It’s RUNtober!!!

I woke up yesterday morning singing “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!”  It is one of my favorite months to run.  Last year, I spent most of the month of RUNtober on bed rest.  Not this year.  This month is going to be epic!  Why, you ask?  Because RUNtober is the start of Fall Running Season.  There are so many who have trained all summer for goal races in this month.  I’m one of them but before I tell you about that…

I ended September with Race #12. I ran the Run Wild for Autism 5K with my son through the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.  Last year, this race was the last one I ran before my hysterectomy.  I ran it in PAIN.  This year, I ran an 11 miler on Saturday as a part of my half marathon training.  So I just had the goal of finishing for the 5K.  Since this was more for my son than for me, we were both fine with that.

Here we are before the race. What you can’t see is that we both took advantage of the free Starbucks coffee before the race started.  My son also had a couple of donut holes from Dunkin Donuts.  Not the best pre-race meal but we actually had breakfast in the house before we got there.

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The race itself is simple with a few HILLS as the Zoo is in Druid Hill Park.  But, the majority of the race goes through the Zoo so you get to see it in a way that you don’t normally when you visit.  We ran past sleeping cheetahs and saw the penguins coming out of their home as they woke up.  Pretty cool.  The post-race activities are AWESOME and geared towards families, including of course those with autistic kids.  Zoo volunteers roam around the post-race area with live animals.  The best part as far as my son is concerned is that autistic families get to go to the zoo for FREE after the race.

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Now that you know how I ended September, let me tell you how I plan to celebrate RUNtober!  My goal race for this year – Race #13 of 2013 – is the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon on October 12th!  I am hoping to PR with this race.  My BRFs and I have been maintaining a 13 minute pace on our long slow runs.  Our ending strides have been in the 12 1/2 minute range so if we pull and push each other through I know a sub-three hour half marathon is possible for us.

Besides the half marathon, I plan to run 100 miles this month! I will be using the hashtag #RUNtober to document my runs on twitter (@doctornayaka) and dedicate my miles to end childhood obesity with the Saucony Run4Good app.  Feel free to do the same.  My crosstraining for September slipped a bit as I got my son settled and back to school.  Bikram Yoga and I are about to be reunited and it feels so good.

One more good thing about this awesome month – tonight I am going to meet my favorite Bad Ass Mother Runners – Sarah & Dimity!  I was featured on Another Mother Runner website in August.  It will be great to meet the brains behind the books and site in person.

How will you celebrate RUNtober?  Do you have a race planned this month? What do you like about Fall?

PowerIce Review

I haven’t blogged much since the BWC.  I needed time to rest from racing in 9 races in 6 months both physically and mentally.  But I’m baaaaacccck!

So since this blog started, I have been hesitant to post full out reviews of products.  I have stopped following blogs in the past because they turned into mostly reviews with a little bit of content sprinkled in for good measure.  I definitely don’t want to become one of those.  However, I have been asked to review a few items over the past several months.  I have been trying the products and have finally decided to blog about them.  It’s my intent to catch up on this backlog of reviews by doing one a week for the next few weeks.

First up in the Shark Tank is PowerIce.  From the website:

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I was sent two boxes of PowerIce to try – Lime Kicker and Orange Blast.  Both flavors taste great; almost like frozen Gatorade except without the weird chemical aftertaste.  You can have one before, during or after your workout depending on what you are aiming to do.  Before is supposed to increase endurance, during cools core body temperature, and after for “lightning fast recovery.”  Most of the time I have used it before workouts.  If I could figure out how to keep it frozen in the middle of a run, I would have one during as this heat and humidity here on the East Coast has been no joke.

On the days when I had one before Bikram Yoga, I would eat it in the car on the way to the studio.  It reduced my core body temperature just enough for me to get centered and begin my practice.  It was harder to do so on days when it was hot outside if I didn’t have the PowerIce first.  They became part of my Bikram Yoga healthy trio – PowerIce before, Ice water during, and coconut water after.

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Before my afternoon runs when that heat and humidity had me melting before I started, I also had one before I started.  It also served as my snack booster as I don’t usually have dinner before them.  I don’t know if it increased my endurance but it helped to make the runs more bearable.  I have started back with speed work and training in preparation for this Fall’s half marathons.  I have a couple of these left which I am saving to try before my session on Thursday.  We’ll see if they make a difference then on timed repeats.

How do you keep cool and hydrated when exercising in the heat?  Have you tried PowerIce? Do you drink coconut water?

