Category Archives: pictures

Day 5: Scottsdale to Coronado

This was a hard fought state.

This was a hard fought state.

There aren’t many times in your life when you actually think that death is imminent. Without being dramatic, I can say that yesterday was the most frightening near-death experience that I’ve ever had. As Suzanne and I were walking on the beach this morning, we both admitted that we didn’t think we were going to make it. When we left Phoenix yesterday, our AC quit as we headed into a 5 hour trek across the desert to San Diego. It was 113 degrees and under unyielding sun. Even though we stopped every hour and bought 30 pounds of ice over the trip to keep our cores cooled, we were dangerously hot by Yuma, Arizona. Unfortunately they couldn’t fix the AC, so after a short break, we pressed on to San Diego. Needless to say, I didn’t run when we got to San Diego yesterday. We’re working on rehydrating today, however, and feeling much better in the temperate Coronado climate.

Two days of rest did wonders for my running, however! I headed out on the Silver Strand bike path this morning and did the fastest, most effortless run I’ve had since before Philly. After a warm up (and mix up that landed me at the gate of the North Naval Base) to shake off yesterday’s horrific trip, I started clicking off 7:20s like it was a jog. It gives me incredible hope that once I taper, I’m going to feel amazing.

The best kind of ice baths are the kinds with tides!

The best kind of ice baths are the kinds with tides!

I’m so excited to be settled for a few days now and to get back to my regular schedule of running. There’s a track a few blocks from my sister’s new house, a million miles of bike path and of course, all of San Diego to explore. I’m also hoping to rent an Elliptigo while I’m out here. No word on whether I’ll get to roll along with Meb, however…

Day 4: Amarillo to Scottsdale

700 miles.

1 Sonic Stop in Winslow, Arizona. Yes, the Eagles song is still stuck in my head.

No calls to dad.

Texas –> New Mexico –> Arizona

We did this day right; we planned stops and took our time, which was aided by gaining two hours through time changes. It was a day of transitions in fact; we went from the plains of Texas to the mesas and buttes of New Mexico and Arizona and from 2000 feet in Amarillo to 7000 feet in Flagstaff. We got lunch at a local brewery in Albuquerque and went to Petrified Forest National Park. Our descent from Flagstaff to Scottsdale was downright terrifying but we survived. This morning, we’re a little confused by the time and altitude changes (headache anyone?) but excited to pull into San Diego this afternoon.

I’ll run this afternoon since Scottsdale is already under an “excessive heat advisory,” with temperatures climbing towards 115.

Pictures don’t do yesterday’s journey justice but they are incredible nonetheless.

Painted Desert in Petrified Forest National Park

Painted Desert in Petrified Forest National Park

Elevation training? Even jumping jacks were hard up here!

Elevation training? Even jumping jacks were hard up here!

The Teepees, from mineral deposition over centuries

The Teepees, from mineral deposition over centuries

Oh beautiful for spacious skies indeed.

Oh beautiful for spacious skies indeed.

Day 1: Burlington to Harrisonburg

Our first day was a lot like the first few miles of a rough run. You aren’t sure you’re going to make it and you question all of your choices. At some point, however, the remaining distance seems doable and you grind through.

We hit impressive weather yesterday including a lightening show that rivaled the 4th of July along with horrific construction traffic. All told, our “easy 10 hour travel” took us almost 13 hours. We arrived in Harrisonburg around 9:45, pulled out running clothes and went to bed.

This morning I got up bright and early to get an easy hour of running in around James Madison University. It was totally quiet on campus and they have TWO tracks. Unfortunately neither opened til 7:45. I was a little nervous as a Tarheel running through anything labeled Duke, but figured a dog was better than a Blue Devil.

The other highlight of the day included a text from Will that he’d locked himself out. Thank goodness for friends with big cars…

Today we’re headed for Memphis. Here’s to 12 hours on 81 and 40!

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Running Road Trip 2014

We've been doing selfies since way before they were cool.

We’ve been doing selfies since way before they were cool.

You’ve all met my sister Suzanne here before. She’s my much funner, much younger (although people always think she’s older) sister and we’re heading out next week on a grand adventure across the United States. Suzanne is moving to sunny San Diego from Boston and recruited me to come along for the adventure. We’re looking forward to odd rest stops, regional fast food and seeing parts of the country we’ve never seen before.

20 something years of making these faces at each other

20 something years of making these faces at each other

I’m also looking forward to running in different parts of the country. When you run 70 to 80 miles a week, things can get a little stale. You know you’re a runner when you recognize that someone has trimmed their hedges or planted new flowers because you run by everyday. Thus, when Suzanne picked her departure date and our route across the country, I immediately started researching my running options. We’re staying at Marriott family hotels as we go across so there’s always a gym/treadmill option but I’m hoping to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. Because I’ll be in new, unfamiliar places, I’ll bring my phone with me and actually be able to get pictures on my runs! I learned this lesson after a run in Findlay, Ohio where I grossly misjudged a map and ended up running along the side of a highway for a while.

