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Chafing sucks. And if anyone tells you they don’t chafe after a long run, they’re probably lying (or incredibly lucky). There are a myriad of reasons and factors that effect chafing. And I’m not ashamed to tell you mine occurs after a good number of miles of skin-to-skin and fabric-to-skin.

To avoid this during runs, I use Body Glide. It’s something I’ve learned to just add to the running pack. For training runs I’ll just apply it to my inner thighs. And for races I’ll apply it to anywhere I might rub (usually inner thighs, armpits, and back where my tank top hits). It helps to create a slicker layer so whatever normally chafes will glide instead of rub.

However, there are some times when you can’t stop the friction and you’ve got to react with some damage control. When I do chafe, I use Skinfix Rash Repair Balm to help with irritation. This helps to create a soothing and restorative layer for when I end up with inner thighs that look like a cat attacked them, or a burning sensation when I step in the shower. I like Skinfix because it’s made with natural ingredients, and free of steroids and parabens. It’s also good for other uses (e.g. razor burn and insect bites), so it’s a multi-functional product.

So there ya have it. My 2 ways to deal with chafing. Preventative: Body Glide. Reactive: Skinfix Rash Repair Balm.

How do you deal with chafing?

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This was my third year running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, my first half marathon of the year and my 18th half marathon overall.

All of the Finish Line girls (me, Andy, Evann and Angela) stayed at the Hilton located on O’Farrell St. so we were a little over a block away from Union Square. I had set alarms for 5:00, 5:10 and 5:15 and finally got out of bed around 5:30 (actually I just sat in bed and ate my larabar and banana breakfast). By 6:00 I was finally dressed, and by 6:15 Fit Andy and I headed out the door. We arrived to the start of the race around 6:23, with about 7 minutes to spare. Andy and I were seated in the first wave, however, the entry to our area was for both the 7-7:59 and 8-8:59 waves which made lining up a little bit hectic.

With the sound of the first alarm, we were off! However, we spent the first 2 miles bobbing and weaving through the crowds. We were off to a slow start and even had to walk a few steps within the first tenth of a mile because it was so congested.

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One of the eerie things about this race is running in the dark for around 50 minutes.  By the time we entered Golden Gate Park (around mile 4/5) it was starting to get lighter. If you followed the @finishlineusa Snapchat account, you would have seen that I tried to take a picture of the waterfall. But because I was running (and the fact I hadn’t mastered the art of taking pics while running yet — something I finally got the hang of around mile 8/9) it was blurry 😛

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We entered the Richmond District around mile 8, which had a fairly steep hill lined by typical SF style homes. But the sky was so pretty with a flurry of pinks and blues, and clouds resting on the horizon.

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Around mile 9 we reached the Presidio, and somewhere around here I lost Andy.  At mile 10 we were faced with the biggest and longest hill of the race.  This hill lasts around 1/2 a mile to 3/4 of a mile. However, at this point I felt like I began to experience a runner’s high. I started to get chills from the excitement, the breeze and the view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The one thing I couldn’t wait for was the downhill. At one point I looked down at my watch and I was running sub 6….I remembered that last year I felt like I should have excelled during this part of the race, but had issues with my knee. Unlike last year, I didn’t run a marathon the week before and felt fairly energized through this part of the race. I paid extra attention to my form, and just kind of let my legs roll. It helped to pick up speed during the downhill and return to a normal stride that ended up being faster than normal pace just because of the momentum of the downhill.

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I think one of my specialities is pacing myself and leaving some reserves in the tank. For the last 2 miles I felt like I killed it. These miles felt effortless and like I had so much left in the tank to sustain a fast and exerted effort. It was so much fun to run pass people that were trudging through the last couple of miles. Usually I feel like I’m really forcing the pace, but this time I felt smooth and mentally strong knowing that I could do and hold anything/pace for ~1 mile.

One of the most deceptive parts of this race is the finish line. You can’t really see it as you’re approaching the end. It’s a straightaway followed by a left turn and a right turn immediately into the finish line. This was something I learned from running the course last year.

