October Roundup

October is over! That means a recap of my month is due! You can catch up on all previous months’ recaps here: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September.

With 3 miles this morning, I finished out October with 103 miles, which is my second most miles in a month, ever! The highest mileage I’ve run was in March of 2014, with 119.  103 miles this month is my second most, followed by 102 miles in February 2014, and 100 miles in August of this year.  With 103 miles this month, I’m up to 816 miles for 2015, and right on track to meet my goal of 950 miles, and hopefully exceed that and reach quadruple digits, 1000 miles!! I need 184 more miles to reach 1000, which averages out to at least 92 miles for November and December.  My last 5 months have been in the 80s, 90s, or 100s, for milage, so I am confident that if I stay healthy, I can reach 1000 miles this year!!!  To reach my goal of 950 miles, I will have to run at least 67 miles each in November and December.

Photo Oct 31, 4 35 33 PM

I started off October by going to Milwaukee to visit my sister.  We ran together twice, and I was able to volunteer with her at the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon finish line, which was a huge inspiration for me to want to commit to completing my first full marathon next fall.  I also took my second ever cycle class, taught by Kristen.

Photo Oct 05, 8 42 44 AM

I had one race in October, the KC Half Marathon.  I PR’d this race by over 10 minutes, and felt more strong and confident than I’ve ever felt during a half marathon.  Running this race solidified my desire to complete a full marathon next fall, and I will do so at the same race next October.  You can read my race recap here.

Photo Oct 17, 10 57 53 AM

My longest run in October, besides the KC Half Marathon, was a 7.5 mile run in Milwaukee, with Kristen, on October 4.  I ran with KC Running Co. 8 times, including 2 really great feeling speed workouts.  I’ve been continuing to see the chiropractor about every 1-2 weeks, and I’m having marked improvement with my left IT band/hamstring and my right glute/hamstring.  We’re making progress!  I was only able to make it to 2 yoga classes in October; I need to get back to yoga once a week!

Photo Oct 24, 3 09 10 PM

Looking forward to November, I have the Cliffhanger 8k tomorrow, November 1, which will be my first 8k (4.97 miles).  Then, I’m flying to Las Vegas with Mom and Kristen to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 5k and Half Marathon! I’m really looking forward to a girls trip, runcation, and VEGAS!

I’m going to try to keep my mileage steady to end the year with at least 1000 miles, and try to stay healthy and keep my ailments on the mend! Let me know how your October went, and what your goals are for November and the rest of the year!

Tips for Running in the Dark

Running in the dark is probably my least favorite type of running. I do love running in the snow, in the rain, and in the sun, but running when it’s dark, early morning or after the sun sets in the evening, presents lots of unseen obstacles (HAH! See what I did there?).

With winter right around the corner, and with the time change this weekend, I’d like to use today’s Thursday Things to share some tips and tricks for Fall and Winter running, aka running in the dark. The 4 tips below are common sense, but all are tried and true and will help keep you safe while running in the dark.

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1. BE SEEN! When it’s dark, it’s dark. Don’t dress in dark clothing. A good share of my running clothes are black, but when it’s dark out, I try to light myself up like a Christmas tree. Light colored shirts, reflective clothes, blinky lights, anything at all that you can do to be seen is a good thing. Running in the dark is not the time to be a fashionable runner all matchy matchy, it’s a time to make sure you are seen! It doesn’t matter if your clothes match, as long as they are bright and visible. I also have quite the selection of clip on or Velcro blinky lights. I clip lights on my shoes, on the back of my visor, on my shirt… blinking lights tend to catch more attention than steady lights, so keep that in mind as well. Many of my lights have blink or steady options, and I almost always pick the blinky setting. It’s definitely worth the money to get some lights to attach to your body.

Reflective clothing is also one of the best ways to make sure you are seen. Running clothes on the market these days often have reflective material built right in. If you don’t have clothing that already has reflective material, definitely wear light or white colors. If it’s black outside, and you’re wearing black, you won’t be seen! If you’re wearing white, you have a much better chance to be seen by drivers or other runners. If you do a lot of running in the dark, maybe look into buying a reflective vest or reflective tape to tape on your torso.

Photo Nov 11, 2 34 21 PM

2. BE ABLE TO SEE! Being seen by drivers means nothing at all if trip over something and break your leg. If you’re running in the dark, you have to be able to see. Use a headlamp, handheld lights, or run in lit areas to help yourself stay safe. There are so many products on the market to help you see and be seen. I have a headlamp (the Black Diamond headlamp) that is lightweight, easy to use, and rechargeable. It has a few different settings to allow me to see where I am going when it’s dark. The last thing I want to do is trip and fall, or slip on the ice. Without a light, I would be lit up for others to see me, but I wouldn’t be able to see where I’m running, which is just not smart. If you don’t have lights to light yourself up or to be able to see where you are going, be sure to wear your light colored clothing and stick to well-lit areas. If you don’t have a light, it’s not the time to run on the trails; stick to roads with streetlights.

