Sunday, August 11, 2013

Training, training, training...

Training, training, training...this is what our summer has been all about. Ali has been training like a crazy man for the upcoming Louisville Ironman.

 I cannot believe that he only has two weeks left until his big day!! Every day this summer he has ran, or biked, or swam, or done some combination of all three of these events. He amazes me with his endurance. In between that he is constantly doing sit-ups and push-ups, and using his arm and leg weights. Rarely does he sit still. Right now he is nursing a tender Achilles' tendon. I'm praying that it heals quickly. 

Here is what a typical training week for Ali has been like this summer...
Sunday: long run of 14 miles or more
Monday: easy run 6 miles, 30-60 minutes on spin bike, abs and core workout 
Tuesday: running speed workout, abs and core workout, easy swim 1 mile
Wednesday: tempo run, abs and core workout, 30-60 minutes on spin bike
Thursday: easy run, abs and core workout
Friday: long bike day 60-80 miles
Saturday: long swim 2 miles

Very rarely would he take a day off completely, and there were a few days where he doubled up his runs on the same day by doing an easy run and a track workout in the same day. Just last Saturday he met with his training buddies for a 40 mile bike ride, 1.2 mile swim, and a 3 mile run. I thought it was very thoughtful that they gave him a little "send-off" party afterwards. He truly has a wonderful group of supportive friends. 

In just a few days we will start packing him for the trip up to Kentucky. We will start stocking up on his race day nutrition and deciding what items to include in his transition bags. It is quite possible that I am more nervous than he is!! I have been reading other blogs and googling like a mad woman. Hahaha! I am super excited that my best friend Larisa will be flying up there with me to cheer Ali on along the course. 

Meanwhile this summer I have slowly gotten back into a running groove as well. My sister and I are signed up for our first Run Disney event!! 
We will be running the Wine and Dine half in November. I am super excited for this race. It has given me the motivation I needed to get back to running after my horrible knee issues over the last year. I have slowly started over from scratch with my training. This summer my goal was to wean myself off of my "crutches"...KT Pro Tape and my knee braces. After the Pensacola Double Bridge in February, my training came to a screeching halt. I had to sit out of the Rock and Roll New Orleans half, and I walked the Crescent City Classic 10K. I started going to see Dr. Justin at Eastern Shore Chiropractic every week so he could work his healing magic. I also took some time a LOT of time off. I didn't run again, comfortably, until our trip to England at the end of June. By the middle of July I decided to try running a mile with no tape and/or brace, and it felt GOOD! I slowly added more distance over the next couple weeks and was soon able to run 3.1 and feel great. Then I decided to go all out today. 5 miles, over a bridge (I had avoided all hills up to this point). 

My sister and I got up at 5, and were out the door at 5:40. We parked up at the Golden Nugget in Biloxi. We made a great choice in starting there. 

We began our run watching a beautiful sunrise!!

The bridge was pretty empty at this point as well. There were a few walkers, but not many runners yet. There was a nice cooling breeze coming off the water, and that made the humidity more bearable. 

Once we crossed the bridge we took a right and ran along the water. I was glad to see FLAT ground. In the back of my mind I knew I had to run back over the steep bridge. 

Looking back, we got some awesome views of the bridge we ran over. Look how long it looks!

At mile 2.5 we came to this pier. We paused the Garmin's and decided to walk to the end and catch our breath. 

This guy was sitting at the end! 

After our short break we ran back to the bridge and found this cool area right next to it. We took a minute to enjoy the murals and walk along the path under the bridge.

And then we were on our way once again!! Once we got back on the bridge we knew we were on the home stretch. Each step was closer to finished. By this point there were a LOT of people starting out their runs, and we were grateful that we were finishing ours. It was HOT! I was glad my sister was with me to keep me going the full distance. 

Before we knew it, we were done :) Running with a partner is so much better than running solo. I was grateful for the company today. We left the Golden Nugget planning our next long run after our Ironman trip. My goal for my next long run is 6 miles. Until then, I'll squeeze in a few 3-4 milers and get in my regular workouts on my elliptical and the spin bike we borrowed from Larisa. 

Summer is over for teachers this week, and that means early mornings and late nights for the Stevenson family. My goal is to stay consistent with my workouts (4-5 days a week), and not slack off. Well, I'm off to ice my knees and watch a movie with my boys. 

Question: How do you fit in training around your work schedule? What events are you training for?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Road ID

This summer Ali and I were glued to the Tour de France. We looked forward to watching the race each day and made bets with each other about who would be in the sprint finishes. We *hope* to be able to catch a few legs of the race next year if we are able to return to England next summer. Fingers crossed we are able to pull that off!! Haha!

During the Tour, we kept seeing advertisements for a product called Road ID. 

I did a little looking into this company, and found this little blurb under a link in the Road ID app (available for iPhones). I'll explain more about the app later, but for now check out the reason behind this company:

Sounds good right?!? One thing I worry about most while Ali is out doing his Iron Man training is that he will get hurt or sick and I won't know. What if he crashes his bike, or falls while running, or cramps up while swimming? Especially if he is unable to talk or call me? What about if, heaven forbid, he is unresponsive and he isn't carrying his cell (or it is damaged to the point it can't be used)? These thoughts send chills right through me. How will I be notified? 

Well, I went online and ordered him a bracelet just like this one...

I was able to personalize it with his information in a matter of minutes. It was super easy!!! I was cheaper than I thought it would be too...right at $20. I found a coupon online that covered the shipping :) The bracelet arrived in just a few days, and fits him perfectly. I ordered him the black one, like the one above, but there were several other colors to choose from. 

Now when Ali is out training I don't worry that I won't be alerted if something should happen to him. 

As if this wasn't enough, we looked into the Road ID app. I downloaded it onto my iPhone, and decided to test it out.

After tapping the icon I was prompted to start an eCrumb (electronic crumb)...think about leaving a trail of crumbs. I selected the length of time I wanted to exercise, my type of activity, and the person I wanted notified about this activity. For this example I chose Ali. The good thing is that the people who you send notifications to DO NOT need to download the app. This is great because this app is only for i-devices, and Ali cannot get this app for his phone yet. 

Once I started the eCrumb, Ali got a text message alerting him that I was running and provided him with a link to follow my route in real time!! How was able to "see" my run. How awesome is that? This made me feel safer about running solo as he knew exactly where I was. A great feature of this app is that it alerts your followers if you stop for more than 5 minutes. If I fall and sprain an ankle, Ali will be notified that my activity has stopped and he will know where to come get me. Likewise, he can now take my phone on his long bike rides and I'll be able to monitor his progress. Talk about peace of mind!!

Yet another great aspect of this app is that it allows you to set a lock screen. What if you are hurt and cannot unlock your phone for the people helping you? Now you don't need to! This information will be on you lock screen for emergency personel to see easily. In the "emergency details" section you can put anything. Heart condition, allergy, diabetic, special condition? You can let people know even if you cannot respond. 

Needless to say, we are very pleased with the Road ID bracelet and the app. I am thinking of purchasing a bracelet for myself and our two boys as well. There are a few different styles that are sure to please us all. If you have an active individual in you life, this product may be for you :)

Why not check out the Road ID site and see if they may have something for you? Just click here...

QUESTION: Do you have any Road ID products? Have you tried the app?