I would summarize the course as a mix of street and greenery, with an equal number of hills to downhills.  The scenery is always changing which makes the course seem to fly by quickly. I wouldn’t recommend it as a first-timers course (unless you’re properly trained for it), but it seems to be a favorite amongst all walks of runners.

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Andy and I did not set any goals for ourselves. Our plan was to just have fun and run by feeling. I knew I wanted to run around a 1:45ish safely, and I ended up just doing that.
Towards the end of the race I thought I saw a 1:39 pacer (don’t know why this pacer would exist) but it was actually 1:50. I think my mind was just playing games, mixed with a little bit of wishful thinking.

Although not a PR, I ended up getting a course PR for this Nike Women’s Half Marathon.

Mile splits recorded by my Garmin (1:44:25):
1 – 8:50
2 – 8:32
3 – 8:17
4 – 7:54
5 – 7:54
6 – 7:33
7 – 7:38
8 – 8:03
9 – 8:06
10 – 7:42
11 – 8:06
12 – 7:00
13 – 7:06
Last .28 – 1:37

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Thanks again to Finish Line for the opportunity to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in SF! #FNLrunsSF!!!

See last year’s recap // See 2013 recap

And we’re off! This morning we’ll be taking the streets of San Francisco. Make sure to follow along on Snapchat as Fit Andy and I will be taking over the @finishlineusa account!  Here’s the gear I’ll be wearing (and don’t make fun of my Hokas!!!).

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–Larabar
Skinfix  Rash Repair Balm
–CLIF Shot Blocks
Garmin 620 Forerunner
–Ipod shuffle
Stance Run Threshold Crew
Body Glide
–Lululemon Turbo Run Shorts
–#FNLRunsSF tank (similar style here)
Hoka One One Huaka

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Here’s my playlist for this weekend’s race.  I’m pretty sure 85% of it consists of Big Gigantic (thanks to Kendanimall and KAABOO when we saw them live).  The rest is kind of electronic/EDM…just the stuff with the higher BPM to keep cadence, rhythm and pace up up up.

What’s your favorite new song to listen to while you run?

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Last week I received the news….”regrettably, we are unable to accept your application…”

And while my goal (since I qualified) was to run Boston, I feel like I always had a tinge of doubt that my time would be fast enough to make it. 3:34:32 — what a bittersweet time.

When I set out to run Mountains 2 Beach earlier this spring, I had no idea I had anything close inside of me to qualify for Boston. My goal was to run a good time, with the subset of qualifying for Boston as result of that.

Secretly I wished there would be a general decline in racing. With marathons that used to rely on the lottery system accepting all registrations, I hoped there would be an overall lack of interest in racing anymore.

However, after reading the Runner’s World article before I even entered my registration, I knew I would probably be at least 30 seconds to a minute short. Come to find out, I was exactly 2 minutes, with BAA accepting applications up to 3:32:32 for my gender and age group.

Although I wish I could be running Boston with Kate and the rest of my club that qualified, I’m not bummed.

All I can say is: M2B round 2.

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A couple weeks ago, I received a once in a lifetime opportunity — to run the New York City Marathon.  However, after spending much of the summer not (really) running, I knew this would be a challenge.

Going into this I established that my goal is not a time goal, but rather to make this race as enjoyable as possible.  And by that I mean not completely miserable.  So my training plan reflects just that…

After talking with my coach Jim, we decided that instead of setting mileage for long runs, we’re focusing on time.  So whether I run 15 miles in 3 hours or 20 miles, it’s just about spending extended periods of time on my feet.

In general I’ve increased my weekly mileage from running 2-3 times a week to at least 4 times (including 1 long run).  The reason being that when you train for a marathon you want to run at least 4 times a week so that your long run isn’t such a large percentage of your total weekly mileage.

So far I’ve completed a 13 miler, 16 miler and 19 miler.  With just 3 more long runs until the race (Nov 1), I’ve got another 3 hour run this Saturday, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon (with another 6 miles to tack on before or after), a 70 minute taper, and then race day!

