Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Swagtastic Virtual 10K Recap

I really enjoy virtual races. They're fun for all sorts of reasons as I mentioned when I talked about my first experience in 2009. Since then I have done a few more including the recent Swagtastic Virtual 10K.

This race is organized completely online and race bibs are emailed to registered participants prior to the five-day race window. Participants run the registered distance and self-report their results online.

I normally do long runs on the weekends. Since most of my "long" runs have been under 7 miles recently, it made perfect sense to run 6.2 miles on Saturday. To make it even better, we would be in Newport for the holiday weekend, so the route was going to be gorgeous.

The goal was to get out the door as early as possible: 1) to beat the heat and 2) we had a sailboat to launch at 11AM. So, a little after 7AM we laced up our shoes, grabbed our Simple Hydration water bottles filled with Cytomax and stepped out into the SOUP!

We made our way off the base and along the waterfront into town. Along the way, we passed numerous other runners, walkers, and bikers all out getting their workout done early. The sun was shining, the water was glistening, and the wind was...well, light. With little shade except through a section along America's Cup Ave, we pretty much felt like we were melting.

With each passing mile, the run got harder. At King's Park, our turn around point, we took a little break, used the port-a-potties, and took some pictures. It was difficult to get going again after that. On the way back, we walked and hydrated at each mile.

Mile 4: The Wave

This was a very tough, sweaty run. During the last mile, we saw a dog owner throwing a toy into the water for his dog to retrieve and I was ready to join the dog! I remember saying to mr. C, I just want this run to be over!

So we might not have made the smartest run decision on Saturday: it was warm, it was humid, it was sunny, and we were sunburned. We did it though. Fortunately receiving the swag from this race has nothing to do with how well you do.

What's your favorite virtual race? 

Monday, July 8, 2013

#TrainingTruths: Body on Fire

It feels good to not be training for something specific right now, especially since the summer heat and humidity is making it feel miserable. But I know it won't be long before I need to focus on getting ready for my fall half marathons: ZOOMA Cape Cod and BAA Half in Boston. For now I am happy spending the first part of summer just enjoying my runs and adventures as they come.

To kickoff summer vacation, the month of July, and the Sweaty Challenge, on Monday I took my Wave Sayonaras for another short run. Even out the door before 7:30, it was a sweat-fest. Afterwards I completed day 1 of a 30 day ab challenge that I am determined to complete along with another yoga-a-day pose challenge on Instagram.

Even though the humidity dropped some on Wednesday, we still elected to run on the city trails to ensure more shade. It was a much easier 4 miles, but that didn't stop us from cooling off with some fruit smoothies after.

Last year I ran the Manchester 5K with my friend Daisy and mr. C, and scored a crazy PR. This year mr. C and I decided to be spectators, so Wednesday evening we headed downtown to watch the 3.1 mile race and the Manchester Mile afterwards. If you watch the video, you will see the 3:42.97 finish of the fastest mile on American soil.

We spent Thursday morning at the local 4th of July parade and after sitting in the sun (getting sunburned), we decided to go swimming. Scobie Lake and Beach is only 1.5 miles from the house and we usually run by it, but the hot weather has been making it a more popular choice for swimming workouts.

We were in Newport for Saturday's long run. I picked 6.2 miles so that it could count for the Swagtastic Virtual 10K that I was signed up for. This was by far the toughest, sweatiest run of the week and the summer so far. It was warm, we were sunburned, and it was pretty much all sunshine along the waterfront. Gorgeous, but we were miserable.

King's Park Beach - I wanted to jump in at the half way point!

My first official week of summer quickly reminded me that we have to run smart when the heat and humidity start to rise. It's important to pay attention to both the temperature and dew point.

The good news is that my body will eventually acclimate itself to the warm weather and by the fall, I'll be loving the temps at my half marathons.

How do you keep your cool and get your runs in?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Say Hello to Fast! Mizuno Wave Sayonara

This probably won't come as a shock, but I love Mizuno. Ever since I made the wise choice to purchase my first pair of Wave Riders, I have experienced brilliant running. It's no surprise then that I applied to become a Mezamashii Run Project Member. I wanted to be a part of the mezamashii community and the running buzz that Mizuno was creating and spreading.

Being a MRP member has it's perks. You may remember back in September when Mizuno asked me to give away ten MRP invitations and shoes. Then in May I was selected to go to Atlanta for a MRP video shoot. And to top it all off, a couple of weeks ago I received an email letting me know that I had been selected to preview the new Wave Sayonara before they became available in stores today, July 5th!

Wasting no time, the shoes came right out of the box and on to my feet. They are nice and snug in the heel, but very roomy in the toe box. Even though they are low to the ground and only weigh 7.1 ounces, they still utilize Mizuno Wave Technology providing a comfortable balance between cushion and stability.

Being an avid wearer of Riders, Inspires, and Creations, this performance shoe was a huge change for me. The biggest difference I found with the Sayonaras was in the heel to toe ratio. The ramp wasn't that different (10mm versus the traditional 12mm), but the heel height of 19 compared to 24/25 had a significant effect on the way I felt in the shoe.

