My Marathon Training Must-Haves and a Giveaway

Now that I am halfway through my Chicago Marathon training, there are a few items that I reach for help me power through each run.

Brooks PureFlow 4 and Brooks Launch 3

I love Brooks shoes.  I’ve also worn Asics, Newtons, and Mizuno but always come back to Brooks.  I’ve run in Pure Connect (discontinued), Ghost, and Glycerin but now alternate between PureFlow and Launch.  They don’t feel heavy and are very comfortable.  

SmartWool and ProCompression Socks

The right socks are important.  Definitely no cotton socks.  I usually wear compression socks on runs longer than 6 miles.  I love the different colors and my legs/calves feel great during and after each run. I also wear SmartWool (ultra light or light elite) and even though my feet have been completely wet after a few sweaty runs, I’ve had NO blisters which in my book is definitely a winner.

Oiselle Long Roga Shorts and Tops

I love running in shorts!  I wear them as long as I can before it gets too cold.  These shorts are long enough and for the most part do not ride up.  I’ve had them ride up only when I’ve worn a Sparkly Athletic skirt (weird).  I have a few pairs and love wearing them with a Oiselle top.

I have more pairs than shown in the picture.

OiselleLongRogaShorts

It wasn’t until a few months ago that I began running in a tank top.  I’ve always worn a short sleeve shirt.  But now I LOVE and do each run in a Oiselle top.  They fit well and no chafing.

Body Glide

You definitely need to stock up on this item.  I apply this between my thighs, under my arms, and in the back of my running bra.  I did chafe big time between my thighs at the 2015 Chicago Marathon that it hurt to walk.  That was the only time I’ve chafed in that area.  It must have been the shorts with the combination of the sweat (I did not reapply at all) that caused it.  You bet I will make sure to reapply at this year’s marathon.  

Victoria Secret The Player Sports Bra

I am not well endowed in the chest area but it is comfortable when my boobs are bouncing around during my runs.  My favorite VS bra is the open back version.  Unfortunately it has been discontinued which makes me sad.  I love this bra because it provides the right amount of support.  I have 6 pairs and have worn them for over a year and they’re beginning to smell bad.  I know I need to replace them but have not found something equivalent.  I’ve also worn bras by Champions 9 (not enough support) and Moving Comfort (ALWAYS chafe in the same area).  

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

NUUN Tablets

I add these tablets to my water bottle and drink this all day and at every run.  I am not a big fan of the Nuun Energy; so I am stocking up on the previous version.  

Garmin 225 Watch and Fitletic 16oz Hydration Belt

I use my watch mostly to get the basic information (lap pace, average pace, mile splits, and distance). It comes in handy during my weekly runs as a pacer because I am responsible (with another pacer) to make sure we meet that 11:00 minute pace.  I like that it syncs with my Nike +Running App.  I know I could get more usage out of it (like heart rate) but for now it works just fine for me.

I wear my belt low on my hips and I swear it does not bounce, chafe, or ride up.  It has two 8 oz bottles and a pouch which fits my iPhone 6.

ChicagoMarathonTrainingRecap40

Headsweats Hat/Visor

Thanks to Marcia’s code (TEAMARCIA for 25% OFF) I ordered two visors and hat.  I love that they’re light, comfortable, so many options to choose from, and keeps the sweat off my face.  Plus, it washes really easy.  I add it to my weekly load of running clothes and air dry it along with the rest of my clothes.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap51

I have an extra visor and you have a chance to win it!  To enter, click on the image below where you will be directed to Gleam and enter several different ways such as leaving a blog post comment, commenting on any of my Instagram posts, or tweeting about the giveaway.  I will also include a tube of Nuun (I have various flavors you can choose from).

Headsweats Marathon Giveaway

This giveaway will run until September 6 at 11:59 pm).  The winner will be selected on September 7th. The giveaway is open to US residents only.  The winner will be contacted via the email address associated with their Gleam account and will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  All entries are verified, so please be sure to complete them or a new, random winner will be selected.

Best of luck to everyone who enters! 

What are your running must haves?  Anything else I can add to my list?

I am linking up with Erica and Smitha for this giveaway!

WednesdayGiveaway

2016 Chicago Marathon Training Week 12

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.

Hoping everyone had a good week!

