Training Tuesday: Pittsburgh Marathon Half Week 8

The post below is part of a series of posts about the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events for which I have been selected to be a 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon official blogger. I’ve received my race registration fee in exchange for promotion of the event. All opinions are 100% my own.  This post also contains affiliate links. 

While most of you are just about ready to taper, I have yet to get my running game into the double digits…but YOU CAN’T STOP ME because I see you, May 5! My fifth half marathon promises to be memorable, that’s one thing I know for certain.

Training Update

Most of my week was spent getting used to a new rhythm – working in downtown Pittsburgh (right on Liberty Avenue, overlooking the starting line) four days a week. I am trying to shove in 9 hour days plus a 2-3 hour commute (in total) and all the kids’ activities in the evening. This is the year I really needed to focus on my family and not my running, and yet I am still finding ways to get in my steps, do my PT exercises, and keep moving barriers.

Friday 4/5: 2 miles, 13:04/mile – I really wanted to go further on this one, but we had our 2nd measurement for our new windows happening on Friday and it took a little longer than I expected. There was no photo because I jumped in the van, headed to the chiro (YAY!) to get my knee taped, then plopped into my hair stylist’s chair for a much needed update.

A reminder…”The Lord will fight for you. Be still.” Exodus 14:14

Saturday 4/5: 7.51 miles, 14:02/mile – After sitting at Evan’s soccer game and feeling the temps rising, I needed time on the trail. Unfortunately, on Friday when I was getting adjusted, scraped and taped, Dr. Katey and I did not like the looks of my knee. Not only the inside (MCL) but the outside (ACL) were swollen and reacted. The Deep Blue instantly did its thing and I needed to add more when I got home to ice. She suggested I slow this one down big time with a 5 minute walk/3 minute run progression.

I did and between the heat and the pain, I was exhausted by mile 5. But I wanted to push and I wanted to get a bridge run in + get an iced coffee so I decided to not only go 0.5 miles further than goal but to run the whole last mile. All in all, in the 1 hour 45 minutes I was “running”, I actually walked almost an hour of that – so pulling off a 14:02 was pretty exciting!

And speaking of exiting, I have a few more runs to get in before I can feel “ready” to do this thing on May 5. How about you?

How are the miles stacking up?

January 2019: 6 runs, 11.57 miles, 12’19″/mile

February 2019: 7 runs, 12.67 miles, 12’38″/mile

March 2019: 10 runs, 24.32 miles, 13’36″/mile

April 2019: 3 runs, 14.11 miles, 13’36″/mile

PSST! If you’ve read this far and are ready to sign up for the Marathon or Half, make sure you do and let them know I sent you by using WILLISDSGPM19 as your code when you sign up. You’ll save $10 when you do! Register here .

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ZYN: Goodness with Benefits

This is a sponsored post with Drink ZYN and BraVoMark. All opinions are 100% my own.

2019 has been a year of hurdles for this mama’s health journey. Between a knee issue and trying to find the “just right” way to eat, it’s been interesting to say the least. But the steady thing in my eating choices is my quest to keep sugars at a minimum and consume food products that are tasty and beneficial to my health.

The ZYN Goodness

For the past few weeks, Greg and I have been trying out ZYN, a low-sugar beverage with all-natural ingredients. ZYN, meaning life, is a holistic wellness option that is good for the whole family. There are only 2 grams of sugar and the added benefit of 200+ mg of curcumin (which is a natural compound derived from turmeric). These beverages come in four flavors – Mixed Berry, Lemon Ginger, Mango Lychee, and Pomegranate Cranberry.

Drinking ZYN has become part of my half-marathon training regimen for two reasons:

  • Curcumin has the potential to benefit our bodies with inflammation support, gut health, and muscle recovery. All three are things that I need while training!
  • It’s a sweet bonus that ZYN believes in the “root of what matters” – that nature has plenty to provide us without filling drinks with preservatives or artificial sweeteners. I can feel good knowing that I’m consuming something all-natural that is backed by science.

Benefits of Curcumin

Here’s where I must rely on the experts to tell you a bit more about what makes the Curcumin in ZYN a big deal. These findings are backed by over 28,000 scholarly and scientific articles and over 160 clinical studies on Curcumin.