Wordless Wednesday–Bikram Yoga Day

Bikram Yoga Prep

Do you do Bikram Yoga?  How do you prepare for an intense workout?  What do you use to top off your electrolytes?

New Goals–What’s Beautiful?

Thanks to Mother Nature, I barely ran this past week.  Tuesday evening was stormy – thunder, lightning…so Twilight Tuesday was cancelled.  However, I found a TV exercise game online.  I did the exercises during Dancing with the Stars The Results show. 

I did get to Bikram Yoga on my lunch time on Wednesday.  I followed that up with a 2 mile run on Thursday morning before work.  All in all, not bad for someone who completed 2 half marathons in 8 days.  I probably needed the rest more than I realized.

Next week, I will be building back up my miles and beginning speedwork in preparation for my next challenge. Thanks to the encouragement of the wonderful Dr Shauna Harrison, I have signed up for the Under Armour What’s Beautiful competition.  If you don’t know, Under Armour Women “are redefining the female athlete by setting epic goals and pushing past where we’ve ever been and where we thought we could go.”  As a part of the challenge, you set goals for yourself with the hopes of crushing them.

I had already set a challenge for myself for 2013.  I planned to run 13 races in 2013, including my first half marathon.  Well, in the past few months, I have blown through more than half of my goals.  At this point,month 5, I have already run 6 races including 2 half marathons!!!  So for my challenge, I have upped the ante so to speak.  I am aiming for a sub-three hour half marathon! Yes, that means I will be running at least one more this year!  My specific goal is:

I Will run 13 races in 2013 including a sub-3 hour half marathon and rebuild my core.

I’m still working on my Summer/Fall race schedule.  However, I’m thinking Rock N Roll Philly and/or the Baltimore Running Festival will probably be on it.  One of those two will be my goal race.  This will mean running and training strong this summer to be ready to blow through this next goal. 

Classes are done for this school year so I get my Thursday evenings back.  That means 3-4 runs and 2-3 crosstraining sessions are back in the schedule.  Woohoo!  This week’s schedule looks like this:

Monday – Bikram Yoga

Tuesday – Twilight Tuesday Tempo Run 3-4 miles

Wednesday – ?

Thursday – Speedwork

Friday – Bikram Yoga

Saturday – Long Run 6-8 miles

Let’s see how I do this week!

What are your goals for this week?  Are any of you doing the Under Armour What’s Beautiful challenge?  Is anyone else sick of this crazy weather?

My Medical Progress & Monthly Goals

I haven’t written official monthly goals in a few months.  But, it’s May, the month for mothers, especially mother runners Smile! So I ‘m writing them down.

I still have some twinges of pain in my incision from time to time, especially with extra exertion, like in a race.  In fact, after I was finished with the Iron Girl, it throbbed for a while to a beat which felt like my run pace.  I spoke to my Gynecologist at my follow-up appointment last week about this.  He said that I should expect to feel throbbing for up to a year.  He said it would be ok if I worked on abdominal work, though.  I had been trying it intermittently, with the exception of Bikram Yoga, because it hurts.  The night before my surgery I did 175 different types of crunches because I could.  Now I can barely do 10.  However, I have no adhesions and have healed well so I can focus on building back up my abs. Woohoo!

I had my follow-up general practitioner doctor appointment on Monday, the day after the Iron Girl.  I wore my medal to the appointment, of course.  My BP is down to 120/80!!! We were both very excited to see those numbers.  I still need to stay on the single medication for now but we will be reassessing in 4 months.  My task until then is to take my pressure before and after a few runs as well as to do a few test days without medication and take my pressure on each of them.  The research scientist in me is looking forward to collecting this data. LOL!!!

Now that I have a clean bill of health, here are my goals for this month.

Running – Frederick Half Marathon on May 5th ~ Race 6 of #13in2013 then to maintain my distance and do some speedwork to be prepared for the Baltimore Ten Miler in June.

Abdominal Work – I’ll be adding 15-30 minutes of ab exercises to our post-Twilight Tuesday runs starting in May.  Looking forward to working with my sole sisters of BGR on a common goal.

Bikram Yoga – Get in at least 3 sessions this month.  I love Bikram.  It helps me to be more flexible and I always feel centered after these sweat pink sessions Winking smile!

Strength Training – Help! I need to figure something out that is consistent.  This is my weakest link!  My goal this month is to figure out how to be strong.

Do you set fitness goals?  Have you dealt with coming back from illness?  Share your experiences in the comments.

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Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

Race # 10September 15th, 2013
Aiming for a PR!