WeeklyWrap

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap1

Chicago Marathon training is here!  I am excited (and nervous) to be training using the Hansons Marathon Method.  In a nutshell, this training is based on the concept of cumulative fatigue. You train your body to run often so that you are frequently running on tired legs.  The idea is to run this way so that during the last miles of a race you are prepared to push through the final miles. These plans are 18 weeks and have you running 6 days (easy, speed/strength, tempo, and long runs) a week with one rest day. 

Week #12, August 22-28

Monday:

  • PLAN – 6 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – Total 6.02 miles @10:44 average pace

First day back at work.  To say that I was tired is an understatement…no kids yet just a day full of fun meetings.  Obviously I wanted to skip this run but made myself go (after a short nap).  I had so much energy and ran faster than I should have. 

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap87

Tuesday:

  • PLAN – 4×1.5 miles @10:08 pace (with 1 mile w/up and c/d and 400 recovery) 
  • ACTUAL – Total 10 @10:55 average pace

Another day full of meetings.  Gosh, those are more tiring than a run!  W/up and c/d @11:07.  Recovery @13.02.  I alternated a different song with paces of 10:10 and 10:00.  Tired afterwards but felt great throughout my run.  Legs were sore from TRX in the morning.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap91

Wednesday:

  • PLAN – OFF
  • ACTUAL – OFF

Thursday:

  • PLAN – 9 tempo @10:18 pace (with 1 mile w/up and c/d)
  • ACTUAL – Did not run.

First day with the kids.  It was HECTIC and I was not prepared.  I did the best I could and saw many happy faces.  Some told me already that I was their favorite teacher.  I have a good group of kids. They’re well behaved and excited to come to school and learn.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap93

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap95

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap94

Friday: 

  • PLAN – 6 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – 6 miles @12:00 average pace

I was still sore and tired from Thursday.  I went to the gym in the morning because I did not want to run after school.  I alternated a different song with paces of 12:15, 12:00, and 11:46.  

I saw this gorgeous sunrise after I picked up coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap96

Saturday:

  • PLAN – 10 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – 10.02 miles @12:58 average pace

I decided not to run with CES because they were running 16 miles.  Instead, I ran with my friend, Claudia.  She runs with a different group and they were meeting at 5am and that meant a 4am wake up call.  Oh well.  It had to be done.  I did not know it was raining and was NOT looking forward to running in the rain.  However, it did not rain as bad as last week and it was actually run.  We took our time and we enjoyed it.  I was hoping to see the sunrise but it was very foggy and cloudy.  

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap97

After our run we went to The Original Pancake House for a well deserved breakfast.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap98

Sunday:

  • PLAN – 10 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – 9.02 miles @12:34 average pace

Another 4am wake up call to run this morning.  Luckily it did not rain but it was humid.  It was close to 80 degrees and 85% humidity.  I took it slow and felt great throughout my run.  I was pleased to see the sunrise and it was gorgeous.  However, I ran 9 miles instead of 10.  Next week we have 16 miles on our schedule and I might start earlier.  But it all depends on how warm it will be that day.

Week 12 went well.  I was very tired and missed two runs.  I am very pleased with my strength run on Tuesday.  Next week I have 3×2 mile repeats and a 9 tempo run.

Total mileage for the week: 41.06 miles

Total mileage for this training cycle: 475.40 miles

Total mileage for the year: 958.46 miles

2016 Chicago Marathon Training Week 11

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.

Hoping everyone had a good week!

WeeklyWrap

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap1

Chicago Marathon training is here!  I am excited (and nervous) to be training using the Hansons Marathon Method.  In a nutshell, this training is based on the concept of cumulative fatigue. You train your body to run often so that you are frequently running on tired legs.  The idea is to run this way so that during the last miles of a race you are prepared to push through the final miles. These plans are 18 weeks and have you running 6 days (easy, speed/strength, tempo, and long runs) a week with one rest day. 

Week #11, August 15-21

Monday:

  • PLAN – 8 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – Total 8 miles @11:31 average pace

I did this run on the treadmill and alternated a different song with paces of 12:00, 11:32, and 11:07.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap75

That evening I went to an event sponsored by Fleet Feet Chicago and Generation UCAN to meet Dathan Ritzenhein.  We got to hear a bit about the product he uses to fuel his runs, how he become a runner, and his accomplishments.  There was a fun run prior to the Q&A session (I did not run) so I got a chance to talk to him and ask him specifically how he fuels.  Also, there were samples of their new snack bars (Peach Passion and Coffee Bean) and they were both delicious!  I ended up buying a box of the Peach Passion bars and the Berry UCAN Hydrate.  Overall, it was worth the trip to the store.

