Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 by the numbers

Blogging to you from sorta sunny Jacksonville as I wait for my delayed flight back home.

I was bored so I thought I'd look at my numbers from 2013.

Miles run 767.
Miles biked 813.
Miles swam 13.
Miles walked 29.
Total miles 1622.

200 mile relay - my first
25k - PR'd
6 half marathons - PR'd
2 10ks - PR'd
Sprint triathlon

Weight: no change from 1/2/13 to 12/18/13 (the last time I weighed in). I'm sure it's up after the holidays & vacation.

I finished the year with my 10th half marathon and while I'm very proud of getting to double digits and setting PR after PR, I'm disappointed in my performance on this race. I can validly blame my injury, the heat & humidity but those factors really don't make me feel better. I owe you all a recap from the Jax Bank Half and when I can write one without my inner mean girl coming out, I will. For now, I give you the last sunrise of 2013 from the beach in Jacksonville, FL.

Thank you, everyone, for all your encouragement this year. Happy New Year & wishes for a wonderful 2014.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 27, 2013

Jax Bank Half: midnight thoughts & goals

I hadn't planned on posting today but I'm wide awake in the middle of the night so I figured I'd use my insomnia wisely.

My flight to Jacksonville leaves in about 11 hours (probably the cause of my insomnia since I'm not a big fan of flying) and I'm laying here thinking about the race in 2 days.

I know I said there would not be time goals posted. I'm not backing down from that. However, I do have numbers in my head because that's just who I am. I've had some good runs the past 2 weeks but I'm still dealing with constant heel pain and now some knee pain on the opposite side because I'm sure I'm subconsciously altering my gait or something. I've raced injured before but not quite like this. I'll let you know next week what I decided to do with those numbers and how much my heel impacted my run. With the weather forecasting rain and in all likelihood humidity, this may just be a splash in the puddles and have fun sort of race. Mostly I'm looking forward to the DailyMile meetup Friday night. The run is just a bonus at this point :)

If you'd like to track me during the race, you can download the free RaceJoy app (droid & apple versions I think). Sorry I'm too lazy to try and find the link. Scroll down to select the Jacksonville Bank Marathon and search for my bib number 1482. If my phone & the app are working it's supposed to use GPS tracking to show where I am on the course. I'll probably also set it up to post to FB and twitter. If there is rain of biblical proportions, I will probably leave my phone in the car & the on-course markers will track me instead. Otherwise, watch for the Instagram of a tired me with my bling sometime Sunday morning (at least I hope it's still morning when I finish) because not finishing is not an option.

It's now even more middle of the night than it was when I started this and I'm yawning so I should try and sleep before I need to head to the airport. Have a great weekend, friends!

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

#TBT: My First Half Marathon

October 2010 - Grand Rapids (Half) Marathon

In 3 days I'll run my 10th half marathon. I've come a long way, baby :)

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I'm now officially "on vacation". Blogging will resume next week.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Sending Christmas love and prayers for many blessings in the new year.

Xoxo, Bari

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Jax Bank Half - Almost Go Time!

Merry Christmas Eve!!

How is it that I'm getting on a plane in 3 days to head to Florida????  The past couple weeks have flown by with school finishing up before break (with a bonus day off because of an ice storm!) and now Christmas this week.  I find myself making lists and starting to pack, but afraid I'm going to forget something in the shuffle.

The past week was a good one for training once I worked the kinks out.  I think I've figured out my shoe issue at least for the race - I'm racing in my new Mizuno Wave Elixir 8s.  My race-day outfit is yet to be determined though.  Good thing Southwest allows for 2 checked bags :)

Here was my last official week of training.

Monday 12-16-13 RUN 3.1 in 31:45 (10:14 pace)

Tuesday 12-17-13 RUN 1 mile in about 12 minutes.  I wanted to get outside after a long day but the snow and ice kicked my ass and I quit after only a mile.

Wednesday 12-18-13 RUN 5 miles in 49:40 (9:56 pace). This was actually two 2.5 mile runs back-to-back as I tried out 2 new pair of shoes.  Felt good to get a relatively fast run in.

Thursday 12-19-13 BIKE 5 miles in 21:09 (14.2 mph) then stretching for another 15 min.

Friday 12-20-13 REST (except for walking around the mall)

Saturday 12-21-13 RUN 10 miles in 1:44:44 (10:28 pace).  Another long treadmill run and this one went well.  Last long run before Jax.

