Week of 11/18/13 – 11/24/13: WDW Half Training, Week 10

I’m so tired of being injured. You’re getting a Runkeeper view of the last 30 days because (a) I only ran once this week (well, I only count one as a run), so the Nike+ graph is pretty boring, (b) I keep track off all my cross-training on Runkeeper, and (c) I can’t make Runkeeper only show me the past week. The green signifies running; orange is walking; pink is cycling (stationary bike); and blue is the elliptical.

week of 11/18/13 to 11/24/13

On Tuesday, I went to the gym to crosstrain. I did 10 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the stationary bike, and 20 minutes doing a very slow walk on the treadmill (I didn’t even go a mile…I mean, very slow). My ankle didn’t bother me at all on the elliptical or bike, but I could sure feel it when walking. Sigh!

I went back for more crosstraining on Thursday. This time I just stuck to the bike. I had lost the earpieces to my earbuds, so I went in thinking this was going to be a sucky workout with no music or TV to listen to. I chose one of the bikes with the virtual scenery. This was nice, but as I soon found out, these bikes (at least that I could tell) don’t tell you how far you go. So I did 25 minutes on a virtual scenery bike, which I can only guess was about 4.5 miles based on the fact that Tuesday I did 2 miles in 10 minutes. Also, I hate the stationary bike. I’m sure I have the seat adjusted improperly or something, but it is torture for my quads.

Saturday morning I got up and decided to test out my ankle very gently. I did a mile of intervals: 30 seconds jogging, 1 minute walking. I could still feel my ankle, but it wasn’t death. After that, I headed out to the grand opening of Fleet Feet’s new store in Green Hills. The first 100 people in line got a free gift card worth a random amount from $10-$200. I got one, but it was only worth $10. (Still, a free $10 is better than nothing! Thanks, Fleet Feet!) Some people in front of me had brought their whole family, including several children under age 5, all of which got a gift card. Another reason to have kids, I guess. I wonder how much they totaled in free gift cards. Anyway, I thought about getting some new socks, but they didn’t have any Injinji’s, so I opted for some Yurbuds instead, since, as I mentioned, my other workout earbuds are broken.

Then Sunday, I got to start day one of my new modified half training plan. I did two miles of intervals; this time I did 1 minute running, 1 minute walking. I didn’t do too bad! Check out some of those run times near the end; not bad for someone with a gimpy ankle!
11/24/13 interval laps
Anyway, my plan is basically to slowly build my running intervals, increasing maybe 30 seconds each week. That would be put me around intervals of 4.5 minutes running, 1 minute walking by the half. I probably won’t run it with defined intervals, but I like having the option. I suspect my intervals will be something like: run until I see Mickey…take a photo and walk a bit…now run through Cinderella’s Castle!

It was 30 degrees with a wind chill of 23, and this was the first time I had ever run in below freezing temperatures. As I layered on all my running clothes, I giggled to myself about how non-brand loyal I am when it comes to running.

Shoes: Pearl Izumi; Socks: Injinji; Tights: New Balance; Sports Bra: Brooks; Shirt: Nike; Half-zip: Lululemon; Gloves: Mizuno;  Headband: Lululemon

Shoes: Pearl Izumi; Socks: Injinji; Tights: New Balance; Sports Bra: Brooks; Shirt: Nike; Half-zip: Lululemon; Gloves: Mizuno;
Headband: Lululemon

Does anyone have any tips on keeping my nose warm though? I mean, short of running around in a balaclava.

Running Skirts

If you know me, you know that I can be very girly girl at times. I love dressing up and looking cute. But I also like to be comfortable. When I first started running, I was annoyed by most of the bottom options of running clothes. While I like my winter tights, once it started warming up, I found that running shorts loooove to ride up. I just couldn’t run in them. But tights were impractical for warm weather. Sure, I could have gotten some tight compression shorts, but I felt self-conscious in those.

Enter, the running skirt (or skort). Running skirts are basically compression shorts covered by a skirt. So you get shorts that don’t ride up, plus something cute to cover them up with. Perfect! I’ve tried many brands over the last year, so I thought I would sum up my thoughts in one post.


Deb and I at the Law Enforcement Memorial 5k

Photo by Michael Reyes.

PR Mesh Skort II ($34-$52)
Glycerin Skort ($30-$46)

The first running skirt I ever bought was by Brooks. It’s the blue one in the photo above, the PR Mesh Skort II. This is the skirt that made me fall in love with running skirts and soon after I bought a second Brooks running skirt, the Glycerin Skort.

