PR’s and Tangents

Since November 19th, I have run 3 different races – 2 half marathons and one 10k. I have had the pleasure of taking these race relatively easy and nowhere near the serious mindset like races in the past. However, other runners definitely have. After each of these races, I have overheard other finishers mention that the course was long since their GPS clearly stated that they actually ran the allotted distance before they actually crossed the finish line. Hmmm… interesting.

Course that are USATF certified are precisely measured to be exactly the distance that they say they are. So why do they show up on Garmin’s and other watches as long? Well, races are measured on tangents. Meaning, the shortest distance that it takes to get from point A to point B.

(Source) 

This is not new information. There have been plenty of other blog posts about it. I just thought it was very interesting the number of times that I had recently heard people actually refuting the fact that they had PR’d and that the course was wrong. All hail Mr. Garmin.

Multiple years ago, when none of us used GPS watches during races, we all just trusted that the race was right because the race officials said so. We would use our Timex Watches (at least that is what I use) and just time the distance, and report on it later. We crossed the finish line having ran 13.1 miles, not 13.3, or 13.41 – the solid half marathon. Now, with all the technology that we carry, our races are different.

When you look up your results and they say a different time than you have listed, do you put an asterisk, saying that you did in fact have a different time and that the official results are wrong? Or do you take them for what they are - the official results?

If I would have actually had a working GPS when I ran the Chicago Marathon, I am sure that it would have said that I ran more than 26.2 miles when I crossed the finish line. And if I would have stopped my watch when I completed that distance, it would have most likely been the difference between those 14 seconds that stood between me and a Boston Qualifying time. Boston doesn’t care what my watch says – they care what the official results say.

So really, my question is – are you a runner that goes by what your watch says, or by what the course states? Does having a GPS alter your view of the distance that you ran, and the time that you ran it in?

P.S – I’m not taking anything away from any of you that have run great races lately. I’m just starting a healthy discussion, not an argument. ;)

Runner’s Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Since Christmas is only a few weeks away, I think it is perfect timing to share with you a few things that I feel every runner needs!! Here is my 2012 Runner’s Holiday Gift Guide!

Bodyglide Original Anti-Chafe Balm (2.5-Ounce)

I don’t think I have ever ran a single race without the use aid of BodyGlide! No matter how many times you have worn a particular running outfit, there is always a time where it could lay on your body just a little bit different, and then really hurt in the chafing department.  Don’t race without it!

 The Stick

It took me far too long to actually buy a Stick. I had seen them at nearly every large race expo that I had been to for years and years, but always would walk buy them. The price point was too high for me to justify it. That was, until my husband and I finally splurged and bought one. I use this little gadget all the time – before races, after long runs, and even if I have been wearing heels a little too long and my calves tighten up. This is a great gift for a runner!

Foam Roller

These are the best for both pre and post run stretching. Foam rollers are the best to help keep IT band syndrome away, and to help your muscles release the lactic acid stored in your muscles after long and grueling runs!

 

Lululemon

A lululemon gift card is a great gift for an active person in your life! Yes, the items there are pricier than some other brands, but they are worth it! The quality and fit are truly unbeatable. I can’t speak for the men’s line, but the women’s clothes fit every curve to a T. I absolutely love the items that I have purchased from the store! And a gift card is a great way to help someone buy the perfect pair of yoga pants, or that top they have had their eye on for months!

Race Medal Hanger

So many runners just stick their race medals into a drawer after they race, and then never really enjoy them after that. Races are something to brag about, and the medals should be displayed! Allied Medal Displays have some really great ways to show off your accomplishments, and many are customizable.

Nathan Quickdraw Plus (22-Ounce)

I fought with myself for a long time about whether or not I wanted to get a carry along water bottle for my runs. However, after having one of the most brutal summer training cycles last summer for the Chicago Marathon, I had to get something to hydrate myself. I did a lot of research on waterbottles and worked on finding the perfect one for me. I highly recommend the Nathan Quickdraw! See all my thoughts here!

Race Tattoos

These are something that are so much fun to have on race day! Whether you stick one to your arm, on your calf, or share the pack with a group of friends, race tattoos give you that extra little bit of excitement as you pound the pavement!

Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch

This is Garmin’s newest running watch, and it is definitely on my Christmas List! I have a Timex Watch that I have had for years and years (Marcus has one too), but I like to know by distance on long runs and workouts. This Garmin is a stripped down version of their other watches, so it calls out pace, distance, and time, but leaves the other information off. It is perfect for every runner!

Brooks Running Shoes

It is no secret that I love Brooks Running shoes! They have been my go – to neutral shoe for years, and carry every other kind of shoe you would need. Whether you are looking for a minimalist shoe or full stability, Brooks is your shoe!

ProCompression Socks

I have already mentioned how much I love these socks, so not much else needs to be said. Get them, and use the code from my review! It will save you 40%!

What are some gifts you know runners love? What is on your Christmas list this year?

Disclosure: A few of the above link are affiliate links. If you purchase an item, I get a small percentage of the purchase.

Bachelorette Runners

You know you’re a runner when…

You kickoff a great friend’s bachelorette weekend by running a half marathon together!