Sunday 12-22-13 REST

I'm excited for my trip and looking forward to the race, but mostly I'm looking forward to getting out of the snow and ice and meeting up with some friends for beers.  Can't wait to see Marcia and BethBob, plus some other DailyMile peeps!  Gonna be a great time with a little 13.1 run thrown in.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Motivation Monday: race strategy

I found my plan for next weekend's half marathon.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Fitness Friday: weatherstalking

I leave for Jacksonville in exactly 1 week *SQUEEE* which means the Jax Bank Half is in 9 days. Close enough that I can legitimately start weather stalking.

The weather for driving to Chicago & flying out looks promising so far. (Knock on wood, fingers crossed)

And while Jacksonville doesn't have exactly the best beach forecast, it's looking pretty decent for running a half marathon on Sunday. Plus I probably don't have to worry about my shorts not fitting.

I'm guessing the temps will be around 50 at race time, which is on the border for sleeves or no sleeves. I'm leaning towards a tank top & skirt combo with the expectation my arms will stay cold. Multiple options will be packed though (thank you Southwest for 2 free checked bags - I might need them both).

One more long run tomorrow to put my Mizuno Wave Elixir 8s through their final test & then it's taper time!

How early do you weather stalk for races?

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

#TTT - mini thanks

Gonna be brief on this one. You're welcome.

1. I'm thankful that these Mizunos have potential.

2. I'm thankful for the advice of a really good friend.

3. I'm thankful Squirt has a sense of humor and no front claws. She says "Meowy Christmas".

What are you thankful for this week?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Running shoes: lucky number 7? #runchat

Sit down, kids.  Grab a beverage. I'd like to tell you a little story about 7 pairs of running shoes and my quest to find the perfect pair.  Because my foot is a little on the wide side, finding shoes that fit is difficult.  I don't really need a wide width (except my Asics are a wide) because most wides are actually too big.  If a shoe does come in a wide width, most stores don't even carry them - you have to special order.  It's dumb but it is what it is.  Since my race is in less than 11 days, I don't have time for that shit.
From left to right, my shoes for the past 2 years.

Asics GT 2170 (grey and purple) - I've run in Asics GT 2170s (or whatever number their predecessors were) from the time I started running.  When I had my stress fracture and started running again, everyone said I needed MORE support.  I tried the newer GT 2000 and hated it.  Too much support and they hurt my feet.  I had doctors telling me I needed orthotics and other crap too, but whatever I tried just made my shin still hurt and I felt like I wasn't getting better.  Then, my PT suggested something very radical - that I probably had been running with too much support and I should try Newtons.

2011 Newton Gravity (orange) - LIGHT BULB! It took some time to transition to a shoe with a 4 or 5 mm drop, but transition I did.  I set PR after PR in these shoes and they will always hold a special place in my heart.  They were on my feet for the Martian Half (17 minute PR), Rivertown Half (3rd fastest half), River Bank Run 25k (11 minute PR), Reeds Lake 10k (9 minute PR), and then Bayshore Half (another 3 min PR from Martian), and then my first relay - The Fred - where I ran 18 miles in less than 24 hours.  Yes, a lot of hard work went into those 10k, half and 25k PRs but I attribute a lot of it to learning to run more midfoot in my Newtons.  Obviously, all that racing and training did a number on those shoes and they needed to be retired. By the time The Fred came around, I was having heel and achilles issues, probably from overtraining and my shoes wearing out.

2012 Newton Gravity (blue and green) - I bought these shoes and something was not right.  They felt HUGE.  I exchanged them for a half size smaller and started really feeling some issues with my heel.  I wore them with heel cups for the Wine Trail Half and it really sucked.  My body was telling me I went a bit overboard this year.  I don't really blame the shoes, but I think the fit not being quite right contributed to my heel spurs.

2013 Newton Gravity (hot pink and blue) - I decided that maybe there was something flawed in the 2012 Newtons so I ordered the 2013 version.  These seemed to run very narrow and my runs in them left me with numbness and tingling in my right foot (the "good" side).  Wearing shoes a bit too tight probably have given me either a neuroma or I have a fracture.  At this point, I'm not finding out until after Jax.  These are currently sitting in the box waiting to be shipped back. *sad face*

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 (black) - This was a completely new shoe to me and I was excited to be able to review it for the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans's holiday gift guide.  The Inspire line is a highly structured but very light shoe.  I was skeptical and sadly, my gut instincts were right.  I only managed about 4 miles total in these shoes.  This shoe had so much support that it hurt my arches.  Did you know you aren't supposed to "feel" the support in your running shoes?  If they press into your arch, they have way too much support.  These are also sitting in the box.  I can wear them for walking around but will never run in them.

