Six Tunnels Half Marathon Race Recap

Well… this may be one of the shortest race recaps I ever do. This was my second time running the Six Tunnels course, and my third for this year’s goal of 13. I was excited all week going in to this. The week leading up to it, my husband got sick. I was busy with work, but stuck to my training and well, tried to avoid him and his plague.

Friday after work I picked up my packet (and a second pair of sneaks on clearance). Headed home and prepped my race day supplies, my fueling, other needs, got my water bottle ready, my outfit… I was ready to go. Headed to bed early to get some sleep and rock this half marathon. Then… well, nothing went as planned. I awoke several times throughout the night feeling achy, my throat hurt. I tried to brush it off and get more sleep. When I woke up Saturday morning, my throat was very sore, my body was achy… but, I figured I would head out and give it my best. It was a local race, so it was worth giving it a shot. Then, my breakfast didn’t want to stay down. This made me nervous. I headed out, and determined that if in fact breakfast didn’t stay down, I would go home. But, I would do my best to participate in the half. If needed, I would just walk most of it. Definitely take it easy.

As I was waiting for the race to start, I definitely felt off. I ate my pre-race fuel (thankful again that Honey Stinger products are so gentle on the stomach and stayed down). The race started and the first 3 miles are uphill. Talk about a struggle. The extra energy and breathing to go uphill was not easy, my throat and lungs burned. I walked a lot of those first 3 miles, and was worried this would just be an ugly race. I decided to just do what my body could, walk whenever needed, and do the best I could. If I couldn’t finish, that was okay.

At the first turnaround, the next 3 miles were back the way we came, which gave me some downhills. I remember being able to run more here and gaining some time, but after that, I don’t remember a lot of the race. I ran, I walked, I chatted with 2 different people when I needed distraction to keep going. I didn’t care at all about pace. AT ALL. My lungs hurt, my throat hurt, my body ached… and not from running. I finished in 2:40:42, much slower than my normal pace and my PR on that course. But, I finished. I was handed my medal, grabbed some bottles of water, post-race snacks, and made the ½ mile hike out of the canyon to my car and drove home.

I showered, ate and spent the rest of the day napping. I woke up Sunday with a fever and feeling worse. I finally crawled out of bed Tuesday to go to the doctor and was diagnosed with a severe upper respiratory infection and given some things to alleviate symptoms. My fever finally broke Tuesday. I am on 5 days of rest, no running, no exercising. My lungs sounded bad, but doc says it is not bronchitis, but that the rest would do me some good.

I am sure I could debate whether or not running Saturday was a good idea or not… my doctor is aware and he didn’t yell at me for doing the race. Did I wear my already sick body down, probably. Did I prove to myself that I am just shy of crazy on the commitment to run, definitely. Will I do it again? Not sure, I’d have to say that would be determined at the moment.

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I’m Running Another Half Marathon?!

This coming weekend is my third half marathon of 2013, my fifth in 5 months. When I first typed that line, I sat back and thought… ‘crazy’ and then realized, in so many ways, that word fits.

See, if you would have told me even a year ago, when I was preparing for this race to be my second ever half marathon that I would now be running my 9th overall, 5th in 5 months and 3rd of 2013, I would have told you that you were crazy. I completed one and was still in shock I ran one.

At every start line I am still amazed I’m standing there, and at the finish line, amazed I completed another one. I still feel crazy when I register for a half, crazy that I am going to do it again. Yet I’m proud that my body can do this.

Another thing… in 2010, the idea of running a 5k was crazy… so to think that in 2 ½ years, things have changed this much… it really is crazy. But, it is also comforting to know that changes can be made so that you can accomplish the goals you set.

I thought about, planned, reviewed my training to date, discussed with my friend/run coach and thought some more before officially setting the goal of running 13 half marathons in 2013. I was back and forth on this goal, could I do this physically? Will it kill my love of running? Am I just going to focus on completing 13 or set other goals such as finish times, PRs, weight changes? I then worked out a plan so as not to overdo it too quickly.

So, here I am, a few days out from my 3rd of this year, on a course that I hold my PR on, looking back in awe at just how different my life is, my body is, my strength is. Proud and humbled of my accomplishments, proud that I have been able to silence the negativity in my head and push myself further than I thought I could go.

A part of me wants to say I am going to run this race for the fun of it, to have fun, enjoy the breathtaking scenery at Lake Mead and run my best. A part of me wants to try my best to get a new PR. I do know this… I need to trust my training. I missed my last long run this past weekend because my knee was unhappy. But, I have been consistent with my training other than that, have two more runs this week and am more familiar with this course than I was previously.

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Finishing Six Tunnels last year!

