5 Things for January Coffee

It’s time once again for a little catch up over coffee!

Didn’t we just do this? I swear it sometimes hard to keep track of how fast the days are moving. I’m linking up with Coco and Deborah for the Ultimate Coffee Date, so grab a mug of your fave hot beverage and let’s chat.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the holidays were a little bittersweet for us as my father-in-law passed away peacefully on Christmas Day. He was a true gentleman with a quick smile and kind word for everyone. His passions were his family, skiing, sailing, and painting and I hope to be doing as much as he was when I reach 92! I’m so grateful that we all got to spend time with him over Thanksgiving and my husband got in one more trip just before Christmas Eve.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that thanks to the Bomb Cyclone (really who comes up with this stuff?!) it’s been tough to get back into the swing of a regular routine. The kids started back to school on Tuesday, only to be home Thursday and Friday thanks to blizzard conditions. I love a good “snow day” but I have a sinking feeling Monday morning re-entry is going to be tough!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my husband, brother and I are doing Run the Edge‘s “Run This Year” challenge. While I don’t set annual mileage goals, I think doing this as a team will be fun! My brother’s planning on some Spartan races and my husband J will be doing trail races so I think 2,018 miles collectively is totally doable – and I’m sure there will be some serious trash talking between the 3 of us over who’s logging the most 🙂

A fun medal for 2,108 miles!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that since sharing my running goals, I’ve become a little obsessed with trying to decide which marathon to run this fall. I’m itching to get my race calendar settled but want to select the marathon first and then build around it.

And, speaking of goals, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have no shortage of house projects I want to take on for this year. At the top of the list is purging from top to bottom and clearing out all of the stuff we’re not using. It was clear to me as I was struggling to come up with gift ideas for both J and the kids that we really don’t need any more stuff – and that in fact, we could stand to shed some things. So, starting this month I’m going room by room – and dragging my family along kicking and screaming…wish me luck!

What would you tell me over coffee? Got a marathon suggestion? Did you get hit by the Bomb Cyclone?

I’m also linking up with Meranda, Lacey, and Rachel for the Friday Five.

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5 tips for planning your 2018 race calendar

So many races and so little time! Does Anyone else feel this way?

With just weeks to go until the new year, have you started mapping out your race schedule? Today I’m sharing a few tips for planning your 2018 race calendar.

Start with your goal race — Do you have one big goal race for the year? Typically, I’ve picked a goal half marathon for the spring and another for the fall. Once you get the key race or races figured out, you can fill in from there, adding tune-up races or other shorter distance events that could line-up nicely with your training plans.

Think about your training preferences — Do you loathe the idea of heavy mileage in the summer heat? Then perhaps an October race is not for you. Not a fan of winter running or having to log long miles on the ‘mill to avoid snow…then maybe you want to pass on those early spring races.

Consider all impact events — Family/friends weddings, major school events for the kids, etc. You’ll want to make sure you don’t pick your goal race for the same weekend as a major family gathering (I’ve already got Columbus Day weekend blocked off for my nephew’s wedding). Or, perhaps you don’t want to be at the peak of marathon training on a weekend you need to be out of town.

Let’s talk budget — We all know race registrations can get pricey so, of course, your budget has to be part of the planning process. Are you hoping to do some traveling next year or are you staying local? Going big or sticking with smaller, more affordable races? Keeping an eye out for race discount codes and great airline and hotel deals can help defray the costs of a racecation, but planning well in advance is key. Early registration will always save you some cash, so the earlier you can commit the better.

Know your body — It can be pretty easy to get caught up in race fever and want to “run all the races” – especially when it feels like everyone you follow on social media is running a particular race. But it is important to know your body and factor in the downtime it needs. Breaks from racing and training are important to keep you from burning out both mentally and physically – so plan accordingly.

Planning tips for your 2018 race calendar #runchat #bibchat #running Click To Tweet

I’m joining Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!

