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 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.

Marathon Monday: Week 2 of 16

Week 2 of my 16-week Marathon Monday series brings a new addition – my *official* logo for the series! // This post may contain affiliate links.

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

Marathon Monday: Week 2 of 16

This week I started out incredibly motivated. We started a 10-week Weight Loss Challenge at work and it was the start of our Sales Kick-off. Required reading was “The Slight Edge“, which made me realize the dedication and drive that training for a Half Marathon brings to my life.  I won’t tell you all of it *yet* because I have a lot more to say (stay tuned).  Did it end as well? Read on to see!

Monday 1/22: 2 miles (12’42”) – This was a warm one, somewhere in the 50’s! I ran through the Strip District between SKO and our evening event at LumberJaxes. I wasn’t pressed for time, I actually had lots, but I had stood up in front of about 30 co-workers and told them my goals for the Half (a 12:12 pace). I had to do work. My first mile was just that, but as I started the 2nd, I started to feel a bit of a shin splint (I needed to bring out my new shoes), so backed off a little and just enjoyed the sun.

What shoes do you wear to run? Mine are currently Under Armour Women’s Speed Swift 2‘s (which I bought at Kohl’s, but as you can see can be bought on Amazon). I was fitted for them in 2014 and probably need to get a new fitting. But these are so comfy! 

Tuesday 1/23: Stretch. I took a .5 mile brisk walk in the cold and met a former co-worker who is also running the Half. I also did some stretching in the evening because I sat so much.

Wednesday 1/24: 2 miles (12’08”) – Oh, buddy. This run felt AMAZING. It was just about 30 degrees and at 6:00 AM. Light snow was falling through the Strip District as I ran down Penn Avenue then halfway across 31st Street Bridge (my nemesis). That pace, yo. I was motivated.

Clint & Me after the WOD

Thursday 1/25: Crossfit (scaled way back) – It was leg day, but I scaled with my pvc pipe and turned the WOD into something that worked for me. I did PVC pipe Deadlifts and Front Squats then more air squats for the Wall Balls. For the HSPU I did sit-ups and for the row I ran on the treadmill. My splits for those calories were amazing – the speed work I need to hit my 12:12 goal (or crush it) – 10:54 (34 cal), 10:00  (21 cal), 9:31 (13 cal).

Friday 1/26: Rest and Chiro – because this is important!

Saturday 1/27: 3 miles (12’41”) – This one felt so good. It was my first long run since November and truly felt right. The weather was nice and in the 40s, there may even have been a light fog on the Armstrong Trail. My shoulder hurt after, but I think that was due to the discovery of a knot just under my collarbone on Friday. Feeling like my goal is in reach!

So yes, the week ended on the same foot as it started. I am pretty proud of my progress so far and feel more like 2014 me than I have since then. Just wait until I share what happens in week three, though. Or, follow me on Instagram for a sneak peek…

January totals: 18.63 miles, 12’41” pace