Tweaking my running plan…..what was I thinking….

There must be a high after running a race. The last race I ran was in April (Big Sur Marathon Relay) and after that I was GUNG HO about continuing to run races. That died pretty quickly!! Maybe running on a relay team feels different than running solo. Who knows but after running NWM, I’m finally getting serious about running. That whole weekend just pumped me up and the feeling of accomplishing something big just makes me want more!!!! I’ve been running ummmm 3 yrs. Casually??? For fun?? For peace??? Whatever the reason who knows but I enjoy it. I was pretty consistent at running during the last 3 yrs but never really pushed myself or tried to become faster etc. I have read a lot about running ie..tiempo runs, split runs, speed work etc. but never really did any of it.

When I had 3 1/2 weeks to train for the NWM 1/2 marathon, I did research and found a great plan to train in 8wks (I did the last 3 wks of the plan). I really liked this plan and decided to use it as my workout/running plan. The part I liked the most about this plan was the long runs once a week and that I can fit in cross training on non running days. I sat down last week and plotted my plan in my schedule. I work three 12 hour shifts a week so I have to tweak the plan to fit my work schedule since I don’t get off until 730pm.

My first plan was to do one long run a week. 7mi/8mi/9mi/10mi then repeat. The other 2 days I run half of the long run that coming week. Long run- 7miles 3.5miles x 2 prior to the long run…….8 miles 4 miles x 2 prior to long run……etc…

10/29 Planned 8 mile run. 🙂 Accomplished. Poor right hip was not feeling good the last 1 1/2 miles. Pushed through!! 9’33″/miles Not bad. My prior was 10’10″/miles.

After that run, I thought to myself….. what am I doing? I can’t keep running long runs like this if my hip is bothering me, knees etc. I’ve never really had knee pain with running. Only with hills and my hip has hurt before with long runs. I would like to run as long as I can (part of the reason I’ve never really pushed myself). Gotta take care of this body I was given and not run it into the ground!! LOL.. After looking at my running schedule, it came to me!!! I can’t be running this many miles without breaking myself in. Remember when I started training 3 1/2 wks before NWM, I increased my running distance in one week by 8 miles then 10 miles.

My longest run before training was 4.5 and I busted out running 8 miles the first week of training! <—oooooo I felt that 8 miles for days!!! Crazy!!!!!! I've read many times not to increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%. Well shoot!! I did more than that!!!!!! Be smart girlfriend!! Pick a more realistic running plan that won't cause injury!!!!!!!

So this morning I sat down and rewrote my running schedule:
I lowered my long run distance. Long runs once a week 6mi/7mi/8mi then repeat. See below:
D= work days
XT= cross training ie elliptical, bike, strength training, walking, rowing etc. 30 mins or 55 mins

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Yurbuds Inspire for Women Review

This review is about Yurbuds Inspire for Women ear plugs.

Yurbuds in Tiffany & Co color

The NWM12 expo had Yurbuds reps there to unveil their newest line “Inspire for Women Line.” Of course, I had to try them on and check them out. I wanted to see how different these were since they state they are guaranteed never to fall out or hurt. I had previously bought the original over the head pair approximately 8 mos ago. I never wanted the standard 2 separate ear pieces because they always fall out once you start sweating or running. The original pair of Yurbuds didn’t fit my ear well. I know on the package, it states if you take a picture of your ear, they will send another silicone piece so they will fit better. Well I never did. Just plain lazy!!! LOL…I would wear them off and on but never felt like they fit in my ear properly. They felt like they were 3/4 of the way in.

At the expo, the Yurbuds rep put them in my ear….they seem to fit pretty nicely, they went in easy and were soft. She then yanked on my cord to simulate me running. They didn’t even budge!! Not even one millimeter. $30 bucks and they had them in the Tiffany & Co. color, Who could resist!!!!!!! 🙂 I’m a sucker for cute colorful things. They do come in 6 different colors. I didn’t wear them during the race, we all know new gear on race day is a NO! NO!!! 🙂

I wore them for the first time today. Took a 4 mile run with them in. I really didn’t have any doubt they would do what they say because at the expo the lady rep yanked on them pretty hard and I don’t run that hard. LOL.:)

My review at the end of the run:

1. They DiD NOT fall out!!!!! Thanks to the twistlock technology
2. They were comfortably, never once hurt!!! They are soft, flexible, and made out of silicone. Didn’t miss the original over the head ear phones.
3. The cord is long and I was able to put it through the bottom of my shirt and reached up to my ears and had plenty of length. *see pic*
4. Sound quality was AAAA+++++ I jam when I’m running and I gotta feel the beat!!! Felt the base/music perfect.
5. It claims Ambient noise awareness – I could hear my music loud enough but could hear cars and bikes too. This is important because it’s easy to miss/seeing a car, bike, dog or person. I always make sure I can hear things around me when running.
6. Sweat & Water resistant, Yup! After my run, I was pretty sweaty and they never fell out or even slipped. They stayed perfectly.