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2017 Gift Guide for Runners

This week’s Friday Five theme is “Gift Giving” so it seemed like the perfect time to share my annual gift guide for runners!

Sharing some gift ideas for the runners in your life! #runchat #runnersgifts Click To Tweet

Skirt Sports  – Well let’s dive in with one of my favorite apparel companies, Skirt Sports. I love the philosophy of this company and it doesn’t hurt that they make great clothing in such fun patterns. I have to admit I’ve become a little obsessed 🙂 Use code FALL20WIN for 20% off (expires 12/31/17).

a very small sample of my collection

Stride Box –  I’ve mentioned my love of StrideBox many times here. StrideBox offers a great combination of food/fuel options, running gear, and body care. And, at just $15 per month, Stridebox subscriptions make a great gift that can be enjoyed for many months to come! Code RunAttitude10 will save 10% off 3- and 6- month subscriptions (expires 12/24/17).

Knuckle Lights – These were on my personal wish list last year and lucky for me Santa was listening! I love the on-hand design and that these lights are rechargeable. They’re lightweight and slide easily over gloves in winter months.  Perfect for running or walking the dog!

Use code RUNNINGWITHATTITUDE and save 10% (expires 1/31/18).

Trigger Wheel – The RPI Trigger Wheel (affiliate link!) has been a lifesaver for me since I picked one up at last year’s R’n’R Vegas expo. It is perfect for those small muscles that you can’t quite get to easily with a foam roller.

SPIbelt – SPIbelt has been with me since my earliest days of running. I love that it’s lightweight, doesn’t bounce, and holds my phone and other essentials.

And with toggles for clipping on your bib, it’s a must-have when racing! (The Hydration Belt in this pic sees a lot of use during the summer months).

 

Use code michelle2017 to save 15% (expires 12/31/17)

Momentum Wraps – This is one on my wish list! I have a couple and just love the motivating messages they offer. They make a great stocking stuffer!

Yeah ok.. so that was 6 items instead of 5 😉

I’m linking up with Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!

What’s on your wish list this year?

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Runfessions of an Injured Runner

Well, here we are again on the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time to cleanse our soles (pun intended) with some runfessions. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Sharing some #runfessions of an injured runner! #FridayFive #Runfessions #Runchat Click To Tweet

I runfess that I am not loving running right now…there I said it. As long as my runs stay 5 miles or less, and at an easy peasy pace, all the body parts cooperate and it’s all good. But add miles or really push the pace, and I’m gritting my teeth – no bueno.

Unfortunately, my hip pain has returned with a vengeance and has left me on non-speaking terms with my training plan. I runfess that this cycle of injuries I’ve been dealing with this year (hip then ankle, now hip again) has been exacerbated by my pushing to get back to training too soon.

I runfess that it’s hard to sit on the sidelines while others are preparing for races – FOMO is a powerful thing…the struggle is real!

I runfess that if I am being totally honest, I’ve probably known for a while that I was pushing my luck with this training plan, but how could I possibly not have a fall goal race…ah denial!

While I’m not usually one to throw a pity party, I runfess that I’ve had a moment or two over the past month where I have asked myself if I should give up running. Now, of course, that didn’t last very long – it’s just the frustration talking.

I am certainly not going to stop running. I am going to back-off of following a training plan, put racing on the back burner, focus on a treatment plan for this SI Joint, and embrace my time in the gym, on a yoga mat, and the short leisurely runs I can do (I’ll take 3 or 4 miles vs none!).

So what are you run-fessing?

I’m linking up with Marcia for Runfessions, and Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!

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September Runfessions

It’s the last Friday of September (what?!?) so it’s time to join Marcia for some runfession fun!

While I really enjoyed the experience of meeting up with the other SS ambassadors at the Wicked Half, I run-fess that the race itself left me feeling meh! The course was open to traffic (I’m never a fan) and while the police were great at managing the major intersections, the course had no cones or other markers to let drivers even know there was a race going on. Cars often got a little too close for comfort and I saw many runners moving to the sidewalks vs. dealing with running next to cars.