Day 1 Burlington to Harrisonburg VA: I’ll run before we leave and then do a shakeout run when we get to the hotel

Day 2 Harrisonburg to Memphis: Harrisonburg is home to James Madison University, so I’ll do my morning run around that campus before we shove off.

Day 3 Memphis to Amarillo: We are lucky to be staying right near the “Green Line” and a huge park set up for runners in Memphis, so I’ll do a workout here.

Day 4 Amarillo to Scottsdale: Amarillo is full of big, huge blocks, so if the weather is amenable, I’ll run some huge squares for recovery.

Day 5 Scottsdale to San Diego: Unfortunately, Scottsdale isn’t a runner’s haven, so I may be on the treadmill for this unless we decide to take a roadtrip north to Flagstaff. If we do that, I’ll be huffing and puffing at 8000 feet and loving it.

Once we get to San Diego, the running should be incredible. I’m also excited to see Abbey and get to do some of a long run with her; she was my running buddy here in Burlington until she moved out there last year and I miss her terribly. I’m guessing that long run will fly by.

Love you Suzy! So excited for your next adventure!

Love you Suzy! So excited for your next adventure!

Have you run in any of these places? How do you fit running in while traveling? Favorite regional fast food stop?

Race News: RocknRoll Las Vegas Half

A fabulous race finish

A fabulous race finish

I’m actually supposed to be in Vegas this weekend with these fabulous ladies to celebrate Emily’s (far right) bachelorette but due to some unexpected curveballs from life, I had to cancel and miss what is sure to be an epic weekend. Boas and tiaras are a guarantee.

The last time Emmy and I raced in Vegas

Struggling with pace bands the last time we raced in Vegas

Emmy and I have been to Vegas for a race before, the inaugural RockNRoll Las Vegas race in 2009 when we both ran the full. It remains my most painful marathon (3:15) and although I can’t find the race picture from mile 20, I know I gave the camera a middle finger. I’m hoping for a better outcome this November when I race the RockNRoll Las Vegas half marathon. It’s 4 weeks after my full and I’m hopeful that I can go under 1:20 and vie for the win. I’m also excited to race under the lights. When I did Vegas the first time, the race started at 5:30 am and Emmy and I shared a cab to the race start with a group of people coming in for the night. One of them offered us a cigarette, evidently a little confused about what a marathon was.

Race shirt from the first time around

Race shirt from the first time around

I’m equally as excited for the rest of the weekend because my family is coming with me! My parents have never been and one of my dad’s bucket list items is to drive down the Strip in a convertible. Suzanne will also be racing the half and aiming to PR.

The last big family adventure

The last big family adventure

Thanks are due to the Competitor Group for inviting me out for this race. CG has had a rough 18 months with elite athletes but responded to criticism (and I personally had plenty of it) of their decision to cut elite athlete support with a retooled elite athlete program that both rewards our hard work and protects their bottom line. I applaud them for being willing to admit a mistake, take a boatload of criticism and reinstate support for elites and emerging elites.

vegas signAnyone else running in Vegas in November? What’s your favorite thing to do in Las Vegas?

I Thought “Dog Days of Summer” Referred to August…

 

It’s getting hot. Like my previous life in Biloxi, Austin and North Carolina hot. I’m lucky in that heat and humidity doesn’t bother me as much as other people but it’s still pretty miserable.

Always a good sign when the forecast includes a cactus in Vermont.

Always a good sign when the forecast includes a cactus in Vermont.

In an effort to get my sh*t back together, I decided that I had to attempt my workout yesterday, despite cactus-friendly temperature. I had a firm talk with myself on the way down to the bike path about focusing on tempo EFFORT and form, no matter what the pace turned out to be. It worked. I did 30 minutes at tempo effort, which turned out to be 6:51 pace and not all that far off my continuous effort goal right now. The cool down was gruesome and I required a nap but I’m glad I got this in and looking forward to my second workout this week.

A rare sports bra only run. Somehow managed to coordinate it with my headband, so style points for that.

A rare sports bra only run. Somehow managed to coordinate it with my headband, so style points for that.

Finally, to help out a fellow runner in keeping her hair off her face until the heat breaks, the winner of the Sweaty Bands giveaway is Laurel who is already a Sweaty Bands devotee. In her comment, Laurel said she never runs without them and shared this great photo on Instagram as well.

Rocking a wide Sweaty Band in her winning entry

Rocking a wide Sweaty Band in her winning entry

How are you staying cool this week? What’s your tactic for talking yourself through workouts in tough weather conditions?

