Running as an Extreme Extrovert

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I’m an extrovert. I think calling myself an “extreme extrovert” is not an exaggeration. I make friends and trust very easily. I love being around people. I love meeting new people. I thrive in the middle of the crazy .. when everything is loud, moving and out of control, I’m at my best. When stressful or bad things happen, I want to tell the story about a million times. To anyone who will listen. Once you are my people, I will do anything to be there for you.
My worst nightmare? Dying alone. Hours and hours of seeing people in the ICU with multiple injuries, vented and sedated sitting alone didn’t help, but this has always been a huge fear of mine. Please, please don’t leave me alone. The thought is terrifying.
Running lots and lots of miles (over 100 miles/month) is hard. It’s hard in general. It’s REALLY hard when being alone is not your favorite thing. Some days, going out to run 8-10 miles alone is the LAST thing I want to do. I’ve been known to Netflix and treadmill my long run when the weather is perfectly acceptable to be outside, just because I can’t stand the thought of being out that long by myself. I struggle with the fact I need people. I can take care of myself. I can take care of my children. I’m fairly certain I would be able to run whatever team anyone ever gave me. But when it’s just me, I long to be surrounded by my people.
The whole month of June, I did a lot of miles alone. There has also been a lot going on in my life. New job, husband got a new job, my grandparent’s estate sale, etc. It’s been a really long 6ish weeks. On top of all that, both my running buddies are out of town. I ran a lot of miles alone. By the last week of the month, I was emotionally done. I didn’t want to go out. Even when the weather was perfect, I did not want to. I needed my people. I love being out on the roads or trails, but when I get to a certain point, all I want to do is run with others.
So. Running as an extrovert is hard. I’m very very thankful for my running buddies Adam and Bryan that run a LOT of miles with me. And my coach Nick who puts up with my whining when all I want to do is stay in, and he pushes me to go out. I need my people, and I want to run with people around me who are happy to also be running.
If you are an introvert runner, and can’t imagine running with people all the time, tell me about it! I’d love to hear it!

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Indy Mini Marathon 2016 Race Recap

This year’s Mini Marathon was much different than the last 2 I’ve registered for.

In 2014, I was injured literally weeks before, and gave my registration away. Last year, 2015, I had had a really great training cycle and ran 2:07:12, which was almost a 20 min PR. This year, I literally decided a couple weeks before the race I was going to run . . .mostly for fun. Finish Time: 2:09:26.

One huge downside (other than the fact that registration was exorbitant) was that I started in the O as in Oscar corral. Yup. . O. I was TOTALLY frustrated about this. . .before the race and for about the first 2-3 miles of the race. My running buddy Adam ran with me. . he runs a lot of my training runs with me, and I shamelessly convinced him to run as well. Here we are before the race:

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That’s the Borg Warner Trophy in the background (the medal was a Baby Borg!)

I was wearing my TS2 running singlet, my Nuun ambassador hat, my sunglasses (and contacts as I was worried it might rain and I’d need to take  off my sunglasses). Weather was really great, mid 60s and sunny to start, then overcast with a light mist off and on. Could not have been better!

Course wise, it isn’t a bad course, but not my favorite half I’ve participated in either.  This race runs around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track, which while really awesome, I personally think it’s the hardest part of the race, especially when the sun is out and beating down on you. Some of the neighborhoods are less than safe if you are not running with 30k of your closest friends, and have SIGNIFICANT pothole damage. Other than that, the start and finish which are downtown are very well manned and put together.

What went well:

  • Pacing. I pretty much nailed the pace I wanted to be at. I was not feeling as trained up as I would have liked, and for that, only being 2 min off my time last year was huge. I maintained a very steady pace, and never felt completely drained.
  • Fueling. Stopped for water at most of the water stops, don’t like the lemon-lime Gatorade so skipped those. Took 3 GUs, only used one. . probably could have used 2 but was still feeling good so I skipped it. All in all, no trouble here.

What could have been better:

  • Starting corral!! Starting in O was awful. So many walkers. So many people to dodge. SO much waiting!! I get race anxiety anyway, and this made it way worse. Adam was very frustrated at my dodging people for the first 3 miles, I just wanted to get to a point where I could run in a somewhat straight line!! This was a learning for sure. I will be absolutely certain in my goal race that this does NOT happen.
  • Blister and toenails. Still not quite sure whats going on here. Both 2nd toes are going to lose toenails after this race. Shoes fit well and don’t give me any trouble other than racing. Blisters are the same deal. I even made sure to lube up my feet and STILL got half dollar size blisters right below my big toe as well as on TOP of my big toe.

What was SUPER AWESOME. . . .