According to research, the bio-active source of Turmeric’s healing power is CURCUMIN.  However, the typical CURCUMIN content is 2% to 5% of the Turmeric root.  In addition, the body does not readily absorb CURCUMIN.  ZYN is crafted with one of the highest CURCUMIN contents (200 mg) in the market.

The refreshing beverage also optimizes absorption by combining CURCUMIN with Piperine (black pepper fruit extract).  Research shows that Piperine may increase bioavailability of CURCUMIN by 2000%.  And ZYN includes only 2 grams of sugar and 10 calories per serving!

Source: ZYN

I’ve already mentioned a few benefits above, but there are even more ways that Curcumin can help the body such as Alzheimer’s, Psoriasis, and Glaucoma (all diseases that have impacted my family personally). Find out more about the benefits of Curcumin here.

Ready to Try ZYN?

If the benefits listed above haven’t got you ready to give ZYN a try, let me tell you what I personally love about it.

ZYNAs I’ve mentioned maybe way too many times, I’ve got a knee giving me issues. When I drank ZYN, I could notice a change in the amount of inflammation I was suffering from. Granted, Greg and I split a dozen bottles, but even just drinking my share of the case made me feel better. It also helped calm my gut when I’d realized I had too much dairy in my day. The flavors are delicious, and the taste is light. Because they are all-natural, you skip that sugary taste of other “fruity” drinks and just get to enjoy the benefits. Personally, I loved all the flavors, but Mango Lychee took the top spot in my book.

If you’d like to commit to making healthier drink choices for you and your family or to add ZYN to your fitness regimen, check out their store locator or purchase ZYN online.

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You can follow ZYN on Instagram or like them on Facebook. They are the PRODUCT OF THE YEAR winner in the Healthy Beverage Category and a BCorp (good for the world brand). More details on their company can be found here: https://drinkzyn.com/about/

Training Tuesday: Pittsburgh Half Marathon Week 7

The post below is part of a series of posts about the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events for which I have been selected to be a 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon official blogger. I’ve received my race registration fee in exchange for promotion of the event. All opinions are 100% my own.  This post also contains affiliate links. 

Starting to question my sanity. Between the injury and changing clients at work, this update is light. Running feels like EXACTLY what I need but isn’t feasible with our life schedule. Maybe I am finally admitting I’m aging and can no longer “do it all”. Hmmmph.

Training Update

Tuesday 3/26: 2 mile speed work, averaged 11:47/mile – Greg spent his birthday evening listening to me talk about my new shoes (Altra Tokyo Escalante Racers) and my speed work. I did .25 mile splits, rested 30 seconds between, and amazed myself with what I pulled off.

Head to my Instagram to see my photo!

Wednesday 3/27: 2.0 miles, 13:30/mile – Slower than I’d like, but I was taking it easy after my speed work.

Then….I rested. Greg had work. I had work. Life. No running since it is bothering me fiercely. Praying I get a chance to run soon.

Registration Reminder!!!

I know…the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon registration closed March 31, but TOMORROW 4/3 at 9 AM they are opening up for a few last minute spots for the Full, Half, and Relay! And you still can redeem WILLISDSGPM19 at checkout to save $10 on registration for the Full or Half Marathon. Thank you to everyone who already has done this – you are AWESOME!

How are the miles stacking up?

January 2019: 6 runs, 11.57 miles, 12’19″/mile

February 2019: 7 runs, 12.67 miles, 12’38″/mile

March 2019: 10 runs, 24.32 miles, 13’36″/mile

PSST! If you’ve read this far and are ready to sign up for the Marathon or Half, make sure you do and let them know I sent you by using WILLISDSGPM19 as your code when you sign up. You’ll save $10 when you do! Register here.

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Training Tuesday: Pittsburgh Half Marathon Week 6

The post below is part of a series of posts about the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events for which I have been selected to be a 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon official blogger. I’ve received my race registration fee in exchange for promotion of the event. All opinions are 100% my own.  This post also contains affiliate links. 

It is starting to heat up in my training. Excited to dive right in!

Training Update

Tuesday 3/19: 2 mile walk – Greg and the dogs joined me on a 2-mile trail walk. It’s been awhile since we’ve had the chance to do this!

