Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Running Playlist #1

Because I'm in love with pretty much every popular song right now, I thought I'd share my running playlist.

Also important things to note:

1. Don't skip runs. Even if sleep sounds much better and according to your phone its raining outside but when you look out the window you know its not, don't do it. because the world will conspire against you and even though you updated your ipod shuffle with awesome music, the next morning you will wake up at 5:30 ready to run, and it will just STORM until you have to go to work.

So yeah, just don't do it. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

2. Running skirts are the cutest invention. yup, wearing the running skirt right now and i pretty much want to wear it everywhere. I'm sold.

3. this playlist makes me super happy because I'm a huge nerd: i heart guts playlist Yes, a playlist all about your organs. :)

4. bloglovin'. Do it. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, June 24, 2013

Marathon Training Week #4

Monday – spin with the chi roomie! The same studio, same instructor, same jam. Forgot my HRM which I was bummed about. Because of that fact I don’t think I pushed as hard as I normally did. Plus my legs were sore from paddleboarding + a 6 miler. Still a great spin class overall. 50 min spin. 

Tuesday – Run 5. This was my first chi evening run and I LOVELOVELOVED it. The weather worked out in my favor to allow me a relatively cool evening run. I was speedy and pushed it hard. It was just a really fantastic, feel-good run. 5 miles/8:01 pace 

Wednesday – yoga with a different instructor and a different class format. I took Core Power 2 with Lindsey H and really enjoyed it. She had us do a flow sequence with a block between our thighs at the beginning to really focus on our legs. And it was so hard but so awesome. I also got to attempt crow, the one pose I’m most proud to accomplish. I’ve still got it. 60 min yoga.

Thursday – Thursday was a yasso morning. Did 3. The last one was quite a bit slower (unlike my consistent 3:40’s last week), but I’ll take it anyway. The first two were faster, so that is awesome. A good morning push-yourself run. 4.38 miles/3:35/3:33/3:49

Friday – afternoon run in ann arbor. I went back to Michigan for the weekend, and snuck in this run in between a conference call and evening plans with friends. It was hot and humid, so I told myself I could go as slow as I wanted, just run 3 miles. And I did. And it wasn't even that slow. 3 miles/8:15 pace

Saturday – OFF

Sunday – LR 10-miler at home. Went home Saturday evening, so the long run was in Dearborn. Took the Rouge River Trail to Hines Drive and then looped back. This was a weird, but totally satisfying run. It took me until mile 3 for my shins not to bother me. I was pretty much plodding along, which I think might have been part of the problem. I told myself I could go slow, because my long runs have been pretty fast, and I’m working off a cutback week. But I think I just went TOO slow. Around mile 3 I settled into the grove, and pulled off those negative splits. I managed to run without stopping (I think…) for the first 5.3, which was also a great thing.

Took my gu at that 5.3, and then headed back. No stomach troubles, all good.

The best part about this run was that every single person I passed said good morning, or smiled, or gave the nod. It was a morning of running camaraderie and I loved it. Too often in Ann Arbor and Chicago runners don’t acknowledge each other, and I don’t really get it. Maybe it’s the small neighborhood thing, maybe it’s the older runner crowd, I don’t really know. But it definitely made this long run a feel-good run. 10 miles/9:06 pace

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why I love running (lately)

There have been quite a few motivating factors for running lately.

1. Carbs

I lovelovelove carbs. I could never go to the carb-free diet route. If there is bread in front of me, I will eat it. I don't discriminate against carbs. Bread, Cupcakes, Cake, pasta - i love it all. And running gives me a reason to consume it all. and so I shall.


bread and cupcake dessert from a recent wedding

One of my most recent carb-fests was making a raspberry-rhubarb tart.

kind of disastrous looking, but so delicious. (realizing i need to work on my food photog) recipe here

Today's carb fest was this bread from Little Goat Bread in the French Market (so much self control necessary to prevent myself from going here ALL THE TIME). It is bacon gouda. say it with me, oh my freaking lord.

