Weekly Therapy: Taper + Marathon Weekend!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Vermont City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

the week:
Since I’m traveling to Burlington for the Vermont City Marathon, I wanted to focus on that for this Weekly Therapy. The Taper Crazies have grabbed hold!

weekend:
MARATHON WEEKEND!!! I have a couple days in Burlington to explore before the race. It’s been 5 years since my last visit. Besides Citizen Cider, which is already DEFINITELY on my list, what else should I see or do? Any gluten-free recommendations?

seven things at Vermont City Marathon that I’m excited about:
1. OMG, views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.
2. FREE RACE PHOTOS! Thanks, Vermont Department of Tourism.
3. The Sport & Fitness Expo because I’m a sucker for race swag and finding buying local Vermont products.
4. Pre-race PASTA FEED (yes, there’s gluten-free!).
5. I always love to hear the entertainment along the course, but I’m also excited for…
6. A candy stop AND ice pop aid station. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
7. Crossing that finish line and celebrating another finished marathon!

Vermont City Marathon: Training Week #19

IT’S MARATHON WEEK! But without getting too far ahead, this post is about LAST week โ€” Training Week #19 โ€” a taper week, a take-it-easy week, a… uh, reminder to myself that marathon training is not quite over. Week.

Vermont Marathon training blogger

Marathoner in Training… STILL. ๐Ÿ‘Š

I’m carrying over a LOT of confidence from my 22-miler the weekend before, and I feel completely ready to do this race. Because I’m in my taper, this week’s training plan doesn’t have a whole lot of surprises โ€” unless you count the tornado sirens.

MONDAY Rest

TUESDAY Yoga at home + foam rolling

WEDNESDAY This was our crazy weather night, complete with tornado warnings – and our power was out until late evening. No running for me.

THURSDAY Mid-week easy run that I carried over from Wednesday. I originally was supposed to join the Green Runners again, but wasn’t sure about the total mileage and opted to complete my run at home on the treadmill.

3.01 miles / 33:50 / 11:14 average pace

FRIDAY More rest!

SATURDAY Last meet-up with my Capital Striders group for this training cycle. We did a 6-mile loop starting from Drake, dropping some runners off and gaining some others for another 5 miles.

10.90 miles / 1:50:00 / 10:05 average pace

Splits: 10:18, 10:00, 10:26, 10:20, 10:14, 9:56, 10:20, 9:48, 9:47, 9:35, 10:15
I had no idea that my paces were that fast โ€” felt easy!

We ended our “season” with a celebration brunch at Louie’s Wine Dive. Despite a bit of rain, it was a great morning out on the roads. I appreciate these ladies so much for their support through my training.

capital striders run brunch iowa

Cheers, ladies!

SUNDAY I had yoga on my schedule, but didn’t do well with scheduling out my day. By the time I got home from the matinee, I was exhausted and ended up on the couch with my cat for a couple hours. I did some stretching and hip/glute mobility stuff before bed.

WEEKLY RUNS: 2 runs
WEEKLY MILES: 13.9 miles
TOTAL TRAINING MILES: 402.97 miles

Today’s the LAST DAY to register for the Vermont City Marathon. Use code BibRave10 to save $10 on your registration!

Product Review: OOFOS OOmg

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOFOS OOmg shoes to review 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!

OOFOS women shoes OOmg

One of my favorite things about being a BibRave Pro is the opportunity to review new products to the market. I’m already a HUGE fan of OOFOS โ€” owning a pair of their recovery slides and randomly winning a pair of the OOriginal sandal during an Instagram contest last year โ€” but never have properly reviewed. Getting the chance to try out their new OOMG shoes gave me that very opportunity!

The first fully closed shoe with OOfoam technology: A combined OOFOS patented footbed design with a 4-way stretch mesh upper that takes stress off your tired soles and joints โ€” providing natural foot movement that allows you to wear the shoe all day, every day.