Wednesday 3/20: 2.2 miles, 12:55/mile – Pulling off an under 13-minute pace while doing a run/walk was one special feat of this day, but even more this run was fueled by passing my Salesforce Advanced Administrator exam. It was a beautiful day which always makes trail running even easier. This was a run/walk of 5 minutes running + 2 minutes walking and pure joy.

Rested Thursday to Saturday – the knee felt it!

Sunday 3/24: 5 miles, 13:13/mile – I hate comparison, but I can’t help but compare myself to myself. This run/walk (5 minute walk to warm up then 5-minute run / 3 minute walk until mile four + run all of mile 5) was at 2013 Pittsburgh Half Marathon pace! What?!?! Knee pain, what? (Ok, the knee was pained, but let’s forget about that for a few and celebrate this long run!) It was another gloriously beautiful day on the Rails to Trails and I am thankful that I was able to get out there and do this after serving at church and Greg pulling a 12-hour shift.

Registration Reminder!!!

Super important reminder because I won’t be posting another training update before the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon registration closes! March 31 is the last day to register for the weekend of events and it is also the last day to redeem WILLISDSGPM19 at checkout to save $10 on registration for the Full or Half Marathon. Thank you to everyone who already has done this – you are AWESOME!

How are the miles stacking up?

January 2019: 6 runs, 11.57 miles, 12’19″/mile

February 2019: 7 runs, 12.67 miles, 12’38″/mile

March 2019: 9 runs, 23.32 miles, 13’36″/mile

PSST! If you’ve read this far and are ready to sign up for the Marathon or Half, make sure you do and let them know I sent you by using WILLISDSGPM19 as your code when you sign up. You’ll save $10 when you do! Register here.

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Training Tuesday: Pittsburgh Marathon Half Week 5

The post below is part of a series of posts about the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events for which I have been selected to be a 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon official blogger. I’ve received my race registration fee in exchange for promotion of the event. All opinions are 100% my own.  This post also contains affiliate links. 

If my radio silence wasn’t enough to tell you, training has been tougher than tough the past few weeks. But my brain finally came to a place on Sunday that has me feeling better about all of this.

First of all, I have to say thank you to all of you who believe in me. Thank you for all of the encouragement and prayers. Thank you for not doubting in me even when I do. Thank you.

And thank you to all of you reading this who might just have stopped by to read a post or two. Thank you to all of you who have signed up for the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon and used my discount code – you’ve impressed me! Thank you to all of you.

Two weeks ago, I questioned, “what’s next in my half marathon journey?” and I think I finally have an answer.

Let’s Do This

As of right now, I am doing this Half Marathon. I won’t be chasing a PR. I will most likely be logging my slowest half, but I am doing this thing. I’m going to be finding a pace that works for me to run/walk and I’m going to be encouraging every single person around me to finish. This shifts the focus from me to we and I’m super pumped.

So the ‘official’ plan, just under seven weeks out is:

  • Walk the 5k on Saturday
  • Run the 1-mile with Ava and Isla on Saturday
  • On Sunday, toe the line in Corral C with the Relay runners, aiming to run the first leg of the relay (with my work team).
  • Continue on the half marathon course, slowing to a run/walk with a goal to just finish.

I looked at the Galloway plan, but I’m so behind in training that it seems impossible to pick up at this point. I’ll find my groove in the next three weekends doing my long run/walks. 

I’m Nervous

Oh, so nervous. I typically don’t quit something but my health is pretty important. And if I want to run ever again (which I do!), I need that knee to heal up. But my nerves are at taper week levels of high. Got to combat that with some prayers!

Yup, I’m still living on RockTape, Deep Blue Rub (available on my doTERRA site), and Glucosamine Chondroitin for these joints. I’ll be giving some new shoes a try soon, too. Thank God for my chiropractors. 

But beyond nervous about the time left between training and race day, I’m nervous about my weight. Getting 10,500 steps a day has been tough. I hit it 4 times last week. I also stopped the keto and have switched basically back to Whole 30 clean eating style. I’ll do this for the next three weeks until my birthday and see where things stack up. I’m one day in, guys.

Training Update

Thursday 3/7: 2.39 miles W/R, 13:23/mile – This was my first run of March and I felt on top of the world. This was a 3-minute walk, 1-minute run for 32 minutes. I felt it the next day but in the moment it felt incredible.

