sunday runday

Hot Chocolate 15K - Atlanta

I recently was able to travel to Atlanta to run my first ever Hot Chocolate Race - and also my first official 15K distance race.  Since I hadn't been to Atlanta since I was a freshman in high school, I was excited for the opportunity to not only run this sweet race series, I was also excited for the chance to see the city on foot - my favorite way to travel!  You'll find my race review for Hot Chocolate 15K below. 

This race was scheduled for the weekend of January 21-22.  While this would usually be a cold weekend to race, we had been experiencing quite the warm spell in this particular area for about a week and race day temperatures were going to be in the 60s by the finish of the race! I'm not one to complain about warm temperatures, but unfortunately in the south unseasonably warm weather also brings with it a chance of thunderstorms!  That's exactly what we dealt with on Saturday and Sunday in Atlanta.  Being nervous the race would be canceled, I went ahead and got in a half marathon distance run with a friend before deciding to travel down for the race expo.  Other events on Saturday had been canceled due to lightening.  After chatting with someone from the race on Twitter (@HotChocolate15K) I was more confident in the fact the race would be taking place as usual Sunday morning, so I packed up my stuff and headed down for my one-night racecation!

After getting to Atlanta I was so thankful I purchased the pre-race parking package offered on the website.  With all the events taking place in the city during this weekend (Women's March, Falcons in the playoffs, etc.) I was glad I had a place to go and didn't have to add time to driving around the city.  I was also excited to be able to meet up with two BibRave Pros - Samantha and Jessica!  We hit up an Atlanta Institution - The Vortex - for some pre-race grub.  After being up since 4 a.m. I was finally able to hit my hotel and get in bed about 10:30.  It had been a long day and I had an early wake up call for HC15K in the A.M. - race organizers recommended getting there before 6:30 a.m.!  I slept well until yet another absolutely wicked thunderstorm hit at 5 a.m.  Lightening so bright it woke me up with thunder so loud it shook the hotel (which was not easy to do being that I was near the airport!)

Three BibRave Pros ready to run ATL tomorrow!

Three BibRave Pros ready to run ATL tomorrow!

When I got up in the morning, thanks to Facebook and Twitter updates, it was easy to see race organizers had consulted with the NWS and there was no threat of storms during the race.  I really appreciated their profession and quick updates about the weather.  Being that I drove nearly 4 hours to get there and had to stay overnight, making sure I had the most up-to-date info was important to me.  Getting back downtown was super easy and I had no trouble getting to the assigned parking lot I registered for before the race.  Getting to the race venue, however, was a different story.  Thankfully, there were plenty of people who seemed to be familiar with downtown ATL because if I hadn't followed the crowd I would've been lost.  There was zero signage to let us know where anything was.  Granted, the maps were online, but if you're in a city you've never explored on foot you aren't going to find anything.  After wandering around and meeting up with Sam and Jess one more time for photos, I was also able to meet up with a fellow Spandits!/Altra ambassador Amanda!  After this, it was time to find my corral, which was thankfully much easier than finding the race location itself, and we were off!

The two best-dressed at Hot Chocolate 15K!

The two best-dressed at Hot Chocolate 15K!

The thing I loved about this race was the fact that you could use your times from previous races to get into "preferred corrals" and get ahead of the crowd early.  My qualifying times actually put me into the very first corral and it never felt crowded, especially because I took it easy from the beginning.  We left the Centennial Park area and ran straight toward the state capitol building.  The 5K runner split was only about 1 mile in, so the crowd thinned even more then!  After leaving the Capitol Building behind, we headed toward Turner Field.  Since I had run 13.1 miles the day before, I was in full on sightseeing mode and not at all concerned about time.  I stopped for photos and thank volunteers and spectators for coming out when we ran through the Phoenix Parks toward Grant Park.  There were a few gentle uphills and downhills during this part of the race.  We then ran toward Oakland Cemetery and skirted it for a few minutes.  

Capitol Building. 

Capitol Building. 