Short story: OOFOS is ALL about recovery. As a runner, this is super important to me. While the OOmg is good for recovery post-run, they are designed as a lifestyle shoe and meant to be worn at all times.

OOFOS OOmg shoes at yoga

Perfect for commuting to POPUP YOGA

First impression: When I first pulled these out of the box, my first reaction was, “Oh, these are fug.” But seriously, the ugliness wore off when I put them on. These shoes are COMFY. To be honest, they don’t look bad when they’re on my feet, and they were so light. I instantly dubbed these my commuter shoes, as I have to do a good amount of walking from car-to-cube on my work campus; I have worn these to work nearly every day since I got them. I don’t care if I’m wearing a skirt, pants, jeans… fug or not, they have not ripped up my feet like other flats have. AND they’re a lot sleeker than wearing tennis shoes to work.

OOFOS OOmg recovery shoe

Fit: I do want to talk about fit a little bit. Out of the box, these fit snugly and comfortably. I loved how my arch was cradled and the elastic mesh was breathable and didn’t compress the top of my foot at all. Though on my left foot (which is not the wider of the two), my toenails were catching something on the inside-top front of the shoe (I do NOT keep my toenails long, so it was a weird observation). I notice the toe catching โ€” not with every step โ€” it feels like it might rip my toenail off (it’s probably an exaggeration, but it’s a jolting reminder when it catches). I haven’t worn my OOmg shoes with socks and imagine that would prevent, but the no socks thing was exactly why I LOVED these shoes. This hasn’t prevented me from wearing the shoes nearly every day, however.

I’m generally not in-between sizes, but I feel as though that’s where this shoe would fit me better. I haven’t yet tried a size 9, and I feel it would be too big, but I don’t have the comparison. OOFOS OOmg is the perfect post-workout and commuter shoe for me, while also giving me the benefit of:

– Reducing stress on feet, knees, and back
– Enabling more natural motion
– Being extremely light weight
– And being machine washable โ€” which makes these perfect for a rainy day shoe!

OOFOS OOmg commuter shoes

Science!

Learn more about the OOfoam technology:

30-something 40-something approved: I made an investment in comfort brands a few years ago because I was walking everywhere in Pittsburgh (I rarely drove), and I was tired of sore feet and nasty blisters or spots that rubbed (and eventually bled) โ€” even from wearing flats. An ill-fitting shoe positively ruined my day! Though it’s expense to do so, I want to protect my feet; and dang it, I just want to walk comfortably and not have to travel with 382 shapes of band-aids.

OOFOS OOmg bibrave pro collage

The OOFOS OOmg shoe retails at $120, is sold in full sizes, and comes in three colors (black, gray, and citron green). I plan to get the OOmg in another color (likely gray) and can’t wait to see what’s next from OOFOS. At the moment, OOmg is sold in the women’s section of their website, but are considered unisex up to a certain size. Expanded men’s sizes are expected for next year.

Weekly Therapy: 40 + 1

the week:
I’ve experienced all kinds of weather in Iowa, but this week’s crazy severe storms and tornado warnings had me legit freaking out. I don’t ever want to be in my car during a 70-mph wind storm ever again! I saw a trampoline in a tree, so I’m pretty sure that’s like Iowa Bingo right there.

four seasons of weather in iowa

All that said, what was 94 and humid at the beginning of the week is now 45 degrees and depressingly gloomy.
-_-

weekend:
It’s a weekend of brunches! After my Saturday morning run, our group is having brunch at Louie’s Wine Dive to celebrate our race reason. On Sunday, the hubs and I are going to see “Curious Incident…” at Des Moines Performing Arts Center and having brunch beforehand at Bubba | Southern Comfort (I need those buckwheat waffles).

