Marathon Monday: Week 9 of 16

When I see there are less than two months to go until race day, I don’t panic. I am so excited for this day, maybe to the point of obsession. So happy that I’m a day into week ten as I type up this traning recap!  Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 9! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 9 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 3/12: 1 mile + CrossFit, 11’00” – Can’t remember why, but I needed to do my WOD on Monday this week, so to the Y I went. It was a partner WOD and it went a little something like this:

2 miles, when Partner 1 is running Partner 2 works on their share of 100 Bear Complex…then when you’ve finished, 15 minutes of Max Wallballs. 

Since I’m in training for the Half and my partner was too, we decided to do longer runs and split the 2 into half miles each (twice). I totally threw on Nike+ and grabbed a selfie because I knew I’d push myself knowing my partner was waiting. And push I did. 1 mile, 11’00” added to the training miles this month. Boom. (for me)

Tuesday 3/13 – 4.07 miles, 12’15” – My legs felt the bear complexes and this run was what it was – but still amazing for me. I honestly don’t remember too much of it because I was in the zone. So much I forgot to snap a selfie until I got back to my desk. This week, I wore black every day I think.

Wednesday 3/14: 3.28 miles 11’50”– I cracked my screen protector and my phone was doing all sorts of silly things, like telling me I wasn’t to my first mile until I’d completely crossed the 16th Street Bridge and was up behind the Sarah Heinz House and dialing people while I was running. I was pretty miffed but kept running until I was almost midway between East Ohio Street and 31st Street along 28.

When I turned around, I knew I’d been moving it and was so mad to hear my “halfway point” about halfway back to 16th Street. This one had to be mapmyrun’ed because GAH. But that pace makes me happy! I know I can do this thing.

See my confusion?!?!

Thursday 3/15: CrossFit – Thursday is one of the best WODs because you know the week is almost done. I also got to work out with one of my first CrossFit friends and she pushed me through our Partner WOD. I had to scale the 200m runs to 175m because whoa fast. And the burpees. I am still not ready for those. Sigh. My rib might need another adjustment after this one. Eek!

Sunday 3/10: 6 miles, 12’02” – I was so glad to see “abundant sunshine” on the forecast, so I held out for my long run to Sunday afternoon. The plan was I’d run home from church then go a little further, but things happened. Our van broke down again and it kinda was a crappy weekend. I tried to stay positive and went for my run. Greg met me at three miles with water but it was a bottle and I didn’t gulp it right. That sat on my crossfit rib and I slowed things down in miles 4 and 5 but there was no stopping me in mile 6. And the twins ran about half a mile of the trail as Greg worked to meet me again after my 2nd turnaround. Ava is a runner – check out some sweet pics of the three them over on Instagram. (My older runners were with Pappy and Grammie.)

Next up? Week TEN!!!

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

March totals: 34.04 miles, 12’07” pace
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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Marathon Monday: Week 8 of 16

Halfway Point. 7.86 weeks to go. 78.74 miles completed. Average pace, 12’19” per mile. Anyone else love their Nike+ Run Club motivating voice? I used to get so mad hearing it, but am embracing her very much these days. Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 8! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 8 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 3/5: 4.01 miles, 12’17” – I keep trying to push myself to do more hills and this route got me lost a little, but I found a good challenging (for me) route that’s a 4-mile loop near the office. This one took me 31st Street Bridge, across and along 28, then around the Heinz plant back to 16th Street Bridge. Frankly, I loved it. I also overdressed for the abundant sunshine we had.

This run leads me to a question – hopefully someone can comment with an answer! What do you do for hydration on long runs? Is it time for me to invest in a backpack like this backpack or find a way to love the hydration belt (similar to this one) I bought in 2013 – would it even still work?

Tuesday 3/6 – Tempo Run 2.88 miles, 12’09” -This day. Since 2000, March 6 is always the hardest day of my year. I lost my best friend 18 years ago to cancer. We were sixteen. I needed to run and was so glad to see that it wasn’t speed work, but a run. I cried a bit on this one because my Wendy was a runner and I wish we were doing this thing together. This run was for her.