We took some turns on side roads and ran close to the MLK Jr. Historic site before running into the Old Fourth Ward and back towards Emory Medical Center.  More gentle hills, but they honestly weren't that bad.  This is the southeast after all!  We should know hills are part of the deal!  We were back into downtown and running past fraternity houses near Bobby Dodd Stadium before I knew it.  It was a short and quick downhill run into Centennial Park for the finish.  Thankfully, a race volunteer saw my cell phone drop out of my pocket and chased me down to return it!  I can't say enough great things about the volunteers in this race!  The finish line for the 5K and 15K was the same, but they kept it separated with a fence - something else I really appreciated to ease congestion at the finish line!  I received my finisher medal from some happy and enthusiastic volunteers before making my way through the crowd to get my finisher mug and snacks.  

Turner Field

Turner Field

The snacks in the finisher mug were phenomenal - the typical runner fare like bananas and pretzels, with the addition on a cup of hot chocolate, a giant marshmallow, some pirouette cookies, and a rice krispie treat - all of which were complimented by chocolate fondue!  I did some stretches with the thousands of others in Centennial Park and munched on my snacks, saving my hot chocolate for the walk back to my car.  Unfortunately, the signs back to the parking area were also non-existent and following the crowd didn't work well for me.  I had to use Google Maps to discover I had walked the wrong direction! On the way back, however, I saw a race photographer packing up his equipment and thanked him for being out this morning.  He took a great photo - the only one I have from the race - and I thanked him.  I was definitely happy to see all race photos are free from this race series, and I had notifications about photos emailed to me throughout the day. 

My free race photo! 

My free race photo! 

All in all, here's my list of pros and cons about Hot Chocolate 15K Atlanta: 

Cons: 
-Expo is required. I hate expos. No offense. I get it though, you have to go because that many volunteers at 4 a.m. on a race day to hand out packets is hard to coordinate!
-Parking is expensive.  I purchased parking ahead of time, which was $20 for both the expo and the race.  I'm glad I did this because Atlanta doesn't have a single free parking space in probably a 100-mile radius.  I even had to pay to park at my hotel for the 7 hours I was there. 
-Signage was non-existent.  Great for locals, but not so great for out-of-towners.

Pros: 
-Great finisher swag for the 15K.  You get a hoodie with thumbholes, free chocolate at the expo, and the tasty finisher mug!  Only the 15K runners get the cute chocolate bar medal. 
-Fun for sightseeing.  Like I mentioned early on, I hadn't been to Atlanta in years. I got to see a lot of it on foot in only an hour and a half!
-Easy course.  For the 15K there was only a 380-foot elevation gain.  There was actually more downhill than uphill.  This was a relaxing and easy run for me. 
 

I loved this race so much I signed up for the race in Nashville in two weeks!  I can't wait to share my experience with you guys from that race!  Have you ever run a "fun run" race series before? What about Hot Chocolate? Would YOU run for chocolate?!

 

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to review Hot Chocolate 15K - Atlanta as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Sunday Runday - Week 14 of Marathon Training

My final week is here!  I cannot believe I've spent nearly 4 months of my life training for something. With this being my final week and the marathon being at the end of the week, I'm going to use this post to summarize all my feelings about the week.  I'll be doing a recap of the race for my Sunday Runday post next week.  Here's everything I got to do this week: 

Monday - ZERO MILES. I mean zero. I didn't even walk my dog today, which was fine because she took herself for a walk!  This afternoon I had a lot of posts to schedule for the blog and was outdoors testing some gear and refreshing my bear line tossing skills when my dog picked up a scent and ran off.  An hour later, NoKey picked her up running down the road with a giant raspberry briar dragging from her tail and hind legs.  We should have punished her, but she just seemed so happy to have taken an adventure that we just let it go. 

Tuesday - 8 mile work hike.  I had to hike the beautiful Ramseys Cascade Trail for work today (I know, what an awful task, right?!)  This hike is considered more strenuous, but hiking approximately 1-1.5 miles per hour isn't really strenuous for the guides.  I got my legs out and moving today, which is helping to keep me sane during my taper!

Wednesday - 3 easy miles.  I took to the greenway near my house for three easy effort miles, again, just to keep my legs loose.  I did some extra stretching and foam rolling for good measure. 

Thursday - 1.5 hour easy nature walk. Today is a big day for me as my boss finally signed me off to be a full fledged hiking guide!  It's really more of a formality being that I've already been out leading my own backpacking trips, but for day hikes we have to cram a lot of information into shorter hours.   I was given her blessing as a guide with the only feedback being to project myself more.  As a tiny lady, I can definitely stand to work on this!