seven things, seven days:
1. A coworker gave me two heirloom tomato plants. I’m so excited to take care of these guys and tend to fruit! I miss our little urban plot that we had in Pittsburgh, and want to make a plan to have a small vegetable garden in place by next year.
2. Did you see the FitSpi shorts that will be in next month’s Runner Crate? Got me to subscribe. [affiliate link]
3. I found the cats have been taking turns napping on my workout bag that I leave on the bench in our garage entry. One of them is snoring over there right at this moment. ๐Ÿ˜ป
4. That Demi Lovato collection at Fabletics is ๐Ÿ’ฏ.
5. Lucky Charms is hosting a contest to win a MARSHMALLOW ONLY box of cereal. Gimme.
6. A story too close to the skin for me: Vitamin D deficiency vs. Skin cancer {via HealthLine}
7. I no longer feel guilt over wasting time (though I am also much, much better at managing my time) {via Quartz}

Six Reasons I’m Running Route 66 Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Route 66 Marathon 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!

Route 66 Marathon Race Start

My race schedule for 2017 is officially full. Full marathon, that is. The Route 66 Marathon was one of those events that sounded like an absolute blast in recaps. The race takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 19, which also means I won’t be training for TOO long (hopefully) in the hottest part of summer.

And here’s 6 more reasons why I chose to do it:

1. I must be crazy, right? I could have come with 66 ways to answer that question. Signing up for another marathon when I haven’t even finished the one I’m currently training for? Don’t worry, I’m taking a little time off after VCM. But despite feeling exhausted and OVER everything related to marathons, I simply like to be in a structured training program that keeps me conditioned and is a challenge. Keeps me feeling like I could still be running with the 30-somethings. Or something.

2. My two favorite words: Fleece. Lined. Y’all know how much I love my cozy fabrics. This year’s finishers jackets match the color of the race branding and are fleece-lined performance. FLEEEEEEEECE. Bonus: it’s got pockets.

Route 66 Marathon - fleece jacket

3. Cross another state off my map. Before registration for Route 66 Marathon, I was going to color in 6 new states; now, it’ll be 7 in 2017. I’ve been to Oklahoma once โ€” about 15 years ago โ€” on a cross-country road trip adventure with my sister. There was a lot of arguing in those days before Google Maps (we seriously drove cross country with a FLIPBOOK from AAA). This trip it will only be me yelling at the British lady who commands my car’s navigation system. And for more cowbell.

4. It’s ROUTE 66 โ€” it’s iconic! Once of my favorite things about traveling for races is being able to see cities by foot. Tulsa is about a 6.5-hour drive from Des Moines, so I’ll get to map some fun roadside attractions โ€” like driving by Pittsburg (without the “h”) in Kansas. Also, I am obsessed with seeing all this Art Deco architecture in Tulsa.

Route 66 Marathon - race sign

5. PARTY TIME. EXCELLENT. I tend to take myself too seriously in training โ€” in life, too โ€” but especially in races. I don’t know many races that actively promote the locations where you’ll find your first beer station (which means there are others???) or the #jelloshotscrew (wait… can we make that a hashtag?). Alls I’m saying is, someone running this race is gluten-free and requests a cider or a mimosa around Mile 20-ish (maybe I should have put that on my bib?). Also, orange jell-o is my favorite.

Route 66 marathon mimosas

THAT LOOKS LIKE MIMOSAS!!!

6. The World’s Shortest Ultramarathon. There’s an option of adding the Center of the Universe Detour to your registration and run an extra .3 miles to complete the Worldโ€™s Shortest Ultramarathon. There’s a beer reward (can I have wine yet?) and a special commemorative coin to acknowledge the achievement. Also, there’s some crazy-cool, freaky echo thing happening at the Center of the Universe, and that’s the perfect kind of quirk that I love to discover in my adventures.

Route 66 marathon - center of the universe detour

This race has some good vibrations (wait… is that an acoustic pun?). I can’t wait to run with you in Tulsa and party like a marathoner (+.3).

