NYC Marathon Training, Week 1

My plan for this week was two cross-training days and three runs of 3, 6, and 8 miles. Here is what happened:


Monday – Ran 3 miles

31:39/10:33 pace

I wanted to put this run off until Tuesday because I had to work until 6:15 that night, but I decided to take advantage of the fact that the later my start time was, the cooler it would be. This was the first time since my knee injury that I ran 95 percent of a run. I took two short walking breaks when going uphill at certain points, but I almost felt back to normal in this run which was very exciting!

Wednesday – Spin class

45 minutes

I tried a new spinning studio in town for the first time, and really enjoyed it! I hadn’t taken a spin class in over 2 years, so I was surprised that I wasn’t really sore the next day! I think during marathon training I will try and make it to a spin class at least once a week for one of my cross-training days. I missed this!


Thursday – Ran 6 miles

1:10:29/11:44 pace

So hot! I went running right after work, around 5 p.m. It was over 90 degrees, and the heat index was 100. While my run on Monday involved barely any walking, I did have to take several walking breaks during this run. But it was the longest I had run since my injury, so I couldn’t be too upset. The heat was so oppressive. At 2.3 miles my heart rate was up, and I needed breaks to get it down. I think it’s best to play it safe in this weather.


Saturday – Spin class

45 minutes

Maybe it was because I wasn’t using a bike as close to a fan this time, but I got way more sweaty and felt more challenged than the Wednesday class, even though it was the same instructor.


Sunday – Ran 8 miles

1:34:03/11:45 pace

It was sooooooo hot! I sweated like crazy, so much so, this is what my shirt looked like after I finished:



I took walking breaks at the beginning of each new mile, which helped me endure through to the end. My knee still has times where it feels sore, but overall it is holding up really well. With this run, I followed my training plan to a T. The only thing I failed at doing was yoga and arm workouts. :/ Hopefully I will remember to do those next week.

Stride Box item thoughts:

I decided to make a concerted effort to use more of my Stride Box samples this past week, because otherwise I am just wasting my money on it. For my 6-miler on Thursday, I consumed my 2nd bag of Movit energy gummies, and also finished off a bag of Skratch energy chews I started on two weeks ago. I liked both!


I also tried some of the Ruby’s anti-chafe lube, using it for in between my thighs and on my underarms since it’s so freaking hot outside and I sweat like crazy. It smelled nice and washed off my hands easily with soap and water, but I did chafe a little, probably because I didn’t apply enough. Vaseline always works for me, so I will probably stick to that.

Lastly on Thursday I tried the Osmo active hydration for women drink mix in the Mango flavor. I mixed it with water in my handheld. It wasn’t strong at all and I liked it. I just don’t know what makes it “for women.”


Then for my Wednesday and Saturday spin classes, I used a microfiber towel (pictured underneath the Gu chews) I got in last month’s box that is special to Stride Box. I think I actually prefer a terry-cloth towel to this one. It just didn’t feel like it was soaking up my sweat like a good towel should. Before the Saturday class, I ate a packet of Gu energy chews that I got in a box a few months ago (new packaging and smaller than the Gu Chomps I’ve had in the past). The Gu chews were fine – tasted good and not too chewy – and I did feel like I had energy for the class.


On Sunday for my 8-miler, I tried the Chia Surge performance gel, which was a good thin consistency, tasted good (pineapple orange flavor) and had almost a chewy texture with bits of chia seeds in the gel. I liked it. Then I added MeStrength drink mix into my water. This was the kiwi strawberry flavor, and I liked it OK but it was SOUR. Not sure if it’s just that flavor that would be sour, but it had quite the kick to it.

IMG_2079I also used a Stride Box sample for a non-running related purpose! I was really tired before work on Wednesday so I added the Vita Perk coffee booster to my coffee. It is flavorless and has 15 vitamins and minerals. I think it might have made a difference! I was still yawning all day, but I had an extra pep in my step.


July Stride Box and ipsy glam bag

I’ve added a second subscription box to my life, the ipsy glam bag that sends makeup and beauty samples. When not drenched in sweat while running, I do like to wear makeup and look pretty 🙂 Here is what came in my special mailbox presents this month:

Stride Box ($15/month)


  • Mediterra sesame energy bar
  • Huma chia energy gel
  • Salba chia seeds
  • Youth infusion drink mix
  • Rock tape
  • Purps vita drink supplement
  • Gu tabs
  • Dermasport skincare samples
  • Stride Box water bottle


This was a good box. There is a decent mix of varying items – loved getting some chia seeds! I have noticed in the last few boxes that energy gels and drink mixes are quite frequent. I am pretty set with the types of gels and drinks I use, and am not really in the market to try out new things. I will try these samples out whenever I am just going on a short to mid-length run, but for those long runs, I am sticking with what I know my stomach can handle already.

