Not Every Idea is a Good Idea

1025141148This weekend was full of running. Probably too much running. This weekend was the first of two 22 milers in my training. 22 is the farthest I go, though. Then, the taper begins. We went to Philadelphia to race parts of the course. While in theory that seemed like a great idea, the roads weren’t closed like they would be for the race. Stopping at traffic lights and running around outside restaurant seating got to be a pain downtown. At one point we even ran through a flea market. I almost stepped on a ceramic plate. There were also plenty of hills. The weather was great though, and the run was pretty good overall.

Now, you would think I would have stopped there. I had a 10 mile race scheduled long before I really knew what marathon training entailed. It is a great race that I didn’t really want to miss. I was going to run 12 before the race to make my total 22, but two of my training partners convinced me to do the 22 on Saturday, do the race slowly on Sunday, and then just take Monday off. I should have gone with my gut. I bet you will never guess who didn’t show up at the race Sunday.

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NOT the race bailers!

Oh well. The race course was beautiful, and the weather was amazing. I had plenty of friends running, so I wasn’t lonely. I didn’t go as slow as I probably should have, but nothing hurts too bad. Just a little soreness. Tomorrow I will take a needed rest day.

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At least there was an awesome hoodie and some of the best post race food of my life. They had a full buffet of grilled chicken and vegetables with a coffee bar. While this wasn’t the ideal way to work the race into my training, everything really turned out fine in the end. Next time I will listen to my gut though. After all, you’re the one who actually has to live with your decisions.

How do you work races into your training? Ever get any bad training advice?

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I Get By With a Little Help From my Friends

IMG_754632939633001This morning I ran a beautiful 17 mile route in Philadelphia. Do you ever run parts of your race route? We decided we needed to prepare ourselves for the dreaded hills we will encounter in the Philadelphia Marathon next month. We got to try out the brand new Schuylkill Boardwalk. It was beautiful. I only wish it was longer!

IMG_1408I ran with my trusted running buddies. It is amazing that we all run about the same pace. Running partners share a very unique bond, especially ones training for the marathon. Most of my friends don’t understand why I wake up at 5:45 am on a Saturday to spend three plus hours sweating in the heat and pouring rain. These people get it. We run in downpours, we have our own lingo, and we know more about each others’ bodies than we ever should. You usually can’t shout “code brown” to your friends without them thinking you are completely disgusting. Anything happens on the long run. And no one wants to be the one that bails because of weather or cuts the run short. They make me a better runner and a better person.

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Although, they definitely test my kindness when they plan out hills like this at the end of our 17 miles! I have always contemplated trail running, but today’s Wissahockon Trail was no joke. Check out that elevation change. If it wasn’t for my buddies, I might have quit, but they kept me going. Sometimes we just need a little help from our friends.

How do your running buddies affect you as a runner?

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Trying New Things!

1007141616This week I tried hemp hearts for the first time ever! I am all about chia and flax, so I figured these would be right up my alley. The kind folks over at Manitoba Harvest hooked me up.

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First, I tried the hemp hearts with strawberries in plain Greek yogurt. They added a nice crunchy texture. They taste similar to both a nut and a seed. I was surprised at how much flavor they packed. While they have a similar crunchy texture to adding granola,they definitely do not taste anything like granola. This would be an acquired taste for me, but worth it because of all the protein and Omega 3’s in these little guys.

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Next, I made hemp butter, which was AWESOME. I used this recipe that I found online. I spread the butter on my toast in the morning for a protein packed breakfast that kept me full through most of the morning. I definitely preferred the hemp hearts in this form. If you would like to try some hemp, use the code HHSweatPink at Manitoba Harvest’s site.

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If that wasn’t exciting enough…I am also trying out the Handana! It is a sweat band that you wear around your hand. It can be used to wipe sweat, or according to the company…snot. I took the handana for it’s first spin today. I barely noticed it was there. It was too cool outside to really be sweating, but I think it would be perfect for on the treadmill. I will gave that a try soon. It is something I probably wouldn’t purchase on my own, but if you have a real sweating problem and hate carrying a towel, this would be perfect for you!

Have you ever eaten hemp? Any recipe ideas?

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Manitoba Harvest and Handana provided these products to me, but all opinions are my own.

Life Moves Pretty Fast

I cannot believe it is October already. Where did September go?! School is already in full swing, and I have already been observed! (Don’t worry! It went well!)

fall_wallpaperMarathon training is moving right along as well! I am up to 19 this weekend! Woohoo! On another exciting note, I got some free workout gear to review from Victoria’s Secret. They sent me their Incredible sports bra and their Knockout Capri.