Friday 3/8: Arthritis Wet & Sweat at the YMCA

Saturday 3/9: 1.25 miles W/R, 14:28/mile – With a backpack on. I was meeting my friends from Rent the Chicken at the Home Show (they had a familiar face – Arianna – helping them at their booth) and I took the time to enjoy the distance between the gold lots and the convention center. I forgot to pause the run when I slowed to snap photos of the locks on the Clemente Bridge or when I took a selfie of me being a Gritty Pittsburgher running through the mud along 10th Street Bypass. Even this “slowed” pace made me happy to be “back at it”.

Monday 3/11: 2.43 miles W/R, 14:12/mile – I tried to replicate the run from Thursday before but the trail was muddy and my legs were sore. The point? I did it.

Friday 3/15: 2.0 miles, 12:50/mile – I straight up ran these two miles and felt amazing. I felt like I had the form of my 2018 half marathons and that nothing was going to stop me. I was certain I was going to turn this ship around and get to actually run the half…and then I got home and tried to go up a step. Good thing I had a chiropractor appointment that afternoon because I was in pain!

Sunday 3/17: 3 miles speed walk, 15:26/mile – Evan joined me for a speed walk. That little boy is fast but he hit a wall at about 1.5 miles…right where we turned around. It was good to have a walking buddy – ok, he even encouraged me to take a few jogs “to the next bench” before we’d walk again. We were able to pull off negative splits and our last mile was 14:29!

Monday 3/18: 2 miles W/R, 14:18/mile – That three miles was harder on me than I realized. My shins were aching and I felt like I was dragging my right leg along the whole thing. This was a five-minute walk then 2-minute run four times.

All in all, I think this is pretty good. I am at my “worst” physically and yet 18 days in have logged more miles than in January or February and I’ve finally said goodbye to the dairy and pizza for a while. I’m prepared to be a cheerleader for others who are on this journey with me.

If you are struggling with your training and know that you’ll be pulling off a “just let me finish”, I’m here for you. I’m proud of you. I’m ready to do this thing with you. Because in the end, even us “back of the packers” are just as good as the first people to cross that finish line. I see you. I love you. Now let’s #MOVEPittsburgh!

How are the miles stacking up?

January 2019: 6 runs, 11.57 miles, 12’19″/mile

February 2019: 7 runs, 12.67 miles, 12’38″/mile

March 2019: 6 runs, 13.11 miles, 14’09″/mile

PSST! If you’ve read this far and are ready to sign up for the Marathon or Half, make sure you do and let them know I sent you by using WILLISDSGPM19 as your code when you sign up. You’ll save $10 when you do! Register here.

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Training Tuesday: Pittsburgh Half Week 3

The post below is part of a series of posts about the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events for which I have been selected to be a 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon official blogger. I’ve received my race registration fee in exchange for promotion of the event. All opinions are 100% my own.  This post also contains affiliate links. 

Alright, time to admit it. I am mad. Boldly mad. For the past seven years, I have known running as my outlet. It was the way I lost 130 pounds once and 60 pounds after having the twins. It was my community. It was the third best thing in my life (after God and my family).

But as much as it pains me, my relationship with running has changed drastically in the past six weeks since I injured myself on a treadmill. If you haven’t heard, all I did was run a few miles on a hotel treadmill then felt pain about 8 hours later when I went to bed. Meh. But it isn’t getting any better and to make things worse, getting an MRI to see what damage I’ve done has not gone so well.

So, what’s next in my half marathon journey?

My plan is to keep training as best as I can – I am able to walk at less than a 14-minute mile pace and would love to be able to run a few miles and then finish out with a walk to cross the finish line on May 5. The best case scenario is the weather breaks, I hit the trail, and everything works out. The worst-case scenario is I fully tear whatever is causing this pain and burning (and random cold spots on my shin) and then I get the surgery that I probably need. Praying for God’s will in whatever is to happen between now and race day – but know that no matter what, the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events will have me be part of it!

This sign was PERFECT to see on a run/walk I did last week!

How has “training” gone?

I’ve agreed to no CrossFit and no treadmill, so it’s been light lifting for the arms and some time on the bike for cardio. Unfortunately in the days since I made this plan it has been so cold and snowy that I decided the trail wasn’t safe enough to attempt. Ugh.