Hoka One One Bondi Speed 2 (white, red and orange) - I ordered these out of sheer desperation.  I was able to borrow my girlfriend's Bondi 2 and although it was way too big, I liked the cushioning.  (These shoes are insanely cushioned but still quite light).  Do you notice anything in the picture when you compare this shoe with all the others?  How about the fact it's about 2 sizes too big?  I think these could have had potential, but if you have baby feel like me (about a 7-8 in running shoes) you are pretty much out of luck in Hokas.  They run very big and the ones I ordered only come in men's sizing.  This is the smallest size they carry.  Also sitting in the box waiting to be shipped back.

Mizuno Wave Elixir 8 (blue and orange) - Also a completely new shoe to me and just purchased last night at our local running store.  I'm getting very desperate. I love the look of this shoe - it actually feels like a racing flat and is very light, but it isn't a racing flat at all.  This shoe has very little support but a lot of cushioning in the heels, to the point of a 13mm heel to toe differential (for comparison, the industry average drop is about 12mm).  This is HUGE, especially since I'm used to running with 8mm (Asics) or 4mm (Newtons).  It also has almost no cushioning in the forefoot to allow for a more powerful toe-off.  This part worries me for my run this afternoon.  I already have issues with my forefoot from the neuroma or whatever and I'm afraid they are going to hurt.  I ran 1/2 mile at the store in them fine, but that 5 minutes was nothing compared to a 2+ hour half marathon.  I also feel like I'm taking a giant step backwards in that I had transitioned to a more minimal running shoe and now I'm clear at the other end of the spectrum.  I'll put them to the test this afternoon.  I know that already being broken, there will be no miracle shoe that will all of a sudden make all the hurt go away, but I'd like to get through a run without limping.  Stay tuned.

In case you missed it - Corey won my book giveaway! Congrats, Corey.
Have you ever had this much trouble finding a running shoe?  What is your favorite shoe to wear?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jax Bank Half - T minus 12 days!

Some of you may be counting down the days until Christmas (for the record, it's 8).  But I'm counting down the days until my next half marathon and trying not to freak out about all the snow we've been getting and whether my flight on the 27th (10 days!!!) will take off as planned.

Training while injured has resulted in some re-evaluation of race goals.  Basically, my only goal at this point is to have a great weekend and come home with some new bling.  I will not be posting any time goals for this race.  Whatever happens, happens. (Although, for the most part I'm doing ok - shit hurts after I run to varying degrees but during the actually running parts it's tolerable.)

I'm even planning to start my vacation a day early now by hanging out with my friend Nancy and her family.  Super excited to see her again because it's been WAYYYY too long, snuggle her cute grandkids, and have a 2 hour shorter drive to the airport the next morning.  It takes a really special friend to open her home the day after Christmas and Nancy is that friend.

Onto my weekly recap (from now until the race, all of my running will probably be done inside - I'm trying to acclimate to FL weather and would prefer to not kill myself on the icy roads).

Monday 12/9/13 - RUN 3 miles in 31:20 (10:26 pace).  This was my first run in Mizuno Wave Inspire 10s. It was not love at first run.

Tuesday 12/10/13 - BIKE 11 miles on the basement trainer in 46:48 (14.1 mph).  I think I'm faster outside, probably because the trainer might actually be more boring than the treadmill.

Wednesday 12/11/13 - RUN 2 miles in 20:40 (10:20 pace).  Total clusterf*ck at work left me zero time to get in the 4 miles I was supposed to do.  Did a quick 2 on the mill at my girlfriend's before kid duties took over.  Got to try out her Hoka One Ones.  Went home and ordered a pair in what I thought was my size but they ended up HUGE.  I'm obviously getting desperate and I feel like I'm never going to find a shoe that doesn't hurt.  It's looking like my 10th half will be run in the same shoes I ran my 5th half marathon in. Kids - don't try this at home.

Thursday 12/12/13 - RUN 4 miles in 39:44 (9:56 pace).  This was a 2x1600 tempo that was basically a fail.  Nowhere close to hitting the goal paces (8:40s) but at least I was in the low 9s (9:10 and 9:03).  I'm officially back to my old Asics 2170s for now. They are probably close to 2 years old and starting to hurt my knees, but I have no other options at this point.

Friday 12/13/13 - BIKE somewhere around 8 miles in around 40 minutes.  My Garmin died within about 10 minutes of getting on the trainer, so I just biked through two DVRd sitcoms.