The main thing that makes me love these skirts is they have a pocket on the right leg of the shorts underneath that perfectly fits my iPhone. I can put my phone there and know it won’t move. I wish there was another one on the other leg, though I’m not sure why, since it’s not like I carry two phones. This pocket has spoiled me, as you will be able to tell from my next reviews.

The shorts also have a little grip on the bottom hem that holds them in place. I’ve never had an issue with them riding up. I will say that they did shrink a bit after washing, so it may be a better option to hang dry if they are already a good fit.

I don’t know the exact differences between the two styles I have, but I generally enjoy wearing the Glycerin slightly more. I don’t know if I just like the color more or the way it fits, since both skirts are pretty similar. I bought both of mine on sale (Brooks generally has some colors on sale and some not), which makes them a great deal for training.


Team Aching Bad

Pace Setter Skirt ($58)

For the marathon relay, I wanted a black skirt, since we were color coordinating. Brooks didn’t have any black options that looked appealing, so I decided to try out the popular Lululemon brand, since their Pace Setter skirt had a cute ruffled back.

I really like the fit of this skirt and the length. But the weirdest thing about it to me? It has a tennis ball pocket on the left leg of the shorts. That means it’s an upside down pocket. That is completely useless to me, and I don’t understand why they would put that on something marketed as a running skirt. I’m contemplating seeing if I can remove it and flip it right side up, so I might be able to actually use it. However, the skirt does have a couple small waistband pockets that hold things like gels and keys, as well as a back zippered pocket. There’s just no place to put my phone, so I have to resort to an armband or waistpack if I want to carry it with me.

Since the brand is so popular, you will also notice that practically everyone who is wearing a running skirt will be wearing the same one you are. At the relatively small marathon relay (around 150 people total), I saw two others in the same skirt I was wearing. Same style and same color.


The Color Run - after

Runbow Athletic Skirt ($69)

For the Color Run, I wanted a colorful skirt that matched the vibrant colors represented on the Color Run shirt. RunningSkirts had just the item. The only thing is this particular item does not come in “running skirt” length. This is the “athletic skirt” length, which I found a little long. Also, the skirt seemed to run a little big, as it fits a little looser than my other running skirts. While it does have two pockets, they are located on the sides of the skirt itself and not the shorts. They also do not comfortably fit my phone, so I can’t put it there without worrying it’s going to fly out while I’m running. They have some cute designs, but being one of the most expensive options on the list, I tend to like some of the other skirts better.


Sparkle Skirt at the Mo Run

DressMeUp Blue SparkleTech ($75)
SoftPlum SparkleTech ($65) with Rapunzel embellishment ($10)

I own two of these, though I’ve only run in one of them so far. One, of course, is the Rapunzel skirt for my costume for the Disney half. The other I bought because, while I don’t want to run in something new on race day, I also don’t want to wear my Rapunzel skirt ahead of time because of the glitter. So I bought a non-glitter but very cute skirt I can see myself being able to wear a lot over the years.

On trying on these skirts, my impressions were that they seemed to fit slightly smaller than the others I own. But not too much; I wouldn’t go up a size unless you are already kind of inbetween sizes. The skirts are swingy and around the perfect length. And…guess what? My pocket dreams have come true! They have TWO pockets (one on each short leg) that are more than roomy enough for my phone and other items. They also have a zippered pocket that you can wear in either the front or the back. They also come in super cute designs, but since they are some of the priciest, I would save these for specific outfits for races. The Brooks skirts are better for regular training for the price.

I wore one at The Mo Run, and, while I wasn’t running, I had no issues with it riding up and was perfectly comfortable over a pair of running tights.

K Swiss

Accomplish Pleated Skirt ($50)

I haven’t run in this one yet, but I thought I would include it since I own it. I actually bought this for my Halloween costume (Velma from Scooby Doo), but figured I could get some use out of it as a running skirt. It’s super cute and looks like a normal skirt, but does have a distinct lack of any kind of pockets. I imagine it would make a cute skirt for a 5k. I didn’t have any issues with the shorts riding up when I wore it with my costume, and the fit and length seems spot on.

Restructuring the training plan…

My ankle is feeling a lot better, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to run on it by the weekend! With this in mind, I went ahead and restructured the remaining 7.5 weeks of my training plan.

The first thing I did was cut down on the weekday runs. Previously I was running between 9-13 miles during the week. However, with the way my schedule kept falling, I kept missing them, and the weeks when I could do all of them meant that I was increasing my mileage too much and possibly overtraining. So now weekday runs are kept to two 30 minute runs a week (approximately 5-6 miles) and one 30 minute walk.

Next, since I haven’t been running, and I want to ease back into it to avoid reinjury, I had to cut the mileage on my long runs coming up and ramp them back up to an appropriate distance. This has me starting at 2 miles (if I feel I can run by this weekend) and upping the distance 2 miles until I hit a max of 12 miles. Then I get one recovery week before the half marathon.