Can one train in two months? It will probably be possible if I can get my butt up and moving each hour so I’m sure I hit 10,500 steps a day (I’ve been bad about this). On Saturday, I took the girls to the Kids of Steel Training Kickoff (make sure you’re reading the ‘lil Burghers blog to hear how that went!) and then we went to the Home and Garden Show. That day I got in just shy of 14,000 steps and felt amazing. I know I can do it, it’s a matter of putting myself out there and getting stronger day by day to toe the line on May 5.

For now, I’m living on RockTape, Deep Blue Rub (available on my doTERRA site), and going to start taking Glucosamine Chondroitin with tomorrow’s breakfast. I’m sort of feeling that April birthday coming up! I also need a pedicure, now’s the time before I start to get some calluses built up! Go ahead and laugh at my toes, I did! 😉

How are the miles stacking up?

January 2019: 6 runs, 11.57 miles, 12’19″/mile

February 2019: 7 runs, 12.67 miles, 12’38″/mile

March 2019: 0 runs, 0 miles

PSST! If you’ve read this far and are ready to sign up for the Marathon or Half, make sure you do and let them know I sent you by using WILLISDSGPM19 as your code when you sign up. You’ll save $10 when you do! Register here.

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Training Tuesday: Pittsburgh Half Week 1

The post below is part of a series of posts about the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events for which I have been selected to be a 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon official blogger. I’ve received my race registration fee in exchange for promotion of the event. All opinions are 100% my own.  This post also contains affiliate links. 

Time to make things official and start numbering my weeks to the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events! In 2019, I’ll be earning my 2nd Steel Challenge medal (running the 5K on Saturday and the Half-my 4th Pittsburgh, 5th overall- on Sunday).

2019 Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training: Week 1

Being back to a “normal” routine felt super odd, but I was happy for it. I was home all week and my only hurdles to training were my brain and a little bit of snow. The mental game is going to be my biggest threat this round of training. I’ve put pressure on myself to get a course best and knock a few minutes off my overall half PR (achieved in October in Myrtle Beach). It might not be possible due to life changes (including traveling for work) and an injury, but I’m giving it my best!

Monday 2/11: Speed Work (based on my RunCoach plan), 3.28 miles in total

After getting my Ready. Set. MOVE. box, a Zwift pod, and new bands for my FitBit Versa (my originals rotted after about a year of use), I was amped to hit the treadmill for some speed work. This is so not me, so I took full advantage! I’ll post more about Zwifting another time, but I was not prepared adequately to use it for this run. 

So the plan called for a .5 mile warm up | 100m x 3 | 3 rounds of 5 minutes up pace followed by 3 minutes of walk/jog | .5 mile cool down. I was nervous because I was sweating pretty badly after my warmup. Maybe I do have a cold and not sinus issues, blargh! But when I hit a 9’06” average pace for my 3 100s, I felt on top of the world. The 5-minute rounds were all at a PR pace, two were even shaving over six minutes off my current PR, whoa. I had to walk the recoveries but decided to do them at a decent incline to imagine I was actually on the Pittsburgh course. All in all, this one rocked! Nike+ put the whole thing at a 12’19” pace.

Tuesday 2/12: CrossFit at Richard G Snyder YMCA

When an easy looking WOD appears on the board, I should know better. This one kicked my butt something fierce. I had to say a few prayers to get through it because my knee felt like it was giving out and you guys, I scale these things. (For example, instead of HSPU – handstand push-ups – I sit and lift dumbbells overhead. I had to go from 15-pound weights to fives to survive this one.) It was tough, but exactly the welcome back I needed after two weeks away.

 

Wednesday 2/13: 2.01 miles, 12’33”/mile

I had a meeting at the YMCA so I decided to get my miles in after that. It was just two miles, conversational pace. About 0.3-miles in, I realized I forgot my knee brace and it didn’t feel good. I’m stubborn, so kept on running. Being at the YMCA in the morning, there are some people who come in to walk to avoid the sideways snow. With 0.5-miles left, I happened to get a treadmill neighbor who had been smoking before getting on the treadmill. My asthma was not happy but I kept pushing. This one was tough but check, done! (No pictures because I needed to get to work.)