I run-fess that I doubt that this is a race I’ll be running again.

I recently got all fired up about the fact that I need to do a better job about my nutrition. I run-fess that I bought this a couple of weeks ago and have yet to crack the seal on it! (Going to change that this weekend)

I run-fess that it is a pet peeve of mine when runners can’t be bothered with acknowledging other runners. There’s one woman I see on my runs quite often and she never gives a nod, wave, eye contact…nothing. I’ve seen her do it to other runners too so I don’t take it personally – but I do think she could make even the smallest effort.

I run-fess that while I’m not trying to look past my November half marathon, I’m already eyeing 2018.  I’m feeling the need to take on a new challenge – the what?… I’m not sure yet.

It's the end of the month and time for some runfessions! #FridayFive #runchat Click To Tweet

What are you run-fessing?

I’m also joining Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!

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5 goals for September

I figure before this month gets any older I better map out a few goals for the month.

Run 80 miles (at least) — I’d really like to hit 100 this month, but given my ankle’s unpredictable nature I’m hedging my bets a bit.

Re-establish my morning routine — Towards the end of the summer, my workouts were all over the place, essentially jamming them in when I could. I know I’m much better off when I get my workouts done early so that’s the goal.

Return to continuous running — Run:walk intervals have served me well in both dealing with the crazy humidity of this past summer and the cranky ankle, but I’d really like to transition back to continuous running.

Improve my fueling — I could do better here – both pre- and post-run.

Focus on self-care — This comes in many forms…daily rolling, yoga, sports massage, getting more sleep!

Sharing some goals for September for this week's #FridayFive What have you got planned? Click To Tweet

What are your goals for this month?

I’m joining Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!

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August Runfessions

It’s the last Friday of the month…so you know that means it’s time to join Marcia for runfessions! It’s a chance to cleanse your sweaty sole (like how I did that?) and start the new month fitness fresh! So let’s get to it, shall we?

My running mojo comes and goes like the wind lately, and I runfess that I’ve thought about phoning it in on my September half marathon…I won’t, but I’ve thought about it.

I’ve been really dragging lately, and I runfess that I was so tired on Wednesday that I  seriously toyed with the idea of just hiding in my car vs. driving to the gym (I did go to the gym).

I runfess that I’ve not been doing a great job focusing on my recovery. I’ve basically been squeezing in my runs or workouts and then rushing off to the rest of my day. I need to get back to being on consistent speaking terms with my foam roller, and make sure I’m refueling properly.

It's #Runfessions time on the blog today! Join in and share yours! #FridayFive Click To Tweet

On the non-fitness front, I runfess that the start of school is less than two weeks away and I’m so not on top of my game. I may have pulled a late night the other day ordering textbooks so they’d arrive in time and we have no school supplies yet.

And speaking of back-to-school, I runfess that, while I’m totally unprepared, I’m secretly looking forward to the returning to a routine that the fall and school schedule brings.

There…now I feel better! Tell what are you run-fessing?

I’m also joining Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!

 

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5 Reasons to Love the Arc Trainer

This week my cranky ankle has forced me to find new ways to get some cardio in so I darkened the doorways of my gym (I cannot remember the last time I was there!), and re-introduced myself to the Arc Trainer.

After Tuesday’s sweat fest that left my quads and glutes burning, I was quickly reminded why I love this machine. So for this week’s Friday Five, I’m sharing some reasons to hit the Arc Trainer!

Cardio without the pounding – the Arc Trainer really allows you to get your heart rate up for a good cardio workout without the pounding of other machines. I have never been able to get my heart rate going on an elliptical or stepper, so for me, this is a huge win!

Easier on the joints – According to Cybex, who makes the Trainer, the arc path of the foot pedals moves legs in a biomechanically correct pathway and avoids allowing the toe to move behind the knee, which can stress the joint. The Arc Trainer is designed to only generate force during the weight bearing cycle of your gait, with the goal of increasing your calorie burn with reduced stress on the ankle, knee, and hip joints.