DISCOUNT: I hear this race sells out every year โ€” and with all the new race features for 2017 (jackets for relay runners, a really freaking awesome VIP package), now is the time to plan your Fall marathon. If you’re ready to register, use discount code 2017R66BR for $10 off entry.

Vermont City Marathon: Training Week #18

IT’S TAPER TIME!!!!!! Also, look at that: a training week wrap-up actually posted on Monday!

taper time marathon training

Week #18 wasn’t a perfect training week for me. I skipped a speed workout, and swapped an easy run to later in the week. I think I’ve only had 3 weeks in my entire training cycle where I didn’t run 4 times. This was one of those weeks! I only ran twice. Woof. My back soreness extended into mid-week โ€” when I FINALLY got my trigger point ball out and found the gnarly spot in my mid-back that was causing all the discomfort. This wasn’t my “peak week,” as last week had more total mileage โ€” though this week had my longest run of this cycle. I’m excited already with all this “spare time” I found in my weekly schedule and looking forward to writing more about my excitement for this marathon.

vermont city marathon training greenbelt trail iowa blogger

BibRave represent, 22 miles of Greenbelt Trail, and practicing my race day outfit.

MONDAY Strength workout – no kettlebell for me this week, as I was being protective of my back. I focused on body strength work and really light dumbbells.

TUESDAY My birthday โ€” so why not just rest and enjoy it?

WEDNESDAY I had yoga scheduled for Thursday, but I NEEDED it โ€” and just 30 minutes at home helped SO MUCH. I spent extra time on stretching and foam rolling and hating my trigger point ball. If you’re looking for some good home yoga workouts, I can’t recommend Yoga With Adriene enough! She’s got a lot of great beginner videos, but also some amazing sessions geared towards runners… and a couple for specific issues (like my lower back soreness).

THURSDAY Easy 6 miles around my neighborhood. Since changing my work schedule, it’s been nice to have my runs done a little earlier. And it’s always great to enjoy more hours of daylight โ€” particularly on a beautiful weather day.

FRIDAY Lots of rest to prepare for Saturday’s early rise.

SATURDAY Longest long run of my training plan โ€” 22 miles! I met with the Capital Striders group run, joining my running buddies for an out-and-back 8+ miles on the Greenbelt Trail from Fitness Sports… and then continuing for the bulk of the miles on my own. I felt good; I ran in my race day outfit, and I practiced all my fueling and mental training. It was good to have a little warmer of a day, too, in the chance I experience that weather in Vermont.

You want to know something that pissed me off on my run though?

vermont city marathon half marathon split

Getting a Personal Best on my half marathon. That’s some shit, isn’t it?

SUNDAY Recovery Day! And I planned it as such, with Pop-Up Yoga at Salisbury House and a 90-minute massage (session with a new massotherapist, and I love her!).

popup yoga des moines blogger

Beautiful gardens at Salisbury House… oh, and after directing the gardening duties at my house.

And with that, time to enjoy the taper crazies!

WEEKLY RUNS: 2 runs
WEEKLY MILES: 27.7 miles
TOTAL TRAINING MILES: 389.07 miles

Vermont city marathon run blog

While it’s probably too late to train for a marathon (spoiler alert: it is), if you waited to register for the Vermont City Marathon, now is the time: Use code BibRave10 to save $10 on your registration! TWO WEEKS AWAY!

Race Recap: Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon

I completed the Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon (my 11th half marathon) as part of my (re)scheduled 20-mile training run. This race was a bit momentous for me, as it was my LAST race in the 30-something age group. Admittedly, I got a little choked up that morning. After finishing my 7 miles on the paved trails in Water Works Park, I lined up with the 1,800 other runners to start the half marathon.

des moines half marathon flat runner

Flat Melinda ready for Half Marathon #11

Registration and Cost: Registration was online. I was nervous the event would sell out, considering how late I signed up (only after my original weekend plans were canceled). There was an option to purchase an extra glass of wine with registration for $5 (yes, please). My cost after fees and extra booze was $81.12.

