Weekend Warriors

>> Monday, March 10, 2014

It's been far too long since I've written about running! I'm doing lots of it, but usually share my posts over on WalkJogRun. This weekend, though, Stephen and I both ran a race -- St. Patrick's 4-miler -- and I love this particular event because it means spring is COMING. (Though we currently have a Winter Storm Watch for over 7 inches of snow.) 

I must admit, I get so annoyed that my race photos are always so unflattering -- hahah. But I'd rather look like a crazy mess and run fast times than have picture-perfect memories. Who's with me?

I didn't know what to expect for my finish time on Saturday. I took the majority of last week off from running because I needed a mental and physical break before my half marathon training kicks into higher gear. My legs felt a bit heavy because I didn't even walk around much. At the same time, I excited to see what sticking with outdoor running had done for me all winter.

This was the first year EVER when I didn't do a single treadmill run the entire season. I also incorporated spinning into my routine once a week, almost every week. Basically, if a winter was to test my strength and speed, this one was it.

In the end, I crossed the line in 29:09 (7:18/mile), taking nearly 40 seconds off my previous PR. Forty seconds is a HUGE PR at that distance, so I'm really proud and feel like training hard definitely pays off. I also definitely said to myself "who CARES about the extra 7 pounds?" when I realized I'm still in super good shape despite the added weight.

I think I was like 6th in the speedy 30-39 age group, and I must say that I always thought 20-29 was most competitive, but that's just not true. The 30s are the time when women seem to get super speedy!

And Stephen won the race with a new PR of 21:09 (5:18/mile) -- so a big congrats to him!

I've been meaning to mention more about fueling, which I'm trying to do a better job of these days on long runs. Last year at the half marathon, I felt like my tank was completely empty halfway through the race, but I didn't bring anything with me to replenish my stores. Thing is, I have always had trouble finding a fuel belt that works well for me.

Fitletic recently sent me their single neoprene belt to try out (no other compensation + my opinions are my own). I have tried a couple belts like it in the past, but they all bounced around a ton when I put anything in them beyond an ID and pair of keys. The pocket on the Fitletic is really roomy, but lays flat even when I put it to the test with a large energy bar, phone, keys, and ID. I ran an entire marathon before with a similar belt bobbing up and down and it was so, so, so distracting.

So far, I've taken this guy on 4 long runs so far without so much as a jiggle! I also like that this belt features some internal pockets versus just one big one to help secure cash and other items. In addition to not bouncing, the waistband is also more substantial and comfortable with its special ergonomic design. Definitely worth checking out if you're unhappy with your current belt!

Are you totally DONE with winter? 

Several members of our family are on their way today to Costa Rica to celebrate the wedding of some close family friends. To say we're jealous is an understatement (CONGRATS, GUYS!!!). However, we also saw Non-Stop this weekend, so I don't think I'll board a plane for quite some time.

Did you race this weekend? 

PS: Had some MAJOR Aldi shopping success (#unsponsored review, btw) this weekend and can't wait to share more about it. Hopefully I'll get up a post tomorrow about how we did the majority of our shopping for two weeks for just $70, including stocking up on some key ingredients.

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