Sweaty Bands Product Review and Giveaway

This is how you kick off a Monday! I’m a low maintenance runner in terms of gear but one of my giant pet peeves is when my hair hangs in or sticks to my face while running. I wear a low bun for school/work 90% of the time but that’s not enough for running especially if wind is involved. As such, I’m a huge fan of headbands and have been on the constant hunt for one that is functional and fashionable.

My criteria for a headband (in descending order) are:

  1. Stays on without my having to adjust it during the run
  2. Doesn’t have so much grip that it rips my hair out
  3. Absorbs sweat
  4. Looks pretty

I currently have two from Old Navy that stay on well and look okay, but rip my hair and don’t absorb sweat. I have one from Lululemon that is pretty and generally stationary but not absorptive. Then I have a few cotton ones that I wear when I haven’t done laundry in 6 weeks that have no redeeming qualities except that they kind of hold my bangs back.

Thus, I was really excited to have the opportunity to review Sweaty Bands.  They are the brain child of an athlete who was sick of pushing her hair out of her face and are a small business with American made products. Perfect. When I reached out to them to ask to try them out, their customer service could NOT have been nicer. She sent me two bands; one to try and one to giveaway and they arrived within the week. When I emailed her this week to let her know the post would be going up since I’ve had time to test them out, she got back to me within the hour. It’s so nice to have a real person at a company, especially an apparel/accessories company where returns are a possibility.

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Pretty packaging.

I’ll admit that when I first opened them up, I was skeptical. They really are aesthetically pleasing and in my headband hunting experience, this isn’t always a good thing. They also lack the “grippy” material inside that I’ve come to expect from sports headbands. Instead, they are lined with velvet.

Before picture...

Before picture…

From our first test run, I was in love. I didn’t have to adjust it once, it looked adorable and it absorbed a concerning amount of sweat. In fact, when I got home, I washed it immediately so I could wear it for my next run. When they went on sale last week, I started looking for more colors to add. Definitely a keeper for me and I’m looking for some to keep “clean” for clinicals when I can’t have hair in my face.

And after. Slightly sweaty runner girl but the band is in the same place.

And after. Slightly sweaty runner girl but the band is in the same place.

Because I like to share the wealth, I have a band to giveaway too AND I saved the pretty pink pattern for you! I’m giving away the pink paisley Sweaty Band to one lucky runner who enters between now and next Monday night (6.30.14 at 11:59 PM EST).

The pink one could be yours!!

The pink one could be yours!!

How To Enter (you can enter as many or as few of the ways below as possible):

  1. Comment with your worst or best running-related hair story.
  2. Share a picture via Twitter or Instagram of your post-run hair (@runswatrun)
  3. Share this post on Twitter (1 share per day). Just click on the Twitter icon at the end of the post so I can keep track and make sure the “via @runswatrun” is on there.
  4. Follow Runner Under Pressure
  5. Tell a friend about Runner Under Pressure and this giveaway and get them to comment on any post for an entry for you AND them. Just make sure they give you credit in the comment!

The Sweaty Bands were provided to me for free by Sweaty Bands. I received no other compensation and the opinions in this post are all mine. Entries will be tracked and a winner will be picked at random by random.org.

Good luck!!

 

Week in Review 6.16.14 to 6.22.14 (In which I finished the first year of medical school)

Somehow the first year of medical school is done. It seems like just yesterday that Will and I were riding the bus in suits for the first day and overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead. But on Friday, we took our last exam and are now officially M2s. I expected to be thrilled to be done but instead find myself a little overwhelmed. I quipped earlier in the week that medical school is a lot like the marathon; you put an enormous amount of preparation into it and when you cross the finish line, there’s a little bit of a letdown as you lose the thing you’ve been focusing on for so long.

Regardless, we made it and I even manage to run quite a bit for a finals week.

Monday: Decided to be a grownup and aquajog for 75 minutes. Felt good and foot seems to be much happier.

Tuesday: 9.8 miles easy through the Fairgrounds.

Wednesday: 9.6 miles easy in Intervale and Ethan Allen Homestead.

Thursday: Planned off day. 8.6 prorated.

Friday: 9.4 miles with Will as our post-exam celebration. We’re weird.

Sunset on Friday night when I actually had time to go sailing post-exam!

Sunset on Friday night when I actually had time to go sailing post-exam!

Saturday: Unplanned off day. Just totally overwhelmed from the last week of school.

Sunday: 16 miles. Took it easy in the heat of the day but the foot feels good and my legs feel great.

It was a seriously warm long run; required some cold water sitting to bring my core temp down.

It was a seriously warm long run; required some cold water sitting to bring my core temp down.

Total: 62 miles

A little low on miles but my average daily miles were good. Looking forward to next week when I have time to do a morning and afternoon run plus all the extras. Bring on 8 weeks of living like a pro!