I finished the race with Meb Keflezighi!! No really. . see?? received_10153616412437634

So Meb was the celebrity personality for the race. He actually started dead last (and I thought my corral was bad!!).

He and his crew (see in the green shirts above) caught me about mile 12.5 and asked if I wanted to finish with them. Of course I said yes! How could you say no to Meb!!!?? They were keeping about an 8:30 pace, and I totally picked it up and make it to the finish at their pace. We crossed the finish line holding hands with our hands up! All the race pictures came out with people standing in front of me, but a friend caught this one right after the line. He was so very kind and didn’t even look winded!

Life lesson in this one. I was struggling the whole time to figure out what it meant to “race for fun”. I enjoyed the people, the bands, the aid stations, seeing friends and family along the course (a friend brought Adeline down and they got to see us twice on the course before it started to rain), and just taking in the moment. It was so awesome to have Adam running with me. He always makes me laugh and pushes me more than I thought possible.

Before the race, I asked Coach Nick what pace to run/how to run this race. He looked at me and said “I know you know how to pace a half marathon. Just get out there and do it.” That was totally intimidating!! I really like having set directives, and it’s hard for me to pull it from within. Knowing that I paced it well and knew my body, how things felt and that I could finish in a respectable time was really awesome and a testament to his coaching skills and my training over the last few months!

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Running Gear I Love

I wanted to say “Running Things I can’t Live Without”. .but that’s a little dramatic and I seem to make do when I make it out of the house without fill-in-the-blank thing. Except a sports bra. That’s a deal breaker.

Disclaimer: I bought all these with my own money and am not getting any compensation from any company for this information. This is my own honest and unbiased review.

The piece of running “gear” that I feel has made the biggest impact on my training is my Garmin GPS running watch. I have the Forerunner 220 with the hard HR strap. It is an excellent middle of the road watch. It will do all the normal GPS watch functions along with the ability to create workouts in GarminConnect and download them, as well as the HR monitoring which is crucial for HR training. One of the other things I like about my 220 is the ability to set a LOT of different screen options. Some screens can have up to 3 metrics showing at a time, it’s great for data junkies (and to keep yourself distracted!).

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Garmin Forerunner 220 and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!

Next up is my FlipBelt. It is SO much better than a arm-band. SO MUCH BETTER!! It doesn’t bounce or jiggle and stays put. I keep my phone, a couple GUs and a chapstick (and sometimes my keys) and have never had a problem with it. Definitely a must if you carry your phone with you on each run!

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FlipBelt is in the middle of the #FlatRunner!

Thirdly is my RoadID. Working as a RN for many years in both Level I Trauma Center ER and ICU, I know how important it is for first responders to be able to have accurate and easily accessible information on a patient who is unconscious. RoadID has many different kinds of hardware (bracelets, shoe fobs, etc) and they have 2 different kinds of actual IDs. The first has an online database with an 800 number to call for all information, and the 2nd is whatever you put on the band itsself (stand alone). I love the online database as it’s easy to update, thorough and easy to access. On my band, I have my name, husband’s name and phone number as well as my birthday then the 800 number/website for first responders to access my info. Each band is given a unique serial # and PIN (located on the back of the band) which the first responders have to put in to the website or give over the phone, so your personal medical info is secure and not just available to anyone.

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Left to right: Fitbit Charge HR, Garmin 220, RoadID, Silicon wedding band. Can you guess what my favorite color is?

Lastly, a hat or a visor, sunglasses and compression socks! My go-to compression socks are from ProCompression(you can see the pink with stars in the above #FlatRunner picture). Fun, bright colors and just the right amount of squeeze. Great for racing, training and recovery.

Hats/visors. . whatever your preference. I never thought I’d like wearing one to run, but they work very well at keeping the sweat out of my face. I also never knew how great it was to have RX sunglasses until about a year ago. Worth every penny of the investment. Keeps my eyes from watering and feeling so tired, even on days when it’s not super bright out!

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Nuun trucker hat (one of my favorites!) and my Oakley RX sunglasses. Also note the short ProCompression socks!

These are a few of my favorite running gear items. What are your “cannot run without” items?

Nuun What What???

I'm a 2015 Nuunbassador!!

When applications opened in the fall for the 2015 Nuunbassador program, I rushed to apply. I have been using and following Nuun, and have been really impressed with the way they market, engage and encourage the entire fitness community, not just elite athletes.

I am VERY EXCITED to say. . .I was selected to be a Nuunbassador for 2015!!

I’m hoping to volunteer at races, run in their gear(!) and maybe even run in a Ragnar with the Nuun team!

Here’s to a GREAT beginning for 2015. Hoping for big things and injury-free running!!