Packet Pick-up: I had a bad feeling when I got an extra email this week AFTER the “this is the last athlete email” was in my inbox (the “last athlete email” where the participant guides were also not hyperlinked). It was about parking, and that’s something that stresses me out more than it should. But since I am still unfamiliar with most of Des Moines (and still have to use my GPS to get anywhere), it’s always a concern โ€” particularly for races. They also urged participants to pick up their bibs on Saturday; despite my plans to go early on race day, I decided to make the extra trip out to Jasper Winery.

Well, parking was annoying โ€” mostly because it seemed no one really knew where to go; once I found the grassy lot behind the winery, I was OK. But people were parking on the front road and side road and trying to parallel park. And there were a lot of people walking in the road (wtf?!). Because I parked in the back of the building, there were no signs directing me where to go โ€” I had never been to Jasper Winery. I saw a bunch of tents and went in that direction (even though I entered the wrong way, seemingly).

And then I realized that there was a line around the front side of the building for packet pick-up. The backup was because we had to sign TWO waivers before picking up our bib. WAIVERS. When registration was ONLINE. It was a little ridiculous.

My gut feeling was proving to be right โ€” and this was a case where I didn’t want to be right!

Registrants then went to a separate table to pick up their bibs; the lines were formed by bib numbers. And then there was a third set of tables to pick up the swag bag. I also got my extra wine ticket, and took that immediately to the winery so I could relax and enjoy (it really was a beautiful day!).

des moines womens half marathon finisher medal and bib

All that said, I really, REALLY loved the bib design!

Expo: There were a couple tents set up outside for the race promoter and Girls on the Run, and the rest of the “expo” was inside the winery. SHAPE is a sponsor of the event and had a mini-shop with its workout apparel. There was also a giant display with every runner’s name printed. I noticed on my way out that the banners on the way out ALSO had names printed on them. I liked the integration!

That's me!

That’s me!

As you exit, you can grab a glass of wine (I think they also had beer) and sit outside and enjoy the weather. My Front Porch Rosรฉ was a perfect complement to the weather.

Swag and Medals: The half zip, a branded wine glass, the medal. Yeah, this swag is pretty awesome.

DSM Womens Half Marathon swag glass jacket

Weather: The weather, honestly, could not have been more perfect. It was 57 degrees and sunny at the start โ€” warming up to low 70s by the time I finished.

Course and Elevation: Extremely flat โ€” really, a perfect race for any first-time half marathoners. The start was in front of Jasper Winery and continued past Gray’s Lake into downtown, around Principal Park, connecting to the paved trails that lead back to Gray’s Lake again, and finishing the last miles on the trails at Water Works Park.

dsm half marathon women start line

Ready to go! (I took advantage of a delayed start by getting all my extra miles in BEFORE the race)

Start Line and Parking: The race was delayed by 15 minutes BECAUSE OF PARKING. There were no corral openings โ€” at least none that I could see walking up as far as I could fit to the 11-minute pace sign; runners filtered in from the back. They ended up having to start two different waves because they couldn’t get runners all filed in. Also, I never saw anything posted that parking was at Water Works โ€” everything said the winery. I guess it could be assumed if you are familiar with the area… but I’m not.

Aid Stations: I was happy with the spacing of the water stops, but not too happy to get to the one at 3 miles and find it not have Gatorade as promised in the Athlete Guide that was provided the week of the race (when we got the actual email where the links worked). In fact, there was supposed to be Gatorade at the Mile 6.5 aid station (there was not); there was also definitely no “athlete nutrition in the form of bananas, Clif Bars, Fruit Strips and Twizzlers” at Miles 7.5 or 11. Those aid stations DID have Gatorade though (grape, gross).