Overall Review – Love them! Love the color! I may have to pick up another color just to match my outfits 🙂 I didn’t have any doubt they wouldn’t fall out but I can honestly say, I’m really impressed. Just impressed how they felt the whole 4 mile run, in the heat, the sweat, the sound, the cord length, the fact that there was no slippage!!! Highly recommend!! I’m excited because I’ve been running with the same headphones for over a year and had been wanting a new pair. **found them** The ear plugs do come with 2 different sizes but if neither fit, Yurbuds will send you silicone covers that do.

That’s my 2 cents!! Hope it helped!!!

I am not paid by sponsors or paid to give reviews. This review is my honest opinion of a product I decided to try and felt sharing my review will help other consumers with their purchase decision. I feel reviews from consumers help potential customers make smart purchases. I myself google reviews before making most purchases and find them helpful in my decision before purchasing a product.

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How to treat bruised toe nails

After working two 12 hrs shifts this weekend, I finally had time today to sit down and research how to treat bruised toe nails and what causes them. There are all kinds of reasons for bruised toe nails. My lovely black/blue toes come from the constant pounding from running the hills in San Fran. Those hills are long up and long down. My shoes could have been bigger. I debated on which shoes to wear race day due to the hills. I had an old pair of Brooks Glycerin’s size 7.5. When I needed to replace those shoes, I wanted the exact same pair except the newer version. The newer version in size 7.5 were too big for my left foot. Everyone has different size feet. Well mine happen to be a whole 1/2 size different. The newer brooks didn’t fit my left foot well at all. Way too big, so I opted for the size 7. I had no problems with them but did think twice knowing about hills and my right foot pretty close to the top of the shoe. From a friends advice I wore the newer size 7 and wallah!!! Bruised toe nails!!! Who knows if it would have made a difference. I’ve read socks too tight can cause this and not keeping your toes nails trimmed. I’ve searched around and found this site put it together nicely: how to treat bruised toe nails

I read toecaps can help to prevent bruised toe nails, I found these: Toe Caps

I plan on running later. Haven’t decided how far. I’m just going to go out and see how it goes. 🙂

I ran later and went for a 5k. I pushed myself to run fast!! I’ve had one 5k race where I ran too fast, got nauseous was dry heaving at the finish line and promises never to do that again!!! After that every time I ran, I felt nauseous. I didn’t like running for about 6 mos but I still did it, I just ran slow. That was 2 yrs ago. I haven’t pushed myself since then. I’m usually not such a whimp! But dang!!! Feeling nauseous is my pet peeve!!! I challenged myself today…… I pushed myself. Not bad!!! I wasn’t too out of breath. My normal pace is 9:00 – 10:30

5 days after and 2 busted toes!!

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It’s been 5 days since my first marathon. I’m feeling pretty good. The day after the race, I was sore if I sat for a while. Tues & Wed, I worked and felt great too. I had plans to start working out on Wednesday and run on thursday. The only thing holding me back is this one lingering battle wound from the race. TWO bruised big toe’s!!!!! I did have blisters on each pink toe and abrasions on the side of each arm from my arm sleeves! Ouch!!

Thanks to all those hills in San Francisco, my 2 big ole toes were holding me back. I needed to get out and do something. So I decided to take a walk with my dog Miles. We ended up walking 3 miles. 🙂 My first 1/4 mile, my left toe was hurting. I didn’t know if I could do it and I almost turned around a couple of times. I asked myself, does it hurt or is it uncomfortable? If I stopped every time I felt discomfort while running, I would never complete a run. I think with every run, something bugs me. I once read that you need to know the difference between true pain and discomfort. I’ve always used this theory when I run. As long as I can keep running, I keep on running and most often the discomfort stops. So I kept walking and sure enough it eventually felt better. This was the first day I’ve worn tennis shoes since race day. Flip flops were my best friends and for work I wore Crocs. It felt great to get out and exercise. Even if it was just walking. 🙂 I work every other weekend, so I won’t be able to try running again until Monday. I will try and hit the gym once this weekend (a mini workout) well see how my toe friends are doing on monday.