Range of muscle engagement – the Arc Trainer offers a wide range of variable resistance and inclines. Higher inclines emulate a stepping motion, targeting your quads, while lower inclines with increased resistance target your glutes and hammies. If you use the Total Body model then you can also use the moving handles to work your arms and chest. (Side note: the Trainer has two models – Total Body and Lower Body – lucky for me, my gym has both!) I like that the Trainer’s display screen features a “muscle map” so you can see which muscles you’re targeting as you adjust the incline and resistance.

Program variety – the ability to mix and match the range of resistance settings and inclines means you can continuously challenge yourself. The Trainer also features both high and low-intensity pre-programmed workouts. Basically, the way you use the machine can be very different from one day to the next – helps to keep the boredom factor down, which is tough on any cardio machine!

Offers both strength & endurance – you can strengthen multiple muscle groups while improving your endurance, getting a bigger bang for your workout!

Check out 5 reasons to use the Arc Trainer! #FridayFive Click To Tweet

I was first introduced to the Arc Trainer more than a year ago by Trainer Stacy, but with time away from the gym had forgotten just how effective it can be. I’m now looking forward to making it a consistent part of my training!

I’m joining in with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

 

 

 

 

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5 Tips for Running on the Track

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve returned to the track for some of my *ahem* speedwork. Our local high school recently resurfaced their track and I am lucky that it is just a quick 10-minute drive from my house.

This track stays fairly busy even when school’s not in session and since the resurfacing it has been one hopping spot! I’ve just been twice in the past two weeks, but it’s clear to me that some could stand to learn a thing or two about track etiquette. So with that in mind, for this week’s Friday Five, I offer some tips for running on the track.

Run counter-clockwise — Unless otherwise posted or you have the track to yourself, you should run counter-clockwise.

Choose your lane wisely — If you’re walking or doing a slow warm-up, please stick to the outer lanes. The other day I watched two women decide to take a leisurely stroll on the inner lanes, oblivious to the runners trying to navigate past them.

Pass on the left — Pass people on the left when possible, and feel free to call out “on your left” or “track” to give plenty of warning. If you are the passee, please don’t take it personally and shoot dagger looks at the passer (as I’ve had one or two do to me in the past), just slide wide right and keep doing your thing.

Keep it moving — As a general rule of thumb, when you’re not running or walking, step off the track to take a rest or to stretch. When you finish the interval you’re running, be mindful of those around you before coming to a complete stop, and then step off to the side until you’re ready for the next round.

Leave your furry running partners and strollers at home — I can’t make this up – I have seen both! Dogs and strollers can do damage to the track surface. So leave both at home – your fellow runners will appreciate it.

5 tips for running on the track #runchat Click To Tweet

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up! 

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Five tips to become an early morning runner

Now that summer is officially here, and temps are on the rise, I’m back to running early in the morning to hopefully find some fo the cooler temps of the day. I’ve shared before some benefits of early morning running, so today I thought I’d share some tips on how to shift your clock to become an early morning runner.

Get some sleep: OK let’s start with the obvious – if you want to get up early, you’ve got to get your zzz’s, so of course, that means get to bed at a reasonable time.

Be prepared: Lay out clothing and gear the night before – eliminate the need to stand in a dark closet fumbling around for something to wear or skipping a run because you can’t find your Garmin.

Lose the snooze: Put your alarm clock out of reach – if you have to get up to turn off your alarm you’re less likely to hit snooze.

Ease into it: And speaking of that alarm, I’d recommend starting slowly. Don’t set your alarm that first morning for o’dark thirty right off the bat. Ease your way into the early morning hours, shifting the alarm back over several days.

Find a buddy: Knowing that someone is waiting for you will get you out of bed. You never want to leave a friend hanging.

5 tips to become an early morning runner #runchat Click To Tweet

What’s your best tip for becoming an early morning runner?

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

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