Week 1st Run 2nd Run 3rd Run Walk Long Run
11.18-11.24 rest rest rest 30 mins 2 miles
11.25-12.01 30 mins 30 mins rest 30 mins 4 miles
12.02-12.08 30 mins 30 mins rest 30 mins 6 miles
12.09-12.15 30 mins 30 mins rest 30 mins 8 miles
12.16-12.22 30 mins 30 mins rest 30 mins 10 miles
12.23-12.29 30 mins 30 mins rest 30 mins 12 miles
12.30-01.05 30 mins 30 mins rest 30 mins 5 miles
01.06-01.12 30 mins 30 mins rest 30 mins 13.1 miles!

I always knew that I would be taking this half marathon pretty easy, so all the hardcore training didn’t really make any sense and was just making me burn out. The real half training will start after the Disney half, when I start training for the Country Music half, where my goal is to run the whole thing without walking. But for now, it doesn’t make any sense when I plan on doing some walking and stopping for photos along the course.

Week of 11/11/13 – 11/17/13 and The Mo Run Race Recap

I don’t have a pretty graph for you this week because I didn’t run.

My ankle is still bothering me. I cared for it all week, icing it and elevating it and all that jazz. I even went to the gym on Thursday and worked out for 20 minutes on the elliptical and bike. By Friday, I was able to walk on it okay and traverse stairs gently, so I decided to walk The Mo Run on Saturday morning.

My alarm went off at 5am (*yawns*). Did I mention it was my birthday? That is way too early to be up on my birthday. I arrived around 6:30 am, ankle brace on. It was a pretty small race, with less than 150 people. Too bad I wasn’t running, maybe I could have placed in my age group or something. Anyway, a little after 7am, we were off. I took it pretty slow and by half a mile in, I was in last place. I enjoyed myself and posted goofy photos on Instagram for entertainment.

goofy faces while walking the mo run

Here’s some outtakes.

Around the one mile mark, I saw I was gaining on some people (one of them may have been a small child), so I decided it was my race goal to pass them. I got pretty close, but then they cut course just after the water stop. Yeah… (And from what I heard afterwards, several people did. Wonder how many I really would have beat had they not.) I was offered water, but I looked at them like they were crazy and said that I wasn’t really straining myself.

I never really came close to anyone after that, so I finished dead last. But, hey, it was in less than an hour! AND I had negative splits, ha!

running skirt ribbon

I also had a really cute ribbon on my running skirt. That’s all that really matters.

Although I probably pushed too hard in trying to finish in under an hour, since now my ankle actually hurts more than it did last Friday. Ah well.

So it looks like I’ve got at least one more week of no running. Guess I need to start hitting the gym more this week to crosstrain.

Week of 11/4/13 – 11/10/13: WDW Half Training, Week 8

week of 11/4/13 to 11/10/13Sigh.

The week started out so well.

On Monday and Wednesday I hit the treadmill for 4 miles each day. The workouts went well, despite the feeling that I’m working harder on the treadmill than I should be at the (slow) speed I’m going.

On Saturday, I went out for what would be my longest run to date: 8 miles. I started out trying intervals of 2 minutes walking after each mile of running, but I think I should have started with every half mile, as I got worn out pretty early on. Still, I managed to keep my average pace under a 13 min/mile, which was the goal. Also, the Nashville Marathon had gone on earlier in the day and apparently I happened upon several miles of its route!

Nashville Marathon Mile 20

This was actually like mile 5 for me.

For my last few runs, I’d been noticing a slight twinge in my ankle. Nothing serious, but the same ankle that hurt back in April (before I started this blog). I started really noticing it during these eight miles, but still it didn’t seem so bad. However, on my last mile, I could really feel it, and it was hard to finish out the mile. When I reached the end of my eight miles, I sat down on a bench to catch my breath for a moment. When I stood up to walk to my car, I nearly fell down. I couldn’t put any weight on my left foot at all. I shuffled to my car and made it home, where I spent the next 36 hours RICE-ing my ankle.

Now it is Tuesday and it is still killing me. I can get around, sort of, but any wrong movement and I’m in searing pain. I’m guessing it’s a sprain, though there’s no swelling or visible bruising. I suppose it could be some sort of overuse injury, since it was just a couple weeks ago I was wondering if I was overtraining. So running is out, probably at least for the remainder of this week. Good thing it is a recovery week.

I definitely need to see a physical therapist to figure out if there’s something in my running form that is causing me to repeatedly get injured. I just hope that I’m able to continue with my training for Disney!