Friday 2/15: 3.10 miles, 12’53″/mile

gorgeous day in Kittanning called for my first trail run in a long time! Remember earlier when I said I’m thinking this is a cold? Yup. I was so congested and all the sudden out in the fresh air my nose decided it was done being stuffed. Awful! The trail was a bit muddy, I pressed on. I wasn’t too happy but remembered that my long runs need to be slower than my race pace so this is actually pretty on point.

Loving my goodr sunglasses from the Ready. Set. MOVE. Box!

 

That’s week one in the books for me! It’s hard for me to believe I’ve done this four (well, five) other times, but it’s even harder to believe I didn’t always do this. The past six years of training for Pittsburgh runs (including a break to have twins) has been a true blessing. God’s put some inspiring people in my path, worked me through trials, and given me this platform to share my journey. Even if I don’t PR, I’ve done what I set out to do – run the race with perseverance!

Hope you’ll stay tuned to see how the rest of my journey to the finish line goes. Come back every Tuesday for a wrap-up of my training, follow me on Twitter and Instagram for inspiration and updates on all things running and mom-life.

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PSST! If you’ve read this far and are ready to sign up for the Marathon or Half, make sure you do and let them know I sent you by using WILLISDSGPM19 as your code when you sign up. You’ll save $10 when you do! Register here.

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Ready.Set.MOVE Box | A Great Gift For Runners!

The post below is part of my partnership with the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events for which I have been selected to be a 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon official blogger. I’ve received the January 2019 Ready.Set.MOVE box in exchange for promotion of the Pittsburgh Marathon events. All opinions are 100% my own.  This post also contains affiliate links – meaning if you decide to make a purchase based on this post, I might receive a small compensation in exchange for your telling you about the product. 

When the P3R Gear announced that they would be offering a quarterly subscription box service for runners who also love Pittsburgh, I was super excited. I’ve not jumped on many subscription box bandwagons, but I knew these boxes would be a great treat for someone addicted to running – like me. *wink* The Ready.Set.MOVE Box has arrived for those who subscribed for the first quarter and I’m glad I was gifted one – I’m hooked!

Ready Set Move

Ready.Set.MOVE Box | A Great Gift for Runners

When I first started running, I most definitely said, “I’ve chosen a pretty inexpensive sport! I’ve got my feet, some shoes, what more do I need”. I was so wrong. The race entry fees, good shoes, and the swag at expos…I had no idea what I was in for before I got hooked on running.

What I love about the Ready. Set. MOVE. subscription box is that it is affordable, gets me a sampling of some of that awesome expo gear, and surprises me four times a year. At $49.99 a quarter, you get gear from the P3R Gear store and a sampling of some of the products offered by official Pittsburgh Marathon race partners. I cannot guarantee that you won’t get even further addicted to the fun gear and not buy more, but isn’t this a great option?!?! 

SAVE $10 off your first subscription when you use code WILLIS10 at checkout!

So where does the gifting come into play? Well, this is a great gift to give yourself, to surprise your running buddies with, or to ask for as a gift – I am hard to shop for and my husband even saw it and asked if it was something I might like [before we knew I’d be getting one as an Official Blogger].

If you’re ready to buy, head on over to the P3R Gear store and start subscribing…and make sure you use code WILLIS10 to save $10 off your first box!

Ready. Set. MOVE. January 2019 Box Details

The January 2019 Ready. Set. MOVE. Box got me motivated to hit the treadmill – that should tell you a lot. (If you’re new around here, I had an MCL injury in 2012 and an MCL sprain this year, both due to the treadmill.) I’m a sucker for all things BLACK AND GOLD, especially when it is gear that I can use for not just running. This box delivered!

Included in the January 2019 Ready. Set. MOVE. subscription box:

My favorite? I really, truly cannot pick. They were all awesome and I’m excited to see what comes in the April box!

Ready. Set. MOVE. – the Details

You can find the following information about the Ready. Set. MOVE. Subscription Box on the P3R Gear website, too:

Ready.Set.MOVE. is a quarterly subscription box filled with health and fitness goodies that you can use throughout the year as you workout and train. Boxes are distributed on the 30th of January, April, July and October and are charged automatically on the 25th of each of these months.