Tuesday:

  • PLAN – 6×1600 @10:08 pace (with 1 mile w/up and c/d and 400 recovery) 
  • ACTUAL – Total 9.50 @10:48 average pace

W/up and c/d @11:07.  Recovery @13.02.  I was not looking forward to this run.  It is a very intimidating run.  Surprisingly I felt great and it was a confidence booster.  I did get a little tired at the last mile but managed to power through. The first 3 repeats were done at 10:10 and the last 3 I alternated a different song with paces of 10:10 and 10:00.

Prior to my run I ate a UCAN snack bar and drank coffee.  Maybe that’s why I felt great?

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap78

Wednesday:

  • PLAN – OFF
  • ACTUAL – OFF

I finally got a haircut!  It has been two years since I’ve had one.  I cut off 8 inches and will be donating it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

Short but not too short to put it up in a ponytail for when I run.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap83

Thursday:

  • PLAN – 8 tempo @10:18 pace (with 1 mile w/up and c/d)
  • ACTUAL – 10 miles @10:10 average pace

I had a doctor appointment in the morning for a yearly physical.  Then I hung out at Panera for coffee and a bagel before heading to the gym.  W/up and c/d @11:07.  Alternated a different song with paces of 10:21, 10:10, 10:00, and 9:50.  Yikes, this was a little bit faster than I was supposed to run but I felt great so I just kept running.  Prior to my run I had a Generation UCAN snack bar and coffee.

Friday: 

  • PLAN – 7 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – 7 miles @11:34 average pace

In the morning I got a massage which felt great.  Then went to Target and also had lunch with a friend. I did not want to go right away to the gym so I waited a bit and hung out with Lola.  

I alternated a different song with paces of 12:00, 11:32, and 11:07.  I was on a roll and was surprised when the treadmill stopped.  Bummer.  I did not know that was going to happen.  Oh well.  I started the machine again and finished my run.  I was tired.  TIRED.  Sigh, I think I need to do these a bit slower.  

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap84

Saturday:

  • PLAN – 16 long @10:29-11:05 pace
  • ACTUAL – 13.02 miles @12:27 average pace

I was looking forward to this run.  I checked the weather and it was ideal (or so I thought) and that is always something to look forward to in a long run.  Well, about 6 miles into the run it began to POUR. Literally it rained cats and dogs.  Then it cleared up for a little bit.  However, I was not feeling it.  I was tired.  I could not get my legs to run fast enough.  For the rest of the way I ran and walked.  And it rained again TWICE.   I was over the rain and just wanted to be done.  I also chafed in my arms and near my lady parts.  Not fun.

I will admit that this run left me questioning why I was even training for the marathon.  I think that if it wasn’t for the fact that it has a sentimental meaning, I would have stopped my training on Saturday.  Yes, that is how much it affected me.  But I also know there will always be bad runs during marathon training and it is part of the experience.  

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap85

Sunday:

  • PLAN – 8 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – Did not run.

Just one of those days.  No energy and no desire.

Week 11 went well.  I was very tired and missed one run.  I am very pleased with my strength and tempo runs and how they went better than I expected.  Next week I have 4×1.5 mile repeats and a 9 tempo run.

Summer break is over and I go back to work tomorrow.  I am excited and looking forward to the new school year.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap86

Total mileage for the week: 47.52 miles

Total mileage for this training cycle: 434.34 miles

Total mileage for the year: 917.40 miles <<Yikes!!

2016 Chicago Marathon Training Week 10

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.

Hoping everyone had a good week!

WeeklyWrap

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap1

Chicago Marathon training is here!  I am excited (and nervous) to be training using the Hansons Marathon Method.  In a nutshell, this training is based on the concept of cumulative fatigue. You train your body to run often so that you are frequently running on tired legs.  The idea is to run this way so that during the last miles of a race you are prepared to push through the final miles. These plans are 18 weeks and have you running 6 days (easy, speed/strength, tempo, and long runs) a week with one rest day. 

