BibRave, Product Review, Run!, Slacker

Building the Bones

Disclaimer: I received coaching from Endure Strong as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.

Lord knows, I could use some guidance. Left to my own devices I might just sleep all day and eat pizza. Which is counter productive to that lovely goal of breaking 2:00 in the half. That one I set ummmm, 5 years ago? However I’ve done nothing but get slower in the last 4 years.

Boo. Training plans and I don’t often get along. I’ve looked into online coaching but could never seem to take the plunge. So when the opportunity arose with Endure Strong through BibRave, I was more than a little intrigued. Throw in actual conversation with Jared Ward and I was in.

It all started with an email from Andrew- the main guy with Endure Strong– in which I was welcomed to the team and asked to create a Final Surge profile. Final Surge is the platform that Endure Strong uses to pick training plans, schedule runs, have group chats and reach out to the coaches.

Plans were organized by race distance, weekly miles and skill level. Being that I knew I was out of shape and carrying an extra 40 pounds (more on that sometime) I chose a beginner 16 week plan with a peak of 25 miles per week. Doesn’t sound like much but it was more than I was running. Plus the idea of 6 days a week kind of scared me. So much so that I kind of freaked out and emailed Andrew in a panic. I had just transferred into my position and had no idea how that transition was going to go.

A week in May where I moved a run.

The way my plan laid out, the days didn’t work me. It started with Mondays as a rest day and then 6 days of running- I needed it shifted up a day. Yes, Final Surge has a drag and drop capability but that would be tedious moving every single workout for 16 weeks. Andrew was able to make that happen and I calmed down a little. Whew.

Then it came time to run. It broke down with 3 easy, short runs, 2 speed work outs and a long run. Simple enough, right?

Morning wake up text

I was putting in the miles- mostly- and hitting the paces- mostly. Denial is a wonderful place. I was attending the bi-weekly training calls with Jared and the team and I was getting those green boxes in Final Surge.

Then the rosy glow faded a bit and I slammed into a wall of reality. Your workouts are set to specific zones. The zones are set in the account setup according to your goal race.. I picked a race time of 2:12 for Oaktown Half. See a problem?

That’s 20 minutes faster than my recent times. Over reaching much? I was paying for it- I was exhausted, hurting and flaming out in most runs. The good thing is you can adjust your zones. So I went in and reigned it in. Notice I am saying I.

Here’s where I was feeling dissatisfied. Yes, I reached out on the social wall and would get feed back from the other members and the coach but I was feeling a lack of direct feedback. I feel like a little more one on one would have been beneficial. The opening intro is all self driven- some interactions with someone smarter than me might have seen that I was over reaching. An occasional email or direct message from the coach checking in would have been appreciated.

I learned a few things while training with Endure Strong. I need some one on one time with coaching and it can’t all be me reaching out. To some extent I need a drill sergeant. I need someone to keep me accountable otherwise I either push to hard or not enough. I didn’t necessarily feel that here.

Apparently I took all my screenshots in May??

Now- I fully admit that is partly on me. I could have reached out directly more often. While the interaction of the social wall was great, I knew I needed more and I could have tried harder. It just felt a little one sided.

Time in zones for the last 30 days

However, I did like the plan itself. Except for the 6 day part- my body and my brain can’t handle 6 days a week. At least not now. #goals The amount of easy running and structured running was a good mix- I am not great at that by myself. If you are looking for a little direction and a great plan, under $40 a month is a steal. There are also the biweekly calls with Jared and you can send your questions in advance or ask them while the call is taking place.

Final Surge has a few quirks but that’s on the Final Surge end. I loved the morning texts and emails with my run for the day- I never had to memorize anything too far ahead.

Endure Strong is a great option for those with a little more self motivation then myself. However I am glad that I had the opportunity to learn this about myself. I also believe that I finally built a decent base- not the goal of my plan but still a good thing. If the bones are good, I can continue to build on that. My race is still 9 days away so I have another few weeks of the training plan to go- wish me luck!

How do you choose a coach or plan?

*Want to more than just my thoughts?-

Fit Newton Blog The Marathon Lady My Feet In Motion

I Run For Many Reasons She Runs by the Seashore

BibRave, Slacker, Training

Week 26- Don’t Bet on Me

I wouldn’t even bet on myself.

I am my own worst enemy.

  • 2019 Race Schedule (so far):
  • 8/11 Oaktown Half (Thanks BibRave)
  • 7/20 Vintners 5 Mile or Rock to Pier 10K (not looking good)
  • 10/ 6 RnR San Jose (Thanks BibRave!)