Saturday 12/14/13 - RUN 10 miles in 1:44:47 (10:28 pace).  I set a treadmill PR today.  Thanks to everyone who "voted" last Friday - I watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  At least it kept me from total boredom, but this was still a very long morning.  I wouldn't recommend treadmilling it for 10 miles but at least I got my run completed.

Sunday 12/15/13 - SHOVELING.  It sucks. My arms were so sore on Monday.

I'm hoping the next 2 weeks go well and I get to Jacksonville no worse for the wear than I am right now.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Motivation Monday

I got busted just the other day for breaking this rule. Probably one of the hardest things for me is not comparing myself to others.

Own your path.

While you're here, don't forget to enter my giveaway! Contest ends on Wednesday.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fitness Friday: going for a PR!

Got a little email today :)

I was a bit concerned because the site said confirmations would come out on Dec 2nd and here it is, Friday the 13th.  At least now I know I'm registered!

As for that PR?  I'm going to attempt my longest treadmill run ever tomorrow - 10 miles.  The weather here has been awful and while I'm fine running in snow, I have to draw the line at ice.  Also, I learned a huge lesson while training for Disney's Wine and Dine Half 2 years ago.  Running all my long runs in 30* temps and below did not acclimate me to what the temps would be in Florida on race day.  As of right now, Jacksonville is downright chilly by their standards (as I write this, it's 59* but it was in the 40s earlier this morning).  While 40s are the perfect running temps, that's still a good 30* warmer than it is here.  As much as running 10 miles on a treadmill in a hot gym is going to suck, not being used to running in warmer temps will suck even more.

I've selected 3 movies I currently have hanging out in my cloud that are long enough for me to finish 10 miles.  You get to vote for what I watch :)

Night at the Museum
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

(I tried to be all techie and use a poll but none of them would work.  Just vote in the comments. Thanks!)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Giveaways!

I love this time of year - so many fun giveaways are happening in the blogosphere.  I'm going to share three of them with you today.

The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans - This fabulous group of ladies is giving away a TON of fun gear and you don't have to be a runner to enter.  Since I'm one of the writers and reviewed several of these items, I know how awesome they are and I can't win, so I'd love for one of my friends to win something.  There are 20 individual prizes featured in The Ultimate Runner Gift Guide.  You really must go check this one out. Contest runs through the weekend, so you better hurry!

Run with Jess - Jess is hosting a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway with a different prize being awarded each day. Check out her giveaway and make sure you keep checking each day as she adds prizes!  Giveaways every Monday through Friday until Dec. 23rd.

Me! - Yep, I have a giveaway happening right now as well.  If you missed yesterday's post, just hop back over and enter to win a copy of Vanessa Runs's book The Summit Seeker.  Fun and inspirational read I'm sure you will enjoy.  Contest ends on Dec. 18th and you can enter once each day.

There you have it, folks!  Three ways to get a little Christmas shopping done - either for yourself or someone on your list.

Are you lucky at contests? What's the coolest prize you've ever won?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Summit Seeker book review and #giveaway

Have you heard of Vanessa Runs?  She's this totally bada$$ ultra runner who lives in a small Rialta RV and travels the country, running and writing.  A little while back she reached out to me to tell me about a book she had written and asked if I'd like a copy to review.  The Summit Seeker is Vanessa's voice as she "explores trail and ultra running on an emotional, psychological, and spiritual level."

Vanessa will be the first to tell you this is NOT a book about how to run faster.  It's not a training guide.  It is a memoir about running from a young woman who has learned to use running as a way to escape and heal.  Each chapter reads as it's own essay with topics ranging from home (12 different addresses) to dogs to Steve Jobs to making excuses.

I enjoyed reading Vanessa's perspective and I believe you will too.  Vanessa was very gracious to send me an extra paperback copy for one of my readers!  All you have to do is enter through the Rafflecopter widget below.  If you want, you can also find her book on Amazon here.  It is available in a Kindle edition for $4.99 or paperback for $11.69.

Vanessa blogs here.  You can also follow Vanessa on Facebook, by liking her Facebook page The Summit Seeker, and on Twitter @VanessaRuns

Good luck!  The contest will run until 12:00 am EST on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013.  There are multiple chances to enter, so get to it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Training Tuesday: is it too early to taper?

Monday 12-2-13 BIKE/RUN Brick, for no reason other than I felt like doing a brick.  20 minutes on the bike (7.2 miles) and a 2 mile run (10:23 pace). Decided today that the 2013 Newton Gravitys I was so in love with are evil and will be getting returned.