Subscribe to Ready.Set.MOVE for just $49.99 a quarter! You will be charged on the 25th of each month the box is distributed (January, April, July, October), and it will be shipped out on the 25th of that month.

Each box will contain various products and merchandise from P3R gear and our official race partners valued at $100. Plus, select boxes will feature a golden ticket and include a premium surprise item.

Exciting, right? There is still time to get registered for the April box (arriving in time for the Pittsburgh Marathon weekend!), so what are you waiting for? Did you get the January box? What did you think?

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Thinking about signing up for any of the 2020 Pittsburgh Marathon events? Make sure you do and let them know I sent you by using WILLIS15 as your code when you sign up. You’ll save 15% when you do! Register now here!

Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend Races

Save 15% when you use code WILLIS15 to register for ANY Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon VIRTUAL event in 2020!

GAP Relay

Split up 150 or 60 miles with your friends and tackle the 2020 GAP Relay with @runwithP3R in June. Save $50 off team registration with code WILLIS50 for this event on June 19-20, 2020.

Jaybird Vista

VISTA earbuds from Jaybird Sport – Vista is Jaybird’s first true wireless headphone that meets IPX7 and MIL-STD 810G standards. In other words, Vista is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, sweatproof—#EARTHPROOF.
Ready Set Move

Ready.Set.MOVE Box

Save $10 off your first subscription box with Ready.Set.MOVE when you use code WILLIS10 at checkout. This is a quarterly subscription box for those who love fitness + Pittsburgh. Boxes ship every January, April, July, and October.

Training Tuesday: A Two-fer

The post below is part of a series of posts about the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events for which I have been selected to be a 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon official blogger. I’ve received my race registration fee in exchange for promotion of the event. All opinions are 100% my own.  

I apparently thought that last week just didn’t exist because not only did I think we were already 12 weeks away and I needed to really dive into training for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events but I totally forgot to share with you!

Ok, being honest, I really didn’t want last week to exist, I’ll get that off my chest first. The day after my last training post, it was minus two and I was frantically re-booking a flight to Raleigh and just made it so that I could get to go live week — aka the week that my 2nd Salesforce “Baby” was decommissioned and replaced with someone else’s parenting. Sigh. But that’s the nature of my job as a Salesforce Consultant and I was actually pretty excited to be doing the work, sad as it was.

January 28 – February 3: The Week That Wasn’t

Take some time for you, my boss said as she wished me luck on the third and final trip to Raleigh. I listened, even when it was hard.

Monday 1/28: CrossFit

I knew it would be my last WOD for a while but I was excited to get this one in. Many of my fellow Richard G Snyder YMCA evening Y-Fit crew are also taking part in the Marathon’s weekend of events (many in the relay) and so the WODs are going to have a bit of running with them from here out. This one called for 1800m but I couldn’t leave it at that and added an extra 200m to my checked off list.

Tuesday 1/29: Rest …and took Arianna to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was AMAZING.

Thursday 1/31: 2.01 miles, 12’13″/mile

Settled into the Hilton Raleigh North (aka where I spent the first 6 nights of February), it was time for some me time before I started the work. I took it easy on the treadmill and was happy with a quick 2 miles before starting the day.

Friday 2/1: 1.52 miles

For some reason, I can’t really remember what I did on the treadmill but I know that something started to hurt and so I ended up running one mile and walking a half. My body knew that long days were ahead.

Sunday 2/3: 1.75 miles, 13’13″/mile

Aww, yeah! I am proud of this run. The thing is that it was uphill and followed getting less than four hours’ sleep after working 19 hours the day before. I run to Starbucks to get myself a treat and kinda-sorta got fat-shamed while I was there. Whatever. I’m proud of this one, even if someone else sees this and my latte as bad life decisions.

Go Live Week & Half-Marathon KOTR

So after my run on Sunday, I didn’t make the time I needed to at the gym but I spent a good chunk of the week working or in bed. I had a terrible time with my sinuses, celebrated the successful go-live a little too hard (grilled Nashville hot chicken, local ciders, and YES a deep fried pretzel that made me sick), and traveled to the airport twice to try to get home. I’m having some grace on myself for this week and know that this is all just part of the training.

Monday 2/4: 2.1 miles, Speed Work

The RunCoach plan called for 0.5 miles warm up, drills, 100m x3, some rounds of a run then walk, then 0.5 miles cool down. Check!