NWM 2012 San Francisco! Race Weekend!

I survived!!!! Race day came fast and I can’t believe it’s over and I did it!!!! I survived in one piece and not a bundle of muscle spasms and blisters!! LOL….This was an awesome race and Nike did a great job of catering to us!!

Day Before Race: I checked in the day before the race, enjoyed the expo and headed over to Nike Town to shop!!! I think I went overboard but I had fun and this was my first 1/2 marathon. I later heard this was the biggest marathon ever!!! I was able to get my hands on the limited edition Tiffany NWM12 Lunar Glides!!! OH MY!! Sweeet!! I also picked up a NWM pull over top, hat, shirt and the new Yurbuds in the Tiffany color blue. 🙂 Even though they claim they don’t fall out even with running, I didn’t want to try them out on race day. New gear on race day is a NO, NO!!! I may not have been running long but I do know that! I haven’t tried them out yet but I will surely blog about it when I do. After spending the morning in San Fran, I headed home to pack and return later in the evening after my son’s basketball game.

Dinner with friends in the city. Then hubby and I headed to target to get bandaids for my pinky toes and to the hotel we go!!! All checked in!! I laid out my outfit for race day, decided what shoes to wear and began doing research!! What was I researching you ask? Funny…but I researched how to run hills and how to run a 1/2 marathon!!! I didn’t train hills AT ALL and this race is known to be a hilly course. I know your thinking crazy girl!!! Crazy girl!!! I really didn’t have time to train hills. I was more concerned about teaching my legs to run long distances. If you remember my training plan, it allowed me to have cross-training days. I thought this was important because these were the days I did resistance training or biking. If you have strong legs, the hills will be easier. You can train running hills all you want but I feel strong legs will allow you to run hills as if you had trained running hills. Great alternative if you don’t have hills around you to train on. I’m speaking from experience. I found a video on youtube that talked specifically about running NWM and the hill at mile 5-6. Great!!!!! I also found another funny video about crazy marathon runners. I had no idea with first person to run a marathon died. He was delivering a letter and when he arrived he died. Now thousands of people run marathon’s every year. This could explain why more black people don’t run!!!*kidding* I thought that was an interesting fact.

Race Day 20 mins walk from my hotel to Union Square. I get to my corral and it’s packed!!! I hear the gun at 0700. I get butterflies in my stomach. Here we go!!!! We slowly inch our way to the start line, I crossed the start line around 0715. I’m off!!!! I feel good!! I wanted to not start too fast. That was really important to me because that was everyone’s #1 advice. Start out slow and finish the 2nd half faster. I made sure to keep my pace between 9-10 min/miles. During my training I had a hard time with negative splits. Actually, I’ve always had a hard time with it. The course is crowded! Tons of people and I already start running into walkers. How is that? The walkers should be behind us. How are they in front of me??? We aren’t even at mile 2. Anyways, I figure at one point it would thin out the further I went. No such luck!! It stayed crowded the entire race. My first hill, people were walking up it. I had to squeeze my way around people just to get up the hill. I wish people that walked would walk on the sides and leave the middle for runners. The hills were killer. The last hill was the hardest or it could be by then my lil brown legs were tired. As I ran up the last hill, It felt like my butt was one mile behind me and I was dragging it up the hill!! LOL…It also felt like someone was holding my ankles or running in mud. The hardest part of the hills in San Fran, is you can’t see the peak. It’s nice to have a goal up ahead to shoot for. These hills just kept going up, up, up, up!!!! As we start down the last hill, I can see the finish line!!! What an amazing and much appreciated view!! I look down at my iphone and we are at mile 9.5!! What!! I still have 3 1/2 miles to go!!!!! I think to myself, you can do this. 30 more minutes!! I just opened up came down the hill, I let the hill pull me down. The advice I had rec’d the night before was let the hill pull you and lean forward!! Run on the balls of your feet. By this point, my big toes were really hurting! The down hills really hurt. I tried scrunching my toes back so they wouldn’t hit the top of my shoe. Finally, I round the last corner and I see the finish line up ahead!!! Yes! I can’t believe it!!! I love seeing “FINISH” Finally I see a clear path ahead with not many people. I quickly start running towards the clear path and this volunteer is pointing me to move right!! 😦 bummer knew it was too good to be true!! I cross the finish line!!!!!!!! Not far from the finish line are men in tuxedo’s (firemen to be exact) holding silver plates (like butlers) stacked with little Tiffany & CO boxes wrapped with a white silk bow. I received my little blue Tiffany Box! The long awaited box for such a huge accomplishment!!! 🙂