0902141555bThe bra is super supportive, but it is a little tricky to get in and out of. The capris are awesome. They are my new favorite. They are thicker than many capris, which I really like. They are similar to compression, but not full compression. Speaking of thick…they even held up to another one of my falls….

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This one is not nearly as bad as my last fall. I just have a huge bruise on my knee. I was actually really worried about ripping the capris, but they actually held up to the fall surprisingly well. Thank goodness! I was also worried about spraying myself with my pepper spray…

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I have been feeling a little nervous running in the dark these days, so I invested in some pepper spray. Between the nervousness and the fall, I think the neighborhood around my apartment might be too dark for early morning runs. There are not many street lights. My headlamp wasn’t even enough. I am either going to have to switch to the gym or go after school. (At least until daylights savings time!)

How do you feel about running in the dark?

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These products were provided to me for free by Victoria’s Secret, but all opinions are my own.

All the Fall Things!!!

fall-meme-4Yes, I am one of those people. I am that person that goes crazy over everything fall. EXCEPT for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. That thing gives me a horrible stomach ache. Aside from that, I literally overdose on pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin butter, apple cider, apple bread, apple butter, and all things fall. I usually reach a point where I can’t even stand to have one more fall food item. Apparently I am not very good at moderation. This happens every year. Then, I wait another whole year. Then, I lose my mind again. It has already begun.

0920141423I started the fall celebration a little early yesterday. I went to a fall festival, had my first apple cider, went to an apple orchard, had pumpkin frozen yogurt, and bought pumpkin butter. It is a slippery slope from here until I make the switch to Christmas activities. I do love fall, though. Everything is crisp and fresh. The running weather is pretty awesome, too.

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Even festive fall homemade poptarts!

My long runs have been slowly increasing. I am up to 17 miles! It actually felt pretty good! I am starting to get the hang of this fueling thing. I have even tried some new samples. The root beer gu is amazing, by the way.

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Also, everyone at work found out that I wear a headlamp when I run in the morning. I am not ashamed, but it is lovely that this photo is floating around the school. Instagram is a blessing and a curse.

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And on a final note, Lea from Running with Ollie won the Rock My Run giveaway! Hooray!

Anyone else lose control every fall?

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One of My New Favorite Things!

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Today I am sharing about one of my new favorite things! Rock My Run. This is a great service that allows you to choose from a wide variety of running playlists. You have access to many playlists for free, but for a small monthly or annual fee, you can access all the playlists, which include longer mixes and those with more current music. You can search by genre, BPM, length, and clean/explicit lyrics.

There is an app that can be downloaded, which includes a lot of great features. There is something called My Beat. This allows you to change the BPM of the song. Some research shows that matching your BPM to your desired pace can have a very positive effect on your training. I have been playing around with this some. I pick slower BPMs for my easy/recovery days and speed it up for my speed workouts. Some studies have shown that music reduces your body’s perceived exertion of exercise.

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What I really like about the service is the ability to change the music I listen to without having to create my own playlists all the time. I start to get tired of songs if I exercise to them too much. Sometimes I even start hating them if they remind me of difficult parts of my run.

There really are mixes for all different tastes. The mixes my Dad picks are WAY different from the ones I pick, but we both love the app.

The kind folks at Rock My Run are even giving you the change to win a free one year premium membership! Just enter the giveaway by clicking here!

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The Philly 10k!

0906140713This morning I ran the inaugural Philly 10k! It was a great race, but the heat and humidity were intense to say the least. This race is unique because it is through all the little neighborhoods of Philadelphia. They gave us this great commemorative print of the race route. I am definitely getting it framed.

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I have not done a race since the Spring, and I haven’t done a 10k since last Fall. Apparently I have gotten quite a bit faster. My last 10k was 1:02. This 5k was 0:54!!! That is an average pace of 8:35. I am so happy with this time, especially considering the heat. I was careful to not go out too fast, and I think it really worked. I am getting much better at my pacing.

0906140929After the race, there was a little “festival.” They had a beer brewed especially for this race. It was an IPA. It wasn’t my favorite, but I usually prefer wine over beer anyways.

0906140940aThey also had custard from the Shake Shack with cannolis from the Termini Brothers. I feel like I am getting all of the token Philadelphia experiences through my races. Seems like a good plan to me!

0904141834I really feel like I am starting to get the hang of this racing thing. The speed work and recovery runs are really helping me get better about judging my pace by feel and learning how to control my pace. The only bad thing about a 10k on a Saturday is that I still have my long run tomorrow! I am taking it slow and easy, though. Pacing is a beautiful thing.

How do you practice pacing yourself?

