Fitness

Phoenix Women’s Half Marathon Review

This is the second year I have attended the Phoenix Women’s Half Marathon. Last year I did the half and this year I ran the 10K with a group of ladies. I wasn’t planning a PR. My goal for this race was to use it as part of my training for my upcoming half in March. My ankle has been bothering me these last few months, so I have been taking it easy and allowing it time heal.

I chose to do intervals for this race as I haven’t been out running lately. I did 4 minutes running with 1 minute of walking. Two of the intervals I did 8 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. Overall, I felt great during the race. My heart rate tends to run on the high side when I run and sure enough this day was no different. Partially why I did intervals too. Giving my heart a recovery period. Have any of you tried heart rate training? I go back and forth on it. I honestly try not to dwell on it and just go based off how I feel. Although, I would also like to see it steady out a bit on longer runs. Let me know your thoughts below.

I of course get stretched out before and after the race. Again this year I was stretch out thanks to SpineFit. If you are looking for a Chiropractor that specializes in athletes and you live in the Arizona area then you need to go and check out Dr. Dane Kohl. He is pretty amazing!

The course isn’t that bad either.  I like the underpasses to give variation during the race.  Having to go down the underpass and then back up, that little incline is a nice change of pace during the run for me. I also enjoy the option to run on the canal instead of just pavement. So the dirt path is what I ran on most of the race.

My gear for my race:

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Altra Running shoes. This past month I invested in a new pair of Altra Running shoes. With the longer distance on the road I decided on something with a little more cushion. I was using One 2.5 from Altra and I can say I love the shoe too. This is the shoe I ran my half marathon in last year. With the recent ankle issues, I chose to try something with just a bit more cushioning. I can say I love these Torin 2.5‘s just as much! I can’t imagine running in another brand shoe. My feet love the open toe box and zero drop shoes.

Sock game: I chose non other than Pro Compression socks. I don’t go on a run without them. I recover much faster from my runs and have less muscle soreness. Compression socks help increase blood flow and aids in the recovery process. One of my best investments!

Running shorts: Dona Jo- JoJO running shorts are my favorite. They are light weight and are just the right length. They also do not ride up while I am running. They come in a lot of cool designs too. I currently wear a size 2 in these, but will like to try a size 1 to see the difference as I think I am in between sizes. These still fit amazing though on me. If you would like to try them then follow this link to get your very own discount code!

Shirt/Jacket-  I wore my favorite TriMafia shirt by I Am Velocity, but since it was cold out I also wore the jacket I got as swag for the race. This race gives the best jackets instead of tech shirts.

Headwrap- Fringe Fighter Headband by Lululemon.  These headbands stay in place. They are also great for covering the ears a little bit if it is cold out. I also wear these under my cycle helmet. They are great if you have bangs, but also help with keeping the sweat out of the eyes.  They are reversible too.

Nutrition support- I had a protein bar and half a banana early in the morning when I woke up. Then I typically don’t eat anything more until after the race and pack water with me. I also ran with Tailwind Nutrition. I have wrote about why I like tailwind here. I did one scoop in with my water during my run. As they say ” Tailwind mixes with water to meet all your calorie, hydration, and electrolyte needs, without upsetting your stomach or making your taste buds revolt. Just toss it in a bottle or hydration pack, shake, and GO!” It really does the trick. I have seen a difference in my overall performance and it is easy on the stomach.

Race Belt: Xterra Wetsuit Race Belt that way I don’t have to pin on my race number to my shirts.

If you ever are looking for a race to do come and join me next year. They even have a virtual option too! Until next time, Happy Running!

 

Fitness

First Sprint Triathlon Review

Let me first say I am totally hooked! Training for this triathlon has been both fun and rewarding. My goal was to complete my first triathlon by age 35. So no better way to turn 35 then do a triathlon. A fabulous birthday weekend it was. I honestly couldn’t have done it with all the love and support of my husband and 5 kiddos. They all cheered me on every step of the way! Of course my mom too, no matter the miles she is always encouraging!!

When I first started out training for this triathlon I wasn’t a strong swimmer, but I can say I have grown stronger. I still have room for improvement and I am ok with that. I mapped out a 10 solid weeks of training. In my training program I schedule out 3 days of swimming a week.  I typically swam at least 1200 yards per training session. Before starting this program, I never lapped swim. I only played and swam around in the pool with my kiddos. So thanks to my husband, Rob, for taking me under his wing and coaching me along in the pool.

