice come August and see how my body responds to targeting training for the sport.  I’ll still be running, but may just focus on doing the group run on Thursdays and a couple shorter runs during off-days.  I’ve got a good feeling this fall I will be more ready than ever for outdoor season.  I also plan to update regularly about my progress with the plan including measurements (body fat % and such) as well as anything I am taking to supplement my workouts.  Stay tuned til then!  :D

Last Week in Training

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I finally managed to get a full week of training in last week.  It felt good to hit the pavement more regularly, even though a majority of the runs were hot, sweaty messes.  Let’s recap the week in training!

Monday 22Jun15

I went out for a 5K around the neighborhood and my pace died as each mile passed.  I ran the first mile around 8:01 but ended up running around 9:45 at the end.  It was humid and HOT.

Tuesday 23Jun15

Even though it was pretty hot, I made myself run outside during lunch.  I was much happier with the pace I maintained for this run (8.5 min miles) and then I felt nice and warmed up for soccer later that evening.

Wednesday 24Jun15

No extra running, just had a 40 min soccer game.  We lost due to a crap call by the ref (a PK that was not a PK, we still aren’t sure what he called bc I was standing right next to the guy he called the foul on).  Bummer, but a good workout.

Thursday 25Jun15

Running with Conshy Running Club.  I really considered skipping since it started raining on my drive over from work, but I didn’t bail and got a nice, easy 4.2 miles with some friends.  There was even a photog out for the Times Herald and I got to be in a photo op for their article about the Schuykill River trail.  You can check the story here (I’m in the back in the purple tank!).  Overall pace was 9:36/mile.

Friday 26Jun15

I took a half day from work because why not.  I didn’t have much lab work to do so I prepped some things for Monday and then went home to go out and run.  It was pretty warm out and halfway through I popped inside my house for some Gatorade and to splash some water on my beat-red face.

run26jun15This was my first really longer run in quite a while.  I’m not unhappy with the pace.  It was pretty toasty out there.  After the run, I cooled off then dashed over to my favorite yoga studio for their 5:45pm class.  I was pretty spent after that and just relaxed the rest of the evening.  Overall pace was 9:29/mile.

Saturday 27Jun15

The weather on Saturday was craptacular.  I went back to the yoga studio for a one hour session in the morning, then did some odds and ends around the house.  It poured all.  day.  long.  I was glad I did my first of the two long runs the day before because running in that mess would have been miserable.  Instead I enjoyed watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup matches and some light cleaning.

Sunday 28Jun15

I finally had a Sunday morning free to go to the Sunday bRUNch run with Conshy Running!  I was originally aiming for around a 9:30 pace for the out and back, but the morning was cooler and overcast so the first few miles FLEW much faster than I planned.  At the 4.1 mile mark I met with a couple ladies who were going to do the back at the pace I wanted to be at.

run28jun15We had originally planned to have brunch at Local Table, but they weren’t open!  The thought of a smoothie kept us going the last three miles so it was a little bit of a bummer the place was closed.  We ended up getting brunch at The Lucky Dog which used to be Spamps.  I hadn’t been there since it changed over and I was pleasantly surprised.  I had a omelet with bacon, avocado, and American cheese and it was amazing.  Anything might have tasted good after that run, but I think I may have to drag Dan here again for brunch another weekend!  The manager/owner was so excited such a large group came in for brunch that she snapped pics of us, then offered to make us the smoothies we missed out on!  It was awesome!

11666242_10153362043089004_1783148091311118129_nCheers to smoothies!  I’m hoping to meet up for another long run again on the 12th when I will desperately need some motivation to tackle that after doing the Spartan Super the day before!

Total Mileage for the Week:  26.1!

This week should be interesting with the holiday weekend coming up.  Here’s the tentative plan I have:

Monday – 5 miles easy
Tuesday – yoga & soccer
Wednesday – 4-5 miles (maybe) & soccer
Thursday – 6 miles easy
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 4-5 miles
Sunday – 4-5 miles
Total Goal:  ~24 miles

Rock The Canyon Training Update

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Or lack of training update I should say if we’re being totally honest.  Last week was a bit soccer-heavy and when the weekend rolled around a combo of being lame, unmotivated, a wimp, and feeling some ankle tweakage convinced me to be lazy.  Whoops.  Fitness-wise, I think I am okay enough I can chalk that up as some rest time, shuffle on with the plan, and still be fine.

I’m not a fan of running in this weather though.

2015-06-23Gross.

I made it out last night for a run around my neighborhood.  The conditions were pretty similar to that right there (which is today) and I nearly skipped it.  But, I sucked it up and sweated through wondering why I sign up for summertime races.

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run22jun15_2The first mile wasn’t so bad, but I quickly died after that.  I’m happy I still went out and did it.

Today was a little better.  I changed at the gym during my lunch break and originally planned to run on the treadmill.  But then I kind of felt like a sissy since I was only doing two miles, so I again sucked it up and took my run out in the heat.  I’m pretty happy with the pace I was able to maintain while not completely dying out there.

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10154392_10101405128582956_6235413450926802838_nSweaty selfie for posterity.

We have indoor soccer playoffs this evening (at least three 18 min games) and I didn’t want to kill my legs doing too much mileage.

The rest of the week’s planned workouts are as follows:

Wednesday – lunchtime run of 2-3 mi, co-ed soccer 40 min
Thursday – hot yoga one hour, run club for 6 mi
Friday – hot yoga for 1:15
Saturday – hot yoga for 1 hour, 9 mi super easy pace, ice bath at night
Sunday – 9 mi super easy pace, hot yoga for 1:15