2. Lake Michigan

lake at dusk

I'm realizing more and more each day how much I adore the great lakes. and When I have views like this when I'm running. How can you resist? I always get the biggest grin on my face when I run far enough that I can see the lake. It is awesome.

3. running clothes

lululemon pace setter in pizzazz

I finally caved and bought a running skirt. It's orange. It matches my shoes. It could not possibly arrive faster.

4. Speedwork

I've been doing yasso 800's and seeing 7-something pace for half a mile is like the most exciting thing in the world. I think it's going to make me a better and a stronger runner. and that makes me so excited.

what makes you love running? or what makes you love what you love?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Marathon Training Week #3

Monday - 50 min spin. pushed it hard. the spin studio has one of those "leaderboards" where you can compare your effort to other people in the class, and my competitive streak kicked in and I wanted to be the best. I ended up around 3rd or 4th. Pretty happy with that.

Tuesday - 5 miles, AM run. Felt a little dehydrated, but got her done. 8:20 miles.

post five miler breakfast

Wednesday - hot yoga. This almost didn't happen. I came home, was starving, subsequently ate too much, and it was storming like crazy. But I put on my rain boats and goretex jacket, and headed out into the rain. Walked the mile to yoga in the storm, ended up in a class with 4 other people, and it was awesome. I really loved the wednesday night instructor.

Thursday - 3.5 miles AM. Should have been 4 but I woke up tired thanks to late night yoga. (yes, 8:45-9:45 is late night). Fast to finish it off.

Friday - SPEEDWORK. OMG YASSO'S for the first time and they were AWESOME. check out these splits:

7:22?! gah! I was aiming for 8:00's!

I mean, I only did 2 (i'm pretty sure you're technically supposed to start with like 4...), but I think my spin intervals/sprints/hill climbs really helped with this one. Apparently I am really good at kicking it up for "bursts of intensity" (I've been listening to too many jillian michaels podcasts)

Saturday - off, much needed after a night out in river north.

Sunday - 6 miles long. This was good. I'm glad it was only a 6 because it was hot and humid and it was so nice to turn around at 3 miles. Followed by an early morning trip to whole foods, and it was a good morning. 8:30 average, which i'll call pretty good in the heat.

pre (yes the dirt on my mirror makes my head look like its *sparkly*)

check out that sheen
 I also went paddle-boarding for the first time on Sunday. Which was crazy fun, and crazy hard. I just dont have the balance for that type of stuff. I stayed upright for a very short period of time before I resorted to kneeling, but my quads were SO sore afterwards. thumbs up experience and thumbs up work out, for sure. 

Game Plan

Mon: Spin - 50 min
Tues: Run 5
Wed: Hot yoga - 1 hr
Thurs: Run easy 3
Friday: Run yasso's! at least 3 this time!
Saturday: off
Sunday: Runday. 10 miles.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Plan

So I think it's about time to share the training plan. While I've been pretty freaking fantastic at sticking to it (knock on wood), this will make me even more accountable.

I started off this training cycle coming off half marathon training. It surely wasn't the best half training (didn't really do a ton of miles, got in the long runs, but that was about it), but it was a solid running base. I wanted to capitalize on that, so I continued to run pretty consistently post half marathon to keep up the fitness.

Miles Per Week: I wanted to build up to 35ish miles. And I ended up doing that. I'm happy with the weekly mileage in general.

Training Plan based on: I used a combination of this cool running training plan and hal higdon's novice II.

I adjusted it based on some chi races I wanted to run (zooma half marathon, and the big ten 10K), and the cross training that I enjoy most (spinning and yoga).

I just got my hands on the july runner's world though and may check out the marathon plan in there and adjust mine accordingly.

Runs per Week: When I was training for my first half, I ran 4-5 times a week and broke my foot. Since then I've kept it to 3 runs a week, not on consecutively days. That is changing with this training plan. I'm running both thursday and friday, with one of them being (theoretically) easier, followed by a rest day, and long run on sunday.