I started the week with some drag and dropping of my training plan on Final Surge. I appreciate this feature with my training plan but the last few weeks, the ease of changing has enabled my inner Slacker to be even more Slacker like. I had a work function on Thursday and I knew I had to make adjustments for that.

I’ve also fallen into the bad habit of reading other blogs, but not commenting- I’m sorry! I’ve also stalled out in the book I am reading and the book I am listening to. May I should have called this post “Stall” since I kind of feel like that describes my running too the past few weeks.

Plan vs Reality

Monday 2.5 miles w/ strides/ 2.5 miles w/strides
I had originally thought about moving my hardest workout of the week to Monday but I was still dealing with migraine fog so I am glad I didn’t. I headed to the lake path for a few easy miles with 6 strides… or 7, I kind of lost count. My mom was out there too, she decide to join me and do a few laps of the lake herself.

Tuesday 1.5 miles/ 1.5 miles
I am really beginning to love these easy days. I am starting to realize that not every run has to be long to be worthwhile. Any movement is good movement. Sometimes I forget this.

Wednesday- 1.5 up/down, 2x 2mile repeats/ 1.4 up/down, 2x 2 mile repeats
I was scared of this workout. I didn’t think I could do it. I have also been starting to realize that I may have over reached with my goal for Oaktown Half and may need to adjust my pace settings. My goal for this workout was for each repeat to be at 10k pace- 9:32-9:49. I’m not there yet. But I tried- the miles ranged from 9:58 – 10:21. And they were hard. So hard. Oh did I mention it was almost 90 and I forgot water too?

Thursday- 1.5 miles/ Mixer
I had a feeling I wouldn’t run today due the mixer for work and that proved true.

Friday- 1.5 miles/ lazy
I originally planned on doubling up for this run and running 3 miles to make up for Thursday. Work was a little crazy and I ended up staying til close. I have a feeling I will likely do that most times I open- I feel guilty leaving before closing. Then I was just kind of done.

Saturday- 9 miles/ 3.1 miles
I was supposed to run my long run for the week but the snooze button was too tempting. So instead I headed out for a very easy 3 miler in the heat of the day. 95*- so much fun.

Sunday- Rest/ 5.5 miles
Once again, I was too friendly with the snooze button. Even as I was lying in bed, I knew I was just screwing myself over and only had myself to blame. Then as the day progressed and the temp rose, I was tempted to just bail on the run. However, after an internal argument, I made myself go for a run. Just run and see what happened. Well, it was 90* so what I got was a sluggish 5.5 miles. However that was better than being lazy.

So 18.4 /21.5 miles for the week and more red than green on my training calendar. Also a good amount of irritation with myself.

How was your week?

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Cooling Off

It’s summer in California and that means one thing- me being stupid and running in the heat of the day.

Disclaimer: I received a CoolNet UV+ Headband from Buff as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Could you have guessed that by my track record?

Why I do this so consistently, I don’t know. Maybe I really am a glutton for punishment. However, knowing my proclivity for stupidity, I look for anything to keep me cool while showing off aforementioned stupidity.

Shade is never guaranteed where I run, neither is available water. Don’t get me started on my town’s lack of facilities. So I always run with my pack and water. I layer on sunscreen and wear a trucker hat as well. New to my arsenal is the CoolNet UV Headband from Buff. Dude, where have you been all my life???

I’ve had it for about a month and it’s rarely not on my head if I am running, even when it’s hidden under my hat. I don’t understand how adding an extra layer of material keeps my head cooler but it does. And well, science was never my best subject.😛 An added bonus is that is keeps the sweat from dripping down into my eyes. Yes! I’ve become such a sweater in the last year or so.

Ok, so how does it work?

From the website

I’m still not 100% sure what some of those words mean, I won’t lie. All I know is that it works. My head feels cooler and it stops the sweat. Bonus is that it fits my small head without sliding off! I can also verify that it resists odors as I maybe don’t wash mine as often as I should. Oops. But on the bright side, it handled the washing machine like a champ!

You can barely see it under my hat. And this post officially has too many selfies.😂

Plus, it’s super affordable compared to other headbands out there and they have various patterns and styles. But if that wasn’t enough, how about a discount? Go to this link and sign up for their newsletter to save 15%.

How do you stay cool?

BibRave, Run!

Taking It Back

Oh hey San Jose, can we try again?

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll San Jose as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Yep, I’m heading back to Rock n Roll San Jose in October. I feel like last years sciatica pain colored a course and crowds I would have appreciated in a not great shade.