 

My Favorite Things for Running

As a runner and blogger I am often asked about what my favorite things are when it comes to running. As any runner knows, you find something you love… and you stick with it. And when it comes to clothing and shoes, performance and comfort in what you have on are key elements to a good run. So, here is my list of my favorite running/fitness items (in no specific order, I love them all):

  1. Brooks Pure Connect Sneakers. I recently switched to Brooks and love them!! I had a great half in them this month, and they help me keep my focus on posture. They are super comfortable and lightweight. I attended a Brooks Running Clinic and they had me run on a treadmill and then evaluated my foot strike. I highly recommend to all runners they get their stride/foot strike evaluated. I am a neutral runner, and I am aware that as I get tired I heel strike, so I went with less cushioning at the heel so that I am aware when I heel strike and can correct for it.  IMG_2995[1] IMG_2990[1]
  2. KT Tape Pro. If you use this, you understand why this is on my list. This stuff is amazing, offers stability, helps with healing and supports concern areas. It is lightweight (I don’t even feel it) easy to apply and waterproof. Their website has great instructional videos. It is a staple in my running bag. I’ve also used it to wrap blister prone areas on my feet so my skin can breathe and blisters don’t happen. Added bonus, it comes in my favorite color green!  91Cfz9Sn6PL._SL1500_
  3. Injinji Socks. I recently found out about these from fellow runners. These toe socks keep your toes separate, reducing friction and blisters. They are super comfortable and lightweight as well. Very breathable while running. I am in love with these socks. Seriously, the more I wear them running, the more I want to throw away all other socks and just wear these.  IMG_3044
  4. Under Armour Sports Bra. Okay ladies… you all understand the pain and frustration of finding the right sports bra. If you are larger chested, this is often more difficult. The first time I tried this on I was in love. It is the ONLY sports bra I use. I have tried so many and this is great, stays in place, doesn’t chafe, the “girls” stay put… what more can I say.  IMG_3217
  5. Under Armour Women’s Victory tank. This is great for the Las Vegas area, which is warm or hot most of the year. A breathable, sweat wicking material that is super comfortable and fits great. It doesn’t ride up while running and keeps me cool. Plus, it comes in some great colors (I have several of the colors)!!  IMG_3218
  6. Yurbuds Inspire for Women. For the runs I do with music, these things are great. The sound quality is amazing and still allows me to hear what is going on around me. They twist and lock into your ear, which makes it virtually impossible for these things to fall out while running. They stay put even with 30+ MPH winds. Cannot beat that!  IMG_2389
  7. Oakley Caveat shades. Hey… I can block the sunlight and look stylish? Sign me up!! These are lightweight, great eye protection and super comfortable. I have had many sunglasses that slide down, don’t feel right, or fog up on humid sweaty runs. Not these, these are just amazing. I wear them ALL the time. I also have recurrent corneal erosion and severe dry eye, so on windy days, this can really irritate my eyes. These shades keep a majority of things out of my eye, which is a great help!  IMG_3210
  8. RunMeter app. I may be one of 5 people that doesn’t have a garmin, so I use the runmeter app. The GPS is very accurate, the details I get are great (pace, splits, elevation charts, etc) and I can set it for intervals if I want a run/walk or sprint/jog workout. I am also able to set target paces, so if I go too fast or slow, it lets me know. Super easy sharing via email or social media so I can track my runs, progress and issues.
  9. iFitness belt. I have the 2 pouch belt, and for long runs, this is a perfect way to carry fueling and my phone, ID, and keys. The belt stays put, is adjustable and has plenty of room to get me through a half marathon.  (as of August 2013 the company name is Fitletic)IMG_2164
  10. Honey Stinger Fueling. (yes, I am sponsored by them in their grassroots program the Hive) In trying almost everything to find fueling that didn’t upset my stomach, was easy to take while running, and tasted good, Honey Stinger did it for me. That the ingredients are all natural and some are organic made it even better. Being honey based, the products go down smoothly and are gentle on my stomach.  IMG_3020
  11. Nathan Water Bottle Sleeve/Pouch. Now that I have to always have eye drops on me, and because it’s hot in Vegas, I can put this on my water bottle for shorter runs I won’t need the belt for, and carry my key and eye drops. Helps keep a grip on the water bottle as well.  A thank you to my brother for gifting me his!IMG_3220
  12. Zensah Compression Sleeves. I wear these after long runs, and after a half marathon, even sleep in them, to help speed up muscle recovery and improve circulation in my legs.   71FwmGTNZzL._SL1400_
  13. Shower Pill Athletic Body Wipes. These things are great to quick clean up after a race so that I can hop in my car and out to eat without offending all the other patrons (or making my car stink). I actually use these suckers all the time, when I travel, at the gym… a great thing to have on hand in case of emergency!!  IMG_2739

Other things: Road ID! I never go for a run without it (sorry no pic).

So tell me, what are your must-have items for running and/or fitness?  What don’t you have that you would like to try?

**Also… to my husband, please let this serve as an ongoing wishlist. If you are ever stumped for a gift, please refer to this list. Thanks!