5 Everyday Things . . .

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. . . and their uses for running

I love to try stuff. Follow this blog for any length of time, and you’ll quickly learn that. But sometimes you need a low tech solution to runner problems, and over the years, I’ve found a few.

 

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy and sharing with you some of my alternative uses for every day things you might find in your home.

Packit Bag
The Packit Bag has sides inside that are essentially ice packs. You put it in the freezer, and then you pack it with your cold stuff and it will stay cold for hours. I often double bag it into another insulated bag, too.

I will put a small water bottle filled with cold water into it before my run, then stash that into my mailbox. That way when I either drop off or pick up Bandit, I can refill my water bottle with lovely cold water. No ice cubes or freezing the water bottle.  And I only have to carry one water bottle with me at a time.

Lip Balm
I actually now have a little lip-balm sized tube of anti chafing cream. But I’ve read that lip balm can actually be used for for that, and it’s small and relatively easy to carry.

Just in case you get that burning feeling on the run.

Looks dorky but it works!

A Shoelace
My hydration pack doesn’t stay on one shoulder — it’s a known problem (although wasn’t known to me when I bought it) for us smaller boned gals with this pack. I can run that way, but it’s annoying. Not a problem during hiking, by the way!

So my very low tech solution was to tie a shoelace from one shoulder to the other. It worked during Utah Valley Half Marathon! It looks dorky, but it works. I love the pack and didn’t pay big $$ for it, so I’m willing to look dorky.

Socks
They can replace gloves, in a pinch. And of course, there’s always the DIY arm warmers (see this post here).

I know, I know, it’s summer, and arm warmers are the last things on our minds. But before you know it . . .

Cookies
I use cookies as fuel for my long runs — my long runs are not too long (yet), so I haven’t been eating anything on the run (yet). They’re beginning to inch up towards where I need to have some fuel with me, though.

I make my own, as I’ve written about here. I know some runners like fig bars (cut them into small pieces).

So let me know in the comments:

Have you ever tried cookies on the run?

What low tech solutions to running problems have you come up with?

Summer running had me a blast . . .

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Or did I?

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Yes, I enjoyed the race, but the temperature . . . just look at my face!

There’s so much to love about summer running:

  • Longer days, making it easier to squeeze in early or late runs
  • Warmer temps, which means less clothes
  • The feeling of moving freely because of fewer layers
  • Sunshine!!!!
  • Clear trails — at least clear of snow and ice

So what do we have to complain about when it comes to summer running?

  • As much, if not more laundry — all those sweaty running clothes
  • Humidity that makes every run feel like a battle
  • Heat from all that sunshine beating down on you
  • Feeling like you’re running through an African Savannah because of overgrown grass
  • Slower paces because of the heat and humidity
  • Stinging eyes from all that sweat
  • Frizzy (frightening) hair
  • Heat cramps
  • BUGS! Gnats may not bite, but they still drive me insane

So what’s a runner to do?
Accept the things we cannot change: the heat, the humidity, the bugs (anyone know a non-DEET spray that actually works?). Remember that all too soon trails will be buried under snow and ice and we’ll be buried under a gazillion layers again.

Enjoy those unicorn runs when it’s the right temperature and low humidity. Remember all those o’dark thirty runs and enjoy the extra light. Adjust your expectations and accept that you’ll probably run slower (but faster in the Fall). Explore new places to run. Try a new type of cross training (kayaking, anyone?). Jump in a pool after your run (oh, how I wish I had that option!).

 

 

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescornerTalk to me:

Do you love to hate summer running?

Or do you just love running in the summer?

Which season do you think creates the most laundry?

 

BBQ vs Grilling: 7/10-16 Weekly Wrap

It’s been a quiet month but I’m digging it. My body is also enjoying the fact that right now there’s only one semi-hard run per week . . . I’m sure that won’t last long.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin and a guest host for the Weekly Wrap to wrap up my week. I’d love to hear how your week went — join us!

