Monday, October 3, 2016

Interval Running

I ran my first half marathon (and first race of any kind) in 2010.  I definitely knew that I needed to train but I didn't know where to start. I ended up finding a 16 week training plan online that told me what days to run and how many miles to run on those days.  I went in to training not really knowing what I was doing. I would try to run as far and as fast as I could, for as long as I could, and then I would walk until my breathing slowed back down to normal and I would start to run again.  As the training miles got longer my walk breaks got longer. I was so tired by the end of each run and would never be able to keep running until the end. On race day I finished the half marathon but I ended up waking the last 3 miles and I was so sore and so tired for about a week afterwards. 

I completed several more half marathons in the same fashion until one day I decided I was going to give interval running a try. I had began to notice people around me during a race with their watches beeping, putting their hands in the air signaling that they're slowing down to walk. I went back to google and did a little research and decided that I was going to give the Galloway method a try. 

Jeff Galloway is an Olympian, author and creator of the Run Walk Run method. According to Jeff, the principles behind Run Walk Run are:

• Continuous use of a muscle will result in quicker fatigue

• The longer the run segment, the more fatigue

• Run Walk Run is a form of interval training

• Conservation of resources

• Quicker recovery

• Less stress on the “weak links”

• Ability to enjoy endorphins

• Reduce core body temperature

Walk breaks...

• Speed you up: an average of 7 minutes faster in a 13.1 mile race when non-stop runners

shift to the correct Run Walk Run ratio – and more than 13 minutes faster in the marathon

• Give you control over the way you feel during and after

• Erase fatigue

• Push back your wall of exhaustion or soreness

• Allow for endorphins to collect during each walk break

• Break up the distance into manageable units

• Speed recovery

• Reduce the chance of aches, pains and injury

• Allow older or heavier runners to recover fast, and feel as good as in the younger (slimmer) days

• Activate the frontal lobe – maintaining your control over attitude and motivation

It took me several training runs to find an interval that worked good for me. I've tried 2:1, 1:1, 30:30 but recently have settled into running 1 minute and walking 30 seconds. At first it seemed a little odd to take a walk break after only 1 minute of running but the Run Walk Run method works best if you follow it from the start. 

I recently ran my first marathon and by running my intervals and taking my walk breaks I was able to finish strong and keep running for the whole 26.2 miles with minimal soreness afterwards. I've seen my overall pace begin to improve as well. 

Overall, running intervals has made running more enjoyable for me. I'm gradually getting faster but never feel like I'm overdoing it or putting myself in a position to get injured. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Inaugural Sugar Daddy Half Marathon

Yesterday (June 18, 2016) I ran the inaugural Sugar Daddy Half Marathon in Santa Clarita, CA.  Now I don't usually sign up for summertime races but I made an exception for this one because it was a local race and the price was pretty reasonable. And a lot of my Runners Lane teammates were also running. 

I knew it was supposed to be HOT so I thought if I wore water maybe I'd stay cooler. 

I love my InknBurn "fish tank"!

This race included a half marathon, 10K, 5K and kids race. 

There was the option of Friday night packet pick up or Saturday morning before the race. I opted to pick up my packet the morning of the race. 

I arrived about an hour before the race started. I had no trouble finding parking and there was no line to pick up my packet. While there was a bag check available I had plenty of time to take my bag back to the car. 

I could see Six Flags Magic Mountain from where I parked. 

Everyone received a reusable tote bag, fan, natural lotion and deodorant samples, a ginger candy and various coupons and flyers for other races. 

The bag is my favorite color!

We also received tech shirts. The men's were purple. 

The start/finish line was at the Iron Horse trailhead. 

There were signs and banners leading up to the little Expo area. 

I really liked the photo backdrop with everybody's name and what distance they were running. 

There's my name!

As a little side note, the race had advertised that the water stations were going to be cup-less so I decided to use my CamelBak. I was a little nervous because I've never run a half with it but it turned out that I didn't even notice I had it on. 

There was plenty of time for pictures before the race started. There were so many Team Runners Lane people at this race participating in all of the different distances offered. 

At 6:30am we were led in some stretching and warm up exercises. 

The Half was scheduled to start at 7:00AM and according to my Garmin we started at 7:01AM. 

I realized I didn't take any pictures during the race. I ran with my friend Sarah and we ended up chit chatting the whole 13 miles. 

Santa Clarita has an awesome trail system called the Paseos that the race was ran on. 

The course was pretty much an out and back. There were no timing mats so at the turn around point there was a bucket full of buttons. If you didn't have that button when you crossed the finish line they knew you turned around to early. 

By about mile 8 or 9 it had gotten really hot. I was really happy that I had brought my own hydration because there were only 7 water stations. Technically there were only four but you passed by three of them twice. But I knew this ahead of time because it was posted on the website. 

We kept up our run 1 minute, walk 30 seconds intervals for pretty much the whole race but for probably the last mile I had to increase it to a one minute walk break. 

I normally wear ProCompression socks when I run but I thought with the heat they would make it too hot so I opted to KT tape my shins. Well I should have taped my calves as well because they got super tight toward the end of the race. But I powered through it and finished!  

My time wasn't too bad considering the heat. 