What are Yasso's?: Yasso 800's are a training technique created by Bart Yasso. You run 800M at the time you want to complete your marathon (so 4 hour marathon, 800M in 4 minutes flat. 3:35 BQ marathon? 800M in 3:35), followed by 800M easy pace. I tried doing this on the track in ann arbor in crazy heat. it didn't work so well. I haven't really done them subsequently. BUT I WILL DAMMIT. because this is how you run fast marathons.

the plan

I snagged Page's idea to put a link to the google doc of the plan on your phone homepage, so I always have it handy (although for the most part, I know what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm a pretty non-complicated runner.)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Marathon Training Week #2

Monday - Spin. First spinning class in Chi at GoCycle in Lincoln Park. Enjoyed it in general, but didn't push myself super hard. And no jumps? I don't really know why - it seemed a little weird, haha. Also not a lot of cues. It's no vie, but I enjoyed it a lot, and will stick around for the summer.

Tuesday - 5 miles AM run.
This one felt hard and it was likely because I pushed it hard. average pace: 8:15.

Wednesday - Hot yoga. Also my first hot yoga class in Chi. Went to CorePower Yoga in Roscoe Village (Lakeview). went to hot power fusion, a hot yoga class set to music with a little bit of vinyasa flow, but not a whole lot. I really enjoyed it, sweat a lot, which is always a good indication of a good workout. They have a bunch of locations all around chicago, which is kind of nice.

Also! Forgot to mention that I celebrated national running day by running the mile to yoga. So yay!

Thursday - OFF. Hadn't done a rest day since the previous Monday so I figured a day off wasn't going to kill me.

Friday - 4 miles AM. felt comfortable, but not gonna lie, it was a HARD run. average pace = 8:10

SO SWEATY AFTERWARD. Told myself I was going to do core work afterward, but the open shower was just too appealing. the best thing only good thing about summer runs is the cold shower afterward. and chi roomie LOVES to take sauna showers. and the sauna bathroom post run is not fun.

Saturday - yoga with weights

This was the first yoga class I went to where the instructor just was not good. I feel bad writing a negative review on the blog, so I'm not going to try and ID this in any way, but let me just say that the instructor was not enthusiastic, very monotone (and not in the good peaceful yoga way. in the "i don't really want to be here instructing you and let me act like i'm reading off cards" type of way). she stumbled over words, said um a lot, and was generally distracting as an instructor, rather than instructive. It was a good work out - I had never done yoga with weights before, but it also just wasn't the best class. still, stretched it out, did a little strength training, call it good.

Sunday - 9 miles long along the lakeshore.

I tried to take these miles easy, but I just can't push myself down past like 8:45's now. Which I guess I shouldn't really be complaining about.

My new goal for long runs is to do them without stopping. Spin has gotten my cardiovascular system very used to intervals. Now it's time to keep that heart rate up and keep moving. This run wasn't so bad - stopped a few times. bathroom around 3 miles, turn around at 4.5 miles, and one more time before it was all through.

Also first run with the hydration belt. see more thorough review in the running things post.

even foam rolled afterwards, and I wasn't really sore, so we'll call that an accomplishment.

Plan for this week:
Monday: spin
Tuesday: run 5
Wednesday: hot yoga
Thursday: run (tempo? yassos? who knows)
Friday: run 3 easy
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: run 6! its a cutback week baby!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Running Things

Recently I've been acquiring new and exciting running things. Because this is a running blog, I'm going to write about them!

new kicks - Saucony Kinvara 4 in blue/orange/white (aka nemo stripes in the big blue)

For those who have been following my running since the beginning, you'll know that I trained for my first half marathon in vibram fivefingers. Every single training run was in those shoes. The minimalist thing was my jam.

And then the foot pain set in. Less than a week before the half. I ran the half, in pain. And then ended up with a broken 3rd metatarsal.

womp womp
Since that experience, I haven't ran in my fivefingers. But the minimalist shoe craze really appealed to me. I knew I ran fast and strong in shoes that complemented my actual feet - not ones with pounds of cushioning. But I did need some. Enter Nike Free's -- my go to running shoe for the next two years.