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk, Swim, Pahla B Full Body Tabata
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, 3 TM miles
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, 4 miles with 4 x 2 min long hills, Pahla B Abs, JY Hip Reset
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, 3 miles easy
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Pahla B Full Body with Arms, Blogilates Abs & Thighs
  • Saturday: 7 mile LSD, JY Hip Reset & Booty Lock Mitigation
  • Sunday: Some walking around Martin Van Buren Historical Site

Mileage: 17 (-1)

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

Tuesday


The forecasters are really pissing me off. They keep forecasting rain all day and then it’s dry all day. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a rainy summer, but I just want an accurate forecast. Even semi-accurate.

Anyhoo, that’s mostly why I ended up on the treadmill today for the first time in a long time. Yes, Old Faithful appears to be working again. I upped my running pace just a bit and the whole 3 miles felt good.

Wednesday


Again, rain forecast all morning. It didn’t happen. Again. But it was super humid. By the time I fed everyone and got out there, it was already 8 am. The warmup miles were fine. Then there were the long hill repeats. I did my best . . . I’m not quite sure it’s what Rachel @ Runningonhappy wanted, but it’s early days.

I considered picking up Bandit for the cool down, but a) it was too hot and humid and b) because I’ve lost the charger for my Garmin I didn’t want to stop and have it run out of juice. Thankfully it had enough charge to cover this run.

Thursday


Back on the treadmill. There was predicted thunderstorms and one big boom . . . of course in the end it didn’t rain during this run and I could have run outside.  Oh well.

This particular circle is my nemesis; I often get lost here

Saturday


It’s a broken record of course: humid, rain predicted, no actual rain. There was cloud cover and a decent breeze; this run didn’t suck. Since my schedule and the group schedule didn’t mesh, and I didn’t sleep well and was up early anyway, I got in my extra 2 miles before the group.

I questioned my decision to add in some thigh work yesterday — definitely suffering a little DOMs from Friday’s workouts but nothing too bad.

I did manage to take a wrong turn, and ended up cutting back through the park (good thing I know it well!) since I didn’t want to add another mile to my run or walk forever at the end.

Favorites of the week
The charger for my Garmin went missing last week. I ordered a cheap replacement from Amazon — finding an actual replacement charger wasn’t actually easy — but I could see that one wouldn’t stand up so we did finally find and order an actual Garmin replacement charger.

Of course I looked all over the place for it. This morning, as we prepared to head down to my parents, Mr. Judy found it. In his car. No idea how it ended up there — it’s magnetic, so it tends to attach to metal objects, but still, just no idea.

It was quite the spread (and good)

We went to my parents today and took them out to a BBQ place. One with smokers; the real deal. We learned in TX that what y’all call barbeque up north is usually grilling. Mr. Judy really loved his BBQ. I’m not a big fan, actually, and brought my own lunch (but tried a little of everything).

My parents really love it, though, and they get pickier the older they get . . . they really enjoyed lunch.


And because Lola always needs a potty break, we finally stopped at the Martin Van Buren nature trails that we always pass on the way to my parents. They look nice, except they were not maintained and we couldn’t get very far before it was all overgrown. On the other side of the road, by the actual house (we stopped on the way back), they look like they’re better maintained.

And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

BBQ or grilled? 

Favorite BBQ meat? 

Ever lost your GPS watch charger? Was it a problem?

5 Reasons to be a Killer B

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If you follow my Weekly Wraps (find the latest one here), you may have noticed the name Pahla B popping up a lot lately. That’s because a while back I purchased her “Faster Running in 14 Weeks” ebook (you can find it here — I make no money off of Pahla B; I just wanted to share her with you if you haven’t heard of her).

Pahla is personal trainer who BQ’d this year (that’s Boston — as in Boston Marathon — qualified). I figure if it’s good enough for the woman who BQ’d and lost 30 lbs, it just might be good enough for me, too.

I’ve used a few of Pahla’s free ebooks in the past with good results. It was time to take it to the next level. You won’t have to read a lot — the text portion of the ebook is relatively short. What follows is 14 weeks of 3 x week workouts (each with a clickable link to the workout video) — you don’t have to think about your strength training for an entire training cycle.

It’s beginner friendly, as in people new to strength training can do it, but don’t let that fool you into believing it’s easy. You’ll have to hang around a few months to see how well it works for me!