Sarah and I took a picture at the sign after we finished. 

Then we went in search of the Ben & Jerry's truck. All runners got a free ice cream after the race. 

I was really impressed with the medals. They're huge!  

Chocolate Fudge Brownie!

Overall, for an inaugural race, I think this one went off pretty well. There could have been more Port-o-potty's at the start and I heard that not everybody got ice cream because people were going back for seconds. Definitely more water stations would have been nice, especially with the heat but as I said before, I knew how many to expect because the locations were posted on the website. 

I'm coming to realize that I really enjoy the smaller races. Between all the distances combined there were only 327 people that ran and 138 of those ran the Half. I'll definitely be back next year but may drop down to the 10K if it's as hot as it was yesterday.   It was close to 100 when we finished!

Do you prefer large or small races?  Let me know in the comments below. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Runner Crate Review

I was given the opportunity to try Runner Crate. Runner Crate is a monthly subscription box filled with runner goodies and their version of bling. 

According to their website each box contains:

6-8 Curated Runner Products Avg. $60+ Value in Every Box
Gourmet Runner Foods and Handcrafted Body Essentials
Amazing Runner Goods made with Pure Ingredients
Glowing Monthly Bling to Hang Up

The box I received looked like it was pretty packed.

It bursting at the seams!

Upon opening it this is what I found. 

Looks like a lot of stuff!

There were 8 items included. 

6 food items, 1 piece of gear and Star Wars bling!

The first thing I tried was the beam dragonfruit maqui berry hot cereal.  I can't say I was a fan. 

Next was the ProTings. They weren't bad and I'd like to try other flavors.


I dipped an apple in the Chocolate Almond Butter and it was so good!

The Justin's Classic Almond Butter with pretzels made a great snack.

I'm not a big fish person so I didn't try the Epic Bar.

The Go Raw bar was so good!

The non-edible item was a waist pouch.  I used it on a hike and it came in handy.

Last but not least is the light up bling.  Each month they include a challenge with the Runner Crate to be completed in order to earn your bling.

If you want to try Runner Crate use discount code SARAHROCKS and save 10%!

What other types of monthly subscriptions do you enjoy?  Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon

2016 marks the 5th Anniversary of the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. I have run this race since the beginning and I really enjoy it every time.

On Saturday morning I headed down to Anaheim to check in the hotel and then hit the Expo.  First thing was bib pick up. We followed the green carpet down. 

There was a special back-drop with the names of all the legacy runners. 

Legacy runners were noted on their bib and we also received a mirrored compact. 

After picking up my bib we entered the Expo to check out the official event merchandise. 

We decided to have breakfast before checking out the rest of the Expo. We ate at Steakhouse 55 which is located in the Disneyland Hotel. Breakfast there is so good!

Then it was back to the Expo. I always love to take advantage of the free photo opportunities. 

After the Expo it was time to head back to the hotel for an early dinner.  I always like to eat at Marri's before a Disney race. It's within walking distance to the hotel so we had called our order in earlier and it was ready when we got there. 

After dinner I laid out my outfit to make sure I wouldn't forget anything the next morning. 

Tiger Lily is ready to run

I had signed my mom up for the ChEAR Squad which meant she got some goodies and was able to be on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure as the runners races by. 

ChEAR Squad goodies: super soft shirt, Mickey clappers and a really nice blanket

3:45am came way too quick!  I was up and out the door by 4:15am. 

It was only about a 10 minute walk to the corrals. There was a security check point which was new since the last Disney race I ran. I wasn't carrying anything so I was able to walk right past the tables. Since I had left the room earlier than usual I was able to be all the way at the front of my corral. It stated filling up fast. 

Looking back from the front of the corral.

Being at the front of the corral meant a great view of the stage as we waited to start. 

Minnie and Daisy have their running clothes on!

Due to the Star Wars Land construction we had less time in Disneyland and backstage but I still like the course.

We entered Disneyland and headed backstage around the back of Tomorrowland.


We headed around the Matterhorn and into Fantasyland and through the Castle.

This is one of my favorite runDisney race pictures.  

It was then on to Frontierland.  We ran along the Rivers of America and then made a u-turn in front of the Haunted Mansion and headed out through Adventureland.

We ran down Main Street and out of Disneyland.  Then is was across the Esplanade and into California Adventure.

We ran around the park, went backstage and behind CA Screamin' then re-entered the park near Car's Land.

From there it was down Hollywood Blvd, up Buena Vista Street, and out of the parks and onto the streets of Anaheim.

As I neared the finish line I could see the big Sorcerers Hat.

High fiving (fouring?) Minnie at the finish!


Almost there!

I did it!  Half #22 complete!


I had my mom bring my other Tink medals to the finish line so I could get a picture with all of them. 

I liked that they brought the banner with all the names out to the finish line. 

I ended up finishing in 2:38:45. Just 46 seconds away from a Half PR. 

After finishing I was given a bottle of water, a bottle of Powerade and a snack box. I always love the treats in the snack box. 

After a quick shower it was time to hit the parks. 

We took advantage of PhotoPass and got a ton of pictures taken. 



Did you run the 2016 Tinkerbell Half Marathon? What did you think?  Let me know in the comments below.