Doctor, Doctor

Apparently I don’t like following my own advice. I have been complaining of my sore hip for 28 days now. My husband tells me to call the doctor. My mom tells me to call the doctor. My coworkers tell me to call the doctor. Fine…I’ll call a doctor. I have an appointment for Monday. We’ll see what she says. Until then I’ve been doing some stretches recommended by Runner’s World for bursitis / it band syndrome. They feel good, but I’m not sure they are helping.

I’ve ridden my bike once this week already and did PiYo this morning. I want to run so badly though. It doesn’t help that my Brooks Racey 7″ shorts came yesterday and oh, they are glorious. Just long enough to prevent chaffing, but short enough to be comfortable and cute. They have the perfect wide waistband too!

I hope we can figure out what’s going on with my hip because I have races that I’ve signed up for! I just signed up for my first 10K of the year. The Sweet Escape 10K was moved up from May to March. It was miserably hot last year and I wasn’t planning on doing it. But there’s wine and chocolate at the finish line AND I had a $10 off code. SIGN ME UP!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my Garmin 235. Here’s my review in a nutshell: I LOVE IT! I started with a Garmin 110 and quickly graduated to a 220. It served me faithfully for two years. I get wellness points through work and the easiest way for me to get my daily workout points is to turn in my steps. I get points for every day I go over 10,000, which I do probably 80% of the month. Before the 235 I was wearing a Garmin Vivosmart, a Mio Link HR monitor, AND the 220. That’s a lot of things on my tiny little child-sized wrists. Add in my RoadID and I’ll admit it looked a little silly. The Garmin 235 does all of these things in one device.


Other non-training features I like:

  1. Alarm: You can set multiple alarms. Vibrate or beep or both! I don’t use my phone alarm anymore. Just my Garmin. It wakes me more gently.
  2. Resting HR: I’m beginning to notice than when I’m stressed or I don’t feel good, it creeps up just a tad. It’s a nice heads up to take a few extra moments to relax or do some extra self care.
  3. Smart notifications: You can customize them to only receive certain notifications. I currently just get texts and calls. I can leave my phone on silent at my cubicle and can still get notices from friends and family when I’m out at the library kiosk. I used to constantly miss calls from my husband because I forgot to turn my ringer on! That’s not a problem anymore.


The new 35 series of Garmins are just awesome. The continuous HR gives me pretty accurate readings on most things. The race predictors seem a bit ambitious, but my current fitness level needs some serious work. The recovery time and Vo2 max estimations are quite accurate now that I am followed the 80/20 plan. My easy runs truly are easy and my recovery time is usually less than 24 hours when I run the paces that 80/20 recommends.

I’m still discovering some features, like Indoor and Outdoor cycling settings. Garmin is recognizing that more runners are using cycling as XTing and they added bike sensor possibilities. I used it Tuesday morning when I did an early morning trainer ride. I need to set up my data screens and adjust some settings before it works perfectly.

Note: Garmin did not provide any compensation for this review. I purchased the Garmin 235 with my own money.

Stay Neon!


Being injured at the beginning of a training plan is new territory for me, but after yesterday’s long run I had to face facts. I’m dealing with IT Band Syndrome. And it sucks.

It started at the New Year’s Day 5K. My hip was cranky afterwards. That pain has been come and go since. It doesn’t hurt when I run, just afterwards when I’ve been sitting and then stand up and walk. Mr. Neon and I set out yesterday for a 6 mile long run. I did a threshold heartrate test the first 20 minutes using the PEAR sports app, recommended by 80/20 running. All was good until mile 4. The outside of my left knee started to hurt. I had to stop twice and then at the last stop light, Mr. Neon told me to find a windbreak to hide behind and he would run the last half mile and get the car. It’s definitely it band, because once I stopped running and stretched, my knee stopped hurting and then my hip starting hurting. I limped through most of the afternoon and evening. Today it feels better, but I know if I try to run again it’ll hurt. I’m making good friends with my foam roller again.

I feel like I’m starting over. I’m making newbie mistakes. Not stretching enough. Not hydrating properly. Not foam rolling. Not XTing or strength training. When I started running, I did all of these things and my progress was fluid. I have stalled. I need to get back to basics.

When I’m stressed/depressed/sick/annoyed, I online shop. I ordered several new running goodies.


Brooks Racey 7″ Shorts. Mr. Neon told me to order ONE pair and if I love them as much as I think I will, I can order more. He’s so good to me.


New Blender Bottles. I refuse to drink protein or other powdered supplements without a Blender Bottle. I needed some 28oz ones for my BASE Rocket Fuel! I use the little 22oz ones to drink my morning protein shake snack at work.

fila vest

I have wanted a running vest forever. I got a Kohl’s 30% off code with my last peelie, so I snagged this for $14.00 shipped!

base hydro

Crossing my fingers this is here tomorrow! Being a BASE athlete this year is going to rock. I’ve been using their salt for over six months now and started using the aminos about a month ago. I can’t wait for my Hydro to arrive so I can make some Rocket Fuel to get me through my early morning workouts. 1-2 scoops hydro, 1 scoop aminos, 1 scoop salt. I’ve read so much about switching to a liquid based fuel and I think this stuff is going to do the trick!

I am pledging to not run this week. Just cycling and PiYo strength. I’m going to set up my bike on the trainer tonight so I can get up and do 40 minutes on the bike instead of a 40 minute Foundation Run that’s on the schedule. No excuses!

Stay neon, my friends!

The Perfect Training Plan?

In 2013, I started running. I also discovered that there are LOTS of books about running. I’m a librarian. I like books.

To get myself started I used a Couch to 5K app on my phone. It worked all right. When Mr. Neon surprised me with a back 2 back half marathon registration for Christmas, I knew I would need to find something a bit more serious. I began the search for a training plan. I discovered this was quite the task!