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Here’s a short introduction from Pahla:

I’ve been a runner for over ten years and a total non-athlete for almost 40 years before that. One of the toughest things for me to do, when I first started on this fitness journey, was to see myself as athletic. Which is why it’s a huge part of my mission to make fitness accessible and FUN and unintimidating for other women (especially women my age).

I firmly believe that you don’t have to go hard or be hard to be proud of yourself, and having a good time is way more important than having a fast time. Unless, of course, your goal is a fast time!

Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to give you five reasons you should check out Pahla B Fitness.

You work around the time you have
5 minutes? 10 minutes? 15, 20, or more? If you’ve got the time (even if it’s only five minutes), Pahla’s got the workout for you.

Variety
Kettlebells, weights, stability ball, tabata, yoga, foam rolling . . . you will definitely never get bored doing Pahla’s workouts.

From non-exerciser to marathon runner, you’ll find workouts catered to your fitness level.

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I thought I had DOMs because of swimming; then I remembered this workout!

They’re deceptively hard
There are many workouts that require no equipment at all. They’re short. And they seem so easy . . . at first. But they’ll get your blood pumping and the sweat rolling before you know it. And sometimes those “easy” workouts are not easy to finish!

And they’re hard in a good way — as in they’ll make you work and they work — but not to the point of injuring yourself.

Pahla is encouraging . . .
. . . without being too perky. You know some of those very thin, 20 something fitness instructors can be a little too happy sometimes, right? Not that I don’t love them, too. But there’s something very down-to-earth about Pahla. It’s like working out with your BRF (best running friend).

Pahla will make you believe you can do it. She’ll be with you every step of the way (and you’ll wonder how she can talk through the workout while you can barely get through the workout).

They’re free
Of course Pahla has some programs for sale (find them here) and is available for one-on-one coaching (find more info here) but she also has an ever-expanding library of content that’s free (find them organized by category here).

So let me know in the comments:

Have you ever tried Pahla B’s workouts?

Do you have a favorite strength training program?

Firecracker 4 Race Recap 7/4/17

It was so funny reading the start of last year’s recap (read it here), about Mr. Judy and Bandit having no problems that first day. If only we knew what we were in for! Again, what a difference a year makes . . . in life and running.

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Ready to rock our race!

Getting There & Hanging Out
For the past couple of years I’ve been going up with my neighbor, which has worked really well for us, but sadly she has had to take a break from running. Luckily, I was able to bum a ride with my USAFit Albany buddies. In fact, one of them (thank you, Jeri!) had picked up my packet over the weekend. I could get used to that!

Our power went out for several hours the night before the race. No idea why. Our generator didn’t kick in (turns out it needed a new battery). So that made life — and dinner — interesting. Not quite the restful evening I’d envisioned.

We left a bit after 7 am (the race starts at 9 and it’s roughly a half hour drive), and while we were unable to park where our driver had planned to, we found parking on the street close by.

We used the bathrooms, wandered around a while bumping into runners we knew, and then about 8:20 I went off to do my warm up mile & dynamic warmup. I didn’t find my buddies again before the race.

This was the first year the race used corrals, and I started walking the wrong way and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t find my corral . . . eventually I realized my mistake but it wasn’t so easy to squeeze in near the front by that point.

The weather & dressing
Skirtsports for the win. I went with the Racecation Tank and Gym Girl Ultra in psyched; Newton Motion on the feet.

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I really tried to chick shirtless old dude — couldn’t do it!


My Race Plan
I didn’t have a plan. Seriously. I kind of hoped I could get below an 11 mm for most of the miles, but I knew it was hot and I should also take it somewhat easy. In fact, Coach Rachel @ Runningonhappy had emailed me gently suggesting I should run easy . . . bwahaha. Not so much.