So I will keep this in mind with the next couple of boxes, to decide if I need to keep getting this. It’s fun and I am excited each month when it arrives, but I don’t know how practical it is for me.

ipsy glam bag ($10/month)


I *am* in the market to try out and experiment with new beauty products, so right now this is up my alley. I really liked my first bag and the variety of products it offered. Unlike Stride Box, ipsy subscribers get different bags based on a survey you fill out on the site when you sign up. There are a lot of different samples they are giving out this month, and each person will only get 5 of them. Those 5 items will vary from person to person. I got:

  • Teeez lipstick in the color “Killing Me Softly”
  • Eva NYC dry shampoo
  • Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo lip conditioner
  • Ofra eyeshadow and highlighter in “Bliss”
  • City Color HD Powder

The one thing we all get is a cute little makeup bag, a different one each month.

Run/walking my way up

I covered 4.75 miles today, which is the furthest I have gone in a month and a half. I made a playlist to coincide with my running/walking intervals – I’d run for about 15 or so minutes, then walk for 6-7 minutes. I just wanted to go out for an hour, so how far I covered would depend on how fast I ran and walked. I covered 4 miles in an hour two weeks ago, so this was an improvement. This was my playlist – green means run and red means walk:

playlist 1

I looked like a mess after! It is super hot out there.


I used a product from the latest StrideBox – Skratch Fruit Drop energy chews. These had the texture of Sour Patch Kids, but were not sour. They tasted good and were easy to chew and swallow. I had some before the run and during, and I liked them. Would try again.

FullSizeRender (1)

We had a good 4th of July weekend. We were lazy on Friday and Saturday during the day. On Friday night we went to Lake Charles and used a gift card we had to Olive Garden, then watched “The Goonies” at Prien Lake Park, which was hosting “Movies under the Stars.” On Saturday night we went downtown where the city was serving hamburgers, hot dogs and had live music, then put on a fireworks display. It started raining right when the fireworks began.



FullSizeRender (2)

June StrideBox



I got my StrideBox a bit late this month – by June 23 I still hadn’t gotten it, so I emailed them to see what was going on. They responded quickly and said that according to their tracking, my box had come on June 11. I said maybe the mailman put it in the wrong mailbox, or maybe it was stolen, because I never got it! StrideBox was great and promptly mailed me another box with the tracking code. So I had a great customer service experience with them.

I am most excited about trying out the Ruby’s Lube for anti-chafing, and the microfiber towel will become a staple in my running bag. I already ate the Kate’s Energy Bar and it was very good!

I haven’t been able to try out too many of my Stride Box samples lately due to not running as much, but any time I use something I will try and remember to post my thoughts on it for future reference. I don’t want the $15 I pay per month for this little box to go to waste!

May StrideBox

I was definitely having a case of the Mondays yesterday, so finding my latest Stride Box in the mailbox at lunchtime was a great pick-me-up. This is what was in the latest box:


  • Gu Energy Chews – rebranded version of the Chomps
  • Tiger Balm pain relieving patch
  • Massage and recovery ball
  • Glukos energy gel
  • 2 packets Osmo hydration energy drink mix
  • Bounce natural energy protein ball
  • VitaPerk coffee boost mix
  • Make It Happen sticker
  • Coupon for VeloPress Believe Training Journal

The massage and recovery ball is the perfect size for the bottom of my foot. I’ve had some pain there recently and will be utilizing this ASAP.

I ate the Bounce protein ball at work that very afternoon because I was tired! It contained cacao, seeds and whey protein with 9 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.

IMG_1405It was pretty good, though it had a minty flavor to it, which isn’t my favorite. I would definitely try other flavors.

