Tips for Running in the Rain

I’ve been keeping a close eye on the weather for the Phoenix Half Marathon on Saturday morning. They’ve been predicting rain, and I keep waiting for that to magically go away—but just a few days out now, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll be slogging through 13 miles in the rain.

Which led me to start seriously thinking: What do you wear for a race in the rain?

Here are some tips I’ve collected (from my gracious, knowledgeable running club friends) on how to prepare for and run in the rain. I hope they help you, whether you’re running the race this weekend, or face a rainy run in the future!

tips for running in the rain

Before you start:

  • Mentally prepare yourself: You will be running in the rain, and you will get wet.
  • Pack dry clothes to change in to immediately after the race, so you aren’t freezing post-run.
  • If you prefer to run with music on an iPod, your phone, or other electronic device, find a way to waterproof it. Sandwich baggies, plastic wrap, whatever you can MacGyver up. If you can forego your tunes, do so—that’s one less thing to worry about on race day.
  • Use a poncho, or even just a large (clean) garbage bag, to keep you warm and dry while you wait for the race to start.

During the race/run:

  • Wear a hat. The brim will keep the water from streaming down your face and into your eyes.
  • Wear moisture-wicking clothes. Yeah, there will be too much moisture to wick away, but it won’t hold on to it and weigh you down like other materials. Plus, it will help keep some chafing away.
  • Use Vaseline/Body Glide on likely chafing spots: Legs, arm pits, bra straps, etc.
  • Don’t forego your water stops. Just because you’ll be soaked, doesn’t mean you don’t need to stay hydrated!
  • Embrace it! We don’t often go out running in the rain. Enjoy the feeling; pretend you’re a kid out running around in the puddles again.

After the race:

  • Change into your dry clothes that you so thoughtfully packed up before the race. Hopefully this includes some dry socks & shoes.
  • Refuel yourself with something to drink—again, that’s not just rainwater you’re soaked in, it’s surely sweat, too.
  • Celebrate! You made it to the rainbow… That finish line! 😉

Any tips to add?
Please comment & share!

The D-Word: Weigh In, Weeks 3 & 4

I may have missed my weigh-in update last week, and admittedly, I wasn’t 100% on track with my healthier eating. Despite that, I still managed some small success!

weekly weigh in 3 and 4

Week 3 Weigh-In: 
Starting weight: 163 lbs.
Last week’s weight: 158.4 lbs.
This week’s weight: 158.2  (-0.2 lbs.)

Week 4 Weigh-In: 
Starting weight: 163 lbs.
Last week’s weight: 158.2 lbs.
This week’s weight: 157  (-1.2 lbs.)

I am officially down 6 pounds in 4 weeks. Woohoo!

Week 3 started out well enough, but the latter part of the week was when work picked up. I skipped breakfast a lot of mornings; I just didn’t have time to eat once I got to work, like I normally do. Not good for your metabolism! I also went running out the door every morning without packing a real lunch, so most days meant a take-out lunch. I made fairly healthy choices, but I still found it difficult to stay under my calorie max when I wasn’t making my own food. On the plus side, I did pack myself healthy snacks (fruit, nuts, granola bars) to munch on during the day.

Week 4 was better; things were cah-razy, but the weekend & start of this week have been pretty good so far. Matt and I didn’t go out to eat a ton over the weekend, nor did I have many drinks. Plus, I’m sure running 7 miles on Saturday morning, followed by 3 hours of bowling, helped torch some extra calories!