I didn’t look up past times. I just did ran the mile I was in.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 11:28. I think the corrals really worked against me here. I know that I was in the right one (10 mm and above) — obviously. But it’s so congested with walkers and people who don’t race a lot. It’s a holiday race, I get that. Still, I’m pretty sure with more room to run I could have had a faster first mile. But who knows? Maybe I would have slowed down at the end if I had.
  2. Mile 2: 11:07. So glad I chose to use my small hand held water bottle. No water stops until mile 2 is just not for me on a hot day. I never had to stop at a water stop.
  3. Mile 3: 10:51. When I look at the elevation chart, the hills aren’t that high. Which is exactly what I wrote in last year’s recap. Only I purposely didn’t reread it. They sure feel like mountains!
  4. Mile 4: 10:39. Much of the route actually is blessedly shady, which is good, because it seems like we never get clouds. But we lose the shade in the last mile. And there’s still one last hill to tackle. I thought for sure I’d blown my negative splits here. And there was the guy I was really trying to chick at the end . . . I just couldn’t do it. Darn it. But maybe that was the reason behind my speedy last mile.

44:17 — Official Time
11:04 Average Pace

Previous years:
2016: 47:10
2015: 44:11
2014: 47:48

Every single mile was faster than last year. While obviously not a course PR, it was so close. And almost 3 minutes faster than last year! And negative splits. When I looked back at last year, it was the same starting temperature (70) – and also negative splits.

And that course PR a couple of years ago? It was set on a rainy, cool day. Sadly my Garminconnect doesn’t have the data for it. I was very pleased with this race!

Was the race well run?
This race is so much fun — if you’re ever in Saratoga, NY on the fourth you should check it out. There’s a ton of spectator support and the locals are out in force with hoses — much appreciated!

The late start is a pain, as is parking. Unless you know Saratoga well, the parking situation is nerve wracking.

I understand why they’ve gone to a corral system for the start, but I definitely feel it held me back, and of course part of the purpose is to make the race less congested.

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Skirting Around: 7/3-9 Weekly Wrap

A quiet fourth, a fun race with friends, and more “hiking” on an easy trail. Despite more rain and humidity, the week ended on a high note with a beautiful day today.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin and a guest host for the Weekly Wrap to share how I’m staying activeenjoying my summer: is being active making your summer more enjoyable?

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk, Pahla B Core
  • Tuesday: Firecracker 4 + 1 mile WU (5 total)
  • Wednesday: 3 miles easy, Dogwalk, Pahla B Booty
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, 4 miles easy
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Pahla B Full Body with Dumbells
  • Saturday: 6 mile LSD, JY Full Body Recovery
  • Sunday: 1.5ish mile hike: Escarpment Trail @ Thatcher State Park

Mileage: 18 (+2)

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

Hot, hilly, but fun: Firecracker 4

Tuesday


I’ve been running the Firecracker 4 race on the fourth for 4 years now. Has a certain ring to it, no? I’ll recap it on Tuesday, I hope; it was a fun race and even more fun to go with friends.

Wednesday


I had a morning vet appointment with Bandit. Decided to switch things up a bit and ran a little over 2 miles and then got him to run the last little bit with me. I expected it to be super slow and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t.

This dog was a cool silhoette — until I got closer to photograph him!

Thursday


While it’s not impossible for me to run Thursday mornings, it’s hard for me to run and get a walk in before I have to leave for a meeting. And now that it’s warming up, that meant a pre-dinner run.

Mr. Judy warned me it might rain — I wish it had! Although the humidity wasn’t too bad, it was cloudy, and there was a nice breeze. Tried to get a pic of the big and little dogs on each side of the tire, but the minute I crossed the road to get closer they started to bark and run the fence line.

I’ve converted a few running buddies to the skirt

Saturday


Humid again, but with plenty of cloud cover. It’s almost always a good day when I get to run with friends, especially one I hadn’t seen since the beginning of the year. And thankfully the rain waited for long after we were done (since some of it was heavy and there was some thunder, too).

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Happy Adoptversary, Bandit! 

Favorites of the week
It was time for Bandit’s annual this week (can you believe that?). He was examined, got his rabies vaccination, got blood drawn, and his claws clipped, and no one got hurt (for those that don’t know, he bit the first vet I took him to after we’d had him for about a week last year). He did growl at the vet when she came in . . . apparently he has white coat syndrome.

In July Skirtsports does its #31daysofskirtsports. It’s a fun little game, where there’s a word prompt for each day. And the chance of prizes (and you don’t have to be in Skirtsports, either).