Friday - 2 miles gentle hiking (work hike).  At the last minute a co-worker booked a hike in one of my favorite areas of the park - Greenbrier.  As a last minute add on I couldn't be more thrilled.  Like I said, taper madness is KILLING ME!  

Saturday - 3 miles hiking plus a long walk with my dog.  I should have run today, but my clients were an HOUR late for my hike, then I had to drive out to Knoxville to pick up my race packet. I really HATE when races don't offer pickup on the same day as the event.  It's really inconvenient when it's a 2-hour round trip drive.  I've never enjoyed race expos because I don't have all the extra money to pay for the overpriced T-shirts and stickers. I didn't get home until 5 p.m. It was a LONG DAY, but at least staying busy helped keep my mind off the event. 

Sunday - RACE DAY! I got up at 5 a.m. and was so nervous.  My first marathon... I can't believe after all this it's finally here.  I'm going to post a race recap in two weeks, but I will tell you that I finished, finished strong after a few crappy (and I mean crappy) miles in the middle of the race.  I finished in 4:25:05, but I think if I hadn't had stomach issues I could have done it in 4:15;00.  I'll be back next year Knoxville Marathon!

Well guys, that's it! My marathon training is complete.  My work schedule really makes it too hard for me to run in the spring, summer and fall.  My next scheduled race isn't until December - the Millinocket Marathon with NoKey!  He will be running his first ever half marathon then and I'm hoping to add a few 10K's or half marathons to my schedule in the fall as well.  Only time will tell how much training I'll be able to squeeze in.  I am going to run some miles here and there and I've set a goal of running twice per week for the next few months just to maintain some level of fitness for my legs.  With my job as a hiking guide I'll still be getting in plenty of miles, but something inside of me really wants to keep running.  

I'm linking up with the Women's Running Community Share-it Saturday!

Women's Running Community

Sunday Runday - Week 8 of Marathon Training

This week saw me nursing what could turn into a nasty injury and also saw me hit my mid-point training slump.  Running is NOT appealing to me this week.  But then again, not a whole lot is appealing to me this week.  All the gray skies and canceled hikes I've dealt with since the snow last week have really put me into a funk.  Add to that the fact that we had to send our coffee maker back to Amazon and you've got one under caffeinated, tired lady. Here's how my week of training went down. 

Monday - Rest day.  I had a run scheduled, but after walking my dog I was having some peroneal tendon pain.  It had been tender since my 15-miler over the weekend and I have been rolling it out with Yoga Tune Up balls and icing/heating it.  It didn't feel strong enough to run so I took a rest day. 

Tuesday - 3.1 miles; speed work.  With the help of the ever talented and amazing Abby from Back At Square Zero I am trying to mix up my training with some new ideas.  She recommended I try doing the easy/hard method for training and today I went hard!  I did a half mile run, 2 miles of fast and hard running, and a half mile of cool down.  It was hard, I sweat buckets, and I was exhausted after.  I was also exhilarated!  It felt great, but my foot was still flaring up.  More icing at home!

Wednesday - Cross Training; Zuzka Light's Bunny Slope Workout followed by Leslie Fightmaster's Yoga for Hip Opening.  I had a 7-mile run scheduled, but I don't want to push it on my foot!  More icing and stretching today. 

Thursday - 4 miles trail running. I was supposed to have a guided hike today, but the clients were no shows.  No big deal - I had already planned on running the relatively wide and pretty Gatlinburg Trail that afternoon anyway!  It was sunny and 50 degrees.  My foot felt a lot better and I had no pain during the run.  It was a really hard run and I was breathing pretty hard, but it was also about 20 degrees warmer than it has been lately!

Friday - 3 miles guided hike, 3 miles dog walking.  I did a guided hike in the morning with a client who needed to basically cut the time of the hike in half.  We went at a nice pace and then I came home and took my dog for a 3-mile walk in the warm sunshine.  It was 70 degrees by the afternoon and a perfect day!

