Hello, hello! Before I get into the recap of this past weekend’s long run, I wanted to say a quick thank you to all of you to participated in the Winter Shape Up! The 4 week challenge ended on Sunday and my WSU co-host Gina and I have loved seeing all your updates and successes (and helping you with challenges, too!) over the past month. It sounds like many of you in our private Winter Shape Up Facebook group are going to start the 4 weeks over again – so fun! Connect with the others in the group if you’re interested in doing that, too – or in re-starting with them if you missed the first round. Also, if you have any overall thoughts/recommendations to share regarding your experience with the Winter Shape Up, we’d love to hear it! Gina and I are already talking about partnering up again for her Summer Shape Up, so we want to make sure that if there are improvements we can make, we do. One final thing: another BIG thank you to our WSU sponsors Sabra (@Sabra), Reebok (@Reebok), Cabot (@cabotcheese), Sizzlefish (@sizzlefishfit), Stonyfield (@Stonyfield), and White Plum (@shopwhiteplum). We were honored to have such awesome companies on board for the challenge. If you have a minute to thank them for their #WinterShapeUp participation on social media, please do!
And now – my long run recap! I got in 14 miles on Sunday afternoon – half with Matt, and half with my college friend Sarah.
This was my last super long run before my second full marathon, the LA Marathon, in less than 2 weeks! Can’t believe it’s almost here.
Sunday was more or less the most beautiful day ever – by the afternoon, there was not a cloud in the sky and it was a balmy 60 degrees. Wish that weather had stuck around!
I did the first half of my run with Matt! As I mentioned, we’re doing the Pittsburgh half marathon together with some family and friends in May, and he’s starting to up his mileage in anticipation. We set out from our place and ran down through Iwo Jima and over Memorial Bridge to the mall, enjoying the views.
I seriously couldn’t get over how awesome the weather was. It was almost hot out!
Once we made made it down to Lincoln, we carried on towards the Washington Monument. Will they ever finish the construction on this so we can run right up to it again?! So lame…
From the monument, we ran farther down along the National Mall. I swear the entire city was out and about enjoying the weather. Lots of flag football games, softball, runners, bikers, tourists – you name it!
When we reached the end of the mall by the Capitol, we turned back. Blurry action shot:
We ran back the way we came to the Lincoln Memorial, where we met up with Sarah! Matt headed home, and Sarah and I continued on together, headed towards the beautiful Tidal Basin.
From the Tidal Basin, we ran over the 14th street bridge, which (if you run on the right side of the bridge) connects directly to the Mt. Vernon Trail on the Virginia side of the water just north of the airport.
Given that Matt and I did a 20 mile bike ride on Saturday, my legs weren’t really feeling fresh, but it was hard to be anything but happy with such beautiful weather, views, and great company.
Sarah and I decided to get in a lap of Roosevelt Island, just for fun, once we reached it. We were both feeling really tired and glad for the company at this point!
I said farewell to Sarah at Key Bridge just before my watch reached 13 miles – only a little over a mile left to go, but unfortunately it was the mile long hill of death on the Custis Trail. Having to do this hill a lot by myself at the end of long runs during this marathon training cycle has, I think, really helped with my mental endurance! I told myself I could go as slowly as I wanted but no walking. I was so close – I just had to push through this final mile.
Made it. 14 miles! You can really see how tired/sluggish my legs felt in the average pace for this week’s long run – my slowest yet. That’s running for you, though – some days it feels easy, some days it doesn’t.
I’m not gonna lie – I’m pretty pumped to not have to do any more crazy long runs for awhile (with the exception of the actual marathon, obviously). I think after this race I’ll be sticking with half marathons for the rest of the year!
On the run, I tried out some fun new compression socks that Brooks sent me to test out this month as part of my Run Happy Ambassadorship with them. I love that they are neon yellow – so cute! And nice that they don’t soak up the heat/sun as much as my black ones do, either.
You guys know I’m already a BIG fan of compression socks/sleeves and wear them on pretty much all runs over 8 or so miles. I also love wearing them around the house as recovery from really long runs. I used to have some problems with calf cramping and inner ankle tightness during long runs and they have fixed the issue for me. I loved the compression socks from Brooks – really comfortable and nice that they were socks instead of just sleeves so I didn’t have to wear additional socks. Highly recommend them!
Speaking of socks, Brooks sent me some nice new socks to check out this month, too.
I’m pretty picky about running socks – they have to be cushy but not too bulky or hot, breathable but not too thin, fitted enough to not cause chafing but not so tight that they cut into me, and they also need to not slip down my heel while I’m working out. How did the Brooks socks stack up? I give them an A+. I absolutely LOVE Brooks’ socks. I already had a few pairs of their essential low cut socks and they are among my absolute favorite running socks. You won’t regret picking up a pair or two of these, and I’ll absolutely buy more with my own money when they start to wear out, too. Love the heel tab on their socks that prevents them from slipping down, and they are the perfect thickness, too, with nice wicking material.
I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the Transcends in December (remember the crazy cool spaceship that they “landed” at my apartment in that I posted a video of on Instagram?). The shoes were designed to be a very cushioned, stable shoe with a plush upper, ideal pressure zones, guide rails for support and ample adaptable cushioning.
You guys know I’m always 100% honest with my product reviews, so I will say that these shoes weren’t really for me – I prefer much more lightweight/minimal type running shoes, so the Transcends were a bit too heavy/bulky for me. (I wear the Brooks Ravennas for longer runs and the even more lightweight Brooks PureConnects 2s for shorter runs.) But that said, running shoes are very individual and what works for me might not work for you (and vice versa!). If you are into more cushioned/supportive running shoes, you will LOVE the Transcends – they are extremely comfortable and I’ve been hearing from other Brooks Ambassadors who absolutely love them.
And now, back to my day! I’ve got all sorts of client meetings to prep for while I watch the snow fall outside. Yep, snow. After such a gorgeous and warm weekend, it’s snowing out there again today. What the heck, weather? We’re over you…
How was your run over the weekend? Any new personal bests or fun adventures to report back on?
What do you look for in running socks?