But when it was time to pack up this to head to chicago this summer, I was ready for a shoe change. About to embark on marathon training, heard awesome things about the kinvara. and I was sold.

Went to the local running store, tried them on, ran on the treadmill. done and done.

These shoes are serving me very well. fast miles. long miles. they do it all. and i'm in love.

hydration belt

used this sucker on sunday for the long run and other than some short chaffing due the belt pressing my tag against my back, all was wonderful.

I was reading the may april runner's world (yes the one with shalane/kara on the cover), and in an article on "bad habits to break" one was running with a water bottle in hand.

I have a nathan quickdraw handheld water bottle, and I think its time for it an I to break up. When I carried it during my half in April there were times when i considered tossing it to the side of the road. It was heavy, I was tired, and I just didnt like it any more.

My first swig of water from one of the flasks resulted in lemon-lime nuun all over my face though. whoops. apparently you dont really need to squeeze them.

The runner's world article cited the imbalance it creates, and I can vouch for that too. So Nathan Trail Mix Hydration Belt, nice to meet you. Welcome to all my long runs.


Hello my name is Lauren, and I used to be a hardcore shot block/sports beans addict.

And again, half marathon #3 -- I didn't really feel like chewing.

So I'm resorting to gu. And I trusted my fellow future chicago marathon-er friend, in her vanilla gu/pudding recommendation.

And she was right.

I took my first gu during last weekend's 8-miler, and it definitely fueled some negative splits. Didn't taste bad, no stomach issues. I will take it.

Vanilla gu, also welcome to my long runs.

(also I bought like exorbitant amounts at REI's anniversary sale.)

Oakley Twentysix.2 Sunnies

I am in love with these sunglasses. I have taken to wearing these ALL THE TIME, even though I bought them for running, and I should thus only wear them for running.

But they are pretty awesome. I do wear them running, and they stay on my head, don't push into the side of my head in headache inducing ways, and are in general awesome and comfortable.


Believe I am Training Journal

After the epic fail of a 1 minute PR at half mary #3, I figured it was about time to get serious. And I'm running my first full. And everyone is BQ'ing. And while I know BQ is probably out of reach for Boston 2014, it's still something I'd like to do. Boston is still a race I'd love to run. So let's get real serious about running. Let's track runs not just for distance, pace, elevation, but also for how I feel overall. Let's find that mental game.

So I turned to the believe i am training journal. because lauren fleshman and ro mcgettigan seem to know what they're doing.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Why today was awesome

Saturday #2 in Chicago was equally as awesome as Saturday #1.

Why you ask? Well let me count the ways.

#1. Green City Market

Chi roomie and I may have completely mis-mapped this and thus misjudged the distance we had to go. BUT once we got there it was all worth it.

We biked, and I used one of her family's extra bikes. It was one of my first bike rides in a LONG time. A little scary, but I survived, and by the end of it definitely got it down. So go me on that accomplishment too!

I went to the farmer's market with the goal of getting rhubarb and peonies (since they're gorgeous and blooming right now!). I accomplished that and so much more.

Rhubarb, strawberries, and asparagus from one farm.

Michigan farms represent!

The most delicious cheese from another.

My highly sought after peonies.

Multigrain Bread

And as our early afternoon snack, a grilled cheese sandwich and a raspberry rhubarb well water drink.

#2. An afternoon green smoothie in a wine glass.


#3. Followed by afternoon yoga

Okay this actually wasn't the most amazing. First of all, I was looking at the wrong schedule, so instead of doing the hot power yoga, I instead did yoga sculpt, which was yoga with weights. Which i guess is really great strength training. But it wasn't what I was expecting. And the instructor just wasn't great. She wasn't really encouraging, she stumbled over words and phrases, and she just seemed really inexperienced.

Regardless, it was a decent workout, and I'm glad I went. second yoga of the week done.

#4. The perfect happenstance

There's a lululemon 3 blocks from my apartment. I've been trying to avoid it like a fiend because I know once I go in, I will buy something.

