Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Running While on Vacation: RnR Philly Half Week 2 Recap

Hi everyone, hope you had a great weekend!  For the second week, I am linking up with Tuesdays on the Run with Run the Great Wide SomewhereMy No-Guilt Life, and MCM Mama Runs.  This time we're talking about how to fit in running while on vacation, and this is definitely a timely post!  

Vacation in Jamaica

If you wondered why RWNR seemed to be in a bit of a hiatus, it's because I was on vacation in Jamaica for the past week! My sister and I had an incredible time and was VERY relaxing.  I was too sad to leave this place!  

Relaxing at the beach
Since I am training for the Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon, I know that I need to stay on track with my runs no matter where I am.  Coach Kristy scheduled two runs during my trip:  a 7 mile long, slow distance run, and a 3 mile easy run.  I didn't think it'd be a big deal but it actually did get a little complicated figuring everything out!  

So based on my recent experience I'm going to share my recommendations for how to successfully keep your running commitments and eat as healthy as possible while on vacation!  

Running While On Vacation:  Where to Run

If you're a runner going on vacation, the first thing to know is where you can actually run.  It may seem silly for this to be a criteria when choosing a hotel or resort, but you don't want to regret it!  

  • Treadmill aka dreadmill.  It can be a drag, but it is usually the most convenient when available and during inclement weather.
  • Running trail. The most ideal for training.
  • Neighborhood streets. Just make sure it's a safe location and avoid being out when its dark!
Pro tip: get a good idea of when the gym is empty. As I've learned there may only be one or two functioning treadmills and if they are all being used, it can really throw off your game!

Me after my 7 mile treadmill run
What to Pack
  • Running Shoes
  • Workout Clothes
  • Watch or GPS tracking app
  • Water bottle/hydration belt
  • Energy gels
  • Sunscreen
  • Music Player

Healthy Eating While on Vacation

I can't forget to mention how important it is to mind your eating while on vacation, especially if you're training for a race.  While I definitely indulged myself, here are some of the things I did to not get too out of control:
  • Keep healthy snacks available throughout the day
  • Limit alcoholic drinks or stick to lower calorie options
  • Watch portion sizes at the buffets/restaurants
  • Drink a lot of water! 

Staying Accountable for Your Goals

I know that we all have the best of intentions, but how many times have you gone on a trip only to leave your running clothes unworn?   Having someone or something to keep you honest can make all the difference! 

  • Friends, family, or coworkers depending on the nature of the trip
  • Set a reminder in your calendar to run or do any other workouts
  • Think about how far behind you would be if you skip your workouts. Running while on vacation can actually be relaxing because you're not preoccupied by other responsibilities.

RnR Half Marathon Week 2 Training:

Monday 7/14:  4 mile run at 11:48 pace with Mark.  The heat and humidity were unbearable, and the last mile was the hardest.  But we got through it!  

Tuesday 7/15:  Rest day.  

Wednesday 7/16:  First day of Vacation!  

Thursday 7/17:   Second day of vacation!

Friday 7/18:  Morning hip strengthening exercises, 45 minute spinning class and 30 minute yoga.  

Saturday 7/19:  7 mile run on the treadmill at 11:31 pace, plus warm up and cooldown.  It was the most annoying thing because the machine had a 30 minute limit so I had to constantly keep recalculating my distances.  But I got it done!  Knees and feet were hurting again short of mile 5.  Clif Shots worked well once again!  

Sunday 7/20: 3 mile run on the beach at 11:41 average pace. Then I had an amazing sports massage with hot stones in the spa!

The sun was bright on the beach at the resort!

Training Report Card:

I would say this week has gone pretty well considering I had plenty of temptations! The 7 mile run was tough to squeeze in because we had an excursion on Saturday, so I didn't run until after 5:30 pm.  Thankfully a treadmill was available!  Sunday's run was bright and early but I know I started out too fast and the wind and uneven surface was a challenge for me. But I give myself an A- this week for getting in quality runs and prehab workouts!  I'm feeling pretty great...I love training! 

What are your essentials for running while on vacation?  Where's your next big trip?    

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rock & Roll Half Philly Training: Week 1 Recap

Hey there!  I have survived my first week of training for the Philly Rock & Roll Half Marathon, so now it's time to recap!  For the next 9 weeks or so I'll be sharing my progress as I train for my first half marathon since 2012!  

Week 1 Training:

Monday 7/7:  Rest day!  