Tuesday 2/5: Walk to CVS

It was clear I was sick and I needed medicine so I took the time I had been spending at the gym to walk to get some options.

Saturday 2/9: 2.0 miles, 12’32″/mile

Part of my duties as an Official Blogger of the Pittsburgh Marathon is to attend their training events, but let me be clear, I love these events and would have gone no matter what! I fell in love with them at the Warmup on Walnut in 2013 (then again in 2014), affirmed that after my fall last year, and even in temps over 70-degrees, so it was no surprise that I would get out of bed and take on something even after 73 hours of work, little sleep, and a horribly stuffy nose.

I got to catch up with someone who was there in the room with me in 2013 when I decided to become a half-marathoner and to meet another Official Blogger IRL. We did the dynamic warmup and while I knew I probably shouldn’t have done it, I set out with the 12:00 pacer for the four-mile loop (proof is here on Cara’s Instagram, that’s me all marshmellowy bundled up there on the left). About 0.5 miles in, I let the majority of the group go around me and I started to listen to my breathing. I kept the group just ahead of me but at 1 mile turned around and headed back to starting line. Two miles was just enough for me and I got a chance to check out some of the sponsors and be part of the kickoff training run for the Half. Goal achieved!

And this week is already off to a good start, but you’ll have to come back next week to see how it goes.

PSST! If you’ve read this far and are ready to sign up for the Marathon or Half, make sure you do and let them know I sent you by using WILLISDSGPM19 as your code when you sign up. You’ll save $10 when you do! Register here.

Training Tuesday: The OUCH Edition

The post below is part of a series of posts about the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events for which I have been selected to be a 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon official blogger. I’ve received my race registration fee in exchange for promotion of the event. All opinions are 100% my own.  

Yinz know that the last few months have been filled with some tests and trials for me. I set intentions to make 2019 a bigger and better year for me, including attempting a PR in my 5th half marathon.

But sometimes there are plans that are bigger than our plans and things happen that sideline us and cause us to focus elsewhere.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. 

Proverbs 19:21 (NLT)

While traveling for work two weeks ago, I ventured to the hotel gym instead of taking to the streets. There was a line for the treadmills, so when it was my turn I decided to run a quick mile with some speed work (90 seconds running, a minute jogging). I logged a fairly fast for me mile and then stretched. There was something that bugged me while stretching but instead of listening and figuring it out, I rushed off to a shower then dinner with colleagues.

That night, I didn’t sleep very well. My knee was throbbing. The same knee that gave me MCL issues after a treadmill run 6 years ago before my first half. No. No. No. Not now!

When casually as I do mentioning it to my chiro, she suggested it was likely a light sprain and that I needed to rest and ice for a bit. I got it scraped with Deep Blue then actually listened and stayed off it all week.

That brings us to this past Friday. At that appointment, I felt better even though I admitted that long hours sitting had led to related pain in my hip and ankle. Not good. When the practice owner/other chiro checked out the knee, same pain, same instructions to take it easy.

Guys, this puts me to only being able to do light work and stretches and here we are just about 14 weeks until race day! I was sad but knew I needed to listen and heal.

So the next day, I decided to step on the scale. I needed to know what other damage I’d done to my progress in the time since October 4 (the last time I weighed myself). I was feeling good, clothes were fitting and keto with intermittent fasting seemed to be working. My waist was down 2 inches in the week, so the scale couldn’t be that bad, could it? Besides, I needed to know if I should keep up my diet or switch it up.

Welp. This is tough to swallow. My lack of dedication to myself has led to a gain of 22 pounds since October and that’s after what I thought was a great month so far. Ouch.

So what is next? I am going to re-committ. I will work out 3 to 4 times this week, easy for that knee and with a brace. I am going to stop IF and eat breakfasts again. I think I’m eating too much too late in the day, paired with not working out, this has been a mess on my body. And prayerfully, I will find myself back to *me*, ready to go for the Half Marathon Kickoff Training Run on February 9. No more setbacks or excuses!

PSST! If you’ve read this far and are ready to sign up for the Marathon or Half, make sure you do and let them know I sent you by using WILLISDSGPM19 as your code when you sign up. You’ll save $10 when you do! Register here.