Saturday - 15 miles running.  Today was supposed to be 16 miles.  Remember how I said I'd been feeling run down all week? I felt kind of crappy this morning too.  I felt incredibly dehydrated, but I knew I wasn't.  I set out for my run loaded up with Nuun on my new hydration belt.  It was very windy and incredibly humid.  My run took me past an area by our enormous town compost facility and through the crowded, exhaust-filled strip of Pigeon Forge.  By mile 12 I was getting tired and at mile 14.1 I bonked.  I paused my Garmin, drank the last of my Nuun and rallied until mile 15.  I then walked the extra half mile back to my car as a cool down, scarfing down a honey roasted peanut Luna bar.  I don't consider this run failed as I only missed it by a mile and I had already walked my dog, so technically, I'd done 17.5 miles by the end of my run.  I'll call it a win!

Sunday - REST!  I did a nice 45-minute flow yoga workout and some foam rolling on my legs and feet.  Here's to hoping next week is a little bit kinder to me!

That was my week in training.  My next race is the Knoxville Marathon on April 3rd.  Are you training for anything?  How did your week go?  Let me know in the comments or over on the Facebook post!

Women's Running Community


Sunday Runday - Week 7 of Marathon Training

This week I really needed to shake off my disappointing race finish from last Saturday at the Strawberry Plains Half Marathon.  After sulking all day Sunday, I turned it around this week and, with the help of a blogging friend, I have a new plan in place for the next few weeks.  I also won a free virtual race entry from another blog, so I am planning to run a 30K the last weekend in February.  I have something in between my bad finish last week and my marathon in only 6 weeks (eeek!).  Here's how my week went: 

Monday - 3 easy miles running. I needed to do an easy run and needed to visit the laundromat today.  Lucky for me the laundromat sits right in front of the greenway here in my town.  I threw the stuff in the washer and hit the path for a quick and fast 5K.  I kept trying to slow down, but ended up just letting myself go with the flow.  It was an amazing run. 

Tuesday - Runner's Strength and Balance (Nike Training Club); 16 minutes; Leslie Fightmaster Yoga Fix 90 - Day 3 flow with Bird of Paradise

Wednesday - 8.6 STRONG miles!  It was cold today.  It was windy today. I knew I needed to get in my miles.  I ran the first 6 miles with the wind in my face, but the final 2.5 were downhill with the wind at my back.  I ran really strong and it felt great!

Foam rolling hurts so nice...! But it keeps my legs so happy. 

Foam rolling hurts so nice...! But it keeps my legs so happy. 

Thursday - Two long walks with the dog for 5 miles.  My dog had been a little under the weather earlier in the week, but pestered me twice for some walks today.  I think she overdid it because she is worn out again at the end of the day.  

Friday - Planned 3 fast miles; instead Leslie Fightmaster's 30 minute Detox yoga.  So it snowed again, which in the south means we can't do things.  They finally cleared the roads around 1 p.m., but I knew the greenways and sidewalks wouldn't be clear so I scrapped my plan and did a total body detox yoga flow instead.  

Saturday - 15 miles running. Yeah, 15 miles.  I still can't believe I did it!  I'm so excited and impressed. I was going to do one huge loop around two of the towns I live near, but I didn't want to carry water in my hands, so I made two loops and stopped by my car around mile 8.5 for a hydration break.  I was getting kind of tired at mile 12, but kept pushing.  I was on a huge runner's high the rest of the day.  It also helped that I knew my mom was cooking a big turkey dinner as we had family in town.  I got some good recovery food on a few hours later!

So excited about my big miles! 

So excited about my big miles! 

Sunday - REST.  Yeah. I deserve it after yesterday I think.  Today was Valentine's Day and NoKey totally surprised me by showing up with a brand new hydration belt!  I wasn't expecting him to get me a gift at all, so to say I'm shocked is an understatement!  I can't wait to test this baby out a few times next week. 

A new piece of gear!  And it's purple/pink!  This means it pretty much matches every single outfit I own. 

A new piece of gear!  And it's purple/pink!  This means it pretty much matches every single outfit I own. 

That sums up my week pretty well!  The next race I'm training for is the Knoxville Marathon on April 3rd!  Are you in the process of training for anything?  How did your week go? Leave me a comment here or over on the Facebook page!