The biking and run I knew I wouldn’t have a problem with individually, but transition from one right after the other came with practice. It started out as a weird feeling from getting off the bike to running, but by the end it felt great!

That brings me to race weekend! I picked up my packet and was thankful to run into the lady from TriSports as she walked me through setting up my transition area.  I felt like I had a good understanding after watching and talking through it with Rob during his triathlons, but she provided me with a lot of insight. Watching her set up and go through the flow certainly helped me on race day! img_0784

 

That evening I laid out all my gear that I would need for race day. This way I didn’t have to worry about it in the morning. So here is what I packed. On the left: Altra Running shoes with my socks already in them. Headsweats visor. Performance Bike cycle jersey that I will put on after the swim. In the middle: cycle helmet, CamelBak water containers, goggles, swim cap, Girls Run Fast Tattoo ( I put on that night), race belt and bib. On the right: Lululemon Energy H2O sports bra and SLS3 triathlon shorts. img_0792

That morning woke up early and had some sausage and eggs for breakfast along with some water. Braided my hair so it would easily fit in my swim cap and allow me to put on my cycle helmet without having to make any adjustments. We got to the race site at 5:20am to be sure got a good transition area spot. Race didn’t start until 7am. We found prime location just beside the bike out portion. I would rather spend less time running with the bike then having to run with my bike. Coming out the water I had to run a little further to get to my bike, but then I was right at the bike out. Coming back in from the bike I only had to go a short distance with my bike back to my rack. I also did a little walk through my transition area of how things would go when I actually had to transition from swim to bike and bike to run. Also very important to know where your transition area is in regards to landmarks since the area will eventually be filled with several other bikes! Then I set up my transition area as you can see below. The cap and goggles will go with me to the pool. Then I set up exactly how I will need to grab my stuff and put it on in each transition. This way when you get to your transition you have a flow and can get going!

Then it was off to number markings, timing chip, using the bathroom one last time, and checking out the pool!img_0790

Leg 1: Swim 400m…The swim was in a 50m pool. I trained in a 25m pool, but didn’t think it would be a huge adjustment. Just told myself to stretch it out in the pool and pace myself so I wouldn’t get tired. Even though I swam with someone in my lane while training, it didn’t really prepare me for what it would be really like with all these people in the pool! I started out great for the first 200m, but then caught up to a group of fellows. They were fast then slow and it took a lot of my reserved energy just to try to get around them. For me that was a little frustrating on myself, but I managed. It was a great learning experience for sure and shows I still have plenty of room for improvement too. I loved seeing everyone out there and really giving it there all. I saw everything from freestyle, to backstroke, sidestroke, breaststroke, even chicken-airplane-soldier. Really whatever it takes to get through those 400 meters! It took me 10 minutes to finish 400m ( about 1 minute slower than my time trials) but I was happy with the outcome.

Transition 1 to Leg 2: Bike 12 miles…My favorite part is the bike. I transitioned well and gave it all on my bike. I was a little exhausted getting out the pool. More exhausted then I thought I would be. I biked a smooth 12 miles and even chatted up with some friendly competition on the steady inclines. Enjoyed hearing everyone cheering each other on. While on the bike I was sure to refuel and hydrate. Since this isn’t a long triathlon I didn’t need a lot. I used Tailwind Endurance Fuel in with my water while on the bike. Which was enough to hold me through until the end. I averaged 18.9 mph on the bike.

Transition 2 to the final Leg 3: Run a 5K…Off the bike I went. I put on my Headsweats visor and grabbed my race belt and off I went. The nice thing about the race belt is I can fasten it while I run. Since I don’t have cycle shoes my running shoes were already on making this transition a breeze.  The run went as I expected. I was able to keep a steady pace and run the entire course. Coming of the bike my pace was quicker, but didn’t want to exhaust myself so backed off just a bit and averaged 9:45/mile for my run.

Overall I was very pleased with how my first triathlon went and certainly can’t wait to do another one! I was tired, but full of smiles when I was done. For now I will continue to work on my swim and sticking with Sprint triathlons until I feel ready to conquer more meters in the pool. I certainly loved every minute of this process. It was also great to join up with a family friend!!img_0787