This tempo was 10 minutes slow, 15 minutes fast, 10 minutes slow. I am not even sure I did that, I just pushed.

I was so glad that Tuesday evening brought 8 ladies from my church into my home for a study on the Sabbath and finding rest in this crazy world. It got me thinking about what I’m enslaved to – perhaps my pace goal – and I am yearning for our next sessions!

Wednesday 3/7: 2.5 miles 12’17”– I took it easy on myself this run – three runs in a row and I was feeling it. It was a little colder than it had been the two days before, and I dressed the same. Oops.

Thursday 3/8: CrossFit – Fourth day in a row of working out and I wanted to give up. We’d had a long week, Greg and I barely saw each other, he was driving in snow, I had a stressful commute one day, and it just seemed like I had too much on my to do list to work out. He put the carseats in the car and told me I better go, so glad I listened. I tackled that to do list after the WOD, even though I felt like crud doing it.  It was my official “I’ve been cleared to Crossfit” WOD, after all!!!

Strength: 10 Rounds of 10 Floor Press (bella bar, 35#) and 8 Kettlebell Row (20#) – I accomplished 8

WOD: EMOM x30 –

  • 150 m run
  • 12 DB Snatch (12# right, 30# left)
  • 10 cal row (I opted to run 10 cal at 7’30” instead)
  • 15 wallballs (this hurt so I did air squats)
  • 10 box jump overs (I’m still stepping up)
  • 8 overhead squats (bella bar, 35#)

Proof I did it was sent to Greg:

Saturday 3/10: 5.01 miles, 12’20” – I was done with the week and didn’t run until 12:30, usually I’m out there early on a Saturday. My thighs hurt. My stomach hurt (can we talk breakfast? What do other Keto runners do for breakfast before runs? HELP!). I did it anyways, and I told myself not to push for my goal race pace (12’12”). I also ran through some mud and didn’t give up.

Miles 1 and 2 were pretty much the same (with the mud), slow. I dropped 20 seconds off for mile three then had to slow ‘er down for Mile 4 as I climbed a small hill in town. Mile five was straight back home and flat – I took advantage and had a 44 second split from four and pulled an 11’46” mile! No dumping on myself, this was pretty incredible.

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

March totals: 20.69 miles, 12’10” pace
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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Marathon Monday: Week 7 of 16

I’m starting to feel all kinds of excited and ready! Saturday morning, I even starting telling the kids it’s time to get training for their one-mile run. While I need to stop comparing myself to the 2013, 2014, and 2016 runner, I have lots to be proud of this week. Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 7! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 6 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 2/26: 3.53 miles, 12’04” – Something pretty big happened in my husband’s life on Sunday (and as of the drafting of this post, he hasn’t made it *Facebook official* yet, so I’m holding out), and that gave me some physical and mental freedoms that can only be explained as works of God. My shoulder stopped hurting and running was a breeze. I could have kept going on this one!

Tuesday 2/27: Speed Work – I set out to do 6×400 as fast as I could. It got a little hot and tough in the middle, but I ended up doing a .35 mile warmup then .35 mile cooldown around my 1.5 mile speed. The speed work averaged out at 9’17″/mile, and it showed through the rest of this week’s training!

Wednesday 2/28: 2.5 miles 12’12”– I was warm for this one and it showed a little. It still felt really good, and here I am, right where I want to be for the half. This one took me over 16th and up the trail a little.

Thursday 3/1: CrossFit – This WOD started with strict press for strength. I don’t have that yet, so I just worked on the PVC pipe. The WOD was leg and shoulder intense:

  • 30 Front Rack Dumbbell stepups
  • 60 box jump overs
  • 30 Front Rack Dumbbell stepups
  • EMOM 5 burpees

Guess who actually did about 30 of those burpees real? Yup. I’m getting back!!! The WOD and other 70 were still scaled, but gosh it feels good.

