My Favorite Running Gear & Race Results!

Lately, people have been asking me what my favorite gear/clothing to run in is so I decided it was time to just lay it all out there. But first, I would first like to let you know that I am writing this post from an airplane. This is the first time I have ever splurged and purchased in-flight wi-fi, I’m livin’ large my friends. However, WHY doesn’t Netflix or Hulu work up here?! Come on world, this is 2013. Just kidding, I’m still trying to figure out what kind of router these guys have and how I can walk out of here with the thing. I have trouble getting the Internet at my house to work between a flight of stairs. I also just tried to download a movie from iTunes so I had something to occupy my time, but I’m currently sitting at an estimated 104 hour download time, so I guess I’ll be enjoying that flick on my flight back home. Did anyone go see The Incredible Burt Wonderstone? It better be worth my $4.99 and 104 hours.

Okay, back to the reason for my post! When I first started writing this blog, I was set in my ways with my New Balance shoes and no one was going to change my mind. Well, recently in the midst of all of this knee nonsense, I decided it was time to try to a new brand of running shoe. I think anyone who runs can relate to the stress of such a task. The wrong shoe can literally put you on the couch for weeks if you aren’t careful, but the right shoe can change the way you run all together. After lots (and lots and lots) of shoe review reading and asking any and all runners I know, I decided on Mizuno’s. My first choice was the Mizuno Wave Rider 16s. They seemed to have everything I would need in a shoe, especially the cushion and heel support. After a little more digging, I realized they had a 12″ heel to toe drop which is something I am not used to and not a big fan of. I’ve done quite a bit of Minimus running. which as you know is a 0″ or 4″ drop. Even when I’m running in my regular shoes I’m sitting at about an 8″ drop. Moving up to a drop like that can be brutal on your body, so I decided to keep looking. I finally stumbled upon the Mizuno Wave Sayonara’s. I instantly fell in love. They only weigh about 7.2 ounces and have a 10″ heel to toe drop. If the reviews are all correct, they still offer that great cushion and heel support. Either way, they have officially been ordered and I will be sure to let you know how this goes!

So pretty :)

So pretty 🙂

That was a really long post about my shoes, I apologize. I just really love shoes. Not even just running shoes, heels are my weakness. So much so that my credit card is currently in the freezer so I can’t get to it to buy more 🙂 Anyway, on to the rest of my beloved running gear:

Garmin Forerunner 10
iPod Nano
Minisuit Jazz Slim Shell Case W/ Belt Clip
Running shorts from Gordmon’s or TJ Maxx – I know that sounds ridiculous, but they are my go-to even over my Nike’s
Under Armour Compression Shorts
Greenlayer Short Sleeve Tee
Greenlayer Arm Warmers
Nike Sports Bras

That’s it. I like to keep it simple and cheap! I purchased the watch and new iPod right before my first half and they have been life savers, seriously! I don’t know how I ever ran without them before. The iPod case was like $1 and it was quite possibly one of the better investments on that list. If you have a newer version of the Nano, I highly suggest looking into one of these bad boys. If you have any suggestions on some of your favorite running accessories I’d love to hear them!

Oh good, just checked back in on my movie and we’re up to a 166 hour download time. Fantastic.

WHOA, I can’t believe I almost published this post without any mention of the Color Me Rad 5K from last weekend! I’m sad to report that Aleck did infact finish about 5 seconds before me. Probably no coincidence there on almost forgetting to mention it 😉 We finished right under 23 minutes which probably explains why we were so exhausted the rest of the weekend. It was a lot of fun though, totally worth it!

CSLC13_05_02081Me 5k

5K

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sarah

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I’m Back! Training for Half Marathon 2

FINALLY, I can get a few miles in on foot without finishing the run in tears and frustration! It’s still not easy, but I am just happy to be back out there. I’m also happy because I finally got an answer to what’s going on – – plica syndrome. It’s not something I have ever heard of before, but after some indepth (maybe a little too much WebMD) research, I get a little uneasy every time I think about it. According to the doctor who broke my little heart, this is something that can end in surgery but does not 100% of the time, so he highly suggested physical therapy. I politely told him that is far from the budget of a 24yr old, who just moved, bought a new bike way out of her price range and doesn’t know how to stop shoe shopping. So, I opted for some “on my own” type physical therapy, some good ice packs, endless amounts of icy hot & IBUProfen and my favorite part, the mandatory new running shoes (wahoo!) Also, my favorite part of his diagnosis, running is not out of the question, as long as I’m smart about it and listen to my knees when they are screaming at me to just stop already!

However, there are a few things I wish people would have told me when all of this began that did not involve the phrases “You’re stupid” “Why are you still running” “Stop running”. In my opinion, it’s pretty fair to say that most anyone who is passionate and/or serious about whatever activity or sport it may be, it is not an easy task to just – -stop. You go through the training and push through the pain to see it pay off in the end, when you finish a race you never thought possible, or you get that PR you’ve been working so hard for. The list of things I wish I would have known is just as long as the list of things I wanted people to stop saying. I painfully regret not taking it a little easier a little sooner than I did. Looking back, the day it started I should have educated myself on what it could have been and how to treat it the best I could, without becoming a couch potato. After all the pain this stupid thing has caused me and all of the pain that I know is yet to come, the one thing I would want to hear if I had to do it again would be someone telling me (and yes it may need to be in a loudish tone) “HEY, be smart moron!” Moron gets me every time. But seriously, all I did was aggravate the injury further and by overcompensating on my – – what was then – – good knee, I injured that one as well. I’m now working with two bad knees, both with plica syndrome and one with a knee cap that is no longer straight and in it’s place.