I didn’t take many pictures of my eats lately, since none of them were that exciting and I only cooked half (if even) of my meals. Here were a couple highlights:

lean meatballs, spaghetti squash and green beans

Homemade meatballs, Italian seasoned spaghetti squash, and green beans. I made the meatballs with 95% lean beef, chopped onion, mushrooms and french onion soup mix, and popped them in the oven to bake. So tasty! Next time I’m going to add an egg to help them stay together and add a little moisture, but Matt and I were both fans of this simple recipe.

chicken spring salad

Take-out spring salad with feta, cranberries, red onion, grilled chicken and white balsamic dressing. These flavors are sooo delicious together, and definitely “springlike.” The salad wasn’t super filling though, so I rounded it out with a handful of almonds.

chocolate, banana and peanut butter smoothie

Choco-peanut-banana smoothie. My Magic Bullet is making a comeback. I threw a large banana in the freezer (TIP: peel it first…); then blended it frozen with 1 tbsp. peanut butter, some cocoa powder, 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk and a couple ice cubes. It was a good dessert, almost like a milkshake! You could totally add some protein powder or greek yogurt to make this even better for you.

Another smoothie combo I liked for breakfast on-the-go was a blend of: 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (or 6 oz. vanilla greek yogurt), and 1/2 cup frozen strawberries.

I’m not sure my next check-in on my diet will be fabulous, since it will be after my sister run-cation this weekend, but we’ll see… Maybe running 13.1 miles will help. 😉

– – –

Do you have any go-to smoothie recipes? 
Favorite “healthy” take-out lunch? 

The Countdown Is ON

In t-minus three days, I will be having a sleepover with my older sister and her new dog (!!), then waking up ridiculously early to head to the airport. After a few short hours up in the air, we’ll be reunited with our long-lost little sister in Phoenix, Arizona…in the SUN and WARM air and happiness!

Can you tell I’m excited?

My blog posts have been lacking {or just, MIA} lately, mostly due to a crazier-than-usual work schedule and actually staying on top of my workouts despite that. Which leaves no real extra time for this little hobby o’ mine. At least the craziness of the last few weeks will make this little run-cation all the more sweeter! I can’t wait to let you all know how the Phoenix Half Marathon goes (first race of the year for me), and fill you in on the other fun parts of the trip: Sweet hotel, pool time, drinkies, lots of good eats, baseball? and who knows what else.

last year's runcation, celebratory drinks

last year’s runcation, celebratory drinks

Actually, who knows what else? Really? We have all been so busy we haven’t planned…ANYTHING…beyond our race. I guess we’ll play it by ear once we get there.

In the meantime, while I daydream and drool over the thought of running in a t-shirt and not freezing my arse off, I am passing the time in the following ways:

• Obsessively googling bridesmaids dress options. I think I have it figured out…
• Equally obsessively tracking my bridal shoes’ arrival date (helloooo, beautifuls)
Badgley Mischka Randall wedding shoes in mint blue
• Agonizing over our ‘final’ wedding guest list. Seriously, this is the toughest part! We want everyone to be there…
• Watching DVDs of the West Wing to distract me from above wedding things.
• Tromping along on my new (to me) treadmill at home!
• Chugging down protein shakes, eating tuna sandwiches, and sleeping.

My legs and body have been getting sore more than usual in the last few weeks, and I’m not sure why. The fact I’m on a diet—maybe I’m not getting enough protein? Not enough sleep? Pushing myself too hard? I’m betting on the protein/sleep combo. For now.

P.S. Is it pathetic that my right arm and left buttocks are super sore from bowling on Saturday? ‘Cause I kinda think it is. But I ran a marathon last year, so it’s cool. Right?

– – –

What should we do in Phoenix, Arizona? Where should we eat & drink?
What’s making me so sore lately—need more cowbell protein?

Week 7 & 8 Workouts {Phoenix Half & Green Bay Marathon}

Life these days: Work, eat, run, eat, work, sleep. Repeat.

I’ve had lots of long hours at my desk lately {fulfilling, but draining}. In the past, long hours on the job meant I skipped my workouts and spent that free time vegging to rest my brain. This time, I finally managed to break for a run—even when I felt like “I just don’t have time”—because I knew the mental break would be invigorating. And it was. I’ll try to remember that in the future, when stressful projects & precious free time collide again.

