Distance Prescription

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. My weekend involved less running than last weekend and more eating! Here is the evidence (thanks for our Saturday breakfast, Chef Shack):

Yesterday, I ran my 16-mile long run solo. Since I normally run with a partner, just getting out the door was a little challenging. Before (and during) the run, I felt like I had the option to cut down my mileage to a shorter run (I just rolled my eyes at myself).

Running with a partner helps keep me accountable, helps me stay motivated, and makes me push myself harder than I would running alone. Yesterday, I had to get through it on my own. Ultimately, I didn’t end up cutting the run short – I knew I had to push through it because I have to be prepared for my race in October. On race day, you never know how things will go. You might start the race with a partner and then need to part ways. You have to be prepared for anything!

Like I mentioned last week, if you plan your route ahead of time, you will usually end up with a much nicer route than one you might pick if you have already left the house and are pressed to come up with something last-minute. Is that what I did? Of course not. I ran the silliest route. First I ran the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, and then added on bits and pieces to splice together the mileage I needed. Not only was it hard to run alone when I’m used to running with others, but I also listened to Lady Gaga almost the entire way. For 12 miles, it made me pumped. Towards the end, it was a little crazy-making, so I turned it off and listened to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Dramatic? :)

The best part of my run was when I saw a deer run across the road to Lake Calhoun. Initially, I thought it was a greyhound (I have a distance prescription, but I never run in my glasses) that had jumped out of a guys quad cab pickup! A few seconds later, I saw a mama and two baby deer, taking a dip in the lake. It was pretty precious (I was a little worried about them getting back across the street). I shared the story on Twitter and a friend was amused by the double meaning of “distance prescription.”

Despite it being hard to motivate myself through my run yesterday, I felt pretty good. I’m battling some pretty crazy blisters from the Newton’s. I’m still holding out and bought some thicker socks, on the recommendation of one of the lovely sales people at TC Running Company (I love that place).

Lacey, my running partner, decided to throw in the towel and bought some new shoes to replace her Newton’s. A friend told me about this article from this April’s Runner’s World, which talks about the benefits of Newton’s. For me, the jury is out. I’ll need to make a final decision very soon, though, because of training for Chicago Marathon (it’s in less than two months).

Questions:

If you run with a running partner normally, do you find it hard to run alone? How do you get through it?

What is your favorite music to run to?

Any Newton runners out there and if so, what’s your advice about acclimating to them?

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Weekend Rundown and Twin Cities Fall Races

Happy Sunday! How was your weekend?

My weekend has involved plenty of running! Friday night, I intended to do a speed workout with my partner, Lacey, but she had accidentally taken Advil PM instead of the regular kind, so we decided to take it easy and just run around Lake Harriet. I kept an eye on her the entire way, worried she would trip on a root, fall, and end up asleep on the path! We joked that it was mental training for the Ragnar Relay! :)

Yesterday was long run day. I ran a 15-mile long run with Lacey, and our friends Kate and Lauren. Here’s a glimpse of our route:

Image via Garmin Connect

Typically, Lacey and I don’t plan our routes, like our more meticulous runner friends. My Type A runner friend Kate, who we ran with yesterday, plans all of her runs on mapmyrun ahead of time. Using mapping tools gives you one less thing to worry about when going out for a run. You will usually end up with a much nicer route than one you might pick if you’re already left the house and are pressed to come up with something last-minute.

Tonight, we ran ten hill reps of Lock and Dam No. 1. If you are a Minneapolis runner and you haven’t been there for your hill workouts, you are in for a treat!

Recently, a lot of people have been asking about recommendations for fall races. Though this isn’t an all-inclusive list, here are some races you might find interesting in the Twin Cities metro and surrounding area this fall:

August

August 25-26 – Duluth Trail Fest, two 5K events and 15K, Duluth

August 26 -  Minneapolis Duathlon, Relay, and 5K

September

September 1 - Women Rock 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon, St. Paul

September 3 – Victory Labor Day Races, 5K/10K/Kids Run, Minneapolis

September 5 – Salomon Autumn Trail Series, 5.7K trail run series (9/5, 9/19, 10/3, 10/17), Bloomington

September 8 – Bolder Dash 5K and 10K, St. Paul

September 8 – Dick Beadsley 5K Run/Walk and Half Marathon, Detroit Lakes

September 8- Get Ready to Rock, 5K/10K/20M, White Bear Lake

September 9 – City of Lakes 25K, Minneapolis

September 15 – Bear Water Run, 10M/20M, White Bear Lake

September 19 - Salomon Autumn Trail Series, 5.7K trail run series (9/5, 9/19, 10/3, 10/17), Bloomington

September 22 – Great Urban Race (an adventure race), Minneapolis

September 22 – Surly City of Lakes Trail-Loppet, 5K/Half Marathon, Minneapolis

September 23 – Athleta Iron Girl Women’s Duathlon, 2 mile run – 22 mile bike – 2 mile run, Bloomington

September 29 – The Big Gay Race, 5K, Minneapolis

October

October 3 - Salomon Autumn Trail Series, 5.7K trail run series (9/5, 9/19, 10/3, 10/17), Bloomington

October 6 – TC 5K Run/Walk and 10K, St.Paul/Minneapolis

October 7 – Medtronic TC10 and Twin Cities Marathon, St.Paul/Minneapolis (note: general registration is closed for this race, but please consider cheering on the racers!)