Fans and Experience: There were EXCELLENT cheer sections and “fans” along the course, and some of my favorites were the Girls on the Run (who were volunteering at the aid stations; definitely not their fault AT ALL that the stops were not stocked as promised), the Velorosa cyclists, the lululemon Des Moines cheer squad, and the Pure Barre West Des Moines (they’re opening next week!) ladies near the finish line. I saw a lot of repeat spectators who moved along the course, spotting them again-and-again and exchanging “woos.”

Total Bullshit: I have a list of things per this race experience, but overhearing runners NOT be cool to cyclists was stoking my Run Rage. In fact, there was a lot of race etiquette lost on many of the participants of this race. They’ll learn; I can’t fault them for being new to the race mores. BUT DON’T BE DICKS TO CYCLISTS. Because you’re racing on the trails does not mean the outdoor world shuts down for you.

des moines woman half marathon after party jasper winery

Finish Line and After Party: The race ended where we started โ€” at Jasper Winery. Our finisher medals were handed to us at the end of the “chute” and volunteers passed out bottles of water. You could get individual printed results outside the finisher area โ€” where they also had a live band, food tents, food TRUCKS… and wine. Did I mention that free glass of wine for finishers? They did one better by me by having FREE SANGRIA. Which was a good thing because the athlete food line was SO LONG, I didn’t bother. I guess that was free, too, per the tab on my bib.

des moines half marathon finish line winery sangria

And then I waited in my car for a half hour trying to exit the park because the race didn’t keep any traffic volunteers or cops on duty to assist with getting everyone out of the parking area (one giant grass lot and one light that let out about 5 cars at a time). Parking sucks. The end.

OVERALL
THE GREAT: Free sangria!
THE GOOD: Great weather and awesome swag.
THE BAD: If the lack of race etiquette bothers you, this is not the race for you.
THE UGLY: I wrote four paragraphs complaining about parking. ยฏ\_(ใƒ„)_/ยฏ

TL;DR: I didn’t hate this race… but I didn’t love it. There are definitely improvements to make for next year.

des moines womens half marathon finisher jacket

Hey baby, nice swag!

OFFICIAL RESULTS
2:15:19
Overall: 461 out of 948
Last race in the 30-something age group!
Females 35-39: 90 out of 161

Weekly Therapy: And then I was 40

the week:
mel is 40

weekend:
OMG, HY-VEE IS HOSTING A ROOT BEER FLOAT DAY EVENT ON SATURDAY!

seven things, seven days:
1. My birthday week was lovely, and it was so nice to receive cards and flowers in the mail and SO many messages on social media. Lots of โค๏ธ
2. Pure Barre is opening in West Des Moines (actually, in Clive, but who can keep track of these suburban boundaries!)
3. I bought a GORGEOUS midyear planner from Day Designer (the packaging alone made the price point worth it!), and I LOVE the reminder and tips emails they sent that coordinate with use of the product starting on June 1.
4. I haven’t shopped at Sephora in a couple YEARS… but their birthday gift was better, and I guess Ulta doesn’t have exclusivity on one of my brands anymore.
5. Why so many businesses mess up employee development โ€” my company uses a strength-based development program and monthly assessments, but development is often not referred to until the annual review. {via Entrepreneur}
6. There’s so much of me in this article: The Rise of Run Rage {via Runner’s World}
7. So… this is 40!

Vermont City Marathon: Training Week #17

There are only THREE TRAINING WEEKS left of marathon training, and (thankfully) Week #17 was a pretty strong week for me.

vermont marathon training week 17 iowa runner

That said, I’m paying attention to my lower back โ€” it doesn’t bother me at all when I run, but I feel a strain on my right side when I’m laying down for bed or sitting up with my legs out straight (or, sometimes, when I’ve been sitting too long). I’ve had a few muscle spasms randomly at work, too, which… I don’t know if I have a knot somewhere that is just transferring to my lower back or I strained it doing a strength workout. Though I cancelled my golf lessons for the remainder of the month to be safe because the twisting-turning motion bothered me most. Hoping it’s nothing, but being mindful of it, nonetheless. I FINALLY have a massage appointment this upcoming weekend.