2014 was the year of the Galloway method and Train Like a Mother. The Train Like a Mother plans are great. They are flexible and customizeable (spell check is telling me this isn’t a word…) depending on your fitness level and goals. The only con is that they don’t give you a ton of direction in how fast or slow you should run the different types of workouts. No pace charts, no direct RPE suggestions. As far as Galloway goes, I believe his method is the ideal way to get started running long distances. Built in walk breaks make a world of difference, especially walk breaks early on in long runs before you actually get tired and need them.

2015 was the year of Run Less, Run Faster. This plan made so much sense when I read the book. Track workouts and tempo runs will make you faster. But in practice it proved otherwise. Running only three days a week threw my body for a loop. My metabolism got out of whack. My sleep patterns were weird. I started to dread the two work week runs because I had to get. up. so. early. The major pro of this plan is the perfect paces. Every run was mapped out with the exact pace you were supposed to hit. I will say this plan worked, but the burnout is something to contend with. If you don’t get burnt out and can handle speedwork twice a week, then definitely give these plans a try. I’m just not sure they are doable long term, which they propose they are.

When I worked out a plan for my spring 2016 half, I just assumed that I would once again work with Run Less, Run Faster because it worked well for the marathon, minus the whole dreading waking up early two days a week and a wacky metabolism / eating plan. Then I started working on Mr. Neon’s Ironman training plan. He’s using the Essential Week-by-Week Training Guide published by Triathlete Magazine and written by Matt Fitzgerald. I gave Mr. Fitzgerald a Google and came across his other books. Racing Weight and the Racing Weight cookbook are currently on my nightstand, alongside both the Runner’s World cookbooks. Nutrition is getting serious around the Neon Runner household.

I also came across this book.


Run Stronger and Race Faster by TRAINING SLOWER, you say? This is a stark contrast to my current outlook of Run Less, Run Faster. Could this work? Well…this is sort of how 2014 played out. I ran a lot of miles in 2014 and early 2015, without much focus on pace and with more focus on volume and form. And 2014 was a far better running year than 2015. I devoured 80/20 in one day and I have officially drunk the kool-aid. I’m ready to relax, run some easy miles, and start enjoying running again. Who cares if I’m back to an 11min pace on my easy days? I bet I’ll look forward to getting up at 5am to run a leisurely 40 minutes and then hop off the treadmill refreshed and ready to tackle the day. The current alternative is limping off the treadmill and rushing for the calf stretcher or the foam roller and moaning that I had to get up at 4:30 to squeeze in 7-8 miles at paces that frankly are darn uncomfortable on a daily basis. My body doesn’t need to live in Zone 4. Let’s give Zone 2 a chance this year!

So how about you fellow runners, where do you get your training plans? How often do you run slow vs. run fast?

Stay Neon!

2016 Goals

This post took me longer than it usually does. I am doing something new this year. I have given up Daily Mile. When I started running, my mom told me to use Daily Mile to log my runs to track my progress. For 2.5ish years, I faithfully logged every mile on DM. But I still logged everything on Garmin. And this year I decided to go back to a paper log, so that I can journal a bit as I go. So I got one of these bad boys…


Mine is signed on the inside by Lauren Fleshman. Yes, I get giddy knowing this journal that I hold in my hands daily was once in the hands of Lauren Fleshman.

Logging runs in three places isn’t something I want to spend my time on, so Daily Mile had to go. So for all of you on facebook who are worried about me because I’m not sharing my runs, never fear, they are still happening!

The front of this book has a place for four goals. It took me a while to write them down. Writing them down is so permanent. It took some guts to write one of my 2016 goals down.


This one. I think I’m finally ready to tackle this. It’s going to hurt, but I will get faster in 2016. WAY faster.

So here’s the rest of them.

Running/Fitness goals for 2016:

  1. Run a sub-2hour half marathon. I’ve got two fall races that I will attempt this at.
  2. Run 1000 miles. Third times a charm, right?
  3. Four summer triathlons. This is to encourage XTing more than anything. And because that BASE tri kit needs to get some use!
  4. Abs and Strength training. The weight room is intimidating.
  5. Food is fuel. I need to readopt this outlook.

Life goals for 2016:

  1. Relax. Destress. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  2. Meditate. I bought a year of HeadSpace a while back and don’t use it nearly as much as I should.
  3. Do one thing fun as a family per month that doesn’t involve running.
  4. Money. I’m going to be a little vague here, but we made some big progress in 2015 with our spending, saving, and paying down debt. I want to continue that trend.
  5. Catch up on all the little projects. I will make a list soon.

So there ya go. Life is a learning process!

Working on it…

Getting back in the habit of things is TOUGH! I ran on Monday and then today I woke up and my throat was a little scratchy and my bed was warm and the doggie was snuggly. AND…our wireless router died, so no Netflix on the treadmill. Verdict? I didn’t run.

I told myself I would do PiYo when I got off work, but then I remembered that I work late on Wednesdays and that wouldn’t happen. Right now, I just want to go home, make a big bowl of guacamole, eat it, drink a glass of wine, and then go to bed. Sounds like a plan to me.

I have my goals written down, but I’m scared to share them. There’s a big one on there. I finally had the courage to write it down. Now I just need to grow the courage to put it out there publicly on the blog. Maybe tomorrow…

I’ve got three things to share with you by next Monday.

  1. BASE Performance supplements. My new secret weapons. Oops.
  2. I want to be ab twins with Lauren Fleshman.
  3. Garmin 235 – Seriously. Garmin hit it out of the park with this little dudette.

Ok. I wrote them down. So I will write about them!

Stay Neon!