So I did that today. It was a really successful marathon training week so I justified it. And it just so happend to be the 1 year since the store's opening, so they were celebrating.

With pizza.

And one of the employees told me I could take an entire pizza home. Because it was getting close to the end of the day. And so I did.

naked pizza

so amazing. the superbiotic pizza

Also it was from naked pizza, which is probably my new favorite pizza place. Fantastic priorities, awesome website, awesome pizza. What else could you ask for?

The superbiotic has the following on it:

Love love love.

And it was the perfect happenstance because I have a long run tomorrow and was dying for carbs.

So thanks lululemon southport for fueling my long run, you're the best.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Marathon Training Week #1

Last week was officially week 1 of 20 weeks of marathon training.

And it was pretty fantastic.

Monday - off. did a spin class sunday morning, and spent all day monday getting settled into my new apartment in Chicago.

Tuesday - 2 a day. 2 miles in the morning, 2 miles in the evening. 4 for the day. These were good miles. Good effort, good intensity. It was my first chitown run. exciting! 

Wednesday - yoga at home. Pulled out the mats, downloaded the yogadownload podcast and just did a little easy flow at home. Not a huge calorie burn, but good stretching. amazing news - i can still do crow pose.

Thursday - 4 miles out by the lake. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. last .5 mile? 4:00. Oh yasso's, I'll get you eventually. even more amazing? I did core work afterwards. go me.

Friday - 3 miles easy. Headed out expecting to get poured on. My luck? No rain at all. And negative splits. and 8:24 average. so much for easy.

Saturday - SELF workout in the park. Like i mentioned in my prior post, this kicked my butt. I'm still sore and its now monday. Damn all those burpees, squats, lunges, and jumps.

Sunday - 8 miler long run along the lakeshore. this was amazing. negative splits. my first run with gu. roommate tagged along on her bike to hold my phone and keys. The lake is beautiful. chicago is beautiful. I'm in love.

negative splits whoa!!
(i dont count mile 7 because i was weaving through drunk cubs fans on the way back to my apt)

yay for roomies who take photos of you on your run! :)

Total miles: 19
Total time running: 2 hours 39 minutes

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Self Work Out in the Park

Yesterday I went to the Self Magazine Workout in the Park event in Chicago.

It was really really awesome.

I picked up the tickets for my roommate and I on gilt city last weekend on a whim, and boy am I glad that I did! Very much worth it. We got there around 10:30 to register and then got in line. They didnt open up the park area until 11AM, but after that point it was jam-packed with things to do. 

There were two smaller fitness areas apart from the main stage where there were smaller more individualized workouts. We did a pilates one that killed my ab's, but it was quite short - maybe 10 minutes or so. But hey it worked!

The main stage was the best part - plenty of cardio and strength training based workout's with the chicago skyline in the background.

I did a few of the group fitness classes. One was a kickboxing type cardio class, which was fun. We caught the end of a bollywood style class called masala bangrha by Sarina Jain who was literally awesome. I'm almost tempted to go out and buy some of her workout videos. It reminded me of zumba, and was super fun. We then did a Jillian Michaels style circuit which I'm pretty sure really contributed to my soreness today, which is typical for Jillian workouts. 

There also was a Rebook cross-fit area that was awesome as well. A bunch of squats, burpees, and lunges that all killed my butt and hamstrings. All in all a great success.

 The event was huge, but didn't feel crowded, most of the vendors were great about supplying their tents with enough free swag that even at the end of the day we could get a few more things to go.

And boy did we collect some swag. By the end of it, a lot of the vendors were just trying to get rid of things, so we took advantage.

- all the bags of smartfood (we walked away with 6 or 7)
- luna squeeze water bottles (my favorite for running with)
- keurig k-cups from green mountain (LOVE)
- full size garnier products (haven't tried the dry shampoo yet, but i've heard its great)
- zico conut water (the chocolate is amazing!)
- rebook running socks. I can always use performance socks