Reflection- 15k racing boom or a bust

Sunday is the day- I will be racing the Hot Chocolate 15k in Seattle. I am actually quite scared. My training has not gone to plan due to moving and injury but I now I will finish and most likely PR.

My A goal is 1:32 or faster by B goal is 1:38 or faster. I know both are achievable but if I don’t get either my attempt at 2:14 or faster for the NYC Half in 2 weeks is a bust. Part of me wants to get this PR and hope for the best for NYC. But, because I do have 4 more halfs scheduled this year a sub-2 or at least sub-2:05 half can happen this year.

Yes, everyone needs to be as worry-free and happy as Cooper!

After writing all of the recaps for the last few races (don’t worry they will be posted soon!), I realized that coming off of a severe injury is hard. Six months to get in shape might not be enough time and I have to accept that.

So, here’s to hoping the weather cooperates this Sunday for that 1:32 PR or bust!

Race Recap: My Better Half 10k 2017

Valentine’s Day race in Seattle? Count me in! I ran with my boyfriend as a tune up for NYC Half. Our goal was to break an hour and have fun while running together since this was our first race together.

Packet pickup was at the local Road Runner Sports and was super quick. The shirt was a red hoodie with race logo, so soft and comfy. I am very glad they gave us hoodies instead of shirts. The bibs were cute and said lovers since we registered together with a spot to write your ‘better half’ on them. They offered a nice discount if you were shopping too.

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Race day was so COLD! But seriously it was below freezing. They had a local coffee roaster in the finish festival that was offering samples so of course I had some before to warm up. Their warming tent which also served as their food station was so nice. I am very glad they had it!

Due to an earlier storm they had to alter the course a bit, which was actually easier for the 10k and 5k not so much for the Half Marathon. We ran the same loop twice and even though it was narrow at times I did not mind it. We ran a nice and even pace even with the few pinch spots. The one thing that did bug us was the 5k walkers. We lapped them at an inconvenient time.

The tunnel of love aid station was hilarious. It was a nice aid station that had both Nuun and water. I ran my goal which was sub 1-hour. After we finished we got a sweet light up medal and hot soup. Note for race directors- every cold race should come with a hot cup of soup.

There are a few things I wish they changed but they are unavoidable. Parking in the park was not an option due to a course change as was the narrowed course. Overall, I enjoyed this race and can’t wait to run it next year!

LEGEND Compression Leg Sleeves Review

Disclaimer: I received LEGEND Compression Calf Sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Legend Compression Sleeves

Many may have noticed that I’ve been wearing blue calf sleeves from LEGEND Compression over the past month. Why do I use compression sleeves? They help with recovery and increase blood circulation in my calves. Personally, I’ve found calf sleeves to be the most useful for long runs, races, and playing ultimate frisbee.

Here are a few things I love about the LEGEND Compression Leg Sleeves:

First, they are so soft! Since using them a dozen times they are still soft and have held their shape quite well.

Second, the color. The blue color is wonderful! They are bright but not too bright and match much of the workout clothes I own, which is a huge plus. They also offer other super fun colors including Aqua and Yellow!

Third, they are breathable. I wore them to work under my jeans after a speed workout and I did not have to take them off half way through my work day. I didn’t notice I was wearing them all day for recovery.

There is one thing I don’t like, the bottom seam. Compared to other calf sleeves, these are hard to get off. The bottom seam is so tight I am afraid of ripping them and it is starting to fray.

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I like these calf sleeves a lot! LEGEND Compression does a great job making their sleeves just tight enough to give you support without being uncomfortably tight. It makes a world of difference especially when using sleeves for recovery.

I highly recommend trying a pair of LEGEND Compression Leg Sleeves for yourself! Use the discount code “rave20” to save 20% off your online order.

Do you use compression as part of your recovery training? Let me know in the comments.


The Rematch: NYC Half 2017

It’s official, I am going to New York in March for a rematch!

For more backstory on my NYC Half experience this year go here.

Back in the fall when I entered the lottery I didn’t think I would get in for a second year in a row. I thought I would have to wait to go run those 13.1 miles again. (Really, I thought I had better odds wining a trip the MLS Cup in Toronto to watch the Sounders.)

Instead, the $145 charge came through on my credit card. I forgot the drawing was yesterday, so I looked on the NYRR website.  Sure enough, it wasn’t an error. A few hours later the email showed up in my inbox to officially tell me I’m going back NYC for a rematch.