Tuesday 7/8:  Hip strengthening and balancing exercises followed 3 miles solo; was supposed to run 11:00 pace and had an average 11:33 pace.  It was REALLY hard trying to keep a consistent pace that I'm not used to these days.  It didn't help that it was at least 92 degrees out and I was fumbling with a hydration belt that was unfortunately too big.  I also hadn't eaten since noon (I ran at about 4:30 pm).  Do I sound whiny?  Sorry!  I was incredibly tense, but hopefully this will get easier!   

Wednesday 7/9:  Core and More cardio kickboxing class.  Was supposed to run again but decided to push til Thursday.  

Thursday 7/10:  Makeup day; 3 miles solo after work with an average 11:20 pace.  I didn't wear the belt this time, though I was pretty thirsty!  I felt really good, though it again seemed to take a lot more effort.  Running in 90 degrees is no joke!  

Friday 7/11:  I woke up with a sore ankle...it's not too bad, but was probably caused by our Kickball game Thursday night.  We had a blast and had our first victory, 10-0!  Everyone clicked this time and we played great!   I also had another Core and More class.

Saturday 7/12:  6 mile run at 12:07 average pace with my running buddy Mark.  Thank goodness he was there!  He actually wore the hydration belt (since it's his) and would pass a bottle to me at each mile per my request, haha.  I also ate the Clif Shot Bloks for the first time at the halfway point. I think they worked well, and no digestive issues!  My knees and feet were hurting by the end, but it wasn't too bad!

Sunday 7/13:  Rest.  

Monday 7/14:  4 mile run at 11:48 average pace after work with Mark.  It was oppressively humid and over 90 degrees with nary a breeze.  The last mile was HARD.  It took a lot of concentration not to give up, but thankfully I kept pushing.  I was absolutely soaked at the end of it!       

Happy Janelle after the 6 mile LSD run!
Week 1 Report Card 
Coach Kristy has been checking in with me and so far, so good!  She did tell me that I started out too fast on the 6 mile run, so I have to make sure I start out at the right pace.  This weekend I'll be running my first 7 mile run since...I don't remember when!  It's a little scary but very exciting...I'm ready for it!    

I'm happy with my progress thus far and I'm grateful for the support I've had.  Mark has been a great running partner and Bret has been amazing with helping myebalance home life and training life.  There are still a few kinks to work out, but I know things will only get better!  This week's grade, B+!  

Bonus: My First Race

For the first time I am linking up with Tuesdays on the Run with Run the Great Wide Somewhere, My No-Guilt Life, and MCM Mama Runs.  This looks to be a great way to connect with other runners/bloggers!  This week we're talking about our first race. 

While I did "run" the 4x400 meter relay in high school track, my first long distance race was the Inaugural Rainbow Ridge 5K in July 2011.  I had just started the Running Club at work and Mark and I decided to sign up!  It supported an awesome cause (engaging disabled children and adults with equine therapy) and took place in the Philadelphia Zoo!  

I'll be honest and say that the race wasn't as organized as I expected.  We started about a half hour late.  But it was really exciting to run around the zoo!  The volunteers were friendly and kept us on course, as we had to make at least 3 loops around the zoo, which almost got me a little dizzy!  At one point Mark had to go to the bathroom and took off, but he caught back up with me!  We ended up finishing in 29 minutes.  There was a little after party and I remember an aspiring country/pop singer sang a few songs that weren't half bad!  It was a great start...who knew that 3 years later I'd be paying coaches to train me to race?!  

Mark and I at Rainbow Ridge 5K 

What was the first race you ran?  Have you struggled with meeting your pace goals when training for a race?  Any recommendations for hydration belts and visors/hats or sunglasses in this oppressive heat?     

Saturday, July 12, 2014

One Year Blogiversary!

Happy Saturday everybody!  On July 12, 2013, I wrote my very first blog post on Run With No Regrets.  It's my One Year Blogiversary!  

Image from Marks365

It's hard to believe that a whole year has passed since I've started this blogging journey! The reason I started this blog was to have a space where I can write about my running challenges and triumphs as I get back on my feet after my stress fracture injury.  My hope was that with a positive attitude and persistence, I would get back to where I used to be, running at an awesome pace with no injuries.  Who knew that I'd also fall in love with healthy eating and yoga along the way??   

Here's a look at my very first post!  A year later, and this is post #83...wow!  