Week #10, August 8-14

Monday:

  • PLAN – 6 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – 6 miles @11:35 average pace

I did not feel well in the morning.  My body ached (not like after a workout ache) and my mother told me I had a fever. Well, that made sense.  I took a Tylenol and a nap and felt much better afterwards. I did this run on the treadmill and alternated a different song with paces of 12:00, 11:32, and 11:07.

I received 3 more Oiselle shirts.  Aren’t they cute?  I wore the black one on my run today.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap58

Thanks to Timehop I was reminded of my long run and ice bath last year.  Lola as always was curious and wanted to know what I was doing.

Tuesday:

  • PLAN – 3×1600 @9:04-9:27 pace (with 1 mile w/up and c/d) 
  • ACTUAL – Total 6.11 @10:33 average pace

W/up and c/d @11:07.  Recovery @13.02.  I did not want to do this run.  I had spent about 5 hours setting up my classroom.  By the time I drove into the gym parking lot, I already had 10,000 steps for the day.  However, it definitely went better than I expected.  I alternated 3/4 minutes with the interval timer with paces of 9:23, 9:14, 9:05.

I need to remember to always believe in myself.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap62

On a sad note, I lost my Ipod Nano.  I remember I had it with me in the locker room and then somehow I could not find it when I was ready to start running.  I went back to look for it and also checked around the treadmill but nothing.  I was hoping that someone would find it and turn it in.  

Before I went to set up my room, I stopped at IHOP for breakfast.  

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap61

This was when I walked in my room.

Again, thanks to Timehop, I was reminded of my first post and photo on Facebook from 8 years ago.  It was my coworker who convinced me to open an account.  I remember telling her that I was afraid no one would want to be my friend.  

Wednesday:

  • PLAN – OFF
  • ACTUAL – OFF

I went to school to finish setting it up.  And I am pleased to say that it is almost ready for my kids.

Thursday:

  • PLAN – 8 tempo @10:18 pace (with 1 mile w/up and c/d)
  • ACTUAL – Did not run.

It was one of those days where my body told me to stay home and rest.  That is what I did.  Well, I did go to Target with my mother for a few things and spent over $100!  I bought an Ipod Nano and look how small it is.  I called the gym that night to find out if someone turned in my other one.  Nope.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap66

Friday: 

  • PLAN – 6 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – 6.02 miles @11:55 average pace

I wanted to run outside instead of the treadmill but knew it would be hot.  I woke up early to do this run. It was hot but it felt great being outside.  And yes I did see those two chickens on my runs.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap63

Saturday:

  • PLAN – 10 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – 9.02 miles @11:09 average pace

Before my run I took Generation UCAN.  I was a little nervous because I am so used to taking gels, chews, or blocks during my run.  With UCAN I mix it with water and then drink it 30 minutes before my run.  The way it works is that it slowly delivers steady energy for the brain and body.  Also, it is a natural and slow releasing carbohydrate that keeps blood sugar stable.  I am experimenting with this product so I only drank plain water throughout my run.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap71

I checked the weather in the morning and saw 75 degrees.  Perfect!  Wrong, it was humid and gross today.  For the most part I felt OK but I did get a headache after mile 6.  Someone asked me if I was hydrating properly and I thought I was but once I was done I drank a lot of water because I was indeed very thirsty.  Overall, I am very pleased with this run.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap70

Sunday:

  • PLAN – 10 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL –10.02 miles @12:12 average pace

I went to the trail for this run and it was great!  It was 70 degrees with lots of shade.  I ran with a friend and while we did take some walk breaks, I am pleased with my overall pace because it isn’t an easy course.  I was soaking wet at the end of my run. Gross. 

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap72

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap73

Week 10 went well.  I missed my tempo run on Thursday and that is OK.  Beginning next week is when I will start with the strength running portion of my plan.  They’re 10 seconds faster than tempo pace and longer than my speed workouts.  Next week I have 6×1 mile runs on my calendar.  The last time I did this workout was on April 5th and this is what I wrote in Google Calendar for that run “Total 8 miles @11:05 average pace.  I cannot remember the paces I did for the mile repeats but I only managed to do 4.  Legs felt tired and I could not keep going.  I did warm up and cool down plus 800 recovery after each mile repeat. ”  Let’s hope this time I do run all 6 mile repeats. 

Total mileage for the week: 37.17 miles

Total mileage for this training cycle: 386.82 miles

Total mileage for the year: 869.88 miles