This time I will not fall in a pothole and I will run a sub 2:05. This is going to be hard, painful and frustrating. But I want this PR more than anything. I will run the NYC Half in 2:05 or faster. I know I have it in me and I will not fail like I did last time.

New York, I am coming for you!

Race Recap: 2016 Seattle Half Marathon

First things first, I was tired going into this race. Thanksgiving was busy, two of them back to back. All the food I consumed made it an uncomfortable night’s sleep that bled into the next two nights.

But, even though it was cold and damp we made a family trip downtown to get our packets. We went to the market and visited Le Reve for pastries. So amazing, worth the line! Then we checked out the remains of the Lululemon Black Friday markdowns. I got a pair of running gloves and a pair of Tracker IV shorts. They cost as much as a pair of full-price shorts! When I checked out the sales gal asked what I was going this weekend and I mentioned the Seattle Half. She pulled out a bag and said pick something. Yes, I got a free Run Fast Neck Warmer from Lululemon!
After that we went to the expo. The bib pickup this year wasn’t too bad, we got there early enough so the lines were non-existent. The only bummer is we still had to weave our way through all the vendors to get your shirt and goody bag. This year’s shirt was a way better color (red) than in years past as was the goody bag. After that we window shopped a bit more the  headed home for some carbo loading.
The morning of the race was uneventful. I ate a banana then walked to the start/finish line with my dad. When we got there, there was very little signage and we got a bit confused trying to find gear check. It was in the same place it always is but it wasn’t on a map clearly marked. We finally realized our navigation error and made it up the stairs and dropped off the bags.

This race has some history for me- it was the first half marathon I ever ran and it was brutal. Flash forward a to this year and it’s still just as brutal. The weather this year was damp and I ended up layering my Nike tech hoodie under my singlet. It was and wasn’t a good idea.

The starting chute and the first few miles weren’t too bad. It’s a bit crowded going down 5th and up the Dearborn ramp but once we hit I-90 the crowds started to thin out. The first 7ish miles of this course are solid and not very hilly which makes it a bit easier.

I will say, running on 5th Ave and then onto I-90 made puts a spotlight on Seattle’s homeless problem. If you ever run a major marathon or half marathon in Seattle, you will unfortunately get a lovely tour of homelessness in Seattle.

I was running just fine for the first 7 miles; I didn’t feel too tired but I was getting cold. The rain and dampness wasn’t helping. My long-sleeved tech shirt had taken on more moisture and it was getting a tad uncomfortable. After a water stop at mile 7.25 the hills started. Galer street is a bit better than the old Lee street segment but it’s rough. I had to walk it along with everyone around me. Once that was over the Madison hill started. It’s a consistent gradual incline that kicks my butt every time.
Seattle Marathon 2016 Startline
This year, I was lucky enough to have a group of my Oiselle Volée teammates cowbelling halfway up the hill. That boost helped a lot and made it easier for me to get through the Arboretum.

After the short downhill of the Arboretum came the hard part- Interlaken. The hills that keep on giving. This is my least favorite part of the race but I managed to get through it. My dad hung in there with me and we got through the rolling hills. Thankfully the last mile is downhill and goes on an overpass with a beautiful view of Lake Union. Running through South Lake Union on Harrison Street wasn’t so bad except there were POTHOLES. Yes, my arch nemesis. I was careful and did not fall and safely made it to the 13-mile marker.

To make the last .1 easier there was a group of people giving out dixie cups of beer. My dad took one as we made on way to the last hill, Mercer street. After the last painful hill and a boost from more Volée teammates, we made it to the stadium! My boyfriend was there and took some finish photos which was awesome.
I finished in a decent time, slow for Seattle Marathon standards, breaking my goal of 2:20! In my honest opinion, most people who run this race are fast since the field is filled with ‘hard core’ runners due to weather and timing. I got my finishers medal, it’s alright, a space blanket and proceeded to walk up the stairs to get my gear check bag, painful. We then took an Uber up the hill and went to 5 Spot for brunch. I pretty much was glued to my boyfriend’s couch and watched the Seahawks and Sounders games with Joey, my boyfriend’s dog.
See-Amanda-Run-JoeyOverall I had a pretty good time, the weather got nicer as the race went on and there was much more course support than the last time I ran. I might run this race again, but honestly I really needed a reason to run longer than seven miles. This definitely helped me get over my mental barrier. I can run long just need to keep running so January and February won’t be so painful, and maybe I can finally get that elusive sub 2:05 PR.

Onward and upward! Let’s hope the weather in Seattle stays good so I can keep this training cycle running.