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I seriously cannot believe how fast this year has flown by. It seems like just a couple of weeks ago a few of the Finish Line Women (me, Fit Andy, Evann and Angela) found out we’d be running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. In reality, it was around June, and I felt like I had all the time in the world to get back on the training wagon. And while I’ve still been running (around 15-20 miles a week), ideally I’d like to (at the very least) get back into consistent 20-30 mile weeks.

Even with my best intentions of sticking to a plan, lately I have been “the worst.”  So I’m going to put it out in public… here is my training plan and goals for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon on October 18th!

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Training Plan —
Mon – PM run
Tues – PM run
Wed – PM Yoga Sculpt
Thurs – AM run + AM Yoga Sculpt
Fri – Rest or AM Yoga Sculpt
Sat – Long run
Sun – Rest

Goals —
A goal – Overall PR, sub 1:40
B goal – Course PR ~1:45
C goal – Finish strong in the 1:40-1:50 range.

This will be my first half marathon of the year (yikes! when did I stop racing?!). With this increase in running activity, stay tuned for more running focused posts! (yes this might actually return in a “health and fitness” blog 😛 )

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Thanks to Finish Line for the opportunity to run this race again, as well as Nike and GoPro for hooking it up FAT!!  Stay tuned, hopefully I can share some training runs captured on my new GoPro Hero4 Session!

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Or rather, barely ran.

Since my last race was in May and I was able to achieve what I set out to do (BQ), it’s been no secret I’ve taken quite a break from running this summer. My dad even asked me the other day, “looks like there’s a lot of ‘rest’ days lately…” So, yes. While I still try to run 20-30 15-20 miles a week, other activities have popped up and I’ve tried to capitalize on new opportunities to stay fit and have fun. Whether you’re a runner or not, here are a few ideas on how to stay in shape during the summer months, especially when you go from something so intense (such as marathon training), to feeling like you’re doing nothing…

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Cross-train: for me right now (and I keep saying it over and over…but it is NOT supposed to be 90+ degrees in San Diego), running outdoors is unbearable. Luckily, there is hot yoga available (hahah — I guess from one heated extreme to the next…at least hot yoga is supposed to be hot!). I’ve been incorporating some regular flow and bootcamp classes into my schedule, something I seriously lacked during marathon training.

Other ideas: find other (indoor) gym classes such as BODYPUMP, spin, etc.

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Try other activities: yassss bro, right now I’m like the ultimate surfer girl. Jk. But this summer my boyfriend taught me how to surf and now I’m completely obsessed. Jumping in the water is like 100x better than running in the scorching sun on a Saturday morning (because we all know I haven’t been doing those lately…).

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We’ve also been camping, hiking and just getting outdoors in general a ton, which makes you feel refreshed, healthy and active, keeping things fun without making it feel like you’re purposefully “working out.”

Other ideas: swim laps in a pool, swim in the ocean/open water, ride bikes, etc.

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How do you stay in shape during the summer months?

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Cozy Orange is a local company based out of Carlsbad. They create eco-friendly activewear using recycled material that is both fashion forward and functional.  Cozy Orange recently launched their summer 2015 line, filled with lightweight and breathable materials, in fun and bright prints and colors. Here are some of my favorites from their new collection:

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Milla sports bra – Usually I’m opposed to padding in sports bras (due to the smaller nature of my chest). However, this padding is very light and minimal, and provides a nice shape, that you can wear with or without a shirt over.

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Dahlia tank – this tank is super lightweight and I love the unique “turkish tile” color.

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Aquarius Pants – I’ve been wanting a pair of leggings with mesh cut-outs because you can easily dress these up and wear these out during the fall. Just throw on a pair of boots and a sweater and you’re set.

These pieces are trendy, making them very versatile and gym-to-street friendly. But not only do they have unique styles, they’re comfortable too!  Use promo code “dailycupofcozy” for 25% off your order!

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Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, but I received a complimentary outfit for my review. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 
 
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