This past weekend was Meghann’s bachelorette weekend, and I would expect nothing less than having it started with a some sort of exercise. The Orlando Half Marathon fell on the perfect weekend so that we could incorporate it into her bachelorette festivities. Meghann, Ashley and I were all up nice and early on Saturday to get the race in. Meghann’s sister Kelly was nice enough to put us all up for the night, so we had a short commute to the start line, squeezed in a potty break, and made our way to the start line.

Ashley and Meghann were going to run together, and I decided to go ahead and run my own race. I wanted to use the race as more of a workout (which I decided when I was at the starting line) than taking it nice and easy like the Women’s Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago. I kept a pretty solid sub 8 minute pace for the first half, and then hit 7:59′s for the last 3 miles. It was just hard enough so that I felt that I needed to work bit, without feeling like I was hurting or out of breath. I finished right around 1:43, which I was perfectly happy with. I went into the race shooting for a 1:48, but ended up pushing it just a bit harder for the 1:43.

The race course was changed this year, which I was a huge fan of. This was my 4th time running this half marathon (my most recent time being last year) and this was my favorite course of them all. It was in more of the neighborhoods around Orlando, rather than a couple industrial places of the past. I hope they keep this course for years to come – I know I’ll end up running it again. It is one of those races that isn’t usually on my race calendar, but tends to get squeezed in. The race organizers do an awesome job with it!

After I crossed the finish line, I grabbed a bottle of water, and then went to find Meghann and Ashley. I wasn’t waiting for too long when I saw the unmistakable image of a bride running down the street. Kelly made Meghann a super cute “Runaway Bride” tank to run in, and she also wore a veil and tiara to compliment the outfit as well! She looked so cute!

I hopped back on to the course to finish the race with the others girls. We all collected our medals, grabbed a container of chocolate milk to refuel, and then we were outta there! Breakfast and festivities were calling our names! The rest of the day was full of pedicures, food, and of course some bachelorette shenanigans with the girls. Oh, and a really fun part – we all had matching shirts for Meghann’s big weekend (from Etsy!) – just a little reminder for the bride for these last few weeks!

 Keep Calm and Say I Do!!

Side note – Congrats to my friend Eric that completed his very first half marathon this weekend at OUC as well!!! Way to push through a very physical and emotionally tough race! You are a half marathoner!!! :)

Have you ever participated in a race for a bachelorette weekend? Did the bride have a fun outfit like Meghann?!

Back To The Track

I feel like people either love the track, or they hate it – there seems to be no middle ground. I have spend a lot of time on the track over the years that I ran in high school and college, and luckily, I thrive off of track workouts! With my hamstring issues over the past few months, I have steered clear from speed. I really didn’t want to exacerbate my injury even more. After some time off after the Chicago Marathon, I am feeling a lot stronger and healthier, so I am incorporating speed work in my training once again. Goodbye boredom!

Wednesday I met up with my friend Chris to tackle a nice ladder workout. The rest of my triathlon team all had commitments that night, so it was just the two of us. We run at different paces, so I knew I was going to have to do this workout solo – no big deal, but I knew I needed to be mentally tough from the get go. Our ladder was pretty simple:

Ladders are great because your body never gets used to the same pace, and you really have to listen to your body. The key is to hit the first and last set at the same pace. AKA, don’t kill yourself on the first 2 400m & 800m repeats, so that the last 2 are super slow.

Since this was my first true workout back in quite sometime, I didn’t have high expectations. Good thing! Here were my splits:

400m 1:34

800m: 3:19

1200m: 5:01

800m: 3:20

400m: 1:33

My splits were pretty solid, but they were pretty darn slow. That is not a complaint – I didn’t expect to be speedy by any means. I know I have a long way to go when it comes to get my speed back. My concentration for this workout was to keep my splits as even as possible, which I did. Overall, I think it was a success. Now I have a good benchmark of what to compare myself to as I progress in the next few months.

Do you love or hate running on track? Are you a fan of ladders, or do you keep your repeats pretty similar?

Workout Wednesday – Start with Stability

It is no secret that I have not been a gym regular lately. It is always the activity that I cut from my exercise regimen first when my life gets crazy, even though I know it is one thing that helps me significantly. Having a stronger core and overall a stronger body helps with so many things – running, walking, even just sitting at work. Since I had my hamstring and hip issues for my last marathon, I am taking charge now by incorporating more strength workouts before embarking on a new training plan.

Since I am considering that I am starting from scratch, I am going to use myself as a guinea pig for my personal training style. I am going to use what I learned in my NASM training on myself – for those of you interested in personal training in the future, these Workout Wednesday posts can give you a glimpse of what it would be like to work with me! Yep – I’ll be dedicating Wednesdays to some sort of strength training from now on – whether it is a workout, specific technique, or just tips!

My first workout back at the gym was focused on stability, rather than the amount of weight I was lifting. I plan to continue with this until I feel more comfortable and my balance and strength returns to normal. I did 3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise. For weighted exercises, I used between 10-12 lbs, whichever felt more comfortable. Each starburst is a super set, so I went from one exercise to the other within the starburst, and then took a small break in between (technical terminology, I know) ;)

 

Really focus on keeping your core tight for all of the exercise. Do not curve your back, and take time to hold the exercise for at least 3 seconds.

Anyone like to start with stability before moving into strength? Let me know if you have any questions about the workout!