What I've Learned from Blogging:

This has been an amazing experience, to say the least.  Did I really know what I was getting myself into?  Absolutely not!  Here is what I've learned from this crazy ride so far:

  • Blogging is HARD WORK!  I can have posts that I work on for several hours, days, or even weeks. Time management and organization is EVERYTHING
  • Social Media builds your brand.  You have to have an online presence, and you have to be engaging.  Networking is key!   
  • Wordpress blogs are the standard.  I'm doing pretty well with Blogspot and I love that it's free, but it is so limited.  
  • Looks matter.  There are some amazing blogs with gorgeous designs and drool-worthy photos.  While seeming superficial, these aesthetics go a long way to attracting readers.  I hope to get better at making my posts more eye appealing! 
  • Bloggers are SO friendly!  I am amazed at how kind bloggers are, and how much they are willing to provide help.  It is definitely refreshing to work in a field where you don't have to worry as much about getting stabbed in the back!  

Popular Posts:

Here are some of my popular posts over this past year.
My Favorite Posts So Far:

I also wanted to show some love for some of the posts that I truly loved writing.  Hopefully you enjoyed or will enjoy reading them!  
My Favorite Pics:

And of course I couldn't resist some of my favorite pictures!  

Running in Pennypack Park
Haddonfield 5K 
Victory ice cream after Clean Air Council 5K 
Cheesy Buffalo Meatloaf Muffins
Brussel Sprouts for Thanksgiving!
Chicken Ropa Vieja
Looking to the Future:

There is so much more that I want to do with Run With No Regrets.  I never knew that the blogging world could be so big, so rewarding, and even so lucrative.  I am a very goal oriented person, and while I have shared my goals from the end of last year, here are even more specific things I hope will come along moving forward:

  • An Official Facebook Page!  This should be happening very soon, stay tuned! 
  • A No Regrets Monthly Feature!  This will profile readers who have had health and fitness successes due to their "No Regrets" attitude!    
  • A New Website!  To help propel the brand, I will be creating an official website, hopefully in time to kick off 2015!  I hope you love it! 
  • An Email Newsletter!  Not only will you be able to keep up with the latest blog posts, there will be additional running and injury prevention tips, blogging links, and hopefully some other fun perks for being a faithful reader!  

I also look forward to guest posting for other bloggers and participating in more link ups on a more consistent basis!

Thank You! 

Last, and most important,  I want to say thank you to every single one of you who have come by to read my blog.  I appreciate the loving support from my family, boyfriend, and close friends.  Working on RWNR takes up a LOT of time and it's a real balancing act.  I'm glad I am able to pursue this passion without opposition.  

Thank you to the blogging community:  Running Bloggers, Miles to Blog, Healthy Living Blogs, The SITS Girls, Blogelina, Black Bloggers Connect, and link ups hosted by Jill Conyers, Mommy Run Fast, Amanda at Run to the Finish, Darwinian Fail, Sweet Life with Ericka, Hump Day Happenings with A Savory Feast and The Walker Fireside Chats, Joy's Book Blog, Jen at Peas and Crayons, and the DC Trifecta:  Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What for helping to get my blog to the masses! 

To my readers:  you're amazing!  I've learned so much from so many of you experienced runners and healthy cooks!  I've appreciated your encouragement as I've written about my setbacks and struggles.  It means a lot to me that you care enough to follow my blog, out of the millions of other blogs out there.  

And if you do love Run With No Regrets, please help spread the word!  You can find me on:

  • Twitter: Janelle_RWNR 
  • Instagram:  runwithnoregrets
  • Google Plus: JanelleJ                   

Happy Blogiversary to me!!  What have you enjoyed about Run With No Regrets?  And what would like you to see on the blog in the future?  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Preparing for Half Marathon Training

I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July Weekend!  I thought I would share how I'm getting ready to begin Half Marathon training for the Rock & Roll Philly race, which officially starts on Tuesday!  

Last Thursday, Coach Kristy and I had another phone conversation discussing the first four weeks of my training plan.  Due to my lack of consistency, she's starting me off with running 3 days a week, and then I'll progress to 4 days a week: Tuesdays, Wednesday, Saturdays and Sundays. I'm only going to get about 10 weeks to train, but if she really believes I can run 2:05 to 2:10, I'll make the most if it!  

Prehab Exercises and Cross Training:

The great thing about working with Kristy is that she already knows my background from when we met back in March for an assessment.  I told her that I have been doing some of my prehab exercises, but I definitely need to step them up.  She advised that I choose at least 3 of the exercises and do them 3 days a week on any day except long run days. 

Another question I had was about cross training.  We all know how much I love to take a variety of fitness classes.  I take cardio kickboxing 1-2 times a week, but Kristy doesn't think that will really help me with training, so I'll really have to lay off of it.  Fortunately yoga can still be in the mix, I don't know what I'd do without that!  Mondays will be my days for complete rest...which is clearly going to be necessary!

