Things I’m Loving Thursday

There are a few things that are blowing my mind these days. Some are running related, some are absolutely not. So, you know, pick and choose.

1. Minions.

Carl.

Carl.

My sister and I joined forces with our husbands and took Peanut and our cousin’s two kids to see Despicable Me 2. It was so much fun seeing a kid movie with kids. Peanut was sitting in my lap, totally zoned out to the movie the entire time. I, of course, was in heaven snuggling with my favorite 2 YEAR OLD!!!!

2. The Sports Gene by David Epstein.

So much information, so little time.

So much information, so little time.

This book looks at about a bajillion studies that search for the true meaning of life: are professional athletes born that way or is it just plain ‘ol hard work? He looks at Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 rule (well, it’s not really HIS, but popularized by him in his book, Outliers) and its significance across the spectrum.

As a science geek, I am eating up this information. As a runner, I am dying to get to the end. The good news so far: yes, it’s genetics and yes, it’s practice.

3. Naturopathica Lavender Honey Balancing Mist, Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Mask, and Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye.

'Cuz this face doesn't just happen.

‘Cuz this face doesn’t just happen.

I’m a sweaty girl and the more I sweat, the saltier my skin gets. Solution? This trio. The balancing mist after I wash my face, the mask after long runs (such a treat for my super-dry post-long run skin!), and the eye cream every. single. night. Kiehl’s is a life-saver. Trust me.

4. Oiselle Rogas.

Fly birdie!

Fly birdie!

I am forever in search of the perfect non-compression running shorts. I love the waistband on these and the length is comfy. I’m not sold on the liner but we’ll see how they do on a longer run. So far, I like. Bonus? I dig the company.

5. My CSCS Bible book.

Also doubles as a kettle bell.

Also doubles as a kettle bell.

It’s a monster of a book but honestly, it’s not too bad. Lots of words that are saying all that I know already, which is kind of awesome. It’s reassuring to know that the conclusions I’ve come to are not only valid, but scientifically proven. Yee-haw! Just wish I didn’t have a test looming during my summer “off” time. Boooooooo.

6. 2 x 2 mile workouts.

(No photo cuz I’m not that girl who can take a photo during a hard workout. Too busy trying not to boot.)

So. Hard. I discovered that I could do one of the 2 mile “races” on the track but I absolutely could not do a second 8-lap death march on that oval. I transferred to the East River path for my second 2-miler and felt a world of mental difference. Loved the workout!

And those are latest obsessions! What are yours? Any new running shorts you’ve tried lately? Guys-compression or loose? Ladies-share your skin secrets with me! Running or non-running obsessions alike are welcome.

Now go out and run!

Twice the Fun

Lots and lots of you are familiar with one of my favorite track workouts: Mile Repeats. I did these a lot when I was chained to training mostly on a treadmill in years past while I was sick.

Run, run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the neon machine woman!

Run, run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the neon machine woman!

But there are other types of repeats that marathon runners should consider adding into their track workout rotation.

Yes, yes, the shorter distances are well and good but don’t forget, the marathon is a loooooooooong run. Adding 2-mile repeats to your schedule will have you working closer to your lactate threshold while not exceeding it, which is exactly what you hope to do during your race.

-What: 2 mile repeats

-When: On a track workout day about halfway through training, after you’ve built a solid base

-Where: On a flat surface or a track

-Details:

  • Warm up for 2 miles, rest.
  • Hit your first 2-mile repeat at 5K pace or better. Rest for 3-5 minutes.
  • Hit your second 2-mile repeat at the SAME pace, whatever it was. Rest.
  • 1-2 mile cool down.

-Goal: Maintain a consistent pace from Mile 1 to Mile 2 and then repeat those paces in your second set.

2-mile repeats are twice the fun! Just kidding, they kinda suck cuz they’re long enough at a hard enough pace to make you wonder when they’ll end. I do it on the road instead of the track because 8 laps makes me dizzy and frustrated.

Mile repeats in the mountains of Vermont? No thanks. I'll stick to the track.

Mile repeats in the mountains of Vermont? No thanks. I’ll stick to the West Side Highway.

It’s important to start these after you have a solid foundation of miles under your belt. They are designed to help you simulate fatigue in your legs while maintaining a tough pace and you’ll need to be conditioned for that kind of effort.

Give ’em a shot and let me know how it goes!

Now go out and run.