Here’s a recap of the past two weeks’ workouts, leading up to my half marathon in Phoenix, Arizona a short week away. (Ohh, so excited!)

011014-finish-line

– – – – – WEEK 7 – – – – – 

Sunday, February 9th: Stretch + foam roll

Monday: 3.5 miles 3 miles + 10 minutes bike
I got to 3 miles on the treadmill and boredom struck hard, so I bopped to the bike for the rest of my workout.

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 3.5 miles
Another easy treadmill run.

Thursday: 6 miles 5.5 miles
First run on my new treadmill! Even though I complain about the ‘mill all the time, when my friend put hers up for sale for $150, Matt sprung to get it for me so I could have a treadmill at home. Woo! What a great fiancé.

It’s so nice to be able to watch my own TV shows, play my music without headphones, and work out at home whenever I want. Even with all those perks, getting to 5.5 miles was still a struggle against boredom; an hour on the treadmill is a long time! It was a good workout, though. I played around with speed and incline to keep my mind busy and test the waters of my new toy treadmill.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 11 miles
What a fantastic run! It was really cold yet again—barely above zero, I think. Meeting up to run with four other ladies (including a new running club member) sure helped make the miles fly by, though. This run was a major win with NO SNOW on the roads. I forgot how much easier it is to run when there aren’t a couple inches of snow mucking up your footing.

With that, my longest pre-half marathon run is complete!

– – – – – WEEK 8 – – – – – 

Sunday, February 16th: Stretch + foam roll
Hi, major knot in my left IT band. Meet my little friend, the foam roller. Ouch.

Monday: Rest
Switched my usual rest day to Monday, so I could work some extra hours in the evening.

Tuesday: 4 miles (10:52/mile)
AH! It was 44 degrees outside and it felt like heaven. Ha.

I met up with a handful of my running buds for a post-work run (one of those “I don’t think I have time, but I need to do this for me” runs). It felt glorious to actually be a little too warm with all our layers on. My face didn’t feel like it was going to fall off. I could actually feel all of my limbs. It was a nice run.

Wednesday: 4 miles 3 miles (10:33/mile)
Working at home ‘til 11pm Tuesday + getting up at 5:30am to get s* done in the morning = I felt like a zombie when I got home Wednesday evening. Despite that, I craved a little run to clear my mind. It was still 40 degrees out (heat wave!) and I knew if I didn’t go for a run, I’d sprint to a glass of wine instead. Glad I opted for the healthier alternative.

Taking a moment to breathe & enjoy the view on a dusk run.

Taking a moment to breathe & enjoy the view on a dusk run.

Thursday: 6 miles Rest
The late nights, early mornings and stress finally caught up to me, I guess. When I got home, I was kind of exhausted and drained of all motivation. I spent a relaxing, low-key night on the couch with DVDs of “The West Wing,” and Matt, instead.

And maybe some wine.

Friday: Rest
My “real” rest day. I was still pretty tapped out from the week—I seriously wanted to go to bed at 7pm. Yawn.

Saturday: 8 miles 7 miles
My step-back “long” run before the Phoenix Half Marathon. YAY, I can’t wait! Sunny weather, warm temps, and my sisters. I’m already daydreaming about landing there on Friday.

This run was good, because I got to meet yet another new member of our running club, and we enjoyed a relaxed run. On the not-so-good part, my stomach started feeling funky around mile 3, so the last two miles were pretty stop-and-go as I had to walk a lot. I cut the run a mile short because of that, but I’m not worried about a lost mile.

Note to self: Mexican food the night before a long run? Never again.

– – –

This week’s workouts:
Sunday: Yoga + foam roll
Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 2 miles (shakeout run)
Saturday: 13.1 miles, Phoenix Half Marathon!

– – –

Do you squeeze in workouts, even when life pummels hectic curveballs your way?

Are you looking forward to any races on your schedule? 