Friday 3/2: 5.26 miles, 12’07” – Amazing. I ran 31st street bridge, Washington’s Landing, Rachel Carson, through the Convention Center (getting lost thanks to some sidewalk construction), then the strip. It was cold but not too cold, I actually overdressed. My music wasn’t syncing, so this was all me and my brain and it felt awesome.

While I say I overdressed, that was in the way of my hat and fleece. I was wearing Fusion Sports USA Hot Pants running tights (that they sent me to try out after my fall a few weeks ago) and my legs felt awesome. If you’ve not heard of these yet, check them out here – I’m eyeing up the shorts because I feel like spring just might be around the corner.

Saturday 3/3: Bubby had a derby car race today, so I was home with the three girls. Friday was my long run instead, but I spent some time making fall plans and I am 99% sure I’ll be doing the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon in October. That medal, yo!

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

March totals: 5.26 miles, 12’07” pace (and my NRC is finally showing lifetime at 12’59”!!!)
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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Running Safety with Ripple

Disclaimer: I received product/service in exchange for this post about Ripple, a device to assist with running safety. All opinions are 100% my own.

A few months ago, I was out on a lunchtime run when a co-worker yelled a “hey” my way. I didn’t hear her and that really concerned me. Yes, I jam to my “run war room”  and it helps keep me moving, but I wasn’t really thinking about running safety. Right around the same time, I was contacted by Ripple to give their safety solution a try, so I decided it was something definitely worth talking about here.

Ripple

Running Safety with Ripple

Ripple is a wearable running safety device that I’ve decided to use for running. It clips on my running belt or I can slip it in my pocket to keep close and feel safe. You may have noticed it on my fleece’s zipper in some of my running Instagrams, too!

Here’s what Ripple Safety shared with me that made me say yes, this is something I want with me:

Ripple is not another panic button safety device. It is personal safety for the modern world – solving both emergencies and uncomfortable situations. Unlike all other personal safety devices on the market, Ripple is a tiny (size of a dime), discreet button linked to the user’s smartphone, which can be accessed without anyone noticing. The device connects users to a live, personal backup team so, instead of calling for help, the help calls you.

Trained Ripple professionals handle alerts 24/7. Click the wearable device, and the user will immediately receive a call from the Ripple monitoring team to his or her smartphone. They know who and where the user is, and have resources to immediately dispatch emergency services if the user needs it. If a user requires emergency help, but can’t talk on the phone, he or she can click three times and the monitoring team will  send first responders directly to their location.

My Experience with Ripple

Since the start of the year, I’ve been running with Ripple. The app was easy to set up – it took me about 10 minutes to get my info and Greg’s (as my emergency contact) entered in and location set. It does run on my phone 24/7, so even if I don’t have the device on me, I still can call for help. I was worried about this a little, but it’s not killed my battery or data – score!

To be 100% honest, I found the  Ripple device a bit sensitive until I got used to it – I actually accidentally called support 3 or 4 times (and the kids did it once!). Thankfully, support is super friendly and just asked if I was okay, then they were understanding that I’d clicked on accident. Now, Ripple just goes along with me on my runs so that it’s ready to call my emergency number on one click or 911 on three.

running safety

Thankfully, I’ve not had an unsafe or emergency situation, but I am so glad to have this at my fingertips. When I fell a few weeks ago, I was able to get up and call Greg, but just knowing that if I’d been hurt worse that Ripple could have helped felt so good.

And note, I’m all about running safety, but Ripple is perfect to put on your keys, purse, or belt loop for general safety…and I can see it even being great for parents to give to kids in case they have a need for help!

Don’t just take my word for it! Here is a personal testimony about Ripple about using it not just for running, but for safety in general.