Sunday Runday - Week 6 of Marathon Training

This week was my taper for the Strawberry Plains Half Marathon.  As luck would have it, I had guide training at work in the early part of the week and a hike in the middle of the week.  While I didn't get much running in this week, I was able to stay active!  Here was how my week in running went: 

Monday, 2-1: Hiking guide training - approximately 3 miles hiked.  We only did a bit of walking today, seeing the shorter and easier nature trails for short hour-long programs.  We also went out to the historic homes in Elkmont and did a talk about lightening safety.  It was rainy and cold today, so it was nice we got finished a little early!

Tuesday, 2-2: Hiking guide training - approximately 1 mile hiked.  We learned some other important skills during training today - knot tying, setting up tarps, and running a few medical scenarios.  I did a presentation with facts about the Appalachian Trail and one of our guides took us up on the AT at Newfound Gap for a short walk in ancient old growth forest.  The three new guides, Bethany, Matt, and Myself finished out the day by doing a tag-team group hike around a nature trail showing off the new facts we'd learned. 

The crazy group of talented people I get to call co-workers!

The crazy group of talented people I get to call co-workers!

Wednesday, 2-3: 5 miles.  I was supposed to have a hike today, but torrential rains overnight made our trail unsafe.  I was able to get some housework done, and did a five mile run as a shakeout. 

Thursday, 2-4: 8 miles hiking.  I did a job shadowing today with another guide.  We took one client up to Ramsey Cascade on a long day hike.  Today is the first time I've ever been up to Ramsey's Cascade and been completely alone without anyone else on trail.  I got to learn some more about different trees and identification during the winter, which was really exciting!

The beautiful Ramsey's Cascades! 

The beautiful Ramsey's Cascades! 

Friday, 2-5: 3 miles.  I took a quick 3.2 mile shakeout run in the warm afternoon sun, just to make sure my legs still felt strong and fresh after working around my strange schedule this week!

Saturday, 2-6: 13.1 miles - Strawberry Plains Half Marathon.  I really hoped to run not only a PR for this race, but also to run a sub 2-hour half marathon.  Around mile 10 I figured out this wasn't going to happen and was absolutely deflated.  I did run my last 2 miles very strong, but ended up running 2:05:10.  I cried a little, but after I got some food I rallied for a proper finish photo. I'm really, really sad about my finish time, as I had really trained hard and remained injury free for this race.  My next half isn't until December 2016, so I have plenty of time to whittle down my time. 

Sunday, 2-7: Active rest.  All I'm doing today is walking my dog and stuffing my face with food during SuperBowl Sunday!  Next week I'll be running faster and adding in some extra mileage as I ramp up my marathon training!  

In case you missed it, I still have an SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt giveaway running until 2-9-16 from a post last week.  Click here to enter and, if you just can't wait to see if you won, use the link to purchase one from Amazon on sale!

I am contemplating signing up for a 30K at the end of February, but as for now my next race is the Knoxville Marathon on April 3rd, 2016.  What are you training for?  How was your week in running? Leave me a comment!

Women's Running Community


Tried it Tuesday - SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt (#Giveaway, Review, and Discount!)

Disclaimer: I was sent this belt for free in exchange for an HONEST review.  All opinions are my own, and y'all KNOW I wouldn't recommend any gear I wouldn't use myself! I did not receive any other compensation, nor will I if you use the link below to purchase the belt. 

Regardless of whether you're reading my blog  because you're a runner or a hiker, I know you like new gear.  All of us do.  When I was offered the opportunity to try this new SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt I jumped at the chance!  Not only would this come in handy for running, which I'm doing a LOT of these days, it would also be great for me on a day hike!  My day hiking pack doesn't offer a hip belt and I've been thinking of upgrading, but now I don't have to!  I am really excited to share my thoughts on this belt with you guys and also offer a giveaway at the end of the post!

This  run belt  can hold an iPhone 6 in a waterproof case on one side and then fuel and your car key in the other!  It's got a buckle and elastic waist band too!  SLS3  has thought of everything!

This run belt can hold an iPhone 6 in a waterproof case on one side and then fuel and your car key in the other!  It's got a buckle and elastic waist band too! SLS3 has thought of everything!