I got started on it last summer and then we adopted Bandit and that was the end of that. I’ve been having fun playing along on Instagram (you follow me, right?) this year.

After our run on Saturday, five of us went out for breakfast. We all enjoyed and had lots of laughs.

I really dithered on what to do on Sunday. First I tempted a friend to hike with me, then changed my mind (she had a lot to do anyway and I was kind of tired). Then I was going to go up to a Farmer’s Market. Then when Mr. Judy actually agreed to come out on a hike — who could refuse? Especially as the rain Saturday had blown in a lovely day today.

We headed to the park that we had thought about visiting last weekend, another one we’d been to once with Lola and Chester and never returned to. While it’s a beautiful park, it’s not at all well marked and the employees were less than helpful. The trail we had thought about doing last week was closed (which we knew, thankfully), as a woman was injured by a falling rock; I guess we dodged a bullet by not going last week!

We were off to a frustrating start trying to hunt down the trail, but eventually we figured it out and it was a nice, easy trail with some lovely views:

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And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Easy summer running or full on training (I’m still in a relatively easy phase)? 

Favorite way to stay active during the summer? 

What fruit and/or veggies are you loving lately?

5 Reasons to love summer running

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It happens every year: we spend all winter complaining about the elements, only to turn around and complain about the heat in summer. I won’t lie, running in the heat is not my favorite. Give me a nice 50ish degrees for race morning and I’m a happy camper.

There’s no denying, though, that there are some good things that come out of running in the heat.

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy and share reasons to get off the treadmill and out into the heat.

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Best Damn Race New Orleans was a sweatfest — but a PR — it taught me I can run well in the heat

It teaches you you can do hard things
You never know what race day will hand you. I have trained through cool spring weather only to be handed a scorching day on race day. A soggy race? Good reason to get out there and run in the rain — even if you don’t like rain.

Of course it feels dang hard to run when it’s warmer. When you do it anyway, you realize that it’s never as bad as you think it will be (well, almost). And it prepares you — mentally and physically — for all sorts of hard racing conditions.

It’s easier to fit in runs
It’s light when you get up and after you get home from work. It’s much easier to get out the door for those early morning runs or run in the evening — the sunrises and sunsets you’ll see are just an added bonus.

Maybe you’ll even run faster in the evening because you don’t want to run in the dark!

It’s easier to dress for a hot run than a cold one
I’m not saying that dressing for a hot run is necessarily easy — do you join the sports bra brigade or not (personally, I don’t). Continue to wear compression socks/sleeves (again, no thank you in the summer). Which running clothes will make you chafe?

It really feels good to be able to run without all the layers that colder weather requires. My biggest dilemmas are always where to stuff everything and how to bring water on the run — you’ll definitely need more water as the mercury rises.

I love running in just a tank and a skirt, though. I feel like I can move, even if the weather makes me move like a sloth.

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Still looking for some clear trails — but at least there’s no snow & ice!

I can hit up the trails
It doesn’t take long once the first snow hits before trails around here are not runnable — unless you’d like to do your long runs in yaktrax or put screws in your running shoes. Up here in the northeast we’re usually very limited in where we can run during the winter.

Some people can run the same place over and over and never get bored. And while I admit that I log an awful lot of miles in my neighborhood, I definitely do get bored with it.

I’m still working on finding trails that are close to me that are actually runnable, but I like mixing it up and trying to keep some trail running in my rotation — while I can.

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Was it last year’s summer running that led to my surprising PR in FL?

Faster fall racing
Running in the heat also has physiological impacts, like:

  • Improves the ability to control your temperature
  • Improves sweating (d’oh!)
  • Allows heart to pump out more blood

You can read this article for more information on how running in the heat can benefit your body. I am not a medical professional or coach, remember. The gist of it is that running in the heat may make you faster in the cooler weather.

I can tell you from experience that many of my fall half marathons have been PRs. Not all, for sure, but I am often pleasantly surprised after working hard all summer.

So let me know in the comments:

Do you believe that running in the summer heat will help you in fall races?

What’s your number one reason to get outside when it’s hot out?