About Ripple
Ripple Network Technologies, Inc. was co-founded in 2015 by Rees Gillespie, the creator of Ripple, and his lifelong friend, Jaime Gomez. Rees was inspired to create Ripple after his mother, a real estate agent, continuously asked him to call and check on her while attending showings with unknown clients. Inspired by wanting to ensure that everyone had instant access to a support network that can be utilized anytime, anywhere, Rees set out to create a trusted safety solution service that empowers users to live their lives knowing someone always has their back. To learn more about Ripple, visit Ripple Support or follow on Facebook and Instagram.

Marathon Monday: Week 6 of 16

It’s official, I am only half crazy. Even with an incentive to switch to the full for free, I know this is not my year. I’m definitely on track for a redemption run this May at the Half and can’t be more excited. Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 6! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 6 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

This was another week of weather-what-the. From almost 76 on Tuesday to a chilly 45 and rain on Saturday, I can only thank my prayers and my oils that I didn’t get sick!

Monday 2/19: CrossFit at the YMCA – When you look out the window and it is pouring down rain but the next day promises sunshine and 70, you postpone your run and get some time in with your FitFam. I was glad to be “at the box” instead of outside running, even if I had to scale this WOD like mad. I was happy to spot during the bench and realize that this time off above-the-head lifting has helped my squat get to where it should be. My face might look funny in this picture, but someday I’ll look back and be so proud that I burnt all those calories.

Tuesday 2/20: 3.5 Miles (12’29”) – This one hurt. I told my co-workers they were fast and that there was no way I could keep up with them, but I started out with them anyways. By the time we rounded the corner from Railroad, I knew I’d need to slow ‘er down. Keeping the marketing ladies in my sight, we headed down to the trail toward the Point. Even with climbing a hill to avoid flood mud, I put in a fast first mile at just under 11 minutes. Things had to change there, and they did pretty fast.

The rest of the group made a light change at the Convention Center and I had to wait. I decided not to run toward a bridge but to take some time out of the hot sun and run under the Convention Center and back to Liberty then 16th Street Bridge. The picture below is from my way back across it when I had to come to a complete stop and catch my breath. I thought it was the heat and the fact that I didn’t get my 100 ounces of water on Sunday catching up with me and walked most of the way back to the office, still logging a 12’29” average for the whole 3.5 miles (eep, I was moving early on!). Turns out…I popped a rib out! Thank goodness it was chiro day, too.

Wednesday 2/21: Aqua Arthritis– I was dang sore and knew it, so I found a pool class at the Y and “dove in”. Although it was geared toward those with arthritis, it was exactly what my muscles needed. And mentally, too…I took it in a swimsuit I hadn’t worn in years.

 

Thursday 2/22: 2 miles (12’14”) – This one was cold and rain clouds were ominous. I somehow beat the rain, but forgot my socks and had my “old” shoes so my new ones didn’t get wet. My feet didn’t love me (or the puddles) but I did it!

Saturday 2/24: 4.5miles (12′ 26″) – It might have been 20 seconds a mile slower than last week’s 4.5, but this one felt so good. I saw another “runner of Instagram” post about having your long run not have to be at race pace, so I listened. And for the first 2.5 miles, I listened to the rain too. It was pouring and I was out there, getting work done. The rain let up for about 1.5 miles before starting back up at the end, but I was so happy to log these miles. If it rains on race day, I’ll be out there!

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

February totals: 34.16 miles, 12’10” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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Marathon Monday: Week 5 of 16

I feel more “on” my running game than usual in my training plan – that’s a good thing, right? Five weeks are done and I totally can see positive changes in my running, body, and mental clarity. Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 5! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 5 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Anyone else excited to have another week done?

Monday 2/12: 3 miles (12’18”)I opted to take this run straight up to Lawrenceville. It was in the forties (amazing) and sunny, so much so that I actually got too hot in my fleece! The weather break is coming, I promise. This felt good, and even though it was my slowest run of the week, it felt so good. There was a nice incline and some ice to dodge, then I got to turn around and run straight back the route the ends the Marathon. Totally loved that and feel like I got some redemption from that same path in the 10-miler.

