Getting Ready For Racing.

It is that time of year again!  Birds are chirping, temps are rising, and I am back at Greenlake looping around with the BOB Duallie after taking most of the cold winter months off.  I am always so excited at the beginning of racing season — with a handful of races on the calendar and the hope of fast speeds and personal bests on my mind.  Here is what I am signed up for so far:

These are all local Seattle races, and actually all races I have done before!  I am sure I’ll sprinkle in some 5k’s and 10k’s throughout the summer as well.  So far I’ve just been working on building back up my base fitness and mileage.

I have been doing Barre3 classes consistently all year long, and I can see and feel that I have gained a lot of strength and muscle tone.  But I am definitely lacking in cardiovascular fitness – I can tell I have taken some time off!  My breathing is heavy and I don’t have the endurance I have when I’m running consistently.  Time to change that!

This past week was my first official week of training for the Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon.  It has been on my calendar for weeks now, and I’ve been excited about checking off the boxes and committing to my training program.  My first run of the 12-week program was Tuesday…and I ended up missing it.  Off to a good start, huh?

On Sunday afternoon, our house got taken down by a really nasty stomach bug.  Would you believe that in 3.5 years, this was our first one??  Casey’s parents were here visiting, and by the end of the week four out of six of us were seriously ill.  It was HORRIBLE.

blog2

After 24 hours of puking my guts out, I finally felt human again but my appetite didn’t return for almost a full week.  I can’t even remember the last time I have been sick like that!  And hardest of all was seeing poor Cullen feel absolutely miserable.  Thankfully somehow Graham was spared (and Casey too!), which truly felt like a miracle.  Mimi and Grandpa were not as lucky, which is definitely not how they planned on spending their visit.  So frustrating and awful.

So needless to say, after being sick and then eating almost nothing for a week, running was off the table for quite a few days.  I finally mustered up some energy for a short loop with Graham on Friday afternoon, and ooof – it hurt.

On Saturday morning, we all went for a family run at Greenlake – one of my favorite weekend activities in the spring!  Casey pushes the boys and I crank my music up as loud as it goes and I give it everything I have because it is my one stroller-free run of the week!  We looped 4 miles and it felt hard.  I took a few walking breaks.  I felt out of shape.  I also felt awesome to be running, excited about what’s to come, and really grateful to finally feel healthy again.

I’m following the Hal Higdon Novice 2 Half Marathon training plan this time around.  I’ve done this one before and it works pretty well for me.  At this stage of life, I’m just trying to get back into decent running shape and maybe meet a few goals.  I don’t want to overcomplicate it with lots of speed-work or trying to run too many times in a week.  I’m also planning to balance this with barre and yoga classes as my cross-training two or three times a week (if possible).  I did my best to choose a training schedule that was realistic for both my fitness level and my lifestyle, so that I’ll be able to stick with it for twelve weeks!

half marathon schedule

I’m also running in some new gear, which is really exciting.  Other than my beloved Lululemon running crops (which they don’t make anymore – sob!!), I’ve never invested much in my running wardrobe, and most of it consists of shirts from previous races and Target sports bras.  As part of the Brooks Run Happy Ambassador program, I got to try out the Bring It Racerback tank and the Infiniti Capri III.

IMG_9076 (426x640)

The capris are amazing, and instantly became my new favorite bottoms.  The inside of the leg opening has a grippy/gummy band that keeps the fabric from creeping up or slipping down, and I absolutely love it.  The fit is perfect and they are comfortable enough to wear all day long.  My only complaint is that the back pocket is too small for my phone, but that’s probably more the fault of my ginormous Samsung.  I’ve been wearing these day after day (probably too much, actually) and even rocked them to the beach when it was SEVENTY degrees on Thursday and we were finally all feeling better.

blog1

The Bring it Racerback comes in a few different fun, bright colors and it is super LONG, which I love because it covers most of my backside.  These are definitely going to be summer running staple items!

IMG_9081 (426x640)

And most importantly – new shoes!!  I have been guilty of simply ordering the newest pair of my same old boring (white!) running shoes for years and years without ever re-checking my fit or trying out any different styles.  I have a neutral stride, so I chose to test out the Brooks Glycerin 12.  I mean, just look at them.  Purppplle!!!

IMG_9083 (640x426)

Aside from being ridiculously flashy and outrageous, they are also really comfortable and have great cushion.  I love that the laces are stretchy and the inside fabric of the shoe is super soft.  And I am so happy when I look down at my feet!

IMG_9085 (640x427)

Now that the week of puking and sickness is behind us (knock on wood), I am looking forward to a healthy week ahead and a full week of training.  And I’m excited to write a lot more about running now that I plan to be doing it a lot more!  Speaking of – a recap of Casey’s recent marathon and our trip to California coming up next!

What races are you guys training for?  Any local runners who can recommend good races we might not know about yet?