Hello, Valentines

I’m spending Valentine’s Day with me, myself and I.

I love me!

Okay, listen. I was thinking about this earlier, in a weirdly morbid way… I was in an elevator at work, and it was kiiind of making strange noises, and I thought, “Well, if I die now, I’ve lived a good life, I think I’ve helped others, and I’ve been loved.”

Who thinks like that?

Me, I guess. But even thought I knew I was {probably} fine and being ridiculous, I also knew it was true—if I look back to my past, or look forward to my exciting future, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve accomplished so many things in just 27 years, and so many in just the last couple years: I have a great career that challenges me, I’ve travelled to a lot of eye-opening places, I bought a house, I ran a marathon, I made so many new friends in the past several years. I’m getting married this year!!! I’m happy, and I love myself, and I love my life.

There’s nothing more important than making sure you love yourself, your life, and all the important people in it. Take the time to think on that today.

So happy Valentine’s Day, morbid self. Thank you for helping me realize that damn, life is good.

It was a challenging week at work, albeit successful, so I’m spending a quiet evening at home, relaxing with a [mini] bottle of champagne…

pop champagne! made it to Friday.

pop champagne! made it to Friday.

I’m in search of a movie to tune in to & turn my brain off. VEG. That is my plan. Then it’s early to bed, early to rise around 5:30am. I’m meeting a large group of running clubbers at 6:30am for a lovely 11-mile run. Woohoo!

What about that fiancé guy? You ask. He is very into dart playing, so he’s participating in a dart tournament all weekend. Leave it to a bunch of dudes to plan a dart tournament on Valentine’s Day weekend. Ha! Truthfully, we never really do anything special for this “holiday” (every day is special enough, right?) so it doesn’t bother me. I’m glad he’ll have a fun [slightly hungover?] weekend!

As for me, I’m off to eat a brownie…

what goes best with champagne? a brownie, of course.

what goes best with champagne? a brownie, of course.

Carb loading? Yeah. That’s it.

Love you, blog readers. Thanks for being a part of this lovely life.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The D-Word: Weigh-In #2

Two weeks down & good news to share!

021114-weigh-in

Week 2 Weigh-In:
Starting weight: 163 lbs.
Last week’s weight: 161.4 lbs.
This week’s weight: 158.4  (-3 lbs.)

Holy moly, three pounds! I was pretty surprised when I saw that number. I did well on my diet & exercise most of last week, and didn’t cheat as much over the weekend, so I figured I’d lose 1.5 pounds as planned…but I was stoked to see 3!

I’m sure that won’t happen every week (and it probably wouldn’t be too healthy if it did) so I’ll take it for now. 😉

I added in more strength work this work, so I wonder if the extra muscle building is upping my metabolism? I guess I better keep it up!

Obstacles this past week:
• Being car-less made getting to the gym tricky, but instead of skipping a workout, I made my at-home circuit workout to do one night instead.
• My sweet tooth. I didn’t really indulge, minus a cupcake on Saturday night, but my sweet tooth is starting to nudge at me for chocolate. I’m going to try to find a “healthy” version of a dessert or snack so I can satisfy it this week. Any ideas?? Maybe these?
• Fatigue. I’ve been more tired this past week, because I’ve gotten into a habit of going to bed later over the last couple weeks. It’s starting to catch up with me! I need to be better at making sure I get enough shut-eye.