My wonderful doctor also did not rule out running another race at the end of July as long as I feel like it won’t cause any further injury. So that is my goal, to run Race #2 on July 27. That is about 7 weeks away. It’s more training time than I gave myself for Race #1, one of these days I’ll fit the normal 12 week training schedule in…maybe.

Up to this point, the furthest I have run since the Dino Half is about 7.5  miles, and that was just 2 days ago. Yikes. I am still just as determined as I was the first time around, maybe even a little more. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have also been mountain biking in my off time, which keeps me positive that I didn’t lose the leg muscle and endurance I would have by just sitting around. As of right now, I am trying to only run every other day and mountain bike on the off days. I am also trying to do as little road running as possible and stay on the dirt trails where the impact of  my foot strike is a little less harsh on my knees. With the exception of my run this morning (ow), I’ve had little issues with my current training plan. Next weekend is the big Color Me Rad 5K with Aleck, so I’m feeling the need to be in my best shape that day. I don’t know if I could move past it if he beats me…

Anyway, I’ll be sure to post the results of that race, if they’re in my favor of course, and for now here are some pretty pictures of PC from some of my mountain biking adventures.

It is a very green Spring in PC!

It is a very green Spring in PC!Mountain Dog

Have a great weekend and get a good run in for me!

Sarah

My First Half Marathon – The Results

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon, and it’s safe to say I am addicted! I’m already looking for my next race. One of my favorite things about racing is the places it can take you. For someone who loves to travel and see new places, it will make every race different and every race as exciting as the first.

My first half was the Dino Half in Vernal, Utah. It is a beautiful run down Dry Fork Canyon and back into town. Just as a short recap, I decided I was going to run this race about a month in advance, which didn’t leave a whole lot of room to get in a half marathon training plan. Well, about a week and a half before my race I was on a 6 mile day, and on my first step out the door I felt a shooting pain go through my right knee. It continued with every step for the next 6 miles. Hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have finished my run that day, I assume it has a lot to do with what came next. That night my knee was swollen about twice it’s normal size and I could barely walk. This continued for the next week and it finally felt better the Friday before race day. So I made the decision that I would run the race, and if I had to, I would take time off and give it the necessary rest afterwards. Words can’t describe how happy I am to have made that decision. I went into the race with a goal to run it in under 2 hours, but I wasn’t going to push it if my knee was really hurting. I am very happy to report that I finished the race in 1:58:02! I was pacing quite a bit ahead of that until mile 11.5. I hit a wall and just couldn’t come back from it. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed when this happened. But hey, it was only my first, I have plenty of races and time to improve. I think the “first race” jitters may have given me a little boost as well. I think I had a smile plastered on my face for the entire first 10 miles!

In love with my first medal!

In love with my first medal!

I think I’ll be staying off of my knee for the next week or so, but lucky for me, I don’t consider mountain biking to be strenuous on the joints. So I’ll still be out and about!

What was your first half (or full!) marathon like?

Training For My First Half Marathon!

Oh boy. I signed up for my first ever half marathon and it is less than 1 month away! I think I probably could have timed that a little better but I really want to get my first one under my belt and I am fully confident that I will be willing and able to finish…and hopefully in good time. The race is called the Dino Half and is located in Vernal, Utah. It’s about a 2.5hr drive from Park City so I plan to head down Friday night. I don’t think waking up at 2:30am and driving 2.5 hours is a good way to start a race day. Anyway, I’m super stoked. It is an all downhill race and you lose about 1,500 feet of elevation in the process. From what I hear you run through some of Utah’s most beautiful canyons and sandstone cliffs. I’ll be the judge of that 😉 Even though I only have a few weeks until the race (May 4) I still decided to follow a traditional 12 week half marathon training plan, I am just starting at Week 8. My first long run is this weekend, so it will be very interesting to see how that goes!

My Modified Half Marathon Training Plan:

Week 8
Monday – Off
Tuesday – 4 Miles
Wednesday – 6 Miles
Thursday – 4 Miles
Friday – Off
Saturday – 4 Miles
Sunday – 10 Miles

Week 9
Monday – Off
Tuesday – 4 Miles
Wednesday – 6 Miles
Thursday – 4 Miles
Friday – Off
Saturday – 3 Miles
Sunday – 11 Miles

Week 10
Monday – Off
Tuesday – 4 Miles
Wednesday – 5 Miles
Thursday – 4 Miles
Friday – Off
Saturday – 4 Miles
Sunday – 12 Miles

Week 11
Monday – Off
Tuesday – 4 Miles
Wednesday – 5 Miles
Thursday – 4 Miles
Friday – Off
Saturday – 3 Miles
Sunday – 6 Miles

RACE WEEK!
Monday – Off
Tuesday – 3 Miles
Wednesday – 5 Miles
Thursday – 2 Miles
Friday – Off
Saturday – 13.1 Miles
Sunday – Recover 🙂

Like I said, so far so good! But we’ll see how I’m feeling Sunday night after my first 10 miler in a LONG time! I think the last time I ran 10 miles was last Fall before Winter came. So in other words, wish me luck!

Fun little tidbit about me, a couple of years ago, back in high school for some reason that I still do not know to this day, I started calling myself SarahTops. So running the dino race and my first medal being of a dinosaur could not be more perfect for me! I think it is part of the reason I am so freaking excited!

Today was a big day of race sign-ups for me. I also signed my boyfriend and I up for the Salt Lake City Color Me Rad run! I’ll blog more about that one later, I’m sure you can already assume how excited he is for that one! hehe 🙂