Tuesday 2/13: Yoga – This was my first time “back to the mat” and I opted for a restorative I found on demand. Arianna (my 9-year-old) and I somehow found mental focus for 25 minutes while my younger three played in another part of the living room. Om!

Wednesday 2/14: 2 miles (11’23”) – It was my first time to run a full training run with a co-worker! I was amped by this quick run to the 16th Street Bridge and back. It is so nice to have someone push you!

Thursday 2/15: Crossfit – With 1200m in the rain plus some scaled lifts, how could I not have been thrilled?! I think my face in this picture was one of “thankful I survived” because I took it easy on my mat work and gave it my all out on the pavement.

Saturday 2/17: 4.5miles (12′ 06″) – BADABING. This one was in 18 degrees and completely floored me. I had negative splits, starting with almost 12.5 minutes for mile one and dropping to 10.5 in the last half mile. I don’t know how to describe it other than absolutely incredible. Everything felt right. I didn’t get inside my head. I enjoyed the sunrise and trail and just ran the thing. Let’s see what happens this coming Saturday when I do it again!

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

February totals: 20.61 miles, 12’05” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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Running Shoe Fitting

(Disclaimer – I went shopping for a new running shoe all on my own. I was so impressed with the experience that I wanted to share it here. All opinions are my own.) (This post may contain affiliate links.)

When I started running seven years ago, I knew nothing about the gear and importance of a good running shoe. My only thought was that I needed athletic shoes. Due to my recent CrossFit injury, I started seeing a chiropractor and it’s become clear that because everything is connected, good shoes are a must.

Running Shoe Fitting at Fleet Feet Sports Pittsburgh

Why it took me seven years and 3 weeks into training for my third half marathon is a mystery to me; however, I am so thankful that Fleet Feet Sports (in Pittsburgh’s South Hills) offers running shoe fittings. As far as I know, these are a free service from their store – as you’ll soon see, I was immediately hooked on a pair and bought them (so maybe it is rolled into the price?).

After the Half Marathon Kickoff Training Run, I went to Fleet Feet and met Brad. He took me to a bench and starting taking a listen to my concerns in finding a good running shoe. We talked about my history with running, my goals for this year’s half, my chiropractic care, and what I’d done shoe-wise to this point. I was wearing basic athletic shoes from Under Armour, and while they weren’t bad, they weren’t great for what I was putting my body through.

Your feet take on 3-5 times your body weight with each running step, Brad told me. Insane to think about – making it clear that it is so important to have a good running shoe.

After we chatted, he went through the next steps of Fleet Feet’s Fit Process and watched me walk barefoot. Pittsburgh’s Fleet Feet store has the Fit Id, so I stood on the machine which took images of my foot and confirmed things that Brad noticed while doing his initial analysis. We found out my feet are two different sizes (like most people) and that I’d been wearing the right shoe size (a 10, which gives me some space for running motion). My arches are high enough that he recommended an insert and my heels are just a wee bit wide, but for the most part, my feet are pretty normal (or “neutral” in shoe terms).

Picking my Running Shoe

That doesn’t mean Brad was able to pull just any pair of shoes off the shelf. Because I had no brand preference (hey, newbie), he took control and went to the back. The one thing he did ask was whether I had any color preference. When Brad returned, he had three pairs of running shoes for me to try on as well as a running sock.

Did you know that running socks are fit for your left and right feet? My mind was blown.

First, I tried the New Balance 880v7. It felt supportive but cushiony and really cradled my feet. Next up were Saucony’s from the ISO series – I want to say the Freedom ISO. These were SO cushiony I felt like I was on a cloud and could propel myself right across that finish line with no issues. Heavenly. Last I tried Hoka One One and was also pleasantly surprised with the comfort. It came down to the Saucony’s and New Balance and after the fall in week 3, I decided I needed the stability of the New Balance (although I loved all three).

The Final Details

Before I could check out, Brad measured my foot for an insert. This will last me through two running shoes, so probably next summer I’ll go for another. He cut it down to size right there in the store so I was sure it fit my shoe. Such a win!