Tuesday 12-3-13 STRETCH 20 minutes during lunch then BIKE 7.36 miles on the basement trainer (14.6 mph).

Wednesday 12-4-13 RUN 4.18 miles in 44:10 (10:23 pace).  This was supposed to be a 5 mile tempo but instead ended up a warm then torrential downpour hilly run.

Thursday 12-5-13 STRETCH 20 min of roller and stretching at lunch.  Feeling burnt out.

Friday 12-6-13 SWIM 1 mile in 58 minutes.

Saturday 12-7-13 RUN 14 miles in 2:38:32.  I had my longest training run for a half marathon EVER this past weekend.  For the first time I trained past race distance and did a 14 mile long run.  It was the cap to a not-so-great training week, but the miles count.

Not crazy about the pace but it's supposed to be ok.
The middle 5 miles were part of a group run. The weather was abysmal. 

It's not just a figure of speech.

Sunday 12-8-13 REST.  I vegged out and watched a lot of football.  I'm ok with this.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Motivation Monday: go the distance

I doubt myself a lot when I'm running. Saturday, I wanted to quit about 3 bazillionty times during my 14 mile run through frigid GR, but I didn't. I finished.

I may never run ultras and whether I ever run another marathon is still a big question mark, but I AM a distance runner. I'm trusting my training to get me to the finish line of my 10th 13.1 in less than 3 weeks. If my training doesn't get me there, stubbornness will :)

What about you? What do you think of that helps you go the distance?

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Fitness Friday: Long Run Motivation

This post is as much for me as for those of you who read my little blog. I'm stressing and obsessing over tomorrow's 14 mile run. I've never actually trained past race distance before (but I've covered this distance probably 10-15 times in the past). It shouldn't be a big deal but for some reason it is. As one of my friends has informed me, I stress about every run but I always get them done. I should try and remember that.

While Ryan is very motivating, it's still my mind I have to convince to just do this thing & then yes, I shall have beer.

What's your plan for the weekend?

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Three Things Thursday: irritations

Totally random thoughts this morning.

1. Athleta keeps sending catelogs and I want it all. Seriously, how awesome is this running outfit? I've always wanted to try a vest and I'm a sucker for any shirt with thumbholes.

Also, I want the model's legs and ass but I'm too lazy to work that hard.

2. A guy was here yesterday replacing our electric meter.  I remembered to reset all the clocks...except the one on my Keurig.  Morning coffee fail.  Luckily it heats up pretty quickly.

3.  Training for a race at an odd time of year makes it really hard to have social runs with friends.  Who wants to run 14 miles in 17 degree weather when everyone else is only running 5?  No one.  Not even me.  I'm really struggling with how to get my long run in this weekend.  Any suggestions?

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Training Tuesday: Jax Bank Half T-25 days

It seems a bit odd to be starting a countdown for this race, but I really have no clue what training week this is.  All I know is I'm supposed to run 13.1 miles as fast as I can in a little less than 4 weeks.  This week's training was ok.  I have a plan for the running pieces but the rest is lacking.

Monday 11/25 - REST (oops, not a great way to start the week).  I actually did Monday's workout on Sunday, so I didn't exactly skip it.

Tuesday 11/26 - RUN 3 miles up "Treadmill Mountain".  It hurt and was really slow.

Wednesday 11/27 - STRETCH Did a yoga workout for my hips.

Thursday 11/28 - Happy Thanksgiving!  RUN I didn't participate in any organized runs so I just headed out for 5 miles on my own. Frankly, they sucked.  It had snowed and I was slipping and trudging all over the place.  Took 1:02:23 (12:28 pace) to cover those 5 miles.
I'd forgotten how hard it was to run in snow.  Ugh

Friday 11/29 - RUN Met a friend for the week's long run a day early.  10 miles and they were fantastic.  We chatted the entire time and even saw a bunch of deer along the river.  It was one of the best runs in a long time and I didn't even really care about my pace.  10.16 in 1:49:24 (10:46 pace).

Saturday 11/30 - REST

Sunday 12/1 - REST

Still too many rest days but I needed them after running 15 miles in 2 days.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Motivation Monday: being compared to baked goods

My motivation:

I'm leaning for Florida in 25 days to run my last half marathon of the year.
None of my clothes fit.
I've been comparing myself to that busted can of biscuits a lot lately.

Time to ramp up the workouts & put down the pint glass.

I hope it works.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Happy New Year 2020

It looks like my M.O. is to open this blog when I get the notification the domain name renewed. LOL oh well. I hope everyone is having a n...