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New School Year, New Perspective

0828140822Today I am enjoying one of my last lazy mornings of summer. On Tuesday I officially go back to work. We have professional development on Sept. 2, and the kids come the next day. While I love resting and recovering over the summer, I also love teaching. I am ready for the new school year. I have a fresh perspective and a new theme for the year: Simplify.

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First, I have a simpler look. I chopped off all my hair. I have wanted to go short for a LONG time. At first it felt weird, but I am finally feeling like this is me. It is easy to take care of, which is what I wanted. With marathon training and back to school business, there just isn’t a lot of time for hairstyling…

0824141315I am going to spend more time relaxing and enjoying the simple things. I want to be outside as much as possible. There might be some reduction in blogging, so please forgive me! Last year I felt like I took on too many things. I need to prioritize. I will NOT join every extracurricular activity. I CANNOT! I am really not sure how I survived last year! I am in charge of the schoolwide reading incentive program. I do not need anything else. Maybe by Spring things will have settled down, and I will be able to coach track again. We will see. One day at a time! Also, I am not going to sign up for every single race on the planet. I am keeping it to no more than one race a month, with the exception of the required Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. I really burnt myself out last Spring on races. Not going to do that again.

0827141608I am also going to have FUN! Much like these awesome Adventure Time leggings my boyfriend got me. All fun and no play makes Amy a very dull girl. I am not going to get so bogged down with school, running, and blogging that I forget to have fun.

So, here is to a wonderful new school year! What is your motto/theme for the next year?

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Warning: Emotional Post

Sorry that I haven’t been commenting on all of your lovely blogs, it has been a busy couple of months!  Last weekend my sister got married. And with that, be warned, that this…is an emotional post.

10557369_10100513956703660_6251146906958350837_nIt was a great wedding and everything went off without a hitch. The wedding also really got me thinking about people and relationships. Have you ever taken one of those personality tests? If not, it’s definitely very informative. (Here is one.)

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That’s me rocking the maid of honor speech in the bottom picture.

 

Anyways, my personality always comes out as INFJ, which basically means I am a huge goal-oriented, type A “go-getter,” but I am somehow an introvert at the same time. (Complete explanation here.) Apparently this is a rare combination. So…where am I going with this?

Maybe, it was the the fact that the groom’s siblings were the complete opposite (extreme extroverts), but the wedding really got me thinking about how I process emotions. Afterwards, I thought, why can’t I be that person that cries at a speech or during a song? That just isn’t how I process my emotions.

Today I am feeling a little reminiscent about the weekend. As soon as I got home to New Jersey, all of the emotions slammed into me like a semi going full speed, and then the tears came. I know people think that the inability to show emotion on the spot is cold, or heartless, but some people just take longer to process emotions. Maybe sometime in the distant future I will be able to show that feeling right there on the spot, instead of feeling the regret that I didn’t say or do the right thing, but then I probably wouldn’t be me. For now, I’ll just do the best to show those I love that I care in my own time and way.

Anyone else out there an introvert or have trouble processing emotions?

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Airia Running Shoes

I think I might have mentioned that I love trying new things and free samples. It really is an obsession. So, when I was approached by Airia Running to try their running shoe, you know I was in.

0813141511The company is in Sweden and makes some pretty bold claims about their shoes. They say you are guaranteed to run faster. I am not sure if that is a claim a shoe company can really make… They also warn you that their shoes are very different from many. There is even a warning in the box. They recommend running at least a 10k before making your judgment.

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This is part of the box the shoes came in.

The shoes are not the most visually appealing, but that isn’t really how one should judge a running shoe. The shoes are made of a very lightweight material and the toes curl up.

0818141031I noticed that the shoes had a larger toe box than my Mizunos. My toes had much more space, which I actually ended up enjoying quite a bit. The shoes seem to borrow some ideas from minimalist shoes without going too bare. The shoes also cause my foot to turn in a bit. According to the company website, these shoes cause you to run more naturally, more efficiently.

0813141510I am going to continue to wear these shoes occasionally. I have always been interested in more minimalist shoes, and free is just the right price for me. I will still use my Mizunos as my primary shoe. I will admit that I was more impressed than I expected. With the bold claims about running faster and the unique design, I was very skeptical. However, I felt really great when I was running in these. I was surprised how naturally my gait adapted. I only felt a little bit more work in one of my shins, just minorly. As to whether I will become faster as a result of these shoes, well the jury is out on that one. I don’t think there is one universal magic shoe that will make everyone faster.

What is the most unique item you have tried/reviewed?

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These shoes were provided by Airia Running, but all opinions are my own.