I picked a pretty pair of Balega running socks and headed to meet Brad at checkout. I was seriously wowed by the service at Fleet Feet and with my purchase. Honestly, I wanted to switch out of my “old” shoes (only worn for three runs at that point) and go for another run, but with almost 16,000 steps in the day already, I knew better. My shoes would need to wait to make their debut until Monday (and that they did).

Was there some sticker shock? Nope. I knew coming into this I’d be spending a good amount of money. The price is totally worth it – these are going to last me through the Half (about 200 miles of training and race) and this fall’s 10-miler (about another 200) plus random training in the summer. In the past, I’ve spent $50-75 a few times a year on shoes that “just worked”!

If you are in Pittsburgh and part of our running scene, I highly suggest you check out Fleet Feet. If you just love running, do yourself the favor I should have seven years ago and get yourself a good pair of running shoes now.

Note – as we started our conversation, I also chatted with Brad about compression socks that I received as a 10-miler participant, more to come on that in another post!

Marathon Monday: Week 4 of 16

While most people who are training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon are starting today with 12-week plans, I am so happy that I got an early start and am four weeks in. There is nothing wrong with starting now (in fact, I didn’t start until after this for my first Half – and I’d never done an actual 5k at that point!). For me, these four weeks have been helpful in baselining and dreaming of that PR. Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 4! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 4 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

This weather. Can it please make up its mind? I am hearing 50’s next week (week 6), but I am not sure I believe it. This week was all about adjusting and going with the flow of what the week brought. Golly.

Monday 2/5: Unintentional rest day. There was ice. Enough said.

Tuesday 2/6: 3 miles (12’06”) – This run was my first run in my New Balance 880v7’s. It felt incredible, but I found myself still being cautious. Ice. Sidewalk bumps. Feeling all things new in the shoes. I am pretty darn pleased with it and my shoes!

Wednesday 2/7: CrossFit – We got 5 or so inches of snow dumped on us, so a lot was cancelled. The commute. The Bigs’ school. Church. It was like I wasn’t supposed to do back to back runs, so instead I got to be part of Clint’s 37th Birthday WOD. Although I scaled it, I got my speed work in – 400’s at 10:00/mile and 9:13/mile where the others rowed. Boom!

Thursday 2/8: 2 miles (12’21”) – Have I mentioned I am over the snow? I decided to run a bit on Railroad Street which at lunchtime was super busy, so I headed to the Railroad Building and ran in the front of the warehouse back and forth twice. It worked, because it wasn’t snowy or windy. Running back to the office was frigid!

Friday 2/9: Rest and Chiro – I am healing, but still not 100%.

Saturday 2/10: 2.56 miles (12′ 12″) + 2.68 recumbent bike – If there is one thing I hate more than snow, it is the treadmill. Unfortunately, I was supposed to do four but when I saw ice all over the sidewalks + rain + cold, off to the Y I went. I couldn’t stay focused, even though I was listening to Peak Performance. At 2, I thought I should quit because my collarbone hurt so bad. I walked a 1/4 mile then got on the bike. My brain still wouldn’t shut off that I needed to do four, so back to the dreadmill I went. Another 1/4 mile and it was clear I didn’t need to be on it. My feet and body kept moving and that’s what’s important. I left the Y thinking #iwouldratherbelifting. Sigh.

Never fear, I am still 100% in it to do this thing. Sometimes I struggle, and that’s normal. If running a Half was easy, everyone would do it, right?

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

February totals: 11.07 miles, 12’00” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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Marathon Monday: Week 3 of 16

So excited to tell you about this week of training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. This was week three, and if it proved anything to me, it was that this run is going to be a true redemption run. Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 3! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 3 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

It was another week of feeling good and inspired. The weather wasn’t awful, but it was cold. It was a pretty trying week for me, however.

Monday 1/29: 3 miles (11’52”) – Oh boy. This run was going so well. Mile 1 finished at 11’20”. It was a whole minute faster than the average of my last seven runs. I felt amazing and thought this was going to be the run that would change things for me.  Well, it did, even if it wasn’t in the way I hoped.