San Jose has an impressive amount of cheer leaders out there cheering for you along the way. They did an amazing job by the way. They were the only thing that got a smile on my face by the last 6 miles. There were some neighborhoods that looked amazing in the back half of the race and I regret not taking pictures now. Running through San Pedro Square was awesome. And if there is a photographer there this year as well, I swear I am going to smile this time.

2018

Now, about the flatness. This race is pancake flat. Seriously. It’s touted as the fastest half in California. Well, for most runners. For me? Well, I just want to finish under 2:25- doesn’t sound like much but I have never finished a flat course fast. Never. Even back when I was so much fitter and faster than I am now. 🙂 Flat is my nemesis- it’s time for flat to lose. I just want to enjoy myself and not finish a flat race course saying ouch.

Also, I will finally earn the Cali Combo medal. My first year running Rock n Roll races I only ran one in California- you had to run 3 to earn the Cali Combo medal. Last year I did run 3 races in Cali (San Diego, San Jose, LA) but they didn’t offer a Cali Combo medal. Boo. But—- they brought it back this year and now you only have to run 2 Rock n Roll races. Yay!!

Want to run with me???
Use code 19RNRBRP16 to save $16 on the half!

animal encounter, BibRave, Discounts, Product Review

Never Really Alone

Disclaimer: I received Sabre products to try as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

If you run alone, you’ve likely thought about your safety on the run. If not, how?

I’ve run with pepper spray since I was attacked by a dog 9 years ago. I still have the scars on my butt to prove it. Before then my biggest concern running was how stupid I looked doing it. Nothing slams me a halt now quite like a dog off leash.

Then I started running the lake path. Which seems to be home to all of my creepiest encounters. From cars that follow too close around the path or men who just stop and stare.

There’s also the random but not so infrequent wild life occurrences in town. From roaming mountain lions to bears in cul-de-sacs and let’s not forget the time a wolf hybrid escaped from the rehab facility. It’s a riot out here.

I started carrying pepper spray way back when and am ost never without it. I’ve gone through a variety of different styles and brands. Partly because of the expiration dates and partly because I have a tendency to break them. How? If I am carrying it in my hand, it will get thrown at some point. It’s one of the reasons I don’t carry a handheld all that often.

So now I carry Sabre. Small, compact and complete with a strap! No more throwing it! Although in a worst case throwing it might not be a bad idea.

Never gonna let you go

Ok, so I don’t toss it around anymore but really makes Sabre rock?

How about- (from the Sabre website)

  • MAXIMUM STOPPING POWER: Maximum strength formula is backed by in-house high performance liquid chromatography laboratory which guarantees maximum stopping power, eliminating the 30% failure rate experienced with other pepper spray brands (University of Utah study); plus UV marking dye aids in suspect identification
  • #1 PEPPER SPRAY BRAND TRUSTED BY POLICE AND CONSUMERS WORLDWIDE: Including New York, Chicago PD, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s & U.S. Marshals; made in the U.S.A. and ISO 9001:2008 certified with a 4-year shelf life from the date of manufacture
  • ENHANCED SAFETY: Pepper gel virtually eliminates wind blow-back and only affects what it directly contacts, plus it offers a 20% greater range (12 feet/4 m) for protection at a safer distance
  • EASILY ACCESSIBLE WITH PROTECTION AGAINST MULTIPLE THREATS: Adjustable hand strap provides police-strength protection at your fingertips; contains 35 bursts (up to 5x other brands) plus a locking top safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge
  • FREE TRAINING: Packaging includes link to free training video in addition to publicly available safety tips on blog
All the essentials- Gatorade and an alarm

Along with the pepper spray which I already felt comfortable with, Sabre offers personal alarms. Yes, there are a few apps that offer runner tracking and location information, however those seem less than productive to me. They tell someone where you were when there might have been a problem. Those people are usually never near you at the time and likely can’t get to you quickly. How safe is that? It’s not. It’s a road map for a worst case scenario. The Sabre personal alarm is there to alert those actually nearby that you need help. And/or maybe be a loud enough deterrent for whatever man or beast may be in front of you.

And it clips on anywhere. Seriously, I’ve it clipped to my pack, my pocket, a tank top strap, and my purse. I recently bought my first Coach purse and yes- I clipped the bright pink alarm to the outside pocket. Safety is always stylish, right?

Sabre is extremely low priced in my opinion for my peace of mind. But if you need more convincing- how about a discount? Use code SABRERUN to save 20%.

Everything’s safe until it isn’t and for that I have my Sabre. I can only hope I don’t have to use it.

Want to read more?

Meridith Taushah