My old running belt is a Flip Belt.  While I do like the belt, lately I've been having issues with my phone falling out of it on runs, and usually it falls out, no joke, when I'm crossing an intersection. Seeing that this belt had a zipper, I knew that problem would no longer be in my future!  Another thing about the Flip Belt is that it's one continuous piece of fabric.  While it holds a lot, you have to slip it on over your head or put it on like a skirt.  Taking it off in public places sometimes gets you weird looks!  This SLS3 belt has a clip at the waist.  Not just a regular clip, but a heavy duty clip like you would see on a backpack.  This thing is going to snap in place and stay put. 

I snapped this belt on for a 7-mile run this week and decided to try it out in between layers.  I put it on over my merino undershirt, but underneath my long sleeved top.  You can hardly even tell I'm wearing it, which is another great feature.  It's awkward when you've got a belt that makes you look all lumpy underneath.  This one is sleek and fits well.  I especially appreciate the elastic in the waist band, as it stays snug and secure without riding up, which my Flip Belt also does after a few sweaty miles.  I ran the entire seven miles without this thing moving one time.  I took it out again the next day for 7 more miles and again it felt comfortable.  Today, however, I did have problems with the belt migrating.  It didn't ride up, but it did spin around a bit and ended up on me sideways for quite a bit of the run.  I didn't feel like fooling with it as my pace was great, so I left it alone.  It didn't bother me or feel weird, just having the weight of my phone on my side was a little strange. 

If I didn't have headphones on, you wouldn't even notice I'm wearing a  running belt !

If I didn't have headphones on, you wouldn't even notice I'm wearing a running belt!

After running twice with this belt, I decided to take it on trail with me for a few hikes!  My day pack doesn't have a hip belt, so I can wear the belt and a backpack while out just for a day.  I used the belt to carry my lip balm and car key in one pocket and my ID, debit card, and some cash in the other.  I honestly forgot I was even wearing the belt.  It sat comfortably and didn't rub my back, even where the belt and the pack were riding in the same place.  Again, I wore this belt over my merino undershirt but under a long-sleeved tech shirt.  

So this belt sounds pretty cool, right?  Well, thanks to SLS3 you have the chance to win one for yourself!  Use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win!

Don't want to wait and see if you're a winner? You can buy this belt right now in the SLS3 Amazon store for 57% off at a special introductory price - only $12.90 instead of the usual $29.00.  Here's the link ----->  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017DRIKFY

Do you own a belt for hiking or for running? Which color belt would you want if you won? Leave me a comment below!

Info about the giveaway: The giveaway will be running from Feb. 2, 2016 until Feb. 9th, 2016. Winner will be notified via email (if available) and/or blog post, and will have 24 hours to claim prize.  If original winner does not claim prize within 24 hours, an alternate winner(s) will be selected.  Contestants must enter on the Giveaway widget in order to win.  All winning entries will be verified. If a winning entry cannot be verified as completed, a new winner will be drawn.  Winner will be provided the prize directly from SLS3.  Substitutions unlikely but may apply.  Sprinkles Hikes is not responsible for failure of sponsor to deliver product.

 

I am linking up with Running with SD Mom and Erica Finds so others can enter to #WinAllThePrizes too!

Women's Running Community

Sunday Runday - Week 4 of Marathon Training

I apologize for not having too much in last week’s post other than training details!  I meant to write it before I published and it just slipped my mind.  Let’s delve into this week’s training by looking at the weather.  Winter is finally here in the Southeast.  We got about an inch and a half of snow at our house on Wednesday.  That minute amount of snow, however, means that the entire town shuts down. No mail, no garbage pickup, no salting the roads.  It was eerily quiet at our house up on the hill, where we usually hear traffic in the winter due to the leaves falling off the trees.  I was hoping the snow wouldn’t damper my training plan this week.  Here’s how I did. 

Monday: Strength and Balance for Runners (16 min) - NTC.  This workout was sort of yoga-lates.  It was fun with light weights and strength training. 

Tuesday - 7.5 miles in the cold; 35-minute yin yoga cool down. It was 17 degrees with a real feel of 10 when I headed out for my tempo run.  The sun was shining and there was minimal traffic.  I didn’t see a single other person on the Greenway.  I planned to run 7, but felt so good I decided to run an extra half mile lap around the park before stretching. 

Wednesday - Full Body Balance Yoga - Leslie Fightmaster (35 min).  This balancing class was tough on my legs, but I definitely could tell how much better I am getting at yoga.  Poses like twisted half moon actually stuck and my legs are getting more flexible.  I can’t believe how far I’ve come. 