3. DON’T BE STUPID! Follow the proper rules of the road. Run on sidewalks if it’s dark out. If you must run in the street, please PLEASE run against traffic. If a car is driving up in your direction and they don’t see you, you will have a much better chance of not getting hit if you can see the vehicle coming at you and jump off the road if necessary. If you are running with traffic, you will never see that vehicle, and if they don’t see you either, you could get hit or run over. I generally prefer to run in the street, but if it’s a busy road, or if it’s dark out, I will run on the sidewalk, away from cars.

Don’t ever get comfortable and think the drivers will always see you. Always be prepared to take your own life in your own hands and jump out of the way of cars if necessary. I sometimes pick up a couple rocks and hold them if I’m running alone in the dark. I would not hesitate to throw a rock at a windshield if necessary, to keep from being run over. Never assume the driver will see you; be prepared! Running in the dark is also not the time to run an unfamiliar route. Stick to what you know, because you know it! No surprises leads to a safer run.

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4. SAFETY FIRST! If you run alone, and it’s dark, and you are well lit and able to see, but it’s still dark, take your safety into consideration. Maybe don’t listen to music and be shut off from the world. Be alert and listen to what’s around you. If you feel you need to, carry pepper spray, or a personal safety alarm. Tell a friend where you are going, and when you should be back, or even better, take a friend with you or run with a group! If you don’t normally carry your phone while you run, maybe take it on runs where you are alone and in the dark, and think about using an app (like the Road ID app) that allows friends or loved ones to track you, and notifies them if you stop moving for a length of time.

Keeping yourself safe is something that should be in the forefront of your mind, no matter when you are running, but it is extra important when it’s dark out. You never really know what could be lurking around the corner. A pothole? Someone who wants to abduct or hurt you? A stray animal? Be alert, and be aware that things in the darkness can likely see you way before you can see them, especially if you are not paying attention like you should.

Please be safe, friends! What other tips do you have to share for running in the dark?

Monday Mentionings: October 26

I’m going to give a quick sentence or two per picture today, because I have lots of pictures to share!

Last week was a busy week! Jasper had relaxing on his brain.

Photo Oct 20, 10 42 29 AM

Thursday night, Alter G visited KC Running Company, and we had the chance to run in an unweighted environment! It was super cool, but the 3 mile run I had after running on 80% and also 50% of my body weight was super hard – my legs felt like lead!  Read more about the Alter G treadmill technology here!

Photo Oct 22, 6 14 03 PM

Photo Oct 22, 7 53 30 PM

Friday I got to FaceTime with Ava and watch her open her birthday present.  Happy Birthday boo!!

Photo Oct 23, 12 32 03 PM

Also on Friday, after I wore my KC Royals shirt to work, I made my first batch of chicken noodle soup and watched the Royals win the ACLS! WORLD SERIES OR BUST!

Photo Oct 23, 10 11 04 AM

Saturday, I cheered Amy’s son Joshua on during his last soccer game, then we went to breakfast!

Photo Oct 24, 11 32 21 AM

Saturday afternoon, I ran on the trails and found some of the biggest leaves I’ve ever seen.

Photo Oct 24, 3 09 10 PM

They were like huge tree stars.  Bonus if you get that reference.

Photo Oct 24, 3 09 28 PM

I love running in October.  It’s so pretty. I love fall.

Photo Oct 24, 3 14 43 PM

Jasper and I have been loving the balcony lately.

Photo Oct 24, 3 39 04 PM

Yesterday morning, we enjoyed some more balcony time before running.

Photo Oct 25, 8 26 35 AM

Amy and I ran on the trails, and once again, the trees and leaves and fall took my breath away.

Photo Oct 25, 9 17 47 AM

We are tree huggers. =D

Photo Oct 25, 7 24 35 PM

Photo Oct 25, 9 20 04 AM

Later Sunday afternoon, Amy and I drove out to the Louisburg Cider Mill, took a hay ride, had some cider, and walked the corn maze.  It was such a perfect afternoon.

Photo Oct 25, 7 20 00 PM

I love my best.

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And I finished the week off by cuddling with Jasper, watching Scandal (OMG!) and enjoyed a piece of toast with pumpkin butter that I got at the Cider Mill.

Photo Oct 25, 8 03 40 PM

It’s looking to be a busy, fun week.  GO ROYALS!