Training Journal for Runners: Believe Journal

believejournal

Several weeks ago I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and a string of clicks led me to the new Believe Journal, a training journal for runners written by professional runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas.

Training logs are an important tool for runners. I’ve used one for several years and let me tell you, it’s a total reality check when it comes to logging miles. Whether I’m preparing for a race and feeling undertrained or wondering why my hip injury is nagging again… looking back through a training log can be quite revealing.

As a runner who is prone to injuries, an increase of more than 10% in mileage per week can wreak havoc on my joints. And while I don’t usually do speed work, it’s nice to keep track of my pace for no other purpose than just knowing. Also, when it comes to race day, it’s helpful to look back on successful races and be reminded of what I ate, how I slept, what I wore… All of these details can be tracked in a training log and used for later reference.

The authors of Believe Journal created a fun and insightful training diary that’s easy to use and inspires you to work toward your goals and become a better athlete.

believejournal2

I ordered a Believe Journal for myself and love it so much I bought one for each of my running girlfriends, too! Look how excited they are:

runninggirls

Believe Training Journal is available online at BelieveIAm.com for $18.95

Tomato Red at its Finest: OPI Race Red

opiracered

I’m so specific about the reds I like to wear on my nails. My hard and fast rules have always been 1) no shimmer and 2) no orange-reds.

I always thought blue-reds looked so much better on my skin tone but I’ve totally changed my mind.

It could be my recent penchant for the color orange or it could be I’m more relaxed and open-minded about color in general these days. Either way, OPI Race Red is an amazing shade of orange-red and I’m obsessed.
opiracered2

Race Review: Seattle Marathon 2014

Seattle Marathon
seattlemarathon

With  temperatures hovering in the mid-twenties over Thanksgiving weekend in Seattle, I began to question my decision to run the Seattle Marathon half marathon with my 20 year old cousin Megan.

The day before the race, we had a family lunch in the city and got a taste of the bone-chilling wind and sub freezing temps at 3:00 in the afternoon. I was scared to think of what the start line would feel like at 7:30 the following morning.

Seattle Marathon

My biggest concern, aside from being under-trained, was what to wear. I mean, living in Kauai means almost all of my runs are in balmy temps. Even the ones at 5:45 a.m. Figuring out how to layer appropriately for this race was a complete guessing game. I was stumped.

I went to Runnersworld.com for some advice and plugged the impending weather stats into their What-to-Wear calculator. I ended up trying three different times because “do you like to feel cool, warm or in-between?” sounded German to me. What does that even mean? I’m a dripping wet, sweaty mess after all of my runs in Hawaii’s heat and humidity but that is definitely not by choice. So I tried all three options and here is what they suggested I wear:

whattowear

The thought of wearing a tshirt and shorts gave me horrible nightmares of my legs turning blue, then gray, then completely cracking in two and falling off by mile 4. Definitely not an option.

It didn’t take much to convince me to go for the “I like to feel warm” option. I even added a few additional layers as an extremity protection measure (call me a wuss but I kind of like having legs). My race day outfit ended up looking like this:

racedayoutfit

  1. Nike Run CW Reversible Knit Hat $22
  2. Nike Element Thermal Running Gloves $25
  3. Columbia Thermarator Neck Gaiter $20 (Found this in the men’s section and it was a life saver)
  4. Lululemon Run for Gold Long Sleeve $88
  5. Nike Dri-Fit Full Zip Running Jacket (I bought this at the Nike outlet a while back and can’t find it online now)
  6. Patagonia Houdini Jacket $99 (Made from featherweight nylon, this was the perfect layer to protect from wind)
  7. Zella Live In Reversible Leggings $52
  8. ProCompression Marathon Socks $50 (I bought them with a 40% off coupon code last year)
  9. Brooks Ghost 7 Running Shoes

The morning of the race Megan and I made our way to the starting line at 7:00 a.m. It was a mile walk from the host hotel, The Westin Seattle, and a perfect opportunity to warm up our legs, crack open our hand warmers and wrap our minds around enduring the cold for the next couple hours.

At the start, surrounded by thousands of people, Megan and I were saying things like “this isn’t so bad!” and “it doesn’t feel as cold as I thought!” and “we were worried for nothing! haha!!” We even decided to hand off our outer layers to Megan’s mom and sister at mile two where they’d planned to post up and watch us run by.

And then the gun went off.

Megan and I quickly realized we were so cozy at the start thanks to the body heat of the five thousand people surrounding us. As the crowd thinned out, we were on our own for warmth and it wasn’t pretty.

We never ended up seeing her family at mile two, which ended up being a good thing. Had I handed off my outer layer, I might have froze to death (and Megan agreed). For serious. My whisper thin Patagonia shell was the perfect layer to unzip and let out heat when I needed, and to zip back up and hold in warmth in the shade. I zipped and unzipped several times throughout the 13.1 mile run and was grateful that it never got shed.