Imagine the way you’d feel if you peeked at your watch and you were set to run your fastest 5k since starting your wellness journey over. You’d feel amazing, right? I bet you’d dig in and find a way to hustle, right? Well, that’s what I did. The training plan called for a 3-mile run. At three, I dug in to add .1 mile and at a fast speed. The problem? I literally dug in. My left foot, in BRAND NEW SHOES, tucked oh-so-nicely into a bit of cracked Liberty Avenue sidewalk and down I went. There was nothing slow about it, but somehow I guarded my right shoulder and took the brunt of the fall on my right knee. My pace above includes about 30 seconds of me crying out to Jesus that this wouldn’t end my running journey.

Both of my knees have war wounds- bruises in a block shape about 3-by 4 inches and both will scar. The left is pretty much scabbed up, but as of writing this, the right is wide open and raw. (I quickly became friends with these wound covers.) It is sort of refusing to heal, but maybe it’s because I am refusing to rest it. I took Tuesday off running and then…

Tuesday 1/30: Rest. I was one with the couch, no shame.

Wednesday 2/1: 2 miles (12’33”) – As crappy as my knees felt, I wanted to get out there and try again. So I laced up the shoes (which have now been retired for CrossFit only – more to come on that) and hit the same path on Liberty Avenue again. This time, I didn’t fall. There was a decent amount of ice out there, so I was a bit cautious. I only wished I’d worn my knee sleeves because I could feel the fight between new skin and wound and muscles that hadn’t gotten quite enough rest. Ouch.

Thursday 2/2: Rest – Greg took one look at my right knee and said no. I napped!

Friday 2/2: Rest and Chiro – It was my 4-week eval, and while I don’t know the results, I feel so much better than I did that first visit.

Saturday 2/3: 3.52 miles (11′ 58″) – I woke up and headed out to the UPMC Sports Medicine Complex on the South Side for the official Half Marathon Training Kickoff Run (basically, if you’re doing this thing, you should be in training now!). The sponsors brought in Steel City Road Runners coaches to pace 3, 5, 7, and 9-mile courses. I joined up with the 12:00 pace group and took the 3-mile option (looping the parking lot and a quick up the trail to grab another half mile and meet my training plan goal).

I’ve never run with a pace group before. My mind was always like, “I’ll hold them back” or “they’ll hold me back”. This time, it was exactly what I needed. The pace ranged from 11:45-12:15 and we were running at a run and talk pace. It felt incredible to be supported by others doing this thing who have similar goals as me. I didn’t think about the hills or the cold, and when we hit that three-mile mark, I was wowed.

When I was done, I took in a deep stretch (so cool to do so on the indoor training center for the Steelers) and had some moments of feeling grateful for this journey. I might have obsessed with running thoughts the rest of the day.

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes! Love running? Make sure you enter this giveaway, too!

February totals: 3.52 miles, 11’59” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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Inspired Endurance: A Running Jewelry Giveaway

While I don’t wear much jewelry, I have several go to pieces that have meaning. For example, I have a few birthstone charms, a bangle with my saying with Greg (“it is what it is”), and of course a few pieces of running jewelry. That’s why I am excited to partner up with Mom Blog Society to bring you their latest giveaway – with a running theme!

Inspired Endurance: A Running Jewelry Giveaway

Welcome to the Inspired Endurance Necklace and Tank Giveaway! This giveaway is hosted by Mom Blog Society and sponsored by Inspired Endurance, a running jewelry coming. One winner will receive a tank (in their choice of size) and this running necklace. The total ARV of the tank and necklace together are $100.

If you would like to read the review you can do so here.

This giveaway will go from 2.2-15 11:59pm est
You must be 18 years or older to enter and a resident of the US.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:
We reserve the right to make revisions, to cancel, or suspend this contest for any reason. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to the US 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. Mom Blog Society (and any other blog participating) is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.