This is the guide included with the box:

FullSizeRender (3)

Whispering Pines 50K

whispering_pines_2015I signed up for my second 50K, the Whispering Pines Trail Run in Tyler on May 16 (This Saturday!) The only problem is my IT band has been irritated during runs since the Brazos Bend 50K on April 25. I have been icing and stretching it regularly, as well as backing way off running and taking it easy when I do run. I am hoping this doesn’t affect me too badly during the race. This was this past week’s activity – it wasn’t much:

Monday – Ran/walked 1 mile and played tennis for 30 minutes. My IT band was really tight and irritated during that run/walk to the snowball stand, and it was after tennis, so that might have contributed. I had to work and had church the next two nights, so I rested it until Thursday.

Thursday – Ran 3.1 miles at the park with my husband. I warned him I might not do a full three miles depending on my IT band, so we ran around the park twice, which was two miles. I still felt fine up to that point, so we ran a half-mile out of the park and then turned around to come back the way we came. It wasn’t until we had to go downhill on the road that led to the park that my IT band did start hurting again. I backed way off and started walking the second the Garmin hit 3.1 miles. I stretched and iced it a lot after that, and decided not to run a 5K on Saturday that I had been considering because I knew I would feel pressure to run fast and possibly overdo it.

Sunday – I went out for an easy run, planning to stay out on the road for an hour and a half. The front of my knee on the same leg as the messed up IT band hurt a lot at first, which confused me. I stretched my leg a little and continued, and that specific pain went away. The IT band was tight at various points, and I would stop to stretch it. It was also HOT and I only had my 10-ounce handheld with me, so I ran out of water before I got back to my house. I took a few walking and stretching breaks, and took the running really slow. I only covered 8 miles in the 92 minutes. I sweated A LOT. My new Lululemon shirt was pretty much see-through by the end.


I tried out three items from my last Stride Box for this run, and I liked two of them:

FullSizeRender1) Vega energy gel (orange zest flavor) – This was a thick and grainy gel that did not taste good. I’ll leave it at that. Did not like at all. I took it 15 minutes before my run.

2) Movit energy gummies (berry flavor) – These were pretty good, just not enough in a package. The package suggested eating 1-2 bags per hour of activity, and the bag itself was only 60 calories. They tasted fine and didn’t upset my stomach or anything. I took several during my run and felt a burst of energy each time. There were about 11 in the bag.

3) Ultima electrolyte mix (orangey orange flavor) -This tasted good and didn’t upset my stomach. It only had 15 calories and it was suggested that the packet be mixed with 8-12 ounces of water. That was the perfect amount for my handheld, but not enough for an entire run. After I ran out of the water in my handheld that I mixed this with, I stopped back at my house and got more (plain) water.

Recent purchases and latest StrideBox

I had a crisis with UPS last week when the delivery guy stopped leaving my packages at my door and started leaving notes saying I needed to sign for them. I finally got to talk to him Friday and it turned out my normal chill UPS guy was on vacation and the temporary replacement is a little more leery about leaving packages out in the open. I told him it was fine, and finally got my new book “Run Less, Run Faster” and some salt caps, which I plan to try out and hopefully use during my upcoming ultramarathon.


I already run only about 3-4 times a week, so I am hoping to read this book and figure out how to make my runs more meaningful and hopefully gain some speed. This will be tough with summer approaching, as the heat gets pretty bad and endurance is tested. We’ll see how it goes! I think having a new strategy could help keep me motivated during the hot months coming up.

I ran last Thursday before work – it was 8 a.m., overcast with no glimpse of the sun, and only 2 miles, but when I finished my shirt looked like this:


Granted it was a cotton/polyester mix, and I have plenty of other shirts that wick moisture better, but that was a wake-up call to how close summer really is!

I also got my 2nd Stride Box in on Friday – I was starting to wonder about it, because I got my first box on March 2 and I was charged for the 2nd one on March 26. But thankfully it came in, and it had a variety of items!


Click photo to enlarge

I was excited about the Arctic Ease sample, because I’ve heard it advertised on the Jillian Michaels podcast and wanted to check it out. I have also heard a lot about Vega, but had never tried one of their products before, so I will have to try this gel on a long run soon. The Squeaky Cheeks chafing powder sounds really interesting and could be very useful as sweatier running commences with the higher temps.

StrideBox Subscriber

I signed up to receive the monthly StrideBox on Thursday, and my first box came in the mail today! Monday had not been going so swell for me, so this was a really nice surprise during my lunch break when I went home and checked the mail.

I have been tempted to sign up for similar monthly boxes like this, some that send beauty product samples or healthy snack samples each month. But I was definitely sold when I first read about this running sample box, and I see myself enjoying this for a long time to come.

FullSizeRender IMG_0496


In the box