So long, Core and More class :(
Long Slow Distance Runs:

Saturday will be the designated day for long runs.  My first truly long run of 7 miles will be while I'm vacation!  I didn't even think about it, but I'm actually looking forward to it!  At least once that's done I can eat and drink what I want for the rest of the day guilt-free!  But the hardest thing for me is that I have to run that distance at an 11:30 minute pace.  Say what?!  I've been running around 9.5 to 10 minute miles lately, and it's been so much fun, so now I have to run slower?!  I am just going to have to trust Coach Kristy on this one!  It's all about endurance...the speed will come (I hope!)

GPS Tracking:

Keeping an 11 minute or slower pace is such a daunting task...so I'm definitely relieved to have my Nike+ watch to help train!  Coach Kristy will be monitoring my progress and checking in on my performance, so there's no way I can cheat!  

Goodbye sub-10 minute miles...for now! 
Fueling and Hydration:

I have run two 10 mile races and 3 half marathons, but this is the first time that I'm incorporating fueling into training for a race.  So I'm excited that I'll be taking things to the next level!  Coach Kristy recommended that I use Clif Shot Bloks.  You're supposed to take 3 blocks at a time, which is about 100 calories.  This Saturday, I have my first long run of 6 miles, so I'll be taking 3 of them at the halfway point.  Do they taste good? I can't deny that I'm a bit nervous!  

clif shot bloks
What's your favorite flavor of Shot Bloks??

Another thing I have to get used to is staying hydrated.  Maybe I'm a bad runner, but when I run long distances, I never ran with water.  Sure, if there's a water fountain nearby I'll partake, but I never used a hydration belt or backpack.  Now it looks like I'll need to invest in one, as Kristy recommended I take a few sips of water at each mile for all of my runs.  Any brands you like?  Let me know!  My friend might actually let me borrow his for my training.   

Last Week's Workouts:

Monday 6/30:  I hurt my foot on Sunday reaching for clothes while shopping (go figure!) so I took the day off from running.  

Tuesday 7/1:  Extra day off just to be safe.

Wednesday 7/2:  Tae-Bo workouts during lunch since Core and More Class was canceled.  

Thursday 7/3:  P90X Yoga video during lunch with coworkers.  I didn't like it...then kickball was canceled because of a terrible thunderstorm!  

Friday 7/4:  Happy Independence Day!  Too many errands to squeeze in running, but I walked a TON!  

Saturday 7/5:  4 mile run at 10:01 average pace, felt really good.  I also spent about 5 hours at the mall (shopping for Jamaica!!).  That counts as exercise right?  

Sunday 7/6:  Another lazy day! 

Any advice as I get rearing to go??  Do you use Clif Shot Bloks when you train?  What flavor do you recommend?  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday Five: Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!  The weather is pretty gloomy here this morning, but hopefully you're having a great day in your neck of the woods!  I'm linking up for the Friday Five with the DC Trifecta:  Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up For What!  They are awesome bloggers that you should definitely check out!  Independence Day for the longest time has been one of my favorite holidays and I have so many fond memories.  I thought this week I'd share them with you! 

My Favorite Things About Independence Day:

  1. Barbecue!  Some of my favorite memories as a kid was watching my uncles barbecuing in the backyard for the Fourth of July. We'd have cans of pop from Tops (Buffalonians know what I'm talking about), and we'd have the best hot dogs, hamburgers, baby back ribs, spaghetti or pasta salad, potato salad and the BEST baked beans!  And corn on the cob was always a special treat!
  2. Blockbuster Movies!  I have to be honest...I can't remember the last time I went to see a movie on Fourth of July weekend.  But being a big Will Smith fan, I was always psyched when one of his movies would come out.  It was a fun tradition for a while!  
  3. Family and Friends!  Whether we're chilling on the balcony, playing board games, or watching a concert in the park, it's a great time to relax and have fun with friends, especially if you don't get together often!  
  4. A Day Off of Work!  Let's be honest...work can still be stressful in the summertime.  It's nice to get a quick day off for the holiday without using up vacation time! 
  5. Fireworks of course!  Back in the day we would sit out on the porch watching the competition of the best firecrackers on the block.  Lately I've been checking out the fireworks at the Philadelphia Art Museum as part of the Wawa Welcome America festivities.  They put on amazing show and people even pull over on the expressway and get out of their cars to watch it!  
Fireworks are my favorite!

What are your plans this weekend?  What's your favorite thing to do for the Fourth of July? 

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