Seattle Marathon Course

The Seattle Marathon course was gorgeous. It was a clear day, the sun was out and had it been 20 degrees warmer it might have been near-perfect conditions. My plan was to walk through the water stations, sipping water ever so carefully as to not spill it all down my front. (I haven’t mastered the water station run-through and usually end up with water everywhere, including up my nose, during races.)

My last half marathon was four months ago in Chicago and I’ve had a nagging hip injury since then, so my goal for this race was to take it slow and easy and try to finish under 2:30. Part of me was questioning my ability to even finish at all based on my last two training runs where 3-4 miles felt like TEN. In molasses. With Janey on my back.

Seattle Marathon Course

My race plan was executing perfectly. I kept a slow and easy pace, walked through the water stations without spilling water on myself (yay!) and even managed to not slip on any ice along the way. Just when I decided to pop in my ear buds about halfway through the course, I noticed an incline up ahead.

I kind of mentally prepared for a few hills when Megan’s dad raised and eyebrow while inspecting the race course map a few days earlier. “Oh boy,” he had told us (clearly holding back his concern as any dad would do for his baby girl running her first half marathon), “it’s a little hilly here through this section. But don’t worry, there’s a nice downhill the last mile and the majority of the course is flat.”

When I came up on the “it’s a little hilly here through this section” part, it was more like “oh! here are seventeen hills stacked on top of one another and they never ever end” part, but I put my head down and got over them. I definitely slowed to a walk through that section more times than I’d like to admit but I finished the race. And I wasn’t dead. (I might have been a little frozen, but my legs are still here. And I’m not dead.)

The downhill at the last mile was a nice ending as we weaved through the city toward the finish line at the Space Needle.

Seattle Marathon Finish

I finished in 2:26 and while it was my slowest finish ever, my hip felt great throughout the run and continues to feel fine three days later. Megan finished in 2:12 and had an amazing first half marathon. I’m so proud of her!

I will definitely run this race again.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Facial Cleansing Cloths

Purity Made Simple Cleansing Wipes

Everyone’s favorite facial cleanser, Purity Made Simple by philosophy, is available in a one-step facial cleansing wipe that has been reformulated for all skin types.

This one-step cleansing wipe is non-irritating and gently cleans away makeup and impurities while leaving skin balanced, soothed and hydrated. It smells identical to the original Purity Made Simple cleanser and leaves skin feeling just as clean with no need to rinse.

Purity Made Simple Wipes

Keep them in your gym bag for a quick clean up before meeting your girlfriends for some post-run coffee, or in the nightstand for those rare and random nights when you’re just too tired to properly remove your makeup before bed.

philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleansing Cloths 30 Cloths is available online at Sephora for $15.00.

Daily Style: Birkenstock Gizeh Sandals

birkenstockgizeh

My mom has been a card-carrying Birkenstock wearer for as long as I can remember. She had foot surgery years ago and supposedly her Birkenstock sandals gave her the support she needed to relieve her foot pain (although surprisingly, Birkenstocks are not listed on the Seal of Acceptance/Approval Program awarded to products found to promote good foot health by the American Podiatric Medical Association.)

Because I’m lucky enough to share the same shoe size as my mom, I’ve borrowed her “fugly Jesus sandals” (as Bree calls them) on many occasions and actually like the way they feel. Theres something comforting about the way the lip of the footbed curls up to surround your foot, almost like a hug. And if you’ve been cursed with wide feet like me, that foot hug feels almost…soothing.

When I was in Chicago this summer on a girls’ trip, I ran a half-marathon at the beginning of the trip and then had to keep up with my friend Emily as we shopped our way around the city for the next week.

erikaemilychicago

My marathon shopping friend Emily and I in Chicago, July 2014.

 

My Jawbone Up Band told me we walked/shopped a minimum of ten miles a day. By the end of the third day, with 4 more days to go, I needed some relief. Sadly the Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue didn’t have the Birkenstock Gizeh sandals in the color I wanted (bronze) so I settled for this hot pink shade called Magenta Steel.

 

My mani is taking center stage here, but note my Gizeh sandals in the background.

My mani is taking center stage here, but note my Gizeh sandals in the background.

 

Side note: I realized that as long as I pair these sandals with my favorite MAC Girl About Town lipstick they pretty much go with anything I’m wearing. #genius

These bad boys not only got me through the remainder of my marathon shopping girls’ trip but they continue to make me (and my feet) happy now that I’m back home in Hawaii.  Birkenstock ‘Gizeh’ Birko-Flor Thong sandals are available online at Nordstrom for $89.95.