October 13 – Big Woods Run, 1K Kids Run/5K/10K/Half Marathon, Fairbault

October 17 - Salomon Autumn Trail Series, 5.7K trail run series (9/5, 9/19, 10/3, 10/17), Bloomington

October 20 – Run For the Apples 5M White Bear Lake, MN  *my mom runs this race and it’s in an apple orchard, SO cute!

October 27 – Team Ortho Monster Dash 5K/Half Marathon St. Paul

October 27 – Surf the Murph, 25K/50K/50M, Savage

November

November 18- Lifetime Indoor Triathlon, Plymouth

November 22- Drumstick Dash 10K, Minneapolis

November 22 – Lifetime Turkey Day 5K, Minneapolis

November 22 – Gobble Gait, 2K/8K, Hastings

Have you run any of these races? Did I miss any races that you’ve done or that you LOVE? Let me know and I will add them to the list.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week! :)

[Update: races added!]

 

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Weekend Rundown: Working out the Kinks

Happy Monday, readers! How was your weekend? Mine was lovely, but challenging in the running department. I’ve been running in my new Newton’s, which are very different from my old shoes and taking a while to get used to.

Yesterday, I woke up to do my 14 mile long run and was in excruciating calf pain, to the point where it hurt to walk. I decided to sit out the long run and try and take it easy, but felt really bad about missing the run. I’m on a SCHEDULE and I don’t like to let my partner down, and such. I tried to loosen up my calves a bit by walking to brunch at Grand Cafe. If you haven’t heard, Eggs Benedict is VERY good for relieving calf tension.

My trainer told me to try and do a walk-run later in the day, which I did. I had some surprising results:

Holy Triage Run!

Those who know me know that I am NOT a fast runner, so this made me VERY proud. I’m a little anxious about missing a long run, but hopefully it won’t impact my training too much. I’m still limping around a bit, but got some advice from my trainer on how to correct my gait and also watched this video on The Running Front:

On a brighter note, I went to Running Room on Saturday to pick up a few running staples:

Running Goodies

I love those socks! Clif Shot Bloks are my favorite type of energy food for long runs. My go-to flavor is Tropical (though I like to be careful to not have too much caffeine on a run, especially in the heat) but I won’t ever scoff at the Margarita flavor, either. It’s my first time buying Nuun tablets, have you tried them before? Running in heat just kills me, so I try to keep adequately electrolyted. :)

Tell me about your weekend!

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Making (Heat) Waves

At long last, it’s cooled down a bit in our lovely city. I have to admit that I didn’t get very many runs in over the past week. Last night I geared up for a 13.1 mile run by making a fabulous puttanesca (a recipe featured on noraleah’s blog ages ago that I’ve since adopted into my repertoire) and unintentionally stayed up until 2am. Do you have any favorite meals to make the night before a long run?

This morning, I left on my run around 10:30am. I slathered on plenty of sunscreen, wore my visor (if there are any inventors reading this, I would implore you to invent an attractive version of the visor, PLEASE), and of course the new Newton’s. Despite it cooling down in the past few days, the temperature still reached almost 90 degrees today! I was feeling alright, but my partner ended up getting goosebumps as we lapped Lake Harriet, so we had to cut our run short. Here’s a short article from LIVESTRONG about goosebumps while running, if you are interested. I think we’ll give it another shot tomorrow morning before work.

Is there anything you know will put a surefire kibosh on your workout? Starting a run too late in the morning during the summer (like what happened today) is one of mine. The sun (when at its highest and hottest) and I can be incompatible. I’ve heard a lot of runners say the same.

Not being the most Type A runner around, I vary my workout types and schedule. I’ve always been a little jealous of runners who are more disciplined, like those who never miss a run or decide to sleep in the morning of a long run.

Do you have any bad habits like this and what do you do to keep them at bay? How have you been coping with the heat lately?

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New Shoes, New BLOG!

True to form, for the kickoff of MPLS Run Love, I have acquired two new pairs of running shoes, and potentially tweaked my IT band doing some plyometrics Monday night. On recommendation of my trainer, I picked up a pair of Newton running shoes. Have you heard of them? There’s a bar shape on the bottom of the shoe (kind of like a landing pad) on the ball of the foot, to encourage forefoot striking. There’s a visual of the running with Newton’s versus heel striking here. What do you think?

Image

I picked them up at TC Running Company in Eden Prairie. Since the shoes are so unique, the company offers a 30-day trial period, which seems essential because you have to break them in slowly (running only a mile or two to start). The shoes are very loud (eye-candy, as the woman selling them referred to them), which I think is a good trait in a running shoe. I also picked up a cushy pair of Brooks PureCadence (in hot pink), for good measure.

Photo credit:  Brooks

I’d recommend TC Running Company for runners who are excited by brightly colored running shoes and clothes. They also have a treadmill for trying out shoes and a patient staff. I tried on about 6 pairs of shoes and kept saying things like, “it feels like there is a cherry under my arch”, or “there’s a bar pushing on my heel!” When you are going to practically live in your shoe, you simply cannot have it torturing (or even annoying) you.

All of that aside, WELCOME TO MPLS RUN LOVE! I’m excited you stopped by.

What have you been up to lately? Are you training for anything in particular or just trying to get off the couch? If you have a favorite shoe flavor, is it traditional or fluorescent?
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