MONDAY Golf was cancelled due to the weather

TUESDAY I was committed to getting my easy run in Tuesday night. And it was a late run, since I attended a volunteer ceremony event after work. And yes, my treadmill still smells like burning rubber.

6 miles + 6×20 Strides / 1:11:38 / 11:09 average pace

WEDNESDAY Tempo Run on the schedule! It was a little chilly running outside in crops and a t-shirt, but the sunshine felt good. Everyone was out cutting their lawns, so my allergies sucked something major. My nose running must have distracted me because I realized within my warm-up mile that I was running too fast of a pace.

So I continued.

I stuck to faster paces for my next two miles.

And then faster paces for my next two miles. I finally completed a legit tempo workout. I DID THE WORK. ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Warm-up: 10:03

2 miles: 9:38, 9:27
2 miles: 9:16, 8:58

Cool down: 10:45

THURSDAY Rest – was supposed to do yoga, buuuuuuut I went out for Happy Hour after work to celebrate an early Cinco de Mayo.

FRIDAY Foam rolling before bed โ€” my quads and calves needed a LOT of work. And I had a GREAT night of sleep, holy moly. Maybe my body knew that I didn’t have to wake up early the next day?

SATURDAY Hahahahaha, just kidding. Woke up at 6am, though it was 9 glorious hours of sleep. I did a quick shakeout run โ€” 3 easy miles + 4×20 Strides. The weather was BEAUTIFUL!

3.3 miles / 32:45 / 9:53 average pace

iowa running marathon training des moines bridges trail

SUNDAY My second 20-miler of this marathon training cycle. 20 MILES… AGAIN! This felt SO MUCH better than the 20 miles that I did a few weeks ago โ€” I felt strong and like I could run an actual marathon. I finished 7.12 miles before the start of the Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon โ€” 1:16:49, with an average pace of 10:47 โ€” and then finished the half marathon in 2:15:19, a 10:26 average pace.

Check out these half splits: 10:27(1), 10:29(2), 10:33(3), 10:32(4), 10:28(5), 10:45(6), 10:25(7), 10:39(8), 10:31(9), 10:30(10), 10:39(11), 10:16(12), 9:25(13). That’s a pretty consistent pace. I’m proud of the work I put in this week.

WEEKLY RUNS: 4(ish) runs
WEEKLY MILES: 35.8 miles
TOTAL TRAINING MILES: 361.37 miles

Vermont city marathon run blog

AHHHHHHHH Race Day is so close! Still time to register and join me in Burlington, Vermont (if running marathons is your thang) for the Vermont City Marathon: Use code BibRave10 to save $10 on your registration!

Weekly Therapy: Cinco de Runno

the week:
Two years ago, I ran my first half marathon in Pittsburgh. Here I am now training for my second marathon. I’m so excited for my friends back in the ‘Burgh who are running this year again โ€” or for the first time. Makes me a little “homesick” for running those bridges. Here’s a little #tbt to the 2015 Pittsburgh Half:

Recycled derby sign!

Recycled derby sign!

weekend:
A friend is coming over with wine Saturday night to help me celebrate my upcoming birthday… which means I should feel extra-awesome by the Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon (followed by wine at Jasper Winery) on Sunday.

Bonus: The Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market opens this weekend! I love their website!

seven things, seven days:
1. Oh, NEAT โ€” I found a running group/club at work!
2. I’m also sincerely inspired by some of my coworkers, after attending a volunteerism event this week.
3. This Relationship Saving Station at IKEA made me laugh.
4. Found my birthday shirt.
5. 40 is the perfect age to prove our physical mettle
6. Fast after 40 {via Competitor.com}
7. And like that, I’m celebrating the last few remaining days in my 30s.