My time 2:17!! I really didn’t have a goal pace/time. With only 3 1/2 wks to train it wasn’t that important to me. I only said my goal was to finish between 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. If I took an average of my running pace the last year, I figured it would take me 2:10. I gave myself a generous timeframe to account for training time, hills, and endurance. I’m proud of myself and it’s such a huge accomplishment for me. Right after the race, I said I wouldn’t run NWM again because of how crowded the course was and how frustrating it was to run with all the people. The next day, after I was able to appreciate the experience of the race, the whole weekend, how Nike totally spoiled us, I told myself, I would do this a race again. 🙂 It’s really all about the experience and I must say it was an awesome one and if you ever get a chance to run NWM San Fran, you should do it!!!!

Preparing for my First Half Marathon!!! NWM12

Can you believe it!! I just ran my first half marathon Oct 14,2012 in the NWM12 in San Francisco!!! I went from laughing at the thought of this black girl running to running 13.1 miles!!!! Crazy!!! First of all, this is an extremely hard marathon to get into. It’s very popular. If your not part of a Team in Training group, the only way to get a race entry is via lottery. I tried in 2011, didn’t get picked. 😦 Forgot to try this year because I was moving and forgot. I signed up for the NWM26.2 Facebook page and would get regular updates about the upcoming marathon. I was jealous yet excited about those participating this year. I looked on craigslist for people selling their bib, I entered the Safeway 2nd chance offer and Zico Coconut Water 2nd chance offer. No such luck!! 😦 Doing my normal FB reading, I saw a post from NWM FB offering entry to NIKE+ members. I couldn’t believe my eyes!! Click here….I did…..complete this…I did…….next thing I know I get a confirmation Congratulating me on getting in the NWM 1/2 marathon!! I immediately got nauseous!! I couldn’t believe it. I was sitting in Ikea eating lunch with my daughter. I look at my daughter with big confused eyes and said..”I just got into the NWM!!!” She looked at me like…and??? I went on to explain to her how hard it is to get into and how I had been trying to get in this year. Well….I just got in!!!!! She then got really excited and congratulated me!!!! I was in awe for the rest of the day!

Race day was 4 wks away!!!!! Wow!!! 4 wks to train for 1/2 marathon. I never really did long distance runs. I averaged about 10-12 miles a week. I had just started upping my long runs to 4.5 miles 2 wks prior to this (thank goodness). Later that evening, I quickly researched how to prepare for a 1/2 marathon in 4 wks!!!! I really had 3.5 wks because I couldn’t start running until later in the week because of my work schedule. I used this plan to train. My first week of running I ran 4.5 miles twice and one long run for 8 miles. That 8 mile run pooped me out. After that run I came home, showered and slept 2 hrs!!! I was pretty sore for about 2 days. I looked at many difference sites for 1/2 marathon training plans. The one I choose seemed realistic and doable. I choose an 8 week training program for beginners. Since I only had 3 1/2 wks to train, I started at week 5. I think this was a great training plan because I could combine running with cross-training. I didn’t have to just “run” for 3 wks. Some plans I came across had you running everyday. I just felt that was unrealistic and I didn’t want to over due it and cause an injury. Each time I did a long run, afterwards I felt better and better. I also made sure I had lower body deep tissue massage in between long runs so my muscles wouldn’t get tight. This is important for me because I’m prone to severe muscle spasms and I discovered deep tissue massage 1 1/2 yrs ago and it has helped tremendously.

After my last long run of 10 miles, I felt pretty good. A little sore but much better than my first long run of 8 miles. The week up to race day, I did two short 2 mile runs so my legs don’t forget how to run. 🙂 Excited about race day!!!!! Can’t believe it’s time!!! Brown legs don’t fail me now!!!!!!!!