Achievements of the week:
• I tempered my inner-wino! 😉 Only had a few glasses of wine over the weekend, and none during the week. The easiest way to cut back on empty calories is to cut back on the booze.
• I stayed positive and ran a relatively enjoyable 10-mile run on Saturday.
• I went out for sushi one night, but chose healthier options: Edamame pods as an appetizer, over our usual fried dumplings; and tuna & salmon nigri sushi instead of spicy/tempura/other less-than-healthy rolls.

dreamy sushi

dreamy sushi

Some other yummy eats from the week:

minestrone + added spinach

Minestrone + added spinach. Easy to make, tasty & easy to transport to work for a couple lunches.
turkey wrap with veggies

Turkey wrap on low-cal, high fiber wrap with lots of veggies and hummus. Yum!

blueberry, goat cheese and sunflower seeds saladThe best salad combo ever! Romaine, blueberries, goat cheese crumbles and sunflower seeds. Topped with balsamic vinaigrette.

sloppy joe and almonds“Skinny” sloppy joe, and sour cream & onion almonds from NatureBox. Mmm! I am working through this sloppy joe recipe to share with you all in the next couple of weeks, hopefully.

– – –

Any suggestions on “healthy” sweet treats? 
What are your favorite transportable meals to take to work?

Week 6 Workouts {Phoenix Half & Green Bay Marathon}

This week’s workouts were a bit less structured than normal. I’ve been without my car all week, and I’ve realized that being forced out of your normal routine makes it a bit harder to stick to workout plans. But all in all, I feel okay about this week’s training.

Sunday
Yoga
Only did about 15 minutes of yoga moves & stretches, but still a nice way to loosen up.

Monday
3.5 miles 2.25 miles hard

Matt picked me up from work and then dropped me at the gym while he ran into the grocery store. He had to be somewhere, so I only had about 25 minutes to work out. I ran 5 minutes easy to warm up, then ran the rest of my 20 minutes as hard as I could. Better than nothing!

Tuesday
Rest

Wednesday
3 miles Circuit workout

Again, I had to be chauffeured from work with no time for the gym, so I made myself a circuit workout to do at home. I used the jump rope for cardio & did a lot of strength exercises in 30 minutes. I was sore for the next couple of days, so I think it was def a good workout!

You can try my Whole Body Circuit Workout for yourself & let me know what you think!

Thursday
5.5 miles DNR

I don’t know if I was just thrown off from the whole week being wacky, but I was NOT feeling this run Thursday. I was tired, cranky, super sore, and my stomach hurt. I’m usually pretty good at holding myself accountable, but not this time.

Friday
Rest

I thought about getting up in the morning to squeak in a few miles to make up for Thursday’s skipped run, but I was SO tired and sore still, so I decided that maybe this week I just need some extra rest.

Saturday
10 miles (11:32/mile)
After the last two weeks’ long runs being terrible, I have to admit I wasn’t excited to run this 10-miler. I was quite dismayed when I woke up and it was SNOWING again. But hey, the wind chill was 1 degree above zero, at least.

Thankfully, things turned out positive. When we started our run, my calves and legs were still sore, tight and heavy; it took a few miles for them to loosen up and feel okay, but they eventually did. The snow that was falling really only dusted the roads (nowhere near the trudging-through-3-inches-of-snow craptastic run of last week). Our traction was solid, so we weren’t slipping around at all.

Plus, the snow gave me sweet frozen eyelashes and eyebrows.

020914-frozen-eyelashes

Since this run hit double-digits, I made sure to wear my water belt and brought two small bottles with me. They were starting to freeze by the end of the run, though. Ha! I also had some energy chews, but I left them in my car on accident. I didn’t seem to need them this time, but I don’t want to take that chance next week.

I saw this article on Runner’s World yesterday: “How to Keep Fuel From Freezing in Winter.” Hopefully, some of those tricks will help me on my long run next week.

Today, I’m pretty sore (my calves are KILLing me), so yoga will be quite welcomed later. I’m foam rolling, stretching and drinking lots of water. Here’s hoping this fatigue & soreness that’s lingered all week in my legs will go away soon.

– – –

This week’s workouts:
Sunday: Yoga
Monday: 3.5 miles easy
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 5-6 miles easy
Thursday: 3.5 miles (hard, if legs feel better)
Friday: rest
Saturday: 11 miles

– – –

How do you deal when your workout schedule gets interrupted?
Any tips on stretching calves, or helping sore muscles recover faster?