L: Sayonara R: Rider 16

I kept my first couple of runs in the Sayonara on the short side (under 3 miles) because I was worried about injury. I've read that a lower heel-drop puts more strain on your foot muscles and tendons.  All during my first run I felt like I was leaning back, although mr. C thought my form looked the same. My next run felt better, normal, and a little like the shoe was pushing me to land more midfoot. In a very un-scientific way, I snapped action shots as I ran by the camera to try to see my foot strike.

Now, I like a good PR, but I'm not one to really worry about speed. I don't do speed workouts on the track or think about tempo, fartleks, or hill repeats. But since the Wave Sayonara is Mizuno's lightest, fastest racing shoe yet,  I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I did feel lighter and faster in this shoe. My pace was quicker even though I was trying to keep my heart rate lower while running through the soupy, humid air. The Wave Sayonara definitely has a spot in my running shoe rotation.

L-R: Sayonara, Rider 16, Inspire 8, Creation 14

So that's my running-blogger review. Want all the official tech information from a real professional? I'll let Dave from Mizuno fill you in!

Say goodbye to slow. Say hello to the new Wave Sayonara!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

#WhatsBeautiful & #GoalGetter2013 June Update

It feels like I just wrote my review post for May and already June has come to an end. I continued my participation in the #WhatsBeautiful campaign sponsored by Under Armour and FitFluential, and although it has been inspiring, I once again fell short on my individual goal. Despite not hitting my weekly mileage, I did have some great moments this month and (kind of) crossed one of my goals for the #GoalGetter2013 challenge off my list.

Some of my favorite highlights:

I kicked off the month celebrating National Running Day and hosting a fun run. Hosting a fun run is one of my goals for the year. It wasn't the biggest, but it was a start. I'm looking forward to putting together more group runs in the future.

After happening upon Athleta's #seizethesolstice challenge, I discovered a new passion for yoga. The challenge was super fun, but I also learned a lot about my body. It made me realize that I should probably invest some time for stretching and strengthening my muscles.

Once again I ran the local Kickoff to Summer 5K with my husband and youngest stepdaughter. It's fun to know that this race has become a tradition for us. This year we were blessed once again with beautiful weather, but we started our race day with a different starting line: our driveway!

The biggest highlight of the month was the trip to Boston for the BAA 10K. My stepdaughter trained for six weeks to run her personal distance record that day. It was so fun to see her earn her first piece of race bling!

I'm proud to say that in addition to doing some yoga for strength, I also incorporated Laura's six exercises for runners on my off running days this month.

So instead of running 20 miles a week for a monthly total of at least 80, my actual total for June was 62.3 miles. I didn't run less, I just ran shorter distances. At the halfway point, I have run 463.56 miles in 2013. I'm still within reach of 1000 for the year!

Now that I am healthy and summer break is here, I am planning to get the mileage back up, continue working on my yoga skills, and look for new adventures.

I'm also participating in the Sweaty Challenge as a fun way to stay motivated and engage in some online support. As of now the prize is bragging rights, but you never know who might step up and donate a prize! You can join in the fun here.

What was your favorite June highlight?

Monday, July 1, 2013

TrainingTruths: Got My Groove Back

First I want to announce that Happy Fit Mama is the winner of the Bestowed giveaway! Congrats! Please email me so I can put you in touch with your prize.

Even though I was in school an extra week (darn snow days!) and the heat arrived in New Hampshire with a vengeance, last week I was able to get my running groove back. I think I was able to finally sweat out all remnants of the nasty cold I picked up the week before and that gave me my energy back.

After a day spent proctoring exams on Tuesday, I convinced mr. C to join me for a 4 mile loop. This took some work because it was feels-like 90 degrees. Once the clouds moved in, we hit the door and managed to avoid the storm that arrived later. I wore a new racerback that I picked up from Corey Vines with my Earndit reward and loved it. It was super soft and lightweight, perfect for the hot weather. This run went much better than I thought it would in the high temperatures.

We ran again on Wednesday morning before work thinking the temperature would be better. It was cooler at 70, but the humidity was 65% making the sweat factor nearly the same as the night before. My Oiselle mesh tank helped keep me comfortable in the muggy air, but it didn't make breathing any easier. 

To celebrate the end of the school year (finally) on Friday, we snuck in a short run between downpours. It started off with a comfortable cool breeze, but then the humidity rolled back in making the last mile really tough. Taking a first run in my new Mizuno Wave Sayonaras that I received to preview as a member of the Mezamashii Run Project raised the fun factor a bit though.

It was time for another #SurfSet class on Saturday. This urban surfing workout was an intense mix of strength and cardio with a lot of squats and ab work. Afterwards we grabbed some to-go smoothies and breakfast sandwiches from our favorite downtown eatery. We rounded out the day with a 3 mile dog walk, first swim at Scobie Beach, and some yoga for runners.

We got a later start than I would have liked for our long run on Sunday and paid for it. It was a really tough run complete with dripping sweat, attacking flies, and stomach cramping in the warm and humid air. We walked more than I would have liked, but enjoyed a cool dip in the water at Scobie Beach afterwards to cool off.

The start to summer vacation has helped me get back on track. I upped my mileage for the week to 17 and added a bunch of cross training. It's looking like the summer will be full of fitness adventures and I love that! This week kicks off the start of the Sweaty Challenge, a spin off of the Chilly Challenge from January, where we log our miles and offer each other encouragement and support. Join in the fun here

Hope you had a good week too!