Anywhere is a trail when you have snow! 

Anywhere is a trail when you have snow! 

Thursday - 1 mile - failed running attempt.  The snow melted and the roads looked great, so I headed down for a run. After a short 0.6 miles i noticed a pulling-type pain in my Achilles tendon on my right foot.  I tried to run through it, but it continued so I quit at 1 mile. I canceled out my Garmin and started walking back to my car.  When I got to the lot I tried running again, but it definitely pulled harder, so I cut my losses and headed home to put a heating pad on the Achilles and foam rolled a few times. 

Friday - Goal Getter (18 Min) NTC.  My Achilles was still sore on my afternoon dog walk, so I decided to do some cross training instead.  This short workout got me to sweat, so I'm happy with that. 

Saturday - Walking in the snow (!) for an hour with Gracie and NoKey.  Since we were all home and we didn't have anything better to do, we took a snowy walk with the dog.  The main road near our house had been salted and since we only got about 2 inches of fine, powdery snow it made for a beautiful walk.  Below are a few photos NoKey took of the neighborhood.  I love living up on a mountain!

A snowy scene. 

A snowy scene. 

The road is clear! 

The road is clear! 

Sunday - 12 slow miles. This is my last run before my taper weeks before my next big race. I was starting to feel some Achilles pain around 8.75 miles, so I ran by my car, paused the Garmin, and took a water break while walking for about 2 minutes.  This breather was just what I needed to push through.  I wanted to quit at 10 miles, but I just ran two bigger loops to get the 12 done.  I didn't have what it took mentally, but somehow pulled through just fine.  I came home and did the Yoga With Adrienne runners cool down yoga and did some foam rolling to help out my Achilles. I can't get an injury now!

Well, that’s how my training went for the week.  The next race I’m doing is the Strawberry Plains Half Marathon on February 6th.  How did your training go? 

Women's Running Community

Sunday Runday - Week 3 of Marathon Training

Monday 1-11: Advanced Yoga (45 min) - Nike Training Club.  I seriously cannot wait for Friday when I'm done with this program.  The yoga on this app is terrible! On the positive side, my wrist is starting to feel better. 

Tuesday 1-12: 7 mile tempo run.  This run felt great and my times are getting faster, back to where they were before my injury. 

Wednesday 1-13: Slacker today. I was supposed to do a 30 minute NTC workout and planned some yoga afterward.  I honestly didn't feel like it and instead did a 3-mile walk with my dog and baked a lemon cake.  Worth it! :) 

Thursday 1-14: 5 miles w/cadence & step work.  This was my first ever attempt at cadence & step work!  The goal was to run 0:30 at full pace and then walk for 1:00 for six cycles.  I needed to count my steps to make sure my strides were efficient.  Bad news is I'm terrible with numbers, so I took a little tip from my WFR Training and duct taped my leg and carried a Sharpie. I was able to write down all my steps and continue running!

Step work with a little hikertrash ingenuity! 

Step work with a little hikertrash ingenuity! 

Friday 1-15: Conditioning Corps - NTC (30 minutes).  Since I'm thankfully finished with my Nike Training club conditioning plan, I could chose my own workout.  I chose this beginner workout that used light weights and my knees were so happy without all the lunges and squats of the intermediate program!

Saturday 1-16: Long run - 11 miles. My legs were toast this morning.  I didn't want to do the run at all, but tomorrow's forecast shows temps about 20 degrees cooler with snow in the high elevations, meaning that there will be freezing rain or sleet down in the foothills of the Smokies, where I train.  I dragged myself out of the house after breakfast and put in the miles.  The first 6 felt amazing, but then the hill on mile 7 crushed my pace and I never recovered.  The run was slow, but it's done. 

Sunday 1-17: Active rest.  My body is tired after this week.  I think it's due to the weather being kind of a mess.  I took a nice hot Epsom bath and did Leslie Fightmaster's Vinyasa Evening Flow class on Youtube.  I'm hoping my paces look better next week after some rest!

My favorite hip stretch - Cowface pose. Definitely needed after this week! 

My favorite hip stretch - Cowface pose. Definitely needed after this week! 

Well, that was my week!  How was your week? Are you training for an event? I'd love to chat with you - leave me a comment!

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